Chapter: Confusion

As Sakura took a seat across Itachi, Deidara took her left side as Sasori sat across the blonde.

Green eyes glanced at the stoic chiha, who seemed to be in thought as his eyes were closed. Sakura could only wonder what he was thinking about. His eyes were set in a grim line and even if she knew it were a blank expression like what he would mostly wear, there was something disturbing about his façade. She didn't know why. Maybe it was because of his and Kisames mission tomorrow, that he seems to be preoccupied. Maybe he's formulating some kind of plan. Whatever it was… it bugged her.

Tobi set the food down and Itachi opened his eyes to stare at Sakura. Onyx met emerald for a moment before Itachi broke the gaze and started eating.

"Sakura-chan, o better eat. The spar was quite tiring." Deidara said to her

The pink-haired kunoichi only smiled in return. She picked up her chopsticks and started eating the fried shrimps, before taking a sip of her soup.

All was in silence and it felt quite odd. Sometimes, there would be a conversation between Deidara and whomever he wanted to speak to, or Tobi telling them some information to help in missions. Now, hardly one sound was made between the group and Sasori raised a delicate brow at this. "Hm."

Deidara snapped his one blue eye at him and asked him, "What's wrong, Sasori?"

Sakra listened carefully for Sasoris reply that came in seconds later.

"I was wondering why you're silent."

Deidara shrugged his shoulders in reply, "Got nothing to talk about. The spar kinda took out m enjoyment, yeah."

"Deidara-sama is tired after being beaten b a girl?" Tobi asked inquiringly at Kisame who was beside him.

A vein popped on Deidaras temple as he glared menacingly at Sasori. "Watch it, swirl-face. you might get the beating next… yeah."

Before Kisame cold say a thing, the screeching of a chair was heard and all heads turned to Itachi. "Going already?" Kisame asked

Itachi threw the napkin he used to wipe his mouth and turned to walk out of the kitchen. "We'll leave in five hours, Kisame." Was all he said

"Aren't you gonna finish our food?" Sasori asked, not even looking at him, as he sipped his tea.

Sakura watched as he just left the kitchen without another reply and for the next seconds they could only hear the door to Itachi and Sakuras room upstairs close.

"He seemed to be acting aloof all of a sudden, don't you think?" Sakura asked no one in particular, a frown settling on her face

Sasori smirked, still holding his teacup to his mouth. "And why would you say that, Sakura-san? Doesn't he act like that all the time?" he asked her amusingly

A pink tint grazed her cheeks as she looked away. Her eyes were that of concern towards Itachi, however. "I-I guess he does…"

'Yet… everything about him is mysterious anyways, so I really can't tell whether he's acting out of character or what.' she thought

Sasoris smirk got even wider as Sakura stood up from her seat and muttered a quick excuse to leave. She walked out of the kitchen, her cloak billowing behind her.

Deidara turned his attention towards the puppet-master and grinned sheepishly. "It seems like the cherry wants to be noticed by the weasel, yeah?"

Sasori only looked at Deidara with a glint in his eyes, which served as an answer towards the blue-eyed shinobi.

Kisame and Tobi only exchanged glances.

As Sakura neared their room, she couldn't help but feel her heartbeat and how fast it felt as she put a hand to her chest to calm her breathing. She was nervous, but she wasn't sure why. Itachi was a killer and an S-class criminal, supposed to be feared by all, but even with that fact, she got to know something about him. It maybe slight correct or all her assumptions are wrong but in her mind she knew that a part of her understood how Itachi is, even in the smallest way. She feared him, yes… but at the start she loathed him as well. Gradually as time began to pass, she got to talk to him more openly and share conversations—even in intimate moments, dare she say it.

Standing in front of the door, she grasped the doorknob and opened to step inside their room. She didn't see Itachi anywhere and figured that he must've been in the bathroom. It was already earl in the evening about or seven o'clock. The training that must've took place moments ago between him and the other Akatsukis must've made him dirty and so.

She sighed, thanking whoever was looking out for her from above as she thought to have more time to think about how she would talk to Itachi. Any topic that could lead to her asking him, why he seems to avoiding her.

