|The Haunted Portrait
Author: JanuaryEclipses PM
[SasuSaku] Of all the things Sakura thought she’d be, she never thought she would be stalked.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Romance - Words: 6,981 - Reviews: 136 - Favs: 480 - Follows: 45 - Published: 10-31-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3223181
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: Yay! This is my Halloween special! It just kinda popped into my mind one night and voila!
Title: The Haunted Portrait
Rating: T (or PG-13)
Summary: Of all the things Sakura thought she'd be, she never thought she would be stalked.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, but the plot is mine!
Sakura had always liked Sasuke. Always pined after him only to be turned down again and again. However, she had finally gotten over him about six months ago, and had been leading a happy, non-Sasuke life, until two days after she made her "No more Sasuke-kun" announcement. He had done the evilest, most vile thing she could ever think of him doing in the history of forever.
He asked her out.
She had blinked at him, said, "Okay" and then realized her entire resolve was broken.
But she needed him. She felt empty when he wasn't around. It was only later she realized she had never really gotten over him. In fact, in the six months they had been dating, she learned a few things about her Sasuke-kun.
He didn't like sweets. Which, for her, wasn't a huge shocker. She loved sweets, but he just never looked like a sweets person. In fact, give him a basket of tomatoes and he'd be busy all afternoon. Try to take one of the said tomatoes away, however, and it was the equivalent of signing a death wish.
The man had no modesty whatsoever. They were only eighteen, but he had an amazing body that most girls would kill for. She supposed that's why she sometimes got threatening notes in her mailbox that told her to 'Get away from Sasuke-kun or else!' Naturally, she brushed it off. It was probably from one of his fangirls, none of which had become serious ninja. But that's off topic. Sasuke could just take off his shirt in front of a crowd as easily as he could drive a kunai into someone's neck. He knew what he did to women—especially what he did to his girlfriend, as that body had often been extremely persuasive—and used it to his advantage.
He was very, very possessive. If someone touched her and they were not the Rookie Nine or on Gai's old team, they would get pummeled into the ground. If someone looked at her wrong, then they received a Sharingan glare and were sent images of their own deaths. Men literally wet their pants after one of these occurrences, and therefore not too many men messed with Sakura. Not only that, but the kunoichi had the strength of the Hokage and could punch you right through the Hokage mountain from the other side of the city.
It was on a particular occurrence, in fact, that she managed to do just that.
"Sasuke-kun, what am I going to do with you?"
Sakura resumed walking down the street, people backing off instantly at one glance at the man by her side. The crowd had dispersed, and old women were talking about the Uchiha's latest victim. People looked in their direction, staring at the two legendary ninjas. One of them had been trained by the Hokage herself, and the other had killed not only Uchiha Itachi, but the remainder of the Akatsuki while he was at it. They were both strong, mentally and physically, and they had tempers to match. Dead was the man that touched Haruno Sakura, whether by her fist or his. "He was only looking, you know."
The hand that was around her waist tightened, bringing her further against him. The ANBU captain smirked when the woman beside him squeaked in surprise. No matter how many times he had kissed her, or held her, or did anything to her for that matter, she still blushed every time.
"He needs to know his boundaries."
"You didn't have to make him cry!"
He looked down into her eyes, and gave her an amused smirk. "Believe me, he was lucky."
Somehow, Sakura believed it.
Sakura looked away from her boyfriend to look at a blonde nin. Uzumaki Naruto was walking beside his fiancée, Hinata, who was currently smiling at something. Hinata had grown her hair longer, and it now reached the middle of her back. She had kept the bangs though.
"Naruto! I thought you weren't going to be back until next week!" Sakura exclaimed.
"Nah, easy mission. Tsunade has been giving me easier ones all the time, she's out to get me in her old age." He laughed and put his hands behind his head. "So I saw some dude run off crying, I'm guessing that was your doing?" He gave an amused glance over to his former teammate, who rolled his eyes in a "no duh" fashion. Somehow, Naruto had always thought it was funny that Sasuke was such a jealous type. As soon as he said this, however, he had gotten decked upon the head.
