Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto. If I did, I would so animate this.

A/N: Don't. Ask. Anything.



Which end is the right one?


The young man scanned the cell that held them both with a pair of red, calculating eyes that only his noble DNA could grant him. Cramped. Most likely twelve by ten feet. Both of their chakra systems were spent, his from another failed attempt at assassinating his devil brother and hers from trying to stave off a man in a black and red cloak with blindingly bright tresses and impossibly violet eyes. Akatsuki had not forgotten the demon boy, the one who toiled to become his village's greatest.

The boy he meant to kill.

She had not forgotten them either: the demon thieves, the human puppet, the looming aura of the end of a friendship, of a team that was sure to die with the blonde-haired boy.

Neither of them spoke. Partly out of inability to move a muscle, even out of reflex, and partly out of confusion.

What was supposed to be uttered in hopeless times as these, anyway? How are you? What have you been doing lately? Oh, and about a few weeks ago when I tried to kill you and Naruto all in one go…

The hinges creaked, their scrappy groan adding thicker layers to the ambience of darkness and of dead ends.

Her empty green eyes –those unforgettable, formerly shining green eyes- slowly appeared from out of the drowsiness of her eyelids.

"Let's have a little chat, shall we?" White blinding hair. Unworldly violet eyes.

The captor.


The captive.

At that, he dragged an aged wooden chair across the stones embedded in the floor, the legs scrapping with a hollow echo. His arm hooked around her elbow, hoisted her with ease, and draped her unceremoniously onto the seat. Quickly, he turned and shut the door before the other could make a run for it.

Her gaze fell upon the other captive, eyes swirling with unintelligible thought.

Empty. Everything… it was all empty. The walls. The corridor. The cell. Her stare.

The captor began.

"Where is the Nine-Tails?"

No response.

Again. "Where is the Nine-Tails?"

No response.

A third time, only a bit more curt. "For the third fucking time, wench, where is the goddamn Nine-Tails?"

An answer at last. "Somewhere."

His stiff hand connected with her cheek. Saliva and blood was its result.

"This is not brain-teasing time, kunoichi. Talk. Now."

She didn't.

Another hit. More ushered blood and spit.

She spoke, but not an answer.

"The dead don't talk. I don't either."

He didn't hit her this time. The young man's eyebrow quirked. Why did he stop?

A twisted grin slowly formed and it made his well-defined cheekbones elevate a little higher, made his eyes narrow in sick amusement.

"If that is so, perhaps you are willing to join them. Is that what you're implying?"

No response.

The grin disappeared. The ringing of metal filled the hollow room, piercing and frigid. The refined edge of the kunai kissed her jugular vein, but went no further.

"Kunoichi, I fucking swear if you don't talk now, I'll grant your fucking wish! Send your pretty little pink head to Hell, and you can heal all the damned souls you want and you can keep silent for however long you fucking please! And maybe you'll see your pathetic blonde friend and the Uchiha there as well, once I'm done with them! Shall I start now! Just give me the fucking signal, and I'll gladly throw you at the Devil's mercy!"

His breathing was short, came and went in ragged turns as he finished his tirade. What did this moron think he was? There was no way the Uchiha would let himself be killed so rashly, just so he could keep his pathetic former teammates company in oblivion. He had a brother to kill, a massacre to justify. Nothing would interfere. Not Naruto, not Sakura, and most certainly not this fanatic who spouted the horrors of the underworld as if the twit had been there himself.

He thought she was sobbing at first.

It was quiet, but grew more audible with each second.

It started as a light chuckle, wheezing almost. Each uprising of breath and voice became heartier, her empty gut bouncing against her dislocated ribs, the pain of which she had forgotten right now in her twisted reverie.

Why the fuck was she laughing!

He remembered her laugh from three years or so prior, when he believed there was power to be found in innocence, in a village that encouraged heroics above stoicism, above ability. It was unbearably girly, high-pitched and sugary in tone. For him, it was another harbinger of a stupid date request or the utterance of his stupid pet name.


It didn't sound like it belonged to her. No, he could register it coming from the depths of a grown woman's throat. There was no soothing sweetness within it, as it was not born from delight or contentment. It was born from loss of logic, from the absence of rationality. He couldn't say, not even in his head. He could only sugarcoat it: Loss of logic. Absence of rationality. Desperation. Knowledge of the impending end. Trepidati-

He stopped denying.

Confusion and fear embedded in his eyes, he confirmed it.


Sakura –sweet, innocent Haruno Sakura- was going insane.

Right before his eyes.

