Warning: there is torture, blood, and swearing in this chapter.

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Naruto is not mine, unfortunately.

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Enjoy

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Orochimaru slid the dull part of the knife along my spine. It wasn't the first time and I doubted it would be the last, but I still couldn't hold back my flinch. His fingers found the strap of my tank and then he was cutting the cloth away.

When I wrapped my arms around my upper body, I got a knife hilt to the temple. I remained hunched over my scraped, bare knees, forehead pressed to my thigh as I clung for life to my tank top. He'd already gotten my pants off of me, but not without a fight that ended in a lot of swearing at him and bruises and cuts on his part. I still had enough energy to fight more and even if I didn't, I wasn't giving up that easily.

"Such lovely skin," he mused as he crouched beside me, a finger down my bare arm. He traced each dip of my spine with his nail and then moved to the lines of my unfinished tattoo. I tried to keep my body from shaking, not from cold but from fear of what he could do to me, and bit my trembling lower lip.

I felt bile in my throat when his nail traced the edge of my underwear and screamed, aiming my elbow at his face. The room echoed with the sound of skin meeting skin and I felt something crack.

Instead of groaning because I'd just broken his nose, he chuckled and stood, my tank top dangling in hand like a sad dead animal. He motioned to someone and I was yanked to my feet from behind, forced to follow Orochimaru as he led us up and up until I was out of breath and weak legged.

We came into a room with a gaping hole in the ceiling just big enough to let the moonlight come through, lighting a marble table that I knew was meant for me.

I dug my feet into the ground, feeling skin rip. Someone hit me in the back of the head, making the room swim as my knees almost gave out. The person didn't bother to pick me up and opted to drag me along the ground as I stumbled along, fingers. When I fell to a knee someone wrapped their fingers in my hair, near my skull, and forced me to my feet, yanking me along with a chuckle at my groan.

The table was freezing against my back and my wrists and ankles are chained down. My whole body was cold as ice and I couldn't help but pull at my restrains as the guy with the ruins came closer, a curved blade shining in his hand.

"Such beautiful skin," Orochimaru remarked again as he took the knife from the guy, looming over me with a smile. He ran his hand along my stomach, chuckling when I tried to twist away but ended up nearly dislocating my shoulder. "After the ceremony it'll be even more beautiful."

I didn't want to know what ceremony he was talking about. The blade cutting into my stomach cut off any thoughts I had. It hurt more than all the other times he cut me because this time he was carving something into my skin.

The runemaster put some sort of foul smelling oil on the wound when Orochimaru was done and it burned. I could've sworn whatever it was was entering into my bloodstream. It felt like someone had dumped gasoline on me and then thrown a match and ignited me from head to toe.

It was difficult to keep quiet and I clenched my jaw so hard it hurt, every muscle tense. With each press of the blade to my skin the pain flared even higher until I was begging in a haze of half consciousness. One bee sting didn't hurt, but a hundred of them did. I heard a buzzing in my ears that I soon realized was actually a ringing. I could only stare at the ceiling, too weak with all the blood sliding down my body to the table beneath. None of the carvings were healing due to the oil and I lost track of time and how much skin he'd covered.

For one moment I became lucid as Sasuke's face flashed in my mind. It gave me a small burst of energy and I struggled, feeling the blade slice through muscle and, with a stomach clenching realization, scrape bone.

"Dammit," Orochimaru exclaimed and dug his nails into my skin. "Let it heal. We need to start that one over."

After what feels like a thousand years they step away from me. My eyes fluttered as the ceiling faded, but someone slapped my cheeks to keep me on the edge of consciousness.

Orochimaru shrugged off his robe and I gasped at the runes running down his body, dried blood indicating they were fresh. I wondered if they looked like my own or if they were different, but mainly, I wanted to know what they were for. My gut, under all the pain, was telling me something very bad was about to happen.

Chanting started and I could've sworn the moonlight was searing into my skin like acid. Light caught my attention and I stared down at the carvings in my skin, watching with wide eyes as the wounds glowed like there was light trying to escape in my veins.

Tears ran from the corners of my eyes as the air left my lungs, but that wasn't all. Little orbs of light left my wounds, clinging to the surface of my body and dragging me upward until I was hovering, held down only by my bonds. My back hit the table with a teeth-jarring force as the orbs detached with one loud word from the runemaster. They floated above my body and I wanted to reached out and grab them all, force them back into my body because without them it felt like something was missing. Like I'd just lost an arm or leg and now had the feeling of a phantom limb.

