A.N.

To those of you that are reading this please note that there is a story before this. It's called Slowly Slipping Awayand it's found in my page. I follow the manga as closely as possible so this is the Shippuden part of it.

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: Naruto does NOT belong to me.

Sayuri and any characters that have not and will not appear in the manga and/or anime are completely original.

Naruto is copyright 1999 Misashi Kishimoto, Sayuri Marihasha, story, and original characters are copyright 2014 Salma Martinez, all rights reserved.

Reviews are welcomed. Thank you.

Commence

Street lamps illuminated the leaf village throughout the night. The moon shone high above the village as its residents rested comfortably in their bed. Leaves rustled as the wind came and went. There was a light chattering of people near the center due to the late night bars that stayed open. All in all over the past three years Konoha had stayed the same: a large, prosperous, peaceful village.

Two shinobi donning masks representing their ANBU status guarded the entrance to headquarters, two more guarded the roof. No one noticed as the two on the ground suddenly collapsed, nor did they notice when the two on the roof fell forward with a dull thud. A dark figure made its way into the building, stepping around the fallen ninja.

"Not much of a challenge…" the figure sighed, distinctively male, as he closed the door quietly. Looking at the building he noticed two sets of staircases, both leading to the second level where a balcony stood, at the center two large double doors. Carefully the man approached the stairs making sure that there were no traps as he reached the double doors.

He pulled one open, just a crack and peeked inside as he tried to detect any chakra. After a second of carefully scanning the room and no sign of another living being inside the office, he stepped in. His feet led him to the desk with neatly piled folders on either side of it.

The man reached for one and read the label. "Completed…" he placed it back on top of the pile as he scanned the desk taking note of the open scrolls as well as the closed ones. His eyes settled on the bottom drawer as he squatted and reached for his kunai and began to pick at the lock. It clicked open and he searched the drawer but sighed as he did not find what he was sent to retrieve.

He looked around the room and noticed the shelves full books and scrolls and wondered over to them in curiosity as to the titles of the books. He sighed and turned back to the desk. "Where would it be…?" he wondered out loud. His eyebrows furrowed as he hummed and went back to the stack of folders on the desk.

Gingerly he picked them up and one by one read their name. "Status, S-Rank, Medical, Failed, Candidates, Assignments…" he moved to the next pile. "Completed, Follow Up, Report…" he paused as he read the label to the next folder. "…Orochimaru…?" he placed the folders aside and took the folder before he opened it and scanned the documents. "Interesting…" he placed the folder aside as he noticed a small handle on the table.

Carefully he pulled at it and a small compartment opened up revealing several thin folders placed side by side. "And what do we have here…" he picked one up at random and read its tab. "Team 17." He chuckled and placed it back in its place. He ran his index finger to the left stopping at the last tab before pulling it out. Scanning the document completely satisfied he closed the compartment and placed the folders back on top of it.

He turned to the window reaching out for it until the slight sound of metal cutting air caught his attention. Moving aside to avoid being struck by a kunai he turned to the entrance.

"Looks like we have a thief." The masked ninja turned to the entrance and found a young ANBU with auburn hair and a monkey mask staring at him. Behind her stood a tall dark haired male with bright green eyes that narrowed at him in anger. "You didn't actually think that it would be easy to steal from the ANBU, did you?" the female of the two spoke.

"I suppose not." And with that he was out the window heading towards the forest.

The girl turned to the male who nodded. "Go." With that said the young ANBU leapt after the intruder. The dark haired male made his way over to the desk moving aside the stack of folders and opening the compartment pulling out the first folder his eyes widened.

He turned to the door where two more ANBU stood at attention. "He took team 1's information…get it back." He said through clenched teeth and in a flash the two vanished after their comrade.

XXX

The auburn haired ANBU chased after the intruder through the streets of Konoha before opting to chase from above using the roofs to follow him. She cursed under her breath as he leapt into the forest and pushed herself to speed up. Suddenly two more ANBU made themselves visible beside her.

