When I began writing this chapter (oh-so long ago) I'd just gotten back from a trip to Borders, where I bought a Pokedex book, an information guide on all Pokemon (at least Gens I through IV). It was the last thing I ever bought from the now-deceased and greatly respected Borders Bookstores.

Ever since I bought that book, reading it has always been very enjoyable and even soothing for me. If I have ten minutes in between breakfast and my next chore, I'll open it up and find out what move a Luxray will learn at level 35. Three months after buying it, I still keep it on my nightstand to page through a bit before going to sleep. Stare and giggle as you wish, but the fact remains that I have a permanent source of relaxation and enjoyment, purchased for three dollars, and you don't ;D

In other news, I'm now a college freshman who finished her first job at a Halloween store and I now know the weight and time consummation a job brings. I greatly dislike it, but I must get used to it if I ever plan to make it in the working world. While I search for a new one….Pathway chapter time!

Beware the SasuSaku drama in the latter half of the chapter! D:

Btw, did you guys read the recent manga? Madara omg!

666

Tuesday-almost-Wednesday, July 28th-almost-July-29th, 11:56 PM, the Grace Hotel in south Saraku

666

She dreamed of a mountain-climbing adventure she took on alone. Three-quarters up, in a blizzard, she was knocked down and then mocked while she lay with broken bones. It was about as stark and unsubtle as dreams could get. Now, she was in a half-present dreamscape where she heard a voice a little like Sasuke's and a little like everyone in school who had ever made fun of her. "I can always burn your wings."

Few people who mocked her had ever sounded so cryptic, but they reminded her just as much that her huge efforts were always mocked once she became remarkable, but not the best.

And that was when Sakura realized she was awake, and Romeo was in her arms hugging her, somehow aware that she was feeling worthless and ripped up inside. The sweet Squirtle pressed his smooth head up against her chin and wrapped his stubby excuses of arms around her shoulder. He was warm and smooth like lavender bath bubbles, and he made her feel all better. "Love you, Romeo." she murmured into his head. He said "Squirt," right back at her and cuddled some more.

Right then Sakura realized she was really hungry, and if the time on her cell phone was right, it was just past midnight, three minutes into July 30th, which meant none of them had eaten in eighteen hours. Holy crap.

"Romeo. Romeo, get up." She said, and he did. Sakura sat up in bed—in bed?—and practically swallowed her tongue when she was she was in bed with Sasuke.

'Literally literally LITERALLY in bed with Sasuke, no stupid sexual metaphors we simply fell asleep on the same surface and that is all that transpired here tonight, yup.' It was true, but goddamn was she ever fighting back some red-hot imagined response in her head. She tried to replace his image in her head with Naruto instead and...it was still red-hot and she couldn't let go of it. Oh geez. 'J-just forget it! Eighteen foodless hours. We're going out to eat, middle of the night or not. Ino better not try to drag us all into some fugly, slutty street activity.'

All around Sakura her friends were sprawled (she had some memory of all of them stumbling into the hotel at three in the afternoon and Hinata being a saint, paying for their room). Hinata on the floor, Ino on the little loveseat, and Naruto with his head on the AC unit. And Ino's Deerling in the dresser drawer for some reason. Sakura decided to get up and take a much-needed shower and change her clothes. She didn't get two feet from the bed before Sasuke woke up, too, and stared at her. And he sat up and stood up, kind of quickly, kind of in a hurry. And he went into the bathroom first, glaring at her all the way and almost kicking Romeo.

It was not the reaction she'd expected, (maybe?) but it did no good to see her lifelong crush—a boy of strength and admirable mind, who had been giving her compliment after compliment these past days—examine such a situation, stare at her like rotten lunchmeat and then just leave.

She felt a lot better when Romeo stuck up his small middle finger in the direction of the bathroom. Her laughter pretty much shocked the entire room into waking.

