Hey everyone! I know I haven't written anything in a while, so please enjoy my new fic! Remember when you're done, leave a review! It helps me post a new chapter quicker, hehe!

Disclaimer: Do you THINK I own Naruto?!?!

A Tiger, a Snake, and a Blossom

Chapter 1: Wanting Return

In the village of the leaves, otherwise known as Konoha, a young woman about the age of 21 prepared herself for a new day. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. Ninja academy students were laughing and enjoying themselves as they entered the school, while citizens spent their morning rushing off to work.

Haruno Sakura was no ordinary citizen however. She had tremendous strength, and amazing healing abilities that could rival with the Godaime herself. Her once short pink hair had ended up staying short. Emerald eyes still sparkled and her figure became more curvy and woman-like. Sakura even had a fan club of eligible males chasing after her. She would turn them down though. Fan boys really needed to get a life in her opinion.

Sakura wore a red tank top with a white Haruno symbol on the back. She wore a black skirt that came 4 inches above her knees. Under the skirt she wrapped bandages around her legs and finally she wore black ninja sandals. Her forehead protector now hung loosely around her neck along with a silver chain. Sakura smiled as she took a look into her full length mirror.

'Perfect.' She thought. She glanced at a clock on the wall and panicked.

"No! I'm going to be late!" The rosette haired girl groaned. She grabbed her kunai holster and a few medical supplies and made a dash out the front door. Quickly she locked it and ran full speed down the stony lane.

-X-

"Eh! Where's Sakura-chan?!" Naruto exclaimed. His blond hair was still messy and his cerulean eyes shone bright. Naruto was now 22 years old and at least 4 inches taller than Sakura. He is happily going on dates with a certain Hyuga girl although every date consisted of going to the Ramen stand. His attire consisted of an orange jacket with black sleeves and a black shirt on the inside. Instead of orange pants, he switched over to straight up black ones that were longer. Naruto still wore his black ninja sandals as well.

"Can't you ever be quiet dick less-wonder?" A black hair man complained. His sharp obsidian eyes stared at the blond lad. Sai was his name, and he was clearly ticked off at Naruto's loud mouth. Sai wore a similar outfit when they he was 15. Nothing had really changed about him except his impolite vocabulary towards his teammates and his passion for drawing.

"Why I outta-" "Enough Naruto. Leave Sai be…" A certain sensei stated. Kakashi! Oh he was still the same, always reading his little orange book, always wearing the little blue mask, and always being late, except today he was the third one to come. His students have surpassed him finally and they can manage on their own, but being as close as they are as a family, they stayed together as a team just for a little while longer. He is the father figure of these three students and they were like his 'annoying' children.

"Look here comes Sakura now blondie." Sai pointed out. Sakura came running up on the bridge where they usually met and panted heavily.

"Sorry…I'm…late guys.." Kakashi smiled behind his mask as Naruto grinned and Sai stood there emotionless. Sakura finally caught up with her breathing and smiled at her teammates. Sai, Naruto, and she were jounin as well as Kakashi.

"Okay guys," Sakura glared at her sensei. "And girl," Sakura smiled. "Tsunade-sama has a mission for us regarding a trip to Suna, so let's get a move on." Kakashi said lazily as Team 7 headed to the Hokage tower.

Far away, off the Konoha border, a young man about 22 was struggling to make it back to Konoha. His body showed many wounds and blood oozed out. His clothes where torn and his piercing blood red eyes were finally fading away. Only one thought crossed his mind as he limped his way through the Konoha forest.

'I'm home…'

-X-

"Sakura and Sai, you guys will carry these two scrolls together while Kakashi and Naruto back you up. They'll be your second defenses if an ambush is to commence. Return the Black Sun scroll and Blue Fire scroll to the Kazekage, otherwise known as Gaara, and come back home alive." Godaime ordered. She handed a black scroll to Sai and a Blue one to Sakura. They placed them in their kunai holster and nodded. Sakura couldn't help but notice Sai's gaze on her every once in a while.

"I want everyone to come back alive and this should only take three days' tops. If expected to take longer then I'll be forced to send another jounin team." Tsunade remarked. She eyed the three males of the team and didn't have to say a word to them. The men knew what the hokage meant by when she looked at them with her radiant amber eyes.

Tsunade is saying with her eyes, 'Protect Sakura or you can expect my foot up your asses!' The males nodded and Sakura softly smiled. "Well, get going cell seven. Good luck!" Team 7 disappeared in a flash as soon as Tsunade wished them good luck.

"Ugh…damn paper work…" She groaned as she was left alone to finish off the work.

-X-

"Just…a little…further…" A raven haired man groaned as he finally crossed into the

west gate of Konoha. The same gate that Cell 7 was about to go through.

Naruto and Kakashi were in front of Sakura and Sai as the two talked.

