The Uchiha Secret
Sai's dark onyx eyes scan the streets before he moves on. Sakura's shift ended at nine, and so he only had two hours left to find Sasuke before then. He had already checked at the Uchiha compound and training grounds they frequently used. And he knew Sasuke wasn't in the hospital, so he had to be on the street, possibly on the way to his house.
"Usually, the thing you lost finds you once you have stopped looking for it," a pondering voice calls from behind him.
Sai turned around to see his silver haired leader of their team, Kakashi.
"You seemed like you were looking for something you lost," the observant copy-ninja says, his own eyes scanning the crowds.
"I didn't lose anything Kakashi-sensei," Sai responds.
"Then you should eat with me, and Naruto of course." Kakashi tilts his head, with a suggestive smile outlining his mask as their famous blonde teammate emerges, waving them over frantically.
"Ramen," Naruto's goofy grin is plastered to his face as he points to the Ichiraku stand.
"Was there ever another option with you?" Kakashi sighs.
Sai allows his eyes to skim over the crowd once more, "Alright," he agrees, deciding that being near Naruto will have a higher chance of running into Sasuke.
The three move down the street to the familiar food stand, sitting at the stools and ordering immediately. Naruto orders three bowls of Pork ramen, while Kakashi orders one of chicken, and Sai decides on beef. The boiling water hissed from the pot and you could smell the broth as the chef began to stir in more ingredients.
"My mouth is watering," Naruto's fingers seem to wiggle uncontrollably.
Kakashi just shakes his head and turns to Sai. "How did your appointment with Sakura-chan go?"
A blush stains Sai's pale cheeks, "Uh… It was, rescheduled." Sai suddenly recalls how hot his lips felt when they parted from Sakura's.
"… Ah," Kakashi stutters as if he can imagine what Sai is remembering.
"It's all teme's fault," says Naruto as his eyes focus on the counter. "What was he thinking, allowing the rasengan to hit him like that?"
Kakashi crossed his arms, "Simple training should not involve serious-damage attacks," his tone borders on sounding like a scolding teacher.
Sai opens his mouth, about to reply when a shadow casts down on the counter.
"Oi," calls a voice from behind them. The three ninja's turn to see Inuzuka Kiba, standing in the ramen stand, looking slightly worried. "Hokage had me send for you."
"We're about to eat, you can join us Kiba, I'll give you one of my bowls and just order another one," Naruto begins.
The brown haired ninja just shook his head, declining the offer, "You don't have time, the Hokage wants you at the hospital stat!" He barks out.
"But… What about the ramen?" Naruto turns to Kakashi, trying to talk him into eating first.
Kiba inhaled a shallow breath, "It's… Sakura… "
Sai wasn't sure who moved first, all he knew was he immediately shot out from the stand in the direction for the hospital, not bothering to ask for an explanation or further details. All that mattered was something serious had happened to Sakura, and that was all he could think about as several fears appeared in his mind.
As soon as he reached the front doors to the hospital, Kakashi and Naruto dropped to his side.
"Do you think she just exhausted herself? Or maybe something happened to Sasuke and she couldn't save him?" Naruto questioned their sensei.
"Sasuke discharged himself," Sai discloses the information that had been revealed to him earlier.
Kakashi narrowed his visible eye, "I think it's more serious than exhaustion." Sai notes that Kakashi's tone seems to be that of a warning, of what to expect.
As they enter the hospital, Sai wonders why his feet feel so heavy. As a ninja, he's had many instances where a mission involved walking into the unknown. But nothing beats this fear. His heartbeat has accelerated and his beating frantically against his ribs, he can feel it, as though it were to burst from his chest.
He gulps, wondering if Naruto and Kakashi are feeling the same. As they approach the front desk, Shizune is waiting for them.
"Ah, Kiba-san found you fast," she closes the distance between them.
"We were all eating together," Kakashi explains, but knows not to ask about Sakura or what happened.
"I see," Shizune allows her arms to fall to her sides. "Follow me, the Hokage is with her in room four-twenty-seven."
Together, the three follow her into the elevator and down the ghostly-white halls, till they see the Hokage standing outside the room, waiting for them.
