See, as promised, the next chapter of WMUI. People, I have a 20 page paper due on the 30th, but I kept my promise. I'm really torn on this chapter. There are parts I love and parts I hate. That's mainly what was keeping me from posting. Trust me, I had the first 4,000 words written for about a year now. That's how serious the block was. We're getting to the part of the story where everything speeds up and this chapter was the hump I couldn't get over. I'm over it now.
I graduate from college in exactly three weeks. I'm taking a semester off to find a job, pay down some loans, and start my writing for my original stories. It's going to be a great year. I have high hopes for everything.
Enjoy. (And Happy Turkey Day)
"They're sitting at the fourth table to your left," I whispered as Naru and I peeked over the edge of the windowsill we were crouching under. Dad and Momoko were eating at a tiny café on the outskirts of the village that looked like it had seen better days. Seriously, I was afraid the walls would fall over if a strong wind came by. Well, it may have been rickety looking, but at least it had plenty of windows for surveillance and thick bushes for cover.
"I see them." Her eyes met mine and she gave me a wicked grin. "We've got to get closer."
I nodded and pointed towards the window to our left. We would have to crawl through some thorny looking shrubbery, but we would be at the window directly beside Dad's table. There was a greater risk of being seen the closer we got, but risks needed to be taken tonight. We needed to keep a close eye on Momoko.
Kazuma Momoko, better known to us as Haruno Momoko, was possibly the most unpredictable civilian woman in all of the shinobi nations. As Sakura's mother, Momoko managed to fill her daughter's head with flimsy dreams of riches and prestige by persuading her to pursue a relationship with the last Uchiha. No one was ever certain why she pushed Sakura towards the Uchiha so hard. I can only assume that Momoko figured she would gain stature by becoming the maternal grandmother of the clan.
Momoko's dreams were big, but she sabotaged Sakura at nearly every turn. Being Sakura's sensei, I was required to dig deep into my student's life to see what I was working with. Momoko severely damaged Sakura's confidence from an early age. She teased Sakura mercilessly about her forehead and weight, in fact, few people knew it but it was actually Momoko that created the self-esteem issues Sakura would carry with her for most of her childhood. Unfortunately, I did very little to reconcile those problems because I didn't know what to do beyond mentioning it to the Third.
I'll be honest. In the beginning I had the attitude that I was supposed to train them to be soldiers. I was not their babysitter, nor was I to be their friend. Of course, that changed as the three grew on me. Even then I eventually forgot the uneasy feeling as Team Seven slowly developed an understanding for each other and grew to become good comrades. Well, as good as they were ever going to get.
"Are you finished staring off into space?"
I blinked before looking over at a scowling Naru. "Sorry, I was thinking about something. Have they moved yet?"
She frowned as she turned around to peer into the window. Grunting as she dug her toes into the mulch underneath us. "Negative. He's laughing at something she said though. I think he's having a good time."
I sighed as I pressed my ear against the wooden wall. I could hear their conversation if I listened hard enough, but the rattle of plates hitting tables drowned out parts of what they were saying. The only thing I could tell for certain was that the two seemed at ease with each other and that Dad was smiling more than he'd smiled the entire time we'd been home. It was in that moment that a chilling thought filled my mind.
We only knew the Momoko from our time, an older and hardened woman. What if this younger version was different? What if this Momoko was nothing like our Momoko and we were simply writing her off? From what I remembered, it was Momoko's failed marriage to Sakura's father that made her bitter. What if we could change her path and possibly change Sakura's childhood as well? Granted, I didn't mean let my Dad become her husband, but maybe Dad was supposed to teach her something. He did seem to have a knack for doing stuff like that.
I turned to Naru with a million questions on my tongue and no answers.
"Naru, what if this Momoko isn't like our Momoko? What if we're supposed to change her?"
Naru whipped her head around to look at me with wide eyes and an open mouth. "No way. Not possible."
"Possible. Look at Rafu, he changed. Maybe we're judging her before we've gotten the chance to know her. We can't automatically assume she's evil incarnate now. That would be like punishing baby Itachi for his future when we know we can change it." Naru suddenly became interested in a bug crawling along the leaf in front of her nose. I smiled as her eyes began to cross with the effort of watching the bug crawl down the middle of the leaf. I placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently. "We're trying to make things different; maybe Momoko is also something we need to change. Maybe we judged too harshly because of who she becomes, not who she is."
She looked over at me with wisdom in her eyes. "Maybe you're right, but you could also be wrong. Let's say that maybe Sakumo-sensei is the thing that changes her but what happens to Sakura? What if he falls so in love with her they get married and have a kid? Who's to say that baby will be Sakura? We could possibly be taking Sakura out of the picture if we let them get too close."
I turned around to watch Dad and Momoko interact at the table. He was hanging on her every word and she was smiling sweetly at him. I hated second guessing myself, but Naru was right too. There was always a chance that we could screw the timeline up so badly that entire people could disappear forever.
I bit my bottom lip before tugging on Naru's arm. "Come on, let's go home. We have training in the morning, we'll regroup after that."
Naru followed me out of the bush and we raced back towards the house, jumping across rooftops in the dead of night. We had a lot to discuss, but it could wait 'til later. We did have a training session with Minato-sensei early in the morning.
"Scarecrow! Come look!"
I turned to see Naru stopped on the roof of the building behind me. I jumped back over to her and peered over the side of the building to see where she was pointing. Jiraiya walked below with a young woman holding onto his arm. Naru grinned as she rolled her eyes at the rowdy laughter coming from the intoxicated man.
"We have the time to prank him."
I snorted in laughter as I grabbed her arm and pulled her with me. "We'll get him next time. We've got to get home before Dad's date is over."
She pouted but followed me anyway. I would make it up to her later.
Jiraiya couldn't believe his luck.
He somehow managed to survive the entire day without dying or being maimed. It truly was a miraculous thing considering he'd run afoul with Sakumo earlier. Luckily his old friend didn't do anything worse than bloody his lip. Jiraiya counted himself really fortunate that the silver haired ninja hadn't done anything more to him, especially after the Third told him about Sakumo's attack on the ANBU after they propositioned Kakashi and Naru to join them. It seemed to Jiraiya that Sakumo was finally realizing that actions sometimes spoke louder than words.
