The day was clear and bright as it usually was in the city of Konoha. The local high school had just let out and the students were all bust talking amongst themselves. Some rushing off home while others stayed behind to chat with their friends and make some plans to hang out. Sakura was one of those that were staying behind so she could spend some extra time with her friends. Currently she was taking off her school shoes to put back on her regular ones, her school uniform skirt lifting slightly at her movement. She loved how the uniform looked on her, it was so cute and it was one of the many reasons why Sakura had chosen to come to this high school. It was the typical sailor outfit that many schools made other students wear but Sakura loved the look of hers. A white blouse that fit her body perfectly, it didn't make her look fat and it showed just enough of her body that it wasn't over doing it. Attached to the blouse was a dark blue sailor-style collar with a red ribbon tied in the front that matched the one she wore in her hair to keep her hair from falling into her eyes. Finally a pleated dark blue skirt that was above her knees, it gave her a cute look but it wasn't high enough that when the wind blew by it would lift up her skirt. She smiled as she finished putting on her shoes and once again looked at her uniform, she really loved how it looked on her.
"H-Hello Sakura," her attention was taken off her uniform and on to the soft voice that had spoken behind her. With another smile on her face, Sakura turned around to face her best friend. "Hi Hinata." She greeted back to the shy girl.
Hinata had long lavender hair and clear eyes that seemed to make a lot of the boys in their school stare. She and Hinata had meet the first day at the entrance ceremony and the two had become fast friends. Although they could be quite opposites at times, such as Hinata was so shy and Sakura was more outgoing, the two girls got along very well and enjoyed each others company.
"D-Do you w-want to walk home t-together, Sakura?" Hinata held her bag in her in front of her body. Most of the girls in their school had the very same bag it was a regular Japanese school bag that was light brown and had two straps in the front. The school had given them out to everyone at the entrance ceremony but Sakura didn't like the feeling of carrying it around to much so she choose a regular backpack that she carried over her shoulder. It was the same color as her skirt so the school didn't complain about her using it.
"Sure." The two girls left the school's gate and headed in the direction that would take them home. The way they talked about the events that had happened during the school day and the homework that they had received.
"Sakura! Hinata!" They both stopped walking when they heard a familiar loud voice calling out to them.
"N-Naruto," Hinata's face was as red as Sakura's ribbon and once more she wondered how the blonde had not realized the feelings Hinata had for him. It was obvious to everyone in the school, even the ones that don't show up everyday knew about the shy girls feelings, and the only one who didn't was Naruto himself.
"Hey Naruto," Sakura waved to the hyper blonde and smiled when she saw that he was dragging a very bored looking Shikamaru and a annoyed looking Sasuke along with him. Next to them was Chouji who was walking on his own and eating a bag of his favorite potato chips. "Hi Sasuke, Shikamaru, Chouji. I see Naruto dragged you along again." She laughed at her friends once they reached her and Hinata.
Shikamaru only shrugged and pulled his arm free from Naruto's grip. "This idiot just doesn't stop. I told him me and Chouji had other things to do but instead of listening like a normal person, he drags us along to find you guys." He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked like explaining all of that had drained him of his energy. Sakura had never known someone could be so lazy until the day she met Shikamaru.
"Guys, we gotta go get some ramen. The old man is letting out a new kind of ramen and if we get there fast enough we'll get three whole b owls for free!" Naruto cheered and soon Chouji was joining in. The thought of free food and ramen was enough to get the two boys jumping and screaming with joy.
"Doesn't look like we have any place to argue." Sakura commented, placing one hand on her hip and sighing. She would never understand how Naruto became so addicted to ramen and she wasn't sure if she ever wanted to find out.
Shikamaru only grunted in response and Hinata gave a nod of approval. "R-Ramen doesn't sound s-so bad." Her cheeks were still burning red and it still shocked Sakura how Naruto could be so oblivious.
Sasuke copied Shikamaru and put his hands in his own uniform pant pockets. "Whatever." He didn't care, as long as it shut Naruto up he would go along.
