Author notes… I'm trying to figure out a viable Kakashi-Sakura romance… and most of the scenarios I'm coming out with are slightly twisted… Man... I thank anybody who has come to read my story this far. And don't forget to read between the lines ^O^. (I love reading Sakura-bashing/ ignorant-Sakura fics as long as they don't go overboard with the powerful-angsty-Naruto characterization. They're so funny!)
"Saying that it is elementary does not give it enough credit, Sasuke-kun. It's all to your benefit, so you should be thanking me."-Kabuto
He regrets forgetting to grab a bag of chips that was sitting on the kitchen counter back at home. Chouji felt every hair on his body stand up on edge. Sakura switched positions with Asuma-sensei and was guarding the rear, the jounin took right side. The team made irregular swap positions are random intervals of time, only Ino, an assigned personal guard for the head of the family, stayed where she was.
The family of husband, wife, and two daughters seemed normal. The young women and her children were talking among themselves on how they should cook lunch. The kids were excited imagining eating rabbit and roughing it like those heroes that they read in books. Kana Shiji, the head of the family was chatting with Ino who politely gave her opinion that yes, the fruits in Konoha are much sweeter in the south, and yes, the air is incredibly hot right now, and yes, the previous hokages on the monument probably do look like they got a sort of Goykakyu no Jutsu that came from the wrong end. Kana Shiji was social, and loud, and amiable.
And Chouji was freaked out to no end.
Chapter 5… The Maze and the Tomb
Once, way back before the chunin exam, before the Rookie Nine, before even graduation from the Academy, there was a day where Iruka was sick. Mizuki-sensei had taken his place from his assistant teacher status and he decided to teach them psychological studies of a ninja. "Can anybody tell me what's passed down from generations and generations of ninja families?"
Sakura had raised her hand first, "Bloodlines and specialized family jutsus." She stated proudly.
The gray haired chunin nodded, "Excellent. What else?" The academy students look puzzled. He took it as a cue to start his lecture.
Chouji can't remember most of the speech, but there was, as Mizuki said, a survival instinct. Ability for one's mind to tell the body that something's wrong, though all rational logic would say it's not. It's a trait that was alive back in the days when there was no language, culture, or civilizations; one had to live on the land. Back in the days, people had to fight against animals and one another as the lack of trust fueled fear and ignorance, finally drawing out battles and blood. The fear and ignorance eventually became somewhat more humane, they are now called Shinobi wars. The survival trait remains suppressed within anybody who doesn't need it, like civilians.
Ninjas need it, and as ninja clans were set up, before Hidden villages were formed, the survival instinct was carefully cultivated as a subconscious safeguard. The instinct can be honed to a point as one learns from experience the realities of ambush, and death. In the end, Mizuki concluded, the older the family line, the stronger the survival instinct.
Now, on the mission, the Akimichi's heart was beating rapidly and it was only growing quicker as time passed and Asuma-sensei was watching him closely, silently telling him to keep calm and act like nothing strange is happening. Ino seemed slightly off, scowling a bit more than usual, but one can easily mistake that for annoyance. Sakura didn't seem aware at all, coming from a civilian family and all, he would hazard a guess. Another random position switch between the guards: this time, Chouji switched with Sakura and as they exchanged their places, Chouji held eye contact to the girl for two seconds before glancing to the family residing in the caravan.
He remained unsure whether she understood the message as she immediately broke the eye contact to stare impassively at a couple clouds up in the sky. Should he be looking underneath the underneath? His head hurts and he is so hungry.
As soon as the Shiji family decides to take a break, he's pulling Asuma-sensei away and asking him whether the mission was mislabeled. It feels like an A-rank mission, a rather high one at that. The forest was so thick around them that he felt like a caged animal. He nearly jumps out of is skin when the caravan rolls over a bump on the road but forced himself to relax. There are no ninjas waiting in the forest to-
If he hadn't dodged to the right, his head would've been cut off by a windmill shuriken. Asuma-sensei spun around and threw a kunai toward the trees, and flew through the hand seals, "Kage kunai no jutsu!" The kunai turned into ten kunais; some hit their mark. Enemy nins were surrounding the perimeter and Chouji wondered how they were able to mask their presence so well.
"Katon." Sakura activated her Katon jutsu and by concentrating fire chakra into her two hands. The pink haired girl looked towards Chouji and winked, "Get ready." Before he could protest, she turned toward the trees, raised her arms and aimed. For a second, it seemed like Sakura's features morphed into someone else, more assured and confident… He shook his head. One tree was felled by the fireball; the other fireball was destroyed by a water jutsu from the enemy. Some burned. With a battle cry, the enemy ninjas jumped from the trees and charged forward. The air was charged and filled with chakra that were part of jutsus and sharpened weapons.
Chouji ran forward, "Baika no Jutsu!" He jumped into the air, "Nikudan Sensha!" He became a human bullet tank. The green eyed koinichi jumped up and gave a chakra enhanced kick at Chouji, sending him head first into the fray. He heard Asuma shouting orders at the girls to defend and provide adequate backup.
Funneling chakra into his arms, he screams, "Cho Harite!" Sakura used his shoulder as leverage and jumped far ahead of him to disable as many nins as she can. Sakura and he were joining forces and working together like a well oiled machine. His partner was wounding anybody who managed to dodge his palms with her own combined fire chakra enhanced taijutsu style. It worked amazingly well and it seems like Asuma-sensei's boot camp was paying off. When Chouji aimed upward, Sakura was covering his blind spots, when Sakura rushed to her left to attack, Chouji was guarding her right. "Cho Harite!" The enemy ninjas were from Otogakure. What were they doing here? It's unusual, because they don't seem to be trying to kill Sakura; they seem to be trying to capture her. Is this a potential hostage situation? They always get the girls, thinking koinichis as the weaker sex… He blocked a dual attack and punched out some teeth. These ninjas aren't skilled, but they made up in sheer numbers.
He quickly scanned backwards and saw Ino in an assumed standard guard position, her weapons already coated with blood. Between the sounds of metal against metal, he heard from her, "Shiji-san, please get into the caravan for your safety!"
He dispatched another nin and pivoted on his heal to quickly punch-
It occurred to him as he was flanked on his right by five nins, this was a trap. The ninjas that charged out of the tree were a diversion. The more powerful shinobis were battling Asuma-sensei. He looked back at the caravan. Ino and Kana Shiji were gone, he suspected betrayal. So all that remains would be…
Sakura! He spun around just in time to see a sound nin effortlessly knocking out the exhausted genin with a hit towards the back of her neck. She collapsed into the enemy ninja's arms and with a simple shunshin, she and all the enemy ninjas were gone.
