Chapter 1- The Re-do. It's better. Promise.
June 29, 2005- Revised with help from my luving cousin, Jojo.
Here it is. It's pretty much chs 1-3 smushed together, with edits, pov fixes, and input from my sister and my cousin.
I pretty much wasn't happy with the story before, and so I left it to stagnate for a while. I read it today and was like "Wow! This might actually be good!" and now I'm determined to finish it.
Disclaimer- I do not own Naruto…
Claimer- I do own my original character Yukiko Hanatsurugi. She came from my brain…
"This is my last chance..." I whispered, moving back behind the tree I had chosen to hide behind, and adjusting my grip on my sword.
"Last chance for what?" a husky male voice breathed into my ear.
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck tingle. A tiny gasp managed to escape my throat. I whirled around to face him, sword between us. I was silent. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. I was thankful for the white mask that covered the lower half of my face.
"Who are you?" he had asked me as he stepped back. I realized how much taller than me he was. I still didn't answer.
Like I would tell him what my name was! He had just caught me spying on him. What would I say? 'Hi, my name is Hanatsurugi Yukiko, what's your name? Oh I already know what your name is. You don't have to tell me. You're Kakashi Hatake, Copy Ninja.' Yeah right. So I just put my sword into a ready position. He wasn't my target; he had been my only obstacle. I knew I had no chance; he was a much better shinobi. We were on completely different levels.
"I've seen you before." That alarmed me. Where? When? Had he noticed me when I had been observing my target? The blonde kid...
"I'm pretty sure you haven't." I squeaked. Oh why did I have to squeak then? Ninja don't squeak...I could feel him looking cautiously at the forehead protector that I wear around my neck; the metal plate had no symbol for a village.
"A blank headband...I've definitely seen you before" I only stared at him. I saw his eyes narrow at me.
"What are you here for?" he asked. I was still silent.
"Are you stalking me or something?" he said suddenly, I snapped my neck up so I could look at him.
"What are you talking about?" I gasped. He laughed at me. In any other situation I'd be happy just to be in his presence.
"So I guess you're not some stalker?" his expression became serious as he pulled out a kunai.
"Who are you after?" Might as well tell him. I really don't have anywhere to go.
He was ready to fight. So was I. But that didn't mean I wanted to. I had spent the last few weeks watching the demon-fox and the rest of his team. I had attempted to get him twice before, but I had failed. Miserably. If I didn't succeed this time, I'd get killed. Well more like executed. I could see the fox sitting with his two teammates waiting for their sensei to come back.
"Who do you work for?" the Jounin demanded.
"I'd hardly call it working. I'm going to fail this mission anyway." I muttered. Sheathing my sword on my back, I sat down against the tree. He only stared at me.
"You've gotta be kidding me." He said looking down at me.
"I give up," I muttered poking at the ground. "There's no way I can complete this mission..." I looked up at him dully. "I have been watching you for a while and..." I looked back down. What should I say? "Please don't hurt me." What the hell did I just say? That was lame! I sighed. I'm so stupid. I'll be killed for sure, and it was entirely this stupid jounin's fault. I felt like crying. I was very glad I wore a mask.
"I'll tell you now, I don't like you...you say you're out after one of my students..." That's what he told me, as he scratched the back of his head. "...But, I can't say that I hate you either. You haven't done anything yet." I looked up at him, his visible eye was closed, and he was leaning against the tree opposite me. I scowled, standing up. His silver spiked hair reminded me of an albino sea urchin.
"Well," I remember saying, adjusting one of my pigtails. "...I do hate you." I didn't mean it.
He laughed. He always laughed...I wish I could. I just tried to busy myself with my forehead protector. He wasn't laughing anymore. I turned, only to find that he had left.
I failed again. How could I go back empty-handed? That was when I decided not to go back.
So there I sat, alone, next to a cold monument...it had just started to rain. I was cold, but at least I was alive.
The people I worked for were very strict with everything. But they tended
to give me a bit of elbowroom for things like this. Instead of the no tolerance policy, I got a three strikes you're out plan. It was probably because I'm his favorite. I'd just used up my fourth strike and favorite or not, even he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. It was disappointing, because it was possible that I wouldn't be able to see him again. Ever.
All I could hear was the sound of each raindrop as it made its fatal impact with the hard unforgiving ground. I was tired.
I don't wanna wake up…I'm having a good dream…
"Hey, wake up already will ya?" '
Whose voice is that?
My head hurts. I reached up to make sure it was intact. Finding it, I let my cold hand drop into a frigid puddle of rainwater. My head felt warm.
"How long have you been sitting here?" he mused. I figured it was a guy, with a deep voice like that, there was no way he could be a girl.
"Hm?'' was my response. Brilliant.
This person placed the back of his hand on my forehead, pulling it away with a hiss.
"You're burning up!" I opened my eyes and caught some blonde hair and blue eyes, staring into my own dark brown ones concernedly, a senbon needle sticking out of the corner of his mouth. I closed my eyes quickly because the sun was so bright. I didn't get to see very much of him.
"You need to go to the hospital." He said, more to himself than to me.
