Chapter 1: Who Are You? Who Am I?
As Sakura woke up, she didn't feel well-rested. Consciousness descended like a heavy fog in her mind. She couldn't remember what she did last night and it felt as if she were in an unfamiliar place. Her eyes still closed, she breathed in deeply through her nose before exhaling slowly, attempting to calm herself. There was a regular beeping noise that sounded as if it were just behind her head, but apart from that, the room around her was silent. Struggling, but finding the energy to open her eyes, Sakura blinked up at a whitewashed ceiling above her. It didn't just feel like an unfamiliar place, it was. This wasn't her bedroom.
Pushing herself up in the bed that she found herself in, she froze, her gaze instantly settled on a young male blond in front of her. There was another tall blonde woman in the corner of the room, but it was the person sat on her bed, rather close to her, that she decided to stare at - he was giving her a funny look, and she eyed him awkwardly. Now she was highly confused. She had no idea where she was or what she was doing here.
"Sakura, are you all right?" The male asked, worry lacing his tone, concern all over his facial features.
Unique facial features, she noted. Bold lines were very prominent on his face, like whisker marks engraved in his cheeks. He had blond spiky hair and sharp blue eyes, with which he studied her intensely, waiting for an answer. She blinked, pulling herself out of her thoughts when she realised he had asked her a question.
"Huh? What?" Sakura tilted her head, still bemused, she'd never seen this guy before and here he was - all up in her face as if he were a worried family member. "Where am I?"
"The hospital Sakura, you hit your head pretty hard and well... you've been asleep for a long time, we were really worried about you," he said slowly, not taking his eyes off her puzzled face.
The hospital. That made sense. The whole room was a sterile white, it even smelt clean. She glanced behind her, just to her left, to see a machine that seemed to be attached to her arm through a taped drip. It looked like a heart rate monitor... Or perhaps life support. A horizontal line on the small screen peaked and troughed and as it did so, it beeped. She watched it, the repetitive pattern was strangely comforting. For some reason, the realisation of waking up in a hospital room didn't freak her out that much – but it was probably due to the fact everything was slightly blurry and she wasn't fully with it. It was also likely that they had her on some kind of drugs.
"...Sakura-chan?" The male spoke again, he sounded even more worried, he leant a little closer, attempting to catch and hold her attention.
She looked back at him, trying to figure out just who he was and what he was doing here. He looked as tired as she felt, nor did he look much older than a teenager. He wasn't smartly dressed, his jacket was black and orange... but maybe he was her doctor, his worry would be justified then. His casual appearance was likely why she wasn't that frightened by her situation, the whole white lab coat would have made her more concerned. Sakura let her gaze drift back to the tall woman stood in the corner of the room, now she looked professional - she was smartly dressed and leant against the wall with her arms crossed, her face completely blank, a business-like manner about her. Sakura gathered she was the boss.
Having someone so serious watching over her instantly made her feel wary, this wasn't anything to feel comfortable about. Her thoughts were just a scattered mess. As she began to feel more awake, the fog in her mind was replaced with a growing, dull ache. She looked back at the male again – if her theory was correct and the woman behind him was the boss, she doubted someone dressed like he was would even get a job here. Everything about the blonde woman screamed experienced and serious, whilst he looked stressed, as if he was going to burst at any moment. He had said they were worried about her, who was 'we'? The doctors?
"Are you a doctor?" She asked him, finally voicing her question aloud.
"No, Sakura, if anything you're the doctor, right?" His eyes widened before he glanced at the woman behind him, he looked even more baffled than she was.
Sakura was even more confused, she sat up straighter and stared at him, waiting for him to correct what he had said – but he didn't. He stared at the taller lady, waiting for some kind of explanation that she did not give. She remained silent for several moments, before both heads turned back to see Sakura's ever-growing bewilderment.
"How am I the doctor?" She questioned slowly, not understanding what he was talking about, or what either of the strangers were seemingly sharing thoughts about.
The big blonde woman stepped forward and leant over her bed, moving closer and studying her face (in a way that was a little intimidating), she asked, "Sakura, do you know who I am?"
