Kakashi sat slumped in the wooden chair, watching the still unconscious form of Uchiha Sasuke, a person whom deep down he knew he should never sleep with since the beginning. When Sasuke said he did not want it and that he hated how his life revolved around sex, Kakashi should know better. As a teacher, it was his responsibility to lead his student out of darkness. Instead, he brought Sasuke right into its rotten core.
But, if he thought rationally, he hardly had a fault to apologise for. Then what should he do? Scold his student; reprimand him for his stupidity and recklessness?
No, he just had to take Sasuke from the back in bed.
It seemed several days had passed since Sasuke was warded when in fact it had only been a couple of hours. Sakura was as pale as sheet when she wheeled her team mate into the emergency room, Kakashi tagging anxiously behind her. After his "session" with the teen, the latter had fallen unconscious and had yet to regain awareness. Right up to now, Kakashi could only look over Sasuke's bland face, waiting for him to come around.
The report should be out anytime now; Sakura promised she would label Sasuke's case as urgent. She sounded insecure and that did not put Kakashi at ease one bit. Upon seeing her teacher's worried visage, she said she would consult Tsunade and no matter what it takes, she would return Sasuke back to the state he was before.
At least hope still exists.
Fed up of unable to do anything productive, Kakashi got up and stood by the window. Just as his back touched the aluminium panel, the door to the darkened room creaked open to reveal a tensed Sakura with a clipboard. Her death-like face sparked more anxiety in the chamber but Kakashi merely folded his arms, waiting for her account.
"Kakashi-sensei," she greeted. She shambled towards Sasuke's bed before settling the papers on the mobile desktop. "The report is out."
"How is he?" Kakashi asked immediately.
"I checked for external wounds like you've told me to. I found none, no questionable microscopic cuts whatsoever… so whatever causing this must come from inside."
"What do you mean, inside?"
Sakura turned the pages on the clipboard and read several lines. "I am thinking about poisons."
Kakashi turned to face the moon, recalling sequences of Sasuke's mundane life today. He did not know much but the teen was indeed incarcerating himself to the confinements of his home. If he did not step out of the house, who could have poison him? The teen was desperate to end the bet, not his life.
If Sasuke tried committing suicide, Kakashi would summon him from the dead and exorcise his spirit all over again. That was for taking the easy way out of a conflict.
"No, that's impossible, Sakura. There's no opportunity for anyone to poison him."
"I checked the content of his stomach."
Kakashi's ears perked up. "What did you find?"
And Sakura shook her head once. "Nothing," she said. "He didn't eat anything. Or, he did eat something but the food was easily digested. Fruits, drinks, porridge…"
How could someone ever guess what Sasuke had eaten prior to this?
"I'm having the medical assistants to run a blood test on a sample but that'll take a long time. In the meantime, I manage to extract a cell sample and ran a test for it… and I've gotten positive results."
Kakashi paced the room faster, clearly agitated by Sakura's intentional and painfully slow explanation. She should have told him that in the first place. He could search for a cure.
"There is no cure. There's nothing you can do."
"Every illness has one."
"The substance has integrated with almost all of Sasuke-kun's cells. I cannot extract it across the plasma membrane and the only way to remove the poison is by disintegrating the cells. Death is almost certain," she whispered. "He's going to lie comatose like this until his chakra store is depleted to zero. Then," she paused, breathing deeply, "it's over."
"And what does Tsunade-sama say about this?"
"She's locked up in her office, studying. I'm afraid by the time she's found a cure, it will already be too late."
Ever since Sakura broke the bad news, Kakashi had been thinking of the same persons over and over again – Aoi and the Five. His gut feelings told him they were involved somewhere along the line and the party who had the strongest desire to see to Sasuke's death (other than Itachi) would be the Five. He would search for Aoi, milk him dry for information… anything – Kakashi needed to get to the root of this conspiracy.
"I'll be leaving Sasuke in your care, Sakura. What can you do to prolong his life?"
Sakura fidgeted. She was going to ask where her teacher was going to considering the circumstances but trusting Kakashi's judgment, she replied mechanically, "Chakra transfusion. There are quite a number of people with Fire-affinity chakra in Konoha and that should feed the poison long enough. But the more chakra it devoured, the faster it will kill Sasuke-kun."
