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Crap. Crap crap. Crap crap crappy crap a doodley doo.

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Her heart was beating so wildly in her chest that Sakura swore she could hear the badumpbadumpbadump over the rational part of her conscious screaming YOU'RE AN IDIOT WHY ARE YOU GOING AGAINST KYOYA HIBARI WHY WHY WHY. But she swallowed it down, desperately trying to push those thoughts away. Now definitely wasn't the time to be imagining the gruesome and blood-filled death that would befall her after trying to defend her friends from said dark-haired Prefect. She needed to focus. She needed to concentrate. If her mind slipped while she was fighting, it could cost her the battle.

Maybe even her life. The pinkette gulped.

Emerald eyes clashed with narrowed purple-gray, the pressure of the tonfa against her forearm never ceasing―in turn, the pressure she had applied against the tonfa was equal, the clash sending both tonfa and forearm trembling. The tension in the air was suffocating, to the point where the tiny hairs on the back of her neck began to stand on end. She gulped once again.

But then something caught her eye―the slight twitch of the corners of Hibari's lips, and it took her a few moments to register the fact that he was smirking at her. Oh god.

"Impressive," he murmured, and the pinkette had to fight the urge to let her jaw drop to the floor. What. What was impressive about blocking a hit that would have decapitated her if it had landed? He continued, a small 'hmph' escaping his lips. "You can block with your bare arms―and without a scratch."

Inwardly, she smirked. 'Bare arms?' Puh-lease, it's called chakra, plebeian. No one's dumb enough to block that kind of hit with their bare limb without their bones shattering into millions of tiny pieces. But that would just be between her and her only―Hibari didn't have to know. Instead of snorting at his previous words (which was preposterous really, because just moments before she was scared straight of him), she shifted her footing for better leverage against the weapon trying to push her back. She said nothing, though, and instead waited patiently for him to continue with a cocked head and narrow glare.

"Tell me, pink-haired girl," he smirked, applying even more pressure to the tonfa against her. The action caused her breath to hitch (her emerald eyes visibly widened; crap crap crap this is not a good sign), her stance faltered just a bit but she instantaneously recovered and held her ground. Brow furrowing, she stared up at him with caution. This was not good―

"Do you mind if I devour you?"

He had said that before, she remembered, during their first fight―as soon as the words had left his throat, he had attacked her and caught her off-guard. That was her first mistake when first fighting Kyoya Hibari.

But she knew better now, she really did; she definitely would not make the same mistake twice. So before he could even lift his hand to strike her, she beat him to it. Sharp eyes catching the smallest movement in his free arm (oh no you don't!), she quickly pulled her own free arm back and focused chakra into her fist―the hum of the chakra enveloping her senses as she did so―and brought it down onto his form. She fought down a smirk, relishing the way his eyes widened a tiny fraction at her sudden movement.

"Yeah, I do mind actually!"

SHANNARO, YOU ASS!

Unfortunately, he was gone before her fist could come in contact with his face, the tonfa retreating back to its owner as he pushed himself away to avoid getting his face bashed in. With hawk-like eyes she watched him, calm and calculating. A miniscule bead of sweat traveled down the side of her face. She knew she didn't stand a chance in a fight with him (unless he magically slipped on a banana peel and fell face first into her fists), but she needed to be strong―not for herself, but for her friends.

She inwardly growled; starting today none of her friends were going to get hurt anymore, not by some herbivore-eating cannibal.

With the thought of her friends getting beaten to a pulp by the dark-haired teenager, she pushed away all previous fears about Kyoya Hibari and clenched her fists tightly. No one hurts my friends and gets away with it! Before she knew it, the growl had escaped her lips; preparing to pounce, she glared at the boy―her opponent―in front of her and readied herself to attack again.

"Shanna―oof!" What the hell...?

"S-Sakura-chan!"

Her mind went blank, her whole body freezing when a punch (not enough force to give any serious head trauma, but just enough for her brain to stop overflowing with strategies and battle plans and just shut down) came in contact with the back of her head, sending her head forward. She blinked.

On one hand, she was confused because clearly the enemy in the room was Hibari, who was standing at the other side of the room with his hands clenching tonfa. Unless he had someone behind her working as a sleeper agent, then he wouldn't be able to hit her from that distance. That, and his punches wouldn't be so merciful.

On the other hand, she was quite annoyed. I'm the only one who punches heads here!

Through her peripheral vision, someone had stepped up next to her. She blinked again as Gokudera looked down at her with crossed arms and his trademark scowl, brow furrowed and why the hell did he look annoyed with her? Did his pea-sized brain forget that she had saved him from getting his head knocked off his shoulders? She was about to snap at him and ask him why the hell was he punching his ally and not the dark-haired bad guy in front of themwhen he scoffed.

"I could have handled him if you hadn't butted in, Forehead!"

The 'tch' that left his mouth sent her blood boiling. How...how dare he―as she said before, she had saved him from getting his eye gouged out by tonfa and...? YOU STUPID LITTLE―AAAAUUUGGGGHH! She seethed at him, mentally fuming; was now really the time to argue about how he could have kicked Hibari's ass and blah blah I'm Boss's Right-Hand Man and yadda yadda? Okay, fine, if he wanted to be like that, then she wouldn't butt in the next time he was about to get a tonfa slammed into his pretty little face―

"...but thanks."

