[ ] - Inner Sakura
"They say that for every waking of every day, there is a calling. It's up to you to decide what that calling is, whether it may be good or bad. Right or wrong.
This calling comes in all different forms and sizes.
It is the belief that with each decision made, each loss of a loved one, each gain of a friend or new found knowledge, the calling becomes more clear. The more clearer it becomes, the more you understand about your body and soul. And the more you understand those two components, the more you can become stronger.
I want you three to remember these words.."
In the deep depths of the forest, there stands a small, pink-headed girl, just along the shoreline of a forgotten river. The water sparkled like diamonds under the shimmering yellow sun as the girl stood solitary in absolute silence, nature her only partner.
'.. Especially you, Sakura..'
Nature's hands brushed against her face as the gentle wind blew by, with it floated her long, vibrant colored strands of hair. She felt at ease here as she recalled a distant memory lingering in her thoughts, her red dress swaying along with the dance of her hair in one fluent motion. It was completely breath-taking.. Sakura had never seen or felt something so beautiful.
Taking a deep breath, the girl lowered down onto her knees and whisked her fingers through the cool flowing water, staring at her reflection. What Kakashi had told them just a few days ago puzzled her to no end. It felt like he was directing the entire thing towards her, and yet, it didn't. Being as smart as she was, she still didn't understand his meaning. Why? Why did he single out her? She was no where near as great as Sasuke or even Naruto.. so why?
Hearing footsteps behind her, Sakura tensed, her hand already wrapped around a kunai in case it was an enemy. As she turned, however, she found that no one was there. Blinking in embarrassment at her jumpiness, she turned back around towards the lake, only to find herself face to face with a masked man with one visible eye and silver hair. It was Kakashi!
"Eh.. Ohayou, Sensei." Sakura muttered, a light tint of red staining her cheeks.
Kakashi smiled at her shyness. "Very good, Sakura. At least I know you're alert even when off duty." He praised, patting her on the head gently as he rose to stand above her. Sakura simply stared up at her sensei, puzzled as to why he was here in the first place.
Kakashi quickly answered her questioning gaze. "I ran into Naruto and Sasuke on my way to a meeting. I was surprised you weren't with them, so we all came looking for you." He explained, his hands stuffed in his pockets as he examined the area. "What're you doing out here all by yourself?"
"I.. uh.." Sakura began nervously, wringing her hands as she looked down at her sensei's feet. "I was just thinking.. about what you said last week."
Kakashi focused his eye on the small girl before him. Sometimes she looked so fragile and innocent, he wasn't sure she was cut out to be a great Shinobi one day. However, he could feel the strong need she had to protect her friends and comrades, as well as to prove herself. In a way, she was somewhat like Naruto.. only, without the loud-mouthed attitude and the dead last test scores.
Smiling, the older man reached out and touched the girl's shoulder, causing her to look up. "There is nothing to think about, Sakura." He said gently. "There is, however, something to do." With that, Kakashi removed his hand from her shoulder and straightened. "Now come on, I'm sure Naruto's driving Sasuke insane by now."
Sakura sat there a moment as his words sunk in, then a determined smile appeared on her face as she stood. "Right." [HELL YEAH!]
Kakashi smiled back and walked beside the pink-headed girl in silence, knowing it wouldn't last much longer as they neared the town.. already, they could hear Naruto's wailing from afar.
"SAKURA-CHAN!" Naruto chimed as he came running up to her and their sensei. "Where'd you run off to? We were looking EVERYWHERE for you!"
Sakura gave Naruto an irritated look, as he was blocking her view of Sasuke who had just stepped up behind him. "No where, idiot! Now move!"
"Huh?" Naruto spun around to find Sasuke giving off his usual dirty look and smug expression, except, his eyes were focused on Sakura. Naruto grimaced in displeasure. 'Damn him!'
Sakura stepped forward, lightly shoving Naruto aside, and then putting her hands together in a sort of praying gesture. "Sasuke-kun! Do you wanna go on a date with me?"
"No thanks." Sasuke muttered coldly, his dark eyes glaring into her soft jade ones. The disappointment he found in them, however, made him feel a slight twinge of guilt.
"What about me?!" Naruto said, waving his arms up and down with a big hopeful grin on his face. "I'll go on a date with you, Sakura-chan!"
Sakura smacked Naruto over the head. "No! I wanna go with Sasuke-kun, not you!" [I'LL KILL YOU!]
"Ow!" Naruto whined as his arms came around his head. Kakashi simply shook his head. 'At least he's persistent..'
Blinking, the older man shifted his gaze to look at Sasuke, noting the seriousness of his tone.
"When will our next mission be?" Sasuke asked, his empty black eyes searching for the answer in his sensei's.
"Well, since it took a while to find Sakura, I suppose we'll just start tomorrow." He said, rubbing his masked chin. "And I'm late for my meeting.." Kakashi muttered to himself as he began to turn, waving to his students as he walked off shoving his hands in his pockets. Sasuke simply stood there a moment, watching his teacher diminish as he got further and further away.
"Hn?" Sasuke cut his eyes at the pink-haired girl who so desired his full attention.
Sakura blinked, not expecting him to actually look at her. "I.." She began, blushing as she looked at her feet. For some reason she couldn't get the words out. Was she scared of him? No. She had no reason to be scared of him. They were teammates. Comrades. He wouldn't ever hurt her.. would he?
Sasuke watched smugly as Sakura's expression's changed from embarrassment, to confusion.. to something else he couldn't quite grasp. What was up with her?
"HEY!" Naruto yelled, stepping in between the two, his face up in Sasuke's. "Why don't we fight, huh?! I bet I could whip your ass! Then you'll acknowledge me!"
".. pfft." Sasuke simply stepped back and to the side, expecting to see Sakura standing there, but she was gone. Narrowing his eyes, he searched the area. "Naruto."
"Did you see Sakura leave?" Sasuke asked, looking at the blonde-headed boy over his shoulder.
"Huh?" Naruto scratched his head. "No.. I didn't. Agh! Why does she keep running off?!"
'.. She hasn't been the same since that discussion we had a week ago. Is that why she keeps running?' Sasuke contemplated to himself, ignoring Naruto's squabbling. 'Hn..'
"HEY! Are you listening to me?!"
"Let's go." Sasuke muttered, turning towards the street Sakura lived down.
"Nani? HEY! Who died and made YOU the leader?! Sasuke! Wait!!! Didn't you hear me! SASUKE!"
Hope you enjoyed it. More to come.