Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Harry Potter. I do own the plot and some OC's along the way.

Warnings: Language, OC'ness, Het, Slash, twists and turns, fluff, smut, and abuse to the author, character death, violence.

A/N: As a reward for putting up with the sadness the last few chapters I am going to finally reveal Kei's pairing. I figured I would also release it early instead of waiting until the end, so that anyone that has a problem with it can stop reading now and not waste any more time. I recently got a review from a reader who read til chapter 23 and was upset when he found out the story would have slash and accused me of wasting his time. I don't know how they missed the 23 warnings with slash at the start, or the slash Kiss between Kei and Sasuke in chapter 19, but… once more, if you have not caught on… there will be slash. Here is Kei's pairing, and I won't begrudge anyone who stops reading because they don't like it. I have thought about this for a long time and I hadn't settled on it until chapter 35ish… so no matter how many complaints are thrown at me, I will not change it. I think it fits, and has been hinted at, plus I can't see my Kei with anyone else. Oh, I'm also a jerk so you're going to have to wait til the end of chapter.

Novel Nuances

Numb. That's how Kakashi felt. Completely numb. The chances of a shinobi being captured or killed on a mission were high. He had come to accept that one day he would leave and never return, and he had even resigned himself to accepting that such a fate could befall Kei. He just hadn't wanted to believe it would happen. But, Tsunade the Lady Hokage herself came to him and explained that while on a mission, Kei had been taken. He barely registered the details, only picking out the important bits. Kei was captured. They didn't know who did it. Makoto was with him.

The last piece of information gave him some comfort. Kei was always best when he was with Makoto, those two building an incredible foundation of teamwork. If they were together and alive, they would make it through. It was just a waiting game from this moment on - waiting for information on them, waiting for the culprits to slip up, and waiting for the perfect chance to escape. He could wait.

Shortly after the Hokage had left his apartment, Kakashi had left himself. He needed a walk to help clear his head as he tried to decide the best way to approach the others. He asked the Hokage to hold off one day so that he could inform Kei's friends and loved ones himself. It was better they hear from him that Kei was missing, and not through the rumor mill.

Kakashi turned a corner near the civilian section of Konoha, and sighed at what he saw. Makoto's mother, Natsumi, was walking down the street, her eyes red and puffy. She seemed to be in a daze, and Kakashi could understand why. It was one thing being a shinobi and losing a sibling, but to be a civilian mother and lose your youngest child... it must be hard on the woman.

"Natsumi-san." Kakashi whispered, catching the woman's attention.

Shindo, Natsumi, looked up. She had long dark blue hair like her son's, and she tied it into a bun. Her blue eyes were still wet, and her face looked lost "Ah, Kakashi-san."

"It must be hard for you." Kakashi stated, unsure what to say to the woman.

Natsumi blinked, probably not registering his words.

"Um… should I escort you home?" Kakashi asked.

Natsumi blinked again and then sighed. "Kakashi-san… do you ever regret letting Kei join the shinobi life?"

Kakashi frowned. He should have expected this question. "No." He answered simply and honestly.

"I do." She responded. "Every single day I regret it. I wonder if he's hurt, if he's eating right. I worried endlessly every day, waiting for a day like today when I would get a message that my baby boy is never coming home again. Now that I have… I wish I could go back in time and say 'no' when Makoto asked me to join the god-awful academy. That I had not listened to his father when he assured me it would be okay. I wish I could go back and help him pick a happier and safer path."

Kakashi watched the woman, he wasn't moved by her words, but in fact he was upset by them. "Makoto was happy. You may not understand the life of a shinobi, but I do. Nothing makes a shinobi happier then coming home with his teammates at the end of a mission, and knowing that they have done something protect this village they call home." Kakashi explained.

Natsumi choked. "You can say that, but I will never have any physical evidence that my son was happy." She retorted, anger entering her voice.