"Great! Then let's go!" Both Naruto and Chouji cheered and the led the way to the famous ramen stand that the group of friends always seemed to visit. They had become friends with the chef and his daughter their and it wasn't a surprise to see one or all the group go there.
Sakura smiled once again as she walked behind her group of friends and watched them all. Naruto and Chouji were drooling at the mouth and discussing on what the new flavor would be. She giggled when she saw that they were practically skipping to the ramen stand as their conversation continued. Hinata and Shikamaru seemed to be talking about the homework they had gotten from Asuma-sensei's class and what seemed like the easy mention they would use to solve it when they got home. Sasuke was off in his own world, eyes in front of him but Sakura knew his mind was else where. It was always like this with the group, they were all very close and things at time could be very calm or hectic, but it was always fun. Most girls her age would be wishing for excitement and romance and go travel the world and other things that only seem to happen in movies but Sakura was happy with her life. It was peaceful and nice and-
"Hey aren't those kids from Nin High?"
And now her world had suddenly stopped and fallen apart in a matter of seconds at Shikamaru's question. Her green eyes were wide as she looked at the ramen stand that held three kids sitting on the stools there, each one wearing a Nin High school uniform. Sakura felt her body go numb, her bag falling from her shoulder, and her mouth was wide open at the gasp she was letting out. "Why are Nin High students here? This isn't their territory!" Before she had time to think of reasons for them being there her legs moved on their own and she jumped into the closest bush. Her hands coming up to cover her pink hair and trying to bock out the suddenly to bright color. She wished she had dyed it black like how the other girls in her class told her to do, but of course she hadn't listened because she liked her hair color, but now she wished she had. Pink was too easy of a color to spot out.
"Sakura? What are you doing?" Naruto's arm wrapped around her own and pulled her out of the bush. He had freed her from the cover of the dark leaves and now was showing her off for the world to see her.
"Naruto…" she couldn't control herself. Her hands were balled into fists and before she knew it she had struck Naruto across the face. "You dumbass!" She released the anger that had boiled within her when Naruto had taken her away from her hiding place. She was panting from the sudden attack she did, eyes glaring over at the blonde that was whining from the sudden pain he was feeling before she finally snapped out of her anger and realized what she had just done. Turning her head away from Naruto, she gasped when she saw that her outburst had caught the attention of the three Nin High students and they were all looking her way.
"Ow! Sakura!" Naruto moaned out, holding his swollen cheek. "You didn't have to hit me."
"Seriously, that was uncalled for." Shikamaru stepped in, looking over at Sakura's shaken form. "What's up with you? I've never seen you look so upset before." It was true. Ever since school had started for them, Sakura had kept her anger in check and always made sure to never hit anybody. She didn't want to start any fights of get kicked out because of how bad her temper was.
"Is there something wrong, Sakura?" Sasuke had stepped in now, his hands were out of his pockets and his body was tense. Like he was prepared for a fight. "Do you need to tell us something?" His eyes weren't on her, but rather something behind her.
She knew what he was looking at. She could already hear the footsteps of the three Nin High students coming up from behind her. They were heading her way and with each step they took, Sakura felt like her lungs were being crushed. "I will, but not now. We need to leave, now!" she grabbed her bag from the ground and tried pushing all her friends away before the three had caught up with them.
"Where ya goin' Sakura?"
She was too late. She froze in her spot and turned around to face the three students, each one glaring at her and amused smirks on their faces. She wanted to groan at her sudden bad luck and wished she hadn't agreed to come with Naruto to the ramen stand. Things were going so well for her before all this and now because of these three fools her perfect life was going to be over. "What do you want?" She dropped her bag again and faced all three of the students. Each was a male and each one had black hair with red strips running through their dark locks. She inwardly cursed when she saw the red strips, knowing exactly what they represented.
The taller of the three spoke first. His lip and nose connected by a golden piercing that held a gold chain on both ends. "That's quite a tone you're taking with us. After all, we haven't seen you in such a long time." He smirked because he knew that what he said caused Sakura to tense up. She was sure of it, she knew it his type. They loved thinking they had put fear into their enemies heart.
