Graveyards and Alcohol
"We are gathered here today to remember Mebuki Haruno a loving mother and wife."
A man continued to talk to his audience of one person who stood silently staring. That one person was Sakura Haruno who watched as her mother's coffin was lowered into the ground to join her father's.
The priest continued to drawl on about a woman who he had never even known. Sakura had stopped listening after the first sentence and was just standing there; no tears fell down her light toned cheeks, not even a dry sob escaped her lips. Sakura didn't say or do anything but stand and stare. Closing his book the man passed Sakura a mournful look that went unseen before leaving the woman to be alone. Empty green eyes stared unseeingly at the two headstones of her parents while her mind wandered back to the day she'd gotten the news of her mother.
Sakura had just gotten home from her last college class, it was mid-afternoon when someone knocked on the front door. At first Sakura thought her mother Mebuki might have forgotten her keys, but seeing as her mother's car was gone that meant Mebuki did in fact have her keys.
"Mom why– "
Whatever Sakura had been about to say died as she took in the sight of a rather sorrowful looking police officer.
Sakura's stomach knotted up tightly as the unexpected feeling of dread hit her. The last time a police officer had come to the house was when Sakura's father had been gunned down in the street by people who were never caught. To say that Sakura associated police with bad news then you could understand her sudden rise in concern.
"Can I help you sir?"
Holding the door open Sakura spoke her question with an almost whisper as her green eyes tried to gain the eye contact the officer was so adamant to avoid.
"Are you Ms. Sakura Haruno?"
Sakura inhaled shakily while nodding her head as the man continued his tone colored with regret.
"I regret to inform you that your mother has been involved in a fatal car accident. A truck struck the driver side door of your mother's car, both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. I give you my deepest condolences Ms. Haruno."
Finishing his report the officer looked up to finally meet Sakura's gaze only to find her gripping the door with enough force that he was positive it was all that kept her upright.
When Sakura failed move or speak the officer took it as a cue to leave to which he quickly vacated the area.rb in front of the house Sakura finally broke past silent shock. Dropping toward the hardwood floor Sakura was so over come with grief she failed to process the sting of her knees and hands. A harsh sob made its way from Sakura's lips as tears came unbidden to the surface.
Some where in her mind Sakura registered that she was no entirely alone; she was the last Haruno.
As the night had continued on Sakura rooted herself to the living room floor where she stayed till morning crying until there was nothing left but an empty shell. The silence of the house served as a constant remainder of her new predicament and that her mother wasn't ever coming home again.
'I can't continue to sit here hoping something will bring her back because it won't happen. I have to keep moving and I have to get out of here.'
Forcing green eyes around the living room Sakura let that thought sink in until a hot angry motivation hit her. Pushing to numb legs Sakura called her college and notified them that she wouldn't be at graduation. Asking for her diploma to be mailed as soon as possible the college willingly and mournfully agreed.
With that taken care of Sakura hung up and stood for a moment as planned what steps came next. For next following three days Sakura used her anger as a means to self motivate, but as the day of the funeral came whatever she'd been running on ran completely dry.
-Flash Back End-
As she continued to stand by her parents' headstone the grey sky darkened overhead warning of a storm on it's way. A stray wind picked up to play with shoulder length pink strands of hair. The harsh sting of soft tresses being turned into sharp blades went unnoticed by the female.
For the first day Sakura had cried until she couldn't do it any longer, then she had let angry fuel her actions, before finally she was left with nothing. Sakura had passed through the stages of grief and with nothing left now but hollowness she was forced into the new chapter of life.
Tilting her head back while dragging in air Sakura let her green eyes peer up into the dark sky above. Thunder rumbled distantly as rain slowly began its decent to lightly dampen her skin. Sakura stood for a while longer before passing her parents' graves one final parting look. Walking back to her car Sakura felt as prepared for her new life direction as she could be.
Sakura had decided that sticking around in her hometown was pointless with out her parents being there, and so she was trading cow farms for city lights. The eight hour drive to the inner city of Konoha was going to be the hardest part, but once there new doors would open.
