Saera walked into the building sighing. Whenever she'd had to come here lately she'd been sent away on a mission. She hardly ever got to see her brother, or even her best friend anymore. Though this time she planned to do so on her own terms. Either she would get a break after this mission or she'd leave the village. Determined to get her point across she knocked on the door that leads to the Hokage's office.
"Come in." was heard as Saera opened the door and walked to the desk of the woman who ran this village. "You summoned me here, Tsunade-san?" she asked not caring that she used the womans full name. Irked by that fact Tsunade glared at the woman in front of her before sighing. "Yes, I summoned you here because I have a mission for you." Tsunade didn't even look up from her desk as she said this.
"I figured as much. That's all I'm ever doing anymore. Though I do have some conditions if you want me to do this mission. Either I will get a break after this mission cuz even those of us with demons need breaks every now and then or I will leave the village and you can deal with the anger of Naruto and Nozomi yourself." Saera said without any sign of backing down. To make her point even clearer, Saera walked around Tsunade's desk and snatched the older womans sake before pouring them both a drink. "If you drink to this condition then you agree and if you try and send me on a mission after I get back I am leaving the village."
Tsunade finally looked up from her desk to look at her. This was one reason she liked but hated this girl. She could always count on the girl to be a great drinking buddy, but now she needed to find a new place to hide her sake cuz she is also the same girl who will come in and steal her sake the second she does anything to piss her off. If it wasn't for the fact that she was the older sister of her beloved "grandson" she would have arrested the girl for assault/thievery/or any of the other disrespectful acts she pulls towards herself a long time ago. She just couldn't risk hurting Naruto or pissing Nozomi off enough to have the girl attack the village.
With this all in mind she nodded and picked up her cup of sake and drank it down. "Fine you will get your break when this mission is over but you must take a ninja of my choice with you on this mission." Saera looked at the woman with skeptical eyes and finally nodded wanting to get out of the office and prepare for the mission to get it done and over with. Tsunade smiled and handed her a folder from her desk. "This is your mission. The village stated there stole something of great importants to the 'Kages and we need to get it back before they start wars between the different lands. Go home and get prepared. You leave tomorrow morning and you will meet your partner at the gates then. You are dismissed, Saera."
Saera nodded and left the office quickly. She went straight home and packed her bag of weapons and some rations of food. She never packed any clothes for she wanted to travel light and another bag would just slow her down. Once she finished with that she made herself some dinner and wrote a note to Naruto and Nozomi that she would leave on her door for the two to find after she left explaining that they would all hang out when she got back from the mission and that she would treat them to whatever dinner they wanted. Once finished cleaning everything up she took a shower then went to bed for the night.
Kakashi sat at home attempting to read his book but having a hard time concentrating as he thought about what happened earlier that day. Tsunade had summoned him to her office and told him that he would be going on a mission without his team. He hadn't done that for sometime. He would however have a partner, who it was he didn't know, he just hoped they were competant to help him with this mission.
He sat on his couch reading the newest volume of his favorite book. Something told him though that this mission would change his life significantly. No longer able to focus on his book he looked out the window as he thought about the young woman he passed by on the street earlier that day. "Saera? I didn't even realize she was back yet. To bad I'm leaving on a mission in the morning. I'd like to talk to her one of these days. I feel bad for the way I treated her when she first returned here." He thought to himself as he sighed. Knowing there was nothing he could do about it now he walked to his bedroom and finished packing for the mission before going to bed.
Morning came too quickly for both. Saera awoke with the sunrise and grabbed her stuff heading for the gate. Once she arrived she leaned against the wall and waited for her partner to show up. She began to let her mind wonder slightly as she waited allowing her to think how things would be if certain things had played out differently in her life. Such as what if she had never left Konoha in the first place, or if her parents hadn't died on the night of Naruto's birth, if she hadn't gone on that mission with Nozomi, or even if Kakashi actually returned her feelings for him. She imagined a bunch of different scenarios but only one was worth hoping for even though she knew it would never happen. Thinking of Kakashi and her wishing for a love that would never come made her think back to when she first returned.
