Full Summary:

Haruno Sakura has lived one day after another in seclusion. Because of her healing abilities matching the Fifth's she has caught Orochimaru's eye. The Akatsuki won't let Orochimaru become powerful and will stop at nothing to prevent him from doing so. So, Sakura is caught in the cross fire of the two. Her broken heart won't be able to withstand a reunion with her past and she will be forced to face her greatest fear… love.

Here am I, IAmNotANut. I want you to know a little about myself: I'm not a nut. And that's about all I can say right now. Also this is the first fan fic I'm pleased about writing. My other two (That don't exist anymore) sucked. That's about it. Also R n R doesn't stand for 'rest and relaxation'. So… REVIEW!

Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto because really cool people own things like that. And if you're unsure if I am cool or not… I'm not.


Faded Cherry Blossom

Return


A voice hiding in the shadow of trees mumbled quietly to another nearby. "Why were we sent here? What is so important about Konoha?" He received no response. "Itachi-sama?"

"Shut up, Kisame." A monotone growled back. "We are here for the Kyuubi. Also there is a medical nin that we need to find."

"Why are you so worried about one ninja? What's so important about some medic!?"

The annoyed monotone sighed. His companion was getting worked up over something pointless. "This particular nin is important, Kisame. Orochimaru is looking for a medic in Konoha because he needs hi have his arms healed so he can use his jutsus. This medic could be the only person that could do it. And Orochimaru will stop at nothing to get his jutsus back. I care because ever since Orochimaru's been out of our hair it has been easy retrieving bijuu without him interfering."

"So killing this medic will prevent Orochimaru from healing? He won't be able to switch bodies until he's able to use his arms, right?"

"No, Orochimaru can switch whenever he wants, but he's waiting until he can use his jutsus before he moves on into the next body."

Kisame was now confused. Why was it that a man who can lengthen his life be unable to heal his arms? "Who is his next body?"

"My brother is. And Orochimaru isn't going to let this opportunity escape him. This Sannin won't let anyone kill his medic. So we'll be seeing a lot of him soon enough…"


Inside a large, cluttered office two women sat sorting through papers and books. And every once and a while a black haired woman would pass a paper to her superior to sign. Eventually, after stacks of papers had been cleared, a stern looking blond headed woman could be seen sitting at a large, curved desk. She picked out a file from one of the side drawers and looked at the photo clipped to it.

"There's a rumor that Orochimaru is headed for Konoha." The blond muttered.

The other woman looked up in interest. "What does he want here?"

"No one's sure. But half the shinobi are out on missions. And that's definitely a problem if he's planning a full scale attack." She continued scanning the file in her hand.

Her assistant's curiosity was at its peek. "How soon will it be?"

"The earliest will be at the end of this month."

As the blond drifted into thought her assistant answered a knock at the door. "We have just confirmed that Uzumaki Naruto and Rock Lee are headed back to Konoha." She stood in front of desk and smiled at her boss.

"Good. What's their condition?"

"Both are pretty worn out. Should we send a medic?" The woman knelt down and started flipping through an unorganized stack of biographies of different medical nins.

The blond, with her two, low and long, ponytails, grinned. "Shizune, what's Sakura up to?" Shizune nodded and departed from the room.


Haruno Sakura sped beside her two companions, Naruto and Lee. She had found them relaxing in a spring, heavily injured, and was now escorting them home. They bound off of the tops of trees speedily toward the large village of Konoha. Tied to Sakura's left side were two katana that bounced as she moved.

"You idiots could have been killed. What have you been doing!?"

Naruto, with his poofy, spiky blond hair, stuck out his tongue. "Nun-yah!" His arm was draped over Lee's shoulders for support. Of course Tsunade-sensei sends me after my two biggest annoyances. She flipped her pink hair out of her face and rethought her last judgment. Alright, their not that annoying. They have matured a lot in the past few years.

