A/N: This is the first chapter if my newest fic, I hope you all enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I did not will not and do not own Naruto.
Chapter one Pains of the Heart
The lower east side is a jukebox playing the dead man's crescendo
The needle is a vector
An intersection that we all must cross
A dimly lit hallway where shadows of moths decorate the walls
"Another day another pain." She though bitterly to herself.
The door closed with a soft click as a figure with pale porcine skin stepping into the dark empty room that screamed 'despair'. The only light came from the first golden rays of sunlight peeking through her heavy gray curtains. Aside from that small sliver of luminosity the small barren room was void of any light what so ever. Not only was the small apartment in desperate lack of light it was in grave need of some color aside from the grays and blacks. But she liked gray and black so she did not change it.
The pale slender girl that had entered the room moved to the counter and struck a match lighting a scented candle. She hated using the electric lights, they seemed to cold and evil to her and so she only used them when she was too busy to light a candle. The small orange flame flickered hypnotically dancing away the darkness while illuminating her slender figure and emotionless face. Her brilliant dark forest green eyes were half framed by dark long lashes curled like the tips of a butterfly's wings.
Her soft pink colored lips cracked slightly and rare smile as the welcoming scent of the candle surrounded her. Sakura's cropped pink locks hung limply around her face. In the stressfulness of the past few months she rarely felt this calm. But the serenity was short lived as memories of her daily meeting with the Hokage came flooding back to her clouded mind.
Another thing that wasn't working in her life. Day after day she would come to the Hokage requesting a solo mission yet all she received in reply was a simple 'I'm sorry Sakura we don't have anything at the moment. Once something comes in I'll let you know."
How many damn times had she heard that line before?! She hated hearing it roll of her sensei's lips time after time! The only time she didn't hear it was when she went on a simple B or lower rank mission mocking her increased skill or when she went with her team, and that certainly wasn't solo.
Not to get her wrong, Sakura loved her team to death but She needed to be alone now and then. On top of that their performance around her seemed odd in her eyes. She didn't know when it started but it was happening now and she didn't like it.
For example, when ever she was with them, weather it be training, relaxing, or going to grab a bowl of ramen they seemed to all be on edge. When one of them tread to close to her the other two would show signs of irritation. The three of the clearly held back during training so that she wouldn't strain herself as the so kindly put it. "Strain my ass they were holding back on purpose!"
Sakura remembered there was the one time Naruto went with Jiraiya on a short escort mission not too long ago. Only lasting a week, but when he came back he glomped her excitably. Now this wasn't unlike Naruto, oh no. This was exactly like Naruto though a bit exaggerated. What surprised her was that Sai and Kakashi had pried him off her and continued to beat him to a bloody pulp. "Right after saying how much they missed him too." She mused quietly completely missing the point behind their words.
Then there was the time Kakashi had offered to train her a little one on one without the boys. She had readily excepted thrilled to have some private training. Later that day he showed her a few simple juj-taijutsu moves (throws and holds) she could use on an attacker without killing them or hurting them too badly. It was going nicely until Sai and Naruto showed up only to chase Kakashi around the lake and all over the village after seeing her in a complex arm hold he was teaching her.(just a bit to close to her breasts for their liking) After that the two boys had made it a rule, no privet training with Kakashi perv- er sensei.
And of course there was the time Naruto and Kakashi had found Sai's sketch book lying around and decided to look through it. Poor Sai, when she found him he was beaten so badly he could barley walk. She never did find out what was in his sketch book since Naruto and Kakashi burned it, refusing to tell her anything about it. The next day after Sai had be healed by her chakra enhanced hands Naruto and Kakashi wouldn't let him even look at her by forming a protective wall around the only female member of their cell.
She sighed running a long slender hand through her cropped dawn tinted tresses deciding to just let it go. She'd think about it later. Her eyes were heavy from lack of sleep though she refused to drift completely into unconsciousness, it's not like she could if she wanted to. She couldn't sleep. Ever since that one incident in the forest her sleep was taken from her replaced with fatigue, despite her silent longings her dreams continued to escape her grasp time after time.
By now she should have gone insane and most likely would have if the Kazekage hadn't taught her meditation when she was in Suna on a long term mission to train their few medic nins. After hearing about her problem Gaara had offered to teach her the tricks he used when he still had the One-Tailed Shukaku trapped within his mind. Most likely as payback for helping save him when he was kidnapped from the Akatsuki.
During their little training sessions that continued mostly for the company since she mastered meditation a long ago the two had grown close. Though not many would believe (and even fewer guess) Gaara had a deep interest in philosophy as well as a love for the topic and enjoyed sharing his thoughts on this subject with Sakura as they discussed the meaning of life and other similar things.
She stared down at her hand again after freeing it from the tangle of messy locks. She had spent a whole night up again and her body needed a few short hours of meditation before she headed out for training. She still had a while before she would be in desperate need of meditation and with a bit coffee she would be good for the rest of the day.
