Summary: What if you open your eyes and find yourself in the Naruto world? What would happen with a Sakura with a different mindset and knowledge of the future? Stay and read. :)
Authors note: This chapter wasn't planned. At all. It was supposed to be an in depth wallowing of Sakura's character and how she was in anguish, but then Naruto happened and he wouldn't let her and... Well, read on and you can see for yourself. This is really an example of characters come to life, especially Sasuke who showed me a more accepting nature that surprised me. That's disturbing and really hard for an author, since the following chapters that were planned now also have to undergo serious revising… How fun.
Oh well. This is the place I hug all my readers and then hand you special Haruno bakeries because you truly are everything an author can wish for. I've only gotten positive feedback and critic that helps me learn, and I'm beyond grateful for that. Thank yoooou!
It was curious, really, how chakra worked. There has been weeks in the beginning of my life where I tried to put a name on it, trying to rationalize it, but I've come to understand that it's close to impossible to even try.
But try I do.
It's hard to admit it, but I only understand as much as it allows me to. Inner Sakura pointed out one time that I shouldn't logically be able to use my chakra sense. Too much information at a time, she had said, would crash a normal brain. A 360 degrees of vision and several meters of perception would be an overload of different elements. And if you have that constantly, no way of turning it off?
The brain would do it for you. Dead, just like that. Even the Hyuuga can turn their vision off, and they have to learn to use it correctly for years.
I shouldn't have been born according to Inner. Lovely thought.
I don't know who is to be blamed for my current mind that was in disarray. Maybe Tazuna, for making me acknowledge a fact I've been hedging around? Maybe Sasuke and Naruto, for fighting and making me more worried than normal? Maybe the whole team, for forcing me to spend time with them?
Or maybe Inner, who was currently berating me in a corner that this was natural, a good thing, and darn it, don't ignore me!
Either way, I was shaken out of it as quickly and as painfully like a blow to the kidney when Zabuza arrived.
First it was normal, like the plot, when he threw his ridiculously big sword at us like a scare tactic. Kakashi barked orders to protect the client in a diamond formation, and I quickly held the front, whipping out a measly kunai that would do nothing against a nuke-nin. Everything like it should be.
But as I have repeated, analyzed and perpetually reminded myself of; chakra is not something to be messed with.
Zabuza released his mist technique, and I choked.
Everything was much denser, chakra cloaking and infusing everything. My vision was blocked, and suddenly I felt naked. I could literally feel the chakra going inside my lungs, how I adapted it into my blood stream, how the oxygen was pumped everywhere. My sense turned introvert, and I struggled with myself.
Everything was wrong.
Just as Inner Sakura batted it away, treating it like a genjutsu, he released his killing intent and I was in a whole other world of trouble.
It pressed down on me like a palpable thing, and I could see in my peripheral how Sasuke was shaking. I barely controlled the urge to do the same, but it was a close thing. I had trouble breathing. My lungs felt as if they were about to burst, filled to the brim with hostile killing focus since the chakra reacted to intent, and there was a lot of that. The Academy had lessons where the class had been subject to killing intent, but that was nothing like this. A friendly Konoha chūnin compared to one of the famous seven swordsmen?
I was struggling again.
Only the soothing voice of Kakashi, and a well-placed spike in his chakra to dissipate some hostile killing intent, could calm me down enough.
Still, it was a close thing for me not to blurt out where Haku was hiding now that I could sense again. He was observing quietly above the tree canopy. Our teacher was oblivious, only concentrating on the imminent threat.
It took all my gathered strength of will to stay put in front of Tazuna when Kakashi was captured. I could do something! My mind wailed, Inner joining in with some serious trashing. What if they get hurt?
I tensed, ready to spring forward at a moment's notice.
But the plot!
Screw the plot! Are you just going to stand there while they act?!
In the end, my indecision lasted until Zabuza had been taken away by Haku, and the situation had solved itself.
