-When Sasuke left, Sakura was left heartbroken. When he tried to kill her, her Daddy Dearest decides to kidnap her. And soon, she's a version of herself whom her friends don't recognize.
Alright! A new chapter! I think I rushed the ending parts a bit (and maybe the beginning), but I really couldn't come up with anything. And I wanted to put this up and work on my other fanfics because my mom won't let me on the computer on school days anymore. So that means I have to speed up production a bit so that I can update sooner than later. I think I'm falling really behind on my Shinobi series, and my other ones are just suffering a whole lot. I don't really know what to do but, to pass the time, I hope you guys read my other fanfics and support them so that you don't get bored of waiting for this one to be updated, 'kay? Thank you and enjoy the chapter!
Saved on my soft brow,
I send the memories in my palm far away,
An eternal farewell as I keep strumming…
Clinging to a gentle hand
is the heart of a child…
The blazing wheels,
Cast them off and continue on
~The Fourth Dawn~
"What's the meaning of this?" Sakura asked, running over to her mother. "Me being taught by the Akatsuki? Is this some kind of a joke?"
"I can't believe you could even suggest such a thing! I'm a Konoha kunoichi, for crying out loud! It's unacceptable! How could you expect me to obey such orders?"
"Sakura, listen to me. Your father—"
Sakura scoffed, but her scoff sounded more like a dry laugh. "So Papa is also involved in this too? I should've known… Where is he? I want to speak with him!"
"Sakura, you know you can't speak with him…" Konan said. "He—"
"He's crippled, and he can't take the stress?" Sakura asked, scornfully. "I don't believe it. If he were really crippled then how could you be pregnant?"
"That . . . that matter . . ." Konan said, surprise clearing written on her face. "How did you find out about it?"
"Does that matter? Does it really matter where I heard it from?" Sakura countered, tears threatening to fall from her eyes. "More importantly . . . why won't you answer my question? Papa's crippled… How could you be—"
"The child's his, yes… But . . ." Konan caressed her stomach. The words didn't come to her easily. How could she explain it to her daughter without hurting her so? She didn't know, and she couldn't think of a quick enough answer. "But . . . the child's genes… They're from a different body…"
Sakura's eyes widened. It took her a while to regain herself. What had just…? Did her mother just say that…? She couldn't believe it. And when she did regain herself, some strong burning sensation boiled up in her body.
She scoffed, trying to control herself. "A different body?" She laughed but only because she would have gone hysterical if she didn't. "You were that desperate…? I can't believe this… I really can't!"
"How could you!" Sakura couldn't take it anymore. That pitiful look on her mother's face… It was disgusting! She shook her head furiously. "You . . . and Papa… I don't . . . I don't understand! How could you two…? I really can't . . ." She couldn't finish her sentences. She was just too shocked.
"Sakura, please listen to me." Konan pleaded. "Like you, we've also lost our teammate. But unlike you, we have no chance of ever getting him back. He . . . he had always wanted kids…" She smiled a bit at the memory, but her smile only lasted for seconds. "Your father is crippled, and Yahiko was my first love, so . . ."
Sakura shook her head once more but this time slowly. When she heard her mother's answer, she felt a pang in her chest, and her heart ached. "Those reasons… I can understand them for only so much," she said. Her eyes became watery. "But . . . I still can't…" She shook her head, trying to get rid of the tears.
"Mama, for those reasons . . ." Sakura almost hesitated before asking, "Would . . . would that child mean more to you than I do?"
Konan's eyes widened by a small bit. She hadn't expected that. "Sakura . . . what do you mean by that? I—"
"I mean . . . if you were to choose only one to save . . . in a situation that would cause death to your children . . . who would you save? Me or that child, who would you choose?"
Konan didn't really know what to say, but she knew she couldn't waste any time thinking of her answer lest she hurt Sakura once more. She took a deep breath. ". . . I'd save this child."
Sakura's breath stilled, her glare and anger both replaced by shock and an indescribable amount of sorrow.
