It was rather like his life flashing before his eyes.
“Run, and cling desperately to life…”
He wasn’t ready to die. He hadn’t even accomplished his goal yet.
Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move.
“We’re not friends anymore!”
He needed to run. He needed to get Sakura and himself out of there.
Please, please, move. I need to run. We need to get out of here. Please, body, move. Please. Move. Move. Move.
He could hardly breathe, let alone move his hands. He didn’t know if what he’d seen had been a genjutsu or not. It’d seemed as real as Itachi’s Tsukuyomi had been. His heart was in his throat and his body wouldn’t move. He wasn’t going to be able to defend either himself or Sakura like this. Where was Naruto? If that idiot was good for one thing, it was his lack of fear towards anything. At the very least, his ability to rush forward and attack people head-on without a care in the world might prompt Sasuke to do something.
Since when do we let Naruto outdo us on anything?
“Don’t worry,” Hebi, as Sasuke had decided to call him, drawled with a smirk. “I’ll end it in an instant. You won’t have time to suffer.”
Move. Move. Move. Move. Move.
The long-haired man pulled two kunai free of his kunai holster, twirling them around his fingers as he approached. Sasuke’s legs were shaking, it felt like his knees would buckle. His fingers were cramping around the kunai he was holding. Sakura was on her knees beside him, shaking like a leaf, tears streaming from her wide eyes. She had never really been suited for combat in the first place. She was wholly unprepared for this. At the very least, Sasuke had been in a similar position in the past.
He needed to get them out of there, but he couldn’t move. His heart was beating a fierce rhythm in his throat, and he couldn’t take a deep breath. He needed to run. He needed to run. He needed to run. He needed to run.
Move. Move. Move. Move. Move.
Hebi lifted the kunai, taking careful aim with a smile that was pure evil. He took several more steps forward before coming to a stop, “It’s too bad.” He said, “I was hoping to have more fun than this. Now I’m all disappointed.”
Move move move move move move move move move
“Survive in an unsightly way…”
All at once, his whole body violently jerked into motion. He jammed the kunai he’d been holding into his thigh, yanking himself away from his terror by replacing it with pain. Then, just an instant before the kunai hit him, he scooped Sakura into his arms and leaped off into the trees.
Sasuke put as much distance between himself and Hebi as possible, relying solely on adrenaline to keep himself going. He knew the wound on his leg was going to be excruciating once he stopped moving and settled down, but he didn’t care. It didn’t matter. He had to keep moving, he had to keep fighting.
“…cling to life…”
We’ll do a lot more than cling.
When he finally landed in a relatively sheltered spot, he had no idea how long he’d been moving. He didn’t have a clue how far away he had gotten. He didn’t know how far back Naruto was. They needed to find that stupid guy before something happened to him. He set Sakura down carefully before collapsing against the trunk of the tree whose roots he’d landed on. His leg was already hurting enough that he didn’t really want to walk on it. He’d jammed that kunai in way too deep. He was going to have trouble moving around as fast as he usually did. That was extremely bad news.
His heart was still hammering. How long did they have before that freak caught up to them? Should they try to loop around behind him to find Naruto? Was that even plausible? What were their options? He didn’t know what to do. Zabuza and Haku had been nothing compared to this guy. The difference in their levels was astronomical. There was no way they’d be able to get away. They were probably going to end up being killed by him in some unsightly way.
“Live, Sasuke, until you’re strong enough to face me again.”
Would he ever be that strong?
At the rate we’re going, we won’t live to try.
He swallowed hard, trying to quell the shaking in his limbs. Plan. He needed a plan. He needed to-…
He jerked violently when something touched him, nearly pulling a kunai and slashing at the offender. He found himself staring at Sakura, who was watching him with wide eyes. Her face was still smeared with tears, and her face was bruised and cut up. He’d forgotten she was with him. Sakura being with him was a rather important detail that he couldn’t afford to forget about.
“S-… S-… Sasuke-kun…?” She stuttered, her voice barely above a whisper. He held up a finger to his lips to silence her, and she nodded shakily. She understood how delicate their current situation was. It was only a matter of time before they were found. They ought to keep moving, but Sasuke didn’t know how long he’d be able to run on his injured leg, and if he was going to have to fight anyway (because there’s no way we’ll outrun him), he’d rather do it when he had plenty energy to spare.
