One Love:Two Worlds

Every Heart

Back to now, in Kakashi's apartment…
'Do I really come off as perverted and whorish?' Kakashi pondered to himself. The conversation he'd had with his friends still fresh in his mind. 'Okay sure, I admit it, I like porn. But so what? It's not like it's my fault, I have needs!' SIGH. 'It's not like other men don't do it too. Anyways, it's not as if I'm a playboy or a rapist.' Besides, it's not as if Emma found him attractive anyways. After all, she didn't seem to show any of the obvious signs or--

Kakashi stopped, hearing the faint sound of someone crying. 'Is that Emma? Is she the one who's crying?' he wondered, concerned. So, getting out of his bed, Kakashi proceeded to the living room. There he found (what appeared to be) a half conscious Emma, crying herself to sleep.

In fact, Emma was crying SO hard she hadn't heard, or seen, Kakashi enter the room at all. He was wondering how long it'd be until her depression finally kicked-in. Now he knew. But what could he do to help? COULD he help for that matter? "Are you alright? Do you need to talk?" Kakashi asked, sitting down on the couch next to her.

The sudden realization of his presence shocked Emma as she jumped slightly in her seat. Oh GREAT! Emma had apparently woken him up with all her stupid crying! Now he probably hated her even more!

"Talk to me, please Emma?" Kakashi begged, pulling a few stray hairs that were in her face back behind her ears.

Emma tried her best to stiffen her emotions. "It's okay, you don't have to listen about me and my worthless life. And I'm sorry I woke you up too."

The Jounin shook his head. "No it's alright, I was already awake. And besides, why do you say your life is worthless?"

"Because it is! It's the truth!" Emma replied. "Now if you don't mind, would you please leave me alone right now?"

"No, I DO mind, I want to help." Kakashi smiled slightly at her. "Now come here and let's talk." he added, pulling Emma up next to him, his arm around her for support. Kakashi might've been trying to help Emma, but what he was doing wasn't making her feel too comfortable. If anything it made her slightly embarrassed. Embarrassed that she'd waken him up with her crying, and embarrassed about the fact he saw her cry.

"Emma please, look at me?" Kakashi pleaded, placing his hand under her chin and turning her face to meet his. He'd never seen anybody act like this before, and didn't really know what to do. Maybe it was the fact that he tried so much not to show, or even think about, his own emotions that he was unable to help someone else deal with theirs?

Though her face was now only inches from his, Emma refused to meet his gaze. Instead she prompted to glance down at the coffee table. "I-its nothing." she muttered, barely audible. "Really, you shouldn't bother yourself with trivial matters like mine."

Kakashi sighed. How was he supposed to help her when she refused to tell him what was bothering her? Even in this state Emma proved to be one of the most stubborn people he knew. "Well if it's so trivial then why are you crying?" the Jounin inquired. Nothing, no answer, just more sniffles. "Alright then, I wasn't feeling tired anyways." Kakashi stated, releasing his grip from Emma's chin, and encircling his arms around her waist.

Shocked to say the least, Emma flinched as he pulled her onto his lap while he lay-down on the couch under her. "What are you DOING?" Emma asked, her voice cracking as she tried to scream. Kakashi shrugged, pulling the blanket from the back of the couch on top of them (while still holding Emma with his other arm.)

"Well since I can't get any sleep in my room, and since you refuse to talk to me, I figure I might as well sleep out here with you and keep you company. That way you'll have my shoulder handy, should you decide to cry again." he smiled. 'Glad to see she's too busy freaking out about our position to cry anymore.' thought the silver-haired Jounin, repressing a smirk.

"Umm…thanks and all, but I really don't feel all that comfortable being atop of you and all." Emma stated, trying her best to escape from her current predicament.

The feeling of her body wiggling against him made Kakashi's body tingle slightly. He felt a slight warmth inside himself as her hands, which were on his naked chest, tried to push herself up off him. "Do I make you…uncomfortable?" he asked, slightly worried.

"Uh…yes, you uh…do." she answered shyly, just now realizing how futile her struggle was. Kakashi was a ninja. One of the best, so she'd heard. What chance did she have against a guy like him? 'Wait a minute…!' she thought, noticing something out of the ordinary. 'Is he actually not wearing that mask of his?'

The silver rays from the crescent moon outside shone through the window above them, illuminating the Jounin's face from the middle of his nose and up. But even though she couldn't see his whole face, Emma could still make out what looked like a smirk. "Umm…uh…" Emma stuttered.

Kakashi chuckled. "Yes, what is it?" he asked, his tone playful.