Shrugging off the Akatsuki cloak, Sakura mentally noted to take a shower later on, for the spar with Deidara had made her dirt as well. Taking off her other exterior clothing as well, she sat on the bed in her fishnet shirt and shorts, her eyes glazed over with sadness as she thought about Naruto all of a sudden. How was he right now? Could he be still searching for her? Sasuke came next and she thought about seeing him and persuading him to come back to Konoha again. But she thought it would be just as before.

'Are you still thinking about escaping here?' her inner self decided to ask her

'I don't know what to think anymore, that's what.' Sakura sighed exasperatedly

"What do you think about Sasuke-kuns reaction once I tell him that you're with Akatsuki?"

Sakuras eyes widened upon the memory of Kabuto as she remembered about his threat. She lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling as she contemplated about her next decision. She would get a wide chance to escape Akatsuki tomorrow when Itachi and Kisame aren't here and as she heard from Tobi, Deidara and Sasori are going out for a mission as well, earl morning.

'What about the two Akatsuki that are supposed to come here? If you really are planning to escape… the might catch you if you don't time everything properly.' Inner Sakura told her

'I'm still wondering what I'm supposed to do. Will I go towards Konoha or will I go and try to find where Sasuke might be?'

She stopped her train of thoughts as she sat up at the sound of the bathroom door opening. Itachi walked out wearing his pants and a towel over his damp hair. His eyes caught Sakura looking at him again but he sat on the opposite side of the bed as he turned his back towards her.

Noticing the act with a bit of anger, she turned her back on him as well, but she still couldn't help but look at him at the corner of her eye as she turned her head to look at him over her shoulder.

He was drying his hair off with the towel and as he was done he tossed it over to the chair near his desk. He lay on the bed with his hands behind his head as he closed his eyes. No exchange of words between Itachi and Sakura during that process and it made Sakura confused.


Itachi opened his eyes to stare at her back without moving his head. She wasn't looking at him but rather; she was looking at her hands. "Hn?" was his reply

Sakura stiffened at his reply but calmed down once more, "Why have you been ignoring me?"

He paused before answering, "Why do you think that?"

Unknowingly to Sakura, her hands clenched into fists and her shoulders were slightly shaking. Not knowing the reason why she was feeling like this, she answered back, "I've noticed." She paused, "Did I anger you or what?"

She wasn't sure of asking him her next question but acted upon it anyways. "Is it because of me and Deidara sparring together?"

In an instant, she was pinned on the bed, with the raven-haired haired chiha on top of her. His hands held her wrists to the level of her head. His lips were gently caressing hers as if to coax her to respond to the kiss. She did, and after moments of sharing such an intimate act, he laid his head behind her ear.

"I-Itachi? Answer my question will you?" She said, forcing to keep her blush from appearing. Right now, she wanted nothing more but for him to explain why he went on about ignoring her for the past few hours.

"I have no need to." Came his reply before light kisses were felt on her neck.

Sakura tried to struggle out of his strong grip, but Itachi wouldn't let loose. He bit the spot where her shoulder met her neck. A soft moan came after, but Sakura bit her lip in embarrassment at letting loose such a thing. She had already told herself that she would help to retrieve Sasuke, but Itachi… he made her feel things, complicated and hard to comprehend.

'So what now?' Inner Sakura asked 'Are you giving up on Sasuke-kun?'

Jade eyes widened and abruptly put most of her strength to push Itachi away, but she only managed to make him stop his ministrations. He was still on top of her and he only stared at her with his blank expression, not giving anything away about how he was feeling, for he was unsure of it himself.

"Itachi…" Sakura whispered softly. She got his full attention now, and she bit her lip on how depthless his crimson eyes were. The tomoes were mesmerizing and she closed her eyes for a second thinking that he would use his sharingan on her.

"I won't use it now." He said as if he could read what was on her mind. She truly was an open book at times, that, he learned about her.

