Read the footnotes first.

- - -

Down the rope


Gathering up her fleeting resolve, Hinata dropped the sleek black rope into the open window of the covert testing facility. Though she was a "good spy", as she told herself, busting illegal corporations and baneful organizations, she felt the familiar compunction rising in her heart. She was in no way bellicose in her nature, but instead couth and circumspect in all of her actions. Hinata had few credible friends: a dearth that was as daunting to her to as breaking into locked buildings. Those buildings were someone else's chattel, after all, she thought. Claustrophobia also had a hold on Hinata as well--small places just made her cringe--and that's what desecrated her first job of working in a deferential, law abiding and normal office. That small, cluttered cubical haunted her very worst nightmares. At first, taking this almost depraved job made Hinata feel she condescended from her usual high creed. While she was pondering on her decision, she didn't regret her choice now when she remembered treating blisters from her knees rubbing on the opposite wall.

A light tap on her shoulder alerted her to the presence of her partner in complicity, Kiba. He was the complete antithesis of Hinata, from the bushy brown hair that raged widely on his head like unkempt grass in summer to the flip-flops accenting his feet when he wasn't working. Although he was culpable for his audacious misdeeds--keeping no less than three concubines, setting off all sorts of conflagrations with his churlish pranks and ruses, the tendency to be completely desultory (sometimes walking miles around town without a destination, 'just to kill time'), and all sorts of quirks that could be considered contumacious--Hinata could not bring herself to deplore him. Kiba had a few admirable traits she was covetous of at times, such as a stable coterie he hung out with constantly. He was the sort of person to go to for moral support, which Hinata thought was ironic. Here he was--five-star prankster and the world's most disorganized guy--the most empathetic and caring person she ever had the chance to meet. Kiba had a difficult and dysfunctional family full of addicts of all sorts as well as jail birds. At the tender age of sixteen, he was turned out when he demurred to quit school and go to work to pay off their copious debts. Hinata cogitated about the conundrum she called the "Kiba Paradox": how such a bawdy and slapdash person like Kiba could turn around and be so austere and able to commiserate so well with other people who need help.

Hinata smiled demurely at him, a light so soft in her eyes only the most observant person could catch. Kiba knew this was always hard for her, and gave her a tight squeeze to let her know he was always there, and always watching.

The final player in their trio was Sasuke, who cleared his throat from behind Kiba. After catching their attention, he motioned towards the window. Hinata sighed inwardly; Sasuke was almost as cryptic to her as her blond friend. Devoid of emotion, comprehensive in every situation, derisive almost to a fault--this was Sasuke. This was the man that never went to parties Kiba threw for no reason, and this was the man she had to fall in love with. Hinata turned away from his dark eyes and dropped down into the room. Her thoughts would only cause her to be unfocused on the mission ahead.

She felt her partners drop in behind her, so silent and softly she had to look with her ears to hear them. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him make the hand signals that meant for them to move to the left exit. His movements were curt and brisk: there was no mistaking them. He wanted her to move in first. Hinata sucked in a lungful of air. Was he for real? What if she messed up and got them killed? Oh God, please, don't let there be any alarms on the other side of that door…

Hinata nodded silently. There was no way she was going to show her fear. With a quick check of her accoutrements, she sprinted to the door that could be host to their demise.

Very hastily, she checked for the trick wires and alarms typical for doors guarding precious information. She motioned behind her back that was all clear. Using her small hand device, she broke the code and pushed open the door. Inside the vast room was a coniferous tree planted in the middle of the room, reaching towards the skylight above it. Hinata devised a cogent plan of attack quickly: find the safe, crack it open, and take the paper containing the information that could bring down Brighthouse Networks.

Just as she moved her hands to create the silent words that strung together her cerebrations, a caustic voice cut through the air like a guillotine severing a neck.

"Just like I thought. You won't be getting away with this."

Hinata twisted around on the spot. Her colorless eyes caught sight of who ever caught them. He seemed to be leaning against the wall, smirking with the gun in one hand and the gadget to alert the entire building in the other.

"Jesus Christ," Kiba spat, pulling out his own weapon. Sasuke gave Hinata a dirty look that sent her running inside. This is your fault, said his face. She pulled herself away from his handsome features and pointed her modest gun at the man smirking at them. No, this mission will not fail!

"Heh. You can't shoot me. You're caught and you know it," the man said, trying to daunt her. Before he could realize it did not work, she pulled the trigger. The sound resonated in the air for several seconds, inscribed into her ears like words in a book. The unknown man stumbled forward, carmine blood spewing from his orifices. She gave a contrite smile, but it was quickly replaced with an incredulous look. That shoot was loud enough to sound off the entire building--she forgot to put the silencer on her gun!

Not even bothering to look back at her teammates, she dashed towards the great tree and shot at the base. Something deeper than instinct told her the safe was there. Hinata was correct, the tree opened itself, yielding the front of the earth-colored safe. She shot again, surprising herself because she had not desisted shooting. This was the crux of the moment: she had not time to set back and watch the denouement of this nightmare. She reached her entire arm into the box, grasped the papers securely and rapidly galloped to the rope. Hinata hoped that the others weren't standing at a depredation, because they had to get moving--fast.

Kiba and Sasuke were already scaling the rope. She gave a sound of relief; she wasn't the fastest climber, so it was good that she climbed last. That way, if anyone were to be left behind, it would be her instead of the others.

Gunshots echoed in the air, and almost immediately a sharp pain stretched through out her arm. Blood cascaded down, not unlike a creek in springtime. Hinata gave a diaphanous gasp, so light and almost unnoticed by her teammates.

Hinata bit down hard on her tongue. She focused all of her strength to her arms and pushed forward. She couldn't fall behind, not now. Not when she was so close. Most defiantly not when she had the document. Hinata fixated her vision on the stretch of rope just above her hands.

Another intense pain radiated from her left leg, causing her to let out a more audible noise. Still, she did not let a detriment slow her down. Hinata pushed forward. She breathed in short, uneven pants.

She felt a warm arm embrace her and pull her up the rest of the way. Letting out the breath she didn't know she held, she relaxed and let herself be hauled out of the room that all of the sudden became very small.

Fresh cold air washed over her. The strong arms positioned her in a conjugal style. Wind danced past her ears as they flew to the car parked nearby.

"Are you alright? God, I thought they really got you. How did you keep going? You had me really worried. If that ever happens again, you yell or something, ok?" Kiba's concerned voice floated over to her from behind. It had a curative effect on her. Hinata let out a sigh, relaxing against the hard chest she was against. Her heart skipped a beat and her eyes popped open like summer lilies--if Kiba was behind her, then the person holding her had to be—

A warm, baritone voice rumbled her body, assuaging her like a mother's lullaby, "He's right, be more careful next time. And by the way," Sasuke paused, a smile almost visible in his voice, "good work back there.

- - -

It's very AU'ish, if your wondering, I wrote a vocab story using forty of the vocab words for english. I based the girl off of Hinata, but her name for english was 'Hana', and Kiba (although originally Naruto, I changed him to Kiba for here because Hinata would obviously like him better) was 'Nick'. The character for Sasuke was named "Shawn." They're not Ninja's here, they're spies with guns and stuff. I am way to lazy to change the entire story to fit into the 'Naruto' world, but it's cute all the same.