Conviction

This is a developing fanfic with the main pairings being between ItachiXSakura and NarutoXSakura, most likely with a little Sasori and Deidara sprinkled in as well… we'll see how the story develops. This story will adhere to the canon timeline, all the way to chapter 699, for the most part.

Rated M for language and sexual content.

Please enjoy.

* * * marks a flash back

…etc. marks a time skip.

Confrontation

Emerald eyes flashed as a chakra-enhanced fist collided with the hollow wooden frame of a man. Fiery green eyes met with infuriated hazel ones as the force of her inhuman punch split his imitation body to pieces, scattering them across the now demolished landscape.

To the young, battle-hardened girl, this was an immense victory. She could not have known that the battle she was currently giving her all in would change the course of her life forever.

…..

"Sakura-chan! Are you okay?"

Sakura snapped out of her thought-induced stupor to meet the concerned gaze of her friend and teammate.

"Oh, I'm sorry Naruto, I was just thinking," the pink haired girl replied, somewhat sheepishly. She smiled in an attempt to show her friend that she was indeed fine, but her smile faltered at the sight of his furrowed brow. A frown had taken the place where a blindingly radiant smile usually sat.

Sakura wanted to grieve. She desperately wanted to give in to her swelling emotions, but she couldn't show that. For a moment Sakura held his gaze, still attempting to feign a calm demeanor, but eventually her emerald eyes dropped. She knew she could not fool her closest friend.

"Sakura-chan…" Naruto said, softer this time, but she could hear the sternness in his voice. He wanted answers.

Her jade eyes still avoided meeting his gaze. Instead they focused on the worn wood of the park bench they were currently seated on as she absentmindedly peeled paint off with her nails. Sakura inhaled deeply, taking in the smell of her village. The crisp autumn air mingled with the lingering scent of food that had wafted over from the busy streets of Konaha and hung over the empty park. Dried leaves fell from the trees and scattered about their feet as a gust of wind blew through the parkway. The mood was calm as she sat on the little bench with Naruto, completely secluded from everyone else. Usually these things would calm and soothe her, but today she didn't feel comforted.

Finally, Sakura looked to her teammate.

"I'm sorry Naruto, it's just that I'm still so confused as to how to feel after my battle with Sasori..." Sakura trailed off, her hand instinctively caressing the fresh scar given to her by the fiery haired Akatsuki member. An action that did not go unnoticed by the whiskered boy who intently starred at her.

"He…" Sakura paused, her voice wavering slightly " he should have killed me," she continued, her voice barely above a whisper.

Memories of her previous battle began to consume her thoughts as Sakura recalled her fight with the Scorpion of the Sand.

"If Lady Chio had not been there, I'm not sure what would have happened. Even though she was there to aid me…we should have been defeated." Her hand gripped her scar harder as she remembered the pain of the poisoned blade piercing her.

Sakura lowered her eyes from Naruto's, no longer able to face him.

Her voice barley audible, "I should have di-"

"Enough!" Naruto growled as he grabbed her hand that had slowly begun to clench harder and harder on her side. His sudden outburst surprised Sakura, her anger bubbling up but it soon subsided when she looked up and saw the pain in his face.

"Enough, Sakura…" he repeated, softer this time, his sparkling blue eyes raising to meet hers. "Please, don't talk like that. If you were meant to die, you would have, and even if you were, I wouldn't let that happen!" Naruto stated, his voice reverberating with determination. Sakura smiled in spite of herself. That was the affect Naruto had on her, and not just her, on people in general. He was a ray of sunshine; a feeling of pure warmth that wrapped you up and refused to let you go. He never failed to comfort her, and Sakura would always be grateful for that.

She met his eyes and smiled genuinely, causing her blond friend to return the action ten fold.

"You're right Naruto. I'll be all right. Especially if I have you by my side," Sakura said, laughing lightly at his goofy expression. She then threw a soft punch at his arm, earning a grunt from her tenacious teammate.

Sakura stood from the park bench they were seated on and turned to him, beckoning him upwards.

With an exhausted sigh, Sakura stretched and said, "I suppose we should be going home now. We need plenty sleep for our mission tomorrow. We'll need all of our strength if we're going to meet with Sasori's spy…and get Sasuke-kun back."

…..