"Give me a time limit."
Kakashi's grave expression retained its intensity as he nodded and vanished from her sight. While her teacher searched for the antidote or whatever, she would have to deal with Naruto sometime later when he received intelligence of Sasuke's case.
"Where are they?" Kakashi asked; his voice murderous and lethal.
"I'm not sure, Sir! They're – they're not here yet!" the bartender squeaked, cowering in Kakashi's shadow. The Jonin had not even laid a finger on the man but he was already weak in the knees, holding onto the counter for support. Kakashi stomped away towards the entrance when the sunlight dimmed in the presence of five huge figures; people who made Kakashi stop in his tracks and subconsciously tense in his stance.
"Oh, isn't it Kakashi-san? I wonder what you're doing here at this time."
They walked past the Jonin, ignoring his silent present all together as they sat around a round table several meters away from him. They ordered fruit punches, Kakashi heard, and used all the patience he had to suppress a budding snarl. The next words were spoken softly but the Five heard him loud and clear; they stopped chit-chatting the moment Kakashi spoke.
"What have you done to Sasuke?"
Nobody said anything for a fraction of moment. Ichi however was staring at the silver haired man intently. When Kakashi met his eyes, he looked away and with a wave of his hand, he asked simply, "How's the boy doing?"
He was right. They were the reason Sasuke was now lying half dead in the hospital bed.
"I need the antidote."
"Oh, you've figured out the cause? Konoha's medic-nin are impeccable!"
Kakashi remained quiet, ignoring their snigger. But upon seeing the Jonin approaching their round table at such leisure pace, their grins were erased only to be substituted by edgy-looking furrows. Ichi cleared his throat and said in make-believe confidence, "Harm us and you will not get anything out of us."
"Is that a threat?" Kakashi asked, amusement laced in his seemingly monotonous tone.
Nii gulped uneasily but spoke in a relatively calmed manner, "We did not force Sasuke to take the potion."
"Considering your way of doing things, you might've tricked him to in the first place."
All of them began to look discomfortingly at Kakashi's lax fist, half expecting the ex-ANBU to stick kunai deep into their throat without them knowing when he took action. They had heard of his litheness; his speed was equated to the nature of his Rai chakra – quick and deadly.
"We can talk this over," San intervened as Kakashi's hand moved towards his weapon pouch. He figured Aoi was out doing chores and was currently not able to protect his masters. If the ANBU was here, the Five was going to grin obnoxiously at him, egging him to strike them so that Aoi would have a reason to eliminate him from the picture.
Kakashi would give much more credit to himself; he was not easily provoked as the Five thought he would be.
"How do you poison Sasuke?"
A waiter came to the table, bringing 6 glasses of chilled fruit punches. Ichi placed one near Kakashi and gestured the ninja to take his share. That was when comprehension dawned upon him.
"How much did you put in his drink?"
"A couple of drops. We don't plan to kill him there and then so we tried to avoid potent dosages."
"I see… thank you."
His hand dipped slightly into his pouch, his fingers closed around the familiar handle of a kunai. San and Yon stood up so abruptly that their chairs toppled backwards. Kakashi's eyes were cold as he surveyed the chaotic scene unfolding before him; customers zipped haphazardly towards the exit, the bartender crouched behind the counter and the Five stared at him open mouthed.
He had not planned on a massacre but the Five would have to go.
"Konoha does not welcome murderers."
"We are not!" Nii cried desperately, holding a tray in front of his chest for defense.
"You're as good as one."
"If you hurt a single hair on our head, we will not hand you the antidote!" Ichi exclaimed quickly as Kakashi raised his hand.
"You can lie as much as you want. After this, you will not be able to speak any of them anymore."
It all became clear to Kakashi. They made an appointment with Sasuke and baited him with drinks. Sakura had said the problem came from within, something the teen had consumed. Something easily digestible, fruit punch… they wanted to make sure Sasuke snuffed it before he could entice his teacher to bed. Unfortunately for them, Kakashi really did take his student to bed and had even managed to help Sasuke win the round before the poison took effect. Sasuke won, and the price was his life.
"You want Sasuke dead, don't you? You can see him in the afterworld then. Good bye."
