Here I am, IAmNotANut, again! I'm not good at introducing my self so I'll make this quick. I have completed one story on fanfiction (Faded Cherry Blossom) and that was going to be it… until I got annoyed with all the ideas dangling in my head. So here we are. WeAreNuts…

Rating: M for violence, offensive language, and sexual situations (or references. I am not skilled at writing lemon so don't expect it!)

Playlist : The song's name is basically in all caps and the artist is in parentheses…

Feel Good Inc. (Gorillaz), and What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost (Taking Back Sunday)

Disclaimer – This disclaimer stands for the entirety of the story. I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. Nor do I own any of the songs mentioned in the following chapters. They belong to their respective artists and companies.

Eien No Kessoku

Clash of Color

The winter had come too soon. Fall was frozen before the leaves could escape the branches, even before they could change their color and grace the world with shades of gold and red. On a great tree, a proud tree that rose above the rest in his small cluttering family, withering green leaves dropped like flies, weighted down by snow and ice. The only beauty in this was the frozen rain that coated everything in a breathtaking glass. Every few seconds, in the ridged silence, a melting drop would fall into the snow.

Footsteps crunched and grew louder in an approached to the monstrous tree. They stopped just in sight of it and gazed up. In the silence, ignoring the pellets of freezing water still falling, wispy puffs of air whooshed out of the tree's visitor in fleeting clouds and she placed her hands in her coat pockets casually. The cold didn't bother her. That might not have been true if she didn't have a thick red scarf around her neck and a padded jacket over her shoulders. The black material had amazing insulation for its size and appeared –even with the clear signs of heavy use– to be very durable. Her pants were black also but the tailoring was a different style, they were close fitting but it was clear that the fabric's flexibility was almost limitless to the wearer. Metal shin guards followed and lastly were the slender black boots with tough, yet bendable, soles. The visitor strode up to the tree, trying to silence her footsteps in the snow, and placed her palm to the trunk. The sleeve of the heavy coat slid up her arm slightly to reveal metal guards on her forearms. The warrior's getup was nothing short of inappropriate for the extreme weather conditions. Ignoring that fact, she let her lids shut and her long lashes rested for a moment.

The corner of her red lips turned up. The feel of the tree's rough bark through the glove soother her somewhat. This was a good old tree where she had spent a lot of time in her recent years of studying, sparing, and escaping troublesome tasks. Her smirking lips parted and a quiet sigh slipped by as a puff of white. Her hair was ruffled in winter's simultaneous exhale and pink strands flew into her face. Her ears perked when above her she heard something crackle like breaking glass. Snow fell only feet from her in the same instant and her eyes snapped open to reveal her startling, crystalline jade eyes. Their clarity was like that of ice but also alive as if a fire was flickering beneath. Her head snapped up and her gloved hand flew from the tree's side to a small khaki pack where a back pocket would be on her pants. Her fingers, without slowing, unzipped the bag and wrapped around something unseen due to the coat that fell back against her.

Her eyes narrowed as she searched the branches until finally they settled on something familiar. Her figure relaxed, releasing the item tight in her grip, and she re-zipping the bag.

"It's a little cold to be sitting in the tree, Kakashi." She teased.

A chuckle was her response.

Then the girl smirked and placed a hand on her hip. "But it isn't too cold to read porn, is it?"

"It's a graphic novel." He corrected jokingly. "But, no, it can never be too cold for that." There was a flash in the tree, snow and shards of ice fell and disappeared into the gathered snow on the earth. Then, a few yards from the girl, a man landed gracefully with a head of silver hair almost as white as the snow. His visible eye, the other was hidden behind his forehead protector, was crinkled in a smile. You wouldn't know he was grinning otherwise because the other half of his face, nose down, was covered by a black mask. Kakashi's green vest looked cozy but a still little chilly for this degree of weather. His long-sleeved shirt was also a little low for the girl's standards even if it gave her a great opportunity to ogle at his toned arms.