"Are you not wearing your mask?" she asked.

Realizing just now how he'd indeed left his mask (and headband) on his nightstand, Kakashi was grateful for the lack of sufficient light in the room."…Oops! I mean, uh…I guess not." he replied, trying his best to keep cool.

"Oh." was her only response to him.

How much had she seen? Was she able to make out all of his face, or was he safe? "So, what do you think?" he asked her, slightly nervous.

Emma blinked in confusion. "About what?"

"About, you know…my uh…my face." Kakashi asked. Emma squinted her eyes. "I dunno, I can't tell. It's kinda hard for me to see in this light, and with my eyes still blurry from crying."

Kakashi didn't know wither to be happy or disappointed. Emma hadn't seen his face, so his identity was still a secret. But he kinda wanted to know what she thought about it/him. After all, only about a hand full of people have actually seen his face, not including himself. Kakashi smiled half-heartedly. "Good. Now, what do you say we get some sleep?"

"With me on top of you?" Emma questioned, slightly jittery.

"Sure, why not?" he asked.

"Won't it be uncomfortable?"

Kakashi shook his head. "I'm very comfy."

Heh-heh. Lovely! "What if I fall off? I do roll a lot." she noted.

"Don't worry, I won't let you fall." the Jounin smiled, gently tightening his hold around Emma's waist.

Emma sighed in defeat. "Fine, I guess it'll have to do." she muttered.

Kakashi smirked as Emma laid her head down on his chest sideways. "Good night." he whispered.

"Yeah, uh…good night." Emma replied.

Kakashi awoke the next day to the sight of tangled blonde locks across his chest. Smiling full heartedly, he push back the hair covering Emma's face. 'Still asleep.' he noted, sighing. It was kinda funny the effect this woman had on him. She prompted a type of tranquility within him. A tranquility that resulted in the Jounin's defenses being slightly lowered when he was in her presence.

'I wonder what could've upset her so last night.' Kakashi wondered, remembering back to the events of the night before. 'She seemed perfectly fine when I left the club last night.' Wait a minute…the club! Maybe something had happened to Emma at the club after he left? What if somebody said something to her that upset her? 'I'll have to talk with Taku later.' he thought. Just then there came a knock at his door, causing the Jounin to flinch slightly.

"Kakashi-sensei, you still here?" came Sakura's voice.

"Come in Sakura, the door's not locked." he replied, quickly sliding out from under Emma and into his bedroom before Sakura could open the door.

Stepping into her sensei's apartment, Sakura walked into the living room to find it vacant. 'Wait a minute…!' she thought, noticing Emma laying on the couch. 'What is Em-chan doing here?' "Kakashi-sensei, where are you?" his student asked, puzzled at the absence of her teacher and Emma's sleeping form in his apartment. 'From the way he answered when I knocked, it sounded as if he was in the living room. But I can't see him anywhere!'

"I'm right here." the Jounin answered, stepping out of his room fully dressed.

Sakura looked up at him as entered the room. "What is Em-chan doing your apartment sensei? I thought she was roommates with Chii-san."

Kakashi smiled slightly at her question. "She was, but Chii is on a mission now. So until she gets back, for the time being, Emma is staying with me."

"Oh." replied Sakura.

"Was there something you wanted Sakura?" he asked. He wasn't supposed to meet them today, it was holiday and so everyone was off. (It was Shodai no Dei, or "Founder's Day.")

"Oh, yes!" Sakura answered, remembering why she was here.

Kakashi grinned, slightly impatient at the girl. "And…?"

"Oh, umm…My mom took me to see my cousin today. She works for the Hokage, my cousin that is." Sakura rambled. "Anyways, while I was there the Hokage asked if I could tell you something. He says he wants to see you in his office right away!"

"Thank you, Sakura." he replied.

Sakura smiled at her teacher, happy that she carried out her mission so well." Do you want me to stay here with Em-chan while you're out?" she asked. "My mom and dad aren't expecting me back until dinner; they said I could go play with my friends until then. But I'd be more then happy to watch her until you get back."

Kakashi shrugged as he walked out the door. "If you want to, feel free."

Sakura smiled as she called out to him from the window, waving. "Happy Founder's Day Sensei!" Kakashi waved back as he headed off to see the Hokage.

At the Hokage's Office, Fifteen minutes later…

"So those are your orders, Kakashi." Sarutobi (the Hokage) instructed. Kakashi nodded as the others in his group bowed before leaving. Today it was up to Gai, Iruka, and Kakashi to save Chii from enemy hands.

