Standard Disclaimer Applied
YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! The sequel is here! It took a rather long time, but the sequel to Not So Simple After All is here! And if you haven't read that, you probably won't understand this. But I highly recommend it!Hope you like it!
Tsunade stared silently down at the report lying on her desk, completely aware of the rest of the room's occupants watching her nervously for her next move. Shikamaru, captain of the squad, spoke first. "Tsunade-sama?"
Nothing but more silence pressed down on the group. Sure, they had expected a weird reaction, but nothing as calm and collected as this. "Um," he began again, "Tsunade-sa—"
"Where is the Uchiha now?" she interrupted.
"Uh…well, Kakashi, Naruto, and Sakura took him to the hospital to…uh…finish healing him…"
The Hokage leaned forward and propped her elbows on her desk. Rubbing her temples soothingly, she mulled over the situation she now found herself trapped in. "And who's brilliant idea was that?" she mutter darkly.
'Of course it was. Who else would I expect? Kakashi, we are going to have a very serious talk about what to do when bringing a traitor into Konohoa very very soon…Uchiha Sasuke is far too dangerous a criminal; he needed to be brought to me first.'
Tsunade took her time looking around her office and all the faces that peered back at her anxiously. "Team, the mission was a success. You are dismissed, except you, Hyuuga Neji. I have one last task for you."
The entire group filed out of the Hokage's office one by one, all looking rather tired and worn out. Shikamaru seemed to have mastered the art of sleep walking, and Chouji seemed to be moving in slow motion simply raising a chip to his mouth. At last they all exited, leaving only the honourable Hokage and the famous Hyuuga prodigy.
"What is this task you have for me, Hokage-sama?" Neji asked.
"Neji, you seem to have some energy left in you, compared to your teammates at least. Go to the hospital and retrieve the Uchiha and Team Kakashi. Bring them to me at once, no matter if they're in the middle of a surgery or not. Also, make sure no one sets eyes on the traitor. I can't afford an uproar before I've even spoken to him."
With that, he quietly left the room, leaving the Hokage to mull over her current dilemma in peace.
"Stop that!" hissed Sasuke.
Sakura glanced at her patient for a second, peering through a curtain of pink hair that had escaped from her bun. Then she returned to poking his ribs, prodding around for anything out of place, placidly ignoring all of his winces and grunts.
"Be quiet and quit moving," she replied evenly.
On the inside, however, Inner Sakura was seething. "All he does is complain!"
As her fingers ran over a particular spot, Sasuke emitted a low growl that quickly turned into a wince as she pressed down.
At that, Naruto perked up from his post at the door and chuckled. "Teme, what the hell was that?"
"Shut up, dobe."
"Aww, the great big Sasuke angry? Ha! You sounded like a little kitten!"
"Want to come over here and say that?" Sasuke snapped.
"I'd love to, but I might lose control accidentally and beat you into a bloody pulp."
"Tch. As if you could lay a hand on me, dead last."
Bounding across the rather small hospital room, Naruto raised his fist and shouted "Why you—"
"Now, now, Naruto," said Kakashi, catching his fist neatly, "you know we can't do that."
"But Kakashi…" whined Naruto.
Suddenly, Kakashi's visible eye crinkled, "But, once we're all in a safe, secluded place where no bystanders will be at risk; well, then we can all beat him into a bloody pulp."
Sakura, who had been watching the little bickering with mild interest from the sidelines, smiled instantly and poked him in the ribs again, earning another grunt from the rather irritated Uchiha. "But for now, we can just do this. Would you like a poke, Naruto?"
Sasuke glared at all of them. Oh, how he hated them all right now. Maybe, if he glared at them long enough, they would all just go away and stop poking him and stop smiling at him and stop pestering the hell out of them. They hadn't changed nearly as much as he had thought from his first impression.
Not nearly as much.
"You might want to hurry it up though," said Kakashi as he slid one of his many notorious Icha Icha Paradise books out of pockets and flipped a page, "Hyuuga's coming down the hall already."
"It's that damn Byakugan! He finds us every time!" whined Naruto as he draped himself over a chair unceremoniously.