"...This snow is so nice..." I muttered.
"Great, now you're hallucinating." He picked me up, bridal style and barley conscious, I wrapped my arms around his neck.
(3rd Person POV)
When Genma Shiranui saw a pair of legs sticking out from behind the monument he assumed it would be one of the gennin taking a nap after morning training. It surprised him to see a young woman around his age passed out and soaking wet. She was very plain looking, short brown hair tied in pigtails, and pale skin. Sitting down, she seemed very short and didn't look like a ninja at all. He noticed that she was wearing a standard issue metal forehead protector around her neck. Unlike his though the metal plate on the front was blank. Kneeling next to her, he untied it and put it into his pocket to show to the Hokage later.
'Geez! If she bursts into flames right now, I wouldn't be surprised!' Genma thought, as he placed a hand on her forehead. So he picked her and staggered a little under her weight.
"You're heavier than you look…" he mused, sweat dropping.
Carrying her through the village was an interesting adventure. He was getting a lot of strange looks from the other villagers. He could also hear them muttering not-so-nice things about him. It wasn't every day that you saw a Jounin running through the streets carrying people. Genma found himself amused with Kunoichi fashion. The girl he was carrying was wearing a white short skirt with tight dark green shorts underneath, and a dark green sleeveless turtleneck, with a white mask on the lower half of her face. On her arms there were white cut-off sleeves tied above her elbow with light green ribbons.
As he walked into the lobby of the ER, the girl in his arms woke up.
"Where am I?" she asked groggily, the words stumbling from her lips.
"We're in the ER. Would you sit down for a second?" He asked gently lowering her into one of the chairs. As he walked away to the reception desk, Yukiko reached out and pulled on Genma's hand. He turned to look at her with a quizzical look.
"Tell them that I'm allergic to latex."
Nodding, he went to the nurse who had been watching the two curiously as they entered.
"Hello!" she chirped, way to happily for the dull job she was employed in. "How can I help you?" Genma turned, glancing at the brunette he had carried there, who seemed to be talking to some an invisible person about snow.
"A friend of mine was outside in the storm all night, and she has a very high fever."
"Oh, well bring her right in…what's her name?" the nurse peeked behind him to see the brunette smiling and continuing on with her conversation.
"Um, actually I don't know." Genma said, while the nurse gave him a sour look. He did have a reputation with women after all.
"Well, just bring her back here and we'll take a look at her." The nurse flashed a sugary-sweet smile at him as the automatic doors to the lobby slid open with a soft squeal.
"Ahh! Sakura-chan, I'm gonna die!" a young boy howled.
"We'll just have the doctor look at it before gangrene sets in."
"I don't even know what that is baka-sensei!"
Four people had walked in arguing. The shortest, a loud blonde boy was sporting nasty cuts and bruises. A pink haired girl had her arms crossed, and looked very annoyed. The other boy in the group looked bored and aloof. Their sensei was following them, immersed in reading a book with an orange cover. Genma turned around and waved.
"Hey Kakashi, what happened to Naruto?" he asked casually.
"Oh, nothing. Why are you here? Flirting with the nurses again?"
"Well, no actually…" he trailed off as he noticed that the girl's eyes droop closed and she suddenly leaned to the side, almost sliding out of the seat.
"Whoa!" he yelped, springing over to her and catching her before she fell to the ground.
The nurse came rushing out, yelling for a gurney.
"What happened to her?" Sakura asked, as Naruto shrugged.
"I think my arrival caused her to panic." Was his simple reply as he continued reading his book. Everyone else in the room stared at him confused, as a few med-nin placed the girl onto a gurney and wheeled her to the ER. Genma was about to follow when a hand latched onto the back of his collar.
"What the hell Hatake?" he growled, exasperatedly. Seriously Kakashi replied,
"Genma…do you even know who she is?"
"Well…No. But I found her unconscious and-" Kakashi suddenly cut him off.
"She's an assassin-"
"What!" Naruto yelled, "My injuries are completely healed already! Awesome!"
"Shut up!" Sakura hissed, hitting her teammate on the head.
"-her target was Naruto." Everyone stared at the copy-ninja.
"…If she was after Naruto, how come she didn't kill him?" Sasuke asked, nodding in the direction the doctors had taken the girl.
"She gave up." Kakashi replied simply. The room's occupants followed Sasuke's gaze towards the double doors. Why would someone just quit on a mission? That would be worse than failing one.
"So why is she still here?" Sakura asked, crossing her arms, "Shouldn't she have gone back to her own village after failing her mission like that?"
Kakashi only shrugged.
"Did you report this to Tsunade-sama?" Genma inquired, turning to Kakashi as the Jounin went back to Come Come Paradise.
"Nope. You can if you want to. I meant to this morning, but I had to help an old woman with her groceries."
Everyone looked at him disbelievingly
"I have her sword and her headband." Genma mentioned, choosing to ignore the ridiculous excuse. He pulled the headband out of his pocket, handing it to Kakashi. Who looked away from his book for a moment, examining the blank metal plate before turning it over. On the cloth, tiny characters were scrawled onto the cloth with what looked like permanent marker. He read it aloud:
"This belongs to: Hanatsurugi Yukiko." He laughed and handed the headband back to Genma. "How cute! She writes her name on her stuff!"
