Best Laid Plans
(when dealing with the Kazekage of Suna)
Don't meet up again. Ever.
It should have been an easy mission. Go to the Mist Village, do a little spying, and return back home with a few scrolls containing the information wanted tucked under her belt. It was a B-class mission, not something that could be considered a matter of life and death—but important enough to not degrade any kunoichi who wanted to prove herself to be one of the best. Hell, she was one of the best—a B-class mission was more like a vacation, and something that she should be enjoying with a lazy manner, as if she had all the time in the world.
Translation: piece of cake.
It turns out she was proving to be very, very wrong.
"Shit. Damn it. Curse it all to hell—shit!"
Haruno Sakura wasn't the kind of person who said bad words (in fact, she loathed it when people said bad words too much), but at the moment, it really couldn't be helped—not with the awkward situation she had suddenly gotten herself stuck in. Okay, so she really didn't get herself stuck in it, because when you think about it, it wasn't really her fault.
Okay...so maybe it was partly her fault.
It was just that the waterfalls had been so nice. So tempting.
And she hadn't taken a bath in four freaking days.
So what if she had closed her eyes while taking a dip in it, buck-naked? So what if she had delighted in the feel of the soothing water on her dirt-drenched skin? So what if she had shut off all her senses, just for that small amount of time?
Really...how could any girl resist?
Well, duh! You should have resisted! Now we're being chased by some morons because of your stupidity!
"Shut up, Inner freak," Sakura mumbled under her breath.
Her inner merely insulted her back, with a torrent of not-so-nice words.
The worst thing was, it couldn't be denied—her inner was absolutely right.
Darn. It. All.
A kunai hissed by in the air. Sakura expertly dodged it, by back-flipping from one branch to another, not breaking her stride. It was a bit difficult, considering how wet and slippery she was, and how every time she tried to move, branches cut all over her bare skin. After all, she had only gotten time to wear her underwear, before taking off—and taking the scrolls with her. No weapons, except one measly kunai. She didn't even have time to give them her ever-reliable chakra-enhanced punch, because they were stealthy enough to not even come too close, or touch their feet on the ground.
And now, they were coming after her.
Like a bunch of predators, out to get their prey.
She hated being the victim in such a scenario.
Cha! We will not surrender!
More kunais hissed in the air, coming from different angles. Sakura glared in the direction they came from, and went on again to flip and dodge them. How many were even after her? Were they ninjas, or just plain bandits? They must be ninja, because she knew she was fast—a normal civilian would have had a hard time catching up by now. But they were catching on, and too fast at that, and it was only a matter of time before they finally caught up, and—
She should have really been watching where she was going.
In an instant, the branch she had landed on exploded. Mostly, it seemed, because of the tag attached on a kunai embedded in it—a tag that she had only seen when it was already too late. Before she could dodge, or mutter curses some more, flying splinters were everywhere. Fire was, too. She found herself falling down on the ground, unable to catch momentum.
And then there was a loud, sickening crunch.
Her foot was now at an awkward angle underneath her, and her other ankle twisted in a rather weird way at her side. Her shoulder was splayed on the ground, her fingers crushed under her hips. She hissed. The scrolls were scattered beside her, and the kunai had been lost from her grip—it was now lying about three meters away, out of reach.
She couldn't move.
And dear Kami, it was painful.
Before she shift, or try to assess her situation (because so far, all she could assess were her sort of broken lower limbs and dislocated fingers), movements were heard from somewhere behind her.
"Well, lookie here. It seems we have finally caught on."
Suddenly, man after man started landing all over her.
There were around five of them, all wearing black clothes, and carrying weapons varying form kunais to shuriken to swords. They were all muscled men, fit to the point that she had no doubt now that they were indeed ninja—Mist ninjas, or rebels, it might seem. Though she wasn't quite sure. They looked ready, and strong.
And they were mostly leering at her.
Inner Sakura bristled.
"Hey, Aki, don't you find this such a pretty sight?" a man with greasy brown hair commented, eyeing her up and down with something akin to hunger and lust in his gaze. Sakura merely glared at him, her hands clutching fiercely on the scrolls by her side.
The one named Aki, a man with long blond hair tied up in a ponytail, raised an eyebrow and smirked. His tongue came out to lick his lips. "Yeah," he said huskily.
Another man (the one who was looking at somewhere between her two exposed thighs), stepped closer. "So, boss...can I have a piece of her?"
No, you cannot, moron!
