Chapter Two: Promise Denied
"You are…" Sakura said gently, surprise evident in her voice. Suddenly, she felt her heart beat faster at the sight of him. The cold wind of the night blew gently making her locks flow together with the wind. There he was the last person that she expected to ever see again. He walked towards her direction, and at that moment their eyes met, Sakura silently wished to herself to calm her beating heart.
"Good evening young lady. Have we met before?" he asked and innocence apparent in his voice. It felt totally strange to him; as if his own body moved on its own and he felt an unexpected familiarity towards her.
It happened almost three months ago and Sakura was still puzzled at the existence of Uchiha Madara's look alike. She already knew that most of the Uchiha have the same facial and body features, and Sakura even theorized that he was one of Madara's great grandsons. However, after they had a short conversation, she noticed the big differences between them. And he told her that night's festival, his name was Uchiha Haruka. Haruka had long straight ebony tresses that reached his waist and looked as if he hasn't gone outside for a long time. He had a pale skin complexion, even fairer than that of Itachi or Sasuke.
Sakura busied herself at the hospital, training the novice medic nins and preparing the materials and documents needed for the antibiotics she was creating. It reminded her of the time when she was only a medic-in-training not so long ago.
Moments later, Uchiha Itachi came to see her despite his busy schedules for the preparation of their upcoming wedding and his duties as an ANBU captain. After seeing each other for almost three years, Itachi proposed to her a month ago and she accepted.
Itachi observed her as Sakura was concentrating on her work. Sakura hasn't noticed him and he smiled at her conduct.
"Are you going to ignore me here?" A silky voice interrupted Sakura's thoughts, as they dispersed in midair. The voice had a deep sharp edge and a teasing tone. A shuddering senseof familiarity washed over Sakura as she turned around to see him.
Sure enough, a pair of familiar dark eyes observed Sakura's face amusedly as a smirk formed on the otherwise stunningly perfect face. The wind played slightly with his long glossy raven hair. Yes, the sound came from that beautiful man dressed in an elegant ANBU captain suit, leaning on the wall.
"Sorry about that, my mind was preoccupied with work." She replied and kissed him gently on his cheek.
Itachi raised his eyebrow "Hn. I thought that you were deliberately ignoring me." Said Itachi and pulled her into his embrace.
Sakura paused for a while before replying. "Do you want me to?" Sakura chuckled at their antics. They were always like that in their private time.
"Can you even do it? By the way, I heard that you were assigned to do my cousin's check-up." He said changing the topic as he released her from his embrace.
"Oh, so you've already heard of it? Yes, I am doing it in Shizune-senpai's place."
"If that's the case, come to my place after your work, it seems my mother wishes to speak with you."
"Alright, I'll see you then." Sakura bid him farewell and Itachi left.
It was totally strange for her, as she had gone and seen the Uchiha compound so many times. But Sakura was surprised when she entered the compound that once belonged to Uchiha Madara. As she noticed the place, it was much more elegant and impressive than the last time she had seen it. For the many decades that had passed, the compound was well maintained and the materials used were obviously expensive. The garden that she liked and the sakura trees were still alive. She noticed it was different from her fiancé's compound and the servants were all dressed traditionally. As she walked to the corridor guided by a middle aged servant, she felt strange, as if someone was staring at her.
Haruno Sakura, it was the name of the young lady he had encountered at the Hotaru park. On his twenty three years of existence, it was the first time he had felt that kind of emotion, the strange familiarity to a complete stranger. Haruka noticed her reaction upon seeing him. Recently, he had strange dreams occurring as if he was watching a memory of someone. Haruka was able to sneak out from their compound during the spring festival; it was totally coincidence that he met her in the clan's compound on the day before the festival. After that, he asked a little girl to make her come at the said park. He felt as if his mind has known the place, at the same time, their ephemeral encounters.
