Wow, daily updates? I think I'm taking a break after this one.
Sasuke: -glares- Oi! Not before I get my hands on Danzo.
-smiles- Don't I always do right by you?
Sasuke: -silence- Hn.
Sakura: -walks in- Helloooo!
Sasuke: -flashes behind her and grabs her waist- Hn. Tsuma.
Sakura: -giggles- Anata-kun!
Awwww, that's cute! Joining us this time Sakura?
Sakura: I thought I should. Naruto said he had a rough time with Anata-kun yesterday. -eyes Sasuke with a warning look-
Sasuke: -looks away- Gomen, Tsuma.
TO THE CHAP.
Sasuke stared at Kiriu, judging and watching his movements. The obviously older man took his wine glass a bit shakily and sipped rigidly. He was nervous, that much was clear. He was not a man accustomed to this. If Sasuke remembered correctly, the Kiriu Company was a bit older than his own, but about four years ago, the original CEO passed away of natural causes. The company was now run by this man, his younger brother apparently. In the last twenty years however, the company was not doing very well and for that reason, they took ownership of the prison they now owned in upstate Konoha.
Needless to say, Sasuke was not impressed.
"You are right, Mr. Uchiha. That is indeed why we build prisons. As you know my company owns one. I can corroborate your belief that people's actions should be disciplined." Kiriu said. Sasuke's indifferent face continued to take in the man.
"Then a man such as yourself must have much more insight than me with such a philosophy." Sasuke continued prepping the man. By the end of this dinner, he was going to get what he wanted and Kiriu was going to give it to him without much of a fight. If Sasuke's hunch was right, he could even say it probably wouldn't be a fight at all. Danzo would soon be in his grasp. Danzo would suffer at his hands, more than he already was and more than he was about to with the now pending attempted murder charge he was going to place on his record.
But before he did that, he wanted Danzo to himself. This was personal.
"Well, truth be told, I never thought of such a thing. It was never in my focus or on my mind, the discipling of others." Kiriu said. Sasuke drank his scotch.
"I see." He said shortly, swirling his glass.
"I didn't finish watching the news last night. Did they catch the terrible man who was shooting in your office building?" Kiriu asked, earning a look of repressed anger. It made him shrink, now beginning to think the topic was rather a touch on the nerve for the powerful man across from him.
"F-Forgive me, Mr. Uchiha. I-I was only expressing concern. Su-Such an awful thing and n-nowadays it seems to be more and more occurring." Kiriu tried to ease the tension coming from Sasuke's frown. Sasuke lifted his glass, drinking the last bit of his cup and pouring himself another yet again from the bottle left behind by the waitress.
"Thank you for the concern, Mr. Kiriu. To answer your question, yes. They apprehended the shooter." Sasuke's eyes turned soulless, with what he was about to say next.
"I had an amazingly brave employee who helped ensure that." His tone would have been menacing, but for the sake of the meeting, it was overlaid with high regard and confidence. Kiriu's eyes became astounded behind his bifocal glasses.
"That is quite astonishing sir. I don't believe I could ever have such an employee like that." He said, smiling.
"I doubt it. I don't mean to sound arrogant, Mr. Kiriu. There are plenty of dependable and hard working employees just waiting to be found." Sasuke said, keeping his hard look on the man.
"I'm just sorry to say, there is no one like that employee of mine." Sasuke said, folding his hands and placing them against his lips, in poise. Mr. Kiriu's eyes were wide, before he gave a well meaning smile.
"If what you say is true then that is just a shame." Kiriu chuckled. There was a knock at the door. Sasuke stared, drinking his scotch. In came the waitress, In a large serving tray, two plates of the ordered meals by the men. She gave Sasuke's plate first, before turning and giving Kiriu his. She bowed only to Sasuke.
"Please enjoy the meal Uchiha-sama. Call upon me, should there be anything wrong." She said, waiting to be dismissed.
"Hn." He waved a shooing hand and she left the room. Sasuke dug into his plate, cutting into the tender fish and eating it. Kiriu watched. How could someone look graceful whilst eating? Kiriu began to eat himself and they ate in a stiffening silence for just a few minutes.
"U-Uhm, so Mr. Uchiha?" Sasuke's all seeing gaze snapped to Kiriu from his food, like a wolf having just been interrupted from eating his prey. Kiriu swallowed hard, involuntarily. The man certainly was intimidating. The dim lighting of the private room didn't help either. The shadows on his young face and cold eyes gave him an eerie beauty. He almost seemed like a killer, here to hand him death whilst looking like a storybook prince—or a king.
"W-Well, you still haven't told me what this meeting was about exactly?" He asked. Sasuke finished his last bite, placing the plate to the side of him. He grabbed his drink, sipping.
"To put it bluntly, Mr. Kiriu, I want to give you money. So much money, you can put it into investments, improve the company, or even retire." Sasuke simply said, placing down the cup. Kiriu choked on his wine. Sasuke inwardly smirked. He had him snared in his grasp.
"M-Money? You want to just...give me money?" Kiriu asked, puzzled and bewildered. Sasuke leaned forward, placing a hand under his chin, feinting a promising smile on his lips.
"Indeed. I have the check in my checkbook as we speak, signed to you." He said, drinking again. Kiriu's eyes widened. He gasped, a smile growing on his face.
"I-I don't know what to say Mr. Uchiha. This...I don't understand." Kiriu was in disbelief. Sasuke had already foreseen it. He took out his checkbook and ripped out the aforementioned check.
"You don't have to say anything, Mr. Kiriu." Sasuke smirked, putting down the check next to him. The look in Kiriu's eyes was enough. He was indeed going to get what he wanted.
"I do have only one request." He furthered. Kiriu's eyebrows furrowed worriedly.
