Title: shrimp

Author: paws_bells

Beta-ed by: MelissaRose85

Characters/Pairing: Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Itachi

Type: One-shot (Complete)

Genre: Romance/Humor

Word Count: 4972

Theme: LJ Community, 50-shinobi theme #07, shrimp

Rating: T (Contains content not suitable for children)

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-san.

Summary: Ramen-verse Non-Massacre AU. Like Cell Seven, Cell Sixteen had the makings of a wonderful team. They also have a very delectable teacher, according to Sakura.

Created on: 28/09/08

Completed on: 01/10/08

Chapter Last Revised on: 23/05/09

Sakura could not deny it anymore; her teammates were brats.

Never mind that they were all in their twenties—and powerful Jounin while they were at it—they certainly weren't acting their age at all, judging by how she was currently being treated to the sight of Naruto and Sasuke tussling furiously over the last piece of shrimp. It wasn't even that either of them liked shrimp very much; it was more the principle of the matter, and exasperatedly amused, Sakura watched her two teammates duke it out by the dining table, a swift battle that involved the dangerous use of chopsticks and some sort of ridiculous 'finger' taijutsu. At least they were keeping it contained this time and not trying their damnedest to destroy her home.

Of course, that was only two-thirds of her boys.

As if on cue, the last of the three stooges strolled by, blithely ignoring his two squabbling friends, dark eyes alighting on the prize on the table instead. Then as quickly as you please, Sai suddenly had a pair of chopsticks in his hand and the last shrimp sailed into his mouth like it had every right to do so.

Even as the sounds of scuffling stopped abruptly, the ink-user chewed his food slowly and savored the sweet, powdery flavor of the amaebi. Then he swallowed and looked to a very amused Sakura.

"Hag, this sashimi is very fresh," Sai commented at last. He paused, and then continued. "Very tasty."

The pink-haired kunoichi managed to ignore the identical murderous expressions on her other two cell members' faces with great effort. Indicating any amount of amusement at this moment would only land her their combined ire/irritation. "I got them fresh from the market earlier on. I just dusted and cleaned my house, too."

Sai looked quizzically at the kunoichi.

"I don't see the connection."

Sakura rolled her eyes discreetly.

"Of course you don't," she remarked blandly. "I was warning Naruto and Sasuke not to turn my home upside down when they tag team you."

Sai appeared surprised.

"Tag team? What for?" the oblivious nin asked.

Sakura only sighed as she stood up, gathered the empty dishes, and headed for the safety of the kitchen.

Sure enough, she could hear the annoyed rumble that was Sasuke soon after, quickly followed by the loud yell that was Naruto.


"Sai-teme! You ate my shrimp!"

Sai replied with something that Sakura did not quite catch, but judging by the sudden flood of killing intent emanating from her living room, it was probably something unintentionally insulting as usual.

With the ease of frequent practice, the kunoichi managed to ignore all the negative ki floating about and turned on the running water to wash the dishes.

She paused for a bit, before calling out.

"My living room had better look exactly the way I left it when I come out of here!"

Once again, there was a garbled reply, but Sakura wasn't very concerned. After all, all three of her teammates knew better than to break anything in her house. Sparring with each other was going to be the least of their problems by the time the pink-haired kunoichi was through with them, if they happened to damage anything.

The muffled thumps resounding outside fazed Sakura not at all, and almost cheerily, she continued scrubbing at the eating utensils.

All in all, it was a typical day in the life of Team Seven.

Sometime later in the day, when it was nearing dusk and her boys had long since left her house to attend to various matters, Sakura was found wandering down the streets of downtown Konoha, leisurely making her way towards the dinner venue that she and her date had agreed upon nearly a week ago. She had arrived a little earlier than necessary, and as such, had decided to do a spot of window shopping to while the time away. The pink-haired kunoichi was dressed simply; minimal makeup and jewelry, with relaxing, casual attire not unlike her normal clothes.

After all, this wasn't technically an official date; there was no point in wasting an entire day primping and dressing up to look like a princess when her other half was due to return from a week long C-class escort mission late this afternoon, no doubt dusty and travel worn from being constantly on the road for the past several days. Not to mention, she had no doubt that his adorable gaggle of teammates would be present for dinner too, and well, there was no need to give the innocent boys any heart attacks or unnecessary nosebleeds.

A small, entirely feminine smirk graced her full lips briefly at the amusing scenario.

No, there was definitely no such need to display herself differently in public when she could easily achieve the same effect when she finally had her lover all to herself later this evening, with his eyes on her and nothing else.

