Hey everyone, sorry for the long wait. Midterms...

Anyways, just to clear this up, in this fic, things with Itachi were as simple as they were in part 1 of the manga. Meaning: it was as simple as Itachi killing his clan for power/hatred and Sasuke killing him out of vengeance for his clan.

On a side note, I've come to realise that this fic is probably going to have to be longer than I planned originally.

Anywho, hope you guys enjoy the chapter, please tell me what you think of it.

Sakura groaned as she awoke. She had to hold up a hand to block the sunlight that was entering her eyes. Wait. Her room was never this bright in the morning. And what she was currently lying on did not feel like her bed. Where was she?

The events of the previous night flooded back to her. She had been about to leave the village, only to be stopped by Sasuke of all people. What in the world compelled him to make her stay? She thought that he would be fine with her leaving, but it turned out to be the opposite. Why? It made no sense to her.

She sat up and looked down and blinked. Seriously? She was on a bench. The exact same bench that she had woke up on when Sasuke had left the village. The bastard had one twisted sense of humor.

The pinkette sat up. Gosh her back was sore. As she moved, a piece of paper fell off of her stomach. Where did that come from? She grabbed it and looked at it.

Sakura, do not try and run away again. I will bring you back if you try.


Without a second thought she ripped up the note. Why did Sasuke have to have such a huge impact on her life? When she wanted him to stay in her life he left, and when she wanted him out of her life he stayed. The man was infuriating. And according to him, he didn't even know why. If he wanted her to remain in Konoha, he could at least have a good reason for it.

She looked down at the ground and saw that Sasuke had placed her pack underneath the bench. What should she do now? Her eyes drifted longingly to the exit of Konoha. Her desire to leave was still there.

But it was too late now. Konoha was waking up, it would be much harder to leave unnoticed. And there was Sasuke's threat. No, she would just have to wait a little longer.

She had been so close to escaping, so close. With a feeling of disappointment, she grabbed her pack and began to hurry back to her house.

Hopefully no one would notice that she was sleeping on the bench. She didn't want to have to explain that she had tried to leave the village.

She chose to travel by rooftop in order to avoid any stares. It was just after dawn, so there were very few people out, but she still didn't want to take the chance.

Her eyes darted around surroundings. How long would she be stuck here? Well, at maximum it would only be until Hinata's child was healed. After that Sasuke would have no reason to keep her here…right? What if he wanted to her to stay forever?

No, he wouldn't. She tried to shake the thought. He only wanted her here to help Naruto, that had to be it. He couldn't possibly want her to stay for any other reason.

How was she going to get around this?

She landed on the ground and walked towards her place of residence. Now that she had tried to get away and was stopped, this placed felt a little like a prison.

Her sense of disappointment grew as she placed her things back into their place. How long would she have to wait before she could depart again?

She was interrupted when she heard a banging on her door. She turned and frowned. Who could that be?

The pinkette walked over to the door and opened it, only to find Naruto on the other side.

Before she could say a word, he exclaimed, "Sasuke told me that you tried to leave last night!"

What? He did? Why would he? Sasuke wasn't the kind of person to gossip. He wouldn't let Naruto know unless he had a specific motive behind it. What would make him tell Naruto this?

"Naruto, I-" the girl stammered.

"You were really going to leave us again, and if Sasuke hadn't stopped you, you would be on your way to Mist right now."

She tried to think of something to say. But the pinkette was rendered speechless. She actually found herself feeling almost…guilty, like she was a kid who had just got caught stealing from a cookie jar. But that would imply that she had done something wrong. She didn't do anything wrong…right? "…Yes," she admitted.

His glare intensified. "Why?"

Her eyebrow rose. "Do you really have to ask that?"

"Yes Sakura, I do. You make yourself sound like you're this martyr, like the world is out to get you and you did nothing wrong, but you did. What you did was reckless and stupid."

She opened her mouth to argue, but he cut her off. "You knocked out Sand nins Sakura! And then you just left them there. Do you know what that could have done for Konoha's relationship to Sand? If Gaara wasn't the leader, we could have been in deep shit with them because of you."

"I left them because I was preoccupied with helping you," she pointed out as she returned his glare.

"You didn't even heal them. And you could have at least moved them towards us or something," he reasoned.

"I wasn't thinking properly okay," she admitted. "The previous situation had left me rather frazzled. Given what had happened, I think I deserve a little bit of leniency."

"Leniency? For what you did?" Naruto gave a cruel laugh. "What you did before that was even worse, and you know it. Everything you did that day was wrong."

"No it wasn't!" She argued back. "Just because you can't look past your own narrow mindset-"

"Your mindset is the one that's screwed up Sakura. You turned your back Konoha, Suna, me and Sasuke."

"No I didn't! I helped him."

"What you did was not help him, and you know it. I thought that out of everyone, everyone in the world, you were the one to realise how to be there for him. I thought that we were together on it, that our position about Sasuke was the same. You made me promise to save him, but in the end, you were the one who tried to make me break that promise. You lied to me!"

"I didn't lie! I was on the same page as you when I got you to make that promise," she stated with her fists clenched. Why couldn't he see her side?