"No, you cannot, moron!" Sakura yelled out, shifting her glare to the disgusting man. Cursing inwardly at the pain (because it really was too painful, and it was radiating everywhere), she slowly stood up, as much as she could with the dislocated bones protesting. She stood straight, her posture stiff, her breathing ragged, her expression defiant. "So shove off before I kill you all!"
Some of the men in the group laughed at this.
"Wow, feisty. I like it when they're feisty," a black-haired man grinned lecherously. He was the one with a jagged scar on his ugly face, running from his jaw, up to his forehead. "Makes it easier to...break them. You know...make them scream your name." He stepped closer, gaze smoldering. "And trust me, little girl...you're going to scream my name."
He had whispered the words like a dark caress.
She couldn't stop the shiver from traveling through her body.
They were closing in on her now, steadily moving closer while she stood there immobile, and basically useless. Still determined, Sakura tried to conspicuously heal her broken fingers with some chakra from her other hand.
She dodged, and, because she was not as coordinated as she liked to be at the moment, fell down again, as a set of shuriken was eased her way. One grazed her shoulder—another hit her directly in her right thigh.
She hissed in pain, and growled at them angrily.
"Tsk, tsk...can't let you be doing that," one of them said, shaking his head in mock amusement. "It would spoil the fun."
She was so screwed.
"Kunoichi, hand over the scrolls. Now."
Bu Sakura was not one for giving up. Ever.
"Over my dead body," she snarled form her spot on the forest floor.
"Your ravished, touched body, eh? Okay."
"You wish, you ugly pig," she hissed, trying to stand up again. Unfortunately, her feet wouldn't support her anymore—much to her annoyance, the only thing she managed was stumble back on her rump, and look like a complete, blundering idiot.
And only dislocate her foot all the more.
Inner Sakura was now torn between wailing like a baby and shouting curses at the top of her lungs.
Outer Sakura remained silent, and tried to use chakra again.
But they were too fast.
In an instant, before she could evade, one of the men was suddenly holding on to her okay hand. In an instant, he was suddenly twisting it broken. She tried not to cry out, and instead grit her teeth, as she sent one more infusion of chakra into her awkwardly-positioned fist.
She sent the cocky shinobi through the air and into unconsciousness, before cradling her wrist and trying not to scream from the pain.
"You stupid bitch! You will pay for that!"
Sakura tried to stand up again, and defend herself—this time, she managed to hobble on one leg.
She glared, as another man came for her, with a readied fist and a gleeful, sadistically twisted face.
She knew she wasn't going to make it this time.
I still have to make babies! I want to get married! Inner Sakura screamed like a lunatic.
Outer Sakura readied her stance.
Grit her teeth.
Prepared to counter the fist, even if it meant the last one she would ever counter in her life.
The fist never came.
"I sense some chakra nearby," a lazy voice drawled out.
"Friendly?" another voice answered.
A shrug. "Don't know."
"Let's take a look."
"It's not our problem."
A boink in the head.
"Someone could be in trouble!" a feminine voice hissed. Fiery eyes glared.
"Che. Troublesome women," the lazy voice grumbled, rubbing his head with a sigh.
"Lazy ass," the feminine voice grumbled back, still glaring.
"Hey guys, shut your traps," another male voice commented.
Another boink, in another head.
"Oww! It's true! You're all so loud!" the male voice commented again. Loudly.
Throughout this whole conversation, one man remained silent, and sensing.
That is, until the last moment.
When the flare of chakra caught his instincts, and his attention.
"What?" the lazy voice became lazy no more.
But the sentence was left hanging in the air, as the fifth in the group disappeared.
Quickly, the others followed.
And yes...stared some more.
She couldn't help it. One minute, she had been about to look death in the face, what's with the shinobi surrounding her, all ready to attack. All ready to ravish.
All ready to kill.
And now...the situation had changed.
There was a fan manipulating some strong amounts of air—slicing the air around, to be more precise. There were shadows here and there. Senbon flying everywhere.
Sakura's stare became a huge, awed gape, as, in a matter of seconds, the four enemy shinobi lay sprawled on the floor, in rather awkward positions.
And, surrounding the forest...were none other than Temari, Shikamaru, Genma.
Yes, there were only four of them, from where she was standing (not that she was really standing to begin with).
She didn't really get to analyze further, or think things through, because Temari was eyeing her rather suspiciously. Slowly, the blond girl raised her fan in the air, in a semi-threatening manner.
