Chapter One

It all started when I was three. I first met him in a park. He was playing with his elder brother. His mother was off to the side sitting on a bench reading a book. My mother went and joined their mother. They began talking and I knew it would be awhile before mother called me and my elder brother over to leave and head home. I noticed that my elder brother went towards them. He began talking to the eldest. I began walking towards them when I bumped into someone.

I looked up and saw a guy who was probably eight years older than me. He looked down at me with a scowl on his face.

"Watch where you're going, runt."

"S-sorry."

"Sakura" I turned around and saw Sasu—my elder brother—behind me—a scowl adorning his cute face. He would probably kill me for calling him cute. His excuse—being said—is that he's six years older than me and so he considers himself the man. Thus the man should not be called cute—handsome, yes; cute, no—"you shouldn't be the one apologizing."

"What do you mean?"

"Yeah what do you mean?" the kid stepped forward and got close to Sasu's face. I felt someone tug my hand. I turned around and saw that it was Sasu's friend who tugged my hand.

"Come here."

"You are…"

"Itachi. Sasu's friend and this is my younger brother Sasuke."

"Hello." Sasuke said.

I didn't reply—engrossed in Sasu's conversation with the kid.

"What I mean is that I was watching my little sister and I saw that she wasn't even in front of you when she supposedly 'bumped' into you. So instead of picking on a three year old pick on someone your own size."

"Like who?"

"Me." Before the—what's his face—the kid—could think of a come back, Sasu punched him in the face.

I was horror struck. Itachi decided to join the fight. So it was two against one, but it seemed that the odds weren't in favor of Sasu and Itachi. I looked at Sasuke and he looked back—face impassive. I decided to look at where our mothers were at. They heard the ruckus but decided in not to interfere. They just looked at the fight with slight amusement in their eyes. I decided to do something.

I went up to the kid—since Sasu and Itachi were down—who I heard giving protests, but I ignored them—and kicked the kid where no man or kid would want to be kicked in; he dropped to his knees and his hands quickly covered his friend. Since that day I've been friends with Sasuke and Itachi for five years. When I turned eight, mother and father decided to move. I threw a tantrum—saying that I didn't want to leave the place, home and most importantly Sasuke. Yet I didn't get my way.

It's been eight years since I last saw them and I always wondered if they remember me. Before I left Sasuke—thanks to Mikoto—his mother—Itachi and Fugaku—his father—gave me a heart shaped pendant, saying that I could put pictures in it. Of who ever I wanted. Engraved in the back it said: Together Forever. Sasuke. As I sit in the plane I flipped the necklace over and looked at the engraving. Do they remember me? I keep wondering. If they don't then its okay. Really, I just want to see them happy. Once the plane descended, we got off.

Mother had aunt purchase a house for once we arrived. By the time we got to the house, the movers should have gotten everything inside and placed how aunt would have thought mother would have liked. When we had gotten our luggage we headed to the place where you family—or family member—waits for you. When we arrived I was in for a surprise. Aunt was standing there with this lady next to her. I recognize her immediately. She was Mikoto—Sasuke and Itachi's brother. She came our way and hugged us.

When we arrived to the house I was even more surprised. Aunt said that it was even bigger on the inside. When we entered I knew that my mouth was hanging open. The inside was big. It has two stairways that made a U-shape but met at the top. I looked up and saw a chandelier on top of where I was standing. There was a basement that was remodeled—incase if I ever wanted to go down there and just hang out with friends and stuff. The kitchen was huge. There was a family room with a big screen TV. There's also a movie room—the one with a big screen TV—so we can watch all the movies that we ever want. The rooms are something. There are about eight guest bedrooms—aside from the three master bedroom in the house.

The living room was next to the family room—the game room next to it. Then there was a room for a Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi room is big. The attic was also remodeled incase we ever want to use it. What surprised me the most was how big the pool room was. You could probably fit around—the most—two hundred people in the pool alone. Then another two hundred all around. Mikoto had mentioned that her house was about the same size. Maybe slightly bigger. When I finished staring at everything in shock I chose the master bedroom the was all the way down the hallway and to the right—it was farther away from the master bedroom that mother and father chosen and even more farther away from the one Sasu had chosen—and began unpacking. Then I noticed that my room has its own private bathroom. I went and looked at the other rooms and they have their own bathrooms.

