“Sakura, stand back.” Kakashi shifted into a fighting stance, gathering chakra to his hand as he prepared to face the masked Akatsuki member blocking their way to providing backup for Naruto. Sakura nodded, taking several steps back.
“Be careful, Kakashi-sensei,” she said, prepared to leap out of the way if need be.
“I’m sorry,” the shinobi said, his voice muffled oddly by the orange mask, his attention abruptly focused on Sakura. “What did you just call him?”
“Um, Kakashi-sensei…?” She repeated hesitantly. There was a silence and Sakura got the feeling if she could see the man’s face, he’d be gaping. He turned his head slightly to see Kakashi better.
“They gave you a genin team?” He demanded. Sakura blinked. She darted a quick glance at her teacher uncertainly. It wasn’t really common knowledge that Kakashi had briefly taken a genin team, but this man seemed to be taking an almost personal offense to it. “What moron thought that was a good idea?!”
Sakura bristled, ready to leap to her teacher’s defense, but Kakashi didn’t seem to take any offense.
“I told them it was a bad idea,” he shrugged. “I was overruled.” And the next thing Sakura knew, she was no longer safely out of the line of fire; instead she was being held firmly against a chest, one arm wrapped around the front of her chest. The shinobi was holding a kunai out in front of them. Kakashi tensed
“I’m keeping her,” he announced.
“Excuse me?!” Sakura spluttered. “Who the hell -”
“Maa, shinobi-san, don’t you think you should ask her first?” Kakashi asked mildly. Sakura didn’t even pretend to not be comforted by the kunai he was fingering.
“No,” the shinobi said bluntly. “Because obviously everyone in your damn village is brain damaged for letting you be in charge of young children.”
“I’m sixteen!” Sakura’s voice reached an all new decibel, previously unheard by any except small animals. Kakashi’s eyes narrowed.
“Do I know you, shinobi-san?”
The shinobi growled. “Yes, bastard, as a matter of fact you do!” A moment later, the hand extended in front of her was gone and then there was a thud as the mask hit the ground. “I gave you that fucking eye to protect people with and instead I get to spend the last fifteen years reading porn!”
“Are you stroking my hair?!”
“Shh, shh, it’s okay,” this Obito person soothed, patting her head with his free hand. “And then I find out that some idiot put you in charge of a genin team, because you did so well with the last one!” Kakashi winced. Sakura growled. “So now I’m keeping her. She’s mine. Because obviously you can’t be trusted with young girls put in your care -” Kakashi looked like someone had kicked him. Sakura was rapidly starting to lose patience. “ And I would really hate for her to wind up with a chidori through her chest from someone she trusted, while her other friend watches helplessly from the side because he was too late to get there!”
That...sounded strangely specific, but Sakura didn’t really care to try and parse out the details. Kakashi looked like he’d been gutted and with a shriek of rage, Sakura drove a chakra enhanced heel into Obito’s foot, who howled and finally let her go.
She’d take care of Kakashi after she beat this shithead into the next age.
You guys, the response to this story blew me away! I honestly wasn't expecting as much feedback and response as I got, so I wrote another chapter as thanks! I don't remember which reviewer I got the idea for this chapter from, but a million thanks to them!
“Huh.” Naruto blinked as Sakura finished talking. Sasuke was, predictably silent. “So he found out you were Kakashi-sensei’s student and just...switched sides?”
“Pretty much,” Sakura said. She poured boiling water into the three waiting ramen cups, suppressing a smile as Naruto began dancing impatiently.
“And Tsunade just let him stay?” Sasuke demanded. Sakura slanted a glance at him, slapping Naruto’s hand away from the ramen.
“It’s still cooking, Naruto,” she scolded, ignoring Naruto’s protests. “And she let you stay, didn’t she?” Sasuke grunted, but didn’t press the point.
“I don’t understand why he has to live with you, though,” Naruto said when they were finally settled on her couch after her warning that if they stained her couch she would murder them both. Naruto gave her one of his patented wounded looks, while Sasuke just looked unimpressed. Whatever. He only had one arm. She could take him. “Wouldn’t Sasuke be better? They’re family.”
“He refused to stay anywhere else,” Sakura answered absently, stirring the seasoning into the cup. “And it’d be fairly difficult to imprison him. In the interest of keeping him here, Tsunade and I both agreed it was the best option.”
“He has the means to live somewhere else,” Sasuke said shortly, which coming from him was an effusive declaration of concern for her safety.
“He does,” she agreed neutrally. It was an argument she and Sasuke had had several times over the past few days and one she wasn’t backing down from. If Sasuke wanted more of a say of what went on in her personal life, he should’ve damn well stayed in the village when they were younger.
“So what does he have against Kakashi-sensei anyway?” Naruto wondered, slurping his noodles.
“Apparently Kakashi-sensei promised to protect their other teammate when Obito ‘died’ and failed,” Sakura answered. She opted to leave out the details of who said teammate was and how, exactly, Kakashi had failed. That information didn’t need to be spread all over the place. If Obito wanted to tell them, he would. “So now he’s apparently very protective.”
Naruto was silent as he contemplated this, staring down into his empty ramen cup. Sakura was content to let him be and Sasuke was never much of a conversationalist anyway.
“How do you think he’d react if he found out Sasuke almost chidori’d you?” He finally asked, dodging the punch Sasuke aimed his way.
“He what?” The three teenagers jumped, twisting around to stare wide-eyed at the doorway where Obito and Kakashi were standing. Obito was glowering at Sasuke and wow, Sakura hoped he never got that angry with her. Sasuke, for his part, had gone abruptly pale as he stared in wide-eyed horror at his cousin. Naruto gaped, his mouth opening and closing, no doubt trying to figure out a way to salvage the situation. Unfortunately, Sasuke spoke first.
“Naruto almost rasengan’d her,” he blurted and Naruto’s eyes snapped to him in outright betrayal, a garbled noise rising from his throat as the air surrounding Obito seemed to grow darker.
“We - uh - we need to go,” Naruto squeaked, scrambling up from the couch and grabbing Sasuke by the shoulder, hauling him with him. Sasuke, for once, didn’t protest the physical contact and went willingly, lacking his usual grace as Obito started advancing on them. Sakura didn’t move as Naruto and Sasuke threw themselves out the window and Obito paused at the window, glancing back at her and Kakashi, clearly wanting to go after the boys but not wanting to leave her with Kakashi.
“Don’t kill them, Obito,” Sakura sighed. “The village does actually need all the shinobi it can get.”
“We’re in a time of peace,” he muttered mutinously, already climbing through the sill, having apparently decided that Kakashi was the lesser threat and could be trusted with her for a short amount of time.
“Don’t maim them, either!” Sakura yelled after him before turning to Kakashi. “How was therapy?”
Kakashi threw himself down face first on the couch in answer and Sakura patted his head sympathetically, wondering why she had to be surrounded by the biggest drama queens in the village.
