This is AU. This is AU. THIS IS AU. Have I said it enough now?

Haruno Sakura was a Gemini; that is to say, an air sign. She acted on her whims, often without thinking too hard on it for fear of too much indecision, and her preferences changed so often that it was better to just get her something new than to get her something that you thought she liked. For example, when she was seven years old, her best friend was Ino, her favorite color was baby blue, and there wasn't a day that went by where she didn't eat at least one box of strawberry pocky.

When she was twelve years old, Ino was her worst rival, her favorite color was red, and strawberry pocky made her grimace; she was more of a vanilla or milk flavor kind of person, if she wasn't having umeboshi.

At eighteen, Ino was her lover of two years, she thought that green went with her eyes, and typically had a deep dislike for anything sugary after her first (and only) dental surgery. No more root canals for her, and no cavities, and certainly no more sore gums. That chapter of her life was over and done with.

As a Gemini, Sakura was also more astute than most. Her observational skills were unrivaled when it came to field medic operations, she could spot the way some people were feeling from almost a block away, and when it came to sensitive secrets (or juicy gossip,) it was easy for her to pick out what was really going on. This particular quality of hers tended to frustrate both her enemies and her friends.

Naruto hated the fact that she understood him so easily, even when he didn't understand himself. It pissed Ino off that Sakura could always tell what rumors were fact from fiction, mostly because she was always correcting the blonde. Most Oto-nin were wary of three things about her: her fist, her smile, and her ability to turn traps back on them. It was no real wonder that she had made jounin at sixteen.

As smart as she was, though, nothing could explain to Sakura why she woke up one morning to a very sunny, very blue room.

When she came into consciousness, something immediately felt off. Like any good ninja, she remained exactly where she was, kept her eyes closed and spread out her senses. She didn't smell anything strange, just a faint hint of jasmine, which might or might not be Ino. There was no body, warm or cold beside her, or anywhere within twenty feet of her. She could sense two weak chakra signatures, civilians maybe, and one that seemed high chuunin or low jounin level. What was going on?

After determining that she wasn't in any immediate danger, she slowly opened her eyes, taking in the strangely familiar room she was in. The walls were light blue, and the ceiling was decorated with those glow in the dark stars that many children used as a nightlight in the Leaf. It looked very much like a little girl's room, complete with stuffed animals on the bed, several cute dresses visible from the open closet doors, and a variety of flowery or pink designs everywhere.

It looked a lot like her room had when she was younger.

It is your room, dumb-ass, came the ever-familiar voice of herself from the back of her head. Knock some braincells together and remember your last assignment from Godaime-sama.

My last assignment? Sakura wondered, slowly sitting up in the bed and tucking her hair behind her ear. She paused. "Why are my bangs in my face?" She wondered aloud, blinking. "They haven't been like this since..." She froze.

Time seemed to slow down for a moment, or maybe her thoughts sped up; she didn't know which. There was a sudden influx of pictures and words in her mind, creating an alarming amount of pressure on her brain. A lot of it made no sense to her; there was her third birthday party, where she cried because her father was out on a diplomatic mission, and her first visit to the library, where she truly fell in love with books... But then, she saw Naruto and Sasuke arguing on the bridge, and Naruto speaking to her with a calm smile and the low baritone his voice had developed into...

...and there was the solemn faced Tsunade on the eve before the massive combined armies of all the shinobi nations stood up for their last stand against the remnants of Akatsuki and Uchiha Madara, intent on either taking them out or going to their deaths while trying. Even together, all their forces might as well have been out-numbered, and it was decided that she would go with her 'final resort'; a simple looking scroll.

Sakura remembered her instructions; read it, memorize it, perform it, and learn how to keep a secret.

"Oh god."

The six year old Haruno Sakura was short, skinny, and high-pitched to an almost painful degree when she could be goaded into raising her voice. Her shyness was well known both in her home and in the civilian school she had attended before beginning at the Academy. She didn't walk anywhere as much as she shuffled, and though she almost always knew the answers in school, she rarely ever raised her hand. She didn't even raise her head, most of the time, and if she did, the long bangs she kept down to her nose kept anyone from seeing most of her face.

