Chapter 1

Fuck, Sasuke thought to himself as Itachi jumped down to Sakura's legs, preparing himself for the delivery of Ita. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. He was panicking on the inside, but trying with all his conscious effort to keep it inside.

Sakura's contractions got worse - she was panting now, perspiring a little, and crying out more often. Sakura gripped his hand in hers, tighter then tight. In any other situation, he would've complained or showed that it hurt. But not now - now Sakura needed his strength and courage. She needed to know he was there for her. Sasuke, almost without thinking, used his free hand to hold hers. He rubbed it a little, whispering, "Everything's going to be alright, Sakura. I'm here." Sakura seemed to calm a little.

The night progressed. Sakura had used a great deal of her Chakra in jumping from tree to tree, and she was already about to collapse into slumber. The only thing truly keeping her awake was the more and more frequent contractions. After a few more minutes, Itachi said to her, "Deep breaths, Sakura. Any minute now..." Sakura cried out as a new set of deeper, more powerful contractions hit her. "Now!" and she pushed, crying out in pain. "Stop! Breathe." Her skin had blushed a deep scarlet. It seemed not have done anything. Sasuke felt bad for her.

This continued on until dawn broke across the horizon - then he heard the baby cry. Itachi took it, cut the umbilical cord, tied it on the baby's stomach so that it wouldn't bleed, ripped his cloak, and expertly wrapped it around their baby. "It's a girl." He said to them as he moved up beside Sasuke. Sasuke, before taking Ita, helped Sakura sit upright, leaning her against a tree's roots. "Got a name for her?"

"Ita." Sakura spoke over baby Ita's wail. She gave Ita her finger, to which Ita suckled happily.

Sasuke looked down to their baby girl. Sakura had been right - she had his pale skin, and already had a full head of curly, pink locks. Ita opened her eyes a little, and he heard a sharp intake of breath from Sakura. Sasuke looked up and asked, "What's wrong?"

"Ita..." Sakura began, "Ita, she's...she's...blind."

Sasuke looked down to Ita and repeated, "Blind?"

Sakura nodded sadly. "She can hear us, but she'll never be able to see anything." She took her finger back and gently brushed it up Ita's face.

"A blind Uchiha," Itachi said with a smirk. "Hardly makes her Uchiha at all."

"Shut up." Sasuke said simply, looking down at his blind daughter. "She might not have the Sharingan, but she'll be an excellent fighter - she'll adapt. I can tell." He wasn't exactly disappointed at his firstborn being blind; he was more surprised then anything. But deep down, he knew Ita had Uchiha blood flowing through her veins - he knew she would be a great fighter without the Sharingan. Somewhere, he knew that being blind would not be a handicap for her.

"She's beautiful, thought. For a chibi. Purely adorable." Itachi said as he stood and turned his back to them. He continued, "We should go."

"Sakura's in no position to go anywhere!" Sasuke protested.

"It's alright, Sasuke." Sakura said as she handed him Ita. "Just heal me a bit, and I'll be able to travel." Sasuke nodded an, holding Ita in one hand, used the other to heal Sakura's swollen belly. It went down greatly, so that she looked to be two months pregnant again. That was as far as he's be able to get it, he knew. Sakura nodded her thanks and stood, taking Ita back, allowing her to suckle her finger. "Where are we going, Itachi?" She asked without looking up to him.

"Iwagakure. We have a base there."

"The Stone Village?" Sasuke checked.

Itachi nodded. "We agreed to meet there. The three of us were supposed to be there by midnight."

"Well sorry for going into labor!" Sakura objected defensively.

"To make up for lost time," Itachi continued as though he hadn't heard, "we have to go faster. It'll take us a good three hours, and that's if we're fast and don't stop."

"I'll go as fast as I can, but I make no guarantees." Sakura said to him. Itachi nodded and they were off.

Sasuke hesitated with Sakura, before he instructed him to continue up with Itachi. He vaguely wondered why she was being so distant, but obliged. Itachi had an eerie silence around him, and Sasuke wished Sakura would let him go back with her.


