Author's Notes: PLEASE READ Arigato for making it to the final chapter

PLEASE READ!!

Arigato for making it to the final chapter. Your reviews have been wonderful dear readers I couldn't be happier. I've decided to do an Adventures series. If you would like to be informed when I post the next segment please send me a personal message or include it in your review and I will be certain to send you a message with the details and posting date.

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Day 7: Operation: Take Back The Girls! The Quicker The Better!

-

"Teme, we've been tracking these guys for hours. Where the hell do you think they've taken Sakura-chan and Miyako-chan?" questioned Naruto while carrying Yuuki on his back.

The sharingan was activated in both eyes, "I'm assuming that they're leading us to the edge of the village."

"Ack! Not that district!" cried Naruto receiving a curious glance from the boy on his back and the other boy on the back of his clone as they continued to leap from branch to branch.

The sharingan user glared at the dobe and resumed his focus on the path ahead. His mind kept replaying the scene.

"Sasuke-kun, it makes me really happy to know that you finally accept me as your teammate."

Her words caught him off guard as he turned his attention toward her with a confused expression.

"You've always been my teammate," was his honest reply, his gaze locked with her's and he understood, "Aa. Just because I never said the words didn't mean that I didn't accept you."

"Sasuke-kun," hesitantly began the medic pulling her eyes away from his, "ano…Sasuke-kun, you and I are…" she shifted her gaze back to his as if pleading with him to put into words their relationship.

"Hn. Sakura you and I are…"

"Hai?" she questioned leaning in closer to hear his murmured response.

"You and I are," the fact that she had gotten closer to him, because he was mumbling—although Uchiha's don't mumble—had not gone unnoticed, "We're…"

Her gaze quickly found a small piece of paper peeking out of the kunai pouch on his thigh, "What's this?" she questioned and pulled it out before she could stop herself. Her eyes widened as she read it and started giggling.

"What's so funny?" questioned the Uchiha as she presented him with the information.

"It's that list that the old lady from the grocery store gave you when we had to go find the key to those handcuffs," she informed with a laugh, "Date Tips: No. 1 Tell her about a quality that she possesses that you like the most—think wisely before you open your mouth. No. 2 if you like her just say so, we're smart but we're not mind readers you know—although beating or glaring at all men who look at her are a good indication. No. 3 actions speak louder than words—don't be an ice cube, would it kill you to hold her hand or hug her every now and then?"

Sakura couldn't help herself from laughing, "I can't believe that you kept this."

Sasuke looked offended, "I had forgotten that it was there."

"Of course you did," she remarked and tucked it back into the pouch, "I'll just let you hold onto it for safe keeping."

"Sakura," he began, "I would say that you and I are—

"Sakura-chan? Teme?" came a voice as a blonde head appeared from out of nowhere in back of them.

The two teens flailed about for a moment before regaining their balance and shooting a glare at the offender.

"Nani?" questioned Naruto blinking, "Did you see a bug or something?"

"Something like that," remarked Sasuke.

"Naruto, what is it?" questioned Sakura, trying to hide the blush etched on her cheeks.

"Miyako-chan's not out in the garden with us. Yuuki said she went out back to the wooded area on the other side of the house to pick special flowers for Sakura-chan."

"Flowers? For me?" wondered Sakura, "I'll go get her, you two stay here with the others."

"Sure thing Sakura-chan," replied Naruto and his head disappeared from view.

Sakura sweatdropped, "Ano, Sasuke-kun," she began, "We'll finish our conversation when I get back, ne?"

He merely nodded in affirmation, seeing her smiling face and her emerald eyes locked on him, "Aa."

And like that she was gone and disappearing around the corner of the house.

Miyako had been terrified when he and Naruto had rounded the corner. The little girl had been pulled from Sakura…

Sakura…

He was confident that she had heard them approaching. His fist clenched at the memory of her tears and how unfocused emerald eyes moved toward their direction while electricity coursed through her body.

If they hurt her, I'll…

His inner musings ceased momentarily at the thought of the medic nin.

"Why Sasuke-kun?"

The Uchiha leans forward and can clearly tell that she is starting to cry, "What's wrong Sakura?"

"Why Sasuke-kun?" she murmurs yet again, "Why did you say arigato?"

Silence passes over them as he watches several more tear drops fall and disappear into the fabric of her skirt. Finally after what seems like eternity he has found the words to explain that simple phrase.

"Sakura," began the raven haired shinobi, "the reason why I said arigato that night was because I understood that your words were sincere," he took a deep breath and then continued, "There were so many people who would have promised me the same things as you, but only yours were true. It wasn't your words Sakura, but your emotions that were transparent that night. What else could I say to you?" He paused, waiting for her to say something yet no words were spoken, "Arigato was the only word of gratitude that I could express to you that night."

