Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto; I hope the real creator can forgive me this story.
A/N: Sorry for the delay folks! I don't have much to add here other than I've been busy and all. I do hope this chapter was worth the wait for y'all, though.
Now, without further ado, Chapter 12 of Uzumaki Mikomi! (And the true start of the Land of Wheat Arc.)
The squeaking of the wagon wheels were beginning to grate on Sasuke's nerves. It had been at least a day since they had fought the Chunin and they weren't making the progress Sasuke wanted them too.
The caravan had skipped resting the previous night and was pushing hard but it seemed that they would never make it to the Capitol in time.
Sasuke found himself walking next to the lead cart, which contained Mikomi and Sakura, the entire time. He'd glance in to the wagon occasionally but he still didn't see much change. Sakura was looking even paler than she had before and Mikomi was unconscious. He found his ire rising every time he looked ahead and saw nothing in the distance but fields and more fields. He sighed and looked around attempting to rid his mind of the sense of urgency he felt. He knew the caravan was pushing as hard as it could.
They had gotten out of the forest almost as soon as they had crossed the border in to the Country of Wheat. The country lived up to its name, Sasuke noted. The road was surrounded by golden wheat gently bending in the breeze. He knew the country supplied a lot of wheat and grains to other nations, but it hadn't prepared him for the sight before him. Whenever he looked around all he could see was wheat and the occasional worker in the fields, though they were too far off to really be of help to the group.
Sasuke grunted and turned to look at his teammates again. He scowled darkly as he looked them over, activating his sharingan to see if they were still alive. He sighed in relief as he noted the muscles in their chests moving slightly.
Sakura had lost a lot of blood and Mikomi had simply passed in to, something akin, to a comatose state about an hour after the battle with the Chunin.
Kakashi kept an eye on his genin; he wasn't even reading his favorite book as the caravan continued on. He could tell Sasuke was close to his limit in patience. The ice king had apparently melted in his time with Team 7. Kakashi could see the look of worry etched on the Uchiha's face. Unfortunately that left the Uchiha an easy target. If anything were to happen now he figured Sasuke wouldn't be able to react.
Kakashi sighed and stashed his book away. He began to slow down so the caravan could overtake him and he could walk next to Sasuke. He wondered if he had waited too long to show up, but decided to shove that thought in to the dark recesses of his mind until they were safely in the Capitol.
"Sasuke," Kakashi drawled as he drew up to Sasuke's position, "You need to keep your guard up. We don't know if we might get attacked again."
Sasuke shot Kakashi a withering glare before he managed to control it again. He forced his face in to his usual impassive mask. "I am aware of my surroundings, Kakashi," he said neutrally, "and I have yet to feel anything of concern."
"Hn," Kakashi grunted glancing around quickly, "true, but it's best to be prepared for anything. You should know this; also, your teammates are out of commission for now. It's best to keep an eye out to maintain their safety too."
Sasuke trained his eyes in front of them before replying to Kakashi, "I understand what you are saying," he said.
"I see," Kakashi returned, "then perhaps you should quit staring at your teammates and look to our surroundings, eh?"
Sasuke grunted as he suppressed a growl, "We wouldn't be in this mess had you not taken your time to show up, Kakashi," He replied, adding a little venom to his words.
Kakashi's eyebrow rose slightly as he looked at Sasuke, "Perhaps so," he replied before moving ahead again, "keep your eyes out anyway."
Sasuke watched Kakashi retreat back to the front of the caravan with daggers in his eyes. It took him a few moments to push his feelings down again, but he managed. He looked at the two girls again; he wondered why he was acting this way. Shinobi get hurt on missions all the time, some die. He couldn't keep the nagging feelings out of the back of his head, though.
Kakashi sighed as he returned to his position and rubbed his forehead lightly. He glanced back to see how his team was doing and noticed that Sasuke was finally paying attention to his surroundings. What worried him, though, was how Sakura and Mikomi were faring.
Sakura had lost a lot of blood from her wounds. Her skin was pale and her touch was somewhat clammy. She had lips that were turning a slight shade of blue, which only told Kakashi that she was still loosing blood to the bandages. He had resorted to putting her under a sleeping Genjutsu the previous night so she could get some sleep. He also found himself using the emergency injections most Jounin carried. A mixture of proteins and nutrients to keep the body alive long enough to get them to a proper medical facility. It also contained a good dose of a general antivenin. He sighed as he remembered he only had about two more doses left, he hoped it would last long enough.
Mikomi, on the other hand, seemed utterly depleted of chakra. Kakashi actually wondered how she managed to live through the drain she had undergone. The soldier pills hadn't helped matters. Soldier pills were designed to give quick boosts when one was in a hurry, not for maintaining ones energy over an extended period of time. Mikomi hadn't woken up since she passed out the previous day and that worried him a great deal. He had an idea of the cause behind her continued life, though.
Takehito frowned darkly as he walked at the back of the caravan; he was worried about those two girls immensely. He had ordered the unloading of a few of the heavier things to lighten the load but it was still slow progress, even with the hurried pace. Oxen could only be pushed so far. He had sent a runner ahead of them to inform the hospital in the capitol and send another caravan back to gather the things that had to be abandoned. He looked at Kakashi ahead of them and sighed softly as he picked up his pace. He felt he should apologize more.