Orochimaru stepped closer and reached slowly for one. I flinched when his finger brushed it, relief coursing through me when nothing happened. It was like they were opposite magnets, the orb bouncing away from his skin.

"Fix it," Orochimaru demanded and the runemaster's chanting grew louder, his voice scratching my skin with each word. The room shook and then I realized that it was my body shaking with sobs. Through his chanting he nodded at Orochimaru.

Orochimaru went to touch it again and this time the orb didn't resist. The moment he touched it, it bound up his skin and entered one of the carvings, the rest following suit until his entire body seemed to be glowing. Slowly his skin started to heal until every mark was gone.

I didn't need to be told to know what had just happened. Tears wet my cheeks and I turned my face away so Orochimaru wouldn't have another reason to mock me. I watched the runemaster turn away, rubbing at his temples slowly in one moment of exhaustion before straightening and heading out of the room. I wanted to scream in frustration for being so helpless and unable to do anything as a snake of water curled up my body and choked me.

My vision started to go black in the corners and I tried to curl away from Orochimaru like that would do anything. There were rapid footsteps and the pressure on my neck disappeared, allowing me to gasp air into my burning lungs.

"Sire, they've captured Kabuto," the runemaster appeared just behind Orochimaru, his eyes flickering over me in mild disinterest unlike Orochimaru's own eyes. I was nothing now. My powers were gone, leaving me with mere strength in a world where people dominated with the special skill they were born with.

"They want a trade-off," Orochimaru guessed and my stomach jolted with hope but then I saw his leering grin. I closed my eyes, but it didn't hide the scrape of his nails down my arm, smearing blood and making me groan in pain and disgust. Each touch of his felt like a million spiders crawling on my skin. I fought the bonds again, ignoring the way Orochimaru grinned in amusement at my useless efforts.

Orochimaru pulled away and lifted his head, his eyes directed at the ceiling window, but glazed over in thought. "Tomorrow morning. I sense a storm coming."

He turned to me as his eyes cleared. The bonds loosened and he pulled me up. The world spun in lightheadedness as I looked down at the blood under me. There was so much of it it had started to run over the sides and to the floor. "As for you. Best that we make the most of our remaining time together."

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13.

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There's a warm light behind my eyelids, like a match is just on the other side. But when I wake, it's just the fireplace burning my front side endlessly.

"Did you have a nice rest, blossom?" a deep voice asked behind me mockingly. "I made sure you were all nice and warm."

"When he finds you, he's going to kill you," I said with a hoarse voice. I tried to lick my dry lips, but my tongue was like sandpaper. My whole body felt like a desert. What I would do for a drink of water.

Orochimaru's face appeared in the corner of my eye. On second thought, nevermind.

His teeth shone bone white in the firelight and he didn't seemed fazed by the heat. His eyes slid down my almost naked body with barely concealed excitement and then he disappeared behind me. One of his fingernails ran along the back of my neck, scratching almost hard enough to draw blood around one vertebra before moving to the next.

I flinched forward, leaning as far as I could from his touch.

"Don't touch me," I warned, swiveling my head around to try and see him. It wasn't hard for he came around to stand in front of me. While I didn't want him here, he blocked the heat from my body and immediately I felt better.

"I don't think you're in the position to be giving orders," he said with a chuckle as he crouched down in front of me. The angle brought the fire directly behind him and his face became blocked out with shadows so that I could only see his glinting eyes. His hand rose, one fingertip hovering just above my shoulder as he waited for me to try and get away.

I knew it was all a game to him. To see how uncomfortable he could make me just so he could go even further and prove that he was in control. I kept my body still, grit my teeth, and stared to the side.

His finger touched my shoulder and then ran across my collarbone millimeter by millimeter. I could feel the sweat running down my spine, not just from the heat now but also from nervousness. I could fight him all I wanted, in whatever way, but in the end he was still in control and could do whatever I wanted.

Sasuke, hurry, I whispered in my head, but it became louder until it was a roar that blocked out the rest of my surroundings. At least, it did until I felt Orochimaru's finger run down my sternum and between my breasts.

I screamed and the chair shook as I tried to lean back, but I couldn't escape his touch. He only stopped because my bra was in the way and I fought back tears and bile as he lifted his finger to his smirking mouth and licked at my sweat gathered on his skin.

There was a noticeable shift from taunting to seriousness as he said, "I've waited so long for this."

My body shook as he unchained me and I tried to get away but ended up on my knees. He dragged me along, my legs too weak to carry myself. I pulled at his grip, earning a smack to the face that sent me sprawling on the floor. Iron filled my mouth and I spit the blood at Orochimaru's feet.

