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Monday, January 21, 2013

Eye for an Eye

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters and make no money from this.

Chapter Seventeen:

A loud gasp had escaped Sakura's lips as her shishou appeared in before her, looking splendidly healthy for someone who had been locked up for four years. She couldn't believe her eyes at first as she stood up and closed the distance between her and the older woman. She stared at her with her mouth gaping open.

"S-Shishou?" Her voice cracked, her eyes filling with tears. A startled scream escaped her as he mentor locked her neck in her arms and pressed her into her chest, laughter booming loud.

"Hey, kid! Thought you finally got rid of me, didn't you?" The blonde beamed at her student, a warm smile on her lips.

"I love family reunions, but I didn't someone needs you first." The Godaime interrupted Sakura before she could speak, shoving her to the two men who stood behind her.

"Sakura." Sasuke greeted, his voice sounding strange. She cringed as he saw the blood surrounding his eyes and sliding down his cheeks, almost like tears. The kunoichi rushed to his side as he sat on the ground, shutting his eyes tightly and grunting in pain.

"What happened to you?" She let out quickly as she dropped to her knees and immediately got to inspecting his bleeding eyes.

"A certain someone thought it would be brilliant to summon Susano'o." He explained simply. For a second, she wondered why he hadn't just done something else. Why he hadn't done something that he thought would be less dangerous for him and his precious eyes.

For a moment, Kakashi couldn't believe what he saw. He had really summoned Susano'o and they had all escaped without a scratch? Sure, it had been meant as a distraction, but it was impossible they had met no resistance at all. Something about it was fishy, and after sharing a suspicious look with the fifth, he knew she was thinking the same.

"We'll let you tend to Sasuke, Sakura." She said warmly before grabbing both Sai's and Kakashi's arm to pull them away from the two's earshot.

"What the heck is up with them? They look all lovey-dovey." The woman stated, crossing her arms over her ample chest, an annoyed look on her young face. Sai watched him intently as well, hoping for an answer to this mystery.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He lied miserably, unable to bring himself to tell everyone what had happened between them.

"Fine, I don't wanna know." Growled the real Hokage, punching a nearby tree. Kakashi couldn't help but gulp as he watched the tree split into two perfect halves. He truly wished to never meet his end like that poor tree.

"The Uchiha kid is bullshitting us." Her statement was so blunt and to the point that even the Copy Nin was taken by surprise.

"There's no way we should've escaped that so easily." She continued, continuing on to recount how they had fleed the city. They had been chased by a few ninjas, taken down a couple, but they seemed to fight half heartedly. They had been told to let them go.

"I thought so much when I saw you all without a scratch." Kakashi nodded, trying to get where all of this was going.

They didn't have long to discuss this subject, as Sakura and Sasuke quickly rejoined them, the latter's face now free of blood and no longer contorted in pain. They lost no more time to find Naruto a little deeper in the forest before hurrying up to catch up with the Hokage's carriage. They wanted to be there at the summit when his reign would finally be over.

On their way, Tsunade had taken the time to explain everything that had happened to her and that she knew about the current state of the village. She really had been in a coma for the first week, and had woken up just before Danzo had been named Hokage. Of course, he wouldn't accept this and had his agents abduct her and placed a decoy in her bed. He had kept her alive for one, very funny reason. It was funny to her at least. When everyone went rogue, she was pratically the only medic left in the whole village, the only competent one at least. Saving the lives of leaf nins seemed like a fair deal for the woman.

She had also been pleased to tell Naruto about the birth of his child, which she had participated in. Hinata was perfectly safe for the moment, as was the brat. She'd threatened to stop helping if anyone so much as laid as finger on either of them. With the constant beat up Danzo's troops endured, she turned out valuable enough. Plus, Hinata was good bait to lure Naruto in the city to be caught, so she was solid gold to the Hokage for the time being.

At the hectic pace they had travelled, they managed to arrive at the location where the Kage summit would be held before Danzo. It hadn't been hard for them to receive a warm welcome with Tsunade leading their small group. There had been many gasps and 'I can't believe this', but it didn't take long for everyone to come to their senses. Still, they hadn't come to the conclusion that Tsunade had been held hostage. They believed that she had just woken up recently, thanks to the great medics of Konha. The daimyos would take care of that part of the story.

When Danzo had finally arrived, last of all, the small rogue group had been hidden in a nearby room, waiting for their moment to come in and bust the maniac that served as Hokage. It hadn't been long for the daimyos to start speaking up against him once the meeting had started, talking about how he had manipulated into voting for him by using his root agents and genjutsu. An uproar had started in the room and everyone was arguing loudly. Danzo defended himself as he could, but when Tsunade burst in the room, followed by her leaf nin, and told them everything about his plans. Much of the information she had relayed had been passed on by Sasuke and she had vowed to kill him with her bare hands if he had lied.

To her relief, when she forcefully removed his bandages from his side, she had revealed his arm, full of implanted eyes. That was just too creepy. Danzo had turned insane by name, shouting that they were traitors and not worthy of the Hidden Leaf, many things that did not make sense. He had ordered his guards to killed them, but they were easily taken down by the five Kages. The old man had collapsed to his knees in hysterical, maniacal laughter, blurbing out plans of how he would kill each and every of them before returning Konoha to its former glory. Sasuke stepped forward then, drawing his sword.

