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Inka by suzieuchiha

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Chapter notes: [disclaimer: i dont own naruto im just a fan] chapter 1. enjoy & R&R
Sasuke made his way slowly through the forest, his mind not really on the direction he was headed. He’d trained hard all day to keep his mind from what day it was. But now it was really night and he was bone-weary he could no longer deny that he needed to return home. That didn’t mean he didn’t drag his feet at every step though. Home was the last place he wanted to be tonight. It was this way every year; that awareness of every shadow an sound in the house, that fear that this year he would return and that knowledge that he was not yet strong enough to survive if this year was the year Itachi came home.

Dwelling on that night, the night Itachi left, meant Sasuke was not concentrating on where he was going. As he replayed the night of his clan’s downfall he began to head for a part of the forest rarely entered. He watched his parent’s murder in his minds eye as the trees thickened and heard Itachi’s words as the ground began to slope downward.

He was shaken from his reverie by a muttering coming from overhead. Only then did he realise he’d walked into a hollow surrounded by thick forest. Looking up he saw no sky; the trees branches were packed close forming a prison above him. Again that muttering voice came this time there was no doubt. He had not imagined it. The voice came from almost directly above him! He scanned the canopy but the lack of moonlight made it difficult to pick out any detail. The voice came again, this time a few words were audible.

“No…please…” Sasuke heard these words before the voice subsided into renewed mutterings.

He was stuck in indecision when a moan of pain shot through the night. Decided he sent chakra to his feet and walked cautiously up the nearest tree. When he was among the leaves he crept along a branch in the direction of the moaning voice. What he found made him freeze. There was a platform constructed between four trees, the platform was roughly ten foot in each direction and was set up like a bedroom. There was a neat pile of clothes in one corner, a roughly hewn wash basin in the other. But his eyes were drawn to the sleeping roll in the middle. Thrashing there was a beautiful young woman about his age. Her sun-kissed skin looked dark in the moonlight that now filtered through the thin layer of leaves above the platform. She was half-covered in a sleeping bag that lay open over her. Long, straight black hair fanned around her head marred only by a shorter streak of, if he wasn’t mistaken, green! As she tossed her sleeping bag fell away to reveal a petite figure clothed in lose black pyjama bottoms and matching black vest.

As she writhed on the sleeping mat Sasuke’s heart went out to her. It was only a nightmare but it still looked pretty painful. He just wanted to go to her, comfort her, and tell her everything was okay. These feelings surprised him. He’d only just seen this girl, not even met her, and already he wanted to protect her from whatever tormented her dreams! He didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t bring himself to leave her side but was aware of how intrusive he was being right now.

“Father! No…please…don’t!” With this latest outburst Sasuke settled himself by her side and waited for her to calm down.

She continued to thrash about and just as he was deciding it might be excusable to wake her she gave a scream and swung an arm in his direction. Caught off guard her small fist collided with his nose. His head swam as he got over his surprise at how strong she was. A second scream brought his attention back to her.

“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!” She shouted. There was a long sword being held at his throat now. As a dazed Sasuke puzzled over where that sword had arrived from she continued. “Who sent you?!”

“Err…I’m Sasuke Uchiha and I wasn’t sent.” He could feel hot blood trickling down his chin now but didn’t dare move to wipe it away.

“Why are you here if you weren’t sent?” She still held her sword steady at his throat.

“Well I was passing through and I heard you moaning in your sleep…” She cringed slightly at this but otherwise stayed motionless.

“This is the darkest and most dangerous area of the forest that you just happened to be ‘passing through’ isn’t that a tad…unwise?” It’s his turn to cringe; he really didn’t want to admit that he’d gotten lost. Instead he decided to answer with a question.

“If it’s so dangerous then why do you sleep here?” Her face darkened and she lifted the tip of his chin with her blade.

“I’m the reason it’s dangerous!” She breathed menacingly. Sasuke gulped his Adams apple bobbing. This seemed to amuse her. “I shall ask again; Why were you ‘passing through’ here?”

“I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going…” He said slowly, feeling rather stupid.

“You got lost.” She finished sneering. The look on her face hurt Sasuke’s pride.

“I had things on my mind!” He said defensively. “Look…I was just worried about you. You sounded like you were in pain! But if this is the thanks I get then…well…your manners suck!”

“I didn’t ask you to care about me! No one has ever cared about me! What makes you think I need someone now?” She choked slightly on her words. This surprised him a little; from what he had seen so far she wasn’t one to show emotions.

Then suddenly her sword dropped as she grasped at her chest. The long sword smacked Sasuke’s foot as it struck the wooden platform but his attention was solely focused on the person in front of him. Her hair hid her face as she fell to her knees choking on blood that was soon splattered on the wood. Sasuke knelt beside her and grabbed her shoulders. He pulled her face up to his and realised with a shock how pale and sweaty she was. As he cradled her in his arms she shook. Why had he not noticed this before? She had hidden it well beneath a fašade of power, but it seemed she could no longer maintain that. What had happened to her? He had seen no wounds!

“What’s wrong?! You need to tell me! I can help!” He tried to make her understand but he wasn’t sure she heard him.

Her breath came in great rasps as she moaned, “Just a little longer…dawn…then…ready…” What did she mean?

“What is it? What will be ready?” He knew she heard him now but it strained her to speak.

“Antidote!” She managed to whisper before collapsing completely. Her eyes closed as she fell into an uneasy sleep.

It was poison! That was what had reduced her to this state! He’d hear the details later for now she needed to rest and he needed to find out where this antidote was. He lay her quickly on the bed and covered her sleeping form.
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