Title: Picture Trends of Black and White
Author: Hiko Mokushi
Pairing:KakashixSakura
Rating: R
Warnings: Language, adult themes/sexuality, implied rape/sexual abuse, torture, human trafficking, and character death.
Disclaimer: Do not own at all.
Summary: Shizune froze. "What?" The blonde woman held her hands out in front of her, trying to work things through her fingertips that she couldn't with her mind. "What would you do to get Sakura back?"



I. Living Rights

"Tsunade-sama."

The blonde glanced up at the young black-haired woman, glad to have a reason to finally tear her eyes away from the idiocy that was her large stack of paperwork. Her amber eyes were narrowed boredly as lifted her arm, resting her chin in the palm of her upturned hand. She blew at a stray piece of hair that fell in front of her face. "Yes, Shizune?"

"We have a message for you." The medic-nin's tone was clipped and slightly distant, almost confusingly so. She walked towards the desk with a halt in her step; and while normally graceful as a cat, her feet scuffled slightly against the floor.

Tsunade blinked as a scroll was held out to her, eyes first widening and then narrowing sharply as she reached out to take it, recognizing the seal of the Kazekage. She held it as though it would erupt into flames, hands extended away from her body defensively. "We haven't received messages from the Land of Wind since Gaara became the new Kazekage," she muttered to herself as her fingers curled over the cool material. She opened it slowly, hesitantly, almost unsure of herself.

Shizune stood silently, politely, a small distance away; close enough to be of use quickly if she was needed and far enough away so that she couldn't read what the scroll contained. She couldn't help but feel a bit curiously, though.

The blonde-haired woman's eyes flickered back and forth, scanning the page with furious accuracy Shizune found it hard to tell where her white eye ended and the brown iris began. Her lips moved, reading the written words.

The entire time, the Hokage was quiet.

Slowly, the woman rolled the scroll back up, setting it down in front of her. Her hands folded in her lap for a moment as she thought. Then Tsunade leaned back and opened one of the many drawers in her desk; she pulled out a piece of parchment and a pen, meticulously writing. Her handwriting was almost perfect; strong, bold strokes that still carried a bit of femininity without any of the hesitancy only a skilled kunoichi like Shizune could see. Not many others could have noticed the very faint way the Hokage's fingers twitched instead of shaking.

Tsunade rolled the scroll up, pressing a stamp of the Konoha seal onto the end and sealing it. She held it out to Shizune, her brown eyes serious.

"Have Enkai send this immediately to the Kazekage," she instructed, voice soft. "Then come straight back here."

Eyes narrowed suspiciously, Shizune nodded, taking the scroll from her senior's hands and removed herself quietly from the room. Once outside, she spotted the young Jounin runner and held the scroll out before him importantly. Don't look at it, don't lose it; Shizune repeated the rules to the brown-haired man who she had come to grow close to. He watched her boredly—he heard it from her every single time she had something else for him to deliver.

Once finished with her task, she showed herself back into the Hokage office, shutting the door behind her. Her eyes trailed to Tsunade, who still had not moved from the position she had taken before the woman had left the room—arms crossed stiffly under her breasts, hands clenched, eyes narrowed, staring at the desk before her as though it were a puzzle. "You still wish to speak to me, Tsunade-sama?" she asked quietly, unsure if she should interrupt.

The woman jolted, as though she'd completely forgotten she'd instructed Shizune to come back in. Tsunade sighed, uncrossing her arms and getting up from her comfy chair. She paced for a moment before spinning.

"I need you to have someone send for Naruto—and Kakashi," she added, "come to think of it, he'll want to know too; he's been as involved as anyone. The two of them deserve to know, first and foremost. I don't want them hearing through the grapevine and doing something stupid."

Shizune nodded. "If it's not too bold, Tsunade-sama," she asked, her dark eyes worried. "What was in the message?"

Tsunade glanced at her for a moment, questioning if she should be divulging such classified information. Then she shook her head, as though she had been waterlogged, and her eyes cleared with the innate knowledge that this was Shizune, her friend, her student; compatriot, comrade and closest confidant. She could tell her anything. "The Kazekage has gotten word of a group of insurgents that have taken residence within some of the cave-dunes just outside Suna."

"It's not normal for a village, especially one as powerful as Suna, to tell other villages of its problems. Does he need help? Or wish it?" She touched a finger curiously to her chin.