"That's not Haruno," she said.
Shikamaru eyed Sakura with a sigh. "Yeah. But she's injured."
Temari scoffed. "Well-deduced, lazy ass. But that's not Haruno."
Kankuro rolled his eyes, grinning. "We know, Temari. We're not exactly blind. Can't you see? She doesn't have freaky pink hair."
It was only then that Sakura realized that yes—she didn't have pink hair at the moment. Because she was on an undercover spying mission, she had opted to dye her hair a dark shade of brown, temporarily. Her green eyes, too, had been replaced by plain brown contacts. No wonder they didn't recognize who she was.
"Pink hair is not freaky!" Sakura yelled all of a sudden, glaring at Kankuro. Kankuro appeared startled, and dropped his grin at once. Temari stared. Genma stared.
Shikamaru merely blinked.
"Kami goodness...Sakura?!" Temari asked in astonishment.
This time, it was Sakura's turn to become startled. "How did you know it's me?"
Among the four, Genma was the first to recover. He stepped forward. Grinned. Eyed her up and down, with a twinkle in his brown eyes.
It was only then that Sakura remembered she was still in her underwear.
...and standing in a rather revealing position.
She blushed furiously, and tried to glare at the senbon-wielding man.
"My, my, Sakura—I didn't know you had all those...curves hidden underneath all your clothes."
"Shut up, senbon freak," Sakura snapped. The guy was a harmless flirt, she knew that...but while she was in her underwear? In pain?
She was not in the mood for all this nonsense.
Shikamaru sighed again, eyeing the forest leaves in interest (she had a feeling it was because he was trying not to be like Genma). "You're Sakura, alright. Your voice. And as far as I know, only Sakura calls him senbon freak."
"I am not a senbon freak," Genma intoned in amusement, "but if it rocks your boat..."
"Oi!" Kankuro yelled. "Stop flirting with her! She's hurt!"
Sakura glared at all of them (except Temari, who was pretty much the only one she knew who could understand the embarrassment she was in right now), and once again, tried to walk. The pain intensified—causing her to wobble, and stumble a bit...well, okay, stumble a lot. She went down on her rump again.
"Well, what are you guys waiting for? Some miracle?" she snapped in irritation. "Help me, please."
Genma grinned, and prepared to step forward. "Sure."
"Not you," Sakura emphasized. "Or Kankuro. Or Shikamaru. What are you guys doing here, anyway?"
"Escort mission," Shikamaru replied. "You?"
"Sakura...who do you want to carry you, if not us?" Kankuro asked in confusion.
Sakura blatantly stared straight at Temari, who was looking at her with something akin to concern and...wait, was that caution?
She glared at the blond. "Who are you guys escorting? And Temari, would you please be kind enough to remove that stupid suspicious look off your face because I really am Sakura and I want nothing more than to have you please carry me because—"
"I'll carry her."
Sakura's mouth snapped instantly shut.
No...it wasn't Temari who had spoken.
Nor Kankuro. Nor Shikamaru.
Suddenly, warm hands came from behind, and lifted her up from under her knees—careful not to touch her broken limbs in the process. She was suddenly engulfed in a clothed chest. Suddenly carried bridal-style. Suddenly...supported. She tilted her head. Looked.
And suddenly found herself staring into green eyes that she hadn't seen in years.
Three years, to be exact.
"And they were escorting me, Haruno."
Gaara's voice was still exactly, absolutely the same.
And his eyes. And his hair.
...and his stare.
Cha! He's grown sexy! He's so hot! Cha!
Sakura stared at him, dumbfounded.
"To—to where?" she mumbled out.
"To Konoha," he replied. Calmly.
...oh, dear Kami.
She should have known the sand meant something.
As her vision blurred further, and darkness tried to overtake her, Sakura's last thoughts were only three.
She was being carried by none other than the Kazekage in her underwear.
Inner Sakura was screaming like a fangirl.
...and this was not going to be good.
She was sure of it.
She promptly lost consciousness afterwards.
Plan Status: Failed.
a/n: Well, here it is...the sequel! There will be less than ten chapters, I think, and this is just the intro chapter. I'm gonna be writing this one along with "Slave Driver", because these two have received the most votes in the poll. I posted this first, because I finished this first. I'm still writing "Slave Driver", which will be posted in a few days. Wish me luck.
So...what do you think so far? Continue? Happy reading, guys...and hope you review! :)