You Wear Insanity Well
Rated: M for mature content and mostly language
Disclaimer: If I owned anything here…well than I probably wouldn't be here…
Summary: "I wouldn't ask this from you unless it was an emergency. Mind you, I still hate you, you bastard, but this isn't about me. Just help me please? Help me save my baby."

Note: Shameless self promotion for my other story Behind the Mask. But if here would be lovely as well.

Well, here's the new chapter...finally. I really wanted to get it out by New Years since I don't know when I'll be able to update next. This chapter is a bit shorter and slower than previous ones and for that I apologize. I think that things will start picking up soon, so hold out!

018: Pull the Trigger
(somebody tell me what i'm gonna do)

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
01:48 UTC

She wasn't afraid.

The image of her parent's faces as they watched her go from the back door was emblazoned in her mind. They were afraid. She could see it plainly on her mother's worn face and tucked away in her father's eyes.

She didn't look back as her boots crunched through long dead leaves that had fallen to the ground. Her father's shotgun was clamped rigidly between her frozen and pale fingers. The assassin marched before her, his jacket stained with dried blood and his hands cinched together behind his back.

He stopped for a minute, perhaps from weariness due his wound or perhaps because he wondered exactly where Sakura was taking him. Sakura had no patience for stopping; she prodded him with the nozzle of the gun and he continued to walk.

The sky was that pale, murky, indescribable color, punctured by the dark silhouette of tree branches that grew denser around them the more the continued walking. The air was still and silence echoed all around them, disrupted only by the crunch of leaves and the releasing of breath.

The dark woods surrounding her parent's house used to scare her as a youth. But not today.

"Stop." Said Sakura.

The assassin continued to walk forward, his shoulders slumped and head bowed. Perhaps he did not hear her. Sakura clutched the gun tighter in her hands. "I said stop."

"You do not control me." The assassin replied, his voice quiet and even.

Sakura didn't bat an eyelash as she moved forward and swung the butt of the gun into the side of the assassin's head, throwing all her weight into the motion. The assassin's head jerked sideways as flew to the ground in a heap, leaves crunching underneath him. He let out a grunt of pain before Sakura flipped him over onto his back with the toe of her boot. She hefted the gun up and pointed it at his head.

"Have you even fired a weapon before? Ever killed someone?" He stared up at Sakura, amber eyes glinting in the dull sky. The side of his head was congealing with blood from where Sakura had struck him with the gun. The corners of his mouth were upturned slightly in a smirk.

"I'll be asking the questions here." Growled Sakura. "Who sent you here? The ITP?"

"The ITP is dead." Said the assassin. "You saw to that."

"Then why are you after us?" Sakura asked.

The assassin's eyes flicked away from Sakura for a moment before turning back. "You've set something in motion." He sighed. "You've opened the floodgates and now the water will not stop flowing until there is none."

Sakura felt a prickle of irritation. That was all anyone seemed to give her - roundabout answers. Sakura cocked the shotgun - something her father had just showed her how to do, and re-aimed the gun at the assassin. "I don't want to listen to your bullshit. Tell me why you are here." Sakura demanded.

The assassin closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. He made no move to get up. The entire side of his face was now matted with dried blood. "You will die, soon enough." He said, finally. "I will not be the one to do it, but someone else will come. And if they fail, there will be another. They will keep coming, until you are dead. Only then will you have peace."

Sakura narrowed her green eyes. The wind blew around them, ruffling Sakura's robe underneath her coat. She bent down, shoving the nozzle of the gun against the assassin's forehead. "I'll have peace," She said through gritted teeth, "When Naruto ends you all."

The assassin gave out a stark laugh and grabbed the nozzle of the gun, pressing it into his forehead. "Do it." He urged. "I don't fear death."

For a moment, Sakura thought she was seeing red. An anger that she had never known suddenly spread through her as she ripped the gun away from the assassin's face and grabbed him by the front of his coat, pulling him forward. What had she, or Naruto for that matter, done wrong in life to deserve this endless chase when all that awaited them at the end was death? Naruto may have been a thief, but he certainly didn't deserve what he had coming for him. How was it that truly bad people could go on in life, getting everything that they wanted while the good ones only suffered? Sakura let the assassin fall face first to the ground as she walked around and then rough jerked him to his knees. She gripped him by his shoulder as he hissed in pain.

"You don't fear death," She said in a detached voice, "But maybe you fear pain?" She asked as she tightened her grip on his shoulder.