"We can't really say, Sakura-chan." He smiled and his round eyes were in a wink. Lee's black bowl cut hairstyle shone brightly in the spring sun and the tight green outfit and dark green vest he wore were covered in tears and filth. It contrasted to Naruto's orange clothes, with black sleeves and blue headband. Naruto flinched a little and Sakura immediately responded.

"Alright guys, a quick rest. But, we're practically there." Sakura stared out at the buildings towering in the distance. Then around her at the small canal that lead into the village. There was a dirt path and a concrete wall, about waist high, around the water. Also a black metal bar atop of it. It was large for a canal, but Sakura paid little mind to it. She focused on Naruto's wounds. Sakura put her pointer and middle finger together, and placed her hand closer to her face. "Shousen Jutsu…" She whispered and a green chakra enveloped her hand. She placed it on Naruto's leg and he sighed in relief.

"Sakura-chan, you've gotten so good at this! Ahhh… Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Naruto stood and stretched, then cringed. "Oi! Sakura-chan! Why do I still feel like shit!?"

"Sorry, I'm a bit low on chakra and, like I said, we're almost there. It would be irresponsible of me to heal you up enough so you can go off and hurt yourself again. You need to recover just like every other person!"

"What!? That's so cruel, Sakura-chan!" Sakura was done healing Lee by the time Naruto had simmered back down.

Sakura and the two boys stood and they readied to make the last stretch to the village. Just before Sakura leapt into the air she felt a strange concentration of chakra in the forest behind them. Sakura paused and looked back.

"Oi, what's with you?" Naruto and Lee turned around.

"Sakura-chan, if you're tired it would be an honor to carry you." Lee bowed slightly, his eyes ever hopeful.

"Shut up, Fuzzy Brows."

"Naruto!?" She sighed, then pink headed ninja giggled and looked at Lee reassuringly.

"I'm alright, Lee-kun. And I appreciate it. But I'm in the mood for a quick walk, alright? I'll just catch up to you guys later." Sakura waved, hinting for them to leave. So they did, trusting that she would return.

Sakura smiled after them, and then whipped around to face the shady trees. The chakra grew more defined as two men emerged from the woods furthest from her. The figures both wore black cloaks that were closed up, almost past their chins. They also had red lining and red clouds on it. Sakura glared at them. This looks like bad news. Then the shorter, not by much, but more frightening of the two stepped forward and almost chuckled.

"You are naïve to think that you could take us on alone." Black hair fell into his face, half covering the scratched Konoha forehead protector. Sakura didn't fail to notice this He must be a missing nin from Konoha… Sakura tensed a little more. His eyes were a startling red, and a wheel of black instead of an average pupil. Sakura avoided looking into them and focused on his company: a tall man with his face a pail shade of blue. On his cheekbones were small marks resembling gills. On his back was a large, straight mass wrapped in wide cloth. It was almost larger than its wielder and had no apparent edge. But she could tell it was a weapon.

Sakura narrowed her eyes. It's just like the two who Kakashi-sensei described a while back. She scooted her foot back in defense. It's Sasuke-kun's brother…Then she leaned back calmly. Focus Sakura. She exhaled heavily. This isn't going to be easy…She gripped the handles of her long swords and they turned against her body into an 'x' shape. Her arms were crossed and, from above, the katana looked like extensions of her arms. Then a small hiss of metal against sheath sounded her left hand could pull the katana free. Sakura never let her eyes leave her opponents as she pulled them strait out. The silence between foes was so intense the small click of the swords tip breaking away from the sheath was heard. Then Sakura flicked her wrists up and allowed the weapons to pivot and land gently, as mirror images, on her shoulders. Her hands were level with her waist, the picture of comfort. Then she laughed lightly.