During her anger phase Sakura had packed a bag of clothing and had called a motel in the city to make a reservation, she was leaving everything she could behind.
The home had long been paid off and Sakura had canceled all utilities, so there was nothing to worry about. Once she had herself well enough established in the city she planned to come back and sell everything within a few months.
Putting the car in drive Sakura began the long drive to the city still feeling numb.
This was it, the new life of Sakura Haruno. The Single 21 year old woman had graduated high school early to become the doctor she was now, and all Sakura had to show for it now was nothing but herself.
-8 Hours Later- Konoha City 9:15pm-
Sakura drove through the city navigating her way toward the motel she had a reservation for. Putting the car in park Sakura quickly climbed out and into the heavy rain before racing to the main office.
Sitting behind the office desk was a twiggy looking teenager with thick glasses who already held Sakura's room key.
"Hope it stops raining so you can enjoy the city's nice weather soon."
The guy spoke nonchalantly in an effort to spark conversation, but Sakura wasn't having it.
"I've had a rough day and could use a drink, know of any place near by?"
Sakura's curt tone had the man hurrying to think of local bars.
"Hm. Oh, I know it's called The Hole, but it's about a ten minute walk from here. If I were you I would drive though lady this city is not the nice countryside you're used to. The mob-"
"Listen bud I don't really care to hear whatever crap you're about to spew, okay? I've had a rough week and I don't need some motel clerk telling me how to live my life. I'm a big girl and can handle myself."
Annoyed green eyes narrowed as Sakura lashed out to kill the man's words. Turning sharply on her heel Sakura pocketed her room key and wallet before heading back out into the rain.
Reaching out to open her car door Sakura stopped herself and instead made sure to lock up before walking down the street. Two inch black heels clacked against the cement sidewalk as Sakura made her way toward The Hole. Passing a group of drunken college kids Sakura caught the tail end of one of the females commenting on her attire.
The funeral had been hours ago but Skaura still wore her heels and simple black dress that ended above her knees. Having added a long black jacket that ended mid-thigh for protection against the onslaught for rain Sakura looked relatively the same.
After a few more minutes of walking Sakura finally walked into The Hole and went straight to the bar and ordered a Jack on the rocks. Normally she would have had Coke with her drink but right now Sakura really just needed the burn of unaltered alcohol.
Opening a small hundred dollar tab Sakura planned to drink until the fact that she was utterly alone became a temporarily hazy thought.
So began the ritual of sipping auburn alcohol until her reality blurred into a grey void of emotional nothingness.
-11:30pm Konoha City-
Sakura finished her last drink and stood to leave using the counter as her anchor. Having slowed down a while ago to sober up some and walk back to the motel Sakura still felt slightly numb.
During her drinking antics her hair and clothes had dried, but as she walked outside the steady rain soaked her once more. Pink hair was turned a dark shade of pink and slicked to her head. As Sakura's heels clicked along the poorly lit sidewalk she took in the empty city streets. A shiver raced down her spine and Sakura wasn't sure if it was from the knowledge of being alone or the cold rain.
Staggering slightly Sakura admitted mentally that even though she might fail to walk a straight line she wasn't really that drunk. Doing a self observation Sakura noted her alertness was relatively normal and she could form logical thoughts. In fact her plan to quiet her raging thoughts with alcohol had worked; the memories of her parents were all but a quiet whisper now.
Keeping her hands shoved deep in coat pockets Sakura pressed on through the rain guided by the poor street lights overhead. Passing a darkened alleyway a hand shout forth from the shadows and gripped around Sakura's forearm.
A harsh jerk sideways had Sakura teetering off her already poor balance and into the shadowed alley. Before Sakura's mind could process it her head smacked against a brick wall making her eyes scrunch shut.
The doctor side of Sakura's conscious told her she might have a concussion, but it was quieted by her instincts screaming above the analysis. Adrenaline dumped through Sakura's system clearing some of her drunken haze.
