Placebo – Tattoos

I stared at him. His body did not move. Blood stained the grass and his hair hooded his eyes. "No…"

My shaking hand reached out for the shurikan. I wanted to remove it, to stitch up his wound, but it had completely sliced through him.


"No," I whispered, "no, please, Sasuke."

I gathered him in my arms, ignoring the spiked angles of the shurikan, and kissed his forehead. He was cold, clammy, and pale. My stomach was tight, as was my chest. I wanted to throw up.

"Wake up," I snapped unreasonably. "Just open your eyes, please!"

He coughed and I smiled and cried. My lips touched his face and I smiled. "Hina-ta," he coughed.

"Oh, Sasuke, Sasuke, Sasuke," I cried. Tears flooded my vision and fell on his face, and I didn't know if he was crying too.

"Why didn't you…love me?"

I stared at him, full of shock. "No, Sasuke, I-I do."

Sasuke's crimson eyes were covered by his hair once more and he fell limp. I gasped, pressing my ear to his chest.


I held him tighter and screamed, letting the blood coat my body. "Help me," I shouted loudly, angrily. "Please…"

I held him tightly, shaking my head.

"Hinata Hyuuga, hello."

I gasped. A man stood before us, a black coat covering his body. He looked a lot like Sasuke, but he wasn't. He was older, and scarier. "I-Itachi…?" I recognized the eyes and shivered.

He smiled warmly. "You just let my little brother die?"

I shook my head in shock. "N-no, he saved me! I-I did not mean to let this happen!"

The man waved his hand, and I grew fearful. I thought he was dead.

"Are you taking him from me?" I asked worriedly.

"No, little mouse, I am just here to inform you that he's alive."

I ran my fingers in the man's silky hair, my hands unsteady. "N-no, he's not breathing… Do not steal him from me."

"Hinata, trust me, he is okay."

Itachi walked closer, sinking to his knees. His hand gently brushed Sasuke's cheek and I growled. "Do not touch him- all you ever did was hurt him."

Itachi's eyebrow lifted, but he smiled again. "You are a nice woman. I like you." It felt warm near him, like a scary, comforting warmth.

I scowled and held him tighter, shaking.

Sasuke's brother winked and everything was dark. Sasuke was nowhere near me, because I was weightless. I could not feel him anywhere.

Fear consumed my body and I looked around wildly. I didn't see anything at first, but soon my fuzzy eyes cleared. I was staring at a pair of red eyes- Sasuke's eyes. "Sasuke," I said, full of relief.

"It is me, Hinata."

Brightness consumed us and I was staring at Naruto, the fox's chakra surrounding him. "Naruto!"

My body felt cool and heavy. I wanted to reach out and kiss him, tell him I missed him, but I could not. I couldn't move. "Hinata, look at you. Mourning the loss of my brother- what sort of sick woman are you?"

"N-Naruto, what?"

"You claimed to love me, but you are alive, with Sasuke. You want Sasuke to be the father of my young, and you said you loved me." His red, angry eyes squinted and he lurched forward, his face inches from mine. "You liar!"

His voice roared and lit up the colorless abyss, my ears burning. "No! I don't care for him like I care for you!"

"To think I died alongside you!"

"You are not my Naruto. My Naruto would never do this to me," I whispered. The kyuubi sneered and growled again, this time fading slowly. I did not believe my own words- Naruto loved Sakura, therefore he was not, and never was, mine. "Go, you sick, little beast."

"I am not a beast," he roared, fading away. "That Sasuke Uchiha is the beast!"

"How could you say that about your best friend?" I snapped.

His body quivered and jumped toward me.

I screamed as heat consumed me.

"Hinata! Hinata, wake up!"

Suddenly the air around me was still and cool. I panted softly, opening my eyes to look around. I was in a white, hospital room. Sitting up, I saw Sasuke looking intently at me. Worry was etched deeply in his face, but my chest fluttered- he was alive.

