|Smile For Me
Author: brezoflower PM
[SasuSaku] Sakura's parents are murdered, and she becomes bitter and focused only on gaining strength...sound familiar? It seems Sasuke just might be the only one to save her from becoming just like him...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 18,986 - Reviews: 313 - Favs: 235 - Follows: 277 - Updated: 01-26-07 - Published: 09-15-05 - id: 2580201
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Smile For Me
I've never had a special clan power. No one in my family has been a ninja before me. My skills are minimal, and the only real thing I have to set me apart from everyone else is my intelligence. You'd think that because of that, I'd possess more common sense than the average person. You'd also be wrong.
Regardless of my strengths or weaknesses, I am still a ninja. The first kunoichi of the Haruno family. And whether or not I possess any special talents, I'm determined to create one. Only then will I be strong enough to move on from this crisis.
Only one person I know will understand.
The one doomed to hate. And not even I can open his eyes.
"I'm going!" 17-year-old Haruno Sakura called as she grabbed her cream-colored bag and slung it carelessly over her shoulder.
"Careful, then," her mother called. "If you come home with any more scratches, I'm going to talk to this Tsunade, even if she is Hokage."
Sakura couldn't help but giggle. "Mother, it's training. Of course I'm going to get a little scratched up."
"Your training is to be a medic-nin—"
"—and yet I do still learn battle skills," Sakura finished. "If I'm healing the ninjas that fight, chances are I'll eventually be in enough danger to where I'll need to defend myself." Besides, I'm almost at jounin level, she thought. I'll need all the training I can get. She gave her mother a reassuring smile. Her mother just frowned back.
"Well, then, just be careful. No broken bones, okay?"
"All right. You can count on it." Sakura smiled warmly at her mother one last time, then darted off. She felt no need to remind her mother that she hadn't broken a bone in over four years, and she had no intention of breaking one now.
Running quickly through the streets, she noticed the morning bustle of the market was making it rather hard to navigate through the crowd. That changed immediately as she jumped above the people, above the well-stocked fruit stands, onto a tarp; that propelled her up to the rooftop. She resumed her quick pace as she leaped from roof to roof. She had done this in the trees often enough.
Ah. There was Tsunade's office. Luckily, it hadn't taken long to get there.
"You're almost late, Sakura," Tsunade called warningly from her desk as Sakura appeared in her doorway.
"Yeah, there's a phrase for that; it's called 'on time,'" Sakura replied, the smallest traces of a smirk appearing on her lips.
"Watch that," Tsunade said, indicating Sakura's tone.
"Yes, sensei," Sakura bowed respectfully.
"Anyway," Tsunade dismissed the matter with a simple wave of her hand, "today won't be for training."
"You have a mission for me?" Sakura asked eagerly.
"Well, yes and no," her instructor replied. "I need you to pick up something in the next village."
"That's fine. I'll do it," Sakura said quickly. She loved getting out of the village, even if just for a little while.
"Glad to see your enthusiasm," Tsunade said. "Okay, in the next village there is a medical supplies stand which sells items we don't have here in Konoha. Pick up these things," she handed Sakura a small list, "and be back by the end of the day."
"Yes, sensei." Sakura happily sprinted out of the Hokage's office, the next village was Tirisu, and it wasn't very far at all. She would get this done in no time.
An hour later, Sakura gave her thanks to the clerk at the medicine stand, then headed back to her own village. She knew Tsunade had given her extra time to enjoy herself in Tirisu, but something inside her was telling her to go back to Konoha. She was happy to have had the chance to walk around Tirisu, anyway.
Gathering up her medical bags and her personal cream-colored one, she darted up into the trees and began the trek home.
Midnight obsidian eyes scanned the forest for any signs of movement. Nothing so far. Not that it mattered; besides his long-term goal, he didn't have much to do anyway. So he was glancing around this forest area for no particular reason, mostly out of sheer boredom.
