"So where is he now?" Tsunade questioned irritably.
"Gone." Jiraiya answered, shrugging his shoulders.
"That bastard snake!" She roared.
"He left alongside Kabuto, last night. There are rumors stating that he has something to do with the sound shinobi, however, nothing has been verified yet." Itachi said formally.
"How about Anko?" Ibiki questioned. "Shouldn't she be held liable for what happened?"
"I don't think she knew what she was doing." Shisui said, frowning slightly.
"But….." Kakashi started.
"I agree with Shisui." Itachi interjected. "Anko was a pawn in his game; it was because of her though, that we were able to save Sakura. I believe that she should be regarded as a witness." He said in monotone.
Shisui actually looked stunned for a second.
"Hmm." The hokage said tapping a finger to her chin. "Fine, then."
"How is Sakura-chan doing now?" Genma questioned.
"She still hasn't woken up yet." Shizune pitched. "However, her situation is stable."
The room occupants seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
"Is she still at the hospital?" Neji questioned.
"No, she is at my dorm room." Itachi responded. "Uzumaki-san and Hyuuga-san are with her."
Neji had to roll his eyes when Genma looked at him at the mention of 'Hyuuga-san'.
"That would be Hinata Hyuuga and not me since I happen to be standing right here." He told his teammate irritably.
Genma gave an "Ahhh" of understanding and at that everyone in the room burst out laughing, even Itachi's expression seemed to lighten a bit in appreciation for the humor of the situation.
"Alright," The hokage said slamming her palms on her desk. "You are to keep looking for that snake. And Shisui since Mitirashi is staying at your place; see what information you can get from her regarding the bastard's whereabouts. YOU ARE ALL DISMISSED." She finished in a formal tone.
At that they all bowed and started filing out of the room.
"Hey, Uchiha," Tsunade called after Itachi. "You take good care of my student."
At that Itachi gave a sexy as hell half smile before nodding and leaving the room.
"My lucky, lucky student." She added in a low voice.
"Tsunade-sama." Shizune berated the lecherous hokage.
Walking out of the room, Kakashi stopped Itachi for a second.
"Itachi-san," The copy ninja greeted. "I would like to stop by for a while this afternoon to check on Sakura." He said in a fatherly tone. "If that won't be much of a bother."
Itachi nodded understandingly. "No bother at all Hatake-San. You can stop by at any time." The Uchiha said courteously.
"Much appreciated."The silver haired man said with a smile, before walking away.
"Itachi." Came a voice from behind the Uchiha.
Itachi didn't turn around, yet he slowed down a bit for his cousin to catch up to him.
Shisui quickly caught up to his best friend; however, he remained silent for almost a minute as the two walked on by.
"What you did in there…." Shisui finally started. Itachi did just save Anko's ass, and Shisui knew for a fact that his cousin would like nothing more than to kill her dead.
"If it is your desire to be with her then I shall not stop you." Itachi said without preamble. "However, I trust you to keep her away from Sakura." He said fixing his cousin under his gaze.
Shisui actually chuckled at that.
"You never beat around the bushes do you, little cousin?" He said laughingly. "I promise you, she won't hassle kitten anymore."
At that Itachi nodded and took off.
"Thank you." Shisui said after him.
"AWAAAAAY!" Ino ordered, swatting him away regally.
"No." Sasuke said, completely unmoved.
Ino was currently in the process of doing some exercises (which was what she normally did when she was relieved after a particularly tough mission. And Sakura remaining alive was no different.)
For his part, Sasuke has been following her around all morning, as he systematically scared away any man who attempted to admiringly regard her spandex clad figure as she did laps around the academy.
"What do you want from me anyway?" She said turning to face him with a stone faced expression.
"I want you." He said simply.
The girl was taken aback for a second, however, she regained her bearings quickly, and hiding her embarrassment with a cough, she pushed on. "Screw you Uchiha, I don't want you." She said resuming her trot around the academy.
However, a second later she had to stop as Sasuke appeared in front of her.
"Yes you do." He said impassively.
"Listen," she started irritably.
"I listened to you last time; this is your turn to listen." He ordered in a no nonsense tone.
The girl scowled at him.