Lmao I said I was done and it turns out I'm a big fat liar.
“You don’t even know what I’m going to ask,” Naruto protested. Sakura gave him a flat stare, then pointedly slid her gaze to the figure standing behind him. Naruto visibly wilted.
“Okay, so maybe you do,” he said. “But, really! It’s not that bad.”
“Absolutely not, Naruto. If it’s not that bad then you can take him home.”
“Ah, c’mon, Sakura-chan! You’ve already got one and a half living here! What’s one more?” Naruto wheedled. Sakura gave him an unimpressed look, trying to ignore Obito hovering over her shoulder and not even trying to hide his interest.
“Okay, one, you haven’t called me Sakura-chan in ages, it’s not going to work, Naruto. Two, I have one living here, under protest - ” She paused. “Why does Sasuke only count as half?” Naruto shrugged.
“Technically, he doesn’t live here but he’s over so much he may as well,” he answered.
“If that’s your logic then I already have two whole extra people -” Naruto didn’t even try to look repentant and neither would Kakashi, if here were here. Sai would just smile at her. “-living here, I don’t need an entire extra one,” she said waspishly. She peeked over his shoulder into the hall. “No offense, Itachi-san.”
“None taken...Sakura-san,” Itachi said politely, hesitating slightly over her name. Sakura gave him a warm smile before turning her glare back on Naruto, who gave her a blinding smile in return.
“Three,” she started.
“Three, Kakashi-sensei said he had to,” Naruto interrupted. Behind her, Obito growled. Sakura gave into the urge to elbow him. He wheezed slightly and gave her a wounded look. Naruto tried not to look smug. Itachi looked serene. “He said you’re the most qualified person in the village to help them.”
“I still can’t believe the village made him hokage,” Obito grumbled.
“How long ago did you betray the village again, Obito?” Sakura asked pointedly. Obito fell silent, a mulish expression on his face. Sakura returned her attention to Naruto, who schooled expression into something more appropriate for a funeral. “And by qualified, he means I make you all go to therapy and eat something besides instant ramen.”
“Six of one, half a dozen of another,” Naruto shrugged. “Anyways, that’s what he said.”
“I don’t have room , Naruto. It’s a two bedroom apartment,” she protested. “You, Kakashi and Sasuke already take over couch and the spare futon and Sai just sleeps wherever he wants. Where am I supposed to put Itachi-san, the closet?”
“I don’t like Sai,” Obito said. Naruto and Sakura both rolled their eyes.
“We know,” Naruto said. “Unfortunately for you, Sakura is the only one who gets a say on who lives in her apartment.”
“Apparently not,” she muttered under her breath. Conceding with ill grace, she finally deigned to step back from the doorway, chivvying Obito out of the way as she went, and allowed Itachi and Naruto to enter. Itachi cast an expressionless look around as he came in and Sakura tried not to feel embarrassed about the laundry lying haphazardly across the floor. Naruto herded him towards the kitchen and Obito leaned in close to Sakura.
“Has he tried to kill you?” He murmured quietly. Sakura suppressed a groan and leaned her head against the wall.
“No, Obito,” she sighed. “Itachi-san has never tried to kill me.”
“Oh, good,” Obito said, suddenly much more cheerful. “He’s my favorite.”
“Kakashi-sensei has never tried to kill me either,” Sakura pointed out half-heartedly, raising her head to look at him. "Or Sai." Obito ignored her and went to go introduce himself officially to his cousin.
Sakura dropped her head back against the wall.
This turned out mildly more serious than I was intending...oops. Hope y'all still like it lol
Also, this is way sooner than I was planning on updating! (I say that like I have an actual plan in mind for this story pfft)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
To be honest, having Itachi living with her didn’t change Sakura’s routine a whole lot. She’d had to break down and buy a new futon “that is just for Itachi, Naruto, you have your own apartment, sleep there” , and she had begun skimming ads for bigger apartments, but her apartment was already so crowded adding one more person to the mix, especially someone as quiet and polite as Itachi, didn’t really make a difference.
“Kakashi-sensei, you have your own address to have your mail delivered to.” Sakura tossed the envelope towards the man in question as she continued flipping through the stack of mail. Kakashi made a vague noise of acknowledgement before returning to his commentary of Obito and Naruto’s game of shogi. Sakura should really put a stop to it before Obito tried to attack Kakashi again, but it was honestly more entertaining than she wanted to admit.
“Ne, Sakura, is there anything for me?” Naruto asked, turning to look over his shoulder while Obito contemplated his next move.
“Naruto, you don’t live here. If there is anything here for you, you’d better be paying rent.” Kakashi slid further down on the couch, his book coming up further over his face. Sakura rolled her eyes and paused as she reached the next envelope.
“Ah, Itachi-san,” she said. “There’s something here for you.” Everyone paused and looked over at her. Itachi stood from his seat in the kitchen and joined them in the living room.
“Do you mind?” Itachi asked quietly and Sakura obligingly checked the envelope for traps before handing it over to him. He broke the seal and unfolded the paper, scanning the contents quickly. He went still, causing Kakashi to sit up fully on the couch and Naruto and Obito to both tense.
“Itachi-san?” Sakura asked quietly. As their keeper, Sakura had the right to read any correspondence Obito and Itachi received but seeing as Itachi was only recently declared not dead she hadn’t had to enforce that particular rule with him. Wordlessly, Itachi handed the letter over to her. If she didn’t know any better, Sakura would think Itachi was...afraid almost. She glanced down at the page.
“Ah,” she said. That explained it. “It’s a marriage proposal.”
“ WHAT?” Naruto shrieked. Obito smacked the back of his head.
“Don’t be so loud, brat,” he growled. Naruto whined but quieted down.
“I don’t understand,” Itachi said, a little helplessly, and Sakura looked back at him.
“It’s nothing to worry about, Itachi-san,” she said, trying to be reassuring. “You’ll probably get a few of them.” She looked back down at the letter. “This Chihiro-chan was very...forward, though.”
“Ooh, gimme,” Naruto demanded, reaching for the letter. Sakura glanced at Itachi, but when she didn’t receive a reaction from him she shrugged and handed the letter over to Naruto, who promptly got into a brief scuffle with Obito over who got to read it first.
“But why am I getting a marriage proposal?” Itachi asked, almost desperately. “And why would she write... that ?”
“It happens sometimes when you’re well-known,” Kakashi explained. “You’ve gotten sort of a celebrity status.”
“But I don’t want a celebrity status,” Itachi said plaintively. Sakura put a hand on his arm and steered him back to the kitchen, settled him back into his seat and put the kettle on for tea.
“Itachi, you’re a handsome man, of marriageable age, with considerable skills and you’re head of a clan,” Sakura said soothingly, ignoring Naruto’s crows of laughter as he read the letter. “Of course you’re going to get a few marriage proposals.”
