Starting AN: Yes, I do in fact realize that this chapter is late. But school sucks. You all know that. Anyway, if there is a craptastic of all craptastic endings in the world, this definitely ranks way up there. I cannot end things for beans. Well. More at the end. Enjoy the last chapter!

Chapter 14
In the Beginning

Everybody has something they can complain about. Some more than others. If no one complained, it wouldn't be normal. Even I complain. Actually, I complain about things a lot. Which some people find strange. Because I live one hell of a relaxed life.

Well, in the beginning anyway. I grew up in a normal household: I had a mom and a dad, though the latter usually spent his time anywhere else in the world but at home. I went to a normal school. I had normal friends. Well, that statement is kind of iffy. Friends are never quite 'normal', since every person is weird in their own way.

Anyway. I've lived in the same house all my life. I've only changed schools twice, and that was for transferring from elementary to middle, and middle to high school. So you could say I was used to routine. Wake up, go to school, come home, work, go to bed. It was always kind of like that.

Family outings were…on the rare side. Mom was a nurse at the local Alzheimer's hospital. Dad, well, I'm still not sure what he does. Most nights when I was young he never came home at nights, telling Mom he was in some odd town in the world. And when he was home, he was less than sociable. But family is family, so you can never quite hate them, even if you say you do.

But family aside, school was pretty good. Well, I was teased, since my head was a little unproportional to the rest of my body. I guess Yamanaka Ino was the only one who didn't think so. She was really pretty as a kid. I'm not saying she isn't now, but…oh whatever.

The two of us were close through all three schools. Of course, there were the normal banters we'd have; usually the quarrels were guy-related. It was all stupidity really. We always ended up running after the same boy.

Usually Ino ended up winning. Guys seemed to have a thing for platinum blond hair, rather than unnatural pink. Well, the one exception was Nara Shikamaru (Ino's next door neighbor but we didn't really meet until middle school). He found it interesting. And, if you knew Shikamaru, for him to find something interesting meant that it must have been special.

Point being we were an item (in total obscurity from the light, known as the student body) for a few months. Things kind of…fell apart. The two of us made an agreement to take the secret to the grave, since it wasn't long after that I found out Ino had a super crush on the guy. Probably still does to this day. I really think she's die-hard-head-over-heels in love with him. But that's another story.

Keeping on track with earlier things, I guess all through those years I complained. "I never have a boyfriend!" or "My family never takes me anywhere!" I'm sure most of my friends didn't really care for my nonexistent troubles. Because at the end of the day, I was lucky. I had a family. I had friends. And putting aside the silly troubles of an early aged teenager, I was happy.

There was a phase I was in during my sophomore year. Perhaps it was the number of crime dramas increased on television. Whatever the case, I was suddenly fascinated by everything I didn't know. I'm not saying stupid things like: what came first, the chicken or the egg? but rather why hasn't this person been themselves lately.

Yes, I'm slightly eccentric. But it was something for me to do, since I was part of the 'go home after school club'. I wasn't that great at sports, and certainly not anything artistic. I was smart. That's it. So even if it was only Shikamaru and I (after I begged him for two solid days, so he reluctantly agreed) it was fun.

The two of us had no real personal gain. Sure it was cool to know everything. And when the select few came in search of information, it was nice to get something useful out of things. Kind of like the time the son of the chief policeman came for help, and in return, we got access to criminal files. It probably wasn't too legally right for him to do that, but we were doing no harm. And he was desperate.

So our successful club ran for two years. It probably could have gone the third year as well, if my relaxed life hadn't been torn to shreds right in front of me. I remember that night clearer than most things. A small twinge of curiosity dealt me a hand of total crap. And before I knew it, I was taken from my life, and placed in a world of scheme, missions, weapons, and death.

Yes. I complained again. This time I had the right. No one wants to give up their student carefree life to one that puts the weight of the world on your shoulders. By weight of the world, I mean the lives of the Presidents of Sharingan. Close enough.

He brought me here. Hah, I remember. I was quite upset. So upset I actually cried. But a two-hour train ride, a couple new faces and a new room later, I was sitting in a place I learned to call home. Not that I did at first.

