A/N: Yet another story finished! I want to thank all the loyal reviewers (way to much to name them all but the ones I'm talking about know themselves that I'm talking about them) and readers that had stayed with the story all the way. Special thanks to my beta and dear friend V. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
On their way back Akira never left Sakura's side. She was next to her when they travelled in the daylight, she was there when Akira wanted to bathe and that kind of stuff and when it was night she chose Sakura as her pillow. It wasn't because she didn't trust the rest of her saviours or they frightened her. It was because she already knew the pink haired ANBU captain and she always felt safe when she was in Sakura's presence no matter what situation she might be in.
Sakura didn't mind it at all that Akira never left her side; it was easier for her to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't get hurt in any way. And of course there was the fact that it was her little sister who was clinging to her side, even if she hadn't told Akira the news yet. It wasn't that she hadn't try, she had. But every time she took the little girl aside she couldn't get her tongue to move, couldn't find the right words to say it. It was her mother after all that had caused this girl the pain of not growing up with a mother. It also wasn't her place to say it; she should hear it from her father that no doubt had already had seen her mother, well their mother now. Or of course from Hanu herself; it was her after all that left them so it would only be fair for her to tell Akira that she was her mother.
On the last night they spent out in the woods Sakura offered to be on patrol. While she leaned against the tree, she softly stroked the black strands out of her younger sister's face as she lay peacefully sleeping in her lap; Sakura's travelling cloak wrapped around her so she wouldn't get cold.
Sakura sighed, turning her gaze from Akira to the cloudless night sky. Tomorrow at noon they would reach the green gates and then all hell would break loose. How would Akira react when she heard Hanu was her mother? Would she accept the fact they were family or hate her because she didn't tell her the moment she knew about it?
To the rest of the world it would seem as if she was deep in thought and that was also what Kakashi was thinking when he quietly stepped out of the tent he was sharing with Yamato and Renge. His eye stopped on the worried kunoichi and he started to make her way towards her. Sitting down next to her he felt Sakura shift and soon after her head rested upon his shoulder.
"What's wrong?" Kakashi asked softly not wanting to wake up the sleeping girl in Sakura's lap.
Sakura tilted her head back down, her eyes staring at Akira as she spoke. "Every time I try to tell her we're family I close up and I can't get the words passed my lips. I know I'm not the one that should tell her what happened but on the other hand I want to, to spare her the pain of hearing it from my mother and knowing I knew it all along."
"What do you think you're supposed to do?"
"I don't know! And that's the problem."
"Stop trying to think with your head Sakura. Use your heart for once, what does your heart tell you to do?"
Sakura kept silent for awhile pondering over the consequences her choice would bring. "That I should tell her."
"Then go tell her that you're her sister," Kakashi whispered back softly and kissed her on the cheek. "And when she doesn't believe you, you can at least say you told her so she can't blame you not for informing her of the news."
Sakura smiled nuzzling closer to Kakashi and breathing in his scent. "Thanks Kakashi."
"You're welcome." Tilting her head a bit up, he gave her a chaste kiss, savouring the warmth of her lips against his masked ones before he stood up. Stretching as he yawned sleepily.
"Go to sleep Kakashi, that's an order," Sakura grinned.
"Yes ma'am," Kakashi grinned back before walking back into the tent.
The next morning Sakura took Akira apart from the group while they were all having breakfast. Walking over to the small river, Sakura placed Akira on one of the bigger rocks so she was at the same height as her. Sakura sighed, trying to keep her nerves down.
"Is something wrong Sakura-chan?" Akira asked softly, her voice holding a worried tone.
"Everything is fine," Sakura reassured her. "But I've got something to tell you."
"Uhm…how should I say this?" Sakura's hands were placed at either side of Akira as she leaned against the rock and her head tilted down. "Alright," tilting her head back up, she stared straight into the violet colored eyes. "I know your mother." It wasn't something she planned to say at all, but now it was out she couldn't really take it back either.
Akira's eyes widened with shock, her jaw slightly dropped at awe. "W-what? But how?"