“A clan that I killed. It’s practically non-existent,” he pointed out. “And I’m a traitor to Konoha -”
“Who’s been cleared of his crimes,” Kakashi interrupted idly. “And regardless of clan size, it does still technically exist and you come from a powerful bloodline.”
“I was a part of a terrorist organization,” Itachi continued, as though Kakashi hadn’t said anything.
“Gives you a bit of a bad boy vibe, really,” Sakura commented, just to see his reaction. Itachi spluttered, his cheeks flushing and looking as though Sakura had suggested he do something indecent in public. Sakura enjoyed the reaction for a moment before taking pity on him. “Itachi-san, really, it’s not big deal. Everyone in this apartment has gotten a few marriage proposals.” Itachi didn’t seem particularly reassured but at least he also didn’t seem to be freaking out by Uchiha standards anymore.
She slid him a mug of tea and Itachi grasped it like a lifeline. Sakura and Kakashi exchanged an amused look over his head
“Hey, speaking of marriage,” Naruto said, wandering in with Obito and preparing his own mug of tea. “Since Sasuke isn’t the last Uchiha anymore do you think he’ll stop proposing to you?” Kakashi, Itachi and Obito all perked up in interest. Sakura glared at Naruto who had the grace to look sheepish.
“Has Sasuke been bothering you, Sakura-chan?” Obito asked. “Do I need to talk to him?” He sounded entirely too hopeful and Sakura winced, imagining how that conversation would go.
“No, Sasuke hasn’t been bothering me, Obito,” she ground out. “We’re just deciding on what our relationship is.” Obito sat back reluctantly but Sakura didn’t miss the look he exchanged with Kakashi. Great. The one thing the two of them decided to agree on was the one thing Sakura would like everyone to stay out of.
“Mm, I do have some correspondence from the Mizukage,” Kakashi said idly. “Wants to solidify our alliance some more. Itachi, how do you feel about your brother marrying a Kiri-nin and moving?”
“Kakashi-sensei,” Sakura squawked. “You’re not marrying Sasuke off! Kiri will punt him right back here with a declaration of war!”
“Yeah!” Naruto said indignantly. “And after all the trouble we went through to get him back, you’re not sending him away that easily!”
Kakashi only looked a little disappointed.
“I did notice neither of you said it’s because you actually care about him, though,” Obito said idly. Itachi glowered. Obito ignored him. Sakura wondered what it said about her life that angry former missing-nin no longer fazed her.
“Of course we care about him,” Naruto said hotly. “Just because he’s a bastard who doesn’t know when to stop talking doesn’t mean we don’t!”
“Oh the irony,” Kakashi muttered under his breath and Obito snickered. Naruto, thankfully, missed it.
“I appreciate everyone’s concern in this matter,” Sakura said loudly, drawing attention back to herself. “But everyone can kindly butt out. Sasuke and I will work out our relationship without anyone’s interference, thank you!” kakashi and Obito immediately began complaining loudly and offering some of the worst advice she’d ever been given while Naruto snickered. While normally Sakura would encourage something that would help Kakashi and Obito work through their issues and allow them to bond, she wasn’t willing to throw Sasuke to the wolves on this one. Leaving him to deal with one of them on his own was one thing. Having to deal with both of them at the same time was just cruel.
Itachi was watching her with an expression Sakura couldn’t identify but she elected to ignore it for now. Itachi, she’d learned, would come to you when he wanted to talk over something and forcing the issue wouldn’t lead anywhere. In the meantime, though…
Her gaze landed on Naruto, who caught her expression and abruptly stopped laughing.
Okay a few things:
1) I never mentioned this specifically, I don't think, but Itachi does have his chakra sealed for the time being. Obito has less restrictions than Itachi but since they're not important at this point in time I haven't bothered to work out any details. Or details about how any of this is possible in general. Seriously, if you're expecting anything in depth here I have bad news for you.
2) Even though there are discussions of relationships in this chapter that does not necessarily reflect the relationships the story will have, if I ever get that far. If I do make it that far, I will probably play it fairly close to canon. But I can tell you right now Sasuke will not end up with either Sakura or Naruto because quite honestly they deserve so much better than him. I don't particularly like Sasuke, in case that wasn't obvious. However, I do think it's somewhat important to address the feelings the characters do have for each other. Sakura does love Sasuke and Sasuke does love Sakura. But there is a lot of unpacking to do in their relationship and there is a lot of healing that needs to go on for both of them. Same for Sasuke and Naruto. And basically everyone. This stupid story started as a one-shot and is now turning into a fix-it.
3) Despite what goes on the story (and my personal feelings), Team 7 and Kakashi do care about Sasuke. This isn't going to be a thing where the entire story is a Sasuke Hate Fest, so if you were starting to get that impression and were starting to get worried, don't! The running joke here is Sasuke has zero tact to speak of and he's difficult to get along with sometimes. Despite that, he's still family, they do care and they want him around (Except for maybe Obito).
As always, thank you so much for the feedback you leave! It means a lot to know people are enjoying this story so much!
This is what I was doing instead of sleeping or studying. Have some Team 7 fluff, because these babs need it.
“So how long do you have until they find you?” Naruto asked, looking up at his teammate.
“Not long, if you give my position away,” Sakura grumbled, settling more comfortably against the tree she was hiding in. Naruto squinted up at her and exchanged a glance with Sasuke. The two of them had a silent conversation Sakura couldn’t follow before Sasuke turned and walked away while Naruto climbed up into the tree with her. He had to admit the leaves made a good cover. If someone suppressed their chakra, they could probably hide indefinitely.
Which was probably what Sakura was counting on.
“Any particular reason you’re hiding outside Lee’s apartment?” He asked. He nudged Sakura until she reluctantly scooted further out onto the branch he could take the spot by the trunk. As soon as he was settled, she scooted back over so she could lean against him. He wrapped an arm around her, holding her to his side securely.
“Everyone thinks I don’t like him,” she said easily. “So no one will think to look here.”
“Does Lee know you do this?” Naruto peered down at her.
“It was his idea, actually,” Sakura admitted. “Nobody realized he’d gotten over his crush so when I first needed a break when Obito started living with me, he suggested I come around his place since everyone assumes I avoid it.” She turned so her back was resting against Naruto. He turned with her, letting her settle back against his chest. “I don’t feel comfortable going in when he’s not home, but the tree is a decent alternative.” Naruto was silent as he contemplated this, resting his chin on Sakura’s head.
“Yeah, Obito can be a little...intense,” Naruto said thoughtfully. There was a flicker of movement and then Sasuke was in the branch directly above them. Sakura and Naruto grinned when he held out some dango sticks.
“I was going to get ramen,” he said, stretching out on his stomach once they’d taken them. Sakura was reminded of a large cat. “But I thought Kakashi would probably be able to smell it if he were to come by.”
