I'm SO sorry guys, I had A LOT of projects due in school and they all came from TWO lousy teachers! I mean really, get a life! Sheesh.. And, I had to study for hours, for my upcoming CFA's, which didn't even help... -.-

Anyways, well I know you don't care about my excuses but I'd be damned if I didn't at least give my reasons. I'm also really happy with the reviews I received from the previous chapter. :) It made my heart die from all the emotions I felt.

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alice Orihara Scarlet

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alesfan

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And four lovely guests.

Thanks a bunch for reviewing and reading the first chapter.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto... happy?

Enjoy the Story :)

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Chapter

2

"Talking"

"Thoughts"

-***** Flashback/ End of Flashback *****-
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Naruto's P.O.V

The cool breeze of the night slightly ruffled his spiky, messy, blonde hair. His well-toned body form leaning against the bridge as his sea-foam eyes stared deeply at the sparkling, blue water reflecting the moonlight. His thoughts were being currently occupied with old memories...

Team Seven's memories...

Their good and bad times, their moments with each other, when they'd train, and especially when each of them learned about one another and still accepted each other's flaws. Every team member, including their sensei, grew to feel comfortable with their peer's presence, also to care about one another.

He let out a shaky sigh as he felt a slight tug to his chest just trying to recall the past events that were so dear to him, yet painful reminders.

Then his thought drifted to one of the members in particular...Sasuke.

'How long has it been since his departure?' silently asked himself.

Oh yeah that's right, almost about 7 years already...

'Time goes by fast...'

He chuckle darkly at this thought.

Last time he'd seen his rival /ex-team mate/ex-bestfriend, he had changed drastically. Not like Naruto wasn't expecting him not to but... it was more than he had anticipated.

Naruto remembered the murderous glint he held in his eyes... pure malice, and hatred. He remembered the disgusting blood-thirst look on his face. How he acted as the predator who prayed on the innocent, killing them so easily without any glimpse of guilt or remorse. Something Naruto had never seen in anyone in his entire life, nor has he seen it ever again.

He let out an exasperated sight as he tried to shake away any more thoughts about the missing-nin.

Once again as he was slightly leaning against the railing, he let his gaze roamed over the water that was illuminated by the shinning moonlight. His eyes soon landed on his own shimmering reflection. Naruto couldn't help but note that he too had changed.

Over the years, despite the fact that he still acted like a 4-year old, he had become a bit more serious, and his determination had only grown stronger throughout the years. Also, he had found someone who made him happy and loved him without a doubt...

'Hinata...'

His eyes softened as he pictured her beautiful, angelic face.

They had been a couple for about a year and a half now.

He had seen how she also changed from the dark-haired, shy girl, to the confident, young woman she was today.

He remembered how she had confessed her love towards Naruto. All thanks to his female team mate's motivational, and persuading words. Hinata had once told him how the Medic-nin had given her courage and hope to confess her feelings towards the oblivious, knuckle-headed blonde. Which then, led to their relationship.

It seemed that everyone had indeed changed. However, aside from Sasuke, out of all of them , Sakura had been the most different.

His eyes looked up from the water and into the starry sky as his once happy thoughts transcended towards the hot-tempered, pink-haired Kunoichi.

She hadn't smiled as much as she did before, and when she did, most of them were fake. Her eyes had lost its sparkle, most of her cheeriness turned into seriousness, and she had tried distance herself from everybody.

Hell! She even tried that technique with Naruto. But NOPE! He wouldn't let her have it. So he confronted her, and after all the screaming and a few thrown chakra-enhanced punches(which was all mostly her), Sakura had broken down crying in front of him. Something she hadn't done ever since his departure...not even at her parent's funeral. Ever since that day, their bond grew into a brotherly sister type, her over-protective brother.

Which at this thought, his face frowned as he reminded himself about something that happened about 4 months ago. A mission which caused Sakura to currently lay in a coma at the hospital at this moment. A mission which was supposed to be an easy one but somehow turned into a deathly one. Nobody knew the details or what had happened. Of course the only ones that knew had either immediately perished from the injuries they had been inflicted with or gone into a destabilizing, severe coma.

-***** Flashback *****-

It wasn't supposed to end up like this. The mission was supposed to be easy. He wasn't supposed to be like this: all beat and tattered up.

Now he was going to die without saying goodbye to his loved ones...

His eyelids weighing heavily upon his eyes due to exhaustion, Struggling to keep conscious, his defeated gaze fell upon his comrades that had accompanied him on the mission. They're bodies also displayed all over the place, dirty from the muddy ground. The others, covered with blood-probably their own and lay awkwardly on the cold soil beneath them. They're bodies eerily still, unmoving.

His breathe hitched, as he stared a bit longer he could see that only one team member was alive. Hope grew as he staggered crawled towards person the team member. As the body cleared a bit more, he saw pink.