I mean really; I found it awfully strange. I was first doing tasks like spying and eavesdropping on a potential criminal. Next, I was posed at the most prestigious high school I know, and later knocked someone out with chloroform and nearly strangled to death. Another time I posed as a martial arts instructor, and almost got killed again by jumping off a bridge. Not to mention I've almost gotten shot about…well, maybe three or four times.

All of the above I had not been expecting to do through my entire life. I imagined how cool it must be. But now that I've lived it, I can say to anyone it really isn't all that great. Even snooping around, finding fortunes and cracking the case… It wasn't all that glorious. It came with a price.

Everything comes with a price. First it was the President. Next it was the Lady. Next…well, a bunch of people were killed by the Akatsuki. I never quite figured the whole organization thing out. But from what I gathered after that day, I think I'm a little closer to the answer. Perhaps professional assassins for hire?

A bunch of things happened since that days of (the no longer President) Itachi. It's been about three weeks now.

Needless to say, right after the incident I was beyond distraught. I'd apparently gone into another one of my panic-when-I-see-blood modes a little while after he'd been taken away. It must have been bad, since I don't remember it. Which is odd because I usually do. Hinata said it was a good two days before I was calm again. They even had to drug me the first night.

Anyway, that's history now.

For the next little while, all of the company was in chaos. There were no presidents, no orders—just plain anarchy. So while the superiors tried to get things organized, the lot of us living on the ninth floor pretty much stuck to the ninth floor. A few people went back into town for a day or two, just to get rid of the stench of death that plagued the company. I didn't. I couldn't leave. My heart couldn't leave.

So instead, I opted for calling some people. I checked in at home (assuring everything was fine, when it was really quite the opposite). I also gave the Subaku siblings the heads up about what had happened. I let them know that Kisame was now one hundred percent dead, but Itachi was still on the lamb. Plus a probable number of other Akatsuki members. But that's another case.

Next I also checked in with Ino and Shikamaru. The former was happy to hear from me, and insisted on where I was. No where illegal, I assured, though I never gave a straight answer. I was always good at dodging questions with her. Shikamaru, on the other hand, I gave a little more of the low down. However, he said something along the lines of 'troublesome' and told me not to give him useless information, since it only made him do unnecessary thinking. But then I assured them both that I'd be coming home in the near future.

So, a few more things have happened as well. Amongst some of the stranger things was finally meeting the vice-president, Tsunade, officially for the first time. She had a loud and booming voice, the kind that gave off a real regal air. Vice president for a reason, that's for sure. She'd been awfully nice to me. I don't quite know why. The nice-ness was namely getting me a spot in the local university for next semester's biochemistry program. "You're smart," she'd said, "And I think that's what Lady Uchiha would have wanted."

Another odd thing was a few days ago. I was sitting in the common room, drinking a cup of tea, when Hyuuga Neji took a seat opposite me. We started up a light conversation (something I never quite knew the guy had in him). I don't know how we got onto the subject, but he'd commented about my ring. "That's the ring Mom used to wear, isn't it?" And then later on said: "Usually those rings, so I've heard, are passed down from President to President, and wife to the new president's wife. So, technically, you should be running this company."

If what he said was true, I had totally not known that. It was a big shock. I mean, I wasn't ready to be the head of a large-scale and top-secret company. Besides, I'd only been here for about five months. "She must have seen something in you," Neji had also added.

And whether or not this statement was true, I was certain I'd never find out. No one can talk to the dead, after all. However much we'd all like that.

There I go. Complaining again. It's only natural, though. Whether I have the right to, or whether I'm just being annoying, anyone can decide. All I know is that for me, I've learned a lot from being a part of this team.

Not everything is useful, let me say. I've learned how to act, how to dance, and how to defend myself. I've learned how to spy, how to fire a gun, and how to unlock secret passages. But, most importantly, I have to say, I've learned how to work as a part of this team. The team that tried so hard to saving Mom and President Uchiha. The team where I spent the past five months of my time. The team that I wouldn't replace for anything in the world. For it's the team I've grown to love.