“He would come looking if he thought it would help Obito forgive him,” Naruto agreed and Sakura made a small noise of aggravation, nibbling on her dango. Naruto devoured his swiftly.
“I realize this isn’t exactly the kindest thought, but I would literally kill someone to bring back their teammate so Obito would have someone else to focus on,” she muttered. “Sasuke, suppress your chakra. If you screw this hiding spot up for me, I’m going to murder you.” A moment later, the only thing Sakura could sense was the insects in the tree and a civilian in the apartment below Lee’s. She hummed in satisfaction.
“I’ve missed this,” she said quietly. “Just the three of us being able to spend time together.” It seemed no matter which way Sakura turned she was either tripping over Itachi or Obito. Team dinners were regularly crashed, training sessions were supervised and even going over to Naruto or Sasuke’s apartments was no guarantee of privacy.
“Me too,” Naruto said quietly. Sasuke hummed and when he dropped his hand down, both Sakura and Naruto reached up to gently twine their fingers with his briefly. “But look at it this way, Sakura. At the rate this is going, their teammate could waltz back at any time!” Sakura laughed.
“I don’t think so, Naruto,” she said. “But it’s a nice thought.” She didn’t add that hopefully Itachi was the last, since that seemed a little insensitive to Sasuke and it was only his family who had shown up so far, but she really didn’t think she could handle anymore stray resurrected people getting dumped on her doorstep.
“Dobe,” Sasuke said, almost fondly. The three of them fell silent as Genma passed by under their tree. Once he had passed out of sight around the corner, they let out a small sigh of relief. Kakashi and Obito had managed to recruit the other jounin into tracking down Sakura when she disappeared, turning it into something of a game for them. Sakura, while not amused, was getting very good at stealth and hiding.
“How long do you have before you have to be anywhere?” Sasuke asked her.
“A few hours,” Sakura answered. “I have today off from the hospital but I’m going to Ino’s for dinner.”
“Good,” Sasuke said, his eyes closed and evidently prepared to sleep there in the tree. “Stay here.” Naruto tightened his arms around her waist and Sakura smiled, feeling more content than she had in ages.
“I will,” she promised, closing her own eyes.
It had been nearly four months since Itachi had come to stay with Sakura. They had all been slightly apprehensive about Sasuke’s reaction to Itachi’s sudden appearance. But when he had first seen Itachi, he had simply stared at him blankly and then turned and walked right back out the door again.
“Well,” Sakura had said with a long-suffering sigh. “It’s probably better than anything we could’ve hoped for.” She’d had to stop Naruto from going after Sasuke and dragging him back, a look of indignation and outrage written all over his face.
“They’re brothers!” Naruto had protested loudly. Sakura had ignored him and turned to Itachi, one hand still firmly gripping the collar of Naruto’s shirt.
“Do I need to stop you from going after him?” She’d asked, tamping down on the desire to go after Sasuke herself because the only other person Sakura had seen wield kicked-puppy eyes like that was Naruto when he really wanted his friends to get along or an extra bowl of ramen. And Naruto had stopped a war and united nations with a combination of those eyes and beating people into getting along and being friends. She shuddered to think what Itachi, who had actual charisma and was pretty , could do if he put his mind to it.
“No, Sakura-san, I believe space would be the best thing for us right now.”
And that was that. Sasuke refused to come around Sakura’s apartment, which she had to admit did wonders for the longevity of her furniture and shot Itachi straight to the top of Obito’s favorites list right after Sakura. And that still confused Sakura, because she wasn’t overly nice to Obito or had done anything to warrant such preference beyond existing. Tsunade had said he was projecting the last time Sakura had brought up to her and to just make sure Obito went to therapy.
Over the months, Sasuke’s outright avoidance had turned to him showing up at group outings and carefully keeping to outskirts while he watched Itachi and hovered by either Naruto or Sakura, to confused petulance where he wavered between wanting Itachi’s attention and actively shunning him, to outright aggression whenever he could get away with it.
“I think Itachi thinks it’s sweet,” Naruto said, squinting as he tried to keep up with Sasuke and Itachi’s movements on the training field. Obito was off bothering Kakashi at the Hokage Tower and probably offering advice that undoubtedly pitch the nations into war again if Kakashi were to actually follow it. Luckily, Shikamaru was there keep things under control. He may be lazy but he would do work if it meant he didn’t have to do even more work later.
“Probably,” Sakura said, leaning back on her hands and watching as Itachi barely dodged a shower of kunai. “I do think Kakashi-sensei made the right decision in unsealing his chakra, though.”
“For his safety, if nothing else,” Naruto agreed. “After the fourth time the bastard tried to set him on fire it made sense to at least make sure he could dodge.”
“I think the fact it kept happening in the market had something to do with it to,” Sakura pointed out. “Less casualties if Itachi can make to the training grounds under his own power.” They both scrambled out of the way as a giant fireball came roaring in their direction.
When they reappeared in one of the trees on the edge of the grounds, they could hear Itachi chiding Sasuke for being so careless. Sasuke’s face was slowly turning an alarming shade of red and with a wild yell he threw himself at Itachi.
“Well, if he wears himself out now, he might not have nightmares later,” Sakura yawned, settling into the tree.
“Nah,” Naruto disagreed. “I have to drug him to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Sakura debated for a moment between being appalled that Naruto of all people would drug a teammate, even if it was for his own good, and being impressed he could pull it off.
“I tell him I’m drugging his tea so he thinks that I’m not,” Naruto answered her unspoken question. “I make sure to do it every time I’m over so he doesn’t notice a pattern.”
“And people said you were dumb,” Sakura said fondly. Naruto grinned, rubbing the back of his head. A slight cough from above them drew their attention and Sakura and Naruto both looked up to see one of the Anbu guards perched in the branch of them. They stared at each other for a long moment.
“Yo,” Naruto greeted before turning back to the field.
“Maa, Sakura-chan, how do you feel about moving?”
Sakura stopped in the door of the Hokage office, staring at Kakashi-sensei. Out of all the words that could have greeted her that morning, those were the last ones she’d expected and honestly, not ones she’d wanted to hear.
She’d been looking into bigger apartments or maybe a small house, with Itachi and Obito hovering over her shoulder as she looked through the classifieds in the paper and offering advice. Obito’s advice had been surprisingly helpful. Apparently being the head of a terrorist organization and being responsible for securing facilities was good practice for house-hunting and one of Akatsuki’s members had apparently been a real stickler for budgeting and saving so Obito also knew how to actually stay within budget Sakura had set for herself.
Itachi, who had managed to slaughter his entire clan before he had had to take over the accounting books and knew absolutely nothing about buying a house since he would have simply stayed in the main house if he’d stayed in Konoha, simply limited himself to telling her which houses she’d looked at were his favorites.