"S-Sakura, w-what are they t-talking about?" Hinata came up from behind her and Sakura shoved her back, into Naruto's arms. "Stay back." She warned them all. Her hands were balled up into fists again and her eyes held a look in them none had ever seen before. They were strong and seemed to burning over with a fire that was new to them.
"Looks like Sakura has made some knew friends." The shortest one now spoke up, his eyes were a dark brown and both of his ears were covered with piercing. "I guess we weren't good enough for the little princess."
"I won't ask again, what do you want?" Her eyes were hard and she took a step towards them. She wanted to curse when they didn't back down. "This isn't your territory. None of you should even be here." She needed to know why the three were here. She needed to find answers quickly before something serious happened, something that she couldn't control.
The final of the three spoke up, his eyes were the same color as Sakura's but they looked more puke green. "What's it matter to you? You left us so we don't have to explain anything to the likes of you!"
His words had done more damage then she would have liked. She bit her lip at his words, her heart ached when he spoke those words to her. Her eyes left the three boys for a moment and thought back to the day she was branded as a traitor, the glares or hurt and disappointment and betrayal that she had received. "Now's not the time to be thinking about the past." She told herself and put her attention back on the three boys in front of her. She really hated how much damage they had done to her life in this short amount of time. Even now she could already hear the questions she would be getting from her friends but she didn't concentrate on that for long. The one with the nose and mouth rings stepped forwards and snapped his fingers, making a giant crowd of Nin High students appear. They had to be more than twenty of them, Sakura could see they were all the same age and each one held a weapon in their hands. She scoffed at their dirty methods and brought her full attention back to the three before her.
"Sakura Haruno," All three were speaking now. "Because you're a traitor, we will destroy you!" That's when they jumped her.
She smirked when she saw them all come at her, her mind and body was ready for them and their attacks. "Fools." Her body jumped into action, pushing her friends away and heading off into battle alone. Arms and legs flying out to block and attack those who threatened her, she was moving body in a familiar rhythm that she had not used in such a long time. Feet touching the ground every so often to push her up into the air and jump from opponent to opponent, with each hit one more of her attackers would fall to the ground in unconsciousness. She was not surprised by this, she was expecting them to fall, because she was used to all of this. Going off into battle, facing crowds that far outnumbered her and defeating them all with such ease that it all seemed too surreal. Her mind began to leave her and flash her back to the images of past battles that she had fought in and those she used to fight besides.
"I couldn't escape you, could I?" Her mind put an image of a boy's face in. Short brown hair, tan skin, clear eyes that always remembered her more of an animal's than a human. Long arms and legs that moved faster than she could ever hop to be, a strong firm body hat always stood tall and proud, and hands that were much bigger than her smaller ones but always held a gentle grip to them when she touched them. He was there, she could see him clearly, that famous smirk he always wore when they would meet, the playful but happy glimmer in his eyes, and those red triangles. Red upside down triangles that seemed to glow even in the dark of night, they had attracted her eyes from the very begin and still haunted her to this very moment.
She panted when she hit the last of her attackers, it was one of three boys that had challenged her in the beginning, his puke green eyes were closed in his unconscious form. Deep even breaths escaped her mouth as she stared down at the body that was dripping with sweat while hers only held a soft moister to it. She should be the once drenched in sweat, she was the one who had gone up against more than twenty boys, all with weapons, but she didn't drip once with sweat. Her body was standing tall and strong, there were no signs of fatigue in her at all and she was once more not surprised by any of this. For this was nothing new to her.
"You bitch!" Her attention was thrown above her, the boy whose ear was full of piercing was coming down towards her. A metal pipe was in his hands and his eyes were burning with fury while his body was covered with bruises that she had caused. "I'll kill you!" He was coming in fast and Sakura was standing ready for him. Hands rose to knock the pipe out of his hands and his mind out of the waking world.
"That's enough!" Before she could touch him, Sasuke had come forward and kicked the body out of her way and into a tree. He was knocked out in that instant and Sakura felt she could relax herself enough now knowing that all her opponents were finally taken care of. Her eyes went to Sasuke, he was standing up and turned to face her. Eyes hard and looking deep into her own, waiting for her to start answering the questions that he was silently telling her to answer.
