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Author: xWrittenInBlood

The most amazing Beta ever: Destroyed Illusions

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"I wanna love you. But something's pulling me away from you."

Judas - Lady Gaga.

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Chapter Twelve.

I Dare You To Move.

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He could understand her avoiding him. Hell, he would be avoiding himself if he could.

Actually, I think his shadow just ran away... No, it's still there. But when the lights are off and it disappears, it must be happy. He concludes this in his mind.

"Sasuke?" Itachi calls again. But Sasuke does not answer.

Itachi is used to his mood swings by now.

Sasuke has changed.

Itachi wishes there was a delete button on his life. Or at least a Backspace.

Because it's not just Sasuke who's hurting.

But Sasuke will not open his eyes.

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"Karin?" Sakura whispered. Reaching for the older girl's hand, she firmly grasped the fragile limb in her own and pulled forward gently. "We have to keep going. There's a hospital just up ahead. Right, Sai?"

The emotionless boy paused, before giving a stiff nod.

"Yes. The hospital is located one mile North of us." He pointed past a few large buildings.

Sakura smiled greatfully. She still didn't know why he decided to help them, but he had.

Karin was shaking, but Sakura was determined to hold her friend together. "Just a little longer. Look, Kari, I promised you. We're out. I kept my promise."

Karin cried. The tears wouldn't stop. She sobbed loudly, clinging to Sakura as Sai awkwardly stared at the situation with confusion clear in his obsidian eyes.

He thought when you embraced someone, you were happy to see them. Or it was a sign of affection. And when someone cried, that was a sign of sadness.

But the girl with the glasses was crying and hugging Sakura. How could she feel two emotions at once, when Sai could not feel one at all? He shook his head. He was a trained member of ROOT. Never seen, but silently holding the large trunk of a secret gang.

Such emotions were useless.

"We should continue."

Someone, show the boy some light. Please.

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They never knew it was too late. Some people were never meant to shine.

Sai was one of those unfortunate people who never even saw the sun.

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"Neji. I know you don't remember me. I know you may not even like me. But I love you. I've loved you since we were little. Since pre-school. I loved you then, and I love you still. I just love you, Neji Hyuuga! Why won't you remember me?"

Damn it! Tenten even lost her temper staring at her reflection.

She inhaled a deep breath. She just needed to tell Neji - The real Neji, not just a mirror - exactly what she had just said.

That she loved him.

Still loved him.

Loves.

Love.

Lovelovelove. Love. Love! LOVE!

"Oh. My. Gosh. I am such a fool!" She slammed her face into her cupped hands, trying to hide her embarrassment even though no one was around her.

"Why would he remember me? We only finger-painted together like 23 times!" She threw her hands in the air.

Oh shit - She forgot to exhale.

Sigh.

In. Out. In. Out.

(Keep breathing, baby. That's my girl.)

Get a grip, Tenten.

She sharply looked at her reflection.

Then she laughed.

She felt so far away from Neji, but so close at the same time.

He was just slipping away from her. It was like grabbing a handful of sand and fisting it.

Just like before.

She shook her head.

"Not again. Not anymore. Mom's dead, she has no job to move for. There is no excuse. I can do this."

She looked in the mirror again. The image of Neji's perfect face filled her mind.

"Neji, I love you."

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Neji's ears burned, and he sneezed.

"Someone thinking about you, Hyuuga?" Shikamaru teased.

"Shut up."

He could only hope someone was actually thinking about him.

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"This is as far as I go." Sai came to such an abrupt halt that Sakura slammed into his back, causing Karin to walk into Sakura's side.

"What? What do you mean this is 'as far as I go'"? Sakura hissed, somewhat hurt, somewhat confused.

"I have repaid my debt to you. I have successfully retrieved you from your prison and escorted you to the hospital. I will be taking my leave now." He turned sharply on his right heel. There was a very odd tingling in his chest. It was almost a twisting, with a cold flow passing over his body slowly.

"That would be guilt, Sai." Sakura informed the boy. She noted he was acting strange, and cltching his chest just proved her correct in that hypothesis. "But it doesn't matter. I'm grateful all the same." She bowed low, shocking the boy in his place. "Thank you, for helping us."

She wouldn't be thanking him if she knew he had aided in her kidnapping. The 'guilt' intensified in his chest.

Squaring his shoulders, he made sure his face remained empty. "You are welcome, Sakura-chan." He turned his head to the side and offered a forced smile. "I wish you luck in your future."

As he turned again, this time more forcefully, with purpose, he was again shocked to his place. Small arms wrapped around his thin figure, a head pressed against his back. "One day, it won't be so bad. You'll see, Sai. One day you'll be happy."

The tips of his mouth twitched up the smallest fraction without his consent. Slowly reaching to touch his mouth, he regained his composure yet again.

"I will not be returning to the organization. The original Tekuchi members have all but been killed by Reita and his thugs." Reita? But wasn't he - "Reita was not even born a Tekuchi. He was adopted at the age of six. I realize that you can use this information against me to seize Reita, but I do not mind. I am willing to take my punishment as you see fit. I will not run." He was determined now.

"Sai-" This time Karin spoke. But Sai held his hand up in a silent gesture.

"Please, Karin-san. I know you wish to have your vengence against us. I agree with your opinion." There was that fake smile again, resting on his ghostly pale lips.

Nobody dared to move.

"I see..." His black eyes downcast. "Well, I will be leaving now. Again, I deeply apologise." He mimicked Sakura's bow before fading into the darkness.

Karin and Sakura did not know. But Sai did. He heard the shuffling in the shadows.

"I have done the right thing." He told himself. This time a true smile upon himself. He had never felt the arms of another around him. He would be eternally grateful to Sakura for giving him this feeling.

He squared his shoulders and closed his eyes, the smile still there. It felt so good.

"I have done the right thing." He repeated his last words before a knife pierced his throat.

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She missed him terribly.

Why did she have to keep thinking of him?

Sasuke, where are you?

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"I just don't understand your brother, yeah." Deidara's voice was the only noise throughout the cold room.

"He's a spoiled brat, Deidara. What more should we expect from him?" Sasori asked with sarcasm dripping from his stony voice.

"Sometimes I think you're too much like your puppets. It's unhealthy, yeah."

"Shut the fuck up, you snivelling bitches." Hidan growled. "Why don't you just let me sacrifice him to Jashin-sama?"

This was not helping Itachi at all. But then again, he wasn't exactly one to spill his feelings. He had only told the Akatsuki that Sasuke had been rather moody.

The room felt colder for a second, and the music that was blaring from Sasuke's room came to an abrupt halt.

Then there was a loud thump.

And then,

Nothing.


AN. Ohmigod! I am so sorry for not updating! You can kill me, ferserious.

Like wow, this was so hard to ride though.

I've just started working at the salon, and I really want to get an apprenticeship. And I'm trying to balance out work with high school, and I'm also taking classes at a college not too far from me.

So remember, when you leave a really mean review, I may be doing your hair one day! I could cut it all off. Or leave the bleach in too long.

Choose your words wisely, loves. (:

But really, thank you for sticking with me through this.