So far they all had gardens and koi ponds and Sakura suspected no matter where she went, she would have a garden within the month.
But if Kakashi-sensei was starting to get in on her house-hunting, it wouldn’t be long until Naruto and Sasuke started weighing in. And Sai, who had just gotten back to the village from a mission, liked to play mind games and Sakura would be second-guessing herself the minute she decided on a house and Sai said something about it.
“I’ve...been thinking about it,” Sakura said cautiously. “The apartment is getting cramped -” and that was an understatement. Tenzo and Sai had the decency to go to their own homes in the evening, most of the time, but rest of Team Kakashi, including Kakashi, tended to just crash where ever was convenient. Most of the time when Sakura exited her room in the morning, Kakashi was stretched out over the couch while Naruto and Sasuke were crammed on to the spare futon together, looking as though they’d fallen asleep fighting over who would get to use it. The only times they slept on the floor were the nights Tenzou stayed over and took the futon. “ -And it would be nice to have a little more room.”
Maybe move Itachi out of the literal closet he’d been shoved in since neither Obito or Itachi could fall asleep with the other in the room and Itachi had insisted Obito take the guest room, as the elder. Kakashi had made a rather pointed comment about someone knowing how to respect their elders that Naruto and Sasuke had promptly pretended not to hear.
Naruto had tried sneaking into bed with Sakura exactly once and had faced the combined wrath of Obito, Itachi and Sasuke. That had been a nightmare. Obito had sat guard outside her room for the next week until Sakura literally punted him into his own room so she’d stopped tripping over him in the middle of the night when she went to use the restroom.
“Ah good,” Kakashi said. Sakura shut the door behind her and continued towards the desk to give him the latest hospital report from Tsunade. “The Uchiha compound is available and it’s free, since you have the head of the clan living with you.” Sakura stopped again and narrowed her eyes.
“I thought I would just a house in a quiet part of the village. Why would I need the entire Uchiha compound?” She asked suspiciously. “I only have two Uchiha living with me.”
“That’s right,” Kakashi agreed, smiling. “But I don’t think one house will do it. I also don’t think your future neighbors would appreciate your tenants.”
“Calling them ‘tenants’ implies they pay rent, Kakashi-sensei,” Sakura pointed out drily. “Neither of them have jobs and currently their accounts are frozen. I think ‘freeloaders’ would be a better term. I’m sure you’ve heard it before.”
“So mean, Sakura-chan,” Kakashi said mournfully. “Why can’t you show your hokage some respect?”
“Why won’t one house fit my needs, Kakashi-sensei?” Sakura asked pointedly. “I assume at some point Itachi-san and Obito are going to be able to begin living on their own without direct supervision -”
“The explosion last weeks suggests otherwise -”
“- And I’ll have a house with a decent amount of space if I decide to start seeing someone -”
“ - Obito can be extremely unstable sometimes -”
“ - And you know that explosion was your and Gai-sensei’s fault -”
“ - It really wouldn’t make sense to just let them live just anywhere -”
“ - for challenging Obito and Itachi had nothing to do with that -”
“ - And if you buy a small house, where are Sora and Toka going to live?”
“ Who? ” Sakura demanded.
“Are you ready to start dating then?” Kakashi asked. “Tsuande-sama isn’t counting on Naruto for grandchildren, so I think you’re her last hope.”
“ Who are Sora and Toka?”
“I’m not sure how poor Sasuke-kun would take that though,” Kakashi mused and Sakura was torn between screaming in frustration and throwing the desk at Kakashi’s head.
“Sasuke isn’t the topic of discussion!” Sakura yelled. Kakashi was spared from any furthering shouting by Itachi knocking politely on his window.
“Hokage-sama,” he said respectfully. “You summoned?”
“Ah, yes, come in,” Kakashi said and Itachi slipped through the window, giving Sakura a curious look. She shrugged helplessly at him and turned back to Kakashi.
“Now,” Kakashi said. “This concerns both of you; Itachi as the head of the Uchiha clan and Sakura, as your direct probation officer.”
“I’m not even in law enforcement,” Sakura whispered, desolate. Itachi patted her shoulder consolingly. Kakashi ignored them and flared his chakra briefly and the doors leading into the office opened. Itachi and Sakura both turned to look at the newcomers.
They were very clearly Uchiha.They both had pale skin and dark hair, though the man’s was closer to brown than black and the woman had curls framing her face. The man was close to Itachi’s height, just slightly taller. The woman barely reached his sternum, she was so short. Their hands were clasped tightly and their footsteps were just loud enough to mark them as civilians. They both stopped short at the sight of Itachi. The woman visibly blanched and the man tugged her slightly behind him. It was a sweet gesture, if a useless one.
“Sora-san. Toka-san,” Itachi said politely. His face was completely blank and if Sakura hadn’t spent the last six months living with him, she wouldn’t have been able to see the strain around his mouth.
She kind of wanted to hit Kakashi.
He winced at the look she gave him but pressed on gamely.
“Toka-san and Sora-san are bakers,” he said brightly.
“I remember,” Itachi said. “They made the best mochi in the compound.”
“Tenzou is willing to help reconstruct the compound,” Kakashi said. “Uchiha-san, this is Haruno Sakura. She’s been tasked with overseeing the Uchiha currently in the village.”
“There are more of us...Hokage-sama?” The man asked. He hesitated slightly over the title and Sakura realized that the Sandaime would have been the last Hokage they had been under.
“A small amount, Toka-san,” Kakashi answered. “To be honest, your arrival is slightly unexpected, but it sets a precedent for others to arrive.” Obito and Itachi had made a weird kind of sense, Sakura thought. They had been around when the Edo Tensei had been used. However these Uchiha, going by their reactions to Itachi, had been long dead.
Not that that had stopped the previous Hokages, but the last Sakura heard they were back to being dead.
What if they weren’t?
“I see,” Toka murmured. He slanted a glance at Itachi, but apparently decided against saying anything. He turned to Sakura and bowed. Sora followed suit. “Hello, Haruno-san. We’re in your care.”
Sakura shot Kakashi an absolutely furious glare that he didn’t see as he was suddenly invested in his paperwork and turned back to Toka and Sora with a smile she hoped looked more pleasant than it felt. If the way Itachi subtly shifted away from her, it didn’t. Toka and Sora, luckily, were still bowing and didn’t see.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Uchiha-san,” she said through gritted teeth.
Sorry for the delay! I've started working on a pretty long project that I'm excited about and I'm revisiting stories that I've neglected for too long and working on them again. So between my other stories and real life there will definitely be delays in between updates but I appreciate everyone's feedback, support and patience! Seriously, you're all amazing!
And now we have some OCs thrown into the mix! Toka and Sora are wonderful bakers who grew up in civilian families and they're completely in love and their life goals include having adorable little munchkins underfoot and making the best sweets in the village. Honestly, in my head, their relationship is #goals. I realize OCs aren't really the most popular, but I've decided to go for broke and make it all Uchiha and not just the ones we're all familiar with and love, so that'll include background characters and OCs. I hope you'll enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy writing them.
