Summary: This is a fic I wrote that takes place a few years after what ive seen of shippuden. The main character is Sakura, and she goes on a journey acround the world, but to find out why...You'll have to read it ^_^.
Categories: General Fiction Characters: Sakura Haruno
Chapters: 3 Completed: No
Word count: 8266 Read: 4676
Published: 19/09/07 Updated: 07/05/08
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Nor Do I own any of the characters, the names, or anything affilliated with it in any way. I am merely a fan writing a fanfic.
1. Chapter 1 by SakuraChanFan
2. Chapter 2 by SakuraChanFan
3. Chapter 3 by SakuraChanFan
Chapter 1 by SakuraChanFan
** NOTE: THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS IN HERE, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED UP TO EP 220(That's shippiden 20) AT LEAST, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T READ THIS!!! **
The crowd was alive, positively buzzing with energy, after the last fight, which had been between Naruto Uzumaki and Shino Aburame. It was going to be a hard one to live up to, and Sakura was dreading it as she saw her name come up on the big match screen, and saw the names of the remaining shinobi in the tournament flying by faster than she could read them underneath hers. She watched with building anticipation as the names began to go by slower and slower, until eventually she could read them, she watched Negi's go by, which was good. Then was Hinata's and Kiba's. Also good. Hinata was almost as good as Negi now. Then, it stopped, she could tell because the halt was announced by a sharp beep, which resounded throughout the stadium, and she stared up at the screen, her green eyes full of nervous anticipation, and read the display.
"Terth Novanas?" Sakura read the name aloud, "Who is that?" She asked, turning to Naruto, who had just come back up the stairs from his match with Shino. He had several cuts on his face, and his clothes were ragged and dirty. His blonde hair was full of dirt, but was still sticking up from his head like always, and his eyes were still vibrant and full of life as always.
"How should I know?" He said, in his usual ignorant manner, "I've never heard of him."
"Really?" Sakura asked, nervously flicking her strawberry pink bangs back out of her face, "I wonder who he could be..."
She looked down the line of Shinobi. There were seven in all, all eagerly awaiting there chance in the stadium, or recovering from the first two bouts. There were two that still hadn't fought, and both were from Konoha, which was surprising to her, because she'd never seen either of them. One was standing in the corner, leaning against the wall, and the other was seated cross-legged on the bench playing with what looked like a deck of tarot cards. The one in the corner was tall, and he was wearing a long black jacket that almost brushed the ground while he stood there, and a pair of heavy black boots with silver buckles all over them in place of the laces. His blonde hair stuck out at odd angles from behind his forehead protector, which he wore on his forehead like Naruto, and which bore the distinctive leaf symbol of Konoha. His eyes were an intense, burning emerald color, and she felt like he could have borne a hole in her skull as he stared at her.
The other, who was sitting down, had brown hair, which was slicked to the left side of his head, and ice blue eyes. He wore a black leather vest over a black sweater, and a pair of black sandals. He was playing with his tarot cards, and then he turned and whispered something to the other. The other nodded, and then made his way towards Sakura.
"I guess you would be Terth, then?" She said as he approached.
"You should quit now," He said, "While you still have the chance."
"You should quit now," The boy replied, "You don't have a chance. The only reason I didn't withdraw last round was because I assumed they would give you the bye, since you're the only female shinobi here."
"Why...you..." Sakura said, feeling the anger well up within her and push her to the boiling point, "I'm going to..."
"Just who the hell do you think you are?" Naruto asked, stepping between Sakura and the boy, "Going around telling people that they have no chance?"
"I am Terth Novanas," The boy said, "And I am telling her for her own good. Because, if I can avoid it, I would like to avoid any untimely deaths."
Untimely deaths...The words echoed inside Sakura's head like someone shouting down a mine shaft. How the hell could he be so ignorant? Who the hell did he think he was? Did he think she was some kind of weakling? She had to admit, since becoming a chuniin she hadn't really gained a whole lot of confidence in her own abilities, though she had improved considerably in the last few years. After all, that was the whole reason she had decided to go through with her entry in the Seven Dragons Tournament anyway, wasn't it?
"Well, Terth," Sakura said, "I won't be withdrawing. So, let's do this. If you want to chicken out though, I completely understand..."
"Very well," Terth said, "If that is you decision, then so be it. However, I accept no responsibility for the consequences of that decision."
"Terth," said the other boy, appearing suddenly behind him, "You can't go through with this. If you..."
"I understand, little brother," Terth said, "But she has decided her won fate. I had nothing to do with it."
"I see..." the other boy replied, "Very well...But take it easy."
Sakura was beside herself. How on earth could two shinobi, who were both younger than her, and who she doubted had ever even gone to the Ninja Academy, be telling her that she was out of her league, and telling each other they had to take it easy? She was more annoyed than she could ever remember being, even more annoyed than Naruto usually made her.
"Let's just go," Sakura said, "Before I kill you here and now."
