Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > A Discordant Symphony

Watch Your Back

by alethia_hartwood 0 reviews

Chapter 1 - in which Sakura gets promoted and Kakashi shares a secret.

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Itachi,Naruto,Sakura,Sasuke - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2010-02-13 - Updated: 2010-02-13 - 1544 words

Insert standard disclaimer here; if you recognise it, it ain't mine. Naruto et. al. belong to Masashi Kishimoto.
A/N: Originally posted on, I'm adding it here to a)expand the amount of non-massacre ItaSaku's on here, and b)gain some new opinions on it :)

Chapter One: Watch Your Back

Sakura Haruno grinned as the cool rain pelted down on her, marvelling at the way it soothed her burning skin. It dripped off the end of her nose and ran in rivulets down her back as she completed another press-up, turning the ground she was hovering over into a spongy brown mess of sodden earth.

“Two-forty-nine...” The tip of her nose touched the mud,then she pushed herself back up again. “Two-fifty.” She breathed out the final number, having reached her target, and stood up in one fluid movement. Revelling at the painful-yet-satisfying burn in her muscles, she stretched her delicate fingertips towards the roiling bulkheads in the sky, then relaxed.

She squinted through the sheets of water that were now roaring down around her, glad that no-one had interrupted her training yet. It obviously wasn't a busy day in the hospital, because usually Tsunade required her assistance at least once before noon.

That, or no-one thought she'd be out in one of the open air training grounds in this weather. Either way.

The pink-haired jônin (who's normally bright locks were dark with water) began running chakra-less laps around the large training ground, refusing to stay still long enough to let the icy chill of her sodden clothes bother her. She kept her eyes to the floor as she tried to avoid the various obstacles trying to trip her up – which was probably why she didn't notice the shinobi, standing just inside the gate with his trademark senbon in mouth, until she'd already crashed into him.

“Genma?!” The brown haired man who had caught them both before they hit the floor steadied her and grinned.

“I realise I'm hot, but there's no need to throw yourself at me quite that vigorously, blossom.”

“Prat.” She swiped at him, glad to see him nonetheless.

“Tsunade-sama wants you in her office five minutes ago. Something big's going down, if the rumours are true.”

“Rumours?” Sakura had to shout to make herself heard over the increasingly heavy rainfall.

“Something about the captain of the ANBU.”

“The... seriously?” Her eyebrows shot up.

He shrugged. “That's what the grapevine says.”

“Thanks, Genma... I'd... better go..” She began walking past him to the gate, but his arm on her shoulder halted her for a second.

“Watch your back, petal.”

Smiling grimly, the kunoichi nodded. “Thanks. I will.”


Sakura stuck her head around Tsunade's door. “You wanted me, shishou?” The blonde looked tired, and some of her hair was coming out of its two plaits, but she was smiling.

“There's someone here who needs a word.” The Hokage beckoned her apprentice into the green-walled room – not that any of the paint was actually visible- signed treaties, wooden cabinets and piles of detritus on haphazardly-erected shelves took up most of the wall space.

“Oh! Of course, Tsunade-sama.” She turned to the other presence, lolling against the wall on the right, and bowed. “Uchiha-sama.”

The captain of the ANBU acknowledged her presence with a tilt of his head, and the movement caused his short dark hair to catch the light. It was so black it shone almost blue in the sunshine streaming in through the open window behind the Hokage's desk.

He was wearing the normal ANBU uniform, as far as she could see, without his mask on. The standard-issue clothes (and therefore the lack of a clan insignia upon them) reminded the pink-haired kunoichi of a conversation she'd heard some time ago... something about - a fall out with the head of the Uchiha clan, was it? And a refusal to join the secret police force...

Before she could make a fool out of herself by staring some more, Tsunade's voice snapped her back into reality. “Were you out training in that?” The elder woman gestured towards the rain drumming on her roof.

“Um, yes... I grabbed these clothes from my locker...” Sakura patted at her wet hair – held in place by three senbon - self-consciously.

