Waiting

My name is Haruno Sakura. I am a daughter of an average Konoha family with no notable history,
no famous contributions, no mention in the thick, leather-bound village history volumes in Hokage-sama's
office. My parents are good-hearted, strong-spirited people, and they come from people just like them.
An endless line of Harunos, dating back farther than I know, all of them good, loyal people. That has
always seemed to be enough for them. I want to stand out, but I am waiting

I am a friend, but really not a very good one. My best friend for so long, my only friend, really, was
Yamanaka Ino. Her family runs the village flower shop, and she used to teach me the art of floral
arrangement on boring, rainy Saturday afternoons when there was no school to distract us. She was
my great defender and now she is my rival. I love her the same, but I cannot back down. I will not
lose to her. Shannaro! Sasuke-kun came between us, and I put him there. She was the one who said I
would bloom into a beautiful flower. I believe her, and I am waiting….

I am also a teammate. There are three of us, grouped together because of our strengths and weaknesses,
and led by Kakashi-sensei. Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto. They are my friends, my extended family;
a constant source of irritation and friendship and rivalry and grief and inspiration. Naruto is loud and annoying
and oddly likeable. Sasuke-kun is quiet and intent and the most talented. Naruto likes me, and I love
Sasuke-kun, but Sasuke-kun loves no one, at least not in that way. They each have their techniques, and
they are growing strong so quickly. Sometimes I feel that I am being left behind. I watch their backs, but
my moment is coming, I am certain, and I'm waiting for it….

Most of all, I am a ninja of Konoha. I had the highest grades, but book smarts are not enough in the real world, and
I am learning that quickly. I used to secretly laugh at Naruto for his weak academics, his poor test scores, but laughter
dies when an orange-clad shadow replication is summoned in time to absorb a kunai meant for me. It's a humbling
experience, to be the weak link, but Kakashi-sensei says I will find my niche, and I believe him. I will wait for it.


My name is Uchiha Sasuke. I am a shadow, a lingering reminder of the greatest clan in all of Konoha, the backbone
of law and order. The deeds of my kin are scrupulously recorded in the history books of our village, paragraphs upon
pages upon chapters, but that is all they are now…words, ink, history. Sometimes I feel that the unseen writer is hovering,
pen in hand, waiting to see how I will finish it, if I will finish it, so he can complete his task. I will finish it. I have waited
long enough….

I was a son, but not anymore. There is a giant wall around me, a void where there were once people who were the
center of my life. Or maybe I was the center of theirs'. They are shadows as well, distant forms that follow me everywhere.
To school. To training. On missions. At meals. Into sleep. They make no demands, strange since they made so many of
them when they actually existed as flesh and blood people. My mother was kind and gentle and indulgent. My father was
stern and insistent and unimpressed. I was well-behaved, and I worked hard. I did well in school, had the highest marks in
everything. I was praised as another genius of the Uchiha clan, but I was the spare. My effort and abilities, which brilliantly
shone in Iruka-sensei's classroom, appeared dingy when compared to the true genius of my family. The one I am waiting to kill….

I am an avenger. My older brother Itachi is clever, unmatched, emotionless. A blank space. A murderer. I wonder if my
father would ever have anticipated that the hand he had taught to bull's-eye a shuriken would one day use that well-honed
precision to…. If mother could ever have imagined that the hand she had carefully wrapped after some mission-induced
injury would one day be used to…. I wonder if my brother anticipates that the boy he spared, the one he taught to throw
a shuriken, the one he carried home piggy-back style after a training-induced injury…will be the one to place him, with a
relieving finality, into those pages of history with the rest of our clan. I think maybe that is the way Itachi wants it, for his
death to wear my face. It is how I want it, and I will not wait any longer…..

I am a ninja of Konoha. I have teammates and, because of them, have been forced to learn teamwork. Sakura likes me
more than I can understand. I am not overly kind to her. Her priorities are wrong. She worries about me more than about
herself. It will get her killed, and that is why I watch for her. Naruto is my most annoying rival. He wants me to acknowledge
him, but that is difficult for a rival to do. He is also my best friend. Usuratonkachi. I am the number one rookie, the most
talented, the most capable, the most adept. Shishi Rendan!Goukakyuu no Jutsu! Housenka no Jutsu! Sharingan! I am
stagnating. I can feel it, that quiet desperation, the one that always surfaces along with his face, with those eyes, crimson and
pin-wheeled into a sort of vacant malice. I have the same eyes, but they are not capable of the same things. I am not capable
of the same things as he. I will have to find another way, and I cannot wait


