And So the Blossom Withers

Chapter 1: Cursed by the Heavens

"Sasuke!" Shouted the pink haired kunoichi.

Sasuke was fighting with a woman that looked more like a snake than anything else, throwing everything he had at her, fighting for his and their lives. He was throwing kunais, shurikens, kicks, and punches while she did the same. But even with all that, she seemed way out of his league, even as if she was holding back.

He cornered her in front of a tree planning to use it in his favor and she did just as he wanted, making everything easier for him.

Of course Sasuke was intelligent as the last remaining member of the Uchiha Clan. He manipulated strings and attached her to a tree then put a long distance in between and did his Fire style jutsu, sending the flames through the strings. Making the woman scream in great pain, he thought he was winning. But that took a lot of stamina out of him.

Sakura rushed over to him at the first chance she had, worried about his wellbeing. Those experiences in the Forest of Death were changing her view on things; she cared for Sasuke more than ever. She was scared of what would happen to him.

He was breathing heavily and she was afraid, she had never seen him like this. Of course they've never had an opponent this strong.

Haku and Zabuza had been strong but they couldn't compare to this woman, not even if they were put together…or even doubled.

"Are you ok, Sasuke?" She asked her voice sounding alarmed, she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Hn." He simply grunted trying to get back to his feet.

She tried helping him stand up, she wanted to leave, she was so scared and Sasuke could see that. She wanted to give up and he couldn't let that happen. He needed to do this, to prove his strength.

Just then they heard a sound and looking back at the woman they saw her getting loose from the strings. She was supposed to be dead, no one could've survived that…but apparently she did.

She walked forward and did some kind of weird jutsu, paralyzing them both. They tried to move desperately but it was no use, they were trapped. They were paralyzed, unable to move. They couldn't move a limb from their bodies, feeling a soreness and numbness all over. They tried to get rid of it, but it proved to be impossible.

"I admit I am impressed at your abilities. You live up to your name, Uchiha." The snake like woman stated with a hand against her forehead. "I do want you after all…" She finished taking her hand out of her forehead revealing a sound mark on her headband.

Sakura gulped. Just who was this woman…she could see death in her eyes, the eyes of a predator. Sakura trembled, she wanted to cry and scream but she also wanted to be strong, to stand beside Sasuke and not behind. She wanted to prove to herself and to him that she could be as strong as Sasuke and Naruto.

"You two are absolutely brothers, though your eyes carry more potential than his." He said, his voice sounding more like a man than a woman at this point.

Sasuke surprised that he or she knew about his brother yelled, "Just who the hell are you!?" eyes wide, staring at it.

He took a heaven scroll out and said; "I am Orochimaru." he burned the scroll just as he finished saying his name then continued. "If you wish to know more then get through this exam as though your life depended on it, and defeat my three sound ninjas."

"What the- We never want to see your face ever again!" Sakura yells seated in the floor, her eyes expressing pure terror. She surprised herself and yelled at him, "Get lost!" in the brick of tears.

"Sadly for you, it doesn't work that way." Orochimaru said looking at her a disturbing looking smiled plastered on his face, he did some hand signs.

Just then time seemed to stop around her, and she knew what was about to happen. Somehow…

He bit Sasuke's neck and he screaming in pain clutching her hand for dear life and afterwards fainted in her arms. A mark of three black tomoes would be in his neck, while a dark energy swirled around him.

In the village gate at night he stood there ready to leave the village at last, after Sakura tried getting him to stay promising him anything she could, he then turned and said "Thank you, Sakura." Knocking her out before disappearing, leaving her on a bench with tears in her eyes.

Years later standing at the edge of the cliff looking down at them just like he used to do before, when they were team mates "Sakura. Naruto." With a distant look on his eyes, not the same Sasuke they knew.

Running after him, chasing him down, and going in for the kill. That's what she had to do. Yet when catching up to him…that was a difficult task. There was a cliff and so she had him cornered there, if he fell he wouldn't survive. "I know you don't want to do this Sakura. I wish things would have been different..." And he let himself fall…

"No!" She snapped out of it and saw Orochimaru extending his neck and she knew he was headed towards Sasuke. She didn't think much through, there wasn't enough time. She just knew she had to stop it. She had to save Sasuke from that life.

When he was already reaching Sasuke she dashed at him with all she had and took his head and sank it in her neck. Orochimaru bit her instead and there was no going back.

"Aghhh!" She screamed in pain, holding her neck, tears coming out of her eyes but trying to hold on while she could. Her vision blurred and she started to lose consciousness as pain throbbed in her neck.