It was over. He blinked, surprised that he was still alive, and checked his surroundings. The client and his family were gone; there were only a couple disabled enemy ninjas that couldn't move because of their injuries. He saw Asuma-sensei among them, only sporting a couple of nasty looking bruises, binding them with ninja wire. The jounin looked up, "Prisoners of battle, we can interrogate them." He explained blandly, Chouji noticed how his eyes seemed darker than usual. After searching through the caravan in hope for any additional information, in which there was none, the man straightened up, "We can't go to Sound, too many unknowns." He angrily kicked the side of a captured shinobi, "Otogakure knew that Tsunade-sama would accept the mission for Team 10, despite both mine and her vigilance, because of the scouts on the road. That would be the reason why you and I are still alive; their mission must be done quickly. But this is far more than what I had thought of, Otogakure was apparently very determined to snatch them." The jounin frowned and growled, "And I still have no idea why."
The rotund genin nodded, "You want to go back to Konoha, sensei."
Asuma looked around, "Yes, be on the lookout. Due to the situation and the commotion, some Konoha reconnoiterers should come soon, but keep on your toes." The two took the five prisoners and walked back south towards Konohakagure and towards the Hokage.
"It is a maze and a tomb."- Orochimaru.
She woke up in a four by five, metal box with one single window, or a slit in the wall that lets in some rays of sunlight. Her hands were bound, her mouth was taped, and there was a chakra suppression seal on her right shoulder. 'What happened to me?' She groaned to herself. 'Kidnapped by Oto-nins. But why?' Cautiously, she got to her knees and adjusted her eyes to the limited light and peeked out the window. She was being carried Northwards, Otogakure most likely, for what though? And where was her team? Ino? Asuma-sensei? Chouji-kun? She only saw ninjas. There were so many Sound ninjas around her, probably a lot more that she couldn't see, but why? The box jostled violently and she lost her balance, head dropping back on to the cold surface. Resting there for a minute, she closed her eyes. 'So tired.'
Her chakra storages were probably empty; the chakra suppression seals were useless at this point, nothing more than a safeguard. Despite all the training, the stamina that she worked so hard to develop was feeble at best. 'Weak,' she berated herself, 'Why are you so weak?'
Never the less, she congratulated herself on putting up a good fight with the enemy, besides rendering two ninjas disabled, she held up multiple other ninjas that should have provided enough distraction to get Asuma-sensei and Ino to rush the clients to safety. Except that while she was fighting, she glanced at her sensei, which seemed to be having difficulty fighting off five shinobis. How suspicious. The shinobis that Asuma were fighting were at least jounin level and the shinobis that she was fighting with were somewhere at chunin level. It was a distraction and it also seems like they didn't want to kill her. Their objective was to capture her, but for what?
Tsunade probably felt that something like this would happen on this specific mission. The genin had thought of it weird that out of the blue, the jounin decided to accompany them on their C-mission. Shocked but taking it all in the stride, Team 10 moved along. She flipped onto her back and stared up.
Outrageous thought but… it was possible that the whole mission to escort Shiji Kana and his family was a trap laid by Sound. So the whole thing was a conspiracy. She snorted and turned over to her other side. Her index finger idly traced imaginary shapes on the cold surface as she hoped that the rest of her team was alive and safe.
She breathed, in and out. It was best to not do anything for a while, gain some information. It would not do to get into the predators' bad graces. She relaxed her mind and closed her eyes, she was so tired…
Naiteki opened her eyes and slowly eased herself into a standing position, grunting as her head bumped onto the top of the box as she straightened. She hunched over, scowling, this was not what she had thought would happen, no weapons within reach, those Oto-nins sure were thorough, if nothing else. She tapped on a wall softly with her foot and the whole box jostled again in response. So the outside people can hear her, eh?
Well she's not going to let that stop her, Shannaro! She just needs to think for a while, and hope that Youko hasn't awakened yet. The poor girl would be at her wits end, the girl snickered but quickly sobered, how Youko is going to react when she realizes that Host was kidnapped was a thing not to be pondered over.
A sigh as she let her thoughts wander, she really misses Taka-san. She now has nothing to do but wander the streets on her own. It got scarier too, it seemed like she was being followed, stalked, and watched. She realized what was happening when one day ANBU personnel gave her some chakra theory scrolls when she was wandering around the neighborhood. So, Taka-san asked some of the higher ranked ninjas to watch over her. Taka-san is so thoughtful and caring. She giggled and sniffed, 'idiot man. Why did I reveal everything about me to you on that day at the bar?' She had, a long time ago, convinced herself that it was whatever the nurses had slipped into her tea earlier in the day that had done the talking.
All the information that she spilled from her lips, she believed, can not be taken back, and she had make do with the situation at hand. She would admit now that she felt something special with that man, and she wasn't too sure what it was. Maybe he was a distant relative of his… Whatever it was, she felt the close bond between them and honest to Kami, it hurts like hell to have him away, possibly for forever.
And then, the box suddenly stopped. She gave out a muffled yelp and she awkwardly regained her footing, and failing. There's going to be a bruise on her butt the next day.
That is, if she's going to live the next day. Damn it all, she doesn't want to die!
The slit on the wall throbbed with chakra and slowly grew. The light that was coming in was blinding to her eyes that were well adjusted to the dark. She stared as a nondescript shinobi stepped forth into the light and raised his hand. She unconsciously backed up against the opposite side of the wall, hunched over in a defense position and growled, 'Hell no. Don't come near me you fucking bastard.' The ninja disappeared, a hand came down onto the back of her neck and she saw black.
"We can't get them back, Asuma. One, we don't know where their location is except that it's somewhere in the Rice Country. Second, we don't even know if they're alive or not, and due to their genin status, the Council won't be pressed; perhaps save for the Ino-Shika-Cho trio, to prepare a rescue. Three, we don't have enough ninjas for active status due to the latest chunin exam invasion. Four, as to foreign diplomacy, without proof that it was Oto nins ambushing you besides your and your student's word, which I of course believe in, the other nations will see Konoha nins infiltrating Otogakure as an declaration of war."-Tsunade, ticking off reasons with her fingers.
Hatake Kakashi remembered the feeling of his blood freeze when he heard the rumors; Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka were abducted by Otogakure. The news, coming from the mouth of the tearful Akimichi heir were heart wrenching to the Yamanaka head who soon afterwards, proceeded to drown his sorrows at the local shinobi bar.
The Copy-cat nin shifted onto his other foot, and turned his attention back to the secretary who was filing mission reports and steadily getting agitated under the jounin's gaze. Of course, she didn't know that she was being observed, it was a purely subconscious thought, and she will dismiss it as paranoia. After all, Hatake Kakashi couldn't be staring at her right now if he has his head currently buried under the worn out Icha Icha Paradise.
After the strange nightmare he had of his unkind past, he had rushed from Mizu no Kuni to Hi no Kuni, hoping that to Kami he wasn't late and that his last remaining genin student would find some compassion deep in her heart to forgive him and all he had done, (He wouldn't be surprised if she hasn't.) only to find that Sakura had joined Team 10 and that they were on an escort C-rank mission. The information hit him hard once again, Team 7 is gone, but it wasn't Sakura's fault, but there was no one to teach her, no one to protect her, it was necessary and proper that she would join another team as a replacement. No, this piece of information didn't hurt as much as the next piece of recent news: Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka were abducted by Sound nins.