"Gaamygod apocalypse!" Naruto screeched. His arms flailed against the AC and the clang echoed.

"For Arceus's sake, you idiot!" Ino screeched. "I was sleeping! And what the hell happened to my hair! I need my straightener now! Pine, get my straightener!" Sakura soon relayed to her and to everyone else her plan for a midnight meal. The group of them felt a collective excitement, that of teenagers going out at night alone for the first time. Sakura resolved to keep them all from getting too excited or overwhelmed, or charmed by the alluring things they'd see out there. On one hand, it would be a cold day in hell before her common sense rotted enough for her to partake in the immoral goings-on that happened in a big city, or to let her friends do the same. On the other hand, only one person in their party was actually liable to go off doing such things and she was straightening her hair right now.

Some showers and freshening-ups later, five teenagers strolled gaily out of the Grace Hotel lobby in Saraku City. The desk clerk stared at them as they went by, but the teenagers were staring at Saraku.

Somewhere east of this hotel lay the nation's fire-type gym. But all around them was that special brand of city chaos that drew in so many people. The stars were blotted out in favor of neon signs and a thousand lit windows, advertising clothing shops, foreign and traditional foods, Pokemon dojos, electronics shops, and many more. The streets were only a fraction less alive at one in the morning than they were in daylight. Couples and friends walked, street battles took place, and corner performers played instruments and sat out their cases invitingly open. And all the noise, not quite loud, but not quiet, was around them like a Beedrill swarm. It invited them to run and explore like any curious Purrloin kitten, and around them all, many were doing just that.

Sakura and Sasuke looked all around at it with the same surprised fascination that they would a circus; Hinata looked awed and afraid to move; Naruto's jaw hung ridiculously open, and Ino started dancing. That is, she danced down the street like a happy eight-year-old. "Let's go eat, you guys! Come on!"

They did, though once they caught up with her Sakura attempted to make herself leader and guide them, or at least steer them clear of anyone weird-looking and make sure no creeps followed them. "How about there?" she asked them all. She pointed in the huge window of a restaurant chain they all knew. A picture of a monocle-wearing Breloom stared amiably at them from the entrance.

"I like Shroomsworth's." Hinata murmured. "And they bring free food with your order for your Pokemon, too, all kinds."

"Look way inside. On the left!" Ino pointed. "That guy's sure taking advantage of the Pokemon food. Or his Aggron is. That thing must pack it away like a garbage disposal. I'd like to see that!"

"I'd like to see that." Naruto chuckled. He grabbed behind him, searching for someone's arm. He poked Sasuke and then grabbed Sakura. "Come on. Come see this first!" Sakura was pulled and Sasuke frowned after them both, then followed. The remaining two girls came after they had pushed through a crowd of joggers. Naruto still held Sakura's wrist tight, and she found she didn't mind at a ll. He had stopped them all in the middle of a street to see a street battle.

Above their heads, a Togekiss and an Escavilier floated. The Togekiss parted its mouths to focus some attack of energy at its lips, but the Escavilier wouldn't let it. It sped up underneath the Togekiss and punched one of its spear-hands straight up. The Togekiss's wing was pierced straight through, and its blood dropped to the ground like tiny red bombs.

Sakura's brows came together slightly in dismay, and she heard Naruto's grunt of faint disgust, or sympathy. Some Pokemon battles were gruesome, and some battle wounds struck the most stoic of trainers.

After its initial wound, the Togekiss began flapping its wings madly, heedless of the huge injury in one of them. Its enemy grunted and was tossed around like a hanging rag doll. Togekiss's trainer could be heard frantically calling, somewhere in the crowd below, "Air slash, Air slash, Air slash!" Togekiss was trying, but with its wound and its enemy still hanging out of its wing, the flying-type's Air slash attacks were little more than particularly strong breezes.

"Pull out of it and use X-scissor, Joseph." Another trainer said. The Escavilier pulled out its hand and crossed it against the other, but the other trainer was quicker.

