Author's Notes: I know, I know! Another story…I just wanted to give this one a test drive, just to see how it'd do. I'll still continue with Dear Annie and Black Shadow, but I'm currently having writer's block with both. So I'm hoping that if I keep writing about something, an idea will come to me eventually. This story might not be that long anyway, I'll just have to see how it goes. Anyway, just to answer your questions, even though I know I'll be asked anyway, everyone believes that the Haruno's are apart of a big clan. We don't really know that, since we haven't seen anyone else from her family, nor is there talk of a big Haruno clan.
If you don't know what the title of the chapter means, you don't watch enough of the Disney classics.
Title: Laying Claim
Rating: T (or PG-13)
Summary: [SasuSaku] An ancient law in Konoha permits people from prominent clans to buy people who aren't from clans at all. Unfortunately, Sakura just refused to believe it until her mentor confirmed that, yes, she was now owned by Uchiha Sasuke.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, but the plot is mine!
Chapter 1: Happy Un-birthday!
It wasn't her birthday, which is why Sakura was surprised when she found the little blue box on her desk. It wasn't particularly big, and it wasn't all that eye-catching, either. All she knew is that someone had snuck into her room while she was on a mission, and had left it. A white silk ribbon was wrapped around it, tied into a bow at the top.
Now really, who would send such a thing? She didn't have a boyfriend, and it was early autumn, so that was no time for anyone to be giving her gifts. If anything, she should probably start looking for a gift for Naruto. His birthday was next month, after all.
A secret admirer? No, that didn't seem quite possible. Even though she was good looking, everyone she knew was paired up or wasn't interested. Except for Lee, who was neither, but she doubted he'd use this much subtlety. Knowing him, he'd either come up to her, flash a grin, and deliver the present in some "youthful" way, or he would leave a note. 'To: My beloved Sakura-san From: Lee, the Green Beast of Konoha!!!!!' The only flaw in that theory, was that there was no note. Besides, blue wasn't really Lee's color.
An enemy? Now that seemed most likely. With her luck there would be an exploding tag inside of it and it would blow off her head or something of the sort. She was a Konoha kunoichi, after all, there were bound to be some people from other villages who disliked her. It wasn't all that uncommon. Another thought was a prank from Naruto and Kiba, but she doubted they would go to the trouble of tying a ribbon around it.
The only way to know what it was, was to open it.
She picked up the box in her hand, turned around, and sat on her bed. It felt light. Sakura tugged on the ribbon until it came loose and it fluttered down to the floor. Well that was step one, now all she needed to do was lift the lid and—
Oh, will you get on with it already? Her inner self screamed at her.
She took one breath to calm her other half, and another to set her mind. She gingerly lifted the lid…and gasped.
It was a necklace. A chain held a silver heart pendant, on the right side near the bottom, there was a red stone. On the left side near the top, was a white stone. It was beautiful. No, even that did it no justice. It was amazing. It was probably expensive.
She shook the thought out of her head quickly. No, it was probably just some cheap silver with fake gems. She only knew two people who were that rich. One of them was paired with Tenten, and the other…the other, who had been released from his probation two months ago and had been promoted straight to Jounin, even going on a few ANBU missions, he had no interest in her whatsoever.
Which left her back at square one.
The pink-haired kunoichi stood in front of her mirror, and, after a quick search with her chakra to check for any traps, she put it on. It really did look nice. Oh, Tsunade-sama would be so jeal…
"AHHHH! I was supposed to check in with Tsunade!!!" How could she have forgotten?!
She rushed out the door and headed towards the Hokage tower.
Tsunade wanted to laugh as her second apprentice slid into her office, out of breath.
"I'm…I'm here…Tsunade-sama." She said in between breaths.
"You're late." The Godiame turned to the other person in the room. "Very well then, you've got the mission. You're dismissed, Sasuke."
Sakura looked up, not having noticed him until her mentor said something about it. The last Uchiha nodded and turned to leave. His eyes shifted down towards her, he smirked in the typical Uchiha fashion, and left.
Tsunade quirked an eyebrow at her. "Admirer?" She gestured towards the necklace.
Sakura fingered it while talking, "Actually, I found it in a box on my desk. No card."
"Ooh! A secret admirer!" Tsunade grinned at her. She loved this kind of thing. "Mind if I take a look?" She watched as Sakura reached around behind her neck to undo the clasp, when she frowned. She tugged the chain continuously around her neck.