"Sasuke-kun," she whispered, turning to face him with glassy emerald orbs reflecting her emotions, "Sasuke-kun I…" she hesitantly held out her hand toward him then retracted it in uncertainty.

With every ounce of her being she leaned forward securing her arms around him and let the tears flow freely, "Gomen nasai, Sasuke-kun," she murmured, her grip on him never waiving, "Gomen nasai, please let me hold you…" her voice was strained by the sobs that were erupting from within her throat, "You can push me away after, but please let me just hold you for a moment. Please Sasuke-kun you and I are…"

And sometimes our pleas are answered in ways that are unexpected. For it was in that moment that the medic felt the Uchiha return her embrace and his whispered response,

"I'm not going to push you away Sakura."

Damn it, why did this have to happen? And what the hell is it that I feel for Sakura anyways?

To him Sakura was one of his most trusted comrades; even as a genin he had understood this. She was also the only girl that he had ever tolerated being within a two to five feet radius of himself. And he'd be damned if he was going to let those bastards get away with taking her from him…

Oh and Naruto too…

Of course.

"Naruto Onii-san, we're going to get Miyako and Sakura Onee-chan back right?" asked a hopeful Yuuki.

"Damn right we are!" announced Naruto with a foxy grin, "No one takes Sakura-chan or Miyako-chan and gets away with it!"

"It would appear that they probably intend to ransom Miyako and Sakura Onee-chan," informed the young mastermind on the clone's back, "If we continue at this pace we should arrive around dawn."

Naruto sweatdropped, "How do you know so much?"

"Kaa-san buys our Shinobi Charms in the outer district," interjected Yuuki with a smile.

"Don't tell me she takes you with her?!" gasped Naruto.

"Of course not!" replied Yuuki, "We go with Otou-san of course."

Both Naruto and his clone nearly lost their footing at the boy's innocent statement.

The Uchiha's thoughts were who the hell brings their kids to that district for cereal?

"Hurry up Naruto!" came Sasuke's annoyed voice.

"Hai! I got it!" informed Naruto picking up the pace, "We're going to kick their asses and retrieve Sakura-chan and Miyako-chan!"

-

"Boss, that girl's been out for a while now," came a voice from the surrounding darkness.

"That's because she had enough electricity surging through her to knock out someone twice her size."

"What should we do with the brat?"

"She's not hurting anything by clinging to that girl and at least she stopped her godforsaken yelling. Just leave her for now while I set to work on the ransom letter."

The door shut behind them and the only light evident was from the small barred window in the room.

"Sakura Onee-chan," pleaded a scared little girl, "Please wake up Onee-chan…"

"Naruto, Sakura," began the hokage as she sat behind her desk her almond eyes fixated on the pair, "I'm sure that you are anxious to know the verdict of Uchiha Sasuke's sentence."

Both teens could feel the tension in the air. It had been a long time since Sasuke had been retrieved and the council had hemmed and hawed over an appropriate sentencing. The hokage herself had been partial to the Uchiha since he was the link between her apprentice and her former teammate's protégé.

"It has been decided that Uchiha Sasuke will be left in the care of Team Kakashi."

Their eyes widened at her statement and the hokage smiled inwardly.

"Well don't just stand there, go and get your ward!"

"Hai!" came two astonished replies.

"And remember," her voice ceased their movement, "the Uchiha is on probation. I trust you will keep a close eye on him. Kakashi will join your shortly."

It was the first time since they had set eyes on the Uchiha since he had been detained in Konoha. They hesitantly stood outside as an ANBU operative moved aside and opened the door. The light from the hallway shown in the room and fell on a silent figure.

She could feel Naruto's apprehension and gently took hold of his clenched fist. The response was as she had imagined it would be as his fist unclenched and a foxy grin appeared on his face.

"Well Teme looks like Sakura-chan and I are your newly appointed babysitters!"

With a smirk that accidentally crossed her face and a Hn in response the ice was broken and Team Kakashi was on its way toward healing.

Babysitting sure was a trying job, minor missions—aka: Tsunade's errands—yet over the course of several months they were back on track.

So when Kakashi had informed them of an A-Rank mission it was no wonder why they had responded with such enthusiasm mimicking their twelve year old selves.

Apparently babysitting came in all forms. One year of babysitting an Uchiha, 7 hellish days of babysitting minions of evil.

The medic continued to dream for the time being. Her rational mind told her to open her eyes, but she was content with reliving her memories of the last year. To think that so many years of training would finally benefit Naruto and herself and allow them to reach the Uchiha. No, that was only part of their hardships; they wanted the Uchiha to acknowledge them as worthy shinobi. Sakura had wanted the Uchiha to respect her as a kunoichi, to see past the twelve year old lovesick girl and acknowledge her for the accomplished medic nin that she had become.