"There is nothing that you can do to hurt me." Said the assassin through gritted teeth.

"No?" Questioned Sakura. "I'm a doctor, I know plenty of ways to hurt you. So I suggest you start answering my questions."

Rome, Italy
16:21 UTC

"Neji? I...I wasn't aware that you would be calling..." Hanabi's voice was hesitant and quiet as it came through the phone's speakers.

Neji paused as the door to his room swung open and he gripped the cell phone more solidly in his hand as he flipped the light switch and dumped his keys and food down on the table. "Hanabi." He said finally, "I didn't know you would be with Hinata."

Sitting down on his bed, he couldn't help but feel...worried.

"Well, you see cousin, I have a hell of a story to tell you..." Said Hanabi, her voice sardonic.

Neji sat on the bed in silence as Hanabi poured out the entire story to Neji. Hanabi's voice was on edge and she was speaking faster than she normally would. Neji didn't move until Hanabi had finished.

"Father is...still a bit in denial over Hinata's condition and Sasuke hasn't really-"

"I'm sorry, Hanabi." Said Neji, cutting her off. "I have to go. Something has come to my attention. Thank you for telling me."

He hung up and snapped the phone shut before Hanabi could utter another word. He sat on the bed silently more a few more moments before he passed a hand wordlessly over his eyes. Then slowly, as if he had managed to age a great deal in a short amount of time, Neji got up and went to sit at the desk with his laptop. He paused a moment before he began to type.

His food was left cold and forgotten on the table.

Casa della Uchiha, Piazza Navona
Rome, Italy
21:59 UTC

"We can temporarily dye your hair…just as an extra precaution." Sasuke said wearily, rubbing his hands into his eyes.

Sasuke paused a moment, his hands covering his eyes as if he were attempting to hide from reality for a brief moment. But the moment quickly passed and Sasuke sighed before running his hands through his hair and looking up.

Naruto had been watching him, but he quickly looked away into the fireplace when Sasuke's dark eyes met his. "I'm not worried." He said.

The fire was burning brightly, casting a warm orange glow over the study. Shadows danced across Naruto's face as he stared into the bright flames. Outside, snow was once again drifting down from the sky and frost and already glazed the windowpanes in thin layers. On the desk, file folders as thick as books were scattered about and papers littered the surface. An iPad was lying on Sasuke's lap, but he quickly cast it aside as he grabbed some other papers off the desk. He chose not to respond to Naruto's comment.

Naruto glanced back at Sasuke and watched as the Uchiha sat hunched over his work; as if he were hoping an answer would pop out at him from the text. Naruto knew that Sasuke had read all the files on the table enough times to have them memorized by now. He was a different person now – spending only a few hours with him had been enough for Naruto to see it. He was trying to act normal – and that was probably for the best – but it was clear that whatever happened with Hinata had changed Sasuke, possibly forever.

Briefly shutting his eyes, Naruto snatched his scotch glass off the table.

He stood up and his chair scraped lightly against the hardwood floor. "I'm going to get some water." He said. He watched Sasuke for a few seconds before turning and making his way toward the door. He wasn't sure if Sasuke had heard him, but he knew that even if he did, Sasuke wouldn't have acknowledged him anyway.

The ancestral Uchiha home was not nearly as large as the Uchiha owned villa on the outskirts of Rome, but it was definitely just as nice. The new seamlessly blended with the old; new, hich-tech appliances mixed with the cracked stone archways and vine laced walls created a very strange, yet comforting atmosphere.

The kitchen, like the rest of the house, was twice the size of one found in a normal home and featured all the latest of appliances. It gleamed of polished wood and stainless steel and smelled like warm freshly baked bread. Naruto wondered absentmindedly if they sprayed something in the air so it smelled like that. He turned on the tap and quickly filled his glass with cool water.


Naruto quickly spun around and found Mikoto Uchiha staring back at him. Despite her casual wear, she was an elegantly dressed woman and exuded an air of wealth and poise. Her long black hair was tossed over her shoulder and her bangs framed her face. Naruto could see the resemblance between her and her son, yet Mikoto's features were soft in contrast to Sasuke's sharp features.

"Oh, I'm sorry." Said Mikoto demurely as she set down a wine glass on the counter. "I've been a little frazzled lately. You almost looked like someone I knew once."

