OK, Jaydraven fantasy land here. Sasuke is back in Konoha; magically they didn't kill or imprison him for his crimes. Age of team 7's members 16-17, except Kakashi. Obviously people. Obviously.
This idea popped into my head while I was writing my other Genma fic. which I may add more to. Thanks everyone who read and reviewed As Long as We're Together, We'll Never Be Apart. I feel so loved!! So here goes!
Sorry, first I've gotta say, I will be writing my longer story, Growing Up Sakura again as soon I get these little weasels out of my brain. (By weasels I mean these two oneshots) (
Sakura rolled her eyes in disgust as the sound of her current teams bickering once again polluted the peaceful sounds of rustling trees, chirping birds and buzzing insects.
"DOBE! What the hell do you think you're doing!" Sasuke yelled angrily at his blond haired friend
"I'm just trying to figure out how much farther we have to go!" Naruto whined shaking his hand to get rid of the sting from Sasuke smashing it.
"Ask for the map! Don't try to take it out of my pocket!" Sasuke growled fiercely.
"Maybe he was trying to find out what a penis is?" Sai butted in, the fake smile as always plastered tight to his mouth.
"WHY DO YOU ALWAYS TALK ABOUT PENIS!" Naruto hollered glaring back at the black haired ANBU member.
The other members of this current team dealt with the bickering in their own way. Kakashi seemed oblivious, his nose shoved into Icha Icha Violence, Neji rolled his white eyes skywards once again wishing he was one of the birds flying over head, this time for a different reason then many times in the past. He was secretly hoping one of them would drop a bomb on one of his annoying comrades perchance to make them shut the hell up. Sakura's head just dropped lower and lower as she walked until she was sure there was a dark cloud visibly looming over her bright pink hair.
They had just completed an excruciatingly long (or maybe it just seemed that way) A-class mission to intercept some scrolls that would have started a secret alliance against Konoha. At missions successful end Tsunde had ordered them to take a much-deserved rest at a hot spring resort on the way back. No one was complaining about this and everyone wanted to start their relaxation as quickly as possible, which had lead to the ungodly suggestion that they leave at dawn and get there around 4:00 in the afternoon. It was 2:30 right now and Sakura wasn't sure if everyone on their team would make it all the way. Mainly because despite a fortunate lack of serious injury on their mission, this road to their vacation would quickly lead to broken bones unless some shut up, and shut up quick.
Quietly seething for 10 minutes now, Sakura could no longer stand it and let out a yell that echoed off of the surrounding mountains "If the three of you don't shut up so help me God Kakashi and Neji will be carrying three body bags back to Konoha!"
Kakashi glanced up at this and raised an eyebrow while Neji just smirked a little, arms crossed. Naruto stared back wide eyed and gulped and Sai just cocked his head a bit filing this under his notes of human emotional behavior patterns. Sasuke just gave a characteristic smirk and "hn'd" at the threat.
"Still annoying after all these years," Sasuke said coldy not even looking back at her.
The words stung more than she would like to admit. Sakura thought having Sasuke back would be like old times, maybe better. Instead his contempt for her was always in evidence, even when she had healed a strained arm and three broken ribs. Sakura certainly wasn't the fangirl she had been at 12 but she did her best to try to make Sasuke feel welcome. He evidently took this to mean that she was still in love with him and took her completely for granted.
"Teme! Watch what you say to Sakura-chan!" Naruto defended boldly.
At this the few moments of silence Sakura had gathered for them collapsed as the two argued heatedly about who could tell who to do what and to whom.
It was 3:30 when they finally reached the resort. The annoying arguments and hot blood had translated to a quicker pace and sweat soaked and weary, the six ruffled jounins made their way up to the front desk of the resort.
"Welcome to Peaceful Waters Resort!" an overly cheerful young brunette greeted. "You must be the ninja from Konoha, ne? We've received instructions from Tsunade-sama that you'll be staying with us for the next week! Please follow me and I'll show you to your cottages."
