Chapter 10: 'The Deep End'


To an anonymous reviewer called Momo: [Loving the name btw] Oh you did it last year when paper two of English got all fucked up because of some dude in like Louth? Poor thing! Nope just the JC it's a total waste of time but I wanted to do well ya know? So I was kinda stressing because it was my first state exam and all that, I'm just glad it's over. :]] Hope you got the points ya wanted and all that. Yep you can say that again I'd take that Viking any day I loved his character better then Bill's in the book but Alex just made it grow even more. Thanks for reading xx

So anyways now I'm back my hair is dyed (No shit), I got me a tan (BE JEALOUS) and I'm full of ideas so enjoy my pretties!

Oh hey if you have some (Like 3 minutes) free time this summer check out 'Change' by Carrie Underwood, yeah I know its old but for all those who haven't heard it I recommend it, it's beautiful and it makes you think. So if you have the time, check it out.






The days had been speeding up, or so it seemed and the weather was much warmer now. After school the girls made it their business to go outside onto the campus and have some tanning time, since they were only freshmen high school exams weren't too much of a worry. But Sakura still worked her ass off, she had to prove her worth to the staff or else they'd send her back to a run down school where she'd never get to an Ivy League.

The sun was beating down on their faces and Ino already had brown legs and arms. Sakura didn't tan too well but her skin wasn't as pale as it used to be, her hair also had brightened so it looked even more neon then before. She hadn't seen much of Itachi because he was busy studying she knew it had been too good to be true. She knew it the moment she saw him in the hall on her –technically- first day. He was everything she aspired to be, wealthy, composed, happy, smart, talented, popular and problem free. But she knew that even those hot kisses full of lust would come to an end. Summer was nearly here and he'd be going off to college and she'd be just starting out her journey that was high school.

She closed her eyes many times trying not the think these thoughts but they were facts. Hard, cold facts. Facts that made her stomach tighten and made her wish with every fibre of her being that she was his age. He was so helpful to her when it came to Akane; the board had been causing her (Akane) grief which involved framing her for different things and reporting her for doing things she didn't. Now teachers were constantly pissed off with her and she was on the verge of being expelled. But the weird thing was that, Sakura wasn't satisfied with the taking down of Akane, she thought she would be but she wasn't. She felt cold and numb and her stomach kept knotting itself up when she pictured the girl, she had a bad feeling that something terrible was going to happen.

"….And then he had the nerve to squeeze my butt!"

Sakura tuned into the last part of Ino's story which Ten-ten and Hinata had been listening to. Sakura couldn't help it she felt distant and distracted; she had a constant upset stomach and her chest now seemed to always be tight, causing her difficulty when breathing. She had sleepless nights and foodless days, because when she ate she'd throw up or feel nauseous. Her weight had dropped and the missing inches were noticeable. She figured her stomach was just a sign of her worry about exams and Akane, but her chest on the other hand was much more serious. She feared that her heart was breaking. She wasn't an idiot she didn't love Itachi and she knew God damn well he didn't love her but she felt more then just attraction to him. She felt like when she saw him all the planets aligned, not just pathetic fireworks or angles singing, no this was bigger. It was like the moving of the earth's plates, the build up to an earthquake. And that's what scared her because Sakura was smart and she knew that when pressure built up it was released (Mostly) in one go causing serious damage. Then you had aftershocks which caused further damage.

She felt like that when summer came the pressure would release, she'd understand her parting with Itachi and accept it but her heart would break. She'd be the area the damage was inflicted onto. He'd walk off free into a grand college where he'd meet fabulous women who would be smart, sexy, and rich and he'd marry one of them. She'd just be a small town girl with a poor family dreaming about a better life. Sakura inhaled but the tightness in her chest didn't ease, it was bracing itself for heartbreak. Maybe one didn't have to be in love to have one's heart broken.

"YOOHOOO! Sakura? Hello?" Ino flicked Sakura on the nose; the pink haired teen had been staring off into the distance looking confused.

"Huh?" Sakura blinked and looked at Ino who just grinned.

"Be happy it's almost summer!" Ino exclaimed

That's the exact reason why I'm sad, thought Sakura sourly.

"I am happy," Sakura defended herself, badly.

"Yeah and I'm a virgin," Ino retorted then laughed loudly to herself.

Sakura smiled, she wasn't sad in general but when she thought of Itachi a wave of sorrow would wash over her.

"So what does everybody think of Kakashi?" Ino asked looked from one girl to another.

"He's a brilliant world history teacher," Ten-ten supplied and Ino rolled her eyes.

"He seems nice and Naruto really likes him, but he always reads that little orange book…" Hinata trailed off

"Maybe Naruto has the hots for Kakashi, hey Hina, that'd be an awesome threesome don't ya think?"

Hinata blushed furiously turning and attractive shade of purple.

Ino looked at Sakura.

"He's a sexy bitch, I wanna see under the mask."

Ino punched the air in a very Naruto-like-fashion. "Atta girl! I was thinking the exact same thing!"

Sakura smiled, she agreed with Ten-ten though he was a brilliant world history teacher even though he was as sexy as hell.

Ino lay back down then happy with Sakura's response. "I can't wait for summer! It'll be s good to just stay in bed all day and hang by the beach. Shopping with my girlies, damn school exams they suck major ass."

Sakura didn't comment, she disagreed, yes exams were annoying but they were the only things that ever seemed to do her good in life. They delivered her to the destinations she wanted to go to; they were her only way out of hell. She needed them; she needed the red letters in a circle to show her worth to the world. Yes exams only were numbers and percents but she trusted them, they never let her down.

The day was hot and they hadn't been given much homework so lounging out in the sun seemed like a good idea. Sakura just couldn't bring herself to enjoy it though. She wondered if she was taller and had bigger breasts, a less pointy nose, and a normal hair colour and was older would Itachi love her. Would she need to be rich or would he accept her? She'd never know because she was short with small breasts, a pointy nose, shocking pink hair and was 15. She sighed, why did happiness hate her so much?


Itachi closed another book, he didn't need to be studying he knew all the needed information but if he kept his brain busy with numbers and words it couldn't think of Sakura.


She was like a highly addictive drug that plagued his mind day and night. He didn't even know her that well, but he knew that there were practically invisible freckles on her forehead and that her eyebrows weren't the same length. He knew that her upper lip was slightly out of proportion to her lower one, a feature he found quite attractive. He knew that she smelled like vanilla most of the time and that she had the softest skin he'd ever come across. He also knew that she was 15, 15 she had only entered her teens two years ago. She was so young and yet Itachi didn't want to believe it. He wanted her to be 18 so he could go to college knowing she was also at a college, but that wouldn't happen because she'd still be in high school.

She'd still be that much younger then him. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, he was tired his insomnia was very bad at the moment he was barely sleeping. His father was constantly breathing down his neck about taking over the company. Itachi hadn't noticed that his fists were clenched until he went to pick up a book. He didn't want to take over to company; he didn't want to make the mistakes his father did. He didn't want to be working in a company when his father would act like a backseat driver. No he had bigger plans, better ones, ones that were too big for his father.

Itachi wanted to be successful in his own right, not because he was an Uchiha but because he was a capable young man. He wanted to make a name for himself he didn't want to be only referred to as 'That Uchiha' he wanted his name to be known. Uchiha Itachi would stand alone, on his own two feet and he would be successful, it was a fact. Because Itachi was born great and he would achieve great things. Unlike his father though, Itachi had little time for the pettiness that came with wealth. He wanted to help those who didn't have the luxuries that he took for granted, maybe he wanted this because he knew Sakura was that type of person. A person who didn't have the benefits of money but he'd never admit that, oh no because that would be a weakness.

He closed his eyes yet again and inhaled, clearing his mind. It was full of useless things, things that would only distract him. Weaknesses. Itachi clenched his jaw, he needed to stay focused, to stay clam. Reopening his eyes he picked up an applied math book and began studying.

Yes he already knew all of it.

Yes he didn't need to do it.

But if it kept him from going insane with lack of sleep and too many thoughts directed at Sakura he'd bare it. Because no one could over learn now could they?

The numbers and theorems were like a hot bath to Itachi's mind; it settled him, soothed him and allowed him to focus on the task at hand. His eyes, after a while began to burn with exhaustion and that's when he decided to try sleep.


Akane knew she was fucked, the second the board had started meddling she knew she was doomed. She'd never make it through until summer, she'd either be expelled (For things she didn't do) or she'd be driven mad.

These thoughts only made her angrier because this was all Sakura's doing, the whole fucking board was protecting her. She knew what she had to do, she needed to do it fast before the board caught whiff of it and tried to stop her.

She had to end this now.

She needed to be fast and furious, Akane wasted no time. If the board wanted to end her, she'd damn right go out with a bang.


Nobody had seen Sasuke; he was so busy studying in his room for exams that most of them found unimportant. But Sasuke was an Uchiha which meant he had to do well but more important he was Itachi's younger brother a level had been set for him a level he had to reach. Itachi had done brilliantly starting the second he walked into Rockwell, he was naturally amazing something that Sasuke couldn't comprehend. How could one person be good at practically everything? He'd never been in a situation with Itachi that Itachi didn't know what to do in; Itachi always knew what to do. Sasuke had to work to keep up with Itachi which was gruelling. He'd stay up late studying until he could recite everything in the textbook because he would not be second best to Itachi.

Sasuke ran a hand through his dark hair but no matter what he would always be second best. Itachi always got there first, he got everything. He knew everything. Everybody loved Itachi because he was perfect. Where Sasuke was 'cute' nothing special but 'cute', Sasuke clenched his jaw at the thought, so hard his head throbbed.

Itachi got the grades, the friends, the status and the women. They threw themselves at his feet. But most importantly Itachi got Sakura.


When he wasn't studying she plagued his mind, he wanted her so badly. But she was already in Itachi's grasp and Sasuke knew when the opponent was unbeatable. He wasn't stupid he didn't fight battles he couldn't win. But none the less it drove him mad, he wanted Sakura but Itachi got her. It wasn't fair! Itachi would go off to college and Sakura would be so heartbroken she'd have no time for any more Uchiha's. Itachi would ruin any chance Sasuke had and if by some miracle they didn't break up she'd still be Itachi's. He couldn't win, he was cornered.

Sasuke knew he could love Sakura, he could offer her a secure loving future. A stable one where she could have anything, Itachi could do the same but there was no certainty that he'd stick around until the end. Sasuke would though he'd stay with Sakura through it all because he truly believed he loved her. He loved her so much it hurt him, it prevented him from sleeping. He closed his eyes as the fury washed over him. Itachi was always in the way.

He wanted to break something his control was shattering and unlike Itachi he wasn't able to hide it.


Sakura patted her wet hair with a towel as she walked into the living room of the dorm. Ino was still outside sunbathing on the lawns with Ten-ten and Hinata; Sakura had gone inside early to study and then take a shower. For a couple of days now Sakura felt like she was dirty, on the inside, and no matter how many showers she took she couldn't wash it away. Sakura closed her eyes and enjoyed the temporary silence; it was nice to have a small break from Ino and her noise.

Finishing washing her face Sakura walked into the bedroom and put on her clothes then began to towel dry her hair. She'd barely been sleeping due to the night terrors which made her pissed off. She knew she was safe here in Rockwell no one could get her and the rapist was gone he'd left without a trace. She was safe nothing could touch her and yet she felt like that was a lie, like deep down she knew something. Something she didn't want to admit, that maybe just maybe something bad was going to happen. She was so tired from the lack of sleep and she couldn't even take naps because even then the vivid images of other girls being raped appeared in her mind.

Sakura hadn't realised she was crying until she felt the tears drip onto her hand, closing her eyes she sat down and hugged herself. It had been awhile since she had cried and Sakura had an awful feeling that it wasn't the last. Something big was going to happen something big and bad.