"You ready, Kakashi?" Iruka asked as they exited the building.

The Jounin took out his book and opened it as he responded. "Yup."

"Even when he is faced with a dangerous mission, Kakashi STILL remains calm!" Gai stated. "It would seem Chii's safety means nothing to you, my eternal rival!" Iruka sweat-dropped and shook his head in mild annoyance, while Kakashi simply turned to the next page in his comic.

"Just because he doesn't show it doesn't mean he's not worried for her." Iruka told Gai. "Kakashi has always been one to hide his emotions, you should know that by now."

Gai grimaced slightly. "Of course I knew that!" he shouted. "It just, well…why must he insist on reading that filth when we're supposed to be rescuing Chii?"

"Just because I'm reading doesn't mean I'm not fully aware of my surroundings, Gai." Kakashi said in a monotone voice, not looking up from his book.

"Is that so?" Gai asked, going to punch Kakashi in the face.

"Yes." Kakashi replied, catching Gai's fist with one hand and pushing him back so he fell on the ground.

Gai blinked in confusion as landed on the cold ground. "I'll get you back for that!" he shouted, dusting himself off as he stood. "Just you wait Kakashi, I refuse to let you get the best of me!"

Iruka sighed heavily, placing a hand on Gai's shoulder. "Now then guys, let's not fight, okay? We're supposed to be a team. So please focus on the mission and leave your petty games for when we're done."

"Oh…okay, fine." Gai pouted. "I bet I can beat you to the gate though, Kakashi!" he smiled, running off towards the gate.

Meanwhile, back to Kakashi's apartment…

Emma awoke to the feeling of someone nudging her on her back. "Time to wake up, Em-chan!" Sakura beamed. "I made you breakfast!"

Yawning, Emma turned around and rubbed her eyes. "Thanks."

Sakura smiled. "No problem. Here, I made you rice, miso soup, and scrambled eggs. I hope you like it."

"Smells kinda good, I just might." Emma stated, sitting up on the couch.

"Well, what do you think? How is it?" Sakura asked as Emma tried the soup.

Emma smiled slightly. "It's really kinda good, considering what it is."

Sakura frowned. "You don't like it then?"

Emma shook her head. "No, it's not that. Your soup is good, honest. But I'm not use to eating miso soup where I come from. So I guess it'll just take some time before I get used to the taste and all."

"So this is the first time you've had miso soup then?"

"No, it's like the second." Emma replied.

"Oh, okay." Sakura smiled. "Then why don't you try the rice instead?"

"Sure thing. You got any soy sauce, butter, and salt for it though?"

Sakura shrugged. "I dunno, but I'll go look." she said, walking into the kitchen. Over all Emma had a good breakfast. The miso soup was okay, the rice kicked ass, and the eggs were light and fluffy. "I still can't believe you put ketchup on your eggs!" Sakura laughed, while she and Emma cleaned the dishes.

Emma smiled as she passed a plate to Sakura to dry off. "It's really good, you should try it sometime."

"Maybe, sometime. But not today." Sakura commented.

"So anyways, where's Kakashi?" Emma inquired.

"The Hokage wanted to talk to him about something."

"What about?"

Sakura shrugged. "I dunno, I was just the messenger. He didn't tell me anything."

"Oh, okay." Emma sighed. "Any idea when he'll be back though?"

"Nope." Sakura shook her head, placing the last of the dishes in the drying rack.

"Geese, you're a lot of help!" Emma replied sarcastically/jokingly.

Sakura pouted slightly. "What's THAT supposed to mean?" she demanded to know.

Emma laughed. "For God's sake Sakura, I was only joking!" she chuckled.

"Oh, then I guess you're forgiven." Sakura smiled.

"Uh…thanks?" Emma smiled, slightly confused. 'Geese Louise! She REALLY needs to learn how to loosen up and not take things so seriously all the time!'

"Anyways," Sakura stated as she interrupted Emma's thoughts. "Today is Founder's Day in Konoha, and if you want you can help my mom and I get our booth ready."

Emma thought about it for a second. "Sounds cool. What you guys doing?"

"We're gonna make fried dough, rice balls, dumplings, and pudding. Then we're gonna sell Calpis, Match, Mitsuya Cider, Ramune, and Pocari Sweat to drink." answered Sakura. Emma dead-panned, she'd never even heard of half of the drinks before! Heh-heh, boy did she feel stupid!" Are you okay?" Sakura asked Emma, noticing the lost expression on her face.

Emma blinked in confusion before answering. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just don't know what half that shit is, that's all."

