"Don't even try it, Uchiha. The place is surrounded," a feminine voice said to the man in front of her. The words were slow, menacing, and hateful. After years, a fangirl's should be happy to see her obsession, right? Wrong. In this case, the woman was right down pissed.
"Hn…," the man grumbled before disappearing behind her. The only way the man knew it was a 'her' was because of her voice. It was sweet and honey filled, even when the words and tones were hateful. He couldn't see her face; it was covered in an ANBU mask of pink swirls, accenting the angled eyes and pushed out muzzle of the cat.
"Kitten-chan!" the man in the fox mask called his friend so the man being surrounded wouldn't know her name. "Behind you!"
The cat turned, faster then anyone could see. She pulled her hand up and grabbed the hand that was coming down on her head. "Ay, Sasuke, after five years, I'd thought you'd know me better," she mumbled. Then she twisted his arm to his back, suddenly behind him. "We're all proven wrong at some point in our lives…. Like now." She disappeared out of the trees into sakura blossoms with the Uchiha.
"Tsunade-sama," the woman in the cat mask smiled, "I've got the head of Team Hebi and the Sound under custody. I've knocked him out, though."
The honey blonde nodded. Her hazel eyes had the glaze of a hangover. "Good-good job, Sakura-sama…. I'm sure U-Uchiha will enjoy knowing his captor." The Hokage's words were slurred and hardly understandable.
"But, Sama, that's against the rules!" The cat's voice was surprised.
"I know that!" Tsunade smiled, the smell of Sake coming out of the cracks in her teeth. She was amazing when she wasn't drunk, though. "I just want to see all high and mighty Uchiha's face when he sees that a woman overpowered him."
The cat smiled at that. It would be so amazing to see that. Glorious.
The raven headed man lifted his head. How the hell did a woman overpower him? Him! The Uchiha Sasuke! He was the strongest man on earth—second to Uchiha Itachi, no doubt.
"Good morning, Sasuke," his captor called. She smirked down at him.
"Who the hell are you?" Sasuke hissed. His obsidian eyes were thin as slits; his voice was as venomous as a snake.
"Now I'm hurt," the woman whimpered. She slowly bent down to his chained down form. Her hands made the signals for a genjustu. Fire exploded in all the torches. "You don't remember your dearest teammate." Sasuke could now see her. The mask hadn't come off, but it was about to. She reached to the mask. Her porcelain hand radiated the firelight. "Maybe…. 'I love you with all my heart! Please don't go! If you can't then take me with you!'" She was mocking someone he knew, but… who? The Uchiha only knew the fact that the person being mocked was someone very dear to him. Who?
"Stop," he commanded. For some reason, he wouldn't—couldn't—listen to the mocking. It hurt him.
"Sasuke," she said evilly. Then she removed the mask.
He knew those lips… he knew those eyes… he knew that hair…. 'Who is she?' he wondered in silence. He knew that face, but whom did it belong to?
"Do you remember me now?" her honey voice asked as she removed pink strands of hair from her jade eyes.
"N-no," he said honestly. He knew the face, the eyes, the rosy hair, the pale skin, but he couldn't place them. It angered him to feel so vulnerable. Why couldn't he remember?
"Come on, Sasuke!" she shouted angrily. "Don't play dumb! Don't you know me? Uchiha Sasuke, come on! You know you know me! Stop playing!" Her green eyes were watering, sticky tears were moving down her cheeks. "I'm Haruno Sakura, your number one ex-fangirl! Don't you know it! Come on! I'm not that easy to forget! Uchiha Sasuke,"—her voice broke there—"we all know you know it! Don't play!"
Haruno Sakura… He knew that name; he knew it well. The name echoed in his head. He knew that name. "I know that name…. I don't know you." His voice was still honest and confused.
Sakura's jaw opened in slight shock. He really didn't remember. His years in Orochimaru's prison had stripped him of that knowledge. He didn't know. Her face stood back a few inches. "You really don't remember, do you?"
Sakura's pink brows pulled together in sadness. "Sasuke…" she whispered quietly. "Promise me something, and I'll help you."
"What?" the navy headed man asked.
"Stay here. I'll let you out of the cuffs, if you stay. I'll be back."
"Hn…" If this woman knew him, she would know it meant why not.
"Thank you." And she unchained him, then left.
He was so confused. But for some reason, he trusted this familiar stranger.
::2 minutes later::
A blonde came to him, a familiar blonde man. It was obvious he was the man wearing the fox mask earlier. His whiskers stretched across his face. His ANBU gear was not on him. "Sasuke-teme! Hey!" he yelled as he opened the barred cell door.
"The nine-tailed fox. We finally meet," Sasuke smirked from his meditating passion.
