Alright, people! I put this story out a loooooooooonnnggg time ago. Now, I'm tweaking bits of this chapter and I'll be working on it again.
Why? Well, one too many people were constantly trying to get me to get back to this abandoned story, so I was like, "Oh, what the heck. I'll get back to it, then."
So now I'm gonna be working on this and my sasunaru story Penny In The Gutter so I satisfy my sasusaku AND sasunaru fans. Yay! Everyone wins!
Chapter 1- Lost and Found
Four overstuffed luggages were being rolled down the crowded terminal by a few bulky hired hands. But then who owns these suit cases? Well, they belong to none other than Sakura, Ino, Tenten and Hinata.
"Agh.. Sakura! This flight is gonna be how long?" Whined the brunette with her hair wrapped into two identical buns.
The young Sakura sighed in annoyance and for the millionth time said, "Almost 14 hours, Tenten.."
Ino and Hinata exchanged knowing glances, predicting a loooong flight ahead of them, and not just because of the time they'll be in the air..
Obviously, not everyone has hired hands carrying around all their luggage throughout the airport. The reason these girls have such priviledges is simple: Money, baby. Their families were at the top of market, holding a firm grasp on the billion dollar companies known internationally that poured lakes of cash into their hands. The girls have been best friends for well over eight years, knowing no other life than the wealthy and spoiled one.
And at the ages of 16 and 17, money was being used like there was no tomorrow. With money like the kind that they had, price tags meant next to nothing to them.
None of them were serious brats, though. They were lucky not to take everything for granted. But they always loved shopping sprees from their parents and kept on top of the fashion world and dined on only the best there was.
Since they are in their teenage years, they yearned for independence. So, this trip was a dream come true. Two months with their best friends in the amazing Italy... what more could you want? Trust me, give them five seconds and they'd be able to write an entire list, longer than Santa's.
Boarding the aircraft didn't take long at all, but they were still extremely tired from walking all over the airport and waiting. When they sank into their first class seats, it felt like heaven. As soon as the plane took off, they were offered the finest cookies and steak strips ever made on a plane.
Sadly, that's pretty much all they could have, since they were not of drinking age... still, that didn't get in the way, seeing as they were busy staring at a couple of hot guys a few rows ahead, talking about sports. This was the life.
"Hinata, pass the magazine, please. I need to check if my shoes are still in or not. I brought a spare pair of sandals just in case." Ino leaned over her friends, trying to grab the magazine from the Hyuuga.
"R-relax, Ino. Here." Hinata rolled her pale eyes at her friend's desperate act.
Hours after sleeping, gossiping, munching and laughing, the plane had landed and their limo dropped them off at their luxurious hotel. It was built for mainly American tourists and was absolutely stunning.
Large plush sofas in the lobby, dark oak coffee tables covered in clean piles of magazines and brochures, friendly employees in crisp suits.. and many many floors of rooms.
They were taken to their grand suite. It was like it was made of gold. Everything from the sink to the bed looked like sparkling gold. They had it all.
"Holy crap, guys. This place rocks!" Cried Ino.
"Way better than that place we stayed at in California." Sakura shouted, full of excitement.
"You bet it is!" Tenten yelled, as she lept onto the large bed.
Every shelf, corner, fold in the fabric was explored. When they finally finished swooning over the royal room, they figured it was time to go out and find a nice place to eat.
"Excuse me, do you know a good place around here where we can grab some dinner?" Tenten said, grabbing the attention of the man behind the desk in the lobby.
"Ah, yes I do! Here, I'll call someone over to walk you there. The bread is scrumptious!"
Just like he promised, a short and stubby man waddled over silently. He waved his hand towards the door and led the girls out into the streets of Italy.
Shops were strung across the pavement, lights shining on extravegant outfits in the windows. The fresh smell of bread and pasta dishes graced their curious noses and teased their growling stomachs. The small man said nothing except looked back occasionally to make sure they didn't get seperated in the swarming crowds.
"Oh my God! These shoes are amazing!" Sakura had stopped to run up to a window shop. Inside, she saw a pair of scarlet heels with a silk bow sewn in near the pointy toe. In the lights, the heels seemed to glow and reflected in her veridian eyes.
"You guys! Check out these shoes! I have to-" She looked around, only to see the river of people, none familiar at all. "get them.."
Her green and pink pumas padded against the pavement and her capris crinkled madly while her tee shirt flew up a little, exposing some skin as she searched for her friends. No sight of them anywhere. She was lost. "Crap."
