Sand Trails Ch 31: Home

The younger kids eventually made it out the door, having stayed an hour longer than foretold. Ino paused to whisper something in Sakura’s ear, getting a grin and an excited nod in response before she left with Sai, the last two to go.

Well, except Sasuke. It was his house too, dammit. And, ten minutes after they were left alone, relaxing in the living room, there was a loud knock on the door. Then a meaty thunk, and more polite knocking.

Mikoto shortly lead Deidara and Hidan—whom was sporting a developing black eye—into the room. The blond immediately perked. “Pinky!” he greeted enthusiastically, walking over and holding his arms out for a hug.

She grinned and all but tackled him. “Dei! Missed you!”

“You got my email?”

“Yes! Oh god, that was so funny!”

The blond grinned and nudged her away. “Thought you’d like it. I’m glad you’re back! Now I can show you the improvements I’ve made on that cannon.”

Her own grin widened excitedly. “Oh! Yes, I’d love to see it!”

“Oyyyy, fuckers!” Hidan snapped, then jumped away when both Uchiha brothers moved to stand. “Eh, I mean—guys. Yeah…”

The younger brother grudgingly relaxed back onto the couch, but Itachi picked up a wooden coaster and pointedly rotated it in one hand. Which was unnerving enough on its own without Mikoto oh-so-calmly walking past him to sit between her boys. Fucking Uchihas…

“Eh, sorry…” Hidan offered them a sheepish smile, then coughed and redirected his attention to Sakura. “So? What about me?”

Sakura rolled her eyes. “I am not giving you a hug, Hidan.”

“Nah, but a ‘hi’ would be nice!” he insisted.

She grinned. “Hi, Hidan.”

“Hi, Pinky,” he retorted, grinning back.

Mikoto beamed. “You are all such good friends! It’s nice to have so many lively people in the house for a change!” she said sweetly. “And talented ones.” She turned to Itachi, eyes dancing. “That boy, Sai, gave me a lovely picture as a gift. He’s really quite an artist!”

On her other side, Sasuke choked remembering a certain sketch Sai had done on his anatomy and when Okaa-san turned to check on him, Itachi quickly put the coaster down.

Beating down the blush that was threatening his dignity, Sasuke waved away his mother with a strangled, “I’m fine!”

“Er… What kind of picture?” Sakura asked nervously. If Sai was being perverted again, she would save Ino the trouble and kill him herself.

Rather than answer directly, Mikoto simply rose, handed Sasuke the glass of water she’d been sipping and left the room. She returned with a sheet of paper and handed it over to Sakura. “Isn’t it lovely?”

“Ohhh.” Sakura was relieved. It was a koi pond, with a fish poking its head above the water. The pond was surrounded by greenery, and in the bottom corner was Sai’s signature. Nothing perverted. Sai could live for another day.

It looked innocent… Sasuke peered at the shadows covering the back half of the fish as Itachi subtly searched the bushes. It would pass for now.

“Eh? What’s that, un?”

Sakura looked over at the blond, expecting him to be staring at the picture. But instead, he was looking at the necklace she wore. She blinked. “Oh. Uh, this is an hourglass, Deidara.”

The blond stared at her like she was stupid. “I know that! Where’d ya get it?”

She shifted from one foot to the other, half wondering if bringing up her best friend from Suna would make him materialize. It happened often enough when he was in the same town as her, after all. “Oh, from a friend. It was a going away present,” she said, smiling. She lifted the hourglass and held it up for him to see better. “The sand is from that prank Naruto pulled on Itachi, remember?”

It was a nice modest gift, one that Itachi approved of and had told her earlier (getting quite the response for his compliment). There seemed to be a story behind the bit of jewelry, but Sakura hadn’t told him it yet. Granted, they’d been rather busy in the past three hours or so.

Beside him, Sasuke frowned slightly. “How did you end up with that stuff?” Last he heard of it was when the group of them had left it in Itachi’s locker. “How did your friend get it?”

The group of older boys and Sakura exchanged amused looks, before Deidara waved a hand. “Kisame carted the stuff off, un. Had a customer that kept fish or something. Gave it to him.”

“You met him at the picnic,” Sakura inserted. “Gaara, the redhead, really quiet?”

“Oh.” Sasuke blinked. Wow. That was… coincidental. “Naruto was talking to him too.”