Kakashi reached into his hip pouch and took out a small orange book. "You may not have any evidence but I do. I have several of these books, all full of Kei's words. He tells me everything from his missions, the things he's seen and experienced. But the one thing that I know, that these books have told me time and time again, is that Kei only became truly happy as a shinobi when he was partnered with Makoto. And every time they came home together, happy from another completed mission, I could see the same happiness shining in your son's eyes."

Kakashi opened the book and flipped through a few pages before presenting the book to the crying woman. Natsumi seemed hesitant, but she shakily took the book and read the entry.


Today Makoto and I are in the Land of Tea. We come here quite often and every time we are amazed at the beautiful festivals they hold. This time Makoto has made me dress up. I have to walk the whole festival in a pig mask. When I first put it on Makoto couldn't stop laughing and told me it was the first time he had ever seen an 'Old Man Hog', and such a short one it was. Don't worry Nii-san, I chased him down and tickled him until he had tears. Then we went to the festival and had a great time.

Do you know despite being a shinobi, Makoto is terrible at catching the gold fish? I caught five of them, and Makoto hasn't caught a single one. He tried redeeming himself at the rock rolling game. He was pretty good.

Even though we are supposed to be here on an info gathering mission, Makoto and I are going to take a day or two off and play at one of the beaches. They have very pretty beaches here too. But this time, Makoto and I aren't going to get sunburned. I may wear my pig mask there too, since last time we went we had so many girls chasing us. I should buy Makoto his own mask, he gets more admirers than I do.

Sorry Nii-san, but I must go. I will write again tomorrow and tell you all about the beach adventure.

Love you,


Natsumi looked up, her eyes swimming with new tears. Kakashi calmly reached forward and turned a few more pages. "Keep reading."

You will never believe what happened. We were traveling through Grass Country today, and there was a restaurant holding a pudding eating contest. Makoto entered and Sai and I cheered him on. Makoto was in complete bliss as he ate so much pudding, the poor manager couldn't keep up with him. He won and got a voucher for a year supply of pudding. We cashed it in right away, but now we need to spend a few more days here so the restaurant can fill the order. Sai doesn't mind because the landscape is beautiful to paint.

Natsumi turned the page herself this time.

Nii-san, you gave Makoto a compliment today and he hasn't stopped smiling. You should praise him more often if he will always be this happy. I always want Makoto to smile, even if we're not together.

Another page turned.

Makoto fell asleep in a flower field today. I drew a picture of him. It's not very good, but I want to always keep this memory. It's been a tough mission, and he deserves some peace. Tea always seems peaceful despite that danger that lurks here. We will be home soon, and we can go get dinner while Makoto visits his family. He's been missing them, but he says it's okay as long as he makes them proud.

Natsumi smiled as she stared at the drawing. It was far from being a masterpiece, but it expressed all the emotions the artist was feeling. Makoto was sleeping, surrounded by flowers, and he had a soft smile on his face.

"He was happy. He was happy and so was Kei, because they were together." Kakashi sympathetically told the distraught mother. "They are declared missing, but they are together and if there is one thing I know is that those two are strongest when together. They will find a way home."

Natsumi looked up, clutching the book to her chest. "You really think so?" Her voice wobbled.

"They will come home. It might be a long wait, but they will get here." Kakashi gently pried his book from her fingers, and removed the drawing. He didn't want to part with the work, since Kei drew it, but he knew that if anyone deserved to see and own this picture, it would be Makoto's mother. "Take this, and remember that he was - is – happy being a shinobi."

Shaking hands took the picture, slowly – reverently – bring in it close to Natsumi's heart. "I…I want to believe you. I will believe you." Natsumi vowed.

"Good. Now go home, because I'm sure that your family would like to see that you're fine." Kakashi suggested.

Natsumi nodded, and turned away. She hesitated and slowly turned back, lifting the picture away from her chest slightly. "Thank you for this. I'll tell my family that he was happy, I think it will comfort them, just like it has me."

