tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked 108 Times in 63 Posts
Re: Shade of the Leaf
Sakura wearily trudged her way down the street to her one room apartment. She was so damn tired. Training ninja to be field medics was always difficult, but after the war with Sound, it was necessary that they fill the ranks that were empty. Tsunade had decided that every genin team from now on have at least one member who knew the basics of healing jutsu and it was putting a strain on the medics qualified to train. It took a minute to find her keys, and even longer, to get her tired fingers to work correctly to fit the key into the proper slot to open the door. Twisting the key twice, she let herself into the apartment. It was a simple deterrent to keep unwanted civilians out of her home.
Collapsing onto her couch, she pressed her face into the soft fabric with the intent to block out the entire outside world. She wanted to melt into the fabric and pretend that she didn’t have to go in for another double shift in the morning. She wanted to pretend that she had the energy to banish all her aches and pains, and that she wasn’t completely depleted of chakra. The longer she sprawled, the better she felt. Lifting her head slightly, she stared at the cushion under her cheek. When did her cushion start smelling like Naruto again? He had been on what was a light duty compared to his early schedule since their talk in her kitchen. He only came here when he was upset about something. Usually. As far as she knew, he hadn’t been in her apartment for close a month, the night she had fed him ramen.
Her stomach growled, but Sakura ignored it and snuggled back into her couch. She was too tired to deal with dinner tonight. Napping for an hour or so before digging through her pantry for something simple seemed liked the best plan. Tucking her cold feet under another cushion, she closed her eyes.
Voices pulled her from her nap, and she did her best to ignore them. Instincts tugged at her, even as she placed the voices in her kitchen. Opening blurry eyes, she rubbed her face and forced herself to wake up. Pushing herself up, she stared stupidly at the blanket that fell off her shoulders to pool around her lap. Turning slightly, she found that her kitchen had indeed been invaded by her teammates.
“You think that will be enough?” Naruto’s voice was doubtful as he peered over Sasuke’s shoulder. “Sakura eats a lot more than she used to. The hag has been working her hard, and she sometimes skips meals. I bet she’s hungry.”
Still groggy, she frowned at that. “Naruto? Sasuke? Why are you in my kitchen?”
The blond turned with a smile. “We’re cooking dinner.” His expression was innocent and open. Sakura didn’t trust him any further than Ino could throw him.
One eyebrow arched up before she could help herself. Naruto could cook; he had lived his entire life on his own. Sasuke… well, she supposed Orochimaru hadn’t been that good of a cook, and she doubted he would have trusted anyone to cook for him. His reaction to the hospital food that Naruto or Sakura hadn’t brought him had been proof of that. Running her hands through her hair, she shoved the blanket off her lap and walked over to see what they were cooking.
“You’re making Okonomiyaki?” she loved Okonomiyaki with tuna. Her eyes flickered to the little bowls with ingredients and she grinned. Naruto had remembered.
Sasuke gave a curt nod. His eyes left the small pan he was frying the flat dough in. “We ran into Ino.”
Naruto slung an arm around her shoulders, and she leaned against his frame eaisly. “Ino?”
What did the blonde woman have to do with anything?
“She said you haven’t been eating well,” Naruto filled in, “so we thought we would come over and cook dinner. The old hag has been taking up too much of your time.” His fingers flexed against her shoulder.
Sakura winced. “She has been attempting to get all the newbies trained and out into the field as quickly as possible without sacraficing their training. The rest of us just have to work overtime.” She poked him in the ribs, silently informing him what she thought of his worry. He winked at her, but she could see a faint glimmer of concern in his eyes. Normally, she would have added some chakra to that poke to prove her point. She was just too tired to do it right now.
“You’re drained,” Nartuo muttered, frowning down at her. Sakura ignored him, scooting out from under his arm to peer around Sasuke at the pile of food. Her mouth watered in appreciation.
“I’m finished.” Sasuke said, moving the hot pan into the sink, defusing the tension she could feel building in Naruto behind her.
The food ended up piled on her coffee table so they could all sprawl out on the floor cushions and relax. Even Sasuke unbent enough to recline. It probably helped that her kitchen blocked them from the view of the windows.
Leaning back with a sigh, her plate piled high, she let her couch support her back. “Aren’t you supposed to be on house arrest?”
Naruto grinned around a mothful, but swallowed before he spoke. “That’s the other reason we came over! To celebrate! The old hag finally let him out of lockdown.” ‘Not that it was really working.’
“Was it even working?”
“No.” Sasuke replied, his expression unconcerned as he took another bite of food.
Sakura sighed, wondering what mischief her team had been getting to without her. She tried to be jealous, but she was too damn tired to work up the proper emotion. “So when are they going to let you start taking missions?”
“I’m restricted to D class for a year,” Sasuke said with a shrug. “After that I’m only allowed C class with supervision until the council decides that I’m trustworthy and not a flight risk.”
“Whose supervision?” Wiggling a little, she tried to find a more comfortable position against the couch.
“ANBU,” Naruto replied as he reached for the last of the food. “They might let me supervise since I proved I can kick his ass."
Sasuke snorted. Naruto ignored him.
“The council is probably going to be as difficult as they can manage without completely undermining the hags authority.” Naruto finished.
“I expected the clans to be unhappy, I guess I just didn’t expect them to be this…” she struggled to find the words.