Ah, thank you all for the reviews. Now…let's get this plot a twistin…

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I've tried, and lost a lot of money in the process, but I will never give up!

Current members of the "We Hate Emi Club":

you.broke.a.promise, black moon-silver sun, Ishasuki Mitochi, Akuma Chiaim, inuyasha2847684, Mafija, PhAnToM SpEaKeR, Dark-Neko-Princess, Raxan, gaaraluver93, monkey-kid, ScorpieGal, FromDarknessComesLight, Kuro-Baara, A.D. Grey, BlackKanji, NinjaGirl9636, SweetAssassin, 'Pename here', TroublesomeShikamaru, Hiei's Cute Girl, Airi-hime, mahalo4ursupport, Da Bitchy BitchSlapin Kunoichi, RubyturnedTopaz4ever, Miss.Bryant, PinkxxxReaper, kitsuneyasha94, xYoshikox, Sakura-rocks106761, thelyntleoffair, GeneralSephiroth, nemadragon31, SakuraGaara, Light of The Sacred Flame, sms620, Panda-chan21, WeasleyTwinsGirl186, FakeCompassion, Akuma Chiai, Ziyi Shadow, Claki, Emo-Saku-chan, SoundzofSilence, Miss.Dandridge, Sakura LOVE shadow, animal.cracker.assassinator, Ashi Ruby, Vixen-of-the-hidden-leaf, gaasaku5, gaasakuluvr, kazster, ScarletEmber, PearlaH.Sweden, shika's girl, sms620, 0x-i-Need-A-Hug-x0, Red n Black Roses, missladylaura, kitty,

If you want to join the club, send in a review or PM me.

She was more nervous than words could describe. She entered the office building behind the Kazekage and didn't even take the time to enjoy the feel good effects of the air conditioner. She stared straight ahead at the broad back before her and tried to fight the urge to turn and run.

As the pair passed an older woman behind the front desk, she smiled nicely towards them both. "Good afternoon Kazekage-sama." She said in an old, wise voice. Gaara nodded back politely and kept walking at a steady pace, determined to get to his office.

Sakura though was busy forging a story as fast as she could. She needed something convincing, something that was believable. Her witty mind worked quickly and she went over what she thought of, making sure to fill in any holes that could give anything away. She was twisting her ponytail nervously as they walked into Gaara's office.

The redhead strode right into his room and promptly took a seat in his chair. He motioned to one of the chairs sitting before his desk, waiting for Sakura to take the seat. She hesitated and walked slowly as if walking to her death sentence. She sat down and avoided looking at his eyes.

Gaara spoke up then, "I would like to hear your story. The truth now." His tone was cold. He did not like being lied to.

She didn't want to say anything. She didn't at first but knew it was inevitable. Would it be possible that she would get off easy if she just told him the truth? No, she didn't want to think of what would happen. It would be easier to think of a convincing story. She had brains, that was for sure and she had thought of something while they were walking here. It was short, it had holes, and it was, in her opinion, corny like a bad romance movie. But it was all she had to go on.

"Ano…" her voice was weak and scared sounding. She didn't fidget nervously, even if her body wanted to. She was uncomfortable and she was certain that if she hadn't trained to remain calm in situations, then she would be sweating right now. "I…did lie to you Kazekage-sama." She had resorted to the formal part of speech. "But I wanted to come and live here without any sign of a ninja background." She covered. Score! Points for Sakura!

"Sou ka. I understand your intention but it would have been better to tell me. I wouldn't have forced you to document that knowledge but it would have stopped me from having suspicions." Gaara said. He looked at her with his intense sea foam green eyes and spoke once more. "If possible could you enlighten me with your background?"

Sakura resisted the sudden urge to cringe. Why did he have to ask that? Couldn't he be satisfied with what he got? Obviously not, but she had never suspected Gaara of being a curious person.