At her home, Sakura packed her bag, getting all of the necessary materials she would need on her mission the next day. She couldn't help but notice the slight trembling of her fingertips as she reached for items to put into her pack. Her jade eyes lowered to inspect her hands as the trembled ever so slightly in the dim light. She scowled and willed herself to stop, but her slender, pale fingers continued to shake. She let out a sigh and flopped bonelessly on her bed.

"It's completely normal to be nervous before such a dangerous mission, " Sakura reasoned with herself. "Tomorrow I'll be going on a mission with a teammate I dislike, with a captain I'm unfamiliar with, to a dangerous location to meet with an Akatsuki spy...to find Sasuke."

Sasuke.

The mere mention or thought of his name caused her chest to tighten painfully and her throat to contract as if her body were collapsing in on itself. What would he be like? Would he be calm and collected, or would he be cruel? Did he miss them, his village, or his teammates…did he miss her?

Sakura screwed her eyes shut and let out a heavy sigh. She didn't need to be thinking about this right now. She needed focus, and she needed sleep.

Unfortunately for the blossom haired kunoichi, her sleep would be fitful, and her dreams plagued with images of constricting snakes.

Sakura opened her bedroom door, her body stiff with withheld emotions. She walked into her room, gently closed the door, and stood motionless for a few short moments…then she collapsed to the floor. Her sobs racked her body, crashing over her like waves that threatened to break her very being apart.

The mission had been a total failure. Yes, they had managed to work as a team, had found the spy, found Orochimaru, and found…Sasuke.

The thought of his name brought a fresh wave of pain shoot through Sakura's body, making the mourning kunoichi choke out another deep, painful sob.

"Sasuke-kun."

How could it have gone so wrong?

Sakura closed her eyes and willed herself not to recall the events of the past few days but the painful memories came, nonetheless.

She was running through the tunnels of the snake sanin's underground hideout, running towards the rays of light beaming in through the outside. That was where Sai was.

Sakura snarled and ran full force, grabbing Sai by his shirt, hauling him upwards. Furiously, she began to speak when her breath caught in her throat. She turned her head upwards, towards the sky. Her crystalline eyes sparkled as she turned her face upwards to the sun, then they stilled when met with another pair of eyes that shone midnight black.

There he stood, so far above her.

"Sasuke-kun" she breathed.

Suddenly Sakura was snapped out of her mournful reminiscing when a searing pain flew through her left arm. Hissing, she gathered healing chakra into her palm and placed it over her throbbing bicep. She looked down through squinted eyes and clenched teeth to see the source of the throbbing pain.

It was the wound where Naruto had struck her.

Sakura's pained expression was quickly replaced with a sorrowful one. That was the other event that had made the mission so disastrous. She thought she would be able to save Naruto, to help him somehow, but to no avail. He had lost all his senses and transformed into some sort of monster, and he had struck her.

The wound was like nothing she had ever experienced, causing her both searing pain and numbness, making the use of her arm extremely difficult.

Sakura closed her eyes and tried to even out her breathing, remembering when she had been leaping from tree to tree and when her arm had suddenly given out on her after sustaining the injury from her friend.

She could still feel her muscles locking up and her fingers slipping from their grasp on the branch she had been clinging to. She could still see Naruto's confused and pained expression when she had reached out to him as he had attempted to catch her.

She could still feel the air passing between their fingertips as they had failed to grasp each other's hands.

Sakura sighed and fell back against the floor, attempting to heal both her physical wound, and her emotional ones as well.

For a few days, the Hokage let the remnants of team seven mourn. She could understand the pain of realizing that a dear friend had changed and had become a darker person. She could be understanding to a point.

To be honest, Sakura was surprised that her master had given her so much time to recuperate after her team's disastrous mission. As she walked to the Hokage tower she could only wonder what mission she would be sent on.

With a heavy sigh she could only hope it wasn't anything too terribly strenuous, for her arm was still not fully recovered. Apparently Captain Yamato had told Naruto that it was he himself that had caused the painful injury to her, so Naruto had been avoiding her.

"It's probably out of guilt," Sakura supposed.

She could hardly blame him since he felt such a strong need to protect his friends, yet it was him that had inflicted such a terrible wound.

"Poor thing…" Sakura thought sadly. When she returned from her mission she would have to tell him that she wasn't angry and she didn't blame him.

Sakura entered the Hokage's office and stood before her shishou, putting on her most placid face.

"Lady Tsunade," Sakura greeted professionally.

Tsunade gave her a small smile and handed a file to her student.

