Heavy rain fell from the grey clouds covering Konoha's sky, with the rain came roars of thunder that boomed loudly throughout the entire village. Every fortunate soul had managed to find refuge before being drenched by the unexpected storm. Sadly for Sakura Haruno the only protection was offered by the tree that shared her name.
"My mum is going to kill me!" She sulked as she attempted to brush the clumps of mud off her red dress and black tights that reached her knees. She turned her agitated expression towards the man leaning against the tree besides her, "this is your fault!"
Onyx eyes lower to the pouting girl besides him. His unapologetic expression only seemed to irritate Sakura more as she crossed her arms over her chest. He did not know where she developed this short fuse but it would eventually lead to the loss of his sanity. "You're exaggerating, she will understand," he stated calmly.
"Seriously Itachi-sensei? You haven't seen what she like! She nags me constantly about everything I do." Sakura scoffed as she looked away from the taller man, causing her pink hair to fall from behind her ears.
Itachi inwardly sighed as he watched the rain pool into small puddles on the ground. It was clear Sakura who had recently turned fifteen was a defiant rage of hormones. Just like his younger brother Sasuke. Despite only being four years her senior the eldest out of the Uchiha brothers was known and respected for the maturity he developed at young age. Which for him meant he could not understand what Sakura was going through but merely tolerate it, as he did with Sasuke.
"Can we just cancel the rest of our training and go to Ichiraku?" She replaced her sullen attitude and crossed arms with a gleam of hope and hands tightly cupped together.
Itachi found himself considering her suggestion, something he rarely did. Otherwise he would have definitely lost his sanity after she suggested he take her, Sasuke and Naruto on another camping trip, despite the failure of the first. But today she had shown dedication to their sparring match, insisting they continue until the rain fell so heavily she began slipping from the branches and into the mud below. Their earlier decision to wait out the unseasonable rain seemed to be in vain as it became heavier. "I will make an exception today but you have to go home and change first," Itachi said as he eyed the mud covering most her body.
"Really? My mums going to kill me," the kunoichi in training groaned as she left the covered of the tree decorated with small pink flowers.
Itachi followed her actions and stood beside her. "We'll meet there in an hour," Itachi said as he ignored the droplets of rain that seeped into his navy shirt. He placed a firm hand on top of Sakura's head and ruffled her damp hair.
Sakura groaned as she unsuccessfully attempted to neaten her hair. "You should invite Sasuke," she sad shyly as she took off towards the village.
Itachi didn't respond as he departed the training grounds and headed for the Uchiha Compound. With each day Sakura grew less subtle about her feelings towards Sasuke. It was obvious to him from observing the pairs interactions that it would not be long until one of the little fools admitted their feelings. Maybe he should attempt a man to man talk with his younger brother.
A squeak escaped Sakura as she checked the time on the leather wristwatch decorated with small flowers. It was a hint Itachi had given in her in the form of a gift after she arrived late to their training and claimed she didn't know the time. She kept her red umbrella gripped tight in her hands as she ran through the deserted street. Not even the sunset was visible through the dark, ominus looking clouds.
Sakura closed her umbrella as she entered Ichiraku Ramen, a series of pants escaping her lips as she did. With slight annoyance she noticed the patches of water that managed to get onto her pink shirt matched with a black skirt and knee high boots. Of course her mother argued with her about the outfit being inappropriate for the weather, and as a sneeze escaped Sakura she found herself reluctantly agreeing.
Her eyes landed on Itachi who sat alone at the very end of the bar, his attention on the book in his hand.
"What are you reading?" Sakura questioned as she claimed the stool beside him.
"Harshirama Senju's biography," Itachi answered as he shut it with a gently snap and swapped it for a menu.
"You're always reading biographies and history books," Sakura commented with a bored tone. She often insulted Itachi's literary choices despite reading a lot of them herself. The difference being she also read fiction novels.
Itachi shrugged off her comment with a smirk as his eyes skimmed the menu, "are you ready to order?"
As if on cue Teuchi approached the two, a huge smile across his aging face. "You're growing prettier every day Sakura."
