A/N: Well, hello again everyone! I'm so glad to have been able to write a new fanfic. This time is the ever-so-expected ItaSaku one. I finally had the courage to face the challenge of writting it. This will be my biggest work. I won't spoil anything so I'm going to shut up now. Anyhows, this will be an angsty-filled story and I intened to keep eveyrone (esp Itachi) IC. We will have love issues so look foward to it and this story will also have some different twists. Well, I do hope you all enjoy this as much as I have in brainstorming and writting it.
Disclaimer: (I'm only going to say this once cuz its too toublesome to say it in every chap...) I do not own Naruto or any of the characters. Only characters that belong to me are those who I will specifically create for this story.
Chapter 1: Abducted by a decision
It happened a year ago.
Sakura rushed through the forest.
I'm aware of the twelve months that have passed by…
The grass would make a swooshing sound as Sakura's speed brushed it.
…but the pain feels as if it happened only yesterday.
The wind caressed against her face, making her short rosette hair flow back.
I don't think I'll ever be able to ease this pain…
Sakura jumped to the nearest tree branch, and started to leap from tree to tree; branch to branch.
The moonlight shinned on the tree canopies and would divide themselves in moonbeams, illuminating the dark surrounding.
It's all because of Konoha. It's because of them that it happened.
I hate Konoha…
I don't hate my friends. I could never hate them; never.
What I hate…is Konoha collectively.
Konoha: the Village Hidden in the Leafs; one of the most prosperous villages; a village with morals, principals and outstanding Shinobis; a village where its Shinobi's kill and yet, maintain their human hearts.
That's what Konoha is.
Or…that's what it makes us believe.
At least, the other ruthless villages don't hide what they really are. Konoha is a hypocrite…yea…that's the word: hypocrite.
I'm not saying all Konoha is a hypocrite. No. My friends aren't hypocrites. But most of Konoha is.
I've lost respect for Konoha.
They betrayed me.
Tsunade betrayed me.
She betrayed me the most.
I have lost respect and admiration I had towards her.
She was the one who made that decision.
If she hadn't…then that wouldn't have happened.
It's all her fault.
Sakura came to a brief stop.
She put her hand in her back pouch and took out her red headband.
The leaf symbol was cut through the middle.
Sakura stared at it; sorrowful eyes yet, full of resent, hate…disappointment.
I trusted Konoha. I trusted Tsunade…and they all betrayed me.
I thought Konoha believed in second chances.
I was wrong.
She clutched the headband tighter and looked forward, frowning, with a strong glare.
But unlike Konoha, I do believe in it.
I will get Sasuke-kun back.
The Next Day
"Tsunade-sama?" Shizune opened the door slowly and cautiously. The door made a small creaking sound; Shizune peeked her head through the small opening.
Tsunade was sitting in front of her desk; elbows resting in it and with her hands covering her face.
Shizune finally entered the office. By the way she saw Tsunade, she realized out what was wrong.
It is true then…
"It's my fault Shizune…" Tsunade replied softly, almost whispering. "It's all my fault…"
"No…don't say that Tsunade-sama, you did what you thought was right…" Shizune tried to console her but Tsunade snapped and interrupted her.
"It wasn't the right thing!"
Tsunade's voice broke. She felt as a lump began to form on her throat; hard to swallow away.
"It wasn't the right thing…and now…I've lost Sakura…she'll never come back now….and it was all my fault…this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been such a close-minded fool…I'm the worst…I'm the worst…"
The Godaime lowered her head; with her arms crossed in her desk, she began to sob; mumbling.
Shizune walked towards Tsunade and gently placed her hand on her master's head; caressing her blonde hair in consolation. She wanted to say something, but knew very well that nothing could be said that would comfort Tsunade.
All she could do was watch painfully as her master cried her heart out; full of guilt and hatred towards her own self.
"What? Sakura left!" Ino cried shocked.
"That's right. She left yesterday at night." Shizune replied with a low and reluctant tone; regretting the words she was saying herself.
"Will the Hokage-sama send us to find her?" Hinata asked; with the gentle voice she always had.
"I don't know…" Tsunade's assistant answered.
"This is really unfortunate…Sakura has really put herself and us in a bad situation…" Shikamaru added.
