Iron and Sand

BY: Little falcon

Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the idea.

A/N: Hey guys this is a whole new storyline not a sequel to anything but hope you'll still enjoy reading AND reviewing as well.

Sakura stared at the coffin as it descended into the dug earth. Her father was the daimyo of the Iron country. Her mother wept as it was covered with soil. Father is dead now… what am I supposed to do?

The young heiress turned around and rolled over her bed finding a good enough position to sleep but sleep will never come to those who don't want to sleep. Irritated by almost everything that had happened, Sakura sneaked out of the mansion and sought the sanctuary of the open hills. There she lay down and stared up into the dark tapestry designed by billions of diamonds.

They often did this… her and her father. Akira was a man of honor. He was respected by everyone since they knew he stove hard in attaining the position. Before when Sakura was still a kid, her father was the best black smith in town. He made the perfect weapons they were light and sharp. He was also a very intelligent man. Sakura learned that he was once an Anbu member but then he resigned when he met her mom.

"Sakura, be someone that would make a change in this world of indifference," those were her father's last words. Though, she was heiress to what the daimyo left her. Woman still held such little importance in their society. Sakura clenched her fist when she remembered the first day she asked her father…


"Dad, why can't a girl be a ninja?" her father only gave her a pitying look.

"Sakura, in our society woman hold little importance. People see them as weak and submissive that is why they were underestimated…" "But Sakura… do you know why I resigned from being an Anbu when I met your mom?" the little Sakura shook her head. "Because she's different, instead of just going with the flow like every other woman, she decided that she must somehow show to the world what a woman can do. That's why she's the first female doctor in town. But still… people see this as a mistake. They are still blinded by that stereotype those women are weak…"

"I am not weak," the little pink haired kid said with tears welling up in her eyes.

"I know… that's why I'm going to make you stronger," her father gently stroked her head. "How?" she looked cheerful now.

"I'm going to train you in every way I know how."

End of Flashback

Her father succeeded in making her a warrior. Mastery of weapons, fast reflexes, excellent ninja techniques and extensive knowledge in the medical field she learned all that not only from her father but from her mother as well.

Gazing at her lucky star, "Alright!" she decided as she marched back into the mansion with a plan running in her head.

The next day, Sakura decided to visit her best friend Yamanaka, Ino, the daughter of the wealthiest family second of to the daimyo f course. "You're going to what!" her blond friend tried to clarify. Sakura sighed "I'm going to disguise as a man and join the academy," she repeated as she took a sip on her tea.

"Why!" "Because… dad told me that I should make a difference in this society so…" "So you're going to be the greatest ninja and then reveal your identity is that it!" Ino stated for her. "Actually Ino, that's a good idea. I was going to tell you that I'm still thinking of a plan but then you laid it out for me thanks," with that Sakura quickly exited the room leaving a very confused Ino.

Sakura had no trouble telling her mom her ideas. In truth, her mother is very interested in her plans and decided to help in any way possible as well. So, Sakura tied her hair up just like a man's, bound her breast and dressed like a man. "Do I look weird?" she asked her mother as she turned around for her inspection. "Hmmm, I guess you look fine but then your voice is till the same," her mother said truthfully.

"What will I do? I…" her complaining was cut short when her mom shoved something down her throat. "Mom, what do you think…?" she stopped upon hearing a man's voice. "That pill alters your vocal chords to make you sound like a man," she smiled at her daughter or maybe in this case son.

She took the academy lectures in a breeze and the training was somehow easy for her. But then her social skills as a man was lower than zero so she turned to the only person who could help her.

"Please Ino, you've got to do this for me," Sakura pleaded. "Come on… would you deny your best friend of her happiness?" "Alright, Alright but I'm doing this just this once," the blond girl had no choice; Sakura was already tearing her kimono apart.

When it was time when all the students from the academy were leaving the building, Sakura dressed as a boy of course, walked towards the group of boys she recognized as her classmates. "Oi," she called.

"This is bad he saw us," the boy with spiked ponytail verbalized as he hid from his stare. "He's coming this way what should we do?" he fat boy was now panicking as he swallowed a mouthful of potato chips. "Act like we didn't hear him," the boy wearing a green jumpsuit suggested.

Sakura made her way towards then "Wassup?" she tried to act cool but it was futile. The group did not seem to hear her or even noticed that she existed. "Shin…" a sexy female voice called her male code name from afar. Everyone stared at the sexy blond female as she looked at Shin with love in her eyes.