It was truly familiar to Haruka when she introduced herself. He remembered that it was the name of the fiancée of the next in line as clan's head. Suddenly, the sound of a knock cut his train of thought and one of the servant announced that the new attending medic nin will come to see him and for his monthly check-ups. He was surprised that it was the same woman that was on his thoughts is that who will do his regular check-up from now on. Haruka felt a little happiness at the time he heard it, and honestly Haruka felt a little annoyance at the thought of her being engaged to his cousin.
"Haruka-sama, Haruno Sakura-san has arrived." The servant said meekly.
"Let her in." he replied, for the second time he felt it again. The unexplainable feelings he had when she was near at him.
Sakura entered the room and surprised to see him to all of people. She noticed that he was paler than the last time she had seen him.
"We see each other again." Haruka stated and smiled at her.
Out of curiosity, she asked "This is your room, am I right?"
"Yes?" Haruka lifted his perfectly shaped eyebrow in amusement and chuckled, asking him a ridiculous question out of nowhere. Sakura reddened at the embarrassment for asking a silly question. "That was a good laugh, sorry about that, Haruno-san." He added.
"It was nothing, Uchiha-san." She replied, still embarrassed.
"Haruka, Please call me that if you don't mind. Uchiha-san is the name of all my relatives."
"Alright Haruka-san, I'll start now your check up." She replied.
"So, it would mean that were friends now? Can I call you in your given name?"
"I don't mind. Since all of my friends and acquaintances address me in that way." Sakura said and started the session. Somewhat, Sakura felt déjà vu when talking at him. 'Perhaps, a chance resemblance?' she thought to herself, but there was a time that she felt she was talking to a person that she had once knew, Uchiha Madara…
As the physical assessment and treatment was on going, Sakura noticed that his body was quite weak for some reasons. She concluded that Haruka didn't go out that often because of his health condition, and in truth, his name wasn't on the list of any ninja rankings.
"It was strange… I felt that I've known you somewhere…" he said gently, almost as if he was whispering.
"Is that so?" Sakura continued on her healings and give a nervous laugh, she ignored his staring, and she felt like as if he was solving puzzle or finding a way to an endless labyrinth.
"Yes…" said Haruka. The healing session was done in just a matter of minutes. Sakura prepared the medications that he needs to consume to increase his immunity. After he drank the given medications, Sakura gently laid him down on his futon, as the medicine had sedation as a side effect.
"Sakura…" Haruka said, and his voice was like Madara when he called her. "Thank you…" he added and finally succumbed to unconsciousness. Sakura's eyes widen in surprise at him calling her and convinced herself that it was her imagination…
It was night already and most of the people whether ninjas or civilians were going to their own perspective places. Sakura was on her way to Itachi's house and she saw him patiently waiting at her to the gate.
"Your blonde friend also came." He said and escorted her.
"Sorry about that, I think Sasuke-kun invited him." was Sakura's reply. She couldn't think of anything else.
"It is nothing."
"By the way, who is Uchiha Haruka? I noticed that he was not on any list."
"Haruka? He's one of the next clan advisers."
"Is that so? Now, I know…" she smiled and both of them can hear Naruto and Sasuke's bickering. Both of them just sighed at their childish antics.
The dinner went smoothly and Sakura was surprised when Mikoto gave them a pair of jade rings and the heirloom for the next lady of the Uchiha clan. Itachi and Sakura were blessed by Fugaku and Mikoto for the old tradition of Uchiha before the wedding of the first born.
It was extremely late at night, but the light in one room inside the large traditional mansion was still on. Inside the room, a young beautiful man gazed outside his window as he contemplated about his past and his perplexing present. It was a dark night, where not even a single star was seen on the darkened sky. And since it was the night of the new moon, the familiar silver orb was also nowhere in sight.
That man sighed. Somehow he felt lonely without the existence of that moon, as it had always been his only faithful partner in his life. Ever since he was born, Uchiha Haruka was enforced to stay away from the light, thus living his life in darkness.