Saera walked up to the gate and smiled as she saw the leaf symbol engraved onto it. Letting the wind blow her hair and kimono she walked through the gates. She glanced around at the bustling, busy village and couldn't help the smirk that formed on her face. This place surely hadn't changed much since her brief time as a Konoha citizen. Almost immediately she found herself surrounded by ninjas, having been detected as an outsider. Rather than fight she allowed herself to be taken to the hokage.
She looked at her surroundings as they walked towards the tower that housed the Hokage's office. Watching as the tower came into view she couldn't help but wonder if the office still looked the same as when she visited when she was younger or if her dad had changed it at all. Thinking of her dad she began to wonder if he would even recognize her now. With this thought on her mind she began to fidget and pull at her kimono trying to make herself more presentable. After all this would be the first time she'd be seeing him in nineteen years.
The closer they got to the tower the more nervous she got. Shaking her head she chastised herself for being this way. She hadn't gotten nervous about anything since shortly after she left the village and she wasn't going to start getting that way again now. Closing her eyes she focused on her breathing while making sure not to run into any of her escorts to calm herself before she made a fool of herself. Once her heart rate went down she opened her eyes again to reveal they were now right in front of the tower.
Determined to be allowed to stay in the village she walked through the doors and headed up the stairs and straight to the office she once knew so well. One of the masked men around her knocked on the door. She was shocked to hear a voice other then her fathers voice call them into the room. Walking through the doors she stared at the old man sitting in her fathers chair. Taking a deep breath to keep from attacking the man she stood in front of him waiting for him to look up from his paper covered desk.
Finally looking up the man's eyes widened from shock before he quickly pushed it aside and sat up straight. "Hello. How may I help you?" he asked looking the girl up and down not sure if he was seeing things or if this girl was really standing before him. As far as he knew she had left the village years ago and was never heard from again. Most people assumed she had died of starvation or was killed by wild beasts or something of the sort.
Nodding slightly Saera moved closer to the desk and looked the man in the eyes, "Where is my father? This is his desk and you have no right to be sitting here." Watching his eyes for any sign that he did something to harm her father. The man then sighed and leaned back into his chair. "Saera-chan....I'm assuming you haven't heard of the attack 12 years ago then." Saera gave him a confused look not understanding what he meant. "What attack?"
Folding his hands in front of him he sighed again. "12 years ago the nine tailed fox attacked the village. That same night, your parents had given birth to a baby boy which they then sealed the great fox into. Your parents died that night and I, Sarutobi, had to take back the chair of the hokage. I'm sorry word never got to you about their deaths." Sarutobi bowed his head apologetically towards her.
Saera looked at the man with wide eyes shaking her head and taking a couple of shakey steps back, "N-no. You're lying to me! There's no way they are dead." Watching Sarutobi's eyes looking for any sign of lies her eyes began to get moist as they filled with tears. There was no way her parents could be dead, they were invincible. Or at least that's what she had thought when she was younger. Finally she fell to the floor and silently focused on her breathing again not going to allow herself to cry in front of this man.
After a short while she stood up composed and walked back to the desk. "You said they gave birth to a little boy. Did.....did he survive..?" she asked hoping beyond anything that she had some family left in this world. When Sarutobi nodded his head she sighed in relief and let a small smile tug at her lips. "Where is he? What is his name? Please tell me." she pleaded with him.
Sarutobi smiled at the girl before him and handed her a paper that held a picture and all the information on her brother. A small gasp escaped her lips as she peered at the picture, "He looks just like daddy."After reading everything on the sheet of paper she handed it back to Sarutobi and bowed deeply to the man. "Thank you so much for allowing me to see that. If it is ok may I please reside in the village so I may get to know Naruto more? He is the only relative I have left." she asked in the most polite way she knew how.
After another hour in the office Sarutobi and Saera had agreed on her becoming a chuunin for Konoha if she could pass his test which would be held a month from that very day. He gave her a set of keys to a small apartment on the other side of the village. "Shall I call for one of our Jonin to escort you to your apartment?" he asked as he finished signing off on all the paperwork that needed to be done for her to become a Konoha citizen. Nodding silently she watched as he called one of his top ninja's.
