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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 Two:

While Kakashi and Sakura made their way to the Hyuuga estate, the girl watched their environment. It was desolate. Many people were still out and about even though the sun was setting. Ever since Pein's destrusction, days started early and ended late so that reconstruction would be done as quickly as possible. They barely had enough housing even now. Many people were forced to be roomates.

Luckily for her, her teammate was a jonin, so he had certain priviliges. Like access to immediate personal housing. His building had been one of the firsts to be built and consisted mainly of jonin and administrative workers of Konoha.

The neighborhood they were currently going through wasn't that lucky. It was a civilian part of the city that was being left to fend on its own for the moment. Several makeshift stands on the side of the street, in front of rubble they were still struggling to clear, served as the current supermarket. At the least food wasn't too scarce for the moment. People were stopping on the sidewalks to glare at the two ninjas casually striding through their streets. The pink-haired medic suddenly felt very self-conscious. Of course, they'd be blaming the shinobi for this disaster.

"Feel proud, Sakura. It is only thanks to us that they have food. We're the only ones who can still keep Konoha's economy going under such circumstances.", Kakashi told her quietly, looking straight ahead of him. For a second, she admired how easily he took pride in his work and didn't let anyone else question it. She nodded, smiling a little thanks to his encouragement.

The rest of their walk was spent in silence. Once they arrived of the gates of their destination, Sakura chanced a glance at her teacher. She felt a little out of place, here at the most renowned of Konoha's still living clans. He placed a hand on her back as he noticed her hesitation and pushed her inside with him. The huge front doors had been left open so that guests could come in freely. He could see several people ahead of them being guided towards the main event.

As soon as they set foot in the house, a maid bowed to them and greeted them.

"Hello, welcome to the Hyuuga's annual formal dinner. Please let me lead you to the vestibule.", the elegant woman offered. She was dressed in a traditional kimono that seemed very heavy to Sakura. It was a wonder to her how the woman could still be so graceful while wearing such a thing. She felt a shift around and whipped her head behind her, hand at her kunai already.

"Who cast this genjutsu?", she bit out immediately. Were they under attack? Had Danzo found out what Shikamaru wanted to tell them and he was about to execute them as he had threatened this afternoon? The Copy Nin mimicked her reaction, though he was still amazed at the speed at which she had detected the illusion that hid them from prying eyes.

"Don't worry! It's me, Ino. I had to use my jutsu to control this girl. Shikamaru's shadow technique wouldn't go that far. Kurenai cast the genjutsu to make sure this meeting would stay secret. An illusion of us will be attending the party, so that will be our alibi.", their guide explained, changing attitude drastically. Where had Ino learned to move like that? The question nagged at the kunoichi, but she would ask about it later. Looks like this really was serious if Shikamaru felt the need to use such caution.

They continued down several halls until they reached a secret passage behind one of the walls. After that, it wasn't long before they were reuinted with their friends. Everyone she expected to be there was. Basically, the rookie nine, the rest of their teams and the immediate family of some. They seemed to be the last to be there. Like that was a surprise when you were following Kakashi.

"Now that everyone is here... Let me explain the reason of this meeting.", the younger Nara started. "I have come across comprimising information on Danzo's plans, to say the least. First and most important, Naruto will be heavily targeted. Danzo intends to frame him for treason. The plan is already in motion, and there is nothing that we can do to stop it at my knowledge.", he continued, his eyes shifting to his feet in slight discomfort. He was a great leader, but he hated all the attention. So troublesome.

"Three days from now, Sasuke Uchiha will attack this village. Naruto will be on guard duty at the main gates, where he's expected to come in from. His plan is to announce to Naruto willingly did let him through because he's aware that you recently learned the Fourth was your father.", he said, nodding to the blonde who pumped his fist in the air.

"And what does it have to do with him, huh!", he shouted, half growing, his eyes angrier than Sakura had ever seen.

"Because the Fourth was the one to seal the Kyuubi in you. He'll use that against you. He'll make everyone believe that you blame your father for your fate and all that you've suffered before, thus you'll want to destroy everything that's hurt you, not unlike Sasuke. You'll let him in for that reason. Root agents will claim that you attacked them before escaping with the Uchiha.", he added, finishing with a sigh.

