Sakura stomped her foot as her nose flared. "Tsunade-sama, I demand to be allowed to go on this mission," she spoke to the Hokage, who was placed at her desk.

Tsunade shook her head. "You are not needed on this one, Sakura," she informed her pupil.

Sakura slapped her hands onto the desk. "And why not? I'm the best medic you've got, and on this mission, they are bound to need one."

"I have made my decision, and it is final," Tsunade replied.

"But why? Naruto, Sasuke-kun, and Sai are going. Why have I been excluded? You know this is a very important mission to me, to all of us," The cherry blossom stated, placing her arms back to her sides.

"Exactly, you are too emotionally attached to this mission," The Godaime began glancing over paperwork.

Sakura narrowed her eyes. Tsunade-sama hated paperwork. "Me? What about Sasuke-kun? Or have you forgotten the whole Orochimaru façade?"

Brown eyes met green. "Do you not trust Sasuke, Sakura?"

Sakura shook her head. "That's not it at all. I just want to know why I'm not allowed to go to Orochimaru's layer with them. I promised myself and them we would get rid of him together. This guy has been the cause of all the problems we've had to face in the past. I feel I should be able to be a part of this. Haven't I earned this?" Tsunade opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted. "And don't tell me I'm too emotionally attached, because you know me. You know that I always pull through when the going gets rough."

Tsunade placed her hands together, her elbows resting on her desk. "Alright, I was requested to not let you go. We agreed on that fact you just couldn't handle this mission"

Sakura's eyebrows raised. "Who requested it?" she questioned.

"I think you know who, Sakura. Now, if you don't mind, I need to get back to my paperwork. You are not going and that is final," Tsunade waved her hand in dismissal.

Sakura stomped out of the room. She knew exactly who the culprit, no, culprits were.

The young medic clutched her fist in fury. "What the hell were you thinking? Emotionally unstable, am I? Well, buddy, when I'm through with you, you'll know what it means to be physically unstable," Sakura cracked her knuckles.

Naruto backed away, his hands up in defense. He had just been enjoying his dinner, miso ramen at the Ichiraku, when Sakura had interrupted. "Look, Sakura-chan, um," he began to sweat nervously, "It was Sasuke's idea too!"

"You think I don't know that?" Sakura questioned, her emerald eyes flaring, "What I want to know is what gives you the right to not allow me to go on this mission."

Naruto's eyes became serious. "Sakura-chan, we don't know what's going to happen. I just didn't want you getting hurt is all."

Sakura closed her eyes. "You thought it was for my own good?'

"Yeah," Naruto replied.

"Well," Sakura's eyes snapped back open, "You were wrong, buster. I think I know what's best for me. I don't someone making these sort of decisions for me."

Naruto shrunk back.

"And you know what's really odd? I heard Hinata was coming," Sakura stated, venom in her voice.

Naruto gulped, scratching his head. "Well, we need her Byakugan and...and…I gotta go! I think I hear Hinata calling me. I'm coming Hinata-chan!" With that said, Naruto scampered off in a heap of dust.

Sakura shook her arm up in the air. "Naruto! I'm not through with you!" She sighed. It was no good, the boy was out of sight.

She kicked a rock on the road as she grumbled to herself. Who did they think they were? Her parents? She was a grown girl and she knew how to take care of herself. Hell, she was a medic, capable of taking care of everybody, no matter what their sickness may be. 'I thought by now they would see how strong I've become. All I want to do is prove that to them.'

Letting out a sigh, she continued to make her way to her house. 'Hmm? What's this?' Sakura thought to herself as she spotted the market, and a certain raven-haired boy picking up tomatoes, closely examining them. Sakura let out a huff as she walked toward him, tapping his shoulder. Sasuke turned to face her, placing a ripe tomato in his sack. "Sakura," he nodded in acknowledgement.

"Sasuke-kun," she started sweetly, walking with him as he searched the rest of the market. "You know, I just got back from talking to Tsunade-sama."

Sasuke kept his eyes on the vegetables. "Really?"

Sakura nodded. "Yep, and you know she told me the funniest thing," she gave out a fake laugh, "She said, you're going to get a riot out of this, that I couldn't go on the mission."

Sasuke turned to face her. "Sakura…"

The kunoichi interrupted him. "No, it gets better. She said it was because I was emotionally unstable. Tsunade-sama has never thought of me that way. But then," she glanced at him, "she said that it wasn't her idea. I wonder whose it was."

"It's for your own…"

"Good?" Sakura finished. "Yeah, Naruto just told me that. What I want to know is what the hell was going through your minds when you told her that. I'm my own person, I can make my own decisions, as hard as it may be for you to believe.." She crossed her arms in defiance.

"We both agreed that it would be best if you stayed here. Ever since our last mission you haven't been at the top of your game."

"Discussed? You two are not in charge of me. Yes, on that last mission, I got a bit upset. Can you blame me? I'm sorry for feeling remorse since innocent people were slaughtered. Excuse me for having feelings," she glared at him, "unlike some people I happen to know." She turned on her heel, just to be turned back around.

"You try to run from me too much," Sasuke commented dryly, letting go of her arm, "Listen, you may not see our reasoning clearly now, but later on, you'll thank us. This mission is too much for you. There is no room for error on this mission."

Sakura let out a snort. "Don't give me that bull," she said as Sasuke paid for his bag of tomatoes, "I know that is not the real reason. There is no way you two would be this determined to not let me go. There must be a valid reason."

The Uchiha began walking down the road, the medic trailing beside him. "I want to know why, Sasuke. And I want the truth. Is that too much to ask for?" she asked.

Sasuke responded with silence.

Stopping in her tracks, Sakura said, "Fine. Be that way." She turned around.

"You want the real reason," Sakura head turned slightly at the sound of Sasuke's voice, nodding. "I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if anything happened to you."

Sakura spun around wildly, her heart in a race. "What did you--" She looked around. "say?" Sasuke was already gone.

We mighta took the long way
Wow. My shortest chapter on this to date. I know, you probably all want to kill me for not updating for so long, and I can't blame you. I had the biggest writer's block since I have started writing. And I still have on too. So I hope this isn't too crummy. I wish you all happy holidays and a fantastic New Year. I can't make any promises on when I will update next, I just want you to know I'm trying my best. It's just that no inspiration has hit me yet.

sasuke fanatic1