(A/N) Well, here is the continuation of Captive. Mikadzuki means 'new moon' in Japanese. And no, I didn't name it because of the Twilight series. There's a reason behind it. If you didn't read Captive, I suggest you do, or you'll be at a complete lost.
Full Summary: Sakura is continuing her interrogations with Itachi Uchiha, despite her lack of interrogation skills and all she has discovered. Soon enough, she may regret this decision as events unfold to reveal the truth of everything that has happened since she met him, and before. Will she be strong enough to rise above it, or fail and succumb to the threat she fights against?
Italics: Thoughts, dreams, flashbacks, emphasis.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto…yet…
"Of those who say nothing, few are silent."-Thomas Neiel
Sakura reached to pull her pillow over her face, but instead felt the coarse cover of a book. She sat up and looked around disconcertingly, blinking the sleepiness from her eyes. Ignoring the terrible ache in her back, she twisted herself to see that she was surrounded by mounds of books. She tried to get up, but caused the books on top of her to fall to the floor with a thud.
She put two and two together and realized had fallen asleep under a pile of books on her bedroom floor. This did nothing to help the fact that she wasn't a morning person. She rubbed her head which was sore from resting atop a book titled Interrogation Methods. She looked at the analog clock on her desk to find that she woke up earlier than she planned.
She could tell this was going to be a bad day. Most people would think waking up early would foreshadow a good day, but that wasn't what it meant to her. It was a bad omen. She needed caffeine, and badly. When she was grumpy, her temper usually got the best of her. Who knows, she might even try to kill the prisoner she was to soon interrogate.
Sakura got dressed slowly, wanting to take her time. Her head, back, and places she didn't even know were capable of feeling pain ached. She went to her bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet, rummaging through it in search of a painkiller. She sighed when she looked through the entire cabinet and found nothing. How could she be a medic and not have an analgesic?
'I really need to go shopping,' she thought as she opened her refrigerator and discovered it was empty save for expired milk and rotting tomatoes.
No medicine and no food. It's only morning and she had already managed to destroy any petty hopes she had of having a slightly tolerable day. Without any breakfast or pain relief she headed to the prison, her cantankerous mood established for good. She walked out of her house with an ominous expression glued to her features. Walking through town, she considered not even going. Why should she when she'll most likely be in pain the entire time? Remembering the beating she would receive from the Hokage if she neglected her duties, she decided not to ditch. She entered the prison system and walked down cell block six, glaring at the ANBU standing there silently. The ones that weren't cloaked in genjutsu, that is. She approached cell number five hundred and turned her fierce glare to the guard.
"R-release," the sentry said nervously, perturbed by Sakura's glower.
The genjutsu wall disappeared and he unlocked the cell. Walking in, she didn't even care about the darkness that immediately consumed her. Or the eyes she felt watching her.
"Okay, Itachi, I'm going to give you a heads up," Sakura said, rubbing her aching head. "I'm in a very bad mood. I suggest you spill your guts before I rip them out."
Of course it was an empty threat, one she wouldn't dare act on. She knew that Itachi didn't even care. He was strong enough to stop any attempt of violence towards him, other than the torture Ibiki had put him through. It just felt good to say it.
As her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the cell, she could see him looking disinterestedly at her. She sat down, closer to where he was, pushing her preset limits. Maybe it was a good thing she was so grumpy. It made her more impulsive.
"How are you this fine morning?" she asked sarcastically.
Sakura was halfway hoping for an answer like 'I didn't even know it was morning' but she knew he wouldn't answer. Itachi Uchiha wasn't much for idle conversation, so she expected the lack of response.
"I'll take that as 'good',' she said.
Sakura was slowly teaching herself not to be so irked at him. If she gets frustrated easily it clouds her mind and better judgment. It's better to keep a clear mind, especially with Itachi.
She continued to ask questions such as 'Where's the Akatsuki base?' and 'Who's your leader?' avoiding questions like 'What's your favorite color?' and 'Do you like flowers?' It was pointless to ask these questions, she knew that. It was only a diversion so she could organize her thoughts.
Last time she came she was fully prepared, only to have it fall apart because of frustration. Now that she convinced herself to control her temper at the placid Uchiha's lack of response, she could hopefully hold her plan together. All of that studying had taught her something.
In interrogations, you are studying human nature. There are things you expect someone to react to as it is natural for humans.
Itachi did not give these reactions.
The responses you'd normally expect do not come from him. That's why Sakura had been so thrown off. She expected him to react to what she said, but instead he did just the opposite. His lack of retaliation had her frustrated.
That was most likely Itachi's goal.
He knew what to do to confuse interrogators and make them question their techniques. He was avoiding natural reactions to make people question the truth behind actual human nature.
So as the saying goes, expect the unexpected.