The next morning I got up and got dressed. I dressed into the school uniform which consists of a white shirt and a red and black plaid vest with a three inch up your mid-thigh red and black plaid skirt. I put on white, knee length socks and with shoes. You have a choice of either wearing red, white or black socks and your choice of footwear. You can wear accessories if you want, so I chose to wear my heart locket—compliments from Sasuke eight years ago—and a golden bracelet with my name engraved on it—that my elder brother gave me on my fourteenth birth day.

When I went downstairs I was greeted with a big stack of chocolate chip pancakes. I looked at mother with a confused expression.

"What? Oh, the pancakes. Well you need a good breakfast so you can stay awake in school."

"Yeah, but not a lot that you could feed about a whole army."

"True."

Then I noticed that father wasn't around. "Mom, where's dad?"

"He went to work early, Sakura."

"Oh." My face fell.

This didn't go unnoticed by my mom though. "Don't worry. He said that he'll try to be here by dinner."

"Try." I said sullenly. "So when are you going to hire workers?"

"Today. Your aunt and Mikoto volunteered to help me choose."

"Okay." I said. Then I noticed the time. "Crud! I'm late."

Mother was at the door with my bag in hand. I rushed to her, grabbed my bag, gave her a peck on the cheek and rushed out the door.

"Have a good day in school, sweetie."

I didn't have time to respond back because I was turning around the corner so I just lifted up my hand. When I arrived to the main office the warning bell rang. There was a black haired lady at the front desk. She looked up to me and smiled. She was probably around my mother's age. She had really, really short black hair.

"And—may I ask—you are?"

"Oh, I'm Sakura Haruno."

"Haruno." She muttered flipping through some papers. "Haruno Sakura. Okay here's your schedule. I'll phone Tsunade letting her know that you've arrived." As she did that I looked around. The office was spacious. She was the only person here.

I was brought out of my trance when she said that Lady Tsunade was ready to see me. I stepped around and walked into the room that was behind her. When I closed the door I turned around and faced the principal. The name plate said: Principal Tsunade. She had her back—or more likely the back of her chair—to me. When she turned around I saw that she was blonde—hair held into two low, really low ponytails—and had a huge chest. It could make a female feel insecure. I mean I know because I feel insecure. She looked at me and smiled. It was a warm smile that made me less nervous.

"Um, I'm—"

"I know who you are. I was the principal here when your mother came here—Sakura Haruno—so please sit." She said motioning to the right—or left in her case—chair. I sat and she began talking again. This time her face became serious and she had a dark expression on. "I welcome you to North Kanoha High. I just have to explain to you a few things. North Kanoha High is rivals to South Kanoha High—they have the same uniform as us, but it's in blue. So some of the guys get into fights. Don't worry though because all the girls here are well protected. Here we teach you—females—how to protect yourselves. So instead of a regular gym class, you have a self-defense gym class. Yet if you feel that you aren't safe you can ask for a body guard and one will be provided for you."

I looked at her—trying to absorb all of this in.

"Females here also get into fights with the females of South Kanoha. You are free to start, stop and intervene in a fight when you think it's best fit. You are—absolutely—allowed to defend yourself. You won't get detentions/suspensions with the school because of the fight against the rival school. Reason why is because the fights are inevitable. You will get punished if you start a fight within this school though. So I suggest you don't start a fight. You will make friends, so don't worry too much about that. Now you will go to your period four/five." She said.

I looked at the time and saw that it was halfway through period three. "Okay. Is that all?"

"Yes. Shizune."

The front desk lady came. Apparently her name is Shizune. She was going to show me my homeroom and take me to my locker. Before we left Tsunade—she said to call her that—called me.

"Before I forget"—she said in the same serious tone as before—"what ever you do don't get mixed up with the leader of South Kanoha High."

With that said Shizune and I left the office. When she finished showing me my homeroom and locker she led me to my period four/five which is gym. My gym teacher, Kurenai—she, like Tsunade, said to call her that—gave me my gym clothes. This consisted of a white shirt with the schools name in black, red shorts, white knee length socks and black shoes. Then the bell rang. A minute later girls began entering the locker room.