Sakura went over to Hinata, and began to discuss the upcoming wedding. Hinata wanted Sakura to be maid of honor, and the woman had rapidly agreed. The best man was going to be Sasuke, that much was obvious to anyone.
"Hey, Hinata and I were about to get ramen. Wanna come?" Naruto asked. "We'll double date." He winked at his girlfriend, who immediately blushed.
Sasuke and Sakura looked at each other. "Why not?"
Hinata and Sakura strayed a little in front of the two men on their journey to Ichiraku, having finally had the chance to have a girl talk for the first time in a long time. Occasionally, they would look over their shoulders at their men, and then go back to whispering and giggling like schoolgirls. All the boys could do was raise their eyebrows and glance at each other with mirrored images of confusion. Women…
Sakura's head snapped to the sound, only to find herself facing a tourist, camera poised. He didn't look like a tourist, but she was absolutely certain that she had never seen him in Konoha before, so he must have been. Looking in the other direction, the kunoichi found herself facing in the direction of the Hokage Mountain. Putting two and two together, she figured out what happened.
"I'm really sorry sir!" Sakura said. "We didn't know you were taking pictures."
"It's all right." The man said smiling. "I would rather have a pretty lady like you in the picture rather than a plain mountain."
Sakura thought he was being rather forward for someone she had just met, and apparently Sasuke did too. She could just barely see him slowly activating his bloodline limit.
The man's smile increased. "In fact, why don't you let me treat you to lunch? It's the least you could do after ruining a good photo."
She could tell he was joking about the ruined photograph, but the lunch offer was a serious gesture. "I'm very sorry," she said. "I've already made plans."
He looked over at the rest of the group and shrugged, "They can come too."
At this point, Sasuke was having to be restrained by Naruto, almost to the point of pinning him to the ground. The Sharingan was, at this point, very noticeable, and spectators who usually stayed to watch the Uchiha claim another victim were scampering as far as they could with their figurative tails in between their legs.
It wasn't until the man casually threw an arm around her shoulders and whispered something in her ear that the Avenger really erupted.
Sasuke threw Naruto brutally off of his back and was at Sakura's side in a minute. With one finger, the man had been shoved backwards a good twenty feet, his brown hair now rustled.
"She's taken." Sasuke's voice was dangerously low. It was the kind of low that he used to use talking about Itachi. He grabbed the medic's arm before tugging her none too gently towards Ichiraku. Naruto and Hinata were left to catch up with them, although from the looks of it, they were straying behind to give the other couple a little alone time. Or perhaps to have some alone time of their own…
The Jounin took her straight past the ramen shop and pulled her into the alley beside it. Pinning her against the wall, he put his hands on either side of her head, caging her in. Sasuke's face leaned down close to hers, and Sakura gulped.
"You can…uh…deactivate the Sharingan now." At this moment, Sakura pitied his enemies. This wasn't a man you wanted after you.
The crimson slowly faded to black, his expression unchanging. "You should have punched him to Suna."
"He was just a tourist, Sasuke-kun! He didn't know better!"
He arched a well-shaped eyebrow. "Are you just saying that so I won't kill him later?"
"It's not going to work."
He was kissing her hungrily, pulling her against him fully. Sakura moaned a little, and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him back. Sure he was fast. Sure he was strong. But that did not even compare to this. Uchiha Sasuke was a damn good kisser!
Breaking apart, he put his forehead against hers. A few minutes passed where Sakura focused on calming her racing heartbeat. "If I see him again, I'm going to kill him."
She smiled. "Relax. I'm all yours."
He growled possessively, and claimed her lips once more.
That night, Sakura sat on her couch working on paperwork for the hospital. She was in her favorite red pajamas with white cherry blossoms covering it. It was an excellent quality silk, made from the most artistic of weavers in Silk Country. It was her favorite because Sasuke had given it to her.
