A/N: This is my first time using a canon character in my fiction so please, forgive me if it seems in anyway AU. I chose to make Sakura my first central canon in a story because I can identify with her. I understand her and I am most like her, despite me disliking her, though I do assume that those you are most like you tend to hate the most.

I dedicate this selection to my fanfiction friends who I believe have allowed my writing talent to grow by roleplaying with me and allowing me to expand my is the first fiction I've written from scratch since joining the forums and beginning to roleplay and I hope it is an accurate reflection of my practicing. So I thank them all; Ryu, Guy, Wolf, Flower, Brass, Ken, and any others I've forgotten, I thank you.

So, please, enjoy the story and please, please PLEASE, review. I'd like to know if this made sense, and if it was properly written. I'd also like to know if Sakura didn't seem like herself in this so I can correct it if need be.


One would always assume that three years could be enough time to erase all pain…that it'd be enough time to erase the scars and sever the throbbing veins that surround one's heart after betrayal and rejection.

Time heals all wounds.

Or so, that is what they told me. That is the lie they spread deep into my heart for three long and miserable years. Time heals all wounds- it heals sorrow and anger. With time comes forgiveness and acceptance. And as the hours float away and the days, months and years fly off their pages in the calendar, soon, happiness and joy will once more be brought to the surface of life.

Those were the words drilled into me by my masters, my friends, my associates and even my own psyche. Beaten into my by the fists of milady, crooned over my body by Shizune and even….even streamed down my face in the form of tears as I sobbed in an oblivious haze.

They lied.

Time…..time cannot heal all wounds. Or to be more precise, they cannot heal my wounds. Not mine, never mine. The infected tissue of disillusioned love dig too far into me, they cannot be surfaced. Unable to cut the thorny spines that encase my once tender heart and unable to delete the scars that bind my heart to the moments of my past, the moments I now consider to be my youth, Time has failed me. It cannot heal me; it can merely throw paint over the scars like as if they were a mar on a wall- it is only a temporary fix.

Time can only look forward….it never looks back. It can only fix what it sees ahead of light, unlike me. I can look back into the dark. I can see the memories that haunt my life, things that made the past black and what make my future the mixture of the brightness and the darkness it has become.

Time cannot look back…..but I can.

That is why it cannot heal my wounds.

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It has been three years, four months and seven days since I last saw the boy I'd treasured for my entire childhood life walk out of the village….my village, his village…..our village. I remember it as if it were just the previous day-actually in my dreams it is the previous day perhaps that's why I remember it so well. I remember the breeze shifting as he appeared behind me, the sensation of his cool breath grazing my ear and his distant presence.

I cannot forget that,no matter how hard I try.

Something I've learned from this is that…you cannot create new tears for an older, deepened pain.….you can only recycle them as your pain grows, doomed to cry for a singular cause.. The tears I cried then are the same I cry with now, the same ones I will cry with later. Pain is a cycle within the human body, just as blood, air and water cycle through us at any given time.

Though, over the years, I've noticed one aspect of my tears,they have grown in their purpose…..they've matured from despair, to denial, to anger and finally….to determination and resolve.

I will bring my Sasuke back. I must bring my Sasuke back to me…to me and to Kakashi and to Ino and Lee and Neji and all the others that have become my friends. But most importantly, I will bring him back to Naruto.

Built off years of selfishness and off of hour upon hour of restless training, that is my goal. I will bring him back….I have to bring him back. I've grown stronger since my Sasuke left and I intend to use my power to bring him back,I will bring him so that Master Kakashi and Naruto won't have to worry about bringing him back any longer. They won't have to protect me from the danger that follows Uchiha around like fog, they won't have to worry about me in a battle.

I will be useful.

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When I asked…..pleaded…..no, begged Naruto to bring Sasuke back to me…it wasn't for his sake…..it wasn't for the village, no, it wasn't even for Sasuke….it was for me. It was always for me. I was a child, a foolish, lovestruck girl and I was very much aware of that. The tears I cried then, the tears I used to convince Naruto to devote his life to bringing Sasuke back, are the same ones I cry in regret of asking Naruto to do such a deed.

Naruto.

Every time I think of Naruto, I feel regret, shame and responsibility. The latter is because it is my fault he is on this path. My sobs and my desperation convinced him to chase after a man who no longer wants anything to do with us. Because of me, he's now on a direct collision course with darkness. The darkness of Uchiha against the brightness of Uzumaki. I don't know which one will win nor do I know which one I want to win. I know, I've always known, that Naruto cares deeply for me; he cares for me like I care for Sasuke, still, I cannot truly say I want him to best Sasuke. Though- I cannot truthfully say I do not want him to best Sasuke either.

It's the light of the sun going against the dark pull of a black hole. I can't stop either of them from colliding…they have too strong of a pull against one another. I can merely watch, maybe even interfere and delay the conflict, but sooner or later they will collide.

And their collision will be violent.

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The picture I have sitting aside my bed is one of a happier time and is one filled with a childlike innocence and plenty of teasing and joking and goofing around with my comrades and Kakashi-sensei, Naruto was the goof ball, I was the bookish type and Sasuke…he was the cool type that everyone wanted.

Now, nothing's changed. Naruto's still the goof, I have remained bookish and Sasuke's still wanted,but this time it's by everyone. The Akatsuki, The Gokage, the Daimyos and bounty hunters.

That picture serves to remind me of the things I've lost, the things I wish to regain and of the things I want to create. I want me, Naruto and Sasuke- all three of us- to be happy once again. That's what I want.

But again, I'm being selfish;it's what I want….it's what Naruto wants, but it's not what Sasuke 's never been what Sasuke wants. Sasuke wants revenge. And only revenge. He doesn't want to be a piece of the village. He doesn't want to be the final piece of the team Naruto and I were on as children. Sasuke doesn't want that;he'd rather it all burn.

That is why he's here on the battlefield. I know he is. He must be here. He has to be here. And I will find him. I will bring him back to face Naruto.

That's the least I can do. That is the price I will pay for my selfishness.

I will bring the two men I love to face one another.

One will win and the other will lose…..and the price for losing is death.

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"Sakura-chan….." Ino stepped into my tent, the breeze blowing the flap of the canvas into the air and tossed her blonde locks and my own cherry hair, "It's time for us to join with the rest of the ranks."

I looked up from the picture I was clutching tightly and wiped the tears falling down my face, giving my closest friend and rival a shaky smile, "Yes. Of course Ino-chan….I was just thinking of a few things…" I stood, placing the picture on the floor of the tent, standing it up so that the smiles that were on it shone like starlight. Pulling on my black gloves I walked out of the tent, and looked up at the sky, looking at Ino as she did the same.

"Ino-chan?"

"Sakura-chan?"

We both spoke together because we both were thinking the exact same thing and we both knew the answer.

"Do you think we'll find Sasuke-kun here?" Ino's voice was soft, and it floated to me like a petal off one of the flowers in her family's shop and blew into my ear, "Do you even want to find him here?"

I looked at her and my eyes spoke it all: Yes.

Her head moved a fraction of an inch and I gave her a small smile, "But, I'll find him before you Ino-pig!" I laughed out before walking off. "Sasuke-kun is mine!"

"Billboard Brow! Sasuke-kun will be mine!"

She chased me onto the battlefield and as we ran, we laughed, using our laughter and teasing as a mask for our shared pain. The pain that even time could not erase…..I would use this war to bring Sasuke back…..I will use this war to bring him back and to stop the pain and the tears.

The tears that flowed even as I laughed with Ino, the tears that were forever mine. The tears that slide off the surface of the picture I'd left behind to stain the ground in sorrow.