Summary: The prequel to Promise. What had brought Sasuke to be the leader of an ANBU team sent on the suicide mission? How had it come to be? (SasuSaku; NejiTen) (implied NaruHina and ShikaIno) (One Shot) Rated for mature themes, and to be on the cautios side. There are NO lemons.
So without the fabulous -my-name-is-V- this story would never have come to be, simply because I never thought about writing a prequel to Promise. After reading her review, I decided, "hell, why not?" So here it is. This can stand completely alone, seeing as though it takes before the first one shot. There is a LOT of SasuSaku and NejiTen, my two favorite couples! Haha, have fun and remember to review! And beware, there is major OOCness at times.
Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimer Applies.
The pink haired medic jumped from her seat at the near silent whisper.
"Sasuke! Don't do that!" She gasped as a dainty hand found its place over the spot where her heart was.
The usual cocky smirk spread across his pale face before Sasuke took the two steps so he was in front of the girl and pressed his lips lightly to hers.
"I'm sorry," his smirk widened. "I had to."
"Of course you did."
"Don't be mad, Sakura." Sasuke teased.
Sakura rolled her jade eyes before sitting back down at her desk. "You're a pain in the ass."
"Hn." Sasuke walked to the couch that was located along the wall that contained the door and sat down, letting his head fall back.
"Did you just get back from you're mission?"
Sakura smiled lightly as she stood up and moved to Sasuke's side. She pressed her hands gently on his chest, noticing how the Uchiha winced slightly, and began to send chakra through his body, checking for injury.
"You're clear." Sakura stood and moved back to her desk. "A clean bill of health, as usual, so that means you're free to go, as if there was anything stopping you. However, you had a cracked rib. It'll need a day to heal."
Sasuke just smirked again, closing his eyes, and let his body have a rest.
"I would take it that the mission went well." Sakura prodded.
"It was a smaller base run in a run down town. It was easier then we all thought." Sasuke replied, his voice weary from sleep depravation and continuous traveling.
"And the others?"
"Are fine. Tenten got a scratch; Naruto hasn't shut up since we left Konoha two weeks ago; and Shino just kind of appeared here and there." Sasuke shrugged.
Sakura laughed at this. "So a success."
"I'll be home a little late. So you're on your own for dinner."
Sasuke didn't say anything as he let out a deep sigh before standing up. He walked over to the pink haired medic and kissed her lips gently. "I think I can survive."
Sakura chuckled before shooing him out of her office, claiming she had work to do that was due to Tsunade by the time her shift was officially over.
Sakura knocked lightly on the office door and waited for the grant of entrance. When she entered the large room, she found the blonde hokage hunched over paper work without a bottle of sake in sight.
"Well, this is a sight to behold." Sakura smirked as she moved to the opposite of the desk from Tsunade.
"Laugh it up." Tsunade grumbled as she sat up straight and looked the worn out girl over once before sighing and relaxing in her chair. "Are those the patient files?"
"Hai." Sakura handed over the three files and waited as Tsunade briefly looked them over.
"So then the surgeries were all a success?"
"Good." Tsunade set the files down on the cluttered desk and then folded her hands in front of her face. "I want you to continue to monitor their recovery for the next week. If everything goes well then I'll put them under someone else's watch."
"Understandable." Sakura replied with a small smile.
"You're free to go. I'm sure your boyfriend is waiting for you." Tsunade sighed heavily.
"Fiancée, Shishou." Sakura corrected, annoyed that her mentor refused to recognize that she had been engaged and living with her fiancée for the last three months. "I still don't know why you have an issue with it."
"You're young. You shouldn't be getting married at eighteen." Tsunade argued.
"Now you're just being hypocritical. Neji and Tenten married when they were eighteen." Sakura retorted smugly.
"Yes, but Neji also had to get married because of his position as head of the Hyuuga clan."
"True, but he had until he was twenty-one to get married. Not to mention he hasn't been named the head yet. Once Hiashi-sama gives away the title, then it will be critical that he be married." Sakura paused a moment, crossing her arms. "And let's not forget that Sasuke is the head of the Uchiha clan now."
"Psh, it's not even a clan. There's one of him." Tsunade mumbled under her breath.
"Shishou!" Sakura scolded.
"All I'm saying is that you're too-"
"Hokage-sama!" Tsunade was cut off by a crash as five shinobi ran into the room.
"Yamanaka? What's the meaning of this? You were due back last week!" Tsunade gasped as she stood up.
"Hokage-sama, I'm sorry that we couldn't send you word, but we have vital information that needs to be brought to your attention." Shikamaru said hurriedly in place of Ino.
"What is it?" Tsunade sat back down while Sakura moved to her side so the five shinobi could stand before the desk.
