Past, Present, Future

Chapter 26

Author's Notes: Thank you all for the wonderful reviews! They mean so much to me and it makes me want to work harder to please you all!!



It had been a week since Sakura's fight with Pein, and the base seemed to be more quiet than usual. Sakura did not see Konan as much as she used too, even Itachi never stopped by. It made Sakura nervous and it showed.

Sakura paced around her room, walking in circles, she couldn't figure out why she has been stuck in her room for over a week. The only human contact she got was when Hidan or Kisame would bring her breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 'Something isn't right.' Sakura thought to herself as she stopped pacing around her room, as she felt her nervousness subsiding.

She turned her body towards the door and narrowed her eyes at it, like she was treating it like a person. 'If they want to keep me out of their business, that's fine with me, I'll just find a way out of this twisted base!"' Sakura thought to herself as she grabbed her cloak and tied it around her neck.

Sakura exited her room and continued down the hallways of no return. She was determined to finally get out of lair that she was locked up in for what seemed like forever. When she first arrived at the base, she was overwhelmed by it all, and the thought of escaping never crossed her mind. Now all she could think about was her home and everyone in it.

'Are they even looking for me?' Sakura asked herself as she continued to walk down a familiar hallway. As she looked up from the stone floor she noticed that it was the same hallway that Kisame tried to keep her out of. 'What's so important about this hallway anyway?' Sakura thought as she walked down the hallway and began to open the door.

From the other side of the room, the Demons stood still in fear. Shukaku looked towards his brothers and sisters only to see them feeling the same nervousness and confusion cross their face.

"We have to get her out of here." Nobu told Shukaku with anxiousness.

"And how do you purpose we do that?" Tae told Nobu with an eyebrow raised to the ceiling. She knew her brothers were too "macho" to think this far ahead.

Nobu shrugged his shoulders and Nobu joined Shukaku with pacing around the container in panic. Tae shook her head and took a seat near Emi. "You'd think they'd be smarter than this." Tae said while sending her brothers a piercing glaze.

Emi nodded her head timidly and continued to look at the wall of their prison. 'We don't want Sakura-San to be in danger.' She thought to herself, hoping Sakura would be smart enough to turn back around.

Sakura grasped the handle and pulled the door open, only to see an empty room. The walls were covered in white paint and the floor was covered in beige rug. "Where am I?" Sakura asked herself as she shut the door and walked around the small room.

Her eyes darted around the empty room as she didn't hear her voice echo off the empty walls, causing her eye brow to rise in the air, normally empty rooms would have sound waves bounce off the walls. 'Humm…that's odd.' Sakura said as she lifted her index finger and thumb up to her chin and stroked it softly.

The Demons stood very still as the watched Sakura walk around the room. She had no idea that they were trapped inside the room, but it brought somewhat a relief to Shukaku's face to now that Sakura was noticing something different.

"Shukaku-San, what should we do?" Emi asked him as her eyes continued to follow Sakura's movements around the room.

Shukaku turned his attention away from Sakura and to Nobu. "Lock the door Nobu. The last thing we need is for the Akatsuki to come in and activate anything." Shukaku said as he stepped in front of Sakura's path, only to have her walk right through him. He then turned his attention towards Riki. "Riki, direct your chakra towards Sakura, maybe if we are able to put her to sleep we can talk to her through her dreams." Shukaku ordered Riki and summoned his red chakra to enter Sakura's system.

While Riki's chakra was entering her body, Sakura felt a major pressure come down on her. She looked back and forth between the small room and couldn't seem to find anyone near her that could be causing her this uncontrollable feeling, it felt like her mind was going into a hazy state. The medic inside Sakura kicked in and Sakura felt her instincts go crazy, someone was trying to make her body fall asleep on her. 'There could be some type of Genjutsu in this room.' Sakura thought as she ran towards the door, hoping to exit it before the jutsu finished its task.

The Jinchuriki's watched as pink hair flew through the air and watched as her body fell to the floor in an awkward position. Emi ran over towards Sakura and tried to set her body up in a comfortable position, only to have her claw-like hands go right through Sakura. "How long do you think it will take us to get in touch with Sakura-San?" She asked Tae as she slowly stepped away from the human.

Tae saw her brother's and sister's eyes on her and she felt a sigh escape her lips. "It won't take long. I'll guide her here." Tae said as she sat down in a cross legged position and got into a meditated state.

Sakura woke up to a pounding headache. Her emerald eyes opened only to see her body floating through an unknown world. She jumped up to her feet and looked around, watching as nothing but herself continued to float in the atmosphere. 'Where am I?' Sakura asked herself as she pinched the bridge of her nose to subside the pain of her headache.

"You are in a world kind of like what you humans call Limbo." Said a voice.

Sakura felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand straight up by how demonic the voice sounded. Her head snapped back and forth trying to find the source of the voice. "Who are you?!" Sakura yelled, half hoping her question would be answered and the other half hoping she would wake up right then and there.

