*NOTICE: WOLF08 IS ALIVE! That's right, I'm still here! I am going to update and revise all of my stories in good time. :) Please see my updated profile for more information. I am so sorry for the prolonged delay.

This story is my first *new* project. It was originally a LONG one-shot, but I extended it and split it into 10 parts. All 10 parts are complete, and I will upload one every day for the next 10 days. :) This story underwent MAJOR changes, so if you read it before… I recommend that you read it again! ;)

This was my first fanfiction, so I felt that it was only appropriate that I revised it first! :) The language is simple and pretty easy to follow, but I took out grammatical errors I encountered in the revising process.

Thank you and enjoy. 3

Together and Alone – Part 1

Sakura Haruno sighed with relief when she saw Naruto. "Hey Naruto! Naruto!" she called happily, "So you and Sasuke are alright?" Naruto looked away. "Hey, where is Sasuke anyway?" Naruto made a sad expression. "No…" Sakura couldn't believe it. Kakashi watched her sadly, but Zabuza attacked him- forcing him to ignore her. Sakura and the bridge-builder ran past Naruto to find…Sasuke lying on his back with needles sticking out from various parts of his body. Six or seven of them were sticking out of his neck- like a spiked collar.

STOP! We all know that in the end, Sakura's crying wakes him and that he is fine by the next day, right? Right! Now, what if Sasuke's injuries had turned out to be more serious? It's now time to put a twist on the Naruto series and enter the world of What if's…

Kakashi strode over; blood-splattered from his battle against Zabuza and Haku. Sakura and the bridge-builder looked up at him curiously, and Kakashi nodded, proclaiming defeat. Naruto jogged over too- still teary-eyed from Haku's dramatic death. He looked down at his fallen team-mate, Sasuke, who had sacrificed himself for Naruto. Naruto looked away sadly, remembering Sasuke's last words, "Don't let your dream die…" Sakura was shaking Sasuke's arm hopefully, and Kakashi and the bridge-builder watched sadly.

At last, when Sakura's method of trying to wake him had clearly failed, Kakashi picked Sasuke up carefully and said, "We should return to Konoha. The doctors will sort this out. Do not worry." Despite his words, his voice was quiet and full of doubt. Naruto and Sakura noticed this.

"Right," Sakura said. Naruto nodded. The bridge-builder bid them farewell and returned to his home.

It was a silent walk across the bridge. After a few minutes, Naruto piped up, "Inari was awesome, huh?" Sakura said nothing. Kakashi closed one eye- meaning that he was smiling under his mask. Silence followed.

Sasuke's head lolled from side to side as Kakashi walked. They reached the end of the bridge. When they at last reached the outskirts of Konoha Village, Kakashi stopped. "Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked quickly.

"What is it?" Naruto asked, spinning around.

Kakashi was looking down at Sasuke, whose eyes had snapped open.

"Sasuke!" Sakura squealed. Naruto gasped. Sasuke was shaking and wincing. Kakashi put him down.

Sasuke touched his neck with his hand. Kakashi pulled it away. "There's nothing you can do about it. Someone else will have to take them out." No one could tell if Sasuke had heard him or not- he was still wincing and reaching for his neck.

"Pick him up sensei! We need to get him to the village!"

"Wait, Naruto! I think he's trying to say something!" Sakura said.

Sasuke's mouth quivered. "Where's…Haku...," he said.

"He's dead, Sasuke, don't worry," Sakura said.

"Did Naruto…?"

"No, it was, um-"

"It was me," said Kakashi. Sasuke didn't say any more. His wincing slowed down and Kakashi picked him up again.

They entered Konoha Village. "Aw man, the hospital is at the other end of the village," Naruto said, "Now what? Where does he live?"

Kakashi looked around. "He lives on his own. His family is dead so no one would be able to take care of him. Where do you two live?"

Naruto shifted. His house was a wreck and he didn't want anyone to see it. "Well, um, my house is at the other end of the village too."

"What about you Sakura?"

"My house is right up here! My mother can help take care of him." They dashed up the road to Sakura's house.

They burst in and they could hear a voice from the kitchen: "Sakura is that you?"

"Yes mom! I've got to hurry upstairs!"

"Why?" her mother asked turning the corner. She stopped when she saw the others. "Oh my, what happened? I thought you only went on D-Ranked missions!"