Of course, lady luck shined on him once more whenever he met up with the pretty little thing currently clutching his arm. She was gorgeous, well, she was pretty enough if he ignored the slight crookedness of her nose. She was even nice to talk to, if he ignored the slight lisp she had. Other than those minor things, the woman on his arm was truly a treasure and he planned on fully examining her later on. For now, he would impress her with his ninja prowess before rocking her world with his bedroom skills.
"Ya know, sweetheart, I can summon toads."
The woman giggled, tossing her dark hair over her shoulder as she clutched closer to Jiraiya. "Toads? I love toads! Can I see?"
Jiraiya nodded as he gently removed himself from her grasp and walked into the middle of the deserted street. It was rather late at night so no one would mind if he summoned one of his larger toads for his lady friend. "Watch closely now! You're about to see Toad Sage Jiraiya summon his faithful companions."
With a wide sweeping motion, Jiraiya began speeding through the hand seals. With his eyes trained on her ever widening brown ones, he slammed his hand down on the pavement.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
The area erupted into smoke as an undignified curse was heard before everything fell silent. The woman, who stared unblinkingly at the smoke, cautiously walked forward through the haze.
The smoke cleared, leaving just the woman standing there. Jiraiya and his toad were nowhere to be found. Feeling like she'd just been tricked, the woman stomped off cursing the man for playing her like he did.
Jiraiya usually loved being summoned to Mount Myoboku, the toad realm truly felt like a second home to him, but he was beyond pissed at losing the company of such a willing voluptuous beauty.
"It's good that you could finally join us Jiraiya."
Jiraiya glared at the two elder toads, Shima and Fukasaku. Shima, with her purple hair and lips, gave Jiraiya a wide smile as she hopped onto his shoulder.
"You weren't doing anything worthwhile so stop glaring at us."
Fukasaku, with his white hair and rather large eyebrows, nodded in agreement with his wife as he hopped onto Jiraiya's other shoulder. They had watched the entire exchange between Jiraiya and his lady friend through the crystal ball the Great Toad Sage possessed.
"Shima's right. Your business here is far more important than the woman you were trying to impress."
Jiraiya sighed as he turned his head to look at Fukasaku. "Business here? What's going on here?"
Shima tweaked his ear. "You'll find out soon enough. The Great Toad Sage has requested your audience immediately."
Jiraiya furrowed his brows together before walking up the same steps he walked up years before whenever he was told that he'd have a student that would either save or destroy the world. It wasn't long after that meeting that Jiraiya went off in search of this student. He passed through many lands and met many people, but he never found that one person 'til a chance meeting in Konoha led him to Minato. He fully believed Minato was that student and immediately stopped his search to train the boy. So far, Minato was proving his theory right.
The old toad looked down at Jiraiya with half-closed eyes. The leathery skin of his face stretched as he smiled down at the man. "Who are you again?"
Shima sighed, "He's Jiraiya, Ojiji-sama, remember him?"
"Jiraiya, yes, it's been a long time. Please, sit down, we have much to discuss."
Shima and Fukasaku hopped down from Jiraiya's shoulders and over to stand beside the Great Toad Sage's chair. Jiraiya sat down and looked up towards the giant toad.
"What business brings me here? Is something wrong in Konoha?"
"The spiritual realm is abuzz and has been for some time now. I've foreseen a great and terrible force coming to Konoha, but something is off about these dreams, just like something is off about everything."
Jiraiya frowned in confusion. "Great Toad Sage, you're not making any sense."
"I know. That's because my dreams don't make any sense."
Shima snorted underneath her breath. "I knew he was getting senile."
Jiraiya ignored the female toad in favor of watching the smiling toad in front of him. "Try to explain it, maybe we can work through it."
"Jiraiya, what do you know about time travel and manipulation?"
"Very little. Minato's been working on a jutsu that does some time bending and the Uchiha's Sharingan is rumored to have a technique that can bend time as well."
The Great Toad Sage nodded wisely. "You know enough to understand it's a possibility."
Once more Jiraiya blinked in confusion. "I'm not following you."
"The spiritual realm has been disoriented for some time now. My dreams went from clear to disoriented and unreadable before eventually stopping altogether. It wasn't 'til recently that my dreams returned, though, they have changed significantly."
"Something terrible is going to happen then?"
"Oh yes, terrible indeed. Our time has been ripped, allowing a great and powerful force to descend upon the land. Many will die trying to stop this beast and only one side will stand victorious."
Jiraiya wracked his brain trying to understand the prediction. "A beast? Perhaps a demon of some sort? There are rumors that Suna and Kumo have their own demons,jinchūriki, I think they're called. How can we defeat such a thing?"
The Great Toad Sage went on as if he hadn't heard Jiraiya. "You can't defeat it 'til the rip has been repaired, 'til the duplicate is gone."
"In my vision I see two figures standing before their fears with the Book of Time opened before them. They're rewriting it as fast as they can, constantly keeping an eye on their fears. One scratches out entire paragraphs while the other one writes new, longer ones. Unfortunately, their fears are getting closer to them and they are forced to slam the Book of Time shut in order to face them. They begin to battle just about the same time the vision stops. One of them holds power over the duplicate and can use it to destroy the original."
Jiraiya lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. "Book of Time? Two figures? Fears? You're not making any sense."
"I only tell the dreams Jiraiya. It's up to you to understand them."
Jiraiya closed his eyes in thought. "I'll return to Konoha with this information. The Third will want to hear of it."
"As you wish. Good luck Jiraiya, the future of Konoha may depend on your ability to understand this vision."
Jiraiya returned to Konoha through the portal with a heavy mind. The Great Toad Sage's visions rarely made sense to him, but this one troubled him greatly. When would the terrible force arrive and just who were these figures battling against the force? It gave Jiraiya a headache trying to figure the mystery out.
He massaged his temple with his fingertips before quickly taking the route to the Hokage's office. When he made it to the building, it didn't surprise him to see the light was still on in the room. The Third had taken to staying later and later as the war progressed. Maybe Sarutobi could shine some light onto the situation.
Taking the steps two at a time, Jiraiya raced upwards. He barreled into the hall only to find the Hokage's door wide open and a lazy hazy of smoke hanging over the hallway. Peeking through the doorway, Jiraiya saw the Hokage standing up behind his desk with a cigarette hanging from his lips.
"You're up awfully late Hokage-sama and I thought you only smoked pipes now."
