Chapter Eight: Shots in Cannons (Part I)

Please re-read chapters 5-7. They have been edited to make this fic slightly more interesting. Thanks!

Sakura sighed as she leaned back against her chair, cradling a warm cup of tea in her hands. It had been a long day, and her watch was almost over. She was practically counting down the minutes to the time the bell would ring, signifying the end of the midwatch. What she wouldn't do to be in her hammock at that moment!

The crew was back onboard its rightful ship with the three captives. The Sharingan pirates had suffered a few losses (one of their mates was thrown overboard and three others were killed) and quite a few wounds, but it was nothing couldn't be taken care of. As the ship's medic, Sakura was fully capable of stitching people up and setting broken bones. She had seen far worse during the frequent battles with Sound, and compared to the horrors she had experienced there, this was nothing.

When Shino had brought her back onboard, Ino had checked her over for broken bones. Thankfully, she was not harmed by Sasuke's hard throw and only retained a few bruises that were easily fixed with her special ointment. She received a lecture from Shikamaru, but other than that, she escaped relatively unscathed. They understood her reason for leaving, and Itachi seemed to turn a blind eye on the whole situation. A few minutes afterwards, she was in the gallery, mixing together herbs rapidly to create the bruise balm for incoming patients.

Patient after patient filed in, some with serious injuries like kunai wounds near the heart and others with minor ones like splinters. Those who just needed the bruise ointment or a few bandages were sent to Ino, while those in critical condition were sent immediately to Sakura. The long table in the gallery had been converted to an operating table, disinfected with what seemed to be gallons of ethanol and sterilization jutsus.

Four men and one woman required surgeries. Sakura had drafted Shikamaru and Zaku to help her, leaving Ino to do the basic patching up. She complained, of course, but it was for the best. Shikamaru had a steady hand, and Zaku was there to stabilize the patients while Sakura worked. The three-person team worked quickly and accurately, saving all five people. One had a kunai that pierced the area near his heart. Another had an injury that was too close to his Achilles tendon. Two had wounds to the gut, and the final one needed the muscles in his leg sewn up. Something had literally ripped through many layers of muscle in the poor man, and it was very difficult for Sakura to fix all of it.

By the time she was finished, there were more men who needed tending to. By now, most of them just needed a few bones set or a couple wounds stitched. She really thought she was finished, but then she remembered something from the time she was aboard the enemy ship.

She recalled that Sasuke had a huge gash in his left arm, and she had not seen a single hair on his head since she had been brought back. That, of course, sent her into a worrying mood, and when she questioned Ino about it, the blonde merely shook her head. Sasuke hadn't been to see her either.

This caused Sakura to search the ship, looking for the missing shinobi. She found him perched on the beam of the foresail, clumsily redressing his wound.

"It's going to get infected if you let it stay like that," she had told him while leaning on the foremast. She was tired, and she really wasn't in the mood to deal with a stubborn man. Sasuke didn't seem to hear her and continued to do what he was doing. Inner Sakura naturally had a fit.

Damn it! Stop acting like you don't need anyone! Sakura's alter ego screamed, Just watch! You're going to have to get your arm amputated because of gang green or something nasty like that! Idiot! Stubborn mule!

Frustrated and tired, Sakura pushed herself off the foremast and walked toward the obstinate and apparently deaf ninja. She plunked herself down to the left of him and took his arm into her lap, efficiently stopping him from his goal of bandaging his own arm. She unwrapped it and looked at the wound.

"At least you've washed it out," she muttered darkly under her breath. She formed a few hand seals and pressed her fingers to the wound. The change was almost immediate. Sasuke could feel his torn skin and top layer of muscle knit together as a blue light from the chakra the medic was emitting covered his arm. It stopped moments later, and he noted that the woman sitting next to him was breathing harder than usual. Beads of sweat had formed on her brow, and it was quite obvious that she was tired.

He took his arm back and inspected it. There was still a thin line of blood, but that could be easily taken care of with a bandage. He began to wrap white cloth around it and tied it neatly, only to feel a weight on his shoulder.

Dark eyes shifted to the left. If he wasn't Uchiha Sasuke, he might have smiled, but he was the distant, detached ninja, so his face stayed straight. Sakura had fallen into a light sleep and decided that Sasuke's shoulder would serve as a rather comfortable pillow. Loose brown hair that escaped from the long braid was splayed on his shoulder and in her face, tickling her nose as she breathed evenly. Despite the fact that he liked to keep to himself, Sasuke did allow his newly bandaged arm to snake behind her, providing her with a small sense of security.

After all, she was the medic nin and therefore must be protected. Imagine if she fell off the sail! That would be chaos indeed…The woman named Yoshizumi Nami was exhausted, and her chakra had been expended. Her body was not made to generate much chakra, but she conserved as much as she could to help as many people as possible.

The medic closed her eyes and let her hand place the cup of tea down on the once bloody table as she recounted with a smile how she woke up to something extremely warm. It seemed rather crass to be using the table that had been an operating table just a few hours before, but there was nothing else in the gallery to use. She had already scrubbed the table down twice with ethanol and disinfectants, and there were no traces of blood anywhere in the small room.

Silly Sasuke. Always having to act unapproachable.

Sakura had been pleasantly surprised when she saw Sasuke and how his arm was around her waist. He retracted it quickly after seeing her wake, but still made sure that the shock of him doing so would not make her fall.

"I don't want to be responsible for the injury of a klutzy medic," were the only words he had given her when she looked at him with a question in her eyes.

Sakura allowed herself a small chuckle as she leaned back further in the hard, wooden chair. Fifteen more minutes, and she would be free to lie down in her hammock and sleep.

Sensitive ears picked up the sound of the gallery door opening and closing. She furrowed her eyebrows. It better not be some pirate wanting her to cook. If it was, he or she would be in for a nasty surprise.

