How can you mend a broken heart? By Mr. Lee

This fanfiction will be a Dark NaruSaku story and is not for the faint of heart.

Rated M for some rape elements, serious angst, and a little fluff

Disclaimer: This fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only. The author of this fanfiction does not own Naruto or its characters. Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto. Any other similarities in this story are purely coincidental.

Author's note: It's been a long time my great fans, authors, readers and friends. Mr. Lee is back, with a new story that, let's just say is an EXTREME change of pace compared to my other stories I'm known for. Before I begin, I want to apologize to my fans of my flagship story The Clan of Currents for taking so long to bring out chapter nine :(. I am working on it as I promised I would in my special author's note, and I will try my damn hardest to bring it out by the end of November deadline. However, as I rested this Veterans Day weekend and got back to reading some good fics, my brain was literally SET ON FIRE as far as inspiration goes, and I'm now working on two new stories that I will consider 'experimental' for now, meaning whether you want them to continue will be entirely up to you, the fans. And both of them will be considered Dark Naruto stories in the sense.

The first one here is called How can you mend a broken heart? This story came to me when I woke up on Tuesday, after the three day weekend while I was listening to the song that bears its name by the legendary soul artist Al Green (Which was originally sung by the Bee Gees.). When it did, I ran to my desk and wrote it down on a piece of paper in haste while I ate breakfast, but I'm sure you guys don't care about that LOL XD. This Dark Naruto story will be a NaruSaku story, but it can change depending on your reaction to this (I'm prepared for the worse on this one.). This story is an AU one and it will begin with a classic scene that will take an unfortunate and heinous turn for the worse. And what happens afterwards will change Naruto and Sakura forever. There will be some OOCness, so be prepared. Now to those reviewers who thought that my Naruto Flower Tales: Ino was controversial, this story will make what happened in that story seem, in a word, tame. Now I'm only going to say this once, and I deeply and sincerely apologize if I offend, upset, or hurt anyone in regards to the contents that this story will contain, especially to the female fans that I have :(. This is a serious story that I ask of you, my friends, to read in its entirety and with an open mind if you decide to review. Furthermore, I want to make it abundantly clear to all of you that I'm a gentleman and a man of honor towards ALL WOMEN! I do not and shall NEVER, and I emphasize this strongly, NEVER, condone any kind of abuse towards women in any way, shape or form, whether it be rape or otherwise!! With that said, let us begin as we head towards the darker side of Naruto, and of life itself. Remember, this is an 'experimental' story for me, and it's up to you whether or not it will be continued. Enjoy :)!

How can you mend a broken heart?

How can you stop the rain from falling down?

How can you stop the sun from shining?

What makes the world go round?- Verse from How can you mend a broken heart? By Al Green (Originally sung by the Bee Gees.)

WARNING!!- The following story contains extremely emotional and disturbing content which may not be acceptable to certain readers and which DO NOT reflect the author's views or beliefs. Reader discretion is advised!! You have been warned!!

Chapter 1- A Fallen Blossom

One day. Sometimes it takes just one day for a person's life to change forever. And that change can easily affect others, like ripples in the water. For the ones known as Uzumaki Naruto and Haruno Sakura, that day would be when their teammate Uchiha Sasuke would challenge his fellow teammate to a fight. A fight that would forever destroy the team, and them, forevermore.

While Naruto was fighting to defeat him in a fair fight to prove his strength, Sasuke was fighting to kill him, fueled by his jealousy and envy of how far the spiky blond has come since the beginning. As Sakura watched in horror, she couldn't believe how he mercilessly punched and kicked his teammate, his face contorted in anger while his Sharingan blazed. It came to the point where he had to use his Chidori (One Thousand Birds) to prove that he was the strongest, something that he was willing to kill for. Sakura ran to them, asking them to stop, though whether she was saying it more to Naruto than Sasuke is debatable. It was finally stopped by their sensei, Hatake Kakashi. And after seeing the results of the battle via the damage from the tanks that they hit, it only made the raven haired genin angrier, more jealous and more envious.

Naruto stood there as he heard Kakashi talking to the toad sannin Jiraiya. He heard the copy ninja criticize him to Jiraiya about using the Rasengan (Spiraling Sphere). Kakashi also mentioned that Naruto wanted to prove himself to Sasuke. Although that part was true, the blond ninja also wanted to prove himself to the teacher who at first called him a loser and an idiot. And after hearing that, it truly hurt him just as much as the battle he just had with his 'best friend'. After they finished talking, Naruto was set to leave the hospital roof to think about what happened, but not before giving Sakura a warning. A warning for her safety, and for both their state of mind.

"Sakura-chan, don't interfere…" He told her in a serious tone which made her gasp. After some time passed, Sakura came to Naruto to talk to him about the curse mark, saying that it was a 'date'. As much as people tell him that he was an idiot, he knew better than that. Nobody would go out on a date with everything that happened today. But he truly loved and cared about Sakura, and as always, he gave her his time. After hearing about the curse mark and Orochimaru, which she blamed for Sasuke's change, Naruto did what came naturally to him when it came to the pink haired kunoichi. He cheered her up.

"Don't worry about it! Sasuke wouldn't accept that bastard's invitation. He doesn't need to do that since he's really strong." The spiky blond told her as he took his bowl and finished off the remains of his ramen. "I guarantee it!" He added as he placed his arm on his heart. Sakura couldn't help but look at him in disbelief.

'He just fought Sasuke-kun earlier today. And despite what happened and what Sasuke-kun did, he still believes in him. You're truly something else Naruto.' Sakura thought as his grin brought out the smile that was hidden beneath her worry. She nodded in agreement and talked for a little bit longer with the teammate she once said she hated. Some time later, they stepped out of Ichiraku and were ready to go home. Naruto offered to walk her home for her safety, but Sakura insisted that she go alone. Especially when she looked at the moon in horror, as if her 'woman's intuition' sensed that something was wrong. Naruto respected her feelings and didn't persist, and went back inside the ramen bar before waving goodbye to her.

As she started to walk, that nerving feeling she got became stronger and she started to head to the academy, where the back entrance of Konoha was. She didn't know why she went their, but something drew her to that spot. While continuing her trek, the words that Naruto told her began to echo into her mind like an alarm.

"Sakura-chan, don't interfere…"

"Don't worry about it! Sasuke wouldn't accept that bastard's invitation."

The words her teammate said kept playing in her head like a mantra, especially about her not interfering, as if they were warning her of something that was about to happen. But she just shook the words out of her head as if they didn't exist, and steeled her resolve as she got closer to her destination. After all, ignoring what Naruto did and said was strangely natural for her, even though she unconsciously did it.

