everyone had finished eating, we returned to the living room, and the
seats that we had taken before.
Salem and I really needed an explanation for why these strange people had shown up at our house. He was becoming anxious after lunch, having decided that there were too many people in our house and I had agreed fully.
Sakura was the first to speak, clasping her hands in her lap, the knuckles going white almost instantly.
''Okay, I know that Naruto has already told you about Sasuke once before, do you remember everything?''
Salem and I both nodded before she continued.
''Good, then I only need to explain the reason why we're here. We're going on a mission to find Sasuke and bring him back to Konoha. We are going to drag him back alive, whether he agrees or not.
The problem is, we have no idea on where to even begin looking.''
I tilted my head, pretending to be confused when I already knew where this conversation was going.
''So what does that have to do with us?''
Sakura hesitated and I could tell that she was second guessing herself, but she pushed forwards, not having another option if she was to get what she was hoping for.
''Well, Naruto said that you might have some way of knowing where he was at. He wouldn't really explain how to us, but...you are really our last hope. We don't know where to go from here if you don't know anything.''
I was glaring at Naruto, shooting daggers at him and hoping that he could see how upset I was with just a look. I did not like being put in such a helpless situation and he knew that.
I heard Salem cough, trying to hide his laughter and Naruto gave me a sheepish smile, speaking as coaxingly as he knew how.
''Aw, come on, Ri! If anyone can find out where Sasuke is, its you and Salem. Believe it!''
I scoffed, smirking despite myself at his normal catch phrase as I spoke.
''And how, Ruru, do you expect me to get that kind of information, hm?''
I was testing him, seeing if he would give away my knowledge of Weasel, but he kept it to himself, his eyes almost pleading with me as he shrugged and gave another option than the one that he really wanted.
''Well, I was thinking that some of the people that come into Aubry's might know something. There's always some rumor or another around that place.''
I grumbled, though decided instantly to help the boy since he had kept my secrets to himself, though today was starting to rank high on my 'most irritating days' list.
''Even if I can get information about Sasuke, which I'm not saying I can, it still may not help you. Sometimes the gossip is old before it gets to Aubry's. The person could have moved on, or changed his plans.''
I needed Naruto to understand without me saying it straight out, that Weasel might not know where Sasuke was, or what his plans were. Dani hadn't let him leave their home for long since his 'death.'
Naruto's jaw clenched and he nodded, showing that he understood while all of the other ninjas remained quiet for a few moments, having missed our exchange, until Sakura spoke, her voice as pleading as Naruto's eyes had been.
''Please, Ria. You're the only lead we have. We already found him once, but he didn't want to come home. I'm sure if we find him again that I can convince him to come home this time. Please? Even if it is an old rumor, at least it's something.''
The girl was on the verge of tears, though she was trying hard to hide them.
It was obvious that she was still in love with this jerk, and his refusal to return to what she considered their home was tearing her heart out. Though she was doing well at putting on a strong front for the others.
I glanced sideways at Salem, knowing that if I was going to agree to this that I would need his help. He was the one I always went to with my schemes, and the one that would be of the most help with keeping the ninja's away from our family.
He would need to keep the ruse of us looking for rumors at Aubry's while I snuck off to ask Weasel about his A.W.O.L. younger brother. He would be the one reporting his 'findings' to the ninja's and...I definitely needed Salem's help.
He looked back at me and nodded his head, a slight smirk on his lips. I could almost hear his voice saying 'this is going to be fun' and I shook my head, happy to at least have him at my back. Having him in on any of my plans always made me feel better.
I turned my attention back to Sakura, seeing that she was looking between Salem and I hopefully, her eyes holding a small spark that had not been there before. I smiled slightly and gave a small sigh before nodding and answering her silent question.
''We'll help you as much as we can. But I can't promise that it will be enough to find him. Sometimes there's more rumors than you can keep up with, but other times there isn't any at all. This may just be a waste of time for you.''
Sakura smiled shakily, her eyes again filled with tears, her voice wobbling badly.
''Thank you. For at least trying to help. Even if there is nothing...you tried.''
My smile was unconvincing, I'm sure. It was just one of those days.
It was decided by the group that the ninjas would be staying at our house, making it into a sort of a 'base of operation' until Salem and I could ask around for the information that they needed. It would be harder for me to sneak off and speak to Weasel that way, but also better that I wouldn't have to deal with them randomly popping over to see if I had learned anything and catching one of my adopted family members visiting.
So when I walked into my kitchen and found not just Salem, but Naruto as well, scrounging around and looking for a midnight snack, I wasn't exactly surprised. Though I did order them to clean up their messes before wishing them a goodnight and making my way to bed, hoping that the ninja's weren't morning people...and deciding that if they were that they would need to make their own breakfast.
I nodded my head, agreeing with my thoughts as I was crawling onto my bed and groaned as I heard Sora whining outside. I hoped that it was just my imagination and went over to the window to take a look, finding that sure enough, she was there, whining and pawing at the front door.