Sakura swallowed heavily. "I know her because your mother is also my mother. When Jun came to tell the information that you were captured he saw my, I mean our mother and told me the news."
Akira stared at Sakura with disbelief. "So you knew all along?" Sakura nodded her eyes saddened. "Why haven't you told me?" Her voice sounded angry.
"I tried but every time I failed to tell you. I didn't want you to hate me." Turning around Sakura slid down the rock her head tilted down. A soft thud was heard and soon after there were two soft hands placed upon either cheek, forcing her to look up.
"I could never hate you Sakura-chan. I'm just a bit shocked to find out you're my…," she swallowed as she tried to form the words but couldn't get it past her lips just yet.
"It's alright you won't have to call me that way. But it does explain the bond you felt with me back then." Akira nodded and stood up herself; watching her elder sister also getting up.
"Come, we should go back to the group if we want to reach the village by noon." Akira smiled climbing back onto her back and kissed her cheek. "Thank you for telling me Sakura-chan, I really appreciate it."
"You're welcome," Sakura smiled back and adjusting her grip on the girl she walked back to the camp.
Sakura sighed as she stared at the prison before her. It's been a week that she returned from the Land of Snow. And now was the time that they finally came to a decision what to do with Sasuke. She stared down at the scroll in her hand where her order had been written. With her perfect chakra control and their decision to do with Sasuke it was only her to fit the bill to deliver his punishment. She just hoped that someday he would forgive her about what she was about to do to him.
Giving a silent nod to the guards that already knew what she was doing here let her pass, bowing their hand in acknowledgement. Her feet let her blindly through the corridors without a second thought. She stopped in front of the cell she was ordered and only tilted her head up then to see the person behind the bars. He wasn't much different; he looked still the same as they had last met. They stared at each other silently, Sakura not really wanting to do what she was ordered to do and Sasuke trying to read her face of why she was here.
"Sasuke Uchiha, today is the day your punishment will be fulfilled of all the deeds you've done. Have you anything to say before I care out the order?" Sakura said without any emotion.
Sasuke remained silent and kept staring at the woman before her. Sakura knowing he wouldn't say anything slipped into the cell and placed the scroll she was carrying with her on the ground and rolled it out. Pulling off her gloves she sighed heavily before she stared at Sasuke's cold eyes.
"Before I begin I want you to know that you're brother isn't alive and has been punished for what he had done to you," Sakura said softly. She saw Sasuke's eyes widened with surprised and a questionable look followed soon after. Knowing what he was asking she tilted her head down. "I killed him."
Sasuke simply stared at her not emotion filling his eyes or betraying how he felt. Knowing that every attempt of remorse would simply be pushed away Sakura remained silent also and started to make the seals. She was going to extract every knowledge Sasuke had of techniques, fighting skills, his friends and his horrible past. And every Sakura was done she was to manipulate his chakra system so that he wouldn't get anymore chakra higher than the rate of a normal civilian so he wouldn't hurt anymore people. It was the worse punishment Sasuke could get in Sakura's eyes because it was the only thing he had left. She scowled inwardly at the scroll, rolled out before her and most of all she hated it herself. That she was the one chosen to rip his life away from him like he had with hers. But instead of feeling happy of getting the chance of getting him back of giving her so much pain, Sakura didn't want to do this because deep in her heart Sasuke only did it out of love to protect her even if his methods were wrong. He believed it was right and acted it out so she was out of harm.
"I'm sorry about what I'm going to do to you. Even after all what you've done, you only did it because you thought it was right in your eyes. And you don't deserve such punishment placed upon you." She hoped that Sasuke would say something to her, but yet again he remained silent.
Sighing and giving up any attempts to get Sasuke talking she finished her seals and placed her hands on his head, extracting every memory he had stored in his brain. He screamed at the pain caused by the jutsu but Sakura couldn't do anything to lessen the pain. His screams faltered soon after as he fell into unconsciousness and when every drop of knowledge Sasuke had was taken from him she placed her hands on the scroll sealing it away on the white sheet of paper before rolling it up and placing an S-rank seal upon it. She turned back at Sasuke's limp body and aced out the next part of his punishment. After she was done she stared at the limp form before her knowing that he would never be the one she'd known all along. She stroked some of his bangs away, whispering an apology before she walked out of his cell and out of his life forever.