Unknown to her someone else was reminiscing…

-

"Sasuke?" came the voice of his reinstated sensei who was currently sitting in a tree with one of his perverse novels and an aloof air.

He was regarded with a, "Hn?"

His sensei's visible eye surveyed the area falling upon their other two teammates.

"Sasuke, do you finally acknowledge Naruto and Sakura?"

Silence lapsed as the Uchiha's eyes moved toward the two figures sitting under a tree. He noticed that the male appeared to be telling a story, using his hands to explain how large something must have been. He noted that the female looked skeptical and smirked when her companion nodded his head to let her know that he was serious. The pair must have found their conversation amusing for both broke out in laughter.

His sensei continued, "Naruto will surpass Jiraiya some day. He spent a lot of time traveling with him after you left," he noted that the Uchiha was listening and continued, "And Sakura, she requested that the hokage take her as an apprentice. Sakura underwent two and a half years of physical training by Tsunade-sama and has become an excellent medic nin. With precise chakra control, coupled with medical ninjutsu she has the ability to surpass Tsunade-sama."

The Uchiha hadn't answered his sensei's question that day; however, he realized the answer even if it was not voiced.

Perhaps strength wasn't always what determined a true shinobi. Perhaps it was determined by the definition of the word…

"Tonight we're going for ramen," announced Naruto as they walked down the path toward the village.

"Who put you in charge dobe?" questioned the Uchiha walking with his hands in his pockets, "Besides I thought it was Sakura's turn to choose."

"Hai, hai," began Naruto waving his hand, "But Sakura-chan will agree with me. Right Sakura-chan?"

They ceased walking and turned to find their female companion absent.

"Sakura-chan?"

Their eyes found her form a ways back with her hand on a little girl's head. Upon closer observation as they retraced their steps they realized that the child was crying over a small bird in her hands.

Sakura pushed the girl's bangs from her eyes, "Is that your bird?"

"Hai, he got out and when I found him the neighbor's cat…" she trailed off sobbing.

Her hand left the child's head as she sat on her knees, "Hold out your bird to me," came her gentle command.

The girl blinked in confusion yet submitted to the request.

The Uchiha's eyebrow raised in interest, while Naruto stood perfectly still with a hopeful look. Sakura took a deep breath before performing several seals; she then placed her palms over the lifeless bird and closed her eyes.

A gust of wind appeared from nowhere lifting the ends of her hair as the glow of chakra emanated from her hands. The little girl's eyes widened feeling movement in her cupped hands.

The medic took another deep breath as the wind intensified and her chakra surrounded the tiny form.

"To-Tori-chan?!" came an astonished voice.

The medic fell into a sitting position causing the wind to cease.

"Sakura-chan!?" came the worried voice of Naruto as he ran to meet her.

She smiled and waved her hand, "I'm fine Naruto," her eyes fell on the form of a smiling child with a chirping bird on her shoulder.

The Uchiha watched as Naruto congratulated her and in his excitement hugged the medic. Perhaps the only reason why he didn't receive a smack upside the head was due to his announcement of, "Sakura-chan you're amazing!"

Yet the Uchiha found himself thinking that it was an amazing feat to perform a life restoration jutsu.

Dawn was approaching as Naruto's exclamation rang out, "I can see the village limits up ahead!"

Now the interrogation would begin…

Ok so Yuuki kicking some old pervert who had made a comment about young girls and demanding to know the whereabouts of his sisters wasn't getting them too far in this district.

About 30 minutes into the "interrogation" of the red light district Naruto was having all he could do to keep Yuuki and irate villagers under control.

"He looks guilty Naruto Onii-san! Question that man!" exclaimed Yuuki, pointing his index finger at a rough looking man and being held back by Naruto.

Sasuke and Kisho sweatdropped from the sidelines and the Uchiha muttered,

"How much sugar did he consume?"

"None I'm afraid," informed Kisho with a sigh, "must have been all the ramen."

And the mystery of why Naruto is so hyper is solved…

The sharingan user focused his eyes on his surroundings and glared. There was no indication of their chakra or Sakura's anywhere in their current area.

"Naruto, let's move on I can't sense them here," ordered Sasuke as he and Kisho calmly walked past the onlookers.

"Hai. Yuuki-kun, we're not going to tie up that man," upon seeing the glare of the man Naruto laughed nervously, "He's just kidding of course!"

-

After much pleading her prayers had been answered as she saw the medic start to move.

"Onee-chan!" cried Miyako as she saw the medic's eyelids flutter.

