|Points of View
Author: the general girl PM
No one will hurt her, he'll make sure of it. — SasuSakuRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Words: 3,661 - Reviews: 50 - Favs: 86 - Follows: 111 - Published: 09-27-09 - id: 5405719
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Points of View
Part I; I Will
"Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation."
It was a simple mission, really. A ring of potentially troublesome traffickers and drug lords had been suspiciously active a bit too near the borders of Konoha, and Tsunade was no fool, she knew that the black market dealt in the buying and selling of information too. Several Jounin squads had already been sent to try and infiltrate the organization, with no success.
It turned out that the head of the ring had a high possibility of being Nakamaru Akuba, and it was immediately clear where Konoha's strategists had erred; Nakamaru was notoriously famous for being overly cautious and tight with security. Tsunade though, knew from personal experience that he also had a weakness for beautiful, exotic women.
That was another reason why the previous squads had failed; they'd all been male.
Haruno Sakura stood in front of the doors to the Hokage's office, waiting to be called. The twenty-two year old ANBU medic had been notified earlier by Shizune of an apparently urgent mission that she had to take, and she had arrived for a personal briefing from the Hokage herself.
Sakura frowned, brushing petal pink hair out of her eyes. The voices from the office had grown considerably louder as the minutes ticked by, and a glance at the clock on the wall informed her that Tsunade had already delayed their appointment by ten minutes.
She looked up from the spot that she'd been staring studiously at since she arrived, startled. Viridian eyes met a pair of onyx, and she could tell that Uchiha Sasuke was just as surprised to see her as she he. Ever since the mess with Sasuke's reinstation as a Konoha ninja a year past, Sakura had managed to keep a nice, friendly relationship with the Uchiha. Sure, she might've gone out of her way to avoid him once or twice, but she felt like she deserved a break from whatever the hell it was that they had. Naruto and Sasuke's relationship was clear cut; they were brothers in every way except blood, and nothing could ever change that. Sakura however, was unsure of where she stood in Sasuke's eyes. The confession from hell nine years ago still mortified her, while at the same time his response still managing to incense her. And then there'd been that time during the final siege of Konoha against Madara, when certain circumstances forced her together, alone, with a heavily injured Sasuke.
Sakura blinked, quickly looking away from the man in front of her.
The man in question frowned, taking his place next to her at the door. She swallowed, moving just a hair's breadth away. His proximity alone unnerved her, made her hyper aware of the heat that he gave off, and she had to constantly resist the urge to sigh at the smell of fire and pine that he emanated.
"Did Hokage-sama call you for a mission as well?"
Sakura looked up at him owlishly; Sasuke wasn't one to start conversations too often.
She tried to speak, failed, cleared her throat, and tried again, "Yes. But we were supposed to meet ten minutes ago. Yours might have been pushed back as well."
Sasuke smirked, raising his eyes and looking in the direction of the voices, "I think we might be taking this one together."
She looked up, startled, "What?"
"I was supposed to meet her at twelve thirty as well."
Sakura nodded, biting her lower lip. She didn't particularly relish a mission with Sasuke alone. Everything was fine if Naruto was with them. He lessened the tension, relieved some of the pressure.
He was looking at her now, eyes dark and cryptic. She flushed when she realized where they were focused. Releasing her lip, she looked away from him again, almost missing the infuriating smirk that told her he knew exactly what she was thinking.
Suddenly, the doors opened and several harassed looking nin stepped through, followed by an irate Tsunade.
"And don't come back again until you get it right!"
Sakura sniggered, quickly disguising it as a cough when her mentor turned her irritated amber eyes on her student.
"Uchiha, Sakura. Come in."
Tsunade sank down into the chair behind her vast desk, pulling out a file and throwing it on top of the already alarmingly tall pile in front of her.
The two waited as she took several long, calming droughts of sake from an earthen cup while Sakura tried not to be too overly aware of the man next to her, casually slouched with his hands tucked in the pockets of his dark hakamas.
"So. I see that you two are probably aware that I have a mission for you."
Sakura nodded, a frown forming on her lips as she said, "Together Tsunade-sama?"