Asuma Sarutobi had immediately headed off towards the Hokage, brushing off the curious questioners as if they were flies. Chouji had followed and not five minutes afterwards, came out of the office and ran towards his father and recounted the events to everybody who would hear. Apparently, their C-rank mission was some ploy to capture the two girls and now, the entire Yamanaka clan was reeling with shock. Idly, he wondered how Sakura's parents were dealing with the news.
His train of thought was derailed with the command from the other side of the door, "Come in please, Kakashi." He took one last look at the secretary, who was not taking it well with the tension in the room, closed his book with a snap and entered the room. He saw Asuma and Tsunade and walked over to them.
"Hokage-sama," He greeted lightly, "Where's my student?"
The tension in the room grew steadily. Tsunade raised an eyebrow, "You're student? You haven't seen your student in nearly six months."
He tried not the growl in frustration, "She is and always will be my student; I came back for her." He said firmly.
The two others exchanged glances and nodded. Tsunade replied, "So she would've been part of Team 10 and under your private tutorage, had you not disappeared."
He bowed, telling himself that he would not show weakness. "Forgive me, Hokage-sama, I had to clear my mind."
Asuma took out a cigarette, Kakashi could almost sag in relief, and it meant that the tension in the room was dropping to an acceptable level, "We damn hope you did. You better had cleared your mind all the way back the pre-genin teams too. What's this I heard from Kurenai that you only taught two of your students tree climbing and one of your students an assassination technique?" He inquired; his tone of voice was bland.
The silver haired man was silent, how was he going to explain how he only favored one student? How was he going to explain that Sasuke Uchiha needed extra attention because he was going to fight a jinchuuriki containing the Shukaku, the one-tailed demon? Sasuke Uchiha reminded him of Obito and he felt that he was respecting Obito's memory if he cared for the survivor of the fallen clan. Sasuke was the rookie of the year while Naruto was dead-last of the academy, a loud and obnoxious genin with horrible chakra control due to the Kyuubi, and Sakura was a enamored fangirl, more interested in impressing Sasuke with her looks then training herself and her koinichi skills. Sasuke was, in Kakashi's mind, too far gone to be saved, even with the sessions with a therapist after the massacre, the remaining Uchiha was still consumed by thoughts of revenge and kept teasing Naruto of his skills and rejecting Sakura. He thought that with Sasuke out of the way as a chunin, Naruto and Sakura would be less distracted and can concentrate on becoming well-reputed ninjas, he can devote his time to his remaining genin team with, hopefully, a less arrogant replacement, and the remains of Team 7 would be promoted. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.
He sighed and rubbed his mask with a hand, "Where did I go wrong…"
Tsunade cleared her throat, "Unfortunately, as I was telling Asuma, we can not sneak into Orochimaru's village due to the lack of information. Choza Akimichi had asked for his son not to participate in the next chunin exam which is near, I think you would understand why." The jounin nodded stiffly. Tsunade dismissed him.
Asuma walked towards the door, but stopped in front of Kakashi, "Hey." He started, hesitant at first, "You want to get a drink later at the Lone Shinobi at seven?" Kakashi nodded, surprised and slightly unsure at what the gesture of friendship would mean for him in the future. The older jounin gave a reassuring pat on his shoulder and left, the other jounin could smell smoke.
The door closed, the remaining man walked slowly towards the Godaime, who was scrutinizing him. "Sharingan Kakashi, so you've finally came to your senses!" She gave him a lopsided grin and started laughing outright. And for some seconds, the laughter echoed off the walls of the open office, as the woman wiped tears from her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she fanned herself, "There were so many of your actions that I could've deemed not suitable for a teacher and could've pulled out of the job of a jounin sensei, you know." He nodded again, "I must say, I was thinking that you would just die on a typical A-mission in your grief at the rate you were going. Thank god I didn't bet on you." She mused.
"Hokage-sama." He said, voice just barely veiling his anguish.
She sobered up and stood. She embraced the younger shinobi and patted his back. "There, there…" She muttered in a motherly way. He bent over her form, hiding his face and not hugging back but she could feel her shoulder getting wetter. The jounin seemed to relax as time went by. Tsunade still remembered when she was young and in her young years, when she saw the little silver haired brat running around the village in ninja attire. He was still young. "It's ok, it's ok; everything will be alright at the end." Now, if only she could convince herself that.
Sasuke Uchiha looked at the stone walls warily. He had no idea where Kabuto, in his more than usual amount of glee, was taking him. The older ninja.... 'genin' he sneered in his mind, was walking down twists and turns as they headed deeper and deeper into the complex. Despite his time staying down here, he had barely gotten used to the place and its mass size. Otogakure was nothing more a small village in front and a series of underground tunnels that linked chambers that sometimes go ten or twelve stories underground strategically placed in Ta no Kuni, or as it is named now, Oto no Kuni, in the back. Orochimaru-sensei had restricted the Uchiha into the first and second levels below ground of the hiding place.
He knows nothing about what goes on in the deeper levels but he can guess based on rumors around Konohakagure and Otogakure that they were horrors: experiments of multiple innocents, bodies filled with chemicals, eyes were mutated to try and gain the Sharingan through man-made means. Whatever, it was not his business to pry, Orochimaru pledged on his chakra that he would not do anything to him until Itachi was dead, and that was good enough for him. The two nins were at the fifth level now, a sharp scream was heard, two seconds later there was silence. He heard a dripping sound. 'Blood.' He suppressed a shudder; none of this was humane, based on what he sees now, the rumors were too nice. Drip.
He remembered Kabuto's words to him when he invited Sasuke to see his latest experiment, a triumphant sinister look on his face, "Come on Sasuke-san, Orochimaru-sama gave me permission to show you level seven. I just want your comments on some situations, nothing bad." The white haired genin said flippantly. But the other ninja caught the gleam in his eye, and just followed; his curiosity was getting the better of him. He knew that it was probably going to be horrible, but he'd witnessed the Uchiha Massacre, and was subjected to gaze upon the deaths of his mother and father for seventy-two hours straight by his brother.
Over and over and over and over and over again. He can deal with this.
Orochimaru had given him clearance to see the inner workings of Sound. No one had ever seen the hard labors of Kabuto Yakushi that laid in wait on the eighth floor but Kabuto Yakushi himself. This has to be big, and the voice in his head was inquisitive. Drip, drip, drop.
The fourth floor must be saturated be blood, Sasuke thought, cynically. The stairs kept going down and down. He must be in a maze with numerous twists. Did people ever perish, wandering these halls with no way out, going mad, slowly? Are there skeletons of the dead and unlucky? He couldn't see any doors or entrances besides the stone walls that surround them. 'Look underneath the underneath,' Kakashi had told his team. He snorted and shook his head. His fingers were lightly tapping his kunai pouch; the thin and dry air around him was not helping to ease his mind. 'A ninja must always be on guard.'
The corridors, halls, and stairways were grand and dark; around five meters in width, the underground walkways were lit up by a ninja wire and lanterns, much like Konoha at night. He shook his head, 'don't think about that, don't think about that,' he had things to do, he was an avenger. He will kill his brother for his sins even if it kills him self in the process.
