A/N: I realized I forgot to write an author's note in the first chapter…I forgot in my other story too…I don't know why, though, since I really do like writing author's notes. They're informative and help provide you with data to make your reading more enjoyable! Anyways, there's going to be this whole "Loser-of-game-gets-punishment" thing that'll keep recurring in my fanfictions…just to let you know so you won't be like, "Wait a minute! Wasn't that in the other story?" By the way, this was supposed to be two chapters but I combined it into one. Thanks for reviewing, loves, it's a great inspiration to me. Don't forget to check out my other stories (: and please inform me of any grammar/spelling mistakes! English errors make me sad x.x

Rain poured down hard, but the little girl sitting on the veranda didn't seem to mind it much She seemed too occupied with crying, her tears almost a worthy adversary to the downpour. She was a skinny child, not very pretty, but her blonde hair was her most highlighting feature. She wore ragged clothes and her face was smeared with not only tears but also soot.

A passing man under an umbrella, wearing a black robe with strange red clouds over it and carrying a large sack, noticed her and stopped. "What's wrong, hm? Aren't you a little too old to be crying, yeah?"

She sniffled and looked up at him. "I-I've got a splinter…"

"Ah, you're still just a little child, yeah," replied the man. "Let me see, un. Maybe I can take it out."

Slowly, she held out her hand, revealing a small piece of wood lodged on the tip of her ring finger.

"Won't hurt at all, yeah," he reassured her. He pulled a pair of tweezers from his bag and quickly plucked out the nuisance. "There you go, un."

And yet, she still continued to weep as the rain poured down the leaves of the lush green trees surrounding the area.

"What is it, hm? Are you still being a baby?"

She looked up at him with azure blue eyes, a little red and puffy from the crying. "I-I don't want to stay here anymore."

"Ah, love, had a row with your mother, hm?"

"My mother's…not here…" she replied sadly.

"Where is she then? Surely this is your home, yeah."

The little girl shook her head. "Okaa-san's in heaven now."

"And your father, yeah?"

"He's with Okaa-san." Her eyes drifted to the ground.

"Who do you live with then, hm?"

The look of despondence on her face changed to spite. "Oba-san."

"Not so bad, yeah. When my parents died, I had no one, un."

The child burst into wild sobs. "I don't want to live with Oba-san!"

The outburst had frightened the man. He hadn't a clue what to do. It was one thing to comfort a sad little child but another to take action with one that had an outbreak of rage. "Hush, you're going to make people think I'm the bad guy, yeah." He would hate it if a fellow traveler wandered through the same road and caught him with a sobbing child. He wouldn't want to be reprimanded for something he didn't do.

She tried to stop and began to breathe deeply. "I'm tired of being…a slave…I want Okaa-san…" Her bones ached with being forced to clean the whole house every single morning, and her stomach protested in not getting enough food. She was sick of her treatment and how unfair the world was.

The man looked pensively at the child as her small body shook. "What's your name, hm?"

"I-Ino," she stuttered.

"Ino, yeah? The name's Deidara. You don't think your Oba-san would mind if you took a trip with me, hm?"

Ino's eyes widened as she looked at him. "What kind of trip?" she asked, as she calmed down a bit.

"You don't have to come back here if you don't want to." The rain continued to pour, but Deidara didn't seem to give much thought to the dampening weather.

After some hesitation, she stood up next to him and took his hand. She barely reached his waist. "I don't want to come back."

"That's just fine, yeah." He grinned meticulously.


Population: 120 million

Location: Crossroad between Eastern Asia and the Middle East

Official Languages: English and Japanese

Year of Independence: 1933, after being a colony of Japan

Status: Unstable; Internal conflicts and terrorism; It is unadvised for travelers to visit this area during this period of time

GDP PPP: $23,000

The plan ride would take around twelve hours. If they had gone public instead of the private jet, it would've taken sixteen hours. However, eight hours with Hozuki Suigetsu was more than enough for Karin. The jet was one of the best the CIA had to offer. The long couches were leather and cushiony and could be pulled out to make comfortable beds and there were two bathrooms. There was a mini bar and a kitchen in the back with a professional chef. A large widescreen television was provided as well as smaller, individual televisions with headphones and laptops. The jet was designed for luxury.

Karin sat across from Suigetsu and Ino who were chatting about something, Karin wasn't even sure. They had decided to dye Ino's hair a light color like Suigetsu's, since, according to Ino, the most common color there was blonde and white. With that fact, Karin was stuck wearing a blonde wig while Suigetsu was free of any hair disguises.

