AN: Well, I sort of felt like writing a bit more of the story. So here I am, at school, didn't go to class because I woke up late. It's okay, the prof doesn't really teach us anything. Anywho, as I mentioned before, this will be Alternate Universe where only a few things will be similar to the canon.
Summary: When all that she has known slipped away from her grasp, Sakura struggles to carry their dreams, goals, and values. When all that was lost returns to haunt her, Sakura tries to cope with the suddenness of it all. What's more, a war is once again looming over the horizon.
Dreams in a Lifetime
By Scarred Marrionet
- "I will kill him and avenge my clan."
16 years old – Jounin – Konoha – Beginning of Spring
"Uchiha Itachi is dead."
Rumors spread all around Konoha, whispered from one mouth to another. The renegade S-class Missing Nin of Konoha was killed. Sakura ran to the Hokage Tower towards her mentor. As she opened the door to Tsunade's office, an ANBU team just disappeared out of site, dismissed by the Hokage.
"Is it true?! Is Uchiha Itachi really dead?!"
Tsunade's amber colored eyes looked at Sakura, "Yes, it has been confirmed that Uchiha Itachi is dead."
Sakura was relieved. Sasuke-kun's goal has been fulfilled. She stopped as she looked at Tsunade's guarded eyes. "And Sasuke-kun?"
"Uchiha Itachi's body has been removed from the scene before we even go there. Possibly by Akatsuki." Tsunade evaded her question.
"Tsunade-shishou, what about Sasuke-kun?" Sakura felt dread looming up on her chest.
"His body has not been found."
"What do you mean, 'his body'?" Sakura's chest tightened.
"We are currently confirming his death. There are signs that he might not have survived the fight." Tsunade's voice grew quiet.
The only thing Sakura could hear was her ragged breathing, "Send me on the mission!"
"I cannot do that."
"Please, Tsunade-shishou!" Sakura begged.
Tsunade sighed, "The mission is for ANBU only, Sakura; especially since it concerns Akatsuki. I will not send you out."
"No, Sakura. You are a Jounin, not ANBU." Sakura looked at her mentor and understood.
Sakura left the Hokage's office with determination. Tsunade sighed as Shizune came in with tea.
"I'm not sure if I did the right thing, Shizune." She placed the tray of steaming tea on Tsunade's desk.
"She's grown a lot, Tsunade-sama."
"Yes, but inducting her into ANBU… I never saw her as to be the one behind the mask."
"To be in ANBU, they need at least two recommendations. Sarutobi-san has already given hers."
"Kurenai agrees too, huh." Tsunade looked out the window, "The deadline for the ANBU application is in two months. All the applications are reviewed. Then, they will go through of ANBU officials. It is up to them to see who are qualified for ANBU. Then they will need your seal of approval. Once Sakura has passed that process, she has to train under ANBU for two months before she can be deployed out into the field. She has a month and a half left to prepare."
"She will be an asset to ANBU. They are short of med-nins. And I do not think that the ANBU officials will hardly reject someone with Sakura's profile, and especially with you recommendation."
"Sakura has proven herself to make it to ANBU even without my recommendation." Shizune sighed at Tsunade's words.
"She's growing up fast, isn't she, Tsunade-sama?"
"Almost too fast."
17 years old – Jounin – Training Ground 14 – Spring
Sakura fell to the grassy field, resting. Lee sat beside her, also out of breath.
"With three gates opened, you are a handful to deal with, Lee-san. I can barely keep up!" Sakura breathlessly told the man beside her.
Sakura looked up towards the Green Beast, wondering why he was so quiet. Lee's dark eyes stared seriously into her.
"I opened four gates, Sakura-san." Lee stood up, and stretched, "Good for you, Sakura-san!" Sakura did not know what to say.
"You only have less than a month left. You'll definitely become ANBU." Lee gave her the thumbs up, "as for me, I'm going to stay a Jounin. Later on, I'll probably teach a team of youthful genins, just like Gai-sensei!"
Sakura smiled at Lee and watched the darkened sunset, "Thank you, Lee."
17 years old – Jounin – Konoha Archives – Spring
It was Sakura's one day off after weeks of nonstop training. Her recommendation has been accepted and the ANBU test was in less than two weeks away. Tsunade had asked her to put away some of the files into the Archives room. Sakura grumbled at the lazy Hokage.
"Even though she ordered me to take a day off, she goes and tells me to do work!" Sakura closed the door behind her. She set on organizing the files on the shelves. It was only her second time in the gigantic room.
Having less than ten files left, Sakura made her way to the back of the room. She placed the remaining folders on the shelf and shivered when she felt a cold breeze.
"That's odd… There shouldn't be a breeze in here."
Sakura followed the chilly wind until she arrived at the end of the hallway, where the wall was. There was a secret door! A small crack was left by someone who last came in, not properly closing the hidden volt. Sakura placed the papers on the floor and pulled the door, where it slid with little difficulty. As soon as the door opened, torches lined up against the wall lit up. Probably a jutsu that activated whenever the door opened. Sakura went down the wide cement stairs and arrived upon another vast room. Her eyes widened. She traced the wearied books filled with files as she circled that whole room.
She stopped at a certain point. All the books were under the Hyuuga name. Did the Hyuuga clan even know of these archives? One of the books was titled Hyuuga – Byakugan. Sakura gasped. The Archives room was filled with secrets. Sakura walked on. The room was filled on records of the many clans that resided in Konoha. But not only that, some were filled with Treaties that Konoha had with other countries, The Great Shinobi War, and many more. Sakura stopped at yet another point.
