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Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Day at a Time

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters and make no money from this.

Day Twenty-Eight: Spitfire

"Here's your food, miss." The man that Kakashi had nicknamed Shakes let out as he deposited a plate filled with a multitude of ingredients in front of her.

"Kyo." Sakura greeted soberly as she noticed his presence, having been too absorbed into her thoughts to hear him enter her bedroom. "How is Kakashi-sensei?"

As soon as the question left her lips, Kyo's brows furrowed and his expression turned uncertain. Well aware that he would bear no good news, she raised an eyebrow and nodded in his direction, urging him to answer her nonetheless.

"It feels as if he has entered another world, without you to keep him company." He explained as he bowed in a silent apology, a simple gesture of respect for the girl.

"Did you speak to him?" She probed, trying to fish out as much information about her partner as she could from the man. He turned out to be a decent person, the only one she had met here yet. It was a complete mystery to the kunoichi how he could possibly have ended up here.

"I informed him that you were safe." He answered, nodding quickly as he straightened up.

"Why don't you sit with me?" The pinkette offered as she lowered herself to the floor, sitting on the floor at the small table on which her food was placed. Kyo had been instructed to remain with her until her meal was entirely consumed, a result of her initial refusal to eat anything until she was returned to her partner. The older man obeyed her, sitting across from her on his knees.

"You're a strange man, Kyo." Her comment was honest, without ill intent hidden. The man in front of her perplexed the young woman, frustrating her at times when she couldn't figure out why he would help them because of his reluctant behavior.

Silence reigned in the room as he ate slowly, waiting for a reply that would never come.

"You risk your life by opening your mouth, yet you won't answer a simple comment." The chuunin pointed out with interest, watching her companion intently. There wasn't much to say about the man's appearance. He look in his mid-forties, half bald, a bit short, a bit overweight. Nothing out of the ordinary.

"I don't wish to speak about my motives." His reply was clear and precise, straight to the point, but it didn't deter Sakura's determiantion to know more.

"I'm no murderer, but if you don't give me a reason not to, I will have to kill you sooner or later." Her statement was nothing but the truth. Once they had all the information they needed, they would have clearance to wipe out as much as the group as they could before returning to Konoha. Kyo's body tensed visibly, his eyes averting from hers yet again.

"Your partner seems to believe I am not even worth killing." No surprise erupted in the female, it was only to be expected that her ex-sensei would try to threaten him into talking.

"He has little pity for criminals." She justified as she picked some more food from her plate, inspecting attentively before closing her lips around it.

"I don't believe that I am a bad man." Kyo let out after a few moments of silence, his voice so hesitant that Sakura had doubts if he actually meant it.

"I doubt that you are such an awful person, Kyo." His brown eyes shot up to lock with hers, wide with shock at her subtle compliment. "Good men are easy prey for the likes of Koroku, don't think you?" Her voice seldom took a different tone than polite, remaining even and effectively hiding what her thoughts were.

"You're right." The simple affirmation confirmed what the kunoichi had feared. The old man before her had been coerced into working for him, none of his actions were his own.

"What were you before this?" The question caused a deep sigh to leave her companion, expressing sorrow that the girl could only guess the source of.

"A mere farmer, I'm afraid." He replied humbly, looking at his lap with a distant demeanor.

"What did he take from you?" She inquired, remaining insistent on the matter. Prying answers from him was not difficult for her, as he seemed to desire nothing more than to spill his guts.

"My wife and my two sons." The farmer answered after a long, tense silence. A pang of pain pinched the junior, a sense of compassion overwhelming her. "My wife, Hanami... Such a perfect name for the woman that she was." He said, his lips curving in the faintest of smiles as sweet memories of his lover returned to him. "He killed her, without hesitation, at the first sign of defiance."
Sakura didn't utter a word, according the man her whole attention as her food sat forgotten on the table. His confession both piqued her interest, providing more valuable information on who Koroku was and saddened her, her heart aching for his loss.

"As for my two sons... My eldest, Eiji, I fear for him. The money that Koroku promises for his successful work seems to have corrupted him. Such a shame, he was a nice young man before this." He bit his lip, apparently hesitation to keep going. "The younger, you have already met." The medic's mind went over every person in the hideout, until it stopped on the one she had seduced, causing her heart to skip a beat.

"Toohru. I believe I don't need to explain what happened to him." Guilt cut through her like a knife, her expression turning into an angry frown as she realized she had been the cause of his son's death, and most likely would be the exact same for his other child.

"I'm sorry." She apologized sincerely, bowing to him as he had earlier for her.

"It's not your fault, please sit up. I don't blame you." The words were unexpected, but warmly welcomed by the girl. His murder had in no way been a part of plan when she had convinced him to speak to her.

"Koroku will pay. If not by mine or Kakashi-sensei's hands, then by another Leaf nin. I promise." Her affirmation seemed to raise the man's spirits, even if only a little.

"I trust you will." He returned warmly, making Sakura smile for the confidence he placed in her.

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Click Here

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