(Important Author's Note at the bottom.)
Chapter 1: Sakura's Vow
Kakashi ran towards Zabuza with his Chidori activated, aiming to kill the missing-nin and end their battle. Just as he was about to hit the missing-nin, another person came between them, ultimately taking the blow for Zabuza.
That person was Haku, who held Kakashi's hand in his last moments.
More likely than not, the young boy had been glad to have been of use to his precious person.
"Is that the masked boy?" Tazuna, the bridge builder, asked in surprise.
For a moment everyone was frozen in shock, trying to comprehend what had just happen.
Naruto, who had found a fellow kindred soul in Haku, openly gaped in surprise.
Sakura herself was shocked. Haku was after all the first person Sakura had ever seen died in front of her eyes. And despite being on opposing sides, Sakura was still not okay with seeing someone dying in front of her.
Then Zabuza chuckled.
The sound, broken (?) and at the same time satisfied, sent a shiver down Sakura's spine. How can Zabuza be chuckling? His student just sacrificed himself for him!
"Hehe, good job Haku," He praised as he lifted his sword up, prepared to cut down his tool.
Sakura quickly shot up, breathing quickly.
'Just a dream...'
With a hand placed on her chest, Sakura started regulating her breathing as her eyes adjusted to the dark. She strained her ears to hear everyone's elaborate breathing, meaning everyone was asleep.
The girl pulled the covers aside as she got out of bed. Obviously, she wasn't going to be getting any sleep tonight.
It all happened just yesterday after all.
She had almost lost her whole team (perhaps a bit of an exaggeration) and she had witnessed not only Haku's death, but Zabuza's after he had killed countless civilians and Gato. Not that Sakura really cared about the civilians who had been killed or Gato, she would have just preferred to actually not witness it.
'Welcome to being a shinobi, sweetie. Remember the Academy handbook? Death was promised in the shinobi career.'
Not only that, but while everything was going on, she did nothing.
Naruto and Sasuke fought against Haku and somehow they had won.
Kakashi-sensei had fought against Zabuza and almost killed the missing-nin, had it not been for Haku.
What did Sakura do?
She did absolutely nothing!
She just stood in front of Tazuna with a kunai.
In the back of her head, she heard a snort. 'Like that would have stopped someone like Zabuza.'
Yes, despite not letting it show, Sakura was all too aware of how wrong the mission could have gone. She was aware of how her teammates almost died. How Kakashi-sensei likely would have lost against Zabuza and Haku if that had happened.
She was all too aware of how Zabuza could have killed her with a simple flick of his wrist. That thought made her shiver, but it was the truth.
A part of her was even grateful that the ordeal had happened, because the C-rank turned A-rank mission ended up giving the pink haired girl a wake-up call on her shinobi life.
Recalling Haku's last moments once again, Sakura found herself wondering if she would have taken a lethal technique, like the Chidori, for Sasuke.
Would she honestly die for someone who didn't even give her the time of day? Who didn't even seem to care about her?
Sakura splashed her face with water to get rid of the sleepy look her eyes had and after looking at herself in the mirror, she sighed.
If it was a week ago she would have immediately started shrieking about her hair having to be perfect. But now?
Let's say she just didn't give it any thought.
'I can't afford to pay more attention to my looks anymore. I'm a ninja now...' She thought to herself. 'I've been a ninja for more than a month now.'
Her feet started walking on their own, taking her to her destination.
Just last week she would think that her hair was more important than being a ninja. But after seeing what she saw yesterday she realized just how much of a spoiled brat she was.
'Actually you're a spoiled bitch...'
Normally Sakura would ignore the voice in her head, but Sakura was so over trying to be a perfectly normal girl at this point.
'You're talking to me now? After all these years, you decided to respond when I called you a bitch.'
'I mean I'm rude to everyone except Sasuke, isn't that being a bit bitchy?' Sakura asked with a frown, pondering on it.
Once again, the voice snorted in amusement.
'I thought Sasuke-kun's our future husband..'
It was Sakura's turn to snort. The unusual sound she made was enough to make her pause. It was unladylike, she decided. She realized she didn't care.
'Hey, I may bash you for being an idiot sometimes, but I am you. I feel the same things you do.'
'Sasuke doesn't like us.'
'No, duh. What gave you that idea?' The voice sarcastically asked
'Then why do we still like him?'
There was a pause that made Sakura briefly wonder if the voice inside her head had been her imagination all along.
Then, she heard the voice sigh.