Walking to our client's house, with two Naruto kage bunshin' carrying our unconscious sensei, I lagged behind with a pained expression. My mind was picking up speed again and my perception of time slowed as my focusing problem kicked in. I was literally thinking a mile a minute, and it was agonizing.
Friends, protection, Ino, Shikamaru, Chōji, constraint, plot, Team 7, enemies, future, predictability, and so many more things whirled by, the endless possibilities being picked up and then thrown away.
Am I doing this right? I asked myself in the only calm part of my mind that was left undisturbed.
Even Inner Sakura couldn't really answer. She was a part of me, just another flip of the coin, so she was experiencing the same turmoil I was having.
´Do whatever you think is best.´
It was the only advice she had to give. Could give.
I sat beside my teacher's bed the day after, hardly having slept at all. Eyes with shadows under them greeted me in the mirror in the morning, but I only went back to the chair, staring at the wall. I was high-strung, my chakra sense spreading out far beyond the house perimeter in an effort of being vigilant. Naruto and Sasuke left me alone, maybe somehow sensing that I was close to snapping. That's why I was the first one to see Kakashi stir, and consequently the first one he laid his eyes on.
"Sakura-chan?" He mumbled, his eye squinting. I looked at his fatigued form, and surge of sadness welled up inside me. I could have done something.
"Hai, sensei," I choked out, barely managing to keep my voice even. "It's me."
He seemed to process that, his eye shifting from me to the small room. After taking it all in, Kakashi tried to sit up, but I was quick to press him down again with a stern look. He couldn't quite suppress his wince at the contact, but I was glad to see that the bandages he was wrapped in didn't turn red again. That had been a particularly deep gash, and my healing abilities weren't advanced enough for me to even try anything larger than bruises and scratches. "You are injured," I informed him slowly, as if talking to a child. "Lay down. Please."
He complied, but he shot me a mutinous look for my help. "And I take it we are..." He trailed off, and I dutifully filled him in.
"At the client's house, Kakashi-sensei. You have been out a whole day; it's noon right now. How are you feeling?"
"So you got here safely, I take it. Good."
He ignored my question.
I sighed. "Wait here while I bring you some food." Though it wasn't like he could, should, move or anything.
Going down the stairs, I was hit with arms full of blonde and orange. "I heard some noise from upstairs, Sakura-chan! Are you alright? Are Kakashi-sensei? Sasuke-teme told me not to disturb him, but that doesn't even make any sense at all; since when have I disturbed anyone? Ne, Sakura-chan? Why did he let you in there, but not me? Not that I'm any better than you," he hurried to reassure me, "but it's the principle of the thing!"
I blinked at his barrage of words. He suddenly reminded me of Ino.
I smiled, and now it was his turn to blink. "He's awake at the moment, but don't expect anything. He will probably fall asleep soon, so I'm bringing him food now." Already I could feel his chakra turning sluggish again.
Tsunami stuck her head out of the adjourning door with a bright smile, having heard our conversation. "Is he now? That's great! Wait a second and I can heat up some broth for him. Will that be okay?"
I nodded. "Yes. Thank you." He will hopefully be able to stomach it, but broth shouldn't pose a trouble.
She nodded back and disappeared into the kitchen.
Naruto and I went inside the living room, sitting down beside Sasuke. He only nodded in greeting, eyes lingering on the paleness of my skin.
I looked pointedly outside the window.
"Kakashi-sensei has just woken up," I informed him. "His wounds are healing nicely, and if he rests for the day, I think he will be able to move about the room tomorrow."
A pause. "Orders still stand?" He asked, and I shrugged, looking back at him again.
"He didn't say anything to contradict it."
Naruto let out a huge sigh, dropping his head forward. "So we're stuck here, doing absolutely nothing? For another day?"
"Probably more," I breathed, thinking about what I knew from his wounds and the story.
He heard me and grimaced. "Worse!"
´Considering your orders still stands, shouldn't we protect him?´
What do you mean?
´You know... Tazuna isn't home. Three guesses where he is, and the two first doesn't count.´
At the bridge, at the bridge, or at the bridge?
