A.N.- Hello everyone! I have finally done it! After months of being lost and not having a clue what I was going to do next with this next chapter, I finally had a stroke of inspiration and I finished a chapter! Yay!
I know you guys have all been waiting such a super long time and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can never tell how much it means that even after such long delays you guys stick with this story.
I love this story so much you guys and it pains me that the end is drawing closer and closer. I can't put an exact number on how many chapters remain but I can say...*sniffle* they are surely coming to a close.

But that's not for a while yet so I needn't focus on such things! For the here and now I simply have chapter 58 (WOW!) and I have to say that it isn't much but it sure is an emotional ride. Yura and Kankuro are the main focus of this chapter but of course after such a long break I couldn't go without giving you a little peek at how the rest of our couples were doing.

I hope you all enjoy this next chapter! Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think ;p it's something of a naughty ending (a somewhat cliffhanger) but it is my little way of promising there is more to come. And hopefully soon!

Love FanggirlX

Disclaimer: As always, Naruto and co. is not mine.


Brushing her teeth as she gazed into the mirror at her ruffled reflection Yura felt her heart growing heavier and heavier.

She'd brought trouble to her friends, albeit unknowingly. She had to set things right. But how?

Why did he want this girl?

Normally, she didn't ask questions because usually the answers were ones she didn't want. But this would be the last deal of this nature that she'd ever do. From now on she'd go straight, she'd keep to selling things…perhaps a few friendly blackmailing jobs here and there. Instead of making her small sell anything store her front she'd make it her livelihood. She had enough business savvy to do it.

Sadly, she couldn't start a new life until her old one was properly taken care of.

It was time to do one of the things she did best and gather information. If she was going to go to battle against someone as powerful and as dangerous as Orochimaru she'd have to be well armed in both knowledge and skill to survive the encounter. She had the skill, but if she went in there unarmed in the knowledge aspect of the situation she may as well be walking in blindfolded. Heh, she'd probably survive longer if she went in with a blindfold…

Kankuro stirred in the dorm room beyond her bathroom. She quickly finished up and returned to see him lying back against her pillows with his arms folded behind his head, a cocky grin on his face.

Yura smiled. He was something else, this guy, he was the main reason she was about to go to war.

Strolling over toward him, tail flicking playfully, she crawled onto the bed and up the length of his body until she was hovering over him, face to face, on her hands and knees.

"Hey, Konkers, let's have a lunch date today." she purred kissing him.

He snaked his arms around her and pulled her down on top of him.

"I see you're feeling better now." he murmured.

Yura nodded, "Indeed. So what do you say?"

Kankuro studied her and then shrugged, "Alright, sure, though…you've never asked for a date before. There a special occasion?"

She licked his lips and nipped the soft flesh of his lower lip. "Possibly."


Sakura lay stretched out beside Gaara in bed.

"Hey, Gaara?" she mumbled.

"Mm." he grunted, not bothering to make words.

"Are we still going to the dance tonight? I can just wear an old dress since my new one kind of got destroyed and what not…"

He glanced down at her where she lay curled into his chest.

Did she want to go that badly?

Why?

Where was the amusement in putting on uncomfortable clothes and painful shoes and going to stand in an over populated gymnasium with a bunch of other uncomfortably dressed people and listen to music played at a volume four decibels too loud for human ears to handle?

Sakura giggled at the expression he was making. "I take it you don't wanna go then? The look on your face sort of says it all."

Gaara shrugged a little, "I don't get dances."

"I don't either. I just wanted to get pretty, have you tell me I'm pretty and then dance a few slow songs with you and maybe a few fast ones so I could slowly seduce you throughout the night and then come back here and have my wicked evil way with you in this bed, maybe involving a scarf or some handcuffs or something…" she trailed off as the thought led way to a fantasy bubbling to life in her mind.

Watching her with heavy lidded eyes, Gaara smiled a bit. She distracted so easily, it was fairly amusing to behold the times when her own thoughts shut her up for several minutes.

"Like that idea, huh?" he chuckled darkly, tugging her up closer and covering her mouth with his. Moaning softly Sakura closed her eyes and wrapped herself around Gaara.

Smirking into the kiss Gaara felt confident that they would be skipping the stupid dance and would not be speaking of it any further.


Hinata woke to the faint sound of running water.

Gingerly sitting up, she looked around the room trying to recall the events of last night.

Flashes of warm tan skin and Naruto's confident grin flickered through her mind.

A blush covered her face. Oh…they'd…consummated their mating…

He'd been so careful with her, minding her sore body with utmost tenderness.

The water stopped and the tiny connecting bathroom door opened to reveal Naruto clad only in a towel which hung loosely around his slim waist.

