First off, happy Tuesday, the 29th of September (for lack of a special occasion…) Mistress Krane! This was written as a gift-fic for her, for all her support and happiness. The ShiSaku moment's a special shout-out to you hon! I know it/they didn't turn out quite as ShiSaku as they could have been... Hope this fic fills up some of the ItaSaku need inside you love ^^

Anyway...It's DONE! It's done, it's done, it'sdone! I struggled with the worst writer's block ever with this fic and I know it's late and I should at least reread it or something and it turned out longer and more ramble-y that I planned, but I'm too thrilled that it's FINISHED to care! That and I'm seriously tired. I pounded through the last 1000 words like a madwoman ^^;

Please be lenient with this plot bunny, the story is quite near and dear to my heart ^^

This is the first in the ANBU trainee Sakura series, a collection of oneshots that'll get written whenever I get hit with a plot bunny to chronicle Sakura's time as an ANBU trainee. And yes, all of them will be ItaSaku XD

And of course, let's not forget to disclaimer all characters herein except the maid and Ishihara-san to the talented Kishimoto-sensei.

Somnolence: (n.) Sleepiness, drowsiness.

A blizzard sets in during Sakura's first mission with her ANBU trainer team, and the operatives fall to arguing about just who gets to share a room with Sakura that night....


It was freezing.

Bone-chilling, extremity-numbing, eyelashes-turning-into-icicles freezing!

And as the ANBU team's trainee, she was supposed to do her job and follow the team leader's orders, not question them or the sanity of said team leader.

Ahead of her, her senior teammates hurtled through the icy afternoon, just visible through the swirling flurry of snowflakes that whistled through the frozen trees.

Well, this is definitely not how I envisioned my very first ANBU mission, Sakura thought for herself. But then, Yuki no Kuni in midwinter was hardly a mission anybody envisioned for themselves. It made the word glacial seem warm.

Cursing the snow that blurred her already narrowed field of vision, she picked up speed, feeling like the annoying younger sibling trying to tag along with an older brother and his too-cool-for-words friends.

Naruto, Sasuke, and I are all great shinobi, so why am I the one stuck with Konoha's top ranking ANBU team?!

She knew it was the cold and fatigue getting to her, they had been running since morning and hadn't stopped for more than a short fifteen minutes several hours ago where they had decided that pushing on to reach the inn a little faster would be much more productive than taking a somewhat longer break out in the freezing cold; she didn't honestly feel so vitriolic about her placement, usually. It showed her shishou's faith in her abilities to place her on this particular team.

Still, it was a rare ANBU trainee who would be brave enough to say they didn't feel even a whit of apprehension at being apprenticed to her three teammates, Shiranui Genma, Uchiha Shisui of the Body Flicker, and their captain, the clan pride and heir himself, Uchiha Itachi.

The wind picked up, and Sakura felt her stomach plummet sickeningly.

The others were gone.

"Crap," she swore, wrenching the mask off her features to better survey the land as she forced another burst of speed. She was running low on chakra, having been using it all day to counteract the effects of ice-slick tree branches underfoot, but it was imperative that she relocate her teammates before the snow flurries became a blizzard. A ninja alone in such weather did not remain a ninja for long.

Demise was usually the foregone conclusion.

She made a noise of angry frustration mingled with a hint of fear in the back of her throat as she swift flakes began to fall harder and faster. It was truly getting on to a snowstorm now, and the afternoon was coming on evening. "Tai…"

The word stuck in her throat as she tried to force down her growing trepidation. Her legs were starting to ache from extended chakra use, and the snowflakes were catching in her long eyelashes, blurring her vision. And her own agitation was now a vise around her throat.

Stealth and silence was tantamount for an ANBU operative, but in the raging storm, survival was more important. There would be no one but her teammates to hear her should she call out. She forced her vocal cords to work, pushing past her mounting fear.

"Wolf-taishou," and he was there, he and their tiger-masked teammate appearing through the trees like sudden winter wraiths.

The relief was like warm, hot chocolate flooding her chilled body, but, "Falcon…"

"Falcon is fine," her captain reassured her, close enough to speak to her as he took point and led the way through the mounting storm that could now be legitimately called a blizzard. "He's at the inn procuring rooms; it's close by."

"Sorry, Sakura-chan," her tiger-masked teammate said quietly as they rushed through the swirling snow, inclining his dark, unruly-haired head in her direction. "We've never taken on a trainee before; losing you was our mistake."

