Author's Note:

I would like to thank everyone who stood by me for everything that happened with me in the past, and I would like to apologize for taking so long to come back to this, but I finally have, and I promise not to disappoint.

I've done a few minor changes to the older chapters, so please read them! Thank you!

The now twenty-year old pink-haired kuonichi jumped from branch to branch towards Suna, thinking of the emotional conversation she had with her former team-mate, Naruto.


"Why do you keep doing this to yourself? He's gone and is never coming back!" yelled a worried Naruto

Sakura stared at her friend, her emotionless face still intact. Ever since Saskue left to be with Orochimaru to gain power, Sakura has been distant to the world, wearing black everyday like a materialistic wall and never socializing, so that she wouldn't have anyone know of her emotional pain.

"What am I doing to myself, exactly?" she asked, voice glacial and distant.

Naruto took a step forward and grabbed Sakura's arms "You never talk to me anymore, your always cold, you've been wearing black ever since Sasuke left, and you act like you don't care when everyone around you knows your hurting inside!" Naruto yelled as tears of anguish formed in his eyes, rolling heavily down his cheeks.

"I'm sorry I make you cry and worry" said Sakura in a monotone voice.

There was a knock on the door and Sakura went to go answer it, revealing a very terrified Kiba.

When Sasuke left, Sakura had dedicated all of her time for training and S-class and A-class missions with ANBU or on her own. She had also trained with the legendary sanin, Tsunade. She had become very powerful over the years, most likely the most powerful kuonichi in Konoha.

"The Hokage wishes to see you immediately, Sakura" said Kiba

Sakura nodded and Kiba leaped away to finish his other tasks. She stepped outside her door to begin walking to the Hokages office when Naruto's voice made her pause.

"Sakura, please. Please listen." he said with anguish

Sakura turned around, her eyes glazed and empty, as if she had turned off everything that had once been Sakura, and had left only a husk.

"Sakura," Naruto began, "we love you, everyone in the village, and we all know your hurting over Sauske. I tried my hardest to bring him back for you, for everyone who loved him too, and I failed. All this pain your feeling is all my fault, and it tears me up inside to see you like this. I want the Sakura that I love to come back. Please give her back" he pleaded.

Sakura lifted her eyes to meet the cerulean blue one's of Naruto's. For a second Naruto thought she would say something, but then she turned back around and began walking, leaving a grieving Naruto behind.

Sakura arrived at the Hokage tower a few minutes later, the conversation between her and Naruto not affecting her in the least. She walked to the front desk where a pretty woman and a small pig sat behind.

"Shizune" Sakura acknowledged. She sent a small look in the pig's direction and was greeted with a loud "Oink"

Shizune looked up from some papers she was reading over and gave a small smile to Sakura.

"You can go right in Sakura. She's expecting you."

Sakura nodded her thanks and began making her way through the winding hall way to the large door at the end. She tapped lightly on the wooden door, and after hearing a slurred "Come in" she walked in and stood in front of the very drunk, very loud, blonde – headed Hokage.

"You called for me?" asked Sakura

"Yes, I have a mission for you in Suna." Tsunade slurred.

"You are to protect the Kazekage from the Akatsuki." Sakura nodded her understanding.

"Here are some brief details on your mission and you will leave immediately" Tsunade handed her former apprentice a scroll and held on to it for a second longer when Sakura tried to take it, and looked directly into Sakura's eyes, seeming to have sobered quickly. "Sakura, when are you going to learn that there is more to life than the Uchiha?" Sakura didn't move for a second, then she tugged on the scroll effectively removing it from the Hokage's hands and walked out of the office without so much as a word.

End flashback

Sakura sighed inwardly knowing that Naruto and Tsunade was right, but unable to forget the throbbing pain in her heart. She looked down at her clothing, noting that everything was black, just as Naruto had said. Honestly, she never even noticed. It must have been something subconscious in her to make her choose something black to wear everyday.

For the mission, she wore a skirt with silver buckles on the side, the buckles containing compartments that were filled with vials of poison, and a silver studded belt hanging loosely on her hips, in which the studs could also be used as weapons. A black skin-tight tank top covered a mesh undershirt, which hooked around her middle finger, black leather boots and a black and silver choker completed her clothing.

Her hair was now at the bottom of her back, and bangs hung over her eyes giving her a seductive visage. Her eyes were no longer the bright orbs they were when she was twelve but a dull green clouded with sorrow.

Sakura crouched down on a branch for a second, feeling that something was wrong. She dipped her head down, and surveyed the forest around her through the veil of her hair, looking for something that was causing alarms to ring and scream in her head.

Sakura looked up just in time to dodge a kunai that was aimed for her heart. As she dropped to the forest floor she took a kunai and a shuriken from her pack and moved to a fighting position.

All around her dozens of rouge ninja surrounded her, blocking every escape route. She sighed as she wanted to get to Suna right away without delay but now these bastards were now in her way to doing that. And it was not in her plan to die that day.