DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters. All rights belong to Masashi Kishimoto. I also do not own the song 'Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers'. All rights belong to Jack Off Jill. I only own my OC's (Original Characters), if any appear at all, along with this fanfic. Thank you.

Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers


It was morning once again, even if it were supposedly impossible to tell from beneath the Earth. Konan had awoken, sprawled among the cool sheets with not a scrap of clothing upon her frame. To her right was Pein, just as bare as she. He was on his side, facing her with one arm wrapped lazily around her middle. As she'd shifted, her palms had pressed into the mattress below her, and that familiar sensation had arisen; the touch of warm indentations and the smell of violent sex. Her tongue ran lightly over her lips, and she winced at the nick that stung like salt to ice.

Guess he wasn't kidding about the meetings…managing to remove herself from his grip without disturbing him-she would've never heard the end of it then-she sat up, and carefully made her way back to the bathroom, in order to complete the actions that she'd been denied the night before. With a neat pile of clothing folded and placed upon the countertop, she closed the door behind her, not bothering to lock it. Giving herself a brief once over in the large mirror, she turned the knobs in the tub, and waited for it to fill to the top.

She scanned her body with tired eyes, taking in every new detail that had surfaced in the course of one evening. The fresh scratches, the various bruises, the indentations in her skin from being twisted and shoved. The specks of blood that graced her lips, all the way down to her neck. She remembered every strike and cry; every moan and clutch, and every thrust and pitiful mewl. She shivered, and tried to convince herself that it was either from lingering past desire, or simply the chill of daybreak.

The tub was just about ready. Shutting off the running tap, she stepped inside, easing her weary body into the calm waters. It was as if everything were being peeled away; every stain and betrayal, the confusion and disarray. When she left this place, she'd be a new person, reborn into the world once again. And then the cycle would repeat itself in the course of one day. What a way to live.

But it was all she knew. She'd never experienced anything aside of quietly organized chaos and empty sin. She'd been going on her missions for so long now that the sight of dead bodies, ripe with wounds and blood and insides and bones, tissue and muscles that would never work again-it was all just another day in the neighborhood to her. The violence never lingered on her conscience. She could easily pull the trigger and slice the blade ten times over. It was the unspoken feelings; the absence of past and present and understanding that got to her.

Like that cherry-blossom haired brat…Konan's blue eyes narrowed, as her lips set into a thin grimace. Today was to be their second day of training, and she could only hope that Sakura was willing to be more cooperative this time than she'd been yesterday. Perhaps the last remnants of her smart aleck attitude had finally been demolished by the previous evening's events. That dinner from hell, when she'd been forced on display as if she were an exhibition in a gallery.

We'll get started on mannerisms and etiquette, and I'll see if an outside trip is possible as well-if we have any time left. It was going to be a long and merciless journey. Of all the girls she could have picked, she chose the one with the developmental problems and the structure of a stick figure. A character that was only used to running and hiding and secrecy and scavenging. Huh…she'd fit right in with the rest of the crew, if she weren't so timid and antisocial.

Satisfied with the new schedule of events, she reached for the washcloth and soap, finishing up her morning routine. She felt so much more relaxed here-who would've thought it? In the bathroom, of all places. But that question was to be left unanswered for now. She had bigger things to deal with than psychoanalysis of her own quirks and interests.

'KNOCK' 'KNOCK' "It's morning. I'm coming in." 'CLICK'

Once more, Konan stood in the doorway of the pinkette's abode. It was just as dark as the rest of the complex, but somehow it seemed to stand out far more than the others. Perhaps because of what its first and only occupant signified? That her presence was only going to lead to a shallow, depressing future. And she still had no idea about any of it.

