The first thing Sakura realized when she awoke from her slumber was that she was not lying on her bed, but on a hard surface. The second thing she realized was that her head was pounding, and she was certain that it wasn't because of a hangover. The third and last thing she realized was the voices, unfamiliar and unidentifiable to her ears. She stiffened instantly, and forced her breathing to even, with her eyes shut tight as her mind spun back to what had happened…
The attack had been completely unexpected.
Early that morning, Haruno Sakura, along with her long-time teammate and best friend, Uzumaki Naruto, had been sitting at Ichiraku Ramen. The pink-haired kunoichi had been watching her blonde-headed friend chug down bowls and bowls of Ramen in record time.
She had been extremely glad that he had been the one who was paying the bill.
"Naruto," she had asked. "Don't you think that you should slow down there?"
He had glanced at her briefly, before returning to his mission of stuffing noodle and soup into his mouth. "I'm preparing for the mission tomorrow."
Sakura just stared idly into space at his response. Now at the age of fifteen, the three year mark was approaching quickly for the time that Sasuke had left.
Earlier that morning, the 5th hokage had called Sakura, along with Shikamaru, Neji, Lee, Naruto, Tenten, and Kiba into her office.
They had stared confusedly at her for a long while, since now that all of them were Chuunin ranked, and Neji was a Jonin, it didn't seem that this many people were needed for one mission unless it was extremely dangerous.
"As you all know," Tsunade had begun, "the time for Orachimaru to switch bodies is approaching quickly. It will be in exactly a month from now. With the Sharingan, he will be a hard opponent, so I am ordering all of you to go on a mission to retrieve the missing-nin Uchiha Sasuke. Neji, you will be the team leader."
Normally, Naruto would have immediately jumped up and started protesting to why he was not assigned team leader, but this time, he just nodded grimly and stood up, leaving the room.
One by one, the chuunins and the one jonin got up from their positions, and left the room, each one with stiffened shoulders and a solemn expression on their face.
Only Sakura had remained in the hokage's office. She, too, got up to leave, but her sensei's voice stopped her.
"Sakura, will your feelings interfere with the mission?" Tsunade's tone was gentle.
Sakura had paused, considering her words carefully. "Tsunade-sama, my feelings are no longer existent for a teme (1) like Uchiha Sasuke."
Her back was turned to her mentor, but she could practically feel the skeptical look burning into her back.
"Are you positive, Sakura?"
"Very well, you may leave."
Sakura had exited the room.
Even then, she had known…
And so had Tsunade…
Haruno Sakura was possibly the worst liar in the world.
"How long has she been unconscious?"
"Should I attempt to wake her up Orachimaru-sama?"
"There is no need Kabuto, our dear little kunoichi is already wide awake, isn't that right…Sakura-san?"
Sakura stiffened in her position.
"Please get up Sakura-san," Kabuto's voice was friendly, but she was not fooled.
Jumping up, she glared at the two people in front of her. "What do you want with me?" she snarled out, backing away from the snake man and his right hand man.
This time, Orachimaru spoke up. "Your reputation as Tsunade's apprentice as spread far and wide, my dear Sakura-san."
Her stomach clenched, and Sakura gritted her teeth. She definitely did not like where this was going.
"Not to worry," he continued. "Your friends our fine, well…that is, unless you don't disagree with the terms."
"What are you planning?" she asked.
"Oh nothing," his tone was so casual, as though kidnapping and killing was part of his daily everyday life. But then again…it probably was. "I need you to heal my arms. I'm sure Tsunade has taught you most of her tequniques already.
Sakura sneered. "There's no way I'm helping you, even if I die."
"But Sakura-san," Kabuto stepped closer to her, the dim light reflecting against his glasses. "Think about your dear friends in Konoha."
She entered a taijutsu stance, as Lee had taught her. "Are you threatening me?"
"What he is saying," Orachimaru cut in. "Is that we dispose of your insolent so called friends one by one if you don't help us."
Sakura went rigid. "What?" she managed to breathe out.
"Yes," Kabuto's voice was sadistic. "We can start with that blonde one, what was her name?"
Ino! Her heart clenched.
"Then, we can kill that Hyuuga heiress," Kabuto continued ruthlessly. "And we'll move on to that annoying boy in the green, and how about the girl with the buns?"
