Rule 3

Chapter 17

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I didn't own it when I made my Fanfiction account, I don't own it now and I never will! SO THERE! lol

Sorry that this chapter is so late... I had to concentrate on three stories that were due by Halloween, plus my college English work...

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I paced in Itachi's office, glancing at the clock. The black hands showed fourteen minutes after the ninth hour, Itachi was never three hours late! When I asked Sasuke where his brother was, the annoying Uchiha just shrugged, saying he wasn't his older brother's babysitter. I nearly punched him, but barely managed to refrain. I was already in trouble for punching him before, I couldn't do it again without expecting repercussions. I was just glad that Taka was back with Hayaku, since I paid the bail and all chargers were cleared with the help of Shisui, I really couldn't worry about where my boss was and watch my three year old nephew at the same time. I checked my watch, 9:14, then the clock on my computer, cell phone, on Itachi's computer. I had even called customer service to get the time, all said nine-fourteen.

By now I was panicking, Itachi was never late without calling me first. When I tried to call him, his cell went straight to voicemail, Itachi only turned his phone off when he was driving or when he was at the office. I took that as the sign that he was on his way, but just to be sure I called Mikoto-san. She answered on the first ring, "Uchiha residence, Mikoto speaking." She said in a cheerful voice that she always managed to keep. "Mikoto-san, is Itachi-san there?" I asked frantically. There was a pause on the other line, "No... is he not at the office?" I shook my head then answered when I realized she couldn't see me, "No, and he hasn't called me yet to say he was going to be late." "He did leave later than usual. I don't think Itachi was even up when Sasuke left. I don't know, he looked a little... off today. Could just have been me though."

As if to prove her point, the man himself came stumbling in his office, as pale as death. I stared at my boss while telling Mikoto, "Never mind, he just walked in. Bye." I hung up without waiting for Mikoto to respond then turned to my boss, "What's wrong with you?" I asked flatly. Itachi didn't answer, he just slowly hung his outer coat on that antique but very expensive coat rack, I watched him with narrow eyes. I had seen Itachi hungover before, I had seen him with no sleep for two days, irritable, sluggish, and down right asleep on his feet. But I had never seen Itachi so... out of it. Curiously I watched as my boss straightened his coat so that it hung perfectly (a perk of being a perfectionist) then turn and shuffle towards his desk. Once he sat down, Itachi did the last thing I thought I'd ever see him do: he buried his head in his arms, like he was going back to sleep.

I was at his desk immediately, "Itachi-san? Is something wrong?" He only gave a halfhearted groan. I moved to push his black bangs away from his eyes so I could see his face, and snatched my hand back. His skin was burning up with a fever. I knelt down beside his chair and laid the back of my right hand against his cheek and the left against my own forehead to compare temperatures, just to be sure. Itachi groaned and rolled his head away from my hand. Now that I had a closer look at him I could tell that his very pale skin was beaded with sweat. I frowned. Fever, sweating, exhaustion... they were all signs that Itachi was sick. I stood back up, dialed one on Itachi's office phone for the lobby desk, "Please tell the valet that Itachi-san will need his car within five minutes. Thank you." I said in a surprisingly calm voice.

After I hung up I headed for Sasuke's office. Giving a brief warning knock, I opened the door. Sasuke and Sakura looked up, both at their own desks, seemingly absorbed in their work. I was mildly surprised to see them working and not fighting, "Itachi's sick and I'm taking him home. Sasuke, can you help your brother to his car?" I said quickly. Sasuke blinked, alarm flashing briefly through his dark eyes. I could understand his concern, the last time Itachi was sick he ended up in the hospital with the start of lung rot. Quickly my second boss stood and followed me back to Itachi's office, Sakura right behind us. Sasuke helped his brother to his feet, ducking under Itachi's arm so the older Uchiha could lean on him, while I grabbed my bosses coat and folded it over my arm. Sakura stood ready at the door, her sea green eyes wide as she watched Sasuke and I work like a team to get Itachi out of the office. Of course, we had practice considering Itachi's life style had been more lavish before it landed him in the hospital for eight months. I could still remember the times Itachi would come to work completely drunk or so sick from something that he couldn't make if five steps without puking. I was just glad those days were gone.

