Itachi smirked; amused at the way the girl had blocked the attack meant for Sasuke at the price of possibly her own life. "I guess what I've heard about you is true." He said, twirling the kunai in his hand to remove the blood that stained the sharp metal blade. "You do anything for the sake of others without hesitating at all, especially if it's to protect or save my brother." Itachi continued to play with his kunai as he watched Sakura fall to her knees, her left hand on her stomach's wound. "That would be a disadvantage in bearing the next generation of Uchiha brats." He said, giving a mocking look of pity.
"Why do you care?" she asked, her brows furrowed as blood trickled from her lip to her chin, not noting how the neko behind her was frozen on the spot after witnessing what happened. "You massacred the whole clan and left Sasuke to live alone and miserable!"
"Hn, true, but then, that's what you and the kyuubi vessel are here for right? To show him the path of light, the path opposite to where I directed him." He prepared himself for another assault towards the bleeding kunoichi. "I managed to lure him to the path of darkness, but you had to come and interfere, you and that blonde brat, as well as that Kakashi intervened and directed him to another way, and because of that," he then ran towards her, causing her eyes to widen at the speed the older Uchiha showed. "I have lost and you will have to die!"
Chapter 5: You're My Reason
Naruto had just gained consciousness right in time to witness what just happened. Everything seemed to go too fast for him. Earlier, Sakura was the one defending Sasuke, this time, it's the other way around, except…
"Teme! You're back!" he yelled, eyes showing how happy he was despite how his body ached all over. Itachi narrowed his eyes when he saw his brother, back in his eighteen year old self, eyes blazing red and his whole physique clad in the ANVU uniform, minus the mask. The katana of the Uchiha clan was strapped on his back, and he seemed to be really pissed. "Hello foolish little brother…" Itachi seethed as they both jumped back, still holding up in defense position. "It's bad enough you killed our clan and left me alone, but having to kill those people who have become so precious to me is already low enough, even for you Itachi!" and he charged at his brother without warning, engaging them both into hand-to-hand combats.
Sakura clutched onto her wound, eyes not leaving Sasuke's form as she replayed everything that happened a few seconds ago in her head. "He… said my name… and blocked the attack for me…" she remembered how Itachi was so close to killing her, but then her ears picked up Sasuke's voice, and within the blink of an eye, he was already in front of her in his present form, defending her against Itachi. "He's back…" she thought, a small smile tugging on her lips as she continued to watch the younger Uchiha gain the upper hand of the battle.
"Impressive," Itachi commented, taking out three kunai on each hand and throwing it to Sasuke. "But I can't let you win." Sasuke managed to deflect and dodge the kunai thanks to his quick reflexes and sharingan eyes. However, he failed to sense the kick Itachi sent him, causing his back to hit the concrete wall behind him. He grunted and staggered to his feet, ignoring the searing pain that he felt. "Stay down." Itachi ordered, kicking him to the side. The 18-year old ANBU captain pushed himself up to his feet, glaring at his brother, telling him in a silent way that he will not loose or give in to Itachi. "I said, stay down!" he ran towards his brother but his eyes widened when Sasuke gave a smirk.
After Itachi punched Sasuke, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke and reappeared behind Itachi, kicking him on the back as the akatsuki member fell to the ground with a hard thud, scrambling to his feet almost instantly when Sasuke had cried out his Katon jutsu. "Damn." Sasuke cursed, seeing only Itachi's cloak on the ground that was burnt to a crisp and not his brother. "That was one of my favorite cloaks Sasuke…" he turned around and was met with a fist that caused his nose to bleed.
"You lack hatred…" Itachi said, cracking his knuckles. "If only you don't feel anything towards these people, then maybe you could've killed me soon."
"You're wrong…" Sasuke replied, wiping the blood off of his chin as he slowly stood up, eyes not leaving Itachi's. "When I first only had hatred in me, I lost to you easily, but when I fight you for the sake of Konoha, for the sake of protecting my friends in this village, for the sake of saving other clans from being killed by you, I found the strength and power to somehow defeat you." He raised his right hand and had it wrapped around the handle of his katana as he slowly drew it out from its sheath, his left hand tracing the sharp and shiny blade that gleamed against the moon's light. "And now, it's because of them that I…" his katana started to emit the sound of a thousand birds chirping as blue light coated the blade. "…have become stronger!" and with inhuman speed, he managed to pierce his brother's stomach and electrocuted the Akatsuki's body. "This is for Sakura…" he hissed, pulling out his blade afterwards, causing Itachi to fall to his knees and shake as the electricity continued to shock his system.
