Something I wrote after reading the latest scans of Code Breaker. Some spoilers for those of you who haven't read the latest chapters. For those who haven't read the series, read it! (It's not like Naruto is getting up from the ground soon, anyway.) And yes, I'm a shipper of Hitomi x Sakura. (God, I'm such a Hitomi fangirl.)

(And before anyone calls me out on it: yes, I know there's a tense change. It's intentional.)

Standard disclaimer applied. Read and review! Because Code Breaker needs more lurv! XD

Sakura looked up at the boy before her. Even while bound and helpless, Hitomi did not seem like a threat to her. She knew that under his messily-tied hair and lackadaisical smiles was the heart of a seasoned killer—that before her was the man who kidnapped the prime minister and had threatened to kill her friends without batting an eyelash—but for some reason, she couldn't imagine him as being dangerous. This was Hitomi, Oogami-kun's sempai and friend, and anyone who was a friend of Oogami could not be all bad.

He was smiling at her. The falseness of that smile mocked her. 'Why doesn't he smile with his heart?' she wondered. Even while lying, Oogami smiled with cheer, but Hitomi's smile was cold and uncaring. And all the while, her mind echoed the question of 'why? Why? Why?' as her brain chased the answer in circles around her head.

The clocks ticked on the wall. Puppy was whimpering by her dangling foot, and other than the breathing of the prime minister and the television, it was quiet. Hitomi's gaze was unwavering as he stared at her.

"Sakura-san, do you know what my name means?"

"Of course I do," Sakura answered resolutely, "it's…"

A blast cut her off and turning her head, she noticed that the wall was missing, the concrete falling in crumbles to the floor. Oogami was there. Hitomi smiled to himself. "So it's begun…"

They fight. She can tell by the faint smell of smoke. Oogami's blue flame swirls and flickers as fluidly as water, and Hitomi is screaming words that she can't hear. Everything is muffled to her ears, but she can hear one word clawing and fighting the air around them: fear.

He's shouting now, his voice filling the rafters as he shouts and screams his hatred. It's chilling and disturbing. The sounds of ticking clocks fill her ears and under it all, she can hear his words; of how the clocks are a memorial to the fallen code breakers; of how the only way to change a person is fear, and she wonders if that is why he is this way? Did he become this way out of fear? But what is he afraid of?

His voice is delirious, his laughter maniacal as he surrenders himself to his hatred. He will not let them be forgotten, he screams, they will be remembered! And as he says this, his question floats back to her as soft as silk. "Sakura-san, do you know what my name is?"

And in her mind, she answers back, "Of course I do, Hitomi-sempai. Your name means pupil of the eye."

And as soon as she thinks that, images flash and flicker like an endless roll of moving film as the sounds overlap. She can't pull them apart, either of them, and her world is spinning with pictures of Oogami and Hitomi as words of code breakers and the forgotten weave around her head. By some sort of epiphany, a bulb goes off in her head. She looks at him.

Hitomi is smiling. His breath comes out in short pants and his eyes are giddy with delight. The hair haphazardly tied at the top of his head spills messily out of its tie and he reaches up to wipe the bead of spit clinging to the corner of his mouth. Though he is smiling and his eyes are bright, there is a wariness to it all. His body is tense and his eyes flicker constantly over the walls. It's like he's a cornered animal.

And as she struggles against the bonds holding her, she hears the echo of her thoughts. 'What has made him so afraid?' it says. Oogami's voice rings out that he wasn't like this before and her mind supplies the question of why? In the form of Hitomi, her mind supplies the answer: Fear is the only thing that can change the actions and thoughts of a person. And then she realizes something. Hitomi means pupil of the eye. He is the gateway to the seen.

'But what has he seen?' she wonders. Was it the deaths of his victims? Was it the guilt of the deaths he'd caused? Was it the fear of the afterlife? But already, her heart has supplied the answer and deep within her, she berates herself for overlooking something so simple.

'Maybe he is afraid of being like them. Maybe he is afraid of being forgotten as well.'

And then the ropes snap, and she runs. Her arms are open.