Most people said she wasted her life. Threw it all away on gambling and her increasing debt, before she became hokage. They don't know for sure, obviously. They weren't the ones with her the whole time. I was.

I was only 3 when she first left the village. My father had passed in war, just as uncle Dan did, mother was ill, and refused to be helped, for she said it was for the best that I was taken under Tsunade-sama's care.

"Please, I can help you get better. You don't have to—"

"It's all for the better. I cannot support either little Shizune or myself… I don't want her to live a life of pain." Mother painfully said as she lay on her deathbed. I was crying at the time, and hugging onto Tsunade-sama's leg, as she was patting my head.

"Go on, now Tsunade, and please take care of her." She took a sip of her water. Tsunade nodded and left with me and the bag of both our belongings. As we shut the door we heard a glass break and water spill everywhere, and then silence. Tsunade took a deep depressing breath and closed her eyes and kept on walking. I let tears furiously fall as I clenched onto Tsunade-sama's hand. She stopped and stooped down to hug me; for now I was parentless.

"It's all right now. I'll be taking care of you from now on." Tsunade gently said into my ear.

"But I don't want to leave the village." I said, muffled in tears.

Tsunade sighed. "You can't stay here any longer. As your mother had said, it's for the best, alright?" She broke away from me but was still crouching down to my height. She fixed my bangs that were getting wet around my eyes. "Shh it's okay now." I wiped off my tears from my cheeks with my sleeve. "Are-are-are you sure?" I said once more in a muffled cry. Tsunade smiled a pitiful, but pleasant, smile. "I'm very sure."

She stood and continued walking, with me still clenching to her hand, but no longer crying.

------

About 4 years passed and I was then 7 years old. Tsunade-sama had taught me many things—how to talk correctly, hence my vocabulary; how to make my own food, in case I was the only one in the hotel room; and most importantly, my manners. I was always to say please, thank you, and address my elders as sama. Typical manners of course. Tsunade-sama had stated that if I was going to hand around with her, might as well make her look good by acting like a lady. She was kidding of course. She wasn't that self-centered.

"Time to eat, Shizune." Tsunade called from the kitchen. She wasn't much of a cook, so she just set up some instant ramen, which was always one of my favorite. After we had finished eating she had sent me to pick up something from the groceries. Even though I was only 7 and the town was dangerous, she'd thought it'd be okay. I didn't mind; she had already taught me at least a bit of useful self-defense. Before I left she handed me a Kunai.

"What's this?" I curiously asked. Cause then, I had never seen anything like it before.

"It's a Kunai knife. Just in case you run into trouble." She firmly said.

"… Am I expected to hurt anyone with this…?" I fearfully asked. I was of a nice nature—too nice. Hurting anyone seemed too mean. But that was only cause I was young. Most young children don't like to hurt people.

"You are if they intend to hurt you."

"Understood." I said as I slipped on my slippers and jacket. As I left the room, Tsunade-sama yelled out, "be careful!"

I wandered throughout town to find the correct address. I did find it, and then picked up what Tsunade-sama had asked me to. I then paid the cashier with the 300 ryo Tsunade-sama had given me to pay with.

"Thank you, little miss, come again." She said. I nodded a goodbye and began running back to the hotel with the large paper bag in my hands. As I was walking I saw a lone puppy walk by. As a child of curiosity, of course I followed it. It ran into a dark alley. I didn't go in all the way at first, just to stick my head in to see where the dog went. I saw nothing, and absently walked in. Tsunade-sama forgot to teach me safety.

It was dark and cold, but not too dark for me to not to see myself and the floor, and all of a sudden I heard breathing behind me. I looked around and in a second I was pushed on the floor and had a knife pressed onto my neck. "All ya money, now lil stuff or I rape ya!"

I was sickened. Rape at age 7. This was sad. "Get off me!" I cried. The man attempted to cut my throat but I kicked him where it counted and instead cut my arm. I pulled out my Kunai but he knocked it off my hands and it tumbled out of the alley. I cried in pain and I tried to crawl out—but then I felt something tug at my foot. "Ya not gettin' away, lil stuff!"

I screamed and everything then turned black as he dragged me back in. When I thought it would be the end for me I heard him scream.

"What in de—" Then silence.

I opened my eyes to see Tsunade-sama over him with my kunai in her hand. She didn't stab him though. She just knocked him senseless. I wondered why, though. I sat up against the wall. "Tsunade-sama!" I started to tear up. She dropped the kunai and looked over to me, horrified. She crouched over to me and fixed my scrambled hair and wiped off the dirt on my face. "Shizune, are you alright? Did he do anything to you?" She said worried as ever. Guilty, too. She said to herself that she should have never sent me out in the first place.

I rose up my left arm to her, to reveal a bloody cut. It wasn't too deep, but it hurt. Tsunade stared and backed away about an inch. She shook violently but fought back and attempted to heal my cut. I observed her carefully; as her green-blue chakra filled her hands she sealed away the cut and just left the blood on my skin, she breathed heavily and did not stop trembling—I figured she was hemaphobic. She wiped off the blood with a tissue that was in her pocket and set it aside before she could look at the stained blood. She held my face. "We've both learned something today, haven't we?" I nodded. She started to tear up. "I'm sorry, Shizune. I promise to never let you out of my sight, hear?"

"Hai." A tear fell from my face as well.

------

The next day at breakfast, we both remained quiet. Until I broke the silence. "Tsunade-sama," I bravely said. She looked up at me from across the table. "Hm?"

I took a gulp. "I want… to become a ninja!"

Tsunade-sama glared at me. "And why ever would you want that? Ninjas are filthy and are despicable."

I clenched onto my chopsticks and had a serious face. "There are times… when you won't be there to protect me." Tsunade-sama stared and let me continue.

"I don't want you to have to deal with my mistakes. And to deal with my blood!"

Tsunade figured I figured out her fear of blood. She smiled. "I see… but I can't take you back to the leaf village to be in the academy."

I frowned. "Why not? How else will I train to become—"

Tsunade-sama interrupted. "You won't be going back to the village, for I, will be the one to train you."

I smiled and absently jumped up in joy "Yay! I'm going to be a ninja!"

Tsunade-sama didn't mind my immaturity. It seemed cute to her. She watched as I celebrated to myself.

"And when I become a ninja, it will my turn to protect you, Tsunade-sama!"