"But, people were just starting to acknowledge me, because I defeated Pein...", he let out, his hyper attitude faltering. The pink-haired girl couldn't help but feel a pinch of pain for her friend. It was one of the things that was dearest to him and Danzo was taking it away so easily. It wasn't fair.

"I know. I'm sorry, Naruto. I need to continue. Since he'll turn all of the nations against you, he knows you'll go to Suna to get help from Gaara. That is when he will severe any ties with them. I don't know much else about that plan, but it's plenty of information to prepare us.", Shikamaru shifted from one foot to the other. "The other thing is about root. Our precious Hokage will use them to gain complete control over Konoha. Over us. That way he will be able to do whatever he wants with this city. It will start with the demotion of several chuunin. This will result in a severe drop in our political weight. Votes won't be fair anymore. The second part is the new evaluation of genin. A quarter of them will be sent to root and quickly promoted to chuunin to further increase their power and ranks. This will push most missions root's way. From there, I know that Danzo will manipulate missions to gain a certain position amongst the other shinobi nations, but I don't know for what goal.", he finished, taking a deep breath and a swig of his cigarette.

Everyone just stood there for a moment, stunned. His plans went much farther than anyone had first thought. Everyone was shocked. Why was Sasuke coming to attack them? How had Danzo lured him? Why was he doing all of this? These were only a few questions that everyone was asking themselves.

"H-How did he get Sasuke to come here?", Sakura asked, staring at the floor. It had been a while since she had seen him. It hadn't been very pleasant since he'd tried to kill her.

"We were unable to find out. I believe he has something that Sasuke is looking for right now.", was all that Shikamaru was able to give her as answer. Whispers began coursing through the room, all of them inintelligible to the girl. Her lips were quivering. What was happening to her beloved city? She wished Tsunade could just wake up right then. Heck, maybe she'd have been better off letting everyone die to save them from this.

She quickly mentally slapped herself for that thought. That was even stupider. Nearly all of their military force would have been decimated then. Even Kakashi would be gone... On his side, the sharingan ninja wasn't taking the news any better, instead focusing on absorbing the new information and finding a way out.

Once the room had quieted down, Shikaku spoke up, taking his son's place. "Okay, now that Shikamaru's got all the details cleared, on with the plan. On the night where we will be attacked, we need to desert. We can't allow our Hokage to be corrupted and keep us in the dark like this. Some of us will need to form a resistance circle outside the village and try to clear Naruto's reputation as well as make Danzo's ways public so that we can force him to step down.", he spoke, his voice much lower and intense than his son's.

Sakura swallowed hard at this. Becoming a missing-nin hadn't been a part of her plans, except when she was pining for the Uchiha. She looked up to meet Kakashi's gaze, who was obviously measuring her reaction. His eye softened a little, just enough for only her to notice as he took in her near-panic state. He placed a hand on her shoulder to steady her.

"Don't worry, Sakura. I'll stay with you and protect you no matter what. I promised I would, didn't I?", he whispered to her, forcing himself to crinkle his eye to reassure her. It seemed to work a little because her breathing evened and she stepped just a little closer to him.

"We won't force anyone into this. Everyone can choose their side. We need people we can count on on the inside anyways. Me and Shikamaru will stay here, for a fact. His intelligence will be invaluable when it will come to contacting each other.", the father added, then waited for everyone to state their position.

Kurenai would stay. It was impossible for her to go with her baby to come. She would slow them down. Choji stayed back as well, though it wasn't unexpected. Him and the Nara boy were inseperable. Sai also didn't have a choice, since he was a root agent and would be much more valuable on the inside. Kiba and his family stayed back as well, preferring to help on the inside. Ino and her father, much to Sakura's surprise, were willing to leave. They were quickly followed by Hinata, Tenten, Lee, Gai, Shino and his father. Even Genma. The young girl's eyes darted across the room quickly, examining everyone. So many of her friends were going to be declared missing nins in four days at the most.

She looked up at Kakashi, expecting him to answer for them, for some reason. Maybe she was just used to following his lead. Probably too used to it. He looked down back at her, watching her intently for nearly a whole minute. They were the only ones who hadn't answered yet. He was considering her safety first. Which environment would be better for her, he wondered. He could hardly see this frail girl survive easily while constantly on the run. In an innocent and naive attempt to keep her away from all of this mess, to keep her eyes shielded from all the awful things going on in the world, he
gave his answer.

