~~ . . . ~~
Two Weeks Later
Sakura looked at the clock that hung on the wall of her classroom for the seventh time in the past five minutes. In just one minute and forty six seconds she would be able to leave the suffocating classroom and the twice as worse suffocating stares from her sympathetic friends. Ever since Sasuke had put a temporary hiatus on their relationship she felt as if she was drowning in her own sea of distress. She knew she was pathetic but she missed him badly. She missed his mesmerizing scent, his sensual voice, his playful smirk and his strong masculine frame embracing her small petite frame. She even missed his hard glares and somewhat disrespectful demeanor.
She had moved back out of Sasuke's home upon her mother's return and she felt like there was now this untouchable distance just sitting between them. The only thing that kept her reassured and gave her small fleeting moments of happiness was the magnificent diamond and emerald gold ring on her finger. The first ring Sasuke had given her on their first date lay on a golden chain around her neck.
When Sakura's mom had seen the ring on Sakura's finger she had said nothing, she just smiled. She went along as if she had never even seen it but Sakura knew she knew. She was just happy that her mother didn't decide to touch upon the subject now. She would discuss it with her mom when she was ready.
Her friends did not know the exact details of the whole situation between what was going on between her and Sasuke but they understood that their relationship was not at its end but currently at a standstill. Sakura was glad that they understood enough to not question her further like she knew they were dying to. Her friends shock when she revealed to them her ring and told them that Sasuke proposed was one she knew she would never forget.
Naruto had nearly blown a casket, Kiba was stumped into silence for a three whole minutes and Shikamaru, Hinata, Tenten and Neji had stared at her with large rounded eyes as if she was speaking gibberish. Ino on the other hand has already begun to speak of the reception, the wedding colors, the venue and much to Sakura's embarrassment, their honeymoon.
Sakura jumped slightly as the school bell rang and snapped her book shut, finally glad to be rid of Anko. The woman could get very annoying with her loud tone and constant cursing. Sakura quickly left the classroom before Ino or anyone else had the chance to get to her and sprinted to the girls' bathroom. She closed the door behind of her and sighed seeing that she was the only occupant of the restroom or so she thought.
Sakura groaned as she saw the familiar red head exit the last stall. Karin saw her and tossed her hair over her shoulders before heading to the sink to wash her hands. Sakura could see the nasty look Karin was throwing at her through the mirror and turned to leave. She was most definitely not in the mood to argue with Karin.
"It's really unfortunate that Sasuke stopped attending school. Did you by any chance chase him away?" Karin asked conversationally as she dried her hands with a tissue. She threw it in the bin and turned to Sakura. "He probably just got sick and tired of you and decided to leave so that he wouldn't have to endure seeing your ugly face every day."
Sakura ignored Karin's ridiculous statement and pushed open the door to leave.
"I'm visiting Sasuke today." Karin looked pleased when this caught Sakura's attention.
Sakura turned around and glared at the red head. "What?" she asked not sure if to believe her or not.
"Oh! I thought you knew." Karin had the audacity to look surprised. "Don't worry your ugly little head. It's just a family thing. You know my father being wealthy and stuff and Sasuke's family was also wealthy too so my dad arranged for us to have dinner. It's just business and hopefully me and Sasuke will talk a bit and he'll get to know me and then we can talk about pleasure."
Sakura glared at Karin contemplating whether to tell her that she was engaged to Sasuke so that she would just back off. She decided against it after a few seconds of thought because she had nothing to prove to the girl. She didn't have to flaunt her ring for Karin to know that Sasuke was devoted to their relationship. She wouldn't allow Karin to get to her because she trusted Sasuke. She made the mistake of believing Karin's words and doubting Sasuke's loyalty once before and she didn't plan on doing it again.
"What's your point?" Sakura couldn't help but snap at Karin.
"Bitchy aren't we? No need to be so nasty Sakura. My point will be proven in time." Karin smirked at Sakura who was gritting her teeth angrily. She was glad that she was able to get under the girl's skin.
