Hi! I understand that I've confused a lot of you guys and I'm sorry for that. However, it was actually meant to confuse you. Of course I could not state the obvious as early as now because by then the plot would be ruined. I'm introducing the characters little by little so abide with me if sometimes it perplexes you. Just like what lacusclein4 did. He/she (sorry it wasn't stated in your profile what your gender was) actually took the effort of commenting about the story and I was so glad for it. Thanks so much.

Oh well please excuse me for updating so late. You'd probably thout this story was on hiatus. I just had this writer's block. And it took me several months to get recovered. And then may I ask to be further excused from the foul languages that you are about to encounter as you scroll down. My apologies for everyone. So well, (clasped hands together) shall we begin?

Disclaimer: I do not own naruto

Chapter 6: Inevitable

The sound of male boots hitting the marbled floor echoed throughout the pristine hallway that was lit by immense fluorescent bulbs drowning the hallway with brilliance and yet too incandescently cold.

Two men were walking briskly passing the heavy ironed doors that lined endlessly along each hall. They were too preoccupied but the muffled voices coming from each door only fell on deaf ears among these two men.

"Did they find her?" a rather cold and unfeeling voice asked the older man who was wearing a crisp white coat that covered his forearms until the wrist and the lower hem ending on his knee.

"Yes sir. She was able to go back to her home. Apparently, we unsuccessfully terminated her", came the young doctor's bothered reply.

"I see. Dr. Kabuto, it was your job to terminate her. I specifically ordered you to do so. What pray tell went wrong?" this time the voice was clipped and emanated of a temper that was being held firmly.

Kabuto was no novice when it comes to dealing with higher authority but this particular authority was one thing that he could never get used to. So like any imbecile in Kabuto's shoes, he opted for the only answer that he could think of at that very particular moment—silence. His heart thudded like a million hooves have been there beating one rhythm. Wasn't Fear, in its own accord considered to be a horrible poison?

The sound of crystal bottles and cold steel instruments reverberated through the entire wall as it was being thrown here and there with no particular direction at all. Dr. Kabuto scurried towards the nearest table and hid his quivering body behind it afraid that at any moment's time he would be like the bottle or the instruments with his skull broken in half.

"The next time I see you and your sorry ass, Dr. Kabuto I will not hesitate to paint these fuckin' walls with your fuckin' brains! Do you understand me?!" the main said with a voice that shook with unconcealed wrath matching his temper that was forcing to come out and waiting to lash out on anyone nearby with the thought of hurting someone feeding his sadistic thirst for more bodily harm.

Dr. Kabuto with his poor unfortunate soul could only shiver in disgust while bobbing his head in agreement like some silly lap dog that he was. He hated to be like this. To be forced into submission just because of brute strength or sadistic tantrums but what was he supposed to do other than cower and hide like the gutter rat that he is?

He sloppily ran a hand through his face and noticed how cold his sweat was. Shit! I need another dose of that coke! He told himself as perspiration ran down his body causing his shirt to stick to his clammy skin. Sneaking another look from the table he snickered as he ran clumsily to the cabinet where his never ending supply of 'vitamins' was.

Yeah…'vitamin' my sorry ass with coke. So what? I'm going to drown that bastard soon with so much dilemma he'd wish to his parent's grave he'd never been born! But then again in order to achieve that, he needed the younger brother's help or rather presence would be the right word. Now if only he knew where 'crazy old nick' placed that shitty excuse for a brother was, then his life wouldn't be that miserable—was Kabuto's last thoughts before he succumbed to waves of fraudulent euphoria.

Today was her day off from hospital work and no mission had been assigned to her yet or so she had been told by her mistress. It was for the sole purpose of giving her time to relax and unwind. The other reason was something that she had come into terms already finding nothing to be ashamed with. Today she was scheduled to meet with her psychiatrist or shrink according to Ino.

That didn't bother her because no matter which way she looked at it, she was actually up for a lot of sessions with a shrink. Besides, Tsunade thinks it was important for her to see one and personally, it was high time she seeks help from a person who specializes it.

She was way past the stage of self-medication and frankly, if she continues with giving herself another roundabout of whatever medicine she thinks is good for her, she wouldn't be surprised if she would land in the nearest institution for drug abuse.

Sakura sighed as she thought about the mess that she was in. if she didn't know any better, it would be wise to listen to whatever was told to her but then again, she wouldn't be called stubborn and annoying for nothing. So yeah—she'd like to be a thorn in someone's ass nowadays and her psychiatrist was just so unlucky to be at the receiving end.

Pressing her index and middle finger on her temples she started to massage it in a circular motion. Damn these headaches! She thought as she quickly padded towards her bathroom cabinet and with a troubled look swimming in her sea green eyes she scanned for the bottle that she knew would somehow relieve her from pain. She didn't want to be relying on it too much she was always afraid of being addicted over something but she had no choice.