"Aka, Kenji says he has Team 1's folder, if that gets into the wrong hands-"

"Don't you think I know that!" The female of the three snapped keeping her eyes locked on the man bellow. "He's fast, we need to surround him." She added and with a nod the two males vanished in the shrubbery.

She's on my trail…and soon will the rest of the ANBU if I don't find a way to escape fast! The thief thought as he sped up all the while avoiding branches and tree roots. However he skidded to a stop as he noticed a silver haired ANBU with a roosted mask staring back at him. He turned to his left but another ANBU with brown hair and a dog mask appeared from the shadows. Finally he turned to his back and the female ANBU from before landed gracefully on the forest ground.

"The folder…" The silver haired one of the two muttered, holding his hand out towards the thief.

At his left the dog masked man shifted and reached for a kunai. "Either give it to us now or we'll take it by force…your choice."

The masked man shifted as he reached behind him and suddenly they pounced. Aka high above him her katana aimed downward. He swiveled away only to be kicked in the abdomen by the one in the dog mask effectively sending crashing toward a tree.

The silver haired ANBU wove through a series of hand signs just as dog mask moved way. "Fire Style: Fireball-"

"Koga, stop!" the female commanded as she placed an arm between him and their opponent. "This place will blow up if you use any fire based jutsu."

The masked man chuckled. "So you noticed…very perceptive of you."

"Noticed what?" rooster asked side glancing his teammate.

"It's faint but I can smell gas around this area." She informed.

The young ANBU tilted his head to the side as he sniffed the air before turning to the masked man. "Pretty smart of you…" he acknowledged.

Their opponent bowed before leaping high into the air catching all of them off guard. "Son of a…!" Koga growled before rushing after him. The remaining two chased him from below, throwing shuriken in perfect sync effectively trapping their target.

"We've got you…" Koga announced as the rest of his team landed on the same branch as he. "What the heck?" he bent down before the body blew up sending the three ANBU flying back in opposite directions, each colliding with a tree and sliding down it unto a slouched sitting position.

A soft sigh escaped the masked thief's lips as he landed on the forrest floor. "You ANBU are seriously pathetic. Falling into a booby trap like that…how-"

"Lightning Style…Lightning whip…" He turned just as a line of electricity shot out from the female's fingertips aimed towards his ankle and wrist. With the light twitch of her fingers he felt a sharp pain course through his body.

A clench of her fist and he was brought down to his knees with a grunt. "Damn it…" he struggled to pull himself out of the whips hold but to no avail, he turned on his side to watch as his captor began to use her free hand to weave through hand seals.

"Earth Style: Earth Spikes…" suddenly the ground underneath him rumbled just before a series of spikes embedded themselves through his chest. Panting she released the lightning whip jutsu before falling on her side. "Damn…" she hissed as the pain on her back began to course through her body. Lifting her head up she watched as her team began to come to, both grunting and hissing in pain from the harsh blow they received.

The first to react was Koga, who with a sharp gasp took in the sight of their enemy and his teammate both on the ground. "Shit!" he cursed as he pushed himself up rushing over to the female. Carefully he sat her up. "Aka…?" he asked and shifted earning him a small whimper.

"Stop moving…I think I fractured a rib." She whispered before she nodded at the dead man on the ground. "Get the folder."

"On it!" the brown haired dog masked ANBU said as he made his way over to him picking up the manila folder in the man's hands.

Koga began scan his teammate over "How much chakra?" he asked his voice tinted with a hint of worry.

Aka shook her head. "Not much…as long as I get to the hospital fast enough."

"Got i-"

"Oh for the love of…!" the two ninja shifted to look at their partner. "This isn't the folder!" he said through gritted teeth. "He switched the damn thing!"

The young teen rubbed her temples with a small whine. "He must have had back up and during the explosion he…" she trailed off as she felt something wet hit her exposed shoulder.

"What's that?" the brown haired ANBU asked as he stepped closer before hearing a low growl coming from the canopy of trees. In sync the three looked up to see white tigers looming over them before they pounced.

