Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. I do not own Wedding Peach. I do not own any great quantity of money or property. I'm a STUDENT; that's why I'm poor, okay?
Summary: Sakura is sucked into another world, and has to figure out a way to come back to the Shinobi world. But what if her origins lie in this new dimension, and not in Konoha? Is she really meant to be a kunoichi? This story centers on Sakura, and will later be AU. No pairings. (Unless the readers want it to be, but if any they will come much later.)
I'm kind of taking this idea of Sakura falling into another world from Serpentine Rose. Her "Kamikaze Inn" and "Three of Fates" were so damn good, and it was such a shame that she discontinued them. I honor you, Serpentine Rose-san, and please don't get mad at me! I'm just fascinated with watching Sakura growing up, and I PROMISE that this story's plot will be my own.
It is slight AU, and a slight crossover with Wedding Peach, but it won't hinder the story for those who aren't familiar with the series. (For those who are, you must be thinking, "What the hell...?") This is my first fic. This is just for FUN, and I'm doing this to improve my less-than-professional writing skills.
(( Flashback ))
Chapter 1: Dreams and Visions
It was a normal day in Konoha. Three kids and a teacher perched on a bridge, waiting.
The boy with blond spikes and the fox face stood motionless, with the exception of his foot tapping. A brunette with her hair in buns chucked shuriken and various other lethal projectiles at a tall, dark-haired jounin, who stealthily dodged all. The pink-haired girl was sitting on a nearby bench, clamping her hands so hard on its edge that her nails dug into the wood.
'I ought to strangle that jounin when he arrives," Sakura thought in fury. 'SHAAANAROOO!'
An easy-going voice echoed from above. "Good morning, everybody!"
"YOU'RE LATE!" Naruto and Ten Ten screamed together. Sakura was only seething.
Gai was dramatic, as usual. "Eternal rival, the one thing in which I always beat you is punctuality, and that is hardly an accomplishment!"
Kakashi had a small smile under his mask. "Well, you see, I had to save a poor little kid from a group of bullies—"
"Never mind whatever excuse you came up with, Kakashi-sensei," Sakura intoned rather coldly. "The mission must be important if both you and Gai-sensei are required to supervise us."
The silver-haired jounin glanced at her briefly, before showing Gai the plans. Their double-team group was a rare occurrence.
Sakura pulled a hand through her hair, frustrated. Her attitude had gotten rather frosty in the past couple of months. And it was not just because Inner Sakura had been repressed for so long.
She had been dreaming the strangest dreams. They had shown people — yet not people, for they were too god-like. The individuals were visions, clad in gold, silver, pastels, and white. Everything the exact opposite of what a shinobi would wear in this world.
Sakura attempted to forget the images. It was supposed to be easy, as almost all dreams would be forgotten. But ironically, her logic made her think of them more. It was odd that night after night, she would see people in white clothing. Looks like purity, or death, people in this culture would say. The daimyō would be ashamed to wear such regalia instead of richly-dyed kimonos and gold-tipped ornaments.
And more bizarre were the figures with wings sprouting from their backs. The closest humanoid being with wings that Sakura knew of, or at least had read of, was a tengu. Not that she believed in them, but it was odd that her dreams would come up with something slightly different.
And then the other people: they were clad in darker and even eccentric styles, and they had various auras burning, bubbling, or just vibrating out from themselves. A few had wings, but they were those of bats rather than of doves. The dark beings were as beautiful as their heavenly counterparts, but their looks screamed blood, murder, and seduction rather than a pure radiance.
'It's the same dream that has fucking repeated itself every night for months!'
She didn't like it, either. Sakura would nightly see the two peoples, or races, or whatever they were, make war. She saw details that woke her up in the middle of the night, gasping for breath. The blood, the screams, the tears... If she could have compared the dreams to anything in her own life, it would have been Haku's bloody demise, replayed a thousand times over. She was restless in her sleep, and when things really turned gruesome, she would jerk awake and retch a little into the cup of water she kept beside her bed.
'I'm going crazy!'
The Inner Sakura screamed her back to the present. Naruto and Tenten flanked her. She looked up, and Gai and Kakashi were still arguing. Or rather, Gai was ranting at him, and Kakashi was reading his book. 'Maybe I ought to tell Tsunade-sama about my sleep. Seeing one dream in repetition is unnatural.' She shivered as she heard Inner Sakura scream. 'Am I really schizophrenic?'
The unusual team combination was due to various circumstances. Lee was hospitalized for the time being. Neji was busy. But Naruto had stopped by, so he and Tenten slipped together with Sakura for missions this week. Needless to say, Tenten wasn't too happy with Kakashi's easy-going attitude when it came to schedules and choice of literature. It couldn't be helped, though; the organization of the Rookie 9 teams was haywire, even long after Sasuke's departure.
Tsunade had become Sakura's tutor after Sasuke had left the village six months ago. With Sakura's impeccable chakra control, she easily learned the fine techniques needed to disinfect and bind together heavy battle wounds — well, not easily, but she learned more quickly than average.
The only problem was that she needed more practice.