Nice timing Ino! Her mind rejoiced as she proudly faced her. "Ino what are you doing here?" Shin asked as he cocked an eyebrow at her. Elegantly, Ino walked towards Sakura. "I haven't seen you in a week. I missed you," she said or should I say shouted while she hugged the male Sakura. "Nice acting Ino," Sakura whispered. "Hey I didn't know you had such a cute friend. Who's the one with the ponytail?" Ino murmured. "Huh?" disgusted at her friend's taste. "I'll introduce you then…" Sakura approached the others with Ino at her side. "Everyone this is Ino my… friend," she hesitated. "Ino, this is Chouji (the fat ass), Lee (the one with thick eyebrows) and Shikamaru (the one she asked for)."

After that incident, her social life rose to an apex and so is her studies and training so in a matter of months she was on a roll in becoming an Anbu. No one was suspicious of the most brilliant ninja in the Iron Country… Haruno, Shin.

As her career as Shin progressed, her life as Sakura was headed in the opposite direction after her mom died. "Arranged marriage!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. "Yes, Sakura-sama we have decided the man for you to marry. It is a very significant match since you're union will strengthen the alliance …" "I don't want to hear anymore?" she asked having no option left. "The wedding will be held after three months." The advisers concluded.

Sakura marched to her room aggravated by her helplessness as a woman. She gazed out the window and saw a man with raven black hair surrounded by advisors. "So he's the one I'm going to marry huh." She asked her maid lamely. "Eh, maybe but he looks handsome doesn't he?" she complimented.

As if feeling her stare, he looked at her direction. Sakura turned away as she can't stand having eye contact with the guy that's going to take away her freedom. "Sasuke-sama is something wrong?" one man inquired worriedly. "No, it's nothing," he continued walking.

Ino was delighted to hear that her best friend would be married soon. This might stop her pretense and my worries of her being discovered. But Sakura was not as happy as her "If you want to marry him by all means," she argued as she slammed her hand on the table. "Sakura calm down, he's not that bad looking is he?" her blond friend inquired. "No… from my sources, he's the heir of the Uchiha clan." She replied as she sat down again. "Maybe he'll see things your way," Ino tried to rationalize. "No… one look on him says it all. He wants his woman silent and submissive. SILENT… SUBMISSIVE AND SAKURA DO NOT MIX!"

"Shin, you're mission will be to be the bodyguard of the most important person in the wind country… their Kazekage," her superior's statements rang in her mind. "Don't they have ninjas in their village? Why hire us?" she asked intelligently. "That is true but if the sources are correct then they say that the very person that would try to assassinate the Kazekage is from their very own village as well," he explained. " I just don't get it. This Kazekage is supposed to be powerful am I correct? Why does he need bodyguards?" she questioned arrogantly. "Because… the Kazekage has recently been attacked and is currently in the stage of healing. He still can't use his chakra…" her superior explained as his patience was growing short.

Shin arrived at the gates of the hidden sand. Here goes I guess. "I don't need him," was the welcoming statement he heard from his office. Sakura had no chance to see the Kazekage yet but here she was now being told that the Kazekage had a change of heart.

Sakura left the office completely agitated. If he doesn't need me then he should've said so earlier! She marched into a bath house. Unconsciously heading towards the female's side, she was greeted by loud screams and tossed pails. Cursing under her breath she proceeded cautiously into the men's bath.

Removing her clothes, only a towel tied at her waist and the bandages binding her breast concealed her body. Peeking slowly into the bath, she sighed thankfully. Lucky! There's no one here! She slowly stepped into the water.

She must've fallen asleep because when she woke up upon feeling that someone was coming. Sliding the doors open, the man clad only in a towel by the waist entered the bath.

Sakura can't help but stare. Aside from the fact that she hasn't seen a naked man before, this man was no other word to describe it – H-O-T. Unconsciously, she stared at his as she examined him like a piece of meat. His muscles were well toned, his skin was flawless, his abs were outstanding, his red hair is adorable, his green eyes are tantalizing and the kanji tattoo on his forehead was down right cool.

"Oi, what are you staring at?" the man snapped at her.

"S-Sorry I just hallucinated," she recovered as she tore her gaze away from him. Damn it! I'm acting like a girl!

He stepped into the water. Sakura was feeling a bit dizzy from being in the bath for too long so she decided to leave. She didn't notice but a pair of emerald orbs followed her as she left.

