Author's Note: Dear readers. this not the first time that I have written a Naruto story, however it will be the first one that I have published. Because my beta hasn't watched Naruto before it hasn't been beta'ed by her, so I take full responsibility for my mistakes. Please review to tell me what I'm doing wrong, and I hope you enjoy the story.
P.S. I'm not sure how often this is going to be updated!
Haruno Sakura: The Journey For Acceptance.
Chronicles from the Land of Water:
Chapter One: A Story Retold.
The third Hokage had been an old man before the last great Ninja wars had struck, but now after the loss of the Fourth he was even older, and possibly even wiser. He told stories now to the youngest generation of Konohagakure – he told them about the wars and the battles, of the heroes and the villains and he told them about the greatest danger that Konoha had ever faced – and of course the greatest hero that had ever come to it's defence. The story of the Kyuubi Kitsune's attack on the Hidden Village of the Leaves was legendary, and so it was one of the children's favourites. In the way that classic fairy-tales were it included a demon so powerful it looked invincible and a hero so strong that he managed to conquer the beast.
In the end though that didn't because the hero died doing his duty towards his home and the people that he ruled. Most of the children that the Third told to story to now were not alive when it happened six years before, but there was one who each and every time the story came around sat with tears collecting in her eyes and a sadness that even the old Hokage could not understand. He imagined that she was remembering something terrible every time – picturing the events that happened that day; the blood and the horror. Every time he saw a tear trail down her pale cheek he would wonder for a moment if she remembered the coppery metallic taste of blood in her mouth, but then he would question himself as to why she should remember anything at all.
He watched her whenever the story was told. He watched as she rocked herself silently when he spoke about the village burning and the cries of people trapped within the homes, he watched as she dug her fingernails into her forearms when he mentioned the shinobi that were lost defending their homes and their families trying to halt the advance of the beast. He opened stared at the girl when tears dripped off her chin and onto the carpet silently whenever he spoke about the way that the Fourth Hokage stood aboard his giant summon in the path of the demon declaring that he would end the battle. Then, then he would watch as she dried her tears and schooled her face to one of indifference like she had never been crying in the first place when the story ended; beast and man dead.
The little girl's name was Haruno Sakura of the Haruno Clan. Once a chan that was strong and powerful within the village of Konohagakure, but now it was a lot like the other clans. It had been almost totally destroyed in the battle between the beast and the village; almost all of the members of the clan were dead, lost in the battles of the war and between the beast. The clan had lost so much that now they lived in a complex that was meant to house thousands and instead was home to barely a hundred.
Hiruzen, the Third Hokage, often sat in his offices in the evening after he had shared the story and wondered why the girl was the only one to cry at it. In the end he came to the conclusion that she cried because she had been there – or at least a part of her had been there and could remember – for when the story said that the beast was dead along with the Fourth the story lied. The Fourth had died sealing the beast away from the rest of the village and he had done so in the body of a tiny newborn baby born of his dead wife. The baby's name was Sakura. Haruno Sakura was the baby that the demon was sealed in and so Hiruzen wondered if the demon had somehow shared it's memories of the event with the little girl.
The Third watched Haruno Sakura a lot over the coming years; especially after the death of the rest of her clan.
He had found them to be foolish minded men and women. They had thought that if they destroyed the girl that then their problems would be over and they would be able to get on with their lives like before the battle. They thought that she would allow herself to be held against her will and killed because she housed the demon that destroyed the village. Sakura was eight when she was forced to defend herself against the entirety of the other one hundred members of her clan. She was eight when she was forced to taste blood on her tongue again as she wept for the men and women that had tried to kill her.
The soft pallet pink haired girl had sat amongst the flames as her house burnt down around her crying for the people that had long since betrayed her. She sat there as blood trickled down her body from the cuts that now adorned her, and as the flames licked at her skin, the moisture sizzling as it came into contact with the intense heat. With her hands the girl had torn at the building's foundations crying and begging for a way to turn back time, and all the while the flames of her family's hate licked and caressed her body. She sat there and begged for a chance to do everything again – because she didn't want to die but she didn't want to be forced to defend herself either. In the end her family had tricked her into releasing the tentative control she kept over the beast inside and attacked her. In the end she survived with the burden of guilt resting squarely on her shoulders – because she had lived.
Hiruzen watched as the years passed by and ate away at her flesh and body transforming her into a proud but introverted young teenager from a scrawny shy child. In a lot of ways her years were not marked by the growth of her body or the fact that a period of time had passed. Instead the years were marked by the scars that accumulated on her skin – the deepest and most visible of which was a five inch long gash that extended from the inside of her left eyebrow and down over the bridge of her nose. The scar was half an inch at it's widest point but even so there was no way that anyone looking at the girl would miss it. Yet she didn't care and carried on. She always carried on, which was a trait that Hiruzen found himself respecting and liking about the young girl.
