!!! NOTE! PLEASE READ! !!! I would like to thank everyone for reading The Horror Show. There have been a lot of kind and encouraging reviews. However, I'm not happy with the way it's turning out. This entry is the first chapter, but it's extended. In a few days, I'll delete the other chapters so this is the only one left. I was planning on making this fic on a wide spectrum of relationships, but I'm mainly focusing it on Kakashi x Sakura/ Gaara x Sakura. I'm sorry for this inconvenience, I just want The Horror Show to be something I'm really proud of.
Chapter One - Strange Encounters (extended)
"Are you ready, Sakura?" Kakashi whispered to his teammate. She nodded stiffly. He could see that she was nervous. "Hey, everyone gets like this on their first Jounin mission. Don't worry about it. I won't let anything happen."
"I wish Naruto or Sasuke were here," she said softly.
"What, I'm not good enough for you?" he said jokingly, pushing her lightly. She almost lost her balance and fell out of the tree they was perched in. His face instantly became serious. "Besides, you're a Jounin now. You don't need them with you for your comfort blanket."
"I know, Kakashi, It's just that I'm not used to doing this on my own..." she looked away from him, down to the camp they had been watching for the past hour.
"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not going to let anything happen to you," he said lazily. "No more talk, time to go!"
Without warning he shoved Sakura as hard as he could out of the tree. With a loud thud she landed to the hard ground in the center of the bandit camp. The thieves began to file out of their tent, circling the pink hair ninja.
"KAKASHI!" She screamed furiously as she as she grabbed two kunais from her pouch. "YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO HELP!"
"Nope! I said I wouldn't let anything happen to you," he answered back, smiling. "Hurry up and finish them so we can go back home."
The first bandit lunged at her with a sword in hand, but she easily deflected it with the kunai in her left hand and used the one in her right to stab him in the back. He fell to the floor, screaming. 'One down, seven to go,' Sakura thought to herself.
One of the bandits took out a throwing star and lobbed it at her. She dropped a kunia and caught it and sent it back at the thief, nailing him in the neck.
Kakashi, in the mean time, took out his favorite book and leaned up against the tree trunk, still perched on a branch about ten feet up. He paid no attention to the sound of metal clashing or the screams of the dying bandits. He knew Sakura would be fine, why should he bother killing dirty old men when it was a perfect night to read?
"Flaming cyclone no jitsu!" Sakura screamed as she performed the seals. A blast of fire encircled her and grew in size, burning the entire camp. She watched at the men fell to the ground, completely charred.
"Hey Kakashi, one's missing!" Sakura yelled up to him.
"Just keep looking," he called down in his sing song voice. "He's got to be around him somewhere."
"Try behind you, asshole," a voice growled. Kakashi barely had time to react as a kunai was flying towards his head. He stared in horror as the tip of the blade was protruding from his favorite book.
Without hesitation he stood up and preformed seals at lightning fast speed. "Fire spike no jitsu!" The bandit was dead before it hit him. The large kunia shaped fire went through his chest, leaving a large black hole.
"My book!" He yelled angrily, pulling the throwing knife out of its cover. "My precious book!"
"Kakashi, are you okay?" Sakura asked softly.
"No, I'm not! This mission was a total failure!" he fumed angrily. "How could we have let this happen?"
"Kakashi, it's not like we lost a man."
He jumped down to the floor and looked at his poor book once more. "This is so horrible. Who could do such a thing?"
"Kakashi, it's your own damned fault for reading during a mission," Sakura said firmly. He looked at her with the most pathetic expression he could muster. She signed helplessly. "Let's just go home. I'm tired."
"Nope, no can do," he said, shedding his sad expression. "We have to rendevous with another group and escort them back to the Leaf Village."
"What are you talking about? You said all we had to do is get rid of the bandits!" She screamed.
"Sorry, must have forgotten," he said happily and handed her the mission scroll. "We have to meet up with the group at their camp and stay there for the night then take them home in the morning."
"Can't they take themselves home?" Sakura asked, completely exasperated.
"No can do. Their entrance might be seen as violent, so we're there to calm the people down."
She looked at him oddly. "Who is it?"
