A/N:

Before you decide you hate me and my fanfic, please read my little disclaimer. He he he…

Okay, so the character I really unlike the most, short of, really-as in really despising, is Sasuke. He has fallen hard, hit rock bottom and acts so childish it's really annoying, with him being super strong and all. But, since this is my fanfic I want to redeem his character. I want to give him a second chance. The thing is, like most girls he used to be my favorite guy in the story, y'know the cool dark mysterious one. But then he became so evil all my fantasies about him got seriously crushed!

Now, the only girl I can think of that I can pair him with, who is equally annoying is Sakura. Sorry guys, but this couple reaaaaaaaaaally annoys me to such an extent it's not funny anymore. She had been so weak, whiny; always pining for Sasuke, always chasing after him as if there was no other guy in the world. They both suck if you ask me.

But then I love the story of Naruto. If it were mine, I won't have Sasuke falling so hard like that. And I'll have given Sakura more finesse and tact. Alas the story is not mine. It belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.

So the best that I can do is give a little tweak to the parts I want changed to work for me. I want to like the two of them. I feel that I have to make them lovable too, well at least even just in the world of fanfiction. They have the biggest as in the BIGGEST potential to be the most kickass couple in all of ANIME/MANGA universe.

I hope there are Sasuke/Sakura fans out there. I'm going to give my damned best to give them a believable love story. Hope y'all like it…

Acceptance

There was a saying.

How do you deal with the things you cannot change? You have to accept them.

You have to accept the fact that the world revolves around the sun which creates night and day, summer and winter, hot and cold. Trying not to believe that fact will not stop the Earth from moving, nor have the fires of the sun to flicker dead.

That was what Uchiha Itachi was trying to have Sasuke understand. During the last minutes of his life before he had his crows eat away his life force so he could end Kabuto's Edo Tensei, he looked at Sasuke straight in the eye and said, "Accept. That is all you have now. You must move forward."

A feral growl tore from the younger boy's throat. "Never! I will never accept the annihilation of our clan!"

Itachi's gaze was cool, unaffected by his younger brother's burst of rage. "It has been prophesied. When the Sage of Six Paths, our ancestor chose the younger brother, he knew it was the right decision. Don't you understand, Sasuke? The Uchiha carries the Curse of Hatred so deep that if we lead the world, there will only be fighting, endless fighting. It will never stop until the Earth itself burns down to dust."

"But why?" roared Sasuke. "Why does this have to happen to our clan? Why can't we have been simple children whose parents are alive! I will trade all my jutsus for a normal life!"

Itachi tilted his head. "Again, little one. You must accept the things you cannot change. I killed the clan not because of my blind loyalty to Danzo. It was the right thing to do. I loved our parents and our other families, yes, but to start another war with Konoha would kill every member of our clan anyway. And other different clans, innocent people. Repeatedly the name Uchiha will be written in history books as the endless perpetrators of war. I had to end it."

Sasuke was trembling, either in rage or unimaginable pain, he could not quite fathom. All he knew that it hurt too much to hear Itachi pointing out the truth, the truth which made him thirst for revenge all these years, only to slam back in his face in the form of necessity. Bloody necessity.

He gripped his sword and bowed down. "H-how? How will I accept it? How? For our clan to be slain in the name of prophesy! HOW?"

"Give up your life,then."

Sasuke was startled he stared at Itachi.

"What?"

"You are the last known standing Uchiha in the world, Sasuke. Madara has already been defeated by the Nine-Tails. I am sealing my soul so that I will not be manipulated by another Edo Tensei user in the future. You have a choice. Give up your life, or move forward, and work with the ones who desire peace to rule."

"You are a worthless coward, Itachi!" Sasuke stepped forward and hurled a fist to his brother's face. Itachi swayed on his feet but did not appear too ruffled. The punch was a strong one yet in minutes his body would crumble to dust anyway, he did not feel necessary to inspect the bruise.

Sasuke was seething. "If you were such a perfect Uchiha, then you should have killed me, too and be the one left standing to work for your so-called peace. You destroyed my mind, making me hate you with my entire being only to find out that you did it because you believed it was necessary to wipe out our clan for the sake of other people."

"For the sake of the world, Sasuke."

"But there is still fighting!"Sasuke spat.

"Alas, it had been another Uchiha responsible for it. And he is now dead."