I thought briefly about just leaving her outside but changed my mind quickly, knowing that I would feel guilty if I left her there.
I sighed and made my way to the stairs, grumbling to myself and not paying attention until I bumped into someone. I looked up, prepared to apologize to whoever I had just crashed into, my words freezing as I recognized the perverted ninja. Well, that seemed fitting with the pattern that my luck had decided to take today.
I sighed and forced myself to apologize when all I really wanted to do was push past him without speaking.
''I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention.''
He gave me an obviously fake smile and continued to block my path, causing me to huff and try to walk around him. He stepped into my path again and I narrowed my eyes, really beginning to not like this guy.
I placed my hands on my hips and glared up at him, wondering why everyone seemed to be taller than me, knowing that my already impressive glare would be even more effective if I didn't have to look up at them from my short height.
''Look buddy, if you have something to say, say it already and get out of my way. I'm tired and not in the mood to play stupid games.''
His fake smirk widened, and his words seemed to be well rehearsed, as if he were reading lines from a play.
''There's no reason to be harsh babe. I know that you like me. You could hardly keep your eyes off of me when we were introduced. Come on. You can admit it. I won't hold it against you. I know that I'm gorgeous.''
I stood in silence for a second, thinking back to if I had done anything besides glance at him? I really couldn't think of anything. Truthfully, I had been too distracted by the young Kazekage, and my strange interest in him, to even pay much attention to anyone else. It was not a pleasant experience for me.
I was pulled from my thoughts as I felt a pair of hands slide around my waist, reality crashing around me cruelly and my glare worsened as this boy thought that he could invade my bubble without my permission.
''I don't know what you think you're doing, but get your perverted, don't know where they've been hands, off of me before I cut them off and hit you with them!''
My voice had turned as quiet and as deadly as I knew how to make it, knowing from experience that most people backed away when they heard it. Though this guy was apparently far more persistent than I had originally thought, his fake smile not drooping at all. Though for just a moment, I thought that I heard his actual self when he spoke, at least until he returned to quoting cheesy pick up lines.
'' From what I have read, this is called 'playing hard to get'. But you don't have to do that, you already have my attention. Come on baby, you know that you want me.''
I gritted my teeth, knowing without having to see that my eyes were flashing dangerously.
''Did you just call me baby?''
His smirk widened even more, his hands tightening on my hips and he spoke almost triumphantly.
''Yeah. Why does it turn you on?''
I smiled evilly, not caring suddenly about trying to play nice with the perverted ninja.
''Not even close, you moronic pervert. It really just makes me want to vomit.
I find it sickening that someone would call their lover, baby. As if they were their child. It's like you're dating one of your own. That you changed their diapers and fed them and dealt with their spit up covering your new shirt.
And as for thinking of you as a love interest, I can honestly say that you never crossed my mind. So, maybe you should find somebody else more your level!''
I jerked out of his arms, my quick motion catching him by surprise and kicked him in between the legs, hearing his gasp as he slid to the ground before I sprinted to my room, leaving him in a heap on the stairs.
Screw the dog. If she wanted into the house then she could learn how to open the door herself.
I mean really, what kind of jerks come out of Konoha? They all seem to be perverts!
I locked my door when I had closed it tightly behind me, something that I hardly ever do and looked out the window, finding that Sora wasn't there and rolling my eyes as I realized that someone else must have let her in.
I crawled into my bed, happy to finally be there and waited impatiently for sleep to claim me. It didn't take long, even with the extra excitement, and I soon began to feel my heavy eyelids close and I drifted off to sleep, leaving the awful day behind me.
Around three in the morning I heard something scratching at my bedroom door and groaned as I tried to block out the noise.
I really didn't want to get up, but I knew that if I didn't let Sora in that she would never let me go back to sleep. So I huffed and tossed the covers off before stalking over to my door, cracking it to look out and make sure that there wasn't an unwanted person in the hallway before I opened the door wide enough for her to get through.
She yelped happily and ran past me, almost knocking me down before taking a flying leap and landing on my bed, watching me curiously as I again shut my door and locked it.
I huffed as I turned back to her and found that the mutt had spread out and was now taking up the majority of the bed. I pushed her to the side, enough for me to crawl onto the bed as well, her gangly limbs flopping back over me when I had become situated, her massive head landing on the pillow next to mine.
I frowned at her when I noticed that there was a small stain on her muzzle that resembled dried blood. Sora didn't typically chase any animals and she hadn't seemed to be hurt when she had ran into the room or when I had pushed at her. So it surprised me to see such a thing on the passive dogs fur.
I shrugged after another moment and decided to leave it be. Whatever she had attacked would probably be in my front yard in the morning and that was, thankfully, still a few hours away.
Sora moved suddenly, flopping her whole body on top of me and I heaved a sigh before closing my eyes, hoping that it wouldn't be one of the nights when she decided to wriggle around the whole time. If I was going to deal with so many people in my house, I really needed a good nights sleep.