A boring life.
Haruka smiled bitterly to himself and closed the window. It was no use of hoping for the accompaniment of the moon that night. This time he had to figure things out himself.
He wanted to see her again. It irked him to death those following days that he wasn't able to go outside because of the heavy pour of the rain. Recently, he felt a pang of pain in his chest and it all started when he encountered her and the worst of it, the pain's intensity was aggravated the more he thought of Sakura. All the troubles in his head seemed to melt away just by being in her presence. Strange enough, he also felt annoyance when he learned that she was busy preparing for her upcoming wedding. There were times that he wanted to use his authority to stop the wedding; however he couldn't find the strength and courage to do his plan. Also, the same dreams he had every night were becoming more vivid and crystal clear, but still he cannot see clearly the woman's visage.
"Sakura…" he murmured, her name ringing a dull bell in his subconscious mind, Haruka decided to come at the Uchiha meeting place where the history of his clan can be learned. He used his Sharingan to transport himself at the tatami room.
Haruka stayed at the room for almost an hour, and he wasn't able to find the answer that he was seeking. In his childhood, he was aware of the special treatment he received from his parents and relatives. He knew that there were reasons behind it. It wasn't because of his looks that he resembled the founder of their clan. Haruka seek for answers but he wasn't able to find it. Unable to find useful information, he suddenly decided to visit their founder's tomb.
An old scroll piqued his curiosity and he thought that the said scroll might give him some answers, noticing that it was a sealed scroll; he used a technique to release the seal. Upon the opening, he noticed that there was another seal and it required to use blood for opening. He was mystified what might secrets or forbidden techniques that were on the scroll to have a three layered seals and whenever he came at their founders tomb when he was still a child and even now, the said scroll was never opened. He felt something in his mind telling him that it was for him… The mystery of the conentst of the old scroll was meant for him to discover. When he opened it, he wished that he didn't. The answers to his questions were finally found. The scroll was meant for him to discover and finally Haruka had learned his real purpose to the clan…
Uchiha Haruka learned that he was the soul container of their selfish and hedonistic clan founder, Uchiha Madara… It was his will to be reborn on the fifth generation of the Uchiha clan. Slowly, the old memories that were sealed inside his soul was returning and the sole reason for his reincarnation was to see Haruno Sakura again, he decided not to complete the ritual for the recovery of his memories in fear that his existence as Uchiha Haruka will completely disappear…
Another two months had passed; Sakura and Itachi became busier for the preparations. It was in the middle of the afternoon when an unexpected person whom Sakura never thought that will come has arrived.
"You look gorgeous, Sakura-san." Haruka complimented her and smiled at the mirror's reflection. Sakura was trying her wedding kimono and turned around to face him.
"Thank you very much, Haruka-dono." Sakura replied and bowed her head; Haruka was a bit surprised on the way she addressed him.
"No need for such formalities. Aren't we friends?" was the words that he could choke out of his mouth.
"But you are-." Sakura was interrupted when Haruka gently put his index finger against her lips to stop her.
"Please…" said Haruka his voice velvety and the gleam in his eyes unreadable. When Sakura was about to take step backward, her body cannot move and she noticed that she was caught in a high level binding technique. Haruka caressed her cheek gently, he truly missed her. Sakura involuntarily shivered at the cold sensation his hand was giving. "You are scared." He added, in just a blink, his Sharingan was activated and he looked directly into her viridian coloured eyes. Sakura felt his gaze was piercing into her soul, as if he was trying to find something from her.
"Who are you?" she asked; her felt heartbeat much faster than its normal pace.
The handsome youth took a deep sigh and he kept closer to her and whispered, "My, my, have you forgotten me? It is me, Madara…" Sakura finally recognized him and she cannot decipher the revelation that she heard from him. It was impossible for him to be alive unless he used an immortality technique like the legendary sannin, Orochimaru or made a covenant with the mysterious time bender, Giou Kanata.