Much later this evening.

Casually, she quelled her wayward thoughts and glanced at her watch instead. It was almost time for her to make her appearance at the chosen venue, and almost eagerly, the beautiful pink-haired kunoichi headed off towards the newly opened restaurant in which they had agreed to have dinner, and sure enough, there they were, her raven-haired Uchiha and his ragtag team of misfits.

Team Sixteen waited (im)patiently outside the newly opened teriyaki place, and even from a distance Sakura could see the trio of young Genin, somewhat scruffy from their very first C-class mission outside of Konoha, but otherwise as healthy as ever. Beside the three boys, their stoic sensei stood slightly apart from his excitable young students, expression deadpan as ever, though Itachi seemed to be tolerating his charges' chatter rather well.

Smiling slightly, the kunoichi made her way towards the foursome that was Team Sixteen, and before long, Itachi's attention lifted from his students to level evenly upon her instead, and across the busy expense of people surrounding them as they bustled up and down the street, her smile widened even more in a warm, silent greeting of welcome.

It took longer for the younger members of the group to notice her arrival, but at last, the three Genin perked up at her approach and greeted her respectfully.

"Hey, guys!"

"Sakura-san!" Twelve year old Kairyuu Raikou called out happily. The well-mannered boy was from an average shinobi family, albeit a somewhat matriarchal one; five older Chuunin sisters and Jounin parents, although he was the only one among the Team to have any nin background whatsoever.

"Yo!! Sakura-san!" The next boy was Issoku Karasu, a loud brunette pre-teen, his messy hair stuck up at odd angles and places, eyes bright with curiosity and mischievous intelligence. The child was the prankster of the group, always looking to have fun and seeking all sorts of nefarious entertainment, oftentimes at the expense of others. He still wasn't as good as Naruto had been when her blonde brother was at that age, though Sakura was quite sure that Karasu could give Naruto a good run for his money, much to the quiet chagrin of Itachi, who had been trying—without much success—to get the hyperactive Genin to tone down some.

"Sakura-hime." And last but not least was Hijikata Hachi. Sarcastic, sometimes rude and demanding, the ill-hidden fact that Hachi was the Fire Daimyo's youngest son meant that he was often given the royal treatment, which sometimes incensed the boy whenever he felt that he was being coddled too much. Possessing a cuttingly sharp tongue and acerbic wit, the twelve year old was also at the age where everything seemed to be irritating him…everything but Sakura.

Somehow, Hachi had developed a huge crush for the older kunoichi, and he was making no effort whatsoever to conceal it either, never mind it was largely rumored that the pretty pink-haired medic-nin was involved in a relationship with his own sensei. But of course those were only baseless rumors, right? It must be, since the Sakura Appreciation Society had not yet officially acknowledged any worthy consort for their collective 'female of appreciation!'

Sakura had been mildly flattered, though mostly amused by the Genin's attention. It was just a boyhood phase, of course, though it was still rather pleasing that she had somehow acquired such a young admirer. Not to mention, he always insisted on calling her 'princess,' which was certainly more than what her stoic, closemouthed lover could claim on the subject of endearment—or lack thereof.

And speaking of Itachi…


Nothing more, nothing less; it was just her name on his lips and it was just enough.

For a quick, brief moment, her eyes softened momentarily as they met his quiet gaze—welcome back, she seemed to be saying without words—and then, a mere second later, her deep verdant gaze was lit with goodwill and cheerfulness as she turned her attention back to the trio of Genin, listening to what they had to say, the many stories that they clamored to tell about their very first mission out of Konoha. It was apparent that their excitement in rehashing their adventures trumped their exhaustion from the trip in every way, and their enthusiasm was so very infectious that she could not help but follow their words closely.

It may be that Genin were already considered adults in the eyes of the world, but in truth, they were all still so young. Sakura could only hope that they would not be forced to grow up so quickly, and was secretly glad when it seemed that nothing too dangerous had occurred during their very first C-class mission, unlike Team Seven's disastrous assignment in Nami no Kuni so many years ago. Of course, Itachi would always be watching out for trouble if it did come for Team Sixteen, and she had no doubt that the Uchiha heir would protect his charges with the ferocity of a lion if need be.

