AN: HELLO!! And yes it's me with yet another story. Hope you like the first chapter. :) Enjoy!!!!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
They were here again. All three of them lounging about in her doctor's office as if it was a public cafe. Kakashi sat lazily in one of the chairs meant for anyone other than him. His feet kicked up on the edge of her desk and of course his trusty little porn novel in hand. Naruto was inconveniently occupying the other chair, napping, as if she really expected anything more from him. Sasuke however was leaning on the wall right next to the door. His arms crossed over his chest and his eyes closed. She knew he wasn't sleeping like that, who could, it was more like he was waiting.
Sakura stared down at the documents in front of her trying her hardest to concentrate on the task at hand. But having them hovering around her office like this was getting too annoying and ridiculous. The sound of a page turning, the heavy breathing, the tap of a foot now and then against the wall. Every little thing they did she was starting to pick up on, it was driving her insane.
"You don't look very happy today Sakura. Something bothering you?" Kakashi asked looking at her from the over the top of his book.
Sakura pursed her lips and threw down the pencil in her hand. "No I'm not happy. And you wanna know why?" She said straining to keep her voice low. Now she at least seemed to get Sasuke's attention as well, Naruto however was still sleeping like a baby. She growled under her breath. Counted to ten. Clenched her fists in her lap. "Get out." She said through clenched teeth barely loud enough to hear.
"What?" Kakashi said almost innocently.
She jumped to her feet, slamming her hands on her desk. "I SAID GET OUT!"
Naruto jumped up in surprise, searching the room ready to fight. "What happened?" He finally asked when nobody answered him. He glanced at Kakashi, then Sakura, then back at Sasuke, then again back at Sakura. "No seriously what did I miss?" He rubbed the back of his neck in confusion as he tried to figure out the situation.
"She wants us to leave her alone apparently." Sasuke shrugged, acting as if he didn't care either way.
Sakura knew the instant Naruto met her gaze she was defeated. He's learned the puppy dog eyes perfectly. She ran her hand down her face letting out a long breath. "Never mind." She mumbled slumping down into her chair. "Forget I said anything."
Naruto grinned ear to ear. "You had me worried there for a minute Sakura. Don't scare me like that." He happily took his seat again.
She managed to mumble a barely audible "Sorry" Before she retrieved her thrown pencil and went back to work. But she jumped and dropped it again when a knock suddenly sounded at her door. "Yeah?"
"It's Shizune." Her muffled voice sounded through the door. "Is everything ok? Who are you telling to get out?"
Sakura frowned. "I'm fine, nothing to worry about." She picked up her pencil again. "Just some big bugs is all." She mumbled to herself.
"Oh......all right." Shizune said.
Propping her elbow on her desk, Sakura rested her forehead against the tips of her fingers. Trying to keep the three men in her office out of her line of vision. And though the room remained quiet, she could feel them watching her. Her every breath, every movement her hand made, at this point she wouldn't be surprised if they knew what she was thinking.
She tried to ignore it, but she only lasted about five minutes before she gave in. Dropping her pencil she leaned back in her chair, resting her elbows on the arm rests and clasping her hands in front of her. "You guys wanna talk right?" She asked looking at each of them. "So talk."
But none of them seemed to be jumping at the opportunity while they had it. Instead they tried to look off in another direction or hide behind a book. They've been at this for nearly three days now. They just show up out of the blue. At work, during training, they even had the nerve to invade her apartment.
And then every time she told them to talk, they just pretend like they didn't hear her. At first she didn't think anything of it, she thought 'Oh well, no big deal', she just brushed it off. Well, enough was enough. "Out." She waved her hand towards the door. "If you have nothing to say then quit bothering me. I have work to do."
"But Sakura....." Naruto whined.
This time Sakura made sure not to even look at him. "No buts...out."
"What makes you think we wanna talk?" Kakashi asked, finally putting his book down.
"Why else would you be here?" She countered.
"Maybe we just want to be graced with your presence." Sasuke suggested.
Sakura snorted a laugh. "I might have believed that coming from Naruto. But you Sasuke? Give me a break."
"Come on Sakura." Naruto was whining again. "Why you gotta be like this? What did we ever do to you?"
Her body went limp in her chair in disbelief. How could he even ask that? "Oh I don't know." She drawled sarcastically. "Stalking me for three days, interrupting my life whenever you feel like it. Driving me mad because I can't even come to work without you three showing up." She frowned. "Take...your...pick."
And as usual, Naruto shut his mouth and turned his head. Instead Kakashi spoke up. "We're sorry." Kakashi removed his feet from her desk. "We don't mean to be a burden. It's just that we're worried about you."
"Worried about me? Really?" She still couldn't believe what she was hearing. "I don't know what you have to worry about. I'm behind walls twenty-one hours a day. If not here then at home. The only time I ever get outdoors is in commute between the two or the hour I get to train a day. And the only reason I train is to keep my stamina up. I haven't even been on a mission in over a year. So seriously, what are you worried about?" She took in a breath and blow it out slowly, hopefully now they would get the hint and leave her alone.