When we all finished changing we headed out. I followed Kurenai to where her class was at. She introduced me to the class and sat me next to a girl with blonde hair—that was in a high ponytail—that barely brushed her shoulders—and blue eyes.

"Hey I'm Ino."

"Sakura."

"This is Hinata"—she said pointing to a girl with really short dark blue hair that you could probably confuse for black and almost whiteish/silverish eyes—"and this is Tenten."—she finished pointing to a girl with brown hair that's held in two buns and brown eyes.

"Hello." They said.

"Hi." I said.

Then Kurenai began taking attendance. When she finished, we stretched. After that she began teaching us the basics in self-defense. I had learned all this because my mother went into her protective mother mode after what happened when I was three. So every weekend I would go with her to self-defense lessons. By the time I noticed she blew the whistle. Every girl went into the locker rooms. The rest of the day went on un-eventful. Ino, Hinata, and Tenten were in all of my classes. Even in my homeroom.

When we stepped out we noticed a group of people all huddled around one place. I looked at them and they shrugged.

"Should we go look?"

"Might as well." Hinata said.

We pushed our way through to the inner part of the circle and saw that one of our students was getting beat up from one of the South Kanoha High students. There the guy with spiky blonde hair and blue eyes—the one that was pounding the poor boy—then a guy with black hair, that was being held up in a high spiky ponytail and black eyes; then a guy with brown hair—that was being held in a ponytail around, probably, five inches or more above the tips and the same eyes as Hinata; lastly there was a guy with spiky raven colored hair—that could be mistaken for a chicken's butt—and coal black eyes. I instantly recognized Sasuke—due to his coal black eyes. The ones that I used to get lost into a lot when we were younger. The blonde was about to hit him again when I stepped in and blocked his attack.

I heard a few gasps and saw that even he was surprised. I used that moment and kicked him in the stomach. He flew past Sasuke and his two friends. Let me tell you something, while taking those self-defense lessons mother, the teacher and I made a discovery—that's that I have inhuman strength. Meaning that I have more strength than the average female and male. My teacher said that the only other person that had this inhuman strength was a student he once taught a long time ago. I saw that the other two were coming towards me so I braced myself. They were about to hit me, but I beat them to it.

They—also—flew all the way to where the blonde was at. Sasuke got up and came towards me. I didn't know if he was about to do something, but I didn't wait. He was probably twenty something inches in front of me when I heard Ino calling me. I quickly did a flip and landed outside the crowd. I looked back at Sasuke and saw his eyes widen slightly, but they went back to the way they were before. His face was impassive, but I saw that he was surprised to see me again after eight years, but that still doesn't make the doubt in me—the doubt about him remembering me—fade away. I headed to where the girls were at and we quickly left before the guys could come after us.

Once we were two blocks away from the school I turned to the girls. They had a look of surprise on their faces. I explained to them everything. They said nothing. Then Hinata spoke up.

"That's just rough."

"I know." I said. We began walking again. "I haven't seen him in eight years and the first time I see him again is as my rival. Man, life isn't fair." I said pouting.

"I know how you feel." Hinata said looking at me with knowing eyes.

"Huh?"

"The guy with the same eyes is my cousin, Neji." I stared at her.

"Why didn't you—"

"Intervene?" I nodded. "I wish I could. But he told me never to fight, intervene in his fight or any fights no matter what."

"Well" I said "lets forget about this and lets go and hangout."

They agreed. But before we decided where to go I had one thing to ask them—the one thing that's been bugging me since Tsunade mentioned it.

"Who's the leader of South Kanoha High?"

"Sasuke." Ino said.

"Oh." My face fell for the second time today.

Ino noticed this and said that there's a park up ahead and that we can go and hangout there. We agreed and headed there. As we walked I remember the place. I described to them how it looked like and they said that's the place where we're going. Upon arriving, they stopped dead in their tracks. I looked up and saw Sasuke and his group up ahead. I had half a right mind to tell the girls to go to my place instead, but it was too late—they noticed us. I held my head up high and told the girls to follow me. We walked past them without even looking at them. We were about two feet ahead when I heard a female voice say Sasuke's name. We turned around and saw a girl with red hair and glasses go up to him and latched herself to Sasuke's arm.

