So, I got kicked off my computer, un. That's why I'm updating. Argh… And I just met Deidara in the anime, too!!! And my brother was poking me, un.

- - -

Despite getting up at four in the morning, Sakura was still found by Naruto and Sasuke at the training grounds. Before they could open their mouths, a new figure landed in front of Sakura.

"Fight me. Show me what you've learned." It was Sasori's voice coming out of the puppet's mouth.

"Sa – "

"If you won't attack, then I will." True to his word, the puppet lunged for Sakura, who stared at it. At the last moment, she vanished.

"Why couldn't you just say, 'Hello, long time no see' like a civilized person?" she complained through Mizu's mouth.

"Sakura!" Temari called out, having arrived on the scene with her brother, Hinata, and Kiba. "Is that – "

"Yes," the female puppeteer answered curtly. "I don't see you for three weeks and the first thing you say is 'Fight me'?!"

Sasori's puppet laughed. "You have improved. You even found the hidden knives," the red-haired puppeteer observed as his weapon ducked, narrowly avoiding a beheading from the knife in Mizu's leg.

"Yeah, you idiot. Why didn't you tell me?!"
"I thought it would be more fun for you to find them!"

"Fun to cut myself while I'm sleeping because I didn't know she had knives in her legs? Ha!" she muttered, jerking Mizu out of the way of a shower of senbon. "Why the hell are you playing with me?!"

Sasori laughed through his puppet. "If you paid attention, Sakura-chan, you would notice that I'm giving this fight my all. You have improved."
"How's Itachi-san?"

"That blind idiot? He's whining about his eyes, as usual."

"I can't imagine him whining; sorry. That sounds more like Deidara-kun." The puppet were locked, limb to limb.

"What's that about me, un?" a familiar voice asked, irritated. "Bang!" There was a small explosion, and Sakura was knocked out of her tree.

"Dammit, Deidara! I told you to stay out of this!" Sasori growled as he watched her fall. Naruto stood under her limp form with his arms ready to catch her.

"I'll save you, Sakura-chan!"

"Dobe," Sasuke grunted, standing above him. His fingers just brushed her body as a blur of red and black sped by. Sasori landed with Sakura in his arms.

"Sakura, hey, Sakura!" He shook her gently, scowling at the blond missing-nin who had knocked her out. Suddenly, a blade was placed on his back at the spot right above his half a heart. Mizu smiled innocently at him, the knife protruding from her wrist.

"I win," Sakura declared, appearing in front of the kneeling Akatsuki member. Her clone disappeared in a poof of smoke.

Sasori raised his hands in a gesture of surrender – and made his puppet stab Sakura. She promptly vanished in smoke. Sasori's eyes narrowed.

"That would have hurt, Sasori-kun!" Sakura pouted in a sing-song voice from behind Mizu. "Just surrender, please."

Sasori sighted. "You win," he agreed grudgingly. Mizu did a victory dance around him, clapping her hands.

"That was amazing, Sakura!" Temari exclaimed. Kankuro nodded in agreement, whistling in admiration.

"No, Sasori-kun was going easy on me," Sakura protested.

"Why are you hiding your hands, un?" Deidara asked. Sasori drew them out from under her cloak. Sakura flexed her fingers and sent Mizu to whack Deidara on the head.

"Up until now, they thought Mizu was alive," she grumbled as the blonde rubbed his head. "What are you doing here?"

Sasori sighed. "Leader-san fried me alive for making you go – he's addicted to your cooking. Itachi's moaning nonstop about his poor eyes; Deidara, Kisame, and Tobi annoy the hell out of us all; and Zetsu's turning red. So my mission is to bring you back."

"Why should I come back?" Sakura returned with her hands on her hips. Besides the fact that I love you…

"Leader says that Akatsuki won't attack Konoha for the rest of your life, and that if you say no, he'll attack for sure," Sasori muttered. "Even if you don't care… I want you to stay with me."

Sakura looked to Hinata, Kiba, Temari, and Kankuro with a question in her eyes. Hinata nodded timidly, Kiba and Temari grinned in approval, and Kankuro nodded solemnly.

"Go on," he urged. "We owe you."

"I'm s-sure H-Hokage-sama w-won't m-mind h-having a p-peace t-treaty b-between us and A-Akatsuki," Hinata added shyly.

Sasori held out a ring. "Leader would like you to be our medic," he told Sakura quietly.

"And housekeeper?" she snorted. "…Okay, then." She took the ring and turned to her friends, noticing that Naruto and Sasuke were gone. Off to inform the Hokage, no doubt. "Bye, guys. I'll visit, okay?" One by one, she hugged them, then followed Sasori and Deidara.

Tsunade arrived just in time to see Sakura wave one last time. "Sakura!" There was no reply.

"Never thought that would happen," Kiba whistled. Hinata smiled happily, watching the red clouds on the cloaks flutter.

"B-but she's h-happy," she whispered. "Th-that's all th-that m-matters."

In anger, Tsunade called for ANBU to follow Deidara, Sasori, and Sakura, but Temari stepped into their path, soon joined by the other three.

"Do you really want to destroy your truce with the Akatsuki?" she asked with a glint in her eye. Tsunade's eyes widened.

"Let's go to my office," she sighed. "Then you're going to explain everything to me."

- - -

"SAKURA-CHAN'S BACK!" Kisame, Tobi, and Deidara chanted (although Deidara fell behind because he added an "un" to the end). "SAKURA-CHAN'S BACK (un)!"

Sakura leaned against Sasori, who stood behind her. "Can you shut them up?" he groaned.

She smirked. "Of course," she replied evilly, getting out a little red can. "Are you up for curry again?" In answer, Sasori began pulling out the largest water pitchers they had.