Heya! This is just my new project for the summer, since I have nothing better to do. It's my first Naruto fic, so be nice! Important note: Sasuke is two years older than Sakura and Naruto.
Summary: It was five years ago. I was nineteen. I had just passed my Jounin exam. And then I met him..."You conceited, stuck-up, selfish, pathetic excuse of a man!" Unfortunately, the man I would fall in love with was the man I passionately hated. Life's funny like that.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or any of its characters. I only own the plot.
Chapter One: Clash of the Jounins
If I tried to describe the last five years in a single sentence it would be: the most entirely contradicting five years I have ever experienced. It even managed to beat the hustle and hazards of hormonal teenage years when you dabble in everything and get yourselves into Kami knows how much trouble.
My best friend Naruto suggested I write everything down, tell the story of my life through ink and paper. A memoir, so to speak. It is, perhaps, one of the few good ideas he's had off the battleground. Nothing against him, of course, it's just that when he's not fighting or training, he's eating ramen or sleeping. Or possibly down at the local inn having a pint. Not having good ideas.
So, my life. I won't bore you with my childhood; I was too busy being shy and teased about my big forehead. I attended the Academy, set on becoming a ninja if only to prove that I was worth the space I take up. I graduated with top marks and became a Genin under Hatake Kakashi. Normally there would be teams of three, but thanks to unequal amount of people who graduated, it was just me and Uzumaki Naruto.
From then on I trained as hard as possible, and Naruto and I quickly climbed ranks. His incredible stamina and cheeky nin-jutsus worked in his favour, and my brains and healing skills got us through tough times alive, although not unscarred.
And then things got interesting. I was nineteen. I had just passed my Jounin exam. And then I met him.
My name is Haruno Sakura. And this is how I, very reluctantly, fell in love.
Five years ago
Six a.m., or around somewhere there.
"And good morning Konoha! It's six a.m., a bit misty so don't forget to wrap up if you plan on leaving the house early, although it's bound it warm up later. And for you all Jounins out there, yes, that means you Haruno Sakura, its time to get out there and celebrate your first day as a Jounin!"
The voice was cheerful and excited, more so than normal on this particular day. Usually Haruno Sakura would just snuggle into her warm covers and tell the owner to shove off, but today was an exception. Because, just as he had mentioned, today was her first day as a Jounin.
So she opened her eyes, revealing apple green orbs, and grinned at the blonde standing over her.
"Good morning Naruto!" the nineteen year old chirped, sitting up and letting the covers fall to her waist. "Ah, isn't it such a great morning and all?" she said, beaming at her best friend of seven years. To say she was happy would be an understatement. Ecstatic might just cover it.
Naruto grinned back at Sakura, his baby blue eyes alight with cheerfulness and amusement. "You bet Sakura-chan! So get up! We're going to celebrate with me treating you to breakfast!"
"Not ramen?" Sakura said suspiciously.
Naruto pouted. "Unfortunately, no ramen."
The roseate haired young woman laughed, and it brought a smile to her teammate's face. Sakura was a free spirited, that was for sure. Perhaps constant associating with the always hyperactive blonde had made her this way, but as much as he liked to believe that, he knew it was simply finally having self-confidence that she had been lacking a few years ago.
Naruto shook his head and left the room to allow the still laughing Haruno to get up and dressed. She emerged not five minutes later, fully dressed and washed. She had an amazing ability to be ready and wide-awake within minutes of getting up; one ability Naruto was hard pressed to find in other females.
"Okay!" Naruto said, getting up from the crimson sofa that dominated the small living room, "Lets go!"
Half an hour later found the friends sitting in a small café, tucking into a hearty fried breakfast. Naruto held a glass of milk up, clinking it against Sakura's glass of orange juice.
"To Sakura becoming a Jounin!" Naruto yelled, before diving for the food piled high on his plate.
Sakura giggled and took a swig of her orange juice before attacking her food with as much vigour as her blonde teammate, only with a lot more manners, something which wasn't that hard to accomplish.
Sakura remembered when Naruto had passed the Jounin exam a year ago. They had both participated, but when it had come to the finals the two had a sudden bout of extremely bad luck and been pitted against each other. They had resented needing to fight each other, but gave it their all, and, with no surprise to anyone, Naruto won. But Sakura did give him one hell of a fight.
Sakura had not once resented her best friend for going on to become a Jounin while she stayed a Chuunin; the fates had been against them that day. She did, however, occasionally feel like she had been left behind again, both Kakashi and Naruto being Jounins meant they very little free time.
