Chapter 1

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A Beauty and the Beast AU for SasuSaku. Please enjoy!

Sakura took a deep breath as she hurried into the small, dusty pub.

"There's a pretty one," whistled a man; Sakura cringed as she sat down. An old lady appeared in front of her. "Want anything, dear?" she croaked, hand on a broken handle.

Sakura coughed out, "Something light, please."

"Coming right up."

Almost immediately, a pale white liquid was slid over to her. Sakura glanced around to the many stares. "Are you uncomfortable?" the bartender inquired. Sakura laughed a little nervously. "No, just..." Sakura desperately tried to remember what she had come for. "Oh! Uh, do you know anything about the Uchiha Manor?"

Instantaneously, a man choked on his drink as another yelled out in surprise. "The hell would a pretty thing like you go there!" chuckled the lady, seemingly the only one in the pub that hadn't lost her head. Sakura reddened a bit, "I... need the money. All other towns are busy, and it seems like that place is the only people that would accept me-"

"It's taboo, that is!" yelped a scarred old man. "I went there once in my old days, and lemme tell ya that it's no vacation trip."

"Oh no, I didn't go there for-"

"It's a fortress, that's what we folks call it." A grungy man with a bushy mustache grunted. "'Ain't no manor when it comes to that person. I'd just go hungry, miss. Anything's better than him."

"Him?" echoed Sakura, brow furrowing. "Who's he?"

The bartender pitched in. "The Avenger, they call him. They started it up when-" Sakura leaned forward eagerly. "Yes?"

She sighed. "Well, I guess I'll just spill the beans, then. The Uchiha were a very successful clan, indeed, but... something happened."

A drunken woman waved a fist. "A massacre! The eldest destroyed the entire clan!"

Sakura gasped. "The eldest? Who was that?" she said urgently, trying to wheedle more information out of the villagers.

"Aye, the lad's name was Itachi Uchiha." the man with the scar leaned back, smoking his pipe. "I knew him. He was such a nice boy too..." Sakura frowned. "But what happened?"

"One night, Itachi went around, slaughtering all in his family. But..." said the bartender, completely settled in the story. "But?"

"Only two people survived. One was Itachi himself. The other was his little brother." Sakura sucked in a breath. "Out of all of the people who survived, it was his little brother?" She nodded wisely. "Sasuke Uchiha. He's been obsessed with catching his brother, but after seeing all that he needs to get strong. So he locks himself up in that old Uchiha castle, and no one has ever seen him since."

Sakura leaned back, her cup almost untouched. "That's terrible," she said quietly. The bartender nodded wisely. "You see why you shouldn't go there, child? Just stay here and settle down for a bit. Or go somewhere else to get money. Konoha is a bad place to stay in."

Sakura stayed silent for a bit. "I'm sorry, but... I must go," she said. "I need the money, I haven't been paid for so long..."

The scarred old man sighed. "I guess there's no holding you back. Come along, now, if you are to get there alive you need a wise old brain like this one."


"What's your name?" asked Sakura as they trudged through the sludge, the manor looming above them. "Mine? I had no name. But you can call me Kenja."

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