Sarutobi Hiruzen looked up to see Jiraiya standing in the doorway looking pensive. "I broke my last pipe here and couldn't get my extra one from home. I borrowed a few smokes from the Chunin on duty. Still tastes nasty, but beggars can't be choosers." He snuffed out the cigarette he was smoking and tossed it into the ashtray on his desk. "New reports from the front came in. It's looking like I'll need you, Minato, and Sakumo back on the battlefield sooner than I originally hoped."
Jiraiya walked into the office and gently closed the door behind him. "We haven't even been able to discuss the battle plans for the next campaign yet."
The Sandaime tossed the papers down onto his desk as he sighed. "We're so behind it isn't even funny. I do believe we need something drastic to happen. I don't think it could get any worse than it is right now."
Jiraiya nodded in agreement as he walked over to the window overlooking the village and watched the moon shine above them. "It's always darkest before the dawn, Sensei. You taught me that."
Hiruzen chuckled at his onetime student. "That I did. It's a lesson you learned well. Now, what brings you to my office at such an ungodly hour?"
The white haired man bit the inside of his cheek as he tried to find the right way to tell the Hokage of the Toad Sage's vision. "The Great Toad Sage had a dream that deeply perplexed him. He keeps talking about a duplicate and about two figures rewriting the book of time. He says Konoha is destined for great and terrible things because of some rip in time, something about a beast."
The Hokage's mind instantly zoned in on two young chunin and their rather unique situation, but he couldn't tell Jiraiya about Kakashi and Naru's predicament. Hiruzen looked over at the clock and made a mental note to send for the two chunin at a more decent hour. He needed to inform them to be extra careful around Jiraiya if they didn't want their secret found out. For now, he would simply lead Jiraiya into another direction, away from Kakashi and Naru, but still helpful to their cause. "A beast? Maybe one of the tailed beasts?"
"That's what I thought too."
"See if your spies can dig up any information about them."
The Third smiled to himself as Jiraiya went on to tell him more about the toad's dream. The Hokage figured if he could throw Jiraiya off Kakashi and Naru's tail, then he could buy the chunin enough time to decide if and how they were going to tell others about their predicament. Sending Jiraiya after information on the tailed beasts would keep the man busy while still gathering information that they may need one day. As much as Hiruzen hoped that his village would never see the Kyuubi attack, he knew it was still a major possibility and he wanted them to be prepared.
No, he needed them to be prepared.
We made it back home in record time, but it was getting late and Sensei still wasn't back from his date. Needless to say, I was getting a little antsy. Kakashi, on the other hand, was calmly looking out the window watching the leaves blow across the yard. His calm really was starting to annoy me.
"Stop being so loud and calm down. We can't do anything about it right now."
I glared at Kakashi before punching him in the arm. I wanted to wait downstairs, but Kakashi thought it would be better if we waited in his room. He kept mumbling something about not wanting to look suspicious while dragging me up the stairs.
"Kakashi, what if I'm wrong? This is Momo we're talking about! The bane of Sakura's existence! Surely you remember how much she twisted and manipulated our friend? She could do the same thing to Sakumo-sensei! What if she…"
Kakashi covered my mouth with his hand, rolling his eyes as I glared at him once more. "You're so loud. Let's not tell the entire village about our secret okay?"
I stuck my tongue out and licked his hand to get him to remove it from my face. His nose scrunched up in disgust as he wiped his hand on his pants.
"Real mature Naru."
"You were asking for it whenever you put your hand over my mouth and besides, we both know you've got a privacy jutsu up." I gave him a cheeky smile before sighing. "You do realize why I'm having a fit over this, right?"
He nodded as his eyes trailed over to the window. "Of course I do. I remember Haruno Momoko better than you do. I actually had to have a meeting with the woman after I was appointed Sakura's sensei."
I smiled sadly at the name of my friend. I loved Sakura like a sister and missed her fiery presence. I could still remember her last moments as she fought against Karin. She had never before looked more alive than she did trading blows with the other woman. She even smiled after she dealt the killing blow only to find herself injured beyond healing. She died with a smile on her face and fire in her eyes.
I think I missed Sakura most of all because our friendship didn't come easily. I had always wanted to be Sakura's friend, especially in the Academy, but Sakura continuously turned me away. She was simply too influenced by the civilian mindset, because really, only the civilians seemed to have a major problem with me. Most ninja recognized that the Kyuubi was sealed within me and that I wasn't possessed by the demon. Granted, it was getting harder and harder for me to recall our earliest years together, but I remembered all too well how Momo treated Sakura after she became a kunoichi. Momo only wanted to better herself and she used everyone around her to do so including her own daughter.
"What are we going to do?"
Kakashi sighed as he placed a hand on my shoulder and eye-smiled at me. "It's only one date Naru. It's not like he's proposing to her."
"You know how she is Kakashi."
"I know, but Dad's smart and he isn't….."
We both fell silent as the front door opened and quickly shut. I could hear Sensei whistling as he walked into the kitchen and clicked off the lights. By the time he started upstairs I thought I was going to go crazy. He stopped outside of Kakashi's door and gently pushed it open. He chuckled to himself as he walked in and leaned against Kakashi's dresser.
"Somehow I knew I would find you two in here."
Kakashi didn't even acknowledge what Sensei said and went right into the crux of the reason we were waiting for him. "How did the date go Dad?"
Sensei grinned as he shrugged nonchalantly. "She's nice, but there's something about her that seems a little forced. Then there were these moments were she actually reminded me of your mother."
I could feel Kakashi's hand twitch on the bed as Sensei said that. He frowned slightly. "I think she's trying too hard."
"Perhaps, but she could have also been nervous. She told me during dinner that most of her dates were scared of her hair color."
Well, I don't blame them for that. Pink is such a shocking color, even by Konoha standards.
"Well, Dad, it is pink."
Sensei frowned at Kakashi before lightly playing it off by chuckling halfheartedly, "and your hair is silver. Honestly Kakashi, we have no room to discriminate against her hair color." He looked over at the clock and sighed. "We'll talk more about this in the morning. It's late and we've got training bright and early in the morning with Minato."
I opened my mouth to protest, but Kakashi was already kicking me out of his bed, literally. I glared at him as I caught myself before I hit the floor. "He's right."
"Well then, I'll see you two in the morning."
I left the room just as they both chorused goodnight.
Despite the late night we had, I woke up the next morning fully prepared to face Dad in a test of wills and jutsu. I'd slept really well last night, despite the fact that I'd literally fallen into bed still in my training clothes.