The pink-haired girl nodded as she wandered over to sit down in the armchair. The couch was full of Uchiha. “Yep. I think Gaara was gonna try to thank him, but Naruto was talking too much and he didn’t get a chance.” She rolled her eyes.

Deidara plopped down on the floor by the coffee table. “Huh. That’s really weird, Pinky.”

She just stuck her tongue out at him.

“Hnn, that’s not all that’s weird,” Itachi murmured, catching the similar black eyes of his family.

Sakura blinked, brows lifting at the change of subject, and looked between the Uchihas.

Sasuke grimaced. “Eh… Brace yourself, Sakura. We think…” He hesitated, glancing toward his sibling and mother, then forged onward, “We think your mother may have been fired on purpose and moved to Suna.”

Green eyes widened slightly, then narrowed. “What.”

Deidara shifted a little away from the angry pink woman.

“I, Sasuke, Okaa-san, Otou-san, and Shikamaru have been doing some… digging,” Itachi elaborated. “You remember that it was very coincidental that your mother had the invite to Suna, correct? We looked into that. Your mother should not have been fired at all. There were others who were far more expendable.”

Leaning forward, Sasuke picked up from where his brother had stopped. “The job your mom has now, used to belong to someone who was just as good too. And also fired the same day. Shikamaru was telling us that part when you were with Ino.”

Sakura’s face was pale, but it wasn’t out of shock or fear. Her eyes glittered, and her jaw was set in a way that suggested she had gritted her teeth. And while the brothers spoke, she had pulled back into the chair, arms crossing. “Is that so,” she said after a beat. “And? What else?”

It was the Uchiha Matriarch that spoke next, voice soft in comparison to her sons’, but no less steely. “Unfortunately, we have not been able to pinpoint the culprit yet, Sakura-chan. We have our theories, of course, but that amounts to very little in the long run. All we know is that it is someone who knows us personally, and would benefit from isolating you away from us. But do not worry, Sakura-chan.” She smiled. “We’ll find them out soon.”

The unspoken ‘our boys are on it’ was heard loud and clear by the other woman, and Sakura relaxed with a slow sigh. “I haven’t had enough sleep to deal with this bull,” she muttered.

Matching frowns drifted across all three Uchihas’ features. “Are you sleeping here?” Sasuke asked as his mother and brother exchanged glances.

The pink haired girl got up, rolling her shoulders and giving her friend a smile. “I should probably just get on to the dorm soon, really. I’ll wait until after Kisame comes and see him, but I wanted to get my stuff inside my room and put away.”

Mikoto pouted faintly. “Are you sure, Sakura-chan? We’d love to have you over,” she said, worriedly.

“I’m sure!” Sakura said cheerfully.

Her friend shifted and looked down at the floor. “I’ll even let Aniki walk around shirtless for the rest of the night.”

There was a soft huff from Itachi, but he was pouting and giving her deep dark—how the hell is he able to do that?—puppy eyes when Sakura looked over. “Please?” her boyfriend coaxed.

The girl heaved a sigh, reaching up to rub her temple in a manner she normally only adopted when dealing with Naruto. “Fine, but on one condition,” Sakura said softly.

“Name it,” Mikoto said firmly.

Green eyes lifted to meet the Uchiha matriarch’s. “I need an hour alone. Just me. I have to think. You know, process…”

The older woman’s gaze softened. “You’re welcome to go upstairs? The boys and I could watch a movie. Then we’ll come get you when it’s over?”

“Or when Kisame arrives,” Itachi offered looking guilty.

The pinkette nodded. “Whichever.” She walked over to her boyfriend and smiled at him. “Stop looking like you murdered my puppy. I just gotta think. This is my momma.” She reached out for his hand.

Offering her an understanding smile, Itachi rose from the couch and took her hand.

She tugged him off to the side and gave him a quick kiss before stepping back. “I’ll be back down shortly, kay? Don’t beat on anyone too much. Don’t need another person in the hospital.” She grinned.

“I promise,” Itachi vowed solemnly and tugged her into a warm hug. He kissed the top of her head. “Take your time.”

Squeezing his hand one last time, she gave him a peck on the cheek and then went upstairs.

Turning back to the couch, Itachi was met with the gazes of the others. He sighed. “Perhaps, tonight was not the best time to tell her,” he admitted. He had not factored in how tired Sakura would be after the move and all the interaction.

Sitting next to Okaa-san, Sasuke brought his worried gaze down to Itachi, but offered nothing more than a slight shrug.

