Chapter Forty Seven ~ Lecture

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I twisted the knob and pulled at the door just as someone from the other side slammed it open.

I side stepped to avoid collision with the bright blonde haired boy bounding out the door in a rush. After a moment, to make sure that no one was chasing after him, I made an entrance, scanning the room before mildly asking, "I'm guessing he didn't take the news too well?"

A somber silence followed before an older looking frog spoke. "He really loved our Jiriyah boy, he did."

After a moment, I cleared my throat, breaking the silence; I hadn't been summoned for reminiscing or grieving, after all. I could feel Kakashi giving me a pointed look and mentally gave him the middle finger before looking specifically at Tsunade for my instructions.

"I was summoned," I stated, to move things along faster.

Tsunade cleared her throat. "Yes. The Sannin-- Lord Jiraiya-- has fallen. He was investigating extremely important and sensitive material. Before he fell, he left us one last message. We believe the information decoded could be vital to our success in the fight against the akatsuki."

"And you brought me here to decode the message." I stated.

"With a team of intelligence shinobi, headed by Shikamaru, yes." Tsunade replied. "Meet him at code deciphering headquarters to see what he wants you to do."

"Roger that," I said, and spun on my heel to walk out the door. Once I was outside, I turned around expectantly, just knowing that Kakashi wouldn't be able to resist a lecture."What is it, Kakashi?"

"I asked you to be understanding, and you agreed. Can you not empathize with other people? Or at least pretend to?" Kakashi asked, clearly irritated.

I didn't respond. I didn't need to explain to him that I really did not care that Jirayah was dead. Sure, it was a loss to the village, but personally? Personally, I didn't really give a shit. I had been given my orders, and I would complete them.

"Imagine," Kakashi said hesitantly, something akin to hope in his eye, "imagine if it were Aisa."

That got my attention. Of course it did; if anyone threatened my team and followed through on said threat; I would look bad.

I turned to him, eyes wide, and slowly uttered, "What?" My tone should have been enough to stop him from pursuing this line of confrontation, but he seemed to be ignoring the message.

"Imagine if Aisa died," Kakashi pressed on, voice still hesitant but growing stronger. "How would you feel? Naruto has every right to mourn."

I shook my head. "I wouldn't let Aisa die. His death would just be too troublesome."

Kakashi's eye narrowed at that. "You wouldn't let Aisa die?" He repeated slowly.

"I know you're getting old for a shinobi, Kakashi, but c'mon, your hearing is just fine," I snapped back.

"If you had to choose," Kakashi continued slowly, ignoring my jibe, "Between Aisa and Kento, or Aisa and Michiko, who would you choose?"

"I assume you mean the one I won't choose will die?" I questioned. Kakashi nodded. "Well, I would save them both. But," I added when he opened his mouth to argue, "If I truly had to choose, of course I would choose Aisa."

I said it without hesitation, without guilt, without a second of indecisiveness; just as I had been taught.

"And you don't feel as though there's any favoritism going on here on this team? No... conflict of interest?" Kakashi challenged.

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