Sand and Shadows
'Finally, my shift is almost done,' thought a young waitress as she worked to clear a table near the middle of the room. The room was a modern restaurant and supported about 10 tables in all and most of them where full. Nearby were another few waitresses and the chef. The restaurant was located about a day's travel from the border of the fire country and was located on one of the biggest routes to and from the Fire country this meant lots of costumers.
A bell sang out announcing the arrival of yet another costumer. The waitress looked up to see a group of four enter through the door.
'I am too busy cleaning to seat them and it's almost time to close so...ah ha!'
"Kagome! Can you get this group?" The waitress asked as she passed the slightly older teen, lugging a pile of dishes off toward the back room. Kagome nodded and walked forward toward the group.
As she neared the group she automatically knew that this group consisted of ninjas.
'I will be very happy when they leave.' She sighed.
"Sorry for the delay. Is it just you four?" Kagome asked as she thought of the few open tables left.
"Yes, just us." The older gentleman of the group. The first things Kagome noticed about the man were the facts that he had silver spiky hair and most of his face was covered by either a mask or the Hitae-tae* from the Hidden village in the leaves. He was also reading a bright orange book that was dreaded book called Make out Paradise.
Kagome mentally shivered. 'Great another perv.'
He was traveling with two boys and a girl who looked to be about fifteen to Sixteenish. They all looked travel warn and slightly hungry.
One of the boys was dressed in clothes that looked a lot like the bright orange from the Make out Paradise book the older man was reading and Kagome had to wonder if he was perverted as well or just ignorant of that little fact. His bright florescent yellow hair was held from his face by a hitae-tae that matched the older man's. His face was adorned by scares that looked strangely like whiskers and he had disarming blue eyes.
The girl was dressed in a pink and red outfit that matched her hair. She had a natural 'I am smart' sense about her but she seemed to be slightly shy. She was wearing a hitae-tae from the village in the leaves as well.
The other boy was standing just behind the group and he had an 'I am better than you look' about him. He was dressed in a blue shirt and white shorts. He had pulled back raven hair that looked gelled. He too was wearing a hitae-tae.
'His hair looks like a chicken's butt.' Kagome thought stifling a laugh a she directed them to a table in the back of the restaurant were the people of the village did not like to sit.
She stopped not far from where the other waitress was working and Kagome motioned to them that this was their table.
"Here you are-"
Suddenly the waitress who had collected dishes from a table tripped and the dishes she was carrying came flying toward Kagome and the group.
"Mimi!" Kagome said as she raced toward the falling girl. To everyone she was moving a little faster than anyone else to reach the waitress and time seemed to slow down as she dodge all of the dishes in her path.
Kagome slid forward just in time to catch the smaller but slightly older girl. Then the dishes came crashing down around them and Kagome received several cuts as she protected the waitress Mimi.
Several seconds passed as everyone tried to make sense of what just happened and another few before anyone came rushing over to see what happened and if the two waitresses where okay.
Kagome eased the older girl off of her and into a sitting position before sitting up herself. Kagome tried to hide a wince.
'Oops. Well I will have to take care of them later,' Kagome thought as she sighed.
"I am so sorry Kagome! You saved me again! Do you need some help with those cuts?" Mimi asked surprised and really sorry. Kagome waved off her offer.
"No need I will take care of them later. Putting that aside are you okay?"
Mimi looked herself over and was slightly shocked.
"I don't have any cuts or anything," She replied rather confused.
"That's good, but you broke another set of dishes, Kagome stated as she stood up helping the other girl up as well.
"Yeah well...He he he." Mimi laughed nervously
Kagome turned to the crowd that had gathered.
"Sorry for the mishap, I hope everyone is okay?" There were a few replies saying that everyone was fine. 'Thank goodness if something happened here then I might have to move on again.' She then returned to the group of four.
"Hey you're awesome!" The blond said as Kagome reached them. He sounded really excited for some reason.
