Hey all, Xan here with, surprise, surprise, a SasuSaku.
Please enjoy and don't forget to R & R
Sasuke Uchiha sat in front of Tsunade, Hokage of the Hidden Leaf, without making a sound, they just looked at each other for minutes on end.
It was less a battle of wills than they were simply sizing each other up, except the Onyx eyes of Sasuke seemed almost empty.
In his mind he replayed the last twenty four hours over in his head, his task was finally done, Itachi was dead at his hands.
He had avenged his Clan, and himself.
Why did he feel so damn empty, yet so filled with pain?
Seventeen year old Sasuke stared into his brothers eyes, Mangekyou Sharingan be damned, as the Raikiri sank into Itachi's chest, destroying what served as a heart for him.
He had almost expected Itachi to use it before his final breath left him, but in the end all that happened was his older brother gave a tiny smile, not a smirk, a true smile.
As if in death he had found peace.
All the hatred he had felt for his brother, all the pain he had been through with Orochimaru, the pain of the Cursed Seal leaving him with the Snake Sannin's last breath, and the looks of betrayal on his old team mates faces, especially Sakura.
It didn't disappear with his brothers life as he had always dreamed.
Nothing had changed, he still felt as numb as ever, and now he had nothing, nothing to live for, he had completed his life's goal, and all it had done was leave him empty.
No Village, no friends, and within a few moments, probably not even his life.
Looking around himself he took in the battle wrecked street from his and Itachi's battle, scattered around lay bodies of Leaf, Sound and Akatsuki alike.
Spectating the battle, why would they complain their two strongest foes were wearing each other out? stood people he knew and people he didn't.
Naruto who had taken out the Snake Sannin only an hour ago stood looking at him, that determined look on his face, Sakura stood beside him, and Sasuke realised with a stab of pain she was glaring at him, not that he blamed her, others were also glaring, and many looked shocked at the violent battle that had just played out.
Neji, Lee, Kiba, Hinata, Ino, Shikamaru and rest of their gang from the Chunnin Exam stood looking at him as he expressionlessly looked back.
He couldn't help but smirk a little as Shikamaru put his Shadow Bind on him before his face took on the Jounin's expression, and as he felt a sharp blow to the neck that knocked him unconscious he realised they all had something he didn't and never would again, the reason they were so strong.
They fought together as Friends and Family.
"So, when is the execution taking place?" he asked in his usual cold voice, why didn't he feel intimidated? he was in enemy territory awaiting what could be nothing except an execution with what he had done.
Tsunade frowned at his lack of emotion, sentencing someone who didn't give a damn, especially someone she had been looking forwards to capturing, pissed her off immensely, but as Hokage she wasn't allowed to show it.
"Before i Judge and Sentence you I'm required to read a list of crimes to you." Tsunade looked down her nose at him "But i am also required to summon two people, one impartial, to make sure my judging is fair, and you are required to pick two people in your defence."
Sasuke looked at her in disbelief, his Defence! what Defence! he was a traitor! he deserved to die!
It was his fate, and though he refused to admit it, the peace of death called to him like a warm blanket.
"I refuse." he glared at her, as if daring her to argue, "I confess to whatever you charge me with, get it over with."
He didn't fear pain, years as Orochimaru student had given him a high tolerance for it, but keeping him waiting was needless.
The Hokage wasn't in the least bit bothered by his glare and sighed "It is not your choice to make, if you wont pick them i will."
Standing up and leaving the small dim room he was sat in, Sasuke assumed she was going to get the people needed.
As if things went bad enough, why couldn't they just let him die? at least in death his pain would be gone, as would the pain his existence was causing others.
The final battle, what a joke it had been, the Sound had barley been able to do any damage at all, they were arguably up against Konoha's greatest generation of Ninja's, and it had been a three way battle between them, the Sound and Akatsuki.
He could already guess that Akatsuki had caused the biggest death tole by themselves, but even the most powerful group of criminals in the world hadn't been able to stand against a whole village of Nin's.