Konan took her daughter's hands. "But Sakura, I—"
But Sakura had heard enough. She recoiled once she felt her mother's touch and ran out of the room, trying to wipe away her tears.
Konan just stood, unmoving. When Sakura had recoiled from her touch, she felt as though she had been shocked by lightning. Tears also fell from her eyes. "I'd save my unborn child . . . but Sakura, if you were to die, I would go with you…"
"Well, well . . . I had expected as much to happen."
Konan's head whipped around to glare at the man. "Madara…" she snarled. "What do you want?"
"Nothing really… But you shouldn't continue to hurt your daughter so… One would think such events would cause her to lose her mind."
Konan narrowed her eyes. "What do you mean?"
"Simply that, my dear." Madara chuckled. "A child, deprived of her parents' company and love, and then forced to take on a sibling… It's such a sad thing, really . . . especially when that child is a girl. After all, girls are much more fragile. They tend to . . . snap easier than boys. I'm afraid that if you continue to put dear Sakura under so much stress then you'd be giving me what I'd want—a weapon that only I could control."
"What?" Konan almost saw red. If she could, she would've killed the man standing in front of her.
"A mindless woman is unable to control her actions. Plus, a heartless woman is always much crueler than a ruthless man. If Sakura were to become the weapon I have in mind then the Akatsuki will have no problem in achieving its goals."
"And you think Nagato and I will stand for this?" Konan asked. "She's our daughter! We'll never—"
"Daughter, you say? Well, I think Sakura-chan sees it a bit differently now."
"Don't push it… A mother and child will have countless of quarrels, but their bond is something you will never understand." And with that, Konan left the room. She would never let Sakura fall into Madara's hands, not as long as she lived.
As Konan walked into the room, her eyes widened as she eyed her daughter, sitting on the bed—her head continuously knocked against the pole of her canopy bed; a glassy look in her eyes as she just kept staring at thin air, not even noticing her mother.
"Sakura, stop that! You'll hurt yourself!" Konan yelled as she ran over to her daughter. She put her hands on Sakura's shoulders, but she still wouldn't stop knocking her head on the wooden pole. And so, Konan placed her hand on the spot where Sakura kept ramming her skull against the hard surface.
It worked. The kunoichi stopped her foolishness but kept her unfocused gaze.
"Sakura . . . why…?" Konan couldn't find the words. She felt something in her die when she saw her daughter hurt herself so. "Sakura…" She still couldn't find the right words to say.
And Sakura wouldn't give her the time. She slapped away her mother's hands. "Don't touch me."
"My child… What—"
"Get out of my room…" Sakura said, not even sparing a glance towards her mother. "I don't want to talk to you… Get out. Get out! GET OUT!"
"My child… What's the matter, huh? Why would you hurt yourself like that?"
"Do you even care?" Sakura asked, her gaze turned into a watery glare. "Would you even care if I were to kill myself?"
"Sakura, you're my daughter—my child! Of course, I—"
"So is the being in your stomach…" Sakura said, her glare lowered to her mother's belly. "That unborn child…" She brought her gaze back up to her mother's face. "Is that child more important to you than I am?"
"Sakura, why would you even think that?" Konan asked. "Both of you are my children! Why would I love one more than the other?"
"Because that child is the fruit of your first lover…"
Konan's eyes widened. Since when did her daughter become so smart? So observant?
"Why won't you answer me?" Sakura asked, a tear flowed down her face. "Is that child—that unborn child—more important to you than I am?"
The Konoha kunoichi turned her face away from her mother. "From the looks of it…"—she wiped the tears from her face—"It would appear that I'm correct, aren't I? After all, you'd save that child and not me…"
Konan just stared at her daughter. She didn't know what to say or even how to comfort the teenager in front of her. "Sakura . . . it's not like that… I—"
"Fine… Then let me ask you this once more." Sakura turned back to glare at her mother. "If you were to choose only one to save . . . me or that child . . . who would you save?"
