Chapter 1

Sakura stood in the center of the empty clearing. Her once pink hair was now black, the only remaining pink in her hair was in her long side bangs that went down to her chine. Her once silky soft skin was now rough and cracked in some places. Her once clean white skirt and red shirt were now ripped, dirty and blood-stained. She let the brisk wind toss her light pink side bangs that desperately needed to be combed and washed across her right eye and cover it. Despite the cold wind and the howling of wild animals all around her she stayed still unaffected by the world. Sakura started to lightly glow a soft yellow. A small smile stretched across her face.

Kakashi sat at the edge of the clearing reading one of his books. His once pure silver hair was now tainted by deep blood red, and night black streaks. His once masked face was now unmasked showing off his strong facial features. He turned to the next page in his book and sighed.

"Sakura as much as I love hanging out with you and reading my book could we pick up the pace, just do it already, you don't smell so pleasant," He sighed not taking his eye off of the words in front of him.

"Shove it old man, I'm concentrating" She growled, refusing to open her eyes and break her concentration.

"Is that what you're calling it now?" He asked in his usual patronizing tone "well then Sakura you should 'concentrate' a bit faster."

Sakura set her jaw and held back her merciless tongue, Kakashi smirked. Sakura set her mind back to original thoughts.

'Find Naruto and Sasuke's thought patterns and send them the message'.

She resumed glowing a soft yellow; the colour slowly got darker and darker it changed to a light orange, to a dark orange, and then to a deep blood red. A small but dominant smirk spread across her face.

"I'm in" She laughed a satisfied smile slipping onto her face.

'Come back, you must come back to the village of leaf's, if you don't you will die, you must come back and you have to enter through the east gate by tomorrow evening otherwise you will die. You must come, this is urgent. You desperately need to get back to the village. But you will be happy to come back and you will be kind to Sasuke/Naruto. Come back!' She ordered this to the boys' minds; she changed her minds voice so that it sounded like her old childhood voice so the boys, now teens, would not suspect a thing.

"It's done," She said opening her eyes, only one was visible since her mop that she called side bangs covered her right eye. The cloth wrapped strand of hair right in front of her left ear jingled as she moved to stand in front of Kakashi.

"Can we go back to the village now?" She asked placing her hands behind her back and giving him her best innocent smile.

"I suppose," He smiled standing putting his book into the pockets in the green Jornin vest.

"I desperately need a shower," She sighed pushing her greasy bangs out of her face in annoyance.

"Yah you do," He laughed ruffling the girl's hair causing her bangs to drop back into her eyes.

"Don't laugh, you're the one who caused this," she hissed pushing away his hand.

"I told you to stay away from those wolf cubs," He sighed rolling his eye at her antics.

"Yah, after I got attacked" she yelled pointing an accusing finger at him.

He coughed her face and pulled it close to his.

"You only got scratched, I wouldn't let anything bad happen to you…again, I promised didn't I?" He said in a very serious tone his lone eye staring into her dull forest green eyes.

She smiled "Yes I know," She hugged him "Thank you Kakashi sensei," She whispered releasing the man and heading towards the village.

He caught a whiff of her cherry blossom and vanilla scent and smiled.

"So you figure they'll come?" He asked pulling himself up off of the ground.

"No one can resist me," She laughed walking out off the clearing giving him a flirtatious wink.

"She's starting to sound like Naruto and Sasuke," He laughed to himself, following his student out of the clearing.

Sakura ran back to the village and into her apartment. She had been living alone since her parents had died; she'd found out after her parents' death that they weren't even her blood parents, but to her that didn't matter they had felt like her parents and that was good enough for her. She had been living alone now for about four years making her almost 16. She had grown a lot since Naruto and Sasuke had abandoned the village. Not just with her maturity level but in height and in certain areas. Her short hair was now styled with her back hair being as short as it could possibly be and her front hair was about as long as her chin, a few stray strands of her mid-night black hair reached her shoulders and varied in length.

