So, rewriting this is fun. If anyone's wondering why I'm doing it, it's because where I was up to, I was stuck, and I felt that the chapters needed to be redone. Quite frankly, I've never liked this chapter anyway, I didn't say everything I thought I should. But now I have, I've added in more detail of the premiere night, more in Sakura and Sasuke's encounter near the then, and I've even increased the word count from 2,266 to 3,584!
I'm going to rewrite a few others too, once I'm done with this. Not all of them, though, but quite a few. Mostly they're ones that have been on here for awhile. Plus I've also deleted a few others that are going absolutely nowhere.
In any case, please enjoy and know that I don't own Naruto…
Chapter One – Premiere
"In recent news, the legendary Sabaku Katana has come home to Konoha. The sword and the collection that goes with it shall be displayed in the Leaf Museum for the next few weeks, but tonight is the premiere of this exquisite collection. Most of these pieces have been showcased separately over the last century since they were found, but tonight will be the first time in a long time that everything from the original excavation has been brought together, a truly momentous occasion.
"The exquisite katana itself is surrounded in myths and legends, compiling over the centuries since its forging. By now, there's hardly anyone who doesn't know of the legends behind it, though unlike an Egyptian artefact, it doesn't have a 'curse' upon it. There is however the enigmatic writing etched into the blade, rather surprisingly in Latin. It is believed that the katana may have once been in the hands of someone in ancient Rome, or perhaps even after that great Empire fell.
"In any case, 'Let Tempus Be Thy Guide' has baffled many, the reasons behind this particular phrase remaining a mystery. But that hasn't stopped the theories. The most popular is that this sword is a gateway to the past, but not just for anyone. It's said that its most famous wielder, the heroic Sabaku Warrior that the katana is named for, used it to bring his one true love to him from another time. The idea of time travel isn't really…"
The presenter's voice was abruptly cut off as a woman switched the TV off, sighing deeply. The woman, one Doctor Haruno Sakura, wasn't really paying attention to the broadcast anyway, she knew all the legends off by heart. After all, her mother was the curator at the Leaf museum, and in charge of the Sabaku Katana collection. There wasn't anything that she didn't know, courtesy of her mother.
Of all the legends that came with the collection, Haruno Sayuri firmly believed in the most popular myth about the sword. She could almost hear her mother's voice in her head reciting, "It just has to be this one!" The 'one' she was talking about was the story where the sword was supposed to bring the one woman who could tame the great warrior who'd borne the sword back in the days when the powers that be in Japan were at their greatest, to him. Basically it was a love story, and Sakura's mother was a sucker for the romantic.
It briefly occurred to Sakura that the woman on the television had basically said the same thing about the legend, and she rolled her eyes at herself.
Sakura was currently getting ready, she was going to the premiere tonight, and she wanted to look good for the show. Both of her parents would be there, and she was looking forward to seeing them both, as she hadn't in awhile. Her mother had definitely been busy lately with the preparations for tonight, and her father had only returned yesterday from an international medical conference in America.
Only the big names in medicine from several countries had been invited, and it was only natural that Haruno Etsuya, Japan's leading cardiothoracic surgeon, had attended. He was one of the best surgeons in the world, and certainly the best in Japan, and he was in high demand. His fame had made it a little risky for Sakura to go into medicine herself, knowing full well that she would be immediately typecast because of her father's success. But she'd managed to prove herself, and had not followed her father into cardio.
During her internship at Konoha's Saint Hokage Hospital, Sakura had decided on paediatrics, her love of kids being the deciding factor in her career. Working with them was always a delight, though as she was still working at Saint Hokage for her residency, she also volunteered time in their free clinic.
Shaking herself from her thoughts, Sakura went back to getting ready. She was attending the premiere in style tonight, on the arm of none other than Uchiha Sasuke, her high school sweetheart and ex fiancé. Her mother had given Sakura six tickets, of which she'd given the extra five to her best friends, and Sasuke was going to be her date for the evening.
The others coming were Yamanaka Ino, Sakura's best friend since childhood, and her boyfriend Inuzuka Kiba. Also there was Tenten Yang, who was half Chinese and half Japanese, and her fiancé Rock Lee, who'd harboured a crush on Sakura for years until Tenten could get his attention. Lee, Kiba Ino and Sakura had grown up together, and they'd met Tenten and Sasuke in high school.
So Sakura quickly headed into her bedroom to do her hair and makeup, knowing that if it wasn't just right, Ino would complain. That was a major downside to going anywhere fancy with Ino, but then again, it wasn't like she didn't know the trade. Ino was a professional makeup consultant for a big name fashion magazine here in Konoha.