Papers were scattered in a mess over her coffee table, and there was a mug filled with black tea in one corner. She just knew, that with her luck, it would spill everywhere given the slightest movement. Late night television was on, and she was just about to watch a romance/comedy movie coming on. The medic had no doubt she'd get to see the entire thing because of all the dumb paperwork. Tsunade gave her a lot of the medical files to deal with. Probably so the Hokage didn't have to deal with them herself.
Beginning to look through medical charts and signing papers of health, she didn't realize she was halfway through the movie until a short intermission had come on. It was one-thirty in the morning, and Sakura got up to make herself more caffeinated tea. She'd need it for tonight.
Stretching first, she went into the kitchen and put on her teakettle. Yawning a bit and rubbing her sleeping eyes, she reached into her cabinet to pull out the tea. Wait a minute…it was right here where she last left it. Searching around a bit more, she finally settled on peach tea when all her searches failed. Peach tea didn't have caffeine though, so she was likely to be three times as tired for the remainder of the night.
The kunoichi's head snapped up when she saw movement from outside her kitchen window. Grabbing a knife from one of her drawers, she hesitantly opened it. Sakura's apartment was on the third story. The only people that could come up this far were ninjas. Probably enemy since a Leaf ninja would have used the front door.
Creeping the window open, she hesitantly looked outside. The window was too small to climb through, but perfect for throwing a knife at someone. A silhouette was pictured on the branch outside, and she tensed. The figure came closer…and closer…until Sakura found herself staring directly into the face of…
She laughed quietly at her own stupidity and fed the poor creature a few peanuts she had on hand. Shaking her head, she prepared her tea after putting the stainless steel knife back in its proper place. Picking up her mug and grabbing a few nutter butters, she turned to return to her late night movie.
Suddenly, there was a flash from her window. Sakura's ninja instincts kicked in before she dropped everything in hand and raced to the window, powering a minimal amount of chakra into her arm for precaution. She moved quickly as she opened the window and leapt out on the fire escape, her senses on high alert for any unfamiliar chakra.
She frowned. Nothing.
Not one trace of chakra anywhere, it was like the person had just disappeared into thin air. No one could move that fast. Well, no one besides Sasuke and Lee, and neither of those two options made sense. Sasuke would have used the door, not have tried to freak her out, and Lee was one of her closest friends, and she knew him well. He just wouldn't do such a thing. Besides, both were probably asleep at this hour.
Climbing back into her apartment and shutting the window, she shook her head to calm some nerves. It wasn't until she rounded the couch and saw the brown liquid staining her carpet in an abstract puddle and the cookie crumbs spread over her floor that it really clicked.
Someone had just taken a picture of her. At home. At night.
She dove for the phone.
Yamanaka Ino pressed her pillow further against her head to block out the loud noise interrupting her sleep. She groaned, and finally realized that ignoring it wouldn't make the ringing go away. Turning over, she grabbed the phone off the cradle.
"Hello?" the blonde asked groggily.
On the other end, someone was talking extremely fast.
"Sakura?" Ino asked, finally recognizing the voice. "Slow down. What happened?"
"Ino! I think I saw…a rat. A rat in my apartment!"
"Let me guess, you want to stay here for the night?"
"Well, if it's not too much trouble…"
"I'll have the guest bedroom ready by the time you get here."
"Thank you so much, Ino!"
"Yeah, yeah…just hurry up will you, some of us need our sleep."
"Alright, bye." The line went dead and Ino stared at in a sleep-filled haze. Now why hadn't she just called Sasuke?
"Morning, Tsunade-shishou!" Sakura greeted. She was deathly tired, and hoped that her mentor wouldn't go into a lecture or something. It would put her out for sure. "Here's that paperwork you wanted."
Sakura removed the three pound bundle from under her arm and put it on Tsunade's desk. The Hokage was immersed in more paperwork, which kept appearing seemingly out of nowhere. She was scribbling her name on documents without really reading through them thoroughly. In fact, they were lucky if she glanced at the title.
"Thank you Sakura, that's all for today. Though…" the Hokage paused for a second. "I believe you have a shift at the hospital, am I right?"
"Yes, I'm on my way over there now."