That's the way Sakura was when it came to Sasuke. She was a selfish and shallow person when it came to him. So much that she was willing to end her friendship with her first friend, who she thought, once upon a time, would be her only friend, just to be with him. She was even willing to completely ignore the feelings of the one person who would give his life for her in a heartbeat. The same one that she asked out on a 'date'. To her, despite the fact that Sasuke constantly ignored her and put her down almost as much as she did to Naruto, he could do no wrong, no matter what he did. To her, Sasuke was her everything, and she was, in a manner of speaking, the queen of the fan girls he had, 'loving' him more than anyone else. But that blind loyalty Sakura had for her teammate would cost her more than she would ever realize. For tonight, she would learn that all that glitters isn't necessarily gold. And she would learn it in the most horrible and heinous way imaginable.

As Sakura came to a stop, she saw that her intuition proved to be correct as she saw Sasuke walking towards her. As she saw the backpack that was on his shoulders, her heart dropped. The pink haired kunoichi knew in an instant that he was leaving, that he was accepting the snake sannin's offer and it made the tears in her eyes burn.

"What are you doing wandering around here at night?" Sasuke asked without the least bit of concern in his voice.

"In order to get out of the village, you have to take this road." Sakura replied in a plain voice.

"Go home and sleep." He said with a hard edge in his voice as he walked past her, not even bothering to look in her eyes. The tears that she held in her eyes began to fall.

"Why? Why won't you tell me anything? Why do you always stay silent? Why won't you say anything to me?" The kunoichi questioned as she turned her head to look at him.

"WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU ANYTHING?!" The young ninja answered her in a voice that was mixed with anger, annoyance and agitation. "It's none of your business. Stop concerning yourself about what I do." He spat with his voice full of spite. She lowered her head and smiled bitterly.

"You've…always hated me huh Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked with pain etched in her voice, like she knew he wasn't going to answer. As she expected, he didn't turn his head and remained silent. "Do you remember the day we became genin and our three member team was first chosen? That day, you and I were here alone, and you got mad at me remember?" She inquired from the raven haired Uchiha as she remembered him scolding her for making fun of Naruto because he had no parents.

"I don't remember…" Sasuke replied like he didn't care, causing Sakura to gasp and lower her head, laughing bitterly as if she wasn't surprised by his answer.

"It makes sense. That's something that happened a while back. But that's the day when everything started. You and me, Naruto and Kakashi-sensei. The four of us completed a number of missions together. They were tough and a lot of work. But above all, it was fun!" The beautiful kunoichi said finishing with a smile as she reminisced of their time together. She paused for a moment and lowered her head once more as she continued. "I know about your clan and what happened to them. But with your revenge alone, you won't make anyone happy. No one. Neither you…nor me." She said solemnly.

"I know that. I'm different from you guys because I walk a different path. I tried to think that it was my path to do the things we've done up until now. But my heart decided on revenge in the end. That's my purpose in life." Sasuke said with a hard voice.

"Are you going to choose to be alone again?! On that day, you taught me that solitude is painful! I understand that so well now. I have a family, and friends, but if you're gone Sasuke-kun…to me it'll be the same as being alone!" The pink haired girl sobbed as her tears started to flow once again.

"From here on…A new path will open for all of us." The raven haired Uchiha said in a quiet tone as if he didn't hear her.

"I…I love you so much Sasuke-kun!" Sakura screamed without hesitation. He didn't move or make any response. "If you stay with me by my side, I'm sure you won't regret it! I will make every day more enjoyable. We'll definitely be happy. I'll do anything for you! So please…please stay here!" The beautiful kunoichi shouted in a desperate tone. Sasuke still didn't respond or make any notion to tell her he heard her. But it didn't stop her from pouring her heart out to him. "I will even help you with your revenge! I'll do something! So please stay here with me! If you can't stay, then please take me with you…" She cried as she started to sob. It was at that point that he turned his head and looked at her.

"You haven't changed. You REALLY are ANNOYING!" Sasuke told her with a scowl on his face and an indistinguishable smile. As Sakura gasped at his heartless comment, he turned his head back and started to walk away from her.

"Don't leave!! If you do, I'll scream!" The pink haired girl yelled. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, he appeared behind her. When she sensed him, her eyes widened with horror as she felt killing intent coming from the young man she just told she loved.

"You're just like Naruto. A pathetic dobe (dead last), a baka (idiot) and a loser. And you've gotten in my way for the last time." He said suddenly with malice dripping from his voice.

"W-what?" Sakura said in utter shock. The Uchiha didn't say anything, and with great speed, he activated his Sharingan and roughly grabbed her hand, tying her wrist with thin wire cords. Using his other hand before she could respond, he grabbed her other arm and put it in a chicken wing lock, causing her to gasp in pain while he tied her other wrist with the wire. In less than a minute, both her arms were bound by unbreakable, razor sharp wire.

"Sasuke-kun, what are you…?" Before she could ask her question, he swept her feet with a low kick, knocking her down onto the ground face first. He leaned his knee on the center of her back and wrapped her legs with wire as well as he removed her sandals. Once he took care of her legs, he placed a kunai next to her throat. She couldn't believe what he was doing and was genuinely scared of what he would do next. "S-sasuke-kun…" she whimpered in a mouse like voice.

"SHUT UP!! I'm sick of you and Naruto getting in my way! I told you a long time ago, I'm an avenger! What can a useless little girl like you do for me?! Well, since you want to interfere in my business and can't take a hint, I think I'll accomplish another of my 'goals' before I go." Sasuke said next to her ear as he leaned the sharp weapon to her throat, slightly drawing blood.

"A-another one o-of your g-goals?" The kunoichi stammered in fright. The Uchiha just gave her a sly and wicked smile as he stood up and grabbed the back flap of her long red dress.

"Have you forgotten Sakura? My other goal is to restore my clan. And since you said you love me and would do anything for me, I figured I would give it a try, just in case I do die from avenging my clan." He replied with a low voice. With one swipe, he cut the dress with the kunai, leaving only the top half of her outfit and her exposed bicycle shorts showing in the back.

"SASUKE-KUN!" Sakura screamed when she realized what he was about to do. That is, until he returned the kunai back to her throat.

"You scream like that again, and I will kill you!" He growled in a deadly serious tone as he leaned the kunai even deeper to her throat, drawing blood. Using his other hand, he slowly removed her bicycle shorts and cut them until they were in pieces. Sakura kept on protesting for him to stop while she sobbed her eyes out, but it fell on deaf ears as he cut the rest of her dress with the razor sharp weapon until it was in pieces and she was bare to the world. She tried to scream again, but he slapped her with the back of his hand and punched her in the back of the head, silencing her. Making sure she wouldn't try to scream again, he pulled out an explosive tag from his pack and placed it on her forehead.

