Sakura checked every place she knew either Kakashi or Tsunade frequented. They just didn't seem to be anywhere. Kakashi wasn't a very spontaneous individual, so there were only so many places he could have been. And every place she checked that were hotspots for gambling or for alcohol didn't have Tsunade. Pretty soon, Sakura was out of options and not a clue where else to check. She glanced at Sai, who was following diligently behind as Naruto instructed.
"Any idea where to search now, Sai?" She asked, her voice sounding as frustrated as she felt.
Sai tapped his chin thoughtfully as a myriad of places raced through his strategic mind. Finally he settled on the one place no one would think to look. "How about the council chamber?"
Sakura stopped mid-step. "Why would Kakashi-sensei be caught dead in that place? He barely goes there when he's summoned, Sai."
"We've checked everywhere normal, Sakura. Let's check somewhere abnormal."
Sakura shrugged, deciding she couldn't argue with that logic, and changed directions. It wasn't until they were in front of the entrance she realized that, without being summoned, she couldn't enter the council chamber. Before she had time to mention this to Sai, Tsunade and Kakashi emerged. They looked way too happy to be coming out of that building, Sakura noticed.
"Aren't we supposed to have a mission today, Hinata?" Kiba asked, strolling beside her as they walked toward the Hokage's office. Hinata nodded, tentatively petting Akamaru's head as they walked. When they turned the corner they saw the destruction that was the Hokage's office. Hinata was shocked to see the debris that used to be the door and most of his frame, but Kiba simply laughed.
"Kiba-kun, what do you think happened?" Hinata gasped out, putting her hands over her mouth.
"I'll bet you some serious money it's all Naruto's fault." Kiba said, still laughing.
"You'd be wrong." Konohamaru said, appearing out of the office. "This actually was, in no way, Naruto-nii-chan's fault at all."
"Who did it, then?" Kiba asked, cocking his head to the side.
Konohamaru snickered. "Sasuke."
Kibe left out a throaty laugh. "You have got to be kidding! He's under house arrest? What, did Naruto take him out for an afternoon stroll?"
"It's…complicated, Kiba." Konohamaru explained, scratching the back of his head. "But that mission Naruto-nii-chan promised will have to wait until tomorrow…" He glanced behind him at the work being done to the office and scratched the back of his head again. "…maybe the next day."
Hinata put her hand on Kiba's arm, slowly leading him back to the stairs. "Okay, Konohamaru-kun. We will see you l-later."
"Yeah, kid, tell our Hokage we'll be back, okay?" Kiba smirked and turned on his heels, Akamaru in tow.
"Sure thing, Kiba!" Konohamaru turned around and sighed. "C'mon, guys. Pick up the pace. The Hokage needs an office to work out of!"
Naruto was pacing back and forth in the conference room, hands linked behind his back, in deep thought. He'd been in that same rhythm for the past half hour and Sasuke began wondering if a groove would be worn in the floor soon.
A myriad of thoughts ran through his head and Naruto's mind was in overdrive. Why would Teushi care what Sasuke did? What did Teushi gain from Sasuke breaking out of custody?
Nothing seemed to be answered when Naruto finally stopped pacing. He sat on the edge of the conference table and sighed. Being Hokage wasn't supposed to be this hard. He couldn't imagine his father dealing with any of this. He was sure, with the perception of the Fourth Naruto had formed in his mind, that Minato would have kicked ass and took names and not cared if someone had a vendetta against an Uchiha…
Naruto jumped up at his thought and began bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"I got it, Sasuke!"
Sasuke, who was probing at his swollen jaw, jumped in surprise when Naruto yelled. Nearly half an hour with no words spoken made the conference room a very silent place. Naruto's outburst filled the room, nearly knocking Sasuke out of his chair.
"Got what, idiot?"
"The answer! I think…anyway, what if Teushi doesn't necessarily have an issue with either me or you? I mean, he's old. We couldn't have done anything to him, right? Sakura said so herself. What if it was the people who came before us?"
Sasuke cocked his head to the side and bit his lip. Naruto did have a point. Without having actually met Teushi, it was hard to believe he'd done anything to him. He'd never even heard the name before now. It would help if they knew what this Teushi's past was.
