OKAY FINALLY DONE. I know, I know. That took forever. & I know some people are not going to like this ending, but I always intended it to end this way. I have left it open for a sequel... But, I'll let the readers decide if they want that. Please, if you hate it, don't bitch about that to me. It's the way it is. Anyway, let me know if you would like a part 2! I will be updating my other stories as well!
Sasuke's heart skipped a beat. He pulled Itachi close to his breast and felt the child breathe softly into his neck. A fine sheen of sweat had developed on his brow as Sasuke realized that he could finally have his brother back. The brother he knew. But, this time he would be the one doing the protecting.
Itachi's mind swirled as memories tried to surface. They were fuzzy and only certain parts stuck out to him. But, Sasuke suddenly felt so much more familiar. Itachi let his body fall limp against Sasuke.
The brother's stayed this way for a while, just holding one another and breathing.
Sakura's exhausted body dragged her ever closer to the hut until she was close enough to peer inside one of the uncovered windows.
Sakura's heart was pounding so hard as she dropped down to her knees and out of view of the brothers. She hugged her knees staring at the ground. She had found him, finally. But, she was in no condition to bring him back to the village by force. She closed her eyes as her wrist throbbed suddenly.
"These memories are so fuzzy." Itachi's soft voice drifted from the window.
Sakura stared blankly at her wrist as the angry red marks pulsed. Her chakra was so low that she didn't do much to mask it. She wondered why her chakra was so low… What could be happening? Sakura leaned against the hut, suddenly feeling even more drained of energy.
Sasuke had always looked at Sakura as if she was a pathetic little girl. And she was. But now? Now she had brought the very dead and very powerful Uchiha Itachi back from the death. She had given Sasuke his happiness..
Sakura trembled as she held a kunai to her breast. She felt Naruto shift ahead of her, but the darkness surrounding them left her blind.
They had been instructed to watch a little old lady as she went about her daily activities. She had complained and filed a mission stating that she was being stalked and feared that her life was in grave danger. They had spent all day with the woman, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious or dangerous. Alas, night had fallen and the lady insisted that the three Genin stay the night, to "ease her mind". At first, all was normal. They had laid out their sleeping mats, Sakura trying to be as close as she could to Sasuke, and they laid down to sleep. Thats when a loud thump from the elderly woman's attic sounded, alerting the three Genin of someone's presence. Of course they had gone to investigate, and as the neared the room with the thumps and sounds, Sakura became more and more nervous.
This wasn't the first time Sakura worried about how she would fair against a threat. Sasuke and Naruto were skilled and could easily protect themselves, but what if she had to fend for herself?
Sakura's pulse quickened as the neared the source of the sounds. Naruto's hand found it's way to Sakura's quivering arm, and she gasped in shock.
"Stay back if you want." Naruto whispered.
Sakura felt her face turn a burning shade of red. Was she that obvious?
"Tch. A ninja shouldn't be given the option to stay back if they are afraid." Hissed Sasuke from behind Sakura.
Sakura pushed Naruto's hand away from her.
"Don't tell me what to do." Sakura whispered angrily.
Naruto fell silent and still in the darkness. Suddenly the room they had heard the noises from let out a deranged hiss. Sakura jumped, heart still pounding. She felt Sasuke brush her aside as he moved in front of her. Sakura felt the familiar sense of uselessness fall over her. Again, Naruto and Sasuke were protecting her.
Not this time.
Naruto moved to open the door, and Sakura stood rushing into the dark room. This stunned both Naruto and Sasuke for the let out a sharp gasp as Sakura charged the room alone.
It was dark, and Sakura saw nothing as she leapt into the room. Suddenly a presence shifted in front of her and Sakura clumsily jabbed her kunai in the direction of the sound. Nothing. Sakura spun around, trying to get a sense of the room she was in, when suddenly the presence jumped at her. Sakura screamed.
"What is going on!?"
Suddenly the light flickered on and Sakura lay on the ground with a cat poised to attack again by her. The old woman rushed in, clearly happy to see this cat while Naruto and Sasuke both stifled a laugh. Sakura got to her feet, running her hand through her long pink locks trying to act as normal as possible.
It turns out that the presence the old woman had been sensing was none other than her lost cat. With the mystery cleared up, the three were free to leave.
Sakura stayed silent as Naruto and Sasuke walked ahead of her. No words had been exchanged between them after the incident, and Sakura couldn't bare to say anything in her defense. She did notice the disgusted looks Sasuke had given her, and it made her stomach twist. After a while, Sasuke fell back, walking in pace with Sakura.
"Maybe you should rethink this ninja thing." He said bluntly.
Sakura couldn't even look at him. She kept her head down.
"You are only going to get yourself and everyone else killed."
Sakura fought back tears as Sasuke picked up speed, moving away from her. She had never been so embarrassed.
But, now Sakura was skilled. Not in combat, but in medicine. She brought back someone who was dead. He mind suddenly became aware of what she was hearing. Itachi was speaking to Sasuke about what he was starting to remember.