All of that didn't matter though. I was ready to strut downstairs, declare Dad's immediate downfall and proceed to defeat him using the skills I'd gained while we were apart.
Of course, an innocent looking scroll on the table completely changed my plans.
Kakashi and I were being immediately summoned to the Hokage Tower to speak with the Hokage. Sensei looked a little worried as he handed over the scroll to me, but he didn't press for any details.
"It was just delivered a few moments ago. Kakashi's taking a quick shower." Sensei glanced at me from over the rim of his coffee cup with a knowing grin on his face. "For some reason he had twigs and bits of leaves in his hair this morning."
I cleared my throat before opening the scroll and sitting down at the kitchen table. "I don't know what you're talking about Sensei."
Sakumo-sensei only smiled as he took a sip of his coffee. "Sure you don't, but I will be talking to both of you later about covering your scents. I smelled both of you the entire night." I frowned as he sat his cup down and reached over to ruffle my hair. "Don't worry, I'm not mad, amused, but not mad."
"We just wanted to make sure you were okay. Can't have you getting kidnapped."
Sensei's laughter echoed around the room as he stood up and placed his empty coffee cup in the sink. "Of course not. Well, when you two finish with the Hokage, I'll be at training ground six."
With Sensei gone, I impatiently waited for Kakashi to finish his shower. The summons said nothing about why we were being called to the Hokage's office so I was more than a little curious over what the Third wanted. I knew we weren't getting in trouble for the ANBU prank, nor had I gotten to prank Jiraiya the night before, so I knew this meeting had to be over something serious.
I didn't have time to think about it though, because Kakashi was slipping into his sandals and beckoning me out the door. I guess I'll find out when we get to the Hokage.
The trip to the Hokage's Office was a quiet one and took no time to get there. Really, waiting outside the Hokage's Office was the most time consuming part of our entire trip. The chunin on duty, an older man I'd never seen before, took forever to pay us any attention. He barely even spared us a second glance as he waved us in to see the man. Sarutobi, though, didn't waste one second. As soon as we were in the room he put up a privacy jutsu. Obviously this was an important meeting.
"Hokage-sama," Kakashi started, "is there a problem?"
Sarutobi nodded before sighing. "Yes, a rather large problem." He quickly stood up and walked over to his book shelf.
"Hokage-sama, what's going on?" I asked curiously.
He sighed deeply this time before turning around and facing us. "The Toads are receiving visions, strange visions."
Kakashi twitched nervously, "What kind of visions?"
"Jiraiya speaks of tailed beasts and duplicates. I fear he's going to start talking about time rifts next. The Toads were very vocal about two figures rewriting the Book of Time."
My eyes widened as I looked over at Kakashi. "Us? They're seeing us?"
"We don't know that Naru."
Hokage-sama ran a hand across his eyes in frustration. "No names were given, nor any descriptions. All we know is that the Toads are seeing things about time travel. You two are the only time travelers I've had so far this year."
"What do we do Hokage-sama?"
The old man shrugged, "It's up to you two."
I blinked in confusion, "What do you mean?"
"Jiraiya will eventually find out the truth. The Elder Toad's visions are scarily accurate most of the time. Plus, regardless of his womanizing ways, Jiraiya is a smart man. He'll wrangle up a solution soon, especially now that he's determined to find out the truth."
Kakashi folded his arms across his chest and shifted his weight to his right leg. "We have to outsmart him. There's no way he'll find out about our secret."
"You're forgetting about Naru's chakra. The more he learns, the more he'll realize that her chakra is demonic. Soon he'll even connect her with the jinchūriki."
Kakashi fell silent. I chewed on my bottom lip, "Well, what does this mean? You want us to do something, but our options are limited. I have to use my chakra. It's supposed to be a bloodlimit. It would be suspicious."
Kakashi nodded, "She's right. Is there any way to throw him off the trail?"
The Hokage walked over to his desk and sat in his chair. "I sent him on a mission to look for information about the tailed beasts, but the more I think about the situation, the more I second guess keeping Jiraiya in the dark."
"He can't know."
"Really?" The Hokage asked, "It may be more beneficial to us if he knew. He'd be an asset." Something darkened in the Hokage's eyes, "He'd especially be an asset if there was some sort of time rift. The truth of the matter is that we don't know what damage you two have caused by simply being here. Everything, and I mean everything, happens for a reason."
I couldn't help but want to let Jiraiya know the truth. He had been a complete asshole to me, but I had a godfather Jiraiya at one time. He'd been a great help with everything dealing with Kyuubi. The truth also lied in the fact that Jiraiya had contacts and resources that we could only dream of. He would be a great asset if it came down to actually trying to prevent an attack from any of the bijou. The Hokage was also correct about the consequences of our time-hoping. We'd changed a lot in this time, but what were the consequences to that? All very confusing thoughts.
"My only concern," Kakashi started slowly, "is that neither Minato-sensei nor my dad knows about our situation."
I agreed. "They should know first. It would feel like we were betraying them if we left them in the dark and told Jiraiya."
"The decision is yours to make." The Hokage said, "I have no say over when, how or who you two tell, but I do ask that I be informed." He smiled brightly, "Having the Hokage verify your story makes you look less crazy."
Kakashi and Naru didn't go to training ground six whenever they got out of the Hokage's office. At first, the two walked around Konoha with heavy hearts.
"What will we do Naru?"
She shrugged as she steered them towards the market. "I don't even know. I almost don't even want to think about it."
Noticing that they were heading to the market, Kakashi nudged Naru's shoulder. "Where are we going?"
"Market. I want to grab some new seeds. Gardening helps me think."
"You and your garden." Kakashi teased.
Naru stuck her tongue out and yelped when Kakashi tried to grab it. They laughed and joked together until both felt the chakra of their favorite lady, Momoko. She was talking to three other giggling ladies, all in fake whispered voices. They both agreed to ignore her, determined to give her a shot before they heard their names.
"The little girl, Naru or something like that, has these ugly scars going across her cheeks. I know the girl is a shinobi, but surely she could cover that up. Made my skin crawl."
Naru's face crumpled in hurt as anger welled up inside Kakashi. The women's shrill laughter jumped up a decibel as Momoko continued.
"And Kakashi, good Lord, he's such an awkward child. I think Sakumo would do well just letting him get lost on a mission somewhere."
"You know," one of the girls stage whispered, "they say he's got the nose of a dog. He'd just find his way back."
The duo burned in anger as Momoko tossed her head back and laughed. "Anyway girls, I have to get ready. I have a date with Sakumo."
