Trapeze

Chapter 28

Disclaimer: You know what I don't own.

Thanks to Fernlight, Freedom its2l8, Shadewing31, Chichi4mangaHero, Sally95 (guest), Silent-Himitsu, Kyochi Amaya, YukiKitsune95 (yay your back!), Forever-Buckskin, Animefreak1145, and Once Upon an April for reviews. Thanks to Stereoheart21, ReaDawnx (for Acrobats), xCosmicLatte, and Shizumehime for favorites.

Sally95: I'm glad you like it! The cuteness is just overpowering! XD

Silent-Himitsu: lol that review made my so far sucky day! XP Especially the Uchiha setting fire to the owl!

...stupid chapter... Y U NO COME OUT RIGHT?! And thus the stress of school is already effecting my writing... Grrrrr

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"Alright. The Hokage wants us to do some reconnaissance. Jiraiya's spy network isn't getting the information fast enough, so we will be splitting up into smaller teams to gather information from the other nations." Ame said once I joined the team after dropping Tenshi off at the Uchihas. "This will be a long mission and everyone will need to be under disguise. Backstories and everything. The teams are: Toppi and me, Yuki and Nabuko, and Arashi, Tora and Ruri." I grimaced wondering why I had to be stuck with the two love birds. Nabuko, seeing my expression, smirked, "Have fun Tora..." I glared at the Hyuuga while Ame and Toppi laughed. Ame waited until the team had turned their attention back to her before continuing, "Toppi and I will go to Shimo. Nabuko, you and Yuki go to Ishi. Arashi, take Tora and Ruri to Iwa. Create a believable story, people. And good luck."

Two days later Arashi, the self appointed leader of our team, called for a break. Once we were rested, Arashi unfolded a map and spread it out on the ground, "We're about here, still a day from Iwa." He said pointing at a spot about halfway between Konoha and Iwa, just inside the Grass Country. We decided that Kusa would be out cover home, to avoid suspicion. I sat back on my heels, "We need a story before we go any further." I commented. Arashi shot me a look but kept his mouth closed. I guess being friends with Ruri had its perks, not having to listen to Arashi complain was one of them. Ruri sat up, her cerulean eyes sparkling, "Tora and I can pass as sisters, if she changes her eye color and hides her scars." I glared at my friend, "What's wrong with my eyes?" I snapped. Ruri laughed, "Nothing, but they are unusual. Blue eyes are more common and we don't want to stand out."

"But what about me?" Arashi asked. I shrugged, "Well you can't be our brother, the way you and Ruri keep making doe eyes at each other would shatter that disguise in a heartbeat." Both of them glared at me. "I'm sure you and Itachi-sama do the same." Ruri muttered. Before I could stop myself I said, "No, we kiss more." Both hands were over my mouth as soon as I realized what I had said, but the damage was already done. Ruri was staring at me wide eyed and open mouthed. Arashi just laughed. Ruri finally found her voice, "Y-you've been doing WHAT?!" I grimaced at her shriek. "Just drop it." I mumbled through my hands, not trusting to take them away from my mouth in case it betrayed me again. Arashi got a hold of himself and asked, wiping tears from his eyes, "Seriously, what am I going to do?" I thought for a moment, but couldn't think of anything.

It was Ruri who said, "You can head in a few days early, then pretend to meet us in the market place or something." Arashi smiled at her. I slowly took my hands away from my mouth to say, "That could work, but you two would have to make it believable. Act like you haven't met before." Arashi smirked at me, "And you can play the protective older sister. It'll give you a chance to yell at me. Too bad Itachi-sama won't be there. I'm sure you two would get along... very well." I glared at the younger teenager, "Shut up, Arashi." I growled. My infuriating teammate just grinned.

We went ahead with Ruri's plan. Arashi left shortly after we finished outlining our story while Ruri and I planned to stay there a couple of days then walk to Ame instead of running. We also stopped at a small village between Konoha and Kusa to exchange our ninja clothing for kimonos. It was there that I preformed a jutsu to hide my scars and change my eye color to a normal blue color. Ruri and I changed our names to Mayuko Uma and Nami, forging citizen IDs saying that we came from Kusa, before heading back on the road. So far things were going as planned.

While on the road, Ruri asked, "To-I mean Nami? What did you mean by you and... him kissing more?" I sighed, I should have seen this coming. Why couldn't I just have kept my mouth closed that one time? "He and I were training together strengthen my leg faster. He might have kissed me a few times... Please don't tell anyone, I can't stand another rumor fest." I said, ending with a pleading look at Ruri. My friend giggled at my expression, "I've always wondered what it's like to be so famous." She mused, half to herself. I rolled my eyes, "It's not fun, trust me... Especially when the fan girls stop by to tell me he loves them and not me." In the end both Ruri and I were laughing.

