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A Guilty Conscience
Onyx and Ivory
"Kakashi…take care of…Rin."
"Kakashi, you have to kill me!"
Hoshiko's eyes opened slowly as she flinched away from the harsh lighting coming from the window to the right of her hospital bed. Her whole body felt like it was on fire, her limbs felt like lead and every time she breathed it caused her pain in her chest. Her mind kept on replaying the strange dream that she kept having; it was like it was on a loop. She recognized Kakashi in her dream, although he was a child and was with two people whom she had never seen or heard of before, she could feel the immense sadness within her just thinking about the deaths she had witnessed in her dream.
Hoshiko tried to figure out why she was in the hospital, the last thing she remembered was taking her ANBU exam, her and her team had just taken out the enemies in the house and prepared to fight their way out when it all just died off and faded into blackness.
Hoshiko managed to lift up her arm and rub her eyes, her arm felt heavy as something caught her gaze on the bedside table to her right. A small vase was filled with a handful of wildflowers, a small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as Hoshiko braced her hands on the mattress and tried to push herself into a sitting position.
"I wouldn't move if I were you, your body is sure to be sore."
A voice spoke from the doorway. Hoshiko turned her head, her long dark hair falling over her shoulder as she saw Itachi closing the door behind him and walking to her bed. Hoshiko grunted and dropped back down onto the bed as she studied Itachi; he was dressed in his usual black high collared shirt and crème trousers, his dark hair was as sleek as ever, pulled back into the low ponytail.
"I feel like I was dragged through a field of thorns," Hoshiko groaned as she heard Itachi chuckle deep in his throat. Hoshiko met his dark gaze as Itachi looked away and walked over to the cupboard and took out a large pillow and shuffled back to her bed.
"Here," he said quietly as he reached out for her as he moved his arm behind her shoulders and lifted her up gently. Hoshiko bit her tongue from the pain of her stomach being bent as Itachi placed the pillow behind her and let her fall gently onto the raised pillow.
"Thank you," Hoshiko replied as she smiled up at him, she felt better and more awake now that she was sitting up straight. As Hoshiko met his dark gaze once more, she found herself feeling hurt that Itachi averted his eyes from her the second they had made contact; it was like he couldn't look at her. Hoshiko then studied his face and posture, his shoulders were tense and his fists were clenched by his side. She could see the muscles in his jaw tightening at the same time, she had known Itachi long enough to realize that something was bothering him, or something was making him uneasy; and Hoshiko had a sneaking suspicion that it was about her.
"I may not be a genius," she said as Itachi tensed up even more, "but I can tell that you're avoiding something."
"It's nothing," Itachi replied. Hoshiko rolled her eyes at him.
"Then why wont you look at me?"
There was a few seconds where Itachi did nothing, but then—slowly he turned his face and met her eyes. She was scrutinizing him with her piercing gaze.
"Better?" He muttered to her. Hoshiko could see some of the tension leave his body but he was still hiding something from her.
"No," she said flatly, turning her face away from his as Itachi sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"I don't know what you want from me," Itachi sighed in exasperation as the flowers on Hoshiko bedside table caught her attention once more.
"Who brought me them?" She asked, completely changing the subject and infuriating Itachi, she always seemed to do that. "I'm sure you didn't take time out of your busy schedule to pick them for me," she muttered with a smirk.
"No, I didn't. Sasuke did."
"What?" Hoshiko exclaimed, turned to face him, shock evident on her face. "Your brother hates me," she stated.
"On the contrary," Itachi replied, holding her gaze, "he was very distraught when he heard you had been brought here."
Hoshiko snorted and laughed, then winced when a pain shot through her body at the movements. When she had settled she brought her hands together and folded them in her lap, her mood had dropped.
"Itachi…what happened? Why am I here?" She finally asked the question that Itachi had been dreading to answer. He looked out the window; it was almost midday in Konoha, two days after they had returned from the border. Kakashi was still unconscious, for some reason his chakra coils were taking longer to restore, it must've been because of Hoshiko's Kekkei Genkai. Itachi didn't know how to tell Hoshiko that she was here because she almost killed Kakashi; but he was also grateful, as it seemed that Hoshiko had no recollection of what had happened.
"You don't remember?" Itachi asked her as Hoshiko glared at him.