"Hey, Sakura," Naruto said quietly in her eat, "Watch yourself out there. I'm sensing an enormous chakra from this guy."
"Shut up, idiot!" Sakura whispered back, "I'll be fine. You don't have to watch out for me anymore, got it?"
"I...Okay..." Naruto said, "Sorry...Jeez."
Sakura leapt over the railing and landed on the ground. Then, walked over to take her position at the starting line on her side of the judge. The boy did the same, arriving a few minutes after she did, and they stood there, facing one another in what she was sure was going to be one hell of a fight. She could sense his enormous chakra as well, but she wasn't about to let that scare her. She'd picked up a trick or two in her training, and she was at least going to give the fans a good showing.
The sky was overcast, and it began to rain as they prepared to start their match. Puddles quickly formed in all of the pockmarks and craters that had been left from the two previous matches, and the crowd was somewhat muffled by the sound of falling rain. She kept her eyes on the judge, and her opponent, who was merely standing there as she was, watching her, trying to read her facial expression, and waiting for the match to begin. Then, the judge put up his hand, and the match began. The boy made a series of three hand symbols when the match started and then muttered something Sakura couldn't hear. Then, she sprang into action.
The roar of the crowd, even though it was muffled by the rain, filled Sakura's ears as she rushed towards her opponent. She tried to drown it out, but instead it got louder, along with the steady sound of the rain, pitter patter, pitter patter, so she decided to ignore them both and just move on. She reached down and pulled a kunai from the pouch on her right leg and put it out in front of her, wielding it like a knife. Then, she put on a burst of speed and rushed at him. He made a series of three more hand signs, and then jumped back as she came up to him, again saying something she couldn't hear over the roar of the crowd. Then, her vision blurred, probably from the water running down her face, so she strained her eyes, trying to see where he'd gone, but then her vision got worse.
"Oh no..." She said, "What's going on? Is it genjutsu? "
She strained her eyes more, trying to find him one last time, and her vision went blank. She saw nothing but black. She was blind.
"Do you see now why I told you to give up?" The boy asked from behind her before a foot impacted the back of her head and sent her flying forward, flipping end over end, until she hit something solid, probably the wall and lay there in a heap. She strained her ears until the sound of the crowd was so loud that she couldn't bear it. Then, she had no balance, she tried to stand, but couldn't. Her hair felt like it weighed a ton, so she shook her head, and she could feel the dust and dirt and debris from the wall she'd just hit as it fell down her body. Just how hard had she hit that wall anyway? The thoughts she was having were interrupted however by the roar of the crowd getting even louder. She clapped her hands over her ears, trying desperately to drown out the sound of the crowd, but it didn't get any quieter, not even a little. She couldn't take it anymore, it had to stop. He had to be using genjutsu, there was no other explanation. She took her hands away from her ears and made the best approximation of the sign for releasing that she could without seeing it.
"Release!" She said. Nothing. The noise was still there, and it got a little louder. She tried again, this time making the sure the sign was perfect by feeling where her fingers were, but still nothing.
"That won't work," The boy said, she was surprised that she could hear him over the roar of the crowd, maybe she could use that to her advantage. She swiped her kunai in the direction of his voice, but felt a stabbing pain in her arm instead of contact with something else. Maybe that wasn't such an advantage after all. She collapsed onto her knees, squeezing her head so hard that she thought it was going to pop, and still the deafening roar of the crowd became ever louder.
"STOP IT!" She screamed, now unable to hear her own voice over the roar of voices, "STOP IT! STOP IT! MAKE IT STOP! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" But it didn't stop, it just got louder. She screamed again. Then, felt something hit the back of her neck, then everything faded away, all feeling all sensation, everything. The roar of the crowd was no more, but her vision was still black. She felt herself slipping into unconsciousness and let it happen, too tired and fed up with this one-sided fight to deal with it anymore, and before she totally slipped away, she heard two words.
"Comenosai," Terth's voice said, "Watashino comenosai..."
Naruto watched the fight unfolding before him, and from the moment that Sakura-chan and the mysterious boy, Terth he had said his name was, began to fight, he could tell that something was wrong. Sakura was wandering around aimlessly, or so it seemed, but then as it went on, Naruto began to get more and more worried that Sakura couldn't see. He visibly flinched as Sakura took a bone-shattering kick to the back of the head and went flying end over end, like a football towards the fall wall of the stadium where she collided with it, making a crater the size of three of her in it. He was really worried now, the fight hadn't even been going on for three minutes, and already Sakura was in trouble. He had never known her to be beaten so easily, even during the chuniin exams, when she had taken on three Ninja from the hidden village of sound at once, she had at least held out on her own until help had arrived in the form of Ino, Choji, and Shikamaru, and the four of them had eventually driven them off and successfully protected an unconscious Naruto and Sasuke. Naruto had always been more appreciative of Sakura after that, and now that they were older, he had more trouble keeping his more...private...thoughts out of his mind while she was talking to him.