The girl sidestepped the front desk and led the way with a brisk but bouncy step. As she led them along a quiet and beautiful stone path she pointed out the various amenities.
"To the right we have our fabulous four star restaurant. It is open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, although if you should require something after hours there is a brochure in your rooms showing a slightly more limited menu that we offer at all hours available through room service." The girl chimed.
"Do you serve ramen?" Naruto asked feeling his stomach rumble.
"Naruto!" Sakura growled, "It's a four star restaurant! Don't you want to try something other than ramen for once!"
"Ramen is a four star food!" Naruto argued.
"I believe that we have cup ramen available on our room service menu," the brunette smiled back at Naruto.
"Now to your left we have our famous hot springs, we only have a few guests right now but the nearby villagers often come to visit," the hostess grinned at them.
"It doesn't look like there is a partition, is this a communal spring?" Sai asked.
"Yes, both males and females use the same spring, we feel this lets our guests relax more and get to know one another better. We often have newly weds here and they appreciate the time they get to spend together," she explained.
The girl went on describing various entertainments and scenery as they walked not noticing the excitement, interest, and worry among a myriad of other emotions crossing the shinobi's faces.
"Here we are! There are three cottages in this area. The first one is occupied already, and these two will be for you. Each cottage is equipped with three rooms, a living area, and a bathroom complete with shower and bath. There is a small courtyard behind each; carefully landscaped with benches and chairs for private relaxation and enjoyment. Please note the pamphlets and informational booklet available in each living area by the phone. If there are any questions, requests or comments please don't hesitate to call!" with this final bit of information imparted she bowed and left them to decide their arrangements.
Immediately Sakura and Neji whipped their heads to Kakashi saying in silent unison that they would rather be dead than have to share space with the bickering threesome.
Kakashi grinned, scratching the back of his head in amusement and said, "Ok, I think Sakura, Neji and I in the first cottage, Naruto, Sasuke and Sai in the second."
"Hn," replied Sasuke glaring at everyone as he made his way to the second cottage.
"How come I have to share with those two! Sasuke is so bitchy and Sai won't stop smiling at me!" Naruto whined.
"Come on, you trained for three years to get Sasuke back, spend some time with him. And Sai needs our help to understand himself better. Be a little patient Naruto," Kakashi said lamely not really caring as he walked to open the door to the cottage he would share with Sakura and Neji. He had plans revolving this vacation that defiantly included some X rated literature and most defiantly did NOT include breaking up idiotic fights with shinobi that should have learned better.
Sakura sighed in relief and followed Neji into the cottage. Kakashi had already discarded his sandals at the entrance and grabbed what looked to be the biggest room that sat to the left of the living area. Neji removed his shoes and took the one on the right nearest the door since it was the closest. Sakura kicked off her boots and trudged over to the last room sliding the door back and gasped in delight. Her room had a lovely little window that overlooked the private garden. It was furnished simply with a dark wooden wardrobe for her things, a small writing table and chair and a full sized futon topped with a lovely white cotton duvet. She dropped her pack on the ground and flopped happily on her bed delighting in the soft feel of it as she lay back and stared at her ceiling.
"I'm going to go soak in the hot spring," Sasuke announced once he had shoved his pack in his room. He had of course claimed the biggest one, which annoyed Naruto to no end and didn't affect Sai one way or another.
"But, but," Naruto started, "there could be girls in there."
"And?" Sasuke asked arching an eyebrow.
Naruto paused for a moment, a big Cheshire grin spreading across his face. "Good point teme!"
Sai also pause to think about this, " I believe I'll go too."
He was sure that he'd learn a lot about emotions on this trip. He wasn't sure he felt anything for girls one way or another clothed, but maybe naked would be different. It looked as if the other two guys were having a range of emotions over this and perhaps he could finally figure out a thing or two. He went to organize his wardrobe as Naruto tried to beat Sasuke to the shower to rinse off before they went to the spring.