"Now you be a good girl…or else." He said in her ear as he traced the point of the ninja weapon on the spine of her back. Sakura tried to break free from her bonds as Sasuke removed his white short pants and underwear, but the razor sharp wires were cutting her hands, wrists and ankles, causing her great pain and making her tied limbs bleed. She was so frightened by what was about to happen, that even using the Nawanuke no Jutsu (Rope Escape Technique) didn't cross her panicked mind. He dragged her to the bench and tossed her on it like a piece of meat.

"Sasuke-kun…Please stop this. I'm begging you…" Sakura sobbed in pain as she twisted her head to look at him as he gathered his clothes from the road and tossed them next to the bench. She wondered if it was the curse seal that was making him do this, like she thought when he broke Zaku's arms in the Forest of Death. But the seal wasn't activated. As much as she hated to admit it to herself, he was doing this of his own free will. He grabbed her fiercely by the hair and lifted her so that she was leaning on his chest.

"Why do you want me to stop Sakura? This is what you wanted, isn't it? To love me, be with me and do anything for me? Isn't that why you grew your hair long, ended your friendship with that annoying Ino, and treated Naruto as if he was beneath you? To you, he didn't even exist, even after I told you he risked everything to save you from Gaara." Sasuke said to her with a scowl as he bit her ear hard.

"But, this isn't you Sasuke-kun!!" The kunoichi replied.

"For the smartest girl in our graduating class, you're such a stupid and selfish bitch. You cried your heart out for me, defended me from Naruto by hitting him every chance you got, even when he did nothing wrong. And you became a bitter rival to your former best friend just to be with me. And you still don't know who the hell I am. Even Naruto knows me better than you ever did, even though he's never seen this side of me until today, when I wanted to ram my Chidori into his damn chest." The young Uchiha said to her as he slowly licked her neck, causing her to flinch. Normally, she would probably be turned on by what he did. But this was wrong, completely and utterly wrong.

"So you were trying to kill Naruto…!" She said in realization.

"That's right, until Kakashi got in my way. And yet when you were trying to run after us, telling us to stop, you were saying it to Naruto instead of me, weren't you? You're just like an annoying little puppy that pissed on yourself over me like all the girls here, and pissed all over everyone else. And just like the stupid little bitch that you are, I'm going to take you from behind just to show you how worthless you are to me." Sasuke said with pure venom.

"NO! PLEASE D-" Sakura was immediately silenced as Sasuke grabbed her by the throat and rammed himself into her. She bit her lip to stop herself from screaming as he ripped past her hymen and blood trickled down her legs. While still holding onto her throat to keep her steady, squeezing it to keep her silent, he began to thrust himself in her, not even bothering to wait for her to recover, while fondling her body.

Like most of the young women in Konoha who fawned over him, Sakura always dreamed that her first time would be with Sasuke. That he would be a prince who would sweep her off her feet, love her and care for her, despite the lack of confidence she had when it came to her body. That he would choose her over her first friend, who she now called a pig. That after they were together, the annoyances of her hyperactive teammate when he asked her out on a date every day would cease. She wanted her first kiss with him, her first date with him, and her first time with him to be romantic and special, just like in the fairy tales and romance novels she kept on her bookshelves. But now she knew the reality, the truth that was Uchiha Sasuke as he continued to do what he wanted to her, while she continued to struggle to free her hands and legs that were still tied with the wire. She had been chasing him since her early years in the academy. A chase that she now realized, cost her more than she gained in her young life. A dream that was turned into a despicable nightmare that every woman preyed they would never experience in their lifetime.

'Is…is this…my punishment…for what…I've done…to you…Naruto?' She suddenly said in her mind as her now glazed and bloodshot eyes continued to release tears. As every minute of the act passed on, she no longer had the energy to scream or resist him anymore, no matter how much she wanted to. Sasuke's hand on her throat and his hard thrusts saw to that as he applied a little more pressure every time she made a sound, making sure she was conscious to receive his 'gift'. There was no pleasure to be gained from this horrid act. Only deep and everlasting pain that wracked her body, her spirit and her now broken heart.

All she could think about was what Sasuke said to her about her pissing on everyone else except him. Was she really that blind, that she was willing to leave the village and everything she loved to be with him? Did she really know very little about the young man she screamed that she loved so much who was now raping her? Was it her actions and words towards her former best friend, who helped her believe she could become the strong and beautiful flower she was destined to be, and her teammate, who has always showed her nothing but kindness and chivalry despite her treatment of him, that caused this to happen?

She realized just how much of a fool she was. A fool that was slowly falling into the abyss with each thrust and grope of her body. She told Sasuke about how solitude is painful and that if he left, she would be alone. She truly felt that her naïve words, words that she ironically learned when she said those cold words against Naruto that first day they were a team, were coming back to haunt her. At that moment, Haruno Sakura knew what it was truly like to be alone. And she wanted, and needed the friends and family she was about to leave behind for this young man, now more than ever.

'MOM...INONARUTO!! PLEASE HELP ME!! IT HURTS!! I NEED YOU!! PROTECT ME!! SAVE ME…!!!' Sakura screamed in her head just as the disgusting act was finally done and his essence went inside her. The feeling wasn't like her mother had told her about when she had the talk with her. It was ghastly and filthy, which was enough to make the disgust she was feeling, knock her unconscious. Her hair was disheveled and sweaty and her body was bruised from his rough caresses, while blood was still coming out of her intimate area. Sasuke pulled out of her with a smile of vile satisfaction plastered on his face as he looked down at the girl. He pulled out of her and wiped off the sweat, blood and essence that were on him. He put his underwear and pants back on and removed his explosive tag from her forehead, putting it back in his backpack. He began to start walking away from her to the entrance of Konoha, taking a moment to look back at her.

'Well Itachi, you said that I didn't have enough hate in me. But it looks like you were wrong about that, as you'll soon find out…' Sasuke thought with satisfaction as he remembered his brother's words the last time they met. "Sakura…thank you." He said in a stone cold voice and a sneer on his face. He lets out a rarely heard laugh, a laugh full of hatred and a touch of insanity as he walks out of the village, leaving a unconscious and broken Haruno Sakura with tears that continued to fall out of her closed eyes and an open mouth with her saliva escaping from it.


As the sun started to begin its rise on Konoha, Izumo and Kotetsu, who has since become 'errand boys' to the recently appointed Godaime Hokage Tsunade, did their morning rounds while carrying a mountain of books to bring to her office.

"I can't believe we have to carry more of these medical books." Kotetsu sighed.

"I know what you mean. Hokage-sama can be a slave driver when she wants to be." Izumo said in agreement causing them to laugh a minute later. But the laughter instantly disappeared as they saw a nude, pale and still tied up Sakura on the bench. "Kami-sama, what the hell happened here?!" He said in horror as he quickly dropped the books and ran to the girl. Kotetsu dropped his as well and joined his partner. Taking a quick moment to look at her body, they immediately figured out what happened.

"This girl is on Kakashi's team. It looks like she's been raped and beaten. How terrible…" Izumo sadly deduced as he cut the wires carefully with a kunai. As he was doing so, they heard the girl was talking incoherently while she was unconscious.