"You were screaming, Hinata."

I smiled, seeing him. Warmth washed away the fear in my body and I sighed happily, letting my eyes water. "Sasuke, I thought you died!" I jumped out of the bed and through myself into his arms, crying softly. He was stiff. "Sasuke, you could have died, why would you risk that all for me?"

Sasuke gently touched the back of my head and whispered, "You know why."

I looked up into his face, and his fingers brushed away my tears. I smiled at him softly.

He looked up past me, and I turned my head. Sakura was standing in the doorway, jealously knitting into her eyebrows. "Glad that you are awake, Hinata."

I did not reply. There was nothing to say. I got up, slightly embarrassed, and sat back on my cot. I was still dressed in the kimono from the festival.

Looking back at the Uchiha, I drank in his appearance. He looked ill, I'll admit, with bags under his eyes and his skin a sallow yellow color. But he was breathing, and his heart was beating, and that was perfect for me.

Sakura asked, "Sasuke, how are your bandages? Should I loosen them or tighten them up?"

I glanced at his chest, which was tightly bound in white bandages. His skin must have scarred terribly. "No," he shortly replied.

"Hinata, are you feeling okay? You fainted at the sight of the accident."

I nodded. I didn't feel any pain.

Sakura looked at us both for a second, and then departed quietly.

I leaped off my bed, proceeding to hop onto his. He tilted his head, completely emotionless. "I had a dream, and I thought you died."

Sasuke looked down at himself. I smiled softly. "I carried you here," he said smugly.

I gasped. "How?!"

Sasuke gently touched my chin and looked into my eyes. "It doesn't matter."

I had learned to hate those words. "I saw you die, and I saw…" I paused, unsure of how to even tell him.

"What was it?" His eyes focused on mine and his tone was soft, quiet. Pain marred his voice slightly, and I leaned away from him.

"I saw your brother. He told me that you were alive."

Sasuke's cool face turned away, becoming an emotionless slab. I wanted to reach out and touch him, or take back my words. Itachi was a touchy subject, Tsunade had told me. "What exactly was the dream?"

His eyes were guarded. "I dreamed we were on the cliff, and I was holding you. I screamed for help until somebody came- it was him." I left out the kissing and his words purposely, because speaking of his affections had become uncomfortable for me. "He spoke to me- about you and I. He said he likes me. Then, I was speaking to Naruto."

Sasuke looked down at me, sadness deeply set in his eyes. I did not understand why.

"Tsunade is coming," he said.

I nodded, getting off of his cot and back onto mine once more. He gave me a look, one that I understood as 'this is not finished'.

The blonde Hokage entered and sighed upon seeing me. She came forward and hugged me tightly. "Hinata, I am so happy to see you!" I was surprised at the sudden affection, but it was soon over. She had been overly kind to me since Naruto's death. Her smile was quickly replaced by a stern look of anger, and she pointed to Sasuke. "Why the hell was he attacked?!"

Sasuke sighed. "I already told you-"

"Shut it, fugitive, I'm speaking to her."

My eyes widened. "It was an attack on me."

Tsunade looked bewildered and leaned closer. "Why would a fellow villager want to attack you?"

I frowned. "Sasuke and I heard a noise outside of the shack the other night, and then my attacker was following us around throughout the night. It must have been planned out."

Tsunade frowned. "Sasuke was with you the whole night though-" she gasped, "the shurikan imbedded into the Uchiha was coated with poison. I'll have Sakura run a test on the kind of poison used…"

I nodded. She looked me in the eye and I understood. She feared that the same attackers from before were after me again.

Tsunade turned toward Sasuke and said, "You- take off your bandages. I need to heal you again."

Sasuke nodded and obediently began to untie them. I watched, slightly entranced as his muscles and tattoos began to peak through. I blushed lightly.

Tsunade chuckled softly. Her hands lit up with green chakra and Sasuke laid down on his back. She began to heal the scars and deep gashes. "This is the fourth time I've had to heal him today. His wounds were terrible."