"Look what we caught Arata it's a pink haired beauty."
Reopening green eyes Sakura instantly regretted the idea when she took in the sight of the man in front of her. The man who'd spoke so gleefully had red hair that looked almost black as the rain continued to pour down.
Sakura swallowed thickly as the man's hand traveled to hold her throat and stoke lovingly at her pulse point. The dark alley denied Sakura the ability to make out much, but from her captor's overly decorated sleeveless leather jacket she knew he belong to some biker group.
"This one looks like she might be fun to play with Nobu."
Sakura's green eyes snapped over Nobu's shoulder to find who she assumed to be as Arata. The other male had a gravity defying mohawk that appeared to be some dark color, possibly even purple. Arata moved closer to take a handful of pink hair into his hold before inhaling deeply, Sakura's stomach rolled.
Even though her body was a little sluggish from the alcohol Sakura used her training from self defense class in order to get free. Jerking her knee hard and high into Nobu's nether regions Sakura had the male crippling to the ground within seconds. As Nobu's hand fell from around her throat the hand in her hair tightened and Sakura was forced to look into Arata's murderous gaze. Taking aim for Arata's nose Sakura swung her fist out only for it to hit against his cheek bone. Arata staggered back enough for Sakura to rush toward the safety but was foiled once more by Nobu tripping her from his potion on the ground.
Throwing her arms out to break her fall against the harsh ground Sakura wasn't given time to recover. Stinging pain echoed from Sakura's scalp as she was lifted by her hair and thrown back against the wall.
Air rushed from Sakura's lungs as her back hit the brick wall before she was re-positioned against Arata's chest. The steel arm around her chest allowed for little to no wiggle room. Panic finally set in as Sakura tried with no avail to struggle free when Arata placed a sharp knife against her throat.
Being pinned against Arata Sakura was forced to use the man as a means of stability. Rain poured down on the scene making it hard for Sakura to distinguish if Arata's blade was drawing blood or not. In fact Arata's blade had created a deep enough cut above Sakura's collar bone that a small red river leaked through and under her dress.
Sakura's vision swam with a mix of adrenaline and alcohol that only heightened her current bad mood. Green eyes glared hatefully at Nobu who smiled at her with a certain sickness in his gaze.
"Look at you, quit the lively one. Thought you could pull one over us, huh? Yea right. I almost feel bad for having to mark up your pretty face by tripping you, but I think that's the least of your problems. You see pretty thing, you're going to be mine and Arata's entertainment for tonight. We have this boring meeting in about fifteen minutes with some rich controlling asshole who is supposedly the Yakuza leader for Konoha, so we need you to help pass the lonely time. Don't worry love you'll enjoy it."
Sakura felt a snarl lift to her features as she tried to rip free of Arata once more as Nobu drew closer.
'Okay Sakura don't panic, try to figure out an escape plan.'
As the thought moved though her consciousness Sakura did the exact opposite of not panic and started to thrash harder to get free. Black swam in the corners of Sakura's vision making her more aware of her amount of blood loss.
Nobu and Arta shared a look before Nobu's hand found Sakura's leg where her attempt at a snarl or scream became a whimper. Harsh calloused fingers hiked Sakura's dress up slightly before a sharp prick stung in her thigh.
Fire spread through Sakura's veins as the drug hit her system. The now light drizzling rain pattered against Sakura's hot skin making her clothes seem to tight and uncomfortable.
At first Sakura could only guess what the drug might have been, but a moment later her body went completely lax against Arata. The combined weakness of the drug and her body's response to blood loss had Sakura failing to notice Nobu's hand wandering further up her thigh.
Dragging in air steadily became more of an effort as Sakura sank into a world of darkness. As Sakura welcomed the bliss of unconsciousness the last thing she registered was the sound of a deep godlike voice that sounded somewhere between severely pissed off and annoyed.
"What the fuck are you doing?"
Nobu and Arata froze in their ministrations at the voice coming from the alley opening.