"So what? What happened that day that made you radically change your mind? What made you stop wanting to help him?"

"I never did stop! I did help him, even if you don't see it that way."

"I don't see it that way, no one does but you."

"Forcing him back to Konoha at that point wouldn't have helped him. He would have just tried to escape, and would have likely hurt a lot of guards in the process."

"No he wouldn't have. I caught up to him after you left to Mist, and I convinced him to come back with me."

So that's how he came back. "That was later. Things changed between that event and when you brought him back."

"Things would have still been able to work out if he had come back before then! I knew he could do it even though you doubted him."

"Was Itachi dead or alive after you found Sasuke?" Sakura questioned.

"That's not important-"

"Dead or alive?" the girl demanded to know.

"…Dead," he grudgingly admitted, not meeting her eyes.

Ha! "See," she told him.

He glared. "He would have come back even if Itachi wasn't dead, I would have made him come back. You know that."

She couldn't help but sigh at the circular motion of their argument. How many times would they fight about the same point? "Look, we're never going to agree about Sasuke and I hate arguing like this every time we meet. Can we please just move past him so that we can try to be at least pleasant acquaintances again?"

He stared at her with a baffled expression until he said, "Do you really believe that Sasuke is the only reason why there's a separation between us now? Are you really that dense? This is about so much more than just him. I trusted you and you let me down, and then I had to practically force the details about what happened out of you when you tried to hide it from me. We were a team Sakura! You're not supposed to keep secrets like from each other.

"I've tried to forgive you, I really have. But every time I do you leave, or try to leave. Like last night. If you had your way you would have never returned in the first place."

"Don't try to sound like I wanted to leave just because I like the weather in Mist better," Sakura spat out. "You know perfectly well why I left, and why I still want to leave. You drove me out. I thought that if anyone could overlook what had happened, it would be you. But you've treated me like shit ever since we returned for no good reason -"

"Oh here we go again, that 'I've done nothing wrong to deserve all of this' excuse. People aren't upset with you for no reason, and you know it. Heck I just told you why. And you still try to downplay what you did wrong and only act like a victim."

She frowned. He was full of it today. The blond was dead wrong…wasn't he? He just didn't know what he was talking about. He could not look past his own opinion and see what was happening to her. "I admit that in your eyes, what I did was bad. But that does not warrant the amount of crap that you've put me through, and that others have put me through."

He opened his mouth to respond but she continued. "You've made me feel like an outcast here. For a long time, I couldn't go anywhere without someone insulting me or calling me a traitor. I thought that if anyone wouldn't stoop to that level, it would be you. But you acted like everyone else, and that felt worse than everyone else." Her voice cracked. "It really hurt. You made me feel alone. I hated it here, and I never saw it getting better.

"Then I went to Mist and things got better. It's not paradise, but at least I could walk around without being insulted by people I used to call friends. I like it there, and I met the guy that I'm now dating. And then I got sent back here and surprise, nothing changed. Still got treated like crap. Sasuke's acting like I'm just his personal medic and doesn't even treat me like a normal human being, let alone someone who used to be his teammate. I tried to make things better with you, I tried to talk to you, but you just pushed me away. I wanted us to be a team again; I would fantasize about us going on missions again together. But with how you two are acting, I don't know if I even want that anymore. I mean, I knew I was always considered secondary but still-"

"We never thought of you as secondary," he cut her off.

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. It was always like that. Even in the beginning, it was always you and Sasuke who were at the forefront and I was always in the background. I admit that back then I wasn't very committed or driven, but even after I trained more I still wasn't seen as an equal. I was just someone you tried to protect from the 'big bad world'. I always just tried to tell myself that I was imaging it, or that if I just trained more, you guys would see as someone equally capable. But, especially what's happened recently, I can see that I was wrong." Her eyes moistened.

For the first time since he stormed in, Naruto's expression softened. "It's not-"

An ANBU burst into the room. "Sakura, you are needed at the hospital."

Could they have worse timing? Before she could respond, Naruto barked at them, "Can't you see that we're in the middle of something here?"

The ANBU stood their ground. "It's urgent."

Was she actually obligated to come with them? Given the circumstances, she was very tempted to just say no. However, the medic part of her knew that they wouldn't call for her if they didn't need it, so she should probably go. She sighed, "Alright, I'll go."

"Goodbye Naruto," she started to say as the blond began to protest. With that she hurried out the door to the hospital.

It turned out that the reason they required her there was because a group of lower ranked ninjas had gotten themselves seriously injured on a mission and the hospital was too short staffed at the time to handle it properly. Thankfully there was nothing life threatening, but by the time the pinkette was finished and on her way to her house she was very tired to say the least.

As she walked the only thought on her mind was how lovely and warm her bed was going to be when she reached it. She wanted to reach it with no interruptions. So when a certain individual interrupted her, she was not happy, especially considering who that person was.

"Sasuke," she said with gritted teeth, "I'm on my way to my house now, and I'm really not in the mood to see you right now. So if you could kindly get out of my way that would be great."

He didn't move. "Did you read my note?"