The voice let out a light chuckle and before Sakura could avoid it, a white light shined brightly before her, causing her to cover her eyes with her hands. When Sakura lifted her hands away from her eyes, she was greeted with a sight of a blue haired woman dressed in a dark blue dress that stopped at her knees. "Well little girl, I wasn't expecting you to be so tiny." Said Tae with a fang filled smile.

Sakura narrowed her emerald eyes at the "person" in front of her and felt her fists clench. "What did you say?!" Sakura growled out with anger evident in her voice.

Tae chuckled, once again, towards Sakura. "Don't get so defensive. For the power you hold, it's very….surprising." She told Sakura.

Sakura raised a brow towards the other person. "Who are you?" She asked again, hoping this time her question would be answered.

"My name is Tae, I am the water Demon." Tae informed Sakura, as she watched her eyes widen with shock. "I assume you have met my younger brothers Nobu, Shukaku, and Kyuubi. Of course you have already met my littlest sister Anri." Tae told Sakura as she watched the human's face fill with shock. "After all, she is the one that told us about you." Tae added in as she continued to watch Sakura's astonishment grow even more.

Sakura felt her breath get caught in her throat. Who was this Demon? She never met her before, yet the Demon already knew who she was, it unnerved her but Sakura swallowed it down and continued to watch the Demon before her. It still amazed her how beautiful the female race of Demons looked, it reminded her of a rose. One that looks beautiful on the outside but holds thorns on the inside.

Tae's black eyes watched Sakura as she tried to figure out who Tae was. "I am the oldest sibling amongst the Jinchuriki's…" Tae informed the baffled human before her. "My younger brother, Riki, brought you here." Tae exclaimed as she pointed to the world around them. "My family is expecting your arrival, we have much to discuss, so come on slow poke." Tae said with added humor at the end.

Sakura blinked a few times at the joke the Demon tried to make towards her, but decided not to comment on it, instead she followed Tae into the blinding white light.

The remaining Demons waited until a white light entered their room. They waited until they saw Tae and Sakura emerge from the light. Tae strolled towards her family and took her place next to Shukaku, while Sakura stood in the same spot she arrived in.

"Hello again Sakura." Shukaku said to Sakura with a fang smile, much like Tae's moments ago.

Sakura stood in her spot, still as stone; she looked around the room to see all the Demon's looking down at her. Her eyes continued to look around the room, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling that washed upon her with all the Jinchuriki's stares on her, until she saw her own body up against the door. Shukaku watched as her eyes widened. "So that's what that pressure came from!" Sakura shouted her realization to herself. Her glaze left her own body and turned towards the raccoon Demon before her. "What do you want from me?!" Sakura yelled

Shukaku's smile disappeared and his eyes stared intently towards her. "Sakura you are in danger here. The only way for us to get in contact with you is when you are asleep…" Shukaku was going to continue until Sakura cut him off.

"So you decided to physically put me to sleep instead of waiting for me to go to sleep naturally?!" Sakura yelled, enraged at the strong Demon before her.

Shukaku shook his head and he continued with his explanation. "We needed to contact you quickly before any of the Akatsuki members come looking for you." Shukaku explained.

Sakura was still unset and she couldn't help but turn back around and stare at her sleeping form. "How come I can see you now and I couldn't when I first walked into the room?" Sakura asked.

Nobu decided to speak and stepped forward. "Pein placed a strong Genjutsu around this room, if intruders walk in the room, the room would seem empty. Only those who know the seals can deactivate the Genjutsu." He explained to her as Sakura continued to study the room.

Sakura felt all the pieces of the puzzle fall into her lap. She understood why there was no echo in the room when she first arrived. 'It all makes sense now…why didn't I see it before?' Sakura thought to herself angrily but her anger slowly subsided and she returned back to the situation at hand. The realization of the events came crashing down on her. "When you said I was in danger, what do you mean I'm in danger? Of course I know I am! They want to use my chakra to calm all your chakra down." Sakura said as she pointed to each and every Demon in front of her. "I already know that." Sakura exclaimed as her arms crossed over her chest and she huffed angrily.

"Sakura you don't understand, the Leader has a plan to corner you in here and use your power until there is nothing left." Nobu told her, causing her face to fall. "It's like…he wants to suck you dry and use everything you have. He has no intension of releasing you from this place." Nobu continued to tell Sakura, as her mood fell.

The family of Demons watched as her face fell into complete seriousness. Her predicament was no longer a game anymore; she was right when she decided that she needed to escape. Her serious emerald eyes turned towards Shukaku. "What do I need to do?" She asked, anger was erased from her face and was replaced with a stern expression.

Tae stepped forward and smirked towards her. "Unlike my brothers, Emi and I have devised a plan." Tae said as she turned her head towards Emi.

Sakura nodded her head. "Ok, let's here it then! If they want to kill me I really would like to try and avoid that." Sakura said as she clasped her hands together and waited to hear what the powerful Jinchurikis had to say.

