A/N: Here you go! Chapter 8! Man, I've finished this fanfic fast! I've only got 4 more chapters left!

X.i.X.

Vulnerable

Chapter 8: It Isn't Real, Or Is It?

By: Melissa Norvell

X.i. X

'Of course not!

She doesn't mean anything to me and it's ludicrous of me to think so.' Zaku tried to rid himself of all contemplation to lead up to such an idea.

He took his hand from atop hers and sat it in his lap.

"Hmpf." That was the only noise emitted from the Sound Nin. They sat there for a moment of silence, then the sound of textile could be heard as Zaku put his shirt on all of the way.

The girl was silent.

"Well…" Zaku started.

"What did you mean by what you said?" Sakura looked to him.

"What part of what I said, I said a lot within the past hour."

"When you said that there are no such things as miracles and the thing about Sasuke never understanding my feelings." She replied.

"Can't I have the same belief? Why shouldn't I be able to? I hate them."

"I never said you couldn't." Sakura scoffed.

It was silent again.

"So, why do you think I humiliated you?" Sakura finally asked.

"Did you tell them?"

"Them as in who? The Ninja? Team 7?"

"Knowing you-all of them." Zaku replied.

"Actually, I haven't told anyone!" Sakura was offended. "I've been trying to tell you this, but you've been flipping out on me."

Zaku inclined his head, looking at the ground.

You're no different then any other pawn of Orochimaru. You don't have a will of your own. If you did, then you lost it, and I always thought you were stubborn.

"What's there to know? I just read a couple of pages."

"That's why it was missing today." Zaku glared.

"If you knew that I was looking on it, why didn't you come and try to find me?" She asked. "Or maybe you want to fight for it back?" She smirked and held up the book in a taunting way.

Zaku didn't even try to take it away, just glared at her, like a growling puppy backed into a corner and looked at the ground.

If you're so used to having no will, then maybe you can be my pawn too, and I can be your master.

"I don't like it anymore then you do."

"But you'll do anything he tells you to do." Sakura hmphed.

"Jealous?"

"You wish." Sakura laughed.

"What if I wanted to please you instead?" Zaku replied, a devilish grin on his face.

"What?" Sakura turned her head quickly to face Zaku. "What did you say?"

She looked surprised that he would be as bold as the mention such a thing.

"What!" Sakura turned her head quickly to face Zaku. "What did you say?"

She couldn't believe what she was hearing, from Zaku of all people.

'Wait…He what? He couldn't have meant that, but he didn't look like he was joking. He'd better be joking for his own sake.'

'Why am I joking with her? I don't even like her that much…' Zaku thought to himself.

"That's not funny!" Sakura yelled.

"But, what if I'm not joking?" The spiky haired man replied slyly, with a hint of playfulness, leaning into Sakura's face, their noses almost touching.

"What are you-?"The girl asked a slight tint of blush to her cheeks.

"Sakura…" Zaku sighed and closed his eyes.

"Don't make me hit you again." She said in an unsure and nervous tone.

"Sounds like something I'd say."

"What?"

"You try to be everything I'm not, and you can't seem to escape that fate." The Sound Nin teased.

"That's not funny, nor is it true."

"Yes it is." Zaku replied. "Someone owns your heart, as someone does mine. In this twisted fairytale world, you can't escape your fate, because you can't control it."

"Hmpf." The girl turned her head away from him and closed her eyes.

"You're a hypocrite."

"Hypocrite? I'm not a hypocrite." She denied.

"You are a hypocrite. You and I aren't that different at all, and yet you think you're better then I am. You like to try and be strong, thought inside you're broken and tattered. You never show it outright, but I've caught on to you. You might know things I haven't said within the pages of the book, but some things you get by analysis, and not just something that can be read within bindery. I know you more then you think." Zaku replied.

"So what if you feel the same way?" Sakura could feel her defenses weakening. "It doesn't mean we're alike. It doesn't mean you know everything I feel."

"You do feel something then."

"I'm not the only one."

"I never denied that." Zaku replied.

"You do to the rest of the world."

"They aren't important."

She paused, nothing but a heavy silence hung in the air between them. Sakura hung her head in defeat. "Maybe you're right, but that last thing you said had better not have been a joke."

Zaku smirked victoriously. "What thing?"

Green eyes narrowed. "The thing about wanting me."

The Sound Nin gave her a playful, yet uncertain answer. "If you care, in time you'll find out."

"What?" Confusion crossed viridian orbs.

'What did that mean? What do you feel towards me, Zaku? You'd better be playing around, for your sake … and mine…'

TBC

Preview for chapter 9:

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.

A/N: Finished with that one. Tell me what you think, as always! Thank you for taking time out to review! Oh, please check out Ohtori Akio's fanfics. He wrote an awesome ZakuSaku called Deflowering Sakura!