It had been two weeks since Sasuke had defeated Itachi and been brought to the Akatsuki head quarters by Madara. Since then Sasuke had been recovering from his fight with Itachi, and thinking about what to do next.
"I've killed Itachi and completed my revenge, but why don't I feel happy? No happy is too strong of a word. I will never feel happy. But I at least thought I would feel better. Now I just have a void. The hatred I've been building up and carrying around with me is gone. And nothing has replaced it. I have no motivation –nothing to live for. No life, no family, no home…. Konoha? No I will never be welcome there again, not after what I did. I would never be accepted after leaving Konoha, my friends, my home, and Sakura. Sakura…. after leaving her the way I did, and yet she still tried to bring me back….Why? And Naruto- no matter how many times I tried to kill him he still came back…Why? Maybe…….. No! I can not go back, I'll never go back! I'll go find a new home where I can live, if you can call it living. So much for reviving my clan."
Just then Sasuke's thoughts were interrupted by the presence of Madara. Sasuke hadn't even sensed Madara coming and was slightly surprised when he spoke, but of course he didn't show it. On the outside Sasuke had a cool and distant demeanor that gave off a hateful aura. Anytime anyone from Akatsuki, primarily Madara, came close to Sasuke he would return to his hateful demeanor and forget the thoughts about returning to his old life. The hate he once held would return and he would become angry. They all were his curse. If only he could get away, then he would be able to realize that he truly wished to return home.
"Daydreaming I see Sasuke."
"I have a job that I thought might interest you."
"It involves traveling to Konoha."
After Madara said this, Sasuke suddenly grew tense and his eyes gave him away for a split second. Madara caught this and there was a long pause while Madara waited for Sasuke to respond.
"And why would that interest me?"
"I just thought you would want to visit your old home. You know, relive the good old days that you no longer are able to have."
At this point Madara was just trying to get a reaction out of Sasuke. He was trying to spark Sasuke's temper, and he was slowly beginning to succeed. Sasuke sat in his bed, still staring at the wall, and not making eye contact with Madara.
"Konoha is exactly as you said– my oldhome. I no longer have any ties with Konoha. Nor would I want to go back and relive the days of my childhood. Considering they were not happy and filled with hate."
Sasuke spoke with a cool voice with a hint of anger in it. Madara knew he was getting to Sasuke, and he enjoyed this. Madara continued to tell Sasuke about the details of the mission knowing sooner of later Sasuke would break and accept. Madara knew how to get Sasuke to agree to go more quickly, but he enjoyed watching Sasuke pretend to not care about going to Konoha.
"I need you to steal a special scroll for me." Madara paused for a second, but then continued, "This is a very important scroll and contains powerful jutsus that only the strongest of shinobi can perform. But that isn't the reason I need it. On the scroll there is secret and forbidden jutsu hidden on it. No one knows about this secret jutsu except me, not even the Hokage knows. However, I need this scroll before someone does discover the secret jutsu."
"If this scroll is so important why don't you send someone from Akatsuki, or better yet, go get it yourself. I'm sure you can handle getting a scroll from the Hokage. Why should I go?"
"It is true Akatsuki or I would have no trouble obtaining the scroll, but it is not currently in the Hokage's possession."
"Hn….. That makes it even easier. Just send one of them and leave me alone."
"Fine. I can do that. I just thought that you would want to be the one to retrieve the scroll considering that Akatsuki will kill the person in possession of the scroll without hesitation."
"Why do I care?"
Madara turned and began to walk towards the door of Sasuke's room to leave, but before leaving he decided to throw his sucker punch.
"I thought that perhaps you might not want this person to die when you know you could have spared them, especially since they were once your friend and cared very much about you, Sasuke. But I'm sure that who ever I send will have fun with your pretty pink haired friend…."
Sasuke had jumped of the bed and was now standing directly behind Madara. A slow smile spread across Madara's face. He had hit Sasuke's sore spot. Madara knew all along that Sasuke would agree to go retrieve the scroll when he mentioned Sakura, but he acted as though he didn't.
"Aaah, so you remember your little cherry blossom after all Sasuke."
"If you harm Sakura in any way you will regret it."
"And here I thought you didn't care. …. But I can't you promise that Sasuke. You know how the members get a little carried away, and who am I to tell them that they can't have their fun with Sakura? I'm sorry Sasuke, there's just no way to promise you anything but Sakura's death if I send Akatsuki to retrieve the scroll."
Sasuke was now becoming angry and Madara knew it; he could feel the intensity and anger radiating off of Sasuke's body. Madara knew he had to be careful now with what he said if he wanted to avoid a fight with Sasuke. He knew Sasuke was no match for him, but he didn't want to waste time and energy.
"The only way to ensure Sakura's safety is if you go. Besides Sasuke, you will probably be more persuasive with Sakura."
"And what makes you so sure that she'll just hand over the scroll without a fight?"
"Well Sasuke, can you imagine Sakura trying to kill you to protect a scroll? You, the one she loves more than anything. She is weak; you have said it yourself thousands of times. Just go in, convince her that if she truly loves you that she will give you a scroll, and leave. And if she pleads for you not to go you know very well how to handle her, just like you did before."
Sasuke was furious with Madara. Using him like this to get what he wanted. Using Sakura as his weak point, this was part of the reason Sasuke had left. To keep Sakura, Naruto, and his friends out of danger, and now he was going back to keep her out of danger.
"Fine…. I will retrieve your scroll, but you have to do something for me in return."
"I am already doing something for you; I'm letting your little girl live. And that is already more generous than I have to be considering she could easily be
killed. But on account that you are one of the last Uchihas then I will do you one more favor. What is it?"
"Once I have returned with your scroll, you let me go."
"Very well. You leave tomorrow. Oh, and Sasuke…."
"No one can know how to perform the jutsu. You'd best hope Sakura hasn't discovered the secret jutsu or she will have to be killed."
And with that Madara disappeared leaving Sasuke in his room alone to think about what he had to do.