A/N: Sakura experiences some serious deja vu in this chapter, but she's not the only one. I experienced a hell of a lot of deja vu. When I started this as a one-shot with An Unlikely Seduction a long time ago, I was hiding in bed drinking tea, sick as a dog. These past few days have been spent with me hiding in bed with an even nastier virus and drinking tea. But...that leaves me with a little extra time. So, that's where this chapter came from. You can thank my stubborn illness for that.

Warning: Things get graphic, and fast. I mean cold showers and Bibles spontaneously combusting into flames, graphic. So be prepared.


It'd been a long walk, but there was no rain this time. A few nonthreatening, fluffy clouds roamed quickly through the sky with a swift, cool breeze, but nothing more. Summer was coming to an end, and soon, these lightweight yukatas Sakura had been steadily collecting weren't going to be enough as the temperature gradually dropped. Every time she wore one, she received another comment. Was it so out of place for her to wear them? They weren't a significant part of her wardrobe before, but she found herself warming up to them now. It didn't help that her mother kept buying them for her, but who was she to deny free clothes? Ah well. She was going to keep wearing them, and damn anyone that made fun of her for it. At least today, she assembled it more meticulously. No one could complain about her boobs now...although she still didn't understand what the fuss was all about. Maybe if people would quit looking at her boobs in the first place...

She was standing idly on the porch with her back to the door, watching a few leaves streak on down the road in front of her, listening to the distant sound of some kids playing nearby. A whole week had passed with her successfully avoiding Itachi. He was discharged from the hospital a couple days after she had the luxury of waking him up, so it wasn't that hard, but she had indeed gone out of her away to steer clear of his room. Why? Embarrassment, of course. Every time she thought about him, he was one giant, glaring question mark in her overworked brain. Consciously evading him did nothing to keep her attention off him, however. He was there, lurking in the shadows—and all too often the forefront—of her mind every day. Was it weird to say that she missed him? Because she certainly felt weird upon realizing that.

More than anything, she wanted to know how he was doing. Was he still healing quickly? Being discharged so fast, she could only assume he was. What did he remember? Did he retain anything from the night he was admitted, to the day he sprang to life and started ripping out tubes, and muttering all kinds of nonsense to her...excessive apologies she didn't fully understand. It was easy to dismiss his less than orthodox attitude as a side effect of physical trauma and an array of medications...but part of her reluctantly believed there was more to it than that. No matter what, she was going to find out today.

Yes, today she was having dinner with the entire Uchiha family, and Shisui. Which reminded her, she would have to pull him off to the side and try to wring more information from him, because so far, no one had 'dragged her in' to talk about some 'classified' 'ANBU stuff'...whatever the hell that was. It was beginning to gnaw at her, and more than once she had fought the urge to ask Tsunade about it. Mostly because she didn't want to get him in trouble.

The stillness distracting her, she turned back around and stared at the plain, closed door in front of her. No sound came from beyond. The house was eerily quiet. Her thoughts drifted to the last time she was here, waiting in vain for Sasuke to open the door. Well, she was here on time, so unless they changed the date without telling her... Maybe she didn't knock loud enough?

A hand emerged from her long sleeve and rapped on the door a second time. Guiltily, she wondered if something had come up, and if they would have to postpone or cancel dinner. Then she could avoid more awkwardness! Or maybe she could just suck it up and try to act like an adult about everything... Nah. In this case, avoiding things was definitely easier. Still, she stood there patiently, waiting for someone show up and let her in.

As the seconds ticked by, her shoulders relaxed, and she sighed through her nose, at a loss for what to do next. Then, she heard the faint footsteps approaching, slow and light, and she looked up in anticipation. Just when she was starting to think she should leave, too. Now there was hardly any time for her to return to feeling anxious.

The pale pink smile sank a little when the door slid open only enough for one body to fit through, and the tired, dark eyes of Itachi stared down at her with an air of confusion. A taste of deja vu teased her, and Sakura was unable to keep herself from...well, gawking had to be the word. The robe she recalled from her first visit was absent. The only thing covering him was a pair of loose, dark blue pants that sagged a little. He was leaning in the doorway with one forearm against the frame, almost as sleepy-looking as the day she roused him into consciousness in the hospital. Bare chest and arms completely free of bandages and splints, only a few discolored areas marred his—in her biased opinion—flawless skin. Shorter, dark hair that appeared black, except when in direct sunlight, framed his face the way it usually did, with the rest pulled back in a longer, loose ponytail.

"Good morning." He mumbled groggily, and then cleared his throat.

Sakura blinked one too many times before she could fish out any words. It surprised her to see him answering the door, and it surprised her even more when the mere sight of him made her heart flutter. Not to mention, he looked to be recovering quickly. It was nothing short of impressive. When she did, she laughed lightly. "It's four in the afternoon."

Everything was in slow motion, as he glanced from her to the skyline beyond, and considered her statement in what seemed to be a dazed and delayed reaction. "So it is..." He mused to himself, and looked back down at her. Focus gradually sharpening on the subtle smile that was stuck on her face, and the pink in her cheeks that wasn't exactly a blush, yet could easily turn into one.

When more seconds slipped by with them doing nothing but staring at one another, Sakura's curiosity got the best of her. "So uh...it's Friday, right?" It better be. The last thing she needed now was to be getting entire days mixed up. Something wasn't right.

"Mm...yes." He nodded after thinking a little bit more than he should have.

"Good. And uh...it is four, right?"

"I don't know. Is it? I thought it was morning." He blinked, serious as they come. She was the one correcting him. Why was she asking for reassurance now?

The shiny pink hair swished gently as she shook her head, stifling another laugh. "I'm supposed to be here at four! For dinner...remember? With your family? They told you that, right...?"

Slowly, she could see the cogs and wheels turning within him. Ever so slightly his eyes narrowed at her, and his back straightened as he shifted his weight. Behind him, she could hear and see nothing that indicated life existed within his household, yet her focus remained on him. Like a candle in the dark, it was kind of hard to see anything else.

"Yeah... No. You're supposed to be here later." Easing off the door frame, he rubbed the back of his neck as he watched the dawn of disbelief that crossed her.

"What? No, Sasuke told me to show up by four!"

Slinking back into the cobwebs of his brain, Itachi recounted everything he could remember, starting from the day he woke up...which was probably a lot more than she was aware of. "I was told you would be here around six-thirty."

"Are you serious? I'm two and a half hours early? Are you sure?!" She studied him shrewdly, finding it hard to believe she misheard the correct time. Maybe they had a change of plans, and just forgot to tell her. Man...this kinda sucked. But of course something like this would happen to her. It made perfect sense, in a backwards, sadistic sort of way. Following the events that panned out in her not-too-distant past.

