I walked into Risuke's office. He hadn't been home for days. Being only eleven years old I w curious to where he'd gone and went looking for him. "Risuke?" I actually didn't expect to find him in a mess this big. Papers, books, and scrolls were everywhere. I walked over to his desk around a mountain of books and saw him lying on his desk sleeping.

Risuke was in charge of decoding lost documents of Konoha and he had no one to help him. I often wondered why the third hokage wouldn't hire any help for him. He was always a workaholic. I walked over and looked at the papers on his desk. The paper on top caught my eye. It looked like something he had recently decoded. Some parts were still missing though.

"Senju clan- - - - - - fought with Uchiha- - - - - - - - many years. Konoha-----------------first Hokage and Madara- - - - - - - Itachi hired for his clan's destruction- - - -Konoha orders- - - - - - - - - - - - -his mission was the destruction of Uchiha."

What was this paper? I was aware that someone named Itachi Uchiha had killed everyone in his family except for his brother whose name I did not know. But the few words I read were implying a lot more.

I couldn't read the rest. Risuke's hand had slapped the paper to keep me from reading more..

Uh oh.

He scrunched it up quickly and threw it into a fire.

He looked terribly tired. But was he too tired to get angry at me for sneaking through his stuff? "Risuke?" He looked at me, dark circles around his eyes. "You weren't done decoding that." I said.

He walked over and kneeled down in front of me. "Akizakura." He paused then continued. "Do you still plan on becoming a ninja?" I nodded. He sighed. "Akizakura, the life of a ninja is hard. It's dangerous and you'll be lucky if you don't lose any friends. Each ninja village has terrible secrets and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

I cocked my head at him. "What's wrong?"

Of course I could tell what was wrong.

Whatever he was decoding was something that had been lost for a long time and no one was supposed to read it. I got the feeling it was a type of thing that wasn't supposed to be on paper but all ninja's break at least one big rule in their ninja career.

I'm sure not even Risuke himself, whose job was filled with knowing secrets, was never supposed to know about it.

Risuke looked down. "Only the third hokage, his advisors, and the leader of Roots know what was on that paper but I doubt they know it survived all these years." He grabbed my shoulders firmly. "Akizakura, you must never…ever speak of whatever you read to anyone. Doing so could result in many deaths."

"……..might wake up soon."

Someone's waking me up. I'm still tired and I was having an interesting dream. Maybe if I stay quiet they'll go away and the dream will come back. "………………"

"Ak…….ura?"

Whose voice is that? It sounded familiar. I snuggled deeper into the covers.

Wait…covers? Wasn't I supposed to be outside? Ah, who cares? I'm comfy. A hand patted my head. "Hey, if you're awake you should act like your awake, Akizakura. You were worrying people." I opened my eyes a little only to glare at the owner of the hand who made it impossible for me to fall asleep again. My glare left quickly when I realized who it was. "Genma?" I muttered.

Genma Shiranui looked back at me with his small smile. He was still chewing on a toothpick as usual. As I tried to sit up I realized some parts of me were covered in bandages and there were white walls. I was in a Konoha hospital room. Sunlight hurt my eyes as it shone through the blinds next to me. "Um…" I started.

"Explanations?" Genma asked guessing. "That'd be kinda nice." I said looking around. I wanted to make sure this wasn't some illusion put up by the enemy. It seemed real.

"You were found around the mountain area by tracker shinobi who were sent immediately off to find you once we noticed you were missing. I won't bore you with the details since you don't bother much to small facts anyway."

He knows me so well.

"But a couple miles from where you found was one of Orochimaru's hideout where we guessed you were being kept. It was destroyed and no one was found inside."

"No one…really?"

"Not counting any dead bodies. Quite a battle. The shinobi who intruded lost I'm sure you must've guessed. And of course there was no good information left behind either. Orochimaru is an expert at leaving behind no clues." Genma sighed. "You were missing for around three to five days. Of course I didn't hear about it right away because I've been so busy."

"I see…"

Genma thought for a moment. "Now that I think about it that was the same reason why you and your team couldn't take the Chuunin exams for awhile. I was helping getting the exam ready so there was no way I'd be able get you and your team ready in time."

Oh….such a terrible loss. I wouldn't have been able to work more. Oh woe is me and…all that stuff. "It's okay." I said as I lay back down onto the feathery pillow.

Genma yawned as he stood up and headed towards the door. "I better get going. I was lucky to find time to visit you at all. I'll see you around." He paused. "And I'm sorry about Risuke. Good job on healing yourself too. The medics didn't have to do much. You took care of yourself well."

I smiled smugly. "Yup yup I'm so amazing." I thought back to how I passed out and how long I slept. Then I remembered I had a dream. I tried to remember the dream I had. It had involved Risuke. Poor dead Risuke. "Genma?"

