• Disclaimer: If I owned the Naruto series they would show more flashbacks of the Fourth Hokage like they do in the Manga!..The great Yellow Flash. The Father of Naruto. The babe of all babes..Well at least in his day. Now he's got himself some competition...Kakashi...Sasuke..Itachi..and some rare moments even Naruto...there's Neji too..ahhh..so many babes in one generation..Priceless! Enjoy!!

    Behind the Smile

    Chapter 1: Without that Second Heart.




    Woke up today thinking of you…
    Another night and I made my way through
    So many dreams still left in my mind…
    But they can never come true…
    I press rewind and remember when
    I close my eyes and I’m with you again…
    But in the end I can still feel the pain...

    Walked through the park, in the evening air…
    I heard a voice and I thought you were there
    I run away but I just can’t escape
    Memories of you everywhere…
    They say that time will dry the tears
    But true love burns for a thousand years
    Give my tomorrows for one yesterday
    Just to know that I could have you here
    When will this river of tears stop falling
    Where can I run so I won’t feel alone
    Can’t walk away when the pain keeps calling
    I’ve just got to take it from here on my own
    But it’s so hard to let go

    But that’s the way it has to be,
    until I get over you…

    Emerald eyes fluttered open, casting view to the intriguing blue sky above, its span decorated with slowly moving clouds, its sun shining with fiery elegance. Though despite the bright rays of light from this burning star, the emerald orbs held no light, seemingly having been dulled for quite some time. Her eyes mirrored the image of soft petals from a nearby tree, carried away by the same wind that had awoken her from her slumber. She brought up her hand, letting the appendage to her body rest upon her forehead, an act to block the sun's glare.

    Haruno Sakura made no other movement, her body both placid and un-motivated from where she lay in the very green luscious grass. The slight breeze continued, slightly bringing her clothing and hair to life and they danced along with it. Though just as soon as the breeze had come, it had left, leaving no movement nor sound but the glistening stream nearby. It was truly a serene location for her, removed from the bustling crowds and everyday noises that were provided deeper within the village.

    It was also the nearest place to her training area with Tsunade Shishou, whom she had been training under for quite some time now With her new abilities and strengths as not only a specialized medical kunoichi, but as a highly trained combatant, she truly wasn't the same naive girl; she had been abandoned, left behind.


    The large trees amidst the large forest clearing towered high into the sky, forcing the sun's rays to slightly peak through their array of leaves. The sound of various birds chirping harmoniously signaled the early time of day. The slight dampness to the ground signaled the recent nights drizzle, along with the refreshing smell of the pine and flowers, more fragrantful.

    Her emerald eyes calmly, yet eagerly watched her sensei as she walked out before her.

    “Being a medical ninja requires you to have great skill in the practice, as well as endurance. In your early days you weren't able to get that training. That might have even been in your better fortune, though, Sakura. Because today, we are going to skip all that. If you are ready, you may be able to try and master my level of healing. All in this day."

    She then motioned for her student to toss her a kunai; Sakura immediately reached into her weapons pouch, and from an expert throw to an expert catch, the kunai swiftly made its way into the Hokage's hand. Kunai at hand, the Tsunade dragged the weapon along her forearm, letting it tear deeply into her skin. The young pink-haired woman said nothing, but her eyes clearly showed her surprise and curiousness as what her sensei was doing.

    As she finished the blood has already started dripping to the ground before her.

    Without a word, Tsunade moved her free hand over her torn forearm, upon level a bright blue glow emanating from her splayed out palm. It started slowly at first, the healing of the wound, but after a mere moment of seconds, the wound started to heal perfectly at a very rapid pace, flawless all the more. Only seconds passed. The long gash that had once been disappeared as if it never was; the only evidence to the wound having been there the large, now dried, amount of blood that still remained.

    Not including the fact that a wound of that caliber would take days to heal on its own, with the help of very skilled medical ninja's it would still take up to an hour to fully close the wound, no scars attached.

    But behind the slight prize was envy, determination. She would learn how to do that.

    “Now you try.”

    "I-I don't even know the basics-"

    "No need. . .” She motioned for Sakura to come closer. "Focus your chakra into your hands," As the bright glow emanated from the young kunoichi's hands, Tsunade put up a hand in signal. "Hold your chakra there."