"W-What would that be?"
"The authorization of a Day Furlough of one prisoner from your prison." Kiriu's eyes widened. Sasuke stared. Yes. One day was all he needed. A few hours with Danzo in his grasp at most. Then it would be enough. At the same time, he would simultaneously ruin Danzo's life for what he had done.
"M-Mr. Uchiha, I unsure if that can be done." Sasuke's lined lips turned downward. Of course it wouldn't be that easy.
"Why is that?" He questioned.
"Well, there are requirements for Furlough. Do you know if the inmate has been in prison for at least half a year? Are they due to release in two years?" He questioned. Sasuke's eyes narrowed, glaring harshly. This pathetic man.
"To be honest, he has not been in your prison that long. Two weeks at most. I believe next week will make his third." Sasuke said, drinking his scotch to relax himself. He wasn't a very patient man. He never had been. It took a lot of training and a lot of his self control to keep his cool and calm facade. Right now, he needed his hands on Danzo and Kiriu was irking him with his lack of sway. Had it been him in Kiriu's shoes, he would have taken the deal and did what he needed to do. He was an owner of the company for goodness sake. That didn't mean just leaning back in a chair and having everything done on its own. His father had long taught him that that's how a company failed. With a lack of leadership and weakness in power held.
To gain respect, one had to be deserving of it. Kiriu was barely worth his damn time. If Sasuke didn't need him to get to Danzo, he wouldn't have bothered. No wonder this was the first time he was meeting the man in holding of that company. He was absolutely useless.
"However, the criminal in question will be doing time for embezzlement. That will receive about two years of imprisonment in your prison. Won't that be enough for you do grant him Furlough? Afterall, you do own the prison." Kiriu folded his hands in front of him, twiddling his thumbs. Sasuke did his best to hold back a snarl. Instead, he drank.
"Well, I suppose. Even so, it really isn't all that up to me. That would be up to the warden of the prison." He continued making excuses. Sasuke's eyes narrowed. Kiriu really was good for nothing.
"A warden you hired?"
"Well, y-yes but—"
"Then it is up to you, Kiriu." Sasuke pushed, his grip tightening on his glass. It would have been one thing if Kiriu had told him it wasn't a warden he hired. Then Sasuke would have had to take the extra step of having the meeting with the warden instead. As a matter of fact, if he had known Kiriu would be this profitless, he would have went straight there, but he didn't, thinking that would be fruitless. He should have went with his second option. Now he had no choice but to get Kiriu to do what he wanted.
"I...don't see how, Mr. Uchiha." Sasuke tilted his head. Was this really a businessman? A CEO of a company that was supposed to be older than his. It was almost laughable if it wasn't absolutely insulting. If Sasuke had turned out this way, he was certain his father would have been rolling in his grave. He might have even come back to life, just to shake Sasuke at the throat.
"Have you even thought about how much more better your company would be doing if you actually showed some kind of ambition at all?" Sasuke couldn't help but growl. He was getting upset. He should have been sending Itachi already to pick up Danzo. Kiriu flinched, eyes widening.
"Tch. Your company is struggling Kiriu and in this meeting with you, I see why. You have no drive or will. You sit back and make excuses. That is not what being a CEO is about." Sasuke continued, drinking to try and hold back.
"You wanted my business advice. Here's my number one tip; you are the owner. You are the one with the power. Not your employees, not your advisors, not your partners or your rivals. They all have their own concerns. Your employees are there to work. Your advisors are there to advise. Your partners are there for projects with their own interest at heart as well. Your rivals only want to see you crash and burn." Sasuke shed his knowledge on the man. Kiriu's eyes stayed wide, listening and silent as if he just realized everything Sasuke was saying.
"You are there to run things. You are there to make sure everything gets done as you want it to. If you are unable to do that, that is exactly what leads to failing your business." Sasuke drank again, closing his eyes to comfort himself from the hopelessness sitting across from him at the table. His eyes opened only when his drink was emptied.
"Which is exactly what you are doing now." Sasuke ended, bringing out his phone and texting.
"Mr. U-Uchiha…" The man stuttered. Sasuke's gaze flicked to him, glaring in repulsion. This man truly was pitiful. A knock was heard at the door. In walked the servant. Kiriu watched, impressed and awed.
"You wished for more ice, Uchiha-sama?" She questioned, in her hand a metal pitcher with a scooper in it. Sasuke lifted his glass. His ice had indeed gotten smaller. She dug the scoop into the pitcher of ice, expertly putting it into his glass without spilling any. She put it back, bowing to him.
"I see you are done eating. Shall I bring the check, Uchiha-sama?" She questioned. Sasuke grunted.
"Indeed, Irima. This was obviously a waste of my time." He scowled. Sasuke supposed now he really did have to go straight to the warden. Damn. He told Sakura he wouldn't be long.
"Yes sir. I will be back in just a moment." She excused and left. Sasuke refilled his glass, glaring with irritation as the brown liquid fell down the ice.
"I-If...I did manage to get the criminal out on Furlough for you, Mr. Uchiha…" He suddenly heard Kiriu speak. His eyes held back as much surprise at they could. He placed down the bottle and picked up his drink, looking to Kiriu with inspection. The man was still being fidgety.
"...how much are you willing to give me?" He questioned. Sasuke had to hold back a sneer, the corner of his frowned lips pulling upwards, though he fought it expertly, keeping his lips in a neutral line. He slid the faced down check forward.
"See for yourself, Mr. Kiriu." Sasuke said, looking down at his drink nonchalantly. The man picked up the check, his eyes widening and his hands began trembling. The check made out to him, for ten million.
"T-THIS M-M-MUCH!?" Sasuke couldn't help but smirk this time.