Kakashi sighed. "I'll explain it all to you. Here, you two. Take him upstairs." Sakura and Naruto both lifted him up the stairs and into Sakura's bedroom, and they placed him on the bed. They both sat beside the bed. His breathing was shallow and he was shaking and sweating.

"Sasuke?" Sakura asked hopefully.

"Wake up!" Naruto yelled. No luck. The two of them shook his arm desperately.

Then Kakashi and Sakura's mother came into the room. Sakura's mother was carrying a towel and a bunch of bandages. "We'll have to remove these needles. Here Sakura, I'll pull them out, and you dab it and put a bandage on him." Sakura took the towel and bandages.

Her mother started with a needle in his arm. She pulled it out, dripping blood everywhere, and Sakura quickly dabbed it and wrapped it up in a bandage. For two hours they continued this. Naruto and Kakashi waited patiently. Sakura and her mother had great difficulty removing the spikes from his neck- they were afraid to cut his innards while pulling it out.

When at last they had completely finished pulling out all of the needles and bandaging the wounds, it was nearing evening. "Would you two like to stay around to eat?" Naruto nodded, but Kakashi stood up.

"I must go," he said. "I leave Sasuke in your care. Thank you." He left with a wink.

"We're having ramen?" Naruto asked excitedly. Sakura forced a smile. Naruto was finished within two minutes. Sakura ate slowly. "Well, see ya!" he said standing, "Good luck with Sasuke. I'll come visit in the morning." Sakura and her mother waved.

"Are you finished too, Sakura?" her mother asked. Sakura nodded. She wasn't very hungry and she wanted to check on Sasuke. She slowly walked to her bedroom and she could hear her mother cleaning the dishes in the kitchen. Her heart pounded as she slowly pushed open the door. She was afraid to find him motionless; dead…

Sasuke was lying in the exact same position he had been in before. Sakura strode over and noticed that blood had already soaked through most of the bandages. She could also see the blood soaking through the cloth around his neck. Sasuke suddenly took a large and shaky intake of breath. "Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked urgently. He took no notice of her and he began to shake. "Sasuke-kun!" she said more forcefully and kneeling beside the bed. He moved his hand towards his neck, but Sakura pulled it away. "They aren't healed yet," she said haplessly, for she knew that he wouldn't be able to hear her. "Here I'll help you."

Sakura removed the cloth (and noticed that his wounds hadn't healed at all), and she dabbed them with a new, dry cloth. To her surprise, his eyes opened. They didn't snap open like before- they slowly fluttered open revealing his dark, onyx-black eyes. Sakura dropped the cloth. "S-Sasuke?"

He rolled his head across the pillow toward the sound of her voice. He winced and reached for his neck again. "Don't move Sasuke!" Sakura said grabbing his hand again. "Your wounds are very sensitive! You don't want to-"

"Sa…Sakura?" he breathed.

Sakura gasped. "Oh Sasuke! You're awake!"

He blinked and slowly his eyes moved to look at her. "Sakura," he said again.

"What is it Sasuke? Do you want something? I'll do anything to meet your needs. Here, are you thirsty?" she asked grabbing a glass of water from the bedside table.

He was unable to nod, so he closed his eyes and said, "Yes." Sakura held the glass up to his lips and tilted it back for him to have a mouthful. When he swallowed he winced. He opened his eyes again. "Where am I?" he asked, looking around.

"This is my room," Sakura said.

Sasuke closed his eyes. Sakura waited for several minutes and then figured that he had fallen asleep. She changed a few of his bandages. Then she got herself ready for bed. She went downstairs to wish her mother goodnight. "He's come around," Sakura said, "But he's sleeping now."

Her mother smiled. "I'll make a nice breakfast in the morning."

Sakura frowned. "He is having difficulty swallowing though. I gave him some water, but he was hardly able to swallow it."

Her mother sighed. "We'll see in the morning. Goodnight," she said kissing her daughter on the cheek.

"'Night."

Sakura walked up to her bedroom. It then occurred to her that she had no place to sleep. She went to the closet and grabbed a spare pillow and blanket and she made herself a small place to sleep on the floor beside her bed. She glanced up at Sasuke and was glad to see that he was breathing somewhat regularly now.

Sakura fell asleep.

Thank you for reading! :3 Please leave a review!