"Oh yeah, I forgot you're not from around here." Sakura remembered. "I guess that just means you'll have to try a little bit of everything to see if you like any of it."

"I guess so." Emma replied.

Sakura smiled. "Now that we've settled that, why don't we go and-"All the sudden Sakura stopped mid-sentence as a scratching sound came from the other side of the door. It seemed to be coming from the bottom of the door as well. Both girls looked at each other in shock, then turned back towards the door in fear and shock. What could've been making those scratching sounds?

"Hey, Kakashi, let me in!" came a voice from the other side of the door.

"Who-who's there?" Sakura asked cautiously, pulling out her shuriken.

"What do you mean, 'Who's there?' It's me, Pakkun, you jackass!" answered the voice.

Emma and Sakura glanced at each other sideways. "Who's Pakkun?" Emma whispered.

Sakura shrugged. "Beats me."

"Look, will you two quit whispering about me and just open the damn door already?" Pakkun asked agitated.

Emma glared at the door. "Why the hell should we?" she boomed.

Pakkun sighed. "Because I LIVE here!" he retorted.

"Prove it!" Emma shouted.

Ugh. This was getting ridiculous! 'Who the hell are these girls?' Pakkun wondered.

"Just get Kakashi, tell him it's me-Pakkun, he'll know who it is."

"We would, but Kakashi-sensei isn't home right now." Sakura answered.

'Great! Go figure it to be two of Kakashi's idiot students!' Pakkun grimaced. "Look, if I was going to hurt you two do you honesty think I'd try the front door? For that matter, would I've knocked to signal my being here if those were my intentions?" Pakkun reasoned.

The girls sighed as they looked over at one-another. Pakkun, whoever he was, gave a pretty convincing argument. "Okay, fine." Emma huffed. "I'll open the door."

"About damn time!" Pakkun hollered.

"But-!" Emma grimaced. "Sakura, I still want you to be ready-just in case." Sakura nodded her head in understanding, watching Emma as she unlocked, then opened, the door. When Emma opened the door she was shocked to see nobody standing there. "What the…?" she wondered aloud.

"Yo, down here." Pakkun piped-up.

Looking down, Emma found what appeared to be a bulldog of sorts. Was this some sort of joke? "Ha-ha, very funny." Emma mocked as the small dog walked into the apartment.

"What's funny?" Sakura asked, watching the dog as it sat itself on the sofa.

"Apparently this Pakkun fellow decided to ditch us with his dog." Emma replied, closing the door behind her.

"Jeez, I guess they'll let any idiot become a ninja now a days!" the dog huffed.

"What the fuck?" Emma questioned, as Sakura began to scream her head off.

"Demon dog! Demon dog!" Sakura screamed, ready to attack the poor thing with her kunai.

Grabbing the freaked-out ninja, Emma took the kunai from Sakura's hand. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Emma exclaimed as she pocketed the kunai. "Calm down Sakura. Obviously this Pakkun guy thinks we're idiots. And in your case he might be right." Sakura was not amused by Emma's joke. "Anybody can see that this dog has some sort of remote transceiver hidden on him. Thus giving the illusion that it is talking, when in fact its Pakkun playing a trick on us." Emma surmised.

"Oh…!" Sakura sighed. "But why would some guy we've never met want to trick us?"

"For the love of God, I'M Pakkun!" the dog hollered.

Emma scoffed. "Wow, he even trained it to move its mouth when he talks. Impressive."

"You know what? Fine! If you two airheads don't believe me then just go ahead and call Gai, Iruka, or even the Hokage himself! They'll tell you that I'm real!"

"Fine! Maybe we will!" Emma yelled back.

"Wait a minute, why are you fighting with a dog?" Sakura asked.

"Never mind that, just get Iruka on the phone!" Emma ordered.

Sakura huffed in annoyance. "You do it!"

"I would, if I knew his number!"

"Like I do?"

"You should! You were his student after all!"

"So? That doesn't mean I know his number! Get a phonebook if you want it so bad!"

The dog (Pakkun) growled. "For the love of….Here-I'll dial his number!" he snapped, knocking the phone off the hook and dialing Iruka's number with his paws. Emma and Sakura watched in awe.

"Wow, he even trained it to dial the phone!" Emma stated in amazement. Scoffing, the dog rolled its eyes as the phone began to ring. "Pick up the phone. Pick up the phone. Pick up the Goddamned, stupid phone already Iruka!" Emma screamed at the receiver. After trying for a minute or so, Emma sighed in frustration as she finally put the phone back on its charger/stand. (What ever.)

"I take it Iruka-sensei wasn't home?" Sakura questioned.

