The ever-deadly Akatsuki member quickly dodged oncoming Anbu. He had to admit that the Hokage did a good job in welcoming him. Uchiha Itachi, killer of his own family, didn't care though. The place he needed to be, no wanted to be, was the very thing they were trying to keep him from. Itachi dug another kunai into another shinobi's chest. Finally, reaching the hospital room, he barricaded himself inside. The pounding began moments later, followed by angry cries. Itachi drowned them all out upon seeing her weakened state. Her skin so thin and deathly pale. Her hair lost its shine and bounce. It lay there limping. Her vibrant eyes, now dull to the disease's horrible progress on her frail body. She smiled at him, although it looked like it pained her greatly. His heart tore in so many ways.
"Sakura." He whispered but she had caught it.
Her expression soon became so grieved and Itachi worried. He rushed to her side and gently pushed the hair out of her face. This girl, who was one of the best, was being destroyed by an unknown disease. It ate at her and it was like it was eating away at him too. Itachi just couldn't understand how Sakura could be defeated by something medical when she was the best medic nin in the world. Sakura lightly grabbing onto him brought him back.
"Itachi, the baby..." Tears flowed out of her eyes. She lowered her face so Itachi couldn't see it. "The baby..." Sakura began to choke on her sobs.
Itachi lifted her chin, cupping her cheeks, he wiped the tears. Pulling her into his embrace, he rubbed her back, soothing the sobs. Itachi faintly heard the sound of cracking wood. They were breaking in. Itachi quickly undid the many wires attached to her body. He then used the transportation jutsu as they finally broke their way into Sakura's hospital room. Itachi teleported into the dark maturnity ward. He could faintly hear the soft snores of new borns.
"Itachi no!" Sakura squeezed onto him tighter. "Not here!"
Itachi quickly teleported out as Sakura's screams had woken a few infants. Their crying alerting the on-duty nurse. Appearing in a small clearing in the forest, Itachi gently set his wife down. He wrapped her in his Akatsuki cloak. She was shaking violently and Itachi rubbed her back again to calm her back down. Her emerald orbs met his red ones.
"Sakura," He said softly. "Where's our baby?"
"They... Itachi they took the baby away." Sakura choked again.
Itachi's eyes narrowed in a dangerous way. He got up to go but Sakura pulled him back down.
"Where are you going?"
Itachi could hear the panic in her voice.
"To get our baby."
Sakura shook her head violently. Itachi sank to the ground and their eyes locked.
"Sakura, I promised that once the baby was born, I would come for both of you."
Sakura shook her head.
"You don't understand. You didn't let me finish." Sakura held onto him tighter. "Don't hate me!" Tears overflowed again. "They killed our baby."
Itachi stopped breathing. His blood ran icy cold. He felt numb and helpless as he continued to watch his flower sob her heart out. He looked her over realizing she had fresh new cuts and bruises, most likely caused when they kept her from the baby. Not only did they injure her, but they left a deep emotional scar that would never go away. He clenched his fist feeling the anger full in his veins. He hit the ground in pure rage, startling his young wife. Sakura was told she would at least have until their child was five. Now it looked like she could go any minute. They caused this, Itachi was going to make them pay dearly. Sakura grabbed onto him knowing what he was thinking. They had this connection after all.
That's when it happened, and Itachi knew that this was it. Sakura's life was coming to an end. She violently coughed up her weight in blood. Itachi instantly kneeled and tried to help her clear her throat. When they finally subsided, Sakura lay on the forest floor looking up at her handsome husband's face. She smiled through her pain, blood, and tears.
"Guess they won this time huh?" Sakura traced her finger over his cheek.
Itachi hid his face from her, not out of shame, but not to worry her. Itachi could feel moisture build in the back of his eyes. He clutched violently to her hand, but careful not to hurt her more. He shook his head.
"Never. We will never let them win."
Sakura smiled again. Her breathing was so slow now. Her dull eyes ready to close. Itachi's breath was caught in his throat. His body was shaking heavy now. He didn't want to let go. He couldn't let go of her. Itachi needed her to keep the light in his life, and the baby...
"He looked just like you."
Itachi's face raised in surprise. His eyes had faded to black and widened. Sakura faintly smiled as her eyes closed for the last time. Then Itachi heard it. Her death's breath. The very last breath that would escape her frail body. A tear rolled off of his cheek and onto hers. His arms tightened on her body, as if it could keep her here. He gently let go and looked down at the blood, her blood, drying on his hands. He cringed at the sight and smell. Then slowly, a rain drop fell, and another until it came down in an ungodly pour. Itachi watched it all wash away, but the pain ripped deep inside and threatened to scar badly. A wound like this would probably always be open. Itachi took something off Sakura's hand and he covered her face with is cloak.
"Forgive me Sakura."