Tsunade looked up at her student, frowning at the dark circles under her eyes. "Not much sleep?"
Of course not, Sakura thought. With all that paperwork, a crazy stalker, and imaginary rats in my apartment, there wasn't a whole lot of time for sleep. "No, I stayed up most of the night doing that." What she really wanted to do was go home to a nice hot bath and soak for two hours, but she had to work today. Probably wouldn't be home until late. Ah…the beginnings of flu season.
"Try to do to bed early tonight, I'm guessing the next few days will be busy. If you want, I can give you this herb that can knock you out like that!" Tsunade snapped her fingers on the last word.
"I'll be fine, I promise." Sakura made her way towards the door. "Take care Tsunade-sama!"
Sakura closed the door behind her, hearing groans and some kind of threat for Jiraiya on the other side, before making her way to the hospital. She rubbed at her eyes tiredly, and that brought around why she was so tired in the first place. Beginning to walk faster, she hugged her jacket around her.
Okay, she thought, let's think rationally. What if it really wasn't a camera flash? Someone could have been attempting a fire jutsu near the house. No biggie. That would explain why she couldn't find the person on her fire escape…there never was one. Heck, for all she knew it could have been some kids out late with a flashlight.
Feeling a lot better, she made her way to her job.
Sakura walked through the hall looking at the medical chart of her next patient. He was sixteen, not a ninja, and had gotten second-degree burns during a party. She rolled her eyes and walked through the door.
The boy was sitting up in his bed, looking completely pissed off at the world. His right arm was bandaged in gauze, and he was scratching at it slightly. The teen was still in his own clothes, which he apparently had chosen to wear. The hospital gown was in shreds.
"Hello." Sakura greeted cheerfully. "My name is Haruno Sakura, and I've come to fix that burn of yours."
He glared at her with dark eyes. "They sent you to heal me? Tch…just proves they'll hire anyone these days."
She grit her teeth and decided not to say anything. He was just a punk, he wasn't worth getting worked up over.
"Well then give me your arm and I'll get out of your way."
He hesitantly gave her his arm and she unwrapped the bandages carefully, all too aware of his smoldering glare. In a way, he reminded her of a younger Sasuke. Out to get the world and trampling over anyone who got in his way.
"I need to know how you did this." Sakura told him as she kept unwrapping.
"It's none of your business." He snapped.
"Actually, it is. As your doctor, I need to know how you got the burn so I can heal it correctly."
"I was at a wild party last night. Got drunk, don't remember much. There was a bonfire so I guess I got too close."
Sakura nodded. She really wanted to tell him what getting plastered could do to you in the long run, but she felt silence would keep him cooperative. She didn't want to restrain him if she didn't have to.
The bandages dropped to the ground and Sakura saw the blisters covering his arm. The redness stood out amongst everything else, and Sakura winced. They were like no burns she had ever seen before. In her time as a medic nin, she had seen all sorts of burns, but these were so different. In fact…
"Those aren't burns." She told him, turning his arm over, careful not to touch any blisters. "Those are chancres. You've got syphilis."
For a moment, he was speechless. Opening and closing his mouth like some kind of fish, it seemed like there were no words in the world that could say what he was feeling.
"Thanks to some new medical techniques, we'll be able to remove any sign of the disease in about two-to-three months, give or take—"
"I do not have a disease!" The man jumped up, looking at her with the utmost hatred. "I didn't come in here to be told lies. I just want this damn burn healed!"
"I need to know, have you been sexually active within the past ten to thirty days?" Sakura asked. She had a feeling that this was going to come out bad already.
"Hey! My sex life is none of your business!" It was at this point he grabbed a pocketknife and lunged at her. Instincts saving her life yet again, she twisted and dove out of the way. The knife was about as long as a kunai and from the looks of it, he was very skilled in wielding it.
She dodged again, powering chakra into her arms to at least knock him out. At this point, he was jabbing at her in a random pattern, making it hard for her to predict where he was going to strike next.
