Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto

Thank you for the reviews! I know, I know. It took me months to update this and still I think this is crappy, boring, and short. Expect occasional OOCness. Anyway, please r&r.

I. Alpha


Walking down the crowded hallway, she felt lost and confused. Konoha High School seemed to be a place so frightening to her. Perhaps it was because she had been home-schooled for as long as she could recall, or maybe because it was her first time doing a solo mission. Chatting and laughing students here and there; no one really cared about that new girl or even noticed her presence. She started walking faster every minute, trying to avoid those rampaging boys in the corner, on her way to her classroom. She just came from Tsunade's, the school principal, office to get her new class schedule.

She sat on an empty seat in the front row. A girl with big and thick glasses and braces approached her, saying in a rude manner, "Get the hell out of my seat."

Keeping her head down, she stood up and looked for another vacant chair. She finally spotted one at the back part of the room beside the window. She looked around the room and noticed that almost everyone was reading their textbooks or reviewing their previous homework. She wondered if she'll be like them as well. Being in the class where the smartest students were, she knew she had to adapt to their "nature" somehow; but she also knew that even if she were to be like those nerdy students, it wouldn't change who she really is. Behind her neatly pony-tailed hair and pressed uniform lies another individual, her true self that had been altered by emotional wounds and time. Haruno Sakura.

She paid a close attention while the teacher called out the names of his students. So Hyuuga Neji is not in this class then.

"Haruno. Haruno Sakura?" Matsumoto-sensei called.

Sakura slowly stood up, unsure of what to do next.

"So you're the new girl the Principal had been talking about. Welcome to Konoha High School. Would you like to say something about yourself before we resume with our lesson?" The teacher, in his late-forties, sounded like he was really in a hurry.

"No, Matsumoto-sensei." Sakura answered then sat down.

"Yesterday, we were talking about…" The teacher went on, facing the blackboard.

Okay, so on with the mission. The information sheet states that Hyuuga Neji is in IV-A which is my class. How come he's not here then? Perhaps there was an error… She was distracted by the boy sitting in front of her. He was offering her his notebook containing the lessons that she missed.

"I'm Shikamaru. This was last week's lesson," He pointed to a page full of numbers, angles, and shapes. "And that"—looking at the board—"is the continuation."

Sakura scanned the page and then thanked Shikamaru when he said that she could keep it for now so she could copy the notes. I learned this two year ago. There shouldn't be any problems. She told herself. Sighing softly, she turned her attention back to what Matsumoto was saying.

She couldn't wait to meet her target. Hyuuga Neji… Neji… Where are you?

Lunch time was the loneliest time of her first day at Konoha High. Everyone had friends and it seemed that there was no space left for her in the cafeteria. I wish Sasuke is here. He wouldn't talk but at least there's someone who would listen to me. Sakura continued looking for a vacant table when a tall, muscled guy blocked her way.

"Hey there, new chick. So you're in that smart-ass class, right? Beauty and brains—I like that. I'll tour you around the school, how about that?" He said with malice in his voice.

Sakura smiled weakly. "Thanks but I already did," She lied. "I have to go now."

The huge guy frowned. "You're going that fast? You haven't even eaten your lunch yet!" He pointed to her lunch box. "Come sit with me then." He grabbed her arm.

Sakura knew that with just a little effort, she could take that persistent and perverted creature down. But I have to keep it down. She decided to handle the situation in a more "peaceful" manner. "I… I really have to go."

"No. You're staying!"

Before he could force her to sit down on a bench, she grabbed his muscled hand and twisted it enough to hurt him a little so he'd let go of her. She then took the opportunity and ran away.

Sakura rested in the shadows of a huge tree. She was panting and laughing at the same time. "That was fun." She knew she could deliver that young man's death, but the need to restrain herself amused and thrilled her. She opened her lunch box and started eating.

"The way you twisted that student's hand in the cafeteria—you were trying to stop yourself from doing more than that."

Sakura, alarmed, tracked where the voice was coming from. She looked up and there she saw Hyuuga Neji sitting on a tree branch, gazing blankly at her. A million thoughts suddenly raced in her mind. How could he have known? She decided to give him her best answer. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Neji averted his gaze upon her. "I'm Hyuuga Neji. You're new here, I suppose?"

Sakura was thankful that he dropped that subject. "I… Yes. I'm Haruno Sakura."

There was silence between them. Sakura was the one who broke the deafening silence and started a conversation.

