A/N: Gah! Please don't hate me for the wait. Life's been extremely busy, but from now on it'll definitely be more updates. Yeah, I know empty promises. Stick around though and I'll surely stick to it this time. Also continued thanks for the reviews. It may not seem like it, but it is nice to hear from one's readers.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto


Chapter Two

Shikamaru had never considered himself lucky, in fact if anyone had ever asked him he would have said that he didn't even believe in luck. Upon arriving at the bureau though that changed. As he glanced around the mountain high pile of paper work that was on his desk he really did believe in luck or at least bad luck, his bad luck. With a groan he plopped himself down in his chair and began to shuffle half-heartily through the various reports, witness statements, anonymous tips, and every other type of information that seemed to be in any way connected with the new case he was working.

"Need some help?"

Brown eyes narrowed as the twenty-two year old agent glanced up to observe the female in front of him. His first thought was that she was tall. His second thought was that she was pretty. His third thought was that she practically screamed 'trouble'. He groaned again and ran his hand down his face.

"And you are?"

The African-American woman smiled at him and her black eyes flashed with what looked like excitement. "Kimmi Taylor. I just transferred here and I've been told that I'm your new partner. Nice to meet you," she smirked here and Shikamaru wondered if she was really sincere or just one of those annoying people that tend to be all ways excited and happy about something. God, he hoped not. Her dark brown short curly hair bounced cheerfully as she looked about the small office.

Her action compelled Shikamaru to glance briefly around the room also. His office wasn't much to look at; it was square and sort of neatly compact. Along the wall with the door that opened out into the bureau's main hallway there were filing cabinets, some were fairly new while others were old and clearly dented in several places. With the wall with the cabinets being the west wall the north wall had his desk which was constantly in a highly disastrous state. He never touched the papers in the hazardous piles on top of his desk and only rarely bothered to muster enough courage to shift through his assignment basket. The government didn't pay him enough to go through the horror regularly. The east wall was similar to the west, only it had, thankfully, two large windows in which the sunlight streamed through brightly. This lit up the room brilliantly making the dull grey color carpet and stark white walls seem less annoying and bland. The clean desk and workstation on the south wall also did wonders for the overall look of the office. Vaguely Shikamaru wondered if Kimmi's presence would keep it that way.

An approving look settled on her face as she continued speaking, "So, anyway, I heard that we're on a pretty big case at the moment. Nothing specific though, any solid details?"

Shikamaru stared at her blankly for a while before rummaging around the desk for one of the more extensive reports and then, once he found it he tossed it at her. Kimmi caught it with no problem and proceeded to read it, her hand quickly flipping through the papers as her face sometimes made various expressions at the material. After a minute she glanced up at him with a frown on her face.

"Are you serious?"

"I look serious don't I?"

"Well," she paused and looked thoughtfully at him, "Actually, I think you look bored and possibly slightly slow…in the head."

The muscle beneath Shikamaru's left eyebrow began to tick and before his eyebrow began to twitch he massaged his temples. Really, where exactly had they found her?

"Relax! I'm kidding! But seriously this case is bullshit, child's play. Normally a case like this wouldn't even require the use of federal agents. So my point is, what does this guy really do for a living to land him a spot on America's most wanted list?" Kimmi questioned as she used the lengthy but crap filled report to fan herself. The office wasn't bad but it was hot.

Shikamaru stopped rubbing his temples and instead stood up out of his chair. Maybe Kimmi wasn't as bad as he first thought. True she had the sort of personality that typically got on his nerves, but she seemed to be intelligent at least. He had also been wondering about the case since he'd begun making his way to the bureau. She was absolutely right. Drug dealing, although a federal crime, was rarely actually investigated by the FBI. No, this guy, a man named Leonard Reynolds, was someone who was dangerous to the nation. But how? What exactly did he, as Kimmi had said, 'do for a living'?

"You know did the chief even say anything about Konoha's own police department handling the case? You know, the narcotics section or whatever?" Kimmi asked. At Shikamaru's head shake she continued on with her thoughts. "Isn't that odd that this case went straight to the FBI. I mean, really, how large must this," she paused to look at the report. "How large must this…Leonard's operation be? All over the east coast?"

"I haven't got any idea, Taylor-san."

"Whoa. Taylor-san? That's so cute!"

Shikamaru raised an eyebrow. "Cute?"

Kimmi nodded and smiled at him. "The Japanese language is the cutest with all of it's aww-sounding little title things at the end of people's names."