"No!" Sakura lashed out. "Naruto won't let you!"
If anything, his smile only turned more malicious. "Ah, yes, let's not forget our dear Naruto-kun. He'll be last. I'm sure he'll put up the best fight."
"NO!" Sakura screamed. "There better than that! They won't die! They're strong!"
"Yes, I will admit that they are formidable opponents," Orachimaru said, and he flashed his teeth. "But will they be stronger than my prized possession?"
"Prized possession?" No, don't let it be-
"Why Sakura-san, don't you remember Sasuke-kun?"
She collapsed onto the ground, her entire form trembling. Sasuke…would he kill his former teammates? Had he changed over the past three years?
Orachimaru let out a mirthful laugh. "Come Kabuto, let's leave our dear kunoichi and give her some time to think."
The door slid open, and Sakura watched as the two figures disappeared in to the light, leaving her alone in the darkened room.
God damnit. Sakura cursed herself. If only I hadn't been caught!
It was already dark, and Naruto was accompanying Sakura back to her apartment.
"The mission is tomorrow," he stated, and Sakura noticed the smile he was forcing onto his face. "We'll bring back Sasuke-teme for sure. It was and still is the promise of a lifetime."
Sakura smiled at her friend's attempt to ease the tense mood that the mission was going to cause.
When Uchiha Sasuke was the topic, nobody felt easy.
"Well, you better get some rest," she said as they stopped at the front of her door. "We've got to get up bright and early tomorrow morning."
"Yeah, I'll definitely be there firs-" his words were cut off as his eyes widened, and he suddenly slumped down onto the ground.
"Naruto!" Sakura dropped down next to him, inspecting him. She noticed a small needle in his neck. With trained hands, she quickly pulled it out and examined the liquid-like substance dripping down the point.
"Sleeping poison?" she asked herself. Then, realization hit her, as she spun around.
But it was too late. The last thing Haruno Sakura saw was a hand darting towards her, a hit to her head, and then…darkness.
Uchiha Sasuke walked down the badly lit halls of Orachimaru's lair, clad only in a simple grayish-white robe and a sword attached to the belt. He didn't need any other weapons, for hardly anyone dared to challenge him…unless they had been dared…or they wanted to die young.
He passed the prisoner cells on his way to his room, and he watched with indifferent eyes as scrawny and starved arms and hands reached out to him.
"Help me!" a woman, who cheekbones were so shrunken in and lips were so dry, that the Uchiha became disgusted with the sight.
He noticed the larger cells down towards the end of the hall, where bars were replaced by heavy 10-inch thick steel doors. Those cells were used to contain the more violent prisoners, usually the ones with shinobi skills.
He noticed that one of the doors were closed, which indicated that someone was locked inside. Just yesterday, it had still been empty. Orachimaru usually would have informed him of a new capture.
"Hey," he called out to one of Orachimaru's random lackeys wandering the halls.
The man, who was at least ten years older than the boy before him, immediately cowered in fear. "U-U-Uchiha-sama! W-What can I do for y-you?"
Sasuke resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He pointed to the closed door. "Who's in there?"
The man looked between the closed door and Sasuke. "I'm not sure Uchiha-sama. Kabuto-sama came back yesterday with a new prisoner. I believe it is a girl. But that's all I know." He cringed, as though expecting Sasuke to hit him for his lack of knowledge on the new prisoner.
Sasuke looked at the door with curious eyes. A girl, the man had said. What girl could possibly be strong or dangerous enough to keep locked in one of those cells? He tried to think of a possibility, but he came up with no answers.
"Thank you," he spoke to the man as he headed towards the door. "Leave."
The man was more than glad to comply, as he scurried down the hall to wherever his destination had been before the terrifying Uchiha Sasuke had stopped him.
Sasuke reached out a hand and touched the cold steel. There were a few buttons to the right, where a password had to be entered.
He reached up his hand to punch in the code, when a shriek leaked out through the door.
"Let me out!" the voice definitely belonged to a girl. It was very familiar, but for some reason, Sasuke just couldn't quite place it.
There was a horrifying sound of what sounded like a truck crashing into metal and the next thing he knew, he was staring at an enormous dent in the door.
His eyes widened immensely. This girl had been able to put a dent in a 10 inch thick steel door!