"Not to worry though. There is someone in the world for everyone including losers like you. I would have suggested Naruto but it seems like that idiot is already taken."
Sakura glared at Karin, "Shut up! Naruto is not an idiot. You're the only idiot here and this whole thing about Sasuke . . . you don't even know what you're talking about."
Karin folded her arms and lifted a brow, "Don't I?"
"No, you don't." Sakura said firmly before she left the bathroom slamming the door harshly behind her.
Karin adjusted her glasses and turned to admire her reflection in the mirror. "I know Sakura. I know."
"Unbelievable," Tenten pulled at her loose hair and rolled over on the bed unto her back. A small grunt was heard as her leg made contact with Neji's bare stomach and she sat up laughing at the annoyed look Neji sent her.
"I'm sorry but I just can't believe that Sakura's engaged to Sasuke."
Neji shook his head, "I still can't believe that you still can't believe that Sakura's engaged to Sasuke."
Tenten snorted and this time purposely nudged her foot against Neji's stomach. She rolled back over on her belly to face her open calculus text book and groaned. All the figures and equations were starting to make her head hurt. "Neji, why won't you help me?" Tenten had asked Neji for his assistance but he had refused.
"Maybe if you paid more attention in class and stopped playing with that pocket knife of yours you would have been more knowledgeable of the subject."
Tenten sat up and resisted the strong urge to roll her eyes. "Really?" she stated more than asked while throwing herself on top of Neji's back and spoke into his ear.
"Why should I pay attention in class when I have you to teach me personally?"
Neji's shoulders stiffened slightly at the words Tenten had erotically whispered in his ears. He buried his face in the sheets when she started to kiss him on his exposed neck and shoulders.
"Naruto and Hinata are two doors down," he said lifting his head. He was trying to turn down her advances on him but she was persistent and he really didn't mind.
"Won't that make it more exciting," Tenten whispered softly into his ears. That was all the persuading Neji needed. He reversed their positions so that he was now straddling Tenten. He smirked down at her challengingly, "I guess that means you'll have to try to be quiet."
Tenten smiled up at Neji accepting his challenge. She wrapped her arms around his neck when he bent down and kissed her deeply. "By the way," he pulled away from her lips and showered kisses her neck. "My parents are in the other room right beside us."
Tenten's eyes widened in mortification and she pushed her hands against Neji's chest. Neji grabbed both her arms and held them above her head tightly on the bed. He sent her a look of warning. "You can't back out now."
"I swear to Kami your dad is almost as scary as Sasuke. Almost." Naruto ran his hands through his unruly blonde hair and repositioned himself on the chair beside Hinata's bed.
Hinata was seated on her bed wringing her hands in her lap nervously. "He's n not that b bad once y you get to k know him." Naruto snorted and looked at Hinata doubtfully. Her father was as social as a broomstick. He acted like he had one shoved up his ass too.
"I'm surprised he let me in your room much less his house," Naruto said scribbling a few writings in his notebook. He shook his head, "Kakashi always gives us homework and he only takes the grades one out of ten times. I don't even know when he will decide to take it so now I'm stuck doing all his homework for no reason." Naruto rubbed his book in his face, "I'm sure he doesn't even look at them. Damn pervert."
Naruto peaked at Hinata from behind the book and saw her fiddling with a page in her notebook, her face beat red. "Whoa. Why are you so red? I mean you're always red but somehow you seem redder than usual."
Hinata's eyes widened and she guiltily tore her gaze away from Naruto's bare torso. She didn't mean to look, it just happened. Naruto sat up in the chair and scratched his head. He may be a little slow but he was most definitely not stupid. Maybe parading around in his jeans without his shirt was too much for the girl. He really didn't see the problem though.
Whenever Naruto hung out at Sasuke's house he didn't wear a shirt. Sasuke didn't seem to mind. Neither did Shikamaru, Neji or Kiba when he was at their house. Heck, sometimes they were shirtless too but then again they were all boys so it made sense that they didn't care.