"Thank you," Sakura said with a hint of embarrassment. She wasn't complimented on her appearence often. "Could I get a bowl of the barbecue chicken please?"
"I will have the same, thank you," Itachi added as he closed his menu.
"Coming up right up!" Teuchi said happily as he turned back to the stove.
"Sasuke and Naruto will be here later," Itachi said as he turned his attention back to his book, flipping through the pages as he absorbed the information presented in small letters written in black ink.
"Ugh why Naruto as well?" Sakura sighed as she rested her head against her palm.
"They seem to come in a pair," Itachi replied, his attention still on the book.
"They're like an old married couple," Sakura giggled as a bowl of ramen was placed in front of her.
Itachi closed his book for a second time, placing it to the side of him. "Is there a reason you want to be alone with my brother?" He already questioned Sasuke, who went to great lengths to avoid the topic. Which only proved Itachi's deduction to be correct, the pair were clearly romantically interested in one another.
Sakura choked on her mouthful of ramen as she turned her eyes to Itachi. She gulped as her cheeks turned red, "it's not like that! I just..."
"You just?" Itachi quirked a dark eyebrow, he was just teasing her now. Considering the amount of attitude she gives him, he figured it was justified.
"Hey Sakura!" A familiar voice called from behind the pair.
"Hey Naruto," Sakura said with a deadpan expression before her eyes noticed the bored looking Uchiha behind him. "Hey Sasuke!" She gleamed slightly.
Itachi shot a quick nod in Sasuke's direction before returning to his food. He noticed that Sasuke claimed the stool besides Sakura before Naruto could.
"How was training today?" He heard Sasuke question the girl besides him.
Itachi intentionally zoned out from their conversation as something outside the confines of Ichiraku caught his attention. Without a word he left, ignoring the questioning looks that followed him. He was greeted with the darkness as he stepped into the empty street, noting the rain had stopped at some point.
"Itachi Uchiha," a figure dressed a long black cloak and ANBU mask approached him from the shadows.
"Yes," Itachi said coolly.
"The Hokage would like a word with you."
Itachi knew it must have been important enough to send an ANBU to collect him. He looked back at the light seeping through the long white material along Ichiraku's doorway. He caught a glimpse of Sasuke leaning towards his students ear, whatever he said caused her to laugh and Naruto to yell. He turned his attention back to the ANBU and nodded. "I will head there right away."
"Where did Itachi go?" Sakura questioned as she looked at the half eaten bowl of ramen he left behind. Her gaze eventually shifted to blue and onyx orbs.
Sasuke shrugged, "he does it all the time."
Sakura sighed quietly, Itachi had never run out on her before. "Do you think he'll come back?"
"Are you in love with Itachi or something Sakura?" Naruto laughed with a mouthful of ramen. There were already two empty bowls in front of him.
"What like you love Hinata Hyuga?!" Sakura shouted loud enough to be heard by all inside the small restaurant. Sadly for her the rain had been bad for business and they were the customers in the shop.
"Hey shut up!" Naruto retorted as he slammed his chopsticks onto the counter.
Sasuke remained silent as he attempted to enjoy his ramen while sitting in the middle of their shouting match. His dark eyes darting between the pair.
"Don't say I love Itachi!" Sakura argued back, slamming her small fist on the wooden bench.
"Oh yeah I forgot you have the hots for Sasuke!" Naruto yelled as he pointed to the Uchiha.
Sakura gasped and blushed before she jumped from her seat and ran from Ichiraku. Halfway down the street she slowed herself to a brisk walking pace, wrapping her arms around herself to maintain some warmth in the cold nights air. She couldn't explain her actions but in that moment she chose flight instead of fight. She watched her breath in the cold air that escaped her with angry puffs as she walked home.
"Sakura!" A voice echoed her name through the street. "Wait up!"
Sakura knew immediately who the voice belonged it. A voice that she loved to hear say her name. She stopped and glanced over her shoulder to see Sasuke running towards her with a red umbrella tucked under his arm. She shifted her body nervously to face him, her cheeks feeling hot against the cool air.
"Are you okay?" Sasuke questioned as he held out the umbrella to her, she took it with a silent thank you.
"Yeah sorry for bailing," she laughed it off.