"Fire blast!"

Togekiss was like lightning: it belched out a plume of rust-colored fire that smothered the Escavilier and sent the spectators directly below it scattering with fearful cries. In seconds, the flames faded and Escavilier dropped limply onto the ground with a sound like dropped flatware. The Togekiss's trainer started yelling joyously, and the teens identified her in the crowd because of how ridiculously high she was jumping in her happiness. "Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! C'mere, Babygirl, you queen of TMs, you! Yo, bugface, your Escavilier's really fast, he's gotten great speed training. Just wanna let you know. And a five'll be enough."

The Konoha teens decided to go into Shroomsworth's in the end. It was the first time any of them—or any of their Pokemon—had gone to a restaurant at one in the morning, and the were rather giddy because of it. After a massive meal, a massive bill (padded with charges for the Pokemon's food, which Sakura commented was against the law in most cities) they set out again. No one really wanted to go back yet, not even Sakura herself. She crowned herself leader and tour guide once again, and took them walking.

They wandered down street after street, watching battle after battle, and participating in some. In one, Naruto all but commanded Hinata to participate with him, and even though he had commanded her, she looked enchanted. Sakura spotted a street performer playing a flute, and she danced with his Mienshao while people gasped and cheered for her (afterwards she decided that was about as wild n' crazy as she'd ever get) . A middle-aged man followed them for three blocks before Sasuke released Hellfire to growl at him. Their list of such city adventures grew longer, but they began to tire when it neared three o' clock.

By now, they had drifted into a more open area of town, rather like a suburb. Naruto, walking in front, jammed his hands into the pockets of his vest jacket and wobbled as he walked. He stood stock-straight out of the blue, then pointed to the left side of the street. "Lookit." He muttered.

On that side of the street was a long building that was structured quite like a house, and even sported a friendly white fence in front of it. But on this fence was a sign advertising some business. The type of business was unknown, since a Flareon was spitting Ember onto it and burning it to a crisp.

Once the entire thing had burned up, a man slammed open the door from the inside. "Kindle! Kindle, for pity's sake. Five times in a month? Kindle! Come back here!"

The Flareon was trotting away merrily with the blackened wood remains of the sign trailing out of her mouth, which Sakura found adorable. The man, a thirty-some-year-old adult with glasses and hiking boots stopped in front of her and grabbed the flat piece of wood. His Flareon wouldn't let go. And suddenly he looked up. "Wh—? Aren't you guys a little young to be out this late?"

She wanted to reply to that but Naruto beat her to it. "We're not young. We're trainers! We graduated more than a month ago!"

"That still makes you young. Sixteen or so, yeah?" the man said. He still played tug-of-war with his Flareon. "Whatever. Anyway, um, do you guys want some money?"

They all started a little. That the bill for eating at Shroomsworth's had taken a good sum from each of them may have had something to do with it. Or maybe they just had some things they wanted to buy right now, as Sakura was secretly thinking. Ino beat her to a reply by saying, "Well, who doesn't? Why d'you ask?"

"Oh, 'cause this is my daycare, even though my Flareon keeps burning up my sign. And I can always use new hands to feed and take care of the Pokemon, even if your type tend to hang around for a day or less. Eight bucks an hour, and you can sleep here if you want."

"How convenient." Sasuke muttered.

"And we have to sign a waiver, don't we?" Sakura asked.

The man chuckled. "Of course, miss. As long as you plan to work and not just walk around and admire. These aren't my Pokemon and Arceus only knows what they might do when their trainers aren't around."

"Of course." Sakura muttered back, though she wouldn't let it bother her. Being near dangerous Pokemon wasn't a new experience for anyone. She perked up again, whisking some fine pink hair out of her face. "Well…I'm willing to work. And you, everyone?"