"D-Damn you… Sasuke…"
"We could've continued living on as brothers…" Sasuke's eyes gazed at Itachi's in a serious way as he started to talk and let out his thoughts. "Why..? Why did you have to kill them? I know it's not just to measure your capacity! I know that there's a real good reason!" he punched his brother's face, causing the older Uchiha to fall backwards and struggle to sit up. "Why didn't you just take me with you? Why did you have to leave me alone in Konoha? To live in an unsightly way as you would put it? Why did you make me go through all of that crap when you knew how much I actually idolized you?" he ran towards Itachi and kicked him, letting out his frustration. "Answer me Itachi! Why didn't you just kill me on the night you killed the clan?"
Itachi coughed out blood and struggled to get to his feet, only to fall back down. "…you're my brother…" he managed to say. Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "And for that reason you made me have a fucked-up life?"
"No…" he answered, spitting out the blood that was in his mouth. "You were still too young to understand…" he slowly got up, clutching on to his stomach where blood poured out heavily. "The clan… everything was about the clan… I wanted to free you from this clan Sasuke… if I couldn't handle the pressure and responsibilities of being the heir, I knew that you won't be able to either, so instead of running away, I did the next thing that came to my mind, kill them."
"Why didn't you just take me with you then? Why did you have to leave me? You could've explained everything!"
"You were still too young to understand… and just by looking at you, I knew you wouldn't turn your back on this family, that's why I was forced to get rid of them for you, if I took you with me, your talents and skills would've been a waste." He forced a smile at his little brother who now had his eyes widened. "I don't want my brother to become like me, that's why I left you alone, I didn't want you to leave the safety of this village, where you have the chance to surpass me." He could feel his life slowly leave his body when he fell to his knees. "And seeing as you've won, I guess… I'm successful in raising you in a sick and different way…" he looked up at Sasuke, his smile not fading. "Now I can stop acting in front of you, I'm dying anyway, so I might as well tell you everything. Sasuke, the Akatsuki org, the reason why they suddenly disappeared, is because Kisame and I killed them. Kisame only did it because I told him to, and he can't say no to me, otherwise, he'll die in my hands."
"Why did you kill the Akatsuki?"
"They're a threat right? I eliminated them because I was already strong enough to do so, I only came here to let you kill me, but when we encountered each other on the day you killed Kisame, you weren't strong enough, you needed to have a motivation." His eyes landed on Sakura who blinked. "She was your inspiration right? And she was also the key to getting you back to normal. I had to somehow wound her to trigger you, and afterwards, attack her weakening state, which caused you to turn back to human." He flinched from the pain his wound gave. "Honestly, the vile I injected you with was the last one in Orochimaru's lab, and it isn't permanent, as you can see. You weren't able to kill me because you missed my heart by five inches, so I quickly healed myself and managed to knock you out, then I pierced my pressure points with senbon needles to knock myself out after making sure that my body won't be experimented or touch by anyone besides you."
"Then… when Sasuke pounced on you- that touch caused you to awaken?" Sakura asked, flinching when her stomach started to ache.
"Yes." Itachi answered, weakening by the minute. "Sasuke," his little brother looked up at Itachi with guilty eyes. "Don't feel guilty, now please, end my suffering, free me from my crime…"
"…hai…" and again, the sound of a thousand birds filled the air as Sasuke's katana emitted blue chakra. He ran towards Itachi with the blade poised to kill, his sharingan eyes turning back to black and started to shed tears as flashbacks of him and his brother's good times years before came coming in his mind.
Itachi slowly closed his eyes, his smile not fading. "I'm proud of you, Sasuke…"
"Nii-san…" Sasuke whispered when his blade had stabbed Itachi's heart, the chidori dying along when the point of his sword pierced through Itachi's body, all the way to his back. "Nii-san!"
You're the reason why I'm an S-class nin…
"I see, so that's what happened…" Tsunade sighed and stamped the folder on her desk, marking it as "success" and setting it aside as she had her eyes turn to the ANBU teen before her, most of his body covered in bandages. "Itachi planned the whole thing from the very beginning…" she whispered, earning a nod from Sasuke. "What a prodigy…" she sighed and stood up. "Anyway, job well done Sasuke, you may leave."
He nodded and turned around, heading towards the door but stopped shortly. "Hokage-sama…"
"Is there any news about Sakura's condition?"
"Well, you are aware that she nearly died, but then, I managed to heal her wounds completely, and she's just resting right now to regain her strength. By tomorrow, she'll be in tip top shape." Tsunade smiled at the remaining Uchiha who gave a nod and then left the room. "I swear, that boy really needs to let out whatever he's feeling towards Sakura…"
A knock on the door was heard and Sakura looked up from the book she was reading, the sound also waking up Naruto and calling the attention of Kakashi who looked up from his new Icha Icha book. "It's open." Sakura said. The door opened and in came Sasuke, his forehead had a bandaged around it and his left cheek also had a white patch that was secured by a medical tape. The three ninjas guessed that if he didn't have his ANBU uniform on, there would be a lot more bandages present. "Good to have you back among the human race Sasuke." Kakashi greeted with a smile. For once, since the last team 7 reunion, he didn't have a mask on. "Not funny." He muttered, turning to Sakura afterwards who blushed a bit and looked back down on her book.
