12-16-12:

I am truly sorry for neglecting all my stories. I had no intention- okay, I lied. I did have an intention to do it. I used so many excuses to not keep writing and I didn't feel motivated at all. Then when I saw that they deleted one of my stories, I just gave up.

Now, here I am starting from the beginning. I suddenly realized when I was doing this story I didn't have it revised at all. I learned many things to succeeding in having a good story that will peak the reader's interest. Hopefully, these tips will be beneficial to me and let everyone that is reading this enjoy every bit of it.

A/N:

This is a little experiment that I want to try. I actually read many stories pertaining to many ideas like this, but I'm not completely sure of how it will come out. I guess I got a little love sick? Anyways, let's just carry on.

The forest was pitch black with the moon's light shining through the evergreen. The leaves carried by the wind swooshed through the branches as they fluttered to the ground. No sound or a rustle from an animal was heard at all. It was as if every living creature was holding their breath to wait for the danger to pass. Footsteps reverberated from tree branch to tree branch, barely making a sound when a foot met the wood. The figure gracefully landed, absorbing the impact with his knees, before preparing to launch again. All that could be seen was a small thin figure for a shinobi and blood crimson, shimmering eyes.

Itachi Uchiha was returning from a B-rank mission with only achieving a few scratches and bruises. His mission consisted of guarding a daimyo's daughter during their journey from a diminutive village near Konoha to a village near rice country.

The daimyo was shocked and infuriated when he saw that Konoha sent a shinobi of such a young age, younger than his own daughter that looked to be around sixteen! It seemed as Konoha had no concern for the well being of their clients. His arrogance and superiority wanted someone more accomplished someone that can actually protect his daughter, someone older. Even if the daimyo freely projected his thoughts, Itachi was not the least fazed from the blatant feelings.

Such a reaction would come along with the young prodigy since Itachi was currently only 10. You would have expected normal kids around that age to still be in the academy, but that wasn't expected for this case.

At the mere age of 7, he graduated the ninja academy and at the age of 10, he soon became chunin. This was a new, but fascinating discovery that the Uchiha's would gloat about to other rival clans.

Even if the daimyo's daughter was almost twice his age, she had fallen for the dark and mysterious aura Itachi emitted, shamelessly flirting with the young him. She would immediately grasp on to his arm when he was present, wooing about his bravery to defend her. Often, she would proceed as a damsel in distress purposefully. On one occasion, she begged him to abscond with her and elope, even if the village she was traveling to meet her married spouse.

Itachi remained alert throughout the whole mission, suspicious and watching for anything that was unsettling or unusual. Almost close to Rice country, a group of rogue nin ambushed them. A group of five men surrounded the cluster, but Itachi succeeded in his assignment; he protected the daimyo's daughter and the driver of the carriage. The rogues seemed to be around chuunin level so it was fairly simple to handle them. One caught him by surprise though when the leader – which he concluded as one – sent a flurry of shuriken and kunai when he was preoccupied against two of the leader's teammates, resulting in him receiving a gash on his right arm.

This didn't slow him down one bit, but it was still an injury that caused him pain. Soon enough, he annihilated the last of the enemies. The daimyo's daughter hugged him against her bosom and bawled at his injury, blaming herself for all the trouble he had to go through. He got that healed by the village's medic when they arrived, but left the scratched and bruises to heal naturally, which would mend in a day or two. She protested vehemently and cried, clinging on to the young ninja when his mission was complete.

After returning to Konoha and showing the guards at the gates his mission scroll, he was soon on his way home while using the trees for a faster transportation. Everything was just a blur when he flew past. He glanced at the sky and thought that it must be around 10 at night. His mother would either be awake waiting for his return or trying to get his little 5-year old brother Sasuke to sleep.

Broken out of his thoughts, he heard a creak from a swing. He was next to a playground, he realized, but no one should be out at this time. Activating his sharingan, he scanned the area for precautions. What surprised him was a tiny girl sitting on an old swing. He wouldn't have seen her if it wasn't for his kekkei genkai. This girl's chakra was abnormally small, possibly a civilian child. Her head was angled towards ground beneath her, her feet dangling from the swing, barely grazing the dirt beneath her figure.

Eyes turning back to pitch black, Itachi silently walked to the unmoving form. She had pastel pink hair that barely grazed her shoulders. She adorned a light blue shirt with khaki pants, sandals adorning her petite feet. The girl looked the same age as his otouto. Kneeling in front of the girl, he patiently waited for any reaction of acknowledgment. Still no reaction, he finally spoke, startling her in the process.

"Hello," his melodious voice rang softly.

Sakura Haruno was an intelligent child, which she had figured out. She knew when her parents wanted her to go to her room or the playground when they had another disagreement, knew when to talk when spoken too, and knew things that some kids didn't know at her young age. Some kids would love to be at the playground or to play, but she loved to help her mother at her occupation or play with her toys, not to associate with other peers. Well, she would love to play with other kids, but they would be loathsome and make fun of her forehead.

So, she would often be found playing alone which her mom would pity her and take her out for ice cream. Today was no different. Kids laughed at her forehead while she tried to conceal it by her bangs, but it seemed to make it worse. They would pester her long enough that she would ignore them until they got bored and leave. Sure, she coped with it every day, but it still hurt to hear their insults and unrelentful teasing. When her mother came to pick her up, she immediately ran to her mom. Arriving back home, she helped her mom with the little stuff like cleaning the house or cooking.

Later on that night, her father came home intoxicated. Mother interrogated him, which caused him to be livid. Mother told her to go to the playground and she followed her order. This is where it leads to her sitting on the swing at 10 o' clock at night. Everything was so quiet, not even the sound of crickets were heard. Sakura didn't notice a shadow blocking the moon's light in front of her.

