CHAPTER FIVE

Itachi grabbed three kunai from his pouch and hid them in the lengths of his fingers as he waited for the enemy to attack. He stood- hands at his side, arms relaxed, body coiled to react at any given moment. The wind howled as it whipped his hair free of its confines; his keen senses picked up the rustling of the leaves and the sound of children playing off in the distance.

His opponent stood a distance away in his usual lackadaisical pose but the fact that he didn't have his orange bound soft porn out was evidence enough that he was taking Itachi seriously. Hatake Kakashi watched him, his keen mismatched eyes followed even his smallest movements. The black swirl in his red iris categorized his every move, that combined with his mental acuity made him a dangerous opponent, even in a spar.

With barely an effort Itachi's eyes bled red as the black commas in them spun. His vision shifted, and suddenly everything he saw had a cleaner edge to them. The blades of grass in his peripheral vision looked crisp and vibrant. While the frames of each individual leaf on the tree twenty yards to his right stood out in different distinct shades of green. His enhanced eyes picked up the subtleties of Kakashi's stance; the slight tensing of his right calf meant an attack was coming soon.

"Coming ikemen-kun?" His former ANBU captain called out lazily. Itachi shrugged off the annoying nickname Kakashi came up for him and instead watched him carefully. He wouldn't get many opportunities. He would have to take advantage of every chance he got. Kakashi was the Copy-ninja: as deadly as he was lazy.

"Oy Ikemen-kun," Itachi felt the air shift around him and flipped just in time to avoid a chakra enhanced kick to his solar plexus.

Rule number one: Don't get hit.

It wasn't a rule followed only by medics. The basic rule was to land as many hits and get away untouched if possible. His species were a people who were trained to kill before they hit puberty. Every hit was designed to do the most damage or bring about death.

He bent back, his body a perfect upside down "u' and sprang forward with a counterattack. In a blink of an eye, his hand deftly slashed a kunai through Kakashi's Achilles tendon. He launched two other kunai at the brachial and femoral arteries of his opponent and in that same motion, caught the same foot and gave the extremity a violent twist before yanking it down so that the body would follow into his rising knee. A sickening crunch marked the breaking of spinal cord.

Itachi caught the flicker of chakra just before the final blow and knew he was fighting a clone. He feigned ignorance and waited for the moment when Kakashi would dispel his clone. The clone was modeled after a smoke bomb and upon dispelling it quickly flooded the area with dense smog.

He felt a shift and instinct told him to get airborne and fast. He sent a surge of chakra to his feet and felt the ground explode into patches of grass and loose dirt. The sudden displacement of land revealed Kakashi just as he was about to unleash his own technique.

The unexpected loss of cover would catch Kakashi off guard, but only or a moment; that split second was his chance. Itachi unsealed a fuuma shuriken from one of his storage scrolls and sent it at the temporarily disoriented man. Metal met flesh and flesh promptly exploded.

Another clone.

Itachi ricocheted off a tree branch and propelled himself into the explosion. His enhanced eyes spotted the swirl of chakra just behind a thick tree. He flung a kunai at the base of Kakashi's skull, only to have it parried.

"Ah ah Ikemen-kun, no weapons, no chakra!" That was the only warning Kakashi gave before Itachi was on the defensive again. He lifted one foot, then the other to avoid the kunai thrown at the ground before him and narrowed his eyes at their thud. Kakashi was the epitome of a shinobi, a cheater. He took out a kunai to block the remaining projectiles before breaking into the Copy-nin's defenses.

"Taijutsu only," Itachi muttered back even though he knew better. Kakashi never played by the rules. He aimed a fist at Kakashi's solar plexus and pivoted on his heel into Kakashi's guard and struck an elbow at the man's kidney.

"Maa, well a shinobi should look underneath the underneath." Kakashi sounded sheepish but looked anything but. He began to swell then, a telltale sign of a clone explosion technique that Itachi favored. He was living up to his name, Copy-nin indeed. Itachi created just enough space between them to avoid the force of the explosion and before the smoke cleared he flickered before his opponent and went low to avoid a preemptive counter-strike. He kicked out his legs and felt the air shift as Kakashi dodged. He calculated where Kakashi might be next and sent out a barrage of shuriken hidden in the movements of his shadow, all of which Kakashi's skillfully avoided.

He felt a spike in chakra that didn't belong to his opponent and acted quickly.

The black commas in his irises swirled as he calculated the trajectory of his weapons. Itachi quickly reached into his utilities pouch and hurled a handful of wind-chakra enhanced kunai following his shuriken barrage. The kunais threw the shuriken off their course, forcing them to veer off at odd but intended angles and made a rather dangerous frame around one trembling police rookie who was no doubt trying to calm his palpitations.

