In order to keep Orochimaru from gaining the power of the mangekyo sharingan, Sakura must protect Uchiha Itachi-- the blind Uchiha Itachi.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Sakura walked slowly, ignoring the feeling of Itachi's hand on her shoulder, and the warmth that seemed to sink through the thin material of her shirt. The streets were eerily empty still, and Sakura knew that no one was willing to risk taking to the streets when a notorious killer was walking quietly amongst them.
Itachi was so silent it was unnerving, if it wasn't for his soft breath puffing against her head and the hand on her shoulder, she might not know he was there. But he was and there was no way around it. Sakura had no idea what to do with the man; she didn't have enough food to feed them both for more than a day or two, she only had one futon and a recliner.
Tsunade, as usual, hadn't thought to warn her about her...guest, so, she was, of course, caught off guard.
A stone whizzed by her head and, with years of training, she caught the rock without thought, only realizing once it was in her hand that she hadn't been it's target. Sakura scanned the streets for the thrower, her teeth drawing her lower lip between them as she could sense no one.
"Itachi," she murmured, starting to walk again. "People are starting to throw things, we'll have to run, do you think you can do that?"
She grabbed the hand that lay on her shoulder and tugged him along after her. For someone who couldn't see, Itachi had a stunning amount of grace; only tripping twice. It was hard not to laugh when he did trip, but years of training under Tsunade helped.
Sakura blocked the stones and few kunai that were hurled their way, still dragging Itachi behind her. He said nothing and kept up with her easily.
"Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan!" Naruto leapt in front of them, waving his arms in wild circles. "Sakura-chan, Tsunade says to get back right away! Hurry!"
Naruto's expression was sober, "everyone's revolting, we'd better go the back way now that I think about it."
He jerked his head sharply to the stone monument of the Hokages, and Sakura nodded. Itachi remained silent as they changed courses, though she could almost swear his grip tightened. "How bad is it?" Sakura called to the blonde.
"It's bad, people say that Itachi-san is bad luck, an evil omen," Sakura swore and Itachi snorted, "and they don't want him in."
Sakura frowned, "do they want Orochimaru to gain the mangekyo?! He'll be impossibly strong!"
"People are simpleminded." Sakura tactfully bit back the retort about the pot calling the kettle black. How quickly Naruto seemed to forget the he himself was perhaps one of the most simpleminded people in Konoha. Suddenly Itachi's hand tightened on her shoulder.
"Five," he said shortly.
She knew immediately what he meant. "Naruto, we've got five on our tail!" The blonde stopped running and waved her on.
"I'll take care of 'em! You get him to Tsunade!"
Sakura nodded sharply, "right!" And they were off again, Itachi's grip relaxed around her shoulder and she realized just how tightly he had been holding to her. The forest was eerily quiet as they raced through it, but the feeling of unease only grew in the pit of Sakura's stomach.
Kakashi slouched against a tall tree, sighing to his book as another civilian flew over his head, followed by a loud string of curses from Tsunade. "Hey," he called carelessly, turning the page slowly. "Aren't you supposed to not throw the civilians?"
The woman blew hair from her face and grabbed another man as he made a poor attempt to hit her with a chair. "Well civilians aren't exactly supposed to attack their Hokage!"
The man screamed shrilly and joined his companions in the lake, Kakashi sighed again and resumed reading his book. "You could help you know." The woman pointed out, flicking kunai out to pin a man to a tall oak.
"I could," he agreed.
Tsunade paused, her hand holding back a small boy as he tried to swipe at her middle with a small kitchen knife. With one hand she pulled her hair back and then disarmed the boy, tossing him as gently as she could into the lake. He came up moments later cursing and treading at the water. "Where do they learn words like that?" She asked aloud, ignoring Kakashi as he happily said:
"Kakashi get off your lazy ass and come help me!" The man gave her a long look, as if considering.
She faltered, sending the woman she had hold of farther into the lake than she had originally meant to. "What?!" She roared, shaking a fist at him. "KAKASHI I WILL DEMOTE YOU!"
He whimpered, looking mournfully at his book. Pushing off from the tree he had been leaning against Kakashi lowered his arm, concentrating all his chakra into it. The shrill sound of a thousand birds filled the air and Kakashi set his sight on a burly man who, as soon as their eyes met, promptly wet himself. Tsunade was able to remain almost calm for all of ten seconds.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"
"Er, getting rid of the civilians?"
"Don't kill them fool!"
Chidori died and Kakashi scratched the back of his head while smiling. "Oops?"
Sakura tugged her hand free of Itachi's and rubbed it against her shirt before taking up his hand again, hating that it began to sweat as quickly as before. Itachi standing so close was beginning to unnerve her, she could feel the power that rolled off of him in waves, and it raised the fine hairs upon her neck.
Such a docile easygoingness was unexpected from him and she almost wanted him to try and break her arm, to catch her in the mangekyo, anything but to be this strange man who was perfectly fine by being tugged around by a young chunin medical ninja. A silly young chunin ninja at that.
Sakura pulled Itachi into the clearing and gaped at the scene before her. Tsunade was chasing Kakashi around the large clearing and the man skipped ahead of her looking thoroughly amused. In the large lake- which she happed to know was freezing from years of training chakra control on it- was at least thirty civilians, all swimming back to shore looking angry and annoyed.
"You're breathing strangely." Itachi murmured and she noted that it had gotten a little breathy; she inhaled deeply and turned to him.
"I don't think it would be a good idea to let anyone see you." She said pushing gently against his shoulders. "Sit here, and don't move, I'll be back as soon as I can, I promise." Itachi did as he told her, settling into the small nook hidden from the lake, she covered his feet with leaves and she could almost swear that he looked amused.
"You never do as you're told, Kakashi," Tsunade said severely, throwing a large slab of earth at him.
Kakashi dodged, his eye crinkled in laughter. "No, I don't!"
His flippant answer only added to the woman's rage and she began ripping trees from the ground and swinging them at him like bats. Sakura stood back, unable to do anything but make small confused noises and twitch occasionally. The people, now back on land, seemed to think of Sakura as their new target. And suddenly she realized why they had all been in the lake in the first place.
Sorry, I had meant for it to be longer, too many stories, too much school. Hopefully it won't take so long for the next chapter.
Beta: Shizukage; She's great, go check her out!
(as of 06/05/07 this chapter had not been edited)