Kakashi stretched out on the bed with his favorite book. The bed was nice and soft but the stress of the mission, or rather the stress of who he was with on the mission, had left him with a lot of tension in his back.
"Maybe I should make use of that hot spring," Kakashi pondered as he sat up to make his way to the shower.
He found that Neji had beat him to it and sat down on the sofa in the living area to wait his turn. Neji came out wearing a fluffy looking white cotton robe with the resorts logo on the breast. Kakashi raised an eyebrow at him and Neji answered the unspoken question, "There were three of them hanging in the bathroom along with the towels."
Kakashi nodded in acknowledgement and went to take his turn at the shower when Sakura darted in ahead of him.
"Sorry Kakashi! Beauty before age!" Sakura giggled as she slammed the door in his face.
It appeared they all had the same idea of heading to the hot spring. Kakashi leaned back into the sofa as he pondered the fact that he would get to see his now teenage former student naked.
"I'm sure Naruto, Sasuke and Sai will find a way to ruin this," he thought forlornly.
Sasuke laid his robe and towel down on a lounge chair at the edge of the spring and eased into the almost too hot water with a sigh. The spring was almost empty as there was one other person at the far edge of the pool.
This spring was natural and quite beautiful. Rocks worn smooth by the water surrounded the edge and there was lush vegetation carefully manicured to provide shade and atmosphere and still keep leaves and twigs out of the water. There were carved benches in the walls of the pool for sitting, relaxing and laying down and Sasuke walked lazily through the water and over to the right wall to lounge beneath a flowering tree. It was quiet and peaceful and Sasuke leaned back into the water letting the heat pull the aches out of his shoulders. He was surprised that there was no soreness from the strained wrist and broken ribs that he had sustained on this mission. Who knew Sakura would be good for something?
Sakura. The stupid pink haired Kunochi bothered him to no end. He wondered if she knew why he had said thank you to her all those years ago when he had left. Probably not. He was in fact thanking her for helping him realize that his decision to leave was the right one. After her ridiculous break down over losing him when she really didn't know him at all, and saying those silly things about how she had friends and family but would always feel alone without him. This just proved to him how stupid and weak she was and why he needed to get away from people and ties like this. How could she possibly compare him leaving her, to his entire clan being wiped out? It was foolishness. The utmost insult to his inner pain and he didn't think he could ever forgive her for it. He could work with her now, since he had completed his first mission in life, killing Itachi. He could handle being on her team as long as she didn't slow them down too much. So far she had actually proven useful a time or two. Sasuke was focused on new things now. He wanted to continue to improve, and when he was ready begin to resurrect his clan. He wasn't opposed to having some ties now that he was fairly comfortable with his power. Naruto he still considered to be a brother, especially since his power had grown immensely as well. He was someone he could pit himself against and challenge to achieve new growth. Sai was new to him but he thought he found him acceptable. He liked that he had little to no emotion and he enjoyed how he set Naruto off. Sai and Naruto were useful. The other members of his team on this mission were in a different category. Neji he felt neither one way nor the other about. He was a fellow genius bloodline limit ninja, a bit quiet and stoic like him. Kakashi was someone he thought he could still learn from, although the level of teamwork he required grated him.
"Hey Sasuke!" Naruto called cheerfully waving energetically to his friend as he dropped his robe and towel right on the floor and hopped in the spring, eyes going wide and face red as the heat accosted him.
"Hot hot hot!" Naruto yipped as he danced his way over to Sasuke and plunked down beside him.
Sai cocked an eyebrow at him from the edge of the pool and laid his things on a chair as he stepped sedately into the water.
"So there are no women here yet?" Sai asked looking around.
"No," Sasuke said laying his head back and closing his eyes.
"Do you thing Sakura-chan will come?" Naruto asked hopefully.
"I thought you were dating my cousin," Neji asked sternly, having just arrived in time to hear Naruto's question. He slid into the spring and made his way over to his fellow shinobi.
"I am! I am! I just wanted to see- I mean, uh . . . Sakura-chan-"Naruto stuttered scratching his head nervously eyes shut tight trying to think of what he meant.
