XOXO and Other Affectionate Letters
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. That copyright belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Sometimes Life was a real dick. The kind of dick that was unbearably obnoxious when sober and unbelievably obnoxious when drunk and just plain unbelievably unbearable when he was throwing up all over your dress. Today was one of those 'sometimes'.
Everything was a mess. Everything was wrong. Everything was working against her.
Including her teammates.
She stood in the doorway, form rigid, staring at the scene that had greeted her when she had been rudely awakened by strange sounds coming from her kitchen early that morning.
There was Naruto, face buried in a ramen package, tearing at the plastic with his teeth like a hungry little mouse. Or rat. Or racoon. Or—considering the state of her kitchen—bear. Plastic packaging was strewn everywhere. Broth puddles dappled her counter and table. Curiously, not a single stray noodle littered the area, but the crumbs from some other 'snack' more than made up for that. There were pots and dishes she didn't even know she owned, strewn across her counter and piled high in her sink. Cupboard doors were left wide open, revealing now-half-empty shelves that lacked their usual organized tidiness. It was a pig sty. It could have passed for Naruto's kitchen.
Her jaw cracked as it clenched harder at the thought.
"Sakura-chan! About time you got up!" the blonde ramenvore shouted around the packing in his mouth, when he noticed the girl standing there.
"What. are. you. doing. here?" she clipped out, face barely moving as she held onto her temper by mere fingertips.
"Waiting for you to get up!" he answered loudly, not noticing Sakura's fierce cringe at the sound assailing her sleep-sensitive ears.
"Why... Why..." She couldn't even finish her question; her ire was infringing on her still-sleepy thought processes.
"We've got a mission today, dattebayo! And it's almost time to leave! We thought we'd come get you here, to save time, but you were still asleep, so we decided to wait a bit, let you sleep a bit longer. But I was so going to wake you up after this last package of ramen, dattebayo." He shook the aforementioned ramen into a giant, clean pot he had just pulled from the cupboards. That explained all the dirty pots; he was taking a clean one for each new package.
"Naruto," she rasped. "What are you doing? Just use the same pot you used before. You're messing up every pot I own!"
The jinchuuriki snapped his head up and stared wide-eyed at the girl whose home he was defiling. "But you told me not to use dirty pots because I could get sick from them," he pointed out, turning on the element.
Sakura felt her frown deepen a few degrees, as she closed her tired eyes. "That's for pots that have been sitting on your counter for a day or five! If you just used one to make ramen three minutes ago, it's not going to be filthy enough to make you sick if you use it again! Look at all the dirty dishes you've made! I don't want to have to wash all that!"
He stared at the mountain of metal and grunted his understanding, before flashing a smile and saying, "You ready for our mission, Sakura-chan?!"
The pinkhead scowled at Naruto's quick change of subject. Really, the boy seemed so dense, but Sakura had a feeling a lot of it was an act just so he could get away with moments like these.
A 'poof' signalled the arrival of their ever-tardy sensei, as he materialized by the window. A second later, Sakura's door swung open, as Sasuke stalked in more hurriedly than usual.
"Good morning, Sakura. I just had to go collect the wayward one over there, to let him know we were meeting here," Kakashi spoke, smiling at the blank-faced girl. Turning his eye on the other newcomer, he added, "I told you my route was faster."
"You cheated with that transportation jutsu," Sasuke snapped, scowling at the older man.
"Still faster," Kakashi insisted, before turning his attention back to the owner of the apartment they had all illegally entered. "Are you just about ready for today's mission, Sakura?"
"Do I look like I'm ready for a mission?!" She gestured at her green flannel Strawberry Shortcake pyjamas.
"Well, go get ready, then." He settled more comfortably on the windowsill. "We're already a little behind schedule."
"I'm not going on any mission today."
"What?!" Naruto screeched, noodles dangling from his open mouth.
Kakashi raised an eyebrow at her. "Why not?"
"Because it's my day off!" she snapped, an undiluted glare upon her face.
"Wha? I never heard anything about you having a day off, dattebayo," Naruto insisted, shaking his head at her words.
"Yes. You did."
"No I didn't, dattebayo."
"Yes you did. I told you—all of you," she cast a heavy look at the other two, "—every day last week to be certain that you knew that I have five days of sabbatical this week."
Naruto stared at her for a few moments, squinty-eyed and contemplative. "...Are you sure?"
