Chapter 1 Death and Rebirth
4 years ago...
It was an intensely hot summer in the Leaf Village. It was unusually hot even for Konoha, which had warmer summers than most of their villages. For once, Konoha was returning to peace after all the violence and chaos caused by the Akatsuki and Uchiha Madara had been vanquished. All the hatred and violence had been forgotten, or else it had been buried in the backs of the villagers' minds. After all, the rational person does not believe in dwelling on past things that are no more. So, life must go on, the villagers decided.
It hardly was brought up in conversation anymore, but for some people, the memory of the Uchiha family was all too vivid. Especially when that person formerly loved a member of the Uchiha clan who had turned his back on everything good the world had bestowed to him. This person was Haruno Sakura, and the one she was in love with was known as Uchiha Sasuke.
A pink-haired girl stood inside a building, staring angrily at a woman in front of her. The girl appeared to be no older than eighteen, with short pink hair and emerald-green eyes. The girl was Haruno Sakura, and she worked as a nurse for the Konoha hospital in the center of town, specializing in healing jutsu for treating the sick and wounded. She was also a very strong kunoichi, but her heart was more fragile and susceptible than that of her body. While her body was very durable and strong, the same could not be said of her heart.
She tended to let her emotions get the better of her, and sometimes the result could be very taxing. Emotions were an iffy thing with humans; they were either a blessing or a curse, depending on who you talked to. With the body, there were two options: either your body worked properly or else it didn't. Emotions were different, since words were more powerful than anything the body could ever do. More people had been hurt by the use of words than even Sakura's toughest jutsu could muster. She herself had been through a lot, so she had developed lots of masks on over herself.
However, now the look on her face indicated that she was very troubled about something, and when Haruno Sakura was angry, beware world. Beware. She opened her mouth to speak, and the words she uttered were full of poison and hate. Whatever innocence and purity this girl had possessed had long since left her. "I want to go after Naruto, and retrieve him from that bastard."
The woman in front of her was far older than she was, and more wise. The lines in her face told of hard times in the past that she personally had endured. In a way, she understood the pain and anguish this girl was going through, but in a way she didn't. She was the head of the village; the hokage: Tsunade.
Tsunade frowned at the girl in front of her. "Like I told you before, the answer is no. I cannot let you go after Naruto. He is being chased by the dangerous ninja, Uchiha Sasuke, is he not?" Her voice was sharp, piercing even. Almost like daggers that could tear through anything; minds, food, and maybe even people.
"Yes." The response was along the lines of what she'd expected: icy and cold. Tsunade found herself wondering if this girl in front of her was the same lovesick girl she had first met on the day that Uchiha Sasuke had fled Konoha and officially become an enemy of Konoha. The Sakura she knew then had been nothing but a wilted flower, a poor, forlorn little thing clinging to life, and uttering only one word between heartbroken sobs: "Why?"
She had changed so much over the years that it was almost unbelievable. However, she was still stubborn and obstinate, a trait that was so much like a certain blond-haired ninja that Tsunade wondered if it was an inheritable gene, or a contagion. "Why do you want to go after him? That boy-the traitor, Uchiha Sasuke-was your first love, was he not?" She questioned, testing the girl. What would be her reaction?
Sakura's fists tightened ever so slightly, but the determined look on her face remained intact. She had a hint that the woman in front of her was really just testing her. Well, Haruno Sakura was not about to let her past get the better of her. She had moved on from her feelings for a certain black-haired boy. "Yes, he was. But, I don't love him anymore. Not since he tried to kill me, and Naruto! That's why...I want to go after him and protect Naruto!" Sakura yelled. Her face spoke volumes about the inner struggle she was facing now. One side of her was longing to rush to Sasuke and hug him; the other was nothing but a deep, cold hatred; the kind that was like ice, freezing everything it touched.
