Summary: Sakura watches Naruto transform into Kyuubi for the very first time. Takes place during and after chap 296-297 of the manga. If you haven't read it yet this fic will contain spoilers. Slight AU
Category: Angst/Romance/AU, Het
Pairing: Naruto/Sakura (possible mentions of sakura's old crush on sasuke)
Sakura watches Naruto transform into Kyuubi for the very first time. Takes place during and after chap 296-297 of the manga. If you haven't read it yet this fic will contain spoilers. Slight AU Angst/Romance/AU, Naruto/Sakura (possible mentions of sakura's old crush on sasuke) Oneshot
Mystic: consider this a long-shot prediction for chapters to come in the manga. Maybe not right away and it won't happen like this. But I do hope Sakura will realize what a fool she has been and fall for Naruto in the end.
EDIT MARCH 2016: beta'd
Orochimaru's snake-like-eyes shifted uncomfortably as a low growl erupted from his opponents chest. She had been watching them battle for no more than three minutes now… and already she could not condemn any amount of effort to moving her suddenly paralyzed body to listen to her silent pleas and demands to move.
A silent anxiety washed over her… blood red chakra mutated around Naruto's body casting the figure of a four-tailed fox about its body… he had lost all consciousness and control over his body and mind. He was letting the Kyuubi take over.
Images of his face flashed through her mind, his smiling face of how he was before he left to go train for those three years that they were a part, his matured and calmed face when they had met up again some weeks ago… all she could think was… 'This isn't Naruto…'
Barely hearing Kabuto's snide words referring to his master and her friend, "Rather than a ninja fight, shouldn't this be called a battle between fellow monsters?"
She clenched her tightening chest. It hurt too much to see Naruto this way. She knew he was a mere vessel much like Gaara; she knew this well… but seeing it… only made the situation realer. Seeing the Kyuubi take over his body and his will… it made her feel sick.
'Naruto…' her grasp tightened about her chest, 'Naruto isn't a monster…'
"RARWRRR!" A horrible high pitched groan, on the verge of a yell, hissed out across the field. Naruto arched his head back as if to show his dominance in the battle.
"Look at him." Kabuto smirked. He wasn't standing too close in front of her, but he was still close enough for Sakura to hear his bitter remarks. "Did he want to save Sasuke to the point of becoming like this?" he snorted.
Her jaded eyes grew wide. Sasuke! She was so busy concentrating on Naruto - she had quite literally forgotten Sasuke even existed at this moment. She had nearly forgotten the real reason Naruto had become so angry… Forgot why he hated Sai for looking like their former team-mate... Or why they both hated Orochimaru - it was all because of Sasuke.
'I'll definitely bring Sasuke back home! It's a once in a life time promise.'
His words rang clear in her mind… how devoted he had been, how devoted he still was.
'Sakura-chan, I will keep my promise no matter what…'
His promises struck chords in her heart and soul she didn't realize until that moment was worth appreciating.
'I won't break my word so easily. That's my way of the ninja…'
But this… this sudden change in him, wasn't his way of the ninja. This was not Naruto… yet, he was doing this all for her. He had been so set in bringing their teammate home for both her happiness and his own that he was now willing to give up his humanity in order to fulfill his promise to her.
Unshed tears demanded their escape, as her sea-foam green eyes watered at the thought.
Kabuto's eyes darkened and narrowed slightly. "His consciousness is fleeing now." His voice was haunting against the growing and moaning winds whisking around Naruto's chakra. "Poor kid."
This was the reason why the village of Konoha often called the misfit-nin a monster… the creature living inside of Naruto was the cause for all his pain yet the reason for his stubbornness and strength. Yet despite this silver lining… the fox figure looked almost nothing like Naruto… he was just acting as a mere skeleton for the Kyuubi to use at his will.
His figure now inhuman, he was crouched like a predator ready to attack the snake at any moment. Her chest tightened again hearing Naruto's growling and yelling increase. She could feel the fox-demons power from where she stood; it was overwhelming and unnerving… This malicious power was coming from someone like Naruto… the ramen loving dobe! Who always went out of his way to try and make her smile by always facading a smile of his own, even when Konoha turned their backs on him. He would always smile… but now, now he was proving the people of Konoha right… he was turning into the monster they all feared.
Three tears fell before she lost complete control…
Clenching her teeth, unable to hold back the tears, she finally found her strength to move. Rushing forward, ignoring the call from their new captain for this mission, Yamato-sensei. "Wait! Sakura! Don't get too close to Naruto at this moment!"
