In which the author has been on a historical fiction high and needs to come down…

Chapter Five:

It had taken Team Seven another three weeks since the Akihabara incident to remotely get along with each other. The progress was painfully slow and Kakashi knew that it was mostly from Sasuke's own rash behavior that caused the team to have large rifts. Kakashi knew that the dark haired boy had a lot of potential going for him. It didn't matter that Itachi had been freakishly outstanding during his years in the Academy or in the force. That boy had been an aberration, a freak of nature and they had never seen it until it had been too late. Itachi's lust for power was wrapped around him, but they had been too blind to see it.

Funny really, given that the Uchiha and the Hyuuga had such exceptional eyes.

The populace had seen Sasuke as a worshipful martyr and the boy grew up with a condescending attitude. He should have had his memory wiped and placed in a foster family. He had been rather cold towards Sakura, who by all means was a respectable person. However Sasuke would take his chance to belittle the pink haired girl whenever he had the chance. By then it would escalate to the point where Sakura would pull out her guns and threaten Sasuke, while at the verge of tears. Sakura was a strong girl but Kakashi knew that there was so much that the young girl could take.

Kakashi could see that the only person not affected by Sasuke's attitude was Naruto. The blonde bore most of the black haired boy's criticism in a rather apathetic manner, though the grey haired Jounin could see that the blonde didn't have very many high opinions about Sasuke. Most of the time when tension broke out between Sakura and Sasuke, Naruto cut in before things went too far. One would have to be blind to see that Naruto and Sakura got along in a detached professional manner.

The grey haired Jounin had despaired, but Naruto and Sakura's growing teamwork was at least a small ray of hope. Naruto didn't say anything negative to Sakura but he wasn't the most encouraging of people either. However, his rather subdued manner was the kind of thing that Sakura needed in Sasuke's vicious attitude towards her. Naruto silently listened to the girl and didn't give out much advice yet Kakashi was more than aware of the fact that every time there was a scheduled spar, Naruto would go out of his way to trounce Sasuke's rear into the ground.

Since the first time, Sasuke had regularly been defeated by Naruto during the sparring matches and Kakashi saw with his own eyes that Naruto had always held back in the Academy.

As the days went by, Sasuke grew to be more humble and civil towards Sakura. Kakashi figured that it had something to do with that one day that Naruto dragged the black haired boy to the other side of the training fields. The dark haired boy still threw the blonde glares of distaste, but he kept his anger in check. The relationship between the team members had eased and teamwork began to take root. Naruto had taken the position as team leader given that he was the only one who actually could keep the team together with his rationality and calm demeanor. Kakashi knew that he had gotten the short end of the stick as far as teams went and he could only hope that things were all right in the end.

"Your mission for today will be-"

"It's not out of lack of respect that I'm cutting you off, but I think it's time that our team went for a C Rank. We've been at these D Ranked missions for well over a month and have the highest record of the other teams. Can't you at least give us a C Rank?"

Kakashi gazed at Sakura who had stepped up, her emerald eyes blazing. She was serious about this…

Did she truly think that they were alright as a team to take a higher ranked mission? Their teamwork in the nicest of terms- was rather lackluster. If Kakashi had been a harsher man he would had said that Team Seven didn't have anything resembling teamwork.

Before he could open his mouth to protest against Sakura's request, a quiet but serious voice cut him off.

"I agree with Haruno. We have been working harder than the other teams and we have a clean record. We are ready to take on a more difficult mission."

The receptionist sighed before looking at Kakashi to verify the two genins' claims. His single dark eye roved toward Sasuke who shot him a warning look. For once the whole team was actually agreeing with something. Ah why the hell not? If anything were to fuck up, he had confidence that Naruto had more than enough skills to handle both Uchiha and Haruno. Gods of the old knew that he handled Sasuke's attitude rather well.

"I don't see why it's an issue. If they say that they're ready, then they're ready. Besides I'm their teacher so nothing bad can happen while I'm around."

The grey haired man received a flat face from the receptionist and he could almost read what was running through the man's thoughts.

'Bullshit, you're trouble in and on yourself.'