He turned to look around the vast trunk of the tree they were sheltered under. He needed to stay alert. He swallowed hard, eyes darting around as he scanned the area for any signs of movement.
“Sh-… shouldn’t we k-keep moving?” Sakura whispered, and he turned back to her again. The way her expression changed suggested to him that he probably had a look of utter panic written all over his face. There wasn’t really any way for him to conceal it at this point.
Sasuke opened his mouth to reply, but no sound came out. He took in a shaky breath and tried again, speaking as quietly as Sakura was, “We need to… to find Naruto.” He told her, and she nodded in agreement. “But-…”
“Ah, here you are.” His heart leaped into his throat again, and he spun around and let several kunai and shuriken fly in the direction he’d heard the voice from. The blades he’d thrown hit the tree harmlessly, embedding in the wood.
“Get up, Sakura,” he hissed, and he heard her scrambling to her feet behind him. He heard Hebi’s laughter from what seemed like every direction, and he could only continue to search for him helplessly. Even with his Sharingan activated, he couldn’t find him. Sasuke’s mouth was dry, his body starting to tremble again.
“Sakura,” he said quietly, and he felt her lean in to listen to him. “When he comes out, I’ll engage him. You go find Naruto.”
“But-…!” She started to protest, but he turned to look at her, unable to hide his fear and desperation, and she immediately silenced herself. She bit her lip, her eyes welling with tears. “What about you?” She mumbled.
“If you hurry,” he told her. “I might be able to avoid dying.”
Emphasis on the ‘might.’
She nodded slowly, and he continued, “Wait until-…”
Abruptly, Sakura’s eyes widened in horror and she grabbed his shirt and yanked him towards her, both of them stumbling backwards but managing to stay standing. Sasuke batted Sakura’s hand away as soon as he’d regained his footing and whirled around in time to see Hebi slowly dragging himself out of the tree trunk they’d been standing right next to only a moment ago.
Well, that certainly explains why we couldn’t see him.
Before his fear could swallow him whole again, he threw several more kunai and pulled out another one, following the flying knives. Hebi dodged all of them easily, but Sasuke had expected him to. He went in low, aiming a slash at the man’s stomach, and moment’s later they were locked in taijutsu. With his Sharingan activated, it was easy to predict the man’s movements, and even easier to plan to how he would respond.
It wasn’t really enough, though. He did a brief headcount while spinning in the air, noting with relief that Sakura had taken off. He wouldn’t worry about her anymore. He couldn’t afford to. The only person he needed to worry about right at that moment was himself. He wasn’t landing damaging blows – everything he threw at Hebi was dodged and parried. His kunai wasn’t making contact.
In that case…
He leaped back as far as he could, knowing that this particular jutsu had a pretty large area of affect. Hebi just smirked at him, walking forward even as Sasuke’s hands moved through several hand seals faster than he’d ever done them before. Heat built up in his chest and filled his mouth, and when he parted his lips and let out a blast of fire.
Katon: Gokakyuu no jutsu!
The huge ball of fire enveloped Hebi, obscuring him completely as the fire burned into the wood. Sasuke cut the jutsu by closing his mouth and allowing the excess chakra that had filled his lungs to seep back into the circulatory system that carried it. He breathed heavily, eyes wide and searching. He wouldn’t believe that that had killed him until he could see a corpse.
When the fire died down, leaving only scorched wood behind, his heart stuttered in his chest. He’d lost that man again. He took a step backwards, clenching his fists. He didn’t have anymore kunai or shuriken. If he wanted more, he’d have to summon them with one of his scrolls, but he didn’t think he’d be given an opportunity to do so. He was sure that the minute he pulled out one of those scrolls, he’d be attacked from every direction.
There was grayness around the borders of his vision and it was starting to interfere with his ability to see. He blinked rapidly, swallowing hard. This was a terrible time to be blinded by an unknown cause. The air had gone still and silent again. He didn’t want to breathe because he was afraid of what noises he might miss.
“You’re really nothing compared to Itachi,” Hebi’s voice echoed out of nowhere again and Sasuke stiffened. This person… knew Itachi? He gritted his teeth, anger finding its way around his terror.
He knows Itachi. Do you think he knows where Itachi is?
I’ll find out.