Drip. They were at the seventh floor; Kabuto tapped a finger coated in chakra against a stone. A door appeared. Hn, how many other doors can be created like this? Or was it just a genjutsu, he doesn't know, his sharingan wasn't on.
They walked through. The artificial lighting buzzed and flickered as it was turned on, casting a white glow that reflected off of Kabuto's glasses. The Uchiha saw machines that he couldn't recognize against the corners and three wide tables in the middle. By the tables were two bins, one was full of bones and bugs, 'flesh-eating', he concluded, and the other bin had clothes inside, a ninja vest, two Konoha hitai-ite laid on top, and two pairs of ninja sandals: the shoe sizes were both small, so they were probably girls. A cold shiver went down his spine, but he hid it. Kabuto began to tinker with a contraption that was in his blind spot. There were cylinder glass tanks lined up on each side that were empty. Wait, he walked towards the end of the room.
His eyebrows shot up into his forehead. What was Ino Yamanaka doing here?! He stared in disgust at the thick wires that were crudely taped to her forehead and her skull; her hair was shaven off completely, leaving her bald. More wires were attached to her neck and the area between her collarbones. A long tube also extended downward and expanded over her mouth, letting her breath. She was wearing a torn up shirt and shorts and looked dead, floating in a light green fluid. He glanced at a machine next to the holder, which showed numbers of different information on her vitals that flew by in rapid session.
What were they doing to her?
"Ah hah! Here she is!" came the gleeful voice of his companion. The dark haired boy spun around and stared. Kabuto carted out a pink haired, unconscious, girl that was clad in nothing but bandages, revealing to him all the wires attached to her: stomach, forehead, neck, checks, arms, shoulders, back, legs… that relayed data back to the machine that was under the stretcher. The stretcher stopped in front of him.
'Sakura' he startled. His hand moved, trembling, to touch her face, to convince himself that she was there. 'Why are you here? You shouldn't be here!'
"Pretty little thing isn't she?" He looked up sharply. Kabuto leered at the unconscious girl. "We picked her up with the help of Kana and brought her here. You won't believe what we found out after we did a brain scan on her."
He was still in shock, the older teenager's words barely registered to him, 'This wasn't supposed to happen. I was to leave Konohakagure behind; you aren't supposed to follow me! That was to be Naruto's job!'
"And guess what? She has DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder!" Kabuto rubbed his hands together in glee. "Concluding from the information I have received in Konoha, she switches her personalities under certain amounts of stress. As I may show you now, please pay attention to her chakra signature." He took out a kunai and calmly dragged it across her stomach: blood spilled out. With the sharingan out, Sasuke could faintly see the girl's chakra changed from light pink to almost white. She stirred, and woke up and stared at Kabuto unblinkingly, and Sasuke noticed how her face seemed for frail, and how her eyes were bigger and more sunken into her face. He bet that Sakura, if she was Sakura, could stare into the depths of his soul, seeing every single action that he ever did.
The genin's latest confrontation with his ex-teammate at the storage house had left him confused on who she really is. When, at the short period of time when he was under her Ichinichihenji no Jutsu, she had claimed that she was a part of Sakura; in that case, DID would sound like a reasonable conclusion. He hasn't heard much about the mental disorder though, only that it meant that there were multiple personalities in one single body. He wanted to know how many Sakura contains.
The Inner Sakura that he had seen at while trying to steal that scroll from that man from Ame was different from the Inner Sakura that he was seeing now. The other Inner Sakura, not the one in front of him, was more assertive, and with his sharingan, he now remembered, that her chakra was a darker pink, bordering red shade of color. Kabuto did not flinch under her uneasy gaze, but instead, he muttered, "That's one alter." He leaned over and smirked at her, "Do you have anything to say Sakura?"
Steely eyes stared back, the word "Snake," was whispered in a hoarse tone. A single word, uttered to show contempt toward her predators. She would've curled up in defense in response to her vulnerability but was unable to as her wrists and ankles were bounded tightly to the stretcher.
Kabuto grinned and let the tip of his kunai rest on her cheek, "Aww Sakura-chan, don't be like that. Or," He paused, "Is your name really Sakura?" She only glared back but he kept his musings. "What I don't understand is how an entire village of ninjas could've missed your mental disorder, Sakura-chan. That would lead me to think that you and your other alter had only recently been making strides at merging the minds." She didn't say anything but continued staring. "So I was right? Perhaps I should ask your other alter, I bet she'll be more inclined to talk." Green eyes widened.
A needle was whipped out and plunged into the forearm. Immediately, the white chakra was gone, and pinkish-red chakra emerged. During the transition, Kabuto began explaining, "I pumped her up with some morphine drugs and knock-outs that would take out the current mind that's in control of the body and bring out the inner subconscious, or in her case, I would think it to be her other alter. That's one of the reasons I brought you here, you had reported to Orochimaru-sama that the other 'part' of Sakura was louder and more confident than the original Sakura, I would like you to confirm this fact." Sakura began to stir once again, but the white-haired genin kept his eyes on his partner, "Don't worry Sasuke-kun. I made sure to test the cocktail on other people to make sure that there were no horrible side effects."
"Hn, I'm not worrying." Kabuto didn't reply, and turned his attention back to the girl.
"Hello Inner Sakura number two, are you more willing to talk your companion?"
She tugged on the binding and snarled viciously, "Fuck you and your fucking leader, and leave Youko out of this mess."
Sasuke recognized the new way his ex-teammate held her self, the self assurance that radiated off of her in waves. Yes, he was sure of it, "That's the inner personality I had met before."
Kabuto's eyes glittered, "Three personalities total Sasuke-kun, please remember that. One the main host, another is named Youko but we have no name on this one." He touched a chakra tipped finger toward her temple and Sakura's eyes closed. "Do you know what the new information can reveal? With a mind like hers, she can bypass any sort of genjutsu if her minds help her with it, she would have a, shall I say, affinity toward genjutsu itself. Think of all the possibilities that can happen?"
The black-haired boy refused to respond. The other continued his monologue, "This has been most unprecedented when I first came upon this phenomenon. No ninja ever had DID, only civilians. There was no cure, it was either the minds merged and the person would go crazy with the overload of information or the minds would continue to split until the conscious shattered. I wondered whether an additional amount of chakra influence the mind and be able to provide therapy and healing against DID? The Yamanakas specialized in mind jutsus and I have a hunch that their jutsus require them to be under the temporary affects of the Dissociative Identity Disorder. I would have to keep running tests on her."
He waved his kunai casually toward the almost forgotten blonde genin, "She also was brought here so that she can enter Sakura's mind under our control of course, and I would like you to monitor her progress and report anything interesting back to me."
'Sakura has three personalities in her…' Sasuke could have never guessed.
"Anyways, I just wanted to show you and prepare you for what's to come. You will be aiding me every two days for an hour and you will follow my instructions or suffer the consequences. Do you understand?"
