The Manga has revealed a lot, but like I said before, I'm sticking to my own idea.
For those who don't read the manga, there MIGHT be some spoilers in the upcomong chapters.
Darkness... All around him. The man sighs, closing his eyes in concentration. Minutes pass, footsteps are heard. The man's eyebrows frown deeply. The lines in his face had become so much clearer in these last few months. A drop of sweat runs down his neck.
The light is back again, when the man opens his pair of now red eyes. ''So here you are again...''
Silence, only the sounds of wood cracking under the other person's weight. Only the sounds of the strong wind outside.
''Itachi, what are you hiding behind your back?''
Again darkness surrounds the man, this time an everlasting. Blood sprays Itachi's face. He bites his lower lip when the warm liquid runs down his face. He can feel the contrast of the warm drops on his cold skin all too well.
Itachi's mother sits up, woken by a loud sound in the livingroom. She watches her husband's empty side of the bed. She yawns softly and gets out of bed. The woman makes her way to the door. The wooden floor cracking underneath her bare feet. She shivers in her thin white nightgown.
''Dear... Where are you?'' She softly opens the bedroom door. ''Is Itachi home? Is...''
The woman stops her sentence. Her jaw drops a bit and her pretty eyes widen. Her eyes meet white... snow white. She leans a bit foreward, slowly taking a small step. Strangely instead of being in the hallway, she finds herself in her garden. But beside that, another thing seems to be out of place. Everything is icy and shiny, reflecting the moonlight. It's not winter yet. The frozen grass cracks and crunches underneath her feet. But she can't feel it's coldness. She keeps walking slowly, taking larger steps now. Her breath doesn't turn into a small cloud like it normally does.
As she keeps walking, her foot suddenly bumps into something. The woman stops and looks down, but she only sees the grass, nothing else, nothing to bump into. She slowly reaches forward with her foot again. It looks like as if her foot is just reaching into air. But then she feels something hard, something she can't see, something that's isn't there. Or is it? She swallows, a tragic realization came.
''Itachi?'' she asks with soft voice. And then, very slowly, the icy landscape turns into her livingroom. The large red stains on the carpet become visible to her eyes, so does the face of her husband at her feet.
Back turned towards her, he can hear her, as he wipes his father's blood off his cheeks with his sleeve.
As she kneels down, softly hyperventilating, she touches her dead lover's face. He can't hear her cry, but he know she is. Tears fall down on Fugaku's face as she leans over him. When Itachi turns around, he looks at the hucnhed up figure. On her knees, head hanging low, hands caressing her lover's hair. Minutes pass by like this. He lets her grief, before he proceeds. He waits for her to be ready. He waits for her to acknowledge his presence and to get it over with. After more than ten minutes, the woman braces herself, her hair covering her face like a black curtain.
''Am I... your enemy?'' Her voice sounds so strange, almost like an echo. A sad expression finds it's way to her face. Strangely, Itachi feels a bit sick when he looks at her. He doesn't respond, just looks at her with activated eyes, but not attacking her either.
''You always looked at me... as if I were.''
''You are not an enemy to me. Just a burden that I need to get rid of.''
She chuckles. ''Do you have any idea who I am? Do you?''
''I know who you are, Oca-san. I'll always be gratefull to you, for giving birth to me. But that is it. That is where it ends.''
Those words hurted Uchiha Mikoto.
''You were always like this, always seeing everyone as a burden. Friends, family, Sasuke... and me.''
He is a bit surprised when she starts crying again, this time with loud sobs. But he pays no attention to it. Women are emotional creatures after all.
''You are going to die. Whether you deserve to or not. I'm going to kill you.''
''Why... why?'' she sobs. He would never let her know. He would never let her know his purpose.
''Because find your existence no longer necesarry.'' he lies. If this hadn't been his assignement for Akatsuki, he would have let her live. He probably still would have killed his father, but not her. She is no threat at all.
She stops crying. ''Do it then.'' She permits him. Itachi slowly approaches her as she looks down at her husband again, smiling, loving. One last time. ''Go ahead.''
With unknown speed, he is in front of her. And without paying attention to her raising arms, he pushes the katana into her chest and steps forward, putting all his weight in it.
Without him knowing, he had closed his eyes for a few short moments. And when he opens them, he looks directly into her eyes, which are shining. He feels her arms around him, but he can only watch her eyes. He always knew that he had her eyes. Dark and feminine. He keeps looking at her tears, glowing from the lights outside. She embraces him, because he had never allowed her to before.