'Pink?'

His eyes grew wide in realization. His attempt at moving towards her becoming a desperate need and motivation. How could he have forgotten about her? One of the few people he can truly considered family.

His heart sped up when he finally had her within arm's-length. Naruto quickly urged his hand to check on her pulse ,both on her wrist and below the jaw. The pulse was barely there but beat dangerously light. He let out a silent sigh of both relief and desperation as he hastily made a move to wake her up. He needed to get them both away from there as fast as possible. Whatever or whoever ambushed them may come back and he wasn't going to take a chance.

He knelt besides her. "Sakura...Sakura-chan..." He whispered hoarsely as he gently shook her shoulders.

No response.

He tried waking her up again but this time he used a bit more force. "Sakura!" Naruto whispered.

"Come on, I know you can do this...please," He pleaded as a gut-wrenching feeling began to form in his stomach.

He didn't know what it was that made him so anxious but he knew he's never felt like this before. The feeling was overpowering his whole being.

Just as he was about to pick her up he heard her groan in pain. Her eyes began to flutter open revealing her bright emerald eyes.

"Naruto-Naruto?" She choked out.

"A-Are you oka-," He raised his hand to cut her off.

"No, don't talk Sakura."

His eyes searched for any fatal wounds over her shredded frame. She had a bit of quazi-dried blood on the right side of her mouth. A gash across the middle of her stomach, the blood already seeping through the clothing. Although she was mostly covered in bruises, nothing too fatal was visible to the naked eye.

Not wanting to take any chances he asked," Can you move?."

Her jaw clenched when pain tore through her muscles as she urged them to shift from her recumbent position. She weakly nodded her head while attempting to suppress the whimper that threaten to escape her dehydrated lips. She felt bad enough seeing the conspicuous disquieting look on her usually grinning teammate's face, she didn't want to increase it.

"Y- Yeah...I can manage," she replied in a sotto voce. She once again assayed to lift herself off the cold ground.

Once both of them were able to stay standing on their feet without stumbling or falling to the ground, Naruto and Sakura began to make their way back to towards the Konoha village despite running low on chakra.

Naruto could feel Sakura's chakra dropping at an increasing pace with every minute that passed by. However, he's was just as bad, if not slighly worse.
His deep thoughts were interrupted by Sakura's scream followed by a loud impact.
"Agghh!"
His head turned to his right where she had been but found she wasnt there. Naruto stopped and quickly turned his head towards the crashing sound came from. Sakura's back had impacted against a tree. His gut telling him that there was something dangerous out there, something none of them coulve handled...not in this state. Also, knew what ever was out there was the one that had caused the lives of his team and almost theirs.
He sensed a kunai was directed to hit his heart and jump out the way. Without missing a beat his body took a fighting position. His unknown opponent was sending weapons from all directions, some even caughting him unguard and ripping his peripheral vision he could see that Sakura was also dealing with the same problem as him.
However, it seemed that miniscule distraction was all it took for his enemy to take advantage of the moment and land him a dangerous blow close to his heart. Along with a strong kick to the back that sent him crashing agaist a tree. As his body fell to the ground , he was left gasping for air for a minute or so.
His vision began to see black spots, his vision blurring. He saw a shadow over tower him. He knew this was it. He failed and all he could do was lay there. Just as he was waiting for the final attack to come...it didn't. Instead, just before he fell unconscious he saw a flash of pink and his eyes fluttered closed. Darkness consuming him.

-***** End Of Flashback *****-

Naruto frowned. He remembered waking up at the hospital...Alive.

Hinata and everyone was there... well, except Sakura.
He had asked about her fearing the worst, but none of them spoke about what had been of her. Not until he was released a week later from the hospital did he learned that she had saved his life. Although, that had led her to almost costing hers and putting her into a coma...
A coma that had lasted for about half a year...He visited her room for the moment for her to open her eyes...
That was the reason he had been awake at this time of night.
He sigh and ran a hand through his golden locks, a sign that he was frustrated. He decided to head back.
However, just as he was about to take his third step, Shikamaru had appeared in front of him with a serious face.
He nodded his head. "Shikamaru."

"Naruto...she's awake...," Shikamaru replied quickly without looking at him in the eye.

Naruto knew who he was talking about. His eyes widen in disbelief and shocked.
different emotions swam through his eyes.

"When? Is sh-"
He was cut off by Shikamaru, "but..."

His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "But? But what?" His heartbeat"s rate slightly increasing.
"I'm sorry Naruto...she..." He didn't know how to break him the news.

Naruto got mad and a dreadful feeling began to pool in his stomach.

"WHAT SHIKAMARU? SPIT IT OUT!" Naruto asked impatiently.

"Naruto... Sakura... She... She's gone." He said finally meeting his eyes.


THE EDITED VERSION.

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Also, I Want To Inform That I've Already Began The Third Chapter :)

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