Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"After we arrive at Konoha, could you take me to your Hokage?" Sande asked, hoping for a positive answer. "Actually, Sande-Chan" Naruto said "We were going to take you to Tsunade even if you didn't want to come to Konoha." "Oh, I see, well that makes it so much easier." She said cheerfully. "Your Hokage is a girl?" she asked. "Old hag more like." Naruto answered. "She uses a jutsu to make herself seem young but she's really like 3 times Kakashi's age." Sande laughed at this, and added "Then maybe Kakashi isn't really as young as he looks either." They both burst out laughing and were instant friends.
"Huh? Aw, the rain stopped." She said. It was true, the clouds were moving away to let the sun shine through and the sight of a rainbow assured them all that it was officially over. "I've never heard anyone complaining about rain stopping before." Sakura said, genuinely surprised. "Hm" Sande replied. She stared at the clouds, as if she weren't really there as if she were somewhere else in a different place and time altogether. "Sande, let's go." Sasuke said putting a hand on her shoulder. "Oh." Sande said, coming out of her reverie. She noticed that the others were ahead of her and ran to catch up with them.
"Eh, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked. Even though everyone knew what was coming next, Sasuke answered "Nanio?" "When we get back to Konoha would you like to go out with me?" She asked hopefully. "Sakura," Sasuke sighed. "This is getting pathetic how can you ever expect anything from me, when you are so weak? Why don't you train? If, you were attacked by 5 ninjas I doubt you'd survive, and what's more, I don't think you care. Noone else cares about you, noone else will help you, you have to do it yourself." "Sasuke-bastard show some respect to Sakura-Chan!!!" Naruto yelled with flames in his eyes. 'Why does he always do this to me? Can't he see how much I care about him?' Sakura lowered her head and clenched her fists.
'It's amazing how those three never get tired of saying the exact same thing after each mission." Kakashi mused. "Sasuke, Naruto's right, don't you realize you're destroying Sakura? At this rate she might end up just like you." This particular argument caught Sande's attention, and she understood everyone's intake on it. "He's right you know, Sakura." She said surprising everyone. "But, don't feel down. It's not just you. It's Naruto, Kakashi, Me, Sasuke everyone. It's the cruel law of life. You'd do yourself a favor if you took advantage of Sasuke's advice. It was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I'm pretty sure it was the same with Sasuke," She said glancing at him. "He's not trying to be mean. And I'm sure this is something he reminds himself of every day. Think about it, Sakura. Most likely, he reveals more of himself to you than anyone else. You think this is harsh? No, it's his way of life; it's the only way for him to survive, for anyone to survive. It may seem cruel and terrible but that's life." She finished walking ahead of them as Sakura and Naruto stared after her.
"Shut up," Sasuke said, irritated, mostly because it was all true. He put his hands in his pockets and resumed walking. Naruto ran after them not wanting to be left behind. Sakura was too stunned to speak or do anything. Was Sande right? Was this Sasuke's way of helping her? Was this Sasuke's life? But it was too cruel, too terrible. Then this was his way of sharing his life with her? Sasuke… I'm sorry. You're not like anyone I've ever known. I've always thought that, but I haven't acknowledged it till today. She ran to catch up with the group.
'That girl, there's something strange about her. How can she act like that and still be so cheerful is that just an act? No, it can't be. But, not even I have ever though about their conversations like that even though I've known them for 2 years now.' Kakashi's thoughts were wandering around again. Sasuke was confused 'How could she understand what they haven't realized in 2 years? Sometimes she acts like Naruto, what caused her to act differently all of a sudden? She let out that strange sadness I saw in her eyes.' Sasuke wondered what else ran through her head she was impossible to figure out.
Konoha was peaceful when they arrived. Children were at the academy, adults were working or shopping, and the only one aware of each individuals doings was the wind that whistled it's way between them softly, chuckling at each one's happiness, and weeping at each one's sorrow. The leaves joined in the soothing dance of the wind and circled around the newcomer whose sadness could not be wept for and whose happiness could not be laughed at.
'Oh wind, my sorrow is not for you to bear. Were you here in Konoha at the time? Or were you watching me? Crying with the sky? I don't remember. Your company is appreciated but don't weep for me, my sadness should not stop your beautiful dance go on, know of other happiness and sadness, I will nurse my wounds alone.' Sande's request to the wind was not heard by the others, but suddenly her hair stopped blowing and the golden autumn leaves fell at her feet.
Unaware of the events that had passed Team 7 headed to Tsunade's office. All of them were too busy with their own thoughts. Before they knew it they were there. Kakashi held the door open for his students and Sande. They all walked inside. "Have a seat." Tsunade said, smiling.The office itself was huge. There was a big window looking out on Konoha, and a big wooden oak desk at which a young, blonde, woman as sitting. Remembering her conversation with Naruto, Sande found it difficult not to laugh.
Sande looked around, not sure who she was talking to, and sat down after Kakashi nodded at her. "No need to be nervous, I just want to talk." Sande laughed "No worries there, I never get nervous." "Is that so?" Tsunade asked. "What Village do you come from? I see you aren't wearing your forehead protector." She asked. "Well, I'm not really from a certain village; I'm not a ninja either. Up until now, I was just a student." Sande answered without hesitation. "Then what are you now? Whose student?" She continued. Sande sighed. "Toko-san, He was training me to become a ninja, after he said my training was complete he said I should come here, try to meet up to your expectations, pass any exams you may have to become a ninja." Sande said. "I see, but why did your sensei choose Konoha?" Tsunade asked curiously. "He chose Konoha because, this is where he grew up and became a ninja also, and he says his grandson lives here." Sande answered. "Sentimental ties?" Tsunade asked. "You could say that." Sande replied.
