Dedicated too: Again, this is dedicated to my friend Kelly, another inspiration for the first dedication that had hit me.

Disclaimer: Do own not I the Naruto!

Note: You guys are so spoiled. This is another masterpiece that came to me at 2 o'clock in the morning. The time seems to be my inspiration period in which every idea floods through me. I hope you enjoy, and I hope you will review. And I apologize for the lack of Itachiness in here. I wanted Sakura's side of the story more for this.

- - - - - - -

Some of his mind went with her...

- - - - - - -

After two years of a dull, vacant clearing that consisted of no Sakura, Itachi began letting the reality of her slip away into nothing.

He would visit it every day of that week at the same time-sometimes sooner, to wait for her. Two years went by and he felt that little shred of dying hope fade away into the memory. It was unusual, foreign to him, an alien.

Uchiha Itachi had realized he'd grown unconditionally and irrevocably attached.

It was too late, he realized, to simply forget about her, letting it slid off his shoulder without difficulty was now down right impossible. He had been taught during his impressionable youth that attachment was not a required skill in the shinobi world, so they had done everything in their mortal power to groom him to perfection without letting him get the taste of attachment within his system.

He could vividly recall his father's groomers murmuring amongst themselves, probably thinking he was out of hear shot as they continued in hushed voices.

- - - - - - -

" The kid won't miss what he doesn't have," one of the men had said, looking over his shoulder repetitively.

" Yeah, that kid's going to miss a lot. Shame he had to waste his life as a ninja," the other had said quite remorsefully.

" Well I think it'll toughen him up!" The other man had argued.

The other man had deliberated for a second." But its part of his childhood that he will never be able to get back," he persisted, suddenly paling." And I think he can hear us." He had said tentatively, nodding nonchalantly toward where he had sat.

- - - - - - -

Itachi sat in the field now, reminiscing about the past, something he rarely ever did. His fingers lightly brushed against a fallen and writhing sakura blossom. It was early June, nice weather being fore casted throughout the upcoming week, a few wispy cirrus clouds strolling by harmlessly. He started wondering where Sakura could be at this moment. Was she coming back? On her way? Still within the confines of the people who needed her? Or somewhere in the village, hiding from him and keeping her word that she would stay by her villages' rule and not talk to enemies.

He wondered why his thoughts were always leading to her. She wasn't that important as far as he was informed, maybe she was some sort of witch? He shook his head, clearly he was losing some of his mind to her, and that was never a good thing. He should carry on his regular duties as an Akatsuki and forget all about her, but it seemed harder than it actually was to get up and leave this memorial site. That's what he called it, his memorial site. For it was significant in a way and definitely worth a name.

Itachi started wondering, letting his mind temporarily relax and have some peace. He'd been working a bit more than normal, finding jobs that usually would not suit his fancy if his mind were still working. Just something to keep his thoughts from lingering to...


He would not think of her. He would dismiss any signs that would begin turning the wheels in his head when it came to her. He would not stop and ponder as to why her hair resembled cotton candy. He would not imagine of how rosy her lips were whenever she would pout. He would not think of her bright green piercing eyes and the way they would look right through his soul.

No, he would definitely not think of it.

- - - - - - -

She knew she was falling for him as well...

- - - - - - -

Sakura stood in her luxury suite, cramming her many belongings back inside her small traveling bag she brought with her. Frustrated, she turned on the unwilling back, jumped, missed, and fell off the side of the bed. With a silent curse, she timidly stood, wincing when she moved her right leg. No doubt she would bruise later.

Sitting back upon the bed and looking sourly at the beg beside her, she fell back on the mattress, sighing heavily. A knock on the door interrupted her inner turmoil, quick and impatient, and she mumbled a, "Come in!" The ambassador, his graying hair slicked back and the stress marks creasing his brow stood there, furious. Sighing, Sakura sat up, knowing the routine by now; he would march in after checking upon his healing daughter, infuriated by the lack of speedy results, than yell at her for supposedly not doing her job as a medical ninja correctly. This charade had been happening since the first day she arrived and gave his daughter the first shot of antioxidants.

It was no different, but this time Sakura had had enough.

His hands were balled into fists at his side, restraining themselves from lashing out and killing her through asphyxiation. His face was turning an ugly shade of red; he readied his rant.

" Haruno!" He would yell, and she would give a undignified curt nod." This has been going on far too long!"-she was obviously thinking the same thing-" Not a thing has changed! My poor daughter Miyuki-chan is still ill!"

