Anxiety, you know it. That torturous feeling that you forgot something. That something somewhere is going horribly wrong because of you or has gone wrong by your hand. It eats away at you until you're nothing left but a scatter – brained pile of mush.

Sasuke Uchiha knew this feeling well.

Cold jagged stone dug into his knees which had long since gone numb from being sat on for so long. Sasuke twitched slightly by reflex causing the chains that held his wrists high above his head to rattle violently, hmmm he would have to get that looked at. His now long dark hair tickled his face but the awkward way he was sitting prevented him from brushing it out of the way. The man could do nothing but sit and wait for the sound of footsteps at his prison door with silent pleading hopes that they'd soon let him go free.

Not even a month had passed since the capture of Sasuke Uchiha but to he who was forced into the confined space with nothing but his thoughts and the soft dripping of a leaky roof it seemed like an eternity. There was no human contact there, save for the Anbu who came by every morning and noon to feed him but they didn't talk much, they mostly ignored him. Of course there had been a time when sasuke would not think twice about busting someone's ass if they dared not pay him attention but it was his brother's will that he return to the village. Now I don't know about you but I'd think they wouldn't let him back in if he went around killing people all willy – nilly.

Itachi. The bravest man sasuke had ever known and that was a serious understatement. Sasuke was certain his aniki had let him win their final battle to ensure his hatred and eventual returning to the village though he had not counted on Madara knowing his whole story. He knew of itachi's strife and it pained him to the point of tears that he had hated his brother so much for so long on the basis of a lie.

He needed to speak with someone – anyone!

The raven wouldn't even have a problem holding a conversation with the hokage and he hated her! Honestly anything was better than being left to his own thoughts. Constantly thinking about if they would let him live or rot in their jail cell. If his friends would accept him as a changed man or give him what he deserved . . . a cold shoulder. Sasuke couldn't stand the questions any longer!

'Creeek!'

Sasuke's ears perked up when he heard his cell door being opened up. Not having sensed that someone was there he figured he must be slipping.

Soft footsteps got subtly louder as they got closer to him.

'it's a woman,' sasuke thought, a man's steps would be louder, 'I hope it's not – '

"time to get up sasuke – kun!"

The reven frowned and gritted his teeth.

'damn that tsunade, she sent ino for me!' she had obviously not changed her opinion of the ex leaf nin over the past five years.

He was grateful to the blonde spazzball though because as soon as she stopped talking sasuke's arms dropped to his sides and the chains rattled to the ground. Immediately he brushed his hair out of his eyes to physically see who he was dealing with.

Well, ino had obviously grown while he was away. She looked like a woman now and if sasuke had not been so sure he was gay he may have contemplated asking her out.

The girl reached down to help him up but sasuke batted her hands away. He could get up himself, he was not a cripple!

Shakey hands on his knees, sasuke pushed himself up onto his feet.

'surprised I've gotten this far . . .'

Ino had reached the door by the time sasuke was up. He took a step foreward only to stumble and trip overhimself, the blonde giggled from the door, thinking the sight charming.

"shut up." He ordered before successfully making it across the room to where ino was waiting for him.

There were anby waiting for them to escort them to stunade most likely. Sasuke recognized one of them as kakashi – sensei but he said nothing about it.

Neither he nor ino nor any of the anbu spoke a word as they traveled. Sasuke was forced to shield his eyes from the harsh light of the hallway, causing him to step on feet and bump into people, mumbling incoherent apologies.

Finaly the awkward silence subsided when the party arrived at the main office of the hokage's tower. Kakashi, or so sasuke had assumed, opened the door for him and roughly shoved him inside.

"go in and sit down," the lazy voice droned, yea, that was defiantly kakashi – sensei.

Sasuke raised a brow questioningly. Were they really going to let an S – rank criminal sit alone with their hokage?

"aren't you going to cuff me?"

"unnecisary," one replied, " your chakra has been blocked you are no longer a threat."

He was sure they still knew he was still dangerous regaurdless but did as he was told.

The hokage did not show up immediately, sasuke was sure that this was purely to show him that she did not care what happened to him.

Finaly, after an hour or so of watching a spider climb across the arm of his chair tsunade strode confidently through the door flaunting her large er . . . bust. Geez! Would it kill the woman to wear a bra? She calmly sat down at her desk and adjusted her papers, not even willing to acnowlege that he was there.

"well?" sasuke growled through gritted teeth, just because he wanted to rejoin the village didn't mean he had to be patient about it! "why am I here?"

Tsunade looked up as though she had just realized he was there.

"you tell me. I know it was by no spring of faith that the ambu captured you. What are you planning uchiha?"

Sasuke had to give her credit. She was smarter than he thought she was. Sighing, he looked her directly in the eye to effectively get his point across.

"I want to be a citizen of konoha."

The lady hokage had been shocked by his request and pressed him relentlessly for details, sasuke told her that he merely missed his old life. The raven was not about to tell the woman his real reason for coming back was because itachi had told him to, that might seem a bit hypocritical. Besides, sasuke wasn't there to pour his heart and soul out, he was an uchiha and a proud one at that. He would withhold as much information as he felt necisary.

"it's settled then. Sasuke uchiha you are once again a citizen of konohagakure under the stipulations that the condemned does not take part in any ninja – like activity and shows promise in re – integrating into society. The condemned must also have a jounin escort for the time being until I say it is no longer necisary. And that jounin will be – "

Sasuke's jaw dropped and his eyes widened to the size of dinner plates in shock and even a bit of fear.

'you've got to be kidding me!'