Kakashi didn't speak. He nodded his head, and watched as the woman made her way home, switching between wiping her eyes and staring at the drawing. Running a hand through his hair, Kakashi turned to go his own way home. He put off the news long enough.


Pakkun had been sent out to gather all those close to Kei in one place, Kotetsu and Izumo's apartment. The two chuunin were already home, and upon seeing Kakashi's expression had cleaned the place to receive guests. Asuma arrived, dragging his team with him, Kurenai was next with her team. Guy showed up, without his team, and even Naruto wandered in. Anko and Ibiki had arrived early and hid in the shadows, watching but not making their presence known. He wished they would though, so for just a moment all the searching and questioning eyes would leave him.

"Kakashi-sensei… what's going on?" Naruto asked breaking that wall of silence he had built.

Kakashi coughed to get his throat working. "This might not effect some of you…" he started "But…" It was hard to get the words out. It wasn't like telling the group that he was going to treat them to a meal, or something easy like that. This had to do with his little brother, and the possibility of him never returning. "Kei and Makoto…"

Kakashi paused. He was stronger than this. Effortlessly, he slipped into his ANBU mask, the serious and detached face he always wore when reporting to the Hokage was familiar and simple to resort to. "Kei and Makoto have been ruled missing in action. While on a mission the building they were in collapsed while under attack, their bodies have not been found, but it is the belief of the Hokage that they are still alive, but being held hostage."

The air was thick and heavy as his words settled. The Jounin in the room had blank expressions, processing the information, It wasn't new that a comrade, a friend, or family member was taken. They had more experience dealing with such issues. The younger generation showed their emotions. They were shocked, stunned disbelief, and slightly lost looking.

"But…how? I was just on a mission with Kei-sensei and Makoto-sensei. They should have been here in the village not wherever they were." Naruto argued.

"I can answer that." Sai spoke up as he entered the room. "Makoto and Kei have been working on an S-rank mission for a little over eight months. With Kei's age and skillset he was perfect for the mission and had gladly accepted. With help from an outside source we were able to work Makoto into the group and infiltrated the organization. When our mission in Tea ended, Makoto brought Kei straight back to their main mission. If they are gone too long, then suspicions rise and we can't have that. During an information exchange we were attacked and they were taken."

Naruto growled as he roughly scratched his head in frustration. "But that doesn't make sense. Kei-sensei told me-"Naruto squeaked as if something was strangling him.

"Naruto?" Kakashi asked cautiously.

"Baka-sensei and his stupid oath." The blonde muttered as he rubbed his throat. "Kei-sensei and Makoto-sensei are as strong as Kakashi-sensei, how can they just be taken?"

Kakashi's eye narrowed. That hadn't been what Naruto was going to say before. "Ma, ma… Naruto… give me a little more credit. I would like to think I can still beat those two in a fight." He said with an eye smile to cover up his suspicions.

"Hahaha!" Guy laughed. "The flames of youth burn brightly in Kei and Makoto, they will be back soon. From here we can only follow procedure and wait. If the Hokage gets word, we wait for her to ask us for help. Until then, carry on as usual."

A small 'tsk' was heard from the back right before the T&I operatives left. Kakashi turned his attention to Asuma and his students. Something was going, and he wanted to know what. Shikamaru had a look on his face as if he was considering something, and Ino was shooting Naruto glances, like she was trying to figure something out about the blonde. It was starting to smell like a cover up to him.


"I want to take over the mission he- Kei and Makoto - were on when they went missing." Kakashi said as soon as he entered the Hokage's office.

"No." Tsunade answered promptly, not even looking up from her paperwork.

"Why." Kakashi demanded.

Tsunade sighed. "Kei was the perfect age and had the skill set for the mission-"

"Then I will take Makoto's place." Kakashi interrupted.

"Makoto's alias depended entirely on Kei. Without Kei there is no place for Makoto. The mission is dead." Tsunade explained.