Sakura was curled up under the blankets, too small for the bed. She was like a little child in a parent's room, who had come to spend the night after having a bad dream. And now her family was gone, off to attend whatever affairs waited for them that day…

Marching over, Konan began roughly shaking the slumbering female. Hadn't she already done this once before? "Wake up already." Sakura let out a soft murmur, rolling over so that she was now facing the older woman. Konan had to marvel at just how pristine and demure she appeared, green eyes only half open, as with bleary vision she spoke to the stranger before her. "M-Mommy?"

The moniker struck Konan like a dagger. Sakura was obviously dreaming, but that didn't make it any more comfortable. Struggling to regain her composure, she quickly ripped the sheets from the slender form. "Get up already. And I'm not your mother." Konan never wanted to be a parent. Parenthood was stress beyond stress that only the capable or truly mad were entitled to. As a degenerate of the highest degree, she was mercifully exempt from such a hand in her deck-unless Pein-sama became desperate for an heir. But at this point she wasn't even certain if he was still human.

The pinkette let out a whimper, limbs drawing up higher to shield the sensitive flesh from the cold of dawn. But Konan would not stand for it. With another rough shove, she'd managed to get Sakura up on her knees, as she rubbed at her eyes in an irritated daze. "W-why the hell are you waking me up so early, Ino?"

"Ino?" This name caught Konan's interest. She'd never heard it before. Fixing Sakura with a curious yet harsh gaze, she asked the seemingly simple question. "Who is Ino?"

The girl's hand froze against her cheeks. Her eyes were no longer closed, but were instead wide and wavering. Her pale lips were opened, in a small 'o' of fright. Konan had no idea what was going on. Had the girl truly been having such a vivid dream?

With shuddering breaths, she took in the scenery around her. A dull recognition registered upon her face, as that same dejected cowardice returned to her green orbs. Rising from the messy sheets, she brushed past Konan without making eye contact. "Nothing. It means nothing. It's nobody."

Nobody, my ass. Konan wasn't buying her excuse for a moment. But it was far too early to be getting into a confrontation. She'd save it for later. Later, when they were both fully alive and aware of themselves-and their own tongues.

Grasping the pinkette's wrist in her hand as per usual, she shot Sakura a withering glare. "Don't push me. I always go first. I make the rules, and you obey them." With fear now successfully registered in the girl's eyes, Konan opened the barrier, and led her back to the dining room.

Thankfully, it was going to be a silent meal. Most of the members were still asleep. Only Sasori and Itachi were in the kitchen, and neither really seemed in the mood for conversation. Itachi had a coffee mug clasped in his hands, and took a few sips intermittently. The steam was rising like a smokestack from the rim, and Konan could only wonder how disconnected the young male really was, to not notice the pain of the scalding liquid upon his mouth or tongue, or the slow burn as it trickled down his throat. It was probably singing his palms and fingers through the cup as well.

Sasori was seated at the bar, reading the paper. His brown eyes barely flickered as Konan headed for the fridge with Sakura obediently trailing behind. She was like a rosy hued shadow. Opening the door, she shoved the girl forwards, and she shrunk back as the chilly air touched her skin.

"Knock it off. What do you want to eat?" Shuddering, Sakura forced herself to look inside the box for a suitable food source. But as her eyes drifted over the various objects, she saw that the majority of them were marked. Names were scrawled upon stickers, which had been slapped onto the different packages and bottles. The orange juice read 'Deidara'. The leftovers from the night before had been claimed by Kakuzu. Konan snorted; always a penny pincher. Even the fruits had been labeled, a few belonging to Sasori while the rest were scattered between Hidan and Itachi. Sakura never would have pegged that scary looking fellow for a vegetable consumer.

"Well?" Konan was getting impatient, and Sakura meekly turned around to face her. "L-labels. They're all claimed. I-I can't take anything."

Konan shook her head. At least the girl had spoke up this time. Pushing her aside, she leaned over to find an article that hadn't been chosen by those greedy bastards. Sakura felt her heart skip, as she took in the curve of the woman's spine, all the way down to her rear. Was this what a woman was supposed to look like? How could anyone rise to such standards? Her tight pants and occasional movements only helped to accentuate the flawless shape behind her.