"Sakura… Don't be like this… I—"
"ANSWER ME!" Sakura screamed. "That child . . . would you choose it over me?"
Konan just stared at her daughter. "Sakura, my sweet daughter… You need to look at things from my point of view… This baby is unable to protect itself. You, on the other hand, are. I need to protect the one I think will have the least chance of surviving to give me just a shred of hope. Can't you understand that…?"
Sakura sniffled back her tears. ". . . In my ears, it just sounds like you're saying that you love this child more than you ever loved me…"
"Sakura…" Konan had no idea how to counter her daughter's way of thinking.
"Fine…" the kunoichi said. "I'll leave then… I won't bother you ever again…"
"Sakura…!" Konan pleaded. "Don't do this! Please!"
"Congratulations on the child… I wish it all the best. It'll need it." Sakura swung her legs onto her bed and covered herself with a blanket. She curled herself into a ball and just waited for Konan to leave.
She heard her mother sigh. "Very well then… I'll have Itachi escort you back to Konoha's outskirts first thing in the morning…"
Sakura heard her mother's footsteps. The door opened and closed.
The kunoichi cried into her pillow. How long had it been since she had cried that much? Perhaps when Sasuke had left… No, it wasn't nearly as bad as this… Her tears could've filled the ocean by the first five seconds. But after that, Sakura lost track of the time. She could've been crying for years, days, hours, or even seconds. She felt so horrid, her mind seemed so hazy…
She heard the door open again, and she stopped her loud wails.
"I thought I said—" She gasped. It wasn't her mother there. She had thought it was Sasuke, but no… "Itachi…" she snarled. "What do you want now? Are you going to try and kill me? Or is it morning already and you're here to take me back to Konoha?"
"No… I came to speak with you…"
Sakura just stared at the Uchiha. She scanned him over for any hidden weapons or just the façade of truth on his face. She couldn't tell… Her head was pounding so hard…
"What is it you want to say?" she asked, just wanting him out of her room. Just his presence reminded her of Sasuke…
"You and your mother are flesh and blood," he said. "She's always going to be there for you, even if it's only as an obstacle for you to overcome. Even if you feel like you hate her now, you shouldn't waste your time fighting her… You'll regret it later on…"
Sakura scoffed, thinking over the Uchiha's words. She scoffed once more after finding how hypocritical they sounded. She laughed. "And this . . . this is coming from the man who killed his clan?" She couldn't believe he was the one lecturing her. She laughed once more.
"Think what you will of it, but heed my words… Take it from someone who's gone through it. You'll grow to hate yourself if you choose to continue to bear any ill will towards your parents . . . especially your mother."
Sakura's eyes shot to a corner. Looking back, she had only let her anger get the better of her. She didn't even listen to her mother—she didn't even let the woman speak for more than a minute. The more she thought of it, the more ashamed she became of herself.
"I see you're finally listening to me…" Itachi said, a smirk almost coming onto his face. He turned to leave, but then stopped. "Ah, one more thing… You've seen what's happened between my brother and I… Don't let that same thing happen to you and your mother…"
And that was all the push Sakura needed to run out of her room.
Itachi smirked at the girl's antics. Perhaps she wasn't that bad, after all…
Sakura was already down the hall. She looked around for her mother, turning her head quickly. She took the path to the right and ran down its hallway. Tears had come out already. She needed to make her feelings known. It was on the fourth turn when she saw her mother's back.
"Mama!" she yelled.
Konan turned around, seeing her daughter run towards her. Her eyes widened. She bent her knees a bit so that her eyes were leveled with Sakura's. She placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders.
