A/N – Hey everyone, I just thought about this idea and I thought it'd be very interesting if Sakura was ever given the chance to travel back in time to change everything. I know there's a lot of fics out there like this, but I'm doing my best to make this original as possible. Please enjoy and I hope you like it!
Disclaimer – I do not own Naruto but if I did the Akatsuki would definitely have their own spin off series. Not to mention Suigetsu would always randomly be in it :D
The whole world turned black within the blink of an eye, yet everywhere you turned was on fire. Massive orange flames were spreading fast, consuming everything in its path.
Loud explosions shook the ground throwing Sakura off balance and she hit the ground hard. Rolling over and wincing in pain from the impact, she quickly got into a crawling position, reminding herself that lives were at stake, and edged over to the man lying only inches away from her. It was important to calm herself down and concentrate on her healing chakra, but her hands were shaking terribly as she tried to steady herself over her former sensei's body.
She's never had to try to heal someone who was in as bad of a condition as he was in right now. It was amazing that he was even conscious at the moment. There were four huge wood splinters rooted deep inside his chest, courtesy of the ten tails, and one kunai knife wedged in between his shoulder blade thanks to Obito. An open wound was bleeding profusely from his side as were the chest wounds. Sweat was dripping down his stark white face and he was breathing heavily.
He looked up at her, his vision blurry and out of focus, trying not to lose his grip on reality.
"Sakura...don't," he breathed, his voice barely audible as he tried shifting his position. Gasping from the pain, his hand clutched around one of the splinters. Knowing it was pointless to try and remove it, he let it go and glanced back up to look into the face of his only girl student.
"Don't...just stop," he wheezed. "You know as well as I do it ends for me here. There's other people...they need your help."
It was true. They could hear the cries of others calling for someone to save them. As horrible as it was, Sakura wanted to block them out. She couldn't bear hearing their desperate pleas for help any longer, the strangled sounds that pierced her heart. A ninja was never supposed to let their own feelings interfere with their duty, but she had fallen prey to crying once again.
Around them the war was still raging on. Neither Obito's side or the shinobi alliance had given up and it looked like they were going to fight down to the very last person. Sakura didn't know how her other friends were faring at the moment and she was so nervous she was finding it difficult to breathe. But again, she forced herself to remain level headed for the sake of everyone else. She couldn't let them down. She didn't even want to think about the alternative.
Choosing to ignore Kakashi's last few words, she pressed her hands against his chest, feeling the chakra flowing through her and into his body.
He gently pushed her hands away.
"There's nothing you can do," he said a little harsher this time, trying to get the message across. "Go find Naruto...and the others...help them...keep them safe. Stop Madara...and Obito..."
Sakura shook her head not bothering to wipe the tears away. "No Kakashi! Don't say-"
"Sakura!" he cut her off sharply. His eyes were pleading with her, begging her to trust his words.
"I'll be alright. But...before you go...please, just talk to me. I need to hear you talk. Someone I care about. One...last time."
Knowing full well he wouldn't survive, she bit down on her lip and tried to regain her composure. Understanding he wanted, she thought of the most comforting thing she could say in a moment like this.
"Kakashi, remember when you first met us? Team Seventhat is. And you called us idiots," she chuckled nervously. "Naruto acted like an idiot, always trying to prove to everyone how great he was. I was too obsessed with boys and Sasuke was moody and didn't get along with any of us. Well, those were some of the best moments of my life. And it's all thanks to you. You believed in us right from the very beggining and helped shape me into being the best person I can be. Without your training, I probably would never have even made it as a ninja. I've learned so many important lessons from you. The one that sticks out most in my mind is how important it is to protect your friends and of course, teamwork. Can't forget that one," she laughed, and Kakashi smiled from underneath his mask.
"And I just want to tell you, you're one of the most important people to me...and I love you. I really do. So does Naruto. nd we're proud of you. Your father would be too. Everyone is. They wouldn't have chosen you to be Hokage if you weren't a great ninja—a great man. I'll never forget the way you always showed up late. And I promise you, I will never give up. I'll keep fighting to protect those I love. Just like you taught me," Sakura finished and she realized she was both crying and laughing at the memories they shared together.
Never taking her eyes off his, she watched as they lit up. They were radiant. No other word could describe them.
"Thank you." Then slowly, ever so slowly, his eyes closed for the last time and his hand fell limp in hers.
"You'll be alright. No one can hurt you now," she whispered, kissing his forehead. It was so peaceful and quiet in that moment Sakura forgot there was a wild and violent war raging on around her. But she couldn't move. She felt inclined to stay with her sensei and protect his body from further harm.
