Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto so don't sue me.
Author's Note: Naiteki means "inner", so connect it with Sakura and you'll get the picture. Oh yeah, I'm not all too good with the –chan or –kun thing so forgive me if I use them incorrectly or not enough. Kudos to whoever figures out the song. It's a really beautiful song if you listen to it and though it wasn't in English, I thought the meaning and voice was fitting for the story.
'La' inner Sakura
A graceful figure swayed sensuously on the ancient wooden stage, her rosy lips produced such a magnificent vibrato that the other form in the theater couldn't help but gape in awe from her spot at the grand piano, playing musicall accompaniment for the singer. Line after line the figure sang in bel canto, not a single note was off-key or flat. Everything was just simply divine. Her hips danced smoothly to the beat and it was enough to entice even the happiest married man.
Emotions poured from the lithe frame, unbarred and raw. This was a side she never let anyone see, this was the side of her that pained in rejection. She incorporated her soul into the song, captivating its true essence and the pianist's full attention. The singer tuned out every other disturbance, focusing mainly on the song at hand.
Above the stage in the upper lofts two frames stood staring down at the girl, admiring her with solemn eyes. One had his arm resting on the bridge's rail, enchanted by her graceful movements. The other had his eyes closed, partaking in her mesmerizing voice.
"My," murmured the one listening, "her voice is magnificent. The way she controls the rhythm and tone is superb."
His partner nodded in approval. "Mm, and her movements are fluid as well."
"Do you think she will make a good addition to Sound?"
"Think?" he scoffed, "I know she will. We just have to find a way to charm her over to our side. She has not many friends, so this will be fairly easy."
The pair grinned maliciously, ominously watching the innocent girl underneath them.
Slowly, she blended from a strong, belting voice to a sweet, innocent head voice, signaling that the end of the song was near.
Finally, in one final breath, the last lines of the lyrics left her lips as she closed the song with a lovely ending, fading into the still air. She opened her eyes, content that the song was over; her raging emotions emptied and taken care of. The other figure finished up her accompaniment on the piano and stood up, clapping relentlessly.
"Oh, brava! Brava, Saku-chan, brava!" Hinata left her place at the elderly grand piano and joined Sakura on the stage, embracing her in a tight hug. "That was beautiful!" The Hyuuga girl did not stutter when it came to her closest friend, having known her for a good nine years.
"Hina-chan," the singer smiled, slightly embarrassed, "You always say that. It's nothing really, just a hobby I like to do."
"No, Saku-chan, you have a wonderful voice! You should sing in front of more people."
Sakura stooped down to pick up her gray hoodie but froze, her fingers twitching ever so slightly. Her mood instantly darkened by several degrees at the mere mention of associating with more people. "Hina-chan, you know I can't."
"O-Oh…" Hinata only stuttered around Sakura when she was sad or distraught. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."
Sakura's face softened at her timid antics. "Forgive me, Hina-chan. It's just that I can't let anyone else get close to me, that's all. It's far too dangerous."
"No it's not," protested the slender little Hyuuga, "I know you, Sakura Haruno. You are the sweetest, most unselfish, talented person I've ever met. You're not some bloodthirsty monster that's going to let loose and kill someone if they even say 'hi' to you."
"Yeah, well, the Naiteki says otherwise." Sakura zipped up her hoodie and replaced a pair of baggy gi pants over her skimpy, spandex shorts. She wore this attire to conceal her toned figure, lest she attract some male into "stalking" her or coming too close to her. Hinata, the Hokage, and only a few select others knew of the Naiteki's existence inside Sakura. It was because Naiteki was peaceful when left alone; however if the villagers provoked her then a massacre would be unleashed, therefore it was better if the Konoha stayed blissfully unaware.
'Oi, Saku-chan!' a miniature Sakura protested inside the kunoichi's head. 'You make me sound like such a meanie! All I want to do is just have a little fun now and then, but you've always got to have such a stick up your butt.' Naiteki started to get her groove on which only made Sakura gag in disgust.
'Oh please, you getting your "groove" on is like a cow rolling on the grass.'
Naiteki was offended. 'Psh, well whatever I look like when I dance is how you look like! Ever thought about that? Well now you know that you look like a cow too! Bleh!'
