Piper: I've been thinking about this idea for a while now and decided to put it into action.

I don't own Naruto.

Pairings: SakuraxMulti (not just the Akatsuki)

WARNINGS: Violence, Blood, Gore(?), Cursing, Suicidal Thoughts, etc.

Chapter 1 - Ache

Sakura Haruno

There was a terrible throbbing in my cheek, and I could feel it swelling. I grit my teeth in anger, and turned towards my Principle. Her royal blue eyes shined with a dark intent in their depths, and I found myself wanting to claw the twisted smirk off her face. She didn't hit the other children, but then again, the other children had parents. They had protection, an invisible veil that kept them safe from her wrath. If she touched one of them, she would be punished, but she could smack me around all she wanted and no one would find out.

"Never speak out to me ever again, do you understand, you filthy stray?" She asked calmly, her voice coated to be a sugar sweet tone. The melody of it was sickening, for I could never stand the taste of sweet, at least not on people like her.

I looked at the ground, nursing my sore cheek, and spat out, "I bet your husband hates living with a bitch like you."

All the air was forced out of my lungs as her heeled foot wailed me in the center of my stomach, and I felt tears of pain spring forth. I fell to my knees in a heap, clutching my stomach in desperation for the pain to leave. My soft pink, choppy cut hair was covering most of my face, hiding the few tears that leaked from the corners of my eyes. The salty liquid stung against my raw cheek, the injury seeming so much more painful now that pain was consuming me.

"Leave now, stray, and don't let me catch you getting into trouble anymore," She said apathetically, cleaning imaginary dirt from underneath her bright red claws. I stood slowly, and when I was fully up, she spat at my feet, and I quickly turned to leave before I got myself in more trouble. There was too much anger and pain burning in my stomach to last another minute with her.

The secretary in the front office always assumed that I left in tears because I was upset that I was getting in trouble, which wasn't the case. The secretary was just oblivious to what was happening to me each time I got sent to the office. It was natural for a high schooler my age to have a nasty teacher or two, a teacher that would send you to the office for the stupidest of reasons. Our Principle, Mrs. Kane, was a nasty woman. She wasn't just nasty to me, she was nasty and rude to all the other children of the school. I was just the only one she had the ability to act her anger upon.

Our school of Greenevale High, located in the state of Oregon, was well know for its high rates of discipline. We had one of the largest records for Detentions, In-School-Suspension(ISS), and Out-of-School-Suspension(OSS) in our area. It wasn't really due to a bunch of bad behaving children, more so towards the fact that the teachers and Principle handed out disciplinary slips everyday like candy on Halloween.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure even some of the meanest teachers here would've tried to help me, if they had known the Principle of our school hit me every time I even breathed funny around her.

I quickly made my way to my locker, and pulled the handle. My locker had a broken combination, and it opened without even having to have the dial turned. I attempted to hide this fact when the hallway was full, however, so that people wouldn't think they had the right to snoop and steal. The last thing I wanted was for one of the few precious things I had left to be taken from me, even though I didn't bring much to school as it is.

Grabbing my backpack, I shoved all of the books I needed inside along with my folder, and shut the door. It was a habit of mine to walk as far from the office door as possible, zigzagging to the other side of the hall. I wrenched the front doors to the school open, and a cool breeze gentle blew into my beaten body. The air felt nice and cool against my cheek, and I stood still from a moment at the soothing feeling that was washing over me. The wind brought a certain smell, a familiar smell that I loved, yet feared.


Dark clouds rolled in from the south, and my eyes snapped wide opened when I heard distant thunder. I sprang forward, clutching the handles of my book bag as I took off in a dead run. Fear and the lack of oxygen made my heart (now resident of my throat) pound frantically. I ran down the streets of Greenevale, the town I lived in, the dark clouds gaining speed.

Every low rumble I heard from miles away, made my bruised stomach clench in agonizing fear. I knew I looked strange to any of those out and about outside, running for my life when there was seemingly nothing after me. Those people, however, didn't know how bad this fear of mine was, how badly it hurt the insides of my mind when it struck.

I made the mistake of looking over my shoulder, and just as I did so the sky light up with the brilliant flash of crackling lightning. It was so far away, but the bright flash and the loud thunder was enough to keep me running, my thoughts hell bent on getting to safety before the rain and lightning reached me.

Finally, I turned onto a shady looking neighborhood street. A couple of suspicious looking men standing on the porch of one house followed me with their eyes, but made no move to go after me as I ran towards the last house on the right. This house wasn't the nicest of homes, but it was all I had. The people of this neighborhood knew that I lived there, and that was that. None tried to help me, and none tried to figure out why I lived by myself.

I opened the door to my home, and practically slammed the door behind me. I locked it, and then hooked the chain lock. Just as I did so, I heard rain begin to pelt the roof top of my house, and the faint sound of it hitting the windows from the other rooms. I ran for my living room, straight for the glass back door. I took hold of the curtains and forced them shut just as another boom of thunder growled above my house.

