A/N: This is a story where Sakura is unapologetically overpowered and doesn't give a shit. If you don't think you can handle that, it may be time to switch to a different fic.
Haruno Sakura, on the day she travelled back in time, was over five hundred years old, and the Jinchuuriki for all nine bijuu. Both circumstances had happened as the culmination of an unlikely series of events, and she had outlived the rest of the planet by… a very wide margin.
All that was left of the sentient species was her, the Bijuu, the omnipresent Zetsu clones (for a given value of sentient), and a handful of summons.
Sakura was bored.
Sakura wakes up in the middle of the Land of Earth, perhaps thirty miles from Iwagakure. She stands up, looks at it, and thinks to herself wow, I forgot that cities could be big even without skyscrapers.
The Land of Earth has always been special, in that the land is frequently little more than massive slabs of rock. Badlands, they call it. Unlike the Land of Wind's ever-shifting sands and Fire's moist soil, the land of Earth has surfaces that are optimal for the drawing of large seals, and it doesn't rain enough to wash things away like in the Land of Water.
(Lightning is mostly mountain country and covered in so many different climates that Sakura gave up on it centuries ago. Or maybe centuries from now? Strange.)
She feels hollow, and realizes after a few seconds that it's because the bijuu she's collected are gone. That's… that's fair, probably. They aren't physical beings like her, but chakra constructs with strange metaphysical properties that don't let them exist twice over like she can. Splitting them, sure, she's known that since she was sixteen, but doubling is… well, empirical evidence suggests that it's not really a possibility.
Shame, really. They were her only constant company after Orochimaru kicked the bucket, save for… well.
(She had a feeling he'd let himself die from boredom, which, okay, rude. Sakura was plenty interesting! It didn't matter if the rest of the planet was dead from the horrific post-apocalyptic wasteland that was their lives!)
The rest of Sakura's seals seem to be fine, though. She can sense that they're still full of weapons and other fun little tidbits that she didn't want to leave behind.
She sets a course for Konoha that very night.
Sakura has a lot of 'fun little tidbits.' Really. A lot.
Like Orochimaru's brain.
It's… okay, so it's not totally ethical, but to be fair, Sakura and Orochimaru had been stealth-experimenting on each other for centuries by the time Orochimaru died. Posthumously grabbing his brain and using a stolen Yamanaka technique to copy all the memories out into a seal so she could give them back to him as soon as she found him in her new present wasn't really all that weird and don't look at her like that it's practically nice for them okay?
(It's not like the Yamanaka mind that she's stolen their technique for this. They're all two centuries dead by the time she does it anyway.)
(Actually, no, they did mind when she did it, but that was because most of them still had 'opinions' on Edo Tensei.)
("What do you mean you brought me back from the dead for this?")
("Relax, it's fine, and you already have the techniques for it, even! Just tell me how to do it!")
("You used Edo Tensei! You sacrificed someone just so you could learn a technique!")
("I used fucking Zetsu clones! It's not like they're real people!")
(Whatever. Ino got over it.)
She may also have Orochimaru's actual dead body in a seal somewhere, because he's probably going to want it as soon as he remembers the future that isn't, because he's fun like that.
And also a few other brains and memories tucked away in various seals, mostly by virtue of Edo Tensei, after she figured out how to mix the two techniques. There were plenty of Zetsu clones running around with nothing to do; catching a few sacrifices had been child's play, at best.
People got so mad when she brought them back with Edo Tensei. She'd eventually stopped just because they'd either immediately attack her for violating the sanctity of death (pffft) or she'd have to use the mind control kunai, which just made them boring. Like, come on, she wasn't even sacrificing real people! They were basically hive mind plant clones, they really didn't count.
"I was the best ninja on the planet, by virtue of being the only one left." She mutters to herself, because it's true and she needs to hear herself say it. Oh, she was one of the best even when the competition had been a lot larger, but the people who lived longest were the people who were the strongest, and there was always someone better, until she was the only one left.