Sasuke shrugged as he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his black jacket, "if it makes you feel any better, I left Naruto with the bill."
"It does," Sakura smiled before nervously looking away. "I better head home."
"I'll walk you," Sasuke shrugged again as he began to walk in the direction of Sakura's house. He had been there only a couple of times but remembered it's location without much thought.
"Thanks," Sakura blushed as she caught up to the Uchiha, trying to match his fast pace.
A silence fell between the two, with nothing but the click of their heels and the mews of stray cats to fill the air. Sakura rubbed her hands up and down her arms in an attempt to warm herself.
"Here," Sasuke slid his jacket off and held it out to her.
Sakura's lips parted slightly in surprise before smiling as she accepted his offer. "Thank you," she whispered as she pulled the black material over her arms. She was comforted by warmth and his scent that lingered in fabric.
"Itachi said you're doing well," Sasuke said as he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his shorts, now glad he decided to wear a long sleeve shirt under his jacket.
"I didn't think he'd even mention me," Sakura said with slight surprise. Itachi rarely even told her she was doing well.
"Well he tells my parents and I just eavesdrop," Sasuke admitted with a small smirk. "I guess he thinks I'd run off and tell you."
"I guess his assumption was right as always," Sakura giggled.
"I guess so," Sasuke mumbled as he looked at the girl walking besides him. It was only recently he begun to notice her - as Kiba had worded it - slammin' body. Along with her striking emerald eyes that lit up whenever she saw him, or the way she would smile whenever they talked about a common interest. He often wondered how her lips would feel against his.
"Sakura," Sasuke whispered as he stopped walking.
"Yeah?" Sakura said as she turned around to face him.
The Uchiha took a step forward, his onyx eyes starring at her intensely as he reached for her hand. Sasuke watched as her lips parted slightly, the warmth of her heavy breaths reaching him. With zero reluctance he claimed her inviting lips with his. He paused for a second and waited for any signs of rejection but instead she leaned her petite body into his. He took the opportunity to deepen the contact as he ran a his tongue over her bottom lip. She parted her lips and welcomed his tongue with the taste of ramen still faintly in her mouth. He snaked his arms around her slender waist as he continued to lap his tongue over hers.
Sakura was the first to break the contact, not because she wanted to but the air had become thin in her lungs. She placed a hand on her that chest heaved as small desperate breathes escaped her. "S-sorry,"she whispered embarrassed and flustered.
"You don't need to apologize," Sasuke mumbled as he stuffed his hands back into his pockets and began walking again.
Sakura caught up to him again, still feeling the tingling of his kiss on her lips. "So..." she said nervously as she looked at the Uchiha, his handsome features were calm with a hint of satisfaction.
"I like you," he mumbled as his eyes returned to the pavement covered in small pools of water. He didn't mean the confession of his feelings to sound so childish and he hoped Sakura didn't think so.
Sakura looked at him as though she had seen a ghost, unsure if he had really just said those words to her. "I like you as well."
The Uchiha couldn't help but smile at her answer as he silently slid the hand closets to her out of his pocket and entwined their fingers. She returned his smile and gripped his hand tighter. Not even an hour ago this kind of intimacy with the youngest Uchiha was a fantasy of hers but now she had experienced his lips against hers and the warmth of his touch. Her hormones were raging for more contact but she kept her composure.
"So..." Sakura gulped as she glanced to her side and into Sasuke's dark hues, "does this make us... you know."
Sasuke chuckled lightly which caused Sakura to panic for a minute. Was this all some joke to him?
"You're my girlfriend," he didn't ask, he stated as he pulled her closer to him. Sasuke was becoming aware of Sakura's growing admirers and if he didn't claim her as his now then someone else eventually would.
The couple stopped outside Sakura's from front door, their eyes meeting with a shared excitement and curiosity towards their new relationship. They were now officially more than friends, something they both welcomed but also felt intimidated by.
"I guess this is it," Sakura sighed with disappointment.
"Yeah," Sasuke shared her disappointment as he stuffed his hands pockets.
"Or..." A devious smile formed across her lips. "Do you remember how to get into my room?"
