Attention! A new idea for a story wedged itself in my encephalon, and I just had to get to writing it! But I made sure to work on this chapter and have it published before I even start on another story. It will be another time-travel story but it will be Shisui x Sakura! I absolutely love this pairing and I feel there isn't much love for them in the fanfiction world, so I came up with an idea and I will post it within 72 hours after this chapter is posted. I promise!
Now if you are interested in reading it, I would love to hear your feedback and I also have other beautiful stories about them and other couples on my profile under my favorite's list. And if you're not interested..it's alright too. Just a heads up to my readers.
Now please enjoy this new chapter I have composed. And thank you all again for your support, critiques, and ideas!
Chapter 5: Trepidation
"Uh, Mira-san?" The pinkette called out, turning to watch her companion in curiosity, both keeping a steady pace down the corridor.
"Hmm?" The woman in question drawled out almost whimsically.
"How do you know of my name?" Sakura inquired carefully, she was as sharp as a tack and knew she hadn't admitted anything about herself.
Wide blue eyes dared a short glance at the already staring green pair. Mira found something in Sakura's expression that had her look opposite her direction in embarrassment.
"Y-Your vest. I emptied it of your belongings so they wouldn't get ruined when I cleaned it. Along with a storage scroll, you had an identification card with your name, rank, age and affiliation, however your affiliation was blurred out. I am sorry if I have offended or angered you, Sakura-san." The blonde responded hurriedly, biting her lip nervously.
"It's alright." Sakura brushed it off with a wave of her hand, returning her gaze to the approaching door. As long as no one knew of her real home, she was in the clear as of currently.
She felt her response should have been more reassuring for the blonde and not plainly dismissive, but she had no time to conjure up an apology as Mira nodded sternly and rapped her fist on the door. They both were aware their chakra was known to both men in the room, but that didn't mean they couldn't have manners for privacy and respect.
A cheerful voice called out for them to enter, putting Sakura almost at ease.
Mira opened the door to poke her head in, wavy blonde hair dangling at her tilted angle.
"Our guest is ready to see the both of you, Hashirama-sama, Tobirama-sama." With the door ajar, the waiting pinkette caught wafts of steaming foods, exciting her tastebuds. Her face flushed as she hugged her stomach to muffle the rumbling of her hungry abdomen.
"Ah, yes! Send her in Mira-chan!" The man all but bounced from where he was seated, voice loud and bubbly, beckoning in a childish manner for the guest to enter.
With a soft giggle, the blonde stepped aside and gestured a hand for Sakura to head in the room.
Quick to recover, Sakura took off her sandals and placed them on the side by the door. Despite her usual habit of just kicking off her boots to lay about precariously, she knew how to act in public, especially given the fact that she was over 75 years in the past and about to dine with two of the strongest Senju.
Straightening up and putting a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she turned her head to meet Mira's soft gaze and offered her a closed-eye grin. "See you." Making the blonde giggle again and replied with a nod. Sakura strode towards the middle of the room, her long braid lightly swaying along her backside, eyes taking in the beautifully decorated table with dishes of food and a tea pot at the center.
She barely registered the closing of the door as Sakura was met with a set of kind, brown eyes, and scrutinizing red ones adjacent.
Steam emitted off the various platters of rice, noodles, and meats, not remembering the last time she witnessed such a feast assorted in one setting. But she made sure to keep an even stare at the two men watching her with equal curiosity.
A friendly wave aimed at her direction brought her from her slight peruse, staring at Hashirama stupidly who adorned a toothy grin.
"Please have a seat." The man gestured for Sakura to sit on the vacant mat opposite the men, to which the stupefied woman complied. "I realize this isn't like how most greetings start off, but I presumed you would be hungry, so this is an avant-garde." Hashirama announced, placing his hands on his hips, feeling proud of himself.
Grateful for his thoughtfulness, Sakura dipped her head in a respectful bow and uttered a, "Thank you." Causing the man to nod excitedly and point a thumb towards himself, "I'm Hashirama Senju." Sakura nodded, a ghost of a smile making way to her face at the older Senju's exuberant attitude.