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"Thank you and have a nice day!" The bar owner called as I left the door. I turned with a good-bye wave and walked back out onto the crowded streets of Iwagakure. Ruri was leaning again the wall of the building I had just come from, looking bored out of her mind, "Why did you stop there again?" She asked. I smiled and held out a folded apron, "Our shift starts tonight." Ruri took the apron by the neck strap, telling it unfold so that it almost dragged in the ground, "You got us a job at a bar?" I smiled and tucked my own apron under my arm, "Oh cheer up Uma." I said, emphasizing her name pointedly. Ruri seemed to catch my drift, she sighed and folded the apron over her arm, "If Father knew, he'd have your head Nami." I laughed loudly, drawing a little attention. Playfully I shoved Ruri's shoulder, "That's why he's still in Kusa and we're here. What he doesn't know can't hurt him!" I said with a wink then walked away, leaving Ruri to follow wordlessly.

The minute we got back to our hotel room Ruri said, "Alright, I just want you to know, I think I like you better as quiet and calm Tora. That flirty, loud Nami is freaking me out." I raised an eyebrow as I hung both our work uniforms on pegs at the door, "Well flirty and loud Nami is going to get more information than someone quiet. And the job at the bar is the same thing. All kinds of low-lives hang around bars, just full of the information we need." I walked to the little kitchenette to fix dinner then paused, "In fact, that would be the perfect place to meet Arashi." Ruri shot me a look, "Are you saying he's a low-life?" She snapped. I didn't see the need to answer that.

The next night both of us were walking around the dimly lit and smoke choked room, back in our disguises. Ruri didn't seem to enjoy being flirted with by old drunken men, she always ducked away from their grabbing hands; but I swallowed my pride and suffered through their attentions, acting like I enjoyed it. I kept reminding myself that it was a step closer to bringing down Akatsuki and with them, my mother. I was swore and felt violated at the end of the night regardless.

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"Come on, sweetheart, don't be callous. I just want to show you a good time..." One of the drunks said to me our third night in Iwa. By then Arashi had 'introduced' himself and made it clear that the younger Mayuko sister was off limits. His protection didn't extend to me however, and I was left to deal with drunken perverts all night. I had made a habit of appearing to be easy, until they invited me to engage in a more private conversation, so to speak. I declined every offer graciously and most left me alone. Only the more determined customers had to be dealt with more severely.

I smiled at the man currently vying for my attentions, "Maybe some other time, sir. I should really get back to work. My boss will have my head!" I laughed, but was cut off when the man jerked me into his lap and landed a sloppy kiss on my lips, forcibly shoving his tongue down my throat. I gagged and struggled to throw him off, but couldn't. When he pulled away, I slapped him across the face indignantly and stomped away. Ruri giggled when she saw my expression, "Don't like anyone but you know who kissing you?" We had agreed that since Itachi's name was well known throughout the nations, it would be best to leave him unnamed and avoid suspicion. Arashi smirked into his drink while I glared at Ruri.

Arashi set down his glass and motioned to me, "I need to speak with you, Nami." He said in all seriousness. Ruri and I exchanged a glance before I followed him into a secluded corner of the bar. I crossed my arms as I eyed my teammate, "What do you want?" I demanded. Even though he was technically dating Ruri, though it wasn't official, Arashi and I still hated each other. At least we tried to get along for Ruri's sake. Arashi mimicked my stance, "Pretend we're arguing about Uma." He said, barely moving his lips while casting a look at the crowded room. I narrowed my eyes at him, but nodded then snapped something about leaving my sister alone. He spoke lowly while I was talking, "We should be leaving soon. It's obvious these people don't know anything about our target." I gave an discreet nod. While Arashi argued that Ruri was old enough to make her own decisions I whispered, "Three more days, just in case we find something." Arashi frowned as if he didn't like the idea, but didn't argue. We both finished our cover conversation then separated. I went back to serving and he went to flirt with Ruri some more.

Later that night I told Ruri of the plans, she seemed relieved to be leaving soon, even though she was the one with the least risk. Although I had to agree with her, I was feeling a little homesick. For reasons that that I didn't want to admit to. And most of them started with a certain Uchiha...

^o^

The ending couldn't have been helped. My first chapter of the official school year! Yay! Wow I got that out faster than I thought, although it could have been because I was already half way finished with it when school started... Sorry I'm babbling.

Flamers shall not be discriminated!

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