Rule 3

Chapter 15

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Just the plot of this story and my OCs.

Don't you hate it when you get that feeling that you have homework and you're sure you don't? O.o

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"Come on, Taka! We're late!" I said frantically, scrabbling to shove toast down my throat, toss cat food in Raion's dish, dress my nephew, and pour coffee all at the same time. I hadn't expected that Taka would be so hard to wake up, or what a grouch he was. My nephew was less of a morning person than I was! And because of his snail pace I was half an hour late. The last thing I needed was Itachi yelling at me for being late for the first time in the history of my employment. It was almost a guarantee that I was going to hear from it the way Itachi and I had been acting around each other lately. While I scrambled to to gather my papers I had been working on last night (one I noticed had a childish doodle drawn on it) and shove them in my briefcase, Taka slowly dragged his feet towards the door, his shoelaces still untied. I made a mental note to tie them in the taxi. I clutched my unlocked briefcase to my chest to keep the papers from falling out and snatched my purse from the chair it hung from, the chair tipped over with a loud crash, but I didn't stop to pick it back up.

Herding Taka down the stairs was even more of a headache then getting him dressed, if that were possible. But I finally got my half asleep nephew down the three flights of stairs and out the door in time just as my taxi driver, Chi, started to pull away. Luckily he slammed on the breaks when I burst from the doors, my nephew in tow, saving me the trouble of hailing another one. Chi looked at me amused when I slumped down in the back seat of the car, "Running late this time, aren't you? I was worried for a minute that you found another taxi driver to pay." Chi said. He had been my way to work every morning for the past five years. We had worked out a system that if he was in front of my apartment every morning at six, I would pay him double the amount it took to get from my apartment complex to Uchiha Corporation. Panting I shook my head, "Sorry, I'm not used to taking care of a kid." Chi glanced in the review mirror at Taka sleeping against me, "Where did he come from?" He asked. I shook my head, "This is my nephew, Taka, his father is having a crisis he has to deal with so I'm taking care of him." Even though Chi was technically my friend, I wasn't going to tell him what Hayaku's crisis was.

"Hmmm..." Chi nodded thoughtfully as he pulled into the Uchiha Corp parking lot, "Poor tyke, I bet he's not used to your murderous schedule." Chi yawned, "I've been driving you for years and I'm still not." He said. I laughed and tossed him the money, "I don't have a problem. Have a good day, Chi!" "You too, Ichigo." He said as I struggled to drag my nephew out of the car and juggle both my briefcase and purse at the same time. Chi just watched from the driver seat, laughing. As I dragged Taka through the main lobby towards the elevator the front desk receptionist, Kokoro, stared at me, "Miss Ichigo! You're late!" She said in a stunned tone. I flashed her a brief smile as the elevator doors closed. Practically everyone who knew who I was had the same stunned expression as Kokoro. I had earned the reputation as being the only employee who was never late. Even Itachi was late from time to time and didn't hold my perfect record.

Finally after what seemed ages, even though it was barely a few minutes, the elevator doors opened to reveal Itachi, Sasuke, and Sakura all standing around the main office lobby, arguing. If I hadn't been in such a panic I would have laughed. I stood there quietly in front of the closing elevator doors, my sleepy nephew in hand. It didn't take me long to realize they were talking about me, "What do you mean you don't know where it is? I gave it to you!" Itachi said to Sakura, his tone having a slight edge to it. The pinkette glared back, "Yeah, so? I'm not your assistant, Uchiha-sama. Ichigo is." Sasuke pinched the bridge of his nose, "Sakura, when another assistant is indisposed, it's the remaining assistant's job to work for both bosses." He said, surprisingly the calmest out of the three. Sakura spun on him, "Look you-" But before she could finish whatever insult she had on her mind, and get fired for real this time, Taka tugged on my arm and called out in a loud voice, "Aunt Ichigo? Why are they being mean?" The three spun to look at me and I smiled sheepishly, "I'll be in the office if you need me..." I said lamely then fled, dragging my nephew with me.

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"Where were you?" Itachi hissed after Taka nodded off, curled up in the nest of both our jackets. Even though I was still angry at Itachi for the way he had been treating me lately, I couldn't help but love my boss a little when he was so kind to Taka. Still, I glared at him, "Trying to get a four year old out of bed is what." I shot back in a heated whisper, we had both silently agreed to be quiet around Taka lest he wake up. Itachi rolled his eyes, "I take it you don't know anything about children." He said matter-of-factly. I never wanted to hit him more in my entire life, and mostly because I knew he was right. "Look, I'm the youngest of my family, so forgive me if I don't know how to raise a kid. I'm the best aunt on the planet, but a lousy mother." I growled. Itachi raised an eyebrow, he probably hadn't expected me to confess so easily. He was quiet for a minute before asking, "Is this going to be a permanent arrangement?"

I sighed and slumped down in my desk, "Honestly I don't know... Hayaku is in prison for something he clearly didn't do, but all the false evidence proves otherwise." I hadn't meant to say that last part, and I didn't know I even had until Itachi spoke, "How do you know the evidence it false?" I looked up startled at my boss. He had that expression he gets when speaking with clients. The way his eyes sharpen and stares deep into the clients eyes, like he was reading a person's thoughts. I can't believe I blushed; I had seen that look for seven years, but never once was it focused on me. When I didn't answer, Itachi repeated his question. I shook my head to shove the infuriating thoughts away and answered, "I seriously doubt my brother would hurt his kids." Itachi nodded soloumly, "You have some options." He said.

I perked up at that, if anyone knew what I should do, it was Itachi. I stared at him, eagerly waiting for him to fix my problems. Itachi smiled a little at my face, "You could spend all your savings and spring your brother, ask me for a loan against your paycheck, or..." He paused. I felt myself leaning over my desk, wanting to hear what he had to say. I knew the third option would be the best, I knew how Itachi worked. "...you could blackmail Shisui." He finished. It took me a few minutes to comprehend what he was suggesting. Shisui was the Chief of Police, and he had access to all prisoners that came through him before they went on trail. Because of his involvement with the prank Sasuke pulled on Sakura, and for multiple things in the past, I had enough favors and blackmail material to make Shisui do anything I ever wanted. Including setting my brother free... or at least paying the bail. I smiled, suddenly feeling better than I had ever since Ryuu called me last night. I was going to get back at Shisui at the same time as saving my brother. Sometimes life was too kind.

^o^

Sorry for the sorry ending, I rushed it because I was behind on the update schedule.

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