To her further amusement, she watched as Hashirama glanced at his little brother with a glint of mischief as Tobirama seemed more focused on the window to his left, feeling the surrounding area with his chakra for intruders, arms folded in front of his chest.
Without warning, the wood-style user slapped his brother on the back with more force and zest than necessary, causing the man's eyes to bug out a bit with a disgruntled gasp, arms flailing a bit to steady his back from being pushed towards his plate of food. The dark green kimono he wore provided little protection compared to his armor, but such attire was not appropriate for a meal, leaving his back with an angry red hand mark.
"And this is my lovely little brother, Tobirama Senju." Hashirama continued with out further pause, wearing the same radiant smile at an equally amused and disbelieving Sakura, the man seemingly oblivious, or rather ignorant of the fervent glare Tobirama sent his way.
"I happen to be more than capable of introducing myself, brother." The fuming man declared, emphasizing the last word irately.
"Oh come now, not with that attitude of yours, dear brother. You are very much intimidating most of the time and rather grumpy when hungry." Hashirama noted teasingly, not affected by the younger man's demeanor.
The medic in the room had not anticipated such behavior from the brothers. The history books and from first-hand experience on the battlefront of the Foruth Shinobi War, the future Hokage were deemed as smart, steadfast, strong individuals. Her curious jade eyes took in the scene of bickering between the brothers and sucked her bottom lip to keep from giggling. Hashirama was so goofy and childish that it helped calm her nerves about the interrogation that would start up in a minute.
Tobirama didn't want to deal with more of his brother's antics and drawled out an exasperated sigh, choosing to ignore him and gingerly chewed on his rice, before eyeing Sakura between his bites.
She liked to assume Tobirama was always like this, intense and serious all the time, but assumptions were deadly things. She felt a bit more confident that she was able to keep a steady gaze with him, not cowering or averting her gaze from intimidation he so naturally carried with him. She was Tsunade Senju's prized apprentice after all, she got used to more than merely her mentor's deadly stares.
Besides the lingering looks, there was a more meaningful glint in those merlot eyes, looking something akin to suspicion and silent warning. Looking at her as if she would explode any moment and he would have to halt her from hurting anyone. Then it dawned on her.
He knew. They both knew.
She housed powerful chakra within her, not to mention her forehead held the diamond seal for all to see that oozed of its own powerhouse of chakra.
She let out a slow breath through her nose, hands tugging at the ends of her borrowed kimono.
Hashirama's teasing towards his brother was really an underlying injunction, keeping the tension in check from getting out of hand, as Sakura figured she was only here in a peaceful manner due to the older Senju's kind nature.
Mistaking her slight frown for annoyance, Hashirama quickly averted his attention back to the pinkette, conjuring up a quick apology and inquired for her name.
"I'm Sakura Haruno, Senju-sama." The medic responded without missing a beat, bowing her head again.
"Ah, please, there's no need for such formalities. Just Hashirama is fine." The man said easily, waving his hands in front of him, whilst still smiling.
Sakura nodded in understanding, watching him intently for him to question her further.
"I realize both of us have some questions for each other, but I am certain you should at least eat first. Aren't you hungry, Sakura-chan?" A low rumbling met their ears, answering the Senju's question.
Sakura's face colored a pretty pink matching her hair, and only reddened as Hashirama let out a laugh and Tobirama returned to stare at her inquisitively. He had a warm, contagious laugh that bounced off the walls, making a ghost of a smile to appear on Sakura's face.
"If I didn't know any better, I would inquire you were attempting to bribe me, Hashirama-sama." Sakura pointed out in an even tone, causing the now baffled wood user to look up at her with a mouth full of rice, eyes wide. "But I have have high doubts that a kind leader as yourself is one to do something of the sort, rather aiming to take a peaceful, negotiable route. Then again, you are a leader of a well-respected clan, so at times you must keep its safety in check at all costs at times too. Nonetheless l will be willing to provide information as requested." The pinkette announced, hoping to be convincing in the slightest.