Before Emi could start explaining the plan to Sakura, smoke filled the room. Sakura felt her body stiffen, but she noticed that the others acted like there was nothing wrong. Her eyes narrowed as she proceeded to gracefully slide down into a defensive crouch.

Once the smoke cleared she felt the world around her freeze, she couldn't believe who was in front of her. She watched as Shukaku walked up to Kyuubi and patted him on the shoulder.

"What's happening in Konoha, Kyuubi?" He asked.

Kyuubi stared at Shukaku with narrowed red eyes. "Shukaku, why do I feel Sakura's presence in this very room?" He said angrily as he looked around only to see her fallen form on the floor, sleeping. "I told you not to let her near you!" He yelled, furious that his brother went against his orders.

Sakura felt the power illuminating off of Kyuubi and knew it was time to talk some sense into the hotheaded Demon. "Kyuubi!" Sakura yelled as she walked up to Shukaku and Kyuubi.

Shukaku watched as Kyuubi's eyes popped out of his head. "S-Sakura?! What are you doing here?!" He yelled as he stared down at the small human with complete shock on his face.

Sakura stared at the Junchurikis surrounding her and she shrugged her shoulders. "They were the ones that brought me here, but it's not like I mind, I mean they are the ones that are trying to break me out of here." Sakura said as she looked around the room for emphasis.

Kyuubi glared at his brothers and sisters and felt the need to bash his head against the wall. 'Do they NOT know what "keep her away" means?!'

Tae lifted her claws on her younger brother's shoulder and watched him closely as his eyes landed on hers. "Kyuubi, if we want to get Sakura out of here alive, we need to work together." Her head turned towards Emi, then Sakura, and then back to him. "Before you rudely interrupted, we were telling Sakura the plan of getting her out of here." Tae stated as she narrowed her eyes towards him at the mention of his interruption.

"Well you better hurry because the Kit has been driving me nuts trying to find this place." Kyuubi said with a sigh, causing Sakura to gasp. "It's harder than it looks to find a base half hidden underground." Kyuubi said with a sigh.

"Naruto?! How is he doing?" She asked with a worried tone, her head shifted to her feet. "This is all my fault, because I wasn't thinking about trying to escape in the first place, I couldn't leave hints for anyone. I was selfish and thought of nothing but myself. Now…" Sakura felt the weight of her actions come crashing down on her shoulders. "….now…if we don't stop him soon, the Akatsuki will have capture him and will still have me." Sakura finished as a tear escaping her eye.

Emi knelt down to the human's level and gently placed a hand on her head. "Don't c-cry Sakura-San, T-Tae-San and I w-will get you out o-of here in no time." Emi said with a gentle smile.

Sakura stared deep into the Cat Demon's eyes, she saw sincerity and determination cross those eyes. In a way she felt better and she wiped the tears from her eyes and brought her attention back to reality. "What are we doing standing around here for?! Let's get to work!" Sakura ordered the Jinchuriki as she jumped up to her feet and felt the determination explode through her veins.

They all smirked her way and got to work. Emi and Tae took Sakura and filled her in on the details, while the male population got everything set up. Seals were written around the room with their blood and even pieces of fur would accompany the "decorations".

The smell of blood and other unknown substances entered Sakura's nose, but she didn't dare say anything, she was then lead to a corner in the room where Emi and Tae told her the plan.

"Sakura-San, at midnight, we need you to come back here in this room. You won't be able to see us, but don't worry about it." Tae said reassuringly.

"As long as you stand in the center of the room, you will be all set." Emi said with a small smile, finding the human's presence very peaceful, causing her nervousness to disappear.

Sakura nodded her head determinedly. "What do I do when I get in here?" She asked.

"Make sure to lock the door and stand in the middle of the room. Leave the rest to us." Tae said.

Sakura nodded her head, but her glaze turned towards the working Demons as they painted the walls with blood and fur. She felt a tug in her heart. 'They are willing to help me at the expense of their own exposure……If only there was a way I could get them out of this retched place.' Sakura thought to herself.

Emi and Tae watched the human with curiosity. They knew that most ninja were designed to lock up their emotions. They watched their containers did it, but besides the human Kyuubi was still attached to, they never have seen a human show their emotions so openly.

The females were brought back to reality once they heard Nobu shout out loud: "It's done!"

Sakura shook her head to end her thoughts and watched as the Demons in front of her did the same thing. Sakura turned her attention back to Nobu and walked over towards the cluster of Demons. The more she watched each Demon interact with their family the more Sakura was driven to find a way to free the Demons. Who cares if they terrorized her village nineteen years ago, everyone deserves a second chance right? Maybe she could figure out what exactly her power was suppose to do to the Demons. If she could grace them with a happy ending, she would feel complete, even though they terrorized her town she believed they were instigated into doing such a drastic action.

Tae examined the wall and the two final Jinchurikis walked over to the wall and sliced open their finger tips. Sakura watched as the blood slowly dripped down their claw-like hands, her eyes watched as the red liquid was spread around the wall in strange patterns. Once the finishing touches were completed all the Demons turned towards Sakura with a smile.