"No," Tsunade corrected, her lips pressed into a thin line. "He is giving us a chance to attack them first in retribution."

Shizune's brow furrowed as she leaned casually against the desk, forgetting her place when Tsunade was being so friendly. They weren't supposed to act like they were truly this close during working hours—it seemed to make people think Tsunade favored her. "Retribution?"

"The insurgents have apparently been in hiding for a long time; their holdout is deep within the caves, structured with a mix of metal and that strong plaster substance the people of Suna use to make their homes." The blonde shook her head, scratching at the back of her neck awkwardly. "From what the Kazekage's spies have been able to ascertain, it's well-built and heavily guarded."

"What is their objective?" the younger medic-nin asked, biting her lip. "They sound like they're prepared for a siege."

Tsunade's eyes darkened. "That is the most disturbing point. Apparently, they have large cages in the back."

"Cages?"

"Filled with young women."

The sharp intake of breath alerted the Hokage to her friend's instant hatred, and felt that common bond they'd always had growing larger, as she too had felt the instantaneous anger flare within her when she'd read the statement. "Normally," Tsunade carried on, her voice just as irritated, "the Sand-nins would have no trouble exterminating such vile offenders. But. . ." she trailed off.

Shizune raised an eyebrow, her shock and abhorrence stilling for a moment as she felt curiosity grow. "But?"

"One of the ninjas spotted something that might be of use to our village."

The black-haired woman could only imagine what could be of use to their village specifically that wasn't of use to any other village. While the ninja communities normally liked to try and keep peace, they weren't for giving away secrets. "Of use to our village?" she recited, lifting a delicate finger to her lips as her eyes rolled toward the ceiling. "And not of use to the Sand village? That's not something that happens often. Does it have something to do with water?" she joked weakly.

Tsunade gave an unenthusiastic smirk, but her heart wasn't really in it. She couldn't get her hopes up that easily.

"Hypothetically," she began, sitting on the edge of her desk and folding her hands to keep them busy. "What would you do. . . or really, how far would you be willing to go. . . to bring Sakura back to life?"

Shizune froze.

"What?" she asked softly, folded arms slowly coming down to hang at her sides. "What did you say?" Proper etiquette hardly seemed to matter at the moment.

The blonde woman held her hands out in front of her, trying to work things through her fingertips that she couldn't with her mind. "What would you do to get Sakura back?"

"Anything," Shizune replied immediately. "I would do anything I could."

"Gaara claims that his spy spotted a young woman, approximately twenty-some years of age. A young woman with vibrant pink hair."

Shizune's mouth dropped.



Cold water splashed her face.

Haruno Sakura shot up from the thin mattress on the floor that comprised her bed.

She grunted angrily. Not only was she now wet, but her bed and linins were soaked as well. She tossed the wet sheet from her body, moving fluidly as she laid it out along the floor—the quicker for it to try. The bed would have to dry without help, she'd hope in time for her to sleep on; she didn't fancy sleeping on the floor. It would have been nicer if she could have had something to hang her sheet on, but unfortunately, they provided her with nothing more than the essentials she needed. They couldn't risk giving her anything that she could—with her skill—morph into a weapon.

"Mitsuharu, get up. No fast movements; you don't want to get put to sleep again, do you?"

Green eyes flashing, she raised slowly, her hands dead weights at her side.

The wall to her left slowly dissolved into a pale gray and black-flecked sand, leaving behind high, thinly-spaced steel bars. Slowly, she walked towards the one part of her room—her cell­—that was open to the outside world. She lifted her hands slowly, pressing her forearms against the cool metal. Her forehead followed, attempting to cool the anger that raged through her form. She leaned heavily, body pressed forward; she loved goading him, willing him to try something.

"What'd you do this time, Gomimaru?" her voice hissed.

It was a cacophonous sound to her ears.

She had no use to talk to herself, or the steel walls that made up her prison. The few times they had let her out she was instructed not to talk to the girls—they did not want her forming any sort of bond with the young ones. The few times she had the chance to say anything to anybody was when somebody came to get her. Even the food—if what they served her could even be called food—was passed through with jutsus.

She had to satisfy her anger with taking it out on her own personal little guard.

The man was not a large one, but he was certainly strange.