"Stop, where's Sakura?" Ino called ahead, looking around for the pink-haired girl.
Hinata called her name, only to have drawn some attention from random people. "Where could she have gone?"
"She probably saw something really pretty in a store that she wanted and stopped. She always does this. But we're in Italy and don't know our way around." Tenten sighed deeply and asked the little man to just take them back, and hopefully find her on the way to the hotel. "If we don't see her, then we just set out a map and search the town until we get her."
The others nodded in agreement and rushed back, looking carefully for her.
They're gonna kill me. Great, now it's raining! I don't remember this way at all. Sakura tried to cover her head with a newspaper from an open stand on a corner. She spotted a little cafe and ran in, to escape the pouring rain.
"Ah, Chao bella! Would you like some bread?" Asked a friendly old man behind a counter, blocked from view by baskets of baked goods.
He slipped out into view and looked shocked by the girl. "Dear, you look horrible! What is wrong? No, no! Don't cry!"
His pudgy hand slicked back his gel-covered grey hair as he tried to calm down the girl, who was sobbing openly.
"-sniff- It's horrible! I'm lost! I wet! My hair is a mess, I'm afraid to look in a mirror and I don't even have any money!" She continued to cry into her hands and sat down in a chair at a tiny table for two.
The old man sat in front of her and held her hand and looked into her eyes with his pale hazel ones. "Tell me where you live, or I'm guessing, where your hotel is and I'll help you."
"I-I don't know..-sob- My friends will never find me.." The rain slowed down to a very light drizzle as the clouds drifted away, parting for the golden sun.
"I know just the person to help you. Ah! But first, eat some bread, fresh from this morning. It'll make you feel better. Try it!" He got up and pulled out a bulky piece of warm honey-like bread from a basket behind him.
She kindly accepted it and nibbled on it, starting to feel better. "Thank you. So.. who did you say could help me?"
"Right, right.. Young artist, well, one of them. There are so many, but this traveler actually stays in Italy. He knows the town very well, just like he does the rest of the world!" He chuckled, impressed by what he knew was true.
"So.. Where can I find him?" She asked, wanting to get back as soon as possible.
"Heh, he's around. But he's unpredictable and will be hard to find. But I have hope." she was getting used to his strong Italian accent.
"Then what do you suppose I do then?" She said, getting annoyed that this was beginning to seem pointless.
"Search! He's taller than you, laid-back.. Ehh.. how you say, ehm, skater look. He will most likely be painting and have his head phones. Puuure black hair. I'd say he'll have that beanie or sock hat. Whatever it's called." Beanie cap. Well at least I know what he looks like.. Hope he's not some freak show wannabe.
"So he should be around the area?"
"Yes. I'm sorry I'm not good with directions or names or anything like that, so this is all I can offer you." He handed her a small cup of tea and another piece of delicious buttered bread in a bag.
"Oh, thank you so much. I mean it. Alright, I'll look for this artist guy. Thanks again!" She waved as she left the cozy cafe and walked down the less crowded street. Where do I start? I don't even know his name.. Okay, get it together, Sakura! Skater/artist guy with black hair and head phones. Don't forget the possible beanie..
She scanned the streets and no one really fit the description to her dissapointment. A good number of the people seemed to look like they would know English, so she described the guy to people, hoping they had seen him. Nope. No one.
"Ma'am! Yes, uhm, have you seen a guy with black hair? He's a lazy artist with head phones, uhm, looks like a skateboard kind of guy. Ring a bell?" She asked yet another person on the street.
"Oh, Sasuke! Yes! He was staying at my sister's house yesterday! Ahh.. I think he's over by the canal, painting again." She said, pointing a long red nail down the road.
"Thank you!" She dashed in the said direction, determined to find the person, whose name is apparently Sasuke. And slept at a girl's house. The old man forgot to mention he's a player, too.
Huffing and puffing, she ran up to a raven-haired man with a beanie cap and large old school head phones hanging on his neck in front of a canvas.
"Hey! Are -huff- you Sasuke? -huff-" She hunched over, leaning on her knees for support.
"Hn? Yeah, who's asking?" He turned to face her, lifting a sharp eyebrow. His dark coal eyes stared at her oddly, as if she had just threw up a cat or something.
"Me, phew. I'm Haruno Sakura. This man at a cafe way back there told me to find you. He said you'd help me get back to my hotel. I'm.. lost." She adverted his gaze and blushed, clearly embarressed at the last part.
