A/N: So, due to all the amazing Naruto fanfics that I've seen on here, I decided to try my hand at it. So welcome to my first Naruto fic ever!

On another note, this story strays from the manga around chapter 450 before going into a timeskip as you'll soon see. Also, I've tinkered with the geography of the manga a little bit. Originally, Konoha is more or less in the very center of Fire Country. Here it'll be closer to the sea that's due east of them. I don't think it's going to affect the story much, but I wanted to let you guys know if there happen to be any die-hard (including me) fans reading this. I'll stick as close to canon as possible, but we all know that life tends to throw us some twists and turns along the way. :D

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts!

xx LCF

Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to me, if it did then Sasuke would've realized how stupid he's being and Sakura wouldn't have cried so much and returned to the image of badassery she was in the beginning of Shippuden.

Edit 6/20/17

Hello everyone! It's been a hot minute, yeah? Well I'm back and happy to say that I've been revisiting the earlier chapters of Storm and have cleaned up the grammar and tweaked some minor details to be more to my liking.


Storm

Prologue


It was early morning when Sakura made her way to Tsunade's tent.

Most of the villagers and shinobi were in bed by then; everyone exhausted from the slow but steady restoration of the village. Pain's attack had been devastating –it had completely demolished everything—and Sakura knew that if Tsunade-sama didn't wake up soon then there would be more than a few nations willing to strike in their moment of weakness. As imminent as that threat could be, however, it was Sakura's priority to help Shizune with Tsunade-sama's recuperation.

It was all she could do to make sure that her Shishou was stabilized and that all of her vitals were checked every few hours. A switch of an IV here, a little probing with chakra there; and afterwards Sakura would open her medical texts and sit nearby the futon —reading up on the nervous system to make sure that nothing was wrong with Tsunade's.

It was all anyone could do, really.

The moment Shizune and Sakura had gotten a chance they had immediately started working on their dear Hokage and mentor, healing everything that needed to be and injecting several boosters to help with the severe chakra depletion she suffered from. Despite all this, Tsunade-sama remained in her comatose state. After it was all said and done, Shizune announced that Tsunade needed to rest if there was any hope for her to regain consciousness. This didn't surprise Sakura in the slightest. After all, Tsunade-sama had handed over almost all of her chakra to Katsuuyu in order to heal all the villagers.

With the state that the village had been reduced to, and with Tsunade-sama out of the picture for the time being, an emergency council meeting was held almost immediately after Naruto had managed to defeat Pain. A vote to see who would temporarily take the title of Hokage until Tsunade recovered from her comatose state—if she recovered at all. To Sakura and Naruto's dismay, Danzou had been elected, and by the Daimyo, no less. Sakura couldn't help but think that there was something seriously wrong if anyone thought that that man was fit enough to be village leader. Hell, even Kakashi with all of his bad habits would have been better suited for office.

Sakura was lost in her thoughts as she approached the tent. She was only a few short yards away when she suddenly paused in her tracks warily. The forest was eerily quiet, not a single sound filled the air. All was still. There were none of the faint signs of ANBU, not even the tiniest flex of their chakra. It made Sakura knit her brows in worry that no one was guarding her mentor, considering how threatened Sakura herself felt at that moment. Where were the ANBU? There had been at least half-a-dozen stationed within the past hour—that much she could confirm. But try as she might Sakura was unable to find their chakra signatures.

She frowned darkly as she drew two kunai from her holster; one for each hand. Something was just not right, but before Sakura could deduce any form of theory, a sudden flare of chakra within Tsunade's tent caught her attention. Sprinting, Sakura wrenched open the flap and saw—not to her mentor coming to, but a cloaked figure with a porcelain mask hovering above Tsunade's prone form.

The Root member's kunai was elevated and clearly ready to strike the unconscious woman beneath him. Red invaded Sakura's vision, and before she could stop herself, she had already rushed forward with a surge of chakra and connected the heel of her foot to the side of his skull.

A sickening crack filled the air as she crushed his skull, killing him instantly. But even as the masked nin fell, five more were immediately upon her, weapons at the ready. They attacked without warning but Sakura was quick on her feet, dodging and returning blows, her brain trying to keep track of all of them at once while simultaneously keeping an eye on the defenseless woman on the cot. As another approached Tsunade, Sakura rushed at him, fist raised and connected with open air when he teleported out of range. Swinging her foot out, she pivoted sharply in a semi-circle and didn't waste a second in unleashing her weapons at the remaining nin.

A wave of senbon cascaded towards the cot from her right—aimed directly at Tsunade. As she dove into the line of fire, tiny bursts of pain exploded along her arms when they embedded themselves into her skin. Sakura leapt out of range and yanked the senbon out of her limbs in the process, before she aimed a kick right at the center of their group. The Root members vanished in a blur, and without a moment's hesitation she sprinted from the tent and wove a complex genjutsu around it for protection. She also threw a kunai attached with an explosive tag at a tree several meters from the campsite. It would detonate in exactly one minute, alerting anyone within thirty yards of Tsunade-sama of danger.

