I have deleted black dragon because its plot was actually made with orochimaru still alive and since we all know that he's already dead according to the manga…then therefore I conclude black dragon is useless and officially of no value anymore. So here I am making another one hoping that this story will go somewhere. This will be AU. The setting and characters will be the same but the entire story will be based ten years after Sakura and Sasuke met again. I don't really know how the manga will end whether the two of them will end up together or if Sasuke will die which I think will have much of a possibility (that was just my hunch so don't go throwing flames now) but who cares anyway this is my story.

Also, please be informed that this is my second attempt to a multi-chap story since the first one failed (sweatdrops) so i would like to apologize in advance if you happen to come across a lot of errors or if for the first few chapters it would seem as if the plot isn't quite pleasing because I am still trying to get the hang of it and I am still trying to work my way through this story. So I would gladly appreciate it if you try to be a little bit gentle in trying to do a constructive criticism of this story. Thank you in advance.

Disclaimer: i don't own Naurto

Chapter 1: Change

"The hardest wounds to heal are not what you see…but it's what you cannot see" anonymous

Fallen angels at my feet

Whispered voices at my ear

Everywhere there's death before my eyes

Lying next to me I fear

It beckons me

But should I give in?

It was raining hard outside basking the dry lands with silvery liquid quenching its thirst. Flowers bloomed as if feasting on the small drops of honey dew from the grayish sky. This kind of weather would usually dampen anyone's moods but not for her. She had always treasured it and for the most part…loved it.

She didn't really know when it started and didn't really care to think as to why or when or whatever those silly questions are but for her, she refrained from asking such frivolous questions. Probably because she didn't really want to know what the answers are or will be for that matter.

So now she found herself standing in front of the huge window a soft smile lurking on her full lips as she allowed her gaze to travel from here to there enjoying the vibrant colors of nature's bounty, the earthy smell that comes along with rain and just about anything simple but yet so beautiful.

She heard it even before she saw it. There was a soft ruffle of silk clothing even if the person bearing it was moving with enough stealth to muffle the sound. She raised ocean green eyes and saw the person's reflection on the window.

"You're still up? You should be in bed", came the soft voice from the doorway.

Sakura turned sideways to look at the tall woman with long shiny blonde hair that was pulled together into a ponytail enough to reveal a beautiful face with alert sky blue eyes. Eyes that was full of concern and gentle friendliness.

"its okay, Ino. I think I would go demented if I have to stay another hour in that bed", she replied pointing her thumb towards the said bed that was rumpled and unmade indicating that it had been occupied just earlier.

Ino looked at her with a soft apologetic smile on her lips enhancing her beauty. Even if she were forlorn or acting like a banshee—which by the way usually happens most of the time, still this woman had the appeal enough to turn heads both young and old when she walks.

"You sure 'bout that?" she asked still not willing to give up that easily although they both know that it was futile.

"Yes, I'm definitely sure", she replied her voice strong with dead finality. She saw the other woman shrug her shoulder as she dismissed the whole thing not willing to make a debate out of Sakura's predicament.

"Very well, suit your self then. Although I would not like the idea of telling Tsunade shishuo that you've been up and about already. Is there anything that you need?" the immediate change of the subject of their conversation didn't surprise Sakura anymore for Ino has always been known to be flippant throwing questions at you, sometimes answering them before you were even given the chance to do so.

Well, that's Ino for you. But she really didn't think to complain for when the need arises, the blonde could use her sassy mouth to bore the enemy or anyone that she had no wish to converse with. That and that alone had always been to Ino's and sometimes to her advantage.

An unsettling silence filled the air as both girls looked at each other. Blue eyes filled with questions desperate to be answered and green eyes that were empty and hollow that held so many secrets, shadowed by pain and yet unwilling to share one's sorrow…even unwilling to ask for help.

"Sakura…I…you know that I'm always here for you, don't you?" came Ino's fraught voice.

"Yes, Ino…I have always known. And for that I have always been in debt to you. But please do try to understand that there are just some things that are much better left unsaid," whatever it was, it was crystal clear that the beautiful pink-haired girl would never tell her.

Ino sighed heavily feeling as if at that moment she was Atlantis with the entire world on her shoulders. Still not giving up, she said the only thing that mattered to her the most.

"You'll tell me…in due time you will, Sakura—" and when Ino saw that Sakura was about to speak again she held up her right hand signaling the other girl to let her finish with whatever she wanted say "—that is not a plea but a command. And you will be wise to follow it, won't you?" she said with piercing blue eyes that mirrored her intentions.

"Yes of course", came Sakura's reply that was softly but hastily said to quickly end the conversation that she had no intention to go any further.

Again, there was but a few seconds of silence and Ino finally broke it when she informed her friend that she would be downstairs if ever she needed something.