Fingers in my hair urged me to my feet with a sharp yank. I clawed at his wrist, my body shaking as we entered a room with a single stone table in the middle. A large circular window in the ceiling brought in a single beam of light down, illuminating the table to the color of fresh snow.

Orochimaru threw me onto it. The surface was as cold as ice and I tried to roll off the other side, away from him, but there was a man standing there blocking my path. Runes covered every inch of skin visible and I recognized some of them. I knew exactly who he was, had been warned of him from Tsunade. As a runemaster, he was able to do many things. I had no idea why he was here, but then Orochimaru lifted a knife and I knew he was here to keep me alive and in as much pain as possible.

"No." I bit my lips to hide the way they wobbled. "I won't tell you anything."

"Don't worry," Orochimaru said as he let his finger travel down my outer thigh, licking his lips when I pulled away with a grimace. "If this doesn't work, I've got a backup plan."

I closed my eyes as the man started to chant in an ancient language. Something cold touched my skin and then as it pressed harder, drawing blood. The cold transformed to a burning pain and I clenched my teeth, holding back all noise.

"You can scream, I don't mind," Orochimaru crooned in a soft voice. My eyes fluttered to him and I saw the dark look on his face and turned my head towards the ceiling. The light blurred my vision or maybe it was the tears. My wounds didn't close like they normally did and I was grateful even if it did mean more pain. They couldn't find out, no matter what.

A high-pitched scream filled my eyes and I knew it was mine, but I was slowly fading into unconsciousness. I welcomed it and the numbing of the pain it brought, but the runemaster noticed the way my muscles started to relax and started chanting again as his hand settled on my forehead.

The world settled back into focus and I groaned as the pain came back like a hard punch to the stomach.

"Can't sleep yet, my sweet blossom," Orochimaru said as his face appeared above me. He lifted the blade for me to see. It was covered in blood. How much blood had I lost? How long had he been at it? It felt like hours, but it could've only been minutes for all I knew.

"Not until you tell me where it is." Orochimaru settled the knife back against my skin and let it pierce deep, a warning that he'd continue, but this time far worse. "Come on sweetheart, where is it?"

I smiled at him as though saying 'do your worse' even though I wasn't even entirely sure I could handle whatever he had in mind. Even then, I couldn't tell him or else I'd die and then everyone else would, at the hand of my power. The power I was meant to protect.

The blade hit bone and I screamed loud enough that I swore the ceiling window would shatter. Somehow I managed to turn my head back upwards and noticed a small dot getting closer to the window. And then it was raining glass and a familiar pair of black wings was filling my vision as strong arms picked me up.

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Sasuke shifted from foot to foot, thumb running along the top of his hilt. It'd been nearly a two days since capturing Kabuto and he was about to go crazy with this whole patience bullshit.

He knew before he saw them that they were here. Kabuto started to chuckle and Sasuke delivered a sharp kick to the back of his knee, bringing him to the ground.

A hooded figure came into view across the stream, appearing from the shadows of dusk. Behind him stumbled another hooded figure, their footsteps unsure like they didn't know where they were going. They were limping, their figure hunched over and shaking even though the air was warm.

He watched with a chill running down his spine as the first figure pulled back his hood, revealing Orochimaru's pale face and grin. He looked Sasuke in the eye as he clutched the back of the other hooded figure's neck, keeping them from pulling away as he leaned closer.

The person struggled and Orochimaru whispered something to them. Both of them knew it was Sakura at that point and it took everything in Sasuke not to chop off Orochimaru's arm for touching her, and then his head for everything else he could've possibly done to her. Bile rose in his throat and he prayed to whoever was listening that that sick fuck hadn't done his worst.

And then Orochimaru was yanking off the person's cloak and Sasuke got his answer. There she stood, her whole body covered in rivulets of blood and spotted with bruises in only a blood, sweat, and dirt stained bra and underwear, a blindfold covering her eyes as she fought the ropes binding her arms behind her back. Her lips were set in a hard line even though every inch of her skin was covered in markings.

The sight of her made him afraid to know what had happened. His knuckles turned white on his hilt as he watched Orochimaru go behind her, caressing her blood arms and taking one last inhale of her scent.

After what felt like an eternity Orochimaru shoved her forward. She stumbled along, her body jerking with shivers as she walked, unsteady as she passed over branches and dips in the ground.