She sighed at the look he was giving her. "I get it. I have a lot of explaining to do, so quit looking at me like that." Her voice held a sharp tone to it, one she hadn't used in a while and it almost hurt to use again. Fixing her hair so the pieces that were messed up went back into place, she picked up her schoolbag and started walking. "Come on," she called back to her friends, motioning them to follow her. "This isn't the place to talk. We only have a few minutes before more show and these guys won't be such weaklings."
She broke off into a run after that, she didn't have to worry about her friends, they all ran after her and kept up with her pace. She shouldn't be surprised that they could, each one was trained in the martial arts or played a sport at their school but Sakura knew the truth about why they could keep up with her. She looked down at her feet, her black shoes and white socks, something that was normally seen on a high school girl her age but she knew they were different. Even now as she ran she could feel the cold metal of the weights she kept on her feet, she hated leaving them on all the time, she wanted to run free like she used to be to do but she couldn't. She gave up that life, locked away anything that could bring her back to that dark life, but it seems that it was finally catching up with her after so long. She had a sad smile on her face at the thought. "You always did say you would catch me no matter how far I went." Once more her mind flashed her back to the boy she had been thinking about in the fight. "I guess it's time to stop running." The grip that she held onto the bag that was over her shoulder increased and if she didn't let go soon the strap would break very soon. She knew what she had to do now, she just hoped her friends didn't try and get involved with it.
With that thought in mind she stopped them when they were in the middle of the park, a water fountain off to the side of her and an old looking bench off to her right. She smiled at the spot she had chosen, the memories she had made in this very park. Her feet took her to the bench and she sat down, remembering the last time she had come here and the situation that it had caused. "Looks like I really could never escape like I thought I could." She spoke only to herself, eyes closing and a knowing smile on her face. It was time to start explaining.
"Sakura," It was Naruto who spoke up first. She wasn't surprised, he was the one in their group that always held the most energy and always worried for everyone he cared about. "Who were those guys? Why did they attack you? And what did they mean when they called you a traitor?" he looked at her with eyes that only held concern. There were no signs of disgust or anger or any other form of negative emotion in them.
She smiled at him, eyes opening to stare at every one of the friends she had made through the six months she had started high school. Slowly she reached into the bag beside her and pulled out a photo that she always kept with her, as a reminder of why she was running away. With a flick of her wrist she sent the photo to Naruto's hands and let her friends see what it was of. She wasn't surprised to hear the collective gasps from each of them.
"Is this really you, Sakura?" Chouji asked, for once not eating from his endless supply of potato chips.
"There's no way!" Naruto yelled, looking from the photo to hear every second.
"S-Sakura…w-why did y-you…?" Hinata couldn't finish her sentence, her eyes were on Sakura but they would move to the ground every few moments.
Sasuke said nothing, he kept his eyes on the photo before going back to Sakura. He was still wanting for an explanation.
Shikamaru let out a long sigh and took the photo away from Naruto. "It's Sakura alright. No one else I know has pink hair like this," he sent the photo back to her the same way she sent it to them. "So why the sudden make over?"
Sakura caught the photo and looked it over herself, smiling slightly at how different she looked now to how she looked in the picture. In it her hair wasn't shoulder length but instead long enough that it reached her back. Her red ribbon that she always wore on her head was tied around her forehead. She wore a white jacket with the bold black wording on the back that was surrounded by red flames. The wording said "Fighting Spirit" and to complete her look she had bandages wrapped around her arms and a wooden sword in one hand. Her eyes, the same green color eyes that everyone said reminded them of a peaceful day and liked how gentle they looked were so different from the pictures. Her eyes in the picture held no signs of gentleness or happiness, only anger and power. She held the look of a fighter, of a delinquent.