In any case, a couple of hours later Sakura stood in her living room waiting, proud of the final result. She was dressed in a gorgeous traditional kimono, the red somehow not clashing with her pink hair, with a silver and red obi tied around the middle. Silver embroidery was threaded through the kimono in cherry blossom patterns, with a slight splash of pink in the blooms. Her hair was up in a simple yet elegant bun, two chopsticks through it to keep it up. Talismans in the shape of kanji dangled from them, reading 'love'. They were her absolute favourite hair accessories that she had, and matched what she was wearing perfectly.
Her over all look matched the theme of the evening.
Ten minutes later, the sound of a horn honking caught her attention, and she moved swiftly and expertly in her geta sandals to the door, not forgetting to lock it once she stepped through. A limo awaited her at her gate, and she smiled to see Kiba standing up so that he came out at the top.
"Hey Sakura!" he greeted, grinning at her foolishly. "This limo is awesome!"
She grinned back, his enthusiasm contagious. "Hey, Kiba," she returned. "You can thank Sasuke for this!"
"I know," he said with a slight pout. "He's not letting me forget it. Now get in here before Ino starts complaining."
"Oh shut up, Kiba!" came a rather shrill voice, and the door of the limo opened to reveal a rather wildly gesticulating Ino. "Come on, Forehead, or we're gonna be late!"
Sakura immediately complied, rushing forward as much as she could in her kimono and geta, no matter how adept she was at walking in the traditional shoes, then wriggled her way into the limo. Sasuke was immediately by her side, and she smiled at his attentiveness.
"You look beautiful," he whispered to her, and she flushed slightly at the compliment.
The trip to the museum was a bit loud, as it wasn't only Kiba's first time in a limo, but Lee's as well. The two of them stood up, both of them with half their bodies outside the vehicle, yelling and cheering as they moved through the streets. Ino and Tenten both looked horribly embarrassed, but Sakura figured it was probably best they got it out of their system now, and not later at the museum.
But she knew that both guys were in for an inevitable earful from their significant others.
Their arrival at the museum was more dignified, as Ino and Tenten had managed to yank Kiba and Lee back inside the limo, both of them having to sit through their girls straightening their hair. "You are not allowed to embarrass me, Kiba," Ino scolded. "This is a formal evening, and you will behave yourself!"
"And you, too, Lee," Tenten warned, a gleam in her eyes.
Both men gulped as the limo came to a smooth halt.
The six of them proceeded to exit the limo, Sakura first, as she was closest to the door, then Sasuke, Ino, Kiba, Tenten and finally Lee. All of her friends looked in awe of the red carpet and the amount of paparazzi here, except Sasuke, as he was used to these kinds of things because of his family. There were a lot of celebrities attending tonight, the main reason for this many cameras, but the rest of it was here because of the notoriety of the collection itself.
"This thing really is a big deal, isn't it?" Tenten said, slightly awed.
"I did warn you," Sakura defended.
"Yeah, but it's still a little overwhelming," Kiba told her.
They were all silent a moment, then Ino said, "Oh, come on! This is nothing! Let's get in there already. I want to see the sword!"
She then linked her arm with Kiba, looking pointedly at Sakura, who sighed and then took Sasuke's proffered arm. He smirked at her then the two of them led the way into the museum, all the while trying to ignore the flashing lights of the cameras. She could feel her dates arm relax once they moved past the reporters, and she gave his arm a squeeze in reassurance.
Once they were inside the atmosphere was calmer, more relaxed. They were all given pamphlet guides, which contained a list of all the items on display and a small commentary for each one. Sakura really wanted to get in to see the collection, but decided that it would probably be best if she found her parents first, at least. She knew also that Sasuke would like to see them too, as he got along well with her father.
"Shall we go find my parents? We should let them know we're here." she suggested, and Sasuke nodded.
"It would be rude not to see them first," he agreed, and they both started scanning the crowd for them.
"There," Sakura said a moment later, and the two of them made their way through the throng to where Haruno Sayuri was laughing at something her husband was saying.
"Oh, Sakura!" her mother greeted when they approached them, gathering her for a hug. "You look beautiful, my dear!"
"So do you, mum," Sakura said as she returned the hug.
Both Sakura and her mother looked enough alike that they could almost pass for twins, right down to their pink hair, emerald eyes and… ahem!... unusual forehead. But after that their similarities ended. Sayuri was more than a little flighty, a complete romanticist, whereas Sakura was logical and sometimes a little too serious, like her father.
