Do not own Naruto

Last Chapter. It's been fun writing this. I have a few new fanfics I'm putting up this week too. Check them out. K&K.

Please, if you haven't done it yet, at the end, review this fic.

0o0o0

The Good Samaritan

Chapter 8-I Don't Want to Go Through the Motions

0o0o0

0o0o0

Sakura slowly opened her eyes to the familiar harsh glint of the hospital fluorescents.

Normally she wasn't on her back to see them. 'When had they become so bright?' she wondered. Shifting to a more comfortable position the med-nin felt the tight pull of newly healed skin along her back.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a silver flash.

Karin-

Suddenly she was reminded of the flash of...

-light reflected off the knife.

…the knife.

The searing pain, the scrape of knife against bone, the harsh sound of…breathing… screaming…madness.

As it came down slicing heavily into her back

Again and again.

She remembered Karin's words to her before she left her there to die.

"He hates you. He's always hated you and your stupid interfering in his life and now you've desecrated his family's home..."

"When you're dead, he'll be happy."

All Sakura had ever wanted was to make Sasuke happy.

The first strike of the knife had been well placed between her shoulders, knocking her to the ground, severing her spine. After that she'd been helpless to stop her.

Or was it she simply didn't care to?

A sharp pang squeezed her chest as she remembered her words to Sasuke before she left him alone for good.

"I asked to come with you, and you turned me down. I followed you and you threw me away, and then you chose her to take with you… It's ok, Sasuke. I've gotten over it; you made it crystal clear the last time we met before you killed Itachi. I might have a thick skull, but it finally came through loud and clear. Goodbye Sasuke."

At least she wouldn't have to deal with him anymore, she thought sadly.

Tsunade finished shooting meds into her IV and removed the silver needle. Seeing her apprentice was awake she smiled and sat on the edge of her bed. "It's about time you woke up. You've been sleeping for three days."

"Karin?" Sakura asked

"Dead," Tsunade said flatly.

"Who?" She hated to ask who had killed the mentally unstable redhead.

"Hunter-nin, but I would have liked to kill her myself," her Shisou admitted, "She was dead before you were out of surgery," Sakura nodded in understanding.

"You have bigger things to worry about," Tsunade frowned.

The young girl looked at her leader, uncomprehendingly.

"I warned you not to get caught by the Uchiha," Tsunade admonished her, "Now you're in a world of trouble. The council wants to prosecute you for trespassing and theft and destruction in the Uchiha compound."

"No way, I didn't take anything..."

"Except food and clothing donations," Tsunade corrected her. "The fact remains you took something and without permission. They will split hairs to prosecute and technically, they are right."

"Uugghh!" she groaned.

"I told you, no good deed goes unpunished Sakura-chan. Now the shit has hit the fan and you are in the middle of this mess. Unless the Uchiha stands up for you-you are going down for this one."

She got up and brushed the hair out of the astonished apprentice's eyes, "Make nice with the brat and you might get out of this alive."

"No, this can't be happening to me," Sakura moaned into her hands, "How did they find out?"

"Apparently Karin talked a lot while they were attempting to capture her alive. When she attacked them in an effort to escape they had to put her down. The hunter-nin had to report the commotion back to the council and the councilmen have acted without waiting to see if Sasuke Uchiha wants to press charges," She explained.

"Technically in the original mission report you were working without permission and since no Uchiha was in Konoha at the time the council has decided it has the right to prosecute you."

"And seeing as you're my apprentice and they hate me… Well, let's just say they are killing two birds with one stone. The only way out of this is if Sasuke comes through and says he asked you to do the work in his stead."

"Oh my God! I'm going to jail!" Sakura wailed.

"Don't worry, if worse comes to worse, Kakashi can get you out of Konoha for a few years. You can live in Suna or Waterfall."

"Become a missing nin?!"