The tears kept falling making a tiny thudding sound as they hit the duvet cover on Sakura's bed. Why was she crying? She didn't even feel sad, maybe worrying so much was making her upset but that didn't seem right. She felt like for a while she'd been walking on a 'walled-in' path and now those walls were closing in on her. It seemed like one bad thing after another was building up in front of her eyes and she couldn't deal anymore.

She hated to admit it to herself but the idea of Itachi leaving her was ripping holes into her being. Everytime she thought of it she felt like someone sliced a knife through her gut, sometimes it was so bad she doubled over. It was crazy but what else could she do? She barely knew him and she felt like she needed him. Closing her eyes she clenched her fists and jaw.

This is pathetic Sakura, stop being a baby!

For once in her life Sakura agreed with that voice.

I know it is, but how?

You were fucking raped! Man up, you don't need anyone never mind a stupid rich Uchiha. Forget him, get a move on!

Sakura swallowed and looked up, tears were rolling down her cheeks; her neck was wet as were her hands she hadn't realised she'd cried so much. Her eyes became stern, she could do this she didn't need anyone. The voice was right she needed to build a bridge and get over it; Itachi surely would so why did she have to stay behind being miserable? She wouldn't do it! She had a life ahead of her she needed to focus on, if she forgot that for just one moment she could loose it all in a blink of an eye. Everything she'd worked so hard for, gone. No she wouldn't do that to herself.

She got up and went to the mirror where she began to style her hair (Not forgetting her heat protection) she would brush this off and move on.

Atta girl, you can do this.

That was the first time the voice had said something positive and Sakura was thankful for it. She needed the support right now; extra strength was only a bonus. When done Sakura wiped her eyes and sat down on her bed with a book, an escape into a storyline was exactly what she needed. Sakura fell asleep before Ino got in; she had a dreamless sleep that night. The first peaceful night in a long time, Sakura was very thankful for it.


"I'm coming home

I'll be coming home

And if you ask me I will stay

I will stay"

Sakura woke up with her eyelids stuck together from such a deep sleep, after brushing her teeth and getting dressed she walked into Ino's room. Ino was infront of her mirror doing her eyeliner she glanced at Sakura and waved the black pencil at her in a salutation. Sakura grinned and sat down on the bed watching Ino. Ino smiled to herself it was the first time in awhile she had seen Sakura smile, she'd missed it.

"So you slept well huh?" Ino asked as they made their way through the hallways to class.

"Yes, thank God for that I thought I was going to turn into a zombie after a while." Sakura smiled and grabbed her books starting three days ago the notes had stopped appearing. They only held short sentences of what Sakura had come to think of as empty threats. But Sakura didn't realise that they weren't threats they were warnings.

Akane could see Sakura at her locker with the Yamanaka by her side, it sickened her. She wanted to bang the girl's head into her locker until she screamed and begged for her to stop. Akane took a deep breath victory would be hers. Today she would win.

Akane's time was running out and the board were going to have her expelled she needed to move fast. Today was perfect because the board were having a meeting the whole school had to attend to. Walking casually to the hall Akane grinned. Yes revenge was a dish best served cold.


Itachi was glad for the meeting; it kept his mind off other things that were plaguing him. His eyes scanned the room and landed on Akane, she looked composed and clean the way all the Uchiha women looked. He shook his head his whole family had wanted him to marry Akane. Yes he was eighteen and in high school but that didn't throw his family; his father had met his mother at a young age. They were all for finding a women and keeping her until a suitable (Marital) age. All the family approved of Akane; she was a lady reserved, calm and smart and of course beautiful. But now he could see her clearly, no more rose tinted glasses, she may be smart and beautiful but she was cruel and crazy. Funnily enough all this time his mother had never liked her and his mother was a brilliant judge of character.

Sitting down in his chair next to Kisame and Sasori, he looked out at the student body gathered together in the concert hall. They were chatting amongst each other or glancing at the board members and blushing. He looked at the sheets of paper before him it was weird thinking in a while he'd never see this building again; he never thought it would upset him but strangely enough it did. He felt an attachment to the building, to the people in it, to Sakura.


Now how did she get in there? He looked up at Sasori who had his iPod headphones in one ear drumming his fingers to the beat on the table infront of them. Sasori didn't go anywhere without his iPod, he'd go back to his dorm room if he forgot it. Itachi watched as Sasori's fingers stopped drumming, he glanced up at the redhead who was now staring into the audience. Itachi followed his line of sight and his eyes landed on Sakura who was just sitting down. His eyes narrowed, how long had Sasori been watching her?

Sakura looked up wondering what the meeting was about, her eyes caught Sasori's and she raised an eyebrow he just grinned in return. She had the sudden urge to hit him, Ino was chatting away about God only knows what. Sakura grinned back at Sasori and made a head motion towards Ino then rolled her eyes; Sasori put his thumbs up in agreement. Sakura laughed, even though she wanted to hit him most of the time he was able to make her laugh. Sasori was hot and lots of girls would kill to just get a glance from him but Sakura looked at Sasori as an ally not as boyfriend material.

She looked at Ino who had now stopped talking to Sakura because Deidara was standing next to her giving out about something and Ino looked pissed.

"Ino! For God's sake can't you stay inline for a minute?" Deidara sounded exhausted

"Hmph! Coming from Mr. 'I like to blow things up for fun'"

Deidara shook his head and walked away taking his seat next to Sasori who just nodded at him. Sakura turned to Ino.

"You don't want to know." Was all Ino said before she grinned, "Itachi's looking at you!"

Sakura suddenly felt self-conscious and depressed, she couldn't look at him. She couldn't upset herself further she needed to let him go now. Yes she'd said it before but now she meant it for her own sake. She only had weeks left, if she let him go now she'd have more time to heal the wound. She didn't even know why her heart fluttered at his name and why her skin heated up when he touched her, she barely knew him. She didn't know why the thought of letting him go made her heart feel like it was breaking but it did. You're heart couldn't be broken if you weren't in love right? She didn't know but she liked to think the answer was 'no'.

Sakura did everything in her power not to look up at Itachi and apparently this was obvious to Ino.

"Why won't you look at him?" She whispered.

Sakura just shook her head and put her finger to her lips telling Ino to be quite as the meeting had begun.

"Welcome," The principal announced and then began talking about the school year and how it had been a prosperous one filled with many great things. She spoke about the freshman moving into their second year and the seniors going off to college and into the crazy ride they called life. She spoke for a while about various things and then handed out prizes to students for certain things. Then she left, leaving the board to finish off. But before she left she thanked the board for a good year and explained how they would be missed.

Sakura felt her heart squeeze and she closed her eyes. It's the inevitable she told herself over and over but it didn't make the pain any easier, it only seemed to make it worse. She wanted to get up and leave but she knew that would only cause people to ask questions so she sat there with her eyes closed.

It began to work, she felt numb after a while. Until Itachi began speaking into the microphone and she could hear his velvety voice all around her. She couldn't handle it, without thinking she stood and walked out of the hall infront of everyone. She walked calmly out the door like she left meetings all the time but the second the doors closed behind her she broke into a sprint, without knowing where she was running she ran. She ran until all she could hear was her heartbeat and her breathing, in the heat it was hard but she didn't care.

Stopping at an area shaded by some old trees Sakura bent over and began to pant, she didn't know how far she had ran and she didn't care. She needed to hear nothing, her breathing was so loud that blocked out the memory of Itachi's voice. She wanted to cry, her body was ready to let out a wail.

Stop this nonsense! Sakura you're better then this, you'll forget all about him and go on to do brilliant things. But you'll never get there if you can't let him go!

Inhaling Sakura prevented herself from crying, the voice was right she was better then this. If she put her mind to it she could get over this she just needed to believe it. Which, sadly, she didn't.

Glancing up she realised she was behind her dorm building, she'd never been here before. It was shaded by big old oak trees but the sun's rays were able to shine through the branches and warm her face. It was like they were reaching out to pull her into a gentle embrace, she found it soothing. Sitting down with her back against one of the trunks, she smiled. Yes she was sad and drew the attention of the whole school to her when she ran out but right now she was peaceful, right now she was alone with nature. It didn't matter who she was, the tree didn't know and it most certainly didn't care but it was supporting her giving it's hundreds of years old strength.


The sound of the grand doors closing echoed throughout the now silent hall. Everyone looked at the person next to them in a questioning glance and then the whispering started.

"Who was that?"

"Why did she just run away?"

"Is she okay?"

"Did you see her face?"

"She didn't even excuse herself!"

"The nerve!"

"Maybe someone should go after her and see if she'd alright,"

It grew louder and louder until Kisame hushed them with his deep gravelly voice, he didn't need a microphone to amplify himself, he was loud enough naturally. Itachi stepped back from the microphone he couldn't believe he was going to do this.

"Please excuse me," Was all he said to the students before he left and slowly left the hall. Walking calmly until he was out of sight then he began running. He knew she had been avoiding his gaze, something was wrong with her. Running through the grounds searching for her, it was pointless because she was one girl and the grounds were huge. He felt stupid, like a child searching aimlessly for a parent in a supermarket. But yet he still searched, he didn't care for some unknown reason he didn't care that he looked like a child. Sakura meant more to him then what other people thought of him, yes he'd never admit it but it was true. What did that mean? What did that make her to him? He didn't know, he didn't want to know. He just wanted to find her. But he had a sinking feeling that she was running from him.

Stopping he looked around; he'd never find her at this rate. Why did he even care? She was fifteen she had three years ahead of her here and now he was practically finished. But he did care because Itachi seeked balance in life contrary to what many believed he sought. That's why he enjoyed spending time outdoors in the peace and harmony that was nature; it was something Akane was never able to give him. Balance she was always 100% something never even, she was too over the top for him most of the time. And that'd when it hit him Sakura made him feel balanced; she made him feel calm and complete in a strange way. She fulfilled his need to be balanced and he didn't think he was prepared to give that up.

Itachi sopped running and began to walk, he wasn't really looking for her when he found her. She was just sitting against a big oak tree with her eyes closed letting the rays of sun hit off her face. She looked so peaceful, she looked beautiful.

She was composed, clean, kind, smart, beautiful, crazy, young, sensitive and a lady but his favourite part was she wasn't perfect. She didn't strive to be perfect; she accepted her flaws and then embraced them. He always hated the way Akane tried to be perfect she'd always fail of course but it still bothered him. And that's when Itachi saw it, he didn't just see Sakura before him he could see a future wife. That image made him feel content and fully balanced but it was a distant dream she needed to finish high school and he had to go to college she'd probably meet someone as would he and that would be then end of that.

But maybe it could be just the beginning, he didn't know. He just knew that every moment he spent with Sakura, was –in his eyes- a moment well spent.

"Sakura," he spoke and watched as she stiffened and opened her eyes to meet his but she glanced away quickly. That didn't sit well with him, actually it made him angry. Why was she avoiding eye contact?

"Uchiha Itachi," She returned her voice was lifeless, like a recording, a shell of who she used to be.

"Don't be so formal with me." Was all he said waiting for her to demand what he meant but she remained silent. Closing his eyes he decided to ask her then.

"Why did you leave like that?" He was expecting silence but Sakura shot back in a sickeningly sweet voice.

"I don't think that concerns you, Itachi." She spoke his name in faked friendly tone. "You should probably return to the hall to hold the meeting."

"They can go on without me." Was all he said, a pregnant silence fell between the two.

"Sakura why did you leave?"

"Why do I have to tell you?" She looked up and gasped at his sudden closeness, she could smell his shampoo. The heat of his body was consuming her in a delicious wave of blazing heat. She wanted nothing more then to jump into his arms and let him hold her.

