A/N: Thank you for the reviews and hits and favs and alerts. You guys make my world. There are some reviewers who would like to see SasuSaku and someone asked in particular if that's the set ship – well I'm not sure yet. It's too early to say, but crossing fingers might help. Haha, and now without further ado, I present you the next installment to Wordless Ties. :)
Disclaimer: Naruto-verse not mine, no matter how much I begged Santa.
"What do you mean she left mid-day?" Naruto frowned, pushing his face painted with skepticism towards the young nurse behind the counter. She was obviously new and in training, as she was looking a bit harassed at Naruto's repetitive questions.
"Her shifts usually don't end until the afternoon," He persisted.
"I'm sorry, the sheet shows that she signed out around twelve thirty," the girl said, holding up a clipboard to make a show of her reading it right off the official documentation and that she was not bluffing. To her horror, Naruto tried to snatch it from her to see it for himself.
"Mister, this is confidential! You can't do that!" She exclaimed, tugging hard on her end. Standing up in the effort, she attracted attention from her superior, whom Naruto recognized as one of the older nurses than had tended to him before. "I'm – going – to – have – to – ask…you to leave immediately!" The nurse in a tug-o-war with Naruto cried out.
"Excuse me, what in the world is going on here?" A stern voice interrupted them, belonging to the head nurse. Before long, Naruto found himself ushered out of the hospital with a confirmation that Sakura did leave early that day. Furthermore, he found out that she had special permission from Tsunade to do so, thanks to the information passed to him in confidence from the head nurse herself.
"Eh? Since when did you come out here?" Naruto pointed to Sasuke, who seemed to be leaning against a heavy pillar and waiting for him.
"When you were fighting with that nurse, dobe," Sasuke answered him. He received a scowl from Naruto for his calm-collectedness, but no verbal lashing in return. Which was good, because useless banter like that only wastes time.
"Tsunade-baasan ," was all that was spoken from the blond-haired shinobi. With a nod from Sasuke, they both headed for the hokage's office.
"I have to speak to Tsunade-baasan immediately," Naruto said once they reached her doors. As per usual, he met the two guards that blocked his way. Over the years, the guards have gotten used to Naruto's bursting-ins and have been well acquainted with they way to treat him.
"Well hello to you too, Naruto-kun," one of them smiled. Naruto's eye twitched at the easiness that was being used to deal with him.
His partner next to him frowned however, and took a step forward. "I'm afraid that is impossible." He held hand up before Naruto could yell out. "Tsunade-sama isn't here."
"Isn't …there? Did she say where she was going?" Naruto asked, though it sounded more like demanded.
"No, she took off in a hurry," the guard who was smiling from before told him.
"What about Sakura, she was here earlier, did she leave with Tsunade?" Sasuke asked him.
"Negative, Tsunade left with Shizune-san," he replied.
Sasuke frowned, wondering what everything could be pointing to. They've been to the only two places she would be during the day and she still wasn't to be found. The only place left would be…
"Let's check her place," Naruto told Sasuke. Sasuke nodded, already heading towards the stairs. He felt that there wasn't really a reason to panic, but all in all, this kind of behavior was unlike Sakura. Something very, very strange was going on.
After a few moments of traveling at top speed, they found themselves at a low-budget part of Konoha, where the apartments went for cheap. Naruto always felt the murky brown walls of the block-like building were foreboding and clashed violently with the cheery colors of the rest of Konoha, but Sakura didn't seem to allow it to bother her much. He placed his hand on a cold metal handle, and pulled it open wide enough for Sasuke to follow through right after.
Sakura peered through the hole where her arm used to go through in her shirt and frowned. There was no question as to what had happened, but how it happened was still in question. At last, she figured that her only hope was to ask Tsunade about it…
But I'm going to get in trouble for tampering with the ingredients at home! She might even refuse me as a student anymore…well she'd kick my ass first and then dismiss me as her student… Sakura felt a small whimper rising in her chest and decided that she might as well move about a little to get a good estimate on her new condition. Pushing herself up, she leaned back slightly and …BAM. An instant stinging and swelling sensation formed at the back of her head as she realized that she had leaned herself back into the wall. When she was in her seventeen year old body, her back was completely pressed against the wall. However when her body transformed, her position must have shifted forward a little, leaving a small amount of space when she shrank. She tried to clutch the back of her head to rub the pain away but realized in horror that her shortened hands could not reach the precise spot.
She felt like crying.
Like a baby.
…that she arguably was at the moment.
