'Free' and 'Written in Your Heart' from 'Barbie as a princess and a pauper'.
Sakura folded his coat neatly and put it in his room. She stayed in her room until news came from her younger master. He was going to stay in a friend's house which placed not so far from his current house. He packed his things and left in no time. Sakura sat on the windowsill, staring at the full moon. The night was so quiet.
Her quietness was disturbed by the sound of sliding door. She stood up immediately as she saw Itachi was by the door. He approached her as she bowed at him. He didn't say anything, he cupped her chin and he bent forward. Their lips met.
She didn't resist it, she didn't smell alcohol or anything else but his scent, she shut her eyes; enjoying the moment.
She raised her arms and circled them around his neck. She didn't care about anything, she missed him, and she needed him.
She opened her eyes as they were apart. She saw his eyes, neither his normal onyx eyes, nor the normal sharingan. She felt sleepy all of sudden, she closed her eyes and rested her head on his chest, she felt that her body was sustained by his arms before everything turned black. But before blackness swallowed her, she saw it.
Tears on his face…
She sat near the bushes at the middle yard. It was midnight, and no one was awake but her. She watched the full moon in the sky. She smiled as stars started to appear, clouds had moved. She yawned and laid her body on the grass. She tilted her head a bit; a pair of eyes was looking at her. She sat up abruptly and turned her waist, she dropped her head onto the grass, "Itachi-sama…"
He tapped her shoulder and asked her to lift her head. She lifted her head and witnessed his smile decorated his face. He sat beside her and laid his body on the grass, watching the sky, he used his arms as pillow, "What is 5-years-old girl doing in the midnight like this?"
She smiled sheepishly and turned her body once again; she hugged her knees and looked the sky, "I'm watching the stars and the moon."
He rolled his eyes lazily, "What is really interesting about them?"
She shrugged, "I just like to do so… Maybe… because they are free…"
His lips curved downwards, "What do you know about being free?"
She blinked many times. She put her fingers under her chin in thinking position, "Can go anywhere?"
He laughed quietly and dryly, "I can go anywhere, but I don't feel free."
She giggled and straightened her legs, "I have one day just for me…"
He hn'ed in questioning tone. She gave him a wide grin, she scratched her head, "This morning, Kunio-san told me a story; about a princess and a pauper. Both of them wanted to be free…Kunio-san sang a song about that story, I like that song…"
"I'd like to hear that song." She raised her eyebrows and said, "But I can't sing as well as her."
He merely closed his eyes; waiting for her to sing. She pouted slightly but smiled soon after. She inhaled deeply before started to sing in low voice.
All my life I've always wanted
To have one day just for me
Nothing to do and for once nowhere I need to be
With no lessons, lords, or lunches or 'to do' list in the way
No one to say when to eat or read or leave or stay
That would be the day
"Is that?" asked him
She shook her head slowly, "No, it was the princess's version. I prefer the pauper's. She worked for a mean old lady, she wanted to be a singer, but she had to pay her parents debt to the old lady first." She took a deep breath and started again.
All my life I've always wanted
To have one day for myself
Not waking up with a pile of work on every shelf
With no hems in need of pressing and no sleeves in disarray
Not a wedding gown with a thousand stitches to crochet
And no debt to pay
"Am I that old lady?"
"Of course not!"
What would it be like to be free?
Free to try crazy things
Free from endless IOUs
Free to fly
Free to sing
And marry whom I choose
"You want to get married?"
"I don't think I have someone to be married…"
Though I know I have so little
My determination's strong
People will gather around the world to hear my song
Now I fear I'll never be
Soon I will forever be
"Not yet." She stood up and spread her arms; she closed her eyes while walking around the yard
I close my eyes and feel myself fly a thousand miles away
I could take flight but would it be right
My conscience tells me stay
I'll remain forever loyal
I'll repay my parents debt
Duty means doing the things your heart may well regret
But I'll never stop believing
She can never stop my schemes
There's more to living than gloves and gowns and threads and seams
"Why don't you take flight?"
She kneeled down and bent down, she stared at him, "My conscience tells me to stay."
In my dreams
I'll be free
He smirked. She bent up and waited as he sat up. He stood while getting rid of the leaves off his clothes, "How if someday you have to take flight?"
