The clock winds down
The bell rings too
For you the day is done
For me it's just begun
You hide no secrets
Hide no lies
I know you inside out
But what do you know of me?
For students here are oblivious to me
So what am I?
I think not
Figure it out
I'll give you what you want
The last bell of the day rang loudly through the building, sending hundreds of students filing into the hallways, in the busy rush to get home. Well, most anyway. If you were on the rugby team, you'd stay for practice, and that went for dance and tennis too. Those who had projects sat in the library, sticking their noses to a book or computer monitor. Or maybe those who wanted to smoke another joint before they headed home. It was a routine.
So if you were Haruno Sakura of class 12B, you'd also be staying after hours, for long periods of time. For Miss Sakura had a job, and she did her job very well. Because who would have guessed…
"Sakura!" a blonde piped up, running down the hall in attempt to collapse upon her best friend. The pink haired girl sidestepped out of the way and watch her almost crash into the brick wall. "That, was very mean." Yamanaka Ino, class 12B. Birthday, September 23. Age 17. Special trait: amazing sense of style.
"I know," the other smiled, shutting her old locker with a slam, "but I mean, I have to stay alive at least for another two hours while I'm here."
"Sheesh, you're always here so late. It's the same thing with Shikamaru. It's like he lives here."
"Really? He stays that long after school too? I'd never have guessed," bemused Sakura, who was already pro at telling lies. "Anyway, listen, I'm going to be late for the meeting if I don't hurry now, I'll see you tomorrow." Without so much as another word, she sped down the hall and entered the staircase, rushing up to the fourth floor.
When looking from the south side of the floor, it was easy to know where to go, once you got the right information, that is. Second door on the left, open the door, and it'll be a false one. The second one inside is the real one. Slipping out her student ID card from her wallet, the emerald-eyed teen slipped it in between the frame and the door.
It opened without any effort. "It was open, you know," the voice from inside spoke. There sat a dark haired teen, lazily sprawled on the couch. Nara Shikamaru, class 12D. Birthday, September 22. Age, 17. Special trait: IQ of over 200.
"It's fun that way though, pretending you're a spy, or whatever."
"Well, you can stop pretending, and actually do what you're good at: collecting."
For I, am the information gatherer.
"Yeah, yeah, give me a break already," she sighed, placing her bag upon the small round table, and sat in front of the computer screen. She typed in a password and opened up a program. The program was unique to that computer, and that one alone. It was a database of sorts. Designed by the school's laziest genius. "I take it you've gathered something useful today," she commented, reading over what he'd imputed before her. "Interesting…"
"Yeah, well today I have to split early," her looked up with an annoyed set of dark brown eyes, "Mom says we have guests over tonight. I have to entertain them."
His partner gave a chuckle. "I wish you luck then. Ten bucks says it's your cousins Jane, Milly, and Aaya. Plus, by the sound of it, count on your unnamed baby nephew to be there as well."
"I don't need to bet. You're probably right. You've been in this business way to damn long." With a rub of his head, he was out the double doors, muttering about how troublesome the evening would turn out.
It left Sakura alone, with the only noise being the sound of the keys being pushed at an alarmingly fast rate, her entering some data. It didn't take too long; she'd only gained something useful at about two people. Well, that was the normal rate anyway. It wasn't like she was getting 'paid' lately.
Payment, being an information gatherer, was more like an exchange. She'd give one the information needed, and asked for info worth the value in return. It was simple.
With all her new statistics safely saved upon her hard drive, her mouse scrolled down the various names in the database. There was dirt on everyone. She stopped near the bottom. Well, everyone except this fellow. He always seemed to never be around. He was popular, but no one had ever been close enough to get anything from out of him. That made it tough to get anything on him. Hell, even the school records had nothing: no names of parents, old schools. How he even was able to get enrolled was indeed a mystery.
Finally, a knock sounded through the door. Her fingers stopped the typing, wondering if they'd knock again. They didn't. Stage 1 clear. "Who is it?" she asked, now standing right up to the door so the person on the other side could clearly hear her.
"It is I," a male voice spoke up clearly. Stage 2 clear.
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No." Stage 3 clear.
"Well then you can kindly take your leave."
There was a pause behind the door. "But I've passed your test."
Well, that certainly had been true. Only certain individuals knew the 'code' for entering the info room. It was her idea of a test, to see if they were worthy enough to receive information from her. Call it a password of sorts. Sakura opened the door, and glanced at the man outside. Her green eyes widened in realization as she instantly recognized who it was. It was Mr. Clean Slate.
"Uchiha Sasuke, class 12A," she said swiftly before he had time to open his mouth. "I'm surprised you were able to find this place without trouble. You must have gone through some digging yourself to get the password too. I have to say, I'm impressed."
