I don't own Naruto, BUT I DO OWN THE CIRCUS, MUWAHAHAAHAHHAH ^_^

Numa was staring sullenly to the ground with his eyes glazed over as if in a trance he said, "We didn't know any better back then, we thought that since we were always making people happy, that we were respected as a legend for our struggles in becoming a giant circus that no one would want to harm us."

Numa sucked in a shuddering breath as he shook his head at his own naiveté and muttered to himself, "And were we ever more wrong."

Kakashi and Anko's gaze met for a moment and they both shared a moment of understanding, and decided to wait and see what happens.

Flashback start

Blanka was peeking her head outside the tent and staring at all the people coming in, she was twitching slightly in suppressed excitement as the tent filled up. "The entire tent is filled tonight, man this is the biggest amount of people we've ever performed for," she said excitedly.

Jack came up from behind her and smiled as he said teasingly, "You're not getting cold feet now are you?" Blanka turned around to regard him with an excited smile she said, "The only kind of feet I'm getting are jittery from excitement," as she bounced up and down, no longer able to suppress her excess energy.

Jack smirked at her and ruffled her hair, effectively stilling her bouncing movement. Numa walked in at that moment and laughed at the scene that greeted him, Blanka was trying to remove Jack's hand from her hair while Jack kept mussing it up.

"What are you laughing at Nu-,"Bianca was saying when she walked in on the scene, she simply smiled in amusement and decided to rescue Blanka's hair from further ruffling.

"Stop that Jack. Now we don't want Blanka to go out there with her hair looking like a bird's nest, do we?" she said jokingly.

Jack smiled back at her and removed his hand as Blanka pouted up at Jack accusingly. Then she turned to Numa as he stifled his laughter with a well-aimed glare at the giant. "So are you excited Blanka, I bet our stunt will be the best in the show," he said trying to cut the tension.

"Our stunt?" turned Bianca to him questioningly.

At this Blanka waved her hands in front of her frantically in halting movements for him to just zip-it, Numa took the hint and simply said, "Did I say our stunt? I-I uh meant our hunt yeah, our hunt. You know this country has some exotic beasts and I was thinking of just going around hunting," he said nervously.

Bianca's eyes darkened as she turned somber and glared at him, "Numa," she gritted out, "I can tell your lying, and you've never been a good liar. Now tell me what are you trying to hide from me?"

Blanka came up beside him nervously as she said, "It's nothing you should worry about Bianca, really."

Bianca turned her steely gaze to Blanka, "So you're involved in this as well, now I know this isn't something I can let slide," she said as she folded her arms in front of her chest.

Blanka and Numa shrinked back nervously, and that was when the Ringmaster came in and said, "Now Bianca, there is no need to be like that. I simply asked them to make an act together."

Bianca turned to him as she saw the rest of the circus start to gather up around them, "So you were in on this too weren't you?" she said accusingly.

A woman in a magician attired moved in to calm her down, "Bianca calm down, it's just one act."

Bianca turned to the woman and said, "So were you in on this as well Zattana," she said menacingly.

The woman now dubbed Zattana shrunk back and said, "No, I had no idea honest." Jack moved closer to his fiancé and whispered to her, "I think it's in your best interest to just step down right now Zat."

"Yeah, I agree J," she whispered back, taking a step back from the enraged woman. "And why hadn't anyone bothered to tell me until now," she continued in rage.

"Well, we weren't going to tell you anyways," muttered Numa as he scuffed his toes in the dirt.

At hearing this Bianca's eyes darkened and she rounded on the giant, making him suddenly feel so much smaller than he originally was. Seeing the incurring wrath of Bianca's pole on his giant, the Ringmaster decided to take matters in his own hands.

As the Ringmaster stepped in between Numa and Bianca's impending path, he found himself suddenly unsure of his actions as he broke into a cold sweat, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to just step in front of raging boar.

As soon as that thought crossed his mind the Ringmaster squashed it and looked up into Bianca thinking determinedly to himself, I am the Ringmaster, I shouldn't be afraid of my own crew.