Besides her actual home identification, Madara's involvement in the war, and revealing her state as a jinchuuriki, the Haruno would reveal what was inquired of her.
Deciding to appease her stomach, the pinkette nibbled on her food carefully, sighing in content as the hot contents travelled down her throat. Years in war meant shortage of food sooner or later, resulting in Sakura taking tiny bites and savoring each portion to help satiate her hunger for longer periods of time.
Tobirama and Hashirama exchanged a brief glance. The meal was not intended to be used to bribe the woman, but they were equally appeased she would enlighten them of some of their inquiries.
After the meal, Hashirama poured jasmine tea for each of them, both Senju returning to keep an even gaze at the Haruno.
"Sakura-chan, I've never heard of the Haruno clan before, why is that?" Hashirama started off, full attention to the pinkette, as was Tobirama, resorting to crossing his arms again but kept his merlot eyes fixated on Sakura's unwavering form.
"That is because I come from a long line of merchants, always moving around as well, until we settled in our village. I decided to become a ninja, which my parents had frowned upon, but sought out and trained under the tutelage of an accomplished medical-ninja. I am what you would call a first-generation ninja in my family."
"Oh? A medic you say?" Brown eyes lit up in an amiable way. Of course he and Tobirama had assumed she, or someone else had healed the rather long wound that obviously pierced through her body, but having it confirmed was still fascinating.
Her head nodded in acknowledgement, verdant eyes softening upon regarding her Shishou.
"She had a deathly fear of blood, but she was able to fight through with it and heal nearly any wound, even life-threatening ones. But I ended up surpassing her." 'In more ways than one' She added mentally, dropping her gaze to subconsciously trace the patterns of her kimono.
"She must have been quite a woman." The wood user added softly.
This time it was Tobirama who spoke up. "You showcased a forehead protector with the Kanji for 'Allied Shinobi Forces'. Surely that means you being from a village places the notion that you had successfully banded with several other clans and maintained this peace and trust?"
Sakura felt her heart had been squeezed tightly and twisted within her chest cavity, sending her sharp jolts all over her body with her grief once more.
"We did, but not anymore." Sakura's voice became softer, yet deeper, taking on darker undertones as she spoke and prepared to make her explanation, having flashes of memories play out in her mind, mocking her.
"How so...?" He pressed on.
The hands on her lap started making angry circles before closing into tight fists at her sides, wearing and stretching out the material at the hem of her kimono, voice cutting through the air around them like a kunai.
"My village was a safe haven for civilians and ninja in a way, housing people from various clans in the area who joined. Then our village was under attack...by a man who deemed himself a God who would bring the world peace by imposing unrelenting fear upon everyone. He killed children, women, men, everyone in his path and destroyed all the years of hard work with one blast. Many ended up dead afterwards, many of my close comrades were killed, and the rest fought on."
Though not meeting their eyes, she could feel Tobirama's expression soften a bit, whilst Hashirama bore into Sakura's dipped head with remorse.
"Where is he now?" Tobirama asked lowly.
"Dead." Sakura deadpanned, speaking through clenched teeth and sending daggers at her teacup. She was seeing everything clearly like she was experiencing it all over again. The sheer power, terror, shivering, and destruction of Pain's attack and also Madara's involvements.
Drawling out a shaky sigh, she lifted her head heavily, casting crestfallen features at the future founders of her village before mumbling, "Sorry...the memories and pain are still very recent. And as for the dark chakra you both must have realized by now, is part of the sacrifice.
I was taken on the duty to house the powerful chakra as I have perfect chakra control and can keep it harbored within me, but it came at the sacrifice that my remaining comrades knocked me out and took me away from the ruins. And I wasn't able to protect them." Unshed tears made Sakura's pretty green eyes sparkle, body trembling ever-so-slightly.
