Identity Theft is a Serious Problem
Chapter 7: Be Cool, Stay in School, Don't do Drugs, 'else you're F**ked
"Thank you for your patronage! Please, come again!"
The greeter waved good-bye to another satisfied customer, albeit with a lighter wallet. After that fiasco with the shinobi, he was determined to do a better job at hooking in customers. The manager also warned him of watching out for any more nosy ninjas lurking about. Still…there was something about that silver-haired guy that seemed familiar…
"Ano …excuse me, sir? Is this the Hi Hi Happy Paradise cabaret?"
The greeter turned to face the owner of the voice, "Why yes, it is! Step right inside for your personal happy paradise-"And had his face smashed into a pair of squishy mounds.
"Yatta! Girls, we're finally here! Oooh, I'm so excited to be here!"
"A-ahahaha, e-excuse me, ma'am? Everything's gone dark…and I seem to be having some difficulty…breathing…"
The woman gasped in surprise and released her strong grip on him. "Oh my, please forgive me," she apologized, "I was just so ecstatic; I don't know what came over me,"
"Aha, no no, not to worry," The greeter reassured her, "Now what can I do for you fine ladies today?"
The woman giggled behind the sleeve of her kimono, as did her pig-tailed companion. "My, what a charmer you are, Greeter-san. That makes me even gladder we came here."
"And that would be too…?"
"To work as a hostess! Me and my sisters will be wonderful additions to your staff!" The lady elaborated. "Girls? Girls! Don't be shy, come meet the nice man!"
At her beckoning, two other girls appeared, slightly smaller in stature than the first two. The black-haired one was blushing furiously and kept her eyes low to the ground, occasionally hiding behind her pink-haired sister.
"We would love to have you here, Miss…?" The greeter awaited an answer.
"Oh dearie, I forgot to introduce ourselves." The lady said cheerily, "I'm Pako-chan, and this is Nako, Sako, and Taco!" She pointed to her blonde, pink, and black-haired sisters respectively.
"Well, Pako-san, let me show you to the manager. I'm sure he'll hire you on the spot!" He held the door open for them.
"Thank you so much, Greeter-san," Pako giggled, batting her eyelashes and touching up her silvery curls, "And it's Pako-chan, if you would."
"'And it's Pako-chan, if you would.'Puuahahaha! Laid it on a little thick there, eh? Nee-san?" The blonde sister laughed.
"Girls don't laugh like that, Nako-chan," Said the eldest, driving a fist down on the other's head, "Blow our cover and I'll see to it that you stay a girl." Her voice was now a deep baritone.
"Both of you are gonna give us away if you don't stop!" Said Sako.
"I can't believe he fell for it," Taco finally spoke up, "This whole plan was just stupid! We could've just performed a henge and came in as customers." 'She' tugged at the hem of her dress. "And how do you expect us to move in these things?"
"We'll have an easier time investigating if we pose as workers," explained Sako.
"You're just mad that you're in a dress!" Nako guffawed, as Taco fumed and/or blushed angrily. It was hard to tell under all that make-up. "You did some good work on him, sensei."
"Whatdaya take me for, a rank amateur? This ain't my first rodeo, kid,"Pako stated proudly.
"Yeah, about that," Nako said suspiciously, "You seemed to know an awful lot about make-up and women's clothing. Got something you're not telling us, Sensei?"
"That's 'Nee-san' to you, ya brat. Not all of us have the power of instant sex-change, you know. The rest of us actually put work in making ourselves pretty. Do you know how hard it was to get Taco-kun in a dress?"
"Why the hell do you keep naming me after food?" Taco demanded.
"Ah, that reminds me; don't eat anything they serve here. You can drink to your heart's content but you don't wanna know what they put in the food."
"We're here," Pako cut him off, "Act like chicks!"
The greeter opened the door to a secluded room in the back. The same portly man from before sat at a desk with documents strewn all over. As they entered, he discretely stashed something in the drawer, which was not overlooked by the disguised ninja.
"Ya moron, I thought I told ya ta knock!" The man bellowed in rage.
"Ahaha, sorry, Manager-san, but these ladies were eager to meet you. They're looking for employment here as hostesses."
"They'd better not be like those fugly hags you introduced last time," said the man as the greeter stepped out. He gave the group a once-over, sending disgusted shivers up the genins' spine. "You, Blondie, yer're hired. The two midgets, I guess yer've got the loli-con appeal, and you," He addressed Pako-chan, "Yer face's ok, but yer' built like a tank! God, it's like someone took a Barbie head and stuck it on a Ken body! Was yer mother part-gorilla or somethin-"
A hand struck out and grabbed the man by the face. He was dragged across his desk and lifted a foot in the air.
"Excuse me, sir, did you say something? I didn't quite hear you. You complemented my figure, isn't that right, Manager-san?"