I'm thinking sodium polyacrylate. You know, that huge polymer that sucks up 800 times its weight in water-usually found in diapers. Imagine putting that in someone's food. That would be a long and painful death of dehydration…cackled Inner Sakura with an evil glint in her eye. Sakura silently agreed, thankful for the small jar of white sodium polyacrylate powder she had brought with her-one never knows when one might need it. Come to think of it, it could easily be disguised as corn starch as long as it stayed dry…


The tired woman raised to head to catch a glimpse of the owner of the voice, thinking it was Ino. Her eyes widened.

There stood her twin in the doorway, dressed in her trademark clothes, twirling a strand of strawberry-pink hair around one finger nervously.

"Uh…hi?" said the look-alike sheepishly, slightly afraid.

A vein popped on Sakura's forehead, and hell broke loose in the kitchen.

Aburame Shino was often overlooked when it came to the relative importance of jounins. For example, Nara Shikamaru was immediately the go-to guy because of his brilliant mind and high IQ, and Yamanaka Ino was usually associated with him because they were a couple. Team Seven was always in the spotlight for obvious reasons (really, having a team with someone who has a demon in his belly and can summon frogs, another with a dead family and a psychotic brother, and yet another with an insane punch and medical skills could not be easily overlooked), and both Neji and Hinata played parts in the Hyuuga clan feud. Tenten (now Hyuuga Tenten) was always praised for her skills with weapons, and Akimichi Chouji was known for rivaling Naruto in eating ramen and Korean barbeque.

So who was Aburame Shino again? Oh yeah-that creepy guy with bugs living inside of him. Yech. It's not like he can really do anything special anyway.

The twenty-four-year-old man sighed as he went to relieve a fellow crewmate of his watch. It wasn't like he could really sleep anyway-there was something that was making his bugs antsy (no pun intended). He looked up at the sky. It was relatively cloudy, but that made sense in seeing that it was about four in the morning. The sea, however, was a little rougher than normal, and the air was thickened with moisture. Winds rose and fell in a peculiar pattern, and this sent Shino into a relatively mild state of confusion. Usually the winds blew in one way, not two.

He then noticed that the light in the captain's cabin was lit and gave a silent command to a few of his little critters to bring back information on what the elder Uchiha was doing. They scuttled off in the general direction of the quarterdeck, returning about half an hour later. He lazily held one to his ear and translated bug speech into human speech.

The captain, Kisame, and Kabuto were apparently arguing about something.

"I don't want to avoid it!" Itachi had said in a dangerous voice, "We have a deadline to meet."

"No goods are going to be of any use if they're at the bottom of the sea!" argued Kisame.

Itachi had then glared at him. "I am the captain of this ship," he said, "Do not disobey my orders. We will sail through this hurricane."

Shino could hear footsteps coming up behind him.

"Well?" came Sasuke's monotonous voice. He, too, was curious as to why the lights were on.

"Hurricane. We're sailing through it."

Sasuke nodded. His brother was trying to move fast, and if he set the ship right at the hurricane's edge, it would blow them all the way to Water Country like a pound of shot in a two pound cannon.

Then again, if that stupid aniki of his didn't get it right, the entire crew would be two pounds of shot in a one pound cannon.

A/N: I know this is a short chapter, but I just got all four of my wisdom teeth pulled and I'm on about three pain meds and penicillin, and they're making me really tired and I can't think straight. Sorry about that, guys. Part 2 of chapter 8 will be up before next Saturday, and I think I'm still going to update next Saturday.

I'm leaving for college on August 14, so please don't expect an update August 19. I have freshman orientation that day. Hope you guys understand…thanks!


Siks.forever, seguha, sasusaku4life, serenity, animelover21065, animemistress419, Sayomi-sama, AekaAnime, darkofthenight, Micymill-chan, Sasuke's Wife Sakura Uchiha, Natsuhiboshi, boredoutofmymind, The Warmth of the Afterglow, ninjaxbunny, xelagirl2, tirap, Bloody Sakura Leaves, Crimson Rose, Queen Cow and Steak, Hidden nightmares, nklgh, starrgirl93, aznwitbra1nz, Tin-can-love, kamilog, Sasuke's lover, Tsumii, Kaka, neojoy02, lazybluishgurl013, Michiyo-chan, Just me and myself, Animevivverz, you don't need to know that, Fire Kitsune, ToCornot77, strawberry smoothies, Beware my spork, Poison's Ivy, sasukesluver101

Michiyo-chan: I got the name Nami from "One Piece" because it means "wave" in Japanese. I thought it would be appropriate. I actually don't know the Nami from One Piece's last name, but Yoshizumi is the last name of one of my favorite manga artists (the Marmalade Boy creator).

Neojoy02: Thank you for your compliments! I'm so sorry about the long wait. (grins sheepishly). I decided that a vacation to Pluto was much needed, so I exited Earth's orbit. Terribly sorry. Haha. I am actually not very good at writing battle scenes, but I will work on it! After this fic is finished (or maybe before then), I'll edit the fight scenes so they're a little longer. I feel inspired after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest! "Where's the thump-thump!"

Queen Cow and Steak: I assure you, Sasuke will flip in the next chapter. (insert giant grin here)

Crimson rose: thank you for two reviews! I feel very loved! And I admit-your review reminded me exactly how long I've neglected this fic. Thanks again! (hug)

The Warmth of the Afterglow: I'm issuing a challenge from your review. Everyone must write a fic where the line: "Itachi killed Sasuke's clam" exists. That would be hilarious!

Sasusaku4life: Thank you for bringing up Sasuke's obliviousness to my attention. I'll try and fix it when I polish up this fic once it's done. Thank you so much!