"If I did, I wouldn't be asking, baka."
Itachi was relieved that her sarcasm hadn't been affected, or was he disappointed that it wasn't the case?
"You were injured during your exam, you and I were fighting and you failed to dodge a kunai that I had thrown; you hit your head and blacked out. We brought you back here to be healed," Itachi explained to her monotonously as Hoshiko eyed him up. She crossed her arms over her stomach and pouted.
"Just kill me now then."
Itachi frowned at her, "What?"
Hoshiko sighed, "I'm a poor excuse of a Kunoichi if I can't even dodge a simple kunai. Just end my life here and save me the humiliation!" She exclaimed loudly, hitting her head back against the metal railing. Itachi sighed in relief; it was a time like this that he was glad Hoshiko was easily manipulated.
"Kakashi is never going to let me live this down, neither is Shisui! Even Sasuke! I'm going to be the laughing stock of the village!" Hoshiko groaned as she rubbed her hands down her face. Itachi had to resist the urge to laugh at her apparent suffering, even if she was bedridden, Hoshiko's temper could rival that of Tsunade.
"Itachi, I'm begging you, take that vase and just smash it over my head, save me the trouble of facing everyone out there ever again!" Hoshiko continued to prattle on as the Uchiha heir shook his head and sighed.
"I'm a failure! I don't even deserve to be in ANBU, I'm going to have to live out the remainder of my days in solitude and beg for work!"
Hoshiko was always the one for dramatics.
The door opened loudly as Shisui came bounding in.
Hoshiko groaned and slapped a hand to her forehead, "Just add to my misery!"
Shisui laughed and walked up to her bed with a large grin on his face.
"Don't say that, I heard your exam was a knockout," Shisui said with a wink as Hoshiko stared at him with a blank face.
Itachi sighed and shut his eyes in annoyance, how he wanted to throttle his cousin right now; every time that he tried to be funny, it always backfired on him. When he opened his eyes again, he watched as Hoshiko smoothly reached over to the vase of flowers with one hand; he realized what she was going to do in a second.
"Hoshiko!" He exclaimed, reaching for her arm just as she intended to bring the vase down over her head.
"No! Let me do it!" She said through gritted teeth as her and Itachi fought over the vase. Even in her weakened state, she was still strong. Shisui hurried over to the other side of the bed and pulled on her arms.
"Hoshiko! Let go!"
"No!" She screeched back to Shisui.
"What is going on in here?" A nurse said as she appeared in the doorway as the three teens froze. Itachi and Shisui were on either side of Hoshiko, gripping onto her arms and trying to pull the vase out of her grip, Hoshiko was stuck in the middle with sweat dripping down the side of her forehead as Shisui tugged on the vase and it came sliding out of Hoshiko's grip easily.
"You again!" The nurse hissed with an angry glare at Shisui. The teen grimaced and shoved the vase into Itachi's hands.
"I didn't do anything," Shisui tried to reason as the nurse stormed over to the eldest Uchiha.
"I warned you to not come back in here, you caused a ruckus and Ginyoru-san needs her rest!" The nurse scolded as she reached for Shisui's ear and pinched it harshly. Shisui yelped in pain as she began dragging him out of the room.
"I was just trying to help!" Shisui argued but the nurse didn't pay him any mind. She threw him out of the room and shut the door, turning to face the remaining occupants in the room.
"And you, Uchiha-san," the nurse rounded on Itachi as the Uchiha heir swallowed loudly. "You should know better then to let Ginyoru-san exert herself, now run along, she needs her rest; you can come back later," she ordered briskly as Itachi set the vase down on the other beside table and walked quickly out of the room. After seeing what the nurse had just done to Shisui, he didn't want to be on the receiving end of that.
The nurse walked over to Hoshiko as she smiled gently and patted her on the head, "There, I'm sure having those two around they can be quite the handful. They've always been close since they were young," the nurse said as she began taking Hoshiko's observations. Hoshiko frowned as she tried to piece together what she was saying.
"You know them?"
"Of course, I'm an Uchiha," she stated as she took Hoshiko's temperature. Hoshiko frowned, there had been something she had wanted to ask Itachi, but she had been so caught up in the moment that she had forgotten to ask him. It had been about her dream with Kakashi and the two other people. When she thought back on it, there was no way that any of that had happened, but yet she had dreamt it so vividly and it had felt so real to her.