"Y-yes, ma'am," came a terrified mumbling.
"I can't help it if I'm big boned. Compared to those skinny little skanks, men are much more attracted to a woman with a little meat on her. Isn't that right, Manager-san?"
"Of course, of course!" Squeaked the terrified man.
"Which is why you need all of us here at the club, to attract more customers. Isn't that right, Manager-san?"
"Y-y-yes! Yer're all hired! Every one of ya!" Pako dropped him. "G-go see Nozomi; she'll get ya girls settled in." The manager scrambled back to his desk.
"Thank you, Manager-san, we're so excited to start working," Pako-chan bowed and walked out, her sisters trailing behind her. The manager slumped into his chair, letting out a sigh of relief. Now that was one terrifying woman. Something struck him as familiar with that lady, but he didn't know exactly what it was. Brushing away the thought, he went back to counting his profits.
Nozomi-san was a stern-faced woman with an air of professionalism around her. She took one look at the group and immediately assigned them their tables.
"Nako-chan, please help Table Three and watch what the other girls do. Sako-chan, Taco-chan, you two head to Table Six; Aki-chan will be able to guide you. And Pako-san," She turned to the curly-haired woman, "You look like you've done this before, am I right?"
"I guess you could say that?" Pako-chan said uncertainly.
"It's okay," Nozomi-san's expression softened a bit, "We don't look down on anyone here; all the girls here came from different backgrounds and we just wound up here. We don't care how you ended up here; everyone's considered family." She gave a calming smile which Pako returned with an awkward one. "I'll have you handle Table Seven; Nakamura-san's one of our more…unruly guests, but you look like you can take what he and his friends can dish out. Honestly though, I wish the manager would let us kick out some of the trash that come in here, but all he cares about is money."
"You've been having trouble with guests?" Pako asked nonchalantly, but her eyes quickly darted over to the kids.
The hostess nodded, "That pig refuses to let us turn them away. He treats us like dirt and can't even have the decency to make up for it. I'm thankful that our new greeter screens out most of the ruffians, but he can't keep track of everyone that comes and goes through this place."
"How much trouble do the guests give you?" The pink-haired Sako jumped in, catching on to Pako's hints.
"Well we always get the ones who just can't keep their hands to themselves, but that's normal. Lately however, some of our regulars have been getting…well, too regular. They come in more than three times a day at least, each time requesting one of our private booths. Their mood gets sporadic and it puts the girls in danger. So if any of you end up with a customer like that, come to me at once!" The sisters nodded and headed to their respective tables.
As Pako-sensei passed by each of them, she whispered "Keep your eyes peeled, our target might be one of the 'regulars'. And watch your asses, these fellas can reach around a table to cop a feel."
Pako-sensei then strolled over to a rather rowdy table filled with burly-looking men. Sako hoped her sensei could handle it.
"Taco-kun," she said, latching onto the other's arm, "Will Nee-san be alright? Those guys look scary…" She glanced back at the table, where Pako-sensei was receiving a round of cat-calls and whistles.
"Five minutes," Taco said cryptically, "It's us I'm worried about; we're stuck in a bar filled with lecherous old men, trying to find a lecherous old man. And I'm in a dress!"
"I think you look pretty, Taco-kun,"
Their table proved to be no problem. Aki-san was able to subtly guide them with their customers, who turned out to be a pair of nervous teenagers. Sako fell into her role with ease, not that she had much to do in the first place. Aki-san was doing most of the work and Tako, to her immense amusement, had somehow garnered the attention of both customers, even though she spent most of the time brooding and fidgeting in the really uncomfortable dress. Sako took the chance to take a glance around the room, looking for her teammates. Nako was soaking up all the attention garnered towards her. No problems there. She looked over to table Seven, and finally understood Taco's lack of worry for their teacher.
"Hail to the King, bitches!" Pako-sensei declared to the heavens, a dainty foot on the table and her seventh bottle raised. "Hmm, we're getting low on supplies. Waiter! 10 bottles of Dom Perignon!"
"N-no more, Pako-san…we can't keep up…you're too powerful!" Nakamura pleaded, before collapsing. The other men around him were either already passed out or on the verge of puking. But Pako-san would have none of it.
"Eh? What's that?" She grabbed the man by the scruff of his shirt. "You're quitting? But we haven't even built a champagne tower yet! Don't give up on me, man! Do you know how long I've waited to get a job that actually pays me to drink?! No wonder that she-gorilla works in a place like this! You've still got some change in your pockets, right? You can go pawn your watch, right? You only need one kidney to live, right?-!"
