Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto (unfortunately). And the beginning and middle of the chapter belongs to Naruto manga Volume 34 chapter 306...so don't sue me!
Italics flashbacks (sorry if it gets a little confusing…)
This chapter takes place during the Naruto manga Volume 34 chapter 306. I changed it a little at the end…but the rest of the story will be mine!
Chapter One: After Two and a Half Years…
Sakura spotted Sai. Her anger was instantly aroused, as she thought that he was here to assassinate Sasuke. She ran at him and grabbed him by the throat. Yamato and Naruto stood by, shocked by Sakura's actions.
"You!" Sakura yelled at Sai. "What the hell are you after?!" She drew back her fist to punch Sai, but a voice from above stopped her.
That voice…thought Sakura. She looked up to where it had come from, and froze. Her eyes were wide and unblinking as she stared at the form of her old teammate, silhouetted by the sun. She couldn't see his expression; it was hidden in the shadows. But she recognized that voice…it had haunted her dreams for two and a half years.
She let go of Sai, and turned towards the cliff. Sai massaged his bruised throat.
"Sasuke…" she whispered.
Naruto, too, heard the voice, and stopped. His heart seemed to stop , as he hadn't heard the voice of his ex-teammate and friend, Sasuke. Yamato, too, was surprised that they actually found Sasuke, but his face remained impassive.
Naruto regained his senses and sped off towards Sakura and Sasuke, but he fell midway, as he still hadn't healed from his encounter with Kabuto and Orochimaru on the bridge, where he had released the fourth tail of the kyuubi. Naruto was on his hands and knees, breathing hard, but his resolve was firm. He shakily got up and joined Sakura in staring at Sasuke. Sweat beaded his brow and ran down his face under the hot blistering sun as he concentrated to see the boy he considered to be a brother.
A cloud floated under the sun, making Sasuke's expression readable. His eyebrows were furrowed, almost as if he was sad or disappointed that they were here, but his face remained calm.
"Sasuke…" Naruto said in a voice full of emotion.
Sasuke had changed. Instead of his usual blue shirt and cream-colored shorts, he was wearing a loose robe-like shirt that was open down the middle, exposing his defined chest and abs. The whiteness of his shirt contrasted to the darkness of his pants. Around his middle was a dark material of the sameness of his pants, which were held up by the same purple rope that Orochimaru wore. There was a sword strapped to his back that no one had seen before. His stance was relaxed, with one hand on his hip, the other hanging at his side.
Sakura and Naruto were looking up at Sasuke with passion and hope, while Sasuke was looking down at them with a sense of serenity.
Sasuke's voice was emotionless when he spoke. "And now Naruto…so you came too. Does that mean that Kakashi's here as well?"
Yamato had joined the group a few moments before. He answered, "Unfortunately Kakashi couldn't be here, but I'm here in his place. We, team Kakashi, are going to be taking you back to Konoha."
"Team Kakashi, huh…" was Sasuke's reply.
Sai took out his weapon. Sakura looked at him and raised her fist. "Sai! I knew it!" but Sai made no move to attack Sasuke. Instead he raised his weapon towards him. Yamato looked sideways at him, not knowing what he was up to.
Before anyone said anything, Sasuke spoke up. "So he's filling in for me then, is he? He was spouting some kind of nonsense about protecting the bonds between Naruto and me…one more pansy for the group, quite the fit I'm sure."
Sakura was confused. "Huh?"
Sai spoke. "It is true. My top-secret mission was indeed the assassination of Sasuke. But those orders don't matter anymore…now I want to think and act for myself. Because of Naruto, I feel like I might be able to remember something…remember how I used to feel…something which, I can't help but feeling, was very important to me…" Sai's gaze was determined as he tried to convince Sasuke of how important his bonds were with his teammates.
Sasuke looked down as he said this, seemingly lost in his memories.
Sai continued. "I may not know you all that well, but there's a reason why Naruto and Sakura chase after you with so much passion. In order to prevent the bonds with you from breaking…in order to keep them intact, they're doing everything they can….I still don't have a very good understanding of it myself. But you, Sasuke, should know why." Sai glared at Sasuke as he said the last sentence.
Sasuke replied, "Sure, I did know. And that's why I severed them. I have other bonds that I carry…" Yamato and Sai looked up with confusion, and Naruto with anger. Sakura was astonished and hurt at the same time. "Fraternal bonds, forged through hate."
Sasuke had a flashback. "Why are you so weak?" Itachi asked. "It's because you lack…hatred."