The Uchiha glared back, "Hn." He grunted.
"Good, I'm glad that we have an understanding. Let's get back up."
It was to be a boring side job, in the Uchiha's opinion. But lately his opinion seemed to have moot point in his life.
Two days later, he entered the laboratory alone with his papers of instructions by the older genin: after checking the monitors, recording daily data and setting up the machines, he felt her stare from the other side of the room with her piercing green eyes. Her chakra signature was pinkish-red, "you were there… at the mission." She said, soft but amazingly coherent, Kabuto had assured him that she was drugged out of her mind. "You were there… at the mission where with that Ame aristocrat's vault. Do you remember?"
Yes he remembered: it was where he discovered her second alter… or was it third? He stared back onto the unflinching emerald eyes of his ex-teammate with his activated sharingan. "I made my first kill there on one of your people." She explained, "It smelled like fried brains, because I fried his brains, and it also smells like Chouji's BBQ. But I can't tell him that, you know, because it would be really rude of me to tell him something like that."
"And why are you telling me this?"
She looked up toward the ceiling, then turned her head sideways to match his gaze, "I was about to do the same thing to you, if Host hadn't froze in the middle of the battle and refused to kill you, I would've finished you off."
He snorted, "You don't have the skills to kill me."
She shrugged, modesty of the late was not on the top of her priority list, as show by the way she was unabashed at the fact that she was covered only in bandages around her chest and pelvic area. She talked in short bursts, "I had an eighty percent chance of hurting you; I could've killed you that day… But Host refused to kill you because she wanted to ask some questions to you. We used the Ichinichihenji no Jutsu instead: useless waste of chakra in my opinion, but she got to her goal none-the-less." She stared at him in the eyes, "Be thankful because right now, I wish that you were dead."
"You would've died by my hand." Her voice was hollow, and she shook her head slowly as she stared. "And you would've never known what hit you."
"What is Kakashi doing in our mindscape?"-Naiteki.
There was a pattern like beeping noise that grated on her ears, as it never stopped and hardly ever changed pace. But she got used to it. For the most part, Sakura thought that the only interesting thing right now was the fact that the voices that were surrounding her were shouting out numbers and orders. 'Where is Inner Sakura?' She wanted everything to be over, because she can never seem to get out of her, well, is it called a coma if she's trapped in her body? She looks around
'Time has no meaning here,' she thought as she walked towards nothing. There was darkness and black. She could see nothing around her but the immediate ground around her. The ground was gray, she noted. She kept walking, the gray ground caught- up with her but the other than that, there was black, nothing but black, and the voices.
She twitched as another round of talking started around her. She figured that one of them sounded like Sasuke, which worried her because she would've never guessed that her obsession with the Uchiha went that deep. "Seventy-seven bpm." She puzzled over the monotonous voice, bpm? What's that?
If her subconscious voice sounded like her ex-teammate, she would need therapy if she ever got back to Konoha. She groaned, "Kidnapped. I don't believe it." She pinched herself and kicked the imaginary dust on the ground grumpily. One moment, it was a simple C-rank mission, the next moment, she was holding out against a huge number of Oto-nins, the next moment, there was black, the final moment; she was here, with no way out. She wasn't in a prison, since there was no way that Otogakure can be as big as to hold a prison that has no walls. Well, she paused in mid-step, if the prison was underground, and then there'll be unlimited space. Orochimaru, as the rumors went, was a bit tilted in the head, but then, she doesn't think Orochimaru would let her roam free for such a long time without even shackles.
Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, and walk.
"Where is the dobe now?" Sasuke asked in the darkness. The girl rubbed her temples. Some time ago, when she was getting used to the fact that she was trapped in some alternate reality, she heard Sasuke talk to, what she thought was her, so she had answered back. It had startled her when he started onto another topic. It was a very unusual experience, hearing her ex-teammate talk to him self.
'It's the first sign of insanity.' The strange thing was that he would sometimes directly hold a conversation with Sakura, but it wasn't her that was answering him, so she couldn't figure out what 'she' had said unless she concentrates on the context clues. The topics would be narrow, from Konoha to Oto, there was usually a trade in insults, taunts on her situation, questions on how it feels (how what feels? she doesn't feel any different), and about the remnants of Team 7. 'So, if it isn't me who is talking to Sasuke, then who is it?'
"It doesn't hurt to ask, Sakura." There was a defensive hint to the voice. He referred to the mysterious other speaker as Sakura, which can't be right because she's Sakura. There can't be two Sakuras.
'Whoever is talking to him,' she grinned, 'sure has a sharp tongue.'
Walk, walk, walk, and walk.
She figured it wasn't a genjutsu for the fact that she had tried the genjutsu release technique for a long time, one after the other, without tiring. That meant that she can't get chakra exhaustion, and the scrolls in the Konoha library never lie, you can't be under a genjutsu that makes you feel like you have unlimited chakra. She had used her Katon technique on the ground, but didn't get any results. The grey ground remained pristine and smooth. So ruling out the possibility of a genjutsu… wait a moment. A flash of pain at the side of her head, did she just say 'scrolls in the Konoha library never lie?' 'That can't be right,' a frown appeared on her face, 'I never went to any Konoha library. I probably should've, it might've proved useful.' Another flash of pain ran past her head. She decided that she will dismiss the strand of thought.
"Blood pressure is one-two-zero over sixty."
That was Sasuke again, and proof that she was sure that she was trapped in a coma. Apparently, he had been monitoring her vital statuses, which means that he has her body somewhere and she can't control it. Putting her thoughts together, that means that she's in her mind. A little part of her wishes that she was wrong, because if this is her mind, it's really empty. 'Really disappointing. I would've thought that there would be more stuff… like teddy bears.'
"Frontal lobe is not responding to stimuli." That was Sasuke again, which begs the question, what is he doing? Are the ninjas of Sound doing tests on her body?! A disturbing image came to her, there was artificial lighting and she was tied to the metal table with Sasuke standing over her, his eyes shining really brightly, clutching a scalpel and the lovechild of a screwdriver and a clamp, "Now relax, we just need a small sample of your brain. It'll all be over before you know it. This won't hurt a bit. Heh heh." The scalpel descended…
"AHHHHHHHH!" she clutched her head, eyes wide as dinner plates, "Not the forehead! Not the forehead! Not the fore-." She blinked, 'Oh. I'm ok.'
"So the medulla oblongata still shows that her body systems are fine and we're still seeing some color in the brain scan in parts of the parietal lobe, but we're not sure how aware she is." That was the second voice, the proof she has that Sasuke isn't part of her subconscious. The second voice sounds older, but isn't as deep as the Uchiha's voice, it sounded really familiar.
Wait, there was that kid they met at the beginning of the first examination of the chunin exams. A memory, "Geez, pipe down will you? You are all so loud." A white haired teenager said, pushing up his glasses. Didn't he also help Team 7 in the second examination? Kabuto Yakushi, he betrayed Konoha? He works with the snake? He's doing experiments on her body? Kabuto Yakushi, the guy who is still a genin? But… but…
"Look underneath the underneath." Another memory came, unbidden. Thank you, Kakashi-sensei.
