:Author's Note:

Hey to you all.

So, I'm pretty glad some of you aren't confused anymore.

WOW i have got to rewrite some of those crappy chappies.


err, yeah...

Chapter 23 (omg) :

/BTW/ this scene was the HARDEST to write out. and I tried my best to tone it down on the crack.


Sakura's eyelids began to flutter open as the sun's rays cascaded through the trees and danced across her face.


The young kunoichi jolted up as she came to recall particular events that happened the day before.

"Crap, Crap, Crap!", she repeated under her breath. The rosette got onto her feet, gingerly made her way around sleeping bodies, and toward the quiet rivulet flowing downstream.

Plopping onto the ground, Sakura swiftly dips her cupped hands into the water before bringing them up to her lips.

'Mm…refreshing' she thought while taking more big sips.

Suddenly, she felt mr. sun's warm presence disappear in a blink, and instead found herself sitting in someone's shadow.

Sakura turned to find her raven-haired teammate who was towering over her body with emotionless eyes and hands shoved in pockets.

"We overslept" Sasuke stated in a low voice.

Sakura slowly nodded in response. "And to top it off," she added grimly, "we don't have any scrolls in our possession... since that gay-ass sannin burned our heaven scroll". She sighed as she got up and dusted herself off.

The boy glared at his feet, his fists were clenched at his sides. "We're gonna have to work twice as fast. And we'll need an ample amount of energy to do that. Lucky for us, we haven't eaten the whole day and the dobe is still out cold" his voice dripped with sarcasm.

Sakura's face was unreadable as she brushed past him and bent down to gather her belongings.

"Let's move out. There's a slight chance we'd be able to reach the tower before nightfgall. Keep in mind, Orochimaru and his followers can easily pick up on our trail. So keep your eyes peeled. Understood?"

"Hn" was his response. He blankly stared down at the blonde whose body was sprawled out on the gravel.

Sakura's attention turned to Naruto as well. "Ah, he'll recover in an hour or so. In the meantime, you can carry him on your back." A small smirk appeared on her face when she perceived a flicker of disgust on his face.

The girl tilted her head. "I'm sure a strong, muscular shinobi like yourself wouldn't mind carrying a little extra weight"

The Uchiha youth rolled his eyes and went off to gather his bag and his dobe.

Silently, Sakura tore her gaze away from Sasuke and looked toward the tall trees in the far distance.

'Please be safe you two'


TWO HOURS BEFORE… -(muy importante: -sigh-just in case you forgot. Pakkun is Kakashi's ugly talking dog.

him, future-kakashi and that other dog(whose name would not care to look up) are DISGUISED as bunch of genin kids)

A teenage girl with black hair which fell all the way to her thigh cried out in frustration, "Kami, how hard is it to find a pink-haired chick with an emo dude and a blonde freak wearing a bright orange jumpsuit?!"

"Er- I dunno, Kin. How hard is it?", asked the boy with the air holes implanted in his palms.

Kin heaved a sigh "That was supposed to be a rhetorical question. Little cunt…"

"Guah?! Watch who you're mouthing off to you slut-faced ho-bag-"

"Kin! Zaku! You two better not be doing what I think you're doing," a mummy-like man growled over his shoulder. "I'm in a pretty shitty mood today, so I want just PEACE and QUIET until we reach our destination."

"Whatever", Zaku mumbled. 'What's he talking about. He's always in a shitty mood'

"Dammit. No wonder Orochimaru-sama put me in charge of you two. I'd rather hang around a pair of chattering monkeys. With rabies."

Kin couldn't help but roll her eyes. "Oh please. He's no better than the rest of us'

Almost at that very second, Dosu whipped around and pulled out a dagger from under his cloak. His eyes were alert and menacing.

Kin immediately froze. 'Shit. Did he like, read my mind?!'

Much to her surprise (again), the dagger whizzed past her, into a nearby bush. Instantly, 3 foreign-nin soared out of their hiding spot and landed eight feet in front of them.