He turned around. "Hmm?"

"Did they ever find out why I was kidnapped?" I asked. Genma frowned calmly. "We're guessing it was because of Risuke."

Risuke? The dead guy? The one who can't have any fun and works all the time? Ha ha…

"What did Risuke do exactly?" I asked raising my right eyebrow. Genma looked troubled. "You understood the danger of Risuke's job didn't you?" he asked.

Genma didn't usually look this troubled so I got a bit nervous. "He…decodes documents so old they were made around sixty years ago. I think it was before Konoha was even formed…so it was to be expected that enemies of other countries would try to torture him with information on Konoha. For that reason he wasn't allowed to leave the village because of the information he might've kept." I paused not sure if I liked where this was going.

"Risuke was breaking the rules."

I looked at Genma funny and sat back up in my bed. "Hey, are you changing the subject?" Genma shook his head. "No. What I'm trying to say is that Risuke broke the rules every time he shared information with you of those secret documents." Genma frowned at me. "Though I'm sure you were aware of that already."

Of course I was aware that Risuke shared super dark secrets with me. I couldn't help but listen and ask him about it. I loved secrets. I still do. And the fact that they were super dark secrets made them all the more charming.

But how could anyone have known? I probably mentioned to my mom that Risuke was sharing stuff with me. But she wouldn't have told anyone. Risuke probably opened his big fat mouth. He couldn't bring himself to lie so if someone asked him if he shared information with anyone he'd no doubt tell the truth. Especially if it was someone who was of higher authority.

Risuke is a wimp. Wimp, wimp, wimpity, wimp, wimp. Ha ha!

I hope his zombie doesn't come back to get me in revenge. That'd be a little awkward.

"Akizakura, you understand that the intruders tortured Risuke for information right?"

I frowned sadly. "Aww Genma!! I was just starting to get over his death!" I slumped down on my pillow. Genma frowned at me. "I'm not gonna sugar coat anything that happened but-"

"I know. I know." I interrupted rudely. "I think I get it now though. The intruders found out that they needed more information but they already killed Risuke but they somehow found out that he shared some of the information he discovered with me so I became a target."

I glanced out the window and noticed that it was very sunny day. For some reason it made me wonder how many people even realized I was gone. My mom must've realized. I'm sure Kakashi realized since he could always tell with stuff like that. I thought it'd be pretty cool if Sai realized to.

"Oh, before I forget." Genma said. "Some of the Anbu would like you to explain everything that happened."

I frowned. "I don't know anything. I was kept in a cell for most of the time. Besides all the info they're probably gonna get is the same info they got when the looked at Orochimaru's hideout." Genma shrugged. "The Anbu just want to make sure their getting all the information they can."

I scrunched my eyebrows together and made a big frown resulting in a very unattractive expression. "The Anbu are a pain!" I whined.

"You should make that face at boys you like." Genma said while smiling as he shut the door. I sighed and decided that I should start to take of the few bandages I had. Nothing was really that bad. I didn't see the need for the bandages really. Also figuring it was time that I moved and got some exercise I sat up in my bed. Before I actually got anywhere the door opened again and I thought it was gonna be Genma again to tell me something he forgot but no. It was Sai.

I smiled and gave him a small wave. "Hey, haven't seen you for awhile have I?" I studied him. He had the same expression he always wore when I first met him. He wasn't wearing his head band or anything. He would have seemed relaxed to me if he wasn't wearing such a…what would you call it? Calmly serious? I frowned at him. "What? No flowers?"

"I've already contributed to the flowers Naruto and Sakura left you." Sai stated.

"Flowers?" I looked around and sure enough right next to me on a table there were flowers. How did I miss that?

About three bouquets of them. One consisted of red roses and some type of purple tulip. Weird…must've been from my mom. Another was basically a bunch of white pretty flowers and the last one was an assortment of daises, chrysanthemums, amaryllis, anemones, a few bluebells, camellias, marigolds, a bunch of carnations and is that what I think it is? It is! Geraniums! A very pretty red flower that I do enjoy. I wonder how fun a Yamanaka had while making all these…

I reached over for the card that belonged to the bouquet of many flowers and ripped open the small envelope. I remembered Sai was still standing there. "Oops…sorry. I should be a better host huh?" I patted my bed gesturing him to sit down. "Welcome to my humble hospital room. It's kind of small but please make yourself comfortable."

For awhile Sai didn't move. Just when I was gonna give up and unfold my legs on the bed Sai sat down. Aah!! My precious leg room!!

"Go ahead and put your feet on the bed Sai. I don't care if you have your shoes on and I'm gonna try to get out of here today. How long have I been asleep? Any idea?"