The door slid open wider, and he stood to the side, giving her a view of the dim hallway beyond and the lack of sound that would make the drop of a kunai resonate like thunder. "I'm sure. There's no one here."

A loud, moraning sigh deflated from her, and he watched as her head and shoulders drooped dramatically. "Whyyyyy... I have to walk all the way home now, and then come back like an hour later." True, depending on how fast she walked...the Uchiha compound wasn't that close to her home. Two and a half hours was just short enough to make it a pain for her to have to leave and return a short time later.

As she cast an aggravated stare down at the porch, she heard him groan quietly while he stretched. A couple joints popped, his arms reaching above his hand. "You don't have to go." He offered, closing his eyes with a wince while he worked on his back next, twisting one way and then the other for more pops to fill the air.

Sakura peeked up at him with something akin to an unsure, anxiety-ridden hopefulness. The kind that barked hell no I'm not staying and yes please! All in one glance. That was nice of him...but...two and a half hours of waiting? She would be alone with him for that long? That was...well, she didn't know how to feel about that.

"Really?" It sounded more excited than it should have, and she quickly backtracked. "I mean... I dunno. Maybe that's not a good idea."

After a roll of his neck, his eyes were noticeably more lively when they looked down at her. As if all he needed to do was realign himself, and he was magically awake. Her hands retreated behind her back and wrung themselves. The motion drew his attention downward, and he made a sweeping pass over the yukata she wore. The very first thing he noticed was that it fit her almost perfectly. The top wasn't too revealing. Everything laid the way it should, and he had a feeling even the bow at her back was situated just as well. Good. It was cute, too. He liked the first one better, though...but this one would do. A dark blue with red and white butterflies, and a red obi. He was reminded of their Uchiha crest instantly. Did she do that on purpose? How...adorable.

"Okay. Then come back at six-thirty." The indifferent response he left her with surprised her, for some reason. As if she expected something more manipulative and devious from him. Was it wrong of her to think that?

"Oh... Okay. I guess I...will." She fumbled, suddenly confused, and they spent another awkward minute looking at each other. Her eyes trickled down his own bare chest, and then she snapped her head away. "Okay! I'll be back! Uhm...yeah!" With her head turned, she missed the slight smile on his face, and he took a step back to slowly close the doors.

"Wait!" The slap of her hand on the door paused him, and he looked at her questioningly.

"Uhm... Actually, that's a lot of walking. Would it really be alright if I stayed until then?" There was no explanation for the shaking in her voice. It was barely audible, and she didn't even notice it until she'd spit the words out...but then she inwardly cursed at herself. Was it really so much to ask for her to show a little bit of confidence around him? Why did he do this to her? This was annoying.

"Of course. Why wouldn't it be alright?" He asked innocently, cocking his head and leaning it against the side of the door.

"Because...no one's here." She peeped, as though the words themselves were too tantalizing to hear.

His eyes narrowed, and he looked sideways, thinking to himself things she would never know. When he smirked without warning, and shoved the door back open with a clack, her eyes widened.

"Just get in here."

Moving out of the way, she was left with a vacant, dark hall in front of her that looked a lot longer than it should have. Sakura stepped tentatively past him, like she expected something to jump out at her from around a corner. The door tapped closed behind her, and he glided on down the hall without a care.

"Would you like some tea?" He asked over his shoulder, and the deja vu she experienced earlier returned in full force, raining over her like a cold shower. Her feet were suddenly weighted with lead as she tried to keep pace after him. This...was far too familiar. Empty house, waiting for someone to return, tea...were they also headed to the tearoom? She didn't know if she could go in there right now.

Sakura stopped in the middle of the hall, sensing the walls closing in around her. A flashback of being pressed against a flat, unyielding surface with her wrists pinned beside her came next. A hot pant on her skin, then a tongue, feeling her obi fall away and drop to the floor.

Her breaths came a little quicker, and she closed her eyes, a hand bracing against the wall. She didn't know why this was happening now. Well, she did, but she didn't... All she knew was that she felt impossibly hot and dizzy, out of the blue, and that she needed to calm down and focus. It nearly swept her off balance. The rush of images bombarded her with a sense of being trapped and exposed, unable to get away. They were much more real than memories, somehow.

The pattering of bare feet disappeared. Itachi had turned around and stared at her from the other end of the hall, when she didn't answer him. From where he was standing, she looked like she was going to be sick. Hunched forward slightly, leaning some of her weight on the wall, eyes sealed in concentration, chest moving in short, shallow puffs.

The journey back down the hall towards her was slow and cautious. The sound of a light switch flicking on drew her eyes to open, and she jumped slightly when she found him standing right in front of her. "Sakura... You're fine. Everything is okay." He whispered in a subdued voice, striking her as something impossibly surreal as she gazed up at him in surprise. Her initial instinct was to bolt away from him to regain some personal space, but she was unable to move.

The soft touch of a palm smoothed over her cheek as he held her face in his hands. "You're okay." He insisted soothingly. The crushing panic that had ambushed her so fiercely began trickling away, melting into a tolerable level, and then disappearing completely as she locked eyes with him. There was a gentleness there she had never seen before, and at first, she wondered if this was even the same person.

"We're going to drink tea, and wait, and have dinner, and then you're going to go home. That's it." The rhythm of her breathing eased to a pace that matched his. Easy and calm. The cramped box she was suffocating in expanded outward, freeing her like it never existed. She could see and hear only him, and remarkably, it made everything go away. How did he transform from her source of anxiety to her source of relief so quickly? She wanted to blame it on his sharingan, but it wasn't even activated.

"Haah..." She took a step back finally with a light pant, slipping a hand over her stomach. "I know. I'm sorry. I dunno what happened... I just felt dizzy for a second." She lied, or rather, bent the truth. Trying to play it off as something much less than it really was. That was...odd. She was alright a minute ago, then it just felt like she was about to start hyperventilating.

Her back fell against the wall, and she leaned there for a moment. Too embarrassed to look at him, though she could feel him looking at her. His hand fell away from her, but those eyes were a different story. She didn't need to see them to know he was reading her the way he usually did. Far deeper than she could ever read someone, just by looking at them. Her own eyes shut, as if that could block him out, but something took hold of her hand.

He pulled her from the wall, and guided her down the lit hall after him without an explanation. All of it was gone. She didn't know how he pulled it off, but tailing along behind him with her hand trapped in his was, in that moment, the most natural thing in the world.

A door slid open, revealing the tearoom. The one place that made her extra squeamish, yet it wasn't all bad. Her heart was racing again. Remembering all the things that happened in there, but from a perspective that was less flighty and panicky this time. He didn't let go of her hand, though. She was pulled into the room, around the crimson cushions, the short table that was without a speck of dust, and to the opposite side. Another set of doors opened, revealing the same garden as before.