A painfully close jab had forced her near the edge of the bed. Sakura's feet slipped out from under her, and she managed to catch a glimpse of the dropped bandages before she hit the linoleum floor. The knife was coming upon her now, ever closer, and Sakura didn't have enough time to dodge, no weapons to block, and no space to punch. She closed her eyes and bit her lip waiting for the blow.
Hesitantly, she opened her eyes to meet her knight in shining armor. Sasuke. Sasuke had the boy's wrist in a death grip—avoiding the sores, thank goodness—and from the popping sounds, it was just about to break. Looking at the Uchiha, she realized she had mistaken the similarities between her boyfriend and her patient.
Sasuke's glare was much more murderous.
The medic could hear the audible gulp before he was flung against the wall. He was in a state of unconsciousness now. Sasuke gave one seething glare in his direction before helping her up and pulling her to him. For a moment, he just held her, breathing into her hair.
"You're lucky I came when I did."
Sakura nodded against his chest.
Another moment passed before he pulled back and stared into his eyes. She could see the clear relief in his eyes. "Come on," he said at last. "I'll take you out to lunch."
Deciding that was the best stress relief, she nodded numbly. She had to tell a nurse about the boy and his real condition before they could leave though, otherwise he'd have a major temper when he woke. She had to hide her smile when remembering the look of sheer terror on his face when he gazed into the infamous Sharingan. It was enough that she almost wanted a photo…
She bit her lip at the memories brought up, and snuggled closer to the ANBU by her side. He wrapped an arm around her and kept her close to him.
Sakura didn't notice that she was trembling until Sasuke pulled her closer and looked at her. In those eyes, she saw one of his rare emotions, the ones he only ever showed around her. Concern. Uh-oh…she had made him worry.
If she actually told him what had happened to her the night before, he'd get massively angry, go off on a complete rampage, and blow up the entire city looking for her "stalker." That was, if she even had one. Another bad thing about telling him was that massive injuries would be inflicted, causing her to use up more chakra at the hospital to heal all the injured. She'd have to come home to be completely at his mercy. Her eyes widened. Gah…images.
Shuddering at the mere thought, she blocked it out of her mind. She didn't need to think about that on top of everything else.
A blast of warm air hit her as she sat down at a barstool at Ichiraku. Ordering miso ramen, she sat quietly until the steaming bowl was placed in front of her. Suddenly, she realized why Naruto liked Ramen so much. She hadn't eaten anything since last night, not wanting to inconvenience Ino more than she already had. She picked up the chopsticks, said a very cheery "Itadakimasu!" and dug in.
Sasuke was eating at a much slower pace, watching the kunoichi eat like she hadn't in ages. Unintentionally his eyes narrowed. Something was worrying her, but he couldn't quite place it. On any other day, she would have decked that guy at the hospital hard enough to make his ears ring. He was lucky that he sensed her panic. No sight in the world could terrify him more than seeing her slip on those bandages…with a knife aimed right at her heart.
Sakura froze and choked on her ramen broth. Sasuke raised an elegant eyebrow before patting her on the back a few times.
"Sorry," she said. Sakura twirled in her chair a few times making Sasuke smirk at her antics. She finally rested with her elbows back against the bar, facing into the street.
Haruno Sakura was smart. Best in her class at the academy, she had gone on several missions where her team needed to make a few last minute strategies. Shikamaru wasn't on the team, and Sakura was the next best thing. She had worked it out so that Tenten would act like an innocent villager, and the target would spot her and lead her away to his hideout. It had worked like a charm, and the mission had gotten all four members a nice bonus in their paychecks.
It was the same strategy she was pulling now. Act childlike. No one would suspect Haruno Sakura, fun-loving, kind, and innocent, to have a trick up her sleeve. She had turned to make Sasuke believe nothing was wrong, like she was carefree. She had turned in this particular direction to face the street, to look at anyone and everyone who might posses a camera.
She let out a light sigh and scanned the area with her chakra, careful to keep it low and out of Sasuke's sensors. There were five people within camera distance. A mother, a grandfather, two kids, and…and a middle-aged man she didn't recognize. Odd…she usually recognized the energy signatures given off by the people of Konoha. It was, after all, a very home-y village. She did not recognize this person.