Itachi disappeared and reappeared in the dark Hokage's office. His red eyes cut through the darkness and connected with the tired, but very angry eyes of the Fifth Hokage. His teeth clenched in anger, and his eyes began to slowly turn in a very vicious death promise. Tsunade didn't flinch though and her own anger matched Itachi's. He didn't care if this woman had been respected by Sakura or even loved as a mother; Tsunade had left an inerasable scar that cut through Sakura's soul, and Itachi was going to make sure she paid.
"Are you prepared?"
"Doesn't matter, I have already taught enough to the next Hokage, who will take my place."
Itachi smirked. "They'll all be too weak, so what would it matter?"
"She was weak too."
Itachi lost his smirk and he saw Tsunade's triumphant one. His anger fueled. Was this really the woman who claimed to love Sakura like a daughter. A sad smile graced his face.
"Yes she was, but our son..."
"Your dead one?"
Itachi clenched his fist. "I assume you killed him."
Tsunade shook her head. "You should thank your brother for that."
Itachi couldn't help but laugh at the irony of it all. He sees Sasuke was finally able to get the amount of revenge he needed. Sasuke took everything close to Itachi and killed them; his son and wife. His laugh sent shivers down Tsunade's spine. Somewhere in the back of her head wondered how a sweet girl like Sakura could marry let alone love this man who laughed about their son's death?
"Do you find something funny Uchiha-san?"
"Nothing at all Hokage-sama." Itachi immediately stopped laughing. "Now, then, let's get back to business."
"Yes." Tsunade stood from her chair. "This situation is already tiring enough." She saw his eyes narrow as she walked around to the front of her desk. "Did you honestly think you and Sakura would live happily ever after for the crimes you committed?" Tsunade scoffed.
"Honestly?" Tsunade waited. "No," He looked down in sadness. "But if we could have just gotten away. Just away from it all."
Tsunade laughed. Itachi looked impassive to it. He knew the whole idea had been foolish, but it's what both of them wanted. A life where their son would not know the pressure and hurt of wars. Sakura was kind, and Itachi wanted her to remain that way, because he had no doubt in his mind that their son would be like her.
"You do realize that everything that happened to Sakura was because of you, don't you?"
Itachi gripped his fists together until there was blood.
"If only she hadn't met you, she would have never betrayed Konoha. It's only because you look like Sasuke that she entered a forbidden love."
Itachi's fist went straight through Tsunade's abdomen. She smirked while coughing up the blood building in her lungs. Itachi's eyes began to narrow as they swirled dangerously. It didn't matter though, Tsunade would be dead before it took control.
"Angry because you know it's true?"
Itachi smirked. "Don't count on it. Yes, she may have entered this 'relationship' because of my appearance, but she didn't remain in it because of my ototo." The look Itachi gave her was overwhelming, it showed so much peace with the situation. "I gave her one chance to leave, and she stayed, willingly knowing she would be condemned for her choice." He pulled away from the dying Hokage. "It must have killed her knowing that you ordered her kill."
Tsunade's eyes widened. She fell to the ground in loss of blood. Her paling eyes watched Itachi turn and leave, probably to go after his brother. It all made sense to her how though. Sakura's choice had been bad, but only for the village. Spies that had spotted them reported to her that Itachi had treated her with gentlesness and kindness. The one time they saw him get angry at her, Itachi took it out of nerby trees instead, even though Sakura was right in front of him. The reasoning for her betrayal finally made sense. How much she hated that she hadn't understood what Sakura had been trying to tell her since she found out Sakura had not been raped. Then for Tsunade to find out Sakura had been married to a S-class criminal; it only fueled the fire that blinded so many people's eyes. Tsunade closed her eyes as her breathing began to stop. She faintly hear thd door slam open and Naruto's shouts. She smiled inwardly. He would be a good Hokage right? The light she walked down was warm, and then there stood before her. She looked peaceful and ethereal in this light. She smiled faintly at Tsunade.
"He'll be fine."
Tsunade knew she spoke of Naruto. "Why are you here?"
She frowned. "I have to wait for him here, he'll be coming soon." Crystal tears rolled down her cheeks. A small boy clung to her hand.
She opened her mouth to speak, but closed it and smiled. "You should be on your way."
Tsunade felt herself pulled to another location, and she continued to wait with the boy for him. Even in death they would be together. Itachi turned around feeling her call his name, but she wasn't there. Her body laid covered under the tree infront of him. He rolled back the cloak and placed a small blood soaked bundle in Sakura's cold arms. He placed the cloak over both of them. Itachi sat there in pain. He ignored the rustling of leaves and arrival of large chakra.
Itachi made no other move to acknowledge him. He could hear the tightening of Sasuke's jaw and his grip on the katana. Sasuke began to walk towards Itachi.
"Are you enjoying my work?"
Itachi said nothing. Sasuke activated his own mangekyou sharingan.
Still Itachi did not respond. Sasuke quickly appeared right behind him. His katana went straight through Itachi's heart without incident. Sasuke's eyes widened in surprise.
