Sakura hated it, as well as her self. Being protected by others. It made her feel weak and vulnerable.

Their last mission, to Wave Country, they were attacked. Seven men were trying to steal the scroll they had been sent to retrieve for their Hokage. Each took on two shinobi at a time, except Sakura, who had only to defend against one.

Whilst everyone was busy holding their own, Sakura was barely on her feet and fighting. It wasn't that she didn't know how to fight, it was that she simply wasn't strong enough. Never was, she thought bitterly.

As she squeezed her eyes closed, waiting for the final blow to end her life or to severally injure her. How pathetic could she be, not to face her opponent even though she was so close to losing? Sakura did not answer that question because she already knew the answer, but meekly opened her eyes to see why she had not felt anything.

Naruto's back was to her, kunai embedded into his right shoulder, which was bleeding furiously. Naruto lunged towards her attacker and knocked him out. And while his back was to his previous enemy, they took it upon them to attack Naruto again.

In the end, Naruto was hurt of all of them, even though he had Kyuubi to help heal the wounds. But for some reason, the fox demon inside Naruto refused to lend him strength of any sort. It wasn't until later she figured out why he wouldn't help Naruto.

'If you can help the weak, then help them with your own strength, not mine.' Naruto had finally caved in and answered when Sakura asked. Inwardly, Sakura froze. But smiled on the outside as Naruto said that Kyuubi was just being a jerk and that Sakura wasn't weak at all.

But Naruto didn't see the truth in his own eyes as Sakura had. Naruto and Kyuubi did agree that Sakura was weak, even though Naruto would rather die than admit it to himself or for that matter, out loud.

Sakura just smiled and waved her hand, saying that it was okay, she wasn't offended. Sakura wanted to cry. But she was 16 now, and tough girls don't cry. But as Sakura sat in her room, awaiting the peaceful sleep she knew would never have, she began to cry.

Sakura wasn't tough, she complained if someone barely hit her, whether it was yelled from her mouth or her mind. So, she cried.

Why did I want to become a ninja? Sakura had asked herself many times before, but always came up with the same scenario of answers. One, to be with her Sasuke-kun. Two, to show that she could be a sexy ninja. Three, to not to lose to Ino.

But deep inside she knew that those weren't what made her become a shinobi. It was because she was lonely from her lack of parents who were always out on missions or vacations. But most importantly, she desperately needed to make something out of herself.

She was picked on because a few kids thought she had a big forehead. Sakura cried at the negative attention, and caused everyone else to make fun of her as well. She was beat, verbally abused, and hated for a reason she didn't understand.

And then she met Ino, her best friend, who and had everything Sakura wasn't and didn't have. And then when she had finally graduated from the Ninja academy, she threw her friendship away for a mere crush that in return, didn't even know she existed.

Sakura thought she was smart, but it seemed that the more things she learned, was what made her more dumbly. For instance, she had thought she was in love, and therefore, didn't train as much as she should have. She had thought that she was a strong, proud ninja, when she was only fooling herself but no one else.

Sakura cried into the night, a silent scream escaped her tight throat. There was only one thing she could do to stop being a burden. And she was going to do it.

- - - - - -

So here she was, sitting in Hokage's office and hating herself.

"Sakura, you know that it wasn't your fault that Naruto had been injured on the mission."

"Yes it was," Sakura said quietly as she bowed her head, "if it weren't for me, he wouldn't be in the hospital right now."

"It was his choice to step in front of the attack. He wanted to protect you from harm." Hokage said as she sucked in a breath, while trying to reason with Sakura.

"He didn't want to, he felt obligated to protect the weakest of their team. And that was why Kyuubi didn't help him. It was my fault."

"I uh..." Tsusandea was at a loss for words.

Sakura looked down, her bangs fell over her face, not allowing part of her face to show. She hated it, as well as herself. The feeling of was she was about to do, it made her fell sick to the stomach. But with Naruto, that had been close. Too close, he could have died, she was going to go through with her plan.

"Hokage-sama," Sakura began, "I want to resign from my ninja duties." Sakura stated the end with as less emotion in her voice as she could.

"You know that once it's official, you can't be a shinobi again. So please Sakura, reconsider." Tsusandea said, but was not the begging type so she didn't press any further.

"I want to resign from my ninja duties." Sakura repeated once more in a dead tone. And then added, "This is what I want."

"Okay Sakura. You are shinobi no more. Please, return you head band to your sensei."

"Yes Hokage-sama."

- - - - - -

It wasn't hard to find Kakashi, he was always in the training grounds, either with Sasuke or with Naruto. But never her.

"Oh, hello Sakura." Kakashi greeted as he spotted Sakura walking towards him and Sasuke. "What brings you here?"

Can't I train too? She almost sobbed when she thought that, but choked it down and kept a level face.

"I have to give you something sensei." Sakura said as she looked right at Kakashi.

"Oh really? Well, where is it?" He asked as his mask moved a little as he smiled.

Sakura reached the back of the headband and pulled, allowing it to fall from her head and into her hand.

Kakashi's eye widened in realization. Kakashi looked over to the almost forgotten Sasuke and said, "You are dismissed now." And Sasuke walked out of the clearing.

"Sakura...are you sure you want to do this?" Kakashi's voice sounded sad.

"Yes...Mr. Hateke." Kakashi's last name sound foreign on her tongue, but she didn't feel that she deserved to call him either his first name or sensei, he wasn't her teacher anymore.

Sakura walked over and placed her headband into him palm.

"Please me Kakashi if you can't call me sensei."

"No. I no longer have the right to. I'm a civilian, so treat me like one." Sakura demanded. Sakura turned around and began walking home again.

- - - - - -

"What are you doing?" a voice came from behind Sakura. She was at the fork that to the right was Sakura's path to her house.

"I resigned from my duties Sasuke." Sakura stated simply.


"I felt that it would be easier for the team without me. It's as simple as that." And Sakura said no more and walked the path to her house.

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(AN: Okay, it's now...4:36...I'm tired. But this is a very dark chapter, hope you don't mind. I felt kinda inspired by "Blood Song" by "CrazyAce". I thought I should at least give CrazyAce the credit for giving me a weird inspiration at this time of hour...must be from sleep deprivation. Now, I'm PRETTY sure I'll continue this...but hey, you never know with me. –winks- anywayz, please review if you want.