Sakura stepped into her soft lime green bathroom. She looked over at the glass framed shower in the back left corner of the room. The room had three small windows high up in the corners of the room opposite to where the shower was; crimson light from the setting sun flooded into the room. Sakura peeled off her destroyed clothes and discarded them in a pile under her clear glass seashell shaped sink. She opened the door to the shower and step in. She turned on the hot water and let it glide over her blacked skin. Her dirty and tangled hair fell in a lump across her face. She made quick work of her hair, leaving in the conditioner to do its magic. She moved on to washing her body, she vigorously scrubbed her body till her skin turned red and blotchy. She then grabbed her shaving cream and razor slathered the foamy material over her legs and shaved it all off with her razor making her legs smooth for the most part. She rinsed out her hair and stepped out of the shower grabbing a white fluffy towel and drying herself thoroughly. She squeezed a bit of mousse into her hands and rubbed it into her towel dried hair taking out her blow drier and drying her short black and pink hair. Sakura hung up the towel and walked out of her washroom and into her bedroom.

She pulled out a pair of black skinny jeans and a tight red sleeveless tee. She sat down on the corner of her bed and started dragging her fine toothed brush through her hair when someone knocked on her door.

"Come in!" She yelled combing her now shiny clean hair and walked out towards the door.

Ino walked in through the door and she smiled at Sakura.

After Sasuke had left the girls had apologized for their stupid behaviour and became friends. Ino had then proceeded to start dating Shikamaru and the two were deeply in love or that's what Ino told everyone, about every five minutes.

"Kakashi told us, so they're really coming back right?" The blond girl asked walking into the large loft apartment.

"Yah they are," Sakura smiled "If you want you can date Uchiha I don't want to ruin our friendship because of a guy, again," Sakura laughed nudging the other girl good naturedly.

"Don't worry I'm perfectly happy with Shikamaru, I don't want Sasuke, to tell you the truth I don't know what we saw in him," Ino laughed digging her elbow into Sakura's ribs, causing the other girl to let out a soft grunt of annoyance.

"Well we obviously saw something otherwise we wouldn't have liked him," Sakura smirked pulling her hand through her hair giving Ino a look that made them both laugh.

"I guess," Ino shrugged rolling her eyes at her friend as they both walked into Sakura's room.

"Man it feels good to be back and clean," Sakura smiled pulling out a bottle of moisturizer. She started dispersing the smooth, thick material onto her cracked skin. Her hands glowed a light green indicating that she was healing the dead skin cells over her body.

"He really did a number on you this time didn't he," Ino asked looking at her friend in concern joining her on the bed.

"Well now I'm a hell of a lot stronger," Sakura smiled "and I need to be strong if I'm going to keep those two in the village this time."

"This time none of us will let them go," Ino reassured her placing her hand on the other girl's knee.

"Don't worry Ino, I'm a lot stronger then I was back then, I CAN take care of myself, I don't need them to protect me anymore, I don't need anyone to protect me, that was the whole point of this intensive training I was going through these past four years," Sakura smiled placing her hand on Ino's.

"I know but still, don't forget you're still human, and sometimes you need help, just don't forget you don't have to do everything on your own. You have friends that will help you with anything they can" Ino smiled and stood "I should probably go, I have a date with Shika in an hour and I need to get ready," Ino smiled glancing down at Sakura.

"Alright well I'll see you," Sakura smiled giving a small wave.

"Oh yah that's right, when will the guys be coming?" Ino asked almost out of the door.

"Some time tomorrow at the east gate," Sakura replied putting away her bottle of moisturiser and looking up at her clock.

"Do you want me to wait with you?" Ino asked tossing her shoulder length hair out of her eyes, her bangs desperately needed some attention but Sakura figured the girl had come here right after training so Ino had probably not seen herself in a mirror yet.