Sasuke had to fight every fiber of his being to not run to her as she reached the stream, falling to her knees at the unexpected change. He faintly wondered how she hadn't sensed the water, hadn't used it to her advantage, but shoved it away when he felt something on his cheek, something wet.

A rain shower started weakly and then picked up. It didn't stop Sakura, even as her shoulders started to shake with sobs as she got up and continued walking. She picked up speed, whispering something weakly.

Sasuke strained his ears as he took a step forward and then another. He started to run and the closer he got, the more audible her words became and he realized she was saying the same word over and over again.

"Run," she said. "Run. Run. Run."

Finally she climbed out of the stream, coming close enough to where he could sigh with relief and say that he safely had her. She seemed to sense it for he reached her just as she went down. He tore the blindfold off, cut the rope around her wrists, and lifted her into his arms, turning away from Orochimaru's crazed eyes as she relaxed, knowing she was safe. Her eyes were tired and glazed. She looked like she hadn't slept in a few days. Or eaten, Sasuke decided upon examining her body quickly, his stomach rolling at all the dried blood and even some fresh blood that still seeped from the runes.

"Run," she demanded, finding enough energy to clutch at his rain soaked shirt in fear.

"I've got you," he murmured to her, pulling her closer to his chest. He nodded at Neji and Naruto as he approached them. "You're safe now."

"You don't understand," she whimpered into his collarbone. "We have to get out of here. He—"

Neji and Naruto let go of Kabuto and he stepped towards Orochimaru with a smirk just as lightning flashed across the sky.

"Perfect timing," Kabuto shouted over the thunder.

With a chilling laugh Orochimaru lifted both hands towards the sky. Nothing happened at first until the Guardians noticed the rain slowing like hands on a clock coming to a slow halt.

Hinata watched as a raindrop hovered right before her left eye. It vibrated like a machine being turned on and then hit her in the cheek. She winced, feeling the skin with her finger before pulling it back with a spot of blood.

No one had to say anything for the Guardians to scatter. They split off in different directions and fled into the woods. But Naruto went straight for Kabuto with a red tint in his eyes. Hinata looked over her shoulder, wincing as more of the rain left beads of blood rather than bruises. She yelled his name over the storm, tearing wet hair out of her eyes.

Kabuto didn't get far before Naruto swiped his head clean off his shoulders.

"Go to hell!" he roared over the thunder, the head rolling under a bush with blood spurting from the neck. Hinata pulled on his arm with effort, slightly scared at the canine grin he gave her, before they caught up to Sasuke, flanking each side.

When they made it far enough so that the rain fell naturally, they started to zigzag, taking more care in masking their trail. Sasuke's only goal was to keep Sakura away from that monster. His grip tightened and in a moment emotion he swore he would never let her go.

Ino and Shikamaru suddenly dropped from the sky, landing with a thud in front of them. Ino's wings were a brilliant yellow like the sun and the markings on her arms were glowing as she kept the lightning from coming near them. Shikamaru's wings were dark like the shadows and he held out his hands, eyeing Sasuke with a lazy expectation.

"Give Sakura to us. We can get her back to the village faster than you can," Ino said.

Sasuke refused, partially because irrationality was taking over and also because Sakura's hands were clinging to his shirt for dear life. It took Naruto and Shikamaru to wrestle her from his arms. He watched stiffly as Ino and Shikamaru pushed off the ground and disappeared above the tree line.

"Orochimaru shouldn't be able to control water," he said to distract themselves as he, Naruto, and Hinata took off running for the village. "What the fuck did he do?"

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I was afraid to open my eyes because I wasn't sure where I'd find myself. My whole body ached and I knew the past...however long it'd been, wasn't a nightmare. Everything was a blur in my head, focusing at moments where I'd had total clarity and then fading as I gave into the pain.

If there was one thing I knew for sure, it was that my powers were gone. I remembered watching Orochimaru touch the glowing orb over my body with a triumphant grin. And then whatever happened after that became a haze of pain and blood tinged air.

My body jerked with the memory of him wrapping an orb of ice-cold water around me, trapping me until I nearly passed out from hypothermia and suffocation. He'd proceeded to warm me up by doing the same with boiling water.

After that were more fuzzy memories. Everything was black, but there were sounds and smells and people talking. I was one of them, telling people to run. Then brightness as a blindfold was lifted and a glimpse of Sasuke's face before chaos. The next time I'd opened my eyes, I'd been in the clouds, high above the treetops. It would've been beautiful if I wasn't so broken. But it wasn't like the dream I'd had of my past. In my past life Sasuke had saved me just in time before Orochimaru figured things out.

