Wherein a kunoichi is allowed to be a ninja. Diverges from chapter 483.

"S-stop, Sasuke..."

Sakura's eyes widened at Karin's strangled plea. There was a nearly inaudible whoosh of air behind her -


She had disappeared. Sasuke was frantic, whipping his head from side to side. It was too late - he felt as the kunai digging into his side and being twisted with a touch of viciousness that he didn't know she possessed. He was morbidly proud, even as he felt his body growing numb and warm.

"Beaten by a weak little girl and the kawarimi... what an end for you, Sasuke-kun."

His world went dark.

Kakashi arrived a second later - a second too late. One of his students was already dying. Surprisingly, it wasn't the one he had expected.

"S-sakura?" He stumbled over his words - something he couldn't recall doing in years, no matter what was going on around him - and stared at her. There was no way she'd taken down Sasuke.

But he was on the ground, foaming at the mouth and growing paler by the second; she was kneeling next to Karin and healing her injuries as best she could.

"Yes, Kakashi-sensei?"

She didn't even glance at him. He saw in his periphery that Karin was watching her intently, before realizing that he was doing the same thing.

"You're - you're not..."

"I know.

"Do you need - ah, do you need to rest or - ?"

"Kakashi-sensei, I'm fine. Is it really so hard to believe I could do this?"

His silence spoke volumes enough.

Sakura rolled her eyes as the sweat dripped down her face. Looking over at her dead teammate, she was dismayed to find him twitching slightly. Kakashi noticed this, and regained his voice.

"All that training with Orochimaru. He can't be killed by just any poison," he finally managed without tripping over his words. She nodded grimly.

"Should we take him back to Konoha for questioning? Or should we just take care of him now?"

"There are those in the village who would protest to his death. Not to mention that he could provide us useful information on the Akatsuki."

"Do you really think he'd talk?" she replied dispassionately. "Even with torture?"

"There are ways."


Naruto had appeared, and for a second had a dangerous look about him. Then, he saw Sasuke foaming at the mouth and nearly unconscious. He looked at her, totally flabbergasted; she rolled her eyes again and prepared for the inevitable deja vu.

"S-sakura-chan, you're not hurt at all - !"

"I know, Naruto..."

So. Yeah. Short, and has nothing to do with any of my other stories. I've never really written about Sakura before, so this was something of a challenge for me. I wrote this write after I read the chapter, and finally decided to post it, cause what the heck?

When Sakura had all her ninja shit going on - knocking people out, poison kunai, et cetera - I was soooo ready to see her kick some ass. And then Kishimoto totally cockblocked her awesomeness. WHAT. WHHHAAAAAT.
So I wrote this to vent my frustration. Right now, it's a standalone. But I have a couple other chapters in mind, following this alternate universe wherein Sasuke is taken back to the village at this point in the manga.

Please let me know what you think!