About halfway to Iron Country, Itachi spotted a relatively safe-looking area in the trees.
He held up his hand, signaling a halt. "We will stop here for the night."
They dropped down from the thick branches in the canopy of the trees to the dirt forest floor. Sakura dropped her pack at the base of a tree, and the others quickly followed.
"I will go secure the perimeter. Sasuke, start a fire. Naruto, begin gathering more firewood. Sakura, please begin dinner." Itachi gave his orders and then disappeared from sight to secure the perimeter.
"What am I? A housewife?" Sakura mumbled to herself. Naruto and Sasuke jumped into action, and she began her way to a river she had sighted about a half a mile back.
It was a tedious half an hour, waiting for fish to swim into the grasp of her open hand. The clear, cool river tempted Sakura to just dive in and enjoy herself, but she was providing dinner for four impatient men, and couldn't afford to be a nuisance. After seven relatively large fish were as dead as could be, Sakura headed back to camp.
The fire was roaring, and Naruto was steadily building a large pile of wood to last throughout the entire night. Itachi sat at the base of a tree, his hands locked in a seal and his eyes closed. He was most likely sending a report to Tsunade.
Sakura grabbed some twigs and impaled the fish, then carefully positioned them around the fire to cook. As a ninja, there wasn't much to eat whilst in the forest, but fish was definitely one of the better options.
As Sakura was losing her focus in the fire, Itachi was suddenly next to her, towering over her crouched form.
He looked at her form. "Sakura-san, may I talk to you about something private for a moment?"
She gave him a curious look, but nodded her consent. He turned to walk away, and she followed closely behind. Sasuke and Naruto shot concerned looks to each other. What were those two doing?
They stopped once they were a safe distance from camp so the other two wouldn't be able to hear.
"What's the matter, Itachi-san?"
He looked deep into Sakura's eyes. "Sakura-san, I-" He sighed. "I have a personal problem that I believe you can help me with."
Sakura gave him a confused look. "Like a medical problem?" He nodded. She looked down and thought for a moment. And then it dawned on her. "It's your bloodline limit, isn't it?" He nodded. "Well, you've certainly come to the right person. I've been wanting to study this for months."
He nodded. "But I do not want my problem to be known by anyone. No one must know my eyes are in less than perfect condition."
Her eyebrows furrowed. "Not even your family?" He shook his head. "Not even Sasuke?" He shook his head again. "Hmm. Alright. I suppose I can start on them tonight if you wish-"
"Do not waste your energy, I believe it can wait until we return to the village." She nodded.
He hesitated. He opened his mouth as if to say something when there was a large explosion coming from the camp. They looked to each other, both with surprise in their eyes, and ran as fast as they could.
They both sensed enormous chakra singatures, and drew kunai as they reached camp.
The sight that greated them was not a pleasant one. Naruto was certainly not in top shape, and Sasuke was fairing just as badly. Both of the boys were covered in large gashes, facing one opponent.
The opponent in question was as tall as Naruto, with white hair and glasses. His purple outfit not making him inconspicuous either (Not that Naruto's typical outfit was any better).
Itachi appeared in front of Naruto and Sasuke, acting as a barrier.
"Who are you?" Itachi asked, impassively
Their oponent smiled, as if there was something funny. "Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Sasuke together in one place. How...convenient."
Itachi chose that moment to strike, slicing the man's stomach with a kunai, and bounding away. When Kabuto glared up at him, he was caught in Itachi's illusions and fell to the ground, unconcious.
Sakura immediately ran forward and began healing Naruto, as she knew Sasuke would be too proud to be healed first.
Itachi went over to the unconcious man and bound his hands together in front of his body, facing palm to palm to prevent him from performing any seals. He dragged the man in front of the fire in the middle of their camp so everyone would be able to keep watch on him.
Sakura was just finishing healing Sasuke when Itachi spoke.
"I believe it's clear there needs to be a change of plans." All three of them nodded in aggreement.
"Naruto and Sasuke, you will take this man back to Konoha for imprisonment and interrogation. Do not let him out of your sight for any reason."
Sasuke backed away from Sakura when she was finished with him. "Aniki, are you sure you and Sakura can handle bringing the Daimyou back alone?"
He put his hand on top of Sasuke's head. "Do not worry Sasuke, Sakura and I are perfectly capable to bring the Daimyou back. It is your responsibility to see that we find out why this man attacked us."
Sasuke nodded. "Dobe, are you capable of leaving now?"
Naruto scoffed. "Only if you can handle it!"
Sakura shook her head. It was always a competition.
Naruto slung the man over his shoulder. He and Sasuke gave her a reassuring look that they were okay, and started off back towards Konoha.
Leaving her and Itachi... alone.