5 years later
Sakura smiled softly as the green gates came into view. Speeding up a bit more she noticed familiar chakra signals at the gates.
"Don't count on Sakura getting here on time sweetheart, she's not due to come back for two days yet," Sakura heard her mother say.
"But Sakura-onee-chan would never ever miss my birthday, she promised," another feminine voice said. Sakura's smile widened and once she was close to the gates she leapt out of the trees onto the main travelling road for them to see her. A scream followed soon after and Sakura stopped her high speed to avoid colliding with the twelve year old girl that ran towards her. Opening her arms she swung the girl in the air who in her turn laughed outright.
"You're home Nee-chan! I knew you would make it." Akira said smiling brightly and hugging the pink haired woman.
"I wouldn't miss your birthday for the world," Sakura smiled back as she put the birthday girl onto the ground. Her gloved hand slid towards her pouch and held out a small package. The black haired girl squealed hugging her big sister once again before she opened the little box and held out a beautiful bracelet with a matching necklace.
"Oh wow, its beautiful nee-chan," Akira said in awe.
"I'm glad you like it," Sakura said smiling, and ruffled the girl's hair. Tiling her head back up to the entrance she stared at her mother and stepfather waiting there patiently for her to make her way to them.
Taking hold of Akira's free hand they made their way back to the green gates, Sakura letting Akira go so she could hug her mother and her stepfather.
"Welcome back Sakura, you finished early." Hiro said smiling as he let the girl go.
"I never break my promises," Sakura said with a wink.
"Ne, Sakura-onee-chan the others are in the Ramen stand, come on lets go! I want to show them the necklace you gave me." Akira whined, grabbing Sakura's free hand and pulling on it to get her to move.
Sakura laughed waved goodbye to her parent's and saluting Izumo who was on duty, she and her sister made their way towards the Ichiraku's. Almost reaching the stand Akira let go of her hand racing towards the blonde sitting in the middle of the group people sitting there.
"Naruto look what I got from nee-chan!" She held up her arm and bracelet smiling brightly all the while. She and Naruto became good friends over the years. Ever since Hiro took a step back from his job back in the land of Grass, he moved with Jun and Akira to Konoha to live. It was a strange sight for Sakura to see her mother in love a with another man, but knowing Hiro herself quite well she knew that those two would be good for each other and they were happy. One year after their move, they married back in Grass for the sake of Hiro's parents. Ever since that they'd lived happily together in the Haruno compound Sakura grew up in. Hanu asked her to move back in, but Sakura still preferred living with Ino. But that fact would change soon Sakura thought happily as she walked into the stand and her eyes fell on her boyfriend hiding behind one of his smutty books. If everything went as planned they would be moving in together next week.
"Hey guys," Sakura greeted them as she moved to Kakashi to sit in his lap. She kissed him softly on his cheek before turning to the others.
"You're early captain," Daisuke commented as he waved his hand in a greeting.
"Easy mission," Sakura shrugged it off. "And I couldn't miss Akira's birthday of now could I?"
The girl in question shook her head as she stared at her elder sister. "No because you already missed eight of them, and to make it up you have to come to every birthday I ever have now!"
Sakura chuckled ruffling her hair as Kakashi did with her when she was younger. "And I'll be there; I made that promise didn't I?"
Akira nodded, her violet eyes twinkling brightly with happiness. She was rather close with Sakura, and whenever Sakura was in town, those two wouldn't be far apart for most of the time.
"Captain?" Daisuke suddenly asked.
"Hmm?" Sakura looked up and raised her eyebrow confused as she saw how worried Daisuke was.
"I was wondering if you could…" He mumbled the last piece of the sentence so that it was almost inaudible. Sakura heard it though; having heard it a couple of times. A short laugh escaped her lips as she shook her head.