"Don't underestimate me, Uchiha Itachi." Her smile was so confident it surprised the black haired terror. He smirked and thought to himself. This will be interesting…

He spoke to his partner without moving. "Kisame…" The tall man clenched a kunai in his hand. "Teach her some manners." Suddenly the blue man was on the move. The kunai was in his left hand and with his right he reached back to grasp the handle of the giant sword. He pulled it loose from his back, but because of his speed the weight of the sword kept his arm from holding it in front of him. Sakura readied herself and lifted her arms, her grip changing, so the swords slid further back on her shoulders. The cloth surrounding the enormous weapon started coming loose and the katana glinted in the light. Itachi's face stared in interest as the two tools of war met with a booming crack.

Sakura felt her feet move back in the dirt for a second. The katana were crossed in front of the pink headed youth and the wrapping had loosened enough on Kisame's sword for Sakura to see the scale like texture her katana were up against. Then her face scrunched slightly as she began pushing back. Sparks flickered and Kisame glared in shock as the ninja began advancing. Sakura abruptly sliced the katana by pulling her arms apart from her body. Kisame was thrown back by his own weight and as he regained balance Sakura stuck the swords into the ground and pulled two kunai from the pack on her thigh.

"Hmph." Itachi's face remained emotionless, but he was impressed by the tactical movement of their new opponent. She used the weight of the Samehada against him. How pathetic, Kisame. Allowing yourself to be shown up by an irritating girl like her.

Kisame swung at her stomach but Sakura simply jumped into the air and landed just as the scaled sword had passed. Then, with her feet barely grazing the ground, Sakura leapt on top of the weapon and, before she could slash him fatally in the neck, was stopped by the small black blade in his left hand. Sakura stuck the free kunai into Kisame's shoulder, having missed on account of his defending left arm. Sakura pushed off the sword and landed a ways away.

Sakura pants lightly and stood straight as she watched Kisame painfully remove the kunai lodged into his back. Suddenly she felt a strong breeze come from behind her. Itachi was inches from her, she turned her chin a little to see what he planned to do. Immediately images and memories began flooding back.

"After all this… you're still annoying…"

Sakura was shocked back to reality as Itachi placed his hand on her arm and pushed with an astonishing force that launched her right into the concrete wall. It cracked as her body crumpled against it. Before Sakura could recover she felt an ice cold hand grip her neck.

"I will restore my clan. And kill a certain man."

She felt the ground beneath her disappear and she found herself staring straight into a pair of red eyes.

"Thank you… Sakura."

The piercing memories made her head spin. She felt the grip loosen and her thoughts snapped back into reality. "Kisame." He called back to his wounded comrade. "Stop kidding around and kill her." Then Sakura felt her body being thrown again with the insane force. The wall and metal bar behind her was destroyed as she plummeted onto the water's surface. This is getting troublesome.

Kisame nodded to his order and stepped through the ruble and onto the canal. He lowered his hand that was gripping his injured shoulder and formed a seal.

"Suikoudan no Jutsu." He released his hands and grinned at Sakura. Sakura's eyes widened as Kisame slowly sunk into the water until he was just a murky shadow in the canal. Sakura watched as the shadow disappeared.

"Chikushou…" Sakura looked around at the water. I have to get out of here! Just as she started running to land the shadow grew behind her and lifted a giant wave. Sakura rolled quickly out of the way as a kunai slit her shoulder. The wave crashed away from her, splashing onto the open land a little. Itachi, still overseeing, flickered his attention to where Sakura's two katana lie. The black haired man chuckled. Where two swords had been, one rested alone. Where's the other sword?

Sakura was unmoving, listening for any sign of Kisame. Just below her the shadow grew defined and a glint of metal could be seen. Suddenly, from the surface, Sakura's katana stabbed her clear through the leg. Sakura cried out and stumbled on the water. Then she let her head drop and a small laugh escaped her. Then her hand fell down to her side to grip the sword. Her hand slid down the sword and mixed elegantly with the water. Then Sakura pulled the katana up out of the water, a blue hand emerged, still holding on. Sakura lifted her leg, with the katana sticking through it, and pulled out the weapon. Then she shouted out as Kisame's arm and shoulder was pulled up.

