WHEREVER YOU ARE

Haruno Sakura, daughter to one of Konoha's heroes. Uchiha Sasuke, Chuunin, who might just be more of a disgrace to his Clan than his brother. Sakura knew going on this mission with him would be a mistake. That she would fall in love with him all over again, and the worst part was - she was right.

Road to Ninja Universe. SasuSaku.

Chapter 1 – THE BEGINNING

"Take my hand and bring me back.

I'll risk everything if it's for you.

A whisper into the night."

"Ah, I see. So that's what it was." Tsunade mused, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose with a single finger.

"And you say that there were two others here, a – uh – Sakura and a Menma, Tsunade-sama?"

Tsunade gave a nod. "According to what the Namikaze's have reported, yes. Only, he was called 'Naruto' and not Menma. What major differences did you find there?"

"Well, Tsunade-sama, other than the personality differences, Uchiha Sasuke was not in the village. It seems like he might have been a missing nin. That was the idea I got from Inuzuka Kiba, anyway."

"Most peculiar." Tsunade murmured, leaning forward.

"Also, my parents were both alive, while Namikaze Minato-san and Kushina-san were both dead. Minato-san's face was on the Hokage Mountain instead of my father's."

"It would seem as if that world is a complete opposite of ours, in most ways." Tsunade said before she looked up at Sakura. "Thank you, Sakura. Please go and get some rest. We will discuss this more tomorrow."

Sakura bowed to the Hokage before she headed out. The sun had not yet risen as she hurried through Konoha's still streets. She didn't exactly feel tired after her trip to the other world, even if it seemed as if she'd lost some hours, Sakura felt a buzz of wakefulness in her system. Sakura turned the corner and stopped. Hinata was a few feet away, trying to be very quiet. And seeing as she was sneaking out of Menma's place, it wasn't too hard for Sakura to guess what was going on. Sakura leaned back against the wall, fully amused as she watched Hinata trying to sneak away.

"Hinata."

Said girl spun around, her eyes narrowing on Sakura's form.

"You're up early." She commented in a chilly tone.

"Hmm. I could say the same to you." Sakura pushed off of the wall and approached the Hyuuga girl. Hinata's eyes narrowed slightly but she didn't move.

"I'm glad you saw me." Hinata commented in the same tone.

"Oh?" Sakura gave a smile.

"I don't feel like repeating myself." Hinata tossed her hair to the side, showing off the remnants of her night with Menma on her neck and chest.

Sakura cleared her throat and looked away.

"If I see you near Menma again," Hinata began but Sakura put a hand up. "I promise you, I'm not into Menma anymore."

Hinata gave her a suffering look before she seemed convinced. "Good. I'm having a party tonight. You should come." And then, without waiting for an answer, Hinata turned and walked off. Sakura watched her go with a sigh before she continued to her apartment.

The first thing she noticed was that the place was a mess. Shoes littered around the door, and Sakura leaned down to straighten them out before heading deeper into the apartment. She felt her anger rise, seeing the empty cans left out on the table like that but as her eyes moved around she froze. Completely. Utterly. Coming to a complete standstill.

He didn't.

No. He wouldn't have.

Nah…

Sakura marched over to the table, ripping the stem out of the water and tossing it aside furiously before lifting the dead flower petals and tossing them into the vase. Sakura gripped it tightly in her hand before storming out of the door. She couldn't believe him! How dare he!

He would pay. She couldn't even imagine what he'd done to hurt the other Sakura. But Uchiha Sasuke would pay.

She reached the Uchiha Compound within minutes, the sun hadn't risen yet but life was stirring in the streets as Sakura stormed through them to the main house. She went around to where his room was and soundlessly slid the window open and parted the curtain. He was in bed. Alone, thankfully. Sakura was sure she would have had to throw one of his girls out of there. Still holding the vase, she hopped into the room silently and moved over to him. He looked so damn peaceful, that if she wasn't furious, the sight might have warmed her heart – luckily she was too angry.