"Is something wrong?" The nurse asked, concerned. Hoshiko met her kind, dark eyed gaze. This woman was an Uchiha, she might possibly know. She would probably think she was crazy.
"I was wondering…" Hoshiko started hesitantly, she wanted to shrug it off, it was only a silly dream…but she couldn't shake the feeling that it could've been something more. "Is there an Uchiha…Obito?"
The nurse froze, and Hoshiko felt the breath catch in her throat as the Uchiha woman stared at her.
"There was," she said sadly. "He was killed during the Third Shinobi War almost ten years ago. He was a very happy boy, always had a smile on his face."
Hoshiko stared at her wide-eyed. She was terrified, what were the chances that she had a dream about a boy that was killed ten years ago? She had never heard the name from anyone before and yet she knew about him, she could picture what he looked like in her mind as clear as day.
What the hell is going on? She thought.
"How did he die, do you know?" Hoshiko asked. In her dream, Obito had been crushed by a boulder while trying to rescue a young girl called Rin, the same girl that Hoshiko had watched be killed by Kakashi. In her dream, Obito had sacrificed himself to save his friends, giving Kakashi his Sharingan…but this was all a dream…
"I'm not sure, but I know that he was on a team with Hatake Kakashi; they were friends if I remember correctly, you can ask him when he wakes up."
"When he wakes up?" Hoshiko asked, furrowing her brows at the nurse. The nurse had been fetching a clean sheet from the store cupboard as she nodded her head to Hoshiko and walked back to her.
"Yes, poor thing was admitted the same day you were, had a nasty accident."
"He's here?" Hoshiko asked. The nurse nodded her head.
"He's just down the hall. He's lucky to be alive, when he came in his chakra levels were dangerously low. That can happen with excessive use of his Sharingan…oh," she said suddenly in revelation, "that reminds me, Kakashi-san's Sharingan came from Uchiha Obito."
Hoshiko felt her insides churn at the news, her mouth became dry and her fingers dug into the sheet underneath her hand.
There was no way that this was a coincidence, how could Hoshiko know this? She had dreamed of this Obito, come to think of it, in her dream she had been Kakashi, she had seen everything from his point of view; but why? How?
Hoshiko felt a hand on her shoulder as she followed the limb with her eyes until she reached the nurses kind gaze.
"I'm sure Kakashi-san will be fine, he'll wake up soon…after all—you did."
Hoshiko brushed her hand away from her shoulder and threw the cover off her legs.
"I need to go and see him," Hoshiko said as she tried to push herself off the bed.
"Ginyoru-san!" The nurse exclaimed, running around the bed and pushing on her shoulders gently. "You are far too weak to be walking around!"
Hoshiko forced her hands away and stood from her bed, pain shot through her whole body as she groaned and took a step, when her foot hit the cold ground her leg buckled and she fell to the ground.
"Ginyoru-san!" The nurse exclaimed as she tried to help her back up. Due to Hoshiko's ever-large pride, she refused the help and shrugged her off.
"I can do it," she grumbled venomously as Hoshiko tried to pull herself up off the ground, although her attempts were futile. Hoshiko tried to block out all the pain that she was feeling, her stomach was on fire and her whole body was shaking.
She reluctantly accepted the nurse's help as the older woman gripped her under her arms and pulled her onto the bed, Hoshiko let out a sigh of relief when her body relaxed onto the pillows.
"You need at least one more days rest, your body has been strained far too much."
"Strained? But I thought I hit my head and blacked out," Hoshiko asked in confusion. The nurse jotted something down on her chart at the end of her bed.
"You blacked out from your chakra coils becoming too full, it causes a great strain on the body when it has more chakra than it needs. It's why you're feeling so sore all over, your body is releasing the excess chakra slowly out of your skin and until it's all gone you wont be able to move much."
Hoshiko continued to stare at the nurse, what was she saying? Itachi had told her that she had been stabbed by a kunai and hit her head, that's why she was in the hospital; but this nurse was telling her a different story…she didn't know what was going on.