“She would have wanted to know,” Mikoto replied firmly. She offered her eldest a slight, reassuring smile. “The longer you kept it, the more angry she would have been that you had.”

She knew that it was likely a combination between Sakura’s fatigue and the fact that they had still been gathering information that kept the pink-haired girl from being angry with them. Still, it was best that Sakura know now, and prepare herself mentally for it, than later and be more surprised.

Deidara was looking back and forth between the three Uchiha, before his gaze settled on Itachi almost accusingly. Technically, it wasn’t his fight, even if he did care about Sakura a great deal. Of course, that didn’t mean he wasn’t slightly hurt that Itachi hadn’t thought to include him, or Hidan by the looks of it. Had it just been them, then? Or did Kisame know?

Sighing, the blond leaned back, propping his arms out behind him to hold his weight. Then he fixed Itachi with a piercing stare. “There anything you want me to do, un? Or should I leave it be for now?” the explosives expert queried softly.

Good question. Itachi leaned against the wall and considered his friend. “Honestly, I don’t know if there is anything you can do for now, Deidara. I wish there was, because that would mean we had a confirmed identity to confront.” The Uchiha heir rubbed a hand across his brow, studying the expressions that flowed across his friends’ features. There was anger, confusion, and while Hidan played it off as irritation, both of them were bound to be insulted at being excluded.

He shrugged. “It started as a family-business matter, so we kept it so during our so-called investigation.” There was a snort from his brother. “Shikamaru involved himself months ago,” Itachi added smoothly.

Hidan snorted, opened his mouth and then paused. He shook his head, scowling. “Right, sure,” he said, making a face. “Man, whatever. You don’t gotta use us or whatever, just don’t forget we’re here. Seriously.”

“Hey, that made sense, un,” Deidara inserted, smirking. “I’m shocked.”

The albino glared.

This time the derisive snort came from the older brother who was pushing himself off the wall. “Of course it makes sense,” he muttered. “I don’t surround myself with idiots.”

On the couch, Sasuke lifted a brow intrigued. Tonight was a rare occasion to see his brother interact with his friends, but even he could tell that the comment hadn’t been a common one. Aniki was making his way to the shelved movie selection, leaving his back to his friends so he missed their reactions. The younger Uchiha didn’t though.

The blond was smirking smugly, even as Hidan stared at Itachi like he was nuts. “Fu—” Stop. Wince. “—dge. Man, I can’t take this! You’re being creepy weird again!”

Deidara cackled. “He’s blushing!”

“SHUDDUP!” Hidan yelled, baring his teeth. “AM NOT!”

That was when Mikoto—whom had ninja’d out while the boys were arguing—returned with a smirking Kisame. “I’ll go get snacks!” the woman proclaimed, and left them to their self-created chaos.

The new arrival waved at the various faces in the room before peering at Hidan with a slit-eyed look of concentration.

Across the room, Sasuke blinked at the sheer uncanny similarity the pose was to Naruto studying the differences between two bowls of ramen.

Hidan leaned away, eyes narrowing. “The fuck are you doing?” he demanded. “Get the heck away from me!”

Apparently satisfied, Sharky straightened with a grin. “You’re looking a little pink around the edges, that’s all.” That said, the tall boy promptly side-stepped and jauntily made his way over to the couch, dropping down into the seat next to Sasuke. “Yo.”

There was something about a big blue sharkman getting into your space that made you want to run. Sasuke was beginning to sympathize with the albino, because he too was leaning away. “Hi.”

The albino glared at the blue boy, and opened his mouth to curse a blue-streak, but Mikoto appeared in the doorway by the stairs. She smiled regretfully the shark-boy’s way. “I’m sorry, Kisame-kun. Sakura-chan won’t be seeing you today. She’s asleep,” she said, giving her eldest an amused smile.

“Huh,” Kisame said and shrugged. “So… Now what?”

A few feet away, Itachi tapped his fingers against the spines of various DVD covers. “The offer for a movie still stands. Alternatively, we can go and visit Hinata, thus ensuring Sakura is not disturbed.” The Hyuuga girl was on shift for a few more hours yet, and they all knew she appreciated familiar faces, even if they were louder than the typical café goer.

“I approve of that!” Hidan said, straightening from his slouch against the arm of the chair. He grinned widely.

“Eh… what about those snacks though, un?” Deidara asked, looking toward the elder Uchiha.

