Chapter 1: Fragments of Past
The time had passed abruptly, in his thousand years of existence, the young girl named Haruno Sakura was the fourth person who was able to see the characters from the old painting he had resided when the person whom he stayed with, passed away. Sakura was the first woman who discovered him. It was almost four years when their very first encounter happened. He was quite surprised first to the changes happened in just a short time of his waiting for the next person. The technologies, ways of living, and even the roles of women in the society changed, it was very different from the Meiji era, as far as he remembered, and women in that era still wear kimonos.
Itachi meditated to pass the nights. Sakura knew this because she woke once from a reverie of dark, cold water closing over her head, and knew by the crease between the ghost's eyebrows that it wasn't her own mind conjuring the image. Folded into the lotus position, Itachi was the perfect imitation of a marble statue. His colours were washed out to begin with, and the darkness bled them away. He was white, and grey, and his tresses blended with the shadows, tips snaking over the floor in inky streaks and curls Sakura like to touch. In time, it became routine to wake from that dream in the middle of the night, and after asking about it the first time, he decided to pretend it didn't pack his body with ice.
While watching the stars from the windows, his gaze returned from the sleeping young woman. It was still on early spring where the temperature inside and outside was still cold. Walking silently to watch her closer, Itachi's lips formed a small smile when he heard that she was mumbling from her sleep again.
Truly enough, the word change also applied to her, the once tomboyish child back then was replaced by more refine woman, all thanks to him. When he had first met her, she was nothing but a tomboy... Sakura wore her hair short; she dressed, talked and acted like a his determined effort, devoted enthusiasm and restless hard work, the young lady today wasn't the same little girl she used to be. Though she wasn't a real lady yet, she behaved much better. Itachi even managed to persuade her to wear her hair long. Cherishing and dressing Sakura absolutely flavoured up his dead life. Right now, he was very pleased with his current state. Sakura, his little girl, grew up to be an attractive young girl…a very attractive one. She had round green eyes, waist-length silky tresses and a bright smile that could melt many men's hearts. She was indeed his pride and his joy.
His heart sister becoming prettier every day and most of the time, Sakura had always confessions from the opposite sex, if he can recall correctly, twice or thrice a month she always received love letters. Sometimes, it irked him seeing her going out with those useless bunches. She being the only daughter, he became her protective older brother.
Over the past few days, Itachi has found himself looking at her more often, more intently than before. Quick glances stolen while she practiced playing her erhu; a more thoughtful smile while he answers her questions regarding his experienced in his near eternal life, not realizing he is still watching her; their goodnights and good mornings lingering where before they were brief and simple.
Whatever it was about her, it captivated him, and he couldn't ignore the fascination for more than a few seconds before something about her would resurface in his mind, reeling him in again like a famished fish on a lure. Perhaps, he was grown attached to her like a family, which was his thoughts regarding his feelings towards her.
"Am I able to find you here?" he whispered and closed his eyes, trying to recollect his memories together with his beloved person. The only left to remind her was the fragranced Ogi-fan he was carrying in millennium years.
"How long are you going to sleep…"a lone voice said, sadness can be traced from it. The voice was familiar, as if Sakura was talking to herself. "Someone is waiting for us…" When she slowly opened her eyes, she found herself lying in a field of flowers; it was neither warm nor cold, her whole body felt the strange heaviness surrounding her. Then, she closed her eyes again, drifting away to sleep.
"Let me sleep for a while…" Sakura replied, and felt someone was caressing her face. "Who are you?" she whispered.
"He is waiting…" the soft voice replied and Sakura once again opened her eyes but when she tried to look at the person whom she was talking, the place suddenly changed into traditional terrace, where she can see a view of sakura trees into its full bloom and the flowers were like giving the final tribute dance to the tree. Sakura was startled when she was wearing a juni-hito. "I am in dream, I can tell it… Is it Itachi's dream again?"
"She is not even smiling, how can I paint her?" one of the person in the distance said, then a familiar person came, automatically her body moved on its own and formed a smile at the sight of him.
"General Uchiha, you came." The painter said, and surprised to see her in a smile. "That smile, please maintain that smile, Princess." He added.
'I am really in Itachi's dream again, and what is this? I play the role of the princess?' Sakura thought to herself as she wondered what will happen in that dream. For the umpteenth time, Sakura saw herself again, lying on her own pool of blood as the whole place was burning… The sweet dream has turned into vicious nightmare, where she knew that she cannot escape until she opened her eyes from the reality…
The sound of alarm clock made a certain young woman with carnation coloured tresses and obsidian eyes awakened and reached the said gadget to turn it off. Another morning had come to her life, it means another boring lectures and playing the prodigy type of person as she is. Did she mention that she truly loves school? But it was not any regular school day, Haruno Sakura is now a freshman in her high school years, meaning that she wasn't allowed to slack-off and high school means having a lot of changes and adoption from being a junior high she was before. Sakura sat up lazily on her king size bed and went directly in her bathroom. Every day was the same to her, waking up, breakfast, and going to school. It was her daily routine.