´Right in one! Our mission is to protect him, but sensei is out and we are in tentative enemy territory. We really aren't qualified for this. What should we do?´
I blinked, surprise flushing through me. I hadn't thought of that. We were, at the moment, without supervision and no superior to report to, so who would decide for us? At the Academy, they drilled into us to always follow the orders given and if unsure, ask the superior. But he was incapacitated and falling into unconsciousness as the seconds tick by. I doubt he is even coherent at this stage.
So, who were we going to ask?
"What are you thinking, Sakura-chan?"
I blinked, looking to a slightly worried Naruto. "What..." I shook my head. "Where is Tazuna-san?" I asked instead.
"At the bridge," Sasuke answered, furrowing his brows.
"Oh. And what was our mission, now again?"
He opened his mouth to answer, slightly disturbed how I could have forgotten it, but then he paused and blinked, realization sinking in. Naruto, in turn, scowled, not really getting it. "To protect him, of course. Shouldn't you know..." He also blinked.
I nodded. "We need a temporary superior."
Usually, the superior in question would have assigned one from the start, but since we are a genin team with a jōnin teacher that wouldn't drop from a normal C-rank mission, it wasn't unusual to not have one despite the protocol. And we shouldn't forget that Kakashi was Kakashi, the very epitome of pushing it forward until it can't be ignored.
´Great. Thanks sensei.´
Naruto jumped up, pointing to the sky in an oddly western stereotypical hero pose, grinning. "Uzumaki Naruto is up to the task! I will become the next Hokage, so never fear, I will–"
"I vote no for his election," Sasuke deadpanned.
"What! No, you can't do that!" Naruto protested. He gave him a look that clearly said 'watch me', and Naruto growled in answer. "I never asked for your opinion anyway, teme. Because I will be the best temporary super ever!"
I sighed, ignoring his mispronunciation of superior. "Gomen, Naruto-kun. The protocol says it's an all-or-nothing election if there is no outranking member nearby, and even then the majority has to agree."
He deflated, sinking back to the ground. Just for rivalries sake, I assumed, he glowered at Sasuke for ruining his chances.
"Naruto-kun is out then. How about Sasuke-kun?"
"No way!" Naruto shot down the idea immediately, crossing his arms. "Like I would ever let him push me around!"
Sasuke scowled, but then a smirk lifted his mouth. "But I always do," he said, an obvious reference to their Academy days and the taijutsu spars.
Before Naruto could say something equally insulting, or more, I summarized; "So Sasuke-kun is out too." There was a pause as that sunk in.
"Doesn't that just leave you then?"
"I vote no." They stared at me, startled. I shrugged, looking out the window again. "I don't want the responsibility," I answered honestly.
"But then," he frowned in dismay, "we don't have any candidates left. That's stupid, 'ttebayo."
"We could just decide who will guard Tazuna-san for the time being," I offered, "and let Kakashi-sensei deal with this mess."
The two boys nodded, and Naruto perked up again.
"I can do it!"
"Dobe," he let out an insufferable sigh, "think about it. Are you really the right choice?"
He bristled. "What do you mean with that, teme?!"
"Dead last," he simply said, quirking an eyebrow.
A growl. "I'll show you dead last!" He lunged at the boy, and Sasuke narrowly dodged it before happily returning the favor.
As they were tumbling around, acting like their eight year old counterparts, I wondered why they ignored their shinobi training, and more pressing; how? I always find it difficult to not reflexively slide into a defensive stance when confronted. It had been drilled into me, after all. And here they were, rolling around and giving a dozen openings that wasn't taken advantage of.
They were just... weird, I decided.
But then I began to think about Tazuna, that if he also got hurt, because there might perhaps be something I had missed, because I hadn't read about him being there at all and the original Sakura might have done something about this off the page, because...
What if he gets hurt because we couldn't do our mission?
"Naruto!" I said sharply, and his head flung in my direction from hearing the tone and no suffix attached. It looked like he was warring with himself to continue his fight, to snap to attention, or either to grin stupidly. His chakra really was a dead giveaway. "Send a kage bunshin to the bridge, and then report on his welfare. Can you do that?"