Then a girl with black hair walked up to the blonde and copied the redhead. A girl with blonde hair did the same to the guy with the spiky ponytail and a brunette did the same with Neji. I looked at the girls and they were seething with anger. I was about to suggest we leave when the redhead spoke up.

"You girls"—we looked at her—"stay away from these guys."

"As if we'd be anywhere near them. If you haven't realized, we're from North Kanoha High and they're not. So we're rivals—but wait you didn't realize that because instead of actually paying attention in school you spend too much time on your looks and guess what, that didn't even help. You—my rival—have no looks, brains or even brawns. So do us all a favor and leave us alone."

She stepped forward and was about to punch me, but a child's voice stopped her. I looked and saw Darren about seven feet away from where I was standing. Darren is my younger brother. He's only three and like Sasu and me, he's very perceptive for a kid his age. I looked back at the redhead and then headed to where Darren was at.

"Ino, Hinata, Tenten lets go to my house instead. This place has become unsanitary. Not from the males, but the females. That is if they fall under that category."

The redhead came my way, but I just stuck my foot out at her and tripped her. The others were going after Hinata and the others, but they copied me and tripped them. We reached Darren and began walking. I took his hand and walked behind the girls. I felt a presence coming up behind me. I told Hinata to take Darren and to head to the gate quickly. Ino took my stuff with her. I turned around and bumped into a toned chest. I looked up and saw that it was none other than Sasuke.

"Sakura." He breathed.

It took all of my willpower not to go back to the little child that always chased him. When I found out that he was the leader of the rival school I hadn't decided how I would talk to him if I ever saw him again, but when had—earlier in the day—I saw him standing there—on my school grounds—while his friend was beating up one of my schoolmates I decided that he changed from the boy that I knew to this ruthless leader that I see now.

"Been awhile, Sasuke." I said impassively.

"So it really was you back there when you stopped Naruto from beating up that useless excuse for a man."

"You've changed." I said still looking at him in the eye.

"So have you."

"Not really. I'm only acting like this because I decided that I was going to be this way after I saw what happened back on school grounds. You know the school that I go to."

"Why did you decide to go to that school?" He said 'that' as if it was poison that he had drank and it only began taking effect just now.

"Because that's the school my mother went to. Plus, I didn't have a choice since mother had already transferred everything that needed to be transferred to that school."

"You could've thrown a tantrum like the one you threw eight years ago."

"I could've, but that would've gotten me nowhere."

With that said the redhead came up and latched herself to Sasuke, again.

"Back off. He's mine." She said in a sickly sweet voice.

"Don't worry I got nothing to do with him anymore. So you can have him." When I said that it felt like someone ripped my heart out my body without using anesthetic on me and keeps on poking it with a really sharp object. Waiting for it to burst at any moment. "Goodbye, Sasu."

I used the nickname that his mother had given him—probably for the last time. You never know. I headed to the gates—took one last glance at him and smiled, but this smile didn't reach my eyes. With that done I left the park with the girls.

Sasuke:

I kept on looking at Sakura as she left the park with the girls and the little kid. When she had said that she had nothing to do with me anymore, I felt my heart ache. I didn't understand why, but what she said hurt. When we arrived to North Kanoha High earlier in the day I didn't expect to see her. Actually I didn't expect to see her at all anymore. When she left eight years ago, it felt as if she took part of my with her. After that unfaithful day I became even more secluded. I didn't talk as much as I used to when she was here. I barely showed any emotion at all. Mother thought that something was wrong with me mentally, so she took me to the doctors. He said nothing was wrong. That all that was probably happening was separation issues.

As the years went by I became the leader of South Kanoha High due to the fact that I became ruthless. I barely felt a thing. So when Naruto was beating up that kid from North Kanoha High and Shikamaru saying something about this being troublesome and Neji just staring at what was unfolding in front of him, I thought nothing about it being wrong because this is what normally happens—but when she appeared in front of the Naruto to protect that weakling, I felt like getting off my motorcycle and going up to her and hugging her for not returning sooner.

When I saw that Naruto was about to punch her I was about to get up and intervene, but she kicked him in the stomach and sent him flying. I knew that when we were little she was taking self-defense classes after what happened when she was three, but I didn't know how strong she had become. Then Neji and Shikamaru were heading towards her and she did what she had done to Naruto and sent them flying also. So I decided to get up and head towards her. The expression that she had on lets me know that she remembers me. So the doubt about her not remembering me went out the window—figuratively speaking.