Kyuubi knelt down on the floor and ruffled her hair. "Remember Sakura to come back here at midnight." He said in a low voice towards her, causing Sakura to nod her head in-between the ruffling of her head. 'Finally we will be able to get you to escape this place.'He thought to himself as he stood up and watched as his family members wished Sakura good-bye. 'When Anri said that she installed a sense of peacefulness on us, she wasn't kidding, Sakura is really the one that could return us all back to our home…'Kyuubi thought with a small smile.

Sakura felt a smile flash on her face as all the good-lucks were showered upon her. With determined eyes, she allowed Riki to send her back to the other part of reality. Sakura woke up to a winded feeling, but quickly brushed it off, as she rose to her feet and dusted imaginary dust off her cloak. As her petite ivory colored hand rested on the silver colored handle her head turned towards an imaginary spot in the room. A small smile of gratitude graced her face and she bowed her head in the Jinchuriki's direction. "Thank you all for your help and don't worry….your efforts will not be wasted." Sakura said as she slipped away from the room and made her way towards her room.

As Sakura ran down the hallways, she hoped that no one noticed her disappearance. She had no idea how long she had been with the Demons but she pushed her legs to carry her faster through the hallways. Sakura rounded the corner to her room, only to see Konan walking past her room. A light bulb went off in Sakura's mind, a smile slowly crept on Sakura's face. 'Maybe I could kill two birds with one stone.' Sakura thought as she ran towards Konan, grabbed her by the arm, and shoved her into her room.

Konan felt her instincts yell at her as someone grabbed her arm and shoved her into Sakura's room. When she finally felt the person's grip off of her arm she sent a death glare towards the person. Sakura watched as Konan glared at her but her smile grew bigger as Konan's reaction.

Konan was completely confused. How did Sakura get out of her room? When did she get out of her room? Where was she coming from? What was she running from? As all these questions crossed Konan's mind, her blue eyes narrowed towards the pink-haired woman before her. "Sakura." Konan stated firmly. "What were you doing out of your room?" She asked in a cold tone.

Sakura felt her face fall and her mood change drastically. What happened to the Konan that used to greet her with warmth? Her emerald eyes blinked towards Konan. "Konan….what has happened to you?" Sakura asked as she tilted her head to the side to show her confusion.

Konan felt her heart tighten at Sakura's expression. She felt guilty for not talking to Sakura for the past week, but if she continued to see Sakura it would be harder for Konan to see Sakura be used for Pein's machine. When Pein said she held an attachment to Sakura, it killed her inside, but Pein was right. Sakura brought a different personality to her ninja world and it fascinated Konan. She wanted to learn more about her and along the way she picked up an unwanted friendship that escalated into much more than she ever thought she would hold for an enemy.

Sakura watched as Konan turned her head away from Sakura and began to walk back to the door. "Don't think about it." Sakura said as she grabbed Konan's arm and jerked Konan back towards her. "You aren't leaving here until you tell me what happened to you. Did I do something wrong?" Sakura asked as her voice grew very quiet.

Konan's head snapped around only to see the woman hiding behind her pink bangs. Konan reached out to Sakura and touched her shoulder. Screw Pein for the moment! This young woman was the closest friend she has ever had in all her life, she would be damned if Sakura blame herself for her own actions.

"No Sakura." Konan said as she watched Sakura's head rise up. Her blue eyes watched as those dark eyelashes fanned away the crystal like tears away from Sakura's eyes. "It was not your fault that I have been acting this way." Konan finally said as, a small, sad smile graced her lips.

Sakura sniffled and raised one slim pink eyebrow towards Konan. "Then has caused you to be like this Konan? I haven't seen you in a week and….I thought I did something wrong." Sakura confessed.

Konan shook her head and her grip on Sakura's shoulder tightened. "Sakura it was not your fault. Pein instructed that I leave you alone for a while." Konan told Sakura, making sure not to reveal anything else that they discussed that night.

To Konan's puzzlement, Sakura's mood bounced back and her face beamed with anxiousness. "Then come with me Konan!" Sakura said as she grabbed Konan's hand that rested on her shoulder and clasped it together with hers.

Konan shot Sakura a suspicious glare. "What are you talking about Sakura? Go where? You can't go anywhere, this place is heavily guarded." Konan told Sakura even though she was still suspicious of her words.

Sakura shook her head and her grasp on Konan tightened. "Konan come with me! I have a way out and you can come with me!" Sakura said urgently hoping Konan would come with her.

Konan slipped her hand away from Sakura's grasp and she backed Sakura up into a corner. "No one is coming for you Sakura. There is no way out." Konan said, feeling horrid that she had to state that her future would end at this base.

Sakura shook her head, causing her hair to whip her in the face. "No Konan just listen to me! You could start all over! You wouldn't have to worry about people coming after you!" Sakura said as she looked deep into Konan's blue eyes. "I believe that you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Please come with me!" Sakura stated again.

