The young girl received another blow to the stomach making her cough up more blood. The man pulled her up by her hair before slamming the girl against the wall. It cracked from the force. His alcohol breath made her gag. He eventually hit her one last time across the cheek before stumbling to bed. She eventually picked up her broken body and cleaned up the blood. Inside her room, she patched her wounds. Sleep eventually took over.
A young, sixteen year old, blond, boy, happily ran ahead of a young, sixteen year old, black-haired boy. A much older man accompanied them back to their home village. One boy had finally accomplished his mission of avenging his clan; the other had gotten strong enough to drag the avenger home. Both of them had worked together to kill Orochimaru. Now they were heading home for much needed rest.
The large gates eventually came into view. Nostalgia filled them both. The energetic one broke into a sprint. Once they passed through the doors, the small group was welcomed home by many familiar faces.
"Welcome home Naruto and Sasuke!"
Naruto instantly was greeted by Iruka and Konohamaru. Naruto turned his attention to Hinata, who blushed. Neji glared as his girlfriend, Tenten tried to calm him. Naruto and Sasuke were then greeted by their old sensei. Seeing him reminded them of the old days of team seven.
"Where's Sakura-chan?" Naruto questioned.
Sasuke had long ago noticed she wasn't there. She had been the first face he looked for. Tsunade came their way.
"Nevermind that. Go have the sensei at the hospital look you both over. Then report to my office."
"But I want to see Sakura-chan!"
"Naruto! Don't make me kill you."
"Let's just go Dobe."
"What was that Sasuke-teme?"
Both of them walked away, oblivious to the knowing smile everyone was sharing.
As they entered the large hospital, a young nurse greeted them at the information desk. She blushed upon seeing Sasuke, who just looked bored and ready to leave. Naruto glared at the scene before coughing to get her attention. Snapping out of her trance, the nurse glared at Naruto.
"Yes?" She snapped.
"We're here to get checked out by order of the Hokage." Sasuke answered coldly.
"Um... yes, right away!" The nurse blushed while pressed down the button on the intercom. "Sensei?"
Five seconds later, a young female voiced answered. She sounded tired and slightly cranky.
"You have special guests up front."
"They were ordered by the Hokage herself to get checked immediately."
There was dead silence for a minute.
"Um, I think they need to see the Hokage afterwards."
Naruto nodded his head in agreement.
"Are they going or coming?"
"Um, I'm not sure."
The doctor sighed.
"You're useless. Didn't you ask the basics?"
"We just got back." Naruto answered.
"They just returned Sensei."
"Then they can wait."
"I said they can wait as well can Tsunade-shisou. She can actually get some of that paperwork, she keeps trying to shove on me, as if I don't have enough."
"They're waiting Natsuki-san and that's finally."
A click was heard on the other end. Natsuki groaned.
"Sensei, you're so mean, rude, foolish, useless, weak, inconsiderate, heartless, cold, passionless, incompetent..."
"What?" She snapped.
The two boys sweatdropped and pointed down. Natsuki broke into a cold-sweat.
"I mean, yes Sensei?"
"If you're done complaining tell my 'special guests' to wait in exam room 32."
Another click was heard.
"Right down the hall to your right."
They nodded their heads before getting into the exam room. Once inside, they both sat in the chairs and waited. Fifteen minutes later, a young doctor with pink hair walked in. Wait! Pink hair?
"Sakura-chan!" They both shouted.
"Naruto-kun... and Sasuke-kun?"
They both nodded their heads. Sakura's eyes began to water. She bowed her head and clenched her fists. Her body began to shake. Both males rushed ti their only female teammate.
"Don't cry Sakura-chan."
Before either knew it, a fist connected with both their jaws.
"I hate you!"
Tsunade was behind her desk laughing. Shizune was surpressing a giggle and Kakashi was snickering. Sakura stood right behind the Hokage glaring at the two boys kneeling in front of the desk. Sakura looked ready to snap their necks in half. She probably would have, if the Hokage wasn't beside her.
"Now as to your punishment you two."
"Why am I being punished?" Naruto shouted.
Sakura hit him over the head. Naruto rubbed his new bruise along with the ones he received earlier. Sasuke stayed quiet knowing not to anger her anymore.
"Because you were in the company of a missing nin. Jiriya was already punished."
A sniffling sound came from the corner of the room, where Jiriya sat in despair. Kakashi kneeled beside him. He placed his hand on his shoulder.
"I feel your pain my friend."
Everyone else's eyebrow began to twitch when they started bawling. Sakura coughed rather loudly to shut them up. They all blinked back at Sakura. Tsunade then continued.
"Naruto, you're punishment shall be for you to go without ramen for six months."
"What? no! I just got back. No one had ramen like Ichiraku! No!"
"Sasuke, you will go six months without missions, leaving the village, and tomatoes."
"Crap! Who told you I like tomatoes?"
Tsunade pointed to Sakura who had her hand raised.
"How did you find out?"
Sakura just shrugged her shoulders.
"Tch. Fine. I can live with this."
Sniffing caught their attentions again. They looked at the three men in the corner crying. Sakura rolled her eyes before walking out. Sasuke stood there debating on following her or not. Sasuke moved forward, grabbing Naruto by his collar, and left after her.
She was walking away. They were chasing after her. The sun was setting in the west, long ago it had rose in the east. She had her back to them, they looked at her for forgiveness. They wanted her to understand. They left her for power. They left her for promises. They left her for her. She was all they now had left. They needed to make her understand. She was their home.
The said girl stopped in her tracks, clenching her fists. She didn't want to hear their apologies. They thought she was crying. Both of them reached out to touch her shoulder. They wanted to steady her. Two uppercuts caught their jaws and they fell backwards. They could see the anger in her eyes. She moved towards them; they didn't move. She wrapped her arms around their necks bringing them into her warm hug; they were shocked. She smiled that innocent smile; they felt it warm their hearts.
She healed them with those words. Tears rolled out of her eyes and onto their cheeks. They smiled broadly as they embraced the frame of their cherry blossom.