Sakura looked at her wrist as it throbbed. Every memory he mentioned, caused Sakura's wrist to throb. These lines were connected to Itachi's memory. Suddenly Sakura's heart began to race. The more Itachi remembered, the greater the pain she was in and the more chakra she lost. She was dying to keep Itachi alive. Sakura covered her mouth as a sob tried to erupt from it. She was shaking in fear. She couldn't die. Not without finally having Sasuke for herself.
Sakura couldn't stop the tears the fell from her tired eyes. She was dying. She weakly pulled a kunai from her pouch before rubbing her nose. She closed her eyes, focusing what little chakra she had left into her right hand. In an instant she unleashed the chakra into a punch the brought down the side of the hut.
The crash caused Itachi and Sasuke to jump. The wall to their right crumbled before them and Sasuke instantly tucked Itachi behind him. As the dust began to settle, it revealed a being that could hardly stand. Sasuke's heart raced for he could not identify the little chakra signature that radiated from the unknown being. After a moment, the dust finally settled and Sasuke almost wanted to laugh.
"You must be stupid." Sasuke spit.
Itachi peered out from behind Sasuke and his eyes lit up.
"Sakura!" He cried out with glee.
Sasuke held his hand in front of the child, a motion that told the child not to move.
"Why are you here?"
Sakura's breathing was labored as her eyes fell not on Sasuke, but on Itachi.
"You should thank me, you ungrateful jerk." Sakura spat back. The first time she had ever done such a thing to Sasuke.
Sasuke for a moment looked shocked by Sakura's tone. But his surprised melted into a manic glee. He laughed darkly.
"I should have killed you when I saw you on that bridge."
Sakura heaved herself up, so that she was fully erect in front of Sasuke. She finally looked him in the eye.
"Do you know how Itachi came to be?"
Sasuke pushed Itachi back until the child was pushed up against the wall opposite of Sakura.
"I brought him back."
Sakura smirked, feeling woozy. She closed her eyes and laughed softly.
"I brought him back to life."
Itachi stared in fear at Sakura. Dead? Back to life. Itachi tried to make eye contact with Sasuke, but he held his gaze with Sakura.
"You?" Sasuke laughed.
"How is that possible. You're nothing, Sakura. Nothing."
"I brought him back for you."
Sasuke frowned in annoyance.
"I will never want you, Sakura." He said dryly.
Sakura shook her head, as a single drop of blood slid from the corner of her mouth down to her chin.
"You will when I take him back."
Sasuke swung his sword suddenly, and with some unknown strength, Sakura was able to avoid it. She tumbled to the found, towards Itachi and again, with this unknown strength was able to scoop the child into her arms as she slammed into the wall Itachi and been pressed against. She pulled her kunai out and held it to Itachi's delicate throat, locking eyes with Sasuke.
Sasuke froze and lifted his hands in defeat.
"Let him go."
"Drop your sword."
Sasuke was hesitant, but let his sword drop the ground.
"Kick it over to me." Sakura instructed.
Sasuke gave it a swift kick in her direction. The sword skidded across the wooden flood to Sakura. She picked it up quickly, swapping it for the kunai that she held agains Itachi's throat. She slowly got to her feet, never breaking eye contact with Sasuke.
"What do you want?" Sasuke hissed after a moment.
Sasuke remained silent as his face twisted with anger.
"Can't you see how much I love you?" Sakura cried out suddenly.
The sobbing came fast. She trembled as she held the sword against Itachi. This chid, this child that meant so much to Sasuke was draining her of chakra, and life. He was becoming stronger and she was fading. But, maybe… maybe she could make Sasuke see how much she cared and loved him. Then he would be willing to let Itachi go. She could cancel the juts, regain her chakra and life and figure out a way to bring Itachi back without sucking the life out of her. This had to work…
"I love you so much! I always have. You think I am some weak girl, but I am strong. I'm strong for you. I brought Itachi back for YOU." Sakura screamed.
Sasuke was silent as he stared at Sakura. He noticed that, if just for an instant, her guard had dropped. Sasuke disregarded everything she had been saying and jumped at that moment of dropped guard. He pulled a kunai from his sleeve and flew at Sakura.
Sakura was so stunned that she dropped the child and blocked the kunai weakly with Sasuke's own sword. The child fell onto the dusty floor, rolling to a stop at one end of the room, while the force of the hit sent Sakura to the opposite side of the room. She rolled to a stop in the dust, scrambling to her feet. Sasuke now stood exactly in the middle of Itachi and Sakura. His eyes bled into a crimson death as he stared at Sakura.
Sakura's heart pounded. She couldn't fight Sasuke off. No way. He was going to kill her here and now, unless she did something. Sasuke took one frightening step towards her. Sakura reached into the depths of her chakra pool and pulled the remaining chakra out. She clasped her hands together with authority.
"Say goodbye to Itachi." She said darkly.
