Hey everyone! Thanks for reading my story thus far. Means a lot to me to know

people actually enjoy this story :)

Hope you all chapter 21! ~


Recap

"Well Haya, It's a pleasure to meet you. Perhaps I could show you around? What kind of gentleman would I be to let a cute girl such as yourself wander around such a big place like Konoha?" He gave her his trademark grin that had most women swooning- except her. Sakura knew what kind of man Genma was. Aside from her ex-sensei Kakashi and the legendary Jiraya, Genma was probably one of the top perverts Fire country had to offer.

But at the same time, it would be a wise choice to play friendly with someone as well known as Genma. Sakura schooled her thoughts and gave Genma a sweet smile.

"Well thank you Genma-san. I'd be delighted to let you show me around!" Sakura gave him another one of her sweet smiles to seal the deal and drive away any doubts he may have had about her nationality.

'Too easy...'

And with that thought, she sidled up next to Genma and set to work on scoping out her old village while Genma rattled on about the different sights.

Nearly an hour and a half later, Sakura found herself with a violently twitching eye and a smile faker than Sasori's puppet body.

'If Genma points out that hot spring ONE more time so help me Kami, I will willingly abandon this mission and kill him in cold blood.'

"I wholeheartedly agree!"

'So you do still exist. Welcome back, crazy.'

Sakura glanced over at Genma, wondering how stupid girls must be to fall for his charm. I mean sure, he's handsome, but dear Kami...It's so obvious that he's trying to get her to go with him to the hot spring.

"It's the best one in town. We are, after all, famous for our beautiful hot springs. So warm and relaxing. And did I mention that there are co-ed baths?" Sakura once again resisted the urge to wipe the smirk of his face and shove the senbon somewhere none too pleasant.

"Yes, I believe you mentioned that already. Listen, Genma-san? While I do enjoy your tour, I promised my two friends that I would meet them atop the... Hokage mountain? I was told two hours, and I'm certain it's been that long already. Would you mind showing me the way?" Genma turned to stare at the black-haired girl and gave her a small smile.

"Sure thing sweetheart!" Genma turned from her, missing her disgusted look, and led her in the direction of Konoha's grand Hokage monument. The second Sakura saw the stairs leading to the top, she resisted the urge to make a run for it and leave him in the dust. Sakura stopped in her tracks and turned to face Genma, hoping he would get the hint that he could leave her to her own devices.

"I think I can find my way from here now. I'm assuming it's just up these stairs. I really appreciate all your help with showing me around. I definitely learned a lot about your village. It truly is a beautiful place." Genma scratched the back of his head and smiled lightly.

"It's not a problem Haya-chan. I'd do anything for a pretty lady. And when I say anything, I mean it! So if you're ever looking for a good time, or you just want to get away from your two friends, just come looking. I'm never very far!" He gave her a swift kiss on the cheek and disappeared in a small puff of smoke.

Sakura's fake smile immediately dropped and she started for the stairs, idly rubbing viciously at her cheek, praying the kiss could just be wiped off and forgotten about.

– - - - - - - –

Sakura could hear Kisame whining before she even made it half-way up the mountain steps. His voice was a little pitchy, most likely to help sell the henge, but Sakura knew almost instantly that it was him. Only he could whine louder than Naruto when it came to lunch.

As Sakura got closer to to the top of the stairs, she could make out exactly what the large fish was saying.

"-ing her five more minutes before I ditch and go find a place to eat. She knows her way around, the little blossom won't get lost." She could now see that Kisame was sprawled out along a bench, glaring up at the sky. Itachi, looking far from imposing in hes henge, was standing a bit from his partner, staring out over Konoha with a hard look on his face.

"And here we find two of the most wanted criminals in the bingo books, lounging about like two little genin. Kisame, if you whine any louder, leader might be able to hear you from back at base..." Kisame shot up and gave Sakura a big grin.

