In a Name


Silent Shadow


While Haruno Sakura is waiting for Naruto and Sasuke to return, she has a strange talk with her mother. She starts to understand the meaning behind her name.



Haruno Sakura was a not too pretty, but definitely not ugly, kind of girl. She liked to think about boys. She wanted to become a better kunoichi. She studied hard to get where she was.

She was a normal twelve year old girl, with a normal family.

Sakura. Cherry blossoms.

Haruno. Spring.

It was almost comical how well her name fit.

Sakura sat in her room, staring blankly at the white-wash wall. Her roseate bangs hung dully beside her green eyes; they were a pain sometimes since they got in the way of her vision. But she didn't really have anything to look at this moment.

She didn't like it. She didn't like waiting.

It irked her that she was doing nothing while Naruto was off chasing after Sasuke.

Sasuke, a dark haired enigma. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw his handsome face. Every time there was silence, he could here his voice.

"Thank you."

He was a traitor to the village. She had given him everything she could, promised more than that was hers, but he discarded it like it meant nothing. He was rude to her. He cared more about obtaining power than trying to treat her with respect.

Every ounce of her common sense told her to drop him.

Love didn't follow common sense.

Sakura sprawled eagle-spread on her lumpy pink-covered bed; she didn't feel like moving much.

Then again, she didn't feel not like doing anything.

Waiting was a painfully confusing.

"Haruno Sakura," her mother's voice rang stern, "Come down here."

Sakura hesitated before leaving the comfort of her soft bed. Begrudgingly, she shifted her feet across the carpeted hallway and down her stairs. She trudged to the kitchen where her mother was faithfully chopping onions for tonight's lunch. Her mother was thin, older and prettier version of herself- though her mother had a stronger presence and a solemn look in her eyes, and she kept her pink hair in a strict tight bun.

"What will you do Sakura? Brood all day doing nothing?" she didn't look up from her onions.


"Is it because of the Uchiha."



Sakura looked at her mother as she went through the mechanics of making dinner.

The mechanics of a family is something that the Haruno household excels at. Her father was an accountant for Konoha, he dutifully brought in the revenue. The mother was a typical housewife. She cleaned, cooked, and asked how the father did at work when he got home. And he would always say, "good." And then ask how Sakura was kunoichi business. And Sakura would say OK.

Because that's what a good family did. It was so generic it was cold.

The mother was good at being a mother, her father was good at being a father. But they where little more than that, they weren't mom or dad.

It was her family, normal as it is, that finalized her decision for her to be akunoichi. She didn't want to be that woman, in a typical stolid marriage. She would find real love. She would be strong and make a living.

She would be alive.

But lately...

"Waiting is hard," Sakura finally commented.

"It is, but the time you have you don't have to waste. How about studying a little," her mother said. Annoying her daughter about her studies is what a typical mother did.

Sakura didn't respond, but she spotted an apple on the table. Almost instinctively, she reached for the fruit and stared at it dispassionately.

Her mother looked at her out of the corner of her eye, and raised her brow when she watched Sakura go to a drawer and pull out a knife. Sakura narrowed her eyes in concentration as she carefully peeled the apple.

She had found it a bit strange, her actions. Sakura's mother did the same thing when there was nothing to do, slicing apples was her trademark. After watching over a unconscious Sasuke, Sakura adopted the annoying habit as her own. Life had a thing for bitter irony.

With skillful precision, she sliced the apple into equal eighths. Sakura noted, slightly morbidly, that no one of her family was a fan of apples, and the perfect pieces her mother's apple often were forgotten. She grimaced at the memory of Sasuke stepping all over the slices she prepared for him.

Yes, life was a sadist.

She looked at her work with little satisfaction, and then her hand reached for another apple.

"Was it a joke?" she asked.

Her mother glanced at her confused, "Was what a joke?"

"My name. You know. Haruno Sakura. Spring cherry blossoms. It's really quite original."

Her mother didn't say anything, but Sakura noted a shadow flicker in her eyes as she turned her back on Sakura.

"Sakura, what do you think of when you see a cherry blossom tree."

"That you and father once had a sense of humor."

"Besides that."

