Disclaimer/ No, I do not own Naruto and I never will. Go ahead and be mean about it. If I owned Naruto, you would know about it.
AN/I think I should just warn you now. All of these Sakura pairings are going to be pretty high up there on the crack scale. I really love crack. Sue me. A good dosage of Sakura crack is good for you. I'm sure of it.
Please review, flames are ...I do not care.
Romeo and Juliet
O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
Juliet, scene ii
The day had finally come for Sakura. After four years of torture surrounded by walls of white, the end had finally arrived for her, accompanied of course by more than one scholarship to the college of her choice. Today she was finally graduating. Somewhere in the background she could hear the old stereo that was bigger than most computers singing the 'Celebrate good time come on!' song she could remember the title of.
It was early in the morning for her, but bother her Aunt and uncle were dictionary definition of early birds, rising with the sun and setting with it each and every night. It had not taken her long to adapt to their ways, since she was used to getting up before her parents all the time.
It was close to six and she had just finished showering and was currently busy brushing out her hair while dancing to the music and occasionally switching out her brush for a microphone. She was real exited for today and was planning on doing her hair in low pigtails with large curls to watch the rosy pink lip gloss she had bought with her aunt last week. Shopping with another woman for something that certainly wasn't needed was a strange event, but it was so darn fun she couldn't help but enjoy it and wish for it to happen again, even if it wasn't books.
"Sakura, you done?" her aunt called up.
"Pancakes are almost finished, hurry up and get dressed so you can eat before your uncle drives you to school!"
Sakura quietly cheered before running to her closet to claim the outfit she had picked out weeks before, singing a new song all the way."I got a feeling...that tonight's gonna be a good night, that tonight's gonna be a good, good night...wooohooo...."
Yoko sighed, smiling to herself while flipping the last of her blueberry and banana pancakes. They were the kind Sakura loved the most, more than the other flavors at least. Today was a big day for the family of three and it was an odd thing for anything to be big under the older woman's roof.
Yoko had though after being unable to have children she would never get to experience any of the joys of motherhood, and yet here she was, cooking for a graduation breakfast. True, she had missed so much of Sakura's life already, but for someone who had given up hope like she, graduation was a huge blessing. And then it did not hurt that Sakura was already so childlike and polite and kind and all around perfect.
"I'll never know how such a child survived so beautifully in a world so... " she mused, letting her thoughts pick up where her words left off. There was no need for her to say anything about the enviorment her niec had left prior the accident.
"Aunt Yoko, Aunt Yoko, look at my dress!" Sakura laughed, coming down the stairs two at a time.
"You're a little wild for someone who is heading off to collage, don't you think? How old are you, three?"
Sakura blushed, but smiled all the same. "Forgive me, Aunt Yoko, I was being loud."
"Don't worry about that. Your uncle has long since been awake."
Sakura nodded and took a step into the kitchen, loving the smell of everything. "I wasn't thinking so much about Uncle as I was the neighbors. They'll most likely complain about the noise so early in the morning. Not many people are up at this hour."
Aunt yoko frowned. "Oh, without a doubt, the old buggers. Let them whine, see if I care."
Wordlessly, Sakura pulled out the Blue Willow dishes from the cabinets and began setting the table for breakfast. it wasn't something she was ever told to do, but something she had picked up on her own because she loved her new family and wanted to help them.
She was just finishing with the glasses when her uncle came down from upstairs. Something about his frowning face made Sakura uneasy. Her aunt saw it took and stopped what she was doing to ask him about it.
"Baby, what's the matter?"
He gave her a tired look before replying. "Well, we got two things the matter here. One...lookie here at how pretty Sakura looks. Come her Sakura let me get a gander at that fine dress of yours." he held out his hands and Sakura came over, spinning in her pastel pink, halter top dress with a creamy white bow in back. It was simple, coming down to just above her knees.
"What's wrong with her dress?" Yoko asked.
"The boy outside her window is what's wrong with her dress. I caught him loitering around on the sidewalk like a love sick puppy. You want me sending out such a fine doll to a stalker like him?"
"Naruto?" Sakura asked.
"Yeah, the blond one."
Sakura turned towards her aunt with wide eyes and folded her hands under her face. "Can he stay for breakfast with us, pleaeeeeeeese?"
"Go and call him in." Yoko said, already setting an extra plate for their guest. Sakura cheered in joy before skipping to the front door to call her friend in. Her uncle turned towards the garage to get his shotgun, planning on cleaning it in front of the boy. There wouldn't be any harm in that.