    As a bright glow continued to emanate from Sakura's hands, Tsunade brought up her free hand, and using a single finger, she lightly touched the chakra. A minuscule burn appeared before she retreated her hand.

    "See that? The chakra you have right now is harmful to others, and depending how much you put into it, it can be lethal. This is the point where you change that flow."

    Sakura let out a small breath, focusing her gaze on that of her hands, her demeanor concentrated.

    "It’s all about your view of it, and what you want your chakra to do. A medical ninja, more so than any other type of ninja, should be able to bend their chakra to their will."

    It was then that Sakura's hands emanated a glow reminiscent to that of her mentor's.

    “Concentrate on that feeling...you wish to heal with this chakra, not battle.”

    The light emanating from Sakura’s hand grew brighter.

    Using the same finger which had been burned, Tsunade lightly touched the chakra mass. She held it there for a small moment, letting the burn on her finger fully fade away.

    "Good. Now, you know how to heal. Now comes the level of my healing. We all have chakra points in various points of our body, and that excess chakra that comes out of our bodies, say for attack, or healing, most medical shin obi use the direct chakra supply next to their points. If you wish to heal on a greater scale, you must take the chakra from right in your core, and transfer it the point in which you wish it to come out. It requires great chakra control, which is why I know you are fully capable."

    Sakura looked away from Tsunade, focusing on her hands once again. She slightly tiled her head upwards, concentration etched in her features. A bright glow emanated from her hands once again, though seemingly even brighter than her last. As Sakura continued to hold this healing sensation, Tsunade used her kunai to cut a slash down her finger before placing in the glowing light. Right upon contact it was healed.

    Kakashi, you did a good job with this one as well.

    "You're doing well, Sakura."Her tone was gentle, proud. Though there almost seemed to be a double meaning behind her words, the slight proud, yet solemn look in her eyes confirmed that. Just as soon as that flicker had come, it had gone."With time, or even just practice in itself, you can master this, not have to think about where your chakra comes from in your body. The healing potency of your chakra can be even greater, and you can learn to do it for much longer. Remember though, you can reverse the flow of your chakra, just one miniscule change and it become life saving, or life threatening...It's all about manipulating your chakra, don't forget."

    Tsunade almost looked unsure as she contemplated her words. But then a confident, convinced expression took place.

    "There's one more technique of mine...I beleive you need to learn."

    End Flashback

    She had learned a lot of things from her mentor and Hokage. The medical field had been the last thing they covered in her training. That was almost a year ago. During the time in between Tsunade had just been helping her hone her skills, teaching her a few things here and there. Because of Tsunade, she had become the person she was today. She had left behind the naive, weak girl from the past. The girl, who let things get to her easily, wasn't strong enough to put things behind her. There was no way she would ever be like that again.

    “Saaaaaakuura-chan!” A voice yelled, with a little ring the “chan” part.

    She turned her head to the side, looking on at the figure coming towards her, his voice clearly recognized. As he grew closer she rose into a sitting position, almost lazily.

    It was then that her whole demeanor seemed to change. A cheerful look adorned her face, her emerald eyes gained some light, a small smile took her lips. Though, it was almost feigned, fake. A preparation for the one coming to her.


    She waved, putting on a full smile as she lifted herself off the ground.

    His face was beaming as he jogged up to her, his cerulean eyes glowing .As he made his way in front of her, it was noticeable the complete difference in height as he towered above her; his once childish looks were now refined as he looked much more mature..His jawbone taught, his stance, everything about him different-she couldn't deny the good looks. His locks of spiky blonde hair were longer, almost falling down to the sides of his face, doing nothing to balance out the bright intensity of his cerulean eyes. His voice was a little deeper as well.

    “Hey Naruto-kun” She had briefly contemplated the use of the suffix, but seemed unbothered to use it. Naruto’s cerulean orbs lit up in a humorous way.

    “Oh Sakura-chan, you’re finally in love with me? Why couldn't you have told me a few years ago?" He let out a small grin before raising his arms over behind his head, slight leaning back; his trademark stance.“How ‘bout we train today?”