They would stay in Konoha. The two Nara men continued on with their plan. On the night of the Uchiha's attack, their group would use the distraction of everyone to slip out of the village unnoticed. That would delay the hunter nins, at the least. Naruto would go with them since he risked execution if he stayed. They would move in three-man teams a small distance away from each other to make it harder to get noticed. Naruto's team would head straight to the Kazekage for help, while the other two would roam around until his return. Their means of communication would be Neji for the moment.
Once a day when the sun was as its peak, he would use the byakugan to see if one of their friends at a the meeting spot, if so the Inuzuka family was to send a dog to retrieve the message, protected by one of Kurenai's genjutsu.

It all seemed fine and well planned, but everyone was already thinking of any complications that could happen and the for the rest of their evening sharing survival tips and discussing anything that could be useful. The last few minutes they had was spent hugging and cheering each other up since this might be the last time they'd be able to see their friends for several months. They left the same way they came in, needing to time their leave so it was in tune with their illusion selves and so that nothing could be suspected.

As soon as they were back home, Sakura threw herself at Kakashi, fighting back tears. She squeezed him a little too tight, but the man couldn't bring himself to push her away, he didn't have the heart to. He didn't know how to react though. People never dared to hug him. He hesistantly wrapped one of his arms around her shoulder, gripping it a little.

"It's going to be okay. Don't let it get to you like this.", he tried to comfort her, but he could feel her body tremble and he knew that the tears were about to spill. Kami, what was he supposed to do? Everybody knew he was not the one that anyone should go to when they need comfort, but he was the only one she had right now. Sakura's mind was reeling, finally hit by the reality of the whole situation, that everything was about to going downhill very quickly.

That Sasuke was about to attack this town. That her best friend was about to be declared a traitor. That their Hokage was a corrupt warlord who would destroy everything that they had worked so hard for. She was powerless against it all. A sob wrecked her body as several tears spilled from her eyes onto his jacket.

The jonin looked down at her helpless, groaning on the inside. He hurt for her, really. He just didn't have any idea what to with a crying girl. He held her with both his arms, hushing her as she broke down in several sobs. He rubbed her back up and down tenderly as she cried, and he let her. It seemed like the best took her a good half an hour before calming down. He took the opportunity to lead her to her bedroom, coaxing her towards the bed. She sat down on it obediently and he immediately turned to leave, but she grabbed his hand.

"Thank you, Kakashi-sensei.", she let out softly. She truly was thankful that he was there for her. She didn't dare to think about what her situation would be like right now if he hadn't offered her to live with him.

"It's okay, Sakura. I told you I would be there for you.", he responded just as softly, turning back half way to look at her. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, he could see the tears' trails on her cheeks and it broke his heart a little. He wished his team didn't have to go through something so harsh. They were still young. This reminded him too much of the war he had participated in, around their age. It was an atrocious part of his life, one he forced himself to forget most of the time.

She hesitated a long time before letting go of his hand. She wished he'd stay a little longer, lull her to sleep like her mother sometimes did. Once she had let go, his hand brushed her shoulder before giving it a firm grope before he left the room, muttering a low "good night".

The night was filled with vivid nightmares of each and every of her friends being tortured before they were executed by Danzo himself. She awoke with a start, eyes wide and skin slick with sweat. She felt hands on her shoulders. The light that the window above the side of her bed illuminated the man above her, though not enough for her to recognize him in her panic. She pushed him away with all her might, screaming in horror.

"Ugh, Sakura! It's me!", her attacker ground out as he hit the wall, stumbling a little before he regained his composure and hesitating to approach her again.

Sakura's head shot up as she recognized Kakashi's voice. She was panting like she had run to Suna and back. "S-Sensei?", she called hesitantly, finally seeing him. She looked away as she noticed he was only wearing sweats and his goddamn mask.

"Yes, it's me. Calm down, please.", he replied, sitting down on the bed besides her. His hands came up to cup her cheeks but his stopped mid-way, unsure of what he should actually do with his hands. They hesitated before settling for her shoulders. The girl turned her back to him slowly, trying to ignore the fact that he was half-naked. She saw naked men all the time, but not her teacher. This wasn't normal. She pushed that aside and took a deep breath, trying to do as he asked.

"What happened?", he whispered, leveling his eyes with hers. He knew far too well what nightmares were like. He still had them occasionally, seeing Obito, Minato and Rin die all over again several times, sometimes they were about his current team as well.