"It has your name on it, doesn't it?" Sasuke questioned. Kiriu looked from him back to the paper in his hand.
"I-I—" He stuttered. Sasuke leaned back in his chair, drinking.
"Of course, you won't get the money until you tell me the prisoner has been granted Furlough. Other than that, the money is yours. No strings attached." Sasuke closed the deal. He already knew he won. Danzo was his.
"I-I will see what I can do, Mr. Uchiha. May I get the name of the prisoner?" Sasuke's eyes stared into his, blankness and stoicism in his obsidian orbs. On the inside, he was damn near jumping for joy.
Sasuke walked out the restaurant with Itachi, having given Kiriu the phone number of the disposable phone Itachi gave him. Itachi shoved his hands into his pant's pockets, eyeing his brother.
"You don't look pissed. I assume it all went well." Itachi observed. Sasuke walked calmly and stayed looking straight ahead.
"He will contact me once Danzo is approved for Furlough." Sasuke informed. Itachi smirked.
"As expected of you, little brother." Itachi said, closing his eyes as they walked to the car. Sasuke gave a matching smirk.
"Did you expect otherwise?" Sasuke asked. Itachi chuckled.
"Not at all. In fact, I was thinking that would take a bit less time." Itachi said, raising an eyebrow. Sasuke gave an irritated glare, getting in the car.
"That Kiriu is pathetic. No wonder his company is failing. I actually should have offered him less money. He still would have taken it. If father ever had to deal with him, he would have ate him alive. He's pretty lucky it was me he met with." Sasuke remarked. Itachi snickered, turning on the car engine.
"I suppose so. Back to the hospital?"
"Yes." Sasuke answered. Itachi began to drive, side glancing to Sasuke who looked out his window.
"Sasuke…" Itachi called. Sasuke looked to him.
"About what you did earlier...making that gesture with Sakura…" The older brother reminded. Sasuke knew exactly what he was talking about and he turned his gaze back to the window.
"Did you truly mean it? She means that much to you?" Itachi questioned. Sasuke's eyes lowered.
"I wouldn't have done it if I didn't mean it." He responded. Itachi knew it too. A gentle smile of genuine happiness reached Itachi's face. They were both not people who accepted others easily. There person had to be insanely special, which Itachi could already see, Sakura was. She was definitely special and worth more than anything to Sasuke. Possibly worth even more than everything he had worked so hard for.
"So I see, little brother." He said softly.
They had gotten back to the hospital about an hour later. Sasuke and Itachi reached the room door and entered. Sakura was there, Naruto only at her side. Hinata must have had to leave for work. Upon seeing them, Sakura's eyes lighted, grinning at them.
"You're back!" She exclaimed, grabbing Naruto's attention who turned to look at them. Naruto gave them a wary look, blond eyebrows creasing together with concern. Sasuke walked over, standing beside her bed. Sakura smiled at him and while he still held nothing but hatred in his heart for Danzo, it melted away with her light. His eyes gentled at his favorite person in this world.
"How was your meeting?" She asked. Naruto stood from the chair, looking to Itachi.
"Hey, Itachi, mind if I talk to you real quick?" Naruto asked. Sasuke's eyes shifted to him from the side. Naruto looked back, giving a look himself. Sasuke turned his gaze back to Sakura with indifference for his long time friend and sat in Naruto's place. He and Itachi walked out.
"It went well Sakura." He answered. Sakura's eyebrows lifted, delicately. Sasuke looked back at her.
"How are you feeling?" He questioned. Sakura smiled.
"Well, with some food in my stomach, I feel better. The doctor just came about thirty minutes ago to check on me and said he's quite surprised. I'm healing faster than a normal person would." She informed. Sasuke raised his raven colored eyebrow.
"Really?" She nodded.
"He says a regular person would take maybe about two weeks to heal to my current state. He said it's quite remarkable. You should have seen the look on his face. Actually, for as long as I can remember, I have always thought I healed pretty fast. I guess this is proof!" While Sasuke was happy with the news, did her doctor have to be male? He was checking her abdomen too...did that mean he was seeing more than that? His neutral lips shifted downwards. He was going to request getting a female doctor for her, even if he had to pay for it.
"That's good." He said. Sakura laughed.
"You don't look pleased." She pointed out. Sasuke sighed, trying to do as Itachi said. He needed to find some level of control of his emotions. Put himself in check, for her. Therefore he decided to focus on something else.
"I am. It's just…" Upon his expression came a somber look. The only other thing he could focus on was the reason she was attacked. She was attacked because of him. Her life was almost taken because of his enemies. It had nothing to do with her.
"Sakura…" He looked away from her. Her eyes grew concerned.
"I'm sorry...Sakura." He apologised. Sakura's eyes widened, confused.
"Sakura...I know you know; you were attacked because of me. Danzo sent that man after you because of me and I…" He trailed not knowing what else to say. How do you tell someone 'Sorry, you were shot because of me.'?
"Sasuke-kun…" She called. He looked up to her with only his eyes.
"What happened was far from your fault. It wasn't your fault at all, Sasuke-kun. There's no need for you to apologize." She said softly. He stared, the guilt still racking through his body in waves. Now he had to learn she didn't even blame him? It would have been better if she did. Then he could ask of the thousand of ways to make it up to her. Instead, he had to think of it and figure it out himself. She noted his look, understanding he was still feeling guilt. She looked down at her hands on her lap.
"I knew the man who attacked me." His eyes widened, looking at her with the confession. Her eyes were a sullen expression, filled with memories and her own mysterious thoughts that he couldn't read. For the first time ever, he had no idea what she was thinking. He found himself wanting to know more about her. He wanted to know everything about her past, even if that wasn't entirely possible.
