The hospital in Wave was smaller than the one in Konoha. Konohamaru thought that made sense since the natures of the villages were very different. Probably, the closest thing this place had ever seen to combat injuries were bar fights. Still, once he stepped inside, he had to admit that it had a less intimidating feel to it. Instead of bureaucratic white walls and fluorescent lights, it was wood lined and had recessed lighting.

There was still a receptionist, of course, and this one was as helpful as any he had ever run into. It had been almost two days since the little battle, but the first time he had been able to visit Inari. After the attack they had tightened security, but the harvesting had been pretty much done and the boat had sailed away early that morning.

Konohamaru shook his head as he stepped onto the elevator. He still wasn't quite sure what to make of some of the recent revelations. In a way he found them amusing, but wasn't sure how Inari would feel. Unconsciously, a small smile crossed his lips at the thought of seeing him one more time. Inari's injury wasn't serious, but he had lost a lot of blood.

The elevator dinged and the door slid open as he stepped out into the hallway, glancing at the room numbers as he passed. Finding the right number, he knocked on the frame as the door was open before leaning in. Inari was lying in a hospital bed, propped up with several pillows. There was a woman sitting in the chair next to his bed, his mother he thought, they shared the same hair and eyes.

"Konohamaru come in," Inari said turning to the woman, "Mom, this is Konohamaru, he's my friend I told you about."

The woman stood up with a smile and bowed. "My son told me all about you."

I bet Konohamaru thought returning the polite bow. They exchanged small talk for a few minutes before Inari's mother excused herself. Both of the teens didn't say anything until they heard her footsteps fade down the hallway.

A grin spread over Inari's face, "That's the first time she's left since I've been here."

"My mom was like that too the first time I ended up in the hospital," Konohamaru answered, coming around to sit in the chair she had vacated. It was still warm and for some reason he found that uncomfortable so he stood back up. "Really, how are you doing?"

"I'm fine. It's like a big deep scratch on my leg."

"That nicked your superficial semoral artery, requiring twenty-two stitches," he smiled and added, "Udon filled me in."

"Yeah, I really should thank him."

"Yeah," There was an awkward silence and Konohamaru eventually said, "Has anyone been keeping you up to date?"

His boyfriend's expression darkened, "I heard they arrested Kisho."

Unconsciously, Konohamaru squeezed Inari's hand. He had never been betrayed like that, but it had to hurt. Still, he couldn't believe how stupid Inari's second-in-command had been. Betraying one's comrades was bad enough, but to have your payoff go into the same account that your paycheck was deposited in was pretty dumb. Last, he had heard was the man didn't seem to know anything of substance and some within the National Guard organization wanted to charge him with treason.

"Well, I have some news you might find amusing."

"Really, what?"

"Well you know how Mori used to show up on the site every few days?"

"Yeah," Inari said suspiciously.

"Well he wasn't just checking up on his workers. It turns out he was also picking up the Blood Pearls they had harvested. He walked off with them in his pockets and mailed them to his headquarters. If they had stolen the boat, they would've hardly gotten away with anything." Konohamaru started to chuckle halfway through, but Inari didn't join him.

"It's not that funny."

That shut him up and he scratched the back of his head nervously. He thought it was funny. Changing the subject, he added, "They said it was a good harvest. Better than they thought it would be. Apparently they have over five hundred pearls they can use for jewelry and about a hundred of those are the round type. It's going to be really good for your country."

"Well, that's good," Inari said halfheartedly. After a moment, he brought up the subject neither of them wanted to discuss, "So when are you going?"

"Tomorrow morning. A month is a long time to be away from home and who knows, I might have a baby brother or sister by now."

"I'm going to miss you," Inari said pulling on Konohamaru's hand so he would sit on the bed. "I was hoping we could have one more night together."

"I could see if they would let me spend the night here, but-"

Inari pulled his hand away and hit him playfully. "You know what I mean."

Konohamaru had known, but he hesitated before blurting out, "I could give you a blow job. I've never done it before, but there's a first time for everything."

