Chapter Two: The Deer, Found!

Konoha's smartest man?

Sasuke looked up, cool as ever, when a stack of folders landed on his desk. He was currently sitting in the break room with others, those others being Kakashi, Naruto, and Kiba. Shino stood before them.

"I've found the deer." he monotoned.

Naruto immediately sat up, blue eyes flashing in the buzzing ceiling lights of the break room. Kiba made a noise of surprise that suspiciously sounded like a bark as he jumped to his feet. Kakashi's one visible eye narrowed. Shino stood there, eyes unreadable behind his round lenses, staring Sasuke down. It was a week into the case, and Sasuke had already assembled a team to personally work on it along with himself, which included Naruto, Kiba, Shino, and Sai. Though Uchiha were claimed to be prideful people, (Naruto insisted he "Had the pride pole way too far up his ass.") Sasuke knew he couldn't solve this case by himself. And he'd be damned if there was a better team assembled out there. He had the force, the brains, and the skill. Not to mention nothing was going to detour him from this case.

"So, you believe this deer is...?" Kakashi drawled, leaning forward on his elbows.

Shino's glasses flashed in the light as he indignantly shoved them up his nose. "I don't believe, I know. The "deer" as you put it, is no other than a Shikamaru Nara. How do I know this, you ask? Because I am head of the information and search departments." he stated blandly, tapping his fingers on top of the pile of folders.

"Shika..maru...Like, the deer?" Naruto asked.

Shino rolled his eyes unseeingly behind his shades. "Yes. Shikamaru Nara, A.K.A. "The Deer" is actually currently residing in Neji's apartment building at the moment, on the same floor, to be exact. Not only does his first name hint at him being "The deer that shadows the murder", but so does his last name, Nara. The Nara's are a deer-herding clan that are popular today in medicines and research. Nara Shikamaru also used to work as an undercover cop, ergo, him "shadowing" the murder of Neji Hyuuga." Shino listed off his theory, before falling silent. It was actually the most he'd said in awhile.

Naruto banged his fist on the table. "The hell are we sitting around here for then? We know this guy has something to do with Neji's death, let's arrest him already!"

Kakashi sighed and leaned back in his chair, rubbing a hand over his face. "Impatient as ever, Naruto." he said mildly.

"But Kakashi-"

"I'm sorry Naruto, but we can't exactly burst into Mr. Nara's apartment and arrest him under no real charges." Kakashi explained. Naruto opened his mouth to protest but Sasuke stood up suddenly. All eyes landed on him. "It's a lead, even if Shino is wrong-" he could feel Shino's glare on his back as he walked away from the group. "So were following it. I'm asking Tsunade for permission to investigate this more and then we'll see if maybe we can get some answers out of him." He gazed over his shoulder at the group. "Dobe, Kiba, be ready, and tell Sai to be prepared too." he said cooly. Naruto flopped back into his chair, defeated for now.

"Whatever, Sasuke-teme." he grumbled, Kiba nodded in understanding.

Sasuke wasn't concerned with the actual arresting and questioning of Nara Shikamaru, no, he was more worried with getting permission to do it.

One thing stood in his path.

One huge thing.

One blonde thing.


Sasuke was the head of the Investigation department, sure, but in order to do anything, he had to get either orders or permission from Tsunade, the head of Konoha's police force. No one would say it, but Tsunade basically ruled the city. Not to her face anyways. Or her back. She was known for her short temper and immense strength, and how she was easily offended by most things.

That was why Sasuke was so worried.

They weren't exactly buddy-buddy.

Sasuke stood outside her door, or as Naruto had nicknamed it, 'The Gateway to Hell', pondering the choice of instead sending one of the rookies in there, in his place. Shaking his head to clear it of pointless thoughts, Sasuke put on his most stoic and emotionless face, silently praying to the god he didn't believe in that Tsunade was in a good mood today. The second he opened the door an office chair came flying out.

God dammit.

Sasuke ducked and nearly escaped a brush with death, as he was sure that chair had been flying twenty miles an hour, ready to decapitate him. He then was pushed into the door frame by a pale faced rookie, who was practically tripping over himself to get out of the office. It looked like someone else had had the same idea as Sasuke, but was stupid enough to go through with it.

Sasuke warily entered the wrecked office, mindful of any flying chairs. Tsunade stood in the middle of the office, already flipping her desk back into its rightful position, and heaving the filing cabinets back to their spots at the walls of the room. Tsunade had looked up moodily when he had entered. "What do you want, Uchiha." she bit frostily.

Sasuke bowed his head, trying to show at least a little respect for the blonde demon. " Ms. Tsunade, I've come to request permission to further investigate the murder of Neji Hyuuga."

Tsunade seated herself at her desk and folded her hands in front of her face, scrutinizing Sasuke. "Neji Hyuuga, he was your partner, correct?" she questioned. Sasuke nodded.

"Very well, assemble a team and do what you have to do." Tsunade said, waving him off. Sasuke blinked in shock, she was giving him permission so easily? Seeing the confused look in Sasuke's eyes, Tsunade chuckled.

"He was your partner right?Avenge him for the Konoha police force, he was one of my top men."

Sasuke smirked. "Will do, Tsunade."

And with that, Sasuke Uchiha strode confidently out of Hell.

The tension was palpable. Naruto, Sai, Kiba, and Sasuke stood outside of Shikamaru Nara's apartment, guns fully loaded, adrenaline rushing, heart pumping, sweat rolling, end excitement increasing the stakes.