"Well, you see…" she thought to remember quickly. "I actually did grow up in a small village. And I went through ninja training like everyone else." Her eyes refused to meet his. Her mouth began to move on it's own without thinking. "When I was young my parents were killed…and I never had the ambition to remain in the village. So later on I started to travel around. It wasn't until now that I decided to settle down somewhere." She finished off. It was a basic overplay, a short story, and it was mildly believable.

Gaara didn't say anything at first. Still, his eyes were settled on Sakura which was more uncomfortable for her. She shifted slightly in her chair and waited for Gaara to say anything. The silence was suspenseful and it was slowly killing her. Causing her anxiety levels to rise. Without speaking, he nodded instead and closed his eyes. He looked as though he was thinking something over.

"Have you trained in the medical field before?"

The question caught Sakura off guard and her breathing hitched. He couldn't tell anything could he? She just saved a man's life, it wasn't like there would be any medical proof anywhere in that. So what then? He wouldn't bring this up out of nowhere unless he knew something about her. How was he able to tell?

"H-how…?" the word slipped out unintentionally.

"I have a very in tune ability of sensing chakra. When you balance the trays when you work, the chakra ability is very impressive. It's so exact and perfect, I couldn't sense a flaw. Only very special shinobi, geniuses if you would like to think that, are able to be that precise with their chakra control. The only others, are medical ninja." He finished off.

Sakura had to give it to him, this guy was good. To be able to sense her chakra type was impressive. And to guess that she was a medic took skill.

"Not only that," the Kazekage continued on. Sakura was amazed by the amount of words falling from his lips. "But you did save that man. Your quick thinking and knowledge saved his life. That also leads my suspicion of you."

Amazed, Sakura couldn't even comprehend her next words. They slipped out of nowhere. "Yes." She spoke, her voice sounding distant. "I am a medic." She then shook her head. "Was, I mean. I was a medic." She mentally slapped herself at her own stupidity and looked down at the floor, unable to look anywhere else. She couldn't believe that that had just slipped out. Now she needed a cover for that as well.

"How long?" he asked, interested for some reason.

"A long time. I've training for a couple of years, since I was about twelve." She hoped he wouldn't go into asking by whom, because answering "The Hokage" wouldn't work. She was sure her mind would think of something, or at least her mouth since that kept running without her brains consults of the words she was about to say.

Gaara didn't bother to go further into his investigation. He had work to do and this was taking up time, despite his needing of knowledge on her. Nothing seemed to be wrong or dangerous about her, but he was still tweaked that she had lied. Even if it was for personal reasons.

"If you have trained for as long as you say, why don't you apply for a job at the hospital?" he questioned, lacing his fingers together on his desk.

Shrugging, Sakura answered, "I never thought of it." Another lie, but she didn't want to tell him the truth.

"It's there if you would like to consider it. We could use more people on our medical staff." Gaara said in a final tone, signaling that this conversation was over.

Sakura nodded her head and stood up quickly, moving to the door. She didn't bother to look back or wait for any words. She opened the door and rushed out of the room, down the hallways, and stepped out into the scorching desert sun.

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The first thing Sakura had done with the money she earned was buy some root touch up hair coloring. The next day she was able to walk outside with her hair down and not have to worry about looking like a freak.

Her hair was bunched up on top of her head for work though. She waited on multiple people offering them the usual fake smile and more coffee. Over time, the waitress business was becoming easier. Sakura felt more at ease, beginning to recognize the usual customers and what they're 'usual' was. She could maneuver around the café fluidly without problems.

"Amaya, if I could have a word." Looking up, Sakura noticed her boss Hataru waiting for her. They didn't move to any other room, so their conversation was up for the whole kitchen to hear. They stood right in the middle, busy bodies moving to avoid them.

"Now, it's nothing too big. But I noticed that you sort of…disappeared yesterday in the middle of work." Amber eyes flashed behind the red glasses. "I'm just wondering where you were off to."

With a truthful reply, Sakura answered her. "I'm sorry for leaving so suddenly joshi-san. But Gaara-san wanted to talk to me. So he asked me to leave." She said. At that time, Emi had entered the kitchen with a stack of plates that needed to be cleaned. She stopped short when she heard that Sakura was talking to the boss.

