If I own Naruto, this one will be canon. So I don't...


The kunoichi was in the hospital, treating the many wounded as Pein attacked Konoha, just as Tsunade feared. He had finally decided to get Naruto. The influx of patients rushing in the hospital was too much. At the rate they are going in, she cannot heal them all. Despite the situation, she still persisted, determined to save as many people as she could. Then suddenly, something made the walls of the hospital blast apart, the debris reaching the people inside fast…

The next thing she knew, she was outside, the slug Katsuyu protecting her. Clouds of debris are all around her, and she coughed as she inhaled some of the air. She could not believe what she saw.

"Wh… What… Happened…?"

'Is this Konoha?' she asked inside her head. She took a look around until she saw the Hokage Mountain. She then looked around the surroundings. Only rubble and ruin and twisted metal are recognizable. Pein had just Shinra Tensei'ed Konoha to destruction.

"How…? Why…?"

Tears started to well up on her eyes. She didn't bother to resist it, so as to reflect what she felt.

'Damn you, Pein. I could never forgive you for this.'

Her hands were now balled into fists, clenching them as hard as her superhuman strength could muster. She couldn't contain what she wanted to say, so she screamed.

"HURRY BACK, NARUTO!! NARUTO, PLEASE!!"

Just as she said that, Naruto appeared. She watched the ensuing battle between him and Pein with the help of Neji. She marveled on how strong he became after his training in Myoubokuzan. She watched the rasenshurikens thrown at the six realms of Pein, the frogs fighting the summons of Animal Realm, and ultimately, Naruto's seemingly obvious defeat at the hands of God Realm.

And then Hinata came.

"… I was always chasing you… wanting to overtake you… I just wanted to walk with you… I wanted to be with you… You changed me! Your smile saved me! So I'm not afraid to die protecting you!! Because I love you…"

Hinata charged at Pein after saying those words, only to be Shinra Tensei'ed and stabbed using a chakra rod. Naruto quickly transformed to six-tails. Pein was forced to retreat. He was the only one left after Naruto managed to destroy the other five realms. She, Neji, Lee, Tenten and an ANBU went to Hinata. She promptly began to heal her.

"Why did she do it?" Neji asked.

"She did it for him," she answered. However her head shouts something else

Hinata… loves… Naruto…

Is… this… jealousy?

Haruno Sakura woke up. The sun's light was full on her face, and she quickly blocked the glaring light.

It's only a dream, after all, She thought. She was relieved for some reason, but something still bugged her mind. She had dreamt things like this before, and they come true, like what happened when she dreamt of Naruto's four-tailed transformation a week before she actually witnessed it. The details of that dream matched spectacularly with the actual event.

Could this dream happen soon?

Sakura sat on her bed. She thought for a while on why she couldn't take this dream off her mind, and eventually, she had her answer.

Hinata does love Naruto. I can see it from her reaction whenever she was around him.

If she was going to do something like that to Naruto, why couldn't I? She loves him, and she's willing to do anything, just to see him happy, and even to die, if that will save his life. Why couldn't I do such a thing? I'm such a worthless friend to him.

As she thought that, she was reminded of what Yamato-taichou said to her long ago.

"It's not what you do for Naruto that is important. It's how strongly you feel about him that counts."

Indeed Hinata told Naruto what she felt. And because of that, she's willing to sacrifice everything for him. Naruto… I just wish I can help you get Sasuke-kun back… I'll do everything to protect you…

From the time that Naruto returned after his training with Jiraiya, helping Naruto bring Sasuke back slowly became more important to Sakura than on the hope that Sasuke will be back with them. She now wants Sasuke back just as friends and teammates…

"Sakura, I can tell just by looking at you. The truth is –"

"- I love Naruto," she finished Yamato's interrupted part…

Her thoughts were disturbed when she heard a knocking sound. She opened the door, and there stood a jounin.

"Haruno Sakura, you need to report to the hospital immediately," the jounin began. "Pein has just attacked Konoha, and many people need immediate attention."

No way, Pein had already made his move.

"Hai!"

Sakura changed to her civilian clothing, and went to the hospital as fast as possible. Immediately, she moved to heal the wounded. Eventually the number of the people made it difficult for Sakura to heal them all.

Meanwhile, God Realm was flying overhead Konoha. He knew what to do now, as he now knew where Naruto was and Konoha already had no use to him.…

"Shinra Tensei"

Chaos is now the order, the sheer force of repulsion was of the likes that were never seen in Konoha for nearly sixteen years. Pieces of wood, cement and metal flew everywhere. Tsunade had used all her sealed chakra to save as many people as she can by using Katsuyu, who split into many smaller slugs. If not for what Tsunade had done, very few people would survive the carnage.

One of the slugs took Sakura to safety…

"Wh… What… Happened…?"

She looked around the place, and she can only see rubble. Everything that she saw in the dream earlier in the morning happened in exactly the same way right now.

"How…? Why…?"

She began to cry. She balled her hands into fists, clenching them as hard as her superhuman strength could muster. The next words that she wanted to say were already in her brain. She was desperate to see someone finish the situation. Even if it was in vain, she screamed the loudest scream she made for a very long time.

"HURRY BACK, NARUTO!! NARUTO, PLEASE!!"