"N-no," she corrected quickly, feeling her wind-chapped cheeks heat at his admission. "I should have been the one to keep up."

"Sakura-san, Tiger is right," her captain interrupted, his low voice brooking no argument. "It is not to our credit to lose our trainee in a blizzard on her first mission with us."

Any response she had to deny his words died away at his tone; there was a sharpness in his voice that nearly made her flinch. But it wasn't directed at her.

Biting her lip, the rose-haired eighteen-year-old pulled her mask back over her face and wordlessly followed them through the storm to the inn.

"I'm very sorry, ANBU-san, but they are the only rooms we have left," the only man aware of their true status as elite shinobi in the whole inn told them, blandly apologetic.

Sakura bit back a heartfelt groan, tiredly leaning into the touch of Falcon, Shiranui Genma, as he gave her shoulder a sympathetic squeeze. Her body felt as though it were melting away from fatigue, and all the girl had on her mind was a soak in the inn's bathhouse. Every minute that might be spent arguing their room arrangements would be another minute away from hot water and relaxation.

As if hearing her thoughts, Shisui shook his head in a reassuring gesture. "That's fine, Ishihara-san," he told the innkeeper. "We're more tired than anything. The size of the rooms doesn't matter."

"Ah but…" the portly man protested as a maid appeared to lead them to their rooms, "she…."

It was the wrong thing to say.

"We are Konoha ANBU, Ishihara-san," Itachi replied, his tone icier than the midwinter evening. "We will remain professional."

After seeing the size of their rooms, Sakura certainly hoped they would.

The chambers were small for two people, leaving just enough space to comfortably store their gear as well as hold a single two-person futon apiece. And even then it was a bit of a squeeze. Sakura's fatigued mind came to a swift conclusion, and decided to preemptively address the issue she knew would arise.

She slid open the door to one of the rooms and deposited her gear inside, grabbing one of the bamboo-patterned yukata lying on the floor before she turned to fix her three teammates with a weary but respectful glance.

"Two rooms, four people; I know how this plays out," she told them tiredly. "I'll respect the general consensus."

"We will see you at dinner in an hour," Itachi informed her as she bowed politely and excused herself to search for the inn's onsen.

She didn't bother to warn her senior teammates of the dangers of attempting to peep on her. All of Konoha was well aware of the immediate, serious, and above all, excruciatingly painful, repercussions of such actions. Sakura's first, and last, peeper had been deposited at the hospital by a very incensed girl who refused to explain his injuries beyond a few succinctly worded sentences. By unspoken agreement among the female medics, including the Godaime herself, he was refused more than basic treatment for a full week and a half. They did do him the small mercy of protecting the guy from her irate teammates and sensei though.

They weren't completely heartless after all.

Behind Itachi, the other two members of the team exchanged a very pointed, very significant glance.

But they waited until Sakura was out of earshot before starting a heated argument over the post of being her roommate for the night.

The water was nearly scalding after the frigid outdoors and drafty hallways she had been subject to that evening, a welcome sort of pain as she slowly worked the cold out of her limbs. As the jasmine scented water soothed away her fatigue, Sakura let herself fully relax for the first time that day.

She had expected ANBU missions to be a step up from her usual jounin A-ranks, but she hadn't realized how far up the step had actually been. She'd been worked harder in one day than most missions with her old team, and covered twice the usual distance of a day's travel in a single, nearly unbroken, ten-hour shift, alert and wary the entire time.

It was no wonder her body and mind were so worn out.

Slipping farther down into the hot water until she was submerged up to her chin, she leaned back against the steam-heated stones around the pool and let her eyes flutter closed.

A familiar voice made jade-green orbs fly open again.


Except the yelp had come from too far away to be near the outdoor baths, and she was certain even her tousle-headed teammate would be so foolhardy as to risk his neck attempting to peep on her.

Curiosity piqued, the girl lazily drifted in the direction of the noise, sunset-rose tresses gently wavering in the water.

I can't…make anything out…

She could only vaguely hear Shisui and Genma over the soft slap of hot water against stone, though sound carried decently well through the still night air. The ferocious blizzard had quieted since their arrival, seamlessly melting into the chilly darkness; a pleasantness Sakura hadn't been expecting, though she was thankful for it meant she could enjoy the outdoor bath and its hot spring pools as opposed to using an indoor tub.

Voices rose again in concerted effort, definitely an argument. Sakura stilled, hardly breathing as she tried to make out the words.