'Damn it, don't cry!' Sakura silently scolded herself. She had to remain strong, she had a mission to fulfill. Tears would only hunger her and blur her vision and keep her locked in the past.
She then found herself enveloped in a tight embrace of Hashirama, letting out a tiny gasp. She was surprised by his sudden appearance.
"Poor girl." He mumbled into her hair. "I'm sorry you had to go through that. You are safe here. I desire the same peace and tranquility within the clans and all become one family. It will not replace your old home, but I promise it will be a place where you and other clans can join together and live in harmony." The kind man spoke softly but was serious with his declaration.
She thought she was going insane, seemingly tense. But when she felt his words were genuine and he didn't pull away immediately, she loosened her coiled muscles and said she was sorry too, letting her eyes close to not look at Tobirama's surprised face but also to revel in the warmth and comfort the future Shodaime Hokage provided her.
"Thank you." Those two words were barely above a whisper, but they screamed with her gratitude.
Shortly after the embrace, Sakura thanked the two Senju's for the meal and requested she help out in the medical tents, to which Hahsirama complied, albeit not without having her promise not to over-exert herself for the day.
"I won't, don't worry, Hashirama-sama." He nodded eagerly, easily pleased.
"Good! Tobirama, please show her to the tents." Without further instruction, the water-style user stood up and sauntered over to where Sakura was standing a good head shorter than he was, making her crane her neck a bit to meet him in the eye.
With a small bob of the head, he turned towards the compound's medical area.
The crisp breeze ruffled Sakura's bangs, cooling her face with the calming forest scent and song of the wind. The medic kept following Tobirama's back, admiring the deep blue armor with the fluffy fur barely a shade lighter than his hair. Even as he walked, he held a strong, adamant poise that spoke loud and clear that wouldn't take no bullshit.
Few smaller buildings and houses flanked her either side as some fellow clansmen passed the duo, bowing in respect to Tobirama, and sending Sakura looks of curiosity and others held suspicion. She felt at ease with being aware of all her surroundings, but preferred to seem ignorant of the stares and scenery.
Several white tents were huddled together, with a few medics bustling around from patient to patient.
She was brought back from her analysis by the deep baritone sound of the future Nidaime's calm and collected voice, chin tilted to her direction to enable her to hear him better she supposed.
"There has been more distress as of late. More of our clansmen are wounded and there have been hushes of disappearances occurring discreetly. There is consternation of this turn of events. Given your medical prowess, it is in everyone's best interest to help out as much as we are able to and I will assist you in your duties and other sorts if needed. Later you will be given a home to live in close proximity with us, and Mira will go to the merchant shops later with you for some food and supplies." Tobirama was usually a laconic man, words spoken more in his mind than not. But he always spoke of more length when he felt the need.
They both had stopped during his talk, taking in his jutted jaw and furrowed crease of his brow. Sakura caught the glint of boiling anger before averting his gaze to soemthing in the distance. It sent chills down her spine even knowing the menacing glint was not meant for her, but found herself admiring him a bit more, as he was ruffled over the notion of the oncoming trepidation nonetheless.
"I fully intend to help your clan in my power, Tobirama-sama." She was not naive to think she was in the clear with the man, as it would take baby steps for him to open up to a stranger like herself who also contained powerful and deadly chakra that could be used against others. She deemed she would be under his watchful gaze, keeping her living quarters nearby to keep tabs on her activity and possibly from too many prying clansmen as well.
He turned to the woman, seeing the fierce fire that licked inside her emerald orbs with determination and passion set him a bit at ease, albeit only a sliver.
He stayed behind, watching the pink haired enigma as her crafty, dainty hands worked wonders with an illuminating green glow encasing them as she wove broken skin together.
She worked with Mira close by, and the suspisious looks the other women sent her dissolved to that of barely muffled awe as she set a rib in place, and nimble fingers slicing through skin like a knife, cleaning the wound of infection and closing that and many other large gashes without the need for stitches.
The water-style user was impressed, but didn't show it, just kept watch over the medic as she glided from one patient to the next, taking charge with sending others for herbs and bowls of water and other supplies to carry out the procedures without incident.