"Naruto…help me…please stop Sasuke…" Sakura mumbled. When the words were heard by both men, there eyes bulged out of there sockets.

"She's barely breathing. We have to get her to the hospital. Once we do that, we have to inform Hokage-sama immediately!" Kotetsu said as he took off his chunin jacket and covered her after his friend cut the wire. Izumo nodded in agreement and gently picked her up. But just when they were about to jump to the tree tops, the kunoichi finally awakened. The visions of that night came rushing into her mind and without hesitation, she screamed.

"NO! GET AWAY! NARUTO, HELP ME!! DON'T LET SASUKE RAPE ME AGAIN!!" Sakura said erratically as she punched, kicked and struggled against Izumo in a delusional haze.

"Calm down. We're not going to hurt you!" Kotetsu said as he tried to restrain her. But it was useless as she continued to fight them while still calling for Naruto to save her. Realizing that they had no choice, Kotetsu hit a nerve on the back of her neck which knocked her unconscious without hurting her. "Are you alright Izumo?" He asked with concern.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Though I'm going to need an ice pack for my jaw later." Izumo replied as he looked at the bruise on his face from a punch that Sakura landed.

"Izumo, you take the girl to the hospital. I'll head to Hokage tower to make a report. If what she said is true, then we've got a really big problem." Kotetsu said.

"Right. I'll see you later." Izumo said. A minute later, they jumped into the treetops and separated, heading to their locations with great haste.

Hokage Tower-Tsunade's office-Ten minutes later

"SASUKE DID WHAT?!!!" Tsunade bellowed at the top of her lungs as she stood up and destroyed her desk with a powerful punch, which almost made Kotetsu wet his pants.

"W-Well, it's not one hundred percent certain, but from what Haruno Sakura was saying when she awoke, it seems she was raped and abused by Uchiha Sasuke. The fact that she constantly called Uzumaki Naruto to save her seems to confirm this. Izumo has taken her to the hospital while I came to report what happened." The chunin explained after composing himself.

'Kakashi told me what happened between Sasuke and Naruto at the hospital before he left. But I never thought that a member of the Uchiha clan would…' Tsunade thought with a frown as she rubbed her temples. "Genma! Raido!" She suddenly yelled.

"We're here Hokage-sama!" They both said as they suddenly appeared.

"Genma, head to Uchiha Sasuke's residence and bring him to me, by force if necessary. If he's not there, then search the village top to bottom. I want him found! Raido, inform the ANBU guards to check in with their reports and to send a unit to where the incident happened to find and recover evidence of this crime. Go!" She ordered with a hard face.

"Yes Hokage-sama!" They said as they vanished.

"Kotetsu, thank you for the swift report. Good work. Head back to the entrance and get the medical books you left. Just take your time. I'm heading to the hospital to check on Sakura." The female sannin said.

"Yes Hokage-sama." Kotetsu said with a nod as he left the office. After he left, the Hokage wiped her face from the light tears that she had in her eyes. As a med-nin and as a woman, she has dealt with many victims of rape. And every time she saw one, young or old, it always broke her heart.

"Kami-sama, please don't let her die…" She said out loud in a somber tone as she walked out the office.

Konoha Hospital

Several minutes later, Tsunade entered the doors of the hospital and headed to the nurse.

"Nurse, give me a status report on Haruno Sakura." Tsunade commanded.

"Yes Hokage-sama! According to the preliminary report, Haruno Sakura has suffered multiple bruises and abrasions all over her body which includes a minor concussion from a blow to the back of the head. Her anal and vaginal area was what suffered the worst damage, with multiple scarring of the outer and inner core as well as internal bleeding. The rape kit tested positive for semen and is being checked for any remnants of DNA. The med corps is operating on her at this time, trying to repair the damage. Shizune is supervising the operation." The nurse read from the chart in her hand.

"Good work. Tell Shizune to come to my office when the operation and the DNA test are done." The beautiful blonde requested.

"Understood Hokage-sama." The nurse said as she bowed to Tsunade while she turned to leave.

Tsunade's office- Two and a half hours later-Early morning

"I see. So Uchiha Sasuke has left Konoha?" Tsunade asked as she listened to Genma's report.

"I'm afraid so. When I checked his room, a number of clothes and all his ninja weaponry were missing." The toothpick using jonin replied.

"The ANBU guards have also found no sight of him. The remaining guard that is investigating the scene of the crime, has transferred the evidence to the lab at the hospital." Raido added. At that moment, a weary Shizune entered the office.

"Tsunade-sama, I have the full report as you requested." Shizune said with a tired look on her face.

"Good work. Genma, Raido, please leave the office. I need to speak to Shizune alone." The Godaime Hokage said. They both nodded in understanding and left the office. Taking a long, deep breath and preparing herself for the worst, she told her assistant to read the report.

"Well to begin, the results from the DNA that we got from the hairs we recovered from Sakura's private parts confirm that…Uchiha Sasuke was the one who raped, beaten and sodomized her." The short haired med-nin said gravelly. Tsunade clenched her hands and visibly grinded her teeth before asking her to continue. "When Izumo brought her in, we immediately operated on her and healed the wounds to her body as well as to her vaginal and anal areas. Fortunately, there appears that there will be no permanent damage or scarring as far as her physical state goes. Unfortunately, it appears that her mental state has suffered the most damage." She said.

"What do you mean?" Tsunade asked.

"Sakura is conscious, but her mind is in an extremely fragile state, to the point that any form of psychological healing will only make her condition worse. She didn't respond to me or her mother when she came to her room after the operation. And whenever a male comes near her, she suddenly becomes violent and starts kicking and screaming. However, she keeps saying one thing since she's regained consciousness." Shizune said.

"And what's that?" The legendary sucker inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"She says 'Naruto, please help me…'." She replied. Tsunade closed her eyes and rubbed her temples again as her mind went back to all the stories Naruto told her when they headed back to Konoha on how badly she treated him, including the time when she healed Sasuke, and how Sakura went to the Uchiha, completely ignoring Naruto.

'The one person that Sakura treated as if he didn't exist, has now become the key to her existence. If the situation wasn't so deadly serious, I'd laugh at the irony of it.' Tsunade thought with a wry expression. "Shizune, gather Genma, Raido and Iwashi and head out to find Sasuke. Before that, call Shikamaru here." She ordered.

"Yes Tsunade-sama. I'm on my way." Shizune said.

"I'm sorry Shizune. I know that you're tired." The female sannin said with a small smile.

"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. It's Sakura…and Naruto I'm worried about." She said with melancholy etched in her voice.