"Nothing," Sakura muttered to herself presently, finally giving up her efforts to eavesdrop on her teammates. "I wonder what they're…arguing…over…"

The idea that popped into her head was so ludicrous she wondered why she wasn't doubled over in laughter, except that given her teammates…the thought might not be as ridiculous as she imagined.

Genma was a notorious playboy, and had flirted with her outrageously since she'd hit her eighteenth birthday almost ten months ago. And Shisui had made plain his admiration for her since her induction to ANBU trainee rank that summer, engaging in a little playful flirting of his own during their training sessions.

Heat-pinkened cheeks flushing darker with embarrassment, the girl sank down into the water until she was a pair of verdant eyes and a large forehead.

Kami-sama, this is definitely a situation that merits the phrase "between a rock and a hard place"…

"You're older than her jounin sensei, Hatake!"

Genma leveled his younger teammate with an amused expression. "Sure you might be younger, but being more mature in years, I've known her longer."

"Since she was twelve," Shisui muttered in pointed reminder. "And that doesn't stop you from flirting with her like the world's going to end tomorrow and you need a last joyride."

"Hey, Sakura-chan believes it's all in good fun. She'd feel more comfortable with me."

"She thinks," the unruly-haired ANBU of twenty-seven retorted. "But what is it really?"

Genma only flashed the other a wicked grin in response.

The third member of the male party currently residing in the second of their two allotted bedchambers watched his two older teammates with an almost seamlessly blank expression on his pallid features.

Almost seamless.

A perceptive observer might have noted the miniscule tightening around his lips that implied a certain amount of irritation.

"And what makes you think she'd be more comfortable around you anyway?" Shisui challenged, returning to their argument with redoubled vigor, "She'd be cuddling a man who's almost her father's age."

"I am not her father's age!"

"Close enough," Shisui replied, smirking with the discovery of this previously unknown sore point of Genma's. "Thirty six, forty five, what's a few years at that age. In fact," he added with an unusual amount of glee, "your fascination with Sakura ought to put you on par with Jiraiya-sama in terms of perverseness."

"The fact that you are even aware of her father's age disturbs me," Genma retorted coolly, dark eyes amused. "And if I was her father's age, which I'm not, I still think she'd be more comfortable with that than some creeper like you who won't be able to keep his cool alone in a room with her at night. She's a young, attractive kunoichi who grew up from a little girl to a total knockout and no girl's that completely unaware of herself."

Itachi's obsidian eyes narrowed imperceptibly at the comment.

Something about the way Genma had phrased that sentence bothered him distinctly, just barely quickening his pulse. It was a strange and unmerited reaction; Itachi himself could admit that, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, their trainee teammate was indeed undoubtedly attractive, but there was no reason to feel anything other than admiration for her appearance.

Chalking up the intensity of his irritation to the blizzard they had been caught in earlier, the Uchiha decided to put an end to the arguing. For Sakura's sake, of course. The last thing the trainee probably needed was to hear two of her senior teammates bickering over the issue of who got to be her roommate for the night during dinner.

"Enough," he said quietly, effectively silencing the other two. "Sakura-san does not need to hear the both of you debate this matter over our evening meal. I will clear up this argument between the two of you. Neither of you will use the room; I will stay with Sakura-san tonight."

As the two reprimanded ANBU members gazed at him with identical, crestfallen looks, Itachi couldn't bring himself to feel too guilty about pulling rank on them.

"Um, excuse me," the shy, girlish voice from outside cut through the silence following Itachi's abrupt announcement. "You requested dinner?"

"Ah yes," the ANBU captain replied as the other two relaxed and got to their feet. "We will be down shortly. If you could be so kind as to direct the last member of our party to our tea room downstairs…"

"Of course, I will find the young lady immediately," the maid replied through the closed screen door.

"Thank you," Itachi responded politely. "We dislike leaving our lady unguarded but we cannot follow her to the baths."

"Oh my," the woman said, sounding suddenly flustered. "Are you her bodyguards then?"

"Our lady is a young woman of great means," Itachi told her with utter honesty. "But it is rather imperative that we remain discreet."

"Oh, yes, of course. I will go check the baths directly and deliver the lady to you at once," she replied cheerfully, slipping away down the hall with quiet, shuffling steps.

"I hope Sakura-chan won't slip up when the maid starts referring to her as Sakura-sama," Shisui said offhandedly as the three males made last perfunctory checks to various small weaponry concealed within their yukata.

