Chapter 14

Disclaimer: Don't. Even. Ask.

Thanks to AnimeFreak1145, Sally95, Kyoichi Amaya, Chichi4mangaHero, VKlover13, Quietjay21 and YukiKitsune95 for reviews. Thanks to csd1411, ashala and Quietjay21 for favorites!

Sally95: That's a really good idea, thanks! I promise I'll do it just as soon as the current drama is unfolded! ^^

YAY! I am finally ahead again! *cheer* Oh and by the way, FIGHT AHEAD! :D


We left before daybreak, the twelve year olds were still asleep and hard to wake so Nobuko and Arashi carried them on their backs. Matsuri seemed smug that she was the only 'kid' who was actually awake, but I didn't pay any attention to her. I didn't look at anyone, my eyes were trained on our surroundings, alert because of the owl encounter. Ame noticed my mood but didn't comment on it.

It was close to noon. Mitsuko and Toppi were awake by then, both hyper and kept getting under foot. When Arashi first yelled at them, they calmed down for a brief moment before acting up again. I was the only one who seemed to not be fazed by their antics; but then I did have a four year old. Ame shouted at them to keep it down, it was dangerous to bring attention to themselves, but they ignored her. She flushed with anger and I put a hand on her shoulder, "They're kids, just let it go." Ame growled, "Those two are like miniature Narutos!" Those who knew Naruto laughed. Matsuri glared at the two, "Why are you two acting like such-" I covered her mouth before she could go any farther and everyone turned to me. I was watching the trees, suddenly alert again.

A shadow flickered briefly in my peripheal and I snapped my head around in time to see a kunai coming straight for me. I dodged, pushing Matsuri to the ground in the process. Everyone reached for their weapons. Matsuri crawled to her feet, but I shoved her down again as another kunai flew past her, one that would have peirced her neck if I hadn't shoved her away, "Stay down!" I snapped and Matsuri followed my order, curling on the ground, watching with frightened eyes.

Laughter I recognized too well filled the air and everyone tensed. My mother lept down from a tree, her Akatsuki robe fluttering around her like a crow's wings. "I wish you'd let me hit her, Tora, that brat would make great target practice." I narrowed my eyes at her as Ruri glanced between us, her cerulean blue eyes widening as she realized who the Akatsuki woman was. I snarled and didn't answer. Ame made a shuffle forward but my mother shook her head mockingly, "My fight is with Tora, back off!" With that she flicked her fingers toward my team leader and vines shot out of the forest to grab Ame. My team turned to attack the vines and left me to fight my mother.

Hikaru turned back to me, "Fight me, dear. We were interuppted the last time." I drew my twin katanas from my back and glared, "Gladly." I snarled and charged forward. Hikaru pulled out her own katana and smiled grimly. At the last moment I cartwheeled away from her and landed on a tree, focusing chakra to my feet to keep me there. Before my mother could turn and face me I pushed off the tree and flew straight for her. Unfortunately she was able to block my attack and I flipped off her shoulders, twisting to face her before I landed. Hikaru smirked when she turned to face me, "I don't remember this... have you actually been training?" I didn't answer, but charged again. She swept her katana up, stoping my right sword from decapitating her, and kicked away my left. Our faces were inches apart, orange eyes glaring at each other.

My mother pushed me away, her katana a flash of silver as she came towards me. I ducked under her swing and back flipped to avoid her return. She wasn't smiling anymore, "Fight me! Stop dancing around, brat!" She snapped, her dull black hair flying in her face. I couldn't help it, I laughed at her fustration. She screamed in uncontrolable rage and charged me again, faster than before. I lept aside, taking a swipe at her legs with my left, but she avoided it. Hikaru attacked again. I was surprised at her strength and ferocity. She feignted to my left and I swung to block both ways, growling she spun to the right and swung her sword again, going for the tendon at the back of my knee. I twisted to face her, my right sword going to block hers. I heard the screech of metal on metal and felt a brief twinge of discomfort in my thigh, but I pushed it away.

The woman jumped back and grinned maliciously. I frowned and made for a step towards her when my right leg crumbled beneath me. I screamed in pain and clutched at my leg, it was coated in blood. I glared at my mother, lips pulled back in a snarl. She tilted her head to the side like a bird, her coy smile back in it's place, "You know... you really look like a Demon when you make that face. Don't you know you're face will freeze if- Oh wait!" She laughed mockingly, "It already is!" In a moment of anger and fustration I threw one of my swords at her, but she dodged easily. Grinning she twirled her own katana in her hand and started for me, intending to end me. Before she came within five feet of me a sand wall rose between us and I could hear her cursing. When the sand wall dropped, she was gone.

Ruri knelt beside me, her blue eyes wide as she stared at the mangled mess of my leg. Gently she probed at it and I hissed in pain, jerking my leg away from her touch. She pulled back, "It's poisoned, I'm not skilled for this." Ame stood behind my friend, her yellow-flecked blue eyes serious as she frowned. She looked around, "We're close to Konoha. Konkuro!" The purple painted Suna nin blinked in surprise and stepped forward, "You're the strongest here, carry Tora." The Suna nin cast me a cautious look and I glared. I didn't like feeling weak, and being carried did just that. Ame put a hand on my head and leaned down, whispering, "Be nice, that's an order." I sighed and relented. Konkuro cautiously started to pick me up; I blacked out before he got me completely off the ground.


Tora's back in the hospital... She's gotta stop getting hurt... C Oh well! Everything comtributes to the story, even the minor peices!

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