A/N: Okay, this was an idea I had while listening to some music, so this is sort of a test run, to see how you like it. Review please, as it really makes me happy and encourages me to write more!

Prologue: Tears of aBlossom - Left behind

She'd offered him everything in her, had been willing to give up everything for him, all he had to do was stay . . .

"Thank you." Was all she got in return.

She'd never been enough for him. Her all was not worth it.

It was never worth it.

She did not doubt those two words of his, though, never regretted breaking her heart to make him feel those fleeting moments of gratitude. But that's all they were, fleeting. There for a second and gone in a flash.



And Sasuke had left her. For power. To grow strong enough to avenge his clan and kill his brother.

Naruto had tried to console her in his own way, despite his own inner turmoil, dragging her out to Ichiraku and making empty promises. He'd tried to bring Sasuke back,but in the end it was in vain. It wouldn't have mattered if he had succeeded anyway, things would have gone the same, her throwing her emotions at the Uchiha and being snubbed with each and every effort.

And then, he had left. To grow stronger, traveling with the legendary sannin Jiraiya. And she was alone again.

She was cast aside in the search for power, and she was forced to watch their backs yet again as they moved irrevocably forward while she remained weak. No matter how hard she tried, she could not seem to catch up to them, and soon she was left behind.

Sakura stared blankly at the wall in front of her, trying to fight back the tears that were threatening to fall once more. That was all she seemed to do lately, cry useless wet tears that only served to dehydrate her and push her further into her depression. It had been a week since Orochimaru's second attack on Konoha, a week since her parents had been senselessly murdered on the streets of Konoha. They had been civilians, they had not warranted attack, hadn't been able to defend themselves, but no, the sound nins had taken cruel pleasure in robbing them of their lives just for the heck of it. She had been helping to defend the ninja school with Iruka, because the younger ninjas hadn't had time to get to safety. As it was, there had been casualties. So many casualties. Sakura closed her eyes tightly, futilely trying to fight the images that splayed themselves endlessly on the backs of her eyelids, over and over again, images ofbodies, men, women, and children, all murdered without a second thought. Of the ninjas she had known and grown up with, cold and dead before her.

Of the rookie nine, none had died, but all had not come out unscathed. Chouji and Ino were still in the hospital, badly wounded. Neji, Tenten, and Lee had lived as well, because the brunt of the attack had fallen on a different part of Konoha than where they were situated.

She was endlesssly grateful for this, but . . . somehow, she couldn't bring herself to face them, those whom she called her friends. She couldn't stand to see the pity in their eyes.

Poor Sakura, she's always been weak and the outcast, and now she's all alone in the world.

Not even her own parents had stayed at her side.

Sakura shook her head free of the treacherous thoughts with a slight hiccup, fighting grief. That wasn't fair, it wasn't true, they couldn't help it if they had died . . .

Kakashi had been the one to tell her. She'd stared at him dully for a while, too tired and weary and sick of death to really absorb what he'd said. Her parents were dead? No, that wasn't right, they'd been alive when she'd left them, not saying goodbye as she followed the other ninjas to the battle. They were supposed to have been in one of the safehouses. They couldn't be dead, they wouldn't leave her, that would just be too much for her to take . . .

Kakashi had tried to explain, Sound had targeted the civilians deliberately, but he trailed off, his visible eye creasing in concern as he watched the uncomprehending jade eyes of his student. They were so cold for a moment, so devoid of feeling for a few seconds, something he'd never seen in her before, something that scared him a little . . .

Then it hit her. They were DEAD. How ironic. The two people whom she'd never had to worry about before, the only ones who had loved her unconditionally for who she was, who comforted her after Sasuke had left even if they hadn't really understood the situation, they were GONE. Indefinitely.

Tsunade had ordered Kakashi to keep Sakura away, but he had not anticipated her reaction. With a strangled cry she broke past him, catching him off guard with the sudden change in emotion, and he took off after her, knowing she had gotten too much of a head start for him to catch her. Tsunade would have his head.

She was crouched in their blood, but didn't notice it as she cried, faced with the irrefutable evidence of their death and suddenly finding herself alone in the world. Tsunade watched with sad eyes, knowing what her student was going through.

She went home to an empty home, and it seemed so much more vast to her than ever before, now that it was only her. No one was there, Ino was hurt and the only other one who would have tried to cheer her up was far away from Konoha, dealing with the perverted old hermit. She stared around her as she slumped wearily on her bed, eyes open but not really seeing, blurred by tears that were making hot silent tracks down her cheeks.

She was worthless, weak, useless, and the only ones who'd ever loved her were dead.

She shifted, and felt the sharp point of her kunai dig into her hip, where her pouch still rode. She stared at the metal as she pulled it out, transfixed.

If only there was a way to make the pain stop, if only for a little while . . .

No one was there when Haruno Sakura shattered, and so no one was there to save her.

That was the first night she began cutting herself.