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By lackingwit



This was suggested to me by my friend on tumblr.

Her eyes were wide, green, and innocent. Terror tainted that pure innocence, bleeding into her expression even as she shifted her stance slightly. Hand-to-hand combat was not her best thing. She was better at chakra control than she was at fighting. She preferred it to fighting. Especially with Sasuke. She hated it on a regular day, at his regular power level, but now — now that he had those black eyes and those horrible claws growing out of his back — she was absolutely aghast.

She didn't want to do this. She could if she had to — and it was becoming increasingly obvious that she would — but she didn't want to. She'd spent her time protecting him and Naruto after they'd both been knocked out; she'd seen Sasuke awaken to this horrible angry person, willing to break a person's arm without a second thought — teasing about it.

Sakura did not want to fight an angry Sasuke under the influence of that damned curse mark. She knew she'd die if she tried.

"S-Sasuke-kun," she called, and her voice broke. Her fingers tightened around her kunai. "Sasuke-kun, please!"

She didn't want to get close to him. Not when the brunt of her anger was faced at her. She probably shouldn't have gotten in the way when that thing started spinning, started darkening his skin and making his eyes red. But she couldn't let him hurt the person they were trying to protect — no matter how many times he insulted them as a team, or how many times he insulted them personally, or how many times the idiot had tried to pick a fight. And a fight he'd gotten; Sasuke's usually well controlled temper had unleashed itself and along with it that damned curse. Still, she should have hugged him, like she did last time. That seemed to have worked well.

She'd been to far away to hug him, and she had to do something. She couldn't have just let Sasuke kill the poor man.

Kakashi-sensei shouldn't have left with Naruto; Kakashi-sensei would know what to do. She was so far out of her league with this.

Sasuke grunted, the sound coming out like rocks scraping against each other. Sakura shivered, trying to keep hold on her weapon even as her palms became sticky and wet with sweat.

"Sasuke-kun, p-please just calm down for a second!" she begged, taking a step back. She was on the defensive, not offensive. She didn't want to hurt Sasuke, and she didn't want him to hurt her. "Think about what y-you're doing! H-he's just a stupid little twerp! He d-didn't know what he was talking about!"

Sasuke's head snapped up, those dark eyes trained on her. His lips opened, as if to say something, and closed, horrible eyes turning away from her and to the cowering figure behind her. The damned guy hadn't said a word, and was covering his head with his arms. He might as well be begging to be hurt; he practically stank of fear.

A purple lip curled up in disgust. "You didn't hear him," he growled out.

The dark, grave sound of his voice sent a shiver of fear down her spine. She fought against it, though her knees almost gave out. "I-it doesn't matter!" she tried. Her mind screamed at her to stay back, to run away, but she didn't. She took a step forward, locking her elbows in an attempt to stop them from shaking. "We have to p-protecthim!"

His teeth ground together, the sound scraping against her ears. He walked towards her and reached out, those horrible dark hands — hands that shouldn't look so strong, hands with nails that shouldn't be so long — grabbing onto her shoulder, pushing her aside.


His name was the only word that fell from her lips as she was tossed to the ground, the force of his shove making her trip over herself and land awkwardly on her leg. His name was the only word that fell from her lips, but the sound of her bones breaking spoke volumes. Tears welled in her eyes, the kunai falling from her hands and clattering onto the forest floor.

The bloodthirsty expression slipped away from his face, eyes widening at the ungodly shout and the ghastly snap of her leg. He'd caused that. He'd hurt her.

The darkness of the curse faded from his skin, flames spreading back into the spot they'd come from, eyes clearing into their usual onyx.

He'd hurt her.

He'd hurt her while trying to protect her.

The whole of his body tensed, his eyes leaving their charge's frame, the whole of his attention switching from that unworthy piece of shit to Sakura, lying on the ground. Her leg was bent and an impossible angle, and it looked as if the bone was ready to pop out of her skin.

Bile rose up in his throat. He didn't know his own strength thanks to this damnedcurse. And he'd hurt her because of it.

Sasuke swallowed, running over to where Sakura had landed. "Sakura," he whispered, trying to remember what it was to do with a broken bone. He didn't know — this was her area of expertise, anything outside of physical fighting was where she excelled. His fingers drifted towards her, flying back to his body. She probably didn't want him to touch her. "I'm sorry," he said, and his voice wasn't gravelly; it was back to normal, just like the rest of him.

Green eyes shimmered, tears flowing freely from them. The pain was horrible, spreading from her leg up to the very center of her brain. It hurt to think about. "I-I need you to set it," she announced. "Push it into place." Not once did her eyes make contact with his, nor did they glance down at her broken bone.

He scowled, though he was mostly mad at himself. He was infuriated with himself. A grim nod, and his hand went to gingerly hold her leg. "This will hurt," he muttered, remembering something he'd once read in a scroll.

"I-I know," she whispered, pain threading through her voice. "Do it."

Her scream echoed in the trees, scaring birds from their nests. Tears flowed from her eyes and Sasuke swore to never cause her this pain again.

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