The sun was high in the sky before they made it to Iwagakure - somewhere around noon. Sakura hadn't said a word the entire way, nor did Sasuke or Itachi. All three were panting by the time Itachi stopped them. Sasuke collapsed into a sitting position, and Sakura sat beside him. Itachi was the only one who remained standing - he doubled over, using his knees as something to lean on, and caught his breath that way. All were exhausted beyond words. Even Ita was sleeping.

After a while, Itachi stood upright. "We're supposed to meet the others by the bridge of Dawn, but I doubt they'll be there still."

"What...do we do?" Sakura hadn't caught her breath yet.

"We go there and see if they've left anything behind." Itachi told her, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You don't credit the Akatsuki enough."

Itachi and Sasuke gave Sakura another few minutes, then they set off. "Aniki," Sasuke began, and Itachi almost acknowledged him, "do you have any idea where we are?"

"Vaguely. I've only been here once before..." Itachi stopped and looked around.

"Master." A voice called from a branch above them. The three of them look up. "You're horribly late, un. What kept you?" Deidara jumped down from the tree. Sakura responded by smiling fondly and revealing baby Ita's face. "Congratulations. Boy or girl?"

"Girl. Ita." She smiled and held Ita close to her.

"Well, I guess Leader can't complain, un."

"Where are we stationed?" Itachi asked him.

"Right. Follow me." It amazed Sasuke how well Deidara remembered his village. Hadn't he been taken from it years ago? His memory was amazing, if that was true.

Sasuke fell behind with Sakura, the two of them marveling over their sleeping creations. Sakura had that motherly aura surrounding her already, and Sasuke wondered if he had changed at all.

They made their way through Iwagakure, perfectly silent. Deidara stopped in front of a grand building that had dragons guarding the path to the door. There had to be several floors within the grand building. Dediara ushered them in, proudly leading them.

"Deidara," Sasuke marveled, "is this your house?" They were in a wide hallway-like room, which had stone dragons with fires in their mouths running up both sides. The floor and walls were made of some sort of tan granite, and the dragons were saphire blue with snow white spider cracks running all over them, like veins. All this led up to a simple six-step stairway that gave way to a mahogany door, which was bordered by gold ground-torches that were also aflame.

Deidara nodded proudly. "Pretty artistic, isn't it? Iwagakure didn't sell it - I couldn't believe that didn't touch it since I left it, un."

"Houses tainted by murder aren't supposed to be." Sasuke said softly.

Deidara acknowledged his comment silently, bringing them through the mahogany door.

This room wasn't as great as the last, but auras of both greatness and murder filled this room as well as the last. This room was smaller then the previous, but still considerably large. All the Akatsuki were there, along with the six ANBU, who had been bound together with Chakra strings. They wriggled, but there was no way they were escaping the ties.

"Finally," Sasori grunted, "I hate waiting."

"Sorry," Sakura began, suddenly cheery."We got a little tied up." She smiled down at Ita, who was awake and wondering why she couldn't see, but still accepting Sakura's finger.

"Ah, yes." Pein spoke from his secluded spot in the shadows. "Baby Ita, legacy of the desecrated Uchiha clan. Just the baby I wanted to discuss."

Both Sasuke and Sakura were surprised to hear that. "W-what do you want with her?" Sasuke asked, already half-knowing what was going to be said.

"It seems only fair to request Ita becomes Akatsuki, as payment for the both of you betraying us."

Sasuke gasped, but Sakura actually chuckled. Sasuke looked over to her and said to Pein, "She wouldn't be a good member - she's blind."

Pein wasn't phased. "The Uchiha clan are notorious for their ability to adapt - everyone knows that. If, for example, Itachi were to go blind, he would adapt to his loss of vision relatively quickly, and all because he's an Uchiha. Ita, however, would be even greater - her other senses would he heightened, and she'd be able to see her own way. Now, Itachi, Sasori, hold down Sasuke. Kisame, beat an answer out of him."

