Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.


Hello everyone! Here's a new chapter! Sorry, the shorter chapters/more updates didn't really work, as you have probably noticed... School tried to murder me, so I was unable to update earlier... D: Oh, and thank you for everyone who reviewed chapter 7! (:

[Edited 5.21.2009]


Chapter 8.

A Bump on the Head


Temari didn't like being shoved aside. She needed to be close to the action, closer than standing behind a car – a car that was, for her liking at least, a bit too far away from said action. She understood that it was for their own safety, but that did not mean that she liked it one bit. Although she wasn't willing to do anything for a story, she was willing to take quite large risks. She loved her job. She loved to go after stories, especially when things got exciting – just like now. It gave her such an adrenaline rush, and it kept her from being bored to death. It made her feel alive.

Temari was practically leaning over the roof of their car; she was trying to spot something, anything, that would help with the story. She was feeling very impatient. Her brother was standing next to her, not looking very happy either. At least the headlights of the three police cars were lighting up the place, so it wasn't as dark as before, but that didn't change the fact that they were still too far away from the store. It would have been good if they had been allowed to stay behind one of the cop cars. That way they could have gotten at least some information on what was happening, but that had been denied from them as well.

Temari cursed in her mind, frustrated. Her eyes shifted away from the store to the car parked next to the gas pumps in front of the store. She paused, a fine eyebrow lifting. 'That car looks awfully familiar...'

She squinted her eyes, trying to have a better look.

A very expensive looking car, mostly black in colour with a bit of dark red and white on it.

'Could it be?'

No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't see well enough. If it really was Uchiha Sasuke's car, it should have a small Uchiha fan on its hood.

She needed to get a bit closer.

If her hunch was right, the story would definitely be a good one – a lot more interesting. Why? Uchiha Sasuke was very well known in Konoha. He was extremely popular, especially among young women – although Temari didn't understand why. Well, maybe she did, but she personally didn't think that being gorgeous and rich was enough – the guy was obviously personality-challenged. She had had the misfortune to interview the man a while back, and he did not leave a good impression on her. She thought that the young man was, among other things, arrogant, stuck-up, and quite rude.

Kankuro watched as his sister bent down a little and started to slowly move away from their car.

"What do you think you're doing?"

Swiftly, Temari turned her head toward her brother, putting a finger to her lips.

Kankuro lowered his voice a little, "They told us not to go any closer."

She rolled her eyes, speaking in a whisper, "That hasn't stopped me before, now has it?"

Kankuro frowned, "Temari --"

"I'll be okay. I'm just going to check out a hunch I have. If I'm correct, this could turn out to be a big story."

Before Kankuro could object, Temari had already turned away and started to move away from him.


Hatake Kakashi was lounging on a worn-out couch in his modest apartment at downtown Konoha. He was flipping through the channels of his very much outdated television. He didn't care much for television, not at all really. He didn't even know why he still had the damn thing.

So it goes without saying that he was very bored. It was a little after two o'clock at night, but he wasn't ready to go to bed yet. He wanted to go to sleep with his partner right next to him, but the other was currently at work.

The thought of his partner made him smile gently. Damn, he felt like such a sap – but he was so happy, the happiest he had felt in a long time. He would definitely wait until the other got off from work and got to his place, and then, together, they would go to bed and, in the morning, they would wake up together, right next to each other. After breakfast, he would take his partner somewhere nice – the zoo, maybe? Or would it be too cheesy? What about ice cream in the park? A bit of cheesiness was good once in a while, right? Kakashi smiled to himself. They both have the day off, which is rare, and he was planning on making the best of their time together.

Every time he pushed a button on the remote, the screen went black for a tiny moment, then another anonymous show popped on. Random shows came and went, but he paid them no heed.

That was until something caught his attention. Kakashi shifted his eyes to the television screen. A blond woman was doing the news, a microphone to her mouth.

"-- Yes, we are reporting live from the scene here at Sarutobi's gas station."

'Sarutobi's? Why does that sound so familiar?'

"We don't have details, but we know that at least three people are being held as hostages in the store. It's likely that the number of hostages is higher. We also believe that Uchiha corporation's young CEO, Uchiha Sasuke, is among them."

Kakashi's eyes widened. "Sasuke," he breathed out.

He listened to the rest of the newscast, feeling very worried for the safety of his friend.

"This is Sabaku Temari, reporting on the hostage situation at Sarutobi's. We'll keep you up to date on this situation as it unfolds. Now, back to the KNC studio."


Kakashi picked up his phone and started dialling; if Sasuke and Shino didn't answer their phones, there was no doubt about the fact that the two were in trouble.


A few minutes had gone by since the phone had rung and two of the robbers had left the staff room to answer it. The robber who had remained in the room with the hostages had been alternating between keeping an eye on them and eying the closed door. She seemed on edge.

It was very quiet and Naruto was deep in his thoughts, still just as worried about his friend as before.

Suddenly, a ring tone echoed through the room, sounding very harsh after the silence.

It made Naruto jump in his seat, his eyes widening. Slowly, he turned his head to his side. His eyes landed on a very startled looking Sasuke. The boy's back was as straight as a board and his eyes were impossibly wide.

The robber, and every single person in the room, had turned around to look at where the sound was coming from – to look at the three people sitting on or near the old, worn-out couch. The tension in the room had, once again, skyrocketed.

Then, all of a sudden, without a warning, the robber lunged towards the three; Sasuke, Naruto, and Sarutobi. "Whose is that?"

At the woman's shout, Sasuke snapped out of his shocked state.