"But, baa-chan said—"
"She will have told you that Sai will be taking my place on your mission."
"Yes! Now get out of my house!" Sakura shouted, exasperated by this point. Narrowing her eyes on Naruto, she added, "I expect you to be my housemaid when you get back, to make amends for the disaster you just perpetrated here."
"But why do you have to have this week off? That sucks!" the blonde continued to whine, conveniently ignoring the kunoichi's demands.
"Believe me, it's turning out a whole lot worse for me than it is for you," she grumbled. Then, turning back to Kakashi, she asked, "How could you not know I wasn't going with you guys?"
"Ah..." The Copy-nin paused in his reading and looked up at the ceiling, clearly in thought. He sighed, dropping the pretence, and admitted his error. "I listened to Naruto's insistence that you were coming on the mission. In retrospect, I really shouldn't have simply taken his word for it."
"What? So now we get stuck with that fruit?" Sasuke groused, frowning at the thought of spending time with Sai.
"Looks like," Naruto mumbled, finishing off his ramen with a loud slurp.
"No way. Sakura, you're coming," the Uchiha stated, shaking his head. "Go get ready."
"Excuse me?" the addressed girl answered sharply, narrowing her eyes on the male behind her. "What about 'it's my day off' don't you understand?"
"Tch. I'm not putting up with that freak for who knows how long. I've already got that one to deal with." His eyes shifted meaningfully in Naruto's direction.
"Well, I guess you'll just have to endure," Sakura commented overdramatically, rolling her eyes.
"You can take time off anytime you want."
"No. You can take time off whenever you want. You get at least one day after almost every mission. I do not get such a luxury. When I'm not on missions, I have to work at the hospital. I sometimes have to pick up a shift on the day I get back from a mission. Which is why this is the first break I've had in the past eight months! Today, I was supposed to be able to sleep in, bum around in my pyjamas, and do absolutely nothing. But did I get that?! NO! I was awakened at six-thirty in the freaking a.m. by the sound of an overgrown mouse ransacking my pantry, was subsequently greeted with a week's worth of dishes and a mess worse than that after a frat party. And now you're ordering me to go on a mission with you?! During my time off?! My first break in eight months. And you are ruining it!"
A tremor shook through Naruto that would have registered ten-point-oh on the Richter Scale, had anyone cared to measure it.
"Oh RAHWEH, god of ramen, save us! She's going to go all crazy axe murderer on us and pull a freakin' Uchiha massacre redux!"
Sasuke turned his head about, his movements mechanical as he levelled the blonde with a look that clearly lacked any traces of amusement.
Naruto took in a deep breath and gave a sincere look to his best friend. "I did not mean to say that. I apologize for my insensitivity." After a short pause wherein Sasuke's look lessened in intensity, Naruto continued, "But seriously, Sasuke-teme. She. is. going. to. kill. us. dattebayo!"
The Uchiha snorted. "Maybe you, dobe."
Naruto narrowed his eyes on the dark-haired nin. "You think you're still safe from Sakura-chan's wrath? Well you've got another thing coming, teme, dattebayo! That woman is a non-selective bringer of destruction! She will rain down her fury upon any and all who stand in her way or bring her displeasure. And in case you haven't noticed, you qualify as both!"
"I do not need this right now," Sakura interrupted, glaring at the three males who had dared to disrupt her rest. "Now, please go. Go on your mission."
"After you get ready," Sasuke insisted, crossing his arms and levelling her with a stern look.
Something seemed to snap in Sakura's mind at that. They could all see it in her eyes, could practically hear the little 'crick' sound it made as whatever 'it' was broke in two and fell to the floor of her skull. Inner Sakura was finally going to have her way.
With a perfect mask of calm upon her face, Sakura turned to Sasuke and kneed him in the groin with a chakra-infused jab.
He let out a sharp groan before he doubled over in breathless pain, as both Naruto and Kakashi groaned, "Ooooo…" sympathetic to his plight.
"And thus ends the Uchiha line…" Kakashi mumbled, cringing.
"I'm going back to bed. Have fun on your mission," Sakura muttered, stalking off to her bedroom. A loud slam of a door soon followed.
"I need to find some ice," Naruto mumbled, a hiss of pain chasing his words.
Kakashi nodded. "Yeah, he'll be needing it."
"Not for him. For me! This sympathy pain is killing me," Naruto grimaced as he waddled awkwardly to the fridge.