About a half hour later a silver haired man walked in through the door, nose deep into a book. Saera looked up and gasped at who stood in front of her and began fidgeting slightly. "You called, Hokage-sama?" he asked without even looking up from his book. Sarutobi sighed before replying, "Yes I did a half hour ago. Anyways, I need you to take Saera-chan here to her new apartment. Here's the address." He handed Kakashi the paper with the address on it and turned back to Saera. "It's good to have you back. I hope you stay longer this time." he smiled as he dismissed them.
Saera smiled at the old man and stood before following Kakashi out of the office. Blushing slightly she tried to think of something to start conversation with him hoping she didn't seem childish to him since she was still only a chunnin whereas he was a jonin. Finally on the streets and heading towards her new home she looked over at Kakashi and smiled, "Hey, I see you moved up in the ranks pretty quickly. The Jonin uniform suits you, Kakashi-kun."
"What?" Kakashi looked up somewhat uninterested but polite enough to acknowledge that she'd spoken to him. "Ah, thank you." He nodded before returning to his book. Saera waited patiently for him to say something, anything, to her but as time went on it became painfully obvious that he wasn't going to. She sighed to herself and told herself that he obviously didn't remember her so if that was the case she would avoid him. She refused to put a burden on him by trying to be around him when he didn't bother to talk to her.
Sometime later they reached the building that housed her new apartment. Slowly she turned to him and bowed slightly before turning her back to him, "Thanks for showing me the way home Kakashi-kun. I think I can handle it from here. Have a good day." She then walked inside the building without turning around to look at him and promised herself that if she ever ran into him again she would treat him the way he'd treated her. He had been her friend once, now he was just an acquaintance that she would rather avoid.
Sometime later they reached the building that housed her new apartment. Slowly she turned to him and bowed slightly before turning her back to him, "Thanks for showing me the way home Kakashi-kun. I think I can handle it from here. Have a good day." She then walked inside the building without turning around to look at him and promised herself that if she ever ran into him again she would treat him the way he'd treated her. He had been her friend once, now he was just an acquaintance that she would rather avoid.As time went by she got more and more irritated, her partner had still not shown and it's been almost an hour since they were supposed to leave. "If they aren't here in the next 5 minutes then I'm leaving without them I don't care what Tsunade says!" exclaimed the irate woman. Tapping her foot she decided to wait not knowing what was soon going to come thanks to her statement. Her partner was closer then she knew.
Walking up to the gates Kakashi was surprised to see Saera standing there and even more surprised when he heard what she said. A small glimer of hope filled him as he walked up to her. "Who are you leaving behind, Saera?" he smirked as he saw her jump from his sudden appearance and question. Saera looked over to him and visibly relaxed now that she identified the culprit. "My so called partner for my mission. We were supposed to leave an hour ago and they still aren't here yet. Tsunade was the one to choose them so you would think they would know when to be here and that she would make sure they had enough notice to make sure they were on time." she replied with obvious irritation in her voice.
Kakashi laughed as the glimmer of hope now turned into a large flame. "You wouldn't happen to be taking this mission on would you?" he asked her as he handed her a small scroll. She took it and nodded after reading it and looked at him with her irritation now directed at it's appropriate target. "Yes I am. I know realize why my partner is so late. You are such an imbosile!" she ground out as she burned the scroll not wanting to leave any evidence of it and stormed out of the gates. Chuckling Kakashi followed her sudddenly glad that he decided to take the mission when Tsunade had asked him to take it.
Hours went by without either of the two talking. Saera was still too irritated with him for being late and was grumbling to herself about men and their stupidity. Kakashi was lost in thought wondering as to why Tsunade had asked him to go on this mission and also if he might be able to get away with reading his favorite book while on the mission like he did when he was with his team. The longer that they traveled in silence though, the more uncomfortable he felt.