"I don't want our relationship to be estranged…" Sakura cried after regaining her breath. "I don't want that, but I just don't understand… Why do I have to feel bitter towards you and Papa? Why do I have to feel jealous over a child that didn't even have a chance to breathe yet? Why do I always feel like this every time I speak with you?" Sakura asked. "I don't want to end up like Sasuke-kun, Mama… I don't want to end up hating you and Papa… I don't want to end up hating the baby… But I can't help but feel this way…"
"I'm not the one who's bad, Mama… It's you and Papa who are the bad guys… Because of you two, I can't accept this child as my baby sibling… Because of you two, I feel this way… Because of you two, I'm like this…" She started slapping her mother's chest with no strength whatsoever, making sure she didn't hit her mother's growing stomach. "You're the ones who made me like this…! Because of you . . . because of you…!"
"Sakura…" Konan threw her daughter into a hug. "I'm so sorry…"
"Mama…" Sakura couldn't stop her tears. She returned the gesture. How long had it been since she had been in her mother's embrace?
"Yes, it's my fault…" Konan said. "I've neglected to see how lonely you've been… I didn't see what I was turning you into… A child deprived of a mother's love, I know how that feels… It was wrong of me to do so… Forgive your mother, child… She's so sorry…"
"Mama…" Sakura cried.
"I promise . . . I'll be a better mother to you… I'll work harder on that… I won't let you fall into darkness… I love you, you know that, right? Your father and I love you so much… You're our pride and joy… You have to know that… We love you so much…"
Sakura still cried. How long had she wanted to hear those words?
In the distance, the Akatsuki members just watched on. Itachi smiled at the sight. Deidara and Kakuzu looked away, a bit teary-eyed. Kisame had to wipe away a stray tear. Zetsu just scoffed, "Man, girls are so troublesome… They're always so dramatic…" while Hidan complained, "Why did they have to make it so hard on themselves?"
Tobi just clapped his hands and exclaimed, "Yay! A happy ending! Tobi's happy now, too!" However, he actually despised "happy endings." And this one was putting a dent into his plans.
"Come on, you guys. We best get some rest." Kisame said. "We'll have a lot on our hands now that we have the girl to train."
"Wait, what? She's staying?" Hidan asked.
"Yeah…" Deidara threw his arms back, folding them behind his head. "Why did we get stuck with her, un?"
"Just make sure Leader-sama doesn't hear that or he'll have your head!" Kakuzu said.
"Enough," Itachi snapped. "We have a full day tomorrow."
"Yep, day one of training starts tomorrow."
Sakura looked into the mirror. Was that really her? She spun herself around. The girl in the mirror followed. Hm… Maybe it was her.
Konan laughed. "I take it you like the kimono."
Sakura smiled. "Not like…" she replied. "I love it, Mama!"
Konan also smiled. "I'm glad you do. It was your grandmother's. It's actually one of the only things I have left of her. I used it as sleepwear. I hope you take care of it."
"Oh, I will!" Sakura said, looking into the mirror once more. With her right hand, she took the left sleeve and rubbed the silk in between her second and middle fingers. It was so soft…
"I have other clothes in my closet if you want."
"Really?" Sakura asked. If it had been Ino offering, she would have been out the door already. But the fact that it was her mother showering her with just hand-me-downs . . . Sakura didn't know why, but she was really happy—the happiest she had been in the years since Sasuke had left…
Konan nodded her head. She caressed Sakura's cheek. "I'm glad that you didn't receive any of your father's horrid traits… You don't really look like me either, but I'm happy about that, too. Sometimes I even wonder how we ever ended up with a daughter that looked so much like Tsunade."
"Is that good or bad?"
"Good because, if you looked any more like your father or me, you'd be really ugly."
Sakura giggled. "You think I'm pretty?"
"The prettiest." And she went to look for some more clothes.
Once her mother wasn't looking, Sakura looked into the mirror again. Her smile fell. Everything about her now . . . it was a bit different from what she was used to. What would her friends in Konoha say once they found out she was fraternizing with the enemies? In fact, would Naruto even recognize her?
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY CAN'T FIND HER?"
"Naruto, calm down. The ANBU—"
"Tsunade-sama, please let us go and look for her!"