"You never answered my question, Itachi," Sasuke said, clenching his fists. "Why did you not live to attain peace for yourself? You went to the Akatsuki, instead of finding a woman to marry and settling down. Where is your peace?"

A soft sigh escaped from Itachi. He too was weary of his existence. "Do you think it would be easy for me to live knowing I did what I did? There was possibly no room in my heart to find a woman to marry. I admit it had been wrong to join the Akatsuki. I had been blinded by their promise that they will order peace in our world. That has always been what I wanted."

"Your view of peace is as twisted as mine's, Itachi so don't go preaching on me about how to live my life! If I go to the Leaf to avenge my clan you will not stop me." Sasuke's eyes were black with contempt.

"I have no means to stop you, brother and I do not intend to. Although it's just a waste of time. You might kill the whole of Leaf but then you'll be alone. You will have no one to praise you in extinguishing your enemy, no one to share your joy of vanquishing them. In the end it will only be you, and then you will decide to end your life. I know this because I know you. So why not end your life now? Before innocent people get killed?"

His voice was getting weaker. He knew it was time.

He closed his eyes and laid out a hand. When it landed gently on Sasuke's forehead the younger Uchiha flinched, as if he was hit.

A small smile played on Itachi's lips as his fingers ghosted on Sasuke's skin. "It is impossible to ask of you to forget. But you still have time to turn back to those people who trust you and value you. Naruto-"

"I can never go back Onii-san,'' came Sasuke's throaty whisper. "Naruto looks at me and doesn't see who I am now. He clings to the old memories of myself."

"Then do not go back. But do not start another war. I am not of this world anymore Sasuke and I must never be resurrected again. I am sealing my soul. You are the future, Sasuke. The hope of the Uchiha."

Before Sasuke's very eyes a swirl of black enveloped Itachi. "No!" He tried to grab the hand on his forehead but came up with empty air.

Itachi was fading away. "No! Not yet, damn it! Wait!" Sasuke cried hoarsely.

Itachi opened his eyes. He was still smiling. "Break the Curse of Hatred, Sasuke. It is the only way."

"No! No no no, Itachi!"

"Sayonara."

With a final swirl Itachi's form began to disappear, as if tiny particles of air were separating his body into millions of fragments.

Then he became ash and fell to the ground.

Shaking, Sasuke fell on his knees, his eyes locked on the pile of ash before him. Itachi abandoned him for the second time, just when he was beginning to accept Itachi's presence in his life once more. Again, he was left behind, a lone survivor.

Unable to stomach the sight of his brother dying in front of him, Sasuke wept, curling his hands on the pile of ash.

Hope of the Uchiha.

Sasuke wept in abandon, tears spilling from his powerful eyes, his chest heaving. What was there to live for? Itachi was gone. He came and went only to have Sasuke know pain, over and over, in one form or another.

His revenge had been taken away from him. By the very person he swore vengeance upon.

And now Itachi wanted him to break the Curse of Hatred looming on the Uchiha's heads. How would he do that? Sasuke wondered. He only knew hate.

He only knew the Sharingan. It was the pride of their people, the only means how their perfect hate was manifested.

The Sharingan.

Sasuke looked to the sky, his eyes still full of tears. He wanted to live. For himself. He wanted to know the world. He knew defeat when he met one, and now, he knew that Itachi defeated him. He could never be victorious over him. Be in life or death.

I am so tired.

The battle was over.

At last.

Madara Uchiha, Kabuto and Tobi had all been defeated by the combined efforts of Naruto and Kurama, as well as of Killer Bee and the Allied Ninja force. The five Kages were bursting with joy: the Hokage, Kazekage, Raikage, Tsuchikage and Mizukage. They survived this battle of the worlds.

"It's time to build the homes we have lost,"Tsunade's voice rang out.

Gaara nodded. "Yes. No looking at the past. It's time we move forward."

Atop a big boulder, Naruto grinned, "The first one we should build is a ramen stand!"

Some of the shinobi laughed at that. Onoki's features softened. "This child is the chosen one indeed. I could never have doubted."

Sakura, sitting on the ground, where she was healing Hinata giggled. "That bakero! Hinata, you'll have your hands full of him y'know?"