Sasuke, meanwhile, was sitting up and pulling his shirt back on; or, at least he was, before Sakura pushed him back down harshly and hissed, "I'm not finished yet."
Still glaring, he tried his best to not react as Sakura prodded his ribs a few more times. Sighing softly, she said, "There's still some swelling between these few ribs." She poked him again for emphasis, ignoring once more his wince. "I advise nothing strenuous for a while, no twisting about either." Fingers gliding over the flat of his stomach, Sakura then began to prod above Sasuke's hip bone. Immediately he jerked upwards at her touch, earning a smile from her. "Aw, is Sasuke-chan ticklish?"
Kakashi spoke up then, ignoring Sakura's comment and with his nose still buried his book, "Maybe lockdown is a good thing; they won't let him move an inch." He paused momentarily to turn the page, "Wow, Sasuke in a jail cell…can't honestly say I would have been surprised if someone had told me that five years ago."
With that, Naruto bolted upright and grinned sinisterly, "Teme, you don't know what happens in jail, don't you?" He then wiggled his eyebrows for more effect, though it came across as idiotic-looking to the Uchiha.
Barely suppressing a giggle, Sakura added, "And who knows what might befall such a pretty boy like Sasuke-kun."
As Sasuke scowl deepened, Naruto's face suddenly turned serious. "Whatever you do, teme, don't drop the soap." Now he was howling with laughter, while Sakura and Kakashi simply smiled on in amusement.
"SHUT. UP." Sasuke hissed.
"Well quit moving," answered Sakura, traces of mirth still evident in her eyes. Did she truly enjoy his suffering like this?
"Well hurry it up with whatever the hell you're doing."
"I'm feeling for your spleen."
"Yes, if any of your wounds are infected just a little bit, your spleen would swell up to a certain degree."
"Looks to me like you're just trying to feel Uchiha up." Sakura turned just in time to see Neji, standing in the doorway, deactivate his Byakugan.
"Oh," Kakashi began, "Head's up, Hyuuga's here."
"Thank you, Kakashi," she remarked dryly, "Really."
Turning back to her patient, Sakura felt her stomach do a flip as she saw Sasuke smirking up at her. Sighing exasperatedly, she flung Sasuke's shirt (aiming straight as that handsome little face of his) and turned to follow Neji and her teammates out the door. "You're all clear."
'It's strange,' thought Sakura.
The five were now sprinting down the hall so fast the only trace of their passing was the great gust of wind that followed after. Recognizing a few medic-nin and some patients, Sakura felt at ease here, more so than anywhere else.
All the people in the hallway never noticed any of the group though; they just continued on with their daily lives, completely unaware. None of them even slightly suspected that one of the notorious Uchiha traitors had come back to Konohoa.
'Sasuke-kun's home,' she repeated to herself.
Wheeling a patient into a standard room were Aito and Izamani. They were nice people. Sure Aito was a bit of a hermit, and Izamani was bit too vain; but they were nice people: calm in the OR and pleasant to catch lunch with.
Next Sakura glanced upon one of her patients; a Sand nin named Taku (he'd encountered a trio of Rain nin a few miles from Konohoa while trying to deliver the Hokage a message). She had reconnected a few arteries and patched up his left lung in the OR for him the night Sasuke had come. Last Sakura had seen him; he'd been using a breathing tube. Yet here he was now, obviously recovered quite a bit and getting a soda out of the vending machine 2 ½ days later.
Then there was Fusao, the pediatrician; his autistic patient Yukitaka; Junko, the medical specialist; and then a few orderlies she recognized but could draw no name for. To all of them, she realized, it was just another day.
'But to me,' she thought, 'this day means everything.'
Following the orange blur ahead of her, Sakura quickly peeked behind her to make sure Sasuke was still with them. He was, though he lagging a bit. His injuries after the big showdown were grave; and as fast a healer as Sasuke was, it would take a while before he fully recovered.
As Sakura lurched to the right, ready to bolt down the stairs after the others, the elevator beside her began to open.
The first person she recognized was Yamato, though he took no notice of her (his head was craned over what appeared to be a mission report, scribbling something down).
