A/N: My second story. It may not be to well written seeing as the plot bunnies attacked when I was supposed to be asleep, but here it is anyway, in all it's glory. Don't forget to R&R!

Disclaimer: It will be mine one day. One day! But not today... unfortunately.

Pretend

Sakura had been playing pretend all her life. It was the only way to stay sane. When reality bites, she figured, isn't it okay to escape for a bit and forget your losses, if only for a moment. Her mind told her no, and her heart told her no, but Inner Sakura said, "What the hell! Let's just pretend they didn't say anything! Cha!"

It started when Sakura was six. She loved to play pretend. She'd bring Ino over to her house and they would pretend they were princesses. They would dress up in her mother's clothes and they would prance around the living room. Or they would pretend they super duper ninja, and they would take the Halloween masks out of the hall closet and crawl under the furniture, pretending they were sneaking up on an enemy. And sometimes, Sakura and Ino would pretend they were grownup and they could do anything they wanted. That was the most fun to pretend, even if they did have to take turns on marrying Sasuke-kun.

Again, playing pretend gained it's appeal when Sakura was fourteen. Sasuke-kun was long gone, Ino was still broken up over Asuma, and all Naruto could think about was improving that stupid Rasengan! Sai was a total bastard and Kakashi hardly talked to her anymore. She could run away to go live in that pedophile's, Orochimaru's, hell hole and it's not like anyone would notice. So Sakura pretended that Sasuke-kun never left and had said that he could only marry her. She pretended that Naruto and Sai were the best, most attentive, guy friends she could ask for and that Ino was taking her shopping the next day. She pretended that Kakashi was like the older brother she never had to talk about life with. She pretended and was content with the life in her mind. Only the calls from Tsunade for more sake brought her back to the bitter reality of the real world.

Sakura pretended Ino was sitting in her kitchen, laughing at the pictures she had of them from the Academy when she got the news that Ino was captured on a mission and her whereabouts were unknown.

She pretended Kakashi was just reading his porno again, probably in a tree somewhere, when she saw him die at the hands of Orochimaru.

She pretended that Naruto and Sai hadn't sacrificed themselves for the sake of Konoha, that they were actually arguing over the size of Naruto's, em, appendage, in the hot springs.

Sakura pretended that Sasuke was coming over to her to tell her he loved her, not to Chidori her to smithereens.

And, after managing to kill Sasuke-kun, yes, kill him, before he killed her, she pretended that she was not a broken person. She smiled and laughed and acted like she did before anything horrible happened to those she cared about. A time where pretend was just a game, not a way of life.

A/N: So how was it? Good, bad, sucky beyond belief? Let me know in a review! I'll appreciate it enough that I'll toss a brownie your way. Yay for brownies!