"Y-You... and... and all the others, you were b-being... tortured and killed.", she breathed out, hiccuping several times throughout her short sentence. He nodded, too well acquainted with this sort of nightmares to ask any questions. She lifted her arms slowly, unsure of herself, and opened them for a hug. The jonin indulged her, just this time, he told himself. He held her tightly against him while she calmed herself down.

He needed to get her to sleep. It was the only way he could feel okay with himself leaving her and for her to feel okay. He laid down slowly, pulling the covers over them. "It's okay, Sakura. It is. I'm staying here.", he reassured, holding her close to him with one arm while the other rubbed her back through her pajamas. She smelled sweet, he noted. She must have changed soap or shampoo because it wasn't her usual scent. This felt like watermelon instead of strawberries.

"Okay.", she answered, forcing her voice to be even. Now she was realizing how she was behaving and was almost more aggravated by this than her nightmare. This was real, dreams weren't. Goddamn it, she didn't want to be a cry baby anymore! She just couldn't help it. The fact that half of her friends, her closest ones, were about to become missing nin while a despotic Hokage was in charge frightened her. What if one of them was to be executed in front of her and she could do nothing to help?

As if he could feel the rise of panic in her, he hushed her again, placing his head against hers, his chin touching the top of her head. He felt so out of place right now. This was why he didn't let people close to him. He didn't want to have to live through his bad moments, as well as others'. It was selfish, but he wasn't sure he would be able to deal with it without getting everyone against him.

"Think of nice things, Sakura. Think of that time you guys used Icha Icha against me.", he whispered against her ear.

He smirked when he heard her snicker, just a little. Barely audible. There, good job, he praised himself. Now to get her to sleep. Her small hands placed themselves relucantly on his chest. They were going numb under he thighs. She bit her lip, hoping he wouldn't scold her or something. He didn't seem to mind though, because he didn't say a word. She blushed brightly, happy he couldn't see it in the dark. She had never been this close to a man before. She hadn't even been kissed yet, so this was completely foreign to her.

"I can help if you can't go back to sleep...", he murmured, pulling back a little to watch her face. Her eyes widened in shock, then a scowl appeared on her face, making her sudden anger clear.

"What! You pervert, get out of my bed!", she growled out, trying to push him off the bed. The older man almost laughed out loud at her misinterpretation and weak struggle, but instead he grabbed her wrist and placed himself above her, pinning them above her head.

"Hey, calm down, girl. I was merely offering to put you to sleep with my sharingan.", he clarified, only letting go and regained his place at her side once he felt no more struggle from her part. Her cheeks were set aflame once she heard him, finding herself a little stupid for believing that he would be proprositioning her at such a moment. Yes, Kakashi read porn in public, but in the end she ha never heard of him doing anything remotely perverted.

"Oh. I'm sorry.", she answered sheepishly. He shrugged his shoulders, not content with letting her get away with her assault so easily but not wanting to snap at her either. He smiled back when he saw her little grin fade, his eye crinkling. "Don't worry about it.", he reassured. So much for not letting her get away it too easily. "So, do you need help or not?", he asked again, looking straight in her eyes. It made her a little uneasy.

"Can you really do that?", she whispered. She didn't know all that much about the sharingan to tell the truth. She felt it might be more of a curse than an advantage. Everyone that had one met an awful death, it seemed. The whole Uchiha clan to start with, then Itachi. Soon maybe, Sasuke. Kakashi's time was hopefully not any time soon. She needed him very badly right now. His answer was a simple nod, which she returned to let him know she acknowledged it.

"O-Okay.", she replied hesitantly. She was a bit afraid. It wasn't natural to her to let the sharingan be used on her, but she honestly didn't know how else she possibly could go to sleep after the nightmare and... this. "Alrighty then.", he let out, smirking under his mask. He currently wasn't wearing his headband, so he just had to let his eye slide open. "Look at me.", he ordered.

She obeyed quickly. She watched intently as the tomoe started spinning lazily, slowly increasing in speed. After several seconds, she spoke up. "How long is this going to take? I might fall asleep before you can do anything.", she scolded. He huffed. "Shut up, I might end up making you paralyzed if you distract me.", he threatened back. In truth, he was purposely taking his time to annoy her. It was only a few seconds more before her head hit the pillow and she was unconscious. He stepped out of her bed, pressing a hand to his left eye.