"Obaasan!" Naruto rushes to the older woman. "What happened? Is Sakura-chan alright?"
Her amber eyes drift over to the glass of the hospital room, and their eyes follow, to see Sasuke standing over where Sakura laid incredibly still in a hospital bed, hooked up to several machines. Without thinking further, Sai burst into the room confronting his twin.
"What are you doing?"
Sasuke lifts his gaze from Sakura's form to stare into his siblings eyes, "I was called here just as you three were."
Kakashi, Naruto and Tsunade joined them in the room.
"I've stated before that I will demote you both to genin if you are to quarrel with each other," the strong woman crossed her arms. "So I'd stop before you even start. Sai," she turned to the Anbu, "Sasuke had nothing to do with Sakura's condition."
Regardless of her words, his eyes didn't decrease the intensity of the glare he had set on his brother.
"What did happen?" Naruto spoke as he moved to Sakura's bedside to grasp her hand.
Tsuande closed her eyes, "We don't know. A nurse told Sakura a patient was waiting for an exam, the next thing they know, they found Sakura on the floor of the examining room, barely breathing."
"That was Kakashi-sensei," said Sai as he removed his eyes from his brother.
"Eh?" Kakashi raised his eyebrow.
"You were the patient," Sai pointed at him. "The nurse that interrupted us said that the patient specifically requested Sakura and that he's only able to see with one eye."
Kakashi's shoulders stiffened, "Sai… I haven't seen Sakura since you were released from the hospital."
Sai is hesitant, fearful of what their sensei's absent could mean. "T-Then… "
"Any marks?" Kakashi asked as he turned back to the Hokage. "Were there any marks found on her body?"
Tsunade shook her head, "None."
"Then it must have been genjutsu," stated Sasuke. "Whatever it was, must have put her in shock."
The older ninja's nodded in agreement. "Sai, did you see this patient that Sakura was tending to?"
Sai shook his head, regretting departing from Sakura so soon.
"Sai… " Kakashi's tone sounded serious. "What do you know about Danzou?"
Sai's eyes drift over Sakura's still form as the breathing machine compresses more air into her lungs. "I… Can't talk about him."
Before he can sense it, Sasuke and Naruto have him pinned to a wall.
"Are you picking sides?" Naruto hollers at him, his eyes shifting into a pair similar to a cat or foxes.
"What if he did this to Sakura?! Will you still keep quiet then?" Sasuke yells, coiling his fist around Sai's collar.
"I-It's not that. I literally can't talk about him," Sai stuck out his tongue at them to clarify.
"W-What is that?" Naruto releases his grip on Sai as they stare at the strange tattoo. There are three large blocks going across his tongue, and then two small vertical blocks branching out, with another two underneath them.
"A seal?" Tsunade gasped.
"Correct," Sai nodded. "Danzou installed them on all the members of Root. If anyone of us try talk about him, our whole body will be paralyzed and we will be unable to talk or move."
Sasuke also released his grip on Sai, "What is he hiding?"
"And why would he attack Sakura?" Tsunade questioned.
"I don't know, but he also, only has one, good eye," concluded Kakashi as he moved to his female students bedside.
"But that doesn't automatically mean he's the culprit." Naruto leaned against the wall. "Who else would attack Sakura-chan?"
Sai's eyes wandered over Sakura's body once more. For the first time since Sai had met her as a member of Team Seven, she looked weak. Her skin was as pale as the opaque walls and her veins and bodies were connected to monitors beeping at a pitch above everything else in the room.
Could Danzou do this? Why would he do this?
True, just a few hours ago he was trying to warn Sai not to feel something for Sakura—but did that mean he was capable of targeting her?
Sai felt his heart swell with anger at the thought.
Would Danzou attack Sakura because of Sai?
Rage filled him now, and Sai could picture harming is mentor in order to protect Sakura. If it came down to that—then so be it.
Sai now acknowledges that this must be what Sasuke was feeling when he grabbed him by his collar and threw him against the wall. Or when Itachi murdered their family.
To have someone you cared about attacked… It was almost as if you went into predator mode naturally. Your heart and mind immediately demanded revenge, retribution…
But by seeking it… Would that make him more like Sasuke just as Danzou warned?—Once again, in part because of Sakura?