"Speaking of your training" Sasuke voiced. "You really need to work on your kunai throwing more. I noticed your lacking in that department."
Sakura stared disbelieving at the Uchiha. If she had a kunai right now she would show him what she was 'lacking'. She closed her eyes and once again counted to ten. Telling herself over and over that everything was fine, just ignore them. Giving a sigh she leaned forward and grabbed her pencil. "You know what? I don't care anymore. Stay, leave, just do it quietly." She returned to her work.
After only a few minutes the silence was shattered. "Aren't you lonely?" Naruto asked out of the blue.
Hearing his words, her writing came to a stop. She stared down at her half written word wondering why he would ask that now of all times. "What would make you think I'm lonely?"
"You said yourself didn't you." Kakashi shrugged. "You're behind walls twenty-one hours a day. Doesn't give you much time to enjoy life does it?"
Sakura shook her head and cracked a small smile. So is this the reason they've been hanging around, they think she's lonely. She sighed and finished her sentence before looking up at them. "No I'm not lonely. So quit worrying about it."
"You're lying." Sasuke stated without skipping a beat.
Sakura sighed and slumped back in her chair. "What reason would I have to lie to you?"
"Because" Sasuke began as he pushed himself from the wall and walked towards her. "You think that we'll leave you alone if you tell us that." He came to a stop in front of her desk.
Well, yeah that was true. If it got them out of her hair for awhile she'd tell them anything. But in this case she was telling the truth. "I'm not lying." She stated. "But believe what you want."
Sasuke studied her for a moment, then he leaned over her desk closing the distance between them. He was now at her eye level and his nose only about two inches from hers. She watched with amusement as one dark eyebrow raised as he searched her eyes. She held his gaze and smirked, challenging him to just try and tell her she was lying again.
"Prove it then." He finally spoke.
She couldn't help but laugh. "And just how am I suppose to prove it?"
"Tch" Sasuke stood back up and turned away. "Forget it."
Sakura cleared her throat and tried to keep the smile off her face, but she always loved it when she put Sasuke in his place. "Tell you what." She said. "I have to get this done ASAP. So let me finish this and we can continue this talk." She waited for any protests, but when they all gave a nod she smiled. "Good." She once again leaned forward and grabbed her pencil.
Naruto raised his hand. "Can I ask a quick question?"
Sakura sighed and rolled her eyes. "Put your hand down Naruto and ask your question."
He slowly drew his hand to his neck and tried to play it off. Then he sucked his bottom lip between his teeth. Opened his mouth, closed it. Looked at her. Looked away. Mumbled "Um...." then fell silent.
She bit the end of her pencil to keep herself from screaming at him. Seriously, how hard was it to ask a question? "Ask already." She said as calmly as she could.
Naruto let out a long breath. "Well..." He now brought his hand down, clasping both together in his lap. "Do you miss us Sakura?"
A sudden pain shot through her chest. Of course the answer was yes. She missed having them be a part of her life. "What are talking about?" She put her head down and began writing. "How can I miss you when you're right here in front of me?"
"It's a little late to start worrying about how I'll do without you guys around isn't it? We all went are separate ways a long time ago. Whatever loneliness I felt in your absence disappeared a long time ago." She flipped to another page. "Believe it or not, I can manage life alone."
"That's just it." Kakashi broke in. "We don't want you to be alone?"
Slamming her hand down on her desk, her now broken pencil digging into her hand as she glared at Kakashi. " And just what the hell do you think you can do about it now huh?!" She felt the burn in the back of her eyes but she refused to cry. She averted her eyes back to her desk, only now realizing her pencil was broken and cutting into her flesh.
She drew her hand up and frowned. A little trail of blood began to trickle down her palm. Then she felt a warm trickle travel down her cheek. She closed her eyes and brought her palm to her lips. The taste of iron and the smell of blood filled her senses. It was never suppose to be like this, they were always suppose to have been there. Always. "Please leave." She mumbled behind her hand. "Please......" Another tear trailed down her cheek.
She held her free hand up to silence him. "Just go. How am I ever suppose to accept the fact I have to bury you three tomorrow if you're right here in front of me?"
The room grew silent and then......it felt empty. Slowly she opened her eyes, only to confirm that indeed her office was empty. She sniffed, confirmed her cut was nothing serious then wiped her tear stained cheeks taking in a long breath. Her chest tightened, oddly enough the quietness was now growing too quiet.
Grabbing another pencil from the drawer, she was bound and determined to finish her work. Then go home, have a long bath and go to bed. But she stared blankly at the paper in front of her. "For some reason having them here before made this seem almost.......easier."
"Having who here?" A voice sounded from the doorway.
She looked up to see Iruka staring at her with a confused look on his face. She hadn't even heard him come him, she was wondering how long he had been standing there. Giving her best smile she evaded his question. "It's good to see you Iruka. How have you been?"
Iruka searched her face for a moment before returning her smile. "Not bad." His smiling face fell to a concerned look. "How are you holding up Sakura?"