It was uttered softly under his breath, not loud enough to be heard by the whole room but just enough for her to hear it, and as soon as those words were registered in her mind, all thoughts of strangling Gokudera immediately ceased. He...was thanking her? Disbelief was written all over her face (because did Hayato Gokudera, her sometimes-prick-sometimes-tolerable-friend, actually thank her? Preposterous!) as she surveyed him, but her mind drew blanks when she saw the barely-there tint of pink that laced his cheeks.

Her eyebrows raised to the point where they almost disappeared into her hairline. Was he...blushing...?

"Wow, Sakura! That was definitely some hit you took!"

Her wide-eyed gaze broke away from the once again-scowling Gokudera (okay maybe she was imagining the whole blushing thing. It was just a very long day and she was just tired because Hayato Gokudera, blushing? Absolutely impossible!) as a hand clapped onto her shoulder. Turning to the once-empty spot beside her, her eyes of emerald met the familiar mirth-filled amber orbs of Namimori's star baseball player.

Yamamoto smiled down at her, and once she remembered how handsome Yamamoto was, she melted in her spot. He's smiling―at me!

"Sakura-chan, y-you're...you're not hurt, are you?"

Tsuna appeared at her side, eyes wide with concern as he surveyed the arm that had blocked Hibari's hit. She stared at him for quite a while (and she didn't know why, really, but it was probably because they were all speaking to her so suddenly after she being so engrossed in her fight), but quickly shook her head.

"No, no, I'm fine," she said, her lips twitched up into a reassuring smile. "Thanks for your concern, Tsuna."

"Sakura." The small amount of pressure from the hand on her shoulder was what sent her staring back at Yamamoto.

As soon as their gazes met, the tall boy's eyes softened (at this, Sakura felt her heart flutter because he was soooo handsome―swoon!). The pad of his thumb softly brushed over the curve of her shoulder through her uniform, something she recognized as Yamamoto being concerned (he had done that once before, earlier, when she was panicking about being in the Reception Room), and at that moment, the pinkette felt very small under his gaze, like a child being reprimanded for doing something bad (and she didn't know why she felt like that, she just did).

"You don't have to take him on alone, you know," he said, voice uncharacteristically soft. He stared down at her for a few moments, the concern lingering, but then he grinned―and Sakura could practically feel the cheerfulness emanating from him like the sun's rays as he laughed and shook her lightly.

"Besides, I don't ever recall there being a rule that teamwork isn't allowed in this mafia game!"

Next to her, Gokudera bristled. An accusing finger was pointed in her direction. "Yeah, you're such a show-off! Quit stealing the spotlight!"

She was about to reply (a grateful "Yamamoto-kun, you're right. Thank you" for Yamamoto-kun and a not-so-serious "Shut up and quit your whining" for Gokudera), but for some reason, the words got caught in her throat.

Something in the air changed. Something wasn't right.

The pinkette knew this feeling all too well, the feeling of intensity and electricity and fear, and at the pit of her stomach she knew something was wrong. And then she remembered―she remembered her fight with Hibari, that it was still going on, and god she was so stupid for getting distracted in the middle of a freaking fight.

And then there was a sudden spike of something and it made her breathing become harsh. Oh god. Her eyes widened, all the color in her face immediately disappearing. Bloodlust―she felt it, and it hit her like a freight train. Once again, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Her brain was screaming at her to run, but it was drowned out by the uncomfortable pulling feeling swimming at the bottom of her stomach. Ignoring the confused looks on her friends' faces, Sakura slowly let her head turn back to the direction of where it had been facing before, towards Hibari.

Her heart stopped. "I hate weak bottom-feeders who band together."

By pure instinct, she roughly shoved the three boys around her out of the way (which earned her a few surprised yelps and "What the hell, Forehead?!" but she couldn't hear them over the blood rushing past her ears and the shouts of dodge, get the hell out of the way, movemoveMOVE in her mind) and instantaneously ducked to avoid the swipe of Hibari's tonfa that was meant to give her a concussion or something as equally disastrous.

Eyes narrowing, he didn't relent―he then lifted his leg and aimed a kick to her side. Her hands quickly shielded her side, forearms colliding with the cloth of his pants in a harsh manner; the soles of her feet skidded a few inches backwards at the force of his kick.

Barely dodging the swipe to her abdomen, she jumped backwards to get some space―only for her eyes to widen because what the hell Hibari, give me a damn break.

As soon as she was away from the dark-haired boy, he had apparently decided that no, you're not getting a break you annoying little twit (or that was what she was imagining him saying, she was pretty sure that was out of character though) and had attacked her with a flurry of kicks and punches and swipes―all of which she had a difficult time dodging and blocking and circling him to try to find an opening.

He's too fast...at that rate, Sakura wouldn't even be able to land a counter attack, much less give him a good crack to his face (or, if she was feeling really mad and could care less about playing fair, a good kick to his future devil spawns―although, fat chance of that happening because: one) she was too dignified for that and two) he was too freaking fast).