The sensei sighed at the blonde's reaction. He squatted down next to the Uchiha, who was obviously experiencing agony the likes of which no man ever wished to experience. "You know," Kakashi began offhandedly, "if you had just said that you wanted her to come with us instead of telling her to come, it probably wouldn't have turned out like this."
"Tch. That is what I said," Sasuke hissed through clenched teeth, breathing deeply and slowly, easing himself through the pain.
"In your language, yes. But in Femalese, the language Sakura speaks, you were just being a self-centered jerk," the greyhead explained, watching his student with a pitying eye.
"And how was I supposed to know that?"
"It's called 'paying attention', Sasuke."
The felled shinobi didn't answer, but just rolled his eyes and quietly endured the last of the pain, while Kakashi took out his book and began reading and Naruto poured a tray of ice cubes down his pants and then screamed three seconds later, "AH! Frostbite! On the family jewels! NO! My babies!"
Two seconds later, all three of them were out on the street after Sakura tossed them out the door and slammed it in their faces.
Ignoring the strange looks they were getting from the neighbours, Kakashi went back to his book, saying, "Walk it off, boys. Walk it off," to the two damaged males moaning on the ground.
Team Seven—minus one girl, plus one guy—left Konoha at seven a.m. sharp. Naruto was his usual buoyant self, jabbering on about how he was "going to kick those nuke-nin's butts back to the Stone Age" and how "this mission will be done before it even starts, I'm going to beat those guys so bad, dattebayo!"
Kakashi smiled obligingly at the whisker-faced teen, but remained silent through most of the trip, though he was surreptitiously monitoring the atmosphere between the other two ninja in his squad.
Sai was seemingly oblivious to the Die-A-Thousand-Deaths! © glare Sasuke had been sending his way ever since they had sighted the artist at the gates before their departure three hours ago. He just continued along with the rest of them, tree-hopping at high speed, rarely speaking, other than a couple rude remarks at the mission's onset.
For his part, Sasuke didn't say a word to the other dark-haired nin, but, oh, actions spoke volumes.
While Naruto yammered on about some ramen incident he had had last week, Sasuke tuned the blonde out and focused on his own internal musings.
Of all the people to be stuck with... We should have just gone as a three-man team. This guy... My replacement. Tch. As if. Him and his girly belly-shirt could never replace me. I mean, what's that all about, anyway? Who wears something that revealing? What's he a Britney Spears backup dancer?
Ugh. I'm ashamed that I can even come up with that comparison.
Note to self: Never humour Sakura's friends when they have control of the TV; you will learn things you did not want to know.
Tch. This would be so much less annoying if Sakura had just come along. I mean, she would still be annoying, but it's a different type of annoying that I like— It's a different type of annoying that I find more bearable than this loser's type. Yes.
If it weren't for this freak, she could have come along and things would be properly annoying instead of annoyingly annoying. If it weren't for him she would have had to come with us. She wouldn't have had any choice.
...I hate this guy.
"I want to kill you."
Jerking his head about to look at the Uchiha, Sai gave him a curious look and asked, "What was that Sasuke-kun?"
"I said I want—"
"Sasuke," Kakashi interrupted, having been supervising them for the past few minutes; he had known this was coming. "Just feel the good vibes. Feel them."
"There are no good vibes," Sasuke muttered, casting a dark, loathing look at the ROOT member. "Those are lies."
The Copy-nin sighed deeply, and said, "Someday I will fix you!"
"You have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Kakashi-sensei?" Sai asked innocently, blinking at the older male.
Sasuke shot a dirty look at the artist, but didn't act on the rage he was feeling toward the sly little freak. Oh no. He would wait. He would bide his time. And when that loser thought he was good and safe then Sasuke would pounce! There would be nothing left when he was done with him. Not so much as a hair to be used as evidence. Sai would simply vanish.
He allowed himself a maniacal, internal chuckle at the thought.
"Sasuke-kun," Sai spoke, smiling that creepy, blank smile of his. "Your intense study of my features is leading me to believe that you have a crush on me. Allow me to dissuade you from further pursuit of that affection, by informing you that I am not interested in males." He attempted a sympathetic look, but he came out looking constipated more than anything. "I hope your heart is not too seriously broken by me rejection of you. What's the saying...? Once bitten, twice shy?" He nodded to himself. "Yes. Do not allow this painful experience to dissuade you from other romantic pursuits. You must keep yourself in the game, and all that."
