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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.

August 25th year 1

The new mother sat comfortably in an old and used couch, rocking a small, black-haired baby boy back and forth on her knee. Bright smile on her lips, eyes full of life, and her demeanor playful. One of her hands cradled the baby's neck carefully, protectively, while the other spend its time tickling his stomach or hiding his mother's face from his view. She growled as she picked up the baby, lifting him up as high as her arms would allow. The small boy burst in a fit of giggles, stretching his tiny limbs in all directions as he explored the air around him, his eyes studying the room that seemed immense to him.

"Kakashi, I've waned to ask you about something for a while." Her voice resonated in her partner's ears as he leaned on the couch, watching the two with interest. He had never been around babies. The closest he had been was when he'd been given his first genin team to teach. And one of them was the mother handling the child, of which he had killed the father. It would haunt him forever, but he strongly believed it was for the best this way. He hummed his acknowledgment while one of his hands went to the child who was now at his eye level. One of his finger carefully poked the baby's stomach.

"When you used Chidori to kill Sasuke, was it meant for me or Kosuke?" He was always amazed at how she could ask questions about such sensitive subjects with confidence dripping out of her and doubt seemingly inexistant in her mind.

"I mean, I can't believe you would have wanted to kill me, but maybe..." Her eyes trailed to the baby that she brought against her chest, her fingers brushing through his hair gently.

"Don't you remember what you said, just before?" He replied with the same confidence, his own hand moving down to pet the child's head. His hair was so soft.

"Huh? What did I say?" The moment had really been so fast and blurry to her that she couldn't even remember saying anything. All she remembered was the light and sound of chidori as it came towards her and Sasuke. It had been terrifying to say the least.

"You said that he wasn't going to kill you." He said that as if it was supposed to answer her every questions, but it just made more arise. Confusion was clearly shown on her pretty features when he looked down from above her head to see her.

"Sakura, I trust you. You've become a formidable ninja. When you said that, I trusted you completely and..." He left her to complete his sentence, he knew she had was perfectly aware of where he was headed with this.

"Look underneath the underneath." He nodded at her answer.

"I knew he wouldn't let his child die. And the face he had when you said that, it confirmed it. You were his weak point, after all." He continued, teasing her a little at the end. In truth, he felt a pang of guilt every time he thought about this strategy. He had been purely selfish. It was the easy way to get Sakura back and receive the least injuries. Her life was in no way threatened. Getting her back and making her happy had been his only motives.

She offered him no response, as if sensing what he was thinking about. She was well aware that Sasuke's death hadn't been necessary at that moment. Kosuke was slowly falling asleep against her chest, his breathing now short snores. The male hand caressing his hair had moved up to cup her soft cheek. He loved how she leaned into his touch, her eyes closing and the way she breathed out a content sigh.

"You did right, Kakashi." His body tensed when she finally spoke, breaking the silence he had found so comfortable.

"It was selfish." He replied honestly. There was nothing else to say.

"You did what you had to." How could she be so peaceful with this? Didn't she see him for the twisted, selfish man he really was? He chuckled and pressed his cheek to the top of her head, relaxing there for a moment

"I did what I had to do to get you back. It was selfish." He repeated himself. The hand that wasn't cradling the baby moved up to ghost her fingers against his exposed cheekbone.

"No. He knew it would happen. He let it happen." He frowned at this. Sasuke couldn't possibly have known about it and let it happen so easily.

"He told me about how you threatened to kill him if he laid a finger on me again, before Root busted us in Kumo. He knew that sooner or later you'd come for him and that he couldn't possibly keep himself, his child and me alive and with him. I... I guess he preferred to die than see Kosuke be taken from him." Her last sentence was spoken with feelings the older man recognized all too well. Regret, guilt and a little of self-hatred.

"I was just as selfish as you were. I didn't want to honor the deal I made with him." Her voice was a little shaky, barely, but it was there. She was thinking about how Kosuke was conceived, he assumed. The thought of asking her for a few more details about it had crossed his mind, but he wasn't sure if he could handle whatever she would tell him. Had he been gentle? Or had he hurt her?

