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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 Nine: Pep Talk

The third time that Sakura was brought back to him, Kakashi's heart sank. Koroku was carrying her limp body in his arms, and for just a second he had believed she was dead. Her eyes were closed and a thick layer of blood covered her temple. Her arms were hanging below her, waving back and forth with her captor's steps. The small rise and fall of her chest quickly proved him wrong, she was still breathing. She was still alive. The jonin released the breath that had lost itself on its way out as he processed the information his eyes were sending his to brain.

A familiar scent drifted to his nose as the door closed, disturbing the air in the room and sending more wafts of it to him. The source of the smell was definitely known by the Copy Nin, but his memory failed to retrieve the information.

He stood up as Koroku approached him, apparently handing him the unconscious girl. Kakashi lost no time to gather his teammate in his arms, hugging her to his chest protectively. His eyes inspected her small body from head to toe, taking note of every new wound he would tend to once they were left alone. His enemy sat down a few feet away, motioning for his guest to do the same.

"Such a pretty girl, it breaks my heart to see her like this."Kosuke let out, shaking his head. Kakashi threw him a dirty look, wishing that he could subject this man to Tsukuyomi. Even that wouldn't be enough to begin calming the rage he felt.

"Don't look at me like that, I'm honest here. I have orders to follow. Men to feed, you know?" The missing nin continued as he shrugged his shoulders. Was he implying that he wasn't the leader of the group? This left Kakashi perplexed. He certainly held a higher status than the others, but it was a possibility that not the entirety of their organisation rested here.

"I'm already having a hard time keeping them away from her. They don't see women too often." The jonin had to swallow his pride, fighting to keep it down and not defend his friend's decency.

"If you just told me what I want to know, I could let her go. I know who she is. She can kick ass, that's for sure, but she's just a chuunin. She's of no use or threat to us." Kakashi watched the man sitting in front of him carefully, evaluating whether or not anything he said could be trusted.

"It's sad why she's here, isn't it? Your village valued your life and safety over hers. She's only here to make sure you get out of here alive and in good shape, so you can still go and complete all those dangerous missions that bring in so much money for Konoha." He had to focus on something else than that. He couldn't listen to this scum. Even if he had hit the nail on the head. He couldn't let his loyalty to Konoha falter.

"And you, why are you there?" If he was gonna be stuck here listening to this idiot's ramblings, he might as well and try to get something out of it.

"Hah! So you do have a tongue, good." Koroku's voice boomed, a wide grin on his face. "Same crap as you. Was tired of seeing my mates being sent out to missions, already labeled as dead meat."

"Yet you don't see a problem with torturing a young girl?" The jonin seethed, his voice filled with disbelief and disgust.

"Hey, it's like I said. I got mouths to feed. We do what we can to survive with the skills we have. It ain't easy and sometimes we can't pass up on an offer like this because it just pays too much." He was lying. That wasn't the reason why he had gone rogue, he was just diverting his questions.

"I see." Kakashi was convinced that nothing he would ask would bring any results. Koroku was aware of their mission. This would make it even harder, since he would guard his secrets more carefully.

"Aww, that's it already? I was starting to think we could finally have a nice conversation." Koroku whined loudly before he slapped his hands to the ground. "Well, I guess I'll get going then."
When the door was swung closed, another draft of wind made its way to the Copy Nin, filled with the scent he had picked up earlier. It seemed as if they were cooking something. He searched his memory carefully for the identity of the smell he was certain to have already known at some point.

He finally recognized it as the smell of a vegetable that grew at the common border between the Fire and Grass countries. It was unique to this region and never shipped other than to local villages due to its incredibly short life once picked. Barely a day later the vegetable would shrivel down to barely nothing, but its flavor was greatly appreciated by most. A smirk appeared on Kakashi's face as he realized where there were. They were close to home.

Chapter Ten: Click Here

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