Hi.

I'm here, and hopefully to stay to the end.

I am going to revise it completely. The storyline has been drawn out a little differently from what was originally planned, and I hope you like it even more.

Don't give up on me.

Here it goes.


Sigh.

"My computer is so old that the pressing of keys sound like a typewriter."


(Type. Tick. Tick.)

Currently, I have been in this world for a total of seventeen years. (Tick.) I live by myself in a one-room apartment on 87th Street in Tokyo, Japan. The rent here is extremely high even for a small apartment on a detached road like the one I live on. (Thwack. Tick.) Many would say it's a bad location in a bad neighbourhood, but I have a strange affection towards it. Its small, but I live alone so that doesn't bother me. I love it because it's mine. I pay the rent, frequently late, using the pay I get from my job here in Tokyo. (Type.) I work in a coffee place, just an average one called Coffeesands. It was the best part-time job I, a seventeen year old student, could hope to get. (Tick. Tick. Thwack. Type.)

(Tick.) You might ask me what on earth am I doing living alone. I know its dangerous. But it was this or the orphanage and I do not want to ever revisit that place. (Thwack. Type.)

(Type.) What else is there to tell you about myself? I'm pretty plain, nothing outstanding or special. (Thwack.) I'm not particularly pretty and I'm fairly uncoordinated. (Tick.) I'm clumsy when I'm thinking.

When I was five, I was attacked. (Tick.) The result was I had broken both of my legs, sprained an elbow and had a pretty serious head injury. I was sent to the hospital after that. And was stuck in there for two weeks. (Tack. Tick.) Throughout my whole hospitalisation, I never had one visitor. (Tick.) When I went back to the orphanage, my 'home', my greeting was a hard slap to the face.

Sasame-san, the owner of the orphanage, was angry. (Type.) She was flinging the bills the hospital sent to our address at me and screaming that I needed to pay her back. Every cent. All the money that she had paid for my hospitalisation.

(Thwack. Type.)

But of course, I didn't have the money to pay her back. So after that I was put in-charge of taking care of the younger children in the orphanage, something I was stuck doing for years and years. After fifteen, I found work as a waitress in a local Japanese Ramen House. I remembered not sleeping for days at a time, juggling work, school and more work. (Thwack.) Sasame-san's husband, Yayoi-san offered to help me with my money crisis. I declined though. He treated all the pretty girls well. (Tick.) I didn't smile for a long time. (Thwack. Tick.) My attacker was never found and I don't remember anything of the day of the attack.

Eventually, I got out of that hellhole. Living and breathing. (Type.) I started working numerous shifts at Coffeesands and I managed to pay for my schooling fees and rent, while of course having many student loans. I continued going to school and coming home to an empty house. (Tick.)

One thing that changed in me was that I decided not to let things get me down.

(Thwack.)

I decided to take on the world.

(Tick. Type.)

I was happy.

(Thwack. Tick. Thwack. Type. Tick.)

People mostly keep living for their important people -their loved ones- in the world. (Tick.) Same with me. I decided that I would love and protect the people that are important to me. The people that love me for who I am and help me achieve who I want to be.

(Tick.)

I have a list of that important people of mine. (Thack. Thwack.) It's a short list. Barely takes a few seconds to be read. My list of important people consists of Yamanaka Ino. (Thwack.) The one and only person who loves me for me.

There are also some of the kids I used to look after back at the orphanage. I love them and I wish everyday that I could bring them with me.

(Thwack. Type.)

My name is Sakura Haruno.

And I didn't know that my list of important people was going to become a whole lot longer.

(Tick. Thwack. Type.)

Nor did I know that Sasuke Uchiha was going to be at the top of that list.


Petals of Blood

Chapter 1:

She's the girl


Sasuke Uchiha was asleep.

A rather pleasant sleep too. He rarely had them not flooding with nightmares so he had once decided to treasure these rare happenings of uninterrupted sleep.

It was true and unavoidable that Sasuke was a light sleeper. He often woke up due to light taps of steps that others made or the occasional animal that decided to be cruel and disturb him. Out of ten nights, he would spend seven awake.

He took that fact to be something not to be disgruntled at. He spend those sleepless nights doing something useful, like training or mediating, or thinking.

But this time, he would rather sleep than do any of those. He was having one of those dreams again. The ones that creatures from his kind always were eager to have. These dreams were always different from each other, different in terms of the person dreaming them. Yet, similar. Dreams, which help these creatures find their 'other-half'.

Their taisetsu.

And in his sleep, they were haunting him. But he almostsortofmaybe welcomed it, because it was nothing like a nightmare.

"Oi! Bastard!"

So much for uninterrupted sleep.

The 'bastard' made a mental note to bash the interrupter's head in as he slowly sat up from his horizontal position on the cold hard ground of the outdoors. He was absolutely sure who the culprit was. There was hardly anyone who dared to wake him up and only one person who called him 'bastard'.