"Bianca, Numa, as much as I'd like to leave you two to settle you're differences by however means you prefer. We have a show to put on, and that's why I need you guys to put you're differences aside at least for now," said the Ringmaster patiently.

"There is no need for that Ringmaster," said Bianca all too calmly, stunning the crowd with her sudden stoicness.

Bianca noticing the attention she gained simply shrugged her shoulders and said, "I have now realized that I've always cuddled Blanka and never allowed her to do anything without my supervision."

At this the crowd if possible was even more stunned, "I guess I never realized it until now, but you've grown Blanka, and so I should allow you more freedom," said Bianca looking up at Blanka with a soft smile gracing her lips.

At this Blanka jolted out of her shock, and broke out into a dazzling smile that looked like it might break her face if she smiled any wider. "You mean now I can do whatever I want?"

Bianca looked back at her with a playful smile as she said, "Within reason, yes."

And with that Blanka launched herself onto Bianca assaulting her with the fiercest hug her wiry arms can muster, "I promise I'll make you proud tonight Bianca," she muttered still hugging Bianca.

At hearing her words Bianca smiled down at the child, no, the grown girl that was hugging her now, and she whispered back to her, "I know you will."

They broke off swiftly after that turning to face the circus' opening flap for the grand opening, the rest of the circus standing not far behind.

The Ringmaster who had been wiping off his sweaty face, moved to the front of the group and stood still drawing up his shoulders in anticipation of their grand entrance.

Standing inside the crowd, evenly dispersed among the crowd were an ominous group of figures stood guard, and with equal anticipation as the Ringmaster, they turned off the safety lock on their pistols.

As the trumpets played out and the circus group ran inside of the ring in a colorful display of colors and athleticism, equally dispersing themselves around the ring while remaining within distance of their partners.

As the men saw the last of the circus members disperse a man raised his hand up high in the air, an imperceptible move from among the crowd as they were too enthused by the circus' antics to notice, but it was perceptible enough to the men and women it was sent for.

In a flurry of motion several bullets flew through the air, causing a murderous scream to rip out of the victims' throats before their demise. Numa's eyes widened as he ran towards the source of the scream, but as he ran faster towards it a bullet collided with his knee cap throwing him to his knees. Then another hit his shoulder throwing him completely to the ground as he gritted his teeth in agony.

And as he stared towards the source of all this aggression, his eyes hazy with pain. He finally noticed the pale wide open eyes staring back into his own, the lifeless dilated eyes of a young girl who has just turned into a woman. Blanka was dead.

Flashback end

Numa's breath hitched as he snapped back from his trance like state, and he recoiled in his seat as if burnt. Kakashi and Anko seeing this rushed to his side in concern. "Numa, Numa are you alright," said Anko tugging on his arm to attract his attention.

Numa's eyes moved to meet hers unseeingly as he said in a shaky voice his entire form trembling, he said, "It was my fault she died."

Kakashi and Anko recoiled a bit in surprise and looked back at him with wide eyes of astonishment. Numa seeing them recoil backwards mistaken their reaction for fear, and turned his head away in shame.

"I wasn't fast enough, I didn't-,"but he was cut off mid-sentence when both Kakashi and Anko embraced him.

Numa looked down at both children in both surprise and wonder; Kakashi looked up at him and his eyes softened and his eyes creased almost imperceptibly signaling his smile behind his mask. "It's alright Numa-san, don't blame yourself for what happened that night, and it is all in the past anyways. You just have to let it go," he said in a sincere voice.

"If there is anyone to blame, then it would be those hooligans who decided to make a gun show in the middle of the circus, so don't hate yourself, cause it was all their fault never yours," said Anko looking up at him with stern eyes.

Numa looked down at both kids with both astonishment and surprisingly relief; no one had ever spoken to him that way. Of course who would have consoled him when everyone was too wrapped up in their own torment to notice, not that he cared for it. But now finally hearing it spoken out loud, Numa felt like a sudden weight had been lifted off his shoulders. They are right, what happened that night wasn't my fault, and even if it was, but there is no changing it now, it is all in the past. I may as well let it go, he thought to himself soberly.