The simple question made her jump slightly, forcing her to drop the temporary chakra scan. She stood up and followed Sasuke out of Team Seven's favorite restaurant…
…where she promptly spotted a familiar patch of brown hair rounding a corner.
Sasuke seemed to have noticed it to, as he began to walk in that direction. He wore an expression of murder, and was already cracking his knuckles. Sakura looped her arm through one of his.
"Sasuke-kun, the hospital is this way." Sakura told him, acting like she hadn't seen anything.
With one last glance, Sasuke let himself be led away.
Sakura was a kunoichi of Konoha. She was a skilled medic nin, trained under the Godaime Hokage herself. Her strength was second only to her mentor's.
She would handle this on her own.
Haruno Sakura was weak no longer.
The date was October the 30th. Tomorrow was every sweet-toothed child's favorite day. It had finally come. Halloween. Not only did Sakura love giving out candy to the little kids that went trick-or-treating in her apartment buildings—after all, she was a doctor, not a dentist—she also loved the way Naruto and Kiba, even Sasuke a few years, got a good laugh out of scaring the Jounins.
Yes, it was truly Halloween in Konoha.
The leaves of the Leaf village had mostly fallen off, but the ones that remained on the trees were vibrant shades of oranges and reds. They eventually fell and made crunching sounds when you tread on them. The air was crisp, just enough to need a jacket. In the early mornings and late evenings when it was coldest, you could see your breath. The red sun rose in the East, and set in the West in a plethora of colors splayed across the sky. Autumn was truly beautiful.
Sakura sat at home with some Vanilla Spice tea, watching some horror movie marathon on TV. Normally, she might have been out with Sasuke at this time of night, but he was on a mission. He'd be back tomorrow, of course. Tsunade hated for any nin to miss a holiday at home. If it wasn't life threatening, all nins were recalled for holidays. It was the way Konoha worked.
It was late though, nearing midnight, when Sakura finally finished the last of her paperwork. She didn't have work in the morning, so she could watch the festivities all day tomorrow.
Putting her plate and fork in the sink, dirtied by a nice piece of chocolate cake, she quickly took a shower. Yawning, she put on her pajamas and hopped into the bed. She'd finally be able to get some sleep.
Sakura was this close to falling asleep. She was at that stage when you wake up a little, you jerk in bed. It was like the sleep purgatory, not quite asleep, but not really awake. The moonlight from her balcony window was bothering her, so she rolled over to face the wall.
Just when she was about to fall asleep again, she heard a very audible click.
Fear seized her as she was instantly awake again. Okay, she thought, think logically. There's no one stalking you, you were half-asleep, it was just a figment of your imagination. The kunoichi actually would have believed it, if she hadn't heard it again. Slowly, she turned towards the glass doors to her balcony.
A figure in shadow was on his knees, a camera frozen in his hand. The man cursed lightly, before putting down the camera and getting up slowly. He had seen her, and probably figured that any sudden movement would make her scream.
But Sakura couldn't scream though. Her inner self was telling her to do so, to alert someone, anyone to this man's presence. Sasuke, with his amazing hearing, would surely hear her. Maybe a neighbor who would call the police. No matter how many times she tried, no sound would come out of her mouth.
By the time she managed a strangled sob, he was long gone.
Sasuke abruptly woke up. Odd…he didn't sense anything unusual. Looking at the clock, he saw that it was about one o' clock in the morning. He could have had a good four more hours of sleep, but something woke him up.
He was gonna kill that something.
Getting up, he walked downstairs and made himself some tea. Sasuke never could fall asleep after he had woken up in the middle of the night, curse of his past, he supposed. He finished his tea and put his mug in the sink. He'd clean it up tomorrow. There was just no energy for it tonight.
The ANBU captain was about to go back to his room when quick footsteps alerted him to someone's presence inside the Uchiha compound. He grabbed a strategically hidden kunai just as the pounding at his door began.