Kisame smirked, stepped up to a wriggling Sasuke, and swung, hitting his squarely across the jaw. Sasuke took it, spitting out a tooth. Sakura called out to him, but all he said to her was, "Don't let them touch Ita, Sakura." Kisame punched him under the ribs, completely winding him. Sakura was in tears. She shook with indecision and fright. Kisame pulled his hand back and struck Sasuke again, this time breaking his nose. Sasuke groaned, near unconsciousness. But he remained strong. "Don't do it, Sakura. Don't - " Something struck from behind, right under the shoulder blade. Sasuke had no choice but to cry out and fall to his knees.

"Stop!" Sakura cried out, shakily holding Ita out. Her arms shook, but held steady. "I'm sorry Sasuke," she whispered, clenching her eyes shurt.

"What a good kunoichi." Pein sneered. "Dediara, if you will." Deidara gently took Ita, whose eyes shot open at his Chakra. When he handed her to Pein, she wailed as loud as a newborn could. She sees people by their Chakra, Sasuke thought to himself. Already she knows who's mother. What a smart baby Ita is. Pein pulled one of her eyelids up brusquely and said, "Yes, she's blind. But she's adapting already - she knows who to be afraid of. Just so everyone knows she's a member of the Akatsuki..." He removed one of the piercings from his nose and aimed.

"No!" Sasuke yelled, pulling at his arms. This time he was rewarded with a blow to the back of his head, and saw stars. He swayed, willing himself to remain conscious.

"She's only a baby!" Sakura wailed, taking a step forward. Deidara and Gaara held her arms.

But Pein, if he heard them at all, did not flinch as he cruelly jammed the iron through the base of her nose, between the bridge and the nostril, on the right side. Ita wailed even louder then before at the pain. She continued screaming until her voice cracked. Sakura fell to her knees, and tears rolled down Sasuke's face. "I think I'll watch her for a while." He turned his back to them. "Take them somewhere I can't hear them. Don't bother separating them."

Sakura was pulled to her feet, picked up because she kept kicking her legs, and Sasuke was dragged there because he refused to walk on his own.

The both of them were brought to a comely enough room - it had a warm, cozy feeling to it. The bed was big enough for the both of them - a magnificent fourposter, virgin white with matching curtains that fell down over it. The carpet was a blood red, the walls a mellow tan. There was a mahogany dresser to the left, and on the right, a door leading to a granite bathroom. the bed was bordered by two mahogany nightstands - one on each side. All and all, it was very homely.

Sasuke and Sakura were thrown inside brusquely, the door clammed behind them. there was the sound of a key inserted into a lock, and the lock clicking. Sasuke fell to the ground, flat on his face. The beatings had taken a lot out of him, especially the one to his head. Now he just wanted to sleep, right where he was. His eyes fluttered, and the only thing that kept him awake was Sakura's voice as she fell to her knees beside him and called out his name. "Sakura," he managed, moving his head toward her, "you let him have Ita..."

"I couldn't stand to see you being hurt like that!" She objected, tearing. She pulled him onto her lap. Everywhere hurt, ans he groaned at the movement. "You're hurt pretty badly, and you probably have a concussion. Let me heal you a bit..." She healed his broken nose, cheekbones, and jaw. "You just need a little sleep now." She told him whilst dragging him into the four poster. She climbed in herself, and her limply wrapped his arms around her.

(Pein)

"Why are you taking her from them?" Itachi had asked.

"Only until she gets used to my Chakra. Then I embed some of it within her nose piercing, which will be sort of like Orochimaru's curse seal on Sasuke. By the age of six, she'll be strong enough."

"Why do you want her to join so badly?"

"Often, the handicapped are stronger then the normal."

"She lacks the Sharingan."

"She'll make up for it. At six, she'll drag her family back to us. Konoha won't accept her as a student or a citizen - by eight, then, she'll be full of vengeance and hate, enough to come to us willingly. Sasuke and Sakura will follow, of course, and their debt will be paid. But Itachi, I must ask you, how many children do you think they'll have?"

"Two, maximum. I could tell Sakura didn't enjoy the birthing process. But Sasuke might be able to pressure her to three."