Gritting her teeth, her brow knitted in frustration. Opening, opening...she needed an opening to strike! If she could just maybe get behind him or something, she could knock him out with a hit to one of the pressure points at the back of his neck―no pain, quick and easy, left no mess behind, and he'd be awake in an hour. No one would get seriously injured and all would be fine. (If only things were that easy.)

Through the corner of her eye, she saw something flying towards her face―it was Hibari's hand, and in it, his tonfa. She inwardly cursed, eyes widening in the process; dammit!

It was too late to duck or dodge, his fist was too close for her to do that. So she did what she could do in what little time remained before his tonfa could come in contact with her face: she blocked it with her forearms again, the barely noticeable humming of her chakra heard as she hurriedly summoned it to her arms. She expected it to be like the last time, the force not even deterring her.

But then it hit―and she was dead wrong.

The force of his hit wasso hard that it had sent her skidding across the linoleum floor (and through her panic she had heard the distinct screeching of her soles; for the second time in her life, she despised the fact that there was no grip on her shoes) and colliding with the large desk behind her, back slamming against the edge.

There was a loud crack―and she wasn't sure if it was from the desk or from her back. And then all she registered was pain, pain, throbbing pain at her lower back and it hurt like hell―she was momentarily blinded, eyes clenching shut as a hiss of pain escaped her lips. Disoriented and feeling as if she had been hit with a sledgehammer from behind, her legs gave out beneath her and she found herself panting on her hands and knees.

Tears were beginning to gather at the corners of her eyes because it hurt, everything hurt. Through her blurred vision, she glared at the ground and ignored the throbbing pain in her back as she pushed herself to stand on trembling limbs in desperation. Pathetic.

Pathetic―that's what she was. She had been through worse―Tsunade-shishou made sure of that. And yet, she was pushed aside so easily with just a single punch? If Tsunade-shishou were here, she'd be disappointed. She'd shake her head, turn away, and drink some sake because goddammit she did not spend 2 years training her ass off only for her to crumble at the lone strike of some bratty as hell teenager. But the pain at her back was just too intense and before she knew it, she was sprawled on the ground, cheek pressed against the cold floor.

She gritted her teeth, clenching her tearing eyes in pain and anger and self-loathing. Pathetic.

"Sakura-chan!" Through her messy vision of pain and pink, someone's shoes stopped in front of her. She didn't need to look up (she didn't really want to, anyway...she'd just make herself look more stupid) to know that is was Tsuna. Skittish hands fretted over her, unknowingly resting on the spot where she had slammed into the desk. The small whimper that she had let out scared said hands away. "S-Sorry...!"

With such gentleness that only Tsunayoshi Sawada could have (and with as much awkwardness, too; at that, Sakura inwardly snorted), he helped the pinkette push herself off of the ground, steadying hands on her shoulders. Brushing aside the blazing pain at the curve of her back, she turned her head to the brown-haired 14-year-old and sent a shaky smile of appreciation―it took her all her strength to keep it just for a few seconds, before it turned into a grimace because of her back. She quickly tried to hide it and lowered her face so that it would be covered by her long locks. Thank you, long hair. Never again will I cut you.

"You're hurt," she heard Tsuna mutter from beside her, voice laced with concerned, but she shook her head.

"N-No...I'm―I'm fine." The strain in her voice and how she was so not fine made her cringe. There was an attempt to get up, and through gritted teeth she persevered. "I-I can fight, I'm fine―"

The sharp burst of pain at her back sent her falling back towards the ground, making her hiss―at both the pain and at herself for not being able to withstand it. Shaking her head (because no dammit she had to get the hell up, she had to fight him, she had to protect her friends, she would not be weak), she tried to get up once again but―to her surprise―Tsuna's arm prevented her from doing so. The pinkette turned her head towards him again, wondering what was he doing and why wasn't he letting her fight, only to be met with his worried face.

"Sakura-chan," he pleaded, "Don't push yourself too hard! You're hurt!"

It only took her a few moments of staring at Tsuna before she looked away, biting her lip in shame and mild frustration. He was worried about her. The way his brown eyebrows knitted to how wide his eyes were and how his hands were beginning to tremble and―everything, it just made her feel guilty. Because she knew that if she were strong enough, that if she were stronger, he wouldn't have to worry about her.

She was weak. Again. She clenched her teeth but kept quiet and stayed frozen to the ground with Tsuna's arm around her shoulder.

"I...I'm sorry, Tsuna," she spoke, voice quiet. What could she say? Sorry for being weak? Sorry for not being able to last long in a fight? Sorry for not being able to do anything? Her hand clenched in her lap, and when she looked up, she locked eyes with him and spared another trembling smile―deep down, though, she knew it was fake. She was certain he knew, too. "I'm sorry for making you worry...but I'll be fine, I promise."

Before he could protest (because she was sure her pale, grimacing face was far from fine), she reached for her back and gingerly placed the palm of her hand on the curve of her spine and over the spot where it had collided with the edge of the desk. There was a small burst of pain that made her cringe a bit when her hand came in contact, but once her hand began to glow green, the warm sensation of chakra made her relax.

With each second, the pain ebbed away. After a few more moments of healing, the last of the injury was gone―in its place was nothing, normal, painless, and to test it out, Sakura arched her back.

Nothing. A small, tired smile graced her lips. Freaking shannaro.