Sakura knew what to expect from Itachi. She asked questions that would entice a reaction from anyone else. All she has to ask a question that someone wouldn't think earn a reaction.
That will confuse him.
Itachi thinks he knows what to expect. The monotonous questions that Sakura kept asking to entice a reaction were doing just the opposite.
Sakura had finally figured Itachi out.
"Are you giving up?" he asked coolly.
Sakura realized she stopped asking him her tedious questions in her concentration.
"Well, the Uchiha spoke," she said, smirking triumphantly even though she knew she had nothing to do with it.
Besides, what's one sentence?
"Don't act so surprised," he said.
'Another sentence,' Sakura thought, astonished.
"Does this mean your going to answer my questions?" she asked carefully.
This was strange. Usually when she said or asked something, he'd ignore her completely.
"No," Itachi replied, his voice cold.
"Then why even speak?" Sakura grumbled, disturbed at his tone of voice.
Itachi studied her carefully and her face flushed under his intense gaze. What was with this sudden breakthrough? She definitely didn't say anything that would make him react. She wondered if he had actually snapped, but he was way too calm for that.
So what was it?
"You've become irksome," Itachi said, his eyes meeting hers after a while. "You seem to like hearing your own voice."
"So you've decided you rather hear yours," Sakura said indignantly. "Well, at least it's something."
But Sakura knew that he wasn't telling the truth. Call it woman's intuition, but there was something not right. What was this about?
"Anything you want to tell me while you're amenable?" Sakura asked, biting her lip.
Itachi watched her again intently. What the hell was with this? Why the sudden change in behavior?
'It looks like he's got me again,' she thought bitterly, biting her lip. 'Just when I had him down, he decides to pull a one-eighty.'
Sakura was determined not to let this show, so she released her lip. She wasn't going to let him get the better of her.
"I don't expect you to be too amicable or anything, but would you at least have casual human conversation?" she asked.
"So you can observe me?" Itachi asked, his eyes piercing.
'Damn, he knows,' she thought, her teeth itching to gnaw at her lip.
She was hoping to at least observe his reactions and such now that he finally spoke, but that clearly wasn't going to happen. So what was going to happen? She needed to think about this.
She stood from her seated position, and looked down at Itachi.
"I'll be back tomorrow," she said grumpily.
Itachi knew he threw Sakura off. His abrupt change of behavior had discouraged the plan she had come up with. He considered it a windfall.
He spent most of his time studying her. Her reactions, her movements, her habits. Now was the time to speak to her, and earn reactions that way. He was now the interrogator.
She pivoted on her heal and walked out of the cell. The sentry quickly locked the cell and looked after her, hoping she wouldn't destroy the prison. She walked back to the village, clenching her fists so she wouldn't punch any villagers who happen to be walking by. Forget self-control, she was pissed. She walked into the Hokage's office and the village's leader saw her frustration immediately.
"Nothing?" she asked knowingly.
"Well, he's actually speaking," Sakura said, pouting.
"Then why are you so frustrated?" the Hokage asked, confused.
"Because I thought I had him figured out," Sakura answered, anger coursing through her words. "For so long, he hadn't even spoken a word. And when I thought I finally came up with a reason why, he goes and opens his damn mouth."
"That was the goal in the first place," Tsunade said. "Consider it a blessing."
"A blessing?" Sakura asked disbelievingly. "Even though he's speaking, that doesn't mean he'll answer any questions."
"Then twist his arm until he does," Tsunade said smirking.
"If only it were that easy," she said with a sigh. "There's no way to figure that man out. He's so frustrating."
"Would you like a vacation?"
"If I take a vacation, I'd still be obsessing over him," she said, not noticing how her words sounded. "I don't need a vacation, I need a palliative."
Sakura got up as she rubbed her temples and bid farewell to her shishou.
Tsunade took a long sip of her sake as she contemplated ways to make this easier on her student. Itachi was getting the best of her; she could tell that he was getting under her skin. Maybe she shouldn't do this anymore…
An ANBU appeared before her, bowing low. She would have to hold that thought.
"What is it?" she asked the masked operative.
"Four more jonin have been killed around the area of Amegakure," the ANBU said urgently. "Two other chuunins were also killed near Takigakure."
'Just what I need,' Tsunade thought with a sigh.
"Missing-nin?" she asked.
"We are uncertain, but that is most likely the cause."
"Thank you," she said, and the ANBU disappeared.
'Terrific,' the Hokage thought, rubbing her forehead. 'More missing-nin uprisings.'
It had been going on for a while. Shinobi were being killed near the border of Konoha, in close proximity to Ame and Taki. There was no doubt in her mind that it was missing-nins. It was the quantity of the killings that were astonishing. This was no random outbreak of rouges.