Kakashi noticed. With a sly look in his eye he spoke again, bringing her back to earth. "What brought you here, Sakura? Other than to stare…"

Sakura glared, partially embarrassed that he had seen. She pushed onward and tried to change subject. "Winter is so beautiful this year…" She sighed again, looking around, and shrugged. "I couldn't help myself. Is it so wrong to admire nature?"

He caught her blunder. "It depends on what part on nature truly holds your interest." With that Kakashi turned on his heel and started to walk away.

It was just in time, too. If he had stayed a second longer he would have seen the blush –originally from the cold– spread to cover her face. She waited for a moment as he gained distance from her so she could re-gather her senses and finally trudged after him. He heard her coming and stopped to let her catch up.

"So, why were you out here?"

Sakura looked up for a moment in thought and failed to notice Kakashi staring at her in a bemused way. "I was actually hoping I'd run into you somewhere."

"Ah, well you've accomplished that."

"I'm leaving for a mission soon." She finished.

A tree they passed suddenly dropped a bucket load of snow off its branches.

"I see." Kakashi looked ahead of them. The path they walked on hadn't been shoveled yet and the snow was deep but further on he could actually see the stone road leading into town. He looked at her outfit, the sleek style was only meant for one thing in Konoha. "Black Op.s, I'm guessing. How long will you be gone?"

"It could be a while…"

Kakashi hated it when she'd beat around the bush. But after years of dealing with her he knew from that response that it 'It could be a while' translated as 'it could half a year to a year.'

"Have you told anyone else?"

Sakura laughed at this. "Whose there to tell?" She looked up at him, a smile in her eyes. "Everyone is off somewhere, doing some job. You're basically the only person I socialize with at the moment with Naruto gone."

Kakashi put his hands in his pockets. "That's not true. Ino and Shizune will be worried."

"Ino?" She scoffed. "I'm sure you'll tell them if they really start to freak, ne?" She shrugged it off. "Besides, Tsunade will tell Shizune eventually."

Kakashi sighed and, slowly reaching up, plopped his hand down heavily on her head. "Is it really that bad?" Before she could respond, as if she would, another bracing wind attacked and the kunoichi shivered.

His hand slipped down on her shoulder and pulled her into his side. "What part?" She answered; now warm enough from the contact to put together feasible sentences. "It really isn't that big of a deal for me to tell people I know. But shinobi go on missions all the time so it's more likely to make them worry if I tellthem that I'll be gone. They'll think something's up and that would just cause me grief, ne?"

"Is something up?"

"No." She had an unconfirmed look on her face. "It may be a long mission but it's worth it…" There was a meaning in her words that Kakashi didn't understand. "And it really shouldn't be that difficult." Uneasiness slipped into her last statement.

And as usual, Kakashi noticed. "What is it?"

She gave him a skeptical look as if to say 'it's against protocol' but he recovered with a bored look that read 'Honestly, Sakura, when have I ever followed protocol.'

The visual argument continued. 'But it's against the rules.'

'Friends are more important than rules, you know that. Now stop being stubborn and tell me.'

Eventually she gave in just as they stepped onto the path clear of snow. "I'm trailing a group of rouge ninja. We're observing them and hopefully we'll uncover some information on their plans. It has to do with the Akatsuki, we're not really sure about how close to fact it is but that's what we're trying to figure out."

"Who are they?"

He's straight and to the point, as usual…Sakura ignored the question as they turned onto the street.

Kakashi slowed down and with his arm around her he forced her to stop with him. He took his free hand and gently turned her head to face him. "Who is it." The look in her eyes was unmistakable. His expression changed from serious to concern. "Ah…" He muttered under his breath. "Sasuke…" Kakashi released her shoulders and trudged ahead of her.

Sakura stayed and sighed loudly as he stormed off probably to confront the higher-ups. What a kid. Once again, she ran to catch him.