"Would you like to have a piece of this?" She offered him the sushi in her lunch box.

Neji shook his head then jumped down from the branch.

"Or you could have all of them. I'm not really hungry." Sakura insisted.

"No." Neji replied and started to walk away.

"Or maybe you could…" The dark brown-haired boy didn't look back, signaling that he wasn't interested with any of her offers. "…stay for a while. I'm just trying to make friends." She said more to herself than to him.

Ironic isn't it? Trying to be friends with your enemy. She shrugged. "I wonder what Sasuke would say."

Since she came almost halfway before the school year ended, Sakura had to take extra courses. One of the extra courses she picked was Hospitality. Today, Kamiya-sensei was teaching them how to bake blueberry cheesecake. She had never felt as excited with such thing as baking before. She doesn't make or buy cakes or any sweets since Sasuke doesn't like them. Like a young child filled with hope and desire of exploring a new world, Sakura watched in awe as the teacher took out the finished product from the chiller.

"This is how the cake should look like. The cream should have the right consistency or it would end up looking bad or would have a bad texture." Kamiya-sensei said. "I've given you the recipe. You could start baking now."

With just a slight knowledge in this field, Sakura tried her best to identify the ingredients in those transparent bowls.

"Are you having a hard time?"

The pink-haired girl looked at the person beside her. After debating with herself whether she needed help or not, she finally gave up and said yes.

"That's flour. That one's the milk and the one beside it is the cream. Some of the ingredients are well…kind of confusing." Hinata explained.

Sakura smiled at her. "Thanks. Well, I've never actually baked anything before. By the way, I'm Sakura."

The other girl weakly smiled. "I… I'm Hinata. I haven't seen you in this class before."

"Actually, I just started here in Konoha High School today. Uhm…" Sakura hesitated. "If you have enough time, could you help me with the mixing of the ingredients?"

Hinata nodded enthusiastically. "I'd really be glad to help you."

Sakura mimicked Hinata as she skillfully mixed the proper ingredients together. So she is Neji's cousin. Their strong resemblance told her that they were somehow related. She shook the thought away and concentrated with what she was doing. What's important was that she made a new friend.

She realized that baking was interesting.

On her way home, Sakura caught a glimpse of Neji and Hinata with a man who seemed to be related to them due to his pale eyes. From afar, she could see Hinata staring down on the cement covered earth, looking rather sad. The older man seemed to be reprimanding the young Hyuuga boy.

Hyuuga Neji's father: deceased. Maybe it's Hinata's father, Hyuuga Hiashi. Sakura moved closer to a spot where she would hear them without being seen.

"I'm disappointed of you, Neji. You've been here for a month and it seems that nothing has changed." Hyuuga Hiashi was angrily saying.

Neji didn't respond to his uncle. Hinata looked as if she wanted to stop the small argument but she knew her father won't pay attention to her.

"…You're in a low-level class and I don't hear anything remarkable about you. You should be ashamed!" Hiashi continued, looking calm but still dangerously angry.

It was the first time Neji looked at his uncle since Sakura started listening to them.

"Why did you send me here, anyway?" Neji calmly answered. "What is your true intention?"

Sensing that the argument would get bigger if it continues, Hinata intervened, saying: "Father, I—I think we should um… head back home now."

Sakura frowned. Hiashi seemed to be really angry at his nephew. And that intention might be enough for him to hire an assassin to kill Neji. The younger male Hyuuga didn't seem to have friends at school (she had seen him alone throughout the day) and was really quiet. Certainly, he couldn't… "If Sasuke could hear my thoughts, he'd really be upset." She unknowingly flashed a bitter smile.

Sakura had four months to gather information about her target. Hyuuga Neji's mysteriousness amused her. She got up and started walking back home. "I wonder… is he in a deep, hidden pain?"

He reminded her of herself.

He watched as the pink-haired girl opened the door to her house. He smiled to himself and to the success he will be having soon. After she's done, he will have to eliminate her. Haruno Sakura was just too dangerous—or at least that's what he had been told.

"You are a big threat, Sakura-hime," Invidia muttered.

Sakura had grown into a magnificent, cunning, beautiful, and deadly woman without her knowing it. She'd find out about him and his plans soon and he wanted that day to be special for her—the day of her death. He wondered what it would be like to fight with the most dangerous jewel. Oh, how badly he yearned to hear her scream in pain as he thrust a sharp knife into her heart! He wanted to see how strong this Angel had been.

Invidia smirked. "Have a good night, Seventh Angel."