Extremely sorry for the delayed update. Had a pretty nasty writer's block.

Alright, here's a little quiz.

Next chapter, Sasuke will attack one of the guys from his 'rescue' team. Who do you guys think it will be?

THe choices are: Kiba, Shikamaru, Lee, Neji, or Naruto.

And no, your answers won't change who he's going to attack. I just want to see how many people can guess the correct answer. Good Luck!

By night, Sakura managed to find her way back to her lovely and comforting 'quarters,' a cold and murky cell. All through the rest of the day, she had avoided Kabuto, Orochimaru, and Sasuke, wandering aimlessly around the Sound village. She knew that if she met up with Kabuto, he would try to persuade her to help heal the snake's arms.

She could feel a small ounce of chakra recovering, but it wasn't enough to anything. She silently prayed to be rescued by Naruto or someone, but then immediately berated herself for relying on other's all over again.

Never again…she had sworn to herself years ago that she would never watch another comrade's back for as long as she lived.

But still…she couldn't help but wonder where the heck Naruto was at the moment.


"Neji, are we there yet?" the impatient blonde asked as the team of chuunins sped through the trees.

"Stop asking Naruto," Shikamaru snapped. "What's your hurry anyway?"

"I want this mission to be over with!" Naruto complained. "We'll attack the Sound and bring Sasuke-teme back. But I have to get back quickly to go and find Sakura-chan!"

"L-let's hurry guys," Hinata said, turning an incredible shade of red when Naruto turned his attention to her, "s-so Naruto-kun can go back and s-save Sakura."

The Hyuuga heiress, who had not been assigned on the mission at first, had come to replace the loss of the pink-haired chuunin.

Neji scowled at his cousin's behavior towards the blonde dropout, and was about to speak up but Tenten elbowed him to pay attention to where he was going.

Don't worry Sakura-chan. Naruto thought determinedly. I'll definitely find you. After we bring back Sasuke-teme, I'll drag him along, too.


"Orochimaru-sama," the kneeling man said. "Sakura-san still has not changed her mind?"

"Now now, you have to have patience Kabuto," the man sitting upon the throne like chair replied. "Our kunoichi will come to a change of mind soon. And when my arms are healed, and I will be in Sasuke-kun's body, we will begin are attack on that worthless village, and we'll make sure that Tsunade wished she'd never agreed to become hokage."

"Does that mean the plan should be put into action?"

"Let's wait a few more days. She will not be going anywhere for awhile."

"But her peers should already be searching for her."

"They will come here anyway, for let's not forget that Sasuke-kun's time is almost up. They will try to rescue him for our clutches. We will wait to see how this plays out."



"Chidori Nagashi!" Sasuke yelled as he felt himself being enveloped in blue electricity-like chakra.

(a/n: in the story, Sasuke never met up with Naruto, Sakura, Sai, and Yamato, like in the manga. Therefore, the Chidori Nagashi has never been used on them before.)

After a few minutes had passed, Sasuke ended the jutsu, and attacked a nearby tree with an onslaught of shuriken.

The attack happened so quickly that to the untrained eye, it would have looked as though in a second, shuriken would have suddenly been implanted in the bark.

Satisfied, Sasuke relaxed slightly as he felt someone enter his private training area.

"Sasuke-kun," he heard Kabuto greet. "How is your training?"

There was a grunt of acknowledgement in reply.

"State your purpose or leave," the Uchiha stated after awhile of silence.

Kabuto bowed slightly. "Orochimaru-sama has a new mission for you. It will be harder than all of your previous missions…not to mention there might be some…complications involved."

Sasuke turned around to face the gray-haired man. "Complications." It sounded more like a demand to evaluate than a question to what the word meant.

Kabuto hesitated. "There are two parts in the mission. The second will be put into action if the first part fails to accomplish the goal."

Sasuke didn't understand. The man was speaking in riddles.

"This is a personal mission assigned from Orochimaru-sama, not from another Country. The first part will not require anything physical. It is more of a verbal mission. If the first part fails, the second part will act as a warning to the target. In the second part, murder is not necessary, and should be avoided, though a good beating is a must. Do you understand Sasuke-kun?"

"Who is the target," he asked impassively. The mission seemed simple enough, so why did Kabuto make it sound so complicated?

"The mission is…" he paused, "for you to persuade Haruno Sakura to heal Orochimaru-sama's arms. If that fails, you will have to travel to Konoha and choose anyone to your liking to…cause harm to their body. It will serve as a warning to her of the consequences if she chooses not to help us."


"Excuse me?"

"I will not accept this mission."


"I am not going back to Konoha."

"Sasuke-kun, if you wish to become strong enough to kill your brother, it is best you listen to Orochimaru-sama. You would be able to see how strong you've become."


"You want to kill Itachi don't you?"


