The Love Doctor of Konoha
(A/N: This is my first Naruto fanfic ever, so please be kind in your reviews. I think I can safely say I'm very familiar with most of the characters portrayed, but as Tsunade has only recently been introduced in the part of Naruto I'm at, I'm not 100 percent sure she's in character. I've based her personality on what little I've seen, plus what friends have told me about her and what I've observed in other fanfics. Also, this takes place a month or so after Sasuke leaves the village. I hope you enjoy!)
(Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or its characters)
Tsunade just got back from her lunch break and was starting some more paperwork that Shizune was bugging her to take care of. The Fifth Hokage groaned as she saw the pile of papers in her inbox. "They've really been backed up lately," she thought as she grabbed a few that required her to look over and signed, "and why, oh why can't I ever finish this stuff, it's cause I never get a moment's peace. If I can't finish this work, how can I expect to hit the casinos?" She saw the first one, a simple request to expand the size of the ninja academy when she heard someone knock gently.
"Who is it?" Tsunade asked.
"It's me…Sakura. Can I come in, Tsunade-sensei?"
"Sure, come on it and take a seat," Tsunade sighed as she put down the written request. "And so it begins," she thought to herself as the pink haired kunoichi took a seat across from Tsunade's desk. "So tell me, Sakura-chan, what's on your mind?"
"It's…Sasuke-kun…I know he's been gone for a month…and that he's a missing nin now, but I can't get him off of my mind." Sakura looked down at the ground, sadness and hesitation in her eyes. Tsunade quickly quieted the anger starting to rise in her for the sake of her heartbroken student. Not only did Sasuke betray the village to join Orochimaru, but when Sakura pleaded for him to stay, even having the courage to finally declare her feelings honestly, all he did was attack her and left her crying. Ever since then, the usually active and confident kunoichi has been very withdrawn and hesitant. Her work has also been suffering. Tusnade thought that time would be all that was needed, but apparently this required her "personal" touch.
"I know how much you cared for him, Sakura-chan, and I know how much he hurt you, but I don't think that just sitting around here quietly waiting for him to come back will help you out. You shouldn't blame yourself for his leaving either. You did all you could and more. You showed great courage when you declared your feelings for him and the way he…responded showed what he felt towards you. You shouldn't mope about over a guy that treated you like the way he did. He doesn't deserve you, Sakura-chan. He never did."
"But Tsunade-sensei, how can I forget about my feelings for him?"
"Well normally I'd say give it time, but you've had time enough, and frankly, your work is suffering as much as you are. What do you do when I finally let you off the clock?"
"I just go home and do nothing…it doesn't seem worth it to go out, nothing's the same anymore. It all seems…pointless."
"Of course not! Things are always changing, to try to keep things the same is a fool's game!" Sakura looked taken aback as the Hokage shouted. "Trying to keep things the same when you know they aren't…that's the root of your problem. You're just going to have to tough it up. Sasuke has changed; he isn't around here to be with you and you're going to have to accept it. Confining yourself to your home isn't the solution, not when you have other friends who worry about you!"
"Who worries about me…" Sakura began until Tsunade slapped her across the face.
"Idiot! You don't know how blessed you are! I've seen the way some of the other people in your age group have been acting when they visit you while you're working at the hospital. Naruto-kun, Lee-kun, Ino-chan, they're all worried about you! And they're just for starters. Do yourself a favor and when you get off today, go out with them. Have fun for goodness sake! Let the other people who care have a chance. Besides, Sasuke isn't the only guy out there for you. I know of a few of Konoha's young men that would jump at the chance to go out with you," the Hokage winked.
"Who…who do you mean, I'm not ready to date anyone yet anyway. It's too soon."
"Who says you gotta go out with the first guy that asks? Just hang out with a lot of your friends, and think about some of the guys in your group, I'm sure you'll think one of them is worthy of the great Haruna Sakura." Sakura looked up at her sensei and then for the first time in weeks, smiled a real smile, then clenched her fist and Inner Sakura shouted as she left.
"CHA! Tsunade-sensei's right, any of the guys will want to be with me, but not if I'm all mopey. Now to decide who gets the honor of hanging out with me!"