Alas it was the kind of looks that his fellow Jounin colleagues gave him.

"Ma, ma…Come on Tanaka! I've been good for the past couple of months. No trouble, nothing." He whined.

In unison Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke's head whipped towards Kakashi and the three genin sported identical expressions of horror and disgust.

"You wound my heart with your coldness Tanaka!" Kakashi continued, unaware of the fact that his genin were slowly creeping away from him.

"He's a freak I knew it!" Sasuke muttered under his breath.

Sakura shuddered as she nodded. "I second that."

The third and 'self appointed' leader of the genin team shook his blonde head as he watched the exchange between the two men and opened his mouth.

"I think Kakashi sensei is homosexual." Naruto deadpanned.

Silence immediately filled the office as everyone's heads turned towards the blonde then back at Kakashi and Tanaka who both looked clueless before the words sank in.

"WE'RE NOT GAY!" They both snapped simultaneously.

"Actually I think Naruto's right." Sasuke said after a while. "You fight like a married couple."

It was then that Kakashi knew that the universe had died and went to hell.

There was no way in fucking hell that Naruto cracked a joke and Sasuke got along with him…Then there was THIS issue…

The universe wasn't fair…whatsoever.

What Kakashi never noticed was the fact that Naruto wasn't in a humorous mood.


"You're too accepting of it! You can't keep doing this Naruto! Don't you see that you're killing yourself by doing this? Naruto you have every right to decline this proposal, they have Dolls that can do the job! What if you're attacked while you're out on the mission!"

Naruto threw his gear into his backpack studiously ignoring the blonde haired AI construct. As much as he loved Ophelia, he just didn't want to hear it. His head was already swimming with thoughts, and conflicting emotions.

"Naruto you don't have to do this. I don't want you do this- to accept this as if it's alright. You're only fifteen."

He threw his pack off from his bed and turned towards the holographic image that represented Oracle.

"Do you think that I'm alright with this?! That I'm bending over to the wishes of those Council and Senate members? That I want to be around Uchiha who's so self absorbed that it makes me sick?! That I want to keep my calm even though my world is falling down around my ears? I know Ophelia! I know what they're doing to me! Naruto yelled out, unable to keep up his façade any longer.

"I want to be just me. Uzumaki Naruto. No one special, no one different, nothing of this whatsoever- I just wanted to be a normal kid, as norma as a 15 year old can get in the military but still! I have a massive genocidal maniac alien that destroyed Old Konoha locked up in me! I didn't want it, I didn't ask for it but this is the shit that has been thrown my way!

"You heard what Kanna said. You know the data. You know that they have me bound. I never accepted this. I don't accept all of this but this is what life has given me and this is all I can do. Everyday I put myself at a distance, everyday I keep up this face of complete calm, everyday I go to practice with the weapons, everyday I have to pretend that I'm alright."

Naruto clenched his fist as he bend over the bed in anguish. His body shook from the amount of anger and desperation that ran through him. His mind was whispering Kanna's words and replying his memory over and over again in a merciless loop. He had known- always known but never acknowledged- he had been afraid and justly so.

Ophelia watched from where she stood, her face withdrawn, her amber eyes down cast. As a construct she couldn't cry and wished that she could. She wished that she could just reach over and put a comforting hand on Naruto's shoulder. He had grown up so deprived of human contact and a number of things that she constantly worried about him. Hearing his anguished voice hurt her as well. She knew too well that he wanted to be free, to be a normal person. Not for the first time she regretted ever giving him the idea of applying for the military. He should have just gone to the University, graduated and lived his life doing what he did best.

As much as she wished that she could delude her logic with that wish, she knew that either way, he would have been dragged into the frontlines simply due to the fact that he had the enemy sealed in him.

He never asked for anything and yet he gave so much of himself away.

"I'm sorry." She whispered.

Silence stretched for a moment before it was broken.

"Don't be." Naruto said with a shuddering breath as he stared at his clenched fist. "It wasn't your fault. You were just worried about me and I shouldn't have blown up at you Ophelia."