Konan didn't understand what Sakura was thinking but she decided to go along with it, she needed to understand what was going through Sakura's mind. "Sakura I can't come with you." Konan said.

Sakura stared at Konan and grabbed her hand once again. "Yes you can! You could leave this place and come with me back to Konoha. We could let you start a new life. You could start all over and leave everyone behind." Sakura said.

Konan stared at Sakura with saddened eyes. The woman really wanted her to go with her, wherever it was she thought she was going, but when Sakura said that she would leave everyone behind she felt a tug in her heart. She shook her head more rapidly this time. Sakura watched as Konan allowed emotions to run wild within her, she had no idea what to expect from the only female Akatsuki member.

"Sakura…" Konan started to say as she stopped shaking her head and removed her hand away from Sakura once again. "I can't leave this place." She said seriously.

Sakura looked at the older woman like she was insane. Of course she could leave this inhumane place! "Of course you can Konan! Just come with me!" Sakura said for the third time.

Konan shook her head. "Sakura, don't you see?" Konan said as she extended her arms out away from her. "This whole place is where I belong." Konan continued to say as she stared down at Sakura. "I can't just leave everyone in here."

Sakura's eyes went wide at Konan's last words. She recognized the look that entered Konan's eyes when she said that, for she had that look once before, when she finally realized her feelings for Itachi. "Konan…" Sakura said softly only to have Konan continue on with her rant.

"After our conversation in the library and everything else that happened that night, I had….I had a revelation." Konan started to explain to Sakura. "I realized what you were indicating to me at the library and it makes sense now…" Konan said as Sakura noticed how her eyes held a distant look. "Everything that has happened between me and Pein makes sense now…" Konan ended her rant and returned back to reality. Sakura watched as her intensive blue eyes came shooting back towards her. "Do you know how much it would hurt to backstab the one that…" Sakura watched as Konan faltered over the next couple of words that she was trying to say, but Sakura didn't need her to explain anything, for she knew what Konan was trying to admit.

Sakura stepped closer towards Konan and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. Konan looked down at the petite hand and followed the arm it was connected to until she came face to face with Sakura. Sakura held Konan's glaze for a few moments until a sad smile reached Sakura's face. "Konan you don't need to explain it to me. I know what you are trying to say…and I can relate in that same way to you…although I can't tell you how." Sakura said before she allowed Konan to question her. "…are you sure you want to stay here?" Sakura asked one last time, trying to see if she could turn around the Akatsuki's mind. Deep down Sakura hoped that Konan would see the light in coming to Konoha with her.

Konan slowly shook her head from side to side. A sad frown present on her face. "No Sakura I can not come with you…maybe if…if I wasn't so emotionally tied here I would." Konan said with hidden meaning in her words.

Sakura nodded her head in understanding and released Konan from her grasp. Emerald eyes watched as the black cloak with red clouds on it swayed in the air and out her door. Once the door was shut Sakura fell to the floor and released a big gasp, her vision returned to the door and she bite her lip with uncertainty. 'Did my outburst raise suspicion in Konan? Will she report my accusations to Pein and everyone else in the base?' Sakura shook her head and looked towards the digital clock that resided on her night stand. 'I have a couple more hours until it's time to leave, I don't think Konan will rat me out.' Sakura felt uncertainly flush over her whole body and she began to shake. 'What am I talking about?! Of course she will! She's Akatsuki!' Sakura thought horridly. 'I guess I'll pray to the Gods and hope that luck is on my side this time.'

Sakura sat in her room watching the red lines, which made up the numbers on the digital clock, pass by before her eyes. The hours flew by as Sakura waited for the designated time to arrive. When Kisame brought her food, Sakura took it without a word and slowly ate the food as he exited to room, she peeked behind Kisame to see Itachi staring right back her. Her face fell when she watched him shot her an apologetic glance, or what you could consider apologetic for an Uchiha.

When the digital clock turned midnight, Sakura took a deep breath and stood up. Her legs felt numb at first, but she walked around the room and the blood began to circulate through them again. 'Ok Sakura, get ready!' Sakura thought as she tied the cloak loosely around her neck and proceeded out the door.

Right as Sakura emerged into the hallway, she saw Konan staring right at her while Sakura narrowed her eyes towards her. No words were exchanged as Sakura turned around on the ball of her feet and sprinted down the hallways. Konan saw the flash of determination in Sakura's eyes and she began to sprint in the opposite direction.

Sakura wasn't dense, she knew that after her confession about escaping Konan would be more suspicious than ever, and it surprised Sakura that Pein didn't suck all her power minutes after Konan's arrival in Sakura's room. Sakura shook her head and ran full speed towards the Demon's room.

Konan knew Sakura was fulfilling whatever it was that she was talking about earlier, not letting her slip away out from underneath them, Konan teleported herself to Pein's office. Deep down in her gut she knew she was supposed to address Pein about Sakura's statement earlier, but even though Sakura was an enemy she was also a friend. No matter what part of the world they were from, all their conversations will be taken to the grave.