Fighting back tears of fear, I threw my book bag onto the ground and hid behind my couch. I plugged my ears, and began to hum, trying to block out the noise of thunder around me. I wished that my mp3 player wasn't in my room on the other side of the house, because I was much to afraid to move. My muscles were cramped up in fear. I was shaking terribly, and I tried to rock myself into a feeling of safety as the rumbling thunder boomed around me.

For almost a full hour, I cried behind the couch as the sky angrily growled above my home. My face was sticky and wet from tears, and I couldn't even get myself to stop crying long enough to try and hum the noise away. I shook so bad that I could be considered a leaf on a branch in the cold wind.

When the thunder stopped, I opened my eyes. Dull light was spilling in from the cracks between my curtains, and the only noise I could hear were my uncontrollable sniffles. I shakily stood, my bruise stomach aching with an intense pain. I had been curled into a ball for to long, and the spot were Mrs. Kane had kicked me felt like an giant, angry soft-ball sized bee had stung me in the stomach.

I moved to the back door, and threw open the curtains to let the light in. My small backyard was glistening from the rain, and the skies over head were a dull gray. I was happy that the rain was going away, because it meant that I wouldn't have to walk around in it and give myself a heart attack. I had to go to work tonight, and a heart attack before work was the last thing I wanted.

Sighing to myself, I knew that I would have to get over my irrational fear of thunder and lightning someday, but I also knew that it wouldn't be any time soon. I was so deathly afraid of them, so scared of the loud noise combined with the bright flashes.

I shook my head and made my way to the kitchen. I picked the first aid kit I had off the wall, and dug around in my junk drawer for the mirror I kept in it. Once I had it fished out, I sat at the kitchen table tended to the bruise on my cheek and stomach. I carefully nursed my cheek, before pulling out some cover up from within my first-aid kit.

Being the kind of person I was, I didn't normally use make-up. When I was going to work I would put on a little mascara and eye-liner, but that was it. The only reason I had the cover up was so that if I got a bruise that was noticeable, I could quickly make the darkness of it go away. It wasn't that my boss would care, but it would keep meddling costumers from asking to many questions.

Once my wounds were taken care of and the first-aid kit was put back up on the wall, I started on my homework while I watched the television. While channel surfing, I saw that my favorite anime was on. A smile met my lips, and I turned it on quickly.

It was the show "Naruto". Most kids at my school didn't like things like that, just labeling it off as a little kid's cartoon. I couldn't help myself, though, and I found myself drawn into the story of it. I tried to keep up with every episode, but it was hard with my tight schedule of school, work, and home-work. Also, I didn't have enough funds to really buy anything to keep me updated. I loved it so much, that I dreamed about it sometimes. Even though the Naruto world had hardships just like this one, I couldn't help but prefer that one over this one. One weekends that I wasn't working, however, I would go to the local library and start looking up everything on the internet, due to my lack of a computer at home.

I was an information nerd, I would admit it, and everything I read about it almost fascinated me more then the actual show. I had a few volumes of the Manga from the local book store at the Greenevale mall, but I couldn't buy a lot of it. Most of my money went towards keeping my fridge stocked and paying the bills on my house.

I continued looking at the television screen, entranced, and I knew then that I wasn't going to be getting any homework done at that moment.

"Haruno! Table 7 needs their orders taken!" My boss hissed in my direction, and I quickly nodded.

I moved to pass him, when his large hand grabbed onto my arm, growling at me to keep my head out of the sky and into work. Tears clouded my eyes slightly at the scolding, along with some building anger in the pit of my stomach, and I quickly moved away from him and into the front part of the diner. I knew it was my fault, but I couldn't help it. It was something I always did after I watched Naruto on television. I would space out, and imagine every scene, but adding myself into the mix as a character.

Imagination was beautiful, but it was also very cruel. It was painful to know that I was stuck here, when I only wanted to be some where else instead.

"Hello, my name is Sakura, may I ask what you would like to drink?" I chirped at the inhabitants of Table 7, plastering a fake smile onto my face.

They looked at each other, seeming a bit put off at my name. I lived in the United States, but my name was purely Japanese. It was hard for some people to pronounce it correctly, and it always made them stare at me even more. The reason being, because not only was my name extremely foreign, but my hair was a soft shade of petal pink. I stopped trying to explain to people that I didn't dye my hair, that it came naturally, because they all just called me a liar.

I filled out their orders, and quickly made my way towards the back. I got their drinks ready and onto a platter, and came out with it balanced on my palms. I gave each of them their drinks, and couldn't help the jealousy that flashed through me when the little girl started to blow bubbles in her soda, making her parents smile at her and laugh.

I couldn't remember my parents, but I had always wanted to have some. I watched other kids and their parents all my life, and even now, just turned fifteen, I couldn't help but feel jealous when I saw them. I wanted a mother and father, ones that would take care of me, and help me through the hard times I'm going through.