He watched helplessly as Sakura forced herself to her feet, made the sign for releasing genjutsu twice, and then dropped back to her knees. Terth was now standing on the wall above her, parallel to the ground. Then, for some reason, Sakura Stabbed herself in the arm before she grabbed her ears writhing in agony.
"STOP IT!" She screamed in a high, shrill voice that Naruto had never heard her use before, "STOP IT! STOP IT! MAKE IT STOP! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
"What the..." Naruto said, "What in the hell is going on down there?"
"We told her..." The smaller kid, who had said he was Terth's brother, said, "We told her that she should just concede the match. We weren't trying to scare her, you know, we were serious..."
"Serious about what?" Naruto asked, every fiber of his being dreading the answer he was about to get.
"My brother," He said, "His techniques, are...far too powerful for anyone to handle normally. I can handle them because I hae techniques to counter his...but I'm afraid that if you don't know them, then there is no way you can win, and you'll probably have to find something to do with your life other than being a shinobi when he gets don with you...If you're lucky..."
"What are you saying?" Naruto asked.
"He can't control himself," The boy said, "All the people he's fought...They've all come out of the fights severely injured..."
"What kind of injuries?"
"The worst kind."
"There are many things worse than death in this world," The boy replied, "Far worse."
Naruto's throat had suddenly gone dry, and he could barely get out his response, "Like what?" he croaked hoarsely.
"Blindness, deafness, loss of one's mind," The boy replied, "and that's just to name a few."
Naruto watched as Sakura collapsed, and then passed out as Terth gave her a chop to the back of the neck, and he felt the rage within him building, to the point where he could barely control it. Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he turned around to see Tsunade-sama standing there.
"Calm down, Naruto," She said, "The last thing we need right now is you losing your temper."
Naruto did as he was told, burying the rage he felt deep within him, locking it in a cage right next to kyuubi's.
"Don't worry," She went on, "Sakura's tough, you and I both know that. She'll be fine."
Naruto wanted to believe that more than anything, but something told him that this time, things would be different, that this time, everything wouldn't turn out okay, and if it didn't, he didn't know if he could face Sakura afterwards. He turned away, he couldn't look at her as they carried her out on a stretcher towards the hospital, but he vowed revenge on the boy, Terth, and he swore that he would get it, no matter what.
So yeah, that's chapter 1. I'll post more later if enough peole seem interested...Anyway, hope you liked it!
Chapter 2 by SakuraChanFan
disclaimer: I don't own naruto, or anything affiliated with it, character names, things, blah blah. you get the idea.
I wish I did though...that would be cool. XD
my quote of the week:
"You can't do that...It would be like...totally unfair!"
-Danny "D" Leuschen, my battle buddy, on why i shouldn't deny him a cigarette ^_^
So Here's chapter 2. Thanks to everyONE who reviewed chapter one, and enjoy! ^_^
The sun had come out the next day, and Naruto was up earlier than he usually was, but today wasn't about the good weather, or the pleasant songs of birds that he could hear as he walked through the village. No, today was about Sakura-chan, and he was in the biggest hurry he could ever remember being in in his teenage life. He ran quickly, passing Ichiraku, the ramen shop, and Konohamaru, who no doubt would want to play ninja with him today. He didn't have time to play ninja today. It was a busy day chock full of the two things he HAD to get done; He HAD to go and see Sakura in the hospital, and he HAD to train, because his match with the Terth kid wasn't until the final of of the tournament, and he had to fight Negi in three days, and he had to win, because if he didn't, he'd never get to fight Terth.
He ran down the street a little farther, until he hit the hospital, and went in the front door. He went straight up to the desk and spoke to the red haired girl at the counter.
"Excuse me," He said, "But do you know which room Sakura-chan is in?"
"Oh, you mean Sakura-san?" The lady replied, "Yes, she is in room 210."
"Arigato," Naruto said as he took off running up the hallway towards the stairs. He took the stairs up to the second floor and turned right as the sign directed him. Then, stopped outside the door and took a deep breath. He knocked, his hand barely had any strength left in it, and it made a faint sound on the thin wood of the door.
"Come in," He heard a voice say. It wasn't Sakura's, but he went in anyway.
When he walked inside, he saw a girl seated on the bed. She was shorter than he was, and she had bleach blonde hair, some of which came down the front of her head in a long clump of bangs the stuck up from the rest of them. She was wearing a ponytail as well, and she had it tied with a purple hair ribbon, which matched the rest of the garb she was wearing. She had on a tight purple shirt, which had an overly large collar that was folded down over itself. On it, she wore three golden rings, which were very large, and looked more like hoop earrings then they did rings, but Naruto knew better. Ino had always worn them, and she had corrected him on numerous occasions that they were rings and not earrings, and that each ring represented a different section of her soul, or something like that, he hadn't really been paying all that much attention at the time. She was a lot different now, like they all were since getting older, and she had calmed down enough that Naruto could actually stand to be in the same room with her for more than a second, which he had once thought to be an impossibility. She looked up as he came in, and the look of expectant surprise on her face told him everything he needed to know.