"Yes, please let us go find Sakura-san and bring her home!" Lee seconded Ino's plea.
Right after Tsunade had sent Shizune's team out on Sakura's rescue mission, both Ino and Naruto had raced across the village. They had started out only telling their friends in Konoha 11 about Sakura's disappearance but, once everyone knew, they went around the village, finding shinobi in the village and asking them to stop on their up-coming missions to see if Sakura or any of the Akatsuki were around the area. And if that wasn't enough, Temari had also been in the village around that time, and she went back home to alert Suna of Sakura's disappearance. Sakura's disappearance was as big an issue as Sasuke's leaving the village, perhaps even bigger.
"You know why I can't do that!" Tsunade said. "Sakura may be my apprentice, but I also have to think about what's best for the village! If I send all of you out at once then who will stay back and protect Konoha?"
"Well, if you are so troubled," Hinata suggested, "then please . . . send my team…! We're specialized in tracking, so . . ."
"I can't do that either, Hinata. I already have three ANBU squads out there looking for her. It won't do Konoha any good if I send any more shinobi especially the Hyuga clan's heir."
"Then send me, Obaachan!" Naruto suggested for the hundredth time.
"Naruto, I've already told you! I can't risk sending you, a jinchūriki, to the Akatsuki!" Tsunade said, exasperated. "Besides, it's only been one day. Maybe tomorrow—"
"But Sakura-chan could be dead by tomorrow!" Naruto argued. "Obaachan, if you really care about her—"
"Don't you dare insinuate that I don't care about my apprentice!" Tsunade yelled. "I care about her as I cared about my brother, maybe even more! I haven't even sent her on one damn mission after she came back from your failed attempt to bring Sasuke back because I knew how close I was to losing her. Now that she's out there . . . in the Akatsuki's hands . . . I'd rather have her back at Orochimaru's hideout fighting against Sasuke!"
"Lady Tsunade…" Ino sighed. Sakura . . . are you alright? We're all so worried… Where are you?
✿｡.:*The Next Day*:.｡✿
"Your training begins today. Everyday starting from today, you will train with me from this same time till another Akatsuki member comes to pick you up for their training session." Itachi explained. "I hear that you have a talent in genjutsu, but know that talent is not enough and know that I will not go easy on you. You will train hard and rigorously. Is that understood?"
"Crystal clear." Sakura answered, a smile on her face. "So . . . when will you release this genjutsu?"
Itachi smirked. "Very good. You've managed to detect one of my strongest genjutsu. I see your skills aren't just rumors…"
Suddenly, they were in a forest.
"It's your parents' wishes that you learn how to fight against the sharingan," Itachi said. "And actually, it's also my wish."
Now that had Sakura lost. "Wh-what…?" she asked. Did she just hear correctly? Did Itachi, also a wielder of the sharingan, say that he wanted Sakura to know its weakness?
"Sakura, you used to be my brother's teammate. As such, I believe that you and Naruto-kun are the only people that can bring him back to his senses. But to do so, you'll need to defeat him and, if necessary, beat him up. However, you cannot do so unless you have knowledge of how the sharingan works."
Sakura just stayed quiet. She had thought Itachi wanted to kill Sasuke, so what was up with his attitude right now? Something was off, really off.
"So get ready! I'll start you off with a lighter version of the Tsukuyomi!"
Before she could protest, Sakura found herself in a black world. She wasn't scared really, just . . . unnerved. She knew Itachi wouldn't really kill her… Or would he?
Suddenly, she was surrounded by a million copies of the older Uchiha. And here I thought one was bad enough.
"Don't get cocky," Itachi said. "Anything you think, I can hear it."
"Mind your words, girl."
One of his clones lashes out, but Sakura jumped back. However, two other clones grabbed her arm then. She struggled to free herself. "My chakra…!"
