Pride and Promise

Chapter 12: Fight


The moment of truth was finally here. It was time to see if Sasuke had spent his years really preparing for this moment or if it was all talk. Sasuke gave Sakura the quickest glance. "Stay here," he commanded.

"No, let me go with--"

"No," Sasuke said rather harshly, harsher than he intended, but at least the meaning got across. "This is my fight. I must kill him on my own." Sasuke closed his eyes for a moment as he reached for the handle to the door. "Sakura.."


"Should anything go wrong," started Sasuke. "Get out of here. Don't look back. Go back home."

"But Sasuke-kun--"

"Promise me!"

Sasuke turned around to look into Sakura's green eyes. The green eyes that were so familiar, in those eyes he saw everything he knew, he saw all that he could have been.

Sakura's green eyes looked into his intently. She wouldn't leave him. But seeing that look in his eyes she went against better judgement and lied to him. "I promise, Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke stared at her for a moment longer before he nodded and stood straighter. Pushing open the door to where fate changed, Sasuke went to meet Itachi. The door closed with a small creak behind him. Sakura held her gloved hands to her chest as she whispered prayers for Sasuke's deliverance.

If anything should go wrong I'll be at your side in an instant...Thought Sakura as she looked at the wooden door that separated her from the fight between two brothers. Years ago, that door would have been a difficult barrier to overcome, but now, Sakura could easily break the door; she smiled to herself as she thought of the irony behind it.

After what seemed like a long moment of silence, Sakura heard snippets of the conversations between the two Uchiha males.

"...That was quite noble of you to protect your girlfriend."

"You're fight it with me, Itachi, and only me."

"That's true, but I just want you to know that outside, your allies are caught in the middle of a battle right now with Kisame and others. If the girl decides to run out right now she'd be killed in an instant."

Sakura's breath caught in her chest. Basically she was trapped. She couldn't be in the room with Sasuke since it was his fight, and going outside would be equally dangerous. Sakura cursed herself under her breath. Once again, way to go, Haruno. You're useless when it matters the most...

"...This time we won't be interrupted," said Sasuke in a low dangerous growl.

After that, Sakura heard the sound of metal being drawn and swift movement as if someone ran across the room. There was a piercing sound, the sound of a blade going through thick matter. Sakura clasped her hands tighter together praying that it was Sasuke's blade that pierced something.


"We'll have to make a detour before we reach Sasuke and Sakura," Shino observed.

"Why," demanded Naruto.

"There's trouble up ahead, my bugs can sense it." Shino held up a finger as he looked at a small black bug on his finger nail. Ino looked around, on a branch she spotted a mourning dove.

"I'll find out exactly what's going on," said Ino. Doing hand signs she glanced at Shikamaru, "You know what to do, Shika," she said before she closed her eyes. Shikamaru quickly positioned himself behind Ino just as her body became limp in his arms.

Shikamaru looked at the bird on the branch, it never knew what happened. The bird seemed to look down on their group before it flew away with Ino controlling its movements.

After a few minutes of silence, the body in Shikamaru's arms came "back to life". Ino's blue eyes opened and looked around.

"Well," Shikamaru prompted as he helped Ino to her feet.

"There's a battle all right, but I don't see Sakura or Sasuke-kun anywhere."

"W-who is the battle between," asked Hinata.

"The Akatsuki, there's no doubt about them, and I didn't know the others. There was a girl with red hair among them, a tall guy, and a guy with a large sword..."

"That's the group Sasuke's traveling with, dattebayo" Naruto exclaimed as his bright blue eyes shone.

"That means Sakura and Sasuke may have gone ahead," Shikamaru speculated. "And if it's involving the Akatsuki, that means Sasuke is most likely fighting Uchiha Itachi."

Naruto nodded his agreement. "Then how do we get to Sakura-chan?"

"We can either try to find a way to avoid the group, or we can fight with them. Avoiding the group may be just as dangerous if they sense us," Shikamaru said as he scratched his head in thought. His light brown eyes turned on Naruto. "What do you think we should do?"

Naruto put his chin in his hand and thought for a moment. He knew he wanted a piece of whatever action there was, that was inevitable, but he also wanted to get to Sakura as quickly as possible to make sure she was okay.

"Our mission is to rescue Sakura," Naruto said slowly. His eyebrows furrowed as he continued his deep thinking process. "But at the same time, the Akatsuki is still Konoha's main target." Naruto glanced at Ino. "How many Akatsuki members were there?"

"Two or three," Ino responded.

"And there are five of us," added Shikamaru. "Even though we out-number them, their skills are still greater than ours. That's always a factor."

Naruto rubbed his chin once more, finally he was done thinking. "Let's kick some Akatsuki ass, dattebayo," Naruto said with a grin.