"Now, now, it's not as bad as it sounds," Tsunade comforted her

"What doesn't sound bad about being in bingo books and getting hunted by ninja for the bounty on your head?"

Tsunade tapped her lip, "Perhaps Jariaya would take you traveling with him."

"THE PERVERT!?" she shrieked, "Oh God! My life is over," Pictures of life on the run with the pervy sage flashed through her mind. A life full of bars and brothels.

"Not," Tsunade reminded her, "if you get Sasuke on your side. He can't be that unhappy about what you did, can he?"

"My life is over,"Sakura moaned into her pillow.

"No good deed goes…"

"Just shut UP!"

"Ok, ok. You can go as soon as you feel up to it. I have checked you inside and out, and, in spite of your life being over, you'll live. Take it easy for a couple more days. No work, no training."

"Whatever."

The slug princess smiled, closing the door. Sakura didn't know what happened in the last three days, Tsunade wasn't going to tell her.

About the way Uchiha had brought her to the hospital in a panic, begging them to save her.

How he now had a huge black eye because he had burst into Tsunade's office and dragged her screaming at him to the hospital without explaining why he needed her.

Idiot, had he only mentioned Sakura, he wouldn't be sporting that shiner.

How the boy had sat beside Sakura during surgery, refusing to leave, putting on scrubs to remain close to her, speaking in her ear and telling her she had to stay by his side forever, that they were both tied by the red string of fate.

No one in that surgery breathed a word of it, touched by his sincerity.

They had all been amazed an Uchiha had that kind of sentiment. After surgery he had sat here for the last three days holding her hand. Leaving only once to report what had happened to hunter-nins. He knew nothing of the plans of the council, or surely he would have put them in their place by now. All he cared for was to see Sakura open her eyes.

Tsunade had callously ordered him to go home an hour ago.

He was not to return until he had showered and slept for three hours. If he came back before then she promised to have him banned from seeing Sakura. He had looked annoyed and left only after Tsunade assured him Sakura was fine and Tsunade herself would stay with Sakura until he had returned.

0o0o0

0o0o0

Sakura was fuming mad.

'Stupid old council of elders, screwing with her life.'

She got up and put on her thin hospital robe, deciding go to her office in the lab. The med-nin kept spare clothes there, since sometimes, she ended up working all-nighters.

The elevator opened to the labs level and she was met with a welcome sight.

"Sakura-chan!" Naruto and Hinata spoke in unison.

"Are you supposed to be out of bed?" Naruto asked.

"Yes, I'm cleared to go home," she confided, "I feel fine."

"I'm so glad," Hinata spoke softly, "Tsunade made everyone go back to work earlier but we all wanted to see you too."

"Everyone has been so worried, especially Te-oof," Naruto winced as Hinata elbowed him hard in the ribs.

"What Naruto means to say is everyone will be glad to hear you're ok. We should all get together tomorrow for lunch. I expect you are not to be back at the lab this week right?"

Sakura gave her a funny look. It wasn't like Hinata to go around elbowing her boyfriend.

"Sure, Ichiraku's at noon?"

"You bet, see you later Sakura-chan."

"That was weird," She mumbled to herself as she got dressed in her office and put on her jacket to leave. Her stomach started to hurt but she was sure it had nothing to do with her wounds.

She was dreading talking to Sasuke.

What other choice did she have?

"Missing-nin, with the pervy sage, my ass."

She left the hospital, heading for the far side of town.

0o0o0o0

Sakura walked stiffly into the compound and knocked on Sasuke's door.

There was no answer.

Sighing she walked over to the koi pond and sat down to visit the fish there, they swam gracefully through the water, coming up to touch her fingertips in hopes of a treat when she put them into the water. Their lips tickled the ends of her fingers as they searched for a snack. It was then that she noticed a forth fish in the pond sitting shyly in the corner, 'He must be new to the group,' she thought.