I fought back tears and froze when I felt someone shift behind me. Their arm tightened around my waist, secure but gentle. Warm breath hit the back of my neck and my eyes shot open, blind to my surroundings because at this point I had no idea what was going on and the only person I could imagine behind me was Orochimaru. As far as I knew he hadn't gotten what he wanted, but for all I knew I could've passed out, dreamed everything I thought had happened after he'd taken my powers, and while doing so he'd violated me. I panicked.

"Fuck," a deep voice grunted as I elbowed the person in the ribs with enough force for them to loosen their hold. I rolled away even though moving hurt every cut on my body, off the side of the bed, and pressed my back against the wall. With fists raised, I watched in both horror and relief as Sasuke's head popped up.

"Sakura," he whispered in a soothing voice like I was some rabid animal. He slid to the edge of the bed and then down onto his knees in front of me. His movement was slow like would bolt and a part of me wanted to. I'd failed to protect the Holy Grail. Everything my past self had sacrificed had been wasted. I was nothing now and I deserved the pain coursing through my body as punishment for being so weak.

"They're gone," I whimpered and my fingers went to my hairline, clutching at the roots like it would erase the horrifying memories.

Sasuke must've seen the way I was about to cry because he gave up trying to keep his distance and pulled me to him. Before long the front of his shirt was soaked with my tears, but he didn't pull away like I expected him to do. As far as I knew, he hated physical contact. This was a first and deep inside I hoped it wasn't a last.

After my sobbing had quieted down, he asked, "Your powers?"

I nodded and curled into a ball in his lap, relishing in the way his arms felt around me. He always managed to make the rest of the world fall away and that's exactly what I needed right now. I wanted to forget and for this little moment I could.

He rocked us back and forth and I felt my body sag with exhaustion as my eyes dried up. Carefully he moved us back onto the bed. Now that I knew it was him, I let him to pull me closer to his side. I would never have guessed Sasuke liked to cuddle, but maybe my tears had softened him enough to allow it just this once. Another first. Knowing this was probably a one-time thing, I threw my arm across his chest, clutching the fabric at his side because deep down I didn't want him to leave.

We may not have the same relationship that we did in the past, but there was still a connection between us and he made me feel safe. He gave me strength, whether it was by pissing me off or supporting me. And right now, I needed all the strength I could get. Tough times were ahead for all of us.

I awoke again to Sasuke unwrapping the bandages around my left thigh. He glanced up at me in acknowledgement that I was awake and then went back to work. He spread a green tinted ointment on each rune, bruise, and burn carefully, moving from my outer knee then upward towards my hip. I suddenly realized that I was only wearing an oversized shirt and fought the blush brightening my face. When his hand pushed up the shirt to get at the top of my upper thigh, my body jerked in surprise at the brush of his fingertips against my skin.

Sasuke's movements stilled and he looked up at me from under his eyelashes, his jaw clenched. "He didn't...touch you, did he?"

"No! At least, I don't think so." I swallowed thickly, my hands clenching hard enough for my nails to bite into my palms. "There weren't any signs that he did, were there?"

He shook his head and went back to what he was doing. I noticed his shoulders sag in relief. "The medics didn't see any."

"Thank God," I said and let my head fall back against the pillow. I stared at the ceiling and felt his hand wrap around the back of my knee, urging me to lift my leg. With him touching me, even in an innocent, necessary way, it heightened all of my senses. My toes curled when I felt his breath slide up my inner thigh. Then he was lowering my leg and his fingers were where his breath had been. It was an odd sensation, his warm breath and the cold ointment, his gentle but firm touch.

My breathing picked up. Each press of his fingers made my heart stutter as electricity jolted from his touch straight to my core. Not that it was that far a journey, I thought as my eyes rolled back into my head. His fingers were at the hem of my panties and my back arched slightly before I caught myself.

"Sakura?" The bed dipped and Sasuke's face appeared above my own. "I can stop if it hurts."

He couldn't be that oblivious, could he? Then again, I was grateful he was because this was too embarrassing. I shook my head and felt my clenched stomach relax as he started bandaging up my thigh. He moved down to my lower leg and this time it was more bearable, probably because I wasn't about to have a fucking orgasm just from his touch alone. His fingers were secure on my ankle and I shivered.

This was wrong. I couldn't deal with this on top of everything else. Even if I'd had feelings for him before this nightmare, he was unpredictable and I couldn't add heartbreak to my growing list of problems. Not that the word 'problem' came anywhere close to describing my ordeal.