"Naruto, we need access to his files. He's a ninja, right? He has to have a dossier on record."
The Hokage smiled, "Totally."
Tsunade was starving, and she wanted some alcohol, but now she was forced in playing advisor for Naruto. Sakura wasn't giving her much of an option as she led them back toward the Tower. Even Kakashi couldn't escape her steel-like grip on his arm.
Sakura had briefly filled them in on the situation, which couldn't have come at a worse time to interfere in Tsunade and Kakashi's plans. It did seem to Tsunade that Naruto needed her, but it still didn't help that she was starving. And thristy. And Konohamaru better be there to fetch her something.
The group passed by Kiba and Hinata on the stairs before ascending to the conference room, where they saw Naruto and Sasuke scheming together. Sakura would have been proud of their teamwork, had they been twelve. Now she was just ready for some peace so she could rest.
Naruto gave a start when they entered the room, but quickly led Tsunade over to Sasuke, urging the woman to heal his friend. Sakura was directing her gaze, purposely, in the opposite direction, still being very stubborn. When Sasuke's jaw had returned to the size and color that was considered normal, they all took a seat around the large table.
"Well," Kakashi asked, "what'd we miss?"
Naruto drew his eyebrows together. "What'd you miss, sensei? Gee, let me think of where to start. Where were you two?"
"Ensuring Sasuke's future in Konoha, actually." Kakashi's eye crinkled up in a smile.
Naruto and Sakura were just staring, Sasuke snorted.
"What?" Naruto asked, completely bewildered.
"Sakura and…well, Sai was there but he didn't say much," Tsunade flipped her hand at the silent ANBU standing in the corner. Sai just nodded and smiled his fake smile. "But Sakura filled us in on everything that was going on. From Sasuke escaping to breaking the door down…pretty much all of it. Where is Konohamaru?"
Naruto arched an eyebrow at her sudden topic jump, but pointed in the direction of his destroyed office all the same. "Uh-huh…and what does that have to do with what you two were doing?"
"Sai, fetch Konohamaru, will you?" Tsunade asked, glancing briefly in the ANBU's direction. He nodded and left the room.
"We have a proposition for you, Naruto-sama." Kakashi said with his visible eye crinkling into a smile. "And it would be in both of your best interests to accept it." He motioned to both Naruto and Sasuke, making each exchange a quick glance at each other.
"What kind of proposition?" Naruto asked, cocking his head to the side.
The original members of the former Team Seven had their interest peaked as they looked toward their former superiors. Sasuke even leaned forward on the table to take in their explanation. It was enough to send Kakashi, once again, in a pleasant moment of nostalgia. Tsunade smiled in her way of showing that, no matter how old she gets, she's still bad ass and clever as hell.
"Does this have something to do with that dreadful jutsu you let him use on me?" Sasuke asked suddenly, his face forming a deep frown.
"Actually, Sasuke, yes it does." Kakashi chuckled. "It has a lot to do with the Dreamwalker jutsu."
Sakura nodded. "As in how will the council actually believe anything Naruto saw? I mean, they're going just by his word, right?"
"And who says Kakashi's students aren't clever?" Tsunade quirked, getting a glare from everyone including Kakashi.
"Lady Tsunade, did you need something?" Konohamaru asked, poking his head in the doorway.
"Yes, boy. Fetch me some sake and something to eat. I'm starving."
Konohamaru wanted to retort, but instead gritted his teeth and nodded. He'd learned from having her smack him around that sometimes it's better to just agree instead of argue with her.
Naruto shot Tsunade a glare. "He's not a gopher, Granny. He's my personal bodyguard."
"Yeah!" She snorted. "As if you need a scrawny kid like that protecting you! You need an entire fleet of ANBU for as much trouble as you are!"
"Blow me, Granny!" Naruto seethed, feeling majorly defensive when it came to protecting Konohamaru and his own personal clumsiness. After all, it wasn't his fault he was prone to danger, was it?
Before the former Hokage could retort, Sakura cut them off. "Can we get back to the subject at hand? What proposition did you have for our fearless leader anyway?"