Remembering the words written on her med prescription she quickly took one pill and chased it with a glass of tepid water from the sink. To be taken as needed—the words kept on flashing at the recess of her mind. Somehow, that didn't sit well with her. She had tried asking her psychiatrist about it for several times already but he would always shrug it off and with a sympathetic look on his face while she looked at her reflection on his eyeglasses he would tell her…

"Dr. Haruno, I'm telling you this not as a colleague but as your physician…right now, I know what is best for you. You do know that it is unethical to deprive yourself from that particular medicine when you yourself know that it is your only chance…as for now".

Sakura sighed again as she sat on the foamed seat that was situated on her balcony. She was up for something new. Her life was such a drag. Everything was too…ordinary. "I want to change", she said to herself unconsciously knowing that it was being said more to convince herself that nothing was wrong with her even though that her so-called relapses were something she was always afraid of.

Change…I want to change. I want to do something that I have never done before. Something that's simple and fulfilling. Something…anything. And a thought came into her mind just as a small conspicuous smile grazed her soft lips.

If we are together I'm not sure

The smiles I've forgotten will return

Nor am I sure if my heart would skip a bit

Because sometimes

The heart gets tired from waiting

For something that was never meant to happen

She knew that one way or another they were bound to meet again but she never thought it would be at this such particular day and point in time. She was officially four years beyond twenty and with a life that was too ordinary and nowhere else to go. She knew she wanted something but there was a very big problem. How the hell was she supposed to have it or even find it for that matter when she didn't know what it was that she wanted in the first place?

"Talk about deep shit", she snorted at the thought alone after she had made the comment while she pushed the cart and stopped as she picked up the broccoli and examined it. After looking at it for a few seconds—without actually seeing it—she absent-mindedly threw it on the push cart and started to move on the other vegetable section when she noticed that somehow she couldn't find any tomatoes.

She needed it for the pasta that she had to make or Ino would kill her. She was in no hell going to let Ino burn her ears with Ino's incessant scolding—and to think of it that Ino was supposed to let her have her way since today is her birthday? Not bloody likely!

"Excuse me sir, do you know where I can find the tomatoes here?" she asked politely. The man turned around and what she saw froze her throat seemingly causing it to be lodged and glued together in her voice box.

She found herself face to face with a rather too familiar pair of deep onyx eyes and a ruggedly handsome face—"They're out of stock"—and what do you know, the owner had a sexy baritone voice.

With practiced sufficiency, Sakura was able to correct her moments-of-being-astounded within a heartbeat so smoothly that even the bearer of that familiar voice didn't notice that she was affected by the mere sight of him. With that fake smile back on her face, she turned to him giving him her full attention her beautiful emerald eyes sparkling with friendly acceptance of their predicament for she knew that he too would rather burn in hell than to be caught in an another awkward conversation.

"I'm sorry. I thought you were one of the vegetable clerks. My mistake," she said brightly and warmly. And yet he knew that it was too detached, no wonder he had one of his aristocratic eyebrows raised.

"You seem to have a lot there—" he said indicating about Sakura's push cart that was overflowing with assortment of groceries that were deemed to be used for that night's event as if he was asking about the weather. "—what's the occasion?" he asked but his eyes still had that bored look as if he was wishing to be somewhere else rather than talking about the overflowing cart and its oddities.

"Someone's birthday is up and my friends and I wanted to make something. How have you been doing?" she asked while she reached for some carrots beside him that she had been eyeing at that moment. She knew it would work well with what she had in mind.

However, her innards were turning over and she was as nervous as hell when facing with Sasuke. How was she supposed to react around him? Nevertheless she opted with the friendly air of indifference hoping that he would be able to understand the subtle message she was sending him. She was until now confused with her feelings towards him—of that she was sure of.

Sasuke noted the black painted nails that was lightly gripping the handle of the cart and the same black painted nail on the opposite hand that was holding the packed carrot and that somehow surprised him for he knew it wasn't her character to well, like black. Or did she? It's just a nail color so why did he have to think too much about it? Or the fact that she had her hair loose not knowing that her simple appearance caused most of the men to second look?

He saw everything and read everything from the way she looked, the expression on her face, her voice, the intonation and even her movements. And he knew that she was a bit shocked to see him but she was able to dismiss it as if he was just some acquaintance from the past that she knew by name, whom she had exchanged a few words with here and there. Never mind that they had just the most awkward conversation in their entire life several weeks ago—and that somehow bothered him for unknown reasons which he had no intention of finding out or whatsoever.

"Who's birthday?" he asked not bothering to answer her second question. He swore he could've rolled his eyes heavenward. Remind me why I'm still here? He asked himself and yet he still could not bring himself to move and walk away like how he intended it to be.

Seeing his discomfort, Sakura hid an apologetic smile before she turned to him and gave him her attention. "I'm sorry to have bothered you. I'm sure you have a lot of things to do other than having a chit chat about birthdays and tomatoes. Anyway, it was nice to see you again, Sasuke-san. Good day," she said inclining her head silently acknowledging his presence and everything about him with innate grace like a queen bestows to a commoner causing a part of her gossamer cherry hair to fall on her right shoulder and left.

