Disclaimer: I down own Naruto or Moulin Rouge.
Chapter 3: The Show Must Go On
"She thought she would lessen your burden by giving up on Sasuke and confessing her love for you."
"I don't think she can just stand by and watch as he plunges headlong towards evil. She wants to save him from a life of evil because she loves him. And I think she's prepared to do whatever it takes, even if it means killing the one she loves."
Sakura was currently racing at a break neck pace, she had successfully knocked out her team. She forced herself to keep going, even when her lungs were on fire and a weariness seated deep in her bones tried slowing her down. It had been six months since she was diagnosed, during that time she had good days and bad days. Sakura wasn't stupid, she knew this was a suicide mission. Then again, what did she have to lose? She finally confessed her feelings to Naruto; whom told her she was lying and that she in essence will always love Sasuke, even though he didn't directly say it. He was wrong, she did love him… and Sasuke. Sai told her about how it felt like a curse when Danzo placed the seal on him, and it wasn't fair to do the same thing to Naruto. If this was to be the last thing she did on earth, she would free Naruto from this affliction, at the cost of her own life as well as her beloved Sasuke-kun.
Use your talent to save him! Hurt him.
Hurt him to save him.
There is no other way.
Sakura found him standing over a girl who was bleeding out; soon she'd belong to the afterworld if nothing was done to save her life. Blue sparked in his hand, Sasuke murmured something to the fallen body, ready to deliver the final blow. Not knowing exactly how to stop him in that moment, she did the only thing she could do.
"SASUKE-KUN!" She shouted over the crater that had been caused by Danzo.
Sasuke clenched his fist, the chidori disappeared. Just what was she doing here?
Glaring, he spoke evenly, "Sakura? Why have you come before me?"
That dark rich silky voice sent shivers down her spine to her toes. Despite Sasuke's head long plunge into the darkness, his sex appeal was still overpowering. Sakura's lips parted as she took in his appearance. He looked like he'd been put through hell, blood stains on his shirt and a big rip on his right shoulder sleeve. His face was marred by scratches and dried blood that was caked on his cheeks that ran from his eye down to his chin. Sasuke looked at her with no emotion.
Can this really be Sasuke-kun?
Sweat beaded on her forehead as she fervently wiped them away. There was no time to pause and take care of her lethargy and weakness now. Rolling back her shoulders, standing straight, she locked eyes with him.
"Sasuke-kun! I will follow you! I will leave Konoha!"
Jumping across the crater she landed on uneasy feet.
"Why would you want to join me? What are you trying to pull?" Sasuke spoke again, his voice carrying on the wind.
"Ever since you left the leaf village I've regretted not going with you!" That much was true, she did want to go with him. In the end he abandoned her and left her lying unconscious on the stone bench. The cold stone akin to his heart.
Not moved by this declaration, he just stared.
Sakura tried again, "I'll do whatever you want! I don't want to have any more regrets…"
As if tired of hearing this tirade, his brow drew downwards slightly.
"Do you know what I want?" The dark silky voice growing in quiet anger.
Licking her lips nervously she replied, "I don't care! I'll follow any order you give me-"
"To crush the leaf! That is my goal…."
Sakura gasped as her pretty green eyes widened in disbelief.
"Are you really willing to betray the leaf for me?" Sasuke asked, his mind twisting and turning, trying to find a way to draw her closer.
"… Yes… if that's what you want me to do." Sakura spoke softly, unsure.
Not convinced, Sasuke asked - no, demanded of Sakura, "Hmph. Then you'll have to prove it."
He pointed to the fallen girl, "Kill her and I'll let you come with me."
Frowning she slipped a kunai out of her traveling cloak, "Who is she?"
The ache in her bones was growing with every stride as she got closer to Sasuke.
"A member of my organization "Hawk" and as you can see, she's useless to me now. Actually, you're a medical ninja, aren't you Sakura? This works out perfectly… you can take her place."
How heartless… he's not the same Sasuke-kun anymore… he's changed.
Not that she didn't expect it, it was more of she was hoping against the inevitable.
(A/N: How did Sasuke know she was a medical ninja? Unless he kept tabs on her. Just food for thought.)
She stopped in front of the girl. Sakura supposed she would have been a pretty girl, if it weren't for the many bruises and scratches adorning her face. As lifted the kunai, it glinted off the sun. She could do this couldn't she? No, her goal was Sasuke, not a girl who got in the way. Sakura didn't want to be responsible for a needless death and innocent blood on her hands. Sasuke didn't like the long pause.
"Well? Can't you do it…." He almost crooned, "Sakura?"
She doesn't matter…. If I…If I….