"You're back! We can go eat now! Itachiiii, let's go eat!" Kisame, being the same size as his usual form, picked up an unsuspecting black-haired Sakura and turned to Itachi, who was watching Kisame with a scowl. Kisame let out a barking laugh and moved his hands further down her legs and pushed her farther back onto his shoulder.

"Kisame! Let go of me before I punch a hole into your back and pull your spine out."

One flinch and a cheer later, Sakura found herself with both feet on the ground, smoothing down her black tank top. Sakura looked back at Itachi and gave him a small smile.

"C'mon you, it's time for fish faces' feeding time. Can't have him picking off little genin from off the street. I think Konoha frowns upon that. We should invest in a muzzle. And a leash while we're at it." Sakura giggled at her own comment, watching Kisame jump from foot to foot from out of the corner of her eye.

Itachi shook his head and turned to move for Kisame, intent on getting off the mountain. Sakura watched curiously as he took one more look out over the village, put a strong hold on Sakura's waist, and pull her toward the stairs. Kisame gave Sakura a sly grin, motioning his head towards Itachi. Sakura could only give him a slight shrug of her shoulders, as even she couldn't figure out why Itachi was holding her so tightly.

Kisame went to say something, but held his tongue when he saw Sakura shake her head. Sakura shook her head to keep Kisame from saying something stupid. The last thing they needed was a pissed off Itachi.

45 minutes later found the trio sitting in a booth at a little barbecue restaurant, most likely owned by the Akimichi clan, waiting for their order to come to them. They would've arrived earlier had Sakura not pulled the two of them down a side road at top speed when she saw Naruto, Lee and Kiba round the corner. Not wanting to blow cover by attacking them, Sakura took the smart root and pulled Kisame and Itachi down a back road and took the long way through Konoha.

"They didn't even know who you were Haya. We could've gotten here sooner if you had just let us walk past them. An accidental punch in the throat, apologize for tripping on your own feet like a clumsy girl, and be on our merry way. I'M HUNGRY!" Kisame said, rubbing his stomach as he came to the end of his little rant.

"Shut up Kanta. You're being way to loud." Itachi murmured, his eyes focused out the window. Kisame had the decency to look a little ashamed and turned away, choosing to stare at one of the female waitresses.

With both of her teammates staring off into space, Sakura pulled out her small notebook and flipped it open.

'This mission might end up being a lot easier than I thought it would be. They've lowered the amount of jonin present during the day. Konohas' ego must be getting to them. Not to mention how easy it was to get close to Genma. He was wary for all of 20 seconds, and then got distracted by a pretty face. How lame...'

Kisame kicked her from under the table, and she shot a death glare at the tall man. He pointed to Itachi, who looked like he was falling asleep in his seat. Smiling softly, Sakura just shook her head and left Kisame to bugging his partner awake.

'It must be his eyes. I'll ask about them tonight. Which reminds me, we need to figure out who's going to do a night patrol tonight. If the patrol is this lax during the day, then we have to assume it's tighter at night. Somewhere between dusk and dawn is a weak spot. And we have to find it.'

"Start writing down a list of all the ninja you know and their strengths and weaknesses. That way Kisame and Itachi-kun can get better acquainted with everyone in this shit hole village. That'll make it easier to formulate a plan and execute the SHIT out of this mission." Sakura inwardly sighed, knowing that she had to agree with her inner.

'For once, you actually said something that makes sense. All this alone time must be doing wonders on your intellect.' She could hear her inner growling, which put a smile on her face. Sometimes it was good to have a second opinion, even if the opinion WAS coming from a second entity inside your head.

Sakura looked up from her notes just in time to see the waitress walking towards them with their food. She nearly face-palmed when she saw Kisame do a little dance in his seat.

"Kanta, you're ridiculous. Sanji, pass the salt please!" Sakura said with a grin as her food was placed in front of her. She said thank you to the waitress, and tucked into her steaming food.

With full bellies and a happy Kisame, the trio paid for their lunch and headed out into the street. They walked quietly, letting the people pass around them. Sakura subconsciously led them to a quiet part of the village, near one of the lesser used training fields.