He studied the irregular pattern of his skin, noting each wrinkle that ran across his knuckles that were glaring red against the whiteness of his clenched fist. Letting out a breath he relaxed his hand. She had been worried about him and he had blown up in her face. A tired mental chuckle ran through his mind. Oh how sad to believe- to wish that Ophelia was human. He wanted it- he wished for it. She was his mother when he had been alone; she had been there for him since the beginning.

Like she said; he was only fifteen deep inside in spite of his appearances of otherwise.

"It's hard to deal with my team at times added with what Kanna revealed. I knew that something like this was possible, but I never really expected it to come this far. I'm trying not to do anything that would further the assimilation along- even if it means that I don't use jutsus. Who am I kidding, even if I didn't use the jutsus, the damned seal was created for me to absorb it."

He clenched his chest before relaxing his hand as his mind wandered to the events of the other day.

Naruto cursed under his breath and hoped that Namikaze Minato, the previous Hokage was enjoying his stay inside of the Shinigami's belly for the rest of eternity. He had a lot of respect for the man for saving the capital from ruin but at the same time Naruto felt resentment towards the man for straddling him with the demon. It was a miracle that the man never had any offspring or a wife because the gods of old so help them if he ever ran into them.

Another part of him wondered if he would succumb to insanity due to the prisoner inside of him. Kanna never said anything on that topic. He wondered if she purposely left that part out or if she really didn't know. Either way, the facts didn't settle with him very well at all.

If things got out of hand he would ask someone that he trusted to take his life from him than to live his life in such a state.

Eyes hardening, he let his hand drop from his chest as he finished packing for his mission.

Naruto didn't catch Ophelia's worried gaze before she made her way to the living room.


Once the doors closed behind him, Kanna grabbed his arm and proceeded to drag him around a maze of hallways. In all respects, the place almost resembled a small medical clinic. He figured that it was a cover given that the civilians went about their way without a care. Finally they reached a small scanning lab in which she ushered him in. He watched with interest as she went over to the door and opened it to reveal an elevator shaft.

What Naruto saw when they went down impressed him. He had never known that a whole entire world existed under Konoha.

"Before New Konoha was built this whole area was famous for its caves. The Hokage and a few companies took advantage of that and the bulk of Konoha's science work is done here underground. The clinic is but one of many entrances. The entirety of New Konoha sits on a system of various caves. Even now we're still developing facilities."

"Interesting. So the off planet station isn't where all of Konoha's R&D do their work."

"Yes, it's a dummy station more than anything. Due to the fact that this is all strictly secret, the security measures that one goes through just to work in a place like this is just as effective and 'brutal' as the Hyuuga Caged Bird Seal." She said.

"Doesn't that violate Universal Human Rights?" Naruto asked as he looked beyond the glass partition of the elevator doors at the glowing city-plex that stretched before him, glowing gentle white and gold from all the lights. He noted that there were other elevator shafts as they moved up and down.

"There are loopholes thanks to Orochimaru's defection. Especially with the fact that what we deal with can swing the tides as far as technology and development goes, they're taking precautions to make sure that what stays down here really stays down here. Those who quit or retire have their memories wiped so that they can continue life free of the contract but they're still monitored for various reasons."

The elevator came to a gentle stop as the glass partitions opened and Naruto stood in the middle of a hall that was composed of mostly see through walls. "No such thing as privacy around here."

Kanna grinned as she led him past rooms filled with people in lab coats doing things that ranged from working at terminals to tinkering around with various gadgets.

"Much to the dismay of the various couples here."

Naruto graced her with an expression of mixed disgust and annoyance. He knew that she had a rather strong disposition towards things that were sexual in nature but he just wished that she would just stop with the ecchi thoughts around him. Or maybe she was doing it just to get a rile out of him.

"I hardly doubt that a workplace area is best for intimate gestures." He ground out, proud that he had managed to voice his disgust in a monotonous tone.

He mentally noted that Kiba would just love to be around the infuriating woman. Perhaps he should introduce them to each other and get them both off his back for good. Then again…it could backfire on him…nah….

"You're such a prude and a killjoy. Has anyone ever said that you're boring?"