"Actually if you could tell the others, I'd much rather meet them alone. Tell them I'm not trying to hide them or anything, it's just..." Sakura drifted off looking at the picture of her and the boys taken years ago on her dresser with a forlorn look.

"Don't worry about it Sakura I'll tell them, they'll all understand, you were closer to them than any of us so it's natural that you'd want to meet them alone, but is Kakashi at least going to be there?" Ino asked walking back into the room.

"He's going to meet us at the hokage's office," Sakura smiled turning away from the picture and turning to look at Ino.

"Are you sure you're ready for this?" Ino asked placing a hand on the other girls shoulder giving it a light squeeze.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be," She smiled shrugging off Ino's hand.

"Alright if you say so, later Sakura" Ino smiled and walked out of the large apartment.

Sakura aimlessly walked around the apartment. It was actually a whole floor of an apartment. Sakura had bought the floor with the money her parents had left her. She had about four bedrooms, a bathroom connected to her bedroom, and two others for the other three guest bedrooms. At first Kakashi had lived with her, since she was all alone, but after a while he just moved back home. Sakura had been living alone for about three and a half years now so the apartment didn't seem empty to her.

"I wonder what I should wear tomorrow I should wear something I used to when I was a kid to give them a hint," Sakura laughed mentally digging through her dresser "but only something that they'll only get after a long time, just to torment them," She giggled and started to wrack her brain trying to come up with what she should wear.

She walked into her bedroom and flopped down diagonally on her bed and stared up at the bamboo ceiling fan. She slowly started drifting off without even noticing. Next thing she knew was that her alarm was going off at 5:30.

"Huh? wha!" Sakura exclaimed looking around and finally realized that she had overslept. Sakura quickly changed into a fish net shirt and threw on her old red dress, but it was different, it no longer fit her the way it used to now it was slit open at the front and used almost like a vest it only went down to about her waist now. She pulled on a pair of long green shorts and her black leather open toed high heeled boots; she tied her silky, red laced, head band around her neck and put on her 3 ear cuffs along the outside of her right ear.

"That should do" She smiled "I think the dress will give it away," She paused to think placing her index finger on her chin "but then again this is Naruto and Sasuke were talking about here," She laughed to herself stepping out of her apartment.

Sakura quickly made her way to the east gate completely ignoring her growling stomach.

"I'll eat when Naruto and Sasuke get here," She told her stomach skipping down the streets.

Sakura walked out off the east gate and sat down on a bolder by the edge of the road. She could sit there patiently waiting all day.

Over the past four years she had learned to be very patient and not to rush things. Sakura sat and started running over the past four years in her head. First was when she was attacked, and then was when she and Garra had started dating. She loved Garra, but he had broken up with her when he heard that Naruto and Sasuke were coming back. She had asked him why he was breaking it off and he told her;

"You'll have enough things to worry about when those two come back, maybe after things settle down well get back together, we'll see ok" Garra had smiled and kissed her on her long forehead. She sighed.

'Oh man Garra, you've changed so much since Naruto and Sasuke left' Sakura smiled.

It was late afternoon before any one came down the road.

'Only civilians use the east gate and they hardly ever leave the village so this is the perfect place to meet,' Sakura thought mentally giving herself a pat on the back.

Sasuke and Naruto slowly approached the city gate. The two walked right past her not even acknowledging her presence.

"Well it's about time you got here. I was getting tired of waiting," She sighed stretching her arms above her head.

The two stopped and turned to look at her.

"So I take it you guys don't recognize me," Sakura laughed standing up off the rock and jumping over to the boys.

"Um...do I know you?" Naruto asked scratching his head in confusion, taking a good look at her with his shocking blue eyes.

"Naruto, Sasuke I'm here to welcome you back, and to take you to the hokage," She smiled 'why can't I bring myself to tell them who I am?' She growled mentally.

"Follow me," Sakura laughed flicking her side bangs out of her right eye and walked between them.

