Title: Apple Blossom Tea

Author: Backlash Symphony

Music: "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson

"Mobscene" by Marilyn Manson

"Turn Out the Lights" by Nelly Furtado

Summary: They entered silently, trying to stick to their usual plans; ignore everyone and be ignored in return. Usually, the women would blush at the brief view of Itachi's handsome face and cringe at the sight of Kisame. Normally, Itachi would disregard the lustful gazes and Kisame the terrified stares, but one particular roseate-haired waitress changed everything Kisame came to know by simply looking at him and not cowering in fear. Kisa/Saku

Disclaimer: I do not own "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson, "Mobscene" by Marilyn Manson, "Turn Out the Lights" by Nelly Furtado, and I especially do not own Naruto, for if I did, the show would be called "Sakura".

WARNING: Mentioned character death. Mentioned rape.

Once upon a time, there lived a drop-dead gorgeous princess in a grand castle. She was the star in the eyes of many men and few had the courage to approach her for her hand in marriage. Each one was turned down by the beautiful royalty. She was very lonely and she didn't enjoy her life in the slightest. She dreamt of the day when she would finally find the man who would sweep her off her feet and away from this hideous lifestyle of hers.

One dark stormy night, a handsome prince arrived at her doorstep...

We all know how that story ends. Happily ever after, right? That could be said about the story you're about to hear, but then again it's all a matter of opinion anyway. This story can be viewed as repulsive due to the never-changing unattractive features of one of our main characters or the fact that a beautiful girl fell in love with him at first sight. One could relate this story to Beauty and the Beast, but even that would be a stretch. So, why don't we just let you get to reading the story, then?

We've all had those days where everything just seems to go right, to fall into place perfectly. We've all had those days where we've felt like we've never had more energy to burn, those days where it's as if you've stumbled across a field filled with four-leaf clovers and sidewalks littered with head-up pennies. While you're too busy wondering about, enjoying the fact that nothing could make your day better -although deep down you're laughing because you know it will- someone is having a day completely opposite to yours.

Unfortunately for Kisame Hoshigaki, today, just so happened to be the day he had officially declared as the worst day of his life. So far, he had been caught off guard and ambushed by Mist ANBU three times on his way to Konoha. Each occurrence required Itachi to save Kisame's ass before Kisame became too badly injured. He had fallen from the tree he was jumping on before he even landed on it. He had slipped on dry land and fallen backwards into a thorn bush he could've sworn wasn't there before. He had scared a little kid that was wondering around the forest with an ice cream cone -why a kid would be that deep in the forest with an ice cream cone, he had no idea- and his appearance caused the child to shriek at the top of his lungs, forcefully launch the snack in his hands at Kisame's face, and then run off, arms waving wildly in the air. He and Itachi had to leave immediately and by the time they came across a stream to wash the sticky food off of his face, the scorching sun had already been beating down on his skin for a few hours, causing the ice cream to, for some other reason he didn't get, harden on his skin.

The list of his misfortune continued on and on, but it would be a waste of time to explain each event.

Itachi and Kisame were headed to Konoha with the intentions of kidnapping a specific power-holding authority who owed the Akatsuki organization a hefty sum for their help in getting the man a title. However, Itachi had decided that they should get something to eat before they put their plan into action. They had about an hour and a half before they needed to be at the building that they knew their client would be occupying as well.

They entered silently, trying to stick to their usual plans; ignore everyone and be ignored in return. Usually, the women would blush at the brief view of Itachi's handsome face and cringe at the sight of Kisame. Normally, Itachi would disregard the lustful gazes and Kisame the terrified stares, and they took a seat in an empty booth in the corner. A small, quivering girl who couldn't have been older than fourteen carried two menus to their seats and quickly placed them on the table.

"Y-Your waitress w-will be with you i-in a moment," she stuttered before turning abruptly on her heel, shooting a lusty stare at Itachi, before fairly sprinting back to the shop entrance.

The two S-Class criminals picked up their menus, propping them open and reading over the contents. Kisame felt the stares and considered putting on one of his most malicious grins and showing the people who were afraid of him that they had more to fear than his looks, but decided otherwise and remained searching over the menu. He gave a small glance to Itachi who he knew felt the dreamy gazes from the females and mentally shook his head. He would never understand how the man managed to keep himself an ice cube during any situation, especially one as annoying as this.

