It's April 8th, and it's finally starting to look like spring. In a couple months, we'll be graduating and put into teams of three with a jonin to watch over us as our new sensei. It's then that I will begin my training, to finally kill the one who betrayed my entire clan. It's been my goal since I was eight years old. Since then, I've focused on nothing but that single goal. Everything and everyone else is just dull colorless background to me. Nothing is more important than my goal, and I will see to its completion.

I slide out of bed, going about my usual daily routine. I finish getting dressed and just as always, at 8:00 am, there's a hard pounding on my door. "I'll be right there." I call out. I walk over to my entryway. I grab my backpack off the hook near the front door and slide on my shoes for school.

When I answer the door, my pink-haired classmate is already tapping her foot impatiently. She does this every morning. It doesn't really matter how long I take, by now I'm sure it's just by force of habit. Even so, it's one of the few things I find humorous about my day. "Good morning, Sakura." I say, stepping out of the house.

She smiles brightly at me. "Good morning, Sasuke! I think this is the shortest amount of time I've ever had to wait for you." She tells me. I start walking towards the direction of the school, and she falls in line next to me.

"Don't worry, I'm sure Ino will make up for it." I tell her. At this Sakura huffs, every morning we walk to Ino's house, so all three of us can walk to school together. And every morning, Ino wakes up late, so every time we get to her house she's always still getting dressed.

We use to eat breakfast at school, or on the way to school, but every single time we'd do so we'd be late. In order to make it on time, and not starve until lunch, Sakura has taken to making breakfast at Ino's house. This way Ino can finish getting ready, and by the time she's done, breakfast is too.

We make it to Ino's house in ten minutes. Sakura pounds on Ino's door, much louder than she had my own. This is necessary since sometimes Ino isn't even awake when we get here. We stand outside and listen to the sound of someone running down a set of stairs from inside the house. Ino flings the door open with a toothbrush in her mouth, then quickly runs back up the stairs to finish getting ready. Sakura rolls her eyes, and I chuckle lightly. We both shout good morning, to which we receive a muffled one back.

Sakura looks through Ino's fridge debating on what to make for today. "French toast or pancakes?" She asks. Green eyes looking up at me, expectantly.

"French toast," I say. She chuckles, having already known my answer. I hate sweets, and to me, french toast can be eaten without any syrup.

She takes out bread, cinnamon, eggs, butter, and a few strips of bacon. Once she's finished cooking everything, she starts putting the food on plates for each of us. Right as the third plate's bacon was slid onto it, Ino came down the stairs, fully dressed with her backpack in her hand. After putting the pans in the sink, Sakura comes around the bar to sit next to me, and Ino slides into the seat next to her. As we eat, we fall into easy conversation. I'm mostly quiet commenting on a few things here and there.

Sitting here with them, it's how it always is for me. My life may not be bright, and my future might be just as dull as my present. But, I'm fine with the way things are now.

*~oOo~*

After school, Ino and Sakura stay behind to help younger academy students with their ninja training and sometimes studies. Normally, I'd stay and try to help as best I can, but today, I've decided to go home early. I think I just need a little time to myself. Or maybe I'm just tired of today, I could use a good nap.

Right as I'm about to cross the street to begin my journey home, Sakura comes running up to me. "Wait up!" She yells. I stop, turning around to face her. She stands in front of me, only slightly panting. "I asked Ino if she didn't mind me walking you home first. She said it was fine." Sakura tells me.

"You don't need to, Sakura. I'm perfectly capable of making it back to my place on my own." I tell her. I turn around to start walking again, but the light has turned green. A bunch of cars are driving passed, showing that we've missed our chance to cross.

Sakura joins me by my side anyway, not caring in the slightest when I glare at her for making me miss my chance to cross. In fact, she smiles at me in return. "I'd be lying if I said I'm only here to walk you home, Sasuke." She tells me.

"Then why are you here?" I ask. The light turns red again, and we're able to go across the street. We head to the other sidewalk together, going in the direction of my house.

"I wanted to ask you something." She supplies. I hum in response, signifying her to continue. She rolls her eyes at what she considers a boring response. "I want you to come with me and Ino tomorrow. A friend of mine told me he likes her. I'm going to introduce them."

"So why do you need me there?" I ask. It doesn't really sound like a way I'd 'like' to spend my Saturday.

"Well, if they hit it off, they're going to be all into each other and probably ignoring me. This way, I can have someone else to talk to." Sakura explains, sounding as if she's quite proud of herself for thinking all this up.

"Alright fine." I say. There are worse ways to spend a day. Besides, I would be lying if I said I wasn't curious just who this person is. Ino is sweet and all, but she can be an airhead and extremely insensitive, maybe even a little racy. I know she isn't a slut or anything near it, but a lot of people just assume.

We turn a corner, and there sitting on the sidewalk is a black crow. We stop walking. I stare at it for a long time, and I can't help but feel like it's staring right back at me. Memories of that day start flashing through my mind. My heart clenches as it's reminded of everything that's been taken from me.

Sakura's eyes are on me, probably trying to figure out what's wrong and why we've stopped. Her eyes land on the crow. She doesn't know what it means to me, only that whenever I see one, I tend to tense up. She probably has some kind of inkling that it has to do with my clan, but she's never asked me directly. Perhaps she knows what that kind of question would do to me.

"What about you, Sasuke?" She says. I look over at her, my attention away from the bird. I don't get to see it fly away. "Isn't there anyone you have a crush on?" I look at her curiously, but it's like she doesn't even register it, as she goes on. "Hinata said something the other day. That when you're in love with somebody, everything looks colorful."

"There's no one who would fall in love with me, not really anyway. The people who like me; it's only superficial. Once they got to know the real me, I'm sure they'd run like hell." It just comes out. I didn't even mean to say it really. It's a little too real, even for me, but it's how I truly feel.

"We're both fourteen, yet we're so different. There's so much you're going through, but you're not handling it well. Your eyes don't sparkle like they use to when you were a kid." She tells me. The comment hits me hard. How could it not? We both know why that's the case.

I don't bother to say anything for a long time, so we walk together in silence. When we get to my home, I reach into my pocket to take out my keys. I open the door without saying a word then step inside, turning around to face Sakura again, I say, "Your eyes sparkle enough for the both of us Sakura. I'm sure your world is as bright and colorful as your future. I don't think it will ever be the same for me, but knowing it's like that for you, that's enough for me." With that, I close the door.

I decided to combine the first and second chapter. Both are kind of short, and I think they read better together. Anyways, please review, favorite, and share!