Pein nodded. "Ita will be the strongest. Their entire family will become Akatsuki, eventually. All because of little Ita." Pein looked down to her. She had gotten used to his Chakra, but was still wailing from the pain of the piercing.

"Hmm, the infamous Uchiha clan rises again, only to fall with an evil organization," Itachi considered. "Better then before."

"We'll need the support of the stronger families if we're ever to take over."

"There's two Hyuuga among the captured ANBU. We should get them to convince their family to join, or at least one other member of their separate families. Then, slowly, both families will fall into line with us."

"Or we could convince the heads of both families to support us. Then we have them where we want them. We need the funds."

"We need the strength to fight."

"In a few days, after we let them go, we'll removed the Shukuku from Gaara. After that,everyone's mission will be to locate and defeat the other seven Jinchuurikis. Once we gather them all and sacrifice them, our first target if the sound village - it's the smallest. Sasuke's already killed Orochimaru, so they're politically unstable. After that, hopefully, we'll have the manpower to focus on the bigger villages." Itachi nodded, but said nothing further. There was an eerie stillness between the two of them, rippled only by Ita's cries. "Itachi, leave me." Pein directed, and Itachi left.

Pein looked down to the nearly-cried-out Ita and sat at his desk. He had rested her on his desk, and now decided to study her. She was crying from the pain more then fright, and he decided to give her back once she stopped crying - when she fell asleep, probably. Then he'd infuse his Chakra into the nose stud, and he would forever know where she was. And, eventually, she would come to him of her own accord, and pull the Uchiha clan in with her. Ita was definitely worth waiting for.

A few hours passed, and Ita cried herself to sleep. Pein added his Chakra to the stud then, and healed the area around it. Ita would no longer feel the pain, and would get used to the feeling of it quickly. He retired to bed then, evil thoughts in mind.

(Sasuke)

He woke a few hours later, with his head spiraling. Sakura was sitting over him, her eyes all red and puffy. He moaned, held his head with his left hand, and used his right to sit up. That simple motion made him want to throw up. The thought process slowly came ack to him, and he realized Sakura had been crying. Suddenly, then, everything came spiraling back. He shouted out, sat up completely, made to move. Sakura shouted from him to stop, held him close. "Sakura, what...?"

"Don't freak out, Sasuke. Look - Leader brought Ita back while you were sleeping." She moved Ita towards him a little. The little Uchiha slept quietly, the iron embedded in her nose gleaming. Tears welled in his eyes. "She's alright, Sasuke. Leader healed the wound enough so that it doesn't hurt. She's used to it now."

"Have you fed her?"

"Yes - a few hours before you woke up. I'm surprised you didn't wake up when she was crying."

"I've never been a light sleeper." His voice was hollow, devoid of anything characteristic. "Can we leave now?"

"A few more hours, they said. Leader warned that if we try and removed the stud or tell Tsunade, they'll know. If we try anything, they'll come back and take her - maybe kill us all. Just so long as we keep quiet..."

"Can I go back to sleep, then?" Exhaustion and fatigue were slowly creeping into him, and everything his senses were telling him were being blocked out; he had no sense of anything, and just wanted to sleep. Comprehension was not with him.

"I don't think you should..." But he had already laid back down, closed his eyes. In a second, he was out cold.

(Deidara)

Each of the six ANBU had been separated into a room with one Akatsuki sentry. Naruto was to watch the purple-haired girl who bored the fox, Itachi was best suited for the owl-masked ANBU with spiky brown hair, Kisame watched over the Hyuuga with the cat, Sasori was given the cheetah-mask with the horrible hairdo, Gaara and the girl with the poofy balls for a hairstyle (she wore the mouse), and Deidara was left with the platinum-blonde behind the boar. He brought his prisoner to his old room, locked the door behind them as they entered. "Remove the mask, un." He commanded the ANBU, and they complied with a sigh of relief.

"Finally." The voice told him it was a girl. She ruthlessly threw the mask to the ground. The female ANBU was beautiful indeed. Her platinum-blonde hiar was thoroughly complimented by her teal blue eyes. Her semi-pale skin only made the eyes seem bluer, fuller. Deidara's eyes followed the floating hair down...Images floated through his mind. Naughty images that one shouldn't imagine at the first glance.