The two spent a few minutes looking over the menus and Itachi had chosen what he would order. Kisame, however, had only just decided on a tuna sandwich when their waitress appeared. The first thing Kisame saw as he looked up was a young woman who appeared to be about seventeen. The next thing he saw was her hair. He looked shocked momentarily at the vibrant pink color and immediately thought it was dye. He couldn't possibly believe that it was natural. No one has naturally pink hair. No one.

"Good evening, gentlemen, my name is Sakura and I'll be taking care you today," she said with a smile, glancing at the table, her smile faltered slightly. "Oh, I apologize, Shina is new here and she forgot to give you the list of teas we've just added to the shop." Sakura reached into her pocket and retrieved two sheets of paper with writing on them and set them in front of the two.

Itachi politely picked it up, scanning over it although his order was already in his head. Kisame, however, took one look at the list and immediately found what he wanted with a lopsided grin that revealed quite a few teeth. Itachi glanced at Sakura out of the corner of his eye, watching to see her reaction as she kept her gaze on Kisame. He had to admit he was fairly startled at her expression. Upon Kisame's grin, her smile grew.

'She didn't get scared of him,' Itachi thought.

"Apple Blossom!" Kisame said, shaking his head.

Itachi saw Sakura's smile shift down.

"Is there something wrong with it?" she asked softly, blinking.

"No, not at all," Kisame shook his head. "It's just so rare. No tea shop carries it."

Sakura smiled brightly, obviously relieved. She pulled her pen and pad of paper from her pocket.

"Apparently no one likes that specific type of tea. I was nearly on my knees begging the owner to add it to the menu thinking other people might find it interesting and give it a try." She shrugged. "So far, I'm still the only person in Konoha with Apple Blossom tea as their favorite." She cleared her throat, readying her pen and paper. "Anyway, are you ready to order or do you need a little more time before you make a decision?"

Itachi glanced at Kisame who he suddenly caught staring at Sakura, and he caught Sakura looking at him out of the corner of her eye. Immediately, his mind tuned in to something being wrong. This girl wasn't that same as the other people they'd come across. She was sweet, to the point of being nearly sickening. She didn't look at him with hopes of spending a night in his arms swimming in her mind and she didn't look at Kisame and stumble on her words in fear. He knew when people were lying, as well, and he couldn't detect a single hint of dishonesty in her actions and words.

That made him believe that she might just be a ninja, and a very good one at that. However, he still couldn't find anything wrong with her that would lead him to pursue that path of thought. Besides, any good shinobi should know who came from Konoha, and Itachi was right up there on the most-wanted list with Orochimaru. If she was a ninja, she would have to be pretty powerful to be able to leave a mark on him. Apart from that, if she was a kunoichi that thought she could take him down, she would have to have a reputation, and he was quite positive that the first thing mentioned about her, before any of her abilities and skills, would be her hair color, and not only had he never even known pink was a possible color for people to have, but he had never heard of anyone with pink hair being a ninja.



"My apologies," he said calmly, and proceeded with giving his order.

He watched her write his order down and give another genuine smile.

"I'll be back in a few minutes with your food," she said kindly before bowing politely.

She turned and headed back to a door that Itachi assumed was the kitchen and he turned his gaze onto Kisame who was musing over the conversation he had with Sakura.

"She's nothing like the other women," Itachi stated, placing his menu down.

Kisame gave a low chuckle.

"I noticed. My eardrums are still intact and I don't have any ice cream on my face," he said in a slightly amused voice. "Do you think she knows who we are?"

A few moments passed before Itachi answered.

"No," he said softly. "Do you think she looks familiar? Or does her name sound familiar?"

Kisame paused to think, closing his eyes while he thought. A few moments later, his eyes opened and he gave a grin. Itachi assumed he'd thought of something.

"Does Sakura Haruno sound more familiar to you, Itachi?" Kisame asked, waiting for Itachi's reaction.

Almost immediately the name clicked in his brain and he nodded.

"She's a medic with skills said to be better than Tsunade's, the current Hokage," Itachi responded quietly.

Kisame sighed heavily, leaning back.

"It's a shame that she's a kunoichi," he said, laughing. "And here I was thinking she seemed too cute with her innocent behavior," he finished sarcastically. "So what do you plan we do?"

