A/N Oh gosh, I knew the grammar here was bad, but I didn't think it was THAT bad. I just revised the entire story, and there are probably still issues, but that took me so long I don't think I'm up to fixing them at the moment. Enjoy!
Sakura sat alone in the darkness. The dim light of the moon flooding through the small window, illuminating her face an eerie silver. Turning her head upward to face the lights source, a droplet hit her cheek. A hand brushed it away with bitter amusement. She hadn't even realised she had started to cry.
Really though, she should be allowed to grieve. It had been so long since she had last seen his face; the beautiful onyx eyes that bleed to a deep crimson. Did he still remember it? That question often ran through her thoughts nowadays. The memories of that time, and that promise, from back then. Reminiscing, she clutched a worn bear in her hands.
As the trees rustled softly against the gentle breeze, a small girl sat crouched, her back hunched as tremors spread across it in heaving sobs. She couldn't find it in herself to stand up again. Not after all she had been through. It would be safest that she stay here, she thought; that way they wouldn't find her.
Jumping through the trees at a leisurely pace, a boy rubbed at his eyes tiredly. He had just completed his mission, of which had been the hardest yet. Now on the way back to the Uchiha Compound to report in, he passed through the depth of the forest. The twittering chirps of the rising birds and small scuffles of animals were nearly enough to lull him to sleep. He thanked his training that he could still keep his eyes open, even on autopilot. However, upon passing across a small clearing, his keen senses picked up a faint sound.
The sound was muffled, coming out in small hiccups. At first he thought it an animal, but as he paused to further investigate he realized what it actually sounded like: someone crying, a child to be precise. As he silently landed on the dank ground, his suspicions were confirmed. Hunched against the trunk of an old tree sat a small girl. Her hair contrasted greatly with the brown oak trunk, the soft blossom pink cascading gently in the breeze, almost in harmony with the leaves falling slowly around her.
Snapping from my awed reverie, he couldn't help but wonder why the girl was here. In fact, he noted, it shouldn't be possible for a child to get all the way out here by themselves. Had someone left her here?
Though he approached her, the girl made no move to look up. Seemingly, she was totally ignorant of his presence. This was proven when he reached out his calloused hand to brush it gently against her shoulder. In her surprise, she pushed herself backwards, head hitting the tree with a soft knock.
Starting at the unexpected reaction, the teenager crouched down to the girl's level, decidedly not commenting on her accident. With a gentle smile he outstretched his hand, radiating the aura of a prince. "Miss, why are you here all by yourself? Are you lost?"
Though her hand slipped up to rub at the forming bruise at the back of her head, the boy's own hand faulted when she looked up at him. Her eyes sparkled with a brilliant radiance, the jade tint causing him to emit a small breath of shock. He snapped back to attention as the small mouth took a breath, obviously about to speak. The boy watched on as she started to blush a red tint upon looking up at her face. To his amusement, he found her stuttering as she tried to form words.
"Eh? H-How'd you..? Ah! I'm, ano... G-gomen!" through her stuttering, she pulled her head low into as much of a bow as she could manage from her position, causing him to blink in shock. She took a deep breath before looking up again, resolution gleaming through jade. "I'm not lost." She spoke determinedly, words tinted with resoluteness.
Frowning, the boy made to interrupt, she held a hand up to silence him however, and he found himself mentally praising the girl on her control.
"I'm out here..." She paused in consideration. "So that my tormentors wouldn't find me and hurt me again."
At the answer, he felt sweat accumulate at the back of his neck. What did she mean by tormentors? In fact, who even used that word? Pushing it aside, he offered her another smile and tilted his head in question. "Then at least tell me your name. I'm Itachi by the way." Maybe if she told him her name he could take her back to her parents.
"Sakura, Haruno Sakura." She emphasized. "Please, don't take me back to my parents though." Her voice turned pleading , and she looked up at him with a pained expression. "They'll just beat me again; No, it'll be worse this time, after all since I'm late, it'll probably be worse- especially if you tell them that I was trying to run away from home."
It seemed that this girl was far smarter than the usual child he found himself talking to, maybe even more so than Sasuke. He was very surprised, but somehow she had been able to predict his thought process. Her words played through his mind and he found himself asking yet another question. "Are your parents your tormentors then?" It felt funny using the word tormentors like that, but he sucked it up for the sake of finding out if it was indeed her parents.
Sakura shook her head, tresses of pink whipping behind her in her hurry. He found himself being surprised a lot by this girl, it seemed. "No, they just like to 'discipline' me. Or at least, that's what they say." She paused, and her eyes again emitted a sadness that he hadn't seen on many children. "My tormentors are a group of kids my age. Plus a few adults, too. Every day, they come to find me and beat me up."
The boy's eyes hardened. He couldn't fathom why people would be beating up a sweet innocent girl like this. What reason do they have? He found himself asking yet another question, his curiosity peaked. "Why on earth do they beat you?" he exclaimed exasperated, but felt guilty when she flinched back at his outburst.
At his question, her eyes darkened as if remembering something, and she lowered her head. "Apparently it's because I have an abnormally large forehead, and because I'm weak." She sniffed sadly, and her voice wavered. "And... 'Cause I have no friends."