"That's it, Sakura-chan. Go get 'em!" Tsunade cheered her student as she left. When the door closed behind her, she let out a breath. "Whew, I can't believe she was hung up so long on such a guy. I never acted like that. Now to get back to work." After a few minutes signing a few papers on, Tsunade heard a commotion outside.
"I'm sorry, the Hokage isn't taking appointments today," she heard Shizune say.
"Yeah yeah, this won't take long. I also saw Sakura-chan just left," an annoyingly familiar voice said. "I've got to talk to the Hokage about my latest mission anyway." Tsunade slapped herself on the forehead as, without asking any further permission, Naru Shikamaru barged in her office. Tsunade gave the Chunin an evil eye.
"What on earth do you want Shikamaru?" Tsunade grumbled.
"I finished that mission you assigned me, Hokage-sama, and it was very bothersome."
"And why is that, it was only a C mission, the most brilliant Chunin in a generation should be able to handle that no problem."
"It's not the mission, it's who you assigned as my partner. I could've handled a simple escort mission on my own or with Ino and Choji with me."
"Ah, well we need to do joint missions with the Sand Village once in a while to help cement our new alliance. I figured assigning you with their own genius ninja on a simple cakewalk mission would be a good start. Giving you two a chance to get to know each other's abilities on a simpler mission will help in more difficult joint missions we may assign you both later. The Kazekage agrees with me on this, so you're gonna have to learn to like it and get along with your partner."
"But does it have to be her? I mean, girls can be so troublesome, you know…" One look from Tsunade made Shikamaru close his mouth.
"Excuse me? I'm a girl too, in case you haven't noticed,"
"Umm…you're not a girl, you're Hokage-sama, big difference." Tsunade leaned over her desk and looked Shikamaru straight in the eye. "I better shut up, shouldn't I?" Shikamaru said.
"Yes. You should. But if you have a problem with Temari, you better tell me so I can figure out if it will interfere in your work. According to the report from the Sand Village, the mission went perfectly and Temari said she enjoyed working with you, so what's the problem?"
"It seems ever since we first met at the Chunin exams, she's been bugging me. I had to almost go all out to get as far as I did in my match against her. Now that we're allies, she's even more of a drag. After we finished the mission, instead of heading immediately home, she wanted to stay a day or so in town to 'hang out' for a bit."
"It's a fun place. I should know, that's where I was when Jiraiya 'recruited' me to be Hokage. And you still made it back in plenty of time. As long as you didn't enjoy yourselves too much, I don't see a problem."
"The problem is she wanted to spend all day with me. Going shopping, eating out all the time, playing a few games of shogi, I hardly had any time for myself to go cloud watching. The weird thing is, ever since I got back from the mission, it's even more troublesome 'cause I can't get the girl out of my head. She's the first person who was a worthy opponent for me, except for Asuma of course, and despite all the annoyances I had to endure while spending time with her, I think I miss her now that she's gone…how troublesome. What should I do, Hokage-sama?"
Tsunade took in what Shikamaru said and had to hold in her laughter. "He's got it bad, though he'll never admit it," she thought. "Okay, Shikamaru-kun. I only see one solution to your problems. I'm going to assign you with joint missions with the Sand Village as much as possible and pull strings to make sure Temari is your partner for all of them, since you two do make a good team. You may think she's a bother, but you better learn to like her if for nothing else, for the sake of the village. Better get to training, I'm going to keep you busy!"
"Aww man, you're trying to work me to death and have that girl there the whole time. I can see it now, me being forced to work my butt off, and her laughing the whole time. Thanks so much, Hokage-sama, you were a big help," Shikamaru shook his head as he left, grumbling.
"Any time, Shika-kun!" Tsunade called cheerfully, laughing to herself. "That Temari girl definitely is a good fit for Shikamaru and they're both good for their respective villages, but it is not just for the good of the village that I hope they end up together, but for their own good. What am I saying? I'm not a softie like that. Tsunade, it's a good thing no one heard that!" the Hokage thought to herself. Just then, she heard her desk buzzer go off.
"What is it, Shizune?" Tsunade asked.
"Umm, Hokage-sama, I don't know how to say this, but someone else is here to see you, and I just didn't have the heart to turn her away…"
(A/N: Originally this story was supposed to be a one-shot and I would've published it as one, but it got longer than I thought and so after some good advice, I decided to divide it into three short chapters. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!)