The second was Sai. Their eyes met, for a brief second. The corners of his mouth faltered for a bit before turning upwards to for his famous but obviously fake smile.
Then his eyes flew past her, pointed directly over her left shoulder.
'So he's seen Sasuke.'
And the smile was gone.
But Sakura didn't have time to think over it as she was already bounding down the stairs, Sasuke hurdling after her. She would deal with anything and everything when the time came.
What the hell was all this for? As soon as they had entered the Hokage Tower, two squads of ANBU had appeared to "apprehend the Uchiha Sasuke." Was it absolutely necessary to chain him up like this? Sasuke had to be carried up to the Hokage's office (which, as comes as no surprise, was a blow to his ego), because he couldn't walk with all the chains so tight, much less feel the lower half of his body. What the hell was their problem?
"You, Uchiha Sasuke, are a traitor to Konohoa and an S-Classed criminal."
"For now," Tsunade continued, "you will be 'residing' in one of our Top Security cells and remain under the supervision of Morino Ibiki, Head of the Interrogation Units, and his team."
Hey, Sasuke recognized that name from somewhere…Wasn't that the guy who ran the first test in the Chuunin Exam? Sasuke could sense a large presence of chakra to his left, but couldn't move his head to catch a glimpse of him. All he could see was straight ahead of him: the Godaime and a small pig wearing make-up (both of them looked pissed).
"Until further notice, any and all visitors to your cell must receive a signed slip from either Ibiki or me in order to permitted access. Nod your head if you understand, Uchiha."
Blinking his eyes slowly, Sasuke remained glaring ahead; and only a short mumble was heard through the duct tape covering his mouth.
"Uchiha!" Tsunade bellowed, slamming her fist on the desk, "Show some respect!"
"Tsunade-sama," spoke Kakashi (who was standing somewhere behind the Uchiha with Naruto and Sakura), "I seriously doubt Sasuke can nod his head with all of his restraints."
"Fine…" replied the Hokage, "Alright Uchiha: Blink twice for yes, three times for no. Are we clear?"
Growling irritably, though it only came out as a muffled grumble, Sasuke continued glaring onward.
"Well?" snapped Tsunade.
As he grudgingly blinked twice; he cursed all of them to damnation. But they couldn't hear him because of that damn tape!! And why the hell were the chains so tight? If Sasuke wanted to escape, he would have already! But seriously, he was starting to lose the feeling in his shoulders too. And was it really necessary to but his head in a brace? It's not like he could make hand signs with his chin or anything.
"Good. We're moving right along then. Sasuke, your trial has yet to be scheduled, but I can guarantee it will be held sometime in the next two weeks."
He didn't react.
"Answer already, Uchiha!"
"Because of your status as an S-Classed criminal, you cannot be judged by a jury of your peers, in accordance with the law, but only by the Council of Elders themselves."
Blink. Blink. That was understandable.
"During your stay in prison, you will endure as many interrogations as Ibiki and I feel are needed, using any methods needed. These will be given by either Ibiki or one of his subordinates. All of these sessions shall be authorized by me first, be taped, and your participation will be mandatory and essential to your case. Understand?"
Letting out an exasperated breathe, Sasuke rolled his eyes before blinking again.
"Anything you say—or do not say," Tsunade added hastily (it was Sasuke's nature), "will either help or hurt you. So I suggest being extremely careful with what you say."
"Yeah teme! So don't screw it up!"
Everyone just loved to annoy Sasuke today, didn't they? Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.
"Say," asked Tsunade, quirking a brow, "what exactly does four blinks mean?"
Sakura answered, "I think he's trying to tell Naruto to shut up, Tsunade-shishou."
"Good translations," replied the Godaime.
"Eh, it's easy. Sasuke pretty much only says about five different phrases," she said before whispering, "I think that's all he knows."
Once again, Sasuke attempted to growl ferociously, but it only came out as a low murmur. Blink. Blink. Blink.
"I think you did well, Sakura," spoke Kakashi, "but you forgot the 'dobe' part."
Crossing his arms and averting his eyes, Naruto simply huffed and grunted. "Teme."