"Good luck, love." Momoko's friends chorused after her retreating back.
Naru growled in anger and paced the market. Kakashi tugged on her arm. "Come one Naru, let's go clear our heads."
They eventually made their way to the top of the Hokage Mountain. It overlooked Konoha and was the perfect place to gather their thoughts. Their minds swirled with thoughts of Jiraiya and Momoko. It was entirely too much to take in for one day.
"We have a decision to make."
Naru looked over to Kakashi and nodded, "Of course we do. We always have a decision to make."
Kakashi opened his mouth but was interrupted by the sound of arguing in the background. A familiar voice was completely cutting down another person, who was trying their hardest to outtalk the angry female.
"You vile, disgusting, little worm! How dare you!"
"Shut up! Misao, you promised that you'd never cheat on me! I know I've been busy, but that doesn't give you the right to fuck every sleazy, loose whore out there."
"Hold on just a second! She's not sleazy; she's a sophisticated young woman."
"She's a prostitute."
Naru grinned as she stood up and motioned for Kakashi to follow her over to the bushes. They perched down and watched through the bushes as their old friend Tohru snarled towards a man. Naru giggled as the man turned bright red and stomped his feet on the ground. Tohru had stopped screaming and was now panting softly.
Whispering, Kakashi leaned close to Naru, "Go Tohru."
Naru nodded, "She's so kickass!"
The man, Misao, finally seemed to find his balls as he straightened his back and stalked close to Tohru. "At least she's not a cripple, clinging to a tiny shred of hope that she's useful to Konoha. Face it sweet-cakes, your career disappeared with your leg."
Tohru's face crumpled as Kakashi growled before carefully running his fingers through the combinations for a water jutsu. Misao screeched as water came shooting out of the bush, soaking his clothes. Kakashi and Naru walked out, each with their hands up, ready to perform another jutsu. Misao glared before saying his curt goodbye to Tohru and disappearing with the wind.
Kakashi stepped over to Tohru and gently patted her hand. "Tohru, you okay?"
She gave him a small smile before nodding. "Everyone always whispers that behind my back."
Naru walked over, "Why?"
"I was injured years ago on a mission. Nearly lost my leg and nearly lost all capacity for chakra."
Kakashi and Naru both looked at each other, remembering Rock Lee and his chakra-less body. Kakashi frowned, and looked a little confused, "I've seen you do jutsu before."
"It's complicated," Tohru started with a frown, "my chakra reserves are damaged and my chakra coils are heavily scarred. I can use my chakra for simple things, but never anything big. I've learned to adapt, to mold and move the chakra I need to get by." She gave them both a grin, "Don't worry about me. It's been just about adapting."
"Who was that?" Naru asked curiously.
Tohru sighed, "Apparently, my ex-boyfriend." She attempted to wink at Naru, but they could tell her heart wasn't in it, "I can do better anyway." Naru laughed as Kakashi rolled his eyes. "Anyway, what are you two doing way up here?"
"We always come up here to think," Kakashi answered quickly, pointing back over to the edge of the Hokage Mountain.
The woman nodded, "I come up here too for the same thing, nothing like seeing all of Konoha while you're thinking about life." Tohru sighed deeply and exhaled through her nose, "Hey, are you two busy?"
Tohru grinned and pumped a fist in the air, "Let's go grab something to eat!"
The trio ended up at the Ramen House, sampling the newest chicken ramen dish. Slowly, the conversation turned towards the war.
"I'm Konoha bound." Tohru said without a hint of remorse.
"You're not disappointed?" Naru asked.
She shook her head, "When I was young and just coping with my injury I was filled with bitterness. I thought my assignment to work with the hospital's poison department was just a way for the Hokage to give me a job without assigning me to teach. He knew how much I despised teaching. Now, I know I can be useful. My poisons and antidotes are just as important as the shinobi on the front line. I've saved a lot of shinobi because of my position."
"Let's hope you can save two more. Sakumo isn't too happy with them ditching practice today." A new voice cut into the conversation. Everyone looked over to see the red headed Kushina walking into the Ramen shop. Kakashi and Naru both wore identical looks of "oh shit". Kushina laughed, "Don't worry kiddos, all is forgiven. He's a little busy with the pink haired fairy that's captured his heart."
The duo scrunched up their noses as Kushina laughed heartily, "Oh, so you two have met her? She makes my teeth hurt. Her hair reminds me of cotton candy."
Tohru laughed, even if it did seem a little forced. "He's dating?"
Kushina nodded as she slid into the chair beside Tohru. "A civilian named Momoko. She's pretty, but something about her sets off my warning senses." Kushina cut her eyes over to Kakashi and Naru, "Sakumo said I'm in charge of your training for the next few hours. I suggest you two start running laps."
Kakashi and Naru groaned before finishing up their meals and starting a quick jog. Kushina waited until they were gone before looking over at Tohru. "They say you're the best poison expert in Konoha."
Tohru smirked as she nodded, "They are correct. I'm good at what I do."
"Good enough to find the nitty-gritty on a certain poison gas that paralyzes the body, including the internal organs?"
Tohru furrowed her brows, "There has been talk about such a gas. Orochimaru was very close to developing something similar, but he stopped his research."
"He may have stopped his research, but someone else picked it up." Kushina reached into her coat pocket and brought out a vial of gas and a few scraps of paper
The dark haired girl drew in a breath as she gently picked up the items, looking intently at the sickly yellow gas. "Where did you get this?"
"Went on a mission a few days ago, Minato and I went undercover as a young married couple, and we found this in an abandoned lab. It's not complete, nor is it very potent right now, but it's a scary start to something that might be big."
"The Hokage know about this?"
Kushina scoffed, "Of course he does. He suggested you look at it." She locked eyes with Tohru. "He doesn't trust anybody else. This is very important to our futures."
Tohru pursed her lips before shoving both into her pockets. "I'll look at them tonight. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to crack it, mass produce it, and make it deadly."
The red head woman nodded with a grim smile on her face. "Good luck, with the way the war is going; we need every advantage we can get. I heard the Hokage say he may be sending Minato and the others out sooner than intended."
Tohru's eyes flashed, "Well, let's see if I can send them out with a deadly surprise." She smiled slyly at Kushina, "Think I can try it out on my cheating ex-lover?"
Kushina grinned, "A woman after my own heart."