Back to where they began, the old tree shivered in another wind and it rained leaves with dark viridian still within the glass.

A black cloth whipped in the air. It followed the calm evening breeze, twisting and flapping in rhythm with the gusts. It was wrapped around the forehead of a young man. His blond hair was spiky but still long enough to fall into his face. Attached to the cloth glinted a metal forehead protector. The setting sun reflected its light into it. Below thin blond brows were crystal clear blue eyes. Their purity and playful innocence would charm any who met them. His face had on it three marks on both cheeks. They could be described as whiskers and it wouldn't seem so out of place with the way his eyes squinted like a fox's. His mouth was pulled into an impish grin.

The blond watched the sun set slowly over the horizon. His baggy jacket of orange and black was closed tightly because the black sleeved shirt underneath provided little warmth on its own. His matching orange pants were rolled down and the black strip at the hem blended with his black shoes. He was in a crouched position. His forearms were resting comfortable on his knees and his heels were slightly lifted. The sky was clear except for the occasional cloud that was swiftly pushed away by the wind. Thankfully the light provided warmth. But in the light, as it was, the clouds almost appeared red.

Red clouds… He sighed to himself. For the first time as he perched there in a tall tree, his smile faded. The Akatsuki are probably looking for me… Suddenly he grinned. Not like they'll ever find me out here… He laughed to himself. Then he exhaled soothingly. His bristled golden locks wavered in the breeze and he tilted back his head. I want some ramen… His head fell and his chin rested on his chest at the thought. I really want some ramen

He thought of the unpleasantly plain meals of bread and water awaiting him in his backpack. The blond had recently begun his travels again where home cooked food wasn't accessible. He was returning after two years of training with his former teacher just like before. But this time his sensei was tired of fighting and didn't return with him. I don't really blame him. He's almost sixty, the old perv…He chuckled at the thought of the last words he exchanged with him.

One day the two were sitting on the deck of the little house they shared when, after remaining in silence for hours staring at the mountainside, the Sannin turned to his student and spoke, almost in a worn out way. "I have nothing more to teach you, Naruto." More silence followed. What can a pupil say to his master after something like that? The blond could only nod. "I want you to return to Konoha. I'm sure Tsunade is tired of being Hokage by now." He chuckled.

"I don't know Ero-sennin, Obaa-chan isn't going to stop as easily as you are."

Even so, by the time the sun was setting that evening Naruto had packed his things. "Arigato," The blond rubbed his head, showing how awkward this was for him. He never was good at saying goodbye. "Ero-senni–"

"Stop calling me that!" The old man shouted. It was humiliating enough that his student had surpassed him. Calling him a geezer was pushing it.

"Gomen, gomen!" Naruto laughed. It was a forced habit. Suddenly the man reached up and rubbed the head of his apprentice.

"Good luck, kid." His weary face gathered another smile and Naruto quickly obliged with a confident response.

"See you around," The old man waited for the nickname that he had rightfully earned. Ero-sennin, Ero-sennin, Ero-sennin… "Jiraiya…" Before he could react the young man escaped from his fatherly gesture and stood away from the house. "Ja!"

"Itte rasshai …" Jiraiya's white hair was blown by a sudden draft. "Naruto."

The blond was relaxed by the memory. His breathing was deep and he suddenly felt exhilarated by the beautiful evening. He looked below at his backpack that resided at the base of the tree. He gauged the distance to the ground and decided it wouldn't hurt to jump. So he did and landed as softly as he could manage. Then, in the shade of the many trees and falling leaves, he plucked his pack from the earth and followed the dirt road before him.

Night had come sooner than expected. That's what I get for stopping for so long… A laugh escaped him. He had been in a good mood lately. Just the thought of returning home seemed to brighten his entire outlook. But, as always, there was still a little worry in the back of his head.