There was Nara Shikamaru, Yamanaka Ino, Inuzuka Kiba, Akimichi Chouji, and Hyuuga Hinata; an interesting combination. Shikamaru had been named an ANBU captain almost a year ago at seventeen, while Ino, only four months ago, was placed as the head of ANUB's Interrogation and Torture Unit, replacing Moreno Ibiki, who was now working only part time in the unit while he worked closer to Tsunade as a liason for the Chuunin Exams. They, being Shikamaru and Ino, of course, had been dating for three years, but that had been on the down low because of their jobs and only a select few knew about them. Kiba had joined ANBU about a year and a half ago and was looking into the Hunter Nin program. Hinata and Chouji were both jonin, however could have been ANBU several months before, but both turned down the notion. Chouji didn't want to be involved with the ANBU while Hinata was in the long process of obtaining a genin team. It was a process that involved several years of experience and a butt load of tests that included written plus performance testing.
"During the course of our mission we found out that Yakushi Kabuto has a large base located within Fire territory." Hinata informed the blonde hokage.
"How did you come across this?" Tsunade questioned.
"While taking down one of the old bases that Orochimaru had run we came across a prisoner who told us about Kabuto's plans to destroy Konoha for revenge on Sasuke killing Orochimaru and he went on to talk about how he had some ulterior motive, but he didn't know what is was." Chouji answered.
"And you believed him?" Tsunade asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Not right away, but it seemed plausible. So, we finished our mission and on our way home we took the long way past the coordinates that the prisoner gave us." Ino explained. "When we got there, we found that he was telling the truth."
"It was an old structure that was crawling with Sound ninja." Shikamaru elaborated.
"We're you seen by them?" Tsunade inquired worriedly.
"No. The ones that we saw were all low level shinobi." Shikamaru shook his head to affirm his answer.
"But, there were a lot of high level ninja too." Hinata put in. "In fact, the majority were high level."
"Hinata was able to see them using her byakugan." Kiba explained. "However, Akamaru was able to smell a lot of different poisons. The smells were coming from inside the base."
"Do you think that this is one of Kabuto's main bases?" Tsunade asked, worry sketched on her forehead.
"Hai." The five replied together.
Tsunade was silent for a long time. "Did the temple have a name?"
"No. We couldn't make out the symbol, but above the main entrance, it looked like there was a red and white fan. It was too faded and worn for us to make a valid guess." Shikamaru replied.
"Uchiha?" Tsunade raised an eye brow.
Sakura tensed slightly at the prospect of the base being help in an old Uchiha compound. Sasuke, surely, wouldn't take too kindly to that notion.
"What else did you find out?"
"There were advanced security measures in place. Several trip wires, exploding tags, and booby-traps." Hinata was the one to reply this time. "There were also several genjutsus in place throughout the base."
"So, they don't want anyone getting in." Tsunade sighed.
"Or out." Ino voiced, however when she received a confused glance from the hokage, she elaborated. "There were several measures in place that would make it severely difficult to get leave. They might be in place for if there are prisoners or if someone sneaks in and tries to obtain information."
"I see." Tsunade closed her eyes before asking if there was anything else going on.
Kiba hesitated before answering. "Hokage-sama…there was extensive training taking place with the younger ninja. It appears that they are rallying their forces."
"Kabuto was also there, Tsunade-sama." Hinata put in quickly and quietly. "However, we're not sure how long he has been there or how long he'll be staying."
There was a thick silence that fell over the room as Tsunade closed her eyes once again and clenched her fists in front of her face.
"I understand." She said quietly. "Is that all?"
A solemn round of "hai" answered the blonde as she looked up with hardened auburn eyes.
"Very well, I expect all of your reports in as soon as humanly possible."
Another round of "hai" responded before the five shinobi were excused and they all left in a poof.
"Tsunade-sama. What now?" Sakura asked as she continued to watched the empty space where the ninja has stood only moments ago.
Tsunade stayed silent for a long time before she stood up and turned towards the large window behind her desk.
"Go home and spend sometime with the Uchiha. I need to figure out what our next move is going to be." Tsunade replied wearily.
"Alright. Ja ne." Sakura disappeared with a poof, leaving the blonde alone in her office.
Tsunade let out a sigh before calling in Shizune. "I need that sake now."
"Of course Tsunade-sama." Shizune left without another word.
Sasuke looked up when the door opened and closed followed by the soft padding of foot steps. He watched from the kitchen table as Sakura walked towards their bedroom, seemingly, her mind in its own world.
He finished the last sentence of the report and then stood and walked to the bedroom where Sakura was changing into a pair of sweat pants and a large T-shirt that had once belonged to the Uchiha.
"What's wrong?" He inquired as he moved to her side and pulled her into a hug.
"Nothing. Just thinking. Ino's team came back from their mission." Sakura replied as she looked up into his perfectly sculpted face and locked onto his endless onyx eyes. "Has anyone ever told you that you could get lost in your eyes?" She asked randomly.
Sasuke smirked before pecking her lips. "Oh, all the time. The ladies just love the eyes." He teased.
"You better be joking." Sakura grumbled.
"Last time I checked, you were the one with the rock on her finger." Sasuke cooed in her ear.
"True." Sakura smiled as she kissed his lips tenderly before stepping back, out of his grasp. "I'm tired. Let's go to bed."
Sasuke nodded once before moving to the dresser and pulled off his clothes and then pulling on a pair of plaid sleeping pants.
Sasuke crawled into the bed with Sakura. He wrapped an arm protectively around her waist and held her to his chest.