"Then I will find another way in. I want to complete the mission that Kei spent eight months on." Kakashi pushed. He wasn't going to back down.

"That's not possible. Like I said, Kei was the only one that could do it." Tsunade argued hotly.

"Are you sure? Or maybe you won't let me do this, because it would ruin the cover up you have going on with my little brother. Where is he? He's not a hostage somewhere is he? What is he doing that he can't return home for?" Kakashi demanded stalking towards Tsunade's desk, his KI leaking.

In the blink of an eye two ANBU were beside him, kunai out and held against his throat.

"Stand down." Tsunade called. "Leave us, but stay nearby. There are two old goats that will arrive soon, and I want to have witnesses that they deserved their fate if things get out of hand." The ANBU left without a word.

Tsunade stared Kakashi straight in the eye, her face cold. "There are things you don't need to get mixed up in. It's best if you stopped asking questions and just accept your brother's disappearance."

Kakashi growled and slammed a fist down on her desk. "I will not. I will not sit idly by if something is happening to my brother and I can help. Where is he? Is he in Tea? Because he has a suspicious amount of missions there for it to be coincidence."

"He's gone." Tsunade stated seriously. "To keep him alive, I forced him out of the village and sent Makoto with him."

Kakashi faltered. "Why…"

"He was sick. Has been for years and his body was turning against him. He begged me not to tell you, wanting to die like a shinobi to make you proud. He is gone, but not dead. Not yet." Tsunade sighed and removed an orange book from her bosom. "This is his last journal to you. Don't share it with anyone."

Kakashi roughly grabbed the book from her hands, flipping to the last page to see if Kei left him a clue, anything to help.


I won't be able to write you again after today, so I think it's time I told you the truth of what is going on. When you read this, everything will be okay. I will make sure of it. The truth is… I've been sick… and for a long time. Remember when I was six and I came home after my first kill? He left more than just a few scars behind. He hit me with an instant death justu from Mist, but it wasn't a complete one. It had slowed down my body, it's why I haven't been growing.

Rikoto has been looking after me, and helping where he can. I've been having seizures and a few have been bad and scared Makoto. According to the Hokage my mind has finally caught up to my body and is fighting me. I don't know how long I can keep fighting myself, struggling to hold onto reality. I begged the Hokage for one last mission.

Kakashi looked up, his hands gripping the book. "Where is the rest of the entry?" He demanded, furious that part of his brothers last words were cut off.

"With Makoto. He wanted to bring them to you personally when everything is finished. Can you wait? Can you let your brother fulfill his last mission by himself?"

Kakashi looked at the journal entry, his mind in turmoil. "How bad is he?" He asked quietly.

"If he wasn't a Hatake I don't think he would have been able to withstand the pain."

"I'll wait." Kakashi vowed. Because that is what Kei wanted.

Tsunade wasn't able to say more as her office door banged open and emitted two unwelcome guests.

"Koharu, Homura… how unexpected of you." Tsunade drawled, her voice dripping in annoyance.

"Lady Hokage, we just received news that two of your Jounin have gone missing. We were wondering why it's an open case. Usually under such mysterious a circumstance a search party is sent out before they are ruled either dead, as a traitor." Koharu spoke up.

"According to our information the two in question have been absent from the village for a long time. That is worrying." Homura tacked on.

Tsunade scoffed at them. "Your information… you just stalk out the records office, waiting for anything new to come in for your greedy eyes to read. Don't try to act all high and mighty you old bags. I am prepping for a search team now, and trust me when I say that those two would never betray this village. Your old delusions are unwanted here."

Koharu puffed up in agitation. "See here, we have reason to be concerned when two ANBU go missing. They hold precious village secrets and we need to exterminate them quickly."

"Oh? I have them down as Jounin, nothing about ANBU in their record. Where did you get that piece of information? And what village secrets do they hold? According to their files they haven't handled any delicate missions, nothing that would tell confidential information. These two jounin are loyal to Konoha and I will stand by that until I have significant evidence on my desk saying otherwise."