Kakashi glanced over when he felt Takehito standing next to him. He had been so wrapped up in his own thoughts he hadn't noticed, "so much for paying attention to one's surroundings," he thought. "Something wrong, Takehito-dono," he asked.
"Yes," Takehito replied as he looked at Kakashi then glanced back at the wagon with Mikomi and Sakura in it, "I feel I should apologize more, my excuse of not expecting ninja is…insufficient." Takehito rubbed his temples quickly, "I feel that there can be no excuse for my actions," he continued, "All I can do is apologize for my rashness."
"Mm," Kakashi mumbled, "I'm sure the girls will be fine as soon as we get them to the capitol and I'm sure they won't hold a grudge." He looked back at Sasuke again, "Though I'm not so sure about Sasuke." He left it at that as he began looking at the surroundings, falling silent.
Takehito sighed again and fell back to the first wagon, walking next to the driver seat. Mufu looked at him sadly before giving the reigns a snap to hurry the oxen along.
A large gate appeared on the horizon, a couple of days later. Takehito smiled as he noticed this. "We're here," he breathed as everyone let up a tired cheer.
Sasuke glanced in to the cart that his teammates were in and sighed. "Finally," he said as he looked towards the gates.
Kakashi was relieved, though he wouldn't let on to that yet, he still had to get the girls to the hospital. He hoped the staff, at the hospital, was ready for the group. He remembered Takehito sending a runner a few days ago but he wasn't sure the runner had gotten there safely. The group had made it through the three days without incident, or an attack from other ninja, but he couldn't be sure about the runner.
The gates opened slowly, too slowly for Sasuke but he persevered. He rested a hand on the cart the girls were in, "Almost there," he said under his breath as he glanced in to the cart. He noted Arashi resting between the two girls, the poor kid had been worried the entire trip. He recalled seeing Arashi in the cart with the two girls almost the entire time. He felt something he hadn't in a while. He felt proud of Arashi and happy that Arashi spent the time with the girls. He wouldn't let on to that though, he had appearances to maintain after all.
Kakashi grunted as he stashed his little book again, he hadn't been able to read much of it, and glanced around.
The city was obviously a wealthy city. He could almost smell the money in the buildings. Everything was built big and expensive. Looking down the street leading from the gate he could see the Wheat Lord's palace up on a small hill. It had its own fence and gate but Kakashi had expected that. Along both sides of the street were shops and gambling parlors. A few more questionable establishments could barely be made out down a few alleys. The main road led directly to the palace.
The caravan began to move faster as the wagons got on the cobblestone streets of the city. Sasuke was glad that they were making faster progress. The intersections had signs at them to control traffic and caravans seemed to be at various warehouses off the large river that split the city in two. The hospital was down another main avenue, it didn't take too long to get there.
The hospital itself was impressive, at least by the standards of the two shinobi still conscious. They looked at the hospital with its stucco facade and large doors. The hospital was easily four stories high. The large medical symbol graced its front face and looked out over the city.
Nurses rushed out as soon as the announcement was made that the caravan had gotten there. They placed the two girls on gurneys and whisked them away. Kakashi could feel the chakra spike as the automatic doors opened and closed.
Takehito walked up to Kakashi and Sasuke as the caravan began to move towards the palace again. "I will go report to my father," he said, "You two should probably stay here until we can figure out what's wrong with the girls." Sasuke and Kakashi gave Takehito a nod and headed in to the hospital.
Takehito found himself looking at his father as he entered the meeting room in the palace. He slowly walked up to the throne and bowed respectfully as he waited for his father to tell him to report.
"Report," the Wheat Lord said in a deep voice, "I have heard a disturbing rumor about your recent trip from Konoha."
"Indeed father," Takehito said, "other than the usual bandits we ran in to some ninja that seemed intent on taking me. Fortunately the Konoha shinobi performed their job admirably but two have been injured." The Wheat Lord nodded and waved his hand for Takehito to continue. "It is most disturbing," Takehito continued, "that there were shinobi after me. The Jounin leader of the group seemed rather displeased that we took out a C ranked mission for my guard."
"I see," the Fire Lord said slowly as he thought, "I can understand, as you know most shinobi villages prefer to send more experienced Ninja on a VIP guard." The Wheat Lord waved his hand slightly, "but there is little we can do about the ninja, though I know of a few issues our nation is having right now, son. Which should probably wait until the Jounin is here. Who were the injured shinobi?"
"A couple of female ninja, father," Takehito replied as he stood upright to look his father in the eyes, "A pink haired female who is bleeding profusely, though her wounds appear minor, and a blonde female Ninja, who seems to have simply fallen unconscious. She was able to produce enough power that I felt it but soon afterwards she collapsed."
"What are their names, son," The Wheat Lord said as his sat straighter in his chair, obviously intrigued at the mention of the blonde ninja.
"Haruno Sakura and Uzumaki Mikomi," Takehito replied as his eyebrow crept up. He had never seen his father intrigued by the mention of ninja and their injuries before.
