Beginning notes: My first Itachi x Sakura pairing fanfiction with just a smidge of one-sided Kakashi x Sakura. Let's see how this goes. Oh boy…


Pianissimo—Act I

Scene I: Prey and Predator

Cold, calculating eyes watched the definition of grace from under the large brimmed straw hat, its owner shrouded in an ominous black cloak. He followed the fluid motion of every step, of every swish of the geisha's kimono as she lured the enchanted audience into her trap of seduction.

The drums pounded in a forte, filling the room with a fast rhythmic thunder while the geisha spun with passion, creating a breathless illusion of red and gold. The crowd drew their breath in awe.

This geisha of his interest was clothed sensually in a fiery vermillion kimono where leaves of gold and pink were embroidered at the sleeves and the hem, and they seemed to flicker good-naturedly in the candlelight. Her long, alluring rosette locks hung from a fancy style at the back of her head, and many ornaments jingling softly with her nimble steps. Her flirtatious jade eyes that glinted like priceless emeralds caught his orbs of red. He was able to confirm his rising suspicions.

Only an experienced shinobi would be able to catch the practiced flick of her wrists that were able to throw weapons at blinding velocities in battle as she twirled and played with the fan and the movements of her body that unconsciously merged the poise of dance and the deadly art of a kunoichi.

The air hissed with each dip of the elegant red fan. Anything in her grasp could serve as a handy weapon.

Only a man with keen ears could hear the enticingly fast breaths that came from her as she danced, her chest rising and falling rapidly for the need for oxygen.

And, only a criminal like himself knew she was looking for him.

The pounding of the drums grew louder and louder until the entire fervent dance ended with the last enormous pound of the bass drum and beautiful geisha falling to one knee under the elaborate dress, the fan held above her in a graceful stretch of her arm.

The audience sat dead silent, reminding him of the sound of the forest after battle, and then burst into enormous applause with cat-calls and whistling all directed at the young woman who now got up to bow graciously.

Jade clashed cruelly with rubies.

He inclined his head forward as if bowing in respect as he tipped the straw hat further over his head. His ebony hair spilled over his shoulder and when he came back up from his slow bow, the light revealed the strikingly handsome face of Uchiha Itachi.

The geisha disguised kunoichi bowed again to conceal her mouth forming words. "Target has been sighted twenty yards from the stage. It's wearing a black cloak and a straw hat. It is now headed toward the exit." She whispered quickly and then stood to face the audience once more.

A head full of unruly gray hair started to weave through the crowd towards the exit. "Sakura, get changed and head out. You know what to do."


Sakura flitted off the stage to complete her act and as soon as she was out of sight, she hurriedly, impatiently pulled loose the floorboard where she hid her weapon pouch and several scrolls.

"Excellent performance, kunoichi."

Before she could turn around, someone was already behind her, daring her to move another inch. The cool tip of a kunai tickled her neck, the presence of death leering at her menacingly as silence settled around the prey and the predator. They could not hear the crowd outside chanting loudly.

"I'm afraid the Copy Ninja isn't yet here to save you." He breathed beside her ear, his voice containing no emotion.

"Obviously," Sakura bit out, cursing herself for not noticing his chakra beforehand.

"I believe you have something I want." He said, his voice so quiet even when he was right behind her. The calmness of his rich alto sent shivers down her spine, distracting her from the wave of mental thoughts that came to her head.

"What do I have, Uchiha Itachi?" Sakura tried to add some venom in her tone, but could not sustain any.

"The Jinchuuriki."

A mocking laugh resounded from her throat at his calm declaration. "Naruto? He's not here."

"Then he will come for you."

Just as she was about to reply, the curtain shielding their encounter ripped open, exposing the same prey and the predator to the expectant crowd.

Sakura took the chance of his rare surprise to spin out gracefully from him and his deadly kunai, a firm look in her eyes that told him to play along. She took up an elegant umbrella that was propped against the wall and she flung it open spectacularly, revealing a matching red to her kimono.

