HEY GUYS. Revised! Just saying! Commence!

Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN NARUTO! [STILL]


~ChApTeR 1: ThE SwEeT WeLcOmE~


"Hey Ino-pig,"

Ino opened her big baby blue eyes, "What forehead-girl?"

"What do you think the perfect man is like?"

Her nose wrinkled, "Perfect man? Where'd you get that idea from?"

I grinned before turning my head back towards the sky, "Mummy says that a perfect man is like daddy."

Ino sniffed, a smile adorning her face, "Well I think that Sasuke's the perfect man."

"Really?" I closed my eyes, "What's so good about him?"

Ino shrugged, "Everything?"


"Haruno! Branch!"

I ducked, feeling the leaves whack against some of my hair. Shit.

"Focus." Neji slowed to glare at me.

"Sorry," I muttered, "Got a bit distracted."

Why now? The memory I had pretty much forgotten.

The day after he… left… my mind was in turmoil. First, there was desperation for him to come back. Which didn't work out well.

Next was the attempt to better myself so that I could personally drag his ass back. Which was going well until I hit the second part of that plan.

The day I saw Naruto fully bandaged in hospital, there was a realisation that Sasuke, no, Uchiha, was not the person I had loved. He was not the same person. I tried ignoring this fact.

But by the time he came flying at me with the chidori in his hand, there was nothing more achingly sorrowful than what had been there, but lost. And disgust for myself for holding onto false hope for so long.

From those days onwards, it was attempts of blocking and denying his presence from my life. All of this just resulted in frequent nightmares, frustration, regret, and whenever the image of Naruto's stay in hospital popped in my memory - guilt.

But now, I'd like to think that I've made heaps of progress. The thought of the Uchiha now makes me grin just a bit. But only because I'm envisioning kicking him in the balls and then shaving him bald. And maybe getting him a tan. I don't even know where I'm going with this. But the bottom-line is, I'm going to make him suffer.

Another tree branch managed to hit the Henge no Jutsu version of my hair. AGAIN. See, this is why I don't grow my hair long anymore.

"Haruno!" Neji gritted his teeth, I could almost hear the grinding sound, and his bright orange hair looked so comical with his pearl eyes – which he had blatantly refused to disguise. Tan skin, bright orange hair, pearl white eyes, Neji definitely needs to consult someone on his fashion sense and colours. "Stay focused Haruno. This is Sand territory; we can't afford to lose a medic."

I nodded, my mind snapping back to the task at hand. Sand territory. Right. Tsunade had sent us to deliver a scroll to the Kazekage, the contents of the scroll was of course confidential, but for her to send a group of five, it must be important, deadly or both.

"Four ninjas." Kiba called, looking remotely like a civilian, "From the west, closing in rapidly."

Neji activated his Byakugan, the veins like spiders, crawling down the side of his face. Every time, I can't help but watch, fascinated by the delicate yet deadly way his eyes worked.

"No," he breathed, "It can't be."

"N-Neji." Hinata was stuttering again, a bad feeling washed over me. Hinata had gotten over her bad habit of stuttering years ago; of course, old habits die hard and always return to visit around Naruto.

Or something terrible.

Shino was also staring into the distance, his bugs undoubtedly also telling him what was going on. Which meant I was the only one left in the dark, and that pissed me off.

"Are they dangerous?" I asked simply, as it was the only thing I could do.

Neji made no answer and neither did Hinata. They were both turning their heads as often as they could without splattering onto a tree, as if hoping that whatever was coming towards us would be changing course soon.

Kiba sniffed the air repeatedly, a confused look on his face, as if trying to place the scent. After a few more seconds, his eyes widened considerably before narrowing.

"So," I placed my hand on my kunai pouch, "Who is it?"

Kiba turned and gave me an intense stare, which I returned. What the hell did they think they were playing at? We were a team weren't we?

"Haruno, you are not going to like this." He muttered,

"Is no one going to tell me what the hell is going on?" I demanded, everyone was apparently preoccupied by our famous little guest. I could only sense five well cloaked chakra signs heading our way.

But that was the thing. It wasn't fully concealed. Whoever was coming, wanted us to know.

I gave up waiting for them to give an answer. Using a trickle of chakra to fuel my eyes, I felt the prickling sensation begin. There wasn't a lot of life in the desert, except for the one patch of lone forest about a hundred kilometres away. A group was moving there, but that was all I could see. I allowed some more chakra to seep in, the prickling sensation started to burn, reminding me to hurry it up before my eyes got permanently damaged. Then, I saw. The strain of my eyes was forgotten in the one moment I saw the figure. I immediately retracted my chakra, the world was back in its small state, making it seem so forlorn and lost. But that didn't matter. The others knew that I knew as well, tensed in case I got too hot-headed.

