Summary: I figured I had lost my mind when the only logical explanation for my situation was time travel. I knew I had lost my mind when I found every affection I had ever held for Sasuke Uchiha was still very much intact and directed completely at the twelve year old boy who I had somehow managed to sit beside. God damn my life, and that bitch who put me here.
There was something odd about the way I awoke that morning. I rarely ever found myself in my own room, let alone my own bed, tangled up in the covers. The time was familiar; maybe sometimes before five, before the sun came up, so I'd be dressed and out the door at dawn. I stretched out my arms and legs, satisfied to find I wasn't sore like I usually was from training. My eyes, hazy with sleep, swept across the room as I tried to piece together my half-conscious mind.
That was when I realized that my room was the last place I should be.
I threw the covers to the floor, my body instantly missing the warmth, and stood. I never slept in my room. Since my parents had died, I chose to sleep in their bed more often than not. But everything in my room was normal, and as I looked out to the hall, no signs of any life. I tried a tentative sweep of my chakra across the house, and I was stunned to find I couldn't make it. I passed it off as exhaustion. After all, I just got back from that crap mission that took three times as long as was assumed and left my nearly completely depleted of chakra when I got home.
I simply assumed I had slept walked, though I did take very quiet steps out into the hall. I tried to mask my chakra, but when I couldn't manage, I figured I was low enough that I wouldn't be detected if someone was here. I surveyed the hall as I made my way towards my parents' old bedroom, eyeing the family pictures as I went. I never moved anything the day my parents died. I moved back into the house and kept it exactly the way my mom had decorated it. It reminded me of them in a way that almost made it seem like if I turned, they would still be there. Alive.
The only thing I had ever removed was the mirror hanging on the wall outside of the guest room, because I had seen myself in it after their funeral and punched it out. It shattered. My knuckles suffered the after-effects, and I threw it out.
So, needless to say, I was frozen on the spot when I saw it hanging there again. As if I'd never touched it.
I didn't move for a second, wondering who thought they could fuck with my mind by hanging a mirror on the previously unoccupied wall, before walking over to it to take it down. When my hands wrapped around the frame and pulled it off the wall, my eyes flickered to my reflection.
Then everything was kind of a blur.
I remember screaming, dropping the mirror on the floor where it shattered at my feet and tore into my ankles. I heard footsteps, voices, familiar voices, ones I had heard long after their deaths, but never outside of my mind. I remember catching the warm eyes of my mother, wide open in fright, maybe worry, before finding the strength in my legs to stand and bolt out of the hallway, down the stairs, out the door, down the road, and into the forest, before collapsing in some clearing I didn't recognize. On my knees in the moonlight, I curled into myself, tearing my fingernails into the rough soil beneath me. I think I screamed, I don't remember.
Five times I tried to release a genjutsu. Each time nothing happened. Nothing changed. And each time I became more desperate.
I knew I was crazy, but the only explanation I could think of for this was the gods, or the spirits, or the fates, or whatever the hell was up there thought it'd be funny to send me back to when I was twelve.
I think that it was with that realization that I fainted.
I wasn't out long, because when I opened my eyes it was barely dawn. For a few blissful moments, I forgot everything that happened that morning, but soon enough it all came barreling back. Looking up at the brightening sky, I tried to take the logical approach. Or the most logical.
I was twelve. That much was obvious by my long hair and scrawny legs. Not to mention my complete lack of breasts (not that I really ever grew into them anyway) and lack of anything womanly in general. Without my signature headband (or maybe this was when I still wore my ribbon?) My hair fell messily over my forehead. I'm sure I had dirt smudged on my face, because it was all over my legs. Also, examining my fingers, the tips were smudged with blood. Probably from when I was trying to claw into the ground with my virtually un-calloused skin.
I tried to think of past events. Reasons. Theories. Anything to understand why I was here. Obviously it wasn't a genjutsu, I had worked myself into a frenzy trying to believe that it was. So, the only logical explanation was…I had been thrown back into my twelve year old body with my eighteen year old mind and I was going to relive all of this shit again.
That, funnily enough, didn't sound very logical.
I tried to think back again. Anything that could have foreshadowed time travel. Anything that could have led to this.
And I thought back to that woman on the mission
This mission was lasting way too long. We were supposed to be back in Konoha by yesterday, not crawling our way through gutters in a town we should have left four days ago. But that Asshole judge who knew what we were coming for had to make every fucking move we made difficult. All we wanted was that fucking scroll, a stolen fucking scroll at that, and we didn't need Mr. Pius, law abiding, Asshole to get in our way.
And then crazy woman who he appointed to fight us was mind fucking me like crazy, I swear.
I don't remember her name. I don't think I ever learned it. But it was rumored she could get into your mind. See your thoughts, your inner-most thoughts, and use them against you. I thought it was bull-shit, but I was slowly beginning to believe it. And that other rumor about her being a witch was becoming more believable as well.
We snuck our way back to our hide out, some hole in the ground deep enough to survive a meteor shower, and sat at the far corner surveying the team I came here with.
My mind made things from here on out a bit fuzzy. But I remembered an anbush. Shinobi were everywhere, my men were holding their own, but nothing more. We weren't winning by a long-shot, we just weren't losing. That was when I came face to face with that witch. Or sorceress. Whatever the hell she called herself. She was thin, so thin, and pale, with matted black hair and deep set, black eyes.
She was kind of creepy, in a word.
"Sakura Haruno," Her voice was strangely musical for her appearance, and I couldn't quite match it to her face.
"You know my name?" I posed it as a question, but obviously I already knew the answer. I hoped it was because of my hair, not because of mind tricks or something.
"Team 7." She continued, as if I hadn't spoken, her voice pleasantly melodious, "But not anymore. your poor heart."
I didn't bother asking what she was talking about. I already knew.
"But I like you," She tilted her head downward, and her eyes were lost in the shadows cast about her face. "I like your heart. It's not often I see a heart like yours.
I briefly wondered if that was a threat or not.
"Oh, I like your spirit." She grinned then. A frighteningly beautiful sight for one so comely. Her teeth were white, straight, but sharp. Each one evened out to a point, but they were dulled. I was more disturbed by the sight than threatened. "And your dear Sasuke-kun."
I froze then. Not so much because I was surprised, but because I was terrified with what she planned to do. She knew everything. Probably just from looking at me, who really knows, but she knew.
"How badly do you want to see him again?"
It was then I realized she was messing with me. Whether she could see into my head or not, it didn't matter, I suddenly realized her game. And at the victorious yell of one of my soldiers, I knew her failure. My men started to flee the scene, and I saw the scroll in the hands of one. I threw her a smirk.
"What you were charged to protect is ours now. I no longer have business with you."I had planned to kill her. Really, I had. But as soon as I took a step towards her, she was at my throat. Her face was not even an inch from mine now and I could see the way her sickly pale skin dipped into her cheeks and formed a thin layer over the bones in her face. She looked like a skeleton.
She said nothing, but she grinned that horrible grin again, her teeth shining in the sunlight. And then her hand dug itself into my abdomen, and her nails dug in. I let out a choked breath, and her eyes met mine.
There was something so frightening, so terribly telling about her gaze, that I succumbed to darkness.
When I awoke, there had been the kanji for five above my navel, surrounded by five crescent scars where her nails had dug into my skin.
And I realized now that that kanji had appeared five days before I awoke in my twelve year old body.