"The clasp is gone."
An unidentifiable look passed over Tsunade's features. "Let me see." Her student leaned over her desk and Tsunade took the pendant in her hands, turning it over. Her honey-colored eyes narrowed a fraction, but that didn't mean Sakura didn't see it.
She looked up cheerily, letting the circle fall back into place around the Jounin's neck. "It's a lovely necklace. Expensive to boot."
Sakura told the older woman her "cheap silver" theory. Tsunade laughed outright. "Silver? Sakura, that's white gold. And those aren't fake gems, either. Don't give me that look; I know what I'm talking about. Anyway, the white stone is a diamond. The red stone is…" She paused. "It's a red diamond."
"Do you know how rare a red diamond is?" Sakura shook her head no, green eyes betraying confusion. "They're considered to be the rarest in the world along with blues and oranges. Not only that, they can only be found in the mountains of the Land of Earth." To which Tsunade could have sworn she had just sent a certain someone there on a mission.
Her apprentice looked at the necklace again in awe. It was clear she was not used to receiving such gifts.
"Now," Tsunade continued. "I was informed the mission went well, so you've got today and tomorrow off. Dismissed!" Sakura bowed and left the room, still mulling over the chain around her neck.
Tsunade waited until she was well out of ear-shot before yelling, "SHIZUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Haruno Sakura could not wait to get into the bath and have a nice, hot soak. However, she couldn't take her necklace off. The clasp had already mysteriously disappeared and when she tried to slip it over her head, it seemed like the chain actually shrunk.
Alright, she thought, enough is enough!
She went into her bedroom and pulled a kunai out of her pack, thinking she could always buy another chain. She put the weapon to the metal and ZAP! The darn thing actually shocked her! Actually, it was more like static electricity…but still! She tried again to receive a more intense result. After five minutes, her arms were tingling slightly. Was it a warning? When it shocked her, a feeling had passed over her. It was foreign to her. It was annoyed…and slightly amused at the same time.
Deciding to see if she could rust the metal to get it off, she got into the tub.
Relaxing for a few minutes she felt again for the clasp, just in case, but it still remained absent. She had already tried using some of her "super-strength" to see if she could break the chain, but it wouldn't budge. The metal didn't even bend!
She once again took the kunai and brought the tip down to the chain. Results were immediate.
A shockwave sent her entire body jerking forward in an involuntary action, her breath was knocked out of her, and water sloshed over the rim. Shaky hands dropped the kunai onto her now damp rug, and realization passed through her.
"Hey! That hurt damn it!" She yelled at it.
Sakura shrieked. Her inner self, for the first time she could remember, was speechless. What was that?
"A voice…" She told herself. It had been a voice, one she thought was familiar, but couldn't recognize. It had come and gone so fast. It left her feeling empty…and a little violated. She was scared, for the first time in a long time, she felt scared. No! I won't let this stupid thing get to me!
Shannaro! I'm gonna kill whoever gave me this!
That night she went to bed with several weapons hidden in strategic locations, her body tense and wary. Who would give her such a thing? An enemy, it had to be an enemy. That thing could read her mind…and…and shock her! It wasn't fair! She had no advantages!
The nights were getting colder, and Sakura hugged the blanket tighter. Half for protection against the cold, half for protection against it. This was ridiculous, she would never get to sleep tonight! Her mind was racing too fast, and whenever she closed her eyes, they'd pop open in an attempt to ward off any enemy. Unexpectedly, her lids drooped, and her entire body got warmer with a heat she was sure wasn't hers.
Sleep, little one.
It was like someone hit her with chloroform.
Sakura woke up the next morning, feeling very well rested. It was surprising. She had heard those that had undergone a sleep jutsu, which was what she suspected had been put on her, woke up groggy and even more tired than they started out. Confused was an understatement. Why would a potential enemy place her under a sleep jutsu, and allow her to get a good night's rest? More problems arose when she looked around to see her room. Wouldn't he kidnap her, or kill her while she was sleeping? She had been vulnerable after all.
Deciding to go to Ino's, she slipped on her usual red shirt and tan skirt combo, checked her hair, and walked out the front door to her apartment. Once she reached the Yamanaka Flower Shop, she walked in and spotted a bored looking Ino behind the counter. Her eyes brightened when she saw her friend.