Emma grimaced. "No shit Sherlock, what gave you THAT idea?" she snapped.

"Excuse me?" Sakura asked, slightly offended.

"Oh, never mind. It's the depression talking. Sorry." Emma smiled halfheartedly.

Sakura blinked in confusion. "You have depression Em-chan?" she asked, quite shocked. Crap! Emma didn't intend to tell her that. It just, well…I guess it just sort of came out. A heat of the moment type thing and what not.

Emma sighed heavily. "Yes, I have depression. And no, I don't want to talk about it right now. Okay?" Sakura nodded in understanding "Oh and, please don't go around telling people about it. The last thing I want or need right now is to be thought of as some pathetic pity case."

"Sure, no thing." Sakura smiled.

"Good." Emma smiled back. "Now to the bottom of this whole talking dog prank."

"It's not a prank!" the dog howled. "Frisk me if you want to. Hell, do a full body cavity search if you want! But trust me; I'm not a prank, a demon, or anything else like that!"

"I think he's telling the truth, Emma." Sakura stated.

Emma sighed heavily. "Fine, for the sake of argument let's just say the dog DOES talk." she scoffed. "How the hell did he do it then? I mean, I've never seen a talking dog before. Have you?"

"No." answered Sakura.

"Exactly. And why is that? Because dogs don't talk. They CAN'T! It's physically impossible!" Emma reasoned.

The dog (Pakkun) gave a long, low huff. "You ever think that most dogs don't talk because they don't like talking to idiotic humans like you?" The girls looked offended at his comment.

"Who the fuck you calling an idiot, you son of a bitch?" Emma hissed.

"You, you dumb-ass." the dog replied. "You're so ignorant and narrow minded in thinking that you know everything, that your mind isn't open to the truth, even when it's staring you right in the face." That was it! Now Emma was pissed!

"Come here you smart-ass bastard!" she yelled, lunging at the dog. Seeing her coming, he dodged her attack with little effort. Thus Emma landed face forward onto the couch, her head buried in the cushions.

Just then Sakura chuckled. "Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look right now?" she smiled, helping Emma up. "I mean, you're fighting with a dog!" Standing up, Emma let her anger towards the dog reside just enough that she began to laugh too. Sakura WAS right. It was ridiculous fighting with a dog.

"Yeah, I guess it is kinda funny." Emma smiled.

"Kinda…?" Sakura chuckled.

Emma smirked. "Okay, so it was freaking hilarious, alright? I already know how retarded I am-Hell, the whole universe does, it's that damn apparent! So I don't need to be reminded, little 'Miss State the Obvious'!" she laughed.

"Hey! I may state the obvious, but at least I don't go around fighting with dogs!" Sakura replied.

"Oh yeah?" asked Emma. "Well what do you call what you're doing now?"

"Huh?" questioned Sakura.

Emma smirked. "You said you don't fight with dogs. So why are you fighting with one now?"

"But I'm not, I'm talking with you." The pink-haired ninja replied.

SIGH. 'She's so dense.' Emma thought. "I just implied that I'm a bitch. Get it?"

"Why would you do that?"

"Well for starters, it's true. Second, it's called a joke-like my life. I'm a living, breathing punch-line. You should get use to it if you intend on hanging around with me." Before Sakura could reply, the two girls heard the dog mumble something about 'Stupid girls' while walking into Kakashi's room.

"So what are we gonna do with him anyways?" Sakura asked.

Emma shrugged. "I dunno. The only thing we CAN do now is to just leave him alone. When Kakashi gets back from his mission we'll ask him about the dog, and Pakkun. 'Till then let's just keep an eye on him to be safe."

Sakura nodded in agreement. "Okay. Since that's all settled now, do you wanna come with me to my house? My mom just might an extra kimono for you to wear to the festival tonight."

"Why the hell not?" Emma smiled.

Back to Kakashi, Iruka, and Gai…

The first couple of hours went by with Gai continuously challenging Kakashi, to see who the better of the two was. Such challenges included: Paper, Scissor, Rock, racing, counting how many missions each had been on, and even seeing who could make the best gaseous sound (burps and/or farts). After which they all took a small break to eat and "freshen up", so to speak. During their meal Gai, of course, saw fit to challenge Kakashi once again. Only this time it was an eating contest, namely-who could eat the fastest. Needless to say, Kakashi was victorious in this one.

It'd now been several hours since the three had left the village and already the sun was beginning to set. Beautiful strands of gold and rouge flowed magically above as the day came to its end. "Iruka, hurry up." Kakashi ordered, noticing how his friend had stopped so abruptly.