"I'm in!" Naruto raised his hand as though a teacher in school was about to call on him. "Mister Daycare man, I'm your guy! And Sakura, you better tell me what a waiver is!" He put an arm over her shoulder and she laughed, feeling its warmth on her. Before she could actually explain, Ino interrupted her.

"I guess we've got nothing better to do." Ino laughed. "I refuse to work with any Heatmor, though. Those things scare the shit outta me."

At last the Flareon gave up tugging on the wooden sign and trotted away back into the house. Its trainer stood up, panting. "Geez. Okay. I'm gonna get a new sign since Kindle keeps being mean and burning them to death. You guys go inside, pick a room and…just feed 'em and entertain 'em. My waivers are on the kitchen counter; sign one first." They all crossed his front lawn and made a beeline for the man's house. Sakura slowed as she neared him and opted to introduce them all to the man, and then asked exactly who they were working for. "Did I seriously forget to say my name? Sorry. I'm Greg Brisby. Never left this town and never was a trainer. Been running my daycare since I was sixteen."

"Sixteen?" Sakura gasped. "How did you open a business when you were—"

"Waivers first, honey. Xavier, where are you? Can you carry the Oran berry mix to the backyard?" Greg Brisby wandered around the side of the house, calling for some Pokemon or other. Sakura stared after him only minimally and then followed Sasuke, who waited for her at the door with his hands in his jeans pockets.

At the door, each of them felt a wave of nostalgia for Pokemon daycares. They were normally filled with local children who came in to visit and play with the Pokemon who were staying there. The Konoha daycare had been no different, and each of them had a collection of memories of strangers' Pokemon they had played and bonded with. And perhaps unconsciously they saw such potential and excitement in the scene before them: a house setting, a den and living room and kitchen and more, loaded with Pokemon: two Growlithe asleep on the stairs, a Gabite and Prinplup watching Kung Fu Ursaring on the TV, a Hitmonlee looking in the fridge in the kitchen, and the soft snores of sleeping Pokemon on the floor and in many rooms. And all around, the heat and mixed scent and pure energy that radiated with the presence of so many Pokemon.

Naruto broke this wave of nostalgia by nudging Sakura on the side and asking her again what a waiver was. Sasuke answered for her and went to find them himself. Sakura signed the papers while still giggling over Sasuke's response. ("It's a paper that says if a Charizard sets you on fire and sits on you and you're burned and crippled for the rest of your life, it's not Brisby's fault and you can't sue him for it.")

Each of them signed a waiver and left it on the counter, and then began searching for something to do. Ino struck up a conversation of sorts with the Hitmonlee in the kitchen and set to helping it cook a midnight snack. Hinata was poked and prodded by two Wooper who refused to leave her alone, so began to play with them. Sasuke found a wandering Lairon and offered it a chance to battle with his Houndoom outside. Naruto played tag with a Pachirisu.

After finding bag of Pokemon food and filling three bowls she found randomly around the house, (and glancing at the TV and suddenly wondered how long it had been since she'd been able ot watch a movie) Sakura was left with no chores. The only Pokemon who were awake were occupied with her friends. She decided to go outside and see if Brisby needed any more help with his angry Flareon.

The door was cracked open slightly, and the rosette nudged it the rest of the way open. No people or Pokemon were outside…was her first thought. Then she saw movement across the street, some creature moving around in an alley between two electronics shops. A small Pokemon, no, two small Pokemon, and then a person. It kicked one of them, and the other was left stock-still and whimpering.

Sakura stormed out. "Hey, asshole! Get away from those Pokemon!" She jogged the rest of the way, as the person had spotted her.

She saw him reach for a Pokeball from his pocket. She could hear his voice, rasping, frightening: "Jade. Get rid of her."

Some sparking white matter from the ball formed into an Ivysaur. She almost stopped running because that thing had the creepiest grin, and it was charging straight towards her. It was an accomplice of the Pokemon abuser, Sakura told herself, and it was attacking a person. A law-breaker who hurt the innocent. It was perfectly appropriate to give in to a violent urge right now.