"Sakura-san knows we will be using assumed roles during this trip," Itachi replied with calm certainty as they made their way down to the inn's dining room. "A lady with three male guards is much less conspicuous than four Konoha ANBU."


The rose-haired girl started, delicate brows coming together in a frown as she registered the unfamiliar honorific. "Yes?"

"I was sent by your guardsmen to escort you to dinner," the maid called through the door that separated the baths from the changing area, voice injected with a quaver of excitement.

Guardsmen? …Ooooh.

Sakura made a face as she slipped out of the water and began to towel herself dry. While she'd agreed that acting the part of a highborn lady would be safer for their mission objective, it felt strange to pretend the three senior ANBU operatives were her retainers. And anyone who would attempt to hinder their objective would believe her incapable of defending herself.

Perhaps that wasn't too bad.

She grinned as she strapped a senbon holster to her thigh.

Within fifteen minutes she was dressed in a fresh yukata, damp hair pulled back into an artfully disorganized bun.


"I'm sorry," Sakura apologized politely through the door. "My guards prefer it if I dress and such in solitude."

"Ah, of course!" the woman replied, flustered.

And now she thinks I'm in grave danger or something since I've got three bodyguards and won't let her help me dress like a typical lady, Sakura thought wryly. "You will have to excuse them; they are paranoid."

"But Sakura-sama, I'm sure it's because they think of your safety as being of the utmost importance!"

The girl's earnestness was so genuine that Sakura blushed, opening the sliding door between them to cover her embarrassment.

"Please, let's hurry," she suggested as cheerfully as she could managed with blush-reddened cheeks. "I don't want to worry them."

"Indeed, Sakura-sama," the maid agreed with a smile as she began to lead the way to the dining hall.

Sakura followed a pace behind like a proper lady, feeling strangely chastised as the blush slowly faded. Perhaps in a sense they were acting somewhat as guards; her taishou had implied as much when he and Shisui had found her in the blizzard. She was an ANBU trainee and they full-fledged ANBU operatives; like many Konoha ninja they held a fellow teammate's life in high regard.

"Thank you for your words, ma'am," Sakura said quietly as they padded down the hall.

The maid cast her a smile in response. "They spoke very highly of you earlier," she replied. "I'm certain they wouldn't do so if they didn't feel you were important."

"Thank you, I'm…"

The rest of her words faded away as they turned the corner to the dining hall.

I've never…seen them in yukata.

Sakura could easily admit to herself that her trainer team was attractive. She knew a fair number of women who were attracted to the brunet senbon enthusiast, as well as having harbored a small crush on him herself at the age of thirteen. And Shisui and Itachi were both of the dark-haired and handsome persuasion, with the trademark Uchiha charisma. But even knowing that every hem and fold of their bamboo-print yukata held a weapon of some sort, she could not help the tiny smile that quirked her lips as the two elder males argued playfully with each other as the youngest of the party watched on with warm, dark eyes.

The blush that had receded returned in full force.


"Oh, yes, I apologize for lagging," she said quickly, pushing away her unexpected reaction.

"I've brought Sakura-sama as you requested."

Her still-damp hair, shaded like the most beautiful sunset, swept the back of her neck in an attractive bun. A few loose strands brushed warmly colored cheeks still flushed from her bath. Her hair made a bright counterpoint to her bamboo-patterned yukata, the obi around her waist accentuating her slender figure and youthful curves in a way that her standard-issue ANBU suit failed to do.

Itachi forced his gaze back to the food-laden table as the other two greeted the girl with marked enthusiasm. The stress of an unexpected blizzard on Sakura's first mission must have gotten to him more than he had first realized. There was no other explanation for the suddenly contemplative nature of his thoughts.

Absentmindedly, he wondered if he should petition the Godaime for greater funds to allow the team to bed down in four rooms as opposed to the requisite two.

He brushed the idle thought away. Even if they were all ANBU members, it was safer for all to at least take rooms in pairs. Sakura had to be used to sharing sleeping quarters with her genin team; his brother, the Kyuubi container, and the chronically tardy copy-nin; as well as any other male shinobi she had gone on missions with.

The idea was strangely….

"A pot of chamomile tea please."

"Of course, sir," their maid, and waitress, replied cordially.

Sakura suppressed the urge to raise an eyebrow. She hadn't pegged Itachi for the high-strung sort to need stress-relieving tea on missions.

You'd never tell by the look of him….