Everyone looked at him attentively.
"Why would you say that?" Ino asked.
"Isn't it obvious? We all know the reason why she left. And because of that, the second she stepped outside of Konoha's gate, she became a missing nin. If the Hokage-sama saendd up to find her, it'll probably be to kill her."
"No! The Hokage-sama would never do that!" Ino snapped in return. She couldn't even think of what will happen if Tsunade ordered her to kill Sakura, her best friend in the world.
"Be real Ino…it's the truth." The genius boy said with a conservative tone. Anyone who didn't know him would speculate that he didn't care about Sakura; thought that wasn't true.
"Both are saying the truth." Kakashi commented.
The head turned to face Kakashi as they listened attentively to what he was about to say.
"Shikamaru is right. Sakura did become a missing-nin and missing nins are hunted by ANBU to be killed. However, this is no ordinary case. We are talking about Sakura here. The Godaime's apprentice; I highly doubt that Tsunade will simply order Sakura to be killed. It will be very unlike her…besides…Tsunade knows better than to give an order such as that…"
Shizune lowered her gaze to the floor.
"Tsunade-sama is very affected by all of this. I don't think she'll be able to take action about this for some time. So for now, could you all please just not come here or say anything about this?"
Kakashi and Shikamaru nodded.
"Sure." Ino said with a firm nod.
"Alright." Hinata added.
"Thank you…" the jet-black haired young woman said with a breaking voice.
After the meeting with Shizune in the Hokage tower, Kakashi decided to head for his apartment.
He sat on his couch pensively about the situation.
Sakura…I feared you would take this kind of action…
The Copy-nin rested his elbows on his legs and covered his masked face with his hands.
What do you plan on doing? What? How do you plan on bringing Sasuke back?
And more importantly…how will you get there safely?
Sakura…I can't lose you too…
Sakura had been running through the whole night; trying to cover as much ground as she could. That way if Tsunade took measures in hunting her now then she'd be far ahead.
If only, she had stopped once for a quick rest.
The moonbeams were now substituted by the sunrays; birds chirped; the forest path was now clear.
The rosette missing-nin jumped from branch to branch until she came to a halt.
Sakura took out a map from her backpack.
Hm…let's see…I'm close to leaving the Konoha grounds. And I have to leave Konoha grounds if I want to keep going. So I can't go to Sound through Konoha. According to the map the closest way is through Waterfall. Easy enough…
Sakura rolled back her map up and put it in her backpack once more and resumed her journey.
Don't worry Sasuke-kun…I'll bring you back... I will save you.
Two black figures flashed through the trees.
You could hear how their cloaks would brush against the wind; how the leaves sounded when they would rouse them.
The two figures would jump; first consecutively then without rhythm. However, one was a bit ahead of the other.
"Is she near?" The second figure asked; it sounded like a grown man. His voice was rash, and deep. It would cause anyone to tremble.
"Not quite. But we're close." The first figure replied. His voice sounded younger than the second one; but all the same, his voice was even deeper and darker than the latter's. It was smoother as well; soft. Unlike the other one whose voice was rasher; still if the second figure's voice would cause people to tremble, then the first figure's voice would simply paralyze anyone from intimidation.
After having a sleepless night, Kakashi decided to go to the Hokage tower. He had to talk to Tsunade; he knew what she was going through but sulking wasn't going to help.
Shizune, however, caught sight of him and stopped him.
"Please Kakashi. I told you to wait until Tsunade-sama felt better."
"I know…but we can't wait. We have to think about what we're going to do with Sakura. I don't doubt that Akatsuki already knows about what happened and I'm sure they are already on the move. With Sakura gone, she's in grave danger." His voice slowly transformed from a solemn one to an agitated one.
Shizune noticed the change and understood it. She hadn't really thought about it but he was right.
"Yes. I- I guess you're right. I hadn't thought of the possibilities of Akatsuki being on the move. Sakura was safe with us but now she's completely vulnerable. And more if she's alone as she is now."
"One thing we're certain of though, is where she's headed." Kakashi commented.
Shizune's eyes narrowed. "Sound; at least we're sure of her course. Well…I'll talk to Tsunade-sama later on. I'll give her some time this morning to recover but we really must take action in this."
Kakashi nodded appreciatively. "Thank you."