"You have beautiful hair, un." Deidara complimented weakly whilst staring at her breasts.

The girl's arms crossed over them, and she lazily motioned upward, breaking Deidara out of his trance. He looked up to her face and she spoke. "I'm up here." She rolled her eyes at the look he let slip on his face. The female ANBU turned her back to him, removing the ponytail holding up her hair. As it gracefully fell around her, she looked back to him and said, "By the way, I'm Ino." She turned away from him again, headed for the bathroom. "I'm taking a shower." She closed the door behind her, and heard the lock click.

Damn it, Deidara thought to himself, you're falling for hear already? You just had a look at her! She knows it, too. That's why she's toying with you. Deidara looked over to the right side of the room, where another shower was located. He grinned. Fight art with art. At this thought, he entered the free bathroom, almost giggling with anticipation.


About a half an hour later, Deidara emerged from his bathroom, wearing a towel. He dropped his head, studying the floor, and used the right side of the door frame to hold himself up. He used his free hand to hold the towel around his waist. Deidara looked up, putting his boxers on and collecting his clothes. He threw them down beside his side of the bed and combed through his hair.

Ino sat on her side of the bed - he could hear it creak under her. "I never caught your name."

"Deidara." He said simply as he climbed into bed, keeping his back to her. The bed was small, and it forced their backs to touch. There were no blankets, for some reason. The two of them were silent for a moment before Ino shuddered. Deidara smirked and asked, "Cold?" Honestly, he was too.

Deidara grabbed his Akatsuki cloak and threw it over her backwards, like a blanket. Before she could say anything, he grabbed the visible end with his right hand and dug underneath her, between her hip and breasts, to grab the other end. Ino rolled over to face him, beginning to say something. Deidara pulled her close to him, so that they had no space between. He put his arms through the sleeves of his cloak and nibbled on her ear. She grunted a little, exploring him. Slowly her hands made their way to the inside of his boxers...She found his member, pumped it.

At this, Deidara grunted in pleasure, moving his arms out of the sleeves of the cloak and underneath it, where he worked on her bra strap, unbuckling it and throwing it to the side. He rolled on top of her, she retreated from his boxers. Deidara pushed his lips onto hers, begging for entrance. She gave in and he rushed inside, where their tongues entwined. In the rush, they took one another's underclothes off. Ino went back to pumping his member, and he moved from her lips to her breasts, suckling them. She moaned, until his hair, and ruffled her fingers through it. She dropped his length as he went down farther...

Deidara opened her up with his fingers a little and sent his tongue in to explore. Ino moaned, grabbed his head gently, and thrust upward. Deidara smirked, removing his tongue and returning to her. "Have enough already, un?" He teased, opening his left palm so that the mouth was visible. He placed it down to her folds and waited for the mouth to eject its tongue. Eventually it did, and Ino gasped. Deidara chuckled, removed his hand, and gently placed his tip into her, and she groaned. He let her get used to the pain before slamming into her. She started to cry out, but he stopped her with a kiss. He pulled out completely, feeling ready to release, and slammed into her again. This was too much for her, too fast, and tears rolled down her eyes. He comforted her with a release of his warm seed.

When he pulled out of her, Ino climbed down to his throbbing member and sucked it both softly and roughly. He grunted, had no choice but to release. She lapped up his juices and returned to him, where he rewarded he with another thrust and final release.

Deidara pulled out of her for the final time, lying beside her. Ino sighed and rested her head on his shoulder. And thus the night was complete.

(Naruto)

Hinata was silent as the two of them found a room to spend the night in. He was nervous - he knew she loved him. How was he going to tell her he was going to die when the Akatsuki removed the Kyuubi? Perhaps I shouldn't, he thought to himself, but decided against it when he pictured Hinata finally being told when it was too late. No, if anyone tells her, it should be me. I'll find a way to tell her. Tonight. One way or another.