Fearlessly bold as she was when she confessed her love for Naruto, she still had the tendency to turn to mush when someone teased her about the love of her life. "A-a-ano…"

Sakura laughed heartily. "Ha ha ha! You should see the look on your face, Hinata! I don't envy you. It takes a strong one to contain him, if you know what I mean," Sakura said and winked at the blushing Hyuuga heiress. She let Hinata up to a sitting position. "There you go, Princess. I know Naruto would want to hug you like crazy later so I figured you should heal nicely."

"Sakura?"

"Yeah?"

"I-I had heard- that…"

"Hinata, please. What is it."

"A-a-ano… You confessed your love to Naruto, too when -"

Sakura held out her palm. There was a naughty smile on her face. "Darn, Hinata! Don't tell me you're jealous? C'mon, Naruto had not been convinced by my act so you should not be worried about that."

Hinata twirled her fingers around, a gesture she did when she was nervous. "No, I am not jealous. You have been Naruto's comrade since Team 7. It's just that, you cared for him to deceive him so he would not waste his time finding Sasuke."

Sakura sighed heavily. Sasuke. Grrr, the name irritated her so badly she wanted to crack something. Of all times, this was not a moment to be thinking of him, that sore moronic suicidal loser. Her mood darkened but she did not want Hinata to notice. "Yeah, well I couldn't let that imbecile chase after a devil hellbent on destroying himself. I, too, care about Naruto."

Hinata smiled tenderly. "Thank you, that you were worried for him."

"Yeah, of course." Sakura scratched the back of her head, scowling. "That Uchiha is worthless anyway."

"You did love him very much, ne?"

Sakura scowled some more. Must everyone keep repeating the greatest mistake she had done in her life? "Uhhhmmm, well, not really…"

"Do you think that he will come back? The battle is over now. He should come back."

"He's a criminal. I would love nothing but to strip him of all his jutsus and send him to jail."

"Sakura!" gasped Hinata. "I thought you loved him."

Sakura's face was grim. "You are right, Hinata. I did. It was in the past. I don't do so now."

"Maybe he and Itachi will start another fight with us?" They all knew Itachi had been brought back by the Impure World Resurrection of Kabuto.

"With Itachi I am not certain. I believe he was just another pawn by Danzo. With Sasuke, hmmm, well, he should try, seeing how strong our forces are now. We would immediately kill him."

Hinata laid out her had on Sakura's shoulder. "It must have been so difficult. To see the one you love so much fall hard. I know it would hurt me if I have to witness that with Naruto."

Sakura's lower lip trembled. Oh she was doing this really good, pretending indifference where Sasuke was concerned. In truth she missed him so much, hoped that he would see the light of day and come to his senses. There was nothing she wouldn't give to see him back home.

Must not cry… Must not cry…

Just then, Naruto swooped down and knelt before Hinata. "Are you alright?" he asked her.

The Hyuuga's smile was blinding. "Yes, Naruto-kun. I'm fine."

He beamed at Sakura. "Thanks, Sakura-chan. You're the best medic in the world!"

"Naruto, just don't grip her too tight. Her muscles are still frail from the fight,"the medic censured.

"Hai, hai." The boy looked tenderly at his cute little girlfriend and Hinata broke into uncontrollable giggles. When he gently laid her head on his chest and kissed her temple, Sakura turned away.

Too heartbreaking.

To be watching others' platter of happiness which you could never have a slice of.

"Let's get you to the tent, Hinata-chan," Naruto said and picked her up. Hinata wrapped her arms around Naruto's shoulders, enjoying the feeling of being held by him.

"Yeah, let's go. I'm sure I have a lot of patients to attend to," Sakura said, standing as well.

Suddenly there was a commotion on the far side of the battlefield. Some of the shinobi were shouting curses.

Then they picked up the name of the new comer.

Sakura stilled.

Sasuke.

He's here.

Even Naruto became tense. He gripped Hinata a little tighter than was necessary but she did not complain.

"SASUKE!" Naruto roared. "The battle is over. You should come back!"

"He must be terminated!" the hot-headed Raikage yelled. "A criminal as powerful as him must be killed. He is another Uchiha. We cannot afford another world war!"

Most of the shinobi's agreement rang on the battlefield.

Sakura looked around. Everyone was on the edge. Like preparing to strike any second.

She looked at where Sasuke stood. Her proud Uchiha. But this time, no more swooning, no more pining for him. She was so over that. All she wanted was peace of mind. Sasuke would never surrender to anyone, that she knew.

