A/N: I'm back! I know it's been a while, and there's no excuse...Just that I haven't been feeling like writing. It's not writer's block, since I have the entire story mapped out already, it's just a lack of wanting to sit down for an hour or so to write and edit. I'm very sorry, and hope this chapter makes up for it! Please enjoy and thank you for all your comments =) they were all lovely to read.
"Isn't this place great, Itachi-san?" the captain of Team Seven asked with a crinkle in his eyes as he surveyed the boundless amount of romance literature surrounding them. "They are quite fast at releasing new materials, especially the Icha Icha series, and they even have a special section in the back with comfortable chairs for patrons to sit and read. My favorite is the –"
"Hatake-san," Itachi interrupted before Kakashi could go into more details, "Are you quite sure that this is the same bookstore that Sakura frequents?" Unlike his companion, Itachi was eying the shelves filled with erotic reading materials with increasing weariness. He did not know that his lover purchased her books from such a…provocative place. Due to the enhanced abilities of his eyes, the ANBU captain could see the covers of some books on display far down the isle, and willed himself not to react to the sexual natures of the images. Why was that man's face near the woman's – - no, it was best not to think about that.
"If by 'sure' you mean that I've seen her here before, then yes, I am sure. A number of times actually, but it pains me to say that she pretends not to know me each time…"
"I can't imagine why…" Itachi drawled sarcastically. Then he wanted to pull a page out of Sakura's book and do the same when he saw the powerful Copy Ninja prance to the Icha Icha section while singing something that sounded like "New release new release here I come!"
Now that Kakashi abandoned him, Itachi began his own perusal of the literatures, hoping that one of these books would make the best birthday present for Sakura. He made sure to stay clear of the sections that had the erotic pictures on the front and steered towards the plain covered ones but thick in content. From the times that he'd seen her read her love stories, Itachi had notice that most were hundreds of pages in length and definitely did not have naked people on the front. It was a good place to start anyhow, since he had no clue which types of stories were her preference.
Minutes later, when he was still looking lost and uncomfortable, Shisui and Naruto found him.
"Yo Itachi! Did you find anything good yet?" the blond bellowed unnecessarily. No doubt all the ladies in the store will be rushing to their location now to catch a glimpse of the Uchiha clan heir.
"No, I have not," he replied. "And I'm unsure how this is the right gift for Sakura, as I have no way of knowing which she would prefer."
"What are you talking about, Sakura loves these things. She's always reading them when she wants to ignore us. Which is really often," Naruto reasoned. "And, she guards those books with her life. So she'll be really happy if you get her a new one. Believe it!"
"You never asked her what kind of stories she likes to read Itachi?" Shisui asked while picking out a random book from the shelf.
"It didn't seem necessary to ask, as I assumed Romance is a specific enough genre."
"Ah, how wrong you are Itachi-san," Kakashi said out of nowhere. " The art of reading Romance stories can be quite complicated. There can be multiple sub-genres, such as Historical Romance, where the protagonists' love has to be strong enough to withstand the harsh rules set by the society that they are raised in. Or, there is also Adventure Romance, where the lovers are battling together to save the world from destruction by combining their powers. Let's not forget Mystery Romance, where the plot is filled with –"
"AH! We get it Kaka-sensei, you love them all! I thought you were weird before, but this is just….WEIRD." For once, Naruto's words mirror closely to what Itachi is thinking.
Unlike the other two, Shisui has a newfound respect for the Copy Ninja. "Kakashi-senpai, since you are so well versed, do you know which type of stories a girl like Sakura likes?"
"Ah, I do." Now Itachi was listening. "Sakura always lingers in that section." Kakashi pointed to the right side at the end of the row.
Together, all four made their way down to that section of books. Right when they got closer, three familiar figures rounded the corner towards them.
"Where the hell have you guys been?" Naruto asked the other members of their elite team. Sasuke and Neji were both eyeing the women hiding behind neighboring shelves suspiciously, while Shikamaru looked bored as usual.
"I went to ask the clerk if he knows of a pink-haired kunoichi who comes here, and what kind of books she usually purchases," the Nara pointed to the other two men with him, "Then I picked up these two lost ducklings on my way here." This earned him glares from the Hyu-Uchi Alliance members. "Anyways, it seems like Sakura usually buys these kind of books." Shikamaru motioned with his head to the big placard handing above the section they were in.
Naruto scratched his head, "What the hell is Fantasy Romance?" A moment of confused silence followed before they all turned to look at the resident Romance expert. Hatake Kakashi almost looked proud when he began answering their questioning gaze.
"Well, Fantasy Romance is centered around all things magical and otherworldly. Usually the girl is normal and falls in love with a sorcerer, a werewolf, a vampire, and anything else that isn't human. They then embark on a quest to discover her hidden powers and together they fight the forces of evil that is trying to take over the world."
"Like a civilian falling in love with a shinobi then becoming a kunoichi and then fighting someone like Orochimaru?" Naruto tried to compare.
"Yes Naruto, something like that," his sensei replied in good humor.
"In these stories…do the characters continue their relationship even after the quest is finished?" Everyone turned and looked at Itachi weirdly for asking such an odd question.