"I believe Sakura-san is currently wandering in the streets of the village. You should best be going Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke brushed past the man, and his mood only darkened at the self-satisfied smirk on his face.

That bastard knew I was going to agree all along.


Sakura felt extremely uncomfortable walking around in the village. It was dreary, and the entire town seemed dark even in broad daylight.

People stared at her as she passed, more specifically at the Konoha forehead protector on her hair.

Suddenly very uncomfortable, she made a quick turn at an unknown alley, hoping to escape from all the stares.

Her luck didn't get much better.

The first thing she saw was a bloodied man, sprawled on the ground and moaning in the pain. The next thing that came to sight were two men standing over the beaten up man. Both men had Sound forehead protectors on.

"Stop it!" she yelled out instinctively, but immediately what a grave mistake she made when the two men turned to face her. She backed away, and tried to gather chakra, but she still had close to none in her body.

"You're not form here, are you girl?" one drawled out.

"Look at her forehead protector. It's from the leaf." The other one pointed out.

"Are you lost girl?"

"Do you need out help? We could help."

"S-stay away," she stammered out, and turned to run.

I have to run. Sakura told herself, though she knew the idea of escaping was unlikely.

No matter how pathetic they were, the two men in front of her were still shinobi, which meant they were harder to fight than the average person and they had to at least have some skill.

"Here kitty, kitty," he cooed, and Sakura braced herself for his grimy hands to land on her.

She opened her mouth and screamed when he his hand grabbed her arm and pulled her closer. His other hand shot up to her chest.

"Let me have some fun!" the other protested before joining in on their little 'fun.'

I have to fight! She squeezed her eyes shut. I can't let this happen! She gritted her teeth. Fight! She clenched her fists. DAMN IT, FIGHT SAKURA!

She raised her arm. I will fight! She felt a small amount of chakra course through her arm. Yes! She pulled her arm back and got ready to-

And all of a sudden, the hands disappeared, and there were yells of confusion and then pain.

Sakura snapped her eyes open, and found that the bloodied man was gone, replaced by two bloody ninjas.


She spun around, right into the (rock hard) chest of the Uchiha.

She immediately jumped away from the contact as the previous day's events flashed through her heard. He had killed without hesitation or regret.

"What are you doing in a dark alley?" It wasn't a question.

"I-they-we-"Sakura just couldn't find the words to explain.

He looked at her, waiting for her to continue, but when it was clear to him that she had no words, he grabbed her wrist and dragged her out of the alley.

"I'm sorry that I'm a burden, Sasuke."


"I'm sorry…"

"Don't cry."

"I'm not going to cry!" she snapped.

It was obvious that he had struck a nerve when he uttered those words. She had wrenched out of his grip, and was glaring at him defiantly.

"People who are weak cry, Sakura." He knew his words were going to sting. "That is why it is okay for you to cry."

She blanched, and before he knew it, she had swung her fist at him, but naturally, he was quick enough to dodge it.

She covered her ears. "Be quiet! I-I'm not weak. I-I am strong! Was strong! But I don't have any chakra left! What do you want me to do!" She began muttering to herself and Sasuke stared down at her with an indifferent expression.

"Are you done yet?" the voice was annoyed

Her head snapped up, and she stared wide eyed at the Uchiha. Is this really Sasuke? Slowly, she stood back up. The old Sasuke would not belittle me to this end. Her eyes flashed. This isn't Sasuke! I'll prove to him I've changed!

With a cry, she lunged forward, her mind already too clouded with slight starvation, frustration, and depression to realize she was throwing herself into a battle she was sure to lose.

"You need rest," the Uchiha pointed out the obvious as he sidestepped her attack easily. "Go back to your quarters."

"Quarters?" she repeated. "What quarters? Don't you mean the prison!" She threw another punch at him.

He didn't reply.

The adrenaline vanished as quick as it had come and she stopped her punch in mid-air. With a sigh, she lowered her arm and turned away. "Sasuke, why-why are things like this?"

"It is the path that was chosen for us."

"No!" Her voice was sharp and her eyes held sadness. "They weren't chosen for us. We…chose them ourselves."




"Why are you here?"

"I needed to speak with you."

"Then speak."

"I will do it when you have regained your sense of mind."

"I'm fine-"


"I said I'm fine!" she looked up into his eyes, and realized too late that his Sharingan had been activated.

Sasuke gently picked the unconscious girl up and tossed her over his shoulder.

This mission was annoying and would only take up his time.

He formed a series of seals in the blink of an eye, and then…he was gone.

Those who had been watching the exchange between the two could only ponder where they had disappeared to.

Well hopefully that was worth reading.

Sakura will have a conv. with Orochimaru next chapter (for those who wanted that to happen.)

Please review! (and don't forget to put who you think will be attacke by Sasuke next chapter!)

And btw...I posted a little one shot for Sasuke's b-day. You can read it if you're bored. (Note: the one shot has nothing to do with his b-day.)