"Huh?" Iruka asked, shaking his head so that to regain his senses. "Oh yeah…Coming!" he hollered back, running to catch up with the other two. The three traveled light and swift, jumping from tree top to tree top as the stars began to shine. However, the closer they got towards the enemy village, the darker and more sinister the forest became. Within two hours they'd found themselves at their assigned destination, Anei. As they neared the village they were soon ambushed by a group of Aneian ninjas. "Look out!" Iruka cried to his friends as a virtual hail of shuriken and kunai flew towards them.

"It would seem that we've got ourselves some lost little leafs." Came a mocking voice from amongst the trees. Then, without notice, each of the three Leaf nins were attacked by enemy ninjas. Kakashi had one, a large man with a goatee and ponytail. Gai had two, a red-headed girl wearing a kimono, and a teen boy who looked more like an ape then a human. And Iruka fought one wearing a rather evil looking mask.

"Is this all Konoha has to offer-a group of weak, wanna-be ninjas?" the man with the goatee laughed at Kakashi, sending him flying into a tree with his fist. Using the replacement jutsu at the last minute, Kakashi managed to avoid the man's punch. Thus after hitting the tree the fake Kakashi was replaced with a rotting log, while the real one round-house kicked his opponent's neck from behind.

Caught slightly off guard by Kakashi's attack, the man was sent forward into a tree. Afterwards he used his feet to kick himself off and into the air. At which point he dove towards Kakashi and grabbed him while upside-down (still in the air), and flipped him over onto the ground. Retaliating, Kakashi punched his opponent in the jaw while flipping him off into the air. Then, flipping himself back up, Kakashi reached into one of his vest pockets and readied his shoge, hitting the unknown man in the side of his waist as he tried to dodge the attack.

"Not bad." the guy smirked mockingly. "But why don't you try this on for size?" he smiled evilly, sending a giant shock wave towards the masked Jounin. Dodging Gai's punch, the girl picked him up in a fireman's carry and threw him at the boy. At which time the boy used several hand signals to send a bombardment of dark energy/chakra balls flying towards Gai.

"Spirit of dark energy jutsu!" yelled the boy. Quickly dodging the first couple of energy balls, one grazed the side of Gai's left leg, creating a four inch gash and sending him crashing into the ground. After which Gai rolled over to dodge as the girl dove towards him. Noticing how Gai dodged her attack, the girl motioned towards the boy who nodded his head in understanding. "Come on, Tien, let's show this ugly freak what real ninjas look like!" the girl smirked evilly. Picking himself back up, Gai watched as the boy dove at the girl, arms held out, as she caught him and spun around to catapult him into Gai.

Iruka, meanwhile, was having a rather tough time fighting the masked ninja as he was repeatedly hit with chakra infused punches. Each punch felt as though he was being hit with a fifty pound weight. After dodging his opponent's last attack, Iruka jumped onto a high tree branch and grabbed another above him. Swinging himself around the branch he was holding, Iruka used his built up speed and momentum to send himself soaring into his masked opponent, intending to kick him square in the face. Seeing Iruka's attack coming, the masked man grabbed Iruka's legs and flipped him onto the ground. As Iruka hit the ground there was a puff of smoke as his clone disappeared, letting the real Iruka sneak up behind the masked man, tripping him and attacking with kunai.

Moving at an inhuman speed, to any non-ninja onlooker it would seem as though the seven opponents were nothing more then streaks of blurred colors jumping from tree top to tree top. And as the seven fought they sent several barrages of kunai, shuriken, and kai/chakra attack sat one another. Fifteen to twenty minutes, and several excruciating wounds later, and the three Konoha ninjas were finally victorious. However their victory wasn't without loss. All three had sustained (somewhat-heavy) injuries and were in need of rest and first aid.

So, deciding to stop for a bit, the group rested as they tended to each other's wounds. However, being the devoted ninjas and friends that they were, they only allowed themselves two hours before they decided to pick things up and resume their mission. Stopping shortly in the woods outside the village, Gai, Iruka, and Kakashi surveyed the layout of the terrain and went over their mission specs for the final time. After which the three began their stealthy approach atop the roofs, and into the heart of Anei. Konoha and Anei had always had an unsteady alliance with each other. Though both were ninja villages, Konoha was one of peace, Anei one of war.

The only thing that kept the two villages from attacking one another was the Peace Treaty set forth by the second Hokage and the Yokoshima, the head/leader of Anei. In this treaty it was stated that in exchange of the Hokage's sister for the Yokoshima's daughter, there would be peace and open trade between the two villages. So then why, you might ask, did the Aneians capture Chii? Well to know that you'd first have to know why Chii was in Anei to begin with.