My name is Uzumaki Naruto. I was nothing. Sometimes it felt like I appeared out of nowhere. No family. No friends.
My village would not look at me. They would walk past me, eyes focused over my head. When I found out about the
Kyuubi, they began to look at me, and it was worse than when I was invisible. Dark eyes, vacant eyes, fearful eyes, cursing
eyes. I am going to be their Hokage. I am going to be written into one of those big, boring history books in old man Hokage's
office. I am going to ask Iruka-sensei to make all of his students write book reports about me. I am going to walk through
the streets and see faces that are glad that I am there. I am going to have my face carved into the hill that rests on the north
side of Konoha. I am going to be the one they call when they need to be protected. I'm really waiting for that day….

I was a dropout. I liked to play pranks. Oiroke no Jutsu! I liked to watch Iruka-sensei's face when he discovered that I
carved my name into the desk while listening to one of his boring chakra lessons. I hated it when he stood overhead,
glaring at me, radiating disapproval for the three hours it took me to sand the desk down and refinish it. I love it when he
tells me that it's late, and that I must be hungry, and that he has enough on him to treat me to ramen. I was the worst in
his class. I failed the graduation exam three times. My worst skill was replication. Kage Bunshin no Jutsu! I work hard,
I train all the time. I'm not a genius like Sasuke and Neji and Kakashi. I'm going to be greater than all of them. Dattebayo!

I am a monster. There are times when I am exhausted, when my chakra is gone, and I can feel something clawing at me on
the inside. It is faint, and I don't know what to do about it, if I should do something with it. Sometimes it does something
with me. Everything goes from blue to orange, everything fades, and I am certain at that moment that I am more powerful
than anyone. Mizuki said Yondaime sealed the Nine-tails inside me. Sometimes I want to yell at people that the monster lives
inside me, but I am not him. He is sealed away, safely away, and I can ignore him most of the time. Sometimes I want to yell
at Yondaime Hokage for making me the container. Most of the time, especially when Sasuke's taking all the good parts, I
want to yell at the Kyuubi to help me out a little! I am waiting for everyone to realize that I am what is keeping the fox away
from them. He is waiting to escape me. I won't let him.

Best of all, I am a ninja of Konoha. I will be the greatest of them all. I won't take back my words. Somehow I always end
up finishing second to that jerk, Sasuke. My best friend, Sasuke. I cheer when he does something amazing in that annoyingly
cool way of his. I also cheer when he screws up and looks like an idiot. For some reason, Sakura always watches him when
I'd really rather she watch me. She's pretty and she's good-hearted and she's also really scary. They are my teammates.
They are important. To them, I am visible, and I think the best feeling in the world is when someone looks at you, really looks
at you. I have a forehead protector, and it means a lot to me. It stands for more than it is, just a nicked, flattened piece of metal
with the swirling Konoha leaf design in the center. It represents my life, my purpose, my way of the ninja. I waited a long time for it,
and now I will earn it.


Heheh! What the heck is this, you ask? I have no idea. It's rather stream-of-consciousness. About an hour spent with Microsoft Word, basically. I just thought up the "wait" thing and felt this bizarre need to write it. It was only supposed to be Sakura at first, but then I felt like all three of them could be tied into this. Anyway…I've never done a "one-shot" before. Usually anything I write is 6 million chapters long. I've been really getting the writing bug lately, though, and just haven't had much time. Considering turning this into something longer…or as a "lead-in" for an actual story. Although, it kinda sticks out next to all the Inuyasha stuff. xD

Oh, for those that have only seen the English version:

Shannaro means "Hell yeah!"/"Damn it!" (depending on the situation) It's Sakura's all-purpose celebratory/irritated exclamation.

Shishi Rendan, Goukakyuu no Jutsu, Housenka no Jutsu are some of Sasuke's attacks, basically.

Usuratonkachi means 'idiot'. This is Sasuke's word for stupid people. He uses it the most for Naruto. xD

Oiroke no Jutsu is the 'sexy' jutsu. It's a prank-style technique that Naruto does. I'm not sure what they call this in English. I don't even know if they changed it.

Dattebayo is a phrase Naruto uses constantly. xD I think it's some sort of sentence suffix, meant for emphasis. It was translated into English as 'Believe it!'. It's possible it should be spelled out as 'Datte ba yo', but I'm not sure. I've seen it both ways. If it's wrong, then I'll just look at it as writer's discretion...lol. He runs it together like that when he speaks anyway. ;)

Kage Bunshin no Jutsu is Shadow Replication Technique. Again, not sure if they changed this in the English version or not.