"Uh, thanks. I guess. I just do it often." Kagome said thinking that that was a pretty basic move for a ninja and thought it was weird that a ninja would think that was cool.
"But you moved really fast! Hey can you teach me?" He asked really quickly. "Oh are you a nin-!" His sentence had been cut off when the masked man pulled the blond back away from Kagome.
"Sorry Naruto likes to get carried away sometimes." Said the pink haired girl.
'?' Kagome thought, 'what a strange boy.'
"Well okay. What would you guys like?" Kagome asked pulling out her order pad.
"Beef Ramen!A big helping please!"
"Naruto do you ever eat anything but ramen?"
"Why Sakura? Ramen is awesome!" Naruto asked truly puzzled. Kagome smiled at this.
'They act like siblings, how cute,' Kagome's smile faded quickly at the thought of siblings. 'Just like Shippo and Inuyasha were.'
Sakura and Naruto had begun fighting and the older masked man was reading his book again and the other boy was just looking out the window.
"What about the rest of you?" She asked lightly trying to get the rest of the order so that she could help Mimi with cleaning up before she got in trouble again.
"Miso ramen." The dark raven haired boy said quietly and somehow the way that he said it pissed Kagome off.
'Wow talk about like Sesshoumaru.' Kagome sighed.
"I will have chicken udon*," the silver haired man asked. Kagome nodded and wrote it down on the list with Naruto and the Raven haired boy's order.
"What about you?" Kagome asked Sakura.
"Um... Chicken yakisoba* please." She replied turning her attention from Naruto to Kagome and then finally to staring at the Raven haired boy.
"Okay it should be ready soon." With that Kagome left to give the order to the chef and help Mimi to clean.
~With Naruto and Co. ~
Sakura turned to Kakashi with a thoughtful expression on her face.
"Kakashi-sensei why did you stop Naruto?" She asked quietly. This made the raven haired boy turn and look at their sensei.
The masked man looked briefly at his students before looking deftly around the room. Motioning them to lean in closer he began to talk quietly so as not to be over heard.
"Our mission was to find a missing person right?" There were several nods from all round the table. "We are looking for a girl about 16-17 with midnight blue hair." There were several more nods. "Well here is the part you don't know. She is trained in Kenjustsu and comes from a long line of samurai. So she has greater training than most civilians and most chunnin. She doesn't stay in one place for very long either. Also there are also several other people on the look for her as well." Kakashi stated this last piece with a hint of suggestion in his voice. Sakura was the first to catch on and she turned to explain to Naruto and Sasuke.
"Well our waitress Kagome moved faster than we even expected and was clearly faster than a normal civilian. Also she got a fair share of cuts and didn't even think about them very much. So what does that mean?" She paused to let her words sink in but all she got was a blank expression from Naruto. So sighing she continued.
"That means she is used to cuts from training or such like just like we are. So that means that she does some sort of-"
"Be quiet." Sasuke said silencing her just before their waitress came back in to hearing range. Sasuke had figured out what his sensei was explaining just before Sakura had begun talking and had turned to watch the waitress Kagome. He had noticed that she did not have black hair but it was in fact a very dark blue and only showed the blue part in direct sunlight. Sasuke also saw that she carried herself like she always ready for an attack and didn't seem to know anyone except the chef and the one of the other waitresses Mimi. 'So she hasn't been here long enough to know anyone yet.' She was also dressed in an outfit that was made for movement and fighting in. It was a soft purple and had small cherry blossoms on the right arm sleeve. She looked about 16.
He had also overheard a conversation between Kagome and the girl Mimi that presented him with some valuable information.
~With Kagome and Mimi~
The dark haired waitress had just delivered the order, and retrieved a broom and dust pan, and was about to start cleaning when she was bombarded by the smaller pink haired Mimi.
