Because Sasuke is tied to the chair, Sakura doesn't worry as she bends down to eyelevel with him and stares intently into his face. "Why did you leave the village?"

"To achieve power." Sasuke scoffs.

"What do you need this power for?" Sakura asks. She reaches a hand out to brush Sasuke's bangs from his face. He only flinches slightly.

"To kill my brother and avenge my clan." Sasuke replies automatically. Sakura's eyes are warm and she nods solemnly.

"Why do you wish to avenge your clan?" She asks quietly, hand hovering by his ear as she tries to distract him from the questions.

"They were murdered, Sakura." He says icily and tries to suppress a shiver as her fingers stroke the back of his neck.


"I want to seek revenge on Itachi." He says, watching Sakura intently.


"I…had to kill my best friend to achieve Mangekyou Sharingan."

"Why didn't you?"

"I couldn't."

"Why?" She waits patiently, fingers running through the knots in his hair, trying to make him as comfortable as possible. He doesn't look at her anymore, but doesn't shy away from her touch.

"I didn't want to kill Naruto. I didn't want to do what Itachi said."

"Who told you to avenge your clan, Sasuke?"

"No one. I did."

"Who told you to kill Itachi?" Sasuke stares at her. She stops stroking his hair now and Sasuke feels his heart quicken.


"Who told you to hate him? Despise him? Live for one purpose." Sasuke remembers a cold dark night and his brother's wild eyes. Sasuke doesn't respond to Sakura.


"I wanted to avenge my clan." He finally says in a whisper. His head hangs low and Sakura clasps her hand to one of Sasuke's tied ones.

"Who told you that you had to live shamefully? That you weren't allowed friends and peace and that everything was your fault and to come back and kill Itachi one day once you've achieved power?"

Sasuke thinks it, but can't bring himself to say his name.

"He did."

"Sasuke. Who." She gives a command.


"You couldn't kill Naruto because you refused to follow Itachi." Sakura reminds him, and Sasuke really can't look at her anymore. "Why do you insist on following his order to destroy him?" She says seriously. Sasuke swallows, but only thinks because.

"He's not your brother, Sasuke." Sakura says, running her thumb over the back of his hand. "Brothers take care of each other. Brothers love each other. He doesn't care about you, Sasuke. Don't try to please him anymore." Sasuke feels a flare of anger rise in his chest. How could Sakura ever understand what he had to go through? How he felt about Itachi wasn't any of her damn business.

But then Sakura rubs his back again muttering shh, because he doesn't have to get angry, she's sorry for doing this to him. She has to. They all have to. Mass interrogation before approval of the Hokage. He manages to breath normally again, but it is only momentarily. Sakura has triggered something he never wanted to recall and he suddenly can't realize he's shouting at her, but not at her, at the unfairness of it all. He screams about the bullshit he's been through and what a fucking nutjob his brother is and the fact he doesn't know what life is really like without guilt and how much he hates the guilt and how he misses his family and how he can't have what children have and he will never be a child again and how he wants to stop worrying about everything and just be.

At the end of it all, Sakura is the one shaking and crying, while Sasuke just appears numb. But Sakura laughs sickly beneath her hiccups and grabs Sasuke in a hug, knees touching the floor and head against his shoulder.

"Sasuke you did it." She says softly and tastes her own tears in her mouth. "You did it Sasuke, you did it." Sasuke isn't sure what he's done exactly, but he's so exhausted he rests his head against hers and realizes he feels much better.