Sakura groaned as the pain became apparent with her senses returning, "Mi-Miyako-chan?" she questioned, her eyes starting to focus in the dimly lit room.

The room appeared to be a basement with a dirt floor, dark and damp, and the only light coming from a barred window. The only thing keeping her face off the dirt floor was Miyako's small lap. She could feel the girl's hand in her hair rubbing her head in a manner that she must have learned from her mother.

She's really a good kid. Damn it! Why couldn't I do anything?

"Miyako-chan, I—

The little girl shook her head, "Don't apologize Onee-chan," she began with a few tear drops falling, "it was my fault. I was a bad girl and didn't listen to you when you told me to run."

"Miyako-chan's not a bad girl," informed Sakura with a comforting voice, "I believe that Miyako is really a good girl and a smart one at that."

"Honto?" came a hopeful voice.

"Honto," came Sakura's definite response, "Can you help me sit up Miyako-chan?"

"Hai!"

The medic nin got a clearer view of the basement as she leaned her back up against a wall.

"Miyako-chan where are the men who took us?"

"Their leader has gone off to write the ransom letter," replied Miyako, moving closer to Sakura and leaning her back against the wall, "And his companion who grabbed you is outside guarding the door. Three others are in front of this place."

"Good," stated Sakura, trying to get an idea about how tightly the wires were holding her as she sat with her arms bound, "If I try to use my chakra to break the wires I'll be electrocuted. These wires are probably rigged to trigger from the slightest struggle."

"Hai, they said that you were out for a long time due to the amount of electricity," informed the blonde haired girl at her side.

"Miyako-chan," began Sakura before turning to face her with a confident smile, "Sasuke-kun and Naruto will be here soon."

The girl's eyes widened, "But we don't even know where we are, how can—

The medic's eyes held a determined look, "They'll definitely find us. Sasuke-kun and Naruto are my most trusted companions. Have faith in them Miyako-chan, you'll definitely see your Kaa-san tonight"

The girl nodded her head in acceptance, "I believe in them."

-

So far they were getting nowhere fast. It wasn't until Sasuke heard a familiar voice and inwardly cringed that a turn of events came.

"Yoo Hoo!" called a little old biddy waving from the doorway of her grocery store, "Yoo Hoo! Young man!"

5 Minutes Later

In the grocery store of the old biddy…

"Hey Sasuke you know her?" questioned Naruto looking from the old biddy to Sasuke.

"Hey this is where Kaa-san buys our Shinobi Charms!" exclaimed Yuuki, trying to bound toward the cereal aisle but falling short as Naruto held the back of his shirt collar.

"Sakura and I had to come here to get the key for the handcuffs," informed the Uchiha sending a quick glare to Yuuki.

"So how did it go with your girlfriend?" questioned the old biddy, elbowing Sasuke and laughing as only a little old biddy could.

Naruto gasped and looked like a fish out of water as Kisho sighed with an expression that screamed everyone else knows.

"Did my date tips come in handy?" prompted the little old biddy still elbowing the Uchiha and laughing, "I bet they did!"

"D-Date tips?!" Naruto was seriously grasping at straws here as he stared at Sasuke wondering if aliens had abducted his teammate.

Sasuke's eye slightly twitched as he began in a calm voice, "You see that's the problem," he informed gaining the old biddy's attention, "She's been kidnapped and we've followed her abductors to this district."

"You better tell me everything my boy!" ordered the little old biddy with a serious expression on her face.

5 Minutes Later…

The little old biddy sat in a wooden chair out in back of the grocery store, her arms crossed and her head nodding every so often as she listened to Sasuke's description of the men.

"That's Ryu's group alright," remarked the old biddy, "no one else fits that description."

"Ryu?" came four simultaneous replies.

"Hai. He's a nasty one he is," she informed, "Always causing trouble in our district. Surprised that he followed you and your girlfriend though," she failed to notice Naruto's jaw dropping again, "you must have beat him pretty badly," chuckled the little old biddy.

"Do you know where they may have taken her?" questioned Sasuke, he felt a nudge from his side, looking down to find Kisho and added, "Them?"

The two teens noticed that the clock on the wall read 10 A.M. and their mission ended in less than a day.

-

"However, in the mean time we're not just going to sit around and do nothing while we wait," informed the medic with a smirk, "There's a kunai concealed in my left boot, think you can get to it?"

"Hai," replied the girl leaning forward and finding the object and slowly sliding it out, "Now what?"

"Place it in between my hands and I'll try to cut the wire," stated Sakura noticing the look of worry appear on the girl's face, "It's alright Miyako-chan. If the kunai triggers the electricity, I'll be alright. I just need to loosen the wire enough to get my hands free."

Miyako hesitantly placed the kunai in between Sakura's hands as instructed and moved back to watch the outcome.