Upon seeing her face his heart gave a painful pang. Her eyes were scrunched closed as she suppressed tears, and her lips quivered with remorse. Almost automatically, his arms stretched out to pull her into a hug. A thought that crossed through his mind in that moment cause he himself to stiffen for a moment. 'I don't think... I don't think I want to let her go'. Brushing it off as pity for the girl, he tightened his arms around the girl. Smiling, he watched as she finally relaxed in his hold and broke down. He knew what to do from there, and decidedly, he pulled her up to face me.
Smiling, he looked her in the eyes. "Sakura, I'll be your friend no matter what happens, or where I go. I'll be your friend, I promise." With that he pulled her back into the hug but instead of crying, this time she hugged him back.
Another tear rolled down her cheek, as she remembered the picnic that Itachi had planned for her birthday once…
Walking up to the door, Sakura raised her hand to the screen and gave it two soft raps. A door slid open to reveal Mikoto Uchiha. A pink apron was wrapped around her waist and in her hand she held a bowl of mixture. Smiling down at Sakura, she began to speak. "Hello dear, you're here to see Itachi right?" Sakura nodded in confirmation.
Mikoto turned around and beckoned for Sakura to follow. Stopping at the hallways entrance, Mikoto cupped a hand to her mouth and called out loudly, "Itachi-honey, Sakura's here to see you."
Sounds of shuffling and a muffled crash were produced before the door slid open to reveal a smiling Itachi with a woven basket in hand.
"Saku-chan." He targeted her with a warm smile, "Would you like to go for a walk?"
Grinning she replied, making use of the new nickname she had made up for him but weeks before. "Of course Ita-kun."
Nodding in approval, he replied. "Good, now come on!"
Just as they were walking through the door, a sentence sounded from Mikoto behind them. "By the way Sakura, Happy Birthday." With that, she closed the door in their faces, leaving a slightly confused but pleasantly surprised Sakura and a chuckling Uchiha in her wake.
As she followed Itachi down a forest path, Sakura continued to ponder how Mikoto-san had known it was her Birthday until finally, her curiosity got the better of her. "Ita-kun, how did Mikoto-san know it was my Birthday?" she questioned confusedly.
Having arrived at their destination- a small hill, Itachi chuckled good-humouedly at her before facing her with a smile. "I told her of course." Reaching into the basket he had carried with him, he pulled out a rug and some food. He then proceeded to lay the rug across the ground and set down the food upon it.
Extravagantly, he extended a hand to her in a flourish. "Please take a seat Miss. Itachi Uchiha at your service." Eyes sparkling bemusedly he picked her up bridal style, only to settle her on his lap on the rug. Hand reaching for the basket a final time, he procured a small object and offered it to her.
With reluctant hands, Sakura took the object from him and examined it. To her shock it was a small bear; it was cream, with pink ears and paws. In its hands it held a small heart, and she noticed writing there. Upon further investigation she saw it was a note for her. Making to read it, she pulled it closer, gasping at what she saw. In beautiful kanji a small sentence was engraved into the stone heart. "Aishitteru".
At this, she pulled Itachi forward into a tight hug. He rested his head on top of hers with a soft smile reserved for only her, is brother and mother ever saw nowadays.
Quietly he whispered one thing that made her heart flutter furiously. "Happy birthday, my cherry blossom."
She started to sob harder, as she thought of the last time she saw him…
With light footsteps, a now teenage Sakura ran up the steps to her house. Upon reaching her room, she collapsed on top of her bed, exhaustion eminent after her training. To her surprise, she sensed Itachi at her window, and immediately unlocked it with a click. Nearly as soon as she had done so, he collapsed upon her with a grunt. As she peered at him, her eyes widened in surprise and shock. His body was scratched and bruised, clothes torn and stained red. Pulling him inside, she set him down on top of her bed. Hesitating, she set to work stripping him of his vest, top and trousers. Hands glowing a soft green she set to healing his wounds, blushing a bright crimson as she did so. Though she had thought him to have fainted by this point, he sat up, ignoring her pleas to lie back down. The words that left his mouth brought tears to her eyes.
"Sakura. I have to leave the village. You won't see me for a long time, but I promise I'll come back Sakura. I promise." He spoke with such conviction that the tears streaming down her face in small spouts weren't all sad ones. She couldn't help believe him. As it turned out, this would be the last true emotion anyone would see Itachi express for a long time. Other than the silent tears, she was frozen in shock, unable to react when he pulled her head to his.
"Goodbye Sakura." With that he leaned down and kissed her. While they had both confessed to love one another, neither had ever kissed the other. A soft smile spread across her face as she responded. Fleeting though it may have been, the kiss made her fall more deeply in love with him than she had previously thought possible. As soon as he pulled away, the soft swish of him jumping away sounded at her ears. Gingerly she brought a finger to her lips. With that she turned her eyes to the window once more, whispering wistfully, "Goodbye Itachi, I'll always love you."
She was crying so hard now that her whole body convulsed. In the midst of her crying, she felt a somewhat familiar chakra signature, though she couldn't place where she had felt it before. Shakily, she got into a defensive stance. A kunai clutched in her right hand. Tears continued to flow down her face, but they were now silent. So she heard the deep velvety voice of the man that appeared in front of her, and even though her eyes were blurry from the tears she still knew who it was; she immediately dropped the kunai and ran straight to him.
He embraced her in his arms softly whispering, "I promised I'd come back Sakura-koi. Sakura, I love you."
A/N Thanks for reading!