Sakura swished through the branches. However, suddenly she felt a tingling feeling deep inside her; as if someone was trailing her.
But the feeling was transient, so she continued her way through the forest; all the while, keeping her guard up.
Her emerald eyes surveyed the area and she passed through.
I need to be careful…
Suddenly, her path was interrupted as a kunai flew right towards her.
Sakura gasped, stunned, but her reflexes quickly ordered her body to dodge the kunai by jumping to the ground.
The kunai missed its target and was know plunged into the tree bark.
But Sakura had no time to investigate it as now a much larger weapon headed her way. It appeared to be a ridiculously large sword. However, the sword had an abnormal form; it was wide, its point was round and it was covered in bandages.
The sword's wielder had jumped from some bushes that were behind the tree.
Sakura quickly reacted and jumped backwards.
"Well, well...quick on her feet. This ought to be interesting." The figure chuckled amusedly with his rash voice.
Sakura's emerald eyes widened as her body trembled from the voice.
She immediately recognized the man in front of her: Hoshigaki Kisame; Akatsuki member. But her next thought was one that caused great fear in her: Kisame was also Uchiha Itachi's partner.
However, despite the fear that had compelled her at the moment, Kisame began to swing his Samehada against the kunoichi. Which, ironically, was in favor of Sakura since it had awoken her from her momentary paralysis.
Kisame began to swing his sword continuously, not giving Sakura a chance to perform any kind of jutsu.
Shit…this is bad. I can't attack but I can't let myself be hit by his Samehada or else he'll just drain my chakra away.
Sakura began to feet frustrated. She knew she wasn't going anywhere by just dodging Kisame's swings.
So instead, she held her ground as soon as the shark-resembling Akatsuki moved his arm backwards for another attempt to hit Sakura.
Sakura quickly ducked the Samehada, barely rousing her rosette hair, and clutched Kisame's arm tightly.
Kisame let out a loud grunt.
Sakura concentrated her chakra in her fist to punch Kisame but before she could attack, her emerald eyes caught a glimpse of a pair of kunais that were headed towards her.
She had no choice but to let go of Kisame and jump out of the way or be stabbed.
But as soon as she had freed Kisame from her grasp, the rosette kunoichi felt the presence of someone behind her.
"You seem to be more troublesome than expected."
The dark, deep and smooth voice immediately caused a chill in Sakura's body to crawl straight from her toes all the way to her spine until they had reached the top of her body.
Her body felt cold; her legs felt heavy. She could feel herself tremble at the mere sound of the voice.
She slowly turned her head backwards until she saw the man that stood behind her; a tall dark young man, with crimson eyes and with such a killing and dark expression that would paralyze anyone that was caught in them.
"U-Uchiha…I-Itachi…" Sakura said with a trembling voice.
Suddenly, her vision began to look blurry; Itachi's figure started to look foggy, and darkness began to befall on her until she saw no more.
Sakura passed out.
"Man…I didn't know she could have that much strength. Bitch almost broke my wrist." Kisame commented as he held his wrist; the same one Sakura had grabbed.
"Hn. She looks weak." Itachi stared at the young woman. "Kisame, carry her back."
The partner obeyed, and picked the rosette girl from the ground and carried her on his shoulder.
But Itachi's eyes caught a glimpse on a metal object that had fell from Sakura's back pocket when Kisame had picked her up.
Itachi picked up the object.
It was a Konoha headband. But what caught his interest was that the leaf symbol in it was scratched straight in the middle.
She's a missing-nin?
Shizune stood in front of the door that leads to Tsunade's office. Her onyx eyes narrowed a little, giving off a preoccupied expression.
Reluctantly, her hand reached the door knob and turned it open.
Tsunade was apparently in the same way she was yesterday; resting her head in her desk in depression, except that this time she was just sleeping.
"Tsunade-sama. Wake up." Shizune shook her sleeping master's shoulder.
The Godaime groaned.
"Tsunade-sama!" Shizune called out a second time.
Tsunade slowly opened her eyes and looked towards Tsunade. Her bronze eyes were swollen and a bit red. No doubt that she had cried herself to sleep.
Shizune's painful expression came to her onyx eyes once more.