"Back to the matter at hand," Tsunade said matter-of-factly, "Sasuke, you will, in the meantime, remain in those restraints," she paused thoughtfully," though maybe not as much. Your chakra points will be shut down completely, courtesy of Hyuuga Neji. But that won't be until tomorrow; lucky for you, I've already dismissed Hyuuga for the day to recuperate. Also, your chakra will be drained daily by a member of Ibiki's squad."
Blink. Blink. Blink.
"Excuse me? You don't call the shots; I do."
Blink. Blink. Bl—(the third one was left unfinished, thanks to a just-in-time punch from dear Sakura-chan).
Smiling sweetly, Tsunade continued, "Glad we see eye to eye. Really."
Damn it! His eyes were tired.
"Look," said Tsunade, as she rummaged through one of her desk drawers, "From now on, your future rests in our hands. We decide if you're home-free or headed for the executioner's block—though it'll probably be something in between. Thing is, it will mostly depend on your cooperation."
A small murmur was emitted through the duct tape first, and then Sasuke slowly blinked twice.
"Good. Now that that's settled," the Hokage paused to extract a bottle of sake, "I believe someone said Orochimaru, the snake bastard himself, is dead. I take it you're the one responsible?"
"Then I propose we throw a festival to celebrate! After all, it's not everyday one of Konohoa's biggest threats is eliminated!"
"You're just looking for an excuse to drink more sake and shank off your paperwork. Probably looking to gamble too, aren't you, Shishou?" said Sakura.
Quickly gulping down a bit of sake, Tsunade rolled her eyes and replied, "You always were a smart girl. A tad bit too smart for my taste, but, well, it can't be helped."
"Who cares what the festival is for, as long as we have one!" piped up Naruto.
Sighing quietly, Sakura smiled and said, "Here, here!"
"Aw," Kakashi interrupted, "but dear Sasuke-kun will be bound in a lonely, dank cell while we're all out partying the night away." His visible eye crinkled as he smiled beneath his mask—he certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
"He'll live," answered Naruto and Sakura simultaneously.
Tch…some friends they were…
Tsunade then spoke up, "ANBU, take Uchiha to his cell. Sakura, Naruto, you have the rest of the day to rest—and that means rest, Sakura. As for you, Kakashi, we apparently need to go over what to do when bringing home an S-Classed criminal, just for future references."
Naruto and Sakura trudged out of the office, turning back just to get a good laugh out of Sasuke being hoisted over an ANBU's shoulder. He looked ready to murder someone. The last they saw was the fearful expression on Kakashi's face and Tsunade taking another swig of sake before Ibiki shut the door.
'Kakashi's in for it now,' Sakura thought.
"Whatever!" screeched Inner Sakura, "We have a festival to prepare for!"
With that, Naruto and Sakura went their separate ways, promising to meet up at the festival. Man, was she tired. The ANBU had already "escorted" Sasuke off the premises, chains clinking as they went and Sasuke's eyes still burning with fury.
Quite funny, actually.
OK, let me make one thing clear: I hate SakuSai, so there will be none of that in this fic. If you got that impression, don't be mislead. I just wanted to add Sai and Yamato quickly (because they weren't in NSSAA at all--hey, it wasn't my fault. I didn't see them in the manga till like a month after I started writing it and it was too late to get them in.) It'll be explained in later chapters.
Also, this fic is officially slightly AU, so I can bend the rules any way I please now. The rest of Team Hebi will appear, just not as 'Team Hebi.' I want them in my story (I love Juugo and Suijetsu, hate Karin) so they will appear. So don't be surprised when they suddenly pop out of nowhere.
In case of of my Powerful fans are reading this, I'm sorry to say that that fic is ON HOLD, due to a massive case of writer's block. I started it when I couldn't write any sasusaku, but now I can (which for some reason makes it hard for me to write nejisaku). Sorry, really. I will continue it, just at a later date.
NOW REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!! Please, I'm especially intersted in my old NSSAA fans, and I want to know what everyone thinks of the diretion it's taking. Constructive criticism is welcome.