"Sakura are you ok?" Neji asks advancing on Sakura, causing the woman to blink rapidly bringing her out of her day dream state.
"Did I just imagine Neji kissing me? That wasn't real?" Sakura questions herself receiving a very loud and boisterous affirmation from her inner self, who had induced the little dream sequence of the very handsome man accepting her little jab and kissing her.
"Sakura." Neji finally demands snapping the befuddled medic out of her thoughts and instead onto the worried man not even a hairs breath away from her, just like in the little day dream.
"Oh uh, yeah we should go now." Sakura says scrambling for a way out even though her inner self is driving her on to get that kiss they both want so bad.
"NO I am not going to instigate this. That is his job." Sakura thinks to herself causing her inner self to go off on a rant about freedom and power of women and their rights, causing emerald eyes to roll in annoyance as she quickly turns from Neji and heads out the door of her apartment.
The couple exits the apartment complex the pinkette slightly ahead as they start down the bustling streets of Konoha, Sakura with a frown marring her usually happy features, while Neji remains stoic. The pinkette sighs in relief as they reach the Hokage's tower, her inner battle not going well.
The pinkette tended to argue with herself a lot when it came to her relationships with Neji, a lot more lately though as he inner self had been sending her rather provocative dreams of the man, and now with a random day dream right in front of him. It had seemed so real, but that was what her inner was good at, genjustsu and it's hard to guard against a technique that essentially you are performing on yourself, albeit unknowingly, but still.
Jade eyes glance over at the calm white eyed man now leading the way through the area, she was really out of it today, she hadn't even been aware of their entering into the tower. However that tended to happen a lot because the young cherry blossom had a rather short attention span, and zoned out often, which in most situations her inner would simply take control physically such as she just had and aid her in continuing the trek to the catacombs of the Hokage Tower.
For this reasons Sakura was overwhelmingly thankful, her inner did this in situations that could have been painfully embarrassing or even deadly. Sakura smiles as they reach the door, even in her hazy mind, the thought of Itachi and all he had left her lifted her spirits. Sakura swiftly goes through the process of opening the door.
When the pair finally enters the room again Sakura moves directly toward the far wall lined in books, which had caught her attention yesterday. The pinkette not noticing as the white eyed man disappears to the opposite side of the room.
Sakura runs her fingers along the spines of each book, paying close attention to the names of each. Her emerald eyes soaking in every crevice of the book shelf her gaze locking on a few medical texts that would be helpful, then moving on to the next book shelf her attention stolen by the trove of books before her.
The fuchsia haired kunoichi finally realizes her company is not anywhere near her and jade eyes scan the area, and she heads toward the direction of the Hyuuga's position on the opposite side of the room. His form hidden behind some book shelves, but the young woman can easily sense his chakra.
Sakura turns the corner to find Neji at a table reading a letter; several books stacked up in front of him, which Sakura can see were meant for him, by the titles. The pinkette watches Neji as he is immersed in the letter, not even noticing her.
A wry smile comes to the pinkette's plump lips as she remembers how Neji use to be in the academy always serious and engrossed in his training and studies, while she had been neither interested or absorbed in much except books. The books were usually only used to impress others with her factually knowledge. Sakura grinned as she realized how far each of them had come in the past ten years, how far they could go.
A rose hue appears on the kunoichi's cheeks as she realizes she could see herself marrying Neji and going far with him always by her side. Actually the pinkette loved the idea. Sakura blinks and shakes her head at the revelation that she loved the pale eyed man in front of her, and smiles making her presence known to him, causing Neji to blink and turn his piercing gaze toward her, jade clashing with pure white.
Deafening silence fills the jutsu covered room, as the couple holds the others gaze, not blinking. The twenty year old man relents first a genuine full out smile splashing across his usually passive features, sending butterflies through the woman the look is directed at.
"So you found the letter." Sakura finally breaks the silence letting out a breath she hadn't known she had been holding. Emerald eyes still not breaking contact with the pearl eyes she was enraptured with moments ago. Neji nods in affirmation still not willing to break the silence, as he recognizes the look the bubble gum haired nineteen year old woman was sending his way.