"What brings you here teme?" Naruto asked, yawning. "None for your business." He replied, not taking his eyes off of Sakura. "If you two don't mind, I'd like to talk to Sakura alone."
Kakashi gave a nod and stood up, about to leave before Naruto yelled. "OMG! You're going to rape her!" a hardbound book was thrown at him, followed by a dozen kunai which he managed to dodge. "Are you two trying to kill me?" Naruto yelled, nursing the newly formed bump on his head as he glared at Sakura and Sasuke who also had death glares on their faces. "Trying? No. We were planning to!" Sakura seethed. Naruto gulped and was about to say something but Kakashi cut him off and dragged him away, saying ye bye to the two. "Oh, and Sasuke?"
The ANBU teen looked at him and caught a book from Kakashi. "You can return that to me tomorrow, it's the latest volume." And he left after closing the door. Sasuke looked down at the orange book in his right hand before shrugging and putting it in his back pocket. "Sasuke, you're not serious!" Sakura gaped. A raised eyebrow answered her. "I think you were there on my eighteenth birthday when Kakashi gave me a set of it."
"You actually read those?"
"What's wrong with it? I'm already of legal age, and besides, just because I read it doesn't mean I'm a pervert or will actually turn like Jiraiya, Naruto or Kakashi."
"B-but you're reading perverted books!"
Sasuke sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Sakura, it's a novel that has porn, it's not exactly a book for perverts."
"Of all books why that?"
"Duh, it's less expensive, has a shorter and simple plot, and it's a series. Unlike some books that actually have pointless drabbles."
"…" silence engulfed them as Sakura twitched. "I still say you're a pervert."
"How? You don't see me spying on girls taking a bath or following a woman around. Heck you don't even see me doing anything perverted aside from reading a book that had a rating of R."
"He has a point…" Sakura thought. "But I bet you're mind is full of those…"
"Look, I'm not here to discuss about… this, I'm here to actually talk."
"Okay, then talk."
He sighed and sat down at the side of her bed, eyes looking at the wall where the kunai he threw at Naruto were stuck to. "I… just wanted to say thanks…" he looked down for a moment, choosing his words carefully. "…for taking care of me when I was a half-cat, and for everything else."
"Oh, it's no problem, really." She said, looking down as well, her cheeks the color of red as her lips formed a small smile. The image of neko Sasuke came to her mind, and somehow, she missed the presence of the cat, she missed the affectionate side of Sasuke, including the jealous one. "So, that's all you wanted to tell me?"
"No." after realizing what he said, he slapped himself mentally for slipping. "I'm just wondering why you blocked Itachi's attack… you could've died…"
Sakura managed a smile and turned to face him, her hand reaching out to touch his as he averted his gaze to their hands then to her emerald orbs. "I did it because I would give up my life to anyone who is precious to me. I don't care what happens as long as the people I care for are safe." She felt Sasuke's hand clench and saw how his brows furrowed. "Sasuke..?"
"Why would it be stupid? I mean, it's not like everyone will all die when I loose my life, right?"
Silence answered her, and Sakura tilted her head to the side, observing how he reacted to her words. When he didn't say anything, she looked down, a frown on her face. "Besides, I don't think it would bother you one bit if I die…"
"Damn it Sakura! Don't you get it?" he half-yelled half-asked, grabbing her by the shoulders as her eyes widened in utter disbelief of what he just did. "Sasuke-kun…" his grip on her tightened and he slowly looked up at her, onyx eyes staring deep into her green orbs. "Don't you ever think what will happen to us? What will happen to me when you just act on impulse?" he questioned, eyes starting to blur and body beginning to tremble. "I don't know what I'll do if I loose you, if you die because of me…"
"That night…" he whispered, looking back down to avoid her gaze when he felt his eyes water. Sakura noted the droplets that fell on her blanket. "When I carried your weakening form to the hospital…" he was starting to shake again. "…I… was scared." Her eyes widened. "Scared of loosing you… I didn't know what to do, I don't know what I'll do if you would have died two days ago…"
"Hey," she called out in a soft voice, cupping his face in both her hands to make him look up at her. She gave a sweet smile to him. "I'm alive now right? I'm doing fine, so don't worry, stop dwelling in the past Sasuke, it's all over." She used her thumb to wipe away some tears he silently shed, not used to seeing him like this, it pained her to see him sad, and she asked him to at least not cry. "So, what do you plan to do now that you've accomplished your goal?" she asked, removing her hands from his face as she lowered her head, blushing under his intent gaze.