"You would too if you had an alien sealed up inside of you."

All hints of previous teasing evaporated as Kanna shook her head as they rounded a corner.

"You know- you have to enjoy the life you live in because as a member of the Special Ops division and an AYASA, you can die anytime and anywhere. Wouldn't you want to go out with no regrets?"

Naruto looked down at her.

"I'm not given the luxury. You know that."

They entered a fairly large room; that unlike the others at least had one solid wall. Naruto had been feeling a bit disorientated at the whole 'everything-is-see-through' experience. It was fairly cold as well given that what lie on the metal autopsy bed was one of the corpses of the Yuurei that had been brought in.

"These are some nasty buggers that you roped in for us." Kanna said as she started up the projectors so that the images would come up on the clear screen. Naruto turned his eyes away from the thing on the table towards the screen.

"Given that you're an intelligent boy, it's a blessing on the others' parts that they didn't have to dumb down the presentation too much. Anyhow to make things short, despite their humanoid form, their genetic makeup was all over the charts and constantly shifting."

Naruto's eyes narrowed as he scanned the data presented to him. "You're meaning to say that in spite of the fact that they take the form of humans…that these bodies are just a hodgepodge of trace elements."

"Yes. What's more is that they can add matter. We surmise it's because originally they're just nothing more than pure energy without a vessel and so when they come into the physical plane, they're 'forced' to create a vessel. In spite of the differences there are a vast majority of similarities. Youkai on the other hand are closer to humans and other living creatures from Houshi given that they have a vessel that's more adapted to our expectations given that we've had extensive history with the Youkai."

It made sense in an odd way. The Yuurei claimed to be gods and the Youkai as vassals.

"Their glowing blood is interesting but in a way it makes sense as to why our ancestors perhaps worshipped them as gods. Glowing blood does sound unworldly to a heathen. Then there's the factor of their regeneration. That arm had to be sealed in order to prevent it from regenerating, the bodies here are undoubtedly dead."

"Phosphorus and bioluminescence…little wonder why their blood glowed so prominently." Naruto mused as his eyes continued to scan the information. "It's odd that they would contain a property found in deep water fishes. If their blood glows then I wonder if other parts do as well."

"Though all of these facts are your right to know I didn't call you to the labs just for this. These corpses are dead, despite the regeneration."

Naruto looked away to gaze at the woman.

"I had a feeling."

The data on the Yuurei vanished and instead information on him pulled up.

"Last week when you were pulled into that fight against the Yuurei. It was confirmed that their regeneration was so powerful that it was impossible for you to have killed them- but you did."

"I was wondering about that." Naruto replied softly as his thoughts went to the stories of Yuurei being invincible.

"It could be attributed to your prisoner but I'm starting to wonder if what the previous Hokage sealed away in you was a Youkai or a Yuurei...or it could mean that the Yuurei that you fought were weak. Now why would they send such weak Yuurei to New Konoha?"

Naruto's blood ran cold in his veins. He could sense a however coming up.

"However, given what limited information we have on the issue, it's best to surmise that they came for you. Had the Yuurei wanted to actually destroy New Konoha they would have done so in a moment. Instead they took the time to infiltrate the planetary system and the capital itself. Also I took the time to do preliminary scans and analysis on you when you were out.

"To put things in perspective, there were some rather startling discoveries made. Firstly that seal according to the priests that we managed to contact is created to convert your prisoner's energy into your own. Despite the fact that it's doing a smashing job at that- there's the issue that it's also causing some changes in you. Technically speaking it shouldn't be possible given our knowledge of genetics. Since we're dealing with the Youkai and the Yuurei- anything is possible. I ran some background checks to previous testing and came up with a partial explanation to what is going on."

The information weighed heavily on Naruto's mind and soul as he forced himself not to react to it when in fact a part of him died in revulsion. Dull blue eyes watched as the screen displayed two sequences before him. Reading the labels he knew that the sequence towards the right was before his battle a week ago and that the image on the left was created a few days ago. Several sequences were highlighted.