He hesitated, and Sasuke stared in confusion.
He blinked at my harsh tone, but his fingers obligingly made the hand sign and a clone puffed into existence. That one was about to run to the bridge, maybe sensing my worry, but he also hesitated and I wanted to shake him. He was delaying.
"Shouldn't someone protect him, and just not check his health?"
Now I really wanted to shake him. What if Tazuna also lies in the bed, all injured, because I couldn't make up my mind? Or before I could make my own team see reason?
I breathed deeply. I was almost hyperventilating. Calm down.
´This will solve itself. Breath.´
But, I don't want anyone else on my consciousness.
The answer was pretty obvious, I thought with a side glance at Naruto. That clone should run to Tazuna, and when his health was confirmed, make an additional clone to dismiss a second later. That way, the real Naruto would know when the memories surged back to him.
´But he doesn't know that yet.´
No, that's right. He doesn't know. Should I tell him? But he only gains that ability at Shippuden, and who knows what that will change in the plot.
I shifted my eyes, uncertain, but then I nodded.
"Send two clones, and one will come back. Now, go! Before he can accuse our mission to be unfulfilled and null."
He blanched, quickly sending another out. It was embarrassingly many missions that had been unfulfilled in the village, but I decided to not tell him that the mission had already far gone outside Tazuna's paying abilities anyway.
Sasuke knew, though, from the look I got.
"Care to tell us the urgency?"
I opened my mouth to explain about the danger of Gatō, general thugs, Zabuza and Haku, but I stopped mid-word as I realized I couldn't really tell them that.
After all, they believed the only threat had been vanquished.
Also, I realized with embarrassment, I had probably been overreacting from too little sleep.
Relief rushed through me when I felt Tsunami leave the kitchen, and I turned to go up and meet her instead of answering his question. She came inside the room and looked surprised, but smiled when I reached for the bowl. "I hope this is satisfactory," she said, a tint of worry in her voice.
I bowed lightly. "It is fine. Thank you, Tsunami-san."
She bowed back. "My pleasure. Come in with it when he is finished, and I will take care of the dishes."
Again, I expressed my gratitude before turning to the two boys. "If you want, you can meet sensei. Though I'm not sure if he will be coherent," I warned them.
They nodded in agreement and went upstairs with me. I paused outside his door, frowning. His chakra was still at an all-low, but it was rapidly depleting. If he was this exhausted from the mere effort of waking up...
It could be worse than I originally thought.
"Perhaps it's more prudent that you stay outside. He needs his rest and reminding him of his responsibilities probably wouldn't be the best of ideas."
They glanced at the closed door, then at me. "Are you sure? I mean, shouldn't a jōnin be awesome and all that?" Naruto hesitantly pointed out.
Sasuke snorted at that. "Dobe."
He bristled and answered in the same voice; "Teme."
After that customary answer, Sasuke seemed to smirk in amusement before he shook it off. Standing straighter and adapting a serious look, he stared pensively at the closed door. "I don't know how he got it," he said, slowly, "but the Uchiha clan is famous for their Sharingan."
I nodded, surprised at his willingness to share information, but I wasn't going to look a gift-horse in the mouth. Naruto was quiet for once, listening attentively.
"I have heard stories, growing up," he paused there, almost pained at the reminder. We only stood there, silently urging him. He took a deep breath. "The drainage is massive for those without the Uchiha genes. There has been registers of men that has died by a simple transplant when it connected to their cores." He shook his head, furrowing his brows. "Kakashi-sensei used it consequently for a whole fight. I'm not surprised he is out for the day. I'm surprised he isn't at a hospital at this very moment, though."
"But Sakura-chan is the best! Surely she can help him!"
I huffed. "Thanks, but that isn't true. Honestly, I'm only treating his superficial wounds. There is nothing more I can do."
The helplessness reared its ugly head again, and I felt sick. If I had done something to help in the fight, would he have been out of that bed? I think so, and I hate that.
