First fanfic I've written, so reviews are appreciated, hope you enjoy it. -Coded

"A Missing Leaf"
by Coded

(Starts just after the attack on Konoha by the Sand and the Sound)

Sasuke sighed to himself as he walked into his house, shutting the door behind himself and leaning back against it. Kakashi had put Team 7 through another hard training session today, and Sasuke was spent. The young ninja's teeth ground as he thought of his teammate after the training had concluded.

Naruto had jumped up and down and shouted happily at the training being over, then proceeded to try to woo Sakura into going out on a date to get some ramen with him. Sasuke wasn't sure which irritated him more, the fact that Naruto had far more stamina than himself, or Naruto's constant hitting on Sakura.

Sasuke breathed out heavily and went to his kitchen to scrounge up something to eat. Despite being on his own for half of his young life, Sasuke had still yet to become a good cook, and he imagined he never would be, most of his cabinets were lined with instant foods and the like. Quickly making himself some instant ramen, much to his chagrin, Sasuke took the food with him into his bedroom and sat on his futon to quietly collect his thoughts.

Sasuke always took this time before his evening meal to meditate and think back upon the day's training and how he could have improved upon what he had done, but he found his thoughts being invaded as of late, and it was an invasion from within. He had, for quite some time, secretly had very deep feelings for a certain young female ninja within the village.

Sasuke had refused to acknowledge these feelings, thinking he was above that sort of normality, after all; Sasuke was an avenger, wasn't he? He couldn't be held back by foolish feelings for a girl, or anyone else for that matter. But try as he might, Sasuke just couldn't get this particular girl out of his head. He refused to act on the feelings, even now knowing they were there, and as far as anyone else knew, Uchiha Sasuke was as cold and distant as ever. However, the reason other people thought that was due to the fact that they couldn't see inside the young prodigy's head. For if they could, they would see what was really there, the seed of love slowly growing inside him, tearing away at his internal walls. It was all he could do to hide this appalling side of himself.

Shaking his head to clear the image of pink haired, green eyed beauty that had formed there, he quickly ate his ramen and lay down to drift off into the land of dreams. He was reluctant to sleep, for he knew what was there waiting for him: more thoughts and dreams of the one person that he thought and cared about, Haruno Sakura.

Naruto slowly picked himself off the ground where he had been laying. Breathing heavily he leveled his eyes at the large boulder that sat 10 feet from where the young genin lay. The boulder was blown apart in places, as were many of the trees in the general area surrounding the boy, the pieces still intact were imprinted with spirals, showing the effects of the attack Naruto was currently perfecting.

'Damn!' Naruto thought to himself, 'I need to perfect the Double Rasengan! I need to keep up with Sasuke!'

The thought of his rival and teammate irritated Naruto. The special Uchiha Sasuke. Naruto growled to himself. What was so great about Sasuke? Naruto had saved his butt plenty of times, and Naruto wasn't part of the great and almighty Uchiha clan.

Naruto spread his hands out to his sides, and began charging his chakra, trying to get the random spinning motion into both of the Rasengans grunting in concentration, the blond haired ninja was suddenly thrown backwards to smash through several trees as the double Rasengan was too much for him to control and they burst simultaneously.

Naruto winced again as he stood, this was the 4th time that had happened, and he still couldn't see how to gain control of both long enough to use them together. 'I can't keep this up,' Naruto thought, taking stock of the visible damages, and mentally checking off the internal pains. Deciding to call it a day, Naruto turned and slowly shuffled through the forest, back towards the village and the nice, soft bed in his apartment.

Sakura was the first to show up at Team 7's meeting spot, as usual. Sakura was always first to show up the day after Kakshi-sensei had given the genin a free day to train on their own. She knew just how far her two teammates would push themselves on such days, and she knew it took both of the young ninja's quite a time to recover from whatever training they had done, so it wasn't unexpected that they show up late. Sasuke was the next to show up. He walked onto the bridge as if in a daze.

"Good morning, Sasuke-kun!" Sakura greeted her love interest happily.

However, she quickly frowned as she took stock of Sasuke's condition, he looked like a zombie. He didn't even have enough energy to give the pink haired ninja a snide or cruel comment like usual. "Are you ok, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked, genuine concern oozing from her voice.

Just then, Naruto came bounding around the corner, running full speed towards the team's meeting spot. "I'm late! I'm LATE LATE LATE !" Naruto shouted at the top of his lungs as he slid to a stop in the middle of the bridge. Looking around and seeing no sign of his sensei, he heaved a sigh of relief. Who knows what Kakashi would do to Naruto if he was later than the commonly un-punctual master.

Almost as if on cue, Kakashi appeared upon the bridge in a puff of smoke. "Yo," the masked ninja greeted his students with a salute. Expecting the normal outburst of "YOU'RE LATE!" from Sakura and Naruto, Kakshi was surprised when it never came. He looked down to see what was out of the ordinary with today. Naruto was too busy trying to catch his breath, Sasuke looked like a walking zombie, and Sakura was too busy fretting over Sasuke to give Kakashi the time of day.

Frowning slightly to himself, Kakashi raised his voice to get the attention of all three, "Well..I hope you didn't work too hard yesterday, we have an important mission for today, we're to scout a section of the border of the Fire Country to ensure that no enemy ninjas are trying to infiltrate our country while our village is in such dire condition." None of the genins under his command responded, and Kakashi wondered if his team was ready to handle such an important mission..he mentally shrugged and gathered up his charges and led them out of the village, toward the border.