No Good Deed

"The phrase No good deed goes unpunished is usually used as a sardonic announcement that the good deed you have done will be followed by bad results for yourself. In other words, life is not fair and you will not be rewarded for your good deeds, but rather you will be punished for them." – Wikipedia

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Prologue

Emerald hues locked on his face; she felt herself still as she allowed her eyes to trace along his kohl lashes. Behind them lay hidden eyes the color black sin. His breaths were shallow, proven only by the slow rise and fall of his chest. Medical training instilled within her indicated his lung capacity was at sixty percent... maybe less.

His hair was long, tied back carelessly in a quick ribbon of deep crimson. Bangs brushed his features as if to kiss him. Robes of black and blood red clouds covered him like a slow poison, agonizing him even as he slept. Age lines tugged below his eyes; he needed more than sleep; he needed a lifetime of rest.

She knew.

She felt herself stand, walking across the arch of their rocky prison, the same one that kept them from leaving, acting, fighting back because of the nature of the earthen material keeping their abilities at bay.

She settled herself in a straddle across his lap and held her breath as she waited, watching, searching his face and his reaction.

Nothing.

For a while she just stared at him; she wondered if she did it because she wasn't entirely confident, or, because she wanted to remember the serenity in what he couldn't express while he was awake. Years later when she looked back on this moment she somehow knew she wouldn't know the answer then.

Her hand shook as she reached up, calling on courage she knew she had to possess. Her eyes remained fixed on his features as she drew in closer, cautiously. She exhaled slowly as his warmth finally seeped in through her palm. She nearly jumped as coal-black met with sea-green.

Silence.

She didn't say anything as she stared into those deep, endless pools of pitch. Her throat caught and she had to tell herself to breathe. She found herself forcing herself to do what she'd expected of herself the moment she'd moved to stand.

She kissed him.

Her lips pressed into his; she felt her breath become as shallow as his was, she felt the warmth of his chest as she pressed into him, she felt the electricity of the moment draw from within her a cataclysm of feelings she couldn't quite fathom the idea of battling just then.

His hands were on her upper arms; he was pulling her away; her eyes opened; pitch connected with emerald; breaths were broken and caught.

"You love Sasuke," he stated, eyes scrutinizing even as she felt him hold back what he wanted, what he hadn't allowed himself for a lifetime.

"I do," she found herself saying between broken breaths.

The question was unspoken; he didn't need to ask why.

Her eyes closed briefly; emerald reconnected with pitch. Her hands pressed flat against the stone behind him. She thought back to the last week they'd spent together, questioning herself. Was she in love with him?

No.

Did she love him? Yes. Was it enough?

Yes.

"I want to be what you need," she whispered like a determined plea, hands half clenching, eyes locked on his. In the heat of the moment if felt right; it felt like she needed to be the one that gave him what he needed even if she didn't fully understand it herself.

His lips pressed into hers, strong and persistent, yet soft and unquenchable in the moment. She undid the tie that bound his hair, wanting to feel it unbound through her fingers; she pulled at his clothes even as he pulled at hers. They were bare to each other; in the wake of what had already been revealed it paled in comparison.

His hands were soft and his caress was light. When he looked at her she saw what he couldn't say, she felt what he didn't want to remember and she physically drew from him the regret he wanted washed away. Memories, she recalled him saying at that moment, had a way of killing you slowly. Looking at him, feeling him, breathing him in, she believed it.

No, she realized, she knew it.

She felt him wrap, weave, himself into her. He soaked her in like a barren river crying for rain, for a monsoon. She never said anything of the tears on her shoulder or the ache she felt reflected in his chakra; when she finally cried her fears and regrets into his bare chest, her hands gripping him like a vice as he grasped her, she realized something.

At that moment, he had been what she needed as well.

...

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...

One week and two days later…

"Here…"

Sakura nearly jumped at the sound of Naruto's voice next to her; even so, her eyes did flash to his with surprise. Slowly, her features softened away into a wan smile and she looked down at the styrofoam cup in his hands."Thank you," she whispered as she took it. She sipped from it and turned back to the window looking in on the hospital room.

"Why don't you go in?" he asked.

"He's asleep," she replied, her eyes fixed on the face beyond the glass, serene and softened. His breath was slow, indicating he was actually asleep… at least to her.

Naruto nodded next to her as he looked in as well, hands dug into his pockets.

Silence passed on between them for a while. She was actually a little surprised by it; Naruto was always so outspoken. If he was being quiet then something was wrong, or, on his mind.

She wondered… "Are you angry at me?"

He blinked, looking over at her. "For?"

She frowned only a little, her eyes locked on his. "For finding him first and bringing him home."

Naruto looked shocked, disbelieving even before he gave her a curious grin. "No, never. Why would you think that?"

"I dunno, I did it without you."

Naruto sighed. "It's not a contest, Sak." He looked over at the dark-haired male behind the glass. "I'm not mad at you; I think…if anything, I'm in shock. I didn't really expect it to be so easy… One minute you were there, with us in the woods while we were on his trail and the next you were gone. Then, a week and half later you're back, Sasuke's back, Itachi's dead and the big mission to save him is over.