Releasing their prey in shock at having been caught the two been let Sakura free fall to the hard ground. The unmistakable sound of bone hitting cement filled the alleyway like a crack of silencing thunder.
Spinning around to face the much feared Yakuza leader of Konoha, Sasuke Uchiha, Arata and Nobu held expressions of mixed fear and suprise.
Sasuke studied the two pathetic men in front of him with a blank mask of boredom. The air in the alley way grew thicker with lethal annoyance with each passing moment making Arata and Nobu shift nervously on their feet.
Lazily placing his hands into suit pant pockets Sasuke stepped forward while taking in the faint tremors of fear racking the two men. Scanning the two men Sasuke searched for the cause of the earlier sound of bone hitting cement. Dark eyes dropped toward the ground behind the two shaking men and caught sight of his answer. Among the dark shadows of the alley Sasuke's eyes traced the form of a fallen body quickly before his attention returned to the task at hand.
Pulling one hand free of a pocket Sasuke snapped his fingers, the action creating an instantaneous response. Four of Sasuke's men had been standing at the mouth of the alley on guard, but at the snap of his fingers those men drew their guns.
Looking at nothing in particular Sauske spoke to Arata and Nobu with an air of business and detachment.
"I originally came to tell you two morons that your time to produce money for protection was up, and then I was going to let you two go. However, as I stand here my earlier generosity has warn off. You see, as a man of business I often times run into problems, or in your cases, rats. My resources have provided me with numerous accounts of you two willingly dealing with rival Yakuza families. I would say nice doing business with you guys, but I don't like rats running around."
With another snap of his fingers Sasuke watched with bored eyes as his four men grabbed Arata and Nobu and drug them further into the alley.
The sound of pleas went unheard by Sasuke as he looked down at the body on the ground.
"What do we do with that one?"
Sasuke never verbally replied to his adviser Kakashi and instead dropped into a crouch beside the body.
Upon closer inspection Sasuke made out the tell tale signs that the person was female. Pink hair turned dark from the rain glued itself against the woman's neck and cheeks. Placing his index and middle finger against the female's neck Sasuke ignored well known texture of blood and searched for a pulse he didn't expect to find. Onyx irises scanned over the female taking note of barely visible bruises in the shadowed alley.
Sauske felt red color his vision at the damage done to the woman before him. Using his other free hand to brush away the hair shielding most of her face from view Sasuke drank in her beauty.
Long pink lashes fanned against otherwise soft cream skin while soft plump lips sat partly open. Running a finger gently over the woman's bottom lip it accrued to Sasuke then that his curiosity was piked. Having lived in Konoha his entire life Sasuke had seen countless woman cross his path, but the one before him clawed at his need to know. Truth be told Sasuke wasn't one for relationships when it came to his line of work, but still he would like to see who this woman really was.
After searching for what felt like hours Sauske's fingers found the tell tale sign of a beating heart, even if it was rather faint.
"Kakashi get the SUV and give Tsunade a call, have her meet us at my flat."
Sasuke spoke his order without looking up knowing full well his bidding would be done.
As Kakashi's footsteps retreated Sasuke moved to gather the fallen woman into his arms and walked towards the waiting SUV. As the back door was opened for him Sasuke continued to hold the woman against him. In the better lighting dark irises could take better note of the bruises and cuts forming on her pale skin. A renewed wave a irritation to life and Sasuke found himself even happier those two rate were gone from the world.
Positioning the woman so that her head laid against his shoulder Sasuke finally took in the sight of blood clotting at a deep wound along her collar bone. Red even stained several areas of pink hair making for a stark contrast.
The SUV rolled to a stop before the back door opened and allowed Sasuke and his charge to exit. Carrying the light woman through the underground parking lot and toward the elevator Sasuke, his charge, and Kakashi rode up to the top floor.
The doors dinged open and Sasuke followed Kakashi into his living room. Tsunade, a middle aged busty blonde with hazel eyes, sat on the couch with her back to them talking away on the phone. Tsunade was a long time friend to Sasuke's family and therefore allowed him to have the most renowned doctor make personal house calls. Barking out orders to her leading doctor and personal assistant Tsunade knew full well Shizune would take care of things during her absence. Stabbing the End Call button her phone Tsunade spoke.