The twenty-two year old Haruno Sakura was cursing her younger self. When she first went to the bathroom and looked into her four foot tall, gap-toothed reflection, it was all she could do not to scream and go crazy trying to blow dry her hair into it's future (former?) bouncy, luxurious state, out of her eyes and more importantly, her mouth. With the dubious coaching of her inner self, however, she was forcibly calming down.

Between frustration at being too short to reach things, anger when she realized all the things she'd have to accomplish again, and a short, profound awe as she thought of all the things that hadn't and maybe wouldn't happen in the future, Sakura found herself thinking of what she'd been like at this age, besides reclusive, shy, and fast to cry. She had always been book smart, and she was still respectful of her superiors (no Kakashi yet!), but what had her daily routine been? What time was she supposed to go down to breakfast?

As if being a child had awakened her memories, bits and pieces of her past (present?) were returning to her. Saturday morning cartoons, her love of cats of any type, the childish crush she'd had on her civilian teacher before becoming interested in Sasuke at the Academy...

The biggest shock, though, arrived when she went downstairs to breakfast.

After washing and dressing with some care, unused to the shorter limbs after such a long time, Sakura had checked her clock and realized that it was only seven in the morning. Something in her mind whispered that it was breakfast time, and the rumbling of her stomach confirmed it, so she began making her way down the stairs. She was eager to see Haruno Nadeshiko without worry lines on her forehead, and her father Daisuke as he had looked before the first Oto invasion left him crippled...

"Morning, squirt!" came a lively tenor from behind her.

But she'd forgotten about her older brother, Jinya, who'd been dead thirteen years in her memory. Sakura found herself standing there dumbly, looking up into her brother's equally mint green gaze and the fluffy white hair he'd inherited from their father, the smile she hadn't seen since a jounin came to their door when he was fifteen to pick him up for a mission and never brought him back...

"What's wrong, princess?" Jinya asked with a worried expression as he rubbed soothing circles into her back.

Belatedly, Sakura realized that she was crying, or rather, sobbing into her brother's shoulder as he held her and rocked her gently in a practiced motion. "Y-you're alive, y-you w-were dead! Onii-chan!" Her words were muffled by her own snot, her face being buried in his earthy smelling tunic, and the pure high-pitched squeakiness of her voice, but he understood her somehow.

Hushing her gently, Jinya pressed a light kiss to the side of her head. "No, no, I'm right here, Sakura-chan. It was just a bad dream. Shh, it's okay..."

That was how her parents found them.

In the end, Sakura spent the day at home with her big brother, who skipped training just to stay with her and keep her reassured. They ate strawberry pocky together, read stories, and napped on the couch for a few hours. When their mother returned from work and their father stopped in to pick up his things before being sent out of village, they ate a quick dinner together, talking and laughing like it was just a normal day.

Jin put her to bed that night.

"Onii-chan?" Sakura questioned quietly, turning on her side to look at him as he closed the storybook.

"Yes, Sakura?" Jin asked, placing The Tale of the Lady Ninja on a nearby shelf.

"I'm gonna be a shinobi too."

With a surprised look on his face, he turned back around, blinking at her. "Oh really? When did you decide that?"

"...Today." She bit her lip. "I'm gonna be a medic-nin. So... I can heal you, okay? And if we go on a mission together, we can protect each other..."

He smiled gently, then planted a kiss on her forehead. "That sounds like a great idea. Maybe we can go to the library after training tomorrow, and I'll help you pick out some books on medic-nin, alright?"

She beamed at him. "Thank you, onii-chan. Good night."

"Good night, princess.."

When the door closed and she was left with just her glow in the dark stars for light, Sakura thought about her day and what she'd decided to do. She wouldn't just save the Leaf. She'd save her brother too. No matter what it took.

Go to sleep, idiot, came inner-Sakura's bidding, strangely subdued. We've got things to do. We need to plan and we've got to have a clear head for that.

"Yeah," she whispered into the darkness. "Good night..." With that, she closed her eyes and willed herself to sleep. She had a whole life to get ready for, after all.

Let's just throw this in here again: This is AU. Other than that, though, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this chapter.