"Tsuuten Kyaku!" Then her leg glowed blue and slammed down on top of Kisame's head. The water exploded into a bowl around them, shrouding the two in a temporary darkness. Kisame's body was in the air, bent over, and his head at a painful position. Sakura's leg was angled back in a follow through of the strike. Then the walls of water curved around them and caved in on them, sucking them into the canal. They disappeared into the murky water. Itachi's eyes narrowed and he searched the surface of the water.

Sakura suddenly emerged in a gasp for air and crawled back on top. She knelt there for a moment until another massive wave developed behind her. The roar of Kisame was heard from within it as it doubled in size. Sakura booked across the canal and flipped over the concrete wall just in time for the wave to crash into it, lessening the blow to Sakura.

The soaked nin stood and gathered her senses. Where did Itachi go? She scanned the area as the water behind her settled. A few feet away her pair of katana were reunited after one had been washed back onto land by the wave. Suddenly in a flash of black Itachi stood in front of her. He plunged the kunai in his hand into Sakura's stomach and she buckled slightly. Then on a puff of smoke the youth was gone.

Itachi growled slightly. Bunshin no Jutsu… This is getting very annoying.

Sakura sat with her back against the trunk of a tree. She sighed heavily. That was too close for comfort. She leaned her hand back and cringed. I have to heal this up before I loose too much blood. So Sakura formed a quick set of seals and placed her glowing green hand on the puncture wound on her leg. It hit an artery. This will take a lot of chakra to heal. Sakura stayed quiet as she felt the blood stop. There… I can't fight like this for long. I'll run out of chakra if I have to keep healing myself. She heard a twig snap beneath her foot and she cursed. Before she could even lift her head Itachi was in front of her.

"You're getting annoying." Sakura felt something prick her stomach. And there in his hand was her katana, ready to cut her gut open. His arm launched forward and Sakura slammed her eyes shut. She heard the clash of metal and she looked down at what should have been her speared torso. Instead there was her katana, pushed aside and into the tree by a kunai. Sakura followed the pail hand up to a man wearing a wide brimmed, cone, woven bamboo hat. His kimono was only covering one arm. The other was out of the kimono entirely. His black hakama pants cuffed just below his knee and black cloth wrapped around his thigh and ended at his white tabi socks and wooden geta. At his waist was a black sheathed katana, longer and more exotic than Sakura's. His hat tipped up a little as if he was viewing Itachi. Then a kunai appeared in his other hand as he attempted to stab the black robed ninja. Itachi disappeared and almost simultaneously, so did the mysterious man. Sakura sighed and fell back against the tree.

Suddenly a splintering sound came from behind her and the tree was cracked all the way through. The familiar Samehada emerged out of the fragments of wood and Sakura leapt away from the falling tree just after pulling her katana out of the trunk. She skidded to a halt and looked up. Kisame, his shoulder still bleeding, ran with partial disorientation. He charged at Sakura with the Samehada slung over his shoulder.

"You. Will. Die!"

Itachi starred down the new addition to the fight. His opponent looked a few years younger than Itachi but the red eyes ninja could sense the massive amount of power rolling off him in waves. Suddenly his eyes widened as he recognized the man in front of him.

"So… did you miss me?" The man chuckled as he spun the kunai by the ring at the end.

"Dodge this!" The giant sword, completely unwrapped now, came crashing down at an outrageous speed right at Sakura. She leapt out of the way but wasn't fast enough. The sword shaved right down her arm and she fell sideways. Kisame jumped back, ready to strike again. Sakura, as she fell, whipped her good arm around and flung her katana into Kisame's stomach. Sakura landed on the ground and gripped her bloody arm. She knelt their as the shriek of Kisame echoed in her head. Then she hopped up and stormed at the wounded Kisame him with feet almost silent. She spotted her unused katana in a puddle of water near the concrete rubble and a smile crept onto her face. Finally some luck. Then she somersaulted in the air, grabbed it, and pushed off again at Kisame. He shouted his battle cry and slammed the Samehada into the sleek sword with a clang. Sakura held her stance and grunted slightly. Kisame's eyes were wild and dangerous. His expression was a mixture of exhaustion and fury. The youth knocked the giant weapon away and flinched at the sudden pressure on her wounded arm.

