A/N: Well, this is my first try at this so please be nice.

Actually.. just be truthful. If it sucks, let me know.. I'm a big girl. I can handle it.

Anywho, I guess I have to let you all know that I do not own Naruto. Big surprise there.

Ok, on with the story...

The world was a beautiful place. The sun shone down on team 7 as they walked together towards the training grounds and Sakura had never been happier.

Sasuke-kun was by her side, Naruto was finally maturing into a quiet, well-mannered young man and Kakashi-sensei had put away his perverted books for good.

Even Tonton had a smile on her little pig-face as she spread her wings and flew lazy circles in the sky.

'Wait…' Sakura thought.

#beep beep beep beep beep#


Sakura's hand flew out from under the covers and smashed the offensive alarm clock. That was the third one that had experienced her wrath that week.

Sakura groaned as she shuffled out of bed, rubbing her head and glaring at the sunlight, which had dared to enter her windows. Needless to say, she was not a morning person.

After a lot of grumbling and cursing about the fact that she didn't have anything to wear, (even though she had a full wardrobe) she settled on a simple red shirt with her clans symbol on the back and a pair of black shorts with her black sandals. She placed her hair in a messy bun with two senbon as decoration and headed downstairs to get something to eat.

After her parents had died, Sakura's pantry contained very little in the way of real food. She had lots of ingredients, but nothing that was ready to eat, except for instant ramen.

"Great." Sakura sighed, reaching for the beef flavored noodles. "I'm beginning to eat like Naruto."

Suddenly there was a loud knock at the front door followed by and even louder "SAKURA-CHAAAAAAAN!"

"Speak of the devil." She said, making her way to the door.

"Hello Naru--"


"Naruto… Air." Sakura gasped pointing at her lungs while the overly hyperactive blonde ninja squeezed the precious oxygen out of her lungs with a forceful hug.

"Oh, sorry Sakura." He said, jumping away, scratching the back of his head. "It's just, well, I've missed you, you know?"

It had been a while since she had seen him, considering that they were both ANBU captains now and their free time was becoming increasingly limited.

"It's ok Naruto. Would you like to come in? I'm making ramen." Sakura offered.

Quicker than a flash Naruto was inside the kitchen boiling the water.

Sakura shook her head at the young man intently watching the jug.

"Naruto, you know they say a watched pot never boils." She warned as she shut the door and headed over.

Naruto gave her a fox-like grin as he pushed his blond hair out of his eyes. "Not true." He declared. "I've tested that idea and believe me, the water always boils."

She rolled her eyes, grabbing another cup of instant ramen. She had to admit that she actually enjoyed his company now. Sure, he was still loud and annoying but he had actually begun to think a bit more. Sakura was convinced it had to have been Hinata's influence over the young man. The two had been dating for 3 years now and Naruto was definitely considering marrying the shy heiress… as soon as her father stopped threatening to turn him into garden mulch.

Sakura was happy for the two lovebirds but couldn't ignore the slight pain she felt when she thought of them together, holding hands, kissing, whispering. Small things that she had always wanted her herself and a certain dark haired boy. Nevertheless, that was in the past. Sasuke was never coming back and Sakura just needed to move on. A 20-year-old ANBU captain had more important things to do than mope over some stupid childhood crush with chicken-butt hair.

Naruto glanced up and saw Sakura deep in thought, a strange look on her face.

"What's wrong?" He asked.

"Nothing." Sakura said, shaking her head to clear her thoughts. "Has the water boiled yet?"

"Not yet. It sure is taking a long time."

Sakura glanced at the jug. "Maybe it would help if it was turned on?"

Naruto stared at the jug and started rubbing the back of his head again. "I knew that! Believe it!"

Sakura's sweat dropped.

After a quick breakfast, the pair sat outside on the front deck talking about the upcoming festival. Last week the Hokage had declared that despite the recent Akatsuki activity, the festival would go on as planned, much to the delight of the civilians. Sakura was just glad that she would be able to get a night of normalcy into her hectic schedule. Naruto was clearly going to take Hinata and Lee was going to go with Tenten. Shikamaru was hoping that Temari would be able to come (preferably without her brothers as they were too 'troublesome') and Ino would be with Chouji.

'Now there was a surprise relationship.' She mused as Naruto yapped on about how great Hinata was going to look in her festival kimono.

Sakura wondered if she should even bother with a date with time. Last time she went with Kiba and she quickly realized why he didn't have a girlfriend. The guy had more testosterone than he knew what to do with. He kept looking at her as if he wanted to hump her leg or something. Definitely not a turn on.

As they sat enjoying the morning air, a figure in a cat mask jumped in front of them, handed them a scroll and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

"What is it? Another mission?" Naruto asked.

Sakura opened the scroll and nodded her head. "We need to be at the Hogake's office in half an hour. Go track down your team and I'll meet you there."

Naruto nodded and vanished in a heartbeat. Sakura sighed at went inside to get changed into her ANBU gear.

'So much for a quiet day.'

The Hokage's office seemed a little full with two full ANBU teams standing inside and the grim face of a completely sober Tsunade was not helping.

"Tsunade-baachan, what's going on?" asked an ANBU captain from behind a fox mask.

"As you have heard, the Akatsuki have become more active and we have received some disturbing information. It seems that some of the members previously thought dead have reappeared."

"What do you mean 'reappeared'?" Inquired the other captain who was hidden under a simple white mask with pink markings.

"As you know, after Orochimaru was killed we all assumed that the Summoning: Impure World Resurrection jutsu was lost with him but it appears that the Akatsuki have rediscovered it and are using it to rebuild their ranks. As far as we can tell, they have successfully revived Deidara, Sasori and Kakuzu and they might be bringing Orochimaru back."

The air in the room became heavy.

"We believe that Kakuzu is currently hunting down his partner Hidan." Tsunade continued. "It's your job to capture him for questioning and ensure that he does not recover Hidans remains. I'm sending two squads because up until now we have underestimated the Akatsuki. I will not allow that to happen again. Therefore, Team Tatsu and Team Tora will work together in this. You are to leave immediately and head for Kakuzu's last known whereabouts. We are not sure if he will be alone so be careful. Remember, he is only to be captured but do it by any means possible if you have to. "

"Hai" came the joint reply of the captains as the Hokage waved them out of the office. The ANBU squads disappeared and Tsunade reached under her desk to produce a bottle of sake.

"Good luck" she mumbled before downing what would be the first of many cups.

Well, how was that? I kinda missed the dead guys, so I decided to bring them back to life :)

Cos they're awsome...

and we all know it..

Speaking of awsome.. how much did the first chapter suck? Please review and let me know.