Disclaimer – I do not own Naruto.
LIFE AFTER DETAINMENT
The vibrant green trees rustle with the flow of cool breeze that surrounds the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Animals chatter and birds sing. Escapee cats run at top speed through the verdant underbrush, out smarting the Genin of Konoha with their feline grace. The village of Konohagakure is full of happy smiling people. Civilian and shinobi alike, all live out their day to day lives with out the stress of impending doom.
A year has passed since the Fourth Shinobi War came to a close, and peace time reigns true over all the ninja nations.
With the help of Uzumaki Naruto and his ninja way, the Shinobi Alliance kept their ties following the very last battle.
A shinobi dog bolts down the road toward his village, having just been for a swim in the river near by. The white and black pup is not yet a year old and has been working very hard with his new partner. As a reward for obeying, the ninkin love to play with their friends when not on duty.
Now, he will return to the Inuzuka pens for a meal and fitful sleep.
Konoha's gates come into sight, but the well trained nin dog is unable to marvel at the beauty of the view. Tall green gates stand open, with hiragana painted in vibrant red. The leaf symbol covers the top panel of the entrance, beneath a bright orange awning that spans the entire perimeter of the city wall. Inside, many villagers go about their evening grocery shopping as the markets come into the canine's view. There are shop stalls for all sorts of things, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and other odds and ends. Further into the village is a shopping district where the grocery stores are placed. However, nothing can beat the fresh produce that the markets have to offer.
At the bend, the shaggy ninkin hears the screech of a very loud teenager. Wanting to avoid such over exuberance, the dog takes a left and disappears down the trek toward home.
Still, the animal can hear the blonde man whining like a hungry pup all the way down the small alley ways.
"Sakura-chaaan! Please can we get Ichiraku for dinner? You have been so busy at the hospital lately." Naruto begs his best friend again. The pink haired medic wishes to buy tempura for dinner, since it is one of her favourites. However, the Hokage in training wants the same meal he always has – Ichiraku ramen.
"Onegai, Sakura-chan." The blonde seventeen year old bounces desperately. He has been so busy learning from Tsunade-obaa that he hasn't had enough time to eat ramen. It has been weeks since he has been able to eat the food more than two times a day!
"What's in it for me?" Sakura replies, giving her friend a sideways glance as they continue down main street.
Her friend places his thumb and forefinger on his chin in thought, then, he jumps quite abruptly. "I know! I promise not to wake you on Saturday morning for early training. You can sleep in." Naruto is not stupid. He knows that this is a tempting trade.
Slowly, as a smirk covers his best friend's face, it is obvious who has won. "You sneaky little ninja. You always know what to say to the ladies, eh Naruto-kun?" Sakura nudges to the side a little in an affectionate move.
"Aw, Sakura-chan. You're going to make me blush! You know that I only have eyes for Hinata-chan." The teen's cheeks are now a nice shade of pink.
"And Hinata is a lovely lucky girl. When we eat you are going to tell me all about that date last week." The pinkette smiles to Naruto. The Hyuga heiress has loved the dense man for so long. It took a couple of months after the war, and a little bit of a nudge (A big bit) from Sakura, but they got it together in the end.
"Hai! It was awesome. Man I am so hungry, I haven't eaten in so long." Naruto complains.
The head medic replies with a hint of humour lacing her tone, "How long this time, hm?"
"Oh you know, afternoon tea." He says seriously. "OW! Sakura-chan, why did you hit me?"
The woman does not grace her friend with an answer as Ichiraku ramen comes into view.
Time for another predictable dinner.
It has been twelve whole months since the shinobi of Konoha returned to their home land. The village is thriving once more all thanks to the team work of its residents. After the attack of Pein, it took awhile, but everything is back in tip top shape. The ninja academy is pumping out young shinobi like a well oiled machine, the trained ninja are back to missions and their own training. Tsunade-hime continues to lead Konoha strongly, with Uzumaki Naruto training to be the next in line. Konohamaru wishes to be next after Naruto, but that is a long way off.
