(A/N) I'm back! And I have a headache, but that's beside the point. A lot of people were asking me what "Mikadzuki" means. It's "new moon". Nothing to do with Twilight, mind you. Anyway, I had an epiphany while working on the next three chapters and sort of switched things up. I restarted this chapter because I realized how unbearably cliché my first draft was. Ugh… It's still not the best, but whatever. I'll leave you to judge.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter and forgive my absence. Cookie?

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, or anything in relation to it.


Delineating Martyrdom

When our lights meet, will you know me then?
and will you want to know it?
It feels like I've known you for so long.
When our lights meet, will you want me then?
and will you ever know it?
It seems like you've know me for so long.

Sakura walked out of the room breathing heavily. They were shuddering breaths, and with each one, she restrained a tear. The fear was consuming her, assisted by its companion, reality. That woman was real, Madara was real, Itachi was real, and she wanted them to all disappear. If she hadn't approached things so lightly in the first place, maybe she wouldn't have felt so distressed.

She made her way to the Hokage's office. The medic wasn't as quick as she should be, carrying such impertinent information, but it didn't matter. Even if she ran, it wouldn't change the fact that her village has been targeted. The guard in front of the door informed her that Tsunade was in a meeting with the Kazekage. She didn't fight, as she would have any other day. She just nodded and went to the prison, knowing Itachi would irk the flame that is her spirit.


"Our economy will fall if we cannot send out any ninja," Homura declared.

The office had become devastatingly oppressive, as if a curse had fallen upon it. The two advisors had a way of tainting the air with depressing words; they could always find the worse outcomes of any situation. It was their job.

"Our economy will fall if our ninja are killed," Tsunade replied shrewdly.

She really wished they hadn't taken her sake. They wanted her to keep up formalities in front of the Kazekage, and seeing an alcoholic Hokage wouldn't be very good for Konoha.

Gaara agreed with the Tsunade and said," For now, we'll have to keep the borders closed. It's too much of a risk to send any shinobi out at this time…for both villages."

Gaara was the only one who was able to pass through the borders with his ninja. He was attacked, but managed to defeat his assailants with little difficulty. The leader would remain in Konoha for a while, for it was deemed too perilous to return so soon.

"It's settled then," Tsunade said complacently. "The borders are-"

"Lady Hokage!"

A group of masked ANBU burst through the door. They were obviously harried, even though their faces were hidden.

"Missing-nin are trying to destroy Konoha's barrier," one said urgently.

Tsunade stood and looked at Gaara. "I'm sorry, but it seems I have to interrupt this little rendezvous."

The Kazekage nodded in understanding. "Protect your village."

She nodded and left her office, prepared to fight side by side with her men. She knew this day would eventually come.


If Sakura had any doubts about what she would do, they all scurried away with the rats as she walked into the cell. She wasn't vulnerable anymore, but obstinate. 'For Ino.'

"What's your association with the Mikadzuki?" she asked before she even sat down. The medic didn't even want to sit; she felt more powerful when towering above her adversary. "That's right, I know and I suggest you don't lie to me."

Itachi wasn't surprised by the question, but he was never surprised. He had in no way doubted her abilities as an interrogator, despite what he told her. With anyone else, there was no question that she'd be able to extract information from them. However, he wasn't just any old criminal; he was Itachi.

"You're a member, aren't you," she said. "That's why you helped destroy the Akatsuki."

Sakura smiled wryly, shaking her head. He was involved with yet another group that wanted to destroy her home and she had let herself blindly fall for him because they were alike. She knew it didn't mean they could trust each other. She tried her best, feigning deafness. If she didn't listen to the truth, she didn't know it (but she acknowledged it all the same).

"Who informed you of the Mikadzuki?"

Itachi knew of her trust; it was intentional on his part. All she needed to do was fall in his trap, and she was his. Only, he fell into it himself.

His voice was stern but indifferent, as if her response didn't matter to him. She still had to reply. "That is none of your concern," she said.

"I believe it is."

Sakura was infuriated not only by his superciliousness, but his ambiguity. His dishonesty was like the Akatsuki's cloak he once wore, veiling the truth. "The Mikadzuki want to destroy Konoha," she said. "Isn't that why you're here?"