Walking through the streets, Sakura noticed a young maiku (apprentice geisha) leaving the tea house crying out to her sister "I can't do it. I'm scared! Even though he's the Kazekage, I don't want to be near him," she complained.

Kazekage? I'm still his bodyguard after all. Rushing into the nearest kimono shop, she bought all the things she needed soon after she was on her way to the room where the Kazekage was said to be staying in.

Sakura can't help but be surprised, though she did not let it show, the man in the bath a while ago and the Kazekage are one and the same. Regaining her composure, she elegantly sat beside the Kazekage and poured sake for him. A skill she had perfected during her years as a daughter of a daimyo.

The Kazekage can't help but gaze at the beauty that entered the room. He was expecting the same clumsy maiku before but now here he is gazing at the most enticing geisha he had ever seen. "Easy there Gaara, she might melt," the man with face paint teased.

So he's name is Gaara she noted mentally. She was feeling her face growing warm but then she tried to hold it back if that was possible. Gaara was still staring at her. His eyes looking at her intently as if boring holes through her kimono.

Moments passed, Gaara and Sakura engaged into a decent conversation. In time, both Sakura and Gaara realized they were enjoying each other's company. Their topic somehow changed into jobs as jobs progressed into bodyguards. "I think the hardest job is to be a bodyguard since they have to risk their life protecting someone," Sakura shared. "No, they just stand around looking stupid," he spat. "Kazekage-sama, you should pay more importance to what people do for you… its how they show to you that they care," she said honestly. The Kazekage could only look at her with interest. No man had the wisdom to tell me these things and yet here I am listening to a woman.

The next day Sakura found out that the Kazekage requested for his presence as a bodyguard. She only smiled I didn't think he was listening when I told him that. Sakura now being Shin stood by the Kazekage's side throughout the day. But when the evening progressed, they stopped by the same tea house.

The Kazekage asked for the same geisha that had served him last night but the people did not know what he was talking about and around the tea house in panic. Sakura was mentally distressed as well. Why is he asking for me? I'm not even a geisha after all! What if he finds out? I'm dead!

Wait! Sensei said that he was still healing from his injuries so it means… he still can't sense chakra! So… "Kazekage-sama, I'll be away for a sec," before Gaara could reply he was already gone.

Alright! Now it's time for "Kage Bunshin no Justsu!" a solid clone appeared and walked to the Kazekage's side. Sakura on the other hand changed into a borrowed kimono and appeared by the doorstep. "Ah, Kazekage-sama, good to see you again," she greeted rather calmly.

Gaara looked at her from head to toe. Somehow she was more beautiful than last night. They proceeded to the room and engaged in a lively discussion immediately. Sakura didn't tell him her name. "A name is not required for two people to understand each other," she often says when the Kazekage asked for her name. She found her charming and he found her enticing. Unlike any woman I've ever met his mind would dictate. This routine continued for two months until one particular night…

Sakura's vision was growing blurry because of too much sake. "Kazekage-sama, I can't drink anymore," she said as Gaara was offering yet another cup. "Gaara… call me Gaara," he said as he took a swig of sake.

She was half aware of what she's doing when she leaned over "Alright, Gaara-kun," she said seductively. He stared first at her bright emerald eyes, then to her red lips and then down to her nearly exposed cleavage then back to her eyes again. His hands pulled her to him, Sakura leaned forward and let her lips brush against Gaara "Gaara-kun," she whimpered before he crushed his lips with hers.

The feeling was beyond words considering the fact that this was her first kiss. She did not know what to do but somehow when Gaara stroked her lower lip with his tongue she knew she had to open for him.

Sweet… she taste very sweet. Vanilla… she smells like vanilla. He mentally noted as he felt her tongue shyly mimicking his. Sakura's senses were drowned by thoughts of Gaara as he laid her down on the floor and started to kiss her yet again.

She felt his hand on her but she didn't mind. Her hands roamed his body as well. It traveled into his robe to his chest and to his muscled back. While his hands fumbled through the intricate ties on her kimono as his lips wandered on her neck licking and sucking in the process.

She shivered as he opened her kimono but then she felt warm again when he laid on top of her. Everything beyond that point passed in exchanges of pleasure and desire and something much… much more.

Sakura woke up with a skull splitting headache and a sore #$#. When her vision cleared, she was confused upon seeing a different ceiling. She tried to get up but an arm was possessively wound around her waist. Oh my god! What the hell happened! Insert all the possible curses here. Insanely panicking but soon after she calmed down and slowly removed his arm and then dashed out.