Naruto put down his book and grinned at Hinata, "Sorry. It's the shirt right? I'll put it back on if it bothers you." Naruto stretched to retrieve his shirt from the bed and was shocked when Hinata grabbed it before he did.
"No. Don't p put . . . I m mean . . . sorry," Hinata stuttered then pushed the black shirt into Naruto's outstretched hand and fled into the bathroom. Naruto dropped the shirt and followed her into the bathroom before she could lock the door. She stood against the wall looking at her feet while wringing her hands nervously.
"Hey, what's wrong? If you don't want me . . . you were blushing so I though." Naruto caught the guilty look on Hinata's features and grinned slyly.
"Hehe . . . if you didn't want me to put my shirt back on all you had to do was say so. There isn't anything to be shy about. You're my girlfriend remember?" Naruto pulled Hinata into him for a hug and she melted into his arms. Naruto almost couldn't contain himself. The girl was just too cute. He held her tightly and sniffed her hair. He didn't know what type of shampoo she used but it smelled amazi—
Naruto pulled away and looked at Hinata weirdly, "Do you hear that?"
Hinata shook her head, "No, Hear what?"
"That!" Naruto said as he heard it again. "I don't know what it is," he said as he stepped into Hinata's bathtub and put his ears to the wall. "It sounds like someone's hitting a wall or something." Both teens stood silent and the noise became clearer and more pronounced.
"I hear it," Hinata said puzzled.
Naruto raised a brow, "Someone is doing a serious number on your house Hinata. It's like if they're trying to break through a wall or something." Naruto turned back to an equally confused looking Hinata. "Is there some kind of renovation going on next door? Maybe-" Naruto trailed off with a growing look of realization which almost immediately turned to horror. He visibly gagged before hastily getting out of the tub.
Hinata sent him a curious look. "I heard Tenten." Naruto tried explained his sudden actions to his girlfriend but she didn't seem to quite understand him.
Hinata cocked her head to the side, "Tenten? Oh yes. She's w with Neji in h his room. Is there something wrong?"
Naruto's eyes widened, "Holy shit. Is he . . . aren't your parents in the office right next door to his room?" Hinata nodded and Naruto could only stare at her in shocked disbelief. "And he's fuc-" he trailed off at the confused look he received from Hinata. He wasn't even going to tell her what was going on two doors down. He didn't want to corrupt her in such a cruel way.
Naruto shook his head silently from side to side. There was no way that her parents did not know what Neji was doing in his room. They weren't exactly being discreet about it if they could hear them from two doors down.
Naruto scratched his head as the sounds came faster and louder. Hinata looked around puzzled. "I wonder what it could be."
Naruto couldn't bear to just stand and let Hinata hear such improper sounds.
"Hinata, let's go down to the kitchen. I'm kinda hungry." Naruto didn't even wait for her reply. He rushed her out the room after grabbing his shirt off the floor and throwing it over his shoulders. They fled down the hall and down the stairs into the kitchen. Neji damn well knew that he and Hinata and his parents were practically next door but apparently he didn't give a shit if anyone heard what was taking place in his room.
"How does this one look Shika?" Ino asked pulling a pose as she modeled a short, blue tube top dress for her boyfriend. Shikamaru was lying down in the store's surprisingly comfortable couch. He silently mulled over how he unfortunately ended up on another one of Ino's ludicrous shopping spree. He sighed and opened one eye uninterestedly, "Looks alright."
Ino huffed at Shikamaru's lack of enthusiasm and headed back into the dressing room. Three minutes later she came back out in a red tube top and a white skinny jean. The jean she knew made her long legs look killer and the top accentuated her bust. He would definitely love this one. "Okay, how about this?"
Shikamaru didn't even bother to open his eyes much to Ino's annoyance he just answered, "Looks alright."
"You didn't even look! How would you know if it's alright or not?" Ino asked hotly. Why was he being so uncooperative? He promised her that he would pay attention to her whenever they went shopping.
"Probably because every outfit you came out in before looked alright so there is a strong probability that the one you are currently wearing is alright too."