And now she's back when it all began, because the future is boring as shit and when you're known as "Sakura the Deathless," you don't get a choice as to whether you can just let nature take its course and kill you so you can join everyone else on the other side. You're stuck there, immortal, with no one but some bijuu and summons for company, which, while interesting in their own way, are a very limited group, especially given how rarely she actually saw the summons.
The Zetsu clones are a hive mind and don't count, no matter how many of them there are.
"And now I'm the best ninja on the planet by virtue of having five centuries of experience and being fucking awesome." She hisses to herself, grinning. The Konoha Chuunin Exams start in three months, and she is going to crash that party like a boss, find her jackass of a friend, and skip out to go wreak havoc now that there are people again.
Sakura knows that she doesn't look a lot like a ninja. She looks like she's in her late twenties, maybe, though it's that vaguely youthful but mostly ageless look that Tsunade had about her, where you were surprised when she told you she was fifty-something, but when asked how old you thought she actually was, couldn't figure out a number to put to it.
So yeah, Sakura looks young. Her muscles are hidden under loose, wispy white clothing that no ninja would wear as anything but a disguise, unless they were completely and utterly convinced of their own superiority even in such dangerous cloths. And her hair and eyes, so pastel-pale and downright adorable (or so she's been told), make everyone underestimate her, even if she goes with a low ponytail instead of the traditional cutesy pigtails. She even carries a pretty pink parasol, all lacy and delicate, and no luggage whatsoever, because who needs a bag when one's entire body is covered in seals?
(Okay, so the wispy white clothing is also so that she doesn't overheat while still covering up all her storage seal tattoos. There's a lot of them, and they're really obvious.)
She sneaks into Otogakure before she does anything about Konoha. Getting past the guards is easy, which… yeah, okay, she'd had five hundred years to practice. They've had maybe five or ten, given that most of them are teenagers. She can let them off with a warning. Or five.
Sticky-note messages are fun.
Sakura manages to sneak into Orochimaru's private office, and she thinks she can hear him rummaging about in his bedroom, just past the second door; the privacy seals are very good, but Sakura is better. She sits down behind his desk, kicks up her leather boots onto the mahogany, and laces her hands together behind her head, the very picture of irreverence. The fact that this position makes her gauzy white outfit slide back and expose her extensive seal tattoos is really just a plus.
Orochimaru comes out of his room, scroll in his hands, and stops in the doorway as he spots her. Sakura grins.
The man raises an eyebrow. "Come again?"
"Oh, I'd love to." Sakura purrs, because she's gotten used to responding a certain way to certain things, okay. Orochimaru does not say 'I'm sorry' or 'excuse me' when he needs someone to explain themselves, because that puts the blame on him or some other such nonsense. Sakura never really got it, but she knows that he will always either demand a repetition, or say the above. Since Sakura is a completely stranger that has made it into an office and past all his adorable little guards, she's painted herself as a possible threat, even though he's probably already dismissing her a bit. He's got a very high opinion of himself, and it's usually quite warranted, but Sakura is just… better.
To a hilarious degree.
He doesn't really respond to her pervy joke, though. His eyebrow just hikes up a little closer to his hairline, and he crosses his arms. If Sakura knows him at all (and after a good four and change centuries of companionship, she does), he's doing it in case he needs to hide hand signs from her when he attacks.
"I asked you what's up? How's it hanging? How are you, you glorious fuckwad?" Okay, so she's messing with him a bit, but watching this Orochimaru try to hide his growing confusion and, more importantly, his growing anger at her words is hilarious.
"I was doing quite well until you decided to enter my private area and insult me. Who are you, and why are you here?" He asks, shifting his weight to one leg. Sakura eyes the ridiculous clothing he's wearing and wishes she could talk him into something a little more stylish; really, he's got the ass for skinny jeans and yet he does nothing.
"Well… I got stuck with the name 'Sakura the Deathless' for a while, which was annoying. It sounds stupid, and people kept trying to kill me even though it clearly wasn't going to work. It was right there in the name. Right there. Deathless. I can't die and still they insisted on trying. I got some good fights out of it, though…" She trails off, wondering how long it's going to take for Orochimaru to snap, and—
Oh, hey, she's up against a wall with a sword at her throat. Nice. Good speed, actually, she'd forgotten he was already this fast.