"Sasuke!" Etsuya greeted in a booming voice, slapping Sasuke on the back affectionately. "Good to see you, son!"
Sakura knew that her parents were disappointed when her and Sasuke's engagement had fallen through and the two of them had decided to just remain friends. They thought that Sasuke was the perfect match for her, and he probably was, but Sakura hadn't felt that they were right together. Sasuke seemed to agree, though lately she was thinking that he had second thoughts on ending their engagement.
"Have you taken a look at the collection yet?" Sayuri asked.
"I wanted to see you guys first," Sakura told her mother, who smiled indulgently.
"That's nice dear," she said, "but go enjoy the evening, you two. We can all catch up afterwards, ok?"
After getting a hug from her father, Sakura and Sasuke left, doing as her mother suggested and taking a look at the collection. There were a lot of things found with the katana, a lot of archaeological do-dads that Sakura had no idea why they bothered with them. But then again, who was she to know what was and wasn't historically significant? A lot of broken pottery, funky coins and rusty dagger pieces weren't really her cup of tea, so to speak. But there were a few things that were intact.
For instance, there was a hand mirror that, though there was some cracking and peeling on the silver lining, still reflected a pretty good image. There were some interesting jewellery bits (like a hair comb with fake sakura blossoms that she absolutely loved) as well as a vase that depicted some unknown story on it, and a few extra weapons that had managed to remain intact. Such as a jewelled dagger, though it lacked a scabbard.
And then there was the sword itself. It was beautiful, and had been unsheathed for tonight's premiere. Sakura knew from her mother that that would only be for tonight, it would be sheathed once more for the more public viewings. But to see the actual blade was more than a little exciting. Sasuke certainly looked impressed, and she knew that he admired the fine craftsmanship. His father had a rather large collection of Japanese weapons in his home in Tokyo.
As they moved on to the tapestry, a beautiful rendition of a battle in which the legendary warrior was most famous for having wielded the katana, they were interrupted by Lee and Kiba. "Sorry, Sakura," Kiba said, "but we're stealing Sasuke away."
"Whatever for?" Sakura asked, amused by their antics.
"Do not worry, lovely Sakura!" Lee exclaimed. "We will have him back to you soon enough!"
Sakura chuckled and conceded, "Alright, but you three make sure you behave! Don't do anything ridiculous!"
"Sakura, you wound us with your lack of faith," Kiba pouted, then the three of them were gone.
Turning her attention back to the tapestry, Sakura took the time to examine it carefully. The colours were slightly dimmed from time, but they were still beautiful, and she appreciated the detail that had gone into it. It was made of the finest silk, and depicted a victory scene in which a mysterious red headed warrior held the Sabaku Katana aloft. He was surrounded by several people, and she carefully looked each of them over. The ones that stood out the most were a woman with a fan and four pigtails in her hair, a man with a hood and purple face paint, a guy with hair that was pulled up, making his head look slightly like a pineapple, a guy with long dark hair and eyes that didn't seem to have pupils and another man with spiky blond hair and whisker-like marks on his cheeks. There were others, but these ones caught her attention the most.
Not more than the red head who was at the centre of the legend, though. The mysterious warrior, wielder of the Sabaku Katana. His name was lost to history but whoever he was, his visage held Sakura captivate. She could almost feel his presence emanating from the tapestry, though that was impossible. Still, her attention was completely drawn to him and she really couldn't look away.
So engrossed was she in her study of him that she didn't notice someone come up behind her. "Fascinating, isn't it?"
Practically jumping out of her skin, Sakura turned to see a blond woman standing next to her and looking at the tapestry as well. She turned and held her hand out, introducing herself, "Hello, I'm Senju Tsunade. Sorry to scare you."
Heart beating fast, Sakura took the proffered hand. "Haruno Sakura, and it's fine," she said. "Wait, Senju Tsunade? You're the one who owns this collection, then?"
"That's me," the busty woman said. "Along with my rather lazy and perverted husband, of course."
Sakura smiled and they both turned back to peruse the tapestry, her eyes inevitably drawn back to the red head once more. "It's a marvellous piece of work," Tsunade spoke. "The detail in it is so great, you can almost feel like you're back there with them, celebrating their victory alongside them. It's a shame most of their names have been forgotten."
Sakura 'hmm-ed' in agreement, then asked, "Whose names are remembered then?"
Tsunade smirked. "That blond one with the spiky hair is Uzumaki Naruto."