Tsunade studied her closely for a few moments. "Are you set on doing this mission? Would you like me to send some other ninjas with you? It's dangerous, not to mention suicidal, to go by yourself, Haruno." She advised, praying that the child would not allow her hatred to overwhelm her common sense and at least have some sort of plan.
"No, I intend to go alone. I want to kill him with my own bare hands." She said, and there was no trace of love in those eyes in hers; merely a flame of hatred. Tsunade knew then that the girl meant what she said; there was clearly no jocularity in that voice or lightheartedness intended. She would really do it if she wanted to. That in itself was a frightening thing, Tsunade thought. Well, if she really intended to go and be reckless, that was not Tsunade's problem.
"All right. You may go." Tsunade said, nodding her head. She grudgingly allowed the pinkette to go. It would be a good learning experience for her, after all. Killing someone she loved dearly...was not a fate she wanted the girl to bear occasion to, but it was not her decision. "Jiraiya...what would you say to me if you were still with us? Perhaps you would have been better training her than I. I'm raising a girl who doesn't even know her own power yet. What should I do?"
Sakura hurried along the road, not entirely sure where she should go. Where did Naruto say Sasuke was, anyway? I don't think I was paying attention when...
Mentally, she scolded herself for spacing out and not listening to Naruto. Most of the time, she could afford to block out what he said, but for once, his life depended on her effort. She doubted Naruto would be able to handle Sasuke on his own-after all, he had tried to do that before, and had nearly wound up killed.
Suddenly, she remembered where it was. It struck her like a blow to the head. A small smile crossed her face. "I see." She knew what had to be done. She had to end this entire line of events, and if her hands became dirtied as a result of it, oh well. Things had gone on far enough.
Sasuke sneered at the foolish boy in front of him. The days when they had been friends was way back in the past, and not even that memory would entrust his life in the boy's eyes. "You've certainly become a lot stronger, Naruto. Too bad I have to kill you." He said, smirking; his red eyes filled with the Sharingan.
Naruto frowned at the sight of his former friend...looking so malicious did not suit him. The blond-haired boy shoved his feelings aside for now and replaced them with a look of concentration. "Sasuke...I believed in you. Sakura believed in you...no, we all believed in you and then you took that trust...and crushed it!" He yelled as his hand started glowing with the blue orb of the rasengan. He charged at Sasuke.
Sasuke anticipated the move, and dodged. He pulled out his sword, and began his attack. The blue glow of the Chidori sparkled against it as he charged at Naruto. Then, someone sent him flying.
It was Sakura. "You...Uchiha." She spat in fury.
"Heh...seems you've become much stronger as well...pinky. If you stand in my way...I won't hesitate to kill you! Will you cry and plead for your life, Haruno? Because I guarantee you don't stand a chance against me." Sasuke taunted, his lips contorting into an evil sneer.
Sakura frowned, and readied herself for the next attack, but Naruto was faster, and he charged at Sasuke again, his Rasengan ready again. Sasuke hit him with Chidori as well. Both were successful shots. Both of them were badly wounded from their attempt.
Sakura then noticed something was wrong: Sasuke was about to unleash his darker side, and she knew Naruto would stand no chance against him if he did that. She looked around frantically, and noticed a sword nearby, and grabbed it. She steadied herself, knowing that what she was about to do would probably scar her for the rest of her life.
Sasuke stood back up, wiping some blood off of his mouth. "Time for this to end." He muttered. The chidori started to glow in his palm again as he prepared once more to strike. He didn't even notice Sakura until it was too late. She stabbed him in the back. It was his blind spot, the one spot where Sasuke would not be able to fight back.
He spat up blood, and stopped. His eyes were wide with fear as he comprehended just what was going on. He swayed, and then fell limply. "Why? ...Sakura...why did you..." He muttered, a pool of blood oozing out from under him.
"You deserved it, Uchiha." Sakura said coldly. She held the bloodstained blade disdainfully. "You were a traitor." She spat out the words in disgust.