Instinctively, she and Zaku drew out a kunai of their own.

Dosu narrowed his eyes toward the guy in front. He looked about the same age as him, but had spiky- black hair and dark eyes. His eyes shifted onto the boy's hetai-ate.

'Hn. A rock-nin.'

Behind him, a short pudgy boy with bags under his eyes. And the other one, who had snow-white hair and a very wolf-like appearance.

"Hey, Dosu. Who are these punks?", Zaku asked. "Say the word and I'll blast them away with my super slicing sound wave!!

"That won't be necessary", His mummy-teammate hissed in reply, taking a glance towards him. "We're not going to waste our energy on these pathetic lowlifes. We have important obligations-"

"Who are you calling lowlifes?," the pudgy one snapped, clearly insulted.

His leader closed his eyes and let out a sigh. " Just save it, Pakkun. You two keep on the look out, as planned. I'll just get this over with." The mysterious spiky-haired rock-nin began to crack his knuckles.

"You got it Kakashi-san," Pakkun nodded and vanished along with his partner.

Now Dosu was insulted by the lack of emotion the one called Kakashi had on his face. 'Wait a second...Kakashi??' He gasped out loud. 'Nope. Doesn't ring a bell'

"So yeah, I've been ordered to kill you sound kids and take your earth scroll. No hard feelings but...", he reached for the katana that's been strapped to his back.

Kin, and Zaku broke out in mock laughter.

"I-Is this guy serious?!" Kin bellowed.

"Yeah, what a joke" Zaku snickered.

They looked over at Dosu who was silent for the whole time. Then they looked over at the rock-nin who had on a smug expression. His katana began to glow and spark with electricity surging through his whole body.

That shut'em up.

(A.N. Who would've known that Kakashi copied this Chidori Nagashi shit from Sasuke?)

"Damn, I can't believe I missed out on the whole fight," Naruto whined " I really wanted to see Sakura-chan whip that demon-lady's fugly ass-"

"Keep it down!" Sasuke and Sakura hissed simultaneously.

The blonde cringed. "Sorry! Sheesh..."

Sakura shook her head. "I already told you, Naruto. We don't wanna draw attention to ourselves out here. And that demon-lady's really a man in disguise, remember?"

Team 7 continued to leap from tree branch to tree branch with Sasuke in the lead (as usual) and the other two close behind.

"Tch. I know. Orochi...whatever-it-was" the blonde fox vessel responded with a pout.

Sasuke began to slow down his pace so his body would go right in between Naruto and Sakura as they leapt.

"Naruto. I need to speak with her for a minute" Sasuke spoke without even sparing him a glance.

"Who? Sakura-chan?"

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Who else, dobe?"

Naruto stuck his tongue out at him. "Fine, no one's stopping you," he sneered.

Few Seconds later...

"I need to speak with her privately" Sasuke spoke through gritted teeth.

"I get it! I'm going, I'm going." In a 'humph', Naruto took a big chakra-powered leap several branches ahead until he was in the lead. And out of hearing range.

"I liked it better when he was unconscious..." Sasuke muttered inaudibly.

"So...," the girl beside him started, " What's on your mind?"

Hearing no response, she briefly cleared her throat as she stole a curious glance towards her teammate.

"This Orochimaru..." his eyes suddenly met hers, which nearly threw her off balance. "What exactly does he want with me?," he asked, continuing to watch her from the corner of his eye.

Sakura quickly averted her gaze, and suddenly found her blue sandals a bit more interesting to look at.

"Yay! You're totally prepared. You know exactly how to answer this question!"-Inner Sakura cheered.

"Uh, I don't know..." she lied. SFX in background: alter ego Sakura choking on her spit.

"Uh, I think you do." he replied coolly. She wasn't looking, but she had a gut feeling the Uchiha was a little annoyed with her response.