"Well, here goes nothing…" remarked the medic with a deep breath as she began cutting.

She could feel the electricity beginning to surge; therefore, she slowed down the speed at which she cut and found that it appeared to be working. She turned her attention toward the small window and caught sight of the sun indicating that it was mid morning.

Sasuke-kun, Naruto, it's not that I don't believe that you will come for us; however, I'm just going to try and give you a nudge in the right direction…

-

"Hm," went the little old biddy.

How many times had she made that noise? How many more times would she make it? And would the Uchiha finally snap and find himself shaking a poor old biddy?

No. Apparently Naruto was going to beat him to it.

"Baa-chan!" cried Naruto, having been quiet for the last twenty minutes as the little old biddy held her chin in her hand and thought, "Please! For the love of Kami tell us what you know!"

Kisho and Yuuki merely sweatdropped while Sasuke sighed; however, Naruto's voice had jarred the little old biddy…

From her nap?!

She had apparently fallen asleep for Naruto's outburst had brought her flying out of her chair and blinking.

"What were you saying my boy?" she asked innocently and blinked when four individuals nearly fell over backwards.

-

Snap

The wire binding her wrists had finally let go as the kunai fell from her hands and onto the dirt floor. The medic nin let out a sigh of relief. It was enough to give her hands free mobility while leaving her arms still pinned by wire.

"Alright," announced Sakura, "Miyako-chan take the kunai and hide it. We may need it later."

Miyako looked confused but did as she was told, "Aren't you going to free yourself completely?"

"It'll take too long to free myself and I can't risk triggering the wire mechanism," replied Sakura as a grin appeared on her face, "Besides, this is plenty of room for me."

Miyako blinked as she watched her Onee-chan scoot forward away from the wall and start to perform a series of seals from behind her back and announce kuchiyose no jutsu. A puff of smoke formed behind Sakura and the little girl's eyes widened as she nearly squealed, Slug but her announcement came out muffled as she placed her hands over her mouth as not to draw attention.

"Miyako-chan, meet Katsuyu," informed Sakura introducing the pair like it was a normal occurrence.

Miyako blinked several times as the blue and white slug greeted her, "Hello Miyako-chan." Miyako pointed her index finger and whispered, "Talking slug!"

Mou, she sounds like I did when I first met Gamakichi…I wonder what Miyako-chan would think if she knew that Katsuyu was actually a lot bigger.

"Sakura hime," remarked Katsuyu, "how may I be of assistance to you?"

Sakura bowed her head in respect, "Katsuyu can you find Sasuke-kun and Naruto and lead them to us?"

"Of course my second hime," informed the quiet slug queen, "I shall return with them as soon as possible. Please wait for me."

The medic closed her eyes and nodded once more, "Hai, of course. Arigato."

The two—Sakura gazing after Katsuyu and Miyako still in awe over talking slugs—watched as Katsuyu quietly slinked up the wall and through the barred window.

"See Miyako-chan?" questioned the medic gaining the girl's attention, "We girl's aren't so defenseless after all, ne?"

Miyako merely smiled, "Sakura Onee-chan's really smart. I hope I can be a kunoichi too someday."

"You will," stated Sakura as she leaned against the wall once more, "Hurry it up guys…" she murmured, never letting the girl know that she was hiding a great deal of pain within that smile of hers. The dripping blood from her wrists had been more than enough to summon Katsuyu.

-

Naruto stormed out of the grocery store, his hands in his hair as he tried to contain his frustration. His eyes focused on a rough looking guy and his mind was made up as the remaining three exited the store.

Desperate times call for desperate measures…

"Tell me where Ryu's hideout is!" screamed Naruto as he and his clones interrogated every villager in sight.

Kisho blinked, "And how much sugar has Naruto Onii-san consumed?"

"This is a typical Naruto response," informed Sasuke noticing that it was now afternoon, they were no closer to finding Sakura or Miyako, Yuuki was screaming about slugs, and—

The Uchiha's thoughts came back to Yuuki who was flailing around and screaming about slugs in his shorts. Naruto heard the word and both his and the sharingan wielder's eyes met.

"Naruto, Sasuke," greeted the slug queen before them paying no heed to the young boy as he kept informing his brother that there was a slug, a talking slug to be precise.

"Katsuyu!" cried Naruto, letting go of a poor defenseless villager who had passed out from shock, "Boy am I glad to see you!"

"Likewise," informed Katsuyu, "My hime sent me to find you and lead you to her captor's whereabouts."

"How is she?" questioned the Uchiha receiving a knowing glance from the two boys and a nod from Naruto.

"Are Sakura-chan and Miyako-chan alright?" asked Naruto crouching before the miniature slug queen.