"Your purpose, kunoichi."
"Shinobi." Sakura corrects. "Like, I realize that I'm a girl and all, but kunoichi is really more of a role than a gender thing, yeah? I mean, gender roles are also a thing, but they're total bullshit, and while I can play the role of the kunoichi, I prefer frontline combat so really I'm more of a—"
The knife digs a little deeper into her neck.
"Okay, so like… basically? You're a piece of shit who abandoned me, but I love you, as an awesome friend, so I tracked you down to give you back your brain."
Well, his memories. She'd give him the brain too, of course, but the memories were the important bit.
"…I see." Orochimaru tilts his head to the side and examines her closely. "I do not recognize you, Sakura."
"Obviously. There's a reason for it. That said…" Sakura tilts her head to the side as well, and leans forward, the knife digging into her throat a little more. They're close enough to kiss, and if Sakura weren't sure that the Orochimaru she knew would never let her do anything of the sort, she might have closed the distance. "I think I'll wait to give it back, yeah?"
(She's gotten close to the other disturbingly long-lived people in her time alive. On several occasions, before they all died, she tried to seduce some of them. Orochimaru was one of the few that didn't budge. In his eyes, she will forever be too young, because that was how he'd seen her when they'd first met.)
(She doesn't resent him for it.)
(…She's not a child anymore, okay.)
"The brain." Orochimaru says, as though searching for clarification.
"Yeah, the brain."
"A brain that, last I checked, was in my head."
"Well, it's not like you always have the same head," Sakura said, very logically in her opinion. "All that body jumping does leave its mark."
"So you… desecrated the corpse of my original body and brought me the brain from there?" Orochimaru asks, probably thinking that he's figured her out.
"Nah." Sakura leans forward against the sword, and it cuts further into her throat, until more of her neck is cleaved in half than is still attached. "You'll figure it out eventually."
She shunshins out of the way of the sword, coming to a stop on the other side of the desk from Orochimaru, in the middle of the room. He turns slowly, not like he's slow by nature, but like he's confident enough in his own skills, and in the assumption that she won't attack, that he simply doesn't need to act fast.
Which, well, she's not going to attack, but if she did, right now, with any intent of killing him, he would die. Utterly and completely. That was just kind of a given.
She'd helped him perfect all his techniques; she knew the early weaknesses by heart, because she'd been one of the people that helped patch them.
"And how soon is 'eventually,' then?" Orochimaru asks, and then his tongue lolls out further than should be humanly possible, outright slithering through the air to begin curling around her neck, and… and, considering the fact that she knows that tongue is strong enough to strangle a person to death and that that's the threat he's supposedly trying to convey here, Sakura really shouldn't find that quite as hot as she does.
She tries not to think about that. Down that path lies solely frustration. It always has.
"You should put that away, I'm getting all hot and bothered." She tells him matter-of-factly, eyes focused on the tongue. "Like… putting it away? That's a thing that should happen if you don't want to make this even more awkward than it already is."
The tongue stops the slow undulations that any freely-hanging muscle of the sort would have, freezing right in its tracks, and then slowly slides back into Orochimaru's mouth.
Oh, good. The tongue is gone.
(Sakura had developed some very strange tastes in people over the years, especially as the possibilities dwindled in the face of insurmountable horrors. The apocalypse wasn't supposed to be the place for canoodling, but one could only go so many years without getting used to the atmosphere, to the point where sex didn't seem like a distraction from survival anymore, and by then, the options were so limited.)
"So…" Sakura shifts her weight from one leg to the other. "I'll see you soon, yeah?"
She's gone before he can answer.
Currently, most of the bijuu have hosts. Sakura knows that, in most of these cases, the hosts didn't consent, being children at the time of sealing. However, most of them have grown used enough to the situation and rely so much on the bijuu's powers, or have such a strong sense of duty and obligation, that they would almost universally reject the opportunity to be rid of their demons.