"Gin, move!" Koga exclaimed as he took Aka into his arms and leaped out of the way. He landed a few ways away with a skid as he turned to the tigers that were growling at him and the girl in his arms.

"Put me down." Aka ordered as she pushed against his chest, Koga could only oblige as he moved to take his katana out. "Gin?" she called out. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah!" she sighed in relief as she steadied herself. Suddenly there was a slight rustle from above; all three glanced up seeing the silhouette of a ninja before he sped off.

Aka turned to Koga who nodded his head once in understanding. The tigers growled once more before leaping towards them. In that instant Koga leaped high on to the tree in search of the hidden ninja while Aka and Gin performed a series of seals. "Wind Style: Gale Wind!" The air suddenly picked up into deadly high speed cutting wind until it settled down to a stop sending the remains of the tigers splattering their way.

From his spot Gin pulled at his white vest curiously. "This isn't blood…" Aka walked over to him leaning in to better examine the white stained piece of fabric, tilting her head she hummed.

"It's ink." She noted. The two turned to watch as Koga landed a few feet behind them.

"The guy's gone."

Aka sighed as she looked up at the morning sky. "Damn it!"

XXX

"So let me get this straight…" Kenji rubbed his temples. "You three failed to retrieve the document that has all the information regarding Lady Tsunade's personal ANBU team…" the three stayed silent. "Do you have any idea of how much trouble I'll be in when she finds out!" He yelled slamming his hands on the desk.

"We tried…" Koga began but back down due to fear. Kenji looked particularly murderous this morning. He looked to his right for his teammates support, but they offered nothing.

Kenji took in a very deep, very slow breath. "Report."

The three straightened up. Aka was the one to begin. "We chased the ninja into the woods when we cornered him he managed to evade us and when we managed to pin him down the body exploded, it was a tr."

"We concluded that he had another teammate and that he switched the folders during the explosion. Aka was able to kill him before he escaped once again." Koga added.

"We know that his partner was still within the area due to the fact that we were attacked by two tigers while Koga chased after the other ninja. However the tigers were not real…they were actually made of ink." Gin finished off.

Kenji narrowed his eyes. "Made of ink…?" the three ninja nodded. "This is not to be repeated outside of these four walls." He warned before continuing. "Have you three heard of the Root?" they shook their heads. "The Root is an organization much like the ANBU…however they don't respond to me or to the Hokage…instead they follow orders from an elder named Danzo."

"Danzo…?" Aka echoed. The name sounds familiar…

"We've been spying on Danzo for some time now…and I fear that he's become involved with something or someone that wishes to harm Konoha."

"Wait!" Koga began. "Danzo is one of the elders…why would he-"

Kenji held up a hand. "He's been after the title of Hokage since before I was born…the fact that this guy also made his own organization doesn't really help." The man stood up and began to pace the room. "I'm assigning you a new mission." The three ninja straightened up and awaited instructions. "Team 5, Hajime, Sayuri, and Diachi…under the codenames Koga, Aka, and Gin, the three of you will be gathering intelligence on Danzo and the Root...As well as information regarding Orochimaru and the Akatsuki. You may divide the tasks as you wish, but inform me of who will be doing what before the end of the day."

"Yes sir!" the three ninja spoke in unison.

"You're dismissed, except for you Sayuri…a word please." Her two teammates left the sunlight office, quietly closing the door behind them. "You can remove your mask."

In one swift motion Sayuri pulled the monkey mask off and held it in her right hand. Kenji gestured to the chair which she took wearily. "What's going on Kenji?"

The man before her sighed and ran a hand trough his hair. "Your chakra levels…how low are they?"

Sayuri stiffened the cluttered desk suddenly became very interesting. "Uh…they're…"

"Did you honestly think that I wouldn't notice!" his voice was grave as he stood up and walked around the desk to stand directly in front of her. "You're chakra is barely there…you were panting when you came in...and you still are!"