"O-oh!" The female was standing again. Hurriedly averting her eyes, Sakura stood motionless, as Konan emerged triumphant. In her manicured hand was a single red apple. It had been the one piece that hadn't been branded by the men. They were so possessive and obsessive over whatever they believed was 'theirs'. But at least it kept them from breaking out into arguments over who stole who's food.

"Here. Breakfast." Sakura nodded, taking the small fruit from her teacher. They headed for the table, plunking down into the same seats they'd chosen the night before. After a few moments of investigation and awe, the pinkette began to eat. With meticulous, deliberate bites she ate the apple, savoring the sweet juice and loud crunch as she bit into the surface, teeth sinking further and further, before slicing off the piece entirely. It was like a game for her. The objective was to see how long she could draw out those wondrous sensations before the meal was finished. She didn't want to miss a thing.

Konan leaned back with a bored expression upon her face. This girl was so slow. What was so special about an apple, anyway? She'd eaten loads of them here at the base. She was acting as if it were some kind of holy artifact or a sacred gift.

Well, she has been on the streets for who knows how long. So perhaps she hasn't had a chance to enjoy one in a while. Konan shrugged off her conscience, returning her attention to the pinkette. Sakura was about halfway through the fruit now-it wasn't a very big apple. Maybe they should start buying different varieties? She'd mention that later…if she remembered.

'CRNCH' With a final bite, the apple was nothing more than a core. Sakura stared at the tiny seeds that dotted the inside, peeking through the slight slits and holes from where her teeth had come a bit too close. The center was too hard to finish. Now she held the remains in her hands, which were sticky from the syrupy juices. She needed a trash can, and a napkin. Usually if she'd finished a meal, she'd just throw the remains on the ground and hope for a bathroom or fountain later on. But she knew that this was not the type of place for such behaviors. Not if she wished to stay alive.

So then…what? What do I do? Green eyes drifting with a hint of worry, she thought about asking Konan for the materials. But she quickly squashed that idea. She was being groomed into some kind of social butterfly, right? So she'd have to learn how to get things for herself.

She spotted the napkins just a few inches away. They were stacked up neatly atop a small plastic tray with a handle that swung down over them. Fancy, fancy. Since no one was really around, Sakura decided to take a chance and grab one. Reaching over, her fingertips were almost grazing the smooth, pleated surface.

'SLAM' "Yeek!" The cry flew forth from Sakura's mouth as she leapt back. She hadn't been hurt, but she may as well have been. Konan now stood above her, hazel eyes narrow on a mask of muted displeasure. In her hand was a switchblade, which she had forcefully stabbed into the tabletop where the pinkette's hand had been merely a second before.

Sakura gulped, horror painfully apparent upon her quivering features. Even the two males who were seemingly distant had whirled around, startled from their solitude. Sasori was watching with slightly widened eyes, mouth parted and paper drooping in his hands. Itachi had an eyebrow raised in questioning.

With a supple flick of her wrist, Konan had removed the imbedded weapon from the tabletop and retracted the knife into the handle. Slipping it back into a near-invisible holster on her thigh, she gave Sakura a glare that could freeze the summer sun.

"Young ladies do not stick their arms out across the table. If you want something, you ask. Got that?" Sakura nodded like a bobblehead, as Konan walked a few steps to position herself by the napkins. "Go on." The pinkette gaped. Was she seriously expecting her to do this now?

The growl from Konan's throat was enough to help Sakura make up her mind. Sitting up as straight as possible, even with the shakes that wracked her fragile frame, she managed to croak out "M-may I-may I p-p-please-please have a napkin?"

