Please Don't Leave Me

Chapter 18-Faces from the Past

"Hey slick." That was Genma and Raido wondered, if he punched him, how many people would come to his immediate aid?

"What was that about?"

"Well, obviously she was afraid you'd take off first, so she left."

Raido was remembering why he didn't do relationships, the opposite sex was so complicated. "But I didn't even say anything."

"Go after her."

Raido sighed, he hadn't been this tired since, well since the last time he'd almost died. "I can't. I need to sleep again. Seriously, if she does care, which I am starting to doubt, she will still care in the morning. Can you make sure I get back home." And he fainted into Genma's arms.

Genma got quite a few strange stares as he carried Raido home. He didn't care, he just winked at them and kept going. If it got back to Tsunade he'd catch hell but oh well. When he got back to Raido's he found the key in his pocket, let them in and deposited Raido on his bed for the second time that day. He reflected that he'd now officially spent more time in Raido's bedroom than anyone else's this week. Life sucked.

He removed Raido's weapons and laid them on the table next to his bed, no one wanted to roll over on a kunai, and then covered him and shut the door. He'd probably be out all night this time. Before he left he found some paper and wrote a note to Raido. Then he let himself out.

Kiyoko ran all the way home. There was no way she was going to talk to that man, ever again. She knew when she wasn't wanted and he had obviously decided that the kiss had been a mistake. She disgusted him and she had seen how he looked when they had just run into each other. Sure Shizune had said he'd called for her in his sleep but she was sure it was for some other reason than that he actually liked her.

She got ready for bed and crawled in. Tomorrow was Saturday, which meant no work. She'd gotten her first paycheck which also meant she could get some groceries and a few small things for her apartment. But as she fell asleep the prospect of shopping was not what she was thinking about.

She was sitting by a river. She wasn't sure what she was doing here but she felt completely at ease. Someone sat down beside her and she instinctively knew it was Raido. He put his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him, reveling in the feeling of his closeness. She tipped her head up to look at him and he looked down at her, leaning in to kiss her.

She sat bolt upright in bed. The sun was streaming in the windows and the clock told her that she had slept much later than usual. Oh well, she shrugged, it was her day off. She got up and got ready at a leisurely pace.

Raido sat up in bed. He was still dressed so he guessed that Genma had once again deposited him in his bed. He felt much better. He was surprised by how much sleep he still needed. He got up and made his way into the kitchen to make coffee.

Genma had left him a note so after he had poured himself a cup he sat down to read it.

Raido, you passed out when we left the ramen stand, you've never been able to eat as much as me anyway. So I told everyone I was bringing you home to take advantage of you. I left you sleeping though, it wasn't a fair fight and I like my partners a bit more responsive than that. You're making the mistake of a lifetime. Walking away from what's in front of you would be the stupidest thing you could do. Here's her address, you have some explaining to do. Yours always, Genma.

Raido laughed out loud. Genma was such a jerk, but he was his best friend. They had been through a lot over the years and watched each others backs more times than he could count. If Genma thought this was a good idea then he trusted him.

He got dressed and headed out to visit Kiyoko at her new apartment. He wasn't sure where that would get him but he figured it was worth a try anyway. He noted the address and pocketed the note just in case.

Kiyoko finished getting ready and set out for the market. She was determined to put everything that had happened yesterday behind her. She was no shrinking violet and if Raido wasn't interested then she wasn't going to beg him to be. She found her way through the streets of Konoha and to the market, which was busy with it's usual Saturday morning shoppers.

Raido made his way up the stairs and to her door. His stomach flip flopped. Get a hold of yourself man. She's one tiny woman, you've faced down much worse. He realized that it wasn't that he was afraid of her, he was afraid of her rejection. He wanted her to be a part of his life. He swallowed his nerves and knocked.

No answer, he knocked again. It became clear that she wasn't in. His shoulders slumped a little. He figured he'd head down to the marketplace and find something to eat. He ambled off in that direction.

Kiyoko wasn't sure how it had happened but she was lost again. She looked around, she was definitely in a section of town that she hadn't seen before. She tried to remember how she'd gotten here. There had been a crowd and she'd thought she might avoid it by slipping down an alley and returning to the main road a little further up. Maybe this alley went back that way. She turned that way, cursing the fact that she'd grown up on a farm and couldn't figure this city out at all.

