Title: Criminal
Author: Ugly.Beautiful
Genre: Angst / Romance
Rating: T
Pairing: Sasuke x OC
Spoilers: None
Summary: Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will.
Word Count: 1,728

Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine. And the summary is by Yoda, from (I think) Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, belonging to, of course, George Lucas.


There was blood everywhere. It was her blood. He didn't mean for this to happen. It was on his hands, his clothes. Her blood. He didn't mean for this to happen…

She was a dancer, traveling through Rice Country with a caravan. The first time he saw her, he knew she was something special. Not strong, not a shinobi, no fighting skill, no anything. But she was beautiful…

Playing with the village children, she was spinning in circles. Her thick black hair was flying around her face and her ruffled skirt blowing about her legs. Her dark eyes sparkled as she threw back her head and laughed.

"Your name," he had demanded coolly, indifferently, as a child tried to tug her away from him.

And she glanced up at him through long black lashes with sparkling black eyes, and said, "Surai."

And when Orochimaru pulled him back towards their hideout, he couldn't help but glance over his shoulder one more time.

She was so full of life.

He tried to wipe it off, but it smeared on his pants, on his chest. A trembling hand reached up to brush the hair away from his face and the blood on his hands mixed with the tears on his face.

This could not be happening. This could not be happening.

She thought he was intriguing. She had told him that he fascinated her. And then she had told him that she would make it her mission to make his smile.

He had scoffed at her, and she had laughed.

But as their caravan was staying there for a few months, it was impossible to stay away from her for very long. And every time he went into town for something, she managed to run into him. And soon, he was looking forward to seeing her every few days. She was so different than the brooding, angst-ing people in Sound. She always found something to laugh at, and she was always smiling.

He asked her once, why she was always so happy. "You only live once," she told him. "And life's too short to wallow in self-pity. That's what I think anyway," she added with a cheeky grin. "And if you want something, just do it."

That was the first time he kissed her.

Because he wanted to.

She was smiling now, even though her body was cold and her heart had stopped, she was still smiling, as beautiful as it was macabre.

Standing abruptly, legs trembling under him, he shook his head slowly back and forth, unable to tear his eyes away from the scene in front of him. There was so much blood.

He bolted.

After that, he spent all of his free time with her. She might not have been a shinobi, but she was beautiful. Her dark features set off by her caramel skin, so unlike the porcelain tones Sasuke was used to. And every time she saw him, her eyes would sparkle as she smiled.

And he would smile back. Just for her. Because she was… everything. Everything he always wanted.

Someone who didn't care what clan he was from, who didn't care what happened to his parents. Someone who didn't care that he was strong, that he was a traitor, that he was a monster. He had someone, a friend. A friend and not a rival. Someone who was all right if he wanted silence, someone who never asked questions if he came to see her with a black eye and a bloody lip. He could have a family with her. He could…

"Surai…" he said into her hair, as she leaned back against his chest from where they sat under a tree. "Surai, what-" He licked his lips and tried again. "When they leave, stay with me."

She tilted her head so she could see him. "With you?" She was not naïve; she knew that this was a dangerous place to live.

"I'll protect you," he said, his arms tightening around her, burying his face into the curve of her shoulder. "No one will hurt you, just… stay with me."

"… Alright."

But he lied, he lied, he lied! Sasuke ran through the forest, branches snagging his clothes, his hair, leaving scratches on his arms and face. But no matter how fast he ran, no matter how far away he got, the blood was still everywhere. He could see it, even if he closed his eyes.

As suddenly as he had started running, he stopped, as he slammed into something. Or someone, he found out, as he stared up from where he had fallen, into the golden eyes of the sannin.

Obsidian eyes widened. This man! He had- This was-

Several months passed. And Sasuke was happy. True, he couldn't bring Surai to Sound, and he couldn't live with her in the village, but the knowledge that she was there waiting for him, always made him content. And ever since that afternoon last week when he had slipped that small, shining ring onto her finger, the sight of it always made him want to break out into a foolish smile.

"Sasuke-kun," The deep-throated hiss made him pause at the hideout's exit, and glance up into the eyes of his teacher. He nodded his head and turned to leave. "She is making you weak."

He paused, turning slowly, one eyebrow arched unbelievingly. "Is she?" He asked in an uncaring tone, seemingly unconcerned that the snake knew about Surai.

