So in answer to the Sasuke stuff, I think in canon the focus was on killing Itachi to get revenge. In this DoS AU, the focus has switched to killing Itachi to prevent him destroying everything Sasuke has built since. He's also a tiny bit in shock that his teammate who to all appearances understand him completely would... basically not want to kill the bogeyman. So, partly shock, partly scrabbling for justification for what Shikako just did, partly trusting Shikako has a damn good reason. And partly because the thought of Itachi not getting what he wanted and not knowing T&I think torture is inefficient... Yeah.

Explanation time. Sasuke will be as off as the previous chapter probs. I struggle with his voice.

Edited 23/3/16: minor grammar changes and such.


It was late. Team 10 had gone ahead; Shikamaru and Ino sending looks their way as they did so. They could tell something was up. However, the mission was complete and even if Team 7 were willing to be late, Kurenai was due to give birth soon. It was as good an excuse as any and so they were as alone as they were going to get. He stopped and turned to Shikako. She closed her eyes, dropping to the ground and concentrating heavily. Then she nodded and looking a little sick moved off the side of the trail and slumped to the ground, wrapping her arms around her knees. Kakashi and Naruto set up camp around her carefully, while Sasuke grabbed enough wood for a small fire. Whatever Shikako needed to say, it was bad. He doubted they'd be moving on any time soon.

Two minutes later, after the kettle was settled on the fire, Sasuke sat down next to his friend and waited. Naruto and Kakashi moved closer too.

"What I am about to say is highly classified. I... I can't tell you how I know. Just that, if I don't... I don't tell you then I don't think anyone else will. Or can. And... You need to know. You need to know before..."

She trailed off and Sasuke fought the urge to grab her by the shoulders and shake whatever it was out of her. Instead, he leaned forward slightly and met his gaze with hers. "Tell me."

She swallowed, and focused on her fingers. They were twisting in her lap, the spots where her finger tips pressed into her skin clearly visible. He half-wanted to tell her to stop, but then she began talking and Sasuke felt his world shatter again.

She told of how there was growing tension after the Kyuubi attack, how the Uchiha were suspected of treason. How this led to restrictions on them, restrictions supported by the Konoha elders - Homura, Koharu, Danzo. How the Uchiha had begun to plot, had intended to overthrow the Hokage and his Council. How Shisui had committed suicide after Danzo stole his eye. What exactly that eye could do. How Danzo, not believing a peaceful solution could be found, threatened to kill him, Itachi's most precious person if he didn't... He didn't...

She trailed off.

"Danzo ordered my clan's massacre. My clan were traitors. Itachi..." He felt sick.

She winced, not looking up, not meeting his eyes. Her fear of his reaction was written in every line of her body. Naruto was shaking his head, his face pale. He didn't say anything though. This was... This wasn't...

Kakashi shifted uncomfortably. "You're sure, Shikako?"

She nodded miserably and all the little comments over the years, the looks and warnings clicked together to form an ugly picture. He tried to speak but he couldn't get anything past the lump in his throat. He tried again. "Shikako... How long have you known?"

She flinched again. "From before the massacre. I... I couldn't have said anything. I wanted to! I wanted to do something but I-"

"You couldn't have done anything." There was something cold and angry in Kakashi's voice as he looked at Shikako. He patted her shoulder awkwardly and turned the full weight of his gaze on Sasuke. "I... can confirm the Uchiha were under surveillance. That there was tension between them and the village... But I would never have suspected..."

Naruto was still shaking his head, still pale. "That's... That's horrible. Hokage-jiji..."

"It would have been civil war if this got out. Might still be. Have you told anyone else?"

"No, but... Sasuke needed to know. Because... others know. Like Orochimaru. They'd have twisted the truth, and... I wanted you to know, before-" She cut herself off and wrapped her arms around her legs again.

Before he did something irreparable. Before he killed the brother that loved him - that had given everything to Konoha. The brother that had also tortured his teammate. "I don't... That doesn't mean I can forgive him for everything he's done. He hurt you. He was helping those who wanted to kill Naruto."

She stilled, looking up at him with confused watery eyes. "Sasuke?"

"You were right. There's questions to be answered. And I want Danzo to pay." He paused. "But I don't forgive him for hurting my team either. Tsuande can sort him out."

Kakashi nodded, sending him an approving look. "How secure is Itachi now?"

Shikako swiped an arm over her eyes. "I... invented a stasis seal. It, it takes time to prepare but it can be used to hold living things for up to a week. I tested it on some of the animals in the forest of death. Naruto's toad will keep the scroll safe."

"Yeah... Hey, Shikako... I know you won't tell us how you knew... But Tsuande-obaasan is going to ask..."

Shikako curled herself tighter. "I can't... Not yet... Please."

Sasuke frowned. That implied Shikako knew more things. More of Konoha's dirty secrets. That she was mixed up in something dangerous. And she was terrified. Sasuke knew his team. He knew their quirks and habits (OK, he didn't know all of Kakashi's yet but he was sure he would one day) and he knew that when Shikako was scared, she hid her chakra, pulled it inward so that no one could sense her, no one could find her. She fiddled with her crystal pendant too, treating it more like a talisman than a reminder to be careful. Right now she was doing both.

Their sensei sighed, stretching his legs towards the fire and carefully not looking at any of them. "Shikako. Is the source of this knowledge a threat to Konoha?"


"Is it a threat to you?"

"...only if people found out."

Kakashi nodded seriously, staring into the fire. "Is there anything else that we need to know now regarding Itachi's situation?"

She winced. "... No?"

Yeah right. There was more going on and Shikako knew it. She really was a terrible liar once you started asking the right questions. But... She really wasn't looking too good. It would be better to question Itachi.

"Have you told anyone else?"

"Not... No. No I haven't."

Sasuke kept himself still. Next to him, Naruto was holding his breath. Finally, Kakashi nodded. "I'll brief Tsunade when we've established the extent of this..." He trailed off with a grimace. "If asked, the three of you know nothing of this. Leave everything to me."

Naruto frowned. "What do we do if Tsunade-obaasan asks?"


Shikako blinked. "Nothing?"

"Nothing. There is a protocol for if Konoha is potentially compromised. I will be invoking that, if you're right then we are more than justified. You don't say anything without my permission to anyone that has not been explicitly cleared. If I am compromised, the two of you will follow Shikako's lead, same precautions. Agreed?"



Shikako was gaping at them now, her eyes flickering between them. "That's it?"

"For now, yes. Shikako, if there is anything else you think I need to know, anything at all. I expect you to come find me."

"Yes Sensei."

Sasuke glanced at Naruto, taking in the colour that was gradually seeping back into his cheeks. He had to admit that the fact that Kakashi had a plan helped. He felt... wrung out. Tired. And underneath was a burning anger. He just didn't know who he was most angry at. Itachi? The Elders? His clan? He was pretty sure he wasn't angry at Shikako. She had been a child then, and with the threat being Danzo it wasn't like she could have told him sooner, not when they had recently both been confined to the village. The rest though...

"I want first watch."

He needed to think.


Way to make people suspicious Shikako. :P So, some told, to her team. Team not family because of the Itachi / Sasuke thing. And yeah, Kakashi isn't demanding how and where because Shikako is clearly terrified and he's got a major concern with Danzo to bug him. He'll be patient. For now. Similar story with the boys.

Kakashi up next.