The silent moment of staring ends when she coughs and horrible sounds leaves her throat. Her already broken heart had been pierced. Death awaited her. She holds him tight, ignoring the pain, which was nothing compared to what she had felt all her life when she saw how little her son cared for her. Why hadn't he loved her, it teared her down.
Her cold and colourless lips touch his forehead for a second. She leans to him as she cannot stand anymore. Her pale and shaky hand touches his cheek.
''Please...'' she whispers with a shaky voice, as the tears die away.
A small stream of blood runs down her chin, as Itachi's slowly pulls the katana parts a bit from her, but never looking away from her eyes. She watches his, they seem to be different. But she can't put her finger on it. He looks so much like his father, like Sasuke. Little Sasuke. Her heartbeat slows down, her eyes roll and she closes them. She smiles softly and coughs again.
''Don't kill Sasuke... Please.''
Her arms fall back, her head drops backwards, her breathing stops. Slowly he brings her down to the floor, putting her next to his father.
''Not so tough now, huh?!'' he laughs. Sakura struggles, but it's futile. Orochimaru jumps up high into a tree, with her still captured. They're now far away from Itachi. She cannot move her body, Orochimaru's snake-like body is wrapped around her too tight. She knows how a snake kills it's prey, slowly, everytime it's prey exhales, it wraps it's body a little tighter around the prey. Eventually, she will not be able to breath anymore, eventually... she will choke. Was he trying to do that to her now?
Was Orochimaru planning on choking her?
His face is suddenly close to hers. Sakura grits her teeth, she already feels trouble in breathing, as his body wraps around her tighter. She feels something hard in pressing into her stomach. With her hand she tries to feel what it is and slightly pulls at it. She stops when Orochimaru speaks to her. ''You know, girl, that a cobra spits it's poison at it's prey?'' he gives her an evil smirk.
''Get away from me.'' she yells, not knowing what kind of object is pressing into her stomach. Was it a kunai? She touches it again. But as her eyes fix on his poisonous green eyes, it slips her mind. Orochimaru only laughs harder at her words. His eyes momentarily fix on Itachi and Sasuke for a moment. He sees that Sasuke is going to lose again, since he just got stabbed in his leg by Itachi's katana.
''They aim for their prey's eyes, because that's the most sensitive spot. It's prey turns temporarily blind and paralysed, so that the snake can eats it prey alive... slowly.'' She really couldn't stand his voice, it sent unpleasant chills down her spine. Sakura turns her head away to cast a look at Itachi. There is an end coming to their fight, but it looks as if Itachi will spare Sasuke's life yet again.
''Seems I have to hurry.'' She looks at Orochimaru and the second she does, he spits some dark liquid in her eyes. The moment the liquid touches her eyes, she feels the burning pain. The poison is biting her eyes. Her medical senses tell her that the liquid is burning into her veins, once that happens, it will spread through her body. It will spread through her blood, and eventually reach her heart. Then she will most likely... get killed by Orochimaru, because she will be paralysed and blind.
She grits her teeth and grunts in pain. She's in shock, because of the pain, but luckily she can still think. The words he just said to her run through her mind. Is he going to eat her, alive? No, he wouldn't! The spitting was only a distraction, but for what? There was no other use in poisening her, was there?
She closes her eyes, hoping that they would hurt less, and now fails to see Orochimaru's next move. She feels his hair brush her cheek first, and next she feels...
Long teeth sinking into the skin of her neck. Penetrating the musculus trapezius. At first she only feels the pain caused by his teeth, but when he pulls back... white hot pain enters her mind. This time she cries out loudly, immediatly she starts perspiring heavily. Her shoulders and neck wither and her hands starts shaking. Her body starts struggling against the tightness and dyspnea. White spots blur her vision when she opens her eyes in horror. The burning pain spreads through her whole body, through all her cells. Every single part of her burns. She feels like she is being burned alive. Gritting teeth, hot tears, closing her eyes, hyperventilating. There is no way that she can hold down this pain. Sakura throws her head backwards, opens her mouth wide and screams her lungs out. Orochimaru gives a throaty laugh. She keeps screaming as if there would be no end to it. As if she didn't need to breath anymore. Everything burns, everything hurts, screaming was the only thing she could do to lessen the suffering.
Her endless scream echoes through the woods. Itachi's attention immediately fixes on her. With his brilliant mind he translates the images into conclusions. He quickly rams his knee in Sasuke's stomach. The boy collapses.