As Sakura stared at the woman, she tried to think of where she had seen her before, but she couldn't put a name to her face. She didn't know who she was. "...No."
The blonde closed her eyes and shook her head before looking at her again and telling her flatly, "Sakura, I'm afraid you are dealing with memory loss."
No... She just didn't know who this woman was. Sakura frowned back, not happy with that analogy. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
"Sakura... I've been your mentor for years," the woman pointed at the other guy. "Naruto has been your teammate and friend for even longer!"
Mentor. Teammate. Friend. No - she definitely didn't know them and certainly hadn't for years.
Sakura turned to look at this Naruto guy again, greeting him sheepishly. "Umm, OK, hi...Naruto."
Was this a practical joke? Was she dreaming it all? That would explain the whole situation perfectly - her foggy brain, these strange people, this wasn't real. She'd just close her eyes and wake up at home...Wait. Where did she live again? She was having a complete mind block.
"Sakura, what is the last thing you remember?" Her 'mentor' asked curiously.
Right... the last thing she could remember... she panicked, what the hell did she do before she hit her head? Sakura. Sakura what? She racked her brains feverishly, what was her name? Who was she? Blackness. She remembered nothing.
"I don't know... What's my second name?" She asked, her voice slightly shaky as she tried to keep her confusion and increasing anguish in check.
"Haruno," the blonde told her.
"Sakura Haruno," she murmured to herself. "My name is Sakura Haruno."
"Sakura!" Another blonde girl ran into the room and charged at her bed, loud, bubbly and seemingly very happy to see her. "You're awake, Forehead!"
Sakura wrinkled her nose at the name and repeated in distaste, "Forehead?"
"Yeah, you and your big-"
"Ino," her 'mentor' interjected.
"Tsunade-sama?" The newcomer smiled.
Right, so... Tsunade-sama, Naruto and Ino, and she was Sakura Haruno. Now she definitely had a headache, the ache from before was increasing by the second. She brought her hand to her head and then frowned, 'Ino' just called her 'Forehead'! That was really mean.
'Tsunade-sama' reached for a clipboard at the end of her bed and scribbled on the chart before handing it to the mean girl. Ino's eyes widened as she read it and then looked up to stare at her in surprise. "Sakura... You idiot."
Now she was an idiot too? She frowned at the girl again, what right did she have to call her such things? What did the chart say?
"Can I have a look at the chart?" Sakura asked, trying to peer at the written notes.
"No." Ino shook her head, holding the documents away from her, her happy and teasing mood seemed to have vanished altogether.
Sakura didn't know how much this girl knew about her, but maybe she could trick Ino into giving her the chart.
"But I'm a doctor," she said with a weak smile.
Ino hesitated, but the other woman took the chart out of the younger girl's hands and mumbled, "We told her that."
Sakura stared at the people in front of her, she felt like she'd seen Naruto and Ino before... Something about them was familiar, but she couldn't quite put her finger on where, or when she may have come across them. They could have younger family members that she had met at one point, or just passed in the streets.
"Do you have younger brothers and sisters?" Sakura inquired.
"No, we're both only children, why?" Ino raised a questioning eyebrow.
"Oh," Sakura shrugged nonchalantly. "You looked familiar."
"How old do you think you are Sakura?" Tsunade asked seriously.
"Aren't you supposed to tell me that?" Sakura murmured. She looked down at her hands and arms, her confusion growing by the minute. She felt tall in this bed, and if the boy was her friend, he looked quite a bit older than she felt. "Well... I'd say eight but..."
"Eight," the older blonde repeated with a frown. "Sakura, try eighteen."
"Eighteen... Yeah right." She laughed – that was just crazy. Eighteen? Now she knew they were pulling her leg.
"Naruto, Ino, step outside a moment, I need to talk to you," Tsunade ordered sharply, turning away from her and exiting the room abruptly.
Both Naruto and Ino glanced at her before leaving the room also. Naruto was the last one to go, she smiled at him awkwardly, his eyes didn't leave her until the door shut completely.