Sakura grins as she realizes that the look she is giving the Hyuuga must be similar to 'the look' he gives her, that never cease to send stampedes of buffalo through her stomach, and a lovely flush of pink to envelope her face. Neji stands up folding the letter and carefully placing it on the table as though it was the most delicate thing in the world.
The man advances on the pinkette, this time the kunoichi smiles knowingly, she didn't need to wish this time. Sakura's inner was having a little happy dance party that ends abruptly as the handsome man came within a foot of Sakura and stops leaving a tension filled foot of space between them. Their eyes locked on each other's, having a silent conversation as they had on many other occasions, just never quite this serious.
"Sakura I know your parents are gone or I would do this differently, but I wish to court you properly. As you know the Hyuuga clan has strict rules on the act of courting, so it will lead to marriage if you agree, but I would ask that you accept my proposal and be my girlfriend." Neji speaks a wisp of a smile gracing his strong jaw, as emerald eyes widen.
Sakura bites her lip to keep from squealing, she'd been hanging around Ino far too much, and nods vigorously, finally letting out a small murmur of acknowledgment. Sakura trying to refrain from being over exuberant in her answer, but failing miserably as Neji smirks at her and she lets a small round of giggles escape as she tackles the man in a hug.
The pinkette jerks away smiling brightly at Neji and says, "Do you have any idea how long I have been waiting for you to ask me that?!"
"About as long as I have wanted to ask you? Almost five years on my end, just never thought you were ready for something this serious." Neji chuckles as Sakura's eyes turn into dinner plates, her pink lips parting, letting a gasp escape.
"WAIT you have liked me for five years?"
"No I knew I was going to marry you five years ago, I just didn't know when."
Sakura turns rosy as she comprehends what the man in front of her just said and she grins up at Neji and says, "Well it's not going to take much longer now is it?" The pinkette cutely tilts her head as she looks into the pale eyes of the Hyuuga prodigy, who smirks and catches her pink lips with his in a sweet chaste kiss.
"Come on we still have stuff to go through." Neji quips as he pulls away from the rosy medic, who simply nods in acknowledgment and begins to pull away and head back the direction she had come. Everything completely different from only a mere five minutes ago, as a smile remains glued to her lips, however the happiness falters slightly with the words Neji speaks next.
"Sakura wait, Itachi said he left you his eyes in the letter he left me, is that true?"
Sakura turns a sad smile replacing her exuberance, as she answers, "yes, Lady Tsunade has them safely locked up for now, until I decide what to do with them."
Neji's pearl eyes soften as he watches conflicted emotions race across his cherry blossoms still rosy cheeks, "What options do you have?"
Sakura sighs heavily as the buoyant atmosphere quickly disappears and darkens as the pinkette make her way back toward her Hyuuga boyfriend and gracefully sits down in a chair, as the Hyuuga takes his previous seat.
"I have many options. I can destroy them, which of course I could never bring myself to do. I can study them to see if I can emulate the process of the Sharingan without the eyes, but I have study them enough while Itachi was alive to know that is impossible and not worth the risk it could pose to whoever tests any theory gleaned from the study. Then I could always place them in another person that I trust will use them well, but I would not put the burden of the Sharingan on anyone I trust, it is a powerful tool for good, but it produces greed and lust and brings death and destruction to the user." Sakura says pausing to catch herself as she softly continues, Neji watching her intently.
"I mean look at the Uchiha clan, they were a mess and now only Sasuke is left and it still takes its toll on him. He is half blind now, and neither I nor Lady Tsunade can return his Sharingan to its original state because of his poor use of it. Itachi at least knew his limits and refrained, and because of that I was able to restore his eyes completely. I can't believe Itachi was such a fool to fight his brother with borrowed eyes; he would have easily defeated Sasuke with little force if he had not had his eyes removed not even a week prior to his fight. The audacity of the man, I can't believe what he wants me to do." Sakura trails of shakily her jade orbs misting over with angry tears.
"What did Itachi want you to do with his eyes Sakura?" Neji asks after a few minutes of silence, his eyes clouded with worry as he watches a frightened look pass over the kunoichi's face, he had rarely seen her scared, and only ever when it was truly terrifying.