The sight washed everything that clouded her away with a tide of color. The maple was still there. The leaves were green this time, but they were edged with the lightest pink that was sure to spread and deepen into red, in the near future. Much of the flowers had disappeared, but there were some red and white roses bordering the length of the porch, and the ends of the arching bridge over the reflecting pond. Bubbles erupted under tiny, fallen leaves, and unsuspecting bugs, reminding her of the koi hiding below. A cool breeze danced by, rustling the leaves and the sound of a soft, tinkling chime from some unknown location.

She felt him pulling her again, and moved without thought as he brought her out onto the porch, and finally let her hand drop. "Green tea." He murmured from somewhere close by, and she heard him drift away, too captivated by the garden to look back at him. There was room out here. She could breathe. And it was so...pretty wasn't descriptive enough. If she could set up a hammock and take a nap out here, she would be in heaven. It was easy to forget how much she enjoyed being there, with all the distractions and stress that hounded her. Just standing there was medicinal. It made all the fears dissolve into nothing. It made her own mind, which she was starting to believe was her number one enemy, be quiet and still like the pond.

Though the house was silent, she was too immersed in the world of tranquil beauty to hear his feet thump quietly across the wooden floor behind her. He returned only a few minutes later, and yet it felt like eternity and the blink of an eye all in one. The clank of the teapot on the porch next to her brought her back, and she looked down at the steam rising from the small spout, and the two cups next to it. Itachi eased down and rested his back against a wooden pillar, one foot planted on the steps that led down into the garden. She flattened the fabric against the back of her legs, and sat down across from him, with the pot between them. A little more deja vu, but she could handle this one.

His eyes were closed, and she watched him breathe slowly with his head inclined into the beam behind him. He said nothing. The tiny cloud filtered up into the air between them, and dissipated with a continuous breeze that was just the right temperature. With his eyes off her, Sakura was free to soak him in undisturbed. The veil of exhaustion haunted him still, but it was nothing compared to when he first woke up. He was healing fast, and it was evident in more than solely his lack of bandages. He looked healthier all around. Skin a little less pale now...still pale, but no longer ghostly from blood loss. It was hard for her to believe much of this was a result of her own chakra, but that's what people were saying.

She found it curious that he would withdraw into the image of a perfect statue, as if he were asleep, or ignoring her entirely. Yet, it reinforced the feeling of calm, and safety. This wasn't so bad... In fact, this was almost perfect.

Her eyes softened as she tucked a piece of twirling hair behind her ear, and roamed over the landscape of his chest, and down to the top of his pants. The ripple of muscle that defined his obliques was there to tease her again. Why were those so damn attractive? Sheesh. She couldn't look at them without feeling like a giant pervert, and she couldn't not look at them so long as he was lacking a shirt. And then, as if he could sense the slight change in her, his eyes opened and stared at her from under those dark lashes.

Sakura glanced up at him, and then instantly looked away with a small smile. "No jasmine?" A sweet, inquisitive voice met his ears, pretending she wasn't doing exactly what he knew she was doing. Did she think she was the only one that could feel eyes on her? Silly girl.

"No." He answered simply. Sure, he had jasmine tea. He had lots of tea. His mother was a near tea fanatic. But he wasn't going to let her have it. Not after the display in the hallway. She was scared, and the less that reminded her of her first visit here, the better. She probably thought he had no idea what she was going through, or why, but he did. That made it all the more sinful, though, didn't it... He knew how he affected her—good and bad—and he knew what the events of late were doing to her.

But that's precisely why he stopped. He told her what she needed to hear, that she was okay, and he gave her the space she needed to unwind. It couldn't end there, however. This was just the beginning to a tricky, hazardous maze, but he saw it coming, and he prepared for it. Things were going to change after today, for better or worse...and that was largely up to her.

"Oh... That's fine. Green tea is nice, too." She shrugged, truly not caring what kind of tea he gave her. They were all good. Since he made no sign of moving any time soon, she took it upon herself to pour them both a cup, and set hers in her lap as she watched the living painting before her.

"How are you feeling?"

"Much better." He murmured, following the perfect posture of her back while she had her attention elsewhere. There were differences between now and the first time they met. He couldn't describe all of them yet, but he knew they existed. She had grown, in some ways. Others, not so much...but he didn't mind.

"Do you hurt, still? Sasuke said they changed your medicine, after I left that day..." A pearly tooth caught her bottom lip, and nibbled lightly. That wasn't the question she really wanted to ask him, but she couldn't be so bold. Partly, she was afraid of the answer he'd give her, but she knew she needed to find out either way.

Only the distant chimes fluttering in the wind could be heard, and she reluctantly glanced his way. Noting the movement of his eyes as they left her mouth and met hers.

"I'm a little sore, but it's fine."

Such a short response that left little for her to work with. Sakura looked down at her lap, and lifted her cup to take a sip of the burning liquid. Almost too hot to swallow, but she pushed it down forcefully. So...this was how it was going to be? She needed to get straight to the point? After all the crazy things he said and did to her, he was making her pry him open with her own hands, like a stubborn clam refusing its pearl? Oh, he and Sasuke were most definitely related. Fine. The atmosphere strengthened her enough that she felt she could do this...even though something cold was trickling down into her stomach at the mere thought of opening her mouth.

"So... What do you remember?" Keeping her gaze down, she focused on willing herself to remain as poised as he was. If she couldn't, then she knew she was going to be in for a rough ride, and now was the perfect time to practice the poker face he and his younger brother were so good at maintaining.

"Everything." His honesty, coupled with the emotionless tone he used, caught her off guard.

"...Everything?" She nearly whispered, looking up at him curiously. Unsure of what to say next, she quickly looked away again, but the eyes that focused on all the colors around her absorbed none of it.

"I think you were right about the medications. They made it difficult to think clearly."

"Heh...you're telling me... You kept apologizing for something that...I don't know. I couldn't figure it out. You just kept saying you were sorry, and..." Drifting off, she took another sip of tea. The way he acted in the hospital was so bizarre to her that she wasn't even sure how to accurately explain. So many 'sorry's, and then he was kissing her, and touching her, and looking at her in a way that made her want to run away, except she could only turn into a puddle of useless goo.

"I meant it."

She looked at him, lowering the cup to the porch next to her hip. There was nothing dangerous or lusty about his gaze, nor was there a sense of disappointment, or irritation, or even vacancy. Something was there, but she couldn't put her finger on it. It made her lose sight of everything but him.

"Every apology, I meant. Nothing came out the way it was supposed to, but I can tell you it was sincere."