Sasuke continued. "All my other bonds caused me to lose focus…and weakened by strongest wish, my greatest desire."
Naruto had a flashback of his fight with Sasuke when Sasuke was on his way to Orochimaru. Naruto had Sasuke up against a wall, and Sasuke was yelling, "You never had parents, you never had a brother…so what would you know about me anyway…you were alone from the very start! So why the hell would you know what I've been through!!! Huh!!?"
Naruto replied with, "It's because of the bonds that I've had that I've suffered!!! The loss of those bonds is something you can never understand…A true parent, or a true brother like you say, are things I can't understand…"
In the present Naruto said, "…if that's true…"
Sasuke looked at Naruto. "Why…why do you go so far just for me…"
"Because to me," Naruto replied, "You represent bonds I've waited for so long to make."
Sasuke was also remembering that moment.
"That's why I'm going to stop you from going!!" Naruto told Sasuke.
"If that's true, then…" Naruto asked again.
"In that case, I only need to sever those bonds!" Sasuke had shouted at Naruto.
"Why didn't you kill me back then!? Is that what you call severing bonds!? Sasuke!!" Naruto yelled at Sasuke.
Sakura looked at Naruto. "Naruto…"
Sasuke sighed. "The reason is simple. And it isn't that I wasn't able to sever my bonds with you…" Sasuke remembered what Itachi had told him.
"You, just like me, possess the potential to awaken the Mangekyou Sharingan…But there is one condition…you must kill…your closest friend."
Sasuke continued. "I simply didn't want to give him the pleasure…of seeing me obtain power by submitting to his plans."
Naruto gritted his teeth and continued to sweat. "What do you mean by that?"
"There's no need for me to tell you," Sasuke answered. "Still, the one thing I can say to you…is that back then…" Naruto looked up expectantly. "I chose to spare your life at nothing more than a whim of mine."
Naruto's face became determined, while the others looked up at a mixture of shock and anticipation at what would happen next.
Sasuke suddenly appeared in front of Naruto, one hand on Naruto's shoulder, and the other hand on his hip. He was almost hugging Naruto.
Naruto was dumbfounded.
He's fast…Yamato thought.
When did he…? thought Sakura. Sai was emotionless.
Sasuke continued to talk to Naruto. "Come to think of it, isn't becoming Hokage is one of your dreams? If you have the time to chase me around, you would've been better off training…Don't you think… Naruto?"
Sakura looked on the verge of tears. "Sas…Sasuke!?"
Sasuke ignored her. "And that's why this time…" Sasuke pulled out his sword. "You're going to end up losing your life, all at a whim of mine."
Naruto had a determined look on his face. "Like there's any chance someone who can't save a friend, could become Hokage. Don't you think…Sasuke?"
"Hn…" Sasuke was about to stab Naruto, but Sai stepped in the way and grabbed Sasuke's arm.
Naruto quickly did a back flip while holding on to Sasuke arm.
"All right," said Yamato. He quickly did the hand seals and held out his hand. Out of his palm came an extension of his skin, headed towards Sasuke. Sasuke had his Sharingan activated.
"Chidori Nagashi!" Instantly blue lightning came out of Sasuke's body, and Naruto and Sai were knocked backwards. Sasuke sliced the hand that was extending from Yamato's hand. There was a sound of chirping birds as Naruto and Sai fell to the ground.
Yamato cancelled the jutsu as he fell back and was dazed by the attack. Sakura stood, shocked. Chidori coming out of his body? thought Sakura.
Seeing her comrades hurt, Sakura became angry. Her face became determined. She remembered when she told Naruto that she would help next time with Sasuke.
Sakura ran at Sasuke. He looked sideways at her as she screamed, "Sasuke, I'm going to stop you with my own power!" Sakura prepared to punch him, as Sasuke looked at her.
Sasuke charged up his blade with Chidori and prepared to stab Sakura as Yamato ran as fast as he could to save Sakura, but Sakura was determined to stop Sasuke.
As Sasuke was about to stab Sakura, he saw, in his mind's eye, the last time he had seen her….crying and broken-hearted over him. In doing so, Sasuke hesitated for the barest of seconds. He tried to pull back, but it was too late. Sakura had tried to block the blade with a kunai, but the blade broke the kunai in half, and so drove itself into Sakura's shoulder.
Sakura screamed with the pain. Still, she managed to follow through with her punch and she heard Sasuke's jawbone crack.
Sasuke stood dumbfounded as he found Sakura at the end of his blade. He instantly cancelled the chidori.
