A/N – lol i hate this story so much.. i mean.. i like it.. but i hate writing it... pisses me right off. Anyways, i've finally fought with myself enough to do this chapter up.. i so don't wanna do it...anyways

read on!

Terri – Okay, I'm not going to lie to you guys. But I just forgot where this whole fanfic is leading to, so you can understand how I was kinda at a loss of what to do when Melissa asked me to finish this chapter. Well…7 weeks later, here it is, chapter 49

Chapter 49 - Mind Games

"I'm honored you came all this way to pay my village and myself a visit, Itachi-kun" Orochimaru sneered.

Glaring daggers at the legendary sannin, Itachi shot a glance toward Tazze and quickly grabbed her bicep, pulling her back more, away from Orochimaru.

"We're leaving." Itachi stated to Tazze, who in which gave a frightened look back. She may not have been scared going into battle with her sister, but against her sensei she knew she stood no chance. Not only were most of the things she knew perfected by him, but he had tricks up his sleeves at every turn.

Itachi looked back to Orochimaru to see him smirk which made Itachi furrow his brows in anger. With Tazze's arm still in his hand, he turned to walk away, but found his way to be blocked. Not by one nor two, but around twenty Sound nin.

"You won't be leaving Itachi. The girl brought you here just like I wanted and I'm not letting you slip out," the menacing voice of Orochimaru spoke out, eerily calm.

Feeling Tazze tense up he looked her way to see pearl eyes wide and lips slightly trembling.

"I...I'm so s-sorry Itachi-kun…" she stammered out as tears started to prick at her eyes. "I didn't know!" she screamed with watery eyes clenched. Her hands were fisted in his robe.

Itachi slipped an arm around her shoulders and leaned down to whisper in her ear, causing Tazze to shiver when his hot breath tickled her ear.

"Be ready to fight…Maliko and Gaara are nearby." He paused for a second as if contemplating something. Taking a deep breath, Itachi continued, "If I can't leave, I want you to go with Maliko and Gaara. They won't follow you, I'll make sure."

"Iie!" Tazze screamed, pulling back as if she had been burned. Itachi could see that she was trying to fight back a new wave of oncoming tears. All of a sudden Tazze turned to Orochimaru with fury etched on her face and tear streaming down her cheeks.

"Orochimaru you bastard! I'll kill you!" she screamed at the top of her lungs and lunged at her sensei. Tazze immediately went for the throat and when her finger almost got their target, they were wrenched away forcefully. Orochimaru's hands were clasped tightly around her wrists as he chuckled at the small girl.

"You think you even have a chance Tazze-chan? I taught you most of what you know. The only thing you could do to me would be to grovel at my feet." Tazze felt like her wrists were about to snap as Orochimaru tightened his grip on them. Then as if her wishes inside her head came true, he let go of her.

Her head snapped sideways and she stumbled slightly and ended up sprawled out on the ground in front of Orochimaru. The legendary sannin had backhanded her so hard her cheek had instantly started to bruise.

Holding her cheek to sooth the stinging feeling she could see Itachi in her peripheral vision looking like he was going to jump at Orochimaru at any moment. But what really caught Tazze's attention was the look that Orochimaru himself was giving her. Looking at him from her spot on the ground, he stood there proud, looking at her as if she was useless, just like how everyone else used to look at her. Her eyes became blurry as tears welled up and threatened to fall. But she refused to show him that she was weak.

She heard rustling behind her but couldn't bring herself to tear her glaring pearl eyes away from her sensei's golden ones. So consumed by hate, she didn't feel the sand fly past her head and barrel into Orochimaru. Itachi quickly lunged forward and hauled Tazze off of the ground and jumped back to where Maliko and Gaara now stood, while Orochimaru simply brushed the sand away from himself with a flick of his hand.

Itachi and Tazze came to a stop beside Maliko, and Tazze quickly took her sister into a fierce hug with tears streaming down her face.

"I'm so sorry Nee, I really had no idea that he was using me for such a scheme. I'm sorry Nee!" Maliko was surprised that her sister was so broke down by this that she had even reverted back to calling her by her old nickname that Tazze had given her.

"It's okay Tazze, I'm sorry that I pushed you to such a limit that you felt you needed more power,." she cooed back while stroking her sisters long chestnut hair as Tazze sobbed while clutching onto her sister. "And to go out looking for that power from a sick twisted bastard."