"Why?" came Sasuke's defiant voice Sakura kept walking but turned slightly to look at the boy.

"Would you rather be killed?" Sakura asked a smile played on her face as she gave them a sidelong glance.

"Come on Sasuke just go along with it," Naruto laughed elbowing the other teen and following after Sakura with a spring to his step.

Sakura led the oblivious boys to the hokage's office. She walked into the room without knocking.

"Now we sit and wait," Sakura smiled knowing perfectly well that the only one who was going to show up was Kakashi.

"So Sasuke what have you been up to anyways?" Naruto asked after a long awkward silence giving the other boy his trade mark smile.

Sakura walked over to the hokage's desk and started shifting through different papers, piling them on different places or sorting them into a file folder.

"Like I'd tell you idiot," Sasuke sighed crossing his arms in annoyance.

"What? Bastard!" Naruto yelled getting into a fighting position.

Sakura started laughing "Now's where I come in and say 'Naruto-chan stop annoying Sasuke-kun'," Sakura giggled and sat down in a spinning office chair. The force of her sitting down made the chair spin faster. The boy's mouths dropped.

"S-s-Sakura," Sasuke stuttered his arms dropping to his sides and a disbelieving look in his eyes.

"I don't believe it," Naruto gaped his eyes widening as he looked at the girl.

Sakura planted her feet and stood up abruptly

"B-b-believe it!" She smirked at how she had used Naruto's old famous quote.

The two stood there in utter shock.

"B-but, your hair! Your clothes! Your style, there so...different" Naruto stuttered taking a step towards her.

"You two are starting to sound like Hinata," Sakura muttered under her breath "Naruto you're not exactly the same as before either," Sakura smirked tossing her hair out of her eyes carelessly.

Sasuke walked up to her examining her from head to toe a small smirk on his face.

"Interesting" He said softly his onyx eyes staring into her dull forest green ones.

She looked at Sasuke "The only thing's that changed about you are your clothes, aren't they," She said smiling up at him, her hands behind her back.

He didn't answer but just stared at her, his eyes wandering her body.

"So why did you dye your hair?" Naruto asked pulling one of her long strands of black hair.

She pulled back from them and walked to the other side of the desk.

"I just felt like a change that's all," Sakura smiled sheepishly giving them a small shrug "Anyways I want to hear about you guys, and what you have been up to these past four years?" She asked changing the subject.

"Well after the attack, and after Sasuke joined Orochimaru; I went off to train alone. The pervy Sage then found me and trained me till I surpassed him. Then he brought back the 4th and I found out that he was actually my father. So Dad trained me and now I'm here," Naruto explained surprising Sakura by not over exaggerating his new found strength.

She turned and looked at Sasuke expectantly.

"I went and trained with Orochimaru, killed him, trained under my brother and some other members of his little assassin group and then killed them, now I'm here," Sasuke stated with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

Naruto looked over at the boy and took a few steps away from Sasuke, giving him a wry look.

"Heavy," Sakura sighed, flopping back down into the chair.

She gestured for the boys to sit on the couch at the side of the room. They sat and she rolled the chair over to sit in front of them.

"So you gonna tell us what happened to you after we left?" Naruto asked crossing his arms over his chest.

"Let me guess you went home cried and felt sorry for yourself blaming yourself for us leaving," Sasuke sighed shaking his head as if disgusted.

"Well you're kind of right, at first that's what I did, Kakashi sensei took me to a neighbouring town to clear my head. I decided to go on a walk to clear my mind to give myself some closure on some things, then I was jumped and," she paused and looked down at the floor trying to get the word out "and r-raped," she let out a deep breath and let the news sink in "my attackers cut my body, I still have some of the scars. I'm just hiding them right now," Sakura paused slipping off her pink shirt, sitting in the chair with only a fishnet shirt and her chest wrappings. At first the boys blushed, but then the scars slowly started to appear on Sakura's once beautiful body. Both boys were shocked and set their jaws. Sakura pulled her vest back on and sighed.