Itachi thought about it for a little bit before answering.

"We wait and see how she acts," he explained carefully. "If there is no other option, we fight."

Kisame nodded in agreement. About a minute later, Sakura came walking out of the kitchen with a tray that held both of their orders on it. She walked calmly towards their table, smile still in place, and arrived before them. She distributed their orders and collected their menus. As she brought herself to a turn to return the menus to Shina, Kisame brought up what he and Itachi had been discussing earlier.

"Your full name wouldn't happen to be Sakura Haruno, would it?" he asked innocently.

Sakura stopped mid-turn and moved to face him, a surprised look on her face.

"Yeah," she said, shocked. "How'd you know?"

"With a reputation like yours, it's a shock to me that I didn't recognize you when I first saw you," he said with a grin.

Her fingers grasped the tray tighter to her chest and a blush spread across the bridge of her nose and her upper cheeks.

"It's not that good of a reputation," she said meekly.

"Are you still a ninja?" Itachi asked, sipping from his tea.

Sakura shook her head, the blush fading, her eyes hardening. She turned her head to see him.

"Not anymore. I came to the conclusion that I can help more people in a hospital than I can on the field," she explained. "I can see the effects of those battles every day when I'm put in charge of healing the men and women who get sent to me. I have enough problems to deal with on my own and I don't fancy the idea of falling victim to nightmares of me causing the wounds."

"But you can heal them without a problem?" Kisame asked, interested.

Sakura nodded, the blush returning to her cheeks without reason, something both men caught.

"I perform better as a medic but I haven't practiced anything shinobi related for about a year now," she said softly.

"Understandable," Itachi said lowly.

"If that's everything, I'll be getting to my other tables," she nodded at the two she received from Itachi and Kisame. "If you need anything, just ask."

With that, she was heading towards Shina and returning the menus. Shina gave a slight tug to Sakura's shirt and whispered something that set Sakura's face a fiery red. Her mouth fell open.

"Shina!" she exclaimed in a harsh whisper.

Shina gave a shrug and a light blush appeared on her face. Sakura quickly turned and headed back into the kitchen, mumbling something under her breath and shaking her head furiously as if to get rid of an image she had conjured. Kisame and Itachi were close to finishing their meals and Kisame had been watching Sakura out of the corner of his eye as she moved around the building, taking orders and being equally cheerful to all the other customers. He watched her slide into the kitchen one last time before he let the final sip of his tea slide down his throat.

He gave a soft sigh of contentment, and watched as Itachi took another sip of his tea. Before Kisame could even finish setting his cup down, Sakura reappeared by his side.

"Alright then, I hope everything was enjoyable. Here's your check," she said, placing the paper in the center of the table.

Sakura reached into her back pocket and revealed an envelope that appeared to be full of something. She placed it on the table in front of Kisame, picking up his empty dishes. She watched him move to pick it up and she smiled.

"Apple Blossom tea," she explained, moving to pick up Itachi's dishes. "It's on the house. Enjoy!" she exclaimed with a bright smile.

She left once again to return the dishes to the kitchen and Itachi shot Kisame a look. Kisame lifted open the flap and peeked inside. There had to be at least two dozen hand wrapped packages of Apple Blossom tea leaves. There was a small sheet of folded pink paper and he pulled it out, opening it up. His eyes scanned it and he chuckled slightly, pushing the paper back into the envelope and tucking it into his cloak pocket.

Itachi reached into his cloak and pulled out some bills and a few coins. He casually glanced out of the window nearest to him and saw that it was nearly completely dark. He knew they had roughly thirty minutes before they would make a move and he placed the money on the table. Kisame covered the tip for Sakura, and, making sure the envelope was securely hidden in his cloak, he nodded to Itachi before they disappeared in a gust of air.

After a few minutes, Sakura emerged from the kitchen carrying another table's order. After dealing with the two women, she moved to collect the money from the table Kisame and Itachi had occupied. As she went to put the two separated stacks of money together, she realized one was the payment, from Itachi, and the other was her tip, from Kisame. She counted how much she had been tipped and the tray she held to her chest fell with a clank to the floor. Her cheeks lit up with a pink blush and her mouth nearly dropped open.