But the roseate haired nineteen year old was finally a Jounin along with her ex-sensei and her friends. And boy did it feel good. She could almost feel the power and self-importance rushing through her. Whoops. Lets not get too ahead of ourselves, Sakura thought to herself sternly. Its one thing to be proud and happy about passing the exam, but to think you're all that great because of it? Yes, okay, a nice stroke of the ego is fine, but Sakura always avoided getting an overly large ego…she had met to many arrogant bastards for her liking, and she had no desires to end up like them.
Sakura blinked, emerging from her musings slowly. She looked up at the smiling silver haired copy-nin known as Hatake Kakashi, and grinned.
"Kakashi-sensei!" they chorused.
"Kakashi," he corrected lazily, "I haven't been your sensei for a while, you know."
Sakura nodded while Naruto just shrugged and leapt at his food again. The nineteen year old smiled up at the older Jounin. "Sit with us Kakashi."
Kakashi shook his head, lifting up the take away Styrofoam cup of coffee as if that was all that needed saying.
Kakashi sat down.
"So," Naruto said through a mouthful of fried rice, once Kakashi had settled at their table, "I forgot to ask. What did you think of Sakura's new gen-jutsu? I helped her create it!" the blonde said proudly, swallowing that mouthful of rice.
Kakashi rolled his one visible, droopy dark eye at Naruto's poor table manners and looked at Sakura. "It was very interesting. Figures you would use bright yellow canaries, I think you blinded your opponent."
"That was the point!" Sakura cried in exasperation, knowing full well that silver haired ninja was only teasing her. "You're so difficult to please, Kakashi." The emerald-eyed woman pouted.
Kakashi smiled through the material of his mask, reaching over and ruffling Sakura's roseate locks as he often done when she was younger. She waved him away with a mock angry look.
"Well done, Sakura. I'm proud of you."
The rare appraisal from her ex-sensei caused her apple green eyes to widen and a huge smile to spread across her face. "Anyway," Kakashi said hurriedly, feeling slightly uncomfortable with Sakura beaming at him. Usually, she was yelling at him for being late or a pervert, although he was inclined to disagree with the latter. "Everyone's meeting up at the inn tonight to celebrate the initiation of the new Jounins. Genma is rather looking forward to seeing you as well."
Sakura's beam immediately slipped, to Kakashi's immense relief. Genma was that womanising, arrogant flirt with an oral fixation who called himself one of Kakashi's best friends. Of all the egotistical jerks Sakura had met, she had to admit, she rather liked this one. Despite his major flaws, he was rather funny, and a good friend. If only he wasn't so bent on bedding her.
"Sounds good to me," Naruto said, finally finished with his mountain of food. "Should be a blast, right Sakura-chan?"
"Right," she agreed weakly.
Tsunade surveyed the four newly charged Jounins before her. They all stood in a line, backs straight and eyes forward, save one. This military like precision was something Tsunade found almost annoying at times, but it was something that they all seemed to do in her presence. Thank Kami for people like Uzumaki Naruto, who she had long ago deemed a nutcase, and Haruno Sakura, who was now smiling at her respectfully. Tsunade would've smiled back, had there not been other people with them.
Aside from her medic student, there was a twenty one year old young man called Takashi Akito, and the nineteen year olds Hyuuga Hinata and Inuzuka Kiba. All talented, all deserving of the Jounin title. Good.
"Congratulations," She finally said, a smile on her face, "You have all passed the Jounin exam and from today, you will be known as Jounins. You will complete B and A Rank missions and sometimes you will be away from Konoha for a long period of time. Your duty is to Konoha and as a Jounin; everything else comes second, sometimes including your lives. Is that understood?"
"Hai Hokage-sama!" three cried in unison.
"Of course, Tsunade-sama." Sakura smiled, despite having just been told that she might have to lay her life down for her village. She was rather hoping it wouldn't come to that, and, well, Sakura was an optimist. Lets just leave it at that.
"You all know where the Jounin Headquarters are, right?"
They all nodded.
"Right, well, go and meet your new comrades. Dismissed."
Immediately Kiba and Akito disappeared through the large double doors, while Sakura and Hinata lingered. Tsunade sighed, and counted. Three. Two. One—
"WE DID IT!" Sakura suddenly yelled, jumping from one foot to another in happiness, "It's official, Hina, we're Jounins!"
Tsunade was sure that the pink haired woman was spending too much time with Naruto. It was obvious. Only Naruto had jumped around her office like that when he had been declared a Jounin, although he hadn't even waited for the others to leave. At least Sakura had retained some common courtesy, no matter how much Naruto was turning her into the female version of himself. Kami forbid that thought.