Meanwhile, Sakura was trying to get her waist length locks into pony-tails; Itachi was staring up again into the sky as if he was in deep thinking. Turning her gaze towards him, he smiled at her as a form of greeting.
It was almost four years when Sakura had encountered Uchiha Itachi, the wandering spirit. She was turning sixteen in two months of time. At first, Sakura felt awkward having Itachi at her side but in the times that had passed, she learned a lot from him and both of them enjoyed their company. Sometimes, Sakura had the irked to kick him or pull his hair out of him when Itachi always lecturing her to move in a refine and more dignified movements as a lady. When she was younger, she acted a little bit in a tomboyish manner until Itachi came into her life; her shoulder length locks was now into the waist length. It was Itachi who suggest growing her hair, thinking that it would suit her most. A sigh came out from her small mouth as she remembered the times when Itachi's presence scared the hell out of her. She was the only physical object that Itachi can hold and the other things that surround them passes through him, be a living things or non-living objects.
From the beginning, Uchiha Itachi was nothing more than a grouchy old man to her. Every single day he kept preaching her about her conducts. Turning her life style into upside down.
"The young should behave well towards the adults, especially you're a girl."
"It's a bad manner to put your elbows on the dining table."
"Don't curse like that Sakura, a lady doesn't curse,"
"You should not laugh like there is no tomorrow, young one."
"A well-educated lady should not wear those kinds of clothing."
"Act according into your age, you are not a child anymore, Sakura."
"A real Yamato Nadeshiko has more refine movements and conducts."
To be honest, Sakura herself didn't care much about this manners lesson. A real Yamato Nadeshiko? Who cares about that these days? She always reprimands him that they were now on the twenty-first century where a lot of changes happened. Nevertheless, since she had a strict private mentor who tailed her twenty four hours a day observing every small movement she made, she instinctively behaved better in order to evade those mind-numbing lectures. That was the reason why she progressively changed her behaviour and became more courteous. Though she detested acknowledging it, she was well aware that Itachi did have a virtuous influence on her.
Still, she would rather perish or cut her hair into that boy cut style rather than to say it out loud.
Actually, Sakura loved him. How could she not love Itachi? He was her adviser, her big brother and her best friend. He was the first one she saw when she woke up and the last one she saw before she went to sleep. In the morning the gorgeous ghost greeted her with a sweet smile while he wished her a goodnight's sleep at night. Most importantly, he was always be with her, with Itachi by her side, she knew she would never be alone. Yes, she loved him, despite the fact that he was such a strict and serious ghost who always made her throw up when she upsets him. His reason was simple though, his sadness just encompasses into her thoughts.
To be honest to herself, Sakura had one secret that she was keeping from Itachi.
Sakura knew she was attracted to him when the times was passing by, in the everyday of their shared existence, she had grown attached and attracted to him. At first she thought it was only a simple infatuation. However, she felt the simple attraction had grown into simply loving him. She was afraid that Itachi might know her feeling into him. She didn't want for their friendship to change because of her. And she knew from the start that she had no chance, because Itachi was tied into a thread that holds him… Their eternal promise… She was only one of those people who tried to find the half of his soul… And someday, she will perish and Itachi will move again into different person until the myth of their story became part of the reality.
"Do you want to go somewhere later?" Sakura asked.
"I thought you are going to your grandfather's place?" he replied.
"Nah, I totally forgotten about it, I think my mother will go there to get my kimono."
"We should go home straight. I would love to hear you playing that piece again."
"Err, if you don't want to go somewhere, I guess I will accept Neji-kun's invitation…" she replied and took her school bag and headed outside, as her butler was waiting outside. "Hey, why did you stop walking?" Sakura added, lifting her eyebrows as she noticed his expression changed drastically. Then, Sakura had the urge to throw up all the food she ate earlier and ran to the bathroom. "What the hell is that for, Uchiha?" she shouted and weakness took over her.
"Relax Haruno-san," Itachi cut in. "I do not like that stiff boy for you. Just go home straight." He added coolly while in crossed arms. The sound of his sleeves can be heard.
"Tch, I need social life too, Uchiha. Don't talk to me until I call into you." She replied angrily and went outside the bathroom after she cleaned up herself.
School was finally over for the day, much to Sakura's relief. The day seemed to go by so slowly that she felt it was never going to end. She couldn't even remember what happened or what she had learnt, for she got caught out numerous times daydreaming in class. As much as she would have liked to blame Itachi for this, as it was him she was daydreaming about, it was her own fault for letting him get to her so much.
