Years before, Naruto, Sai, Kakashi and I had accomplished the task of killing Orochimaru. But Kabuto had also refused to tell us where Sasuke was, even as he breathed his last. I personally destroyed all that bass's terd's belongings, my fist clenched as I tried to tell Sasuke to come home through telepathy. I knew it wouldn't work, but it kept me from doing something stupid.

We returned home, defeated again at bring Sasuke back. But one thing did cheer us up slightly, if it could be called cheering. We no longer had to worry about Sasuke being possessed by Orochimaru.

But… that was years ago, and Sasuke hadn't returned in all that time. I was now in ANBU, and the rest of my age group was as well.

Tsunade-sama had just recently told me that my mission was to escort a genin back to Konoha; they had lost contact with him, but he had recently contacted them saying his mission was complete, and he would be waiting at a certain place.

I had not thought much of the odd look in Tsunade's eyes, but when I saw the tall man at the place, I understood. After all, Sasuke had never taken the Chuunin exam.


I stood up, shaking my wet hair. I hurriedly dried it, and my short pink hair was tucked back into its covering. My hair being the unusual color it was, I hid it for certain missions. Tsunade-sama had said I might wish to cover it for this mission, which had confused me. But now I thanked her repeatedly in my mind for her thoughtfulness, because Sasuke had no idea that the person who had come to get him was I, and I did not intend to let him know. I wasn't prepared to deal with Sasuke as myself just yet.

As I walked back to the campfire where he waited, my mind continued to wander.

My childish infatuation had faded, but the moment I had seen him, I'd crumpled to the ground.

When he'd turned around and saw me on the ground, he smirked, still that same smirk I had known so well. And it was more potent now then it had been then, but that was simply because I hadn't seen him in such a long time I told myself.

"I'm guessing you were expecting some young kid." Quieter, he added, "Well, at least I'm still allowed to be a ninja…"

I remained silent behind my mask as I stood and brushed myself off. But I wondered if he'd finally found out that once you've gotten your life long goal of revenge, you don't know what to do with yourself. (Itachi had been reported dead a few months ago)

"So did you kill him?" I asked offhandedly.



Sasuke felt his escort returning. He knew she a she, but that was about all. It was hard not to notice the fact because she was dressed like a woman, and though not revealing, it showed her curves.

As she passed him, he smelled something sweet, something he hadn't smelled in a long, long time.

Where…. Oh yes. The last time he'd smelled it was when Sakura had tried to stop him from leaving Konoha. It might be Sakura here now.

"I wouldn't doubt it," He thought without emotion. The little jolt his heart gave was simply nothing.

Deciding to test his idea, he instantly formed a plan. It would take a while, but he had time. Casually he sat back from the fire, and spoke nonchalantly.

"Do you like sakurameshi?"1

The woman gave looked at him. When she slowly said "I don't eat or drink anything with alcohol in it," he heard the surprise at the question.

"Aa." Sasuke answered. It was a similar answer, but it gave him no answers. "Smart."


Kakashi was looking at the logs in front of him that were supposed to be the fire, thinking of the last dish he'd had before the mission. From the corner of his eye he saw Sakura's pink hair.

"Sakura, have you ever had sakurameshi? After all, it has your name in it." Kakashi asked.

Sakura shook her head absently. "No, I don't like alcohol, it reduces your reasoning. Could you help baka Naruto figure out how to start the fire?"

Kakashi grinned, and showed Naruto how to start a fire.

Sasuke remained silent, watching as Naruto pointed a finger at him, and shouted something that Sasuke didn't acknowledge.

End Flashback

"Well, goodnight," Sakura told Sasuke, settling down to sleep.


"Have you tried sakuraniku2?" Sasuke questioned the next morning as they whizzed through the treetops.

Sakura choked, and replied emphatically, "No! What is it with you and random questions about food?"

"It was a joke." His tone still said baka.

"Oh." Sakura felt like a genin again, when Sasuke had pointed out something obvious that she hadn't noticed. Back then she'd always felt a burden to the group. But now she knew she was a great help; those days of being a tag-along were gone.

But Sasuke had never made jokes. What had given him a sense of humor Sakura wondered.

She stiffened and tried to calm her heart when he moved closer to her, but they both kept moving.

"You feel them?" he asked her; so quietly she wasn't sure he'd spoken. Pretending to sneeze, her head jerked forward in a decisive nod.

"Bless you," Sasuke said in a normal voice.

"Thanks," Sakura responded. She heard him chuckling. When she looked at him, heard him mutter again in that quiet tone, "Great. Make a decoy?" he suggested.


Sakura was excited, another mission with Sasuke-kun!

Kakashi looked at her, quivering with excitement. "Sakura, why don't you make a decoy illusion for us?" He asked. "I want to see what you come up with before we leave later today."

Sakura nodded, and concentrated. Just as she was about to form it, she heard Naruto comment, "I bet she's good at making decoys, because isn't another meaning for Sakura decoy?"

Her eyes had flown open, but she didn't stop or falter.

"Very good Sakura," Kakashi-sensei told her, once the decoy had disappeared and she'd come back.

(End Flashback)

Wondering at the sudden memory, she concentrated and produced one. Sasuke had pretended to drop something in some bushes and she and Sasuke landed in them.

Almost immediately, replicas of her and Sasuke left the bushes. They saw two genins hurry quietly after them.

Sakura's eyes crinkled in amusement, remembering those days when she'd try to track older ninja from Konoha. She'd thought she did pretty well, but now she knew better.

She turned to Sasuke to find him staring after the genins, an odd look on his face. Only because she'd been with him so much before, could she begin to guess at it.

He actually had cared about them, she thought in shock. That look was one of remorse and nostalgia.

"The sakurabanas3 are lovely today," Sasuke commented out of the blue. Sure, he was being talkative, but he was not going to come out and ask if it was Sakura.

"Hmm? Oh yes, they are. I love Sakura's; my favorite past time is looking at them in bloom." Sakura didn't mention that she'd often wondered if Sasuke liked sakura blossoms.

Sasuke glanced at her. She hadn't caught on to it yet. Since he'd come up with his plan, his comments had all had one thing in common. But there was still time.

"I wonder…why does he ask all these odd questions? And why does he… oh no, it couldn't be that he'd guessed it was me! I don't know what to think about him. Give me a break; I just re-met this guy yesterday after all these years. It hasn't even been a full day yet."

Suddenly he turned to her, and reached towards her. Her emerald eyes widened as he slowly removed her mask and hair covering at the same time.

"Sakura," he whispered. "Why'd you hide that it was you?"

"S-sasuke-kun," she stuttered.

"Is it because you don't care about me anymore?"


It's my FIRSTEST EVER Naruto fic! XD AndI plan to write more, maybe a Neji x tenten once I'm done with this story. (First I have to finish Borrow Me A Nightmare though. Tis an awesome Fruba story!)

A friend showed me a site that you could type a word in either the English to Japanese or Japanese to English blank, (without needing any Japanese language things, it's romanji and English) and I typed in Sakura. Since I didn't have exact checked, it had a bunch of words with Sakura in it, as well as Sakura. I used these words for this story!

So if anything is wrong, please tell me, I have limited understanding of Japanese language! Extremely limited!

1 Sakurameshi - a dish of rice boiled with soy sauce and sake

2 sakuraniku – horse meat.

3 sakurabana – cherry blossom