"Kind of hard to miss it. By the way, why did you leave me on the bench again? Do you have some deluded fantasy about leaving me there or something?" She demanded to know as she moved to the side to put more space in between them.

He raised an eyebrow and shook his head, "I left you there because it was the closest thing that I could put you on."

Well that was one mystery out of the way. "Great. Hey, since you're here, why in hell did you tell Naruto about me trying to leave?"

"I thought you didn't want to speak to me."

She let out a sigh. Leave it to him to try and make it seem like she was the one being annoying here. "You know what, fine. I don't want to play your mind games anymore, goodbye." She tried to walk around him.

He stepped in front of her again. "Sakura, stop."


"I told him because he asked me if I had found out anything about how you were. I didn't see reason to lie to him."

Well, at least Sasuke didn't seek Naruto out and tell him like she had suspected earlier. "Okay." Once again, she attempted to go around the Uchiha.

And once again, he stopped her. Not bothering to hide her frustration, she emitted a loud groan and nearly growled, "Just spit out whatever you want to say so that I can ignore it and then go and sleep."

His eyes narrowed and he stepped closer to her. "I meant what I wrote. Don't try and leave here like that again."

"What are you my mom?"

"No, I am your teammate."

That took her by surprise. "Really, you are now? What about me saying that you were my teammate and how you said that that doesn't make me yours?"

There was a tick in his jaw. "It's different now. I was…wrong before."

Her eyes opened wide with surprise. Did he just…admit that he was wrong? "Stop the presses, is Sasuke Uchiha really confessing that something he did before wasn't right? It's a miracle." She really should have been more excited about this revelation. Under normal circumstances, she would have been. But at that moment she was exhausted and still upset about him preventing her from leaving to Mist. "But it doesn't change anything. I'm still going to leave here eventually an-"

"No, you're not," he insisted.

"Sasuke, once Naruto's baby is healed completely, I'll be gone, you know that," she was planning on leaving earlier, but she wasn't going to tell him that.

His eyes narrowed. "I won't let you."

"Why not?"

"Your place is here."

"Not anymore, you arranged that."

"Helping me was your choice; I am not responsible for its consequences. Besides, I did not know that by helping me, you would be ostracized."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh that answer again. The 'don't blame me, I had no part in you being hurt after you risked your butt to help me, and I will not lift a finger to help you once you've returned because I'm above that' reason. You know, given the way you've acted, I have to admit that I'm regretting helping you. Things would be a lot simpler if I had just helped Naruto. I wouldn't have had to consider going to another village-"

"Run away," Sasuke cut in.

"Excuse me?"

"You ran away," he continued.

"Why you-"

"You could have stayed," he stated, ignoring her comment. "Things have gotten better for you since you've returned, that's proof that the same would have happened if you stayed earlier."

"You don't know anything," she exclaimed. Things wouldn't have improved that much before if she had stayed…right? "Besides, even if things are improving now and they may have back then, things are still a lot better for me back in Mist."

He snorted. "Things will continue to improve here over time, you know that. You're going to give up on your friendships and teammates here just because you can't wait a few extra months."

"It's not that simple," she growled. "I have a life there now, one that I want to get back to."

"Your life is supposed to be here," he insisted. "You have bonds here. Strong ones, and bonds that are still growing." She couldn't be sure, but later on she could have sworn that his cheeks were a little red when he said that. "You were in Mist for a year. You're abandoning Konoha and the people in it just because you don't want to put more work into fixing your bonds here."

He was making her leave sound so petty, she hated it. She wasn't just giving up on people here like he seemed to think she was. "Why do you even care?" Sakura prodded in an attempt to change the subject. "Oh wait, you said that you don't know. Has that changed?"

His eyes narrowed yet again and he shook his head.

She gave a humourless laugh, "So you're giving me this big speech about bonds, which by the you are the least qualified person ever to talk about it, and you don't even know why. And you think I'm annoying. At least I know the reasons behind why I do things."

It was his turn to give a dry laugh. "Really? And you're reasoning behind obsessing over me when we were kids was?"

"I was in love with you, or at least I thought I was," she explained and then felt the urge to add, "Although for the life of me, I can't understand why."

"But I never provided you with any reason to continue your advances, and yet you continued. Obviously there was no thought put into that."

She scowled at him and tried to think of think a good comeback. He smirked when she couldn't. If she could possibly become any angrier, she did. "Like I said, I had strong feelings for you, ones that I didn't really understand. Besides, I was 12. Although I will admit that now you're making me wonder what I ever saw in you beyond your looks."

He tensed. "Just because you don't like hearing the truth-"

"The truth? Ha. There's a word for what you're saying, and it's not truth. You are so full of it. All you're doing right now is making me look forward to my leave even more."

"How many times must I say it Sakura?"

"How many times must I say it? I will go back to Mist. It is my obligation to do so and I am not staying behind just because some guy who doesn't even know his own reasoning wishes it."

He breathed out, as if trying to calm himself. "There are many more reasons to stay besides just me, even if you are set on ignoring them."

"Whatever. Look, I'm tired of this argument. So if you'll kindly move out of my way, I'm going to go to bed. Bye." Surprisingly, he did let her pass this time. She hurried away before he could reconsider and stop her again.