Gaara woke up trying to feel his woman but all he felt was the cold floor. Now being fully awake, he saw blood spots on the mat-floor. She's a virgin!

Sakura was pacing back and forth in her room. How could I let this happen? I'm going to be married in a few weeks! I'm supposed to be his wretched bodyguard for crying out loud! Scenes of last night flashed through her head. She shook her head furiously. Am I …? No! I must not let that happen again!

Gaara looked for Sakura in the same tea house gain but this time Sakura did not arrive. She never will Sakura said to herself as she walked side by side with the Kazekage as Shin.

A week passed and Gaara was still inquiring about the same geisha but still Sakura did not dare to appear. The contract was about to end. Her mission will be over after this day, the Kazekage will be meeting with the hokage of the hidden leaf so they traveled onto the forest.

It was fine at first but then Sakura felt something was off. She was right. Five ninjas appear from the bushes and started to attack them. Sakura defended the Kazekage but the Kazekage wasn't that bad himself. Though he still hasn't got enough chakra his taijutsu was outstanding. Sakura matched his skills with hers. The battle was nearing its end when one shinobi threw a kunai that gashed the Kazekage's arm.

He felt like the world's weight was on his shoulders. Something in his arm started to burn as his vision darkened. "Kazekage-sama!" Sakura sliced the throat of the last enemy and went to the Kazekage's aid.

This isn't good. He's been poisoned by chakra and only his chakra can heal this. She carried him to the nearest cave. His breathes were growing short as she observed him wincing from the pain. I can give him my chakra but in his case I have to… we have to… Sakura blushed at the only possible way to save the Kazekage.

Gaara tried to open his eyes but it was too painful so he closed it yet again. He got glimpses of Shin discarding his clothing and removing the bandages in his chest. The next thing he felt was someone was on top of him.

Sakura lain on top of the Kazekage and unbound her long pink hair. This is the only was I know how to save him now… I pray he doesn't open his eyes during the process or else he would know who Shin really is. She shook her head to clear the extra thoughts and started the process of chakra transfer.

Gaara felt like something warm was spreading through out his body. He felt at ease somehow he smelled her intoxicating scent… vanilla. He tried to open his eyes he saw his lady on top of him. Soon after he can't force himself to stay awake so his eyes gave way as he dreamt of her.

Sakura was panting hard after the process. It took a toll not only in her chakra reserves but on her physical stamina as well. She watched him sleep although out the night but when the dawn came. Its time to say goodbye. Kneeling by the Kazekage's side, she placed a short kiss on his lips and soon went away.

Gaara opened his eyes upon feeling something drip on his cheeks. He touched his cheeks and felt a drop of water. What is this? If it is dew then why is it warm? Scanning the perimeter he saw that he was alone but then the bandage on his arm proved that someone had look after him. Recalling last nights' events, I saw her here… but why is she here? Maybe that's just my delusions. "So Shin left because his contract was over… typical," he stood up and proceeded to his destination.

Two weeks had passed and their futile attempt to bury their memories of each other in their business matter did not work at all. Gaara tried to focus on his work as Kazekage but every time he does he would get glimpses of her faces every where. Sakura tried to concentrate on the wedding details but she would often day dream about him and their times together.

"AH! I'VE HAD ENOUGH!" Sakura shouted to herself making Ino stop about her plans for her wedding day. "What's wrong?" "I'll be gone for one day," she proclaimed as she exited the room without waiting for her reply. "One day? But the wedding will be the day after tomorrow!" Ino yelled.

This will be the last time that I'll dress as Shin. I just one to take one last look at him before my life ends. She promised herself as she jumped from branch to branch heading to his village.

She was in only a mile way from the village when she decided to visit the cave they once sheltered upon. Landing stealthily at the nearest branch, Sakura can see the entire cave from there and she was surprised to see him there as well. What's he doing there? Observing him carefully, she took pleasure in taking note of his actions whether it was the way he walks, the way he sat or just the way the brushes the short strands of his red hair away from his forehead.

Her observation was cut short when she felt something else. Gaara stood up upon feeling the intent to kill was directed at him. In an instant, ten ninjas surrounded him. This is bad. Without hesitation, Sakura jumped from the branch to Gaara's side.