Sasuke felt a presence appear seemingly out of thin air behind him and whirled around much faster than he’d been able to earlier. Rage fueled his movement, erasing the pain in his leg and seemingly giving him a boost in every way. He swung out with his fist, evidently catching Hebi off guard, as he looked fairly surprised when Sasuke had fully turned around to face him.
For a moment, it seemed like he’d managed to surprise the man enough to gain the upper hand. Hebi swung out at him, and he leaped into the air, using the man’s arm as a stepping stone to gain more height. His hands moved through seals much faster than he’d ever been able to before, and the jutsu he wanted came through before he had even invoked its name.
Katon: Ryuuka no jutsu!
A stream of fire hotter than any regular flame burst out of his throat, gaining a temperature higher than Sasuke had thought was possible. The spray of flames covered a great area than the Gokakyuu had, and it burned through the branches of the trees, through trees themselves, likely making it to the ground hundreds of kilometers below. He cut off the jutsu, clamping his mouth shut. His feet hit solid ground – another tree – and he used his chakra to stick to it before he could fall. From high above, he surveyed the ground, searching for a body. That had to have done something.
His eyes widened, horror stealing his breath away when he saw the man standing up. How?! How was that possible?! He ought to be burned alive. At that moment, all Sasuke could imagine was that he must be some kind of monster. That Ryuuka had been the hottest Sasuke had ever made it. How on earth could this freak have survived that kind of heat?
All of a sudden, Hebi launched himself at Sasuke, who immediately let go of his grip on the tree and dropped to the branches a couple yards below. He spun around as soon as he landed, his eyes widened and his body reacted on its own, but not nearly fast enough. His back slammed into the tree branch he’d been standing on, the impact forcing all the air out of his lungs. Panic surging through him, he swung his fist at Hebi’s face, only to have his dominant hand caught in an iron grip. He was pinned. He was going to die. Hebi was straddling him, his eyes filled with a sick kind of hunger.
“L-Let go of me!” He shouted, trying to find the anger that had been powering him a moment ago. Hebi reached forward and grabbed a handful of his hair, tilting his head back forcibly. Sasuke bucked and thrashed as much as he could, but he didn’t have the leverage he needed to move as much as he would need to throw this guy off him.
“Don’t worry,” the man said, and Sasuke’s stomach twisted into a knot. The look in his eyes was positively evil, and he was terrified. “I’m not going to kill you, Sasuke-kun. I just want to give you an… incentive.”
What incentive?! What is he going to do?! His mind immediately supplied him with about a dozen scenarios and none of them were helping with his panic. He cried out when the pull on his hair increased, his eyes wide and his chest heaving. He didn’t have any kunai or shuriken left. He couldn’t push this guy off with only one available arm. Hebi was leaning over him, and Sasuke’s eyes were burning and he couldn’t breathe and that freak was licking his lips and his head was tilted further back and it was putting a strain on his throat that was making it hard to swallow and thus harder to breathe and oh god what is he going to do to me oh god no please please get off me get away from me help help someone help Naruto Kaisuki Sakura someone please please please help me…
He stiffened when the man exhaled against his neck, and all at once he was shrieking at the top of his lungs, “GET OFF ME!!” He couldn’t quite hear what he was saying. “LET ME GO!!”
Then, a flash of pain raced down his arm and up his neck, spinning away into the back of his head. He cried out, his one free hand gripping Hebi’s shoulder as he tried to push him off. Tears streamed down the side of his face, and the gray borders around his vision were filling up everything in sight and he couldn’t see he was-… he … he couldn’t- there was… can’t see… I can’t see I can’t see I can’t- too much was going on-… he couldn’t breathe… I can’t see… violent spasms wracking his body as pain flared through- everything hurts he was dying he had to be dying that had to be what was going on he couldn’t think of anything else that could possibly be happening it hurts it hurts it hurts he was going to die he was going to die and Sakura and Naruto probably wouldn’t even be able to find him and he was alone he was going to die alone and no no I don’t want this too much going on-… can’t-…
no no no no no no no no no no
“My name is Orochimaru,” the man’s voice seemed to echo in his head. “I can make you stronger. Strong enough to beat Itachi.”
You’re killing me how could you possibly-…
Something dark twisted inside of him, and he couldn’t breathe around it. It was filling his chest, spreading through every nerve in his body and it was cold. It swirled around him on the inside, something blacker than ink and purely evil and powerful.
“GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!” He didn’t know what was going on. His mind was blacking out and it felt like he was being wrapped in a chilling blanket and it was so cold and everything hurt and he couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t see and he- there… there wasn’t… it… too much… too much going on… too much… there’s too much… too-… too much… going… on… can’t-…
Everything swirled around into an inky blackness and Sasuke’s mind shut down.
“GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!”
It was all she really remembered. Her voice bursting from her throat as rage swelled up inside of her and her vision went black. Kaisuki didn’t remember what had happened after she’d shrieked at that freak who’d been holding Sasuke down, just pulling back from his neck. The Uchiha’s eyes wide and staring and his whole body had been convulsing when she’d arrived on the scene, but the rage that had exploded from within had been directly related to the man that had been holding him down.
She didn’t know who he was. She didn’t know what he’d done to Sasuke. She didn’t know what to do, really. Saeka hadn’t spoken to her since they’d found the man pinning Sasuke down. Kaisuki had felt her blind rage in the moment, but since then Saeka hadn’t spoken a word. Kaisuki had tried more than once to coax a reply out of her, but she refused to speak. It felt as though she had retreated deep into the background, hiding out somewhere dark and safe.
Sasuke and Kaisuki were underneath a shelter that had been made out of tree roots. Essentially, the earth that had once surrounded the roots had been eroded away by something – or someone – and it had left a nicely sized shelter for them to hide in. Sasuke was laying on his back, a wet cloth on his forehead to battle the fever that had come up out of nowhere. There was a bite mark on Sasuke’s neck (that sick fuck), right next to a black, tattoo-like mark that was raised and red around the edges. She didn’t know what the mark was, but it didn’t look like good news.
She needed to find Sakura and Naruto, but she couldn’t leave Sasuke alone. She supposed that it’d be best to just wait for a while and hope that they would find herself and Sasuke. If they didn’t come in however long it took for her to lose patience, she supposed she might try to call on Saeka to guide her to them in a timely fashion. It was moments like this that made her wish she knew how to preform the kage bunshin no jutsu.
Sasuke whimpered in his sleep, twitching slightly. Izumi had been directing Kaisuki so she could appropriately tend to him, as she had no idea what she was doing. Currently, she was grinding mint into a paste that she would then spread thinly onto the mark on Sasuke’s neck. It looked almost as though it were mildly infected or something, and if it was anything like a regular injury, the menthol in the mint would soothe it.
Kaisuki added a little more water to the bowl she’d been grinding with, mixing it in with what she already had. It looked like a paste to her.
“It should be fine now. Stick your finger in it.” Izumi told her. Kaisuki frowned, but did as she was told. Her finger tingled, and Izumi continued her directions, “Spread it over it the wound. Don’t slather it on, but put a good amount. Then I want you to cover it with a gauze pad so that it stays in place.”
“Alright.” Kaisuki responded simply, doing as she was told. A moment later, the gauze pad had been placed, and already Sasuke’s expression had relaxed some. He still looked fairly uncomfortable, but obviously the majority of the pain had been centralized in that one spot. She sighed with relief, plucking the cloth off the Uchiha’s forehead and dipping it into her bowl of water, squeezing out the excess water and then replacing it where it had been.
“He’s still pretty pale,” Izumi commented. Kaisuki hummed aloud in agreement, watching Sasuke carefully for a moment.
“Is Saeka around, do you know?” She asked hopefully. Izumi went silent for a moment, and Kaisuki’s face fell. That usually turned out to mean “no.”
“She’s around, but she’s in a foul mood.” Izumi told her, and Kaisuki blinked. “She says she doesn’t want you to stop liking her, so she’s keeping her distance until she calms down.”
She stared at Sasuke in silence for a long moment, not responding to Izumi right away. She wasn’t sure what to say. Evidently, she’d been right to assume that she’d made it to Saeka’s “Best Friends Forever” list simply by choosing to be kind to her. It was actually a very depressing thought.
“Saeka,” Kaisuki called, knowing the girl could hear her. “I know you’re mad, and I’m sorry about that. I just want you to know that it’s okay with me if you get angry, and I won’t stop liking you if you snap at me when you’re in a bad mood. I’m sure you’ve seen me do that to Naruto a hundred times…” She trailed off briefly, before concluding, “I just want you to feel better, so look after yourself.”
