Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Author's Note: So this is an actual chapter instead of a teaser! I'm sorry it took so long! I hope you enjoy it~
Just Shy of Politically Correct
Sasuke checked himself in the mirror as he smoothed out any creases in his fitted black suit.
As good as it's going to get, thought Sasuke to himself as he scrutinized his mirror image. Taking one last glance to re-adjust his red tie, the required color for all secret service personnel, Sasuke flipped off the light switch and turned to leave his office.
Sasuke was barely a foot out the door before he nearly crashed into a wayward florist trying to balance two giant chrysanthemum bouquets in her hands. It was only thanks to his quick reflexes that he managed to dodge a complete collision, instead only catching the gigantic bouquet with the sleeve of his suit jacket. The florist didn't even break her stride as she made a beeline to the banquet room without so much as an apology.
"Watch where you're going!" sniped the harried florist behind her as she sprinted away towards the banquet room, obviously very frazzled and irritated.
Sasuke watched the retreating figure feeling slightly irked.
"Better not have stained my suit," muttered Sasuke irately as he brought up his sleeve to check the damage. Thankfully, there no stains except for a large patch of dense yellow pollen. Thinking nothing more of it, Sasuke quickly brushed himself off and made ready to report to his boss. Quickly jamming his ear piece into his right ear, Sasuke hastened to the security briefing rooms.
Despite the earliness of the hour ––it was barely six in the morning–the kantei was quite literally a circus. Event staffs were all over the place: coordinators rushing around screaming orders, public relations personnel screeching into cell phones confirming times with the press, and kitchen staff briskly firing up the stoves and ovens in preparation for the evening banquet.
Today was the big day.
The new prime minister was officially moving in and taking his inaugural speech in front of hundreds of press, his cabinet members would be introduced to the public for the first time, and the foreign ambassadors and Japanese Diet would be coming in later for the inaugural banquet. In short, secret service would be stretched very thin today covering so many ass(es)ets. In fact, even the forever lazy Kakashi had been on-time this morning, for once acting like the Section One Department Chief that was his title.
The prospect of another long day prompted Sasuke to push the heel of his hand against his forehead in an effort to ward off the oncoming headache.
A vibrating buzz abruptly jarred Sasuke from his thoughts as he scrambled to dig out his phone from his pocket.
"Hey bastard, I heard you got car duty?"
The familiar voice blasted through the phone with both volume and clarity.
"Good morning to you too Naruto," deadpanned Sasuke.
"Bastard, that's not fair, just 'cause Pervert-Kakashi likes you, he gives you the cushy jobs! He probably just wants you to be in the press again! Last time you were in the press, we got a thousand fan letters and two calls from modeling agencies." Groused an irritated Naruto over the phone.
"Naruto, is there a point to this phone call?" Sasuke asked blandly.
"Yes! Switch with me!" moaned Naruto desperately, "I got protection detail for Lady Shijimi and her damn cat again! I swear Kakashi is out to get me!"
"Oh Naruto, I've got bad reception, I can't he-a-a-r yo-u wel-l. I'm ha-ngin-g up no-w."
"Bastard, I'm in the same building as you! Your reception is just fine!" shouted Naruto angrily, "You better not hang up on me bastard!"
"Bye Naruto." As Sasuke immediately hit the red "end call" button before stuffing his phone back into his jacket pocket.
He wouldn't have switched with Naruto unless there was a million dollar prize at the end of that assignment, and even then, I would still hesitate Sasuke thought, grimacing as he remembered the last time he had to detail for Lady Shijimi. It was a nightmare that had ended in a half bald cat and an almost-demotion, something that Sasuke was not keen to visit again.
Picking up his pace, he briskly moved to enter the security briefing room.
Sasuke quietly slipped into the room and took a seat near the back next to another agent that Sasuke vaguely knew as Inuzuka-san. Giving a brisk nod to his coworker, Sasuke waited for the beginning of the debriefing.
"All personnel currently here are for security detail with the Prime minister and his immediate family?" drawled Kakashi as he swept a cursory glance at the men in the room and he was greeted with a few nods and quiet "hai's".