Shina was quick to hurry over to Sakura who had fallen into Kisame's seat, holding the money for her tip in her hand, staring at it. Shina hastily bent down to pick the tray up before gently placing it on the table. She looked at Sakura with a worried expression and seated herself across from her pink-haired friend.

"Sakura, what's the matter?" she asked softly.

Sakura shook her head slowly, mouth moving to model words that she couldn't voice. She closed her eyes and handed the tip money towards Shina who hesitantly took it.

"Count it," Sakura whispered, holding her head in her hands.

Shina did so and her eyes widened. She looked at the rest of the money in Sakura's other hand, coming to a realization.

"They didn't match your tip with the taxes!" she groaned, feeling sorry for her friend.

Sakura shook her head and gave a high-pitched laugh.

"Oh, no, no, no, that's not it! What you're holding in your hand is the tip," she explained. "What I'm holding is the cost of the food they ate," she held up the money in her hand.

Shina's mouth dropped open and she stared, wide-eyed, at the money in her hand.

"You mean to tell me," she said quietly, "that they tipped you one hundred dollars!"

Sakura slouched back into her seat and nodded, giving a soft chuckle.

"Apparently so."

Shina handed the money back to Sakura who stuffed it into her pocket before sighing.

"Sakura, Shina, the boss needs you for trash duty," a blonde with blue eyes said, walking over to the table they were at, smacking her gum loudly.

Sakura groaned as she got to her feet.

"Thanks, Ino," she mumbled and Shina followed her back into the kitchen again.

Sakura pulled a card from a box sitting by the wall and stapled her order sheet to it, signing her name at the bottom and sliding it into a small envelope with the money Itachi had used to pay for the meal. She and Shina then proceeded to the back of the tea shop and each grabbed three bags of garbage to take out to the dumpsters in the alleyway.

"So how long do we wait until he comes out?" Kisame asked in a bored tone, leaning against the alley wall.

Itachi remained silent for a moment, doing the same on the opposite wall as Kisame.

"Twenty minutes."

Before Kisame could say anything, the door to the back entrance of the tea shop was kicked open and the two Akatsuki members swiftly jumped to the rooftop, watching below them. Sakura and Shina walked out, each carrying multiple garbage bags, and were arguing about something. Sakura released her bags in front of the dumpster, moving to push it open.

"I'm telling you, that man -if you would call him that- was totally into you!" Shina said loudly and somewhat disgustedly. "It actually looked like you two were flirting!"

Sakura's frustrated groan filled the alleyway and the dumpster opened with a violent metallic sound.

"Kisame! Kis-a-me! Would it kill you to call him by his name!" she nearly shouted.

Shina took a step or two back as Sakura violently tossed a bag of trash in the dumpster.

"Why are you getting all worked up over it? It's not like you'll see it again," Shina said casually.

"Oh, I don't know, Shina," Sakura ground out. "Maybe I don't like the fact that you're insulting him when you don't even know him!"

Shina laughed.

"Like you know him any more than I do? Sakura, don't tell me you actually like fish-boy..." she said in an amused tone.

Sakura dropped the trash bag she was holding, turning her head slowly to glare at Shina. Her hands moved to her hips.

"First-off, don't call him fish-boy! It's Kisame, get it right! I know you can at least pretend to have more brain cells than you really do if you can pretend to be innocent," Sakura snapped. "Second, who are you to tell me I don't know him enough to like him? We had a short conversation that showed me he's someone who appreciates good tea! Apart from that he has a pretty good sense of humor. Third, and most importantly, you," she jabbed a finger at Shina's collarbone, "you didn't even say a word to Itachi but that didn't stop you from drooling all over him!"

"At least he was attractive!" Shina huffed, slapping Sakura's hand away.

"Attractive?" Sakura snorted. "Are you kidding me? You're calling Kisame terrifying? Itachi is the one who's terrifying!"

"Why?" Shina shrieked. "Because he has the Sharingan? Because he reminds you of Sasuke?"

The tension in the air quadrupled and Sakura fought to keep her breathing under control.

"If anything, I would beg Itachi to kill his bastard of a younger brother so I wouldn't need to see his damn face ever again," Sakura said bitterly.

"Oh, come off it! You know you want Sasuke! It's impossible not to," Shina pressed.