Don't give in! A wound will never heal if you constantly pick at it!

Itachi put his hands around her face cradling her head, she was beautiful. "Sakura what's wrong?"

Sakura adverted her eyes, she couldn't look at him. It hurt her too much.

His fingers caressed the sides of her cheeks. "Sakura,"

"Please" she whispered the cool and angry façade falling apart revealing her true voice. "Please leave me alone." It was barely a whisper but he heard it.

"I can't do that." Was all he said before he leaned in and kissed her.

Sakura tried, she tried with everything in her to resist but when she felt his tongue enter her mouth she lost all hope. Her will to fight vanished and she wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him closer. She wanted more, more then this, she wanted everything. She didn't want him to go.

Itachi kissed her and didn't stop, when she began groaning into his mouth he allowed his hands to wander. From her cheeks to her neck, down her back to her ass which was out the ground but that didn't stop him. Sakura didn't feel scared or embarrassed by the fact Itachi was rubbing her ass, she liked it, she liked it a lot. She leaned her head back as he began to kiss and suck her neck. She needed all of him, she untied his hair and ran her fingers through it. The silkiness was like an expensive blanket around her fingers she loved his hair, it smelt like him, it was well cared for and so unbelievably soft.

His hands travelled back up from her ass to her hips then under her shirt, she didn't protest. She didn't stop him when she felt his fingers on her bra, she didn't care that he was leaving she didn't care that he was older. She had to admit it because it was hurting her too much to lie to herself.

She loved Uchiha Itachi.

She barely knew him but she loved him.

She groaned as he rubbed her breasts through the fabric of the bra. She wanted more then this. She pulled him closer and pushed her hands beneath his shirt she ran her fingers over his abs, feeling the bumps and grooves of the muscles. He returned to kissing her mouth, then she heard it the sound of footsteps she'd never moved so fast in her life. She pushed Itachi off of her and jumped backwards straightening her uniform and fixing her hair.

Ino emerged from behind the trees, she glanced at Itachi who was perfectly composed as normal and Sakura who looked ruffled up, which was also normal. Not suspecting much she smiled.

"Found you, you okay?" She walked over to Sakura and wrapped an arm around her, then glanced at Itachi. "I can take it from here, you should get back there."

Itachi nodded and began to walk away but glanced at Sakura who looked back longingly. Sakura had fixed her hair in a way that covered most of her neck so Ino wouldn't see any pink marks from Itachi. Itachi then turned fully and walked off.

"What were you up to?" Ino asked as they walked into the dorm building but Sakura didn't respond.

That was your idea of holding back? Why don't you just fuck him too?

SHUT UP! I tried okay?

And failed!

I know, I'm sorry I'm a failure.

Now, now there's always tomorrow don't say that. But still you need to atleast try harder or we're all fucked…literally.


Itachi walked back into the hall to find it was dead silent and not in a good way. Each student was staring in awe at the stage; Itachi turned and was horrified by what he saw. Sasori had his arms around Akane who was grinning madly, the board looked shocked. Sasori wasn't moving anymore but he wasn't letting go of her. Itachi had an awful feeling that Akane had just done something terrible.

But what?

He didn't need to ask because she repeated herself even though Sasori tried to cover her mouth.

"Yep you heard me, Haruno Sakura is crazy! She takes pills for depression and she was raped! She's a freak."

Itachi's mind went blank, no thoughts entered it. No plan, no ideas, nothing; he didn't know what to do he felt like he was alone in a black tunnel. Then the whispering started.

"Isn't she the girl who ran out of the hall earlier?"

"Didn't she get a scholarship?"

"I heard she was poor."

"Have you seen her hair?"

"Wow depression and being raped, that blows."

"Hah she probably had it coming."

"Good ol' Akane informing the student body of the necessary information."

"Poor girl, I wonder is she okay?"

"Isn't Itachi her mentor, do you think he knew?"

"Wow raped, isn't she like only a freshman?"

"Akane shouldn't have said that, but then it must be true."

"Wow she's medicated she must be crazy?"

"She probably got pregnant and had a baby!"

"Yes totally! On top of all that she's probably a teenage mother, ouch her parent's must be so ashamed."

"I wonder how she got herself in such a mess."

Itachi could hear them, the more they talked the more exaggerated the story became. But he was numb, he couldn't move. His eyes watched as Akane was dragged from the room and as Sasori told the students to leave. The hall emptied very quickly, students were eager to get outside and chat about what they'd just heard. Itachi swallowed it was too late; he couldn't do anything for the first time in his life he'd failed.


Not only had he just failed, he had failed Sakura. Sakura, who made him complete, Itachi turned to leave he needed to get to her. But Sasori stopped him.

"Dude, don't. You'll only make it worse let her deal with it with Ino and her friends. If she needs help she'll come-"

"NO! She fucking won't Sasori! She was raped, do you think she'll come skipping back in here looking for help after being publicly humiliated!" It was the first time in a long time that Itachi had yelled, Sasori stared at him. He'd never heard the Uchiha raise his voice and frankly he never wanted to again. Itachi was intimidating when calm but angry? He was terrifying.


"Fuck off!" Itachi turned and marched out of the room, only to bump into Sasuke.

Sasori stared after the Uchiha, this wasn't good. Sakura had no idea what everyone had just found out and now Itachi was pissed off. Closing his eyes he realised that Itachi wasn't just doing his duty as a mentor, he cared; he cared a lot about Sakura. He wanted to protect her from what was about to come. Sasori sighed but he couldn't do that because rumours spread like wildfire in school's, by the end of the day it'll probably be Sakura was abducted by aliens and raped and had given birth to an alien baby.

Sasori sat down in the empty hall, Tsunade was going to expel Akane but that wouldn't solve this. Haruno Sakura? The cheery pink haired girl, raped? It didn't seem right, it didn't add up she was always trying to calm everyone down, always keeping to herself. Sasori hadn't given Sakura enough credit; she was a truly amazing actress.


Sasuke had been one of the first people to leave, he felt ill. How did Akane get up there in the first place? Why didn't they do something before it had become too late? Now Sakura was going to be destroyed she'd probably move school. Change her name, dye her hair and lead a different life. He pinched the bridge of his nose, who in the world had raped Sakura? He wasn't mad, he was livid he wanted to kill someone.

He had watched her leave the hall earlier when Itachi began to talk; she looked calm on the surface. Had she known this would happen? Or was she running from something? If so what was she running from?

Itachi had walked out only a couple of seconds ago looking full of rage. Sasuke hadn't seen emotion so clearly displayed on his brother's face ever. Itachi was angry, Itachi was dangerous. He stormed by Sasuke heading towards Sakura's dorm he suspected, but he grabbed his brother's shirt and held him back, Itachi may be taller but Sasuke was bulkier. Not more muscular then Itachi but still it gave him an advantage.

"Sasuke let go-" Itachi's voice wasn't calm or collected it was full of red hot rage, ready to attack anyone or anything.

"No Itachi." Sasuke said keeping calm and clearing his mind of all anger he needed to stay calm.


"Itachi, you have lost control of yourself and you're in no position to go near a girl who has just been publicly humiliated." Sasuke paused. "You need to stop being weak and take back you're control, being emotional only clouds one's judgment."

"Sasuke! Now is not the time-"

"Yes it is, we are Uchiha and we are always in control even if it's just on the surface. Stop making a fool out of yourself. Sakura won't want you to go near her either way so you're best off to calm down."

"Oh and you'd know?" Itachi jabbed his voice cruel.

"Yes I would, calm down and leave her alone she won't want to see you." Sasuke let go of Itachi's shirt. "If you go you'll only hurt her more. If that is your intention then go."

"I'd never hurt her!" Itachi yelled but Sasuke stayed calm.

"Do you think you are in a fit state of mind to deal with her? I don't. Leave her alone Itachi, let her be alone. She won't want to see you or anyone."

Itachi blinked, his brother seemed so much older then fifteen just there, he sounded wise and knowledgeable. Itachi inhaled, he needed to calm down but he didn't think he could. He didn't think he could calm down until her chocked Akane to death. But he had to calm down, he had to look calm. He was an Uchiha.

Sasuke watched as Itachi suddenly became composed again, his face blank of all emotion; underneath the surface though, the rage was probably still there. Itachi turned to leave.

"Leave her Itachi." Was all Sasuke said before he turned and walked away towards his dorm building. Itachi wanted to clench his fist, who did Sasuke think he was bossing him around, but that would be childish. And sadly, Sasuke was right; he needed to leave Sakura alone. Right now she probably had no idea that everyone knew about her being raped, she was probably obvilious with the Yamanaka.

Itachi inhaled again, he was only making himself angrier he needed to stay calm. Sasuke was right.

Sasuke walked by the dorm building to see Ino and Sakura behind it sitting in the shade talking, Sasuke felt a pang of sadness for Sakura. She didn't know anything was going on, she figured the meeting was still being held. He looked at her and wanted to tell her but he left her alone, he wouldn't upset her further she'd find out sooner or later. She was still perfect to him, being raped didn't matter. She was flawless and beautiful, she always would be.


"I can pretend that I don't see you,

I can pretend I don't wanna hold you

When you're around

When you're around

What we were

What we are

Is hidden in the scars"

Sakura walked into the dorm room followed by Ino they had spent most of the day outside sitting in the shade. She closed her eyes, so much for letting go of Itachi why did she have to love him of all people? Why did her first love have to be a doomed one? Her heart was aching and she knew he would break it, intentionally or unintentionally it didn't matter; it would be shattered somehow. Sitting down on Ino's bed she sighed, why couldn't life be easy? Why wasn't there a rule book or even better an answer book? But life was all trial and error, you tried, you failed and then you tried again. You made your own rules and found your own answers.

Ino lay down beside her not saying anything the silence was nice.

"Why did you leave?"

Sakura stared at the ceiling, good question. Why did she leave?

"I couldn't listen to Itachi's voice."

It was an honest answer, and it shut Ino up. Sakura smiled to herself and yet she had let him feel her breast through her bra a while later. But she wouldn't tell Ino that.

"They why did he follow you?"

"Who knows? I'm not him, I can't answer for him."

"Was he talking to you before I found you two?"


Sure it was a lie but they had been talking before the make-out session.

"Then explain the love bites on your neck,"

Sakura turned red.

"Eh, well,"

Ino just laughed.

Sakura didn't have an answer, maybe it was because she wanted Itachi to suck her neck. Maybe it was because she had no control, she didn't know.

"Hey, you okay?"

"Huh? Oh yeah, I'm fine." Sakura looked at Ino. "Hey Ino?"


"Do you think your heart can be broken if you're not in love?"

"I guess that would depend on the person and the situation. But I'd say yes, probably. People can be heartbroken over many things sometimes they don't involve love."

Sakura nodded and curled up in a ball next to Ino.

"Any reason why you ask this?"

Sakura stayed quite then whispered "I think I love him."

Ino realised Sakura wasn't confessing fan-girl love, but a real love. She sounded so young and scared.


"I know it's stupid! He's older then me and wealthy and I'm just poor. He'll be gone in a couple of weeks but I can't help it."

"I wasn't going to say that."

Sakura looked at Ino.

"Then what were you going to say?"

"If he's capable of love I'd say he's not too far off it with you."

Sakura swallowed did Ino mean she thought that Itachi might love her. That seemed crazy, but it made her stomach flutter. She didn't realise she wanted it so bad (For him to love her) until someone else said it.

Ino found the silence to be awkward; she figured Sakura wouldn't believe her so she looked at her.

"I mean that Sakura, I've know Itachi a long time. My brother has been friends with him since kindergarten. Well not friends but they got along and soon became friends when they ended up in the same schools. He's been in my house many times and I've seen how he interacts with people."