"I love you." Sakura whispered as she snuggled closer to his chest, wanting the body heat he gave off.
"I love you, too." Sasuke kissed the top of her head. "Night."
"Mmm." Sakura mumbled before falling asleep.
"What are you going to do Tsunade-sama?" Shizune asked quietly as she looked up from the mission report that Shikamaru, the team's leader, had handed in only minutes before.
"I don't know." Tsunade answered honestly. "If it's as bad as they say, then we need to terminate the base, but with all the traps, none of our ninjas could get in without making their presence known. But at the same time, I still can't believe that Kabuto would be able to set up a base right under our noses."
"Do you think that someone came across it but just didn't report it?"
"No. If someone had come across it, then they most likely were killed."
"So that just leaves the question, 'what now?'"
"Hai, indeed. What now?" Tsunade turned in her chair, away from Shizune and watched the dark horizon.
"If I may make a suggestion?" Tsunade closed her eyes and let out a sigh before turning back around to face the speaker.
"What do you want to do, Jiraiya?"
"Send the Uchiha brat out with a team of highly skilled shinobi. Recon and report. If the Nara was right about the Uchiha symbol on the structure, it could be the Temple of Setsu, according to the coordinates. It was an old temple that the Uchiha's used for meditation after they received their sharingan. If it is the temple, then no one will know the layout better then Sasuke." Jiraiya explained.
Tsunade stayed silent as she thought about what her former teammate suggested. "And who do you think would be best to go on that mission with Sasuke?"
"I would send at least one of the shinobi that were on the first mission. They would know the place." Jiraiya answered.
Tsunade nodded before opening her auburn eyes. "Alright. Shizune, I need you to find four of our ninjas."
"You're being dumb. Why would you do that?"
"Because. It would be fun, Hana."
"Like Mom is really going to let you do it, Kiba."
"You never know."
The brunette sighed at her younger brother's antics before turning towards the stairs that lines the back wall of their two-story home.
A moment later, a woman with wild brown hair and the all too familiar red triangles on her cheeks appeared.
"What is it Hana?" Tsume asked slightly annoyed. "I was in the middle of wrapping Kuromaru's paw."
"Kiba wants to go cliff diving with Akamaru." Hana stated bluntly as she shot Kiba a look.
Tsume just shrugged and turned to walk back up the stairs. "Let him do it."
"What!" Hana and Kiba yelled at the same time, only one was out of excitement and the other out of shock.
Tsume sighed before turning around, yet again, to look at her two grown children. "Let Kiba do it. And then when he kills himself, he won't do it again."
Hana snickered as she glanced towards her brother. "Do I get his room if he doesn't make it?"
"Hey!" Kiba clenched his fists and got in a semi-offensive stance.
"Calm down, Kiba. And no, Hana, you don't get his room. The dogs can have it for a…play room…or something." Tsume scratched her head and started walking back up the stairs. "Now stop shouting and leave me alone!"
"You're just lucky she likes you." Hana bit out as she moved to the kitchen to get food for the three Haimaru siblings.
"Sure. But you're always the favorite." Kiba snapped as he followed his older sister into the kitchen.
"Right." Hana sighed as she pulled out the food from under the counter. She paused when there was a knock on the door. She turned slightly towards Kiba, who was lounging in a chair with his feet propped up on the table. "Are you going to get that?"
"Nope." He smirked.
"Lazy ass." Hana cursed under her breath as she hit his feet off of the table and walked to the door, but Tsume had already got to it.
"Hello, Shizune." Tsume greeted warmly as Hana stopped behind her mother.
"Konnichiwa, Shizune-san." Hana greeted with a small bow of her head.
"Yes, hello, Tsume, Hana. Is Kiba here?" Shizune asked hurriedly.
"Of course." Tsume smiled. "Hana get your bro-"
"I'm right here." Kiba interrupted.
"Keep up with the bad manners and you can forget dying from cliff diving." Tsume threatened as she took a step back.
"I'm sorry." Kiba grumbled out as Hana and Tsume walked to the kitchen to feed the dogs.
"I'm sorry for bothering at such a late hour, but Tsunade has requested you immediately for an emergency mission." Shizune explained.
"I'll be there shortly." Kiba replied as Shizune ran off in another direction.
As Kiba closed the door, he heard Hana snickering as she headed towards the stairs. "Yeah, Mom was right. Cliff diving isn't going to kill you. All of their missions will."
"Ya, I love you too, sis." Kiba replied sarcastically.
"Be careful, Kiba." Tsume was standing in the entrance to the kitchen with a hard look on her face.
"Don't worry Mom." Kiba smirked before running up to his room to wake Akamaru and get his pack together.
"A hundred more push-ups!"
"No! Two hundred more!"
"Yes! That's the idea, Lee!"
Shizune entered the clearing and promptly sweat dropped. There was Lee and Gai training….at one in the morning.
"I'm sorry for intruding on your…er…practice but-" Shizune started.
"Look at your youthfulness! A radiant star you are!" Gai suddenly yelled at her as he and Lee both appeared in front of her.
"Er…yes…Tsunade has sent me to retrieve Lee for an emergency mission." Shizune replied quickly.
