Innocence: A Façade

Part I

By: Saori

My name is Sakura Kinomoto.

The masked figure sighed softly, careful to be quiet and not let the silent night hear her hidden cry. Her auburn hair billowed thoughtless in the slight wind that surrounded her. Crouching slightly, her hooded emerald eyes narrowed to get a better view of the scene below. Ah, yes, she thought, not containing the smirk that rose to her lips; another pedophile among them.

I have green eyes, and auburn hair. I am in my last year of Seijuu High.

The slightly overweight man chuckled to himself as he swayed to the side, unable to comprehend why. Of course he was drunk, the figure from above quickly reasoned, and frowned at his thoughtlessness. Her frown deepened at the sight of the much too young girl that was thrown at him from the inside of the club of which he had just departed.

I am excellent in literature, history, the sciences, and of course athletics.

The previously stunned girl immediately backed away from the man she was shoved into. Fear shown in the child's eyes, and even the figure two stories above could see it presently written on the girl's face. "Sir, I-I'd like to go home now." She stuttered, trying to wrench her small body from his tight grip on her arm.

I, however, am not so great when it comes to mathematics.

"Like hell," The businessman replied in a surprisingly strong voice, giving his intoxicated stupor. He leaned in, leering suggestively at the girl, and brought a hairy-knuckled hand to her flawless face. "I just got you, don't think I'm letting you get away so easily. We're going to have a little time to play."

My family is gone in what seems to be a mysterious fire, and now I live with a good old man, named Mr. Karachi.

The figure, having heard more than enough of the sicken conversation, decided to take action. Scanning the lonesome street, save for the two occupants she had been watching, she made sure there were no innocent bystanders threatening to get in her way. Finding the coast clear, she pulled out the familiar metal object, and cocked it, the reassuring sound telling her previous bullets had been inserted before hand.

And I am a highly trained assassin.

It took her no more than a minute to have the gun aimed at his bicep muscle of the arm that gripped the girl, before a shot rang out. Before the man even had time to acknowledge his bleeding arm now full with a steaming bullet, or hear the cry of the small girl, the figure was down on the road next to them, shoving an open fist forcefully into his nose, emitting a sickening crack because of the breakage.

Now there were two cries howling against the night; one of the terror-stricken girl, and the other of a deeply wounded businessman, still unable to fully comprehend the situation. The quick shadow that had found her target let him moan beside himself, as she tugged the small girl's face up, so she could have attention.

Once received, the highly-skilled assassin smiled slightly, and patted the golden-headed child on the shoulder. The child was gone before she had instruction to do so. The smile demolished from her cold face, when she turned to the man on the floor writhing in front of her.

"Shoji Takinawa," Her emotionless voice ripped through the still of the night, so vivid in the void. "You're life is mine. The pain you feel from you're nose and arm are nothing to the pain you have caused children across this cursed city. I will no longer permit you to walk these desolate streets."

And with that, his fatal gift was a bullet through his forehead, ending his life. Seeing his eyes roll back in his head, and the blood of blood that formed around him on the concrete, she turned her back on him, leaving him for his criminal friends to find in the morning. Another message from her boss.

"I hate pedophiles," She muttered resentfully, escaping into a dark alley. Only a few steps in, and she noted immediately something wasn't right. A shove from a darkened corner at her left side notified she was right. Her forehead creasing, she wondered why she hadn't caught on sooner, and scolded herself for letting her guard down enough that she was physically touched. Usually her senses stopped that from happening. The unknown shadow was good.

"Don't we all." A male's voice reached her ears, responding to her earlier statement. Sakura frowned, not liking the thought that this no-faced shadow was conversing with her. From the coldness in his voice, she figured he planned to do more.

Her body tensed, ready at any moment to launch for attack. Then, thinking better of it, for she had no idea what weapons he possessed, she relaxed her stance, and forced herself to make easy small talk with him. "Quite a night to be roaming dark allies, eh?"

"Yes, indeed." His tight-lipped mouth, gradually let out into an amused smirk. "But the soft wind is quite arousing now, isn't it?" Sakura tried to keep the startled expression from her face. What an odd thing to say, she thought, trying to hopelessly figure this new puzzle out.

"Enough," Sakura commanded, sick of playing games. She wanted to completely her nightly routine of getting home and taking a long shower to wipe the scum of the night from her. "You are an assassin, no doubt?" She didn't wait for his answer. "Go ahead, try to kill me." She ordered; no fear in her mind that tonight would be the night she was gone from her lonely life.

In a flash almost too quick for her, the shadow had stepped out, and held her pinned up against the opposing wall; her instincts kicking in a little too late, but aiding her unreliably, her arm stopped the shadow's knife from reaching her neck. She gritted her teeth, as his blade broke through the skin of her arm, and blood seeped down, dripping soundlessly to the ground. She hadn't been planning that it would be knife- no, she thought, an impossible thought dawning on her, it was a sword.

