Start the Machine

- all I can see is you -

chapter twenty-three; reunion

Sasuke's POV

Hinata slept for at least two hours after I brought her back to the cabin, two hours in which I watched her, deep in thought. I brushed the hair off her sleeping face and stroked her pale cheek. She seemed to be having a nightmare; every once in a while she would tremble and mutter gibberish, but as soon as I placed a hand on her, she would be at ease.

When she awoke, I wasn't expecting the reaction I got. Her lavender eyes fluttered open slightly and focused in on my face. I smiled slightly, and the first thing the girl did was shoot up in the bed and scream.

I had no idea that such a tiny girl had it in her to scream that loud. She shrieked at the top of her lungs, inevitably piercing my ears, and when I tried to grab her she threw the blankets at me and bolted out of the bed.

"Hey, shut up!" I yelled at her, standing to my feet. She grabbed a plate that I'd used earlier and threw it at me; I dodged it and it shattered into pieces on the floor. I started to get angry. "Hinata, what the fuck!" She continued to scream and cry so I roughly grabbed her arms and held her til she could no longer move. She stopped screaming but continued to whimper, throwing weak punches at my chest.

"Let go of me!" She screeched. "Get away from me!"

"What's your fucking problem!?" I retorted, my grip on her tightening. She continued to make futile attempts and punching me and pushing me away from her. "Shut the hell up!" I demanded. "Someone's going to fucking hear you and you're going to be put back in that cell!" She finally piped down and met my eyes, though tears continuously poured down her face.

"W-What happened? Why am I here?" She asked. "Let go of me..."

"No, not until I know you're going to behave."

She took a few deep breaths. "I will. Please let go, you're hurting me." I hesitantly loosened my grip on her arm and she shuffled me off of her, making her way to the bed. "What happened?"

"I came and got you a few hours ago... You fell asleep here." I said calmly, taking a seat as well.

"Y-You..." She cried more. "Y-You left me though... You weren't coming back." She hid her face in her hands, and I actually started to feel a sense of guilt rising inside of me. "You abandoned-"

"No I didn't. You're here now, aren't you?"

"I was down there for so long... I-It was awful. You have no idea." She met my gaze and I'd never seen so much pain in her eyes. "Why didn't you come for me sooner?"

I paused. "I just couldn't, okay?"

"That's really all you have to say?" She whimpered again and turned away from me. I let out a long sigh, unsure of how to handle this situation.

"When was the last time you ate?" I asked, walking over to the kitchen. "You need some food. You look awful."

"Thanks." She muttered, laying down on the bed.

"I didn't mean it like that." I scoffed as I poured water into a pot. There were a few moments of silence before I repeated my question. "You didn't answer me. When was the last time you ate?"

"I don't know."

"Did they even feed you?"

"A little bit. The last thing I had was some bread, I don't know when that was, it could have been days."

"What about water?" I poured some instant noodles into the pot, and grabbed a glass to get her some water.

"Hardly any, but more water than food."

I clenched my fist on the glass. She could have died down there... Without a word, I placed the cup of water on the night stand beside her. "Drink it." I said, noticing that she was still crying. I sat down and placed a hand on her, and instantaneously she grabbed my waist and hugged me securely, sobbing into my shirt. I reluctantly held her back, softly brushing her skin with my fingers until she calmed down.

After the noodles were done, I put them in a bowl and gave them to her, sitting down beside her. She sat up and instantly started eating them; she demolished the bowl within a few minutes, then chugged the water.

"Owww..." She mumbled, wiping tears off her face.

"What?" I asked.

"My stomach hurts so much."

I laughed a little. "Well, you ate too fast."

surprisingly, she giggled at this. "Yeah, I guess you're right... Thank you for the food and things."

"No problem." I lightly pulled her head to me and kissed her on the forehead. "You should get some more rest. I'm going to have to explain to my father why I took you in the morning, assuming that the guards will confirm it with him then."

"You didn't even get permission?" She gasped.

"No, I'll explain to you what's going on in the morning."

"Okay." She smiled and laid down. I blew out the candle and crawled in beside her, holding her body close to me. I'd almost forgotten how it felt to actually have her lay beside me.

Hinata's POV

In the morning, I was still a little disoriented from the night before. I didn't expect to actually wake up in his bed, with him holding me in his arms. The feeling was too surreal; almost more surreal than the first time we had laid together.

I woke up before him, and decided not to bother him for a little while. He looked too peaceful to disturb, and I needed the time to lay comfortably with my thoughts. I was overwhelmed with the great feeling of relief when my eyes opened that morning. Not only could I see the sun; I could also see Sasuke.

He explained to me what happened while I was in the cell as we walked towards the hot spring to bathe after he woke. I felt a little bad for reacting the way I did after hearing his story; his mother had gone missing, and his father was going crazy... That was certainly a heavy burden for him to bear, not that I hadn't been through worse. Despite that, I couldn't stay mad at him. He was being nicer to me than usual, and I thought that maybe he felt a little bad for leaving me in that cell for so long.