"Strange. Normally it's so noisy with my team I relish the quiet moments. With her though it's different......I want to hear her voice but how do I get her to tallk to me?" he thought to himself as they traveled on. He put his book into his vest jacket not even sure when he had pulled it out and began to think of ways for him to get her talking. Every topic he thought of though he saw ending with his face in the dirt and her walking away from him pissed beyond measure.
Walking down the path Kakashi watched Saera walk in front of him. He still couldn't figure out why she had gotten so pissed about him being her partner for this mission. What had he ever even done to her to deserve the way she reacted around him? Come to think of it, he could hardly even remember her ever saying two words to him since her return to Konoha. What exactly had gone wrong that day to cause her to be so cold towards him now?
It had been a fairly normal day for Kakashi. He'd gone on a couple simple missions to help neighboring villages. Nothing huge, but his Sharingan had been useful so they'd called on him. After that, he had just barely arrived back to Konoha when who should appear but his self proclaimed rival, Might Gai. As always, he had spouted some nonsense about cherishing their youth, and promptly challenged him to a 500 lap race. He had told Gai to go on ahead and that he would catch up momentarily, and once the green beast of Konoha had left, dust in his wake, Kakashi had quietly made a run for his apartment.
Once he had gotten inside, and locked the door, as well as pulling the shades down over the windows, he had sunk into his favorite chair and proceeded to pull out Icha Icha Paradise. He had left off at a particularly unfavorable part in the chapter he was on, since he'd been called on for those missions earlier, and he'd been dying to know what happened ever since. He had just began to read when a sharp knock sounded on his door. After carefully peeking out to make sure it was not his irritating rival, who undoubtedly would have realized by now that he'd been stood up, he opened the door. Come to find out it was not Gai, but rather, a ninja with a message for him. Apparently he was to report to the Hokage Tower right away. After reassuring the messenger that he'd be there momentarily, Kakashi closed the door and went back to reading.
A half hour later, he sauntered into the Hokage's office, book still in hand as he spoke. "You called, Hokage-sama?" He all but muttered in a bored tone. He only half listened as he was given instructions to escort some new resident, and blah, blah blah. "Here's the address." Kakashi looked up once again as he was handed a paper with the address and sighed inwardly, nodding. When looking up he managed to notice the girl for a moment and briefly thought she looked familiar...though he wasn't entirely sure why. "It's good to have you back. I hope you stay longer this time." The Hokage was saying to the girl. Then he dismissed them and they went on their way.
Kakashi walked along at a semi sluggish pace, trying to sneak reading more in his book as they went on. He was so into the words on the page he almost missed it when the girl, sounding somewhat nervous spoke to him. "Hey, I see you moved up in the ranks pretty quickly. The Jonin uniform suits you, Kakashi-kun."
"What?" He looked at her. Had she really spoken right now? Apparently because she was looking at him expectantly. Reluctant to have a conversation that would distract him from the story, Kakashi chose the easiest response, hoping he sounded polite enough. "Ah, thank you." He then nodded and went back to his book, maintaining their sluggish pace. Before he knew it, they had arrived at the building that housed the new girl's apartment. Slowly she turned to him and bowed slightly before turning her back to him, "Thanks for showing me the way home Kakashi-kun. I think I can handle it from here. Have a good day." He had become curious as to what her name was, but before he could say anything, the door slammed shut in his face, leaving no room for conversation. He sighed before turning and leaving to go back home. That had been unneccessarily rude.
Looking back to that day he still wasn't entirely sure what had gone so wrong that she'd treated him so coldly. Sure maybe he could have actually spoken to her. Or at least bothered to ask her name before it was too late, but he hadn't been mean to her or anything. In fact he thought he had been very accomidating on their walk to her apartment. He spoke when spoken to instead of ignoring her like he did most people.
Well maybe this topic would be as good as any to try and talk to her about. Maybe if he could figure out why she hated him so much they could work on it. At this point he was willing to do whatever it took to get her to at least be civil with him. He could work with that for a little while at least. Until he could confess to her and have her believe him. He had to make up his mind fast. Whatever he was going to do he needed to do it now or it was never going to happen.