"Hello Sakura. This is a briefing of the mission you'll be going on. It's nothing difficult. You'll simply be traveling to Earth country to heal the daughter of a feudal lord," Tsunade stated plainly.

Sakura took the file and gave a small frown.

"I'm sorry Shishou, but isn't this a little unnecessary? Can't he find a healer in the Hidden Stone village?" Sakura questioned, a little confused.

Tsunade sat back at her desk and met her young student's gaze.

"I asked this myself, but he is a very wealthy man that wants only the best for his children. He heard that you are my pupil and asked for you specifically," Tsunade explained. "And besides," she continued. " I thought this would help you take your mind off things…" she ended softly.

Sakura paused and nodded, appreciating her master's understanding.

"You will leave tomorrow, but I told him you'd arrive within a week. This will allow you to take your time, so don't over exert yourself, understand?" the Hokage stated, sternly.

"Yes Shishou, thank you," Sakura said, and gave her master a bow.

"Good, you are dismissed," Tsunade said, resting her hands on her desk.

As Sakura turned to leave Tsunadea cleared her throat, causing the pink haired kunoichi to turn and face her master once again.

"Sakura…be careful," Tsunade said gently.

Sakura smiled at her master's kind concern.

"Of course, my lady," Sakura said, then she exited the room to prepare herself for her upcoming mission.

On her walk home Sakura felt a very familiar presence behind her and turned, smiling.

"Hello Sensei," she greeted warmly.

The tall silver haired ninja behind her smiled behind his mask and held up a hand.

"Yo," he stated plainly.

Sakura couldn't help but scoff at the characteristically unprofessional greeting of her masked teacher. He heard her small laugh and smiled in return.

"What are you doing out of the hospital? Did you run away again?" Sakura questioned teasingly.

Kakashi held up his hands in a gesture of innocence.

"I assure you I have no idea what you are alluding to," he replied calmly.

Sakura laughed and continued walking as her sensei fell into place beside her.

They walked in silence for a few moments, simply enjoying each other's company after not working together for a while. They quietly walked through the bustling streets, brushing by the busy civilians and carts as they went. The two passed street vendors advertising their wares and restaurant after restaurant, the smells of hot food wafting into the air and settling over the streets. The walk was silent, but not awkward, since the two ninja were so accustomed to each other's presence. Sakura was enjoying the momentary serenity of their walk, savoring the sounds and smells of her village. Then her sensei spoke.

"I'm sorry for not being there when you two needed me…and I'm sorry to hear about Sasuke," he stated placidly as they walked.

Sakura felt her breath catch in her throat, and even though she tried to hide it, she knew there was no way that it escaped the expert eyes of her Sensei. Sakura willed herself to continue walking at a steady pace and inhaled. After taking a deep breath, Sakura then met the unreadable gaze of her teacher.

"We know you would have been there if you were able and…I don't think anything would have changed the outcome of the mission…" Sakura trailed off quietly. Then, as if she needed another reason to be emotional, a sharp jolt in her arm sent a fresh wave of pain throughout her body, causing her jaw to clench. She sighed inwardly, now irritated at herself. She then felt a soft touch on her shoulder.

"And I'm sorry about what happened between you and Naruto," Kakashi said quietly, meeting Sakura's shimmering gaze.

Sakura smiled thinly, and let out a small sigh.

"This will heal eventually, I'll be fine… It's Naruto I'm worried about," Sakura explained to her concerned Sensei.

He nodded knowingly and smiled, which confused Sakura. As if sensing her upcoming questions, he began to explain himself.

"Starting tomorrow, I'm going to begin training Naruto. I plan on finding the nature of his chakra to help him develop his own jutsu. And Yamato will be there to make sure things don't get out of hand. Don't worry Sakura, we'll take care of him while you're away," her sensei assured her.

Sakura let out a sigh, happy that her dear friend would be tended to by her sensei and given an opportunity to progress. Then something he had said caught her attention.

"Wait, how did you know I would be away?" Sakura asked credulously.

Kakashi simply chuckled and looked at the confused kunoichi.

"I always keep tabs on my favorite students," he said, smiling.

Sakura smiled and laughed, glad to be feeling better and actually excited about leaving for a relaxing mission. Then, when she returned she could see how Naruto and Kakashi were progressing. Soon the two ninja arrived at Sakura's home. They stood there for a moment in silence before Sakura turned to address her mentor.

