Title: Victimize
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: ItaSaku
Summary: There were stories of vampires, of course, but weren't they just meant to scare children into obeying curfew? She shouldn't be out so late, and alone at that. It wasn't safe. .:AU oneshot:.
Other: Written for the SpringFlameFC's contest.

-o--o--o-

She was sitting alone on the retaining wall, her slight form huddled in on itself. Her hair, which he supposed was pink, looked almost red in the dusk. She didn't even look up as he came close, his footsteps almost muted on the sidewalk. There was a melancholy that hung around her; even her jeans looked as if they'd seen better days. Her gaze was trained on the sidewalk and she didn't even seem to notice him as he came to a stop in front of her. "So sure you should be alone at night?" She jumped, letting out a soft squeak of surprise. "This town isn't safe after dark."

She smiled coyly up at him, her eyelashes fluttering as she let out a soft laugh. "Yet here you are, out after dark?" Her eyes, he noticed now, were a green full of life. "Are you saying you're scarier than whatever's out there, mister?"

He was in her personal space in a flash, his breath ghosting over her cheeks. "Maybe I am what you should be afraid of."

She laughed again, a tinkling sound, and patted the space on the wall beside her. "I suppose you'd keep the other bad things away then." Smiling, she gestured for him to sit.

"I couldn't," he murmured, noting the way her face fell at his refusal. "I will see you home safely, if you wish."

"That's kind of you, mister," she replied slowly (almost as if choosing her words). "I think I'll be fine, though." Standing, she gave him one last smile. "I appreciate the gesture, really." With that, she strode past him and went on her way.

-o--o--o-

He couldn't get her out of his head, this outwardly defeated scrap of a girl. She had a fire in her heart, he could tell, one that would not be extinguished by something as slight as poverty. If she did live in the public gardens (as he suspected), then she was crafty as well. Intelligent. He found that he wanted to see her again.

I love parks, she writes in a steady hand, because they're peaceful. They remind me of better times.

-o--o--o-

He found himself heading home much earlier than expected, as it was only midnight, walking past the wall where he'd seen that girl not much more than a week prior. He refused to admit it to himself, but he glanced around to see if she was there again.

She wasn't.

Reprimanding himself for getting so worked up over some random girl, he passed the place and continued homeward through the park. He was distracted a few moments later by a shadow over on the swing-set. He squinted and made out a figure on the swings. With the moonlight he could just make out a soft shade of pink.

Before he could even register the change he was approaching her, drawn to this vulnerable-looking female. She was hunched over like before, but her fingers gripped the chains of the swing so tightly her knuckles were unnaturally white. He debated for a second before settling in the swing next to hers.

Her head shot up. "Go find your own- oh, hello again." He found her sudden change of tone amusing. "Well, mister, I never thought I'd see you again."

"Itachi."

His statement was short and clipped. She responded with confusion. "What?"

"My name," he replied, "is not 'mister'. It's Itachi." He glanced over at her and found she was staring at him, too-pretty green eyes and all.

She beamed; Itachi would later think of how bright her smile was compared to the darkness of the night. "My name is Sakura."

-o--o--o-

Their meetings were never planned, never scheduled. Sometimes he would find her on the swings, sometimes on the wall, sometimes near the small pond within the park. He would always find her though. Always, without fail, he would find her.

Sometimes, she whispers, I like to feel like I'm not all alone.

-o--o--o-

"I'm an orphan," Itachi mentioned one evening. Sakura turned her head sharply to gape at him, wondering why he would even offer something like that up. "I know how loss feels." His fingers lay idle on his knees. "If you are ever in need, you may come to me." Sakura's eyes searched for an explanation, but he refused to face her directly.

She blinked, gratitude and understanding in her eyes. "You don't have to…" voice trailing off, she reached to the hand closest to her and placed her own over it. He did look at her then. "Thank you."

-o--o--o-

I always loved to see him, she admits to no one, because he made me feel needed- made me feel wanted.

-o--o--o-

She scuffed her sneaker on the ground, refusing to meet his eyes. "You're…"

"Leaving," she finished with a sigh. "There is nothing left for me here." His shoulders tensed for a split-second; he was standing not a foot away from her, after all. She either didn't see the motion in the last light of dusk or she chose to ignore it. "I have no family," she continued. "I am all alone; I will not be missed."

"I will miss you," he whispered.

She raised her head, meeting his dark eyes with wide ones of her own. "Do you mean that, Itachi?" She leaned forward, her fingers clinging to the brinks of the low-slung wall.

"With my life."

"Itachi…" She stood slowly, her eyes focused once more on the ground. "You cannot mean that." He blinked. "You can't know what that means."

He took a step forward, entering her personal space like he had so long ago. "If you were to leave, Sakura," he spoke softly, so softly, "I would not be able to go on. Cliché though it sounds, it is the truth."

She took his hands into hers. "You could come with me!" Her eyes sparkled with what looked like revived hope. He could not bear to squash that flame again. Her visage grew serious, though, and he felt a sliver of trepidation. "You must know, before you agree, that it will not be easy. There are things you will see…"

His lips formed a frown. "Sakura, you cannot mean to tell me that anything you could show me would be more frightening than what I have witnessed."

There was a decidedly dangerous smile on her face as she spoke again. "Can't I?" She stepped closer, her body pressing against his. Her hand had moved- one gripped his shoulder almost painfully while the other held his chin. The smile widened to show off teeth… teeth that had grown suspiciously in length.

Well, just two.

"Still so sure of yourself, I-ta-chi?" She leaned in so that her fangs grazed his jaw as she spoke. "Are you really so sure you want to come with me?" Her head dipped lower, lips pressed against the hollow of his neck. Her grip relaxed only slightly on his chin; he then had the capacity to speak.

"I would-" he swallowed, and Sakura's teeth barely nicked the tender skin of his throat. "-still miss you. Take me… take me with you."

He could feel her lips curl into the shape of a smile against his flesh. "As you wish."


A/N: Yum?

The SpringFlameFC is having an Uchiha/Sakura contest.
This is my entry.

A link to the club can be found on my profile.