"Oh...Hey, Ino," Naruto said, "How is she?" Despite the fact that he knew he was blushing, and that the fact of why he was here was now blatantly obvious, he still had to ask because he knew he wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything else until he did.
"Oh, Naruto," Ino said, in her typical mocking, snobby voice. Naruto knew she had changed a lot in the two years he'd been gone, they all had, but she still couldn't get that tone out of her voice, it was like she was a robot that was programmed to sound like that, or something, "Honestly, I didn't expect to see you here so soon, but I suppotse now that you're here, I'll have to be the one to tell you..." Her face fell as she said this.
"Tell me what?" Naruto asked with a glance at the peaceful Sakura, who looked like she was sleeping, "What's wrong, Ino?"
"She's going to be fine..." Ino said, "They..just don't know when she's going to wake up is all..."
"Don't know..." Naruto echoed the words as though they were the most dangerous, threatening words he had ever uttered, or heard, in his entire life, "What do you mean, they don't know?"
"She's in a coma, Naruto," Ino said, "And the longer she stays in it, the worse off she is..."
"A coma?" Naruto said, looking like he'd just had his legs cut off and handed back to him, "I thought you said she was fine?"
"She is, Naruto," Ino said, "Her injuries are healing, and everything is going according to what Hokage-sama said would happen...Physically, she's fine. They just don't know why she isn't waking up..."
"This is all my fault," Naruto said, "I never should have...I never should have talked her in to going into the tournament...Then, this would've never happened..." He felt empty, like someone had cut out his heart and cooked it, and then ate it in front of him. He held back the tears though, because he had to be strong right now. If he wasn't, then nothing would get better. He had to be strong for Sakura, he had to be strong so that she would get better, and he had to beat Terth no matter what. He had to fix what he messed up, even if it was the last thing he ever did.
"Don't blame yourself Naruto..." Ino said, in her best attempt at a comforting voice, "You could never hae forseen what happened. This was beyond any of our control, and Sakura made her choice, not you..."
"I swear..." Naruto said, "I swear by whatever god may be in heaven, or wherever else, that Terth Novanas will pay..." He squeezed his knuckles together so hard that they all popped, and he thought that they might break, but he ignored them and just went on with his angry rant, trying desperately to hold back the tears that he was feeling, then he felt it. It was like a voice creeping up in the back of his head, a tiny suggestion of what to do. Like someone was trying to play on his emotions to get him to do something. Then, a voice spoke in his head.
You might not be able to do it, It said, But WE can.
Shut up, he thought back, I'm not teaming up with you again unless I have to.
Oh how cute, The kyuubi's voice said, Trying to play the lone hero and fix the mess that you made. How noble...But I know better. This is your fault and you know it, and you need my power to defeat this boy. Whether you want to admit or not, you'll realize it in the end, and you'll look to me, like always.
NO, Naruto thought, This time will be different. This time I call the shots...This time we work on MY terms.
He could hear the Kyuubi laughing in his head, and it echoed off of the inside of his skull like someone was beating on it with a hammer.
Don't make me laugh boy, it said, The tournament of the seven dragons is a high profile event for a reason.Besides, you can't expect me, the Kyuubi, to bow to the wishes of a little, lost boy who's trying to impress his girlfriend. Like it or not, you owe your life to me several times over, and I intend to collect on that debt one day, boy, and you can bet your puny, little human life n the fact that when I do, I intend to collect in full...
The last word, full, seemed to have a ring of finality to it, and it made Naruto's insides crawl, like he had a million of Shino's bugs crawling all over his insides. He took one last long look at Sakura, then bowed to Ino, who was looking at him like he was some kind of three-headed Giant Worm thing that had been summoned from beyond by some kind of evil shinobi, and ran out the door. He turned left down the hall and dove out the window at the end of it, and ran off into the woods never once looking back.
Ino was thoroughly perturbed. She had just seen Naruto, and he had acted the weirdest she could ever remember him acting. Even with all the childish pranks he had pulled in the academy days, she could never remember thinking that he was THIS weird. It was like he had been having some kind of conversation in his head, and there was no way that was normal, even for Naruto. She finally tore her eyes away from the door, the one she had just watched him leave through not two minutes ago, and looked back at Sakura, anger once again filling her heart. She had told Naruto that it hadn't been his fault, but secretly, in the depths of her heart, where she would never let anyone see or hear of it, she blamed him. After all, it HAD to be his fault, if it wasn't, then whose was it? Sakura would never have joined the tournament if it wasn't for his challenge, and Sakura would be fine right now. In fact, she'd probably be the one coming to see HIM, like she always did.