"I'll be back in a few hours to check on you, I have your word you'll stay in bed?" The nurse asked with a pointed look, Hoshiko was still dazed and confused about all the information that she had gotten, she hadn't even registered what she had said, she only inclined her head slightly, nodding to please the nurse. With a kind smile the nurse slid open the door and shut it behind her, leaving Hoshiko alone in the room.
Hoshiko stared out the window, seeing the large oak tree's branches swaying in the wind outside. She imagined being outside, feeling the wind on her face and the warm sun caressing her tanned skin; instead she tried to piece together the puzzle. Why had Itachi lied to her? He hadn't even mentioned anything to her about Kakashi being in the hospital, he had obviously gotten injured while on her exam, the nurse had said that he had been brought in with low chakra levels, while he had said that she had knocked herself out, but the nurse said that she had burnt out her chakra coils with excessive chakra consumption. Hoshiko had a feeling that the two of them were linked somehow.
She looked down at her clenched fist on top of the white sheet, she squeezed it, feeling the tense muscles as she released it and sighed. Her and Kakashi being in the hospital wasn't the only strange thing to happen, she had dreamt about this boy that had died ten years ago. She knew his name, knew how he died and had seen him give Kakashi his Sharingan. The things that she couldn't possibly know, she did; and it scared her.
Hoshiko knew that she had to find Kakashi; she had to see for herself if he was truly injured. She knew that she promised the nurse that she would stay in bed but when had she ever listened to anyone's advice?
She kicked off the blanket and swung her legs around, planting them on the floor as she inhaled and stood shakily. Her legs shook, but held her weight. She took a step, her hand holding onto the bed as pins shot up through her whole body. Hoshiko grimaced in pain as she took another step, and then another. She walked around to the vase of flowers and grasped it in her hand, holding it tightly to her chest as she slowly walked to the door.
She pressed her ear to the door, listening for sounds of anyone walking by, she would've used her chakra senses, but she didn't want to risk damaging herself anymore then she already was. Hoshiko slid the door open soundlessly and peeked her head out, she looked up and down the corridor, seeing it empty as she stepped out and shut the door behind her. Hoshiko stuck to the wall, using one hand to brace herself against it as she slowly walked. She could feel the perspiration accumulating on her face from her exertion as she continued to take deep breaths.
Hoshiko paused outside of rooms and peered in, trying to find Kakashi's room, she hoped that he was somewhere on this level, she didn't even want to try and climb the stairs, she'd much rather go back to her room and have Shisui tease her all over again. At the last room she prayed with all her might that she had the right room, she slid open the door and let her eyes adjust to the dark room. The curtains had been drawn over the window so only small amounts of light filtered in, but to Hoshiko's delight she spotted spikey silver hair and a half covered face under white sheets. Hoshiko checked over her shoulder one last time, to make sure that no one was near the room as she stepped in and shut the door behind her. The room was bathed in darkness as she slowly shuffled up to the bed. She felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of Kakashi.
He looked terrible, his face was pale, large purple bruises were under his eyes and his cheeks looked very hollow, it was like all the energy had been sucked out of him. Hoshiko set down the small vase of flowers on his bedside table and then walked to the foot of his bed and picked up his medical chart. She had to know the real reason why Kakashi was in the hospital. She glanced over it quickly, not understand many of the medical terms, as she skimmed down to the bottom, which read his condition.
Her eyes widened in fear as she dropped the clipboard on the floor as it clattered loudly to the ground, she jumped from the sound, stumbling back into the wall as she held her chest. There was a sharp ache in her chest as she could feel hot tears in the corner of her silver eyes; she shook her head, trying to rid herself of these feelings.
I'm responsible for this! She screamed to herself as she took one more look at Kakashi. She fought back the painful tears as she turned and ran for the door; her whole body protested, her limbs felt like they were about to drop off but she ran anyway; she would much rather feel this pain then the pain of being the one to cause Kakashi's injuries.
She wrenched the door open, it smacked loudly as she tumbled out of the room. Hoshiko held her throat…air; she needed air! She needed to get out of the hospital; she couldn't be here any longer!
Itachi entered the hospital a few hours later after being kicked out with Shisui, Hoshiko's mother, Hiroka was by his side as she hurried over to the stairs. When Itachi had been shunned from the hospital he had gone to Hiroka's work and told her that Hoshiko was now awake. The mother had been delighted and told the Uchiha heir that her shift was over in a few hours so she would go and visit her then. She would've gone straight away but she had spent the past two days by Hoshiko's bedside and had missed enough work, she had bills to pay and they wouldn't pay for themselves.