"I never thought I would have to come back here. I get pissed just walking around."Sakura said, breaking the silence that surrounded the trio. Sakura crossed her arms, staring blankly up at the tree canopy. She felt Kisame put a large hand on her shoulder.

"I know kid, it sucks. Sucks for both of you, I'm sure." Sakura swiveled her head to glance over at Itachi, only to see him staring at her with an unreadable expression. Typical Uchiha. Sakura gave him a small, reassuring smile that promised him she was okay. It must have worked because he uncrossed his arms and shifted his attention to a couple of squirrels chasing one another up the tree.

Sakura shifted her attention back to Kisame, who removed his hand from her shoulder and stared out over the empty training grounds. Sakura took the hint and let a smile grace her lips.

"We're pretty secluded, ne? How about a spar? Just a quick one to get our muscles stretched and our blood pumping. After dealing with Genma all morning, I could definitely use a punching bag."

Kisame let out a sharp laugh and looked over at his partner, who had shifted his attention back to his two partners and was watching with faint interest. There may have even been a minute smirk adorning his face, but it was highly unlikely. Any emotion seen on Itachi, or and Uchiha for that matter, usually meant severe pain or gruesome death. Or they were going insane. Generally it was the former.

"I'm gonna take that as a yes. Alright then, you're on pinky. A couple of rules first. Tajutsu only. I don't have my Samehada with me, and any jutsu would more than likely alert the dick squad." Sakura started laughing.

"Alright, sounds fair. Everyone for themselves then." Itachi replied smoothly, sending a slightly annoyed look at Sakura that told her to shut up. Sakura just winked at Itachi and tugged her black gloves from her pocket, pulling them on swiftly. As soon as her hands came up, it was on.

Kisame faked Sakura out and flew at Itachi, his fist aimed for Itachi's face. Not one to fall for such cheap shots, Itachi swiftly dodged Kisames punch and swung his leg out to trip the bulky ninja. Kisame jumped, twisting around just in time to miss a left hook from Sakura. Itachi, who was next in the path of her strong left hook, grabbed her fist and flung her around and into a nearby tree.

Itachi dug his heel into the ground and pushed off, sending punch after punch at the normal-skinned Kisame. Itachi managed to land a strong hit to Kisames rib cage that had him reeling back. Kisame poked his rib with a flinch, staring up at Itachi with a pout.

"Mou, that hurt!" Itachi shrugged his shoulders and advanced towards Kisame, intent on giving him a thorough beating.

Meanwhile, Sakura pulled herself from the tree, yanking a large splinter from her side.

"Superficial, I'm not gonna die. Itachi might!" Sakura growled, staring at the two across the field. Sakura took off running, her feet humming with chakra to keep her at a break-neck pace. Itachi noticed her incoming first, turning around just in time to dodge a high kick aimed for the middle of his shoulders.

Kisame, on the other hand, was not so lucky. He took the chakra enhanced kick straight to the chest, letting out a large grunt as he slammed into the tree directly behind him. Sakura turned her attention to Itachi, who was slowly advancing on her.

"Your turn!" She said, and her fist flew for his stomach. Itachi blocked swiftly, pushing her fist off to the side and landed a hard hit to her jaw. Sakura ignored the sharp pain and took his moment of triumph to trip him. She landed roughly on top of him, her fist slamming into the ground just to the left of his head.

Her knee jammed into his crotch, and she smirked when she saw him flinch momentarily.

"I win." She whispered, pushing herself up to sit back on her heels. Bad move. Itachi flew up, grabbing her by her shoulders and shoving her backwards. He was up, grabbing her just before she hit the ground and shoved her into the cliff side just off to the right of them. The air left her lungs, and she coughed as she took in a lungful of dust.

Itachi rest his head on her shoulder, his lips just barely touching her ear. She tensed when he blew softly. She made to push him off, but he just grabbed her hands and held them to her stomach. He let out a soft chuckle that made her swallow involuntarily.