Pein stood in his office examining each member before him. Tonight was the night they were going to extract Sakura's chakra. "We will tranquilize her and then we will begin the extraction…" Pein said as his eyes scanned the remaining members. "Any quest…" Pein was cut off for Konan poofed in the room panting in short breaths.

"Konan, what's…" Pein was cut off again for Konan stared down at him with alarm present in her eyes.

"Sakura's escaped." Konan said as she watched Pein's face grew pale.

"She was in there when I gave her food a few hours ago." Kisame said, trying to defend himself.

"And Tobi drained her chakra this time so the Tamer has no Chakra." Tobi said proudly.

Pein shook his head and stared at Konan with hard eyes. "Where did she go?" He demandingly asked Konan.

Konan shrugged her shoulders. "She took off running down the hallway."

Pein moved along the shadows and opened his doors. "Well don't just stand there! We have to follow her!" Pein shouted as the whole Akatsuki ran out of his office at full speed.

Sakura was getting close to the room but her excitement was short lived when she heard Tobi's voice scream: "Tobi found her!"

"Shit" Sakura swore under her breath and picked up her pace. She knew that they were catching up to her and if she looked back it would be all over for her. Trying to resist the temptation, Sakura ran down the empty hallway and launched herself into the room. Sakura turned around immediately and locked the door behind her.

Pein watched with narrowing eyes as she ran right into the Jinchuriki's room. He picked up his pace and soon the whole group was standing outside the room. 'This could be easier than I thought.' He said as his eyes drifted towards Konan. "Open the door." He ordered as Konan slowly made her way towards the door.

Inside the room, Sakura stood in the middle of the room, panting. Her breath was short and she was bent over, her hands resting on her knees for support. She looked around acting like she could see the Demons that she knew were all around her.

"Ok we better do this quick. They are right outside that door!" Sakura shouted urgently while trying to catch her breath.

The Demons circled around Sakura's body and each stood in their own spot on the painted circle underneath them. Shukaku looked at all his brothers and sisters and nodded his head. His attention then turned towards Tae and she nodded her head in understanding.

'Don't worry Sakura, we will get you out of here.' Tae thought as she dragged her claws down her arm, causing red liquid to pour slowly from the open wound.

Sakura stood in the middle of the room waiting for anything to happen, but her attention was drawn to the handle twisting around in place. A swear came crawling up her throat and Sakura couldn't help but pray to the Gods for some luck to fly her way.

While Tae was reciting the ancient chants and seals, the others focused their attention to the door that would soon burst open. "Ready everyone?" Shukaku asked as he felt some of his chakra slowly leave his body.

Everyone nodded their heads as their charkas left them as well. Soon seven balls of red chakra was flying above Sakura and with a swift cut of Tae's claws, on the painted circle, the balls of chakra spun around in an uncontrollable manner.

From the outside of the room, the Akatsuki were staring down at Konan and watched her try to open the door. When Konan felt Pein's patience grow thin she took a deep breath and placed her hand to the keyhole in the door. Her hand turned into a paper made key and she opened the door. 'I hope you did what ever you had to do Sakura.' Konan thought as she pressed the door open only to gasp at the sight before her.

Pein pushed Konan out of the way and the room was filled with every Akatsuki member in it. Konan watched as massive amounts of chakra flew around Sakura and her blue eyes fell to the pendant that was glowing brightly. Her attention turned towards Pein, who was deactivating the Genjutsu and trying to separate Sakura from the contained demons.

Pein felt a deep growl at the bottom of his throat. The plan was not suppose to happen like this! He was supposed to put her to sleep and slowly take out her chakra. What was going on right in front of him at this very moment?! His calculated eyes watched as the whirlwind of Chakra became more violent than ever before. He felt his gut start to twist and turn, as his eyes traveled to the metal container on the side of Sakura he felt his eyes widen. 'The little Demon Tamer thinks she can escape me?!' Pein thought angrily as he clasped his hands together and preformed a complicated jutsu.

The Akatsuki watched as a substantial amount of chakra exited Pein and flew towards Sakura's whirlwind of chakra. To Pein's dismay, however, a red barrier came in-between his chakra and Sakura. The chakra surge was so powerful that it bounced off the barrier and crashed into the wall behind Sakura. Pein felt an even more impatient growl escape his lips as his fists, stealthily, formed into fists.

While everyone was watching the whirlwind of chakra wash over Sakura, Itachi felt something inside him snap. His brain flushed flashbacks upon him, where he was in the hospital watching Sakura's unconscious body start to glow brightly. He felt his fists clenching in the bottom of his pockets. Through the whole whirlwind of emotions, Itachi never took his eyes off of what was happening in front of him. Before his partners could do anything about the predicament before them, she was gone, the whirlwind of chakra subsided and there was no Sakura to be found. Itachi felt little emotion reach the surface, while on the inside he was burning up with anger. 'I will not lose you again Sakura…' Itachi thought as he turned around and walked out of the room.