"All right then, I'll go over the route and specific assignments. Hold questions until the end."
Sasuke opened the file folder on his desk and settled in to listen for his assignment details.
Two hours after the meeting, Sasuke and his security team were waiting outside the prime ministers old civilian residence with three sleek black Mercedes-Benz S-600 sedans and a half dozen police cars. They made quite a sight in the otherwise calm morning of the prime minister's neighborhood, the silence punctuated only by the sound of birds and car engines. Sasuke glanced at his watch idly, trying to make out the numbers despite the glare caused by the bright morning sunshine.
At five minutes past eight, the prime minister and his family walked out of their old home ready to begin the day's events. Today would be the day they officially took up residence in the kantei.
Sasuke was surprised at how elderly the man looked, who despite only being in his fifties, had a deeply creased face and completely white hair. He was followed by his two grown sons and their spouses while his wife quietly brought up the rear in an elegant dark furisode calming holding the hand of their grandson.
"Sir Prime Minister, I am humbled to make your acquaintance. My name is Uchiha Sasuke, and I will be leading your security team today," announced Sasuke stiffly as he bowed low at a very formal ninety degrees.
"Well, I place myself and my family into your team's good hands then." Spoke the prime minister gently as he returned the bow.
And almost as a second thought, the prime minister directed an off-hand question at Sasuke.
"Are you related to Uchiha Fugaku by any chance?" The prime minister asked with innocent curiosity.
Sasuke visibly stiffened; he hated being associated with his father. Nepotism being the least of my worries, Sasuke thought with annoyance. They had never had a close relationship and it had only worsened when Sasuke refused to follow his father into politics, instead opting for a less prestigious job with the secret service.
But it's not like I can lie to the Prime Minister, thought Sasuke humorlessly before answering in an even tone.
"Yes, he is my father." Sasuke succinctly replied, supplying no more information.
"Well, he is a good man. But I am sure you already know that," returned the prime minister with a kindly smile, "But let's get this show on the road, shall we? We have an inauguration to make!"
The enthusiastic declaration prompting the prime minister and his family to board the sleek black sedans and begin the ride to their new home.
"…..and I, Sarutobi Hiruzen, do hereby accept this position as Prime Minister of Japan," finished the Prime Minister with flourish and poise.
Sasuke was standing to the left of the Prime Minister with his face to the crowd of reporters, both foreign and domestic, scanning the people with trained eyes, searching for any signs of agitation. An incident here at the inaugural press conference would be an international press fiasco to say the least.
But what eventually drew Sasuke's attention wasn't an overly zealous reporter or a possible terrorist threat but a fey haired woman sitting towards the left of the room right next to the commanding presence of the head physician, Dr. Tsunade. The woman's apple green eyes were positively glowing with excitement as she watched the proceedings around her, occasionally glancing giddily at her mentor beside her. She actually seemed rather besotted with how close she was sitting to Dr. Tsunade and other important cabinet members.
She looks happy thought Sasuke absentmindedly before he narrowed his eyes a bit. She seemed awfully familiar.
And then it clicked for Sasuke. She was the woman in the break room! The youngest member of the Prime Minister's personal team of doctors, the apprentice of that intimidating famous doctor!
Sakura? Was that her name? Well she certainly cleaned up well, Sasuke thought as he glanced at her again, no longer the sleep-deprived mess that he first witnessed in the break room, in fact, she was actually…kind of….pretty.
Sasuke, a little taken aback by his audacious thoughts, shook his head to clear his rather…..inappropriate musings.
It was then he caught the eye of Naruto who was sporting a rather vexing know-it-all smirk on his face. Damn it, I'm never going to hear the end of this cursed Sasuke inwardly knowing that Naruto was going to milk this little slip-up for all it was worth.
The dim lights, soft conversation, and soothing chamber music of the banquet hall were not helping Sasuke's energy levels.
It was already nine in the evening and Sasuke was tired. He had been on working since six this morning but he still had detail duty until the end of the inaugural banquet.