"So what was the decision?" Sakura asked as they climbed the stairs leading to their bedrooms. She was still nervous of the outcome, enough to ask about it now instead of waiting another five minutes, but dinner had managed to relax her enough that while the thought of sleeping with one of her teammates on the same futon was uncomfortable, it wasn't undoable.

She was surprised when they didn't give her a spoken response; no flirtatious overtures from either Genma or Shisui. But her more mild surprise gave way to utter shock when it was Itachi who slid her, now their, room door open.


"Is there a problem?" he asked, tone impassive, dark eyes making a quick dark to her face.

Sakura blinked, feeling somewhat out of her league. This was her taishou after all, the captain of her trainer team. It was unexpected and strange, and for a fleeting instant she wondered whether he had participated in the argument she'd overhead while in the baths, before she ruthlessly squashed that thought for its utter improbability. He wasn't Shisui and Genma. "I…no, taishou…."

"Hn," Sakura's brows quirked at the notorious, trademark Uchiha sound. "Goodnight." He disappeared into their room and shut the door.

"That was unexpected," she said, more to herself than to the other two standing in the hallway with her. Her lips curved teasingly as her eyes darted to them. "I guess you two lost out on the argument?"

The reaction, coupled by a yelped "Sakura-chan!" from the tousle-haired Uchiha, was nothing if not comical. The former chuunin exam proctor smirked flirtatiously, throwing her a seductive wink behind the other man's back, as the younger of the two struggled with a deepening blush.

"Oh Shisui-san," Sakura murmured, brightly amused and finding it strangely comfortable to be this casual with a shinobi she was rather unfamiliar with. "I'll be alright." Chakra pooled unseen to her fingertips as she stepped closer, leaving the young man feeling confused and wary. Sakura's amusement could occasionally leave people in tremendous pain.

Hopefully she would feel that healing him after having dislocated something with a chakra-infused punch would be too troublesome that evening.

"Of course, Sakura-chan," he reassured, unable to shake the uneasy feeling growing in the back of his mind. "Of course I would have won between Genma and myself eventually but Itachi pulled rank on us…" The gleam in her emerald eyes cut him off.

"Right." A single, chakra-enhanced finger plowed into his midriff, throwing him back several paces as he winced with the impact. "Next time, Shisui-san, use an excuse that's believable," she told him, the same hand that had inflicted the bruise under his shirt pushing warm, healing chakra into his torso to mend it away. "Lying doesn't suit you."

And with a small grin, she disappeared into her bedroom.

"That was the truth," Shisui muttered, rubbing his no-longer-extant bruise.

Genma patted the younger man's shoulder in a gesture of masculine understanding at the incomprehensibility of women. "Yeah, man, I know…."

There's only one futon in here.

She had been aware of that since their arrival, had foreseen these circumstances, with one major difference.

She hadn't thought she'd be sharing a futon with her taishou.

Had it been Shisui or Genma, she could have probably gotten away with little things like hogging the blankets and maybe the awkwardness of the situation on her part would have faded with a few quiet laughs. There'd be no chance of that now.

Vaguely she wondered if perhaps it was better this way. At least Itachi's businesslike attitude towards all things mission related would make this a rather comfortingly boring evening.

She was so absorbed in contemplating the futon and its future occupants that she nearly forgot the presence of the male in question, watching her with hooded curiosity as he extricated various weapons from his yukata.

He, on the other hand, was keenly aware of her, and had been since before she had set foot into their room.

Of course, that was only to be expected. He was her taishou. It was his duty to be carefully aware of her presence until her graduation from trainee to full-fledged ANBU operative. He had been remiss earlier that evening in the blizzard, forgetting that Sakura, in spite of her strength, was not used to such harsh missions. But there was no other reason for him to have such complete consciousness of her other than his duties. There couldn't possibly be.

Questioning the strength of his chamomile tea at dinner, somehow the stress of the evening was still persistent and had, if anything, intensified hearing Sakura's relaxed conversation with her other teammates, he canted his eyes away from her and busied himself in minutely organizing the futon.

He didn't see Sakura's eyes finally shift from the futon to his person.

Her eyes swept over his pale sage yukata with its bamboo print that matched her own, drawn to the way the muted hue of the fabric contrasted the living pallor of his skin, to the strong line of his shoulders and the silkiness of his ebony hair as it spilled out of the loose tie at the nape of his neck.

To dark obsidian eyes that gazed calmly into her own viridian ones….