The group of five entered the establishment amidst plenty of good-natured chitchat and was soon seated by the host. Somehow, Sakura ended up sitting across the table from Itachi, Karasu, and Raikou, whereas a suspiciously smug looking Hachi was slotted in neatly beside her. The boys were ravenous by then and quickly placed their orders, followed shortly by their older counterparts. More chatter commenced, periodically interspersed with quick squabbles and loud laughter—and oh, it was almost as if she was back in time, dealing with the antics of thirteen year old Naruto and Sasuke, and it was no wonder that she always agreed to have a meal with Itachi's brood of cute little Genin whenever she could manage it.

The males of Team Sixteen were just too adorable for their own good, their stoic, solemn sensei included. How could Sakura resist?

At the moment, said stoic, solemn sensei was calmly nursing his tea amidst all the mayhem that was his students, clearly allowing the boys to celebrate the success of their first 'real' mission as they saw fit, with the sheer exuberance that was childlike and innocent, though exasperatingly noisy and loud.

Sakura found it secretly amusing that her lover was sitting in the midst of a trio of spirited Genin with a resigned expression on his face.

At least, it was as resigned an expression as his impassive face could reveal.

She was hard pressed not to smirk. The poor man; his team probably wouldn't be half as rowdy if there was a kunoichi to keep her fellow teammates in check. Unfortunately for Team Sixteen, they had simply no luck when it came to acquiring a female teammate; the number of kunoichi had always been less than that of shinobi in Konoha's ninja task force, and it seemed that the number of female Genin were even lesser this year, so Itachi was promptly saddled with a trio of boisterous boys.

"Sakura-san!! You wouldn't believe the things we saw when we were in Ginsei!! I mean, the buildings were huge!!" Karasu exaggerated, spreading his arms as wide as they could go to indicate just how humongous the architecture had been.

Hachi appeared irritated.

"Sakura-hime, don't heed the country bumpkin," the other boy sniffed imperiously. "He is ignorant and knows nothing about the world."

As usual, Karasu exploded in an insulted rage.

"Oi!! You stupid ass-"

"Hey, I thought we agreed on no more name calling?" Ever the peacemaker, Raikou tried to mediate the ensuing quarrel.

"Yeah, but he started it first, that stuck up bas-"

"Hmmph, that's because you are so pathetically ignorant that you are practically inviting me to criticize your many shortcomings."

"You- you- you!!!! Argh!!! I'm going to kill you!!"

"No fighting during mealtimes, you two!! I'm telling Itachi-sensei!"

"Are you stupid or are you stupid? Itachi-sensei is sitting right here and he doesn't care. Karasu's stupidity must be contagious."


"That's not very nice, Hachi!"

Now all three Genin were squabbling, trying to make their opinions heard above the others', and Sakura lightly nudged the stoic man sitting across her with the tip of her toes.

"Your Genin are at it again, in case you didn't notice," she spoke dryly. The Uchiha merely continued to nurse his tea, a seemingly unperturbed expression on his face. Sakura could tell that he was fairly irked over his team's immaturity, but was mostly already resigned to the boys' unruly antics.

"It will be resolved soon."

A short five-word reply was all she could wheedle out of him, and sure enough, a temporary truce was called a few minutes later when the food arrived. As Sakura had learned a long time ago, there was nothing more important than food in the eyes of a pack of ravenous boys, not even outright war.

For someone who appeared to be completely clueless when it came to handling the idiosyncrasies of children, Itachi was proving to be surprisingly adept at reading them. That wasn't a surprise to the kunoichi; her lover never failed to excel in all that he applied to. Nailing the behaviors of his students was only one of his many recent feats.

Dinner was fast and furious, though the pink-haired kunoichi wasn't very surprised by the speed whereby the boys had literally inhaled the food. Exciting as it had been, the C-class mission had taken a lot of energy from the trio of seemingly inexhaustible Genin, and their hunger was only expected. It was only towards the end when the feeding frenzy abated, and of course, like well fed lion cubs that had nothing better to do, it was time for the boys to antagonize each other again.

This time around, it was—surprise!!—the last skewer of grilled shrimp that had been sitting on a plate before Hachi. The Daimyo's son had been about to reach for the food when he was beaten to it by his teammate/rival Karasu. The other boy had been about to take a bite with relish when he was stopped by Hachi aiming a dangerous toothpick at his head, and just like that, the shrimp was promptly forgotten in the interests of other pursuits. Across from her, Sakura thought that she heard Itachi sigh. A part of her was amusedly impressed. Team Sixteen was good, to have elicited such a response from her infamously expressionless lover.

"You almost poked my eye out!!"

"My bad, I missed! That shrimp was mine; it was right in front of me!"

"It's not yours! It doesn't have your name on it!!"