Sasuke nodded in response, he'd sneaked in a couple of times for innocent purposes when they were younger.
"Meet me in my room," Sakura whispered with a rebellious flicker in her eyes before she opened her front door.
"I'll see you later Sakura," Sasuke said with a wink. He knew her mother would be listening the moment the door creaked opened, he had witnessed her overbearing nature.
"Bye!" Sakura returned his wink as she disappeared behind the door.
With a smirk Sasuke headed for her bedroom window, he was excited to explore the benefits of their relationship.
"Wake up Sakura!" A stern voice growled. With the movement of fabric the morning sun burned into the room.
"Close the curtains!" Sakura groaned as she shielded her tired eyes.
"You wouldn't be so tired if you didn't go running around in the cold on a week night," Mebuki sighed as she left the room.
Sakura smiled into her pillow as she recalled the night before. Sasuke stayed most of the night but left long before sunrise to prepare for a mission he was leaving for today. She wasn't pleased that she slept through him sneaking out or that she wouldn't see him for the next two days. But she couldn't feel too sorry for herself since the Uchiha was exclusively hers.
She slid from her bed and stretched in one swift movement. Since the rain had cut short her training with Itachi yesterday, she knew he wouldn't go easy on her today. She wondered if Sasuke had the chance to tell Itachi. She could already guess his reaction, a slight roll of the eyes, followed by a stern expression and brief lecture about priorities.
A sigh escaped Sakura as she relaxed into the soft grass of the training grounds. It returned to it's beauty overnight, with the grass looking thicker and greener and the vibrant petals of the cherry blossom trees floating through the air with each soft breeze.
She tucked her arms behind her head as she waited patiently. It was uncharacteristic for Itachi to show up late on any occasion, he was either a few minutes or on time. She watched the birds that danced in the sky above her.
"Sakura!" Naruto's voice called her from her daze.
Lazily Sakura sat up, resting her hands behind her in the grass. "What are you doing here Naruto?" She questioned with a slight sourness to her voice. She was still upset about last night.
"My dad sent me here to tell you..." Naruto paused as his blue eyes lowered to the green pasture around his sandals.
"Just spit it out," Sakura said as she stood to her feet, crossing her arms over her chest.
"It's Itachi," Naruto nervously fiddled with his own thumbs. "Last night a scroll with a forbidden technique on it was stolen and well... Itachi has gone missing."
Sakura cocked a suspcious eyebrow, "is this another one of your stupid pranks? Because it isn't funny." She didn't want to believe him.
"No it isn't Sakura! I swear!" Naruto waved his hands defensively. "I'm sorry Sakura, dad sent me here to warn you before the news spreads through the village."
A confused look took other Sakura's porcelien features as she starred at Naruto with disbelief. Itachi wouldn't give up everything for a forbidden techinque, his ambilities were beyond that. Even the mere idea of it was just absurd to her. "I don't believe you," she shook her head as she clenched her fist into tight balls.
"Sakura," Naruto gulped. "Itachi is being considered a missing-nin."
The young kunoichi looked at her friend in shock before her clenched fist met Naruto's chin, knocking him back a couple of steps.
"What was that for?" Naruto sulked as he rubbed the now red and tender area.
"I was just making sure I wasn't dreaming," Sakura whispered as she lowered her shaking body back onto the grass, shock going through her system as she still tried to comprehend the news of Itachi's uncharacteristic betrayal.
"Does Sasuke know?" She said in a hoarse whisper as she pulled her legs into her chest.
"Not yet but they've called him and Kakashi-sensei back from their mission," Naruto said as he sat besides her, a comforting hand resting on her shoulder. "Dad wants to question you both about any behavioral changes you might have noticed recently."
"There wasn't any," Sakura said with a pout as her chin rested against her knees. Before a forced smile crept across her lips, "do you want to spar with me?"
Naruto blink a few times at her sudden mood change, "sure..."
"I won't go easy!" Sakura declared as she started running into the center of the large field. In that moment she realized ignorance was truly bliss. She wanted to ignore the ache in her chest and carry on as though Itachi was just running late, at least for a little while.
I hope you guys liked chapter one! The next chapter will begin with a four year time skip. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this ^_^