"Well, I guess I should go prepare for my mission, so I'll see you when I get back," Sakura said with a small smile on her lips. "…And Kakashi-sensei?" she asked.

He raised an eyebrow, his way of telling her to continue.

"Please take care of Naruto, and tell him I'm looking forwards to seeing that new jutsu of his," Sakura said softly, her concern and care for her dear blond friend coming through in her voice.

Kakashi was still for a moment then smiled, nodded his head, then he was gone. Sakura smiled, feeling immensely better than when she did when her day began. She then entered her home to prepare for her trip to Earth country.

Sakura had been traveling for four days, taking a moderately slow pace to her destination, at least by ninja standards. She ran slowly, enjoying the scenery as forests slowly turned into grassy plains, and then to rocky mountains. She spent her nights in a tent, with a small but comfy sleeping bag. Hidden within the dense forestry Sakura felt unafraid as she slept, actually enjoying the dark and quiet that was so far away from people. Each morning she would wake and pack her things, then continue her journey. Finally, on the forth evening she reached the town in Earth country where she was supposed to heal the feudal lord's daughter.

Apparently she had been attacked and had suffered a few cracked ribs, a broken wrist, and other minor injuries. The skilled kunoichi had brought all the proper binding supplies, but she doubted she would need them. Her healing chakra should be plenty sufficient to mend the young girl completely.

At first Sakura was a little worried about finding the place she needed to go, but these fears turned out to be ungrounded. At the far end of town a huge compound could be seen, much like the Uchiha and Hyuga compounds of the Leaf.

"Tsunade wasn't kidding about him being wealthy," Sakura thought, slightly in awe of the opulence of the castle as she approached the front gate.

There were guards atop towers framing the huge gate and, after showing the guards her credentials, they allowed Sakura entry into a huge courtyard. After Sakura crossed the threshold of the gate the huge doors swung closed with a thunderous bang.

Looking around, Sakura could clearly see that the family that owned this home was undeniably rich. The courtyard held a vast garden that was scattered with beautiful trees and colorful flowers. Huge weeping willow trees created a pathway towards the center, their now barren branches gently swaying in the autumn breeze. Slowly, Sakura made her way through the courtyard to where a large fountain sat, its gently running water the only sound that could be heard besides the rustling of leaves. Her green gaze scanned the immense area as she looked for someone to speak to about her mission, but to her surprise no one could be found.

Sakura strode forward through the beautiful garden towards a tall building and knocked on the first door she found. As she waited, the young kunoichi couldn't help but notice the eerie silence that had befallen the compound. Usually in a castle as large as this there were guards, servants, or family members bustling about, always making noise in some form or another. However there was nothing…no people, no sound.

The hairs on the back of Sakura's neck began to rise as the young kunoichi began to sense that something was wrong. Her emerald eyes darted around the huge expanse of the courtyard, from the large walls surrounding the compound, to the towering sealed gates at the entrance. Then, in a split second Sakura forced chakra into her leg and jumped to the left, barely avoiding a projectile as it whizzed right by her cheek. She leapt several feet away, landing near the fountain at center of the courtyard. Just as her feet touched the ground the small projectile exploded, blowing away half of a building.

Barely having time to overcome her shock as wood and debris flew towards her, Sakura jumped again as more projectiles were thrown at her. As she was leaping away she then became aware of three presences and could tell she was surrounded.

"I was set up!" Sakura seethed as she whirled around in an attempt to kick a chunk of rock that was hurtling towards her.

There never was a daughter she needed to heal! Someone had wanted her, and apparently they had wanted her dead.

Sakura sent extremely precise amounts of chakra into her fists and legs as she prepared herself for a three on one battle.

The first attacker she saw was a young blond man wearing a long black cloak with swirling red clouds. He was sitting atop a giant white bird high above the compound, hurling bomb after bomb towards her with an excited grin on his face.

"Deidara of the Akatsuki," Sakura thought, her mouth going dry and her blood cold.

She immediately knew she was fighting a losing battle.

"Wait, I thought he was dead?!" Sakura inwardly screeched as the blond man continued to destroy the beautiful courtyard with his onslaught of explosives. She dove behind a large tree as a bomb exploded dangerously close to her. She could feel the trunk of the tree crack as the force of the explosion sent reverberations all throughout the compound.

"Okay, I just need to fight enough to escape, then I'll run!" Sakura thought, her mind racing as she jumped from behind the broken tree and dodged projectile after projectile.