She turned to Tsuna, watching as his eyebrows flew to his hairline and his eyes grow wider and wider as time passed. "I told you I'd be fine, Tsuna."

A quick glance ahead of her told her that Hibari would attack any given moment―at that, Sakura's fists clenched. This fight was far from over.

"I can―" The pinkette made an attempt to stand up (although the small wince she made told her that her back was still a bit raw from the healing) and lightly brushed off Tsuna's hands, which flew up to her shoulders to bring her back down. Struggling to flee from his grip, she let an irritated huff escape her lips. "I'm okay now, I can fight―"

"Sakura-chan, don't!"

"Oi, Forehead!"

Emerald snapped up when something stepped into her line of vision. The image of silent Hibari (who, she noted, had his hands in his pockets once more; that was not a good sign...was it?) was replaced with someone's back. Her eyes traveled from the worn out black sneakers to the many bracelets around their wrists and finally to the familiar head of silver. Gokudera. She looked up at him, eyes wide and questioning and was he going to fight him?

The silver-haired explosion-specialist glanced back at her over his shoulder―the slight twitch of his lips indicated that he was scowling.

He grunted, "Stay down, Forehead―you're making Boss worry too much."

"Gokudera..." His name rolled off of her tongue unwillingly, Sakura's wide-eyed gaze staring back at him with her lips parted as if she were deciding whether or not to say something. If she did say something, she wasn't sure if it would be words of encouragement or words of insult (though she was certain that it would be the latter before she could even stop herself; she really needed to get rid of that habit); all she knew was that Gokudera was going to go up against Hibari.

Worry etched itself onto her pained features; would he be alright? Would he last long enough for her to create some sort of plan to get everyone out of there and away from danger? Would he be okay? She didn't know, and that single fact made her chew on her bottom lip. All she could do now, she knew, was have faith in him―have faith in her friend.

Stormy green eyes lingered on her battered form before turning back to face the dark-haired Prefect in front of them, and once he did, his arms crossed themselves over his chest―typical Gokudera, she noted to herself with pursed lips. The pinkette watched from behind as Gokudera dug into the pockets of his uniform, and when he brought out two identical cylindrical orange objects out, her face paled.

Was he...? He was going to blow those up, in a room full of people? Her brow knitted in apprehension. Once more, she gnawed on her lower lip and hoped that Gokudera knew what he was doing. Getting blown to smithereens was definitely not on her schedule―fighting against (and probably getting beaten to a pulp) Kyoya Hibari, yes, but having her body explode into tiny pieces? Definitely a no.

"Gokudera," she muttered, voice low enough for just the three boys around her to hear. The only indication of him listening was the slight movement of his head, turning to the side a bit just enough for her to see some of his face.

Gulping away her fears (have faith, have faith, have faith, he'll be okay, he can handle himself), she gave a resolute nod and continued. "Be careful."

There was silence. But it wasn't until she heard a soft snort come from the boy standing in front of her that it was broken―he then turned to face Hibari and raised his hands in preparation to throw the sticks of dynamite. In a moment, they were lit, the hissing of the fuse filling the tense room. He stepped forward.

Then Sakura saw a blur―a blur of white and black and there was a flash of steel; at that, Sakura's breath hitched―zigzagging towards Gokudera, who stilled in response and froze in his steps. Her eyes widened; move you idiot! You're going to get hit! The kick that was aimed at him missed by a hair's breadth as he ducked down to prevent getting hit. He took that moment to throw the lit dynamite in the older boy's direction, a small look of triumph evident on his face.

"Take that, jerk!"

Hibari didn't even seem fazed by Gokudera's comment or the dynamite that was seconds away from blowing up and sending him into oblivion―and that very sight made Sakura feel a bit unnerved. She watched with hesitance lacing her pale features; why wasn't he worried, or angry, or surprised or anything? (She knew that if he actually was any of those, that would be totally out of character, but she was just trying to find some sort of reason as to why he didn't react to the fact that the dynamite in front of him was about to explode.)

Her unvoiced question was answered just moments after. Before the stick could even touch him, Hibari's arm flew up in a horizontal strike which cut off the tips of the ignited explosives.

The cylindrical objects fell to the floor with dull thuds as the fuse died out. Sakura watched as the older boy's eyes traveled down to the cut dynamite on the ground then once again focusing his purple-grey gaze on Gokudera. All the triumph that had been previously evident on the younger boy's face was wiped off.

The said boy gritted his teeth, hands clenched at his sides. "Bastard...!"

Gokudera's hands flew back into his pockets and before she knew it, another pair of dynamite was ignited. Fueled by irritation, he charged forward, sneakers squeaking on the floor of the room. Hibari had done the same and dove forward shortly after with a sort of dangerous grace that only he would have (at that Sakura gulped for reasons unknown). It wasn't long before they clashed at the middle―Gokudera was prepared to shove his dynamites down the dark-haired teen's throat (and she was pretty certain of that, too), but he didn't see the quick swipe heading down towards him.

Sakura felt her heart stop beating when the sound of Hibari's tonfa coming in contact with clothed flesh was heard. The 14-year-old nearly jerked forward from her spot on the ground when Gokudera staggered a bit, the hit almost sending him crashing to the ground. The silver-haired boy cringed at the contact, but a pained yelp tore from his throat when Hibari struck him with an uppercut―it had sent him stumbling back towards the couch. The loud 'THUD' of Gokudera's back hitting the furniture and, before sliding down the side, his pained groan was heard.