He remembered seeing Naruto as he killed Orochimaru, he hadn't even needed to use the Kyuubi to kill him he had improved so much, he had barely even been winded, even without the demon he had surpassed Sasuke who had been fighting Itachi on almost equal grounds their whole fight.
Sasuke had been better, but not by a whole lot.
Now he longer had his cursed seal he would probably be just a bit better than Neji Hyuuga in combat, not that he would ever get chance, nor would he wish to now, to test that theory.
Slowly his mind went full circle to a place he had tried to keep it from; Sakura Haruno.
The though, he had been so close to being happy the night he had left, if only he had stayed he could have been living a happy life now as a Konoha Ninja.
Now he could admit it to himself, despite not being sure about love, he had been fooling himself into thinking he didn't have feelings for the pink haired girl.
He did care about her, but now he wouldn't have the chance to see what it could have become.
All he had cared about was Revenge, and in the end it had meant nothing.
Just as his life had.
His mind was pulled from this destructive circle as Tsunade entered the room again, this time tailed by four people.
Kakashi, and Unknown man, Naruto and..., his heart constricted suddenly, Sakura.
She couldn't even bear to look at him, she moved behind his chair out of his sight, Kakashi who glared at him stood behind the Hokage as did the mystery man.
To his great surprise Naruto nodded at him before joining Sakura behind him.
"Sasuke Uchiha, you are being charged by the following crimes; Deserting your Village, purposefully injuring a team mate, attempted murder, murder of various Ninja from different villages, and finally, taking a leading role in the intended destruction of Konoha." Tsunade looked him straight in the eye once again, "How do you plead."
"Guilt-" Sasuke was interrupted mid-word "Sasuke Uchiha pleads insanity Hokage-Sama." Sakura, despite everything, spoke up.
"On what grounds?" Tsunade was surprised, what evidence could possibly exist to back something like that up?
"On the grounds that the Cursed Seal was influencing his mental state." Naruto spoke this time, Sasuke noted past his shock that the blonde sounded decidedly uncomfortable speaking like he was.
"Is there proof of this?" Tsunade couldn't help but be annoyed, they can talked of this before, and even though they hadn't been able to disprove the idea, there had neither been proof, that was unlikely to have changed.
"We have written witness reports from the Chunnin Forest of Death exam that state how Sasuke seemed to become cruel and sadistic when facing some enemies, Sasuke Uchiha has always been admittedly cold and distant, but he had never shown signs of cruelty or pleasure in others pain, these witnesses also happened to be in Sasuke Uchiha's class in the academy, only myself, Naruto and Kakashi were closer to him." Sasuke was deeply shocked, this was Sakura! what had happened to the weak Gennin her remembered? she had grown... and he wasn't very happy with how good a case she was making, couldn't they see he WANTED to die!
"But you admit yourself he was distant, how can any of your truly know what he is like?" Tsunade sighed, knowing that her student wouldn't simply give up at that point.
"As i said, myself and Naruto, Naruto especially, become closer to Sasuke than anyone, the Sasuke we knew was willing to sacrifice his life for his team, despite this Sasuke was already mentally unbalanced before he even joined the Academy." Sakura took a breath and Sasuke willed her to be quiet and let him die in peace "He not only witnessed his parents brutal death, he was also subjected to the Mangekyou Sharingan after seeing his entire clan dead."
"Not only did this have a traumatic effect on him, other than inadequately sealing the Cursed Seal, Sasuke was pushed to breaking point by Itachi Uchiha with a second attack." Naruto took up here, sounding a little stronger with the words he was using "His leaving to join up with Orochimaru was only hours after waking up from the last attack."
Tsunade rubbed the bridge of her nose "I'm still waiting for proof, this may all be very true, as a medic Nin i admit it is likely, but up against these crimes without proof they don't stand."
"Hmph, don't give me that bull Tsunade, you know for a fact how... persuasive the Snake bastard was, and the only three of these crimes you can charge him for outside his influence is him leaving and our battle, and if you think I'm gunna testify about my injuries to send one of my precious people to their death you have another thing coming!" without even looking back Sasuke could tell Naruto had his trademark stubborn look on his face.