It was still early but she decided to head over to the Hokage tower and see Tsunade about a mission. Grabbing her coffee she sipped the dark liquid that was now a soft brown thanks to the cream letting it warm her cold hallow throat. Soon she could feel the effects of the caffeine working it's way through her body, sending warm shivers up and down her spine. Licking any remaining traces of the dark liquids off her lips she set her mug down and headed into her bed room to change, only to emerge a few short minuets later.
She adjusted her dark red tank top hiding a second layer of black and slipped into a pair of tall black sandals with a slight heel to them. She adjusted her kunai holster over her black biker shorts and let her silted red skirt fall over it. Making sure her tan colored elbow guards were in place she headed out the door stopping only to lock it.
The sun was well on it's way ascending the early morning sky surrounded by a few dark clouds that threatened to shower the earth below with it's tears, but for the most part it was sunny. The quiet rose hair girl smiled at the crimson kissed sky before continuing on her way. Sakura hummed a bit to herself making her way down the street. She never got up this early and when she did she usually spent her time resting or just relaxing. She wasn't a big morning person leaning towards turning nocturnal since she stayed up all night most of the time.
Approaching the Hokage tower a mischievous grin spread across her face. The Hokage knew she never got up the early and probably wasn't expecting her. This was a perfect opportunity to surprise her.
'She'll never know what hit her," she snickered sinisterly masking her chakra and sneaking pass the guards with ease. For the past three years she practically lived here so it was easy for her.
Her graceful figure passed with the silence of a shadow making it's way through the maze of hallways towards the Hokage's office. A few minuets later she stood in front of the tall wooden door ready to jump forward when a noise from inside stopped her.
"Kakashi?" She though as he heard his voice formally address the Hokage, shockingly. But what really surprised her was what he said.
"Are you sure Sakura won't find out about this?" Asked the grey haired Jonin.
"I'm positive, as long as none of you told her that is. She's too much of a night owl to be up this early." Tsunade replied grumpily.
They were talking about here! And not only were they talking about her, they were talking about how they didn't want her find out about whatever they were doing. Growling silently she slipped up against the wall and pressed her ear up to the cold substance to increase her hearing.
"I still don't know why you don't want my apprentice finding out about this. She is after all part of your team and deserves to take part of this mission." Tsunade said staring the conversation up again. Sakura smiled towards the female Hokage.
"True she has excelled under your training in strength as well as medical jutsus but, despite how much she's grown she hasn't grown enough. I sincerely doubt she could hold her own in a battle this tough. If we took her on this mission she would just be a dead weight and slow us down. She's still not mature or emotionlessly strong for a mission like this. She's a better use to you here, not on this mission."
Sakura's heart felt like it had left her breath jumping to her throat choking the breath out of her essence. How could he say something like that? Didn't he see how much she has grown over the past two and a half years? Didn't he see her training her butt off every single day, pushing herself to her limit?! He was her sensei, for the love of Pocky! He should know better than anyone else that she wasn't the same weak twelve year old Kunoichi she once was.
"I disagree Kakashi. She has truly blossomed into a strong able body kunoichi fully capable of taking on such a mission. Don't forget you need a medic nin and Sakura is the best of the best next to myself. Not only that but she has perfect chakra control and an unrivaled strength most men would kill to have. " Replied the Gondaime stating firmly before turning her voice towards the two boys. "What do the rest of you have to say? Naruto, Sai?"
'Naruto and Sai are there as well? Please guys pull through for me just this once. Please believe in me.' She though desperately clutching the fabric of her shirt right above her heart. 'Believe in me.'
"…I…agree with Kakashi sensei. True Sakura has improved but she's still a deadweight compared to the rest of us at this point. Also this mission would require us to control our emotions since we'll be under intense pressure. I don't think she would be able to do that. She's too emotional she overreacts and she dramatizes everything She is wounded and injured too easily by enemies and wastes chakra on things normal people wouldn't. To put it bluntly, she dose not meet the requirements for this mission."
Sakura's heart dropped in despair. Her breathing became horse with disgust. 'How could he? How could he ignore how much she had grown? How could he just act like all her strength wasn't there? How could he call her a deadweight? How could he not believe in her?' She thought angrily loosing all respect for the artist.
"I see… Naruto, what about you? You've been quiet this whole time, what are your thoughts on the matter?" Tsunade asked.
Sakura's despair lifted for a moment in hope. If anyone were to stick up for her it would be Naruto. No one was closer to her than the golden haired fox carrier, not even Ino despite their strong friendship. If there was ever a person to believe in her it would be him.
"Hokage sama…" he began causing her to frown. He never called her that unless he was really serious. "I'm truly and honestly sorry but…I also agree with Sai and Kakashi sensei. Sakura is a truly strong able body kunoichi that has grown tremendously under your training but…she hasn't grown enough for this mission. She would just hold us back, she's just be a dead weight. She's an excellent medic that's true but considering the pressure we'll be put under on this mission I don't think she could handle it. She's too frail and innocent for a mission like this. An S rank infiltration mission is still too much for her."