Bad things were always happening around Naruto, and somehow he always came out fine, even if everyone else didn't, and made Ino so angry that she squeezed her fists into tighter and tighter balls in her lap as she looked at Sakura, blaming Naruto more and more for her condition with every ounce of pain that came out of her hands. Then, she took a deep breath, and relaxed. She wasn't about to lose her cool now, not when Sakura was depending on her to be strong, not when she had to be there for her. They had always been rivals, that much was true, but they had also had an unwritten agreement of friendship that ran between the two of them, and Sakura had been there for her in the past, so now it was her turn. She took Sakura's hand in hers, and put a hand on her forehead, it felt a little warm, but nothing to be concerned about. Then, she leaned in close to her ear, so close that the sweet scent of her hair filled her nose.
"Don't worry, Sakura," She said, "Uzumaki Naruto will get his. I'll make sure of it."
Hatake Kakashi took a deep breath of the fresh morning air. It filled his lungs and made him feel rejuvenated as he jumped from tree branch to tree branch on his way back to Konoha, the village hidden in the leaves. He watched all around him as things moved, animals mostly, and a few ninja that he recognized going out from the village on various missions. Good, he thought to himself, Im getting close. He sped up as he hit the next branch, flexing the muscles in his calves to propel himself forward faster, hurtling towards the next branch. He tugged on his forehead protector, which was still pulled low over his sharingan eye, and readjusted it so that it sat more comfortably on his head. He took a deep breath and ran his hand through his silver-white hair. He was nervous, which was very unlike him, but when the fifth hokage sent her personal aide to him and she said that he needed to return to the village right away and disregard his top priority mission to do so, he had to wonder what it was that was so important, and the only thing that he could think of was Sasuke, and that was bad news in his book. Because news involving Sasuke would inevitably mean news of Orochimaru, which was never good.
Still, he couldn't help but wonder if it had something to do with Naruto, and when he thought of Naruto, he couldn't help but think of a million different possibilities that could all require his attention, the least of which being him going berserk, and destroying the village, which to date had never happened, but Kakashi wasn't the type to leave out a distinct possibility, no matter how remote the chances of it happening were. So, pushing all thoughts of what the news could be out of his mind, he hit the last tree branch before the entrance to Konoha village and launched himself through the gate into the middle of the familiar red-roofed buildings that filled the city, and stopped a few feet from the guard station that was set up right inside the gate.
"Ah, Kakashi-sensei," said one of the guards in the booth, "You've returned early..."
"I have urgent business with the fifth," he said, and the guard's face looked worried almost immediately, "Did she leave me a message?"
"No," The guard replied, "But you can probably find her in her office..."
"Thank you," Kakashi said, and jumped into the air. he landed on the closest rooftop, and then made his way across the various roofs to the building in the center of the back of the village, it's domed, cylindrical shape was unmistakable amongst the other buildings. It was the building in which the hokage lived, and conducted her work, and he leapt to the roof outside the windows on the top floor, which belonged to her office. Then leapt inside, landing in the front of her desk and turning to face her. The room, and the woman, were both as they had been when he had left, though he could tell that the fifth had something on her mind, as her expression was serious and she was reading through a medical text, taking feverish notes.
"Greetings, Kakashi-sensei," She said without looking up from the book, "It's about time you got back."
"Tsunade-sama," He replied, "I got word from your messenger and came back as fast as I could. However, the country of waves is rather far from here...So...."
"Never mind that," She replied, closing the book and looking him dead in the eye, resting her chin in her hands, "I called you here to talk to you about one of your pupils."
"I expected as much," Kakashi replied, "Let me guess...Naruto?"
"In a way, yes," She replied, "But he's not the main reason this time. The one I want to talk to you about is Haruno Sakura."
"Sakura?" Kakashi said, astonishment in his voice, "What happened? Don't tell me she and Naruto..."
"No," She replied, "It's just Sakura. Though I am worried about Naruto..."
"Okay," Kakashi said, "Well, let's start with Sakura."
"Very well," The fifth said, "You know that the tournament of the seven dragons was held while you were gone, yes?"
"Yes," Kakashi said, "But what does that have to do with Naruto and Sakura?"
"They both took part in it."
"Sakura took part in the tournament?" Kakashi asked, sounding astonished, "That doesn't sound like her..."
"Well apparently," she replied, "Naruto had a hand in that."
"What do you mean, 'had a hand in that'?"
"Naruto challenged Sakura, and she took it."
"Naruto challenged Sakura?"
"Yes," Tsunade replied, "He said she couldn't hack it in the tournament, and she decided to prove him wrong."
"So, what's so urgent?" Kakashi asked, "I cant see how this is urgent enough to pull me off of a priority mission..."
"It's not the fact that she entered, Kakashi," Tsunade said, "It's the fact that she's now in the hospital that I called you back for."
"They've both been in the hospital before, Hokage-sama," Kakashi said, his tone growing darker, "Now, either you're afraid to tell me something, or there's nothing wrong. Either way, I suggest you tell me, because as it turns out, I have a mission that is of the utmost importance in the wave country..."
"She's in a coma, Kakashi," Tsunade said, "And I can't do anything about it!" She punctuated this remark by putting her fist through her desk. It shattered into several pieces, scattering papers and pieces of wood everywhere around the room.
