Okay so this story will be my first rated M. Don't hate, it is not for sexual themes, or at least I don't think it is yet. Mostly for violence, death, suicide and cursing.
\/\/\/\/\ The Reaping \/\/\/\/\/
Fifty-three. That is how many minutes it took for me to die. Seven minutes short of an hour of pure and unadulterated pain. I should have held on for another seven minutes, just to spite her. An hour longer than she said I would last. But, my body would not comply.
I was already floating in the air, before the first rain drop descended upon my corpse. It would have felt nice against my burned flesh. If only.
I am Sakura.
Or I was.
Before I was murdered, I knew for sure what I wanted. What I was positive I needed out of life. I had it all, fame, money and lots of adoring friends and family. But I wonder, if I had been a little nicer, maybe a bit less fortunate. Maybe….maybe then my best friend wouldn't have felt the need to kill me. But there are a lot of maybes in this world. And I'm not one of them.
"Say hello to Naruto for me, will ya?"
Sakura is dead, bordering between heaven and hell. In Limbo. But when she has finally decided to move on and not dwell in the world of the living, a dark shadow leaps from the corners of Limbo and snatches her body. Which come to find out, is still alive.
Just her luck to die when The Reaping is underway.
Sakura is propelled to the Otherworld, because without a body to clarify her death, she is unaccounted for. While she is dwelling in the land of the dead, her body and the mysterious shadow are giving her soul a bad reputation.
Sasuke Uchiha has just entered her body and is walking among the living. Sasuke Uchiha: Hung at the gallows in 1842 for manslaughter, killed his whole clan.
Let the Reaping commence!
Chapter 1: You reap what you sow
She was once atop her throne, no fear of falling.
But even the mightiest of all rulers, must fall at one point.
But her fall was predetermined, through murder.
The sky opened up, and for she could not, it cried for her.
The dense fog rolled in around her bare toes. The pale green nail polish atop her feet chipped in various places, a few drips of crimson splotched here and there. Rain soaked her through. She could not cry. I guess the rain had stolen her glory, had spared her the innocence of tears.
If one could look at her now. How low she had fallen, they would not be able to tell it was her. She was once atop her throne, no fear of falling. But even the mightiest of all rulers, must fall at one point. But her fall was predetermined, through murder.
The sky opened up, and for she could not, it cried for her.
She curled into a ball; her pink jagged hair fell in a halo around her sullen face. Her pale green toe nails wiggled in the dark as she looked down below, watching the water pelt against the earth below.
Fear gripped her, even if it was a mute point.
For Sakura Haruno was already dead.
Fear should have long left her side.
But then again, so should the pain that clutched at her heart.
48:00 hours earlier
"Sakura!" a bubbly voice shrieked over the loud club music.
A platinum blonde jumped exuberantly in the midst of the chaos, her curvy body rocking to and fro with anyone that was willing.
My eyes zeroed in on her a bit hesitantly. Ino. Even in the haze of my drug filled mind I could tell it was her.
A sigh escaped my plump lips as I continued to stay put. My slender fingers reached for my drink, the tang of alcohol slowly trickled down my throat, giving me the buzz I currently needed. I slam my empty glass down on the counter, urging the bartender for another. His grey hesitant eyes pleaded that I stopped.
"A-another r*hic*round Kei!" I slurred to him. His disapproving glare scanned once at my exposed ample cleavage and then back towards my eyes. He shook his head as if under a spell and prepared my favorite, sex on a beach. So erotically fitting. Kei was a nice guy, around his mid twenties. But he never let loose, always strict with the younger ones, but even a man's eye could linger every once in a while, shrouding his judgment.
My pale arms came over the bar to wrap around the man, my drink spilling slightly as he recovered from the tip of balance. I licked my lips hungrily. I leaned forward, my breath tickling the shell of his ear.
"How about you just give me the drink and don't ask questions. I pay you; you give me the beverage, neh?" I attempt to sound sexy but the nausea rolling off of me does little to sway him. Kei wraps his long tan arms around my own and gentle if not sternly releases my vice like grip upon his throat.