"This better be good Uchiha because as the manager of your hospital I cannot just leave my head doctor to try and run the place by herself." Tsunade slowly turned around on the couch to look at Sasuke and Kakashi only for her eyes to grow wide when taking in the unconscious female.
"What did you do?"
Hazel eyes narrowed dangerously as Tsunade's patience slipped. Sasuke rather unfazed by the older woman spoke with a cold emotionless that did well to calm Tsunade.
"Calm down, I found her like this after a few street rats dropped her. Tsunade I need you to do your job and help save her."
Standing from the couch Tsuande followed Sasuke into his bedroom where he gently deposited the hurt female from his arms. Once Tsunade had all her required material she made sure to kick out the two males so that her work could begin.
-2 hours later- 1:07am-
Kakashi had been sent home an hour ago leaving Sasuke to sit in a living room chair and watch the city outside his window. Growing up in Konoha Sasuke knew the city inside and out. During his growth Sasuke had meet hoards of people all of whom helped him claim his position as Yakuza leader. The Uchiha family had always run Konoha just like the Hyuga ran Otogakure and the Shukaku family controlled Sunagakure. Sure, there were others, but those there were the top three most powerful families in crime world. All other crime families either worked for one of the top three or played into the bigger scheme of things.
As Sasuke watched a plane disappear behind a cloud he loosened his black tie and undid the top button on his crimson dress shirt; his black jacket laid on the kitchen counter where his maid later on would come and clean it to get the blood stains out, as well as clean the rest of his penthouse. He had sat locked out of his own room for two hours waiting to hear what Tsunade had to say, it was starting to bother him how long this was taking. Suddenly his bedroom door opened funneling light into the dark penthouse.
"Geez Sasuke I know you like to try to be all mysterious and dark but for my sake at least stop sitting in the dark alone like a creep when I'm here. Come in here I need to tell you what she needs so I can go home and get a couple hours sleep before I have to sit through a meeting at the hospital."
Sasuke made his way to his bedroom to find Tsunade standing at the end of the bed looking at the girl who now lay under his bed covers. A calculating look was on Tsunade's face as she studied the sleeping woman.
"What can you tell me?"
Sasuke asked as he sat in a chair near the bed taking in the raise and fall of the woman's chest. There was a moment of silence before Tsunade spoke.
"Well it seems you showed up at the opportune time, she will be fine, but you are really going to have to keep an eye on her. Not only did they cut her neck causing her to lose a decent amount of blood but they also seemed to have injected her arm with something. I won't know what it was till I get back to the hospital and run the blood sample. There are also the small cuts on her hands and knees along with bruising on her neck. Oh, and there is the fact that she could very well have a concussion. You will need to make sure she has something to eat when she comes to and call me; I will be over as soon as I can to check on her. And one last thing you know enough about being banged up and stuff so I count on you to report to me when you call." As Tsunade finished her diagnosis she looked at Sasuke who was now fisting his hands to the point his knuckles where white.
"Sasuke she will be fine so relax. You don't even know this woman yet you act as though this news were about your mother. Don't tell big bad Sasuke has a crush-"
Tsunade stopped talking because the look Sasuke was giving her was basically telling her to shut up and leave, and so she did just that. As she left the room a thought crossed her mind that put a smile to her face.
'This could get interesting.'
Sasuke still had his hands balled into fists as he glared at the open door of his bedroom as he heard the elevator doors ding and close. Relaxing Sasuke let his mind absorb the news from Tsuande while studying the woman sleeping in his bed that he'd become unconsciously protective of.
Tsunade was right, he didn't know this woman so why did he respond the way he had? Sasuke lacked the answer question, but he knew he wanted to know the woman more. In order to accomplish that Sasuke knew he'd have to be careful, but he wasn't afraid, because when an Uchiha wanted something they found a way to make it work in their favor.