In order to create cover for her to escape, the kunoichi sent chakra into her right fist, its blue color flaring, then punched the ground as hard as she could. Huge chunks of earth and rock flew into the air and dust swirled, making vision nearly impossible. Sakura then masked her chakra and made a dash for a broken part of the compound wall, hoping to jump over it and run into the surrounding forest. The bombs had stopped exploding; telling Sakura knew that Deidara could no longer see her and that her plan was working. However, that was where her luck ran out.

A figure suddenly appeared in front of her in a swirl of smoke and her sparkling green eyes were immediately met with swirling crimson ones.

Sakura immediately averted her eyes, and turned a one-eighty, running in the opposite direction. However the air felt heavier than before as she ran and she knew she had already been caught in the traitorous Uchiha's genjutsu.

Sakura had never done well at casting genjustsu but she prided herself on her ability to break them. Quickly concentrating to the fullest extent she could, Sakura summoned her chakra and broke free of the illusion that had been cast on her. However in the few seconds that had taken, the cloaked Akatsuki member had wasted no time in attacking her. His right leg connected to her side and sent her flying towards the debris she had created earlier. Sakura ignored the searing pain in her ribs and righted herself in the air in just enough time to avoid several more flying explosives hurled at her from the blonde member of the terrorist group, who was currently hovering about thirty feet above her.

Sakura landed and swiftly kicked a huge chunk of earth at the blond in an attempt to unsteady him so he would stop bombarding her.

Cha!" she screamed as her foot connected with the rock, sending it hurtling towards the man at an ungodly speed, causing him to jump off of his bird and onto the ground. Before Sakura could even attempt to pursue him, Itachi was on her again. Sakura stared at the ground and used her chakra-enhanced senses to battle him instead of her eyesight.

"I just need to hit him once and run. Just once!" Sakura thought desperately as she prepared to swing at the raven-haired man before her.

Swallowing her fear, Sakura ensued in a taijustu battle with the infamous Uchiha. Each time she swung she only hit air but she could tell that he was making absolutely sure to avoid her chakra-laden fists, preventing him from attacking.

Just as her hopes began to rise she sensed Deidara running towards her. She turned to face him and was surprised to find that Itachi was not pursuing her. Not having time to ponder this Sakura immediately began fighting the blonde who was throwing a kick in her direction. Sakura avoided it, put her hand on his knee and swung her body upwards, throwing her own leg down at him. Her glittering green eyes met his blazing blue ones as he swiftly evaded her ferocious kick in turn and threw a punch.

As his fist whizzed by her Sakura's eyes widened. "Wait," she thought desperately as she continued to match the blond blow for blow. "Before he 'died' didn't he lose both of his arms to Garra and Kakashi-sensie?!"

Fighting through her confusion, Sakura continued to attempt to land a hit on the man currently attacking her, but instead he avoided her attack and landed a punch directly to her stomach.

Gasping, but not faltering, Sakura gabbed his arm as he attempted to retract it. Then, using all of her force, she squeezed it until she felt bones crush beneath her gloved fingers. He hissed through gritted teeth and Sakura smirked, tasting blood in her mouth from his hit earlier.

Still holding his now broken arm Sakura whirled around and hauled the man upwards, preparing to slam his body onto the ground. However, just as she turned her body stilled as a familiar sensation overtook her joints. Without her mind's consent the stunned kunoichi dropped Deidara and her arms stiffly went to her sides. Straining widened emerald eyes, Sakura looked down to see chakra threads attached to her body.

"What?" Sakura gasped quietly, in a state of confusion and shock.

Suddenly an eerily familiar, sultry voice could be heard from across the now demolished courtyard.

"I told you not to underestimate the little girl," a red haired man with dead hazel eyes said to his blond companion who was now pushing himself off of the ground.

"Shut up, un," the blonde growled as he stood, attempting to hide his discomfort as his left arm hung limply at his side.

Then, in an instant Sakura felt her body being hauled backwards across the destroyed courtyard and she knew she had to break free from the chakra threads quickly.

Concentrating, the kunoichi focused and sent her own chakra to her joints and flared it, breaking the hold Sasori had on her. She fell to the ground and quickly rolled to the right, barely avoiding a kick from the vengeful blond. She looked up to see his enraged expression and swallowed, attempting to calm herself.