She unwrapping a pack of crackers from her jacket pocket, she crumbled them over the water's surface to coax the new fish out. The promise of dinner over rode its shyness and the new fish finally came out to investigate her offering. Sakura gasped in delight when she saw the color of the fish.

Do you know how long it took me to catch a pink fish?" The deep timbre of the voice at her ear made her shiver.

Her heart slamming into her chest, she turned feeling both the icy hand fear at her neck and a spark of the warmth of hope in her heart.

"Sasuke."

"Did Tsunade give you permission leave the hospital?" he demanded to know.

"Yes, good as new," She smiled awkwardly, thinking of his loss.

"I'm sorry about Karin," she said.

"Sorry? For what? You're sorry she tried to kill you or sorry she didn't succeed?" he lifted a mocking brow at her.

"No, I'm sorry she was killed," Sakura said sympathetically, "She didn't deserve that."

"Yes she did, that and more, and if I had the time I would have done it myself."

"Don't say that," the sad girl pleaded, "she loved you."

"Karin never loved me," he retorted, "she obsessed over an image of power. She didn't know me at all and had no respect for my most precious things."

Sakura didn't understand what he meant so she just nodded.

She took a deep breath, "Sasuke, I have to ask you a huge favor."

She fidgeted, trying both to tell him and wanting to hide at the same time.

"It's about the work I did here," She put her nervousness aside and asked him straight out, "I need your help. I need you to tell the councilmen that you either asked me to do the Uchiha restoration or gave me permission to begin working on it."

He shook his head, "I'm not gonna lie to them."

"B-b-but you don't understand, if you don't they are going to prosecute me! Tsunade is sure I'll go to jail for it, and they're doing it to spite her. She wants me to become a missing Nin!"

"It's not so bad," he teased her, "lots of fresh air. No labs. Well at least none now that Orochimaru is dead."

"Did you just make a joke!?" She put her hands over her face, "My life is over," she cried miserably, "and you think it's funny.

"You know what they say Sakura, 'No good deed…'"

"'goes unpunished'. Yeah, I'm learning that one the hard way. I'm never going to do something nice for anybody ever again," She got up to leave.

"I have to go pack now."

"Sakura," Sasuke's hand on her shoulder brought her to a halt. He pulled her back to face him.

He looked into her sad, pretty eyes, glistening with unshed tears. Tears he never wanted to see again.

It was time to stop punishing her.

"Stay."

"Sasuke, I can't. I told you. They want to put me in jail."

"We can fix this Sakura. If you need evidence of permission to enter the compound, we'll just make it irrefutable."

She observed him carefully, unsure of his meaning.

"I'll make you an Uchiha."

Confusion clouded her bright eyes.

Her heart raced, at what his words might imply, so much she felt lightheaded.

"You'll just have to take my name Sakura."

This time she really did faint.

He caught her to him tightly. When she came around she was held in the protective circle of his arms.

"Sasuke?" she breathed.

"-kun," he added when she forgot. He pressed his lips to her temple.

He touched her chin, tilting it up so he could see her answer in her clear green eyes.

"Stay by my side forever Sakura-chan. Marry me."

Sasuke kissed his girl, he felt like he was finally home.

"Hn." He groaned, finally raising his lips from hers to smile at her.

"I know my family would approve."

FIN

Kaze and Kiba

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

A/N-Well good or bad, that's the end of this one. Thank you, to the people who review and not just favorite without any feedback. I'm starting a new story called Finders Keepers, it has a lot of characters in it but it's mainly a Sak/Sas/Ita fic. Also another called Cat-o-Nine Tails. I have a few more fics almost ready to go up too. My thanks go out to rivenmist for helping me decide which ones first and helping to edit them. I hope you'll check them out. Thanks for sticking to the end of The Good Samaritan. Did you really think I'd kill the hero of my story? Well, I kinda did for a minute there, but it would have sucked if she stayed dead, ne?

Please take a moment to let me know what you think.

Review.

K&K