Looking down at both kids Numa smiled and returned their hug fiercely, lifting them both up and off the floor causing a fit of giggles to escape both kids. Numa smirked as he felt both kids struggling to escape his embrace, so just as fast as he'd picked them up Numa slung them both over each of his shoulder like potato sacks only lighter.

"Hey, no fair Numa-san, you didn't warn us you'd do that," said Anko squirming in Numa's grip causing him to chuckle as he said cockily, "And you expected me to warn you?"

Anko huffed indignantly and turned he head away her mouth set in a childish pout, Numa seeing this laughed at the display and thought to himself in amusement, if this is how she acts as a child I bet she'll be causing heaps of trouble for her husband.

Kakashi who was still pondering over a thing with eyebrows creased in concentration, suddenly turned to Numa and asked him with hidden anticipation, "Numa-san, you said that your circus used to be called the Jack-o-Lantern circus, so what is it called now?" Said Kakashi emphasizing the 'used' part.

Anko turned to Numa curiously as well and Numa simply smirked as he said, "Right now, we call ourselves 'Noah's Arch', and just like in the story the arch will either sail and save us all from the tidal waves, or it will sink and take us all with it," he said solemnly.

Kakashi nodded his head in understanding and Anko then screwed up her nose as she thought hard, and said, "But then Numa-san, why did you call your circus the 'Jag-and-Lantern'."

Numa turned to her with an amused smile as he said "First of all Anko, it's called the 'Jack-o-Lantern circus', and second of all, I don't think you two are ready to hear this bit of history of our circus yet," he finished smiling cheekily at them both.

Kakashi and Anko both pouted and said in unison, "No fair Numa-san."

Numa simply chuckled and said, "Hey, it wasn't my place to tell you what I did just now either way, but I did so you're both going to have to be patient with me and I promise to tell you someday."

"Someday?" questioned Anko.

Kakashi reading her thoughts spoke up voicing his companion's confusion, "But Numa-san, we thought this was a onetime thing," he said as he twisted his body to stare at the back of the giant's head.

"Well don't count yourselves out yet, who knows? Maybe if you two do well enough we'll have you two perform with Wendy and Peter on stage. What do you think?" said Numa happily.

"Well Numa-san, we'll do our best but I'm not sure about the other offer," said Kakashi uncertainly.

"Well you'll have plenty of time to think about it after the show, cause we've arrived at our destination," said Numa placing Anko down to her feet, but he kept a firm hand on Kakashi as he tried to squirm out. "Hey why'd you let Anko go, put me down Numa-san," said Kakashi squirming in his hold.

"Not a chance Kakashi, Anko here finished dressing up, and now it's your turn," said Numa merrily.

Kakashi glared at Anko as she skipped behind Numa merrily smiling up at him, "You knew about this didn't you?" he grumbled indignantly.

"Yep," she said purposely popping the 'P' and her smile if possible widened even further, and she gave him a mischievous smile as she said, "And that's not all 'Kashi, I saw the clothes they have in the closet. To say that they were abominable would be an understatement," she said as she gave a dramatic shudder.

Numa hearing this frowned in confusion and asked, "What's wrong with our wardrobe?"

Anko looking back at Numa, sweat dropped as she noticed he was giving her the same look Bianca was giving her when she had expressed her opinion none too kindly about her glittery dress.

I'm guessing it's a circus thing then, she thought to herself ludicrously as she sighed in dismay muttering a, "Never mind," as she dismissed Numa's innocent question with a wave of her hand.

Numa and Kakashi confused at her behavior simply shrugged their shoulders in mirror image of each other, "Girls are such an enigma, don't you agree Kakashi," said Numa as he continued to walk.

Kakashi sighed and shook his head in dismay as he said, "I know that all too well Numa-san," as he thought of his life with Asuka and Anko. "Women are an enigma, but I wouldn't have them any other way" said Kakashi smiling.

'eiyo

Sorry again for the slow update, and I swear to you if it wasn't for this school then I would have uploaded twice as much chapters as I do nowadays. Anyways plz read and review, and until then

Hello people of Fanfiction, this is the beta, let's hope she doesn't read this hehehe.

I READ THAT RAM!

Ja ne