She beamed and waved a hand. “Hadn’t gotten to it yet,” she assured him. “If you boys would rather go out, go ahead!”

Around him, the older teenagers were standing and saying goodbye to Kaasan. Sasuke leaned back and looked over his shoulder, to see his brother had paused at the stairs and was gazing up them with a wry smile. “Aniki?”

“Hnn, maybe I should have been clearer,” Itachi said, turning around. “I meant to say, you guys will visit Hinata, I will stay.” He smirked. “Girlfriend asleep in my bed and all.”

“Geehhh…” Sasuke shut his eyes and tried to will away mental images.

Deidara jumped on the wording, and snatched Sasuke off the couch before he realized what was going on. He put the kid in a headlock, promptly giving him a noogie. “Fresh meat, un! Don’t worry, Itachi! We’ll take real good care of ‘im!”

“What? No!”

Sighing, Kisame reached over and smacked what he could of the duck-butt hair. “Quiet!” he hissed. “You’ll wake up Pinky!”

Snickering softly, Itachi shared a look with his mother. He lifted a brow. ‘Camera?’ he mouthed.

She grinned and handed over her cell phone.

His kissed her on the cheek before taking a picture with the small device. And emailed it to his group as well.

The blond finally carted Sasuke along out the door, calling a salutation over his shoulder softly, and the house fell into peaceful quiet.

xXx

When Hinata had been told to tend a table upstairs, she had completely not expected to find her boyfriend, his gang leader’s little brother, and two of his fellow gang members up there. Mostly, they appeared to be bullying Sasuke.

Though, to his credit, he gave as good as he got. When Deidara pulled his ears, he grabbed the other boy’s cheek and yanked. When Kisame cackled about his duck-butt hair style, he retorted that the blue thing was out.

Of course, Hidan was the first to notice their exasperated observer. “Hinata!” He jumped to his feet and was to her in half a tick, stopping only because she’d threatened last week never to touch him again if he molested her during work hours. “Yo, sexy!”

Deidara perked up and waved. “Hey, Hinata-chan.”

Holding up one finger at the blond, Hinata reached out to pull her albino down for a quick kiss. “Hi hot stuff,” she murmured against his lips, blushing.

He smirked and dragged her in for a second kiss before reluctantly releasing her. “Itachi kicked us all out to moon over Sakura,” he explained, smirking widely. “How’s the cafe life?”

Was quiet,” she replied with a grin of her own. Her cheeks felt hot. You’d think that after several weeks of PDAs she’d stop blushing! “Dei, Kisame, and Sasuke-kun?” Her eyebrows lifted at the last name as she looked around her boyfriend’s shoulder. Blinking, she finally returned the blond’s wave.

Deidara grinned evilly and wrapped a comradely arm around Sasuke’s shoulders, dragging him into something that resembled a hug but was more similar to insurance against escape. “We’re babysitting, un,” he explained, as if that made all the sense in the world.

The Uchiha in question sneered. “Try the other way around,” he retorted. “Itachi sent me so you wouldn’t get overly violent and trash the place.”

The sad thing? He was probably right.

The incident last week, that included her ultimatum about molesting, had unfortunately started with a chair breaking. It ended with a small fire. Small in comparison to what Dei was capable of anyway. Kisame made a point of sitting in booth seats now and had promised not to throw any more hard objects at other customers.

Ah well. They had behaved for a week. It probably was a record of some sort.

“How is Sakura-chan?” she asked as she pulled out a paper pad. May as well act like she was diligently working.

Leaning back in the padded seat, Sharky shrugged. “Sleeping apparently. I didn’t even see her.” He quirked a brow as she doodled on the paper and grinned. “Am I allowed to order?”

The girl snorted. “I’ll get you a water.”

“Aww!”

All the sharkish-puppy eyes couldn’t move her though. Kisame on caffeine was unnerving. And he was the least scary of the group on stimulants.

“A muffin for me,” Hidan added, knowing better than to ask for anything else. “Sasuke’s paying, right?”

The Uchiha glowered at him, but under the combined grins from the others, gave in. It was easier than denying them, anyway. “Fine, but if anyone gets anything over five bucks, you’re buying it yourself.” He scowled pointedly at the blond beside him, then inserted, “Regular coffee.” He reached for his wallet.

Deidara snickered. “Tea, please!”

“Mmhmm. What blend?”

The blond thought it over, then shrugged. “You got that mountain blend still?”