All thoughts stopped when Sakura threw her arms around Tsunade. "Arigato, Tsunade-sama! I wouldn't've been able to do this without you!"
"Don't be silly, Sakura." Tsunade muttered, "You would've done just fine without me."
Sakura frowned and pulled away, giving Tsunade a stern look. "Don't go turning into Kakashi, never accepting a compliment. Never gives one, never accepts one. Honestly!"
Tsunade chortled. No matter how much the apple green eyed girl cursed her former sensei, anyone with common sense and eyes could tell she loved him to bits and wouldn't change him for the world. Tsunade sometimes wondered whether Kakashi was actually aware of this; teenage girls tended to baffle him, even ones he had trained.
"Ano, arigato Tsunade-sama, for taking the time to train me as well." Hinata mumbled from beside Sakura.
"Nonsense," Tsunade chastised gently, "All I did was show you a few tricks, and you did the rest. You're not like Sakura, who needs her hand held through out the entire thing."
"Excuse me?" Sakura pouted.
"Off you go, then. I'm sure Naruto is waiting for you both." Tsunade smiled.
Hinata flushed at the thought of the blonde and both of the other women caught it, smiling knowingly.
"Lets go Hina!" Sakura chirped, taking her friend's arm and dragging her off. "Ja ne Tsunade-sama!"
"Ja ne!" Tsunade called after the two young women who were now barrelling past several ninjas and civilians, intent on getting to the Jounin HQ.
"Gomen!" Hinata called over her shoulder as Sakura dragged her on, having accidentally barrelled into someone's shoulder. Sakura looked over her shoulder to see who Hinata was apologising to, and consequently smacked straight into someone herself. Someone with a very muscular chest, as it was, and Sakura, had she been intoxicated, would've thought she had run into a wall.
"Wha—" she gasped, as she bounced backwards and landed on her ass, cushioning her fall at the last minute with a well-placed jutsu that was usually used for suffocating people like a pillow would. A flair of creativity that had just saved her buttocks from being bruised. "Gomen-nasai!" Sakura said quickly, looking up at him.
And she had to admit, she liked what she saw. He was tall, slender yet you could see the powerful muscles, and handsome, with smooth features, onyx eyes that held little warmth and charcoal black hair styled in spikes. He was dressed in ANBU uniform, and it suited him well. Very well. The vest clung to him like a second skin and the swirly tattoo on his left bicep seemed to flatter him perfectly.
And then he sneered at her. "Watch where you're going." He spat, stepping around her and walking off. Sakura sat there, dumbfounded for only a split second, before reality –and her anger of being treated like a grotty child- caught up with her.
Her opinion of him took such a steep dive it was almost vertical.
"Excuse me?" she shrieked, jumping to her feet and whirling around to glare at his retreating back. "You! You ANBU shithead!"
He stopped in his tracks, turning around with an almost shocked look that was near instantaneously replaced with a cold sneer.
"Where the hell do you get off treating people like they're beneath you?" she spat angrily, her cheeks turning pink in rage. "I concede, it was my fault I ran into you, but I apologised to you! Do you even have manners?"
"What?" he replied coldly, "Why should you even care? You ran into me. You apologised. I gave you some advice. End of."
"Advice? You call that advice? I don't call sneering and looking down your nose at me advice!" Sakura snarled, her eyes darkening to the point of dark, deep green. Hinata sighed. She wanted to intervene, but common sense told her that if she wanted to keep her life intact, she should just…stay away. Yeah. That's a good idea.
"You were sprawled on the floor, how else am I meant to look at you?" the onyx eyed man retorted sarcastically.
"I meant metaphorically!"
"Well, thanks for clearing that up!"
Hinata was getting all too aware of the stares they were receiving. She was tempted to start begging the floor to swallow her up whole. Where was Naruto when you needed a funny moment?
Sakura looked just about ready to spit deadly nails. Hinata was rather grateful Genma had yet to teach Sakura how to shoot senbon needles from her mouth, because that would've been a disaster at that very moment.
"You conceited, stuck-up, selfish pathetic excuse of a man!" Sakura suddenly screamed.
"Go to hell you psychotic, interfering bitch!" he yelled back.
At that point, both decided to turn on their heels and stomp off.
That guy really made me all riled up. It was only later did I discover who he was from Hinata's cousin, Neji.
I had just called the genius ANBU Captain and only survivor of the Uchiha massacre a conceited, stuck-up selfish pathetic excuse of a man.
The orphan everyone loves.
Oh how I hated him.
Well, that's it. Tell me if it's worth continuing or if I should just give up now! Review!