"You and me both Shizune. You and me both…" Tsunade agreed exasperatedly. Shizune bowed and quickly left the office. Tsunade stood up and went to her bookcase on the left side of the office. She pulled out a bottle of sake that she hid from Shizune and took a long drink from the small bottle, not even bothering to pour it in a cup. 'Screw tea right now.' She thought as she wiped her mouth.

Thirty minutes later

After reporting the situation to Shikamaru, she sent him out to gather a team of his choosing that would meet her at the front gate to explain the mission. Not wasting any time, he gathered Neji, Choji, Kiba with Akamaru and Naruto. Shikamaru made sure not to mention what happened to the kunoichi due to the sensitivity of the issue. Once that was settled, they met the Hokage at the gate.

"Alright everyone! As I'm sure you've heard briefly from Shikamaru, I've summoned you all here for a mission. It will be considered an A-rank mission." Tsunade started to explain with a grave look on her face.

"What's wrong Tsunade-baachan (Granny Tsunade)?" Naruto asked with concern as he noticed the look on her face.

'I better be ready for the worse…' Tsunade said as she looked at her ototo (little brother) and took a deep breath. "An incident caused by Uchiha Sasuke has gravelly injured Haruno Sakura. And he has left Konoha." Tsunade told them in a somber tone. A moment later, she cursed herself for saying it in such a fashion.

"WHAT?! What did Sasuke do to Sakura-chan?! Where is she? Is she alright?" Naruto questioned with a worried look on his face, completely ignoring the part about Sasuke leaving Konoha.

"Calm down Naruto! Sakura is fine and is resting at the hospital." She replied while telling him a little white lie. Naruto began to breathe a sigh of relief until Ino appeared at the gate.

"Naruto!" Ino shouted as she ran up to him with tears in her eyes.

"Ino, what happened? Why are you crying?" The spiky blonde asked her. Tsunade sensed what the mind jutsu expert was about to say, but she was too late to say anything as the kunoichi blurted it out.

"You have to help Sakura! She was raped by Sasuke! He completely destroyed her body and mind!" The platinum blonde replied hysterically while removing the suffix from the name of her now ex-crush.

"INO!!" Tsunade yelled at her in a scolding fashion. But it was too little, too late as Naruto's body became deathly cold and tears started to fall from his eyes in utter disbelief at the news.

"Tsunade-baachan, is this true…?" Naruto asked in a dangerously quiet voice as he turned his head to Tsunade while his bangs covered his eyes.

"Naruto…please take it-" She never got a chance to finish as he raised his head to look at her with an angry face.

"IS THIS TRUE?!!" He asked her again in a much harsher voice.

"Yes…it's true…" Tsunade finally answered in defeat as she lowered her head.

'I can't believe it…Sakura loved him so much even after he ignored her all this time…I went to bat for him, despite what happened between us yesterday. And…that bastard…he…HE…' Naruto was completely speechless and didn't know what to think. But there was one emotion he was feeling at the moment, and it was rage. Pure, unadulterated rage. It's true that he considered Sasuke one of his precious people, but to him, Sakura was much higher on his list. And what he did to her was unforgivable, even to someone who has forgiven virtually every sin that people have done to him. He clenched his fists tightly and lowered his head as red chakra began to pour out of his body, making his body change. Tsunade's eyes widened in horror as she sensed the spike in Naruto's chakra.

"Naruto-kun, please calm down. Don't lose control!" Tsunade yelled at him as she ran up to him and grabbed his arm. Naruto lifted his head and looked at her. His teeth had become pointed and fang like, while his eyes was red with black slits.

"Get away from me!!" Naruto growled in an animal like voice. He twisted his arm to grab the one she held and in a berserker fury, he punched Tsunade into a wall, causing everyone to gasp in astonishment.

'I can't believe he just punched the Hokage into a wall!' Kiba and Choji thought simultaneously.

'This chakra. It's the same thing he used against me in the chunin exams!' Neji said in his mind. At that point, four chakra tails emerged behind him, completely changing him and making him look less than human. It made everyone present quiver in fear, especially Akamaru.

"N-Naruto…?" Ino said in fear.

"I'M GONNA KILL HIM!!" The now Kyubified Naruto roared without looking back at her as he ran through the gate on all fours. The three genin and one chunin all stared in disbelief at what they just saw. It took them another minute to get their heads together and check on the condition of the Hokage as they ran to the wall she hit.

"Hokage-sama, are you alright?" Shikamaru asked as he leaned down to pick her up. She raised her hand to stop him as she got up herself.

"Don't worry about me. You have to stop Naruto and bring him back. Follow his chakra trail and try to restrain him with your Shadow techniques until he calms down Shikamaru. But under no circumstances, should you or anyone else engage him in combat! Do you understand?" Tsunade ordered him and the others as blood came down her head.

"Yes Hokage-sama. Let's hurry!" Shikamaru said with urgency. The others nodded and ran out of Konoha to try to catch up to him.

"Here, let me help you Hokage-sama." Ino said as she stood next to her and wrapped an arm around her waist to steady her.

"Thanks Ino." Tsunade said with a small smile as they started to walk slowly back to the Hokage Tower.

"I…I'm sorry Hokage-sama. This is all my fault." The platinum blonde said as she lowered her head.

"It's alright Ino. You didn't know, and you were only thinking about Sakura's safety. Just between us, I probably would have done the same thing." Her fellow blonde said wearily.

"What happened to Naruto? How did he change like that?" Ino asked curiously. Tsunade sighed, sensing that this question would come after what they just saw.

"I'm sorry Ino, I'm afraid I can't tell you. If Naruto chooses, he'll tell you himself." Tsunade replied as she looked ahead.

"I understand." The kunoichi said as she surprisingly dropped the subject. 'Please come back Naruto. Sakura needs you…' She thought as she turned her head for a moment before walking to the hospital with the Godaime Hokage.

Konoha Forest

Kyubi Naruto raced through the woods, until he suddenly came to a halt. Using his now enhanced senses, he sniffed the ground like an animal, picking up the scent of his prey and four others.

"SASUKE!!" He roared insanely as he continued to move through the trees, destroying everything in his path. Meanwhile, not too far away, Shizune was healing Genma and Raido, who were defeated and badly injured by the Sound Four who was escorting Sasuke.

'These wounds are bad. I have to get these two back to Konoha.' Shizune thought as she continued to pour green chakra into Raido's wounds after she gave Genma emergency treatment.

"Shizune-san, look!" Iwashi shouts in horror as he points up. The med-nin stops her healing for a moment and looks up to see someone with tails jumping past them in the treetops. He looks in her eyes for a brief moment before looking ahead without slowing down or stopping.

'It can't be! Is that Naruto-kun?!' Shizune said in her mind as she felt the power of the evil chakra even after he left. "Iwashi, look after Genma and Raido until I return. I'm going to investigate." She ordered the jonin.

"But Shizune-san…!" He said as he was about to protest.

"Do as I say!" She countered in an authoritative tone.