And that's one thing, I know for sure, I'll never complain about.


The elevator doors opened on the fourth floor of the offices. Sakura passed through the usual maze of cubicles. As she passed, many people stopped to greet her, or at least nod their heads in acknowledgement. She replied with an equally brief greeting.

Quite deep into the middle of the offices, she found the room she was looking for. She knocked lightly on the door.

"Come," a strong feminine voice replied from inside.

Sakura pushed open the door, greeting the two people that were inside. "Good afternoon, Tsunade. Kakashi, how unusual to see you here."

Her silver haired superior just gave a small smile. "I'm just going over something with the President here. She's told me about your decision. Quite sudden. Are you sure?"

The pink haired teen smiled back. "Yes. I've thought about it for awhile. I think that's best anyway."

Kakashi said something incoherent to Tsunade, before brushing past Sakura. But he stopped to ruffle her hair slightly. "I wish you the best of luck then." And with that, he took his leave.

"So," the platinum blond haired woman spoke after a moment of silence, "I assume the preparations are complete and to your standards?"

"Oh yes, very much so. I can't thank you enough, Tsunade." Sakura couldn't help but bow her head in gratitude.

"Don't be. I'm just giving you what you deserve. You've done plenty for this company, so it's the least anyone can do to repay you."

Sakura couldn't help but have her smile fade from her face. Quietly, she said: "Well, I'm glad some people think so."

There was another pregnant pause, before Tsunade gave a long sigh. "It's a shame you aren't staying here, though. The company could really use you."

The pink haired teen immediately brightened up again. "Well, I don't see how I can be of much help. I think everyone here is much more capable than I am when it'll come to brining this company into the light. Well, at least sort of into the light. At least the government will know."

"Yes…" the new president replied, folding her hands on the oak desk. Her face, which was usually set in a hard sort of stare softened slightly. "But you will come and visit often, I presume."

"Oh, of course!" Sakura exclaimed. "I mean, the university in town isn't that far. Just the train ride, remember? I could never truly leave this place. I've grown too attached to it. I can't believe I'm saying that, though."

The two chuckled quietly. Sakura continued. "I think it's about time I leave now, Tsunade. Thank you for everything."

The blonde shook her head. "Please don't mention it, as I said. Best of luck to you, Sakura. But I don't think you'll need it."


Not long after, she had a suitcase ready in the common room of the ninth floor. A small group of her relatively new friends were gathered around.

"It still is rather sudden," Kiba commented.

"I'm happy for the girl. She's making her own decision and I think she'd make a great doctor one day," Tenten argued. She placed a hand on her friend's shoulder. "But hey, it'll be just that much lonelier without you, girl."

Sakura had to keep chewing her bottom lip to keep from crying. She was a little too emotional at partings. "You guys are the best. I'll visit soon. Promise."

Quickly she gave everyone a hug. Even Hyuuga Neji, who looked liked he didn't really want to. When she came to Hinata, the quiet girl broke town into a silent fit of tears, which at that point Kiba, Tenten, and her cousin attempted to console her. Lee also broke down into a not-so-quiet fit of sobs, but since the three were trying to succor the female Hyuuga, he received no comfort. Since… the silent Shino wasn't one to do that type of thing.

Sakura couldn't really stand it any more, so she decided that now would be the golden time to leave. As the elevator dinged and opened its doors, she turned around and whispered one final goodbye.

Upon arriving at the main floor, she found one other person waiting for her at the front doors. Figures he wouldn't be up there with the rest. "Hey…" she greeted.

The man standing at the door also began to look like he was on the verge of tears. "S-Sakura…"

"Oh… don't you start crying too, Naruto!" she said with a slight laugh in her tone. The blond gave her a long hug. After awhile it began to hurt. But she said nothing. Then… it became hard to breathe. "Naru…to. Loosing… air."

The blond immediately let go. "Ah, I'm sorry. It's just… well I can't believe you're actually leaving!"

"It's just university, Naruto. I'm not disappearing for good. You can't get rid of me that easily."

