Title: panic button

Author: paws-bells

Beta-ed by: ItachixSakura Forever

Characters/Pairing: Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Itachi

Type: One-shot (Complete)

Genre: General/Humor

Word Count: 2057

Theme: LJ Community, 50-shinobi theme #42, panic button

Rating: T (Contains content not suitable for children)

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-san.

Summary: It was then when Sakura finally decided that her life truly sucked.

Chapter Last Revised on: 22/02/08

They threw him into her cell on the fourth night of her incarceration.

He had been trussed up like a turkey, his clothes badly tattered and all eight of his captors were wearing heavy duty sunglasses.

She, who had been utterly ready to explain how everything had been a great misunderstanding to anyone who had the authority to free her, had stopped to stare at the ridiculous sight.

When they started to unlock the door to her very humble (dim, damp, empty, small, musty, dirty) living quarters, she had assumed that he was from her village as well. She had learnt on the very first day that they actually put ninjas from the same village in the same holding areas, which certainly explained why this sorry excuse of a prison was so markedly empty. It made her feel extremely foolish to have been caught by this small village's band of raggedy, untalented shinobis of dubious skills. It was also very unfortunate for her that her medical supplies were in their custody now, and in it had been a rather large packet of syringes filled with controlled substances with the ability to suppress chakra flow.

It was most ironic that the only thing restricting her from making a quick escape came from her own possession, and judging from the horrifying amount those imbeciles had injected into her bloodstream daily, it would be a goddamn miracle if she survived this brief stint in Kemurigakure. She hadn't been able to move for hours the last time one of those fat, neglectful, sorry excuse of a ninja had stumbled in to administer her shot to her. On the brighter side, they probably would be using up the package of serum in a little less than a month and judging from the new arrival, maybe the time frame would be shortened and she would be able to escape in two weeks' time.

Curled up weakly in a corner by the iron bars, she watched in a dumb stupor as the large number of men bustled oafishly into her cell with their unresisting burden, vaguely overhearing snippets of their prideful boasts to each other as they dumped the bundle of bloodied clothes and human unceremoniously on the opposite corner of the room. She frowned slightly when she heard something that went along the lines of 'missing-nin', 'Sharingan' and 'fucking gay cloak'. It didn't make any sense at all, and Sakura wondered about their reason for adorning shades in the middle of the night.

It was obvious that they must have gotten the wrong person.

Did they really think that they could avoid the Sharingan thusly?

It was vaguely amusing and Sakura would have laughed if she had the strength to do so. She didn't, and so she settled on watching with inward glee as one of the men produced a syringe as she had anticipated and quickly injected its substances into the clearly unconscious person. Sakura felt a twinge of guilt for feeling joy at the other ninja's suffering but quickly quailed the feeling. She promised herself that she would help this poor unfortunate fellow escape as well but at the moment her main priority was for those nincompoops to exhaust the supply of chakra suppressors.

"You there! Clean him up, you hear?" Sakura found herself slowly catching an unsanitary piece of rag as it was roughly thrown towards her. A shadow fell upon her chakra-depleted form as the person whom she now identified as the leader of this ragtag group of misfits spat roughly on the floor beside her. She eyed him placidly. Being angry requires precious energy, something that she was severely lacking in and had to fight desperately to conserve. "We need him alive. If he dies, you die too."

Sakura was tempted not to reply but the longer she remained unresponsive, the longer he would stay untreated and she had no idea yet what they had done to him. She was also curious about this unknown male's identity. Did he fall for a trap like she had? Who would he be if he was a ninja from Konoha? Someone whom she knew?

Sakura nodded stiffly once and apparently satisfied the group of Kemuri ninjas left the small cell, no doubt to drink themselves under the table to celebrate their newest 'capture'. Sakura waited for them to disappear from the tiny prison, lips curling slightly with distaste as not even one of them bothered to stay behind to guard the prisoners. If she had been in full form she would have escaped long ago…if she had been in full form. Again with the 'if'.

Sakura sighed softly. She was so stupid. How could she have fallen for the oldest trick in the book? She should never have stopped to aid the seemingly 'injured' ninja, the sacred vows of a medic-nin be damned. Now she was caught and stuck here and she didn't even know why. They probably had no idea of her importance as the Hokage's beloved disciple, nor was she anywhere near prepare to tell them. She didn't really think that they would believe her anyway, and besides, it was just too embarrassing for her to tell. She had to get her own butt out of this mess; she could just imagine the lecture her shishou would give if the ANBU had to be sent in to rescue her.

The smallest movement coming from the other side of the cell brought Sakura's frustrated musings back to her new 'roomie'. Shaking her head inwardly to temporarily banish her morose thoughts, the pink-haired kunoichi started to focus her attention on the male lying slumped against the wet and musty floor. His face was partially covered behind a high collar so she could not identify him and the long, raven hair that spilled from his head was nothing uncommon in Konoha. Curiosity piqued, Sakura got to her feet shakily and made her painstaking way across the small cell to the unconscious male, hand clutched tightly to the dirty washrag the entire time.

By the time she traveled all of the diagonal fifteen feet to the unknown male's side Sakura was plain exhausted. Her limbs shook badly as she collapsed in an ungraceful heap beside her fellow prisoner and she cursed mentally at her weakness. Her chakra level at the moment was nearly non-existent and she felt so lethargic and weak that it was hard to concentrate on what she was supposed to do next. A brief glance at the washcloth in her hand quickly reminded her of her obligations and forcing herself to concentrate on the shinobi before her rather than on her own dwindling source of energy worked better than she had thought it would. Dull emerald eyes sharpened minutely as she began to take mental notes on the body's condition, and Sakura slowly reached out a hand towards the vague direction of his neck to feel for a pulse. Now that she had no chakra to work with, everything would have to be done the hard way.