"Hai!" Lee was gone in a flash while Gai had tears in his eyes.
"He's growing up so fast. His youth is dwindling." Gai sobbed.
"…yes…I'm going now…" Shizune ran as fast as she could from the spandex wearing man…who was bawling.
A giggled escaped her as she felt her husband nuzzle her neck once again.
"Neji! Stop that!" Tenten full out laughed as Neji's hands ran up her sides and then back down to her hips.
"Hn." Neji began a trail of kisses down to her collarbone and then back up to her jaw.
Tenten let out a near silent moan as she arched her neck when Neji hit a sensitive spot. She wiggled in his grasp, capturing his lips with her own. Neji passed his tongue over her lower lip, asking for entrance, which Tenten happily granted. He deepened the kiss while Tenten flipped them so she was lying on top of his bare chest.
"You're always on top." She mumbled as she trailed her lips down Neji's jaw to his neck.
Neji let out a grunt as his left hand tangled in Tenten long brown hair that had been let out of their traditional Chinese buns while his other hand slid down her side and rested on her hip.
Tenten giggled, again, as she pulled away from Neji and sat up, straddling his hips. She slowly unbuttoned the too big shirt she wore, and obviously stole from Neji, while said man watched on with a smirk.
As Tenten reached her breasts, there was a loud knock on the front door. Neji cursed under his breath while Tenten cursed loudly.
"Man. And it was getting good too." She grumbled as she stood up and re-buttoned her shirt while walking to their front door.
For once, Tenten was glad that the shirt fell mid thigh, keeping her modest, as she ripped the door open, only to find Shizune on the other side.
"This better be good." Tenten snapped threateningly as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"I'm very sorry for bothering you, but you are to go to Tsunade-sama for an emergency mission." Shizune replied as she spotted Neji in the background walking into the kitchen without a shirt on. 'Apparently I interrupted something.' She mused mentally.
"Crap." Tenten sighed. "Alright. I'll be there as soon as possible."
"Right." Shizune nodded in acknowledgement before running off for the next needed team member.
"Mission?" Neji asked knowingly as Tenten closed the door and turned to him.
"Ya." Tenten walked to him and draped her arms over his shoulders, drawing him in for a deep kiss. "I owe you." She mumbled against his lips.
"When you get back." Neji replied as Tenten took a step back.
Tenten let out sigh as she stroked the side of Neji's face before walking into their bedroom to change into her attire and pack all of the things she would need.
Sakura shifted so she was closer to Sasuke while his arms tightened around her. She subconsciously felt his head rest near the crook of her neck, his breath sweeping over her bare shoulder, where the stretched neck line of the T-shirt had slipped down her arm.
She shifted again, pulling the covers closer to her body, before shifting once more.
"Sakura, stop moving." Sasuke grunted as his grip around her tightened.
"Sorry." Sakura yawned as she completely turned in his grasp so she was facing his.
"Hn." Sasuke let out a sigh and just as he began to fall back to sleep, there was a loud bang on the front door.
"Damn it." Sakura cried out in annoyance. "Maybe if we're quiet, they'll go away."
"Uchiha-san, please, it's an emergency." The familiar voice called from outside the front door.
"Shizune?" Sakura mumbled. "Go away."
"Like she's going to hear you." Sasuke retorted sarcastically.
The banging continued while Sasuke got up out of bed and pulled on a T-shirt before walking to the front door.
He pulled it open and stared, annoyed, at the dark haired woman.
"I'm very sorry for waking you, Uchiha-san, but Tsunade-sama has called for you. You are needed for an emergency mission." Shizune explained quickly.
"At one in the morning?" Sasuke asked annoyed.
"Yes." Shizune almost took a step back at the look that Sasuke shot her.
"I'll be there soon." Sasuke then promptly slammed the door in her face and made his way back up to the bedroom.
"What was that about?" Sakura yawned as she sat up and rubbed her eyes.
"Mission." Sasuke replied deadpanned.
"But you just got back!" Sakura gasped, becoming much more alert. "Not to mention you need at least a day for your rib to fully heal. I did all that I could, but it needs time on its own!"
Sasuke walked over to Sakura and kissed her gently. "I know, but Shizune said it was an emergency."
Sakura watched on as Sasuke pulled on his ANBU attire, including his porcelain wolf's mask and white captain's cowl. She walked Sasuke to the door, where he pulled on his sandals, and kissed him goodbye.
"Please be safe." Sakura whispered against his lips.
"Don't worry." Sasuke kissed her once more before walking through the door and ran across the rooftops towards the Hokage's Mansion.
Sakura watched on until Sasuke had completely disappeared from view.
Tsunade looked up as the last person entered the room. Sasuke looked thoroughly pissed. He took his spot beside Tenten, who was looking just as mad about the whole situation.
"I'm sorry for calling you so early in the morning." Tsunade looked just as tired as the rest of the group in front of her, except for maybe Tenten, she was just pissed off.
"What is this about, Hokage-sama?" Kiba asked as he petted Akamaru's head.
"This is about your previous mission, Kiba." Tsunade sighed. "If you would inform the others of what had happened."