I nodded. Sasuke was staring up at the ceiling, looking bored. I wondered if he was upset about the mention of his brother and why- well, I understood why. I sighed and spoke to Tsunade. "I assume his skin is scarred from the tattoos anyway. Healing must be a pain," I uncomfortably added.

Sasuke sneered at me.

Tsunade laughed at his face. "It is but Sakura and I are fairly good at this sort of thing. Sakura must check your baby's vitals, Hinata."

Tsunade must not have known the injustice Sakura had done to me, but I shrugged it off. Naruto is gone and Sakura is just a useless woman. She could keep an eye on my precious baby.

"Well, Hokage, what do you presume we do about the Mizu Hunt?"

Tsunade looked down at Sasuke. "Who the hell said it was them again?"

"It's just a guess." Sasuke smirked at the ceiling, knowing his guess was correct. I stifled a smile.

She finished with him and later came back with the toxin report- it was strong evidence that it was the Mizu Hunt. The Hokage asked us to go to her office once everything was healed up, and with a worried look on her brow, she left. Sasuke smiled smugly.

An hour later, Sakura entered. "Hello," she said with a fake smile. She almost looked nice- her pink hair was pulled away from her face and she was wearing a red shirt that really emphasized her porcelain color. But she did not look nice.

Sasuke and I were both silent.

Sakura sighed and went to work healing the man. I watched as her fingers brushed his skin unnecessarily and her lips parted just slightly. To any other male, she was the essence of beauty, but to Sasuke she was just an annoying ex-team mate. I could see it in his eyes. He lay there, staring up at the ceiling with dark, gray eyes, and a bothered expression.

"Sasuke-kun, these are healing up beautifully. Your markings will be fine, too."

Sasuke grunted in understanding and I giggled. He glanced at me and back up at the ceiling. Were his ears pink?

I smiled and turned away. Sakura said something about the single life, nudging the man, but he sighed. I stifled another laugh.

"Well, if you want to be rude, wrap your own chest, Uchiha! I only healed them to be kind!"

I looked back over and Sakura threw the bandages down in his lap. He took them gingerly in his fingers and shrugged, going to work on it. I laughed openly.

"Hinata, please lie on your back."

I obliged, lifting my shirt knowingly. Sasuke was focused on dressing his wounds anyhow.

"You are coming along nicely. You are how many months now?"

"I'm six months now," I replied shortly.

Sakura smiled and rubbed cool gel on my stomach. "Today you can finally see if it's a boy or a girl."

I looked into her eyes and smiled, forgetting my previous resentment for her. I was excited to see my baby girl for the first time. "Wonderful," I breathed softly.

"Have you considered any names yet?"

She turned on a little monitor and got a small wand-looking thing from the shelf, hooking it up together. I didn't know much about modern technology. "No, not really. Naruto didn't have a family so I couldn't ask them, and I wasn't considering a Hyuuga name."

She nodded. "Look up at the screen."

I craned my neck to glance at the monitor as she pressed the cool wand to my stomach. A pulsing gray image came up, and soon the outline of my baby.

I gasped. "Is that…?"

Sakura smiled. "Yes, that's your baby."

My heart was melting. My little girl had a small body and a beautiful little head. "Sasuke," I chortled, "come see!"

The man got up and walked over to the opposite side of Sakura. He stared at the screen and licked his lips. "Sakura," he said, "Is it a girl?"

Sakura moved the thing around my stomach for a moment and laughed. "No, it's a little boy. Here," she said, pointing to the screen. "There it is."

Sasuke smugly smiled and looked down at me.

I laughed and shook my head. "I don't care- he's mine."

"He's a strong little guy; I bet you'll feel him kicking really soon."

I smiled and grabbed Sasuke's hand, giving it a tight squeeze. "Look, Sasuke, I'm a mother!"