The pressure stopped, and many more confusing thoughts ebbed at her; one of which – why hadn't he taken his chance to finish his task and slaughter her? Still though, his body remained tightly against her, and she was painfully aware of her skimpy assassin outfit that had never bothered her before. Knowing that he would hear, without a doubt, her pulse quicken rapidly, she calmed it before it had the chance, the faithful trick coming in handy for something besides lie detector tests.

Looking up, realizing his identity was no longer concealed, she studied the man's hardened features for future reference. Messy brown hair, deep amber eyes, broad shoulders, high cheek bones, and lips that tempted her more than she liked to admit. He was also quite tall, for her head was back so she could look up at his form. Wait, she held in a gasp, there wasn't a mask on his face! This assassin was different than any other she had met before.

"Sakura Kinomoto." No question in his statement, but a mocking tone filled his cold voice. "Your life is mine." He was making fun of her, she cried in her mind, enraged. She wouldn't die to this man. Before he had the chance to continue his taunting speech, she threw her body forward with all her might, trying to use her weight to push his weight off from her, so she could get into another stance. He was moved no more than an inch, before he had his weight upon her again, closer this time, weary of another of her body slams. His eyebrows had flitted up for a second though, she thought a little smugly for the position she was in, he didn't think my small body could move his. Ha!

The coldness at her neck brought her back to remembering she was trapped in an alley, with a very difficult opponent pining for her life. His sword flattened against her neck, so that it would not pierce her skin, and she frowned deeply. Why couldn't he just kill her already!

"As I was saying," The man resumed his earlier speech. "Your life is mine, and you're coming with me." She paused a moment at his last four words. He saw the surprise register on her face, and his smirk was back. "Yes, Sakura Kinomoto, I am kidnapping you."

Glaring viciously, her mind came up with a short list of risky ways to escape. Taking the first one, she body slammed him once again; taking the even smaller space than before she received to quickly free her arm close it around his neck. Oh damn, she darkened at her stupidity. Now where was she, no different from a few minutes before, but she had a weak arm from his earlier slash enclosed around his neck. It did nothing, she knew immediately, dismayed. Even if her arm hadn't been slash, her grip would've still not been enough to cause any serious damage to his oxygen passage.

"Didn't think about that for long, did you?" He questioned, not at all expecting an answer, and not at all at a loss for breath. Scowling, she admitted nothing, hating it when she was wrong and someone pointed it out when she already knew. Fine then, fighting a smirk of her own, she released his neck, and in a movement to fast for him for once, delivered a small punch to the side of his face, not able to get enough momentum for lack of space.

His free hand immediately latched itself as a chain, so her hand was pressed crucially to the brick wall above her. His frown was clear, right next to the deep red mark on his cheek. He pressed closer to her, closer than any man had dared in his life, and his heated breath washed in wisps across her face. Every curve of her body molded into his, and she was dismayed to find that her body was giving no protests.

It was a smart trick, she admitted to herself. She was completely defenseless with no space to gain control, and he had all the control in the world, with his sword and strength. Okay, she reasoned, he will not kill me, not saying he won't hurt me, but there is nothing I can do to get away. "Alright," Her body completely relaxed, and her fierce expression vanished and was replaced by an emotionless one. "Let's go, take me away Mr. Kidnapper."

He lifted a weary eyebrow at her, unsure if she was honest or not. She looked at him impatiently, waiting for him to decide what to do. Finding her other hand, he brought it up to her other one; Sakura not fighting at all just waiting for him to tie them together. Once he had done so, he finally backed away from her, and was shocked to find her body aching at the loss of his heat. This was new.

"Where to?" She questioned with a small smile, pleased to find that she was making the man uncomfortable; he had probably never had such a willing victim before. Staring at her for a moment, his heated amber eyes sizing her up, a bit distant, for her mask still concealed quite a bit of her face, he stepped towards her. She knew what was coming, and frowned to herself, but made no move to protect herself.

In a flash, his trained hand came down on her neck, hitting a point that she knew well; one that knocked an enemy unconscious on impact. With that she was out, blackness colliding into her simple mind; the last image those piercing amber eyes.

Author's Note-

For give me! Yes, I know, I have started yet another fic. But, here's the explanation. I now have a free computer class, because I have finished all my assignments early. This was written in a class time, and I haven't sent The Bet chapter I'm working on to my e-mail, so I didn't have it with me to finish up. So, with surprising inspiration, this came up. It's not very long- but it is just an opener.

Look on the Brightside; with this new 50 minutes 3-4 times a week, I'll have my updates just a bit faster. I can't promise anything, because the teacher is threatening more work, but I hope so. I really do miss my updates, they're like every 3-4 months now. Gosh. Anyways, please review!