Chapter One: A Fox in Sheep's Clothing.
Konohagakure looked quiet from where the pink haired girl was sat, stretched above the streets of the village with her face looking at the stars as she sat on the roof of her house. The stars reflected in the girl's eyes as she stared up at them from onto of her roof wondering if they would look as beautiful as they did from closer, or if their beauty was in their magnificence from far away. The pink haired girl knew a lot about watching things for a distance because the villagers that lived in her home town never allowed any of them to get close to her - the girl figured that for some reason she was different, but even knowing that it was hard to take that she was being judged on something that she didn't know. Some of the people that lived in the village made an effort to pretend that she was normal, like Iruka-sensei however there was times when even he managed to slip up and make the young girl feel something less than human.
The girl wondered idly as she turned her face away from the moon, casting a shadow over her eyes, if she was even human. Maybe she was a monster and that was why the people of her village were scared of her, maybe that was why her nightmares were filled with the images of a bloody battlefield on which she stood standing over the fallen warriors a euphoric kind of glee bubbling just underneath the surface.
The girl's emerald eyes watched the edge of the forest, spotting the places were the animals had cut through the edge of the trees and barrelled over the land in search of somewhere to sleep at night. Normally the forest was quiet at this time of night but now it was full of noise in a way that disconcerted the girl so used to silence.
It was the time of night when the day animals would be curling up in their dens to sleep and the night animals would be starting to come out to hunt and to feed. The pink haired girl called it the change over, when the types of animal would change over - one would wake and the other would go to sleep.
The girl had learned a long time ago to watch the forest, the stories that the villagers told their children were never passed directly onto her but she knew them anyway, she knew that the dangerous creatures came out of the forest at night. Though if she understood the half concealed whispers from the people that she knew hated her than she knew she was one of the supposed dangers of the forest.
The pink haired child knew that the villagers expected her to leap out at them from the shadows and devour everything they knew and held precious - but that was her drive to protect them. She wanted to prove to the people that lived in her village that she was actually a good person and she didn't deserve the treatment that they had bought down upon her. In the end she was sure that it wouldn't really change their minds that she watched over the village at night, but at the same time she knew that she'd always do it to protect the people that mattered to her.
The girl turned her face away from the shadows and looked into the light again, thinking idly about the next day. Tomorrow was the day that the Genins in the academy would take the final exams to become actual fully fledged genin shinobi. Tomorrow was also one of the days that the villagers hatred of the young girl would show through the most because even though she knew the techniques to pass the exams, and she was the best at the theory work, she was going to fail because of the biased ways of the other sensei that would be judging the exam with Iruka.
The girl sat watching the edge of the forest waiting for the sun to rise over the horizon until she slipped off the roof top and down into the maze that was her home compound. It was the compound that belonged to her family, and since her eighth birthday it had been the place where she lived completely on her own.
Her eighth birthday had been the worst that the girl could remember. She'd come home expecting her family to be proud of her for passing the exams that year and being told that she was progressing well in the school, but once she had arrived there were nothing but stares of contempt towards her and the looks that told the girl that she was hated by the people that she loved the most. Only her adopted brother had stood tall amongst the people of their clan and said that he was proud of her. He was the only one that told her that she was worth something that day and he was also the only one that told her happy birthday. The day had turned from bad to worse then the people that she loved as a family had turned their backs on her. She didn't get any birthday present that year - but she wasn't really expecting one either.
The pink haired girl had laid that evening in her bedroom, away from the rest of her family and cried because for another year she would be looked at as if she was a menace and a plague on her family. She would be hated for something that she didn't even remember, and that hurt her.
The girl vaguely remembered the events of the next few hours, but instead of memories they were more like the flashes of photographs that were ingrained on her memory. She remembered the adults taking her from her bedroom and bringing her to one of the large halls in one of the many buildings in the compound, and she also remembered the looks on a few of the men's faces as they stared at her with looks of utter hate and loathing. She remembered vaguely the feeling that something was very off about the entire situation but she wasn't sure what it was and so kept her mouth shut.
The next image that she could call upon was the victorious grin on the man's face just after he had sliced her nose over the nose, shredding her face to pieces under the glass. She remembered feeling dizzy as the blood rushed out of her body through the cut veins and staring at the man as she tried to see him through the haze of blood that was covering her vision. Part of her remembered asking the man why, but another part of her the stronger part remembered nothing but darkness and pain.
In the morning she awoke in the Hokage's tower wrapped in bandages from head to foot with the old man sat at the foot of her bed watching over her. He told her that her family was dead, and that parts of their compound had been burned to the ground.
Since that day the girl had lived alone in a compound meant for hundreds. She was used to being alone.