She answered firmly, "I won't take flight unless you do first."
"If I take flight first and leave you, then we may not be able to meet each other again." He walked towards the open corridor and climbed up. He helped her to climb into the corridor. As he pulled her, he lost his balance and fell on his butt. Sakura was pulled as well and fell on him. He waited, "Sakura, stand up. I can't stand up if you're on me."
She shook her head and buried her face on his shirt. She gripped his shirt tightly. He shifted and made her sit on his lap.
"It's an order. Now stand up."
She shook her head again. He couldn't see her face because her face was buried in his shirt and she didn't make any movement to leave his shirt.
He heard her speaking with low voice, "If I stand up, you will leave me."
His eyebrow twitched. He smirked and whispered, "That is a stupid thought of yours."
Her eyes snapped open. She sat up on her futon, her hand rubbed her chest. She inhaled deeply, sweat covered her face. She smirked playfully, "Weird dream…"
She brushed her sweat with her sleeve. She stood up and opened her window, her eyebrows met. She couldn't see any light from the houses. She was shutting the window when her ears caught a faint scream. Fear erupted inside her. She shivered as more scream was heard and that voice was familiar for her.
She rummaged her dresser quickly and drew a silver kunai out. She shoved it inside her obi; she jumped to the corner of her room and took her odachi. She dashed outside, she opened Kunio's door abruptly, she was relieved as she saw her was standing up; staring the window.
"Kunio-san, did you hear that?" the older woman nodded. Both dashed out and ran towards the other rooms, as they passing the corridor to the bath house, they saw a very revolting view. Two dead bodies were lying on the floor and one stood near them, holding a bloody katana. He averted his gaze to them. A terrible shock made Sakura barely able to move a finger. If only Kunio didn't pull her wrist and took her to run with her, her neck might not on its place before as a katana was swung to severe it.
He chased them with an incredible speed. Within some seconds he had overtaken them. They couldn't see his face as an orange mask hid his face. Sakura readied her hand close to the handle of her odachi, but suddenly Kunio pushed her roughly, throwing her outside through the window, breaking the glass. He thrust his katana into the older woman's stomach.
He kicked her, throwing her onto Sakura. She caught her; she called her name many times. She was relieved a bit as she opened her eyes, snow was covering their body. He leaped, swinging his katana vertically. Sakura brought Kunio and rolled aside, avoiding the attack. Sakura gritted her teeth, she was going to draw her odachi when Kunio prevented her, "No, Sakura, you must run."
Kunio held her stomach, trying to stop the bleeding wound. Sakura sustained her, Kunio parted her lips, "He is too strong… I know… I know him…"
Another thrust plunged into her shoulder, Sakura's eyes turned widen. Kunio grabbed the katana, making him couldn't pull his katana back, "Sakura… You're not an Uchiha…"
Sakura's eyes turned into red blood sharingan, "What do you mean, Kunio-san?"
He thrust deeper instead of pulling it, Kunio coughed blood but she kept holding it. She turned her head to the sharingan user beside her, "Sasuke-sama doesn't know… Sakura, you're not an Uchiha. Not even half! I know… I know everything that happened to Sayuri!"
Sakura drew her odachi and swung it to him, he let go of his katana and jumped backwards. She stood in front of Kunio protecting her. Kunio shook her arm, "Sakura! Leave me! I'm just worthless slave, but you're not! You must escape to the east, your father is there!"
Sakura didn't take her gaze off him, she said, "No life is worthless. And I cannot let you die before I know the truth about my mother."
"You stu—" Kunio couldn't finish her sentence forever. With speed of an evil, he appeared in front of Kunio, facing Sakura with his back. He gripped the handle of his katana tightly before pulled it out and stabbed her heart. Sakura spun immediately aiming her odachi to his heart, but he jumped away. Sakura hugged the dead body as it dropped onto the ground. She called her name, but that time, she didn't open her eyes again.
Sakura's knuckle turned white, she gripped her weapon and stood up. She lunged at him, thrusting her odachi into his stomach. She was shocked as his body disappeared in a poof of smoke. He swung his katana, she took a step backwards, but the katana managed to tear the lower part of her kimono. He sent another swing to her stomach area, but a clang was heard instead of a scream of pain.
