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Underneath It All_Chapter 5 (Part2)

Okay, this chapter comes in a few parts since LJ refuse to let me submit it one shot.......arggg...so tired and Ruka is not with me...Waaahhh!



Iruka took the scroll and bowed at the Kazakage, who surprisingly has personally escorted them to the Sand Main Gate. “ Thank you Gaara-sama for your kind hospitality ”


The green eyed boy answered Iruka’s honest words with one of his rare smiles.


“ Yeah, and thanks for the food too ” added Naruto as he patted his full knapsack. “ Come to Konoha and I’ll treat you to the best ramen in the world. Right Iruka-sensei ? ”


“ Well, I wouldn’t go that far Naruto, but yes, it will be a pleasure to show you the many delicacies in Konoha ”


Gaara nodded “ I’m looking forward to it ”


“ Well, looks like we’d better be going ne ? ” Naruto said, looking really sad. Then, in a typical Naruto style of *doing-things-before-thinking thing*, the blonde boy pulled his friend in a tight embrace. “ See ya around Gaara and take care ” he whispered “ If you ever need me just send a message and I’ll be there okay ? ”


“ Okay.” answered the green-eyed boy as he returned the friendly hug “ I’ll be there for you too ”


“ Good ” grinned the blonde as they let go of each other. Gaara noticed the look on Sasuke’s face and smiled.


“ Hey Uchiha ! ” Gaara called out suddenly.


Sasuke turned, face questioning.


Tell him…. Gaara mouthed the words.


Sasuke eyes widened slightly before he nodded and turned to join the rest of his team.


The young Kazekage watched his friends’ retreating backs and heard the usual customary bickering between Naruto and the Uchiha. For the past week he has been spending time with the Konoha delegates and found that Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship was most entertaining and also enlightening. At the thought, the normally stoic boy smiled softly.


They are both fools….


Fools in love….


And they don’t even know it.





*          *           *           *          *          *




The Kazekage frowned as he studied the latest reports from his spies.


“ What is it Gaara ? ” asked his sister, concerned.


“ Something’s not right ” he answered simply “ Tenji is a tensai assassin. Why would he be careless enough to leave the clues lying around for us to find. Its too obvious ”


Temari looked at his brother with a shocked expression as realization dawning in.


The whole cat and mouse game was a trap to lure them away from the enemy’s true intent.


It was a trap from the beginning.


A trap for the Konoha messengers.


“ Get word out to our scouts as soon as possible ” Gaara instructed “ Who do we have nearest to their route ”


  There is a small surveillance team with Konoha at the western region ”


Gaara nodded “ Get the words out to them on this matter fast ! ”


It could be just a hunch, but as far as Gaara was concerned he’d rather be safe than sorry especially where his friends are concerned.




*          *           *           *          *          *



The messenger eagle perched on the man’s armor-clad arm gracefully. “ Thank you Thorne ” the tall man said, petting the bird fondly.


“ Hound, this has just came in and its for you ” The leader of the Sand Anbu said handing Kakashi a small scroll that was attached to the bird’s leg.


Kakashi took the offered parchment and quickly read through the content.





I have some grave news to inform you. Your team as well as their current team leader, Iruka-sensei are in grave danger.


It was brought to my attention by a reliable source that some of the missing-nins you’re tracking are currently in pursuit of the scroll they are carrying. The rogues are planning to use the confidential information to threaten the peace treaty between Konoha and Sand.


Use my Anbu if you must to intercept them and ensure the safety of your fellow Leaf shinobi.


The peace between Kohoha and Sand stands on your shoulders now….




Kakashi’s heart was beating painfully against his chest. He knew he must calm himself down and come out with a plan fast.


“ Sempai ? What’s wrong ” his fellow Leaf Anbu whispered, gripping his shoulder firmly.


“ Tenzou…” he said after awhile “ I want you and Shiko to go back to Konoha and get reinforcements ”


“ What’s going on ? ”


“ Get reinforcements and meet me at Konoha’s southern borders ”


“ But, Sempai… ”


“ They are after the scroll my team is carrying…”


The Anbu stiffed “ What ? ”


“ We have no time left. Go now and give the Hokage this ” Kakashi said handing his friend the parchment.


“ I will get the reinforcement ” The Anbu said disappeared with a cloud of smoke.


Kakashi turned towards the waiting Sand Anbus. 


“ There is a change of plan ”




*          *           *           *          *          *



To say that they were surprised to see Kakashi was an understatement.


They have just cleared the Sand borders and started to make their way through the forest when an Anbu suddenly appeared out of nowhere. At first they thought they were being attacked, but when the Anbu lowered his mask, both Naruto and Sakura were more than ready to hug their sensei.


“ You nearly gave us a heart attach Kakashi-sensei. What are you doing here ? ” asked Naruto, his curiosity spiking.


“ You’re being track down ” explained Kakashi briefly “ They’re after the scroll you’re carrying ”


“ By who ? ” asked Iruka looking a little distressed by the news


“ Missin-nins from Sands. The Kazekage was the one who alerted us and I’ll be escorting you home ”


“ Huh, we can easily take them down right Iruka-sensei ? ” snorted Naruto, looking very smug and confident.


Kakashi’s eyes narrowed.“ These people were trained assassins from Sands and I suggest we keep a low profile on this trip back ”


“ But Kakshi-sensei ! ” whined the hyperactive boy


“ Shut up Dobe ” hissed Sasuke “ Listen to the man for Kami’s sake ”


“ You’re such a coward, Teme ! ”


“ There’s a difference between cowardice and stupidity ” Sasuke answered simply “ And I’m very sure your eagerness is leaning more against the latter ”


“ You’re so dead, Teme !!!! ” Naruto cried, preparing to hit his teammate.


“ Naruto ! ” Iruka intervened, smacking the boy’s head hard “ This is no time to play hero, Baka!”


“ Sorry Iruka-sensei ” mumbled the blonde boy, looking very much ashamed of his outburst.


“ Well, at least that’s settled ” Kakashi said with a sigh “ Now we have to move fast ”




*          *           *           *          *          *



The team followed the direction of the setting sun, towards the Dark Forest where they hope they might elude their enemies. It was a long and strenuous journey, which took them half a day, wadding through the lush undergrowth. Above them, the tall tress provided a canopy, which bathed the grounds in shadows. Scattered sunspots were seen here and there where the sun rays have managed to pierced through, illuminating portions of the ground in gold.


It was a perfect place to hide and an even better place to lay an ambush.


“ Be extra alert ” Kakashi reminded them, eyes darting here and there, scanning the area with his chakra. “ The missing-nins are trained assassins from the Sand 


Oh, just great !


With their alert mode on high, the team made their ways through the forest and by dusk, they came across a spot where they decided to set camp. They took turns watching the perimeters, but with their nerves strung high, none of them could actually sleep.


By dawn, they were up and moving leaping from tree to tree at top speed.


Iruka remained silent throughout the journey. He was acutely conscious of Kakashi presence.


Suddenly, Iruka felt a hand on his arm.


“ Stay close to me ” Kakashi whispered, leaning close to the Chuunin’s ear “ I’ll cover your back and we’ll both protect the kids ”


For the first time, Iruka held the Jounin’s gaze for as long as he could. So many emotions whirled in that single visible orb that was silently reaching out to him.


What are you trying to say Kakashi ?


“ Stay close ” the other reminded softly.


“ Yes ” whispered the Chuunin leaping along side with the Jounin towards the nearest tree.




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