Trapeze

Chapter 51

Disclaimer: ...No.

Thanks to spiritjumper (guest), Fernlight (guest) Tamani, Karkatsbabe, and Coolestbee for reviews. Thanks to ANYONE WHO FAVORITES, BECAUSE THE MESSAGES DISAPPEARED SO I HAVE NO CLUE WHO DID for favorites.

spiritjumper (guest): I know, it so hard to admit that Itachi's Mangekyu is probably the weakest of the bunch. But I just keep telling myself that he has the best Databook stats out of all the characters, tied only with Jiraiya! Mwahahahahahaha! lol Thanks for the review but the way! And to answer your question: There will be some up and coming fluffy in about two chapters in Rule 3... if everything goes as planned.

Fernlight (guest): Of course I still remember you! ^^ Though I'm sad that you still don't remember your password. :( And no, that was not what Tora meant... XD I didn't realize how dirty that sounded until you pointed it out...

What is it with me and getting off the plot?!

Anyway: Akiko and Akio belong to Fernlight, as does Mitsuko. Ruri belongs to Kyoichi Amaya, Ame belongs to SoraLover987142, and Yuki belongs to Chichi4mangaHero.

So that symbol thing happened again... AND THIS TIME IT WON'T GO AWAY!

vvv

"Soooo, where does this go?" Mitsuko asked, holding up a ratty old folder. I glanced at the title then pointed towards the back of the records room, "In the twenty year slot." I told her as I turned back to my own sorting. The violet eyed girl sighed as she put the file away, "When I decided to become a medic, I didn't think it would entail sorting old records." She grumbled. Ruri laughed from her seat at the door, a box of scrolls at her feet as she stacked them into piles for Mitsuko or I to put away, "Someone's got to do it. Hey look, here's another scroll about you, Tora!" Ruri called and held up the old scroll, I glared at her. After practically begging me for a job so she wouldn't die of boredom, I finally told Ruri that she could help me and Mitsuko sort scrolls. Ever since then she was solely interested in finding old scrolls with my name on them. It was almost frightening how many there were.

Ruri inched the scroll open a little, "This is some type of medical report about your back. Looks to be when you were eleven or-" I snatched the scroll out of my friend's hands, "Hey! I was reading that!" Ruri protested. I shot her a look, "We're here to sort, not read." Ruri pouted, "You're grouchy today... sure those pain meds still aren't in your system?" She asked. My eye twitched. It had become a running joke all around the hospital that when I was irritated, it was most likely due to pain meds. Instead of waiting me to answer, since she knew I wasn't, Ruri turned and made a tally mark on a pad of paper in her lap, "That's the twenty-first scroll we found about you. I think you hold the record, Tory." I sighed and turned away, "Would you stop with the nickname?" I asked. Ruri laughed, "When you stop taking those scrolls away! Shisui-san gets to call you 'kitty.' Why is he the only one who gets to call you a nickname?" "Itachi calls me 'anata.'" I shot back, making Ruri squeal. "I still can't get over that you're dating Itachi-sama! I can't wait for Yuki's reaction when she wakes up!" I didn't say anything, not wanting to face reality that every day Yuki didn't wake up was a step closer to the possibility that she would never wake up.

Mitsuko came back then, "Are we almost finished? Akio wanted to show me something today." I asked. I sighed, knowing that I wouldn't be able to get anymore work out of her, "Ruri and I can finish up, go on." I told her. Mitsuko perked up and ran out of the record room, shouting her thanks over her shoulder. Ruri watched at the door slowly shut behind the girl, "Hard to believe she was once shy..." My friend commented. I smiled, "Just like it's hard to believe you didn't like Arashi." I said teasingly, causing Ruri to blush, "I-I..." She stuttered then huffed when I continued to grin at her, "And that you used to be a serious girl who didn't like to smile." Ruri growled, I just stuck my tongue out at her and turned back to my work.

After the two of us finished reorganizing the records, I offered to walk Ruri home. She laughed, "Why Tora... didn't know you felt that way." She teased. I shot her a flat look and raised my eyebrow. Ruri laughed, "You look like an Uchiha when you do that!" She said, doubling over. I had to stomp down on my blush. Ever since the Fire Festival last week, I was trying to make an effort not to be so easily embarrassed whenever someone compared me to the Uchiha clan. I had succeeded so far, until whoever I was speaking with started making comments about future families. Then I went bright red as ever. Ruri looped her arm through mine, "Come on, you, let's go meet my family and let them fuss over me." I mentally groaned, wondering what I had just gotten myself into.

vvv

"No really, I should be getting back..." I said, edging of out the doorway, away from Ruri's eccentric family. Her mother latched a hand onto my upper arm, her grip surprisingly strong, almost on par with Sakura's, "Nonsense, you have to stay for dinner! It isn't often that Ruri brings friend over." I shot a panicked look at Ruri, who was too busy laughing to help me. A large hand pounded into my back causing me to stumble forward into the house, leaving me a little breathless. "Come on, girlie, one little dinner won't hurt you! We don't bite." Ruri's father said in a loud voice behind me. "But- but... Tenshi... I have to go home..." I said brokenly, trying desperately to get my thoughts in order. Ruri's parents blinked confused, both their heads tilted at the same angle, it was kind of creepy. "Who's Tenshi?" Ruri's mother asked. Before I could answer Ruri spoke up, "Oh you know, the blind girl I told you about. Tora's the one who adopted her." The couple lit up brightly, "Oh! Now you have to stay and tell us everything! Ruri hardly ever tells anything about her!" Ruri's father shouted. A small whimper escaped my throat involuntarily, I was as good as trapped.