"But what were you even apologizing for? I don't understand..."

"You really have to ask?"

She blinked at him, feeling a little stupid. Yes, she did have to ask. She couldn't figure him out. At this point, she had a much better chance at figuring Sasuke out...but that was only because she spent much more time with him, being on the same team.

"Sakura, I did a lot of things that I shouldn't have done, and I would've done them again, if you hadn't left when you did last week." Rather, if Sasuke hadn't shown up when he did.

"But...I thought... You told me you lived in the moment. You said sometimes things just happen, because you try to appreciate everything you have, while you still have it. I didn't think you regretted anything." Her words were quiet, unsure, and skeptical. That was what he told her, months ago. Didn't he remember? When she got so angry at him, thinking he was just using her and throwing her away because he didn't care. That was how he explained his actions, and he sounded so confident in his rationale at the time. Why was he choosing to apologize for them now?

"I do live in the moment. Sometimes, though...it's not a good thing." A slow sigh disappeared into the breeze with his admission, and she watched him in awe.

"So...you do regret what...what happened between us?" The fluttering pulse returned too quickly for her to wrestle it under control. Finally, he took the time to pause and take a sip of the tea she generously poured for him. It felt good searing down his throat. He would have to be careful how he answered this question...but he already knew what to say, and it was the truth.

"I regret hurting you...that's all." No...he didn't regret touching her. Every second of her exposed flesh, and her desparate noises was burned into his memory forever. Sometimes they even snuck into his dreams when he least expected. But he regretted how he did it. It was so wrong, in so many ways. Physically, he had hurt her...but most of the damage was psychological, and it was present to this day. The kind of damage you can't slap a bandage over, and wait for it to heal. That's what he was trying to convey when he came to his senses, lying next to her in his hospital bed. It ended in nothing short of a disaster, though. Sasuke's unexpected entrance was the best thing that could have happened. His filter had been ripped off completely, leading him to spill both of the truths in one giant mess. The truth that he was sorry for what he'd done, and the truth that whenever he laid eyes on her, he wanted to rip off her clothes and claim her for his own twisted, selfish desires. It was a feeling he never experienced before, and he was having trouble understanding why it persisted so strongly.

Did she know how captivating she was? She was so innocent and naïve at times, and also so passionate, fiery and stubborn. The only fitting description for her was pure. This was only the third time he interacted with her, and if she thought he was a magnet constantly trying to pull her in, she had no idea the force she inflicted on him. If they switched positions, she could be crushed in an instant by the intensity he battled against.

She didn't know what to say. This was one of the last things she expected from him. Honestly, she didn't know what to expect to begin with, but this wasn't among the numerous possibilities in her wild imagination.

"You didn't hurt me..." She reassured quietly, without even thinking. He did hurt her. He caused her a whole lot of pain and panic and confusion, but also a whole lot of good things. He made her feel more alive than ever before, even if it was in a chaotic way, and she in no way regretted the times he touched her. They messed with her head, but the fact that she had to try so hard to resist giving into him spoke for itself. It was scary. She didn't understand it. But it felt good...and now she realized she didn't want him to feel bad for anything that happened. All she wanted was for him to be okay. She could handle everything else he and the rest of the world threw at her. After seeing his lifeless, bloody corpse in rags on a stretcher, the only thing she was concerned with was his well-being.

Her heart fluttered again. Something dawned on her as she watched him, and it reignited the panic she thought she outgrew. Her own revelation stirred up her own hidden truth she never had the chance to analyze, until now. It was evident in the way he seemed to make everything else in the world disappear, when she was in his presence. Even more evident in how easily she tried to brush off his glaring transgressions. She actually cared about him...and not in the way she cared about Naruto, or Kakashi. Not even the way she cared about Sasuke.

Her face paled, but she was distracted when he spoke up again.

"Yes, I did. You don't need to lie for my sake." Itachi argued flatly, leaving no room for debate. His eyes never left her, flickering intently over her. He noticed the change, but he wasn't going to dissect it yet. This was something she needed to hear for her own peace of mind. "I lost control more than once. I let instincts get in the way of rational thought, and you paid the price. For that, I'm sorry. I never should have treated you the way I did...and I promise, Sakura, it will never happen again. I have far too much to thank you for. You saved my life. That's not a debt that can ever be repaid. This promise is the least I can do."

Silence crept in. He took a minute to peer into her eyes, and saw them gloss over as though her very brain ceased all functioning, and then glanced away. She continued to stare at him while he inspected something in the garden with mild interest, unable to do anything else. This was too much for her to digest all at once. She felt elated, but then she felt like crying, and she didn't even know why, but then...all she could do was sit and stare like a porcelain doll.

"You like the garden...you should explore it." He murmured suddenly, and she saw him rise to his feet, leaving his half-full teacup on the floor. "I need to get dressed, I'll be back." The sound of his footsteps swerved behind her and dulled as they entered the tearoom, and beyond. She glanced over her shoulder, watching him retreat around the corner, and feeling her chest inexplicably ache when he vanished from her sight.

Then she turned to gaze out at the simple, short bridge over the pond. It was small, from where she was sitting. Insignificant and more decorative than functional. But for something like a koi, or a bug, it was probably huge. The biggest, longest bridge they'd ever see. Erected by some unknown miracle to grant access from one jungle to the next. It would save a tiny bug a long, perilous journey around the pond, safe from frogs and fish. So insignificant from a distance. So grand and important up close. Something that couldn't be ignored, and would surely instill regret, if it was.

She needed to cross that bridge.

The dark, quiet room was rather simplistic. Few things hung on the walls, and there was little to create a mess. A sign that he didn't spend much time in there, except to rest. A large bed, comfortable enough for him to sprawl out on, was positioned against the wall, under a window. The dark blankets were disheveled, and the pillows strewn, since he was sleeping when she knocked on the door. He was in the middle of rolling up a black shirt to pull over his head when he heard the quick pattering coming down the hall.

The dancing white and red butterflies skid into view as she darted past his open door, and then backtracked to stand in the doorway, catching sight of him. Hands gripping into the frame, she was panting lightly, as if she was searching for him for hours. Itachi froze with his arms lost in the sleeves, shirt hanging in front of him. Desparate eyes glittered at him.

"I don't want you to stop!" He heard her blurt, visage nothing short of frantic. Her hands slid down the frame, and then clasped in front of her anxiously. Afraid to enter his room, yet refusing to leave. Slowly, his arms pulled out of the sleeves, and the shirt was left to flop on the floor at his feet.

"Sakura..." A deep voice began, soft but stern.

"No! I meant it! This is all your fault, and yeah, you should be sorry! But you can't stop! Not now! Please..."