Way to point out the obvious Sherlock, Sakura thought with deep chagrin.

" Why is she still sick, Haruno!? I want answers!" his face abruptly turned a darker shade of red.

Sakura looked at him, glowered." AS I have told you before, Shinto-sama, the process of healing is not accurate. I have done all I can for the girl, now she needs to pull through herself. If she manages to fight off the disease-which, without you she would have done so already-then she will be fine. But, should she fail, she would most likely be subjected to more pointless needles, antiseptics, operations and surgeries.

" This is the type of disease which does not disappear overnight, not unless she was able to receive immediate attention in a span of two hours. But now she has the antidote running through her blood vessels, so only time will tell now."

Shinto hesitated by the doorway, color returning to his face gradually. He wasn't sure if she was finished or regaining her composure, but before anything he managed to bark out;

" You had better make sure my Miyuki-chan gets well. I've already paid you, so I better not have wasted my money!" he sneered, trying to intimidate her.

Sakura, however, remained unaffected." I am paid, your daughter received treatment, and after spending two years with you I will take my leave now."

Shouldering her bag and leaving it periodically unzipped, Sakura shoved her way out the door and toward the elevator, ignoring his protests and empty pleas. Clicking the button and entering inside the currently vacant elevator room, she pressed 1 on the dial and took a long, cleansing breath.

- - - - - - -

Exiting the gates without a second glance, Sakura departed for Konoha. Her transportation would be arriving at the village of Konya by Amegakure as she'd planned, so all she had to do was race through the thick Mirror forest. The name was meant to be deceiving, to trick the enemy who planned an attack on the Kingdom into false pretenses, as Sakura had read. She had already memorized the easiest route out of the forest from a map her shishou had supplied.

Her mind began reminiscing back two years prior. Was it really that long ago that she had left? She wasn't sure. She was now nineteen, a young woman and a hell of a kunoichi. She felt like she'd physically wasted those precious years, and she felt even more depressed that she could have possibly fallen below the ranks when she'd just made it to the top. All they would allow her during her timely stay was two days every week to train and go about her business, but they had lacked the equipment she wanted.

Sure her hair had lengthened a a bit that it brushed a bit past her shoulder. Sure she had filled out more to give off a more feminine look. And sure she had gotten a tad sexier by the Kingdom's drooling men as her jury. But where had that put her? Sakura honestly didn't know anymore. Than she began imagining the faces of her friends, finding it fleeting, and trying to keep their envisioned faces within her memory. Had they grown like she? Become better shinobi?

She had no doubt that the loud mouthed blond Naruto was already leagues away from her as soon as she had stepped foot in this territory; always striving to be a better shinobi and a better Hokage. What about Sasuke? Had he grown up as well and riddened himself of his vendetta for good? Was he still the obnoxious conceded little twelve year old brat who had left her like she had painted within her memory? No, she decided warily, if she had grown up, he had as well. Especially since he and Naruto were still rivaling, his personality and his superior exterior had changed as well.

Then she remembered his elder brother, and goosebumps rose on her slightly tanned skin. Would she see him once she returned home? Would he be waiting for her? Had he been thinking about her just as much as she'd been thinking of him?

One word was her answer, harshly repetitive.

No, no, no!

She flinched unconsciously, almost missing her footing. Catching herself, she fell to the rough ground, scraping her palms of her hands and her bare shins. Wincing, she brushed off the dirt and the pain and stood, suddenly aware of the carriage awaiting outside the fruit stand, as she had instructed. Growling, she leapt from her spot and climbed into the carriage, pinching the bridge of her nose.

- - - - - - -

Thinking of friends was easy. Thinking of him was hard...

- - - - - - -

Sakura walked a leisurely pace, her hands secured to the bag on her back as she stared at the dirt ground in dismay. The trip home had been long and boring, and winning one out of ten games of shogi with a ten year old kid had her head bowed in shame. How was she supposed to know the kid was a miniature Shikamaru?? Surely the kid had taken great pity on her and had purposely set himself up for a trap during the final game, but that didn't mean Sakura wasn't familiar with the godforsaken game.

Kicking a rock angrily, she growled. Never had she been so humiliated! Sighing, she let the thought pass, making way for the next to bubble up. Currently she was entering Konoha forest out of Mist, taking a detour from Oto by boat. She could literally smell the ramen from Ichiraku wafting down by the breeze so much it was tangible. Mouth watering, Sakura ran into the forest, eager to join her best friend in a contest. As rich as the Kingdom was, their ramen stand could never compete with Ichiraku.