His ears suddenly became more alert as he picked up the sound of something brushing by leaves. Checking the bushes down below, he fond nothing. But a sudden flash of pink made him head jerk up toward the trees. A young, slim girl of around seventeen or eighteen was leaping gracefully from tree to tree, carefully searching for the next thick bough she could land on. She was gone in an instant, and that pink hair was strikingly familiar to him.
He thought of that girl he used to know back in Konoha. Actually, the village wasn't that far from where he was standing now. Could she…
He shook his head silently. No. It couldn't be.
"Got them!" Sakura called gleefully as she strode back into Tsunade's office.
"You're back much earlier than I had expected," the Hokage commented. "Didn't you stay for a while?"
"Well, no, I just had this feeling…" Sakura shrugged. "Well, I have to go back home for a while. Do you need anything else today?"
"No, you can have the rest of the day to yourself,' Tsunade said to her, taking a sip of some odd-looking drink and setting it back down again.
"Thank you," Sakura said on her way out. She couldn't help grinning as she heard Tsunade mutter, "Damn drink left a coffee ring on my paperwork."
"Mom, Dad, I'm home early!" Sakura announced as she set her bag down by the front door. There was no sound in the house at all. Sakura turned the corner into the living room.
"Hey, is anyone here—" Sakura stopped abruptly as she saw a black-clad figure treading carefully around an armchair.
"What are you doing here?" Sakura demanded, preparing herself to fight if necessary. The ninja jumped considerably when he saw her. He slipped a small kunai from his pocket.
"SAKURA!" Her father shouted, running in front of her. Her mother came scurrying in from the kitchen.
"Stay back," Mr. Haruno growled.
"Daddy, no!" Sakura cried. Her parents had no experience in fighting at all.
"I said STAY BACK!" her father demanded. Sakura's mouth was trembling.
Suddenly, the ninja struck.
It all happened in a blink of an eye. The stranger clothed in black leapt upwards, and threw a kunai in Mrs. Haruno's direction. Sakura's mother screamed, then slid against the wall.
Sakura's father screamed his wife's name as he charged at the ninja and punched him square in the jaw. The ninja staggered back, but another kunai was ready in his hand. As Mr. Haruno moved to strike him again, the ninja lunged for his throat, kunai raised.
"DADDY!" Sakura screamed as he fell. The ninja looked to her, and she knew that he would kill her too.
In a blind rage, Sakura rushed forward and knocked the kunai away. Gathering her chakra, she spun as much energy as she could into her hands. This was the very latest technique Tsunade had taught her, and she had only seen it a few times. Well, now she would use it well.
"CHIDORI!" Sakura yelled as she pushed the crackling ball of blue electricity into the ninja. The stranger let out a deep roar in his throat as Sakura pressed the attack further into his chest. With a sickening thud, he dropped to the floor, and his cheek hit the tiles. He was dead. An amateur ninja. She doubted he was even a genin. But his build indicated that he was at least in his late thirties.
The only person she had seen use this technique flashed through her mind. He was gone now, and there was no reason for her to be thinking of him right now. Sasuke…is this what you went through?
Sakura's rational thinking returned immediately, and tears sprung forth. She gazed back at her parents' direction. They were both dead. Sakura couldn't bear to look closer and find out how exactly they had been killed. She just knew that they were gone, and no amount of chakra from Tsunade would heal them. The damage was already done.
She rushed over to the dead ninja and pulled off his mask. It was no one she recognized. Just a simple robber coming to take their valuables.
Raising her head to glare at the ceiling, her eyes shut tightly as she screamed, screamed as if she couldn't ever stop.
Two years later
Sakura woke slowly, her eyes adjusting to the sunlight streaming through the window. Today was just another day. Nothing special was going to happen. She would get ready, train for hours, eat, train the rest of the day, and then sleep again. Nothing out of the ordinary.
She sat up in her sleeping bag as she stared at the dark brown walls. Fate had definitely been cruel to her.