The beat of the drums began softly at a pianissimo, giving into the peculiarly peaceful scene that had been set up spontaneously. Sakura slowly made her way to the man who stood still, his figure draped in the black cloak and his rather feminine beauty shocking the audience into silence. She grazed by him, her hand dragging agonizingly slow across his chest and Itachi soullessly followed the geisha with his vibrant crimson eyes, allowing Sakura to play her game of pretend.

The flirtatious woman tapped the umbrella on her shoulders with a pout, making the spectators laugh quietly. Sakura suddenly felt his hot hand seize her by the arm, causing her to drop the umbrella in surprise, and she was spun forcefully with her back against his chest. Her breath quickened with something other than the need for oxygen as his hand smoothed over the silk of her clothes. Automatically, the rosette geisha leaned her head, her eyelids fluttering shut, on Itachi's firm shoulder as his hands tantalizingly made their way down to her left thigh.

"Let's play, kunoichi." He whispered into her ear.

Itachi slowly spun from her, his cloak flaring, his form almost as graceful as the geisha herself. Struggling to regain her intoxicated senses, Sakura swept up her fallen prop once more and twirled it at the handle as she did an unhurried, rhythmic dance solo, drawing a pair of Sharingan eyes to her slender figure.

Her heart sped up at the heat of his eyes as she came to a gradual stop to her solo and vaguely wondered what was going to happen next. She did not have to wait very long.

Itachi bowed with gallantry, abruptly initiating the second phase of their dance. He beckoned her to continue, as he was unwilling to come to her. Sakura also gave a bow that led effortlessly into her approach towards Itachi, who extended his hand to her. Without thinking twice, she took it and found herself in his embrace again, this time while facing him. An absent thought passed through her head as she stared into the eyes of the man who had mercilessly killed hundreds, the guilty and the innocent.

The kunoichi felt his hand slide under the flap of her dress and down her thigh, his touch awakening tingling nerves she never knew existed. She felt him slip out a shuriken from the small weapon pouch that had been strapped around her left leg, and any trace of his touch vanished instantly. Sakura felt him finger her pink locks and the pins that held her hair. He escaped from her by stepping sideways three times.

Sakura was left feeling cold once more and her body moved on its own, giving the viewers a poignant dance again as the drums and music quickened. She did not know what was going on. She did not like the feeling that she got when he was so close to her.

However, this phase of their exchange of body language was different than the rest. Itachi brushed across the floor to Sakura, and he carefully plucked the poison-covered hairpin from her hair. It tumbled down her back with nothing to bind it, a picture of delicacy that he had not the enjoyment of seeing in years. With a discrete flick of his wrist, the pin flew to a member of the audience, piercing his heart and causing a quick, silent death.

"You've had numerous opportunities to try to kill me, kunoichi. You've missed all of them." Itachi bent to whisper into her ear again.

"Not all." Sakura whispered back breathlessly.

With the agility that only a ninja could possess, she slipped out a small dagger from the sash that wound around her waist, and she attempted to stab his neck. The Uchiha stopped it with his own hand, subduing the sharp, dangerous blade while it cut into his palm. Blood dribbled down his hand as the crowd gasped at the dramatic sight. Wrenching it from her grasp, he threw it behind him and its tip buried deeply in a wooden post.

Sakura was met with a bruising kiss on her cherry lips as he held tight to both of her wrists; her struggle was futile and useless in his strong grip. Instead, she melted into his body, falling desperately against him and their kiss softened considerably into a chaste meeting of two pairs of lips.

"The Jinchuuriki, my kunoichi." He said calmly.

Her mind began to haze and go oddly unfocused when she stared into the eyes of enigmatic red where black swirled to connect the outer ring to his pupils.

I will break you.

Scene II: Revelation

Every one of her senses burned with a queer feeling of cold fire, her body feeling isolated from the mind as she fell back into a calm abyss. Sakura could not force herself to wake up nor figure out what was happening. It was as if someone had put a dampener on her senses, and stopped her from doing what all human beings did: think.

A film of different memories sped past her eyes, and she was entranced by the sheer vividness of each one. She felt like she was watching several short movies all in seconds. The images were all rushed, hardly enough time to even glance at them, but slowly, they came to a stop.