"Alright, you caught me. He totally wanted to drag you to his lair, strip you of your clothing, and do you from behind. Satisfied?"


Sakura continued to avoid his scowl. "Sorry, I take that back. I couldn't resist, you know?"


There was silence after that. Sasuke remained impassive, and Sakura was busy blowing her bangs out of her face.

"Orochimaru...he kinda reminds me of you. I mean, come to think of it," The pink haired youth stated blankly.

Sasuke's eyes slightly narrowed. "how so?"

The girl shrugged. "I don't know. You're both mysterious, intelligent...strong...and don't forget a downright bastard. Basically the same personality."

"Don't compare me to that guy."

Sakura bit down on the inside of her cheek.

"I think you heard me talking about him being an S-class criminal. A missing-nin?"

"Like Zabuza," she heard him mutter to himself.

"Sure. Only a thousand-times stronger than Zabuza. Do you know what village Orochimaru came from?"


"Right here in Leaf."


"He wanted revenge on Konoha. Only a few people in this leaf village know why." she glanced at him. "I'm one of those few. But we'll save that for a later time."

Again, she heard no response. But she assumed he wanted to hear some more.

"In order to have his revenge, he must obtain a great deal of power. That's why he fled. Now you're probably wondering whats this got to do with you," she rambled on.

"...Aa". Though he would never admit it, her raven-haired teammate was slightly impressed by how much his friend knew. Yes, friend.

" He would do anything to get back at Konoha. If he thinks you're gonna make it a reality, then so be it."

Sasuke blinked. Really wasn't the answer he was expecting.

'That went well, don't you think?' Sakura was quite pleased by the way she handled the situation. She took a big leap. Inner Sakura rolled her eyes. 'If you say so.'

"Hey, teme! If I didn't know any better, I 'd think you were flirting with my Sakura-chan" Naruto said over his shoulder. This snapped Sakura rudely out of her thoughts.

"Hn, you're right. You didn't know any better." Sasuke deadpanned.

"Why, you son-of-a-bitch."

"You wanna come over here and say that to my face?"

Naruto whipped around and went right in his face." I said, You. Son. Of. A Bitch! What, are you Deaf?"

"Watch it you two. We're traveling 30 feet above ground level, and I won't hesitate to push you off!" the very vexed kunoichi raised her fist menacingly.

Naruto shivered. 'Sometimes I forget how violent she really is...'

"Sakura, up ahead." Sasuke spoke suddenly. "I think they're leaf ninja." Sakura and Naruto followed Sasuke's eyes and squinted at the same direction he was facing.

"Naruto, can you recognize them from over there?" she called to the boy up in front.

Naruto stared at the three ant-like figures. "I think so...wait! I see them! It's Hinata, Kiba, and that weird bug-freak!"

Sasuke and Sakura sped faster to catch up with Naruto.

"You mean Shino." Sakura corrected. She liked Shino. She had grown to respect the man and his bug friends.

"Should we just pass through?" Sasuke asked "What if they'll attack?"

Sakura's forehead creased. She had just realized Sasuke and Naruto were treating her like team captain. It was a very pleasurable, yet creepy experience the teen kunoichi. She had never been the 'head honcho' in all the years of her shinobi life.

"Uh, we'll just pass through. I'm not in the mood for friendly conversation," she announced, " I doubt team 10 would try to attack us. But let's just hope for the best..."


"What's that, Akamaru? Someone's behind us? Who?"

"Bark, Bark"

"You don't say? Heh, I thought by now they'd be wormfood"

"W-why would you say that Kiba-kun?"

Kiba snickered. "Because that moron, Naruto is in that team. Duh."

Hinata blushed when she heard her beloved's name. "That's not nice, Kiba-kun."

The Inizuka boy frowned. "Whatever. I say we take their scrolls!"

"Don't be absurd Kiba. That Uchiha kid is on that team. And my bugs tell me the female of the group is just as strong."

