Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimers apply! Naturally any character that is not associated with the show belongs either to someone I have permission to use or to me. Please ask permission to use any character that I own should you desire to do so. Thank you. If there are any similarities between my work and another author's then I apologize. I suppose great minds DO think alike.
Title: Sacrificing Spring
AN: This IS a Death Fic! You are forewarned…
Also, my apologies if you find it highly unlikely for Sakura to deal the final blow to Orochimaru. She has become by far my favorite kunoichi in the series. Her transformation in the manga was refreshing and exciting, and I can definitely relate to her in some aspects, so I like the idea of her being the one to finally get rid of him.
Chapter One: The Winds of the Gods—Kamikaze
Her breathing was labored as she clutched her side, ignoring the pain in her ribs and her instinctual urge to heal the wound. She was beginning to run low on chakra and with the way the battle was going, she knew she would need to pull out that ace up her sleeve. And she knew that in order to do so, she'd need all the strength and chakra she had left. It was finally time, she told herself, narrowing her eyes at the snake-like man who was engaged in battle with Jiraiya and Kakashi.
Kabuto lay dead next to her, his parting blow being the deep laceration on her side, her internal organs nearly fatally damaged. She had severed his lungs and heart, intending to let him suffocate to death, but after finding enough strength to wound her side, she had done a round house kick to his head (to put some distance between them) and effectively shattered his skull and snapped his neck. She had put too much power behind the kick, and Kabuto must have known he had reached the end, for he hadn't even tried to dodge the kick. She'd already closed his lifeless eyes and hoping he would somehow find redemption in the afterlife, she had taken in the current situation and come to her final conclusion. She would sacrifice herself to take down Orochimaru.
Despite her resolve, fear began to wheedle its way into her thoughts and doubts began to form and discourage her. What if she didn't have enough chakra? What if it didn't work? What if the others got in the way? What if she sacrificed herself for nothing?
The cry of her former sensei's name brought her back and as her gaze shifted to the people she loved most, she knew that she had to do it. So with that determination pushing all doubts and fears aside, she forced herself to stand and walk towards the battle involving Naruto and Sasuke. She had already informed the group that she had a trick up her sleeve, one that would give them the opportunity to take down Orochimaru once and for all; they had asked what it was but she had merely shrugged, saying that they'd know what to do when they saw it but to keep a safe distance away while she performed the seals. Naruto had nodded without hesitation, his trust in her almost causing her to wince at how betrayed he would feel later on. The two older men had been hesitant, but eventually agreed, knowing that she could be as stubborn as her current mentor. But she had seen them share a look and she knew that they would be cautious about this "secret weapon" of hers. There would be nothing they could do when the time came. She had made sure of that when researching this means to an end.
Stumbling, she grimaced at the pain that radiated from her cracked ribs and severed muscles. Damn Kabuto…he had really gotten her good with that last attack… As she stepped between the two young men she cared deeply for, she was slightly surprised to see Sasuke pull back at the last second, his rage-hazed brain somehow recognizing her as someone he had not originally been fighting. Naruto's confused and desperate shouts for her to move were ignored as she stared at Sasuke, her eyes wandering over his tense frame and causing her chest to ache in a manner that had nothing to do with her injuries. She realized then that the dark-haired boy she had loved at twelve had become a handsome young man like Naruto, and she still loved him dearly…even after everything that had happened.
His Sharingan gaze met her resolute green one and she slowly approached him, his eyes seeming to draw her to him without him realizing it. He growled in warning and began to start another chidori, his threat unmistakably clear, but she had to know. She had to know one thing… Just one thing before she sacrificed everything…
"Sasuke," she said, no tremor of trepidation in her voice, even though her throat felt thick with unshed tears. If he didn't kill her…if he didn't kill her right now, then it would all be worth it…
"Don't think you can stop me, Sakura!" he snarled, pulling his chidori back to land a fatal blow if need be. But would he? Would he actually throw that chakra-laden hand into her chest? She didn't want to dwell on that…but the arrogance in his statement! Now that got her blood boiling…
"What on earth makes you honestly think that my target is you?" she laughed in derision, rolling her eyes to emphasize the absurdity of his notion. She saw his eyes widen at this "un-Sakura" like behavior, his chidori losing some of its flare, before he banished it completely. He laughed harshly, almost sneering at her. It hurt to see that and hear that, but he hadn't killed her yet…
"You honestly think you can fool me?" he laughed derisively, and she inwardly flinched. His words always had an affect on her, though most of the time it had never been in a good way.
"You haven't been around for the past three years, Sasuke. People change. And if you really knew me, you wouldn't be asking that in the first place."
A flash of realization and hurt crossed his features before he settled them into his customary scowl. "Sakura," he growled in misdirected anger, activating his chidori once more, "Don't test me!"