Tsunade raised a questioning eyebrow at the two elders, challenging them. "Oh, and I believe you know Hatake, Kakashi, the older brother to one of the missing jounin." Tsunade smirked sadistically as she pointed out Kakashi's presence to the two.

To their credit, the elders held their composure as they regarded Kakashi. He gave them a simple wave in hello, but his eye was slit in anger.

"Maybe Kakashi-san should leave so we can continue this conversation." Homura suggested.

"Oh no, I think we can postpone this conversation until I have more information." Tsunade countered. Stiffly the two elders left without another word. Both too proud to fight over time. "If you want to help your brother then find out who leaked that information to them. I will not have a mole in my ANBU forces." Tsunade ordered.

"Yes Hokage-sama." Kakashi answered, glad to have a mission.


Makoto was glad that Oliver Wood was as friendly and caring as he appeared at school. The teenager had answered the door with a welcoming smile, but it slipped from his face as soon as he saw Kei hanging limply in his arms. Wood had ushered Makoto inside, barely sparring him a glance as he directed them towards the sitting room. Once Kei was settled on a couch, Wood ran out of the room, calling for his mother.

Elizabeth Wood was a fierce woman. Once she heard that there was an injured party in her sitting room, she came barreling into the room, pushing her son and Makoto out of the way as she made her way over to Kei. She dropped her potions bag on a nearby chair and whipped out her wand, waving it in every direction as she cast diagnostic spell after diagnostic spell.

"Robert!" Elizabeth yelled.

Robert Wood was a kind looking man. He had the same big and burly stature of his son, but a softer face. "Yes dear?" he asked stepping into the room.

"My first aid bag isn't enough. Get me the other one." Elizabeth ordered.

"Of course dear." Robert replied. The man stepped out of the room, and barely a second later returned with another black potions bag, but it was bigger than the first.

"I don't know what this boy has been doing but he's a mess. I will help with what I can here, but he is going to have to go to St. Mungo's." Elizabeth announced as she started shoving potions down Kei's throat.

Makoto stepped forward, unable to keep quiet. "I'm sorry but that's not possible. Kei cannot go to a hospital."

Oliver gaped at him. "You can speak English?" he asked.

"Yes." Makoto answered simply. "Kei cannot go to the hospital. Please do what you can here and we will compensate you later."

"What nonsense are you speaking boy? This child needs more help than I can give, or else his body will shut down. His nerves are fried, his brain has taken a beating and he will need a professional mind healer to sort that out, and we can probably try to do something about his eye and all those scars." Elizabeth argued.

"He cannot go. Kei is aware of what is wrong with his body, but has chosen to forgo any permanent treatment. Please respect his wishes in this manner." Makoto responded.

Elizabeth eyed him before turning away. "And who are you to dictate such things. This boy is too young to make such decisions on his own. We will be taking him to the hospital."

"I am his guardian and since I stated clearly that I will not allow you to take him to the hospital, you are prohibited from giving him further treatment." Makoto argued.

Elizabeth's hands stilled. "Do you know what you are saying? This boy is in bad shape, without proper treatment-"

"He will die, yes. He knows and I know. He has decided that he is fine with that. I appreciate any immediate treatment you can gave him now, but beyond that I must decline." Makoto finished.

"It's against my better judgment as a healer, but I must comply. I will ask the child himself what he wants when he wakes though." Elizabeth warned.

"He will tell you exactly what I have."

"He has nerve damage similar to the Cruciatus curse. I have given him a potion to help soothe the nerves and slightly repair them. That will take away some of the pain. I have also given him a pain relieving potion and a dreamless sleep. How has he been living to get these injuries?"

Makoto stared at her directly to answer. "Our village is not a safe place to grow up. That is all you need to know."