"Some nins from the Sand Village," he began to flip through his book, seeing if anything could be salvaged. He shrugged, then threw the book behind him. "Do you think they'd carry a copy?" He asked, waiving his hand indifferently towards the dead bandits.
"You're going to rummage through the bodies of these filthy people?" Sakura asked, dumfounded.
"Well, more like look through their tents," he said casually. "It never hurts to try!" He walked into the tents and went through all of the stuff. Sakura watched as random items were thrown out into the clearing. Suddenly, he poked his head out of the tent. "Hey Sakura, there are seven more tents! Take one and start helping!"
"No, that's okay Kakashi," she mumbled. "Besides, why would I do you any favors after what you did to me."
"What are you talking about?" he asked innocently.
"I hate you Kakashi."
"No you don't!" he said happily. He pointed to the tent next to him. "Take this one. There's got to be something in it!"
"Don't we have the rest of the mission to do?" Sakura asked heatedly.
"It can wait. This is important," he said seriously and dove back into the tent he plundering. "Hey, dirty magazines!" he said happily as he flipped through it. He threw it out of the tent and it landed on Sakura's shoe.
Blood rushed to her face and turned it red with embarrassment and anger. "KAKASHI!"
"What, you're eighteen aren't you? Don't you look at that stuff?" he asked, completely oblivious.
"I'm leaving," she stated. "I can't take you anymore."
"I don't think you want to meet up with the group alone," Kakashi warned. "You might not like being by yourself with them."
"Who is it, Gaara?" she asked sarcastically. The look that Kakashi gave her told her that she was right. "You're kidding me."
"Nope! He was exiled from his village by the Kage, so Tsunade is letting him stay here. He did save some people here, you know."
"He tried to kill me!" She shouted. "They're letting him in? There has to be a reason why he was exiled!"
"Not for us to care about," he answered, walking out of the tent. "Since you really want to meet up with them, let's go." He smiled and started walking off.
"No, wait!" Sakura called out. "Kakashi..."
"Who's afraid of the big bad Gaara?" he said, poking fun at her. "Besides, he won't hurt you. How many times do I have to tell you that I won't let anything happen to you?"
She nodded and followed him towards Gaara's camp. It took about thirty minutes to get there, and the entire time Kakashi was whining about his book.
Sakura looked back and forth between Gaara, Kakashi, and the fire between them all. Temari was up in a tree, watching out for any intruders.
"Well, I'm beat," Kakashi announced. "I'm going to take a nap."
"You can't do that!" Sakura said angrily. "You haven't done anything today to make you tired."
"The loss of a companion is hard on the heart," he said, standing up. "It takes time to heal. And what better then to spend that time sleeping!" He walked off to one of the pitched tents Gaara's group brought with them.
Temari jumped down to the fire and sat where Kakashi had been. "You guys lost someone getting here?" she asked incredulously. "How pathetic!"
"He's talking about a book," Sakura growled back. "We, or I should say, I was fighting a group of bandits and Kakashi's book got caught in the crossfire."
"That's even more pathetic," Temari mumbled. "What a looser."
"He's definitely odd," Sakura replied. She looked back at Gaara, who was just staring into the flames. She swallowed and turned back to Temari. "So, isn't there another guy? What happened to your brother?"
"He has a family now at the Sand Village. He couldn't leave," she answered. "I decided to come with Gaara because I was tired of that place."
"So, you weren't exiled?" Sakura asked.
"Just Gaara. For no good reason, either. They just decided he was too dangerous for the village people. So I left with him," she said. "It was really nice of Tsunade to let us in."
She plastered on a smile, and looked back at Gaara. He still stared off into the distance, his mind on other things. She shuddered as she though of the time he almost killed her. She could feel the sand creeping around her, the feeling of it crushing her. She suddenly stood up. "I'm tired to," she said as happily as she could, "I'm going to bed now." She scanned the camp, noticing there was only three tents.
'I don't want him to kill me in my tent...'
She walked into the tent that Kakashi was snoring in. He had spread out his entire body, looking like a giant spider with silver hair.
"Damn you Kakashi," Sakura muttered as she pushed him to the side to make room for herself. She finally had enough room to lay down, and was asleep within minutes.