Sakura slapped herself in the forehead.

She was becoming a Naruto. Scary, wasn't it?

Gaining speed, she almost missed the site of something moving from the corner of her eye. Halting, she perched on a branch and relaxed slowly, allowing her senses to pick up on something abnormal. A snap of a twig shot her eyes open as she hurled a kunai at the sound; a fawn leaping out from behind the bush, running away at top speed.

Dubiously, Sakura smiled, embarrassed at herself. Taking a perfectly ordinary scenario and dramatizing it up apparently was many of her specialities. Frowning at the thought, she proceeded more cautiously, knowing this was enemy territory." Just because the forest hides Konoha doesn't mean it is necessarily ours," her shishou had said once." There are plenty of rogue shinobi waiting out there." Sakura stopped when a jolt of electricity shot up her back, and she almost forgotten what it normally meant. Resting on a branch high above, she scoured the area keenly, looking for the man in question.

But all she found was a vacant familiar clearing.

Her heart skittered at the sight, Sakura tried and failed to remain calm. But instead of continuing her journey home, she jumped from above the branch and landed in a crouch easily. Standing precariously, she examined the propinquity, Nothing seemed to have changed, everything was exactly was it was two years ago, sans the grass, which had grown out a lot more. She moved herself within the middle of the clearing, laying on her back in the damp grass.

She closed her eyes and inhaled the fresh scent of carnations, exhaling gleefully. The sun was warm on her cheeks and shivering body, making the site behind her eyelids red. shge allowed herself to become vulnerable as she soaked up the sun's raise, grateful to the warmth it provided her chilled body. She wondered what day it was and the time. Remorsefully, she sat up and began rummaging through her crammed pack, fishing out her pocket calender. Flipping over the cover, she began to recount the days she'd spent getting home to her last day at the Kingdom. She counted three, and the day was Thursday.

This was not the day she had first met him here, nor the day they met up every week. Even after all this time she refused to think or say his name, it was all to painful as it was to be where they once had been two years ago. Hard as it was, she still felt for him, still thought of him, still dreamed of him. She could remember it perfectly, like it was only yesterday, and not the torturous and agonizing two years it really was. If she had willed it, she could envision him lying beside her impassively, asking question after pointless question to get a better insight of each other.

Only yesterday...

She gasped when she realized she'd crushed the calender within her hand unintentionally, and placed it back timidly into the bag. Sighing, she stood, cracked her fingers and flexed her shoulders, sliding the heavy bag back on again and sorrowfully trudged out of the clearing and on home, where she would wait another week before visiting again.

- - - - - - -

Ignoring him would prove difficult...

- - - - - - -

Sakura found that as soon as she entered those welcoming gates, she fell naturally into a routine. When she arrived it was six o'clock, the time when Naruto usually would herd the team together-Kakashi included-out to treat him to some ramen. He greeted her with a large hug and a kiss on the cheek, ignoring how she was sweaty and smelled like old gym socks. Sasuke had greeted her back with a tentative and awkward hug, apparently he deemed it 'too intimate' afterward.

Naruto was boastful about his missions that he had succeeded over the last two years with Sasuke, always finding a loophole through some of Sasuke's miraculously heroic efforts by filling himself in instead. Sasuke had posed no ill-will toward his companions constant gloating and the fact that his name had not been mentioned once. Whenever Naruto had paused for a mili-second, Sasuke would whisper," That was actually me," into her ear, to much of a good friend to shoot the blond's every growing pride.

Once Naruto had finally finished summarizing all of the first year's missions, he began to move onto the second, and Sakura had to cut him short.

" Hold your horses, Naruto-kun," Sakura laughed good-naturedly." Let me at least go home, shower, and look decent before you continue further."

He didn't look quite ready to give up, so Sasuke interjected.

" Yeah, dobe," Sasuke added with a smug smirk," She smells rank and looks like she got ran over by a heard of cows, at least let her wash up so we can spare out sensitive noses."

" ... "

She wasn't sure if she should feel grateful or insulted.

Sulking, Naruto agreed grimly, but not before choking on a laugh. Somewhat gratified, Sakura made her escape, washing up and changing before meeting the boys at the restaurant.

- - - - - - -

" So, Sakura-chan, meet any cute guys on the mission?" Naruto asked nonchalantly, but with that suggestively tone before chugging the rest of the ramen broth.