"Baby, put that dirty thing back in the garage!"
"But I need this to-."
Sakura didn't know what it was, but something had happened between her uncle and her blond friend the last time they were together, helping unload furniture into the house. She hadn't been around them at the time, so she had a pretty vague idea of what Naruto said to set her Uncle off. As far as she knew there were very few things that would upset her uncle so much.
There's no trust,
No faith, no honesty in men; all are perjur'd
All foresworn, all naught, all dissemblers.
Nurse, scene ii
Sakura was with a few of the guys (Naruto, Kiba, Gaara) later that day waiting out by the vending machines in their gowns and caps when she was approached by a taller gentleman in a expensive looking pinstripe suite. There was another man beside him also dressed formally whom Sakura recognized right away.
"Hello Shisui," she greeted with a bright smile and a wave.
"Hello there, Sakura. You look so bright and happy today. Could that have anything to do with graduating?"
She laughed. Weren't you happy when you graduated, Shisui?"
"Oh no, not at all. Everyone was twelve years older than me and so much taller because I skipped so many grades, so I was in utter agony throughout the whole ceremony. That and I tripped on my gown every time I tried to walk." It took a while for Sakura to get that her friend was joking with her and not actually serious about graduating twelve years younger than everyone else, but when she did, she laughed.
Shisui felt something in his ribs and saw Itachi's elbow. The younger Uchiha sent the older a look and Shisui sobered up. "Ah, where are my manners, Sakura I want you to meet my younger cousin. This is Itachi, Itachi this is Sakura, the girl I was telling you about."
Itachi, a few inches shorter than his older cousin extended his hand and shook with Sakura, keeping his face even and unmoving. Even as he talked, it was as if his lips shifted positions rather than moved. There seemed to be something unearthly about Itachi Uchiha that chilled Sakura.
"It is a please ure to meet you, Haruno Sakura."
"YOu as well Uchiha Itachi."
"Mm, yeah and now that we are done with introductions there is the reason we came over to see you in the first place. Can you come with us for a moment Sakura."
Shisui looked behind her and smiled nervously at the look the redhead was sending his way Naruto and Kiba looked okay with the introduction but Gaara just looked pissed....then again, maybe that was the way his face always looked like. Shisu doubted the red head saw the two Uchiha as a threat to his relationship with Sakura, they had both taken too many precautions to appear distant when in reality they were very much involved in her life.
Itachi seemed to sigh without moving as he spoke up to bluntly communicate his purpose for being there. "The Uchiha is a special branch of the police force and as operatives we both would like a word with you regarding the incident with your parents. Would you please accompany us to a reserved room?" Both he and Shisui pulled out badges to make it official.
Naruto and Kiba stiffened from behind Sakura and even Gaara changed in his appearance towards her. The incident with her parents was still one fairly recent in her history so they all assumed it was tough for her to deal with. None of them really knew what her mother and father were like and how those two acted towards Sakura.
"Oh...Of-of course..." Sakura said, looking down, her stutter coming back.
Gaara reached out to take her hand and it looked like he meant to walk with her but Itachi spoke up. "Only Haruno, please. This is a privet matter."
Sakura took Gaara's hand and gave it a squeeze and smiled. "It's okay Gaara, I'll be fine. Wait for me?"
She didn't need an answer, since they all knew he would wait for her along with Naruto and Kiba.
True to their word, Itachi and Shisui had a teacher's room set up for them with a table and chairs and everything. Sakura felt uneasy at first when she heard the door close and noticed that all the windows were too high to jump out of, but Shisui patter her shoulder and smiled at her reassuringly.
"Do you want something to drink, Sakura? I should have asked you when we were at the machine, stupid me."
"No...I-I had some fruite punch earlier and my aunt has Gatorade for me when I'm done."
Shisui nodded, walking behind her to pull out a chair from the table. "Okay then, here have seat and we can get started." Itachi was already seated and waiting, a folder the color of metal in his hands with a band wrapped twice to keep it shut. He made a noise in his throat and Shisui quickly moved around to the other side of the table and sat down, pulling out his own notes from a back pocket.
Itachi opened his envelope and pulled out some papers for Sakura and turned them around so she could see the pictures. She froze, recognizing a good deal of them. Deidara, Sasori, Kisame and Kakuzu as well as Hidan. Did they know about Hidan being the one who killed her parents? She folded her hands underneath the table and squeezed them tight. "Wh-what....what's all this?"
"These are all members of an organization known as The dawn, in school you knew them as the Akatsuki. The organization is a shadowed branch of the police force, operating under the law for a less ...pleasant form of justice. We had not planned to inform you of any of this until one of operatives, Hidan, let it slip that he was the one who dealt with your parents."