The others listened on as Kiba explained what had happened on the mission with Ino, Shikamaru, Hinata, Chouji, and him. While he talked, Shizune passed out copies of the mission report to Sasuke, Lee, and Tenten.
After finishing his report, there was a silence that spread throughout the room.
"I had to skip out on sex for this?" Tenten bit out as she crossed her arms.
"And I would be missing sleep." Sasuke mumbled more to himself, but Tenten heard and nodded in agreement.
"As much as I'm sure you hate to be here, we need to take control of the situation as soon as possible." Tsunade stood up and walked around her desk, leaning up against it, facing the four shinobi and dog before her. "You will leave as soon as possible and gather any information on the base. Sasuke, since there is the possibility that it's an old Uchiha temple, I need you to be the head of this mission. You would know the layout, while the others won't. Not to mention, you're an ANBU captain. I understand that you, Tenten, and Kiba have all just returned from a mission today, and I'm sorry that you don't get a day to rest, but this has to happen."
Sasuke nodded his head in understanding while Tenten seemed to calm down slightly.
"I want you all gone in two hours time. Go eat and discuss what you are to do. That's an order." Tsunade went back to her seat while Sasuke led the group towards Ichiraku.
"You're lucky we're open twenty-four hours." Teuchi, Ichiraku's owner, smiled as he watched the four ANBU clad shinobi.
Tenten smiled as she and Rock Lee walked to the counter while Sasuke and Kiba took a seat at one of the back tables away from any type of foot traffic, even if it was almost two in the morning.
"Can we get a miso, a pork, a beef, and…What do you want Sasuke?" Tenten called over as she ordered for the team.
"Miso." He replied.
"And another miso." Tenten smiled while Teuchi nodded and moved to make the ramen.
Once they were done, Tenten and Lee both took two and made their way to the table. Lee handed Kiba his beef ramen while he took his pork and sat down. Tenten, on the other hand handed Sasuke his before taking her seat.
"So what is the plan?" Tenten questioned as she took a bite from her ramen.
"A simple recon, from the sounds of it." Kiba shrugged.
"No." Everyone looked to Sasuke who was subconsciously stirring his miso ramen with his chopsticks. "It'll be much more dangerous."
"What do you think we should do, Sasuke-san?" Lee asked as he continued to eat.
"We'll travel in a spread row, covering ground so we don't get caught in any surprise attacks. We won't know what we have to do until we get there." Sasuke sighed as he rubbed his eyes. He was still tired after all.
"How are your ribs?" Tenten asked quietly as Lee and Kiba chatted loudly about cliff diving.
"Sore." Sasuke replied honestly.
Truthfully, over the last two years, since he had returned to Konoha, Sasuke had come to see Tenten and Neji as close friends like he had seen Sakura and Naruto as his friends, well Sakura was, of course, more then a friend. It happened because Sakura and Tenten had become closer then Sakura and Ino had ever been. They had connected on many levels and in the end, were able to help each other. So, since Tenten and Sakura spent nearly all of their free time together, that meant Neji and Sasuke were being dragged along for the ride. Now, the four were all extremely close.
"Tsunade shouldn't have ever put you on this mission." Tenten sighed. "Hell, I shouldn't even be here. I should be at home, in bed with my husband."
Sasuke rolled his eyes at her remark before taking a bite of his ramen. "Once we are finished we'll leave."
The three others all nodded before finishing their food.
"It's just as Kiba said." Tenten murmured silently.
Sasuke nodded before signaling the group to get closer.
They spread out in a square formation and observed and noted everything that went on at the base.
"Is it one of the old Uchiha Temples?" Kiba's voice suddenly rang through the microphone.
"Yes. It's the Temple of Setsu." Sasuke replied. "It's been abandoned since the massacre."
"So why is Kabuto using it?" Tenten wondered aloud.
"Is it possible that he is using it for convenience?" Lee asked in thought.
"That's a possibility." Sasuke replied. "Do you see anything suspicious?"
"Just what we already knew." Kiba replied.
"I have found nothing knew, Sasuke-san." Lee piped in.
"Shit, Sasuke. Kabuto is here. South, south east corner, closer to your position." Tenten suddenly gasped.
Sasuke's onyx eyes snapped to the location, only to find Kabuto sitting in front of a map with three Sound Jonin, talking about something privately. He noticed that Kabuto was sickly looking and his hair was longer and completely pulled back into a long ponytail.
Sasuke moved closer to where Kabuto was, still masking his presence, and tried to catch something of use.
"…the troops will meet here and here before moving towards Konoha." Stated the single female Jonin and she pointed at two areas on the map. "From there it'll just be a matter of strategy in attacking the out walls."
"From past experiences, we've found that its has become increasingly hard to get into Konoha. They have made their security measures stronger and harder to get around." Said one the men with crazy red hair and a very muscular build.
"Right. And Tsunade is already wary of our movements. She's just waiting for a war to happen." Kabuto hissed. "She's been sending out shinobi continuously for the last two years. It's not helping our numbers."
"What are you going to do?" The last Jonin asked as he scratched his main of dark, curly hair.