Eyes narrowed into slits, he stared up at the older boy and growled through gritted teeth. "Y-You...bastard..."

And then no more―he fell limp against the couch, head lolling to the side. In an instant, Sakura felt her medic side take full control and, as she abruptly stood up from her spot next to her brown-haired friend, ignored the concerned shouts of Tsuna and Yamamoto behind her. Quickly making her way towards the unmoving silver-haired boy, her brow furrowed in concentration as she kneeled at his side, gingerly taking Gokudera's head within her hands.

A quick once over and a check on his vitals told her that he was simply unconscious and her whole form relaxed. He'll be okay. She let out a sigh of relief.

"That's one down."

Sakura froze. A bead of cold sweat ran down her temple, her heart rate accelerating. The pinkette swallowed the lump in her throat and watched as Hibari readied himself to strike again―who was he going after now? By all means, she was prepared to fight him again now that she had healed her back and was about to stand up and take the challenge (despite the small nagging voice at the back of her consciousness that told her to run run run) but the sudden sound of Yamamoto's uncharacteristic growl prevented her from doing so.

"You...!"

"Yamamoto! Watch out―"

Tsuna's warning went unheard as Hibari moved, fleeting and quick―his actions were even quicker than before, catching the on-guard Yamamoto in a barrage of swipes and punches which the taller boy dodged easily. Through the fast-paced action, Sakura could see the way Yamamoto's brow knitted. Worry flooded her entire being; she had never seen Yamamoto like that, ducking and dodging and fighting back (and quickly pushed away the taunting of the small voice that said he'd lose, that he'd end up just like Gokudera).

There was a well-aimed punch that Yamamoto had thrown which the pinkette was absolutely certain would hit―a small amount of hope told her that if it land, it would allow him to make a few more good hits. She gulped, watching as the baseball player's fist fly towards Hibari's form.

But then Hibari smirked. At that moment Sakura knew that it wouldn't hit him.

"You constantly attack with your right hand." When Yamamoto's fist was close enough, Hibari sidestepped out of the way. That action had left the taller boy open for attack; his wide amber eyes indicated that he knew that, too. "Oh...you're in the baseball club, hm?"

Before Yamamoto could pull himself away from the Prefect, Hibari's grip on his tonfa tightened. "I was right."

The brown-haired boy's cry of "Yamamoto!" fell silent upon her ears, her emerald eyes watching the scene unfold behind her. A harsh kick to to his stomach sent Yamamoto careening backwards into the―oh no. Then, to her horror, the color drained from her face when she realized that Yamamoto was headed straight towards the wide open window behind him. He'll fall out―it was only when the top half of Yamamoto's body was out the window that Sakura realized he's going to die he's going to die if no one saved him.

There were only two words on her mind at that moment.

All she registered before she abruptly rose from her spot next to Gokudera with her hands balled into tight fists was save Yamamoto-kun.

The small spike of chakra to her feet let her appear at the window in the blink of an eye, and before the rest of him could fall out she fisted her hand around the collar of his undershirt and pulled him back inside the room. In an attempt to stop him from simply falling to the floor, she pulled him towards her, arms propping him up to support his form.

There was a flood of relief when she felt the heavy body of the boy slump against her, his hands wrapped around her form as if she were his lifeline (and if the situation was a lighter one, she would have blushed and inwardly squealed because hot damn Yamamoto-kun was hot and she actually got to hold him yipee but it wasn't and at the moment she was scared as hell for him, Tsuna, Gokudera, and herself).

By the way Yamamoto was shaking in her hold, he was still in pain from both Hibari's kick and the collision with the edge window. She gnawed on her bottom lip and adjusted his body so that she had access to his back and his face was resting on her shoulder―once she had a steady grip on him, she allowed a small amount of chakra to check his vitals for any internal injuries (a kick like that could have caused an organ to rupture or something) in discretion. None. The girl sighed.

It was only then Tsuna was able to recover from the shock of seeing his friend nearly fall to his death and stumbled towards them. Nearly tripping over his own two feet, he appeared at her side and clumsily helped her steady him. He and Sakura shared a look―grim realization―before looking back at Yamamoto.

"Yamamoto-kun, please rest...you're injured."

Her voice was not above a whisper as she lowered him gingerly onto the ground, letting him lean against the small portion of the wall beneath the windowsill. The boy―whose eyes had been previously squeezed shut due to the hits that he reciever―cracked an eye open and glanced at her through his blurred vision. A shaky hand was lifted from the ground, Yamamoto's head weakly turning in her direction.

"S-Saku...ra..." That was all he got out before his eyes closed, hand going limp and falling to the ground with a dull thud. Her breath hitched, her entire form stilling; no he's not dead you idiot, he's fine he's fine he'll be fine. The rapidly beating heart in her chest did not waver as she stood, eyes never leaving Yamamoto's unconscious form. He'll be fine. Gokudera will be fine. Tsuna will be fine. I'll be fine. We're going to be fine―

"Two down." Hibari's voice announced behind her, and at that, her blood boiled.