The Akatsuki, a group whose intentions of conquering anything and everything it could were much like the late Orochimaru's, were striving to complete their most prominent goal: find and extract all nine legendary bijuu. Their plan of action after their goal was achieved was still unknown. The eighth bijuu was still missing and Naruto would be hunted next as soon as it was sealed. This would buy Naruto some time but he knew that the battle with the Akatsuki was inevitable.

The young man would have no problems with his demon's extraction if there wasn't one permanent side effect… death. This had almost become the fate of a good friend of his, the Kazekage of Suna, Gaara.

Naruto had gotten news almost a year ago from his first sensei, Imuno Iruka, that the villages of Konoha and Suna had officially solidified the peace between them. If only he passed through Suna to get home. Maybe a welcoming party would be called for and he could have some good food for once. Jiraiya wasn't a great cook. This gave Naruto the opportunity to learn to make an assortment of dishes on his own but the ingredients around them were limited and so were the different combinations he could master. Training with Jiraiya had taken them far to the west and ramen wasn't that common there. All the while they had been gathering information together about the Akatsuki and the remnants of the Sound village along with the intense training the Sannin put him through at any spare moment.

Naruto's reminiscence was quickly put to an end when the warmth of his camp fire put him to sleep. The food sitting at his side was practically untouched and the lid of his canteen was still securely fastened. The boy shuffled in his sleeping bag and a light snore was emitted from him. His sleeping face was almost cute and had a hint of shyness that was never shown when he was awake. The Jinchuuriki slept for now, lightly, even of his loud snore said differently.

Suddenly a chilly breeze snuck into Naruto's sleeping bag. It hit his bare chest and made him shiver. The tree's leaves, unlike those in Konoha, displayed a pallet of colors from a sunset. And even though there hadn't been a flake of snow yet, winter was surely coming.

"Kuso… it's freezing…" He moaned grumpily, pulling the blankets closer to him. His blue eyes slid open and he peered from beneath the warmth. The sun was yet to rise but he knew he had to wake up. In an angry flurry Naruto threw off the covers and grabbed his long sleeved shirt to throw over himself before the heat got out. He stretched and shook away his drowsiness. Suddenly a breeze shook his body and he took up the blanket, wrapping it around himself. Even though Naruto's eyes wished so much to stay shut he kept them slightly opened as walked across his camp sight so he wouldn't trip over his possessions. His blond hair was flat on one side and served as evidence that proved he had an undisturbed sleep. As if on cue Naruto shook his head, releasing his hair from the humorous position. He scratched the back of his neck then slid his hand down, massaging his shoulder, and rolling it loosely as he did. When this ritual was done he picked his jacket up that had rested by his bag. He pulled it on groggily and yawned. He decided it was still too early to put the blanket up again and kept it around him as he, while yawning yet again, rolled his sleeping bag up.

The young man tied it to his backpack when he finished. Then he picked up the stones that had surrounded his campfire and scattered them along with the remaining ashes. When Naruto was pleased with the work he had done he threw the pack onto his shoulder and left the site. He left it as if no one had slept there in the first place.

It's better to be safe than sorry. That is if the Akatsuki are trailing me. He yawned for the third time but it was followed by the loud grumble of his stomach. I'm not that hungry… He lied to himself. His stomach protested against the statement. No! He rallied back, trying to think of anything but food. Then with a surrendering sigh he gave in to his stomach's wishes. I really don't want to eat water and bread again… Naruto looked around. I'll find something in the next market I see. He felt the urge to climb a tree and see how far the nearest town was but after declaring it a waist of energy he resisted the temptation. He could clearly recall, after a moment of concentration, that the nearest village was only four miles out.