"Guys, guys! Can we settle this with a peaceful game of jan ken pon instead?"

There was a long pause as Karasu and Hachi stared incredulously at their last teammate.

Raikou offered a timid smile.

"What about three rounds of jan ken pon? Ten?" When his cell members continued to stare, the poor boy wilted somewhat. "Or maybe not…"

The two boys went back to arguing, and Sakura almost pitied the peace loving Raikou-kun. Itachi didn't seem very concerned by the havoc that his students were wreaking, but then again, Kakashi-sensei hadn't exactly coddled his students back when he was saddled with Team Seven, either. After all, there was no bloodshed, no broken bones, no internal injuries.


The slightly heated debate of 'who should have the shrimp' was getting louder, and whereas Itachi was almost calmly sipping his tea, pokerfaced as ever, Sakura could not help but smile at his team. Then, Raikou, who too had been steadily getting agitated by his teammates' squabbles, decided to end it as decisively as he could.

He took the shrimp out of the equation.

In a move not unlike the one she had seen earlier this afternoon, the delicious skewer of seafood was promptly delivered into Raikou's mouth, tasted, chewed and devoured.

The kunoichi smiled inwardly. Raikou wasn't as much as a pushover as his teammates thought. Good for him.


"Hey! That's mine, Raikou no baka!"

The normally mild-mannered Genin shook his head. "That's not yours, Karasu. Like you told Hachi, your name is not on the stick, is it?" Raikou shrugged, looking very pleased with himself. "Anyway, I have the solved the problem. There is no more shrimp now, so don't fight with each other, okay?"

At the moment, both Hachi and Karasu looked ready to team up on their innocently hapless group mate—for the very first time, rivals ready to put aside their competition in order to deal with a common irritant.

It quickly reminded Sakura of her own team, and before the boys could do a thing, a bubble of laughter escaped the pink-haired kunoichi.

Almost immediately, she earned the attention of the males of Team Sixteen—of four of them.

Sakura shook her head and explained.

"You behave almost like my teammates," she told the Genin with a smile. Then, she turned to Itachi. "And yes, that means they are probably going to behave more or less the same ten years down the road."

Her grin turned possibly gleeful at the mildly unsettled expression that fleeted across the deadpan face of her apathetic lover, though he hid it well enough and it was gone almost as soon as it appeared. The crux of the matter was that she had actually caught his fleeting look of dismay, and that greatly amused her. No doubt that the poor stoic man had been hoping for some peace and quiet in the near future; supervising a Genin team had certainly not been what he had expected it to be when he had decided to quit the Black Ops to assume a teaching position instead, but then again, Kakashi could have easily told him so if he had only asked.

Still, it was all too late now.

"Eh? Your teammates, Sakura-san?" Karasu asked curiously, and then his eyes lit up. "Are you talking about Naruto-sama, the creator of Ultimate Kinjutsu techniques, the Oiroke no jutsu, the Haremu no jutsu, the Number One Prankster in Konoha for nine years running, who was responsible for artfully decorating the Hokage's Monument every year and stringing up the Hyuuga clan's collective underwear on the top of the Hokage tower twice? Uzumaki Naruto-sama?"

The boy's eyes were practically glowing with hero worship, and Sakura looked wryly at Karasu.

"I see that you are well acquainted with Naruto's…feats, though you forgot about the 'desperately wants to be Hokage' part." Belatedly, Sakura wondered if it was a good thing for Naruto's future career as Konoha's leader if little Genin only recognized him by his perverted gag techniques and outrageous pranks. Then, she shook it off; that Naruto no baka, he was just going to reap what he sows. She did warn him in the past that all his pranks were going to come around and bite him in the behind someday.

Hachi appeared somewhat disturbed.

"Are you a stalker or something?" the boy demanded.

"Or something." Karasu grinned. "Naruto-sama is my idol!! His works of art are masterpieces!!! I want to be just like him when I grow up!"

This time, the look of alarm on Itachi's face was definitely more pronounced than before. Sakura was hard pressed not to burst into laughter. She could just imagine the expression on her lover's face if his student really did manage to prank someone of great importance, or maybe even the village as a whole as Naruto was wont to do in the past.

"Absolutely not." The Uchiha's voice was nary a whisper above his normal calm-spoken tone, but the unexpected vehemence behind his cool, lilting tenor was definitely surprising. At least, it was so for his students.

However, Itachi recovered admirably with the usual aplomb that seemed to be inherent to those of his clan.