"O-Oh…" Said Naruto, his expression dumbfounded as he watched Mikoto wash her glass out in the sink.

"Are you an associate of my sons?" Mikoto asked, turning toward him expectantly.

"Yes…" Naruto answered, his mind still reeling.

"These days, I never know when Sasuke is here and when he is gone." She murmured. There was a distant look in her eyes before she turned back toward Naruto. A sad smile crossed her lips. "Enjoy the rest of your evening." She said, nodding her head before turning to head out of the kitchen.

Naruto watched her go, his glass of water forgotten. "Mrs. Uchiha!" Said Naruto quickly, finding his words before Mikoto could leave the kitchen.

Mikoto turned toward him, her gaze questioning. Naruto swallowed and forced himself to find the words. "That name that you said…"

"Oh." Mikoto turned always, almost embarrassed. "As I said, it was just someone I used to know…"

"Was it Minato Namikaze?" Naruto asked quietly. Mikoto glanced up quickly, her dark eyes wide. She tilted her head and her gaze turned both questioning and frantic. "How…?"

"Did you know him?" Naruto pressed. When Mikoto didn't answer, Naruto's voice turned suddenly desperate. "If you know something, please tell me. He…he was my father."

Mikoto's eyes snapped to Naruto and she stared at him as if she were staring deep into his soul. She took a step backward and quickly the counter as if she needed support to continue standing up right. "Who are you?" She whispered.

Naruto met her gaze. "My name is Naruto Uzumaki." He said softly.

As soon as the words slipped from Naruto's lips, the effect on Mikoto was instantaneous. Her already pale skin turned white as if she had seen a ghost. Her knees buckled under her and Naruto quickly rushed to her side to help her stand. "Mrs. Uchiha?" Naruto questioned, his voice on edge.

"No…" She whispered. She began shaking her head before bringing her hand to her forehead as if to soothe a headache.

"You…you can't be…" She mumbled. Looking around frantically, Naruto quickly helped Mikoto into the dining room. After seating her in a chair, he rushed back to the kitchen, grabbing his forgotten glass of water before rushing back to the dining room and thrusting the glass into Mikoto's hand. He knelt down before her.

Minako hesitantly took a sip before shaking her head and putting the glass on the table. "No…no. It isn'y possible…"

Naruto's heart was beating wildly in his chest, but he quickly swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and grasped Mikoto's hand which caused her to jump. "Mrs. Uchiha." He said in the most controlled voice he could manage.

Mikoto glanced up, her expression a mixture of fear and disbelief. Her dark eyes found Naruto's and the look she gave him shook Naruto. He tried steeling his nerves for his next words as he reached for her hand that was on her lap. "I need you to explain to me."

Mikoto bit down on one of her perfect lips and looked away, tears suddenly brimming at her eyes. "They said you had died." She said, her voice breaking.

Naruto looked at her, speechless. He shook his head, as if trying to make sense of what she had just said. "Dead?" He finally managed. "Who? Who said I was dead? How did you know my father?" He asked urgently. His hand began to squeeze hers.

"They searched for you." Said Mikoto, as if she hadn't even heard Naruto. Tears began to spill down her cheeks as she continued, "When they found her, you were gone. They said you couldn't have survived…"

Her words weren't making any sense. What did they mean they had searched for him? Was she talking about his mother? Naruto shook Mikoto's hand, hoping to break her from her delirious state. "Mrs. Uchiha, I was placed in an orphanage here in Rome when I was four." He said. "Did you know about this? Is that what you are trying to say?"

Mikoto turned to him, finally seeing him with clarity. "No." She said vehemently. "That's impossible."

Naruto looked at her helplessly. "My mother's signature was on the documents."

Mikoto pulled her hand away from Naruto's and Naruto backed away as Mikoto stood up and began to pace. She covered her face with her hands for a moment before pulling them away and wiping her tears away. She seemed to take a minute to compose herself before approaching Naruto. Naruto stood up before her.

Mikoto brought her hand up to Naruto's cheek and Naruto didn't flinch away from her touch. Her skin was warm and worn. Her eyes were studying him. "You're really Kushina's son? You're really Naruto?" She whispered.

Naruto swallowed and nodded his head.

Before Naruto knew it, Mikoto has pulled him into a crushing hug as tears once again spilled from her eyes. Naruto stood there awkwardly, unsure of what to do. Mikoto's revelation had still left him with more questions rather than answers, but perhaps there would still be time for that yet. Slowly, Naruto put his arms around the crying Uchiha matriarch and forced himself to be satisfied with the fact that there was at least one person who was both willing and able to provide him with the answers he needed.