"Uzumaki…," The Wheat Lord breathed deeply as his eyes went wide for a moment before he took control of himself, "have them moved to the Imperial Hospital then."
Takehito blinked a few times as he processed his father's orders, "The Imperial Hospital, father," he asked, a little surprised.
"Indeed," the Wheat Lord said as he leaned back in the throne, looking thoughtful, "we have a guest paying off a debt, who may be able to help the two ninja."
Takehito gave his father a nod and then scurried out of the room.
"Uzumaki," the Wheat Lord said as he smiled slowly, "Uzumaki Mikomi, eh?"
Kakashi sat in the girls' room, at the hospital, watching Sasuke pace back and forth. He couldn't concentrate on his book because of Sasuke and he sighed. He finally decided it would be best to stash his little book and try for a little dialogue between the two again.
"Sasuke," he said as he leaned forward, "you should sit down and relax, you haven't gotten any rest during the last few days."
Sasuke shot Kakashi a dark look before schooling his face again, "I am fine, Kakashi," he replied, "I'm simply wondering why ninja would attack the caravan; there was nothing to indicate that the son of the Wheat Lord was in it."
Kakashi found the tone of Sasuke's voice disturbingly cold and business. He frowned under his mask and looked at Sasuke evenly. "I understand the frustration of having teammates injured in the field," Kakashi started while holding up a hand to stave off any protests, "but injuries happen all the time, in the field, and I won't be there to protect you all forever."
Sasuke growled softly, "You should have been there when the team needed you Kakashi," he said, "It's what teammates do, is it not?"
Kakashi sighed, "I had to be sure who the target was, if I did not know who the target was and intervened too soon this mission would have failed. I needed to know if the target was one of us ninja or a caravaner and who it was. You three were doing fine during the fight, I was actually slightly surprised." Kakashi shrugged slightly at his last statement.
"Oh yeah," Sasuke said as his anger began to boil, "Sakura's doing fine? Mikomi's doing fine? If you hadn't noticed they're both in the hospital right now unconscious..." Sasuke stopped there and blinked a few times. He was angry with Kakashi, he was angry at everything. He hadn't felt that way since he saw Itachi last. Sasuke sighed and shook his head turning from Kakashi to gather himself again.
Kakashi watched Sasuke become angry and sighed softly. He was surprised to see Sasuke act that way, but what surprised him more was the look in Sasuke's eyes. Sasuke's eyes had been haunted as well as angry. He watched the emotions play across Sasuke's face like a picture book. He hadn't seen that haunted quality in Sasuke's eyes in years. He stopped watching after Sasuke turned around and the room fell silent.
A doctor walked in to the room during the silence and looked at the two men. "You are these girls' temporary guardian," he asked looking at Kakashi who gave a nod, "well Mikomi's body is beginning to break itself down for energy, so we have her on a nutrient drip. She'll probably pull through in a couple of days." The doctor referenced a couple of papers for a moment.
"Sakura is the one that concerns me," the doctor continued after the pause, looking at Kakashi again, "We have been able to isolate some sort of toxin from her, but we do not know its effects or how to identify it. It has something to do with her blood loss, of that much we're sure." The doctor looked at the two men again and sighed, "We're not sure how this is going to work out yet, Sakura is in critical condition and Mikomi is in serious condition."
Kakashi kept his eye on the doctor, there seemed to be more the doctor wanted to say. "You can tell us what you are thinking, doctor," Kakashi finally said as the doctor looked between them.
The doctor sighed and shook his head, "I'm sorry, I understand you are from a shinobi village," he said, "but endangering children as you have done is inexcusable. If you were citizens of this nation you'd be locked up right now." The doctor's knuckles became white as he gripped the two clipboards, "I have other rounds." The doctor turned quickly and left the room.
Kakashi sighed heavily as Sasuke returned to pacing. Kakashi noted Sasuke seemed a little pale now but he wasn't going to mention it. He figured mentioning it would simply put Sasuke on edge again. The last thing he needed was another fight with Sasuke.
A few minutes later Takehito entered the hospital. He had his own guard this time and seemed to be dressed in the robes of his heritage. Sasuke stopped midstride as Kakashi glanced at the prince and raised an eyebrow.
Takehito looked at Kakashi and Sasuke, "We'll be moving Sakura and Mikomi to the Imperial Hospital now," he stated as nurses brought gurneys in to the room.
Kakashi and Sasuke seemed slightly confused by the sudden change of plans but neither was going to argue with Takehito. They both felt it might be better, the Imperial Hospital was known for better equipment and staff. Mikomi and Sakura were wheeled out of the hospital quickly and transferred to a carriage waiting for them.
"Come with me," Takehito said to Kakashi and Sasuke, "we have a special doctor who will take care of them at the Imperial Hospital." Kakashi and Sasuke gave a nod and followed silently, after thanking the previous staff for taking care of the two girls.
Takehito wasted no time in getting the girls to the Imperial Hospital. He was now sitting in a chair looking at Sasuke and Kakashi quietly. He had both girls put in to the same room upon entry to the hospital. He hoped it would make it easier for the special doctor to look at them. They had been waiting for a little while before the new doctor walked in to the room.
