Disclaimer- I, quite sadly, don't own Naruto. I don't even own the idea to how the victim dies: that right belongs to Nora Roberts, since I got the idea from her book Visions of Death. I, uhm... I own a mousepad. That's just about it.

The loud buzzing of an alarm clock is what woke Haruno Sakura up first. Rolling over, she glanced quickly at her clock, 4:30 glaring at her accusingly in glowing red letters. Grunting, she turned off the alarm button and stood up, shaking back her long hair and stretching before heading into the shower.

By the time she got out, it was a quarter after. Dressing quickly in her standard Police uniform, she grabbed a quick cup of coffee, feeling more energized than she would've with ten showers.

Climbing into her car, Sakura made it to work with three minutes to spare. Inwardly breathing a sigh of relief, Sakura entered the building of the NYPD. Even though the pay was crap, and the traffic sucked ass (and Sakura wasn't a very patient woman) she had grown up in New York, and she had always wanted to be a cop; therefore, the choice was obvious.

"You know, you almost cost me twenty bucks." A voice called out to her, and Sakura turned her head, facing the grinning face of Inuzuka Kiba, her partner. The female raised an eyebrow.


"Cause I had a bet going with Shikamaru that you'd be late." Nara Shikamaru was their hacker (though he was really the person who gained the information on suspects, but they taunted him that sometimes the methods through which he gained such information wasn't exactly the most legal) and also the laziest bastard Sakura knew, but she liked him. He was also dating on of her best friends, Yamanaka Ino, so it was kind of hard to dislike him.

Sakura rolled her eyes, sitting down in her chair and booting up her computer. "Gee, thanks Kiba, you're such a great pal." She said sarcastically, and Kiba grinned at her.

"That's what I'm here for, darling." Sakura sighed, not replying as she brought up a couple of files.

"Anything happening?" She called to her brown-haired partner.

"Nope. But give it a break, Sak, it's just 6:15 in the morning. Even criminals have to sleep."

Sakura sighed and ran a hand through her long pink hair. "Kiba," she said patiently, in the same voice an adult would use on a particularly slow child, "I have been woken up at three in the morning because someone got a little bit too gun-happy. I sincerely doubt another three hours would matter to them."

Kiba scowled at her tone of voice and turned back to his computer with dignity, though Sakura saw him accidentally smack his foot on the edge of his desk. Smirking smugly and trying not to laugh, Sakura did the same, looking up all of the unsolved cases and wondering if she could get Sarutobi-sama, her boss, to allow her to go on one of the cases. After all, it was better than sitting here and doing nothing but deskwork.

"Oh, and by the way, Aki called." Kiba called over his shoulder as he got up and was a considerable distance from Sakura's infamous right hook. "I told him that the last time I saw you, you were walking out of here with some really handsome guy."

Sakura considered throwing her high-heel at him, then considered an angry Sarutobi-sama when he saw the blood on the wall.

Kiba grinned smugly at her before walking out. Sakura sighed, leaning back in her swivel chair and leaning her head back, watching with detached interest as her hair swished around. Finally deciding to stop putting off the inevitable, Sakura called Aki, whose full name was Akihiro, and he just so happened to be her older brother.

The green-eyed female listened for five minutes to the angry buzzing of her brother's voice before she interjected. "Aki, I worked overtime last night because of the freaking paperwork. I didn't leave here until close to midnight, and I went home and finally got some sleep, just like you told me to. I wasn't having sex with one of my co-workers, Kiba was just yanking your chain and trying to get to you." Sakura listened as her brother ranted about what he was going to do Kiba when he next saw him, but she cut him off when one of his ideas involved her partner's manhood and a scalpel. Seriously, there were some things she just did not need to know.

"So, you promise you weren't with any men last night, Sak?" Her brother asked, and despite herself, Sakura smiled. Aki was just four years older than herself (she always teased him because he was 32 and she was a mere 28) but he played the overprotective brother role quite well. Though, it was understandable: after their father had died, Aki had been the one taking care of her. It was right for him to be worried about her.

"I promise, there were no men." She heard Aki breath a sigh of relief before she grinned devilishly. "There might've been some women, though."

"SAKURA!" Aki yelled, and his sister laughed loudly. "Goddammit, don't scare me like that. That's not even funny, man. Do you KNOW what it would do to me if you turned out to be a lesbian?"

"God, Aki," Sakura rolled her eyes playfully, "nice to know you'd have my back if I ever DID get sick of men." Her brother laughed.

"Hey, why don't you come over my apartment for dinner tonight? You can't live off McDonalds forever."

"Watch me." Sakura teased. "Alright, well, I'll call you after I get done with work, okay? It shouldn't be TOO busy, so I'll probably be able to get off by like, three, hopefully."

"Your boss is a slave driver," grumbled Aki, but it had no bite to it: Sarutobi-sama was actually a very nice guy, and it was always Sakura who put in the extra hours, and they both knew it. "Okay, ring me when you're finished."

"Will do. Bye." Sakura hung up just as Kiba entered. She glared at him. "God do I hate you." He lifted up two cups of coffee from Dunkin Donuts, one for her and one for him. "God do I love you." Kiba laughed and handed her one of them. Sakura took a sip and sighed in happiness. "There should be a shrine to coffee."

Kiba's brown eyes twinkled at her in amusement. "Imagine what would happen if they made coffee illegal. You'd have to register as an addict."

Sakura scoffed. "Oh please, there'd be no one to report TO, I'd kill all of them." Again Kiba laughed.

"Hear, hear. I'll drink to that." They pressed their styrofoam cups together and took a drink of the hot liquid.