He rolled his visible eye; her odachi wasn't blocking his attack. She swung her weapon at him, causing him to take a jump to avoid it. She ran outside, her mind was crumbling. She wanted to escape, she was afraid, but anger took control of her body. Finally, fear won over anger. She had to escape. Her torn kimono made her run easier. Her arrival at the outside was welcomed by dead bodies and bloods everywhere.
"Katon: Ryuuka no Jutsu!"
He sent a stream of fire from his mouth, Sakura avoided the fire by jumping away, she landed with her left hand first, causing her wrist twisted, she yelped in pain. Her body dropped powerlessly as the sustainer was lifted. The left area of her face was covered in blood and snow as she hit a puddle of blood.
Then she felt that he stomped her back, pressing her hard. The pressure made her couldn't breathe, her voice couldn't reach out, her consciousness almost left her when some words sprouted in her mind.
Be Happy Be Alive Be strong Be brave
She gritted her teeth; she swung her odachi using her health hand. He blocked it easily and kicked the odachi away from her, it was thrown into the gutter at the edge of the road. She didn't give up yet, she slipped her hand into her obi and pulled out a silver kunai, she held it in opposite way and stabbed his calf. He lifted his wounded leg, she took the moment to rolled away, she stood up and ran while holding her twisted wrist. She had left the kunai.
Then he knew why his previous swing didn't leave a wound, because that kunai blocked it behind the obi. He looked at the sky; he had spent too much time just to kill a slave. He ignored his wound and dashed. His weapon finally pierced through her right stomach from behind.
He pulled his katana quickly. Sakura fell on her knees, her forehead hit the ground roughly, her left hand pressed the hole on her stomach. She stared at the hole; pearls of tears were gathered at the edge of her eyes.
"I don't want to die! Not now!" She repeated the mantra over and over again, as suddenly green chakra appeared on her hands. The wound on her stomach had stopped bleeding, but the gaping hole was still there and another hole on her lower back was still bleeding.
Blood dripped from the tip of his katana. He waited. He waiting until death took her, but it didn't happen, she stood up again and continued her way to the gate. He was getting impatience; he drew the kunai from his calf and threw it. It stabbed her thigh. She didn't stop; her sense said he was getting closer. She closed her eyes.
"Kunio-san, what does death feel like?"
"I don't know… Why do you ask?"
"Because Itachi-sama doesn't seem afraid of death, he always comes home covered in blood, I don't like blood! Are you afraid of death?"
She smiled, "I'm not. Why? If I die, I can meet my parents and my siblings whom I don't know where they are in this life. I can meet Sayuri, your mother. But I don't want to die yet… Not now…"
"I don't want to leave you, little cherry blossom."
"Then Itachi-sama must be very strong! He doesn't afraid of death!"
"I think… Itachi-sama may brave enough to fight death… But nobody is strong enough to fight death… Death can come anytime, anywhere…"
Her sharingan had melted back into pale green. Her steps became slower, she opened her eyes, she stopped and whirled around slowly.
She whispered, "Kunio-san… I think my angel of death has come… and I think… I have fought enough to escape from him…You're right… Death isn't really bad and I'm not strong enough to fight it…"
He stepped closer to her and circled his finger around her neck; he strangled her. He pressed his finger even harder; he lifted her up until her toes didn't reach the ground. Her vision turned blurry, tears mixed with blood on her face.
Sakura had been in her futon for days, illness attacked her, and her health wasn't getting better. She opened her eyes as Kunio changed the towel on her forehead.
"Sakura, Itachi-sama is here…" Kunio said in low voice. Sakura glanced at the door, he was there, holding a small braided basket. Kunio walked out of the room after bowed first at Itachi. He sat beside her futon with Indian sitting style. He caressed her hair gently.
"Kunio said you didn't eat…" stated Itachi
She merely closed her eyes, she tried to speak, but she coughed instead. Itachi helped her to sit up, he put a glass of water on her lip. She drank the water slowly. He laid her back on her futon; she inhaled before spoke with hoarse voice.
"Am I going to die, Itachi-sama?"