If only Sakura could find it within herself to act embarrassed or violated. She merely shrugged and stuck a piece of onegiri into hr mouth." Not really," she said between chews." There was this one guy, though, Totoroku, he was a shinobi in training," she said monotonously, biting into the rice.

" And...?" Sasuke pressed lightly, practically gripping the table in suspense.

Was that a jealous vibe she just picked up?

" And nothing," she amended lamely, but couldn't dismiss the shocked/confused looks they were giving her. Sighing, she poked at her sushi." He was an okay guy, had potential..." She knew this wasn't filling their curiosity in the least."...But he was a bipolared freak." She ended sourly.

Both Naruto and Sasuke released their breath.

" What!?" She ground out, careful not to break the metal chopsticks or deform them in any way.

Naruto tried remaining oblivious to her agitation." Its nothing, Sakura-chan," he assured truthfully." We were just anticipating the break-up rant. So, now that leaves us with no ass to kick," he mumbled, crestfallen.

" Mmmm," Sasuke agreed, sipping his tea." No ass to kick indeed."

Sakura laughed lightly to herself. Or was she laughing at herself?

" You guys are ludicrous," she humored lightly, punching them both in the arm playfully. Turning hr head over to spot her former sensei, she smiled brightly at him, but of course he was waiting for the attention to shift elsewhere so he could enjoy the rest of his cold meal.

Kakashi spotted her and gave his signature eye crinkle." Well hello, Sakura, where have you been the last two years? I've been missing my favorite student you know," he said warmly, jeering the boys a tad for old times sake.

Sakura giggled into her fist." Oh just a really annoying mission, or should I say, the annoying client," she grumbled, popping a piece of rice into her mouth.

" Oh, really?"

" Ya, and it wasn't even the client, but the client's arrogant and self absorbed father!"

" Sounds like the guy was a very powerful and needed man,"

" Ha! I'll say."

It was a bit too easy talking to them again, as if she hadn't convicted an unforgivable crime. She could only hope that none of them would ever find out, and she hoped she wouldn't let anything too suspicious slip out accidentally.

" So," Kakashi began, stroking his chin sagely." Naruto has been telling me you've been leaving once every week same day same time, is there anything you would like to talk about?"

Sakura paled, and she only could hope he hadn't noticed.

" No, Kakashi-senpai, nothing I want to talk about." Sakura assured hastily, trying to remain calm about the situation. Standing, she excused herself from the meal and placed her money on the counter, trying to get away from them as fast as she humanly could. Exiting the restaurant, a voice stopped her in her tracks.

" Wait up, Sakura," Sasuke persisted, flying off his stool to walk side by side with her, hands jammed into his pockets.

She pulled her jacket a little closer and looked up at him quizzically." What's up, Sasuke?" she asked softly. Normally Sasuke would not go out of his way to stop her from leaving his presence, nor silently offer her an escort home when he of all people knew she was capable of looking out for herself." Is there something wrong?"

" Actually, there is, but its nothing major," he said slowly, careful not to startle her.

" Than what is it?"

He grimaced a bit. He was showing more emotion than normal, so something must be bothering him considerably. "Its what Kakashi asked you," he started magnanimously." is there really nothing you want to talk about? I know it may be a bit weird not talking about it with your superior, but I just want to know if everything is alright."

Sakura paused for a brief second before resuming walking. As far as Sakura could remember, this was the first time Sasuke had actually voiced his concern, and it was heartwarming to hear him say it. Alas, she couldn't tell him. But another question was lingering in her mind, begging to be noticed and acknowledged.

" Sasuke," she tried to broach it casually, but ended up making herself a nervous wreck and suspicious." Has there been any recent reports on Akatsuki while I was absent?"

Sasuke stopped abruptly, his dark and bottomless eyes squinting to slits. Confused, Sakura stopped as well, giving him a questionable look. She thought the question was harmless enough, something that most everybody would want to know, on various occasions. Whether it be making sure a family member did not die or go mission, or if anybody was hurt during their stay. But apparently this was not a happy subject for Sasuke.

Harshly, he scowled." Its clear that that is not the question you wanted to ask me." He said darkly, making her squirm uncomfortably. Had he read between the lines that easily? Or was she just that easy to read? " You wanted to know whether or not they were in the vicinity, assuming I would follow after Itachi once again."-she flinched when he spoke his name-"But I've given up on all that!" He practically shouted, but Sakura was more than a little relieved.

" haven't been looking for...Itachi?" she winced when she said his name.