"We are going to continue to rebuild Sound." Kabuto replied, as if it was the simplest thing in the world.
"So, what now?" The female asked.
"I am traveling back to Sound to the main base. I'll send word from there." Kabuto responded as he stood up.
"Right." The three jonin bowed as Kabuto stuffed the map into the pack on his back and took off north, towards Sound.
"Sasuke, do we pursue Kabuto?" Kiba asked, slightly excited for some action.
"No. Stay where you are. Our only mission is to gather information on the base." Sasuke replied sharply.
"What now?" Tenten asked as she continued to mask her presence and watch as a large group of young teens were trained through a strenuous and slightly torturous exercise.
"Head back to Konoha and report what we found." Sasuke commanded.
Sakura let out a sigh as she entered the examination room. There was Uzumaki Naruto in all his pride and glory.
"I would guess, but I don't have the brain capacity today." Sakura replied deadpanned as she moved to the counter opposite of the bed and set down the file.
"Mission." Naruto smiled as he leaned back.
"Figures." Sakura turned to observe the blonde before her. "What happened?"
"Nothing much. Just got a stab wound to my stomach." Naruto shrugged while Sakura gaped at him.
"Nothing? A stab wound to the stomach isn't nothing!" Sakura gasped as she quickly examined his abdomen, only to find nothing but a pink line.
"You forget that the Kyuubi heals me." Naruto replied mockingly.
Sakura promptly hit him over the head before turning back to the file.
"So why are you here?" Sakura grumbled.
"Because baa-chan said I still needed a check-up." Naruto replied lazily.
Sakura was about to retort when the door opened quickly and a blushing nurse stood there.
"May I help you?" Sakura asked annoyed.
"I just thought you would like to know that the ANBU team that Sasuke was on returned." The nurse blushed even darker. "They are all waiting in your office."
"Why didn't they go to see Tsunade-sama first?" Sakura questioned, completely forgetting about Naruto.
"They did. Lee-san said that they just came from there. They needed their check up before being cleared for a break." The nurse again flushed. "Sasuke-san said that they would wait for you in your office."
Sakura raised an eyebrow before turning to Naruto. "You're cleared. I still don't like that you were stabbed though. If it suddenly gets sore or you don't feel well, come find me."
"Hai, Sakura-chan." Naruto grinned as he jumped off the bed and kissed Sakura on the forehead before leaving. "Later, Sakura!"
Sakura sighed before making her way to the office with the nurse behind her the entire way. It wasn't until they got to the office door that Sakura paused to inquire why the nurse was still following her.
"Oh!...um…the files….the teams files…once you're done…I was too take them to…to…to…Tsunade! …I was to take them to Tsunade-sama once you were done!" The nurse stumbled over her words.
"Right." Sakura walked into the room and noticed that the nurse immediately flushed at the sight of Sasuke.
"Sakura!" Tenten and Sakura hugged while Kiba sat on the couch with Akamaru at his feet and Lee beside him. Sasuke had taken the seat behind her desk.
"How did the mission go?" Sakura asked as she closed the door behind the nurse, once Tenten released her.
"Fine. Nothing happened. I don't understand why it was an emergency mission." Kiba replied lazily.
"Well, had it been put off even five minutes we would have missed Kabuto." Tenten retorted.
"Tenten is correct!" Lee practically yelled.
"Lee. There's a 'no-talking-louder-then-normal' rule in this office." Sakura responded without missing a beat. Lee just smiled and sunk into his seat.
"So no injuries?" Sakura asked as she moved to Kiba and placed her hands on his chest. Finding nothing wrong, she told the nurse that Inuzuka Kiba was clear.
"No injuries other then a mosquito bite that Lee got." Kiba snickered.
"Rock Lee is cleared." Sakura commented. "That's good. Tenten, sit down." She commanded slightly as the girl stopped bouncing on the balls of her feet and took a seat where Lee was previously sitting. He had stood and offered his place to his teammate. "And what are you so happy about?"
"Missed sex." Tenten replied bluntly, causing the nurse to nearly falter and her blush to deepen to unimaginable levels.
Sakura chuckled while Kiba and Sasuke rolled their eyes. "Yes, because we all know what that's like."
"I don't get it." Lee stated suddenly as he scratched his head.
"It's nothing Lee. Why don't you go find Gai-sensei. I'm sure he's missed your guys' training." Tenten replied as if she was talking to a child.
"Yosh! That is a great idea! My, your youth truly shines!" The room's inhabitants simply tuned out the green beast as he went on, and on, and on as he left the hospital.
"Makes me worry when he's a block away and we can still hear him." Tenten mumbled to no one.
Sakura just shook her head. "You're clear. Go have fun."
"Thank you and good bye." Tenten disappeared with a poof while Kiba excused himself, stating that he needed Hana to give Akamaru his check up.
"Three down, one to go." Sakura smiled as she moved over to Sasuke. "How are your ribs?"
"Sore." Sasuke replied as he watched Sakura place her hands on his chest and pump her chakra through his body.
"It's because they've shifted." She mumbled more to her self then to the Uchiha before her. "Take off the chest armor and the black top." Sakura commanded, subconsciously smirking at how the nurse kept getting redder and redder by the minute.
