Chapter 21

"Pain, we've completed the mission," Itachi reported.

"Good. I'll notify you when you get a new mission. Now for your chakra-"

"If it isn't too much to ask, could you let me and Amejisuto keep some of our chakra so I can continue teaching her?"

"Oh yes, you are Ishi's mentor," Pain sighed. "Alright, but only half of your chakra. If you try to escape, I will command everyone to attack and kill the girl." Itachi nodded and bowed before the leader put his hand on him and sucked out his chakra. "Now call her here."

"She's sleeping, Sir. We've travelled without any breaks for the past two days and she isn't used to going for that long without resting."

"Fine, I'll go to her myself," Pain walked out of the room with Itachi following close behind, silently trying to come up with a way to kill someone with the rinnegan if he hurt Amejisuto. They got to the room where the brunette was sprawled across the bed, looking as if she had been knocked out.

The leader of the Akatsuki stretched out his arm and lightly touched the sleeping girl's head, taking slightly less than half her chakra (since she had so much). Itachi watched like a guard dog, glaring at the pierced leader until he left the room. He sat down on the bed and ran his fingers through the Ishi's soft hair. She stirred slightly, making him stop, and she rolled onto her side, whimpered a bit and then fell silent again.

'How can someone so seemingly fragile kill a bunch of people so quickly?' he wondered before getting up, taking off his cloak and changing into comfortable clothes that he slept in. ‘Then again, I don’t look that dangerous either.’ He climbed under the blanket and pulled the girl close to him, wrapping his arm protectively around her before letting the exhaustion from the sprint back to the base catch up to him.


"Hey bastard, we should get some ramen!" Naruto grinned, holding his arms up. "The glorious Ichiraku’s awaits our return!"

"No, moron. We have to report to Lady Tsunade before we do anything," Sasuke rolled his eyes. "You were prepared to wait another week until you could go to your precious Ichiraku’s, so you can wait another ten minutes."

"You do know that only one of us has to report to Lady Tsunade, right?" Sakura reminded them, smiling. They had officially become a couple on the mission, and she was glad to see that nothing had changed other than the title.

"That's right!" Kakashi smiled. "And I am not the right person to do it. I promised my friend I would take care of her walrus when I got back. See ya!" he ran off, leaving the other ninja groaning.

"How the hell could someone get a walrus here? And be able to keep it?!" the rosette yelled after him.

"Sometimes I feel like he's the annoying genin of the team," Sasuke mumbled.

"What? Makin fun of me or somethin?" Naruto challenged, getting in his face.

"You guys, please don't start a fight in the middle of the entrance. There are people around who could get hurt and them I'm the one who would have to heal them," Sakura narrowed her eyes. "I'll go report to Lady Tsunade. You guys can do whatever," she left to the Hokage tower, leaving the boys behind.

The blond turned to his boyfriend. "So…. Wanna buy me some ramen?"


"Lady Tsunade, we're back," Sakura knocked on the door to the Hokage's office.

"Come in, Sakura."

The pinkette entered the room and could instantly tell that something was wrong. "Did something happen while we were gone?"

"No, I'm just stressed out from all this paperwork. Shizune won't give me any sake either," Tsunade half-lied. "Anyways, it's nice to see you so soon. I take it your mission went well?"

"Yes. There ended up being an assassination attempt on the king but we stopped it. They had the nerve to try to kill us with blow darts! What kind of wimpy strategy is that?!"

The Hokage listened intently to the Team Seven mission report, but she couldn't help but wonder about the Uchiha family spreading the word that Itachi and Amejisuto had joined the Akatsuki. Sasuke was smart enough to be able to figure something was wrong and poor Mikoto would probably crack under the pressure of her son asking where the two really were. Sasuke would tell Naruto, and Naruto would tell the whole village, over-react and try to rescue them himself. That would be terrible due to the main purpose of the Akatsuki being to take the tailed beasts from the jinchuriki.

"But in the end, Sasuke ended up chidori-ing their asses and they all died, so we couldn't bring back the leader like you requested," Sakura finished.

"That’s alright. Thank you, you are dismissed," Tsunade said. She somehow managed to hear everything the younger woman had said even in her little world of worries.

"Lady Tsunade," Shizune walked into the office. "Sai has been going around asking people if he could have their daughters."

Sakura sighed, clenching her fists. She looked ahead with fire in her eyes as she ran out of the room. "I'm going to kill him! He's such an idiot!"