"Kakashi found me and killed my attackers. I was so shocked and depressed at you two leaving and then I found out that my parents had died in the attack on the village and that they weren't even my parents. I was caught off guard,"

"But then again I was a weakling back then, always relying on you two to save me. So Kakashi trained me, then Tasunade trained me. I then traveled for a bit currently I'm stepping in as a substitute Hokage while Tasunade is on a mission. So I haven't been on any really hard missions lately, though I am a jornen now, Kakashi and I are still on the same team," she paused for a moment before remembering something "oh yah, Tasunade ordered me to read you this letter," She explained standing up from her chair.

Sakura walked over to the desk and started shuffling through papers "This women seriously needs to clean up her desk," she mumbled under her breath "Found it," She smiled and pulled out a crumpled paper that had a few Sake stains on it.

'Hello you brats,

So you're back, and I hope Sakura gives you Heck. Anyways there's something big going on...and we needed you two and Sakura together, there's something only you three can do...and if you two try to run away you will be killed. Kankuro has developed a poison so that when you two walked into the village you would be infected. If you abandon us, we will activate the poison and you will die, this is all the information I can give you right now. Sakura, don't beat them up to much.

Tasunade'

"That old hag" Sasuke breathed crossing his arms in annoyance.

"She means well," Sakura said giving him a soft smile.

"So where is Kakashi sensei anyways?" Naruto asked looking around the room for their old sensei.

"I don't think I can tell gennin that," Sakura smirked getting a rise out of both boys.

"Yo Sakura they here?" asked a familiar voice.

"Aw Kakashi you came too early," Sakura giggled her eyes already on the window that her team mate was crawling through.

"Now that's an oxymoron," Sasuke laughed shaking his head at the memory of their sensei.

Sakura, Naruto and Kakashi all turned to stare at him.

"Sasuke's laughing..." Sakura whispered eyeing the two other males cautiously.

"I never thought I'd see the day," Kakashi gasped grinning at Sakura.

"It's the end of the world," Naruto laughed throwing his hands up in the air in a rather dramatic fashion.

Sakura smiled at their antics.

"Wait hold on, Kakashi sensei, is that you?" Naruto asked looking at the man in disbelief.

"What don't your recognise me?" Kakashi asked looking down at himself in confusion.

"It's cause you're not wearing your mask stupid," Sakura sighed and walked over to the desk where she started shifting papers again "Something came in for you from someone called Obuto a little while ago, but I can't seem to find it," Sakura sighed giving up shifting through the papers.

"What did you say," Kakashi asked his eye widened.

"Obuto sent you something," Sakura sighed looking up from the mess of papers on the desk in annoyance.

Kakashi furiously started sorting through the papers on the desk till he found the scroll; he tore open the scroll and started to read it.

"I need to go tell Rin," He whispered glancing out the window.

"Kakashi what's up?" Sakura asked peering over the man's shoulder wondering why he had to go tell his old teammate something.

"Obuto's been dead since I was a kid, at least we thought he was dead, he 'died' back in the war, but he's actually alive, he's been in a coma for all this time and he's finally woken up, he says he wants his eye back" Kakashi laughed with a wide happy smile on his face.

"Ok, um, you go tell Rin ok, and then get some sleep," Sakura smiled patting her sensei and friend on the shoulder.

Kakashi quickly ran over to the window.

"Don't forget about practise tomorrow morning you three don't be late," he smiled giving his signature wave.

"OK we'll be there a half an hour late then," Naruto laughed placing his arms behind his head in classic Naruto fashion.

"Kakashi's changed too," Sasuke noted crossing his arms, his eyes never leaving Sakura's face.

"It has been four years," Sakura pointed out. Her stomach growled loudly "Guess that means I'm hungry, then again I did skip lunch and breakfast," she sighed rolling her eyes a small smile on her face.