Sasuke clicked his tongue and she stood up straight after catching her breath. His smooth pale face had spackles of paint here and there. He had an olive green t-shirt with a small skull sketched on the left of his shirt in black, obviously drawn himself. Wow, that's pretty cool. A silver dog tag chain hung on his neck under the head phones, with the words 'To The Bat Cave!' engraved into it.
He had a wide ring on his thumb and another ring on his other hand with zigzags in it. His shoes were covered in different paint splattered everywhere. His grey jeans had a rip at the knee, but no paint..yet. He's far from a freak, he's..hot..!
"Yo, you there?" He was waving a hand in her face. She had been spacing out, and now was blushing again.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. What were you saying?"
"I was asking you where the man was."
"The old man? He works at a cafe back there. He gave me this bread and tea."
"Tch. He always thinks I have nothing to do. Geez." He muttered.
"I-I don't mean to bother you, really! Uhm, my friends and I were staying at this hotel. I got seperated and lost. It's an American hotel. I don't remember it's name, though." She shifted her weight to her left foot nervously.
"Ah. I'm American, too, you know. I think I know what you're talking about. But I'm still pissed at Marizzeio for sending you to me.
-sigh- Come, let's go back," He said as he folded up the canvas and easel and stuffing it in his army-like messenger bag. "I need to grab some food, anyways."
She silently followed him through the confusing streets back to the place where she started: the cafe.
"Eh! Sasuke! What a suprise! Did you take the pink-haired girl back home?"
"No." He looked the man straight in the eyes with a nasty glare.
Sakura peered from behind him, not knowing what to say.
"You didn't? But the poor girl is lost!"
"Not my problem. Why'd you send her to me? I was about to start painting and she popped out of no where, talking about a man who sent her to find me." His voice was cold, sending chills down her spine.
"Sakura! We found you!"
From behind, outside the cafe, three familiar faces jumped on their lost friend in a huge embrace.
"We missed you, forehead! You're so clueless! Your dad would've killed us and sent you home!" Cried out Tenten.
"Oohh, who's this?" Purred Ino.
"Don't mind her." Hinata reassured Sasuke.
"Guys, this is Sasuke and Marizzeio. They were trying to help me find you guys. Well, one of them was." She said, glaring slightly at Sasuke, who just brushed it off.
"First day out and already she found a cutie!" Ino clapped.
"Whatever." Sakura muttered.
Sasuke stood with his arms folded across his chest, not liking the extra attention he was receiving, until the old man called him over closer.
"Young Sasuke," he whispered. "I sense she's a little too wound up. She looks like she comes from a money family. Lots of pride. Yet, notice her body language. You know plenty about that sort of thing from experience. She seems.. caged in, like a bird. Why don't you help unlock that cage for her?"
"What? I've got better things to do then babysit this girl." He scoffed.
"Maybe so, but try to be nice for once. You might get something out of it, yourself. You are wise and very smart for your age, Sasuke. Try to be social, would you?"
"You know I'm considerate enough to others. That's how I've made it this far in life."
"Then what's the problem?" They both looked at the chattering girls.
"She comes from a different world. One where she gets what she wants, no questions asked. You can tell.. by just the look in her eye.."
"So change it! Help her!" The old man's eyes were sparkling with persuasion.
"She's on vacation with her friends. Why would she blow them off to go spend her time with a traveler on such low standards in life?"
"I'll take care of that. You just worry about her. I'll distract the others. You go get her out of here. Make sure she doesn't think you're taking her hostage or she'll panic."
His grin was evil. "Wouldn't want to have a kidnapped princess. Fine, I could use some entertainment."
"Young ladies! Come, I have free bread for you to try! You'll looove it!" The group gathered around the basket.
"Psst. Sakura, right?" He whispered in her ear.
Her body burned from the very close contact.
"Y-yeah." She whispered over her other shoulder.
"Come with me."
"I won't take no for an answer. Let's go."
He tugged her outside the cafe, leaving the girls with the bread, deep in conversation with the owner.
"Where are we going?" She asked confusedly.
"Haven't decided. Just keep up." He grinned over his shoulder.
Not much at all is different from the original version of this chapter. I hope you guys like it and will continue to read up on the chapters to follow. I guess I can't say much more, since there's nothing else to say; Oh weeeellll... Review and smile! And buy hand sanitizer! That stupid STAPH or MRCA or whatever it's called...that weird killer and no-cure-in-sight-disease is going around. WASH YOUR HANDS AND USE HAND SANITIZER. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.