There was a chuckle behind him. "Impressive, isn't it?"
Sasuke didn't need to turn around to know who it was. "Orachimaru."
"And Kabuto even drained am eighth of her chakra." The snake man said. "She would have been able to break through if he hadn't. I must remember to tell him to drain even more chakra before she escapes."
Who in the world possessed this monster strength? Nevertheless, a girl?
"Orachimaru," he demanded. "Who is in there?"
He turned to face a man, only to see a sly smile adorn his lips. "Why Sasuke-kun, you don't know who it is?"
"No," he replied impatiently. "Who?"
"I believe you two used to be acquaintances," his tone was nonchalant as he examined his fingernails. Then, he made eye contact with the Uchiha and his long snake-like tongue slipped out as he licked his lips. "As a matter of fact, I believe you two use to be teammates."
Sasuke froze. Was it possible? No, it couldn't be her.
"Haruno Sakura, I believe her name was."
Sasuke sneered. Who was this man trying to kid? "The Haruno Sakura I knew was a little weakling who couldn't even throw a punch right."
"Are you sure about that?" the man inquired. "Well, this girl, whoever she is, will be helping me quite a bit in a future."
With a sadistic laugh, Orachimaru disappeared, leaving the Uchiha alone.
With a sigh, Sasuke reached out to punch in the code. He would prove Orachimaru wrong. He would be able to recognize Sakura easily. He would prove to him that the girl he had captured was not Haruno Sakura.
The door slid open, and a flash of red and pink charged towards him.
"Let me out, you bastard!" it shrieked again.
Sasuke caught the punch aimed at his face at the last second.
He stared wide eyed at the girl in his grip.
Pink hair…Jade eyes…it wasn't possible. Something wasn't quite right. There had to be a mistake.
Sasuke just couldn't seem to comprehend the fact that it was indeed Haruno Sakura in his hands right now.
Sakura stared up at her captor. When the door had opened, she had prepared herself to attack, and had been extremely surprised that her punch had been caught.
She had no idea that all of Orachimaru's lackeys were that well-trained.
Lee's taijutsu training was almost flawless.
However, when she looked up at the man who had blocked her punch, she was stunned to see that it was not a man, but a boy.
She wasn't sure whether to jump into his arms and smother him to death or to attempt to throw another punch at his face.
Instead, she opted to just stare up at him.
He's grown tall. She noted unconsciously.
Uchiha Sasuke. This was definitely not how she expected their three year reunion to be like.
Sasuke himself seemed to be having a hard time comprehending something. The look on his face as stared down at her was a mixture of shock, frustration, anger, surprise, and… amusement?
"It really is you," he murmured out to himself, but Sakura caught it.
What did that mean?
She opened her mouth to speak, but she found herself being pushed back into the dark cell.
"Hey!" she protested, momentarily forgetting that it was Uchiha Sasuke she was talking to. "Let go you teme!"
There was a pause. "I've never heard you call me a teme before."
"I don't know what Orachimaru has in store for you, but you're going to staying in this cell."
"You've gotten strong haven't you?"
"What happened to that weakling?"
"Sasuke!" she had enough. Since when did Sasuke talk this much? "Won't-won't you help me?" She gazed up at him with pleading eyes.
The shock she received when he returned her plea with a sneer was overwhelming. "You're a prisoner, Sakura, and it's going to stay that way unless Orachimaru decides otherwise."
Sakura visibly tensed.He had changed.
"Now stay here like a good little girl," he let go of her wrist, and turned to walk out.
In a desperate attempt for him to stay, she let her Inner Sakura take over and her voice became cold.
"I would have never expected the great Uchiha Sasuke to turn into Orachimaru's pawn. You've lowered your standards so much, Sasuke-kun."
She watched his steps falter for about a second, and she expected him to turn around and pin her to a wall, while scolding her that he would never become so low.
But instead, he continued walking, and her heart shattered when she heard his parting words. The door closed in her face.
With a strangled cry, Sakura slumped down onto the ground.
What had she done to deserve this?
His words repeated over and over in her head as she drifted off to sleep.
do anything for power."
Well was that a good start? I hope you liked it.
I hope nobody seemed too OOC.. especially Sakura calling Sasuke a teme.