"Sasuke-kun," she whispered in a sing-song voice.

He didn't stir. Useless as a ninja.

"Sasuke-kun, ohayo. Wakey, wakey."

When he didn't move, Sakura threw the vase forward, water and rose petals spilling over his face. Sasuke cried out, sitting up in a rush. He blinked a couple of times before realizing what was going on. Several emotions played across his face before he settled on anger.

"What the hell, Sakura?" he demanded, ready to jump out of bed but Sakura shoved him down. One knee on the bed and her palm flat on his chest – strength keeping him down.

"If you ever treat me like one of your whores again, I will shove that rose down your throat, are we clear?"

"I love when you get like this, Sakura." Sasuke said, and she could see the angry lines of his face. "But I can't help but wonder what the village will think when they know their precious Haruno Sakura-chan is a violent little bi-"

Sakura leaned down suddenly, so they were face to face. "I would rethink that."

Sasuke scoffed, turning his head away and it took Sakura a moment before she pulled away, her hand dragging from his bare chest.

"As long as we're clear." She set the vase down on his nightstand before jumping out of the window and yanking the curtain back into place behind her.

x-x-x-x-

She headed back home, did a bit of cleaning before she fell into bed, the scene with Sasuke exhausted her on several levels. It had been fairly obvious to everyone that she'd been in love with him during their time on the same Genin team with Kakashi and Menma. It wasn't like she'd fallen over her own feet to please him. Sakura had silently adored him, but Sasuke never knew it. It was around the time of the Chuunin Exams that he'd realized just how amazing he was. After the three of them had made Chuunin, Menma and Sasuke had drifted apart. Sasuke had stopped showing up to most of their group training, instead choosing to spend his time with the village girls. Menma had washed his hands of Sasuke about a year after, deciding that his old friend had no business being a part of their team anymore. Sakura had hoped, for a long time that Sasuke would come around. He never did. Every time she'd seen him with girl after girl it had broken her heart to the point where she too had given up on him. Menma, in that time, had been a huge rock for her, but eventually his feelings for Hinata had stopped whatever relationship had been growing between them, and despite Hinata's violent tendencies – Sakura was happy for the two of them.

In the end, she'd managed to sleep a few hours. Sakura took a quick shower before she headed out to meet the Hokage. She had mentioned that they had more to discuss about the other world – not that Sakura knew much more. But she was immensely curious about that world. It had been lucky that it was Ino who found her. Even here, Sakura considered Ino her best friend, other than Menma. She had grown up with the Yamanaka girl and the two of them were practically sisters. Of course, no one truly ever escaped Uchiha Sasuke, so Ino had felt something for him at one point, but that had all changed when she'd met Sai – an exuberant but horrible artist. Of course, she thought that he was fantastic and was immediately smitten.

Sakura got along with most of the Konoha 12, but she was closest with Ino and recently, Kiba. Although Sakura considered most of them her friends, her relationship with Hyuuga Neji was somewhat fragile. She usually wished that she could be anywhere else but alone with him. As she did at that moment. Neji was coming out of the Hokage Tower as she walked up to it, he paused – a slow smile spreading over his lips.

"Ah, Sakura-chan."

"If you activate your Byakugan, I'll punch you in the face."

He gave a wistful sigh. "Your ability to read my mind is exquisite."

Sakura groaned, shaking her head. "Good to see you too, Neji." She side-stepped him, entering the building and leaving him staring after her as she hurried up to the Hokage's office. Tsunade wasn't in when Sakura entered the office and as Sakura neared the desk, she noticed some files had fallen off the side. Tsunade must have hurried out, and had no time to pick them up. Sakura sighed and crouched down, collecting the folders and stacking them up. She leaned forward, picking up a piece of paper, setting it on top of the pile, her eyes skimming over the names before she could stop herself.

Sakura stilled, thinking she'd seen the name Uchiha. She groaned, shaking her head.

"You shouldn't." she said weakly before her eyes moved down anyway.