"I'm fine!" She looked up to meet his gaze. "I'm used to the chakra depletion, if I wasn't I would have never made ANBU!"

Kenji placed a hand on her shoulder, his green eyes looking down at her with concern. "I'm not saying that you're weak…Chakra depletion is just a mild setback for you. That is why I'm taking you off missions for the next week."

"WHAT!" Sayuri exclaimed rising to her feet and looking at the head of the ANBU as if he had suddenly grown a second head. "You can't do that!"

"Oh yes I can." He began to push her out of the room. "Now go get yourself checked then off to bed…you'll be doing paperwork for the next two weeks."

"PAPERWORK?" Sayuri turned to glare at him. "I'm an ANBU not a secretary!" she growled.

"Want to go for three weeks?" He asked as he opened the door and pushed her out. He took in her silent gaping expression and grinned. "I didn't think so. See you tomorrow!" and with that he closed the door on her face.

XXX

Sayuri grumbled as she made her way back home after getting herself checked out. "Who the hell does he think he is…" she grunted as she took the keys out of her pocket. "…Taking me off missions…" she opened the door and kicked her shoes off. "…Making me do paperwork…"

Sayuri headed straight to the kitchen taking a glass from the cupboard on her way to the fridge. "And to think that I gave him the stupid title of head of the ANBU…" she took out the milk poured it and drank it all in one gulp. "WHAT AN ASS!" The auburn haired teen growled as she slammed the glass down on the table.

She let a few more choice words slip as she stomped up the stairs, removing her white vest as she opened the door to her bedroom tossing it aside, not caring where it landed. Moving towards her dresser she opened it and took out a plain red tank top before reaching for the hem of her black turtle neck and pulling over her head. She turned around to toss the turtle neck over to where she had her vest only to freeze at what she saw…or rather who she saw.

Standing there a few feet away and holding her white ANBU vest giving her a sheepish grin stood a now tall and somewhat handsome blonde, blue eyed teen that she had last seen in the hospital three years back.

"Uh…" he began blushing as he looked the young girl over. "…Umm...Hi." he chuckled awkwardly. He was promptly punched.

"Hey Naruto did you…" Sayuri turned to her doorway to glare at the rosette girl that had trailed off upon seeing the blonde ninja holding his now black eye. "Oh hey Sayuri…there you are." She laughed nervously as she scratched her head.

Sayuri quickly put on the tank top upon realizing that the pink haired female was staring at her almost naked self. "You realize that breaking and entering is a crime, don't you…Sakura?"

She laughed nervously. "Well we didn't really break anything to get in…more like picked the lock."

Sayuri crossed her arms over her chest and narrowed her eyes. "Enlighten me."

"Aww come on Sayuri...you're the only of our team that I haven't seen!" The blonde whined as he held his eye. "I just got back you know!" Sayuri turned to Naruto eyes wide.

That's right! Naruto hadn't been in Konoha in three years! Ooops…She winced as he grinned at her, black eye showing in all its glory.

"What? Don't I get a hug?" Sayuri stepped forward and looked at him. Really looked at him.

"You're taller…" she noted. "And your voice is…deeper."

Naruto twitched as he was scrutinized by his teammate. "Thanks and you're still as short as ever." He grinned before catching himself remembering what Sakura had done when he didn't complement her. "But you look good! I mean really good!" He added. "Like you don't look like a little girl good…A-and I mean with those curves of yours who would think that you looked like a little girl!"

Sayuri's eyes widened as she fingered her now waist long hair with a light blush dusting her cheeks. Sakura on the other hand frowned and bopped him on the head.

"Ignore him…He's still the same idiot we knew from before. The only difference is that he's taller."

"Hey-!" He retorted as he rubbed his head. He froze as he felt warm hands touch his swollen eye.

"Here." Sayuri whispered healing the boy before stepping back and smiling at the teen. "Welcome home…dimwit." She grinned while Sakura tried to, but failed, to suppress her laugh.

A.N.

Please review! I'd love to hear what you guys think of it so far! :)