I looked over at Kakashi as we both attempted to catch our breaths on the steps of the Hokage Mountain. We'd managed to race around Konoha a few times before it had become too much. I was in-shape and all, but Konoha was huge. It was while we were taking that break, though, that we recognized the chakra of Momoko and the faint chakra of Sakumo-sensei. My eyes snapped over to Kakashi as he silently walked his way over to where we could feel the chakra coming from.
They were both standing underneath the barren branches of a tree. Momoko looked like an ugly sunflower in her brown and yellow kimono while sensei looked respectable in his dark blue and black one. Of course, I could have just been being biased.
I watched quietly as Sensei's eyes twinkled before he leaned down and kissed Momoko on the lips. Kakashi scoffed in annoyance. I growled. She was such a vile person. I was so rooting for her to be different, up until when I heard her in the marketplace.
"Come Naru, she'll get what's coming to her."
I nodded and followed after her. Hell yeah she would. I was about to start 'Operation Fuck a Bitch Up.'
After hearing what Momoko said at the market today and seeing Momoko with Dad, I knew I had to talk to him. I waited until Naru went to sleep before sneaking downstairs to see him reading a scroll at the kitchen table.
He looked up with a frown on his face. "Kakashi? Everything okay?"
I nodded as I walked over and sat across from him. "I don't like Momoko."
Dad sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. "Son, have you given her a chance yet?"
"Okay, tell me why you don't like her?"
I attempted to rattle off my reasons, even mentioning that she'd said some horrible stuff about Naru and me, but I couldn't tell him. He looked so sad whenever I said I didn't like her. "Kakashi, give her a chance. She's something special. Now, head up to bed. We'll talk more in the morning."
I sighed. He wasn't in love with her, I could tell, but he felt something for her. It's in that moment when I realized that I we would have to show him exactly how horrible of a person Momoko was. He'd have to see it himself if he was ever going to believe it.
Sunlight, bright and beautiful, shining through a floral patterned curtain was the first thing Kakashi noticed as he shook himself awake. With squinted eyes and a sleep riddled mind, all he could focus on was the little blue flowers dotting the white curtains that seem to shimmer ever so slightly in the sun's rays. It's peaceful, a peace he hasn't felt in a long time, but there's something off about the scene. In fact, in his sleep muddled haze, all he can think about is how the sunlight was so bright and beautiful that it looked artificial. He suddenly felt the need to reach out and see if he could shake the rays away.
He doesn't, though, and instead lets his body relax back into sleep. Yes, all he needed was a few more minutes of sleep and then he'll be ready to take on the world and all it offers, or so he told himself. In reality he has no intention of leaving the bed until he figured out why he suddenly has floral curtains. Even that question is ignored for just a few more minutes of sleep. He'll figure it out later. Unfortunately just as his eyelids close together a sudden knock on his door jolted him back to the land of consciousness.
A surprisingly feminine voice shrieked loudly from the other side of the door. "Get up Kakashi! Or I'm sending your brothers in there to wake you up!"
This does nothing but cause the sliver haired ninja even more confusion. Last time he checked he was an only child. Maybe he somehow entered the wrong house last night after that late night training session with his sensei? Kakashi shook his head at the very thought, Naru was the absentminded one, there was no way he walked into someone else's house. Plus, he distinctly remembered hearing his name being used by the woman, whoever she was.
Shaking his head again, Kakashi simply pulled a pillow over his head and closed his eyes again, he was dreaming, he had to be. Letting his body fully relax, Kakashi slipped right back to the edge of sleep with a small smile lingering on his lips. He rather enjoyed silly dreams like this, or at least they were tons better than the nightmares he was so used to having. Maybe next time he'll dream about having a dinosaur for a pet or finding the perfect bowl of miso soup. Yeah, those nice dreams would be such great changes from his normal dreams.
"Hatake Kakashi! Wake up now!"
This time Kakashi jolted awake with enough force to smack his head on the headboard. Stifling his groan of pain, he clutched at his head and bit back a string of foul curses.
Another barrage of knocks landed on the door before the banshee on the other side screeched again. "That's it Kakashi! Boys, go wake him up!"
Suddenly, the door was slammed open, shaking the room as it connected with the solid oak walls. Kakashi tried to move, the hairs on the back of his neck are standing up and he knows something evil is coming through that open door, but his limbs suddenly feel like they're jello and he can't quite gather his chakra as quickly as he needed to.
So he waits with abated breath as footsteps, three sets if he's hearing them right, come closer to the door before the figures enter into the room. Three figures, looking no more than five or six-years-old, stand before him wearing matching maniacal grins. It was not their grins, though, that cause Kakashi's heart to palpitate within his chest. No, it was the matching hot pink hair atop their heads that caused Kakashi to close his eyes and practically shriek in terror.
"Kakashi!? What's going on?"
Groggily, Kakashi opened his eyes to discover that there was a bloated moon hanging low in the sky outside of his beautiful, curtainless window. A dream, it was all just a dream. Taking a deep breath and rubbing a hand across his eyes, Kakashi looked up to see Naru worriedly standing beside his bed in her oversized orange nightshirt.
"It's nothing Naru."
She didn't look convinced. Her large blue eyes narrowed suddenly as she placed her hands on her hips and frowned at him. "Sure didn't sound like 'nothing'. You were screaming like a girl."
Naru snorted as she rolled her eyes and mumbled something underneath her breath about males acting macho. "Fine, I'll pretend like I didn't hear you screaming like a girl, but you were obviously having a nightmare." Softened cobalt blue eyes met charcoal grey as Naru gently placed a hand on Kakashi's shoulder, remembering all too well the nightmares that used to plague him. "You know you can tell me anything, right? I am your friend."
Kakashi smiled at her before shrugging her hand off. "Don't worry; it wasn't that kind of dream. It was just creepy."
"Oh." Naru fell silent as she uncomfortably shifted from one foot to the other. A part of her really, really wanted to know what his dream was about, but Kakashi's dreams were still taboo subjects. Sometimes he was entirely too caught up in not seeming weak in front of others. "Like, creepy, creepy?"
Kakashi rolled his eyes as he nodded his head, shivering just slightly as he remembered the last images of his dream. "Yeah, like pink hair on boys creepy."
Naru shivered as she pictured it and she knew exactly why Kakashi was having such strange dreams. It had been exactly three weeks since they had begun 'Operation Fuck a Bitch Up', as Naru so helpfully called it.