Ino's jaw dropped. She had never been so offended in her life. What the hell did he mean by 'alright'?" Was he insinuating that she just looked alright in everything she wore? Nothing she put on ever impressed him or make him even want to take a second look?
The female clerk who was helping her pick out her outfits shrugged and mouthed the word 'men' before walking off to the back of the store. Ino huffed at Shikamaru who had yet to open his eyes. She glared at him with her hands on hips in agitation. The sales clerk reappeared then and pushed an item in Ino's hands.
"Try this on. Maybe he'll like this better," the young woman gave her a knowing look and Ino grinned back at her.
Ino's brows shot up, "I thought you couldn't try the-"
"Pssh. Not to worry, I'll fit you and I know you'll buy it."
"Thank you and you know I will," Ino said as she sauntered back into the dressing room. About four minutes later she came back out. "Shika, what do you think about this one?"
Shikamaru groaned and lazily opened his eyes. When was this nightmare going to be over? Every time he opened his eyes he relived it again and again. He really didn't understand how the female mind worked. Who cared how clothes looked? Once it fit and you had the money you just buy it. What was all the drama for? He opened his mouth to give her the same reply he did the last thirteen times.
At least he would have if the store hadn't become silent all of a sudden. The store wasn't quite noisy before but Shikamaru picked up on the absent sounds of footsteps, light chattering and the rustling of clothes and bags. Looking up to Ino he quickly flew up from the couch at the sight displayed before him and everyone else in the store.
"Ino what the hell?"
"How do I look?" she asked then twirled around in a circle so that he could fully admire the outfit. Shikamaru bit his lips and glanced around the store. As if on cue heads turned and people started to sort through clothes on the racks acting as if they were doing so all the time.
"Half naked," he answered.
"Well duh, it's a swimsuit silly," Ino giggled.
"That's not a swimsuit. It's a . . . really long thin piece of fabric." Shikamaru once again took a quick glance around the store to see that everyone's attention was on his girlfriend and this time they looked guilty and embarrassed at having been caught looking. He didn't mind the females watching her, he minded the males. He just couldn't take the males.
"Ino get out of that thing now," Shikamaru ordered her. Ino smiled at him. He didn't like that smile.
"Why, don't you like it?" Ino pouted and he could see that she was purposely playing with him. The girl was evil.
"I like it," an appreciative male voice spoke up from behind of him. "A lot."
"Ino get out of that thing," Shikamaru tossed a scathing look to the man behind of him.
"Only if you tell me you like it," Ino twirled some blonde strands of hair around her finger absentmindedly as if she wasn't arousing the male population of the store just by standing there. Why couldn't he have just settled for a plain or an ugly girlfriend? If he did he wouldn't have to be in situation like these or have to worry about men like the one behind him.
"Okay. I like it. I love it. Just take it off."
Ino clasped her hands together in glee then smiled to the clerk who smiled in return. She tossed her boyfriend a wild smile before sauntering back into the dressing room to remove the swimsuit.
"Oh Shika, I need a little help taking this thing off. I can't seem to reach the string in the back." Ino could hear the sly undertone in Ino's voice and Shikamaru shook his head disbelievingly. How did she manage to put the thing on in the first place?
"I'll help you," the same male voice spoke out once again offering to assist Ino.
"Fuck off," Shikamaru turned on the man who was at least ten years older than he was. What was he doing hitting on a teenager anyway? "Damn pedophile."
Shikamaru ignored the sly look the clerk gave him and entered the small dressing room. He had just about enough of Ino's crap and was going to tell her just that but the words flew from his brain and died on his tongue.
Damn. She looked . . . damn.
Shikamaru cleared his head from the fleeting distraction. "So what the hell was that about woman?" He hissed down at Ino who was laughing as if the whole situation was funny. Maybe it was funny to her.
"You weren't paying me any attention," she accused him.
Shikamaru pinched his nose clearly frustrated. "I answered all your damn questions."
"Please. Half the time you weren't looking and all you said was 'looks alright'. That's not enough for me. Tell me how exactly would I have known if you really liked it or not?"