Elizabeth frowned but didn't say anymore on the subject. "He will be knocked out until tomorrow morning. Until then you can stay in one of the guest rooms. Oliver please escort him to one." Elizabeth commanded.

"Yes mother." Oliver stepped forward. "Uh… this way Professor."

Makoto gave the teenager a small smile before he walked forward and picked Kei up from the couch.

"Hey now! He should stay here so I can monitor him throughout the night." Elizabeth protested.

"He stays with me. Kei only sleeps peacefully when he is near a familiar scent. No matter how strong your potion is his body will fight sleep if he's in an unfamiliar place." Makoto informed her.

Elizabeth frowned but merely waved her hand in compliance. "Fine fine, but I will check on him throughout the night."

"Of course." Makoto relented. "Where to ?" Makoto addressed his student.

"Oh, this way." Oliver blinked a few times to understand what was happening but recovered enough to remember his original task. "There's a guest room here on the first floor near the kitchens you can use."

"Thank you." Makoto followed the boy out of the sitting room, carefully cradling Kei to him.

The room was nice, and the bed large enough to fit two people, although with Kei's weird sleeping habits it really only needed to fit one. "Thank you, Mr. Wood."

Oliver gave an embarrassed laugh. "Well call me Oliver. It's weird being called Mr. Wood when I'm in the same house as my dad."

"Oliver then." Makoto relented. He watched the boy shuffle foot to foot and gave a sigh. "Just ask."

Oliver looked up and flushed a little. "Well I was just wondering… have you always been able to understand and speak English?"

Makoto have the boy a mysterious smile. "Yes. I have known as long as Kei has."

Oliver gaped at him a second time. "But… but you always give us a confused look when we try talking to you. And the only English words you have ever said are 'Run', 'Faster', and 'Stop'. Why pretend?"

Makoto chuckled darkly at the question. "I work with Lockhart, if you could fake a language barrier, would you not use it to avoid the man?"

Oliver took a moment to think on the question. "Well… I guess I see your point. If I had a trick up my sleeve yeah I would use it. But way pretend with everyone?"

"The less people who know, the less chance it has to slip. Kei was the only one who knew but we can speak Japanese to each other so there was never a worry, but now that you know…." Makoto trailed off.

"I won't tell!" Oliver was quick to reassure. "I promise I won't tell. I mean you have a good reason not to tell others and it's not like you really need to talk much in class."

Makoto looked the teenager up and down. "You are exactly like Kei described." He stated.

"Is that a good thing?" Oliver asked with a bemused expression.

"Yes, yes it is." Makoto turned away, ending the conversation as he placed Kei onto the bed and started removing some articles of clothing.

Oliver shuffled in place again but he finally gave up and left. Makoto smiled mysteriously again as he regarded his partner. "You attract the most interesting people don't you?"


The Wood family were very close. Every evening that would gather at the dinner table and talk about their days, tell anecdotes, and ask for advice. Kei and Makoto felt like they were intruding, as they sat at the same table, not having much to offer. It's not like they could if they wanted to. But they were fine just observing, wondering if all wizarding families acted like this. Most civilian families did according to Makoto, but he hadn't been with his in so long that his memories were sketchy.

Elizabeth Wood would tell them about the more fascinating patients at the hospital, never naming names, but just curious cases in the accidental magic ward. She was a very commanding woman, but that didn't mean she couldn't express her love towards her husband and son. Robert Wood, was a lord, but he liked to write the quidditch review for the prophet as well. He would travel to various game and summarize the important parts, he would go stadium to stadium and interview the teams, make polls for the season, and just have fun watching quidditch. It was where his son got his enthusiasm for the sport. The two could talk for hours about the sport.

After dinner they all liked to go to the living room and play a game together. There were all sorts of wizarding games to play, and Kei had amazed by them. The first few times he had been asked to join, but he had declined so he could observe. When he did accept he had had a blast and roped Makoto into playing as well.

But tonight he had opted to sit out and watch with Makoto.