Sasuke turned his head, locking in on his prey.
If I stab Sasuke-kun now, everything will be over!
Piercing pain wracked through her body, causing her to bite her lip and close her eyes. Sakura's illness was getting worse.
It was just the opening Sasuke was looking for.
A scream of a thousand birds awoke her from this pain, but had rendered her paralyzed. She couldn't move.
"Sasuke… don't do it…" The girl finally spoke in a croaking voice.
Sakura only managed to turn her head and stare wide eyed at Sasuke. He was coming in fast with a chidori aimed right for her head.
There was only one thought that ran through her mind.
Naruto… I'm sorry.
A flutter of a cloak and two bodies clashing was the thing that reminded her that she was still alive.
"You've fallen, Sasuke." Kakashi-sensei voice broke through the tension.
Another hero. Another mindless crime.
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime.
Sakura was grateful that Kakashi entered at the right moment to stop Sasuke from killing her, yet she also felt vulnerable; weak.
She stayed back as Kakashi and Sasuke exchanged blows and words.
"You were trying to kill Sasuke on your own, weren't you Sakura?" The truth in Kakashi's voice made Sakura stiffen.
With tired guilt written eyes, she lowered them to the ground.
"Sakura… it was irresponsible of me to say what I did just to make you feel better. Maybe I was trying to convince myself. I apologize, I've been a horrible sensei to you all."
Touched by his apology, she answered, "No, you…"
Sasuke's face had the look of boredom, but he was still paying attention.
"Sasuke… I hate having to repeat myself. Stop obsessing over revenge!" Kakashi told his former student.
What happened next made Sakura's stomach twist sickeningly.
Sasuke's laughter. Cold, cruel, merciless and insane.
Did she really lose him to the darkness forever?
"Bring me Itachi… and my mother and father… bring them back, then I'll stop!"
He went on to say how much he wanted to kill Kakashi.
"Sakura, take this girl and get her stabilized, she knows a lot about… our enemy."
"And you?" Sakura raised a fine eyebrow.
Sakura's heart plummeted as she gave the look of being distraught.
"Take her and get out of here. I'll see this through with the same determination as you. Get going now, Sakura."
While Sakura was healing the red haired girl, she tried to focus her chakra. She wanted nothing better than a nice cool bed to lie down in and rest her aching body. But she was on a battlefield and healing an injured person. Sakura couldn't be selfish at a time like this. Pain once again ripped through her body, causing her to cry out softly. Everything seemed to come at a head all at once; Sasuke almost ending her life, her illness, and her raging uncontrollable feelings. Tears poured down her cheeks like a waterfall, not caring if the girl she was healing saw them. The warm tears hit Karin's cool flesh as she squinted up at the one who was healing her.
"Don't talk yet!" Sakura managed to gasp out between silent sobs, "I'm almost done."
Karin stayed silent for a few more moments before speaking again, "Sasuke is not the person… you used to know."
Those words shot straight to Sakura's heart, jolting her from wallowing in grief.
Fully healed, she watched as the pink haired girl bounded out of sight.
Does anybody know
What we are living for
We leave it all to chance
Running upside down underneath the arch of the bridge she closed in on Sasuke.
Kakashi-sensei, I can't let you bear this burden alone!
Landing silently behind him, she drew her kunai back to deliver the blow.
I can't falter!
Sakura… thank you.
The kunai rested only inches from his back.
I thought I could, but I just can't!
Fresh tears and a tiny sob gave her away.
Sasuke turned sharply, surprised she had gotten so close to him. Wasting no time he grabbed her neck, his grip bruising. All she could do was gasp for breath and hang like a rag doll in the air. This was it, there was no more hope left. She would never see the village or her friends again. Welcoming death, she closed her eyes, face scrunched in pain. Sasuke brought the kunai across in a swift movement, only he was a second to late. Naruto scooped Sakura up in the nick of time, the blade slicing his cheek rather than her throat.
Her left over tears falling into the wind as she stared up at her savior.
"Naruto… Thank you," It was all she could say.
Setting her down gently, he turned to face his long time best friend.
"Sakura-chan is a member of Team 7, just like us." Naruto's tone was serious.
"You forget I'm ex-Team 7," Sasuke's mouth was turned upward slightly in a mocking smile.
As words were exchanged, Sakura wondered how much information was being kept from her.
The truth about Itachi?
Sasuke shouted at Naruto, "You've never had parents or siblings, so SHUT UP YOU OUTSIDER."
Sakura's face formed quickly into a deadly glare. How dare Sasuke-kun insult Naruto after all the hard work he's done to get this far? What does Sasuke know about Naruto? He had many friends in the leaf village and she was one of his closest and most cherished.