"There were some strange oddities in your genetic code before you were admitted to the AYASA program that we took some note on but we never went into much detail with it given that there always are genetic mutations in the coding. In light of recent events it would seem that those genes that we've previously ignored are being 'activated' so to speak. When compared to the structures of the Youkai and the Yuurei…we have found some startling similarities."

The two images became slightly smaller as a two more came up and a few sequences were highlighted.

"Are you saying that I'm related to these things?" He asked as he tore his eyes away from the screen to stare at Kanna helplessly.

"You're not the only one. We found that the bloodline clans do as well-heck the vast majority of people from the old shinobi clans. It wasn't given much thought until now since we've acquired Yuurei genetic material. It's not quite as solid per say but there are distinct similarities, which leads to the theory that at one point or another that we've intermixed with them in the past. Though your genetic make up doesn't reveal a bloodline of sorts- you're more to a Yuurei than they are."

Naruto flinched, wishing that he had never come. "So what are you going to do about it? Kill me? Use me as some scientific experiment? Oh wait, I already am." He said in a scathing manner.

"Listen to me! You are yourself and what comes will come. I doubt that genes can completely take over your personality. Sure there are dispositions but it doesn't rule who you are or will be. You've had a shitty lot in life- a lot shittier than mine. I doubt that all Yuurei or Youkai are bad per say if they were willing to mix with us. Most of this is speculation- however there's no doubt about the fact that you're not going to be completely human by the time everything is over and done with."

His hands shook as he brought them to his face.

"Look if I was going to say that you're a monster, I would be a hypocrite. Our ancestors willingly mixed with them and we're part of them as much as they're a part of us. The main concern we have is that they're showing an interest in you. Whoever the fuck the previous Hokage had sealed up in you was pretty important to them to have them come to New Konoha to investigate. Sarutobi has been informed of the issue and so has your Jounin sensei. You'll be expecting a second teacher and protector soon in regards to the issue."

The rest of the debriefing had vanished in a blur as Naruto's mind raced with the harshness of reality.


"Don't you think you're reading too much into this Sakura?" Ino asked as she took a seat next to Sakura in the ramen stand. Both girls had decided to visit their usual haunt as a celebratory party for Sakura's C Rank mission promotion.

"Maybe but aren't Yuurei supposed to be invincible. The ones that we fought were way too weak. Plus if they wanted an all out attack then they would have wiped our asses within moments. Instead they let us attack them and they retreated. If anything else they were scouting something." Sakura pointed out as she picked out a piece of sliced chicken and ate it.

Ino sighed. Sakura had a point there. It had been a rather 'weak' fight in context of what they were taught at the Academy about the Yuurei.

"You have a point there. It did seem rather odd."

Green eyes narrowed and Ino knew that Sakura was furiously going through data and trying to figure something out.

"Everything seems to revolve around Naruto. Don't you find it suspicious that the Yuurei were in the very same area that Naruto had been at? That he was the only one who could kill the Yuurei?"

"Well, yeah now that I think about it." Ino said, faltering. "Why do you think he's BSing you?"

"He's good enough to fool other people but I can't help but think that there's more to him and he's not really forthcoming on anything. Everything on him is sealed away or just not there. All that I ever got out of the issue was that he's been chosen as a prototype for a new sector in the military that deals with ground attacks by the Youkai and the Yuurei and that he doesn't have any nanites." Sakura said quietly.

Ino stared at Sakura in a mixture of shock and disgust.

"You serious? He doesn't have any-"

Sakura immediately clamped her hand over Ino's mouth before glancing around and removing her hand.

"Not so loud. If the others found out…I don't want to think about it."

"Sorry."Ino replied as she finished up her ramen.

"Come on let's go back to my place and I'll show you more stuff that I found."

"Aren't you taking this a little too far?"

Sakura turned to the blonde. Normally she would have agreed with the blonde haired girl but something about Naruto bothered her and what she potentially uncovered was bone chilling in and on itself.

Paying for their ramen, both girls left the small stand in the historic district and made their way back to Sakura's apartment. Both girls gave Sakura's mother a brief greeting before vanishing into Sakura's room. Sakura shoved a pile of microdrives to the floor much to Ino's dismay. Placing her UMPC on her frosted glass desktop she hooked it up with her terminus server, bringing all the systems online.