"Sai-kun…" Sakura said. Sai looked at her. He raised a brow. "Yeah Sakura-chan?" Sai had started to show more respect for the only female on his team finally. After multiple beating from Sakura, Sai stopped called her 'hag' and 'ugly' and instead used the –chan suffix. It seemed much safer and it made him get less damage inflicted on his body.

"Are you doing anything when we come back from the mission?" She shyly asked, twiddling her fingers behind her back. Sai could see a slight tinge of pink on her face. "Well I wouldn't know if I'm doing anything that day until it comes…" Sai stated as he saw Sakura slightly turn her smile into a small frown. "But, I'll reserve that day for you if you have plans." He concluded. Sakura beamed up at the raven haired man.

"Well, I was thinking that we could go to the new sushi bar. I'm sure you're tired of eating ramen, so how bout' sushi for a-" Sakura stopped her sentence when she crashed into her sensei's back. She rubbed her head.

"Ow, Kakashi-sensei!" She yelled. Sai tapped her shoulder and pointed in front of them.

Naruto and Kakashi stood shocked as Sai was emotionless once more. Sakura widened her viridian eyes and slowly dropped to her knees. Her eyes never left the person on the ground.

In front of cell 7 stood the one and only last member of the team, Uchiha Sasuke. His beaten body laid on the dirt ground as a pool of his blood began to form. Sai realized that the Uchiha boy was loosing too much blood and tried to shake Sakura.

She wouldn't budge and neither would Naruto. He kept clenching than unclenching his fists. Kakashi slowly walked to his ex-pupil and bent down. Naruto gaped when Kakashi started to pickup Sasuke.

"Kakashi-sensei, what are you doing!" He yelled. "Sasuke has lost too much blood already. It seems we must tend to his care before we can continue this mission." The silver-haired ninja explained. There was a short pause before Naruto spoke up.

"Then, let me carry him sensei…" Naruto said through gritted teeth.

Sai was still shaking Sakura. Flashbacks of her last encounter with Sasuke entered her mind. He was full of such evil, such hatred, and now he's laying on Konoha land. She wondered how he got there, whether it be by himself or by someone else, Sakura wanted to know why he returned back to this village.

She remembered how he almost killed Captain Yamato, Sai, and even Naruto…She remembered his Chidori Nagashi. It was the same chidori that sparked out of his entire body and caused havoc. Then Sakura remembered the worst memory of all. It was the breezy spring night when Sasuke was going to leave this village. She spilled her heart out to him and yet he rejected her. Sakura wondered if she ever was one of his 'important people,' but seeing him after all these years made her emotions run wild.

"Sakura!" Sai shouted. Sakura shook herself back to reality as she saw Naruto now carry Sasuke. She got up from her sitting position and ran over to Naruto and Sasuke. She completely forgot about Sai at that moment.

"Sakura-chan…he's, he's… back." Naruto whispered. Sakura felt the tears brim her eyes but she refused to let them fall.

"Naruto…" Sakura whimpered. She started to glow green chakra out of her palm. If she couldn't do anything in the past than she could start now by healing him. With tears still threatening to fall, Sakura placed her palm above Sasuke's stomach wound and slowly the torn skin started to close and heal. Sasuke's facial expression changed from time to time as the wound closed. His eyes were closed though.

Sakura looked at her brother, her best friend, Naruto, and saw that he too was trying to stop the tears from falling. She looked at Kakashi and saw that he was actually finding the ground quite fascinating. His eye was lowered and he dared not look any where else. As for Sai, he was glared hard at the young man in Naruto's arms as Sakura healed him.

"Just a little more." Sakura said. She started to heal his leg wounds and small cuts on his pale face. Sakura then told Naruto that it was time for them to bring him into the hospital.

Kakashi finally started walking as Sai lagged behind. "Sai." Kakashi said. The said young man looked at Kakashi's way. "Report to Hokage-sama that our mission will be delayed for now. Tell her who came back as well." Sai nodded at his sensei and left the original Team 7 to walk to the hospital.

Many Konoha folk looked at the four people who walked down the main street. Many were left shocked endued while others were muttering incoherent words like, 'Traitor, Oro-puppet, Missing-nin, Heart breaker…' to the raven haired man.

It was no surprise that half the village knew of the night when Sakura tried to talk Sasuke out of leaving. Sakura learned to ignore these comments while Naruto didn't know better. These were the same people who had teased and called him names when he was younger and now their doing the same thing to his 'best friend.'

-X-

"Please, we need a room for this man!" Sakura yelled to the nurse. The nurse quickly obeyed her superior and led them to an unclaimed room. Naruto gently placed the youngest Uchiha on the white bed as Kakashi sat down on a green chair. This was just too much for him, as a matter of fact, it was too much for anyone to take in.