Ino paused.

"I saw how he interacted with Akane," she looked at Sakura who just stared blankly ahead "it was nothing like they way he talks, our touches you." Sakura looked at Ino and a small smile appeared on her face.

"It doesn't matter though right? He'll go off to college and meet someone, someone better suited to him and I'll be left here heartbroken. He'll meet a rich amazing woman, better then me more suitable to spend his time with and he'll be happy."

Ino clenched her fists; she didn't like that at all.

"Do you think just because people are wealthy we seek out other wealthy people? Itachi isn't like that! You of all people should know it! He isn't shallow; he never brags about his money, he doesn't have time for those who do. He has no interest in riches Sakura, he's more then that!"

Sakura looked taken aback; she'd never heard Ino so angry before.

"Sakura," Ino calmed herself down. "If you really mean that you love him then you know he isn't like that. He doesn't care if you're not as rich as him, that didn't put him off before why would it now? He appreciates you because you're you, he likes the fact you have a different background then him, different opinions then him. And I know for a fact he loves the way you have no issue giving out to him." Ino smiled to Sakura "You may not see it but you're pretty damn well suited to him. You balance each other out with your different lifestyles."

Sakura closed her eyes, she wanted to believe Ino and maybe it was true. Maybe he did care and appreciate her but that didn't change the fact that she was younger then him. That he was leaving.

"But he'll still go to college Ino; I'll still be left here."

"I know, and that is a pickle. But I'm sure you can work something out, love sees through 'til the end right?"

"I really don't know Ino."

Sakura kept quiet after that, the meeting must have been well over by now. She could hear noises coming from the other rooms around them, she had a tightness in her stomach again she wasn't looking forward to school tomorrow.


Walking into school was unusual for both Ino and Sakura. People stopped and stared then began whispering, their faces would change to expressions full of pity, sorrow or other emotions. Ino tried to ignore them figuring they were just being weird but once they got inside, it got even worse. People began patting Sakura on the shoulder and smiling soft smiles at her. And others would point then whisper, sending weird looks her way.

"What's going on?" Ino asked looking around.

Sakura just shrugged, who knew?

Who cares?

Sakura agreed with the voice, she didn't care and she wasn't going to ask. Looking up she saw Hinata walking their way, Hinata looked strange. She looked more nervous and embarrassed then usual. Ino glanced at Sakura who just shrugged again.

"Hey you guys," Hinata said smiling awkwardly.

Sakura narrowed her eyes slightly and Hinata took a step back, Sakura narrowed her eyes further. What the fuck was up with that?

"Hinata what's going on?" Ino asked but Hinata kept her eyes glued on Sakura. Sakura glanced around and saw loads of people were staring at her, not just people from her year and the second she caught their eyes they looked away. What is this?

Again, who cares? Why should you, it's probably not important. Nothing you should stress over.

"I heard Sakura I'm so sorry!" Some girl she didn't even know exclaimed and then hugged her.

Sakura hugged back awkwardly and saw Itachi coming towards her with Sasori.

"Heard what?" Sakura enquired.

"Sakura we need to-" Sasori began.

"That you were raped, it must have been so awf-,"

Sakura didn't hear anything else, the room began to spin.

Now that's something you should worry about.

How did they know? When did they find out? She began to feel very dizzy and panicky, she couldn't breathe the walls were closing in on her. That's what all the staring was about, they all knew. All of them, each and every single one of them knew. They knew her deepest darkest secret.

She looked at Itachi whose eyes were watching hers, she swallowed.

Itachi knew.

She wanted to scream, he'd never like her now. He'd regret touching her, she was damaged goods, tainted, wrong.

That's when it happened, without thinking about it Sakura screamed. Her scream was so loud in the silent halls, silent because everyone was watching her. Itachi grabbed her arm trying to calm down but she was lost, her eyes glazed over and the second his fingers connected with her arm she pulled away. Her eyes filled with hatred and horror. She stopped screaming but she ran, as fast as she could out of that building.

This time Itachi reacted much quicker and began chasing her with Ino and Sasori following.


Sakura stopped and her eyes turned to Ino, such huge hatred was in them it made Ino stand still. She felt the weight of the anger flowing towards her from Sakura.

"How could you? I trusted you Ino!"

Ino was confused, what was going on? Did Sakura think she told everyone?

"Sakura I didn't tell!"

"Oh yeah sure, you're the only fucking one who knew! Don't lie to me!" Sakura screamed the tears flowing fast from her eyes.

"I swear I didn't!" Ino felt angry but she wasn't mad at Sakura, she was mad at whoever did this because Sakura was only being logical. She was the only one Sakura told so obviously it would appear that she had told everyone, when in fact she hadn't.

"She didn't tell," Sasori said and Sakura was about to turn on him. "Akane did."

Sakura fell silent but continued to cry, Ino walked over and wrapped her arms around. She felt Sakura shake in her grasp; she'd never seen Sakura so torn up.

"She's been expelled," Itachi supplied

Sakura pulled away from Ino so her voice wouldn't be muffled. "Well that's fucking brilliant isn't it? All's well now! Well done Itachi pat yourself on the back!"

Itachi looked at his feet; he'd never avoided the gaze of anyone in his life even as a child. He had always spoken back to his father and kept eye contact but he couldn't, he couldn't look into her tearful eyes and see that hatred directed at him. Every word she spoke sliced him like a blade; she was hurting him with mere words. No one could do that to him, not even his mother.

Sakura swallowed and leaned into Ino again, who automatically wrapped her arms around Sakura. She wanted so bad to protect Sakura and she had failed, she would get Akane back. Oh she would definitely pay for this; no one would hurt Sakura again.

Sasori looked at Itachi then at Sakura in Ino's arms, he wanted to comfort her but he knew better. She was distraught, with anger and sorrow and of course humiliation. Sasori listened and he could hear Sakura's muffled sobs into Ino's jumper.

"Sakura-" Itachi tried again.

"SHUT UP! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!" Her roar was so full of anger Itachi's eyes widened ever so slightly. "WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW?" Her voice quietened, "You don't feel do you Itachi? You don't understand what it's like to feel." Her eyes were spilling over with tears but a cruel mocking smile was plastered on her face.

Itachi felt those words hit him, adding to the previous blows. He wanted to deny what she said to make her understand he did feel, he wasn't emotionless but he couldn't. His Uchiha pride wouldn't let him talk.

"See," She whispered her voice on the verge of tears "You don't even deny it." The fake smile disappearing but the anger still clear in her stance, she clenched her fists and shook her head.


"Don't." Was all she whispered, and he didn't.

Each time she sobbed, he felt it physically. It hurt, every time he heard it, it got worse. He wanted to make her feel better but he couldn't. She didn't want him near her, he knew she thought that he would think she was tainted or damaged in some way, but he didn't. He didn't care about that, he cared she was hurting.

Sasori looked at Itachi then Sakura and turned away.

"Let's go, Itachi." He said and began walking. Itachi didn't move though.

Itachi didn't think he could move he listened as Sakura sobbed into Ino's shoulder, humiliated, hurt, terrified. He wanted to help her but he couldn't what use would he be. He heard footsteps and looked up to see Naruto and Sasuke enter the area, Naruto looked serious which was rare. Sasuke looked like an Uchiha, blank. They walked over to Ino; she looked up but kept her arms around Sakura who was still sobbing.

Itachi watched as Naruto placed a hand on Sakura's shoulder which began to shake violently as she cried more tears. Her heart was breaking on top of everything else.


He won't ever love me! I'm dirty, disgusting! No one will ever love me!

Sakura wasn't just crying over humiliation, she was crying over love loss. She loved Itachi and she knew he'd never love her; she was disgusting to him now. Ugly, dirty, raped.

Sakura sobbed even harder when Naruto placed his large hand on her shoulder and whispered kind things to her, he was such a good friend. She heard Sasuke's voice and it made her worse because when she had her eyes closed he sounded so much like Itachi. She could just pretend

It was wrong; oh it was so terribly wrong. But she could love Sasuke if she fooled herself into thinking it was Itachi. Yes it was cruel but maybe her grandma had been on to something, maybe you need to fake it for it to grow. If she pretended maybe one day she would love Sasuke for Sasuke; but right now in her moment of heartbreak she wanted to be selfish, she wanted to pretend Itachi was comforting her. So she did.

Pulling herself away from Ino, she thought only of herself of her breaking heart aching and throbbing in her chest. She flung herself into Sasuke's arms.

Itachi stood still. His blood ran cold, he was watching as his brothers arms wrapped around Sakura pulling her into a hug where she began to cry all over again. She was whimpering into Sasuke's chest, gripping Sasuke's shirt, being comforted by Sasuke. Itachi hated it, all of it; he wanted it to be him but he couldn't move. He couldn't talk he just stared and he felt an awful feeling run through his body, starting at his feet and working up. Funnily enough, it stayed at his chest; the pain made itself at home and began to throb. He didn't like that at all.

Sasuke was surprised to say the least, but boy was he happy. He could feel Sakura's small body shaking in his arms. Yes he shouldn't be happy that she was upset but it was causing her to hug him and he was happy about that. He was even happier that she chose him over Itachi. She smelt so good, like vanilla and jasmine everytime he inhaled he'd breathe in her smell. He loved it. She felt so fragile as she sobbed into his chest, wetting the shirt but he held her tight. He wrapped his arms around her and protected her. They were friends and he'd do everything in his power to make them more.

Sakura cried over her humiliation and Itachi, she knew what she was doing was wrong. Playing with Sasuke's heart wasn't fair but she didn't care all her heart wanted was Itachi so it sought out the next best thing and it was working. He smelt like Itachi, felt like him, breathed like him; she closed her eyes and believed it was him. She had herself fooled, as the tears slowed to a stop she inhaled his scent, manly and clean. His arms were strong and protecting her from on-lookers. She felt safe.

His arms loosened as the tears stopped but he still held her until her breathing was relatively normal. Then he let go allowing her to step away from him, Itachi was relieved by this it showed that Sasuke was only offering to comfort her but nothing more. His relief was short lived though, when she didn't budge. She stayed put up against his chest.

Sasuke didn't think he'd ever been this happy before, wrapping his arms back around her he smiled on the inside. Ino looked confused but didn't question it; Naruto glanced at Itachi and nodded in greeting.

"Sakura let's go back to the dorm okay?" Ino said

Sakura closed her eyes and inhaled imagining Itachi, living in a made up fantasy. Staying there for a while longer before she pulled away and looked at Sasuke's face, she felt bad but she didn't really. And she knew she'd use it again. She just knew, because she could now pretend Itachi was with her, yes it would be sasuke but still it didn't matter. As long as he didn't find out it would be fine, it was wrong to play with his heart like that but she didn't care. Her heart craved Itachi and it would get him in any way it could.

Looking into those eyes, she pretended she could see blue flecks. "Thank you," was all she said before turning to Ino and heading back to the dorm. She walked by Itachi glancing once to savor the memory so she could imagine Sasuke as him. He searched her eyes but they were just empty green orbs now, no light behind them it was awful.


Itachi knew that the Sakura he had come to know was somewhere else; she was hiding inside that shell that was now in her place. The empty eyes showed that, her movements lacked life she just acted like a robot doing what she was set out to and nothing else.

He hated that he wasn't the one she had turned to, he hated that she had to choose Sasuke of all people. He hated that he couldn't comfort her because she thought he thought she was tainted. He'd never look at her like that; he couldn't, because she was his perfect imperfection. He didn't want to leave her behind, he closed his eyes. He couldn't watch the shell of this woman go through the motions and pretend to be okay, knowing she was empty inside. She was like a beautiful house with only empty rooms, from the outside it was fine but once you stepped inside you realized it was lacking. She was just a shell of Sakura, maybe it was a defense mechanism but it still was only a shell.