"Well, you'd be even more shocked to hear how easy it actually was," his reply was cool and smooth. Looking him in the onyx eyes, she noted they were as monotone as his speech.
"Well, let's not stand here in the doorway forever," she spoke in a business-like manner, ushering him inside. He took a seat at the round table, eyes darting back and forth, almost like he was studying the place. "Now," she continued, sitting opposite him and folding her hands, "you must want something really deep, if you couldn't get this on your own, am I correct?" She received a curt nod. "Before I give out anything, let's go over my rules. The information gatherer shall never question what you ask for, while the customer shall never question the payment required. Are we clear?"
"Crystal," he said, leaning forward.
"Good, now, what is it that you need, Mr. Uchiha Sasuke?"
"I'm looking for…" he paused, "you know the girl, Moutosu Asagi?"
"Class 11E, yes."
"Well, I need the name of the man who killed her father." His expression still remained unreadable, hers as well. To say she wasn't the least bit curious was a lie, since it was indeed a strange request. However, her having access to multiple sources, courtesy of Shikamaru, made this task relatively easy. "You can do that for me, right Haruno Sakura of class 12B." Che. He was using her way of identifying already.
"Of course I can," she replied slightly offended at his questioning. She hadn't gotten this title for nothing. She was the best of the best. "Now, what I want in return…the names of both your mother and father, plus the serial number of your laptop. Now, you can do that for me, right?"
His face seemed to form a slight frown, him most likely mentally questioning such an odd request. "Fine."
"Good, then we have a deal. I can have it for you this time tomorrow."
"Right, tomorrow. Thank you." They both got up and shook hands, each silently swearing to secrecy. However, secrecy only lasts a certain time, in the information world. For anyone who didn't know Sakura, she was a very, very curious woman. However, sometimes, curiosity kills the cat. That's the lesson she'd learn in the near future.
Sure enough, after he'd left yesterday, she'd gone through her database to look for the murderer of Asagi's father. She was surprised to find that that information hadn't been entered in her database, so managed to log on to the local police files. After some quick searching, she came up with a name.
So it being the next day, a Thursday, she waited patiently for his return. She was rather anxious, seeing that now she'd have something to work with about the empty data spot under Uchiha Sasuke's name. Her partner was no where to be found, she assumed he must have been at home again.
There was a knock on the door. "Who is it?"
"It is I."
"Do you have an appointment?"
"Then you can kindly take your leave."
"But I've passed your test."
Knowing perfectly well who it was even after she'd heard the knocking, Sakura walked over and opened the door, letting the raven-haired male inside. "Your password is way to long," he told her flatly, walking past her and taking a seat.
"It's necessary, though." She also sat down, hiding her eagerness behind a façade of indifference. "So, I trust you managed to get me what I asked for no problem?"
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a slip of lined paper, and passed it the length of the table. She caught it without trouble. She gazed at the few things scribbled upon it, and was left satisfied. "Okay, now, the man who killed Asagi's father is named Naoki Gato. His street name was 'the fish'. He pleaded innocent, but was charged guilty. However, he did not receive the death penalty, and after a year in prison, was bailed out for two million."
The Uchiha sat there motionless, pondering the name. "I see," he said, rising to his feet, "thank you. You've been a great help, Sakura. It was great doing business with you."
"Yes…" she said to his back and watched him leave. "Weird…" she muttered, but then smiled happily at the paper in front of her. She made a beeline to the computer, and furiously typed away. His father: Uchiha Fugaku, his mother: Uchiha Mikoto. Well, it was a start. Just for reference, she added the serial number of his laptop, that might be needed in the future: 49900S27T481.
First off, as always, she re-checked the police records. There was no mention of either mother or father, or any Uchiha for that matter. A basic search upon the Internet turned out blank as well. She frowned; it was very odd, not being able to find anything about working people over the net.
Well, that's why the serial number came in handy. Firstly, she entered it into another search engine (created once again by the genius Shikamaru). "Hmm…" Sakura began to talk to herself, as she looked upon the computer he owned, "a Toshiba Satellite Notebook…Intel Centrino processor…custom made, but part of the M55-S325 models…relatively new…"
She closed that program and opened another. At first, her emerald eyes scanned the instruction page, and she contemplated doing it or not. She never had needed it before now, but she was just that desperate to know about Uchiha Sasuke. Swallowing the lump in her throat, her fingers began to type away. Most people called what she was about to do: hacking.
Most of her computer consisted of custom-made programs designed for her convenience in getting information. That was her hobby. She wanted to know everything about everyone, and he was no exception. It almost didn't seem fair to her that everyone else had so kindly given her what she needed, but here she had to go hack for it.