"If you have time to indulge in those frivolous pursuits," he advised his students with renewed composure, "you have time to train."

Karasu looked very put out.

"But I can't always be training, can I?" the boy grumbled under his breath.

Sakura smiled.

"I don't think you have a choice." The kunoichi decided to take pity on Itachi's team. "I believe your sensei was trying to imply that if he catches any one of you involved in acts you should not be participating in, your currently fun training is just going to be even more fun, for all three of you."

At that, the Genin's collective expression of horror was almost too adorable to watch.

Contrary to belief, Team Sixteen's training schedule and method was nowhere near 'fun,' and the truth was that it actually bordered somewhere between the very narrow pinnacles of 'sadistic,' 'unusual,' and 'death defying.' In fact, the very first time the new Genin had appeared for training, they had genuinely thought that their sensei was trying to kill them. Of course, now, a few months later, things had gotten better, if only marginally so.

Their stoic, sometimes downright scary, sensei was still trying to kill them with his impossibly strenuous training, but at least they were getting better at running like hell, hiding in strange and unusual places, and avoiding sharp, pointy objects now.

Still, it was not surprising that the trio blanched at the thought of increased training/torture from their instructor, and judging by the fact that Itachi sensei did not seem to be contradicting the kunoichi's statement, oh boy, sensei was serious.

"Don't worry." This time Hachi spoke for himself and Raikou. "We will personally ensure that the moron does not step one toe out of line."

"Oi!! But I want-"

"Or you can still prank others," Sakura interrupted innocently even as Itachi gave her a sharp glance. Karasu perked up. "You will just have to train hard enough that your sensei won't be able to detect you."

At that, the poor boy wilted again.

"That's impossible!" Karasu wailed unhappily. Naruto-sama…!!! His dreams of being a master prankster…all going up in smoke!!!

Sakura's eyes danced with amusement. "Karasu, you should challenge yourself a little. Set a goal for yourself. There's no telling when one day you might even be able to prank your boring sensei here."

At that, Itachi did give his lover a slightly narrow-eyed look, but impishly, Sakura ignored him. He could be such a stiff sometimes, but then again, he was her stiff. The boys really couldn't be training all the time, after all, and she was so glad that Itachi had received such a motley, ragtag team to train, instead of perfect little soldiers who would have turned out like mini carbon copies of himself.

Almost as if to prove her point, Karasu appeared thoughtful now.

"You may have a point there, Sakura-san." The young boy perked up at last and gave her a blinding grin. "Alright! I will do it-eep!!"

Before the Genin could say another word, his teammates tackled him in order to seal his mouth tightly shut.

"No, he won't!" Raikou called out as Hachi went over to the other side of the table to aid his fellow cell member. Collectively, they started to pull a clearly protesting, albeit all muffled up, Karasu away from the booth. "Karasu was only joking!! Itachi-sensei, we will see you next Monday, thanks for the meal, we will be leaving now! Goodbye, Sakura-san!"

"Goodbye, Sakura-hime!" was Hachi's quick reply. Then, as quickly as they could, the two hustled the third member of their team between them and scurried out of the restaurant, finally leaving the bemused pink-haired kunoichi alone with her quiet lover.

She glanced at him, and then she smirked.

"Now that is what I call teamwork. Your little Genin are all so cute, though," she cooed playfully, resting her chin on an upturned palm as she grinned at him.

"You are encouraging them to be unruly," the Uchiha merely reproached mildly.

Her smile did not fade.

"Itachi, they are supposed to be unruly," she told him. "The Rookie Nine was just like that too when we were that age, a basketful of puppies, all playful and awkward. And look at us now, we all turned out just fine."

When he didn't respond, she continued. "Since we are at peace now, we should let them remain as little children when we can."

Itachi looked at Sakura, but she nudged him once more, unrepentantly.

"Hey, you are only twenty-six, not sixty. Don't worry so much," she chided him lightly, lips curved gently with amusement. "You are going to be all prune-faced and wrinkly before you even hit your thirties."

"Of course," she continued airily, teasingly. "I will still like you though, but I'm not sure if you will get to keep your fangirls."

She was lighthearted and cheerful as always, the rare spot of brightness in his quiet life. Somehow, she had become a permanent fixture in his existence, and a part of him wondered if she knew how important she was becoming to him, even if he never did say much about their relationship. An intent look at her quickly revealed the steady awareness in her eyes, her firm confidence in her standing with him.