"Besides...don't we have all the scrolls we n-need?" the hyuuga girl asked timidly.

"Fine, fine" Kiba rolled his eyes. "But only because they're leaf. The next foreign ninja I see is mincemeat."

As they tree-hopped, the three made way for the approaching team.

Kiba, Shino, and Hinata eyed Team 7, who were coming up beside them. Neither of them made eye contact. Except for Naruto of course. He just had to say it...

"HI HINATA! HI KIBA! HI SHINO! We're so gonna pass this exam, dattebayo-"

"Naruto, you idiot! What did I just say?!" Sakura struck him upside the head, which caused him to fall back.

But don't worry, he caught up to them.

"Oh yeah..." Naruto said shamefully.

He turned to the Hyuuga opposite him, "Sorry, Hinata. I'm supposed to ignore you guys" he grinned.

Hinata felt her cheeks burn up and found herself fainting.

Kiba, who was behind the girl, sped up to catch her before she could descend to the ground below.

"Hinata!" team 10 stopped on the same tree branch, allowing team 7 to go ahead of them. Kiba tried to shake her awake, but failed. Shino continued to watch the group from behind his dark spectacles.

'What's the rush?'

Naruto heard his stomach growl, rather loudly. "Man, I would kill for a bite to eat. We shoulda asked Hinata if she was carrying some ramen in her pack. Or maybe Kiba would let me eat his dog..."

"Stop complaining, Naruto" Sasuke commanded. You're not the only one who's starving here."

They both turned to Sakura and gave her expectant looks. Well, Naruto did. Sasuke looked sorta blank there.

Sakura wordlessly opened her pack and pulled out a tiny black pouch. She reached for whatever was inside and inserted one in her mouth. It was the others to see.

She tossed it to Naruto, who was closest to her. "They're food pills. It's 'supposed to increase your energy for a certain amount of time. It won't be enough to cease the hunger, but it's something at least."

Naruto placed one on his hand, and rolled it around in his palm like he was inspecting it. "So do I eat it or something?"

Sakura's mouth twitched. "Only if you wanna kick some serious ass tonight"

"Hell yeah I do! I've been dying for some action these past two days." He happily popped it into his mouth, then passed it to Sasuke, who immediately swallowed one as well.

"What are the side affects?" the raven-haired boy asked while tossing the pouch back to Sakura.

Sakura's mouth twitched again. 'Notice how he asks right after he put it in his mouth'. Meanwhile, Naruto was leaping from one branch to another in a speed twice as fast as before.

"Don't worry about the side affects," she said, "I'm only allowing one per-SHIT, Naruto look out!"

"Huh?" Before he could stop himself, a figure appeared right in his path.

Sakura and Sasuke cringed as they watched their teammate collide with the unidentified ninja. The tangled pair went falling 6 feet below onto a sturdy branch. Sakura and Sasuke carefully descended one by one towards the battered figures.

'Anko?' Sakura thought to herself. She approached the purple-haired woman who was comfortably sitting on top of Naruto. The jounin dusted herself off, then helped the blonde on his feet.

"Thanks for breaking my fall, kiddo" Anko grinned sheepishly.

Worry replaced the bewildered expression on the genin-girl's face. "Hi...er-what are you doing here?" Sakura asked.

Anko's grin suddenly disappeared and her eyes were wet and weary. "I uh...barely made it alive. There were clones. Hundreds of them. All our men are dead or soon will be..."

Sakura's lips parted, but never uttered a word. The boys were also silent, not daring to make a sound. They looked at each other in all seriousness, then gazed at the trembling kunoichi. She couldn't look at them. She'd feel vulnerable and weak. She won't let them see that. So the girl avoided their stares, and allowed stray locks of hair fall over her eyes.

"Is he...dead too?" she asked, barely over a whisper. Anko felt pity for this girl.

" I honestly don't know. I couldn't find him anywhere. Last time I saw him, he and Orochimaru were locked in an intense battle."