He flung the kunai and reached for 4 others from his weapon pouch. But at the sound of metal against metal, he leapt into the air and crouched on the floor, a new kunai stilled in his grasp.
"Aoi," Kakashi muttered.
His eyes narrowed as he saw an ANBU clad figure in front of Ichi who was crossing his arms in front of his head. Good timing, but how long could Aoi hold up against him?
"Out of the way," Kakashi warned.
"I will not allow you to kill my Masters. Retreat, Kakashi-san. Sasuke still needs you."
"You are implying my death. Confident, aren't you?"
Aoi smiled gloomily. He held his hand up, motioning the other 5 men to get out of the scene.
"If I were to die in your hands today, I'll feel accomplished, Kakashi-san."
Aoi's eyes dilated drastically when Kakashi suddenly evaporated into thin air. He quickly spun about and yelled at his superiors, "Get out of the way!"
He was very familiar with Kakashi's battle style vaing running through previous ANBU records. The man would honour a face to face battle when the opponent requested for it but Kakashi could descend low enough to take his enemy out from the shadows. That was because at the end of the day, only the living would survive to tell the tale. Nobody was going to jeer at the man who killed silently, cowardly even…
Aoi knew he was too late when Kakashi reappeared behind San with his kunai by the businessman's jugular vein. Before the blade could sink in, someone screamed, "Stop it! We'll give you the cure!"
Kakashi stopped; everyone stopped moving. The speaker – Nii – was panting furiously, his fist high up in the air. A glimmer from between the gaps of his fingers caught Kakashi's attention.
"This vial contains what Sasuke-kun needs. I can give this to you but you have to do something in exchange."
"You're in no position to bargain with me."
Kakashi pressed the kunai deeper and Nii spoke loudly again, "No – no, please, listen to me, Kakashi-san! You just have to bring the boy here! We need to settle something with him and we'll administer the cure as soon as he reaches here."
"What can you vouch on?"
"Our lives," Nii replied, shoving the vial of liquid into his pocket.
The first thing Sasuke saw when he opened his eyes was the billowing curtain. Then he tilted his face and saw the ceiling, curtain railings… his vision was hazy but the strong smell of antiseptic almost certify his whereabouts. He attempted calling out for Kakashi but found himself too weak and thirsty to speak. So he directed all his strength to shift his blanket aside and tried to sit upright on the mattress.
Then his balance warped and his body fell sideways towards the floor.
His heart skipped a beat at the deep undertone. Instead of bracing himself for the cruel crash on tiles, he anticipated warm embrace of the man who only spoke to him in that velvety voice in their intimacy. Kakashi hugged him for a while as Sasuke was still in daze, not really alert to the uptakes but he closed his eyes all the same when his teacher kissed his temple. And instead of replacing him on the mattress, Kakashi took the teen in his arms and leapt out of the window.
"Don't speak, don't worry," Kakashi reassured, holding Sasuke tightly as he jumped agilely from roof to roof. "You're not going to die."
Kakashi had counted on Sakura and Tsunade. He would trust them both more than anyone else and unquestionably more than the Five. Regrettably, sometimes he had to have a plan B. If the Hokage had come up with a cure, Sasuke would not be left lying in the dark room, unguarded. He would be surrounded by many other medic-nin, various apparatus scattering on carts surrounding his bed. That was how Kakashi imagined the ward to be as soon as he returned to Sasuke's side. As time was pressing, he would have to rely on the Five.
Already it sounded brash and stupid but Kakashi was very much aware of his decisions. Knowing the Five, his gamble would backfire. It would… though what could he do? Sakura gave Sasuke 16 hours. That was a very long time… long because all Kakashi could do in that 16 hours was to sit around idly and hoping for some miracle while the other ninjas struggled in vain to research and procure herbs to heal Sasuke.
Waiting like that would spell certain death for the teen. If they thought Kakashi was loosing his touch when they found Sasuke's empty bed, they did not know how torn he was inside as he brought Sasuke to the Five. His guilt was playing on him again. He was going to surrender his student to some strangers and there was nothing he could do against it.
Was there really no other options?