He was an incredibly dark man, in more than just his personality. His eyes were almost black, and when she'd first seen him, those eyes had reminded her so much of Sasuke, it had been frightening. Now she could tell the difference. His skin was a dim, olive-tan. His nose had been flattened, as though it had been broken repeatedly and never given the chance to heal. His eyes were wide-spaced, his fore-head even larger than hers, and his black hair hung lankily around his shoulders. His lazy looks would have reminded her of Shikamaru had not he always had a grin on his face.

It was his grin that had scared her the most.

But now, when he walked out of the shadows that surrounded her little cage, she found herself mirroring his grin. She would be hard set not to admit his callousness hadn't rubbed off on her. "Play a little too rough?" she sneered tauntingly, batting her eyelashes at him. Her hoarse voice had taken on such an antagonist tone she could hardly recognize it as hers. "Maybe one of the girls actually told you how unattractive you were? Joushi wouldn't enjoy you breaking the merchandise. Better keep you out of the slaughterhouse."

A glowing blue rod appeared from nowhere, and she leapt backwards, her hands curled into fists and she held them up in front of her defensively. It was merely a reaction—she couldn't have done the man any harm even if she'd not wanted to.

"You know, Mitsuharu, you're one vindictive bitch," he mocked, laughing at her face. He held the rod up and trailed it lightly along the metal bars in front of her. They reacted immediately, crackling with electricity, sparking blue and yellow. She had learned quickly enough, he thought with regret. What he wouldn't give for the tiny kunoichi to forget his favorite toy and continue to lean up against the bars.

They were the perfect conduit for pain.

"Learned from the best, didn't I?"

He didn't know if she was referring to himself or whoever had trained her.

Sakura concealed a knowing smirk, remembering with painful clarity the powerful woman—the Hokage—that she had learned most of her prowess from. Not that Kakashi hadn't been helpful; he'd provided the basis for her knowledge. But the man was far more suited to training boys than young girls.

As much as she told herself she couldn't hold it against him, she couldn't help the bitter rise it caused in her stomach.

She would've pounded the man's flat face to mush if she'd had access chakra.

Gomimaru merely scowled. "Glad that I can rid of you such a nasty habit."

Sakura glanced up. The guard disarmed his taser one with hand, shoving it back into its holster on his thigh, and sliding his bandana over his eyes. He lifted his fist up, a smirk dancing across his face. A bright white light went off as he tossed a small, circular object between the metal bars of her cage. For a second, everything was white and she almost wondered if this was what dying felt like. Then the pain came.

It felt like her retinas were burning out of her eyes.

Tears streamed uncontrollably down her face of their own volition, her eyes rolling back into her head painfully. Her hands slid slickly against her face, up into her hair, where she clawed at her scalp. She bit her lip and felt her teeth slip through the thin layer of flesh before she felt the pain of it.

"Kneel, whore."

His voice was all around her, and while her heart rebelled, her body did not. She scrambled to her knees, hands still clutching her skull. Her vision was steadily coming back to her, eyes clouded with black spots.

"Flash bombs are a crude tool," Gomimaru purred, his exotic voice thick with an exaggerated accent he didn't normally have. "But I find that they're incredibly effective."

Her eyes watering, she inclined her head and found herself kneeling directly in front of him, staring up his chest. She hadn't even heard the metal door open. The insurgent raised his arms, interlacing his fingers together in a fist, and bringing it in a shattering blow against the side of her head.

Sakura fell to the ground—unable to defend herself—only able to take the punishment for her attitude. Her head smacked sharply against the ground, jarring her hard enough to rattle her jaw. Something trickled down the back of her throat and she knew she was swallowing her own blood. The earth swayed around her.

"Enough, Gomimaru," a deeper voice murmured, father away. Sakura coughed, back arching off the ground as if in response to merely the sound of his voice. "She needs to be coherent enough to perform her task properly. She can't do that if she's not conscious."

Footsteps echoed in the steel cage she was kept in.

Her fight or flight instinct crept into her slowly, and she once again found herself wishing that she could run for her life. Or break their skulls in, whichever she could manage. As the young woman took a gasping, raspy breath, she reminded herself it wasn't a cage—it was a killing box.

She lived inside her own coffin.

The footsteps stopped at her side. "Now, Rin." —her stomach churned at the name, and she wished she'd had a better thought to not use the name written on the memorial stone— "we can do this the easy way. Or we can do this the hard way. The easy way is, of course, very much more pleasant than the hard way. The hard way tends to include some pain. And, well, Kaoru-chan probably doesn't need that arm. So what do you say? Care to help us out?"