Itachi watched the fight out of the corner of his eyes. His foe in front of him gave no hint of the same hotheaded actions as the girl did. Orochimaru is more ahead of the game that I had expected. Suddenly he saw the pink headed annoyance spear Kisame, again, in the back. He sneered at her and pulled out four shuriken before his adversary could stop him, and cast them at Sakura. The spinning shuriken landed direct hits on Sakura's uninjured arm and her back. She screamed and fell to her knees.

"I am your opponent!" The mysterious man shouted out in an almost matching monotone voice. He charged at Itachi, kunai raised, and as did the red eyes terror. They slammed into each other like human boulders and the stranger reached for his katana.

Sakura looked up from her wounds to see the dark Samehada swinging at her. It caught her wholly in the stomach. She heard bones crack as it threw her, again, into the concrete wall. Sakura's body slumped and she coughed blood. Then her head slowly lifted. Her green eyes were ferocious and beautiful as she slowly stood. Kisame had leapt back and his forehead now creased. Why can't she die! He growled. The pink headed shinobi gripped her katana tightly and started running. The use of her arms was dwindling and with so much blood lost she was becoming lightheaded. I can't stay like this. I have to end it… The sword dragged behind her, cutting into the grass and turning up the dirt. NOW! She flipped the dirt into the air and the weapon came inches from Kisame's face. He dodged it and put up the Samehada as Sakura sliced at him again.

"Tsuuten Kyaku!" She bellowed as her foot shot out at the katana still in Kisame's stomach. Kisame roared and stumbled back, his giant sword crashing into the ground and causing the dirt road to spit dust into the air. Sakura, with her last chakra Sakura focused on her arm and brought her sword down onto Kisame's shoulder. The blade cut all the way through from his shoulder, past the neck, and to the middle of his chest. His body remained still for a moment then collapsed onto the ground with a soft thud.

She sighed. He's dead… Sakura pulled her swords from the corpse and stepped back. She felt her thoughts cloud and she toppled backwards and she laughed lightly. Maybe I should have recovered all my chakra before coming after Naruto and Lee without. She looked beside her. I have such great timing… collapsing right when I should be running. She rolled up and rested on her knees. Her body was shaking. And I might have over done it with the fish guy…

Itachi pushed off his attacker and watched Kisame fall, dead. This is getting to dangerous for my liking… and with him here there's no point for me to waist my time trying to kill a useless bitch. He leapt back as Sakura, too, dropped to the ground and formed unperceivable seals.

"Katon: Ryuuka no Jutsu!" Suddenly a fire burst from Itachi's mouth and enveloped the vicinity. The stranger was launched back by the blast and saw the flames engulf Sakura as well. He cursed under his breath and in a flash he was at her side. Sakura had shut her eyes to protect them from the fire and she couldn't see the face under the hat as he lifted her and leapt onto a nearby tree. The base of the tree was shrouded in flame all but at the higher branches. He laid her down on there, stood up and looked at the mess in front of him. His hands speedily formed seals.

"Katon: Ryuuka Kyuuin no Jutsu!"He sucked in his breath and was sucked into his mouth, the fire and wind spun like a tornado as it vanished inside the shinobi. The young man breathed out a stream of smoke then chuckled a little. He looked at the half conscious shinobi and picked her from her comfortable place on the tree. He hopped down and landed onto the ground, his hat still perfectly strait. He leaned her gently against the tree and walked over to look for Itachi but he had disappeared in the blaze.