She came to a stop in front of him, only half an arm's length between them and even though the sound of electrifying chakra was near deafening in her ears, she did not look away. "Don't test me! I will kill you!" he warned, eyes hardening but wait, had she seen a little desperation in his gaze just now? She met his hard gaze with one of her own, one that asked why he hadn't killed her already then. She received no answer.
"Sasuke-teme!" came Naruto's enraged shout, but she held out her arm, signaling the blond to wait. He did so reluctantly, now standing only a few feet away from the two of them. She could sense his restlessness and she absently wondered how close Kyuubi was to the surface right now, but Sasuke's still crackling chidori reminded her that she had a personal mission to complete.
"I want you to remember one thing, Sasuke-kun," she began, trying hard to keep her voice even and calm but at the same time knowing that her eyes were betraying her. They always did when it came to him…
"Oh?" he taunted, but she heard a tightness in his voice, as if he somehow sensed that her end was near. Could he tell what her intentions were with those Sharingan of his?
"You are family to all of us, especially Naruto…and I also want you to remember that I always—always wanted you to be happy."
"Keh, I won't be happy until I have killed that person."
She nodded, having expected that answer. It was time then. He still hadn't killed her and she had said her goodbyes, subtle as they had been. "Naruto, keep him busy for me, all right?"
"Uh, sure Sakura-chan, but what are you—"
"Just trust me. It's time."
And with that she leapt away from Sasuke and Naruto before the Uchiha could comprehend what she had meant by it being time. Racing towards her objective, she tugged off her gloves and let them fall carelessly to the ground as she did not even falter in her steps towards Orochimaru. Her fingers flew as they formed that appropriate seals she'd memorized for this very moment, seals that were reserved for shinobi who were facing the worst case scenarios. Finishing the last seal, she reached into her back weapons pouch, retrieved the item she had secretly assembled before leaving on this mission and gathered enough chakra to knock the serpentine man far enough away from Jiraiya and Kakashi.
As she passed the two seasoned men, she heard Jiraiya's curse of surprise and Kakashi's startled cry for her to wait. But she couldn't. She had to do this now, while she had the advantage…and the courage. She drove her shoulder into a surprised and startled Orochimaru's stomach and dipped her right hand into the blood seeping from the wound she had received earlier from Kabuto. Orochimaru's snake-like tongue wrapped around her neck, hoping to choke her and fling her away from him but she was already unfurling the scroll she had fashioned and dragged her blood-soaked fingertips across the intricate kanji she had written there only days before.
A kekkai was erected around the two of them immediately upon the contact of her blood to the rice-paper and as she looked up into Orochimaru's for once wide and frightened eyes, she smirked. She had caught him unawares. He had underestimated her, and it had proved to be his downfall…
"You lose," was what she whispered to him in the moment her summoning began to take place, the wind howling around them and turning razor sharp and nightmarish. He loosed his tongue from around her neck and stepped away from her, only to find the kekkai shrinking and forcing him closer to her and the eye of the razor-like tornado. Her hair whipped around her face and as she stared resolutely into Orochimaru's angered and frightened eyes, she knew he knew there was no escape now.
"You would sacrifice yourself for them?" he hissed at her, most likely hoping he could convince her to stop her summoning. She said nothing; she didn't have to. Her loved ones' cries for her to drop the barrier were her answer to him, as was the look of determination and resolve in her green eyes. Even Sasuke had forgotten his need for Orochimaru to gain power in favor of crying out to her, yelling at her for being an idiot and to drop the kekkai. This caused Orochimaru to snarl at her and move to grip her throat in his large hand, fangs bared and threatening to bite her. She did not move nor break eye contact with him.
"They aren't worth it!" he hissed again, shaking her. She ended up biting her tongue during his shake but she ignored the pain. It wouldn't matter in a few moments anyway.
She narrowed her eyes at him; "So you believe, Orochimaru. And yet, here you are, waiting for the final blow of Kami."
"But you'll die as well fool! You can't possibly believe it's worth it!"
"To save them from you, I would die by the winds of Kami for all eternity."
His eyes widened as he finally realized that he had truly underestimated one's love for others and for life. He had set his own path to destruction the moment he had turned his back on humanity, and not only that, but his death was being delivered by a young woman—a child when compared to him; and for some reason, Sakura gained some satisfaction in knowing that.
"You lost, Orochimaru. Let it go. It'll be over soon."
And with that said, a loud roar erupted from the heavens and in a sudden explosion of wind and lightening, they were obliterated to nothing. Not even a scrap of clothing or strand of hair could be found when the winds died and the dust settled. Orochimaru of the Legendary Sannin and Haruno Sakura of Konohagakure were gone, swept away by the power of Kamikaze.