Sasuke Uchiha returned to Konoha beaten up, which could only lead to two possible answers:

He was either beaten up by people far stronger than him, or he finally was able to kill Orochimaru AND Itachi. Sakura just prayed for him to be alright. She had a few questions for the Uchiha, as did Naruto.

A few moments later, Tsunade came into the room with Sai trailing behind her. Sakura and Naruto got out of her way and they stood next to Kakashi. Sai went next to Sakura.

"Uchiha Sasuke, hopefully last remaining Uchiha, betrayed the Konoha village, and joined forces with the enemy, Orochimaru." The hokage stated. She looked at the young man and noticed that some of his injuries were healed. "Sakura, did you heal his injuries?" Sakura found it hard to speak but swallowed down her gulp and replied yes.

"Okay guys, I know that this is your old teammate, but I'm going to perform harsh medical jutsus on this boy. If you can't bear to watch it, then I suggest you leave." Tsunade said in a harsh tone. She eyed Sakura mostly but Sakura stood her ground and waited for her sensei to begin Sasuke's operation.

Instead of green chakra coming out of Tsunade's palm, red chakra flowed out. She placed her hand on Sasuke's head injury and started working on it. His head had taken a serious blow from a chakra filled fist. There was a piece of cloth wrapped around his head where the injury was, so that's why Sakura didn't see it before. As Tsunade's chakra touched Sasuke's head, he started groaning in agony and pain.

"S-stop-p!" Was his first word since Sasuke came into Konoha. He was tossing and turning. Tsunade eyed Kakashi and said with her eyes for him to hold down his ex-student.

Kakashi obeyed and got up from his sitting position. He grabbed Sasuke's arms and held them down at his sides. That worked for a while until Sasuke started kicking with his legs.

"Naruto! Hold his legs!" Tsunade yelled as she had forced more of her chakra out of her palm. Naruto hastily made his way to the bed where Sasuke lay. He grabbed down Sasuke's legs and held them down. Naruto bent his head and didn't dare look at Sasuke's paining face.

Sakura continued to look at Sasuke and Tsunade as Sai calmly stood next to her. He still held a glare at the other raven haired man.

Tsunade was having difficulty healing his head injury. It seems that the punch given to him struck a nerve in his head. Sasuke's head began to bleed the same red blood which stained his clothes. Now, the Godaime tried not to panic.

Sakura was having a hard time when Sasuke started to suddenly bleed. His face got paler and paler, and there was nothing Sakura could do at this point but watch. Naruto still didn't look at his ex-teammate. Sasuke kept on struggling with keeping his legs moving and that just made it harder on Naruto. Kakashi wasn't doing well either. Sasuke clenched both his hands and tried to move them free out of Kakashi's grasp. Kakashi wouldn't budge though.

"Naruto, Kakashi, restrain him! Don't give in just yet!" The female hokage yelled. Both jounin nodded and held tighter onto Sasuke's limbs.

The red chakra finally started taking an impact onto Sasuke's injury. It was a very long and slow process, but when it was almost healed, Sasuke snapped open his eyes. Onyx eyes turned into blood red and soon, one thousand chirping birds could be heard.

Kakashi and Tsunade widened their eyes and stopped with whatever they were doing. Naruto still didn't look or move at his friend but he had to get away from the deadly Chidori Nagashi!

Electric blue waves came out of Sasuke's entire beaten body but it wasn't as large as it could get. Due to his low chakra amount, the chidori wasn't able to escape the room. Although, Sakura and Sai had to get Naruto away from the blue lightening before something serious happened to him. Sai was yelling for Naruto to move but he wouldn't go. He still held down Sasuke's legs with now help from the Kyuubi.

Sakura walked to Naruto and grabbed him by the shoulders. With all her might she tried to force his hands off Sasuke's legs, but Naruto was far stronger than her. Sai jumped in and tried to pry off the blond ninja off of Sasuke's legs. Sakura was in danger however.

Kakashi and Tsunade yelled for them to get away from Sasuke's body right now but the three students disobeyed. In one flash, Sakura hit the ground with a thud. Her fallen form caused her long time friend Naruto, to finally stop grasping Sasuke's legs and look down upon Sakura. Sai widened his obsidian eyes and allowed Naruto to carry Sakura towards Tsunade and Kakashi. Sai grabbed both his kanatas that were on his back and tried to shield the lightening from hitting anybody else.

Sai could have done that, or murder the supposedly last remaining Uchiha for hurting his Sakura. Sai argued with himself of what to do, and he chose the wrong answer.

Sai drove his swords towards Sasuke's form as Naruto, Tsunade, and Kakashi stare mindlessly at his attack. No one daring to move until…

-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-

HEHEHAHA! I left ya'll on a cliffy…sort of. Well, should I continue this story or what? I was actually expecting to put up my High School fic up before this one but I changed my mind. Please review and no flames! Oh, if it seems rushed, sorry!

P.S. The title of this story is associated with the plot. But that's for the later chapters probably.