There was nothing but silence after she spoke, but she hadn’t really been expecting a reply. She just wished the girl would come back out so she could find Naruto and Sakura. At least to make sure they were okay. She had left a trail for Naruto to follow – a trail only he would understand and see – so she hoped they’d be able to find them. But time was of the essence. Sasuke had a fever that could burn him out if it was left untreated for too long. There was only so much she could do in this forest. She didn’t have enough medical supplies to help her in this situation. What she was doing now was the bare minimum.
Sasuke needed more comprehensive care than she could offer, especially since she didn’t even know what was wrong. He’d been convulsing earlier, he’d spiked a relatively high fever recently, and he was paler than a ghost now. The list of unrelated symptoms he was exhibiting had left Izumi at a loss, forcing her to simply treat said symptoms as they arose.
“Relax, Kaisuki.” Izumi’s voice came through again, “He’s not really in danger of dying yet. We’re tending to his symptoms so that they don’t get out of control.”
“Will he wake up soon, do you think?” Kaisuki asked hopefully. Izumi sighed in her head, and didn’t reply right away. She stared at Sasuke when he started to twitch, her chest tightening. Was he going to start seizing again? He hadn’t done it since she’d first found him, but she just didn’t know enough about what was wrong with him
“I don’t know. I doubt it.” Izumi finally replied. “He might not take three days to wake up, but I wouldn’t expect him to be up any sooner than a couple hours from now.”
Kaisuki thanked her for the sincere prognosis, and Izumi fell silent again. She was just reaching for the cloth on Sasuke’s forehead when the sound of a twig snapping had her whipping out a kunai and turning around, fully prepared to kill whoever came through the underbrush. Slowly, she stood up, though not all the way. She kept her knees soft and waited. If they were hostile, they wouldn’t make another sound. If they didn’t know she was there, they might make more noise.
She relaxed only slightly when the sound of rustling bushes reached her, growing louder and louder. Someone who didn’t know she was there. That didn’t necessarily mean they were a friendly party, though. It could be anyone. It could be one of her genin peers from Konoha, or it could be her team, or it could be someone who would be ready to fight her for a scroll. Though, at this moment, she’d willingly hand over one of her scrolls, if for no other reason than to guarantee Sasuke’s safety.
Her eyes widened when the two people who had been walking through the bushes stumbled out, bruised and cut up and familiar. Kaisuki replaced her kunai into its holster, as Sakura and Naruto looked up while they brushed twigs and leaves off their clothes. Naruto’s eyes widened as a wide grin appeared on his face when he saw Kaisuki. Sakura’s eyes welled up with relieved tears, and Kaisuki saw her almost let out a sob.
Then, they both saw Sasuke, still laying on the ground behind her.
The color drained from both their faces, and the smile was wiped off Naruto’s face like chalk from a blackboard.
“What happened?” Naruto asked immediately, his expression panicked. Sakura walked past Kaisuki, kneeling down beside Sasuke and looking him over. “How long has he been out? Sakura told me some snake guy was fighting with Sasuke, but when we got back to where they were supposed to be, he was gone. You’ve been here the whole time?”
Kaisuki nodded and replied, “Yea. I would’ve come out looking for you but I didn’t want to leave him. I don’t really know what happened. I came upon the scene at the tail end of Sasuke… of the fight… and I don’t know what happened after that… because I…” She paused, swallowing hard and looking at the ground. “I blacked out. I came back to myself here, and I’ve just been tending to his symptoms as they arise. Izumi’s been helping me.”
Naruto nodded, looking stricken. Kaisuki turned to glance at Sakura, who had one hand covering her mouth, the other wrapped around her middle, but she wasn’t making a sound. She was just staring at Sasuke with tears in her eyes, lower lip trembling. The Tsubaki looked back to Naruto, concerned.
The blond pursed his lips, his gaze turning to the ground. “I… she hasn’t been… talking much. Like, at all. She hasn’t said a word since she found me.”
Kaisuki’s eyes widened a fraction, and she looked back at Sakura again. The girl had lowered her head, her hair falling into her face and concealing her expression. Then, she looked back to Naruto, “What happened?”
“I… well, there was this really strong wind that came out of nowhere. It threw me really far away, but I gather Sakura-chan and Sasuke managed to stick together… I got jumped by some dick on my way back to find them.” Naruto explained, looking very upset. “I was fighting him when Sakura-chan showed up, and so we tag-teamed the bastard. Then she told me Sasuke sent her to find me, and he needed us right at that very second, so we went running to go find him. And, like I said, he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and so we were searching the area ever since.”