"It sure takes a long time to blossom, but when it does... it's-"

Her mother stopped cutting the onions to wipe away the tears from her eyes. Tears from the onions... or...

"Gorgeous. When one sees it, their heart explodes from the site of them. A true nature's blessing."

"Is that why you named me Sakura?"

She began chopping the onions again.

"But soon after they bloom, they die Sakura. They're beautiful when they're here but they quickly wilt away in the wind. That moment of glory dies as abruptly as it came."

There was a long dead silence in the room, Sakura could hear nothing but the rhythmic pounding of her mother's knife as it connected to the cutting board.

"You have grown into... a beautiful flower Sakura."

Sakura didn't realize she stopped peeling her apple. She forced herself to continue cutting it.

"So you named me after the bitterness of your marriage. Wonderful."

"Have you heard of the Kuroko curse?" her mother asked her.

"Kuroko curse?" Sakura racked her mind. She was sure Kuroko was a name, perhaps a clan name, but she didn't know anyone that held the last name Kuroko. "Why does it matter to me?"

"It's the last name of your ancestors."

"I've memorized our family tree. You or your grandmother's maiden names weren't Kuroko."

"It's the maiden name of our great great grandmothers, since the curse is only passed on the females."

"Oh," Sakura paused, "curse?"

She idly wondered if it was like the Hyuga branch curse that Neji constantly brooded about.

As if her mother read or her she said, "Nothing like that. Do you know what the name Kuroko means?"

Sakura said nothing.

"Black child. Do you know why Sakura? It's a cry for help, a warning to the women. Generations upon generation...

"The curse of the Kuroko on the females. Too be like me. To fall in love, only to be stuck in a world of forsaken expectations. All your dreams fall short, a life that is good but... empty."

Her mother had finished cutting the onions, and placed them in a bowl beside the cutting board. She wiped her face on her sleeve before facing Sakura.

"Do you understand now?"

Sakura gritted her teeth. All she worked for was in vain? Her childish pursuit of love, her hours of tedious studying, the scars on her arm where the sound-nin Zaku placed on her during the Chuunin exam...

It was a farce. She was going to loose to her dead great grandmother's name?

Sakura let the apple roll out of her hand and hit the floor with a sickening thud.

Her mother turned her back again.

Without another word, Sakura stood up so abruptly that her chair almost clattered on the floor. Sakura spun around, half walking, half racing to the door.

"Where are you going now, Sakura?"

"I'm going to wait by the gate for my teammates, because I believe in my dreams."


Sakura reached for the handle of her door, but didn't turn it.

"Do you want to know what I think about cherry blossoms, mother?" she continued without giving her mother a chance to speak, "That even after they wilt... they will always return next spring."

"I see."

"I'm a kunoichi before I am your daughter. I am a Haruno, and one day I hope to take another name. I will never be a Kuroko. Your curse is cheap and I refuse to accept it."

With that Sakura defiantly opened the door and slammed it behind her, taking off to the gate where she would wait for Naruto and Sasuke.

Her mother let a tiny smile slide on her face; perhaps Sakura could be the first to defeat this curse.

What is in a name after all?



[A/N] TEH ANGST!!111oneoneleven. My apologies... it's my venting. I'm not really proud of this work, but I had the idea screwed in my head for days and I felt if I didn't hurry and write a Sakura fanfiction my head would explode.

So you see, I had to write this for the interest of my health.

Angst comes natural for me and I despise myself for that. I want to write something with a bit more substance than that, but I had a hard time thinking of something. Maybe I rush too much? I'll think of something better I promise, because this was just bordering on the line of whining-angst. But I tried to pull of something hopeful for the end.

I always envisioned Sakura's home to be sort of like this. Normal for the sake of normalcy. But maybe I'm just crazy. I wish someone would shed some light on her family other than "being there." I mean, we see Shikimaru's, Ino's, Shino's, ect. Why not a main character?

Kuroko came up in my searching for a morbid last name. Apparently Japanese last names are usually a combination of common words. -Kuro and –ko are supposedly common used. Kuro means black and ko means child.

This was suppose to be more of a Sasusaku fanfiction, but I sort of deviated from it. I think I'm more interested in Narusaku anyway. shrug

I'm done making excuses for myself.