"You should tell her to leave, forget her Sasuke-kun," he urged.

"I will do what I want," he answered firmly, turning again.

"You have not gotten any stronger since you met her, have you?" He asked, a sly note in his hissing tones.

Spine ramrod straight, Sasuke answered, "I do not see why that matters."

"Itachi-kun has no girl to distract him, Itachi-kun is getting stronger while you stay weak." He leered at the angrily shaking shoulders of his protégée. "You will never be stronger than him."

"I will train harder," he said, trying to keep the note of unease out of his voice and to appear nonchalant.

"Even Naruto could not distract you from your training and he was your greatest friend." He paused. "Now this girl is your greatest friend."

His eyes widened as he realized what his teacher was hinting at, before he spun around to glare at the snake through narrowed onyx eyes. "I said I would find another way."

A deep-throated chuckle was his answer. "There is no other way, Sasuke-kun. You must choose: the girl, or your brother. If you stay with her, you will never be strong enough, you will never get your revenge."

Sasuke turned on his heel, slamming open the door and stalking through it. "I will find another way," he growled, but though his voice was firm, there was a note of unease and nervousness in it.

"Sasuke-kun," the man acknowledges with a leer, golden eyes taking in his blood-soaked clothes and his wide, teary, frightened eyes. The leer widened as charcoal eyes turned crimson and black spirals all melted into one triad design around the pupil. "Ah, I see you made your choice."

"You," he growled, tears pouring from his eyes. "You did this! I never- I wouldn't- You made me do this!"

"Sasuke? Are you alright?" Surai's soft, melodic voice asked him.

He didn't hear her; his teacher's words were running an endless loop through his mind.

She is making you weak.

He was not weak.

You have not gotten any stronger.

That was a lie. It had to be a lie.

You will never be stronger than him.

No…

You will never get your revenge.

"NO!" He shouted, Surai taking a hesitant step back as his eyes bled red. She called his name softly, but all he could hear was the roaring of his blood in his ears and a hissing voice whispering Kill her… Become stronger than your brother… Get your revenge… Kill her… His curse mark burned. His body was on fire. And all he saw was red.

The startled, pain-filled gasp broke through the murderous haze and for a moment, his brother's face swam before his eyes, and he spat out the name. "Uchiha… Itachi…" And then the image wavered, and Surai's wide, dark eyes blinked back tears at him.

Eyes fading into black and widening in shock, Sasuke stared down at his arm in horror. His arm… Her chest… Just like… just like that night… at the Valley Of The End… only… only…

She flashed him a wobbly smile, before he pulled back and she fell to her knees with Sasuke beside her.

"Surai… oh, Surai… I don't…" Sasuke had never felt so helpless in his life. There was so much blood. "I promised you," he said as he gathered her into his arms and slowly rocked them back and forth. "I promised you…"

"Uchiha… Itachi…" she gasped out, blood spilling from her lips. He shushed her. She was no Naruto, she was no shinobi. "Your revenge… will always… come first…" she said.

His eyes filled with tears. "I'm sorry," he said, even though he knew it wasn't enough, it would never be enough. "I'm so sorry," he repeated.

"You… get your revenge… Sasuke… for me," she said, smiling as she reached up to cover one of his hands with hers. The ring on her finger flashed and Sasuke choked back sobs. "Love… you…" she whispered on a shuddering breath.

And then she was still.

He laughed. "Sasuke-kun, I never made you do anything. This is your doing."

"I would never, ever hurt her!" He cried. "You used that mark to control me!"

A deep chuckle and he smirked. "Though you use the power I granted you, how you use it is entirely up to you. If you really cared her, you simply had to tell your body to act otherwise. The desire for your revenge drove you here."

"But-"

"You might say you loved her," he spat the word out, "and maybe you did. But nothing, nothing will stop you from getting your revenge. You are a traitor, Sasuke-kun."

"I-" Tears bubbled in his eyes.

"You betrayed your village and your friends. And still it did not make you strong enough. And that why you stuck your arm through her chest, and you killed her."

And then Orochimaru laughed.


A/N: The point of this being that, Sasuke can be the shit all he wants, and people can be in love with him all they want, but when it comes to his brother and his revenge… all bets are off. And whoever you are, if killing you will make him stronger than Itachi… he'll do it. Even if he doesn't want to.

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