The voices continued to talk about her mind and tests and objectives. She shook her fist angrily in the direction of the voices. "Shut up about my body!" She shouted, for the fiftieth-third time. But as always, the voices continued talking. Sometimes, she wished that she did heed Ino's advice and became a medic simply so that she can understand what Sasuke and the other voice was talking medical terms, simply so that she won't go mad with boredom.
Walk, walk, and walk.
"-perhaps a different sort of physical pain will do it. Sasuke-san, what do you think about fire?"
That's the thing; there is nothing to do around here. Since she found herself here, she has been wandering around in her coma mind trying to figure out what she can do. Reading from the fantasy and supernatural books that she had as a little kid, she tried to 'will' herself a chair; it didn't work, no matter how much she 'willed' it. Then, she tried to opening command the ground before her to move, but was met only with awkward silence. Then, she tried jutsus: didn't work (she should have fried the ground!). Finally, in all her frustrations, she stomped on the grey ground hard, but only managed to cause a minor shock go up her leg.
At last, she gave up.
Walk, run, run, and walk.
"-nobody understands, so don't think that you do. I have a goal to kill him; I have trained up to this point to kill my brother." Sasuke was talking to that other Sakura again. 'This is so surreal,' she inwardly sighed, 'I don't even want to think how that makes sense to me.'
The debate with Sasuke had turned heated, and once again, it was about getting stronger and senseis and betrayal. "Because nobody else would train me! Kakashi-sensei's chidori didn't do anything. Orochimaru is a sannin and he made a chakra-bound promise that he wouldn't take over my body until I have achieved my purpose in life." If she heard it once, then she had heard it a million times. She can almost mouth the words along. Sure, she was aware of Sasuke's 'important' decision: to betray Konoha and his previous life or to not betray Konoha and his previous life, but it was no excuse to do what he did and hurt everybody, and her.
"No, no one in that weak village was willing to teach my anything useful. They had tried to slow me down, thinking of me as unstable due to my ambition."
"Shut up." Once again, the one sided conversation had grounded to a halt.
Sakura congratulated her self on taking all the recent events in stride and facing it with a calm and cool façade. 'I'm not panicking now. It might be that Kabuto and Sasuke had drugged me and the meds managed to bypass the darkness into me. Well, the shock of the absurdity of my situation will come to me sooner or later.'
There was nothing to do in her mind, absolutely nothing. She never sleeps, never needed to. She never tired, and was constantly wandering around, driven by a spark of hope in the back of her mind that if she walks far enough, she'll get to the end. ' And then what?'
"-Kabuto, not even deep physical wounds are triggering a response."
Walk, run, walk, run, walk, run, and walk.
A slightly irritated response was heard, "Then we'll just have to try harder. Aim for her lower stomach." They're stabbing her body to try and reach the objective, and she's not feeling anything. She should be outraged that she's getting mutilated, but she can't bring her self to care. "Again Sasuke." She thought it was because of a lack of a corporeal form, which she's out of touch with.
"Again." If she strains her ears, she can hear the sound of a knife piercing flesh in a squelching sound.
Walk, walk, run, sit, run, and run.
The genin sniffed, 'I really wish Inner Sakura is here. At least with her around, my inner thoughts would be louder, punctuated with a loud, "Shannaro!"' Inner Sakura was Sakura, a part of Sakura that was suppressed in order to make the outer Sakura more soft and feminine. If there was no Inner Sakura, she would be malleable on the inside and as well on the outside. Inner Sakura makes her thoughts more pronounced, and that gave her comfort. The correct metaphor would be that Sakura was a knife and Inner Sakura was the honed edge.
Except now, the green-eyed girl has no idea where Inner Sakura was anymore. Inner Sakura had been quiet of the late, and has only popped up to give advice to her. Now that's something, Inner Sakura never gives advices, or comments, or complaints. Sakura always thought that Inner Sakura was an extent of herself, therefore, with no independent mind, 'maybe it had manifested itself lately?' Calling Inner Sakura a friend would be stretching it, but it was heading in that direction, at least, until she was kidnapped.
"-Careful Kabuto, senbons can worsen her death-like trance."
"I'm only targeting specific nerves. And how do you know about senbons?"
"…you shouldn't pierce her neck, it's too risky." There was a mild pause.
There was mild frustration. "Damn, nothing happened. I'm nearly at the end of my resources."
She wonders if Sasuke knew that he wasn't talking to Sakura, but somebody else. He must know, the 'Sakura' that he's speaking to isn't acting like her at all. He must know, he's just not mentioning anything. What if there's a conspiracy between him and the other 'Sakura'? The goal would be to keep her, the true Sakura, in the dark.
Sit, run, run, run, run, walk, and run.
She can't tell time here, it has no meaning. It flows by, intangible and uncatchable in the world of emptiness, like somebody trying to hold water coming from a sink. She frequently asks herself, 'how long has it been since Team 10 left Konoha? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?' In her mind, was she always going to look thirteen? That's the bad thing; she doesn't know how old she is right now. For all that, she could look twenty, and not know it. She hesitantly touched her face, no wrinkles, and then looked at herself, she didn't, thank kami, have a twenty year old body.
Sakura fretted. What can she do if she did have a twenty year old body in her mind? Would that mean that she's twenty, or would it mean that her mind had matured for a twenty year old? She closed her eyes. Wasn't that crazy proctor for the second exam twenty, or at least in her twenties? Another disturbing image came to her: she was wearing the same attire as the tokubetsu jounin, large jacket, a mini-skirt, and a see through mesh shirt leaving nothing for imagination. She was licking a bloody kunai…
Perish that thought.
She scratched the back of her head and sighed, she has no choice but to walk forwards, walk on and keep a mind to the voices. The girl hummed a song that she remembered hearing when little. It was going to be a long journey, and she was going crazy with boredom.
Walk, walk, and walk. The stars are bright tonight.
Home on the left and moon on the right, fighting with life. Walk, walk, skip, run, walk, and sit.
Run, run, and run.
Time has no meaning in the mind. It was endless.
I'm back from the fight, won the game, seen the light, yeah I'm going home tonight.
Walk, run, run, and run.
Run, run, run… run… run…
Run… There has to be a way out of this mess. There just has to.
Going home tonight.
Run… She was going crazy. It's an endless haze. She's probably have been running for days now.
Suddenly, Sakura felt the sensation of her skin being prickled by needles and gave a gasp of pain, arms instinctively coming up to wrap protectively around her. She fell forward on her knees and gritted her teeth, 'that really hurts.' The genin always had an ear to the conversation around her. She had caught them talking about electroconvulsive therapy and two thousand milliamps but didn't give it much thought, thinking that if Sasuke and Kabuto had tried everything from cutting, piercing, using Ino in some way, to burning her and they still haven't managed to achieve their objective, that's what they always call it, an objective, to bring about some activity in some part of her brain, paretal lobe…, then the electroconvulsive therapy would be useless. Apparently not.