"Right." He muttered and probably would have gone on to call her an idiot if the chief hadn't suddenly just entered his…their office.

Rao Im, the chief, glared at them with beady black eyes. Kimmi shifted uncomfortably and the only reason that Shikamaru didn't do the same was because he couldn't be bothered to move out of the nice groove his body had settled in on his chair. Im wasn't impressed with either of them and grunted at them to stand up straight. Shikamaru sighed as he did so.

"What is it now?" He asked.

"Nara?! Are you still sulking about your lost vacation time? Shape up!" Im bellowed about an inch from Shikamaru's face. Shikamaru took a step back in an attempt to recover lost space while rolling his eyes in answer to Kimmi's questioning glance. "Well, Nara?!"

"I'm over it."

"Good. Taylor, how are you settling in?"

"Excellently, sir. Um, but about the case…" Kimmi trailed off uncertainly as the chief suddenly whirled from Shikamaru to thrust himself into her personal space.

"What was that?!" Im shouted straight into her face. Shikamaru winced for her.

"N-nothing, sir!" Kimmi replied.

"That's what I thought! Anyway, I was just checking on you two. Oh, and to tell you two that you now have another case to work on in addition to the other one. Here, you're going to need this." Im declared as he shoved an envelope into Shikamaru's hands. "Leave the building before you open that! Later, Nara! Later, Taylor!"

Shikamaru and Kimmi watched silently as the chief turned and waltzed out of their office. Wordlessly Shikamaru handed his partner a baby swipe from the box on his desk. The chief had a habit of spitting his words.

"What a frightening little man. Excitable too." Kimmi muttered as she wiped her face. Her partner didn't say anything, but she could see him nod out of the corner of her eye. "What's up with the envelope?"

"How would I know?" Shikamaru asked as he eyed the thing. It didn't feel that heavy.

Kimmi rolled her eyes. "Right. Let's go find out."

Shikamaru didn't say anything as they left their office and then exited the bureau all together. Once they were out of the bureau Shikamaru opened the new envelope and with Kimmi peeking over his shoulder began to shift through all of the basic information and papers dealing with their new case. There was a written copy of the phone tip, the list of terrorist groups, a blue print for the Hokage Tower, map of the area around the tower, list of upcoming political events at the tower, and a set of high level security passes. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at those. The Hokage Tower was basically a foreign embassy, high officials of the Japanese government stayed there and conducted work there also. Supposedly, the work there was top secret government stuff, stuff which the tower had made clear was not to ever leak out. Even the American government had to have strict permission for entering and investigating anything within. High level passes, which guaranteed open access to everything, were rarely given out. Wordlessly he handed one to Kimmi.

"Wow," Kimmi's surprise was evident as she eyed the security pass. "Just what is our mission?"

Shikamaru shrugged. "Let's wait until we're not on a busy street to read the brief."

"Good point, but I really want to know now and plus it's not like we can just go back to the bureau to read it. The chief had to have a reason to make us leave the place to even open it in the first place." Kimmi jabbered excitedly. It was clear that this was probably the young agent's first 'big' assignment. Shikamaru shuddered at the thought of having to keep her in line as they worked the case.

"Calm down. We'll read the thing in there."

Kimmi frowned as she eyed the authentic looking teashop. "I don't like tea." Her partner rolled his eyes and began to head for the teashop anyway. "You know there are tons of restaurants here! You could try to work with me…" She muttered disappointedly as she followed Shikamaru into the place.

The Happy Sun Teashop was a bright and happy looking place. The walls were a bright yellow and the tiles on the floor were a pretty grass green. The gold metal tables and chairs with the curled ends to the legs were clean. The table arrangement allowed for an easy walk between tables and an assurance that the next table over wouldn't hear a private conversation. All in all it wasn't a bad place, but that didn't keep Kimmi from wincing when she entered. Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at her.

"Um, I'll go order. What do you want?" She asked, completely ignoring his silent question.

"Che, red tea, nothing added," he answered.

Kimmi watched him stalk off towards one of the tables in front of one of the large windows the shop had in the front. Sighing she turned towards the service counter to wait in line to place their order.

If Hinata had been an impatient person she would have left the teashop after the first five minutes spent waiting for the two people in front of her to finish rattling off what they, and apparently their whole office floor, wanted for an afternoon snack. As it was she'd just waited calmly while the people behind her grew irritated and left. By now she'd grown used to the annoyed mutterings, the whispered threats, and finally the indignant huffing that signaled the storming off, but this was new. The young woman who had just recently joined the line had waited only two minutes before she'd walked past Hinata and pushed the two in front of her to the side.