"Naruto!" The Uchiha's voice was firm.

Naruto signaled to a Hyuuga standing near him and deposited Hinata to his arms. "I'll be back," he told her.

Dashing, he went to where the rebel stood.

Sakura's heart sped up. No no no… Naruto had told Sasuke in the past that if they fought they would die together. That Sasuke must direct all his anger to Naruto and Naruto would help him carry the burden.

That damn stupid fox! Sakura thought. There was no way in hell she would let the two boys fight. No, the battle should be over. She would not make Naruto hurt again by deciding how to help Sasuke. She would kill Sasuke.

She ran as fast as she could to follow Naruto.

Naruto stopped a few feet from Sasuke.

Sakura halted behind Naruto, where she could see the Uchiha clearly.

Slowly, Sasuke's head turned to her. Her heartbeat accelerated madly. He was looking at her with those unfathomable deep eyes of his that she felt she was being pinned to the ground.

"Sasuke, what have you decided?" asked Naruto, breaking Sasuke and Sakura's staring contest.

The black haired boy looked at the blonde. "My brother Itachi left this world."

"H-huh? You mean he - you killed him? Again?" Naruto's voice raised a notch, he was agitated.

"No. He was stronger than when he was alive. But, it was his decision to die. He sealed away his soul, so he will never be resurrected again."

Naruto's shoulders fell. "So he chose to die."

"I have nothing more to live for, Naruto. I lived only to take revenge on him, and when I found out the truth I continued to live to take my revenge on the Leaf and Konoha. Then he lived and I thought-"

For the first time since they were still together as Team 7, Sakura heard an inflection in Sasuke's voice. Emotion. He was capable of feeling it again, aside from that of hate.

" - now he's gone once more. And Konoha is almost destroyed. All the revenge I have been wanting has been stolen from me."

Sakura took a step forward. It was an unconscious action.

Sasuke turned to her, his face grim.

"What is there to live for?"

"NO!" howled Sakura. Gaining speed, she walked towards him. But she was no fool, knowing she could not go very near him. She stopped beside a dumbstruck Naruto. "Sasuke, why do you always want to hurt yourself beyond what is necessary?"

"If the Haruno clan had been wiped off the face of the planet, Sakura, because it was supposed to be for the good of all, what would you have done?"

She stilled.

"You cannot answer that question because it has never happened to you."

She knew he was right.

"Come back to Konoha." Naruto's voice was firm, unquestionable.

Sasuke gave him a dark look. "I am a criminal in Konoha. I belong nowhere."

Sakura spoke up, her voice quivering. "We will fight for you, you know that." She wanted to hurt herself. So much for the we-will-kill-him crap she was spewing over with Hinata back there. In truth, no matter what he did, no matter the odds, she would always care for his well- being.

Sasuke looked up at the sky. "I am weary."

Sakura stomped her foot. "Are you following Itachi's example? Will you take your own life?" She dreaded the answer to that. She would not stand by and allow him to end his own existence.

"Naruto, you and the others must know that I do not intend to surrender myself. To you, or to anyone else."

The vessel of the Nine-Tailed Beast nodded. "I am ready, Sasuke. I told you I will help you carry your burden, even if it kills me." He braced his feet apart, spoiling for a fight. He knew he could never convince Sasuke to surrender.

The Uchiha did not look impressed. "I want to be free of this hate."

Sakura's heart was thudding painfully inside her chest.

Sasuke's two hands reached up into his eyes. At first, both Naruto and Sakura wondered what he would do. It might be a new justsu so they got prepared for any eventuality.

What they had not been prepared for was when Sasuke continued reaching into his eyes until he could actually pluck them out of their sockets. Sakura screamed and looked away when she saw blood.

Naruto froze, as well as every shinobi on the field.

Sasuke was taking his eyes - his very powerful Sharingan eyes - off his own body.

The Sharingan. The identity of what it was to be an Uchiha.

Even the Raikage's mouth was hanging open, disbelief written on his face.

"Sasuke, what have you done?" Sakura cried out.

Blood streamed down from where Sasuke's eyes once had been. He held the two globes, one on each hand. The blood ran down to his robe.

"Sa-suke…" Naruto wanted to throw up.

