Author's Note: I told myself that I wasn't going to write anymore fanfic stories, but I couldn't stay away. So here I am again with another SasukexSakura story. Enjoy the first chapter! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Rain pelted the ground in a rhythmic sound much like a kettledrum as thunder rolled through the pitch-black sky. On the land below, the aftermath of a battle remained. Bodies of both man and horse scattered the dull-yellowed grass and flags stuck in the ground fluttered in the stormy wind. Infantry left from either side had already retreated back to their campsites to regroup. They mourned their losses and believed that none were left behind. However, one man still remained on the battlefield. Forgotten and declared to be dead, the man staggered on his feet with a trail of blood in his midst. His hand outstretched before him, as he was drenched with rain. Where he was going, he did not know. The battle had left his eyes to be wounded and he was walking blind.
He walked in his armor, covered in blood and filth. It was heavy as well as cumbersome to tread in considering his current state. But he wore it anyway. The metal breastplate with his insignia sculpted over his heart declared his identity. Who would he be without his name? He would be no one. And who knew if more of the faction he detested were out lurking the ground he walked on. He had to be safe.
Reaching out in front of him, the man felt something against his fingers. The hard, earthy texture told his senses that he was by a tree. He held onto the trunk for a second to catch his breath, but also to hold onto something he was familiar with even without his eyes. The man grit his teeth as he felt the pain in his wounds resurface. For a moment he had forgotten about them and now he was paying for it. Thunder sounded above and the soldier winced at the sound. The wind picked up, directing the rain to fall against the man's face. It was time to move on and find shelter for the night if he was to be lucky enough to find a place.
The man dragged himself through the now distinct forest, stumbling a few times on some badly placed roots. He even fell into a small stream, which he was thankful for since he had not had anything to drink in so long. All of his belongings, weapons and water satchel, were lost on the battlefield and perhaps taken by someone who believed him to be dead. After taking a sip from the stream, the man went on. His boots sunk in the soft forest floor, making hard for him to walk. Eventually, the man stumbled across a cave. How, he did not know. He yelled into the dark abyss, calling out to any creature that might be living inside. When neither the sound of scrambling feet or roar of a beast answered him, the man went inside. His hand skimmed the side of the wet wall and slid to the cave floor when he thought he was far enough inside.
His armor pinched his skin making it incredibly uncomfortable. With his darken vision, the man fumbled to find the straps to his arm. Upon finding them, his wet fingers slipped against the leather fastenings. He loosened them the best he could and struggled to draw his breastplate over his head. Not caring where it landed, the man tossed it to the side and began to breath heavily. Next to come off were his greaves, the metal leggings even more troublesome than the breastplate because it required him to stand up. He fell back to the cave floor after removing the armor since he had put too much pressure on his injured leg. Leaning his head against the cool cave wall, the man panted and ran his hand over his chest. An object protruded from his chest and he smirked. He reached inside his tattered tunic to remove a pendent. He could not see it, but he did not need to. It was a silver disk elaborately decorated with an eagle head in the center that had one red eye and one white. It was a design he knew well. The pendent was a family heirloom, passed down from father to son. In fact, he was lucky to receive it in the first place. He was not the first-born and his birthright did not guarantee gifts as sentimental as the necklace.
Putting the necklace back under his shirt, the man tired to open his eyes. He had left them closed since they were injured in battle and he did not know how badly hurt they were. They opened weakly, having been swollen from the wound across his eyelids. From the tiny slits his eyes could open to, the man could only see with a cloudy vision. He strained to keep his eyes open, but it hurt too much to do so. He would have to try again later if he ever wanted his eyes to open completely again. A ripple across his stomach and a soft roar alerted to the fact that he was hungry however, there was no way for him to get food. If he left the cave, he might not only get lost, but also possibly attacked by an animal. It was too dangerous and even more so with the storm going on.
Sleep beckoned for the man to submit to it, but he was afraid to. What if someone or something entered the cave while he slept? He would surely die. His stomach rumbled once again and the man groaned. If an outside source did not kill him, his stomach certainly would. He put the thought of food out of his mind and settled himself the cave wall so that he could rest for a moment. Moving made the gash at his side hurt and he pressed his hand against the wound. A sticky substance ran over his fingers and he could only guess that it was blood. It became clear: he was going to die in this cave. Tears rolled down from the corners of his swollen eyes, an action he was only comfortable with doing in a private setting. He was lost and forgotten, two things that he did not wish on anyone else. To be forgotten was to be not cared for. To be lost was to be alone. He was to die being both.
He fought to control his tears, wiping them away to his best ability. The rain outside came down harder and thunder boomed above. As lightning struck in the sky, the man shouted. He continued to shout, gathering volume with each sound. The man was on the urge of collapsing, but kept at it.
"I am Sasuke Uchiha! Son of the Duke of Konoha, of Fugaku Uchiha!" he cried out, voice cracking. "God help me."
The thunder overpowered his words, deeming him to be unworthy in the space around him. The man coughed; his throat now sore from yelling. He relaxed his shoulders against the cave wall and groaned, as the pain in his body grew worse. He was going to die however to the world Sasuke Uchiha was already dead.
She was the daughter to one of Konoha's most prestigious noble families. Her father, a duke, was a kind and generous man. He made sure that those who lived in and around his castle to have comfortable lives. To the king, her father was a loyal subject and friend. He could have the whole royal court eating out of the palm of his hand if he so wished it. She would do anything for her father except for the one thing he did want her to do.