Oftentimes, he failed to comprehend how he had earned her unwavering belief in him, the faith and trust that she had given so blindly and unconditionally, but that was not to say that he didn't appreciate her conviction in him. He was becoming dependent on her, though logic suggested that a relationship was a two-way street, and so if she trusted fully in him, the least he could do was to return her affections, no matter how subtle it was coming from his side. She seemed to understand his many different nuances and actions, and that was enough for the both of them.

Eventually, the Uchiha settled the bill for dinner, and the pair walked down the streets and towards the residential areas of Konoha, for home. Home, being Sakura's apartment, of course. Itachi had been staying over more often than not these days, not that Sakura minded very much. After all, he tended to be more relaxed and prone to bouts of affection when in her sanctuary, and she was woman enough to appreciate and expect his gentle touches whenever she could get it from him.

She had missed him during his mission, short as it was.

Now to show him…and the pink-haired kunoichi had a very good idea how.

When they finally arrived back at her apartment, Sakura brushed her hand lightly against his, catching his attention. She coughed lightly, eyes twinkling with mischief as she muttered what sounded suspiciously like 'I have always wanted to do this.'

Then, before he could wonder what she was going on about this time, she ducked her head down shyly, clasped her hands before her demurely, and peeked up at him coyly through long, dense lashes, the very picture of virginal innocence.

He stared at her, even though part of his brain was telling him there was something very agreeable about how she looked at the moment, never mind that he was rather aware of the fact that she did not possess a timid bone in that beautiful body of hers.

Continuing with the charade, she nibbled on her bottom lip almost shyly before darting out the tip of a pink tongue to soothe and wet her abused flesh.

Now, she had his entire attention.

A fine, maidenly blush tinted her cheeks, and then she gave him another coquettish glance, together with a small, luscious pout that emphasized her Cupid's bow lips.

"Ne, Itachi-sensei," her voice was an octave higher than normal, a girlish drawl, sweet and alluring and his brow climbed up slowly when it began to dawn on him what she was trying to do. Her eyes were large pools of innocent emerald, safe for the small glint of utter mischief that was almost hidden from view.

A part of him sighed inwardly with consternation at her frisky, flirtatious behavior, though there was simply no refuting his immediate physical reaction to her, travel-weary or not. Her absence in his life for the past week had been duly noted, and he could not deny that it was nice to be home again, to be near her…

She strolled up to him then, hips swaying slightly, a small smile on her lips at the intent manner in which he was looking at her. He was standing utterly still by now, but she continued to come to him, pressing her curves up against his leanly muscled form, nuzzling the side of his cheek and jawbone gently, before dropping a soft kiss near his mouth. Drawing back slightly, her eyes met his, and her smile widened deliciously at the somewhat rattled expression on his face—the minx. She knew that he was still easily unsettled when it came to initiating such acts of intimacy, though he did tend to recover marvelously soon enough.

"So, what lessons are we having tonight?"


Questions That I Would Like To Answer Before You Ask:

And we have Team Itachi!

I hope Cell Sixteen meets most of your expectations, ladies and gentlemen. No, they are not a super powered team of ultra genius Genin from some super bloodline clans; on the contrary, they are a pretty average bunch of obnoxious brats/snotty ninja wannabes. Until they start taking their pokerfaced/evil/slave-driving sensei seriously, I'm afraid that's all they are going to be for now, much to their instructor's dismay (who, for some reason, cannot comprehend why anyone would think being a ninja is all fun and games, but we will come to that at another time).


For those who have no idea what 'amaebi' is, it is a breed of sweet shrimp (Alaskan Pink Shrimp) that is often used in nigiri sushi as well as sashimi. They are eaten raw, sometimes with soy sauce and/or wasabi, and leaves a sweet, powdery aftertaste in your mouth. Great stuff, those. I really love them.


And yes, that last part was a small hint of the couple's private life, like some of you are just itching to find out, judging by those 'so are they or are they not lovers/sleeping together now?' reviews that I get occasionally. For those who are really curious, I will say that this latest sequel occurred nearly two years after the original 'Ramen' shot, and that the couple had probably only started sharing physical intimacy just a few months prior.

As the male lead of our Ramen-verse installments has proven to be a surprisingly conservative prude when it comes to such matters, the dear readers can make a pretty good guess who's the one to initiate the aforementioned intimate encounters.

That's about all I'm willing to speculate about Ramen-verse ItaSaku's love lives. For anything more, kindly use your own (over active) imaginations.


Your reviews fuel my passion for writing. So please leave a comment if you like this fic, thank you.