"What idiot?" The dark-haired male known as Sasuke, leaning up against the tree trunk he rested on, snapped back. He looked up at the blond-haired male who was standing on a thick branch of the same cherry blossom tree he was leaning against.

The blond immediately opened his mouth to retort while the other continued to glare. His blond hair flying, the tall male pounced from the tree and landed softly but leaving noticeable prints onto the hard earth beneath his feet.

"Who you calling an idiot, bastard?" The blond rolled his cerulean blue eyes, "I, the future-hokage-that-would-rule-your-ass, oh so kindly woke you up and you call me an idiot, Sasuke?"

"Idiot." Sasuke replied viciously, glaring a hole through the thick blond's head.

The blond blinked at the statement and raised one of his eyebrows. "Did the stick up your ass go up higher? You are more irritated than the usual Uchiha Sasuke extreme this fine evening."

"..." The blond was annoying Sasuke. Very much. He really wanted to bash his head in at the moment.

"You slept longer than usual. Usually, you are the one who kicks me out of trees. It's like… eight already-" Sasuke ruffled his raven hair irritatedly and quickly stood. Naruto didn't seem to notice Sasuke standing, still ranting about things that the other male couldn't bring himself to care about.

Sasuke groaned softly, massaging his temples, unconsciously trying to bring the images back.

"-I am going to ask Hinata to eat breakfast with me later today. I am not really thirsty so I think ramen would be good-" He continued to talk even though he had no answer. Sasuke sighed and cut the blond off, "Naruto. I saw the taisetsu flickers."

"-should be able to get out of this forest and back to school on time, right? I mean-..." He paused, blinked and hollered. "WHAT? You did?"

Sasuke inwardly flinched at the volume of the 'what'. "Aa."

"That so cool. You are already old and you still can see the flickers?"

"Hn. I hadn't seen them in a long time."

"Bastard, that is awesome. Then you can get together like Hinata and I!" Naruto exclaimed with such glee that it should be illegal. At least in Sasuke's opinion.

"Moron. That is close to impossible."

"You still got time!" Naruto argued.

Sasuke, even if he said was impossible, was contemplating about how he should find his taisetsu.

Because he was an Uchiha after all.

And Uchihas should be able to find one measly pink-haired woman.


I let my lids slide over my bright green eyes, lips in a tight smile and arms mechanically stretched perpendicularly in front of me, hands waving in a no-no fashion. "No, Ino, honesty, do you really think I can't survive without you? Go already!" I put as much exasperation into my voice as possible. The person in question did not grimace. But she did frown prettily.

"Sakura..."

"-Yeah...?" I said slowly, keeping cautious. Keep the face, keep the face.

The pretty -beautiful- blond in front of me drew in a quick breath before huffing. "Uh huh, I'll visit you soon, promise!" She smiled cheerfully, cheekily, poking my forehead lightly, a gesture that had been a sign of friendship between us and laughing when my lips curved into a pout. She was unstoppable.

I smiled again. "Alright. Go enjoy yourself in Dachino. Remember not to eat too much; you are already too fat." I taunted back at Ino. My hand nervously brushed the long pink strands of hair behind my shoulders.

Ino stuck out her tongue, waved, turned and walked away, leaving me standing on the steps of the school. I let the tiring smile slip off my face.

I sighed. Thank goodness. It had been a long time since I wasn't caught for lying.

I turned and walked in the opposite direction of which Ino took, heading back to the crowded campus. I still had art class left today.


If the glare Sasuke had marring his face was meant to scare the person in front of him, it wasn't working. It may have worked on anyone else, but not on him.

Hatake Kakashi stood, taking on Sasuke's full Uchiha Death Glare, with an amused twinkling in his solitude eye. They were both in a dark room, lit by a solitary light on the desk Sasuke sat at. Kakashi stood relaxed in front of the desk, tapping his fingers lightly on the orange book he held in his right hand.

"Really, Sasuke, can't I ask an innocent question? I just wanted to know exactly why I was sent to get research about a pink-haired woman at eight in the morning."

Sasuke scoffed at the man's innocent tone and lone twinkling eye full of mischief and silent humor. "None of your business."

"Ah, being an ass yet again are you? Then I guess you don't want to know the information I gathered then..." The amused twinkle grew more prominent and the tapping stopped.

Sasuke glared harder.

"Tell me."

Kakashi smiled underneath his mask that hid his nose, mouth and chin region from the world. "Since you are so...eager..." Kakashi took another step closer to the desk and the glowering man. "Her name is Sakura Haruno. Human, and currently seventeen years old."

His brain worked as he quickly processed the wanted information. His hands that were steepled in front of his mouth tightened slightly as he raised his eyebrows, requesting (demanding) more information. He was unprepared, but caught it all the same, for the folder that Kakashi sent his way.

"The council had extremely limited amount of information on the human girl. I had to sneak into her school and get it from the vice-principal." The silver-haired man said simply, crossing his arms over his muscled chest, his orange book still in hand.