"She wouldn't come," Sasuke replied lazily. "besides why would you want to see her anyway? There's nothing to her."
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked looking at his dark haired friend.
"She's almost flat chested, her forehead is still huge, and her waist and hips are too slim. She's got no curves," Sasuke expounded.
Naruto just glowered at Sasuke angry at him for dismissing Sakura's obvious beauty. Neji just sat down and looked away, wanting to stay out of these inter-team dynamics.
"Yes, that's true. She also gets puppy dog eyes all the time. That's why I nicknamed her ugly dog," Sai added seriously.
Sasuke chuckled at this feeling a bit more kinship towards Sai. "Ugly dog. That's about right."
Sakura walked towards the spring in her soft robe carrying her towel. She was a little nervous about being naked with all the guys but it wasn't a big deal for her. She was a medic after all and they had all been on numerous missions together. It wasn't like any of them hadn't seen a naked woman before and she'd seen at least three naked men in an intimate way before. Besides, no amount of embarrassment was going to prevent her from enjoying this resort and it's wonderful hot springs! At least that's what she told herself until she was almost up to the spring and overheard the candid conversation about her body.
Sakura rocked back on her heels hearing Sasuke talk like this. So this is what he really thought? She looked down at her chest covered in white robe. She didn't think her breasts were that small. Nowhere near Tsunade's or even Hinata's but still full. She guessed she did wear her bindings rather tight but she didn't want to flop around on a mission or at the hospital. She couldn't argue with the rest he said about her though, hearing him point out weaknesses in appearance she before this moment hadn't thought much about made tears begin to well in her eyes and as Sai butted in with his smart comments it was all she could do to run back to her room. As she padded her way back she nearly ran straight into Kakashi.
"Whoa, forgot something Sakura?" the copy-nin asked crinkling an eye at he above his towel arrangement covering his face.
"No I just decided I'd prefer a soak in the tub instead of the hot springs, I'm pretty worn out and I just want to head straight to bed after," Sakura lied quickly shooting Kakashi a fake smile and wave and continuing on back to the cottage.
Kakashi watched her speed back down the path and shrugged not buying her reason for a second. Maybe there was a really ugly guy in the spring, maybe it was too hot, maybe there was a couple making out or there were live alligators patrolling the water. Most likely the three idiots had found some way of scaring her off. Kakashi sighed and continued to the spring. They'd be here a full week. Maybe he could work a bit on team dynamics a bit after all.
"Stop talking about Sakura-chan that way you two! You don't know what you're talking about!" Naruto defended standing up and placing his fists on his hips.
"I know how to check out a woman," Sasuke answered angrily.
"Oh yeah then how come you still don't have a one! Maybe you're not into girls at all. You can start checking out dick with Sai" Naruto rebutted.
The sound of a soft chuckle more like a cough really wafted over to them from the lone figure to the right of them. Sasuke turned quickly and glared at the interloper but hearing nothing more out of him decided to leave it be. It might have been a cough after all.
Naruto looked over to the figure as well and lowered his brows in thought. Sitting back down next to Sasuke he whispered "What's up with that guy?"
"What do you mean?" asked Sasuke pouting still after the gay implications.
"Something's weird with him. I mean look. His face is completely covered by a towel and it looks like a toothpick or something is holding it up. And look, he's in the water but he has a towel wrapped around his waist."
Sasuke turned to look again. He had missed the towel since the stranger was sitting in the shade of a tree and the water wasn't exactly crystal clear. The man was sitting chest deep in water with his head resting back against the ledge covered in a towel as Naruto mentioned, arms crossed and sure enough a large towel wrapped around his waist "Hn. So he's got something over his face, maybe he's just ugly like Kakashi."
"Maybe he has no dick like you but he actually feels shame Naruto,"Sai ventured having noticed the man when he first entered the pool. Being in ANBU one had to notice the environment immediately and be ready for any surprises that might pop up.