Naruto bent down and picked up the suitcase that he'd caused his friend to drop. He extended it to her, a small smile on his face. "I know. And I'm happy for you. The rest of us just decide to stick around here. We're all like family I guess. But you… well, I'm glad you know what you want to do with your life."

Now, Naruto was not usually one for sermons like that. She couldn't help but be slightly taken aback. "Naruto…"

Then the blond continued. "And of course when you become a big shot doctor, we won't have to pay you anything. Because that's what friends do. So my healthcare future is pretty much secured."

Always about some kind of self gain… "Well, let me try getting into med. school first. What do you say?"

He grinned in return. "I say go for it!"

And with that, the two parted ways.

The afternoon sun shone brightly. It was odd. It'd been awfully gray for the past few weeks. Maybe this was a turn for the better. With that little thought in mind, she hurried faster to the underground train platform.

She reached there a couple minutes later. "Sorry to keep you waiting! I'm here now!" she called out. Her voice echoed throughout the underground area. She stepped inside the single car, and immediately after doing so, the doors closed.

She placed her suitcase on one of the many rows of seats. While she was sad about leaving everyone at Sharingan, she couldn't help but feel excited at the thought of university. It was her dream after all. Her mother was a nurse, and her sole ambition growing up was to surpass her. She'd become a doctor, she vowed.

"You're in an awfully cheerful mood," a new voice spoke up in a dull tone.

She smiled again. "Yes and no. But while I'm in the kind of good mood, please don't ruin it."

There was a sharp exhale. "Childish."

"Yes, I know it all too well," she told her escort.

A moment of silence lingered, but Sakura easily countered it. "So, you never did tell me. What's with the sudden change of heart?"

And like a whip, the person didn't hesitate to answer back. "Like I have to tell you anything."

"Wow. Touchy. But you never actually said if you were alright in leaving everything in her hands."

"It's nothing that woman can't handle," her escort explained. "But all anyone's ever done is just follow in their predecessors' footsteps. I'm going to break that chain. And when the time is right, I'll take my place. Just like you'll take yours."

There was a short moment of silence, as the girl thought of what to say next. "Did you just propose to me?"

"Did I ask you to marry me?"

"No, but—"

"Then there's you answer."

It was the girl's turn to sigh. "It's only been, what? A few days since you've actually been up and about? And already you're fast with your mouth. We're going to have to work on that you know."

The comment made the man sitting opposite her smirk. "I can be fast with other things too."

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Now what in the world are you talking abo—" She was unable to finish her sentence as both arms were now pinned to one of the large train windows. After the three second initial shock, she laughed, and pushed him off without much effort. "I got it, I got it."

After that, he sat back in his original spot. "There's time to work on that too, Sakura."

She smiled once again. This time, she walked over and took a seat next to her escort. "Is there? I mean, with my biochemistry studies and your business ones, how are we ever going to find the time to?"

He shrugged nonchalantly. "I'd put my money on you. You're stubborn."

"Like you're one to talk," she shot back.

A mock glaring contest broke out, but didn't last longer than a good twenty seconds. The man turned his head and gazed out the window at the passing scenery. "And even if there is no time, there are still years and years ahead. I don't know about you, but I plan to stick around in this world a little longer."

Sakura couldn't help but notice the new glint in Uchiha Sasuke's dark eyes. Perhaps after almost biting the dust, he was ready to start living life? She could only hope.

"Me too, Sasuke. Me too. After all, we seem to somewhat succeed in the long run, right?"


END

AN: Yay! Another story complete! I can't believe it actually. I never really believe it when I finish chaptered stories. I'm all: "Hm. Over already? That was fast…" But whatever. Gives me time to work on my other SasuSaku story in the works, as well as my first chaptered Bleach fiction.

So, didn't I tell you that was a crappy ending? I mean honestly. At least I kept Sasuke-kun alive though. Because rabid fan-reviews are scawy when they threaten me. -cowers in fear- Meh… Actually the story isn't really supposed to end here. I actually have started planning a sequel. That is, if you guys want one. So drop me a review telling me, kay? -hint hint- So, until possible future, this is Hianta-hime saying: Thank you for reading and reviewing! Until a new story!