Crime of Passion


Author: Ladelle

Rating: T-M

Comments: It looks like I'm going to consolidate my works to both this site and my livejournal. This story has three chapters so far but is on a mini hold while I crank out MiLoCo...but it seemed like time to post it here considering it's other home is going away.

Summary: Naruto needed a lawyer--he couldn't deny it. But why did it have to be the one person he worked so hard to forget? A plot-heavy crime drama with secrets of the present, lies of the present, and the horrible complications involving that thing called love.

:A gift fic for Allys:


Chapter 1:

'…officer was brutally murdered late last night, though the details have yet to be released…"

Click, click. The tapping of a silver encrusted pen created an impatient tempo as the news reports filtered in, a long haired man poking the button of the television to alter between channels.

'…suspect is said to be Naruto Uzumaki, a man who is married…'

Click, click, click. Naruto glanced up at the other man, his eyes narrowing as the figure didn't look at him, only continued to flip through local news channels.

'It's a shame that people like this are out on the streets—charge him, I say. Murder, manslaughter…whatever…it's one of our own he's taken down…!"

Click.

The television set faded to black as the tall attorney pressed the power button, and Naruto frowned under the scrutinizing glare he received afterwards.

"This is only a fraction of what they are saying, Mr. Uzumaki." The brunet stated, and Naruto fell back into his seat. His head was low and he felt frustrated as he tossed the pen across the table and glared upward.

"I told you—I don't remember anything." Naruto sat back against his chair, hastily crossing his arms over his chest. The Tylenol he had taken hours before was beginning to wear off and he could feel the pounding familiarity of a concussion burning at the base of his skull.

"No matter what you remember, there were witnesses. They saw you attack him," the brunet tucked a long strand of hair behind his ear, his expression becoming somewhat terse. He looked startled when Naruto crossed his arms over his chest and spoke.

"He was fucking my wife," he bit out, and Neji, the FBI attorney who had been assigned to monitor him, shifted above him with anger.

"Look, Mr. Uzumaki, I understand your frustration, but this is serious. You need to focus," the brunet looked irritated as he sat on the edge of the metal table between then, frowning.

Naruto shifted under the glare and settled somewhat. He was flushed and his eyes were wide with anxiety as he leaned backwards into his chair. "I honestly don't remember anything." he admitted.

He held his head low, focusing intently on a running scratch along the edge of the interrogation table, wondering vaguely what kind of people had been in his place. There were stains on the smooth surface, round marks that reminded Naruto of fist-prints, and scrapes that made him imagine someone clawing against the metal.

It made him uneasy.

The attorney seemed to recognize his growing discomfort, and he stood up from the table. There was a black satchel on the table that he had brought to the station, and as he pegged through it, he let out a reluctant sigh.

"This is going to be a difficult case," he said, and he pulled out a folder. "I believe you aren't guilty, for what it's worth." He flipped through a few pages before tossing a photograph in front of Naruto, one of a very pale man with dark, sweeping hair and focused eyes.

"He's the guy," Naruto said, and he frowned. He picked up the photo as if to examine it more closely and narrowed his eyes. "He was the one with Sakura."

Neji's eyes widened a margin. "So you do remember something," he noted.

Naruto flipped the photo back over to him and sat forward in his chair, a pleading look in his eyes. "I got home early last night…Sakura was supposed to be out, and I was supposed to have an entire graveyard shift. The house was quiet and her car was in the garage…" Naruto's voice faded into thought and after a minute he snapped his attention back to Neji.

"They were together—in our bedroom. I was upset and he and I ended up outside…and I punched him…or tried. He pinned me, I think," Naruto's hand moved to the base of his skull, trailing over the small proof of his memory. "After that, I don't remember anything…"

Naruto felt the lawyer's eyes scrutinize him and he wondered if Neji truly believed he was innocent. He let out a deep breath, one he hadn't realized he had been holding. "I don't think I killed him…"

There was a pause where Naruto searched his thoughts, trying his best to remember the encounter. All he could remember was being upset, and the noises were so loud—a dog barking, a car alarm in the distance, that man's voice speaking over his own…

"His name was Sai," Neji stated, and he flipped the picture back over and slid it under Naruto's sight. "He was a special agent for the NSA."

Naruto glanced upward with surprise and his mouth dropped in shock. He was rendered speechless.

"He was high up in the committee and had some pretty big cases running, or so I've heard. His death isn't going to go over lightly…and though I hate to say it, you're story isn't really on our side."

Naruto sat dumbstruck for a minute before he grabbed the edge of the table. "I didn't know he worked for the government! And even so…why was he with my wife? Doesn't that look bad on his character?" The blond shook his head, feigning disbelief.

