Hello, my fuzzy friends. Since someone oh-so-kindly explained to me that I have turned Sakura into a marysue, I decided to rewrite the first chapter. I hope you're happy. Now, see, I could waste time yelling at this person and eventually getting myself into trouble with FanFiction; but, no. I'm too tired to do that right now, and frankly, I'm too pissed off.

So have at it. Enjoy. Whatever the hell else.

To all my faithful readers that point out my mistakes WITHOUT flaming, I thank you. There is no need to flame someone; they're expressing what they think should happen. As in, an OPINION. Flamers never seem to realize that these OPINIONS do not actually happen in the anime/manga. Is that really so hard to understand?

To Matt (you know who you are):
Thank you so much for supporting me all this time. :) I know I sound like an evil bitch right now... ^^' Sorry. This chapter is dedicated to you, my friend. Hope you like it! ;)

To everyone else:
Please read and review, and if you don't like how it turned out, please tell me. Just don't flame. :)

(Keep in mind that this is the prologue. Each chapter will be three or four times longer than this - hopefully.)

They were in deep shit. Very deep shit.

Five versus ten. Five Konoha-nin against the entire Akatsuki. Three ANBU, one ROOT member, and one Jonin Jinchuriki fighting ten S-class criminals. They were fucked.

Sakura grit her teeth as she twisted her body to avoid a poisoned katana, cursing all known gods for their predicament. Five against ten meant that they each had to fight two.

Kakashi was struggling – and quickly losing – against the Akatsuki Leader, Pein, and his partner, Konan. Yamato was avoiding Tobi's attacks, while simultaneously attempting to locate Zetsu. Sai was dodging Hidan and Kakuzu's advances, throwing armies of paint-creatures at the pair. Naruto was doing well against Kisame, but quite the opposite against Uchiha Itachi. And finally, Sakura fought against Deidara and his partner – someone she definitely recognized: Sasori no Akasuna.

Sakura was pissed, to say the least. She had killed Sasori four years earlier, but apparently the Akatsuki had put him back together.

With a growl, Sakura delivered a crushing blow to the offending puppet, smashing it to pieces. Sasori sent at least a dozen more at her, not so much as batting an eye. Sakura hated to admit it, but he had gotten a lot stronger since the last time they met — but then again, so had she. This time, however, Lady Chiyo wasn't around to save her, and Deidara was thrown into the mix. Not the best of odds.

Sasori pulled his puppet back just in time to avoid one of his partner's bombs. The explosion forced Sakura to leap into the air, and she scowled at the blond. He sent her a cocky grin from the giant bird on which he was perched and dropped three more spiders. Sakura threw a kunai with deadly accuracy, the weapon slicing through all three and detonating them at a safe distance.

Sasori's puppet, and another newly-summoned one, were on Sakura before she had a chance to catch her breath. Damn, these guys were good. Sakura flipped backwards to avoid a long poisoned spike that protruded from the puppet's palm, drawing her leg up to deliver an axe kick. Sasori yanked his puppet back to safety and her boot-clad heel slammed into the ground.

A large, thick, earth-trembling crack split the ground and ran in a jagged line, forcing Sasori to change his position. Unfortunately, her earthquake-hits were no good on Deidara unless she got on his bird and decked him in the face. And that, she decided, would feel very nice.

Deidara dropped a handful of spiders, grinning slyly when one latched itself to Sakura's upper arm. The rosette's eyes widened and her gaze locked on Deidara. He was raising his hand to make the seal.

Sakura's heartbeat exploded — no pun intended — into an extremely unhealthy pace as she ripped the clay spider from her arm, chucking it in the direction of Kakashi's fight. Deidara's face twisted into shock and he tried to stop the bomb, but it was too late. The spider grazed Konan's hip and detonated.

The blue-haired kunoichi was blasted back, crashing through two trees and cannoning into a third with jarring force. She slid to the ground limply and lay still, but the slight rising of her chest told Sakura that Konan was only unconscious. Naruto, apparently, had seen the entire thing.

"GO, SAKURA-CHAN!" he screamed, grinning widely. Suddenly, Pein's furious glare was on her. "WHOO! YOU KICK ASS!"

Kakashi, panting heavily, sent a grateful nod to his former student, even though she hadn't really meant for that to happen. But she would take what she could get.

Sakura chanced a quick glance at the Akatsuki Leader.

Whoa, he's PISSED.

Pein sent a message through the mental connection he shared with his subordinates.

"Sasori, Deidara, take Hatake. I will fight the girl myself."

"Yes, Leader-sama, yeah."

"Ah." Sasori didn't appear too happy. He wanted his revenge, but that was a hopeless dream now; the Akatsuki Leader was going to kill that stupid girl for hurting Konan.

And it was just getting interesting. He sighed inwardly. Oh well. Now her life will be like my art: fleeting, yeah.