    Sakura cocked her eyebrows as she looked at Naruto in a curious way. She had to admit, she already knew Naruto was way above her level, at least when it came to fighting. That became evident after he finally came back to Konoha, a few months ago after having been gone for nearly two years. She remembered the day perfectly. She had admired him so much, coming to terms with the fact that he had grown up quite a bit, though, even as she was a bit disappointed when she had found out, now, she was kind of glad he still had that boyish demeanor, or more to say, just perky cheerfulness.

    She was even more happy at how close they had gotten over the years.

    Though, she always wondered if maybe nowadays he just used that cheerful, oblivious demeanor as a cover up, maybe to get his opponents to underestimate him. Though it was hardly difficult to do so. He was incredibly strong, from the missions she had been on with him, she pretty much was hardly needed, even as a medical ninja.

    "Why don't you train with Neji?"

    "Eh..I don't know about that..." His cerulean eyes looked up to the sky as he drawled in thought. "The last time we trained.. I..guess I said some things I shouldn't have..aaaand.."

    "Aaah what did you do now Naruto?" Sakura asked expectantly, as if things like this weren't anything new. Though she found herself trying to contain a small smile. It was a bit ironic that she was ready to scold an eighteen-year old ninja who towered above her; in both height and skill.

    As soon as she said this, Naruto put up his hands in defense.

    "Hey it was only a joke! But you know Neji, if he doesn't regularly have a stick up his butt he's got a sharp kunai lodged real deep!...Come to think of it..it's probably Tenten's-"


    "You know it's true Sakura-chan! I know you've seen it too!...I juuust kinda made it open I guess. He got emotional..and-"

    "Naruto!" Sakura tried to reprimand again, though it was hard to hold in a laugh.

    "Hey hey never mind then! To make a story short...iiiit's probably not the best idea for me to go anywhere near him." He grinned, scratching his head in embarrassment.

    "You’re so silly Naruto."

    He grinned even more, letting his hands reach into the sky above him before clasping them together and pulling, as if stretching. He let out a small grunt in finality to the end of his stretching, deep cerulean transitioned to emerald.

    "So, train with me?"

    Sakura smiled. "Oh, so now I'm only good enough to give you a warm up?"

    Naruto snickered. "We'll have to see!"

    "Um.." Sakura purposely took long to drawl in thought.

    “Come on Sakura-chan, pleeeeaaase!” He gave his best puppy dog look. With his amazing speed he had dropped down to one knee, his hands clasped together. His huge cerulean eyes begged into hers. Even with his older self the look was un-refusable. That puffing lip certainly did the job.

    “Ah! To adorable to refuse!” Sakura smiled as she grabbed each side of his puppy-dog face before giving it a little squeeze. Naruto immediately pulled away, letting out a small painful laugh as he did so. His own hands shot up to rub the momentary soreness out of his cheeks.

    He looked to see Sakura jog away towards their destination. She paused mid-way, turning a head over her shoulder.

    “But don't go easy on me!" She then continued jogging.

    A huge smile graced his lips as he watched her jog away. Though there was a different type of light adorning his eyes. That of proudness, awness. Even a small hint of sadness.

    It had been almost four years since Uchiha Sasuke had abandoned Konoha village, consumed by his heart's dark desire for true, relentless power. Since then there had been no word on his location, or of anything to do with him. It was unknown if he had finally managed to kill Uchiha Itachi, the man, his brother, who had wiped out the entire Uchiha clan.

    The thought of Sasuke, his best if not former friend, his brother brought into light the memories. His failing in bringing him back to Konoha, the deeds of a promise he had made not only with himself, but with Sakura. Somehow, he had gotten over it. He had comes to terms with the fact that resuming life as it was, life with Team Seven, was impossible. If they were to meet again, it would happen, but no element of what was once had would be regained. There was no guarantee that their confrontation would be a civil one, that wounds wouldn't not be reopened. Not with the memories and scars that plagued their minds. Plagued Sakura.

    Since that day she had been found on the bench, the day that he found her lying on the cold concrete, the outlines of tears staining her pale complexion, he knew it had marked the dawn of a new Haruno Sakura. She had lost everything she once had. She had lost, what to her, was the only meaning, the only reason for her to keep going. Her cheerfulness, that always flickering lightness shining in her deep emerald gaze. She had completely changed, and before where he could read her, easily through her actions, he could read nothing. Her smile would always brighten up his day; fill him with this giddiness he couldn’t describe. They were gone. Now, her smiles were fake, that light in her eyes fake. He could easily see the dullness, see the muscles in her face cringing every time she forced a smile. Though, she fooled everyone, not a single person, friend nor foe, was able to see past this masquerade. All but him.