He couldn't watch her be with another man, especially Sasuke.

Turning he walked off in the direction Sasori had left in. He didn't think he'd sleep at all tonight.


Sakura walked into the dorm room in a daze, part of her wanted to fall onto the floor and cry. Part of her wanted to laugh because she had found a solution to the Itachi problem, a solution that had been there the whole time. A small smiled appeared on her face. And another part of her wanted to yell some sense into her, that doing that to Sasuke was wrong on so many levels. Sitting down on the couch she stared at the blank TV screen.

Ino watched Sakura feeling really worried, what if underneath the calm exterior Sakura was going insane. What if her blank stare was a bad thing? What if she wasn't peaceful or calm? What if that was all brilliantly faked and she was breaking down mentally inside. Ino wouldn't be able to help her. She'd have to watch as pieces of her friend disappeared into the grasps of insanity, day by day she'd loose more of Sakura.

Ino shook her head; she had to have faith in Sakura. Sakura needed someone to have faith in her, even if it was just to keep her head above water. Ino sat down beside Sakura who left her trance-like state and looked at the blonde.

"Sakura maybe we should call your parents and tell them what's happened." Ino supplied, she got an awful feeling when Sakura just smiled back at her.

"Sakura, I think we should they'll know what to do." Sakura just smiled again, it wasn't a good smile. It was a big fake smile, screaming that something was wrong.

Ino just got up and found Sakura's phone and called them.

She reached Sakura's mother who listened and got terribly worried about Sakura. Ino suggested that Sakura should go home but Sakura's mother explained to Ino that Sakura would want to sit her exams. Ino bit her lip, if Sakura didn't sit the exams she'd be kicked out. If she stayed she might go crazy. Sakura's mom said she'd contact the Doctor and explain what happened. Ino hoped with every ounce of her being that, that woman would know what to do.

Putting the phone away Ino walked back into the living room to see Sakura curled up in a ball, she was sleeping. Ino sat beside her and watched as Sakura slept peacefully, it would be the only place she'd find peace for a while. Ino didn't know how someone was supposed to react in this situation. Was there a set reaction for a victim of rape when their school found out about the rape? Or was it varied? If it was varied how could she tell if Sakura was falling to pieces on the inside?

Only yesterday had she told Ino that she thought she loved Itachi. And then she had sought comfort in Sasuke, Ino didn't know what was going on in Sakura's head but it was worrying her. What if Sakura really was falling apart? Sure she could like whomever she wanted to, but to suddenly admit that she loved Itachi and then seek Sasuke's comfort seemed odd. Maybe she figured Itachi was disgusted by her very presence but Ino knew that wasn't true. Ino could see how every second she was in Sasuke's arms was a second Itachi hated. She could see that on the constantly blank Uchiha's face so why couldn't Sakura?

Ino shook her head and looked at her sleeping friend; she'd be there for her through it all but she didn't know how helpful she could actually be.


Itachi grabbed his car keys and drove home at an illegal speed. He couldn't stay in that school, he couldn't because he'd either get furious or depressed and both of those were weaknesses. An Uchiha didn't have weaknesses. An Uchiha was emotionless, always. They always looked at the logical point of view without emotions without ties so they could figure out the best solution but he couldn't do that. No he couldn't be calm after what Akane had done, he couldn't he blank when he knew Sakura was in pain. He couldn't act normal when he knew Sakura had sought out Sasuke's comfort, he couldn't be Uchiha Itachi when he knew that she thought that he thought she was disgusting.

He couldn't think straight. He needed to get away from there so he could figure out a game plan, a way to fix all this. Sitting in his car he rested his head against the steering wheel. He didn't have the slightest clue on what to do. He had never been so lost before, why did Akane have to go and do this? He should have seen it coming. He should have known she would do this, he should have acted quicker. He should have protected Sakura.

He stepped into the house quickly and quietly, he could hear the sounds of his mother in the kitchen. He didn't bother going in, he headed straight upstairs and into his room locking the door behind him. He glanced around his clean room, it was huge. It was spotless and it was completely empty. Sitting down on the edge of his bed he placed his keys beside him, he wanted to scream. He had never been so useless before. He needed to do something.

Grabbing his phone he wanted to text Akane and murder her but he couldn't. He didn't have the energy and he knew it wouldn't get him anywhere. There was a soft knock on his door.

Itachi closed his eyes.

"Yes?" He asked his voice came out strained and he wasn't bothered to hide it.

"Itachi, can I come in?" His mother's soft loving voice asked

Standing he walked to the door and unlocked it letting his mother inside. She looked as she usually did, kind, loving and worried about him. She smelt of flowers and food, she smelt like home. She walked inside closing the door behind herself and sat down on the edge of his bed next to him.

"Are you okay?"

Itachi loved his mother, he loved the way she simply wasn't his father. She didn't ask why he had showed up unannounced, or how his studies were going. She was asking about his well being, concerned that something bad was going on. She was looking him over for injuries, her eyes landed on his face, on the bags beneath his eyes. She knew he wasn't much of a sleeper, it worried her.


He just looked at her, his eyes speaking on their own. Without warning she pulled him into a hug, a motherly hug that you got as a child when you cried. A hug that sucked away all worries and badness with it, leaving you calm and content, a hug he needed very badly.

"Will you be staying here tonight?"

"Yes." She nodded at his response and said she'd bring him up some sleeping pills since he looked like he needed some sleep. He didn't object. She left him alone after that, he felt very young lying in hid bed in the dark looking around his room. He presumed it was because his mother had been with him, fussing over his needs like one would a baby. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep long medicated sleep.


Sakura's mother (Natsuko) barely slept that night; she'd been worried sick about her daughter. She wanted to be able to see Sakura, to know she was okay but due to the schooling she couldn't. She felt helpless; her daughter was in a school suffering with people who didn't fully understand what was wrong. When Sakura's friend, Ino, had explained what had happened her heart stopped. Everyone in that school now knew about the rape, but they didn't know about the trauma or the pain that came with it.

So they'd get to gossip for a couple of weeks about it, then they'd move on but Sakura would still be in the same position. Just as she was starting to heal this had to happen? She shook her head, it wasn't fair, not that life ever was.

Her first instinct was to go to the school a bring sakura home, to shelter her from this. But she couldn't do that because A) Sakura needed to sit her exams and B) if that happened, if Sakura suddenly left early it would only fuel the gossiper's fires.

She needed a practical solution and that was why she had contacted the Doctor. And that was how she found out that it was the Doctor's daughter who had brought this upon Sakura. She had hung up and ignored the phone as the Doctor rang back trying to explain. Now she was truly alone, Sakura would need a new Doctor. She'd need new outside help who would have to start right back at the beginning.

It was about one in the morning and Natsuko had been sitting in the kitchen all day worrying about Sakura. If she couldn't protect her then who would? If she didn't have a Doctor to guide her then who would help her? Her mind had been working on overdrive the whole day and even thought she was exhausted she couldn't face sleeping. She couldn't sleep knowing Sakura was out there hurting.

She put her head into her hands and began to cry, she was a failure as a parent. She hadn't been there to prevent it from happening to begin with and now she couldn't be there to comfort Sakura. Crying away silently to herself she began to question her ability as a parent.


Sakura woke up early, earlier then Ino. The dorm was silent and the sky was still painted shades of light grey, it was too early for the sun to be showing but Sakura got up anyways. She had fallen asleep on the couch and Ino must have covered her with a blanket because it wasn't there went she went to sleep. Walking into her bedroom she felt an odd sense of being empty, like someone had flicked the switch of her life onto 'Auto Pilot' instead of 'Manual', walking around she felt cold like she was alive but dead on the inside. Some part of her had died yesterday, to be replaced with a different part; she didn't know if she was happy or sad about that, she just didn't care.

Her movements lacked life; she wasn't feeling anything it was like she was watching her own body do all these things from afar. Reaching for the box in her closet a small smile appeared on her face, the old reliable. Removing the lid it took little searching to find the shard of glass. Sitting down she rolled up the sleeve of her shirt and exposed her pale flesh, the faint lines from previously healed marks were still there.


Beautiful scars, scars she loved. Those scars were her friends they had looked after her when she was hurting more then anyone could imagine. They had bled for her, distracted her with physical pain when no one else could. Those scars she could trust. Without hesitation she dragged the glass quickly across her arm, it took a couple of seconds for a thin red line to appear. Beads of blood pooped up clinging to the skin. It was a familiar sight to Sakura, a sight that sent a wave of calmness through her. She didn't have to worry; the cuts would take care of her.

The sky grew lighter and Sakura didn't notice. She spent the whole morning cutting away at her arm. It was full of red lines, cuts that stung so badly Sakura forgot what had happened yesterday. She forgot about Itachi. Those cuts would always help her no matter what, because they understood what she needed.

Sakura changed her clothes and went back to sleep in her bed, the stinging of her arm only helped her drift off.

Ino woke up and found the couch empty, she panicked before she found Sakura lying peacefully in her own bed. Ino checked the time; there was no point in waking Sakura to ask if she wanted to go to school because she obviously didn't. She knew Sakura would go in for the exams, but for now she was best off to rest.

Ino changed and walked into school worrying the whole time about Sakura's well being. She had confided in Hinata and explained about the blank look behind Sakura's eyes, the way she seemed so completely empty. Hinata looked troubled by the statement and agreed with Ino that maybe that wasn't so good. But she also pointed out that Sakura might still be in shock and trying to cope with this, so her body might just being going through the motions as normal trying to protect her mind as it picked up the pieces.

Ino felt better after talking to Hinata and she had gone to the nurse who said she would check in on Sakura later. Ino tried not to spend the day worrying but she couldn't help it, it was like Sakura had turned back into a baby and needed to be looked after.


Sakura woke to the sound of gentle knocking on the dorm room door, rubbing her eyes she checked the time. 10:00 Am, getting up she walked to the door and opened it; the school nurse was infront of her a warm smile on her face.

"I'm here to check up on you, is everything alright?"

Yep! The whole school knows I've been raped; it's been so much fun!

Shut up

"Umm," Sakura didn't want to say anything. If she said no a fuss would be made but she wasn't feeling alright so leaving the nurse to judge would just be easier for her.

"Well of course I understand it can't really be alright after yesterday, she has been expelled you know, but I meant other then that you don't feel ill or anything?"

Expulsion was fine but it didn't fix the problem, it didn't stop the gossiping student body from gossiping. Even if they moved Akane to India she'd still have the same problem because distance between her and Akane wasn't part of the equation.

"I feel fine, tired but fine. I just want to sleep." Sakura wasn't really tired but her body was making her have urges to sleep. Because when asleep she didn't have to remember all this, in sleep reality became a dream. Once her eyes closed and she drifted off everything became small and far away. Nothing mattered there, everything was fine.

"Oh okay, well I'll just have a check up on you to make sure you aren't sick. I'm going to take your pulse." She reached for Sakura's arm and before she could react her sleeve was pulled up revealing harsh red lines. They contrasted to the pale skin so dramatically that it seemed much worse then it was. The lines were thin and controlled but they were an eyesore.

"Oh Sakura," was all the nurse whispered.

Grabbing back her arm she pulled down the sleeve ignoring the stinging. "I just want to sleep, please." The nurse looked at Sakura, her hair was ruffled from lying in bed and her eyes were small from crying. She couldn't leave the girl knowing she was self-harming she needed to call her mother

"Okay, but I'll come back."

"I'm sure you will," Sakura said, turning to her bedroom door not bothering to show the nurse out.

Once lying down in the bed, Sakura heard the dorm room door close signaling the nurse had left. She knew the woman just wanted to help but Sakura just wanted to sleep right now. And sleep she did.