Sakura snickered, enjoying the conversation. Sure Naiteki had prevented her from making too many friends, but it was only for her own good. Naiteki (or inner Sakura) was actually a gentle, mischievous demon; however, she was easily influenced. Emotions were the dominant character in her, so whatever Sakura felt then Naiteki would feel it a ten times more intense. The more emotionally tense Sakura got, then the crazier Inner Sakura would get, and before long she would take over her container's body and cause mass destruction. For that reason, Sakura would often hide her emotions and train incessantly to make sure she didn't have an anxiety attack in battle and accidentally let Naiteki out.
Sometimes her emotions would build up to a point where she just had to do something to ease them. One activity she did to relieve emotions was sing.
"Um, Saku-chan?" Hinata's squeaky voice interrupted the two. Or one. "Should we head back to class now? I mean I would love to stay here and hear you sing some more, but I'm scared Iruka-sensei will punish us."
"Hm? Oh, oh yeah," Sakura replied, snapping out of her thoughts. "Wait, I'm almost ready."
She placed a pair of fake glasses over her eyes, just to further repel boys. The hoodie already covered all of her pink tresses so there was no need to fret over them. Plus, as an added bonus, the hoodie was just big enough to provide shadow over most of her face which concealing her appearance more.
"Saku-chan, I don't understand why you wear such an ugly outfit. I've seen your closet, there are tons of pretty clothes in there."
"Yeah! Talk about fashion faux-pas. I can't believe I chose a container with such horrid fashion sense!"
Sakura mentally stuck her tongue out.
"Hina-chan, you know why I do this. It's to-"
"Drive away anyone who might get close to you, your identity blah, blah… yes Saku-chan, I know."
She pulled away smirking and tapped her chin. Sakura smiled at how well the shy girl knew her. The two of them sat on the dusty stage silently, Hinata feeling absolutely chipper and Sakura content as she was. Their legs dangled over the stage's side, staring off into the empty mass of raggedy seats. The small moment of peace was abruptly ruined when two figures stormed into the old theater and slammed the creaking door behind them quite violently.
It was Hinata's elder cousin, Neji, of the Branch House. And look, he brought his self-centered buddy Sasuke with him! The cold bad boy of Konoha whom every girl loved and every guy was jealous of. Next to him was his number one fan girl: Ino Yamanaka, and her best friend Nara Shikamaru who was dragged reluctantly into the group. Sakura instantly switched from her happy place to the mean geek everyone thought she was at school.
"Hinata, you are supposed to remain on school grounds! Not wander off with this…loser."
Hinata bit her lip anxiously, fidgeting with her pale fingers. "B-But Neji-sama, I-I was just-"
"No buts Hinata!" he yelled at her from his position near the doorway. "Your father told me to watch you always, no matter how much I or you don't want it. If you weren't so weak then he'd probably let you run around by yourself."
"Quiet, Hyuuga," Sakura answered him coolly, "you're going to break this whole place down. For your information, she was on school grounds- this is the old music hall."
Neji looked at her irritably, "Who are you to talk? Whoever you are, you dragged her over here, so this is your fault."
"I'm her friend," Sakura straightened and dusted off her baggy clothes, "Is she not allowed to hang out with her friends, either? I see you with your huge group of preps, 80 of the time not giving a damn where Hinata is."
Neji twitched, a bit taken aback at her last statement. He opened his mouth to retort but Sasuke beat him to it.
"Shut it," Sasuke said, actually opening his mouth for once. "Whatever your name is, if you hadn't taken Hinata here in the first place then we wouldn't have to do this."
"Ooh," purred Ino, "you tell him Sasuke-kun!" She wrapped her arms around his neck which led him to glare at her in distaste and pry her off.
'Him? She called us a 'he'! Why I oughta…!' Inner Sakura was busy tearing up a picture of Ino.
Sakura examined them with penetrating eyes, standing stoically herself.
"How troublesome." (A/N: we all know who this is.)
Hinata started fretting over the stressful situation. Neji began to reply to Sakura's earlier accusation but was stopped when a familiar, shrill ringing bounced off the bark-like walls of the hall. It was loud, unwelcome, and pretty much hated by every student: the school bell.
"We'll talk about this later." Neji said, "Go to class now, Hinata."