" All but! You mustn't have heard than. Apparently he's dead."

The words crushed her, hurt her, sent her spiraling into upcoming hysterics. Her throat was dry and tight, her body visibly shaking and her eyes were glazed over in anxiety. All of which did not go unnoticed by Sasuke's watchful eyes.

Gently, he placed a hand on her shaking shoulder." Is something the matter, Sakura?" he asked." Did I say something you didn't like? Or something you did like and are too shocked for words?"

She knew he was trying to grasp her reaction, and it took more effort than she thought to calm down. Breathing heavily, she balled her hands into tight fists.

" I'm happy you're...not going anywhere...I'm just excited, relieved, and really due much else..."

The slight hysteric edge to her voice could only be taken in two ways; in happiness or in grief. Sasuke smartly choose the former.

He smirked, proud." I don't think we'll be seeing any more of hm," he assured in his placid boastful tone." They believe he signed up for a mission to complicated for him to handle, and he ended up failing and brought his ass back to their organization where he was killed."

Sakura nodded mutely, parting ways and entering her apartment, fighting tears and reality.

- - - - - - -

She needed to see him, so she waited...waited...waited...waited.

- - - - - - -

Weeks flew by, and still she hadn't encountered him.

She met at the clearing, same time, day, place, and still he did not show. Sakura thought he was dead the second week she came by, but she could still sense his chakra whenever she came. He must be alive, Sakura thought wearisomely, this was the Uchiha Itachi, an opponent so formidable, strong, intelligent and mysteries, he has to be alive.

But she did not see him, only felt. She tried looking for him, tried sensing his chakra and focusing in one area, but she always failed. Try as she might, her thoughts were always clouded with hidden memories, and she couldn't concentrate enough. Her thoughts than lead her to believe he was playing a game on her, a genjutsu, to wait for hr to break through the illusion. But it wasn't an illusion; only reality.

She lay there now on the slightly dampened grass floor, staring up at the cloud filled sky. Her eyes trying to imagine little figures within them, but she couldn't, couldn't concentrate, couldn't focus enough to decipher a clear message even if she desperately wanted-needed-too. Frustrated, she sat up, clearing her mind the best she could and probing for his chakra which she knew would be there. It was coming from the same direction, to her left, to the yellow Birch, where it always was, but was not there.

Irritated by the unmistaken routine she was beginning, she stood and advanced to the large tree, glancing this way and that for the person who she already knew wasn't there. His chakra was there, by the tree, but he wasn't, as always. Placing her hand on the tree firmly, looking remorsefully at the notches she had made with the kunai sporadically, she sighed. Whenever she would wait for him to come out, she would always chuck it there to make him emerge.

Three notches, all lined vertically up each other, evenly spaced. She found some time to praise herself for her aim, since some of the notches were deeper than the rest, and there were no other indicators of her aim straying anywhere else. Feeling a bit nostalgic, she removed her kunai, embedded it within the second notch. She tried to feel for him again, tried to get some sense of where he was...

When it suddenly dawned on her.

He was not here, but a part of him was.

Frantic, she searched the Birch, looking around at the base for a sign-if there was one. No luck, she looked up at the massive web of branches, squinting. Her chakra felt for him, and found it. Reaching for the lowest branch, she grabbed it with both hands, swinging and getting enough momentum. Flipping, she swung her legs up over her head and released her grip, landing on the balls of her feet. Gripping the weak branch, she jumped onto a sturdier one, feeling for him again. Eyes snapping open, she leapt onto the next highest branch, coming face to face with a fist sized hole in the side of the trunk.

Rolling up hr sleeve, she slipped her hand easily threw, feeling something hard and smooth reach her fingertips. Pulling it out, she found a necklace with a jade pendant tied to the front and six-three on each side-little beads trailing up to the neckline. The piece of jewelry did not catch her eye, it was what came with it that did. There, secured to the necklace, was a tiny folded piece of expensive looking paper attached.

Gingerly, she unfastened the necklace and removed the paper, unraveling it and reading carefully.


If you are reading this it means that you must have returned safely and that I am not around.

Meet me here same time and place the following week when you get this note. It does not concern your person as to how I know when you are to return.

P.S. Dispose of this letter when you have received and read it.


Sakura re-read the note that was scripted in beautiful calligraphy she did not recognize, and chuckled softly. Even while writing letters he somehow manages to be facetious. Sighing, surprising out of content, she jumped down the tree with ease, tucking the note within her jacket and leaving the clearing with a genuine smile on her face.

