Hh... After three times changing the title, this story finally published! So, if you ask me what's the most difficult in this story, it's deciding the title.

I receive any flames about my way of telling story, but please not about the pairing! I don't receive any suggestion, sorry, because the outline is finish. If you want so, just wait in another story, or suggest another story.

The author is not reponsible if your mood change (i.e. sad, angry, suddenly laugh, or else), or if you forget to eat, forget to do your homework, and else.

Standard Disclaimer Apply


Welcome Home

Chapter 1

"Sasuke, wait for me!"

The black-haired boy glanced at the seventeen years-old girl. They were in their way to go to the mission place. The girl was just helping the other people. And he, as usual, uncaring, just passed the poor old-man.

"Yeah… Hurry up, Sakura. We will be late."

"We won't. I bet Kakashi will come two or three hours later." Sakura giggled.

Sasuke sighed. He knew that Sakura was true. Kakashi was always late. He didn't change at all.

After Naruto dragged him back to Konohagakure, Sakura never show her feelings towards Sasuke anymore, yet she didn't change at all. Just more beautiful and more matured. She acted like a friend, treated him indifferent from Naruto. Well, she spoke it once, actually.

"Sasuke. You finally come back." Sakura was the first person who greets him at Konohagakure's gate after Naruto dragged him back to Konohagakure. Her face filled with relief.

"Hn." Single word vocabulary. As usual. He realized that Naruto was no longer with them.

"Un… Sasuke… un…" She stammered. She seemed like forgot how to speak. Finally, she inhaled deeply.

"Sasuke, I love you. I don't expect a good answer, but I just want you to know about this." She blurted it out.

Sasuke already prepared for this situation, for he expected this. He already prepared an answer too.

"Sakura. I know your feelings towards me," he uttered softly to her—something he never did all of these years, "but this is for your own good, I don't capable of love."

Sakura smiled emptily. "Why didn't you just say: 'I don't need a weak shinobi like you to be beside me'? It would solve the problem."

"I didn't—"she cut his sentences.

"Oh, you didn't. But you do. What's the difference? I will become stronger for you, Sasuke. I promise."

"Sakura…"

"I'll leave by now." Her bangs prevent him to see her face.

"…even if I disappointing you by that answer, the days with you are the priceless treasure for me."

"…thank you. But you don't have to enlighten me. I've already decided that if you reject me, I'd forget about all of my feelings towards you. No longer hoping, no more loving. Besides, I'm not disappointed. I already expected you would answer like that. Besides, you're back to Konohagakure. That brings more than enough happiness for me." She glanced towards him. A smile played across her pink lips.

"Welcome home."

Until now, Sakura still took those words as an entertainment. But she smiled if she remembered that situation.

At least he cared of my feelings…

They arrived at the mission place. No one there, as expected. She won at her own bet. She smirked.

"See?" Sasuke shrugged. As usual, uncared.

They waited for Kakashi and Naruto. Sakura played with her now long pink hair. Yes, her hair was growing long reach her waist. She twirled it between her fingers; Sasuke just stared at her, sometimes stared at the street, searched for Kakashi's or Naruto's presence. Not long after, a pigeon flew above them, falling one feather. Sakura caught the feather between her fingers. She glanced at Sasuke.

"Looks like Naruto and Kakashi-sensei won't come here." Sakura walked towards the Hokage's office, followed by Sasuke, who understand.

xxxxxxxxxx

"Baba! Will this mission be good enough for us? I'm sick of those easy missions. We're all ANBU, for god's sake!" Sakura and Sasuke just arrived in the Hokage's office. Naruto already there, waited for them.

"Naruto, don't be so rude to Tsunade-sama!" Sakura lectured him.

"Ok, Sakura-chan…" he obeyed automatically looking Sakura's right hand already formed a fist. He felt it once and that was more painful than he could imagine.

"Don't worry, Naruto. This mission is harder than you expected." Tsunade cut their conversation. Sasuke could understand why every single person—well, except Naruto—in this village respects Tsunade. She had a big charisma that they could never understand.

"Hah! No mission is too hard for me, Uzumaki Naruto! I'm the future Hokage. No one can beat me!" Naruto spoke aloud arrogantly.

"I've beaten you once…" Sasuke mumbled. Naruto's glanced back angrily, but couldn't find a word to deny it. Sakura tried her best to suppress a giggle.

"Okay, okay. You two, calm down, okay. We've already hear enough your mouth fight." Sakura finally said.

"She's right Naruto, Sasuke. Sasuke," she stared deeply into Sasuke's obsidian orbs, "this mission will make you glad."

"Huh? What?" As an emotionless person, it was very amazing he could be amused by a mission. He was not Naruto, everyone knew that.

"Yeah. This mission is: kill Uchiha Itachi, the missing-nin from Konohagakure." Sasuke's eyes were hardened. His body trembled with anticipation.

"We already know where his position now is," She waved a map towards them, Sakura move forward to take it. "All you have to do is assassinate him. I know this is the hard mission, but seems like you three can handle it."

"Three? And Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked.

"Kakashi have another mission to do. S-class." Tsunade explained shortly.

Sakura gave the map to Sasuke. Without looking away from the map, he said, "Leave it to us."

They all already knew that Sasuke meant was: 'leave it to me'.

xxxxxxxxxx

"Ouch!" a silent shout was heard from the forest.

Sasuke glanced quickly at his pink-haired team-mate right beside him. "What's happen?"

"No… A kunai came from somewhere… I don't know… Maybe an academy student misdirected his or her kunai…" She said and pulled the kunai out from her shoulder, then swallowing her stopping-blood pill.

Sasuke looked annoyed. "If the problem just that, you don't have to whine like a child, right? You always like that. You always get in the way. I despise weakling." After that, Sasuke felt a pang of guilt, though he didn't do or say anything after that.

Silence. Very thick silence.

"…I know you want so badly to kill your brother, and you don't want anyone to help you," she felt proud hearing how calm her own voice sounded, "but you must control your temper if you want to win. It's not like you to lose your cool…" Sakura said while she was continuing walking.

"Yes, teme. Itachi is strong. Better you don't lose your temperament in front of him. Or else he kicked your butt."

That was true, Sasuke didn't say anything. He blushed, though the ANBU mask hid his face. Sasuke and Naruto walked faster to walk with Sakura.

I must apologize after this mission, thought Sasuke. While Sakura thought, maybe his nervousness reveals his true feeling towards me.

Suddenly, Sakura stopped. "What else?" Sasuke asked. His voice was a bit annoyed yet he didn't mean it came like that.

"Don't you realize it?" Sakura's sense of chakra was the most sensitive compared to other people in Konohagakure. Her perfect control of chakra just made it perfect.

His face changed. "Realize what—"

Wuush!

Sakura quickly swished her katana to deflect a figure that jumped towards them. The sound of katana met each other rang clearly, as if a bell rang to sign the fight that just begun. Her other team-mates were too shock to react. In a second, they stopped fighting each other. They move backwards, Sakura stepped near her other team-mates. Blood trickled down their opponent's right cheek, while Sakura took a wound in her right shoulder; her ANBU mask cracked and fell, revealing her pretty face.

A voice, cold and emotionless, rang cut the thick air of fight. "Even already years passed, you're not growing up, little brother. A girl like her even surpasses you."

The other voice, full of anger and hatred, replied, "Uchiha Itachi!"


Hem... how bout it? If you like, review. If you don't like, review. If you hate, just review. If you love it, MUST review.

Have a nice day,
Lexy The Thief