And he could do nothing about it.

His spine shook. His fingers twitched. What was happening? Where was Sakura going? What was she doing?

He knew full well what was happening, where she was going, what she was doing.

They were captured and being held. They were the perfect hostages. One of Sound and one of Leaf. Quite the perfect coup they had going on. No doubt Orochimaru would abandon all defenses in the prospect of having his perfect vessel returned to him. The Hokage would take the same actions concerning her protégée, her beloved legacy.

More conveniently, they knew who harbored the Nine-Tails. And his location.

Oh yes, they were priceless in these people's eyes.

Where was Sakura going?

Insane. That's where. The point of no return was dawning, the horizon giving way.


…she was smiling. A pretty little smile.

And she was laughing and laughing and laughing.


This was wrong. All wrong. Just a dream. Just a bad dream. Wake up. Wake up, wake up, wake up…

Her mirth quieted long enough to allow him an opening.

"May I inquire, kunoichi, as to what may be so fucking amusing?"

Pretty little smile.

"We're on opposite ends, holy man."

Opposite ends? She was wrong. In his deep onyx eyes, they were both whacked. How were they opposite?

The captor narrowed his eyes. He must not have been very receptive of the name "holy man".

"I know what you are, what you follow, what you believe… and what you do to cement that belief. I say that you're going to Hell for being a murderer. You preach that I will burn for killing no one. Isn't it amusing, then… that we living beings can assume all we want… yet only the dead know which end of the spectrum… is the right one…?" Her voice grew distant and she ended her thought with a whisper.

His lips quirked after a stretched-out moment of no answer. Well, it looks like he had captured one of the brilliant ones; this was the first time someone had offered a challenging query before his judgment- or had even dared to.

Smart little girl. Thinking little girl.

It would be a shame to send her to Hell so soon.

"Yes… Quite amusing, little one," he murmured.

His kunai retracted from the softness of her neck. He tenderly shifted her off the chair, positioned her weary body against the gritty stone walls with an uncommon gentleness that he thought had abandoned him.

He inclined his chin towards her ear. "Alas, I cannot die."

Another one. Another pretty little smile. "Very well. I suppose I'll have to be the one to answer that question then, shall I?"

"That would be convenient."

"Hmm. Maybe I'll come back as a ghost," she thought to herself. "That might have its quirks, don't you think…"

He let out a chuckle. "Sure. Why not?"

He stood and made his way towards the exit. He peeked behind his shoulder and spoke his final statement before the door shut them in.

"Perhaps I shall kill you another day, kunoichi."

The last smile. More beautiful than the rest. "That would be lovely."

The key turned, sealed them within.

Oh fuck.

Here he was, stuck in a cell, with only the clothes on his back, the oxygen in his lungs, and a maniac in the making. What should he do? What should the poor little Uchiha do?

She stared at him.

He froze.

"You look a bit shaky, Sasuke-kun."

The hiss with which he said his name made the damp, frigid current around them seem like the desert air. He expected to start seeing his breath.

"Can I not have a decent conversation with a person who happens to be our captor?"

Decent? That freakish little interrogation? A decent conversation!


"You think I'm crazy, don't you…?"

Crazy was the softer way of putting it. She needed to requisition a strait jacket as soon as they were out of this hellhole, that's what he thought.

If they ever got out of this hellhole…

She spoke again, softer, with a tinge of humanity.

"I guessed as much. But you of all be people should know better than to gawk, hypocrite. After all, only a crazy person would throw away friends, a home, and a reputation to the wind for the sake of one person's death…"

It him like a foot below the belt.

She was exacting her own vendetta in a sense, just as he was doing. She was screwing with him, just like he had done so long ago. It all came back. A full moon. A lukewarm spring breeze. A stone bench. This was her form of payback.

Her idea of a balanced spectrum.

Son of a bitch.

She was fucking with his head in the grandest of ways!

"…but then again…" There was something she had always wanted to say, though opportunity never rolled around until today. She had heard it as a child in a horror movie; one about a hotel, and something having to do with a shower, the butcher knife tearing through the curtain, flesh being pierced, blood conjoining beautifully with the hot water against the whiteness of the bathtub. Ah yes…

"… we all go a little crazy sometimes…"


He believed she was crazy.

She believed she was sane.

In the ear-splitting silence of the cell walls, they wondered which side of the spectrum was the right one.


which one?


As I said.

Don't ask.

This is more or less a writing spasm. And I suppose an attempt to see how well I can mindrape. evil laugh

Leave your reviews and WTF's at the door.