Sakura nearly jumped when one of his hands touched her own, and the other to raise her chin to level his. She blinked and stared at him, her face turning a deeper shade of red. He tilted his head to the side slightly to get a perfect angle for their lips to meet. He closed his eyes and leaned closer to her face, her eyelids automatically shutting her vision of her surroundings, waiting for the touch of his lips. "Aishiteru…" he whispered before fully closing the gap of their lips, sealing his love with one kiss.
"Give it back!" she yelled, jumping to grab the Sasuke plushie in the ANBU teen's hands. Sasuke smirked and watched as she desperately tried to get it. "Come on Sasuke, give it back!" she pouted at him, and he found it really cute to see her like that while still in her sleep wear, which was, by the way, only a long-sleeved button-up shirt and her underwear. Great, he suddenly had naughty thoughts. "Maybe I am turning into a pervert… only when I'm around her that is." He told himself, his arm still raised above his head where he held onto the Sasuke plsuhie, his eyes not leaving her body.
She huffed and crossed her arms, much to his delight since it somehow, puffed up her breast. "Damn…" he thought as he lowered his arm, causing Sakura to quickly dive down and grab the Sasuke plushie. "Yay! I have you back now!" she squealed, hugging it to her chest. Sasuke blushed after recalling how his neko self once rubbed its cheek on her bosom, and somehow, it caused him to smirk. She sensed it, and turned around to face and question him, but only had his lips crash onto hers, followed by his hands pinning hers above her head and had her under him on the bed.
"Don't let your guard down Sakura." He whispered in her ear, flicking it lightly as she shivered. Her eyes gazed back into his onyx ones, and she suppressed the urge to moan when he kissed her neck. "I think your team is waiting for you at the gates…"
"Let them wait." He said, marking her as his.
"Fine, two can play at this game..." she purposely arched her back, causing her chest to touch his, earning an erection from him. She smirked without him seeing it, and slowly lifted her right leg, her top slipping off to reveal her thigh. "So you're gonna stay here with me?" she asked in a seductive tone. When he gave a nod, she quickly flipped him, causing his eyes to widen when he found himself under her. She grinned cheekily. "Don't let your guard down Sasuke."
"Hn." And he looked at her chest which was directly in front of his face, seeing her cleavage. She blushed and quickly let go of his wrists to cover her chest, which was a wrong move since he used this to his advantage by pushing her down on the bed. "You were saying?" he smirked. Sakura rolled her eyes and sighed. "Just go to your team already, you have a week-long mission, maybe even longer."
"Yeah, why else do you think am I taking my time here?"
"Come on, it's just an escorting mission. It'll only take you long because of the journey there, but you'll be fine." Sasuke gave a small smile and kissed her on the lips softly. "Ja." And when she opened her eyes, he was gone. "He's getting faster each day." She sat up and picked up her Sasuke plushie that was on the ground. She turned to her bed and was shocked to find that her Sakura plushie wasn't there. "Where-" she stopped and looked down at the Sasuke plushie, a smile on her face as her gaze turned to the window. She opened it and let the morning sun and wind in, her long hair flowing with the zephyr.
"Aishiteru Sasu-kun." And she hugged the plushie tighter.
"You're late Captain." One ANBU member said, putting on his mask as soon as he saw the young Uchiha approach them. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that, I lost track of time." He explained, turning back to his girlfriend's house and gave a small smile. "It's okay, we understand." Another said, knowing very well where their captain went. "Alright, move out." Sasuke ordered. They were to head over to another country to pick up a close friend of the Hokage who will probably be a good supplier for their village. It was important of course, because Tsunade had marked it as A-rank, since the dealer owned a large company that produced rum.
As soon as he stepped out of the village's border, he turned back to Konoha and smiled, imagining Sakura standing a few feet away from him, waiting for him to be out of sight. "You're the reason of my existence Sakura, the reason I live." He looked down to the object in his hand, a plushie of his girlfriend, and smiled. "You're My Reason." And he lowered his mask and took off to start a new day, to finish a new mission.
A/N: yeah, yeah, I know the ending sucked. As for the Itachi part, well, it would be cliché if I had Sasuke just kill Itachi because the weasel's a cold-hearted murderer who hurt Sasuke's Sakura-chan, so I changed it. Hehe. Goodbye to you my readers! I'll see you all in Yakuza II if I ever get inspiration to do it! Or maybe I'll see you all in Ironies of Life! Don't forget to pick: For the upcoming Off-Cam fic, which of my Naruto stories would you like to read about with regards to bloopers?
I and II - 7 votes
Fallen - 1 vote
Cold - 3 votes
Snapshot - 2 votes
Neko Sasuke - 1 vote
SUSH combo: High on Fluff - none