A weak "Itachi-sama," alerted the two of the relative safety of everyone in the vicinity.

Kakashi covered up his sharingan, the spar was essentially over anyway, and turned a lazy eye at the quaking rookie in his version of respectful acknowledgement.

"Thank you for your time Hatake-sempai." Itachi gave a shallow bow to his sparring partner in dismissal. It was only polite, even if Kakashi had shown up out of nowhere and whisked him away to spar without his permission.

"Still so formal after all these years, Uchiha-sama," Kakashi tsked. "ja ne." He reached into his pouch and pulled out his neon orange bound soft porn and made his way off the training grounds.

Itachi wiped the sweat from his brow and turned to the rookie that had managed to track him down to the isolated training grounds Kakashi had chosen for their impromptu spar.

"I have a message from Shin-taichou," the messenger reached into his utilities pouch and pulled out a scroll. "He asked that you come as soon as you can to relieve him of his interim captaincy."

"I'll being coming in later this week," Itachi offered. "Thank you." He waited until the rookie was completely gone before letting out a tired sigh.

The police force was another responsibility that he'd have to be taking on, and once he did that there would be no turning back. It made this drastic change from his previous life real. He felt a finger twitch at the uneasiness he was feeling. He'd been home and only home for the past week and the adrenaline packed life he used to lead made it difficult to adjust to the mundane one he was living now. The spar with Kakashi was a good outlet for his excess energy but was woefully short.

He ran a tired hand through his hair.

He needed a bath.

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Itachi sighed as he sank chin deep into the scalding hot water of his bath. The steam made it difficult to breathe and his skin flushed an angry red but it felt good.

He leaned his head back against edge of the porcelain tub and stared up at the ceiling as he went over what he had left to do for the day. The list wasn't long, which suited him just fine. He'd finally be able to get some sleep.

Itachi ran a wet hand over his face.

Tomorrow, he'd go over the scroll his uncle sent him and then go in to discuss whatever else with the man. That settled, he decided it was time to enjoy his bath.

His ninja sensed screamed at him but before he could register the threat there was a splash, and a sudden weight upon his chest forced the oxygen out of lungs. He spluttered to the surface and took a quick breath before he dealt with his latest death threat. He held a hand to the perpetrators forehead to hold him down and held his free forearm across the man's chest.

Only it wasn't a man.

Familiar pale eyes looked up at him under the clear water as she struggled against his death-hold and it was like a bucket of ice water had been poured over him. He quickly let the girl go and back away.

Hinata held onto the side of the soaking tub and pulled herself to the surface as she gasped and wheezed for breath.

Time stood still as he watched her heaving chest, very visible under her thoroughly drenched white nightgown. The fabric clung to her and displayed just how bare she really was under her garment. For all the chivalry that was drilled into him as a child, he couldn't tear his eyes away.

"Ano…" He broke out of his trance to see Hinata watch him stare at her in all of her indecency, a flush so prominent on her face that he wondered if it was possible to burn yourself. Then she promptly sagged like a puppet with its strings cut and reality chose that moment to slap him across the face.

There was only one explanation for this.

"Aoi!" He called with an urgency he never felt before. He rushed to catch the unconscious heiress before she drowned herself. "Aoi, get in here right now!"

"Master?" a timid voice called.

Itachi turned to face the blue bird, sharingan red and blazing. "What?" He spluttered in a rare moment of ineloquence. "What is this!" he demanded after a few incoherent tries.

"I thought master would like some help washing his hair?" Aoi replied hiding his face.

He didn't know why he bothered asking. Itachi grabbed a towel and quickly wrapped it around his waist to prevent further indecent exposure.

"Do you think you can manage to dry her fully clothed," Itachi worded his request carefully, he wait for Aoi to do as he said, his sharp eyes took in the constipated expression on the birds face and knew he was going to hear something he didn't want to.

"Was there something you wanted to say Aoi?"

The bird's cobalt beak opened then snapped shut as Aoi held a fisted wing to his mouth, almost like he was physically holding back the words.

"Aoi if you have something to say, please say it. I do not enjoy loitering around with just a towel protecting my modesty."

"I'm sorry master, I can't!" Aoi burst into a fit of tears. "Please don't give me away!"

"You can't do what?"

"I can only take on one wish at a time. I haven't completed your first wish yet." Aoi responded fearfully. "but I'll get that done Master! I swear. I'll go right now to work on it!" the words were barely out of Aoi's mouth before he vanished.

Itachi contemplated calling the bird back, but didn't want to stand half naked in his bathroom with a drenched heiress in his arms. His mother was home and so was little Sasuke, the last thing he wanted to do was try explain what he was not doing with a girl to his little brother. It was about twenty years too early to be having any conversations along that vein with Sasuke.

