Child's Play

Chapter 4: New Strategy

By: Vampire Toy

PG13 (Rating may go up later)

Disclaimer: Don't own ;-;

"Kurenai-sensei! You look….flustered." Hinata said when I walked back into camp. I looked around and saw Kiba shirtless and bandaged up and Shino just putting his shirt on over his bandages. I gave a deep sigh and looked at Hinata.

"I'm just tired….do I really look that bad?"

"Your makeup is really smudged, but that's all." Hinata smiled.

(Ugh, great)

"Well, you guys get some rest, we'll finish this mission up first thing tomorrow morning."

"Yes sensei." They all sighed. I let out my own sigh of exhaustion and went into my tent. I dropped to my knees and pulled out a compact mirror to look over the 'damage' done. I frowned looking over myself, my lipstick was smeared over the corners of my lips, the rest looked like I had been washed off by a power hose. I removed the rest of my makeup and wearily flopped down to sleep. I still couldn't believe it though, all this trouble I was going through.

(Maybe I should consult the other teachers?)

Though that might be bothersome….you know they'd only treat you like a damsel in distress because you're the rookie.

I took in a deep breath and thought over Asuma and Kakashi's reactions, neither liked Baki for what he and his team had done, but with the alliance they've begun to accept them.

(It wouldn't be right to ruin that now….but…)

I closed my eyes, thinking over my team, my precious children who I had to raise and protect, the reason I got up and the reason I could sleep. I loved my job, I loved my students, but there was no need for me to possibly drag more teams into this.

(Well lets think logically, I've approached him many times haven't I? But what happens when I ignore him?)

We'll just have to wait and see…

The next morning I felt refreshed, happy that I at least had another plan in my approach on the problem plaguing my team. My students also seemed revived as we completed the mission without seeing the Sand team or brining up any subject concerning them. Both boys seemed to be healing nicely and Hinata's encouragement kept them both smiling all day. By the time we got back to the Hidden Leaf it almost seemed the night before was nothing more than a bad dream. I hoped that my new method wouldn't have to be tested but Baki had other plans.

I treated my students to a well-deserved meal at a noodle house and moments later the Sand Team came in.

I was tempted to jump up and point out that the team had already trained in the Leaf Village and that they hadn't trained NEARLY as long in the Hidden Snow, but I tried to stay true to my strategy.

"Good evening Kurenai, children," Baki nod at me then my students. I said nothing and bit the inside of my cheek. I felt stupid for playing the 'silent game' but it was better than making a scene. Kiba on the other hand was furious they'd even show their faces and was about to yell out when Hinata nudged him lightly and Shino muttered for him to clam down. Kiba made a face and turned back to his noodles with an annoyed grunt.

"Nice to see you too dog boy." Kankuro muttered, giving a smirk when Kiba's ears perked and he turned to snap at him.

"Kiba calm down, eat your food please," I said.

"Hnn, still wearing all that makeup I see." Baki said sitting down next to me.

I chewed calmly on my shrimp ramen without a response.

"Hello, anyone in there?" he mumbled waving a hand in from of my face, "Come on now sunshine, why would you drop to my level?" he smirked when he realized I was ignoring him.

I inwardly irked at his comment and stuffed more ramen into my mouth to keep from uttering any unpleasant words.

"I think you and I should talk." He said resting his head in one hand as he watched me.

(I think we shouldn't)

"Alright, your not feeling so talkative right now….so how about we set a date for it? I have to leave soon anyway."

(Good, leave!)

Baki watched me a little longer before frowning slightly. I almost felt bad when he gave me a frustrated and annoyed grunt. He seemed a little more upset than I thought he'd be.

"How about tomorrow night? I know you must be tired form you…trip…" he said, his playful spark returned when I began choking on a shrimp. I coughed and finally regained myself and twitched in annoyance.

"Come on students, lets go, you all need some rest."

I got up, placing some money on the counter for the food and walked past him. He suddenly grabbed me by my waist and spun me to face him. I stared in surprise at his abruptly serious expression.

"I mean it." He said in a low voice.

"Sensei." Hinata said nervously.

Baki let go and turned back to the counter to order something. I stood awkwardly and finally brushed myself off and walked out with my team behind me, no one had heard what he'd said but everyone was giving me strange looks and I didn't feel so hungry anymore.

A/N: Trying super hard to update all my stories! I know this chapter was short but I promise I'll make up for it as soon as I have more time! This story will only have one or two more chapters, it was meant to be a one-shot at first but I wrote the first chapter and realized it couldn't be XD so I'll try work on this more often so I can finish it up for you guys. Thank you for reading please R & R!