The woman stood tall as she looked at everyone present in the room. The blonde woman had on an interesting green coat and her hair was in two tails down her back. She had a dark haired assistant behind her looking over a file.
Kakashi looked at the new doctor and his jaw nearly hit the floor. He remembered her from a long time ago, when he was a kid. She hadn't changed much as far as he could tell. She still looked relatively young considering she should be in her fifties. The doctor looked at Kakashi and sighed softly, muttering something about leaf ninja to her assistant as she walked over to Mikomi's bed.
The doctor looked at Mikomi and her eyes went wide for a moment. She shook her head and sighed lightly as she began to examine Mikomi carefully. The examination only took a couple of minutes before she looked at her assistant. "Exhaustion and malnutrition," she stated, "keep her on the nutrient drip for a couple of days and she'll be fine." Her assistant gave a nod and made a note in Mikomi's file. The women then looked at Kakashi with a frown and headed for Sakura's bed.
The doctor looked at Sakura closely with a frown painted on her face. "What's the story with this one," she said to her assistant as she turned around.
"The previous doctors noted excessive bleeding and a toxin in her blood work," the assistant replied, "they were unable to identify it though."
The doctor nodded and frowned deeply, "I see," she said as she turned back around and began to take off Sakura's blankets. She examined the wounds carefully, running a finger along the edges of the cuts. Her eyebrow rose as she felt along the edges.
"I know what we have here," she said quickly, "Shizune I need some ingredients for the anti toxin, this is that Mist anti coagulation poison."
The assistant, Shizune, looked up from the file and went pale, "I don't know if they have the ingredients we need here," Shizune said to the doctor.
The doctor turned around to face Shizune, a look of urgency on her face, "quickly Shizune," she said, "I'll take care of the wounds but we're going to need to stop the toxin before we can say she will recover!" The doctor turned around and flashed through some seals, a green chakra covered her hands as she placed them on Sakura's leg wound.
Shizune turned to Kakashi and Sasuke, "you two wait in the hall," she said as she dashed out the door. Kakashi and Sasuke did as they were told.
Shizune went running in to the room again a few minutes later while Kakashi and Sasuke sat on a bench outside of the room. The door closed behind her and Sasuke got up and began to pace again.
Sasuke kept his hands in his pockets and maintained his cool facade but Kakashi could tell the boy was worried. Kakashi sat and watched Sasuke over his little book. He knew the girls were going to be fine once he recognized who this special doctor was. He'd have to wait until after the procedure before talking to her though. He had a few things to talk to her about.
After a couple of hours the two women stepped out of the room and into the hallway. They looked at the two men waiting for them and sighed softly.
"You can go in and see your teammates," The doctor stated as she waved a hand towards the door, "They'll both recover quickly with the treatments they received." Sasuke nodded as he turned to Kakashi again.
"Go ahead," Kakashi said to Sasuke as he stood up, "I'll be in shortly." Sasuke grunted with a nod and stepped in to the room. The doctor closed the door behind him as she faced Kakashi.
"Hello, Kakashi," she said softly as she turned to lean on the wall lightly, "it's been a long time."
"Mm," Kakashi replied as he stashed his little book and faced the doctor, "it has been a while Tsunade-sama." Kakashi gave a shallow bow to her, "The Hokage has been wondering where you have been," he continued shortly afterwards, "he also wonders where Jiraiya-sama is."
Tsunade shrugged lightly, "I have no idea where Jiraiya is," she replied, "haven't seen him in a little while."
"Hn," Kakashi grunted softly as he looked at the door, "what are you doing here anyways?"
"Just paying off a little debt," Tsunade replied as she looked at Shizune, "Taking care of business, won't be in town long."
"Are you going to go back to Konoha," Kakashi asked.
"Didn't plan on it, no, the old man knows I'm fine," Tsunade replied. "Besides I have other things to do with my life," she finished after a short pause.
Kakashi sighed and gave a nod as he glanced between the two women, "So what's going on with my genin," he asked.
"Mikomi is just suffering exhaustion and malnutrition," Tsunade replied as she frowned, "I wonder how she got to that state. She doesn't seem to be eating well at all; this is more like years of substandard meals and care."
Kakashi frowned as well, "I don't think she's been eating right for a long while," he stated, "There are a few of us who are looking in to few…concerns…about her living conditions." Tsunade raised her eyebrow as she eyed Kakashi. "The council emancipated her as soon as she enrolled in the academy a few years ago," Kakashi continued, "Her money seems to be going towards bills. Everything she's told me about her living situation seems to point towards coercion and a few other things but we have no proof, yet."
Tsunade frowned again and shook her head, "The things they do to that poor girl…" Tsunade took a moment to collect her thoughts, "Her treatment is one of the reasons I decided to leave, but it seems things have gotten far worse since I left." Kakashi nodded again and sighed. "In any case," Tsunade continued, "Mikomi will be fine, here anyways; though coming here with her may have been a bad idea."
Kakashi's eyebrow rose, "what do you mean?" he asked.
"You'll find out I'm sure," Tsunade said as she looked over Sakura's file, "Sakura was poisoned with an anti coagulating toxin. Considering the wounds she received it seems it was delivered via a blade of some sort. It's a poison I've come across before, luckily, and have created an anti toxin for."