"Alright, Sai, I want you to man the door. Be ready in case this guy tries to make an escape. Try not to kill him." Sasuke ordered. Sai sighed. "Why must you always give me the difficult job…?" Kiba rolled his eyes at this. "Aw, shaddup Sai. So does this mean we're going in with you, sir?" Kiba asked, motioning towards himself and Naruto. Sasuke hummed a yes. "Alright, lets go!" Naruto cheered, only to be smacked on the back of the head by Sasuke.

"Bastard.." he muttered.

The four made their way toward the door, fingers on the trigger of their guns and feet silently slinking across the carpeted hallway floor, their breaths shallow as they approached the door as if it were the plague itself. Sasuke was the first to reach the door. He knocked on it. "That's a little anti-climactic Don't ya think?" Naruto pointed out, only to be smacked once again. The door slowly creaked open. They held their breaths.

Sasuke didn't know what he'd been expecting, maybe a psychotic, skinny, pale kind of guy, or a big beefy slasher or something, but he couldn't help but feel….disappointed?

Standing in the doorway of the apartment was a nicely-muscled man, with lazy half-lidded eyes and spiky black hair that brushed his shoulders and hung in his face. A cigarette hung from his lips. His eyes roamed over the cops before stopping on Sasuke's face. He smirked at him. "Heh, took you long enough, Sasuke Uchiha."

Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "You must be Shikamaru Nara."

"The one and the only, " he drawled, black smoke wafting from his lips. He pushed the door opened further. "Naruto, Kiba, Sai, I'm sure you'd like to join me and Mr. Uchiha inside?" he yawned, not at all caring about the fact that there were for highly-skilled and deadly officers with fully loaded guns aimed at him. He rolled his eyes at the guns pointed at his chest and head.

"Relax, I'm not going to make a break for it, I have a schedule to keep and a job to do." he muttered.

Warily, the four lowered their guns and followed Shikamaru inside the sizable apartment. When they stepped in they were automatically hit with the stench of cold black coffee and stale cigarettes.

Kiba wrinkled his sensitive nose. The apartment was covered from floor to ceiling with books of all kinds and shelves of knick-knacks and what-nots. Chess boards were propped up on a long table, unfinished games gathering dust. Canvases were propped against the walls, some of famous paintings, others obvious originals. A wind chime rang eerily from the ceiling. A hive of dream catchers swayed. Most of the windows were covered with thick velvet curtains, Sasuke observed.

"Sorry about the mess; I'm actually not."Shikamaru admitted, a black cloud floating from his lips. "Watch the floors, I don't want you guys messing up how everything is set up." he muttered. Peeking down, the floor was layered with many different rugs. He gestured towards a comfortable looking couch. "Have a seat. This may take a bit."

Cautiously, the four sat down, Shikamaru flopping down in a recliner in front of him. "So, how did you find me?" Shikamaru prompted.

"The head of Konoha's information and search departments tracked you down. We suspect you may know something about the death and murder of Neji Hyuuga." Sasuke frowned. He didn't like him for some reason, he seemed too smart for his own good.

"That is because I do. I believe your friend Shino was correct."

Naruto sat forward. "How do you know- Nevermind! What do you know about Neji?"

"Neji Hyuuga. Born July 3rd, Height, 172.l cm, weight- 54.2kg, Blood type-"

"Don't fuck with me! You know what happened to Neji!" Naruto yelled, lunging towards him. Kiba had difficulty restraining the enraged blonde. "N-Naruto! Calm down already! Let him talk!" he yelled over Naruto's death threats. Shikamaru didn't bat an eye. Instead he smirked and leaned forward, propping his head up on his hand. "Naruto Uzumaki. You had a rough childhood, didn't you?" he asked. Naruto stopped struggling against Kiba, and instead glared darkly at the smoker. This bastard, screwing with me…Naruto thought. Slowly he lowered himself back down onto the couch.

"Anyways," Shikamaru yawned. Suddenly, the sleepy, cocky man was gone and he was replaced with an alert, serious one. "Neji Hyuuga was found dead in his home at 8:15 a.m., by a neighbor named Ino Yamanaka. The police were contacted at 8:17, since it took the woman two minutes to run back to her own apartment, and phone them. The police force received word at 8:19 two minutes later, as that was how long it took for her to get through. However, Sasuke Uchiha, head of the investigators did not arrive until 2:14 p.m., in which Captain Hatake Kakashi had already arrived on the scene with 13 other investigators."

"What are you trying to prove, that you know our every move?" Kiba snarled.

Sai silenced him. "Continue, Mr. Nara."

"Mr. Nara is my dad, just call me Shikamaru." he sighed, rolling his eyes. "As I was saying, It took Mr. Uchiha exactly 5 minutes to reach the apartment, at 2:19. 3.5 minutes later, you received a manilla envelope from . It was apparently addressed to you, Sasuke Uchiha, found on the body of Mr. Hyuuga. Inside, the envelope was a paper, made of the same material. One corner, the left I believe, was folded. On the paper was one simple sentence; the deer shadows the murder. That, is when the game started. " he finished with a large breath.

Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "The game?" he questioned. Shikamaru smirked and leaned forward, a mischievous light in his narrow eyes.

"Yes, the game. And I was assigned by Neji to give you your first clue."

Naruto's eyes widened. "N-neji?"

"Y-you mean-?"Kiba gasped.

Shikamaru grinned. "What if I told you Neji Hyuuga was still alive?"

To Be Continued Next Chapter! Chapter Three: A Game of Life!

"Do you even know if Neji is really dead? Do you even know how he died?"

"I'm sworn silent for now, I'm only supposed to give you your next clue."

"The theatre district?"

"Who are you, un?"