She woke up again to the sound of someone in the dorm, too upset to be afraid she waited until the nurse's head popped into her room. She looked worried until she saw Sakura's eyes were open and she was breathing.

"I called your mother."

"I figured you would."

"She said she found you a new Doctor at the same building as your old one, she's familiar with your case. So you'll be seeing her tomorrow."

Sakura nodded, a wave of relief did wash over her. She had been worried about what she would do now that she knew Akane had done this she couldn't go back to her old one. But she didn't really want a new on because then they'd have to start from the beginning and that was just too complicated. It was good to know her mother had found someone at the same place she used to go to who knew her case that way they wouldn't have to start right from the beginning.

"Thank you," Sakura muttered before turning over and closing her eyes. She heard the door shut and then the dorm's one.

Sakura didn't know when she fell asleep or for how long but when she woke up she could hear noises from the kitchen and then her door opened revealing Ino.

"Hey," Ino paused looking awkward with a tray in her hand. "I made you some tea and sandwiches, I don't know if you're hungry or not but just in case."

Ino watched as a warm smile crept onto Sakura's face as she sat up in bed, her eyes following Ino's movements.

"Thank you Ino."

"It's not a big deal." Ino placed the tray on the bed so Sakura could reach it, she glanced at her friend. Yep her eyes were definitely empty, her face was blank again. If someone told Ino that Sakura had turned into a ghost she would have probably believed them.

Ino left the room leaving Sakura to eat in peace. Every time she looked at Sakura her worry grew more and more. This wasn't good she was sure of that, because what if Sakura's didn't come back from where ever she was now? What if she stayed like an empty shell. Lifeless, cold to touch, what if Sakura was lost inside there somewhere and didn't know how to get out?

Sitting down she set about doing her homework which was mostly studying for exams but she still did it. When finished she turned the TV on low and began watching some random soap opera, it was depressing (Weren't they all?) but it kept her distracted.


Sakura finished her food and got up bringing the tray and dishes into the kitchen to wash them. She could see the flickering blue light from the living room showing the TV was on and she could hear that Ino had it on low not to disturb her. Sakura cleaned the dishes then headed into the living room to see what Ino was watching. It looked to be some kind of soap opera about issues in people's lives. Ino looked behind her and met the gaze of Sakura.


"Hi, thank you again."

"Its fine, you okay? You need anything?"

Sakura looked at her feet then back to Ino, she felt bad that she was bringing down Ino's mood because her own had hit rock bottom but she didn't have the energy to try to be happy. Her body just wanted to sleep, it was making her more exhausted everytime she did. It was like it knew she could hide when she was asleep so it kept letting her have more and more of it.

"I'm fine, I'm sorry about all this Ino. But thank you for everything."

"Sakura don't apologize for anything, this isn't your fault. You're not to blame for this."

Sakura nodded, she'd heard it all before from different people. Scratching her head she smiled at Ino, Ino smiled back. But Ino's smile was forced and underneath it worry was plaguing her, Sakura knew that smile that was how her mother used to smile at her. And she was pretty sure the next time she saw her she'd be smiling like that again.

"I'm going to go to sleep now okay?"

Ino just nodded and watched as Sakura walked into her bedroom without glancing back. Her smile dropped once the door closed, she felt so bad for Sakura. She wished she could do more then just make sandwiches. It seemed pretty useless but she knew Sakura needed to eat; at least it helped some what.

Lying down again, Sakura closed her eyes. Her body was tired but her mind wasn't, it was running through her lazy day today and yesterday, examining every inch of both. She didn't even know why but her mind kept going back to when she was in the trees with Itachi, then when Ino showed up. She could still feel the hot kisses on her lips, but it was all shattered when she found out everyone knew. The hurt was still there, it was still fresh and strong. She felt like she had been recovering and now someone had just sliced through the skin with a knife all over again, leaving her to bleed. What hurt more then that was now she knew Itachi couldn't love her, she knew back then it was impossible but she still dreamed about it but now she couldn't even indulge herself in the pleasure of dreaming about it.


A lazy smile crawled onto her face, her eyes were still closed and to untrained eye she would have just looked like a peaceful sleeper. The strain on the corner of her lips wasn't very visible but it was there. The faint lines between her brows were visible showing stress and strain. To the untrained eye she looked happy and peaceful, but when you looked deeper you could see bit by bit Sakura was falling apart.

But her mind was right she now had Sasuke, maybe he could love her. He had always showed an interest in her and if she just squinted she could see Itachi instead of him. He was her age so she wouldn't have to worry about him leaving for college. He hadn't seemed to care about the rape which was a plus in her eyes and she could pretend with him. She could make up a whole world of just her an Itachi even though it was Sasuke. It really wasn't fair to Sasuke but Sakura couldn't bring herself to care. Life hadn't been fair to her until she met Itachi and she would do everything in her power to keep him, even if that meant using someone else who resembled him and pretending it was him.

Maybe one day she could grow to love Sasuke and not need him to be Itachi, maybe her grandma had been right. But if that was going to happen it would happen in due time. Right now Sasuke was the closest thing she had to Itachi and she would hold on to that.

The smile on her face vanished and her forehead smoothened out as Sakura fell into another sleep. When she woke up from night terrors she didn't have the energy to cry or scream she just went back to sleeping. Yes the same nightmare appeared before her eyes but this time she didn't care, because the Sakura who cared had left. She was hiding away within this new Sakura.


Ino got up and knew not to wake Sakura; it was like living with an old person. All she did was sleep and then eat when fed; Ino got dressed and grabbed her things before leaving a tray of food and some Orange juice on the bedside table in Sakura's room. Sakura didn't stir once to the noise. Ino left closing the door quietly behind her.

Today Naruto, Sasuke and Hinata were waiting by her dorm.

"How is she?" Inquired Hinata gently, giving Ino a small smile.

Ino swallowed she didn't know what to say. Was it good or bad that Sakura was only sleeping and barely eating? Was that normal or was it a warning sign? Was it good or bad she wasn't talking about what happened? Was it normal for her to be barely speaking? How is one supposed to react when something like this happens? Is there a textbook reaction or does it vary from person to person? Should she let Sakura be, or be worried about her? Was it good or bad that she wasn't crying about what happened? Ino didn't know she was completely and utterly confused.

"I don't know. She barely eats or talks; all she wants to do is sleep. I haven't seen her cry yet; her face is blank most of the time. It's like Sakura's inside there somewhere, the one that was full of lie but right now on the surface she just…gone."

Hinata looked troubled at that statement.

"Wouldn't you be though?" Sasuke asked and Ino glanced at him.

"Would I be what?" Ino asked back confused.

"Moving without life, trying to piece it all together and fix it again. She was raped and then the whole school finds out, she's probably gone into severe shock. She probably doesn't know what else to do."

Ino just looked at Sasuke.

"There's reactions that take place during stressful times on the human body, one being an out of body experience, which is exactly what it sounds like. Your spirit or whatever you want to call it leaves your body in order to protect your mind. The physical you –your body- just goes through everyday motions as it normally would. This allows the physical body to absorb the shock and deal with it when the mind is ready to handle it."

"Her mind is probably in a very fragile place at the moment and she doesn't know how to deal. She's most likely confused, shocked, scared and angry. Her mind is to busy with those emotions to try actually deal with what's going on. The body does the out of body experience to keep itself sane, it's a defence mechanism it prevents people from going insane."

Ino nodded, that could explain the lifeless movements and the shell like exterior.

"But Sasuke, out of body experiences can't last long I presume."

"No they can't, but you can have several over a stressful period. So it seems a lot longer to others."

Ino nodded again.

"But when an out of body experience occurs you have to deal with the issues still but the reaction is just delayed. Then the mind has to deal with it and that's like reliving the trauma all over again and that's called-"

"Post traumatic stress." Hinata supplied meeting the dark eyes or the Uchiha.

"Exactly and that tends to be worse then the experience itself because both the mind and body are on par again and have to deal with the issue all over again."

Ino closed her eyes. "But what if you're wrong and that isn't happening? What if Sakura is inside there somewhere and day by day she disappearing? What then?"

Sasuke looked at Ino his dark eyes full of knowledge; she needed Sasuke to reassure her because Sasuke knew everything.

"I don't know Ino."

Her heart dropped, she'd never heard Sasuke say those words before ever. She'd been hoping he'd tell her that this was all perfectly normal and Sakura would be fine. But clearly he wasn't going to say that. She knew Sakura's mother would know what to do and do what is best for Sakura but what if by then it's too late?

She couldn't loose Sakura; Sakura had become her best friend. She loved her.

"I'm sure Sakura's parents have people who do know Ino." Naruto said in a surprisingly serious voice, she looked up at the other blonde.

"You're right Naruto." She needed to trust the professionals; they'd make it all better.


When Sakura's mother arrived at the school it was 11:30 am sharp, she walked into the school office explaining who she was she was then given a key to open Sakura's dorm room. She composed herself outside the dorm before she unlocked it and walked in. It was clean and quiet, she could see one door open exposing and empty bedroom to her, she knew from the things in it that this must be Sakura's roommate, Ino's, room.

Walking slowly to the next door she opened it quietly, to see her daughter sleeping in her bed. A tray of food was beside the bed, it was untouched. Sakura looked pale and very young lying there. Closing the door behind herself she walked up to her daughter and stroked her head.

"Sakura, sweetie?" She whispered.

Sakura stirred. Twisting onto her other side.

"Sakura you need to get up now."

Sakura opened her eyes slowly, she knew that voice. Glancing over her shoulder she saw her mother. Her long pink hair tied into a tidy ponytail.

"Mom?" She asked her voice thick with sleep.

"Hi sweetie," She stroked Sakura's hair again. "You need to get up now because I'm taking you to see the new doctor."

Sakura closed her eyes she didn't think she could face going outside into the real world.

"Please honey," Her mother pleaded despair evident in her usually clam voice. Sakura glanced at her mother again, this time taking in her features. She obviously hadn't been sleeping as there were bags under her eyes. She looked tired and worried.

"Okay, I'm going to have a shower first thought." Her mother nodded at this and left.

Sakura grabbed her clothes and laid them out on the bed, she knew her mom knew about the cutting but that didn't mean she wanted her mom to see them. Her shower was fast and she then changed and brushed her teeth. When she got into the living room her mother was waiting for her, looking out of place of their couch.

"Ready?" She asked looking Sakura up and down as if searching for physical injuries.

"Yeah, did you drive?" Sakura needed to know if her dad was waiting down in the car park or not.

"Yes, your father at work." Sakura nodded at this then lead the way out, leaving a note for Ino.

Gone with mom

Be back later

By the time they reached the car park Sakura felt exhausted, all she wanted to do was sleep. And that urge didn't seem to be going anywhere.

"How do you feel?" Natsuko asked looking back at her daughter.

"Tired." Sakura didn't feel like talking, but it was an honest answer. Her mother opened the car and just as she was about to get in she heard the slamming of a car door not too far off. Glancing up she saw Uchiha Itachi step out of his car.

Natsuko looked up wondering what was distracting Sakura.

"Sakura? Are you okay?"

Itachi looked up at the name Sakura he saw her about to get into a car, she was facing him. An older woman with long pink hair, who he presumed to be her mother, had her back to him. He looked at her and her eyes met his. He didn't know what he was expecting but he was disappointed when he found those eyes to be as lifeless as before. She looked dead.

"I'm fine." Climbing into the car she didn't spare Itachi a second glance.

Natsuko got in too and quickly pulled out of the school and off to the psychiatrist's office. Sakura never spoke one word the whole time; the silence wasn't awkward it was worrying. Glancing over Natsuko noticed Sakura had fallen back asleep.

