Rewrote Chapter 16 after I lost my old copy. Hope you enjoy. Wish me luck on my AP History exam!

Kilee Drifter


Naruto burst into the hospital within 10 minutes of being released. His arrival was marked by one of the windows flying open, followed by the orange-clad genin with a weakened little girl in his arms.

"Hey, you guys!" He screamed at the doctors, "Get over here and take care of Harra! She's really sick!"

As the doctors ran to go tend to Harra, Sakura ran over from a patient at the hospital and quickly checked on the two freed Sound hostages, then ran to go inform Tsunade.

---About 2 hours later---

Tsunade sighed and looked up at Itachi worriedly. He hadn't been doing well emotionally since his brother had disappeared, and it was beginning to take its toll. His hair was disheveled, his clothes were a mess, he was pale, smelled of alcohol, and there were huge bags under his eyes. Under stress, Tsunade bit her lip and decided to give out the news.

"I'm sorry Itachi, but Naruto has confirmed to us that your brother has been taken by Orochimaru." No response, only a pair of steely black eyes staring back at her without any emotion. Itachi turned away from the female Kage and stumbled over out of the office. His reaction wasn't audible until he'd left the room. A sudden growl of anguish filled the building, turning attention from all that were inside.

It wasn't like that of Harra's mother when she'd found out about her daughter's fate. That was a sad shriek of pain followed by sobs. It had a human quality, tragic as it was. But this was different. It sounded like a low moan of a dying animal, mixed with rage and contempt.

As Itachi approached his house, he noticed that Koina was sitting on his porch staring intently at him, a look of sympathy in her eyes. Anger consumed him more as he suddenly grabbed her collar and threw her into his living room with blinding speed.

"Itachi!" She screamed, "What are you doing? What's gotten into you?"

Nothing could prepare her for the longest and most tramatic hour of her life. Trapped in a room with a drunken and pissed off Uchiha. This could only lead to one place.

A few hours later, as Itachi lay passed out, drunken and half-dressed, Koina got up, struggled to pick up her clothes, and ran out into the night, crying.