"Shi-Shizune…what time is it…?" Tsunade asked hoarsely.
"It's around noon, Tsunade-sama."
The blonde Hokage remained silent with a zombie-like expression.
"Listen Tsunade-sama, you have to snap out of it. We must take action." Shizune said in a solemn tone with narrowed eyes.
"Sakura has left Konoha, which means that she's all alone. I don't doubt Akatsuki knows about what happened and they will probably be on the lookout for her. We have to do something or else they'll get Sakura."
Tsunade didn't respond.
"We know Sakura's heading to Sound. We must send out an ANBU group to retrieve her. Tsunade-sama." Shizune continued.
The Godaime closed her eyelids and let out a heavy sigh.
"You're right Shizune. We must retrieve Sakura at once. Shizune! Gather everyone up."
Shizune nodded. "Yes Tsunade-sama."
The look in Tsunade's face changed. Even thought her eyes were swollen, they no longer had the lifeless look they did a moment before. Now, they were full of determination; determination in bringing Sakura back.
I'm sorry Sakura but we must bring you back…I just hope we're not too late.
Fluttering her eyes open, Sakura groaned. She slowly looked around her but something was wrong. She couldn't recognize the place she was in.
The walls were wooden; there was a small window from which sunlight came in, illuminating the empty room. She noticed she was in a bed; not the comfiest one though.
Whe-where am I? I don't recognize this.
Then, flashbacks came to her mind; when she had seen Itachi's dark face.
Just remembering that moment caused that same chill crawl up her spine.
I-I met with Itachi…right…Kisame attacked me and when I was about to punch him, Itachi stepped in. Then…I don't remember anything except everything getting dark…
Itachi must've use his Mangekyou sharingan on me to make me pass out and then brought me back here…
She noticed something else then; she couldn't move her hands freely. When the kunoichi looked down she noticed her hands were tied together by some rope.
Sakura decided that she would need to break them, after all that was child's play for her. However, once she attempted to do so, she found that she couldn't.
Sakura gave a small grunt as she kept trying to break free from the ropes. But they wouldn't make even the slightest signal that they were breaking apart.
Damn…they must have chakra in them…
"So you finally figured it out." A voice said from the door.
Sakura immediately recognized that voice. It wasn't Itachi, so it must've been Kisame's.
She turned and looked at him; he was leaning on the door edge.
"Took you long enough."
She gave him a glare, "Release me."
Kisame chuckled in exchange, "You're amusing kunoichi. However we have plans for you. Still, even if I wanted to I couldn't. I didn't tie you up. It was Itachi. I just came to see if you were awake."
Then, the shark-like man turned and left. He gave Sakura one final smirk.
"See you around, kunoichi."
Sakura growled in frustration.
Dammit! This wasn't supposed to happen! Now everything is ruined! I have to get out of here…somehow…or else I'll never get to Sound.
The rosette girl looked at her ropes once more.
Hm…if chakra sealed them, then stronger chakra can break it.
She made a second attempt to break free, this time using her own chakra.
But she was interrupted with the creaking sound of the opening wooden door.
When Sakura turned to see who it was, her body completely froze. Again, like the first time. Her chakra concentration was lost at that moment and her body began to quietly tremble.
She looked to the stoic looking Itachi with widened emerald eyes as he walked towards her.
Itachi looked at her; he could tell she was frightened merely by the sight of him. But that only caused inside him a feeling of domination, which he had always enjoyed.
"I suggest you stay put. The only reason I tied you so was just in case you woke up and decided to run away. But now that I know you're awake, I see no reason to keep you in ropes."
As soon as Sakura felt the chakra in the ropes disappear, she immediately broke the ropes and in a flash charged at Itachi with a warrior-like cry; preparing a punch.
However, she was stopped by something she felt against her throat. Once she realized it, Itachi already had a kunai at her throat.
The adrenaline she had before was gone, as she felt the cold metal rouse her skin. Her body felt completely cold; she began to tremble once more. The kunoichi tried to swallow but she felt her saliva touch the lump the kunai would in the inside of her skin.
Fear compelled her; she tried shutting her eyes, hoping that this was all just a nightmare and when she opened them it will all go away. But when she did, her fear became worse as she realized the reality of her situation.