Sasuke's face dropped and he turned to look at his brother as he lay in the dust. Sakura finally broke the seal, feeling the immediate relief. Suddenly, some of her strength had returned, and her chakra had been restored. She breathed out as the seal broke.
Itachi stared with wide eyes at his brother as Sasuke raced to his side.
"Itachi, no, PLEASE!"
Sasuke scooped his brother into his arms. Itachi suddenly felt as though the walls were closing in on him. Everything seemed fuzzy. He looked at Sasuke and smiled softly.
"No, please.. Don't leave me…"
Itachi had began to glow a soft white haze, and parts of him were dissolving right in Sasuke's arms. Itachi reached what was left of his hand out and rested it on Sasuke's cheek. Sasuke was sobbing as he looked into Itachi's now fading eyes.
"Sasuke, I remember everything." Itachi said with a smile.
And then he was gone.
Once Itachi had disappeared completely, Sasuke crumbled to the ground in a heap of sobs. He screamed and cried. Sakura, with renewed strength approached Sasuke quietly.
"You see Sasuke… I am strong. You will be with me. You know why? Because I have the power to give you your brother. You need me."
Sasuke rested his forehead against the floor as Sakura stood over him.
"I can bring him back, if you just let me love you, Sasuke-kun…"
Sasuke fell silent after a moment. He slowly raised himself into a sitting position, eyes still fixed on the floor.
"I love you so much…" Sakura said as she smiled at Sasuke.
Suddenly blood splattered over the floor and walls. Sakura gasped. Sasuke stood before her with a fistful of chidori through her had happened so fast…
Sakura struggled for breath as Sasuke pulled his hand away, letting Sakura fall to the dusty ground. Her eyes were wild as she stared up at him.
"But… but you… you need… me…" She choked out, as the life faded away from her body.
Her lids grew heavy as she watched Sasuke. Sasuke bent down to her level, sticking his face inches away from her face and whispered;
"I don't need you."
Naruto stood erect with Kakashi and the rest of the ANBU they had been assigned to travel with.
"No one has spotted either Sasuke or Sakura." A member of the ANBU wearing a dragon mask said.
"They could be anywhere. And if Sakura found Sasuke and told him about this, they could be very far away from here." Kakashi said as he crossed his arms.
Naruto shook his head.
"They aren't too far. They are close. Sakura wouldn't betray us."
Kakashi smiled softly at Naruto. He was living in a dream that Kakashi couldn't bear to ruin.
Suddenly one of the ANBU members pointed to their left.
"Sasuke's chakra just flashed over that way."
Naruto jumped forward, racing ahead of the group. Suddenly he could sense the way he was suppose to go. They traveled for about half an hour till they reach a small hut. The chakra signature was old, but it screamed of Sasuke. Naruto paused as he neared the hut, the wall had be knocked down completely on one side. Sakura?
"I think Sakura-chan was here." Naruto mumbled.
Kakashi nodded and they advanced into the hut.
Immediately they were met with the sight of blood and Sakura's body. Naruto yelped in anguish as he dropped down to see if she was still breathing. The wound revealed a chidori type of attack took place, and Sakura couldn't hold on.
Naruto cried. He let the sobs shake his body to the point where Kakashi and another ANBU member had to carry him out of the hut. He cried not only for the death of Sakura, but for the loss of Sasuke. He had lost everyone now.
Jugo and Suigetsu took their seats within a cave. They had been searching for Sasuke and Itachi since the moment Suigetsu discovered that it hadn't all be a dream. But to no avail. The brothers had completely disappeared. Without a leader, the two misfits felt lost.
Jugo sat quietly on the floor as Suigetsu rested agains the wall.
"We will find him soon." Suigetsu said with a crooked smile.
Jugo wasn't paying attention to him though. His eyes were fixed on something outside the cave, in the distance.
"Suigetsu… I think I may have found Sasuke." Jugo said softly.
Suigetsu stepped to the mouth of the cave trying to sense anything. He wasn't a sensory type like Karin had been, and he felt nothing.
"Uh… You think so?"
Jugo silently directed Suigetsu to follow him, and the two disappeared into the dark.
Madara kicked a book away from his feet as he walked down the scorched hall. He wore a smirk on his face as he made his way, admiring the damage that had been recently caused. He came upon a door, and opened it slowly. Two figures within moved toward the door, but were told to stop by a sharp voice. Madara smirked as he entered the dark room.
"You've been causing a lot of damage. Burned down another Orochimaru hideout, I see. Have you found what you were looking for?"
Suigetsu frowned at Madara. He hated that man. Suigetsu followed Madara's eyes to Sasuke who was on his hands and knees sifting through books on the floor. Sasuke paused and looked up at Madara who smirked at him.
"I believe you need my help." Madara said.
Jugo and Suigetsu both shifted nervously as Sasuke got to his feet.
Sasuke approached Madara, looking him straight in the eye.
"You help me figure out how to bring Itachi back, and I will do anything you want."
Madara crossed his arms with a smile.
"You prepared to do whatever it is that I ask of you?"
Sasuke's eyes were void of emotion as he nodded.