written by A. E. Stover
this version is not edited

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Saturday, 6 October 20128:25 AM

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“The next time we come here,” Sakura spoke, her muffled voice sounding from inside the van, “<i>I’m</i> driving.” The passenger door opened and Sakura pushed herself off the seat and onto the ground. Her face was scrunched up and she looked a little green.

If we come back,” Sasuke corrected as he emerged from the vehicle. He pinched the bridge of his nose with one hand and rubbed at his temples with the other. He slid the side door shut and sighed, leaning against it.

“Stop whining ― we got here didn’t we?” Naruto demanded, crossing his arms over his chest. “Can’t a guy get any credit?” He looked at his friends who were both leaning against the side of the car and looking as if they had just gotten off one heck of a roller coaster. Their hair stuck out in weird places and their faces were rather pale and haggard-looking.

All in all, they looked like crap.

“C’mon ― there are trees to climb and apples to pick,” Naruto declared before running off in a random direction up the side of the orchard grounds.

With a heavy sigh, Sasuke pulled out the small bundle of plastic bags he had received from the orchard workers on their way into the orchards and tried unsuccessfully in his disoriented state to peel them apart.

Sakura snatched the plastic bags from Sasuke and tore two of them from the bundle. “Here,” she said stiffly, forcing them into Sasuke’s calloused hands and stuffing the rest into the front pouch of her red sweatshirt. “Go suffocate him to death and bring his head back to me,” she said bitterly, tying her messy hair back and throwing her hood over her head.

Sasuke shrugged indifferently and watched the female of their group crawl back into the van. The door slid shut with a mechanic swoosh and locked in place. Sasuke walked in the direction where Naruto took off, shoved his hands into the pockets of his navy parka, and sighed heavily.

It was gonna be a long day.

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