"Do you want that Makoto?" Kei asked.

"A wife and son?"


Makoto hummed and tilted his head back and forth as if weighing his options. "I think I would. I will need someone cute and small in my life once you are gone." Makoto stated confidently.

"Oh? Do you have anyone in mind then?" Kei asked, turning more towards his partner.

"No… but I don't think I could marry a civilian. I am far to use to talking about my life out loud and a civilian would never understand. She wouldn't be able to help me through problems like marrying a kunoichi would. You need to hide things and watch what you say with civilians and I wouldn't want to live like that."

Kei shuddered, "I still think they are demons."

"They truly are, but… if I want a child I will have to overcome that fear and pursue one." Makoto shot back; he was smiling as if he knew a secret that Kei didn't.

"You could marry Anko. She's a great kunoichi." Kei suggested. She was also one of the few kunoichi he had ever dealt with, so she was a safe bet. Plus Kurenai was with Asuma, and they were too much in love to try and break up.

"I could… but I don't think I'm her type. I'm young still; I will find the perfect girl in time."

"Just be happy. Don't pick someone who will make you miserable, because if you do I will come back and haunt you!" Kei warned.

"I promise to find the girl that I will love so completely that my heart sings when I see her, and my body aches when I leave. But what about you Kei… if you weren't going to die and you could pick someone to spend the rest of your life with, who would it be?" Makoto asked.

"I don't know. I think I would be happy just spending the rest of my days with you and Nii-san. Maybe everyone else too." Kei answered seriously. He never entertained the thought because there had never been a point.

"I know that you already love someone, it's just you haven't realized it yet." Makoto teased.

"How do you know if I don't?" Kei pouted.

Makoto chuckled and wrapped an arm around his partner. "Because I am older and wiser and have seen you with them enough times to know that you act differently around them then you do others. You have just been too young and naive to realize it for yourself."

"Will you tell me who?"

"No, I'll show you."


"Close your eyes and try to picture waking up beside the person you love. Not me or Kakashi… someone who you would be willing to live with, kiss, hug daily, and spend the night with every night…" Kei blushed heavily as he tried to picture what Makoto was talking about. He learned the truth behind sex and kissing, He knew that Kakashi was trying to keep it from him, but Makoto told him all about it. He knew what doing those activities meant and could he picture someone to do them with? Yes he could.

"I think I know who it would be." Kei whispered, his face still hot as he thought about it.

"Is it Kiba?" Makoto asked with a teasing air.

Kei shook his head. "No. Kiba feels more like a brother. And I don't think I could live with Akamaru... that dog is very territorial over Kiba." Kei answered.

"Is it Itachi?"

Kei laughed. "I do like Itachi, but not in that way. He is too much like Nii-san in my mind. He is someone to hug and cuddle, but not to do that other… stuff with."

"So it's Sasuke." Makoto stated with a smile.

Kei but his bottom lip, trying to hold back his smile. "I think you already know the answer. But I needed help to see it, and it makes sense. It fits…I don't know… but it feels right." Kei tried explaining.

"Do you know when it started?" Makoto asked. It had been the one thing he didn't know, after all his partner had carried on a double life to meet the boy.

Kei took a moment to think, trying to recall all his moments with Sasuke to pinpoint that one instant that his feelings for the boy could have changed.

"When I was pretending to be Yuki, Sasuke would talk about our future together with such certainty that even I could picture it. He talked about how we could eat breakfast together and watch the sun rise over the Uchiha district wall, and how the rays painted pretty pictures on the nearby pond. But I think I truly started to love him when he told me about this special path that leads into the forest from the main house. It's lined with flowers that his ancestors planted and that a Uchiha only walks down it once on their wedding day, and that he couldn't wait for the day he would get to walk it with me at his side.