The war ended on a high note for Konoha, despite the loss of many great ninja. Naruto took out the Ten Tailed Beast, with the help of his Otou-san, Namikaze Minato; As well as the deceased kage, reanimated by Orochimaru.
Kakashi saw to it that his old friend met his end. Obito and the copy nin fought hard, and in the end, the Uchiha was ready to meet his death. In his last moments Obito told Kakashi that it was meant to be this way, that he should have died in the cave. He does not regret giving up his sharingan eye.. Obito did not blame Kakashi for Rin's death, or his own – He died with a smile upon his boulder crushed face, and a satisfied heart. The leader of Team 7 finally got his closure, for the past he revisits every day at the monument. Of course, Kakashi would not be who he is without a daily visit of remembrance. Though now, it is a happy habit.
Sasuke killed Madara for his Aniki, and the Uchiha that could have survived if it weren't for Madara's manipulation. The heir to the clan has finally gained redemption for his slaughtered family.
Team Taka and Sasuke returned to the village willingly, after participating in the last battle. They have since paid their dues. Now, Suigetsu, Jugo and Karin are Konoha shinobi and proud of it.
Upon returning to the village, the shinobi laid their dead to rest and spent a week of mourning for those lost souls.
Orochimaru was put into immediate detainment and will spend his days in the Konoha Prison, until the Hokage feels that he is rehabilitated enough to be in society again. However, the snake sennin's help during the final battle and information he was willing to provide Konoha, is a big tick in his name.
Sasuke was taken into custody and served eight months in the Konoha prison. His punishment for treason was light. The integral part he played in ending the war, the information he gave to the interrogation team and the offer of giving the sharingan secrets to the village, helped the Hokage's decision greatly.
Sasuke's team served a six month period and a three month probation, and are almost ready to be put on the active shinobi roster.
The extended Rookie nine are satisfied with their lives in the Village. Naruto is courting Hinata, and after a very nervous start on both their parts, the two are very happy. Shikamaru and Ino are 'sort of' dating, but Temari and the Jonin strategist are still friends. After the war, the blonde Sabaku woman decided that it was best to leave things as they were. Suna is very far way away, and with peace reigning over the nations, they will get to see each other very little. It wasn't long until Ino dug her claws into her lazy team mate, but it seems that Shikamaru likes it that way. The blonde and he are seen around town constantly bickering, with big smiles across their faces and clasped hands.
Tenten and Lee are basically an old married couple, with the weapons mistress enduring all of her team mates 'love tokens'. The dark haired girl fights with her spandex-wearing love and he rebuts with presents and words of sweetness. Often, it drives Tenten crazy, but she loves it.
Kiba and Akamaru are as cheerful as ever, as the young fang flirts his way through the entire village. He is becoming a regular Genma. Funnily enough, the two of them have become quite good friends.
Choji is dating the daughter of Konoha's favourite BBQ restaurant. After spending many hours at the food joint, the heir to the Akimichi clan found a friend in the pretty young brunette.
Shino is caught up in clan politics and is seen very rarely, but the bug clan are very reclusive people regardless.
Finally, there is Haruno Sakura and the rest of Team 7. The pink haired medic is busy running the Konoha hospital with the help of Shizune, in between missions and Team responsibilities.
Sai has joined ANBU but has not defected from Team Kakashi. His people skills have improved immensely compared to first meeting his best friends, and now family.
Kakashi is Kakashi. A man who is perpetually late and will work just hard enough to get by. However, he is always there to put the pieces back in place when a mission goes south.
Naruto is the same as always, only with more responsibility than before. The blonde Kyuubi container is happy being the hero of Konoha and weapon for his village. After all, he has both Sakura and Sasuke again.