"Haruno! For the last time, stop day dreaming!" My boss yelled once more, this time in front of the whole diner.

My heart felt like it had been constricted by a snake, the blood it pumped being squeezed forcefully, as embarrassment colored my cheeks. I hid my tears as I quickly sprang back into work, and tried to avoid the wrath of my boss the rest of the night so that I wouldn't get any money docked off of my pay check, if I hadn't done that already. I needed to pay the bills this week, and if I got money docked off this pay check then I wouldn't be able to buy groceries this week.

If so, then at least I knew that I had just enough to get by.

I collapsed against the couch, still in my work uniform. I was dead tired, and every inch of me ached. The diner work outfit for women required that I wear heals, which wasn't something I was good at or liked doing. It made men stare at my legs, since the bottoms of the uniform just a black skirt that went to the knees. I didn't like being looked at like I was just a piece of meat they could order right off the diner menu, and if they did I'm sure my boss would gladly give me to them with the right kind of pay. The top was the best part of the outfit, since it was a simple black, long sleeved shirt. It had a 'v' neck, but it didn't go down far enough to show anything.

Grasping the remote in my tired hands, I turned the television back on. Naruto was playing once more, making me smile. I slowly curled up on the couch, watching happily, when a sudden grumble above made the smile fall from my lips.

I looked towards the back door, and I could see a flash of lightning streak down from the heavens. My heart rate began to accelerate, and I rushed to close the curtains. I threw myself in front of the TV, and turned up the sound. I leaned against the screen, closing my eyes as the booms began to get louder. I clutched the carpet beneath me, and prayed that the satellite didn't go out. The voices and music of my favorite TV show was the only thing keeping me sane.

The wind outside began to pick up furiously, making the glass door rattle. Tears fell from my closed lids, and I stopped breathing for a few seconds. A storm stirred in the skies above, and the rain began to fall once more, and I realized how cruel life was.

I loved the rain, I loved the rain so much. The smell was crisp and fresh, and the feel of it falling onto my skin was like heaven. The thing was, was that I was terrified of thunder and lightning. It was like loving roses. The sweet petals, the colors a lush red, begging to be touched and adored. Then there was the thorns, pricking anyone they could. The rain was the beautiful petals, and the thunder-lightning combination were the thorns that made it untouchable.

The rain was heavy against the windows, and suddenly there was a loud crack of thunder. It was so loud, so close to my home, that the whole house shook violently. The windows rattled, and the ground shook. A scream ripped from throat, and sobs choked up afterwards. I fell backwards from the television, into a ball. I shook and cowered before the mighty storm, wishing for the weather to go away.

Suddenly, the noise of the television stopped. My eyes snapped open in fear, and I looked at the blank screen of my television.

"No, no, no, no, no, please!" I pleaded, wishing for something to help distract me from the storm.

I found that distraction.

As my frantic eyes looked over my television screen, I noticed that every time the house shook from a boom of thunder, so did the screen. It rippled almost, like water. The ripples would expand to the other edges of the television, and disappear. The blackness of the screen would rock and wave, and it caught my attention.

Sniffling slightly, I reached my hand towards the television.

My pale fingers skimmed the surface, and my green eyes widened in shock. It was like touching water, I noticed, as I skimmed my fingers along the surface of the television. My fingers sank into the darkness, but I didn't have enough courage to reach any deeper. I sat there for a few moments, entranced and almost completely forgetting about the violent storm beating around and above.

Suddenly, a pale arm shot out from the other side of the television, it fingers touching my pink locks in its blind grab.

I screamed loudly, scooting backwards as fast as I could. My back painfully collided with the coffee table, the corner poking me in the middle of my back. I ignored it, to busy staring, horrified, at the hand sticking out of my television. It bent down, and the fingers of its hand curled around the edges of my television stand. It gave a few test pulls, before another hand came out of the surface of my television. It curled its fingers around the edge of the stand, just like the other.

Mouth open wide in a silent scream, I watched, terrified, as the hands began to pull. The television rippled violently as something began to come through from the other side. It formed a face, and a head with long blonde hair suddenly emerged from the black. The person slowly looked up, a single showing blue eye looking up at me from their position, half way inside my television and half way out. His face was pale and he was quite attractive, but if looked at from far off he could easily be mistaken for a girl. He seemed oddly familiar, and I blinked once at the thought.

Suddenly, the familiar man grinned at me, and spoke in a deep tone, "You're cute, yeah."

Piper: Yay, it's done! I'm so excited!

Oh, and for those who don't like the fact that they're all in our world currently, don't worry. There will most definately be Naruto world time.

*Oh, and just so you know, I made up the town. I jsut wanted to tell anyone who wondered. If there is actually a place called Greenevale, I'd be surprised, lol.

Please please please review! I am so pumped to hear what you got to say!