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The night sunk heavy over Konoha, bathing the village in a dome of black streaked with the remnants of clouds from earlier that day; the moon, with its silvery eye, a judging figure over all who strolled in its pallid glow. Nearing the dead of night, many of the inhabitants were tucked safely away in their homes – apparent through the warm glow ushering out a few windows scattered across the distance. Though a slumber settled heavy, a few occupants were still out and about, and Hattori Shimada was one of those awake.

Eleven at night seemed like an issue with others, having to stay aroused throughout the lure of sleep pressing on the back of eyelids, but Shimada never slept well when the sun fell. Though an exhaustion rested within her soul that sleep would never cure, the young kunoichi did not mind the late hours, and even welcomed the drowsiness that came with it. It proved a challenge to keep herself alert with the very few who had the hours to patrol the village at the same time. Situated up near the front gate, Shimada paced the length of village assigned to her, spotting not much but a few dark houses and the stray cat or two hissing under the moonlight. Bathed in the illumination brought on by the milky orb strung high above the sky, her skin was bathed an anemic shade of white; bloody hair a silvery red in the light.

She stopped in her responsibility of patrol to peer up at the blanketed sky, and narrowed her eyes at the moon. Slivered like a crooked smile hanging on the edge of the world. Her thin lips pulled up into a humorless smirk. ”At least the moon’s good company. Not like I need it much anyway…” Her voice trailed off, unsure of what she had been trying to imply. Perhaps the exhaustion was finally getting to her, somewhere – she guessed – around one or two in the morning, but it had been her consent that led her to the task of patrol near the wide front gates; closed shut for the night. When her name had been pulled for patrol duty, Shimada had not refused. Grateful, she might have even thought, when she accepted the responsibility placed upon her by the village’s shorthandedness. There was too many a night’s rest when she had twisted in the grasp of nightmares only to wake up and find, to her demise, it was still dark out and sleep had done little to revive vitality. This mission would be just what she needed to keep her mind off other matters.

Quietly, the woman slipped through the shadows and past planes of sunken moonlight. Eyes darting for any sign of trouble or scene that would alert her to danger. She scanned the empty streets, and only paused when a sound reached her; one that was familiar yet formless. Shimada swiveled her gaze around, considering it to be a local street cat, but she was too stubborn to pass it by her as a pesky feline, and stalked towards the origin of the noise. Desiring nothing more than to ensure her ears were correct. Shimada peered between an alley conjoined by two buildings, keeping the front gates in sight, and narrowed her eyes through the gloom of shadows. The kunoichi strained to pick out any shapes within the area the moon ominously refused to touch.

“What the-?” Her murmured words were cut off by the hissing of a cat, and she barely managed to back away when the hidden feline came bolting out. A paw raised to slash at her, but missing due to the distance in proximity Shimada provided. It was a mangy creature with black fur splotched in white spots, and the Hattori, realizing herself to be in its territory, moved away without further confrontation.

”Aggressive cat.” She muttered pliantly under her breath, steps carrying her slowly back to the posted spot by the gates.
Fighting back a yawn, the woman just regained the normal patrol route she had installed for herself that night when a black form flickered in her peripheral vision. ’If it’s that damn cat again, I got out of its way. I swear if it wants to pick a fight…’ She cut her thoughts off short as the shaded figure pressed closer into view, sticking to the shadows, but tall enough for her to know it was a person. A short one at that. A thin eyebrow arched over her eye at the pathetic attempt of the person’s display at being concealed, and she, in her impatience, projected her voice towards them. ”Hey, you. Yeah, hiding in the shadows. Step out and walk towards me.” Shimada watched closely the figure that approached, and much to her displeasure, observed that it was nothing more than a young Academy student. Breaking curfew and going about the village in the dead of night. Her face kept passive, she gestured for the young child to approach.

In the moonlight, she saw it was a boy with a head full of scruffy dark hair and a face held in an expression of guilt. His clothes rumpled as if he had tripped and fell somewhere during his exposition through the area in the cover of darkness. Sighing, masking the disappointment in her voice, the Hattori crossed her arms across her slender chest and kept her eyes locked onto the boy’s dark ones. He was not going anywhere from her sight.
”You’re way out past your curfew, you know that? You’re lucky it was me you ran into because I can’t say my colleagues patrolling out around the village right now would be as lenient seeing you. Care to explain why you thought you could get past a trained kunoichi?” The crimson haired woman paused to hear any words from the Academy student, but when he refused to speak, to open his mouth and comply, she merely shrugged her shoulders. ”Alright, not going to speak? Fine, I can work with that. Keep your silence and I’ll keep mine so long as you turn back right now and head home. I wonder what your parents would think if I informed them I found their son sneaking around past curfew tonight.” To her success, the boy’s face paled considerably, and she relaxed her tensed posture as he immediately whirled around. Oblivious to the smug grin threatening to crack through her apathetic guise. Parents seemed to work every time.

Taking the moment to ensure the Academy student was gone, Shimada slumped up against one of the large gates and did not hide the yawn that broke from her lips. About five or so more hours of this and she could head back home. Her narrow features wanted to transform into an expression of anticipation.

What was a few more hours to a whole day’s worth of sleep?


Mission Word Count: 1161 - 1000 = 161

Remaining: 161


Patrol Duty [C-Rank | Repeatable | No Kill | Solo] U93qP7G

"The world is cruel and bitter, and offers you no guarantee for a future.
If I had my way, I'd just want to sleep forever... but where's the fun in that?"

| Shimada | Hattori | Jutsu | Locker | Plot | Personal Theme | Battle Theme |

| D - 1 | C - 2 | B - 0 | A - 0 | S - 0 | SS - 0 |

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Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden belong to © Masashi Kishimoto.