Dotenba –

A naruto fanfiction: AU sasu/saku/ita

Description: Sakura Haruno is living in an orphanage, soon to be kicked to the dangerous streets of her war-plagued country. Certain that only death could await her, she is surprised when she finds a boy with smoldering eyes instead.

Chapter One - Dotenba: plight

The war had been going on for some thirty years now. Not as long compared to previous wars, but it was definitely far worse than the others. It was between the East country and the West country. East country had been feeling rather mighty with their superior technology, while the West country had been rather content on keeping things simple and traditional. East country wanted to share its newfound ways with West country, therefore gaining some sort of control over the vaguely smaller country. West disagreed, and sent out troops to defend its borders. East was angered by West's blatant refusal, so they sent out their troops as well. Eventually, it became all out war.

Battle after battle and there was no end in sight. Small towns and large cities alike were burned to the ground. Parents lost their children, and children lost their parents. The army, desperate for new recruits, began enlisting males as young as ten years old. East country had the advantage, with their weapons far more catastrophic than West country's. It was obvious who would be victorious in this war, but despite that fact, the rulers of West country were stubborn in their ways and would not surrender.

It was utter chaos, to say the least. Various bands of rebels who did not agree with the war, joined together, hoping to bring eventual peace to both countries. It was a joke. Victims of the war had hoped the rebels would help bring an end, but they only made it worse. The rebels had tried to negotiate peace, but failed. The rebels then turned to fighting the armies. But with no real fighting experience, and warped thoughts, they had inadvertently caused even more death than needed.

Now the rebels were viewed as criminals, outlaws, and just common thugs. Most people, that had no home, no family to turn to, resorted to crime, prostitution, drugs, even going so far as to kill another for some scrap of food. The world was falling apart at the seams and there was no end in sight.

Children that were orphaned at a young age were sent to orphanages, but it was no sanctuary. Dirty, small, and often understaffed, orphanages were more of a death sentence then a chance at survival. Children were malnourished and abused. It was a hell hole, but it was better than the streets. Once children turned sixteen, they were kicked out. Overcrowding being the biggest problem, there just wasn't enough food. Once you were kicked out, you had three choices: try to survive on the streets (most likely involving drugs, murder, or prostitution), join the army (no chance at survival there), or join the rebels (If you didn't die fighting, then you would at least get fed).

This is where our story starts.

--

I stared at the old woman, in disbelief. Strands of pink hair covered my face; I tried to push them out of the way, only to have them fall back into their original place again. "What did you say?" my voice came out raspy.

"I'm sorry, Haruno-san. We just don't have the resources to keep you here anymore." Pity clouded the woman's eyes. She had raised me since I was four years old, and the only emotion she showed me was pity?

"Yukino-san, you know I won't survive out there, how could you do this to me?" I could feel the tears coming, so I held them back. "You know what the rules say, Haruno-san. Once you're sixteen, you can't stay here anymore. I know this is hard, but you're a strong girl, you'll make it." She put her wrinkled hand on my shoulder, I shrugged it away. Yukino-san had been like a grandmother to me, how could she expect me to make it out there on my own?

"I saved some bread for you. There isn't much, so make it last. I know of a place you can stay for awhile. My brother, he owns a café. Tell him you know me. He might give you a job. Here's the directions." She slipped me a small piece of paper and a brown bag (the bread). I looked at her, she must care after all. Jobs were rare to find, and Yukino-san had been able to get me one. I forgave her immediately as I embraced her heartedly.

"Thank you, Yukino-san!" This was probably the last time I would see the old woman. As I dropped the embrace I felt her hand on my shoulder once more, she stared me straight in the eyes.

"I want you to listen to me. When you're out there, never let your guard down, and especially, don't trust anyone!" the look in her stony grey eyes made me nervous. I nodded me head and she let go of me. "Oh! I almost forgot!"

Yukino-san took off a silver necklace around her neck and gave it to me. The metal felt cold in my hands. It was a locket, a small, square shaped locket. I tried to open it, but it wouldn't budge. I looked up at Yukino-san, who had a strange expression on her face.

"You were wearing it when you first came here. I was afraid someone would steal it from you, so I kept it until this day. I hope you'll forgive me." I shook my head, smiling. "There is nothing to forgive. Thank you, for everything." I put on the necklace and hid it beneath my ragged shirt. I stepped out the door of the orphanage, gazing up at the clouded sky.

"Good luck, Haruno-san." And she waved at me. I waved back, certain that this was our last moment together. I turned toward the abysmal street, and began to make my way. With a job, I could survive; maybe someday get a place for myself. I finally had hope for my future. Once again I pushed my hair out of my eyes.

I should have known then that hope never lasts.

A/N: This is my first attempt of a naruto story, and I swear it will get so much better; I have a great epic story planned out. Please stick around to read it. And if you like this, despite how incredibly short it is, please please review. That is the only thing to keep me writing. Thanks for reading!