Sakura sped forward as the Ivysaur slung out its vines, and as she came close, kicked it in the face.

The Ivysaur skidded away with a harsh and pained cry and Sakura was upon the attacker. It was the painted man from Uronbo. Naruto had described him to her the day before. The green hair and the golden eyes and the black-and-whiteness of, of—

She was scared. Arceus, she was scared. But she strove forward anyway, aware of exactly how many bones she could break and where they were, and she aimed a punch at the man's chest. Something shattered under her fist, and the man whined like a wounded child. She hit him again, and he grabbed her hand on the third try. Crushed it. She saw his pupilless, inhuman eyes and was sure he would try to kill her.

So she fought. She shoved the man against the alley wall and bashed her head into his. The man grabbed at her arms and tried to crush them again, and then pulled one to his mouth and bit down. His teeth poked at her veins and then punctured one. She yelled and hit him in the stomach. He fell down, and her blood fell everywhere.

"Sakura!"

There was a fierce growling behind her and she turned towards it in fear: it was Hellfire, running towards her with her trainer sprinting behind. They both ran like Pokemon, no, like animals. Thinking of one thing and it had to be her.

"Fuck," groaned the man behind her. His arm lashed out to the left and she saw him grab one of the little Pokemon which had been ignored during their fight. Its companion screamed. The green-haired man pushed off the wall and ran down the alley in the opposite direction. Hellfire blurred past Sakura and chased him into the night. The Ivysaur followed, its vine slapping her on the shoulder as it passed.

She watched the train of runners go for only a second, and then was slammed from behind by a hot, heavy force that tried to completely envelope her. If she didn't see wisps of Sasuke's hair out of the corner of her eye, she would have elbowed the form with bone-breaking intent. "What happened?" he gasped. She had never heard Sasuke…gasp. Not like that.

"I'm not sure." she said. "I think…I think that man was trying to take both of these Pokemon. But he only got one. And he was from Uronbo, Sasuke. He attacked us."

He muttered something and pulled tighter around her. This meant Sasuke was hugging her and what the heck did that mean and was this a dream or the beginning of a fantasy or what. Had either one had such accurate depictions of what Sasuke felt like hugging her? Another person holding you so tight felt like this? This was nice. She was bleeding out of teeth holes in her arm, attacked by a murderer at three in the morning, but this was nice. Oh, just another five seconds. He was warm.

He was warm…but the Pokemon. Somehow, Sakura was only now hearing its desperate cries. Her stupid teenage fangasm had overridden her ability to hear a tiny creature crying. She pushed out of Sasuke's arms, grateful and not, and fell to her knees. The Pokemon was an Eevee, she saw. No, they had both been Eevees. This is the one that had been kicked. Sakura picked it up and it thrashed in her arms.

"No, no, stop. It's okay. You'll be all right."

"Eeeeeee!"

Sakura held the creature still. It clawed at her and cried, and slowly, slowly, its efforts died. It became limp in her arms from eartip to tailtip. Its eyes looked ahead. Its eyes looked like the purest form of sorrow. She could hear Naruto behind her, and felt his touch on her arm. She looked at him, and at Sasuke ('Both of them together with me, that's...that's comforting.' she thought.)

Sakura held the creature in her arms and stood up. Behind her was Sasuke, all her friends. Brisby and his Flareon and half a dozen other Pokemon. Brisby came up to her and asked what the hell had happened. Sakura related that she'd seen a man kicking two Eevees and was attacked when she tried to stop him. The man's identity, or what they knew of it, could come later. Right now, there was healing to do.

Speaking of healing, a Kadabra rudely pushed Ino and Sasuke out of the way and stood by her side. It held her injured arm—her numb arm, now—in both its paws, and hummed. The wound glowed faintly. The creature was using Recover…on her. How in the world…whatever. She thanked it deeply, but it stayed where it was.

