Sorry for the wait, I've finally got round to re-doing this story and attempting to actually make something of it. I say that in a way that I hope it may be slightly better ^^; When I was originally writing this I was like 14, so yeah, it was lame. Please re-read it and I hope you'll enjoy it better than last time :D

Thanks xx

With you, but still lonely

Chapter Six– Fourth day – …And In Health

Seated in the room, were only two figures. Both were silent, both were keeping eye contact, and, except from themselves, both were completely alone.

The room was large, majestic, but extremely dark. The only light available came from a few small torches scattered around the room, which were barely burning bright enough to see a few metres in front of you. The air that floated around was heavy and laced with the fear that literally rolled off the woman seated opposite a man whom she wished never to meet again. He was the man that haunted her dreams, the man that possessed her nightmares.

The silence continued as the girl clutched her yukata tighter around her slim figure, engulfing herself in the fabric. She did not move – she did not dare. So, she sat, swallowed up in her clothes and in utter stillness.

The silence was momentarily broken when the golden eyed man spoke up, "Eat…" while motioning his hand towards the grand gathering of food that decorated the table.

It was a few minutes before the petrified girl finally looked away and began to greedily fill her plate. She took many items, from apples to grapes, to purple things that looked almost inedible. She was cautious, but content. She warily sipped at the strange liquids before her, testing each for any hint of poison. But she could find none, and so gulped selfishly at the bizarre drinks and then continued to swallow everything on her plate - and more.

When she had had her full, she licked her fingers clean, each making a slight popping sound as she did so. A sudden grated chuckle echoed across the room, making her suddenly jerk her head up. Now she was able to see the golden eyes watching her, gleaming wickedly. Slowly, a crazy smile spread across the man's face. Sakura nervously twitched in her chair, as she tried to keep eye contact with the creature opposite her. She grabbed the chair arms and began scratching at the woodwork furiously, to stop herself from throwing up. She was not comfortable being alone, and wished many times that someone, anyone, would come in and break the awkward silence in the room. Yet her silent prayers were not answered, and she was continually forced to stare in to the face of whom she now believed to be, a murdering psycho, with an unhealthy the tendency to stare.

Just as she began to formulate an excuse to try and leave, the golden eyed man, once again, spoke up.

"I have…" he seemed hesitant to talk, as though casual conversation was not a regular occurrence to him, but he continued nevertheless,"…I have never seen a woman wolf down so much…in my life…"

She cocked her head to the side slightly and spoke quietly, "I thought you knew Tsunade-shishou..."

He suddenly burst out laughing, yet the sound was not joyful or happy like the laugh of a child, instead it was a high pitched shrieking and utterly terrifying. It left the young woman opposite him shaking in fear, holding her arms in front of her in a protective embrace. She opened her lips to speak, only to be interrupted by his smooth voice.

"You are different, just like he said…and you do amuse me so… Ah, yes, I do remember Tsunade's vigorous, let's just say, enthusiasm for food and alcohol."

He paused momentarily in thought, and then immediately turned his attention back to her. His face darkened a little and a slight look of sadness washed over his pale features as he sighed heavily.

"Let's get down to business then." A momentary look of complete shock hit her and she stared at him in disbelief.

"You brought me here for businees?" Her incredulous stare and gaping mouth only helped to emphasise her point. When he saw her expression he chuckled slightly, but still carried on.

"For some years now, Sasuke-kun has…well he hasn't been all there. His training was…how to put it...unsatisfying. He was always away in his thoughts and was having trouble with even the simplest of things. He did not eat. He did not sleep. He simply sat still, dazed."

Sakura sat confused, but still shaking, and whispered, "…but, why? Was he sick?"

"Being a genius lets you tap in to powers. Some are so unthinkable, that they are beyond your wildest dreams. But, it can come with a heavy price."

Her throat grew dry and her emerald eyes bulged as she managed to stutter, "...I don't understand..."