Sasuke's glare couldn't have been more menacing. Screw it. He was going to kill him now. Right in front of Kakashi and Naruto. He didn't care. Send him to jail. Execute him. All would be well, so long as this freak of nature died by his hands here and now.
"I'm going to ki—"
"Sasuke," Kakashi's deep, stern voice cut him off. "We don't kill friends."
"Indeed," Sai agreed, nodding with closed eyes, obviously not getting why Kakashi felt a need to say that.
"He's not my friend," Sasuke gritted out, glowering at the oblivious nin.
"Fair enough," the Copy-nin sighed. "But we don't kill comrades."
"...Tch," the Uchiha scoffed, before turning away and putting more distance between himself and 'The Replacement'.
In the background, Naruto was still going on about his ramen that "just wouldn't end! The whole bowl was filled with just one giant, never-ending noodle, dattebayo! It was amazing!"
Kakashi sighed to himself. This was going to be a long mission.
Their client was a short, gawky teen who could probably list off the title of every Star Trek episode—by season and series—without breaking a sweat, but probably couldn't impress a girl to save his life, unless he showed them his massive bank statement. And that was not a euphemism. The kid was insanely rich and had been saddled with too much power for his small bit of maturity to handle. At the age of sixteen, he was Matsue Domain's daimyo, Matsudaira Harusato. And someone was trying to kill him.
"Has the daimyo received any written threats or demands? Anything that indicates why they are targeting him?" Kakashi asked a tall, thin, middle-aged man named Gin.
Oh yes. Though his lordship was present, not ten feet away, they could not directly address him but rather had to speak through his closest advisor. A firsthand account of what had happened was apparently out of the question. It wasn't something they were unaccustomed to; after all they had dealt with people of the upper caste on many occasions. But did the kid really have to be gawking at them like they were a band of dancing monkeys? The moment they had arrived, he had been staring at them, all starry-eyed and—dare they say?—fan-boyish.
"This was pinned with a kunai to the master's bedroom door last night," the older man answered gravely. A thin, bony hand extended forward to proffer an opened letter to the Copy-nin.
Kakashi scanned the parchment, reading the words carefully. It seemed pretty standard: Give us so-and-so much money or we'll kill you, et cetera, et cetera.
"They didn't sign their name," he commented, flipping the page over, searching for some indication of who the letter was from. Looking up at the advisor, he added, "It's very strange for a threat not to include its author's name or organization. In these situations, someone almost always claims responsibility. How are you expected to meet their demands if you don't know who to give the money to?"
Gin seemed to blanch for a moment at the senior nin's observation. "Perhaps they are hoping that their reputation precedes them," he offered, clasping his hands tightly.
"Are there any criminal organizations in the area?"
"Ah... None...that I know of..." Gin trailed off, shoulders slumping a bit.
"Well, then they would have to be very stupid to assume you would automatically know who it was," Kakashi said offhandedly. "The attacks began five days ago?"
He was answered with a curt nod.
"And you received this letter last night?"
"That's highly suspect," he hummed, glancing over the letter again. "This should have been left for you before or during the first attack. To deliver it five days later, after already attempting multiple attacks—attacking the person you want to extort before you even make your demands—it doesn't make any sense at all."
"Perhaps they are not the criminal masterminds they would have us believe they are," Gin's wavering voice spoke. He glanced back at his master, who was still openly gawking at the two shinobi before them, though he had thankfully managed to wipe that ridiculous grin off his face.
"You're unsure as to their exact number, but are certain that there is more than one?" Kakashi clarified, intent on getting through the standard string of questions he needed answered in order to get a proper view of what situation they were dealing with.
The older man faltered a moment, hands wringing just a bit more. "With the amount of security placed around the master these past few days, we believed that it could only have been one, to have slipped past the guards like that, but the amount of destruction in such a short amount of time leads us to believe there must be a group of them. The master himself said he saw multiple shadows, but he never got a clear look at any of them."
"Okay, let me get this straight. You've been attacked, like, five times, and you've never tried to get a look at who's trying to off you?" Naruto complained, staring at the seated teen with disapproval on his face.
"Do not address the master so informally!" Gin admonished, a look of horror in his eyes.
Kakashi sighed. Really, it had been a miracle that the blonde had remained silent for so long—it was probably a record. But he knew it couldn't last. If there was one thing Naruto was incapable of even bumbling his way through, it was a situation that required decorum. Decorum did not coexist with Naruto. It probably never would.