I've had a couple of people ask about Sai. No worries, I didn't forget him! To be honest, he hasn't shown up in the story because I'm not entirely sure how I'll do with writing his character and I'm kind of nervous about it so I've copped out and had him on a mission for almost the entire story. He'll probably show up within the next few chapters.
On another note, I'm thinking about changing the title of the story. The current one doesn't really fit since it's no longer a one-shot but I haven't decided on a new one. Once I do, I'll be sure to give you all a warning so you know it's coming and what to look out for!
Thank you again so much for reading! You guys are great!
In which Itachi has a very bad day.
(So does almost everyone else, but Itachi's day is arguably the worst)
“I do not think Sakura-san will appreciate us meddling in her affairs,” Itachi told Obito quietly. They were crouched on the rooftop across from the small cafe Sakura was currently in. They could see her seated by one of the large windows in front across from a young man around her age. They appeared to be enjoying themselves, Itachi thought.
“We’re not meddling ,” Obito protested. “We’re just keeping an eye on things.”
“We weren’t asked to keep an eye on things,” Itachi pointed out. Obito ignored him and Itachi focused back on the scene happening across the street.
The scene was something out of one of the romance novels Itachi’s mother had used to read. The young man had pulled out Sakura’s seat for her, dutifully listened when she spoke and didn’t try and dominate the conversation. Sakura, in turn, poured the tea for them both, made sure to always respond to what her partner was saying and kept the conversation flowing. Itachi was previously unaware Sakura had been trained the gentle arts. Sakura and this unnamed young man looked as though they were a happily courting couple.
“I don’t like him,” Obito growled.
“He hasn’t done anything,” Itachi sighed. This, apparently, didn’t matter to Obito, who glowered at the cafe.
“What exactly are you planning on doing if he does try and make an unwanted advance?” Itachi tried to reason with his cousin. “Anything you have planned will give away our position and your intentions, well meant as they are, will not be appreciated.” Obito turned wide, innocent eyes on Itachi. A niggling of unease wormed its way into Itachi’s mind.
“I have a plan, cousin, don’t worry.”
“What’s the plan?” Itachi demanded.
“Don’t you have any faith in your family?” Obito asked. Itachi’s unease exploded into full-blown worry.
“I learned not to follow you blindly at the border of Tea Country. Twice.” Obito scoffed and turned away. “Obito, I will leave right now if you don’t -”
“They’re moving, hush,” Obito hissed, pressing himself deeper into the shadows. Itachi, against his better judgement, followed suit. “Now, when they separate - and so help me if he doesn’t walk her home - we’re going to corner him and find out what his intentions with Sakura-chan are.”
“And if he doesn’t want to tell us? It’s none of our business,” Itachi pointed out. Obito looked determined.
“Then we’ll make him ,” he said grimly.
“Obito! He. Is. A. Civilian ! You can’t torture - mmph!”
Kakashi easily blocked the kunai Itachi tried to shove into his neck and removed his hand from Itachi’s mouth.
“What are we doing?” He asked cheerfully. Obito spared him a brief glance before returning his attention to Sakura and the young man across the street. The chatter of the crowds was loud enough they couldn’t make out what was being said and they were angled in such away none of the men could read their lips.
“Sakura-chan is on a date and didn’t tell any of us,” Obito answered.
“Maa, really?” Kakashi asked, interest in his voice. He leaned around Itachi to get a better look. Itachi comforted himself with the fact that if the Hokage was with them, they probably wouldn’t get thrown in jail. Probably. “That doesn’t sound like my cute student.”
“You trained them, that sounds exactly like them,” Obito snapped.
“No, Sakura has always been very responsible,” Kakashi murmured, gaze just as focused on the couple as they made their way down the street. He and Obito leapt to the next rooftop. Itachi, despairing of this not turning into anything but an unmitigated disaster, followed. He cast a desperate look at the Anbu following them. The Anbu gave a helpless little shrug.
Itachi found himself stupidly grateful that the unnamed man kept a respectable distance from Sakura. At one point, Obito growled when he lightly touched Sakura’s elbow but Itachi was able to grab his arm quickly enough to stop him from launching himself from the rooftops. Kakashi’s face didn’t change but Itachi got the feeling he was laughing at him. It didn’t take long for them to realize the pair was making their way back to the hospital.
“Did he pull her out of the hospital in the middle of a shift?” Obito hissed, outraged. “He can’t be distracting her from her work like that!”
“Sakura-san is a well-established kunoichi and is second-in-command,” Itachi hissed. “She can afford to leave the hospital for a lunch break!” He rounded on Kakashi. “Hokage-sama!”
“I don’t know, Itachi,” Kakashi said, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “Sakura very rarely leaves hospital grounds even for her breaks. This is highly unusual.” Itachi made a noise similar to a cat whose tail had just been stepped on while Obito just looked vindicated.
“See, even Bakashi thinks so!”
“You changed sides in the middle of a war because you didn’t trust his judgement, that doesn’t prove anything!” Kakashi gave him a deeply offended look.
“Is he - what is he doing?” Obito demanded and Itachi lunged . They scuffled while Kakashi leapt deftly out of the way. Sakura and the man continued on down the street, oblivious. “Let me go -”
“He is just buying her a stick of dango -”
“ - making inappropriate gestures -”
“ Obito, put out that fireball -”
Itachi threw himself out of the way and the fireball demolished the wall of the building next to them. There were screams from the street. Itachi coughed as the dust cleared and he staggered to the opening created. Kakashi and Obito leapt up beside him and they peered through the hole in the wall. They could make out two figures on the floor. One appeared to be a full grown man and the other a small child. They were both unconscious and their chakra signatures were faint, but they were there.
“Is that -” Kakashi started, disbelief written all over his face.
“You have got to be kidding me!” Obito burst out.
“Who is the child, though?” Itachi mused.
The three of them stood over the form of Uchiha Madara and a small boy, very obviously also a Uchiha, tucked into the crook of his arm.
“Well, shit,” Kakashi muttered.
To the reviewer wondering what would happen if Sakura did actually start dating, the answer is something like this. To be fair, though, she’s not actually on a date and everyone is completely overreacting. I also thought it would be a nice break to a chapter from someone else's POV besides Sakura's, so we got Itachi today.
To everyone wanting Madara to show up, here he is! Where did he come from? Who knows? Not me!
Comments are always appreciated!
Shikamaru stared at the ceiling.
Iruka shifted minutely.
A breeze wafted through the window, only to die a moment later out of self-preservation.
Neither Kakashi or Madara blinked.