Why the hell was he talking as if he didn't know the fox? They were like brothers when they were thirteen. That's about as easy to forget as a pink-headed girl! "Teme, don't be like that. You know me." Now he knew what Sakura felt like when he told that he sincerely didn't remember her. The blonde extended his arm out to help his former brother. The navy-headed man ignored it and stood on his own.
"Same old Sasuke. Come on, Tsunade-baa-chan and Sakura-chan want to talk to you," the blonde grumbled, eagerly pushing the Uchiha along.
::In the ANBU quarters::
"Tsunade," Sakura cried, her voice braking as tears came flowing down her viridian eyes, "he doesn't remember anything! He isn't playing around! His chakra signature gave it away. He's not lying!" This was hurting her. This was hurting her in the deepest of ways. There was nothing that hurt her this much. When he left, he said thank you, and she thought that he would eventually come to her, remembering her as if an old friend, at least. That, though, would've happened after she beat his ass. It was almost like your best friend forgot you after only one month. It stung and it killed.
"Now, now, Sakura," the Hokage murmured as she pet the hair of the woman she though of as a daughter. "He trusted you, didn't he?" The honey blonde felt the girl at her chest nod. "Well, that's a good sign. He'll come to, love, he will. And if Orochimaru had the indecency to brainwash him, then, well, we'll just have to un-brainwash him. Sakura, he'll be okay, and so will you," she whispered lovingly. "Come on, sweetheart, sit up; wouldn't want Uchiha to see you crying, okay?"
The rosette took in on shaky breath, cleared her face of tears, and sat up right in the red sofa of the ANBU center. Now, there was no trace of her wet, sticky tears.
The huge double doors opened quickly—as quick as only one ninja would open them. "Ay, Naruto," Sakura sighed, putting a powerful look over her saddened face.
"It's official!" the blonde yelled as he pushed in the midnight headed ex-ninja. "He's either a baka, or he honestly can't remember a thing!"
Tsunade smirked at her top nin. "Sit him next to Sakura," she ordered kindly. Normally, her words would be hard and uncaring as she looked onto a traitor, but this traitor held the key to her apprentice's heart, and it looked like he couldn't remember a thing. He really doesn't remember a piece of shit, does he, the blonde thought sadly. It was a sad thing when your wondrous schoolgirl daughter fell in love with the town's gang leader. Naruto did as told, and sat to the other side of Sasuke. "Sasuke—"
"San," Sasuke corrected, not used to the suffix being gone.
"Sasuke"—the honey blond put extra weight on the name—"what do you remember about this beautiful rosette and this… energetic blonde?"
"I don't even know them," the Uchiha spit, a bit too much like Orochimaru. Neither woman liked that.
Sakura pressed her full red lips together until they became as milky white as the rest of her skin as if it, and only it, would keep the tears down. She swallowed deep and put her hand on Sasuke's shoulder like she did when they were little. Some habits never go away. Sasuke let it happen; he liked the way the soft cold hand felt on his cut shoulder blade. "Sasuke, look me in the eyes and tell me you honestly, truly cannot remember a thing about our genin days."
Sasuke did as told, reluctantly. And it came to him….
"Hi! My name is Haruno Sakura! What's yours?" a seven-year-old's sweet, childish voice ran in the ears of a grieving Uchiha's.
"Uchiha Sasuke." He spoke his surname with pride, though he felt anything but. His older brother had tainted his surname yesterday night. "Go away."
"Oh, come on," the girl pouted sadly. Something about the way her lips set made the Uchiha want to apologize, but he held back. "Its Friday! Smile, have fun! Monday's the last day of child's school! Then we get to relax for three years! It's a good day!"
"Not for me," the Uchiha forced out as his onyx eyes closed into slits.
Sakura frowned, genuine worry layering her apple green eyes. "Well, why not? Did your mom and dad have a fight? You can tell me." Her voice was no longer happy and loud; no, now it was soft and caring.
"Hn…. Go away," Sasuke growled menacingly. It had no effect on the rosy little girl.
"Its okay. I'm here to listen. I won't tell. Cross my heart and hope to live." She crossed her fingers over her heart. Sakura's soft voice was braking through the eight-year-old's newly formed rock shell. She had replaced the cross my heart and hope to die with cross my heart and hope to live because, who would want to die? It didn't make sense in her mind.
His voice was firm this time, firm and hateful.
"You're annoying," Sasuke whispered out the next words of his memory.
Sakura smiled, a breathy laugh coming out of her lips. "Whatever," she had muttered out the word she had muttered out the day they met. She knew what he was remembering, she loved that memory herself. It was a start, remembering the first thing that ever happened between them two.
