She was beautiful, graceful and deadly, a true definition of his art. And because his art was eternal, she would not be allowed to change, ever.


Sasori x Sakura




N and C


*Klick klick klick*

The quiet, steady klicking woke her from her deep, deep slumber. She was slowly realizing there was pressure in her chest, so much pressure she found it impossible to breath properly, if at all.

'What happened?' Sakura thought and tried to open her eyes. She was sure her lids were open, but no sight came. She frowned, it must have just been dark.

*Klick klick klick*

She tried to move her fingers, to get feeling back in them, when she found that she couldn't. It was like she didn't have them! She started to panic, trying to pull in much needed air, but unable to do so. She couldn't feel her arms either!

*Klick klick klick*

'Just… breath Sakura, they must just be numb,' she tried to tell herself and tried to take in a deep, calming breath like Tsunade told her to do in situations like this. In and out, easy enough, she told herself. Or so she tried, but no air came in and even less came out.

It was like she had no lungs at all!

*Klick klick kl-*

The clicking stopped and only then did Sakura realize there had been any in the first place. She could sense eyes on her, even though she couldn't see. The need to bite her lip in anxiety was a strong one, but she couldn't get her lips to move like she wished them to.

"You are awake, good. I was starting to think there was a fault in our seal," an eerily familiar and quiet voice said calmly, -if not a little impatiently- from what seemed like the other side of the room. Sakura decided to take the risk and ask what was wrong with her.

"Why," her voice came out wrong, like she hadn't used it in a long time, "…Why can't I move?" She finished fearfully, waiting for the answer with a baited breath that she couldn't seem to take.

"You are not ready," again, there was impatience in its voice.

Then the clicking started again.

"Ready?" that didn't make any sense to her!

"Yes, be quiet now, I do not wish to make a mistake on your features," it was quiet after that, except for the clicking.

*Klick klick klick*

'What… What does he –she was quite sure it was a he- mean? Not ready? Mistake on my features?' Sakura thought frantically and tried to move her head around. At least it seemed like her neck wasn't broken, it seemed to work fine enough.

*Klick klick klick*

'I'm… I'm scared,' Sakura thought, but for some reason, no tears came. She was sure she was crying, yet there was no gasping breaths or tears on her cheeks. Why, why weren't there any?

'Naruto, please save me!'

If she had the ability to breath, she would be hyperventilating by now. Yet her face remained impassive, there were no tears, nor was there even a single gasping breath.

*Klick klick klick*

When she thought the clicking would drive her crazy, it finally stopped. She heard steps, they were steadily getting louder, until they stopped at her right side. She wished for an ability to hold her breath in anxiety almost as much as her ability to see.

He placed something on the table on her both sides and she got curious. Then he took a gentle hold of her right shoulder and pushed something in with a *pop*. He did it on her left side too and suddenly, she could feel.

'He must have released my pressure points; that was it!' but as a medic, she knew it didn't make a sound like that. Wanting to ignore the facts, she tried to move her fingers and when they did, she could have cried from the relief.

"They are working, good. I hope you find them as perfect as the original ones."

"What are you-"

"Your eyes are ready as well, they should be dry by now," he seemed like an awfully impatient person, she noted, as she heard him walking away from her again. That was fine with her, it gave her time to make sure her hand were ok.

She checked if she had all her fingers and was pleased to find that she did, but as she kept touching them, they felt almost… bony.

'How long was I out?' she thought with a frown that didn't quite reach her face. Her friends must have been so worried! She couldn't remember what happened before she blacked out, but she was quite sure she had been on a mission with Naruto and the others. Still, she could have betted that she was not in Konoha at the moment. She always did have better luck than her Mentor.

"Stop scratching them, you will damage the paint," it seemed like he was back.

Only then did she notice that she had been wrinkling her fingers, a nervous habit of hers she always tried to hide. But there was something in his sentence that got her attention.

"The… paint?"

"Yes, now stay still," he said.

Sakura felt as he took a careful hold of her face, his hands were oddly gentle for a man that sounded so impatient all the time, as he opened her lids with care. She felt something fall into place in her eye sockets, which almost felt wrong as she hadn't felt anything missing. He let go of her face and stepped back, as her lids fell closed automatically.

"Now open them," and so she did.

She expected her sight to be blurry as first, as she opened her eyes slowly, mindful of the light that might burn her eyes, but she was surprised to see that her eyesight was perfect. She looked around in wonder, her eyes zooming in on random puppets hanging around, that seemed to fill up the room. She wondered why most of them seemed broken.

An impatient "tsk" made her turn her eyes to the person standing next to her.

Her lips opened in wonder, a sigh without air escaped her painted lips.

Never would she forget the face that was looking down at her. The person's expression seemed bland, but his eyes shone with intelligence and arrogance on a young face, that was framed with hair redder than blood. His eyes seemed to take her in, a satisfied -if not a little lazy- smirk took over his thin lips. It looked like he was pleased, almost happy, as he gazed her with his half lidded, grayish eyes.

"Hmnnn, it seems I got the shade right," he sounded happy with himself.

"Do not move," and with that he turned around and left her again.

At this point, she would have taken another calming breath, if she were able to. She would have to see the damage done to her hands at some point, but she was sure it couldn't be that bad. There was feeling in her arms and hands and she could now move her fingers normally, if only a bit clumsily.

So with a nod, she lifted her hands in front of her now closed eyes and opened her fists slowly at the same time her eyes opened.

What she saw weren't bony fingers, thin from hunger or misuse, no, it was much worse.

Her arms were that of a puppets.

And as always, thank you all for reading and have a nice day!