Itachi had been courteous enough to offer to pay for any bills that she had missed from having two days off work by the woman was stubborn and had outright refused his help. Itachi wasn't offended by her refusal, he just wanted to see Hoshiko's mother happy, she had been a complete mess when she had been brought back unconscious. Hiroka had been screaming and crying, thinking that her daughter was somehow going to end up like her dead father; it had taken some time but Itachi had managed to calm her down enough to talk some sense into her and reveal what had really happened.
Hiroka was devastated that Hoshiko had unlocked her Kekkei Genkai, she knew the risks and what her daughter was capable of now. She feared more so that the villagers would go back to shunning them once news spread that her Kekkei Genkai was activated. Itachi explained to her that he intended to keep the truth from her for as long as possible and break it to her slowly; if Hoshiko found out that she had almost killed Kakashi…needless to say that Hiroka agreed with him.
Itachi followed the mother up the stairs and onto the second floor of the hospital; the smell of disinfectant was strong up here as they passed a few nurses and doctors on their way up.
They reached the top of the stairs as Itachi held open the door for Hiroka as she thanked him and walked through. The two of them were passing the nurse station when a familiar female nurse came sprinting towards them, panic on her face.
"Doctor!" She called out as Itachi stalled and lingered behind as Hiroka continued walking towards Hoshiko's room. Itachi watched as the nurse reached a doctor and pointed down the corridor. "The patient from room two-oh-two is missing!"
"What?" The doctor exclaimed. Itachi frowned. That room number seemed familiar to him.
"Ah!" A scream came for Hiroka as Itachi's eyes blazed red as he sprinted to her side. Hiroka was shaking as she stared into the empty room. Itachi scanned the room, the bed sheet had been drawn back and the window was wide open, the white curtains flowing in the cool breeze that wafted into the room.
"Where is she?" Hiroka yelled loudly, turning to Itachi as the young Uchiha looked around the room, nothing seemed out of the ordinary…except something was missing; aside from Hoshiko. His keen eyes narrowed at the empty bedside table where Itachi was positive he had placed the vase that Hoshiko had tried to commit self-harm with. His eyes widened in realization as he spun on his heel and bolted out of the room.
He paid no heed to Hiroka as he ran down the long corridor; coming to the end room he knew was Kakashi's room. Before he had even reached the room he could see the open door and he knew instantly that Hoshiko had found him. He burst in, half expecting to see her standing there waiting for him with her signature smirk, saying something along the lines of, 'bet I had you worried, didn't I?'
The room was empty except for Kakashi, who was still unconscious. Itachi's crimson eyes spotted the clipboard on the floor as he marched over to it and picked it up. His eyes scanned the room as they settled on the vase of flowers that he recognized as the ones from her room as he sighed and placed the clipboard on the bed. Itachi's eyes faded to his normal darkness as he heard Hiroka come running into the room.
"Is she here?" Hiroka asked desperately. The woman's eyes were immediately drawn to Kakashi. Itachi could feel the guilt coming off Hiroka as he brushed passed her.
"I'll find her."
"You don't think she's left the village, do you?" Hiroka asked him as Itachi stalled at the door.
"…No," he muttered hesitantly, truth be told, he had no idea what Hoshiko was going to do now that she obviously knew she was to blame for Kakashi's condition. "Don't worry, she couldn't have gone far," Itachi said with a firm nod as Hiroka sighed worriedly. When Itachi knew that she wasn't going to ask him any more questions he briskly walked to the hospitals exit.
The first place that Itachi checked was Hoshiko's home, he arrived in record time as he stared up at the window that was open a tiny bit that led into Hoshiko's room. He leapt up onto the side of the building and opened up the window so that the space was large enough for him to fit in as he climbed through and brushed down his clothes once he was in. He felt like he was breaking and entering, technically he was but he chose to ignore the little voice in his head, as he glanced around the room.
Hoshiko had been here, her draws were open and the hospital clothes were strewn across her floor, Itachi sighed, it'd be harder to find her now seeing as she wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd in the stark white garments. Itachi did a quick check of any chakra signatures in the house, he didn't think Hoshiko would have enough energy to actually to mask her chakra completely like she normally could, so hopefully it will be easier to find her; even if she did have a couple hours head start on him.