"Hmm," Kakashi sighed, "a mist poison, from what you said."
"Indeed," Tsunade said as she flipped a page over, "It binds with the platelets in the blood and prevents blood clotting, the victim bleeds out and dies in a few hours. Fortunately you gave Sakura those shots I left the medical ninja before I decided to leave the village, those saved her life." Tsunade finished and looked at Kakashi seriously, "you need to watch out for your genin better, Kakashi," she stated before handing the file back to Shizune and turning to leave.
"So it seems," Kakashi replied with a deep sigh, "anything else I should know about then?"
Tsunade turned to face him and shook her head, "just go in to see your genin," she said as she began walking down the hall, "you probably won't see me again."
Kakashi turned to face the door to the girls' room, as Tsunade vanished around a corner, and shook his head. He slid the door open quietly, so he wouldn't disturb the girls, and stepped inside. He saw Sasuke standing between the two beds looking from one girl to the other silently.
"The doctor says they'll be fine," Kakashi stated as he entered the room and closed the door behind him. Sasuke looked up at him and frowned darkly before turning back towards the girls again.
"You didn't help them when they needed it and I couldn't," Sasuke said.
Kakashi grunted lightly and looked at the two girls, "I know," he said, "We got lucky. It seemed you were all handling those Chunin rather well to me."
Sasuke snapped his eyes to Kakashi again, "Well," he asked, "how can you say we were doing 'well'? Sakura was busy facing off with a swordsman, when she isn't very good at taijutsu, I was pinned down by a water user who nullified all of my fire attacks, and Mikomi was trapped by an earth user. How could you call that 'well'?"
"I can call that 'well'," Kakashi replied, "Because you were all still moving and giving those Chunin a run for their money."
Sasuke sighed and shook his head slightly as he took his gaze off of Kakashi. He tried to reach out to both girls but he just couldn't bring himself to touch them so he stuffed his hands back in his pockets. "I need to become stronger than I am," he finally stated, "soon." Sasuke sat down on the chair between the two beds and closed his eyes, regaining his calm once more.
Kakashi smirked lightly under his mask, though it was hard for Sasuke to tell in the semi dark room. "Well," thought Kakashi, "first good idea I've heard from him since this happened." Kakashi took out his little book again and began to read it, feeling much better than he had earlier.
A few days later Team 7 found itself sitting in the Wheat Lord's chamber looking at a very dour old man. Takehito stood next to the Wheat Lord and smiled at the girls warmly. Mikomi and Sakura fidgeted under the man's scrutinizing gaze as Kakashi and Sasuke seemed wholly unperturbed by it. The girls secretly wished they could be as stoic as their two male teammates at times like this.
"This team did well to protect my son," the Wheat Lord finally said after he sent one of his men away, "I thank you four for bringing my son and the caravan home safely." The Wheat Lord lowered his head slightly to acknowledge them.
"Ahh," the girls stammered as they tried to stop fidgeting, "we were just doing our job you know."
"Yeah," Mikomi said as she looked at Sakura, "We mean we were just doing what we were hired to do, this sort of thing isn't enough to stop us." Mikomi shot the old man her patented foxy grin as Sakura nodded beside her.
"Well," the Wheat Lord continued, "that may be, but I understand that the mission rank we took out was outside of the circumstances. I have dispatched a letter to the Hokage to upgrade the mission to the proper rank with the proper payment."
"Ahh," Sakura stammered before she blushed lightly, "thanks." The girls giggled softly as the Wheat Lord looked them over, they still weren't used to praise that much.
The Wheat Lord chuckled softly as he noted their discomfort and waved a hand, "Not used to praise I see," he stated, "You did very well, I'm just glad we managed to get you to medical facilities in time." He turned slightly serious after his statement and paused for a few minutes before continuing again, "I am sincerely sorry about what happened. We were not expecting Ninja to be involved." He again bowed his head apologetically.
"Ahh," Mikomi said scratching the back of her neck sheepishly, "It's ok; we came out of it OK. I guess I learned an important lesson with this last mission." Mikomi giggled uncomfortably as she looked at Kakashi.
"Yeah," Sakura said, "I mean, we should have been better prepared, anything could happen on a mission. It's no big deal about what happened. We lived, so we can learn from it."
The Wheat Lord nodded gravely after the girls spoke, "Smart kids," he said, "Always learn from your past, indeed." The Wheat Lord then smiled, he appeared much more pleasant when he smiled, and the girls became more at ease. "As an apology and reward," the Wheat Lord continued again, "I have had rooms set aside for you all in the Palace here. I recommend that you take a small break before returning to Konoha; I assure you that the payment you will receive will more then compensate for a short break. You should both fully recover before returning home."
The girls grinned brightly as Sakura got a little sparkle in her eyes, "well," she said, "It's up to Kakashi-sensei but a good break will do us wonders." Sakura then turned to look at Kakashi, smiling brightly.
Mikomi giggled as she noticed Sakura's response, "she wants to do some shopping," Mikomi thought, "Actually, I wouldn't mind sticking around myself." Mikomi turned to face Kakashi with her puppy look, "Please Sensei," she said through a pouty lip.