"Wouldn't you be proud, Kaka-sensei…" He muttered mockingly. Then he laughed. Years ago his impatience would have ruled over common sense and he would have climbed that tree to uncover the exact same thing that he could have remembered after a moment of thought. "I'm not such a baka now, eh?" His confidence and pride were represented in his grin. Even thought the feat was small many things about Naruto had changed and he had finally advanced past his childish ways for the better as a shinobi and as a person. There wasn't anything in the world that he couldn't face and he couldn't have been happier. He had many true friends and had love in his heart, love that opened his mind. But his life had always been hard up to this point and it wasn't going to get any easier. His rage was activating the Kyuubi's power far more than called for lately.

A few weeks ago Jiraiya made a comment on his (ramen based) eating habits and he freaked out and went to his three tailed stage. He nearly ripped his teacher to shreds and it took about ten minutes of fighting before Jiraiya apologized and Naruto returned to normal. Depending on his moods, he might even go straight into the fourth.

He knew that the terrifying battle over the control of his mind, along with the Akatsuki, was imminent. There had always been a little controversy between him and the Kyuubi at times but never had it there been such hostility about it. The Kyuubi's frequent appearance was becoming dangerous for the jinchuuriki and any who happened to be around him when the demon broke loose. His shishou had a collection of scars from where he had to literally knock some sense back into the demon possessed boy. That was partially the reason why he left. He knew that his sensei was getting older and fighting Naruto wasn't making life any easier for him. He was a big enough hazard as it was with the Akatsuki trailing him. It would be stupid to think that they wouldn't kill anyone who got in the way of his retrieval.

Sometime while on his trip home Naruto had decided that he would come to a truce with the Kyuubi before it ripped him apart. That would be placed on the list along with evading the Akatsuki, retrieving more food from the nearest village, and hopefully sending a message to notify his return to Konoha. He sighed at the list that was posted in bold letters in his mind. It wasn't a long list but out of these tasks two in particular were easier said than done.

Suddenly the blonde snapped out of his daydream. He leapt into the air and began jumping from branch to branch, trying to avoid getting slapped in the face by a branch all the while.

The very thought of getting better tasting food make Naruto's stomach grumble and he upped his speed considerably.

"Don't you think you should wait for Naruto to come back?" The silver haired shinobi gauged Sakura's reaction accordingly. He saw the longing in her eyes to find her old teammate and was silenced for a moment before speaking again. "This won't be an easy mission." He still stared at her, ready for some form of nervousness that he could pounce on and dissuade her with.

"Naruto won't be missing much anyway. It's just some undercover work. I'll be sitting in a tree somewhere in the freezing cold waiting for something to happen. But it shouldn't be too boring." She mused over what it would be like. Kakashi didn't look fazed. "It's not like I'm going alone, Kakashi." She tried to reassure him. "Genma and Akane-"

"Akane couldn't protect a tadpole…" He muttered.

"But she is good at covering her tracks. That's what this mission is about like I said." Then she laughed to herself. "I'm actually certain that this is shishou's way of making me advance my investigation and spying skills…"

"I wouldn't be surprised if she was. You're a terrible spy." Sakura pouted in mock anger. He smiled at that then sighed. "Akane is a master of sorts in that particular category, I admit. And Genma would be a great tutor for other things…" Suddenly he rethought that and it didn't seem like a swell idea anymore. But then again, Sakura needed some exposure to bad behavior.

Sakura played with her scarf absentmindedly imagining sitting in a cold tree for three to four months. "Kakashi, it would be a great if you could come, too."

Kakashi chuckled. "Don't even think about slipping out of it, Sakura. You got yourself into this mission."

"I'm not trying to! It's just-" she stopped the thought before it came out. The thing on her mind was what her reaction would be when they ran into Sasuke. She wanted Kakashi to be there when she saw him again. She gave up on that approach. "I volunteered for this and the squad shouldn't be in any danger if we're smart." Sakura sighed at her failed attempt anyway.