Sakura shouted back, "Naruto's had faith in you! No matter how badly the world slandered you, he considered you a friend," Her head turned slightly, "He still does."
Sasuke ignored her speech. He went on to speak about killing Danzo and by crushing the leaf village his clan's name would be purified. Sakura watched the scene unfold before her. Kakashi tried to be gallant and take Sasuke on himself, and while Naruto over powered him, Sasuke charged toward their former teacher. She screamed Naruto's name as they both clashed together, the explosion so strong it rocked the water and the stones trembled. They were both blasted off their feet. Zetsu cushioned Sasuke's blow and called for Madara's help. Sakura was moved to tears once more when Naruto declared that they would both die together and end this battle of hatred once and for all.
Naruto's here because of he's made up his mind. My resolve is nothing compared to his now! I'm supposed to be a ninja, but all I've done is cried and relied on Naruto. I was supposed to change that… I thought I was ready….but I can't do anything, I can't say anything, all I can do now is believe in them!
Another heart ache
Another failed romance
/Back To The Leaf/
"Tsunade-sama, can I come in?"
Sakura knocked on the door while opening it slightly. She was incredibly happy Tsunade finally woke up, but she had some pressing questions she wanted to ask her mentor.
"Ah, Sakura." Tsunade waved her in.
Sakura stood before her master, hands clasped in front.
"On the last mission, Naruto said they would both die together… him and Sasuke.." A pause.
"I see…" Tsunade waited for her student to continue.
"What should I do?"
"What can you do?"
Sakura was now having daily check-up's in the hospital as well as taking several pills a day. With her health waning, Tsunade had order her to not to go on any missions and to stay close to where she could be monitored. She didn't like it much, but relented when she heard Naruto being shipped off to a secret island. The rock in her seas was taken away for the current time. She needed rest and recuperation. She had to be strong for what was to surely come. Sakura's once vibrant pink hair had dulled considerably, not to mention the dark bags under those beautiful emerald eyes.
"Maybe I should rephrase that a bit…" Tsunade poured herself some sake, "The question to ask yourself is…"
Sakura's gaze lifted from the floor to Tsunade.
"How far are you willing to go for them?"
"I'd die for them," Sakura spoke up quickly.
"You are already dying, at a faster rate than I expected." Tsunade's tone was soft, almost giving way to grief.
"I can teach you to store chakra in a space behind your forehead, it may help you down the road."
Sakura's spirits soared until Tsunade spoke again.
"However, gathering the chakra I have takes years. You don't have years, months at the most."
"Then how can I-?"
"Meditate daily, focus on locking your chakra in a small space. I will relieve you of hospital duties."
Sakura suddenly felt the room spin and she stumbled. Papers flew as Tsunade grabbed her student before she could hit the wooden floor.
"Shizune, get some help!" Tsunade yelled which had Shizune running.
Tsunade didn't have much strength to heal Sakura as she just recovered from being in a coma. Medic-nins rushed in to assist Sakura.
They checked her vitals and deemed her worthy of emergency support. Placing her on a stretcher, they quickly rushed to the hospital which was only a few buildings from the Hokage's office. The renovations of the leaf village was going good, but they still didn't have many medical supplies, equipment or the space to house a large number of patients. Sakura was the Hokage's apprentice, so she would be well taken care of by the staff or suffer Tsunade's wrath.
A little later that day, Sakura regained consciousness and noticed she was in a hospital bed with an oximeter, heart monitor and IV bag hooked in various places around her body. Tsunade was eating her evening meal and shifting through paper work. Regardless of what the medical staff said, she would not leave her student. So she pulled up residence right in Sakura's room. Shifting slightly, Sakura's hazy green pools landed on Tsunade. The Hokage looked up and noticed she was awake. Standing up she moved around the makeshift desk to feel Sakura's forehead. The fever was gone, she breathed a sigh of relief.
"You are not to leave the hospital until I say you are ready."
Sakura started a rebuttal, but Tsunade cut her off.
"It's orders! You gave me quite a scare."
Sakura relaxed against the bed. Nodding, she fell back asleep.
Tsunade returned to her paper work. When Shizune walked quietly in, Tsunade gave her an order to carry out.
"Send a message to Sand requesting to see Chiyo-sama's medical scrolls. Tell them it's urgent."
"What if they refuse to send them?"
"Tell them it concerns my student, Sakura Haruno."
Chapter 3 end.
A/N: I finally get to start writing my story! Sorry if I've dragged you all for three chapters on what you've already in the manga. I had to set it up. Ja ne!