"He wanted me to take his eyes and use them myself. He wanted me to replace my eyes with his; he wanted to make sure they continued to protect the Leaf village. He hinted at it when he was alive, and I always laughed thinking he was joking around, but his letter to me confirmed what I had been thinking since I found out he left me his eyes." Sakura speaks her features torn between complete agony and anger. Neji remains silent, the only tell of his surprise is the tightening of his jaw.
Emerald eyes scan the man in front of her gaging his reaction as she continues speaking her eyes hardening as she recites her thoughts from the past months, recalling many memories of Itachi.
"Itachi would always joke that he wished I could possess the Sharingan but I had too compassionate and emotion filled eyes to ever and I quote 'tarnish' them. I never thought much of it till now, because a few months ago he asked me to analyze the gene sequences that control the Sharingan and see if I could extract it. He never said why he wanted me to do it, but I did find a way to do it. I can extract the gene and incorporate it into someone else's DNA, its simple enough. The only catch is that to insert a new unknown gene into a person, their body can react badly, especially if they are a medic whose immune system is built to resist foreign invaders, but with a blood line limit such as this, blood is necessary from a family member. Which complicates things." Sakura speaks exasperates throwing her hands above her head, Neji intently listening, allowing the pinkette to spill her thoughts.
"I mean it would be best if it was the same blood type, but that's impossible since I'm O and Itachi is AB, but if it only requires a capable medic to keep the cells from attacking each other and killing the patient, so not the biggest issue. It's just I would need minimum of two pints of blood to make this work and while I'm sure Tsunade took some blood from Itachi I doubt it's not near enough to make this procedure work. It would be best to do almost a total blood transfusion, but five pints would do the job nicely too, ahhhhhh why did Itachi even want me to do this." Sakura finishes her head hitting the table top, groaning.
"Sakura, there is an Uchiha in the village the only one left actually. Also if you don't want to do this you don't have to."
"Well what do you think I should do?" Sakura asks wide jade eyes pinned to the pale eyed man who chuckles at the comical position of the cherry blossom. Pink locks strung across a pale face and shoulders, her lips pressed flat as Sakura bites the inside of her cheek, her stunning green orbs shining brightly.
"Sakura this is your decision, I will support you in whatever you decide. There are pros and cons to both and I already know you have gone through them."
"Yes I have gone through every angle of this and that is why it does involve you. Were you serious earlier about wanting to marry me eventually?" Sakura questions straightening her back her eyes hardening.
"Well then it does involve you, because if I do this and it is successful, then I will possess a blood line limit, which will be able to be passed on to future generations. That means if we were to have kids, they could potentially have the Sharingan instead of the Byakugan, now that could cause some issues, don't you think. I could just see it, a dark haired Hyuuga boy running around with blood red eyes." Sakura quips sarcastically her eyes locked with pupils white a silence descending on the couple as they simply stare at one another.
"Hn, I'm glad you don't think our son will have pink hair, now that would be frightening." Neji replies a grin marring his usually stoic features, causing a small smile to spread across his fair skinned companions face.
"Neji I'm serious." Sakura says half-heartedly, because the thought of their children melts the kunoichi to the very core. Sakura smiles as a deafening silence again collapse upon the pair, but is broken as Sakura's inner blurts out the thoughts on their kids, causing Sakura to break into a full blown smile, forgetting her question as she chuckles to herself, her emerald orbs leaving Neji as she leans back in her seat.
"I'm going to take a moment and be very conceited and say if we ever have kids they are going to be the most adorable children to grace the land of fire." Sakura speaks repeating the thoughts of her inner self to a t earning a real laugh from the powerful man as he stands up and moves to stand in front of Sakura. Neji offers her his hand, which she gladly takes and he easily pulls her to her feet their chest less than an inch apart.
"Indeed they will." Neji answers before softly brushing his lips across Sakura's, causing jade eyes to flutter closed as he slowly deepens the kiss, tenderly intertwining their hands. As the pair pulls apart Neji again speaks, "Sakura, whatever you decide I will support you, but just take time and think about it. So how about we go out to the training grounds, get your mind off of all of this for a while. Tenten said a bunch of the rookies would be out there today."