The buzz was wearing off already, my surroundings were already dulling. I sighed as I lean back on my stool. My hand came up to grip my forehead. The problem with me was, I couldn't hold my liquor, only because I never actually was able to get drunk. Ever. With the mix of ecstasy and other foreign drugs in my system, it helped to make me feel stoned but I never got that exhilarating feeling of being so high, high above my own mind.
My long pink locks splayed out on the counter, my larger than normal forehead rested against the cool hard surface, seeming to cool my heated skin.
A clack of heels and a breathy sigh later, Ino plopped on the stool beside me. Her beautiful face was glistening with a slight perspiration, her blonde locks sticking funnily to her cheeks.
"Why are you over here, Forehead? I found some pretty interesting guys. We could go have a little fun?" Ino suggested hotly, her perfectly manicured fingers coming to rest on my bare lower back. I was wearing a red halter beaded top, simple enough with a black flowing but ultra tight mini skirt. It helped me breathe a bit.
I weighed my options. Leave now and go have some fun. Or….
At that particular second, my eyes found his.
He was gorgeous. Really and truly. And he was mine. All mine. I let my head come up, a toothy grin spreading across my face.
Ino was babbling again.
"You know, it's really early still, but there's not anyone fun here. I was thinking that this guy, you and me we could—are you even listening to me Sakura? Huh….who are you—oh. Geesh." Ino sighed in disgust.
My thin eyebrows came way up. Ino never approved of me dating her brother, but Naruto, he was some guy. I liked him, a lot. We had been going out for a year, to the day. But it was my idea to go clubbing, not his. Naruto would have settled for a movie, some takeout ramen and me. That made my face split into an even wider grin.
I gestured with my green candy apple eyes for him to come near. He shook his own cerulean orbs, pleading for me to come to him, the eyes only accompanied with his mega watt smile, if he had told me to die for, I might have.
We lay there, in each others arms, our hands intertwined in one another's. I could honestly truly say this was my fondest memory. The first time. Our first time that we made love. I was no virgin by any means, and neither was Naruto, but it was different. We were different. For the better.
My head was nestled into side, his slow breathing making my nose tickle. Naruto wasn't snoring so he wasn't asleep, that much I knew for sure.
"What are you thinking?" I asked him with a smile. His face was scrunched up, a serious look, he only wore when playing sports or talking of his future.
His cerulean eyes glanced down at me, and with a smile he closed them once more.
"More like who. Don't you know Saks? I always think and dream of you." Naruto murmured.
That sentence made my heartstrings pull. At the time I was nowhere near in love with Naruto, but even at the time, as I look back. His love was always true. I think I fell in love that day too.
Naruto was that kind of guy. He made everyone happy, talked fifty miles per hour and was friends with everyone. There had never been anyone that snubbed him. And I thought I was a people person.
'Only for your image.' I thought tartly as my skirt billowed every which way when I stood up to greet him.
Ino huffed at me and with a string of profanities left, promising to meet back at that same spot, proclaiming she would have 'bait'. Or more simply put; a quick fuck.
I rolled my eyes and Naruto gave me an amused smirk. He knew his sister all too well. In ways they were much the same but, where as Ino thought of nothing but fashion, boys and sex. Naruto was kind, thought of the future, had achievements and dreams. I let out a dreamy sight at the thought as I was soon enveloped into his warm arms, his lips pressed against the top of my head in a silent kiss.
"Are you drunk?" He chuckled as I faked a hiccup. Naruto knew all to well that I could never seem to get drunk, but we played possum nonetheless.
I giggled and snuggled closer into his chest, my next words muffled but still clear to him.
"I love you."
Naruto's heart skipped a beat and I grinned wider into his chest shyly. It wasn't the first time I had said it to him, nor the last I would I promised myself. It was just the first time he had heard me, loud and clear.
His hold tightened as he uttered inherent words into the stale club air.
"What?" I giggled clutching his orange and black shirt. It was his favorite one, the one I had bought him for his 18th birthday.
He straightened and looked down into my eyes, the height difference very notable.
