Trapeze

Chapter 52

Disclaimer: *sigh* I don't own Naruto...

Thanks to Tamani, Karkatsbabe, Fernlight (guest) for reviews. Thanks to Kawaii-Sally, sierra halle, Takahashi Amaya, wolvelover15, OrchridWonderland, Pikalu, celtic-roses, for favorites.

Fern: NOOOOO! My poor internet sister has been corrupted by the evils of high school! (not that you weren't corrupted by me or anything... *whistles innocently* lol)

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"Do you understand the mission?" Ame asked the next day as Team Ame stood at our meeting place in front of the Hatake residence. We all nodded. It was a simple mission, barely even worthy to be called a D-Rank mission, but the true purpose of the mission was to see if Ruri was ready to rejoin the team or not. Ame began pacing back and forth again, "Right. Since Team Ame is too large to be traipsing around Konoha, I'll separate you in to two groups. Arashi, Toppi and Karin will be one group while Tora, Ruri, and I will be the second. Any questions?" The brown haired woman turned towards us, eyebrows raised. As if on cue, Arashi spoke, "Why am I put with the two most useless members of the team? Why not with Ruri?" He snapped. Toppi and Karin didn't seem pleased at his comment, I had a feeling that Arashi was going to have a hard time today. Ame looked at the hot head calmly, "Because, I am the team leader, I have to monitor Ruri's progress to see if she is ready or not. Also Tora is the only active medic on the team, since Ruri is still technically off duty. It is her final decision whether Ruri is ready or not."

I shot a smug smile at Arashi, even though we had both moved past our petty rivalry, it was still fun to tease the teenager, almost as fun as teasing Shisui. "Hear that, Stormy? You're irrelevant to the mission. Have fun babysitting!" The dark haired boy crossed his arms, pouting, "It's no fair, your team has an unfair advantage." He whined. Ame rolled her eyes, "This isn't a competition." She muttered. Ruri laughed, "You don't really believe that do you? You and Tora are probably going to be the only people who doesn't think this mission is a competition." I grinned, "Who said I didn't?" I asked in a cheerful tone. Ame facepalmed, muttering on about immaturity and bad influences. The rest of us laughed, even Karin.

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"And if Kawaii is hungry, give her something from this bag, and only this bag! I don't want my precious baby eating anything that isn't absolutely healthy for her." Lady Hidoi said before shoving a pack in my arms. I peered inside and had to hide my grimace, the bag was full of dehydrated fruits and organic whole foods. I glanced at the sullen eight year old girl sulking off to the side, it was no wonder she was a brat if 'treats' were something most adults didn't care for. Lady Hidoi continued her spiel, "And she isn't allowed to take naps before noon, that way she won't be hyper at night. Kawaii likes to shop, so take her to a few shops. Don't let her try on anything made with synthetic fiber, her skin is sensitive. Kawaii isn't allowed outside from noon to three, the sun is really bad at that time and she might burn; just keep her inside, in a child safe environment, until then." I suppressed a sigh, wondering why this woman had a child. Lady Hidoi was like a prison warden rather than a mother!

Ame nodded, "Anything else?" There was a brief pause, too small for Lady Hidoi to say anything but long enough that it seemed that Ame was waiting for her to speak, and Ame continued, "Alright then. We'll drop her off at dusk." Immediately my team leader turned and walked away, Ruri following quickly. I was the one left with the kid and her food bag, if it could be called that. "So what are we doing first?" Ruri asked when we were far enough away from the overprotective Lady Hidoi. Ame stopped and turned to Kawaii, "What do you want to do?" She asked in a sweet tone. Kawaii tugged on my hand, trying free herself from my grasp. Mentally I smirked, after raising a blind girl as my own daughter, I knew how to keep a grip on a child's hand. "I wanna go home! I don't wanna be with you!" Kawaii screeched loudly. Ame didn't seem very surprised at the girl's outburst, "I'm sorry, Kawaii, but your mother has things to do and she is letting us spend time with you today." I had to give it to her, Ame knew how to handle whiny children.

Kawaii, however, wasn't having any of it, "She's paying you to watch me! Go away, I wanna be around you!" The brat began shoving at my hand in an attempt to slip her own from mine. I tightened my grip but didn't look down at her. I kept my face carefully turned away, knowing that she would start screaming in terror if she saw my scars. Ruri knelt down to Kawaii's level, "Sweetie, we are being paid to watch you, but that doesn't mean we don't want to spend time with you..." To anyone who didn't know her, it would have looked like Ruri meant it; but I could see the annoyance buried deep in her cerulean blue eyes. One more complaint from the kid and I knew Ruri would explode. I started walking again, dragging Kawaii along with me, "Come on, lets go find breakfast." I said dully. Kawaii struggled of course, "I don't want breakfast! I wanna go home! LET GO OF ME!" I didn't respond to her complaining. Mentally I thanked heaven above for not letting Tenshi grow up to be a brat.

"So how long do you think before one of them snaps?" Ruri asked behind me. I could hear Ame chortling, "No clue, but I do know this is going to be very entertaining." I shot my two teammates a withering glare over my shoulder to which they just gave me innocent grins, like they weren't doing anything wrong. At that moment Kawaii tried to escape by stomping on my foot. My head snapped around at the pain and I glared down at the brat. She stared back at me, her dark eyes wide as she saw my scars marring my face. She stared at me for a long time, so long I thought that maybe she had lost the ability to speak, but she found her voice soon enough, "You're ugly." Was the first words out of her mouth. I scoffed, "Thank you, I know that. And you're a brat." I said sarcastically, which got snickers from Ame and Ruri. Kawaii's face turned red, "I am not!" She yelled. I just gave her a look, "Compared to you, my own daughter is the angel her name implies." Kawaii scoffed, "I can't believe anyone would want to be your daughter." She sneered. If there was ever a time I wanted to hit someone, it was now. "Well you haven't met Tenshi yet, because she's happy to be my daughter." I replied calmly even though all I wanted to do was say that I was surprised anyone would want to be Kawaii's mother. "She must be blind as a bat then, because you're the ugliest thing I've ever seen."