Navigating her main menu screen she selected a folder and brought up a larger and much detailed hologram of Naruto.

Although Ino was more than impatient to see what Sakura was getting at- she wisely kept her mouth shut as Sakura turned toward her with a grim smile. Nothing good ever came out of that smile. Wisely keeping her mouth shut, Ino waited for Sakura to explain herself.

"I kept having a sense of déjàvu around Naruto that kept bothering me until it all made sense." Sakura said excitedly as she brought up an image of the previous Hokage- Namikaze Minato.

The similarities in phenotypes were freakishly similar. Ino's blue eyes widened as she dazedly sat on Sakura's bed. The pink haired girl joined her and lazily waved her hand towards the general direction of the terminus server hooked up to the UMPC as the strange whisker marks on Naruto's face vanished and his glasses disappeared. What stood before the two girls were perfect images of the previous Hokage. Ino shuddered at the uncanny resemblance. She wondered why nobody else had seen it.

"Do you think Shikamaru would be happy to help out?"

"With what?"

"With finding out just what Naruto has up his sleeve."

Ino shook her head and muttered under her breath about over inquisitive pink haired girls.


"I figured as much." Shikamaru said when the two girls intruded into his life and shoved the edited images into his face. "Man, Ino you have such a troublesome friend. Then again Naruto's a troublesome person as well. Idiot thinks he can hide everything from everyone."

He rubbed the back of his neck before sighing. Constantly he warned that people would soon see through the BS that Naruto had always spat out. Then again the vast majority of people were fooled by it. Sakura had a keen sense of things and it wasn't a shock that she would pick up on Naruto's BSing. Iruka had been the same way, which was why Naruto and Shikamaru shared detentions together on the occasion that they truly neglected to use their brains.

"You know there's other ways that we can go about this." Ino sneered with a devious smile. "I could always read his mind if push comes to shove."

Shikamaru flinched at her words. He would hate to think what Naruto would do if his mind was read like that. The blonde valued keeping his secrets more than anything else in the world. Though Ino's way would be effective in the short term, one didn't mess with a hacker whatsoever.

"Don't dare. Naruto values secrecy above all else. If you read his mind, he would go out of his way to make sure that your life is hell as retaliation. He's not above that. Do unto others as others have done unto you. He's a cause effect person." Shikamaru warned.

Sakura digested his words and turned it in her mind. "That's rather harsh."

"I suppose but if you figure out something about him then he respects you. He's not a robot and he knows that- though sometimes I think that he wishes to be one. I must say that you did a really good job in making the comparisons in physical appearance. He never really commented on it after I pointed it out to him one time. He just gave me a 'is-that-so' kind of look."

"Do you have any information on Naruto that will help me on figuring out a lot of things about him?" Sakura asked.

"Tell me what you suspect and I'll tell you what I suspect and we can work from there. Ino, you can go home if this is boring you."

Ino scoffed at Shikamaru's words. "Are you kidding me? You know that once I get curious I stay curious."

Shikamaru wondered if Sakura purposely pulled Ino into this for that very reason. He suspected that it was so. Once Ino's curiosity was roused she went all the way to fulfill that curiosity. That very aspect of her personality was the reason why she would do well in intel. With that kind personality trait she could gather the most information. The only downside was that she would only grab at the information that interested her. If it wasn't interesting then she would only do the bare minimum.

"If you say so Ino. Anyhow, what are your suspicions Sakura?"

"For one thing the attack last week bothers me. For one thing the Yuurei attacked in an area that Naruto was in. They did minimal damage and casualties given what they're capable of."

A shudder ran up Shikamaru's spine at her words. He had wondered why the Yuurei would attack in a covert sense. They were known to go all out instead of infiltrating. What could Akihabara have that would have interested them so? If he remembered, the Jounins' faces were grim and dark for a few days after the incident. Shikamaru would catch them whispering among themselves in code. Also there lie the oddity that it took Naruto a whole week to recover when he should have taken a few days. He had been the only one to kill the Yuurei with his weapons systems. They had held back for some reason. His mouth turned down into a deep frown.