As she quickly jumped off of the ground, narrowly avoiding another kick, she was grateful that Sasori and Itachi seemed content to stay out of the fray for now but her hopes were quickly diminishing.

"Even if I manage to defeat Deidara, how on earth will I escape Sasori and Itach?" she inwardly panicked.

Sakura was jerked from her thoughts when Deidara sent a handful of explosives towards her and she was forced to quickly leap out of the way. As she leapt into the air she grabbed the scaffolding of a rooftop and began to swing herself upwards when a searing pain erupted from her left arm and her body stilled.

"No, not now," Sakura inwardly pleaded but to no avail. Her injury from Naruto's kyubi form was acting up again and she felt her grip slip. She began falling towards the ground and as she looked down she saw Sasori appear beneath her. He swiftly lifted his knee as Sakura's stomach slammed down onto it, earning a guttural gasp from the blossom haired kunoichi.

"Hello, little girl," he breathed as she rolled off of his knee and attempted to regain her balance. Just as she righted herself Deidara was instantly behind her and he swiftly wrapped his unbroken arm around her throat, effectively cutting off her air supply.

Gasping, Sakura threw her elbow behind her, hitting him in his stomach. Deidara grunted and Sakura broke free, making another panicked attempt to flee.

Her left arm was currently useless, she was out numbered, she knew she had at least three cracked ribs, and her chakra wouldn't last forever. Just as she thought she could clear the courtyard Itachi Uchiha instantly appeared in front of her.

"Hurry up and take care of her, I tire of this game," she heard Sasori call from several yards behind her.

Itachi simply looked down at Sakura, who was currently averting her eyes and swiftly grabbed her by the throat. Sakura scowled and threw a chakra-enhanced kick at the tormenter of her childhood love, but he quickly avoided it and slammed her into the ground.

Instinctively Sakura's crystalline eyes flashed opened and once again were met with blood red ones. She watched helplessly as red sharringhan spun and she felt herself losing conciseness. She made a final attempt to injure him and she threw a swift kick and just barely grazed his leg. His face made no sign that she had hit him but she knew she had caused him pain, even if just a little.

The last thing she saw before her vision faded into nothingness was Sasori kneeling beside her and stabbing something into her neck while Deidara stood over her. The blond delivered a swift stomp to her knee and then everything went black.

…..

Naruto trudged through the streets of Kohnaha, his stomach twisting with each step he took. Before he could concentrate on his training he needed to talk to her, to set things straight. The blond took a deep breath and sighed as he looked at his hands.

As he intently stared down at his slightly trembling palms images of his last mission began flooding the young jinjuriki's mind.

He could see Sakura falling from so high up in the trees, her beautiful eyes full of surprise and a hint of fear. The way her pretty pink lips parted in a gasp as she reached for him, her expression pained and pleading. His hand reaching for her…and missing. Watching her plummet down…all because he had struck her.

Naruto pulled his head up, snapping himself out of his sulky mood and gave a determined huff. No, He would not dwell on this right now. He just needed to talk to her, talk things out, it would be fine.

Naruto approached her house and gave her door a confident and loud knock.

He straightened his back and puffed up his chest. He could do this!

Then the door opened and all of Naruto's confidence was gone with the wind.

"Oh hello Naruto, dear. How are you?" Sakura's mother asked, greeting Naruto with a smile.

Naruto faltered but then straightened his shoulders and smiled, rubbing the back of his head.

"Oh, ha, high Mrs. Haruno! I was, um…is Sakura-chan here?"

Sakura's mother's smile lessoned and she shook her head.

"No, dear, I'm sorry. She left about four days ago and won't be back for another week at least. I'm sorry, I thought she would have told you," Sakura's mother said, apologizing on her daughter's behalf.

"I swear, that girl. She can be so rude and-"

"Oh, um, thanks Mrs. Haruno. I'll just talk to her then," Naruto interrupted, faking a smile.

Sakura's mother looked surprised but smiled and nodded.

"Okay then , goodbye Naruto!" she said smiling, and gently closed the door.

Naruto turned and began descending the steps, feeling defeated. He wouldn't get to see Sakura for a week at the least. He had really been hoping to discuss what had happened on their last mission.

He gave a sigh, and continued walking to the training grounds to meet his sensei.

"It's only a week," he reasoned with himself, "she'll be fine."

He could not have known just how wrong he was.

That concludes the first chapter, I hope you enjoyed it. Reviews are always appreciated and entice me to write quicker. Let me know what you think!