The streets were not as busy as they usually were, but there was always someone you were guaranteed to find lingering around.
"Another bowl for me, please!" Naruto Uzumaki shouted to the Ramen Guy, holding his fifth bowl up in front of him before piling it with the other ones.
Hinata Hyuga, who was sitting on the seat next to him smiled slightly, blushing bright red.
Naruto then stopped and thought, "Oh, sorry, I forgot to ask. Do you want another one, Hinata?"
She shook her head, taking another mouthful if her ramen, before whispering, "This is plenty for me...thank you Naruto."
The couple had been seeing each other for a while now, and they are known in the village to be pretty close knit. And they were happy spending their every day with each other.
"Huh, at long last...a proper date." a gruff voice chuckled from behind the couple.
When the two of them turned around, they spotted Kiba Inuzuka grinning at them ear to ear leaning on Akamaru, his pet dog.
This time it was Naruto's turn to blush, as he turned back round to devour the ramen in front of him, "N..no, we just decided to have lunch together...I guess."
"Oh, Ok..." Kiba muttered, scratching his nose gently, "More or less a date. I mean come on, it's about time. You've been spending a lot of time together lately."
"Ha, unlike you and Reika." Naruto grinned, tipping the bowl into his mouth.
Kiba hesitated for a second before shouting, "Yeah! But you know Reika has been away forever now, and it's not like I will see her again, and...ah...just...shut up!" he kept stuttering. Not a day goes by without him thinking of Reika at least for a few minutes. She keeps promising she would return one day, but as the months draw by, Kiba's hopes dip lower and lower.
A gust of wind blew into the ramen joint, and along with it, a piece of paper blew onto the counter.
"Huh? What's this?" Naruto wondered, picking up the oddly colourful piece of paper and examining it closely, "A...Akatsuki...Circus?!"
The other two looked at the poster in shock, both of them feeling a little confused about what Naruto had just read.
"Haha, very funny." Kiba laughed sarcastically, snatching the piece of paper away from Naruto and reading it for himself. Then his grin left his face, when he too read the same title, "What is this? A scam?" he was about to screw up the piece of paper when two more people appeared.
"What's a scam? Is Ino selling trashy flowers or something?" Kaze Hatake asked, walking down the street with Sasuke Uchiha. Kiba showed them the piece of paper and Kaze struggled to hide her laughter, "Wow that really is a scam. And a pretty funny one at that. Oh, God this is priceless! Sasuke, we have to go!" she tugged on the neck of Sasuke's top and put on a begging face, "Please?"
Sasuke did not take his hands out of his pockets, and normally he was pretty immune to begging faces, but something about this circus was really interesting him. So he closed his eyes and sighed, "Fine."
"SWEET!" Kaze fist pumped the air and latched onto Sasuke in a playful hug, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"But..." Sasuke continued, trying to prise Kaze off him, "As long as we can get a group of us to go."
"Leave that to me!" Naruto declared, pointing at himself, "I'll just get a bunch of people and get them to bring their dates with them, if they have them. If not, they can just go on their own like little losers."
"Hey! That's a bit harsh!" Kiba snapped, looking a little peeved, "At least Reika is gonna be there."
Everyone went quiet at Kiba's outburst, making him get a little embarrassed which did not suit the normally confident Inuzuka.
"Well, that settles it then. We can invite Sakura, Lee, Kakashi, Faith, Iruka, Hope, Sai, Ino, Shikamaru, Temari, Choji, Karui, Kankuro, Yuuko, Gaara, Akemi and...and..." Naruto started pointing at each of his fingers for each of the names he mentioned, along with their suitable partners.
"Or we can just show it to everyone in the village." Sasuke suggested, picking up the poster and chucking it at Naruto, "I think it would be easier that way. Besides, how are we supposed to invite those from a different village?" he turned around and trailed away, Kaze still at his side.
"Lord Kazekage?" Akemi went to one knee in front of Gaara, "What is it you summoned me for and wish to speak of?"
Gaara turned around to face the icy girl and put on a small smile, before he allowed her to take his hand and rise to her feet again, "Lady Korikage. It's about the alliance between our villages. There is still an unsteady bond between us both."
Akemi nodded slowly, "But the trust. It's coming back slowly. It's just going to take time. As we speak, more and more of my people are willing to accept the alliance. Yours doing the same?"
He nodded, not taking his hands away from hers. They both continued to gaze into each other's eyes. Since the two villages began to accept each other more, the relationship between the two Kages continued to grow and bloom. But it was only on rare occasions they could meet up, because of the continuous work in their own villages. So they tried to treasure each time they do see each other, and make the most of it.
Neither of them were very good at the whole 'romantic moment' but at times like this, there was definitely something there. As the two moved closer into an embrace, there was a sudden crash and two people burst through the doors.
"Milady! You have got to see this!" a tall, masked Black Op woman squealed holding up a crumpled piece of paper in front of them.
The other, a male, coughed at the amount of dust that spewed out after the doors opened, "Yuuko! What have I told you about interrupting a meeting that is in progress?!"
A vein popped out of Yuuko's head and she turned to face him, "Oh lighten up Kankuro! This is a matter of utmost importance. An opportunity we cannot miss!"
Both Yuuko and Kankuro glared at each other for a few seconds, before turning to the two Kages, who were both still in an embrace, but shocked with the sudden appearance.
"Uh, did we miss something?" Yuuko asked, going slightly red.
"Oh, crap, slightly awkward." Kankuro muttered.
Gaara and Akemi immediately moved away from each other and tried to pretend nothing happened.
"No, Yuuko, we were just, uh, in the middle of a discussion." Akemi replied, sweating slightly.
"Hm, a pretty intimate one." Yuuko replied, squinting her eyes.
Akemi sweat dropped, "Hm...so, what is it you wanted to show me?" she quickly changed the topic.
Yuuko looked a little confused until she remembered, "Oh, yeah! There a circus coming soon. An Akatsuki one! How neat does that sound?"
Both Akemi and Gaara looked at the poster, rather startled at whom was running the circus.
"...wow..." Akemi blurted out, going silent for a few seconds, before bursting out laughing along with Yuuko, "This, I've gotta see for myself!" she declared, "You're gonna go, right Yuuko?"
"For sure. I was gonna go with Kankuro." she slipped her arm into his.
"Y...you were?" Kankuro asked, surprised with the sudden change in plans.
Akemi sighed, "Well in that case, Gaara-sama?"
Unlike Kankuro, Gaara was not one who could be easily manipulated, "You need to remember they are still the Akatsuki. They could be up to something."
Luckily, Akemi was pretty smart with words, "And we'll be there to find out what it is."
Gaara knew he was not going to get out of this, "Fine..." he replied, "But my reputation as Kazekage had better not be affected."
"The only reputation that will be ruined will be their's. Along with their dignity." Akemi laughed, before heading for the door, "I'll see if Eirwyn and my brother want to come along too. But for now, I had better get going back to my village."
"Aw man." Yuuko groaned, "But we just got here."
Akemi put her hands on her hips, "And now we're going." she demanded, pulling her Korikage attire back on and heading out the doors, leaving Kankuro and Gaara behind.
"The things I do for Yuuko. I really dunno what I see in that girl." Kankuro muttered, watching as Yuuko and Akemi disappeared back to their village.