The Hokage gave her a shrewd glance, but declined to pass comment. “Anyway, Sakura. Do you know that there is currently no medic-nin attached to the ANBU?”

The young woman blinked. “I-um-Yes..?”

“Well. The ANBU-” She gestured towards the man leaning between a cabinet and a pile of scrolls against the wall to her left - “have requested that there be one. It's a traditional role, generally held by the most able medic in the village.” Tsunade paused, and gestured vaguely towards her apprentice. “That would be you.”

Although on the outside Sakura was calmly nodding, on the inside she was in turmoil. Medic to the ANBU?!

Itachi stepped forward slightly. “You would have to pass a standard ANBU fitness test – but I am assured that you are more than capable of passing it.” He glanced at his nodding Hokage and continued, “If you accept, I will personally train you until you can pass the ANBU practical test; until that point you will have to remain at my side. ANBU conflicts are somewhat... different to your average jônin skirmish.”

Sakura slowly nodded, making her mind up on the spot. She'd been waiting months for an opportunity like this – she couldn't stay in the hospital all her life. “It's.. I'm honoured, truly; where do I sign?”

Smiling, her mentor pushed a scroll across the desk towards her. “Just here.”

Sakura scrawled her name in the red ink from the jar on Tsunade's desk and glanced up at the man who had become her direct superior about a second ago.

“What will my first assignment be?”

“I want you to move into the Uchiha compound so I can observe you at all times, for now. How long do you think it will take you to put your affairs in order?”

Stunned silence.

“Uh… about - until lunchtime t-tomorrow?” she stuttered.

“At noon, then. Pack everything you own - I will send some ANBU to help you move, should you need them.”

“That… won’t be necessary, sir.”

“Sakura’s been living out of boxes ever since she moved in.” Tsunade sounded cheerful and smug, grinning amicably at her apprentice’s look of embarrassment and the message she was trying to convey; For the love of god, don’t tell him that!

“Well, then. I shall repay you any money my orders have cheated you out of.”

“It’s okay, my rent’s due next week - I’ve only paid for a few more days than needed.”

He tilted his head towards her calculatingly. “Still. I would like to minimise the inconveniences I have caused.” The tall man turned to his Kage and bowed. “Is there anything else, Tsunade-sama?”

“No, Itachi, you're free to go.”

With a nod at his recently-acquired subordinate, the captain of the ANBU vanished in a (somewhat cliché) haze of smoke.

“Shishou? The compound?!”

The blonde grinned at her apprentice. “It’s tradition, you know - you’re family doesn’t have an estate, so technically he’s honour bound to provide you with a place to stay, since you are his personal medic now.”

After a moment of staring, slack mouthed and incredulous, at her Hokage, Sakura slumped, giving up. “Sasuke is going to murder me. Naruto too, for that matter… Oh gods, they’re going to have my head.”

“I’m sure Itachi can handle them, dear.”

She groaned. “I’m sure he can - that’s what I’m afraid of.”


Later that night, and Sakura was jokingly debating drowning herself.

The ancient boiler in her flat had conked out almost as soon as she had climbed into her shower, leaving her shivering and pale under the unremitting jet of icy water. The stubbornness within her (now cold) bones refused to get out of the white cubicle before she’d finished, however, so she‘d spent a good ten minutes turning blue as numb hands washed the days grime out of her skin and hair.

She’d put her radio on before undressing, wedging it in the doorway at the end of its lead, so an uncompromisingly upbeat pop song was ruining her sombre mood. (It had used to play CDs, too, before Naruto had somehow managed to jam it shut with a copy of the Crazy Frog’s Christmas album - a cacophony of unremittingly dire noise - defiling its innards.)

Whilst her apartment wasn’t exactly the best - okay, she’d been trying to find a different one for months now - it was still odd to be leaving it. Even if it had been a temporary solution to her desire to leave home, it was still hers. Well, the landlady’s. And so what if there was a funny smell in the kitchen, and the windows didn’t open, and the hot water lasted about thirty seconds, and the fuses blew about once every week...

…She was running out of reasons why she didn’t want to move depressingly fast.
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