Sasuke stiffened when her words reached his ears. His eyebrows furrowed. 'What battle?' he took a glance at Sakura. 'How is she involved in any of this?'

"Ahem. Uhm...sorry to interrupt your conversation, but me and Sasuke are feeling a little left out here..." said Naruto with an awkward wave of his hand.

Sakura blinked. "...yeah...sorry I almost forgot."

"So are you gonna tell us or what? I hate not knowing things..." Naruto pouted.

Sakura's eyes shifted from Naruto, to Sasuke, to Anko. " Now is not the time. But there's been a change of plan."

Anko nodded. "I'm glad I bumped into you in the first place", she gazed down at the deep forest ahead of them," I was looking for help. Some of these guys need lots of medical attention".

Again, Sasuke and Naruto turned to Sakura, who's eyes held anger and determination.

"Lead the way."

Meanwhile, somewherez else...

A flock of birds' feathers were rustling loudly amongst the treetops. Tenten, Neji, and Rock Lee were dozing off, leaning against the hard bark of the tree trunk. All of a sudden, Neji jolted awake and looked up at the sky. His Byakugan activated.

Neji's sudden movements startled Tenten and Lee, disturbing them from their peaceful snooze.

Tenten yawned. "Neji, wassa-matter?"

"1, 2, 3, 4. There are 4 birds" Neji stated.

Tenten sweat-dropped. "That's...just fabulous, Neji"

"Also, that proctor...her name is Anko, correct?"

"What are you trying to get at, Neji-kun?," Lee asked, wiping the sleep out of his eyes.

"She is traveling with that Haruno girl. And the Uchiha kid as well."

"Don't forget that loud-mouth weirdo. He's in that group as well." Tenten smirked.

Neji closed his eyes and frowned. "Whatever. We will follow them. I'm curious to know where that jounin is taking them to. We already have all our scrolls so we have more than enough time."

"Hey, Sakura-chan? Just who were you two talking about back there? The one who got to fight with that fugly demon lady?" Naruto asked enthusiastically from behind his pink-haired teammate.

Curious, Anko, craned her neck to get a glimpse of Sakura.

Sakura forced a smile for her teammate. "Ah, don't worry about it. Some fellow just got badly wounded."

Sasuke's dark orbs were fixated on this pink-haired girl. Though he hadn't realized it before, Sakura had been the girl he had grown to respect. But he could never seem to figure her out. She was definitely hiding something from her teammates. 'Although...' his eyes moved to the back of Anko's head. '...it seems like everybody else knows what it is except us.'

"Well, so it's just some guy, right?", Naruto said, "What's this gotta do with us?"

Anko suddenly took a sharp turn. The group quickly followed after her. Sakura decided to ignore Naruto's last question and just stared straight ahead. She sensed a bad feeling. "We're getting close..."

Anko gave a brief nod. But as the female jounin's foot landed on a branch, she felt a strong pain on her left shoulder. She grunted in discomfort, then glanced back at Sakura. "We're close alright."

Sakura halted next to the purple-haired woman and examined her shoulder. The boys stood closely behind her. Sasuke's eyes spotted a strange black tattoo on Anko's shoulder, but only widened when he realized that it was the source of her pain. 'the hell is that?'

Sakura's eyes scanned Anko's entire body. Something was wrong. The sleeve of her trench-coat appeared very damp. Come to think of it, so did other sections of the coat as well.

"Anko, would you remove your coat, please?" the rosette asked politely.

The proctor was hesitant. "Why?"

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"

Anko glanced at the two boys peeking over Sakura's shoulder. "Well, you know. My blouse is all fishnet... It's completely see-through! I mean, I'd be more than happy to flash my tits in front of two innocent 12-year old boys, but-"

"Oh, please...," Sakura said while rolling her eyes. "you're obviously hiding something under there. Just lemme look at it before it gets too serious. Time's running short, you know."