He adjusted the girl in his arms and realized that he just missed something, he was sure of it. It took Itachi a few heartbeats before dread washed over him.

He would be the one to get the Hyuuga out of her wet clothes.

Itachi closed his eyes in frustration, this was not happening! Ever since Aoi had come into his life, it was one crooked kunai after another. Though the life of a ninja was unpredictable, there was a certain lull to it that allowed a small degree of complacency. As a now retired ninja his schedule had drastically changed from what he was used to, but being able to adjust was a necessity in his line of work and he was considered one of the best. So really it shouldn't have been so hard for him to adapt to his new life, only his life had veered off quite a bit from what he had been expecting. Which left him where he was now; in the bathroom after an interrupted bath, half naked with a drenched heiress in his arms.

Itachi's eyes flew open when the towel around his waist decided to unravel and fall to the floor. With luggage in his arms there was nothing he could have done to protect himself from the sudden breeziness.

"Ni-tama!" It was comical the way Itachi's eyes grew to the size of saucers. Itachi threw himself at the door before Sasuke could open it and sent out a silent apology to his brother.

"Ni-tama! I have to do a number two!" Little Sasuke cried out as he jiggled the door knob and slammed his small weight against the door. "Ni-tama! It's coming out!"

"Ni-tama!"

This was not happening.

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Hinata woke to not an unfamiliar place but an unexpected one. She recognized the dresser and the barrenness of the room as her master's home. Right! Her master's home, she was supposed to be cleaning! She sat up with difficulty but barely had the chance to realize that before she rolled and hit the ground. "Eep!" she squeaked in surprise.

She felt her body bounce off the hard wood floor and winced at the sudden thump her body made, it was deafening in the quiet of the room. She tried to get her hands free but found they were trapped at her sides, they were gripped uncomfortably in wet fabric and the material chaffed the bare skin of her arms.

What in the world?

Hinata rolled to her side and tried to sit up but the weight wrapping her upper body made it difficult to balance upright. She fought to get her hands free, and when she couldn't she began to panic. She was so caught up in it that she barely heard the click before light flooded the room and she was face to face with none other than Uchiha Itachi, her master.

"Uchiha-sama!" she cried in relief which quickly turned to anxiety. "Uchiha-sama, I'll get to right to work. I'm just having trouble-"

The Uchiha picked her up bridal style and gently laid her on the bed. An unreadable expression was etched into the perfect contours of his face.

"Uchiha-sama?" she inquired when a few heartbeats had passed and he made no movements. "I'm sorry!" she squeaked but was met with silence. She tried to sit up but found once again found herself rolling to meet the hard wood floors of her master's room.

"Don't move," His quiet voice cracked through the silence of the room like a whip and she straightened and kept rigid. She felt the towels around her beginning to loosen. She was grateful for the blood flow to her upper extremities and let out a soft sigh. "I'm sorry Uchiha-sama, I'll get right to work!"

She adjusted her wet night gown and jumped to her feet to get to work. "Uchiha-sama?" She looked up at her master's face when he grabbed her upper arm to stop her. Why was he acting so strange and why was he blushing?

"Uchiha-sama? Is something wrong?"

"I'll give you some clothes to wear, that wet night gown must be uncomfortable," He said softly looking straight at her face, his eyes were leveled with hers and his rigid body language indicated that they weren't going to stray.

Why was he acting so-

"Oh!" She cried out. She jerked her arm out of the man's grasp and covered herself up as best as she could. She felt her cheeks begin to flush and closed her eyes. This just had to be a really, really horrible dream. Because this wasn't happening, this wasn't happening at all!

"Hyuuga-san, please-."

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Hinata woke up feeling uncomfortably wet. Her nightgown was a tad more than damp and it clung to her body like a second skin. She threw off her comforters to cool off and decided that was a bad idea. The morning breeze was just a little too cold and wrapped herself in her blankets.

The sun was out and the sky a clear blue, the watercolor display of the rising sun was long gone since she had overslept and she felt a little disoriented by that fact. She was an early bird and it troubled her that lately she had been waking up later and later, especially when she had made it a point to go to bed earlier.

A firm knock on her door broke her out of her thoughts. "Hinata-sama, breakfast is served."

"Hai," Hinata called back. "I'll be right there." She quickly changed out of her nightgown into something more appropriate for a family breakfast and rubbed the last of the sleep from her eyes.

She didn't have time to be wondering what she was doing wrong, especially not when she would have to be playing catch up for the rest of her day.


translation:

Taichou: captain

Ikemen-kun means pretty boy, or most literally sexy man. ike=sexy, men=men/man

Sempai: senior/mentor

Ja ne: shortened version of see you later