All the fear she had previously of him was wiped out, and in its place was sheer rage that was quickly building up inside of her. He was the reason as to why her friends were knocked out. He was the reason why Tsuna was shaking in his shoes near the foot of the desk near her. He was the reason her friends were hurt. And if they couldn't stop him, then it was all up to her―she wouldn't let Hibari lay a single finger on Tsuna.

At the thought of kind and awkward Tsuna being beaten to a pulp by Hibari, she saw red. No!

Before she could even register what she was doing, she charged at him with her emerald eyes―used to looking at him with irrational fear―blazing in fury and determination because no one hurts her friends and gets away with it. He had moved forward, also; she had seen the oncoming horizontal strike and in an attempt to avoid getting hit she jumped upwards, satisfied with hearing the 'swoosh' of it slicing thin air. Hibari's head snapped up, purple-gray eyes widening, and dammit she was so prepared to smack that stupid face of his into the ground.

"CHA!"

But then Hibari used his tonfa to swipe upwards at her oncoming feet which then crushed all hopes of Sakura being able to make him eat dirt (because goddammit she wanted to repay him for what he did to her friends!). At the sight of the gleaming metal, she quickly pulled her feet back to her to avoid getting them hurt. Once Hibari's tonfa was just inches away, the girl kicked her feet out and onto the tonfa to propel herself towards the desk behind her―all the while in mid air. The soft pat of her shoes touching wood indicated that her landing was smooth (damn right it was!).

A blur of white and black intercepted her vision and she once again found herself ducking and dodging and attempting to counter-attack (but failing miserably) while trying to fight on the small, wooden, rectangular surface of the desk. The large stomps onto the furniture of both of their feet were loud as they exchanged attacks―Sakura using her fists, while Hibari, his tonfa. She gritted her teeth, feeling the itchy sensation of sweat rolling down the side of her face. He's just too fast...

There was a kick that she didn't see―fast and a blur, her eyes widened when she realized it was too late to dodge. Quickly raising her arms to block it, she felt his shoe connect with the chakra-reinforced limbs and promptly fell off of the edge of desk because again she forgot how strong the force of his hits were, even if she reinforced her arms with chakra. Stumbling a bit from the surprise-fall, she recovered. But then she realized that Hibari was still on top of the desk, looming over her ominously, and at that, her eyes widened.

A small amount of fear spiked in her being, her stomach churning uncomfortably but she pushed it all out of the way. Don't think like that! Her eyes narrowed; she would not be weak. She would not be weak. She would not be weak.

She would not be weak.

"SHANNAROOOO!"

With chakra surging throughout her arms, she sprang forward and picked up the desk by the edge and―with much pride―gloriously took in the way his eyes seemed to widen a bit when she lifted it up with him on top. He then jumped off to the side, to the open space in the room near the threshold, and Sakura's eyes gleamed dangerously. Too bad. With a loud yell, Sakura charged after the dark-haired boy and swung the heavy desk at him like a huge rectangular baseball bat.

When he dodged, she growled. The desk was way too heavy―but again, he's just too freaking fast...

The swipe that was aimed for her right side was easily (well, somewhat―the desk kind of slowed her down but she could make due with it seeing as she had to train with weights on her legs and what not...okay she wasn't fooling anyone, that was a really sloppy dodge) avoided when she skidded backwards, heaving the desk along with her. Emerald eyes narrowed; now! Wasting no time, she jumped into the air with the desk raised above her head, gaze heated as it locked onto the dark-haired boy beneath her.

The desk was brought down upon him―

TAKE THAT YOU BASTARD!

―or so she thought.

Instead of hearing the satisfying sound of wood hitting skull, she heard the sound of wood hitting linoleum―Hibari had zigzagged out of the way right before it was able to hit him, and in place of his body, the desk fell upon the unfortunate floor. The wooden furniture shattered into thousands of tiny wood chips and splinters on contact. Sakura gritted her teeth.

"Hyah!" Stepping over the wooden chips, she immediately sought after him with her fists raised. Both of met in the middle with Sakura blocking a punch to her face, and the next moment she was once again circling Hibari all the while avoiding and blocking his punches, swipes, and kicks. Too fast, too fast―still having trouble with keeping up with all his moves, she desperately tried to think of a way to end this fight quickly (fat chance of that happening though because goddamn inhumanly fast), all sorts of desperate strategies culminating in her jumbled mind.

There! An opportunity was given when Hibari had sent a fist towards her, one which she barely ducked under. Maneuvering near his feet, she twirled around him and underneath the arm that was outstretched to punch her. The momentum of her spin was used to charge her hit and―once she was behind Hibari―aimed a chop to the back of his neck which would, hopefully (she really really hoped), knock him out in one swift move. If not, then at least catch him off-guard or something enough for her to land a few good cracks to his face.

But before she could even land the hit, he spun around and caught her wrist with narrowed purple-gray eyes. She gulped. Emerald eyes widened. Oh crap.

His knee dug into her stomach, and at that, Sakura felt all the air in her lungs expel past her lips. The pain in her gut where Hibari had kneed her had her entire body screaming for her to stop fighting as she was sent flying into the back of the couch behind them. A shrill cry was let out at the combination of the pain in her gut and the pain of having her back slammed into furniture for the second time that day. Her pale features twisted into a grimace.