He didn't bother to stop her nor did he concede to whatever she had said before she left. How could he when he somehow found it disturbing to be called Sasuke-san by her? Somehow his pride refused to have it and it was not unusual to see an Uchiha with his dark looks back in place. It wouldn't surprise anyone to see the nearest female to go through the nearest exit if she were to be blasted with that feral look.

But then again he did not expect for Sakura to fall on her knees and worship him like she used to when they were still children. Like him, she had outgrown all the things that would have reminded him of her twelve-year old self and her cheery disposition. Somehow, the last part was something he wished still remained and was part of her. Maybe it would have given him the chance to ridicule her and then it wouldn't be too awkward to have a conversation with her because by then it would seem to be just like before.

But…things change. If there was something in this world that was never constant it was this thing called change. Besides, with what he told her the last time they met, he couldn't really expect her to be like the little kid that constantly annoyed him. Somehow remembering their conversation by the bridge brought an all too unfamiliar emotion that gripped his heart...

"Nice weather…isn't, it?" he asked after staring at the silent water flowing beneath the bridge. He looked at her water's reflection rather than at her face when he asked her. He was unsure of her reaction especially with all the things going through her.

He watched the ghost of a smile touch her lips before she answered him "It sure is. How have you been doing, Sasuke-kun?".

He grunted a reply—the usual thing that he always does as if the thought alone of moving his throat muscles was too much of a nuisance. Again there was silence. He quickly found out that Sakura wasn't the kind of person who loved to start conversations anymore unlike the Sakura that he used to know.

"And you? How have you been holding up?" he asked silently weighing the odds of raising that particular question. He watched as the young cherry-haired female slid a side-way glance towards him while the corner of her full lips turned upwards—a look that could not be mistaken as a smirk but was too soft to be mocking or condensing likewise.

"That's a rhetorical question and I have no wish to answer that. I think by now you already know why", she replied without scorn. Being said she finally looked at him and gave him a soft apologetic smile for being rude with her hair softly dancing in the wind while the cherry blossoms started to fall down in a likely ancient rhythm of their own.

For once, Sasuke was caught in what seemed to be like a trance while looking at her. Her eyes held deep secrets that were bottled up inside with hurt seemingly more than she could've handled and for him—maybe. She was a sight to see like a beautiful woman-child who was probably hurt a thousand times; a misbegotten damsel with no chance of ever being saved from whatsoever barnacles of misfortune befalls her. She reminded him of a Gainsborough picture from a museum— ethereal but human, an enigma that draws him like a fire does to a moth.

He quickly looked away his eyebrows drawn together with displeasure. But to what and to whom, to her or to himself? "I've heard that you went loony. Maybe you've finally lost your touch?" he sarcastically asked before he could've stopped himself and he mentally kicked himself for saying so because it was what he had strongly tried to evade from the start.

And he watched with regret when the smile from her face was suddenly wiped out and her mask of emotional detachment and indifference slipped in. The infamous fake-of-a-smile was back even before he could blink an eye "Seriously Sasuke you could've asked directly if that was your whole intention of being here. What now, you be wanting an autograph or a real demonstration of the ever famous 'sakura spells'? I'm sure you've heard that by now".

"Look, I don't—" and before Sasuke could've said something she cut him off with defensive words of her own.

"—don't care? Yeah I know that. Look Sasuke, we've already established that I'm annoying and that you don't care what the hell happens to me so the next time you feel the need to remind me what an ass you are, spare me the details. Okay? And stop behaving like there's something stuck in your banghole. You're not a child anymore", she said her green eyes snapping with loathe and what looked to be annoyance directed to him.

Sasuke would've loved to engage in a battle of words with her no matter how childish it was but somehow they got interrupted. However, he just didn't know whether it was a good one or not.

"I've been looking all over for you. Where've you been?" a girl with glasses shoved on her face asked. She was a bit taller than Sakura with seemingly blatant womanly curves and black hair that ghosted a few inches way past her shoulders a sinister look glinted on her eyes. A possessive hand lay upon Sasuke's arm which never went unnoticed by Sakura. And by that alone, she already understood and deduced what she might be to Sasuke and vice versa.

"I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, Karin" he said apologetically but more of exasperation coated his reply.

Sakura smiled that fraudulent smile of hers—and Sasuke by now had learned to hate it so much because it never allows him to see anything other than what she wanted him to see. Even her eyes held nothing but only coldness that must've equaled her emotions.

"My apologies, miss", Sakura said addressing it to the other girl in front of her.

"Mr. Uchiha only stopped by to ask about how the things here in Konoha have been. I hope you enjoy your stay here and please do have some time to visit the wonderful places here in Konoha. A pleasant day to you both", she ended her short pleasantry with a bow like a practiced tourist she could've been before she took her leave. Leaving behind a flabbergasted Uchiha which she had managed to do so within the span of less than an hour and a confused Karin.

To be continued…