"H-hey!" The customers who'd been ordering everything on the menu shouted upset and offended.

A curly brown head turned towards the office working pair so that brown eyes could glare at them. "Beat it." The young woman's expression was so fierce that the two quickly turned and left. Hinata continued to watch in muted surprise as the woman turned back around to greet the cashier with a smile. "Sorry about that, but I'm in a hurry. Give me a red tea, for the love of God please don't put anything in it, and do you have coffee?"


The woman sighed. "Right, of course not. Let me just have water then. No lemon is fine."

"Your total is five dollars and sixty-two cents."

"Yeah, yeah, here. Thanks." The woman muttered as she walked off with her order.

"Next. Please!"

"Ah, yes," Hinata scuttled towards the counter. Her eyes glancing at the shiny moss green menus behind the cashier before whispering the cheapest items off the menu. When the young teen in front of her didn't immediately move Hinata began to push her index fingers together nervously.

"What was that?" the cashier asked, tilting her blonde head toward Hinata to hear better.

Hinata opened her mouth and tried again. "I'd like a milk tea and a buttermilk biscuit, please."

"Okay, no problem. Your total is six dollars and ten cents. Here's your food." The cashier's voice was bright and happy sounding as she took Hinata's money and gave her food.

"Thank you."

After thanking the cashier and grabbing her items Hinata bit her lip as she surveyed the teashop, trying to decide on the best place to sit. There were plenty of free tables since it was only the early afternoon and lunch hadn't quite rolled around yet. Really it didn't matter which table she decided on, which is what she told herself, but she found herself choosing the table next to the one that the young woman from the line earlier was occupying.

Shikamaru Nara hadn't expect for the Japanese beauty that he'd been admiring earlier to reappear in the teashop that he'd chosen for the debriefing of his and his recently acquired partner's newest case. Then again he also hadn't expected for him to any have a partner or to be working any cases on his time off. Life, as he knew, could be annoyingly frustrating. His partner could attest to that, she hadn't stopped complaining about the 'flipping retards holding up the line' since she'd arrived at the table with their drinks. Shikamaru could have spent hours peacefully ignoring her and alternating between staring at the clouds through the shop's window and the back of the beauty's shiny black head, but they had a job to do. It would be far too troublesome to look for another job right now, especially it if he lost it for stupid reasons.

"Kimmi, shut up." Shikamaru's voice was a monotone drawl as he pushed aside his red tea and began to spend out the envelope's contents on the gold metallic table. Kimmi frowned at him but didn't say anything. Instead she picked up the case briefing and began to read it silently. After a minute Shikamaru cleared his throat causing her to look up. "What does it say?"

Kimmi shrugged and tossed the piece of paper on the table. "Nothing much actually. Supposedly the government thinks that there might be a threat coming from the tower or that there is a threat to the tower. All of the information given is so elusive. Nothing is confirmed or denied. From what I can see there might not even be a threat at all. Just look at that list of terrorist! They practically listed everyone know to man. This is bullshit."

Shikamaru quirked a brow. "Is that the only phrase you know?"

Kimmi stuck her tongue out at him while giving him the finger.

"Anyway, it's not bullshit. The tower wouldn't give high level passes out for an imaginary threat. The passes also tell me that it's a threat against the tower," Shikamaru concluded.

"You're right on both accounts I guess. Where do we start?"

Shikamaru looked at the list of events at the tower. The first event was a dinner service for the top Japanese owned companies in America, it was supposed to honor Hyuuga Medical Center.

"We have one week before the first event. We should go over there tomorrow and question people."

Kimmi tilted her head to the side. "You mean see what's going on? Ask why they think they're the target for some terrorist group?"

Shikamaru nodded.

"Okay, well. What about the other case we have? Our little drug dealer?"

"He can wait."

Kimmi rolled her eyes as she stood up from the table. "Obviously."

They were both beginning to walk out of the place when Kimmi stopped Shikamaru at the door.


"Aren't you going to say 'hi'?" She asked.

He glanced away from her towards the woman sitting at the table that was next to the one that they'd just been at. The early afternoon sun was shining brightly around her, creating a sort of halo effect. She really was pretty, but that meant that she was bound to be troublesome. With a grunt he turned back around and walked out of the shop.

"Lazy," Kimmi sighed as she followed.