She can hold a life in her hands and choose: end or prolong.

Almost any life. Almost any.

And sometimes she feels like a goddess, like the princess shinobi address her as. To hold life and death in your very hands and the unfathomable power. She has worked for this, has paid for this with long days of training and sweat and blood. She remembers the way her breath would catch in her throat as she pushedpushedpushed. She remembers the sweat that would run down unrelentingly. Rain or shine, training grounds would be left with craters. Rain or shine, Konoha hospital would release multitudes of patients.

Indeed, she has worked for this and she deserves this and she is respected for this.

She can reduce mountains to rubble,

there is always a satisfying, satisfying crack-boom-break.)

Summon creatures of immense size,

the smoke clears and Katsuyu is majestic as ever, proud in all her dignified silence.)

And hold almost any life in her hands and decide its fate.

(The shinobi moans as her chakra works on his wounds.)

But she cannot decide her own.

(Crack.Boom. Break. Silence.)

Her teammate is lost, her other is broken, her brother is gone, her lover is dead.

she misses their smiles.)

So she runs farfarfar away with her should've-been-niece-in-law and forgets hard work and being deserving and respect.

She bites her lip and curses at the cards she's dealt.

I've lost again.


Her brokennotlost teammate finds her, an orangenoisyannoying boy in tow.

There is an offer, a refusal, and a gamble, and a fight. Somehow, her beliefs are reversed and she is given a throne and a scepter and a village.

She just might be that goddess-princess again. She just might be honorable and respectable again. She just might play this role like it was meant to be.

She just might take her own life in her hands and decide its fate.

She looks into this boy's, this meresonofthebestninjathateverlivedbutstillmere boy's eyes and hopes.

I will not lose this bet.


Naruto's teammate has run off to her lostandbroken (ex) teammate, and yet again, her hopes are drained.

History is doomed to repeat itself, is it not?

And this Uchiha Sasuke will grow powerful and spiteful, and this Uzumaki Naruto will break and runrunrun, and this Haruno (whatwasherfirstname) girl will slip away from the recesses of memory, forgotten.

Tsunade wants to laugh, laugh, laugh because it all seems so fitting. Silly children to ever hope, didn't they learn from her exa—

Someone raps on the door.

"Come in!"

The door creaks open, and the Haruno girl walks in.

Her hair is a cherry blossom pink, and eyes an impossible green, and face so pretty. The name comes back to Tsunade, and it sticks. Haruno Sakura.

This girl is determined , it shows in that tenacious glimmer in her young, beautiful eyes.

The same glimmer in my own.

"I have a request."

Tsunade finds herself fond of this girl.

"What is it?"

"Please…" Her voice is all that is courteous, but her eyes are hard and demanding. "Make me your apprentice."

Apprentice? Apprentice?

How absurd. Tsunade's first notion is to reject such a silly request…but as her eyes bore into that pretty green, Tsunade sees.

Potential and beauty and important things and everything she once had.

Sakura, you're also troubled, aren't you?

She cannot hold back the small, tender smile that makes its way onto her lips.

"Haruno Sakura," Tsunade likes the way the name rolls off. "I've heard from Kakashi that you're intelligent and that you have a strong spirit."

There's no turning back.

"Alright, from now on, I won't go easy on you!"

Sakura's eyes soften. Relief.


Sakura will not have the same fate as I.

And, suddenly, it isn't so silly to hope.


Sakura is quick to learn.

Sakura is determined and unrelenting.

Sakura is one of the best kunoichi Tsunade has ever seen at the age.

But Tsunade doubts she will be able to teach this girl to crush rocks with her pinky finger.

She tries, anyway.

It is their third attempt, and Tsunade finds her earlier assumptions ringing true.

Sakura is of extreme potential, and only Shizune has gone so far. Shizune had not inherited the strength, and Sakura may have more potential, but still, Tsunade doubts.

She rests, eyes closed, under an oak tree as Sakura triestriestries to create some form of damage onto the earth. Without much success.

There will be probably be three more training attempts after this, but if Sakura cannot, then she cannot. The chakra control necessary for the strength is that of utter perfection. Tsunade is the only known ninja to manifest it with such ease.

A sharp crack disrupts Tsunade's train of thought, and swiftly, Tsunade is on her feet, senses alert.


"Shishou! Look!"

And she does.

The crater is not that big, perhaps half a meter in diameter, but it is there. The grin on Sakura's face is wide, wider than Tsunade has ever seen on the girl.

This girl…is something else.

Tsunade smiles back, hiding her bewilderment.

This girl will surpass me.

Sakura tries again, and this time, her crater is a meter in diameter.

Tsunade's smile widens into a full-blown grin.

This girl will definitely rise to greater heights than I've ever imagined.

Her thoughts trail to Naruto, as well.

Kakashi, your team…

Will be the team to rewrite history.


Sakura is sixteen-going-on-seventeen.

She is stunningly beautiful, she is proud, and she is strong.

Tsunade spars with her protégé, and somehow, it becomes an all-out struggle to victory.

She does not know how it happens, it is all too quick for her to comprehend, but suddenly, she is pressed down on the floor, a kunai to her neck. She tries to summon her strength, call out her slugs, but, alas, her chakra is drained to the full.

Tsunade wants to laugh, but her body is aching and she doesn't want to catch dirt in her mouth.


"Sakura," she mumbles. "I don't think you should call me that anymore."

The pressure has left her back, and Sakura helps her into a sitting position, and begins to heal her mentor, a small smile adorning her lips. Her student is still beautiful, despite the many injuries she has sustained. Tsunade is almost jealous of her youth and beauty,

"Sasuke-kun is back, and I have surpassed you, shishou." Her eyes(still that impossible green) are shining. "I think I could die happy now."

This time, Tsunade does laugh.

"Don't get too cocky, sweetheart. I still have tons more experience than you do."

Sakura laughs with her.

For once, Tsunade is happy to have lost.

Because as I gaze at their laughter and grins and their wholeness,

I know I have won.


Author's Notes: Useless, rough, whatever. Random thoughts. a
what've you guys got to say? XD

standard disclaimers apply, btw.