Protecting Killers

In order to keep Orochimaru from gaining the power of the mangekyo sharingan, Sakura must protect Uchiha Itachi-- the blind Uchiha Itachi.

Author: MoonVeil

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

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You'd think they could have just killed him- but apparently Tsunade was afraid Orochimaru would revolt and Konoha would suffer. You'd think they would guard him with a special black ops troop. You might even think they'd just give him to Orochimaru and get the whole thing over with. But alas, none of this happened. No, as fate would have it, medic-nin Haruno Sakura was made his keeper. Or, whatever you might call it.

--

It was your average day; the sun was, well, the sun. The air was clean and smelled of the thick forest that surrounded the large village. And yet something was off, no one stood in the streets, all was silent. Sakura stopped and stood, looking around her, feeling peeved.

Curtains twitched, signaling that at least someone knew she was outside. The stores were all closed, their doors barred up.

Feeling as if she had missed an important memo, something like- 'rabid monkeys on the loose, leave home at your own risk!'. You'd think if it were something like that someone would open the door and shout at her. Sakura gave an uneasy sigh and began walking for Tsunade's office once again.

She was relieved to find that not everyone was in hiding; a scared looking woman waved her over. "Tsunade-sama is expecting you." Sakura inclined her head and moved past the girl's desk, walking toward the vast oak doors.

Tsunade was talking to someone; Sakura couldn't make out the words. Waiting a moment she timidly knocked on the door and waited as silence over took the room. "Sakura, come in." Obeying, Sakura easily pushed open the heavy doors, looking at the audience that awaited her.

The elders eyed her with disinterest, Naruto tired to smile, but even that faltered. Sakura frowned and let the door clank shut. "Tsunade-sama?"

The woman sighed, "Sakura." Sakura followed her teachers' gaze, her throat going dry. There was no way, no way, that, that was Uchiha Itachi sitting in the corner of the room. Her mouth hanging open Sakura could only point at him, making poking gestures.

Itachi was either ignoring the rude gesture or... "He's blind," she whispered in wonder. His mouth twitched down, he didn't like that word apparently.

"Yes Sakura. Itachi is, as you have pointed out, blind."

Sakura stumbled back towards the doors where freedom awaited her, "I-I don't understand..."

"Calm down Sakura, come sit." Her teacher motioned to a large seat- which was all too close to the man who sat as if ignoring them all. Sakura did as she a bid, taking the long way around the motionless man.

"Why is he here?"

"He's here because...Well." Tsunade stopped, rubbing at her head as if trying to figure out how she was going to tell Sakura. "He is now under Konoha protection."

Sakura face went pleasantly blank, "eh?"

"As you know, Orochimaru has taken over Sasuke's body." Naruto and Sakura flinched together. "From what we understand, Sasuke never told Orochimaru how to obtain the mangekyo sharingan."

"So he wants the information from Itachi." Sakura reasoned, worrying her lower lip.

"Correct. And, as you know, the consequences of him learning how could be devastating. And now with Itachi, er, put out," he snorted, "we have to protect the secrets of mangekyo at all costs."

Sakura had a bad feeling about what was coming next. All eyes flittered to her and seemingly studied her. Sakura's paranoia only rose as Itachi turned his unseeing gaze on where he thought her to be. He was a little high and too much to the left, but the point was clear; whatever came next had to do with her.

"You are to protect him, Sakura."

"..."

"Sakura-- Sakura?!"

Sakura fell back with a loud thump.

---

Sakura awoke with a loud groan, everything was far too bright, her head throbbed and her throat was dry. She bleary glanced about the room, screaming as her tired eyes fell once again on the rigid form of Uchiha Itachi. Her scream woke him- she hadn't known him to be sleeping- and sent him to his feet.

Itachi grappled for a kunai he didn't have before gracelessly tripping towards the floor. Sakura shoved her covers aside and caught him, holding her head far away from him as if he carried a toxic disease. Itachi said nothing as she helped him, feeling very much like a small helpless child.

"Sakura?" Tsunade entered the room, noting Sakura's scandalized expression. "What's wrong?"

"He...He isn't chained or tied up! Nothing!"

"..." Itachi tried to scowl at her, but once again just missed her actual face.

"He can't even walk straight."

Sakura snorted, "he's probably pretending and waiting until we lower our guards."