Behind them, Sasuke Uchiha was unsure of what he had just walked into.

Rome, Italy
22:05 UTC

Kakashi wasn't sure what he was doing and he was positive that he had the wrong address. But as he glanced down at his phone once more to double check, he found that he was at the right location. That didn't exactly make Kakashi feel inspired.

The apartment corridor he stood in was dingy, dimly lit and had paint peeling from the walls. The walls were thin and Kakashi could hear the television blasting in one apartment and some inappropriate noises coming from another. Kakashi shook his head and turned to leave. He had only gotten a few steps away from the door before groaning and turning back to approach the door. He stared at the disgusting green colored door and rusting numbers that marked the apartment before finally bringing his fist up to knock before he could lose courage.

After waiting a couple of seconds, he heard nothing. Frowning, Kakashi decided to knock again. When he still heard nothing, Kakashi's anger and desperateness got the better of him and he pounded his fist angrily against the door. This time, he heard thundering footsteps inside the apartment and the door suddenly swung open, causing Kakashi to take a step backward.

A blond woman, her hair frazzled stuck her head out the door. "What the fuck do you want?" She hissed angrily. "Get the fuck out of here."

She made to close the door, but Kakashi quickly stopped her with his foot. "Temari…right?" He asked hesitantly. This woman was clearly volatile.

Temari glanced up at Kakashi and Kakashi could see that she was tired rather than angry. Dark bags hung under her eyes. "Who are you?" She questioned tiredly.

"Ispettore Capo Kakashi Hatake." Kakashi answered. After hesitating a moment, he decided to show her his badge to prove himself.

Temari's eyebrows furrowed. "Interpol?" She wearily questioned. "What are you doing here?...Or does this have to do with Anna?"

Kakashi paused before nodding his head. Sighing, Temari pushed the door open so that Kakashi could enter.

Unsure of what to expect, Kakashi was surprised by what he saw when he entered the apartment. Unlike the exterior, the interior of the apartment had a fresh coat of paint and was both clean and well furnished. Temari closed the door quietly behind her before turning to face Kakashi. She had her arms crossed over her chest.

"Keep your voice down. We just got Anna to go to sleep." Temari said. Her voice seemed to imply that it wasn't an easy task.

Wordlessly, Kakashi nodded his head. "Do…do you think I can see her?" He whispered.

Temari regarded him silently for a moment. Kakashi thought perhaps she would decide against it when she finally shrugged her shoulders and gestured for Kakashi to follow her. He followed her down the hallway toward a small room at the end. As Kakashi entered, he found that the room was piled with cardboard boxes and only a few spare pieces of furniture including Anna's crib. Temari stood by the doorway as Kakashi entered and approached the crib.

She was just as beautiful as Kakashi remembered, as beautiful as the day Kurenai had brought her home from the hospital. He could see a lot of Kurenai in her still growing features, but her hair was a coarse, inky black – exactly as Asuma's had been. She was sleeping soundly, so Kakashi resigned himself to touching her cheek lightly with the tips of his fingers before gazing at her one last time and backing out of the room.

"I'm sorry to have disturbed you." Kakashi apologized when they had reached the living room. "I only wanted to see her."

Temari nodded and her eyes were much more sympathetic than they had initially been. "You were…friends with Signor Sarutobi?" She asked.

Kakashi nodded his head yes. "You're Shikamaru's…wife?"

"Girlfriend." Temari corrected.

Kakashi instantly felt sorry for Temari. He hadn't known how the young man had known Asuma, but he could only imagine what Temari must have felt. He didn't know Temari, didn't know if she had wanted children, but to have one suddenly thrust into her hands…No doubt the last couple of days must have been a hard adjustment to her.

"Is Shikamaru here? Can I speak with him?" Kakashi asked. Apart from the day he met Shikamaru had the office of child services, he had not spoken another word to the Nara boy. With Sasuke absent all day, doing only God knew what, Kakashi had felt almost despondent in the light of the Uchiha's absence. He had realized that he needed someone to talk to, someone that had known Asuma as well as he had. Someone who felt the pain of his death as much as he still did.

He didn't know if Nara Shikamaru would be that person, but Kakashi thought he would give it a try.