"Ho-Hokage-Sama..." Kakashi said.
"And what's worse," She said, tears forming in her eyes, "Is that even if she does wake up, there will be complications..."
"Complications?" Kakashi asked, "What kind of complications?"
"The kind that mean she'll never be able to be a shinobi again!" Tsunade said, now unable to keep the tears from running down her face. Kakashi had never seen her like this, and it was beginning to worry him, "She's...She's going to be..."
Kakashi heard the last words, and his heart sank. He finally understood why Tsunade had called him back to the village. When Sakura woke up, she was going to need every friend in the village she could get, and even that might not help.
"So, I am here to comfort her, then?" Kakashi asked, "Is that it?"
"That," Tsunade replied, wiping away the tears from her eyes, "and to deal with Naruto."
"Deal with Naruto?" Kakashi asked, "How so?"
"He's blaming himself," Tsunade said, "He doesn't even know the full extent of it yet, and he's already become isolated, secluded, and depressed. The other shinobi in the village blame him too, and it only makes it worse. I can only imagine what will happen when he finds out about Sakura's condition."
"I see..." Kakashi said, his tone at last going soft, "That is a worthy cause to call me back for indeed. I shall do my best to be there for both of them, but I don't know how much good I can do..."
"You're their mentor," Tsunade said, "You, me, and Jiraya are the people they look up to most as role models. Well, maybe not Jiraya, but you taught them so much, and I taught Sakura how she could make a difference. So, in a way, we're the only ones who can help, and whether it will do a whole lot of good, or just a little bit of good, don't you think it's worth giving them both every chance we can?"
"Yes," Kakashi said, "I agree wholeheartedly."
"Then will you lend me your aid?" Tsunade asked.
"Yes," Kakashi said, "I will. However, there is one more thing I want to know."
"What is it?" Tsunade asked.
"How did it happen?" Kakashi asked.
"Oh..." Tsunade said, "Well, I suppose you should know..."
As the fifth imparted to Kakashi the tale of the fight between Sakura and the mysterious boy, he hung on every word as if his life depended on it, and when she was done, he knew precisely why Naruto needed watching. Then, he immediately got up and bowed politely to her, excusing himself, then jumped out the window, and ran off to find Naruto.
So...lets see if I can get more reviews this time...im hoping more people will read this. *crosses fingers* Anyway, read and post your reviews. Hope you like it!
Chapter 3 by SakuraChanFan
Disclaimer: Once again, I state that I do not own Naruto. I would like to, and whoever does is one lucky man, but I am merely a fan writing a fanfic about an awesome series. That is all.
Sorry guys, not much time in Iraq for writing, so some of these may be shorter than the last couple, and some may be half done and such, but I will try my best ^^ enjoy!
Sakura became aware of the feel of fresh sheets under her, and of the sound of birds singing outside. She breathed in the scent of the morning dew mixed with flowers and some kind of perfume. It had to be Ino's. She was the only one who would wear something like that. She opened her eyes, eager to greet her friend, but was met with only blackness, never ending eternal blackness that seemed to stretch out forever before her very eyes. She blinked, and it was still there. Something was wrong. She tried to move her arm, to see what was wrong with her eyes, and to see if she could see her hand in front of her face, which anyone could do, even on the darkest of nights, but found that her arm did not want to move at all. Instead, all she got for her trouble was a pain that shot from her elbow up into her shoulder that made her cry out in pain and clench every muscle in her body.
"Sakura?!" Ino's voice came from her left, "You're finally awake...Do you have any idea how long I've been sitting here?"
"Ino..." Sakura's throat hurt, and her voice came out in something that was between a squeak and a whisper, "Where...are we?"
"We are in Konoha Hospital," Ino replied softly, "Room 210."
"The...hospital?" Sakura said, "Why am I...here? And why...why can't I...see anything?"
"You have a bandage over your eyes," Ino said, "From the surgery..."
"Surgery..." sakura couldn't remember anything about a surgery, "I don't...think I remember that...The last thing I remember is...the match...Everything was so loud, and...and it was so hard to see...everything went black...and then...I woke up here..."
"Well, you did take a pretty good beating from that guy," Ino said, "I'm not surprised you don't remember it."
"could you..." Sakura began, "Get..."
"I'm already here," Came the hokage-sama's voice as she appeared at the foot of her bed, "I was informed when you awoke and came immediately."
"I...see..." Sakura said. Her head was pounding, and her shoulder ached like hell, her ribs felt like they were in pieces, and her right leg felt like it was on fire, "What...What's wrong with me?"
"Several things," Hokage-sama replied, "The least of which is that your right leg and shoulder along with several of your ribs were shattered when you impacted the wall, but so far they have not responded as well as Id hoped to the treatments...I may have to take over myself."
"Why...did..." Sakura asked, struggling to make herself talk normally, "Why...did I...have surgery?"