"Hey, is it just me, or are we actually assigned as writers?" asked Suigetsu, looking at Karin. "I was sure Sasuke said tourists just the other day."

"Yeah…well I guess he forgot," replied Karin. "He's been more distant ever since he got to be head of the CIA."

"People change," said Ino hardly. "That's how it's always been, that's how it'll always be."

Karin sighed and looked out the window. They had just taken off. She could already tell that this would be a very long plane ride.

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

"For the last time, no, so SHUT THE HELL UP!" screamed Karin. The bastard had been asking that question for the last hour and a half. They had only been in the air for two hours. The fact that it irritated her probably stimulated him to continue his heckling. "Go watch the damn TV or something." She went back to staring out of the window.

Suigetsu sighed and turned on the television. He flipped through the channels, but gave up his attempt when he realized that no show would be able to satisfy his boredom as well as bugging Karin. "Hey, Karin."

"What?" she asked irritably.

"Are…we there yet?" Ino punched him. "SHIT!" He clutched his arm in pain. Karin looked over, surprised.

"You shouldn't bug a woman," stated Ino simply.

"You didn't have to hit me that hard!" said Suigetsu, tears almost forming as he rocked back and forth with pain.

"No, no, I did have to," assured Ino. "Now go find something occupying." She patted him on the head.

He lied back on the seat, sighing. "There's nothing to do though…"

"Card game?" she asked, pulling out a deck. "Karin, would you like to play?"

Karin turned her head from the window. "Alright." She was bored after all. "What game?"

Ino put her finger to her head, thinking. "I believe you Americans call it Thirteen?"

"Never played it before," said Suigetsu.

"We'll teach you," replied Ino.

Their first sample game for Suigetsu went smoothly and he seemed to understand what they were telling him. But during the next few games, he became irritable. "What the fuck do you mean I can't put down double queens and double kings?!"

"There has to be another double in order for you to do that," informed Karin.

"What the hell?! That's so stupid!" He threw down his cards in frustration.

"You forfeit, then, Suigetsu?" smirked Karin.

"Huh?" He quickly retrieved his cards. "Hells no!"

Ino let out a sigh that seemed to say "Suigetsu-is-hopeless-at-Thirteen". She murmured, "Too bad we saw your hand."

"Cheaters!" accused Suigetsu.

"You should think before throwing down your cards like that, baka," insulted Karin.

"This game is impossible! GAH! I pass, damn it!"

"Might as well give up now," said Ino. "You're going to lose. Both Karin and I only have two cards left each."

"No, I won't accept the punishment!"

"Fine, but it would've been better if you gave up with dignity." Ino placed down two fives. "I'm out."

Karin passed. Suigetsu saw it as an opportunity for him to make a comeback. He played down double queens. Karin had to reluctantly pass again, glaring at Suigetsu. He played double kings and again she passed. All the twos had been used up, but if he had a double in his hand, she would lose. He played a king. Again, she had to pass. All she had was a four and an eight. Next he played a seven. She played the eight. She crossed her fingers, hoping he couldn't beat it. However, she yelled out defeat when he put down his final card, a Jack.

"DAMN IT!" she cursed.

Suigetsu snickered. "Loser gets punishment, remember?" They had decided on a penalty. "So for the whole plane trip and our first day in Pseudostan, you'll have to acknowledge me as Supreme Warrior King Suigetsu, Master of Karin."

Ino laughed while Karin fumed. "Think of a name for me, Suigetsu."

"Hm," pondered Suigetsu. "You shall call Ino-san Beautiful no Kanna. What will we name her?" he asked Ino.

"Well, Aka means red and Baka means fool…so how about Aka-Baka?"

"Ooh, it even rhymes," complimented Suigetsu. Karin scowled. "Hey, you agreed before we started the game, on the terms."

"Only because I thought you were going to lose," mumbled Karin. So now she was officially known as "Aka-baka" for thirty-six hours.

"It's not the fact that we get to call you that that makes me happy," said Suigetsu, "it's more of the fact that you have to get us whatever you want. So…get me a beer, Aka-baka!"

Glowering, she grumbled, "Whatever." It was so undignified for a CIA agent to be called Aka-Baka.

"Hm? I didn't seem to catch who you were talking to."

"…Whatever, Supreme Warrior King Suigetsu."

"You forgot the second part."

She threw him a deadly look.

"Say it."

"Master of Karin."

"Now say it without the attitude."