"No, I think I win." He ran a trail of dry kisses down her neck, licking his lips to taste her beautifully salty taste. She groaned softly, her mind slowly going blank. He let go of her hands and pushed away from her, letting her fall to the earth like a sack of potatoes.

"I hate you." She moaned as she let her head fall back to stare up at the canopy once more. She could hear him shuffle close and his face interrupted her view. His dark eyes staring down at her with burning lust.

"Prove it." Sakura smiled and let him help her up from the ground. She dusted the dirt from her backside and gave Itachi a sultry look.

"Maybe I will." She brushed past Itachi slowly, her gloved hand trailing along his arm. Sakura headed for Kisame, who was still sitting on the ground with his head in his hands.

"Alright there fish face? Itachi sure showed you who's boss!" Kisame growled, removing one of his hands to swat at the young kunoichi. He, of course, completely missed and let his hand fall to the ground. Sakura laughed and leaned in closer to look at his head.

"Your head looks fine, probably just a little bump from slamming into the tree. How's your chest? I know for a fact we both hit you pretty hard in the chest." Kisame lifted his shirt. Purple bruises were already starting to form, replacing the angry red skin from the immediate attack. She pulled off her gloves and placed her hand on the bruise, smiling when he recoiled back.

"You fucking baby, I'm gonna heal them. You might have a cracked rib. Itachi! Calm your chakra. It's fluctuating. You're going to break your henge if you don't... Oh, yeah, I feel it too. Shit." Sakura cursed, her hand glowing as she slowly healed Kisame's beaten torso. She felt Itachi's chakra fade away, and listened as he walked up behind her.

"What is he doing here? I thought he was with Orochimaru." He said quietly, his hand absently touching her hair. Sakura pulled her hand away from the now perfectly clear skin and let Kisame pull his shirt back down.

"I thought so too. Something fishy is going on here. I saw him only two weeks ago, remember? I got into a... confrontation with my old team in the woods. Unless some serious shit went down within those two weeks, then someone is trying to mess with your head, Itachi. Get you to believe your brother is taking a more drastic approach in finding you." Sakura stretched her legs out along the ground, tilting her head down so she could see her torso when she pulled her shirt up. As she expected, just a slight wound.

Itachi stared at her, thinking over what she just said while Kisame stood up and looked out past the trees towards Konoha.

"Great, another thing we have to look into while we're here... And here I thought this mission was going to be easy." Kisame remarked, his eyes still trained to the direction of the village. Sakura grunted in response and tugged her shirt down.

"But not too difficult. It'll be like killing two birds with one stone. Maybe that will make leader-sama happy!" Sakura clapped her hands together, and stood up, stuffing her gloves into her pocket as soon as she was standing.

"Yeah. Lets head back. We can discuss what our plans are about night patrol." Itachi said from behind Sakura, his hand finding its way onto her shoulder. Kisame grinned, showing off a row off perfectly dull, human teeth.

"Sounds good! My head is beginning to hurt from keeping up this henge. My chakra control is nowhere near the control you two have. Plus I smell. Smell my pits pinky, they smell like shit!" Sakura looked at Kisame in horror as he started to advance towards her. She ducked down behind Itachi and flipped Kisame off.

"Fuck you fish-face. You smell like rotten fish even on a good day. Kami knows how bad you smell after a spar. There's probably a new strain of poison being created in there." Kisame just laughed, bringing his arm down with a heavy swing.

"You're a horrible person pinky. You fit in with us just fine!" Sakura gave Itachi a sheepish smile and straightened herself up. Itachi just heaved a sigh and grabbed her arm, tugging her forwards.


So, I suck at anything fighting related. But I'm good at bullshitting xD

Now, I'm really not sure how many more chapters there will be. In the back of my mind,

I feel like this story is going to last forever. But I am praying I can get it done within 10

chapters.

But who knows! haha~

Until next time :D