As Sakura noticed his behaviour lately, he was easily upset and didn't approve of her going out to her future fiancé. Sometimes she thought him being jealous but that fantasy was cleared-up when Itachi muttered that his princess didn't act boisterously which saying that hurts her pride and feelings. Sakura hated herself from falling for him that's why she was trying hard to avert her feelings and Itachi was making the situation worst by acting a protective father who has a shotgun, who's going to shoot those who tried to take a glance into his precious daughter.
"Did you call for me?" he replied and smirked form in his lips as his expression was unreadable at the moment. His eyes were closed at the moment and Sakura just ignored him. Using their mind telepathy to talked to each other. Itachi moved closer into her, until their faces were just two inches away.
"What do you think you are doing?" Sakura retorted and averted her head's direction into the side of the car's window.
"There is a leaf stuck into your hair."He replied and distanced himself from her and Sakura took the leaf from her locks. Impregnable silence took over them as they've found the whole situation awkward.
Sitting tiredly on the edge of the bed, Sakura looked at her ghost friend, "Until today, I still don't get it," Breaking the silence, Sakura finally gave in and spoke up first, "Why you did always compared me to her and why did you choose me?" Trying to brighten up the tense air, she pointed the topic.
"You just simply found me…" the man in white garment smiled warmly as he thought of her beloved person. "Hime-sama is really a kind person."
Feeling a pang of jealousy in her chest, the spoiled girl swiftly laid down on her side, turning her back on the naïve ghost, "That's right, the princess is a saint and I'm a wicked witch from hell!" She uttered sharply. Sakura recognized that already and he didn't need to point that she was just nothing but a bratty little girl. "Well for you, I am nothing but an annoying brat, this is what you think, isn't it?" The mad girl accused with a dissatisfied tone, "I'm no good and didn't even touched your standards as a person, very well, sorry about that."
Itachi's eyes widen in surprised when he heard her. Not even once in their time together, he didn't think of her in that way. Sakura was kind on her own way and he really appreciated the things and knowledge she had shared with him. "When I lived with my life, meeting her was really the one of my happiest moment." Itachi slowly stated with a tender voice.
"…" Sakura didn't say anything back; she simply bored her eyes into him. Stupid Itachi, he cannot even see that her heart was breaking into pieces when he said that in front of her.
"But to be with you, to teach you and to watch you growing into fine lady everyday does bring me contentment," the breathtakingly beautiful man genuinely said it from the heart, "About what you've said, I'll never think of you like that, Never ever."
Gazing at the long raven-haired man, the unhappy girl looked highly sceptical, "Do you mean it?"
"Yes, I do, I apologize if I made you feel like that."
"Yes." He replied.
"Really, really?" she asked hopefully, teary eyed she asked.
"Yes." He smiled at her to reassure her and to remove all the doubts in her young heart.
She gave him a long searching questioning look in order to judge him; Itachi simply stayed silent and answered her gaze with his earnest one. Unexpectedly, Sakura approached him, her face unreadable. Suddenly, he was surrounded by her warmth and Itachi just patted her head. "Thank you very much, Itachi…" When Sakura muttered those words, Itachi felt that it was familiar to him, the endearment and the emotions that swarmed in that simple line. 'Could that be that Sakura is…?' Itachi thought to himself. Sakura released him and went back into her bed; her back was facing him and busied herself looking into her i-pad. Actually, Sakura did it to hide her reddened cheeks.
'Today, she seems so emotional and impulsive?' The dead man wondered. 'One minute she despairs of everything, next minute she's angry at me with no reason…This is strange…' "Sakura." His voice startled her.
"What?" Sakura said with annoyance.
"Today is…the day?" Itachi asked timidly.
"What day are you talking about?" she replied.
"You know, that day." Itachi really felt distinctly uneasy about this; still, he was concerned about her. 'Is she in a bad mood because of the pain?'
"What the hell are you talking about?" Sakura retorted back.
"Are you having a period?" he asked innocently and suddenly her favourite pillow was flying into his direction, instantly, Itachi easily dodged the pillow even though it will hold no effect against him.
"Ahhhh! Idiot!" Sakura fumed and went into fighting position…
Err, I apologized for any mistakes. By the way, what is your favourite part of this chapter? I really enjoyed writing when Itachi asked Sakura if she is in period… I just added some humour into the last part. Please don't forget to leave review! I made this whole day... And I update fast when my stories are well-received...
A guy shouldn't ask a girl if she is in period, especially if we are angry. Am I right?
The dream part was inspired in the scene of the movie "The Myth" by Mr. Jackie Chan. That movie is really nice try to watch it if you haven't yet…
If you have some questions feel free to ask me, I will reply to you. :)
Erhu is a chinese instrument… It was listening into it and fascinated by the calm and beautiful music it produce, that's why I made Sakura here able to play erhu…