"Yeah but that doesn't mean you had to reduce the amount of fabric you were wearing."
"Trust me, if I have to parade around naked in public to get your attention I will. Sometimes I'm even not sure if you're attracted to me or not."
Shikamaru stared down at Ino both astonished and angry. Why wouldn't he be attracted to her and what the hell did she mean by parading around naked to get his attention? She'd better think twice about that. Ino had turned her back to him and held her hair over her shoulder in a large twist to allow him easy access.
"Would you help me here?"
"Sure." Shikamaru pulled at a lone thin cut of fabric and watched amazed as it caused a chain reaction with all the other ones wrapped around Ino's slim figure which eventually left her back bare. The string now rested in a small pool on the floor at his feet still attached to the suit somehow. The complexity of the bathing suit astounded him. Who took their time to design such a troublesome piece of clothing?
"Thank you," Ino said dropping her mass of thick blonde hair over her back. Shikamaru held her small waist in his hands and spun her around to face him. He looked straight into her blue alarmed but curious eyes. If he dared to look down he'd see a lot more skin than what the swimsuit had offered but he didn't. He had control. Something a lot of people lacked these days.
He pulled her against him and kissed her. Ino eagerly responded and wrapped her arms around his neck while he pushed her against the wall behind her. She didn't know what got into Shikamaru but she liked it. Shikamaru knew he should have probably stopped. Not only because things were escalating at a rapid speed but because they were in a public dressing room in which everyone had been watching when they entered. He could only guess how everyone must have been nosily staring at the door in wonder of what was taking place inside the small room.
Shikamaru being the decent young man he was or at least what he thought he was released Ino and turned his back to her. "We're not doing this here." Ino was about to ask him what he meant when then remembered where they were. She couldn't believe she became so absorbed in the kiss that she forgot where she was.
This was the reason she had been so afraid to let Shikamaru know how she had felt about him in the beginning. Whenever he was around she would just do stupid things against her better judgement and forget what was right or sane. He made her lose her sense of rationality and she felt like whatever she knew about love and relationships was irrelevant because she always learned knew things with him. She quickly threw her blue navy dress over her head and removed her swimsuit after.
Ino couldn't believe that Shikamaru didn't even try to sneak a peek even once. Any other guy would have done so by now but she guessed that's what drew her to him in the first place. He wasn't like most guys. It was ironic that she was in a relationship with him because she swore that she wouldn't ever fall for a guy that was smart enough to challenge her and take charge. She always wanted to be the one in charge that's why she usually settled for boys who she made nervous and was intimidated in her presence.
After completely dressing, Ino picked up her handbag from the hook on the wall all the while deep in thought. Maybe that's why none of her previous relationships had ever gotten past the first stage. She always ended all her relationships before they got too serious because she never once was tempted or looked forward to having a serious partner. Shikamaru was a big change for her, a change she welcomed.
Smiling to herself she threw her arms around Shikamaru's neck and kissed him on his cheek before putting her arm through his. "So, what do you want to do now?"
Shikamaru sent a glare to the customers who stared at them curiously as they walked out the dressing room. "Sleep." he answered slowly while pushing Ino ahead of him when he noticed a man watching her too intensely.
"Shika!" Ino whined at his lack of interest in doing any sort of fun activity.
". . . with you." Shikamaru added. He smirked when he saw Ino blush and try to act as if what he said didn't affect her.
"Funny," she laughed dryly a bit embarrassed. She couldn't believe Shikamaru just took a verbal sexual shot at her and she nearly had a mini heart attack. Such things shouldn't have affected a girl of her knowledge and expertise of males but once again Shikamaru turned her into a mere giggling school girl. "Let's do something you like. Oh how about we gaze at the clouds," Ino bounced to her boyfriends' side."
Shikamaru raised a brow, "Since when do you like gazing at clouds?"
"I don't but I do like gazing at you while you're cloud gazing." Ino kissed Shikamaru on his lips in the middle of the crowded street. She smiled when he made no move to pull away.