Hinata's blush intensified by a thousand and she tore her eyes away from the sight of Naruto's naked torso.

Chuckling at her, the blond walked over and sat on the bed beside her.

"Heh, if we're mates now…you kinda have to get used to the sight of uh, all of me…I mean it's like marriage right?" he leaned in close and watched as she squeaked and shrunk away a bit more.

Hinata nodded.

Naruto put an arm around her and gently pulled her closer towards him.

"Then we should, you know, live together and stuff…and this," he placed her hand on his chest, "is part of living together." He said, his voice low and husky. Having her cool satin fingers on his skin reminded him of the previous night.

All the guys who declared make up sex as the best? Totally right.

Last night had been amazing and…as any guy would…he wanted more.

"Hey, uh, Hinata?" Naruto said quietly, inching closer to her.

She finally turned and looked him in the eye, clearly trying to avoid the sight of the rest of him.

"I know the dance is tonight and all…and you were probably hoping to go…but I was thinking…we make some ramen and stay in all day. Wha'da'ya say?" he asked, blue eyes hopeful she'll agree.

Hinata smiled shyly and nodded. She'd wanted to dance with Naruto but staying here with him in her dorm room could be just as wonderful, especially since his plans for the day and then on into the night were…pretty clear.

With a triumphant grin Naruto hugged her tight and kissed her, "Awesome!"

Giggling she relaxed into his arms and sighed happily.

Mating Naruto truly was a dream come true.


Yawing widely, Sasuke stretched enjoying the feeling of his bones popping and cracking before he relaxed back into the mattress. Releasing a huge huff as he rolled over onto his side he stared at Temari who was rummaging through the closet.

Sasuke glanced around the room they secretly inhabited and smirked at all the random things the blond girl had collected in there. Appearances truly told the truth here; Temari lived in this room more than her own dorm room. Granted…school hadn't been in for too long and she may eventually migrate back to her own dorm but for the time being there was so much shit in this room it was clearly Temari's living quarters.

"Why don't you live in your dorm?" he asked in a rather bored tone, staring at her bent, mostly naked, back as she continued to dig through the closet she'd somehow already filled with crap.

He'd have never pegged the ever serious and always deadly Temari Sabaku to b a packrat.

"What?" she grunted, and then his question sank in, "Oh. Um, well, I just like this one better. Never been one to share much. Even if I like Sakura and Hinata I need my own space."

Sasuke accepted that answer and moved onto another question; something to pass the time and while away his boredom.

"What the hell are you looking for so desperately?"

Temari snapped, "I'm not looking for anything desperately. I don't do anything desperately."

Well, with that kind of invitation how could he lay here and ignore such an opportunity?

Silently Sasuke slid off the bed and out from under the sheet that had been covering his nude body. He crept up behind her and looped his arms around her waist and pulled her tightly against his front. Temari, who was wearing only her panties straightened up and turned in his hold to glare at him.

"What the fuck are you doing? Can't you see I'm busy?" she growled, glaring daggers at the raven haired boy.

With a smirk on his features, he nuzzled her jaw line, "Well, yeah but with you waving your ass around in my face like that you really expect me to just lie there and watch?"

Laughing darkly she tried to push him away, "I thought you liked to watch. You did last night, after all."

Keeping her firmly in his arms where he felt she belonged, Sasuke's smirk spread a little wider, and was just that much cockier, "And I thought you didn't do anything desperately, but last night says otherwise."

Temari blushed for a brief moment before she swung at him in her common mixture of anger and embarrassment.

"Asshole!"

Sasuke caught her wrist easily and turned his head to kiss the sensitive under side of the thin appendage in his grasp.

"Yes. Yes I am; and yet you like it."

Before she could argue he crushed her mouth with his, devouring her lips in a fiery kiss.

Without a thought Temari met his intensity and raised him twenty, like she always seemed to do, and clawed at his shoulder with her free hand trying to get closer, to feel more of him against her.

She despised the fire that always ignited between them and yet she thrived on it as well. Sasuke was her rock, and her irritation.

Once finally sated for the moment, Sasuke pulled away and turned her around to face the closet once more, her back flush against his chest. Lowering his chin to rest on her shoulder he held her in a loose comfortable grip with his arms around her stomach.

"So. Really. What are you looking for?" he whispered into her ear, relishing the small tingle he felt go through her body from the warmth of his breath on her neck.

"If you must know, ass clown, I'm looking for a dress. A particular one. Since my new one is trashed from the crash and the dance is tonight I was just going to wear it instead."

Sasuke quirked a brow at her, "You still planning on going to that thing? It almost got you killed."