"Why... Why didn't you move?"
Itachi's coughed up blood as blood moved out of his wound.
His eyes widened again. How long had it been since he heard Itachi use his name? It reminded him of the brother he admired, trusted, and... loved.
"There was only two things I ever really worried about." Itachi chuckled.
"No, she always made me make sure I knew that she was happy. I stopped thinking about it. I worried about being a bad father." Sasuke was getting too surprised, was this really Itachi? "Sakura kept assuring me though. She said if we could just get away from it all, then I could focus on being a dad. I wouldn't worry about pride or image, just about being a father." Itachi began to feel himself slipping away.
"The second thing," Sasuke whispered.
Itachi faintly smiled. "You."
Sasuke gritted his teeth. "Don't lie to me."
He darkly chuckled. "How well did you really know father, Sasuke?" Sasuke was confused. "Did you know father planned to use us as his killing tools?"
"You really should know it. I don't care if you hate me forever and think he was a saint, but I need you to do something I should have finished." This caught Sasuke's attention. "The Akatsuki's purpose was the exact opposite of father's. Father wanted to kill no namers, only the ones that showed potential would live. However, if father had his way that Kyuubi you consider a brother and my wife, who became the best medic nin would have been killed."
Sasuke sank to his knees. "Hatred towards me would make you strong enough to overcome anything if I failed to change this world. Do you see it yet? The new dawn." Itachi coughed up more blood. He fell to his side. "I have to go now."
"Why?" Sasuke could feel the tears burning in the back of his eyes.
"She's waiting for me."
Sasuke's eyes widened as he looked at his dying brother. Itachi's eyes faded to black and he took his last breath. His hand had found Sakura's one and clutched to it.
"Name the baby, Sasuke."
Itachi died as a tear ran down his brother's face.
Sasuke slightly turned to the rustling of leaves. He recognized the man as the one that they call leader; a handsome man with a dark frown.
"Come to keep me silent?"
"What do you plan to do now that your goal has been finished?"
Sasuke looked at him with sadness. "I don't know yet."
He nodded his head. "Akatsuki would be honored to have you Sasuke, by Itachi's request."
Again he nodded. "Itachi expressed to me recently his concern of his death. I didn't think much of it until..."
"The child was due. Sakura-san had told me once she would never see her child grow up if we couldn't complete our goal in time. I tried, but the process of change takes longer than we anticipated, and with you all killing the only ones we have..."
"I understand, but right now..."
"I understand." He threw Sasuke Itachi's Akatsuki ring. "For when or if, you like to get in touch." He disappeared after that.
Naruto appeared from the dark bushes. "I'm with you all the way no matter what, you know that."
Sasuke smiled at Naruto before disappearing with the bodies of his family. Naruto walked back to the village to handle crisis control. He would be filling in his Hokage shoes early just like Sakura had predicted. A hard working and strong leader Naruto became over the next year. Sasuke backed him up no matter what, even when Naruto finally got married. Naruto was there for Sasuke's as well.
She turned to Naruto. His smile as bright as the sun.
"Why is the bride so distressed?"
"I can't find Sasuke-kun!" She cried near tears.
Naruto smiled sadly at her and Tsuki wondered why.
"I'll go retrieve
him for you."
"Oh! Thank you Hokage-sama." Tsuki bowed with respect.
Laughing, Naruto threw his hands in front of him. "No need to call me that Tsuki-chan, we're family after all. Now for Sasuke."
Naruto disappeared and then reappeared a couple miles away in the Uchiha district. There he found Sasuke still in his wedding robes standing by a crystal lake and one Sakura tree. Three tombstones sat under the tree and a golden plate on the trunk, marking who it kept beneath its roots. Naruto walked up to him and patted his shoulder.
"Praying to them for happiness?"
Then he appeared. "You called?"
"I made a decision."
He smiled. "I figured you would."
Naruto and Sasuke looked at him strange.
"A lot happens in this season." He tossed a scroll to them. "That's all you need." With that said he disappeared with a congatulations.
They opened the scroll and their eyes widened.
"Time consuming." They both said with a sigh.
Naruto laughed while scratching his head. "Well think Hinata and Tsuki-chan will forgive us?"
Sasuke nodded his head while closing the scroll. "If it means that those two can have a better life in the distant future, then yeah. This was the first time since her death that Tsuki has smiled."
"Hinata too." Naruto patted his back. "Your bride is looking for you." Naruto went back to the reception.
Sasuke turned back to the lake. He smiled. He had been right, a lot did happen during the cherry blossom season. She had been born during this season. She had met him, married him, given birth, and they both died during this season.
"Just like the petals."
Sasuke walked away but not before looking at the golden plate.
'Here lies Uchiha Itachi, his wife Uchiha-Haruno Sakura, and their son Uchiha Shinrin.'