"I understand that the way I treated you hasn't been fair. And I am not promising to change who I am but I am under the impression that I care for you, this is why you will be my girlfriend form this point on." He finished simply.
The girl's mouth flew open, as she gawked at the guy.
"Y-You're asking me out?" She said sheepishly.
"And as my girlfriend you are not to engage in any sort of relationship with any other man." He declared.
"Wa-wait…." She stuttered. "You're asking me to date you exclusively."
"Call it what you want." He said haughtily.
The blonde just stared at him for a second.
"Aren't you supposed to ask for forgiveness for what you've done first?" She said raising an eyebrow. *If he thinks he's getting out of it that easily he has another thing coming.* She thought.
However, Sasuke didn't act as she expected, instead his hand found its way to her arm and in a second she was pulled flush against his chest, with his lips pressed urgently against hers.
"Good apology." Ino said breathlessly after Sasuke pulled away.
His answering smirk, assured the girl that they had some very interesting times ahead of them.
Walking down a long alleyway amongst the clouds, with everything within view glimmering with a soothing white sheen; Sakura was looking around her in awe.
The light pure wind in her face caused her hair and crisp white dress to flutter around her dreamily.
Sakura smiled as she regarded the drifting clouds. Her smile grew even wider when she arrived at the end of the alleyway to find a giant white and gold gate.
"Welcome." Came an angelic voice from behind the gates.
Soon the gates flew open of their own accord, and behind them stood…. And at that Sakura really had to blink a couple of times to wrap her mind around the white bunny looking back at her.
"Sakura." The bunny said in a strange voice.
"Bunny?" She questioned dreamily, as her eyes started focusing on someone who was by no means 'a bunny'.
He smiled, "Once again: not exactly." Itachi said in an obviously relieved tone.
"I….It…." Sakura stuttered unable to fathom what was happening or where was the bunny. " you…. 'Tachi-san?" was all that came out.
"Tachi-san?" Itachi repeated leaning closer to her. "Really?" He husked out.
Now it took a blush for her mind to focus.
And at that she sat up quickly causing Itachi to draw back in amusement.
"WHAT?... WHERE? ….. HOW?" She paused registering the fact that she was sitting on a bed in Itachi's dorm room, with Itachi looking bemusedly back at her. "I am not dead." She concluded.
"Good guess." He said with an earnest smile.
Itachi then did the unthinkable, he leaned closer to her once more, wrapped his arm around her waist and drew her back to rest her head on his chest, and leaning down slightly he placed a chaste kiss on her forehead.
Sakura felt relief wash over her every sense. "But… How?" She questioned.
"Senka and his minions are in prison." Itachi informed her. "And Orochimaru was the one to inform Senka of your whereabouts he is now listed as an S-class criminal. And I promise you Sakura, that I shall find him." He finished confidently.
Sakura sat up a bit and looked at him.
"Apparently, it was part of some scheme he had to get Anko close to me and my family."
"Ah." She said bowing her head.
Itachi raised a hand to ruffle her hair.
The girl looked up and had to blush at the caring look she found in his eyes.
"Never bow your head Sakura, it doesn't suit an Uchiha." He said simply.
"Uchiha never bow their heads Sakura."
Itachi's answer was in the form of a light peck on the cheek, "That is if you agree to take me for a husband." He added, leaning in to whisper sensuously in her ear.
"WHAT?" Sakura repeated, not knowing what on earth was happening.
And at that Itachi actually laughed.
However, Sakura didn't have time to verify what just happened, as the door quickly flew open revealing an out of breath blonde who was eyeing her as if she was a giant oxygen tank.
"SAKURA-CHAAN." Naruto screamed for the world to hear, he then ran towards her, jumped on the bed and drew her into a deep bone crushing hug.
"Naruto?" Came the girl's muffled cry of surprise.
Naruto started rocking her back and forth. "OH SAKURA-CHAN." He screamed. "I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK. I DON'T CARE IF YOU WANT TO BE WITH THE BASTARD'S EVIL OLDER BROTHER, I DON'T CARE IF YOU WANT TO PUNCH ME IN THE FACE EVERYDAY. I AM JUST GLAD YOU ARE BACK." He finished completely oblivious to the death glare said 'evil older brother' was giving him at the moment or the fact that he was suffocating the poor girl.