She could barely hear his strained voice… all she could see was Kyuubi… and she knew Naruto was somewhere inside… he was… she just needed to find him.
She rushed past Kabuto, not sparing him a glance as he watched her rush towards the fox-demon… no… towards her team-mate.
"Naruto!" She called, tears staining her cheeks, "Stop! Stop it now! I'll bring back Sasuke-kun! I'll show you!" She cried, stumbling slightly as she tried to run as fast as she could- not caring that he was in the middle of a battle with their arch nemesis. All that mattered was him… and bringing Naruto back. "So, you don't need to-"
She fox demon turned, his hollow eyes narrowed as the chakra of his fourth tail lashed out towards her arm. She had no time to react as she was sent crashing to the heard earth beneath her. The red chakra burning her arm, and sending her down with such force it nearly knocked the wind out of her body.
Blood spilled down her arm as the Kyuubi turned its attention from the fallen Orochimaru, who had lost most of his energy during their fight, to the fallen pink-haired kunoichi.
Her body trembled out of its own accord… not out of fear… but pain… both physical and emotional. Her focus was growing dark as she stared bleary eyed up at what was once Naruto, who hovered over her. Growling…
"Naruto…" She whispered, her voice laced with pain which seemed to lash at the Kyuubi with an attack force all on its own. It flinched, hesitating, as if trying to fight off something from within. It was in that instant she knew… it was Naruto.
Suddenly the earth shot up and wrapped itself around Naruto's fox-demon body, restraining from further injuring her. She knew it was from Captain Yamato nin-jutsu.
She had barely enough time to realize their captain had come up from behind and had placed a seal on Naruto's chest in an attempt to restrain the Kyuubi once more… she watched Naruto throw his head back… his yell of pain and agony mixed with that of the fox-demon before he passed out.
It was then she realized sometime during this point her arm had been healed slightly and Kabuto was gone. She managed to crawl over to her fallen teammate and heal his skinned body as best she could. The Kyuubi chakra really did a number on him.
Though her arm had subdued in its bleeding the shooting pains up and down her arms would not cease. Still she tried to ignore the pain and pump as much chakra as she could into Naruto's body, focusing all her worth into healing him.
"Ow." Sakura hissed catching Captain Yamato's attention. But she ignored him for the moment, her eyes focusing on Naruto's necklace briefly before her thoughts trailed to the seal Yamato had placed on Naruto to control him.
She was always so useless, this was all her fault… she didn't want this to happen again…
"Captain Yamato…" She paused, noticing her was still staring at her as Naruto let out a loud yell of pain. She winced ignoring Naruto's moaning and continued to apply chakra to his skin and wounds. "That technique… can you teach it to me? The technique you stopped Naruto with?" she asked quietly, her eyes never leaving the blond.
Yamato looked away this time. "That is impossible…" Sakura glanced to her Captain, "In Konoha, I am the only one who can use it, because I was compatible with Shodai-sama's cells. The power to control the Kyuubi chakra, since I'm just an experimental copy, I can't do it as well as the original Shodai-sama." He explained.
Sakura remained silent, her eyes falling back on Naruto, her hands moving with the healing wounds.
"The thing Naruto has around his neck, is something the first Hokage-sama had, it's a chakra crystal is something that only responds to the first Hokage-sama's chakra. With that I can control the chakra of a 'jinchuuriki' … it is said that the first Hokage-sama was made Hokage for that power. And I've been chosen leader of this team because of it."
Sakura didn't move; she just continued to stare down at Naruto- his wounds, now almost entirely healed. Though she was losing power fast, she did not care; she would push herself to the limit for him…
"It's always like this…" She said softly after a moment. "The things I can do for Naruto, are so small." She would not cry… crying helped nothing.
Yamato smiled softly, "It's not a problem of big or small, what's important is the strength of the feelings you have for Naruto."
Sakura jolted up, her attention now far from healing Naruto as she glanced at Yamato, who had this 'all-knowing' look plastered over his features.
"Heh… Sakura, I can tell by looking at you… In reality you-"
"…Naruto…" This time, nothing, not even her own strength could hold back the tears. Yamato's words were forgotten.
"Huh? What happened to me?" Naruto slowly sat up with the help of Sakura. "Sakura-chan, why are you crying?"
But Sakura's strength was gone. To heal Naruto, she had used up the remaining of her chakra. She found herself slowly falling forward into Naruto's arms, the darkness of sleep claiming her.
When she woke, it was dark… Yamato had summoned yet another building for them to sleep in. The flickering flames of the fire cast dancing shadows about the walls.
