Kankurou groaned and pulled himself out of bed, throwing on a robe and moving to answer the door.
Temari grinned, "Hey, baby bro, I thought you would be up by . . . What are you wearing?"
"A robe, jan. I'm not going to answer the door naked, ya' know."
Temari laughed, "She doesn't let you wear clothes in bed, eh? I meant what's that around your neck!" Temari started laughing wildly, "My little brother, the Uke!"
Kankurou suddenly realized he was still wearing the dog collar and chain, and his hands shot up to cover the word 'BITCH'.
"Wait till Gaara hears about this!"
"No, don't tell anyone, please!"
Temari shook her head, "You should be more careful about that thing, the whole town already says you're Hana's bitch, and now we have irrefutable proof!"
Kankurou briefly considered getting on his knees and begging, but, as he was in a dog collar, that would only prove her point more, "Please, Temari . . ."
"Alright, I can be merciful, this time. But if you ever call me 'Sand Witch' again, everyone in town will see that bitch collar."
Kankurou shuddered, "Okay . . . I'll, I'll try, jan. Just, please, if I make a mistake . . ."
"Awwww, you know I love you, little bro . . . I won't tell . . . If you're nice."
Dosu read over his mission instructions. My first mission for Konoha. It was a B-rank mission, Guy was taking Dosu, Kara and Yoshi to Amegakure in order to return some items Jiraiya had forgotten when he took Shikamaru's place as ambassador.
"Man, I hear it rains every day in Ame!" Kara whined.
"No duh, stupid, that's what Amegakure means, Village Hidden in Rain." Yoshi stood and stretched, "You know Guy-Sensei's gonna' push us the whole way, too."
Dosu laughed, Guy-Sensei is gentle by Oto standards, the nicest Sensei in Otogakure would beat the Hell out of his students just for laughs.
"What's so funny, Fluffy?"
Dosu laughed again, Fluffy, now that's a name to inspire terror in one's enemies . .. "I was just thinking of Oto. I'd rather have the sternest Sensei here than the nicest there, . . . Not Danzo, of course, he's real Orochimaru material, he'd have been right at home in that pit."
Kara shook her head, she didn't want to know, "Well, I hope you bring your umbrella, if that fur you wear gets wet, it'll probably smell."
Dosu snorted, "Any fool knows to bring an umbrella when going to Ame. And why are you concerned about my pelt smelling?" He grinned, "Thinking of getting close?"
Dosu and Yoshi started laughing as Kara turned bright red, "As if!"
The Doctor looked over x-rays of The Twin's skulls, "Good news, no sign of any remission, Sakon, and there's nothing visible on Ukon's x-ray."
"That's because his head is empty!" Sakon grinned.
"Hah, I got the brains and the beauty in the family!"
Ukon retaliated, "You're just jealous, Pig-Face!"
"They didn't just hit you with the Ugly Stick, they broke it on your face!"
The doctor shook his head, "Whatever the case, remember, if either of you start having severe headaches, come here right away."
"We know." They both said in unison.
Shikamaru and Kidoumaru sat watching as Tayuya and Kotaro the Summoner had a 'friendly' duel, Kotaro was clearly outmatched, he had only one Doki, while Tayuya had three, and he was far less experienced, but his Doki was incredibly strong and put up a terrible fight. Finally, he sighed and stopped playing, and the Doki vanished.
"What, you're just gonna' #! Give up?!"
Kotaro ran the back of his hand against his brow, "I don't want to risk him, you're much better than I am, and I'm responsible for taking care of my Doki."
Tayuya grinned widely, A boy, admitting that she was superior in skill! Tayuya had a sudden, evil thought and picked up her flute once again, one of her Doki appeared and picked Shikamaru up in his massive arms, "Tayuya, what . . .?!" She jumped up on the Doki's shoulders, still playing, and the trio walked off.
Kotaro shrugged, the girl was aggressive, and that was that. He walked over and sat next to Kidoumaru.
"She's terrifying . . ."
Kidoumaru laughed, "Yeah, she is. Would you believe that she's actually a lot nicer now than she was before?"
Kotaro's eyes widened in shock, "I shouldn't say anything, I owe her a lot, she gave me a lot of advice and help with my Genjutsu, I probably wouldn't have passed the final exam without her help, but, how can anyone live with her 24/7?"
"Very carefully." Kidoumaru lay back in the grass, "So, how's the new ambassador?"
"He's nothing like Kankurou-Sama. He's dull, arrogant and has the personality of a cabbage. In other words, he's a typical politician."
Kidoumaru pulled absently at blades of grass around his hands, "I'll miss that guy, he was a lot of fun. Kankurou-San is a cool guy, he knows how to let loose and enjoy himself, but he can put on his game face and take out the trash without missing a beat."
Kotaro looked up into the clear October sky, "Yeah, he is. I'll probably be going back soon too, this new guy has his own people to help him out."
"That's too bad, you're alright, even if you did try to kill me during the exams."
"It was nothing personal. We needed scrolls, and it was easier to steal them. I guess we were lucky you didn't kill us."
Kidoumaru grinned, "I'm trying to avoid too much killing, it's wasteful. We were doing our best not to get into any fights with the other teams, live and let live and all that." He paused "What happened to the other two on your team?"
"They didn't make it. Kentaro got a concussion after that puppet threw him against that tree and couldn't participate in the final exam, and Onishi lost to an earth user from Iwagakure. I don't think I would have won if Tayuya hadn't helped me out. She seems all mean and heartless, but she gave up her time and energy to help me. I think the 'bad' Tayuya is just an act. She's really a good person, deep down."
Kidoumaru laughed, "Yeah, but it takes a long time to cut that deep into her mean hide! Seriously, though, she had to be tough and cruel to survive in Oto, we all did. If she'd shown the slightest weakness, the vultures would have been all over. And, as she was one of very few kunoichi in Otogakure, she felt, probably rightly, that most of the guys wouldn't respect her If she didn't outdo us in everything." His eyes narrowed and he stared off into the distance, "She'd have been eaten alive."
Kotaro shook his head sadly, "Suna is tough, you have to be strong to survive in the desert, and the people can be cruel, still, I can't imagine life in a Hell-hole like Otogakure. Have you gone back, since the new government took over?"
"No. I would like to, one day, but I doubt I ever will. I'm probably considered a war criminal, as I was one of Oro's elite, field leader of the Oto-Five, we probably all are. Kimimaro went back, and they tried to lynch him. Anyone who had rank under the Snake is almost certainly marked for death. I guess I can't blame them, Orochimaru did things you could never imagine, human experimentation, mass murder . . . Raping kids . . . I wish to God I'd never laid eyes on that trash."
To be continued...