"Password…but of course," she smiled at the computer screen, which really belonged to Uchiha Sasuke. "I'm counting on this script you came up with, Shika." After pressing the enter button, she watched the number code change into what was indeed his real password: q1ue89s55t. She rolled her eyes; it was indeed impossible to figure that one out.
Checking the time, she knew that her time was vital, since he'd be home soon. Wouldn't that appear strange to see the cursor moving by itself, and documents opening and closing. But she was highly disappointed in what she found. For a laptop of enormous capacity, he had nothing on it. There was the standard word processor, graphics program, the like, but she found nothing that he'd created. There were no documents. There were no addresses of phone numbers. Point be, it was like a completely new computer.
Sakura was unsatisfied in what she'd accomplished. She'd just met with the ever-so-secretive Sasuke, yet the info that she'd asked for turned up useless. There was no was this chance was ever coming again. But there must have been something she was overlooking.
Sakura picked up her pink cell phone and dialed her partner's number. "Hi, Shika, it's me. I need some help."
"Oi, oi, now?" he asked in a strained sort of voice. There was some sort of banging in the background, plus a baby crying, and a few people screaming.
"Are you in a war zone, or something?"
"Pretty well close to that," he sighed, "it's always like this when such troublesome people come over." He waited until she was done chuckling, "So anyway, let's hear it."
"Well, like I told you earlier, I got some info out of Uchiha, and here I am, hacking away at his computer, but I can't find anything. It's like he never used it before in his life."
"Did you check the Internet history?"
She opened up the multiple browsers he had on the desktop, clicking on the history icon on each. She frowned again. "It's clean."
"The cookies then?"
In an instant she'd searched all the places where these cookies would normally be placed. "Also cleaned. Son of a…" She smirked. This was proven interesting. Perhaps he anticipated something like this. But since he had taken such great caution in avoiding any sort of data leaking out, it meant he had something to hide. She vowed to find that out, what ever it was.
On the other end of the line, he pondered the matter some more. "Okay, how about the Inbox?"
That certainly was true, she hadn't checked his mail yet. She felt like this was the equivalent of marching right into his house and rummaging through his room. Still, her curiosity was greater then her voice of reason. "Password…" she quickly typed in the decoder. "Okay…nothing in the actual Inbox, nor the sent items or deleted items folder. Wait…there is a newsgroup, though. It's a weird name…Sh-a-r-in-gan?" she tried to pronounce it. "What do you think that is?"
"Don't know for sure…" re replied truthfully, "read a post."
Her jade orbs quickly scanned a few threads. "This is really weird. I have no idea what they are talking about. A company, maybe?"
"It's worth a shot. Try the web again, using that word as the root. You may find something. Oh…damn it all. Mom's calling, I think I have to go get tormented by my six year-old cousin now."
"Okay," she smiled, "I wish you luck." The phone went dead after that. She entered many different things into the address bar for the next few minutes. Finally, something came up, after she managed to figure out was indeed a weird page. The only thing there was Employee ID and a password field. She cursed, not knowing how to figure out some way to enter an employee ID. Was it numbers? Letters? Both? With time running out, knowing that he'd most likely be home shortly, she typed in the most obvious thing on Earth: Uchiha Sasuke, password q1ue89s55t.
However, she was deeply surprised (for about the fourth time that day, which indeed was a record) when the next page read 'Proceed to main page'. Now sitting closer to the screen, she went straight to the employee inbox.
The whole time now, Sakura began to wonder. What was Sasuke doing, working for an unknown company? Searching the words 'Sharingan Inc." on any search engine turned up blank. Much to her satisfaction, there was an email left in the box.
But things were never made easy for an information gatherer, as she stared at the message. It was finned with numbers. "A code…" her voice sounded like a whine, completely fed up with the uselessness of the whole thing. She printed the page, and decided she'd give it for Shikamaru to figure it out tomorrow. She cleared the history tab, as well as the cookie files, and logged off his setting.
"You certainly are a mystery, Sasuke," she said, massaging her temples. "You're a mystery I'm going to solve. A code I'm going to crack. Watch out, the best information seeker is on your tail." But it irked her to no end that she couldn't read the message that now lay on a sheet of paper in front of her, heading reading: IMPORTANT.
Additional AN: So that was chapter one. That was a little chunk of what their personalities are like. I'm going to try and keep them in character as much as this story allows. Another thing. I'm not going to use any Japanese honorifics, just because this story doesn't take place in that kind of area. If you'd so kindly review, I totally need feedback, plus how you guys liked the start.