"Now Tazze, I want you to show me that newfound strength so we can all get out of here alive." Maliko's voice then went to a soft whisper in Tazze's ear. "And so you can go on to make lots of babies with Itachi-kun," she felt her sister tense and Maliko let out a little giggle as Tazze pulled away from her, hands covering cheeks trying to hide the deep blush from all that could see.

Itachi and Gaara rose a single eyebrow in unison and shrugged, deciding that they're crazy partners' antics could wait for later.

"Everyone ready?" Gaara asked as he started to see the Sound nins surrounding them twitch with impatience to begin the battle.

"Hai!" Maliko and Tazze yelled out and Itachi giving a nod of his head.

Before they could even leap at a single nin though, there were already screams of pain emitted from five of them on their left. Shooting their heads sideways to look at what was happening. A large spear with a katana at the end twirled and fell from the sky above, digging itself into the dirt an inch away from spearing through Itachi. Everyone around could almost see a hint of concern written on Itachi's face before he quickly brought himself together and rolled his eyes.

Yanking the weapon out of the ground in front of him, he sent a glare to they're ally who had arrived with a bang to have all eyes on her. There stood Aysen, a huge grin plastered on her face. And just behind her stood Kakashi whose hand rested on Sasuke's shoulder. It didn't take someone with keen observation to notice that Sasuke was fuming mad. By seeing both the Uchiha brothers in the same the place, Kakashi only needed one guess to figure out what got Sasuke so riled up.

That, however, seemed to be only a part of his hate. The fact that Kakashi suddenly appeared, and with some crazed girl, did not sit well with the younger Uchiha. It did not seem to make sense to him why Konoha would send operatives here. Surely, this kunoichi could not have commissioned the help of Kakashi, one of the most elite and valuable shinobi to Konoha. He had already come to the conclusion that this girl was here for Tazze, since he saw disbelief etch itself on Tazze's face for but a moment.

'I doubt Tazze's friend and sister would go through the trouble of getting help from Konoha,' Sasuke thought to himself, 'Or the fact that Konoha would help knowing that the Akatsuki was part it...which means that Konoha agreed on the pretense of weakening Orochimaru and the Sound in some way.' Sasuke eye's shifted from the girl, to Itachi, then to his sensei, Orochimaru-sama. 'Of course, Kakashi is here. He knows that this curse seal is from Orochimaru-sama. No doubt that Tsunade agreed to helping Tazze's sister…and my brother…why else would she help, unless they made a deal…'

It all boiled down to Tsunade helping Itachi – at least in Sasuke's mind. And thinking about it made Sasuke so filled with hate, that his better judgments were blinded. His close-mindedness set in, and he couldn't believe Kakashi went along with it.

'We don't need rescuing,' Sasuke thought to himself, 'And I'm sure Tazze believes it too. But she is too easily swayed by her sister…we need to get back to the Sound village. I need to go back.'

Sasuke saw Orochimaru looking at him, as though reading his mind. Just as the Sound nin were beginning to attack, Sasuke noticed a flicker of Orochimaru's hands. 'What jutsu is planning to us--'

His thoughts were interrupted suddenly by a loud pulsing in his chest. It felt as though some force were ripping the control of his body from him. He felt his mind adjusting to it, as it gave in. A feeling of following instructions that seems to be coming from his sub-conscious. Like a voice in his head, that he followed almost mindlessly.

Before the Sound nins made their advance, Tazze and sister, readied themselves. Standing with their backs to each other, Tazze could hear her sister saying something to her. But her voice was pushed to the background for what seemed like an eternity. In the distance she could hear Aysen's voice, as well as Gaara's….and Itachi's.

She had initially drew her kunai in preparation for the Sound nins, but something else was telling her that they weren't her enemies. As if in slow motion, Tazze could see clearly in her mind the situation. Widening her stance a bit, she turned herself, and could see her arm swinging back as she looked at the back of her sister. Just then, she could hear Gaara's voice, and Aysen screaming something to Maliko…or was it addressed to her? Who knows. She only knew one thing. 'Take Maliko.'

Maliko reacted to the calls from her comrades and evaded by quickly ducking down, only to be kneed in the shoulder. Falling backwards, she used the momentum, and planted her free hand down, she managed to quickly flip herself, so she was crouched but a few feet from her sister. Maliko stared in horror at her sister, speechless from her actions.

A/N: Terri - Man alive! After writing that, it's like I had an epiphany…or something, cuz now I have a cool plan…yesh, I can see it in my mind's eye. So, I'll just leave this chapter the way it is now…and I will get on writing chapter 50, and I sense the end of this fic coming soon.