No one else seemed ready to talk, so she began the chain reaction of everybody going back inside. As she walked, as Sasuke walked with her, she spoke to the Eevee. "What was that man doing to you? Can you tell me somehow?" No response. "Was he your trainer?" At this, the Eevee curled its lip and showed small fangs. Obviously not. But she ought to make sure.

She was guided to the same couch where Pokemon had been watching a movie before. She sat down and the Eevee stayed on her lap. Looking dead. "Eevee, who was the other Eevee with you? Your friend? Your mate?" It shook its head weakly at both of these. "Your sibling?" And here it whined. "Your…brother?" It whined again and pushed its claws into Sakura's skin, all despair.

The murderer had stolen this Eevee's brother. For Arceus knows what. "We know that man, Eevee. He attacked us not very long ago. We'll…" We'll what? We'll catch him? Arrest him? What had been their plan for dealing with the evil men from Uronbo, exactly? Why hadn't Sakura had her own plan ready? Since when didn't she have a plan?

Sasuke was sitting by her and she looked at him for help. If it took a murderer attacking her to make him do something nice to her, then...well, hopefully his good deeds wouldn't end now. "We're going to tell everyone about that man, Eevee." He said. His eyes were on Sakura, and not the small Pokemon. "Him and his comrades are killers. If we hadn't been so tired when we came into town earlier, we would have reported what happened. And I can't fucking believe we went walking around town when we should have been telling the police about the Akatsuki being on the move. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm having Brisby tell me where the police station is. And your brother will be saved one day."

Hellfire came up to us and stuck her nose in the Eevee's face. It reared up and tossed its head, like it had been scared out of a sound sleep. The visual was quite adorable. Hellfire rumbled something in her Pokemon language to the Eevee, something that kept it enraptured and then made an impossible smile sprout and blossom on its face. It twisted its head up at Sakura and smiled more. Happiness. Out of nowhere. It squeezed her arm and then twisted around to press its head into her breast.

"So…something good happened?" Sakura murmured. Hellfire nodded. Through the usual trial-and-error translation of a Pokemon's talk, Sasuke and Sakura deduced that the stolen Eevee had escaped his captor. It had run into a clothing store and run up a vent like a clever Rattata. Also, Hellfire had set the man's arm on fire with an Ember attack before she he somehow managed to evade her.

"So his brother's out and free." Sasuke concluded. Eevee whined happily and tiny tears formed in its eyes, joyful at last. It remained in Sakura's lap.

"Eevee, uhm. You're free to go now. I won't force you to stay. You can go find your brother." Sakura said, but the Eevee wouldn't move. "I'm a trainer, you know. If you go with me, you kind of have to follow me everywhere." Eevee made a noise that sounded a little sarcastic. Sakura imagined it as a "well, is that so." "Well…that's cool. I have an Eevee now. My mom's gonna be pretty jealous when I call her about it."

"I think Ino will be pretty jealous," Sasuke remarked. They both laughed a little while the Eevee settled into a comfortable and almost noble-looking position to sleep on her lap. And then silence. More silence. Holy cow, silence.

Obviously he wasn't going to bring it up. Can't expect too much from Sasuke the Non-Verbose. "Thanks for the concern outside."

"I wanted to." He said. Shortly. And then, "I was worried for you. You disappeared from my sight."

The last three words were like a flawless chord of music to Sakura's ears. But she quickly smashed her inner entranced listener. No more mindless, thoughtless romantics. Sasuke was just a boy she knew, she reminded herself. He's just like Naruto, like Lee, like Neji. "Since when does that matter to you? I probably disappear from your sight twenty times a day."

"Not when you're supposed to be around me. And not when I can see a man attacking you. If Hellfire hadn't gotten to you first, I would have beaten that fucker's head into the wall."

Right. Romantics, gone. "That's…nice? Should I be charmed, Sasuke? Usually I'm not worth your time. But I guess nearly being killed is just enough for me to deserve your saintly presence."

