Thanks to everyone who read this story in its second incarnation (especially if you read it through the first time)!
I'm in love with Sakura in crossovers where she can shine better than in a story where I think she is, unfortunately, always going to be portrayed as slightly less than the other two main characters, whereas I think she is one of the absolute best characters that the story has to offer. Not a time for a rant, though.
After getting a review from 'Angurvddel' back when this story originally came out, I realized that a good concept started strong and then kind of petered out before belly flopping in some fan-pandering. I was a little embarrassed at myself for being so flippant, especially when, with a little effort, it could have been more. So I went back and revisited the idea and did a lot of revisions (and how many grammar errors I had the first time around! Yikes!)
Every chapter is changed and, in my opinion, improved, but the real changes come in chapters five and six. They might seem a little more lackluster than the original chapters, which showed Sakura actually getting into a fight with Iron Man and then running back to Konoha with Shikamaru and Naruto after she had successfully secured funding for the village. The idea of funding had always been a little weak because honestly Konoha can get its own funding in its traditional way, but in a global society, what they really need, in order to maintain their traditions, is privacy.
I wanted to show more of the conflict between Bruce (anti-secret organization and anti-killing) and Sakura (raised in a military-run society and killing from a young age) especially between people who in one way want the same thing, to keep their loved ones safe and protect the larger society around them. But I feel they would have very different ways of going about it, and I only highlighted one part of that conflict, without really resolving an understanding between their opposing views. It's OK because resolution with Bruce was not Sakura's end goal, nor Bruce's really, so that was not an important point. I think they at least understand each other.
Around chapter three I started changing things around, highlighting more of Sakura's motivation in a different way and then giving her a reasonable, if vague, solution to her problem. The fact that the Other Guy, is (for now) off the team, also leaves a problem for the Avengers, even if Bruce Banner is going to be a smidge happier (Betty Ross reunion, anyone?). Only a smidge because General Ross is probably still after him and has no reason to believe that Bruce is not still capable of changing into the Hulk- plus, I think SHIELD and Stark are going to do their damnedest to keep their pink-haired consultant off of anyone's radar. In fact the most likely argument for a continuation of this series would be the fallout of having Sakura as a member of the team, a person as human as Natasha or Clint but with powers more similar to Thor. Yes, many people would take an interest, especially if they learned there were a few thousand more very similar to her on the planet, hence the drastic stake in privacy.
Hence revisions and at least a stab at making this better. It's been fun, though I had to sit on it for a bit and not rush through it. The ending goes quickly, but I like to think that's a reflection of how the process would really go down. Konoha's going to hesitate on a solution only long enough to weigh their options and the wisdom of putting their safety in foreigners' hands. A Fury-led SHIELD is going to invest in whatever they need to keep the planet safe. Tony knows that Sakura has a conscience, though, and if necessary it's easier to compete against one brilliant person compared to a host of them. So technically she is employed by SI instead of SHIELD.
So, thank you again, everyone, for the lovely reviews. Please consider this improved piece as my thank you to you. If you have any questions, please let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them.
Currently no plans for a sequel or continuation except I love the hell out of MCU and who knows what will happen. Fan art is seriously motivating, too _.
Thanks again, and be well.