Well, I'm just trying something new. This will be ItaSaku, but slow going. I intend to take my time with this fic and I'll update it whenever I have time, so updates won't be regular like with my other time travel fic. Well, here comes the prelude. Enjoy!


The sky was grey with smoke, air was spare and hard to breathe in, so thick was the smoke. The smoke, the smoke, the smoke, that damned smoke. The smoke that rose from the burning houses, the burning forest, the burning bodies, the ashes that now covered the land. The smoke that was causing her coughing as she choked on the blood that rose in her throat, expelled by her heaving lungs that were slowly drowning on the viscous liquid that should have meant her life, not her death.

She felt the same red blood roll down her cheeks over the already dry and cracked tear marks from her empty eye sockets. Was it a blessing or a curse that she could not see the end of her world, of all she had ever fought for?


The grip on her throat tightened a bit more and she wondered whether she would be strangled before she could drown on her own blood.

"Give it up, Uzumaki, or the next thing to go will be her tongue, and how good is a kunoichi if she can't see AND utter any jutsu?"

Once more, she shook her head negatively, ushering her best friend to attack with her weakening voice. She would not let him choose her over the world–or what remained of it, anyway.

"Attack, Naruto! Don't you dare keep me from giving my life for my village!"

Tears streaking his face, Naruto, panting, looked sadly at his best friend as she lay dangling in Madara's grip, body bloody and broken. Next to him, Shikamaru nodded imperceptibly, prompting him to rush at his enemy, rasengan flaring in his right hand. The man noticed at the last moment that Sakura had glued herself to him with chakra and extended a hand in the direction of Shikamaru's shadow. At the moment that her shadow connected with Shikamaru's, the eldest Uchiha's body froze in place, making him a prime target, but it was too late for Naruto to change course. Already, his hand was burrowing into Sakura's torso, cutting through it like it was butter, and he had to force himself not to close his eyes as he saw blood bubble from the pink-haired girl's lips as she gasped for air that would never come.

Madara crashed to the ground; Naruto caught Sakura's body in his arms, bile rising in his throat as he noticed that the bloody hand that was keeping her upright was stained crimson with her blood. Hands trembling, he carefully put her on the ground, crying openly.

"C'm'on, Sakura-chan! Heal yourself! You won't die from this, I missed your heart and lungs!"

A shaky smile appeared on the girl's face.

"You did good, Naruto…" she whispered.

"Wait, wait, why aren't you healing yourself?" asked the blond desperately.

"Not enough chakra…it's futile…"

Naruto shook his head with an intensity that could only come from desperation.

"You can't die…Not you, Sakura-chan!"

"Sorry…Looks like I'll leave you alone too…" murmured the pinkette.

Hinata stepped next to them silently; Naruto turned watery eyes to her.

"Can you save her, Hinata-chan?"

The Hyuuga bit her lip.

"No medic can regrow body parts, Naruto-kun," she said gently. "There's a hole in Sakura-san's torso…But…I helped Sakura-san practice a new medical technique…Maybe it can save her…"

"Whatever it is, do it! Save Sakura-chan!"

Alarmed, Sakura weakly tried to fend her off.

"Iie…Don't do it! You've never done it yourself! And it's never been tested on humans!"

She had to stop talking as a bout of coughing came over her; above her, Naruto looked pleadingly at Hinata.

"Sakura-san…If I don't try, you will die…please consent to it…for Naruto-kun's sake."

Sakura shook her head vehemently.

"If you botch it, you could die too! I won't take that risk!" she argued with increasing weakness.

"But I will," said the Hyuuga firmly. "I have observed you carefully, I'm confident that I can do it. Believe in me."

As she performed the jutsu and her hands glowed green, Naruto and Shikamaru remained silent, only erupting into talk when Hinata wiped her brow with the back of her hand and averted her gaze as Sakura began to shrink in front of their eyes. The pink-haired girl trashed on the ground, screaming her head off. In front of Naruto's horrified eyes, blood began to seep out of the young woman's pores, covering her entire body in a viscous sheet of crimson.

"Hey, hey!" cried Naruto, sensing his anxiety steadily climbing higher and higher, "Is that normal?"

Hinata nodded, forcing her eyes to stay glued onto Sakura's body to monitor the jutsu's progression. With a quick snap of her wrists, the blood began to head for the hole in Sakura's torso.

"Wait, won't she dry up without blood or something?" asked Naruto, chewing his lip.

"Iie, but…"

Surprisingly perceptive when it came to Sakura, Naruto looked at the Hyuuga with narrowed eyes, then looked at his best friend still on the ground and his eyes widened to the size of plates.


"Hai…In every cell of our bodies, there lies the information about every inch of us, so I'm agglomerating her blood and flesh in her torso. The jutsu will then transform the cells into the necessary organs and repair her body, but that will cause her to shrink in size. Ah, but don't worry! She will grow older once again. We just have to wait, then I'll be able to do it again to heal her eyes…"

However, before the medical jutsu finished its work, a form rose from the ground some way away from them and attacked them, red eyes blazing. The three ninja jumped out of the way, only realizing afterward that they had left Sakura behind in their haste to get away.

Madara looked at Sakura's healing body, then turned his head in the direction of the Hyuuga. If she had managed to heal the pinkette, she would heal him too, even if he had to force her to do it. A sadistic smile appeared on his face. He may be weak at present, but that wouldn't stop him. Nothing would ever manage to stop him.

He prepared his sharingan and tensed, poised to run at Hinata. His feet left the ground for a fraction of a second before he was yanked down to the earth. Surprised, he turned his sharingan on the young woman who had grasped his pants in a vise-like grip, her other hand cradling her stomach in pain with a determined look on her face. Sneering, he unleashed his time-warping sharingan on her to get away from her grip.

He had not counted on it reacting with the medical jutsu she was under.

The two jutsu clashed together and exploded in a bright flash of light that forced everyone to avert their eyes or go blind momentarily. Madara had the sense of mind to jump as far away from it, luckily for him: the explosion left nothing behind.


Thanks for reading! Next chapter: Sakura is in the past! Tell me what you think!