A/N: This is my first Naruto fanfic, so be kind. My fandoms keep changing with the wind, and even though I am still attached to the others I feel that I want to try my hand at this one. It doesn't help that last week someone stole my laptop, which had all of my stories on it, including the ones I was working on that were still unfinished. I am not about to go back and try to type them all again, because they wouldn't be the same.

This is a Sakura-centric story, based on an interpretation of what her character may be like when she is in her mid-twenties. Implied one-sided SasuSaku. SakuOC as well. This is a little dark, and a little graphic at the end, so be warned. This is assuming that Sasuke never returns to Konoha, and that Sakura and Naruto continue down the paths we see them taking in the Shippuuden episodes.

Disclaimer: I once owned a computer. Some asshole stole that and my iPod. Now I'm even more in debt having to replace thoseā€¦ I own nothing.

"Grey"

As a medic-nin she had been taught everything from kunai-throwing to complicated biology. Her only comforts were found in what she categorize or calculate. She had training in history, sociology, psychology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and strategy. She could calculate the gravitational pull on a shuriken or pinpoint the exact cellular growth needed to heal a wound. But her love was Physics; particularly, the theory of multiple universes.

The idea that at every decision made, the opposite path that could be chosen had created a separate, indefinable universe comforted her. The theory let her believe that somewhere in space and time, there was a separate Sakura who was living a different life because Sasuke never left, Naruto never left, and maybe Orochimaru had never been born. It was a wonderful dream to have in a world of comatose grey that only involved healing and death, giving and taking.

She had studied as much of Shrodinger's work as possible, and she truly believed that his math was sound; therefore, the resulting theories that came about surely had to be somewhat sound. On top of that, one of the first things she was taught in Chemistry and Physic was that for every action, there was an equal yet opposite reaction. She saw evidence of this basic scientific law everyday. So, if an action creates an equal yet opposite reaction, was it not plausible that the opposite reaction could be the path not taken, the decision left in the dust that spawns its own universe?

She believed so.

She continued her studies with psychology as well. When asked to do psychoanalysis on herself, she discovered that she had a Sadomasochistic personality. Her jounin instructor had blanched at the idea of such a diagnosis, and stuttered out that no one could really psychoanalyze themselves, that it had just been a test to see how each student viewed themselves according to psychology. She merely handed in her report and walked away. Days later Tsunade had sat her down and began to try to talk to her about the diagnosis and how right she had been. Her constant complaining, her supposed two personalities, and even her annoying habits seemed to fit the description.

She didn't think it prudent to tell her sensei that she enjoyed being tied down during sexual intercourse.

She continued by trying to quantify Sasuke's psyche. She had always felt something from the quiet Uchiha. At first she was sure it was Sociopathy, but she later found it unquantifiable. He never fit one specific category, but was instead like a melting pot of many different psychological disorders that scared her and gave her nightmares about his use of fire jutsus. Many of the disorders he did partially fit listed Pyromania as a beginning symptom.

In the end, she was wrong on both accounts.

At the age of 24, Sakura decided that the base problem for both her and the Uchiha traitor seemed to be an insane love of hatred or wrongdoing, and a tendency to fixate everything in their lives on that point of their life that caused the feelings of hatred or betrayal. She believed it was a screwed version of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So while the 'her' in this reality was fixated on the one man she thought she could love leaving her for power and revenge, she had to have hope in the other Sakuras that came about from the multiple universe theory and their lives that did not include complicated psychology due to traumatizing past events. She was sure that at least one Sakura deserved to live a happy life.

Still, Sakura 1, as she liked to call herself, lived in a world of unhappiness that was only punctured by the happiness of others. She had watched as her friends married, lived, died, and became mature and emotionally responsible adults while she stayed a broken 12 year-old on the inside. Everyone else had moved on with their lives and continued to grow as she stood in the middle of the blurring world and watched it go by. Everything moved so quickly it faded to grey.

The grey was what scared her. To get out of the grey she would have to break free of the past that haunted her, and she was sure that it would kill her to do so. There was only one way to get free of the grey without having to scream and rend her known world apart, creating yet another universe with another emotionally-scarred Sakura. It had nothing to do with viewing herself as weak like most of her lovers believed it did. On the contrary; it made her feel stronger to be able to live with the punishment from someone else, punishment she felt she deserved and had not yet received. In this she found herself, the true Sakura that no one saw except those who graced her bed.

So as the nameless Sand-nin she had picked up that night at the Suna bar moved on top of her immobile body, grunting and moaning his satisfaction to the world, she begged him to bite, to scratch, and to make her feel. She reveled in the feeling of his nails leaving marks on her arms and his teeth on her shoulder. She loved the restriction of not being able to free herself from the bonds made out of his belt and her shirt. He became rough as he got closer to completion, and she cried out in a mixture of pain and ecstasy at the sensation of nerves tingling, sending messages of pain to her neural center.

As long as there was pain, either through sex or through battle, she never saw the grey.