"And that's exactly why we're going." She huffed, glaring at the inside of her closet.

Sasuke shrugged, "If you really want to…but I can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing…and none of them include dancing…well, heh, vertically anyway."

Temari rolled her eyes and elbowed his ribs hard, "God, can you think of nothing else?"

Holding her a bit tighter Sasuke ducked his head into the crook of her neck, "After what I just went through with you…no, I can't. I want to enjoy life to its fullest with you. Like we agreed."

Temari's face softened and she turned once again to face him, "Idiot, that's another reason we need to go tonight. We've had sex already. In many different styles and positions. But we haven't danced together. We haven't done anything truly couple like besides fuck each other blind. So, we're going tonight so we can have an actual romantic evening…before we fuck each other."

Seeing the desire swirl in her beautiful blue green eyes, Sasuke sighed and smiled slightly, "You want to go that much, huh?"

Temari nodded, "Yeah."

The boy finally caved and agreed, "Fine, but not the whole evening at least. We skip any food they have, it'll be shit anyway. We'll sneak off campus and get a real dinner before hitting the dance later. Fair enough?"

Temari was thinking it over when he added, "Being fashionably late is always a bonus. Makes us look cool and badass, like we don't give a fuck."

He chuckled.

Smiling at him, she kissed him swiftly, "Cuz we don't give a fuck."

"Mmhmm." He pulled her in for a better kiss than that peck she tried to get away with.

When they finally parted she smirked and with a curt nod agreed, "Deal."

The satisfaction in his onyx eyes was answer enough from Sasuke; he was very pleased with this deal.


"Yura! Hey! He-eey! Yura!" Kankuro called as he ran to join her as she hurried down the sidewalk.

The cat girl jerked around quickly but when her eyes landed on Kankuro she smiled half heartedly and relaxed.

"Hi there, Konkers. What can I do you for?"

He smirked as he slowed to her pace, "Free of charge for you."

Snickering softly, Yura shook her head as she glanced about the campus, "Not what I meant, Konky."

He placed a gentle arm around her shoulders, noticing the lingering tightness of her muscles.

Kankuro studied the girl closely, his eyes narrowing some.

Was she nervous? About what?

"I know that's not what you meant, kitten, just making a little fun. Anyway. You said you wanted to meet me for lunch…three hours ago. It's way past twelve now. And I am way past hungry."

She frowned and glanced at her watch.

Time flew didn't it…

She smiled up at him, "Sorry, Konkers, I lost track of time. We can, uh, catch dinner together."

He shook his head, "Not what I want. I want to know what's wrong."

She shrugged, "Nothing. It's as I said. I lost track of time."

Kankuro leaned down and nuzzled her short hair and her jaw line where the grey hair brushed against it.

"Yura…" he practically purred, using her own trick. "Don't lie to me, kitten. I hate that you think you have to. C'm'on. Just tell me."

She jumped out of his hold and met his eyes searchingly. He stood still waiting for her to find, or not find, whatever it was she was looking for in his expression.

Yura relaxed her shoulders little and stood straighter as she leveled her gaze at him.

"It's nothing. Alright? I'm sorry I lost track of time and didn't meet you, but I do that sometimes." she offered with sad eyes. "I swear I'll make it up to you this evening or maybe rather later this night if you prefer. But, right now, I have to go take care of something. Alone. I will meet you in your room later."

Taking her slightly snappish tone in stride, Kankuro glared hard at her, "I don't want sex from you to make up for a forgotten lunch date, Yura. I just want the truth. Why are you so jumpy?"

She smirked, "I'm a cat, Konkers. I'm always jumpy."

"Yura, I know that but you are way more jumpy than any cat should be."

She stepped up to him and wrapped her thin arms around his waist.

"Kankuro, please. Just let me do this and I will meet you in your room and tell you the truth to the universe of women if you want. Just please. Don't let us fight right now." she whispered into his shirt.

His arms wrapped protectively around her, he knew this tone…he'd heard it many a time from soldiers in Suna saying their last words to wives and girlfriends; or husbands and boyfriends because Suna was an equal opportunity kind of land, before heading off to fight against improbable odds.

"Yura, that sounds like the request of a dead man walking. I've heard it before. Heh, probably gave it a few times. What trouble are you in? You and I both know that if I leave you alone you won't be coming to my room tonight."

She sighed and leaned into him, relishing the feel of being loved. Remembering it. Ingraining it into her mind.

"Konkers…I can't tell you." was her sad quiet reply as she moved to step away from his hold.

He held her tightly to him, "No, not yet. At least give me a few answers."