Tsunade contemplated what she should do. What she wanted to do was stop sending out ninja, but that was impossibility. She just called back ANBU, and it felt wrong to send them out again after such a short amount of time, so she dismissed that idea. Instead, she was going to send out a select group of trusted ninja to investigate the situation. The other lands bordering Ame would most likely send shin obi, too, so she'll get in contact with Iwagakure and Sunagakure.
She didn't want this to get out of hand. She needed to handle this situation before it escalades.
'As if I don't have enough to deal with…'
Naruto stared at the picture of team seven. He and Sasuke weren't even looking at the camera, instead glaring at each other. Kakashi had his hands placed on their heads and Sakura was in the middle of them smiling cheerfully at the camera. That was when they first became team seven.
How could he let it collapse right in front of him? Why couldn't he do anything about it? Was he still the weak little troublemaker that had big dreams of being Hokage?
He had gotten stronger, he trained hard. It all came down to nothing, though, when he fought Sasuke at the Valley of the End. He couldn't stop him from leaving.
Naruto gripped the headband he was holding tightly. His fingers traced the scratch that was etched into the metal, the one he had made. It was the headband Sasuke had left behind. It was the only thing he had left of his best friend. The only reminder that he was once here in this village with him.
Only a headband, a picture, and a broken bond.
"Naruto, open up!"
Naruto was snapped out of his reverie at the sound of knocking on his door.
"I'm coming, Sakura," Naruto said, heading to his door lethargically.
"C'mon, hurry up! This is heavy!"
Naruto wondered what it was Sakura had, and ran to the door and opened it. Sakura stood there in all her glory with instant ramen cups stacked up in her arms. She ran into his apartment, and dropped all of the cups on his kitchen table.
"What's all this for?" Naruto asked.
"I went shopping because I discovered my refrigerator was a barren wasteland. I decided to get you some ramen while I was at the store," Sakura said with a smile.
He could tell, though, that it was a 'Sai Smile'. There was something bothering her.
"Thanks, Sakura," he said, looking at the mess on his table.
She noticed his lack of enthusiasm at getting a year's supply of ramen and her feign smile fell.
"I guess we should talk," she said with a sigh. "I don't want you to get depressed."
"Don't worry, Sakura, I'm fine," he said, copying that fake smile.
"Didn't I ever tell you you're a horrible liar?" Sakura said. "I know you're upset about Sasuke's execution."
She walked over to his couch and sat down and he reluctantly joined her.
"Why wouldn't I be?" Naruto asked.
"Maybe because he left us and refused to come back no matter what we did," she answered.
"I know," he said, looking down. "But he was…he was my first friend!"
Sakura saw the pleading in his eyes, and bit her lip.
"He was your first, but not you're only," Sakura said. "You still have so many friends; other bonds you've created. Sasuke was just the one you couldn't save. There's nothing we could have done to protect him from what was bound to happen."
"I know you're right," he said. "It just seems like I didn't try hard enough. There must have been something more I could've done."
"You tried your best, trust me," Sakura said. "We all did. That just proves how much of a lost cause Sasuke really was. We know we tried our best, so we shouldn't have any regrets."
Naruto didn't look too convinced.
"I know this is cliché, but things always happen for a reason," she said. "There was a reason why it had to end this way, despite our best efforts."
Who was she kidding? Maybe God did this to screw with them. Maybe he wants to see them fall on their face. Who is she to say things happen for a reason? But hopefully it's the truth and she's not only lying to herself and Naruto.
Naruto nodded and said," I know, it'll just take a while for me to actually accept this."
"I understand," Sakura said, standing up. "I know I still have to deal with it, too. Maybe the ramen will help you feel better."
Naruto nodded again and she walked to the door, leaving. The air was warm after the continuous rain, giving the world a nostalgic feeling. Sakura walked to her apartment, thinking of how she'd kick off her shoes, jump in the shower, and then get to bed early. But she knew that wasn't going to happen. First of all, she needed to study. After Itachi decided to pull his little stunt, she was left for dead. Second of all, she wouldn't be able to go to sleep after talking to Naruto.
She felt ashamed of herself. At the execution she felt no sadness when they killed Sasuke. Afterwards, she didn't feel grief. She now felt that she should hold a little sorrow for her ex-teammate. They went through a lot, the three of them. She knew, though, it was only because she accepted it. Naruto was always so stubborn, but hopefully he'd finally understand that there was nothing they could do.
Sakura knew that it was the end.
"I-it's been a while, master," an impish man stated, standing nervously before the man he was regarding. "Don't you think you should do something about…you know?"
Said man looked at the small, bothersome missing-nin. He was a worthless servant; easily replaceable. The glow of the candlelight shifted as the rogue fidgeted anxiously, knowing how his his question could be interpreted. He was just curious and had to ask what his master was up to. The one regarded as master looked down dauntingly, having no concern for answering such a foolish man.