"My hime appears to be weak but her will is strong and the young girl is unharmed," replied Katsuyu, "We should hurry."

-

"Sakura Onee-chan?"

"Hai Miyako-chan?" questioned the medic, her eyes falling on the girl beside her as she slowly turned her head.

"It's been a while since," began the girl motioning toward the window, "you know. Do you think that it'll work?"

Sakura nodded and closed her eyes, her head resting against the wall, "You wait and see. Sasuke-kun and Naruto will be here before you know it."

"Good," informed the little girl, "I can't wait to see Kaa-san and Otou-san."

"Miyako-chan, you should really tell them how it makes you and your brothers feel when they leave you alone so often."

Miyako blinked, "But if I did that then they would—

"They won't be mad at you," explained Sakura, "I believe that they will want to know how you feel. Promise me you'll tell them alright?"

Miyako nodded and leaned up against Sakura slowly closing her eyes, "Arigato Onee-chan."

-

They had finally arrived at the hideout of Ryu and his team. The sharigan user had concealed himself as he perched on a tree branch. His eyes could detect two outside; therefore, the remaining three must be inside where Sakura and Miyako were being held.

Naruto was scouting the area opposite of Sasuke while the children remained hidden. The building resembled a run down wooden shack in the middle of nowhere, containing two levels, but the two shinobi were certain that there was probably more to it than meets the eye.

Sasuke rejoined Naruto and the children and stated, "We need a distraction, something to draw the two guards away long enough for us to take them out."

Kisho smirked, "We're pretty good at distractions."

The Uchiha had an evident smirk on his face and Naruto gave a foxy grin. Why not exploit their talents? Besides it was more fun when they're using them on someone other than themselves.

-

An explosion rang out that startled both of the basement's occupants as the establishment shook from the blast. Miyako gasped and a smile appeared on the medic's face.

"Don't worry Miyako-chan, it's just my teammates."

-

So setting the surrounding area on fire wasn't exactly what the two shinobi had had in mind; however, it did work and they weren't really interested in knowing where Kisho had gotten the dynamite or how long he had had it on his person. Little details like this weren't important. The important thing was that both guards had left their posts.

The two shinobi took out the startled guards quickly and quietly. The Uchiha went around to the side of the house, his back leaning against the wall as he signaled for Naruto to watch the back incase the others should come out while he went in for the girls.

-

Sakura's senses were on high alert as she heard a skirmish on the upper level, the floor boards above them shook and saw dust fell.

"Get up Miyako-chan," ordered the medic, trying to rise to her feet, "Take that kunai I gave you," she fell to her knees.

Damn it. If my calculations are correct the two guards from outside have been taken out. That leaves three inside, one, possibly two on the upper level, and one outside the door to the basement. One of them would have stayed outside to guard, while one entered. Eventually the guard outside is going to come in and try to move us…there's got to be an escape tunnel within the basement.

The medic's eyes searched the area, Not enough time to find it, she bit her lip, placing her hands against the wall behind her and pulling herself up.

Miyako stood before her with the kunai in hand, "Onee-chan, please don't. You're hurt!"

"Quiet Miyako-chan," came the strict voice of the medic, as she wobbled with unsteady legs, her body still hadn't recovered from the surge of electricity. She looked up toward the light coming in through the barred window, "It's a long shot, but Miyako-chan I'm going to push you up there, see if you can squeeze through."

Miyako's eyes were wide, "What? What about you?"

"Don't argue," was her no nonsense remark, "Quickly now," her gaze focused upward as the floor boards began to shake more violently and the saw dust reined down upon them, "It's going to be over any moment now and then they'll want to move us. I promised you that you'd see your Kaa-san so do as I say."

Miyako merely nodded her head, "Hai," she informed watching as the medic cupped her hands from behind. The young girl placed her left foot in the kunoichi's hands and placed her left hand on her shoulder.

The medic could hear what appeared to be the sound of a body falling to the floor. She pushed herself into a standing position, holding the weight of the girl as well, and used all the remaining strength she had.

I made a promise. There's no way I'm going to break it.

She could hear running and the sounds of metal deflecting as she pushed with all her might, "Can you reach it?"

"Almost, just a little more," replied Miyako stretching her arm to reach the window's tiny sill.

The medic's legs were shaking, Please, just a little longer, she pleaded with her body as she pushed the girl higher.

"Got it!" whispered Miyako, grabbing hold of one of the window's bars and pulling herself up.

As the weight left her body, the medic's back slowly slid down the wall; she heard her name being called.

"Can you squeeze through?" came her serious voice, looking up to find the concerned face of her ward.

"I think it's just big enough," replied Miyako, pushing herself through the bars, "But what about—

The floor boards shook from above and the medic's trained senses went into full alert, "Go! Naruto or Sasuke-kun will be out there, I promise!"