"I had a few run ins with him in my past. There was a time I called him a friend. Sasori…" She said his name. Sasuke's heart constricted and he was even more angered than before. Her sent assassin was someone she knew and he still did what he did to her? His hands clenched into fist, trying to keep from exploding. Now he had someone else to go after. He didn't care about that half assed apology he remembered as he was taken away. That punch he gave to the face was not enough, even before this. Her eyes stayed at her hands.
"I think...I'm partly to blame." She admitted. Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed.
"How can you possibly think that?" He questioned, wanting to know with urgency. Sakura kept her emerald gaze downward.
"Years ago, the last time I ever saw him again before today, he had been harrassing Shikamaru. I was looking for Shikamaru and at the time we were in Suna. He saw me and let Shikamaru go at my request but asked me to be with him." She continued. Sasuke's eyes glared, his jaw tightening with the information.
"But I couldn't stand the man he was. I couldn't stand the man he became. The life he was in, was not one I wanted." She continued, hands clutching the sheet on her lap. Sasuke stared in disbelief and bewilderment. How could she possibly think she was to blame?
"I cut off all ties with him, after a certain incident involving him and Naruto a few years prior to seeing him with Shikamaru. I distinctly remember, he looked colder from the last time I saw him. Maybe if I had stayed by his side, not as a lover or anything, but even as a friend like I called him, maybe none of this would happen. It was back then when I saw how cold he became that I made a promise to myself." She looked to him with a bright smile, closing her eyes but her face showed a pain Sasuke would never understand. A hidden pain repressed for years, overlaid her gentle smile.
"I promised to never give up on anyone ever again." He stared, eyes cringing and feeling her pain. He couldn't understand it, but there was so much of it that he felt it and it was overwhelming.
Why couldn't he have met her sooner? Why couldn't he take her pain all onto himself and make it all go away? He'd give her the world if she wanted it, so long as she became happy.
"I won't ever leave the ones I care for. I will protect everyone the best I can, even if that means putting my life on the line. I...I'm not really all that strong, but I can take it all. For Naruto's sake, for Shikamaru, Temari, Ino, Hinata...for you...I'll bear it." She ended. Sasuke stood in objection.
"No." He growled out, his knuckles turning white with how tight they clenched. She looked up at him in surprise. He glared at her. How could she be so stupid? How could she be so selfless? He felt his entire body shaking with angst. He bet his entire life that if Naruto were in here and hearing what she said, he would object just as strongly. With the way Naruto cried over her unconscious body, he would be screaming and shaking her at the shoulders, but Sasuke wasn't going to do that. He sat on the bed at her hips, grabbing her hands in his tightly. He kept his eyes down at her small hands in his. He noticed, while they were slender and petite, if he concentrated hard enough, he could just make out faint and very old scars at her knuckles. They weren't prominent or noticeable, but now that he was looking at them up close and staring into them, he could just make out the years of wear and tear. Cuts, he bet, from fighting for so long.
"No, Sakura. I won't allow that." He swore, his eyebrows knitting further together.
"I won't allow you to suffer for anyone. I won't allow you to suffer for Naruto, Shikamaru, Temari, Ino, Hinata or even me. I won't allow it." He gruffed out and Sakura stared at him wide eyed. His long bangs were shielding his eyes but she could feel nothing but promise from him. She felt nothing but anger, not with her but something else she wasn't too sure of. His hands gripped hers a bit tighter, not to hurt her but in assurance. His teeth were clenched and finally she was met with a fire in his obsidian eyes. The look forced her into submission his taller height shown even though they were sitting up. His eyes gave her a hard look into hers and Sakura wanted to stare into them forever.
"You are the strongest woman I have ever met. You have been through enough. I'll take your pain." He spoke with assertion. Her eyes were wide, taking in his every word.
"I'll take it all and more. I'll stand in the way of anyone who wants to cause you pain. I'll deal with your adversaries and anyone who stands against you. Anyone who wants to harm you or anyone you care about will answer to me and me alone." He ended. He was going to do exactly that. He was going to make everyone that ever hurt her answer to him. He was going to make them pay. He was going to cause them more pain than they had ever caused her.
"S-Sasuke...kun…" For the first time since a few years ago, a tear fell down her face. He watched. When had anyone ever said those words to her, he wondered. Had she ever had anyone to take care of her at all? Maybe Naruto and Shikamaru, but other than them, was there anyone there to hold her and say they would bear her pain the same way she beared the pain of others. Had anyone ever said they would take care of her? He's gaze softened, one of his hands lifting wiping away her tear. That was the start of his promise. Every tear she cried he would take away. Each and every single one of them. Just as he wiped it away, another tear fell from her other eye before her face was running with the streams of crystal. Both his hands went to her face, caressing them away, continuing on his promise.
"T-Thank you, Sasuke-kun…thank you."
Naruto stood outside the door with Itachi, looking at him with seriousness. His blue eyes looked into Itachi's contrasting dark ones and he crossed his arms over his chest.
"What was the meeting really about, Itachi?" Naruto asked, eyes accusing but knowing. Itachi stared at his brother's friend since childhood. He contemplated at first wondering if he should say anything at all and decided against it. Itachi closed his eyes.
"Like I told you earlier Naruto, it was about what happened yesterday." Naruto gave a glare at his answer.
"I may be dumb but I'm not that stupid." Naruto growled. Itachi remained silent, looking into Naruto's eyes. He remained silent.
"As if I wouldn't know that something was up when you joined him. For you to go, that means it was serious. Also…" Naruto looked down at the white marble floor of the hospital.