"A-ha! Now we know the name of my attacker!" Naruto shouted waving his arms in the air.
"She never actually attacked you, dobe." Sasuke muttered.
"Genma, take that to Tsunade-sama and bring her back here to talk to Hanatsurugi-san."
Genma nodded, disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
On his way to the building, Genma noticed that she also had carved her name into the sheath of her sword and that 'Yuki' was spelled out on a beaded key chain hanging off her sword.
Genma walked into the fifth Hokage's office to find her taking a nap on top of a pile of papers. Clearing his throat loudly, she shot up in her chair, a sheet of paper sticking to the side of her face. It fluttered off her cheek, a graceful leaf, back and forth, landing face down on the floor in front of her desk.
"Shiranui-san, I wasn't expecting you!" she said, stifling a yawn.
"Obviously," he joked.
"So, what do you need?" she asked, her face becoming serious.
Genma set Yukiko's headband down on top of the papers.
"An assassin tried to kill Uzumaki Naruto last night,"
She looked up at him.
"She's actually in the hospital now." He continued.
"A girl, hmm? Did Kakashi or the others fight her?"
"No, she decided not to kill him, and fell asleep at the training ground after they left. She has a very high fever."
"Let's go pay her a visit then." Tsunade stood up and led the way out of the room.
Back at the hospital, the doctors managed to bring Yukiko's temperature down to a safer temperature. Kakashi was leaning nonchalantly against the wall opposite the door to Yukiko's room. He flipped through his book, finally snapping it shut as Tsunade and Genma came near him. He read the back cover and then slipped it back into his pocket.
"Good morning Hatake-san," Tsunade said, jerking her head in the direction of Yukiko's room. "Is she inside?" The silver haired man gave her an affirmative nod. He pushed off the wall with his foot, and walked lazily across the hallway, placing his hand on the door handle, pulling it toward himself.
I started awake when I couldn't feel the presence of other people in the room. A wet towel fell into my lap as I sat up, making a squishy-squelching noise. Someone was outside in the hallway. Carefully, slowly, I slid out from under the stiff, sterile blankets, finding myself clad only a hospital gown. I could feel a cool breeze coming through.
Perched on the edge of the hospital bed, I yanked the IV needle from my arm, wincing as my arm started bleeding. It hurt. Tch. Duh. It's a needle, in my vein. Of course it's gonna bleed… Still bleeding I pulled the sticky weird things off of my chest and back.
My clothes were neatly folded on a chair next to a window. The heart rate monitor put out a unchanging beep. I heard voices outside, so I found myself stumbling to my neatly folded clothing. My legs seemed a bit weak. I threw on my mask, and my panties, not bothering with the rest, draping them over my arm. I pushed the window open, feeling warm air rush into the room.
"Going somewhere Hanatsurugi-san?" a familiar voice inquired from behind me. I swung around to look at him. He was leaning against the doorframe, a man and a woman standing behind him.
How had he figured out my name? I didn't tell him. I realized that my headband and sword were missing. I wished I hadn't' written my name on them. I had figured that just in case I lost them, I should have a way for someone to contact me in them. It wasn't a very smart idea.
"You shouldn't be up and running around in your condition." Kakashi said, looking me up and down. I didn't get the double meaning until later. The gown was open in the back.
"I'll be fine," I muttered, sitting on the windowsill, swinging my leg out over it. Three stories up. It's not that far. I'd be able to make it.
"I don't think so," Kakashi pulled me off the sill and sat me back down on the bed. The other two people came in and sat across from her on the windowsill.
"Hanatsurugi-san," the blonde woman started, extending a soft had towards me, "I am Tsunade, the fifth Kage of Konohakagure."
I blinked at her, accepting the offered hand and shaking it. I couldn't help but stare at her. She was beautiful, she was strong and looked very young. She made me feel very small. I let go of her hand and smiled at her, but she gave me a very serious look.
"I heard from Shiranui-san here that you had attempted to kill Uzumaki Naruto."
I nodded, pulling on my socks.
"Is there a reason why you didn't?" The Hokage asked me.
"I was caught by that person," I sighed, giving the silver-haired jounin a pointed look.
"Then why did you stay here if he let you go unharmed?"
I stood up, using the bed as a support. I wrapped and tied my skirt around my waist. That woman was starting to annoy me.
"Better to stay here. I don't want to go back anyway."
"Why don't you want to go to your village?" Tsunade asked.
"They'll kill me." I looked up at her with a false smile. "You wouldn't want to go back either."
"So you failed your mission, and you're too much of a coward to face the consequences?" Kakashi said.
I glared at Kakashi. He had some nerve to say that, he didn't even know where I was from, he didn't even know anything about me except for my name. I wanted to stick my tongue out, cross my arms and pout. It worked with him all the time. Especially the pout.
So I did.
Well there it is. Edited. I think it's funnier. I like it better. Whee.
I'll love you forever if you do.