title: Fallen Leaves
summary: With thirteen men pining after her in her own mind, you'd think Sakura would know enough about herself to figure out a way to escape them. Unfortunately, they seem to know more about her than she does. And it looks like they want to get out just like her.
pairing: MultiSaku, Sasori/Sakura, Madara/Sakura, Itachi/Sakura, Pein/Sakura, Hidan/Sakura, Tobi/Sakura, Sasuke/Sakura, Gaara/Sakura, Kimimaro/Sakura, Kakashi/Sakura, Zetsu/Sakura, Naruto/Sakura, Haku/Sakura.
genre: Romance, Action/Adventure, some Angst, Drama, Horror, and a bit of Humor
AU?: Yes, yes it is.
inspiration: Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent
dedication: Storm (StormDragon666), 'cause her The Night Under oneshot was awesome and made of pure win.
warning: Language, some fluff, a bit of suspense, journeys into the inner clockworks of the mind, and maybe some gore-ish horror-ish scenes.
disclaimer: Naruto and its characters rightfully belong to Masashi Kishimoto. All quotes used belong to their respectful owner. I own nothing but the plot and possible OCs used.
notes: Don't know where this idea came from (though I do blame my iPod), but I wanted to write something for Storm...
Picked the first few guys who popped into my head when I thought of the word bloodthirsty. And then Storm requested Naruto and I decided to throw in Haku, Tobi, and Sasuke...
In the beginning, this was going to be an extremely long oneshot, but I decided to turn it into a five-to-six-shot.
The beginning feels a bit rushed, I couldn't find a way to make it feel any better though :/
All the quotes are ones I randomly found that fit what was or was going to happen in the story. Personally, I like each of them.
word count: 4,071
"And where two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury."
"Hush now, dearest. Try to sleep."
"But, Mommy, what's that smell? It smells like smoke!"
"Shh, darling. It's only a candle nothing more. Now sleep."
"A-alright, Mommy. Good night, I love you. Tell Daddy I love him too."
"Of course, honey. I love you too."
Haruno Yuri tucked her young daughter in and turned, heading for the door of the small bedroom. She glanced back at her beloved child, a soft smile drifting onto her lips at the sight of Sakura's peaceful face. Once in the hallway, she slumped into the old wicker rocking chair, eyes fluttering close.
Letting the flames of the raging fire consume her.
"I always looked for a man to rescue me and bring me happiness. I bought into that myth, of course, and looked for my own Prince Charming."
Heart pounding and blood rushing, Sakura ran the streets of her small neighborhood. She dodged passing pedestrians and hurdle-jumped over a couch a pair of movers were lugging into a quaint house. The burly men yelled obscenities after her, but she ignored them and pressed on. She bit her lower lip in agitation and glanced at her wrist watch.
The time, 4:50 PM, blared up at her in angry red numbers. Sakura cursed and forced herself to speed up. A bead of sweat trailed down her forehead, cheek, and behind her ear. Her legs were screaming at her to stop and the wind was burning her eyes.
But she couldn't stop; she couldn't afford to slow down even a miniscule amount. Sakura's parents were leaving for their three month long book tour in ten minutes, and her house was a good twenty minute-walk (fifteen minute-run) away. As a novelist couple, Haruno Tsubaki and Haruno Eriku often left for book signings and readings, but they were never gone for more than a few weeks. They had been postponing this trip for too long and couldn't put it off any longer. If Sakura didn't make it home before they left, it would be a long three month's wait before she saw them again.
She gulped down a lungful of air and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand. It was starting to get colder out, the fall winds blowing at last, but she could only feel the burning heat kindled deep in the pit of her stomach. She glanced at the street signs and realized that she was nearing her home. Only two more blocks and she'd be there. Sakura turned right sharply and started to cross the street. An oncoming car was speeding towards her and started to skid on the slick road when the driver saw the pinkette, attempting to stop. Looking up, Sakura gasped, slipping as well on the wet road, and braced herself for the impact.
Suddenly, a hand shot out and gripped her upper arm firmly, tugging her out of the road and harms way. Sakura reeled backwards and into her rescuer's chest, knocking them both down into the grass. Panting, she watched the car race by and gave a sigh of relief, subconsciously leaning back.