"Surgery?" Hokage-sama asked, "Because you eyes and ears were severely damaged as well. We know that your ears are working at least, but as for your eyes...There's no way to be sure until we remove the bandages..."
"Are you saying....what...I think...you are?" sakura asked.
"Yes," Hokage-sama replied, "I am...Much as I hate to admit it...There's nothing I can do that I haven't already done, Sakura. So...So you have a chance of...of being blind."
The words hit Sakura like a lead weight being dropped down her throat. Blind. She couldn't believe that Tsunade-sama had said that. If she had given up on it, then she was sure that there was no hope at all for her recovering her sight.
"That...That would mean that..." She began, dreading even the thought of finishing her own sentence, "That I would..."
"Yes," Hokage-sama said, "It would mean that you could no longer be a shinobi."
"Well, that won't happen," Sakura said, "Because I'll be fine...How soon until you remove the bandage?"
"We'll have to wait for two more days before we can be sure that the wounds created by the surgery have completely healed," Hokage-sama said, "We'll know then if it worked or not."
Tsunade-sama was hiding something from her. She could hear it in her master's voice. The only question was, what?
"Is there anything else that you wanted to tell me, master?" sakura said gently, hoping that she could coax it out of the other woman and not have to die of curiousity as she lay here.
"What would make you think that?" The Hokage-sama asked.
"You sound concerned," Sakura said, "And I want to know about what."
"It's nothing that you need to concern yourself with," The Hokage-sama replied curtly. Sakura heard her turn and head out the door, and then she heard the other woman pause at the threshold, "You just...concern yourself with getting better, Sakura."
"Of course," Sakura said, "But..."
She didn't get to finish her question because the door slammed shut a moment later, leaving nothing but Sakura and the sound of Ino's heavy breathing in the room. She wondered what it was that Tsunade was worried about, but she dare not ask, especially not now.
"Ino," She said absentmindedly.
"Yes?" Ino replied, sounding as though she had been waiting for Sakura to say her name her whole life.
"Do you know something?" Sakura asked, "Something that I should know about?"
"Who me?" Ino said, sounding about as trustworthy as a thief testifying in court, "No, of course not."
"Oh," Sakura said, "I see...Well then, could you do me a favor?"
"Sure," Ino said, "Anything. You just name it."
"Could you go and bring Naruto here for me?" Sakura couldn't believe she had just asked Ino to do that, but if anyone could help her make sense of things, Naruto Uzumaki was the one guy she knew she could count on.
"Are you sure that's what you want?" Ino said, sounding rather hesitant but eager to please, "I mean...It's Naruto. What would you want an annoying guy like that around for?"
"I have my reasons," sakura said, "Are you gonna do it for me, or not?"
"Yeah," Ino said, sounding as though she'd just signed her own name in the bingo book, "I'll go get him..."
She hear Ino's chair scrape the floor, and then she heard her leave the room. Alone at last, Sakura set about thinking out exactly what she would say to him when he got there, and exactly what questions she needed answered.
Naruto was so furious with himself and the rest of the world that he didn’t think he could hit this tree hard enough, or anywhere near enough times to feel better about it, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to beat on it – and neither did his bloodied knuckles. As he punched the trunk of the tree again and again and again, thoughts flashed through his head. He saw Ino’s eyes as she had looked at him, and talked to him. They had been those same eyes. The eyes he had seen everywhere he looked in Konoha until just recently, the eyes that said he was a monster, something that was neither caring, nor capable of feeling, something to be regarded with the utmost contempt. He saw the conversation that he and Sakura had had that day, he saw the cocky smile on her face as she agreed to take part in his “little tournament”, and he remembered the pride he felt as he had listened to her talk about how she was going to kick some ass and take some names as she went along. She had come a long way from the little girl that knew everything but could do nothing that he had grown up with.
She had trained in the time he’d been gone, everyday from what Granny had told him, and she had become one of the most admired and respected medical ninja in the entire village, not to mention one of the strongest Kunoichi the world had ever seen. She had come so far to fall so suddenly, and the fact that he had contributed – even in some insignificant way – to that downfall cut him in places he didn’t even know he could be cut. He felt as though he had betrayed her, like he had let her down like he had the day he failed to bring Sasuke back, except that this time, it was worse than that.
“Well, Naruto-kun,” Said Kakashi’s voice from the tree above him, causing him to jump slightly, “It seems you’re training extra hard today.”
After he said this, he tilted his head to the side and closed his exposed eye, something Naruto knew meant he was smiling warmly, but for once, he didn’t appreciate the gesture at all. In fact, he really wanted Kakashi to just go away for once.
“Kakashi-sensei,” He said, “Welcome back. I had heard you were in the wave country on some kind of mission…”
“Yeah,” Kakashi said, “But you know plans, always changing.”
“Yeah…” Naruto said – though he knew better than that. He knew perfectly well why Kakashi was here, even if Kakashi thought he didn’t, “I know what you mean…I take it Granny called you back?”