He smirked; his elbow was rested on his thigh, supporting his head by placing his chin on his palm, "Perhaps…"
Her lips curved downwards, he continued, "Unless…"
Her eyes shot open, looking at his eyes with curiosity. He raised a bowl of porridge, "You eat food, drink medicine, and have enough rest."
"But I can't eat…" said 4-years-old Sakura.
"Why is that?"
"The food which Kunio-san made was delicious, but when it reached my gullet, it hurt." She touched her neck with her small hand. He helped her to sit up again with his free arm; he dipped the spoon into the porridge, "That's why I asked Kunio to cook this. Now open your mouth…"
She parted her lips hesitantly, tasting the porridge as it was in her mouth, she swallowed it and smiled, "I can eat!"
Itachi gave her the bowl, she finished her dinner quickly. He handed her the bottle of medicine, she didn't drink it, she just held it; rubbing the bottle. He waited patiently. She rolled her eyes to her master, "Itachi-sama…"
"What if I have drunk the medicine, I have eaten, and I have had enough rest… But angel of death still comes?"
He smirked; pinching her nose. Sakura aww'ed, she watched as he stood up and walked to the door, he spun; holding the slid door handle, "I'll defeat that Angel of Death so it won't come to take you."
Sakura's face turned pale, her eyelids were so heavy that she couldn't make it still open. She waited in darkness. She was barely able to move her legs and her arms. Her power had left her. The gaping hole on her stomach had started to bleed again. Her lungs screamed in needed of oxygen. Her brain had stopped thinking after one name was said.
"Itachi-sama…" the word was inaudible, no voice was out, but she could still hear it in her mind.
"It's over, Madara." Uchiha Madara turned his head; he stared at another mangekyou user behind him with his visible sharingan. He didn't lower his arm, he kept strangle her.
The younger Uchiha hissed, "Let her go." Madara spun and threw the particular girl to him before disappeared into the thin air. Itachi managed to catch her without falling backwards. He stood with one knee, making her leaned on his other leg. He stared at the gaping hole on her stomach and the hand prints on her neck. His finger moved closer to her visage, trying to feel the oxygen flow, but he felt that she didn't breathe.
He bent forwards, sending air into her mouth using his own. He sighed in relief as he could feel her breath again, she opened her eyes slowly, she gazed at the emotionless visage. She hooked her hands on his shoulders; she pulled herself and crushed her lips with his.
As they were apart, her arms fell limp, causing her body dropped down to his arm. Her lips curved into a very tiny smile, "It's the same lips in my dream…"
He closed his eyes before he opened it again; he was going to stand up when she gripped his vest suddenly. His expression was still empty, "Let go of me."
She shut her eyes tightly, instead of letting him go; she tightened her grip on his vest. He stared at her bloody visage, he knew it wasn't hers, but it still tainted her beauty.
"It's an order." She almost laughed as she heard the same words he told her 10 years ago. She answered him with the same tone, "If I let you go, you will leave me."
"That is a stupid thought of yours." Tears gathered at the edge of her eyes, her eyelids slid open slowly, the same answer he said, made her believe that he was still the old Itachi, minus the smirk. She managed to speak one sentence before darkness finally embraced her, "I believe in you…" her fingers released his vest.
"TSUNADE-SAMA!!" Shizune banged her door roughly, Tsunade pulled her blanket until it reached her head, she rolled and used a pillow to cover her ears.
"I have enough papers…!" she shouted
"THIS IS NOT ABOUT PAPERS!"
"I want to sleep…" her words seemed have other meaning like 'I don't want to know that Itachi has massacred the Uchiha Clan.'
"SOMEONE IS DYING!" Tsunade shifted lazily, she scratched her head before sat up slowly, she yawned, not caring to cover her mouth, "I'm deaf…" she felt that her body was so heavy that she laid back on her futon.
"SHE IS DYING!"
"Who is she?"
"SAKURA! WE FOUND HER NEAR THE HOSPITAL DOOR!"
Tsunade sat bolt upright on her futon, she ran through the door, forgetting that Shizune was there.