But that was the least of Sasuke thoughts, Naruto still considered him a friend? even after all he had done, he knew he was a dobe but he hadn't thought he was that stupid.
Still, no matter how he denied it, the thought someone still cared made a lump rise is his throat.
"His influence has nothing to d-" Tsunade was cut of by Sakura who had quickly regained her thread of thought "Correct me if I'm wrong but in a way Naruto is right, after that point Sasuke had abandoned the leaf for the sound, so he was officially a Missing Nin and outside Konoha's jurisdiction.
Also you have to consider Sasuke is last of the Uchiha's, when he dies so does his Clan's bloodline." Sakura finished with a light sigh.
"Treason is still punishable by death." Tsunade was still firmly in 'Hokage-mode' as Naruto liked to call it "But we will consider this, does the defence rest?"
After a second that Sasuke assumed Naruto and Sakura looked at each other in they both replied Yes.
Within a minute Sasuke was alone in the room again, Naruto and Sakura waiting for the three judges to decide on what was fair just as he was.
His mind was now whirling, DID he want to die? he had though he had nothing left, yet leave it to Naruto to give him doubts about his own death, did Naruto TRULY still consider him a friend? even after all he had done? or had that all been out of some misguided sense of duty to an old team mate?
It also hurt, but even though he knew and agreed she had All the reason in the world, he wondered if Sakura had given his defence for that reason also, she certainly hadn't sounded like she cared all that much, she had been matter of fact and to the point all the way through.
He knew Kakashi wanted him dead, he had said he would kill him if he ever betrayed the village.
But what of the others? he was sure they must still hate him, Naruto was too kind hearted, Sasuke himself knew he deserved death after what he had done.
And what kind of life could he lead now? with everything on his shoulders? letting out a sigh of frustration he grimaced.
Damn Naruto, now Sasuke was having doubts about the death he would so peacefully accepted if the idiot hadn't interrupted.
"Dobe..." he whispered to himself with a faint smile, how could someone feel hope for the future when they knew their death was only hours, if not minutes, away?
As usual Naruto defied the word impossible with passionate words.
Once again he was interrupted as everyone came back into the room.
All was silent as they got back in their places.
"Sasuke Uchiha, Kakashi has voted Death." he heard Naruto take a sharp breath behind him "But Council Member Yagashi took to heart what Chunnin Haruno said, both about the Uchiha Bloodline and his mental health."
Tsunade took a deep breath, it all fell on her, and she knew Naruto would have trouble, if he ever did, forgiving her if she asked for death.
"I am undecided." Tsunade gave her decision "So you have a choice Uchiha, Death or a second option, devised by Yagashi, that i personally don't feel is any less severe, it is more so in its own way."
Sasuke took a second to think, despite the fact he felt he deserved death, Naruto's words kept ringing in his head "What is the second option?" he asked, his voice no longer cold, just uncertain.
He felt Naruto's hand settle on his left shoulder, and to his immense surprise, Sakura's hand settle on his right.
Now he was truly uncertain, what WERE Sakura's feelings, did she hate him or what!
"Using a special Jutsu you Eyesight and therefore ability to live as Ninja would be taken from you, you would be alive and free to do as you wish, but you would be permanently sightless, your life would be by no means normal, considering that and the fact that the populace see you as a traitor i personally would choose death." Tsunade smiled grimly, but flinched a little when Naruto ground his teeth audibly "We will give you five minutes with your defence to decide."
If anything, the prospect of being alone with the two of his old friends bothered him, he wouldn't admit to being scared, more than the idea of death.
He was going to choose Death, he already knew.
Sasuke's life had ALWAYS revolved around being a Ninja, even his plans for after killing Itachi had involved it.
Living life as anything BUT a ninja wasn't something he could comprehend, let alone living life without his sight, he wouldn't even be able to live as normal, and he wouldn't be able to have a family, sure working was no worry, he had his Clans money, but what chance had a blind ex-ninja traitor with an attitude problem have of getting a wife?