Naruto thought he saw he toothpick propped up towel wiggle a bit at this but dismissed it. He continued on whispering quietly, or as quietly as is possible for a loud mouthed Kyubi container, to Sasuke and Sai, "That's not all, I think he's injured or something."
The three of them turned to look at the stranger more carefully, Neji seeing the three of them staring glanced over as well. It was difficult to see between the shade, the water and the way the guy was laying back in the water but looking carefully there was what appeared to be bruising under his crossed arms. In fact one arm itself didn't look quite right like he was using the other one as a makeshift sling and as they watched the rise and fall of the mans chest seemed to be a bit shallow and erratic. Noticing this the four shinobi tensed stood facing the man.
"Something's defiantly off about this guy," Sasuke said.
"Hey guys," Kakashi waved treading into the spring, "What are you-"
Kakashi cut off as he saw the shadowed figure, "Something about that guy seems familiar."
"How can you tell he's got his face covered!" Naruto said loudly rolling his eyes.
"He may be injured," Neji said quietly.
"Should we try to go wake him?" Sai asked smile still stuck in place.
"I don't know, this is a hot spring, injured people do come here to relax but," Kakashi paused, " I don't like it, Neji use your Byakugan to check him out."
"Right," Neji said quietly focusing his chakra to his eyes and activating his birthright. He turned his stare to the stranger and gasped.
"He's a shinobi, he has a very well defined chakra network but he's injured. Badly. It looks like he's suffering from internal damage," Neji said quickly making up his mind and heading over to the man.
"Shit!" Kakashi swore rushing over there suddenly remembering why this guy seemed familiar.
In an instant Kakashi was beside the man removing the towel from his face.
"Genma!" Kakashi said loudly, "Wake up!"
The senbon chewer bobbed the tool of his trade in his mouth and fluttered his eyes, slurring as he said breathily, "I am awake dumb ass."
"Well he can't be too bad, he's still swearing," Kakashi muttered, "What the hell happened to you?"
"S-class mission. Almost finished. I was running rear lookout on the way back and I got ambushed. No medic so the messenger bird we got said that there was a team coming here with one. I felt fine but they made me stay. I thought if I just soaked a bit my shoulder and leg would loosen up and I could go catch up with my team and go home but once I sat down it just got worse, and now it's kinda hard to breathe. Been in here about two hours now. Can't quite get enough energy to move-" Genma's voice weakened as he went on and he ended with a coughing fit that splattered blood into the water.
Alarmed Kakashi motioned Sasuke to grab Genma's other side and together they helped the injured, water logged Jounin out of the water and onto the walkway. Naruto grabbed Sasuke and Kakashi's towels and handed them over helping to steady Genma as the two quickly tied them around their waists and then grabbing Genma again half carried him towards the cottage were Sakura was taking her bath.
"I'm guessing you guys have the medic?" Genma huffed, biting hard on his senbon to relive the pain.
He tried to support his weight as they walked and failed miserably, Naruto having to carefully steady him from the back without touching a huge angry bruise that took up Genma's back from his left shoulder, diagonally down to his right hip.
"What the hell got you?" Naruto asked glancing back to see Neji and Sai following their strange procession.
"Fifteen Shinubazu, you think I look bad, you should've seen them!" Genma smiled around his senbon starting to laugh which quickly turned into a gasp of pain and more bloody coughing.
Genma sagged into his coughing fit and lost consciousness, his senbon dropping to the ground with a metallic ping sound. Kakashi's eye widened at this and he reached around to pick Genma up bridal style.
"I've only seen Genma loose control of his senbon twice in 29 years passed out or not. This is bad. Sasuke run ahead and tell Sakura we're coming. Neji and Sai, follow me, Naruto go to the front desk and find out which cottage Genma's in and then grab his pack and bring it to us.
"Right!" they all replied.
Sasuke flashed away as Kakashi picked up speed running to their cottage with Sai and Neji close behind.
"Think I look bad, you should see the guys