Sakura stared at the name, and looked down at the books.
Uchiha – Sharingan.
Sakura's eyebrows furrowed. She had not heard of that name before. But the book titled Uchiha Madara was one of the very first books that was placed on the shelf, it seems. Sakura picked up the book, but lost her hold on it and dropped it. She went down to pick it up. Kneeling down, something caught her eye.
Sakura dropped Uchiha Madara's file and took Uchiha Itachi's instead. With slight nervousness, Sakura opened the wearied book. It had been recently updated.
The first page contained his status and description. But no picture. The next page contained his growth ever since he became a shinobi.
ANBU Commander at age 12.
Sakura's eyes widened. He was so young! Sakura looked at his ANBU profile.
ANBU Commander of Team 2.
92 S-Class Missions
107 A-Class Missions
63 Solo Missions
Sakura read through and was amazed at the power and strength that Uchiha Itachi possessed. His ANBU team went on over a hundred A-Class Missions. His team must have been over worked! Well, Uchiha Itachi led one of the best teams in Konoha, his team was on demand. But she wondered why he had accepted a mask that was fashioned after a rat. She could not imagine describing Itachi as a rodent. True his name means Weasel but it was still an unnatural choice. Sakura turned the page. It was the official document of a mission scroll.
S-Class Solo Mission
Ordered by the Konoha Council
This will be your last mission as a Konoha Shinobi.
Objective: Kill the Uchiha Clan.
Sakura gasped, almost dropping his file. She read over the description. Her eyes fell to the end of the page.
For the sake of peace.
Sakura could not breathe. Uchiha Itachi killed his clan for peace. He killed his family for Konoha. Sakura suppressed a sob. The Uchiha clan was planning a rebellion; an uproar against Konoha.
"Then Sasuke-kun… Oh, God!"
Uchiha Itachi left Sasuke to live because he felt guilty; guilty for killing his family. Although it was for the greater good, Itachi could not live with himself with his hands stained with his family's blood. Sasuke would kill Itachi to pay for his crimes of murdering his family. Uchiha Itachi was loyal to Konoha. He was an Uchiha, but first and foremost, he was a shinobi of Konoha.
Uchiha Itachi loved Konoha more than anyone.
Sakura sat there on the cold floor, cradling Itachi's file. How hard must it have been for him to pretend? To pretend to hate Sasuke, to pretend to hate Konoha. How hard was it for him to cross off the Konoha symbol on his forehead protector? Crystalline tears dropped from her eyes.
She cried for the older brother who was driven by duty and love, and for the younger one who was misled. She wept for the misplaced hate that Sasuke had for his older brother. She wept and wept knowing that they will not be reunited; knowing that they will not be brothers anymore.
Uchiha Itachi was a hero; her hero.
17 years old – ANBU in training – End of Spring
"It has been confirmed. Uchiha Sasuke is dead."
Sakura stared at her mentor.
"For the past two months, ANBU team has been going after a trail. It was a leak from Akatsuki."
"The ANBU team pursued the information. It has been confirmed. Akatsuki took both the bodies of Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Sasuke."
"No… That can't be true! What would Naruto say when he gets back?!"
"I have sent a message to Jiraiya. I have not received a reply."
Sakura's shoulders sagged and buried her hands in her hair out of frustration.
"Any mask preference Haruno-san?"
Sakura thought for a moment, "Rat."
The man lifted an eyebrow, "I would not have taken you for one to like rodents. I'd thought you'd lean more to Cat."
Sakura let out a sad smile, "It was the mask of the bravest man that I know."
The man's eyebrow went up even higher. He did not comment and handed her the bone mask fashioned after a rat. Sakura stared at the holes in the mask.
Itachi-san, I will carry your legacy. I will protect Konoha.
17 years old – ANBU – Summer
In a span of five years, Sakura grew and everything she knew changed. Five years ago, Sasuke left for revenge, and Naruto left to train. Three years later, Kakashi disappear in Ame. Two years after that, Sasuke is declared dead, along with his older brother, and nothing is heard about Naruto . Nothing more is known.
Sakura sighed as she read over the mission scroll. She was assigned to the newly formed ANBU team that consisted of Yamato as the Captain, Sai, and Aburame Shino. It was pure luck that the officials had placed her in a team with Sai and Yamato, two people that she has worked closely with before. She was also glad that the third member was someone that she knew. Her main function in the team is a medic-nin. But she could also be a short range attacker. Sai and Shino were both long ranged attackers, and Yamato is both.
The mission commences in three days. It was their first mission together, thus the scroll was given in advance, to give them time to prepare. She had trained with her team before. It took a bit of time getting used to them rather than her usual boys from her genin days. But she's come a long way from a mere genin. She was not the only thing that had to change. Everyone around her tremendously did.
She was going to meet her team for training session soon. She memorized the scroll. Each mission scroll had a jutsu already placed on them. It only needed to be activated for it to burn, leaving nothing behind. She was disappointed. Her first mission was not to Ame or anything to do with Akatsuki. But she held her tongue and did not argue. She will accept the mission given to her.
Sakura stood up and left for her training session.
I was sad when Itachi died. I really liked him. =(
But because of his death, I hope Sasuke gets his ass kicked by Naruto.
Hope you like it. Enjoy!