After the death of her parents, Sakura's house had gone out of her hands. The village council said she would get it back when she turned eighteen. But by the time she reached the age, the house had been sold to a different family, and Sakura couldn't bring herself to reclaim it and force them out. She decided that she would move back in only when the other family decided to move.
The council had been very understanding about this, especially Tsunade. Tsunade herself had offered to have Sakura live with her, but Sakura declined, saying she wanted to live alone for a while. She couldn't bear to always have someone around to offer their sympathy. Being alone was better than being with people who only pitied you.
So the council searched for available houses. They had only found one; one that Sakura would have rather slept outside than lived in.
It was Sasuke's old house.
She couldn't help but wonder if this was exactly what he had felt after the death of his own parents. Naruto wouldn't understand. The solitude, yes; he knew that well. But he had never known his family; he had grown up alone. Losing both of your parents before your eyes was something only one other person would understand.
But she wasn't going to look for him. She wasn't going to bother with anyone anymore. Her constant training at her usual spot in the forest had been beneficial; she was now at jounin level, far above all others in her age group. She had learned numerous techniques, including the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. She had immediately turned down an offer to be part of the ANBU; she preferred working alone, rather than teaming up. The others would only give her something to care about, and that would only cause her pain in the end.
"Sakura-chan!" Naruto called, knocking repeatedly on the door. He knew very well that this was Sasuke's old home, but for Sakura's sake he had never mentioned it.
Sakura rose out of her sleeping bag, and trudged to the front door. Before she could open it, however, the door opened by itself as Naruto let himself in.
"Sakura-chan, I brought you some ramen for breakfast!" he exclaimed happily, taking out a small box stuffed to the top with fresh noodles. "I figured we could eat together."
"Sure, Naruto." Sakura didn't smile. She never did anymore. She led him to the living room, where they both sat down at the table and began to eat.
Naruto had made it a constant habit to visit Sakura at least once a week. He was always happy, even if it was sometimes forced. She knew that he thought if he was happy enough every time he came to see her, that she would eventually break down and learn to be cheerful again. This was not the case. Through the two long years since her parents' death, nothing had changed.
It was strange, though. The entire village (at least those who knew her) had expected her to fall apart, crying uncontrollably for months and months. After all, her feelings had always been very fragile. The opposite had happened. Maybe it was too much for her. In any case, she became distant, not rude, but never happy. She vowed that strength would he her top priority, and that she would train herself until she rose above all the others in her level.
But she promised never to become like Sasuke. She promised that she would never become so hell-bent on obtaining power that she would do anything to have it. She would gain power through herself, not from some ancient scroll or a cursed seal brought on my the most powerful man in the five Hidden Villages.
Sasuke. Actually, she hadn't given much thought to that boy, whom she guessed had already grown into a man. She had risen above her love for him. She knew that deep down somewhere, it was probably still in there, but it was so faint now that she was able to block it out entirely. After all, they were only twelve when he left. What did he know about love anyway?
After Naruto had finished, he tried making small talk, and then left after his efforts proved unsuccessful. He gave her a sad smile as he walked out the door before closing it gently behind him.
Sakura took a quick shower, then got dressed in her usual training uniform. She had changed her clothing completely, so it was strictly functional and not for style. Form-fitting black fabric clung to her body like a swimsuit, although the fabric extended down to the middle of her thighs as if it was built-in shorts. A black cape with a hood was attached to the back of the outfit. Two kunai holsters were strapped to each of her legs, and midnight-colored tights ran all the way down her slim, toned legs into her boots. The boots were made to be as light as possible for easy movement, or so the tailor told her. Luckily, they worked just as he had said. They weren't big, and they didn't make her clumsy, perfect for her training. She had kept her hair short, strictly for convenience. She personally felt that it made her look older and more mature anyway.
As much as she had intended the outfit to be only for use and not style, she still didn't miss the approving looks of the young men her age when they glanced in her direction. Another thing that reminded her of Sasuke; always ignoring attention from the opposite sex. She wondered whether she would, in time, become a clone of him.