The next place he tried was the training ground where they frequented, it was a long shot at best, if Hoshiko didn't want to be found then there was a slim chance that she would be here; but Itachi had to look anyway.
"Hoshiko!" He called out into the wind. There was silence all around him except for the chirping of crickets and the rustling of leaves. He activated his Sharingan, searching the nearby area, looking for any signs of chakra nearby, but it was futile. Hoshiko wasn't here.
Itachi left the training ground and went to the Uchiha complex next, again this was a long shot and he doubted Hoshiko was going to be here but he had to look nonetheless. Itachi found himself standing outside the familiar house as he knocked on the door. He could sense the familiar chakra signature approaching the door as it opened and Shisui stared at his cousin, perplexed.
"Itachi, what are you doing here?" Shisui asked.
"Has Hoshiko been here?" Itachi replied. Shisui smirked and leaned against the door.
"Oh, what's the matter? Having a lovers quarrel?"
"Shisui…" Itachi warned his cousin with a glare as he older Uchiha chuckled and waved him off.
"I'm teasing, Itachi, don't be so defensive."
"Has she been here?" Itachi asked once more as Shisui sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"No, she hasn't. I thought she wasn't being released until tomorrow?" Shisui enquired. Itachi looked away, the guilt on his face.
"She snuck out. I believe she discovered the truth about what happened."
"My thought exactly," Itachi agreed. He met his cousin's gaze as Shisui rubbed his chin.
"I haven't seen her. I'd help you look but I need to help your Otou-san with preparations for the meeting tonight."
Itachi inwardly cursed, he had forgotten all about the clan meeting. He frowned in frustration.
"You will be coming tonight, wont you?" Shisui asked him. Itachi bit his tongue and glared at the ground.
"If I can find her in time."
"Itachi…" Shisui said warningly. Itachi narrowed his eyes at Shisui. "You know the elders are getting more suspicious of you lately, pretty soon they'll be having you followed," Shisui said in a hushed voice. Normally they would talk about these matters near the Naka waterfall, it was their designated meeting place but Shisui suspected that Itachi wouldn't be up for a stroll right about now.
"Let them," Itachi muttered as Shisui sighed.
"You know what they're planning, Itachi. It's all going to be happening soon and we need to be prepared."
"I understand, Shisui," Itachi replied shortly. Shisui didn't say that he was letting his friendship with Hoshiko cloud his judgment. He decided to let it go for tonight, nothing he said would get through his cousin's hard head.
"I'll cover for you tonight, but try and come. We need to try and delay it for as long as possible, I can't do it without you."
"Thank you, Shisui." Itachi said with a curt nod as he turned and leapt up into the air and across the house roofs.
The moon had risen over Konoha. Itachi had been searching for Hoshiko for nearly half a day. He had checked almost every single part of Konoha looking for the girl but he had yet to come across her or find someone who had seen her at all. He wasn't too worried, the night wasn't cold seeing as it was still the middle of summer but there was a feeling of dread in Itachi's stomach that maybe Hoshiko had left the village. If that was the case though, surely the barrier surrounding Konoha would've been breached and he would've been notified, so Hoshiko was definitely inside Konoha that much was clear; he just couldn't figure out where she would be.
He had looked at all the training grounds, the market district, the hot springs, the bridge where they frequently met at and even the academy, Hoshiko's most hated place in the whole village; which was why Itachi checked there.
He could feel his anger rising, it didn't happen very often, he was normally able to keep a cool head with certain things, but Hoshiko had a way of getting under his skin and this was one of those times.
It wasn't like he had to search for her, he was doing it out of obligation for her mother, she was probably worried sick about her daughter, she had just acquired her Kekkei Genkai and found out that she had injured one of her friends; she was worried that Hoshiko might go on a rampage with her new power, it wouldn't be the first time that a Mizukiri user had gone mad with excessive chakra absorption. He definitely wasn't looking for her because he wanted to, he was also doing it because she was technically his responsibility; he was her senpai, he had been for almost three years now and the fact that he was inadvertently the one who had caused this. If he hadn't thrown the kunai at her she wouldn't have needed to dodge them and get struck by one, causing her to unleash her new power; in a way Itachi felt responsible for everything that had happened over the past couple of days and he felt the need to fix it.