"Tch," her eyes snapped open and darted upwards at the sound, "Why don't you try being a little more careful?" A deep, masculine voice said. Sakura's gaze traveled backwards until she found her saviors face. His question had sounded stern, but the smile she found on the handsome man's face was kind and slightly gleeful. She stared at him for a few moments, practically drinking in his long ebony hair, pale flawless skin, and long-lashed half-lidded eyes. His irises were a strange, unnatural red, and Sakura felt like she would drown in his gaze if she looked into his eyes for too long.
She blinked, snapping out of her daze, and laughed nervously. She started to rise when he jumped to his feet, offering his hand to her. She gladly took it and he pulled her up without a problem. Though, he did put a little too much force in the tug and pulled her into his chest. Cheeks burning, Sakura backpedaled quickly. She smiled up at him anxiously, keeping her gaze pinned to his (strong, well-chiseled) chin.
"Thank you very much for saving me just then." she said sincerely. His chin bobbed as he nodded, smile shrinking into a smirk. "It was no problem. You were in quite a hurry, weren't you?" he answered, hands sinking deep into the pockets of his coat. Sakura, who's adrenaline rush had long since burned out, shivered, suddenly cold in her thin tank-top, wishing she had had the sense to grab a coat that morning. A diminishing light layer of sweat coated her arms and shoulders, the only sign of her former mad dash. Sakura's eyes widened in remembrance and she jolted.
"Shit! I'm going to be late!" she glanced up at him again before starting to turn, "Thanks again!" she was about to start her run again when his voice cut into her.
"Sakura." she whirled around in question to see her favorite red ribbon, dangling between his thumb and forefinger. He eyed her happily, smirk set in place. "I think this is yours." Her face was red as she reached out for her ribbon, which, once in hand, she tied around her head to pull her hair back, bangs falling into place and the bow and knot tucked behind her ear. She mumbled a thanks and turned, sprinting away.
Inwardly, she wondered when she had given him her name.
She ignored this thought in favor of glancing at her watch to see how late she was.
Sakura skidded to a halt, kicking up freshly fallen leaves in the process. 1:56 PM blinked almost cheekily up at her. "But, it was almost five o'clock when I last checked! Why is it only one?" Sakura's eyes widened and she spun around; maybe that man had adjusted her watch or something when she wasn't paying attention.
Curiously, he was gone.
Sakura shook her head in disbelief, turning back around and continuing down the sidewalk at a comfortable pace. She smiled to herself and looked up at the sky. Why was I in such a hurry? I've still got plenty of time! Mom and Dad don't leave for another four hours, I worry too much.
The sound of crisp leaves crunching under her feet met Sakura's ears and her smile broadened. She loved that sound. She closed her eyes in peace and walked on, purposefully stepping on as many leaves as she could, the smell of lemonade drifting by her nose.
Her brows furrowed.
Why were people making lemonade when it was Fall?
Her eyes snapped open.
The leaves she was walking on felt awfully hard and round compared to the thin flat leaves that had been coating the sidewalk earlier.
She stared in horror at the sky.
It turned into a deep blood-red. Black clouds rolled leisurely over a burnt-orange sun. A silver crescent moon hung to the left of the sun, larger than normal, and what seemed like sparkling drops of wine fell from the lowest point and down to the earth.
She froze in place.
As she stared at the moon, it turned slightly until it was a grinning mouth with sharp ivory teeth smiling down at her. She flinched and something crunched under her foot.
Her emerald eyes darted down to the ground.
Thousands of white thin bones littered the ground, black blades of grass poking up through the more lighter packed areas. As she watched, blood seeped through the cracks of the bones a few feet away from where she stood-rooted to the spot. She stood on a small island of white bones, a sea of crimson rolling waves circling her.
And that was when it started to snow.
"As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words."
At the back of her mind, Sakura vaguely noted that earlier that morning, the weather man had said nothing of snow.
She shook her head in frustration and brought herself back to what was going on. The snowflakes were a pure white, but unlike any other she'd seen before. They were the size of the palm of her hand and practically glittering in the orangey-glow of the sun. Faces were cut into the large snowflakes and Sakura recognized the profiles of her parents, friends, teachers-everyone she had ever met.
But, she realized, every few seconds she would glimpse a face she didn't recognize. She neglected to count how many unfamiliar faces she saw, but she did notice that they were each attractive in their own way. The snowflakes drifted down at an unnaturally slow pace; falling only to stop and hover just above the crimson waves, upright and facing her.
Hesitantly, she reached out to catch one of the flakes; one, she idly noted, that had the face of her second grade math teacher. It melted instantly-as soon as her finger ghosted over it. The formerly white flake dissolved into a drop of blood, falling onto her island of bones and sinking into the depths of marrow.
