Yo. Here I am again, typing up random stories. Um… I thought that it would be interesting to write a Sakura x Sasori fic. Then, after I was done, I realized how weird it was to have Sakura fall in love with the guy she killed, and to have her closest confidantes the guy who the guy she killed tried to kill and his sister. Confused yet?

- - -

Sakura found herself back at the front gates to Konoha, as if she'd never been capture; as if she'd never even been gone. The only thing different from coming back from her mission was the tiny puppet who, at Sakura's command, hid behind the kunoichi's legs. It clutched at the black silky material of her cloak, mimicking the four-year-old girl it looked like. Sakura smiled fondly.

Taking a deep breath, she entered Konoha. Immediately, her ears detected a faint shounting in the distance. Neatly stepping to the side as a blur of orange and yellow thundered by, she gestured, and her puppet stuck out a small foot, effectively tripping the blue-eyed young man.

"S-Sakura-chan!" Naruto exclaimed, his voice muffled by the ground where he lay. "Y-you're back!"
So they did notice I was gone, she thought. The puppet (under her guidance, of course) crouched beside Naruto and poked him with a hesitant finger.

"Get up," Sakura ordered, sighing. "It's not becoming to lie in the dirt like a pig."

"What's that about pigs, forehead girl?" a loud, obnoxious, familiar voice rang out. Yamanaka Ino sauntered into view with shy Hyuuga Hinata following closely behind.

"Where have you been?"
"I was on a mission," Sakura returned. "Didn't Tsunade-sama tell you?"

Didn't you ask?

Seeing Ino's oh expression, she answered her own question.

I guess not.

"Y-you've b-been g-gone f-for s-six m-months," Hinata stuttered. "Sh-shouldn't you g-go r-report to the H-Hokage?"

"Oh!" Sakura slapped her forehead. "I almost forgot! Thanks, Hinata!" As she turned to walk away, she unconsciously brought the puppet-girl over to her side and stroked her flame-red hair. Ino was in front of them in an instant.

"She's such a cute kid, forehead girl! What's her name? Where in the world did you find her – " she gasped. "Is she yours?"

Sakura instinctively drew the small figure closer to her, running long, slender fingers down the smooth cheek. Maybe because it soothed her, maybe because it reminded her of him.

"She's mine, yes; but she's not my daughter," she snapped as Ino opened her mouth to demand about the father.

"Nani?" This time, it was Naruto who spoke.

Sakura scowled. "Mizu-chan is my tool." Mizu looked with her sea-foam eyes up at Ino. "Aren't you, dear?" Mizu nodded cutely. Sakura hid the movement of her fingers behind her cloak; let them think Mizu was alive. If they discovered that Sakura was a puppeteer, it would lead to questions better off unasked.

"She thinks she's a tool?" Naruto frowned. "Remember what happened to Haku? I don't think – "

Sakura began walking away, holding Mizu's tiny hand in a trembling fist. Her other hand controlled the doll's legs. She blinked furiously until the tears threatening to spill out were gone. Crouching, she took Mizu in her arms and buried her face in Mizu's hair.

"S-Sakura-san!" Hinata was the only one who followed Sakura all the way to the Hokage's Tower. Finally, Sakura turned.

"Yes, Hinata?" There was something in her voice that the Hyuuga heiress didn't exactly understand, but she knew it quite well. It was longing, a wish to see someone with all her heart. Hinata had felt it for three years, until Kiba had told her to give up on Naruto.

"He'll never notice you," the Inuzuka had declared gently. "I do." Now he was her boyfriend. He'd even promised her a puppy!
"I'll b-be h-here if you w-want to t-talk," the blue-haired kunoichi offered softly. Sakura only shifted Mizu and smiled wistfully.

"Thanks, Hinata, but I'm fine. C'mon, Mizu. Let's go." She'd developed a habit of talking to Mizu and making her move in answer. Mizu wrapped her arms around Sakura's neck and nudged her with her cold nose.

Only after she was inside did Hinata turn away, crestfallen. She hoped the strawberry-haired girl found who she missed soon. A pair of arms enveloped her, and warm breath tickled her ear.

"Come on, Hinata. She'll talk when she's ready."

"K-Kiba-kun! I d-didn't hear you c-come!"

He laughed. "Of course you didn't! I'm a ninja." Akamaru pranced at his side, ready to burst with excitement. "Do you want to see your puppy?"

Hinata's squeal of delight was answer enough.

- - -

"Tsunade-sama, Haruno Sakura would like to see you!" Shizune called. When the snoring blonde sat up and blinked at her, the young medic let Sakura in.

"Hokage-sama." Sakura bowed respectfully, her face emotionless like – Tsunade shivered – a doll's.

"Welcome back, Sakura. Your mission was supposed to be over three months ago. What happened?" the Hokage demanded.

Sakura flinched. "There were some… complications," she replied quietly, setting Mizu down.

Tsunade started. "Is she yours, Sakura?" The cherry blossom girl nodded silently, watching Mizu hug her leg. What would it feel like to have her own?

Maybe… if –

She shook herself mentally; Tsunade was speaking again.

" – father?" Sakura looked up sharply.

"What?"

The Godaime sighed. "Who's the father?" she repeated. Sakura flexed her finger; Mizu placed a finger to her lips.

"She's not my daughter, Godaime-sama," she answered truthfully. Tsunade raised an inquiring eyebrow.

"Oh? Then what is she?" To her evident surprise, Mizu began spelling something with her fingers. T – O – O – L. "Your tool?!" Hazel eyes narrowed.

Sakura's answer was curt. "Yes. A tool and a reminder. Nothing more." Mizu's crimson head bobbed in agreement.

"Sakura, what – "

The pastel-haired kunoichi placed a scroll on Tsunade's desk. "My mission report. All you need now is – " she nodded " – Mizu, darling, I need the bag." Mizu fetched the black and red bag and, standing on tiptoe, carefully deposited it alongside the report. "That's the proof."

Inside, Tsunade found a severed head – Sakura's target. It was neatly packed with almost no blood but still gave her the shivers. By the time she looked up again, Sakura and Mizu were gone.

- - -

Sorry!! I know that it's short, but my mom is yelling at me, and… Well, frankly, I think that this is a good place to stop. Besides, aren't I notorious for short first chapters? …Maybe not, but… Yeah. Ja!