Sakura looked up at Itachi quickly, her eyes wide. "What? But his...he said his brother..."
Itachi nodded. "That is true. Hidan had an emotional attachment to his case, but he would not have acted upon it had he not been given the permission. He expresses regret for the trauma you suffered during the actual incident."
"Y-yeah...he said that already," Sakura said, looking down and feeling her heart pitch and jolt in uneaven beats. "B-but nothing about a...a plan or operation or others like him."
Shisui frowned, feeling bad for the green eyed girl. She wasn't believing it all just yet. "Sakura...hey, don't you not think it odd that the investigation of your case was more severe? No one really questioned you even though you say the killer before falling down. That's because of us."
Shisui felt really bad now. "Sakura, I'm so sorry for what happened to you and your family, but we couldn't let it go on any longer. Too many people were suffering, you worst of all. You probally think we're all bad guys, neh?"
Sakura didn't say anything but she reached up and picked up a piece of paper that had Hidan'ts bio on it. She skimmed most of it but saw under his age a section on relatives. That's where it was printed the name of his brother before big black letters spelling Deceased. She frowned and dropped the paper, feeling terrible.
"Why do you want me to know all of this? What good will it do."
This time Itachi answered. "There are two reasons. One, the organization wished to reward you for your troubles by paying for all your college needs. We don't do this for many people, but a few of our members had close personal ties to yourself and wished for it." Itachi pulled out a check and pushed it across the table, shocking Sakura with the huge amount. More zeros than she had ever seen before in her whole life were there on that little slip of paper. That was way too much even for collage.
Itachi continued. "The other is because of Hidan revealing the secret. We wanted to make sure you were well enough to keep his actions to yourself. It would be no less than disastrous if our actions were to be brought to light, you can understand."
Sakura looked up quick. "Wait-what? You just want me to stay quiet about what I know?"
Sakura let go of the check she had picked up and pushed it back away from herself. Both males looked surprised. "I don't want this if that's what your after. I'll stay quiet on my own because I want to, not because someone stuffed my mouth full of dough. I don't blame Hidan for what he did and I don't want to be given money in place of my dead parents. If anything I should be paying you guys. It's like you said. My life wasn't peaces and roses with them around and I've healthier and stronger and happier than I've ever been before. I can't take this money even if it is for college, I just can't."
"But Sakura, we're not doing this 'cause we have to, it's 'cause we want to. Itachi already said it. We don't do this for just anyone, but we are doing this for you because we want to," Shisui quickly exclaimed, not happy with her refusal.
"I'm sorry, but I still can't accept it."
"Shisui."Itachi cut in, ending his cousin's words with only one of his own. He then turned towards Sakura and began to speak. "If you will not take the money that is well enough, however there is still one more matter we need to address."
"And that is?"
"You were aware that your parents were involved in multiple organizations of less that lawful standards, were you not? Most prominently ones that dealt with high grade drug trafficking. Without them around the business will be hurting."
Sakura looked away. "I had an idea."
Shisui looked over at Itachi and without moving his head, Itachi caught that look out of the corner of his eye. "Sakura, without your parents many of their former clients as well as their sellers will be after the only connection they can find to their dealers. They will be after you. Do you understand?"
If her heart wasn't abused enough it stalled for a moment. "What..."
"If you won't take our money, at least accept a full scholarship to the university we in part own. At least from there we will be able to keep an eye on you and keep you away from the dangers promised by your parent's friends."
Sakura tried standing up but Shisui reached out and grabbed her hand, holding it and keeping her from running out. She wanted to break off his grip but something about his expression stopped her. Shaking like a leaf, she fell back into her seat and bowed her head. What would happened to her aunt and uncle now if what these guys said was true? What would happen to her?
"Shisui, get her something to drink. Preferably something warm."
"But what about-"
Frowning at the tone, the older Uchiha got up and left, lingering in the doorway with worried eyes aimed in Sakura's direction. After Shisui left it was just Itachi, Sakura and absolute silence...the worst kid of company there is. (No comparison what so ever.)
Feeling uncomfortable with someone so straight-laced Sakura tried to hide her face and will time to pass faster, but if anything time slowed to an impossible pace. It had only been eight seconds since Shisui left and yet it felt like five minutes. She didn't know how but, somehow she had started to cry. Not the sobbing, 'don't leave me at the train station!' type of crying, but the 'oh I left the sink on and now it's dripping' kind.