"Well, let's go," Ino pulled Shikamaru's sleeve and he grunted before turning her in the other direction.
"I know a better location. Somewhere that you won't ruin your outfit or lose your shoes." Shikamaru reminded her of the unfortunate situation she landed herself in the last time she followed him through the forest. Ino grimaced at the horrible memory and the lost of her shoes but she didn't regret anything she did for him
Ino tightened her hold on Shikamaru's arm, "I would do it all over again for you."
Danzō sat back in his seat and ordered his assistant to leave the office so that he could pay full attention to the man who stood before him. The man had paid him a visit two weeks ago after carrying out a relevant task that he had ordered him along with his comrade to complete.
"You have a problem?"Danzō asked after his assistant left.
"The kid came. He found Daisuke, dealt with him good too." The slim man spoke evenly his face giving away nothing of what he was currently feeling if he was feeling anything at all.
Danzō sat forward in his seat and eyed the man critically, "By himself?" The news hadn't really surprised him at all. He wasn't expecting it but it didn't come as a surprise to him because he really should have expected it.
"Yes sir. Although I do believe that he may have had some professional help in tracking us down."
Danzō smiled to himself. He knew just who helped him too. He finally managed to get a reaction out of the seemingly heartless adolescent.
The boy's reaction only meant that the brat hadn't kept her mouth shut. Things were becoming extremely interesting. "Well if that is all Manabu thank you for reporting. I'll compensate you for any damages done to your partner and relocate you to a more secluded dwelling facility with the maximum security available at hand until you are needed again. You are dismissed."
"Thank you but that is not the reason am I presently here sir," Manabu tone of voice became stern as opposed to his usual careless manner of speaking. "I'm sure that you've seen that my partner Daisuke is a very hefty and brutal man. That kid, Daisuke was twice his size and he somehow managed to incapacitate Daisuke. Also, you didn't seem the least bit surprised when I just told you what happened."
Danzō frowned a bit but allowed the man to continue. He was after all entitled to answers that regarded what he was risking his life for. Although it appeared the man was questioning his authority and his loyalty.
"Who exactly are we dealing with here?"
Danzō smirked and motioned for the man to take a seat. Manabu did so and looked at his boss expectantly. He wanted answers and he wouldn't leave without them. There was something much bigger than he was informed of going on.
"Well, I've already told you the basics about Sasuke Uchiha. I didn't tell you everything because I trusted that you and your partner would be able to handle the situation without all the drawn out details."
"We did. The slip up in the plan was beyond our control. The girl snitched."
Danzō nodded his head in agreement. "Then she is mostly responsible for what happened to your comrade but I do apologize for the inconvenience. As I've said before I will compensate him for damage."
"Is there something I should know about Sasuke Uchiha? Is there something that you perhaps failed to tell us before we accepted this assignment?" Manabu asked.
Danzō turned a hard eye on the man before him. He ignored the question and spoke addressing a completely different aspect of the situation.
"Honestly, I do not think it would be in your best interest to retaliate." Danzō stood and walked to a large bookshelf a few steps away from his desk. He fingered each book on the shelf appearing to be looking for something in particular.
"I did not plan to. Not without knowing who exactly I'm facing here. On the other hand, Daisuke is enraged and swore to take revenge on the Uchiha. He won't listen to reason right now. I believe it to be a pride thing."
"Ah pride, brutal destroyer of all men. A man must learn that sometimes in order to survive you must sacrifice your pride." Danzō said this with a sadistic look that Manabu became aware of. He never trusted the man before. He was too secretive. Every move he made was always a hidden one but the council seemed to be backing him up regardless.
Manabu really didn't give a damn about what was taking place in Konoha because he wasn't from the city. He and his partner were specially trained agents who were always on the move. They had been contacted by three of Danzō's spies and were offered a handsome sum of money if they took on an unspecified operation. The money was too much to pass up on so they accepted the deal.