"I can't stop what?" He asked cautiously, striking her with a hard, unreadable gaze.

She panted some more, face flushing a light pink, and then threw her hands down in exasperation as she fidgeted. Nothing was lost to him. Catching the tiniest movements and expressions, as if he was hiding behind that ANBU mask, learning his opponent. Whatever she was trying to say, she would have to verbalize it crystal clear. He would read her down to her core regardless, but he wasn't saying or doing a single thing until she could form her own words.

"Grrrahh! You drive me crazy!" She yelled suddenly. Tormented by the urge to stomp into the room and tackle him to the ground, and the compulsion to change her mind and flee.

Then, her shoulders slumped in tired defeat. "Doing what you do, Itachi... This... I don't know! You just can't promise to never..." Touch her again? She couldn't say it. It was too difficult to admit, even though that's exactly why she was standing there in front of him, blocking his exit and throwing a small fit. The thought of him leaving her alone, returning her to a life that didn't involve him in any way, she was now convinced was a far greater torture than a life where he made her head spin.

"You need to stop and think about what you're saying." His low voice, so far away and so composed, made her cringe as she stared with a crinkled brow at the floor.

"I've been thinking about it for months!" She cried angrily, chest heaving. Taking a single step into his room, leaving the light of the hallway, she looked up at him defiantly. Determined to get through to him with the fiery nature she showed him more than once already...and yet she was begging. In it's simplest description, that's what she was doing. If he had to be honest, it surprised him.

"I don't want you to stop." She insisted, forcing her volume to lower, yet keeping that same essence of unyielding conviction. Meanwhile, her heart was pounding, and she would lying if she said she wasn't terrified out of her mind...but she would reveal none of that, and as far as she knew, he would never sense it.

But he did.

The man that was the cause of all her headaches and all her pent up frustration moved toward her. She could never guess what he would do or say next, but she was firm in her position. There would be no change of heart. It took her a long time to come to this conclusion, but she was sure it was the right one, as insane as it was, and she was prepared for the consequences...or so she thought.

He caught her first hand in his, and then her second, drawing them away from her sides. She glanced him over questioningly, and he brushed into her, causing her to take a wobbly step backwards to regain her balance. Again, he pushed her lightly, and she stumbled further. The wall knocked into her from behind unexpectedly. The flood of golden light cascaded past them through the doorway, right next to her, but a million miles away.

"Are you sure about that?" A husky voice murmured, lips touching the shell of her ear, bare chest trapping her. Calloused pads smoothed over her wrists, keeping them still along the wall, and then slid over her arms. The soft fabric ruffled under his fingers as they traveled to her shoulders, and tickled up her neck to cup her face.

The fear was ebbing forward. Sizzling underneath the layer of confidence and melting it away, but she was unwavering. She wouldn't run from him. His hands gave her goosebumps in all the right places, and she gave a shaky sigh when she found she was unable to move. It was too much like the first time he trapped her against a wall, and it excited her now, rather than panicked her.

"I'm sure." The whisper was impossibly quiet, and she waited in anticipation when he seemed to pause. Thinking to himself...considering, weighing, analyzing all the options, and the series of events that could follow each. His thumbs rubbed small circles over her cheeks as he held her, fingers tightening slightly at the back of her head and neck. Their breaths mingled when he shifted in front of her, looking down at her parted lips, and then up into her eyes. Those black depths sank into her like hooks, shredding any mental barrier she thought she was safe behind, with a fierceness that surpassed her own. Infinitely more potent than the touch of his hands could ever be, and her breath hitched reflexively.

The building nervous energy erupted with a sharp laugh as she looked at him. Coming from a place that had been repressed for far too long. And no sooner than she laughed, a swift tug nearly rip her off balance as she was twirled in a circle and slammed against the wall, chest first. It knocked the wind out of her, and she stared wide-eyed with the cold surface pressing her cheek. Her arms were twisted behind her back, and she wiggled at first, trying to break free, before quickly realizing she wasn't going anywhere.

"You think this is funny?" A low, dangerous growl tickled the nape of her neck. She was too shocked to speak, at first. What was this...? His grip was a vice, and his hips crushed her. She had to breathe a little harder to get her lungs to open all the way.

"This isn't a game, Sakura. This is the last time I'm going to ask. Is this really what you want..." Body stilling, she felt one of his hands leave her arm and stroke down over her hip, and then lower. Moving far too slow as his fingers began inching up her yukata, bunching it up to reveal her leg. She paused intentionally, waiting to see what he would do next. When it was pulled high enough to expose most of her thigh, his hand slipped beneath the collage of color. Petting over the smooth, creamy skin and disappearing up between her hips and the wall.

"Ah!" She yelped, feeling his fingers brush softly over the thin fabric of her panties. He listened to her breathing pattern change, altered by the slightest touch. A startled, breathy gasp followed when he invaded with a firmer rub between the soft indent of her lips. Targeting her bundle of nerves.

"If you're trying to scare me away...it's not going to work." She panted, unaware of just how seductive she sounded, and he felt her hips grind into him wantonly. What was she doing... She was about to dive in over her head, but she couldn't stop it. He intimidated her, but she wanted nothing more than to feel him all over her, inside her, everywhere. There was no turning back. She was choosing this, despite the fear that continued to torment her with every move he made. Never knowing what he would do next, and yet loving every minute of it. She was, in a word, addicted.

His lips pressed into the back of her neck with a kiss, and then she felt him smile. No, it was more like a grin, as the slick surface of his teeth grazed her. "Good." The vibration warmed her, and she groaned in complaint when his fingers left the warm crevice between her legs.

She was yanked from the wall again with the same speed that had thrust her into it. Sakura glimpsed the room swish past her as she was thrown towards his bed. Tumbling into it, she would have caught her footing if the edge of the mattress hadn't smacked into her legs, sending her crashing down onto the mound of fluffy blankets. Disappearing amidst all the fabric with a soft oomph!

If she was looking to push his buttons, she found them. All of them. And now, he wasn't about to feel the tiniest bit of guilt for what he was going to do to her. She asked for it...literally...and it made the animal in him claw for freedom as he stalked over to the bed. She surprised him just as much as she surprised herself, but he wasn't going to say it didn't turn him on. Her hands wrestled the mess of pink out of her face, managing to look up just in time to see him tower over her at the edge of the bed, looking down at her with nothing short of barely contained, feral hunger.

The quiet tinkle of a laugh was just as nervous as it was playful, and he crawled over her, caging her between his knees as he knelt. Still wearing the same dark blue pants as before, though now there was a visible tent aimed at her. He traced the curves of her covered hips up to the slit of her chest, between layers of dark blue. Her arms were bent close to her fray of pastel hair, with curled, loose fists. She didn't move, save for the gentle panting of her chest, as if looking at him was enough to excite her.

