Beginning Author's Note, Please read (or at least skim through)-

For those of you familiar with my last story, you know how this works. BUT for those of you who are new to the wondrous world of my writing, please be aware that this story is going to stay as TRUE to the manga as possible. So if you're not familiar with the current manga line, you should make yourself familiar—or it's possible certain things will not make sense to you completely and it may contain some SPOILERS.

As with my last story…I will update daily or at least every other day. Due to the holiday season my business requires my presence a little more frequently. However, this story will be done and it will be done in a timely manner.

And I still intend to do a Kakashi/Rin story, but this one seemed to take form faster in my mind, so I will complete this one first.


Oh and Disclaimer: Between you and me—I don't own Naruto. I do own this story line. But as usual…fanfiction of my fanfiction is still just fanfiction. So if you can write this story better than me…have at it.

Chapter one: Reality

This story takes place post-time skip after manga chapter 330. Hidan and Kakuzu are both dead and both team seven and team ten have returned from that mission.

Sakura sat up in bed. She shivered slightly and looked down at herself, amused that she had been so tired that she had fallen asleep in her clothes.

But why was her room so cold?

Her green eyes flicked to the window. She didn't remember leaving it open. Walking over to it, she stared out at the sleeping village before her. A large silver moon hung in the night sky, illuminating the buildings below.

Sakura's expression harden and her back straightened as she sensed something behind her.


When she could almost feel the touch of someone else, she spun around and threw a well-aimed punch into the shrouded figure.

The cloaked form grunted with the impact but only slid back a few steps. The medic looked up in alarm. That punch would have been enough to disintegrate a wall. She looked up at the grinning face. In the dim light of her bedroom, the strange man's skin looked white though in reality, it was a pale shade of blue. His beady eyes stared at her as he continued to show rows of razor teeth.

Kisame. Sakura knew about the shark creature. It was said his strength could well rival that of Tsunade.

Her eyes did not miss the massive weapon strapped to his back. If she didn't have her strength to rely on, she was poorly matched in this fight. She would have to fall back on the evasive tactics that the Hokage had drilled into her mind.

Mere feet away from the window, Sakura prepared herself to turn and dive through the narrow opening. But as she went to make her move, she found the diffused moonlight blotted out by another form. Her path to the window had been effectively blocked.

She could not make out his face in the new darkness, but she knew without a doubt who it was.

Instantly, she looked at his feet—a trick Gai-sensei had developed to avoid the sharingan. She inched her way toward the wall, unwilling to provide them with a way to get behind her. As long as she could see them coming, she could find a hole in the attack pattern.

"Haruno Sakura." Itachi's voice was low. "You can come with us willingly or," he stepped closer, "we can take you with us by force."

She directed her glare to Kisame but didn't reply.

"We will break every bone in your body if we have to." The Uchiha said.

Sakura swallowed and tightened her fists. She knew the odds were not in her favor and she knew the outcome of this fight already. But she was damned if she was going to let them take her without a fight. And the commotion might at least alert someone to her situation.

Her eyes narrowed, her stance becoming defensive. "Well then," she whispered. "I guess you're going to have to break every bone in my body."


Naruto burst into Tsunade's office, ignoring the outraged yells from the shinobi already present within.

The sannin looked at him and frowned. "Eh? Naruto, why aren't you with your team? I thought I made it clear what you were to do."

He didn't reply, his face a livid picture of anger.

Tsunade motioned for the other people present to leave. Once they were gone, she folded her arms across her chest and waited for the angry blond to speak.

But Naruto remained silent. It was something that the Hokage was unaccustomed to from the energetic young man.

"Naruto," she said. "I know you're worried about Sakura, but the best thing you can do is to get ready and head out—"

"No." He interrupted her. "No."

The sannin's eyes went wide. "What? What do you mean 'no'?"

"I said no." His eyes were downcast. "There's a better way. A chance to save Sakura and…someone else… as well."

Tsunade stared at him. "I'm listening."

When Naruto spoke, it was only a whisper. "Sasuke."


He nodded. "I need Sasuke's help to save her."

"I thought the Uchiha boy had made it clear that he had no reservations about killing you—either of you. What makes you think he would want to help you? What makes you think Orochimaru would let him?"

"Sasuke wants to kill his brother." Naruto's determined blue gaze met her uncertain brown one. "If we go and defeat Itachi without him…we might never get him back from that snake-sannin. And," he paused momentarily, "I think that if Sakura hadn't charged at him the last time we met that he wouldn't have attacked her. And even now, I'm not sure that he would have. He reacted to Yamato jumping in front of her. She was the only one to leave there unharmed that day."

Tsunade took a deep breath. She couldn't deny that what Naruto was saying had merit. "Even so, I can't ask the rest of your team to follow you into this foolish quest."

"I don't want you to," he said. "I will go alone. Sasuke will feel less threatened if I'm alone."

She shook her head. "No. No one goes alone. Even if I agreed, I still wouldn't let you."

"I'm going," Naruto ground his teeth. "You can try to stop me, but I'm going."

Leaning back in her chair, the Hokage glanced at Naruto. His body was quaking with rage and she wondered if he would be able to control the demon fox in this emotional state. She was prepared to make a deal with him, because she knew he would go whether she wanted him to or not.

"Alright, Naruto. I'll let you go—but—you will go with your team Don't fight me on this, I'm going to have a hard enough time as it is explaining it to the council." She shook her head. "Go on, go inform everyone."

He didn't smile. Something that was also uncommon for the young man. "Thank you, Tsunade-sama."

She watched him leave.

It was the first time he had ever called her by her proper title.


The steady drip-drip-drip of water echoed inside of her mind. Wearily, Sakura lifted her head, trying to open her badly bruised eyes.

What she could see was shrouded in a pain-induced haze, but it appeared that she was in some kind of cave-like room. She could make out the straight outlines of bars, and she could feel the cold burn of metal around her wrists.

She moved her arms slowly, knowing that more than one bone was broken, and the rustle of chains met her ears.

She would have smiled if she wasn't in so much pain. They underestimated her if they thought chains could hold her.

But as if reading her mind, a voice echoed through the small room. "You can try, if you want." Kisame sneered. "But I designed them myself to be used against people like myself."

Sakura's heart felt like it dropped into her stomach.

The blue man laughed. "That's right, unbreakable. Even for strength such as yours."

Sakura tensed slightly. Could she still use her chakra? The familiar warm feel of it comforted her. Even if she could not break free, at least she would eventually be able to heal herself.

The black splotch in her line of sight that was Kisame was joined by another. This one stood and watched her for a moment before speaking.

"I apologize, Sakura-san, if you find your accommodations less than pleasing."

She shuddered at the familiarity of Itachi's voice.

"But be aware that if you continue to fight us, we will continue to enforce things in a less than pleasant manner."

"What do you want?" Her voice rasped out.

"The Kyuubi. Isn't that obvious?" The Uchiha watched as she struggled to sit up and lean against the wall. "He has become far too powerful for us to capture him as planned. You will provide us with a different way to get what we want."

"Naruto will never do it," Sakura could barely whisper. "Your plan won't work."

"You and I both know he will come for you. If it humors you to lie to yourself then continue to lie. But when he comes—and he will come—as long as you're alive, it won't matter what state you are in. Perhaps that is what you should concentrate on."

Sakura closed her eyes as the two Akatsuki walked away.

Once she healed herself, she would begin to formulate a plan.


Coming soon, Chapter Two: Finding Sasuke

First chapter is always short to build suspense, look for chapter two later tonight or tomorrow.