"I'm sure that will play a small credit to us…but in the end, the fact you don't remember anything is a double edged sword. The NSA is already shaping a trial…and with your history, I don't know what stops they will try and pull."

Naruto frowned and stood up, his fists balling at his sides. "My history shouldn't have anything to do with it," he said. "I may have gotten angry…but…"

His words drifted into silence and his hands relaxed at his sides, and Neji looked disconcerted. He pulled a long strand of silken hair behind his ear and pulled another file from his book.

"Naruto, do you have any preferences on a second attorney?" The question was direct and solemn, and it made Naruto glance up without resolve. The case had to be difficult if one of the top military lawyers was afraid to handle it on his own.

Naruto didn't know anyone connected to the government or anything official. His father had been a big shot with the CIA, but since he had died in the line of duty around the time Naruto was born, there wasn't much to say for that relationship. His only connection to law was a person he hadn't thought about for years, and one he was positive wouldn't come to his aid.

"My firm has connections with a great deal of others, so if you name someone, I can find them." Neji said, and he glanced at his watch. "I have to leave to pick up your docket soon," he commented.

Naruto shook his head and fell into his seat, collapsing his face into the palms of his hands. He rubbed his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair, unconsciously biting his lip.

"I only know one other lawyer," he almost laughed, and it was a bittersweet tone that left his lips. Neji, who had begun to pack his paperwork into his briefcase, glanced up with interest.

"Who?"

Naruto turned as a guard tapped on the outer door, poking in for further insurance. He was a bulky man with a stocky figure, and his eyes were angry and set on Naruto.

"You're time is up," he said, and Neji waved a dismissive hand towards him, still eyeing Naruto for his answer.

"What lawyer?" he asked.

Naruto stood up and straightened the bright orange outfit they had gifted him when he had arrived from the hospital the night before, feeling a wave of displeasure overwhelm him.

"His name was Sasuke," he said lightly, and the guard reached out for his arm, eager to take him bag to his holding cell. Neji pulled his bag off of the table, nodding at the guard for allowing him to exit first. After they were standing in the long outer hallways of the central police department's holding area, he turned to Naruto and pulled a serious expression.

"You'll be out on bail soon," he promised, and Naruto nodded, his eyes still clouded with confusion and frustration.

Neji watched as Naruto disappeared down the hallway and frowned to himself. If the 'Sasuke' Naruto had mentioned was the one he was thinking about, the case was beginning to look much more promising.


"Uchiha, sir, I left a few notes on your desk. You received quite a few calls while you were gone," the secretary said, and Sasuke nodded, barely glancing her way. He stalked past her into his office, effectively closing the door behind him.

His briefcase was in the side corner he had left it, untouched and smooth with a leather run detailing the front, and as he turned his attention to his desk he spotted the notes his secretary had been referring to. It never failed; two days away from the office was an invitation for missed calls and potential clients.

He straightened the collared shirt beneath an expensive tie and thumbed through the cases he had been requested for, smirking as he took in the names of the judges. They were all fairly famous in their own rights, tough judges that only the best lawyers competed for attention with. It was a symbol of how well he did his job, and how powerful he had become as a lawyer.

He hit the start-up button on his hard drive and listened to the Dell hum into action, straightening the files before him. There were at least ten, and he knew that he would turn down at least half of them. He was rising in the law world, and for good reason. He needed the credit; he needed the publicity.

His phone rang and he hit the speaker button, wondering who could have called his secretary so early in his return for him.

"Uchiha, sir, it's a request from Hyuuga."

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, somewhat curious as to why a government firm would be contacting him. He frowned. "Put it through," he directed.

There was a small moment before the phone made a clicking noise and the call was transferred over. He waited a moment before responding.

"This is Uchiha," he said, and he proceeded to organize the blue folders into cubbies on the rear portion of his desk.

"Hello, how are you?" the voice came through and Sasuke snorted. He hated small talk.

"Fine."

There wasn't much of a pause before the voice spoke again, the brief moment of normal conversation quickly turning into that of a business call.

"I know you're racked up with cases, but I have one that you might be interested in," there was a brief pause, "this is Neji, by the way." When Sasuke finished putting the loose folders away he twisted to his computer, wondering vaguely how many emails he had received during his two days of absence.

"Hn." He said, and he typed in a password, verifying it twice afterwards.

"It involves the murder of an NSA agent. As defense the work is cut and dry, the defendant has no recollection of the—"

"An NSA agent?" Sasuke interrupted. That was interesting. It was even more curious why a government hired lawyer was intimidated to take on the case on his own.