“ - Don’t understand what he could possibly need us for...I need you to wait out here -” Madara and Kakashi both looked at the door. Iruka looked profoundly relieved and Shikamaru sank down further in his chair with an inaudible mumble. Madara shot him an unreadable look. Shikamaru twitched. The door burst open and Sakura strode through.
“ - it’s not as though I actually have another...job…” She trailed off, staring as Madara and Kakashi before focused their attention on her. Kakashi, privately, took a moment to enjoy the stunned look on her face. Very rarely could anything surprise Sakura anymore, especially into silence, so Kakashi felt justified in getting his kicks where he could.
His little student had grown up so much.
Madara’s eyes narrowed as he studied the girl in front of him. She was young, with vivid green eyes and pink hair. Her bearing, despite her obviously being thrown off by his presence, was confident and self-assured. He vaguely remembered her from before his death, however their encounter had been brief and he’d been a bit distracted by other happenings.
Sakura, for her part, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and turned so she was facing Kakashi directly.
“No. Absolutely not.” Despite her words, her voice was resigned, like she already knew she’d lost whatever fight was brewing.
“Don’t be like that, Sakura. I’ve assigned Tenzo to the district to help you,” Kakashi said. “And Naruto will be there.” Sakura did not look comforted.
“I’ll defect to Suna,” Sakura said half-heartedly. Madara’s eyebrows climbed up his forehead. Those were bold words.
“No you won’t,” Kakashi said cheerfully. “Gaara will punt you back here so he doesn’t have to deal with this. You know at the very least Obito and Sasuke will follow you and they can cause international incidents by breathing. He’s not going to want that headache.”
“I don’t want that headache,” Sakura muttered under her breath.
“I pay you to have that headache.”
Madara, sick of being talked around as though he wasn’t there, cleared his throat pointedly. Every eye in the room snapped back to him. The tan chunin in the corner looked vaguely guilty, even though he hadn’t said anything. The other chunin, clearly a Nara, looked as though he would rather be anywhere else in the world, but considering his expression hadn’t changed since Madara had entered the room, Madara didn’t bother trying to parse anything from that. What he could see of Kakashi’s face was bland. Sakura just narrowed her eyes at him.
“Sakura will take you to where you’re staying,” Kakashi told him. “The Uchiha district is being rebuilt as needed and I’m sure your presence will be a great help.”
The Nara choked. Sakura snarled at the hokage but turned to Madara with the bare minimum of a polite smile.
“Please follow me, Uchiha-san.” She turned and strode back out the door. Kakashi took this opportunity to begin flipping through the papers on his desk. Both chunin looked vaguely long-suffering. Madara, still determined to be as silent as possible, turned and followed Sakura out the door.
He politely pretended to be oblivious to the ANBU following after them.
They stepped out in the large hallway and the door slammed shut behind them. Madara sent it a considering look. The design was the same, though the wood and structure were both clearly new. Madara wondered what had happened to prompt an entire overhaul of the building. He turned back to his new guide, opening his mouth to ask when his attention was diverted by a small child clinging to Sakura’s pant leg and staring up at him with wide eyes.
The little boy ( His little brother, Madara thought hysterically, he would know that face anywhere) ducked closer to Sakura, hiding his face shyly in her leg. Sakura had gone still, her hand resting lightly on the boy’s head, as she watched Madara.
Madara, for his part, ignored her and crouched down carefully so he was at Ninigi’s height. This could be a trick, a distant part of his mind told him, but if it was, it was very effective.
“He was found next to you,” Sakura said, keeping her voice low and soothing as to not startle the little boy. “We didn’t know who he was.”
“He is my little brother,” Madara murmured. Ninigi was peeking out at him now. “Ninigi, do you remember me? It’s Madara.”
“You don’t look like him,” Ninigi said dubiously. Sakura smothered a small smile. Madara flushed a bit.
“No, I suppose I don’t,” he admitted. “I’ve grown my hair a bit since you...since we last saw each other.” Ninigi was studying him carefully. Madara waited patiently and was rewarded when he finally took a small step away from Sakura and towards him. He took another step, then another until finally he was right in front of Madara.
“Are you really Madara?” He asked. Madara, suddenly unable to speak, nodded.
“That’s really him, Ninigi-chan,” Sakura said gently. Ninigi carefully wrapped his arms around Madara’s neck, who promptly swept him up into a bone-crushing hug.
So sorry for the five month delay, but here’s the next chapter!
So we know Madara has siblings and pretty much most (all) of them are dead, so my sister, Stormwind13, is letting me use her OCs for this story. I highly recommend you check out her works. They, unlike this one, have actual plot and in-depth worldbuilding and actual development. I would also recommend you subscribe since I know she’s got some awesome stuff in the works.
The story title will be changed with the next update to ‘Sakura’s Home for Wayward Uchiha’.
Be on the lookout!
Here’s the thing. It’s all well and good that the Uchiha are apparently coming back to life. At least from a tactical standpoint. The elemental nations may be in a time of peace but all that means is right now they’re looking for ways to one-up each other in a more quiet and subtle fashion than they might normally. The return of one of the most feared clans known to anyone just means that for the most part Konoha doesn’t have to do any work to have a new advantage. Kakashi just has to put a gag order on the whole situation. Keeping Itachi out of the limelight is a lost cause at this point but there’s no need to drag other certain parties into this.
Konoha R&D, on the other hand, was putting in overtime and pulling out their hair at the same time. Kakashi couldn’t tell if it was because they were having trouble figuring out why the Uchiha were coming back to life or if it was because they were having trouble getting one of the original live Uchihas into the labs for baseline samples. The last time Kakashi was down there, the blackboard had had ‘Uchiha Wrangling Tactics’ written at the top. Underneath had been a list of bullet points with things like ‘drugging’, ‘kidnapping’ and ‘bribery’. A picture of Sasuke sporting devil horns and a tail had been pinned up next to the board. Two kunai had been thrown into his eyes.
“You need to go to Lightning Country.” Kakashi flicked his gaze up to the Nara and Aburame standing on the other side of the desk. “Why?”
“To collect samples from Uchiha Kai’s burial site,” Nara answered swiftly.
“We believe it will help aide us in finding a cause to this...phenomenon,” Aburame said.
Kakashi leaned back in his seat, considering. On the one hand, it would make sense to establish if there was anything even remotely similar between burial and murder sites. On the other hand…
“It’s been over a decade since Uchiha Kai died,” Kakashi said. “What makes you think there’s even anything there?”
“We don’t know,” Nara answered. “But since the original compound was destroyed we can’t reliably draw samples from there.”
“I see.” Kakashi glanced down over the form again. “Tell me, did you choose Uchiha Kai’s site because it was in the northernmost part of the country and the absolute furthest away from Konoha you could get without actually dropping off the map?”
“That’s what I thought,” Kakashi said. He grabbed a pen and began scribbling on the form. “So long as you stop by the other burial sites between here and there to collect samples, I don’t have a problem with it. You have two months.”