Then she was alone.
Only a moment after the squad of blondes had left, did a tall, older man come in, he was wearing a mask, his hair a spiky grey. Her eyes widened. Was he another doctor? The mask was a little off-putting, maybe he was a surgeon. Although he had a Konoha headband on – over his left eye. She thought that was a little weird, but she'd spotted Ino had one around her waist. Not wearing the item on your head might be some kind of new fashion statement she wasn't aware of. She knew, from her parents, that this headband symbolised the wearer was a Konoha ninja and that they should be treated with respect. Then it could have been the man was a ninja surgeon... That was an even scarier thought.
"Hey... Sakura." He gave her a small wave and a friendly eye crease, she assumed he was smiling at her – he knew her by name anyway.
"Hello," she answered slowly, not knowing how she should react to him.
"Remember me?" He asked hopefully.
No she didn't. She had never seen him before in her life.
Sakura sighed in exasperation. "Should I?"
He didn't answer and moved to sit on the stool by her bed. Sakura smiled when an idea crossed her mind. Pointing sheepishly, she said, "Hey, umm, pass me the chart at the end of the bed please?"
He did so and she smirked, but as she gazed over the scribbled notes, her smile instantly fell.
Konoha Hospital – Intensive Care Unit
Patient Record: Sakura Haruno
Full Name: Sakura Haruno.
Occupation: Medical Ninja.
Birth date: March 28th.
Reason for Admission:
On a Mission with Team Kakashi - knocked to the floor, head injury.
Effects of injury:
Emergency procedure performed, no internal fractures to the skull, but severe swelling (cerebral edema) and damaged tissue surrounding the brain. Possible TBI (Traumatic brain injury).
Potential Temporal lobe and Hippocampus damage resulting in memory loss - retrograde amnesia?
Precautionary life support supplied, patient to be monitored extremely closely.
Patient not to be moved, all visits and treatment provided must be recorded precisely.
All updates are to be reported directly to the Hokage without fail.
Unconscious time: Three weeks, four days.
Amnesia theory CONFIRMED.
Uncertain of extent thus far – patient highly confused, current state of shock and denial.
Memory loss: Ten years?
Signed...Tsunade S. (Head Medic)
Sakura stared at the notes, the word 'Permanent' sticking out like a splinter to her eyes ...permanent memory loss? She couldn't even begin to comprehend that theory. The rest of the writing was scary enough, it was all so serious and official – the likelihood of this being a joke was quickly sinking headfirst into quicksand and she didn't know how she was supposed to feel. She flicked through the other pages on the clipboard but there were just several graphs which she didn't understand either, so she went to put it down again.
Tsunade re-entered the room and narrowed her eyes at her. "You're not supposed to look at that."
Sakura pointed at the masked man accusingly, not wanting to get into trouble with the serious, head medic. "He gave it me."
He mirrored this, pointing back at her. "She asked for it."
Tsunade sighed deeply before asking, "Do you know who he is?"
Sakura rolled her eyes. "For the last time, no, I don't know these people, if you keep sending them in, I'm going to be annoyed."
She couldn't help her rude retort, she could smell a frustrating reoccurring question in the air. It was like she had never seen these people before, talking to each newcomer just added to her confusion and headache.
Tsunade smiled slightly, taking her clipboard off her and writing more notes, she simply stated, "Sorry, Sakura, that's exactly what we are going to do."
People had been visiting her all day, she had a blank piece of paper and when they entered she would ask for their names and write a comment about them, usually referring to if she had seen them before. It was all quite overwhelming. Each person seemed kind, they didn't talk much, allowing her to think clearly about each of them. A few looks of pity were directed at her by several of her 'friends' or 'acquaintances' (she didn't know which) but most of them could keep very blank faces – she wondered if she actually knew these people or if they were just hired actors.
The next lady to walk in was a fair skinned woman, with shoulder-length, blonde hair of which a single bang fell down into her face. Sakura instantly recognised her.
"Sweetie?" Mebuki Haruno said wearily, her eyes drifted to the various medical equipment she was attached to, before she focused on her daughter's face.
