Tsukino

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Scroll I: Danger

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Her hands were bloody, coated in the sticky liquid of another's life blood, but she continued on swiftly, and if the sight of blood was disturbing to her, she didn't show it. Sakura was here to save a person, and to perform surgery was just another part of her daily routine as an accomplished medi. It wasn't that she never partook missions or was particularly useless (Oh, how she detested that word) in the fields of the shinobi arts, it was just… Sakura preferred more that simple act of saving the people who had fought valiantly and fearlessly than to being the one that would witness the blood and gore herself.

And apparently, her father did not agree the least bit with her.

In his eyes, if you did not practice and master the arts of a shinobi, you were useless.

Sakura eyes narrowed in disgust while her nimble fingers worked agilely, oblivious to what it's owner's disturbing thoughts.

She was not useless. She had proven that fact when Tsunade-shishou had taken her as her student, when she was taken into account as a part of the legendary Team 7 triology, when she had kicked the ass of one of the strongest shinobi in the 7 countries.

But it wasn't enough.

It was never enough.

Her father only had eyes for her brother. It was ridiculous, Sakura knew herself, but she wasn't the good little girl all the adults often praised her of being. She was 18 already, for the Hokage's sake! Yet…

Sakura brilliant green eyes dimmed as her fingers moved on quickly to heal the bruises and cuts marring the ANBU's face, her warm, green chakra pulsating from her hands and into the man below her. Her chakra connected the broken tissue and mended the broken bones, then swept down to tend to his abdomen, which had been shattered beyond recognition.

But that didn't faze her. She was a medic, and he was his patient.

Sakura eyes softened. She remembered her mother, smiling kindly at her, her emerald eyes sparkling with maternal love-

She wondered who in which corner of the world was waiting for the man underneath her to make it home safe and unscathed-

She smiled.

She would do anything to save her patient.

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Sakura wandered.

She liked to wander. It gave her a peace that she did not feel when she was in the presence of her father, and she let herself enjoy the comforting lightness while it would last. Evening was slowly creeping close, and the merchants were too busy shouting out prices and accepting offers to notice the pink-haired woman running her hands along the delicate trinklets presented along the worn fabrics.

Sakura allowed her vision to drift along frayed ends of the fabric and her mind slipped into reverie. She didn't know what she was doing anymore - she did not have a goal, and she had always been more goal oriented than anything else. They had Sasuke back, and thus she was at a loss. Though the shinobi countries were brimming on war, her own tight circle felt peaceful, if not a bit too comforting.

Shinobi stood on their toes at all times. It was either that or death.

Her feet made good pace along the dirt road, and before long she had wandered into the messier districts of Konoha, and Sakura took note to turn back before she got caught by some drunk men. She grimaced. Blood stains and sake stenches took forever to wash off. She was about to turn when a thick, gruff voice took her by surprise - the man was only a few feet away from her, and she hadn't felt a thing.

"Hello, kitten," The man wore a rough smirk that corresponded to his hideious face. And for a while Sakura contemplated what the return him.

A punch, a kick, or a broken nose?

And while she contemplated, the man - who was obviously drunk - made an awful mistake to grasp her arm, "why don't we go and have some fun?"

'Nasty, vile men.' Growling, Sakura pried his hands off of her, while infusing some chakra into her fingers to make them sting upon contact. The man recoiled, but kept his smirk, his razor sharp teeth glinting maliciously in the dark. A warning triggered at the back of her mind - she had seen this man before, maybe in one of the records that she read during her stay in the hokage's records room or on a mission report.

This man was dangerous.

She disregarded the sirens resounding in her head because as much as her instincts screamed at her that the man before her was extremely dangerous, she knew she would have recognized him immediately for his tall stature or beady eyes, and his teeth would have been too hard to forget if she had actually seen him before.

His hair was a curious blue and he wore no forehead protector, but despite his non-shinobi wear and tan arms, Sakura felt herself starting to breath irregularly in the crushing aura of this strange man.