"We've been waiting for you," Ichi croaked at the sight of Kakashi and Sasuke. The Jonin walked towards the center table; in fact, that was the only table in the area as the rest were huddled around the perimeter of the bar. The place was desolate and the only people present were the Five, Aoi and them. To Kakashi, the situation was perfect; if something went out of hand, no innocent people would get involved. The Hokage would understand why he had to lift a weapon against the men.
"Place him here."
Kakashi obliged and walked towards the table, the others backing off as he strode past them. Sasuke grimaced slightly at the coldness hitting his back; the hospital gown was as thin as paper after all. The Five grouped around the teen and Aoi took Kakashi by the arm, leading him several steps away. Satisfied with Kakashi's distance, Nii fished the vial out of his pocket.
"Open his mouth," he ordered. Yon held Sasuke's jaw between his thumb and the other 4 fingers and squeezed, forcing the teen to part his lips in a wide O. As the clear liquid was emptied down his esophagus, the other men held Sasuke firmly by the limbs, holding him down on the table. Kakashi advanced but Aoi tightened his told on the Jonin's shoulder, shaking his head.
Before the silver haired man could utter a word, a blood curdling scream echoed in the space. Sasuke's eyes bulged, his body convulsed and his arms stiffened considerably. The businessmen were using all they had to keep the teen firmly in place as Sasuke continued thrashing on the table.
"What are they doing to him?" Kakashi asked loudly, rounding over to question Aoi.
"The poison is being removed. The molecules are trapped within each cell and to eliminate them, you have to neutralize them from within. Sasuke's chakra nature is Fire and they're using that to combat the poison. He's burning."
Eventually Sasuke quieted but he was still grinding his teeth furiously, implying his arduous effort to keep the yelling to the minimum. He would have curled up, holding himself as the scorching sensation course his system but the Five held him tightly, forcing him to lie straight on his back.
"When will it end?" Kakashi asked quietly, a hint of emotion stirring in his visage.
Even as the words were spoken, the Five relaxed and loosened their grip on the teen, wiping sweat from their foreheads. Ichi was the first to walk away and Kakashi saw him slip a piece of paper – a cheque – between the bar's account books. He quickly switched his attention to his student and found Sasuke gasping for air.
"San, check his pulse," Ichi ordered.
San placed his index and middle fingers on the side of the teen's neck, the other free hand undoing the knots securing the hospital gown to Sasuke's frame. Yon then removed the fabric to reveal Sasuke's naked form; he had not donned anything beneath the flimsy cloth.
"His heart beat?"
San tilted his head, resting his right ear on the chest. Kakashi's security was jarred with the proceedings. He readied himself for another battle but Aoi was having a firm grip on his wrists. He sensed something unusual.
"The palpitations persist but he should be fine."
Kakashi twisted his arm, hinting to Aoi that it was time to let him go and said, "So, I'll be taking my leave –"
Kakashi caught a flicker of Yon lifting Sasuke's arms above his head and fastened them down with his forearms. Without thinking, reflexes caused Kakashi to bend forwards and throw Aoi off of him but two needles which were suddenly taken out by the ANBU dug into his shoulders and ribs. He charged forwards on chakra-enhanced feet only to see Aoi rematerialized in front of him, fresh array of needles readied in his fists.
"Out of the way!"
"Don't move, Kakashi-san," San drawled. Kakashi froze and bared his fangs, infuriated as the businessman directed a silver knife right above Sasuke's heart.
What wrong had the young ninja done?
Aoi kept Kakashi prisoned by the edge of his venomous needles, warning the ex-ANBU to stay still as his life was fleeting before Aoi's swift assasination skills. He made Kakashi watch in despair as Sasuke was served on the table, completely open to their lust and carnal desires. One of the Five who looked to be the youngest of the lot was ordered to hold Sasuke's arms as the rest had their way with the teen. It was his student out there who was going to be violated and Kakashi was again, rendered helpless.
"Don't you think about doing anything funny, Kakashi-san. One move of your hair or a sign of your chakra and I'll deliver the blow. Go-sama shall too," the ANBU murmured into Kakashi's ears, having switched place and was currently pressing himself firmly against the older man's back. While the 4 filthy dogs looked down upon their prey, Go had been forced to be in charged of plunging the knife deep into Sasuke's vital organ should anything go wrong.