"You! You were supposed to turn over all of the missing ninja! You lied to me!" He roared, but his rant was cut short when his throat met the sharp blade of the Uchiha's sword, effectively putting an end to his life.

It was incredible how this meeting had turned out. They had expected such a fight from the man. In the end, he was just a battle-worn old man who had turned insane. Many realized it could have been them, at the end of Sasuke's blade. So many of them had lived through horrific events, losing every of their loved ones. They'd all had this moment where they lost it and just wanted to detroy what was left and those who had crushed their dreams. It had been a moment that had floored them all, even if they should have been rejoicing that his reign was finally over.

"Sakura." Sasuke's voice brought everyone out of their trance and they watched the two with curiosity. His hand extended, waiting for her to take it. She glanced to Kakashi who was relatively relaxed, waiting for her to turn him down now that it was all over. Her heart ached for him, but she just couldn't do it. She put her small hand in the Uchiha's and followed as he led her towards the exit.

Kakashi's eye followed them as she passed by him, murmuring an apology, but not even looking at him. His mouth opened a little as he watched the couple leaving, unable to believe it was actually happening. Had she lied? Was she waiting to be alone to kill him? Or was she simply abandoning him for childhood love? Whatever it was, he couldn't bring himself to fight it. He didn't react as he felt his heart break when Sasuke wrapped his arm around her waist and she rested her head on his shoulder. He just watched.

"S-Sakura." He breathed out, knowing it would never be loud enough to reach his lover. Naruto had stepped by his side, placing a hand on his shoulder.

"I'm so sorry, Kakashi-sensei. I... I guess that's what she always wanted. As long as she's happy, right?" The boy's voice was uneven, he was trying to make sense of the situation too.

"It seems so." He replied cooly, his posture returning to his usual slouch and his expression back to aloof and unreadable. Naruto frowned as he felt his friend put on a hard mask, a wall between himself and the rest of the world. No one would know how deeply he was hurting but himself.

"Let's go home. I think Mr. Ukki must be parched by now." He let out, sporting a happy eye crease.

The return home was smooth and mostly silent. The news that Tsunade was resuming her position as rightful Hokage was being broadcast as quickly as possible so that the Leaf nin could finally return home within the smallest amount of time possible. They had already spent too long out there, without a home to return to. It had taken over a week for them to reach Konoha since no one had it in them to sprint all the way there. As much as a relief Danzo's death had been, it had shaken everyone up. How such a crazy person had managed to manipulate everyone into making him Hokage.

Kakashi was happy to be back home. The second he went through those good old gates, a smile touched his lips. It faded quickly when he looked to his side, not finding the pink-haired girl he wanted so desperately to share this moment with. He would never admit a living soul, but he had refused to go back to his appartment for two weeks. He didn't want to find it empty. Didn't want to see the couch where they had spent awkward evenings trying to get used to each other's constant presence. To see the bathroom he had once bathed in with her. Every little detail would break his heart further.

But after two weeks, he realized he couldn't run away from it forever. That and he was completely out of money. Danzo had used every power he had and had emptied his account. He couldn't get another appartment. Sleeping in trees was fine, but it didn't provide a toilet or fridge, sadly. He held his breath as he unlocked his door and walked in.

His chest constricted painfully when a whiff of her scent assaulted his poor old nose. It was fresh. She had been here. He went into what to be her room first, only to find it unchanged. She hadn't come to pick up any of her belonging. He sighed and left her room, closing the door behind him gently before he slumped against it. He must have been imagining it. He inspected his home from where he sat. Nothing was different, except for the extra thick layer of dust on everything.

It was as it had been, save for the smell, before she had moved in with him. He guessed that's how it was supposed to be. She must've been quite the actor. Or just naïve. That wouldn't be new. She had mistaken her lust for him for love. But bring the Uchiha back in the scene and then she remembers what real love is like. And off she goes with him, completely forgetting about the man she had spent four years with. A lone tear escape his eye before it was soaked up by his mask. He chuckled. How long had it been since he had last cried?

Probably when Rin had died. There went another promise he hadn't been to fulfill. He should really stop promising stuff. He never held them. They were useless. Maybe he was too. His fingers toyed with a kunai he had pulled from his pouch, watching him with morbid interest. He had already contemplated suicide several times before. His father had chosen that way, after all. He couldn't do it though. It would be disrespectful to his father. He had killed himself to make things right, not to escape his pityful empty life. He had done it because he was viewed as worthless thrash. Not matter how badly Kakashi believed himself to be just that, he couldn't deny the fact that many people looked up to him and that he was a valued shinobi of the Leaf. It would be nothing like his father. His decision would only be selfish and weak.

He returned the kunai to its pouch, pushing away all these thoughts and just looked around his painfully empty appartment. Maybe he should get a pet. It would fill the space up with a bit of life and action. Sakura liked cats. He nodded at himself. Yeah, he would get a cat.

Chapter Eighteen: Click Here

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