He stopped by the bathroom to reresh himself. He splashed some water across his face to soothe his sharingan a little. It felt under pressure right now. It was uncomfortable to say in the least, but at least his favorite student was sleeping peacefully now. He walked slowly to the kitchen to grab the half of an orange he had left there that morning. He felt up for a middle of te night snack. Leaning against the counter, he tore a slice from it, slid down his mask and pushed it in his chewed quickly, not taking the time to savor his precious fruit. These things cost a fortune, really, but he loved them too much to give them up.

Once he was done with it, he went back to bed. He wasn't sure if he was going to get any more sleep tonight. For once, it wasn't his own nightmares keeping up but his student. He chuckled out loud at how dirty that seemed. He had to admit his offer to the small girl in the other room must've sounded quite bad to her. He just wished she didn't constantly throw fits like this. He loved the peace of his home and now she was already disrupting it big time on the first day and night. What would the week be like?

He woke the next day to the sound of something sizzling in the kitchen. A quick sniff told him what he heard was eggs being fried. He got out of bed quickly, completely forgetting to put a shirt on before he opened the door. He had lived alone since the age of thirteen. That was the last time he'd had to be careful about his decency in his own home. He moved to the kitchen sluggishly, his muscles screaming at the lack of sleep.

"Morning.", he ground out as he dropped his poor body in a chair facing her.

"Morning. I cook-, oh Kakashi-sensei. Maybe you should dress a little more?", she asked, a bright blush spreading across her cute cheeks. It was funny to see her so flustered just because he wasn't wearing a shirt. What did it matter to her? She saw naked people on a daily basis.

"No, I'm fine like this, thank are you cooking?", he replied evenly. His dogs had explained to him that a pack leader never listened to its pack and only himself. The change in subject was just so that she wouldn't question what little authority he still held over her and Naruto. He could tell it made her midly uncomfortable, but she'd just have to deal with it. At least he wasn't prancing around with mini-Kakashi hanging out.

"Um, eggs and toast. Nothing much.", she answered, taking out plates from the cupboard and setting the food in it. She handed Kakashi his own along with a fork.

"Mm, my favorite.", he commented, crinkling his eye happily. It wasn't really, but he figured that if he complimented her enough on her cooking, she would do most of it for both of them. Maybe even clean the dishes. She smile brightly at him, losing no time to start on her breakfast. Seems like she was quite hungry today.

"You know, since I had the generosity to offer you my home as shelter, shouldn't we talk about how you're going to pay me back?", he asked, mischief thick in his voice but his eye stayed as impassive as ever.

"What? You can't do that!", she growled back, planting her fork in the table. He stared at it for a second. His poor table.

"Of course I can, I had no obligation to do this.", he replied apathetically.

"Fine, what do you have in mind?", she spit back, crossing her arms over her chest. He was surprised that she let it go so easily, but he assumed that she actually felt a little guilty about taking up his personal space.

"Oh, nothing much. Maybe you could play house maid for me?", he let out, his eye now holding a playful sparkle.

"I guess I can do that. Want me to wear a little costume as well?", she replied, her voice all too sweet at the end.

"Hmm, I would contemplate it, but my little angel tells me I wouldn't go to paradise if I was to force my student to go around the house in a skimpy costume while I admire her.", he shot back, smirk visible through his mask.

"I thought I was your little angel.", she replied, a pout on her lips.

He chuckled. "No, you're the devil.", he threw back, bracing himself for whatever attack she would launch at him.

"You're a jerk! I'm always helping you out and healing you whenever you need it!", she nearly shouted back at him, but she stayed in place, looking away from him. Hm, maybe she had taken this too seriously.

"I don't see what you're complaining about. The angel is the quiet and boring one. The devil is the hot, exciting thing you can't help but listen to.", he offered, lifting an eyebrow while he waited for her answer.

"Are you saying you feel prone to bend to my every will?", she asked carefully, a wide smirk on her face. Ah, how easy it was to make her change her mood. Both a good and bad thing, in the end.

"Not, not at all. I was blessed at birth and I'm wise enough to make my own decisions.", he let out before grabbing his plate, turning around and swallowing it all in one go.

He could tell Sakura was burning holes in the back of his head with her glare, but at least she was in a somewhat neutral mood. With a good breakfast in his stomach, he could now get started with his day

Chapter Three: Click Here

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