'I think we'll always like Sasuke. He's the first person we ever liked after all. And that's okay.'
'It is,' the voice insisted. 'Just because Sasuke's our first love or crush or whatever, doesn't mean he's the one we're going to end up with. It doesn't mean we won't like other people. Take Haku for example!'
'Haku?' Sakura frowned in confusion, not getting what the dead boy had to do with anything.
'He was a total bishie! C'mon, I'm a part of you. I know you've had a tiny thing for him since we first saw him after he supposedly killed Zabuza.'
Sakura blushed, she had momentarily forgot that the voice was essentially a part of her and would of course be privy to her little secrets.
Yeah, she did have a thing for Haku.
She would take that to her grave, though.
'Too bad he's dead,' she murmured to her Inner voice.
That's a good name.
Not creative, but accurate.
She was going to call the voice Inner from now on.
'Too bad,' Inner agreed with a defeated sigh. 'But there's still plenty of fish in the sea!'
'Like?' Sakura found herself asking, personally imaging herself with other people didn't make her feel guilty in the slightest, it wasn't like anyone would know. So it doesn't matter.
'Hmm Kakashi-sensei!' Inner said, providing Sakura a mental image of Kakashi carrying her princess style.
Sakura blushed at the thought before quickly shaking her head. ' He's an old man!' She yelled.
'Hehe, age doesn't matter in the ninja world, cha!' Inner said with a big grin. 'But there's plenty of others and plenty of reasons to like them.'
'Oh?' Sakura asked, raising an eyebrow.
'Shikamaru! Imagine cuddling with him under the clear blue sky watching clouds. Kiba, imagine how rough he could get.' Inner sighed with hearts for eyes displaying the image to Sakura.
'I-, fine! You're right. There's plenty of other fish in the sea. I'm not going to chase after one who won't even give me the time of day!'
'Cha~ I knew you'd come around Outer!' Inner cheered.
Sakura smiled slightly, she still had feelings for Sasuke. She knew that, but will she keep chasing after him like a love struck puppy? No.
Her feet stopped right in front of the grave team seven made for Zabuza and Haku.
It was funny how these two had unknowingly taught her what being a ninja truly meant. Not even the academy teachers, her parents nor Kakashi-sensei managed to get it in her head. But two complete strangers had taught her.
So she got on her knees to give them a prayer.
'Zabuza-san, Haku-san...I hope you two are together like Zabuza wanted.'
'My nose is bleeding!'
'You probably don't even know my name, but thank you. The two of you...inspired me to take being a ninja more seriously. Before I met you two I always thought that just reading through books will get me far, but that isn't the case is it? I feel so stupid for realizing this now of all times. Oh sorry, you two don't even know my name!'
'I'm Sakura Haruno, my old goal was to marry my teammate Sasuke-ku...Sasuke Uchiha. My new goal is to become a strong shinobi, maybe if I work hard I might become one of the strongest. Like the Hokage-sama or even you guys! But in order for me to accomplish my goal I have to have my priorities straight. I know this probably won't even make any sense or maybe you'd think I'm stupid...but I vow to not let romance get in the way anymore! I'll train harder and harder, then one day I can proudly say that I survived an encounter with Zabuza Momochi, one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist.'
'Cha! We'll become so kick-ass that even you'd cower in fear Zabuza! We'll take your sword too!' Inner confidently declared.
Sakura chuckled, standing up.
'Yeah,' she agreed.
'Speaking of Zabuza...he was hot too y'know?' Inner said with a grin.
'Inner! We just promised not to let romance get in the way!' Sakura scolded.
'Correction, you did. I on the other hand shall drool over any hot guy we happen to meet Outer.' Inner said with a shit eating grin.
Sakura shook her head with a defeated sigh. She smiled at the grave and gave a bow. "Next time I'll bring some flowers..." she muttered as she turned towards Tazuna's place.
When she arrived she was pleasantly surprised to see Tsunami awake.
"Oh Sakura, I didn't know you were out," Tsunami said with a pleasant smile when Sakura entered.
Sakura smiled at Tsunami. "Good morning, can I help with anything?"
"Ah, of course. I'm always happy to have a helping hand."
With that the two girls started cooking up breakfast. While helping Sakura found herself chattering with the woman and exchanging recipes back and forward. She was definitely going to give the new recipes she had learned to her mother.
Eventually the men woke up and took their seats, the two girls not even noticing as they were more interested in their conversation.