"Eh, think we should get to work and actually earn our money?" Kiba asked, with his feet propped up on his desk and leaning back on his chair, drinking the coffee. Sakura yawned and shrugged, crossing her legs and putting the bottom of the cup on her knee.

"Probably. After all, we gotta have some way to kill the time, right?" Kiba sighed and ran a hand through his shaggy brown hair.

"Yeah, I guess so." And so, it was with much reluctance, that the two returned to the paperwork that was piled up next to them.

Hours later, Sakura's communicator (A/N- Or, at least, I think it's a communicator. Correct me if I'm wrong.) beeped. "Lieutenant."

Sakura picked it up. "Lieutenant Haruno speaking. What's up, Lin?"

"You and Detective Inuzuka better get down here… it's pretty bad." Sakura quirked an eyebrow and looked at Kiba, who put his hands together and mouthed 'Thank you!' at the ceiling. Sakura bit back the urge to chuckle.

"Okay, we're on our way. Where are you?" He told her the directions. "Roger that." Sakura looked at Kiba. "Ready?"

"Hell YES. Let's blow this joint."


It only took them fifteen minutes, including morning traffic. Kiba swore to God that it was because Sakura was a psycho driver; Sakura retorted that it was because she put on the sirens. After all, Lin DID say it was bad. Kiba said that she was just abusing her cop privileges. He now had a nice lump on his head for his comment.

"Lin," Sakura addressed the Homicide department's investigator. Mark Lin greeted Sakura and Kiba.

"The victim was found by the rocks, and her body was posed particularly. Her killer wanted her to be in such a position, symbolism."

Kiba went down first because some of the rocks were slippery, and helped Sakura down. She took his hand until they had settled on the sand, and then the three of them turned towards the body.

"Victim was found by a few joggers passing by. They noticed something weird by the water and went to go check it out and found her."

Sakura crouched down by the victim. "Hmm…" she hummed. "Any I.D?"

"No, whoever killed her took everything of hers with him."

"Time of death?"

"Due to the postmortem, I'm guessing somewhere between midnight and one am."

The girl had long, blond hair that was now stained scarlet with blood. Her hands were between her naked breasts, posing in a prayer. There was a red ribbon tied around her neck-- making Sakura conclude that the reason of death was strangulation-- and the bastard who had murdered her had precariously cut out her eyes.

"Kiba," she said softly, "come here." He obeyed, coming to crouch beside her as Sakura took out a mini flashlight and peered into her eye sockets. "The ribbon on her neck. Thoughts?"

Kiba stared hard at it, his face pensive. "Red for love, perhaps? Maybe passion."

Sakura shook her head. "I don't think so." She shined the light on the female's neck, and in the light it was more of a scarlet tint.

"Scarlet is for whores." Said Kiba, and Sakura nodded. "And her hands… praying. Praying for forgiveness for being a whore?"

"Possible. Maybe she works as a stripper, offended the killer somehow, and he raped and killed her."

Sakura's eyes traveled along the length of the victim's body, noting the dark bruises that lined her skin, particularly on her thighs. Craning her head, Sakura looked at her and noticed the little cuts and bruises lining her hands and her elbows. "But she fought him off. Tried to defend herself. See?" Kiba looked at her hands and nodded. Sakura started to take pictures of the body, and Kiba turned her over to lay on her back.

"He dragged her," he pointed out. "Look at her knees: they have grass stains on them. My guess is that she was cutting through some park-- Central, maybe-- after work, the guy attacked her, beat her, dragged her off, raped her, carried her here and took everything with him, her clothes, jewelry, wallet, anything that could have his prints on them or that would allow us to know who she is."

"Mhmm…" Sakura agrees, snapping a few more pictures before she turned back to Lin. "Alright, bag her body and notify me on her identity." Lin nodded and Sakura and Kiba headed back to the cruiser.

"Do you really think she's a stripper?" Kiba asked as he took a seat in the passenger side and Sakura started the car.

"I don't think so, her body didn't really have that whole stripper look, but I could be wrong."

"Stripper look?" Kiba asked, and Sakura nodded as she drove back to the office, cutting off a few people.

"Yeah. You know, the perfect breasts, long legs, stuff like that."

"Well, not ALL strippers look like that." Kiba protested, and Sakura shot him an amused and sly look out of the corner of her eye.

"Oh yeah? And how would you know?" Kiba blushed and didn't answer.


"Call me when you identify the body, okay?" Sakura asked Lin, who was busy studying their victim. Lin nodded absentmindedly, and Sakura waved to Kiba on her way out. She climbed into her car, and called her brother.

"Hey. I'm just getting out of work now."

"Good. I just put the ham in the oven, and the carrots are almost done." Aki's voice sounded cheerful, and Sakura felt guilty; she hadn't been to her brother's apartment in a month or so because of work.

"Carrots?" She asked suspiciously, and Aki laughed.

"Honey-glazed, your favorite Sak, so don't worry."

"Mmm…" Her brother laughed again. "Do you want me to change before I get to your house?"

"Nah, I don't care. Besides, I have clothes here for you, so you can change into those."

"Okay. I'll seen you in fifteen minutes."

"Gotcha. Bye Sak." Sakura hung up and glanced at herself in the mirror.

There were some disgusting people in New York, that much was true, but the girl had been mutilated.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the sickest of them all?

A/N- Alright, this is just a little experiment of mine to see how well I can write a mystery fanfic. I really SHOULDN'T be writing this, since I have FOMD and TCOD to work on, but hey, plot bunnies are evil. Since this is my first mystery AU story, constructive crit is muchly appreciated, especially with the names of the jobs for people in homicide. So, please review!