About a week ago, give or take, Chii was assigned a mission to oversee the transport of cargo to Anei. Part of this cargo was a highly treasured sword, a Matsume blade. The sword was a gift to current Yokoshima's fiftieth birthday from the Hokage. (A gift no doubt meant to help strengthen the treaty between the two villages.) While on route to Anei the sword, as well as over half of the cargo, was stolen by unknown ninjas. In the battle to stop the thieves the cart's driver was killed, and Chii was mortally injured. Quite literally dragging herself to Anei, Chii explained what happened to the Yokoshima and asked for aid. Being the un-trustful man he was, the Yokoshima saw this as some sort of elaborate scheme to rob him of his promised sword.

("It would seem that the Hokage thinks me for a fool! He promised me the Matsume blade without any intent on carrying through with his word!"-the Yokoshima.)

It was then that the Yokoshima sent a message to the Hokage. The form of which was Chii's headband, accompanied with a letter demanding the promised sword-or Chii's life. After receiving the letter the Hokage called for six of his top ninjas, split into two teams, to handle the matter. One team was sent to investigate the unknown ninjas and to find the whereabouts of the sword, the other to rescue Chii. Thus bringing us back to the matter at hand.

After surveying the village and checking their map, they spotted the main building belonging to the Yokoshima. If ever there were a more secured structure in this village, this was it. Surely this had to be the place where they were keeping Chii. Utilizing Attack Pattern Delta, the three ninjas used triangular positioning to sneak up on the main building from three sides. Gai from the side door, Iruka the ventilation shaft on the roof, and Kakashi from the manhole in the back.

After using two smoke bombs to distract the three guards at the side door, Gai knocked them out using a combination of shuriken and pressure points to the neck. Then, after hiding the guards behind some trees, he entered the building and hid amongst the shadows searching for Chii. As for Iruka, he had the pleasure of taking out six ninja's himself as he reached the roof. Then, gently removing the grader from the air shaft, Iruka climbed in as he too began his search for Chii.

Kakashi meanwhile had the fortunate task of climbing down a manhole and trudging through the sewer underneath until he came upon an opening (a sewer hole in the basement). "You get a look at that girl from Konoha?" came a voice from above him.

"Yeah. Filthy little wench, isn't she?" replied another. Gently lifting the lid of the sewer main, Kakashi slid through unnoticed and behind the two guards. (The voices who were talking.) Assessing the enemy before him, Kakashi noted that one was wielding a katana twice the size of a normal one. While it was an excellent example of craftsmanship, it posed little challenge to him. The other man appeared to be blind, as he wore his headband over both eyes. Kakashi had a feeling this would prove to be an interesting battle indeed. However, just as he was about to attack the guards from behind, the blind man sensed him.

"Hey, Ken, do you feel that?" the blind guard asked his friend, turning around towards Kakashi as the silver-haired Jounin jumped out of site.

Ken turned towards the direction the other man had noted. "What's wrong Kami?" he inquired, readying himself should an enemy attack.

"I thought felt some strange chakra." Kami stated, grimacing menacingly as he searched the room.

Calm, and yet a little scared, the scarecrow watched his prey in slight amusement. It was oddly entertaining to watch these two as they searched for him, oblivious to what fate had in store for them. What he found most entertaining though, was how the blind man moved. It was as though, despite his inability to see, he was somehow able to visualize his surroundings by sensing the individual chakra levels of everything in the room.

Waiting until the two were under him, Kakashi pounced upon the unsuspecting guards from his hiding place in the rafters above. Kami however, sensed the attack a split second before Kakashi hit him. So as Ken was sent flying into the stone floor, Kami dodged the Copy-cat Ninja's attack.

"It would appear that I was right, Ken." Kami smirked, turning towards his comrade. "Konoha did send someone after the whore after all. I believe you owe me 500 yen."

Picking himself up, Ken dusted off his clothing as he reached for his sword. "Yeah, yeah." he grimaced. Upon unsheathing his katana, he then charged head-on towards Kakashi. Dodging the attack with ease, Kakashi was slightly shocked when Kami grabbed him from behind. Pinning the Leaf Jounin against the wall, Kami twisted Kakashi's right hand back behind his head while holding his left against the wall firmly.

"You don't know what you've gotten yourself into." Kami smirked.

Kakashi chuckled. "I'm afraid it's you who doesn't know anything."