Hurt. Everything just hurts. Her knees were weak and wobbly, and her vision was becoming blurred. She propped herself up against the couch and gritted her teeth. N-No...must not...give up...

She would not be weak.

Through her vision of blobs and light and pink hair, she saw the blur of Hibari advancing towards her. The punch that was aimed in her direction was dodged when she leaned backwards―unfortunately, the only thing she had registered at that moment was dodge get out of the way or he'll break your nose and hurt you again and temporarily forgot about the couch behind her.

When her head came in contact with soft cushions, she blinked. Oh. Yeah. Couch. It was only then she realized how awkwardly positioned she was, with Hibari pretty much standing in between her legs (skirt dammit, YOU HAVE A SKIRT GET AWAY FROM HIM YOUR DIGNITY AAAAAUUGGHH) and the whole top half of her body melding to the form of the couch. Not to mention, her neck was bent at an uncomfortable angle.

She blinked, face becoming a tad bit too warm for her liking despite the situation.

"Crap―!"

If she didn't get out of that position now, then one) she'd get a tonfa lodged up her nose, two) her skirt would ride up her thighs and she'd have another embarrassing moment that will forever be carved into the walls of her mind, and three) Kyoya Hibari would happen.

And so with eyes squeezed shut (why, why, why? This is so freaking embarrassing) she bucked her legs up and blindly kicked at Hibari with all of her might which―she noted with slight surprise and utter disbelief―actually came in contact with flesh (and at that she wanted to scream and pull at her hair because of all the cool badass moves she did today that stupid poor excuse of a flail-kick-thing was the only one to actually hit him?! What the hell?!). It had sent him flying back a good six or so feet.

With the limited amount of time she was given before Hibari recovered from that dumb kick, she flailed around the couch (all the while letting out stupid grunts like 'ugh' and 'eugh' and 'haaaaa') until she tumbled to the floor in a messy heap of white, blue and pink.

Hair invaded her vision, sticking to her lips and effectively stuffing her mouth―spitting out the strands of pink, her lips pursed into a thin line. Through the strands of bubblegum there was pure white; the view of the ceiling had never been so anger-inducing. The little ordeal with the couch left her breathless, so as she laid on the floor with her arms bent at unusual angles and legs tangled with themselves, she took deep breathes in an attempt to bring oxygen to her lungs. She glared tiredly at the ceiling, eyelids beginning to droop against her will; so tired. In need of relaxation.

Frustrated with just about everything, she was about to close her eyes when she realized that oh crap she was still fighting Hibari and what the hell was she doing and soon shot up with her back erect. Green eyes as wide as saucers, she searched around the room for the certain dark-haired Prefect...only to find nothing. Her lips pursed. Where did he―

"Sakura-chan! Behind you!" Tsuna!

The sudden cry of Tsuna had caught her completely off-guard. Her head snapped upwards out of reflex as she leaned backwards to get a better look only to come face to face (crap) with Hibari's unamused unamusement―along with him came an approaching punch that was headed in her direction. Her heart stopped (crap) and the only thing that kept her moving was her rekindled will to fight. GET OUT OF THE WAY, IDIOT!

The anger that had died down was suddenly refueled; with a growl, the pinkette scrambled from her sitting position and away from the strike, giving her some breathing space as she landed in a crouch. Her eyes widened when she saw him speeding towards her; what―?

Before she knew it, she was smacked away, her whole side knocking painfully into the other couch in the room. The sound of its wooden legs scraping against the floor was drowned out but her pained cry. She cringed; her whole side was a throbbing mess. She tried to stand tall, to get up, but it was too much and once again, she found herself dangerously close to collapsing as she supported herself with the couch beside her on trembling knees.

Weak. Useless. Pathetic.

Her eyes narrowed, nostrils flaring dangerously. NO!

Sakura saw red for the second time that day.

For years, she had feared the oh-so-horrifying Kyoya Hibari. For years, she had forced herself to respect him despite her previously mentioned terror. For years, she had to go through shaking knees, stopping in her tracks, fear and weakness whenever he was even mentioned. And now? No, she wasn't afraid, not at the moment―she was pissed. He had knocked out half of her friends and nearly sent one of them falling to their death. He had beat them mercilessly and was so willing in doing so.

Her fear of him caused her to tremble, to freeze in her spot, to be weak―but no more! She would be strong, for her friends, her herself.

She would not be weak.

Hibari advanced towards her at a speed she couldn't comprehend, but she didn't move. All she did was stand there with her head hung low and her pink hair shadowing her gritted teeth. Anger. Determination. He was close now, but instead of blocking like she usually did, her hands quickly snatched the object nearest to her with chakra-laden hands and lifted it off from its perch on the ground with ease, ignoring the throbbing pain at her side.

"SHAN―!" She would not be weak.

The large object in her hands came swinging at him with precision even she didn't know she had. She could make out the small change in his expression as he zoned in on her. His eyes widened. She smirked.

"―NA―!" She would not be weak!

He tried to backpedal, tried to fly backwards and away from the furious pink-haired girl and the large furniture that she had swung at him but it was too late―he was too close. Ho yeah!

"―ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

SHE WOULD NOT BE WEAK!