I was almost next to her when the loud mouth blonde hair—that she was with—called her. She did a flip and landed outside of the crowd that had gathered. I felt my eyes widen a little bit, but I composed myself before anyone noticed—yet it was too late because Sakura noticed. Before I could do anything she quickly left with Neji's cousin and the other two girls. Neji might be a part of my gang, but he still cares deeply for his cousin—Hinata. He doesn't want her to get into any fights or to intervene in his fight or any fights for that matter, but it's inevitable since our schools are rivals after all. After Naruto, Neji and Shikamaru had gotten up and the crowd dispersed, Naruto suggested that we go to the park where we met—the park where I met my cheery blossom for the first time. I agreed reluctantly, knowing that one of the annoying girls that are in our school will probably be there waiting for the guys and I to arrive. When we arrived, no one was there. Well except for some kids and mothers around and a few couples here and there.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something pink enter the gates of the park. I turned my attention to that direction and saw that Sakura, Hinata and the other two had entered. The guys noticing my staring at something faced that direction. I felt them stiffen when they saw Sakura. I—for a matter of fact—know that Neji likes the girl with brown hair, that Naruto likes Hinata and that Shikamaru likes the loud mouth blonde hair girl, but due to being rivals they can't tell them. They noticed us. I saw Sakura lift her head up high and walked past us. Hinata and the other two did the same. Before I could stop them—her—a girl called me. I turned around and saw a flash of red and before I knew something was grabbing my arm. I looked and saw one of the girls from our fan club. Her name—Karin—her position—president. Then three more girls appeared. Apparently they came with her. She began talking in her sickly sweet voice and the guys and I cringed.

She then faced Sakura and the others. She better not start anything with Sakura is what passed through my head. Then she told them to stay away from us. Then Sakura spoke. I'd forgotten how she had sounded.

"As if we'd be anywhere near them. If you haven't realized we're from North Kanoha High and they're not. So we're rivals—but wait you didn't realize that because instead of actually paying attention in school you spend too much time on your looks and guess what, that didn't even help. You—my rival—have no looks, brains or even brawns. So do us all a favor and leave us alone." She said in a defensive tone.

Karin stepped forward and was about to punch her, but a child's voice stopped her. I looked and saw a child about seven feet away from where Sakura and the other girls were standing. He looks like he's only three and could possibly be perceptive for a kid his age—just like Sakura, Sasu, Itachi and I. Sakura looked back at Karin and then headed to where the child was at.

"Ino, Hinata, Tenten lets go to my house instead. This place has become unsanitary. Not from the males, but the females. That is if they fall under that category."

Karin headed her way again, but Sakura just stuck her foot out at her and tripped her. The others were going after Hinata and the other two, but they copied her and tripped them. They reached the kid and began walking. I saw her taking his hand and began walking behind the girls behind the girls. I began walking after her. She felt me walking behind her and stopped walking. She gave the child to Hinata and handed her bag to the blonde. She turned around and bumped into my chest. Then she looked up at me.

"Sakura." I said breathing in her scent.

It took all of my willpower not to go back to the kid who allowed her to follow me where ever I went. Yet when I look at her green orbs I feel like going back to the talkative kid that spoke a lot. To the child that didn't care about showing emotion—but I know that if I do that now, then she'll—later on, maybe—will probably be put in danger because of me.

"Been awhile, Sasuke." she said impassively.

"So it really was you back there when you stopped Naruto from beating up that useless excuse for a man."

"You've changed." she said still looking at me in the eye.

"So have you."

"Not really. I'm only acting like this because I decided that I was going to be this way after I saw what happened back on the school grounds. You know the school that I go to."

"Why did you decide to go to that school." I said 'that' as if it was poison that I had drank and it only began taking effect just now.

"Because that's the school my mother went to. Plus, I didn't have a choice since mother had already transferred everything to that school."

"You could've thrown a tantrum like the one you threw eight years ago."

"I could've, but that would've gotten me nowhere."

With that said Karin came up and latched herself to me, again.

"Back off. He's mine." She said in a sickly sweet voice.