"But, come on, dattebayo!" the jinchuuriki groused, gesturing restlessly. "I understand not looking the first time, maybe even the second time. But by the fifth time around, it should be getting a little redundant! You didn't think to try and get a glimpse of whoever's trying to—" he grabbed the threat letter from Kakashi and read, "'slice off your head and stick it on a pike in the middle of town unless you pay'?" He shook his head and frowned at the younger male.
"How dare you speak so rudely to the master?!"
"It's alright, Gin," the daimyo called out, waving the advisor off.
The man cast a disapproving look at the blonde nin but remained silent at his master's behest.
The youth's face seemed to have some unnatural glow as he stared back at the shinobi. You could practically hear the bubbles of excitement fizz up inside him. "I did attempt to get a glimpse of their identities, Naruto-san," Harusato explained, steepling his fingers before him and narrowing his eyes as he attempted to appear composed while some excited complex was clearly raging within. "They were simply too quick for my eyes to follow. Perhaps if I had your comrade's eyes I could have—"
"Whoa, whoa!" Naruto interrupted, raising his hands for Harusato to stop. "Hold it right there. If you're trying to get your hands on Sasuke's eyes, you're out of luck. A few people have tried that already; it didn't turn out well for any of them."
A strange, girlish sound that was mix of a giggle and a yelp escaped the daimyo—which caused the two Konoha-nin to shift backward uncertainly—before he gained control of his propriety again and answered, "That is not what I meant. I was simply saying that a person such as myself, untrained in the ninja arts and without any bloodline talent, cannot follow my attackers' movements, they are so fast. You and your comrades though," another disturbing yelp/giggle, or a yiggle if you will, sounded from the strange, strange young man. "Team Seven," he said the name with such reverence, as though it were some holy title, "could most definitely handle these ruffians."
"You know our team number?" Naruto asked, a little surprised by the younger teen's words.
"Team Seven. Team Kakashi." Harusato let out a low chuckle. "Synonymous with legendary! Though I am a little disappointed that the original team didn't come. I had hoped to meet Sakura-san as well." His face turned an unnatural shade of red and his eyes became unfocused as he obviously got lost in whatever fantasyland existed within his unique mind.
"Kaka-sensei," Naruto whispered to his mentor. "Are other people supposed to know so much about our team?"
"It's not unheard of but, no, not really," the greyhead answered lowly, his lone eye watching the spaced out daimyo carefully. "He seems to be one of those basement children."
"'Basement children'?" Naruto repeated, not following.
"They spend most of their lives in their parents' basements and obsess over fandoms of all sorts. I suppose he may have found himself a real-life 'fandom' to be obsessed with."
"Or just the shinobi world in general. It's strange; most people in high society these days view ninja as the scum of the earth—vultures that will do anything for a price. Him having such a fascination with our lifestyle is surprising."
"And creepy as hell," Naruto mumbled, noticing how closely the daimyo's shining eyes were watching him. "I vote we end this mission today."
"I actually agree with you, which is also creepy as hell," Kakashi answered. Turning his full attention to the daimyo and his advisor, he said, "I think we have enough information for now. We will begin preparations immediately." He gave a short bow, slapping Naruto on the back of the neck to prompt him to do the same, and then left the hall to seek out their other two teammates.
Having been informed of last night's attack, Kakashi had ordered Sasuke and Sai, after meeting briefly with the daimyo and his advisor, to go directly to the scene of the attack to determine the how and hopefully the who, while Naruto and the Copy-nin got answers from the witnesses. It didn't take a genius to figure out why Kakashi had ordered them to investigate the scene: the two members with no people skills didn't exactly shine in situations involving talking to people.
Sasuke wasn't complaining that he didn't have to stand around while some old guy talked as if he were the daimyo's sock puppet—speaking for him but was supposedly a separate entity. And he was not disappointed that he didn't have to put up with those creepy, shiny-eyed looks the young lord had been sending their way. He was used to getting all kinds of disturbing looks, from lustful to murderous, but never had he been stared at with fan-boy awe. No. And he never wanted to again. It was...a little violating, to be honest.
Of course, that didn't mean he was enjoying his current circumstances, either. It was simply the lesser of two evils. Two very evil evils.
Because being partnered with Sai was the equivalent of putting hot needles in his eyes and then squirting lemon juice in them while getting his hair permed—there was no compensation great enough to make up for this.