"Oh, looks like breakfast is done. Sakura-chan, could you be a dear and go wake up the others?"
No one failed to notice the new suffix added to Sakura's name.
Kakashi coughed to gain their attention. "That won't be necessary," he said in amusement.
Sakura blushed along with Tsunami, both smiled before sheepishly apologizing. The boys (minus Sasuke) assured the two it was alright, they were all happy that the two girls were getting along smoothly.
The ninja and family began eating their breakfast in comfortable silence, the fight from yesterday still had them a bit tired. But the girls enjoyed the silence.
'So I was thinking...' Inner began, making Sakura pause just as her chopsticks were about to grab the last eggroll.
"Sakura-chan?" Naruto questioned, noticing the abrupt stop.
Sakura blinked as she noticed that Naruto was about to grab the egg too. She shook her head while retracing her chopsticks. "You can have it," she murmured, knowing that Naruto deserved it more than her.
Naruto grinned at her. "Really!? Thank you Sakura-chan." He plopped the offered food in his mouth.
"Ah, you're welcome," Sakura answered, still looking distracted.
Kakashi and Naruto both noticed along with Tsunami but kept quiet. They thought that maybe Sakura just wanted to decide whatever it is she's thinking about.
'How do we become bad-ass? A lot of ninja's always focuses on one of the three: Genjutsu, Ninjutsu and Taijutsu. But there are other stuff like Kenjutsu or Shurikenjutsu.' Inner mused in a thoughtful tone. 'Speaking of kenjutsu didn't those thugs leave behind their weapons yesterday? I'm sure they're not top quality, but, hey still something.'
'Inner, you are a genius.'
'I try, now ask the others to help you gather them!' Inner urged.
Sakura looked at her teammates. "Naruto? Kakashi-sensei? Sasuke?" She tentatively called.
Her team noticed the lack of 'kun' but didn't question it, they just looked at her, giving her their attention.
"Eh..I was um wondering if you guys could help me with something after breakfast?" Sakura questioned, fidgeting slightly.
Sasuke simply shook his head. "Training," he offered in explanation as he got back to eating.
"Of course I'll help you Sakura-chan!" Naruto said switching between grinning at Sakura and glaring at Sasuke.
Kakashi gave her a closed eye smile. "I'm in too," he said.
Sakura gave them a smile. "Thank you."
Naruto and Kakshi both blinked. 'Isn't she sad about Sasuke rejecting her?' Both wondered in confusion, staring at Sakura as she continued with her breakfast, not even sparing Sasuke a glance.
Sasuke wasn't concerned, he was relieved. Maybe Sakura had finally gotten over her fan-girl phase?
When breakfast was done the pink haired girl led her helpers to the bridge and explained that she wanted to take the weapons back with her.
"Lucky you, I have a few empty scrolls," Kakashi said, giving his students a closed eye smile approving Sakura's plan, thinking she was trying to make some extra money by selling it later.
"Huh?" Naruto asked in confusion.
"With these..." Kakashi said holding up a pair of empty scrolls.
"We can carry all those weapons," he pointed to the abandoned weapons. "By using the generic sealing technique."
"What's that?" Naruto and Sakura asked in unison.
"A standard Ninjutsu which allows a shinobi to summon an assortment of items that have been stored in special seals, using Fūinjutsu. Scrolls are the most commonly chosen for item storage. When needed, the owner activates the seals releasing their stored items or weapons of choice. Scrolls can also be used as ammunition for other weapons or have other seals inside of them, which expands the number of potential tricks a shinobi can use."
"...you lost me at summon Kakashi-sensei.." Naruto said.
Kakashi gave a defeated sigh, he should have known Naruto's short attention span would get in his way.
"It's basically a jutsu to keep your stuff in a scroll for when you need it. For example you can use it to store your ramen for when you need it Naruto," Sakura explained to her blond teammate.
"Oh! That's so cool, ttebayo!" Naruto exclaimed as Kakashi stared at Sakura as if she had grown a second head.
'She willingly helped Naruto by herself,' he thought to himself as if it was a miracle.
Sakura frowned at Kakashi. "Is something wrong sensei?"]
"No, nothing. Just thinking how cute my students are," he easily lied.
Sakura however blushed as the mental image of Kakashi carrying her princess style once again appeared in her head while Inner laughed.
"But it looks like Sasuke missed out on something," Kakashi commented. He needed to teach that boy that teamwork is the key.
When will it get in his head?
"He snoozed he lost, that's what he gets for not wanting to join us," Inner said, taking over Sakura.