Kaisuki nodded silently, looking back at Sakura. “She’s in shock.” Izumi supplied, and Kaisuki’s frowned. “Talk to her about something other than what happened. It’ll help her to come out of it.”
“Alright.” She replied, before stepping over to where Sasuke was lying. She got down on her knees in the grass next to Sakura, briefly checking Sasuke’s forehead to see if his fever had gone up. It hadn’t, so she simply wet the cloth on his forehead again before turning her attention to Sakura.
“Hey, Sakura,” she said, keeping her tone even and calm. The pink-haired girl slowly dragged her gaze away from Sasuke. Her green eyes were haunted, and she looked positively exhausted. “What’s your nindo?”
Sakura stared at her for a long time, looking confused. Kaisuki smiled at her and continued, “Naruto swore on his hitai-ate that he’d never stand down and he’d never go back on his word. Right Naruto?” She turned to the blond, and he blinked at her, before nodding slowly. “I swore to myself that I’d never lie, and that I’d always put my family first. Did you decide on a nindo, Sakura?”
Sakura’s eyes widened a fraction, and Kaisuki watched her with a sad smile as tears slid down her cheeks. She bowed her head and wiped her eyes, “I…” She mumbled quietly. “I promised m-myself… that I’d become s-strong enough to protect the p-people I love…” She was staring at Sasuke again, her lower lip trembling. “And that I’d stop being such a coward. I… changed it… recently…” She trailed off, swallowing hard.
Kaisuki’s chest ached for her friend. “Well,” she said softly. “I think you’re on the right track, Sakura.” She said sincerely, and when Sakura looked over at her, she only smiled warmly. The pink-haired girl was working her jaw, and she reached up and wiped her eyes again, sniffling. Kaisuki glanced over at Naruto, who had been watching the exchange with a sad look in his eyes.
Kaisuki waited patiently for Sakura to get a hold of herself, wrapping an arm around her shoulders in an offer of comfort. The other girl leaned against her, exhausted, and continued to sniffle and choke on her breath for a few moments before she pulled away slowly. Sakura took a deep breath, her face buried in her hands, and straightened up. The light had returned to her eyes, and Kaisuki smiled widely at her. The pink-haired girl returned the gesture, though it was pitiful and strained.
“What are we going to do?” Sakura asked, looking past Kaisuki at Naruto. “You know Sasuke will k-kill us if we forfeit because he’s…” She gestured towards the unconscious Uchiha. “And we still need to get an earth scroll.”
Naruto blinked, looking surprised for a moment before he replied, “I have no idea.” He answered truthfully, walking under the shelter of the roots and frowning at Sasuke.
Kaisuki looked between the two of them for a moment before she offered a suggestion. “Why don’t me and Naruto go find a scroll and you can stay here and take care of Sasuke, Sakura?” She said, “Naruto could leave one of his kage bunshins here so that if something happens we’ll know right away. And we’ll try not to go too far away.”
Sakura looked uncertain about that, but after a moment of thought she nodded. “It’s really our only option, isn’t it?” She asked, looking between Naruto and Kaisuki. Kaisuki nodded, and she was sure Naruto was doing the same.
“Don’t worry, Sakura-chan.” Naruto reassured, his hands moving through seals. With a swirl of blue chakra, a perfect clone of Naruto appeared, grinning optimistically. Kaisuki stood up, brushing off her knees. “We’ll be back in a flash.”
Sakura smiled a little at him, “Thanks, Naruto. Be safe, you two.”
“Of course,” Kaisuki promised. “You be safe, too.”
The pink-haired girl nodded, and Naruto and Kaisuki exchanged a glance, nodded, and headed off. They leaped into the lower branches of the trees, climbing to higher ground before making their way further into the forest.
“We have to make this a quick trip, Naruto,” Kaisuki said as they made their way through the branches. She didn’t like the idea of leaving Sakura alone with Sasuke. She didn’t know why, exactly, but it probably had something to do with the vibe she was feeling from Saeka. The girl still wasn’t in the mood to chat, but Kaisuki could feel the uneasiness that had started to come through almost as soon as they’d decided to leave Sakura and Sasuke alone.
“I know,” he replied. “I don’t like it, either, Kaisuki. So, yea, let’s do this as fast as we can.