A shadowy, semi-haunched figure approached Konoha. Its pace was slow and unsteady, and it visibly stumbled several times. As the figure made its way to the front gate of Konohagakure, the assembled ninja began to make it out as the form of a boy. As the boy got even closer, they recognized him as Naruto.

Sakura's heart dropped when she saw that he was alone, but it nearly crumpled when she took in his form. He was beaten and bloody, and there were two horrendous holes in his famous orange jumpsuit, and she contemplated that they seemed to be about the size of a chakra-coated fist. She could see blood leaking from many places, none of which are supposed to have blood leaking from them, such as the eyes, mouth, gaping wounds in his chest, fingernails, neck, and even his ears. Sakura could barely stand to watch, as she realized just what she had caused to her most loyal friend.

Naruto finally reached the main gate, and ignored everyone but Sakura. He walked up to her, even slower than he had been before, seemingly trying to make himself seem composed. When he finally stood in front of the disheartened-looking Sakura, he slowly opened his mouth to apologize for his failure, "Sakura… I'm so sorry… I wasn't able to bring Sasuke back, I was too weak, too tired, too stupid… I let him get away, but I promise you that as soon as I've had a day or two to rest up I'll be right back on his heel! I swear it on my nindo, my-" Naruto never finished his sentence, as he instantly loss consciousness, and fell over to his side, slamming his beaten frame onto the harsh, hard street, as Tsunade and a medical team ran over to him, while Sakura just stood there shaking, her face distorted in anguish and worry, and most of all, guilt.

Tsunade and her medical team slowly and carefully hoisted Naruto up and put him on a stretcher, before slowly carting him off to the hospital, leaving a still unnerved Sakura behind to catch up later.


Sakura made her way to the hospital nearly an hour after Naruto had returned. She asked the nurse behind the desk where she could go wait for word on Naruto. The nurse directed her down the hallway and to the right, where Sakura found a waiting room occupied by Ino, Hinata, Tenten, and the Sand Siblings. Said occupants looked up at Sakura, and were taken aback by her expression. They knew, of course, that she had been upset, but they had had no idea just how much, save Hinata who had been there watching the scene unfold. Still, even Hinata was surprised that Sakura hadn't improved her condition in the slightest.

Shortly after Sakura had walked in and sat down, away from everyone else, a nurse entered and addressed the group, "Excuse me, but there will be an operation starting soon for one Naruto Uzumaki, and it tends to get loud at times, so we ask that if you wish to leave in order to be in peace, that you do so quickly. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the procedure has been deemed necessary by Master Tsunade." The nurse gave a curt not before she quietly left the group to decide. The occupants looked around at each other for a few seconds, and Ino and Tenten got up and walked out, and it was clear that it wasn't an easy decision on their part.

Shortly after Ino and Tenten had left the hospital, the remaining visitors got a taste of just what it was that they were in for, as Naruto's pained voice ricocheted around the hospital, his screams of agony piercing Sakura and Hinata's hearts like a hot knife through butter. Sakura's depression quickly worsened while listening to the pure agony that Naruto was going through all because of her obsession with Sasuke. It didn't take long for Hinata to start crying, and eventually Sakura followed suit. It was then that the Sand Siblings decided that they should leave the two young kunoichi to deal with their emotions together.

Shortly after the Sand Siblings had left, Sakura stood up and made her way over to Hinata, and sat in the chair next to her. The two young women looked at each other, and each one's turmoil in themselves was clear. The two unconsciously gave comforting looks to each other, before a particularly loud and pained scream from Naruto broke their locked gazes. They looked down the hall, toward the room they heard Naruto's voice coming from. They were utterly stunned when they saw Naruto burst from the room, Tsunade, an ANBU, and five nurses trailing him as he ran down the hall, his exposed chest revealing a torso that was even worse for wear than it had been when he arrived, and his running quickly opened up all his wounds, letting his blood cascade freely down his body, eventually dripping to the floor, creating a trail. Naruto was about to round the corner, out of sight from the two anxious, scared kunoichi, when he fell to one knee, and lurched forward with a sickening hurl, blood pouring out of his mouth, creating a pool on the hallway floor.

As Tsunade and her escorts got close to Naruto, he looked back, and struggled to stand to yell at them, "Let me go Baa-chan! I have to get to work finding a trail to follow Sasuke! I'll be fine, you know how fast I heal! Just leave me-" Naruto was cut off by his body passing into unconsciousness for the second time that day, as he crashed into a wall before sliding down and slumping to the ground. Tsunade and her escorts reached him, and hastily, yet carefully, carried him back into the operation room.


Naruto had tried to escape six more times before his operation had been completed, and even after it had ended Tsunade had stayed in his room with him, refusing to let Hinata or Sakura in to see him. It took several hours, but when Tsunade emerged, she looked over to Hinata and Sakura, who had been seated just outside Naruto's recovery room. She coughed to get their attention, and then jerked her head toward the open door to Naruto's room, before stepping to the side to show them that she would allow them entry. The two kunoichi hastily scurried inside, and Tsunade smiled softly to herself, before closing Naruto's door and heading down the hallway to check on the rest of her patients.


I just wanted to get this idea down, might continue, might not. Let me know if you think I should, I originally just wanted to put down my idea for how I think Sakura should have reacted in the Anime, but I don't have a problem continuing this to be a fluff/romance NaruHina and NaruSaku fic. Read and review, please! I wub reviews :D

~Darth

Oh, and to anyone who is waiting on a chapter for TFOF (my main story right now), I apologize for the long wait, I got sick, and had my birthday to deal with (I know that sounds bad but it was good lol), and then I've just been trying to figure out how I want to progress with the story, as some of my old ideas and plans have faded, and I might just end the fic in the next chapter or two, or maybe just end it now and create a sequel to it, I'm really not sure yet. Anyway, big big big big big apologies, I hate making people wait for chapters, but so much crap had come up last month :/.