Naruto & Sakura: A Second Chance
By: Jho

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-San.
Author Notes: This is an original fanfic by me although it may not be an original idea. This is meant to be an epic-sized fic, the first I've ever attempted. I want to thank the excellent writers before me in the Naruto universe such as Random1377, Aaron Nowack, Terra Of Genesis, Doc Destructo, and countless others. You have all been such an inspiration to me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. Without further ado, on with the show!

Prelude: Tears and a Warning

Italics indicates a person's thoughts, flashback, or action/s
Bold Italics refers to Kyuubi/Inner Sakura talking

Drip, drip, drip…

It was a dreadful scene. Blood was splattered all around the small forest. Rain was pouring down relentlessly, conveying the mood the pink-haired medical ninja was feeling inside. Two emerald eyes were wide-open in a sense of panic.

"Naruto, please wa-wake up…I'll st-stop calling you ba-baka…I'll even treat you to ra-ramen. Please…please," Sakura sobbed as her endless tears mixed with the pouring rain streaming down her face onto the very still blonde ninja below her. It always seems like I can do so little for you.

"Damn it, damn it!" the medic shouted as she pounded her fist on the still body below her. "Wake up!" Naruto's body jerked below her as the blonde started to cough. Shannaro!

Naruto said groggily, "Sakura-chan," while blinking his eyes. "You really know how to wake the dead, eh?"

With tears of thankfulness in her eyes seeing that her teammate was okay, Sakura just hugged him and poured healing chakra into his broken body.

Leaning back against a tree, Naruto fidgeted with a branch and asked, "What happened while I was out?"

Sakura didn't answer as the pink medic seemed to zone out thinking about something.

Naruto arched his eyebrow in a little annoyance. "Hey Sakura-chan? Earth to Sakura-chan!"

"Huh?" With a jump she turned her face took look at Naruto. "Sorry about that, I had a lot on my mind."

Naruto nodded at her as they shared a moment of quietness and contemplation. Both of them felt regret as their thoughts wander to their ex-teammate, Uchiha Sasuke. The two ninjas dwell on the horror they witnessed from their recent battle. We were too late…

Without warning a light seemed to appear out of nowhere before the two ninja. Astonished, they watch as something seemed to be moving out of one of the puddles near their feet. They were speechless when a young girl started to rise above the water and appeared before them. She seemed to be very young – around twelve to thirteen years old and had a foreign robe with strange markings adorning her face.

Sakura was getting ready to move into action seeing that her teammate wouldn't be able to do anything in this situation. What the heck is she a mist ninja?

The young girl beamed at them and went into a cute girl pose with peace sign. "Hi, I'm Skuld, Goddess Second Class, Type One, Limited! I've been sent here to grant you a wish from the Almighty! I can grant you any wish from a lifetime of wealth to even the destruction of the world. What is it that you desire?"

Massive sweat drops appeared on the two ninjas' heads. Goddess…wish?!

Skuld made a cute frown as she saw her audience respond with disbelieving stares. "What? I promise you it is true! C'mon now, go ahead and make any wish, and I will grant it. You two have been deemed worthy," the raven haired girl assured them.

Naruto scrunched up his face until his eyes were small slits looking like a fox, he asked, "Why should we trust you?"

"Yea," Sakura added. "I've never seen anyone like you in my entire life. Goddesses aren't real…"

Skuld scratched her head thinking of a way to respond. "Ah ha, I know a way to prove it to you!" The young goddess looked to be in extreme thought as she closed her eyes and said, "I know that you're both ninja. Not only that you're from Konoha! And you are both on a mission right now."

Team 7 just gave her blank stares in return. Duh, that's kind of obvious.

"And your mission involved an ex-teammate. And that ex-teammate..." Skuld gasped as she saw in her mind what Naruto and Sakura witnessed. The goddess gave them a pitiful look as she understood what happened. "He's lost forever now in the darkness, isn't he?" Skuld stated.

To put it simply, the two ninjas were shocked that Skuld could be telling the truth.

Sakura voiced their thoughts when she asked, "Are you really telling the truth? Will you grant us a wish?

Skuld nodded; appreciating the fact that the two ninjas were finally believing her.

Then Naruto quickly declared, "We wish for the power to save Sasuke from Orochimaru!"

Skuld looked over to Sakura and asked, "Is this what you desire too?"

Sakura took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She thought about all the struggles that Naruto and she had to go through to save their wayward teammate. All the pain and suffering both of them had to endure. This last battle almost killed Naruto's life and she was sure at some points that she was going to die as well. After opening her eyes, Sakura fiercely answered, "Yes, this is also my wish, we want to save Sasuke."

The raven haired goddess smiled at them, seeing that their determination was strong. "I warn you, that there will be many consequences with your wish. You will face great hardship and have to endure through many struggles. But you will be granted the chance to save Sasuke from the darkness."

After those words were said, light started to shine around Skuld in beautiful patterns. The light continued to increase in brilliance until Sakura and Naruto were completely blinded and could see no more.

End Prelude

Next: Chapter 1 – Back to the Past