Disclaimer: To my great sadness, I do not own Naruto.

Sakura chooses Photography as her enrichment class. It's unappealing and unattractive, but where she longer finds music lessons engaging, photography sounds, at the very least, vaguely interesting. It'll make her sound accomplished, sophisticated, wacky, different. Sakura hesitates a little, rests her eyes on Ino's name in the 'flower arranging' column two boards across and in a decisive move, signs her name.

She knows nobody in the class. This is good, she thinks. She's happy she didn't take flower arranging again.

The first assignment is a piece of fruit. She doesn't feel accomplished when she takes a picture of a red apple on Tsunade-shishou's table; it defeats the point of taking Photography in the first place. She decides instead to photograph the apple in mid-air, thrown by Naruto in disgust. It's a pretty picture, the red shape leaving a hand against a blue sky. It won't win any prizes, but it'll do for a first try.

The second assignment is of a plant. She leaves the sakura tree and the roses for someone else and settles on a bonsai tree with burnished blood-red leaves, stark against grey clouds which threaten to douse her, the tree and the camera at any minute. She takes the shot and runs back to her apartment, covering the camera with her coat. She examines the image later, and decides that this is much, much better than her first try.

The third assignment is to take some pictures of herself. Her hair and eyes would be too predictable, too boring, even though the instructor recommended it to her. She decides instead to capture her hands glowing with chakra, her hands covered with her old, blood-stained, frayed gloves, her hands in a fist, her hands punching the ground and the cracks beginning to spread in a spider's web around her. She takes a single picture of her hair and eyes after she's finished, just to see, and immediately decides not to hand that in. It just isn't as good.

The last assignment is of another person or people. She decides, for once, to go for the cliché, the picture of Naruto's Rasengan she knows will look good and be good, but she ends up taking a picture of Neji and Tenten on the battlefield. She'll be reprimanded later for taking pictures while she should have been healing, but she wasn't doing anything and anyway, she thinks it was worth it. She stares at the picture of the two back to back for a long time, of Neji's hand out, and a rich brown track against the green grass where the enemy-nin has been thrown back 50 feet. She stares at Tenten, the scars on her hands, the pristine ring on her finger, the bodies around her, the kunai embedded in the attacker's heart, and four more shuriken already in her hands.

She bets that Neji and Tenten will be married within the year, because Neji and Tenten love each other and obviously want to get married as soon as possible. Tsunade-shishou bets next year, because although he's Branch Family, Neji is of the Hyuuga clan, and they like their long engagements. The very next day, Neji, upon hearing of the bet, takes Hiashi's blessing, since Tenten has no parents, and elopes. Sakura is able to pay three months of rent in advance.

As her wedding present to them, she sends a copy of the photo, in a delicate silver frame. Even after Neji dies, Tenten keeps it beside his bed and sees it last thing every night and first thing every morning. Sakura is never able to grasp how much her present means to them both.

She takes lots of other pictures. She doesn't like leaving the memory half-full; it's a waste of space. She never considers leaving photography for a hobby to do in her free time - she doesn't have any (because it's a waste of time). She doesn't regret this, and anyway, the pictures taken impulsively and without planning and while she's busy are real and living and alive. She isn't interested in taking pictures that look posed and fake and plastic. She deals in the living, not the dead.

Sakura doesn't take her camera to the next war. Too distracting, she thinks. But later, she wishes she had. Her last thought is not of the blue-eyed, yellow-haired Hokage-to-be behind her, or the panicked yells of her own Division 28 around her, or of the poisoned katana in her stomach she took for Naruto. Instead, it is of her camera at home, and she wishes she could see her apartment one last time.

Much later, Naruto finds a digital camera in Sakura's room. The memory is full. He remembers Sakura pointing the lens at him, at Sasuke, at Baa-chan. But he doesn't want to see the pictures. Because the camera feels like Sakura, small and light in his chakra-burned hands, and just this once, he'll respect her privacy.

If anyone entered the Hokage's apartment over the next few years, they would notice the smell, the scattered clothes, the discarded ramen pots. Only if they looked very closely would they see the camera, silver and gleaming, carefully preserved. It's all he has left of her.