Summary: She had never met Ino, no, and she had never entered the academy. However, she was still capable of using chakra. And being self-taught, she'll take the world by storm, though it really should be by puppetry.

Facing the peers of her teammates, Sakura nervously shifted closer to her shinobi friend and teacher. It was the first time that she would meet other teams, and she was already being hated by one of them. She didn't know what she did wrong, but she was sure that she didn't like it.

"Shinobi-san, do I have to be here?" Sakura questioned quietly, flinching as she felt the angry glares of the female student.

"Sakura, it isn't that bad. You can think of them as Yuzuko, Suzuka, and Hana," Kakashi said, patting his student on the head as he pushed her forward, forcing her to stand there in fear of strangers. He had to do something about that irrational fear, especially since they were going on a joint mission.

"You stay away from my Sasuke-kun!" Ino hissed, jabbing the pink-haired girl's shoulder. She was a threat with her long pretty hair, and big emerald eyes, along with her pouty lips that she knew were just fake.

Flinching backwards and closer to Kakashi, Sakura gripped her friend's jacket as she looked around for escape pathways.

"Sakura, calm down. No one is going to eat you," Kakashi said, sighing as he stared down at the girl. He had always known she was shy, but to be deadly afraid of meeting new people? This was taking it to a new level.

"B-but…she looks like she wants to kill me!" Sakura whispered with her eyes wide in fear. She had never done anything wrong to the girl, and she had never met the girl, but she apparently had gotten on the wrong side because she was being glared at like she would die a thousand times.

"Don't be silly Sakura. No one will kill you, not while I'm around," Kakashi said, raising his unseen eyebrow at the girl being taught by Asuma. She visibly shrunk back when he released a fifteen of his killing intent, and he turned to see Sakura staring at him with furrowed brows, as if she wasn't pleased with what he did.

"That wasn't nice shinobi-san," Sakura said, poking Kakashi harshly in the side. She had felt his killing intent, and if she wasn't already used to his presence, she would've been sweating bullets by now.

"Whoever said I had to be nice?" Kakashi asked, making his point when Asuma's female student recoiled in regret.

"No more of scaring my student, Kakashi. We have a mission to begin," Asuma announced, rolling his eyes at the unusual behaviour of his comrade and his student.

"A mission? Will it be as awesome as the mission to Wave?!" Naruto asked, completely forgetting the downside to that so-called 'awesome' mission to Wave.

Sakura, having remembered the way her shinobi friend broke down in front of her, immediately held his hand as his muscles tensed in remembrance of his failure. "Naruto-san, it is best that you do not mention that mission anymore," She spoke quietly.

Confused, Naruto was about to question why when he recalled why Sakura was in his team. She had replaced their old teammate, deceased Ami. Immediately sobering, he sneaked a quick glance to Kakashi, seeing that his expression was completely blank.

Patting Kakashi's hand, Sakura whispered that it wasn't his fault, knowing that he'd listen to her. He had confined in her so it was her job keeping him out of his guilt.

Watching in amusement, Asuma itched for his cigarette. He had never seen a student calm their teacher before, as it rarely happened, and he believed that Kakashi would get over his guilt of failing his student.

"Could you perhaps inform us of the mission details?" Sakura asked, turning to face Asuma, for Kakashi was finally loosening his grip on her hand. She knew that he was still distraught over Ami's death, but with time, he'd push it to the back of his mind.

"Aa, yes. Regarding the mission, we will group you into pairs. Your mission will be to survive in the woods for a week. You will be assigned to different campsites and will be forced into a situation where you only have whatever resources near you. This mission will ensure that you can think and act under pressure, as well as how well you can survive with the available resources," Asuma announced, and began pairing the genin.

Standing beside the boy named Shikamaru, Sakura had to wonder what she got herself into when she (unwillingly) agreed to become a part of Team 7.

Setting up camp, Sakura felt the fire travel up her esophagus and she let out a large enough trail of fire to ensure that the fire caught onto the stacks of logs they found lying around. Considering that it would be getting colder, it would be a good idea to start a fire.

"Where did you learn that?"

Blinking, Sakura looked up to see Shikamaru staring down at her. "I read it in the library," she answered quietly.

"What else did you learn?" Shikamaru asked her as he sat down across from her. Although he felt that it would be a waste of oxygen, he was curious as to why someone who had never entered the academy could successfully pull of an elemental jutsu.

"…eto…I learnt what you learnt?" Sakura questioned, not knowing if it was a good enough answer, because she didn't know what he learnt in the academy.

"We never learned of elemental jutsus. I don't even know what element my chakra corresponds to," Shikamaru answered immediately.

Rubbing the back of her neck, Sakura didn't know what to say. She hadn't known that others didn't know what elements they had. It was by chance that she came across chakra paper, and after learning that she had an advantage over fire, wind, earth, and water, she had immediately taken to reviewing every scroll she read regarding those four.

"We…we could test it out, r-right now, if you'd like…" Sakura suggested, slowly pulling out her spare chakra paper. She hadn't known how many to buy so she bought two, in case the elements responded to separate papers.