She raised a soft fist and rubbed at her eyes, willing herself not to cry despite the hopelessness of the situation. For all she knew, the affects could wear off soon. She had not master the brewing of this potion yet, so it couldn't possibly be that strong, right? Right. And so she leaned forward this time, and pushed herself off the floor. Her knees wobbled only slightly, and to her relief, she could stand. Tugging the overlarge clothing off of her, she started walking back into her kitchen when she realized that she was naked.
Damn! I don't have any of my baby clothes…I should have brought them over when I moved. With her wailing thoughts in her head, she ran into her bedroom to find something that she could use to cover herself with. Perhaps a small towel, no that wouldn't stay on too well would it? Looking around, she thought of everything from her pillow case to one of her doll's clothing. But the pillow case was too strange to wear and the doll's clothing was too small. Finally, without another choice, she pulled out a shirt that came near her belly button on her seventeen year old body but fell well past the knees in her current form. The shirt itself was in a rather hideous shade of green and unlike her neatly hanged clothes, was buried at the bottom of her closet.
Why am I more worried about finding something that looks better when I should be worried about getting out of this predicament in the first place! She was still searching the bottom of her closet for something better when she realized that she should be looking over her brew to figure out what might have went wrong. Standing straight up, she turned to leave her bedroom when her leg got caught on around an old shirt. Tripping, she fell face first but extended out a knee to quickly stop the floor from colliding with her head. "Ahh!" She cried both with annoyance and pain, but noted that it wasn't so bad. Now if it was her head instead, the intensity would have increased tenfold.
As she was scrambling around to get up to her feet, she noticed that crawling was a lot quicker and safer. She hadn't crawled in ages, except when it was called for on missions, but to hell with pride. If she was quicker on all fours, then so be it. Just as she was nearing the doorframe that connected her bedroom to the living room/kitchen, she heard a loud splinter of wood. Someone had gotten through her door.
Living alone in a rather poor neighborhood, anyone would render a girl fearful of burglars and the like. However she was a kunoichi, so she didn't let it bother her at. Hell, on some nights, Sakura wished that there were burglars for her to beat the crap out of. But not tonight, not when she had the body of a two year old.
She quickly dove behind her door and peered out through a crack.
"SAKURA-CHYANNN!" Sakura's ears perked up as she heard the rough voice of the speaker, enunciating her name the way only one person would. Naruto!
For the first time since her transformation, she smiled. "Naa..ah?"
Frowning, she tried to call out to Naruto again. "Naaa…eeee. Naaa…NAA!"
What's going on? It seems that her motor skills weren't completely developed. Her mind currently held the capacity of a teenager, but it seems that her bodily functions were not cooperating. But if I know what I want to say, then I should be able to say it! And so she decided to try again.
"Naa…Sazu?" Sakura saw Naruto entering her kitchen and leaving her view, replaced shortly after by Sasuke. "Sazu?" She repeated again.
Suddenly she heard muffled cries coming from her kitchen and decided to recover from the shock of seeing them. Quickly, she crawled out of her bedroom and into her kitchen. The two boys hovered above her, Naruto crying out and frantically gesturing like a maniac. Since Sasuke's back was facing her, she couldn't figure out what all the commotion was. I mean, they haven't even seen her yet, so what the hell?
"SAZU!" She cried out loudly, but got no reply. "Naa…?" No reply from Naruto either. Quietly, she picked herself up from all fours and walked closer to them to get a better look.
Oh. Man. "Naa…bak!" She had meant to call Naruto an idiot, and succeeded halfway.
(Five minutes ago)
"Are you sure you pressed it?" Sasuke asked, standing behind Naruto who was looking at the buzzer to Sakura's apartment expectantly.
"Yes," Naruto almost growled in irritation. Even an idiot can press a button, not saying that he was one, of course.
"Press it again, maybe she didn't hear it," Sasuke moved forward to see if he even pressed the right one. A few months ago, when Sasuke visited Sakura to return a scroll, he accidentally pressed the wrong one. What resulted was a very angry old woman who kept on screaming about being 'harassed' repeatedly. Now Sasuke wasn't stupid or anything, but it was the first time he went to her apartment without Sakura bringing him in herself and it turned out that a few kids switched the button labels as a prank.
"No, no way," Naruto frowned and moved to place himself between Sasuke and the button. "The last time I pressed the button more than once, Sakura nearly killed me."
Sasuke sighed, wondering just how many times Naruto pressed it to get elicit an angry response from Sakura. "One more time wouldn't hurt."