If she felt like her heart dropped before when she head Kakashi and Sai it was gone now. How could he…he…him of all people? Sure she could understand, grudgingly, after a while that Kakashi and Sai though she was weak but Naruto? Her best friend? Her teammate? Was it really him? No I couldn't be! This wasn't real, this wasn't happening, this couldn't be happening! The wouldn't do this to her!
She felt like lying down and rotting away into the wind she was so crushed. If there was ever a time she felt like dying it was now. They had all said it, they had all called her it. A deadweight.
Tears threatened to pour from her eyes but she held them back. 'Please God, someone wake me up from this nightmare.' She prayed knowing no one would, after all…she didn't sleep. Unable to take anymore she bolted from her spot outside the door running with the speed and swiftness that only comes when one's heart is in flames, blazing, burning, dying, away.
She ran through the streets blindly having the elaborate passageways of her hometown burned into her mind ignoring the dark skies and the rumble of thunder as a few drops of rain trickled down from the sky barley touching her. The heavens seemed to be almost weeping for her sorrow.
Stumbling a little she flew into her apartment room falling down onto the floor face first while slamming her fist at the light switch turning on the lights. Her damp hair falling around her head in a dark rose colored halo. She didn't cry, she refused to cry. Crying was a sign of weakness no matter what anyone said. She wouldn't cry. She wasn't weak.
A growl of anger slipped past her parted full lips. If they couldn't see how strong she was she would make them see. She wouldn't stop until there was no way they could possibly call her weak. She wouldn't be a deadweight, she wouldn't.
Crying out in frustration she smashed her fists against the cold cement floor without chakra until they bleed, rubbed raw. Her hands were stained crimson but she didn't stop as she continued to beat the overly abused floor. Soon the substance began to crack. Even then she didn't stop. Evan after the cracks turning into a crater she didn't stop. No on would hear and complain since she lived in the basement past of the apartment.
Finally she stopped, leaning back to look over her work. She shakily pulled a hand up to her face to view it. It was disgustingly beaten with skin gone and blood now cascading down her wrists. The crater in the floor acted like a basin as blood began to trickle down pooling at it's bottom. She sat staring at the dark substance as if in a trance. It was so dark, almost black, her blood. Her blood, the blood of one so 'fragile' as Naruto put it. "Ga…"
Soon the blood began to move upward in the air taking on a defiant shape. At first it looked like a butterfly but the shape of the wings and the long furry antenna conferment that the shape was a moth. It's black and silver wings poking through the blood before it took flight only to land on her nose. It's furry antenna tickling her face earning a soft chuckle.
If she had been anyone else she would have been sprawled out on the flood having a seizure from the moth's poison. Yes the moth resting delicately on her nose was highly poisonous as were most other moths, though this one's effects were a bit more deadly than a numbing sensation or a sleep stimulation that most carried.
With a weary smile she lifted her slender hand up to her nose offering the poisonous insect a better perch than her nose. The winged insect happily flapped it's wings and transferred perches as a pair of hallow green eyes watched with amusement. It was funny how so many people would mistaken a moth for a butterfly since the only classification between the two was that a butterfly was beautiful where as a moth was plain and ugly. What fools! True that many moths came in shades of brown and gray, but there were many others that were truly breathtaking with brilliant blue or green wings, or others with thin swallowtails in a pale pastel color. Butterflies were beautiful true, but that was it. They were so frail and weak, with such a short lifespan. Moths were powerful with their poisons and deadly spores with a lifespan twice as long as a butterfly's. They hid in the darkness of night active while Butterflies slept waiting for morning to awaken them from their slumber.
The moth on her finger rubbed it's antenna together and a soft 'buuur' sound came form the small insect causing Sakura to laugh. That's right, moths could sing where as butterflies couldn't. It was a soft purr like sound as soft as a whisper but a sound none the less. She'd like to see a butterfly sing.
Her eyes saddened as a memory came back to her at the though of butterflies. Naruto had once called her a butterfly after training. She had asked him why but he just squeaked and turned away, refusing to look her in the eye. Then there was that event today when he called her frail, just like a butterfly. A weak… helpless… little… butterfly.
The moth on her finger purred again and tickle her cheek with it's long antenna. Moths were powerful though mostly plain not like butterflies. She used to be a butterfly when she and Ino grew their hair out and wore makeup to impress boys instead of training. Now a days she never wore makeup no matter how light and kept her hair short, just the way she liked it. True, she was once a butterfly but now…now she was completely different.
A bolt of white lightning flashed in the dark apartment as the lights flashed out leaving her in total darkness. A few minuets later another flash of lightning streaked across the sky illuminating the small room for a brief moment in a bright light. That was, illuminating everything except two large black orbs completely drowned in the dark onyx shade leaving no room any other color in a pale girl's almond shaped eyes.
She was a moth.
Ah, there it is Please review! Flam if you want, I like flames too.