"Well, if Gaara-sama was the one who asked you to accompany him then that is a reasonable excuse. Please, just let me know if you are going to leave again." She said as she straightened her glasses.

Sakura bowed slightly. "I will, thank you." Hataru walked off, heading towards her office.

Emi walked up to Sakura, her hands still full with dirty dishes. "You don't have any respect at all." She sneered at Sakura. Her red eyes glared furiously. "You think you can call Gaara-sama Gaara-san. Like you were closer with him or something?"

Sakura rolled her eyes at the obvious play of jealously, not wanting to deal with this girl. "Please, it's not attractive to act like a child." She dismissed the girl and walked off, ignoring her completely. Before she left the room she said over her shoulder, "And Gaara-san asked me to drop the –sama. I guess he just likes me better."

Knowing that that set off sparks of anger in the girl, Sakura walked away feeling satisfied. She knew it wasn't right to be mean to someone, but that girl really did have it coming. She couldn't stand girls like that at all. She was thankful that she and Ino had dropped the act so long ago. It really wasn't a favorable trait.

Later after work, the sun had gone down and it was dark outside. The stars shone brightly above Sakura, guiding her on her way back to her apartment. As she opened the door and locked it behind her, she couldn't help but wonder what to do. She wasn't tired at all.

In the living room, the computer sat quietly, untouched for the past couple of days. She took her hair down, the ends slightly curled from being wrapped in a messy bun all day. She turned the device on and waited a few minutes for it to warm up and set up all of the programs.

Finally she found her program and signed into her screename. The volume was off so she didn't hear the voice that cried "You've got mail!" She noticed the one mail message and clicked it, feeling elated that Tsunade's screename was next to it.

To: LoneyBlossom23

From: SlotsMaster38

Subject: Hang in there

Well, I'm sorry to hear that you are having a bad time. I wish I could help, but I'm not there. I've gone through similar things Sakura, or shall I call you Amaya? Just don't forget that. I've been there too so I understand.

Just remember that you are encouraged to come back at anytime. We all miss you terribly. Naruto had gone ballistic. He's pissed at the world that you are gone and he refuses to speak to me. He knows that I know where you are, but I won't tell him anything. He doesn't like me at the moment, but I'm not bothered. It's less yelling I have to listen to.

Ino is in a fit as well as everyone else. They are all worried. I found Naruto trying to organize a search team without my knowing. So, I really do encourage you to return soon, though I'm sure that my words don't mean much.

If needed as well, I could send money over for you. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask. I'm here for you got that? I want to help, even if it's by doing something small.

And what's this I hear about you being a waitress? That's an interesting choice I guess. I still think that you should work in the hospital. But it is your choice. I have no right to tell you anything.

So, overall, you're miserable. Everyone here is miserable without you. See a pattern? I'm just saying. Please stay safe and talk to me.

Love,

The one who misses you most.

For once, Sakura smiled as she read the letter. It was so nice to read something from her teacher. From her home. She missed everyone so much and at the mere mention of Naruto's name she could feel her heart skip a beat and her eyes glazed over. She wanted to see him so bad. She loved the boy so much, he was her best friend. She couldn't believe that she left him, but it was something she had to do for herself. She just wished that it wasn't so selfish. Then she might feel if only a little bit better.

Somehow, when Sakura signed in to check her mail, her screename had to have signed her into the instant messaging system. A small window popped up, someone she had talked to before wanting a conversation.

Waytosexy823: Hey, Sakura right?

Lonelyblossom23: Oh, hello.

Waytosexy823: It's been a while since I've talked to you. How have you been?

Lonelyblossom23: If I said alright, then I'd be lying.

Waytosexy823: I'm sorry to hear that. What's wrong?

Lonelyblossom23: I'm not sure if I should tell. I mean, I barely know you.

Waytosexy823: You can trust me. It's not like I'd go off running around telling everyone about someone I haven't met in person. Go on, you can trust me.