"..." Itachi nodded, her reasoning made sense.

"Then you can tie him up." There was something almost pervert about that sentence, Sakura ignored the little indecent squeals of her inner personality and asked her teacher for something to tie the stoic man with. Tsunade left and returned moments later with thick rope she had- Sakura did not want to know why- on hand in her office. After giving the girl the rope, Tsunade made her leave.

Sakura took it with a grateful nod and moved towards Itachi. Pulling his arms before him, none too gently, she began. His lips gave a small twitch.

"Aa."

She ignored him, working on tying his hands tightly. Looking up for a moment she studied his expression. "What?"

"Do you know anything of tying enemies?"

She scowled, "what do you think I'm doing?" His lips twitched again.

"Nothing useful."

She tugged harshly on the next knot, her anger only rising as she roused nothing from his stoic person. "Is that so?"

"Mm, never tie the hands in front. Besides that; the knots are too large."

Sakura said nothing, only looking down at her sloppy rope job. "Just shut up."

The twitch was back and larger than before. "Whatever you say." She glared up at him,

"Are you trying to make me angry?"

"Aa."

Sakura let his hands fall back into his lap, satisfied that if he tried anything at least she would have a moments head start. A loud noise, suspiciously like snapping made her slowly turn back around. Itachi loomed over her, his lips pulled into what one might call an almost smile; he held the frayed rope up for her to see. Her heart rose into her throat.

"See?"

"..."

Her life looming before her eyes Sakura clenched her eyes tightly shut, hunching over as she awaited the killing blow, what she was not expecting, however, was for him to sit back down. She cautiously opened her eyes, only to look at him in shock.

He remained silent even as she made strange questioning noises. Finally realizing she wasn't going to get an answer from him she tried another tactic. "Are--Are you hungry, maybe a sandwich?"

He inclined his head: translation; yes. He would love a sandwich. Sakura paused in the doorway, "don't move."

"Hn."

Hoping that meant he would do as she bid him, Sakura let the door close behind her. The starch white walls of Konoha hospital waited, and she relished in the familiar feeling of them. She walked slowly towards the cafe, noting that much of the staff was missing, the curtain twitches, no doubt.

Sakura handed over the little money she had thought to bring with her to the tired looking lunch woman. Who in turn, handed her a tray loaded with a bag of too salty chips and a stale sandwich, Sakura cut the sandwich in half and filled the small glass she had been given with clear, cold water.

Itachi looked up as she entered the room, moving to stand and help her- shock, shock. "Ah, that's alright, I've got it." He sat back down, nearly missing the chair as he did so. Sakura gave a snort of laughter. "What happened to you? Where has all that grace gone?"

Itachi frowned, if they worked sharingan might be piercing her. Sakura carefully arranged the small paper plates, moving to help him sit by the small table.

"It was over-use wasn't it?"

He hesitated, "yes." She placed the plate before him, watching as he felt around for it. He ate carefully, taking his time, never did his hands falter as they brought the food to his mouth. Sakura picked up her own half of the stale food, chewing slowly.

Eating the sandwich was like eating big lumpy bricks. Sakura was thankful when the tense silent moment was over. "Erm, uh--Uchiha-san, would you like--Well, that is..." Itachi looked at her, waiting for her to finally spit out what she was trying to say. "May I examine your eyes?" If he was startled by her request he didn't show it.

"Ah, yes."

Sakura swallowed harshly and moved so that she was almost sitting in his lap. She pressed her hands to his closed eyes, gently prodding around with her chakra. Itachi stayed still patiently waiting for her to finish. When she was done Sakura sat back, frowning.

"What is your conclusion?" He shifted around, making himself comfortable in his chair.

"Well, the damage is severe. But, I think I may be able to fix them." Itachi twitched and leaned forward. "But."

He frowned, "but?"

"Until then I want you to agree to some...terms."

"Terms?"

"Yes. One, no evil; no killing maiming, ect."

"..."

"Two, you have to be nice, polite."

"..." Sakura could almost swear she heard him snort.

"Three, you have to eat my food." His frown deepened.

"Is there something wrong with your food?"

"No!" She ground her teeth. This time Itachi actually almost smiled.

"Alright, I agree."

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Remember to review! Oh, I need a beta reader, anyone interested please let me know! I'll go back later and revise this chapter with my beta. Until the next chapter--

MoonVeil.