"I obviously refused to let him go and so…pushed him in the right direction." The man chuckled darkly and held his chin in thought, as though he were reminiscing on pastimes.

"Pushed him? What…what did you do to him? What was wrong with him?" Her voice steadily grew till it was almost a shout, her heart pounding fast in her chest.

Her eyes searched his face in a panic as she tried to find an answer. However the man she was currently demanding answers out of, only seemed to smirk at the fuss she was getting herself into. Her dishevelled hair, flustered expression, and heavy breathing made his heart quicken and pulse race. He had never felt like this before in his life - never. The rush of adrenaline and the heat of something slowly rising within him made him curious. She was the cause of these unknown emotions. He slowly licked his lips in such an unhurried manner so that he could enjoy every moment of the repulsion that slowly swept across the girls face.

His smile did not waver as he replied with the same evil smirk that was plastered on his chalky white face. "I made him forget…I made him forget everything."

Finding her voice again she snarled. "Tell me…what gives you the right? What did you do?"

"The war...." She inwardly cringed at the word. He momentarily stopped, watching as a slight grimace set in to her features as she remembered things that she'd rather not.

"As I was saying, the war was the start of it. To go or not to go, that was the question. And how did this come about? Well that is all to do with the price, the price that I would have to pay."

As he spoke he slowly crossed the room, caressing the walls with his outstretched fingertips. A slow, dull scrape resounded through the space between them as he began to drag his nails in an attempt to calm his rising temper.

"His genius gave him power over me, the power to choose. The war was the start of it. If he'd left he knew he would have to give up everything he worked for. The days passed and I could see him slowly being torn between staying and going. And I couldn't ... no, wouldn't, let him leave.

So, I cast complex web of techniques over him and created the empty shell you see today. No memories, no ties, no name. He was a perfect. That is, until the side effects of course. He has had recurring flash backs since then, many including you and the Kyuubi boy - but again, nothing serious enough to trigger all of his memories. That is why I need you..." He drew the word out with his outstretched tongue and the closeness of their current proximity shocked her.

While he had been talking she had failed to see how every one of his slow movements had brought them carelessly close, he now stood towering over her.

"You need to prepare us now. The transfer needs to be completed before he gets any worse. I'm worried that he'll slip out of my fingers."

He carefully lifted a lock of her hair in his greasy grip and experimentally ran it through his hand. He could feel the vibration of her shiver run through to the tips of her hair. He smiled in sheer delight.

"So, my dear, you see my predicament."

Sakura could no longer look him in the eye and so looked down at her hands fiddling in her lap. She could barely hold back her tears as she whispered, "I can't help you..."

"My dear child, I, myself have seen your medical training record. You are second to the Hokage herself! When he told me he saw a girl in his fractured memories, I knew I had hit the jackpot. I knew it was highly possible that who he had seen, was you, and so I told him all about you. I knew I needed a medic, but for him to be so easily persuaded to retrieve you, it seemed too easy. It has so far kept him happy, but I am no longer sure…He is sad that you seem not to reciprocate his feelings."

"What…what did you tell him?" Her voice was weak and shaking slightly as she tried desperately not to cry.

"I told him that you were someone who knew him, someone who loved him. Hah! You should have seen his face; he lit up like a Christmas tree! When you don't know who you are, you have the desire to cling to things that are familiar. He knew that you where part of his past and wanted you to be his comfort in his moment of blindness. He would do anything to hold on to you. He doesn't love you, he needs you.

I told him that I had arranged it so that you were coming to help the sound village on a mission. Tsunade refused the mission, of course, but he didn't know that.

You would stay here for a while, but it would be for a while. I needed time to capture you somehow. He was desperate to see you, even from afar, and so I allowed it for a while. I sent him on missions closer to Konoha. He seemed satisfied enough. But then the war started and...Well, you know the rest..." His eyes strayed off slightly as the memories came back to him and a sick smile lit up his face. He sighed and returned his gaze directly to her, and continued his speech.