As Sakura opened her eyes once again, she saw that she was looking at his onyx eyes, tinted with dark red. Her mouth opened to speak up, "What… what am I to you?" she asked, her eyes almost glittering.

Itachi knew where she was going but he didn't let her on. "You are our captive. And as long as our mission stands, it will stay until there."

"Not to Akatsuki, Itachi…" her eyes glistened with oncoming tears, subconsciously knowing what was going to happen next. "I asked, what am I… to you?" she said

Not breaking eye contact, a moment of silence passed before Itachi decided to finally reply, "A kunoichi from Konoha. One who is my responsibility. Nothing more."

A painful squeeze on her chest area hurt her. His words… she knew. She knew that it was going to be like this, but for once… her thoughts, she wanted it to be wrong. She wanted to know that he sees something in her that's worth his attention, maybe even just a quarter of it.

"I see."

Itachi stared at her for a few more seconds while she la still, trying to control from letting her tears fall, before he gently rolled onto his side, facing her body. He pulled up the blankets until it touched their torso and Sakura hesitantly wrapped her arms around his waist. His eyes were void of any emotions, but he could feel the wetness of the pink-haired kunoichis tears, as she silently cried on his naked chest. He knew he was the cause but love was something he never opened himself up to. He knew it would only get in his way of obtaining more power as a shinobi.

As he closed his eyes to prevent more thoughts to think about, he put an arm around her. He was going to leave with Kisame for a mission in 5 hours and meet with Zetsu on the way to get more info. He needed some rest.

A blonde woman stared at the three shinobi before her, who recently came back from a retrieval mission.

"So… you didn't see her?" The Fifth Hokage asked

"We didn't… but Naruto heard her voice." Neji answered politely. He had bruises all over but some of his injuries as was Shikamarus and Narutos, were already patched up by the medics from Konoha Hospital. They were sent there before the three were asked to report to the Hokage. The other two were said to rest and spend a week letting their injuries heal, since theirs were worse.

"Naruto." Tsunade called out to the blonde man, whose eyes were full of disappointment and sadness. "You did the best you cold. At least we know that Sakura is still alive. If they've kept her for that long that brings me to a conclusion they're not going to harm her, but if they will it won't be for quite some period of time. We still have a chance."

"I know." His usual cheerfulness wasn't usually with him because of the current circumstances. How many more? How many more would it take of his closest friends to be taken away from him before whoever who might be laughing at his predicament will be satisfied? It was taking a toll on him already but he still refuses to give up. He'd get Sakura back… and then, the both of them will get Sasuke back from Orochimaru as well. He still remembered her promise. He remembered her telling him that she'll get Sasuke back. He made a promise to her as well. He wouldn't let her down, never.

"Shikamaru… you three will be going on another mission. Tomorrow, it's going to be the to threes final mission to retrieve Sakura. We cannot afford anymore mission seeing as Orochimaru has been making advances on Konoha and other fellow shinobi villages."

"Eh?" Shikamaru said 'Troublesome…'

"But, if we can't bring her back in this mission, what's going to happen to Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked angered

"We have to postpone other retrieval missions first. You know that our village is being threatened already. We don't want any more catastrophes happening. Much to my dismay, missions like these; concerning Sakura and Sasuke, they cannot be acted upon anymore as we will prepare ourselves for an oncoming war."

"Kuso." Naruto tightened his fists

"But, Hokage-sama, I don't think the three of us will suffice especially since this is the last mission, don't you think we need more shinobis?" Neji asked

Tsunade smiled at the three of them. She was about to reply when the heard the mahogany doors to her office open, and in came Shizune. "Hokage-sama, they're here."

Tsunades eyes lit with happiness as she stood up from her place ad greeted the three other shinobi who came in.

Naruto, Neji and Shikamaru turned around and their eyes widened as the saw—

"I thank you for your presence and acceptance to this mission, Kakashi, Sai and much gratefulness to you too, Gaara."