The young kunoichi smiles fondly up at the man and nods as she answers, "Sounds great. It's a good thing I have you to make quick concise decisions, because that's one thing I am not good at. I feel like Itachi has taken it upon himself to reveal every flaw I have, it's very irritating."
"Yes I know, but once you know that it's a flaw, you can fix it. You have no problem making decisions in the hospital or on missions, just in everyday life, so it's not terribly life threatening." Neji chuckles as he leads his cherry blossom toward the door, which she quickly seals up, and the pair makes their way hand and hand through the Hokage tower and out into the streets of Konoha.
"Yeah, I know doesn't mean I have to like it." Sakura answers sassily as the couple leisurely treks across the village, receiving many surprised as well as overjoyed looks along the way, as their hands remain wrapped around each others.
"Ok so maybe I'm a bit naïve or blinded sometimes to, because I feel like everyone around us knew we were going to get together long before we did. I could have sworn those women were just passing around winnings from a bet about us." Sakura says quietly so only Neji can hear, her keen eyes scanning the crowds of bustling people many of whom are focused on the couple.
"They did, we may share a flaw of not being able to accept what's right in front of us. I'm sure our sensei's have a bet going as well." Neji replies not showing any reaction to the onlookers, as Sakura sends him a surprised look.
"Well it did take me like two years to admit to myself that I actually liked you and that was partially due to Itachi's prodding me about it. Okay this is ridiculous, I have had enough of the gawking civilians can we hurry?" Sakura requests tilting her head as she looks up pouting toward the handsome Hyuuga, who rolls his eyes, but quickly steers them to a small alley way and they immediately take to the roof tops, unwillingly releasing each other's hands so as to move faster.
The two ninja quickly reach the training grounds to find all of the rookies along with team Gai, and all the sensei's, and even Sasuke and his three companions, in the training area. Sakura looks pointedly at Neji, before dropping from the tree she was hidden in, catching everyone's attention, several spars ceasing due to the pairs entrance.
Neji drops down beside Sakura not a second later, their shoulders brushing slightly, as they receive several greetings from their friends. The girls being rather pushy and loud as they notice the proximity the couple stays in when they reach the group of people at the center of the large training ground.
"Hey pig, no need to be so loud, all Konoha can already hear you." Sakura says grinning trying to shut her loud mouthed friend up,
"Whatever, so what's new with you, forehead girl?" Ino questions raising an eyebrow her eyes shifting between Sakura and Neji suspiciously, along with the other girls.
Sakura tilts her head shifting her position to predatory as she steps slightly closer to Neji, causing their hands to brush together, the pinkette grinning like a chasseur cat as she does so, earning a wide eyed look from the kunochi's in front of her. "Oh you know everything and nothing at the same time." Sakura finally answers, earning a delighted squeal and peals of laughter from the girls.
Sakura had always promised Ino, Tenten, and Hinata she would tell them first if she were ever in a relationship. So the girls had come up with a code phrase if they were in a crowded area to be the answer. The girls had been asking Sakura for years now "what's new" and it had always been a reply of "nothing much" until today. The girls had received the sought after reply of "everything and nothing."
The three girls mob Sakura and Neji talking a mile a minute, the Hyuuga staying as stoic as ever, as Sakura smiles talking just as fast. Everyone else is left confused in the background as the group of kunoichi's excitement overtakes them that is until a very snobbish voice breaks through the chorus of high pitch voices.
"What is this some kind of ugly girl ritual to attract attention?" a smug red head says from the edge of the group to the girls left, earning three angry glares, while the pinkette just smiles brightly.
"Oh of course not, why would any of us need attention? We simply bask in the glow of the attention from the men here all the time, but that is really beside the point. Maybe this rude and snobbish attitude stems from an insecurity you harbor. I think you really want to fight me but you're too scared to actually do it, because you know you'll lose. So please for everyone's benefit cut the crap and challenge me." Sakura drawls sarcastically her emerald orbs trained on startled ruby ones, as the people around the two slowly move back leaving the two women in the middle of the field facing each other silent as the grave.
Sakura rolls her eyes as she receives no reply and laughs as she speaks, "Ok if you want I'll fight you blind folded and I won't use my chakra. How's that sound?" This response earns a hard glare from the red head and a chuckle from Juugo who actually smiles at the bubble gum haired medic approvingly.