"Mum?" Sakura's eyes widened. Her mother looked older than what she remembered and a little tired – that seemed to be a common theme, everyone looked tired and sounded drained as they talked to her.
Her mother smiled, somewhat in relief, and pulled up the chair beside her. "How are you feeling?" She asked, whilst her tone was kind, she had a seriousness in her eyes and an undertone of worry in her voice.
"Confused," Sakura admitted with a sigh before giving her mother a small smile. "But happy to see you."
She was glad to finally see a familiar face.
Tsunade watched Mebuki Haruno enter her apprentice's room, and narrowed her eyes in serious thought.
"Sakura-chan's mother?" Naruto said wearily, glancing at the door the older Haruno family member had just entered.
Tsunade nodded. "Sakura should remember her own mother, it might give us some interesting results and hopefully provide her with some familiarity in this situation."
"Can't I do that?" Naruto looked up at the medic hopefully.
Tsunade watched him for several seconds in silence – he wasn't quite grasping the situation yet was he? "Naruto... She doesn't know who you are."
Naruto winced, a look of pain enveloped his face. "But she'll remember soon, right?"
The Hokage continued to look at him blankly, not wanting to give him false hope or squash it completely. "We don't know... We need to give her a little time first, see just where we are with her current memories."
Naruto nodded sadly and looked back at the closed door of his teammate's hospital room.
"Has Sakura fallen out with her mother?" Tsunade questioned, curious at Naruto's reaction to her plan.
Seemingly lost in thought, Naruto answered quietly, "No, it's just Sakura-chan did mention not having seen her in such a long time, because she'd been so busy at the hospital. She said that just the other week."
Tsunade nodded slowly. That would be her fault – well, partly. Sakura was a natural hard worker and often volunteered to take extra shifts. Then there was all the paperwork she got her apprentice to do, training sessions, the odd mission... The Sannin would be surprised if Sakura found much time to visit her old home at all – any spare time the pinkette did have was usually spent with her team. A currently very sad team.
It was a frustrating case indeed – Tsunade had been fretting over her apprentice's coma for the last three weeks, making sure only the best medics attended to her and that every little detail was catalogued... Only for Sakura to wake up with bloody amnesia. It wasn't that uncommon, amnesia, but the Sannin had never personally known anyone with the mental deterioration. It was usually easy to stay detached and look at the situation logically.
It probably wasn't even a good idea to get so many people in to see Sakura, so soon after she had woken up, it could be such an overload of stimulus and at the least had likely already given the girl a bad headache. She wasn't even sure if getting Sakura's mother in was a good idea or not yet, though it should give her apprentice some comfort in this situation... But until they got more information on Sakura's current mental state, there wasn't much they could do yet – that was annoying to her as a medic.
Tsunade was usually good with patience, especially when it came to medicine, but she really wanted to know the outcome of this case already. She wanted to just throw everything at her apprentice and hope she could handle it – she knew she could handle it... Or she would have been able to before she hit her head. This might also have more negative side-effects yet to surface, that the Hokage was not looking forward to discovering. Until then, she'd just have to do a bit more experimenting.
"Can you fetch Ino, please?" Tsunade requested.
Naruto jumped out of thought, but still didn't drag his gaze away from Sakura's room. "Sakura-chan should know Ino, right?"
"Yes, they were friends at a young age," she answered. "I presume some of those earlier memories will come back to Sakura fairly soon, the initial confusion and memories prior to the age of eight should return normally."
As the Sannin was about to explain the early progression of amnesia, and the stages a patient usually went through after gaining conscious, Naruto started walking down the corridor.
"I'll fetch Ino," he said, his tone lacking all of his usual enthusiasm.
Tsunade watched the boy walk away. Poor Naruto. He had spent the last three weeks sat by his teammate's bedside as if his mere presence would bring her back to consciousness, only for Sakura to wake up and have no idea who he was. This was going to be hard on all of them. Hopefully, Mebuki wouldn't make it worse.