Sakura watched her own self speaking in hushed tones with a golden-haired man who proved to be her greatest friend in times of need, Uzumaki Naruto. He looked grave and solemn as he spoke to her and she was wildly shaking her head in worry, her pale face drained of any further color in her fright. But as even she as she looked on, her brain could not make sense of anything, only that it was a memory. With uncomprehending eyes, she stared at the scene in silence, nothing making a note of the way Sakura clapped her hands to her mouth in surprise and Naruto reaching out to grip by the shoulder to quiet her.

Little by little, the kunoichi of Konoha started to make sense of her current surroundings. What she was lying on was rather uncomfortable but warm enough, and the slightest bit of noise seemed to echo a bit as they reached her ears. Despite the warmth of whatever she was lying upon, the foreign air around her was dreadfully cold and it made her shiver in anticipation.

"Naruto!" She bolted upright, her eyes wide in apprehension and fear.

"Sakura, are you alright?" His voice registered into her mind but the worry and surprise in it distorted it.

Hatake Kakashi, a faithful shinobi and Sakura's humble sensei with much experience in the field, knelt beside her, his one visible eye displaying shock. His jounin vest matched hers, but his gray hair rightly designated their age difference.

"Sensei…" Sakura muttered as she rubbed an aching head.

"That was dangerous, Sakura, being alone like that. You should have called for help." He reprimanded, his surprise replaced by his anger.

"I'm sorry, I just got carried away. He had a kunai to my throat." She whispered absently, trying to assuage the onslaught of a raging migraine.

Kakashi's anger quickly deflated when he looked at her tired faced etched with insomnia and he put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Get some rest. We will head straight to Konoha at dawn."

"What time is it now?"

"Midnight. I'll keep watch. Just sleep as much as you can." He said, tenderly pushing her back down on her worn sleeping bag.

"Thank you, Kakashi-sensei." She murmured sleepily while rubbing her eyes. "By the way, are you injured anywhere?"

Kakashi shook his head. "Minor injuries. Nothing to worry about."

Sakura turned onto her side and sighed. "Naruto is safe, right?"

Her sensei gazed at her and his mask lifted slightly in a smile of confidence. "You know he is, Sakura."

"I can't help but ask…" She trailed off, a feeling of doubt overcoming her.

A suspicious feeling aroused the Copy Ninja. "Did something happen, Sakura? Did Itachi say something to you?"

She shook her head. "It's nothing. Just seeing the Akatsuki makes me think of Naruto, and seeing Naruto makes me think of the Akatsuki."

Kakashi patted her head. "He can take care of himself. Besides, he doesn't want you to worry about him."

"Hey, Kakashi-sensei, you're sure Naruto's okay?"

He looked at his former pupil. Indeed, Haruno Sakura had come a long way from the twelve-year-old genin, both in skill and figure. She was now a successful young woman, beautiful and strong, whom he couldn't help but admire. Sakura had saved his life on numerous occasions with her training with Tsunade while he protected her as well as he could, being her teacher and mentor. The thought of Itachi that close to her was quite unnerving. It struck a chord of jealousy in his heart and it rang as a painful melody; he knew that he loved her and that it was forbidden, but not because of the physical age difference, but because of his scarred life that he didn't dare to share with her.

Kakashi shook away his thoughts, and instead gave her a bigger smile.

"Yes, I'm sure."

Sakura smiled sleepily. "You're the best, Kakashi-sensei." Her eyes closed shut soon and he sat beside her, watching her slumber in peace and mentally wondering what he had done to deserve such torture.

Scene III: Poison

Itachi's hand was useless by the time he had gotten two hundred yards from where the geisha had preformed. He could feel the fiery sensation of the poison creep upward towards his shoulder, and he glanced at the deficient limb with slight concern. The kunoichi that he had the utmost pleasure of meeting had smoothed on a lethal toxin on the fine blade of the dagger that had been hidden in the folds of her sash. Not until his hand began to twitch uncontrollably and painfully, was he aware of this fact; the hand that had been cut was badly inflamed and infected so that the lesion excreted discolored pus, and hissed when it made contacted with the fresh night air. The poison acted swiftly.