"Just playing it safe doesn't change how hazardous this mission could be for you, Sakura…" he paused. Kakashi had never been one for long conversations but Sakura enjoyed the small torture when he would accidentally let her in on what he was really thinking. "I don't doubt your skills as a shinobi but…"

"It's alright." She gave a small smile. "Even though you're one of the strongest shinobi in Konoha I still worry when you go on solo missions. Naruto always did, even though he'd never admit it to you. We're a team and we're entitled to a little nail biting." She laughed, rubbing the back of her head. Kakashi grinned at her awkwardness. What an infectious smile… His gaze had settled on her features and she boldly stared back, not even thinking of shy glancing away like she might have when she was younger. Things were so different now. She was an adult whether Kakashi admitted it or not. She was turning twenty soon, so he had to recognize it now. She was much stronger, mentally and physically, and though she had little romantic experience, she knew that Team 7 was closer than any couple could be. They were a true family. And since Naruto had left, Kakashi was her only real companion. Sai was still a friend to her but he was hardly around enough for the two of them to get to know each other any better and become as tight with him as Naruto and Kakashi.

"You better go." He whispered, also escaping from thought.

Sakura snapped out of their staring contest and looked around. The sun had almost set. She laughed. "I guess you're right. Shizune said she'd dye my hair…" She instinctively felt her bubblegum pink hair as if saying her last goodbyes to it. Kakashi chuckled and took up the lock of hair falling from behind her ear. He teased it and looked at Sakura for a moment. She watched curiously and was a little startled when he leaned closer and smelt what was trapped between his fingers.

After a moment, Sakura's face was starting to redden. She loved him, without a doubt, but it had never leaded her in this direction. Slowly he brought his head up. "I'll miss it." He looked into her jade eyes with false sadness, still twirling the soft pink hair.

Sakura couldn't help but smile. "But you won't miss me, right?"

He didn't answer as his smirk grew behind his mask. With that he let his hand drop to his side, brushing her shoulder as he did.

Suddenly his mood completely switched and he took her shoulders in his tight, fatherly grip.

"Good luck." His smiling eye returned and the glint of worry was nonexistent. "And don't take too long. It's boring enough with both my students gone." With that he ruffled her hair again and walked past her in the opposite direction.

Sakura turned to watch him go and sighed. She knew why he was so protective even if he didn't really notice he was doing it. Kakashi was a true shinobi. He had fought for Konoha all his life. He had shed blood, sweat, and tears for this country and in doing so he had lost everyone he cared about. Team 7 was all he had other than the friendships he had made out of the people accompanying him on his missions over many years of service. But Sakura knew that it took a long time for others to earn his trust. Sakura was one of the few.

Before he was too far out of sight she gave a small wave as uncertainty took her. "Ja ne… Kakashi."

The forest was frigid. Everything made a sound on contact. Every branch wailed with every leap and bound. The coated leaves fell easier and shattered loudly against the frozen earth. Paranoia ensued with every pile of falling snow, insanity was promised for those that couldn't decipher natural racket from a hidden attacker.

Their bodies were cold. Their breaths came in short and were exasperated. Shivers ran up and down the kunoichi's spine when she heard a voice in her earpiece.

"We're stopping for the night." The connection was fuzzy.

She clicked the communicator and spoke in a raspy tone. The cold air dried her mouth. "The sun's still up." The kunoichi protested.

"The temperature is dropping. If we wait any longer we'll freeze." This time a woman responded.

The girl sighed. She knew that already. But there was work to be done and time was against them. Their targets were headed north. If they didn't find them and tail them soon they could end up lost in the mountains. But still she came to a stop and swapped locations over the link with her two teammates. They found each other easily and set up camp. In no time at all a fire was crackling before them.

Across the fire sat a man with brown hair and a mask resembling a dog's face. Shiranui Genma, the leader of the mission had a senbon, replacing the toothpick he usually used as a chew toy, hanging out his mouth. His trademark was accompanied by the bandana around his head with knot in front. He sat with his legs bent and his arms resting on his knees. He poked at the fire with a stick, moving around the ashes and twigs.