"Naruto…" She whispered, memories of the day rushing back into the forefront of her mind.
She jolted up, ignoring the rush of pain in her right arm and head, and turned to see her teammate wrapped nearly head to toe in bandages. His eyes were averted away from her- he looked so ashamed, and so lost. But tears were already sliding down her cheeks; bittersweet relief. She cared not that he felt ashamed, all she cared about was hold him… the real him.
"Naruto!" She cried, lunging forward, her arms wrapping themselves around his neck, pulling him close to her chest.
"Sakura-chan…" His voice held confusion and remorse, "Aren't you afraid of me?" he made no move to return the embrace.
"No… I was scared of losing you… to Kyuubi… please, Naruto… I'll bring Sasuke-kun back on my own… I can't lose you too…" She whispered - pain lacing though her voice, trembling against his chest.
Bandaged arms snaked their way around her and held her tightly. She wasn't afraid of him… she was afraid of losing him… No blushes were needed now, he cared for Sakura too deeply to care about his childish crush when the girl he would die for was here, crying in his embrace.
"I won't break my promise to you Sakura-chan." He murmured, "It's my way of-"
"No!" She cut him off hoarsely, leaning back to glare at him through her tears, "That was not your way of the ninja! That was Kyuubi's anger, not you! You are not a monster Naruto!"
He glanced away, wincing at her words; he wanted his own tears to spill- but denied them. If only she knew what her words meant to him. "I promised you Sakura-chan… I won't go back on my word… I'll bring him home-"
Naruto was cut off, her soft fingers turning his chin to face her fully, "Promise me something else… something that means more to me than bringing Sasuke-kun home."
He frowned at this. What could mean more to her than Sasuke-teme?
"Promise me you won't leave me." She whispered.
His blue eyes widened at her request.
"Don't go off on your own to find him anymore. You don't need to do this by yourself! I don't want you to leave me. I can't lose you." She was struggling to hold back tears, "Not to Kyuubi, not to Orochimaru, not to Akatsuki, not to Sasuke-kun… not to death…"
She hiccupped gently when Naruto's hands sought her cheeks to brush away her tears, "Don't cry Sakura-chan… I don't wanna make you cry…" He whispered.
"Promise me you won't leave me Naruto!" Sakura's voice raised a notch, but the tears kept falling.
Naruto finally gave her one of those goofy grins she feared she would never see again. "Never."
She gave up and slumped into his chest, tears not willing to cease anytime soon as she clutched his chest. "Please stop crying…"
"In a minute…" She mumbled against his chest, "I'll smile in a minute…"
His face grew sombre as he pushed her back to make her stare at his face. A sudden sheepish grin fell over his face, "I really wish you weren't so beautiful, Sakura-chan." He said helplessly as her eyes grew when he leaned down and captured his lips with hers. Not caring that she would punch him to the moon for this… he rather her be angry than sad.
He pulled back after a moment and rested his forehead on her; his eyes remained closed in fear of her expression. "Please stop crying Sakura-chan." He whispered again, trying to hide his blush.
She blinked a few tears away; they had stopped out of shock when his lips met hers. Her smile was faint and light, but it was there. "Naruto…"
His eyes still closed he winced slightly, as if waiting for the fatal blow. Her expression softened because instead of a fist, his lips met with her lips once more. His eyes flashed open to see her sea-form green eyes staring back at him with… love and affection? But didn't Sakura-chan love that bastard?
When she pulled back with a soft smile, he noticed her tears were gone.
'Sakura, I can tell by looking at you… In reality you-.'
"In reality, I need you Naruto… I love you…" She whispered, her arms snaking around his neck, her nose nuzzling into the base of his throat.
"I was an idiot Naruto…" She mumbled into his skin, sending shivers up his spine. "I was a fool to think Sasuke was all that I needed… but I see now I can live life without him… but I can't live life without you Naruto…"
"But you love Sasuke…"
"Just as I love Kakashi-sensei… they are family. Team 7 is my family…" She whispered, her hold around his neck tightening. "Tell me you still love me Naruto…"
"I never stopped loving you Sakura-chan…" He admitted quietly, this time his arms wrapping themselves around her, pulling her in closer. "I promise you I never will."
She was crying again, he knew she was, but he knew her tears, this time, were out of happiness… he usually hated seeing Sakura cry… but this once… this one time he was happy to hold her and let her cry.
For Sakura, he would keep any promise till his death.
AN: cute lil one shot. Read and Review. puh-lease and sankyuu