Konan was right beside the Uchiha as she witnessed his change in mood, even if it was very slight, she felt a knowing nod come from her. She finally realized how Sakura was easy to draw her assumption about Pein and herself. 'It's because…' Konan's head turned towards the Uchiha who was slowly making his way out the door. 'Sakura has been where I am, or she is in the same place I am.' Konan extended her hand out and grabbed the Uchiha's cloak as it swayed behind him.

Itachi shot his cold Sharingan activated eyes towards the person who dared to stop him. He stared emotionlessly towards Konan only to have her nod her head towards him. "Go get her Itachi." Konan said with an invisible smile towards him.

Itachi didn't respond to Konan's statement, but he waited until she let her grip slip away from his cloak before he walked with great meaning in his fluid steps. Her attention turned towards Pein only to see him stare intently at the place where Sakura once stood. As she waited to for him to speak the room grew very quiet, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Pein turned around and his face was still as stone.

"She escaped." He said obviously as his face searched his crew for anything. His eyes narrowed once he realized that the Uchiha wasn't with them. He turned towards Konan and narrowed his eyes towards her. "Where did the Uchiha go?" He demandingly asked.

Konan looked straight at Pein and lowered her head to the ground. "He left." Was all she said as she heard a very low distress sound come from her boss. She watched him as he re-set the Genjutsu and they all walked out of the room. "Let's find the Demon Tamer before someone else does." Pein stated as they all poofed out of the base and made their way into the forest. 'She couldn't have gotten very far, whatever those Jinchuriki's did it won't help her.' Pein thought as his crew followed him deep into the forest.

Itachi ran through the forest at lightning speed. His eyes searched every shadow and everything underneath that shadow, looking for Sakura. He was determined to find her this time and unlike all those years ago he knew where she would be going. At the moment he didn't care about what would happen if people found out about them, because for the moment all that he cared about was Sakura and her safety.

It pained him to hear Pein's evil plan that went in unwanted detail for the Uchiha, he already was planning to release Sakura before Pein had a chance to touch her, he did tell her that eh would never let Pein get near her and he would do everything he could, even die, to save her from the master of evil. He knew that his thoughts were poison but it didn't matter. 'What matters now is for Sakura to escape Pein and if that means I have to reveal our secret….so be it.'

When the light encased Sakura in a whirlwind, Sakura felt her world spinning. As the different colored chakra spun around her she felt the presence of the Demons around her. She felt a small smile of gratefulness shine on her face and she closed her eyes, allowing the demons to do their job. 'Thank you all for your help and don't worry…I will break you out of there if it is the last thing I do.' Sakura thought as she felt the world slip away from her, she watched as the tornado of chakra made her float away from the dreadful Akatsuki base.

It wasn't long before Sakura felt the charkas slowly disappear. Sakura watched as the colors blended together, making a rainbow like look, and was mesmerized by the way they evaporated into the air. After Sakura brought herself out of the daze the chakra placed on her, she looked around only to see herself up against a tree. 'Where am I?' Sakura thought to herself as she placed her hand on the tree trunk and lifted herself off the ground.

Her eyes followed the sway of the leaves from the gentle breeze that rolled across the ground level of the forest, but she caught noticed something unusual behind a few trees. Taking a deep breath Sakura jumped up, grabbing the tree branch, and lifted herself up on the branch. After Sakura's whole boy was balanced on the tree, she lifted her body up and placed her feet on the surface of the branch. 'I better go check it out.' She thought to herself as she cautiously continued to jump from branch to branch.

Up ahead, Kakashi and Naruto were resting up against a couple of trees in the clearing of the forest. Kakashi was reading his Paradise Island book while Naruto was growling at Kakashi. "Kakashi! We need to keep looking for Sakura!" Naruto yelled as his impatience grew thin.

Naruto remembered when Kyuubi told him where Sakura was, he never did question how the Demon figured out where his dearest friend was, and he immediately went to Tsunade to tell her the news that he heard. At first Tsunade was a little reluctant to trust the Demon inside Naruto, but Naruto wouldn't allow her to brush off his new found discovery. He nearly fell out of his seat when she told him he wasn't allowed to go look for Sakura.

Naruto looked over to the calm Kakashi as he flipped the pages in his perverted book. Kakashi felt Naruto's glaze but paid no attention to him. Kakashi remembered that day when Tsunade instructed that he should keep an eye on the Jinchuriki container. Kakashi heard about the discovery of Sakura's whereabouts and he knew that Tsunade wouldn't send him to join the search party. 'It probably killed him deep down inside.' Kakashi thought knowing full well that Sakura and Naruto held a deep relationship.

Kakashi chuckled at his next thought, for right after Tsunade warned him about Naruto, he saw a yellow flash run through the Konoha gates out towards the forest. It took him a few hours to finally catch up to the enraged, yet determined, young man and the two decided to look for Sakura together. And here they were now, gathering their strength before making their way.

"Kakashi! Let's go already! Who knows what they are doing to Sakura!" Naruto yelled as he got up from his spot and walked in front of Kakashi.