Sakura could deal with tight fitting clothing that ladies were asked to wear. She could also deal with long train of cloth that followed her when she walked. However, the one thing that she could not do for her father was being the perfect lady. Sitting in a room with other women as they all worked on sowing lace handkerchiefs was not her idea of fun. Nor was it passion to remain seated as a minstrel played a song or to have herself perform on the harpsichord. Instead, Sakura liked to be outside where it was sunny and open. She would go out to the market just to see the traders from other countries roam into the stronghold. Since she was at high rank, Sakura would ask these traders about what it was like in their homeland. If she were not a nobleman's daughter, they would have simply shrugged her questions away. She would listen to their tales in awe; jealous about how much more fascinating their land was than her own.
This particular morning, a flash of sunlight entered her room after a servant drew her curtains open. It was part of her daily routine to wake up at an early hour and Sakura dreaded it. She let the servant whisk her away to a room connected to her bedchamber and yawned as her nightgown was removed. Stepping into a large basin, she was drenched with water and soap. Her long pink locks were scrubbed until they shone. Once she was clean, her servant directed her back into her room to dress her. Sakura did not like to be waited on like this, but accepted it because of her station. The servant tightened the girdle around her waist and tossed a long cream slip over Sakura's body. To complete the garb, a dark emerald gown fluttered around the rosette as it was tied behind her back. Sakura then walked out of her room and down the main staircase to find her father.
Her father was in his study, looking over orders given to him by the king and other paperwork. He smiled when his daughter entered though the expression hide something that Sakura did not like.
"You look lovely today my daughter," her father said. "Growing up to resemble your mother more and more every day."
"Thank you," Sakura responded with a curtsy.
Her father chuckled and rose from his cushioned seat. He walked over to his daughter and squeezed her shoulder. The grip he had on her shoulder did not lessen and he began to lead her to another room.
"Sakura, I would like to introduce you to someone," his voice boomed. "He's quite the young man."
Sakura groaned, knowing exactly what he was about to do. Ever since she had come of age two years ago, her father had searched the land far and wide for possible suitors. She dodged the ones that he had thrown at her for the most part; today hopefully would end with the same outcome. The two of them walked into the castle's sitting room where a young man clad in jewels and expensive cloth rose to his feet. He took Sakura's hand and kissed it as he bowed. The rosette found the whole interaction to be intolerable.
"I present to you Katsu Arai, son to Lord Arai in Konoha's western territories," her father announced. "He is a fine young man as you may discover."
Katsu held Sakura's hand as he bowed again. "It is an honor to finally a beautiful face to the name, my lady."
Sakura wanted to grimace, but put up a fake smile for her father.
"How charming," Sakura forced out when her hand was finally freed.
The duke patted his daughter on the shoulder and smiled widely. The entire exchange must have been exciting for him, figuring that his daughter was actually interested in this young man. The lord's son sheepishly smiled at Sakura and the young woman felt sorry for him. He was her age perhaps a year older and appeared to be quite timid. The shyness might be a cover for his true person, acting only to impress the Haruno family's patriarch. It was working very well in Sakura's mind if that was the case. Katsu played around with his capitano hat in his hands and cleared his throat.
"Your father was kind enough to allow me to hunt on his lands this evening," Katsu said. "I was wondering if my lady would be kind enough to join me?"
Sakura tapped the top of her father's hand to hint that she needed to speak with him as she sported a small smile for Katsu. Her father raised his hand and told the young man that he would be back in a moment for he had to speak with his daughter. The duke walked out of the room with his daughter behind him and into the hallway. His smile was now a frown as he stared at the girl before him.
"What is it this time?" he asked with a slight groan.
"Father, are you jesting with me? You know that you do not need to find a husband for me," Sakura stated.
"As your father, I do believe that is my job. You are old enough now to be married and suitors are lining up at your feet to have your hand. It is your duty as the future duchess to have a powerful husband at your side," her father explained. "Now you need to suck it up and do what you must to make this young man like you enough to want to come back. Is that understood?"
Sakura pouted and nodded. The duke snapped his fingers and two servants came up from behind him with silver platters. As one servant handed Sakura a pair of riding gloves, the other put a billiment over her hair to hold it back. Once it was all in place, the rosette sneered a smile towards her father and marched back into the room with Katsu. The young man was admiring a painting the duke had done of his late wife with Sakura at a young age. Sakura worshipped her mother and now all she had left of her was the locket around her neck and the similar features they shared.
"I would be happy to escort you on a hunting trip my lord," Sakura said in a sickly sweet tone. "May we head out to the stables to find our mounts?"
For good measure, Sakura outstretched her gloved hand. Katsu took it, cradling in the crook of his elbow and rested his hand over hers. The man looked absolutely overjoyed to be having Sakura joining him for a hunting expedition. However, to Sakura it was just another day in the cage that she did not belong in. Katsu better hope that Sakura did not miss the game they were to hunt and accidentally shoot him in the back with an arrow.
Author's Note: I really like the medieval theme (you can tell since Journey With Me and its sequel Seeking You is like it). So here we don't have Sasuke and Sakura interracting with each other yet, but it will happen. I promise. Anyway, the title of the story is in French (if its a correct translation) and means cave. The title of the chapter, also in french, means beginning. I'm going to do every chapter like this. Also I'm not sure if I want to keep the story's title this yet so if it changes don't be alarmed. With that said, I hope you liked the first chapter and I will update when I can. Please review :)