Sakura stirred causing everyone in the small hospital room to jump or shift their gaze to her form, and making Sai halter in his dark thoughts.
Tsunade walked to her side and removed the breathing stabilizer.
"S-Sharin…gan." Sakura mumbled as her body trembled.
"Sharingan?" Tsunade repeated.
Sasuke clenched his fist, seeming to release something before everyone else, "No… "
"As in… Uchiha Itachi… ?" Naruto's eyes widened. "Why would he do this? Why would he sneak in here and disguise himself, just to attack Sakura?—Why not go after Sasuke immediately?"
Sai felt his skin go cold and thought he must have paled at the memory of the red and black eyes that tormented him for hours in the red sky world; "H-He knew Sasuke and I were watching Sakura the other night…"
"The night you were attacked, right?" Kakashi and Tsunade seemed to lock eyes and have a silent conversation.
Tsunade clutched her chin, "Both are connected through Sasuke—assuming Itachi doesn't know that Sai is his brother also and Sasuke's twin."
Naruto's eyebrows furrowed, "So, he attacked them because they are close to Sasuke-teme?"
"There's something missing to this puzzle though," said Kakashi as he scratched his head. "How long until she wakes up?"
Tsunade shrugged, "Honestly, I didn't expect her to talk so soon. So perhaps, in a few hours."
"If it was Itachi, that means he was just here in the village, under our radar… He could already be out of the village… " Kakashi paused. "We can't let him get far, or he'll be harder to trace."
"Sai, what questions, specifically did Itachi ask you?" Tsunade stared hard at him.
Sai rolled his eyes, "He asked about the relationship between Sakura and Sasuke."
"And what did you tell him?" Asked Sasuke, a slight smirk tugging at his lips despite the current situation.
"That she wasn't yours," Sai fought the urge to return the grin.
The room flooded with an awkward silence as the twin Uchiha's continued to have a stare-down, neither one breaking eye contact.
"Kakashi," Tsunade was the first to break the silence. "I want you to assemble a team. Consisting of Nara Shikamaru, Hyuuga Neji, Inuzuka Kiba, Aburame Shino, and—"
"Hey! Obaasan! Me too right?" Naruto pointed at himself, and then punched his fist into his other hand. "I won't forgive Itachi for going after my teammates."
"I would like to leave you, and the Kyuubi out of this." Tsunade crossed her arms once more. "We don't need the Akatsuki gaining another Jinchuuriki."
Sai raised his head from the staring contest, "Then I—"
"Nor do we need Itachi to find out you carry the Sharingan as well," Tsunade raised her eyebrow. "Assuming he still is unaware of your relation."
When Tsunade turned to Sasuke, he mimicked her and raised his eyebrow as well, to which Tsunade shook her head. "Afraid not, what I need right now is a tracking team, and you most likely would run off at the first sight of your brother." The Hokage shut Sasuke down early.
"I'll notify the Jounin at once then," said Kakashi as he moved towards the exit door. He stole a glance over his shoulder before completely departing, "I am leaving Team Seven with a mission though… Protect her."
The hokage walked beside Sakura's bedside once more, "I will check her vitals, but she should be fine, and I expect she should be awake within a few hours. Who would like to take first watch?"
Naruto's stomach growled in response, "I think I'll leave that up to the twins here, I did skip out on dinner, and will need full strength to protect Sakura-chan!"
Tsunade merely nodded, "I will not have an argument between you two however," she walked in between the two Uchiha's as she headed for the door. "Sai will take first watch over Sakura… And Naruto will take first watch over Sasuke."
Author: I'm sorry that you've waited so long for an update this short. But when it comes to Danzou, Sai, and Itachi, I try to stick as close to the manga facts as I can. Things happened that caused me to restart this chapter two times. This is the outcome that fits best with the direction I was headed in my story. Thanks for reading and reviewing, and I promise the next chapter will be up and better.
I don't like writing a weak Sakura—I think she's progressed too much to be pictured that way. So don't fret about her current condition.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I claim to own any other characters therefore owned by Masashi Kishimoto.