"All right," Tsunade said taking out a sheet of paper.
"What is this, a conversation or an interrogation?!"
"This is the application for outsiders to become citizens of Konoha you'll have to answer these questions anyway if you want to become a ninja."
"Last name?" She repeated
"Feh. I don't know."
"You don't know?"
Tsunade took Sande's silence as a "yes."
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"Sibling name/names, if any?"
"I don't know"
"I don't know. None, I guess"
"Emergency phone number?"
"Toko-san, I guess"
"So, let me get this straight. You are an orphan with no home, no name, no status, no position, no money, nothing." Tsunade asked. 'This old hag is beginning to get really irritating.' Sande thought. "At least I've still got my youth." She mumbled. "What was that!!!!!!!" Tsunade yelled. Sande smirked; satisfied that she had received the reaction she wanted. Tsunade glared at Sande as if she wanted to kill her, but finally said "Ahem, well lucky for you none of those are requirements for becoming a ninja. Report to the academy at 6:00 am and Iruka-sensei will test your skills." She said. "Sasuke!" She suddenly addressed him. "Nanio?" He asked as if he couldn't care less. Kakashi hit him on the head "Speak with respect to the Hokage." He chastised him. Tsunade sighed, what happened to the days when a Hokage simply had to state someone's name and the prompt answer would be "Hai!" "See to it, that this girl has somewhere to spend the night and that she arrives at the academy on time. Dismissed!"
"Poor girl" Sakura thought, Sande just doesn't make any sense. "She's so cool." Naruto thought. "She's the only other one who can make Tsunade as mad as I do!"
After all the chuunins had left Tsunade addressed Kakashi. "Is she any good?" Kakashi looked at Tsunade and realized she was entirely serious. "Remarkably. Her taijutsu skills are excellent, her strategy skills can compare to those of Shikamaru, and from the one jutsu I saw her use, I'd say her ninjutsu skills are amazing as well, she used the Chi-ame no Jutsu, a technique that most Jounins have difficulty mastering." Tsunade blinked at him. "And you got to see all this when?" She asked "She was attacked by 5 ninjas, she says her sensei sent them to make sure she doesn't let her guard down."
"Hey Sande chan! Wanna eat some ramen with me?" Naruto asked, happy that they were out of that boring office. "Ramen?!?!!?!?! YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! LET'S GO!!!" She began hopping from one foot to the other, extremely excited. "All right! My treat!" Naruto added happily. It had been a while since someone willingly agreed to go eat ramen with him. "Hey Sasuke, you coming?" Sande asked. "No" He said and began walking away, Sakura looked at them and smiled, "Well, see you guys tomorrow!" She said heading home. "See ya!" Sande said. She ran after Sasuke and grabbed his arm, attempting to drag him to the ramen bar, "You… have… to… come… with… us…!" She grunted, straining to get him to budge even an inch. "I… need…to… talk… to… you!" After he refused to budge, she dropped her arms breathing heavily. "Don't worry, Sande-chan! I'll take it from here! Sasuke, won't be able to say no, when I use my great technique!" He formed a seal with his hands, "Kage bunshin no jutsu!" He shouted. Sasuke stared at him 'What is that baka planning to do now?' he wondered. "Heh heh" a billion Narutos smiled at Sasuke. "HENGE!" poof! A billion blonde girls were all over Sasuke saying "Sasuke! Sasuke! Come eat ramen with us!" Pedestrians stared at Sasuke and shook their heads. "This is your great technique?" Sande asked disbelievingly.
Sasuke's eyebrow was twitching like crazy and there was a sweat drop on his forehead. Bam! He punched one of the girls in the jaw and the others disappeared and Naruto turned back to Naruto. "Ow… Naruto said rubbing his cheek. "What happened? All guys are weak against that attack!" Sasuke smirked at the pathetic form of Naruto lying on the floor and turned to Sande. "You needed to talk to me about something?" He asked. "Yeah!" She said. "Let's go!"
It was a funny sight, three kids, hunched over their ramen bowls, slurping the last bits of noodles and simultaneously holding out their bowls and yelling "Seconds!" After each of them ate their fill, Sasuke addressed Sande "What did you want to talk about?" "Oh, right! I almost forgot about that. But, we can't talk here, let's go over there." She said, pointing.
"Wasn't that great, guys! Gee, Sande I never met a girl who could eat as much ramen as me! That was deli-" He was suddenly interrupted by the sight of the chef's hand. "Huh?" he looked around. Sande and Sasuke were nowhere to be seen. "Ohh…" he groaned.
"Listen, I'm sorry I told them that much about you on the way here. But, it was obvious and at the rate you were going you were going to lose Sakura. You don't have much foresight do you? Girls give "dense" a whole new meaning! You have to explain everything crystal clear for them, or they won't understand what you're saying and they'll get mad." Sande said. "What makes you think I care?" Sasuke asked. "Oh, I guess it doesn't make sense how I know you so well. Maybe one day you'll find out but today is not that day." There was silence. Sasuke was aware that Sande was staring at him 'She's trying to figure out what I'm thinking, if she manages to do that I'd, I'd-' Sasuke searched his mind for something impossible 'I'd let her stay with me.' "Hmm…" Sande said. "You're probably acknowledging the fact that I'm trying to figure out what you're thinking and making some sort of stupid deal with yourself." Sasuke was in shock. "You can stay with me." He said eventually. "What?!" "Don't make me repeat myself."
A/N: 2nd chapter complete!! Plz Review!!