He stared off into the distance and thought to himself. That coward is always running from danger. I'll kill you soon Itachi. He heard movement behind him and glanced over his shoulder to see Sakura, her hand glowing green, healing herself. He turned away but she continued.

Sakura felt her chakra return. I won't be able to heal them all, but it's better than nothing. She healed the wounds on her back, and shaved forearm. She then stood. I have to repay him somehow. She noticed his arm was burnt and approached him.

"You're hurt; let me heal you." Sakura took his hand from behind him. He refused to move for a moment and Sakura starred at the back of the woven hat. Then he yielded and turned to face her. The shade of the trees was pleasant and the mid day heat was beginning to calm. Sakura placed mover her hand up and down his arm until the wound was completely gone. She released him and started to step back. "There, I'm finished--" Abruptly he caught her hand. Startled, Sakura was just about to recoil when he whipped her around and slung her against the trunk of a tree. Sakura grunted slightly at the impact and her face was clearly shocked. The man had her wrist pinned up beside her head, her other pushed against his chest. He took his free hand and put it on the brim of his hat. Slowly he pulled it off, in front of his face. Sakura gasped and pushed harder against him.

"Sasuke …"

There he was. His raven hair was just as she remembered, spiked in the back with longer pieces in the front. His eyes were as black as ever and capturing as well. Sakura felt tears grow in her eyes as she scrunched her brow in frustration and confusion.

"What are you doing here? Why did you come back!?" She tried to pull her hand free but he wouldn't let her. Sasuke merely chuckled and starred into her green orbs.

"It sounds like you don't want me back…" Sakura averted her eyes and tried her hardest not to flush. "Hmph. You're so annoying." Sasuke rolled his eyes but kept his face cold and emotionless. "I can't believe I missed this place." Sakura tensed at his words and bore into his eyes. She inhaled deeply; here mind was in such a painful confusion. Then she focused on each syllable as she asked her question again.

"Why did you come back…?" Sasuke looked back at her, a small smirk appeared.

"If you really want to know… I came back so I could repay you for what you've done for me. And also do what I wanted to do before I sought Orochimaru…" Sasuke quickly leaned in and he met her lips. For a second she resisted, and then Sakura gave into her deep longing for the Uchiha prodigy. Her hand rested limply on his chest now and shut her eyes letting the tears slide down her cheeks. They were tears of happiness, sadness, and relief from her seclusion.

He broke from her kiss and placed his lips beside her ear. "I need to speak with you privately. Look for me at midnight on your birthday." Sakura's mind was buzzing now. Meet again? Inside Konoha!? He'll be found! Sakura was about to protest but was met by another kiss.

Then she felt a gust of wind that blew her hair. Her eyes snapped open; Sasuke was gone and her lips stung from the sudden departure. Sakura's hand dropped down and bounced off the trunk of the tree.

"Sasuke?" She called out quietly. Sakura came out of the shade, out of a dream, and brushed her lips. He's back. He came back. She smiled and laughed out loud. Sakura then started walking down the road to Konoha.


That's what you call a 'starter chapter'! It grabs the reader's attention and has a kick-ass battle scene in the beginning. (I'm just kidding about the 'kick-ass' part. I suck at battle scenes. At least I think so…)

Katon: Ryuuka no Jutsu - Dragon Fire Technique

Katon: Ryuuka Kyuuin no Jutsu- Fire absorption technique (Made up)

Shousen Jutsu - Mystical Hand Technique (heal wounds by focusing their own chakra to their hands)

Tsuuten Kyaku - Bruising Sky Leg

Bunshin no Jutsu - Clone Technique (If you don't know what this is you're pathetic)

Review on what you think will happen next! Weeeeeeeeeee! (That was super cheesy…) Or review if you have questions. Actually I would really like some opinions on this… I've been debating on whether or not to post this.

Next Chapter- Forming the Seal