Surely she couldn't still be tired? Then Natsuko remembered what had happened when Sakura was recovering from the rape, she spent most of her time sleeping. She'd go from one room to another with a blank stare on her face and then she'd just sleep.


This office was similar to the one Akane's mother had, it was clean bright and open. The complete opposite of the people who came in, the room had a fresh airy feel to it but that only made Sakura more uncomfortable. Her mother had greeted the Doctor and then left saying she'd be back in an hour when the session was over.

The new Doctor was flicking through her file reading over thing and familiarising herself with the information at hand, Sakura sat back in her chair and observed her.

The Doctor looked up and smiled warmly. "Hello Sakura I'm Doctor Tsukino, you can call me Ran."

Sakura only nodded to show she had heard the woman, Ran's features softened when she looked at the girl.

"You've been through a lot haven't you?"

"Hence the big file." Sakura didn't know why but she didn't want this woman's sympathy.

Ran obviously picked up on this and dropped the subject.

"Now I have been informed of why you have changed Doctor's and that also happens to be the reason why you're here to see me. People are worried that you're not alright." Ran placed the file on the table and focused her attention on Sakura. The girl looked tired; she looked bored on the surface she looked like normal teenager. But beneath the boredom were fear, depression, anger, sadness and then emptiness.

"I don't think I ever was alright but hey just my opinion." Sakura rubbed the fabric on the arm of the chair watching as the shade darkened and lightened with the brush of her fingers.

"I understand you self harm." Sakura kept quiet.

"I know you probably don't want to show me since we've only met, but you've got nothing to be afraid of Sakura. Nothing to be ashamed of, this is just a blip in your life you'll go on and do amazing things."

Sakura paused; no one had ever said that before, no one had ever been so sure of her before. Looking up she met the warm eyes of this new Doctor.

"You think?" Her voice was quiet making her sound much younger then she was.

"I know." The doctor whispered, she watched as Sakura took that in, it seemed to comfort her in some way.

"Can I see the cuts to make sure they aren't infected?" Ran had been expecting resistance from Sakura because it seemed to be her way of protecting herself. But Sakura sat up and rolled up her sleeve to reveal her arm which was marked with fresh red lines, they were angry and sore looking. Ran put on her glasses to have a further inspection.

"They don't seem to be infected which is good. They look fresh though; did you do this after the school found out?"

Sakura nodded, covering her arm again, ashamed of herself.

"Sakura you don't need to be ashamed. Cutting is a solution that works the only problem is it gets addictive and it becomes a problem itself. Don't be ashamed of yourself." Ran spoke in a quiet voice louder then a whisper but it was calming it soothed her nerves.

"How do you feel?"

"Tired, all I want to do is sleep. Constantly."

"That's relatively normal, the body heals when its asleep it doesn't understand thought that it can't heal up here" She tapped her temple "When we're sleeping."

Sakura nodded.

"Your body is recognising that something is wrong and is trying to fix it but it's unable to. That's what my job is, to help it fix itself."

The more Sakura spoke to Ran the more she realised how much she liked her. The woman put her at total ease, making her feel relaxed and safe. Sakura had explained how she felt and the Doctor was writing stuff down every now and again. She would encourage Sakura to talk, to express her feelings no matter what they were and Sakura obliged.

When the session was over Ran had changed the medication dosage and the medicine itself and she had scheduled another appointment with Sakura before the exams.

Sakura closed her eyes once again and fell asleep on her way back to school. Her mom had offered for her to stay at home but Sakura wanted to be in school so Natsuko drove her back.


Ran was thinking back on her session with Natsuko before her session with Sakura, she was terribly worried about her daughter.

"Back after the rape she'd get this blank look in her eyes. And she'd just walk around the house like a dead person. She wouldn't talk, she wouldn't eat, she'd barely hear you if you said anything to her. It was like someone killed her but her body still worked."

Natsuko then cried. "Everytime something bad happens I'm not able to stop it, she just keeps getting hurt."

"You would never be able to shield her from everything, no one can. There are some hits in life we just have to take, yes they hurt but with the right help we can recover. Sakura was in huge shock back then she was having an inner conflict. Rape victims feel hatred towards themselves rather than the rapist, because they themselves feel dirty and alone. They feel ugly and tainted; they feel like their life ends there and then that there is no future. It's normal."

"That hatred is all they focus on, or maybe anger. They focus on the one thing at a time because the shock only lets them live day by day. There is no yesterday there is no tomorrow. Only today, only this very second once it's gone it's gone. Trauma does that, it speeds up and slows down time. Then when you add depression to the mix it gets more complicated."

"Sakura is scared, she was scared when it happened and she'd scared now. She considers this to be her biggest secret of all, now everyone knows she's thinking her whole world is falling apart. She's in shock, she's angry she has pent up rage inside her. Depression is anger without enthusiasm. The longer you leave anger to sit the more it cooks and turns into depression. She needs to get that anger right out of her before it adds to her current depression."

"Depression will only make all this harder because depression comes in so many shapes and forms. Self loathing leads to it and as I explained being raped makes one loathe oneself. Sakura is in a very confusing place and the moment. She had just moved from A to B and now she's been shoved right back to A and doesn't know what to do. She needs your support, your guidance and most importantly your strength."

"No parent is perfect; you can not be perfect it isn't real. Perfection is unattainable those who waste their lives seeking it do just that, waste their lives. Your job as a parent did not bring on the situation that led to the rape. That's impossible, good people and bad people get raped. If you had have been a better or worse mother it wouldn't affect the rape itself. You've done a brilliant job Mrs. Haruno, Sakura loves you, and she trusts you. She needs you. Do not blame yourself for something that isn't your fault."

Natsuko nodded and wiped her eyes, Ran was right. All she could do was start now, help Sakura in any way she could.

"The trance like state you explained is normal; obviously all people deal with stress differently. We mourn differently due to the fact we are all different. Sakura is protecting herself from more hurt by 'hiding' away inside herself. If you look at her physical being as a shell and her mind being the inside, she is hiding within her physical body to protect her mind."

"The turn of events, the whole school finding out, has led Sakura into what is known as Post Traumatic Stress. She is now dealing with the rape, all over again but much worse because it doesn't necessarily come back in order, the end could come first, then the beginning and then the middle etc. So she doesn't know what to expect and when to expect it, she scared and vulnerable and she'd hiding. Like she did before to protect herself, it should go away when she feels she'd ready to come back out. When she feels she's able to handle other things on top of her own experiences again. I wouldn't worry too much about that. It's good because it means she is reacting, she is in a healing process."

Ran hadn't realised how deep the issues ran with Sakura until she spoke to the girl, but she instantly liked Sakura. Sakura even though she seemed far away, the blank look on her face giving this impression. There was still a fire burning inside the girl, willing her to fight, to not give up; and that was how Ran knew she'd come back out of this. Because Sakura was a fighter she wasn't going to let this knock her down. Maybe it would take a while but she was certain Sakura would pull through.

She had been smiling to herself as she flicked through Sakura's file just trying to brush up on the old facts, so she could make and deal with this case in the most suitable way possible. That's when she landed on a photo of a man and a bright yellow post-it was stuck on it.

Reading: He's back.

The writing belonged to the Doctor who had dealt with the case before her. The photo was of the man who had raped Sakura. Ran paused; they needed to be informed of this as soon as possible, especially now so Sakura could deal with it all at once rather then going through something like this again. Making a note of it in her journal Ran closed the file and set about getting ready to go home.


Sakura said goodbye to her mother and walked up to the dorm room, she felt slightly better. Okay a lot better but it was only slightly visible, opening the door she found Ino on the couch watching TV.

"Hey Ino," Sakura said smiling.

Ino glanced up looking so happy to hear Sakura speak more than just one word, and staring a conversation at that. Sakura felt guilty at the look of happiness on Ino's face; could she seriously cause that much worry for that girl in such a short period of time?

"Hey Sakura, are you hungry? I have some leftovers if you want."

"That'd be great, I'll get them myself you stay watching..."

"Finding nemo" Ino supplied

Sakura smiled and walked into the kitchen and began getting herself some food.

Ino grinned to herself, Sakura's eyes were still far away but atleast the real Sakura was still keeping her head above water. It was relief the professionals really did know what to do, Sakura looked tired still and her movements were still zombie-like but at least when she spoke some life was now there.

She could hear Sakura in the kitchen getting herself a meal; the waves of relief were washing over her again. She had been so worried about Sakura, so damn worried that she wouldn't be okay; it was good to know that it looked like she would be fine.

Sakura walked out of the kitchen holding a plate of food, her eyes still looked vacant but there was hope. There was definitely hope there.

Sakura looked at Ino who was looking at her, Sakura felt uncomfortable under the blonde's gaze and looked at her feet.

"I'm going to eat this in my room and then go to bed, okay?" Sakura asked her voice tired.

"Sure, sleep well."

Sakura turned her back on the blonde but when she reached her door she turned around.

"Hey Ino?"


"I'm going to go into school with you tomorrow, okay?"

Ino tried to hide her surprise, she didn't know if that was such a good idea. Would that be good for Sakura, would it make her worse? Being exposed to all those people staring and whispering?

"Are you sure that's-" Ino tried to argue but Sakura interrupted.

"I have to go back sometime and face it Ino, the longer I stay away the crazier the rumours will get. I need to face it and get it over with. Also the exams are coming up I need to be in for those so the longer I wait I'm only going to be delaying the inevitable."

Ino saw Sakura's point but she still wasn't sure, yes she was happy that Sakura wanted to go to school but she didn't want Sakura to end up getting worse because of that choice.

"Ino, I've done this before. Trust me." Sakura's voice sounded much older then the girl really was.

It was ironic that Sakura was reassuring Ino rather than the other way around, Ino looked at Sakura. There was a flash of something behind her eyes, something that gave Ino confidence in Sakura's words.


Sakura smiled softly and walked into her bedroom closing the door behind her. Yes tomorrow would be hard but it would make the day after it easier, she couldn't put her life on hold, it would only make things more difficult on her.

Her heart was racing at the thought of getting a glance of Itachi tomorrow. But she was also nervous of what would happen; deciding to worry about it tomorrow because worrying about the inevitable was as useful as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. She finished her food and brushed her teeth before going to sleep.

Sakura didn't have night terrors that night.


The day was hot and Sakura was sure her anxiety wasn't making it any better. Changing into her uniform she tied her hair up in a simple ponytail not bothering with make up or anything else. She wasn't trying to please anyone else so she didn't see the point.

When she left her bedroom she found Ino waiting for her looking nervous, she had some breakfast ready for her.

"Gosh Ino are you fattening me up so you can eat me?" Sakura joked as she sat down and began eating.

Ino smiled and laughed lightly, but underneath the composure her hear skipped a beat. Sakura had made a joke, but her smile hadn't reached her eyes; eyes that were still empty. But again it was something and something was always better then nothing.

Sakura ate quietly once she was finished they left for school. Ino kept looking at Sakura waiting to see some sign of distress, but nothing showed up. Sakura looked perfectly calm, almost too calm, but Ino took that as a good sign. She needed to trust Sakura, she could always leave if she felt uncomfortable but Ino figured Sakura wouldn't do that. She guessed Sakura would see this through until the very end.

As they walked through the hallway a silence would fall amongst the students and then whispering started, Ino glanced at Sakura who looked perfectly composed. She looked like she was far away, far away from all the rumours and stares. Then it hit Ino; the lifeless eyes, the zombie-like trance, Sakura had been building up an escape route from all this. From all of the whispering and pointing, she was hiding away beneath the surface until the initial shock of the rape wore off. She guessed there was probably more to it but she could now see why Sakura would do what she was doing. It was protecting her, she smirked to herself. So Sasuke had been right, it was a defence mechanism.