Unfortunately Itachi was coherent enough to argue with Sasuke and I all the way to the car, not that either of us listened to him. We had learned to turn a deaf ear when Itachi was determined to do something bad for his health, like staying at the office when he was obviously sicker than a dog. The valet waiting by Itachi's car stared when he saw the older Uchiha leaning heavily on the younger. I held out my hand, "Keys please. Uchiha-sama is going home early and I need to drive him." I said in a clipped tone that I reserved for the people who didn't listen to my orders. Startled the man thrust the keys at me, his eyes still on Itachi as Sasuke practically shoved his brother in the front passenger seat. As I climbed in the car, Sasuke came back around and leaned down to speak through the window, "I'm guessing you're not coming back?" He said, not hint of that underlying mockery his voice usually had when he spoke to me. I shook my head as I adjusted the mirrors and seat to fit my preference. I glanced at Sasuke, knowing he was genuinely worried for his older brother. "I'll call you if it turns out to be something bad, alright?" I said gently as I turned the car on. Sasuke wasn't looking at me, but at Itachi. Slowly he nodded then straightened and stepped back onto the sidewalk as I slowly pulled away. I glanced at Itachi while I waited for my chance to pull out into the highway, wondering if he knew how much people really cared for him.

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I didn't dare do anything but drive in Itachi's very expensive car, frightened to get a scratch in the paint. Itachi would murder me if I scratched the car. The car was expensive, so expensive that my yearly wage probably wouldn't be able to buy the seams in the car's seats. Because of my fright to ruin the car, I didn't call Mikoto to warn her that her eldest son was sick and I was bringing him home. It didn't really surprise me that she wasn't home when I finally pulled into the Uchiha mansion. What did surprise me was not even the help were there. I gave a soft groan as I turned off the vehicle, that meant I was left to get Itachi into the house and up to his room on the second story myself.

As I unbuckled, I shook Itachi's shoulder, he had fallen asleep on the ride home, "Hey, Itachi-san. We're home." Itachi groaned and slowly lifted his head, blinking his bloodshot eyes at the mansion in front of him. He turned his groggy glare on me, but it wasn't as effective when he was sick. I eyed him, "I can't get you in the house myself. Come on." I said as I went around to his side and opened the door. Slowly he crawled out, grunting and groaning dully. I wrapped Itachi's arm around my shoulder, letting him lean against me like Sasuke usually did, and slowly we started for the house. Just as we reached the steps to the porch I heard the distinctive gurgle in the back of Itachi's throat. Itachi dropped on his hands and knees as heaves racked his body. I knelt beside my boss, quietly drawing his low ponytail away from his mouth, holding his head with one hand and rubbing his back with the other. I took a deep breath through the mouth to stomp down on my own gag reflexes, the last thing Itachi needed was me being squeamish.

I waited for Itachi to finish retching before helping him slowly climb back to his feet and shouldering most his weight again. "Please don't puke in the house, I don't want to have to clean up." I couldn't help but grumble under my breath. Itachi gave a raspy chuckle then coughed wetly. I grimaced and hurried as best I could to get Itachi to his room. He only puked once in the hall that lead to the bedrooms, I was just glad that the flooring was hardwood and the mess would be easy to clean up. After I laid my boss down on his bed and placed the wastebasket beside him in case he had to vomit again, I went to scrounge the place for cleaning products. Armed with a surgical face mask, thick rubber gloves that went to my elbows, bucket full of lemony scented soapy water, scrub brush and bleach I got to work cleaning up Itachi's mess in the hall, then outside just to be safe. I really didn't want Mikoto coming home to find vomit all over her walkway, that would be rude.

Itachi was asleep again when I came back, feeling more icky than when Taka sneezed all over me once. Sighing I pulled on of Itachi's reading chairs over from the window to his bed and flopped down in the comfy chair. Leaning my head back I closed my eyes, wondering if other assistants did things like cleaning up vomit for their boss...

^o^

Had to cut it off otherwise it would be too long...

Flamers come and practice you Flamin' Skills!

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