"Got yourself in trouble yet again, haven't you? Fine I'll help you out. Give me the name and photo and consider it done."
"Thanks captain," Daisuke sighed in relief and handed her a picture. "I've written the name on the picture myself."
Sakura took one look at the picture before she shook her head, chuckling all the while as she did so. "Man, how drunk were you?"
This caused Renge, Nami and Naruto to laugh loudly. "No way you really left with that ugly bum?" Naruto said snickering.
Daisuke sighed, his head hung down as his friends left at him. "Yeah, yeah I know. But I after that drinking match with Naruto she offered to help me home."
"And apparently she did something more too," Nami sighed. "You know captain won't always help your sorry ass."
Sakura putted the picture in her pouch before she got up. "Well guys I'm leaving to talk to Shishou, she's expecting me after all. No doubt Izumo already sent her a message that I've arrived."
Akira stood up also, jumping on Sakura's back and wrapping her arms around her neck and her legs around Sakura's waist. "Nee-chan can you leap over the rooftops again?"
"You know what Hiro thinks of that," Sakura said sternly.
"Pleassssee…. It's my birthday."
"Oh alright. I'll see you guys later." And before anyone could say anything the sisters were already gone.
When they arrived at Hokage tower Sakura left Akira with the receptionist as she walked further in, towards the office. Knocking on the door three times she entered.
"Welcome home Sakura," Tsunade said as she looked up from the files in front of her.
"Shishou," Sakura replied back with a nod. "The mission was a success as always."
"Don't get so cocky girl, it could come back to bite you in the ass someday."
Sakura only grinned and walked over to the desk, staring at the picture were Tsunade and herself were standing together. She was 13 in that picture when she managed to split a rock in two with just a flick of her finger. Catching her gaze Tsunade smiled softly. "It seems so far away doesn't it?"
"Yes it does."
"I'm proud of you Sakura. You finally returned home."
"I always have been here Shishou," Sakura said confused.
Tsunade got up from her chair, moved around the desk as her hand grabbed the mirror that lay on a pile of files. She held it in front of Sakura as she stood behind her. Staring at her reflexion she saw a pink haired ANBU, her features were still the same but her eyes, they weren't deadened and dark like they had been. No, these one's were brightened by happiness and held a peaceful glance, the look she'd had back when she was still a lively girl that didn't know the pain of her team mates leaving her behind. Sakura smiled, Tsunade was right, she'd finally come home.
"And that's how the infamous Pink illusion learned how to love again," Sakura finished her story. "With a lot of help from your father of course." She smiled down at her two sons lying against her as she told them the story.
"Wow that was awesome mother." Hikaru said in awe, his pink haired strands resting before his onyx eyes as he stared up at his mother.
"You're a great story teller mother," Obito said, pushing silver strands of hair away from his eyes and yawning slightly.
"Can you tell us another one?" Hiraku asked hopefully.
"Not tonight, you two are going to bed, prompto!" Sakura said, moving quickly to chase her sons as they ran away. They shrieked happily as Sakura caught them, throwing them over her shoulder and placing them in their beds.
"I love you," Obito softly said and closed his eyes with a sigh.
"I love you too Obito," Sakura said her eyes looking lovingly down at her youngest son and she kissed him on the forehead. She turned around to Hikaru and tucked him in.
"Sleep well Hikaru," Sakura said and kissed him on the forehead too.
She stared at the two for awhile, not wanting to leave just yet. Seeing movement at the entrance she tilted her head up to look at her husband leaning in against the door. "They're asleep?"
Sakura nodded, stood up from her place and walked over to Kakashi. "They demanded that I tell them the story of the Pink Illusion." She snickered softly as she said that, leaning in to rest against the comfortable warmth Kakashi provided.
"Hmm," He kissed her softly on her lips and laughed inwardly as he saw that Sakura had fallen asleep against him. Tilting his wife up in his arms he carried her towards their bedroom, laying her down on the bed before walking back to his son's room. He stared at them lovingly before he closed the door behind him with a soft click.