Chapter Thirteen

Sakura looked on impartial to the gapping wound in Itachi's chest. The Haruno magic around her began to die and recede back into her body. Taking one look at Itachi Sakura could see that he was close to death. And she was the only one who could save him if she wanted. But Sakura was feeling far from generous.

With only a few strides Sakura was at Itachi's side and bent over him pulling his face up close to hers by his collar. Hate poured from her eyes and sent a shiver of fear down Itachi's spine though he couldn't pull his eyes away from hers.

"Say it Itachi. Say it again so everyone in Konoha can hear you."

When Itachi made no move to open his mouth Sakura slapped him.

"Say it! Tell the truth Itachi! And maybe I will heal you and let you live." The last sentence was but a whisper in Itachi's ear.

"Alright!" Itachi chocked out. Even to a dying man who's only life would be prison if he obeyed Sakura's demands, the prospect of living was temping. After all you can always escape from confinement. But it's damn hard to come back to life. "I did it..." He said. "I killed the Haruno and Uchiha clan." His voice was soft but it carried with the wind to all corners of Konoha. And noone doubted it. Not after seeing him kill his own brother.

Sakura held him by the collar never looking away from him as a small yet satisfied smile crossed her lips.

"Now heal me."

"No."

"You said you would! You have to!"

"I said maybe Itachi. I don't have to do anything. Goodbye Uchiha Itachi. Destroyer of the Uchiha's."

Sakura let Itachi fall. His final breath left him as his head hit the dirt.

Sakura turned and walk over to Sasuke's body. She picked him up and held him close to her body crying as she rocked back and forth. He was dead and there was nothing that Sakura could do to change that. As much as she wanted to you could not bring the dead back to life. One it was impossible, but even if it was doable, it went against all the laws of nature. Sakura just had to say goodbye.

"Sasuke I don't know it you can hear me..." Medic's were already clearing the square leaving Itachi's body till last. "But I always loved you and I never stopped. If I could bring you back or go back in time I would. Just to save you from today. But I can't. I'll never forget you. Bye." Medic's came and took Sasuke from Sakura giving her a pat on the shoulder.

Sakura walked over to Sasori an smiled at him as he drew her into his arms. "I think it's time to go." The Akatsuki all nodded and formed a protective circle around Sakura. She untied her headband and bent down placing it on the ground. She took out her sharpest kunai ready to finally slash through the leaf symbol.

"Sakura!"

Sakura turned to look at the person who called out slightly confused. They knew she couldn't stay here.

"Sakura you have now been pardoned from all charges against you." Tsuande quickly said after Kiba had already called out. "You slash that band and you can never stay here again."

"Tsuande." Sakura said quietly "I appreciate the offer, I really do, and it's nice to be innocent again. But I did kill my father and many ANBU that cannot be overlooked. And my place is with the Akatsuki. I could never be happy in Konoha now." With that Sakura sharply pulled the kunai through the metal of her forehead protector cutting through the symbol neatly. "My life was chosen for me up till now. From now on I make my own decisions."

"Then once again you are an S-class criminal."

"Konoha is no longer my home Tsuande."

Sakura and the Akatsuki began to walk away ready to leave Konoha.

"Good Bye Sakura-chan!"

Sakura turned to look at Naruto.

"Goodbye Naruto."

"You will always have friends here Sakura-san."

Breaking away from the Akatsuki Sakura ran to her friends crashing into Lee and Naruto as all the others surrounded her in a group hug. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks.

"You may have chosen to remain as an S-class criminal, but as long as your name lives through ninja's you are free to go wherever you please. No ANBU will ever trouble you again. I can't say anything for Sasori but I can for you and your children."

"Naruto you can't do that!" Tsuande said indignantly. "You have to consult me first on any major decisions like that. I am your assitant!"

"Exactly. Remember why you were depromoted. You never consulted anyone on decisions and then you bankrupted the city. All because of your gambling. At least my decisions don't involve money."

Tsuande opened and closed her mouth as if she wanted to say something but didn't know how to say it. Finally she managed to say;

"You're the boss Hokage."

"It's time to go Sakura-chan." Yondamine said.

Sakura pulled away and ran towards her family. She grasped her husbands hand like it was a lifeline.

They left Konoha the sun setting over the horizon. Sakura only returned to Konoha three times. One fore Sasuke's funeral and the other two to deliever her and Sasori's children. The first a boy and the other a girl. Shiro and Cho. They grew up as Akatsuki but were never threatened by ANBU or anyone else. Orochimaru was eventually killed after another attempt to take Konoha when Sakura was there with her new baby girl. The Uchiha clan had died, but even though Itachi had tainted it's reputation, the name and clan were still respected as protectors of Konoha. Every year a month after their aniversary, Sakrua and Sasori would light candles and set them on the lake to float out as a rememberance for all the people who died protecting her from Itachi.

"Our children are growing strong." Sasori said as he lit the last candle.

"Yes. They will be the greatest shinobi ever. Sakura said watching the water. Sasuke, I hope you've found peace. You deserve it.

"Sakura?"

"Hm?"

"Sasuke always loved you. You know that. He said to me once that I was to always protect you like he never did. What he did to save you, he did out of love. And you know I would do the same.

"I know Sasori. I know." Sakura placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled at him. "I know." She repeated. Sasori gathered her into his arms and held her tightly against him.

"I love you Sakrua."

"I love you too Sasori."

The stood like that till the sun rose the next morning and all the candles had burnt out. Soon their children joined them along with Sakura's niece, Maya, and as a family they walked back to the Akatsuki lair. As a family they stayed together always with love in their hearts.