"I said I've always loved you Sakura. From the moment you said to me, Naruto your annoying but underneath it all….your still annoying." I smirked at that.
I smack his arm playfully and the smile that I get in return melts my heart into goo.
I glance around, finding Ino and a rather handsome brunette; I give a high pitched whistle. The blonde turns around annoyed and give her our signal. I flip her off. She smiles, dragging said boy along. Naruto chuckles lowly at my side.
"The things girl's come up with to get one another's attention…"
We come out into the open air, the cold chill running through me. Naruto sees and runs his rough fingers over my bare skin, his jacket forgotten in his jeep.
I give a grateful smile.
I recall, somehow, that night was different. It had been colder than usual, it being only September, we didn't expect snow. But in Konoha, the weather was unpredictable.
Rain pelted my face. I shrieked and we all hurriedly ran to Naruto's monster black and orange jeep. His color coordination was his only flaw in my opinion. But somehow he managed to pull it off.
I sat in the front seat with Naruto while Ino and her 'mandate' were making out in the back. I didn't mind as long as they waited until they got home to do the 'nasty'. Ino had done that once in front of me; let's just say I am forever scarred. Naruto grimaced at the reflection in the mirror. He didn't hide his disdain and disgust and Ino's obvious lack of self respect. I flinch, knowing that I was once like Ino, hell I was worse. Amazing how one person can change everything? One year. One minute of lapsed silence. One fleeting look at the one you love. One too many.
In that split second, I looked at him, and he at me. It was our mistake.
Misjudging the slickness of the road, the slab of ice, Naruto hit it the wrong way. I looked into his fearful eyes. His mouth came open in a warning. His hand shoved me into the bottom of the floorboard. But not before I could see. To see the semi coming our way. To see his anxiety and…fear. For me. Not for him. I screamed and screamed.
Only later did I realize I was crying, crying for him, for Naruto. Because it didn't take a scientist to know that he wasn't ever coming back.
And that thought only, broke my heart into a million splintered pieces.
His last words haunting my dreams.
"Get down Sakura! Get down!"
Splintered glass and blood. That's all I remembered the next day.
The funeral was held the very next day. It was a double funeral. Before the bodies were even cold they were put in the ground.
My head was dipped low. Tears threatening to choke me.
He was gone. Forever.
Killed instantly on impact they said. No pain.
It hadn't occurred to me that I wasn't the only one in pain. How selfish of me.
Ino's date. His name was Levi. Smart kid. Only 16. Too young to die, his death had been a bit more painful, it had taken until they got to the hospital, where he then passed away. But then again….death was always premature. I couldn't think of a sane person that would want to die young. I choked back another sob, ripping the tissue in my hand to bits.
When they buried him, that and only then did I allow myself to break down. I screamed his name, my lungs raw with pure sorrow. Ino flinched but otherwise remained impassive. She seemed angry rather than sad. Maybe her coping system was running backwards?
"Naruto~! Why did you leave me all alone?!"
She wailed like a child. My lips pursed in restrained disgust. Sakura lay pitifully on the rain soaked soil. Her dirty fingernails clutching at the freshly dug soil, slowly turning into clay as the morning dew soaked in. My fingers pulled taut against my silk black gloves, my knuckles white beneath.
As soon as I had heard. All thoughts of cheer had wiped clean of my mind. Naruto was our sunshine. Our hope. Now he was gone. All for a silly thing such as love. The doctors had said so too. In so many words. It should have been her. She felt bad for the kid too but still. Her brother had been more important than just a silly fling. Even as the thoughts gathered in the corner of her mind, she felt guilt and remorse for dishonoring his death. He had shielded her with his body, a gentlemen's thing to do, even as they were locked in a lovers embrace. His parents were still looking at her, as if she were a cradle robber, no, there sons grave keeper. Scornful looks that hurt.
It should have been her.
She had taken everything from her. But taking her most precious thing on this earth, or rather not anymore, it was unforgivable.
I ground my teeth together as my supposed best friend crumbled like a child under my gaze. I gave a harsh 'tch' before I willed myself to move from my brother's grave.