"You have a point," Sakura said in a defeated tone, but quickly her voice changed to sarcasm. "He only shut me down and brushed me off, called me annoying and knocked me out before leaving me on a cold bench, in the middle of the night. Oh, yeah, the one thing I look forward to in every man I decide to crush on."

Shina gave an exasperated sigh.

"Oh, just because you didn't get the good end of him-"

"That was the good end of him," Sakura interrupted flatly. "Believe me. The only chance you'll ever have with him is if he decides to stop pursuing his brother -which'll never happen- to skip ahead and recreate the Uchiha clan -for which you have no chance since you aren't a ninja- or he actually kills Itachi -which also won't happen- and needs a wife to produce heirs -which he will only choose if she's a strong ninja-. Trust me; you don't stand a chance with anyone from the Uchiha clan."

Shina pouted, crossing her arms over her chest.

"You're so mean," she whined.

Sakura sighed and heaved another trash bag into the dumpster.

"And so is life. Get used to it."

Silence drew between the two women as they piled the rest of the trash into the dumpster. Sakura's eyes held a distant glaze to them and Shina merely glared at Sakura from the corner of her eye for shattering her fantasies of settling down with the Uchiha avenger. Itachi admitted to himself to be mildly amused with the conversation they had but knew Sakura was hiding something. It soon became out in the open.

"Shina, do you want to know why Itachi terrifies me?" she asked softly.

Shina nodded and Sakura sighed.

"You've never been on the receiving end of the Tsukyomi, have you?" she asked quietly.

Shina shot her a confused look.

"Suki whatty?"

"It's the final achievable stage of the Sharingan. In order to obtain it, you need to kill your best friend. It was supposed to be me who died but Naruto just has to stick his head where it doesn't belong sometimes," she explained sadly. "He captures your gaze," she said, "and pulls you into a world he creates. He can do whatever pleases with you for an equivalent of seventy-two hours, all in your mind; of course, while in the present world only three seconds go by."

Shina's shocked gasp reached Sakura's ears and she watched as Shina brought her hands up to cover her mouth.

"Oh my God!" she gasped. "He did that to you?"

Sakura nodded and fell back to lean against the wall, closing her eyes. Her lips curved into a frown as brief flashes of her experience attacked her mind.

"It was a pain that was indescribable because each day he changed it to a different type of pain and every hour became a new method," she explained slowly, mentally sinking back into the memories. "It hurts a lot more to lose your virginity over and over again in your head than it does to lose it once in real life."

"Oh, Sakura, he...he actually..." Shina whispered in disbelief.

"Yep. One day straight of repeatedly losing my virginity," she gave a harsh laugh. "Sasuke is more of a pervert than the Ero-Sannin," she said with a small smile. "I gotta hand it to him, he has quite the imagination despite what I'd always thought." She sighed. "Still, men and their one-track minds. Just grow up already!"

"So, what happened after?" Shina asked, fear in her voice.

"Well, like Kakashi, my ex-sensei, I was sent into the hospital for a long time," she said slowly. "About, eight or nine months, I think. I know that the damage done to me was so horrific that I would never be able to be a kunoichi again so I basically dropped that lifestyle and switched mainly to being a medic. Although I still have the monstrous strength I learned from Tsunade..."


Sakura gave a reassuring smile to Shina.

"Don't worry about it. I suppose you could say I got what I wanted even if it was in only in my head, and now the only thing I have left to wish is that Itachi kills him when he sees him again, because if I see him alive, it'll be my turn to mess with his head," she said before striking a thoughtful pose. "Actually, I could probably even take his Sharingan out." She smiled darkly. "Yeah, I think I'll do that if I ever see him again. While he's fully awake, too. That should knock some sense into that thick skull of his."

"You would really do that, Sakura?" Shina said, taking a step back.

Sakura laughed at her friend's behavior.

"It's fun to dream," she said, amused. "Besides, Kisame is like Gaara and Naruto to me. They all had a demon inside of them. With Naruto gone and Gaara's demon already having been extracted, Kisame is the only one I know of that carries a demon inside of him."

"Oh! Is that why you don't have a problem with him?" Shina asked, understanding flooding her voice.

"I know the effects the demons have on the outside body. Personally, I never had a problem with it even before I found out about Naruto having the Kyuubi in him, but it made it a lot easier to understand once I figured it out," she explained. "Now, why don't we get back inside before the boss gets pissy?"