Naruto gratingly sighed. "Fine." Turning around again, he jammed his finger into the button again. "But if she gets mad, then I'm going to tell her the truth about you – huh?"
Both the boys watched as the button loosened and fell out as Naruto retracted his finger. The shell hit the floor with a light click and bounced once before rolling behind the coil-like furnace in back of them.
"I- it wasn't- what the hell?" Naruto looked at the hole where the button used to be, empty now, save for a wire or two.
Sasuke lowered and shook his head scornfully, opening the door to the stairway. "I guess we'll just have to knock." Naruto followed him up the stairs silently to the second floor and knocked on the third door from the left of the staircase.
"Doesn't seem to be anyone inside," he frowned, pressing his ear to the door. "Oy, Sakura-chan!" Still no response. He turned around and met an equally perplexed Uchiha.
"Do you think we should go in anyway? Maybe she was attacked inside," Naruto asked, eyebrows knitted with concern.
"How are we going to get in? Do you have a spare…" Sasuke trailed off in the middle of his word. "Why did I even bother to ask?" He sighed as Naruto successfully kicked open the door, breaking the top hinge in the process. No matter how grown up, Naruto would never escape his enthusiasm.
"Eh? Doesn't seem like anyone's here," he surveyed the immediate room, which was the living room. Everything was in place and no vestige of struggle seemed to have taken place. Turning over a little bit, he saw that the kitchen light was on – and Sakura wasn't the type to leave lights on while she was out. He then decided to call out her name. "SAKURA-CHYAN!"
Sasuke noted the same thing about the kitchen lights as Naruto did and motioned for him to check it out while he looked around in the living room for any hints of what had happened. Naruto nodded and went inside, being more observant than he usually was – this was Sakura after all.
Her clothes… Sasuke picked up the clothing from the floor that Sakura had shed earlier and felt a tremor of worry running through his mind. He placed them on her couch and decided to look around longer. "Did you find anything?" He called out to Naruto.
"No, I…eh?" Naruto had started to report that he didn't find anything when he seemed to have changed his mind midway. His eyes fell on a cup on the counter, nearly empty saved for a ring of what he perceived was to be water at the bottom. Beside it sat a few foreign objects that he had no idea of what purposed they served. However from the crushed powdery form, he figured that it was some sort of spice used for cooking – he was in her kitchen after all. Wanting to make sure, he pressed his index finger on the brownish powder and brought it to his mouth, licking it with his tongue.
"KKKKKKKKKKKKK….." His face contorted and turned green as he spat loudly into Sakura's sink, because little did he know he just tasted some salamander skin in its raw form. Well salamander skin in any form is rather nasty, but still…
He turned on the faucet and rinsed his mouth ten times before grabbing the empty cup on the counter and filling it with drinking water. Tipping the cup back, he drank the whole thing and wiped his wet lips on his sleeve. "Never…remember to never…accept Sakura's invitation for dinner if she ever decides to cook," he whispered his mental note out loud.
"What did you say?" Sasuke entered the kitchen now, since Naruto seemed to have stumbled onto something. His eyes shot open in surprise but Naruto screamed out first.
"AH! HOW DID YOU GET SO TALL?" He pointed straight up at Sasuke, because remember, Naruto was taller than him.
"What the hell did you do?" Sasuke asked, walking over to him.
"AH! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY VOICE!" His voice screeching as he cried out, dangerously reminding him of his pre-teen years…
Apparently the cup that he drank from had some of the ingredients left from the brew that Sakura had made, though wasn't as potent as the version that Sakura had consumed. On top of that, he had diluted it with more water, so all in all, he was only set back a few years.
"Naa…bak!" A small sound came from below them and the thirteen year old Naruto looked down. "Who are you?" He shot her a face of old-man scrutiny as Sasuke turned to look at the source of the small voice.
"…Sakura?" Sasuke's eyes traveled from her green eyes to her chin-length pink hair.
Sazu - Sakura's version of 'Sasuke'
Naa -Sakura's version of 'Naruto'
Question you might have in mind: Where the hell are Tsunade and Shizune? Do not worry, I didn't forget about them. Anyway, this chapter turned out a bit longer than I had intended – I'm still getting used from the transition from 1-2 paragraphs of rping to full blown chapters of fanfiction. I'm not very pleased with this chapter, as I think it needs a bit more of some spit-n-shine, but I'm suffering from multiple brain farts at the moment. Perhaps if I have time after finals and all I will return and edit some stuff, but as of now, I just want to get the story down.