We're at war, we live like this

~We Are Broken~


Sakura opened her eyes, wincing at the sudden spots appearing in her vision. Her head pounded and a sharp whining filled her ears, making her stomach turn with nausea. Opening her mouth to gulp in air to ease her stomach, an ache in her jaw caused her to groan instead. Her tongue felt thick and the taste of blood was bitter in her mouth. As her senses rushed back with consciousness, she felt pain all over her body and tensed up. She tried to send chakra to her wounds, but wasn't able to. Her chakra flow felt fuzzy…as if it were far beyond her reach. She was bound to a chair, chakra inhibited, and alone in the dark.

A candle flickered to life. Sakura lifted her heavy head and, ignoring the flaring headache, squinted at the bright flame.

"She's finally awake."

Sakura gasped at the voice at her ear.

There was movement and the shadows shifted. The candle light illuminated a pale face and bottomless, black eyes. The sight of Sasuke was unsettling.

"S-Sasuke…"

He frowned. "You sound surprised." He took a step closer and a strange glint filled his eyes as he looked down on her.

"Where am I?"

"Don't you remember…Sa-ku-ra?"

She flinched at the sound of her name on his lips. The chills running down her body had an odd calming effect on her, a resignation to the end. He'd always given her chills…but this…this was different. She felt completely exposed and afraid. Was he going to kill her?

"Hn."

Her eyes snapped up to his direction.

"Cat got your tongue?"

"Why are you doing this?"

He grinned and she could see the madness consuming him. "We're at war."

Sakura bit her lip to keep it from quivering, but when her teeth dug at the tender wounds on her mouth, she whimpered.

Sasuke circled her and stopped beside her. Kneeling, he observed her closely. She felt like an ant under a magnifying glass and turned away from him. She didn't understand why she was still alive. He'd had every opportunity to kill her…she hadn't made it difficult. Her headache pounded when she tried to remember the details. Why hadn't she listened? Why did her heart always make her so foolish?

"Why didn't you kill me?"

Sasuke's eyebrow arched. "Do you want me to?"

"No," she replied hastily. "I just thought—"

"You thought what?" Sasuke smirked. "That you're significant enough to make a difference? That you're enough of a threat that I'd need you dead?"

Sakura swallowed.

"Haven't you figured it out yet, Sakura? You are weak."

She shut her eyes and tried to tune out his words.

"You always need to be saved."

She felt tears burning, prickling at her eyelids.

"That's why Naruto—" he said shrewdly "—will come looking for you."

Her eyes snapped open at the revelation and she looked up at him with horror. "You're using me as bait?"

There was an odd glee in his eyes. He was enjoying this. He was enjoying the pain he was causing her. She didn't understand what had made him crack, but it terrified her.

Why hadn't she listened?

~.~.~

"Do not engage! I repeat: if you encounter Uchiha Sasuke, do not engage!"

Sakura's brow furrowed. So he'd finally joined the battle. The question, though, is why would headquarters order them to stay away from Sasuke? He needed to be captured and brought back to Konoha.

"Sakura-chan, what do you think he's done?" Sai asked.

"I don't know."

Grimly setting her sight ahead, she continued sending chakra to her feet. They had to get to Naruto. They were his backup. Together, they had a chance of defeating Tobi once and for all—this war could end.

Lightning shrieked, streaking toward them from the shadows. Sakura, quick on her feet, swerved out of the path of the biting electricity. Someone, just on her heels, wasn't as quick and took the hit directly to the chest, sending him crashing through a tree. Sakura's eyes widened. She prayed that it was a mistake, that perhaps the shot had come from Kakashi and it was all just a mistake, but she couldn't deny the facts.

Kakashi was still with Naruto, leagues away, and she had never known her sensei to manipulate electricity in such a way. She turned her gaze from the fallen comrade and stared into the shadows ahead. She saw his eyes first. The blood-red and pitch-black pinwheel of the Sharingan appeared, glowing in the shadows, and caused those in her squad to go still with shock. He wasn't supposed to be there.

Sasuke emerged from the darkness with unnatural grace. He paused for a brief moment and observed those around him, the Sharingan taking in every detail. Sakura stared in disbelief and crippling fear. She could feel the ghost of Sasuke's hand suffocating her as she watched him. Cold chills crawled up her spine as her throat tightened and her lungs began to collapse.

He was so fast, flickering in and out of existence, his chokutō flashing with each precise strike. He moved through the forest from one opponent to the next as if performing a complicated dance. He was skilled and powerful, frighteningly beautiful in his graceful murder. Screams poured out, warning of battle, and the smart ones fled. Sakura was not among them. Blood thickened the air and she stood mesmerized. His beauty, unmatched, and darkness, all-consuming, intrigued her—terrified her. If she watched him forever, she was afraid she would lose the last of her sanity or maybe her very life, but still she watched. The darkest part of her soul fell deeper into the madness of loving Uchiha Sasuke. She longed for him to destroy her, she desired the end of it all and she realized just how broken she was. Horrified of the shadows lurking in her heart, Sakura tore her eyes away from Sasuke and felt cold tears leave ice tracks on her cheeks.

"SAKURA! RUN!"

She lifted her head at Sai's scream just in time to see Sasuke's attention snap to her. His intense eyes focused completely on her and the second his mouth formed a sadistic smile, her fear intensified. She turned on her heel and ran.

Sasuke took up the chase.


A/N: Another new multichap story. I hope you enjoy.

This particular chapter was started for SSM. The prompt is hostage.

This story was beta-read by wingedmercury. You are awesome!