Glancing down at him once more, she noticed that even in death, Kakashi's mask had stayed with him. Right to the very end. Laughing nervously, she hiccuped and leaned closer, still curious to know what his real face looked like.
The mask may have been torn and ripped in numerous places, but it still concealed him well. Her hand moved to remove it, and only centimeters before touching it, she hesitated.
"I...I can't do it. It wouldn't be right. If he didn't show us when he was-," Sakura couldn't bring herself to say the word. Instead, she said, "I have to respect his privacy."
The thick gray, smoke that was now clogging the air brought her back to reality. Standing unsteadily on her feet, she glanced from her hands, covered in blood and dirt, to Kakashi's body. She wished she could say he looked peaceful in his last moments, but with all that blood and open wounds, he truly looked terrible.
Hearing a yell in the distance, Sakura whipped her head around so fast she almost snapped her neck. It belonged to Naruto!
"No!" she shouted. Turning back to Kakashi she said, "I'm sorry to leave you Kakashi sensei but I'm going to honor your words. I have to protect Naruto."
Regaining her confidence, she sprinted in the direction of her friend's scream, a determined look on her face.
"Naruto!" she cried, her arms swinging wildly as she jumped over debris and dodged flames.
Bodies were scattered all around her, but she couldn't stop. Their one goal had been to protect the Jinchuurikis. She wanted to stay and help those who were hurt and in pain, but she continued on, hoping the other medics would see to them.
Until she crashed right into a wounded but alive Lee.
"Sakura!" he yelled in surprise, taking the tear stained, grime ridden pink-haired girl in his arms. "The ten tails is uncontrollable at the moment. Avoid the tails and stay out of the action. Heal others if you can. Last time I saw Hinata she was seriously injured and still fighting with Naruto. Please, stay safe and help her if. It's what Neji would have wanted. So go!"
"At least let me heal you!" she protested.
"No, there's no time," he said, and tears were streaming down his face as well, the pain of losing his teammate still fresh on his mind. "I'll be alright."
A knot formed in Sakura's chest and she suddenly felt uneasy. Last time she heard those words someone she loved died. She had a very bad feeling about what he was going to do. She couldn't lose him as well!
Lee saw that look in her eyes and he shook his head firmly, running away to join the fight before she could stop him.
Biting her lip, she stared at his retreating figure than hustled away, still in search of Naruto.
She heard another yell coming from the direction she was running in and she instantly stopped in her tracks, recognizing that voice immediately. Sasuke...? Since when did he join the fray?
Coming upon a clearing, she finally reached them. Both Sasuke and Naruto stood, facing each other - Naruto with a look of surprise and Sasuke looked almost...remorseful. Almost.
Looking around wildly for Hinata like Lee has asked her too, she spotted her not too far away in the distance, still resisting against Madara and Obito, her body blazing with Naruto's chakra, entire battlefront shinobi alliance at her side.
Sakura turned back to look at Naruto and Sasuke, unable to react to the entire scene.
"Why are you here?" Naruto questioned his former teammate. He also caught Sakura standing a distance away in his peripheral vision but he chose not to say anything.
"The first Hokage told me everything I wanted to know. I've made my decision in regards to Konoha. But that can wait. Madara and Tobi need to be defeated."
A smile started to form on Sakura's lips. Did this mean Sasuke had finally seen the light? But before Naruto could reply the ten tails let out a deafening roar as Obito controlled it to send an unknown Fire release justu in their direction.
Sakura started running towards them, crying and calling out to them to dodge the attack, pushing her way forward in hopes of using her own body as a shield.
She didn't make it on time.
The blast created from the ten tails was so powerful that it blew Sakura off her feet and she slammed into a tree, hard, and fell to the ground.
Her head was aching, and she could hardly see as she woke up after a brief period of unconsciousness. Chunks of debris fell in pieces all around her and she struggled to see what the outcome had been. Part of her was afraid of what she'd find, but she had to know.
Once the smoke cleared, she saw Naruto's body on the ground and she crawled over to him, wincing in pain every few seconds.
When she arrived at the scene, she almost passed right back out. There was a hole. Right through Naruto's chest.
"No," she said in a strangled voice, unable to believe it. "No, please. I-I can't lose you! You were supposed to be Hokage! You...the one person who needed to stay alive...no!" She was now blinded by her tears.
"Sa...Sakura? Is that...you?"
Turning around at the sound of her name, she spotted Sasuke, at least fifteen feet away, the lower half of his body completely crushed by an enormous piece of debris.
She couldn't even begin to imagine the amount of pain he must be in. And she didn't know what to do. It felt like a movie. Or some terrible nightmare she would never wake up from. Everything was in slow motion as she hurried over to his side.