    She was trying her hardest not to be the girl she was before. And in its ways, that was both good, and bad. She was forgetting who she truly was.

    Though, slightly, just slightly, miniscule amounts at a time, he could see it. He could see that long lost light in her eyes fighting to become victorious over the darkness that plagued her soul. The moments where her eyes would glaze over, tale tale signs that she was reliving the past, were less frequent. She was improving so much. And he was so proud of her.

    "Your doing so good, Sakura-chan.."

    It was why he still acted childish and put on the best clown act he could. It was why he always tried to find things to do with her, not just for himself, but to keep her occupied, remind her that she could still live, live great, be happy, and learn to live with the memories. Move on.

    If he could get a smile, a true smile out of her any one time, he had accomplished his goal for the day.

    The very determined friend let out one big breath before letting a bigger grin travel to his face. With that, he ran after his dear friend, eagerly waiting the sparring that would take place.


    It still looked the same. With the many trees spread out like a small forest. In a quite large clearing there were those three unforgettable logs sticking out of the ground. The slight breeze that had swept into the clearing rustled the blades of grass and surrounding trees, its currents producing a small whistling.

    Sakura took in a deep breath looking around as memories overwhelmed her. She had always thought about the more unhappy memories, she had almost forgotten about the good ones. As she looked here, she found herself wanting even more so the reunion of team seven. What a day that would be. A day she would wait for..if it ever would come again.

    Her emerald eyes traveled to Naruto as he took a deep breath, seemingly ready to say something. Words to break the silence and tension that had ensued.

    "Aaall right! Ready Sakura-chan?" She gave him a small smile in response, turning to walk few feet away from him. For some reason she found herself kind of excited. It was her chance to see how much better she had gotten. She came to a halt, crossing her arms in front of her as she spun around to face Naruto.

    “Well then, come at me!”

    Naruto grinned and took out two shuriken, tossing it with excellent precision towards his teammate. A large clinking noise sounded as Sakura’s index and middle fingers caught the weapons, doing nothing to stop them from spinning. She tossed them back in Naruto's direction, forcing him to disappear to avoid contact.

    She straightened tall as the clearing grew silent once again in cessation to Naruto's absence. She kept a straight face, closing her eyes and heightening her senses to sense any change in the environment as to give away his position and determine where he would come from.

    It was sudden, when her eyes snapped open, poised fist slamming into the ground below her.

    Earth all around unleveled itself, breaking up and cracking along the area in front of her to reveal a dumfounded-looking blonde-haired ninja.

    "Found you." She grinned.

    Grinning back, Naruto came at her ready to punch, and she swiftly dodged the impact as he came and begun a combo of kicks and punches to hit her. She blocked most of them, coming out with a punch to the face that she managed to ride with. She ducked, swiftly dodging his next swing before landing a kick to his gut. The force of the blow sent Naruto to the ground a few feet away. She straightened tall, disappointed eyes finding him.

    “Naruto give it all you got, don’t go easy on me!”

    Naruto said nothing as he rose to his feet, stern eyes traveling to meet hers. He disappeared immediately, reappearing in front of Sakura with great speed. He was already in the motion of jabbing a fist towards her face. It seemed to go in slow motion as she leaned far back in limbo- Naruto's momentum causing his upper body to hover above her; in a sort ofbackflip she brought her legs up in a burst of energy, flipping her them over, so that she straddled him at the waist. She wasted no time before shoving her fist downwards in punch.

    He disappeared from under hear, reappearing not too far away with his hand already brought up in a seal.

    “Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!” The sound of the white clouds of smoke sounded simultaneously to their sizzling as they immediately dissipated to reveal a small number of Naruto shadow clones. They immediately charged.

    She tossed a shuriken and it hit the closest Naruto, reducing it to a puff of smoke. The chakra string that she had attached to the kunaii allowed her to continue guiding it to the next clone, cutting him in half to reveal a puff of smoke.