And then there was that little annoying voice in his head, whispering to him that there was a small part of him that was actually looking for her because he cared about her. Hoshiko was one of the few people who understood his stoic ways, and he was one of only a handful of people who could tolerate her condescending mannerisms and sarcastic behavior. You could count the total of people on one hand…
Hoshiko understood what it was like to bear the brunt of the villagers hatred, he had felt it first hand also when the village blamed the Uchiha for the Kyuubi attack which killed the Yondaime Hokage. Although the hate had died down, there were still people who believed this and the village officials still believed this, causing a rift between the Uchiha and the Village Elders.
So as much as Itachi hated to admit it, there was a small part of him that was searching for Hoshiko because he wanted to.
Itachi appeared atop the Yondaime Hokage stone face, he stood on one of the hair spikes as his crimson eyes scanned over the village. He had literally checked everywhere for the girl, and still there was no sign of her.
Something drew his attention to the right, from where he stood he could see the large Uchiha complex and beyond that was the winding Naka river that flowed through the village and down a large waterfall. Itachi narrowed his eyes as he studied the area, from here he couldn't make out the waterfall exactly as it was only by going through dense bush land that you came to it but Itachi realized that it was the one place that he hadn't searched for her.
There wasn't a strong chance that she would be there, Itachi had never even spoken of the place to her before; it was the secret meeting place of Shisui and himself; but something compelled him to go towards there. There wasn't really anywhere else for him to check, and if by chance that she was there, then his search was complete and he could drag her back to the hospital by the ends of her hair.
Itachi neared the exit of the trees that would take him to the Naka waterfall; they had begun to thin out as he finally sensed her chakra signature. He let out a sigh of relief that he had finally found her; her signature was stronger then it was from earlier in the day, telling Itachi that she was fine and hadn't hurt herself from leaving the hospital. The other annoying thing was the fact that she had been in fact masking her own chakra, it was only then that she had popped up in his Sharingan gaze; he was amazed at the fact that even in her wounded state she was still able to complete erase her chakra signature from him.
Itachi emerged from the trees, spotting her immediately; she was sitting at the edge of the cliff, her back to him. Her hair was loose, reaching to the middle of her back as it swayed softly in the gentle wind blowing. She was wearing her sleeveless black shirt and long black trousers. The moon had just risen above the waterfall, making the grass around him shimmer in the night as he slowly walked to her. He knew that she knew he was there, she hadn't unmasked herself for no apparent reason, she had wanted him to find her now. Itachi knew that if Hoshiko didn't want to be found, she wouldn't; which meant that there was a reason why he was here, and Itachi was dreading it.
He knew that he would have to answer any questions that she asked him, she deserved that at least; but before he succumbed to her, he wanted to at least scold her for making his search all over the damn village for her when she was sitting out in the open waiting for him.
"Do you have any idea how long I have been looking for you?" Itachi asked her with the annoyance in his tone. Hoshiko didn't turn her head to face him.
"I know, I could sense you running all over the village, it was quite comical," she said with a flat tone.
"Your Okaa-san is worried about you."
"I guessed as much," replied Hoshiko. Itachi bristled at her apparent lack of sympathy but stepped up so that he was standing by her side. He didn't looked down at her, he stared at the waterfall, watching the galleons of water falling down and being carried away by the current. Sometimes he wished that the current would carry him far away from all his duties in Konoha, but then he banished the thought, if he left, who would pick up the pieces?
"Itachi," Hoshiko said his name as the Uchiha looked down at her, he was surprised to see her staring at him already. The way the moonlight hit her face; Itachi could see the still wet tear tracks that marked her cheeks. "I was the one who almost killed Kakashi, wasn't I?"
Itachi inhaled as he prepared to answer her.
I hope you enjoyed! I just love writing a character that is so sarcastic and the comical scene's between Shisui, Itachi and Hoshiko! Let me know what you all thought about the chapter as a whole, I'd love to know!
Sarette - Thank you! I'm glad you're liking their relationship, I find it so cute between them as they obviously have no idea what they mean to each other yet, they're still in that oblivious phase ahaha