A/N: Hmm… Sorry for the long update! I was just confused whether I'll continue this fic or what. But since, I have reviewers who inspired me to write again…I'll think it's better if I continue!

So here I am again …hehehe x

Arigato…to both my readers and reviewers! And I wanna give special acknowledgements to my computer betas Gale and Aya…

A round of applause…

gets the microphone and introduce the two of them

Gale:… Yami, I think we're being watched…

Aya: oy… we are… (pushes Gale into the center stage) say hello to ur fans, gale…

Gale: (blinks stupidly for a minute) HI FANS! (waves)

Aya: they're Yumie's fans, baka!

Gale: oh… oh well! Here we bring another segment of Yumie's fic! Enjoy!

Chapter 2

" Clueless…"

by: Yumie-11

Trees rustled as the wind blew harder, making the branches snap with the howl of the fierce winds. The sounds penetrated their bodies and brought them such chill, making them strive to keep going faster, minds forcing their numbing bodies to fight the cold. The 4 of them jumped on each of the tree barks, cold muscles compelling their feet to hold on to the bark. The area surrounding them was just so intoxicating, so intense that they prefer not to speak any word at all.

"C-Cold…" Sakura murmured, her lips trembling furiously. She shook her head to hide her now pale cheeks as she let a loud sneeze out.

"Heh?" The fox boy began to stop at the sudden blow. What's with Sakura- chan? Doesn't she feel well?

"S-Sakura-chan… would you mind if I lend you my coat?" Ichiraku started with a smile. Naruto waited for Sakura to spurn Ichiraku's offer, but…

No response from the pink- haired kunoichi

You could feel the tension a mile away

"What the—" Naruto was speechless… his mind was dumbstruck, brain refusing to accept the scene before him. Unknowingly, this outburst drew the stoic Uchiha's attention… and he internally scowled at what he saw.

Ichiraku nearly enveloped his masculine arms around Sakura's fragile body as he timidly placed the coat on her. She did not even bother to move since she was already freezing.

"Hey you! How dare you offer your coat to MY Sakura-chan?" Naruto threatened, pointing finger darted directly at Ichiraku's chest.

"None of your business," Ichiraku answered glaring.

Sakura knew sooner or later another heated arguments would build up between her teammate and their charge. She sighed. Here we go again. Another bout of pointless squabbles from Naruto… but for some reason she was kind of thankful that it was not with Sasuke.

Sasuke-kun…

I haven't heard him speak since we left. She thought, this musings bringing Inner Sakura forward. Sakura's bolder side appeared, pushing her train of thoughts to the back of her head for the umpteenth time. Of course, he doesn't even care what's happening now! All he wants is revenge and he would not give a damn about anything else. Andwith a shudder she disappeared."I know…" was all she could reply

After an hour, give or take a few minutes, they finally reached Okiyama, the Miracle Village of Food (1). It was getting really late and the moon was already at its fixed place when they arrived. Houses here were all stable, being built by large well-rounded stones forming great foundation. People made it just like that in case an avalanche or snowballs came and crushed those teetering houses.

"Where did the villagers go?" Naruto grumbled, straightening his jacket and standing on tiptoes (3) over their spot to peek, but he could see nothing.

"C'mon, we have no time to waste!" Sasuke shouted. He didn't want to fail this mission because of either Naruto or anyone of them. One thing was on his mind… and that was to finish this crap as soon as possible, else he loses his legendary patience.

And so, without any more complaints, they followed Sasuke's order. Because of this, Sasuke could see himself smirking (2)…

That very night, the whole gang tried to search for a place where they could somewhat ease their fatigue but the inns were all full and they could not find at least a clean area for them to pass the night in.

They were on the streets, getting cold and numbing, when the most peculiar thing happened.

"Irushi…" An old man called out to no one in particular. And as he did so, each one of them tilted their head to where the unfamiliar voice came from. He was comfortably sitting on the few remaining dry rocks near the ample wooden tree; his countenance was like a typical peasant who did nothing but work.

"S-Sensei…" Ichiraku answered, stuttering as he did. He seemed to be nervous and at the same time disappointed at the old man's bawl.

Team 7 focused their attention to the unfolded scene before them. They couldn't dare ask what was going on, and although, this time they had two questions in a blur: Why has the elder called him like that? And Who's Irushi?

In a flash of seconds, they managed to bring themselves back into composure…

"S-Sensei!" The three chuunins blurted in unison.

"Aa, my sensei…" Ichiraku neared the old man as he whispered something behind those crookedly lobe ears. The elder nodded and left them with a menace.

"So…what do we have here, ne, Irushi-san?" Naruto asked half- taunting, half- annoyed.

"I can and will explain everything later but for now, I think we should have a good night's sleep." Ichiraku led them to a small stocky room, which apparently was a storage room of some kind.

"Okay…I guess. We need to rest; I mean, afterall, we're tired, right?" Sakura walked in, disregarding the creepy feeling she felt on her chest…

So…

…Flurry…

…Prickly…

She passed through the light that penetrated at the end of the door, and for a second there, Sakura was able to see…

…the giant and hairy spider that was on top of her chest and was looking up at her with its numerous glaring red eyes.

The blood drained entirely on Sakura's already pale face.

Seconds ticked

An ear-splitting scream hovered across the room

"Sakura!"

to be continue…

(1)Naruto will love it for sure! Hmm… maybe that's where Ichiraku got it's name. lol!

(2)Of course, it will make Sasuke smirk! Just the blunt getting the hell out of Naruto? We knew what he wants…

(3)Has anyone noticed that Naruto's really short? I mean, he just comes up to Neji's nose! Oh well, he can't be perfect, now can he..?

A/N: Gomen again… if this Chap was a little too short. I purposely did it like that because I guess…I made the first chapter long so I made this one short. lol. Pls. Give some review… I'll definitely love it!

Hope to see you in my fic "Escape"! Another SasuSaku romantic story… you'll enjoy it for sure… Thanks…

Gale: we just want to advertise Yumie's upcoming fic

Aya: it's basically angst… Sasuke angst…

Gale: hope you guys still support Yumie- chan!