Love Save The Empty

February 22 - "My heart is hardn'd, I cannot repent"

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Sasuke Uchiha sat on a large boulder overlooking a forest, hand on his katana, eyes closed. He wasn't thinking about anything, focusing instead on the quiet sound of the wind in the trees. It was the closest he came to meditating.

He opened his eyes suddenly, "What is it, Karin?"

Behind him, Karin made a face - she'd wanted so desperately to jump him but it was near impossible to sneak up on Sasuke, "I was just thinking about this whole plan of yours and I realized that you didn't say what you plan to do after you kill your brother."

Sasuke shrugged, "That's not important right now. When Itachi is dead by my hand, then I'll think about what to do afterward."

Karin pouted - that wasn't the answer she'd been looking for, although it was probably the one she should have expected. She leaned against the boulder, feigning mild interest, "So you haven't given it any thought at all? Do you plan at least to return home?"

Sasuke turned to look at her, his onyx eyes dull and disinterested, "Home?"

"Yeah. Konoha?"

He nodded in understanding, then said, "I'm not going back."

"Why not?" she asked, curious.

He shrugged again, "There's nothing left for me there."

Karin opened her mouth to speak again but he shot her a look, "This conversation's over. Go call the others, it's time to move."

Karin looked down, embarrassed by his rebuke, "Sorry, Sasuke," she muttered before leaving.

Sasuke paid her no mind, just stood up and looked back down at the forest below him, expression still neutral but feeling mildly irritated - why did she have to bring up the Leaf?

Why couldn't they all understand that home meant nothing to him now, that he was no longer tied to the Leaf? Konoha was nothing more to him now than a burial ground and the place where his hatred for that man had been borne.

His home, his hope, his innocence - they had all been buried along with his parents and the rest of his clan. His grip on his katana tightened minutely - he didn't have time to look back. If he wanted to defeat Itachi, he couldn't allow himself to think about anything else ad he certainly couldn't waste time planning what he would do when Itachi was dead.

Sasuke turned as the rest of Hebi arrived, eyes dark with determination, resolute in his purpose. As the three misfits came to stand before him, he looked down at them from his position on top of the rock and spoke two words that encompassed everything, "Let's move."

A/N: Not really feeling that last line. Me thinks that Karin and Sasuke are a smidgen OOC, do you agree? Feel free to disagree! Written for the LJ comm, 31 days. Kind of inspired by Erin McCarley's 'Love Save The Empty.'