She looked up and listened intently. "Electricity worked! Just there, did you see the monitor? For a brief second, those sections of the parietal lobe showed activity! Sasuke, I want another round, this time, add another two hundred milliamps and keep it up for three seconds."
And the prickling sensation came again, and this time, it was more painful, the metaphorical needles seemed to pierce deeper and seemed to have just been over the candle for half a minute. "Nnngh." She gritted her teeth as she bent over in pain, hugging her self, her hands were clutching her arms so hard they left red marks.
Sasuke's voice came through, "How interesting."
"Indeed, it is very exciting to make a breakthrough such as this. I wonder if she can hear us now, some parts of her senses must be working now. We must continue down this path." Sakura felt horror, "I want another two hundred milliamps and this time, you are to prolong it to seven seconds."
"How far are you going to take it?"
"The longest exposure I think we can afford to give her would be a minute, but I think as for the voltage of the shock: the sky's the limit." Kabuto mused.
And at that moment, Sakura knew that she was in hell.
"Monster, how far have you gone?"-Youko
Sasuke walked down the endless stairs and through the maze to see his ex-teammate again. After the revelation that electroconvulsive therapy works to stimulate key parts of Sakura's brain, Kabuto had work hard to bring out the 'original' Sakura into conscious and at the same time, under his control. Not that Sasuke cares, he calls all three Sakuras Sakura, because that's who they are, 'Youko' or not. His left hand held some sheets of paper revealing tables and numeric information, his right hand held a pen.
At first, he had been apprehensive with Kabuto's beliefs that enemies should be used to their full extent to benefit Orochimaru-sama, but it was the only way he learned medicinal arts, granted it was to try to 'change' Sakura's body and then 'change' it back to normal, but he was getting proficient in the use of the Shoshen no justu, or chakra scalpels. Orochimaru thought that it was amusing to see two ex-teammates from Konoha, one who betrayed and another who was kidnapped, to have a reunion under the not ideal circumstances. Sasuke's new sensei was a crazy old man with a crazy idea about immortality and experimentation, but he was a good sensei. The Uchiha was learning at a much faster rate than with his time in Konoha.
What Orochimaru want then, Orochimaru gets. He stepped into the laboratory, temporarily blinded by the white lights. At the other end of the chamber, as always, was Sakura, unconscious and bounded to the stretcher, with multiple lacerations and scars decorating her body due to the times when he just started to learn healing with chakra.
Yesterday, Kabuto had wanted him to use a genjutsu called Konjaku no Jutsu on Sakura, the louder alter, instead of Ino now, via Sharingan. The older genin wanted to see how she managed to split her mind into three sections and wanted to see her past life. Perhaps, there might be clues and secrets in the memories that the young girl holds. Both young men had coaxed the sub personality out into the open with veiled threats, and he promptly channeled chakra into his eyes.
"Sharingan!" He had said and grabbed her shoulders and forced her to look into his eyes. The green pupils gave way to black and he saw a woman with crazed green eyes and limp blonde hair. Her entire face was covered in a thin sheen of sweat.
She was holding a hammer that was angling downward. "I'll beat the demon out of you." She panted, "I swear I will!" The hammer was brought down and, crrk, cracked the solar plexus.
"AAAHHHHHHHH!!!" The genjutsu screeched to a halt. He looked at Sakura and realized that she wasn't the louder sub personality but that other one who called herself Youko. She was still screaming. He inwardly winced at the high pitch and cursed the laboratory's walls that made the scream echo. The girl was shaking her head side to side, eyes glassed and wide in horror.
'She must still be under the genjutsu.' He thought, 'but how? I stopped it!' He bent over her and tried to shake her out of her illusion. "Sakura! Sakura! Shut up!"
"No! No! No!" She chanted loudly, "No! No!" She roughly yanked at her wrists and ankles. She yanked again violently, as is getting herself to move her limbs was the only way to keep living. They began to bleed with result of friction and her blood flowed into her hands and into the stretcher. They dripped off of the stretcher.
"No! NO! NO!" She kept yanking. He cursed himself for not bringing a sedative as he held her arms down, but her legs kept moving. "NO! NO!" She was staring ahead, right at him, but she was seeing something else, past memories. He touched her head with a chakra coated finger, aiming to render her unconscious, "AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Her mental state was in total disarray, he can't find the switch, and he needs a sedative to inject her.
"Wake up!" Panic overcame his senses as the girl screamed again in pain. He can only hope that she might calm down or tire out before doing any more self-inflicting harm. He grabbed her shoulders and forced her to look at his eyes again. She was staring right through him, but that was enough. "Sharingan!"
The blonde woman reappeared with flecks of blood on her face. The hammer was brought down again, onto the soft stomach. "I banish the demon! I command you to leave this body!" The hammer landed on the stomach again with more force. "By Kami, I order you to leave this child, foul demon! Leave this child!" The hammer was engraved with the words 'kiyome', purity. The hammer was brought down again in a graceful arc. More blood spattered onto the woman's face that was showing pure glee.
There was another man in the background, tall and dignified, he didn't say a word.
"AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" For the second time, he was thrown out of his own genjutsu. He looked down at the girl in front of him.
Her head was shaking side to side, faster now. "NO! NO! NO! NO MORE!!" Her whole body began to shake, the monitors on her heart started to show more energy. She moved in a fast ripple like motion, making thudding noises onto the stretcher. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head and her head fell limp, but her body was still convulsing as spasms rolled over her body in waves. The beeping noises in the background got faster and faster.
A needle pierced her neck, and immediately, she calmed down and closed her eyes. The monitor returned back to normal stats, the beeping was regular. There was silence, he looked discreetly to the side and saw a sleeping girl with her head lolled to the side. Blood dripped off of the stretcher. He could still hear the chanting echo off the walls, "NO! NO! NO!" "Kabuto." He greeted.
"Thank god for specialized induced sleeping medicines, right? What was that?" An angered hiss responded, "Some sort of grand mal seizure? You could've caused permanent brain damage at the rate the computers were reporting at. What were you doing?"
The Uchiha shook his head to clear his thoughts. There was a hammer with 'kiyome' engraved into the side and a woman screaming to a demon. "NO! NO! NO! NO!" He whispered softly, "Exorcism."
Sasuke brought all of his thoughts back into the present. Yes, the girl had undergone a bloody and painful exorcism to get rid of some youkai, and what was he going to think about that. Sure, had been stunned at the horrible memories, but he can't do anything to her. It might've made his respect for her go up a notch, but she was still annoying to a big fault. He can't pity her at all, but he was sure that it would be a long time before Kabuto would let him near her again with the activated Sharingan.
The Uchiha pushed himself back into the present. "Heart rate is seventy-one bpm. Blood pressure is one-one-zero over sixty-five. Breathing is regular." Sasuke inspected her bandaged wrists, "No abnormal coloring on skin. No signs of infection." A quick glance at the monitors, "Brain activity is normal." 'I will not begin the usual electroconvulsive therapy until Kabuto comes,' He thought as he settled in for the silence and watched his charge.