She didn't know how long she was screaming already, just that she couldn't stop. Orochimaru unwraps from her body and starts attacking Itachi with several jutsus. Itachi is forced to elude and to defend himself. Sakura falls and with that, her screaming stops. She falls, all the way down, her body limp, still crying out in pain. Paralysed, convulsed, unable to rescue herself from death. The girl is already out, already unconscious as she falls all the way down.
Sakura partly regains consciousness. Her head feels like it could split every second. But she forces her eyes to open. As they do, she notices that she can't see a single thing. All she can see, all there is, is some sort of white/grey mist and a burning pain in her eyes. Her mouth is all dry and her limbs hurt. She doesn't hear a single thing. What happened? Did she fall down?
She can't remember what happened, but strangely enough, she doesn't care. The girl is too tired, too injured to care. The girl can't tell where she is. She can't even tell on what she is lying, just that the floor is hard. She closes her stinging eyes and just lays still. Sakura gives up, and decides not to find out where she is. After a few seconds, when she is very near to sleeping, she hears the wind blowing through the leafs. So she's stil in the woods? The sound is followed by a cold sensation on her skin, caused by a raindrop.
The girl keeps laying very still, even when she starts feeling more raindrops. Just a few second later, it starts raining heavily, and in distance she can hear thunder. But she can't see the lightning. Strangely, the thought of lighting makes her mind wonder off to Kakashi. She wonders where he is at this very moment. Is he looking for her? Is he worried about her?
Her heart aches when she figures that he probably isn't. He never once cared about her back in Konoha, not even when her parents died. Only Sasuke en Naruto had his interest. Her heart aches. But the sound of the rain calms her, the feeling of the cold rain seems to heal the pain in her body. But she knows that's not possible. Is she hallucinating? Yes, the heat she is feeling tells her she is. She weakly lifts her hand to the sky, touching drops.
The sky is crying. Can you hear it sobb? Can you feel it's pain?
Crazy thoughts like those run through her mind. Her raving mind. Her eyes open, but she can only see white mist. It looks pretty in a way, but she fears that she'll never be able to see again. What if she stays blind forever? Her head hurts so much. A second there, she thinks that she can hear Kakashi's footsteps coming closer. A second there, she thinks she can see Kakashi's shadow hovering over. But she passes out again.
He doesn't respond.
''Naruto!'' she raises her voice, causing him to look up. She knew that look, she'd seen it a few times before. Tsunade sighs and looks at Naruto's sad expression.
''It's been ten days, Naruto. And there is not a single clue or trail that we can follow. Neither has she left us a note or has anyone any idea where she might be.'' The boy looks down again, feeling so desperate. ''Perhaps she really has gone to look for Sasuke.'' he whispers.
''I think there is no way we can tell. She could be dead, you know?''
He clenches his fists. ''She's not dead. I know she isn't. You can try to tell me any crap you want. But I won't accept that solution.'' He stands and glares at her. Tsunade stands too.
''I'm glad you see it that way.''
Naruto frowns. ''Wha-?''
''I am sending you on a mission to look for her, anywhere you want. You'll be leaving tomorrow, in a three men team. Pick your members and don't you dare returning without her.'' Tsunade slams her fist on her desk, but smiles encouraging.
Naruto eyes glinster and he nods shortly, before turning around and running out of her office.
''I know that you will find her Naruto. I know you will.'' she whispers as she sits down again.
When Sakura opens her eyes, she feels relieved that she can see again. But the first thing she sees is Itachi. He is leaning over her, looking at her. He doesn't say anything, just straightens his back again and sits down next to her. His back is turned towards her. Her vision is still slightly blurred, but her eyes don't sting anymore. She notices that the sky is dark and that they're still in the woods. She sees some flashes when she tries to sit up, but she is very content about it. Her limbs are still very sore, especially her shoulders and neck. Which brings her to...
With a sudden move she reaches her hand to her trapezius muscle, touching, feeling, searching. She doesn't feel a single thing other than skin. But she can't see... ''Itachi-san? Is there-''
''A black seal in you neck...? Yes.'' he looks at her from the corner of his eyes. Her hand drops, she has so many questions. She doesn't know which to ask first. She looks around for a bit. She glances up to the trees and watches the ground carefully. She notices that there is no crater near to where they are. ''Where are we?''
''Two kilometer from where we fought Orochimaru.'' She looks at him. He seems to be alright, his cloak is dirty and ripped on his shoulder and down his leg. He has a deep scratch on his cheek and his hair looks messy, but other than that he looks just fine.
''Why, what?'' He shifts, now sitting straight across her.
''Why did he bite me? What use am I to him? I have no cool bloodline limit.''
Itachi looks to their surroundings and absentmindedly answers: ''He didn't bite you to make you one of his apprentices, like he usually does.''