Sending out a chakra scan to identify the person, his eyes widened a fraction.
The kunai was forgotten on an end table in the hallway, and Sasuke was at the door faster than most people could blink. He quickly flung the screen open, and was abruptly tackled by a mass of pink.
Startled slightly, he tried to remove the woman's death grip around him, only to have her hang on tighter. It was at this point he noticed the sobbing and the heavy tremble to her form. She was crying…and she was afraid.
Now he was downright pissed.
Sakura allowed herself to be picked up, only to bury her head into Sasuke's shirtless chest once more. Sasuke brought her into his room and laid her down on the bed. He was about to get the herb that Tsunade had prescribed him for those sleepless nights, the ones that could knock you out in an instant, but she held on fast.
"Don't leave me!"
Sasuke sighed and sat down and leaned against the headboard. He placed her head in his lap and kissed her temple. The only thing he could do now was stroke her hair and whisper "It's all right," over and over again…
Morning found both of them asleep in the same positions. Sakura's tear-stained face on her boyfriend's lap, clad only in black pants. Sasuke woke up first and looked down at the pink-haired woman, who was now awake and blinking sleepily at him.
Sakura pulled herself up beside him and leaned against his chest, arms immediately coming around her middle.
There was silence for a few minutes, and then Sasuke spoke. "Want to tell me what happened?"
Sakura froze, and realized that by coming to him, he would probably do all the things she didn't want him to do. For instance, ransack Konoha. She looked into his dark eyes, which held such a flurry of emotions right now, she couldn't tell one from the other.
Immediately after she said it, she winced. Sakura really had meant to tell him the truth! She really didn't want to keep it all to herself! It was just like her mouth had a mind of it's own and she spoke before she knew what was happening.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "Sakura…if you don't tell me, then I'm going to…" his deep baritone voice sent shivers through her, and she never gave him a chance to finish.
"I think…I'm being stalked…"
"You're being what?" When Sakura looked up, she saw that his eyes had narrowed further and there was one distinct emotion that was resonating in his obsidian eyes. Murderous anger.
She told him quietly what had happened the night before, and even the time she had gone running to Ino's. She even managed to tell him about the incident at the ramen stand, which wasn't easy.
Sasuke let out a shaky breath, which was a red flag by itself, and pulled her tighter against him.
"Come on, we're going to Tsunade."
They had dropped by her apartment first to get her dressed. Sasuke went to her balcony while Sakura took a shower and dressed, as she had run to his house in only her pajamas. She always did feel better when Sasuke was around.
Coming out, she found Sasuke leaning on her desk, inspecting a hair he had found. He looked rather intimidating in full ANBU uniform, without the mask, of course.
Sasuke told her to get a plastic bag to put the evidence in. Otherwise, it was just too liable to get lost. If they lost the lead, Sasuke wasn't going to get to kill the person. Can't have that now can we?
Sakura locked her apartment and they began the walk to the Hokage tower. The Godaime's apprentice just hoped her mentor wasn't stone drunk, or else Sasuke would probably kill the first thing that moved.
Suddenly, Sasuke was gone from her side. Gasps were heard right before the cracking of bone's was audible to everyone in a ten mile radius. Sakura spun around to meet the dark-haired nin holding a familiar brown haired man by the neck a few inches off the ground. The man was choking, and Sakura could see, even from her position, that the Sharingan was practically glowing with hatred.
"You," the Uchiha hissed. "Are coming with me."
It must have looked strange when Sasuke burst into the Hokage's office, literally dragging a civilian behind him. Sakura was trailing behind slightly, actually feeling bad for her stalker. Tsunade immediately began to scream at the captain to put down the foreign journalist. Sasuke begrudgingly complied…and dropped the man none too gently to the hardwood floor. Kakashi, who was probably here for a mission briefing, had his one visible eye slightly crinkled in amusement.
However when Sasuke explained the situation to the Godaime, both people's eyes turned murderous. After all, both of them had connections with the pink haired girl, both being her mentor.
Tsunade snatched the evidence and ordered Sasuke and Kakashi to watch him while she and Sakura, taking a piece of the man's hair, went to go compare the two.