The infamous Uchiha criminal carried the lifeless appendage that hung loosely by his side as he leapt on the high branches of the trees, but he could not help but notice whenever the wind found the opportunity to brush its touch across the wound.

He came to a clearing, but he stood on a branch to sense for any foreign chakra. Seeing none but sensing a familiar one, he leapt down to find a large man sitting while leaning his back on a tree, an enormous sword latent beside him. Itachi also seated himself, not too far away from his companion, and he unzipped his black cloak in order to slip out his injured hand. It was dark and he could not see much, but the sliver of moonlight befell upon him, casting a pale illumination on Itachi's face.

"I smell poison." The bulky man grunted, not bothering to get up to see if Itachi was injured.

"A minor problem, Kisame. Hand me the pack." Itachi replied.

He easily caught the small pack tossed to him, and he opened it to rummage through the various contents inside. Finding what he needed, Itachi pulled out a small circular container filled with ointment and quickly unscrewed the lid. Dipping two fingers inside, he then gently rubbed it on the wound, keeping his face emotionless and ignoring the huge amount of pain that shot through his system.

"What about the Jinchuuriki?"

There was a pause while the Uchiha slit a small opening on his upper arm in order to bleed out the toxin; it hadn't reached his shoulder yet which was a sign that his heart was still unaffected.

"He will come. I have sent a messenger to him." Itachi said softly.

"So all we gotta do is wait? Again?" Kisame growled irritably.

Itachi stopped the flow of blood by wrapping it tightly with clean bandages. "No, we will have to track her."

"Her? A kunoichi?" He asked gruffly, his voice coarse and skeptical. "You sure you know what you're doing?"

"I am not used to having my actions questioned, Kisame." The smaller man said quietly, his tone evident of warning.

Kisame waved his hand nonchalantly. "Ne'ermind." He muttered.

"Come, the poison in my arm has stopped flowing. Our little messenger and the Copy Ninja should be heading west towards Konoha." Itachi stood to his full height and waited for his partner to do the same.

Leisurely, Kisame got to his feet, towering over Itachi by an entire head. The moonlight revealed his ugly, shark-like features, tinting his strange bluish gray skin even grayer. He picked up his sword and strapped it routinely on his back.

"So, this, kunoichi…was she anything worth killing?"

The impassive expression on Itachi's face did not change at Kisame's question. "We can't kill her yet. Be patient."

"I got some food while you were away."

Itachi ignored him and swept away. "It's best that we arrive at Konoha before they do."

The pair of cloaked shinobi took to the tree branches once more. Itachi kept his mind off of the poisoned arm and focused on the task at hand. Too many years had passed without the successful capture of the Kyuubi. This time, the Akatsuki would not tolerate any further failure. He would not tolerate failure.

"What's after we're at Konoha?"

Itachi had thought ahead and proceeded to answer the other Akatsuki. "Once she delivers the message, we will kill her. The Jinchuuriki will have no choice but to come after us."

The shark-like man bared his teeth in a horrible smile at Itachi's plan. "Sounds good to me."

"We will have to be weary of Kakashi. He is too clever for his own good." Itachi breathed, but loud enough for the other to hear.

"We can take him. If he gets in the way, we'll just kill him too."

"Hn." The Uchiha mused.

There was a short silence as they traveled before Kisame sniffed the air again. "That arm of yours…the smell of the poison's gotten worse."

"Don't mind it." Itachi cut off shortly. "Come quickly."

By dawn, the two Akatsuki members had sighted the gates of Konoha and decided to dwell on the outskirts of the forest that surrounded the village.

Come, my kunoichi. You have promised me the Jinchuuriki.

Ending notes: The whole geisha scene was inspired by the book Memoirs of a Geisha and the impending movie version. If you're interested in Japanese culture, I highly recommend this book and watch the movie too! I hope to see it as soon as it comes out!

I hope you don't mind the one-sided Kakashi x Sakura. I thought that I should put more of Kakashi in my stories.

I have begun an Itachi fetish due to a crazy good story by Leafygirl. Now, I have everything of Itachi: 50+ images saved on my computer, a desktop of Itachi's beauty, two completed fanarts with 5 more uncompleted sketches…

…um…I love Itachi? XD