Uchiha Itachi.

The name didn't ring a bell. She read over the file quickly. Apparently he'd left the village to join a mercenary group, Akatsuki. He is the son of Uchiha Fugaku and Mikoto-

"Wait, what?" Sakura read over the names again. Well, shit. Sasuke had an older brother that he didn't bother telling anyone about. Very suspicious indeed.

Sakura lifted the folders and set them down on the desk before she left the office. If anything, maybe she was a little hurt. Knowing Sasuke for nearly half of her life, you'd think he would have at least mentioned this Itachi guy. But he hadn't. Never even uttered a word. If Itachi had been dead, maybe Sakura would have understood. But he was alive, and in a famous mercenary group, dammit!

Sakura stepped up to a lunch stand and placed a quick order. She glared at the counter silently. How much did Sasuke hide from them all those years? Did they ever even know him?

Sakura knew that she needed to speak to Menma about all of this first, but she never got the chance.

"Two orders with tomato filling."

Sakura froze. Oh, shit.

"Mou, Sasuke-kun," the girl complained in what she must have thought was her cutest voice. "You know I don't eat tomatoes."

Sakura's head whipped to the side and it was at that moment that Sasuke noticed her too. They both looked shocked for a moment before their gazes turned to glares. "Ha." She scoffed and was the first to turn away, intending to ignore him, but she couldn't resist. It was as if, once she had the information, she couldn't keep it behind her lips and it came out in the most shocking way she could imagine.

"Say, Sasuke."

He turned to her, not believing that she'd actually spoken to him.

"I didn't know you had a brother."

His eyes widened and his jaw went slack, if anything – he hadn't been expecting that.

"Itachi-san, wasn't it? I have to ask, is he at least a better ninja than you?"

Sasuke was still staring at her, his face pale, jaw slightly open.

"Sasuke-kun?" the girl tugged on his arm.

"Sakura-sama, your meal."

Sakura turned to the owner and took the small bag from him. "Thank you," she held out the money but he shook his head. "I couldn't take that. Not from a hero's daughter."

"I insist-"

He shook his head. "Please, Sakura-sama."

Sakura gave him a sad smile before turning away not giving Sasuke a second glance.

She'd only made it about half way down the street when someone grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

"Why am I not surprised?" she snapped, staring up into Sasuke's dark eyes.

"What do you know about my brother?" he demanded.

Sakura looked around and frowned. "Where's your girl?"

"Answer the question." Sasuke growled and Sakura ripped her arm from his grasp, suddenly noticing how close they were. She stepped back and glared up at him.

"I can't stand you." She hissed. "All this time and you never once mentioned it to me. I thought we were at least-"

"Maybe we weren't as close as you thought."

Sakura closed her eyes, taking a deep breath and swallowing back her remark. "Well, I guess I don't owe you anything then." She told him calmly before turning away. Sasuke grabbed her arm again and Sakura glared down at the pale hand. "You have to stop doing that." She pulled herself free. "I have to go," she told him through clenched teeth.

"Are you going to Hinata's party?"

"No." and with that she turned away and he finally let her go.

x-x-x-x-

Of course, Sakura had held every intention of going to Hinata's party. It wasn't every day that Hinata actually invited Sakura herself, considering the situation with Menma. So, she had to at least show her face to prove to the Hyuuga heiress that she had every intention to uphold the fragile good faith between them. Sakura had quickly pulled on a dark red dress, that reached about mid-thigh and waved over her chest, accentuating curves she didn't have in that area, and some light make-up to emphasize her eyes – and she was ready. She heard the music about a block away from the Hyuuga Compound, the sound vibrating through the ground as her heels clicked over it.

"Sakura!"

Sakura turned around at the sound of her name to see Kiba jogging up to her. She gave him a little smile as he reached her. "No Akamaru?"

Kiba gave a laugh. "Nah, he didn't want to come."

She gave him a mock sad face and Kiba looked her over with wide eyes. "I'm sure he would have come if he knew that you were going to be here."