Furious, Kami jerked Kakashi from the wall and threw him at Ken. An evil glair in his eye, Ken plunged his sword into the scarecrow's stomach. At which time a puff of smoke appeared to revile a small, red mushroom with white spots where Kakashi should've been.

Just then about half a dozen shadow-clones of Kakashi appeared and attacked the two guards. Jab, block, upper kick, wrist block, palm-heel strike, chokehold, uppercut to the nose, elbow blow to the stomach, roundhouse kick to jaw, etc. Blow for blow, block for block, and all while avoiding Ken's cutting thrusts (of his sword), the shadow clones (and the real Kakashi) fought vigorously.

As for Gai, he'd managed to sneak himself far into the building with little resistance. 'I don't like this. Everything seems too easy.' he thought. 'Maybe it's a trap! It would be like these low-life cowards to something that underhanded and sneaky! First they imprison Chii, now this!' Gai was furious. 'I'll show these losers a thing or two! Yeah! They don't know who their messing with! I'm the great and powerful Gai! Ladies love me, men fear me!' he smiled at these thoughts as he stopped outside a heavily guarded room. 'I take it that's the room their hiding Chii in. And it would appear that I'm the first one to find it! That's one more victory for me, Kakashi!' Gai smiled triumphantly.

Meanwhile, Iruka had stealthily crawled through the virtual maze that was the ventilation system. A bit parched, and sweating slightly, he now found himself above the vent in the room where Chii was being held captive. In the room he noticed were three guards. Two standing watch at the door, while the other two implemented inhumane torture techniques on his friend in an attempt to pry information from her.

Back in Konoha…

"I don't know about this, Sakura." Emma whined as she emerged from the bathroom in a pink kimono.

"Nonsense!" Sakura smiled. "Pink is SO your color!"

Emma grimaced. "But I don't really like pink."

"What's wrong with pink?" Sakura grouched.

"Nothing!" Emma stated, giving a weak smile. "But don't you think black would be better? You know, to help slim me down a little?"

Sakura gave her a disappointed look. "Will you just shut up already? I told you before, and I mean it, you look gorgeous! Why can't you see that, Emma?"

Emma shook her head. "Because you're my friend, so your judgment is impaired."

"Oh for the love of…MOM!" Sakura yelled.

"Yes, dear?" Mrs. Haruno asked, popping her head into the doorway.

"Will you please tell Emma that, contrary to her disillusions, she does in fact look good-especially in the kimono I picked out for her!" Sakura half whined, half demanded.

Mrs. Haruno smiled as she stepped into her daughter's room where the two girls were changing. "You look like absolutely perfect, especially in that kimono." she beamed.

"See!" Sakura stated in an 'I told you so' voice.

"Yeah well, she's just as delusional as you are." Emma said, sounding slightly cocky.

'She's more annoying then Naruto!' Sakura thought to herself.

Groaning heavily, Sakura flung her hands into the air in defeat. "I give up!" she yelled. "Go ahead and lie to yourself about just how beautiful you are! See if I care! But one of these days you're gonna find the man of your dreams and you're gonna let him slip right by you because of your stupid depression and low self-esteem!" Sakura growled, waving a disappointed finger in Emma's face for emphasis.

"Jeez, looks like someone's PMS-ing!" Emma huffed, watching Sakura as she stormed out of the room.

"Oh, don't mind her." Mrs. Haruno smiled. "Sakura's just a little nervous about asking her little boyfriend Sasuke out to the fair tonight."

"MOTHER!" Sakura bellowed from the bottom of the stairs.

"What? You are." her mother smiled devilishly as she walked out of the room and to the top of the stairs.

"Well that doesn't mean you have to go around telling everyone!"

"Like it's a secret?" Emma smirked, walking into the hall.

Descending down the steps, Mrs. Haruno nodded in agreement. "See, even Emma knows about it, and she's only been her for a week or two."

"Really? It's that obvious?" Sakura asked, doing an emotional 180.

Mrs. Haruno smiled as Emma nodded her head. "Yep." she stated.

Sakura looked disappointed. "Oh." she sighed.

"But don't worry dear, any boy would be a fool not to like you." Sakura's mother smiled, hugging her daughter. "And Uchiha's aren't known for being foolish. He's probably just too nervous."

"You think so?" Sakura asked, glancing up hopefully. Mrs. Haruno nodded.

"And if not, you still have Lee and Naruto to fall back on." Emma chuckled. Mrs. Haruno dead-panned as Sakura turned red with fury.

"That's NOT funny!" Sakura yelled, running after Emma as she ran in fearful laughter.

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