"Hello," she looked up at the person, startled, almost resulting of her falling backwards off the swing. The person looked at her with amusement dancing in their eyes, but kept an impassive face. He seemed like the same age as the boys who would pick on her, yet he seemed to contain a mature aura. In instinct, she shrunk back in fear from the older boy.

"Don't worry, I won't hurt you."

She looked at him with her big emerald, innocent eyes that shined with curiosity and cautiousness. She immediately agreed from the words he said for she slowly went back to her original position, but looking at him.

The boy had raven locks tied back into a loose ponytail by a red rubber band. Bangs framed the side of his face, complimenting his high cheekbones. Onyx eyes stared at her and two stress lines going diagonal under both of his eyes seemed unusual, but added to his attractiveness.

He wore the standard chuunin vest over a mesh shirt and fishnets. Standard black pants had white bandages and a weapons pouch strapped on his right thigh. Ninja sandals adorned his feet. He had a mysteriousness that caught her attention.

"May I know your name, little one?" he asked with a gentle tone. A glint came off his hitai-ate, catching Sakura'a attention.

"Sakura Haruno, Shinobi-san," she answered, receiving a shake of his head.

"No need to call me that, Sakura-san," he said impassively.

"Who are you then?" she asked coyly.

"Itachi," Itachi cocked his head. "What are you doing out here at a time like this?"

"Daddy came home bumping into stuff," she explained, a frown marring her face, her lips in a pout while she looked down. "Mommy started asking him stuff and Daddy got mad and broke some things. Then Mommy told me to come here."

"Ah," she peered at him and he looked deep in concentration. A minute later, his eyes refocused on the little pinkette. "How long have you been here?"

"I don't know, but I remember Daddy coming home at," she paused to count her fingers and then showed him 8 fingers, "eight. Daddy was supposed to come home earlier to eat dinner, but he came late at night."

"I think it's safe to go home now, Sakura-san," Itachi voiced out and she nodded in agreement. "Come on, I'll take you home."

Sakura hopped off the swing and looked at the chuunin, trusting him so easily. "Are we going to fly on the roof?"

"Ah," Itachi chuckled lightly before he bent down in front of her, his back to her to show her to get on his back. She climbed on and soon enough they were flying on the rooftops. From the directions that Sakura told, they arrived at a small one-story home. Its yellow house with the small picket fence decorated with a variety of flowers seemed like a cozy home.

Knocking on the door, Itachi waited until he heard footsteps moments later. The door opened to reveal red-headed woman with a drained face that brightened at the sight of Sakura. He set her down, who ran to the open arms of her mother. After their little reunion, the woman stood up with Sakura in her arms and looked at him.

"Thank you, Shinobi-san," she bowed slightly in gratefulness. "How can I repay for your kindness?"

"It's alright," Itachi bowed in modesty and politeness. "It's my job to help those in need. If that will be all, I will be leaving now."

"Thank you again," the mother nodded.

"Bye, Itachi-san!" Sakura waved her hand and Itachi gave a nod to her before vanishing in to the night.

Hot water cascaded down his back, steam rising from the heat. Itachi scrubbed away all the sweat and grime on his body, washing away the dried blood. A content sigh left his mouth as he stood there in the shower.

Once done, he wrapped a towel around himself before walking out of the bathroom. Looking through his drawer, he put on a black shirt and sweats. Tying his brushed, wet hair into a rubber band, he laid on his futon. Moonlight filtered through his room in a silver beam, giving some form of light in the dark room.

After returning Sakura back home safely, he went to report his mission. The hokage seemed pleased when Itachi handed him the scroll with every detail of what had occurred during the mission. Soon enough, he was dismissed to go home.

As was predicted, his mother, Mikoto, was trying to get Sasuke to go to sleep unsuccessfully. Sasuke had wanted to stay awake to see his aniki, even if he was on the brink of sleep. This amused Itachi to no end for Sasuke tackled him when he came home and Mikoto greeting him with a hug.

His father, Fugaku, was nowhere to be seen, possibly still at work, which Itachi was glad for. He didn't want to deal with his father when he had just returned from a mission. He would be lectured about how he was the heir of the Uchiha clan and was to be the best prodigy. After a small snack of onigri that was prepared from his loving mother, he went to bed.

Recalling what had happened earlier, he thought about the pinkette. She was a young child, yet too intelligent for a kid at her age. She didn't seem to be afraid of the outdoors during night when she was alone and not crying from loneliness. Too bad, he thought, that she wouldn't remember him. She was deemed an interesting kid, the least. Her pastel pink hair did not clash terribly with her bright, emerald eyes; her features were more exotic. Sure, her forehead was abnormally large, but she will soon develop into it. It actually suited her well with her personality.

Then, she put so much trust in him, so easily. He could have been a rogue and killed her instantly from that mistake, but something made his whole being warm. This little girl had gotten him to show enough emotion in so little time than other people who took years, except his little otouto that is. Not putting much thought of why that occurred, sleep overcame his sense and he lost consciousness.

A/N:

I know that it may seem a bit boring, but remember it's just an experiment. I was going to post a story similar to this, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Since I am too lazy to find a beta-reader, criticism is very much welcome. I am still learning after all, but I would like if you would point out the errors. I try to find most errors as I can, but some help would benefit me. Merry Christmas!

12-17-12

I tried to put more sensory detail so the story would be more interesting. I still don't know where this story is going actually. Any ideas would be helpful, thank you. Please review if you have the time. Have a merry Christmas and happy holidays!