"Kagome! I really need to thank you for helping me! If I had come home again with cuts again father would be mad at me. Hey you really should join father's Kendo dojo! You could be the only person who could succeed him as the heir to the dojo! Plus I am not good enough and I am clumsy." Mimi said happily. A flicker of the past showed for a brief moment on Kagome's face before she smiled and declined.
"I can't. Your right I probably could become the heir but that is supposed to be your position and I have to leave tomorrow. I told you yesterday that I have stayed here for too long and must keep moving." Kagome said trying not to feel bad about leaving another chance at being normal behind again but she had to in order to protect them.
"I know but I couldn't help but try to stop you again." Mimi said sounding defeated.
"I will try to return though." Kagome added to cheer her friend up.
With that Kagome turned to clean up.
~Back with Naruto and Co. ~
With that in mind Sasuke knew that Kagome was their target and also knew that is would not be a good idea to let her know that they were after her by talking about it.
Kagome was carrying their orders and as she set them down she warned them that the restaurant was about to close so they should hurry and she left with their payment.
Everyone ate fairly quickly with the exception of Naruto who inhaled his food. After receiving back their change they all left to find an inn to stay the night. Once in their rooms they joined Kakashi in his room and began talking about how they would pull off this mission.
"Why don't we just ask her?" Naruto asked in his normal why not tone.
"Because she has been on the run for so long that she might just attack us instead and our mission is clear. Also if she resists and starts acting strangely then I have orders not to let her live." Kakashi stated. He received shocked glances and stares from everyone in the room.
"Kill her! Why!" Naruto asked his voice rising louder than his normal tone.
"Yeah I thought that she was nice. Why do we have to kill her if she resists?" Sakura said clearly frustrated and even Sasuke though it was slightly overreacting.
"I have no idea but my orders are very clear." The room fell silent for several minutes before anyone spoke.
"So do we tag her or do we set up an ambush?" Sasuke asked from where he sat.
"Okay here is what we will do."
~~~The next morning~~~
Kagome was standing in front of Mimi's house but was hesitating to knock and say good bye. After a few seconds Kagome turned and walked away toward town. She paused at different locations thinking about all the memories she had of these places and hoped she would return if she was not caught or killed. Kagome neared the edge of town and looked back.
"I promise I will return once my journey had ended or I have passed it on. Sorry, Mimi," with that Kagome started out toward whatever direction fate would take her.
He felt somewhat like a stalker but he had to know why he had the orders he did. So with that in mind he had woken up earlier and began to look for the midnight blue haired girl and had found her not to long after. He had followed her over most of the town as she visited people before she left. But she never knocked or made any attempt to let anyone know that she was leaving.
Naruto sat quietly nearby as Kagome left the village and was the only person to hear her words or to see the tears that ran down her face. He sat there and thought about what was going to happen and he came to realize something very important.
'Several hours have passed now and I still feel like something is wrong.' Kagome thought as she walked. 'I wonder what it is...'
'You are being followed.' Kagome had acknowledged that the voice in her head was just something that warned her from danger and was just a second voice in her head. So she took its advice seriously and decided it was time to take to the trees and shake off her followers.
Kagome turned off the path and entered the trees at a quick speed that showed experience and training. She slid into a clearing some 20 yards away from the road only to be cornered by Naruto and Sasuke. She spun around to find her path blocked by Sakura and Kakashi.
"It's you guys. Why are you following me?" Kagome asked as she assessed her situation.
Naruto stepped forward with his hands raised in a pleading sort of way. "Well, you see..."
"We are here to ask you to come with us." Kakashi said and at this Kagome turned angry.
"Why who sent you? Was it my older sister?" Kagome asked trying to remain calm.
"You must come-"
"No. I will not. I have something I must do and no one is going to stop me." Kagome said sliding in to a defensive position. Kakashi signals team 7 to attack. Kagome knew she couldn't hurt these people so she didn't draw her katana but instead fought them in hand to hand combat.
Naruto was the first to rush in and found himself, thrown several feet by Kagome's quick Taijutsu. There was a small pop as Naruto disappeared into a cloud of smoke.