This was all too strange for Sakura to properly grasp.
She clenched her eyes shut and counted to ten slowly, chanting softly under her breath, hands fisted at her sides.
"When I open my eyes, there won't be any bones, there won't be any blood, the sky will be blue, and the sun and moon will be normal. I'll walk home, give Mom and Dad each a big hug and tell them to have fun on their tour. Then I'll go inside, pop in a movie, and curl up with Mr. Tedd and a tub of ice cream." She took a deep, relaxing breath, murmured a final "Okay," and opened her eyes.
Thankfully, the bones and blood were gone and the sky was back to normal. And it had even stopped snowing those strange snowflakes.
Unfortunately, she was now standing in a large meadow, surrounded by thousands of multi-colored flowers.
Also, something large and orange was racing towards her.
Sakura sort of stood there for a moment, breathing in the aroma of blooming flowers and basking in the warmth of the sunlight. She stared at the orange thing for a bit before her eyes widened. She quickly turned and began to run. She hadn't gotten far when something (most likely the orange-thing) pounced on her from behind and sent her plummeting to the ground with a yelp.
She was twisted in midair and landed on her back. A blonde haired boy grinned down at her and Sakura stared up at him in disbelief. Next thing she knew, he had his arms wrapped snuggly around her waist and his face buried in the crook of her neck. And maybe it was just her imagination but she swore he was breathing in her scent like it was some sort of drug. All she could see was his orange-shirt-covered shoulder.
"W-what...?" she stammered, squirming slightly underneath the boy, but freezing when what sounded like a purr erupted from his chest. After a bit, he finally sat up, knees straddling her hips, and studied her blushing face. Somewhere at the back of her mind, Sakura vaguely noted that all the flowers in the field had turned a light shade of pink-one that mimicked the tone of her cheeks. He grinned and leaned forward slightly, bracing his hands on either side of her head. One hand played with the loose strands of her pink hair while the other clenched around the grass. As Sakura stared up at him, she realized that his eyes were a beautiful shade of blue, one that reminded her of the ocean, and six whisker-like scars (three on each cheek) stood out against his sun-tanned face.
"It's so good to see you, Sakura-chan." He said after a moment, voice wavering from his struggle to keep from shouting. She made some sort of intelligible sound in response and he laughed, throwing his head of sunburst-yellow hair back and revealing sharp slightly longer-than-normal canines. The sunlight shined on his face happily and she gazed at him in shock. She'd seen plenty of attractive men before, but this young man radiated with the type of beauty that called out to her to touch.
"Look at you! You're so cute when you're flustered, 'ttebayo!" After a moment, he returned his excited gaze to her and grinned once more. Suddenly his smile faltered and he realized in horror that he was sitting on her. Face red, he began to scramble backwards off of Sakura when her voice pierced the silence, sending all thoughts of leaving spiraling out of his mind.
"W-who are you?" she watched his cerulean eyes dart down to her face. He grinned and planted his fists on his hips, exclaiming to the sky.
"I'm Naruto, 'ttebayo!"
Her brows furrowed as she repeated his name, tasting the syllables on the tip of her tongue. "Na-ru-to?" his name didn't sound familiar, but she felt as if it was-as if it had to be. Naruto's grin broadened as he stared down at her.
"Yeah!" his eyes darted to the sapphire-colored sky as he laughed. "The other's are going to be so jealous that I met you first!" Suddenly, a panicked look flitted across his eyes as he jolted.
"Oh, shit! The others! If they find us, those thieving bastards will steal you away from me." Sakura swore she saw his eyes flash red for a moment as a feral growl escaped his throat. As Naruto glared at some unforeseen object, the pinkette inwardly wondered what he had meant by "others". Where was she anyways? Naruto's attention returned to her and she was brought out of her musings.
"C'mon, Sakura-chan, 'ttebayo. Lets get out of here before-" He didn't get to finish his sentence because a small orange book was suddenly sent hurtling through the air to hit the broad of Naruto's head, sending him flying off of her. He landed in the (now blue and orange) flowers and Sakura slowly sat up to stare at the groaning boy. Her eyes darted to the book that was laying almost innocently in the flowers and grass.
Sakura saw a flash of silver and suddenly found herself cradled in the arms of a silver-haired masked man. Holding her bridal-style, he smiled at her from behind the cloth of his mask-a happy smile that reached his eyes (or rather, eye, since a second cloth covered one), crinkling the corners.