"Yes," Neji's voice affirmed, and he continued. "The defendant has no recollection of the event, and—"

"Fax it to me and I'll be prompt with my answer." Sasuke responded, clicking through an onset of emails. An earlier case had caused the firm to go through a subpoena, and he had files that still needed to be printed and submitted. He heard Neji's frustrated sigh from the other line and decided to be a little more helpful, especially if they would be potential partners.

"It's easier for me to read then understand over the phone," he explained. "Do you have the docket?"

There was a pause and from the other line, Neji let out a sigh. "Not a complete one. Witness information is still being gathered. The crime happened last night," he said, and after a moment asked a question. "What is your new fax number?"

Sasuke and Neji had spoken briefly on separate occasions before, and so it wasn't unusual for the Hyuuga firm to have any of his information. Sasuke read the fax number off his card, noting that is had been a while since they had last spoken. He had been promoted in the time since.

After a few minutes of silence the oak door to his office slipped open after a polite knock and his secretary shuffled in, handing him the papers before quickly slipping out. Everyone in his office knew him well; he wasn't the type to talk casually or be distracted; he was hard working and professional. He was the one lawyer who hadn't lost a case since being hired.

"Did you get them?" Neji asked, and Sasuke responded coolly. "Yes. This isn't a lot of information," he noted, and Neji made a positive sound from the other side.

"Everything seems to be moving quickly with it. They've already sent petitions out for a jury…the agent killed was called Sai, but his true name hasn't been released from the NSA department."

"Was he that big?" Sasuke asked. It was rare for the government to be hesitant to release names, especially if the stipulations of the case weren't suspicious. Which led him to believe that the defendant was definitely in a bind.

"So I've heard. His cases have been kept low profile. I spoke with the district attorney and they're not willing to breach any information about the cases, even if they turn up useful in my client's defense." Neji's voice sounded irritated and Sasuke frowned.

"You can't call for a court mandated order?"

"No, because the cases Sai was a participant in are still underway." The voice was tentative.

Sasuke's eyes ran over the first formal entry in the faxed pamphlet and took in the brief outline of the scenario. An NSA agent was killed in a public neighborhood, and judging by the address, a quaint little place in quiet suburbia. The accused was the man who owned the house…his eyes widened.

"Naruto Uzumaki?" he said, and even his voice sounded misbelieving.

There was a break from the other end and Neji responded. "Yes. He mentioned your name, though it may have been another lawyer named Sasuke…"

Sasuke felt an irritation growing in his mind and he fumed. "No, it was me."

Neji's voice was curious. "Do you two know each other?"

"Hn. You need to find another lawyer," Sasuke said, and he was about to disconnect their call when Neji's voice cut in.

"It's high profile, Sasuke. A case like this could get you tenure enough to participate in Itachi's case." It was a sly comment, but it caught Sasuke's attention. It was a low card to play, but one that made Sasuke cock his head sideways towards the phone.

"Don't assume I can't get tenure without this case," he warned, though his voice wasn't as harsh as he would have liked. He had been working to get enough experience to prosecute that man, and was only a few Supreme Court cases away from the familiarity he needed.

"I wasn't. But in all honesty, I can't handle this on my own. Uzumaki's deposition was…he's obviously not insane, he can't plead insanity. But you can't plead non-guilty to malicious intent that was witnessed by four other people."

Sasuke winced. How that blond idiot had managed to get himself into this mess was beyond comprehension.

"You've won several cases where the odds weren't on your side," Sasuke mentioned, and he clicked past a few junk emails.

"This is different. Sai's information is on hold. I haven't even received an autopsy yet, much less the names of the witnesses. The NSA is taking the first bat at everything; whatever Sai was working on was serious, and for some reason, they have suspicion to believe that Naruto was involved."

Sasuke stopped typing for a minute and glanced over to his phone, pressing the speaker key and lifting the piece to his ear.

"I want to hear the deposition for myself. When will Uzumaki receive a leave?"

Neji's voice was quick to respond, and sounded almost grateful. "He's out on bail tonight. It looks like some friends of his father pulled some strings…"

"Tomorrow then, at noon. I'll meet you at the Hyuuga branch firm." Sasuke didn't wait for a response before he clicked the phone down on the receiver, feeling nothing over his commitment. If the trial ended up being worthwhile, he would do it. His reputation called for high profile cases and if this one would further his career then he was willing to risk the fact he would see Naruto Uzumaki again.

He twisted in his chair and snorted before pulling up the fax papers and skimming them once again.

His eyes caught the name once again and then the case number. That's how life tended to be for him, nothing worth remembering and nothing worth worrying about. Everything was a case number.

He tossed the papers into a take home pile he intended to start behind him and set forth through his emails, not bothering to think too hard about the case that involved his childhood friend.

"Business as usual," he stated, and that's exactly how it was.


a/n: I really can't wait to get back to this one!