Kakashi sighed lightly and shrugged, "I suppose that would be best," he replied, "don't get too carried away you two." The girls giggled as they hopped happily. The turned and faced each other, "shopping," they both exclaimed in unison.
Sasuke rolled his eyes as he watched the girls, "we nearly get killed and those two want to do some shopping," he thought as he returned his gaze to the Wheat Lord. "Well," he said aloud, "if we must stay here I wouldn't mind getting a tour of the palace then. It will give me an idea of how this place is laid out."
The Wheat Lord looked at Sasuke and indicated Takehito, "My son can give you a guided tour in a moment," he said, "Right now I want to introduce the girls to my daughters. When they heard we would be having female guests they insisted on meeting them." The Wheat Lord waved his hand towards a door, "Come in you four," he said, his voice carrying through out the room. The door opened quickly as four girls came rushing in.
Mikomi and Sakura found themselves surrounded by four squealing girls. They both felt a little trapped and their instincts kicked in. They tried to distance themselves, only to find out they were back to back. They both smiled pleasantly and fidgeted as the four daughters pressed in on them.
"Kya," the oldest one said, "they're so cute, like dolls!" She giggled as her sisters quickly agreed to that statement.
Mikomi and Sakura blinked once or twice, "dolls," they asked in unison. Neither one of the two had ever been referred to like that before. This was new to them and they both felt a little stifled. They both remembered the things they did to their dolls: dress up, tea parties, that sort of thing. They also found themselves wondering what the princess meant by her statement.
"Girls," the Wheat Lord said as he clapped his hands, "at least introduce yourselves to them, they are our guests."
The girls nodded as they looked at their father then quickly returned their gazes to Mikomi and Sakura.
"I suppose I'll start then," said the oldest one as she stood up and smiled, "My name is Chiaki and I'm the oldest." She was wearing a good kimono, she appeared to be in her early twenties, and her hair was done in a princess style. "Pleased to meet you," she continued after a moment.
"I guess I'll go next," said another girl, "My Name is Shiori, I'm eighteen and I am pleased to meet you, too," she finished. This girl seemed to be more modern than her older sister, wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt with a band logo on it. Her hair was down and long. She grinned at the two mischievously before bowing flamboyantly.
"Me next, me next," said another girl, "Name's Mika, nice to meet you both!" She giggled softly as she clasped her hands behind her back. Her outfit seemed to be regular to the two ninja. She wore a simple skirt that went to her knees that was topped off with a white dress shirt and sweater vest. She appeared to be right out of a school life manga Mikomi had read a few months ago. Her hair was done up in a simple pony tail. She smiled warmly and pushed a pair of glasses up on her nose, "I'm fourteen," she finished.
The final girl stood behind her older sister and peered at the two ninja curiously. It took some prompting to get her to step to the side and address the two. "My name's Rikka," she said quietly, almost inaudibly, "I'm twelve." She wore a black and crimson checked skirt with a belt that hung off of her at an angle. A black long sleeved shirt covered by a crimson and torn T-shirt adorned her torso. Her hair was mostly down except for one part that was tied to the side. After her introduction she skittered behind her sister again.
"Hi," Mikomi said waving to the girls politely, "I'm Mikomi, I'm twelve and I love ramen." Mikomi giggled softly nudging Sakura with her elbow.
"Oh," Sakura said looking at the girls, "I'm Sakura, I'm twelve, too, and I love sweets." She smiled pleasantly.
"Good good," the Wheat lord said with a smile, "now that everyone's acquainted. Why don't you girls show Mikomi and Sakura around?"
"Actually father," Chiaki said, "we were considering showing them our rooms then showing them around town. I was thinking we could take them to one of the more popular clubs in town so that they can see what our town is like."
"Hmm, that sounds like a good idea," the Wheat Lord replied, "just don't push them too hard, alright."
"Of course, father," Chiaki said, "we will be careful with them. I understand they're both still a little weak from their trip here."
The Wheat Lord gave Chiaki a nod as he turned his gaze to Kakashi.
Mikomi and Sakura looked at Kakashi curiously as he scanned the princesses over.
"I don't see a problem," Kakashi said, "you two have fun." He smiled at them as he waved his hand towards the door.
"Great," the princesses exclaimed as they grabbed Mikomi and Sakura by the arms, "let's go have a girl's day."
Mikomi and Sakura didn't have a chance to resist as the princesses took their arms. They also didn't have much of a chance to resist because the princesses took off like a shot, nearly dragging the two ninja out of the room. All they managed was a "Kya!" and look of surprise as their teammates became farther away.
Sasuke watched the whole ordeal with a bored look on his face. He took note of the princesses' names and watched them, but he couldn't see any problems with the princesses. That was until he saw how fast the princesses took off with his teammates in tow. He couldn't do much though, except watch it all with a rather shocked look on his face. His eyebrow rose as far as it could go. After a moment of hearing his teammates screaming down the hallway he sighed and shook his head returning his attention to the others.