He exclaimed her name in joy and brushed his cloth-covered lips over her scarlet cheek, a quick peck that sent her reeling.
Finally, she could take no more. All the surprise and stress of the day that Sakura had been bottling up inside her overflowed. A crack formed in the dam behind which she tried to contain all her emotions. She threw finesse and caution to the wind, releasing her inner turmoil.
She screamed, long and loud.
Her shriek echoed throughout the meadow-the blue and orange flowers turning purple and red, some even wilting and dying where they stood. The silver haired man stared at her in shock, a streak of concern flashing in his one visible eye. His gaze swiveled sharply to Naruto, who was still attempting to assess the damage done to his head.
"Naruto! What the hell did you do to her?" the man questioned the blonde in fury, glancing at the still panicking Sakura. She was now struggling in his hold, but his strong arms held firm.
"I didn't do anything! She was perfectly fine earlier, 'ttebayo! Sakura-chan only started freaking out when you showed up." the blonde paused, sending the older man an foul look. "Why the hell did you throw your dirty porno at me anyways, Kakashi?"
The silver-head, now identified as "Kakashi", ignored him and gently set Sakura on the grassy floor, kneeling down beside her when she curled in on herself, hugging her knees to her chest and whimpering softly.
"Sakura-chan, calm down. What's wrong?" Kakashi murmured as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She flinched, but he gently pulled her closer, a hum of worry thrumming in his chest. By now, Naruto's head had stopped throbbing and he quickly crawled over to the two. At the sight of the look in Kakashi's eye, he stopped a few feet away from them, a miserable and concerned frown marring his usually happy face. He peered worriedly at the pinkette, hands fisting in the grass. The flowers around him turned into a vexed blue while the ones around Sakura and Kakashi remained an angry red and solemn purple.
After a moment, Sakura finally spoke, her voice muffled by Kakashi's shirt. He looked down at her when her voice reached his ears. Naruto attempted to lean forward to hear her as well.
"Where am I?" she asked softly. Kakashi stiffened and glanced over at Naruto who looked just as perturbed. He looked back down at the top of her pink head, searching his mind for a way to explain the answer to her. Guessing that they weren't going to answer her question, Sakura sat up and looked at Kakashi, asking her next question in an exasperated voice. "Who are you?"
Kakashi visibly relaxed and smiled at her through his mask. "I'm Kakashi," he paused and added, "It's nice to finally meet you, Sakura-chan." Her eyebrows furrowed and she moved backwards out of his hold, stopping to sit a few feet away from them both. Her eyes darted between the two strange men, who each continued to gaze at her softly. She took this time to catalog their appearances better.
Naruto (who's hair, eyes, and strange whisker-marks she had already filed away) was wearing an orange T-shirt with a strange red diagram-print over the area of his stomach. Baggy black pants comfortably covered his lower half and he was without shoes. He was about a head taller than her and was slim, yet muscular.
Kakashi's silver hair was messy, spiky, and could apparently defy gravity, favoring the left rather than just up. Despite the color of his hair, he only seemed to be in his late twenties. His one visible eye was half-lidded and had a deep black iris. His skin was pale but his physique was lean and tall. The cloth that covered his left eye was a sort of black headband and his mask was an extension of his black elbow-length-long-sleeved shirt. Pants identical to Naruto adorned his lower half as well. He also wasn't wearing shoes.
Sakura blinked and focused back on the two of them, asking something that had been bothering her profusely.
"How do you two know my name?"
At that, Naruto and Kakashi exchanged knowing glances. Kakashi opened his mouth to answer but the blonde beat him to it.
"We've all known you for a long time, Sakura-chan." he stated, head tilting to the side. Sakura crossed her arms and glared, confident that she had never in her life met either of them before. Kakashi sighed and looked over at Naruto.
"She doesn't believe us. Maybe we should get one of the others to explain?" he asked, standing and retrieving his book, slipping the small orange novel into his pants-pocket. Naruto nodded sagely and stood as well.
"Yes, this is just too complicated for either of us to elucidate effectively, 'ttebayo." The blonde brushed grass and discarded flowers from his pants. The older male raised an eyebrow and sent him a curious look, obviously questioning his sudden growth of vocabulary.
Naruto ignored him and continued. "Besides, sooner or later they're going to find Sakura-chan and, when they do, they'll be pissed and think we were trying to hide her." Kakashi smirked behind his mask and approached Naruto. "But isn't that exactly what you were planning earlier?" He crossed his arms and glared at the blonde, his anger returning.
