I promised that this would be a short story, so here is the final chapter. (My rule of thumb: Best crack is short crack.) I'm glad you folks liked it so far...Hope the last chapter meets your expectations.
Back Seat Anecdotes
Part Four, Final
When the next day, we got into the car, Sasuke and Naruto promising never to return to the hot springs again under the manager's angry gaze, all was quiet.
Sakura began snoring five hours into the drive, and I braced myself for a long, long night, resting my elbow on the window's edge.
Behind me, I heard shuffling, and a muffled laugh.
"If you even think about having sex in the car," I snapped, "I will shoot both of you."
Silence. And then, Sasuke muttered, "Damnit, Kakashi-sensei."
I pulled over to the emergency lane, grinning now. This was perfect, would, in fact, give us enough time to get our product out in the market without Sasuke and Naruto getting suspicious. "Get out, the both of you."
There was silence. Finally, Naruto asked, "What?"
"You'll be a hazard on missions," I said, turning around to face them, "If you can't keep your hands off of each other. It'll be an embarrassment if you went at it in Konoha. So." I waved at the woods on the side of the high way. "Go at it. In there"--I pointed at the cover that the trees provided. "You're ninja. You'll survive. Just make sure you satisfy all your initial curiosity before coming back to Konoha. Am I understood?"
Naruto looked horrified, but Sasuke's face was contemplative. When Naruto turned to Sasuke and saw that expression, he began to protest. "Sasuke, no. I'm serious. I mean, I'd love to have sex with you and all, but not--not. I'll be so sore!"
"You'll heal," Sasuke mumbled, a little absent-mindedly. He considered his options before looking up. "What's our time-frame?"
"A few more days."
There was a moment's pause. "Deal," Sasuke said, getting out. He held the door open to Naruto who stared at him. "Let's go, Naruto."
Naruto shook his head slowly, but then, Sasuke reached in, hooked his arm around Naruto's waist, and pulled him out. I heard the door shut, Naruto's angry protests, and then reaching down, I popped open the trunk.
I watched Sasuke pull out their bags from the rear-view mirror, still holding onto Naruto around the waist (Naruto was still trying to break away, but if he really wanted to get back in the car, I thought with a smirk, he could have done that a long time ago). Then, Sasuke closed the trunk and stood a few feet from the car.
I rolled down the window and leaned out casually. "Oh, and do be gentle, Sasuke. I want a functioning three man team, please."
He smirked and raised his hand with a nod fo his head. I mimicked his movement, pulled up the window, and merged back into the traffic. When I looked back over my shoulder a second later, they were no where in sight.
"So," Sakura said, staring at the bag of money on the table. I glanced over at Ino and Asuma. "It's going to be a four-way split, obviously."
"Twelve grand," Asuma said, around his cigarette. "We outdid sales for the latest Icha Icha Paradise."
It was a lot of money, we all knew. I sat back casually in my chair and watched Ino sip delicately at the tea. "Sixty-forty between me and Sakura was the original plan."
"You couldn't pull it off without us," Asuma said, taking a long drag from his cigarette. He blew out the smoke. "But I'll admit, most of the work was yours."
"Seventy-five-twenty-five between the two parties," I countered.
"Sixty-forty." Ino was quick to bargain, and Sakura was even quicker to defend.
"Seventy-thirty. Or no deal."
Silence, and finally, Asuma put out his cigarette in the ash tray. He raised his hand to get a waiter's attention, and nodded his head for the check. "Fine, then."
"I'll send the money over," Sakura said, pulling the bag towards her. "It was nice doing business with you."
"Likewise." Ino watched Asuma pay the bill, and then stood. Sakura was a split-second behind her. "Let's keep this between us," she said.
"Sounds good to me." I stood up, and then Asuma followed.
"Enjoy your evening. Asuma. Ladies."
"You what?" Naruto slammed his fist down on the table. Tsunade flinched and leaned forward to inspect the damage.
"Naruto, although justified in your anger, please remember that this table is an antique. It's from the First Hoka--"
"You what?" Naruto said again, this time, stomping his foot for emphasis.
"It's a matter of practicality," Sakura began, flipping her hair over her shoulder. "You two were going at it in public, therefore, it is public property. I just made money out of what was naturally present in my surroundings."
"She has a point," Tsunade mumbled. Ino smirked, and Asuma took out a cigarette.
"And besides," Ino added, "It was nothing explicit. We weren't that lucky."
I chuckled into my book and flipped a page. Ino kept up her explanation with almost a clinical touch to it. "Mostly bickering for comic relief, and the final ten minutes were sounds of you two going at each other."
"We edited the part where Kakashi talked to you guys," Sakura put in. "It was running too long otherwise."
"Half an hour," Ino continued, "Of two of the most famous and most handsome ninjas in Konoha bickering with a lot of sexual innuendo. It was a sell-out."
Naruto stared at the two of them, jaw slack. Sasuke had been impassive this entire time, but now, he stood. "I don't care," he began, "What you do."
"You should care," Naruto snapped, rounding on Sasuke. "It was our first time and it's on tape! A kazillion people heard us!"
Sasuke shrugged. "I guess we'll get a copy for ourselves too, then."
When Naruto growled, Sasuke added, "For memory's sake."
"This is--this is--Kakashi-sensei!"
I snapped my book close and heaved a sigh. "Yes, Naruto?"
"I can't believe you'd do this to your own students!"
"It was part of the deal," I said, nodding in Sasuke's direction, "Between me and your Sasuke over there."
Naruto looked flabbergasted, and opened and closed his mouth a few times before. He stared at Sasuke for a few seconds, his eyes narrowed, before he turned on his heels and marched out of the room.
Sasuke's eyes flared into sharingan. "You liar."
"Not a liar, Sasuke," I chided. "I told the truth. Just not clearly enough or with enough detail to make him understand where our deal started and where it ended."
He bared his teeth, so I continued, "It's your job now to appease him."
That calmed him down long enough for him to change his eyes back from sharingan into a normal state. He stared at me for a second, and then, as a warning, threw a kunai at my feet. I watched it land neatly between two of my toes without moving an inch. He left a split-second later, a sharp click of the door signaling his exit.
Silence fell after that, and so, I took out my book again and began to read where I left off. I could probably execute the jutsu at this point...
"How are the sales?"
Sakura was the first to answer Tsunade. "Going up, still. We thought we should close it down after they came back, but...it's doing really well."
"As Hokage," Tsunade began, standing up. I glanced over my book and watched her pace slowly around her table and come towards us. Ino shifted on her feet slightly. "It is my duty to protect my ninja. Their safety and their integrity. I cannot allow you to continue this venture any further."
Ino groaned and sat back in her seat. I put away my book and stared at Tsunade until she caught my eye. We considered each other for a few minutes. Slowly, Tsunade turned her head to consider the pig that Sakura and I had presented her the day after we got back. It was a decoration unto itself, and took up an entire corner of the room in all it's pink glory.
Tsunade turned back to look at me again, and then, when I saw a flicker in her eye, I smirked.
"But," Tsunade said. Ino and Sakura perked up. "We could..." She trailed off.
Silence again, and slowly, Tsunade leaned back against her table, a thoughtful look in her eye. "How good are the sales, exactly?"
I answered this time. "Good, Hokage-sama. Very good."
End of Back Seat Anecdotes