Leaning over her, his lips swooped down to tickle hers, overwhelming her in his scent as it wafted from the blankets all around her, and now from above. Distinct his and masculine, she wanted it covering her. But when she leaned to kiss him, he shifted out of reach. Curious eyes questioned him, and he merely smiled. A dark, tantalizing smile that made her heart skip a beat. Stubbornly, she smacked a hand over the back of his neck to still him, and moved to seal his lips a second time, only to have him clutch her by the jaw and pull her head to the side. She gasped softly, and craned her neck as he attacked her throat. Peppering her with blazing hot kisses and the lap of a tongue. Biting and sucking ravenously.

She would move when he wanted her to move. That was his game. As much as he enjoyed seeing her more bold and confident side spark through, it made pinning her down and controlling her that much more fun. Fingers curling into his neck, she pressed him into her, the thudding of her chest beating into his as she arched her back. His spare hand wedged itself under her, tugging and loosening the bow of her obi so he could unravel it. Not completely, though. He didn't want her naked yet. There was something far more erotic about her being clothed, or at least half clothed.

His kisses savored down her collar bone and to the center of her chest, and she felt him lift her from the bed slightly. The tight red bindings that held everything together fell away, and her sleeve was pulled down, exposing her pale shoulder. His teeth nipped her gently, enough to satisfy his desire without hurting her. The other sleeve soon followed, and she found her arms being restrained by the mess of midnight cotton as he pulled them taut from behind, enough to trap her elbows at her sides.

The protective covering was nuzzled away from her breasts with his nose as he kissed lower, revealing the delicate pink buds that tightened in the air, and drew heated sighs from her as he suckled them into his mouth, one at a time. The perfect size for a handful, and nothing more. Soft as silk, and responsive to the lightest sensation. His tongue tickled her slowly, and she arched her chest higher with a groan. An explosion of heat was pooling between her hips, causing her to writhe against him. His own hips held her down, though they weren't immune to the caressing of her bare thighs around him, rising from the bed and rubbing high enough to press into his hips.

It was then that he understood she craved him as much as he craved her, and it afflicted him with an agonizing throb that he couldn't help but grind stiffly against her core. She reacted instantly, locking her legs around him and whimpering in a wordless plea.

No... No yet. He wasn't done exploring her.

Keeping one hand clutching the yukata at her back, he assaulted her with one last greedy, lathering kiss on her nipple, before lifting his hips and smoothing away the rest of the cloth that concealed her from him in a tangle. The strong thighs she wanted only to claim him with sloped up to a pair of black panties, and the scent of her hit him before the dark spot of her soaked desire did. He barely touched her yet, and already she was dripping for him.

A single digit stroked the length of her lips, and she bucked as soon as he rolled over that sweet spot in between. Sticky and hot, and he hadn't even taken them off yet. A frustrated moan made him smirk, and he eased down to waft a hot breath below her navel. Just as before, her abdomen tightened, sucking away from him, and he chased it with a clamp of teeth that made her jump. A slick tongue replaced them, and he licked her slowly, inching down a little lower with each pass. The tips of his fingers peeled back the thin shield, creeping them down her hips and thighs.

He could feel the changes without looking at her. She was unsure suddenly, a little confused, and it only made his smirk stretch farther. It wasn't that hard to believe she had no idea what he was doing. She wasn't exactly the promiscuous type. She would figure it out soon though...because nothing was going to stop him from devouring her.

She felt the jerk against her leg, and heard the faint rip. Looking down, her underwear was reduced to a flimsy black rag, encircling one thigh, as he was too impatient to pull it all the way down. "What are you—ahhh!" Her hips lurched up at the touch of something soft and wet sinking into her, but his hand promptly pushed them back down against the bed. His tongue played between her folds, coated in her own heat as he tasted her. Focusing on the tiny, stiff nub nestled inside them. Enough to make her squirm and gasp, without stimulating her too much.

"Oh...oh...oh no..." Her voice panted above him, seized by a shocking pleasure she never felt before. The thighs he admired clamped around his head impulsively, and she ground into him. It was like sharp, electric pulses shooting through her every time he passed that delicate button. Her arms struggled to free themselves, but he held them tight.

A deep growl rumbled from his throat. She tasted like heaven. Everything from her scent to the way she bucked and moaned drove him over the edge. He wanted so much more of her, but he was focused, and moved slow. Every so often dipping his tongue as far as it could reach inside of her, and stroking upward. Listening to the noises she made carefully, and for a reason. She cried out when his lips claimed her clit, sucking her gently into the cavern of his mouth. His hand slid from its firm grip on her hip to push her thighs wide apart, and two fingers thrust into her as he licked. Curling and pressing into a sweet spot buried beneath her wall as they moved in and out. Taking their time, and testing the places that pleased her the most.

Sweat beaded her hairline and soaked down her back. Her hands, trapped in the mess of her sleeves and covers, gripped into them tensely as she climbed higher and higher, unable to escape his beautiful torture. He touched her expertly, and she was going to pop at any second.

"Itachi..." She moaned breathlessly, but the eyes that observed her in all her exposed, helpless glory, did not belong to the raven-haired Uchiha. His eyes were closed while he savored her. Drinking her in like a dessert that was not to be shared.

The eyes upon her were spiraled red, hiding in plain sight. Chakra masked and assuming the level of stealth needed for a proper assassination, Sasuke disappeared back down the hall he came from. Only bothering to take a gulp of fresh air when he was far enough away for his rattling sigh to go unnoticed.

His back pressed against the wall at the other end of the house, he stared in horror at the empty space before him. He shouldn't have done that...he should not have done that... But he couldn't help it. He had to. The sounds coming from his brother's room were alarming, and on any other day, he would've bolted from the house to avoid what was going on. Today was different, though. He told Sakura to show up early on purpose, knowing no one else would be home. Their mother wasn't coming home until at least six, and she'd be the first one. As far as Itachi knew, he wasn't here either.

He planned this...and so it was only fitting that he be forced to bask in the hell he created for himself. He should have known better. But part of him never would've believed something like this would happen.

The images...for crying out loud. He was never going to get those images out of his head. He was shaking lightly, and he couldn't explain why. Hair shimmering around his face as he inhaled a little more raggedly than he should have. He saw her. Peeking around the corner into the dark room, he saw her pinned down, small pink tips perking into the air as she arched her chest, arms strapped by the excessive fabric held at her back. Bare legs pushed apart with his brother's face buried into her hips.