"I suggest you know your place cherry blossom. I have your life in my hands." Itachi whispered in her ear. "Don't ever forget that."
His breath caused even more chills throughout Sakura's body as she began to sweat.
Then she slowly felt the cold metal of the kunai distance itself from her throat. After that, she felt Itachi walk towards the door and heard as he closed the door and left.
As soon as the door closed, Sakura's whole body became like jelly and her legs couldn't hold her weight any longer, making her fall down to her knees.
The frightened kunoichi hugged herself, trying to bring back some of the warmth in her body that Itachi had taken away. It was as if he had completely sapped her from all her heat and energy by merely just pointing a kunai at her throat and whispering in her ear.
What am I gonna do…what am I gonna do…
After his small confrontation with Sakura, Iatchi headed to the kitchen where he found Kisame sitting down with a bottle of sake.
"So Itachi, when are we gonna take the kunoichi to Leader?" Kisame asked.
"No yet." Itachi bluntly answered.
"Heh? Why not? We got the girl. What do we have to wait for?" The blue-skinned member added puzzled.
"There's no need to hurry." With that said, Itachi left the premises.
"Gah…that Itachi…" Kisame groaned. "What the hell could he want with that kunoichi…?"
"I've called you all to discuss the matter regarding Sakura's disappearance." Tsunade said.
Tsunade had called out a specific group of jounins to assist her in retrieving Sakura. Among them were Kakashi, Hinata, Ino, Shikamaru and Neji.
"Hokage-sama, I would like to know something before we proceed." Ino said.
Tsunade gave her a nod, signaling for her to ask whatever question was troubling her.
"Are we to hunt Sakura down to kill her for betraying Konoha and going against your orders?" Ino's sky-blue eyes narrowed a bit as she stared into Tsunade's bronze eyes, awaiting a respond.
If Tsunade affirmed Ino's question then she was going to decline taking part in the mission. She knew Konoha had betrayed her so she didn't resent Sakura for betraying Konoha but she was also aware that Sakura had faith in her, and that she'd never betray her like Konoha, and especially Tsunade, had done.
Shikamaru was going to protest against Ino's questions but Kakashi made a gesture with his hand that told him to stay still and quiet.
Tsunade closed her eyelids, "No. I won't send you to kill her."
Ino sighed in relief. I'm glad.
"Now…would you let me get on with this?" Tsunade added with a more exasperated tone.
Ino nodded in response.
"Alright, as I was saying…we need to discuss what we're going to do with Sakura. As you all know, Sakura has left Konoha and is headed towards Sound. The problem is that there's no doubt Akatsuki has found out about what happened and they must already be on the look out for Sakura." The Godaime continued with a serious expression.
"That means Sakura is vulnerable to being abducted since she's by herself." Shikamaru commented.
Tsunade nodded, "Exactly, and not only that but even with Sakura's strength, and skills, fighting Akatsuki is out of the question. And more if they travel in pairs."
Kakashi looked down, worried and pensively.
I'm mostly afraid that she encounters Itachi. And I don't doubt that he's the one after her. I just hope that she's safe and we aren't too late…
"What are your orders Hokage-sama?" Hinata asked.
"You're all to go to Suna and inform the Kazekage of our present situation. I've already sent a message bird to Suna so they are awaiting you at the moment. Inform him, so that he can help us in any way possible. Once you do, go find Sakura and bring her back here; even if she refuses. She knows the danger she's putting herself into but she must be brought to safety. It might be hard considering the situation she has gone through here but that's exactly why I've called you five, since you're the only people she trusts. Perhaps you can reason with her better than I ever could."
Tsunade's voice began to have a regretful tone; one that showed signs of resent towards herself.
"In any case, you're all to head out an hour from now. Get ready and good luck."
"Yes!" The five ninjas replied.
A/N: First chap is done. I'm guessing you're all wondering what exactly happend on "that" day. Well...bad news. I won't be saying this until later chaps. I will give some subtle hints so try and see if you can guess by the time I finally reveal it. (evil grins). Truth be told, this is one of my fav parts from this fic. Oh the suspense! hehe. But yea, I hope you all enjoyed this. There will be so much much more waiting for Itachi and Sakura. Well, please Read & Review! Thank you all!
Title: Genesis of a Forbidden Fruit