When he moved to my other thigh I did a lot better at controlling my body. I counted down from a thousand as his fingers moved along my skin, only feeling a rush of desire every now and then.

Were there really that many marks? I looked down at my legs to confirm that yes there were, unable to remember how long it'd taken Orochimaru because the whole thing had felt like an eternity. I just wanted them to heal and to forget it had happened, even if the absence of my powers would always remind me. Or better yet, I wanted to kill Orochimaru.

Sasuke moved and then I snapped my eyes away because his head was basically between my thighs and it was bringing other dirtier images to mind. What number was I on again?

He called my name and I snapped out of my counting at 528.

"It doesn't hurt, does it?" he repeated, putting the ointment and bandages on the side table. He sensed something was off and surveyed me.

I flashed him a small smile to reassure him and shrugged. "Only a little, but nothing I can't handle." I rung my hands together, nervous at the answer I'd get to my next question. "They'll heal, right?"

Sasuke paused and stuck his hands in his pockets. "The medics think so, but when you deal with dark power like that, you never know. They did everything they could, getting the poison out of your bloodstream and making that special balm to help."

I sighed and pulled my legs up to my chest, letting my forehead fall against my knee. Only time would tell. The thought put my stomach in knots. "How long was I out?"

"Four days."

I nodded and we fell into silence. I wondered if he'd been with me the entire time. It seemed like every time I'd woken up someone had been there, hovering in the corner of my vision. I'd forgotten about it until now, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was Sasuke.

"Are you hungry?" Sasuke asked. I nodded, figuring after four days some food would probably be a good idea. I watched his back as he left the room. He'd barely been gone two minutes when a beautiful blond came into the room, closing the door behind her quietly like she wasn't supposed to be there. She looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't pinpoint from where.

"Hello," I said awkwardly as she stood there staring at me with wide eyes.

There was a flash of pain in her eyes and then she brushed it away with a flip of her blond ponytail and said, "I'm Ino, one of your Guardians."

"Sakura," I said even though I figured she already knew who I was. I swallowed thickly, forcing my body to remain calm even though there was a lump of tears coming up my throat. Would I ever get over losing my powers? "You're not my Guardian anymore."

Ino looked away, rubbing at one arm with the other. Her voice was wobbly with tears when she said, "I'm so sorry. It was my duty to protect you from exactly that and I failed. It's all my fault."

I did the one thing most inappropriate at a time like this, I laughed. Ino looked at me with confusion and surprise on her face. I held up a hand and explained, "And here I was tearing myself apart because I thought it was my fault. It seems everyone is blaming himself or herself. Maybe..." I paused, swallowing the lump down with renewed strength, my back straightening, "we should blame the actual person at fault."

"Orochimaru," Ino said. I nodded. She pounded her fist into her palm and grinned. "Wait till I get my hands on him, Forehead."

I froze, narrowing my eyes at her as my hand flew to my forehead. My wide forehead had always been a sore subject for me. "What'd you call me?"

Her eyes widened and she held up her hands in defense. "I-It just slipped out. I used to call you—your old self that." She tapped her chin in thought. "I thought you had dreams of your past before you...died."

"Not of that," I said and immediately felt bad at the way her face fell. "Were we good friends?"

"Best friends," she whispered and I noticed the way her shoulders caved in a little in disappointment.

"Well who's to say we won't be again?" I reassured her with a smile. "Although I should probably think about it if I'm going to be friends with someone as big as you." I clapped a hand over my mouth in shock. I wasn't even sure where that'd come from.

Ino's glared at me. "At least I fit in the mirror, unlike your forehead."

We gave each other the evil eye for a moment before breaking out laughing. "Who's to say we won't be again," Ino repeated, wiping at her eyes with a grin just as the door opened and Sasuke appeared with a plate of food, one eyebrow raised as he looked between the two of them as though they'd lost their minds.

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So I decided to take out the Greek as chapter names. I realized I was in way over my head and that even with the use of a translator program I could still be wrong, so I got rid of them. Currently I'm going through and changing some of the format in terms of dreams being in italics, so if you notice a difference it's that. I may have also added/edited/proofread so there may be new things and fixed errors too! Yay!

I know this story has been a long time coming. It was published almost 6 years ago and I'm still working on it. I won't stop though until it's finished. I usually tend to have problems finishing things I've started, but I'm trying to break that habit so reviews are encouraged to keep me going and give me inspiration!

Thank you for everyone for reading!