Shikamaru smirked as he raised an eyebrow at his friend. "Really," he challenged.

"Naruto-kun," Hinata murmured as she pushed her fingers together.

Naruto nodded as he tightened his headband around his forehead. "Yeah, Sasuke's going to beat his brother for sure this time, especially since Sakura-chan is with him. Sakura-chan's strong enough to defend herself if she needs to and Sasuke's with her. He wouldn't let anything happen to her, dattebayo."

"Good idea," Ino complimented Naruto. She then looked at Shikamaru. "All right, now what's the plan, Shikamaru? How do we ally ourselves with the other group?"

Shikamaru crouched on the ground and took up a stick. "This is what we're going to do," he said as he began to draw his plans in the dirt...


The suspense was killing Sakura, she had no idea who was winning this fight anymore. Every time she thought Sasuke was sure to win, she could hear him scream in pain. So far, she had heard him yell out in such an agonized scream she had to fight to keep in control and not run in with him.

"Sasuke-kun," Sakura murmured his name as it grew quiet. For a while there was no noise. The fight had to be over. Just as Sakura's hand touched the door handle, a loud explosion sent her flying back against a wall. As Sakura's back connected with concrete she coughed up blood from the force of the hit.

Sliding to the ground, Sakura let out a small groan of pain. Inspecting herself briefly, Sakura noticed she had been singed by flames. She could have cured herself, but there was no time. Her vision began to face in and out, she was slipping into a state of unconsciousness. A single tear freed itself from Sakura's left eye as she slumped to the cool earth against the wall.

Sasuke...kun...I'm sorry...



Sasuke panted heavily as he kept his eyes fixed on Itachi. More than anything did he wish he could just fall to the ground and sleep right now. Sasuke's eyes widened as he realized his Sharigan deactivated on his own. He cursed angrily.

Out of chakra! I don't understand how Itachi's still standing!

Sasuke's eyes widened again, he found himself unable to move anymore. This was it, surely he had failed.

An image of Sakura passed through his mind. Sakura. Her green eyes and kind smile. Her unnaturally pink hair. Everything about her.

Itachi stumbled closer to Sasuke, bringing him back to reality. Itachi smirked at him. "This is the end of you, little brother," Itachi said in a weak voice. "I'll use your eyes wisely."

Sasuke's eyes narrowed and widened in fear as Itachi's hand reached out to take his eyes. Sasuke braced himself for the pain, but it never came. Instead, the hand that should have ripped out his eyes was on his forehead. Itachi had poked his forehead just like before.

Then, Itachi fell at Sasuke's feet.

Sasuke stood there as if dazed.

He won.

Itachi lost.

It was over.

Sasuke looked down at his brother's lifeless body. A small chuckle escaped his lips before too fell to the ground beside Itachi. The world of unconsciousness never seemed so sweet to Sasuke...


"It's that guy again," Suigetsu panted as he saw Naruto and team come out of the forest.

"What are they doing here," Karin asked angrily.

Naruto offered a grin. "We're here to help," he said as he eyes the two Akatsuki members.

"We don't need you," Karin said angrily.

Ino rolled her eyes. "That's why you're getting your butss kicked, right?"

"Why I should--"

"Karin, stop it," Juugo said in a calming voice. "We could use the help to defeat these two, and after that, we'll see what happens."

Karin glared at Naruto and the four other Konoha shinobi. She didin't want to trust him, but what choice did she have? With a heavy sigh she nodded, accepting help from the enemy.

The Akatsuki members were Kisame and Tobi. Kisame grinned at the five Konoha ninjas. "Making friends with your sworn enemies before death? How touching," Kisame said.

"Just like Sasuke and Sakura," Tobi added.

"S-Sasuke, Sakura-chan," Naruto questioned.

Tobi laughed from behind his mask. "Did I stutter," he teased. "Just before Sasuke went into battle he and Sakura shared an intamate moment preparing for the worst."

A million thoughts raced through Naruto's mind at the word "Intimate".

"He would!" Both Naruto and Karin shouted at the exact same time. They shared a glanced before their eyes turned hard as they looked away.

"I have no reason to lie," Tobi said with a shrug. "Anyway, this talk is boring, let's fight again!"

"I'll kill you," Naruto yelled as he charged after Tobi with a kunai raised. Everyone else jumped into action with him.

Sakura-chan, please be all right...

Itachi's dead! Well I excluded the whole Madara part, frankly, that would have annoyed me and I probably would have butchered the whole fight anyway...But will I add Madara to this story somehow some way? Maybe. You'll just have t keep reading to find out!

Keep the reviews coming!

Love, Serena.