Gaara looked up to Temari, "I don't think she likes us."
"Well, you did try to kill her," Temari said as she picked something out of her teeth.
"Yes," he answered, smiling, "I suppose I did, didn't I?"
"We have a full day of traveling ahead of us, but it shouldn't be hard because there's paths all the way home. This doesn't mean that we should let our guard down. The Fire Country has more then its share of bandits," Kakashi rubbed his chin as he thought out loud. "I'll lead, and Temari can follow me. Then Gaara and at the back can be Sakura."
"I don't think I trust Pinky to cover my back," Temari mumbled.
Sakura was about to interject, but Kakashi beat her to the punch. "Sakura is more then capable of bringing up the rear. Besides, we don't trust you to cover our backs either."
Temari snarled, "How da-"
"Temari," Gaara snapped. "Give it a rest." She glared back at Kakashi, then looked away in defeat.
"Alright, let's get going," Kakashi said as he stood up. "Let's try to cover as much ground as possible right now, then we can take a break and move at a slower pace."
Without another word he jumped into the nearest tree with Temari quickly following him. Gaara lingered on the ground, looking at Sakura. She swallowed and tried not to look away. He smirked momentarily, then jumped away. Sakura wrinkled her nose up, not particularly happy to be behind him, but followed him just the same.
Kakashi stopped so suddenly that Temari almost collided with him.
"Hey! What gives-"
Kakashi held his hands up for silence. Gaara landed on the large branch next to Temari and Sakura was just a little behind.
'What's he doing?' Gaara wondered. He scanned around the area, trying to figure out what the Copy Ninja was sensing. His eyes widened when he found it. "It's a-"
"Demon," Kakashi finished it for him. "We must move quickly!"
No one needed any further convincing. They were traveling as fast as their bodies could carry them. He was trying not to think about it, he just needed to get his team out of there. Going fast, that was the important thing. Ignore the chakra, ignore its presence. He tried as hard as he could to ignore it. However, he could not ignore the fact that it was getting closer to them.
He quickly glanced over his shoulder to look at the three following him silently. Temari looked around as she jumped, obviously worried. Gaara had the same emotionless mask on but met Kakashi's eyes. Sakura worried him. She looked worn out, and it was obvious that she had not gotten a great night of sleep.
A black shadow was tailing her.
'Shit!' He suddenly stopped and flipped so he was facing his team. "Keep going!" He instructed them. He jumped as fast as he could to his pink haired pupil. He grabbed her by the waist as he jumped out of the path of the shadow. Covering Sakura's mouth, he perched in a tree that overlooked the clearing the shadow was walking around in. He squinted at it, to make it out better. It had a form. 'It's a strong one,' he muttered as he watched the black tiger growling. It rose its head and met Kakashi's gaze.
"Damn!" Kakashi grabbed Sakura once more and started to jump through the trees. It was painfully obvious that they would not emerge from this unscathed.
For the second day in a row, Kakashi was caught off guard. He was able to see the Demon Tiger out of the corner of his eye just as it hit him. He was slammed into the trunk of a great tree. Sakura fell out of his grip and hit the ground hard. She groaned as she picked herself up. The tiger looked at Kakashi, and he could have sworn that it was grinning at him. It nimbly jumped off the tree and in front of the petit Jounin. It started growling and baring its teeth threateningly.
"Sakura!" Kakashi shouted, "Run!"
But it was too late. The tiger lunged at her and sunk its teeth into her shoulder. She cried out in pain, but was otherwise paralyzed in fear. Tears started streaming down her face as she continued to sob.
Kakashi jumped down in front of Sakura and the Tiger Demon. He held his fist down and clutched it with his other hand. Blue chakra gathered in his palm and began to spin wildly. The shadow tiger let go of Sakura and growled at him. It jumped out into the underbrush of the forest. Kakashi surpassed the urge to go after it and kill it. He ran over to Sakura, who was still crying.
"It hurts..." she reached her hand up and gently touched the area where it had sunk its teeth into her flesh. Kakashi moved her hand aside so he could look at it. His eyebrows furrowed as he frowned.
A black seal had appeared on the back of her neck.
"Kakashi..." she slumped over.