"He isn't here." Temari responded, and her voice was curt.

"Oh." Said Kakashi lamely. "He works nights…?" He probed lightly.

Temari pursed her lips and turned away. She had been hugging her arms to her chest, as if she was trying to hold herself together. "He left a couple of hours ago. Said he needed to check something. He seemed to think that Anna would sleep through the night this time."

Kakashi realized with finality that Temari sounded hurt more than anything else. And he suddenly understood the pressure that Temari must have been feeling. To be in a relationship and suddenly have someone's child trust upon you. A child that you didn't know, a child that you weren't ready to mother. Kakashi realized the last thing he needed was to get involved in Shikamaru and Temari's issues.

"Do you…need me to stay with you? To watch Anna?" Kakashi suddenly found himself asking.

Temari raised an eyebrow. "You know how to take care of a baby?"

"Do you have any other options?" Kakashi asked quietly.

His question seemed to break Temari down as her arms fell limply to her side and she solemnly nodded her head. No other words needed to be spoken. Kakashi removed his coat and shoes as Temari walked into the kitchen to make tea.

Casa della Uchiha, Piazza Navona
Rome, Italy
22:11 UTC

Sasuke watched with a mild degree of both confusion and alarm as his mother sobbed into Naruto Uzumaki's shoulder and clutched desperately at the back of his shirt.

He had never seen his mother cry before and that scared Sasuke, outweighing any bafflement he felt over seeing his mother cry into the shoulder of the man he had once considered his enemy. Mikoto Uchiha had always been a picture of elegance, poise and perseverance for as long as Sasuke could remember. She had always been firm with Sasuke and Itachi when they had been children and – much like their father – had never shown a moment of weakness.

Until now.

Sasuke wasn't sure why his mother was crying, but it unnerved Sasuke, especially when he could use all the stability he could get before he too went insane.

Sasuke ran his hand through his hair before putting his fist to his mouth and lightly clearing his throat. The sound seemed to have the desired effect as both Mikoto and Naruto seemed to break out of whatever trance they had been in. Mikoto slowly pulled away from Naruto, glancing up at him briefly before she brushed the tears away from her eyes with her hands.

"Sasuke…" Said Mikoto softly as she turned to her son.

Naruto glanced over toward Sasuke, but the usual light from his eyes was gone. He just seemed tired. Sasuke realized with a start that never before had he seen Naruto look so solemn and guarded. He furrowed his eyebrows as he once again glanced between his mother and Naruto.

"I thought you were just going to get a glass of water." Said Sasuke, forcing himself to keep his voice casual. "What's going on?"

Mikoto looked at Sasuke and for the first time, Sasuke could see that his mother looked just as tired as Naruto did. She glanced briefly at Naruto, nodding her head before walking toward Sasuke. "Another time." She said softly, her hand lightly brushing against his arm before he exited the dining room and disappeared from view.

"What the hell was that about?" Sasuke finally questioned.

Naruto shook his head as he too brushed past Sasuke. "Your mom is right. Now isn't the right time. Let's go over the plan again before tomorrow." He said wearily as he made his way back to the study.

Sasuke stood there in the dining room by himself for a while. In another life, Sasuke would have blown his top and pressured Naruto until he got the answers that he wanted. But now, perhaps after what happened with Hinata, Sasuke was much more sensitive toward knowing when there were things that people just didn't want to talk about. So for now, he would wait. And whatever secret that his mother and Naruto shared, if it was important enough, they would tell him when the time came.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
02:10 UTC

The yell reverberated against Sakura's hand and she clamped down harder on the assassin's mouth. She couldn't risk anyone hearing them, even this far out in the woods. She removed her finger from the assassin's neck and after another moment, removed her hand from his mouth.

"You'll regain control of your neck within a couple minutes." Said Sakura. She kept a firm grasp on the back of the assassin's coat to keep him from slumping from the stress position she had forced him to. The assassin's breathing was now heavy and she could feel him trembling from the increased stress building in his legs. "Are you ready to answer my question?" She asked.

The assassin remained silent. It took a few moments before the assassin gathered the strength to turn his head slightly and spit on the ground. Sakura closed her eyes briefly in dismay as she felt her heart plummet. Rubbing her free hand over her eyes, Sakura knew that she had to stay strong.

"You'll tell me soon enough." Said Sakura, letting her voice remain flat and defiant. "You've already lost a lot of blood and the pressure building in your legs from both the stress position you're in and your broken kneecap will only make you weaker." She said.