I looked up again only to meet Naruto's blue eyes. They almost seemed penetrating in its intensity as he stared at me for a long time.
I sighed in relief when he finally closed them.
"I'm also feeling helpless," he confided, and I jerked my head towards him, eyes widened in disbelief.
How did he know?
Sasuke did the same thing, and I realized our team's emotions were suddenly in tune towards each other.
Naruto opened his eyes again. "But that's okay. Because together," he intoned, "we can do something about it. The villagers lost hope? We do something about it. Tazuna needs protection? We do something about it. Kakashi-sensei was stupid and got his ass kicked? We do something about it!"
He raised his hand in a fist bump. "Because together, we are a team!"
It was silent.
His eyes was dead serious, promise and belief the prominent emotions in his chakra. He didn't remind me of Ino anymore. He reminded me of Naruto, the main character that everyone came to trust. Sasuke and I shared a brief glance that communicated more than a thousand words.
Is this really Naruto? Yes, he isn't a henge. Is he serious? More than he ever loved ramen. Did he just call us out on feeling helpless? We will make him suffer later. When did he get smart? No idea.
What should we do?
Be a team.
Jostling with the bowl of broth, I raised my arm at the same time Sasuke did, curling my hand into a fist and striking them into an odd three way bump together. Naruto grinned.
We all grinned.
And suddenly, we were a team. Not that shinobi obligatory genin team; a group of people forced together for efficiency. No. At the moment, we were three individuals that accepted each other as someone to trust and lean on. Perhaps we had our arguments, and that the bond was new and brittle; but for now, that will do.
We were a team.
After the broth had been eaten and sensei asleep again, the Naruto clone came back and reported of Tazuna's welfare and the curious note that he was sober. We decided that the clone would continue to guard him and that he will report in every hour.
"Can your clones really hold that long?" Was Sasuke's baffled question.
"Yes, of course." Naruto answered, almost offended. "Can't everyone?"
Sasuke and I decided unanimously that we would hold off on that particular subject until later.
Further planning was interrupted when Tsunami had lamented about how little food they had left in the kitchen, and since Naruto heard it, we were off to the village center. A quick clone was sent to the bridge to inform the other clone about that, and another to stay at home just in case.
Picking up a vague vegetable looking thing, I grimaced. "This is just sad." Naruto made a disgusted face that fit what we were all thinking. Was that even food?
"The crop grew bad this year, but this is all we have. Are you going to buy or not?" The man handling the stand said brusquely.
"Not," Naruto whispered, gagging from the sight alone.
I sighed, handing him some coins and turning with several of the vague vegetable looking things. I never asked about what it was called. Sasuke eyed it like a monstrosity that was going to bite him, and I assumed it wasn't tomatoes. He liked them from what I remembered. Besides, this one was purple, oddly enough.
We only took a few steps before a strangled cry came from behind us. "W-wait! You paid too much." It sounded like it pained him how his consciousness was acting up.
I only waved behind me. "Keep the change." He needed it more than me.
The next stand was filled with fish that made my eyes water. They weren't molding, but they weren't fresh either. The large woman behind the stand apologized for the bad timing, since Gatō had just taken the fresh batch. We only nodded, having heard similar stories at the other stands. Sasuke picked up a fish that was flat and brown; an ugly little thing. Naruto swore up and down that the yellow bloodshot eye was staring at him.
"Do we have to?"
Interestingly enough, that came from Sasuke.
A resigned sigh followed.
With a lot of grimacing, gagging, odd looks, mysterious vegetables and meat, we bought what Tsunami had asked us. Considering she was almost broke from having four extra people in her house and that Naruto didn't want to burden the nice lady, we chipped in with our own money.
I took the brunt of the load because my family owned a bank and didn't believe there was a thing as owning too little when out of town. Sasuke came second with his heavy allowance from the Uchiha, and Naruto gave his whole frog with small coins for us to spend as extra tips.