Yura glared up at him, while he in return grinned at her.

"Yura. Come on, kitty kitty. Be a good girl." he cooed, tickling her chin.

She felt her eyes sting with tears that she quickly blinked away.

He was trying so hard to keep her with him. To help her.

She placed a hand on his cheek, "Konkers, the truth is I…I love you. You were the first to love me. And…I finally made the decision to quit my business-well, my less than moral part of business- so I can truly be with you. I don't want to have to be on the run or have to put you in needless danger. But to do that I have to finish one final thing I left unwrapped. I have to take care of it. Alone."

His eyes trembled as he stared into hers, "Yura, you dumbass, you don't have to face anything alone though. You have me. And hell, I'll even beg my brother and sister to help. And I don't doubt that Sakura would turn you down. And with her comes Sasuke and Naruto who also has Hinata. That is more than enough people to help you in whatever it is you have to deal with."

She shook her head, "No. I have to do it alone. I won't endanger others for my past mistakes."

Kankuro looked angry, but he shrugged and agreed with her, "Fine, just you and me then. No one else is needed anyway, right? We'll kick ass together."

Yura met his eyes, a tender light shimmering in her gaze as she shook her head yet again, "I most importantly don't want to endanger you. I don't want you hurt."

"What about me! You think I want you hurt? You think I want you going off playing hero or even worse sacrificial offering so that everyone else is alright? Are you insane? When in hell would I choose my own safety over yours?" he worked to take calming breaths and gripped her shoulders tightly trapping her eyes with his own. Kankuro pleaded softly, "Yura. I love you. Okay? More than cake. More than sex. So please. Let me help you. I will fight anything, face anything with you. Just let me."

A tear slipped down her cheek and he wiped it away sweetly.

Yura smiled a watery smile at him as more tears followed the first one.

"You would too, wouldn't you? Like the moron you are, you would."

He nodded vigorously, "Yes."

She leaned forward and, wrapping her arms around his neck, she, kissed him. The kiss they shared was long and passionate, filled with the words, the emotions, neither could properly express.

When they separated she rested her forehead against his.

"Konkers. Will you do me a favor?"

Kankuro nodded, "Anything for you, Yura. Anything in the world."

"Don't go to the dance tonight." she whispered. "I want you to stay safe. Okay?"

"Wha-?" his question was cut off when her expert hands pinched a nerve in his neck instantly making him unconscious.

Tears flowed freely as she tugged him over and leaned him back into a bench seat and settled him comfortably.

She kissed his cheek once and stepped back.

"I'm sorry, Konkers. But they will kill you. I won't let that happen."

She tenderly clasped his limp hand in hers a second longer as she muttered, "Life with you….it would have been amazing. But after practically condemning that innocent girl to death …if I did nothing….I couldn't live with myself, much less someone who makes me happy."

She sighed and let go of his hand. "Take care, Konkers."

Flicking her tail, she turned and quickly vanished before she could rethink her decision.


When Kankuro came to, the setting had changed quite a bit. Everything was a few shades darker. And he felt something important was missing. His hazy brain slowly rebooted and the connection was made with an almost audible click.

Yura!

Gasping, he sat up with a jolt and looked around the grassy area and then up and down the vacant sidewalk.

Dammit. It was already evening! She was probably already knee deep in to whatever shit she'd been walking that fucking death march to!

But as he leapt to his feet and took off at a dead run, hoping to find any trace of his girlfriend to follow, her words came to his mind.

"Konkers. Will you do me a favor? ...Don't go to the dance tonight…I want you to stay safe. Okay?"

Why going to a dance was dangerous, he didn't know; but he did know that it had to be important if Yura had asked him that right before knocking him unconscious- which they were going to seriously discuss because that had to be against the rules somewhere in the dating handbook : "Thou shalt not knock your boyfriend out!".

That is…if they could discuss it. Fear gnawed at his insides and he bit the inside of his cheek as he struggled to keep a calm head. He would find her and save her and they would discuss it because everything was going to work out. He had to believe that right now; he had to.

With his mind refocused and more clear, Kankuro slowed to a light jog and pulled out his cell phone.

Selecting the recent contacts option he picked a number and punched it through. Holding the phone to his ear Kankuro rerouted his path and headed off to the right.

His call went through, a slightly angry greeting met his ears and Kankuro quickly interjected, "I need you to meet me somewhere; the courtyard, fast. Call the others too; I'm going to need some help. It's Yura. She's gone."

Not waiting for a reply he hung up and slipped his phone back in his pocket.

A grim expression on his face, Kankuro continued towards the courtyard hoping that she'd be in one piece when he finally tracked her little ass down.