Sakura crouched over his body, trembling as she raised her arm over his chest to see if it were possible to heal the damage. However, he pushed it away, lacking his usual strength.
"I didn't think...it would end like this," he choked out. Since her face was inches from his own, he had no choice but to look into her eyes, thinking he would see all the pain he forced her to endure over the years reflected back at him. But instead he saw love and concern, leading him to believe she had never truly given up on him.
That's when he whispered, "After all this...time. You're still...annoying as ever."
Sakura instantly frowned, confused and wondering if she had heard wrong when Sasuke suddenly lifted his hand and brushed a strand of hair out of her face.
Drawing his last breath, his hand fell to the ground and his eyes went blank.
Sakura sat there in the burnt grass. Just sat there. And sat there. Motionless. Unable to cry anymore.
She didn't hear the cries and shouts of war, but she couldn't pick herself up. Couldn't even save her other friends. Hopefully they were alright. For she was empty pretty empty at the moment.
Then, tilting her head to look at Naruto, she screamed and burst out crying once more. Throwing her hands on the ground and collapsing she felt herself go insane. She was losing it. Cursing the heavens. In her mind she was denying the possibility that Naruto had died. Kakashi...and even Sasuke. They couldn't have died. It was impossible. But Naruto and Sasuke's bodies didn't lie.
Sitting back up, she buried her face into her knees and locked her arms around her.
A loud crack startled her out of her position and she looked around wildly to find everything had seemed to freeze in time.
She watched as a silhouette appeared in the distance. Only it was growing closer, walking towards her.
She gasped in surprise when it turned out to be a man. He looked to be in his early thirties and was wearing red and white clothing. He had curly blonde hair that fell to his shoulders and his bright blue eyes were gleamed as he stopped in front of her.
"You may try to find meaning in their deaths, but there is only pain. Come," the stranger beckoned with his hand, "you can no longer help them. They have gone where they cannot come back. Nagato isn't here to save them this time."
Her eyes widening, Sakura turned to the man, the tear streaks still plastered on her grimy face. "How do you know about that?"
Without looking at her, he continued walking and replied, "There are many things I know. Please, come quickly."
She didn't know why she followed him, but she did. Everything seemed so surreal at the moment, like a dream.
"Where are we going?" she asked. "Who are you?"
"So many questions," he said shaking his head. "Close your eyes."
"Just do it."
Closing her eyes, Sakura felt a weird sensation come over her. It felt like the wind was rushing all around her, coursing through her even, yet she stayed rooted to the spot.
"Alright. You can open them now."
Opening her eyes, she gasped. No longer in a war zone, she was standing in a beautiful valley filled with wild flowers and lakes and there was even a small cottage nearby.
She noticed that the sun was beginning to set here and the rays reflected off the crystal clear water.
Before she could open her mouth the man turned to her and asked, "What do you think?" Gesturing to the surrounding area.
She couldn't believe only moments ago she stood in a burning field with debris scattered everywhere.
"It's...it's beautiful. I've never seen a place as peaceful and gorgeous as this. Where are we?"
"This is where I come often. I don't live here, so don't ask. I'm Olivier by the way."
"Not to be rude," she said, trying to choose her words carefully, "but who are you? And how-how did we even get here? I don't understand!"
"I brought you here because I'm curious about something. And I'm prepared to offer you a deal."
"What kind of deal? And why are you curious?"
"What is it you want most in this world?" Olivier asked, clearly ignoring her questions.
Figuring it was best to just comply she whispered, unable to stop the tears stinging at her eyes, "To stop this war and protect my friends. But I already failed. The people closet to me—they," she couldn't bring herself to say it.
"Funny. I had a feeling you'd say that. Well, what would you say if I could make that happen?"
"Oh yeah. How?" Sakura accused, not trusting the man at all, still hardly believing this wasn't just a genjustsu someone had created. But with her level of ability, she knew in her heart it wasn't. She couldn't tell what this was. Whether it was a jutsu or not.
"Oh, just a little form of time travel," he answered simply. "If you do choose to do this, you should be aware that there are rules. And consequences if necessary," he added as an afterthought.
Sakura mauled this new information in her mind for awhile. She didn't even know if she believed it. But after living through that nightmare and him teleporting them to this beautiful meadow, she was almost starting believe him.
"Wait," she said holding her hands up. She paused for a second. "So, when you say time travel, do you mean back to the moment before the war began?"
"No. You can choose whichever period you so desire to revisit. So, if you want to fourteen years old again, go for it. If you want to be five, that's fine by me."
Sakura thought very carefully about what he just said. This opened a whole stream of ideas in her head. If she could travel back that far, well, she could save so many people! Maybe she could somehow stop Itachi from slaughtering his clan. And she could befriend Naruto at a young age.