Kakashi blinked a few times then shook his head as the princesses took his genin. He didn't even think Mikomi or Sakura stood much of a chance against those four. He silently hoped that the princesses wouldn't push his genin too far, they all seemed quite energetic to him.
"Takehito," The Wheat Lord said turning to his son, "Would you show Uchiha-san around then." Takehito nodded as he indicated Sasuke should follow him and the two vanished out the side door. The Wheat Lord then turned to look at Kakashi.
"If you could stay for a few minutes," the Wheat Lord said as Kakashi's eyebrow rose again, "I have things to discuss with you."
"Of course," Kakashi replied as he made himself comfortable, he had a feeling this would be a long talk.
"Thank you," The Wheat Lord said as he settled in to his throne, "I sent a request for some information on your team when I heard you had made it to town. I received a reply yesterday." The Wheat Lord took out a small scroll and unrolled it to look it over. "According to this," he continued, "your team is an exceptional team. It says here that, during a test you had conducted, the team did very well in an infiltration mission." The Wheat Lord looked at Kakashi, as if anticipating a reply.
"Yes," Kakashi replied, "they did exceptional during that mission, aside from one unforeseen problem."
"I see," said the Wheat Lord, "that's good, because an infiltration team is what I need now. The Chunin attack on the caravan wasn't an accident. It seems there are factions in this city that wish to see me deposed. They targeted my son but your team, of course, thwarted that attempt." The Wheat Lord sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I have requested your team for another mission, to start after this short break. I sent the request this morning; it should get to the Hokage tonight. I assume he'll probably want to send a back up team, but I need a team now."
"My team," Kakashi interjected, "isn't ready for this kind of mission. It's too dangerous for them."
"I understand this," the Wheat Lord said, "Unfortunately it'll take at least a week for another team to get here and I have reason to believe this faction may attempt something before that. I have very little information to go on, but it seems the Chunin are the only ninja involved." Kakashi frowned darkly as the Wheat Lord spoke. "It's dangerous, I know, but I feel your team will be able to handle this, at least, until other ninja from your village arrive to take over the investigation."
Kakashi sighed darkly, "The infiltration they can handle," he said, "but involvement of other ninja is the concern. My team isn't ready to face other ninja." The Wheat Lord gave a nod. "It's simply too dangerous."
"I know it is," The Wheat Lord replied, "But, as I said, I have no other alternatives. I have also settled on a plan to capture this faction. It should maintain the safety of your team if other ninja are involved."
Kakashi's eyebrow rose, "hmm," he grunted, "I will listen to this plan but I don't like this idea."
The Wheat Lord nodded again, "It's rather simple really," he continued at Kakashi's prompting, "The genin pose as relatives visiting from another country, Cousins. You pose as their servant. The idea is to keep everyone thinking your genin don't know what's going on and gives you the chance to investigate. I hope this will maintain your Genin's safety. I also think it will give your team a chance to snoop around without being questioned."
Kakashi frowned again and sighed thinking it through. He knew his team could do the infiltration pretty easily. His main concern was other ninja, though with him posing as a servant he could keep his genin safe from other ninja. He had to weigh the risks with his knowledge of his team. He sat for a long while considering his options, before he finally settled on one. "Fine," he said, "We'll do it, but only if my team is allowed to maintain their cover by continuing to accompany your daughters and son. I also want them fully informed of the situation."
The Wheat Lord bowed his head, "of course," he said, "I merely wanted to speak to you before I spoke to your team. I will make it an official mission and pay accordingly. I will do everything I can to ensure the success of this mission and the safety of your genin."
Kakashi grunted his acknowledgement and stood up. "I will start setting up my cover now then," he said, "I want to see the Hokage's reply as soon as it gets here and I need all the information you have as soon as possible."
"Of course," The Wheat Lord replied as he stood up as well, "I will show you your room, which is close to your genins' rooms." Kakashi nodded and followed the Wheat Lord out.
Mikomi and Sakura didn't have time to react as the princesses dragged them out of the meeting room. It took them both by surprise, they were dragged down a hall and in to a brightly lit room. They were sat on a large bed as Chiaki said it was her room.
Chiaki seemed to be a clotheshorse, considering Sakura and Mikomi couldn't count the number of outfits that were strewn about the room. It took them both a moment to catch their breath as the princesses scurried about.
"Oh I think this would look great on them," said Chiaki as she pulled a couple of outfits out of her closet.
"No way," Mika said as she grabbed something off the dresser, "this one!"
"Feh," said Shiori, "this one."
"Nuh uh," said Rikka, "This one."
Mikomi and Sakura stared at the princesses during the argument. It went on like that for a long while, each one of the princesses grabbing something and declaring that outfit was best. Finally they all turned to look at Mikomi and Sakura, each one with a couple of outfits in her hands.
Mikomi and Sakura got a rather uneasy feeling in the pits of their stomachs when they saw the, somewhat, psychotic look on the princesses' faces. The Princesses advanced on the poor Ninja as their eyes became like hot pinpoints of light. Mikomi and Sakura felt like they were being burned by the looks in the princesses' eyes.
Sasuke was somewhat pleased by the layout of the Palace. It was situated on a hill with a wall around it. The last fall back point in case of a siege. He glanced around as Takehito pointed out various places. He really didn't even register Takehito pointing to a row of rooms, stating they were his sisters' rooms.