Yet Sakura was determined to make herself useful. She trained under Kakashi and Gai to improve her stamina and chakra reserves whenever Tsunade was too busy with paperwork. Kakashi even gave Sakura two weights like the ones Lee used, instead of the twelve which Gai highly recommended.
(( "Sakura, you have potential, but breaking your ankles on the first day won't help advance your taijutsu."
A vein emerged from Gai's clenched fist. "Kakashi, if you're going to comment on my teaching skills, say it to my face!"
Kakashi blinked, turning to Gai. "Huh? Did you say something?"))
Sakura was a bit uncomfortable with the advanced taijutsu. The first two weeks had been complete hell; even walking down a flight of stairs sent pain to her leg muscles. But eventually, her body adjusted. And Sakura learned that with more chakra, sturdier joints, and long training, she might one day be able to make as powerful blows as Tsunade by slipping in chakra into her muscles.
With Naruto and Lee as her role models, and training day-in-day-out, she slowly became a stronger and more confident fighter. The two former "drop-outs" became her best friends. And Sakura made up with Ino, considering Sasuke wasn't around to compete for anymore.
Ino and the many other fangirls were sad of his betrayal to the Leaf. In contrast, Sakura now was rather impassive about Sasuke. On the one hand, she could not have cared less if he died for revenge. He was a heartless bastard.
(( "I... I love you with all my heart!
"You really are annoying." ))
Whenever she recalled that night, she wanted to disappear. How could she get so desperate? How damn embarrassing.
On the other hand, she felt so... sorry for him. His path for revenge would bring him no happiness. He knew it; she knew it. To top that off, those nightmares showed her the slaughter of a people she didn't know of, while Sasuke had seen it happen to his own family as a child. He didn't deserve that. No child deserved that.
And she also thought it strange: even with that personal history, and that cold attitude, Sasuke had sometimes shown a bit of feeling to his teammates.
(( "Sakura... thank you. " ))
The mission, which had involved taking back a few stolen scrolls, had turned out amazingly smooth for having the loudest and most hyperactive ninja of the Hidden Leaf. Naruto had fallen out of a tree, just while Sakura was about to put the thieves into a sleep genjutsu. Ironically, because of Naruto's ridiculous and un-ninja-like entrance, the enemy ninja watched him drop without noticing the floating flower petals above. The few who recognized the drowsy feeling as a genjutsu were about to perform the canceling seal, but Tenten threw acupuncture needles in the right places to knock them out. Soon, all of them were unconscious, and the team merely took the scrolls and skedaddled. While Kakashi told Naruto that he needed to work on his stealth, Gai interpreted the whole day as an experience of youth.
"Tadaima!" Sakura called out as she opened the front door to her house.
No response. Nobody was home.
She found a note on the refrigerator from her parents.
-Sakura, we're on a B-rank mission. You can help yourself to anything in the fridge.-
The pink-haired girl sighed. She set a pot full of water to boil for heating a package of curry. Some minutes later, she popped a bowl of leftover rice into the microwave.
Sakura ended up plopping herself down onto the sofa, mixing her dinner. One spoonful, and she grinned with pain and pleasure. Although she generally hated spicy food, there was a certain zing from medium-spiced curry that she had grown to love.
She read a scroll while she ate. She had only recently picked up her old bookish habits, and soon gained interested in deciphering ancient texts.
She noticed a dust-covered box on the table across the living room.
Sakura continued her dinner, ignoring the new presence. It was just an old box from storage.
After finishing her dinner and doing the dishes, her eyes went back to it. She sat back on the sofa, and continued reading. She then noticed a slip of paper.
Sakura neatly rolled her scroll up, set it aside, and examined the note.
I was cleaning out the attic and found things from your very early childhood. This box has are mementos of your first year with us. I thought you might want to look through them.
Love, your Mom-
Sakura opened the box and peered inside. Most of the stuff was composed of cards, baby trinkets, and other odd commodities. 'What a pile of junk!'
But one thing caught her eye: a brooch.
It was very beautiful. It was a carving of a cherry blossom. It was a sort of pink jade, laden within a golden back.
Sakura turned it around, examining it. 'Why would I have needed a brooch as a baby?' The jewel was too angular, looked expensive, and was even dangerous for a creature willing to chew anything smaller than a coin. Furthermore, Sakura's parents were not particularly rich; neither came from a prestigious clan like the Uchiha or Hyuuga.
The exotic piece of artwork in Sakura's hand, looked as if should have been pinned on a daimyo's wife, or protected in a museum.
As Sakura held the brooch in her palm, she felt an unusual sensation. It felt increasingly warm. She heard two distinct voices.
(( "Please take my daughter! It's too dangerous here!"
"That would require a dimensional jump. You may never see her again." ))
Sakura clutched her head. There was increasing pain. She saw white.
(( "I want her to live! I LOVE HER!" ))
The brooch clinked on the hardwood floor. The sound made Sakura snap back to the present.
'What the hell was that?'
Sakura pushed away the tattered container, and stomped upstairs to her room, not noticing the jewel giving off a faint glow as it lay on the carpet.
"Tadaima" is a greeting one always uses when one arrives home to one's family. It is often translated as "I'm home", but it's literal translation is "I just came back", so it's a very personal greeting.