A/N: Hello! This is my first time writing something in the Naruto universe. There's this story that I'd love to tell, only that I don't know whether anybody would be interested. It's takes off around the blank period when Sakura was travelling with Sasuke and pregnant and continues in a different storyline from the Boruto one. I'm leaving you the prologue here, so please tell me whether you'd like to see what happens and maybe even leave me a tip or an opinion regarding the story and my writing! ENJOY!
SPRING LIGHTNING - SARADA
twelve years ago...
When the clouds covered the moon, the entire world was left in darkness. Naruto didn't have a good feeling about it, he hadn't had one for the past week, as if something was going on and he didn't know about it. He was lying in bed, trying and failing to get some sleep, his mind wandering through any thought. It wasn't the right time for him to remember the best and the worst of times, his life, the year at the Academy, Team 7, Sasuke and Sakura - where were they now? They had been together, travelling for a year or even more, and hadn't sent any message yet. Sometimes, he joked that they'd disappeared.
Then he heard a strong noise coming from downstairs. Somebody was knocking at the door, loud enough to wake Hinata, who had been sleeping next to him. Naruto wondered who could've been in the middle of the night and whether it was related to his bad feeling. On their way down to open the door, he thought he heard a baby's cries and clenched his fists.
When he opened the door, he saw the redheaded woman with an infant in her hands.
"You are..." he started, recognising her.
Hinata moved before he did, to take the woman in and help her with the child. As she was holding him or her carefully, the image of their soon to be born baby flashing before his eyes. The doctors said that it'd happen in less than two months... Chasing these beautiful thoughts away, he closed the door behind the two women and the child and went with them in the living-room.
"...Karin, yes..." the woman muttered, as she entered, answering Naruto's exclamation.
"You used to work with Sasuke years ago. So why are you here? How did you know to come here?" the yellow-haired ninja burst out. Things didn't make any sense to him. Besides, when he looked at Karin, only bad memories came back to him - when Sasuke had gone rogue and wanted to destroy Konoha and how hard it was to bring that idiot back from the darkness that he had surrounded himself with.
She looked at him, the bags under her red eyes proof of how much she'd cried on her way there. "You're their best-friend. I had to find you. I sensed your chakra." Karin didn't seem hurt, but hesitated to say anything further for a few minutes, releasing a long and pained sigh. Something was not okay, that much he could realize as well. "This is their child, Sasuke-kun and Sakura's baby girl. I've been told to bring her here."
"What about them?"
The redheaded woman - it was just like his mother's - was holding back the tears that had formed at the corners of her eyes. "They're dead."
Naruto first thought she was joking. He couldn't believe it. He'd rather believe that the sky was yellow, that Kaguya was back, that Akatsuki were back, that Pain was back. He'd rather believe that Orochimaru had always been in fact a woman or that ramen was toxic. But he couldn't believe that Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha were... dead. Their names and that word weren't fit to be used in the same sentence. "That... can't... be..."
He looked at Hinata, who had put a hand over her mouth, as tears went down her face as well, and unconsciously the other on her stomach, as if the little guy in there could make everything be just a bad dream. It wasn't, no matter how much Naruto hated it. He clenched his fists to hit something, anything, the first thing that appeared before his eyes, but found himself unable to. Life had drained from him.
He just couldn't bring himself to believe that.
"How is that possible?" Hinata asked. She wouldn't admit it, but she'd always been braver and stronger than him, to close her eyes and be rational even when the worst of all possible news had come to her ears. He wouldn't do that, he'd scream, he'd shout, he'd hit something, create a thousand shadow clones and take them down one by one to release the anger.
Karin started telling them the story. "I don't know much, just that they were attacked on their way to our hide-out - they were coming so they could have their baby. Sasuke-kun never made it there, just Sakura. She gave birth, then went back after him. They never returned. After a few days, I sent Juugo out to search for them."
Naruto felt like he was being told a bad fairy tale. "What did he say?"
The redhead shook her head. "Nothing. After a week, Suigetsu found him dead in the woods."
"What about Orochimaru? What does he have to say about this?"
"He shed a tear or two but said nothing. But I can assure you that he hasn't got any part in that."
Naruto frowned. "How am I supposed to trust that bastard? Ya know, he..."
Karin interrupted and shot him a cold glare. "Don't trust him, but trust me, who Sasuke-kun and Sakura have entrusted their baby to."
"So what do we do?" Hinata asked the redhead.
Turning to the yellow-haired ninja's wife, she answered. "Take care of the baby."
"What about Sasuke and Sakura-chan?" Naruto continued.
Karin hesitated. "I don't know. You can search for them further... You can do nothing... I don't know. Besides, my job was to deliver the baby to Uzumaki Naruto. I have to go now." She stood from her place and headed for the door.
Hinata ran after her. "Wait, Karin-san, haven't they told you her name... the baby's name?"
The other woman nodded. "It's Sarada. Sarada Uchiha. It sounds good, don't you think?" That was the last thing she said before leaving. There wasn't anything else to be said anyways. Karin left the Uzumaki residence, just as rain started to fall down and flood the Leaf Village. The sky was crying... So did Naruto for the rest of the night.
As soon as the sun rose on the sky, the yellow-haired ninja made his way to the Hokage Office with the baby. Lord Sixth was already there, stuck in paperwork and barely breathing. He knew that wasn't the kind of life Kakashi Hatake, his former sensei, would've wanted. Missions, action, reading those novels of his, something actually happening, were more appealing than a desk and tons of paper. He greeted Naruto with a smile, then noticed the baby and frowned. "You should've announced that Hinata has already..."
The look on his former student's face stopped him from continuing.
Naruto looked pained as he answered that question. "This baby... it's Sasuke and Sakura-chan's. They're gone." And he told Lord Sixth what Karin had said the night before and the decision he and Hinata had made. Kakashi had been in ANBU for a while and knew the Shinobi code better than anybody in the Village, therefore, Naruto believed, it was easy for him to hide under that mask, deep inside his soul, all the pain and the sadness and the anger when he had the story.
"I'll have people search them. I don't believe it..."
"Ya know, Kakashi-sensei, me neither..."