"I'm just worried… I'm going to wake up."

She looked over at him, eyes transfixed on his features as he spoke. She nodded when he was done and looked back at their team mate. "It's not a dream, Naruto. He's back. A little worse for wear, but… he's back… he's home."

"And Itachi's dead," he said as if confirming the fact for himself; with Itachi gone Sasuke no longer had a reason to leave.

She nodded. Her voice was distant. "Yes, Naruto… Itachi's dead."

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Two months later…

"Is that all, Tsunade-sama?"

Tsunade nodded. "Yes, Shizune. You may go."

The dark haired assistant nodded at her. As she left her eyes briefly touched on Sakura, softening in concern before she slipped out.

"You wanted to speak with me?" Sakura asked as she stood at the front of her teacher's desk.

The blonde nodded as she put a stack of paper work away and opened a drawer. "I'm sure you're aware as to why; it doesn't take a genius such as yourself to figure out why I've had this room sealed for privacy."

Sakura nodded.

She set a bottle of sake and a cup on the desk, stilling as her gaze rested on Sakura. "Is it true?"

Sakura visibly paused.

"You know I would be fully within my rights as not only the Hokage but, the director of the hospital if I looked into your file to find out for myself."

She knew. "There's no need for that, Shishou. I…" She closed her eyes and looked up at her, hands clasped to her front as if she had nothing better to do with them. "…it's true."

"Were you raped?"

Slowly, she shook her head. "…No."

Silence.

"Shishou—."

"Sakura do you realize what you've done?" She wasn't yelling, but, Sakura could hear the disbelief in her voice. "Do you realize what kind of position you've placed yourself in if anyone outside of the hospital were to confirm this information?

"Never mind what the elders will say, but, what about Sasuke? The man murdered his family, his clan, his mother and father… children. Why would you…willingly—."

"Shishou, I understand that—."

"I don't think you do," she replied, moving to stand so that her eye level matched Sakura's. Amber-brown hues were narrowed; her eyes shifted back and forth as if reading her student's. "He killed his own people; he betrayed this village." Her hand slammed on to the desk, palm flat as if to emphasize her point. "What Uchiha Itachi represents to people here is nothing good. Nothing good can come of this and now you're just over two months pregnant with his child. One nurse couldn't keep her mouth shut and now people are talking. What do you intend to do, Sakura?

"Give it up?"

"No."

Tsunade opened her mouth to speak again. Sakura could see another lecture coming.

"Shishou," she cut in quickly as she pressed her hands to chest. "I know you're upset. I realize that; I do. But, if you would only hear me out…"

"What reason could you possibly have for willingly becoming a momentary consort to a man who was once considered the most bloodthirsty traitor of this village, this country?"

Sakura felt her chest tighten at those words and she wondered, briefly, if she was going to lose this fight. She bit her lip and sighed, desperation wearing at her. "Do you trust me, Shishou? You always have. You've always told me that, aside from Shizune's, it was my judgment you favored most. Has that changed now?"

There was a long, hard silence after that. Sakura wanted to pull her gaze away under the heat of disappointment, concern and fear quaking in her teacher's eyes; however, it was her life lessons that kept her from doing so despite the hammering in her chest.

"No," she finally whispered as she slumped back into her chair, eyes closed and her hand wearily resting on her temple.

"Then… what would you say if I told you I had a way to prove that Uchiha Itachi was not the man we were all led to believe?"

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A few hours later; midnight…

The door shut behind her; the sound clicked softly in the darkened silence of her one bedroom apartment. She dropped her keys on the small table there and slipped her sandals off in exchange for slippers. She stilled as she reached for the light, stopping only a moment as her eyes locked on the black before her.

She switched the light on.

Pitch met with emerald.

"Sasuke."

He didn't say anything; he just stared at her, his eyes narrowed and unrevealing. She could see a vein along his jaw twitching; she could feel the tension in the air—unspoken. For a moment, she was almost as afraid of him as she had been that day he'd threatened Naruto with his Kusanagi. She resisted the urge to swallow and held fast, keeping her gaze locked on his.

She knew why he was here; he didn't have to ask, but, he would anyway. This fact was only emphasized by the obvious draw of his depths to her stomach.

"Is it true?" he asked, voice poised as ever.

She felt defensive under his scrutiny and responded thusly. "Is what true?"

She saw his jaw tighten; his eyes visibly narrowed further. "Are you carrying my brother's child?"

She stilled a moment.

"Sakura."

She closed her eyes and looked away; she couldn't lie to him. Even if he never knew why, he had a right to know the truth. "…Yes."

Silence.

She looked up to an empty apartment and to the sound of the door clicking behind her. She stared where he had been standing, her eyes shaking as the events of the day settled upon her. She leaned her shoulder into the wall and slowly slid to the floor.

In the quiet of her space she finally allowed herself crumble.

ooo

AN :: So, I'm not really sure what to say other than… what do you think?

—Blade