Another burning sensation arose in me.

I never used to get it when they said that an emotion 'bubbled' out of a person. Until now. If I was Naruto, I'm pretty sure I would've sprouted a few tails by now.

The word burned on the tip of my tongue, I felt old anger and resentment bubble out from the container it had been kept in. My eyes narrowed,

"Uchiha."

The rest exchanged nervous glances with one another; Neji rested a pale hand on my shoulder, assuring yet firm.

"Haruno, this mission comes first."

I looked back into the distance, momentarily torn between my loyalty to my village, and the desire to rip Uchiha to shreds.

Don't be stupid.

Right. I pulled my protector around my forehead, "Let's go."

Neji nodded appreciatively, "If we speed things up, we can make it to the village before dusk. They could be after this scroll." His eyes flickered towards me, but I took off first, sending small sparks of chakra to my feet.

"Shit! They're gaining on us!" Kiba shouted from behind, his exasperation was obvious. It made me wonder exactly how much stronger Sasuke was.

"We have to get closer to Sand," Neji replied, his front cool and calm, "That way, we could attract help if needed."

We sped up considerably, but the tension thickened. What seemed to be a reasonably hard mission was turning impossible, but I didn't mind. In fact, I was kind of hoping that they did catch up to us, so I would be able to finally give Sasuke a piece of my mind, or rather, a piece of my fist.

Naruto. A faint voice inside my head reminded me, almost painfully. Naruto was still bedridden after his little fight with Pein, it had drained a lot of chakra out of him.


Naruto, this is the greatest request I will ever make of you.


"What's the distance between us and them?" I asked furiously, picking up speed,

"Ten kilometres now." Kiba cursed, "It's inhumane speed."

Since when did we know anything about Sasuke being human? No heart, no feelings, no sympathy, all revenge and hatred. There is no human left in that shell.

"Shino!" Neji barked, "Delay him."

A loud buzzing sound departed, but we knew that such a distraction would only buy us seconds at the most.

A loud explosion was heard, a little in a short distance away.


Please bring Sasuke back.


The stupid question I had asked, years ago, while Sasuke's coldness was still fresh.

I had taken advantage Naruto's kindness and gave him a task which carried so much pressure and responsibility. He came back close to death, and what scares me the most is that he could have died. And it was all that bastard's fault. And mine.

I should've done it myself. And now. I'm going to. Because I am not the same person who asked the question.

"Shit!" Kiba yelled, "They're here!"

I swivelled around furiously, watching as Shino dodged the watery creature's attack. Neji blurred to move beside me.

I was finding it so hard to breathe. All these years. All those scenarios of what it would come to. And now he was here, the adrenaline roared at me to do something.

"I want the scroll."

Even after all these years, I would never be able to forget that voice. It was somewhat deeper than before, but the hardness and coldness still remained.

I turned around with a smirk, unable to stop the taunting and of course, wholly unprofessional retort on my lips, , "Come and get it then, bitch."

Physically, he was pretty much the same as when I had saw him last. A white open shirt tied by hideously purple string – seems like Neji isn't the only one who needed fashion help – plus his black pants. At first, I was expecting some sort of reaction, I mean come on! I was an old teammate wasn't I? But when no reaction came, I realised that my Henge was still in action. A fleeting moment of pride as I realised he hadn't seen through it.

Pride which turned to anger rather quickly as I realised that he hadn't even bothered with Sharingan. We were't good enough for that yet apparently.

Sasuke's eyes flickered, between me and Neji. I could hear the screams of the wild-haired girl with glasses as she fought Hinata, who seemed better off than the girl, thank Kami. Kiba and Shino were trying to pin down the water guy, who was freakishly sloshing around with his oversized sword. I turned my focus back to Sasuke. His eyes pinpointed on me, for a second, I was scared he would see through the disguise.

"Juugo."

The gentle looking blonde beside him moved, eyes never leaving Neji's.

"The girl, take care of it."

So I was an it now?

The blonde gave me an apologetic look before stepping forward. No way. I owed this to Naruto, Konoha, and myself. I reached up to Neji and took the scroll. His white eyes narrowed dangerously at me and his hand stopped mine.

"Focus," he warned, "The mission takes priority."