"Sakura…" he said not knowing what else to say. Sakura remained upright, even though her vision was blurring.
"Sasuke…I'm going to bring you home if I die trying," she whispered.
Sasuke was speechless. He had never suspected that Sakura had changed this much. Two years ago she would've been crying or passed out from the pain. He could see her eyes glazed over from the pain, but she just gritted her teeth.
Sasuke recovered his senses and pulled out his sword. His voice and face became emotionless as he heard her groan, and cover her wound with her hand.
Sasuke massaged his jaw. "That was a mistake, Sakura. My blade, Kusanagi, cannot be blocked. I don't know what made you think you could take me, but you don't stand a chance."
Sakura was seething. Not only was she bleeding profusely and dizzy, but her shoulder hurt like hell now. But her eyes were blazing with determination. Sasuke thought she looked like Naruto when he resolved to do something.
"Sasuke, nothing can stop me now. I've got to protect my fallen comrades, and I vowed to Naruto that I would help to bring you home." While she was talking, she was sending chakra to her shoulder to close the wound.
She got it to stop bleeding, but it would take up too much chakra to fully heal herself, so she resorted to just using her good arm. She knelt and slammed the ground, sending her chakra through her fist, creating a crevasse. Sasuke had to jump on another rock to avoid it.
"Well, Sakura. I'm impressed that you've grown stronger. But you're not strong enough. It would be wise of you to stop this battle while I'm giving you the chance to."
Sakura was panting. Her left arm hung uselessly at her side. She swayed but caught herself before she fell. Sasuke sheathed his sword, and even turned off his Sharingan.
"Damnit, Sasuke! Take me seriously! I'm not the same weak girl I was when you left! I'm a formidable opponent and you would be wise to treat me like one!" Sakura didn't think she was formidable, but Sasuke didn't need to know that.
Sasuke crossed his arms. "Really, Sakura? As far as I can tell you aren't even worth my time."
Sakura jumped onto the cliff, and punched the ground, creating a landslide of boulders, heading towards Sasuke. He easily avoided them by jumping, and landing behind Sakura.
She saw him disappear and sensed him behind her, but not until it was too late. Sasuke pushed her off the edge of the cliff. Sakura was too far away from the cliff's edge to try and stop her descent, so she twisted her body so that she was facing the rapidly approaching ground. She channeled her chakra into her outstretched hand, and shot it out, so that it slowed her descent. She still landed hard, cracking her ribs.
Sakura gasped as pain reverberated through her wounded shoulder and now her ribs. She heard her comrades waking up.
Naruto shakily stood up as he saw Sakura fall to the ground. "Sakura!"
Sakura gritted her teeth and pulled herself up, and the stood shakily. Sasuke glared.
"Just give up Sakura! It's futile!" Give up before I have to hurt you even more, Sasuke added in his mind.
"I will never give up! I won't let you leave again, Sasuke!" She looked up at him as she did a serious of hand seals. She bent her knees as green chakra surrounded her. Rocks started vibrating and floating as the power continued to grow.
Sasuke stared in amazement. Could this really be Sakura?
He was so intent upon watching Sakura that he didn't notice two presences behind him until one of them spoke.
"Well, Sasuke. How does it feel to see your old comrades again?" Orochimaru asked, his face grinning evilly, as usual.
Disgusted, Sasuke grunted. "They're not my comrades."
Kabuto looked down at Sakura. "Is that really Sakura? Apparently her arm is healed, then."
Sasuke glared at him. "What do you mean?" he asked, activating his Sharingan.
"Sakura was wounded by the kyuubi and I healed her." Kabuto looked at Sasuke. "Why would you want to know?"
Sasuke said nothing, but turned to watch Sakura. A crater was forming below Sakura, but Sakura was still building up her power. She was gritting her teeth at the pain. Tsunade had told her that the jutsu would completely drain her chakra, so that she was left barely clinging to life, and should only be used as a last resort.
Sakura didn't care if it killed her, as long Sasuke would be saved from himself. She was halfway done charging up her chakra for her ultimate attack.
Orochimaru frowned. "Kabuto, take care of her. In this state she could be a nuisance."
"Should I kill her, Orochimaru?"
Sasuke whipped his head around when he heard this.
Orochimaru thought for a few moments before saying, "No. We still need her in case she takes out more Akatsuki members. Plus her medical expertise might be of value to us. No, don't kill her. I don't care how you stop her, just as long as she's alive."
Orochimaru turned to go, and Sasuke knew he was supposed to follow, but he never listened to Orochimaru anyways. He stepped in front of Kabuto.