"H-How did... Was it painful?" He hated the words as soon as they rolled off his masked lips, but he couldn't stop them. It might have been to relieve his guilt of killing his own student. If he could believe Sasuke had thoroughly forced himself on his beloved, then maybe his murder could be considered right. Guilt cut through him as he felt the pink-haired mother tense and hold her breath as she try to repel the waterfall of memories that assaulted her.

She felt no desire to share this. No one had been aware of their deal, of why she was the mother of Sasuke's child. Everyone had assumed that in a moment of weakness, she gave herself to her first love. In no way did she regret having this child, as he constantly reminded her that his father had once been a nice, innocent child. A child who once had a chance at happiness. It drove her to offer Kosuke the best she could give him, to give him the chance his father never had. But remembering those few minutes in the closet with him terrified her. He had broken her. He had torn apart everything that she had been, everything that she had fought to become for years, in the blink of an eye.

"It wasn't painful." She breathed out carefully, unsure of how much she was willing to tell him. How much he was prepared to hear. The lack of effort to stop her on his side pushed her to continue.

"It wasn't, not physically, but..." Tears welled up in her eyes as long-forgotten fear and pain bubbled to the surface.

"I don't know what happened. It didn't last long. He... He made me..." She bit the inside of her cheek, the hand that had been resting on him coming down to grip the cushion on the couch. Kakashi didn't move away, even though he could pratically feel rage radiating from her.

"I don't even know how to explain it, Kakashi. I tried to convince him I could just do it without his help, I mean, I'm a medic. I would know what to do if he just gave me a sample. He refused. He said I should have specified that when made the deal." The words flowed from her like a river, bursting through the barrage she had built to protect herself from these horrible memories. The current was too strong to stop now.

"I don't know why he did it. Like that, I mean. He wanted me to surrender to him. And I did. I couldn't take it. It was horrible. He forced me to accept him. I wasn't able to stay strong and just grirt my teeth through it. So instead... I broke. I gave into him." He listened to her every word, even though all he wanted was to clamp a hand over those pretty lips and never hear any of it again. But he couldn't stop her, he couldn't let her deal with this alone just to save himself.

"I'm so sorry, Kakashi. For everything I did after. I-I never loved him. I didn't leave you for him, I don't know... I-I just couldn't bear to face what was going, what he did to me. It was like I was someone else. It was the only way I found to be able to cope." His heart clenched painfully in his chest, feeling deep sorrow for what she had been through. For what he had been unable to protect her from.

"Don't you go worrying about me. You're the one who had to endure this... Him r-ra..." His voice was low, shaky. Desperate. Unable to name what she had endured. He could never say that word out loud if it concerned his delicate cherry blossom. Sakura's beautiful jade eyes focused on the black screen of the tv in front of her. She ached for him, for the pain he felt, but her heart also swelled with gratitude at his concern for her.

"I-It's okay, Kakashi. I was raped, by me ex-teammate. But it's over, now. I have you. I would never take back what happened... Because now I have Kosuke. I would go through all of it again if I had to, as long as I have both of you." His heart felt lighter when he heard her voice once more. It wasn't weak or hesitant. It was back to being full of confidence and, dare he say, hope for the future. Every word she said shook him to the core. They dripped with truth, raw emotion and selfish desire to have the people she loved close to her no matter what.

"Sasuke deserved what happened to him. We can't be ridden with guilt because he used to be our teammate." And those few words freed him from his incessant guilt and harassing self-loathing. She had really come to terms with Sasuke's death, with how and why he had died. He could, too.

"I love you, Sakura. You're my everything." He whispered hoarsely in her ear, his arms wrapping around her torso so tightly it was almost painful.

"I love you, Kakashi. Everything is okay." She replied in all sincerity, her free hand resting on the heavy arms that held her. Once, a long time back, her sensei had told him that one day, some time, everything would be okay. It was true.

Chapter Twenty-One: Click Here

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