"Well the stories usually end with them still together. Most romance stories are like that in nature. Are you asking about 'happily-ever-afters'?"
"Yes, but more specifically, do they make the relationship permanent," the heir clarified. To the others, it didn't sound like a clarification at all, just a weird rewording.
"What are you asking aniki? If they get married or not, or something?" Sasuke ventured a guess. His older brother could be extremely vague.
Itachi nodded his head, but said nothing. Kakashi scratched his chin and looked up in deep thought. "I think it is always assumed that the couple gets married in the end, since they don't usually have a scene where they do. Although, the proposal scenes that I've read have always been extremely touching."
"Hn." The wheels inside of Itachi's head were slowly cranking. He had an idea for Sakura's perfect birthday present.
Sasuke, Neji and Shikamaru weren't sure they liked the contemplative look in Itachi's face when he heard Kakashi talk about marriages and proposals.
It was almost time for her shift at the hospital when Sakura finally gave up looking for her teammates and boyfriend and decided to visit Ino at her family's flowershop instead. The shop was empty when she entered, and her blond friend was sitting at the counter looking at a fashion magazine.
"Hey Ino-pig," Sakura greeted before sitting down on a high stool in front of the counter. Ino scowled at the familiar greeting and returned it with her own "Hi there billboard brow."
"What are you doing here? No training with your team or hunky boyfriend today?" she teased the pink-head.
Sakura rested her chin on her palm and stared out the shop window. "Nope, can't find any of them today. Isn't that weird?"
"Well your team is always out doing weird stuff aren't they? No surprise there. Did you try Ichiraku ramen?" Everyone knows that is first place to go to if you are looking for Team Seven, or just an obnoxious blond.
"Yup, tried there, the training field, Hokage mountain, the random tree Kaka-sensei likes to read on, and even the Uchiha compound. Itachi's mom said that they both left together in the morning for something important but didn't tell her what."
"Really? Come to think of it, I saw Shikamaru this morning, and he said he had some troublesome business to do with his team. But he was being really secretive so I thought it was ANBU stuff. Do you think they are all together?" All of this secrecy wouldn't be so suspicious if it was only the ANBU team that was involved, but seeing as how her team was also missing, Sakura was sure they were all up to no good.
Just then, a pair of older ladies walked into the shop, talking and giggling about something. They wandered around the shop, talking nonstop about whatever was the latest gossip. Sakura and Ino didn't really pay attention to what they were saying, that is, until they caught words such as "3 uchihas in one place…that Kakashi" "all 7….handsome!"
The two girls turned and gave each other identical stares. "They're talking about them!" they both exclaimed at the same time. The kunoichis hopped off their chairs and quickly made their way to the chattering duo.
"Excuse me ladies, can I ask what's the juicy gossip today?" Ino launched into her professional village-gossip mode.
The women glanced at the two girls and instantly recognize Sakura as the girlfriend of the clan heir they were just talking about. "Oh! You wouldn't believe what we heard today. A couple of ladies were going to that bookstore right," the lady pause for effect and the girls both nodded in understanding of which one, "and guess who they saw wandering around there!?"
"Uh…Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura guessed.
"Of course! He's a regular!" the other woman pointed out. "But that's not all! It looks like he bought some friends with him this time. All 6 handsome young men! Oh what a site that must've been, to see them all together like that. Those lucky ladies! I'm so jealous!" she began fanning herself theatrically.
"Are you serious?!"
The two girls began mentally counting. Hatake Kakashi…Uzumaki Naruto…Nara Shikamaru…Hyuuga Neji…Uchiha Shisui…Uchiha Sasuke…and Uchiha Itachi. Indeed it was 7, and no doubt, that WOULD be a site to behold.
"How long ago was this?" Ino asked quickly.
"Oh not long, we heard this maybe 10-15minutes ago."
That mean they could still be there. "Sakura! Let's go! Sorry ladies, shop closed. Everyone out, out, out!" The blond ushered all three out of the shop and shut the door with a loud bang. Together they both ran towards Lustful Literature.
My preemptive attempt to answer all your brewing questions:
1. Where is this story going? To great places! I hope. I know a lot of people are hoping for lots of comedy, and I will definitely try to provide that. But I think I also want to focus on some ItachixSakura lovey-dovey-ism since Love Charades was all comedy and a little romance. =) time to balance the scales.
is Kakashi so dorky in this chapter? Because he is straight up WEIRD when it comes to his Icha Icha stuff. In my head, I keep thinking of the episode where Team 7 is trying to get him to take off his mask, and they are spying on him when he buys groceries, then he sees a sign for a Icha Icha movie and he starts doing this weird shuffle back and forth in front of the sign, acting like a total fanboy. So yes, that's where my inspiration for this chapter-Kakashi. Besides, I find weird!Kakashi absolutely adorable.
3. Next update? No clue, sooner than the last one I hope. ::cross fingers:: but please don't give up on this story, I really do want to finish it eventually. Since it's not going to be that long, I believe this is doable, so if you guys just put this on alert, and wait for me, that would be wonderful!
Thank you again for your reviews!