Orochimaru brought himself up again and with his face transformed because of anger he told her, "You wretched girl! You will pay for doing that, you'll see…" He walked away and disappeared in the shadows. He left them alone in the forest.

Sakura fainted, not being able to hold on anymore. Sasuke was able to catch her before she fell, he held her in his arms having no idea of what she did for him. He knew he had to get Naruto and her to safety and he had to do it quickly before any other enemy decided to attack them. He picked Sakura up and noticed a weird mark on her neck looking three black tomoes. He couldn't help but wonder where the mark came from, but the priority was getting her and Naruto to safety.

Sasuke found a small cave, not so noticeable unless you stopped and looked around and in any case he had the stamina to fight off at least one foe. Naruto and Sakura were still unconscious and Sakura had a strange chakra emanating from her, a strange energy flowing around her. Sasuke worried even though he didn't even want to admit it, not even to himself.

Once in a while he checked her pulse and temperature, not knowing what else to do in the situation at hand. Her skin was hot and she was sweating, breathing heavily. He felt useless and powerless. He took a rock in his hand…and threw it to the side mad at himself for not knowing what to do. He had two injured team mates and could do nothing to protect them.

He looked again at Sakura. She was unconscious but struggling with an unknown force. She had been brave and saved him from whatever Orochimaru planned for him and put it on herself. He just wondered…what was that exactly? And why would she do it?

While Sasuke tried to take care of he and his team mates Sakura was waging her own war inside herself.

The pain was unbearable and she wondered if she would die here trapped in her own nightmare. She was trying to breathe evenly as she watched the events unfold around her, her head was swirling with scenes she barely understood.

Sakura leaving the village quietly at near midnight, hoping no one would see her, hoping she wouldn't have to explain herself to anybody. Near the gate Sasuke appears as he steps out the trees. "What do you think you're doing Sakura?" He asks her his voice firm.

Black markings appeared in her body and her eyes went red. "What are you some kind of demon…?" asked the man before getting killed.

Her prey killed on the ground, she stands unharmed victorious. "Sasuke." she says simply feeling him just a few steps behind her. "Why did you do all of this Sakura?" He asked voice shaking.

She didn't know what all that was and she didn't want to know. She just tried to breathe, ignoring everything around her. But then a presence appeared beside her.

He looked different from before, this time his skin was all white and there was a purple shadow around his eyes that looked like snakes. He had a grin plastered in his face despite the loss of young Sasuke. It scared her, terrified her. He stood over her, watching her.

"This was his life, girl. You took it from him and now it will be your demise. They're all going to see how you wither." He finished disappearing but leaving a malicious laughter behind…

"Your body will be mine…" He said before disappearing completely, laughter and all.

She collapsed but could still breathe; she hadn't lost the fight yet. The images around her disappeared, and though she wanted to wake and tell Naruto and Sasuke that she was alright she couldn't manage to. She was trapped there.

In the other side of the Forest of Death Anko and Orochimaru were fighting. This time he had his own body, not another disguise. She threw shurikens at him and he dodged, she ran at him and tried to punch him but it was no use, he dodged once again.

"Just give up Anko, you can't win against your own sensei." Orochimaru grinned maliciously at Anko, stressing out the last word.

"You're not my sensei, that chapter of my life is past and gone, you bastard!" Anko yelled at him. She sent a kick in his direction, just barely missing.

"I think not, and the mark on your neck is proof of that." Orochimaru declared, looking straight at her with mocking eyes.

"Why did you come back? What do you want? 'Cause I doubt you just dropped by to visit your old student." Anko question as she glared at the snake man.

"You know me so well Anko" He chuckled. "I was planning to bring someone a little gift…" Orochimaru said a grin spreading across his face.

Just then her cursed seal burned, telling her exactly what this gift was. "Who?"

"Well I was planning on the young survivor of the Uchiha Clan but some pink haired girl got in the way and ruined my plans so there you got it." There was both satisfaction and anger in his voice.

She remembered at the start of the test when she saw her, the only one with pink hair, of course she stood out, she was young and beautiful but most of all innocent. She felt sorry for the girl, she knew that she probably wouldn't survive and if she did, she would never be the same again. She could relate.

"Well I guess I'll get going, I'm glad I could chat with you dear Anko. Since my plans were all ruined you've all got more time to live." He walked away and Anko ran after him throwing a punch but before it could hit he disappeared leaving her to wonder what he meant with his last line.