The two of them found an empty room, and Naruto let her in first. She smiled a bit, muttering, "Arigato, Naruto-kun," and walked inside. Naruto followed behind and closed the door behind them.

Hinata sat at the foot of the bed with a sigh of relief. She removed her ANBU mask, gently placed it to the side. Naruto, unsure of what to do, sat beside her. "Hinata," he began, completely winging it, "this may be the last time you'll ever see me." Alive,his conscious added, and he bit his lower lip. "So if there's something you've never said to me before, now would be a good time to."

Hinata pushed her pointer fingers against one another gently. She blushed and began, "N-naruto-kun, I-I could never find the words, but I...I..." Naruto knew what she was going to say, but patiently waited for her to tell him on her own - he had to comfort her. "I've always loved you." She said, looking into his eyes.

She's expecting criticism, he thought to himself. He put his head behind his head, smiled, and replied, "You know, I've liked you too. You're real cute."

Hinata, red as Sharingan, looked away. "Y-you do, Naruto-kun?"

"Yeah! You're a real quiet person - we balance each other out." He leaned in a little closer. Hinata looked over too fast, accidentally planting her lips on his. If possible, she blushed redder, profusely apologizing. "It's okay, Hinata." Naruto told her gently, holding her face in his hands. He brushed his thumbs back a little, just feeling her skin. He pulled her closer gently, planted his lips on hers. He nibbled her bottom lip, asking for entrance. She complied, and he carefully sent his tongue inside and explored.

When Naruto let her up for air, she asked him, "What is this I'm feeling, N-naruto-kun?"

"Love." He said simply. Then, "Would you like me to show you everything?" She was nervous, but nodded without hesitation. Naruto gently put his lips on hers again, pushing her into a lying position. His hands gently glided up her shirt, she blushed. He caressed her, tracing around the nipples. Slowly, he pulled her shirt off. Naruto backed off, studied her. She shakily covered herself. Naruto uncovered her, saying softly, "I won't laugh." This seemed to comfort her, and she relaxed.

Naruto removed the Akatsuki cloak along with his clothes. He used the cloak as a blanket, then turned back to Hinata. Starting at the neck and moving down, he kissed her tenderly until he got to her pants. Quickly, Naruto unbuttoned them and gently pulled them off her, casting them aside. He kissed her, returning to her. "How far do you want to go?" he asked her, eagerly tugging at her underwear.

"A-all the way." She stuttered. "Show me how, Naruto-kun."

Naruto nodded and gently tugged her underwear off. He pulled his own boxers off, and she moaned at the sight of his throbbing member. "If you want to stop - "

"N-no," Hinata cut him off, "I w-want you to show me."

Naruto nodded again and said to her, "I'll go slow, alright?" She nodded. Have to just do this, he thought to himself,she'll get nervous if I do anything else.Hinata looked down at his pulsating member again and bit her lower lip. Naruto kissed her whilst slowly entering. She cried out as he entered fully, laid on her. He rocked his hips a little, releasing his seed into her. She moaned at the feeling of the warm liquid. "See?" Naruto asked as he kissed her neck. "This is love." After a minute, he pulled out of her and laid beside her, kissing her neck.

"T-thank you, Naruto-kun." Hinata's large, purple eyes stared up at the ceiling through tears. Naruto held Hinata in his arms, sharing his warmth. They fell asleep in each other's arms.

(Sakura)

For twelve hours, Sakura was left to look after Ita. The chibi was a quiet one, but when she wanted or needed something, she expected it immediately. I don't like waiting or making people wait, Sasori's words came into mind. They seemed to fit Ita's personality perfectly. All she did was eat, sleep, and poop. Most of the time, in that order. She was a darling, though. She didn't seemed bothered by the stud embedded into her nose at all, and Sakura was thankful for that. She wanted her baby to feel as comfortable as possible. Like they were home and nothing was wrong.

Ita was a beautiful little girl. Her pink hair was wavy, her skin looked like porcelain, and her eyes, although milked over with blindness, complimented her face. The grey-blue smothering the onyx beneath actually looked pretty. In the right light, they would sparkle with such intensity, Sakura felt they were capable of seeing. Her child was a beautiful one indeed.