"What are you going to do?" Sasuke inquired.
Kabuto answered, "I'm going to give her a poison that will make her body numb. The only antidote is back home, so she'll have no choice but to comply with us."
Sasuke nodded. He knew he couldn't afford to show such emotion…or heaven forbid affection…towards Sakura. After all, he had broken their bond two and a half years ago. I shouldn't feel anything for her. I don't know why I did in the first place. She's so annoying…But as he watched the power form around her, he couldn't help but feel something towards her…perhaps it was pride in his teammate for finally becoming strong…No, that wasn't it. Well…that might be part of it.
While Sasuke mentally battled with himself, Kabuto approached Sakura. He put up his hand to shied his face as he was twenty feet away from her. If Kabuto hadn't channeled chakra to his feet, he would've been blown away. His arms were already beginning to burn, and his clothes were being singed by the chakra emitting from her. He took out the shot, as he stopped. He couldn't go on unless he wanted to seriously damage himself.
"Sakura!" he yelled to get her attention. He had to yell her name a few more times to get her attention. When she finally looked at him, he froze. Her look was full of pain…and a promise of pain. She closed her eyes, and when she opened them again, her chakra exploded around her, and there was a sonic boom as it was flung in all directions. Kabuto was hit and was blown away. Sasuke sensed a wave of chakra coming his way, and ducked and put up a chakra shield around him.
Naruto just stared, thunderstruck at what he had just witnessed. He didn't have the strength to move, and Yamato and Sai would've stood up, but didn't because they would've been blown away.
Kabuto landed at the base of a tree. He would've been killed had he not been able to regenerate and heal himself rapidly. When the power faded away, Sakura's body was on fire. She felt completely drained of everything, even willpower as she fell to her knees, and clutched her rapidly beating heart. If she didn't slow down her heart it would explode. Sakura tried to stop panting, and took deep, even breaths to calm herself down. Her vision blurred and she coughed up blood. The wound in her shoulder started bleeding again.
Sasuke jumped down, and landed next to her.
"Sas…Sasuke…I'm sorry…that…I…f-failed you…again. I guess…you won't be…coming home…with me…today." She looked at him with eyes glazed over with tears of pain, both physical and emotional pain.
"Sakura…why?" Sasuke asked.
Kabuto appeared next to him, and Sakura's eyes widened with horror and fear when she saw him inject something in her arm.
"Sasuke?" she asked. Her voice, laced with fear and pain, made his stomach clench, and did something to his heart. It made his heart hurt. Sasuke shook his head to clear his thoughts and put up his emotionless mask.
"Sakura, you're going to be coming with me this time."
Sakura's eyes widened at the thought. "You mean…Orochimaru?"
Sasuke nodded, his face impassive. Sakura's eyes closed as she whispered, "Sasuke…"
Kabuto stood up. He looked at Sasuke, saying, "I'll let you carry her back. I'll see you at the bunkers." Sasuke nodded.
Kabuto disappeared, and Sasuke started at Sakura, who was broken and bleeding, but wasn't crying.
He heard her teammates yell her name, so he quickly grabbed her limp body and put it over his shoulders. He did it as gently as he could. He looked back at Naruto, and said, "Don't try to follow us. If you do, I'll kill her myself."
Naruto yelled his name, but Sasuke was already gone.
Naruto, Yamato, and Sai swore. They slowly stood up, all of them hurt by Sasuke's chidori.
Naruto gritted his teeth and said, "Come on, we're going after those bastards."
Naruto took a step forward, and fell to the ground, coughing up blood. Yamato walked to his side, and helped him up, putting his hand around his shoulder, supporting Naruto. Sai shakily stood up and did the same.
Yamato spoke. "Naruto, as much as we want to go after Sakura, we can't. You're in no condition to fight and we all have to be healed before we do anything. We're going back to Konoha to report this to the Hokage. She's not going to like this…"
Naruto nodded. He knew it would be a suicide mission. Despite using every ounce of his willpower to stay awake, Naruto passed out. Yamato and Sai took off in the direction of Konoha, both sad and worried about their fallen comrade and their kidnapped comrade.
Well what do you think? I know most of this chapter was from the manga but I wanted to follow it for as long as I could, and then I changed it for my story. Everything before Sakura getting stabbed belongs to the manga. From there on is all mine! Well please review and I'm going to wait a little longer to update this story, but the chapters will be longer and hopefully longer. Please review and tell me what you think! Thanks!