"There's no chakra in this world. You'll have to fight on your own strength." One of the Itachi walked closer to Sakura, a sword in hand. And when that clone was ready to stab Sakura through the stomach…
"DON'T YOU DARE!" Another Sakura appeared with the characters "内なるサクラ" on her forehead. And apparently . . . she was HUGE! She grabbed one of the Itachi-clones (which later turned out to be the real one) and began to squish him. "Just because the other me allowed the other Uchiha to walk all over her doesn't mean I'm gonna be as easy to deal with! Now either walk on out of my world or be punched into next month! SHANNARO!"
And in the next second, Sakura found herself back in her world. Although she had beaten the genjutsu, she was tired. And he calls that a lighter Tsukuyomi? Gee, I'd like to see what he calls hard!
"Hn… It would seem that you do have talent, Haruno. Very well. You will be my student. I expect many things from you, and I better not be disappointed."
"Okay, so I get you after Itachi's finished with you, hm. I'll tell you this much: my class is just a learning, not much physical things to do here. You just need to remember things, yeah." Deidara said. "After a while, I will have you identify the bombs and have you make them. And I will make you run through a course and not set off a single bomb. You only have one shot at it, got it, un?"
"Right…" Sakura said.
"Good, we start right away." Deidara said as he took out two similar looking bombs. "These are sensor bombs, but they're two different kinds, un. This one"—he shook the one in his left hand—"only activates when you step on it, but this one, yeah"—he shook the one in his right hand—"activates after you step off it, got it, un?"
Sakura nodded her head. "But they look so similar… How do I tell them apart?"
"I'm getting there! Be patient for once, yeah!"
"Oy, Deidei-kun~!" Tobi came then.
"I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL ME THAT!"
Sakura giggled at the two's antics. It would seem that she wouldn't lose the aspect of a "heated" argument, no matter where she went.
"Girl, why are you laughing, un? You're supposed to be studying!"
"Okay, so . . . now that you've gone through all the members and what nonsense they're going to teach you, at the end of the day, I'm the one stuck with a tired you. However, I won't take that, got that? I expect you to still be on your toes and wide awake." Kisame said, pacing around the kunoichi. "In my class, you're going to be going through a rigorous training session. I admit that I wanted to put you through my old village's tradition, but Leader-sama has forbidden it. However, it doesn't mean I won't go hard on you. It only means we've got to find a different way to train. And by the end of our sessions, you will have not only heightened senses but also the abilities to be able to absorb your opponent's and—"
"Eh . . ." Sakura raised her hand.
"Yes? You have a question?"
"Exactly . . . how are you going to train me to be able to absorb chakra?" Sakura asked.
"It's a surprise."
"Oh…" Well, that doesn't really sound good…
"Oh, and by the way, you didn't let me finish my sentence. Not only will you be learning how to absorb chakra, but I'll also teach you how to fight using the sword."
"What?" Sakura asked, her eyes widening. "Sw-sword-fighting? Are you kidding me?"
"Why would I kid around?" He pointed his Samehada at Sakura. "Look, here, Pinkie! I won't have you be shown up by that Orochimaru's apprentice even if he is an Uchiha and Itachi's brother! I'm going to train you, and you're going to make me proud, you got that?"
"Ye-yes, sir!" The last thing she wanted was trouble but, at the mention of her ex-teammate, she couldn't help but let her mind wander. She was so close to death that day… But if Sasuke hadn't tried to kill her then her father wouldn't have kidnapped her from home. And if she hadn't been kidnapped then she and her mother wouldn't have made up and she wouldn't be here training with the Akatsuki. Hm, it would appear a "thank you" was in order.
. . .
. . .
. . .
But then again he did leave me on that bench, so maybe I don't have to thank him, after all…
Whoo-hoo! And it's done! Wow, this is the longest chapter I have up so far! Hm, I'm thinking maybe three more chapters and then this fanfic will be finished… Oh, and you guys, I made a two-shot. It's called 영원한사랑& 여성시대, and it completely bashes the Naruto manga somewhat. Please check it out when you have the time, 'kay? Thank you and please review!