Author's Note: This is my second attempt at a Naruto fanfic (first one has yet to be published—yeah, I know I'm not going in order!). Hope you like it! I've tried my best to keep everyone IC! And FYI, this takes place during the one-month break after the Chunin Exam preliminaries. However, Rock Lee is not hospitalized for what Gaara did to him and Jiraiya has not yet (and will not) been introduced. Anyway, please read and review!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters and story arcs. I only use what I know from the anime and manga created by Masashi Kishimoto. All credit goes to him!

Summary: Tired of her constant presence, Sasuke tells Sakura to leave him alone. At first, Sakura can't shrug it off and takes it to heart, yet someone eventually gets through to her, and Sasuke soon finds himself jealous. Can he still win her back or is she completetly over him? Some LeeSaku, but mosly SasuSaku.

Chapter One

I wonder where Sasuke is… It's not like him to arrive late… Sakura tightened her grip on the arced wooden bridge overseeing the small stream. Kakashi-sensei told us to wait here for word of our next mission fifteen minutes ago…

"You know," Naruto suddenly piped up, his fingers laced casually behind his neck, "If he's gonna make us wait any longer, I'm gonna leave and order up some ramen at the Ichiraku! I'm starving!"

"Just be patient, Naruto," Sakura told him monotonously, not even bothering to face him, "Knowing Kakashi-sensei, he's probably going to take at least an hour longer."

Naruto scowled. "Well, if he's gonna take that long, I'll definitely have enough time to finish a few bowls and still make it back here before he comes. Believe it!" He turned back to the village, "Ya coming, Sakura?"

She just shook her head, "No thanks. You go on ahead."

Naruto hesitated. "Okay…if you say so…" And then he took off to the village.

Sakura sighed. Ever since that Orochimaru guy left Sasuke with that curse seal, I can't stop worrying about Sasuke…Since that day, he hasn't been himself lately. And besides, he's never late; the only reason I can think of to explain his absence is that he's gotten hurt, or… She abruptly pulled away from the pole she was holding on to.

"No…that can't happen," Sakura told herself sternly as she shook her head. "I-I won't let that happen." She turned toward the path back toward the village. "I've got to find Sasuke before…before someone else does!"

The first place Sakura thought to look was his apartment. Racing down the path, she nearly bumped into several people along the way.

"Hey! Watch it!"

"Be careful!"

"Slow down!"

Despite all the people's warnings of caution, Sakura just ignored them. All she could think about was Sasuke right now. As she blindly raced up the stairs, she ran down the hall until she came face-to-face with his door. To her relief, the door and window were still in tact—so at least no one broke in. But there were still other methods, and she just had to make sure…

Slowly, Sakura reached for the doorknob. (Gulp) Here goes…She turned the knob and…


Sakura withdrew her hand back. "Heh-heh. There's nothing odd about that," she muttered, mocking herself for overreacting. "Of course Sasuke would lock his door. I know I would… But…" Sakura narrowed her eyes, "There's no harm in making sure…"

She raised a clenched fist and knocked on the door softly, waiting for a reply…

Still nothing.

This, of course, worried Sakura, and she soon began pounding on the door. "Sasuke? Sasuke, are you there?" she called out through the door, "It's me, Sakura! Hello? Are you in there? Please! Answer me! Open the door! Sasuke!" By now, she was practically screaming his name. "SASUKE! SASUKE!"

"What are you doing?"

Sakura—despite her loud screams—could recognize that voice anywhere. She turned around, and saw…Sasuke, staring at her with a raised eyebrow like she was some sort of idiot. Sakura suddenly felt a little embarrassed, but she was more relieved to see him unharmed.

"Sasuke!" she cried happily, "I'm so glad to see you! I thought—"

Sasuke cut her off, "You still haven't answered me yet: just what were you doing screaming at my door?"

Sakura didn't know where to begin, "Well…when you didn't show up at the bridge today, I thought that—"

"What? Is the mission over already?" Sasuke interrupted, his voice stoic.

"Well, no…"

"Then what are you doing here?"

Sakura could sense it; Sasuke was annoyed with her presence and didn't want her around… as usual. Sakura took in a deep breath. "Listen, Sasuke," she began quietly, "It's not like you to be late. And…well, I just thought that something bad might have happened, so I went to check on you…"

Sasuke scoffed at her concern. "You don't have to check on me," he said bluntly, "I can take care of myself. Besides, I was just getting some extra training in the woods. Quit overreacting."

Sakura hated how Sasuke thought no one should care for him; she made it her life not so much as to be his fangirl anymore, but to always look after him and stand by his side instead. "Overreacting?" she repeated in disbelief, tears forming in her eyes, "How can you call caring overreacting? Am I committing a crime because I care about you? Sasuke, I can't bear to watch you suffer! Ever since what happened in the Forest of Death with Orochimaru—"

"Sakura, we've already talked about this," Sasuke said in a low voice, "Enough said. What I do is my business—not yours, not anyone's. You should just go back to the bridge and leave me alone." He stepped past her and unlocked the front door.

Sakura couldn't believe how Sasuke was dismissing her feelings again. Dejected, she could only ask him softly, "But…aren't you coming to the bridge, too?"

Sasuke replied with a cold, hard glare. "I said, leave me alone."

Sakura could only watch in stunned silence as the door closed in her face, creating a barrier that will forever keep her from reaching Sasuke. Why? Why doesn't he tell me anything? A fresh tear hit the pavement below her. No matter how hard I try to get through to him, he always pushes me away…like I'm some nuisance. Maybe he really does hate me…

A/N: So, what'd you think of it so far? Sorry for the short chapter. I'll try to make the next one longer! Please R&R!