Closing his eyes, he tried to focus, but it was almost impossible. He wasn't prepared for this. He wanted the truth. He suspected something. But he just wasn't prepared for what hit him. It wasn't the yukata so much, though Sakura was downright paranoid about it. It was her actions and reactions. It was the way she looked at him, and changed tunes so suddenly when he did notice her yukata. The way she tried to avoid him. The fact that Itachi was practically in the process of ripping her clothes off when he walked into his hospital room. The guilt and the anxiety she exhibited when he dragged her out for lunch at Ichiraku's. The fact that he caught her masturbating, yes, masturbating, when he showed up at her house that night, after getting caught red-handed with Itachi in his room. Okay, that part wasn't as obvious, but holy crap did he remember it. He knew what she was doing when he hopped up to her window, and it took everything he had not to react to the sight of her touching herself. To play it off like he was none the wiser. That was awkward. Now this...this was a million times worse.

A particularly loud moan reached him, resonating through the house in a haunting, exotic tune. He snapped his eyes open, unable to see the tint of red in his face, but he could feel it. It burned. Throbbed with a relentless fire as blood pooled to the surface...and it wasn't alone. A hand grabbed at the front of his pants, readjusting himself, but there wasn't enough room. It was too tight in there now. He felt the overwhelming urge to get out of there, but he didn't move from his spot.

With a firm, teasing swirl of his tongue, Itachi lifted his head to gaze up at her, past the slopes of her heaving breasts, glistening in a light sheen of sweat, to her desparate, gasping lips as she tossed her head to the side. Ceasing his torment just before she could find her release. Her eyes opened, appearing drunk and dizzy as she blinked in confusion. They looked down at him in disbelief once she realized he wasn't returning to his spot to finish her off.

"Noooo, don't stop..." She groaned pitifully. "Please don't...Kami...it felt so good..."

He buried his lips between hers and kissed, eliciting another jerk of her hips as she whimpered. Her head threw back into a damp pillow as she tried to catch her breath, brow creasing in annoyance. The constricting binds of her arms loosened, and she faintly sensed him moving below her. The confines of his pants were discarded, left to tumble off the bed to the floor.

His legs pushed hers, opening them wider. She was drenched, pooling into her yukata, the sheets, and down her thighs because of him. The head of his cock nudged against her as he crawled over her. Too high to slip in, but at just the right angle to rub into her clit. Instinctively, her hips locked into him, begging him to take her. The slightest movement sent her shivering uncontrollably as she throbbed against him. The arms he released were soon trapped in a different position, spread high above her head with him securing her wrists down.

"Sakura." He whispered, breathing into her mouth as he hovered above her, stifling her with a strange aroma that could only belong to her. "Look at me." Her dizzy lashes fluttered open at his request. Lost in a world of lust that he could easily quench, and yet refused.

Then he filled her. A single thrust piercing as far as it could go, stroking a line of fire inside her as she clenched around him tightly and cried out loudly. He watched her eyes squeeze shut again, inflicted with a pleasure more intense than she was used to. Everything was heightened from his shameless teasing now, and as he rocked slowly into her, she felt her inside squirming in a sensation that made her want to claw at him. If only her hands weren't mashed into the bed, useless.

One of them lifted away and hooked behind her knee, pulling her leg up a little higher. The other followed without his guidance, and he panted. Her sheath could have brought him crashing down on top of her, if he wasn't careful, as tight and hot as it was...and so wet. His muscles flexed, tensing as he fought the urge to slam into her roughly. She was so small, hugging him in a perfect fit he hadn't felt in far too long. He throbbed inside her dangerously, but he kept his pace steady. The pleading noises she made for him drove him crazy. He wanted more of them...and that's exactly why he was going to keep taking his time.

The slap of his hips came a little quicker, jolting her with a delicious pressure deep inside that made her quiver. Grinding deep enough to press into her clit at times. Still never enough to push her to her limit. Only enough to make her moan for more.

"Please don't..." She panted weakly between gulps of air.

"Please don't stop..."

It was returning. The buzzing high that promised her a shock of rolling ecstasy, should he allow it. He angled into her with a purpose, pumping her gradually into a weightless mush of puddy that would bend and mold to his will. She was getting so close...

"Nnnn...ahhh!" She wailed suddenly with a twist of his hips, eliciting small, excited spasms from her. This feeling he milked from her dominated everything. Nothing else mattered except this moment. She'd do anything to keep him from stopping.

And of course, that's why he stopped again.

Sakura growled heatedly, hands clenching into fists when she felt his hips still against hers. She wiggled as much as he let her, begging him for more. This was beyond cruel...he couldn't do this to her... That was the second time she almost lost herself, and he halted.

"Itachi, please..." She whispered helplessly, gazing up at him in a glow of exhausted lust. Sticky with sweat that covered her from head to toe, panting under him in an indescribable need as he held her down. The strands of dark hair tickled her cheeks as he lowered, brushing his lips across hers gently. She knew better than to try to kiss him this time.

"Please what..." He whispered back, and gingerly set his teeth around her moist bottom lip to tug.

"I can't take this." She sighed, and he smiled slightly. He loved when she said that, and unbeknownst to her, she was only sealing her fate.

The rigid imprint of his fingers left her captive wrists, and he pulled out of her with a groan. Hard as a rock, and with a willpower even harder.

"I'm going to kill you." Another whisper, one that made him give a sharp laugh that was as unexpected as her own words.

"Will you?" He taunted, husky and devious into her ear, and left her with a kiss on her neck.

She sprang to life, using her newly found freedom to lunge into him with the intent of flipping him onto his back. The only thing she managed to do, however, was gasp as he caught her and smashed her down onto her own stomach, with the ease of tossing a pancake. A growling scream muffled into the pillow her face was now hiding in. How did he move so much faster than her?

He straddled her hips immediately, one hand firm between her shoulder blades, the other catching one of her hands to lock into the bed at her side.

She shouted his name into the pillow, and he swooped down to nip at her earlobe. "Relax." A simple command, and she obeyed with another growl of unwilling defeat.

He sat there a moment, making sure she wouldn't try anything sneaky, and then ripped the pillow out from under her. She gasped, turning her cheek into the mattress and glaring at him over her shoulder. His weight disappeared, and he slipped a hand under her hips to guide them up. The pillow was stuffed under her, keeping her raised slightly and cushioned as he nudged her legs wide. His fingers curled into her hair, keeping her still as a sharp thrust drove into her. She moaned instantly, the anger breaking apart into nothing as the blinding lust returned, like a wave cresting over a jagged rock. There was no hope of return.