Mikomi and Sakura scooted closer together as the princesses surrounded them, the semi psychotic eyes fixed on them. They both felt a little pinned as they grabbed each others hands and smiled nervously.
"Umm," Mikomi stuttered through a worried grin, "I think we're in trouble." Sakura managed to nod in agreement as they were pounced, "AHH," they both screamed as they felt hands on their current clothes.
Sasuke was walking along with Takehito, enjoying the quiet of the corridor. The two men were just about to head towards the servant's quarters when they heard the scream. The scream pierced the air around them and made them both cringe in fear. They looked around to pinpoint the sound when Sasuke's mind registered a familiarity with the screams. He blinked as he searched for the reason why the voices seemed familiar.
Kakashi looked down the hall when he heard screams echo along the hallway, the Wheat Lord paused to turn around and look. "What is that," Kakashi wondered as he looked at the Wheat Lord, "sounds like Mikomi and Sakura."
The Wheat Lord chuckled lightly and shook his head, "That would be my daughters seeing what outfits look best on those two," he stated as he shrugged. "They do that to a lot of female guests," he continued, "they hear of a new female guest and plan which room to take them to. Once they figure out which room, they drag all of their outfits to that room. So they only have to go to one room before they 'help' the guest try on outfits."
"Ahh," Kakashi replied shaking his head too, "well, as long as those two are alright." Kakashi shrugged as he turned back down the hall again, "shall we continue," he asked.
"Ahh," the Wheat Lord replied, "of course." The Wheat Lord turned and started walking down the hall again.
Sasuke registered why the screams sounded familiar and went pale again. He was seriously getting tired of this nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach every time it had anything to do with the safety of Sakura and Mikomi. He'd deal with it later though. He cussed darkly and ran towards the room the screams came from.
Takehito frowned lightly as he heard the screams. He slowly scanned the hall before something occurred to him. Those screams were coming from Chiaki's room. Then a thought hit him right after Sasuke had taken off at a dead run, "Uh oh," he thought. "Sasuke," he shouted as he ran after Sasuke, "Wait!"
Sasuke found the door he had heard the screams from in a matter of moments. He vaguely recalled hearing Takehito yell something after him but he wasn't going to waste time. He put his hand on the door and slammed it open, "Mikomi, Sakura," he said, "are you two ok?" Sasuke didn't register everything at first then time seemed to freeze. Sasuke found himself looking in to a room full of outfits; the princesses were standing around Sakura and Mikomi with some clothes in their hands. He saw Mikomi and Sakura too; this was the cause of the sudden time freeze. There Sakura and Mikomi were, standing in the middle of a circle of princesses in nothing more than their underwear.
Mikomi and Sakura heard the door slam open and turned to see who it was. Unfortunately they had forgotten about their current state of undress. When they figured out who it was they both felt their faces start to burn hot and time froze in that instant.
Takehito was hoping to stop Sasuke but that proved a futile effort. He decided it would simply be best to stop at the edge of the door so he couldn't see in and pull Sasuke out of the line of fire should anything be hurled at him when the door opened.
Sasuke got a good look at his teammate as everything froze. It was rather shocking to him and his mind didn't quite register what was going on at first. Finally everything caught up to him.
Mikomi and Sakura couldn't believe that Sasuke had seen them this way. They both hoped it was a hallucination but that proved a fruitless hope. The feeling of embarrassment rose in them both as time began to move again. "IYAAA," they both screamed as they ducked down in an attempt to cover as much as they could with their legs and arms, their eyes squeezed tightly shut.
Sasuke noticed Sakura and Mikomi duck which switched his mind back on. He blinks once, "ack!" he exclaimed as he slammed the door closed again. He shifted so his back was to the door and leaned against it. He panted as he felt warmth on his cheeks. It felt like his face was on fire as his eyes refused to do anything but mimic saucer plates. Takehito reached over and pulled him away from the door as he tried to get his bearings.
"I think it would be wise to move along," Takehito said as he half dragged Sasuke down the hall, "the sooner we get away from there the better off we are."
Sasuke nodded numbly as his mind processed everything that just happened. After a while he began to think clearly again. He figured it'd probably be a bad thing to be seen by any of the girls for a little while. He couldn't quite shake the image, though. What he saw stuck with him for the rest of the day.
A/N: Well I hope you liked this chapter! I had fun writing it, even if I did have a couple of blocks on what to write, hehe.
I decided to use "Iya" for the girls at the end, simply because I think it adds more humor to the situation.
Sorry for the delay on this chapter, Finals week. I was able to pull a 3 point for school, there was a slight misunderstanding with one of the tests and I missed it. I managed a C in that class none the less, hehe. The tests were 75% of the grade and the Lab was 25% of the grade. With missing one test and how much it's weighed I say a C is damn good don't you?
I had to move back in with my mother for the winter break but I'm hoping to get back to school in January and get myself an actual place, now that I have more contacts for housing.
My mother needs my help for a lot of things so I can't guarantee when new chapters will get posted but know that I intend to finish this story.
Anyways that's the chapter; so please review, review, review!