Sakura doesn't begrudge them this. She has no claim to the bijuu at the moment, but if she's not mistaken, Kirigakure is about to have a revolution. Or it may have just had one. She's not super sure about the timing, but she knows the gist of the whole 'control the Sanbi Jinchuuriki/Yondaime Mizukage with Sharingan' plan that Obito was running around now, and she knows the revolution happened after the Wave mission, since Zabuza was there solely to earn the money to fund said revolution.
The point is, the Mizukage won't care much if she messes around with his seal. He won't care much about anything.
Sakura pauses as she alights on a roof at the edge of Kirigakure, gazing up at the Mizukage's tower. It's taller than the Hokage tower, for some reason. If she tries, she can probably see him from here, but she doesn't bother; she can sense Isobu there. She doesn't even know the man's all that well, but she knows that his situation is kind of terrible. And she knows that she can fix it. Obito's Sharingan-based mind control is strong right now, but there are still holes that she can exploit to break it, especially on someone else.
She… should probably avoid changing the timeline overly much this soon. And Mei was fun as Mizukage, so providing an incentive for that to happen was a reason to leave Yagura to his own devices.
But like… guilt.
She'd met the man by way of Edo Tensei, and he'd been fairly nice. Isobu had liked him, too.
And Isobu will probably complain if she doesn't help…
Ugh, fine. She'll do it.
Sakura channels some chakra to her feet, and jumps, flying across half the village in a single bound. She won't lie; the ridiculously high and ridiculously long jumps that she's learned to employ are also ridiculously fun, and she loves them.
Even at midday, the sun in Kirigakure is weak, impeded by the mist and clouds that roll in off the sea. That said, it's still enough for plenty of people to see Sakura crash through the Mizukage's roof like a bright, pink-and-white-and-brown meteor.
She lands on the floor of Mizukage's main office in a shower of dust and rubble from the ceiling. She feels at least two people try to attack her without hesitation, and grabs them before they made it to her, flinging them away from her and into the walls.
Or through the walls, she thinks, as she hears the walls crack and something vaguely human-sized start falling through the air outside the building. Through the walls works too.
"Yo," She says as she turns to face Yagura. "I'm gonna punch you in the face and break the wacky eye stuff that's brainwashing you, m'kay?"
Yagura's answer takes the form of an outpouring of Sanbi chakra, corrosive and oppressive, and Sakura would probably be at least a little intimidated if she were actually the age she appeared. Just a little, though; she'd already been S-rank for a decade by the time she hit her late twenties.
That said, she has literally no fear of Yagura as he is now. The most troublesome thing he could do, to borrow Shikamaru's phrasing, was set a bounty on her head, which he probably won't do once she actually follows through on her promise.
An incorporeal seal builds up on her knuckles, and Sakura charges past the Mizukage's guard and into the chakra that even now is trying to grab and destroy her.
"Time to wake up!" She shouts as her fist does indeed crash into Yagura's face… blasting him through the wall, just like his unfortunate subordinate from before.
"Ah, dammit." Sakura peers out the hole in the wall, ignoring the people trying to attack her from behind now. "I hope I didn't kill him."
She leans back around and focuses on a familiar face. "What do you think, Ao?"
The man's visible eye narrows. "How do you know my name?"
"I know lots of things." Sakura informs him. "I'm going to go check on your boss and hope that the stuff Tobi was doing to him is gone now. I haven't actually used that seal before. It's kind of experimental."
A muscle in Ao's cheek is twitching, a lot. "And what, exactly, has this 'Tobi' been doing to Mizukage-sama?"
"Mind control, mostly." Sakura says with the air of someone very, very distracted from whatever is supposed to be going on right now. "You know, just all the stuff responsible for your village become such a shitshow."
One of the men in the room lunges to try and kill her, at that, and she grabs his sword (ooooh, nice metalwork) as he slashes down at her, palm catching the blade and fingers curling around the flat of it. It digs into her skin, drawing blood, but doesn't get nearly as far as the wielder probably intended. Sakura gives him a pitying look.