The people present looked at Sakura, wide-eyed. Sakura however kept a straight face.
'Did they figure out I have another personality?'
"Yeah, that teme shouldn't have rejected you Sakura-chan!" Naruto exclaimed.
"You're acting like I confessed to him or something," Sakura said with a sigh.
Kakashi was even more confused, normally Sakura would beat Naruto up for that.
He coughed. "Naruto, start gathering the weapons together," he ordered.
"Roger!" Naruto exclaimed, obliging.
Sakura made a move to follow but Kakashi grabbed her shoulder, she turned towards him in confusion. "S-sensei..?" She stammered out as Inner conjured up inappropriate images.
"I wanted to talk a bit," Kakashi explained.
'Just talk?' Inner sighed in disappointment.
"About...?" Sakura asked.
"Your recent behavior," Kakashi bluntly said.
Sakura sighed. "Is it that noticeable?"
"Yes." Kakashi said with a nod.
Chuckling in amusement, he released Sakura's shoulder. "How about an explanation?"
With a nod, Sakura opened her mouth to explain it as well as she could.
"I..realized that looks and romance aren't my priorities, I want to become a stronger kunoichi. So I vowed to work harder. I also realized that I was being...a bratty spoiled bitch...so I wanted to change."
Kakashi nodded in realization. "So that's why you're nicer to Naruto now." He placed his hand on her hair to pat her. "What about Sasuke?" He asked.
Sakura frowned."I still have feelings for him, but I'm done trying. Training is more important."
"I'm proud of you."
"T-thanks..." Sakura stammered out."And s-sensei?"
"Yes?" Kakashi asked, giving her his full attention.
"What's Fuinjutsu?" Sakura questioned.
Kakashi sighed. "I forgot that they don't really teach that in the academy. It's a type of jutsu that seal objects, living beings, chakra, along with a wide variety of other things within another object," he explained mirroring the words of his former teacher.
Sakura's eyes took a certain glint at the knowledge.
"Sensei please teach me!" She begged.
Kakashi stared at her as she made her lips quiver and her eyes tear up.
The man sighed in defeat. He did after all have a soft spot for his students and coupled with the puppy-eyed dog look? How could he say no to that?
"I have a few books back in the village, I'll lend them to you when we get there, okay?"
It was true, he was Minato's student so of course he had sealing knowledge. Back in the days he even asked his teacher to teach him but then he gave up on it after...Rin.
Sakura beamed at him before she tackled him into a hug. "Thank you!"
Kakashi chuckled, patting her hair. "You're welcome, Sakura."
He was actually sorta glad to be rid of the books. They reminded him of too many things after all.
'Oh my Kami! Outer, I'm proud of your for being so bold.' Inner said nodding in approval.
Sakura blushed, finally noticing that she was basically pushing up her whole body against her teacher's.
She abruptly let go and felt like she would die of embarrassment.
Luckily for her, it was at that moment that Naruto ran up to them.
"Kakashi-sensei I'm done!"
Author's note: It's been a while guys! As promised this is the Re-write of the new and improved "Different Shades of Pink" newly dubbed "Shades of Pink" in order to not be confused with some Fifty Shades of Grey shit...lol. I suck at jokes.
So far, aside from the better grammar (by no means perfect, but better than before), the changes are't obvious. Or maybe they are? Hmmm. You guys will have to let me know. As this story continues, the changes will be more noticeable. For starters, in the rewrite I'm not making Sasuke into a total jerk in the beginning.
*cough* prepare for a more full-scale harem in this version *cough* with better character development *cough* and more Team Seven love *cough*
That being said, "Shades of Pink" while being what I always had in mind when writing "Different Shades of Pink" could be considered another fanfiction all in its own. It isn't. It's the same. I just removed my plot holes, made Sakura's progression a tad bit more realistic, etc.
Though if you read this story and prefer Different Shades of Pink over it, then by all means, drop this one.
1. Who should be in Sakura's harem? (With a re-write comes new possibilities as well, *wink*)
2. Favorite Rookie Nine teacher? And why?
My own answers:
1. Everyone, duh. *gets hit in the head by my own Inner* *gets lectured about the proper harem formula by my own Inner*
2. Uh...this is a hard one. On the inner fangirl side, I'd say Kakashi. But on the logical side, I'd say they all kinda failed as teachers. I mean, I think Iruka would have been a better teacher since Iruka would have at least tried to work out his students' issues? Well, maybe not...idk.