"Y-Yes Shizune-san…" Iwashi said in compliance. Wasting no time, she jumped into the trees and followed his trail, praying that Naruto wouldn't do anything he would regret later.

A little further in the forest, the bodyguards of the snake sannin Orochimaru were taking a rest from their battle with the two jonins.

"We are trying to hurry, and yet we have to deal with these things…" Sakon said with disgust.

"We didn't have much of a choice. Using the curse seal at level two takes too much out of us. Tayuya said as she panted.

"Nevertheless, not being able to use your body is a bit…inconvenient." Jirobo said exhaustedly.

"There wasn't much of a choice against those jonin. If we hadn't used our curse marks, we could have been defeated." Kidomaru said honestly. The others nodded in agreement with the spider armed ninja. All of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, they immediately sensed an evil chakra surrounding them on all sides.

"W-What the fuck is this…this chakra surrounding us?" The flutist said out loud, making the normally fearless kunoichi quiver in her boots. As if her question was being answered, a large chakra claw came out of nowhere and grabbed Kidomaru. In less than a minute, before the member of Sound Four could do anything, the claw squeezed him like a compress, while the red chakra charred his flesh. After hearing his wail like scream, Kidomaru was literally crushed like a grape by the claw, spraying his blood all over his companions. The three remaining members, despite the terror that was now flowing through their veins, immediately pulled out their weapons and got into a battle stance. They looked all over to see where their enemy was. The didn't have to wait long, as he showed his face a minute later with his four chakra tails swaying behind him.

"RRRAGH!!" Kyubi Naruto boomed as he jumped towards his victims, with their piercing screams being heard a few minutes later.

Fifteen minutes later

Shizune followed the trail that Naruto took as best she could, despite his chakra signal fading just a few minutes ago. She soon wouldn't need it, as she picked up the scent of blood and burnt flesh. Following this new scent, the med-nin came upon a clearing. What she saw there would burn itself into her memory forever. Walking cautiously past the trees and the bushes, she saw the corpses of the Sound Four and the now dead Uchiha Sasuke, their limbs, body parts, and the destroyed coffin that the raven haired ninja was in, strewn all over the area.

"Oh Kami-sama…" Shizune mumbled as she covered her hand over her face, trying her hardest not to throw up. Walking past the body parts as they squished under her foot, she could hear someone crying, ever so faintly. "Is anyone there?" She called out. Hearing no reply, she followed the sounds of the sobs until she came upon Naruto. He was curled up in a ball on the ground, with his clothes shredded and torn and completely covered with blood, bawling his eyes out.

"Naruto-kun…" The med-nin whispered with a face full of pity. She leaned down and gently tapped his shoulder, causing him to slightly flinch. He slowly turned his head towards her, giving her a blank look on his face. "Naruto-kun…are you alright?" She asked softly.

"S-Shizune-neec-chan…" Naruto replied as his head fell to the ground.

"Naruto-kun!!" Tsunade's assistant shouted as he closed his eyes and blacked out.

Konoha Hospital-Three days later

A quiet, but heavy rain fell outside Konoha. But it didn't disturb the spiky blond as he laid in the hospital bed that he has been unconscious for the past three days. Sitting in a chair next to him reading a book and drinking some tea was Shizune, who was requested by Tsunade to watch over him for his safety after finding out what happened. Her assistant agreed without hesitation.

"Shizune…" A voice called out to her from behind. The med-nin turned her head to see her master coming in silently.

"Tsunade-sama…" Shizune said as she put down her book on the desk next to the bed.

"How is Naruto-kun doing?" The Godaime Hokage inquired.

"He's sleeping peacefully, just like he was since I brought him in two days ago." She answered.

"I'm surprised he can, after everything that has happened to him." Tsunade said joylessly.

"I know. How is Sakura doing?" Shizune asked.

"I'm afraid her condition is still the same. Every time she wakes up, she won't respond to anyone, she still refuses to let any men come near, and she keeps calling out for Naruto to help her." The female sannin replied with a heavy sigh.

"I see…" She said lowering her head slightly.

"That little arrogant, power hungry Uchiha bastard! In less than a day, he destroyed both of his comrades. Even if they make a full recovery, neither of them will ever be the same…" Tsunade said bitterly.

"Tsunade-sama…" Shizune said, understanding how she felt completely. Truth be told, she felt the same way. It was that moment that Naruto's eyes began to open.

"Unhh…Where am I?" Naruto asked groggily.

"You're in Konoha Naruto-kun. You've been out for three days. We were really worried." Shizune answered with a warm smile.

"Shizune-neechan, Tsunade-baachan…" The spiky blonde said. Tsunade walked and sat on the side of his bed.

"How are you feeling Naruto-kun?" Tsunade questioned.

"I…I'm okay now, I guess." He replied as he turned his head away from her in shame. The legendary sucker had noticed this and knew why he did that.

"It's okay Naruto-kun…" She said as she took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"But…but I…" Naruto stammered as his voice started to break.

"I know that you would never hurt me Naruto-kun. It wasn't your fault. You weren't yourself." The beautiful blond said in a soothing tone.

"But…to those ninjas…and Sasuke…I…I…" The spiky blond choked as he looked at the Hokage with tears falling down his face. Tsunade said nothing and pulled the young man into her embrace as he began to cry hard into her chest.

"You did it because you cared about Sakura and was angry at Sasuke for what he did to her. If he was a true friend, a true comrade to you two, he would never have did that to Sakura, and he never would have betrayed Konoha to go with those enemy ninjas. The mission I was going to give you and the others was to bring him back, by any means necessary. Even if you didn't kill Sasuke and those ninjas, he would have been executed for his crimes against Sakura and for betraying the village. So don't be hard on yourself. Nobody is angry with you or blames you for what you did. If any of us were in your situation, we would have done the same." Tsunade told him as she rubbed his back gently.

"But my friends. They saw me. They're going to hate me now, just like everyone else." Naruto sobbed as he grabbed the lower end of her shirt.

"Don't worry about that Naruto-kun. Although they don't know the truth, they're concerned about you more than anything. Look." Shizune said as she sat down on the bed as well and pointed to the desk next to his bed. Naruto lifted his head from the Hokage's chest and looked to where Shizune was pointing. On the desk next to his bed were a number of flowers and get well cards from all of the rookies, including the ones who saw the incident that day. He calmed down a little bit and managed to force a small smile at the two women.

"Tsunade-baachan, Shizune-neechan, thank you." He said as he wiped his tears from his face.

"It's our pleasure after all you've done for the both of us." Tsunade said as both women gave him their best smile. A minute later, they both enveloped him in a group hug, which Naruto gladly returned.

Twenty minutes and a meal later

"I see. So that's what's happened to Sakura-chan." Naruto said as Tsunade and Shizune discussed the kunoichi's current condition.