On the other hand, Manabu was sickened by the Hokage who was putting up a reputable facade to his own people who trusted him. He fooled them into believing that he wanted what was best for them and maybe he did but he was going about it completely the wrong way. He would only cause complete chaos and he knew that the older man knew it. He was twisted. He just couldn't believe that Danzō was actually plotting against his own people and towards the downfall of his city in order to achieve his version of peace.
Manabu had come to learn that the Uchiha kid was the key to Danzō's plan and his success. He was trying to use him and apparently the kid didn't like being used. He'd never met but had heard fearsome stories about the Uchiha clan before they were wiped out by one of their own, Sasuke's older brother, under Danzō's order. If those stories about the clan were true which he strongly believed they were then he really didn't want to be messing around with anyone with the last name Uchiha.
A thick and worn book was placed on the table before Manabu and he looked up at Danzō. The man said nothing but just turned almost towards the end of the book and turned it towards his hired helper. Manabu scanned the images on the pages and recognition lit up in his eyes.
"I've heard of these men, I've had the fortune or should I say misfortune of meeting a few also. They were all world class criminals." Manabu scanned the headshot photos of the familiar men and the names. "They were some of the most wanted men but I don't get why this is relevant to what we are discussing."
"Look again," Danzō spoke up his eyes boring into the confused and slightly annoyed ones of the man seated before him. Manabu did as he was told.
There was nothing that caught his eyes except for the few familiar names. Orochimaru, Deidara, Kabuto, Kiyoshi . . . no wait. Manabu grabbed the book up in his hands and read the small printed words under each of the photos. Nothing. He just learned what he and everyone else in the world already knew. These men were killed but the identity of the individual responsible for taking them out was never found out.
Manabu replaced the book on the table and thought. Danzō wouldn't have showed him without reason. There was something there he wasn't seeing or better yet something that should have been there that he wasn't seeing. He stood up from his seat and stood eye to eye with Danzō.
"Are you trying to tell me that the Uchiha kid was the one that killed these renowned criminals?"
Danzō said nothing to the bewildered man. It was amusing to see such a usually calm and in check person lose their grip if only for a few seconds.
"Orochimaru was killed two years ago. Are you trying to tell me that the kid has been killing since he was sixteen? No disrespect to you sir but didn't you think it would have been relevant to tell us this when you made us the offer?"
"I gave it a thought. Once or twice but decided against it obviously." Danzō voice was tight and clipped and Manabu became aware of this and shifted uneasily in his seat. He may have been a professional assassin but he wasn't naive to think that angering the man seated before him would go without some sort of retaliation. He had his people working for him who would kill him without a second thought if they were ordered to. "Your task was one that would have failed if there was the slightest mistake. If I had told you it may have affected the performance of your work."
Manabu's fist tightened on the arm of the chair, "If you had told us we most definitely wouldn't have taken the job."
"Exactly and I couldn't have you refusing now could I?"
Manabu really pitied Konoha. If only they knew they were entrusting their lives, hopes, dreams and money to the devil himself. How could one man be so twisted and selfish? What had anyone ever done to him? Whatever had happened to him Manabu didn't think that he had to punish a whole city for it.
Manabu knew he was being hypocritical because he killed people for a living but Danzō was just ridiculous. He was just playing with people's lives and taking them as he pleased as if it were some game. Manabu was willing to bet that Sasuke Uchiha wasn't the only person that wanted the Hokage dead.
. . .
"What the heck was that?" Jiraiya looked at Kakashi inquiringly and the masked man shrugged. Jiraiya's slow steps turned into a sprint and quickly into a full run. Kakashi was a couple steps ahead of Jiraiya and was the one to throw open the door to Sasuke's study.
Sasuke and Naruto turned to look at the two men that just barged into the room.
"What the hell is this?" Jiraiya asked walking into the room and stepping over half a desk or . . . maybe it was a chair. The whole office was in a mess as if an angry tornado had just passed through. Naruto dropped the keyboard in his hands and looked around awkwardly. "This is not what it looks like." Naruto immediately started to defend himself.