When she noticed that Sasuke had slight trouble getting the top off, Sakura lifted the back of the shirt for him, revealing his mesh undershirt.
"This will hurt a little bit." Sakura informed Sasuke as she pressed her right hand to the side of Sasuke's ribs and pushed while her hand glowed green.
Sasuke winced slightly, while his hand clenched in his lap. When Sakura was done, she pressed both hands to his chest and healed the rib so it wouldn't shift anymore.
"Alright, you can put your shirt back on." Sakura commented as she stood up straight and turned towards the nurse. "Uchiha Sasuke is cleared for action, however needs a mandatory twenty-four hours for his ribs to completely heal."
The nurse quickly scribbled down what Sakura had said and then set the four files in front of her. "Your signature please."
Sakura nodded and quickly, but neatly scrawled out 'Haruno Sakura' four times in the appropriate spots.
"Thank you." The nurse left in a rush, leaving the couple behind the closed door.
Sakura felt Sasuke stand and wrap his arms around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder. "Soon you'll be signing Uchiha Sakura."
Sakura giggled and turned in his hold. She kissed his lips lightly. "That day won't come soon enough."
Tenten snuck into the apartment, which only four days earlier she had walked out of, and took off her sandals. The sun was already down and the moon was the only thing other then street lights that lit up the world. She tiptoed up the stairs towards the bedroom where she could feel Neji's chakra. It was low and stable, meaning that he was asleep.
She dropped her pack down silently beside the dresser before moving to the bed. Neji was fast asleep, with his back towards her and the covers drawn up to his shoulder. She stretched out a hand to stroke the side of Neji's face, but a hand caught her wrist in a flash.
Hazy lilac eyes opened, only to meet brilliant brown.
"Hey sleepy head." Tenten smiled as she bent down and captured Neji's lips.
"Hn." Neji completely turned to he was on his back while Tenten took a seat on the edge of the bed.
"You're in bed early." Tenten commented.
"Trained with Gai today." Neji replied as his mind slowly became un-foggy.
"That would do it." Tenten chuckled.
"Did you just get back?"
"Yeah. We gave our report to Tsunade and Sakura checked us all."
Tenten smiled at how Neji was still sleepy and not completely awake. "I'm going to go take a shower, if you want to join me." She smiled slyly as she stood up and headed towards the bathroom connected to the master suite.
That was all the invitation that Neji needed before getting out of bed and following Tenten into the bathroom.
Tsunade stared out the large window behind her desk, deep in thought about the mission report that Sasuke and his team had given to her.
The situation was worse then she had thought. There was really no way to avoid a war with Kabuto and Sound. That just meant more lives were going to be lost.
"Tsunade-sama, Uchiha Sasuke and his team has returned."
"Send them in Shizune." Tsunade commanded as Sasuke, Tenten, Lee, Kiba, and Akamaru came into the room. "What happened? It only took you four days to complete your mission."
"It was a simple recon. We didn't run into any trouble and the suspicions about the structure being the old Temple of Setsu is true." Sasuke replied.
"What is the Temple of Setsu?" Tsunade asked confused. "I've never heard of it."
"The temple used to be a place where people from the Uchiha clan went to after they received their Sharingan. They would meditate and behind it was a clearing to train in so they could gain control and experience over their kekkei genkai." Sasuke replied. "It was also a place to go to simply meditate. After the massacre, though, no one ever ventured to it, because the people who ran it were all Uchiha. It became an abandoned structure that no one thought twice about."
"So you know the inside well then?"
"I know every nook and cranny."
"What did you find out?"
"We just confirmed what we already knew. Also, Kabuto was at the base, but left for the main base in Sound." Tenten answered this time.
"Kabuto was meeting with three Jonin and decided that the temple and another spot would be were their troops were going to meet before attacking Konoha." Kiba added in.
"Yes, and Kabuto said that he would be contacting the base at the temple through messages." Lee finished up the explanation.
"So it will be soon then." Tsunade mumbled solemnly.
The four shinobi did not say a word.
"Do you know how many ninja are at the base?"
"No, just that their numbers exceed what anyone originally thought." Sasuke replied as he watched the hokage turn around in her chair and stared out the window.
"Alright. I except your individual reports as soon as possible. You are all to get cleared at the hospital before going home. You're all dismissed."
The four ANBU left wordlessly, leaving Tsunade to her thoughts.
She had not moved since they left, and that was well over three hours ago.
What was she going to do?
It was painfully obvious that the base located at the old Uchiha temple was important and that it needed to be taken out. But the questioned remained, whether to attack the base now, and start the war, or wait for the war to be brought to them?
Tsunade let out a deep sigh and leaned back in her chair.
"I need sake."
Sakura snuggled deep into Sasuke's hard chest as the sun peaked into the room through the open blinds. She heard the man let out a low grunt as he was awoken, before his grip around her tightened.
"I know you're awake." Sasuke mumbled into her hair.
"I know you know." Sakura replied tiredly. "Can we never leave the bed?"
"No." Sasuke smirked before there was a loud bang at the door.