She was relieved when she saw the busy main road come into view a little further down the alley but her celebration was short lived.

Two men were exiting the building in front of her and she recognized them. Unfortunately for her, they recognized her also.

"Well look at that, Kin. We found ourselves a little lost property." Fumio was looking at her with a deadly glare. "Do you have any idea how far we've gone to find you, you little bitch?"

Kiyoko swallowed her fear and looked behind her. Her hopes that someone who could help her was there vanished. She was in an alley that was completely deserted except for Fumio and Kin and herself. And they were blocking her way to safety. Well, she thought, things are a little different now. She weighed her options but as she did Fumio approached her and grabbed at her clothes.

"You're coming with us."

She screamed. "I am not! There are laws against that here. You won't get away with it!"

"That's what you think." He was trying to drag her back into the doorway he had just come through and, though she was outmatched because of his sheer weight, she was giving resistance. He pulled a little harder. "What would a tramp like you mean to anyone here anyway? I'll treat you the way you want to be treated." He had pulled her close enough that she could smell his stinking breath.

She closed her eyes and tried to remember Raido. Then she went wild, kicking and screaming, lashing out at him with everything she had. Eye's closed she scratched and kicked everything she could make contact with. Strong arms wrapped around her from behind pulling her back and a gentle voice whispered in her ear, "Don't worry. It's going to be ok."

She calmed, she knew that voice and she opened her eyes. Fumio and Kin were backing off and Kakashi was standing in front of her. She shifted and turned, Sakura released her hold and put her down, smiling at her.

Kakashi was simply staring down the two men. "Is there a problem here?"

They stumbled on their words a bit, "Oh no sir."

"Good then you won't mind telling me why this young lady was attacking you, will you?"

Fumio spoke up, "I have no idea. She just flew at me. I've never seen her before in my life."

Kiyoko tensed but Sakura touched her arm and shook her head. She suspected that Sakura and Kakashi knew full well that they were lying. So she stayed quiet.

Kakashi turned to her, "Kiyoko. I've never known you to be violent. Is that true?"

Kiyoko was trying to figure out what her answer should be. Did Kakashi want the truth? She decided for the easy way out, she shut her eyes and melted into Sakura, knowing full well the girl could, and would, catch her.

"Well. It seems she's overdone herself again." Kakashi was surprised but didn't show it. "I guess you'll have to take her back to the hospital, Sakura."

"Yes sir." She scooped the small woman up and started off.

"Now just a minute." Fumio was concerned that he'd lose her. He'd spent a lot of money on her.

Kakashi leveled his gaze at the man. "Yes?"

"She, umm..." Fumio was trying to figure out how to keep her. "We can do that. You guys must be busy."

"Oh no. I'm sure she'd rather a friend bring her than a total stranger. Unless, of course, you have met her before?"

Fumio sighed, he had lost. "No. Never seen her before. I just wanted to do the right thing."

"Well then, we'll be off."

Fumio watched the two ninja walk off with his slave. This was not going to be as easy as he thought it might be. Then he watched in amazement as they got to the main road and Sakura put Kiyoko down on her feet and gave her a hug. She'd been faking! She was going to pay for this.

Sakura put Kiyoko down, "It's safe now. You can stop faking." She giggled a bit. "That was quick thinking on your part. How did you know I'd catch you?"

Kiyoko smiled up at the girl, "I didn't but I figured a fall to the ground was better than the wrong answer to his question." She pointed at Kakashi.

Kakashi smiled, "There was no wrong answer,Kiyoko. I would have worked with whatever you said. But I think this is better." He turned his attention to Sakura, "I think I'd like to have a word with Lady Tsunade. I'll see you later." And he was gone in a puff of smoke.

"How do you do that? Disappear so quickly?" Kiyoko was sure she'd never get used to it.

"I guess we just do it. I don't know, I haven't mastered it yet. How are you doing?"

"I'm ok. Do you know who they were?"

"I'm not sure but Kakashi and I surmised, from your reaction to them and the conversation you had, that they were involved in your recent experiences. Were we right?"

"Yeah. They were the ones I escaped from." A shiver ran down her spine, that had been a close call.

Sakura felt bad for this woman and she was glad they had come upon the incident when they had. Who knows what might have happened otherwise. She put her arm around her shoulders, "Come on, lets get some tea."

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