His chin was balanced in his hand at the moment, covering his mouth slightly, so all she could see of his facial reaction was a huge widening of his eyes, almost Naruto-like. But his voice as like Hinata's: almost unheard. "That's not true."

"Yes, it is." She snapped back. "I can count on my fingers the times in my life when you decided I'm cool enough or strong enough for you to talk to me. I've always thought if I could live up to your expectations, in academics, in battling, in being pretty enough, in every possible field, then I'd be truly perfect. And if I was perfect, you'd care about me."

"I bring you into everything important." He replied back, all smooth. "I asked for your help when Thorn's children needed to be given away. You were with me when Night was evolving. You ripped that redheaded freak girl off me in Haru-kishi and you're around me all the time so I can know what to do and where to go. I don't 'care' about you, Sakura? Bullshit."

She thought that he would have gone even further had a Tauros not run through the room, bellowing and shaking the floor. Half a dozen other Pokemon followed. Ino was at the rear of the party, her purple camisole a little ruffled from running about. "You guys, Naruto's organizing this…battle.." She had noticed the Eevee. "Did…is that the Pokemon that didn't get stolen?"

Sakura smiled. "Yup. And Hellfire told us that the other Eevee escaped after all."

"You've gotta be kidding me." Ino hissed. "First you steal my Sentret and now you get an Eevee. What the hell. Sakura, I'll trade you for him. Anything."

"I don't think so."

Ino stood silently, staring at the quiet and still perfectly postured Eevee. "Well…well, what are you guys doing all alone? Oh, this can't be what I think it is. You know what—shut up. I don't give a crap. Naruto and Mr. Brisby are organizing this big battle thing. We're gonna borrow a Pokemon from the Daycare and battle with them instead of our own Pokemon. Brisby says come out or he's firing you." And she stormed away.

They had a gracious five seconds of silence again before Sakura stood up. The Eevee jumped out of her lap and stood ready to walk at her side, paw elegantly held out before him. Sakura didn't know what to say, so fell back on…something. "Any closing comments before we go out?"

"I suck at getting my intentions across." Sasuke murmured into his hand. He stood up, too. "So here's what I always intended and always thought. I like you, Sakura, and I probably wouldn't say this if the others were around, but I depend on you sometimes. And however much of a douchebag you think I am, that much is true."

And then he waited. Sakura still did not know what to say. But her thoughts seemed mostly positive, (and her feelings…well, unreliable) so she decided to take a small risk. She held out her hand. "Fine. I trust you. Let's go outside, all right?" And he took her hand. Arceus above.

"Yes."

666

Didn't mean for it to be this long…or to have that SasuSaku fight/makeup/acceptance/? at the end. But there we are! Don't think this makes the story officially SasuSaku, though. I'm kinda keeping the door open for MultiSaku...kinda...some...shut up.

Comments? Yes. One: I hope I captured the whole "enchantment of a big city" emotion well enough. That part worried me a bit, since personally big cities tend to intimidate or even disgust me with what you can find in them. Two: God frigging dangit Hinata's egg was supposed to hatch this chapter! DX We're like five minutes away from when it happens and I could write it but I have to go to sleep for an early class tomorrow! Curses! Three: Lol, Kung Fu Ursaring! Well, Kung Fu Spinda was also an option, but Spinda is a rather small Pokemon, and the main character of Kung Fu Panda is noticeably larger than most of his fellows sooo Kung Fu Ursaring it is.

Lastly, I dedicate this chapter to loyal fan, "Blow0Me", who has reviewed every single chapter of Pathway and even drawn me a fanart, which you can find on my profile. My reviews for Pokemon Time! are coming soon, do you hear me!

Btw, for those of you interested, my next published work will probably be a SasoSaku oneshot prize for Thirrin73, who won my Halloween contest. It's quite a fluffy story c:

Ta…Storm