"Despicable…" Kakashi snarled, his canine baring beneath his mask.
"For Sasuke's sake, stay put," Aoi said, finishing with a tinge of plead.
"You do not condone to their actions. Why don't you do something?"
"I cannot save Sasuke, Kakashi-san," the ANBU replied softly. His forehead creased and his voice shook but his grasp on the weapon was as solid as before.
At the brief interruption of Sasuke's breathy gasp, they turned back to the scene of revulsion, watching Nii rubbing on the teen's thorax. The man smirked when Sasuke turned his head to his side, closing his eyes to block the disgusting happening. Nii then came to his knees and with malicious deliberation, his pulled his tongue down from Sasuke's collarbone to the nipple area where his lips closed around the bud. He picked up horny chuckles and San knelt down opposite of his comrade, licking at Sasuke's other neglected one. The teen's jaws were set as he pushed his head into the table, ignoring the feelings of two slick muscles working at his hardening nipples.
"Tch, what's the use of resisting, boy? I'll make you squeal."
Yon rested his palm flat on Sasuke's stomach, ironing the teen's midriff as he felt the skin tingled beneath his callous fingers. He caressed the sides and lower abdomen, scrapping his fingernails lightly against the edge of Sasuke's navel. The teen did not react but his shock was apparent when Yon reached for his manhood straightaway. Without thinking, Sasuke heaved his lead-like legs up, wanting to kick the now intimidating Yon in his jewels but he stopped mid-air when he felt many fingers plunged roughly into his entrance. He cried out in pain but was soon silenced when Ichi thrust his penis into the conveniently open cavern.
Sasuke flinched and struggled in Go's grasp, pulling his head back but failing dismally when Ichi grabbed a handful of his raven hair. Keeping Sasuke's head in place, he pushed and pulled himself alternately against Sasuke's face, feeling somewhat put off at the teen's reluctance to obey his command. He then exchanged looks with Yon and nodded, causing Sasuke to groan loudly when Yon suddenly curled his fingers upwards. The vibrations sent Ichi moaning and he increased the tempo of his humping, lost in ecstasy.
"Like I said," Yon began, stretching the teen's sphincter muscles vigorously, "I'm going to make you squeal."
He beckoned San to leave Sasuke's sore nipple and work on the flaccid cock instead. The man complied, deep throating the teen as his deft fingers massage the scrotum. Thick sheen of sweat was plastered on their bodies and Sasuke almost puked at the violations, the musky scent of covetousness veiling in the air. Sasuke arched his back and he almost blacked out when Yon replaced his fingers with his dripping, monstrous manhood, broadening the diameter of his abused anus.
Sasuke could not be bothered to close his eyes. The coal irises were dilated yet empty, distress and confusion whirling in their depths. His fists slackened in Go's as he surrendered his body to rape. He no longer fought against Ichi's foul penis in his mouth, he dismissed Nii's relentless lapping on his torso and San's hot mouth tasting his manhood yet he could not suppress hate for his weakness at the tearing sensation with each painful impale.
So Sasuke gave up.
When Ichi repeated, "Suck," Sasuke actually moved his tongue against the head but decided to push his luck a bit by ignoring the sucking part. Ichi would have to give him one hell of a reason for him to extract putrid semen into his mouth… if only for a bit, let him have some say in it...
Warmth filled him when he heard Yon grunted as he orgasmed into the teen. Sasuke sighed, thankful that it was finally over and he had managed to live it through. Ichi had even pulled himself out from his mouth and walked away.
Nii closed Sasuke's protesting mouth with his, plunging his dexterous tongue into the younger man's welcoming oral cavity. His vigour returned somewhat, showcasing his objection for the sudden change of event.
And for the umpteenth time of the day, a loud cry tore from his sore throat as someone re-entered his entrance.
"Ah, sufficiently tight for some good sex," Ichi moaned, sheathing himself deep within the teen in one go. Sasuke's spine curved up at the pain but at that angle, he choked on his spit as the intruding member brushed against a spot too deep to his liking.
He could not breathe.
"San, what the hell is wrong with you? The boy's not even half erect."