Naruto blanched and sheepishly rubbed the back of his head, laughing nervously. Sakura watched on in curiosity and fury, all the flowers in the field bleeding into white with red speckles adorning the petals. The sky simultaneously darkened and what looked like storm clouds leisurely rolled in.
"S-sure, yeah, I was planning on doing that. But I was, of course, going to tell you about her being here! I swear, 'ttebayo!" Kakashi stopped next to him, shoulders relaxed and stance nonchalant. "Sure you were, Naruto." He smacked the back of the blonde's head, sending him sprawling to the ground, and spun around to face Sakura with a gleeful smile. Naruto groaned from his place in the grass and flowers and glared up at Kakashi.
"What was that for, Kakashi?" he exclaimed, sending a kick out at the older man's legs. The silver-head jumped to avoid the sweep and flipped Naruto onto his stomach, planting his foot on the blonde's head. Arms crossed he glared evilly down at the pinned boy. "For thinking you could possibly hide Sakura-chan from any of us. You're lucky I found you two first rather than someone like H-"
Sakura interrupted him, voice quavering in anger.
"I really don't appreciate people talking about me like I'm not there." she said as she slowly stood. Behind her, all the flowers wilted and silver and black ones sprouted up in their dying brethren's place. Lightning flashed deep in the gloomy clouds and Sakura's shoulders shook in frustration.
Naruto seemed shocked (and even cowered slightly) while Kakashi smiled cheerfully and practically pranced up to the enraged pinkette. Dropping a large hand onto the top of her head, he mused her hair like you would an adorable toddler. Almost instantly, the flowers reverted into blushing-pink buds and the sky cleared, leaving behind a bright and bashful sun. She pouted and glared up at him, swatting his hand away.
"Fine, avoid my question. But I want to meet these 'others' you two keep mentioning." her glare darkened and Kakashi laughed nervously, "And you two had better hope they can give me my answers."
Naruto jumped to his feet and hooked his arm with hers, turning around and heading purposefully toward a grove of trees she hadn't noticed before. Kakashi sighed and gripped Sakura's shoulder gently, causing her to stop and turn around in question.
"He has no idea where he's going. Follow me, Sakura-chan. The door's this way." he pointed in the direction opposite of the one Naruto was heading and grasped her hand, tugging her along. She glanced back at Naruto (who was just now realizing that Sakura was no longer with him) and turned back to Kakashi, thoughts as to what he had said flitting through her mind.
Door? But we're in a meadow...
Surprisingly, as they walked Sakura realized what he had meant. Not far from them stood a bright red door. As Sakura neared it, she became more and more curious. The door didn't seem to be attached to anything, simply standing in the middle of the meadow.
Kakashi's hand slipped out of her as he approached the door. Naruto caught up with them and slid his arm around her shoulders, grinning broadly. Kakashi stopped in front of the door, Sakura and Naruto just behind him. He raised a loosely fisted hand to the strange door and knocked twice with the back of his hand. The thuds echoed for a moment before Kakashi stepped back. He turned slightly to smile at Sakura.
"It's best to knock before entering," he explained, "The security system appreciates manners; it's less likely to hold a grudge and try to keep you out. Rudeness is not tolerated, as far as it's concerned" he sent Naruto a meaningful look, at which the blonde huffed and crossed his arms, looking away from the smirking man. He mumbled something along the lines of, "One freaking time. I burst through one time without warning and suddenly I'm a threat to the damn security." under his breath and Sakura raised an eyebrow in question.
The sounds of tumblers falling into place and locks unlocking reached her ears and the pinkette turned her attention back to the door. A gold doorknob emerged from the middle of the door and Kakashi stepped forward to grasp it. He slid the knob effortlessly across the wood to the left and turned the it. The door opened outward (revealing nothing but darkness) and he moved to the side, gesturing for Sakura to enter.
"After you, Sakura-chan." he smiled behind his mask at her, eye closed and head tilted to the right. She stood there for a moment, contemplating her options. Ultimately, she decided to just get it over with. Taking a calming breath, she stepped forward and into the darkness.
notes: Well, there's part one. I hope you all liked it! Especially you, Storm!
I hope to have the next chapter out in a few days, so be on the look out!
Be sure to review, I'd love the feed back! If there is anything that looks like it shouldnt belong, like a typo or something, please let me know and I'll fix it right away.
Also, there are a few other short fics and oneshots that I'll be posting sometime in the next few weeks/days, so check those out if you guys are interested.