It seemed as if Karin would've throttled Suigetsu if the stewardess hadn't arrived with the cart to bring them their meals. A large table was set up for them to dine on and chairs were brought out. It was lunchtime and they would be served chirashi-zushi. Suigetsu's was vegetarian.

As the stewardess left, he left out a low whistle. "What a babe."

Karin scoffed. Stewardess uniforms were shorter than ever. She would have to write a report to the CIA.

"I didn't know you were a vegetarian," commented Ino. She could've sworn he ate a piece of pork back at the Chinese restaurant.

"Nah, I just don't eat seafood," explained Suigetsu.

"Why? You're going to have a rough time in Pseudostan."

"Well, you see, seafood comes from the water. And sometimes, I feel as if water is a part of me, you know what I mean?" He looked slyly at her.

"Suigetsu," said Karin in a warning tone.

"Ah, well, let's eat," said Suigetsu, hurriedly, "Itadakimasu!"

They arrived to Pseudostan right on schedule. There was only one airport in the whole country. The others were either shut down from lack of use or had been blown up. The CIA had the government prepare them a private landing deep within the airport. A chauffer was prepared for them when they left the airport.

"We need to change into normal clothing," said Ino. "Our Western clothing will attract too much attention. Even the few visitors who visit here learn that it's better to blend in. I hope Uchiha-san has provided you with proper raiment."

The three had only a large bag for each of them. However, they were specially designed bags that could hold far more than their countenance would reveal while remaining light and portable at the same time. The CIA didn't plan to release this technology until 2030.

Suigetsu peered out of the window and at Paradayadam, the capital city of Pseudostan. It was the afternoon, but the city seemed quiet. There were vendors, but they seemed to sell very little. Here and there were groups of women buying produce and the common street rat children continued to play around, but fear seemed to grip the city. Suigetsu hadn't thought that the troubles here were that bad for the country's largest city to be reduced to this low of inactivity.

"Hm, the chicks here aren't that bad," commented Suigetsu, observing a group of young girls buying oranges. The majority of them had long hair that was pulled back one way or another. Ino began to put her hair up in a ponytail, brushing her bangs to the left. "Look how they're dressed though. I thought this country was more conservative?" Most of them had tops that revealed part of their naval. A few of them had fishnets and arm warmers as well as other strange accessories.

"Girls are encouraged to show off their youth when they are young, up to a certain appropriate extent, of course. When they get married, then they're forced to veil themselves up. Just like that girl," pointed out Ino to a figure clad in black, light cloth. The only part of her that could be seen was her eyes. "Unmarried girls are also expected to keep their hair up, but when they're betrothed, they're allowed to put their hair down. After their wedding night, it is tradition for them to cut their hair to symbolize loss of purity. However, those who show off their short hair without a veil are usually deemed to be prostitutes." She glanced at Karin. "That's why I was hoping Uchiha-san would provide you with a wig that was a bit longer."

"Yeah, but then that would be lying to the population, would it?" sniggered Suigetsu.

That earned him a thump on the head from Karin, a vein pulsing. "Bastard."

"Damn!" he yelled, rubbing his head. "Why are you so brutal?"

"Why are you such an ass hole?"

The car stopped in front of a large, looming hotel. It didn't seem rundown like most of the other ones, but then again, it wasn't exactly the Ritz. Its façade could use a little work, but it was pretty decent.

The three had their own separate rooms, but there were doors on the side that connected their rooms together. It was not spacious, but quaint and cozy. Ino warned them to watch their belongings carefully. It was a top rule for travelers never to trust the workers at hotels of internally unstable countries.

Ino took the room farthest to the left while Karin took the middle one and Suigetsu took the one that was left. Feeling jet lagged and tired, Ino went to the bed and lied down, quickly falling asleep. It had been a long day and she was home again.

A/N: Yay, I'm updating faster now! I really wanna work on A Year of Celibacy though…I finally have time and my computer decides to be all stupid! But anywho, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. It gives you a feel of what Pseudostan is like. It's kind of weird since the country's like the Middle East clashing with Japan…but anyways, thanks again for reviewing. I've really never thought about writing a story with the main pairing being something other than Ino x someone, so the idea's new to me. Personally, I wouldn't like to write about any of the other girl characters since they seem so used now by hundreds of other writers, but Karin's so fresh and new, like a baby! This chapter was a bit "Karin abusive" according to a reader... but don't worry Suigetsu will get his just desserts later, soon enough. Reviews make me want to write more [: Just saying.