"We don't have to worry about him for much longer," the Hokage smirked.

"Uh... We should worry that he might die," the assistant said.

"It's alright, we can count on Sakura to patch him up. If she doesn't... Well… Even though he doesn't know better, it might be a good thing for him to learn his lesson."


"Father, mother, I'm back," Sasuke called as he entered his home. He had been with Naruto for the past hour and had (reluctantly) bought him over forty bowls of ramen. It was a good thing that the mission they were on had great pay, otherwise he would probably be broke by now.

"Welcome home," Mikoto ran to the entrance and hugged her son. "Your father is in a meeting right now and won't be back till later."

"Is Ameji around? I wanna talk to her about something that happened on my mission," he said with slight excitement.

Mikoto's gaze turned slightly sad. "No, she and your brother are out on a… Mission… Of their own."

"When will they be back?" Sasuke asked, slightly suspicious. Usually when they were on a mission, his mother didn't seem so withdrawn. "Or are they not coming back at all?"

"Oh, no they will come back. It's just that no one knows how long the mission will take. Not even the Hokage," she mumbled the last part.

"What kind of mission is it?"

"Well, you could say that it's like a spying mission from the inside. If you ever see them outside of the village, don't blow their cover, all right?"

"Understood, mother," Sasuke nodded. "So, do you want to hear about my mission?"

The mood was instantly lighter as Mikoto made a small snack of various vegetables, including about eight different types of tomatoes which her son greedily snatched up while he told her about the three weeks that he was gone.

While he was explaining what happened and how he pretty much killed all the assassins, he made a small plan to get more details of Itachi and Amejisuto's mission, if it even was one at all. The Uchiha woman saw the mischievous gleam in his eye and instantly got worried, wondering who he would try to pry information from first.

Yes, she knew him well enough to notice he was planning something. He was her son after all.


"Aah, another meal mooched," Naruto patted his stomach, happy that he still had every penny of his earnings from the mission, unlike Sasuke. He walked down crowded streets towards his home, greeting people as he walked. He reached the apartment and opened the door, expecting nothing but his furniture, some dust and the faint smell of ramen to greet him.

"Hey Naruto, long time no see," an old man with long white hair greeted, sitting on the blond’s couch and eating some of his precious ramen.

"Pervy Sage!" Naruto cried with mixed excitement and shock. "You're back from your trip!"

"Way to state the obvious," Jiraiya chuckled. "I got a lot of… research in while I was out." The kitsune shook his head and sighed, knowing not to even bother lecturing the man about his peeping habit. The sannin held out the ramen. "Want some?"

"No, I just got a ton of bowls of ramen at Ichiraku's," he yawned. "And I'm kinda tired. I'm going to sleep soon. Haven't got a good rest since we left the king's castle," he joked slightly.

"Aw, so you wouldn't have enough energy for a quick match?" Naruto's eyes sparkled in excitement, and the toad sage smirked, knowing he had caught his student's attention.

"Let's go, Pervy Sage! I've wanted to prove that I've surpassed you for a long time!"

"Alright, let me finish this ramen and we can head to the training grounds," Jiraiya slurped down the last of the noodles, vegetables and broth before clasping his hands together in a seal. "The training grounds in Mount Myōboku, of course," he vanished with a poof of smoke.

"Not fair!" The blond performed a few hand seals and disappeared too, teleporting himself to the mountain of powerful creatures.


"Nngh... Itachi?" Amejisuto mumbled sleepily. He didn't answer, instead his hold on her tightened, making her notice he had his arms snugly wrapped around her torso and his head was nestled into her shoulder. This wasn't the first time she woke up like this, but it wasn't often that it happened. "Itachi," she whispered, trying to nudge him a bit.

"Hn?" He mumbled.

"When did we get back?"

"Yesterday. Go back to sleep, you sound tired still," he said, making her realise that she did feel exhausted.

"Mkay," she yawned. "Let me roll over."

He opened his arms, allowing her to move. She turned over and moved down a bit, putting her arms up slightly and snuggling up to him. "Ok, continue hugging me." He wrapped his arms around her again and buried his face in her hair, kissing the top of her head.

"Goodnight again," he smiled. His response was her pressing closer and nuzzling his arm and then falling asleep. "Aah, I love you," he mumbled before drifting off once more.

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