"Off the bed." Itachi ordered darkly, and it was all it took for the blonde to literally fly off the bed.
"Sorry sir?" He said giving Itachi a military greeting.
This caused Sakura and Hinata who was standing in the door way to break into a fit of laughter.
"I am so glad you're OK Sakura-chan." Hinata declared.
"Thank you Hinata." She said gratefully.
"You're finally up." Tenten's voice echoed through the door way, as she and Neji popped in.
"How are you feeling, Sakura-chan?" Neji questioned.
"I am good thank you." She said with a smile, internally wondering if the entire town has caught a whiff of what happened to her.
"That is good to know, Saku-chan." Jiraiya said magically appearing in front of the bed, with Kakashi on his side.
"I am glad you're OK, Sakura." Kakashi said in a kind tone.
"Thank you." She said with a sweet smile.
This attention and concern were leaving the girl humbled, grateful and in awe.
"FOREHEAAAAAAD." Came an oh-so-familiar voice from behind the door. A second later, the door flew open to reveal a flustered Ino followed by a cool headed Sasuke.
"Sakura." Sasuke greeted obviously relieved to see her up.
Sakura smiled at him, before she was promptly choked by Ino who jumped at her and gave her yet another painful bone crushing hug.
The girl however, promptly caught herself being overly expressive and drew back getting to her feet and looking down at her friend.
"Oh good God sweetie," She declared in a haughty tone. "You don't need beauty sleep you need to hibernate for a good couple of years." She said batting her eyelashes. "And even that might not be enough to fix this." She added thoughtfully.
She then paused for a second, taking in Sakura's affronted glare.
"Oh, GOD!" She screamed getting emotional. "Who else has flaws for days like you?" She shouted, grabbing the girl by the shoulders and shaking her. "If you had died, I would have had no one to insult you idiot. What were you thinking?"
Sakura rolled her eyes.
"Glad to know I have a cause in this life." She said sarcastically.
"Of course you do." Ino said, nodding frantically.
*Sarcasm really is lost on that girl isn't it?* She pondered.
"Well hello there kitten." Came Shisui's smooth tenor as he flashed into view. And Sakura could just tell that Itachi, who was sitting calmly behind her, didn't appreciate the legions of people currently occupying his room. "You look dazzling, if I might say." He added, taking her hand and placing a chaste kiss on it.
"Thank you." The girl said with a smile.
"Oh, that's right; Itachi your mother says she needs kitten to stop by tomorrow so that they can start working on the preparations." Shisui said with a sly smile.
"I see." Itachi said calmly.
"Preparations?" Sakura questioned confusedly.
"How about me?" Ino questioned a little offended. "Doesn't Mikoto-sama want to see me too? I am the maid of honor after all." She finished haughtily.
"Hey, Hey," Tenten chipped in. "Who said you're the maid of honor, I'm pretty sure Sakura would want a maid of honor whose number one priority won't be to dress her in the cheapest wedding dress possible."
"Why would I do that?" Ino questioned raising an eyebrow.
"So that she doesn't outshine you." Tenten said simply.
"Oh, give me a break, even in a million dollar dress billboard couldn't outshine me." Ino said confidently.
Observing the exchange Sakura didn't really know from where to start.
"What are you talking about? WHAT WEDDING? AND HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT I WON'T BE ABLE TO OUTSHINE YOU!" Sakura roared, balling her fists.
"Alright, Alright, you can be the maid of honor, since Sasuke-Kun's probably gonna be the best man anyways." Tenten said swatting Ino off and acting as if Sakura didn't just talk.
"What? wait a minute," Shisui interjected. "I will be the best man." He said confidently.
"As Nii-san's younger brother it follows that I am the natural choice for the best man." Sasuke said matter of factly.
"Itachi," Shisui whined.
"It is possible for me to have two best men." The smart Uchiha said diplomatically.
And at that Shisui grinned in satisfaction.
"WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?" Sakura roared. "WHAT WEDDING."