"I want to see the world in a new light," Sasuke whispered, his chest heaving from what he had done. The physical pain of tearing his eyes out was nothing compared to the flood of conflicting emotions drowning him, threatening to drive him to madness. Giving up the Sharingan was like forcing himself not to breathe to commit suicide, and yet he'd still done it.

Bloodied and worn-out, Sasuke faced the crowd. He knew who to face even without his eyes. "I will not wage any war, but I will not surrender and be held captive. I am giving you a piece of myself, the pride of our clan because if I carry my eyes with me I will not completely forget my sorrowful past. You will not hear of me anymore. And I want no one following me. I want to leave everything behind and live as if I am a different being. It is the only way I can bury the past behind me and move forward."

There was no single sound made by anyone. They were all frozen by what they had witnessed.

Sasuke let go of his eyeballs. Slowly they rolled towards Naruto's feet, breaking his stare. "Sasuke, you can still stay. Please."

"You're - leaving? For good?" Sakura asked her heart breaking every second that passed.

Tsunade walked forward, towards them. "I agree, Sasuke. If you give your word that we will never hear of you again, I promise that you will be undisturbed by Konoha. It is what I can give you, given what you and your clan went through."

Gaara spoke up. "You have shown courage to face your fears and give something worth even your life, Sasuke. On behalf of Suna, you will be left alone."

The Mizukage cradled her head on her hands. "Oh Sasuke, you little fool… What can I do? You have me."

The Raikage stood his ground. "I will not be swayed by your petty display of masochism, Uchiha. You tried to kill my brother. I still want to keep you in chains."

Sasuke lifted one brow. "Allow me to be clear. I am telling you this, not asking for your permission. When attacked I will not hesitate to kill your shinobi."

The Raikage growled, "You good-fer-nuthin' Uchiha! I will grind your brains into -"

Onoki interrupted him. "Give the boy some slack, Raikage. The war is over, no need to start a new one. We're starting from scratch, all of us. The first honorable thing to do would be to bury the past. I am with you, boy. It takes some grit to give up what you value more than your own life."

Killer Bee approved. "Yup, yo, he didn't hurt me that much, so… gotta give the kid another shot," he said in his rap-like dialogue.

The Raikage still did not want to give up, acting like an immature child instead of a powerful leader. "We will not deliberately seek you out, Uchiha, but the moment we see you on our territories you will be captured. So run as far as you can because we will never allow you to escape when we catch you."

Sasuke tilted his head, trying to make out where the Raikage's voice was coming from, so he could face him directly. "Fair enough."

"When you decide you want to have a home, Sasuke, we will work something out to accommodate you,"Tsunade offered.

The Uchiha nodded solemnly, though the expression on his face said that it would never happen. He turned away. "Naruto, Sakura. Arigato gozaimasu."

Just like that he disappeared from their view, the bloody eyes on the ground the only reminders that he had been there.

Sakura could not hold back her tears any longer. She buried her face on her palms and cried softly. It was so unfair. Why did it have to be the Uchiha to carry that curse of hate for all eternity? It all but destroyed one clan and moved a boy to walk through hell and back while that hatred fueled him.

Why him? Why Sasuke?

Naruto never made any move to stop Sasuke from going. For once he was not shouting some nonsense about bringing him back because they were friends or something. This time he understood why Sasuke had to walk away. It was his way of peace. His way of the Ninja. Naruto could only smile. Tobi was wrong. Sasuke definitely could veer away from his destiny as the vessel of hate amongst the shinobi world.

Tsunade looked at Sakura's weeping form. "It is for the good. This time we can move forward."

"Sakura." Naruto knelt beside her. "Let's go home."

Tears swimming in her eyes, she sniffed and nodded. "Y-yeah," she said weakly.

So much was waiting for them. So much rebuilding and rebirthing. Weakness was not needed at this moment. Every shinobi who survived the war must help each other in order to restore the world as it had once been.

Sakura knew it was goodbye forever for Sasuke. If he said they wouldn't hear of him ever again, then he would surely make it so. She was never going to be seeing him.

Farewell, Sasuke…

Yey! It's done. Chapter 2 Coming up! It's really dark, no?

Can you please please leave a review and maybe suggest something that you want to get from the new chapter? I can probably work something out to make everyone happy…

Siiiigggghhhh… I hope you guys leave a review, that really gives me a lot of motivations to continue.

Mina-san, arigatou gozaimashita!

Ja ne!