"Yes. When Sakura's conscious, she calls out for you to save her. That's why Ino ran to you that day and asked for your help." The female sannin explained to him.

"Can I…go see her? I want to help her, if I can." The spiky blond requested.

"Of course Naruto-kun. We were going to ask you when you woke up anyway." Shizune replied.

"Just remember Naruto-kun, Sakura is still in a very fragile state. If she doesn't respond to you, then back off and give her space." Tsunade warned him firmly, but gently.

"Got it Tsunade-baachan." He said as he nodded in understanding. After moving the empty hospital tray, he slid out of the bed and was helped up by Shizune. But just as he was about to head to the door, Hatake Kakashi entered through it.

"Well, it looks like you're finally up and about Naruto." Kakashi said in his usual laid back tone. But Naruto wasn't in the mood for pleasantries with the jonin.

"What are you doing here?!" Naruto asked in a hard voice as he glared at him.

"What…? Why wouldn't I be here?" The copy ninja asked with a raised eyebrow in confusion.

"Hmmph…well after what happened to that perverted teme ('Why you' in a disrespectful way. Also used as a slang word for bastard.), I figured you'd be mourning over his grave and ignoring Sakura and me like you always do. After all, you said he was just like you, right Kakashi-sensei?" The spiky blonde said coldly as he looked him in the eye while spitting out his name, effectively shocking everyone in the room. Naruto's words hit the jonin like a cold hard slap to the face as he remembered telling the spiky blond why he preferred to train Sasuke during the chunin exam finals.

"Naruto…I…" Kakashi started to say as he lowered his head.

"Save it, you perverted scarecrow! You talked about us being a team and working together! You criticized me about doing everything alone! And yet when I, no, WE needed you the most, you abandoned me and went to Sasuke again and again and stuck me with that closet perv! All while making up stupid excuses for being late and sticking your head in that damn perverted book!" Naruto berated angrily.

"Naruto-kun!" Shizune said in a scolding manner. However, Tsunade raised her hand to her assistant and shook her head as if to tell her not to interfere.

"But Naruto, I was only trying to…" The copy ninja tried to defend himself, but Naruto wasn't hearing any of it.

"Sakura told me about the curse mark Orochimaru gave him in the Forest of Death on the night when that…crap happened to her. If you were a real leader, you would have told me the truth and we all would have dealt with it as a team, which you drilled into our heads during that test. But I guess I was still a reckless idiot to you, wasn't I? Even though I always came through for you since we became a team, and ended up saving your life twice, you never believed in me or listened to me, especially after I warned you about Gaara, who came very close to destroying our village with a single breath thanks to Shukaku. It was always Sasuke this or Sasuke that! I thought, as my sensei, my friend, and as someone who was trained by the Yondaime, you would be proud of me when you saw me use the Rasengan. A jutsu I used to save Tsunade-baachan from Kabuto, who even you couldn't handle! A technique which I learned faster than the Yondaime and Ero-sennin combined! But I was wrong. And for the record, Sasuke wasn't the only person I wanted acknowledgement from; I also wanted it from you. But I guess it doesn't matter now…not anymore…" The spiky blond ranted to his sensei as he lowered his head sadly at the end.

"Naruto-kun…" Tsunade said sympathetically. Finally finishing his tirade at the copy ninja, he walked past him towards the door without even looking at him.

"I'm sorry…" Kakashi said quietly, making the spiky blond stop for a moment.

"It's too late for apologies Kakashi-sensei. But what else is new." Naruto said somberly as he closed the door behind him.

"Sorry about that Kakashi. He's not himself right now." Tsunade apologized on Naruto's behalf.

"It's alright Hokage-sama. I deserved everything Naruto threw at me, if not more…" He said with his head lowered in disgrace.

Five minutes later

As he headed upstairs to the next floor, Naruto let out a heavy sigh and decided to put away all the anger he had for the copy ninja for the moment as he now focused all his attentions on Sakura.

'Sakura-chan. If only I had insisted on walking you home that night, none of this would have happened.' Naruto thought depressingly. He shook his head to remove those negative thoughts as he made it to the top of the stairs. He walked towards the pink haired girl's room and reached for the knob when suddenly the door opened. Coming out of the door was Yamanaka Ino with a distressed look on her face. When she saw Naruto's face, she gasped and looked at him straight in the eyes.

"I-Ino…" He said nervously, remembering that she saw him when he was Kyubified.

"Naruto…" She said above a whisper.

"Ino, I-" Before he could start, she ran to him and embraced him as she started to cry in his chest, seeking his comfort.

"Why Naruto? Why did Sasuke do that to her? Why would he betray us like that?" Ino whimpered as she he held onto him tighter. After taking a moment to compose himself, he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. Both of them would honestly admit that they weren't close to each other. But after this tragedy that involved someone they mutually cared about, it brought them to this moment. And neither of them would deny the other some comfort in this sad time.

"I don't know why he did any of this Ino. I…I wish I did." Naruto replied, trying his hardest to be strong for the kunoichi. He truly wanted to answer her questions, to ease her pain. But it was questions he knew he couldn't answer, and unfortunately never would. A few minutes later, the platinum blonde pulled away and wiped the tears from her eyes.

"I'm sorry Naruto…" Ino said as she lowered her head. He placed a hand under her chin and lifted her head, giving her a warm smile while shaking his head.

"No need to apologize Ino. You can cry on my shoulder anytime." He said softly.

"Thank you Naruto. Are you alright?" She asked with genuine concern.

"Yeah, I'll be okay." He answered.

"I'm glad…" She said honestly.

"Ino, about what happened…when I…" Naruto said, but Ino put a finger over his lips and shook her head.

"It's alright Naruto. You don't have to talk about that right now if you don't want to…" Ino said with assurance.

"Are you sure it's okay Ino?" He questioned her.

"Yeah, Sakura is what's important now. But don't push your luck. I won't be so nice next time." The kunoichi said as she playfully put her hands on her hips. A minute later they both let out a light chuckle.

"Thanks Ino." Naruto said as he let out a huge sigh of relief.

"No problem. I just hope we get to hear Sakura laugh again…" The platinum blonde said dismally.

"We will Ino. We'll help Sakura-chan get through this, together." Naruto said as he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Yes…" Ino said with a grateful smile to her fellow blond. Naruto returned the smile and together they went inside Sakura's room. Sitting silently at the front of the bed was Mrs. Haruno.

"I'm back Haruno-san." The kunoichi said in a moderate tone.

"Ino. I thought you were going to get some air." She said as she tilted her head slightly to look at her, not noticing the spiky blonde was behind her.