"For you to go with him means it had nothing to do with business, but something else." Naruto stated knowingly. Itachi was silent, his dark eyebrows furrowing and his gaze lowered as well. Naruto did know him and Sasuke well. He knew Itachi's past and present doings. It wasn't like him to join a business meeting. He wouldn't have gone with Sasuke if it was only about business or something that had to do with the company. After all, there was a good reason he was disowned and removed as the heir to the corporation, despite being the older brother.
"Itachi…" Naruto called, his voice warning and rooted. Itachi sighed.
"Naruto, I feel it's best you stay out of it." He cut off, making Naruto stare in shock. Itachi looked back into his eyes.
"If you want to know in full detail what is going on, ask Sasuke yourself. Either way, you should not interfere." Itachi warned. Naruto's blond eyebrows lifted, blue eyes filling with concern.
"If it concerns Sakura-Chan, I'm not staying out of it!" Naruto's voice raised. Itachi was thankful they found an empty room rather than standing right outside of Sakura's. Naruto's tan hands, constricted into fist.
"I...I will protect Sakura-Chan no matter what. I don't know what you guys are doing, but if it involves Sakura-Chan and she somehow gets hurt, I won't forgive you. I won't even forgive Sasuke." Naruto vowed, his eyes glaring with validation. Itachi looked back at him for a moment before sighing.
"Naruto, you don't need to worry about Sakura's safety." Itachi promised. Naruto kept his eyes trained, not fully trusting Itachi's words. Itachi smiled slightly. Naruto was to Sakura what Itachi was to Sasuke. The responsible older brother. He only wanted to protect his precious one and Itachi could relate quite well. It was one of the reasons he went down the path he did. It was the reason he was disowned from being the company's next CEO. To be honest, while it was a shame, Itachi wouldn't have had it any other way. He had accepted it many years ago.
"Please, try to trust me when I tell you that Sasuke only wanted to address what transpired yesterday. Nothing more, nothing less." Itachi continued. He gave a haughty smile, his eyes sly with another piece of information.
"Besides, I'm sure you had to have noticed it first." Itachi said. Naruto raised a confused eyebrow.
"Noticed what?" Naruto asked. Itachi chuckled.
"How much he cares for her." Itachi divulged, seeing a look come upon Naruto's face that said he was right. Naruto looked down.
"E-Even so…" Itachi placed a hand on Naruto's shoulder, his concerned blue eyes lifting.
"Naruto, you know very well, those Sasuke cares about will always be safe, from anything and everything. If he had known yesterday Sakura was going to be hurt, he would have been the one to stop it. Just try to have some faith in him." Itachi spoke, soothing Naruto's worries. Naruto looked away.
"It's not that I don't trust Sasuke. It's just...after yesterday...I-I...I was so scared." Naruto confided. Itachi gave a nod in understanding.
"I know. Try not to think about it. Instead, relish in the fact that she is alive and well." Itachi calmed, patting Naruto's shoulder and turning to walk out the room. They shouldn't stay in here for too long before some doctor or nurse came in and discovered them.
"Itachi…" Naruto called from behind. The eldest Uchiha turned.
"Y-You'll...you'll make sure Sakura-Chan stays safe too, right?" He asked, though it was more along the lines of a plea. Itachi gave him a fulfilling smile of commitment.
"Of course. I have grown fond of her as a sister. On top of that, she is precious to my little brother." Naruto raised an eyebrow at Itachi's words. Precious? He knew Sasuke liked her for sure, but precious?
"Huh?" Itachi gave him a smile, closing his eyes.
"He poked her forehead Naruto." He answered, knowing Naruto was the only other person on this planet who knew what that meant. The statement froze him in place, making Naruto's eyes widen, his irises constricting and shaking in absolute shock.
"Y-You...mean…are you serious?!" Naruto questioned in surprise. Itachi chuckled.
"Witnessed it with my own two eyes. I'll testify it in court if need be." A phone rang, coming from Itachi and he answered.
"Uchiha." He stayed silent. He turned away from Naruto, listening to the call.
"He will be ready for pick up by five in the morning tomorrow. He must be returned by ten at night." Kiriu spoke. Itachi smirked, eyes lowering with contempt.
"Understood. Thank you." He said. He turned back to Naruto, his face hiding away any and all things heinous.
"I have to go speak with Sasuke. Are we done Naruto?" The blond nodded and the two walked out.
Sasuke had finished caressing her tears away, finally giving him back the beautiful smiling face that gave him life to his dull, zombified routine. She didn't cry for long, but enough that she had thanked him too many times to count. She thanked for giving her a job. She thanked him for his kindness. She thanked him for his generosity. She thanked him for meeting her. While he stayed silent, only caressing away her tears he had so much more to be thankful for.
Now all he wanted to do was lean in…
They both heard the door open and Sasuke pulled away from her, when she gasped. It was instinct. He didn't necessarily want to, but with her sudden reclination from him, he retracted from her. She felt the same. She wasn't sure what made her become so shy. Maybe it was because he was still her boss? Maybe she was scared. Sasuke watched her, only to watch a crimson blush line her cheeks. He couldn't help but give a slight smirk, unbeknownst to him the reason why, though he felt like he knew already. He just didn't want to jump to conclusions. In walked Itachi and Naruto and noticing it was them Sasuke couldn't help but glare at them with vexation. Couldn't they have been gone just a bit longer? Maybe that was a sign that this wasn't the time for it yet.
Walking in Itachi noticed the look, feeling a bit guilty. He supposed he should have held Naruto back a little longer. Naruto walked over, smiling at the two.
"Everything okay you two?" He asked. Sasuke grunted. Sakura nodded. Sasuke's phone rang, his still vexed eyes turning their attention to the device. Kakashi. Sakura looked to him, eyes filling with wonder and concern. He noticed deciding against telling her anything for now and answered the phone, standing.
"Yes." Itachi and Naruto began to entertain and talk to Sakura.