Several hours later, Sakura wiped some perspiration from her brow with her arm. She could still feel his piercing scarlet eyes on her form. She was slightly pleased with herself that the Nidaime wanted to observe her work even though he wasn't assigned to that task, and he had also acknowledged her skills as a medic and felt she was entrusted with the indirect mission to heal all of the members, which she would gladly do.
But she was slightly unnerved to have him watch so intently as well, every move of hers was analyzed, studied. As time quickly passed and she continued to delve into her work, she found. It easier to dismiss the merlot eyes on her back, rinsing her hands and taking out her hair tie, running her hands to massage through her long locks that were now a silky waterfall of waves from being in a braid. She felt his brisk strides to her position, turning to meet him with a pleasant and tired grin.
"I will take you to your room and you may go shopping for necessities with Mira once we get there. Hashirama set a bag of money on your futon for your use and discretion." At this he abruptly turned and headed off in the direction of his house, Sakura quickly following right behind him, returning some smiles from her fellow medics she worked with earlier.
As Sakura turned to peer at the descending sun over the horizon, she could not ignore the slowly creeping fear that overcame her for a moment. The sun bounced off her orbs, reflecting off light and making them a lime green with the orange tints playing with her complexion. She followed the taller man at a closer distance.
She had a good gut. She always followed her gut instincts, as it brought her that night when Sasuke tried to leave the village, and other instances when she was grateful of her instincts.
A shaken image of a little girl lay before him. Her black eyes shown that of unbridled fear, whimpering under his impassive face. His chocolate brown eyes lay half-lidded in disinterest, clearly unamused.
"Smart little girl. Surely she knows what you'll make her do now with that kunai? Hm?" Inquired his partner with a smirk.
The girl flinched at the words, looking at her injured mother lovingly and with desperation.
The woman smiled kindly at her daughter, despite the blood that dripped down her chin as she lay on her stomach, hand gently stroking the girls tear-stained cheek.
The man didn't answer his rather annoying compeer. He lazily lifted his forefinger, making the girl stand up without her own accord. She was in his total control, and she was not skilled enough a shinobi to avoid this situation.
She had fought without fear, throwing herself upon the intruders, but after expert hands took hold of her limbs, she was growing aware of what she would be doing in a minute.
She could not fight against the strong hold even with all her will, the hands that gripped the kunai desperately tried to loosen enough for it to clatter on the floor, but she was inching closer to her incapacitated mother, sniffles and her scratchy voice pleading to stop.
"Say, what age did you have your first kill?" Pressed the man with blue eyes asked.
Chocolate orbs bore into his partner's before answering nonchalantly, "Seven."
"Hm, seems this girl is about the same age."
The girl had listened to the merciless murderers, shutting her eyes tightly and focusing her chakra to try to disrupt this opposing jutsu of theirs.
"Please, let me kill myself instead!" The girl shouted in between sobs.
"It's okay, sweetie." A gentle, bloodied hand caressed the girls cheek again, making her open her eyes at her mother.
"Mommy, I love you." She said in a whisper, her body only shivering a bit since she was still under the man's control.
"And I love you." The woman responded, sending the girl a smile.
Being emotionless was a beautiful thing for the man, otherwise he would be reminded of his memories of his mother. He quickly dismissed it.
His hand swiped to the right and the girl struck her mother, blood pooling around them and strewn on her face.
He dropped his control on the girl and she unceremoniously dropped on her knees and enveloped frail arms around her pale mother. Her body wracked with sobs, the green grass around them staining of her mothers blood. The other man made quick work to lift the girl up again, her arms pinching and kicking at him and screaming at him, whilst he gauged out her eyes that glowed of the angry mangekyou sharingan.
The kid was dropped again and she resorted to cradling her dead mother.
Turning away from the scene, the impatient man called to his partner, "Hurry up you imbecile, we wasted enough time as is."
With that they both left a screaming girl in their wake.