Sakura resisted the urge to slam her head on the table. Her teacher's actions were not helping the mission. All it did was attract unnecessary attention. Just then, a customer entered that drew her eye. She recognized the haggard, sunken face, but it seemed to have deteriorated since the picture she saw was taken. She kept her eyes on the target and watched as he walked to the back room. He was greeted by the manager, who, after glancing around, ushered the man into the room. Soon, the manager stepped out, but no sign of the other man.
She discretely dismissed herself under the pretense of getting more drinks. She caught Sasuke's eye, but he was under pressure from their customers to be able to join her. Naruto paused in his high-pitched laughter to acknowledge her movement before returning to his adoring fans. Kaka-sensei was passed out under a mountain of Dom Perignon.
Sakura managed to make her way to the back without being noticed (subtly crushing a hand that was reaching for her backside didn't count). Not hearing any noise from the room, she quietly snuck in. The man in the room had his back towards her as she entered, but she could tell something was off. His entire frame racked with tremors, and quiet, desperate whimpering came from his mouth.
"Suzuki…san?" Sakura asked tentatively. Her medic training was kicking in and she was genuinely worried about the man. "Are you alright?" She edged closer to the man, nudging him with a gentle hand.
The minute she made contact, the man grabbed her wrist and whipped around with a frenzied roar. She was propelled to the opposite wall with surprising force, and had to twist her body to land safely in a defensive crouch. The man groaning before her…couldn't be called a man anymore. His eyes were darting to and fro, and he was foaming slightly at the mouth. His limbs twitched convulsively as he staggered drunkenly towards her.
She was confident in her abilities in defending herself, but she was hesitant to bring harm to a civilian. This man needed medical attention, but needed to be subdued first. Sakura acted before he could get any closer. She tore off the curtains decorating the room and flung them towards the crazed man. He clawed at the fabric, but the young kunoichi quickly wrapped it around his body, effectively immobilizing him. The man fell to the ground like a toppled tree, still writhing and snarling.
Sakura knelt beside him to secure the bindings, when suddenly, a hand tore through the fabric and grabbed her by the throat. Her eyes widened as the man ripped the thick cloth to shreds with teeth and spare hand, the other still gripping her neck. He stood and lifted her off the ground, fingers tightening.
Sakura clawed at the hand, then mustered up her strength for a front kick to the man's chin. Surprised and disoriented, the rabid man released her, and Sakura quickly retaliated with another kick to the head. The momentum doubled her force, causing the man to crash into the wall in a heap. He remained there unmoving.
She needed to report this to Kaka-sensei. Sakura bolted out the room, only to run into the heavy-set form of the manager.
"Little bitch," Was all Sakura heard when the sudden jolt of electricity tore through her body. It felt like every muscle was trying to contract all at once. She fell to the ground, gasping in pain. The manager was holding some sort of prod that sparked at the tip.
"Ya liked that? A little somethin' I use to keep my customers in line, if they get a little rowdy. Seems it's pretty useful against ninjas." He pressed it into her arm and she felt the pain again. Her jaw was tensed shut and she couldn't call out, for Sasuke, for Naruto, for her sensei.
"I knew ya little brats looked familiar. Damn shinobi always messing in other people's business. Think yer're so tough with yer tricks and shit. It's time ya got what's comin' to ya."
A guttural groan came from the wall where the crazed man crashed into, and a sadistic grin spread on the manager's face.
"Don't think Suzuki's done playin' with ya. I'll leave ya two alone, and come back for what's left of ya."
Sakura tried to get up but her limbs weren't responding. The manager left the room and she heard the lock click shut. Suzuki was beginning to stir, and she still couldn't move. The man snapped open his eyes and trained them right on her, an inhuman snarl on his face. He crawled towards her like an animal, and Sakura tried not to imagine what he'd do to her if he could rip apart thick fabric like paper. With a feral roar, the man leaped.
Two things happened then. Sakura shut her eyes, just as the door crashed open with a bang. There was a yell, and she felt the thud of a body next to her. She opened her eyes. Suzuki-san lay unconscious next to her. The greeter stood at the doorway, with the manager's electric probe in hand. He knelt down next to her and smiled.
"Nozomi-san told me to keep out the unruly customers. This thing's pretty useful for that, don't you think?"
Running footsteps came from the hallway and her team came bursting through the door. Naruto paled at the sight of her and Sasuke's expression darkened, as they both rushed to her aid.
"Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan! Speak to me!" Naruto's voice screamed in her ear.
"You don't need to yell!" Sakura ground out as best as she could.
"Who did this to you, Sakura?" Sasuke's eyes darted menacingly at the greeter.
"The manager did, and Greeter-san saved me from Suzuki-san, who tried to attack me." Sakura quickly explained, in case Sasuke jumped to conclusions.
"Suzuki? As in our Suzuki?" Naruto exclaimed.
"Yeah, he's the guy next to me." They helped her to an upright position, and she explained the situation to the rest as she tested her limbs for mobility.