Beside him was a woman also with brown hair. But it was much longer and she had bangs that fell over the front of her mask which looked like that of a bird. Her outfit was similar to Sakura's all but the coat. Her trench coat was thin and went down close to her ankles. She grabbed the mask by the nose to slip it off and Hidaka Akane, the last member of Sakura's team, placed it down beside her on top of a bag.

"Hidaka-san, hand me that." The kunoichi muttered quietly and pointed to that bag. Sakura caught it as her teammate threw to her and pulled out another blanket. After wrapping herself in it she scooted closer to the fire. Only the top of her head was visible, but instead of the bright glowing pink hair that would be blown about by wisps of air a silky black took its place.

"Sakura, when we're in the mountains we'll have to stop before the sun sets. It's too cold to stay out in the open air. There will be more natural shelters up there anyway." Genma unscrewed his canteen and took a swig. Something told Sakura that it wasn't water he was drinking. He looked at her for a minute, then to Akane. Abruptly he stood and walked around the fire. "You look like you're freezing, kid." With that he sat down beside her, pulled off his mask, and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "How's the new hair?" he asked as he took a swipe at a dangling strand.

Sakura laughed. "It's really weird. When it falls in my face I'm still expecting pink."

His senbon jerked up and down as he spoke. "It's about time Tsunade made you dye it. Pink isn't preferable when you're in the ANBU or any abnormal color for that matter." He chuckled with her.

"I like it natural. Dying it makes it feel fake." She mumbled unhappily while taking up a piece of hair in her hand.

Genma twisted his share of black in his fingers. "It feels fine to me." Sakura looked up at him. Thankfully her jade eyes were just as spectacular, if not even brighter than usual. "I'm glad she didn't make you wear contacts."

Sakura smiled. "You said it. I had to put my foot down for that one." Genma chuckled, releasing her black hair and sticking his hand in his pocket. Sakura covered hers with the blanket. She looked down at it for a second. The air wasn't getting any warmer out there. "You want to share with me?"

Genma gave her a strange look then responded. "Ah, I don't need that wimpy blanket."

"Yeah, sure. Men are impenetrable to the cold."

"Just men?"

"You tell me."

He noticed that his other teammate was just wearing the overly thin coat. "Then Akane would have to be-"

"Don't bring me into this." Akane cut him off.

"Sakura said it."

"You're both being childish. Please remember that we are on a mission."

Genma hugged Sakura tighter and whispered playfully in her ear. "Tsunade was smart enough to put a stick in the mud on the team to keep us in line." Sakura burst into laughter.

Akane wasn't as pleased. "Genma, you're doing the first shift and Sakura will be second. I suggest that you both sleep well. We're going to move before the sun rises tomorrow and won't be making any stops once we start." After her piece Akane placed her head on her pack and shut her eyes.

"Oyasuminasai, Hidaka-san." Sakura said quietly.

From under the collar of her trench coat Sakura heard her respond. "You too, Haruno-san."

Once he was sure she was asleep, Genma mumbled to himself. "She's acting like she's first in command." Then he sighed. "The stick-in-the-mud is right. You should sleep. I'll wake you for your shift." He pulled her shoulder his way and Sakura rested her head on him. It was getting further and further into the night and Sakura could feel her eyes getting heavy.

"Get any ideas and I'll pommel you."

Genma held up his hands in surrender. Immediately Sakura felt the cold invade again. "I'll be the perfect gentleman."

"I trust you; now put your hands back before I freeze." She commanded half-asleep, but in a lighthearted manner.

"'Night, Kuro-chan."

Her green eyes closed before she could retaliate.

There we are. First chapter is completed! I know that there is another long story with the title 'Bonds' but I will keep my plot as original as possible (It shouldn't be too hard). If only you knew what was in store for you… Bwahaha:3

For the utterly silly, look up what Kuro means. That goes for any other word you don't understand.

You have read… now review!