Sakura sighs, so even Orochimaru thought of her as a weak kunoichi. ''Then why did he do it?''
''He must have guessed that you are Akatsuki's medic and that I'm teamed up with you. It's considerable that he wanted to mark a possession of mine with his seal. Also there is a very small surviving-chance when you get that seal. He probably would have liked it if you got killed.'' She swallows and silently thanks her strong body (she developed as a medic), that's what must have saved her from death. But the fact that she survived the seal... didn't that mean something? Didn't that mean that she is strong enough for it, strong enough to be Orochimaru's apprentice... in a way? Well, Orochimaru probably didn't even expect her to survive.
''What to do now? I saw what happened to Sasuke when he got his seal, a long time ago. I have to get rid of it.''
He turns to her and reaches his arm out. With a lot of effort, Sakura magages to shift, reavealing her back to him. He watches the seal carefully. Itachi places his finger on it, but withdraws it when the girl hisses in pain. He pushes some locks behind his forehead protector. Indeed the same one he marked Sasuke with. ''There is nothing I can do about it now. But we'll have leader look at it when we get back.''
''Oh.'' He stands again and Sakura lies down again, noticing how weak her body still is. She wonders what she looks like. Probably like a zombie or something. ''How long was I out?''
''Nearly twelve hours.''
''What?!'' Her eyes widen in shock. ''That long?! What happened then?''
''I was fighting Sasuke and then Orochimaru captured you. Do you remember that?'' She nods and he thinks for a while, then he looks at her, eyes slightly narrowed.
''What?'' she asks him with fragile voice.
''You should train harder. You are really weak.''
''You say what?!''
''You heard me.'' he responds calmly. Of course she heard him, but she felt really surprised about the fact that he was suddenly attacking her.
''Why the fuck are you suddenly telling me that I'm weak?'' She tries to sit up, but fails. Itachi of course noticed this.
''Can't you figure?'' If Sakura hadn't been weak and sore, she would have teared down five trees in anger. Her head starts to hurt again so she takes a deep breath, trying to calm down.
''Is it because Orochimaru caught me?'' She guesses, trying to speak without anger in her voice, because staying emotionless was important in this matter. He only nods and then continues. ''I had almost finished Sasuke when Orochimaru bit you and you fell down from high and I had to catch you.''
She didn't respond anymore, she barely even heard what he said. How come this was HER fault? Didn't HE leave HER to go fight with Sasuke?! I mean, come on she was absolutely no match for Orochimaru. He repeated his sentence. ''I had to catch you.''
Now she couldn't hold back anymore, with a raw voice she starts yelling: ''It wasn't my damn fault! How was I supposed to deal with that, when I was in such pain? Do you even know what it feels like? Do you?'' Her throat hurts from yelling, tears appear in her eyes, but she supresses them.
I will not cry in front of him. I'll never cry in his presence.
''Then if it hurted that much, you should have paid more attention to him. Then you shouldn't even have let him capture you.'' he whispers. Not even trying to sound angry. He just narrowed his eyes and now watches her more arrogant than usually. She resists the urge to yell at him and to punch his arrogant face, she is too tired. Isn't he concerned at all? Hell there was a bruise in her neck. Orochimaru's bruise... and she nearly survived it.
Suddenly she got mentally slapped. Come to think of it, she remembers that she was caught up in Itachi's and Sasuke's fight. She remembers that she forgot about Orochimaru. There was nothing she could say. He was right. She'd let him catch her, without even running or fighting. She had been too careless. How could she just have let him?
''I'm only going to say this once, Sakura-san.'' Sakura looks up, green orbs looking into red ones.
''Teams in Akatsuki are different from Konoha's, because you're dealing with different people here. I'm sure that Deidara-san won't mind ''catching'' you in the future. But I do. You shouldn't rely on me, because in the end... I only do things if they're profitable for me. For me, no one else.''
Here she was again. Roughly being pulled back to reality again. Why in the world had she felt happy about being on Itachi's ''side'' of the battle. Why?
''I understand perfectly well.'' she responds with a dark tone. ''It won't happen again.'' When Sakura looks him in the eyes again, she sees that his look has changed. The arrogance has disappeared. Almost as if he had faked it. He nods shortly.
''Now, in order for us to get home, I think it would be wise if you started crying now.''
Oke sorry for the weird ending. This chapter was quiet long, wasn't it? You'd better start reviewing now!!
One quiestion, since I'm not english:
When you use the word: to nodd, like this:
He nodds shortly.
Do you spell it with two d's, or one?