Deidara smirked and Sakura tensed. Her eyes narrowed in confusion, however, when they flew in Kakashi's direction.

Sakura's blood suddenly turned to ice as the Akatsuki Leader himself leapt in front of her. Sakura paled. He looked murderous. Naruto gasped loudly and Kakashi let out a strangled, "No!" Sai and Yamato glanced up to see what the commotion was, their eyes widening when they saw Sakura's new opponent.

Sakura stood on end, adrenaline pumping through her veins. She was so royally screwed, there was no words to describe it. Attempting to swallow her fear, Sakura clenched her fists. There was no turning back now. With a battle cry, she launched herself at the Akatsuki Leader, fist reared back for a bone-crushing punch.

Pein easily sidestepped her attack, hand flashing out and grabbing her left arm in the passing. Sakura barely had time to gasp before he snapped the bone like a twig. She slammed into the ground and skidded a few feet, twisting her ankle into an unnatural position in the process. She grit her teeth, sending a bit of medical chakra to her injuries to numb the pain while she fought — a little trick from Tsunade. She couldn't let it distract her or she'd be killed.

Pein made no move toward her; he allowed her a moment to catch her breath, which surprised Sakura. Since when did the Akatsuki have manners? Wasn't he supposed to be some sort of ruthless world-dominating ruler?

Think about it later. she told herself. It doesn't matter right now.

Sakura's right leg trembled ever-so-slightly from the weight she was putting on her hurt ankle, and she held her left arm tenderly. Both were completely numb now, but she wanted to be sure. She glanced at Naruto from the corner of her eye, knowing that he was the reason the Akatsuki were here. He was the very last jinchuriki.

She watched as Naruto socked Kisame in the face, red-orange chakra bubbling around his fist. The blue-skinned man flew back a good ten feet, momentarily stunned. Naruto eyes were bloodred; the kyubi was rearing its ugly head again. Itachi was suddenly behind him with a kunai, and the blond couldn't turn fast enough.

No! she thought in horror. They can't catch him!

And then, Kakashi sent a raging fire dragon at the Uchiha, completely ignoring Sasori and Deidara. Relief washed through Sakura. Naruto was safe, for now, with Kakashi protecting him. Feeling slightly better, Sakura looked Pein straight in the eye. She was still terrified of him beyond belief, but she was determined not to go down without one hell of a fight.

Springing to her feet, she formed a chakra scalpel in her right hand. Pein was cool and collected, not so much as breathing heavily. Now she understood why Amegakure revered him as a god. She darted toward him, packing chakra into her legs to increase her speed. He dodged smoothly, catching her elbow. She sucked in a sharp breath, but instead of breaking it, he gripping it tightly. Confusion clouding her judgment, Sakura met his gaze.

"Stop fighting," he ordered bluntly. "Lives need not to be wasted."

She glared at him furiously, but didn't pull away. She was using this chance to form a plan. "Are you kidding me?" she hissed. "You're trying to kill Naruto!"

His ringed gray eyes were slightly hard, showing that he had no intentions of changing his mind. "Go home," he said simply. "Go home and leave this fight with your life."

"Never!" Sakura growled. "I'm not abandoning Naruto!"

Something sparked in the Leader's eyes. "Than take him with you."

Sakura froze up in shock. "What?"

In a heartbeat, the situation changed drastically.

Suddenly, Tobi — the one who supposedly couldn't do anything — appeared behind Naruto and threw him all the way across the clearing. Pein knocked Sakura aside and unraveled a black-rimmed silver scroll that held the kanji symbol for 'portal'.

The inside held two circles that overlapped, one containing the kanji for 'time' and the other 'space'. A flow of endless kanji symbols spiraled around the center, ending with the symbol 'portal' above the two inner circles. He flew through a series of complicated hand signs and slammed his palm down onto the center of the opened scroll.

Steam blasted from the center of the scroll, suddenly beginning to glow. The illuminated steam swirled faster and compacted together until it burst into a bright jagged sphere of pure white light. A vacuuming sound wafted from the 'portal', sucking in everything around it. Trees began to lean towards the rip in the universal fabrics, leaves and rocks being pulled in.

Tobi kicked Naruto to the ground just feet away from the portal. It drew him forward, his black sandals scraping against the earth and failing to get a hold. He panicked as he slid towards the light, the Kyubi within him roaring angrily.

Kit, get away from the portal! it snarled, orange-red chakra beginning to swirl around the Uzumaki.

Naruto was suddenly airborne and he tore towards the portal helplessly.

"NOO!" he yelled, desperately clawing his way down.

Just inches away from the portal, something hit his back.

Time drew to a crawl as Sakura flew horizontally through the air, shoving Naruto out of the way. As Naruto was pushed away, however, Sakura was brought closer. She curled away from the portal, drawing her arms in a protective X-shape, and time sped back up as she was suddenly sucked in.

"NOOOOO!" Naruto screamed. "SAKURA-CHAAAAAN!"