Sasuke was being odd when we were in the hot spring; I was sitting there minding my business while he sat across from me, when suddenly he disappeared under the water. My expression twisted in confusion, as his face popped up right in front of me.

"W-What are you doing?" I stammered. He looked as though he was about to kiss me, when he splashed water in my face. I screamed in shock and went to push him, but he was gone again. He emerged with a taunting smile and kicked more water at me. "Sasuke!" I exclaimed, swimming after him. I started to laugh, thinking what has gotten in to him? I tried to splash him, but every time he avoided my attempts. Eventually I grew frustrated and sat back down, crossing my arms over my chest with a pout.

He chuckled mockingly. "What, you're giving up?"

"Hmph, you have an unfair advantage."

"What's that?" He grinned, slithering up to me.

"You're too fast."

"You're just slow."

I was about to retort, but he stopped me with a swift kiss. It had been too long since I'd felt his lips; my body melted, and instantly I was his... Not that I ever stopped being his.

"Let's get out of here." He smirked, peering deviously into my eyes. I shyly nodded.

We put our clothes back on, and Sasuke picked me up and ran as fast as he could back to the cabin. He pushed me down to the bed and pinned me by my wrists; it was his signature thing, and I loved how rough he was with me. He kissed and bit my neck, sending a series of shivers all across my skin wherever he touched it.

"I missed you." He breathed on my neck. I squirmed beneath him until he let my wrists go, and this time I was the first one to start tearing off his clothes. He smirked in amusement at this, and retaliated by pinning me down again. I knew he was trying to drive me wild and it was working; he wouldn't let me move, and just kept breathing those soft kisses against my skin. I struggled hard beneath him, but moving my arms was impossible, so I wrapped my legs around him and pulled him against me. He hissed when I ground myself into him, and I couldn't help but feel that now I was winning.

I lay sprawled on his chest, listening to his heart beat pound after we finished. We both still breathed heavily, and it took us several minutes to collect ourselves. I wasn't sure about him, but I was certainly in awe. Sometimes it was still hard to believe that it was even possible for someone to make my body feel so good.

I found my thoughts wandering elsewhere; "I missed you." Hesitantly, I propped myself up so I could face him.

"Sasuke, I..." I couldn't bring myself to look into his dark pools. "Did you really miss me?"

He leaned up on one elbow and forced me to meet his gaze. "Yeah, I did."

There were so many words I wanted to blurt out, but there were three in particular that stood out over the others. I pressed my lips tightly together to stop myself from saying something completely stupid. Just then, there was a knock at the knock at the door; Sasuke threw me off the bed and tossed my clothes at me, signalling for me to run downstairs.

Sasuke's POV

I threw my pants on as quickly as possible and didn't bother with the shirt. I attempted to make the bed look less messy, but there was another knock at the door, so I panicked. I left everything else the way it was and answered the door, still sweating from my previous endeavor. I expected to see my father, but was slightly relieved to see that it was only my brother. He was alone, too.

"Hey." He said, inviting himself inside.


He eyed me suspiciously and looked around the room, before making a twisted expression. "Gross." He commented.

"Um, what?" I asked quizzically.

He ignored this. "So, where's the girl?"

"Downstairs, of course... What are you doing here?" It was a dumb question; I knew why he was here. I was expecting someone to come too, I suppose I just got a little caught up with Hinata. I really did miss her.

My brother sat down at the table. "It looks extremely bad for you to make a move like that, Sasuke... To lie to the guards and tell them that you have permission to take one specific slave isn't exactly a subtle way to go about things."

My heart was thumping in my chest; I'd been caught. That was it. Itachi knew, and my father was going to lose it... They would kill her...

Itachi released a heavy sigh, cutting off my train of thought. "Smarten up." He said calmly. "Father is freaking out about this, you're lucky that I was able to convince him to let me come here in his stead. He may be going crazy, but he's still not stupid. It's completely aparent that something is going on here."

I gulped. "What do you mean..."

"You're having relations with that slave girl downstairs, it's painfully obvious." It felt like my heart was about to leap out of my throat. "I'm not going to tell him." Itachi continued, and my head snapped to him. "I'll help you out this time, Sasuke, but if you pull something stupid like this again, I can't say I'll be able to come up with another viable excuse for you."

"Y-You really won't tell him?"

"No, I won't. To be honest I've suspected it for quite a while, I simply don't care. But I'm not sure how father would react if he found out. He's strangely strict about this sort of thing. Even if I were to be fraternizing with one of the slaves, he would probably force me to kill her myself as punishment."

His words sent shudders up my spine. "Thanks." I awkwardly muttered.

Much to my surprise, Itachi smiled. "Anytime. Father trusts me, so I'm sure this time he'll believe what I tell him, but just remember that if he suspects anything again, it's not likely he'll let that girl live."

I nodded. "I understand."

A/N: Thanks so much for the reviews, everyone! I'll try to update again soon. I hope you liked the chapter, please let me know what you think :) constructive criticism is always encouraged. Are you still liking where I'm heading with this story, or am I droning on too much!?