The two girls headed back in and once Itachi and Kisame were sure they had gone, they started talking. Itachi looked amused and Kisame looked somewhat sick. Had Sasuke really done something like that? He didn't want to think about Sakura's condition after being forced through that many hours of suffering. Itachi was drinking those thoughts in with one thought on his mind.

"Perhaps this time he'll finally be strong enough..."

Sakura folded the fresh bills from her recently cashed paycheck and pushed them deeply into her coat pocket. She took a deep breath of the cool night air and looked to the sky for a beautiful view of the full moon and the twinkling stars. She decided she would pay a visit to the memorial to say goodnight to Naruto before she headed home. She headed silently along the road and into the part of the land that held the stone memorial.

As Sakura walked closer and closer, however, the sight of a dark colored lump and the scent of blood grew nearer. She was torn between rushing to whoever it was that needed medical help and taking it slow in the event that it was just a trap. She shoved aside all her worrying thoughts and sprinted forward, a gasp wrenching from her lips once she saw who was leaning against the memorial stone.

"Kisame?" she whispered harshly, disbelieving.

"Fancy meeting you here, Blossom," he joked, chuckling wetly.

Sakura instantly kicked into medic mode and slid out of her coat, hastily folding it and laying it across the memorial stone. She rushed to Kisame's side.

"What happened?" she asked, lifting her hands to start unclasping his Akatsuki robes.

He let out a long, heavy sigh.

"Mission went wrong," he mumbled.

Sakura removed the black cloak and cringed at the sight of his side which was coated thickly with blood. She looked as best as she could under the darkness that covered everything and assumed he'd had a chunk of flesh taken out by what she could only guess was a butcher's knife, and if not that, then another sword like his though thinner. She rolled her eyes and pressed her fingers together to form some seals. Once she finished, she could see much better.

"Alright," she sighed, "I'll heal you."

She saw Kisame grin.

"I knew you would."

"Shirt, take it off. I won't go near that wound if you've got material near it," she instructed, watching as Kisame cast her a hesitant look before lifting his shirt by the hem.

Sakura noted his wince as he pulled the muscles on his injured side but managed to completely pull his shirt off, tossing it to the side. He looked back at her expectantly. She noted that his blue skin seemed to become illuminated beneath the moonlight but quickly forced her mind back onto the task at hand.

"Lay down on your uninjured side, please, or somewhat on your back," she said, giving him a gentle push.

As Kisame made a move to lay down on his back, he mentally told himself that he had never felt more awkward in his life. Sakura hovered over his side and her hands began to glow a bright green with her healing chakra. She looked down at him, the awkward feeling swimming around in her eyes.


Kisame nodded and she pressed her hands against his wounded flesh and beginning to probe the cut with her chakra. She noted how his muscles tensed. She frowned slightly.

"Just relax, Kisame," she said in the best soothing voice she could muster.

It worked, surprisingly, for his muscles relaxed and she immediately began to knit the cells back together to form tissue so she could heal him. The cells pulled together and stitched up the opening, the parts of his organs that had been hit completely healed. Within five minutes, his entire side was closed up and all that remained was the blood on his skin which a few seals made disappear. She pulled back, admiring her work.

"Good as new!" she said quietly, though cheerfully.

Kisame reached for his shirt, finding that the blood on it had disappeared and the hole had been closed. She cast a questioning glance at Sakura who shrugged knowingly and smiled. He shrugged as well and pulled it back on, the black forcing him to blend in once again with the surrounding area. Next came the Akatsuki cloak. Sakura sighed as he simply sat there, watching her watch him. His back was pressed against the side of the memorial stone with one leg bent up at the knee and the other straight out on the grass. They didn't move for what seemed like hours, but was really only minutes. Sakura was the one who broke the silence.

"I should probably get going," she said softly, remaining sitting.

Kisame nodded in agreement.

"I should, too."

Once again, neither moved to leave, but remained staring at the other. Before Sakura knew what she was doing, however, she was crawling towards Kisame and sitting next to him, leaning against the leg he had upright. She was staring right at his face with a soft smile gracing hers.

"Can I feel your skin?" she asked suddenly, watching him with excitement blazing in her emerald orbs.

His expression must've amused her for she started laughing slightly.