The voluptuous blond snorted, "I thought I taught someone smarter. Of course together! Why else would the both of you be here right now?" She shuffled her papers, scowling as she read over a few lines of text. "A mission like this would usually take an indefinite amount of time, but thanks to the prior reports of previous Jounin teams, it shouldn't take longer than a week or two, at the very most. "
The Hokage took a deep breath, "Now, I normally wouldn't ask something like this of you Sakura, but there were some very specific requirements for this mission."
Her voice cautious, the pinkette ventured, "Er, and what kind of mission would that be shisou?"
"Frankly speaking, seduction."
Sasuke tensed minutely beside her, but Sakura was too preoccupied with her own shock to notice. A seduction mission? All kunoichi were given basic lessons on how to use their sex to level the playing field, so to speak, when they reached a certain age, but Sakura had never been called on for those skills before.
A seduction mission with Sasuke?
"I don't think Sakura would be the best choice for a mission like that."
She snapped out of her reverie at his quiet words—doesn't think she would be the best choice? It didn't matter if she thought the same, how dare he?
Sakura opened her mouth, about to retort, when Tsunade slammed a hand on the desk, causing it to tremble disturbingly and a file or two to fall from their precarious position on the top.
"Don't question orders Uchiha!" She barked, although contrary to her tone of voice she rubbed a hand tiredly across her unlined forehead, "We need a top notch female, young ANBU level medic who also happens to be capable enough to work with a minimal amount of chakra and a maximum amount of control. Can you tell me who else besides Sakura is available right now?"
The girl in question didn't know whether to blush at the underhanded compliments or be indignant that she hadn't been first choice. But then again, if she had been Hokage, she wouldn't have picked herself either.
Sasuke, however, looked unfazed. "Can't this wait until someone becomes available?"
He got the cup of sake thrown at his head for his efforts.
Sakura watched, horrified, as she struggled between laughing and taking a step back from the confrontation that would surely ensue. The Uchiha had always been polite to the Godaime, but Sakura knew from experience that below that exterior of cool control he's always had a bit of a temper, though unlike Naruto he chose to express his anger with scathing remarks and the patented glare instead of physical blows. To her surprise however, he calmly sidestepped the projectile and only watched with unreadable eyes as Tsunade turned her chair firmly away from him and surveyed Sakura with an expression that made no qualms about showing her irritation.
"The past three Jounin squads never made it back, though they were all able to relay varying amounts of intelligence before they were…terminated. What we do know is that there is a ring of thugs that specialize in obtaining and selling information about the Hidden Villages, and that since they've based themselves outside Konoha at this time; it stands to reason that we have the most to lose. The largest, overhead organization of the ring is being headed by Nakamaru Akuba, a man that we should not overlook. You are to smuggle yourself into the circle as a mistress for Akuba, obtain a list of contacts, and then kill him."
Sakura's brow furrowed, "But why? If the previous three teams failed…?"
Tsunade's expression was grim, "Akuba doesn't have many weaknesses, but one of them is definitely women. The other teams were all male and operated under standard recon rules. They were four men cells. There is no way to get a complete list of the people that Akuba may have sold secrets to but from the man himself. And there is no way to actually kill him except personally. He has a huge stringent of hand picked guards, as well as a meticulously inspected staff. Poison's out as he's made himself immune to most, and just in case he even has poison detectors. Given your circumstances however, you'll be able to get close to him when his guard is at his lowest, and when he's alone. The best shot we have at extracting the information and eliminating him is for you to use medical jutsu. This way, if all goes according to plan, you won't actually have to engage in the act of sex itself," she paused, amber eyes boring into Sakura's own, "But there's always a chance that you'll have to give it up."
She didn't have to ask to know what she might have to lose.
"That's basically the gist of what you have to do. Should you choose to accept, the rest of the details will be in your mission scrolls."
Sakura swallowed and looked down at the worn soles of her nin boots. She was kunoichi. She could do this. Ignoring Sasuke's heavy gaze on her back, she nodded.
She met him at the gate in the predawn light. Neither of them were wearing their ANBU uniforms, instead, to avoid attracting attention each was sporting civilian garb. Sasuke had a large pack slung over one well defined shoulder (she tried to convince herself that she hadn't been looking), a dark, loose fitting t-shirt and his customary hakamas. The ANBU tattoo was disguised with a small henge. Sakura self-- consciously rubbed the short hem of her denim skirt, wishing that the tight tank top that she wore didn't expose so much skin. She would've killed to have been dressed as casually as Sasuke, but the whole point of the outfit was for it to be provocative.
