Summary: Sakura's got a plan and it's going to be so much easier to implement then the one the boy's are doing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto does.
Author Note: So I had a thought. And it was a good thought. And it reminded me that some people wanted to read about Sakura's time in the past before she got on Team Tensai, so I figured that there was no harm in writing it out. I don't know how long this is going to be, but I do know it won't be any shorter than five chapters :)
The very first thing that Sakura does when she wakes up in the past is get out of bed, creep down the hall, and crawl into her parent's bed. Her mother cuddles her close and rolls over so that she's in between her parent's bodies and Sakura has only one thought: this is the happiest she's been in over eight years.
The second time Sakura wakes up in the past, she's being spritzed in the face with her mother's ironing water bottle, the gentle mist settling on her face while her father laughs at her indignant shriek.
"Daddy!" She's not angry with him, she could never be angry with him, but she can't help but glower at herself when he leaves the room to have his morning shower. Her mother has already left the room and is most likely downstairs getting breakfast ready, so she doesn't see Sakura glaring at her clenched fists.
Sakura is awful glad her parents aren't ninja because her father would have noticed her halted attack at being woken up so suddenly.
She had been ready to put her hand through her father's throat. She'd been ready to kill him. She thanks all the gods she's ever heard of that she has good enough control over herself that she had been able to stop before moving more than an inch with aggressive intent.
She lolls around on the bed, waiting for her father to get done in the shower and when he comes out dressed for work and smelling like aftershave she feels a wave of nostalgia and lets him pick her up and carry her to the kitchen on his hip.
Her mother ruffles her short, bright pink hair and they eat, her parents talking about what they have planned for the day.
She has her own plans. And they involve Ino.
Her father leaves first, as he starts work at the mechanic's shop earlier than her mother at the library. Takumi kisses Shiori chastely on the lips and then kisses Sakura gently on the forehead. Shiori and Sakura wave goodbye to him and then Shiori tells Sakura to go upstairs and get ready to go to the baby-sitter's.
Sakura knows that she has to convince Akino, the brunette, sixteen year old civilian who watches her for her parents, to take her to the park where the ninja families take their children. Or, at least, the park that the Yamanaka's go to: Maple Park.
As she goes through her drawers she's mildly horrified at all the pretty, brilliant dresses she has. There isn't a single piece of clothing that doesn't scream 'civilian' and she feels strange as she pulls a soft yellow sundress on and toes on a pair of pink sandals that match her hair.
Even at the age of five she was coordinating her clothing. She is an original genius after all.
Akino takes her hand and Sakura prattles on about the higher end math that she's been doing in the study books that her mother sometimes brings home for her and the older girl just shakes her head and asks her to maybe not talk so much because she's making the teenager feel a little 'slow'.
"Akino?" Sakura smiles, "I'll be really quiet and I won't make fun of your homework mistakes out loud if you take me to a different park than usual." It's a bribe, Sakura knows, but it's one that's effective because Akino has an ego and hates to be shown up.
The teenager sighs and finally nods, "Fine, which park do you want to go to?"
"Maple Park," Sakura grins and Akino packs her bookwork into her shoulder-bag and they set off for Maple Park.
Sakura is a little put out that Akino has to pick her up half way there because she's so tired. She'll have to work on getting physically stronger as soon as possible. She crows loudly in Akino's ear when she sees the sign for Maple Park and laughs and blushes when Akino practically drops her in surprise of her enthusiastic reaction.
Akino's shout to be careful when she runs off towards the cluster of blond children near the picnic tables and is mostly ignored with only a wave to indicate that she'd heard the teen's yell.
She lets herself trip as soon as she's within reaching distance of Ino.
"Hey!" Five year old Ino is prissy, but Sakura is used to that because Ino never really emotionally matured, not even after half the Rookie Nine had died.
"Sorry," Sakura looks up with a tremble in her lower lip and then looks down to her dress, focusing on the dirt that has smeared across the hem. "Oh!" She gasps in fake concern, "Mama's gonna be so mad!"
Her hands brush at the dirt and she lets a tear or two fall so that she seems vulnerable. She has to seem shy so that no one will really question her sudden advanced chakra skills. A shy five year old would hide anything that made her different from her parents.