"I really changed my image more than I thought I did," that was an understatement. She looked so different from how she used to look it was almost scary. "Those boys from before, at one time they were my classmates. Nin High is more than just a high school, it's a school that starts from grade school and goes all the way up to college. It's basically a place where parents drop off their kids because they don't want to deal with their problems," she clenched her hands, bad memories coming into her mind as she spoke. "My mother put me in there when I was in the third grade. I wasn't always a good behaving child in my early years. I was constantly picking on others, getting kicked out of class, even starting fighting with the boys in y class and my mom decided she had enough of me and put me in the Nin School system."
"You're mother put you in there?" Naruto interrupted her. He was confused by her story already. "Why would your mom out you in there? I thought you had a good relationship with your mom?" Everyone knew that Sakura's mother traveled the world and was rarely home but when she was they had seen the two Haruno women getting along very well.
Sakura gave a quick laugh. "It wasn't always like that," she sighed again and leaned forward to put one hand on her cheek. The other arm was resting on her lap and she was looking straight ahead at the fountain. "My father taught me how to fight at a young age and my mother hated that her little girl knew how to beat people up. Of course I didn't care what she thought of me, I only cared about my dad and what he could teach me. But around the time I was transferred my dad went to jail," She gave a bitter smile at this. "The man I had looked up to for so long had gone and messed up his life for a stupid reason. He knew how to fight, knew he had power and decided he would use it. So on day when he was coming home from work he saw some kids in the park, one of them accidentally threw their drink or something on my dad's suit and pissed him off. He beat them until they were unconscious."
"Wait a minute," Shikamaru stepped in now. "You told us your dad was dead?" He sat down against the fountain, he was getting tired of standing and had a feeling this explanation would go on for a while. His friends soon joined him on the ground, expect Hinata sat on the edge of the fountain because she was wearing a skirt.
"He is dead," Sakura told them. "At least to me he is." The hand that was in her lap clenched into a fist, showing them how badly she thought of her father.
"Back to my story…" she had to think of where she left off. "I got into fights there a lot more than I did at my other school. By the time I was in fifth grade I had a lot of my classmates scared of me and I didn't mind. That's when my life really started to get interesting…" she broke off for a moment, her eyes sparkling with joy and a tiny smile on her face as she remembered the events of the day she was speaking of. "My mouth had too sharp of a tongue and I pissed off one of the six graders. When the end of school came about five of them decided to try and jump me, they didn't care if I was girl. No one at the school cared; if you could fight then you would fight no matter what your gender was. So I fought them and I'm sad to say that they were a lot stronger than I thought they would be. I thought for sure they would be beat me forever until they were kicked off of me," Once more a smile came onto her face. "To my surprise the kid that everyone in my grade school was the most scared of came to my rescue. This boy who was in my grade was known through my school, the middle school, and even the high school. He could fight the first years in middle school and win, he was so strong that many stayed away from him for fear of dying, he was so strong and I thought he was so cool. He was Kiba Inuzuka."
"Inuzuka!" This time they all interrupted her and Sakura wondered why they all sounded so shocked.
"Of the Inuzuka Clan?" Naruto jumped to his feet, eyes wide of shock and surprise and a hint of fear. "Sakura…you were friends with a Yanki?"
Sakura blinked in confusion for a moment before it all came to her. "Oh yeah! I forgot Kiba's family was part of the Yakuza." She sat back up and rubbed the back of her head and laughed. "I guess I just got so use to going over his house and hanging out with him that I forgot they were part of the mob." She laughed again like it was a normal thing that everyone did.
"Aren't they the Yakuza group that owns almost half the city?" Shikamaru questioned looking at Sasuke. His family was the Uchiha group, a family that was once the most feared in the entire country but everyone was killed off years ago by Sasuke's brother Itachi. After that the Inuzuka clan took over the Uchiha territory and ruled over.
"From what I've heard they're pretty strong." Sasuke commented, acting like he wasn't interested in the slightest but Sakura could tell that he was. "Kiba Inuzuka…" Sasuke seemed to think for a minute. "Isn't he the next head of the clan?" he asked Sakura and she nodded.
"He is," She gave a proud smile. "He's very strong and is expected to take over by the time he's eighteen." Sakura was acting as if she was expecting something amazing to happen.
"Sakura…" Naruto called her away from her thoughts. "Please stop praising the guy, it's weird." They all nodded.