"But it was quite unexpected when he asked me, if you too, could stay in Sound. It was an amusing thought, I must say and it was one that I rejected at first. But, he is very persistent. He disobeyed me. It was the first time he had ever gone against me, anyone in fact, you can't blame me for being surprised. He brought you here, ahead of schedule.

And so," He gestured at her with his hand, "here you sit."

He stood up, never breaking her frightened stare. As he gracefully floated towards the wall again, she felt something bubble in the pit of her stomach – something that was more than just fear. He chuckled slightly, and it quickly turned into a violently stifled cough that rang in the dead silence like a rusty bell. She jumped what would have been ten foot in the air, if she hadn't been anxiously moulding herself to her "safe" chair.

After a while he began to wheeze slightly, and after he composed himself he began again.

"Now about that proposition…I need you to do me this little favour. In return, you can leave here. How does that sound?"

"It isn't a very fair trade, is it?" She whispered to herself. "Destroying him, restoring you and I get to leave? ...I doubt you'd let me make it to the border of the town alive."

He turned to her, a snarl erupting from his throat as he spoke. "Fair? FAIR? I'll tell you what isn't fair! The fact that for fifty years I have been stuck like THIS!!"

He ripped off the shirt near his neck and revealed a pulsing red inflammation like...thing... that seemed to be growing from his skin. It was an appalling sight. The abscess seemed to be sucking the life out of his host body, ripping out the life that was left. It was an abomination. He was an abomination.

"Your skin..." She began gagging before she could finish.

"I will not allow you to tell me what is and isn't fair. Haven't you heard my dear, LIFE isn't fair. Each time I swap to a newer host body, the reaction gets quicker. I have no time left to argue with you little girl. Now, you will fix me, and you will do it willingly or forced. The choice is yours my dear, unnecessary force will only be required if you choose the latter. Now choose..."

Before she could contemplate anything he'd just said, something warm and moist gently smeared itself on her cheek. Unconsciously she had shut her eyes and the sickening smell that wafted over to her, gave her the feeling that there was no immediate need to open them.

Nevertheless, curiosity took hold and she peeked from under her heavy lashes. She was met face-to-face with a gruesome sight. In Front of her sat a legless creature, writhing and wriggling in its last efforts of escape as its life spilled out on the table, staining the table red. A large white knife stood erect out of the neck of the snake and its owner stood not twenty paces from her. His familiar stance and clothes made her feel strangely safe.


At the mention of his name, he turned slightly, his eyes bleeding into a colour similar to the blood stained on the table. He looked angry, very angry.

"I told you not to send them anymore." He said, nodding his head towards the snake.

"Ah. But, we also agreed that you would stay inside the village, Sasuke."

"Hn." His eyes tightened slightly and his back stiffened.

"We have important matters to discuss here, but they can be saved for another day. It would be very kind if you could point our guest in the direction of her room, please, Sasuke."

It took him a moment, but he obeyed, albeit a little unwilling. He turned to face her expectantly and then immediately started towards the door. At the sight of his retreating form, Sakura jumped up and ran after him making sure she wasn't left alone in that room again. He was a good ten paces in front of her when she found him again racing through the tunnels. She followed him through the many curves and bends and found herself recognising the familiar route.

...Left, right, left, left...ah, there's the entrance...right, left...

The entrance.

Sasuke was still striding ahead like a juggernaut and seemed to not notice when he was left alone marching through the secluded halls.

She stopped and looked down longingly, at the long hallway that led to the entrance of her prison.

"Where are you going?" His breaths came out in short sharp pants, and she could tell that he'd ran back here by the collected sweat on his brow. His voice was sharp, but his eyes were calm, almost confused. "The room is this way." He said, whilst pulling her after him.

She fumbled over her feet clumsily whilst she adjusted to him pulling her along at his quickened pace. She took a brief moment to look back over her shoulder at the receding sight of the entry way. Now, she knew she was in trouble. She'd have to escape before they found out.

She had to keep her secret.