If I Could Turn Back Time
I do not own Sakura, Naruto, or any other of Kishimoto's beloved characters. But sometimes, I pretend Kakashi Hatake belongs to me!
Delicate fingers traced over the names that were newly added since the most recent battle with Otogakure.
We've lost another battle, Naruto...I wish you were here.
If only she and her ANBU squad had come sooner that day, she would've had a chance to save him. He would still be alive and probably saving this village. She couldn't help but blame herself. What kind of medic am I, if I couldn't even save my best friend?
Haruno slid down to her knees as tears threatened to spill over. Damn you, Orochimaru.
She's lost two members of Team 7 because of this man. It was already too late for Sasuke a couple years before Naruto's death. Orochimaru had successfully obtained his goal in taking over his body and claiming the sharingan for his own.
From there...chaos had spread all over Sound, and eventually Fire and Sand territory as well.
Before she knew it, this chaos has escalated into this country's fourth great ninja war; and without Naruto, nothing has ever been the same.
The pinkette was broken out of her reverie as she sensed a strong familiar presence from behind.
Not bothering to turn around, the girl straightened her posture and wiped a wet cheek with the back of her hand.
"Tsunade-sama. What brings you here?", she asked softly, staring at the ground.
"Sakura," the Godaime spoke firmly. " It breaks my heart to see you like this"
A small whimper emitted from her student's throat. The golden-haired woman crouched next to the young kunoichi and grasped her shoulder gently.
"This can't go on forever, Sakura. It's been 6 years. You must move on..."
"I'm sorry...", the kunoichi muttered as she moved away from her former sensei. "I'm sorry that I'm not as strong as you, Godaime-sama"
Tsunade shook her head. She hated to see her in such a wreck. She didn't want her student to have the same life as hers. Not after her brother and her boyfriend had died. "When you're done, I have a mission for you. It's a solo mission."
Sakura whipped her head around with a look of bewilderment. "Is this mission so important that it couldn't wait until the next day? It's the middle of the goddamn night!"
Expecting a snappy comeback, the pink-haired girl was surprised to see her former master's lips split into a grin.
"It's a mission that I've thought up. Surely, you would take it. If not, I will understand. It's a really perilous, life-changing mission. In fact, you may not ever come back. I'm sure Kakashi would-"
"No. Tell me the mission, I can handle anything you throw at me.", the girl said with eager eyes. It's not everyday one would get a solo-mission made-up by legendary slug herself.
The godaime smirked "I know you can", she said while pulling a necklace from her shirt pocket and swung it in front of her eyes.
Sakura stared at the piece of jewelry with awe.
The chain was a shiny gold, holding up a sparkling pink gemstone. The girl blinked as she noticed the stone held a magnificent glow to it.
"It's magnificent...", she breathed.
"And its all yours. It took a couple of weeks to make it..."
The pink-haired teen chuckled. "What is this, a reward in advance?"
"This is part of your mission", Tsunade replied before taking a deep breath. "It's infused with my chakra"
The 18 year old arched an eyebrow, encouraging her to go on.
"This may sound crazy, but... this will send you back in time...to the day you become team 7. Since you and your former teammates were close, I have chosen you perfect for the job. You will re-live the chuunin exams, where you will encounter Orochimaru once again. Prevent him from giving Sasuke the curse mark, and if you succeed, you will save the future."
Her student stared up at her with eyes as wide as saucers. "T-time travel?", she stammered. "Is that seriously possible?"
"It is. And it's a forbidden jutsu, filled with numerous risks..." she sighed, " I never intended to use it but. I think we have no other choice. Our world is in danger, Sakura."
Sakura fell silent. Can she do this? Can she throw away this life and start anew? It all sounds too good to be true. She gazed over at the memorial stone. All the names freshly carved into the stone. All her friends who died for their village. Each one of them would do whatever it took to protect their loved ones. Now it was her turn.
She knew what she had to do.
She turned to the Godaime and bowed.
"I...accept your mission."
The blonde gave a sad smile as she opened the clasp to the necklace and walked towards her beloved student.
"I knew you would. And I know you can do this. I'm sorry this is all on short notice but...this is may be the only chance you'll get. Who knows what tomorrow will bring."
Sakura nodded, "I understand, teacher." Orochimaru and his army are closing in.
"Take care, Sakura. I taught you well." Hazel eyes blinked back tears as the clasp clicked around her neck.
"You too, Tsunade-sama" Sakura whispered as a single tear rolled down her cheek, and she felt a sudden nauseating tingle run through her spine. She collapsed onto her hokage's awaiting arms as darkness engulfed her vision.
Thank you, Tsunade-sama...