Choking back a laugh, she nodded. “Yep.” Something that did not need to be spoken out loud was that Dei thought it had smelled like C4. Not something anyone needed to hear. “Okay, I’ll be right back.” Hinata paused, giving Kisame a flat look. “Don’t bleed anyone.”

Wide silver eyes blinked up at her. “I’m not the sadist here,” he protested.

“Which is why you should be able to control yourself,” she replied. “I’m not going to bother asking the other two.”

Sasuke smirked as Dei sat up straight in offense. “Oy! What’s that mean, un!?”

“That you’re a sadist,” Hidan retorted. “Seriously, that was obvious. Idiot.”

“Oy!”

Snickering, blue boy pointed at the blond. “Pizza place. First time meeting Sakura. Toothpick.” He turned to look up Hinata. “And you’re warning me of all people?”

She opened her mouth, the words ‘Bite me’ on the tip of her tongue, but switched tactics before she got herself in trouble. “Last week. Tea cup. Manager.”

“Owned,” Hidan said, turning his thumb upside down as he flopped back down in the booth.

“Tch.” The big teen grimaced. “It wasn’t that hot.”

“Manager.” Hinata repeated as she rolled her eyes. “Anyway. Tell me more about Sakura-chan when I get back!” Flashing a bright smile at her boyfriend, she left.

xXx

The first sensation Sakura had upon waking was warmth. The feeling of strong, familiar arms curled loosely around her, half-heartedly trapping her against a bare chest. Somewhere, she could hear the faint, rhythmic tick tick of the Uchiha Grandfather clock.

The soft brush of steady breath against the nape of her neck, though, was what finally clued her in. Her eyes drifted open, and she realized that she must have passed out on Itachi’s bed. And of course, then they’d just let her continue sleeping.

It didn’t really bother her, though, and she smiled faintly. Sneaky. She pulled out of his arms, pausing only briefly to make sure he didn’t wake—and he didn’t—before she departed for the bathroom down the hall.

When she returned, Itachi had rolled onto his back, and his eyes snapped open when she clicked the door shut. “Hey,” she whispered, climbing back into bed with him.

Those dark eyes blinked. “Hnn, mo—” he broke off with jaw-cracking yawn, one hand covering his mouth. “Urgh. Lemme try that again,” he muttered, wiping that same hand over his face. “Good morning, Sakura.”

She poked him in the ribs, smiling. “Bah, you have bed-head. That’s friggin’ adorable,” she teased, stretching out beside him.

Huffing in mock offense, Itachi rolled over to face her, dragging her slightly chilly body to him. “And you smell good,” he murmured into her ear before burying his face in her hair. “Half past four in the morning?”

Apparently he had seen the clock.

“To be fair, I passed out around… like, six,” she replied blandly. “Did you at least tell Kisame and Kakuzu I said hi?”

There was a low hum from him, but that was all. It took another prod from her to get an actual answer: “Texted. Yes.”

“Good,” she replied, subsiding. “Itachi?”

“Mm?”

“Please tell me… I mean, explain it all… What have you guys been doing? What do you plan to do?” she asked, a note of worry to her voice. “I mean about the whole ‘move to Suna’ thing.”

For a moment, Itachi didn’t respond. Then his embrace tightened briefly. “Let me wake up first,” he implored, unwrapping one arm from her waist to stretch out. “Coherency is required for this.”

And she had him at a disadvantage. A full night’s sleep and several minutes of consciousness was more than what he had. Though, it was his own fault for staying up so long thinking about this very conversation.

“I’ll be right back.” He kissed her neck, and then slid his arm out from under her. The bed shifted as Itachi moved off the bed before padding quietly out into the hall.

Sakura sighed and got up herself, going to the bag set down on the floor by the door—Itachi must have brought it up earlier—before going through it and withdrawing the spare set of clothes. She didn’t even bother with the brush, just changed into the new outfit before finger-combing her hair. Then she stuffed the old clothes in the backpack and flicked on the light before returning to the bed to wait.

It wasn’t a long wait; Itachi slipped in just a few seconds later, closing the door softly. With a muted sigh, he sat down on the floor facing her, and reached out to take one of her hands. The frown on him matched hers.

“Where to begin,” he muttered, thumb rubbing over her knuckles. From the start of course. “When your mother mentioned the loss and gain of her employment, I thought it strange. My priorities at that time were not on her though, and not a little selfish.” A faint smile replaced his frown. “Not having you here, in town, in my life… is distracting.