"Hmm, he was carrying this in his pocket." The greeter pulled out a small packet containing little green pills from the downed man's jacket.
"He was drugged?"
"Maybe, but that doesn't explain his unnatural strength," Sakura countered. "The manager should have more answers. Where is he?"
"Ahaha, uh, I accidentally knocked him out in the hallway when I came here," the greeter said sheepishly.
"He wasn't there when we came," Sasuke admitted, "He must've woken up. We need to-"
A sudden crash came from the manager's office and they all scurried out.
That stupid bleeding heart greeter of his, should've known he'd be trouble. Never should've offered that idiot a job. Should've just let him be arrested for public indecency. He fumbled with the locks on his safe. Damn ninjas! Always poking their noses where it don't belong. He had to get away, take as much of the money and packets he could. He'd probably be able to make it to Iwa, then set up shop there. He'd have to tell the guy he was moving so he could get a steady supply of-
"Leaving so soon, Manager-san?"
He froze. Pako-san was standing at the door, her towering frame blocking the only way out of his office. Her voice was deeper, darker, and traces of a thinly veiled threat hung in the silence.
"You haven't even given me my first paycheck yet." She (He, goddamnit, it's that damn shinobi!) stepped into the room, closing the door behind her. "My sisters and I have done good work, and I think my bonus should cover Sako-chan's hospital fees."
Shit, she sounded pissed.
"S-stay back, ya freak!" The manager grabbed the knife he hid under his desk and held it shakily in front of him. The other man didn't even acknowledge it. "Back!"
"I don't like it when people hurt my brats. Granted, they're not my usual brats, but I've grown fond of them. And you went and hurt one of them. What do you suppose happens now?"
"Stay back! I-I'm warning you!" The man's terrified voice reached the higher pitches. This demon's eyes seemed to glow red in the lamp-light as it reached into its kimono and pulled out a wooden sword.
"I'm here to collect, Manager-san."
Sasuke was the first one through the door. The others followed immediately after. The manager's desk was knocked over to the far wall, papers strewn all across the floor and he saw his sensei looming over a still body, wooden sword drawn and bloody. He heard Sakura stifle a gasp at the sight of their sensei in such a state. The man must have heard them, as he turned towards them. In this light, his red eyes were visible to all, and Sasuke remembered the night he was attacked. Kaka-sensei had the same aura as that night; deadly, dangerous, and alien. He could sense Naruto tense up beside him, no doubt also recalling the last time he saw their sensei like this. There was a raging beast barely restrained behind those eyes, once simply bored and carefree, but now held anger so intense Sasuke felt as if he was faced with the full force of a Fireball Jutsu.
"K…Kaka-sensei?" Sakura bravely asked.
Immediately, those angry red eyes softened to their normal half-lidded gaze. Sasuke let out a breath he didn't know he was holding.
"Are you alright?" Their sensei asked. Sakura nodded slowly.
"Greeter-san saved me…Sensei, did you…did you kill him?" She gestured hesitantly towards the manager.
"Hmm? Oh, him? Nah, just roughed him up a little. He'll be fine, with intensive care. But I see you've managed to find the idiot," He nodded towards the greeter, who looked at him with a puzzled expression. "Oi, Bakamoto, you remember anything?"
The greeter frowned in confusion. "I…I…you…"
"Come on, look at me," Kaka-sensei removed the hair ties and ruffled his hair back into shape. "What's my name?"
"You…you're…" The greeter's eyebrows suddenly shot up behind his shades. "Kintoki!"
"Brainless idiot! How many times-! Ah, my time's up. Sorry, kiddies, looks like you'll have to beat the stupid out of him without me." And then he passed out.
Miss me? I sure missed you. You asked and I answered. Fiddled with the plot, bringing some intrigue and action in, yeah. I think a few of you are like, psychic or something, for guessing what I was gonna do. Seriously, start a palm-reading business, you'll earn millions (not really, no, stay in school, kids). Ah, I missed you guys. You're nothing like those asshats over in the Video Games and Comics section. You're nice. So I didn't know Spider-Man didn't officially join the X-Men until issue #whatever. So I don't know the ammo capacity of a semi-automatic in Call of Honor: BattleGear Halo. SCREW OFF. Anal-retentive, the lot of them, I swear. Not like you. My sweet, gentle Anime/Manga section readers. You always have such nice words for me. You're like the class rep admired by everyone for your kindness, cheerfulness, and sweetness. Those other punks are the class...punks. What I'm trying to say is, I love you (except you, dude-that-said-'gay'-in-the-reviews. Eat me). Uh...no offense if you're one of the asshats in the Video Games and Comics section. Yeah, so...peace.
P.S. I changed my name to G-POW, in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a Platinum album dubstep reggae rapper. Fo' shizzle, yo.