"Dude, I literally just took out the strongest ninja in your village with a single punch. What makes you think you stand a chance?"
"I don't," the man grunts, still putting all his strength behind his blade, "But I will defend Kirigakure from her enemies, even when the odds are insurmountable."
Sakura blinks at him. "Huh," she hums a little as she kicks him (softly, softly) away from her, and nods as she turns back to the Yagura-shaped hole in the wall. "I like you, man. I'm not an enemy of Kirigakure, though. Just like, FYI and all that."
She jumps out the window without any further talk, and lands next to Yagura's body. He's groaning, which means he's alive, at least.
"So, how are you feeling?" She asks sweetly. She also nudges him with the toes of her boot, not so sweetly.
"Like I got punched through a wall by a woman with as much strength as Senju Tsunade." Yagura mutters, levering himself up onto his elbows. He turns a wary glare at Sakura. "Isobu… he knows you."
"I know," Sakura says with a grin. "Mind if I get him out for a bit?"
Yagura stiffens. "That would kill me."
"Oh, I won't remove the chakra," Sakura assures him, "Not more than a tiny fraction. Like, you'd maybe need to eat an apple to recover from it, since your reserves are S-rank. Just enough for a few Kage Bunshin, basically. It's mostly just the psyche I'm removing."
Yagura raises an eyebrow. "Do I have a choice?"
"I mean… not really, no, but it's still polite for me to ask first." Sakura shrugs. "If I may?"
"I don't believe I could stop you if I tried, going by what Isobu is telling me." Yagura says, dropping his head back down into the rubble. "By the Sage, what have I been doing these past few years…"
"Following Tobi's orders, mostly." Sakura says, pulling another seal into existence at the tip of her finger. The back of her mind registers the arrival of several more shinobi. She moves from crouching to seated next to Yagura. "Given how much people hate you now, since they didn't know about the mind control, you're probably best off just abdicating and handing the hat over to Mei or something."
"Terumi?" Yagura asks, not raising his head. He actually sounds like he's considering it. "She wouldn't do badly."
"She'd be fucking fantastic," Sakura informs him. "Like, really. I've seen it, Isobu probably told you."
"I believe you." Yagura mutters, "The damage control is going to be phenomenally difficult, isn't it?"
Sakura shrugs and presses the seal she's built up down onto Yagura's chest, which draws out a grunt of discomfort from the childlike man. "I'd expect so, yes."
The point of contact for the seal glows as the seal itself flares, and the shinobi that have been trying to stealthily make their way in stop where they are or retreat, depending. Sakura laughs a little at the sudden outpouring of pale blue chakra from the seal, which temporarily billows out into a translucent vision of the Sanbi. It then starts curling in on itself and coalescing into the shape of a small boy, smaller than Yagura even, who just so happens to be completely naked.
"Put some damn clothes on, Isobu." Sakura says as the humanized turtle blinks up at her with wide, dazed blue eyes. "I don't have anything in your size on me."
Yagura eyes Isobu a little, but doesn't seem to be interested in moving.
"I don't have any, Sakura-nee-chan." Isobu tells her, and she kind of wants to ruffle his hair, because he is adorable, even if he's actually old as shit, like a millennium and a half, if one includes the time-travel. He's three times her age and still calls her Nee-chan, okay, that's just cute.
"Maybe Yagura can order one of his minions to bring us some." Sakura says with a smile.
"Sure, fine, whatever. Let's get clothes for the bijuu, yay." Yagura says this all in a monotone, not a hint of 'yay' in sight, and still not opening his eyes. "Where the hell are my subordinates?"
"Hiding, I think." Sakura says, looking over at the shinobi that are still hovering anxiously a couple dozen feet away, loosely circling the group. Hunter nin, or Kiri's ANBU, probably. They have masks, anyway. "They aren't badly hidden, but I can tell they're there."
"Hey assholes!" She shouts, startling them. One of them actually flinches, getting looks from the others. "Get us some clothes for Isobu-kun!"
Isobu waves shyly at them.