Three weeks of sneaking into Momoko's apartment, swapping her shampoo and conditioner out for paint and honey. Three weeks of hiding all of her left shoes. Three weeks of henging themselves into different children and putting frogs down the back of her clothes while she wasn't paying attention. Three weeks of simply terrorizing the woman.
Unfortunately, their efforts seemed to be in vain. Momoko only smiled and laughed at each new occurrence. They supposed that she suspected something, but she never called them out on it, or even suggested to Sakumo that they were doing something. Nor had she done anything to show Sakumo that she was anything but the perfect, happiest civilian girl in all of Konoha. All in all, their operation had been disappointing and unfulfilling.
"Oi! Kakashi, Naru, come down here!"
Blinking in confusion, both ran down the stairs to see Sakumo standing at the door with Momoko on his arm. The two glared at the woman, and as usual, she glared back.
"Momoko has had a brilliant idea. She's going to cook lunch for us today! You two should help her. It'll be a great bonding experience."
Kakashi's left eye may have twitched just a tiny bit at the thought of having to help the pink haired woman cook. Naru, on the other hand, smiled sweetly before mentally giving the other woman an evil grin. Momoko was on their turf now.
Naru was scheming and a devious Naru was my favorite kind of Naru.
Those unfamiliar with Naru's ways do not comprehend the absolute joy that pierces my heart every time she gets that devious glint in her eyes. The same spark of intelligence and pure evil that stops people in their tracks and seduces them closer all in the same glance.
It would only look like she was reading a cook book and attempting to ignore Momoko's laughter from the next room. I know better though. She hadn't flipped a page in over thirty minutes and though her eyes gave off the appearance of reading, they were unfocused and glossy.
Whatever she was planning must be big for her to be so inattentive to her surroundings.
"You got a plan?"
Naru grinned as she snapped the book shut. "I have the plan of a lifetime. You said Sensei won't believe that she's evil until he sees it, well, we're going to show him her true colors." She jumped down from the counter she was sitting on and moved over to the lower cabinet to pull out the salt. "Give me the sugar container."
I did. We kept our sugar in a large plastic container. It was something my mother used to do and Dad never stopped. I grinned as Naru poured the sugar into another bowl before pouring salt into the sugar container. Taking after Naru's example, I reached for the flour and exchanged it for the sugar in the bowl. We were going to make Momoko's lunch the lunch hour from hell.
We could hear Dad and Momoko walking towards the kitchen, so we quickly hid everything and tried to look innocent. Not that that was hard, of course.
Dad walked in, leading Momoko, he stopped and showed her the kitchen. "The kids will help you. Use anything you need." He turned to us and smiled. "Kushina and Minato have been invited as well. I'm going to get them after I check in with the Hokage. We have a meeting today."
Momoko kissed his cheek and saw him out. She held her smile until he was out of the gate with Aki at his heels before turning back to us. Her smile dropped and her temper flared.
"I know what you two have been doing, but you're not going to discourage me from getting what I want. Brats."
Naru smirked, "Bring it, Momo."
The battle lines were drawn. Momoko snatched the cookbook from the counter and flipped it roughly. She settled on a simply cake for desert, a salad for an appetizer, and tempura-battered vegetables for the main dish. She glared at us before starting to heat some oil on the stove.
She smirked over to Naru, "You know, Naru, all that ramen is going straight to your thighs."
Apparently, she was expecting Naru to be phased, but Naru snorted. "Well, you've got a big butt."
I stifled my laughter as Momoko reddened in anger and snatched the container labeled 'flour' from the cabinet. She didn't notice the difference as she poured some into a clean bowl and tossed the cucumbers and broccoli in there. She shifted the vegetables in the 'flour' with a frown on her face. It simply wasn't coating the broccoli like it should.
"Having problems, Momo?" Naru asked from the kitchen table.
Momoko ignored her and simply tossed a handful of vegetables and 'flour' into the boiling oil. Unfortunately, whenever sugar gets hot, it caramelizes. Obviously not what she needed for tempura-battered vegetables. The vegetables burned black as Naru and I giggled.
The pink haired woman picked the pan of ruined dinner up and tossed it, still cooking, into the sink. It sizzled slightly before she turned around, grabbed the sugar, and tossed it in our direction. We scrambled to get out of range. Not that we were scared of her. She's a civilian; her aim was off so all she accomplished was getting sugar everywhere.
"That was done on purpose." She glared at us. "You two may never be mentally stable enough to find spouses, but I want Sakumo. I will get him too."
I grinned as I kicked at the sugar coating the floor, ignoring her jabs. She'd been doing that all night, especially towards Naru. "Is that a challenge? We do love a challenge, don't we, Naru?"
Naru cackled. Momoko huffed before quickly finding the real flour and restarting a new pan of oil. It was going to be a long evening.
By the time Dad and Sensei and Kushina got to the house, Momoko had finished some of her lunch. The salad was easy to do for her. Chopped vegetables covered in vinegar and olive oil. Of course, Naru and I added some salt when she wasn't looking. It stuck perfectly to the dressing.
She'd even managed to get her tempura-battered vegetables and rice nearly finished. Despite the fact that Naru and I drained the water out of the rice, letting it harden as it cooked. Last time I touched it, the rice had the consistency of a rock. At least her tempura-battered vegetables were turning out okay.
The big thing, though, was the cake. It was Naru's masterpiece. We let Momoko think she'd won after Dad and the others arrived. We silently went up to Naru's room and let her finish the meal. Unfortunately for her, we were upstairs making her cake. Using a balloon, a book, and some cake icing, we made a replica of her cake in the kitchen. It was just as loopy and lumpy as the one downstairs, but when ours was cut into; the balloon would explode, throwing icing and confetti everywhere.
We waited until it was time for lunch before making a clone. While we were in the living room, which had been switched up to house a larger dining area, the clone would switch out the cakes. It was the perfect plan.
Their plan was perfect. As the salad was brought out, Kakashi and Naru watched as the adults around them made horrible faces at such a salt-heavy meal. Even Sakumo, who was trying to be as polite as possible, was discreetly moving the food around his plate. Even he couldn't bear to eat it. Naru grinned as she watched Momoko apologize for the saltiness.
"There must be too much vinegar in there." She attempted to explain before scurrying back off into the kitchen to fetch the next dish.
Kushina coughed as she tried to chug down some water. "Lord, I'm from Whirlpool and even we don't eat dishes as salty as that."