“You’re getting sharper,” Kakashi said, jumping down to stand next to him and looking him in his eye, “But have you figured out why, I wonder?”
“Oh I know why,” Naruto said, unable to keep his malice out of his voice any longer, “You came back here to be on babysitting duty, didn’t you? You came back here to keep me from doing anything ‘foolish’, right?”
“I guess you could say that,” Kakashi said, “Not that I think it’ll help, but I’m going to try and take a different approach with you this time, Naruto. If you’re willing, that is.”
“Of course I’m not!” Naruto said, making a rude gesture in Kakashi’s direction, “If you think I’m going to let you pick up after me every time I make a mess, then you’re wrong! Why can’t you just butt out for once? Huh?”
Kakashi’s eyes narrowed. Then he disappeared, and reappeared right behind Naruto, his hand on one of the kunai in the pouch on his right leg.
“Can you give me one reason,” Kakashi said, “One damn good reason mind you, why I should even -think- about letting you handle things on your own?”
“Because,” Naruto said, not even bothering to turn around, “I’m the one who screwed it up this time, and –I’m- the one that had to fix it.”
“And just what is beating the crap out of that boy going to do to fix things?” Kakashi asked, his voice going icy cold, “Do you think that seeking vengeance on everyone is the way to fix all your problems Naruto?”
He had a point. Naruto had to admit that much, but he wasn’t about to give up that easily.
“It’s…” He said, trailing off.
“It’s all I know how to do!” He blurted out, completely tossing aside all respect for Kakashi, “I can’t do anything else! I’m not some brilliant medical ninja like Granny or Sakura. All I am is a kid who can take a punch and get back up. So what else am I supposed to do, sensei? –Stand- here and do nothing, when Sakura needs me the most?”
Kakashi was silent a moment before he spoke.
“And what if something terrible were to happen to you as well?” He asked, turning and pointing at Naruto, “What would Sakura do then? Instead of having you around to support her like you’re supposed to do as her teammate, she’d have to spend all of her time worrying about you too. How is she supposed to come back from this terrible situation without her teammate to lean on, huh?! Did you ever stop to think that she might need you just to –be there- for once, instead of running off on some god-forsaken quest to prove your manhood to her?”
Naruto was absolutely stunned. Kakashi had never talked to him like this before. He felt like he was three, and someone was trying to explain to him that the grass was green, and the sky was blue, and birds flew and fish swam, and that’s the way it was. He saw it all now. It was so clear.
“So, you’re saying that I should drop out of the tournament?” He asked his voice glum.
“I think it would be wise,” Kakashi replied, “at least until you’re ready to take those guys on. Right now though, they’re way above your level, even with the Kyuubi on your side, I’m not sure that even you could pull this one off.”
“You’re probably right about that,” Naruto replied, “So, what am I supposed to do then? Just sit here and wallow in my own self-pity?”
“That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind,” Kakashi said, a dangerous glint entering his exposed eye.
Naruto looked at his Sensei. [What the devil was he thinking anyway?]
“You’ve got something planned, don’t you?”
“I’ve always got something planned, Naruto.” Kakashi said, “Always.”
Naruto didn’t like where this was going at all, but there was no other choice at this point. If he wanted to help Sakura in any way, then he was going to have to play by Kakashi’s rules.
For the time being, anyway.
Kakashi started to say something else, but he was interrupted by someone calling Naruto’s name.
“Naruto!” It was Ino’s voice. She was in a tree not far from them, just on the edge of the clearing.
“Ino!” Naruto said, jumping over to the edge of the clearing to meet her, “What brings you here? Weren’t you with Sakura?”
“I was,” Ino said, “But she’s awake, and she specifically sent me to get you, Naruto.”
Naruto couldn’t believe it. Sakura had just woken up, and the first thing she had done was send Ino to get -him-? How hard had she hit her head?
“Sakura sent you to get me?” Naruto said, “What did she want?”
“I’m not quite sure,” Ino said, “But I wouldn’t keep her waiting, if I were you.”
“Right.” Naruto said, “Sensei?”
“We’ll talk later,” Kakashi said in a tone that said he clearly wasn’t anywhere near done with Naruto yet, “Go see Sakura.”
“Got it,” Naruto said, and he was off, just like that Kakashi had released him from whatever web the old bastard had been spinning for him – though he had no idea what it was that Sakura could want to tell him. First though, he wanted to stop by Granny’s and talk to her, maybe she could help him make sense of all this, though he sincerely doubted she would tell him much of anything at all. Still it was worth a shot – especially when things were this weird around the village.
Since it had all happened, Kakashi was treating him like he was a man, or at least an equal. Sakura wanted to see him more than anyone else, and the eyes of the villagers, which he had worked so hard to change, were now the same cold eyes they had been before. He fought back the tears that were welling up from inside – now was not the time to cry about spilled milk.
One thing was for sure though, something was going on, and Naruto Uzumaki was about to find out what.
Finally finished. Thank for waiting! Enjoy, ne?
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.