"Should I know what's happening here?" Naruto whispered as well he could—which was just above a normal tone.
"No, but I do," Tsunade whispered. She knew it, she was feeding off the chakra Sakura was sending her; she was seeing her memory. Sasuke was remembering, things that happened between him and Sakura, but he was remembering. It was a good sign.
"Ugh…" Naruto whispered again.
"Sasuke-kun," Sakura tried. Maybe if she said things in her old fangirl-ish way, he would remember, just maybe. She kissed his cheek like she used to. When she pulled away, she said, "Please, tell me you remember."
"Oh, my, Kami!" a platinum blonde twelve year old giggled. "Its Uchiha Sasuke, the Uchiha Sasuke! Can you believe it?"
"Cha, Ino-pig, I get to sit next to him!" a familiar rosette spit to her former best friend.
"No one asked you, Forehead," the blonde growled.
"Hn…" 'the' Uchiha Sasuke grunted as he heard himself being fought over.
"Can you believe those little girls!" the loudest blonde in the genin school chuckled.
"Leave, Sakura," again, Sasuke finished what he had interrupted the eleven-year-old with.
"Now," Tsunade said, leaning against the white ANBU desk, "can you remember anything other than the things you did with—or that include—Sakura-sama?" She was clearly addressing the sexy, shirtless Sasuke.
The man's pitch black eyes had not changed. They still held that unwilling confusion, and the look that said, 'if this woman puts a hand where it doesn't belong, I'll kill her'. But underneath that, they held the look of happiness, as if, somewhere deep inside, he remembered Kohona—or Sakura—and remembered how much it loved and cared for him.
"I don't even remember how I got comfortable enough to let Sakura here put her hand on my shoulder," Sasuke grumbled. He had even forgotten to keep up the hating Kohona pretence and his don't touch me façade.
"Tsunade-sama, he's been brainwashed. I guess… I'll be back…," Sakura whispered before standing from the couch and running—running—out the door. She was fast, but not fast enough for Sasuke to miss anything she did. After all, a rosette being the only person he sorta-kinda recognized, he kept a close eye on her. Tears had made their way down her perfectly shaped porcelain cheeks. They were running fast, making their way to her chin. That was the drop of water that shattered his rock wall.
Sasuke's face was hard, cold even, but his eyes were caring and worried. That was what tipped Tsunade off. Sasuke left and she and Naruto followed, Naruto finally being quite.
Sakura sat on the red and white loveseat. This wasn't like herself. She only cried for Kakashi and Naruto, not Sasuke, not scene she turned thirteen, she had spent two years crying for him, she had decided no more, not for him. But this was braking her, destroying her. He had to remember. He couldn't have killed so many people without remembering why. He only remembered the little things, the things that had to do with her. Nothing about Naruto or Kakashi; nothing about his genin days; nothing about Team Seven. He couldn't have done everything he did without knowing even one thing, one person, which loved him. Like Kakashi… or Naruto… or… her. No, he had to remember something. He couldn't have thought about killing and destroying Kohona without remembering the people he used to care about who lived in the place. Somewhere in him, Orochimaru hadn't—couldn't have—replaced Sasuke with some mindless killing puppet.
"Haruno," came the now deep voice that used to belong to an old friend.
Sakura looked up, death in her wet, seaweed eyes. "What the hell do you want, traitor?" She hadn't wiped her tears. Let him see her crying. In a few hours, he would be sentenced to death.
Needles were deep in Sasuke's body. A pale body was sagging over him, morning him. Because she wasn't a medic, and her love was dying. Naruto and Kakashi could only watch the heartbreak that was taking place. Both knew that only one thing could cheer the youngest member of the team now, and that wasn't going to happen.
"Sasuke-kun," the rosette cried into his blue shirt, "oh, don't leave me!" Her words were quite and loving. Her words were silenced as her sobs became louder and her tears became faster.
And one dropped on that blue shirted boy, and his eyes opened slightly, tiredly. "Hn, Sakura, you're heavy…" the now awakened voice of the boy muttered painfully.
Her tears were as pronounced as on that day. Sasuke sat down next to her. "Sakura," he corrected himself, "I don't have a clue on what's going on—all I know is that this damned village knows me, that it once loved me, that I hate it, that I ran from it—but I promise you this. Eventually, one of these days, I will remember, and that will be the day I ask for forgiveness, because, today, I realized that your pain is causing me pain. I don't like feeling pain. It is for the weak." With that he pulled Sakura to his chest, letting her cool tears run down his abs, and kissed her no longer large forehead.
He would find out about the past Orochimaru had replaced, eventually, with the help of Sakura-kitten. Eventually.