"Answer my question."


She wanted to protect Midori and didn't know why; she would be executed anyway. However, there was something all of the Mikadzuki she met had in common: loyalty. She knew Midori prided herself in it, so she didn't want to tell of her own treachery. It seemed like she was crushing an already broken heart.

"Why are you protecting a missing-nin?"

Not for the first time, she wondered if he could read her mind, but logic told her he was just overly perceptive.

"Aren't you passionate about loyalty?" she asked cynically. "You helped destroy an organization you were a part of out of loyalty to one man."

"Don't speak as if you know me," Itachi stated coldly. It had been a long time since he used that tone with her; it made her feel as if she were not worth his time.

"But I do," she said, her voice shaking with fury at his arrogance," because you're just like me. You're adamantly loyal to one person. You'd give up everything for them, die for them, even."

"That's more you than me. I'd only die for Madara if…"

It was the first time she'd seen Itachi hesitate; it was a strange thing.

"If what?" she challenged.

A small smirk found its way onto his lips; he looked vulnerable with it. "If it came to that."

There was a silence that was all too common between them. She wanted it to disappear, to make it vanish, but she held no such power, and it made her feel weak. She was nothing compared to this man who felt there was no need to break a silence.

"Are you loyal to him because he's an Uchiha?" she asked.

"No," he stated, plain and simply; the truth he rarely spoke.

"Then why?" She couldn't understand where this steadfast fidelity stemmed from.

"I thought you knew me."

"Don't twist my words," she snapped, not willing to admit her misstep. Sighing, she shook her head. "You're not going to tell me, are you?"

What made her think she could have him wrapped around her finger? From the very beginning, she held hope that she would be able to break him, control him, but she always had the feeling he was controlling her.

"You know me well."

Sakura rolled her eyes. Whenever she asked him something impertinent, he became increasingly exasperating. "You've infiltrated Konoha," she continued. "Aren't you going to do something?"

"If I wanted to, I would have done it already."

"Then why are you here, if not to annoy me?"

Itachi gazed at her quizzically. "For just that purpose."

Sakura walked over to him and bent down, using his own intimidation tactics against him. "I don't think so, Itachi. You believe you're the only illusive one, but I have my ways. How else do you think I got my information on Madara?"

She turned, but felt his hand on her wrist. She bristled, not wanting to pull her hand away, but trying to anyway.

"You don't know anything about him," was his frank statement.

"I've learned not to believe in in your words." 'They're utter fabrications, fictitious information and erroneous hope.'

"Then why are you here?"

"Because I'm…foolishly hopeful that maybe, just once, you'd tell me what I need to know. Itachi, I'm afraid for my village. Tell me. What's going to happen to it?"

He hated it when she told him her fears and weaknesses; it made her that much more human. It made him realize that he knew her more than he wanted to.

"Nothing, if you protect it."

"That's not good enough! Protect it from what?"

She didn't need an answer. It was clear. From them. Tension and fear were her companions as they played with her stomach.

"Itachi…just…tell me something. Anything."

He stared at her. "You still talk too much."

Itachi pulled her down and placed his lips at her neck. She settled her unsure hands on his shoulders. His teeth pulled at her skin, sucking until it turned red and it was the strangest thing that she didn't want him to stop.

Madara wants to destroy Konoha.

The words made her push Itachi away.

"I won't let you seduce me," she said, trying to stop her small gasps.

"Who said I'm seducing you?" he whispered into the hollow her neck.

Maybe she was just seducing herself into believing this was right; that it was justifiable to kiss a missing-nin with an unknown agenda. Maybe he just wanted her. She shook her head at the thought until she looked at his eyes. It was scary, seeing the emotion there.

Itachi didn't wait long to place his lips against hers. There was no denying it after this. They had to accept what they knew, and what they didn't want to accept. Itachi knew he wanted her (needed her) and knew that if he spent one more minute around her, he'd abandon all other thoughts. And for once, he let his desires take over. His hands slipped under her shirt and neither felt this was going too far.

Sakura moved away. "You're trying to avoid something."

"What do you mean?"

"I've been able to read you easier lately. I can tell there's something you're still hiding."