She glanced at the bleeding hole on her stomach, judging by her clothes, she knew that the massacre had over. Her eyes twitched as she felt someone's presence outside the window, she ordered Shizune and the other nurses to leave the room. Her hands glowed with chakra as she pressed the wound; she averted her gaze for a sec after hearing a weak click from the window, "Why don't you leave? And… what does this mean?"
His face was glistened by sweat, mingling with invincible tears, as moonlight shone his face. He fell on one knee, bowing at the Godaime Hokage though her back was facing him, "I want to ask for permission to leave."
"Then leave now."
He gave a firm nod and a last glance at the survival of the massacre. The Hokage noticed that there was still a small glimmer of emotion within his eyes, she pulled her hand, "I've healed the vital wound, Shizune will be here in 2 minutes, make sure you have left this room before she comes."
Without turning back, Tsunade walked to the door, she gave him a last glance before door blocked the sight. He didn't spend the time Tsunade had given to him; he merely disappeared into the night sky.
(A.N: what did happen to Sasuke? Make it similar with the manga/anime. I'm too lazy to write about him )
Ino made her lean on the pillow carefully; she took the dirty kimono, bringing it outside the white room. Once the door was shut, tears spilt out from the pink haired girl which was in that white room. She covered her frail visage with her hands, but nothing could stop her river of tears, her white clothes got wet because of it.
"Where is Itachi-sama?" the blonde didn't answer her, her face changed into an expression she didn't know.
"Ino-san?" Ino wrapped the white hospital gown around Sakura's shoulders. Her lips were trembling. Her ocean eyes tried not to look at Sakura's eyes.
She finally parted her lips, "Itachi-kun has left the village."
"He has? But why?" asked Sakura abruptly
"An eye witness saw him when he was leaving the massacre area. He murdered all the Uchiha."
"He didn't! Itachi-sama saved me from the real murderer!"
Ino pulled the blanket to cover Sakura's legs, "Sasuke-kun told us that Itachi-kun did. Sasuke-kun is a victim as well, like you. Luckily, he wasn't stabbed like you, just many bruises."
Sakura gripped the blanket, her knuckles turned white, "I don't believe it."
A soft knock was heard from the door, she didn't bother with it, she kept crying. Three familiar figures stood around her bed, neither of them tried to calm her. They waited. Shikamaru whispered to Neji who was standing next to him, "Shouldn't we wait till she calms down?"
The byakugan user shook his head slightly, "She witnessed the massacre."
She wiped her tears using her palms; she tried her best to hold it. She couldn't hate him. He saved her, but the interrogator wouldn't believe her.
"Sakura, we want to interrogate you; as eye witness, about the massacre which happened two days ago. I hope you can corporate." Stated Ibiki
Sakura merely turned her head away from them, "You won't believe what I say. Sasuke-sama's words are more trusted than mine."
Neji sighed, "That's why we want to see the incident from different point of view. He and you were in different area when the massacre happened."
She laid her hand on her stomach; where the bandages were placed, she closed her eyes tightly as she remembered about the thrust.
"I don't know what time it was… I woke up… I heard my fellow workers' screams. I took a weapon and went to the source of the voice."
"This weapon?" asked Shikamaru while lifting a silver kunai; Sakura opened her eyes slowly; turning her head to see the silver kunai beside her. She nodded as an answer. She didn't know if she had to tell them about the odachi or not, but it seemed they haven't known about it.
"When I arrived, I saw… I saw…" she gritted her teeth, her breath was stopped in her throat, she covered her eyes with a hand, but the tears couldn't be hidden when it started to flow out from beneath her hand.
Shikamaru shook his head, "Neji, we got to stop this interrogation."
"Sakura… Can we continue?" asked Ibiki; ignoring Shikamaru's words. Sakura nodded slowly. Without taking her hand off, she parted her pale lips, "I saw two dead bodies… their murderer was standing there… wearing a mask…"
"Can you describe him?" another question slid from Ibiki's lips
"Black short hair… white vest… black clothes… his voice… was very harsh… He's definitely not Itachi-sama…" she wiped her tears again.
"How could you say, it wasn't Itachi? He's wearing mask…"
"That man in orange mask, he strangled me… then… then… Itachi-sama saved me from him!" exclaimed Sakura
"Well, that can't be evidence… He could have made a clone."