"I'm fine" She ignored that burning in her eyes again. She lowered her head and began writing. "What can I do for you?"
She heard the door click shut and his footsteps as he made his way into her office taking a seat in one the chairs. "I wanted to see how you were holding up is all." He spoke softly. "It was a shock for everyone, but I can't imagine how much it has affected you."
The room became silent. The stroke of her pencil across the paper was the only sound that could be heard. She was happy that he was concerned for her, but she didn't need a shoulder to cry on, just yet anyways. Finally, after several long minutes she spoke. "For the moment nothing in my life has changed." Her voice quiet. "I hardly ever saw them so........." Her words faded off, there was really nothing more to it. The truth was, for the past five years she's seen them maybe once a month if she was lucky.
She heard Iruka sigh, then she heard the crinkle of his vest against the chair as he began to fidget. She knew he was holding back from saying whatever it is he wanted to say. And that was fine with her, she could pretty much guarantee she didn't want to hear whatever it was anyways. "I appreciate your concern Iruka, but really I'm fine." She moved the top sheet to the side and began work on the second. "I really do need get these filled out and filed by this afternoon or else we'll have to postpone the funeral tomorrow. So if you don't mind excusing yourself I would appreciate it." She wasn't trying to sound harsh, she was just stating a fact.
"You.......you mean you have to fill out the death certificates?" He asked seeming shocked by the news.
Sakura's professional doctor mode kicked into gear. "Why wouldn't I? I was the doctor on duty when the bodies were brought in, I was the one who announced their time of death. It's my duty to properly fill out the death certificates."
"I understand where you're coming from, but still....."
"I'm sorry" She interrupted "But I need to get to work.....Goodbye Iruka." She didn't want to sit here and discuss what she should be doing instead of her job. What else was she suppose to do? Sit at home crying. Like that would get her anywhere.
She closed her eyes waiting for him to leave. Finally she heard him sigh and then his footsteps, then the door opening and clicking shut. She opened her eyes let out a sigh and slump back in her chair. "I've kept myself busy for a reason you know." She mumbled.
"And why is that Sakura?" Kakashi appeared next to her propped against her desk. "Trying to hide something?"
Sakura jumped slightly then glared at him. "I thought I told you to leave."
"Yeah about that." He crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't think I want to and besides, what are you gonna do to me if I stay? Beat me up?" He chuckled, amused by the thought of it.
Sakura frowned and turned away. "If only." Again her chest tightened. If she could do anything, she would probably hug him like crazy. She looked up at him again meeting his gaze, he looked perfectly healthy, he looked just like he did the last time she saw him. Unconsciously she reached her hand out, just once she wanted to touch him again, just once.......
She tried to grip onto him, but her hand went right through him. That was the first time she realized that, this was real, she couldn't reach for them anymore. It was now she knew what they meant, she missed them beyond recognition and she really did feel utterly and completely alone. She couldn't stop the tears now if she tried.
"Sakura..." Kakashi knelt down beside her. He reached up, only to draw his hand back. "Please don't cry." He said softly. "If you do, there's no way for me comfort you."
"We leave you alone for 5 minutes and you make her cry. Nice going." Sasuke scolded appearing behind Kakashi.
"Sakura." Naruto said appearing next her. "What's wrong?"
She sniffed, wiped her cheeks. "What.....do...you.....think is......wrong?" She managed between sobs. "You.....you idiots had to go....and....and get yourselves killed." She buried her face in her hands.
Naruto sunk to his knees. "I'm sorry Sakura." He grabbed for her hand and swore under his breath.
"You losers." Sasuke groaned drawing a glare from each of them. "What if I told you there was a way you could fix it?"
Kakashi stood and turned on his heel. "What are babbling on about?" He hissed.
"I wasn't talking to you." Sasuke waved his hand as he walked right through Kakashi to stand in front of Sakura. "What if you could change the past and save us?"
Sakura stared up at him with wide teary eyes. "What are you talking....."
"Just answer the question. Would you take the chance or not?" He was now growing impatient. But when he saw her lower lip begin to tremble and more tears run down her cheeks, he took a deep breath and crouched down in front of her. "Listen Sakura." He tried to sound calmer. "All you have to do is say yes or no. Would you take the chance?"
She lowered her gaze. Sniffed, wiped her tears. If she could then.....She looked up and saw the three men who meant the most to her waiting. Waiting to hear if she would save them. She realized the answer was right there. "Yes. I would."
Sasuke gave a half smile and stood. "Alright then. " He reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold medallion. "Take this." Sakura hesitated for a moment, but she reached out for it.
"Wait a minute." Naruto broke in. "What the hell is that?" He pointed to the medallion.
"What's it look like?" Sasuke countered.
"Looks like a hunk of junk." Kakashi muttered. "Where'd you get it?"
Sasuke shrugged. "Just something I picked up from Orochimaru."
"What!? Sakura don't touch....."
That was the last thing Sakura heard as she took the medallion and the world around her went dark.
AN: Well.....be honest.....what'd ya think? Please reveiw! And until next time. LUV YA