Sakura took that as assent and, shouldering her own, much smaller pack firmly against her back, took off. They would be traveling through the trees at customary nin speed, but when they reached the borders of where criminal activity was reported, she would switch over, walking at a civilian's pace. Sasuke would remain hidden in the forest canopy and observe, ready to pull her out if she got in too much trouble. If things didn't go as planned, there was backup at the ready that would mobilize and assist them if things got too bad for Sasuke to handle, in case of which he would alert them via radio.
Tsunade had reasoned that it would be much more difficult for anyone to discover them if there was only one person hidden, and given Sasuke's sharingan and his stealth expertise he'd been first choice.
It wasn't like they could've had Naruto on this mission with them, but still. Sakura grimaced, wishing that she could've been paired with someone more…cooperative. Like Neji or Shino. They wouldn't have made a fuss like Sasuke had or ask annoying questions. She worked well with them; they were easy, professional partnerships.
She bit her lip, savoring the rush of the cool morning air against her skin. With Sasuke though…with Sasuke came a ton of emotional baggage that she couldn't help but have trouble getting over. With Sasuke came uncertainty.
Sakura studied the man in question in front of her, trying to ignore how the short skirt allowed air flow up in very interesting places. It was only fortunate that she had been placed on rear guard; she didn't know how she would have coped with concentrating on both not tripping out of the trees and not treating Sasuke to a free show at the same time.
He was maybe five or six feet ahead, dark spikes whipping about his face in the wind. It was a wonder both that his hair never seemed to lie flat, and that it would never be in greater disarray than usual; Ino had called the resulting effect sexily tousled. Even from behind, she saw the effortless grace in his movements. Unconscious, perhaps, bred into him as a family trait. The wind plastered the loose shirt against his form, and she could make out the muscles that strained against pale, pale skin. Her mind started to wander to one of the few occasions that she'd seen Sasuke shirtless, although then there had been nothing on her mind but how to staunch the terrifying flow of blood that just would not cease, staining white skin crimson.
She blanched and forced her thoughts to move away; it wouldn't do to get caught up in memories, now. Not with such an important mission on the line.
Swallowing, Sakura tried hard not to think about what she would have to do. She was twenty two, an experienced ninja, for Kami's sake, but even though she'd left most of her unpractical, romantic ideals behind long ago, a small part of her still couldn't help but think that there were some things, like love, that should be left sacred in the world.
She winced at how badly that sounded, even in her head, and promptly tripped over a branch and into Sasuke. He grunted at the impact, a hand raised to keep her from speaking. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, but a moment later she could feel them too—three, and from the fact that their chakra was unmasked, experienced enough to be arrogant and live.
Her eyes shot to Sasuke, bewildered—this couldn't be right. They had only been traveling through the forest for three or four hours. The border of Akuba's rumored territory was supposed to be many more miles away. Could they actually have infiltrated Fire deeper than had been previously thought?
Were they even Akuba's men? And if not, then whose were they?
Sasuke noiselessly crept forward, dropping down to a lower branch. When Sakura made to follow, he shook his head, signaling for her to stay. She stepped back, against the trunk of the tree, irritated. Minutes later Sasuke was back, and the chakra signature of the three men were already fading out of range.
"They were definitely Akuba's men; their armbands had the same symbol as his gang's."
His voice was a low whisper, and suddenly Sakura was aware of just how close they were, her back flattened against the tree, one of Sasuke's arms caging her in as he supported himself against the trunk.
"So what do we do now?"
"We proceed as planned, only now instead of later. You should get down."
She nodded mutely, about to gingerly make her way around Sasuke and down the tree when his arm shot out and stopped her, gripping her wrist in a light hold. She whipped her head around, startled, then shocked to see his dark eyes boring intently into her own, expression unfathomable. His grip immediately loosened, and then her arm was her own again. The skin where he touched burned.