She had explained to Sakura's mother the basic situation, stating amnesia was completely unpredictable and it was too early to determine just how much damage had been done. She had even said that this could be a permanent problem. Sakura would need support from her family, but Tsunade didn't want Mebuki coming in and changing everything. As Naruto had said, Sakura's normal routine didn't consist of her mother so much anymore, and that was something that shouldn't be changed right now. But why would a mother not want to come in and instinctively protect and smother her daughter? Sakura even saw herself as a young child.
"All these people," Sakura stressed. "I don't know how to feel right now."
Mebuki smiled comfortingly and placed a hand on her knee, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "I know... Do you want to move back in with us?"
"Uhh... When did I move out?" Sakura frowned slightly. This was news to her, as far as she knew, she already lived with her mother and father.
"About a year ago," Mebuki said, calculating the time in her head.
"Oh... Well OK," Sakura mumbled, either way it didn't bother her, going back to her mum and dad's house would feel normal.
Tsunade walked into the room, she seemed angry. "Mrs. Haruno, I would appreciate it if you don't get Sakura to make any big decisions in her current state of mind."
Her mother seemed to flare up also, she frowned back. "She is my child and if she wants to move back in with me, that's fine."
"She doesn't want to," Tsunade answered flatly. "I remember how Sakura felt to finally move out from her parents' house, it was a big part of growing up for her. She cannot make big decisions after her injury. She definitely cannot go back and live like she used to."
"Why not?" Mebuki Haruno questioned, lowering her voice at the head medic's words.
"At the minute, she has no knowledge of her life after being a ninja, going back to living like a child is not going to help her remember," Tsunade explained.
Her mother stood up and took a step forward towards the medic. "Well she is certainly not going to live on her own after that! Whose fault is it anyway? Yours, for sending her on a dangerous mission. You said the memory loss was permanent anyway!"
"There is a chance it will be permanent, but I damn well hope not. Your daughter has achieved too much to just forget it all," Tsunade snapped back.
"No, she should forget her life as a ninja, it's too dangerous, this event has proved that. She's coming home with me now." Mebuki shook her head and pointed to her daughter sat awkwardly in her hospital bed.
Tsunade narrowed her eyes. "You have no authentication to take her out of this hospital."
"Authentication? I am her mother! I have every right," Mebuki insisted, not prepared to back down.
"She is not leaving this room until she is cleared mentally and physically fit. We don't know if any other symptoms will occur."
"Well..." Her mother took a deep breath. "I don't want her having any visitors or unnecessary treatment."
"She is old enough to decide herself," Tsunade said pointedly.
"She doesn't think so, as her mother I am providing her with decisions for her own good. No visitors until she comes home, OK?" Mebuki retorted.
Tsunade's fist tightened and she gave the woman a death glare. "I am the Hokage. You will not and cannot give me orders. If you were not that girl's mother, retired ninja or not, I would punch you through a damn wall!"
Sakura gasped. Her mentor was the Hokage? Why in the world was Mebuki acting so rudely towards the woman? Usually, her mother was very kind, she had her moments of anger (usually directed at her husband) but she was never one to disrespect others. Sakura thought about it, if anything, her mother was very protective of her. If she'd really been in a coma due to this injury, her family would have been worried sick – everyone here seemed to be worried, the anxiety was palpable. Her current medical state had seemed to put everyone on edge, she was the reason these women were so flared up right now, yet she didn't quite want to get in the way of either of the angry females.
Ino sheepishly walked in. "...Hi Mrs. Haruno."
"Ino, out," Mebuki ordered, not taking her eyes off of the Hokage.
"You cannot order my staff around, Ino is a medic and has full authority to be in here. Besides, Sakura remembers her, as a younger version, but remembers her," Tsunade shouted.
"Then I definitely don't want her in here, she has too much influence over my daughter. Find another medic, someone Sakura does not know," Mebuki yelled back.
Ino wisely backed out of the room slowly - she knew how to stay on Mebuki's good side (deny all accusations and innocently point at Sakura). The older Haruno did seem to be quite fond of her, despite how much Sakura always said that she was such a bad influence on her - which was true, but you don't let your best friend's mother know that.