"My heart beat so fast when he talked about it, and I really want to do it. I could see the two of us walking hand in hand towards the path, and that image made me smile. I think that was the moment things changed, but I had been too blind to see it. But now my heart hurts terribly because I won't ever be allowed to walk that path with Sasuke. Do you think Sasuke would still want to walk that path with me now?" Kei asked. He could feel something squeezing hard on his heart, making his eyes water in pain.

Makoto laughed loudly, drawing the attention of the Woods, but he ignored them. "I believe Sasuke has been in love with you since the moment you met. His feelings have probably only ever wavered when he found out you were a boy, but after they came back but with more force. Even now he is on a dangerous mission, all because he loves you and wants to protect you."

"But you don't know that." Kei argued.

"I do." Makoto chuckled lightly and continued. "I know because if Orochimaru's men hadn't threatened your life, Sasuke never would have gone with them. But because they dared to threaten his biggest weakness –you- he went with them and was more than happy to spy for Konoha. Even now when you meet, it seems like his love for you has grown more and more. I think the greatest gift you could ever give Sasuke would be to tell him that you return his feelings."

"If I see him before the end… I think I'll tell him." Kei stated,

Makoto's smile saddened. "I'm glad. He deserves to know."

Kei grinned and cuddled closer. "And you deserve a good wife, so don't wait too long to start looking."

"Well if you promise to haunt me until I find one, I don't think I will ever start looking." Makoto commented.

Omake Theatre (back again!)

I know y'all missed these, so here's a new one.


"The worst excuse is always the best excuse."

Louis sneaked down the stairs and into the parlour where the Christmas presents were waiting. He was curious on what he got and had decided that he couldn't sleep until his curiosity was sated. Thus he had a house elf inform him when his family were in bed and he had scrambled to get down the stairs as fast as possible. He as getting faster under Kei's teachings and he was greatly proud of his success, even if he couldn't tell his family. That would be against the Ninja Code.

Getting inside the room, Louis grabbed the first present with his name and was slowly peeling back the paper when candles lit up and a voice startled him "What are you doing?" Louis held perfectly still, hoping that if he didn't make any sudden movements his brother would not see him. "I can see you sitting there with that present," Adrian accused.

Louis sighed and turned around, casting for a good excuse. "There was a burglar." He tried.

"A burglar?" Adrian challenged.

"Yes." Louis could roll with this. "It was a giant rat I saw him trying to take this present. But I stopped him, I did! I ran inside and snatched the gift from his tail and scared him away. I was just checking the gift to make sure that it didn't come to any harm."

"What?" Adrian asked in complete disbelief.

Louis saw his chance. He put the present down and proudly stood up and walked right past his stunned brother and back to his room. When Adrian finally came to, Louis could feign sleep and try to wave the entire situation off by accusing his brother of having weird dreams. Yup, that was his plan and he was sticking to it, because the worst excuse was always the best excuse.

*Fluffs pillow, stretched back and arms, cracks knuckles, and sits back* Okay, bring on the Sasuke hate. I know y'all hate him, I mean in the anime and manga he's a complete douchebag…. But… lets trying thinking of my Sasuke -the little boy who befriended a ghost and wanted to ask God to make her real so he could marry her, the same Sasuke who only went to Orochimaru because the sound guys threatened to kill Kei while he was weak in the hospital. Also, my Sasuke isn't dead set against getting revenge on his brother, so I think that raises him a few levels in awesomeness. So, you know… try giving him a chance.

Oh! And I apologize to everyone I made cry last chapter, but to be fair, I was blubbering like a giant baby when I wrote it, so don't feel bad.

Battle Results

Food Obsessed: Ron – 28, T-1, Naruto- 3 Cool Canine: Paddy-15, T-2, Pakkun-17

Battle Royale!

Who spends more time on their hair? Ino vs. Draco

Who has a stick further up their asses? The elders Koharu and Homura vs. Snape and McGonagall

(I have wanted to ask the last one for awhile, but I wasn't sure who to pair Snape and McGonagall with until I wrote this chapter)