Kakashi felt the moon's light being blocked and he glanced up to Naruto. "We need to gather some of our strength Naruto, if we find Sakura but have no energy then we will…" Kakashi was cut off from a rustle in the leaves.

The two dangerous ninja tensed up and Kakashi rose to his feet, his book was replaced with a kunai, as they watched the leaves continue to rustle. "Be on guard Naruto." Kakashi whispered causing Naruto to nod and brace himself for an attack.

It had been a while since Sakura has been out and running around on tree branches, the Akatsuki base never really allowed her to venture outside. As she was running through the trees, on branch was covered in wet dark green moss, causing Sakura to loose her balance and fall into another branch filled with leaves. "Damn trees." Sakura stated angrily as she lifted herself out of the trees clutches, only to have the branch snap from the unwanted stress.

Naruto narrowed his blue eyes as he heard the branch snap underneath whatever it was holding. He watched as a shadow moved from the branch and came falling down from the tall tree, but he ran as fast as he could to catch the body falling from the sky, for after he saw a flash of pink he knew it was Sakura.

"Sakura-Chan!" Naruto said happily as he caught Sakura in his arms and slide across the dirt.

Sakura slowly lifted her eyes towards the voice above her she couldn't help but feel tears stream down her eyes. "N-Naruto!" Sakura shouted happily as she turned her body around and hugged the daylights out of him.

Kakashi watched from behind with a happy eye-crease. "It's great to see you alive Sakura." He said.

Sakura released her hug from Naruto and ran towards Kakashi, dragging him into a bear hug that Naruto just came from. "It's great to see you too Kakashi!" She said with the same happiness.

Naruto jumped up from his knees and walked over to Kakashi and Sakura. He smiled brightly, allowing his canine teeth to show. "Where did you come from Sakura-Chan?" He asked as Sakura released Kakashi and turned her attention to the both of them.

"I don't know Naruto but all I know…" Sakura was cut off mid-sentence when she saw Kakashi move in front of her while Naruto stood beside her.

Sakura turned around to see what they were shielding her away from, only to have her breath be caught in her throat. 'I-Itachi? How did he?' Sakura shook her head and blinked a few times, hoping that she wasn't dreaming, and to her surprise she wasn't.

Naruto growled and narrowed his eyes towards the Uchiha. "What do you want?" He growled dangerously.

Itachi said nothing as he continued to stare at Sakura with unemotional eyes, to the naked eye. Kakashi, however, stepped in-between them cutting off Itachi's vision of Sakura. Sakura turned her attention to her teammate and ex-Sensei, she felt something deep in her gut telling her to run, but she couldn't. This could be the only time she could maybe bring Itachi away from the darkness and more towards the light, she had to try right?

As Sakura stepped away from Kakashi and Naruto, the three men, watched her movements with intense and calculating eyes. "Sakura-Chan get back over here." Naruto said with a snarl, he just got her back and he wasn't going to lose her now.

Sakura smiled towards her teammates and then towards Itachi, before Sakura could take a step closer a voice was heard from behind Itachi: "We found you little one." Said a familiar voice.

Kakashi felt the significant amount of chakra and grabbed Sakura by her cloak and pulled her back behind him. Sakura allowed a squeak of surprise to escape her lips and she was thrown back behind the safety of her team.

The reunited Team Seven watched as Pein and his crew came emerging from behind the forest. Kakashi's guard became that much more tense and Naruto felt his anger rise in his gut. These were the goons that took Sakura away, they could of hurt her, and for that they would pay.

Pein was covered by the shadows of the night and stared down at the three Konoha ninja's before his crew. A sinister smile crossed his face, causing Konan to tense up. Her head turned towards Sakura, who was trapped behind her dedicated teammates. Konan smiled to herself. 'I'm glad that you got out Sakura, but now…' Konan thought as she looked around at all her teammates. '…it looks like this is where it will come to an end.' Konan said sadly.

"Hand over the Jinchuriki and the Tamer and we will let you go Kakashi." Pein ordered.

Kakashi crouched even lower towards the ground and shook his head. "No. I will save my students even if that means ending my own life." Kakashi said proudly.

Pein snickered towards the dedicated ninja. "If that is your wish…" Pein said as the tension in the air rose.

Sakura looked between them all and couldn't help but feel responsible for this whole mess. If only she didn't let her guard down in her own home, she wouldn't have been captured by the Akatsuki, she wouldn't have to have her precious people fighting against each other, but what was she suppose to do? Sakura watched in horror at the bloody battle that could ensue in this very forest. She had to think of a way to end this fight before anyone got hurt….but how?






Authors Note: Ok readers I hope you all enjoyed that intense chapter, I really am sorry it took me longer to post it than I thought, actually three days longer to be exact, but this chapter is the turning point in the story so I had to make it perfect for you all! 24 pages was the length of this chapter and I am happy to state that this is the longest chapter I have ever written! Please, I apologize if anyone is OOC and everything that comes with it. Criticism is welcomed; I like to make my story better and better for everyone of you!


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