"Tell him I miss him, okay?"

"Like he would believe me. You should come by and tell him yourself." Kiba said slyly and slipped his arm around her shoulders, before the two of them resumed walking up to the party.

"You just want me to come over." She accused, poking his side.

Kiba looked down at her, a smirk flirting with his lips. "You caught me." His voice was deliciously low and Sakura swallowed, looking away to hide her blush.

Kiba pushed the door open with the hand that wasn't around her and the two of them walked in. The lights were off with multi-color small lights spinning around the room. The music was ridiculously loud and the smell of alcohol was in the air. If anyone could manage to get underage ninja a drink, it was Hyuuga Hinata.

Menma was in front of them in the next moment, bottle in hand. "Sakura, Hinata wasn't sure if you were coming."

Sakura shrugged, Kiba's arm lifting at the movement but he didn't remove it, of course Menma held out his hand then, forcing Kiba to pull his hand from Sakura to shake hands. Menma gave him a pointed look as their hands slid apart.

"Good to see you, Kiba."

"You too, Menma."

"Save me a dance, Sakura!" Menma called over his shoulder and Sakura laughed, "Not sure Hinata would like that!" she called back and he gave her a wink before he was swallowed by the crowd.

Kiba's arm slid around her waist, pulling her closer to him. "Speaking of dancing…"

x-x-x-x-

Sakura wasn't sure what it was. Sure, she and Kiba had been maybe-sort-of flirting for a while but never like this. With purpose and meaning. She wasn't sure where this sudden burst of confidence in him was coming from, but she liked it. Maybe it was the little bit of alcohol she'd had or maybe it was just him – like this. But she found him extremely attractive.

Kiba's hands were on her hips as they moved together, Sakura's hair swaying around her. She slid her hands up his arms and around his neck bringing them closer, her eyes focused on his lips. Kiba knew what she wanted and he couldn't stop his easy grin as he leaned down, pausing just short of kissing her. Not for dramatic effect but because there was a hand on his shoulder. Not Sakura's.

He turned his head slightly, expecting the Uchiha but it wasn't. Menma was giving him a bored look.

"I'm here for that dance."

Sakura giggled. "Okay."

"Go get her a drink or something, Kiba."

The Inuzuka grumbled something before stepping away and into the crowd of dancing bodies.

"Menma, really?" Sakura teased as they began dancing, with a respectable amount of distance between them. She could feel Hinata's eyes on her from somewhere.

"It's my job to look out for you." He said with a smile.

"And you don't like Kiba?"

"Nah, Kiba is cool. I just like messing with him."

Sakura gave a laugh, shaking her head. The song ended not long after and Menma gave her a bow before telling her to take care of herself and Sakura was about to turn to find Kiba but someone grabbed her arm. A very goddamn familiar hand. She let out a sharp sigh and turned, facing the full power of Uchiha Sasuke's glare.

Sasuke never arrived early to any party. He always waited until it was in full swing before he made an appearance. He also never took a date, they would just get in the way if he found someone interesting to occupy his time. Of course, the interesting thing was much more attention-consuming than he'd anticipated. And it downright pissed him off. Not so much the fact that Sakura had lied to him in saying she wasn't coming, it was more the fact that she was dancing with Kiba, looking like she was having the time of her life. And it pissed Sasuke off. It pissed him off a hell of a lot.

He watched her lean in and his heart actually slowed as Kiba moved his head down. They were going to kiss. Sasuke's fists clenched at his side. Okay, yes, now might be a good time to explain that he did have feelings for Sakura. Serious feelings. Problem was that Sakura had never given him the time of day, always treating him like a brother, and then after the Chuunin Exams, she'd mostly stopped paying attention to him altogether. It had bothered him, but he'd managed to fill his time with faded, less interesting girls. Always being assured by the fact that Sakura never dated. It may seem as if he didn't care, but Sasuke paid attention. He noticed that she'd grown close to Kiba over a short period of time. Saw the smiles and tentative touches exchanged between them, but never like this. Nothing this close or this friendly. It was a huge relief to Sasuke (not that his face showed it) when Menma intervened. He wasn't sure what happened next because a dark-haired girl popped into his line of sight.