Lonelyblossom23: Well I've just had a nerve wrecking day.

Waytosexy823: Could you tell me about it? I'll listen.

Lonelyblossom23: Well, read about it. Lol. No, I'm kind of nervous.

Sakura debated just how much she could tell this person. They seemed to be fine, but she wasn't sure. Meeting people online was risky, and it as dangerous to reveal too much. But she wanted to tell someone what was going on. About what has happened to her. And this was someone who she didn't know, and possibly wouldn't meet.

Lonelyblossom23: I had to talk to the Kazekage today.

Waytosexy823: I'm not talking to a criminal am I?

Loneyblossom23: No, no. Of course not. Well, actually kind of. If you count lying as a crime.

Waytosexy823: You lied to the Kazekage?

Lonelyblossom23: …yes…

Waytosexy823: You rebel. What did you lie to him about?

Loneleyblossom23: About me basically. I'm not originally from Suna, and I guess I tweaked the truth about my past. And if I didn't lie today I could have been in big trouble.

Waytosexy823: So I AM talking to a criminal. Lol, jk. Unless you are. What about your past?

Lonelyblossom23: Just about where I came from. I just didn't want him to know. To tell you the truth, he actually knows me from years ago.

Waytosexy823: You know the Kazekage? Personally?

Lonelyblossom23: Not really too personally. But yes, I do know him. We took the chuunin exams together.

Waytosexy823: You're a ninja?

Sakura suddenly cursed herself, wishing she hadn't said that.

Lonelyblossom23: It's getting late. I have to work in the morning so I better go to bed.

Waytosexy823: I get it miss secretive. I'll talk to you again some other time.

Loneyblossom23: Yeah. Oyasumi.

Waytosexy823: Oyasumi Sakura-chan.

Sakura signed off her screename and took a deep breath, leaning back in her chair. She couldn't believe what she had just said. She couldn't believe what she had reveled to a complete stranger. It was insane and so unlike her to do something like that.

After shutting the computer down, the brunette pushed away from the computer desk in time to hear her stomach growl lightly. She had already eaten dinner previously but she did have an appetite. And she wasn't too diet strict as she was when she was younger. She had come to learn that her body burned off calories fast and didn't store it as fat. To make up for eating so much, she ate healthy (despite her ramen fetish) and she exercised a good amount.

Standing up she walked into the kitchen to find a late night snack.

---------------------------

The next day at work was peaceful. Emi wasn't working that day and there weren't too many customers filling in the place like usual. There also weren't many other workers. It was Sakura, Lin, and another girl whom Sakura barely knew. It was nice.

Lin walked into the kitchen and walked by Sakura who was picking up two plates for two of her customers and she was about to leave when the tall girl stopped her. "Amaya, there are two new customers that just came in. Could you cover them?" Lin asked.

Sakura nodded. "I've got it." She said and walked out. After delivering the food to the elderly couple seated by the window she was busy trying to dig her notepad and pen out of her apron to notice who the two newcomers were. She approached their table.

"Good morning to you both. I'm Amaya and I'll be serving you both today. Can I start you both with drinks?"

She didn't get a response. Sakura lowered her notepad to glance at them. And then she froze. She suddenly felt cold and her stomach flopped around. She could believe her eyes and the look she got told her that he instantly knew who she was. He remembered her look, dyed hair and all.

"Sakura? What are you doing here?"

Unable to answer his question Sakura just stared at him blankly. Temari sat across from the man, glancing between the two awestruck people. She finally understood where the shock came from and wondered how the Konoha girl would play this one out.

Sakura's throat went dry. She licked her lips, and spilling out from her mouth came one whispered word of disbelief.

"Shikamaru?"

Sorry to leave you hanging! I'm updating though right? Right!? Anyways, I'm not planning on making this story too long. I'm just getting everything done. That's what I want. I would really hate to abandon any of my stories. And I stupidly made another SasuSaku fic. Go ahead and read it if you want. I'm posting the next chapter to that soon after I post this one.