Thank you sooo much to the people that reviewed, because I really want to continue this!
"I just can't." Ino growled. Half of her really considered hurdling her offered cup of tea across the room.
"You mean... you don't want to." Sakura asked. Patience like a damn rock, as Ino put it.
Her hair was up in a tight bun with only strands of her bangs free. She had a few lines by her eyes, but who of her generation didn't?
"..." Ino was silent. How could Sakura read her like that? Oh, right. She's a born genius and her best friend.
"You know him..." Ino said lowly, refusing to make eye contact. She thumbed the porcelain dish on her lap, steam rising to meet her already hot face.
"...yeah, I do." Sakura admitted.
Sasuke was like a firecracker you think is a dud...you really don't know when he's about to explode or take things calmly. He really lets his emotions get the better of him. If Ino told him the truth after all this time of hiding it, who knows what he'd do.
Would he hurt his family? No. Sakura refused to believe thoughts like these. I mean sure, he's unpredictable...but not a maniac.
But it's questions like these that were stopping Ino from revealing the truth...luckily neither Sakura nor Lee would have the heart to do Ino's work for her. This was somethings he had to figure out for herself...with their support.
In fact the only ones who know are them...and, well, Shikamaru.
Lee was awfully quiet.
Nearly Gai's double in appearance (and attitude), it was still unusual for him not to have his own input in this matter or words of comfort. Lee was only ever this quiet when he was considering something important. He finally met Ino's eyes with a frown.
"Perhaps..." He started. "I could have a word with him in advance?"
Ino finally spilled her tea, standing up. "No, no, no!"
"Lee, honey," Sakura started, shooting her husband an even look. "I thought we discussed it. We're only here for support."
Lee nodded, crossing the room to clean Ino's mess.
"I'm sorry..." She handed the glass to him, giving him a pleading look. "Could we just drop it for now?"
Lee nodded, disappearing into the kitchen.
"So..." Ino sat back down besides her friend. "How's Cheri doing?"
"She's doing fine," Sakura began. "Though...her inability to perform nin and genjutsu... like Lee, well, she's been having a hard time with that."
Ino nodded as Lee came back, leaning on the armrest of the couch.
"Of course, she has Lee teaching her taijutsu." She took Lee's hand in her own.
Lee smiled brightly, eyes becoming dramatically huge. "She's such a youthful student!"
Their blue eyed guest gave an uncertain smile.
"He's just so...cool." Pitch black eyes widen at the sight.
"Uh..." Another had their back to the thick tree trunk. "Why... a-are we doing this again?"
The black eyed girl turned to her friend and spoke in a low voice. "Oh, come on. You know you like him, too, Ame."
"B-but, Cheri...what if we're caught?" The girl asked with a horrified look.
"Jeeze..." Cheri stooped to her friend's hiding place. "You act like we'd be given the death sentence or something...just stand and have a quick peak."
Ame eyed her black eyed friend. She had the long hot pink hair tied in two low pigtails and her father's eyes...Cheri has told her, secretly, on many occasions that she's thankful for not inheriting his eyebrows as well.
Ame also knows that, despite how many times she denies it, she's disappointed in the other, rare, inheritance. The inability of using gen or ninjutsu.
But, Ame pondered thoughtfully, She's the strongest kunoichi when it comes to taijutsu that I've ever met.
Ame, who inherited her father's lack of height and whiskers, nodded. She hardened her pure white eyes and braced held her breathe. Quickly, she stood, shooting a look behind the tree.
Turning tomato red, she almost immediately collapsed to her knees.
"Well?" Cheri whispered with a grin. "What did I tell you?"
Ame ran a hand through her short blonde hair, as was her usual habit when emberassed. She had temporarily lost the ability to speak.
The image was still fresh in her mind, and she bowed her head in emberassment.
Now how did Ame Uzumaki manage to let her best friend talk her into this? She didn't even like Yui... at least not the way Cheri did...she had a more same-age interest that not even Cheri knows about.
"We'd better hurry back before sensei finds out we're gone." Cheri smiled, pulling her shorter friend along by the arm, still hidden by the tree's shadow.
Just girls, Yui thought. Their whispers had confirmed that. Twelve...maybe thirteen(1)? Probably Ren's classmates playing hookie.
He abandoned the unimportant thought, wiping the sweat from his brow with a spare towel.
He was completely shirtless, which is most likely the reason he was the perfect target for a peep show. He'd been practicing fire jutsu on many life sized dummies he'd set up in the clearing.
They're leaving...no. Someone else?
Yui threw three kunai into a small tree.
After a flock of birds errupted into the afternoon sky, a shadow shot across the clearing. It was much too quick for the naked eye to follow and almost before Yui could react, he'd locked kunai with one very familiar figure.
"Hey...father." Yui said with mild disappointment. He'd been hoping for a challenge today.
He discarded the kunai besides his Jounin vest and turned to his father, who did the same.
"Follow." Sasuke said, turning his back to his eldest son.
It was a demand, not a request. Yui obeyed, picking up and slipping on his shirt, mesh, and vest.
Great, a talk. This ought to be good.
(1) He's talking about age. That is, unless he's having an ego trip and thinks 13 girls would skip class to hide in trees to spy on him, lol.