"Just a feel," she promised and he reluctantly nodded.

Her fingers moved towards his face and grazed across his cheek. Her smile widened and she pulled back.

"I knew it, it's the same as Naruto and Gaara!" she said happily. "It only looks that way but it feels like normal skin."

Kisame nodded slowly.


Sakura sighed and leaned back a little, looking up at the sky.

"I guess I'll get going, then. You shouldn't keep Itachi waiting," she said softly with an underlying tone of sadness.

She got to her knees and then rose to her feet, stretching. She leaned down to grasp her coat and then turned to face Kisame. Her expression was puzzling to the missing-nin and before he could get a word in, he found Sakura's lips pressed against his cheek. He made a startled sound and Sakura giggled, holding her lips against his skin for a few more moments until she finally pulled away. She straightened and looked down at him.

"See ya around, I guess," she said with a sad, lopsided smile.

Kisame didn't reply as Sakura turned her back and walked home, feeling surprisingly better than she had in a long time. Kisame held a hand up to his cheek, over the spot where her lips had been, a shocked and confused expression on his features.

"What just happened?" he asked himself softly.

"She healed you and then kissed you, if I'm not mistaken," Itachi's voice said from next to Kisame.

"Right. That girl really makes no sense," he grumbled, standing on his feet and picking up his sword from across the memorial stone.

"Ironic, isn't it?" Itachi asked. "You finally find a girl who isn't afraid of you and not only is she a year younger than the legal level-"

"Stupid law."

"-but she's quite the law-abiding citizen who has her eyes on a dead Sasuke."

Kisame knew he would've laughed had it not been a direct link to him. He sighed and turned, heading for the forest.

"Perhaps she's the girl that the rumors boast about," Itachi said to himself. "Perhaps she's the girl that can fix nearly anything because she doesn't see something until she really sees it..."

Itachi went to follow Kisame who was waiting for him at the opening to the forest. The two headed off in a blur, melting in with the darkness. Itachi clutched a brown sack in his hand with bloodstains on it, knowing the mission was finished and they didn't have to fight anyone from Konoha. Kisame was barely paying any attention as his thoughts strayed to Sakura and the small note she had given him with the envelope filled with Apple Blossom tea leaves.

Kisame Hoshigaki,

It's funny how we notice things we've never really noticed before, or how we remember things but brush them aside. I suppose you could say this is one of those times. I have no intentions of turning you or Itachi in. I would much rather see you out of Konoha doing whatever it is that you do in Akatsuki. I'd always wondered what it would be like to be a part of such an organization, but sadly, I am no longer capable of such intense combat you probably go through every day.

It's a good thing to know that someone else likes Apple Blossom tea, so enjoy this while it lasts! You wouldn't mind sharing some Akatsuki stories with me, would you?

Sakura Haruno

416 Oakwood Drive

Konoha, Fire Country 25631

Stay safe!


Kisame chuckled softly as his thoughts rerouted. Alright, so maybe today wasn't the worst day of his life. No, scratch that. It had turned out to be the best.

-Clears throat with a nervous chuckle- Um, yeah, so I wanted to take this one for a try. Kisame and Sakura! Who would've come up with something this crazy but me? Apparently no one can think of things like this. And did you know what I just thought of? Although I love the ItachiSakura pairing to bits -though OrochimaruSakura is without a doubt the best pairing out there- I don't see much of a connection between the two. I understand that she would be able to heal his eyes but an actual relationship that isn't him completely dominating her and forcing her to bend to his will really doesn't make much sense. It is Itachi, ya'know?

-Sighs- Anyway, I hope you don't mind my horrible butchering of Kisame. I've read a lot of fics with him and the majority of them portray him as a pretty easygoing guy who likes to drink a lot. A few said he was incredibly evil with his eyes on devouring Sakura but I found the easy-going attitude more believable. I mean, look at Deidara! He's nice for the most part! And I butchered Sakura, too, I apologize. Killing Naruto actually killed me and I apologize for that as well, but, Sasuke needed the Mangekyou and Sakura needed to live. I don't apologize for Sasuke's behavior when he used the Tsukyomi because Sasuke is a stupid emo bastard and I really can't stand him in the slightest!

Ahem, anyway, please review and let me know how I did, 'kay? Thanks! Till later!

Backlash Symphony