The speed at which the two of them disappeared was impressive. Kakashi might need to recommend them for ANBU.
“Where’s Sasuke-kun?” Sora stopped by Tenzou. He was watching the group by the pond, a slightly wary, if exasperated and fond, expression on his face. Madara was seated on the ground, Ninigi in his lap. The little boy had pulled Madara’s hair over his shoulder to create a curtain to hide and was popping out, playing hide-and-seek with Naruto, who pretended to be terrified. Every time he flailed backwards, he was rewarded with bright peals of laughter. “He and Naruto are hardly ever apart.”
“Sasuke is up in the tree,” Tenzou said blandly. “He apparently doesn’t know how to handle small children.”
“...I see.” Tenzou slanted a look at her out of the corner of his eye.
“Is everything alright, Sora-san?” He asked. Sora was watching Madara with a furrowed brow.
“I suppose so,” she said. “He’s just not what I expected. The stories we were told never included…” She gestured vaguely as Ninigi declared himself Hokage of Nii-san Mountain. “He was both our clan’s hero and cautionary tale. No one ever told us he was just as human as the rest of us.”
“The stories rarely do,” Tenzou murmured. “And most often we don’t discover they are until it’s too late for everyone involved.” Sora brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear. There’s was silence again for a moment before she spoke again.
“Toka and I are arranging a family dinner tonight,” she told Tenzou. “You’re welcome to come. As are the rest of your team, if they’ll be around.” Tenzou inclined his head.
“Your invitation is most gracious,” he said. “I’ll pass it along, though I suspect if Sasuke knows, Naruto most certainly does.”
“Well then I imagine I’ll be seeing you all tonight then,” Sora said teasingly. “Naruto doesn’t seem the sort to let anyone miss out on a family dinner.”
“It is incredibly important to him,” Tenzou agreed. “I’ll see you this evening.”
“Wonderful.” Sora patted his arm, caught Madara’s eye and sent him a hesitant smile. She wasn’t sure but Madara looked briefly surprised for a moment. He didn’t smile back, but his face did soften fractionally. Sora headed back to hers and Toka’s home to begin preparing for this evening.
Aww, vague mentions of family bonding! Go me.
Aww, vague mentions of plot. Oops.
And you thought Sora and Toka weren't gonna pop back up.
We also have Sasuke mentioned as being his usual charming self. R&D is going to organize a union soon and demand compensation for having to deal with him and Obito. Sakura is absolutely no help because if she has to suffer so does everyone else.
“So,” Ino’s voice was mischievous and teasing and Sakura bit back a groan. Ino had surprisingly sharp ears and would shamelessly pounce on any sign of weakness. “How is it, Forehead?”
“How’s what, Pig?” Sakura didn’t look up from fruits she was perusing. Maybe if she ignored her, Ino would get bored and go away on her own. It wasn’t likely, but Sakura lived in eternal, if foolish and vain, hope.
“Living with the Uchiha clan?” She bumped Sakura’s and Sakura jostled her back good-naturedly. Losing Ino’s friendship when they were young had hurt and now Sakura couldn’t imagine not having Ino in her life. “You’re so busy with them all the time, ever since you got put on permanent assignment with them. We hardly ever see you anymore.”
“That’s supposed to be classified,” Sakura said, cutting a glance at Ino and passing over money to the vendor. Ino fell into step beside her as they walked away from the stand, examining her nails carelessly.
“It is,” Ino agreed. “The same way it’s supposed to be classified Madara is alive and confined to the compound. It won’t make it outside the village but everyone inside knows what’s going on.” She poked Sakura’s arm. “So? How is it? Is Sasuke still trying to set his brother on fire?”
“No,” Sakura sighed. “He tries to poison him from time to time but they’re not serious attempts and he’s actually going to therapy so I’m not too worried.” She glanced down a side street and caught a glimpse of Naruto. Sakura debated calling out to him, but she’d see him later this evening and spending time with Ino without him interrupting sounded nice. Ino was right. Between the hospital and the Uchiha’s antics, Sakura had had very little time for herself or friends outside of her team.
Who knew bakers could be just as dramatic as the shinobi?
Sakura had complained about this to Tsunade, who had nearly collapsed in a fit of laughter before sticking Sakura in charge of the ANBU who had their guts spilling out of their stomach.
“Tell me what’s been happening with everyone,” Sakura said, turning her attention back to Ino. “What’s everyone been up to?” Ino shrugged. They were leaving the busy market area and headed into one of the wooded areas. They paused for a moment to watch the children monkeying their way through the rope bridges, some of the braver ones just jumping from branch to branch.
“Kiba and Shino are both out on a mission,” she said. “Apparently Rokudaime is sending shinobi out to check on the gravesites of Uchiha who were outside the village at the time of the massacre. Tenten and Chouji have both applied to become a jounin sensei, Lee is on a diplomatic mission to Suna that I am not supposed to know about and you already know about your team.”
“Why didn’t Hinata go with Shino and Kiba?” Sakura asked as they began walking again.
“Something to do with the clan,” Ino said. “It’s been very hush-hush but Hinata and her father have been having a lot meetings with your sensei.”
“And you don’t know what it’s about?” Sakura asked skeptically. Ino huffed.
“I’m not head of intelligence yet , Forehead. I know most things in this village, but I don’t know everything. And Shikamaru gets to sit in on the meetings and he won’t tell me what’s going on, either.” A determined glint entered her eyes. “He will, though.”
“I’ll say a prayer for him,” Sakura said drily. “He’ll need it.” Ino hummed in agreement.
“Are you going to address the giant tiger in the room anytime soon?” Ino asked after a moment of silence.
“Which one? The one involving Obito having been stalking us this entire time or the one where your birthday is coming up and you want to make sure I’m going to get you a ridiculous and over the top gift?”
“Well, I was talking about my birthday, but that first one too, I suppose.”
“You get used to it after a while.” Sakura was tempted to whip a kunai at Obito, just to remind him she knew exactly where he was, but she didn’t want to risk one of the kids getting in the way.
“You sound way too calm for someone with a stalker.”
“The stalker is also going to therapy. I pick my battles.” Sakura couldn’t quite keep the note of exhaustion out of her voice. Ino hooked an arm around her neck and pulled her head into her shoulder and when a growl reached her ears, Sakura gave into the urge throw a kunai. There was a rustle of leaves as an occupant abruptly vacated their bush.
“Huh.” Ino cast a glance over their shoulder. “Nice aim.”
“Thanks. I get a lot of practice.”
Alright, so not quite a chapter with Sakura and a Uchiha, but he was there...just quietly.
Sakura needs a vacation.
We also get a vague check-in with the rest of the Konoha 12 and we get to see what new and exciting things are happening in the rest of the village. Not anything that will directly affect the Uchiha but something interesting to look forward to.
As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I appreciate your feedback!