Sakura barely noticed when Hinata walked up to them, she didn't even notice when Hinata asked how she was.

Hinata frowned and looked at Ino who just smiled; Hinata took this to be good so she smiled back. Sakura looked up and saw the back of a tall redhead, just as she looked up he turned around and caught her eye. She smiled briefly at him; he looked at her and walked over.

"You okay?" he asked getting straight to the point.

Sakura looked at him, taking in his unusual eye colour. She liked Sasori, she figured he liked her more then she liked him but she wanted to be friends with him. She enjoyed his company.

"As fine as can be expected." She muttered her voice low; she didn't want other people to hear her that wouldn't be good.

Sasori looked her up and down as if inspecting her, making sure she wasn't damaged on the outside. He seemed satisfied when his eyes landed back on her face.

"Itachi wants-" he tried but Sakura wasn't having any of it.

Her eyes fell completely dull, any slight light that was behind them completely faded leaving her looking like a lifeless doll all over again.

"I don't want to talk about Itachi."

Sasori dropped it not wanting to make her day worse so he just nodded. They just stared at each other for awhile saying everything and nothing at the same time.

"It'll be okay." He said, his voice louder then a whisper but quieter then his usual voice.

She nodded, her eyes welling up. She tried swallowing the tears, she didn't want to cry infront of all these people but she couldn't stop them, the tears began falling.

Before Sakura knew it Sasori had pulled her into a hug, blocking her tears from everyone else's view. She had never been more thankful for a hug then she had just there.

Ino was shocked, Sasori showed barely any affection to anyone. She didn't think she'd ever seen him hug anyone, ever. And she had known Sasori since she was very small.

Sakura closed her eyes, as she cried silently. She hadn't really cried yet but it was only when someone told her it would get better that she got upset because that meant it was bad. That meant that it was real, ignorance truly was bliss.

She didn't make a sound as she cried into Sasori's chest, his strong arms protecting her from everyone else. She slowly stopped and began breathing normally again, that's when the smell of Sasori hit her. It was different from all the other male scents she had smelt so far. Sasuke smelt similar to Itachi, they both smelled deep, dark and masculine.

But Sasori smelt like paint's, wood, soap and she was pretty sure a hint of expensive aftershave was there.

"You okay?" He murmured close to her ear.

Nodding against his chest as an answer he pulled away, she dragged her sleeves across her eyes to wipe the tears.

"Thank y-"

"It's no bother, really." His eyes were intense and she felt slightly dazed by them, they were very alluring their colour so unusual and beautiful.

Sakura nodded and smiled at him, a small smile he smirked back at her.

"See you later, pinkie." He grinned at she frowned at that.

"Don't call me that!" He walked away and acted like he couldn't hear her; she smiled to herself at this then turned to Ino who smiled gently.

"Ready to go to your locker?" she asked, Sakura nodded and smiled at Hinata.

"Oh, hey Hinata, sleep well?"

Hinata smiled and nodded not knowing what to say incase she made Sakura upset in some way.

The three of them walked to Sakura's locker together before going to Hinata's then Ino's. Then they headed to class.


Itachi had little time for gossip and even less now that he had exams to focus on and since he had seen Sakura yesterday. He couldn't stop thinking about that so he hadn't been paying attention to the group of girls chatting behind him until he heard a familiar name.

"Yeah it was definitely Sakura." The first said.

Itachi tensed; if they were talking about the rape he didn't think he'd be able to control himself. He glanced up to see Sasori walk into the classroom –late- listening to his iPod, he glanced at Itachi and nodded, Itachi nodded back before he went back to listening to the girls behind him.

"Seriously you never see that! I thought he was A sexual for a while but I hoped not because he's so hot."

Itachi presumed they had moved on from the previous topic and was about to pay attention to the teacher when he heard another one of them say.

"Nope he was definitely hugging Sakura in the hallway this morning, and it was just any hug. It was a hug, long and intimate."

"Gosh I envy her! Imagine getting a hug like that from Sasori of all people!"

"I know right? Like I said he barely shows any affection to anyone."

Itachi's eyes narrowed as he heard that piece of information, he turned in his chair to glance at the redhead who was now taking notes. He wanted to clench his jaw and his fists but he didn't, he needed to stay clam. Something he seemed to be finding difficult these days, he needed to be calm and digest this then act.

He closed his eyes and inhaled.

He was an Uchiha.

He had no weaknesses.

He did not need to show emotion.

Emotion was pointless.

Emotion was a weakness.

Opening his eyes he felt a wave of calmness wash over him, if his head was on right he could think straight. If it wasn't he couldn't, and right now he needed to think straight.

He figured he was feeling jealous and evaluated this as an Uchiha would.

What was making him Jealous?

The fact that Sakura and Sasori were hugging each other 'intimately' in the hallway, and the fact that Sasori hadn't told him Sakura was in today. Oh and of course the fact that Sasori knew he had an interest in Sakura. Also he wanted to be the one hugging her but he couldn't because she thought he didn't like her anymore after finding out about the rape.

How could he deal with this?

Talking with Sasori, getting an explanation, talking with Sakura and explaining he still had an interest in her.

How fast could he put a plan of action into action in order to obtain what he desired?

Right away.


Sakura finished her English essay before everyone else in the class so she began staring out the window. The day was almost over and the staring and whispering had gotten better, yes they still were pointing and whispering about her. But now they're interests had moved on to other topics, she still felt upset though but there was little she could do about that.

Throughout the whole day Ino and Hinata had been asking her constantly was she okay, she knew they were trying to help but it was getting irritating. Shifting her mind from those thoughts she thought back to her hug with Sasori that morning, which was been surprisingly sweet of him. She liked Sasori, she really did, underneath the cool exterior he was just a nice artist not a mean stuck up bastard.

Resting her chin on her hand her eyes scanned the room; their English teacher was busy correcting work. Ino was still writing her essay so Sakura's eyes didn't linger there long; she scanned the desks looking at her classmates. Shikamaru was finished and was asleep in the back. Naruto was writing furiously on his desk looking stressed out. Her eyes found Sasuke who was also finished and he too was looking around the room.

Catching each other's gazes Sakura forced herself not to look away. She needed to pretend to be interested in him that way she could get into a relationship with him and…

And pretend he's Itachi.


Isn't that cruel?

Sakura didn't bother answering the voice, she was sure it was cruel but she was also sure that talking to a voice in your head wasn't good either. She smiled a small smile at him and then pretended to avert her gaze before glancing back to see him still looking. She smiled inwardly, this was working.

Sasuke watched Sakura for the rest of the class; she had smiled at him once and glanced at him several times before her eyes fell dull again. The blank look on her face didn't suit her, Sakura was meant to be full of emotions that blank stare reminded him so much of his father it was creepy.

The bell rang and Ino was out of her seat quicker then Naruto was to the lunchroom. Standing infront of Sakura she smiled.

Sakura glanced up and then looked back down at her desk. The day had finally come to an end, it had been tough but now it was done. Tomorrow would be easier and the day after that even easier, she had done the hardest part and now she could finally relax. Sakura let out a breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding.

"You ready to go?" Ino asked grabbing Sakura's books and handing them to her. Sakura nodded.

The teacher's weren't really assigning homework now since the exams were so close, the just expected the students to study. Sakura needed to catch up on her studying since she had been sleeping for about two days.

"Yeah, I'm ready." They walked out of the school slowly because Ino was talking to Ten-ten who was acting weird around Sakura, not in a mean way but in an 'I'm unsure of what to do here' way. Sakura didn't care though her mind was too busy trying to figure out a way to get with Sasuke.

Ino glanced at Sakura who was chewing her bottom lip in concentration as they made their way back to the dorm.

"Something on your mind?" Ino asked her voice kind and sweet.

"Kind of," Turning she looked at Ten-ten "Hey where's Hinata?"

Ten-ten glanced at Sakura and then behind herself. "Hey you're right, where is Hinata?"

"She probably went off with Naruto." Ino said brushing the topic aside.

"You're probably right." Ten-ten said letting it go too.

Sakura just nodded in agreement, it was times like these she missed the quite girl. She had a sense of peace with her constantly that rubbed off onto you when you were around her. Glancing around she noticed the grounds were full of students sunbathing or doing homework. She could see the longing on Ino's face to join them and Sakura felt her heart sink, all this time Ino had been rushing back to the dorm to make sure she was okay. To make sure she had eaten, she'd been worrying about Sakura so much that she hadn't bothered going out.

"Hey Ino?"

"Hmm?" She tore her eyes away from the students lying in the sun

"If you want to stay out here that's fine, I'll be up in the dorm."

"Oh no Sakura its f-"

"Ino its fine, you don't need to babysit me okay?" Sakura nudged Ino towards the grassy area "Go, go have fun."

Ino looked at Sakura who nudged her again.

"Okay but only for awhile I'll be back up soon."

Sakura smiled and waved goodbye to Ten-ten and Ino as they sat down on the grass, as she walked away she could feel Ino's eyes on her. Watching to make sure she was okay, it annoyed Sakura as much as it made her feel appreciated and loved.

When she reached her door she wasn't upset about the sight that was before her eyes but that didn't mean she was particularly happy about it either.

Uchiha Itachi looked very out of place leaning up against her dorm room door; he looked very out of place in her world. His uniform was now slightly tattered looking from a day at school, his blazer was off and his shirt sleeves rolled up revealing strong arms and masculine hands.

Sakura inhaled through her nose and looked at her feet. She couldn't look at him now, now that he knew. She couldn't even talk so she wasn't able to ask him to leave, she felt so ashamed of herself, of who she was. She couldn't look at him because every single bone in his body screamed perfection. She could never measure up to him.

She also couldn't look at him because of what she was going to do to his little brother, she felt awful. She couldn't possibly look at him now.

"Sakura," His voice was as soft and low as she had remembered, her dream version of Itachi was nothing compared to the man infront of her. She felt tingles run up and down her spine as he said her name but she still couldn't look at him.


She bit her lip, as much as she wanted to look at Itachi and talk to him. She couldn't, she couldn't face him because she was deceiving his brother. She was deceiving herself into thinking Sasuke was Itachi, she was using Sasuke for her own selfish purposes. And God forbid he ever found out because that would probably crush him, she knew it was wrong she knew it was cruel but she couldn't stop herself because she felt addicted to Itachi. And if she couldn't have him she'd take the next best thing.

She heard him exhale and the sound of fabric crumpling, he was moving, he was moving towards her. She backed up.

"Sakura please-"

She couldn't do this; she couldn't hear him out because he thought all that was on her mind was the rape. But it was much worse then that, she couldn't hear him out because he was still going to leave and she was still going to deceive Sasuke.

She couldn't do this.

"Please, Itachi," Her voiced cracked this was hurting her more then she thought it would. "Please, just go."


"Please, just go."

There was a finality in her words, and Itachi felt something in his chest tighten. She wasn't just asking him to leave her dorm room, she wasn't just talking about school, she meant go. Go and don't come back, stay away from me. She was asking him to leave her alone to walk out of her life and who was he to refuse? But he couldn't move. He couldn't walk away from her.

He saw her shoulders shake and he heard it in her voice when she said.


The tears were running down her face he presumed because her voice was shaking from trying to compose herself. She hadn't looked at him once since she'd arrived.

"Sakura-" He had to try, he had to atleast try.

"No Itachi, please go."


Okay people WOOP DONE! 38 pages! Can you believe it? Anyways this is sooooo important I want to do a TIME SKIP now is that cool with you all? So they won't be in High School, the characters will be relatively similar but the setting will be different so I might post it under a new story with a different title. Review telling me if it's okay!


Thanks you guys