"I don't need pity; I'll fight you with your sight and chakra." Karin finally says confidently, her eyes hardening, still a flash of fear sweeps across her features, eliciting a cat like smile from Sakura as she shifts back into a defensive position, Karin following suit. The audience staying completely silent as the women face off.
"Hmmm well then I'll fight you like I would fight anyone else here." Sakura concedes, earning a few whispers from the sidelines.
Karin glares as she hears the whispers of her coming defeat, fear vanishing from her features as she swiftly charges the pinkette. This earns the red head a smile from Sakura and several kunai, which Karin easily dodges, but Sakura soon disappears, leaving Karin standing defensively in the clearing.
Sakura reappears behind Karin, bringing a kunai across her throat ripping through the red heads clone easily and aiming several kunai at the women hiding in the trees to her right hitting her in the shoulder and drawing Karin back to the middle of the grounds.
"Well first off, you need to make your movements fluid and not so choppy, it's harder to see jutsu if it happens in a simply movement instead of several. Also your defense is weak and your genjustsu suck. You might want to work on it." Sakura speaks as she earns an angry hiss from Karin who wrips the kunai out of her shoulder and charges again, the pinkette smiles and appears beside her grabbing the collar of the woman's shirt and slamming her into the ground, creating a small crater.
"You know you don't stand a chance and I don't usually like to embarrass people so just stop for a second and listen to what I have to say." Sakura whispers so only Karin can hear tilting her head slightly toward the crowd of people, her fuchsia locks blowing softly around her shoulders.
"fine." Is the curt reply Sakura receives, but it is enough for her as she releases her tight grip on the woman's throat moving to sit Indian style across from her instead.
"Good, now I have cast a genjustsu, so they won't see or hear us. Don't look surprised, remember I told you to be fluid, when I turned to look at that lot over there I cast it without anyone knowing, of course the fact that in the jutsu your still standing might give me up but whatever." Sakura says good naturedly grinning at the befuddled look on the woman in front of her.
"Why are you doing this?" Karin asks blinking shocked at the pinkettes change in mood.
"Oh you know bored and stuff but mostly to help you out. Just don't ask and I'll explain." Sakura says receiving an affirmative from the woman and continuing on, "Ok so you need to get over Sasuke, he is not good for you, I mean you could be training or shopping, heck even scoping out other guys. I mean you have a perfectly good looking, far more interesting man right beside you with stunning purple eyes, but that is not what I want to focus on just a thought though. I actually need your help." Sakura finishes getting a very surprised reaction from the woman across from her.
Pink hair flies around petite shoulders as the wind picks up, the both kunoichi sitting in the crater cross legged talking. Going unnoticed by the onlookers, Sakura's jutsu doing its job nicely as the girls talk for a few more minutes before standing to their feet.
"So you're in?" Sakura asks again dusting herself off as she moves about ten feet back from the pale faced red eyed woman, who simply nods affirmatively. The pink haired medic grins as she speaks again, "ok then it's settled, but you do know how this little fight has to end right?"
Karin cringes as she nods removing her glasses and shifting into a defensive position as the pinkette grins devilishly as she says, "don't worry I'll heal you afterwards" Sakura then proceeds to charge the red head quicker than the woman could blink and punches her with a chakra laden fist, sending Karin rocketing through the forest.
Sakura hides a smile as her inner self quips that "she had deserved that" before turning to her friends. Many of whom are laughing or rolling their eyes at the medic nins antics.
"If someone will retrieve her I'll heal her." Sakura says grinning as Juugo takes off to retrieve Karin, causing Sakura to smile genuinely at the man as she makes her way toward Neji, who raises an eyebrow in question, which Sakura simply shakes her head to silently say she would explain later. Sakura however smiles brightly at her friends and just knows she is going to enjoy the coming week immensely.
So ummmm, what you think? Kinda late, but hopefully I'll get the next chapter out this month. There will most likely only be max four chapters more, but probably two or three is what I am aiming at, if not well more love to share! Please REVIEW and I will edit this chapter and get the next one out as soon as I can!