I sat hunched over, trying to make myself invisible as Ruri's family ate, more like scarfed, their dinner and practically yelling at each. Ruri was the only one who acted relatively sane, and even then it wasn't by much. Her little brother, Kenshinteki, kept staring at me from across the table, his wide blue eyes never leaving my scars. I tried not to let it get to me, he was only six after all, he didn't know any better. Ruri's mother, Geki, looked up at my half eaten food, Aren't you hungry, Tora?" She asked. I shook my head, "No, Geki-san, I don't eat very much." Taka, Ruri's father, snorted, "No wonder you're so short and skinny. What... don't like home cooking?" He asked, though not rudely. Ruri answered for me, "Tora is a great gook herself, she just doesn't have a big appetite." "What not?" Kenshinteki piped up. Geki shushed her son, "We don't ask rude questions, Kenshinteki." She scolded then shot me a pitying look, no doubt making the connection about my past and small appetite. I slouched down even farther. I didn't want pity, I hated pity.

Being around the Nabiki family was strange. They all talked freely and yelled as loud as they wanted. When Kenshinteki threw a fistful of rice at Ruri for teasing him, he didn't get in trouble, nor did Ruri when she retaliated. In fact, Geki and Taka started in on the fun themselves, pelting their children with rice and telling them to sit down and behave like normal people. I just sat there blinking at the four of them, never having seen the like. Reiko and I got into food fights too, sure, but not on a regular basis as it seemed with Ruri's family. They were like a circus of four, four goofy and laid back individuals who enjoyed arguing for fun. My own experience of families were nothing like the Nabiki. My blood family were all jerks, with the exception of my cousins, and my adopted family made their own rules but was still reserved. Then there was the Uchiha family. The Nabiki family, with their rice fights and loud laughter, made Itachi's family look like a bunch of prudes. I smiled for the first time since I met the Nabiki family, maybe their eccentric behavior wasn't so bad...

vvv

"And where the hell were you?!" Reiko asked the minute I walked in the door close to midnight. I blinked at him, then at Sasuke, Shisui and Itachi standing behind my brother, their dark eyes asking the same thing. I untied my Hitai-ate belt and placed it on the side table as I explained, "Ruri invited me over for dinner with her family." I sat down to undo my ninja sandals while Reiko towered over me, "And why didn't you tell me ahead of time? I've been sitting around here worried sick about you and-" I rolled my eyes, "It was last minute, and trust me, if I could I would have told you... if only to spare myself the lecture." I muttered the last part under my breath. I slid my sandals off and began taking my gloves off as well. Reiko still hovered over me, "What was that?" He growled, leaning closer.

I turned to glare at my brother, "Nothing, mother." I said pointedly. The Uchihas behind us snickered. Reiko finally backed off and I stood, gripping my gloves in one hand. "I'm here and I'm unharmed, you can stop worrying now." I said to all four of them as I stepped up on the floor, "And I'm going to bed, I have a mission tomorrow. Night." I finished before walking towards my bedroom door. As I passed Itachi, I stood on my tip-toes to kiss him on the cheek, making Sasuke gag and Shisui snort. Itachi raised an eyebrow and leaned down to return the kiss ten-fold, causing Sasuke to gag even more and leave very quickly. Even Reiko laughed at the youngest Uchiha's show of immaturity. "Night, Tora. Sweet dreams." Itachi said quietly before dragging a still snickering Shisui out of the house. I smiled after my Uchiha boys, there was no doubt that my dreams wouldn't be sweet. Not after a kiss like that.

^o^

No clue... don't ask. One thing lead to another and suddenly I have a very strange chapter about Ruri's family that has NOOO relevancy to the plot... but I like it. And if the writer likes it, IT'S GETTING POSTED! In all honesty I think I'm stalling cuz of what I have to do next... you'll see what I mean when I get there, but it won't happen for a while... T^T

BTW, fun fact: Ruri's family is roughly based off mine... ^-^ Yes, I do get into food fights with my family sometimes, but we try not to when we have company! XP

NOW, I'm getting back on track. No more distractions!

QUESTION TIME! Do you think Obito should have lived or died in the 4th Shinobi War? You're answer is important, and can you give me your reasoning? ^^

No Flames this time. My personal life is going to hell, so all your potential flamers can go screw yourselves, I'm not in the mood.

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