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Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Day at a Time

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

Day Fifty-One: Belated Welcome

"Kakashi-sensei! We're visiting you!" Naruto exclaimed as he burst through his ex-sensei's door, causing the older him to stare at him in disbelief. He really needed to make friends that understood why there was a door in the first place.

"Naruto, Sasuke..." The Copy Nin greeted grimly, his eye drooping more than usual. "Why have you taken so long to visit me?"

"Huh?" The blonde scratched the top of his head and grinned from ear to ear. "B-Because you don't like visits!"

The duo's gazes remained locked together in an impromptu glaring contest, whilst their other teammate's head dropped in desperation.

"Sasuke, tell me." Kakashi let out as his opponent finally blinked, awarding him a pointless victory.

"Why are you here?"

"Sakura's hiding something, isn't she?" The raven-haired jonin asked casually, though the hard look in his eyes betrayed the relaxed demeanor.

"I don't see how that involves me." The older man replied as he returned his attention to the orange book he held.

"But sensei!" The whiskered boy whined. "You were with her the whole time. Surely you know what happened to her."

"If Sakura won't tell you herself, then it's none of my business." He knew he was being cold to the two, but he couldn't bring himself to share the details of the mission with them, even if he excluded any part that hinted to sexual activity.

"We're worried about her." Sasuke stated, his tone dropping lower in discreet anger. "She acts fine, but I'm certain that something is going on."

"As much as I'd like to help you, I can't read her thoughts." Their ex-sensei sighed as he snapped the book shut."I know nothing more than you other than what happened there, and that much you can guess by yourselves."

"What a bummer..." The blonde groaned, clapping a head over his forehead. "Do you think she's okay?"

"I don't think you two should worry too much." The senior reassured with an eye crease. "Sakura is so much stronger than you know."

"You can't tell us anything at all?" The Uchiha prodded. "Just so we know what we're dealing with."

Kakashi lowered his visible eye to the cover of his book, pondering over the request. Their teammates only meant well by inquiring about what she had been through and her state. Maybe telling them the general situation wouldn't be superfluous.

"You're aware of what the mission was?" He questionned, shifting his whole body so he was facing his team. They both nodded. "Well, then..." He started as he stared at the floor. "As expected, the enemy assumed that it was useless to target me to retrieve the information they were after. Sakura was, instead. They made her endure various forms of torture, every day, to make me break. She refused to let me speak, so I didn't say anything until her life was truly at risk. Luckily, by then she had gathered all the information we needed."

Silence surrounded the three men for quite some time as the juniors processed the new information. It wasn't anything that they couldn't have deduced from what they already knew of the mission, but hearing it only made it too real. Their female teammate had endured a cruel treatment, for no less than a month and a half.

"You should be proud of her." Kakashi breathed out. It was true, yet it didn't stop the anger rising in him. "She did a remarkable job and was impossibly strong through it."

The trio had no trouble believing this, they all had an entirely new respect for the girl after this. Still, this pride did nothing to quell their outrage at seeing her body so battered, the fake smile that she wore just to make them feel better. A question hovered between them, never spoken, but fully understood by any ninja that had felt true pain. Why did shinobi rhyme with tragedy?

Chapter Fifty-Two: Click Here

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