I just couldn't keep my cool head anymore; I put on a front for so many years. I wanted to bring him home, to make Naruto happy. But most of all, I wanted to break him.

"He's right here." I closed my eyes tightly, trying to keep my calm, pushing against Neji's hand, "I can do this. Please let me."

His eyes bore into mine, before sighing and dropping his hand.

"The Hokage is going to murder me," he muttered, "I'm trusting you on this one Haruno."

Then I knew. As soon as Neji said my name, I thought he had made a mistake. But, Neji rarely made rookie mistakes, it was one last attempt to protect me. The slight widening of Sasuke's eyes gave me my motive back, I reached into Neji's cloak and retrieved the scroll, holding it in my white fingers and slipping it into my own cloak. I allowed the jutsu to be released.

After a mere second, my jagged pink hair was back. Neji rested a hand on my shoulder, before darting off towards Juugo, who seemed to respond reluctantly.

"Sakura." His voice still remained calm, one hand casually on his katana, "Come here and give me the scroll."

I snorted, "Because I'm just such a good little girl aren't I, Uchiha?"

His eyebrows rose at the mention of his last name.

I tapped my forehead protector, trying to not burst into gibberish as a result of years of pent up anger bursting out at once, "This is my dedication This is my loyalty." I whispered hoarsely, "I have support. But you…are you happy with who you have now?"

"I thought you said you would follow me wherever I went," he replied simply, "Five years ago. You didn't have that 'dedication'' to the village then."

I tensed inwardly, but kept my act, "Well. I was obviously out of my mind and deluded. But that's alright, cause you're just gonna find out now, just how much I've changed." I casually tapped a foot as his Sharingan bled into his eyes.

Satisfaction. Did you have that feeling that I was going to rip his head off without a thought? He managed to just avoid the fissure which split the earth beneath us. Drawing his katana out, the lightening crackled menacingly.

"I'm going to make you pay." I murmured, I knew he could hear me. I flung out five shruikens and quickly making seals for the Bunshin no Jutsu. He was surrounded by Sakura look-a-likes. I knew it wasn't the best strategy, as his Sharingan saw more than I ever could. His eyes remained fixed onto my face. I had to get rid of the Sharingan temporarily, meaning I had to get closer to him. But, how? Closing my eyes, I felt the answer wash over me.

I lunged with my clones towards him; he managed to swipe out all in one slice, and knocked me further north. I slammed into a nearby cliff and simultaneously inhaled a mouthful of sand.

Which is, by the way, not recommended as it was pretty gross.

I dropped like a stone, blood trickling out of the corner of my mouth. I lay still, and calmed down my chakra. The tapping footsteps indicated he was getting closer; no doubt he wanted the scroll which lay in the folds of my clothes. After what seems like forever, plus the added bonus of my heart beating enough blood for a summon animal, he loomed over me, knelt and turned me so my face was to the sky. I had to do this now.

I peeked through my eyelashes and let myself cry.

Dirty tactics are only used in desperate times; I tried to reason with my pride. Then, came the effect I was waiting for, as he was reaching over, I saw a second of hesitation in his eyes. One second was enough.

I shot my hands up and injected chakra into his mind, causing what I knew was a raging headache. I also let a trickle of chakra flow into his eyes, blocking the brain from sending out messages to activate the Sharingan. The black slowly dominated the red in his eyes, I smiled,

"What do you think Uchiha? Not bad for a weak girl eh?"

I hit him in the ribs, listening to the cracking sound as they broke under my fingertips. I watched him stand up wearily. He was mentally and physically strong, I'll give him that, but he was slowed, and in pain. I darted over and I did the most satisfying thing in my life; I landed a chakra-heavy fist right in his pretty face and watched as he flew into a perfect arc and landed with a dull thud. I would have sent him along further, but I knew that Naruto would want to see him in one piece before I … dismantled him. This time, I took my time walking over to him, knowing that he wouldn't be getting up anytime soon; his eyes were glazed over and flickered in and out of focus as I injected the sedative into him. The steely look was still there, as if he was coldly calculating what he would do to me when he awoke again, which unfortunately, would be in a cell with other deluded minds – that is, if he was lucky.

I smiled sweetly into his face, "It's time to bring you home Sasuke-kun."


YAY, so ends my first chapter. So, please feel free to tell me whether it was good enough to continue, or I should give up my little writing fiasco immediately before I humiliate writers all over the world! ^o^

Looking forward to your reply!

~.~


REVISED: Hope that edits out some of the more awkward writing :) PROMISE TO UPDATE ON OTHER STUFFS SOON!