"You boys destroyed the place," Kakashi stepped further into the room with caution so as to avoid tripping on the pieces of furniture scattered all over the room. Sasuke dropped a vase and shoved his hands into his pockets then looked away stubbornly. The other three in the room cringed as the glass made contact with the floor and shattered into thousands of tiny pieces.
"Care to explain why you guys wrecked the office?" Kakashi asked folding his arms over his chest and giving them each a hard look.
"To release anger," Sasuke spoke up after a while.
Kakashi shook his head and turned to Naruto who grinned back at him nervously. "What's your excuse?"
"I couldn't let Sasuke have all the fun!" Naruto explained as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Sasuke will just have one of his maids clean it, no biggie."
"Why exactly are you so riled up? Didn't you already release your anger on Sakura's offender?" Kakashi inquired looking at Sasuke. The Uchiha just grunted and kicked pieces of the broken vase to the opposite side of the room.
"I had to put our relationship on hold and she thinks I'm a damn murderer," Sasuke gritted his teeth. Kakashi and Jiraiya exchanged knowing looks. That may have been some of the reasons Sasuke was pissed but they gathered that there was something else.
"But that's what you are," Jiraiya pointed out none unhelpfully. Sasuke visibly cringed and Kakashi shook his head disapprovingly at the older man beside him. "I expected that from Naruto."
Sasuke grunted again but this time in a silent agreement.
"Come on kiddo. You did it in a mind of fairness and justice. Think of all the innocents you've protected by getting rid of a few harmful bad guys who would have killed you if you hadn't killed them."
"Is that your way of consoling him?" Kakashi asked Jiraiya who shrugged in response. Kakashi sighed to himself and muttered a few words under his breath that Jiraiya obviously heard because the older man grunted to himself.
"You better not cheat on Sakura!" Naruto warned Sasuke out of the blue and the said boy scowled at him his sour mood suddenly escalating.
"Why would Sasuke do that?" Kakashi asked curiously.
Naruto didn't hesitate to answer. He ignored the harsh glare he got from his best friend and spilled everything to his trusted teacher. "Danzō arranged for Sasuke to meet Karin's family. He wants Sasuke to marry Karin's older sister Kura! She's like twenty three years old and is probably just as snobby as Karin." Naruto spat the world 'old' as if it were diseased.
Kakashi knew Karin because she was in one of his classes. He also knew that she was popular and highly disliked by the student body, especially Sakura. On the other hand Karin seemed to have feelings for Sasuke and Kakashi knowing the rather outspoken red head, he knew she would ambitiously manipulate anyone around her to get Sasuke from Sakura.
Kakashi shook his head. Teenage love was so troublesome. Not to mention distracting. On the other hand, Kakashi could see why Danzō chose Kura for Sasuke's potential bride. She was born out of a rich and prospering family and unlike her younger sister she was trained from since a tender age to become a suitable wife for her future husband.
"So what are you going to do?" Kakashi asked the troubled looking teen.
Sasuke shrugged but a small smirk tugged on the side of his mouth. "I'll go. It would be rude of me not to."
Kakashi raised a brow and waited knowingly. Sasuke should have been adamant to not having dinner with anyone Danzō tried to push unto him but he seemed fine. What was Sasuke planning and why was Naruto grinning like a Cheshire cat?
"And of course I'll be tagging along." Naruto's grin widened as he clasped his hands behind his head.
Kakashi and Jiraiya exchanged a look and glanced between the two boys noting their resolute exterior. Only one question tormented the minds of the two older men.
What were they planning to do at that dinner?
Author's Note: How long has it been? Feels like forever. Guys I wish I had a valid excuse such as my laptop blew up or I had temporary amnesia but I don't. I've simply been busy. My college hours are crazy and I barely have any time to myself anymore. This chapter was not even suppose to be done right now. I have this huge Accounting assignment that I should have been working on now but I just couldn't leave you guys hanging any longer. I'd just feel too guilty.
Thanks for all the support you guys have been giving me. You have no idea how much it means to me.
Love ~Guilty with a touch of Innocence~