"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."

-Robert Frost


The young kunoichi sat up in her futon. With eyes adjusted to the dim light of her room, she stared blankly into nothing. Her mind was traveling back to her last mission: Bringing back the sole survivor of his clan – or so they thought at the time - Uchiha Sasuke. Dead or alive, the council would have cared less.

Of course, that was years ago. The pinkette had recently turned 18, and it just so turned out that their mission was a success. The Uchiha had been brought back – alive.

Flashing back to the unease of the memory, the girl recalled the night in which it happened. The things that occurred seemed to have no reason behind it. She was ordered to do something and she planned to complete her task.

Sakura knew little of the details involving the whole thing. Meeting the man she vowed to save, she planned to kill him. No emotions were conflicting at that moment. He had brought so much pain to the place he had called home – and for that, he must be brought to justice.

The Uchiha was continuing with his plans to seek vengeance for his clan and brother after learning the truth about the Uchiha Massacre. Danzou and the elders must be eliminated.

Team Seven had met up with Taka about ten miles outside the gates of Konoha. They had quickly learned that Danzou had been murdered and that Akatsuki as a whole was going after the elders. Naruto and Sasuke fought a bloody, heartbreaking battle. It was something Sakura did not like to remember, though it was too vivid to be evaded.

The blonde had won, carrying the shunned body of his best friend back through the walls of the Hidden Leaf Village. The rest of Taka was dealt with accordingly. Sakura had fought its only female member, Karin. The fight itself was near to that of Naruto and Sasuke's. In the end, the redheaded girl was left with an ANBU to deal with. They went through the simple process of interrogating her about Orochimaru and what not.

The rest of Taka went through the process similarly as that of Karin's. After admitting defeat, they were interrogated and were kept just in case they held useful talents that could have benefitted the village.

It was just that, after bringing him back, the confound girl did not know what to expect. She didn't know what do, what to say, or how to act. But one thing was for certain. She knew not to assume all her encounters with him to be pleasant. She knew that the love and sacrifice she gave to him would never be given back. She knew that well enough to not let her heart get broken yet again.

Sakura was now a strong, independent woman. She was no longer the love sick girl that Sasuke remembered on the night he left. She no longer needed him. For all she knew, he barely acknowledged her and so, she would treat him the same. She had given up so much for him, yet he never really appreciated what she had to offer. Why should she bother? And if that were to be a fact, then she wouldn't mind. Now, she could care less. She had her friends. Naruto, Ino, Hinata, Tenten, and everyone else. Everything and everyone she needed. If he ever wanted to be her friend, all he had to do was be open to her as she was to him. But she wasn't going to force him into her life.


"Hey Sakura!" Hinata called as she waved to the pinkette. The heiress is much more energetic these days. She rarely stuttered, and spoke with ease. But her timid personality did not completely vanish. It could be said that she had her moments.

She had been standing with Tenten and Ino outside the hospital, waiting for Sakura to get out of work. The medic-nin walked over to her friends, casually. It was nearly eleven in the morning, even with her work keeping her busy, she didn't feel completely awake.

Her life was rather normal. Not too exciting, even with her title of jounin or Hokage's apprentice. Nowadays, she had almost nothing to lose.

As she reached them, she said a simple, "Hey", and sluggishly rubbed the side of her forearm. The girls took their turns greeting her and then started their daily routine of gossip. After their little conversation, Ino's stomach growled repulsively.

"Let's go grab some lunch, I'm hungry!" Ino exclaimed boisterously. The blonde could honestly say her love life was going much better than that of her friends. She had a lazy ass boyfriend who loved her dearly.

"Of course you're hungry Ino-pig." Sakura commented playfully.

"At least I can diet. There's not much you can do about that forehead of yours, huh Sakura?" Ino countered.

"That's if you're willing to. Ino-pig here is just too obsessed with eating. It's just not possible for her to diet." Sakura replied.

Light laughter came from the group when suddenly they cut themselves short. The sight of Shikimaru running stopped them on their tracks. The Nara clansman never ran. It'd simply be too troublesome.

At first, it was funny because the he turned to give Ino a quick kiss before delivering his high priority message. But the humor didn't last long. Shikimaru turned his attention to the Hyuga, his face full on serious. "Hinata-chan, Tsunade-kage has given me strict orders to deliver this to you myself. It's urgent, she said."

He handed her a small scroll in which she opened, hastily. Her pale eyes scanned the paper, and before anyone could utter a word, she burst into tears. Her hand that was holding the paper began to quiver. Tenten quickly came by her side, giving her a hug, not asking for an explanation, but getting one nonetheless. The timid girl tried best to calm herself, but her body had been shaking violently. She opened her mouth, by no words were to avail.

Hinata handed Tenten the scroll, knowing that it would be no good if she had tried to hide it. Shikimaru just stood there; nearly expressionless if not for his sincere concern for someone he considered a lasting teammate. He eyed the girls uneasily, but thanked God he didn't know what had been written in the scroll. He had been given orders to hand the message to Hyuga Hinata, and he had done it.

Tenten's eyes broadened has she neared the end of the message. She tightened her grasp against it, before loosening it, and handing it to Sakura who's expression was questioning. The weapon mistress signaled her to not ask aloud and just read it.