No, he was defiantly choosing Death.
"Sasuke..." he dimly noticed Sakura stood in front of him, he felt compelled to answer, mentally preparing himself for the hatred she was obviously about to send at him "Yeah..?"
He was therefore deeply shocked when she threw herself onto him, knocking the chair he was tied to over, and hugged him "I'm so sorry! what are we going to do! I'm sorry i couldn't help you!"
To say Sasuke was a bit confused would be like saying Naruto was a bit fond of Ramen.
"What are you sorry for Sakura? you did everything you could, i have to pay for what i did." Sasuke couldn't help but feel pained, at least if she had hated him his passing wouldn't have bothered her much, if at all "Thank you both, it was so much more than I deserved." he said it all quietly, but sincerely.
Sakura was still sobbing on his chest and Naruto was looking down at him, seemingly unsure of what to do.
"Promise me something Sakura, please?" Sasuke swallowed the lump in his throat, it seemed to have grown twice as big.
"Anything Sasuke." she looked up at him with wet eyes "Promise me you wont watch my execution." with this Sakura seemed to simply break, she went almost limp against him and her eyes became dull.
He realised the reality of the situation had hit her.
Why did everything about him always seem to end in her getting hurt?
"I-I I don't want you to die Sasuke." this time she looked lost, looking for Naruto, Sasuke realised he had left the room for them to talk, he had no idea what to say to reassure the girl "A-all i w-wanted a-all this time w-was for y-you to come back, and now t-that you are y-you going away a-again."
Sasuke closed his eyes tight, wasn't this hard enough already! it wasn't like he had a choice! he Wanted her to be happy, to see were their futures would take them! but he was on borrowed time, he had no say in the matter...
"Sakura, you'll be fine, just forget about me and go on with your life." He forced his voice to its usual cold monotone, but let out a grunt as Sakura's slap almost broke his jaw.
"How. Dare. You." she was angry now, this was one of the few times in his life he was fighting back tears, but then it struck him, why? he was going to die. there would be no time for this later. slowly the tears started dripping from his eyes "How. DARE. You, all these years I've waited for you to come back, and you want me to just forget about you when your about to die? No chance."
At the sight of his tears her anger simply melted away to be replaced with a look half anguish, half contentment.
Then she said something that sent his resolve crumbling;
"How can i forget you, Sasuke Uchiha, since i Love You, and i Always will."
She leaned down and captured his lips with her own in a heated kiss, one she thought would be their last together, as she pulled away Sasuke looked up at her.
"Do you... mean that?" For the first time since he was a child Sasuke looked lost and vulnerable, she answered him with a whispered "Yes..." as she sealed it with another kiss.
"I..." he choked on the words, words he hadn't thought he would use "I Care for you Too."
Sakura looked at him a second before biting her lip and bursting into fresh sobs, Sasuke let the silent tears fall from his own eyes also.
They were interrupted as the others came back in, but Sasuke was ready, as Sakura lifted his fallen chair and body he faced them.
"Have you made your decision Sasuke Uchiha?" Tsunade asked wearing the ceremonial hat of the Hokage.
"I have, i choose the Blinding Jutsu." Sakura gave a gasp, as did Naruto, even Kakashi was wide eyed, Tsunade simply raised an eyebrow and nodded.
"Well, i think we can do this right here if you have no objection?" Sasuke gave a firm nod, and as squeezed the hand Sakura slipped into his own, reassuring her of his choice.
Council Member Yagashi stood in front of him and started forming handseals, Sasuke glared at the man as he did so but made no comment.
Then Suddenly the lights went out, and Sasuke knew true darkness, his only comfort the warmth of the small hand in his own.
Yikes, bit angsty for me the fluff lover, but still, it kept my interest for long enough to write.
My newly found liking for Sasuke and Sakura fuelled this, and yes it's AU but bleh :)
I'm not sure if this is going to be a single poster or if i shall continue, it really depends on if i lose interest.
Either way it was a decent distraction from my NaruHina.
Please R & R