"Sasuke. I have a policeman here, wanting an account and information on what happened yesterday in regards to your prosecution against Danzo." The man said on the other line. Sasuke's eyes narrowed, turning back to look at Sakura smiling and talking to Naruto and Itachi. He knew this would happen, but so soon? Sakura was still here in the hospital and having already left her side once, he wasn't very willing to leave again. This still had to be done, especially if he was going to have his employees back to work by next week.
"Understood. Where do I need to talk to him?" Sasuke asked sighing, rubbing his eyes. He was pretty tired. He didn't really sleep since the other day, before all this happened. He had spent the whole time at the hospital.
"Here in the office." Kakashi answered him. Sasuke closed his eyes. Great. At least he was already in a suit.
"I'll be right there." Sasuke grumbled, hanging up. He put his phone away in his pocket, sighing.
"Sasuke?" Itachi questioned. Sasuke looked back.
"I have to go back to the office. Police reports are needed." Sasuke announced, a weary look in his eyes. The trio looked at him, all with understanding and concern.
"Should I come with you, brother?" Itachi asked. Sasuke took a moment to think before nodding. A part of him wanted as many people with Sakura as possible, but he supposed it was just his paranoia getting the best of him. Besides, with as tired as he was feeling, he could use an extra set of eyes to make sure he didn't miss anything. Sasuke's charcoal eyes glanced back at Sakura, giving her a gentle look.
"I'll be back as soon as I can." He was about to turn only to stop with her voice.
"No." He turned, looking at her questioningly. Both Naruto's and Itachi's eyes widened, the two stiffening. She gave him a smile.
"After you're done with that, get some rest Sasuke-kun. You look exhausted." She said softly. All three men in the room grew even more shocked than previously. Naruto and Itachi were completely flabbergasted, their brains having mental breakdowns at what was transpiring at this very moment. Sasuke was simply frozen, for once unsure of what to do. This event had never happened to him before. No one had the guts to do what she just did and even so they were met with his retaliation. Itachi and Naruto shifted their completely dumbfounded eyes to Sasuke, waiting for his response.
Sakura...gave him an order. She commanded something of him. She...bossed him off.
Caught completely off guard by her, Sasuke could only turn, grunting.
"Let's go Itachi." Was the only thing he said and the jaws of the two gentlemen dropped. She got away with it. He...he yielded to her.
The world had to have been ending.
"R-Right, brother. See you later Sakura." Itachi bid his farewell, following Sasuke out the door. Sakura stared at Naruto confused who was looking at her like she was an alien from the far outer reaches of space.
"W-What?" She questioned, confused. Did she say something wrong?
"S-Sakura-Chan...I think you are a God." Sakura's eyebrow twitched.
"What the hell are you talking about this time, baka?!" She scolded.
The car ride was quiet and Sasuke was driving right now. Itachi still couldn't get over what happened in Sakura's hospital room just moments prior. She seriously got away with telling Sasuke what to do. No one told Sasuke what to do. Only Sasuke told himself what to do, ever since their parents' passing over ten years ago. Sure, Itachi could advise him, or suggest something to him, but telling him so forwardly to do something instead of what he said he was going to do...it was unprecedented. He looked at his brother, wondering if maybe he really was that exhausted. Maybe that was it? Still, that had never deterred his younger brother before. Sasuke's face was blank. He couldn't tell if it was also bothered, but his lips weren't in a deep frown, so he guessed that was a plus. Itachi shook his head just remembering what he was supposed to tell Sasuke, now that they were out of the shock of the moment.
"Sasuke...Kiriu called." Itachi informed. Sasuke's eyes shifted to him in a side glance, remaining silent and awaiting word.
"Danzo has been approved for Furlough. He'll be ready for pick up tomorrow, at five in the morning." Itachi said, hoping this would maybe ease Sasuke's stress. Itachi was right as on his brother's neutral lips, a smirk of conquest came upon them.
"That soon? My, my, I must have given Kiriu quite the inspiration. Hn." Sasuke said, looking back and parking. Itachi chuckled. The two brothers stepped out, walking into the building of Uchiha Corps and heading up to Sasuke's office floor, at the very top. Walking out the elevator, they were met with a bit of a scene. Yellow, numbered evidence markers strewed in certain places. Sasuke counted out about fourteen. Walking down the hall, he turned, seeing a blood stain against it, his eyes numbing with pain. Itachi stared, his eyes hardening. He had a good idea about whose dried blood that belonged to.
"Was that…" Itachi hesitated to ask. Sasuke stared, the image of her flashed in his mind again. Now he had half a mind on spending the funds to reconstruct his entire floor. He was never going to pass that spot ever again and forget what he witnessed.
"Yeah…" Sasuke confirmed. Itachi's eyebrows furrowed. Even though it was dried, it was still quite a bit of blood. He had seen his fair share of it, and the way the dark brown slid down the wall, and became a circle on the ground, it told a story. That was as far as Sakura got. She was succumbing to her wound right there.
"Mr. Uchiha?" A gruff man came, wearing a brown suit and black tie. A detective obviously. Sasuke looked at the older man, his face decorated with a mustache, and black hair slick back. His eyes were tired, probably a bit more than his if that was possible and his face had aged with experience and stress.
"Hn. That is me. You are?" He questioned cordially.
"Detective Yagami, sir. I'm processing the scene here." He answered, shaking Sasuke's hand. Sasuke gave a curt nod.
"Hn. Thank you for your work."
"May we step into your office sir?" He asked. Sasuke nodded.
"Of course." He answered. Walking ahead of them, Sasuke noticed embedded into the wall, four bullet holes. His eyes narrowed in anguish. Sasori, as Sasuke learned, really intended to kill her. How the hell did Sakura manage to get out of the altercation with a single bullet wound? He unlocked his office door, and stepped in with Itachi and the detective.