"Fine...," Anko sighed. She smirked at Sasuke and Naruto. "But, seriously. Turn around, would you?"

Sasuke and Naruto did as they were told, both inwardly disappointed they didn't get to see some boobies. haha, little fuckers...

Anko shrugged off her trench-coat, revealing various cuts, stab wounds, and black bruises. Her left arm was poorly bandaged and was soaking with blood. Sakura hurriedly removed the filthy bandages and examined the second-degree burn.

She was about to focus chakra into her fingers until a hand gently smacked it away. She looked up at Anko in surprise.

"Don't." Anko spoke sternly. " I'll be fine. I made it this far haven't I?"

Sakura's eyebrows bunched to together. "What are you saying?"

"There are others who need your medic abilities a lot more than me. Just go now. I think I'll stick around for a little while longer..." she said, wrapping the trenchcoat around her shoulders.

"But...," she stopped and closed her mouth. The Haruno girl didn't know what to do. She wanted to help her, but she had to find past-Kakashi, who could be on the verge of dying. And if he's dead, then she's dead. Well, not literally. A small growl emitted from her throat. 'What a drag!'

Sakura turned around to meet Sasuke's and Naruto's gaze. "I'm sorry, you guys. But you two have to stay with Anko for a little bit."

"What?!" Naruto, Sasuke, and Anko cried out in protest.

"I'm not babysitting." Anko crossed her arms to her chest.

"I'm not staying with this old hag while you take part in all the action!" Naruto stepped forward. His cerulean blue eyes were pleading.

Sakura turned her back to him. "Just please do what she tells you for now. I'll explain it all to you later." She glanced back at Anko and gave her an 'I trust in you to look after them while I'm gone' look. Anko just waved her hand and gave her a look that said 'yeah, and this better be worth it'.

Sasuke notice this and felt a little flustered and anguished. He glared at Sakura. "Just do whatever you need to do and come back." 'You have a lot of explaining to do. You're lucky I'm not complaining...'

Sakura nodded and disappeared within a blink of an eye. "Ja ne"

When Sakura arrived at the battle-grounds, she was horrified at the sight of dozens upon dozens of bodies sprawled out on the ground. Almost half of them were dangling from vines and tree limbs. And they were all dead.

A deep frown appeared on her face. "What happened here?", she muttered to herself. Sakura heard a moan in reply. And it sounded like it was coming form her feet. She looked down, almost shrieking when she felt a hand grasp her leg. It was a man who's other limbs were torn off. A katana was lodged into his back. Sakura flinched. There was no point in trying to save this man now. He had just died.

Mortified, Sakura pried herself from the dead man's grasp and immediately fled. She had sensed Kakashi's signature ahead. She could taste it even. Blood, maybe?

But no! He wasn't alone! And that's when she saw him. Leaning against the foot of a tree unconscious. Towering over him was a gray-haired teen, wearing those oh-so familiar round glasses.

Sakura let out a tiny gasp, but loud enough for the man to hear. He whipped around and spotted the pink-haired girl in the shadows.

"Ah, I know you," he smirked, "You're that cute little girl with the strange hair-color."

"What do you think you're doing, Kabuto?" Sakura growled. She glanced down at the scalpel in his hand. "Adding him to your sick little collection?"

Kabuto stiffened. "huh, so you know about my collection, I see..." he pushed his glasses further up his nose with his forefinger. "Orochimaru warned me about you before he left to go find Sasuke. He told me not to underestimate your skills."

The Haruno youth began her fighting position. "Oh, did he now?"

The sound-nin smirked again. "He also told me you know medic-ninjutsu. Would you care to demonstrate this special ability of yours?"

I cant continue this chapter anymore. i feel its long enough... i kno i rushed the ending but its a quarter to midnight at my house. and i have skool and crap the following day.

liek OMG I gave Naruto more than 3 lines in this story. liek no wayyy!!


review, review, review.