Slipping her black hood on, she tucked her silver cherry blossom necklace into her shirt. That necklace was a present from her parents, and was the only thing she had left of them. She treasured it above all else, and would protect it with all she had.
Sakura sighed; now for training.
Sasuke felt that it was finally time. After years and years of avoiding the village, he would have to confront his old house and the memories it contained. Not that he had any intention of permanently coming back. He would visit under the cover of night, where he could slip in and out unnoticed.
All he had to do now was wait for night to fall. So to pass the time, he traveled to the old training grounds where Kakashi used to take him, back when he was part of a group of three. Ashe walked through the bushes, he heard a small noise.
It was the sound of a kunai striking a tree, then another one, followed by a feminine sounding "ha!" as the figure threw them. This person was already training at the grounds. Without bothering to see who it was, Sasuke sighed and turned back. He would watch the village from the trees until night came.
Sakura wiped the sweat from her forehead. Aiming her kunais at a single target had been easy enough; years of practice had made it so she hit the target one, two, three times in a row. Her aim was perfected. This meant that she would have to practice something else tomorrow.
Grabbing her bag, she headed for the house. She wondered whether she could ever call it 'home,' given that it wasn't her who had grown up there. Never mind. She would think of it later.
The door had barely been closed behind her before she flopped onto her sleeping bag, not bothering to get under the covers. She was asleep instantly.
Sasuke waited. Now was finally the right time. It had to be at least midnight. Gliding gracefully over the houses, he tapped the roofs silently with his feet as he made his way across them. Years of being a spy for Orochimaru had given him skills to be invisible to almost anyone.
When the right time came, Sasuke had snuck into Orochimaru's room. There was barely even time for a battle. Sasuke slid in and slit Orochimaru's throat. Orochimaru looked surprised before disappearing with a poof.
"I knew that tonight would be the night you'd come, Sasuke," he had said from the corner of the room. He had used replication. Sasuke quickly regained composure and had lunged at him, kunai raised. He had learned by now to save his chakra for when his opponent tired. And he had. After a long, heated battle, Sasuke had stuck him with Chidori and Orochimaru had fallen. Sasuke ran out, and he didn't have to check to know Orochimaru was dead. All that remained of his enemies was Itachi.
But Itachi would have to wait. Tonight was reserved for gathering all of his old possessions from his home, making sure his past was wiped clean from that place. He knew it would hurt, returning to the place he had avoided for so long. But it was finally time.
Sasuke slipped in through the back door. As he suspected, it was unlocked. No one came into this house anymore.
"What..?" he said silently upon seeing a body lying on the floor. No, it was on top of something soft. A sleeping bag. A homeless person was living in his old house! How dare he!
Sasuke, not bothering to be silent, plucked a kunai from its holster as he rushed toward the individual. He saw the figure wake from the noise and sit up, rubbing eyes.
Sasuke had smashed into the person, grabbing him and flinging him off the sleeping bag. The figure was awake instantly, and before Sasuke could throw him against the wall the person had grabbed hold of the front of his shirt and held a kunai identical to his own to Sasuke's neck. The two were locked together, each holding a weapon at each other's throats.
"Who are you and what are you doing here—" they said in perfect unison. Sasuke's eyes widened as the moonlight that shone through the front window reflected off of his opponent's eyes.
Emerald green. Behind them lay soft locks of short, pale pink hair. Sasuke dropped his kunai. It wasn't just that he had recognized the intruder. But in her eyes…
…was an intent to kill. He had never seen that look in her eyes before. Then again, it had been so long that he didn't really know her anymore.
"I'll ask you again," Sakura said warningly, her kunai still held at Sasuke's neck. "Tel me who you are or I'll kill you before you can blink."
A sudden rush of movement knocked away her kunai as the person gripped her shoulders, spinning her slightly towards the window. The intruder was looking closely at her, as if in recognition. She would have stumbled back if Sasuke's hands hadn't been gripping her shoulders.