Sakura winced as the volume level increased – shouldn't she be making these decisions? Tsunade seemed to be fighting for her independence, whilst Mebuki wanted her to go home. Honestly, she wouldn't mind not seeing any of her so called 'friends' right now, she did just want to go home and find some familiarity. Ino didn't seem very nice to her, but at the same time, she remembered her at least – and when she thought about it, Ino was her childhood friend. The dreadful haze had lifted a little, she knew who she was, she remembered some childhood memories but nothing beyond that...
The basics had come back to her now, her name, her age (eight), her family and other people she knew. Ino was her only friend as far as she was concerned, everyone else bullied her... Yet with all these people coming to visit her, in ten years she must have done something right, she seemed to have a lot of new friends – and now Ino seemed to bully her. Everything around her wasn't making any sense at all, it was as if she'd woken up in another strange world entirely.
"There is not a single medic in this hospital who does not know Sakura. She is one of our top medics and everyone who works here knows and respects her," Tsunade continued.
Sakura's eyes widened, she stared up at the blonde in disbelief – trying to gage if what she was saying was real and if it was, how?
"Well that's your loss. If it has to be someone she knows, I want to be here whilst they see her." Mebuki snorted.
"Then come back in visiting hours."
"Be quiet," Sakura interjected. "Please."
She had no idea what the women were arguing about, yes she knew it was about her and that she should have loyalties to her mother, just seconds ago she was prepared to pack her bags and go home, but what Tsunade was saying... "I'm a top medic ninja?" She asked quietly, shocked.
Well... She didn't believe that, she shook her head. "I'm an eight year old girl, with no friends and a big forehead."
"Sakura, none of that is true," Tsunade frowned as her mother went and sat beside her. "Mrs. Haruno, I would like to ask you to leave."
Mebuki sighed, she looked at her daughter and then back up at the Hokage, meeting her gaze steadily. "I will stay as long as I want. If she truly remembers only her younger childhood, I will tell you that it was a stressful time for her and only her parents would understand that. You've not even known my daughter that long. If you'll excuse me, I want to talk to her alone."
Tsunade clenched her fist but left the room. It wasn't just her that Sakura got her aggression from. Good job her mother had been out of the shinobi field for so long, eavesdropping would be easy. Illegal, but easy.
Amnesia, a story I started a few years ago now and began uploading it in the Easter holidays of 2012. It's developed a lot since then and so has my writing, I've come back and re-edited it a little bit. Originally, Sakura's mother had no name and I'd cast her as a civilian, then after Mebuki and Kizashi were introduced in filler, I came back and changed it – I've said they're now retired though to fit in with Tsunade eavesdropping and Mebuki's increased worry for her daughter's health.
Here's part of the original author notes (only part, note, I can write very long author notes):
'This will be a NaruSaku romance, although it's not all focused on that, the main focus obviously being Sakura's amnesia. There's going to be drama, some action and all sorts, I've had some fun with it later on.
It's also hard to describe Sakura's past memories that she can remember because we don't exactly know her age when she met Ino etc. All the memory talk is influenced by me taking Psychology at college (high school for you Americans? :P) and Psychological references appear in my stories more than once.
*Later Edit* Now, with the 'Road to Ninja' we know what Sakura's parents are going to be like, this was written before and that's how I pictured Sakura's mother – but I went back and added her name and a description, I had originally intended for her mother to be civilian. There's also the 'Road to Sakura' filler episode now... Where Sakura gets Amnesia! XD My thoughts on this will be explained in the chapter ten's author notes, as that is when the episode was released. This was obviously written before that episode.
I actually started this story around two or so years ago. Looking back at this now, I feel like my writing has improved, if you read on, perhaps you'll see that :P Some NaruSakuness starts in chapter 2, then especially chapter 3 :D and later on of course. Chapters will get a lot longer and hopefully the later ones, a lot better too. The last chapters should technically be when my writing is at its best.'
Thanks for reading :)