We had actually gathered quite a crowd of kids, curious adults and beggars at the time we were done because of our 'give a little extra at every spending' motto we had.
"Neechan?" A boy, about four years old with large brown eyes and dirt all over him, cupped his hands in a silent plea for money. My heart melted immediately, as did Naruto's. Sasuke only followed suit when there was one brave kid that looked up at him with a small "Aniki?" and had that adoring tone of voice.
We never had a chance.
Naruto made a clone to take our odd groceries to Tsunami while we stayed. I lead our little crowd to a bench and ordered them to stand in line if they wanted money.
You could imagine the faces they did when they heard that.
A line was quickly formed and they thanked and bowed and laughed and cried as they got what little money we could spare. It had to last another week, after all. "Here you go." Naruto handed a small boy some coins, and his face lit up like the miniature sun.
"Thank yu so much!" The boy chirped, hugging him. "Yu the best!"
He laughed, scratching the back of his head in embarrassment. "Aha, I don't know about that... But please say it again!" That earned him a light slap on his shoulder from the both of us.
An elderly man with a limp began to cry when Sasuke handed him his money, much to his chagrin. "Bless your soul, son! Bless all your souls!"
The man that stood beside him, probably his real son that was helping him stand, stared at us in awe. "How... Why... Why?" We suddenly had their undivided attention, and more people ambled to our crowd to see what the fuss was about.
"Because if we can do something to help, we will," Naruto answered firmly.
"This village is pitiful," Sasuke murmured, a slight pink coloring his ears. "How could we not?" Despite his harsh words, no one took mind of it. Rather, the younger children seemed to sparkle with devotion because of it.
"I can't understand how it got to this point," I injected, frowning. "Even if Gatō controlled the village and their exports and imports, the banks should have noticed the sudden decrease of circulation in this area and influx of, well, thugs."
"He controls everything inside this land," a woman said bitterly. "We can't do anything to oppose him. If we do, our stands get trashed, our homes burnt, or worst case; our life forfeit."
There was a general murmur of agreement and regret.
Naruto and Sasuke had a solemn look about them as they listened. What I noticed from their chakra was emotions like kinship and sadness. They were probably reminded of their own experiences.
Speaking for the three of us, Naruto said; "We will continue to try our best. We're Konoha-nin hired to protect Tazuna! So don't worry! When the bridge is finished, your country can trade more easily."
"And what good will that do to us?!"
We turned and saw a small kid glaring angrily at us, a fisherman's white and blue striped hat on his head. I recognized him immediately.
"Inari," an elderly woman murmured sadly, confirming my belief.
"Don't go around spouting nonsense, trying to give us hope!" Inari, Tsunami's son, continued to shout. "What would happen if Gatō's men decided to show up, huh?! What then?! No fancy trading bridge would help!"
"Then we would stop him," Sasuke said, growling faintly.
"But what if they're stronger than you?!"
"Then we train!" Naruto shouted back.
"No matter how hard you train, you're still no match for Gatō's men! No matter what glorious claims you make or how hard you work, the weak will only end up getting killed!"
"I DON'T believe that!"
All attention was on Naruto again. "If that was true, then no one would move forward in life! We are all weak at some point, but we evolve! We take another step! We become stronger every day of our lives, so why is it so hard to understand that we can beat that guy?!" He was breathing heavily at the end of his speech, and Inari couldn't seem to find anything to say against him. Naruto continued, calmer now. "I promise; we will do something about it."
I thought it was faintly hilarious how silent it was, and how he just assumed we would help, but he was right nonetheless. This coupled with the speech earlier outside Kakashi's room really brought me to near tears. The two of them was truly a part of me now, and I couldn't even think how stupid I was only yesterday when I didn't want them close.
"You promise?" Inari repeated quietly. He scoffed. "I find that hard to believe," he said and then turned and walked away.
We watched his slowly moving figure turning a corner, and only when a hesitant question came from one of the crowd did our attention come back.
"Since you're a team, what are you called?"
I had almost expected it, but what Naruto said first brought a smile to my face.
"The Great Uzumaki Team!"