Miyako nodded and the rest of her body disappeared through the bars as the door to the basement came flying open causing the hinges to squeak and the basement to shake.

-

"Hurry it up Sasuke," muttered Naruto keeping watch while hidden in the surrounding bushes. He had told the boys to stay hidden a ways behind him and had left a clone in his stead. His eyes detected movement coming from the side of the building and he readied a kunai in his hand. Right before the kunai could leave his hand he stopped his attack; for there was the sight of a small and dirty blonde girl running.

The shinobi barely had time to comprehend what had happened as the girl caught sight of him and practically ran into his arms.

"Onii-san!" she cried happily as she clung to him with tears in her eyes, "Sakura Onee-chan said that you'd be here!"

"Did Sasuke defeat those jerks inside and get you and Sakura-chan out?" questioned Naruto looking down upon her.

"No," informed the child, "Onee-chan pushed me up to the window. She said that they would want to move us and that she wouldn't break her promise that I would see my Kaa-san tonight."

-

"Why you little bitch, where's the girl?" questioned the irate shinobi before her.

The floorboards shook above them as the medic smirked, "Looks like one of my boys just took out your friends."

"I'll wipe that smirk off your face," informed Ryu, pulling the medic to her feet and gripping her shoulders tightly, "No matter, I'm sure that the hokage will pay a pretty penny to get her apprentice back."

The medic winced as he carried her to another part of the basement and stopped to reveal a trap door. He bent down and pulled the mechanism to open the door.

"At least I'll get away with you," informed Ryu with a chuckle.

"I don't think so," a voice from the shadows was heard as a kunai came dangerously close to Ryu's head and imbedded itself in the wall.

The act had caused Ryu to lose his balance as the bound medic fell down the stairs landing at the base.

"Sakura!" exclaimed the Uchiha as he heard the medic's body hit the dirt floor below them.

Ryu stood before Sasuke, glancing down at the motionless kunoichi below and smirked, "Stupid bitch," remarked the second rate shinobi.

His smirk disappeared at the sight of the sharingan that was fixated on him. No sooner had he blinked had the Uchiha disappeared from his sight and he felt a blow from behind before sailing across the floor.

-

Naruto was getting nervous but there was no way that he could aide Sasuke or Sakura with three children to worry about. What if there were more than five? What if there were more inside or on the way?

"Naruto, I shall go to my hime," came a voice drawing him from his thoughts.

Naruto blinked, looking down to find Katsuyu still there, "Katsuyu?" he questioned for it was uncommon for a summoning to remain for so long.

"Sakura is my hime and I shall go to her," informed the slug queen as she disappeared into the foliage.

Naruto's eyes softened as he whispered, "Arigato."

-

Above the unconscious medic nin a battle raged on as the sounds of metal deflecting and the shaking of the structure's walls from their impact was heard.

"Hime? Sakura hime," came an urgent voice, "Hime please open your eyes."

-

His keen eyes fell upon her motionless form and the form of her summoning as he descended the stairs. He crouched down calling her name and received no response. His eyes widened a fraction in alarm as he knelt beside her and leaned her back against his arm.

"Sakura? Sakura, open your eyes."

"Sasuke-kun," hesitantly began the medic pulling her eyes away from his, "ano…Sasuke-kun, you and I are…" she shifted her gaze back to his as if pleading with him to put into words their relationship.

"Hn. Sakura you and I are…"

"Hai?" she questioned leaning in closer to hear his murmured response.

"You and I are," the fact that she had gotten closer to him, because he was mumbling—although Uchiha's don't mumble—had not gone unnoticed, "We're…"

The sharingan user took a kunai from his pouch and carefully analyzed the wires. After detecting the mechanism he broke the power source and proceeded in cutting the wires.

"Sakura," murmured the Uchiha, moving her pink strands from her face, the cut wire ends lying on the ground, "You and I are more than teammates and more than mere friends…"

The medic's eyelids began to lift as a blurred image began to form before her. In an odd sense it was a strange case of déjà vu from her days as a genin awakening from a genjutsu to see the form of her childhood love before her.

"Sasuke-kun?" questioned the tired medic as his form became clearer with every passing moment.

"Sakura," came his concerned voice as he looked upon her emerald meeting with onyx.

She turned her head to find her faithful summoning and a weary smile appeared on her face, "Arigato, Katsuyu. You brought Sasuke-kun and Naruto to me."

"Of course my hime," replied the slug queen bowing her head, "I shall leave you to Sasuke for I know that he will care for you."

Had that been a laugh that had come from the slug before she had disappeared? What could she have possibly found so amusing?