With that reassuring thought in mind, Sakura made east, hoping to draw out her pursuers.

The Root members shadowed her movements as wave after wave of weapons came at her. Sakura leapt from branch to branch at random, hoping to shake them off and guiding them as far from her Shishou as she could and closer instead to where she knew her fellow shinobi would be. As she neared the open field however, something blunt struck her back with incredible force and sent her falling. Grabbing hold of a small tree, she pivoted midair and uprooted it before launching it at them. The masked nin scattered once again but before she could take another breath, one was upon her. Pushing off against a tree, the kunoichi flew straight towards her assailant and landed a chakra-charged punch on his chest.

Panting heavily as she took cover, a blast rang clear through the air and Sakura could feel the beginnings of fatigue stir in her system, but as tired as she was, there was no helping the raging fire in her heart. These men, Danzou's men, had attempted at Tsunade-sama's life.

White-hot rage filled her anew and she clenched her jaw severely. She whipped out a syringe filled with translucent blue liquid—a chakra booster. Hopefully it would push back the effects of the poison covering the senbon and give her a little more time. But even as the numbing sensation filled her body, nothing was capable of putting out the flames of her ire. As a young woman she had found it difficult to actually kill, but now, nearly a year after that fight—the one with Chiyo-obaa-sama against Sasori of the Red Sand; the one that had showed her what a true fight was… That she needed to kill or be killed—she had grown not only as a medic, but as an exceptional kunoichi of Konoha. The very same village that Sasuke had defected from; that Naruto had protected from Pain, and that Danzou was now pulling further down with his actions as Hokage.

That had been the last straw, and in a fit of rage Sakura's temper exploded forth.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she barked, the cold sound of her voice unfamiliar to even her own ears. "I thought we were supposed to be on the same side!"

None of the Root members responded. Her words wasted on deaf ears. After a moment the one that led the squadron broke their silence. His voice, muffled, but nonetheless as hollow as Sai used to be, rang clearly in the quiet air.

"You have seen too much, it is for the sake of Danzou-sama and Konoha that we must eliminate you."

"You think that killing me will help Konoha? That assassinating the rightful Hokage will help?" she yelled, hoping that some of the jounin on patrol would hear her. She could already feel the stirring of chakra from afar and knew that the explosive tag had worked just as intended. All she needed was to draw more forces out and guide this platoon as close to the jounin camp as she could.

"Danzou-sama is Hokage, and all the decisions he makes are for the sake of this village. He is like you. He wants to restore Konoha to its former glory... and bring forth a new era."

"Danzou is a war mongrel, he doesn't care about Konoha. All he wants to do is create more chaos than there already is. Do you think that killing Tsunade-sama would bring some stability to the village? If anything it'll go into an uproar! Civil war will break out and it will become a bloodbath." Sakura hissed.

"Our duty is to Danzou-sama. All that he wishes to be done, shall. Because of this Haruno Sakura, you are deemed a threat to our mission and must be taken into custody. Danzou-sama will find you a suitable punishment to—"

Sakura threw a handful of explosive tags at them and hurled along another tree with it, as if in afterthought.

There, she thought. If that doesn't catch anyone's attention I don't know what will.

But just as Sakura had turned on her heel and leapt up a tree, she felt several more chakra signatures swiftly approaching the area and from where she stood she could see that they were all Root members.

Maybe that wasn't such a hot idea.

Soon she was bombarded by attacks as they swarmed her on all sides, and it was all she could do to keep from getting caught. Sakura pressed herself further and continued running east, hoping to lose them. As her moves grew more sluggish and her thoughts no longer flowed in a coherent stream, she took out the chakra-boosting injection and slammed it into her thigh without second though. The chakra filled her immediately and surged through her like a wildfire. The Root members were persistent and gaining quickly, but with her boost, Sakura was faster and with surprising swiftness found herself facing the sea from the top of a white and jagged cliff.

She came up short just before the ledge, and when she turned she saw that the Root agents had circled her, like a predator that had cornered its prey. She'd been unknowingly corralled to this place, Sakura was trapped, and she knew it. But she would be damned if she allowed herself to be caught and dragged into whatever hell Danzou had planned. The last of her explosive tags had been used to inform her fellow shinobi of the attack. She couldn't run and her teammates had no idea where she was, so there was no possibility for back-up. To make matters worse, she could feel the short-term effects of the booster beginning to wear off, leaving her panting heavily and completely drained of energy.

With little thought, she decided on the lesser of two evils and flung herself off the edge and into the raging sea.

Searing pain enveloped her as the Root operatives' projectiles embedded themselves onto her back.

The last thing she thought before she hit the water was how she hoped it didn't hurt as much as it looked. When the icy water greeted her, the air rushed from her lungs and the all-encompassing darkness pulled her under.

Haruno Sakura wasn't seen again for another three years.