Quickly, with a hand that shook a little, he reached into his pocket, intending to get the still ringing cell phone.

This, it seems, was not such a good idea.

When the robber saw Sasuke's – very sudden – movement, she quickly jumped to her own conclusions. She jumped on the boy immediately, hitting him on the side of the head with the butt of her gun. The force of the blow and the weight of the robber forced Sasuke's body to tip over and he fell to the floor, hitting his head on it. He groaned in pain, shutting his eyes.

A bit disoriented due to the blows to his head, Sasuke didn't realize that he should just stay still and let the woman have the phone, so, blindly, he tried to push the woman off him.

Naruto had had no time to react, it all happened so fast; one second Sasuke was trying to get the phone out of his pocket, and the next the dark-haired boy was lying on the floor, the robber on top of him.

When Naruto's brain finally caught up to what was going on, he leapt to his feet, "Hey!"

He grabbed both of the robber's shoulders, wanting to pull her off the other boy, but before he could do that, she elbowed him in the face. Alarmed, the robber also hit the boy under her, splitting his lip. Having received yet another hit to the head, Sasuke went still.

After the elbow to the face, Naruto had fallen to his backside, clutching his abused nose. With an angry shout, he got up and lunged at the robber again, but the second his hands touched the woman's shoulders, a loud sound – a gunshot to be exact – reverberated through the room. It made Naruto freeze and snap his head towards the door.

The two other robbers were standing in the doorway; the woman had her gun pointed towards the ceiling and the man was pointing his at Naruto. The horrified shrieks of some of the hostages had alerted Kimimaro and Tayuya to the fact that something wasn't right in the staff room.

Kimimaro ordered the blond in a cold voice, "Let go of her." And that was just what Naruto did, so fast that it was as if his hands had been burned.

"Sit down." Again, the blond did as he was told, chancing a quick glance at the boy on the floor, to check if he was still conscious.

Anko had taken the phone, which had stopped ringing at some point, from an unresisting Sasuke, who was lying on his back, eyes closed, clutching his head in pain. No doubt the boy was feeling a bit out of it, woozy.

Shino had also gotten up from his place on the floor, ready to help Sasuke, but then he had seen the two other robbers enter the room and he had decided that it would do no good to anyone to jump into the situation. He sat back down, lifting Kiba's head back into his lap.

Kimimaro shifted his eyes to Anko, "Now, what's going on here?"

The woman stiffly jerked her head towards Sasuke, "The kid's phone started ringing and we got into a little scuffle." She had acted purely out of reflex, out of instinct, when she had seen the boy reach into his pocket so quickly, but now that she thought about it, she didn't think that the boy had really been trying to answer the phone – that would have been idiotic.

Kimimaro shifted his eyes from Anko to the boy lying on the floor, "May I presume that no harm was done?"

"Yes, the phone stopped ringing on its own; it was not answered."

Kimimaro shifted his eyes back to Anko, "Good."

Anko nodded to no one in particular, deep in thought, looking at the phone in her hand, 'How could we have overlooked such a thing?'

These same thoughts echoed in Kimimaro and Tayuya's minds, too. They had been careless, and even though it was somewhat understandable, taking into consideration the fact that they were under a lot of pressure – what with being surrounded by cops and all – it wouldn't have been good if the hostages had managed to give information about the situation inside the store, the specifics, to an outsider – an outsider who would have, for certain, delivered the information to the police.

Kimimaro wasn't about to let this situation repeat itself, "Check them all for cell phones. Pat everyone down to be sure."

Both women nodded.

After a minute or two of groping, everyone in the room had been checked. Only one other cell phone was confiscated – Shino's. Everyone else had apparently left theirs in their car, and Kabuto had gotten to keep his own, of course.

Tayuya shut off the phone she had taken from Shino, putting it into her pocket. Just when she had done this, the two phones in the store started to ring again; apparently the ten minutes had already passed.

"Keep an eye on them," Kimimaro instructed Anko, then he turned to Tayuya, "You come with me."

The two robbers left the room again, leaving Anko alone with the hostages and Kabuto.

A little time, maybe a minute or two, passed before Naruto, worried about the boy still lying on the floor, broke the silence that had once again engulfed the room. The blond's voice was quiet, soft, "Are you alright?"

Sasuke scoffed, opening his eyes a little, peering at Naruto. He was still holding his head in his hand. "I was just trying to give the phone to her, I'm not an idiot."

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Naruto's lips twitched into a little smile. "And I just made it worse by attacking her, didn't I?"

Sasuke rolled his eyes, "Yeah, you did. Dobe."

Naruto blinked, "Hey! You don't have to be so brutally honest about it, bastard. I was trying to help you."

"You said it yourself, dobe, not me."

"Shut up." The blond was pouting.

Sasuke smirked, sitting up next to Naruto again. He tilted his head back, leaning against the couch behind him. He crunched his eyes shut – god, his head hurt, and he felt dizzy.

"Hey," said a voice gently. It made the dark-haired boy open his eyes and look at the boy next to him again.

Sasuke's eyes widened as he saw Naruto lift a hand as if the boy was going to touch his face. Midway, the blond seemed to change his mind, though, lowering the hand back down after letting it hover awkwardly in the air between them for a moment.

Naruto looked away from Sasuke, embarrassed, "Your lip is busted."

Now it was Sasuke's turn to blink. He brought his fingers to his lips, "Apparently it is." He looked at Naruto again, "Your nose is bleeding a little."

Naruto grinned, touching his nose, "I'm not surprised; it hurts like a bitch."


End of chapter 8.


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