The medic was confused but her confused expression disappeared as a blush found its way to her cheeks when she noticed the look in his onyx orbs. The confusion was back almost instantly from his comment.

"Sakura," began the Uchiha in an irritated voice, "You must be the most annoying girl that I have ever known…"

The medic blinked wondering if she had been delusional for a moment about the look in sharingan wielder's eyes. Yet her eyes widened when she felt the arm around her shoulders lifting her upwards and the Uchiha's lips on hers.

She let out the breath that she had unknowingly been holding as her eyelids slowly began to drift shut and returned his kiss.

The kiss was gently broken and the medic felt herself be lifted from the dirt floor being held in the arms of the Uchiha. To say that she was shocked was a bit of an understatement.

"Sasuke-kun," she murmured still blown away by his actions, "You and I are?"

The Uchiha smirked, "Tch. How annoying, for someone so smart you're a bit slow at times."

The medic's eyes widened, "Sasuke-kun, you followed that little old biddy's date tip guide, didn't you?!"

The Uchiha's eye slightly twitched as he carried her up the stairs.

Date Tip No. 21: If your girlfriend is taken by enemy nin, when you rescue her be sure to take her in your arms and give her a kiss unlike any other.

Touché Sakura!

-

Hooray! Sakura and Miyako had been saved! Everyone had been reunited and things were looking up!

Kami, what do you mean its 4 o'clock in the afternoon?! How long does it take to get back? 9 hours?!

Naruto and Sasuke led the way while three clones carrying the children followed from behind.

"Sasuke are you sure that you don't want a clone to carry Sakura-chan?" questioned Naruto as he looked at the Uchiha with the sleeping medic on his back.

"Hn," came the reply of the Uchiha, while the medic on his back was currently healing herself.

"Naruto Onii-san," began Miyako with a sigh, "You are so naive."

Naruto watched as her brothers sadly shook their heads at how clueless he truly was.

-

They arrived with only minutes to spare! The clones disappeared as three children fell on the front doorstep. Naruto and Sasuke looked beat and the medic was at least half way back to normal. They tiredly opened the front door and what to their wondering eyes should appear…

No not eight tiny reindeer…

But a beach ball shaped dog and a garbage ridden kitchen!

The babysitters jaws nearly dropped at the sight of the destroyed kitchen as their eyes fell upon the microwave clock that's glowing yellow digits read 11:45 P.M.

"Ack! That fat ass dog!" screamed Naruto as he grabbed the children and pushed them inside.

The medic and the Uchiha were seen running off in separate directions shortly returning with a broom and mop in hand. Naruto set to work looking for trash bags and the children scurried in all directions to locate cleaning products.

-

They were hot, they were dirty, they were disheveled, they were tired, but by Kami that kitchen sparkled just as the front door rang!

"Ack! It's Kakashi Sensei!" cried Naruto as the trio began to shuffle the kids up the stairs.

"Arigato Onee-chan, Onii-sans!" remarked the children as they were pushed up the stairs.

"You're welcome," replied Sakura on behalf of her team, "Uh…our little secret, ne?"

"Hai!" came three replies in agreement.

As they rounded the corner their babysitters could make out their conversation…

"That was a lot of fun!"

"Hai, usually our babysitters try to sit us in front of the television and do boring stuff."

"Yeah, to think this time we got to go on a rescue mission!"

"Let's ask for them again next time!"

The trio downstairs shared a look that screamed next time?! The ringing of the doorbell broke their thoughts as they tried to walk naturally.

The door slowly opened to reveal…

"Yo!" greeted their innocent looking sensei who was greeted by three tired looking teens; he blinked as they walked past him, "Rough week?"

A hai, a yup, and a hn was his response. The trio stopped as they heard the back door opening and it dawned on them that this was their chance to meet the parents of the three children who had put them through hell for the last week. Their heads turned like rundown wind up toys and just as their forms started to come into view, their sensei closed the door.

The three shinobi merely hung their heads in defeat, walking with their shoulders slumped and ready for a long rest. Their sensei walked behind them with his perverted book in hand—how he could read the pages in the dark was unknown to them.

"So I ran into Ino the other day and she told me the most interesting story."

The three froze in mid step before their sensei.

"But the most interesting thing was this bill that I got for 400 boxes of cereal."

Does the word busted mean anything to you?

-

This mission is complete! The Saga Continues…

Next Mission Preview: Team Kakashi is sent to a village where little is known about its people. What's this? Kakashi Sensei can't go? What?! We're breaking up into pairs? Sakura's going to pose as a hime from one of the minor villages within the land of water and Sasuke will be her bodyguard? And Hinata's joining the team to be Naruto's partner?! Kami, how many times will she faint as she and Naruto pose as citizens? Stay tuned!