Miakoda13: So… did you like the chapter? It made my heart cry to type the ending part for Itachi and Sakura on their last scene. T.T But its no ItaSaku without angst. Believe it! The ending for the chapter was quite a surprise, ne? I wasn't supposed to put Kakashi and Sai there, but only the Sand siblings, but I decided it would be better this way. Besides, who would govern the council of Suna when Gaaras not there. So I left Temari and Kankuro. Sorry guys.

Sorry for the long wait anyway. I am really getting into drawing my doujin "TRI-ANGLE" I'll be posting it soon. And check out my other story, "HEARTACHE" It's SasuSaku anyways. Angsty as well.

Review Replies: (I don't think I'll do the reply button anymore, cause when I used that for the last chapter, man things happened to my account… so, I'm just going to answer you guys here, okay?)

Siy: Hahahaha, sure! Thank you!

Xxaoshixx: Thank you!

Heartless soul: Sorry that you had to wait for quite a while. But I still hope you like this chapter!

Sweetassassin: Tee-hee! Jelly Itachi Oo Weird, but true. XD

Winner-loser: Thankz!!! Oh yeah! I've been meaning to ask… are you still in the Shaman King fandom? Just wondering.

sharinganluvr: Hidan and Kakazu will be put in the next chapter. So… you have to deal with this one first. ;P But I hope the chapter was good.

Tri17: You gave me some poisonous cookies, that's why I couldn't update sooner! Xx But I'm alive now, thanks to our fave medic-nin, Sakura-chan. I'm joking about the cookies though, please doesn't take that seriously and really try to kill me. I will haunt you!!! Anyways, yeah… I found it cute to put Deidara and Sakura that way. But the following chapters will be a lot more serious as Gaze upon The Killing Time will be ending soon. The sequel will come out though, no worries.

Shadow fox777: You don't know how much that has made m heart swell and m head big. XD I'm kidding. Bt it's nice to know that you like it. I hope you keep on reading.

Rebel-girl: I don't know why, but everyone seems to be threatening me to update ASAP. And seeing as the threat stands, I have no choice. XD Ah, it feels good to know that there are still people reading this fic. I'm a supporter for the DeiSaku pairing as well!

Fullmetal naruto girl: I shall! I shall! And yes, I've updated!

Honey I just wanna hear you: (Shares a hug with you) Thankie Thankie for the comments!

Hot ninja babe: Thank you and yes, I have updated! At last!

Lil devil 66: I'll always feel loved as long as there are people who review me. Thanks for the concern! And thanks for the review! (Hugs you as well)

Heartless ghost: Most of the Filipinos I know have transferred to America, or to other countries. And yes, ItaSaku rocks!

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Sky diamond: Ah, thankies!

inuyashaHELP: Thank you for loving the story!

Xxshadow-of-liesxx: I wouldn't hate you even if you were to kill me with those—(peeks under the table to see a bunch of kunais) But keep in mind, nobody will continue the story if ou kill me. ; Anyways, thank ou for the support! I appreciate it!

demondereves: I want to put more DeiSaku as well, but I'm afraid all will be in the later chapters. But, I promise to give it m all to make this story as wonderful as it can get! I love the images in our mind! I might draw them someday. XD

mt pockets: Ne-san!!! How are you? Anyways, yeah… writers block takes loads of time to heal but I got to overcome it while listening to this awesome music! It's from Gundam Seed Destiny. XD Thanks anyway and about the half nude-Sakura thing: well, she doesn't really have anything to wear as of that moment so she had to.

limitations: Sorry I made you wait though. ;

blackxheart: Shannaro!!! Hell yeah for Sakura-chan! XD And yes, I can't fight life but live it as it be. Thanks you!

kazahanamoon: Ooooohhhhhhh… I'm quite glad that I can still get new readers! Thank you for the support!

jixnce: Let's just say that even if Deidara wasn't holding back, Sakura has a lot up her sleeves and is as sly as a fox (got the trait from Naruto XD)

narutofaves: Thank you very much for that! And I shall continue!

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mikaristar: I will keep on writing and I won't stop until… I don't know… ;

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hardy4ever: I did, so no worries now :D

I'm already done writing the sequel to 'Gaze Upon The Killing Time' so once the story is over, I'll post it then.