Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters…. Damnit…
How long has it been? At least a couple of years. Sasuke Uchiha left three years ago to pursue power and strength, so he went to Orochimaru. A cruel man with intent to destroy Leaf. To Sasuke, his only goal was to kill Itachi Uchiha, the one who had wiped out his entire family except for himself.
Naruto Uzumaki grew immensely under Jiraiya's tutelage. Sakura Haruno's strength not only grew but equaled with Naruto and Sasuke's, thanks to Tsunade's instruction. Team Seven's members now trained under the Legendary Three. Rumors flew that those three young chuunin were destined to become the next three legendary sennin. Indeed their abilities grew everyday.
Team Seven's former members were now all at the age of 18. Old enough to be wise yet still young enough for recklessness.
This tale begins with our heroes reuniting… with the return of Uchiha Sasuke to Konoha village of the Hidden Leaf.
Sakura Haruno yawned as she awoke with the calming sound of raindrops. She groggily got out of her cozy futon bed and headed to the washroom. The sleepy chuunin changed into her ninja medic uniform, similar to Tsunade-sama's outfit only her signature red and green colors. She brushed her hair (which she kept almost boyishly short, it was just more practical that way) and went down to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast.
The rain became stronger as she cooked her omelet. It was her first year living alone away from her parents, but she liked the independence. Tsunade had taught her to be independent and strong, Sakura admired her sensei immensely.
Once she was satisfyingly full, the konoichi began cleaning up when she heard a knock on her door. Sakura opened the door to find Naruto's friendly face smiling at her.
"Good morning Sakura-chan!" He greeted.
She smiled back at him, "Naruto-kun! Good morning, this is a surprise. What's up?"
"Pervert sennin Jiraiya and that old hag Tsunade wanna talk to us about something. They said it was urgent, so they made me into a messenger boy…" He muttered irritably at the last bit, trailing off about wanting B and A rank missions.
Sakura frowned, "That's strange, Tsunade told me to take today off. She hasn't changed her mind has she? I haven't had a break in awhile!"
Naruto laughed, "Yeah I've been slaving away lately too! But no worries, I think its something else! Maybe they're gonna treat us to some ramen!" He joked.
Sakura just rolled her eyes and went with him to see the 5th Hokage and Jiraiya. They walked in the rain silently, neither of them bothered by being wet.
It suddenly occurred to her, could it have anything to do with Sasuke?
They arrived. Even Kakashi and Iruka-sensei were in the room, this had to be something big.
Tsunade-sama was the first to speak up. "Sakura-san, Naruto-san… I'm going to get straight to the point. We have recently heard word of Orochimaru's activity. After three years of keeping a low profile… we now know of his current status…"
"Is he going to attack Konoha again?" Naruto growled angrily, thinking back to his past encounters with that man.
Sakura bit her lip, unsure if she should speak her mind. Tsunade gave her one of her looks and so the young chuunin asked, "…Isn't… isn't Sasuke-kun with him?"
"Actually…" Jiraiya began, looking straight at Sakura. "Orochimaru is dead… by Sasuke's hand."
"What?" Sakura and Naruto yelled out in unison.
"Sasuke-san… word is that he's coming back to Konoha. But not as a missing-nin, as a citizen of this village…" Tsunade continued.
"We're unsure about his intentions… after three years with Orochimaru… he may have changed." Iruka added.
"But he's coming back isn't he? That's wonderful! He killed off one of our biggest threats!" Sakura smiled.
Naruto grinned, "Sakura's right! Sasuke is coming back! So what if he spent a few years with that bastard? Maybe he missed us so much that he's repenting now!"
"…Its not that simple." Kakashi told them, wiping off their excited smiles, "He betrayed the village and he killed one of the legendary three, which means his strength must have surpassed that of Orochimaru. As much as I hate to say this, he could potentially be an enemy to this village."
True that Sakura's parting with Sasuke was anything but terribly romantic but her feelings for him had never changed. She had become a strong independent young woman. Her efforts were to impress him at first, but now she was happy to see her own improvement. Yet still, it seemed that everything she did began in the hopes of impressing the one she loves. The same reason she grew her hair long years ago, because of a rumor that the Uchiha genius liked girls that way.
Cutting her hair was a symbol of freedom, to be free of conformity. Sakura Haruno once vowed to be herself and grow strong. She wanted Sasuke's affection only if he would love her for the way she is.
But things change, and now that he was coming back she didn't know what to do. The village seemed to be suspicious of his loyalty and was untrusting of his intentions.
"Sensei…" Sakura walked toward the Hokage. "I have a request to ask of you."
"Ask away Sakura-san." Tsunade gave her a small smile, knowing of the girl's feeling toward the missing-nin.
Sakura made sure to speak eloquently, to demonstrate her seriousness of the matter. "Naruto and I may share a blind faith toward Sasuke-kun but that's because we used to be those closest to him. We knew his strengths and fears. So please give Sasuke-kun a chance. As insurance Naruto and I will keep close watch on him until he has gained your trust back. If he tries anything we'll inform one of you immediately."
Jiraiya smirked, "She has a point."
Tsunade sighed, "It seems I don't have much choice. Knowing your Sakura-san, you'll probably run away with that dashing Uchiha first chance you get, and I don't want my most promising pupil to run away before completing her training. You're just lucky I'm in a somewhat good mood today."
Naruto smiled, "Thanks old hag! You're cool dude!"
"I would NOT run away with him!" Sakura protested indignantly.
The Hokage rolled her eyes, no matter how much older they got they still had the same mannerisms.
OK so end of chapter 1! I'm planning on Sasuke's appearance next chapter to come, its going to be quite a treat! But I'm not telling under what circumstances he appears!
I wanted to keep the characters as in character as possible, so I hope I did a good job in that area. I began this fic because I was unsatisfied with the small amount of SasuSaku fics out there! The few I found weren't realistic to my taste, so I opted to write my own.
By the way reviewing and sending me constructive crits make me happy and usually help me update sooner than later,