'Hell yeah, we'll talk about this later! Right when I shove my fist in your face! RAWR!' Inner Sakura growled and began clawing at the air. Sakura truly detested Neji and Sasuke, and that feeling was only increased exponentially by Naiteki.
Hinata nodded. "H-Hai!" Neji and company departed, heading to their respective room numbers, Ino whining at Sasuke's heels, a spark of jealousy flickering in Shikamaru's eyes. Hinata and Sakura were the only ones left, sighing heavily. They definitely didn't want to repeat that.
"Hina-chan," began Sakura, "you go on ahead. I need to collect my things." Hinata nodded and left. Sakura smiled softly at her friend and bent down to pile all her books back into their sack. She then leapt off the stage and shut the grand piano, covering the "ancient" instrument with a large red cloth.
Up above, the previous two males retained their positions at the loft and smirked at the kunoichi. They had been surveying the argument with mild curiosity and amusement, somewhat surprised that the kunoichi could switch personalities so fast. One minute she was a fun, happy girl and the other she was the equivalent of a human ice cube.
"Well, that's all we need to know. You take this back to Orochimaru-sama, so he knows what she looks like. I will stay and deal with her." His orders were precise and crisp. The other teen nodded and departed with speed that rivaled that of Sound, hence the name of their village. The remainder smiled and slowly leapt down the eves of the stage.
Down below, Sakura was still busy tidying up. Her fingers moved fluently through the process but stopped, hovering inches above the rag. Someone was watching her from the darkness, she could feel his gaze crawl up her skin. Emerald eyes flickered apathetically around the hall.
"Who's there? Show yourself!"
Footsteps echoed throughout the hall as a boy, presumably fourteen, stepped into the light and allowed it to illuminate his well disciplined physique. Sakura's wide forehead wrinkled a bit in disgust as she took in his sense of fashion. The boy was wearing an uneven sleeved midriff top. Now, Sakura wasn't any fashion queen or anything, but she did have enough sense to know that boys do not wear midriff tops. It's just not right! A fake smile was plastered onto his face. "Pardon me, but I am new here. My name is Sai."
Sakura scoffed. "Well, if you're looking for a tour guide then you've come to the wrong person."
"Oh," Sai's smile flinched, "well you see I wasn't exactly looking for a tour guide. More of a… a friend."
The pink haired girl hardened at his words. "Again, you've gone to the wrong person. There are plenty of other people outside, so why don't you go over and find some."
Sai found it increasingly difficult to deal with such a girl. His words came out a bit muffled by his grit teeth. "At least let me walk with you to class."
Emerald eyes glanced at him suspiciously, "No."
She bent down to retrieve her belongings and headed towards the exit. Sai hurriedly followed after her.
Outside, the two were bickering nonstop, earning a few curious glances from nervous passerbys.
"Look, why can't you leave me alone!" Sakura shouted over the bustling students.
"Because," Sai fumbled for words,"because, um… Well I need an apology!"
"An apology?" Sakura coughed, "For what?"
"For you being so rude to me."
"Yes! I deserve one!"
"Argh," Sakura groaned, "New kid, leave me alone! Dang queer following me around…"
Sai's eyebrow twitched. "Excuse me?"
"You heard me. Stop following me around, you gay."
Black eyes crinkled in false humor as he kept his fake smile on, despite the rage he felt at the girl. It was a wonder why his jaw muscles hadn't fallen off yet.
"Gay? Well if that's how you truly feel about me then I might as well say what I think of you. You are butt ugly."
Ooh... wrong thing to say.
Sakura stopped and turned around slowly. "Ahem, ugly? Really, tell me something I don't know."
"No wonder that blonde girl mistook you for a man. I couldn't blame her, though, I thought you were a man too until I saw your face. I thought to myself, 'No, no man could possibly be that ugly.'"
Ow. Her pride.
'WHAT! No no no no no! He did NOT just call us ugly! Let me at him, I'll beat the crap out of him! Right after I kill Sasuke and Neji too! CHA!'
"Well, no man goes around flaunting his abdomen like some prostitute. Honestly, I thought you were just some desperate gay hooker trying to get some customers here at the school."
"At least I'd be able to get some, unlike you."
This guy was definitely pushing her buttons. How long would he continue to pester her like this? He just kept hurling asinine comments at her, one after the other and trailing her like some duckling. Worst of all he just kept that insane little smile glued on his face, like some plastic surgeon had permanently stretched his skin to stay that way. God, she was this close to ripping his vocal chords out.