His hand caressed her cheek and she flinched away from it. "Get bent, Joushi," she sneered, rolling onto her side.

I'm so utterly weak. I'm sorry, Tsunade-shishou. . . that I couldn't be stronger for you.

Sakura pushed herself up onto her hands and knees, attempting to regain some of the strength she'd lost. Her eyesight had returned, though her eyes burned like she had an eyelash stuck in them. That, however, compared little to the throb in her skull—she was almost sure something had fractured. Hacking another couch, she spat blood on the floor, wiping at her mouth with the back of her hand.

"Is that a yes, Rin-chan?"

Her head turned and she looked the monster in the face.

His blue eyes reminded her too much of Naruto, but without the blond air and whiskers, she'd never confuse them, even in her deepest hallucinations.

Joushi was taller than her, taller than Gomi, but incredibly skinny. He looked as though he'd offended someone important and they'd put him in a human stretcher. His short, ginger hair could have almost looked comical if he hadn't cropped it so that it fell directly into his eyes. A scar curled around the outside of his right eye.

"What happened?"

She hated herself for what she had to do.

Joushi smiled, something that seemed incredibly normal on his face—but Sakura grimaced, attempting to sit back on her heels. His smiles were twisted; they curved too far in the corners, giving him a fox-like smirk that promised grisly tidings. His canines protruded slightly over his thin lips, giving him the look of having fangs. Her head ached, and she found she couldn't hold herself up, her center of balance lost.

She settled with folding her legs beneath her. "Kaoru was a bit too feisty with one of our well-paying clients and seems to have gotten her arm broken in the process." He answered her question with a causality that made her sick.

Sakura let out a bark of hoarse, humorless laugh. It sounded disturbed, even to her. "Lemme guess, you want me to heal her up so you can push her out into some other asshole's arms who'll have her broken again in a week?"

He smiled a gentleman's smile and crossed his arms leisurely across his chest. "If that is what the client wishes."

"You people make me sick."

"Ah, but Rin-chan," he drawled, striding towards her.

His hand trailed along her shoulder blades before sliding up the back of her head. His fingers tangled almost tenderly in her hair before his fingers tightened their grip and he yanked back on her head with enough force to pull her to the ground. She hit the ground with excruciating accuracy, landing directly on her elbows and sending those familiar black clouds back into her vision. His hand tightened on her hair, pulling from the roots. The woman could feel some of them give way. Sakura attempted to keep her mouth shut, refusing to let out even so much as a whimper. He whispered lazily, "You're the one that keeps us in business."

This was one of those moments that she hated herself again. She coughed, trying to regain air into her lungs.

Tears—whether from the pain or from her own actions—clung on her lashes.

Releasing her hair, and letting her back fall against the cold ground, he tugged a handkerchief from the pocket of his pants, wiping at the hand that had held her as though she were a dirty urchin. Joushi cast a look at Gomimaru, nodding slightly. "Bring her 'round, when you get them on," he instructed, dropping the cloth onto the ground as he left her prison. "Kaoru is one of our best girls—we need her up and running as soon as we could manage."

Gomimaru's eyebrow deepened further into a scowl as he gave a curt nod, pulling out a long, thin key.

"C'mon, Mitsuharu." He grinned as he spoke, leaning down onto one knee in front of her, arms resting casually over his crooked joint. He waggled the key before her face like he was the master, baiting his dog with a piece of meat. She glanced over at him, seeing through her shocking hair.

In that second he faltered, his facing losing its mirth.

"I'll kill you some day," Sakura whispered, closing her eyes as she offered her hands, leather bonds prominent against her pale skin. "I can promise you that. I'll kill all of you some day."

His hand twitched against his nightstick, before he grasped her chin and jerked her sharply.

"I've heard stories," he whispered, key finding its way into the hidden lock inside the shackle on her wrist. It loosened slightly, and he repeated the process to her other wrist. His hand dropped to the ones at her feet; and when he twisted, the leather tightened enough to cause her to hiss. "I'm not sure if I believe it or not."

She spat in his face. He wiped it away with the handkerchief Joushi had dropped. An ironic smile twisted her features.

"Believe it."

He tugged her to her feet, pushing her towards the bars. "Whatever, Mitsuharu. It's time to earn your right to live."



"But Baa-san," the young man gaped, his blue eyes wide, unsure. He seemed frozen to the spot, unable to move. "You. . . you can't be serious! Tell me this is some big joke!"