"Hey, I came here to visit you and here I am crashing in without an invitation to your party," She positioned her kunai in front of her defensively. He only smirked as they engaged in battle. Their enemies were good this time. Blast! The pills' effect will dissolve in under thirty minutes. I can't talk to him dressed as a man and sound like a woman. Her thoughts wandered unconsciously as she grew careless, one ninja came from behind. Upon reflex, she countered his attack but then her hair got loose.

Gaara side glanced to see what just happened. His eyes widen in realization. At that moment, he ordered his sand to do excessive damage. Sakura was astonished to see him using his chakra again.

Walking up to him as the battle ended, "You could've used your sand earlier you know," then she covered her mouth as she heard a female voice. She pumped chakra in her soles and planned to dash away. Her attempt failed sand held her legs she winced from the sudden pressure.

"You are…" he began as he approached the struggling ninja. "A woman," Sakura finished for her as they were face to face. His sands dissolved under his command, "Why have you been lying to me!" his hands gripped her wrists painfully. "That doesn't matter… I'm only here to say goodbye." He was about to say something when she leaned forward and kissed him.

He had to let go of her wrists so that his hands could encircle her waist. Her hands found their way into his chest then to his nape. Messages of longing were sent through every kiss and every caress. He felt her crying when he stroked her cheeks then Gaara tasted something bitter. His whole body grew numb so he helplessly, Sakura caught him and laid him down in the safest place she knew… the village. Goodbye… Gaara.

That night, she cried ceaselessly on her best friend's lap. "Why is it that I'm crying for him? Why can't I forget him?" she pleaded for an answer. Ino stroked her hair as she heard her sobs "When dreams do not fit our eyes they fall and become tears. Sakura, you can't forget a person that easily because forgetting a person is as impossible as remembering someone you never even knew. And if my intuition is correct… I would say you love him," she explained as Sakura cried harder still.

She felt her body was so heavy when she woke up. Today is her wedding day. Ino came to help her prepare. She was dressed in the most outstanding kimono ever made and her hair was arranged beautifully. Ino brought the body mirror and let her best friend gaze at her appearance. Sakura's eyes grew big as she saw a different person staring back at her. True, she was beautiful but then tears started to well up in her eyes. "Hey, you're going to mess up you're make up if you cry. Today's your wedding day so even if you're life will be miserable after try to make this day memorable," Ino teased so Sakura only forced a smile and choked back her tears.

She marched down the lane with every person staring at her beauty but she didn't care. Today after this moment her freedom as well as her life will die. She glanced at the person near her would-be husband and was shocked to see the same man she was suppose to marry. What the heck is going on? If he's not going to be my husband then… her guesses were cut short when she was by his side.

Sakura looked at his would-be husband and so did he. Their eyes were instantly fastened on each other. Gaara? What are you doing here? Her eyes tried to ask. Gaara looked at her with the same expression in his eyes then it grew gentle. He held out his hand for her and she gradually lifter hers to accept it.

Ino was bewildered by the chain of events as she elbowed Sakura's maid "I thought she was going to marry the Uchiha heir… that one with black hair?" Her maid smiled "It seems that Sasuke-sama is the Kazekage's best friend and was only there to be his representative." She explained. They smiled together seeing Sakura's happiness as the ceremony progressed.

That night, Sakura lay on top of his chest after their "activity". "Tell me Sakura, why did you have to dress as a man and became a shinobi?" he asked as he fingered her silky pink tresses. Feeling her grew tense he lifted her chin and saw that she was crying. "When my father died, I decided that I will make a difference in this society who underestimates the value of woman. But then I guess I can't really make a difference at all," she said as he wound his arms around her.

"Silly, you have saved the Kazekage's life more than once and the world will know that," "What?" "You are married to the Kazekage after all, woman. I'll help you make a change," he offered as they shared another passionate kiss.

Gaara stayed true to his word. After months, he declared that women are now free to study in the academy. "Way to go Sakura," Ino cheered as she heard the Kazekage's announcement. Shikamaru held her hand and nodded. Of course, some of course disagreed to this concept but who would dare to face the wrath of the infamous Kazekage.

Staring up in the night sky, Sakura smiled. Dad, Mom I did it I made a change in this society. Looking at her side, Gaara gazed at her lovingly and drew her in for an embrace. Or should I say we made a change… They kissed sweetly while shooting stars designed the sky.

A/N: Okay, this idea came to me when I woke up. Hehe it's really not the best but I hope I can hear your opinion on this matter because there is always room for improvement. PLEASE READ AND REVIEW. ARIGATO.