"And I know just the place where I want to go," Naruto smirked glancing between his old team mates.

"Ramen it is," Sakura smiled as she stepped towards the door.

"Why is it always ramen," Sasuke sighed dropping his arms to his side glaring at his Orange clad companion.

"Simple you never suggest anything, and no rice balls don't count as a meal," Sakura laughed as she ushered the boys out of the cluttered office.

"I'm still surprised at how much the village has changed," Naruto marvelled his eyes darting from place to place trying to take it all in at once.

"You'll be really happy cause the ramen restaurant has expanded," Sakura told them as they walked down the busy streets of Kohana. As they walked by people started to stare and talk in low voices.

"Just as long as they haven't changed the recipe I'll be happy," Naruto laughed his smile faded "Sakura if I had known that any of that stuff was going to happen I wouldn't have left, you know that right," He glanced over at the girl whom had stopped in the middle of the road.

"But you did leave and that stuff did happen to me so don't worry about it. You have nothing to apologize for it was my own fault for being so weak, like Sasuke always said I wasn't meant to be a ninja, I should've just quit while I was ahead," Sakura said a sad smile on her face, and shrugged continuing on her way towards the ramen stand.

Sasuke was shocked "I don't think that way anymore Sakura, you have as much right to be a ninja as anyone else, I should never have said something like that to one of my only friends," He said looking away, a smile blush creeping up on his face.

"Is Sasuke Uchiha showing emotion," Sakura gasped nudging him in the arm "Don't worry Sasuke, if anything those words made me stronger, in reality these past four years of training have been to prove to you that I'm not that clingy little girl anymore, I don't need your protection," Sakura stated looking over at the boys with a powerful glow in her eyes.

"I'm not the best I know that, and there are many more people in the village that could beat me, there are so many other people that are better suited to be the Hokage's substitute, I honestly don't know why she picked me, but regardless I'm going to do the best I can and work as hard as I possibly can to become strong and smart," She smiled "You guys should just worry about yourselves," Sakura smirked giving them her best impression of Sasuke's smug look.

"Yah sure whatever you say," Sasuke sighed rolling his eyes crossing his arms over his well toned chest.

"Lighten up Uchiha, you can make out with Sakura later," Naruto laughed grinning at his friends.

"Like I would," Sasuke yelled capturing the attention of everyone on the street, Sakura let out a small giggle.

"Naruto you're such a child," She laughed, spinning in the middle of the street "I've been dating Garra for about 3 years now, though we did break-up," she paused at put her finger to her chin in a contemplating manner "but it's only a matter of time before he comes back to me," Sakura grinned skipping off.

"You and G-Garra!" Naruto chocked out looking after the girl in disbelief "Now I didn't see that one coming," He laughed shaking his head at the idea of the red headed man with his pink haired friend.

"Garra's changed so much since you guys left, for one the one tails is gone so now he can sleep, as well he's so much kinder and he no longer has that split personality, he hates blood and he hasn't killed a person since he lost the one tail," Sakura smiled she blush thinking about Garra's first time sleeping, he was so afraid that Sakura spent the night with him.

"Are you thinking something dirty about Garra," Naruto asked elbowing her.

Sakura jumped out of her stupor "N-no," She lied her whole face turning red in embarrassment.

"Whatever you say Sakura," Sasuke smirked pulling out the words in long syllables.

"Hey look we're here," Sakura smiled quickly changing the subject.

"Yah ramen," Naruto cheered and then his mouth dropped open; the once side store was now a huge restaurant equipped with flashing neon lights.

"Wow when you said they expanded you weren't kidding," Naruto said with an awed tone to his voice.

Sakura laughed "Come on lets go get food!"


Ok so yah this is not the best opening chapter but trust me keep reading and you'll find out that the grammer and the discription get's better... I wrote this while I was in Canadian history give me a brake

hope you enjoy!

REVIEW!

-S.W.-