Sakura stood, backing away from him. He decided it was time. She deserved to know the truth. "You've asked me why I'm here many times before," he said. "I stay because I have a mission."

She looked at him suspiciously. "And this mission is…?"

There was a silence as Itachi hesitated. His new actions frightened her more than his cryptic words. Why was he hesitating so much?

"To kill you."

Sakura knew she shouldn't be surprised. He was the enemy; it was expected of him. Even as she thought this, she couldn't stop the minute jerk of her shoulders or the split-second widening of her eyes. Her heart was furiously pounding against her ribcage.

"I assumed that from beginning," she said.

"Yes," Itachi replied," but you didn't want to believe it."

Sakura looked away. "Why do you need to kill me?"
"You are the closest connection to the Hokage. In fact, you are in consideration to be the next and are a threat to the Mikadzuki." Itachi felt that since he revealed so much, he should keep going. "Madara manipulated Ibiki by threatening the village. He wanted you to be in charge of my interrogations so it'd be easier to kill you. Ibiki of course obeyed and had you become an interrogator."

"And here he told me I had potential," Sakura said, somewhat bitterly.

"I was ordered to gain your trust," Itachi continued. "That way you wouldn't suspect anything."

"You speak as if you're not going to do it," she murmured.

She shivered a bit, knowing he was fully capable of killing her on the spot. His power was apparent, and she hated him for it.

"That's because I'm not," he replied. "I believe you can help me with something."

He was behaving strangely, and Sakura was becoming more and more distrustful. This couldn't be the Itachi she'd been interrogating; he was actually telling the truth freely and readily. She didn't know if she should offer her assistance.

"Actually, it's more or less to help you," Itachi said. "Are you willing to betray your village in order to protect it?"

She turned around, her heart trying to travel through her throat. She betrayed her village before by stealing those documents. It wouldn't hurt to do it once again. "How?"

"Release me."

Her hands curled into fists. "You're really going to help me?"

Itachi didn't answer. Instead, he said," I suspect Madara's readying his attack by now. Perhaps he's even here."

Sakura didn't turn around. "You can release yourself."

"Yes, but I can't get past the guards."

"Really?" she said bitterly. "A few guards are too much for the great Itachi?"

"You're very cynical," he replied. "I may have my strength, but I wouldn't underestimate Konoha's guards."

Another silence invaded the space between them. Itachi waited patiently; he knew this wasn't an easy decision for her. But then again, it was to protect her village. He knew she'd voluntarily sacrifice anything to save Konoha. She still didn't know if she could leave Konoha in Itachi's hands; he had betrayed it once.

Sakura felt arms wrap around her.

"You can trust me," Itachi whispered into her hair," this time."

She wanted to believe him and fall into his grasp. Deciding she had nothing else to lose, she did just that.


"Master Madara, I just don't understand why we are doing this so soon." The missing-nin stood atop a tree, watching his comrades fight against Konoha's ANBU. It was unbearable hot, so he stood back and waited. "What about Itachi?"

Madara stood apart from his subordinates, smirking. "Itachi betrayed me."

"How do you know?" the nuke-nin asked. His master didn't seem to be too concerned.

"Do you really think he'd take this long if he had not grown feelings for his target?"

The missing-nin snorted. "Itachi is capable of having feelings?"

Madara looked at him quizzically. "There's a lot you don't know about that man."

His men were close to destroying the barrier. All they needed was a bit more time. Then they'd be able to fulfill their duties.


"I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom."- Voltaire


(A/N) Do you guys see the mushroom cloud caused by the set of bombshells I just threw on you? But don't worry, there are still more to come. And wow, Ibiki seems like a bastard. But he had to do it. I mean, he didn't even know Sakura, and it was a choice between her and Konoha. Konoha wins in his eyes. And Itachi might seem reaaalllly OOC in this chapter, but don't worry, you'll know why in future chapters. They won't come too soon, but I'll try my best to get them up.

My new favorite show is Lie to Me. It helps me with this fic. And now I can tell when my friends are fibbing. Review for a kitten! I just got two little Persians!

P.S. I'm really getting into Imogen Heap and Kate Havnevik. I listen to them while I write.