"Well since we got that settled," Kakashi interrupted her yelling fit as if she didn't even start it. "I believe I should be the one to give Sakura away." He said fixing Sakura with a pleading look, the kind of look fathers use to get you to feel guilty enough for disappointing them so that you just cave to whatever it is that they're asking.
"I was hoping to give Saku-chan away…." Jiraiya whined.
"NOOOOOO!" Naruto roared over both of his sensei's voices. "I will give Sakura-chan away. It's not fair for teme to be the only one who gets to be in the ceremony."
"Wait a minute; Neji will also be in the ceremony." Tenten argued. "He'll be one of the groomsmen."
"THAT'S SO NOT FAIR!" Naruto roared.
"I agree, Naruto-Kun deserves to be in the ceremony." Hinata said shyly.
"I don't care that much about being in the ceremony." Neji chipped in.
"You have to, so that we can walk down the aisle together."Tenten pitched.
"Who even said that you'll be a bridesmaid?" Ino asked Tenten with a raised eyebrow.
"I'll give her away then." Jiraiya said simply.
"I am her sensei…." Kakashi said forcefully.
"I AM HER BEST FRIEND."
"You know," Shiusi said leaning towards Sasuke. "Even though we're both best-men I am the one he really wants."
"You are a moron."
And just like that the whole room was alive with chatter and a myriad of different arguments.
In the middle the supposed 'bride' was looking back and forth between them, having lost hope that any of them will answer her question.
"What wedding?" She whispered wistfully.
"Ours." Itachi said with a devilish smile.
When Sakura just looked at him with wide eyes, he laughed again, "You never said no." He said with a wink as he drew her towards him and sat her in his lap, as he watched the arguing parties amusedly.
Sakura was stunned for a few seconds, before she actually smiled and relaxed in Itachi's hold, causing him to smile and stoke her hair lovingly.
*Stop looking at me like that.* Inner Sakura roared. *That smile is burning my eyes.* She screamed. *STOP SMILING, DAMN IT!*
And after a minute of Sakura smiling smugly back at her.
*Fine, fine,* She said waving a white flag. *I admit it; you're not a total idiot. NOW FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING PINK AND FLUFFY STOP SMILING! you're gonna give yourself stretch marks on your face and God knows that's like the only place you have none.*
And when even that didn't cause the girl's smile to falter.
Inner Sakura twitched. *Your babies are gonne be ugly anyway.* She screamed at her outer self before running away in tears.
"Pink hair and black hair is that even possible?" Sakura surmised out loud.
"Pardon?" Itachi questioned with a smile.
"Children with both pink and black hair, how would that look like?" She said without even realizing what she was doing.
"Get out." He said in an impassive tone that immediately shut up all the arguing parties. "Now." He added, and to Sakura's utter surprise the previously chattering guests immediately ran out of the room, leaving the two of them alone in a mere instant.
Sakura looked at Itachi questioningly.
"I too am curious about the subject of our children, Sakura." Itachi said in monotone. "This is why I suggest we start working on this matter right now." He added, snaking a hand around her waist and turning her around so that she was straddling his hips instead of sitting in his lap. Sakura's eyes went wide and all color drained from her face.
"Hah?" She questioned dimwittedly as she observed inner as she passed out in a pool of her own drool.
"Allow me to demonstrate." He said suggestively, as one of his hands slithered over her thigh caressing it, while the other travelled behind her neck and drew her in.
And the rest is censored due to the fact that this story's rating is "T" and not "M" :P
*Screw that, I wanna watch.* Inner Sakura screamed, tapping her hands across the laminated doors that have now been erected in Sakura's mind. *Damn you! Damn you all!* She said dramatically. *I WANNA WATCH!*
Hehe, once again thank you all so much for reading.
Now I'm considering doing that 'M' rated sequel so that inner Sakura doesn't suffer a heart attack or something.
I'm also considering a sequel with the main focus on Sasuke and Ino, but also follows the developments with Itachi and Sakura, Neji and Tenten and Naruto and Hinata and last but most definitely not least the rocky relationship between our beloved Shisui and the evil… ahem I mean Anko. And I would like to add to those couples the always lovely couple of Shikamaru and Temari.
Let me know if you would like me to do any of the above.
And one last time,