Naru snickered even as Sakumo narrowed his eyes at them. "Did you two do anything?"
The two Chunin didn't have a chance to answer his question because the second dish was brought out. The tempura actually turned out okay, but the rice was undercooked and hard. Momoko wilted and grew steadily angrier with each passing person poking at their rice.
She glared at Naru and Kakashi even as she smiled for the table, "Well, I'm not used to cooking such things. I know the cake is good though. I'll grab it for you!"
Naru twitched in her seat as the cake was brought out. Momoko grinned as she took out a knife and began to cut the cake. It exploded everywhere, covering her and the table in chocolate icing. The table laughed, knowing it was probably the pranksters at the table. Sakumo looked a little disappointed, but he smiled goodheartedly as he told them to go help Momoko clean up in the kitchen.
The duo followed her, waiting for the dam to break. She was twitching by the time the door closed on the living room. Naru giggled and Momoko's temper exploded.
"You god-forsaken brats! I have had it up to here with you!" She ignored the startled voices of the adults as she rounded on Naru. "You're such a sniffling little menace. I heard about you, heard all about your time in captivity. You deserved everything you got in Iwa!"
Kakashi rounded on her quickly, snarling as Naru's eyes widened in disbelief. Momoko rounded on Kakashi. "And you, you need a good slap across the face." She raised her hand, intent on slapping Kakashi, but a hand stopped her. She snatched her head up to stare into the burning eyes of the White Fang of Konoha.
"Nobody touches my kid."
Another hand appeared on her other arm, Minato gripped her firmly. "Nobody talks about my kid either."
A third hand appeared. Kushina gripped her shoulder, completely immobilizing her. "He's right. You made a huge mistake talking about our Naru like that."
Momoko screeched in terror as the three shinobi took her outside and tossed her into the yard. Aki stood on the porch and growled happily. The pink haired shinobi shouted in frustration before fleeing from the yard.
Naru and Kakashi celebrated in the kitchen, until they saw Sakumo's disappointed face. Ashamed, they both settled down and started cleaning up the mess in the kitchen and living room. Sakumo looked so confused as he headed upstairs.
Sakumo stayed in his room for two days before he snuck out his bedroom window and headed into the heart of Konoha. It didn't take very long for him to reach the hospital, and an even shorter amount of time for him to find Tohru's office.
He knocked on the door, only to hear a feminine cough behind him. Turning, he grinned as he saw Tohru standing there in her lab coat.
"What's up soldier?"
Sakumo laughed lightly as he stepped aside to let Tohru open the door. "I've had a rough few days."
"Really?" Tohru asked as she walked in and placed her coat on the back of her chair. "Me too. This is the first time I've seen sunlight in days, but enough about me, what's wrong in your neck of the woods?"
Sheepishly, Sakumo sat down, "My girlfriend was a horrible, lying person."
"Ugh," Tohru groaned, "I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me." She smiled over the top of the papers on her desk at Sakumo as he leaned over the desk. "We certainly know how to pick our partners."
Sakumo agreed before taking a deep breath and locking eyes with Tohru. "My eyes have been opened though. Opened to what I really want."
"What is that?" Tohru asked shyly.
"Something I've wanted for a long time, something that's always been just out of reach or unavailable to me."
Tohru stood and swallowed, "Oh? What is that 'something'?"
Sakumo leaned forward again, closer to her. His stomach was doing those weird little flipping motions again. The same flipping motions it did the first time he walked her home. Tohru walked out from behind her desk, maneuvering him to sit against the desk instead of leaning over it. She was standing very close to him, her smaller body radiating the heat that Momoko's never radiated. His hand acted on its own and reached for her chin and stroked it gently as her breath hitched.
His gaze shifted to her lips and he couldn't help but wonder if she would let him kiss her. He had kissed her before and had dreamed of kissing her again. She certainly enjoyed it the first time too. He leaned forward and once he felt no hesitation, he captured her lips with his own.
The kiss was similar to the first one they had, powerful and demanding with just a touch of uncertainty. Tohru was a little wiser, more prepared this time, but her knees still felt weak and heat still raced up her spine as Sakumo's lips molded against hers. She kissed back as she made the move to wrap her arms around his neck. Spurred on, he pulled her against his chest, settling his hands on her hips.
Tohru pushed his body further onto her desk before straddling him. Knees on either side of his thighs, Tohru shifted until one of his hands moved to caress her back. The other moved from her hip and tossed her hair out of the way as he began gently kissing his way down her throat. It had been so long since the last time he kissed a woman that his body yearned for her touch.
Tohru finally came back into her senses as Sakumo's hand caressed down her backside to clutch at the swell of her thighs. Sakumo's warm mouth along her neck felt so good and nothing would feel better than to feel that mouth all over her, but there was a lot wrong with their situation.
"Wait." She groaned out.
"No," Sakumo said as he continued his way down her neck. "Every time I wait I lose a chance to have you."
Tohru shivered as he nipped at her collarbone, but succeeded in pushing his head away. Grinning as she pinched his cheek, Tohru forced him to look at her. "We both just got out of relationships and we're both high strung and disappointed. I like you, Sakumo, I do. I just don't trust this desperation right now; let's give it a few days."
Frowning, Sakumo agreed. He nudged her back to her feet and leaned to steal another kiss. Grinning as Tohru pressed back against him just as hard. "I can do a few days."
He made an effort to step away from Tohru, who looked to be having second thoughts. The look on her face stayed until Sakumo got to the door. Groaning in frustration, Tohru stalked towards Sakumo. "Oh fuck it."
She grabbed his hand and gave him a wink before pushing him against the door. Clutching his face between her hands, Tohru nipped along Sakumo's bottom lip just to hear him groan. Smirking she pulled away. "We're shinobi in the middle of a stupid war. Tomorrow is not promised. We were stupid to wait before."
Sakumo grinned as he picked Tohru up and walked over to place her on the desk. "Make up for lost time?"
She grinned, blue eyes sparkling, as she pulled him closer.
As it turned out, few days were all they had. Tohru was happy for the first time in a long time. It showed in her work. She had worked non-stop on finding the secret to the poison gas Kushina gave her. She cracked it within the week. After making sure it could be mass-produced, the Hokage called all of his shinobi on leave into his office.
They were all going back to war.
Ehhh, and there it is. Some parts feel rushed, some feel too fleshed out. Either way, I'm satisfied with it. It's written and it's here and I hope you all enjoy it.
Until Next time,