Unfortunately for Naruto, things are not exactly as they were. Sasuke does not leave the Uchiha compound and has not spoken to Sakura since he returned. The pink haired medic avoids the topic of the raven haired Uchiha and does not like the idea of visiting him. Naruto isn't sure why, but he secretly thinks that Sakura and Sasuke had a fight on that first day back. Sure it was a long time ago, but the two of them are like emotionally stunted children when it comes to each other; Despite, being the two smartest shinobi he knows.
Sasuke has been released from prison after eight months of detainment, and has been rebuilding the Uchiha Compound ever since. Naruto and the disbanded Team Taka are the only ones to visit the Uchiha recluse. It doesn't matter though, because Sasuke is home. The rest will work itself out soon enough.
Yes. Everything in the Village Hidden in the Leaves is as it should be. The people are happy, the ninja are working hard and the farm land is growing in abundance all thanks to Tenzo's plant prowess.
The Hokage currently sits at her desk in Hokage Tower, awaiting the presence of Uchiha Sasuke. One of the stipulations of his reinstatement is the healing of his Sharingan, as well as garnering intel on the mysterious blood line limit for documentation. Konoha does not have enough information on the Sharingan because the Uchiha were very secretive people when alive.
Now, it is Tsunade's chance to record all aspects of Sasuke's special eyes.
Sighing heavily, the blonde woman leans back in her chair and stares at the sake bottle across the room longingly. 'Soon.' She thinks. 'I will drink you soon.'
The slight rustle of wind from behind calls the Hokage's attention back to the outside world. Finally, her evening appointment has arrived.
"Learning from your old sensei, Uchiha?" Tsunade jokes wryly, though the serious expression does not leave her face.
"Hn." Sasuke replies, not willing to give any other answer.
"Well then, take a seat. We have much to talk about." The woman motions to the chair in front of her desk.
The young man with hair of ebony and air of apathy follows her wishes, not offering a reply. Instead, Sasuke watches the Hokage with unreadable onyx eyes and waits for her to speak.
Ichiraku is finally over and Sakura can go home and rest. Tomorrow she must go back to the Hospital and start work all over again. The pink haired head medic has been working over time for the past four months and is long over due for a break. Sakura can barely even remember the last time she was given a mission that involved leaving Konoha.
Yes, it has been a very busy year for the female member of Team 7. After the war, Sakura climbed the ranks of the hospital quickly, having the most skill out of everyone working at the establishment. The pinkette may only be seventeen, but she is at the top of her field.
Crossing the small bridge that travels over the lake in the center of the village, the woman lets her gaze linger down at the rippling water. There is a fish below that moves steadily with the current. Leaning against the red railing, Sakura is happy to be ignored by passers by. This part of her day is actually the most relaxing. It is great seeing Naruto after work, but sometimes it would be nice to just have some time to her self.
"Time. Where do you go?" The pinkette mutters with a sigh. The reflective stream creates a mirror for the medic, showing her the bags under her eyes and the thinning of her usually plump cheeks. The vibrant emerald of Sakura's eyes seems to be slightly dulled as well. Over working is turning her into an old woman sooner than she would like.
'No wonder Shishou drinks.' She thinks wryly to herself.
Pushing herself off the railing, Sakura is about to depart when something familiar passes by. It is only there for a moment, but the woman swears that she sees Sasuke leap over head; If the reflective water tells the truth.
Shaking her head, Sakura palms her temples slowly and turns toward home.
No, it couldn't have been Sasuke, she hasn't seen him in a year. Not since he yelled at her that first day during treatment.
Sakura realised that she wasn't wanted and acted accordingly. Then, Sasuke was taken to prison and she couldn't see him for that period of time.
Tsunade told the girl when she asked, all those months ago, that part of Sasuke's confinement meant no visitors. He needed to think on his previous actions in a solitary area, and figure out what kind of shinobi he will be once he is released. Of course, Naruto was allowed to see him, but that is to be expected of Tsunade. Her Shishou is nothing if not biased towards the blonde Hokage to-be.