The expression on the woman's face relaxed slightly, as her red lips curved up in a light smirk. "Good girl. A bit sloppy, but we can work on that later." She removed one of the sheets and passed it over to the terrified girl. "There you go." She accepted it in her twitching hands, and began vigorously wiping at the fingers. She wanted out of this situation ASAP! Konan was a monster! She truly was! If Sakura hadn't moved as fast as she did…

"Let's go." Taking her wrist in that metallic grip of hers, Konan led her back to the room at the entrance to the hall. The door closed behind them, and Itachi, no longer interested in the sights around him, finished his drink and headed out through the double doors.

Sasori shook his head. He wondered if Leader-sama would notice the nick in the wood. Either way, he was certainly wired now. Konan was sure going to great lengths to keep Haruno's attention squarely focused on her. Her and her alone.

Perhaps she gets a kick out of having a student now…? With a soft huff, he resumed his reading.

"Sit up properly! How many times must I continue to repeat myself?"

In the makeshift bedroom, Sakura was completely at the mercy of this violent blue-haired female. She did her best to sit up as straight as a board, but she'd eventually forget herself and return to a familiar position of laid back slouching. Every time she did so though, Konan would let her have it, courtesy of a sharp tongue lashing.

"Now, imagine that I am a guest that you are required to entertain." Konan sat down beside the pinkette, and looked at her with an expectant stare. "How would you think to start off this introduction?"

"Uhh…" Sakura hadn't the slightest idea. But Konan wasn't one to wait very long. It was a habit she had learned from Pein himself, but of course Sakura didn't know this. Biting at her lower lip in nervous confusion, she stuttered out "H-hello, how are you…?"

Konan shook her head. "No. You're close, but not quite." Mentally, Sakura was just glad that she'd somehow avoided another verbal beating. "In this case, you would say something more along the lines of 'Good evening, sir. How may I serve you tonight?'" Sakura blinked. Was she going to be some kind of waitress?

Konan sighed under her breath. Looks like she'd have to show her, in order for her to fully understand. She shifted upon the bed, assuming a pose of kneeling. Her knees were tucked up beneath her, and her hands rested atop her lap lightly. Her face was soft and mild, with just a hint of inquiry in the eyes. Sakura had to catch herself-Konan resembled a young girl then. So innocent and vulnerable-was this really the same woman who had been barking out orders none but a minute ago?

I hate this position…it disgusts me. So demeaning…Allowing her eyelashes to flutter with a few subtle blinks, she parted her lips, speaking in a delicate, seductive tone. "Good evening, sir. How may I serve you tonight?"

Sakura's heart was skipping in her chest, as Konan disentangled herself, once more sitting gracefully beside her student. "Now you try it."

"M-me?" This was truly a voyage of the damned.

A/N:...guess I just got bored of going w/out updates for so long, I dunno.

So. For those of you who are still reading, welcome back. To those of you who [may] have just started, hello. Thank you all for stopping by.

To be honest, I had another creative fizzle w/this story [it's happened to at least one other story of mine], and I lost my place. I have one more update after this, but after that, the fic is floating. I'm not sure what to do w/it.

I've actually been worried about this fic-that I wasn't getting my message across properly. I've had comments related to this story, calling it a 'soap opera' and in particular 'no better than a bash fic' when it came to the depiction of Sakura. That was NOT my intention at all.

I wanted to tell a dark, angsty tale of two females, w/both not a lot and yet so much in common. I started it from Konan's POV, yes, but I planned to eventually divide the story between them evenly, giving each their own moments in the spotlight, to tell the tale. But now, I'm not sure what I'm trying to say anymore. I don't trust myself to tell it right.

As of the next update, this story is officially ON HIATUS. I need to figure out whether or not I can-or want to salvage this. And it's gonna take a bit of time to understand. To those who are actually interested in this: I'm truly sorry. 'bows'

Nothing much going on here, just some more world-building on both sides. I was trying to get Sakura a little more familiar w/her setting, before gradually getting into her POV as a new guest, and eventually, her past coming into play here. IDK if I got it right, though.

All feedback is welcomed. Hopefully, I can come to a conclusion about all of this.