"Not again." Sakura cried as she moved from the bed, not caring that she was only wearing a T-shirt that fell to the upped thigh and was almost, practically see through. "What?" She snapped at the young Chunin at her door.
"I-I'm sorry for waking you Haruno-san…but Tsunade has ordered Uchiha Sasuke to be at her office at noon for a meeting." The boy began to blush, and nearly have a nose bleed, at the sight of Sakura in a shirt that left little to the imagination.
"What is it with her, lately?" Sakura murmured to herself before promptly slamming the door in the kid's face.
"Who was that?" Sasuke asked as he came down the stairs.
"You're wanted at noon for a meeting with Tsunade." Sakura grumbled as she walked past Sasuke and went back to bed, but not before she closed the blinds, effectively getting rid of the sun.
Tenten felt like she was in heaven as she felt Neji's arm tighten around her bare stomach. She pressed herself into his chest and breathed in his intoxicating scent. She felt the covers from the bed slip down her arm, nearly exposing her chest. Just as she was about to fix it, she saw a cream colored hand already pulling up the covers.
She snuggled closer once more to the love of her life while she felt Neji kissing the junction between her neck and her shoulder.
"I love you." He mumbled against her skin.
"I love you, too." Tenten murmured as she twisted in his arms and passionately kissed her husband.
As Neji's hand danced across Tenten's side, down to her hip, they were interrupted by a loud knock.
Tenten let out a curse while Neji stood up and pulled on his pajama pants and t-shirt and headed to the door.
He opened it to find a Chunin at the door, looking slightly startled to see the Hyuuga.
"Um, Tsunade-sama has asked that you be at her office at noon. It's a mandatory meeting." The boy said quickly.
"Hn." Neji waited until the boy turned and left before he closed the door and went back up to Tenten, who was sitting up in bed, holding the covers to her chest.
"People have the worst timing." She mumbled as she watched Neji pull off his shirt and climb back into bed.
"We still have a few hours." He replied against her lips.
"Naruto-kun, it's not healthy to have ramen in the morning for breakfast." Hinata scolded as she watched Naruto inhale his fourth bowl.
"Let him be, Hinata. He'll never change." Shino sighed as he continued eating his first bowl.
Hinata dropped her shoulders in defeat and also went back to her meal.
"You know Hinata-chan, I think we need to go out tonight!" Naruto shouted suddenly.
Hinata blushed before asking a simply "where?"
"I don't know." Naruto paused as he scratched the top of his head. "Hey Shino, do you know anywhere that would be a good place to go on a date?"
Shino raised an eyebrow before shaking his head. "No."
"Hm. Maybe I'll ask Sakura-chan. She always knows where the best places are. Or maybe Sasuke-teme…no, not him. Kakashi-sensei, maybe, but not Sasuke-teme…" Hinata and Shino just sweat dropped as Naruto rambled on and on.
It wasn't until the messenger Chunin arrived at Ichiraku that Naruto stopped talking.
"Aburame Shino and Uzumaki Naruto; you are to go to the hokage's office at noon for a mandatory meeting with Tsunade-sama." The Chunin said unbelievably quickly in fear of getting a cold treatment like he had from Sakura and Neji.
"What about?" Naruto asked confused.
"She did not say. Just that you were to be there at noon." With that he took off.
"Huh…interesting. I wonder what it's about…" Naruto turned back to his ramen bowl and finished it off.
"Another!" He shouted while Hinata and Shino sighed loudly.
"What do you think she wants?" Sakura questioned as she and Sasuke walked towards the hospital and hokage's mansion, which were just down the street from each other.
Sasuke just shrugged as the hospital came into sight.
"Remember what I told you." Sakura said worriedly. "Nothing for twenty-four hours. Even Tsunade can't deny the doctor unless its something that is inevitable and has to happen."
"I know." Sasuke kissed Sakura's lips before taking a step back. "How about we go out tonight to that new restaurant?"
"Okay." Sakura pecked Sasuke's lips once more before walking towards the hospital. "I'll see you at home!"
Sasuke just nodded, even though he knew that she couldn't see it, and the disappeared with a poof, only to reappear in Tsunade's office where Naruto and Shino were waiting. A moment later Neji walked into the room with an air of smugness about him.
"Good you're all here." Tsunade stood up and faced the four ANBU shinobi. "I have come to a very difficult decision based on the reports from Shikamaru's team and from Sasuke's team. I have decided that in two days time, the base will be destroyed by you four."
The four men all nodded in understanding. It was understood that nothing said would change the mission given to them. There was a final resolve about Tsunade that the men had all admired. And when she looked up at them, it only proved that she had decided their fates for them.
Tsunade's auburn eyes locked with Sasuke's onyx pools; hers filled with determination and resolve. "Uchiha Sasuke; you're to lead the team to exterminate Yakushi Kabuto's base at the Temple of Setsu."
Duh, Duh, Duuuuhhhhh! What's going to happen next? Read Promise to find out! haha. I might do a third installment that would just wrap up everything, let me know what you think after you have read both haha! And yes, I know that Tenten has a thing for sex. Wouldn't you be upset to if you were taken away from your husband for a mission. Twice? I know I would haha.