"Sakura! Thank goodness, I've been so bored! And I wanted to—" She stopped mid-sentence. "What's that?"
"What's what?" She looked down. "Oh, the necklace. I got it as a gift, and now I can't take it off." The blonde missed the "gift" sarcasm. It was a curse, this little thing.
"Who would want to? It's gorgeous!"
They talked for a while about people that could have given it to her. Probably some feudal lord that wanted to thank her, or curse her, and things got awry. Sakura looked at the clock to see that thirty minutes had passed.
"I'm hungry, wanna get some ramen?" Sakura asked.
Ino rolled her eyes, "You're more like Naruto than you want to believe. But sure."
The bells above the door chimed, and a jounin she didn't recognize walked through the door. "Ah, Miss Haruno. I've been sent to inform you that the Hokage needs to see you immediately."
Sakura frowned. "I'm supposed to have the day off."
He shrugged, "I'm just following orders."
Sakura looked at Ino, "Maybe after I get done?" Ino nodded, and watched while her friend headed to the Hokage Tower.
The roseate haired woman was sitting in front of Tsunade's desk, where the older woman was murmuring about someone being late. Finally, she sighed. "Fine, he doesn't need to be filled in as much as you do, anyway. We may as well get started." She gestured to the chain around her student's neck. "Do you know what that is?"
"It's a necklace."
The Godaime shook her head. "That's no ordinary necklace, Sakura."
"Well, I kind of figured that out…"
Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "This is serious, Sakura." It really must have been if the Legendary Sucker was acting this focused on something. She then muttered something along the lines of, "I'm going to kill him when he gets here." She took a deep breath. "I mean what I say when that is no ordinary necklace. I suspect that when you try to take it off by force…?"
"It shocks me."
She sighed once more. "Sakura, you're in for a history lesson here, so listen closely. About a hundred years ago, a law was created that would allow women to be bought to anyone who paid the right price." Sakura was about to protest the unfairness, but a raised hand cut her off. "Anyway, it was later that they announced only men from prominent clans could buy women who weren't from clans at all."
Mouth agape, Sakura pointed to herself, and mouthed Me?
"Yes, I'm afraid, you. That isn't all, though. These women were given some form of jewelry with a special jutsu on it, and only a select few can perform it. The clasp vanishes after it is put on the intended person, the chain shrinks so that it cannot be fit over the head, and a warning is given out if it is to be taken off by force. These warnings are issued by the soon-to-be owner of the person, to be put into the necklace, along with a small amount of his chakra. Some owners have their charges to automatically be set aflame, the eviler ones could have them spontaneously combust. The person who bought you was nice enough to—"
Sakura angrily stood up. "I belong to no one!"
Tsunade responded by pounding both her fists on her desk. "Sit down! You must accept the facts whether you like it or not!!" Sakura sat, tears in her eyes. "Now," a calmer Hokage continued, "I was saying you should be thankful. Whoever bought you was nice enough to only shock you. Would you rather have blood filling up your lungs? A hole in your stomach so that all the acid could eat you internally? Kidney stones the size of golf balls? I've seen it happen, you know."
Sakura slid lower in her chair. So maybe shocking wasn't so bad…but what about… "Are there usually voices?" She asked.
Tsunade blinked at her. "Yes, the jewelry of choice also allows telecommunication between the owner and his," she winced, "possession."
"Shouldn't they have disallowed owning women by now? It's modern day."
Tsunade studied her student closely, "It's an ancient law, Sakura, it just died out on its own. People eventually forgot all about it, and there was no reason to change the law. Until now, I see."
A question came into Sakura's head. "Ah, Tsunade-sama. You're going on about the "master" part of the deal." Confused eyes met honey-colored ones. "Who owns me?"
Tsunade opened her mouth to speak but stopped, sensing something. Here we go. "You're about to meet him right now." There were three raps on the door and with an "Enter", the door swung open.
"You wanted to see me, Tsunade?"
The poor girl stiffened.
Wait a minute…
She knew that voice…
Sakura spun around in her chair to meet none other than the cobalt black eyes of her former crush. The black sheep. The traitor.
She didn't even realized she'd lunged at him in absolute fury until she found herself pinned to the ground, his body hovering over her, and his smirking face not even an inch from hers.
Author's Notes: Just a little side-story that I'm working on. Comments are appreciated. Hope you liked it!