Naruto stuck his tongue out at her as Kakashi began explaining.
"It's actually quite simple. We just need to prove to the council that, whatever you will say, you are not lying. So, for starters, we need to hear what you saw in there."
Naruto gulped and glanced in Sasuke's direction, who was shooting daggers at the blonde. "Um…well…"
"Here." Konohamaru announced, nearly slamming the tray of sake and sandwiches on the table in front of them.
"Be nicer, brat!" Tsunade sneered.
"Quit being so bitchy, old hag!" All respect flew out the window when someone called him a brat. He was sick of being treated like a little kid. "Just be lucky it's edible!"
"Thank you, Konohamaru." Naruto said sternly, cutting off any fight which may have taken place.
"Yeah, no problem nii-chan." Konohamaru sent another glare Tsunade's way before returning to the destroyed office.
"Honestly, you two could try and get along." Naruto reprimanded Tsunade.
"Well he could stop being such a damn brat."
"Moving on." Sakura urged, nudging Kakashi's arm. "Are we prepping him on what to say or something?" She asked, moving the topic back on Naruto.
"No." Kakashi shook his head. "We can't do that. For this, we will need Naruto to be completely honest with both us and the council. Naruto, did you see anything in Sasuke's mind that would lead you to believe he will attempt to destroy Konoha, or anyone in it, ever again?"
"Should he be trusted?"
"Is there any reason, besides what you saw in his mind, that leads you to believe this wholeheartedly?" Tsunade asked, knowing what kinds of questions Teushi will subject him to.
Naruto cocked his head to the side before answering. "Um…what?"
"It basically means, are you saying he can be trusted only because you guys have a history as teammates?" Sakura clarified.
"Oh…no. I mean, yes…wait. I'm confused."
"Just answer the question, Naruto." Tsunade said, rubbing her temples.
"I trust Sasuke. And does it really matter if it's based off what I saw in his head, our history, or a combination of the two? He's different now and that's all the matters."
"But selling it to the council will be different." Sasuke stated, sitting back in his chair.
"True." Sakura agreed. "They won't believe you easily."
"Which is where the proposition comes in." Tsunade smiled.
The three looked at her questioningly as Tsunade pulled a small vial from between her cleavage. The liquid inside was a light orange color and shimmered with something almost golden floating inside.
"This, dear children, is a truth serum. And we are going to use it to keep Sasuke from being put back in prison."
Hanabi was pacing back and forth in front of a large bush, contemplating what she was about to do. It wasn't like her to do anything this irrational. Nor was it like her to completely disobey her father by deliberately dating a boy she knew her father did not approve of. But she grew increasing tired of being the 'golden child' of the Hyuuga clan. They taught her everything she knew about being a kunoichi, but nothing about being a teenage girl, or about being a woman. The only she had to go on was what she could get out of a blushing and stuttering Hinata, which wasn't always much or intelligible.
She felt Moegi before she actually saw her, the girl's chakra signature being pretty vibrant for as laid back as she kept herself. Once the young chuunin rounded the corner, she got a worked up Hanabi attached to her.
"Ha-Hanabi?" Moegi asked, startled. She received a message to meet the girl, but didn't think it would be for something like this. "What's the matter?"
"Oh, Moegi, I don't know what to do!"
Moegi peeled the younger girl off of her and held her shoulders tight in her hands, keeping the girl steady. "About what? What happened?"
"My father was furious about me sneaking off with Konohamaru again. He's forbid me from ever seeing him again. And then, as if to make matters worse, I skipped my last two periods."
Instantly Moegi's face dropped. "You…you think you're…pregnant?" The last word was hissed out as if it was a forbidden curse. The young Hyuuga nodded, tears falling from her eyes. "Oh, Hanabi…don't cry. We'll figure it out. Maybe it's just your training too hard or something. Why don't we go get a test to find out for sure, okay?"
Hanabi nodded again and Moegi slowly led her toward the nearest pharmacy.
Yeah, sorry for the delay. Life was in the way. K, hope you enjoy! Tell your friends and tip your waitress. XD