"Oh Kami.." She sighed, pulsing and bucking back into him as he found a better, deeper angle inside her. The surge of fiery chills swept along her spine and through her limbs. His hips moved impossibly slow, but deep, and somehow it was better than anything she felt before. She moved in time with him, once again at his mercy with whimpers and pleas. He sucked in his breath, struggling to stay focused. A paced, yet forceful rock replaced the crude slapping of wet flesh. Invading her in all the right ways.

His hips slowed again, and she chocked an exasperated sob.

"Itachi!"

He remained within her, bending low to suck her shoulder gently. "Tell me what you want." He murmured quietly, with no sign of giving into her the way she couldn't help but give in to him.

"Please don't...I can't..." She sobbed some more, a hysterical laugh that could do nothing but resign to whatever he wanted.

"Tell me." He kissed along her shoulder to her neck, biting lightly. As he eased lower, a hand slipped under and cupped her breast. A single buck of his hips shocked her with a moan.

"I want you!" She cried out in despair, and he bucked into her again. Her walls tightened around him briefly with another whimper, and his grip tightened a little more on her hair.

"Mmm..." He hummed curiously, and then decided that wasn't enough. "What do you want me to do?" His voice melted over her like butter, and her hips squirmed for his touch.

"Please make me cum..." She choked in a quiet whisper, something she never imagined would come from her mouth, but it did...and she didn't care anymore. His lips closed over a pink welt that was forming over the slop of her shoulder, and she could have sworn she felt him purr against her.

The hot, damp bed disappeared as he lifted her effortlessly back onto his lap, her own weight sinking her even deeper over his throbbing cock, hidden within her. She gasped loudly, and found herself riding him without instruction. Free to move as she pleased. The hand gripping her chest pet down the quivering length of her bobbing stomach, and searched between her lips below. Sakura cried out as he pinched her small bundle lightly, and he pulled her head back by a handful of hair. Left to lay back against his shoulder while his breath tickled over her. The hips that did a thorough job at driving her insane pushed up to meet her thrusts.

Before she knew it, reality disappeared. Somewhere close by, she could hear someone screaming in unrestrained passion. It sounded like her, but she was so far away. Darkness was all she knew as her eyes shut, but it was quickly swallowed by an eruption of flickering lights that kept no pattern. She felt herself vibrating from her curling toes to the taut scalp under a clenching hand.

A growl that was deep and guttural filled her ear. The mattress came flying up at her, and she would have bounced if he wasn't slamming down into her, thrusting with a rough, insatiable need while her walls continued squeezing him, shuddering in an orgasm that just wouldn't end. It was nothing like the first time. Far more powerful, and she squeaked and whimpered.

A searing heat burst inside her, quite literally flooding her with a tingling warmth that made her lock her hips against his and writhe as he pushed deep enough for her to ache. He collapsed onto her back, panting just as hard as she was with a bead of sweat dripping from the tip of his nose. She felt too good. He didn't want to move. But it was little in comparison to the alien world she was drifting away in. She couldn't see, she couldn't feel anything but damp heat and tingling energy. Far too exhausted to move, she felt like she was spinning in space.

"Mmmphh... Itachi..." Her soft, distant breath reached him below. "Your family...they're gonna be...home soon..." It alarmed her vaguely, but she still couldn't move. Everything except breathing took far too much effort.

"We have time." He murmured in reassurance, in no more of a hurry to move than she was.


"I told you not to do it. I told you not to go in there...but you did anyway."

Sasuke was sitting, back against the wall of his own house outside, and far away from his brother's room. Chakra still concealed. His knee was bouncing erratically in unrelieved tension, a fixed stare that was a little too intense aiming down at the ground. Was it a murderous stare, or something else? Shisui wasn't sure, but this was bad. He could feel it in his bones, and at the moment, he had no idea what to do. This had to be one of the most awkward positions he'd ever been dragged into. If only he'd known ahead of time...

"If I knew this was what you meant by investigating, I would've saved you the trouble."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Sasuke turned his intense, unwarranted look onto the older Uchiha sitting next to him.

"You thought something was going on between them, right?" He stared back calmly, cheek in hand while his wavy hair blew in the wind.

"Yeah, but I didn't expect this." He growled under his breath, and Shisui blinked at him.

"Well what did you expect, Sasuke? If that was the case, why the hell did you lead her to your house where she would end up alone with him? What did you honestly think would happen?"

His eyes sealed shut as a flash of anger ignited. His knee stilled, and he took a few controlled breaths, yet they didn't help as much as he hoped they would.

This was just dandy. In about an hour, they would both have to be present in that house, acting like everything was fine. The kid was talented, and he had some bright ideas, but this was not one of them.

Shisui shook his head slowly, much more aware and accepting of his fate than the jittery, hot-headed mess next to him was. Everything that he was known for—the cool attitude, infuriating apathy, solid confidence—was all out the window right now.

"Next you're gonna tell me he doesn't know you were there."

His eyes shot up, leveling him an incredulous look.

"He doesn't know I was there." He muttered darkly, though there was a shock of panic in his eyes.

Shisui laughed quietly. "Oh, right. Sure. He has no idea you snuck up on him and watched him bang your teammate."

"He doesn't! You really think he would've kept going if he knew? He's the reason I learned that trick in the first place. It's the easiest way to get the upper-hand when we're sparring. He has eyes on the back of his damn head."

"Exactly. He does have eyes on the back of his head. I guarantee you, he knew you were there." Shisui argued, resolute. There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in his mind. If Sasuke really thought he could pull the wool over his eyes that easily, he was in for a sore surprise. The fact that Itachi didn't stop could easily be the revenge in itself. Be careful what you wish for...

"Hn..." His hair swished as he looked away, knee beginning to bounce again.

"Oh and thanks, by the way. You've officially set the stage for the most uncomfortable dinner in the history of our clan." That could be an exaggeration, but for the present moment, it reflected Shisui's inner turbulence.

"I'll see you soon." He muttered, rising to his feet and brushing the dirt off his butt.

"What? Where are you going?" Sasuke stared up at him, as if he were afraid of being left alone to the destruction of his own thoughts.

"It's five-thirty. I don't have to be here until six-thirty. I'm going home."

"You can't leave now." He snorted, as if he owed him something.

"Look, Sasuke..." He began with a heavier than usual sigh. "I just snooped around your house with you and listened to your friend—teammate—secret love interest—I dunno scream things I don't feel like repeating for about an hour. I need to go for a while..." And he was going to leave it at that.

A sympathetic pat on the top of Sasuke's head signaled his retreat, and his eyes narrowed on the back that ambled on down the road towards his home to do who the hell knows what, but he wasn't about to let his imagination wander.

Growling, his hands clawed up into his silky hair and held his forehead as he tried to figure out what to do next.


A/N: I hope I caught all my typos. This was a doozy to reread...several times.