"Sakura-san, if you have a question, it is usually easier to ask it than to attempt divining the answer from your subject's face."

Her own heated at his words, growing crimson with embarrassment at his eyes scanned her face with quiet curiosity and amusement.


Just go on…don't make this any more awkward than it has to be…

The futon was chilly under her as she slipped between the blankets and turned her back to her taishou. She felt the movement of air as he strode to the light, flicked it off, and returned to join her under the cold weight of the covers.

Far from warming her, the futon, the blanket, the very air seemed to seep warmth from her body, chilling her slim form, as she lay motionless, trying to force her body warmer.

A traitorous shiver coursed up her spine.

A soft rustle of fabric against fabric was all the warning she got before a warm, male arm snaked around her waist and pulled her backwards into the chest of her team captain.

There…has to be an explanation for this, her mind babbled as a gasp forced its way past her lips.

He was Uchiha Itachi after all. And while that immediately labeled him as somewhat stoic and difficult to approach at first, as all Uchiha shinobi males were (barring Shisui, the deceased Obito, and occasionally Sasuke if he was caught in the right mood), it also meant he was a loyal, dedicated captain to his team and would hardly let something like a little physical discomfort get in the way of ensuring the continued survival of his ANBU team's trainee, aka herself. It was certainly cold enough in the room to merit the gesture of shared warmth.

She was rationalizing somewhat, and she knew it. But there was no other explanation for why the Uchiha prodigy had his arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her into the warm, protective curve of his body.

She was tense in his arms, all rigidity and surprise, and he was tempted to let her go to dispel her obvious discomfort. But the room was frigid from the winter cold and the inn was poorly heated. Even under the futon's covers it was hardly warm enough for the night to be comfortable and he needed the medic at peak condition for their journey. It was too easy for a team to succumb to illness in Yuki no Kuni without a medic-nin on hand.

This was all basic knowledge, clear-cut and definitive, but the pliable body pressed to his front that stole warmth from him felt so far removed from all his straightforward planning.

For Sakura, the tactical aspect of Itachi's actions flitted together with outlandish, sleepiness-induced worries.

Relax, Sakura, the eighteen-year-old admonished herself mentally. He's not going to take advantage of you. He's not Genma.

The thought helped as the girl indulged in a chuckle at her teammate's expense. Her tenseness vanished with the sound and, with an inaudible sigh, she let herself relax into Itachi's gentle hold. It was soothingly soporific, and feeling more warm and protected than she had the entire mission thus far, the rose-haired girl let her eyes flutter closed and drifted off to sleep.

Cradling her slim body gently to his, the reticent Uchiha heir allowed himself a rare moment to smile, whispering into her sweetly scented hair, "Welcome to the ANBU, Sakura-san."

It was an unholy hour of the morning, something around four a.m., when a quiet sound woke him.

Even as his fingers flew to the kunai he always kept nearby, he registered that it was Sakura and forced the tension from his body.

Feeling him shift, she moved to accommodate him, making a quiet noise of apology.

"Sorry…Itachi-taishou. I didn't…hear…anything suspicious."

The words were punctuated with quiet gasps, but her smaller form curled up against him was sufficiently distracting enough that it took him a moment to realize that the girl in his arms was not crying, as he had first assumed, but laughing.

"Something amuses you?" he asked sardonically, wondering what had caused her to wake at such an hour.

"It…it's so…" she choked out, still muffling her laughter, "cold that we…have to…cuddle."

He failed to see the humor.

In fact, he felt a bit, dare he say, displeased at this insinuation that their position was laughable, but her next words dispelled that vein of thought.

"Genma…and Shisui."

The mental image of his cousin and the older ANBU operative in the same, slightly suggestive, pose was immediate and intrusive.

A fresh burst of laughter from the rosy-haired girl punctured the room's chilly interior.

Surreptitiously drawing the girl closer to him, to better conserve their collective body heat of course, Itachi allowed himself a smirk.

He could hardly fail to see the humor in that.

Oh it's DONE and I'm happy and for once I wish to plead most eloquently for reviews because I really would love to hear how you guys liked this particular piece. I hope you enjoyed it but even if you didn't, I'd like to get some pointers on how to improve it if you can offer me some.

Thank you for indulging the authoress in reading this fic! Her ItaSaku muse is bouncing about with joy because this is finally finished, but hopes you will offer her cookies (or bunnies, Krane, I like your bunnies ^^) still. The world needs more cookies.