Sakura forgot that this was still new to them, they weren't used to the world that she used to belong too. "Sorry about that." She apologized and went back to her tale. "Anyways, after Kiba got the guys off of me, he helped me up and said he liked my style and asked if I wanted to join his gang. I said yes right away and the two of us became fast friends and known all over the school as the most fearsome fighters. We made friends and comrades but we made a lot more enemies and it always seemed like we were fighting everyday."
"So why leave than?" Sasuke cut in now. "By the way this story if going, it sounds like you enjoyed your time with Kiba and his gang."
"I shouldn't be surprised that you caught onto that, Sasuke." She smiled at the last of the Uchiha and had to turn away very fast. Only Hinata knows that she has a small crush on the raven haired boy. "I did, I loved being with Kiba and his gang. They were like my family and every moment with them just seemed like it was right,"
"But…" Shikamaru urged her to continue.
Sakura's eyes darkened with shame and she looked down at her lap as she spoke. "One day it all went wrong." She didn't want to talk about it, she didn't want her friends to know about this day but she had to tell them. "It was about three months before most schools would be holding entrance exams for entering high school. The Nin school system just sends you up into the next level whether you're ready or not so instead of studying we all spent our time fighting and relaxing. One day when we were heading to a local fast food joint we bumped into some middle school kids that had their heads buried into their books. One of them bumped into Kiba and made both his food and drink fall on his head, and it didn't take a genius to know that he was pissed off. He attacked them with everything he had, saying it was their own fault for disrespecting him and challenging him…" she wanted to stop talking, she really wanted to skip this part of her story but she couldn't. So she continued talking and let her tears fall. "He beat them all, laughing as they begged for mercy and we all just stood there, watching as he fought against those poor boys that we all knew were much weaker than he was. It was a normal thing for us, watching our leader beat on someone else, we all got it into our minds that everyone he hit deserved it because they were dumb enough to challenge us," She couldn't stop them. The tears were pouring out of her eyes now, her hands gripping her skirt so much that she could hear the threads of it begin to rip.
"Here," Hinata was by her side now, holding out her handkerchief for Sakura to take and wipe her tears away.
"T-Thank you!" She gladly accepted the piece of cloth and wiped her eyes of the salty tears that seemed endless. "W-We watched for a good ten minutes before Kiba was finally done with them. They were all so weak, bleeding from the various wounds on their bodies, and they seemed to be knocked out. Only one wasn't it and he was trying his hardest to crawl away…" Her body was shaking, she was angry and upset. Angry by what had been done to the poor kids and upset that she had done nothing to help them. Even now she could still see them all so clearly.
"What happened, Sakura?" Shikamaru put a hand on her shoulder. In that one gesture he was telling her that it was ok to continue, they weren't judging her.
She smiled when she saw that all her friends had surrounded her because they were worried when they saw her crying. "The boy had asked me why they were attacked the way they were and that hit me. Why had Kiba attacked them? Because of an accident? The sudden thought made me so sick to my stomach I couldn't handle living a life like that anymore so I left," she wiped her eyes clear of the tears. "I left everyone and decided to start my life over, to try and fix all the horrible things I had done wrong in the past."
"Is that why you're studying medicine?" Chouji asked her and she nodded her head. She was going to become a doctor to try and help those who were hurt. She didn't do anything before so she wanted to make up for it by helping people now.
The sky was beginning to glow orange from the setting sun and Sakura looked at the glowing sky that was above her. Her mind flashed her back to her old life and the people in it, what they had done and told her when she announced that she was leaving them. What Kiba had told her he would do if she ever returned and Sakura knew what actions she needed to take. Grabbing her bag, she threw it over her shoulder and walked away from her friends. "I told you everything you guys asked of me so please do me this favor and stay out of what I'm doing. This doesn't concern you." She left them with that and headed home to prepare for the plan she would set into action tomorrow.
(A/N: Incase my explanation of the picture of what Sakura used to look like confused some of you that are reading this story than go to google and type in Sakura Haruno Samurai. It'll be the first one to come up.)