Sakura watched at her friend's retreating back slowly allowing herself to slip in to another world where she alone can enter. She wanted to talk wanted, so much for someone to help her. She knew all along that it would come to this end and that she was somehow living her life now through borrowed time. But if she was to suffer, she could not allow anyone to go down with her.

She wanted help…but she could never have it. She was hopeless…to begin with. If they had been there earlier, they could have helped her. But now, she was already in too deep. She knew already that nothing and no one could save her. The moment he turned around was the moment that changed her life. Changed it forever.

But she could never blame him now, could she? He was just one of the reasons. To say that she loved him was a mockery of words. She was in love with love and not with him to begin with. Yes that was it…she didn't love him—or did she?

You love him

Sakura's eye went wide. She could feel her heart beat rising as if it was a bird trying to break free from its cage. Fear…such intense fear was choking her up…drowning her. And there was no one but her alone. No one to help her. Voices..she'd been hearing them for quite sometime now.

He hates you.

She tried, God knows she did try to block those voices, to pretend that she didn't hear anything. She tried to gather herself but they've won. They already won.

What's this Sakura? You're trying to ignore me? You know you can't hold on any longer. You're sanity's going haywire right now. Someday I'm going to get you.

There it was again—those words. When will they stop? What are these words running into my head? Voices…so many voices…please leave me alone.

But he never loved you. And no I will never leave you.

I know, God I know that already. You told me so many times when you stuck those needles into me. You don't have to tell me. So please leave me be…

No…I'll never do that. Never. You're mine.

I thought I've left you there. Naruto killed you. You're a beast…

Yes I am, but so are you. He made you that. Turned you into one. Don't you just hate him?

Stop! Please stop! I can't take it anymore! Go to hell!

The voice only laughed. Evil laugh with such malice and mockery that she wished with all her life that she could see who it was so that she could squeeze the air out of him. But she was all alone. No one was there…not a single soul. Was she going insane?

She couldn't talk, couldn't even speak. It was as if invisible vise-like fingers were crushing her throat cutting her life support. Cold…her heart felt cold too. Not just that but even her entire being. Her eyes were wide with fear and desperation as she tried to fill her lungs with air. She never knew that even trying to breathe could be these hard.

Her pupils were dilated now as she held on for dear life. Her knuckles turned white as she grasped the window sill but her legs felt weak and eventually they gave way beneath her. She was a medic-nin and nobody knew her body with such familiarity other than her and she knew…God she knew that at that moment on, she was knocking on death's door.

That's it bitch. You're telling me to go to hell, right? Sure I will. But then I would have to bring you with me!

And as if to prove its point Sakura felt her heart bit rise, her lungs going stiff and her body refusing to listen to her as if it has a mind of its own. She was on the floor now writhing as if she was in pain. She screamed but no words came out. Ino! Ino help me! Somebody! Anybody! Her eyes were dazed now seemingly unfocused, but not for long. She suddenly went still and then finally, she gave in to the cold arms of infinite blackness.

Ino sighed heavily. She was sitting on one of the chairs from the terrace of her room watching the heavy rain pour down. Night has come but still there was no sign of the weather ever changing. It seemed as though it was far more willing to potentiate her grief than on stopping its ruthless downpour.

She closed her eyes and again all she could see was Sakura's pale face and her eyes, those eyes that used to sparkle with so much life and merriment. Now it was dull…lifeless. As if something deep down inside of her died. It has been three months since she came back from her mission in the Sand village but they were more surprised than they could ever imagine when she came back.

They had noticed it little by little. So subtle was the change but it was there. She rarely talked unless there was a need. She rarely smiled but when she does, it never reached her eyes nor does it brighten her face like it used to do. Her smile was even different and it was what that had broke her heart the most.

Sure Sakura was still the sweet girl that she used to know but it was never genuine anymore. It was forced, faked…just like her smile. She had wondered for so long what had happened. It must have been something because not even her team knew. The only person who knew was Tsunade-sama, Gaara-sama Kazekage of the Sand village and Naruto.

Of course Naruto had every right to know. He's the Hokage now, isn't he? Sometimes she could see Naruto-dono looking at Sakura with guilty and sad eyes, as if he had done something terrible to her. But Sakura would only brush it off and smile at him ruffling his tossled blonde hair and call him stupid as if they were still kids.

But he knew…they all knew. Sakura was just pretending that everything was alright. But she could see, sometimes she could see Sakura hurting inside. Dieing slowly, falling like the cherry blossoms when they bloom the most. But Sakura would only fade into nothingness.

Was she tortured? Raped? Questions…so many questions came into her mind, confusing her even sometimes making her angry but no. No one dared to ask Sakura and Tsunade had made it a point that no one was to ask Sakura. Rumor has it that she may have met the avenger but that particular rumor never lived for a day or two. Because for the most part of it, it was seemingly too impossible to be true.

Sakura, what happened? Why have you changed so much?