Naruto appeared moments later. She watched the ensuing battle between him and Pein with the help of Neji. For the meantime she has to attend to Tsunade who began to look old and frail after using up most of her chakra. Well done… Tsunade-shishou.

Sakura went back to where she was before to watch what happened between Naruto and Pein. When asked, Neji said, "Naruto was drawn to Pein by using some technique, presumably something like the opposite of the technique he always uses. He stabbed chakra rods onto his hands and other parts of his body. Naruto's now immobile."

No… Naruto…

Sakura was overwhelmed by her emotions. Before, she could not move to protect Naruto and consequently she scolded herself that she can only do the smallest of things for him. But now is her chance to prove otherwise…

I don't want you to die at Pein's hands. Not at any rate!

She jumped down to the crater that was Konoha.

"Hey, Sakura! What in the world are you doing?" Neji yelled, but he could not stop her.

"It's time for us to go," said Pein.

Someone landed in between Naruto and Pein.

"Reinforcements, huh?"

The pink-haired girl was now standing in front of Pein.

"You're not taking Naruto anywhere!"

"Sakura-chan!"

Pein sighed. "I'm getting tired of obstructions. Move out of the way, if you still want to live."

"This is madness, Sakura-chan!" Naruto called out. "You'll die if you continue doing this!"

Sakura did not budge from her place. "I know what I'm doing, Naruto."

Time stood still as far as Naruto was concerned.

"I want to save you from Pein. I want to let you know that I'm willing to die to protect you, to save you from danger. I want you to see your lifetime promise fulfilled. I want you to bring Sasuke-kun back. And I won't let you die before you can do that. I want you to know that I will do everything to make you happy. I want you to know that I can do the most wonderful of things to you."

Naruto was surprised, even in a situation like this.

"And most of all, I want to tell you… that after all this time… I realized that… I love you…"

Naruto took a little while before he could register what Sakura had recently said. And before he knew it, he saw Sakura was charging toward Pein, her fist already ready to punch the living daylights out of him…

"Just come, young woman," Pein simply said as he held a chakra rod and pointed it at Sakura's direction.

"Bansho Tenin"

Sakura was drawn towards Pein like a magnet until the chakra rod impaled her in the stomach.

"Ugh!" Sakura was almost unconscious. She suddenly lost her strength to open her eyes. She can only hear the subsequent conversation.

"This reminds me of how my closest friend died," Pein said. Not content, he stretched out his arm. "Shinra Tensei."

"STOP!!!"

Sakura was blown away by the force of repulsion. Her head hit the ground with such a force that took away what little strength she had left… That's the least that I can do for you… Naruto. At least you know finally what I actually felt.

Naruto closed his eyes. "I guess she was someone very close to you," Pein continued. "Love brings suffering, which brings hatred. Now Naruto, you know pain a little."

"ENOUGH!" In a split second an eight-tailed fox was in Naruto's place…


Thirty minutes later… Nagato's hideout:

"… I will believe in you, Uzumaki Naruto. Gedou: Rinne Tensei no Jutsu!"

Meanwhile:

"... ... ... What happened? Where am I? Is this the afterlife?"

"You're now fine Sakura," said Yamanaka Ino. "Some strange technique began to revive everyone that died during Pein's invasion. Kakashi, and Shizune are revived too. Wait, I'll heal your wound first." Ino applied everything that Sakura taught her during Ino's apprenticeship under her. In no time Sakura's wound was mended.

"Seems like the battle with Pein is over," Nara Shikamaru added.

Sakura smiled at Shikamaru's words. Naruto, you really are a powerful shinobi. I know you can do it! Before long everyone that was killed in the invasion are now alive and in full strength. They were told of what happened. They knew that Naruto had finally defeated Pein. All that was left was the arrival of the new hero. Kakashi left Konoha to look for Naruto.

Ten minutes later he arrived, carrying Naruto on his back.

"Welcome back, Naruto!"

"We believed in you!"

"You are truly a hero!"

The crowd was now in a triumphant happiness. Despite of what happened to the village, they were grateful that they were all living. The village can be rebuilt. Lost lives cannot be brought back, except for this instance.

"Sakura-chan!"

Sakura approached Naruto. He was very relieved to see Sakura healed and back at full strength. Back at full strength, indeed, as she punched him in the stomach for being such a baka and for being so reckless.

"What was that for?"

Sakura didn't answer. She put one hand on his face and the other on his back. She kissed him on the cheek and hugged him close. Tears were now on her eyes.

"Thank you, Naruto."

Naruto hugged her back as tightly as he could. He put his mouth near Sakura's ear and muttered something…

"I love you too…"


Japanese Terms (taken from the internet)

Kunoichi - female ninja

Hai - Yes

-taichou - Captain

-shishou - Master, teacher

-chan - Used among very close friends and relatives, especially females

-kun - Counterpart of -chan used generally to males

Baka - Idiot

Gedou: Rinne Tensei no Jutsu - Outer Realm: Rinne of Heavenly Life Technique


Yes! Done with my first Naruto fanfic! Hope you like it. ^^

BTW I will continually update this story to fix my errors. I would like to make this one as polished as possible. Thank you for letting me point out some of them. You know who you are! Constructive criticism really helps...

May 5, 2010 – Fixed grammatical errors, minor changes to wording and adopted a more accurate translation for Chapter 442 page 1 that I found in a forum.