He was still smirking, and even as his fingers sizzled upon contact of the kunoichi's fingers, he seemed unfazed and amused, at the most. He seemed to enjoy their little 'banter' and Sakura was going to change that.

In blinding speed, she arched her arm and aimed a punch for the man's jaw, and she felt the adreline and chakra pulse within her fist.

She acutely felt the terror that pressed down on her mind and numbed her fingers when the man single handedly caught her chakra infused fist.

And that ghastly man was still smirking, and his heightening amusement was clearly visible through the way his lips stretched into a full blown grin. The grin promised evil things that Sakura shivered to even think of.

Who was he?

And the man pulled - Sakura felt her feet leave the ground when the man tugged at her exposed arm, and his sharp teeth hovered dangerously over her right ear and Sakura screwed her eyes shut-

"Sakura-chan!" The relief, as acute as the terror that shot through her veins only moments ago, washed through her and she relaxed when she saw the gloved hand of Uzumaki Naruto close over the shoulder of the muscled man in front of her. She saw the way his eyes darkened at the way the man was holding her, and the lines of his cheeks darkened and turned jagged.

Naruto was pissed.

"Let go of her."

But the relief dancing in her brain ebbed away as she saw the man had no intent of letting her go, she felt more than saw the man stiffen when a thin katana slipped to the left side of the man's neck.

The blade was still bloody, and Sakura watched as Uchiha Sasuke, still clad in his ANBU uniform, glared coldly at the man still grasping her. His blade never wavered, and he was never unsure.

"Release her."

The Sharingan pinwheels spinned soundlessly and the man released her with an dispassionate push, like he was shaking something disgusting off of his hands. Sakura stumbled to her feet, while Naruto gently grasped her shoulder, steadying her. He glared one last time at the man, who showed no sign of remorse, if not the opposite.

"Let's go, Sakura-chan."

Naruto lifted his hand in a hand-sign and as Sakura watched the leaves twirl around her and Naruto and felt the teleport jutsu take it's toll, she saw the gleam of the man's sharp teeth and his smirk of a mouth say something too silent for her to hear.

And then it was all black.

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Giving the smirking man a deadly glare, Sasuke disappeared in his own whirlwind of leaves, leaving the man alone in the middle of the bustling streets of the more dangerous districts of Konoha. He turned around, ignoring the stares he was recieving, promptly stalked over to one of the dirty bars situated on the sides, and grabbed his enourmous sword.

Slowly people stopped looking, as it was often seen in those regions of Konoha people who took with them unordinary weapons; the man's sword was wrapped in bandages anyway, and there was not much left to see. The watching people and their complimenting silence dissipated slowly, and the night was once again filled with the noise of banter and excitement. With an agility that one of his height and build rarely possessed, the large man headed towards the heart of the city, where life was even busier with owners of stands shouting for customers and hectically taking orders. People passed by him in steady streams, though they were careful not to stand in his way; it was an unconscious act of instinctive fear.

He weaved his way silently through the crowd, and suddenly silent footsteps slowly fell in pace with his. The man smirked, and people scrambled to stand out of his way at the view of his knife-like teeth.

"Have you seen her yet, Kisame, un?"

Kisame gave the blonde man a sneer and turned to him, unhurried.

"You blind or what?" He barked out gruffly, "you were watching, you vain idiot."

The blonde glared balefully at Kisame, his eyes narrowing, "I don't like staring at your ugly face, bastard. A vain idiot like me wouldn't be able to stand it for long."

"Tch," The burly man snorted, and there was a moment of silence, "What did Leader say?"

"We need the girl,"

"Obviously. Get to the point, vanity boy."

Deidara's eyes promised pain; the glaring didn't pay off, as Kisame was till not showing the the slightest bit of concern for the blonde haired Akatsuki member.

"We get her. Tonight."

Kisame grinned at the promise of bloodshed. It was not a pleasant sight.

"Now that's more like it."

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A/N: A rewritten version of chapter 1. This is the way I was hoping it would go. The original was straying away. xD Review please!