The woman wanted to embrace him, comfort him, and seriously considered it. Tsunade blinked, however, and refrained from embracing him; merely staring at the orange and black-clad Jounin standing before her instead. "I would have thought that you of all people, Naruto, would be happy with the possibility of Sakura being alive. I didn't know you were so anxious to be rid of your ex-teammate."

Naruto glowered. He crossed his arms angrily, and for a moment, Tsunade was reminded of the Kyuubi that resided deep within the gentleman. "Don't be stupid, Baa-san," he snapped. Tsunade raised an eyebrow ominously at his tone. "I would be ecstatic for Sakura to be alive—if she were. Haven't I always said we'll find her? Isn't that why I dropped the ANBU test the first time around? I'd rather Sakura be dead than a prisoner in a. . . a. . . a cat house!"

"It's more than that, Naruto."

He stamped his foot immaturely. The Hokage almost smiled—that was more the Naruto she knew.

Tsunade crossed her arms, patience thinning. When she spoke, it was cautious—she was walking a thin line on what she could and couldn't say with these two. One wrong word and she'd end up sending them both over the edge—rushing off to God knew where in search of the young woman. "It's more than forced prostitution; this is along the lines of human trafficking. It's practically slave labor. Not to mention the whore bit." The blonde woman sighed, glancing towards the other man in the room. "What do you say, Kakashi? Hm?"

For the first time since he'd walked into the room, Hatake Kakashi looked at Tsunade. If she'd been a weaker woman she might have even flinched backwards. His gaze was fiery—she could almost feel the fire of his anger.

The masked man's eyes narrowed, the one not covered visibly clouded. "Where?" His voice was hoarse, his stance tense.

"You can't go rushing off into this, Kakashi!" Tsunade yelled, picking up a paperweight from her desk, testing the feel of it in her hand. If she held at just the right angle—and she got lucky that he didn't dodge—she could probably manage to break that perfect nose of his. "Let's discuss this first; we don't even know."

"Pink hair, you said." Kakashi ignored the threat of projectile objects, pacing forwards confidently towards her desk. "How many pink-haired women of twenty-some years can heal with their chakra? How many of those women can put their fist through a man's skull?"

His gray eye was desperate, almost pleading. That mothering tendency was erupting within her again. First she wanted to hold Naruto, shield and protect him from the pain this new information caused. Now she wanted to comfort Kakashi? She squashed the urges, favoring an image of her smashing his skull into the wall—it soothed the beast that growled inside her.

"It has to be her."

Naruto nodded his head furiously, hitai-ate bouncing loosely against his forehead. He bit his lip angrily, hands in fists, folded against his chest.

"We need to make sure, Kakashi," Tsunade reiterated, attempted to calm herself down. His insolence was enough to make her forgo throwing the weight and just use it to forcibly bash his skull in. "If we do anything, involve ourselves at all, involve Konoha, and it's not her—"

Naruto growled, "Kakashi-sensei's right, it has to be her!" His nails bit into his hand, hard enough to draw blood.

Kakashi clenched a gloved fist in front of his face, eye scrunched shut. "She's my ex-student, Tsunade-sama," he whispered, anger almost palpable in his tone. "My only female student. I was supposed to protect her. I failed; and now she's been in that hell-hole and we never even goddamn knew! After all this time the least we can do for her is kill the bastards that did this to her."

"We have to go get her, Baa-san," Naruto echoed, a pleading tone to his voice that didn't suit a twenty-five year old ninja. He looked so young.

Tsunade sighed.

Reaching into her desk with one hand—her other still clutched the silver paperweight—she produced a scroll from one of the drawers and tossed it to Naruto.

The same hand maneuvered three large scrolls, tied together with string, onto her desk, hidden behind her, in the seconds that Naruto was distracted by catching the flying object. "Kakashi," she said finally, without glancing at the shinobi, "stay. You'll be team leader. Naruto, I suggest you tell Ino and Sasuke; I suspect they'd like to know as well."

The young man nodded, but his eyes darkened marginally, as he pocketed the scroll. He excused himself from the room, slamming the door shut behind him.

"Kakashi."

He pointedly ignored her.

"Kakashi, Sakura was a young, Jounin kunoichi. She was trained by the best—I'm not just patting myself on the back, here, you're as credible as I am. It is not your fault. You need to stop blaming yourself for her mistake."