"I guess...this is it, huh? I won't be able to tell you..." His eyes closed, and the light faded out of him. Sasuke Uchiha, the traitor, was dead.
Naruto's eyes were wide in terror. "You're...a murderess! You...you killed Sasuke, Sakura!" He said, tears in his eyes.
Sakura realized then what she had done. "No...why?" But, her heart hardened at that moment. "He deserved it." She said, unconvincingly.
So, Sasuke was buried, without a funeral and without anyone visiting his grave. In the end, everyone hated him. But Sasuke's spirit would live on...somehow.
4 years later...
Twenty-two year old Sakura Haruno heard her alarm clock go off and frowned. "I want to sleep in a little longer, Naruto." She muttered groggily.
"Sakura-chan, come on, wake up! Otherwise, you'll be late for work!" A familiar, albeit whiny voice, exclaimed.
Sakura's green eyes shot open. "Ah! I'm gonna be late! Thanks for reminding me, Naruto!" She exclaimed, before jumping out of bed and going to work. She worked as a doctor now, and was hell-bent on becoming the best doctor possible.
She was engaged to her fiancé; Uzumaki Naruto. Naruto was a little dimwitted, but he saw the good in everyone.
Later on, she headed down to Ichiraku Ramen with Naruto, because he had decided that they should have dinner every day there-okay, not every day, but it had been hard enough even trying to be rational-so she gave in.
"I told you, you can't eat here! You're far too small to even use the seats!" The owner of Ichiraku Ramen exclaimed. He was obviously talking to someone.
"DON'T CALL ME SMALL, UNLESS YOU'RE ASKING FOR IT, PAL! WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SMALL THAT HE CAN'T BE SEEN WITH A MICROSCOPE!" An unfamiliar voice screamed,and then the owner went flying.
Naruto's eyes widened. "Hey, leave the ossan alone!" He yelped, rushing to the old man's side. He then noticed a short boy who appeared to be around twelve or thirteen standing near the store, his fists tightening with rage. He was wearing a red jacket and had white gloves on. He also wore black jeans and black-and-red boots. His hair was blond and tied back in a ponytail.
"DON'T CALL ME A SHORT LITTLE PIPSQUEAK! I JUST WANTED TO EAT HERE, DAMMIT!" The blond boy screamed at the top of his lungs. Naruto and Sakura watched on in disbelief as the blond kid started beating the crap out of the poor old man.
"Is he...beating him up?" Sakura muttered to herself.
"Stop!" Naruto exclaimed, and knocked the kid backwards with a punch to the jaw. He went flying, but he managed to pick himself back up.
"What the hell was that for?" The boy snapped. When he turned to face Naruto, he realized his eyes were a brilliant gold.
"You hit the store owner! You deserved it!" Naruto exclaimed.
The blond kid got up and punched Naruto in the arm, hard.
Sakura darted in front of her fiancé and hit the blond-haired boy hard in the stomach, which sent him flying. "Leave Naruto alone!" She cried.
"Urghh...hit by a girl. This is just like Winry." The boy muttered, before getting back up on his feet. "You're strong...for a girl."
"Who's Winry? You deserved it. Besides, who are you, anyway? You're awfully small for a ninja-"
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SHORT?" The boy screamed.
Sakura flinched at the boy's sudden outburst. "You're strange." She remarked. "And annoying."
The golden-eyed boy glared at her. "My name's not annoying. It's Edward. Edward Elric, the Full Metal Alchemist. Remember it." He said, smirking.
"Whatever. Come on, Naruto. We're going home." Sakura said, not casting another glance at Edward.
Edward watched the odd pair walk away from him in curiosity. He had no idea who they were, but they were both undeniably strange. For starters, who on earth has natural pink hair? Second, what on earth is a ninja?
"I wonder if they use alchemy here." He mumbled. The young alchemist stood up. That girl seemed familiar...somehow. I've never met her before, though.
He shrugged it off, and got up. "Now, if only I could find a place to stay..."