"Don't worry I got nothing to do with him anymore. So you can have him." When she said that it felt like someone ripped my heart out my body without using anesthetic on me and keeps on poking it with a really sharp object. Waiting for it to burst at any moment. "Goodbye, Sasu."

She used the nickname that mother had given me—probably for the last time. You never know. She headed to the gates—took one last glance at me and smiled, but this smile didn't reach her eyes—like they normally did. With that done she left the park with the girls. Karin latched unto my arm again, but this time I didn't let it go. I threw her on the floor and threatened that if she ever did it again she would have to face the consequences. With that she left with her friends following behind. When Sakura and the others were out of sight Naruto came up to me.

"Dude what was with that?"

"She's just an old friend. An old friend that doesn't want anything to do with me."

"Sucks."

"Shut up. Shikamaru."

"Sasuke if our enemies—like students from their school and others—find out that she's an old friend—"

"I know Neji. That's why when I get the chance I'll tell her what you told Hinata."

I bid them goodbye and headed home. When I arrived, I was welcomed with silence. Apparently mother still hasn't arrived from wherever she went and Itachi will probably arrive home late and father won't be back in like two months, so I have the house to myself. I went to the back yard and heard giggling. I looked around—trying to find the source of the giggling. Then I saw Sakura with the girls sitting under a cherry blossoms tree that they have there. I quickly went inside and went straight to my room. An hour later I heard mother calling my name. I went downstairs and into the kitchen. After she told me where she's been she asked about my day. I gave her the brief version. After I finished she asked if I talked to Sakura after what happened and I said no. With that said she let me go back to my room. I closed and locked the door—knowing fully well that once Itachi came and was filled in he would probably barge in here and begin teasing me. So I began my homework and ignored everything that was happening outside.

Sakura:

Once we left the park, I had expected them to bombard me with a million questions—yet they didn't. When we arrived to my house I brought Darren to my mother greeted aunty and Mikoto, introduced them to Hinata, Ino and Tenten and told mother that I'll tell her about my day later. I brought the girls upstairs to my room. I showed them around the house and they weren't surprised about the size. They said that theirs were about the same, but maybe a little bit smaller. We began our homework and finished in record time. After that I went with them to the backyard and sat on one of the swings on the swing set. After that we decided to sit under a cherry blossom tree that was there.

We began teasing each other and then it got to the serious parts.

"So Sakura. Was it hard saying that you want nothing to do with Sasuke at all?" Ino asked. Concern filled her eyes.

"Yep. I mean I might have only known him for maybe six years, but when I had to move it felt like as if I left a part of me here—with him."

"Honey" Tenten said "you've completely fallen for him."

"I didn't."

"Yes you have." Hinata backed Tenten up.

"Yeah well so have you guys." I said in attempt to get them off my back.

"We know." They said. Then we giggled again.

"Yeah, but with us being rivals and all we can't tell them. Let alone have anything to do with them."

"That's what sucks. I mean who started all of this rival stuff anyways."

They shrugged our shoulders and went inside. Hinata and the others called their parents and asked permission if they could sleep over. When they got their approval, I led them to the guest rooms. I told them that they could choose which ever one they wanted. They chose the three closest one to my room. After I told them that that will be their rooms in this house for as long as they want it to. They smiled and said forever. They began looking around their rooms and noticed that each of them have their private bathrooms. They told me that it was a good thing since we're girls. I agreed. When dinner rolled around it was all fun and games. Dad had kept his promise and arrived for dinner. Sasu came in five minutes after him. Mother reprimanded him for not calling and saying that he would probably arrive late. His excuse—he was with Itachi. Of course he would blame someone else instead of taking responsibility himself.

After dinner mother asked me how my day went. I gave her a brief version—with a few comments from Ino, Tenten and Hinata—and she looked pleased. When I finished she asked the girls and I if we knew where he lived. We shook our heads and she next door. We went to the window and she pointed to the house. I looked at his house. It was almost the same—maybe even a little bit bigger. After that the girls and I headed to the movie room. We put in Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearls Curse. We began watching it, but then we got bored and began talking. Hinata made a comment about it being hard not to associate with Sasuke and the others. I agreed. I asked Ino who the kid with the spiky ponytail was and she said that his name is Shikamaru. Now I know who each one of them is. After that we each fell asleep. We didn't know how, but we all suddenly felt exhausted after the day we had today.


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