"I was her sensei—"

"As was I!" interrupted Tsunade, reminding him again; the soft, comforting tone had been replaced with an irritated edge. She was reminded of one of the reasons why she'd never had children. "It was a series of regrettable, unfortunate, unforeseen mistakes. Nobody caused this to happen."

Kakashi stared at her seriously. "Nobody may have caused it, but I didn't prevent it."

Tsunade stared back at him, and then shook her head, chuckling softly to herself. "Take this," she instructed, unclenched hand grabbing the pack of scrolls and waving them before her impatiently. "Naruto has the abridged version in his. I recommend he not see this one." Kakashi walked forward and took the bundle without looking at her, his eyes fixed on the tiles of the Hokage tower.

"You really do care for her, don't you?"

Tsunade's voice had grown soft again, and she smiled crookedly at him—it would have been condescending if it weren't so cute.

"She was my student," Kakashi muttered, walking backwards away from the desk. He had never felt too safe standing close to the Godaime when she had sharp—and blunt—objects readily in reach nearby.

"Don't lie to me, Kakashi." She smirked as she replied. "I'm better at it than you are." Her face grew serious again, her arms crossing, and the Copy-nin marveled at the suddenness of the mood swings in her personality. She clutched the paperweight tighter; something gave way with a snap. "If this is Sakura, and she is alive. . . you have to tell her."

Kakashi glanced at her, visible eye downcast.

"To what end? Everything will be different if—when—she comes back. She doesn't need her ex-sensei confessing his undying love for her as well."

"Think of all that will have changed," Tsunade implored, a slight menace to her tone. She purposefully held her hand over her desk and released what was left of the mangled paperweight. The silver stone had caved in, crumbling into three large sections, with several other smaller pieces—some of it had even been reduced to a fine, silky powder. She rubbed her fingers together, allowing the little fragments that remained on her hand to fall on top of the broken heap. "Her name is written on the Memorial Stone. She will need help."

If Kakashi had said he didn't feel just a little bit intimidated, he would have been lying through his teeth. "And I'm the one to give it to her?" He laughed without feeling.

"Who better than the person who loves her most in the world?" Tsunade smirked, leaning back on the desk. Her fingers played with the hem of her shirt. "You're excused. Make me a list of those who'll go with the two of you. I imagine three, besides you and Naruto of course, should do it. Shikamaru and Kankuro—I believe even Gaara-sama himself—plan on joining you, so you'll be well-prepared."

The blonde's amber eyes glowed with anger. If Sakura is there, you return either with her, or injured enough that my beating you to a pulp will jeopardize your life."

Kakashi gave a stiff bow before disappearing in a puff of smoke, a sour expression on his masked face. Tsunade sighed and brushed lingering stone fragments from her legs. "He'll never learn."

Approximately two miles from the Hokage tower, Hatake Kakashi leaned in front of the black stone he'd spent so much of his life before, his hand reaching forward. He hesitated a minute longer, merely staring with his visible eye, before extending his curved fingers. The pad of his index finger rolled over the carved name. He traced the pattern engraved into the obsidian, mouthing the words his fingers gracefully rewrote.

Sakura Haruno had been missing for five years.


TBC . . .



Well, this is the Picture Trends I've been talking about. I'm very pleased with it. It's probably one of my more inventive pieces, as well as one of my darker pieces.

Originally, It was only going to be three chapters—a three-shot, if you will. But I just couldn't stop writing. After sitting down with Alaina, my wuverly beta who was so incredibly supportive of me throughout this entire process of getting just this first chapter done (considering the fact that she hates the fact that I keep Sakura's hair short), we figured out the best places to cut it down.

I haven't even finished writing what I had planned to be the entire first chapter, but I know that I get rather annoyed with excessively long chapters. If I'd kept on, this entire first chapter would have ended up being somewhere around 15,000 words to 20,000 words. I'm going to attempt to keep each chapter between 5,000 and 7,000 words—so it makes it easier to read. If this means having more chapters, I'll sacrifice that.

I'm not sure how many chapters are going to be in this thing, but I know at the moment, for what I have planned to write, at least eight. I may aim for somewhere around ten and make it a nice, well-rounded and finished piece. I'd love reviews, just to see what people think. I've got my select few people that review every single chapter of 25 Moments, so it's these people I'm really excited to hear from. I really haven't written anything as dark as this for KakaSaku yet; I want to see how you guys react.

Thanks for listening to my long-winded speech.

- Hiko Mokushi