The other male raised his head at the word 'sneak' and it snapped down quickly after, scanning the data printed in the folder.

Kakashi didn't break the silence as Sasuke quietly read. Sasuke read the folder and Kakashi read his expressions (which was difficult if he hadn't known Sasuke for a long time).

"Leave."

And Kakashi did so, smiling under his mask.


I felt my lungs constrict considerably as I continued to push my feet forward. My thoughts were haphazard and I realized that it was unknown to me why I was still running.

I exhaled a large gust of air, as my feet took on a new pounding speed as I sorted my thoughts. I was this close to slapping Tachira across her face, hard. Who knew that the Queen Bitch, Tachira Wantanabi, could make me, Sakura Haruno, raise her fist and prepare to bash someone's skull in.

I wasn't paying attention to where I was going or why I was running really. If I was, I would have realized that the distance was far enough; I could halt my tiring sprint already.

I huffed, and noticed my missing backpack. Damn, I left in in my locker. I bit my lip, still thinking while running down the pavement. The reason why I was targeted by Wantanabi is probably that Ino Yamanaka had transferred schools. Che, that girl thinks that I am now vulnerable. That I need Ino to protect me.

Do I?

I shook my head roughly, clearing her thoughts as I looked down at my ugly white shoes flying down the pavement. I am not going to not let Tachira get to me.

Fortunately for Wantanabi, when I prepared to deliver the slap that would wipe her smirk off her 'pretty' face (and probably disfigure the other parts) the Principal of the school decided to walk out of the gates, and to have the perfect view of Tachira and me. At that time, I had to bolt. School fees usually overdue, empty of any record of services to the school, I couldn't afford any disciplinary trouble. Added, Tachira Wantanabi was freaking drowning in money; constantly donating money to the school would surely put her on the Principal's Must-Treat-Specially-Well list.

Yes, it was unfair.

So, of course I took off immediately when I saw the balding head of the approaching Principal, shining in the late afternoon sun.

Unfortunately, I didn't realise that I was going in the wrong direction until it was too late.

I just ran.


I clumsily managed to dodge a trashcan that was in the way, but I didn't think around my landing. Typical me. So I landed all wrong at the side of the pavement twisting my ankle, and tripping. Wonderful, Sakura. You have done it again.

And when my shoulder hit against the alley wall that was in the direction of my fall and scraped my right leg, I swore.

It really wasn't my lucky day.

The gash was long and deep and blood was trickling out slowly and sluggishly. The alley walls in this part of town weren't so well taken care of, the bricks were crumbling and many parts lay broken.

I bit my bottom lip as my hands flew to frantically try to stop the bleeding. I felt sick. The sweat, the blood and the pain were getting to me.

I shook my head, the pink strands flying everywhere and into my vision, disappointed with my luck. I took a sharp intake of breath when a particularly cold gust blew through the alleyway. It's cold and getting late.

And then I heard numerous loud footsteps echoing off the walls ominously. I froze. I lay fallen somewhere in the middle of the alleyway. I ran in from one direction, but the people were coming from the other.

"Ahh- is that blood I smell?"

"Its sweet too. Bet you it tastes nice."

"Fuck. I can't resist it."

"Why bother...just get her."

Hearing their slow drawls sent shivers down my spine. Shakily, I pushed myself off the ground, struggling to regain my balance. Before I was completely sure I was stable on my two feet, I turned and stumbled towards the entrance of the alley, back where I came from. Keeping at least a good distance from the four or so people coming towards me would probably be a good idea. Something told me that being in a dark alley at a part of town which I hadn't visited before with blood flowing down my left leg into my socks was not a good situation.

Especially when four people whom I have never seen before in my life were cornering me.

Oh my god, oh my god. Who the hell are these people?

When I stumbled again and had to place my hand against the alley wall, I briefly panicked. I won't be able to outrun them. Quickly contemplating, I spun around to put my back against the cold wall.

They approached faster. There were six of them now.

My mind immediately flashbacked to the other time I was attacked. Back when I was five, many years ago. My panic rose up several notches. My eyes darted everywhere, looking for something - anying.

And when something dark and black and just downright out-of-the-blue dropped down in front of me, I sucked in air and screamed as loud as my constricted lungs would allow.

The sound was quickly stopped, however, by a hand that swiftly came down to rest upon my mouth.

"...blood-thirsty fuckers."

I stared hard. I wasn't really surprised to see that the thing that dropped from wherever (heaven or probably the roof) was actually a somebody.

Somebody, who:

a) did not respect personal space

b) had scary crimson eyes, that literally glowed in the darkness, which were glaring at the other members of our little alley gathering

c) (I couldn't believe that I could think of such things at the moment) definitely was Ino's definition of good-looks

d) had a chicken-ass hairstyle

e) had dipped his head down to my right ear

f) had something that was currently piercing my neck


Oh yes, I missed this.

Tell me what you guys thought of this. I really am unconfident of my writing nowadays.