The pink haired woman knelt in front of the ancient relic. The incense was stinging her sensitive nose and eyes, but that was not the reason streams of salty water made their way down her face. She was in the family temple, her prayers long overdue. One hadn't much time for prayers as the second best medic in a shinobi village. That's what she told herself at least. Truth is she never cared much for temples and religion. Her parents had been nagging her to make the journey for years, to do it more often than never. Telling her it was good for her soul to pray. Even now that is not why she came to the small shrine hidden in the mountains.
Sakura looked up at the relic. Old and battered the statue of the poised woman still struck a chord of awe deep within her. The relic held forth an hourglass in the left hand and a scale in the other. Her chiseled face showed no emotion, but those blind open eyes would look at you and strike fear in your heart as only a goddess could.
They had gotten Sasuke back. It was supposed to be a time of rejoice. But it wasn't. Sasuke hadn't spoken a word, not once. He had looked at them with no recognition. His eyes held only emptiness. She was frightened and so was Naruto. She had come here to pray for Sasuke's soul. The one he seemed to have lost. The soul he might already have lost the day he came home to find his entire family slaughtered by his dear aniki.
She locked eyes with those of the statue. Defiant even in her kneeling position. Her prayers would go unheard because she didn't believe. Logic was what dictated her life, but for Sasuke's soul she would pray; if just for a bit. For his sake she would come home refreshed, ready to try and bring back his soul. Oh, how she wished with all her heart that the Uchiha massacre had never happened. She'd do anything to change it.
Everything went black.
Oo o oO
"Sakura, my daughter, wake up."
Sakura blinked her eyes open only to squint because of the intense light. She sat up her hand raising to support her head. Gods it hurt. She heard chuckling.
"You shouldn't call to the Gods for something so minor."
She snapped her head up only to be met by blind white eyes only a few inches from her own.
"You assume too much, dear daughter." Pearly female laughter hang in the air. It kept ringing painfully in Sakura's ears.
"Where am I?" The weakness of her voice came as a surprise to her. She looked around seeing only bright white. Even the beautiful female beside her seemed to consist of sheer white brightness.
"This is nowhere and there is no time for this place, but I didn't bring you anywhere to answer your silly mundane questions."
The woman stood at full height towering over Sakura. Sakura wouldn't have that. She wouldn't be inferior to whoever this was. After a small struggle with her weak legs she eventually succeeded in standing much to the amusement of the other female. She let out another string of laughter.
Sakura was getting angry, her headache not helping her mood in the least. Whoever this woman was if she didn't stop soon, she'd kick her sorry bright ass. The woman laughed even higher before settling down again.
"I really should do this more often. You little ones are so very amusing." Sakura was about to seriously have a fit, but quickly deflated by the next words: "but as I said, I didn't bring you here for something as trivial as this. I believe I might be able to help you with your wish."
'My wish?' was the girl's confused thought.
"Your wish indeed!" Gleefully the woman clapped her hands together. You looked so troubled and you were the first to visit my shrine in so many years. Even though you didn't believe for one second until that wish, that wish reached me. You really will do anything for that boy; For his happiness?" The woman suddenly seemed much younger, her face more childlike as it shone with eagerness.
"I will do anything for Sasuke!" she vowed fiercely. Her heart clenched painfully at the remembrance of his empty eyes and she added more subdued but still keeping eye contact, "I love him so much."
A frown suddenly adorned the perfect features of the woman. She turned around quickly, the impossibly long strands of shining hair whirling behind her. "I cannot change the past... that is only for the higher Gods." Sakura's eyes fell.
"I can however give you the opportunity to change it, but" she continued before Sakura became too overjoyed, "It demands a sacrifice and there are no second chances, once it's done it cannot be changed back. You cannot return to your own time ever, it will never have taken place."
"What is my sacrifice?"
The woman who suddenly seemed much older now turned around. She saw in the eyes of the young human in front of her such steely resolve, that her decision was made.
"You will have to sacrifice yourself, and your own opportunity for happiness with that boy."
Sacrifice my own chance of being with Sasuke?
Sacrifice myself? What does it mean?
She could always go back, like she had planned. Try and bring his soul back with her sheer persistence. Still it would never disappear. That haunted look would stay in his eyes forever - just below the surface.
"I'll do it..." Her voice was quiet but resolved.
The Goddess stepped forward and kissed the young woman's forehead. "I cannot help you much. I will place you exactly 2 years before the massacre took place, that should be enough time, either way I cannot give you more... Time is not cheap, you know." White eyes crinkled at her own joke. Sakura wrinkled her brow, this was suddenly happening very fast.
"I will change your age to fit that of Uchiha Itachi." She placed an hourglass in the girl's hands. "When this is turned it will be as I said"
"Your sacrifice..." She pulled out a strand of Sakura's hair and set it on the scale that suddenly appeared in her right hand. The scale was uneven, but as the vibrant pink hair was set on it, it balanced immediately.
"Has been made," she continued. Sakura was very silent under the whole process.
"You cannot use your real name, I guess Sakura can do since it's pretty common, but forfeiting your last name is part of your sacrifice. You will still remember your past life and your skills will be intact. You cannot tell anyone of this, nor your past life. It will catch the attention of the higher Gods if you do. You do not want that, as it would result in your death. Basically you do not exist in this world until I send you there."
Sakura's head was spinning with all the information.
"I can't do anymore for you, we will hopefully never see each other again. May Destiny blow your way."
She looked down at the hourglass in her hands. Strands of pink hair shielding her expression. This was goodbye to her old life. She took a deep breath. 'Bye, Naruto.'Heart clenching and hands shaking she turned the hourglass.
Pain erupted throughout her body. She gasped as she felt her chakra being drained. In a flash she disappeared leaving a couple of silver teardrops to fall towards the whiteness that had served as ground.
The goddess bent down slightly to sweep up the tears in a small vial. You never know when you'll need a fair maiden's tears.