That caused Inari to smile which caused Konohamaru to smile back at him. "Thanks, but no. The way my luck's been going lately, I would end up popping a stitch or two and then I'd have to explain what I was doing to the doctor."

They fell silent again and it made Konohamaru angry. Not at Inari or anything, but just at the situation. They both had known going in that their relationship wouldn't last, it had to end. Of course, knowing something and experiencing the same thing were different. Reluctantly, he said, "I can put in a request to be offered any missions that go to Wave. If they're short missions, no one will care if I'm late returning home by a few days."

"Yeah and I could look for a reason to go to Konoha again."

"We could write too. Naruto has you're address," Konohamaru trailed off as he suddenly realized something. "Hey, Inari, you never told anyone but Naruto and me about being gay, right?"

"That's right, why?"

"Why exactly did you ask me out? I mean, you had only told one person up till then so why?"

Inari shifted a little uneasy. "Well, I had been talking to Moegi and she had been talking about you a lot. Then she suggested I should ask you out. I thought it was weird, but I got the impression that she knew about me. You know what I mean."

Disparate facts started to coalesce in Konohamaru's mind. Moegi had been very insistent that he should ask Inari out. She had her faults, but she wasn't a fool. Now he learned that Inari thought she had known about him.

"I'm going to kill him."

"What? Who?" Inari said confused.

Konohamaru pulled himself out of his own thoughts and blinked down at Inari. "I think we were set up."

"How so?"

"I'll explain. I told you about Senichi, the guy who broke up with me right before I left, right?" He waited for Inari to nod to show he was following. "Well I don't think any of my friends liked him. Not that I can't see why, but I don't think Naruto was any different in his opinion."

"And when he heard you were coming here. He thought we might hook up?" Inari said a little skeptically.

Konohamaru grinned, "That's where Moegi comes in. I think she was his little agent. Pulling the strings, you know?" He shook his head, "I can't believe he would be so sneaky."

"Well," Inari said pulling him down, "I'm not going to complain about the results." They kissed and it was soft and gentle.

They both pulled away when they heard footsteps approaching and Inari's mother stepped back into the room, completely ignorant of what had just been happening.

Konohamaru stayed for another hour talking to the two of them. He thought that Inari's mother was nice and he had a hard time believing that she would have any trouble excepting her son's orientation, but it wasn't his place. He wasn't sure when he had come to that conclusion, but he thought it was the right one.

Before he left she extracted a promise from him that his team would stop by for breakfast before leaving the next day. He agreed easily enough never one to pass up free food. That night he slept at the Sea View Inn and wished he was sharing his bed instead of his room.

The next day they went to Inari's home and met his grandfather. It was a pleasant, if uneventful, breakfast. The highlight for Konohamaru, though, was when he and Inari were able to sneak off for a little kissing. He wouldn't have minded doing a little more, but the stitches were in a really bad spot and the fact that Inari was using a crutch to get around didn't help.

They left a little later than they had wanted to, but Konohamaru really didn't care. Once they had crossed over the Great Naruto Bridge he fell into step with Moegi. She seemed happy and he said as casually as possible, "So whose idea was it, yours or Naruto's?"

"Konohamaru, I don't know what you're talking about." She tried to say it with a straight face, but it was clearly all she could do not to smile.

"Well I know Naruto had to suggest Inari. Since he was the only one who knew, but I think you wanted to break me up with Senichi. Am I right?"

"Well we all wanted that. He was a real jerk to you. I was just the only one that had the guts to suggest doing something about it though."

"So you admit it," Konohamaru shouted, reaching out and trying to grab her.

She ran away and for a minute they chased each other before he finally pinned her against the tree laughing and kissed her on the forehead. "Thanks, but don't do it again, okay?"

"It was an once-in-a-lifetime thing," she said not very convincingly.

He let her go, grateful to have friends like her. They continued on their way and at some point Moegi and Udon grabbed the other's hand. This time, though, Konohamaru didn't care, he was busy thinking what he was going to say in his letter.