She thought she would just wait with her head in her hands and her bangs in her face and never talk to Itachi until Shisui got back, but the sudden scraping of chair legs against the floor brought her attention upwards. Itachi was standing, his hands in midair, looking as if he had frozen in the middle of something, his expression less calm than before. He twitched and moved a little bit towards her and then pulled away....they moved towards her again. He looked troubled about something.
"What's wrong?" Sakura asked.
He blinked, letting his hands drop to his sides and a blank look took over his features once again. "It's nothing...just...don't..." He blinked again, searching for the word. He reached out and touched her head, patting it like he used to with his younger brother. "...Cry."
Sakura opened her mouth, reached up to feel her eyes without glasses and found that indeed they were wet. "O-oh sorry, that's nothing."
Dropping his hand, Itachi parted his lips to say something more but Shisui came flying thorough the door with an over priced European sounding coffee from Starbucks. "I'm back and look at who I found on the way over!" he said, pulling Sasori through the door, ignoring the glare he was getting from the red head.
"What is Sasori doing here?" Itachi asked, his voice flat.
"Oh he wasn't at the school, I found him in the Starbucks and dragged him all the way here," the oldest Uchiha claimed, lying through his teeth. He had actually found the red head snooping around the halls and trying to listen in on their conversation with Sakura. He, after all, was one of the members that wanted her to accept that huge check they were offering. Actually, Kakuzu was the only one who opposed it...
"That's fine, we were done here and they are planning on having the diploma ceremony in a few minuets anyway. Sakura should be going, hand over the coffee and say goodbye Shisui, we're leaving."
"But I thought we were staying to see Sasuke off."
"We are, hand over the coffee so we can get our seats."
Shisui frowned seeing something different in his cousin, but did as he was told, promising to talk again with her once they were done with everything. In the end he had to be dragged out by his pants by Itachi who looked oddly annoyed.
Blinking Sakura looked up at Sasori who was having a hard time looking her in the eye, or in her general direction for a matter of fact. "So..." he began. "You're graduating, huh?"
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.
Believe me love, it was the nightingale.
Juliet, scene v
"Oh my God, I never though I would see the day," Yoko cried on Sakura's shoulder, overly emotional from the whole process. "I'm just about to fall apart, dear. This is all too much for me here. I can't believe it all."
"Aunt Yoko, calm down, it's all over. There's no more need to be emotional," Sakura laughed.
"She's right, dear. It's over so stop your sobbing. Why are women so darn emotional all the time?"
Yoko just hit her husband with her purse before falling into his arms to cry some more. Her uncle made a face, but hugged his wife, a knowing look in his eyes. He was still holding onto the bag Juugo had left for Sakura before his new job started. It was a expensive leather bound edition of Romeo and Juliet. There was even a letter from Suigetsu congratulating her.
A few of her friends were gathered to the side so Sakura excused herself to go and speak with them. Naruto was kissing his diploma, crying about how he never though he would get one and Kiba was having a similar reaction. Aside from those two and Gaara, Neji, Haku, and Kimimaro were back to congratulate their younger friends. At some point even Shikamaru turned up to ask Sakura if she was free later to come over and play some games with his parents.
"So what are you going to do after this?"
"I don't know where are you going?"
"Collage, where else."
"What, me too,"
"I thought it was only me."
"When did you get accepted as well."
"Neji, Haku and I are already there."
Sakura frowned, listening to all the guys talk about this collage they were going to with confusion. Why did it sound so familiar?"
The voices stilled all around her and Sakura stiffened, feeling the shadow tower over her. She turned and saw Itachi standing behind her. Shisui was not with him and Sakura could see under Itachi arm the older cousin giving Sasuke a noogie a little ways off in front of the boy's parents. She sort of felt sorry for Sasuke, but couldn't help but smile at the funny sight. The school ice prince was getting owned like a newborn babe.
"Sakura, I forgot to leave some of the material with you." Itachi said. "This is in regards to your scholarship. If you have any more questions contact the number at the bottom. It's a particular line that is sure to always be open for you."
Sakura looked at the pamphlet and felt her cheeks light up and her lips stretch in a grin.
She was going to Die Morgenröte!
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Prince, scene iii
Bwahahahah it's over, done, finished, dead, bwahahaha! Now I can fall over dead and be done. I'm happy to have completed this, but at the same time, I'm sad to see this gone. I really liked this story and it was one of the easier ones to see through. I had an ending in mind and prompts for every chapter. So yeah, I loved this story and I am sorry to see it go, but I'm still quite happy with the end.