The Replacement—because that was his name as far as Sasuke was concerned—was busy studying a demolished wall of shelves, where countless priceless vases and figurines were dashed to bits upon the hardwood floor. Something seemed to catch his eye and he quickly bent down and picked whatever it was up. Turning to Sasuke with that freaky smile on his plastic face, Sai held up the item and said, "Should I save this for Dickless? He could probably use it as a prosthetic."
It was at this moment that Sasuke realized the object Sai was holding up was a broken off appendage from a male sculpture.
"Do you ever think about anything besides Naruto's dick, or lack thereof?"
"Yes. Sometimes I think about yours."
Sasuke cringed violently. He was fairly certain The Replacement had meant that as an insult, insinuating that he, like Naruto, had no dick. But it just came out sounding so very, very wrong.
He shook his head and muttered under his breath, "Gay..."
Casting the Uchiha his usual blank look, Sai replied, "You keep calling me that. But you also call me your replacement. So what does that say about you?"
Sasuke scowled darkly at the smiling freak before him, not liking what he was implying. "Obviously, as my replacement, you fail at filling my role properly. This is another facet you simply are not adequate to fulfill."
"So...You're saying that I fail at fulfilling your role as the gay team member?" he clarified, face a mask of understanding. "Since I am hetero, I cannot fulfill that role for you. That is what you're saying, yes, Sasuke-kun?"
"That's the complete opposite of what I said!" the Uchiha fumed, scowling darkly at the other male.
Sai's face didn't so much as flinch, obviously unrepentant for the transgression Sasuke knew he knew he had just committed. The conniving little freak...
"That's not how I interpreted it," the artist answered smoothly.
"Obviously!" Sasuke snapped, clenching his teeth harshly. "I can't believe this team survived with two people as dense as Naruto on it."
A frown creased Sai's usually smooth brow. "I resent being compared to Naruto-kun."
"And I resent being compared to you," Sasuke shot back.
A deep, reluctant sigh pulled itself from the Uchiha's lungs. "We really have no reason not to get along, do we?" he muttered resignedly.
"I believe not, Sasuke-kun."
He sighed again, scowling at the injustice of it all. "Don't let this get out. It will be the end of sanity for both of us."
Down the hall they could hear a loud, obnoxious voice whining something about "it was like he was going to throw us into a pit and force us to lotion our skin or else he'd spray us with a hose! You know, like from that movie, The Slicing of the Yams, dattebayo," and a deeper voice replying, "I don't think that's how the title went, Naruto," and they knew the other half of their team was drawing near.
A few seconds later, Kakashi and Naruto appeared in the doorway, the former studying the room lazily, the latter walking through the debris, indiscriminately crushing whatever intact shards remained and completely disregarding any attempts at preserving the scene. Thankfully, the two dark-haired shinobi were already finished their mini-investigation, otherwise Naruto would have been flat on the floor, his face being ground into the smashed glass for so effortlessly ruining the evidence.
"Okay, listen up losers," Naruto called out, striking a self-important pose, oblivious to the unimpressed looks he was getting. "The plan is to get this mission over and done with as fast as humanly possible. Teme, that means if you need to go somewhere, you don't walk, you shunpo your way there."
Sasuke couldn't help the look of pure confusion as he blurted out, "What the hell is shunpo?"
"Oh, you know what I mean!" the blonde continued, waving his hand dismissively. "Shunpo. Though, considering how evil you are, you probably use sonido."
"What the hell are you on, dobe?"
"Everyone knows Bleach terminology is interchangeable with ours!" Naruto insisted. He eyed Sasuke critically, a finger on his chin. "Hirenkyaku, perhaps? Uchiha have a lot in common with Quincy, after all."
Sasuke sighed, watching Naruto tiredly. "I would hit you but beating on a mentally challenged person is extremely amoral, even to me."
"Okay, children," Kakashi interrupted, effectively putting an end to his students' inane argument. "We have traps to set, a perimeter to create, and a creepy little otaku daimyo to protect, so let's begin, shall we?"
He was answered with a mix of grumbled "yeah"s, but that was more than enough; at least they weren't arguing over Bleach references. Besides, everyone knew the Hiraishin no Jutsu was far superior to any of the hundred different rapid movement techniques in Bleach.
Guttersnipe's Word: Okay. I actually have this one planned out. Almost all of it is written already. It shall be five chapters. No more, no less. Expect them to be released one per week, give or take a day or two. That is all.
Thank you for reading.