title: Road to Sakura
pairing: possible eventual SasuSaku.
notes: Okay, so this is my 51st fanfic, my 39th about Naruto give or take. I know I have a whole bunch of Naruto fanfics to continue and finish, but I really am stressed out right now. I needed this to vent and try out different writing styles. Yes, this is named after the episode about Sakura because this story is inspired by that episode. Also, this is in the format of my Top Girl story and, for those who have read that story, yes, this story's plot has not been thought out yet and so will be like Top Girl in the sense that the story will take unexpected turns. Enjoy!
notes 2: The lyrics in the beginning are from Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound.

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Road to Sakura

"Don't you dare look out your window darling
Everything's on fire"

"Our third line of defense has..."

Even though the shinobi reporting couldn't bring himself to finish the report, Fourth Hokage Haruno Kizashi already knows what has happened. "I see..." his reply is solemn, mourning for the lives lost. It is time that he joins in the fight to protect his home village. He knows his wife will follow him into battle, and so the only regret he has is the little pink-haired girl running towards him now.

Sakura is barely four and doesn't understand what is going on, why there is fire engulfing people's homes, and why people were screaming outside. Haruno Kizashi regrets that he was unable to keep his daughter away from this cruel reality, and he regrets that he won't be able to see the wonderful lady his daughter will become.

Sakura doesn't understand it when her father kneels in front of her. She doesn't understand it when her father takes off the pendant he has never taken off before and gives it to her. She only understands it when he asks her, "Can you keep this safe for me until your mother and I come back?" But even then, she doesn't completely understand the circumstances around her.

Sakura doesn't understand it when her mother hugs her tightly as if holding on to dear life. She doesn't understand it when her mother kisses her forehead and cries while doing so. And she only understands Mebuki's "I love you, Sakura, so much" as her cue to say "I love you, too, Mommy." She doesn't understand why her mother adds on a "Don't forget that."

And so, when Sakura meekly waves goodbye to her parents as they leave the room, she doesn't realize that they won't be coming home anymore.

"Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You'll be alright
No one can hurt you now"