“While I was more concerned about bringing you back to Konoha, Shikamaru was acting on his own.” Itachi continued, the frown re-emerging. “He didn’t approach me, nor Sasuke. He had… doubts. Your mother worked for a company owned by my family; the situation was too coincidental. I cannot fault him for having suspicions, though my continued interaction with you after your move allayed them.

“Once there was a plan to bring you back,” he leaned forward and kissed her knee, “Sasuke and I looked into the company files. If there is one thing ototo and I agree on, is that you return and you stay for as long as you are happy. We were afraid that what caused your mother to leave, and take you with her, could possibly happen again to you directly.

“A breach of privacy yes, but we looked only at what was the reason for Naiyuri’s dismissal. If it was reasonable, we would look no further. As it was, it did not make sense.” One of Itachi’s eyebrows rose. “Sasuke, respecting Nara’s mind and loyalty, suggested that we ‘recruit’ him. Thus we contacted him. You can imagine our surprise to discover that he had already been investigating.”

Realizing that he wasn’t actually answering her question, he rubbed a tired hand over his eyes. “My parents have contacted a family member, Shisui, who actually investigates corporate intrigues as a profession. If all goes well, he will be able to uncover who manipulated your mother to be transferred. Because it was a transfer; she may have been fired, but her new job was too smoothly given to her. Whoever wanted her, and you, gone, wanted you out of town. And as of yet, we don’t know why.”

Sakura waited patiently as he spoke before she even tried to take it all in. She thought back over all that he’d said, brows furrowing faintly. “So… basically, someone doesn’t like me? Why? Because of you?” she asked.

Itachi shook his head. “We don’t know if it’s personal or if your mother was just in the way of someone else’s ambition. If she had stayed in town without employment, she may have been able to question the method of her discharge. Removing her from the position, location, and giving her a better job…” He grimaced. “Well, she hasn’t complained, has she?”

The pink-haired girl sighed and shook her head. “Nope. Not at all,” she admitted. “I think she actually kind of likes it in Suna.”

“Would she wish to move back here?” If there was someone behind the scenes, manipulating with malicious intent, once revealed and proven, they could reinstate Haruno-san in her former position. Okaa-san had agreed to do it personally. But only if Sakura’s mother wanted to return.

A helpless shrug. “I don’t know. You’d have to ask her,” Sakura replied, looking just this side of dismayed. “I mean, kaa-chan’s not exactly the… ‘complain about her lot in life’ type. She’s always so… bubbly and optimistic…”

“Hnn. I believe Okaa-san will be asking her when the investigation is explained to her.” Bringing up his free hand, Itachi cupped the side of her face, thumb brushing over her cheek. He smiled softly. “Our mothers are turning out to be rather friendly.”

Her mouth pulled downward at the corners in a sort of half-grimace. “Uhg, stop, I keep trying to forget that,” she complained in faux dismay, prompting a smirk from him.

Rising up, Itachi moved in between her knees, arms circling around her waist. “For now, we are to concentrate on our studies.” He hugged her before drawing back to look into her eyes. “I need to prove that I can focus with you in the same building again, and you need to prove to the college they were right in accepting you.”

And if he wanted to be a good provider, he would need a good job. Itachi threaded long fingers into pink hair and for a moment considered the future. A life with Sakura would be… incredible. Blinking, he dismissed his wayward thoughts. Focus, Uchiha.

So he focused on the girl in front of him. On his bed. In the faint light of the early morning.

She met his gaze, and smiled. “Itachi,” she whispered, pressing her forehead to his. “College is going to be fine. And this mess… this… whatever this is…” She gestured vaguely to indicate what they’d been discussing, “It’ll all work out, because I’m not going to let it go any other way.”

Letting out a soft chuckle, he tilted his face up to kiss the tip of her nose. “You are not the only one who will be ensuring a happy outcome.” Far from it. If not only Okaa-san and Sasuke, and Otousan by extension, but there was also Nara and her other friends. Even his own were up in arms to defend their happiness; something he had hoped for, but not demanded.

“Damn straight!” she said, and abruptly grinned. “Now that that’s settled… Itachi, I don’t hate to break it to you… you’re wearing far too much clothing.”

The man on his knees blinked. Smirked. And fixed that.

-xXx-

THE END

Chapter 30 | Table of Contents | Upgrading Chapter 1(Sequel)

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