A/N: Had a fellow writer point out to me that, once again, my spell check has changed a name on me. I have ALL first and last names saved in my spell check dictionary and have it set to auto correct. The only names it messes with is Uzamaki...and Inuzuka. SORRY! It WAS supposed to be Uzamaki. Thank you to the anonymous guest who pointed that out to me. :) ALSO...this story was under a different penname but I lost access to my old account. I started writing this years ago, so it is a little different than when I wrote it back then. I am doing a complete rewrite because I forgot what my plot was. You can read the original at Saboku No Sakura. Ignore the lame Crimson tears story. That is to become a GaaSaku as well. I was a weird kid... o.O
Don't own Naruto.
Til The Day I Die
Sakura Haruno walked silently down the hall towards her Shishou's office. It was three in the morning when a fellow ANBU had woken her with a light tap on her apartment window, informing her she was needed immediately by the Hokage. She has snarled menacingly at the man who only chuckled as he took off.
The last time Tsunade-shishou had called her to her office at such a late hour, it had been dire. Hinata Hyuuga, the heiress to the Hyuuga line, had returned from a simple scroll retrieval mission...gone awry. Neji had accompanied his cousin on the mission as well as Shino Aburame and Ino Yamanaka. The three had been sitting quietly in the hospital as she had rushed by. The sight of Hinata, a best friend to her, bleeding out onto the pristine white flooring had shaken Sakura to her core. No matter how much she was trained for this. The blood had run thin and dark. Sakura could see the effects of poison were evident. A strong poison. The child she carried was in danger. Sakura could sense the faint chakra signature that was wrapped tightly around Hinata's belly, protecting the fetus within.
Sakura knocked lightly on the thick oak door, shaking herself from the horrible memory. Hinata had walked out of the hospital a week later. Still weak. The baby had survived only thanks to his mother and her quick thinking. The father, Naruto Uzamaki, had been pale for weeks afterwards only then finding out about the child and Hinata risking herself and their child.
"Sakura...get in here" Tsunade's voice was muffled by the door. Sakura peeked her head in before fully closing it behind her. Sakura was shocked in to silence.
A small dark haired child sat quitly against Tsunade, her back to Sakura. Her small fists clenched in the Hokage's shirt and her face buried against her neck. Her breathing was ragged and uneven as if she had only stopped crying.
Sakura tilted her head at her shishou. "What can I do for you, Tsunade-shishou?"
"I have a...mission...if you will. This is Emiko Kiyoshi of Sunagakure. Her parents were on their way here for a visit with a friend when a caravan of rogue attacted them. We found Emiko in the back of the wagon they were traveling in. We brought her immediately here. She has only been here about an day. I need you," she paused to drink a saucer of sake and sighing heavily, continued. "...to watch her. Care for her. The Kazekage is coming personally to take her back with him. But will not arrive until two days from now. This mission, Sakura, is a long one. A permanent one"
Sakura felt unease slip down her spine. Permanent? Sakura walked slowly to sit in the chair across from her teacher. Tsunade closed her eyes and shifted the child carefully to the other shoulder, rather awkwardly.
She continued once again, "Kazekage-sama is filing adoption papers on the child himself. But the child needs a mother. Due to the newly formed alliance, the council is badgering him on taking a wife. He sees this is a prime opportunity to take a wife and a mother for Emiko. He has asked me...to find the perfect match. You"
Sakura felt the blood drain from her face. An arranged marriage? To the Kazekage? Because a bunch of old men badgered him to? She respected Gaara but not enough to marry him. This was... preposterous!
"I don't think so, Tsunade-shishou. This is...ridiculous! My skills as a medic are needed here. If I leave, who will run the hospital? I will be leaving behind my father and mother, my friends. You and Shizune! My village. I just graduated to ANBU only a month ago" Sakura stared at her hands in her lap. She wanted to scream. The four pale cream walls surrounding them seemed to close in on her until she felt suffocated.
Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "And that is precisely why you are needed. Why I chose you. Their medic staff is less than average. They could use a strong had to guide them and help teach them. This is not just for the benefit of Suna but Konoha as well" Tsunade snapped. " Look at me when I'm talking to you, girl! I taught you better than that"
Sakura's head snapped up, her pink hair sliding back. She hadnt seen Tsunade so serious in a while. She watched as Tsunade leaned back in her chair, the child in her lap groaning and shifting. Her tiny pale fists clenched tighter in the Hokage's shirt before settling again in to a deep slumber. Tsunade sighe in relief before continuing. "Its to better the ties between ourselves and Sunagakure. You, Sakura, are being selfish. The reason I chose you is because you are strong. The Kazekage will need a strong woman by his side to gain more respect from his village and the council themselves. And a strong woman, makes a loving mother. Emiko needs that now"
Tsunade stood up and walked to Sakura, the small child, no more than four peered shyly out at Sakura. She started. The kids eyes were such a deep green, the reminded her of the forests surrounding Konoha. The child's face scrunched up before she let out a desperate wail.
"M-mommy! Where is mommy?" Sakura's heart broke as Tsunade handed her over to her. She was pale and too thin in Sakura's arms. She had on what was once a beautiful blue kimono, now shredded and dirty. It hung off her frail shoulders. dangerously closet to just falling off her. The tiny girl put her hands on Sakura's shoulders and looked into her emerald eyes. The child, Emiko, just stared back at her, her eyes leaking tears down her dirty cheeks. What do I do? she thought to herself.
"Where's my mommy?", her sweet voice asked again, calmer this time. Sakura could only put her hand on the child's head and push it to her shoulder. "I don't know, Emiko-chan. Would you like to get something to eat?" She felt Emiko nod against her shoulder.
Sakura smiled to herself. "Why are you still in my office, Sakura? Go now. Take that child and do something with her." Tsunade murmured in annoyance. She never was one for children. Sakura smiled brightly at Tsunade, the fight was not over about the marriage. But this child obviously needed her. "I'm leaving now Tsunade-sama. We are going to eat, ne, Emiko-chan?", she said cheerfully before leaving the room.
Gaara looked out over the village, shrouded in darkness. He stood in his blue and white kage robes, hands clasped behind his back. The buildings were nothing but darker shadows against the lighter ones. The vast expanse of the desert laid out all around them like an ocean of black. The usual smells of the village had ceased passed nightfall. The smell of food stalls, sweat, and perfume would choke him during the day light hours but at night...this is what he liked. The quiet clean feeling of the night. A light breeze blew across the area, tousling around his red hair and rustling his robes. He closed his aquamarine eyes lifted his face to the breeze. Yes, this is what peace was.
"Gaara, we are ready to depart to Konoha"
He had heard and felt his sisters approach. He turned his head only slightly to the left to acknowledge he had heard her. He looked at her only briefly before turning and walking passed her to the doors of his office. A two day journey to Konoha across the hot desert sands.
Temari turned to follow him out the doors. She reached a hand out to him only to pull her hand back. She frowned at him. She knew that it was bothering him, the council badgering him that is. He was being forced to take a wife he did not want. Nor did he want to force any woman by his side. He believed himself unlovable. She puzzled, though, over his choice to take Emiko-chan under his wing as his adopted daughter. It was so unexpected. He had told her once, that children often did not judge until a certain age. They could love you no matter what was wrong with you. They were innocent of wrong doings and the evil of the world.
Perhaps...he believed this child could love him. And to give this child what he did not growing up. A second chance.
A/N: Review. Good or flames. I can take either. I a long time inspiring author. I usually dont write fanfic. I write historical romance or paranormal romance. So, I do have a little some experience under my belt. But everyone makes mistakes. If ANYONE sees a word spelled wrong, please do not hesitate to tell me! I will change it immediately. I know a lot of people get very...testy when they are reading and stumble upon bad grammar or a misspelled word. REVIEW! Until next time, ceyou! :D