"Sasuke-kuuun! You came!" she latched onto his arm and dragged him away from the scene and on to the dancefloor. Sasuke danced with the girl as she chattered on and on, but honestly – he didn't even know her name or remembered her face. Maybe that was a bad sign. He didn't care. She spun around, grinding into him and he let her – because, what else was he supposed to do? Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Menma retreating and he pushed the no name girl from him. "I need a drink."

"Oh! I'll get it, Sasuke-kun! Stay right here!" she moved off quickly, threading through the crowd and Sasuke turned away taking the few steps and stilling Sakura before she could even move away.

"I told you to stop doing that." She said lowly, trying to pull her arm from his, but he didn't let her this time.
"What are you doing here?"

Sakura looked surprised for barely a second before she sighed. "I decided to come."

"You lied to me."

"So what? You lied to me too. But we were never really that close, right?"

"Dammit, Sakura. What are you doing with Inuzuka?"

Sakura rolled her eyes. "I like Kiba and I'm about the only person Akamaru likes."

Sasuke scoffed, looking away. "I can get a dog." He mumbled.

Sakura gave a laugh, but noticing his serious gaze, she used more force to rip her arm from him. "You hate dogs!" and then she turned, attempting to storm away from him. Pushing the door open and stepping out of the heat and into the cool night air.

"Sakura!"

"What's your problem!" she snapped, spinning around to face him. "Giving me the damn rose and now you can't leave me alone when before you couldn't even have been bothered to say hi!"

Sasuke put a hand on his hip and stared down at her in a way that only he could make sexy, even if there was this annoyed pull in his brows.

"Don't be dramatic, Sakura."

Sakura shook her head. "Right. Whatever." She was about to turn away when he spoke again.

"I need to know about my brother."

"I don't owe you anything!" she said through clenched teeth, wishing he would just leave her alone.

"Sakura," Sasuke snapped, grabbing her shoulders and turning her to face him fully. "Please." His eyes stared down at her, and the honest need in them had her looking away, breaking her resolve.

"If you know something, help me find him."

Her head whipped back up to him. "What?" it occurred to her then, that Sasuke knew nothing. He had no idea where his brother was – or that he was even in Akatsuki. Sakura shoved him away. "What the hell are you talking about? Me going on a potentially life-threatening mission with a shinobi who can't even have my back?!"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh please, Sasuke. You're barely even a Chuunin. You spend all your time with the village girls. Time better spent training."

"That sounds like jealousy to me."

Sakura stared at him in disbelief. "No. That's me stating the facts."

Sasuke just stared at her. "I have to find him."

"So you've said, Sasuke. But I don't see why I should put my life on the line – you yourself said that we were never really that close."

Sasuke watched her walk away, the dress swaying around her hips. Not knowing how to stop her, but sure that he needed to – somehow – convince her. No matter what.

x-x-x-x-

Okay, so a few things I want to explain:

I'm intending to keep their abilities the same since it makes sense to me. In Road to Ninja, the Hyuuga still have the Byakugan and Chouji still had his double size jutsu. So everyone in this fic will have nearly the same jutsu as they do in the original universe.

Their personalities will obviously be different here: Menma, Sakura and Sasuke's, since the main things that influenced them is totally different here. Menma and Sakura's lives are totally swapped. He still has the Kyuubi but Sakura is the one who lost her parents. Sasuke, as stated in the movie, is pretty much the same, but he obviously still has his family, so I want to make him less dark and maybe a little more open.

There was more, but I totally forgot now XD

Anyhoo, please review! Would love to hear your thoughts!

Not sure when I'll update this…probably Monday's too? Eh, I dunno lol. Will have to see.

Zana-Lee

xoxo