"At least a full day." Sai answered almost solemnly. What's up with him? I read my card. "Oh hey! It's from you and Naruto and Sakura! How sweet."

Sai glanced at me. "When you were put in the hospital we visited you."

"You visited me?" I think I'm actually touched. "Why?"

Kind of a dumb question but I wanted to hear Sai's answer.

Sai looked at me. "You told me once that when a friend is sick their friends visit them." Something told me that Naruto or Sakura may have tried to teach him more about emotions when I was gone. "You also said flowers make good gifts so the three of us went and bought some at the Yamanaka flower shop." Wow. He really remembered that stuff? Even I forgot about that. Sai really does listen and take in everything I say…

Hm…this is an intriguing development.

"For some reason Ino was excited to see me." Sai said calmer than usual.

"…"

Ino? Really? I guess she did appear to have a crush on him when we went out to lunch. Apparently she was still crushing. I have to be honest. It bugged me.

I sighed as I reached for another card. This one belonged to the bouquet of white flowers. I flipped the card open. "What do you know? It's from my first teammates and Genma." They remembered me! Yay!

"So Ino was excited?" I changed the subject too quickly. "Actually I couldn't tell." Sai said. "Naruto pointed it out."

I laughed. "Y'know sometimes I forget your not that skilled at reading emotions."

"That was why you supposed to be helping me."

I picked up the card from my mother and dusted the spare petals off. "Did you learn anything while I was gone or are you totally hopeless without me?"

"When you disappeared…" Sai started but stopped. Why is he pausing?! "Don't stop there Sai!" I said "What were you going to say?"

"When you first disappeared…I felt what I felt a long time ago."

I looked at him funny. "A long time ago? That's real specific." I threw the cards back on the table.

"I felt the same feeling I felt when my brother died." I tilted my head to the side and thought. His brother. His not-related-by-blood brother. "So…what did you feel?"

"Nothing."

I frowned. "Nothing?"

"I didn't know what to feel. So I felt nothing."

I thought for awhile. "So…if I made you feel the same way how the death of your brother made you feel…does that mean we're getting somewhere with your emotions?"

"You're asking me question that requires me to know about emotions." Sai looked at me. "You're supposed to be the expert. You tell me."

I shrugged.

"And if you remember correctly you were the one who told me when someone with a lack of emotions like myself loses someone dear to them they go into a state of uncaring." Wait a minute. Did Sai just scoot a little closer to me or was I getting paranoid again? Yeah. I think I'm getting paranoid. Sai gave me one of his fake smiles again. "Then if what you said was true that would mean I've learned to care for you."

Sai may have forgotten how to express emotions but surely he knew what it meant when you're in someone's personal space. I decided to quit the conversation before it got too awkward for me. "We can talk more about this later. Let's go out to eat somewhere with Naruto and Sakura."

"Actually the Hokage wants to see you." Sakura said appearing in the doorway.

I gaped at her. "Wow, Sakura. Appearing out of nowhere like that. You're like a ninja."

"I am a ninja!"

She did seem troubled by something I quickly realized. But by what? Me, her good teammate who was not dead and home safely. I smiled uneasily. "Um…Sakura…usually when a friend is alive after being kidnapped by a criminal they're supposed to be happy." I looked over to Sai. "Are you taking notes Sai? This is important emotional stuff right here."

"It's not about you." Sakura sighed. "You're not important."

"Ouch."

Sakura frowned. "Sorry, that came out wrong. What I meant was…Orochimaru's been killed."

Wow. That was fast.

I raised my arms and clapped my hands like a little girl. "Yaaay." I lowered them and gave Sakura weird look. "So tell me why the death of a man who caused trouble and despair to all troubles you."

"You don't get it at all do you?" Sakura asked. "Sasuke is the one who killed Orochimaru."

Big surprise there. Not.

I'm pretty sure Sasuke never liked him in the first place. Must've been hell dealing with Orochimaru and Kabuto by himself all these past years. Not that I care. Orochimaru was getting pretty old anyway. If Sasuke didn't get him his broken hip would.

Sakura looked sadly away. "And…he's still not coming back to Konoha."

"That's not really much of shocker right?" I said. "I mean…Sasuke left in the first place to get stronger. Orochimaru, I'm sure, was just a stepping stone for him."

Sakura glared at me. Scary. "You don't get anything at all do you?" Sakura left the room before I could get another word in. I turned to Sai. "That might've been a little insensitive of me huh?"

"There you go again." Sai said. "Acting like I know what the answer is to a question that requires me to know more than I do."

(I'M SORRY. I forgot about this story for around a month and I've been distracted with deviantart. I also would've updated this a day earlier but fanfiction wasn't working!! To those who have been reading this story and waiting for this chapter to come out I'd like to thank you for dealing with my less than average writing skills.)