The dark-haired man nodded, smiling down at me softly. He removed his hand and walked back to his cot, his face suddenly unreadable.

I frowned, but quickly looked back at the screen. "I love you," I whispered.

Sakura wiped up the gel from my stomach and handed me a small picture. "It's your baby," she said. I thanked her and fixed my shirt.

My cheeks were wet and I soon realized, after looking at the picture for a long time, that I was crying. Odd emotions were running through my body, but I was more than grateful that he and Sasuke were safe. I was safe.

Sakura mentioned something about staying over night and leaving in the morning, but I disregarded her with a nod. She left and I was sitting down, staring at my picture.

"He is bigger then I imaged him to be," Sasuke suddenly said.

I glanced over at his face. It was a mask of indifference. "Me too- I have never seen an unborn baby. It's really incredible."

His eyes intently gazed at something on the floor.

"Sasuke, is everything alright?"

"Yes," he simply replied in his silky tone.

I eyed his face before my gaze fell to his chest. It was wrapped messily, and some wounds were exposed. I smiled. "Let me fix that," I whispered, heading over to him.

Gently, I reached out and began unwinding the bandages. Sasuke stayed silent, lifting his arms when needed. We were quiet.

When it was all off, I took a moment to look over his tattoos again. They were as lovely as before, albeit a little pink from the irritation. Letters and signs and hearts were scrawled lovingly across his alabaster skin in a stylish fashion. One caught my eye- it was a feather, fading into a thousand tiny birds. I pressed my fingers to it gently. "I like this one," I said.

Sasuke's eyes fell down to my fingers. "I remember that one well. I got it after Itachi died. A man in the SoundVillage claimed to be a wonderful artist, and I taught him how to ink skin."

I gasped. "You let an inexperienced artist stain your skin?"

"It turned out nicely, did it not?"

I frowned at his smug expression and began dressing his wounds. "So," I whispered, "have you been thinking about the child? He is a lot like your nephew."

Sasuke tilted his head. I liked it a lot when he did that, because it made him seem a little more human. "I hadn't thought about names, really."

I nodded. His reason for coming back to Konoha was to procreate, wasn't it? "Why did you come to the village again?"

"I wanted to restore my clan," he replied offhandedly.

"And you never thought about names for your children?"

He smirked. "I hadn't thought at all about children."

I finished up and dropped my hands into my lap. "You came back so you could have children, but haven't even thought about them."

"Well," Sasuke began, looking directly into my eyes, "the woman I enjoy the most is already having another man's baby. That is awfully discouraging, don't you think?"

I gulped. His eyes had grown serious and full of disappointment. "I'm sorry, Sasuke…"

Sasuke smirked and stretched, wrapping his arm around my shoulders. I squeaked and the man pulled me down on his bed, pressing me against his side. I laughed again, twisting onto my stomach. Sasuke put both of his hands behind his head, very Naruto-like. He smiled gently, the epitome of leisure. "Hinata, how old are you?"

I smiled, curiosity filling my chest. "Why?"

"I had my birthday a few months ago. I am now twenty-years-old."

I hadn't even known. "I will be the same age in a few weeks."

He nodded, and looked up. I looked at his chest for a moment- it looked pretty comfortable. With a newfound courage, I leaned into it, draping my arm over his waist. He was still, unmoving. "I love you," he whispered.

I did not know what to say. I felt for him too- but he was my husband's best friend. Guilt was the strongest feeling in my stomach, but under that was something more complex. More complex then infatuation and friendship. "I'm sorry," was all I managed to say.

We were quiet for a long time, until the sun fell and I felt his lips against my ear. Soon after, we fell asleep.



Yeah, it's a fluff chapter, so?

I loved it, oh my...

I'm writing a story with AnnaDax, Bullwinkle's Lady, and Airyo! So I am busy, but PLEASE REVIEW. I love them! Thanks so much to all of the ones I got last time! In fact... I will update after I get at least five! This is a good story, don't you won't it to gain popularity.