The broken kneecap had been Sakura's doing. Although she absolutely detested using her medical knowledge for such situations, Sakura was desperate for answers. Yet so far, the assassin had proved defiant. In truth, Sakura didn't know if she could expect any answers from him, or if she had the continued strength to find them.

The assassin hadn't responded to Sakura's threat. Sakura moved her hand to the side of the assassin's head. He quickly flinched under her light touch. "Have you ever had low blood pressure?" Sakura asked as her fingers grazed along the assassin's temple, searching for the correct spot.

"You can blame the Hyuuga." Said the assassin quickly when Sakura's fingers had stopped alongside his face. "You might have had a chance if Uzumaki had killed him."

Sakura's heart leapt into her throat. Had she finally broke through? "Neji?" She quickly questioned.

"He should have left the past alone. They were satisfied with getting rid of Orochimaru, they would have left it at that."

Sakura quickly surmised that he was talking about the file Neji had given to Naruto regarding his parents. Naruto had told Sakura that Neji had suspected this whole situation had arisen from him probing where he shouldn't have.

"What's so special about Naruto's parents?" Sakura asked.

"He was a politician." Said the assassin.

Sakura frowned. That much they already knew. There must have been something more. "And?" She probed.

The assassin had fallen silent again. Letting out an impatient sigh, Sakura could feel her impatience growing. Seeing no other alternatives, she took off her glove and dug her finger into the bullet wound her father had inflicted on the assassin. Sakura squeezed her eyes shut and held back the verge to vomit as her finger dug into his flesh while her other arm wrapped around the assassin's face to suppress his yell.

After a moment, Sakura pulled her finger out, refusing to look at the blood that now coated it. The assassin was heaving now and taking in shuddery breaths of air.

"He was murdered." The assassin finally said. "He threatened exposure so he was eliminated."

Sakura's eyes widened at this revelation. Naruto had suspected that his father had been murdered, but to discover that it was true... "Who did he threaten to expose?" She quickly asked.

"The ITP, everyone." The assassin gasped. His entire body was quivering now. The pressure that had built in his legs must have begun to grow unbearable. Soon, the muscles in his legs would fail.

"Who ordered it?" Sakura asked desperately. "Who is everyone?"

The assassin shook his head and his body began to shake. "I know nothing else. It's the truth."

The assassin let out a sharp gasp and his body flinched. Sakura could feel that she was holding up more of his weight than she had been holding before. His legs had probably finally given out. Releasing him, the assassin slumped to the ground, his legs remaining completely still. Sakura bit her lip before gingerly picking up the shotgun that had been lying unused on the ground. Walking around so that she was facing him, she pointed the gun at his stomach.

"You're telling the truth?" She asked. A part of her would be skeptical no matter his answer, yet she still felt the need to ask it.

The assassin's eyes were clouded over with what could have been pain, or just the loss of blood taking its toll on his body. His face was pale and sweaty. His rust colored hair was matted to his forehead with blood and sweat. "I'm just a worker...another cog in the machine." The assassin said through gritted teeth. "When I'm gone, another will come to take my place."

Sakura bit her lips again before pausing and pulling the gun away from the assassin. She wasn't going to get anything more out of him. Even if he did perhaps know more than he was telling her, she was never going to know what it was. She would make use of what little information she had gained. Backing away slowly, Sakura left the assassin groveling on the ground.

When Sakura had walked a couple of feet away, it suddenly hit her. The realization was so sudden that it left her gasping for breath.

What did she think would happen if she let the assassin alone in the woods? That he would simply waste away? That no one would ever find him? Should he die, and even that was a big if, someone would find him and an investigation would begin. One that would no doubt lead back to her father's shotgun. But if she left him and he survived...she would have no way of knowing. And he wouldn't let her be, he had been clear enough on that point. Even if she fled; went into hiding with Naruto, Sakura couldn't be naive about this. He would come after her parents and Sakura knew she wouldn't be able to protect them.

Never had she felt had decision weigh so heavily on her shoulders. There was doing what needed to be done on one side, and doing what was right on the other. Never before did Sakura think she would have to make a decision where need and right would be on two different sides.

When Sakura walked up to the assassin, he only smirked as he looked up at her. "Good girl."

Random Fact: Nara Shikamaru's father Shikaku worked in the same police district as Asuma until he was killed.