"Are you questioning me?" he asked.
"Oh! No, no," the servant said quickly, waving his hands fervently. "I was just wondering when you'd take action…"
"That is not for you to know," the other man in the room said, turning his gaze away.
The servant hesitated slightly before nodding, bowing, and then exiting. The creak of the door was deafeningly loud in the silence of the room. It was a study so it was to be completely quiet at all times. The only source of light in the room was the small candle that cast shadows on the bookcases that lined the walls. A desk was placed in the middle of the room, where the candle sat, illuminating the maps and papers on the wood. Behind the desk was the man called 'master'.
"It's awfully hard to find help these days, isn't it?"
He looked to see a man standing in the darkest corner of the room. He wasn't surprised to find the man hiding in the corner for he was always skulking in dark places. He didn't even mind that he was there, for he was never a nuisance and didn't question him like so many other disloyal subordinates. The ones that were often killed for their treachery.
"What do you want, Tasukete?" the man asked.
"I couldn't help but overhear Kinshou," the man called Tasukete replied. "Due to the fact that I was standing right here. But you probably knew that."
The seated man gave him a hard look; a signal to get to the point.
"Well, I think I could be of some service," Tasukete said, a slight smile gracing his thin lips. "It has been a while since you've given orders. Why don't you send me out? You know I can handle this…problem easily."
"If I haven't given you an order, that means I do not want you to do anything," the man stated. "When I want to send you out, I'll inform you."
Tasukete's smile turned into a frown at his master's brusque words.
"What exactly are you planning, then?" Tasukete asked carefully, trying not to let his suspicion show.
He lost so many subordinates due to his inactivity.
Tasukete was less pedantic with his master than Kinshou. He had known him for some time, and had abandoned formalities long ago. It was dangerous to step out of boundaries with a man like him, but he knew when enough was enough.
"If you heard me speaking with Kinshou, then you'd know the answer."
"So you're not going to tell me?"
"You are becoming a vexation, leave if there's nothing else," the man at the desk said, looking back down at the papers on his desk.
Tetsuke didn't want to push his master's patience too far. He'd most likely get himself killed. He exited the room as silently as he had entered and walked down the hallways, sulking. Things have been too quiet here. His master had been too quiet, not giving orders.
"Tasukete, I've got some interesting news for you."
A young woman with short brown hair walked up to him, a smile on her grim features. The large sword on her back glimmered in the light, enough to intimidate any enemy. She was very powerful if not somewhat insane.
"What is it, Kawaki?" he asked, not wanting to deal with the manic woman.
"Sasuke Uchiha is dead," she said coolly, smirking triumphantly.
Tasukete only snorted.
"I'm not surprised," he said disdainfully. "Was it Itachi?"
She shook her head, disappointed at his reaction. She wanted him to breakdown and go psychotic, killing all of the wretched beings there. Or at least their bastard of a master. His calm composure did not please her.
"Konoha captured him and executed him."
"Did they question him?" he asked warily.
Still no breaking down. Maybe she should lie, just to get a rise out of him. She knew better, though, because if she lied about information like this, she'd be killed.
"I don't think so," she stated, grimacing at her unusually moralistic behavior.
"Good," Tasukete said. "We wouldn't want that, now would we?"
The sadist smirked.
"Of course not."
(A/N) Another mystery character! Hopefully you're not pulling your hair out or anything. I hate/love writing mystery characters. I hate it because I can't tell you how many times I've typed his name and actually wanted to just so I can be done with it. I love it because it's fun to write something the readers have no clue about. I'll just tell you that it's going to be harder to guess than Sasuke. Maybe if you're really smart, then maaaybe you'll guess it. I'm not going to say who it isn't, because I want to keep you guessing. For now, we'll call him Mr. Mystery. Oh yeah, Tasukete means 'helper' in Japanese. He's an OC that I made.
Hehehe…not like that. Kinshou means 'insignificant'. I named him that because that's what he is. Insignificant. Cruel, I know, but that's probably the first and last time he appears. We shall have a funeral for my OC's short life in this fic. R.I.P. Last, but certainly not least, Kawaki means 'thirst' as in her thirst for blood (she's a sadist, of course).
Oh yeah, when Sakura was with Itachi, I was picturing her chewing on her thumbnail like L from Death Note. I was going to type it, too. Too bad her habit is biting her lip.
So that's it. The first chapter! I feel accomplished. I, again, hope Itachi wasn't out of character. He is speaking more, so I hope I didn't screw up. I'm very excited so I want your feedback. This time your review is for Kinshou! I'm not going to let him go to waste. You can use him as a servant. 'Fetch, Kinshou'. Ah, I'm a slave peddler. One more thing to add to my list of illegalities (along with fanfic crack peddler).