The poor journalist was sweating now, scared completely out of his wits. You probably would be too, if a man in full ANBU uniform was glaring hard enough to make you wet your pants while absently cracking his knuckles, and a former ANBU giving you a morbid "oh you're going to get it now" grin over the cover of a certain orange book.
Fifteen minutes later, when the man was practically twitching in his chair, Tsunade came in, behind her trailed Sakura with a confused emotion on her face, and declared that the evidence and this man's hair did not match.
The journalist practically tripped over his own feet once he was pronounced free to leave.
Sasuke was seething. That much was pretty obvious to anyone, which must have been why the two were given such a wide birth once they set out on the streets again. Even other ninja who were more experienced than the Uchiha were avoiding him. It was truly that scary.
"Sasuke-kun…" Sakura began. She just didn't know what would calm him down. He wouldn't rest until he had found her stalker. They walked for a few more moments in an edgy silence before…
This time, Sasuke didn't leave her side. Quick as lightning, he had thrown a kunai in the direction of the sound. Although unlike the last time, a shrill cry split the air and panicked screaming was heard. Sakura, believing he had hit a woman since the pitch was so high, snapped her head to look at it.
A dark haired man was against one of the roadside stands, residents of Konoha were gasping in horror at the sight of blood that pooled around his feet. Some began to back away from the scene, and mothers with children immediately fled. In fact, the man would have too, if not for the fact that he was pinned to the wall with a kunai through his hand, and that a black camera with all the evidence that they'd need was on the floor at his feet.
Tsunade feared the worst when she was called to the ANBU interrogation room. Kakashi, who still hadn't received his mission specs, trailing after her. The Hokage walked into the room where Sasuke was leaning coolly against the concrete wall, Sakura by his side, and Morino Ibiki was furiously interrogating a black haired man.
"Just what…is going on here?"
Morino Ibiki stopped the interrogation, and Sakura walked up to her two mentors to explain the story. Sasuke was looking murderous, and even the Hokage gulped at the expression. Tsunade noticed the bandages, and absently complemented the Uchiha on his aim. He just smirked in reply.
The heavy metal door opened to reveal a masked ANBU carrying a few pieces of paper and a bulky envelope. "The DNA matched perfectly, that's our guy." He gave the analysis to the Hokage and held out the envelope. "And these are the pictures we managed to obtain from the camera."
Before Tsunade could even lift her arm, Sakura had snatched them. She tore open the white flap and began looking through the contents. Her eyes widened with every new picture, and eventually there were some furious gasps. She wasn't allowing anyone else to see them though, not even Sasuke.
Near the end of the pile, her mouth parted in disbelief, and color flooded her cheeks. All the horror was turned into pure, unadulterated anger that she now directed on the man.
During Ibiki's interrogation, the man had been pretty much unemotional. Even when he had the utmost glare of hatred from Sasuke, the man remained stoic. This however, with the pink haired woman he had been stalking glaring at him with such a murderous expression…well…it made him want to shit himself.
Sakura dove across the table and sent the man through the four-foot concrete wall.
Sasuke wondered what had made her so furious and snatched the photo out of thin air, Sakura having thrown all fifty of them in random directions during her fit of rage. When he saw the picture of her in the shower, he tried to form the correct emotion of anger. All he could do was growl appreciatively.
She was his, after all.
From that day forward, no one messed with Haruno Sakura. There were no looks in her direction from wannabe suitors, and no boy that wasn't a respectable nin even went near her. It wasn't fear of Sasuke that kept them away, however, but the fear of Sakura herself.
While searching for the black haired man, officials had to track his body imprint straight through the base of the Hokage mountain, and they finally found him nearly half a mile away on the other side.
Three days after the incident, Sasuke asked Sakura to marry him.
She said yes.
Author's Notes: Well, I really hope you liked it, I know I did! I've really never written suspense or horror before, so it's not THAT scary, but it was for the character so that's all that matters, right? Loved the nice happy ending, gotta tell you.