The two walked through the halls of the academy and up the flight of stairs, casually throwing insults and acting like it was nothing at all. Sakura was used to arguing with classmates and bullies, but this was ridiculous!
Sakura was beginning to tire of the boy and unconsciously began clenching and unclenching her fists, all the way to Iruka's classroom.
"Seriously, Sai, I hate you and if I ever see you again then I'll kill you. Got that?" Sakura stated quite bluntly.
Sai didn't have time to respond as she opened the door and slammed it in his face. He was initially shocked, but soonreplaced his fake smile and strode off in the opposite direction to his own class for which he was 15 minutes late.
"Sakura Haruno!" Iruka reprimanded her while she walked in as if nothing happened. "Fifteen minutes late, where in Konoha were you!"
"Showing a new kid around," grumbled Sakura.
"Miss Haruno, you can't miss class just for that! The dena would have appointed someone for such a task, not let someone just randomly miss class to show a kid around! I mean you have to at least consult me and…" Sakura tuned him out. She really didn't need to hear this. The kunoichi walked over to her seat that Hinata saved for her and plopped down quite unceremoniously.
"Saku-chan," whispered the white-eyed girl, "What took you so long?"
"Oh there was this new kid who kept bothering me and tried to get me to show him the school. I ended up getting into a fight with him."
'Yeah, and next time we're going to make sure he doesn't come back!'
Hinata sweat dropped. "Oh, Saku-chan…. You do realize Iruka-sensei is still talking to you, right?"
Sakura glanced up to the front of the classroom where their teacher was pacing about like an idiot and lecturing a Sakura that wasn't even there anymore.
"No, no," Sakura hushed her, "Just leave him. This will be funny."
"Nice going, Sai." The other teen that had been accompanying the artist nin earlier returned from his delivery trip and found out about Sai and Sakura's little…talk. "Way to go, call her ugly and get her to tell you that she'll kill you. Wow I couldn't have done it any better, myself."
"Be quiet, Kabuto. I said I'd take care of it, didn't I? And I-"
"OH yeah, you took care of it greatly. Look, Orochimaru wants Naiteki on our side when he puts the plan into action. Naiteki isn't a force to be reckoned with, and with her power we'll be unstoppable. Her container knows this and she's probably alrleady trained herself to trust nobody."
"Just be patient, Kabuto. She will come to us one way or another." Sai was finishing up a picture in his sketchbook, pretending to take notes.
"Psh, whatever." The said male brushed a silver bang out of his eyes. "Oi, this Anko-sensei is really talkative, isn't she?" He was referring to their sensei, who was busy talking about scary forests, and torture, and all that good stuff. Sometimes even drawing a couple examples on the board.Only one boy seemed unaffected by her excruciating details.
Hesat in front of them, and he seemed to be the center of female attention. One noticeable trait about him was his black hair that was spiked in such a way it resembled a chicken, and piercing onyx eyes that seemed to gaze right through you. Anko's conversation seemed to be of great interest to him.
"Hey, Sai, do you think who I think that is?"
"He'd also make a good addition to Sound, right?"
"Well," Sai brushed a couple eraser shavings away,"only one way to find out." He nudged the boy in the arm.
"Psst," Kabuto called. Onyx eyes slowly glanced in their direction.
"What?" the boy questioned, his voice deep and rich.
"Hello, my name's Kabuto, and this is Sai. You seem like a pretty strong ninja, but I bet you'd like to become stronger, huh? See, we come from a pretty strong place, and we can show you some of our tricks. How about we strike up a partnership?"
Sasuke scrutinized the silver haired boy's outstretched hand with such intensity that Kabuto could have sworn the boy was trying to mentally burn a hole through him. After a few moments, Sasuke looked back up into their eyes and stared at those too, like he was searching for any clues that this was all just a trap. Good thing Sai and Kabuto were expert disguisers.
Finally, the Uchiha heir reached up and grasped Kabuto's hand, signaling that he was wiling to accept their offer.
Sai and Kabuto both smirked. This was the beginning of the end for Konoha.
Whoa nelly that was long! Maybe I should shorten it, hm? Anyway, how was it? No flames please.