"I was. But I ran into Naruto." Ino replied as Naruto moved in front of her. The elder woman's eyes widened when she saw the young man. She couldn't help but remember all the times she pulled her daughter away from him and said horrible things about him because of the demon inside of him when he was a child, and it made her heart ache over her foolishness. She slowly got up and walked over to him. Naruto turned his head away from her slightly. As much as he tried to forget, he always remembered the faces of the ones who treated him badly. She frowned when she saw this, but she wasn't surprised at his reaction and honestly couldn't blame him. Ino looked at them curiously, but remained silent.

"Uzumaki Naruto…" She said.

"Haruno-san…" He said in a quiet tone. Letting out a deep and painful sigh, the woman directly walked up to him until she faced him, got on her hands and knees and deeply bowed to him with her head down. Naruto was completely stunned and turned his head to her, gasping in shock.

"Naruto-san…I'm sorry. I know…that I have no right to ask this of you. Especially after… the way me and Sakura treated you. But…I beg of you…for my daughter's sake. Please…please help her. Please save my daughter…" Mrs. Haruno pleaded to him as tears fell from her eyes onto the floor.

"Haruno-san…" Ino said sadly. She stayed on her hands and knees continuing to bow to him, when she felt a soft hand touch her shoulder. She looked up and saw the spiky blond looking at her bending down on one knee.

"Haruno-san, please don't bow to me…" Naruto said with nothing but kindness in his voice as he took her hand and lifted her up.

"But I…" She started to say before he raised a hand to silence her.

"I would have done it even if you didn't ask me. Like you, Sakura-chan is important to me. I don't know what I'll be able to do for her. But if me being here helps her recover, even if it's a little, then I'll do it." He told her with conviction and fire in his eyes.

"Thank you so much Naruto-san." She said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

"Please Haruno-san, Naruto is just fine." He said as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly causing Ino to let out a giggle. "Like Ino said in the hall, Sakura is what matters right now. Let's work together and try to help her." He said. Both of the women nodded their heads in agreement. Taking a few deep breaths, Naruto prepared himself and walked over to Sakura's bed.

"Naruto…please help me…don't let Sasuke hurt me…" Sakura said in a zombie like voice as she continued to look ahead, oblivious of her surroundings.

"Oh Sakura-chan…" The spiky blond whispered as his heart broke and tears stung his eyes at seeing her like this. He felt a hand on each of his shoulders and saw Ino and Mrs. Haruno by his side. They both silently nodded and smiled at him, as if they were giving him their courage and support. Naruto nodded back and sat down on the side of Sakura's bed. "Sakura-chan, it's me. I'm right here Sakura-chan…" He said softly as he slowly reached out and touched her hand. When his hand made contact with hers, she suddenly scream in horror and started to cry.

"NO! DON'T TOUCH ME! NARUTO, HELP ME! PLEASE SAVE ME!!" She shouted at the top of her lungs as she struggled to get away from him. She accidentally punched him in his eye during her struggles, making him wince and groan in pain. But he held on to her.

"Calm down Sakura-chan!! It's me, Naruto!! I here Sakura-chan! Your mom is here! Ino is here too! You're safe now! Please come back to us!" Naruto told her as softly as he could. Making sure not to cause her any pain, he firmly placed his hands on her shoulders to gently stop her flailing, while looking at her directly in the eyes. When she opened her eyes for a second and saw his gentle cerulean blues, she suddenly relaxed and started to look deep into his eyes as if she just woke up from a long sleep.

"Naruto…? Is it you…is it really you?" She asked him with a desperately pleading tone in her voice. Looking deeper into her sad emerald pupils, he started to cry silently.

"Yes Sakura-chan…It's me…It's really me…" Naruto said in a tender voice. She slowly lifted her shaking pale hands and touched his face, as if she was trying to make sure he was real. Her fingertips pressed lightly on his whisker like marks, her eyes never blinking, not even for a second. He moved his hands when she went up to his spiky hair and touched it, feeling its softness. He gave her one of his trademark grins to give her more assurance, and it sealed the deal. She lowered her hands and looked at him silently for a minute. Her face then started to scrunch up, and all the sorrow she's kept in her for the past three days finally came out of her.

"NARUTO…!!" Sakura shouted in relief as she dives at him and starts to loudly wail and sob, burying her face into his chest, clinging onto him as if he was her lifeline, which he clearly was as far as she was concerned. Naruto held her tightly without hesitation and gently placed his chin on top of her head.

"Welcome back Sakura-chan…" Naruto said as he cried along with her. Not a dry eye was in the room as Ino and Mrs. Haruno started to cry too.

"Naruto…Sasuke…he…he…" Sakura hiccupped in a hoarse voice.

"I know…Sasuke won't hurt you anymore. He's gone now. Nobody will ever hurt you like that again." The spiky blonde said as he consoled her by stroking her hair.

"You…you promise…?" The pink haired girl sniffed.

"I promise Sakura-chan. I swore I would protect you. And I'll never go back on my word." He answered her as he pulled away slightly to look at her. She lifted her head and looked at him with child like eyes, and he gave her a warm smile.

"Sakura!" Ino and Mrs. Haruno called out to her. She turned her head and looked at their faces as if for the first time.

"Mom…Ino…" Sakura cried as she moved her arm out to welcome them into her and Naruto's embrace. They immediately went to her and hugged her completely encircling her with their warmth. Sakura continued to let all of her pain out while being surrounded by the people she loved.

While this was happening, the rain that poured in Konoha had stopped and a small sliver of light shined from a break in the clouds into the pink haired kunoichi's room. The four of them knew that this was only the beginning of this long arduous journey towards the healing process. A journey that could possibly take years before it's complete. But in order for broken hearts to be mended, like any journey, a single step must be took. And it was taken on this day. A very, very small step. But a step nonetheless.

Author's note 2: Damn :(. This was definitely one of the hardest things I ever wrote. Especially in regards to my own morals. It truly was not easy to write this, my friends (There's a reason why all of my stories have happy endings.). NO ONE should ever have to experience what Sakura had to experience in this story. But something compelled me that I should write this, and this chapter is finished, thank Kami. Once again, I deeply and sincerely apologize to any person(s), be they male or female, that I upset, offend or hurt due to the content in this chapter :(. It is not my intention to do so. I hope that it touched you the way it touched me at the end. I also apologize for the slight Kakashi bashing in the story. I truly like the copy ninja, but what Naruto said to him served a purpose in this chapter. As for the OOCness, well, don't say I didn't warn you ;).

Now as I said earlier, this is an 'experimental' story that I wrote here. Whether this fic is continued or not is entirely up to you. So I ask you guys to do what you do best. Read, Enjoy and Review. Let me know your thoughts and your feelings on this. It's very important. And try to remember that the content in this story does not reflect my personal views or beliefs. As long as you can understand that and you read the story in its entirety, it's all good. I have the other 'experimental' story up ASAP. Once I put that one up too, I'll finish my work on chapter 9 of TCOC (I'm trying to get it out before the end of November. I really am!) , which will then become my main priority from that point on. Until then, I'll see you soon. Later :).