Her roar tore through the room like nails on a chalkboard, but in this case, Sakura found it to be pleasing to her ears. Followed shortly after was the sound of the furniture in her grip coming in harsh contact with flesh and the loud boom of something crashing into the wall. Scratch that―something crashing through the wall and into the room next door. The destruction had sent dust and debris flying everywhere.

Coughing a bit, the couch she had been gripping onto was dropped onto the floor unceremoniously. Her chest heaved up and down in loud pants, shoulders slumping as disbelieving wide emerald scanned for any movement in or around the huge gaping Hibari-shaped hole in the wall through the dust that had circulated. There was nothing.

She...actually did that...

The grim (and satisfied) reality had then hit her tired face like a sack of fresh potatoes.

She had just knocked (and possibly killed) Kyoya Hibari into the next room over―with his own couch, no less!

Freaking shannaro.

She didn't know whether to scream or dance or curl up into a fetal position and cry. She simply stood there with her jaw unhinged and her eyes wide and her hands limp at her sides because she had just hit Kyoya Hibari. With his couch. His couch! And she didn't know how to react!

One part of her wanted to give herself a pat on the back because that was a swing that probably Yamamoto-kun would be proud of. Another part of her wanted to scream and rip her hair from her scalp because she had just done that to the Kyoya Hibari. And another nagged at her to scoop up her unconscious friends and run into the Namimori sunset with Tsuna and Reborn (who was pretty much making himself comfortable in the corner of the room during the whole ordeal) at her side before Hibari staggered out of that hole.

"Y-You..." At the sound of Tsuna's voice, she slowly turned her head in his direction only to see him staring at her with a face of pure horror. She snorted before she could even stop herself. "Y-You actually...! Hibari-san...w-wall...!"

"I..." She started, voice croaking. Her throat was dry. "I think...we should leave now, Tsuna."

"But you―the couch―Hibari-san, is he―?"

What? He wasn't making any sense. A sigh escaped her lips; the poor boy had seen enough for one day. With limbs made out of lead and shoulders sagging (tired, so tired; she just wanted to go home and shower and forget this day ever happened), she turned away from the dumbstruck Tsuna. She was about to make her way towards Yamamoto and Gokudera to wake them up when something suddenly made her stop in her tracks.

She froze. For the nth time that day, the tiny hairs on her arms and the back of her neck stood on end. She knew this feeling all too well.

Her palms―which her limp at her sides―became clammy, cold; her stomach churned and turned and it was entirely uncomfortable. Sakura knew something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong―and she didn't like it one bit. The atmosphere in the room changed noticeably, sending tremors down her spine (she'd be damned if that wasn't a blazing omen). Sakura's wide eyes flew around the room to catch look for the source. Where? WHERE? Her breaths became harsh; danger, danger. Red flags popped up in her mind because something was not right.

RUN! Her brain told her, urged her, begged her, but her body did not respond.

A immense wave of killer intent and sheer bloodlust flooded her entire being; it was strong, heavy, like fire burning into her back and―although she really did not want to admit it―Sakura instantly knew it came from the hole in the wall. Oh god. Slowly, slowly, oh so painfully slowly, she faced the place where she had sent Hibari crashing into. Oh god. All the color in her face had immediately drained as she watched the opening with a panicked gaze. Oh god.

Something moved―she heard it. Her hands balled into fists at her sides.

A footstep. Rubble moving against linoleum. More footsteps. And then a Hibari-shaped figure at the Hibari-shaped hole in the wall. Sakura wanted to die.

At that instant, all the fear she had desperately pushed out of the way resurfaced. This time, the fear had come back tenfold.

OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD―

As the figure emerged, she fearfully took in the blood that dripped from his nose and from the corner of his mouth, staining his white uniform crimson. Purple-gray eyes―which looked so calm from far away―burned in everything that Sakura could describe as utter loathing and resentment and sheer rage and even more hate as they seethed down at her now-trembling form.

"A Namimori Middle School student, damaging the grounds of the very school she attends? Disgraceful."

Now, Sakura wasn't really one to swear but―

"I'm going to bite you to death."

"Oh...shit..."


-laughs nervously- Hi...!

I can't believe I haven't updated in a year! It feels like it was yesterday that I uploaded the previous chapter. I also can't believe that it's been two years since I first posted this story up. Dang. Time sure does fly, doesn't it?

On a serious note, I have absolutely no intention of abandoning my stories. More so this one because I have a lot of ideas for it, and if I don't write them out my brain will spontaneously combust in a rain of blood and unused fanfic ideas. Yeah. I can't promise updates like I did two years ago (dang a chapter every five days...dang), and I'm sure it'll be slow now that senior year is here, but I will update.

Other than that, I'd like to give my heartfelt appreciation to my new beta-reader Sasu-Cakes137! Thanks so so so so much, you're a real sweet heart! :'D

Oh, and new cover page! :D I was doodling on Sai and I figured might as well draw a cover, heehee. Oh, and I will be cleaning up my profile soon. Messy, messy, messy!

Well, it's getting...early...(it's like 2 AM where I'm from) so I'm going to sign off.

Thank you for reading! c:

(I do not own Naruto or Katekyo Hitman Reborn―I simply make fanfiction for them.)