"Uchiha Madara…" said Sakura and finally the last string that held back his memory had snapped."What are you doing here?" she hissed.
"My, why are you trembling like that? You look like you've just seen a ghost..." Haruka teased, "Sakura, if you want to hear my answer, and then please come at my residence when the moon is at its full glory…" Haruka played the strands of her carnation tresses that escaped from the pins of her ornaments. "I'll be waiting…" he added but his voice changed into that innocent tone that belonged to Haruka and disappeared on her sight.
"Impossible…" Sakura murmured and suddenly she felt her head was spinning and lost consciousness but a pair of strong arms caught her before she fell on the ground. Itachi cradled her in his arms and laid her gently on the couch.
"I hope that this revelation that you've learned will not change your decision of marrying me and your feelings towards me…" Itachi said and caressed her face.
Madara was waiting patiently at Sakura's arrival. It was already night time and the moonlight was reflected on the calm water of the koi pond. He was reminiscing of the moments they've shared at the said place. Three days after he revealed who he was, he was thinking if he will stop the wedding by his orders, in that way, he could be together with Sakura… If she accepts him… Madara also regretted the way he acted towards her; she was still his friend, and perhaps his reason of acting like that because of his confusion. Madara heard a distant footsteps and his waiting has ended when the awaited person has arrived.
"Thank you for coming, Sakura-san." He smiled but Sakura's expression remained alert and suspicious.
"There is no need for greetings. I just came here to hear your answer." Sakura replied.
"My, I apologize for my earlier antics but please do not feel hostile against me." asked Madara in a pleading tone.
"What are you doing here and why are you even here?" said Sakura with a rather annoyed tone.
"Because we promised each other and I am still in love with you, will that be a sufficient answer, Sakura?" Madara came closer at her and gently embraced her; in her surprise she made no move to push him away, and her tears fell from her eyes though she was trying hard to hold them in.
"Are you really that fool?" Her heart was beating rapidly for some unknown reason. Madara was staring at her intently, apparently waiting for an indefinite answer. Sakura avoided those piercing eyes and turned away, he gently wiped the tears on her visage.
"Perhaps… No need to cry like that, tears will spoil your beauty…" he put his hands on her shoulders making her to look directly into his eyes. A moment of uncomfortable silence fell between them. Sakura stole a glimpse at the man before her, and realized that he had a lonely and melancholy look in his eyes. The same long look that she had seen when she first seen him.
"But I am going to marry Itachi…" she said weakly and averted again her eyes from him, Madara distanced himself from her and took a deep breath as he was trying to find his courage, at the same time to calm himself. The other part of him was telling him to execute his plan and take away Sakura from his cousin, but his ego suppressed the thought.
"I know already that. I just wanted you to know that I might have the same appearance and this existence is only borrowed, but I definitely own my heart and mind… I am not the Uchiha Madara you met in strange way anymore … I am Uchiha Haruka … But still my heart yearns only for you…" he said and smiled, wondering if she can hear the aria of his beating heart. Madara hold her hands tightly. "Do you remember our promise? On the first time we have seen each other?" he asked.
"We didn't make any promise on that day." She replied, confused at his statement.
"Yes, we did. You were only six years old at that time…" said Madara and chuckled softly. "Are you still going to marry him?" he added. Sakura just smiled gently at him, when she was about to give her answer to his impending question, a strong wind blew towards them. Madara wasn't able to hear her but he was able to see her words with the help of his Sharingan, raven eyes widen in surprised and he felt numbness course through his entire body…
Sakura had already given him an answer…
Madara just smiled gently like he did from the first time they've seen each other. The same old smile of his and the warmth of her hands that gives him comfort on his heart's depth of solitude…
Proof read and edited by HiddenBehindCrimsonEyes. If there was still some errors please don't hesitate to tell me. And reviews are appreciated.
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(Latest Edit: July 1, 2013 )