'Who was that woman anyways? She had bright yellow hair, Sakura has pink hair, the man had brown hair, is she Ino's mom? No, the woman and Sakura had the same eyes.' Exorcism. 'The man and Sakura had the same facial characteristics.' Exorcism. He gingerly traced her brow with a thumb. They were her parents. What sort of parents would do this for their child? Was it a civilian sort of thing that he did not understand? They had implied of a demon possessing her body. Was the exorcism a success? Was the demon banished?
'Was there even a demon to begin with?'
He looked down; Kabuto was planning something special for her. Sasuke was asked to not bring out the other personalities into the body but to try and work with the older boy to bring forth the Host, as the loud 'Sakura' had called. Further research on DID by Sasuke revealed that there was the 'main' mind. The main mind, or the real Sakura, was the one personality that Kabuto still tries to bring out but had not yet accomplished. The white-haired teen was beginning to get really antsy.
What Kabuto plans to do when he meets the true Sakura was a mystery to the Uchiha. He heard footsteps and his head raised ever so slightly, "Hn." He nodded toward the medic-aspiring genin.
Kabuto used a single finger to adjust his glasses, "I've found a way to bring out the original Sakura, it is time we bring the Yamanaka out again."
"Oh Kami, no…"- Yamato, Konoha ANBU, in the mist of an undercover recon mission, after seeing the two Leaf-genin girls: a Yamanaka in a tank and his charge on a stretcher. He had heard the rumors around the ninja village, but didn't believe that they were true… experimented on... Kami, he feels sick. He won't be hearing from Konoha until his mission was complete, but he wonders how she was kidnapped. He has to save them, but how? He knows next to nothing, this wasn't a part of the mission; it was unknown territory, dangerous. No matter, he grew too fond of the girl, he's paid the price for letting anyone get close to him, and he can't stop himself: he'll find a way. He saw piles of charts, research, and observations on a nearby desk and started to read and plan.
Time has no meaning… Hum. "The stars are bright tonight, home on the left, moon on the right…" Hum.
Walk, walk, walk, walk and walk.
Hoarse voice (from screaming) and insanity (from pain).
Walk. "Ino? Is that you? …Ino!" Run. Hug. "Thank god, Ino! What are you doing here? What's going on?" Pause. "Ino? …Say something… Oh kami, please say something… Ino! Look at me! Ino!" Shake. "Why aren't you responding?" Slap.
"This time, I want you to use your sharingan, Sasuke. As soon as I press this…"
Everything is dizzy. Indescribable pain that pierced her head like somebody is smashing it with a hammer. A hammer. There are voices in her head.
She's tied to a bed. "This is for your own good Sakura." The woman said.
She agreed. "Hai, okaasan."
Replay. "This is for your own good Sakura."
Why did she agree? "Hai, okaasan."
Replay. "This is for your own good Sakura."
A hammer. She remembers a blonde woman beating her stomach with a large hammer labeled 'kiyome'. Purity. "Vanquish foul demon! I order you to be gone!" The hammer rises and falls in a graceful arc, almost in slow motion, but Sakura knows that it's not, and it's painful, and it hurts so badly that her mind had split…
"Sasuke, I think its working."
A faded spiral and she steps into a room and stares. There are two other girls with her: one, young, blonde hair, green eyes, bruised and pale complexion, was sitting on a chair with her knees tucked under her chin; the other, her age, all black, with a white outline, who looked like a ghost with white pupils, who looked exactly like her, was standing up, staring at the pink haired girl with a strange expression.
She's sure that she's still in her mind. Sakura frowned, they looked familiar, but she can't tell from where. Are they from Konoha? She thought about asking, but opted to keep eyeing them warily; the other two girls didn't seem to be the mood for talking. But, the black girl looked exactly like her. The younger blonde girl wrinkled her nose in irritation and rubbed her circle rimmed eyes, but remained silent. Sakura had to break the silence, "W-who are you?" She stood up straighter, trying to act confident.
The black girl snorted, "Cha." The other hugged herself more closely.
'Cha.' Sakura pondered, that sounds familiar, almost like, well… 'It would be reasonable.' "…Inner Sakura?" She inquired. 'Wait, that wouldn't work. Inner Sakura is supposed to be me, a part of me. Not a separate… soul or personality! Are they part of my mind?! What's going on!?' She looked back and forth.
That older girl's eyes widened in surprise. The young genin frowned, "You're separate minds. Who are you?" There was more tense silence, and this time, the green eyed genin stubbornly stayed silent.
"You." The blonde girl rasped.
She blinked, "Both of you are me?" 'What?"
At this revelation, her world exploded in pain. The two girls disappeared and her world spun around her and flipped. It was blinding, and she couldn't scream because she refused to, already used to pain given by the electroconvulsive therapy. But this is even worse; she tumbled to the floor in an exhausted heap. This is even worse than the electric shocks. She could focus on nothing but the blinding pain that covered her and invaded her. Her cheek pressed the cool gray floor and she looked up, and gasped.
There was a pair of sharingan eyes, larger than life, glaring down at her with the three tomoes spinning around and around and around. Her world spun again.
She found herself strapped to a sort of soft table with a sort of artificial light temporarily blinding her and she blinked rapidly, adjusting her pupils to the brightness. A shadow moved above her to block the light. She blinked, "Uchiha, Sasuke?" She recognized his eyes. She noticed that he had grown more angular, the baby-fat from his cheeks were almost non-existent.
He was growing into a young man. He abandoned her.
She looked away and met an amused pair of eyes behind spectacles. "Kabuto." She stated clearly.
"You're the true Sakura, not the other two submissive personalities." The girl wrinkled her nose in confusion. The speaker brushed the gesture off, "We have a couple of questions for you."
A shot of anger passed through her. "I'm not answering them." She hissed back. The man smirked.
A red light flashed, both oto-nins looked up sharply as an alarm blared. "Intruders," Sasuke muttered.
Life pressed on the fast-forward button.
Her ex-teammate's eyes started spinning. There were shouts and footsteps above them. Sakura felt nauseous. A side wall blasted in and she choked on the dust. Kabuto started yelling, but his words went unheard. Trees suddenly grew from the tile floor. A man, Konoha ANBU, rushed in to her side. With one clean swipe of his sword, she was free. She hesitantly stood up and placed a hand on the stretcher. "Can you walk? Can you run?" He hurriedly asked her. Trees continued to grow in jerky movements.
She shook her head. "Sumimasen, Taka-san."
Kage Kunai no Jutsu. B-rank. Shadow Kunai Technique. Not to be mistaken for the likes of Kage Shurinken no Jutsu. This is like the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu except with Kunais.
Baika no Jutsu. Multi-size Technique. Akimichi Clan.
Nikudan Sensha. C-rank. Human Bullet Tank. Akimichi Clan.
Cho Harite. B-rank. Mega-Palm Thrust. Akimichi Clan.
Konjaku no Jutsu. B-rank. Past and Present technique. User looks into the victims past. Usually, the memories are the ones that scar the most.