'We'll be staying… here?' asked the young girl looking around with a faintly distasteful expression, her lip curled slightly as she took in her surroundings.

'This is by far the safest place for us to set ourselves up:' came Kabuto's voice to answer her, 'there's only one opening so we'll be able to intercept the intruders, there's what looks like a pedestal… I thought you'd appreciate that Lord Orochimaru.' he added, glancing at the older man like a child looking for recognition. Mika smirked at his neediness.

'Nice touch.' came Orochimaru's slippery voice, making her growl at Kabuto's smug expression. 'I like the pillars.' he added, also looking around.

'Pfft…' interrupted the girl, miffed. 'it's just more places for them to hide.' she pointed out, folding her arms defiantly; trying to outdo the other subordinate.

'Ah, but you my dear… you don't need to see people to know they're there.' answered the snake-like man turning to smile at her appealingly. 'Do you?' he asked, knowing the answer. Mika raised her eyebrow to him and mirrored his smile. 'Now… we must prepare for their arrival.'

'What… they're still coming?' Mika asked, her eyes widening in surprise. 'But… the other favourites? We escaped them, didn't we?'

'Well, we pretended to evade them.' answered Orochimaru with a dangerous smirk, followed by a dark chuckle. Mika failed to hide a gasp of horror as her mind raced at the thought of the danger Sasuke was letting himself in for. 'I wish to see you my dear, faced against the other young shinobi I have in my view.'

'You want me to fight… Sasuke?' she stammered nervously, suddenly reminded of the dangerously eccentric manner she was dealing with.

'Of course.' he answered as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. 'I'm interested to see how the Sharingan will do against what I have taught you. I know that in a match where neither of you have any specialities then he would win easily, but I don't think anyone can guess the outcome of this match.'

'That's not fair!!' cried Mika, losing her cool completely. 'It won't be a fair fight because there will be Naruto and Kakashi helping him!! Not to mention the fact that I love him!!' she fell silent as she realised what had passed her lips. She looked up at Orochimaru apprehensively.

Orochimaru's face was blank with just a hint of curiosity as he stared back at the girl in front of him. Mika's chest was heaving with emotion at the thought of having to fight her beloved, and the Sannin's mind was racing: this was yet another delicious twist to the already very interesting fight which was to come. He smiled at the prospect and went back to checking out the cave they had chosen.

'Sasuke…' whispered the girl in despair. '…please don't come and rescue me…' she closed her eyes and let her shoulders slump.

'Okay, we found their trail… so let's go already!' yelled the fiery Uchiha boy, his hands balled into fists as he tried to make the stubborn adults hurry.

'These things take time, Sasuke.' answered Kakashi tiredly, putting a soothing hand on the boy's shoulder. 'We mustn't just rush into them like a bull in a china shop.' he looked over at the group of ANBU who had taken themselves off a couple of yards to work out what to do next.

'But we shouldn't have to wait this long if we've got them in our sights.' said Gai in a whisper to his friend and rival. 'We should move now. They'll be expecting us to take our time.'

'So come on!!' cried Naruto excitedly, grinning at the idea of getting Mika back so quickly and with so little problems.

'We have decided to go ahead.' said the female ANBU, walking back to them and putting one of her hands on her hip. 'But you'd better be prepared for a fight. It seems they want us to find them.' Naruto's jaw dropped.

'They want us to find them?' he asked at the top of his voice, his eyes wide and his jaw slack.

It would make sense actually… thought Kakashi, blocking out the sound of Naruto ranting on, Orochimaru will want to see Mika and Sasuke against each other. It's obvious. He looked over at the dark haired boy who was getting more and more wound up. Sasuke would never fight Mika. Would Mika not give him a choice?

'Well stop ranting on!' exclaimed the smaller of the two ANBU men to Naruto. 'Let's just get going shall we??' and with that the small group of shinobi set off along the trail which led towards Orochimaru, a big fight and more importantly: Mika.