    As the other small group reached her they began an assault of attacks combining kicks and punches, even chakra filled ones. Sakura dodged a fist coming to her face, ducked down, and tripped her attacker. She grabbed another clone’s hand and threw him into a tree. The one she tripped came up at her again aiming a punch.

    Before she had time to dodge, a chakra filled kick came right at her, she put her arms in front of her, blocking to avoid a lot of damage. She quickly dealt with the other two, leaving the real Naruto with a smirk on his face. He did some more familiar hand seals. "Kage Bunshin No Jutsu!" He created about twenty more clones and tried again. Sakura evaded them by doing a series of one handed back flips putting up a good distance away from the big mass of Naruto clones.

    This only caused them to head for her new direction. When they were a good ten foot radius from her, Sakura did a few hand seals and manipulated a great amount of chakra into her palms and slammed them into the ground. The real Naruto, realizing what was about to happen jumped out of the way, leaving his clones to perish in a bright pink light. The tearing of the ground could be heard as the Naruto’s let out a quick noise of pain before they all disappeared.

    When the last rock crumbled down to ground, and the smoke subsided, all that was left was broken up earth, and a small accompanying crater at her feet.

    Not waiting one moment, Naruto charged Sakura, aiming a combo of attacks. She retaliated, executing her own as well. Fist met fist, foot met foot, and loud clinks could be heard as weapons clashed together. Picking up speed he did his last set of attacks with chakra-filled fists. They were a little bit too fast for Sakura so she just blocked them with her arms. The punches left her momentarily stunned in pain; Naruto took advantage of this as he reappeared behind her. She didn’t expect this and got sent hurling towards a tree by a punch to the face.

    Sighing, she braced herself for the impact with the tree, but found herself instead pressing against something soft, but sturdy: Naruto's chest. His arms were placed on either side of her upper arms as he held her. They then both landed on the ground.

    “Sakura-chan, are you alright?” She nodded, gently pushing herself off of him.

    “Sorry I might have been a little too hard on you.” Naruto scratched his head as his cerulean eyes gazed at Sakura's turned face.

    “No don’t worry about it.” Sakura assured him, putting on a small smile. She didn't notice the slight flash of discontent that very briefly reflected in his eyes. Most likely from her feigned smile. He seemed too discouraged to say more, he couldn't think of more to say.

    “Well, hope I gave you enough of a warm up!.” She gave him one last big smile before turning the other way. "Come find me later."

    “But Sakura-chan...”

    A smile still graced her lips as she looked over her shoulder. "I'm a little tired, okay, Naruto? Can a girl get some rest?" She let out a small grunt of amusement before continuing to walk.


    For some reason she had unconsciously taken a detour to the more quitter part of town. A small rock-cobbled path that curved through and area of trees before leading to the main gates. This area was very familiar to her; and as she made her way past the undeniable concrete bench, she let her fingers lightly brush along it.

    She didn't know why, but everyday she would walk by here, maybe it was automatic, as if she was expecting something. She was a bit upset with herself for breaking the small record she held; she hadn't walked past here a single day for the past month, but now she had.

    Though, it was nice, very quiet, serene. A sort of escape for her from the bustling crowd of expectant people.

    Her emerald gaze transitioned upwards to look at the end of the path as it opened up to the busy streets of Konoha, the sound of loud chattering and everyday noises reaching her eyes. Letting out a small breath, she continued walking, the emotionless countenance slightly perking up to allow cheerfulness, as if the occurrence was routine to her.

    A new light from the sun hit her, unblocked from the numerous trees that had once surrounded.

    "Hey Sakura-san!" A group of villagers had stopped in their activities to turn and greet her.

    "Hey!" She gave them a huge smile, waving back as she continued walking. How long was that, one second before someone noticed her? Had to be a new record.

    She continued like this, replying to everyone who greeted her. This wasn't new to her. She had become a well respected kunoichi, in no other part than due to Tsunade-sama and her training. Though others like Naruto, even though joking, had continued to try and convince her that her looks played a huge part in it as well.

    In mid thought, her curious eyes looked over to someone jogging in her direction.

    "Sakura-san! The Hokage-sama wants you at her office immediately!"

    Thanks for Reading!

    Yea it's a lame start for a story, but things definitely pick up after this chapter, don't give up yet!

    Action Next chapter!

    Hastua Luego! mrgreen