Which seems to be ending no time soon, Sasuke mused as he scanned the crowd for any signs that the party was dying down. It wasn't.
He inhaled deeply to try to ward off the fatigue as he readjusted his rapidly slouching posture and took a quick glance toward the prime minister seated at the table six feet to Sasuke's right. The prime minister was smiling as he leaned over to whisper something into his wife's ear.
Sasuke sardonically mused that this is what his life amounted to; standing around rich, influential old men as he watched them eat. Maybe he should have followed his father into politics, at least he would be eating with Fugaku at this banquet instead of watching his father, as Minister of Defense, make small talk with the ambassador of Canada.
Sasuke looked at his watch again, frowning a little as he noted that only five minutes had passed since he last checked the time.
And just as he was settling himself in for another uneventful evening, fate decided to play another hand.
A foreign dignitary suddenly and violently shot up from his seat as he clutched desperately at his throat and gestured wildly for help, a look of sheer panic gracing his features as he began to wheeze uncontrollably and turn a shade of puce-purple.
The entire secret service sprang into action.
The Prime Minister was carefully and quietly ushered out of the banquet hall into a safe room, while the dignitary was surrounded by secret service. Seeing that his team had already secured the removal of the prime minister to a safe zone, Sasuke quickly moved to direct the dignitary to medical attention. Catching the eye of Dr. Tsunade who was rushing to accompany the Prime Minister, she pointed a tapered finger towards the kitchen doors, mouthing silently that another medical staff member would meet him in there.
Sasuke quickly threw the dignitary's arm around his shoulders as he and his team carried the wheezing man out to the kantei kitchenwhere he was greeted by the young apprentice doctor who had a shot of epinephrine ready to go in her gloved hands.
If it were any other situation, Sasuke would have smirked at the image she gave with peach chiffon evening gown, diamond earrings, and purple latex gloves but this was no time for laughing. Sasuke gently placed the dignitary on the cold tile floors as Sakura moved efficiently and silently to push the loaded needle into the dignitary's torso.
The effect was almost immediate. The dignitary's breathing was no longer labored and the purple tinge on his face began receding. The fey-haired physician next to him breathed a sigh of relief before leaning over to check his pulse with sure hands.
"Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks," smiled Sakura gently as she turned toward Sasuke who seemed a little on edge.
"It's just an allergic reaction, although to what I don't know. But it's probably best to call an ambulance to get him to a hospital to make sure," Sakura professionally stated as she gave another glance toward the dignitary who was unconscious.
"I'll call." stated Sasuke as he pulled out his phone and dialed the emergency number requesting an ambulance.
"Oh! I forgot to introduce myself to you! My name is Haruno Sakura, assistant physician to Dr. Tsunade. Pleased to make your acquaintance." exclaimed Sakura softly before she rose to give a small bow towards Sasuke.
Her green eyes glimmered under the fluorescent kitchen lights as she waited for Sasuke to respond. Sakura quietly took in the sight of the young man, noting the dark eye-bags that beleaguered his otherwise handsome features.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance as well Haruno-san. I am Uchiha Sasuke from the security team of the prime minister," intoned Sasuke before returning the bow, "thank you for your help today."
"It was my pleasure," demurred Sakura with a smile as she felt the heat rush to her cheeks, "so, I guess I'll-"
Her sentence was cut off by the sudden whine of the siren that signaled the arrival of the ambulance, saving them from the awkward silence that was to follow. Sakura jumped up, almost too eagerly, to open the back doors of the kitchen to let in the EMS.
The dignitary was loaded onto the stretcher and Sakura followed it toward the ambulance.
"I'll accompany the patient, you should go check back on the prime minister. Tell Dr. Tsunade that I will call her regarding the dignitary's condition but it should be just fine," spoke Sakura over her shoulder reassuringly.
"Understood, I will let her know," replied Sasuke with a small affirmative nod. Satisfied with the answer, Sakura got up into the ambulance and left, leaving Sasuke to run a hand through his hair as he stood alone in the kitchen before he too left.
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