"What are the rules you talked about?"
Olivier nodded his head. "First, you are never allowed to speak about this. No one from the past can know you are from the future. If you do slip up and tell, you'll automatically disappear. So basically, you will cease to exist."
Sakura opened her mouth to protest but Olivier continued on with a wave of his hand.
"Second, I know what you're thinking right now. You want to help your friends, people who aren't your friends, and basically, I can see in your eyes you think you can change the whole world by going back in time. Am I right?"
"Uhm...maybe," Sakura admitted. "But what's wrong with that? If I can do it I will."
Olivier laughed. "Good. I like your type. It's interesting. Very interesting. Anyways, to keeps things, how should I put this...ah...yes...entertaining, I want you to write down the names of the three people you'd like to help the most by going back in time." A sly smile crossed his face and a piece of paper appeared in his hand and a pen in the other and he handed it to her.
Catching that smile, she didn't trust it. She didn't know what he was going to say, but she had a weird feeling. Like there was a catch to all this. One she wouldn't like. It took her ten minutes to write down the three names because she had to really think it over.
"Done," she announced.
"I see. This will act as the contract between you and I." He snapped his fingers and the scroll and pen vanished. "Now," he paused dramatically, his eyes gleaming. "Prepare yourself for the plot twist. One of those people, you will not be able to save. No matter what you do. Whatever terrible thing it was that happened to them in your original timeline will remain the same. Or possibly even take a turn for the worse." He chuckled. "I'll let you decide who that is."
"I knew it," Sakura muttered. "I had a feeling you'd trick me. Why is it so necessary I can't save one of them? What? Is this for your own sick entertainment!?"
"Listen, I didn't agree to do this for your benefit," Olivier shrugged his shoulders," but yes you're right. For my amusement. I haven't done anything like this in the past couple hundred years and I'm bored. Also, I simply love how desperate you are to save your friends. What is it with young people and believing they can change a person? Change the world? It perplexes –no, astounds me!"
"If that's how you're going to play it then I don't want to be apart of this!"
"Ah ah ah!" He wagged his finger at her and twirled on the spot so his cape circled around him, flashing her a mischievous grin. "We had a deal if I remember correctly."
Scowling, Sakura furrowed her eyebrows and clenched her fists. What was with this guy? He seemed so nice before and now he was just acting like a devious asshole.
'Relax Sakura, relax. Take a deep breath and don't let him upset you so easily,' she told herself.
Taking her own advice, she let out a long breath, dropped her arms to her sides, and looked past the trees to gaze at the horizon. The sun was setting and the sky was a brilliant mixture of orange, yellow, pink, purple, blue and red. Words could never describe how beautiful it was. It's as if the colors and intensity of the light is just enough to calm someone down. Sakura didn't know how long she stared at it. It could have been minutes. Perhaps it was hours. She didn't know. The rays were friendly and she was reminded of her old friends. Their faces floated by in the sky and she smiled as she remembered the first day of training with Team Kakashi. She and her teammates, Naruto and Sasuke, had missed the whole point of that first training exercise. Teamwork. She sighed,holding her face in her hands as she recalled the reason for her lack of teamwork. Sasuke. She had been so in love with him because he was cool and good looking and already an exceptional ninja. Or at least she thought she had been. Why did she have to be so boy obsessed? She should have spent that time training and working on her own skills.
"Well, once I start over, that's going to be the first thing I change," she said to no one in particular.
"So you sure you want to do this?"
"I thought I didn't have a choice."
"You dont." His smile widened.
Sakura didn't like this man. Not at all. His charming and charismatic personality left her feeling suspicious as well as nervous.
"Whatever. I'm aware of the "rules". You made it very clear what they were. I've made my decision."
"I see you have," he agreed and a small smile crept to his lips. "I can tell you're the type of person who is stubborn and refuses to change their mind once they've reached a conclusion. But here's some food for thought. Have you ever considered how your choice might affect others?"
"Yes, I've thought about it. I...I have a plan."
"Care to elaborate?" He clasped his hands together, leaning forward as if awaiting her answer.
"No," she replied firmly, staring him dead in the eye, a confident expression on her face
"What a shame," he mused, clicking his tongue. "I'm not one who likes surprises, but I have to say, you've caught my interest. I'm curious to know how this will end."
"Me too," she mumbled.
"Well, have you chosen what age you'd like to return to? I can't do anything until you relay that information."
"Yes. Seven years old," Sakura said confidently. She had a plan. She just hoped it would work out.
Olivier raised his hands and before she could say anything, darkness fell over and everything went black.