Sakura also suspects that her beloved sensei did it for her own sake as well, and maybe the reason for such an outrageous clause to confinement. Her Shishou admitted one night, after an entire bottle of warm alcohol, that it is all in Sakura's best interests. She is right too. The pinkette knows that if it weren't for Sasuke's solitary condition, she would be visiting him every day whether he wanted her to or not.
In the end, Sakura found that it is a lot easier to deal with Sasuke in the village now, without throwing herself at him. His detainment gave her time to acclimate to his presence, or lack of. Now, the idea of the last Uchiha being in Konoha doesn't bring a sting to her heart. Nor does she want to make a fool out of herself every chance possible.
It helps of course that he does not leave the compound. If what Naruto has been telling her is correct.
Sakura planned to go and visit Sasuke a little after his release, but she keeps putting it off and putting it off. It feels like the longer she waits, the harder it gets to go and see him.
If only Sakura never had to see Sasuke again, but that isn't the case. Next year Sasuke's probation will finish up and Team 7 will be together again. Not only will Sakura need to take more time from the hospital, but Sasuke will be working with her on active duty.
Now, she isn't even sure how to react to him any more. If Sakura were to see Sasuke on the street, what would she say? Hello? How are you?
Would he ignore her and walk away?
Sakura plans to keep it cool when they are both on the same team again. She will let him know that she is here for him if needed and leave it at that.
It is very doubtful that she will see Sasuke before their time on Team 7 begins. She needs to stop worrying about it!
After all, Sakura doesn't want to get her heart stomped on again. Sasuke will be a part of Team 7 and that is all.
She knows when she is not wanted...
"Sasuke-kun! You were amazing out there. I am to be your healer, I will get everything set up and then we can get your first check up started. Your surgery went off without a hitch. It took longer than expected but I don't mind, your health is important." The pinkette says to the just awake Sasuke. Fighting on the battlefield took a lot out of the Uchiha and he needs much rest.
"I know that you must be tired but I brought you some food. I hope that tomato onigiri is still your favourite." Sakura rambles, completely nervous with the situation. She places the bento box full of rice balls upon the side table and makes sure that he has cold water.
Sasuke's unreadable eyes watch her with something the girl cannot decipher. He looks dazed but at the same time, very conscious.
The pinkette pipes down for awhile, understanding that her team mate needs rest and quiet. Shizune has placed Sasuke within her care with the hopes that a friendly face will make him feel more comfortable.
As Sakura flutters around the hospital room checking his chart and preparing different apparatus, she does not see Sasuke trying to read her. The medic is so happy that he is home, and that he did so amazing at the last battle. It took her a long time to come to terms with it, but the kunoichi would like to put the past in the past.
After all, Sasuke is back in Konoha. He came back to them and that is all that matters.
"Okay. It looks like everything is going fine. I will administer your medication and check your eyes tomorrow. Of course, Tsunade-sama will wish to do the follow up after your detainment." Emerald eyes gaze down at her feet at this. Sakura is not looking forward to Sasuke being in prison. She wishes that he could be with Team 7, just like he is supposed to be.
Sasuke's onyx flicker with emotion at the saddened look upon Sakura's face.
"Why are you upset?" He asks tonelessly, with his curious eyes.
Green flash upward to meet his stare directly, it is obvious Sakura did not expect him to speak. What is he thinking?
"Oh. I'm just going to miss you while you are in Konoha custody." The pinkette admits truthfully.
A frown makes its way to Sasuke's sharp face and he looks irritated now. There is no way that Sakura can know his thoughts. Know that he doesn't want her affection, because he doesn't deserve it. Sakura may be ready to forget that he almost killed her, but the images of her scared eyes full of love, haunts him. The pinkette won't find out that Sasuke is beginning to relive all of his bad choices since falling into the curse of the Uchiha. Dreaming that he is a monster.
"Why?" He asks, voice accusatory and hard.
Sakura is surprised by his tone, but replies, "Because I care Sasuke-kun."
It only takes a moment for his eyes to flicker red with anger, an unknown aura rises from his alabaster skin and stifles the whole room.
