Repatriation Ch 32“Kakashi-sensei? Can we rest?” asked Sai innocently enough.“No!” shouted Sakura.“What’s your problem, Sai?” asked Naruto, still moving as fast as ever.Kakashi dropped back to that he was even with the third member of his team. “Sorry, Sai. I know we have been pushing rather hard these last two days…”“Pushing hard?” questioned Sai sarcastically. “We only stopped to sleep for two hours last night.”Kakashi didn’t know what to say.“Don’t worry about it,” Sai finally added. “It’s partially my own fault…I haven’t been training as much lately…since the war ended.”Kakashi smiled with his half-moon eye. “I suppose we all can use the end of the war as an excuse to slack off a little. Just be patient with Naruto and Sakura…these two have a great deal invested in finding Sasuke.”Sai nodded. He knew that just as much as
Repatriation Ch 31Sakura anxiously knocked on the Hokage's door. "Enter!" said the voice from the other side. Sakura opened the door. Although the summons to Tsunade's office could have theoretically been about anything, upon receiving the message Sakura immediately started to worry that something had happened to Sasuke. He had been gone nearly a month on his latest mission and she had not heard anything at all...no rumors, no gossip...nothing.The first thing that caught her eyes when she entered was Tsunade's solemn look. She could always tell when something serious was going on...her mentor just had a look that told her that there was a problem somewhere in Konoha. The second thing she noted was that she was not alone. Shizune was there, of course, but she also saw that Kakashi, Naruto, Shikaku and Shikamaru were all there as well. "You sent for me?" Sakura said meekly not really trusting the situation as of yet. She couldn't tell yet what was wrong. "Sakura, I didn't want to inform you
Repatriation Ch 29The four ninja left the hot springs inn in the middle of the next day having enjoyed the opportunity to relax for a while. It was actually quite comical to watch the four of them make the short walk back to Suna because, despite what had happened over the last few days, one could still only barely notice that there was anything going on between the two men and the two women. They didn’t walk closely next to one another…they didn’t hold hands…and they didn’t talk about personal things. Now that they were back in the public eye, it was back to business as usual. Upon returning to Suna, the two couples went to their respective abodes to prepare for dinner. Sasuke, Sakura and Shikamaru were planning to leave early the next morning and would be dining with the Kazekage and his entourage for dinner tonight. Sakura and Sasuke arrived at the pre-appointed restaurant and were shown to the private room in which they would be d
Repatriation Ch 27"This room is amazing!" noted Sakura to Temari when they finally arrived at the VIP room. "I've always especially liked it. It can house upwards of five different people or pairs and yet it still remains private to the rest of the resort," answered Temari. "Take a look around. Pick the room you like best.""Ok, thanks," said Sakura. The three Leaf ninja wandered around the suite for a bit. The designation of the area may have been "VIP room", but it was nearly a home in itself within the resort. There was a central living area that had plenty of expensive decor. A table off to the side was obviously where the group meals were served by the resort staff. Another area of the central room was a sitting area, used most likely for chatting or socializing. The sitting area opened to the outside where a large hot spring bath was located."I think we'll take that room over here," noted Sasuke to Temari."I thought you'd pick that on
Repatriation Ch 26The next morning, the joint Suna/Konoha team met in one of the large meeting rooms of the barracks as they were told to do. Most of the team already knew what was coming...a few hours of debriefing, including a review of what was learned and most likely how to deal with the unexpected as they had just encountered not more than a day or two ago. Ino and Chouji sat off to one side knowing that Shikamaru wasn't with them because of his leadership role on this mission. But they hadn't expected him to be as late as he was.Chouji looked at the clock. It was already 15 minutes past the appointed meeting time. "I can't believe he's this late," he said. After all, Shikamaru was always very annoyed when either he or Ino weren't on time for their training sessions back home."I hope he's ok," said Ino. She was beginning to think something could have happened because in all the years she had known him, only two other times had he ever been this late.