Sakura swore softly when his skin was cold to the touch and his pulse frantic and erratic. It was obvious to her that he was not reacting well to the overdose of chakra suppressors and was rapidly going into shock and hypothermia. The cold and wet environment that they were forced to stay in wouldn't help at all in rectifying his symptoms and Sakura knew that she had to get him out of his wet, bloodied clothes, and fast. The pink-haired kunoichi was only a little less affected by the chilly temperature herself but after staying here for a few days she was starting to get used to the biting cold.

Bloodless, trembling fingers reached over to the unconscious male and started fumbling with the row of buttons that ran down the front of his ruined and tattered shirt, slowly but surely easing the bloodstained fabric away from him. It disgusted Sakura to no end that she didn't even have the strength to rip open the torn and shredded article of clothing and once more the kunoichi cursed herself inwardly for her sheer stupidity as she slowly worked her way up the length of buttons. It took a painstaking five minutes before she could finally pry away the entire piece of bloodied fabric from her fellow prisoner/patient, and when she did, she was quick to wish that she hadn't.

Her weary eyes examined the pale, sleek chest with professional intent. It didn't take her long to diagnose that most of his wounds had been more superficial than not, although the amount of blood on him had nearly led her to believe otherwise. Angling her gaze upwards, the kunoichi continued perusing the nin for other signs of life threatening injuries, and when she finally got to his face—

Her brain promptly stuttered to an abrupt halt.

Worried for the wellbeing of what she had assumed must be a fellow Leaf-nin, it had never occurred to the kunoichi to confirm his identity first. Now Sakura was sincerely regretting her mistake.

Her brain was working extra slowly that day; so it actually took her awhile before the pale, angular face lying before her clicked among the vast sea of faces in her extensive memories.

It didn't take her nearly as long to recognize the hitai-ite covering his forehead though.

The hitai-ite with that most obscene scratch across the beloved Leaf symbol.


The earlier comments of her captors flew across her head with lightning speed.



It didn't take much else, for the truth was literally staring her in the face and she couldn't even bring herself to hope against hope that it might be her ex-teammate. The hair was too different, the face too sharp. This male lying before her was too gaunt, too lanky to be Sasuke.

Dull emerald eyes widened quickly, sharpened with alarm. Sakura's breath hitched as she stared at the notorious S-class Akatsuki with dawning horror.

She was weak, powerless and currently locked in a ten by six feet cell with Uchiha Itachi.

She was stuck with him in an extremely enclosed area; clan-murderer, key member of one of the most radical terrorist organization in the world, S-class nukenin, hated brother of Sasuke—

Man who she had, just a mere minute ago, help strip.

And she was still clutching onto his tattered shirt like it was some sort of morbid souvenir. Sakura promptly dropped the piece of fabric like it had suddenly grown a pair of Sharingan and was glaring most dangerously at her. She closed her eyes quickly and willed herself to take deep breaths, to calm down and to think rationally about the situation at hand.

It was not working.

Emerald eyes snapped open again and once more she was greeted by the sight of one unconscious (but probably still as deadly as ever) Uchiha.

Sakura groaned softly to herself.

Calm down? Think rationally? Just who the hell was she trying to kid?

She had virtually no chakra left in her and although the Uchiha probably wouldn't have any access to his as well, it wouldn't surprise her in the least if he decided to improvise. Heck, it wouldn't surprise her at all if he knew a million and one ways to creatively kill a target using no chakra whatsoever if he so chose.

Sakura suppressed a small shiver of apprehension as she stared down warily at the proud, patrician features of the unconscious male. All sorts of alarm bells were going off in her head and it was all the kunoichi could do not to follow her instincts and bolt to the other end of the enclosure.

Granted that he was currently out cold, but after all was said and done she was still stuck in a terribly small cell with an insane madman.

Could things get any worse?

Sakura probably should stop jinxing herself, because evidently things could get worse—and they did.

He woke up.

The kunoichi started to freeze when he began to stir, hoping against hope that the missing-nin would fall back into unconsciousness but to no avail. Within five seconds the pink-haired female found herself rendered completely immobile as cold onyx eyes opened slowly before focusing intently upon her.

Sakura grimaced inwardly.

Now would be a damn bloody good time to panic.


Questions That I Would Like To Answer Before You Ask:

Really have no idea whatsoever what I was thinking when I penned this. It just refused to go away until I wrote it down. So there. Of course, I'm very aware that this could serve as a continuation to something…longer, I suppose. But for now I think I will just leave it until that particular muse comes to bug me again.


Sunglasses and Sharingan. Hmm, I have always wondered if a person could still be susceptible to the Sharingan if his eyes were shielded. Can't imagine a whole bunch of Konoha nins donning sunglasses to fight Uchiha Itachi though…or even Madara. Especially Madara. What do you think?


Oh, and if my updates seem to be particularly less frequent lately, well, you will have to blame that on the sequel to heartstrings. I'm pleased—I think—to announce that it is going to be a mini continuous piece, something like 'silk kimono'. So here I am taking a break from that fifth chapter to write this A/N, as well as to inform you antsy people out there that you may look forward to its debut within the next week or so.


Well, I certainly hope so.


Lastly, I would like to inform everyone (who actually reads my rambles, that is) about my new beta, ItachixSakura Forever. You may all bow down to her in fervent thanks and gratefulness that you need no longer suffer through the passages of my atrocious grammar.

Oy vey.

P.S: Sorry for that bit of randomness, it was my phrase of the day.


Your reviews fuel my passion for writing. So please leave a comment if you like this fic, thank you.