"I've collected statements from your security who were supposed to be monitoring your security cameras. It turns out they had been knocked out and the assailant used the cameras to find his target." The seasoned detective informed as Sasuke sat in his chair.
"Hn. I had wondered why my security guards were in shambles that day. While they did execute the evacuation fine, no one could seem to be able to find the shooter." Sasuke informed. The detective crossed his arms.
"Yes. I also wanted you to know that we do have security footage of that attack. I will of course, keep it for evidence, but I also wanted to know if you wished to see it." Sasuke stared, the feeling in him unsure. He didn't want to see Sakura get hurt, but he didn't understand how Sakura was able to fend off Sasori. He did remember hearing from the guard that found him that day that three shots had been fired, yet Sakura came out of it with only a cut on her cheek and a single bullet in her.
"Sasuke…if you don't want to watch it, I can." Itachi offered, seeing his brother's unease. Sasuke looked down, sighing.
"No. Let me see it." The detective pulled out a flash drive.
"Can I plug this into your laptop?" Sasuke nodded, opening the device and grabbing the flash drive. The detective came beside him, clicking a file and the security footage came on. Sasuke watched his heart aching. He watched as he told Sakura he had to go see Kakashi and watched her smile with no care in the world. Then he saw Sasori, walking down the hall. His eyes glared as Sakura stood and faced him. Something was said between them before Sasori pulled a gun out. His hands clenched as they circled each other, words he couldn't hear being shared between them for just a moment, before Sakura literally dodged the first bullet pointed at her face. There was a struggle and both he and Itachi's eyes widened when she lifted the grown man over herself and slammed him into the ground.
"That employee of yours is quite astonishing. I have yet to ever see anything like this in my thirty years on the force." The detective remarked. Sasuke only watched as Sasori maneuvered to kick her her and stagger her back. She lunged for him and tackled him to the ground and there seemed to be a stiffening in her body. It was here. Here he knew she got shot. His jaw tightened. He couldn't see exactly how she did it, but she watched as his hand was twisted and more shots fired passed her. He could only be pleased with the screaming face Sasori was making. She stood off him, hunched slightly and clutching her abdomen.
He was right at the hospital. She continued to fight, with the bullet inside her. Sasori lunged at her with a switchblade and shoved her foot into his stomach, whilst breaking his other arm. In her next two punches, she knocked him out. Itachi watched himself. She really was phenomenal. This had to have been years of fighting experience, flowing out of her without any second guesses or hesitation in her movements. Then she wasn't discovered for another six minutes.
Sasuke's eyes closed, glaring. He was going to have a word with his security guards.
"Thank you Detective…" Sasuke said.
"I understand it was not easy to watch, however, in order to convict the assassin and the man he himself named, Danzo, I may want your testimony in court. He said he told you about the plot." The detective said. Sasuke nodded.
"Indeed. He did." He murmured.
"I also want to ask, is the victim still alive? If not the charges will change from premeditated attempted murder to premeditated first degree murder." He pushed.
"She is." Sasuke answered stoically.
"Will the victim be able to testify in court as well?"
"Yes. However…" Sasuke stopped. The detective and Itachi eyed him. Sasuke remained, staring at his computer scream at the paused video. It was stopped at one of his security guards finally discovering her, a dazed, lost look in her eyes.
"I wish to refrain her from doing so." Sasuke said. The detective raised an eyebrow.
"If I may ask, why is that?"
"The woman has been through enough, as I'm sure you can see detective." Sasuke snarled with irritation.
"If she can give you a written statement instead, I will allow that. However, to trouble her for coming into court after an ordeal such as this, I do not feel I can allow. Considering I have seen the footage myself, I will take her place in court for testimony, including what was said between me and the perpetrator." Sasuke stated with no room for argument. Itachi's eyes gentled at Sasuke. The detective gave a curt nod.
"Very well. I understand your position Mr. Uchiha. A written statement and your presence will do just fine." The detective accepted. Sasuke unplugged the flashdrive, unable to look at the image before him and handed it to the detective.
"Is that all?" Sasuke questioned.
"I just have some documents that need your signature sir. Otherwise, yes. That is all I needed from you." Sasuke inwardly scoffed, feeling an anger boil in his chest. He didn't have to leave Sakura for this. He could have easily had Kakashi do this for him. Did the detectives really need to request his presence here?
What a complete waste of time.
It was four in the morning the next day. Sasuke walked into Sakura's recovery room. She was sleeping soundly, unaware of his presence. He watched her, eyes growing tender. He did as she had commanded. After the meeting with the police officers, signing of documents, record taking of his statements, he had gone home and rested, if he could call closing his eyes and thinking only of her resting. His eyebrows furrowed, remembering the security footage. Was her reason for fighting like that because she had to fight like that all her life? Was that what she worked so hard to avoid? What did she want out of life overall? Even if she had been dealt a terrible hand at the start and it slowly got better, what was her reason for taking on all the pain she said she would?
His eyes lowered and he sat at her hip. His weight slowly woke her, as she stirred and her eyes opened to him.
"Hmm? Sasuke-kun?" She mumbled tiredly, rubbing her eyes. He stared, taking all of her in. He didn't miss a single detail of her.
"Sorry for disturbing your rest. Go back to sleep." He ordered softly. She looked back at him tiredly, having been given a button for morphine a few hours prior, or at least the doctor told him when Sasuke asked her status. Like she had told him earlier, she was healing rather quickly, so much so it was "incredible" the doctor had said.
"Is...something wrong?" She asked. Sasuke only stared quietly at her.