"They wanted to assess him, it would seem for the weapons that he had."

"I have a feeling that it's more than that. Then there's the fact that he doesn't have nanites."

Well, that was news to him. He never thought that boy wonder would be without such an important thing. On the other hand it made him a stronger person for it, as well as intelligent. It wasn't an easy thing to memorize so many dialects and languages. Naruto had always been good at pretending but it was no fluke that he would be able to do his homework on the occasional times that the Academy teachers decided that the students needed practice in using their language interfaces.

"Hey I think I remember something." Ino said as she bit her lip. "Do you guys remember that one time that the Academy teachers decided to play recordings of Yuurei and Youkai attacks?"

Emerald green eyes widened. "The teachers had to escort Naruto out of the room! I remember! That was about three years ago wasn't it?"

"Yeah…something about sensitivity to their presence." Shikamaru muttered. "What's bothersome is the fact that no one else in the class seemed affected by the recordings."

Sakura leaned against the wall and chewed a thumbnail. "When they attacked Akihabara he somehow sensed their presence before the attack."

"Do you think it's a bloodline limit?"

"Doubt it. They screen all of us regularly in the Academy for that kind of stuff."

Thus the peanut gallery continued to brainstorm when Sakura remembered that she had an escort mission to pack for.

Tearing out of Shikamaru's home, the pink haired girl high tailed for her apartment.

Ino turned to Shikamaru with a frown on her face as she rubbed her shoulder. "To tell the truth, Naruto freaks the hell out of me. Something about him is off. Of course I would never really voice it in Sakura's presence; however I'm kind of glad that she brought it up."

"Your bloodline limit going haywire around him?" Shikamaru asked softly.

She gave him a grim smile. "Something like that. Let's just say that it's intuition telling me that he has a lot occupying his mind. I can't help that he broadcasts weird mental vibes."


The next morning was rather grey and tense. Naruto had arrived to the international space port with his gear to note that Sakura had gotten there before him. Seeing that Sasuke wasn't around, he figured that the dark haired boy was going to show up in a few minutes. Kakashi as usual would arrive at the last possible moment and from the looks of things, their client hadn't arrived yet. The way that Sakura was eyeing him was disconcerting.

His unease only grew when she approached him with her face set to a stony expression.

"You can fool Sasuke and other people but you can't fool me. You're hiding a lot of things and I'm not talking about the anti-Yuurei/Youkai thing or your lack of certain things either." She said softly, though Naruto could pick up undercurrents of anger and seriousness. "Don't act dumb because I'm not going to buy the act. What did they want with you?"

Naruto grit his teeth as he fought the urge to panic. He had been so sure, so careful.

"I have n-"

"Your denial is more than enough proof to me that my suspicions were not unfounded."

He hissed when she grabbed his arm with a vice grip. Despite her shorter stature and frail appearance, she was deceptively strong. Her name should have been iron maiden instead of cherry blossom he mused in a haze of pain. "Unhand me." He hissed as his glasses slid down the bridge of his nose.

"No. I'm not going to let you get away in deceiving me. The more you try to hide, the deeper I'll dig until I drag everything out into the light. I'm not stupid enough to let things go." Sakura retaliated with the same amount of intensity.


AN: Sakura's not taking any BS from Naruto haha! Reminds me of my relationship with my friends whenever they get sick and try not to let me know. XD. Sorry kiddos but having an ex-mother for a nurse and a major focusing on health…can't fool me! Anyhow…music flavor of the moment…Loveholic. Generally I'm not into K-Pop/Rock but this is the only band I will tolerate. x.

Also as a heads up I'm going to work on another fic that's roughly based on the Heian Era. Blame the historical fiction stuff that I've been reading of the late. Kurokawa's sequel is in the works and I'm just gathering materials for that…now if I would just learn how NOT to burn my fingers with the hot glue gun…making stuff is so painful. ;

Glossary and Extra Notes:

Terminus Server: Think home PC but with the power of a mega server. It is most generally used for large scale projects, heavy media use, storing files and social networking.