"Leave." Sasuke orders lowly.
"Sasuke-kun, I don't understand -"
"I said, GET OUT!" He practically roars, using up too much energy for a healing person.
Sakura nods quickly, looking sadder than ever. Without another word, the pinkette leaves the hospital room.
Sasuke requests another medic and Sakura doesn't visit him.
After Sasuke's initial reaction, Sakura did the only thing she could do - Asked her shishou for a mission. Thankfully there were plenty to go around at the time.
When the medic returned home from helping a neighbouring village with their medical supplies, it was the day of Sasuke's trial.
Sakura attended the event with baited breath, hoping he wouldn't be sentenced to life in prison. Many people spoke on his behalf, but Sakura didn't feel she had the right.
It seemed that Sasuke didn't think that he had the right either, because during the entire ordeal he didn't speak a word. The Uchiha gave no accounts or instances, said nothing to defend his behaviour. Instead, Sasuke stood there unwilling to speak.
Sakura wonders if he spent his entire prison sentence in silence. Would he talk to her now?
Oh well. There is no point dwelling on something that is not going to happen. Sasuke doesn't want her and Sakura just has to live with that. The pinkette is pleased that she doesn't have to see her team mate for at least four months.
Entering the street that leads to Sakura's home, the head medic puts the useless thoughts of her unrequited love to the back ground. Bath and bed is much more important.
Unfortunately for Sakura, Shizune has just completed her theoretical study on the Sharingan eye, with the help of Kakashi and on a few occasions, Sasuke.
Tsunade has requested that the last Uchiha under go healing treatment as well as structural analysis and a thorough cataloguing of all blood line abilities. However, the raven haired heir sitting across from the Hokage has just put quite a large spanner in the works.
"I want the best Hokage-sama. I don't care if I have to pay myself." Sasuke repeats himself. Not something he is willing to do often.
"Well unfortunately for you kid, I am too busy to do this myself, no matter how much money you have. Shizune is available -"
He cuts her off, "I will take the medic that is beneath you. Am I correct in my understanding that Shizune is only a poison and paediatric specialist who enjoys the theoretical field?" Damn that Uchiha.
"Hai. That is correct. However -"
"If you wish to garner this information, Hokage-sama, I will take the medic that is beneath you." He says once more, voice as impassive as ever. His deep onyx eyes mean business, with the hardened gaze he gives the woman before him.
The Hokage nods to the Uchiha as he stands and passes her the signed agreement. Moving to the window, he wishes to get home without being seen. "I will expect the medic at the compound in two days time."
Without another word, Uchiha Sasuke is gone, leaving an annoyed Hokage in his wake.
"Such a rude child." Tsunade complains to herself.
The woman thought that she would never have to deal with a haughty Uchiha ever again. The Second Shinobi War was a time when the Hokage saw too many Uchiha for her to handle. Thank Kami there is only one left. Tsunade doesn't think she could deal with their superior attitude funking up the village.
It is a shame to do this to her once apprentice, but the blonde supposes that it is time for Sakura to face Sasuke once again. The woman only hopes that the pink haired medic has learnt her lesson when it comes to the Uchiha and love.
Sighing heavily, Tsunade pulls out a blank mission report and a new pot of ink. The sooner she writes this, the sooner she can get to the bar.
Yes. It is settled. In two days time, Sakura will attend the Uchiha compound for weekly visits until the damage to the sharingan is eradicated, with the possibility of finding the root cause of the disadvantage for the next generation of Uchiha. Taking into account the amount Itachi used the eyes, and then Sasuke afterwards, it is going to take quite some time to complete all tasks.
"ANBU-san." Tsunade barks toward the window, as a masked figure appears suddenly. "I want you to inform Haruno Sakura that she is to report to me before her work tomorrow."
"Hai. Hokage-sama." With a flurry of wind, Tsunade is all alone. Finally.
Now, for that drink...
Kudos to my proof reader the beautiful CherryChinchilla :D I appreciate your work!