- - - - - - -

A week later, she met up with him, and happy was not the word she would categorize when she saw him.

There he was, laying on the dry green grass, arms tucked under his head for support and his legs outstretched, his cloak lying abandoned beside him. His eyes were closed, his hiate-ate removed, and his shoes discarded beside his cloak. He looked so peaceful, so at ease, so vulnerable it was human, and Sakura could only stare in awed fascination.

One eye cracked open and landed upon her, and it felt like someone had ran an arrow through her heart at the simple eye contact. Of course he knew she was there, of course she couldn't hide herself from him for long, but the idea wasn't bad either. Swallowing her nagging conscience and throwing caution into the gentle wind, she emerged from the confines of the bushes and branches, smiling.

His lips twitched up into a half smile, making her heart rate accelerate at an unhealthy rate. She approached him warily, as if he still were a stranger, and stood there, watching his peaceful expression and the rise and fall of his muscled chest. Too fast for her to comprehend exactly what happened, she was laying beside him on his cloak, looking into his blood red eyes closely. Her breath hitched at the proximity at their body space, but she hadn't known why she was so nervous all of a sudden. It wasn't like she hadn't invaded his personal space before. Maybe it was because he had forcefully thrown her into it?

His hand slithered up and grasped some of her hair, twirling it within his fingers, and he sighed. She couldn't read the expression on his face, for he snaked his hand behind her back and gently pulled her close, her nose nestling under the crook of his neck.

He sighed again." I missed you,"

The words caught her off guard, but she regained some of her composure long enough to give him a response." You did?" she asked dubiously, a little dazed." I didn't think you would. You weren't here,"

" Because you weren't," he answered automatically.

Her brows creased as she read his expression once again, but he gave away nothing." I was here," she insisted," I was here last week and three weeks ago also." She shifted so that her hand to swipe a piece of his raven hair that managed to fall across his cheek, tucked it behind his ear.

He remained unperturbed by her actions." How come it took so long for you to find my message? I thought you would never return, so I left a memo for you to find on your own."

" That is if I wasn't in an emotional wreck at the time and could find some peace of mind," she amended lightly, laughing a bit." It took me a while to figure out that you weren't here, and that you must have left something that belonged to you behind so that I could see you again."

" It took you that long to find it?" he sounded a bit disappointed, but amused nonetheless." I should have just placed a sign that said 'look in the tree' for you so we could have seen each other sooner,"

Her brows rose high in apprehension, taking in his words." Did you...just make a joke? And toward me?" she asked skeptically, wondering if she heard wrong.

He chuckled, a low rumble within his stomach that felt good against her cheek." I suppose I did," he said," Just because I'm a mass murderer does not mean I cannot have some amusement in life once in a while."

She smiled," I knew there was some trait that all killers must keep with them, even if they have set their other emotions aside for the battle." He shook his head, pinched the bridge of his nose.

" It is too bad I have to leave," he said, mostly to himself.

Her head snapped up at this." What?" she hissed." You have to leave!?"

His hand came up and rested on her collar bone, pushing her back down." Not right away, but soon, yes, I have too."

" Where are you going?"

" Well, isn't this a turn of events."

In a way, it was, for this time it was him leaving her, but she doubted he would be absent for two years as she had been. She relaxed, sighed." If you have too, than I will wait for you this time," she promised, eager to keep it the best she could.

He let out a large breath of air that fanned her face, and she felt like she was floating on Cloud Nine." Its too bad, you only just got back," he said dejectedly, the tips of his lips turning down into a frown.

Her hands sought out his face and she took her two index fingers, placed them on either side of his lips, and turned upwards into a goofy fake smile. She giggled, but released when she saw that look in his eye, but she couldn't help but snicker at the sight of it. He chuckled lightly, and she committed it to memory, for another time when they would be apart.

This time, however, he gave her a real smile-one that sent her heart into a frenzy." Goodbye, Sakura," he said, placing a kiss on her lips for a quick second before flashing away, his cloak surprisingly not under her anymore, as well as his other belongings he had taken with him.

She sat up, looking around the clearing, and she knew she was alone, but at the same time, she wasn't. Smiling, she stood, brushed off the grass that clung to her clothing, and eyed the Birch tree once more. Removing the kunai from her holster, she flicked her wrist and launched it toward the top notch, planting it firmly within the hole. She smirked smugly, and walked out of the clearing.

Somehow, she knew they weren't going anywhere for a long time.