Shifting closer to Sakura's side, Shikamaru was handed the chakra paper. Inserting his chakra, he watched as it turned to ashes, meaning that he had fire jutsus at his disposal.

"I-I could, ano, show you the scrolls that I learnt from…" Sakura said, hugging her knees as their fire licked at the air. "But…I don't have them with me right now, s-so…after the mission is over?" She asked, fiddling with her hands, because she had left Racha behind.

Nodding, Shikamaru thanked the girl. He didn't know what else to say, but he knew that she was different from his teammate, who was loud and…well…loud.

"Ano…we should sleep soon," Sakura mentioned, taking note of how dark it was getting. Grabbing her canteen full of river water, which she had heated up to become mineral water, she poured it over their dimming fire. "W-who will take first watch?" Sakura asked, standing up as Shikamaru did the same.

Stuffing his hands inside his pockets, he glanced at their surroundings. "I'm sure that they'll leave us alone for the first night, so we can both get some rest." He said.

Opening his eyes, Shikamaru looked down, immediately stuffing his face with hair.

Blinking in bewilderment, he craned his head back to view what was strangling him. Pink hair…Naruto's new teammate, he recalled, and flexed his fingers to see if he could move them.

Feeling something soft against his fingers, and finally noticing for the first time, he blushed brightly. M-my hands…since when? He wondered in horror, for his arms were wrapped snugly around Sakura's waist, and his hands were resting against her bum. Raising his left hand in shock, he looked helplessly to his right hand, which couldn't be moved and was going numb now that he was awake.

Vaguely, he felt Sakura's legs wrap around him.

Exhaling in regret, he slowly succumbed to the thoughts of sleep. He'd deal with it after a couple more hours of sleep.

Sakura was awake, but barely. Laying her head down on the warm life-sized Racha, she had to wonder, just what was a life-sized Racha doing in the tent that she was sharing with Shikamaru? Lifting her eyelids, and blinking tiredly, Sakura craned her head up to see not Racha, but Shikamaru. Inhaling deeply, she held her breath, unsure of what to do. "A-Ano…S-Shikamaru-san?" She called out, for she couldn't move even though she wanted to. She was lying directly atop the boy, and was wondering what was jabbing her stomach.

Cracking both eyes open, Shikamaru laid there half-awake. He half-registered himself lying on his back, groping something soft, and staring into the eyes of Naruto's new teammate. Wait… Sitting up in shock, he dropped his head against Sakura's shoulder, feeling the world spin. When the world stopped spinning, Shikamaru lifted his head in tire. Removing his arms from Sakura's person, he waited for her to move, only to realize that she was looking down at what was poking her. Widening his eyes, Shikamaru felt his blush return ten-fold. This is…troublesome, for a lack of a better word, he thought, before covering himself with the jacket he had placed to the side.

"We should head out first," Shikamaru bit out, hoping she would take the hint and leave so that he could get the opportunity to relieve himself of his morning wood.

Tilting her head, Sakura complied, but she would have to question her friend what had occurred when they got together again.

Sometime later (close to the borders of Konoha)

Sakura hadn't meant to stumble upon the clearing she was in, but she was utterly glad that she had. Had she not, her parents would've been no more, and she would've been stuck inside an orphanage because of society's laws regarding children with no mothers or fathers.

As she busied herself with getting the angle right, the rogue-nins started closing in on her terrified parents.

Feeling the flames bubble up her esophagus, she opened her mouth and spewed out multiple balls of flame, each one successfully catching onto the targets.

"Sakura? Sakura!" Mebuki cried out upon turning around to see who had saved her husband and herself. When no response came, she could only watch in fear for her daughter who seemed to be on the verge of fainting (too much chakra had been used up for the amount of flames she had sent out).

Racha, who sensed that the danger wasn't over, burst about towards the rogue-nins, binding them so that they wouldn't get away so easily.

Inhaling deeply, Sakura then opened her mouth and let out a bright white trail of scorching fire to enclose the ninja. Hearing them scream as they were burnt alive, she gestured towards her parents, who were standing too close to the burning ninja, to escape. Her first kills were over as soon as they started, and Sakura looked away from the carcasses as her parents rushed over to her, clinging onto her trembling figure.

"Sakura…why? Why?" Mebuki questioned, hiding the death from her daughter. Although she was glad that Sakura had showed up in time to save them from death, she had to wonder…why on earth was she outside of Konoha? Why? Just why was she wearing a hitai-ate? What on earth occurred within the span on their trip that she had not told them?

"I can explain…" Sakura muttered when her mother stopped mumbling to herself in shock.

Kizashi could only hold his daughter closer to their chests as her hands gripped onto their sleeves as tightly as she could, the sweet stench of death hitting his nostrils as it threatened to make him hurl his breakfast out in the open.

The family of three was reunited, but it wasn't always to last. Death had been coming for them, and it would keep on following their footsteps because they managed to dodge the doorsteps of death. And as most know, death did not take kindly to escapees.

Yep, surprise surprise!~ I myself was surprised at what I had written, I mean, what the *creative minds people* did I write? Well, we're both in line for the roller-coaster, so we may as well be patient for the end of the line. Don't ask me what I'm saying, I'm sprouting my mind because I'm tired and my eyes sting x(