"No. Nothing is wrong. I rested and came to see if you were alright." He admitted. She smiled gratefully, starting to stretch and before he could stop her she winced, grabbing at her side.
"Aaah!" She cried out before him, unable to hold back like she did with Ino earlier. Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed as she whimpered, trying to fight back tears in her eyes. His hand moved, brushing them away from her pained face. He could do nothing to take the pain away though he wished he could. He wished he could take all the pain she had ever felt in her life away, even if it had to be placed upon himself. Sakura whimpered more and he hushed her.
"Sakura, have some more morphine." He said, not touching the button himself. She looked back at him, eyes tearing.
"B-But...then...I won't see you." She whispered. Sasuke's eyes lowered.
"I'd rather you be asleep than in pain. Please." He asked, grabbing one of her hands, caressing it with her thumb. Her hazed over eyes stared up at him, her free hand grabbing the red button next to her and pressing. He watched as the number on a monitor went up just a bit, but her body relaxed, in almost ten minutes tops. She moaned and Sasuke watched her fight off sleep's embrace. He lifted her hand in his, knowing she wouldn't remember this and kissed each and every finger.
"Rest Sakura. I will see you soon." He promised against her hand. Her eyes were already closed, but her head kept waving from side to side, a sign she was still semi-conscious.
"Mmmm...Sasuke-kun…" The way she said his name at that moment spurred in him another feeling. So many things she made him feel and he could only react to them on impulse, not knowing exactly what they were. However, the way she said his name, then and there, he almost lost all focus on everything that wasn't her. He almost forgot she was in a hospital bed. He almost forgot that two days ago, she was shot. He found himself wanting something from her that he could not place. She drifted off, away from this world into the realm of dreams and the instant she did that, his phone vibrated. He looked at the time. Five-fifteen.
"What?" He grumbled lowly, for the interruption. Itachi chuckled.
"Sorry for the disruption brother. How is your favorite flower?" Itachi said in amusement. Sasuke glared.
"What do you want?" Itachi chuckled again.
"To inform you of what you wanted to know brother." Sasuke stiffened at the words, his eyes steeled into cold hard orbs of vengeance. It was even more enhance with rage and hatred, having to hear Sakura scream, however lightly, in pain himself. He held even more hatred and contempt for the man he would punish today with his own hands.
"You have Danzo?" He questioned, knowingly.
A few miles away, in Sasuke's very home in the basement, Itachi stared down at the tied up man, eyes flaring with a million heinous things to do.
"Indeed brother. He is here with me." Sasuke sighed something between relief and exasperation.
"I'll be there soon. Don't touch him until I get there." Sasuke grumbled, hanging up. His eyes turned back to Sakura, caressing her slumbering face and feeling the ice around his heart melt and crumble. He was going to make Danzo pay now. He was going to ensure he suffered, more than she had. Sasuke leaned down, kissing her forehead and then staring into her unconscious and closed lids.
"I'll be back" He whispered and he left her.
Arriving in his home's basement, Danzo was awake, yelling and hollering at Itachi who he couldn't see. The moment he stepped out of prison, he saw a van pull up, with his name on a paper in the window. He stepped in thinking it was one of his affiliates, only to be met with the grin of a shark like man and chloroform from behind.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!" He screamed from his place bound to a chair. Itachi watched boredly, still having found a suitable way to punish Danzo to the severity he wanted whilst returning him to prison alive later on that night. Sasuke entered and slammed the door, gaining his attention. The older man stiffened, eyes widening.
"Y-You? I-It was you who got me out of prison for the day?!" Danzo questioned, his only revealed eye turning fearful. Itachi, seeing his brother enter, stepped out from the shadows, allowing Danzo to see him now.
"F-F-Fugaku's sons?" He whimpered incredulously. Itachi only stared down emotionlessly, remembering the man he knew well.
"You don't deserve to say our father's name." The eldest Uchiha said with scorn. The man's eye widened before looking to Sasuke.
"W-what are you going to—"
"I would suggest not even speaking to him Danzo. After all…" Itachi interrupted. Danzo's attention returned to Itachi. The elder brother smirked maniacally, grabbing Danzo's face to look him in the eye.
"You did him pretty wrong. First embezzlement, then…"
"Sending someone to hurt someone we both care for?" Danzo's eyes widened in fear.
"T-This...This is just some misunderstanding! I-I did no such th—" Danzo didn't finish his sentence, earning a punch so hard from Sasuke, he and his chair flew with the force put in it having lost all patience and all mercy. After hearing Sakura's wail of pain just a half an hour prior he wanted nothing more than to destroy Danzo. It was just a pity that he couldn't kill him.
"As you can see, I suggest you don't play dumb Danzo." Itachi said, kneeling down to the man.
"We both know, you tried to kill both my brother and his secretary." Itachi ended and Danzo's eyes widened.
"I-I—" Danzo stuttered.
"Don't worry Danzo." Itachi said, picking up the chair Danzo sat in and leaning into his ear. Danzo looked up, staring into the stoic, murderous eyes of Sasuke Uchiha while only hearing the vicious voice of Itachi Uchiha.
"My little brother and I are only here to help you enjoy your single day of freedom. Our father would do the same. You recall how mannerly he was."
Sasuke: -smirks evilly-
Sakura: -looks worriedly- Okay. I think I see what Naruto was talking about.
Don't worry Sakura! I promise! He'll be normal soon!
Sakura: -staring worriedly- Uhm...
Sasuke: -activates susanoo in excitement-
Trust me! Trust me! It won't go too far!
Sakura: ...-glances at Naruto-
Naruto: -mouths "I told you!"-
Sakura: Eheheheheheee...well, so long as Anata-kun doesn't go to far.
WELL! THE LADY HAS SPOKEN! SEE YA NEXT CHAP! -grins-