It should have been her.
Oh but it would be. Soon.
The next morning I stayed in bed. School long since cancelled for weather issues. It was snowing. A fresh blanket had descended from the sky earlier that morning. Freezing his grave. I willed myself to get up, my body weary. I had cried myself to sleep, my stomach empty from dry heaving my sorrows away. It did nothing to ease my heavy heart.
With tremendous effort I heaved myself over the mountain of covers I had cocooned myself in the previous night. The effect was immediate as I found myself face first on the ground, my nose throbbing and hip cocked at an odd angle.
A moan escaped my cracked lips. I sit up and my whole body cracks. A groan of pain this time.
I shuffle around my apartment, trying to find some sneakers. My parents weren't home. They never were. Not like this was there home anyways. My mother was a traveling designer, from clothes to bags to home décor. That was her. My father, a lawyer, a big shot at that. A lot of people hated him. I could see why.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't a spoiled rich girl who had never worked a day in her earth. Yes, I was that girl. The snobby one that picked on the nerds. The one that most girls either dreamed to be like or dreamed of killing. Either applied in my case. I wasn't proud of the things I had done. But mostly, they were to fit in. When I had first moved to Konoha, Ino had shown me the light.
I was small and dorky, not yet growing into the monstrosity known as my forehead. I looked in the mirror of my bathroom. It had gotten less prominent. I touched the smooth skin and flinched recalling a memory. Though fleeting was fond but hurt me all in the same minute.
"It's okay Sakura-chan. I think your forehead is very charming. Makes me wanna kiss it." Naruto had joked but then done as he implied.
Tears splashed onto the marble as another wave of torment and grief overcame me.
My knuckles bled white against the counter, clutching and clawing. Hoping that pain would override this emotional torment. But in a way, I didn't want it to go away. I wanted to keep this solace, this pain. If only to remind myself of what I had done.
What I had lost and would never regain.
Crimson mixed with my tears as my tight fists exploded onto the mirror. Shards splintered on the floor as I stared at my own reflection in the cracked mirror. I was cracked and jaded.
Quickly wrapping my hand in a cloth bandage, grabbing some shoes and a coat, I got my purse and headed out. Anywhere but here, where the memories were so fresh. The laughs so hollow.
I found myself by his grave, already covered and forgotten by the blanket of snow. Naruto would have been happy. He loved the snow.
I did too. Once upon a time. But not now, not at this particular moment, where the cold would kill the lilies in my hand. Like it had killed my lover beneath the frozen ground.
I murmured a quick prayer for Naruto's peace and then sat down in the snow and lay with him. Hoping he could feel my hug from Heaven. Because surely God would take such a gentle and loving soul right?
I closed my eyes. Even as the snow fluttered onto my lashes, I knew that when I woke up, things would be different. Much different.
And different they were.
Dying has that affect I suppose.
"Do you think that she will do?" A man murmured sarcastically from above, his opaque eyes narrowing at the girl below, her wintry tears turning his expression sour.
"Ah. She will do." Another darker voice cut in with finality.
"You can't be serious? It's a girl! You'd walk among them in that form. How…barbaric and…dishonorable." Sufficed the other man in exasperation.
The darker aura flared and the man with opaque eyes sighed.
"I said she will do." A growl emitted from deep within the shadows.
"As you wish. It shall be done. The seed of doubt has already been planted." The other man bowed and then stepped away from the Gaulat, or mirror of knowing.
A rough gloved hand touched the mirror, a rippling affect soon followed. But the sleeping girl still slept, and the beast above still plotted.
"Let the Reaping Commence." The sinister male almost cooed at her.
This is where I shall stop the first chapter. I know it is rough and I know that it is confusing, but since I'm back in the game of fanfics, I'm determined to make this story a hit. =) Please show your love and take a few seconds of your time. Give it a chance.
Feedback/ Reviews are always appreciated. Constructive criticism is a must. Oh and for some reason Fanfiction is giving me problems with anonymous reviews. Os if your anonymous review doesn't work the first time. Please, try again until it does. It means the world to me. ^.^