As her friend read the scroll, Ino peered her baby blue eyes over her shoulder, scanning the parchment. She had Shikimaru's arms around her waist, steadying her for she had almost been as bad as Hinata with balance. A few seconds passed, when she signaled him to leave with a light kiss.

"Hinata, wasn't you who told me you weren't going to cry?" The blonde was the first to try calming the hysterical heiress by speaking. Stupid, goddamn scroll. "I know you're strong. You're strong enough for anything that comes your way. You always have been."

"She's right." Sakura agreed, closing the scroll slowly. And then deciding to take her chances on semi-changing the subject, she proposed an idea, "…How about we go out to sushi? We'll work something up."

"We're going to your favorite restaurant." Tenten added, taking the scroll from Sakura and handing it back to Hinata.

Everyone forced a smile, knowing it was going to do little in making a difference.

"Would you like some sake with that, ladies?" the waitress asked.

Tenten looked at the girls' gloominess before telling the waitress, "Four, please." She was the oldest out of the group of friends. For her, life was going pretty well. Her friends was all she needed. Only once or twice did she think of having a spouse. But soon after the thought, she would dismiss it.

Hinata looked down at the scroll that was in her hands. Her feelings consisted of sadness and anger. Maybe despair and infuriation would better fit it, although that would still be an understatement. The letter wrote:

Hyuga Hinata,

According to a will and agreement document recently found, you are to be fulfilling an arranged marriage. There are no exceptions whatsoever. You will fulfill your duty as heiress of the Hyuga clan's main house. Failures to fulfill such duties are going to conclude in severe punishments, although we would not want to go that far. Please meet with the council today at dusk. There, you will be more thoroughly informed of the marriage.

Sincerely,

The council & Hyuga main house

The group ate their first few pieces of sushi in silence. Not wanting the awkward silence to continue, Tenten asked Hinata if she had any idea what the letter was about. Okay, maybe that wasn't the best subject to talk about at the moment, but she couldn't just abruptly change the subject. The girls ate the pieces of sushi with feelings of discomfort. When Hinata shook her head, Ino spoke up.

"Well...just calm down first. We'll figure this out one way or another."

She took another bite of sushi.

"Yeah. I'll go talk to Tsunade if you want me to. I'll do whatever it takes to help you," said Sakura.

She sipped a little of the sake, waiting for Hinata to reply.

"Would you really?" Hinata directed to Sakura, slowly.

"Of course! Now let's just relax a bit. I'll go see Lady Tsunade right before you see the council. Ino and Tenten, if you don't mind, would you just go over the laws of Konoha briefly? Then, once I come back from seeing the Hokage, we'll try to find a loophole."

She looked up at the girls who were taking mental notes on what she had said, already beginning to scheme as well.

"Okay," said Ino. "We'll meet at my flower shop. Hinata, come see us as soon as you're ready."

Hinata nodded and took a sip of sake. She smiled at her friends and thought, It's okay. They'll help me through this. They're my friends and I can depend on them.

"Check please!" called Tenten.

Ino slid the shoji slide-door and the four kunoichis walked out of the sushi restaurant only to be greeted by the both worried and irritated Uzumaki Naruto, and Hyuga Neji.

"Hinata-chan!" he exclaimed, "What happened? Shikamaru told us we should come see you..."

His expression was filled with worry. Hinata couldn't hold back her tears. Naruto, instinctively, wrapped his arms around her. Hinata rested her head on his chest and sobbed. Neji, on the other hand, stared at her motionlessly before turning his head towards his cousin's friends, silently demanding an explanation. Tenten, who figured this out quickly, began to explain. Her eyes would not meet his, as she went through the details of the story. When she finally looked up at him, she found his body tense with anger. Apparently, it seemed as though the Hyuga knew something about this. He silently left without a word.

----

"Hey Sasuke!"

Shikamaru walked towards the unconcerned Uchiha.

"Here. This letter's for you. I don't see why she made me deliver it instead of some genin." He muttered incoherently.

He handed the scroll to Sasuke.

"How troublesome..."

"Hn," was the curt Uchiha's reply.

"Alright then. I'll see you around."

As soon as Shikamaru left, Sasuke opened the scroll and began to read:

Uchiha Sasuke,

According to a will and agreement document recently found, you are to be fulfilling an arranged marriage. There are no exceptions whatsoever. You will fulfill your duty as the last remainder of the Uchiha clan. Failures to fulfill such duties are going to conclude in severe punishments, although we would not want to go that far. Please meet with the council today at dusk. There, you will be more thoroughly informed of the marriage.

Sincerely,

The council & Hyuga main house

Hyuga? Why was the Hyuga clan involved in this? Questions filled his mind as he walked towards the Uchiha Manor.


Author's Note: Blach, First Fan Fiction Ever! Leave reviews please. Whether it be for praising or for constructive criticizing, I look forward to both. I fixed some errors in the grammar and such, and changed a few things I didn't like, a few lines. But nothing is going to change the plot. I know its short, and a tad un-detailed, but I promise it will be better in time!

Thanks to my beta Sasukezfor betaing this and for writing my summary.

DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own Naruto - obviously.