"Hey, hey," Ino kneels next to her and stills her hands, "It's okay, it's just dirt." Ino had a hidden kind side to her and Sakura is taking painful advantage of that, but since they'd become friends the first time around because of Ino's kindness, Sakura doesn't feel too bad about doing it on purpose this time.
"Th-thank you," Sakura sniffs and lets one of Ino's older cousin's, Inohiko, help her to her feet. Inohiko smiles down at her and goes back to his age mates. To make her feel better, Ino compliments her on her fashion coordinated shoes and how pretty her dress is.
Now that she's made tentative friends with Ino, it's easy for her to integrate herself with Ino's family and by the time lunch comes around, Ino is dragging her towards the Yamanaka picnic table and Romi, one of the rare civilian Yamanaka girls around Akino's age, asks Sakura's babysitter to sit with them too.
When Akino tells Sakura that they have to leave at four o'clock, Ino holds onto Sakura like a limpet and cries that she doesn't want her new friend to leave. Inoue, her closest cousin in age, joins her and finally Akino gives in, "Okay, okay, Romi-chan. Stop looking at me like that, I'll bring her back tomorrow to play." Romi lets her own pleading look go and smiles at them.
Sakura waves goodbye to Ino and Inoue and the rest of the blond clan and she falls asleep in Akino's arms on the way home.
She wakes up in her father's arms when she feels him stroke her hair.
"Sakura-chan?" He whispers and she snuggles into his body heat. She's missed her parents so much. It's been over five years since she's last seen them.
"Daddy," she murmurs into his shoulder and he chuckles deeply. He smells like oil and gas and metal, but it's different from the oil and gas and metal that ninja smell like. Takumi smells like honest labor and machines. Ninja smell like death and blood.
Sakura prefers her father's smell to any ninja she's ever met.
Her mother takes her from Takumi, carefully changes her clothes to her pajamas and tucks her into bed. Shiori sits on the edge of the bed and smiles, "Did you have fun today, Sakura-chan?"
"Yes, Mama," Sakura smiles back tiredly. She thinks that she really needs to work on her stamina because she shouldn't be this tired after only a day of just playing. Hell, she didn't even do anything strenuous. "I made a friend."
"Really?" Shiori pets Sakura's hair and hums under her breath, "And what's your new friend's name?"
"Ino Yamanaka," Sakura says, fighting to keep awake long enough to tell her mother what she did during her day, "And Inoue. They like me."
"That's wonderful, Darling," Shiori says quietly.
"Ino-chan's gonna be a ninja," Sakura pronounces, giving her mother a hint. Sakura gets her intelligence from her parents, so she knows that it won't take much for her mother to understand her intentions. Hopefully Shiori will have, if not made peace, then reconciled that her daughter is going to be kunoichi by the time Inoichi and Shikaku approach the Harunos' about having Sakura join the academy in the fall.
Sakura knows that as soon as Inoichi sees her doing something fantastic with her chakra that he's going to talk to Shikaku and they'll both see her as an asset to Konoha that will need to be trained. She's more than willing to be 'drafted' as an early ninja genius this time instead of having to wait and then volunteering. She's volunteered once already, she doesn't need to again.
"A ninja, eh?" Shiori blinks and then her eyes go wide, "Yamanaka, you said?" She questions Ino's last name and Sakura smiles, knowing that even civilians know about the Yamanaka's given that they're one of the two prominent clans without pupils. If a civilian sees a brunet with no pupil, they know it's a Hyuga; if they see a blond, they know it's a Yamanaka.
The Yamanaka are also well known for their mind techniques. Sakura knows that some civilians tell their children to behave or a Yamanaka will go into their mind and make them forget everything, including their own name.
Sakura doesn't like those civilians.
"Yeah," Sakura is drifting off and can't seem to stay awake too much longer. She's had a very busy day for her tiny body and she's already started making headway into her plan. She's probably made more headway into her plan than either of the boys have made in one day.
Shiori pets her hair some more and starts singing quietly and Sakura can't stay awake anymore. Her eyes close and she falls unconscious to the sound of her mother's voice, who's been dead for seven years.