She mumbled something unintelligible and was barely able to stumble her way down the tree. Landing lightly on her feet, her hand automatically rose to touch the place where he'd held her, before she forced it back down. It didn't mean anything; he just didn't want her to screw up the mission. Taking a deep breath, she took one last look at the trees behind her, but Sasuke had already disappeared. This was it.
Sighing, she squared her shoulders, adjusted her clothes (all the while feeling extremely naked without her weapons), and made her way towards the main trail that most civilians used to traverse the forest, stopping just at the fringe and plopping down at the base of a tree before taking out a bottle of water and an apple from her pack. Reclining languorously against the trunk, she closed her eyes and forced herself to relax, looking for all the world like an ordinary traveler stopping to take a rest. She slowly unmasked her chakra, letting it rise just to the level of a civilian. It was a small, tiny amount, and Sakura made sure that it was wild and untrained. This was crucial. It would've been suspicious for her to have no detectable chakra at all—which was the whole point of chakra masking—since everything alive had at least residuals of energy in them, even plants and animals. Also, this would enable Akuba's men to find her.
To regulate her chakra like she had required a huge amount of control—hence one of the reasons why she was chosen; Sakura only had time for exactly three seconds of smug self satisfaction before she felt the same three signatures as before heading her way. They must've finished their patrol and were heading back when they felt her small flicker of chakra. Sakura swallowed, tension and dread quickly making a home in her stomach. She wondered briefly where Sasuke was, if he was close, and not for the first time felt grateful for the fact that she wouldn't technically be doing this alone.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?"
She repressed a hysterical giggle, wishing that just for once they would come up with more original…kidnap lines, this one was seriously getting old.
She forced her eyes to flicker open slowly, as if waking from a deep sleep. It was a civilian's mistake to sleep on open ground like this, and if it reinforced their idea that that's what she was, all the better.
"Um..h-hello." She braced her back against the trunk, drawing her legs up to her chest protectively, the short skirt sliding up to expose several more inches of creamy skin in the process.
The three men, two stocky and muscular, one long and lean, openly leered at her, blatantly appraising her body with eyes that dragged from the tips of her toes to the tops of her breasts.
Sakura resisted the urge to throw up.
"What's a pretty little thing like you doing all the way out here?"
She imagined that she heard a small snort of disgust from up in the trees, "I…I was on my way to visit my sister in the…the first village past the forest over there."
They seemed satisfied with her answer, but made no move to walk away.
"What profession you in?"
Sakura smiled timidly, channeling blood to her face and imitating a blush, "Oh, I'm a dancer."
That would explain her fitness and any unexplained graces she revealed.
"How would you like to come with us? We're ninja, we escort young ladies like yourself through the trail," the brunette grinned razor sharp, "safety first you know?"
Something told the kunoichi that these men wouldn't give any unfortunate girls who came their way much choice.
"Um, that's really alright, I think I can manage fine on my own." Feigning reluctance, Sakura stood up and tried to make her way around the men. She was unsuccessful.
A painful pinch at the back of her neck almost at once rendered her unconscious. Right before the blackness claimed her she wondered absently what Sasuke was thinking.
The uneaten apple rolled from a small hand to the beaten floor.
When the three—with Sakura slung carelessly over the shoulder of the tallest—disappeared from view, static burst into life in the tree tops, followed by a flat voice.
"Mission report. Phase one complete, phase two pending, perimeters much larger than previously thought. New coordinates being sent. Objective will be met and target will be destroyed—" a dark shape landed softly on the ground, gently picking up the apple that laid not two feet away, thumb smoothing over the cool red skin, "—at any means necessary."
Dark eyes bled, then spun red, and Uchiha Sasuke gave chase.
a/n: This will be a threeshot, updates...uncertain? xD But I'm confident it'll be wrapped up by the end of the year-coughcough-so don't worry! It started out as an outlet for the most cliched plot bunny in the world, with all sorts of entirely selfish protective!sasuke and hawt!sakura, but yeah, degenerated into attempted seriousness at the end (when I finally thought of a plot), so if the pacing, characterization etc is...weird, I apologize? I wasn't going to put this up originally, but after spewing almost 4K words for the first part, I figured there must be someone somewhere that would like it. I hope you guys kind of sort of liked reading this (the end was my favorite part), and if you could leave a review with thoughts, comments, concrit etc it'd be great. :]