Sakura's eyes widened. Uzumaki Naruto was one of the most famous of the Hokage's of Konoha in all of Japan's history. It was during his time that the infamous Snake Charmer, whose name also wasn't known, was defeated. A piece of Japanese history stood on this tapestry, and he wasn't even the focus of it!
"That was probably a wonderful time to live in," Sakura sighed wistfully.
Tsunade's smile was just as wistful as her tone. "Yes," she murmured, then seemed to shake herself out of a reverie. "I really have to go. Must get to Jiraiya before he gets himself into too much trouble, ne?"
Sakura was left on her own then, but not for long. "Hey forehead," Ino greeted as she came up and surprised her friend. "Who was that you were talking to?"
Sakura grinned. "Senju Tsunade," she said, and Ino's jaw dropped.
"Aw, man!" the blonde whined. "I wish I could meet her!"
A few hours later, the party started to wind up, people began leaving, and Sakura finally found herself alone with her friends. "This evening was awesome," Kiba sighed, making Sakura suspicious as to what he and Lee had been up to, especially since they'd had Sasuke in tow for awhile there.
"Tell me about it," Tenten murmured, leaning on Lee for support.
"I'm totally bushed," Ino said, also leaning, but on Kiba.
"It was a grand event," Lee spoke up. "Definitely worth it."
Sakura smiled. "You guys should go home, get some sleep," she suggested. "The limo should be back by now."
"What about you, Sakura?" Tenten asked.
"Her parents are giving us both a lift home," Sasuke said.
"Alright," they all agreed, and after saying their farewells, it was just Sakura and Sasuke left alone.
He looked a little nervous, to be honest, and Sakura wondered what was wrong. "Sasuke?" she asked. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he said, but a moment later went on, "I think we made a mistake, breaking up."
Sakura gasped lightly, even though she'd known something like this was coming. "But…"
"I'm sick and tired of pretending, Sakura," he told her, turning to face her and taking her hands in his. "I'm tired of pretending that I don't love you anymore. I miss us, Sakura. I want to be with you again."
"But Sasuke," Sakura began, "our break-up…"
"It may have been mutual at the time," she was interrupted once more, "but not anymore. I love you Sakura. I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you."
Sakura opened her mouth to say something, anything, but before she could, Sasuke leaned in and captured her lips with his in a passionate kiss. Shock prevented her from reacting as he pulled her closer to him, deepening the kiss. Sakura let him, and soon found herself slowly responding to him. She kissed him back, and Sasuke took that as a go, putting more passion into their kiss.
Her hands came up to thread through his hair and she moaned as his hands slid down to cup her bum, bring her closer to him. Their tongues warred for dominance hers came out on top as Sasuke let her dominate the kiss. They were pressed so tightly together, so caught up in their kiss, that it took a moment for a loud banging noise to register with their brains. The sound was of a door being repetitively opened and closed, leading Sakura to believe that the caretakers must be putting the collection away now. This return to reality had Sakura pulling away from the man in front of her.
"Sasuke," she breathed, letting her hands fall down to his chest as she refused to look at him. "We can't do this any more."
"Why not?" Sasuke asked. "I love you, and I know that somewhere down inside you still love me too, otherwise you wouldn't have responded to me the way you did."
Her eyes widened at his words and she stood there for a moment, absolutely speechless, but then she regained control of herself. "I'm sorry, Sasuke, but I just can't!" she apologised, before she turned tail and ran from him as best as she could in her kimono and geta, tears forming and spilling down her cheeks.
She ran until she could run no more, then looked up to see where she was. It was one of the museum's main storage rooms, more precisely, it was the one where the katana and such were being kept. Speaking of which, the sword was already in here, which meant that they had possibly finished putting everything away. Somehow, Sakura could feel a light thrumming sensation as she looked at the beautiful blade, and she took an involuntary step towards it.
She was mesmerised by it, staring at it without really blinking until her eyes watered once more, this time from the strain. She closed her eyes and heard singing, the most beautiful signing she'd ever heard. Snapping her eyes open, she reached out to the katana, her fingers lightly brushing the blade. The thrumming became far more prominent, and as her fingers closed around the hilt, a light of some sort flashed before her, causing her to shut her eyes tightly and look away from the katana.
Sakura cried out in pain as the sensation of being burned swept through her, and a moment later the light vanished in an all encompassing flash, leaving the room devoid of any life and the katana still singing softly.
So there you have it. I hope it's better than before, though I feel it is. Review and tell me if you like the difference.