Sakura shut her eyes tightly; she dug through her memory, trying to find something that could save her master from being suspected.
"Madara." A name escaped from her lips unconsciously, "It's Madara!" Ibiki, Neji, and Shikamaru hid their curiosity, Ibiki closed a notebook, "Uchiha Madara has died since very long time. What's with him?"
Sakura sat up immediately, "That man in orange mask is Madara! His name is Madara, I heard Itachi-sama called his name back there—"
She winced in pain suddenly, Ibiki merely stood calmly, "I guess the wound is opened again, we'll end the interrogation. And please someone call medic or nurse or anyone…"
The trio walked out of the room, as the door was shut, her tears gathered on the edges of her eyes again, but this time, the green orbs were replaced by ruby, "I told you… you won't believe me…"
"Sakura-chan, you can leave the hospital tomorrow, you can live with me. " said Ino while opening the curtain. Sunlight shone the room, she hummed happily as she knew that Sasuke might get to leave the hospital as well and she was ordered to keep an eye on him.
Sakura kept quiet though Ino had invited her to live with her, that didn't seem make her happy or else. The blonde noticed her quietness, "Sakura-chan… You have to start a new life… Tenten-chan gave you her clothes, Hinata-chan gave you her favorite jacket. And I told you, we can live together. Don't you happy?"
"Can't I leave this village…?" stated Sakura emotionlessly
Ino didn't know how to answer her bizarre question; she sang a song as an answer…
Like a bird that flies in the morning light,
Or a butterfly in the spring…
When your spirit rides on the winds of hope
You'll find you wings
For you're always free to begin again
And you're always free to believe
When you find the place where your heart belongs
You'll never leave
"Your heart belongs to this village…" said Ino softly before went out
She put on Tenten's pink top and blue pants, and Hinata's jacket. She put the silver kunai into a small weapon pouch on her right. She peeked the corridor before ran out quietly. The hospital at night was very creepy. She tried to be as invincible as she could. The main door was just few steps when she heard voices behind her; she hid into a dark corridor immediately, she pressed her back to the wall.
"Yea, she's going to be sent to Suna, I don't know why that is…"
Sakura waited until the voices were inaudible. Her back slid down slowly, she fell on her butt. Her eyes had grown widen, her fingers were trembling.
She gritted her teeth, "I'm not going there!" exclaimed her soundlessly
She stood jolt upright, she dashed out of the hospital. Once she arrived in the middle of the village, she had no destination, she regretted her stupidity. She walked aimlessly; she let her legs to choose any way.
After almost an hour she walked, she met a familiar gate. She stepped through that gate, snow hid everything, the dead bodies, the blood… She turned her head to a gutter nearby, she remembered and noticed there was a small glimmer of light inside it. She stretched her arm and got the handle, it was her odachi.
"What!? She's not in her room!"
"Yes, and she leaves a note" a young nurse handed Tsunade a small paper. Ino stood on her toes to see the paper as well,
Though you may now know where your gifts may lead, and it may not show at the start. When you live your dream, you'll find destiny, is written in your heart…
Her preparation had done. She carried a rucksack which she found in her old home; filled by her white kimono, her black kimono, some underwear, and small amount of money which she'd saved for years in her dresser.
"Stupid… She continued the song…" said Ino
"Tsunade-sama, are you going to put her name into missing-nin list if she does not come back?"
The gate to leave the village was in front of her, she needed only to take a step forward, and she would be free. She whirled around once again, it was time to say good bye.
"Ino-san… My heart doesn't belong to this village…"
She stepped out of Konohagakure, forever.
"She's not a shinobi, she doesn't even go to ninja academy." Stated Tsunade out loud, but within her mind, she said,
"My heart belongs to him."
"She is a bird which is freed from the cage which had trapped her for years."
I want to thank all reviewers and readers-who-aren't-reviewers; without them, I wouldn't try so hard to finish this story. Special thanks for Cinnamon Cherry, for her extreme vocabulary and my beloved-old-computer. Sorry, if the last scenes make you guys confuse or something else.
The sequel is up. Take a look at my profile, and you'll find it. I did finish the first chapter but I'm not sure will be able to update quickly. I'll move to China this August, for 2 years, but I will continue this story. Wish me luck.