Sasuke glared at him. "No. The Uchiha Honor Team."
Naruto glared back, but even I could see they were just playing now. As one, they turned to look at me in anticipation. What? Was I also going to have to make up some silly name? I thought about it. "The... Colorful Haruno Team?"
They seemed satisfied with the ridiculous name.
"Alright, alright. Then, what if we agree on a non-personal team name?" Naruto suggested. "I vote Team Kickass!"
He snorted. "I vote Team Powerful."
"Do I have to?" I asked when they looked at me again. They nodded. The crowd around us only looked on in bemusement.
"Neechan," a small girl standing beside me tugged on my vest, "why don't you just combine your names?" She blinked innocently, but it was brilliant according to Naruto who scooped her up and swung her around, much to her delight.
"Yes! That's great!" He said passionately, putting the girl down again. "I dislike the generic Team 7, or the more boring Team Kakashi. Why does our never-there sensei get to have his name on our team? From this day forward, we will be called; Team UzumakiUchihaHaruno!"
"...Really?" Sasuke deadpanned.
I agreed. "That sucked."
He sulked. "Then come up with something better."
As I tuned out the impending argument that Sasuke of course knew better and Naruto responding with obvious disbelief, I was quite suddenly made aware that we still had a crowd that was looking at us like we had and extra head on our shoulders. I smothered a laugh at how our team's antics must look to those unused to Konoha shinobi. When one have met the green beast, the others just seem normal in comparison.
The laughter quickly transformed into sorrow as I watched their tattered clothes, dirty skin and sunken in cheeks. If I didn't know better, I would think that they were victims of war and not a negligent shipping millionaire. I had no idea that the situation was this bad when I read about the Wave land.
"What do you think, Sakura-chan?"
Roused from my depressing thoughts, I turned to see Naruto looking questioning at me. "Hm? Sorry?"
"I asked if you had a better idea for a Team name. Teme here shot down every idea I had!"
"Dobe here refused my."
They glared at each other, but I ignored them in favor of trying to find a better name. That girl had said combining our names, but that doesn't really work. But what if I cut them short? UzuUchiHaru?
´That's actually... bad. Really bad. Try again.´
No, no. It could work!
Fumbling inside my pouch, I pulled out an empty scroll and a pen. Slowly and carefully, I drew Uzu, the kanji for vortex or swirl; Uchi, the kanji for inner, or within, as in a sign of strength; and Haru, the kanji for spring. Together they would spell Uzu-nai Haru; and a rough translation would be Vortex in Spring.
I blinked. It could work.
Suddenly, the scroll was out of my hands and in Naruto's instead. "What is this? OH! Team Uzu-nai Haru? Looks good! What do you think, Sasuke?"
He leaned over and read the kanji. "Hn." He seemed satisfied with it, and I smiled in relief. That was great!
´Who would have thought my little Sakura could do something like this? I'm so proud!´
I ignored her theatrical sobbing, but I felt satisfied, especially when the crowd began laughing and cheering for the Uzu-nai Haru combination, thanking us profusely for our generous gifts. Their words, not mine.
Spreading out some bread we bought for them to eat, we apologized that we had to go now, but that we were coming back at a later time. The fact that we went home together, as a team, was something that I was probably going to cherish forever.
A/N End of Chapter! Considering the changes, I'm actually happy how I managed to end it. And now that you have read it, I hope I didn't make anyone OOC. They just came to life and wrote themselves. I think even I underestimated how much Sakura had changed the world. Interesting plot bunny, at least.
About that team name, Uzu-nai Haru (渦内春), that was entirely my own idea. I don't know Japanese that good unfortunately, so I used Google translate for the pronunciation. If there was any fault with it, blame them. Anyway, thank you for reading! I hope my version of the Wave arc doesn't bore you! The next chapter is the extra-long one. The one I have always wished to write. Look forward to it!
And for those that celebrate New Year, hope you have a great year! For those who don't, or do it at a later time... well, I can have fun for you! So long, and see you at the next update!