The probably-ANBU turn to look at Yagura. So does Isobu. Sakura pokes him. "They want your approval before they listen to the crazy intruder lady."
Yagura lifts a hand in the air in a thumbs-up, and then lets it drop back down to his chest.
"Good enough for me!" Sakura says cheerfully, and then kicks out her legs into a wide V, planting her hands down behind her and locking her elbows to keep her torso up. She lets her head drop back, feeling the diffuse sun on her face and smiling. "Isn't a world with people nice, Isobu-kun?"
"It's less boring, yes." Isobu agrees, and then goes back to looking at Yagura. After a few seconds of hesitation, he takes his host's hand into his own. "Sorry, Yagura-san. You wouldn't have had to deal with Tobi if I hadn't been in you."
"Neither of us volunteered for that sealing." Yagura says, cracking one eye open. "From what I've heard, Kiri has some of the nicer bijuu anyway."
"Kumo and Taki didn't do too bad." Sakura says. "Suna and Konoha got the worst of it, really. Kurama was angry as shit, mostly due to how Mito and Kushina had him sealed, and Shukaku's a drunk old bastard."
"Nee-chan!" Aw, Isobu sounds offended.
"What? He is!" Sakura protests. "He's old, he's drunk whenever possible, and he's a total douchebag!"
"Still…" Isobu pouts, and the conversation is broken off by exhausted laughter.
They both look back down at Yagura, who's pulled a hand up to cover his eyes, and is laughing like a very, very tired person who has nonetheless found something very funny about a situation that iwould otherwise be only a little amusing.
"You okay there?" Sakura asks wryly. She considers poking him again, but decides to cut him some slack.
"I'm listening to an immortal girl from the future argue with my child-shaped bijuu about whether or not another bijuu deserves to be called names, acting like they're siblings, after said immortal girl from the future has just destroyed almost any trace of brainwashing left on me, which I've been trying to fight for nearly a decade now." Yagura tells them. "I am a very tired man, Sakura-san. I'm going to have a lot of shit to deal with, and I can't do anything but laugh when the world decides to get this strange."
"I…" Sakura feels something pooling in her stomach. Guilt, maybe? Gross. "I was just gonna get Isobu and then fuck off to Snow Country so I could steal a convertible, but I… I guess I could help you get your village back on its feet?"
She glances at Isobu for backup, and he nods encouragingly. He even has a grin on his face.
"That would be very much appreciated," Yagura tells her. "But how do you plan to explain this?"
"A wandering S-rank got bored and decided to break the mind-control you were under as a favor to your bijuu, and stuck around to help on a whim." Sakura says promptly. "Basically the truth."
"Sure," Yagura says, apparently not having the energy to argue with her. Had Sakura breaking the genjutsu really taken that much out of him? "Let's go with that."
Sakura tells a few Kiri shinobi the full truth while she's there. Mei is among that number.
Sakura mainly tells them because she wants anyone she fucks to know her full age and knowledge of them before they get down and dirty. It wouldn't be fair to them to sleep with someone that much older without knowing, no matter the fact that they're all adults and completely capable of consenting to such activities.
Yagura doesn't approve, but Sakura doesn't really care about his opinion on her sex life.
"That one?" Isobu asks, pointing at another car in the lot below them. They're on a hill in Snow Country, which still hasn't become Spring Country, and neither of them are really dressed for the weather. They don't really need to be, though.
"Nah." Sakura keeps eyeing the lot. "I want a convertible."
"Nee-chan…" Isobu says, hesitating. "They're the only country that makes cars right now."
"Nee-chan, it's too cold for convertibles." Isobu finishes.
"I know." Sakura whines, flopping onto her back in the snow. "It sucks."
"You could steal a normal car and then augment it yourself?" Isobu suggests. "Or have someone do it for you?"
"That would take either a lot of time or a lot of money," Sakura mutters. "So…"
"Let's go rob a bank!"
A/N: From Narutopedia: Isobu speaks in a timid manner, referring to itself as "boku" (ボク) which is usually used by young boys.
I extrapolated Isobu's personality and humanized appearance from this.