Ame spoke before I could, no doubt saving the girl from a verbal lashing, "Kawaii... Tora's daughter is blind, now say your sorry." Kawaii glared at the pregnant Hatake woman, "No." She snapped. I sighed, this girl was really starting to get on my nerves. I could tell that Ruri was already wanting to strangle her, and I really didn't blame her. Ame stiffened, not used to someone refusing her orders, "Young lady, you had better apologized now or-" Kawaii cut her off with a smug tone, "Or you'll spank me? Mommy won't pay you if you do." "We can always shove your snacks down your throat until you croak..." Ruri said dryly. Ame and I turned to stare at her while Kawaii looked confused. I was just glad she didn't know what Ruri was talking about. Ruri shrugged and turned away, her arms crossing over her chest. Kawaii began crying, "Why are you being mean to me? I wanna go home! I don't wanna stay here anymore!" Ame looked heavenward, as if praying for patience. "Kawaii..." The team leader trailed off and heaved a large sigh, "Come on, let's go." She said finally and grabbed Kawaii from me. I was just glad to be rid of the brat.

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"How long before you think she's bored?" Ruri asked as the three of us watched Kawaii trying to boss a bunch of other kids around at the playground we had finally stopped at. I took a sip of my tea, "When she either scares off all the other kids or makes them submit to her." I drawled. Ame was laid out on the bench beside me, her hands folded over her swelling stomach and her eyes closed. After handling that brat, on top of being pregnant, I knew she was tired. Ruri, still recovering from her coma, didn't fair much better. Even I was exhausted from constantly having to deal with a brat, and I was used to being around kids.

A voice I knew too well, and really didn't like, spoke up behind me, "Well well well... fancy meeting you three here." I looked over my shoulder at Arashi, Toppi and Karin standing just under the awning set up for parents and caretakers of the kids. "Hey loser... Toppi, Karin." Arashi stiffened at the derogatory name while my other two teammates smirked. Everyone on Team Ame, with the exception of Ame herself, loved watching Arashi and me argue. Before Arashi could respond though, the little boy in Karin's arms leaned forward, bringing my attention to the little tyke, "Poke." He said happily, jabbing his chubby little index finger at the scar on my right cheek. I smiled and poked him back, "Poke yourself. What's your name?" The boy suddenly turned shy and turned his face into Karin's hair, "Sora..." He said lowly, one eye peaking out at me. I gave him a bright smile, "Really? Our names rhyme! My name is Tora. And how old are you, Sora?" "...this many..." Sora said and held up five stubby fingers. "My daughter is around your age, her name is Tenshi. Would you like to meet her one day?" Sora nodded eagerly, his brief bout of shyness gone.

Meanwhile, Arashi was pouting, "No fair. It took us forever to get a word out of him and you have him chattering on and on." The teen said sulking. I smirked at him, "It's a gift." I teased. Ruri huffed from the table, "If you have that gift, then make Kawaii listen." She growled under her breath. Toppi blinked, "Is that the name of the kid your babysitting?" He asked disbelieving. I really couldn't believe Lady Hidoi had chosen to torture her daughter either, but after meeting the brat I decided she deserved to be teased for her name. Ruri nodded, "Yeah... that's her over there." Ruri said and pointed to the little brown haired menace was standing shouting at all the other kids around her. Even Karin didn't look like she approved of Kawaii's methods to get attention. Arashi laughed, "Karma, Tora, karma..." I glared at him, "Keep talking and you're not getting invited to Tenshi's birthday party. Just think of all the nice home cooked things I'll be making..." I said in an alluring tone. Arashi huffed and crossed his arms, "I don't trust you, you might poison me." He said firmly. I just grinned at him, "That's only Shisui, Stormy. But I might make an exception for you if you keep teasing me." I said in a mock sweet tone. Arashi made a noise and fell quiet while the rest of our team, including Karin, laughed.

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"And what is your diagnosis?" Lady Tsunade asked me later that day after Team Ame had already left. Ame had approved Ruri to return to active duty, now all the Hokage needed was my medical opinion on the matter. "Nabiki Ruri is still suffering from exhaustion, but with proper-" The doors to the Hokage's office burst open, cutting me off. Lady Tsunade stood, her golden-brown eyes glittering dangerously. If there was something she hated, it was having someone burst in unannounced. Shizune didn't look worried in the least about angering her teacher and Hokage, she just stood in the doorway, both hands propped up against the doors, panting slightly. Her eyes, though, were full of eagerness. The head of the hospital was practically bursting with energy, "Uchi...ha... Yuki..." Shizune managed to gasp out. Both Tsunade and I stiffened, wondering what was going on and what did Yuki have to do with it.

Shizune's mouth split into a wide grin and she crowed, "She's awake!"

^o^

What a lovely way to end the chapter. YAAAAAAAA Yuki is back in the story (well... she's awake, Yuki will be back official in the next chapter)! Now we can get some more confessions out of our favorite tiger girl! ;P lol

QUESTION TIME! DO YOU THINK THAT OBITO SHOULD HAVE DIED IN THE FOURTH SHINOBI WAR OR NOT? I need the tie to break, so this is the last update for Trapeze until it breaks. Yes or no, that's all you need to review.

Flamers welcome, come and practice... IT'S FREE!

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