"What the-!" Kagome had to quickly duck in order to dodge a punch thrown by Naruto. A close combat fight issued and when Kagome and Naruto separated they were both panting hard but Kagome less than Naruto. Stepping back Naruto did a set of hand signs and then yelled at the top of his lungs;
"Kage no Bushin!" Kagome froze slightly startled by the fact that there were now about twelve Narutos.
'I heard of two to maybe five but this many?' Kagome thought as she tried to think of a way to fight them all. 'Oh, yeah I can use that technique. I just need to remember the feeling.' Just as all the Narutos started moving toward her, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the feeling she needed.
From across the field Sakura saw what was happening and called out a warning. "Naruto, wait she is-" Sakura's words were drowned out by the sound emanating from the area around Kagome. You could literary could see the air crackle and pop with light. But Sakura's warning came too late and Naruto and his clones were thrown back and knocked unconscious by the tree he landed in.
Kagome was surprised and rather happy. "I did it," Kagome said quietly congratulating herself for using that attack successfully. 'I have no time to be doing this,' Kagome thought as she dodged several Katon jutsus and several others that she was not sure of. She then launched herself at Sakura. Sakura saw her coming and dodged but didn't see Kagome steps ahead of her. Sakura was knocked out fairly quickly. Sasuke thought that this was a good time to jump in and score some hits. Kagome jumped into the air to dodge most only to find Sasuke there to meet her and quick move sent Kagome crashing into the ground while shouting;
"Lion's Barrage!" Coughing Kagome stood up holding her now bruised and maybe very injured side. 'Damn! He moved faster than before!' That is when Kagome noticed it Sasuke's eyes were now a bright red instead of its previous black.
'What the-? What are those and what happened to his eyes?' She thought as she braced herself for more of Sasuke's attacks. Ducking under one of Sasuke's punches she times a well-placed kick and sent him crashing into a nearby tree. She stood there awaiting his next move while being conscious of the older ninja who was not far away.
~With Mystery person~
The dark haired young teen had finished a job several hours earlier and settled into a nearby tree to wait for his contractor to show up.
'He probably won't be here for a while so I should have time to take a small nap.' He thought before relaxing and then falling asleep.
After a few hours of quiet resting the young teen was suddenly knocked out of the tree by some unknown means. Landing on his feet he looked around only to find himself in the middle of a battle.
'Great what have I gotten myself into this time?' He thought sighing. Looking around he saw a girl facing him who looked to be about 16. She had black hair that when she moved looked like a midnight blue color and had dark blue eyes. She was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, which flared out at the wrists; it was a soft but dark color of blue with a silver moon emblem on it. She also was wearing pants that matched her shirt in color and design. She was carrying a katana at her side and looked fairly beaten up. She had several cuts that were bleeding and was holding her right side with a look torn between pain and anger on her face before it turned into startle meant as she caught sight of him.
There had been a small cry before something fell out of the tree that Kagome had sent Sasuke crashing into. Out of the tree came a young teen about 15. He had startling dark red hair with a hint of orange color in it. His brownish red eyes were complemented by his dark red outfit that was almost a black in color and a dark orange emblem that looked like a small flame surrounded by earth but Kagome couldn't be sure. He looked around surprised trying to understand the situation.
'Crap! Now I have someone else I am unsure of. Wait, it looks like he has no idea what is going on here but it doesn't look like he can fight so here goes nothing.' Kagome dashed over to the younger teen and caught his attention.
"Come on! We have to get out of here!" She whispered to him pulling his shirt sleeve. Not fully understanding what was going on he nodded and they both fled.
Yasushi: I have edited this without a beta reader so I cannot tell how well the grammar is or how it sounds. If you find a mistake or something that sounds wrong please send me a personal message and I will try to fix it when I can. The pairing is still undecided so please vote on who you think should be paired with Kagome. Flames will be ignored unless it is constructive criticism.