Sakura had no doubt in her mind that Ita would grow to be beautiful, strong, valiant. Just like her father. She would strive to grow stronger, and live to strengthen herself. There was no way of telling how the rest of Konoha would react to her blindness, though, and that was what Sakura feared more.What if they refuse to teach or accept her because of her inability to see? Sakura shuddered at the thought. Sasuke'll teach her, though, and so will I. She doesn't need Konoha to teach her how to become a ninja. Besides, if Konoha doesn'ttake her in, we can always try other villages.Sakura looked down to a sleeping Ita, whom she was holding. Somehow, deep within her heart, she knew Ita would learn loneliness and hate at an early age, despite what she and Sasuke did for her. Love of others will probably be the last thing she learns, Sakura thought.Hopefully, though, I can convince Tsunade to let her in if no one else will - a Hokage's orders are law, after all. She just wanted Ita to have the most normal life she could. That was all.


A few hours passed before Sasuke awoke again. Relief spread over Sakura. He's alright! She thought, walking over to the bed with Ita. She sat beside him, he sat up, rubbing his head and looking down at Ita. Sakura made Ita's face more visible to him and he said to her, "She's got beautiful eyes."

Sakura nodded. "In the right light, they sparkle."

"She's very beautiful, in general. Just like her mother." Sakura smiled at this, and Sasuke pecked her on the lips ever-so-lightly. "So..." Sasuke said as he swung his legs over the side of the bed, away from her. "have you heard anything from Leader yet?"

That was when there was a knock on the door. Sasuke motioned for her to stay and answered the door himself. He was greeted with Itachi's unforgiving glare. "Sasuke, Sakura." The emotionless voice sliced through them both like a knife. "Are you ready for your departure?" Sasuke looked back to Sakura, who nodded and approached. Sasuke returned to Itachi, who nodded and said, "Very well. Come with me, but don't bother trying anything. Neither of you stand a chance."

That's right, Sakura thought to herself, cut us down. She understood his motives, though, and - almost - didn't blame him. She and Sasuke followed Itachi to the main hall, where the others had gathered. Each of their ANBU friends were properly uniformed, and seemed to have had a trouble-less night. She was relieved at the thought that none of her friends had been harmed.

Pein stood in front of those who weren't holding the ANBU, holding his arms loosely behind his back in a very leader-like fashion. He stopped forward a little, so that he was only inches from the six ANBU, Sasuke, and Sakura. He paced up and down the line they were placed in and spoke, "Listen to me, and listen well - I don't like repeating myself. The happenings of these past three days and two nights will not be repeated to anyone by any of the eight of you - including Ita. It'd be useless anyway, because I'd know instantly. You will return to Konoha as though you simply went somewhere - use your imagination. When you return, you are to act as though nothing of great importance happened. The faces and names of the members here will not be remembered or mentioned, and vice versa. There will be no mentioning of this to Ita or any other child born; they will grow and develop completely ignorant to the fact that the Akatsuki exist, until, that is, we decide to reveal our existence to them. Sasuke and Sakura, we'll keep in touch. But keep out business strictly business, not personal. Keep Ita and all other family, friends, or allies ignorant to your affiliates with us. We may now ask for much, but at times we may require your skills. If this should happen, Ita, and all siblings or kin that may be born between the periods of time, are to be left behind somewhere and left ignorant still - tell her you're ANBU of something. Use your imagination. Also, any hints or clues to what you're doing with us, and Ita will pay the price. Any attempts at betraying our loyalty at all..." Pein stepped in front of Sasuke and smirked at his scowl. "...and you'll be tortured in the worst way imaginable." Pein turned his back then, walked away. "That is all. You may depart. We will not follow or escort you."

The eight of them - and Ita - left then, quickly jumping away. They stayed together until they reached Konoha. There, Ino and Hinata left them, complaining of stomach problems. The other four ANBU went back to their formal positions, and Sasuke, Sakura, and Ita entered the Uchiha manor, finally home.