San distanced himself from Sasuke's manhood, saliva coating the length. The man wiped at his lips and said, "You said he's too sensitive for his own good. Does that look sensitive to you? He's practically not aroused –"
"That's because you're lousy with blowjobs, San."
"You do it then!"
Ichi slammed into Sasuke once more, earning another cry from the teen before saying between pants, "I'm not going to degrade myself for a whore like him."
Whore? Who are they to call him a whore?"
"Shut – shut up –" Sasuke wheezed, wincing at Ichi's erratic rhythm.
"Not broken yet?"
He had surrendered, but if he was going to tarnish the name of the Uchiha in doing that, Sasuke would get back up and fight to the death.
Mustering what remaining strength he had, he clenched down hard upon Ichi, feeling the walls of his rectum peeling off at the sudden grow of friction.
Sasuke's head collapsed onto the table with a thud; Ichi had finally lost himself and spurted into him. The sickly feel of the second blast of sticky liquid splashed inside of him as he shifted his lower region for want of a more comfortable position.
Go then relaxed his hold on the teen.
He could go back home…
And all of a sudden, his front smacked harshly onto the soiled table top as he was flipped over by the men. He fumbled around for an escape but they had somehow pressed him down on the back, successfully immobilizing the younger male again.
"Get off me!" Sasuke barked. "Isn't that enough already?"
"Oho, you expect to put us into bankruptcy and let us watch you waltz away with your winning?"
Sasuke stilled at Ichi's words. Their shadows darkened upon him as someone else entered him slowly from the back again.
"You were not supposed to win, Uchiha Sasuke. You should have died in your bed. At least death is better than what we're going to put you through," Ichi said. A hand snaked below his pelvic region, pressing deep into the spot above his crotch. White substances oozed out of the anus, further lubricating the bloodied hole with Ichi and Yon's vulgar remainders.
Sasuke supposed they were right. Death would be a much better bargain. But he was very much alive, experiencing the feeling of being opened up again and again, used, stained…
He remembered telling Kakashi he had braced himself for pain in his course of life as an avenger, but not for anguish like this.
And those were the last of his rational thoughts as his elbows gave way and his fatigued body fell onto the table. Feathers hovered weightlessly in the air, adding some sort of much needed calmness to the atmosphere. The Five stopped harassing Sasuke, wondering where the fluff had come from.
"I'm sorry, Kakashi-san. This is all I can do for Sasuke."
Five bodies dropped to the floor unceremoniously; and so did two fine needles clattering onto the linoleum. Both ninjas hurried to Sasuke's side; Kakashi draping the unmoving form with the forgotten hospital gown while Aoi crouched beside his Master, pulling a leather pouch from the pocket.
"Kakashi-san, give this to him when he's healed," Aoi said, shoving the sachet lightly against Kakashi's chest. "Sasuke's winning, as promised. These are what the Five have got left after they've paid the citizens." Aoi then placed the pouch gently on top of Sasuke's stomach.
"Take him away. I'll make sure they'll never come close to Konoha ever again."
Kakashi eyed the ANBU solemnly, Sasuke weightless in his arms. When Aoi fished a kunai from the compartment strapped to his right thigh, Kakashi said quickly, "What are you doing?"
Aoi exhaled. He looked at Sasuke and said, "I've got to settle some business." Averting his gaze towards the Jonin, he continued wearily with a very weak smile, "I'll see you and Sasuke around sometime. Go."
Kakashi nodded, understanding the solution to the mess. If somehow in the future, Aoi managed to keep his promise and come over to Konoha – free from the Five clinches – to see Sasuke, he would think better of the man.
So he took off with his student into the open, never looking back.
Sasuke had wagered everything he had for money to realise his revenge. For Itachi, Sasuke gave everything. It was hatred remunerated by manipulation, sex and repulsion. Perhaps the plain made-up apparition of Itachi dead in the ground drove his madness which to Sasuke was pure motivation for a necessary killing to be done. It made him endure. But Kakashi figured Sasuke would not have to walk alone. Being an avenger was to be alone, yet he would accompany Sasuke as a man.
He would help Sasuke in his revenge; he would help him forget. When that day comes, he would then perhaps, be able to convince the teen to stay in Konoha where he belonged.
The money bag chinked as Kakashi's feet hit solid ground.
He hoped it was a price worth paying for.