Chapter One.

Many people left their homes to watch the purple clouds rolling over the horizon towards Konoha. Timid people opted to go inside before the clouds came, and just before the braver ones decided that getting under a roof would be a good idea as well, the clouds were upon them.

The rain was purple and putrid smelling. It made people's skin tingle and itch as they rushed inside and tried to wipe it off. The stuff was thicker than water, and it seemed to stain as their skin absorbed it.

There was time to mutter of who or what was responsible. While there were many theories, the most prevalent was that it was the Village of Hidden Rain's doing. They also had time to worry over what the substance's effects were. Aside from stinking and giving the skin a slight purple tint, nothing could be ascertained. Even Tsunade, along with the village's best medical ninja, couldn't tell until it happened.

First, everyone who had been drenched in the purple rain died abruptly. Those who had simply been splashed worried they might soon follow, but none did. As the horror of the attack's effectiveness was sinking in, as people were realizing just how much damage had been done, the bodies of the dead got up.

The emotional blow from so many people being dead, followed by the shock of their corpses rising to attack, was a lethal combo. Many powerful ninja who had not been affected fell when the dead attacked, either unable to dispatch a loved one or simply caught off guard.

Even more horrible and detrimental was that anyone bitten, who wasn't torn to pieces, lived long enough only to sicken, die, and rise again.

Sakura Haruno, fifteen years old, was lying in her bed with a cold cloth resting on her large forehead. She had been in bed with a common head cold for the past two days; the only time she had gotten up was when her father came in to tell her about the mysterious purple clouds. She had sat up to watch, but hadn't gone outside. When her parents had come in covered in the purple substance, she had taken great care not to come into contact with it.

Both of her parents were now lying dead in their bedroom upstairs. Killing them with a kunai once they died and got up again had been hard, but not as hard as carrying them upstairs and placing them next to one another. It was the closest thing to a burial she would be able to give them for a long time, and she had to accept it.

While she waited for her fever to subside, she had plenty of time to think. Staying in her room seemed like a good idea, considering what she knew about the situation. There was a large number of people outside (she had taken to calling them zombies) who seemed to want nothing more than to devour human flesh. All they needed to do was land one bite and it was over. Even to a skilled ninja, who wasn't sick, it was in an extremely hazardous situation.

She wanted to think that her friends were still alive, but that seemed unlikely as she vaguely remembered seeing several of them outside before the rain came down. If they hadn't been drenched, then the odds were against them that they hadn't been bitten. She herself had narrowly avoided her parents gnashing teeth.

Every time she thought of her parents, her mind seemed to wander off the subject. She hadn't cried when they died, nor had she felt anything when she killed them. She felt sad while laying them out on their bed, but it was no more than the sadness of losing a pet or being teased in school.

She thought something might be wrong with her, but then decided that she was simply numb due to the immensity of it all. Nearly everyone she knew was likely dead; the horror was too unthinkable; her mind couldn't wrap around it.

It was her head-cold that was causing her the most discomfort, not her grief. Being a medical ninja trained by the Hokage personally, she found it ironic that there was very little she could do for her own cold. Actually, there was a lot she could do, but it would require moving around the house either during daylight or with a light on; all things which might attract the attention of the zombies outside.

She could hear them outside of her window. Luckily it wasn't at head level, so they couldn't peer in and see her. They were dumb, but not dumb like they were in movies. She could here them talking, mostly to themselves, about eating. They also complained that their skin itched along with other guttural, incoherent mutterings.

If she heard anyone enter the house, she could sit up and be ready fight; she wasn't so sick she was helpless. She had changed into her ninja clothes after taking care of her parents, and had plenty of kunai and shurikans in a pouch at her side.

The front door slid open, making her roll off the bed and draw two kunai; one for throwing and the other for short-range stabbing. Straining her ears and vowing to pop an Aspirin after this was over, she crept towards the door to her room. Whoever it was, was only paying lip service to stealth, a thought that gave her some comfort. The zombies, even the shinobi among them, didn't seem to know how to be sneaky.

She peeked around the corner and saw the back of Shikamaru as he looked cautiously into her living room. Getting ready to throw a kunai through his eye socket, she whispered "Shikamaru."

He turned, ready to move, but relaxed when saw her. Tiptoeing down the hall and keeping low, he made his way to Sakura and retreated with her into her bedroom. "You're alive," he said.

"Yeah," she nodded. "Somehow. My parents aren't…"

Shikamaru's face was sullen, which wasn't unusual, but there was a sadness to it that hadn't been there before. "Same here. My father was outside when it rained. He bit my mother after he died."

"Did you…?"

"No," he said. "I got out of the house and made my way across the rooftops. I couldn't do it…"

She didn't know how to make someone feel better about not killing their zombie parents, so she didn't try. "Are there any other survivors?" she asked.

"I looked in all of the likely places," he said. "All of them are overrun with zombies. I only saw you through your window from the roof across the street."

Sakura sighed heavily, looking at the floor. The situation according to Shikamaru was about as bleak as she had imagined it being. "Do you think anyone escaped the village?"

Shikamaru shrugged. "Maybe. They might also be hiding. There are hidden spots all over Konoha, but like I said, the village is crawling with zombies and it's hard to get to them."

"Too many to fight?"

Shikamaru sat down on the floor with his legs crossed. He looked tired as well as bereaved and befuddled. "Yeah. From what I've seen, they're pretty savage, and some of the shinobi haven't quite forgotten their training. I haven't seen any use of chakra though, thank God."

Holding her warm forehead, she now wanted nothing more than to sleep. "What are we going to do? You've been a Chunin longer than I have."

"I need some sleep," he said. "I've been up all day and night, running and looking for others. I'd like to go to the Hokage's office one more time, just to check, but…"

Sakura put up a hand to stop him. "Good idea. If you can do me a favor and gather some things in the house and mix them like I tell you to, it might make my fever go away. We can both sleep safely here if we're quiet and set traps."

Shikamaru smiled wryly. "Traps, good idea. Should've been the first thing I suggested…"

"You're tired and you've been through a lot. Let's just do like we planned and see what happens," Sakura said, hoping she was reassuring Shikamaru.

She told him what he needed to get, where to get it, and what to do with it in order to speed the curing of her cold. She couldn't hear him go about his business, now truly trying to be sneaky. Feeling better that someone other than her was alive, she lay back down on her bed and covered her forehead once again with the cloth.

To be continued…