Summary: Haruno Sakura was used to Naruto's bizarre plans, but this one really topped it. In an attempt to change the future for the better, her best friend sends her back to the past to infiltrate their own home. The medic planned to do this as discretly as possible, but she should have known that even with a second identity, it wouldn't be that easy.
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto.
Another time-travel. I love those. This time with Sakura, seeing as though I thought she was such a whiny little brat in the first part of Naruto, she has gotten bad-ass after the Tsunade influence. So here is a little something to show her some appreciation… and to finally get this out of my head. Why is it that instead of inspiration for the next chapters for my other stories when I need it, I can only come with inspiration for new stories?
I hope you like it! Feedback would be very much appreciated!
Make the Future Blossom
Chapter 1: Cyclamen
~ Resignation and Goodbye ~
"That isn't possible. Naruto-baka"
"That's the crazy thing, Sakura-hime. It is."
He wouldn't lie to her about such things, but it was still very hard to believe.
"This isn't funny! Why joke about being able to change it all?!"
"I. Am. Not. Joking."
There was a silence as the other future participant of this crazy project processed the information as she stared at the grave expression on his face.
He actually was being serious! Deadly serious, if she were to believe the look in his eyes.
She wasn't able to doubt him with that look.
Sakura frowned at him but gave in. She considered it for a moment, knowing that this crazy idea was a dangerous one. They could still win the war if they fought hard, but what was there to fight for?
Nearly everything – everyone- was gone. Still… if this worked. They could change everything. She closed her eyes, knowing that she had made her decision as soon as she had heard the words come out of his mouth. As she opened her eyes, the hope and determination that shone in them reflected his own.
"Tell me more."
A new slight sparkled in his eyes as he told her everything he knew.
For now, that small glimmer of hope was enough.
~ Two weeks later ~
She had been training harder than anytime before. Her breathing was nearly painful and her legs shook dangerously. Sweat covered nearly her whole body, but she had yet to complain. Seeing as Naruto couldn't do anything but use taijutsu himself for the moment, he was completely focused on being the hard taskmaster that she needed.
"You need to go faster." He told her.
"You were not going any faster."
"I know!" She snapped at him, breathing harshly through her teeth.
She felt the urge to let a sob escape her lips, but she didn't give in. She was strong. They were only doing this because she had to be at her sharpest. She had been training so much the last couple of years that she could stand her ground with Naruto for a long time. She could do this.
Thanks to Naruto, she was the 'Pink Flash' after all. She had been part of the Hokage's secret guard – just three people had been selected - that Naruto had restarted once he heard of his Father's old project. She had been the first he had taught the jutsu to. That had meant a lot to her.
Though Naruto was much faster than she would ever be, she had one little trick up her sleeve that he always claimed to envy. They had found out by accident, but it was one of the greatest discoveries for her techniques.
Had she ever underestimated the power of perfect chakra control, she wouldn't ever do so again.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, before harshly breathing out.
Naruto frowned. "If you want to sneak past the ANBU, you-"
"Needed to be one second faster, I know Naruto." There was no anger and frustration in her voice anymore, but a determined glint instead, which calmed him.
"Let me try one more time. I think I know which movement might be redundant to make." She muttered, referring to her chakra.
"Alright." He agreed and watched her hide once more behind the rock on their right.
He patiently waited for something to happen, keeping his ears and eyes open. He knew that it would be useless for him to look for her chakra signature. With her control, he could only find it if he were to use his Sage mode these days.
He suddenly whipped around to tap her on the shoulder, but to his surprised he only hit air.
"Aw damn it, you got me this time." He smirked as he felt a hand gently touch the back of his neck.
She laughed – relieved to finally get it down - and let herself flop onto the ground, feeling completely exhausted. Naruto grinned at her and playfully nudged her with his foot.
"That was great. The distance you are able to cover is getting bigger."
"The further I try to manipulate my chakra to form that seal, the worse the quality gets. I will get slower eventually." She muttered as she caught her breath, her legs tingling from the jutsu.
"Still, you are improving. You will kick those ANBUs' asses."
"I wouldn't have been able to without your almighty knowledge of seals."
"Aw, your not bad with them yourself Hime." The blond playfully brushed the praise off.
"Don't call me that Hokage-sama."
He just smiled.
"Now that we are on the subject, let's get that big brain of you cracking. I got some more books on seals for you. There was this medical one that you wanted to know about so-"
Medical? Sakura was all ears.
~A couple of days later~
"Naruto-baka I told you not to use any chakra!"
"I didn't even realise I was doing it!" Naruto defended himself, looking guilty.
"Now you don't have enough chakra to seal yet." Sakura complained, throwing a book at him just to show her frustration.
"Sorry, Sakura-hime." The Hokage apologised as he dodged it, looking frustrated as well.
With a sigh, he shifted through the thick piles of notes and seals that he was going through. The seal he had to make was so complex and dangerous that they not only needed a enormous reserve of the demonic chakra that Kurama would thankfully provide, but also a lot of natural chakra to protect her.
By a lot, they meant a lot.
For this reason, they constantly had one of Naruto's clone gathering the natural chakra in Sage mode, before it would be sealed. This could only be done if they didn't waste it on anything else though.
The pink-haired woman let out a frustrated sigh. "It's alright. Just try to keep an eye on it alright? No extra clones either."
The Hokage pouted. "Fine." He agreed and reached for his brush, practicing a particular swirl once more.
He wouldn't dare to make a mistake when Sakura would be at risk.
~A couple of days days later~
"Found anything useful yet?"
Thick and tall piles of dusty records surrounded the two ninja as they shifted through them.
"Nothing that will fit you." Her teammate grumbled, flinging another file towards the 'useless' heap of messy paperwork on his left.
Sakura sighed as she returned to her own neater-but-just-as-dusty pile of papers. They had been going through these for days already and they were both getting restless.
"Wish I could use my clones."
"You need to built up your chakra." She answered automatically, glancing at the four diamonds that she had drawn on top of his forehead in the last two weeks. She gauged his chakra reserves and decided that they could draw another diamond tomorrow.
Her own forehead supported two diamonds of her own, one of which she usually wore herself, by courtesy of – and in remembrance of - her Shishou. Though her own chakra wasn't really needed as much as Naruto's was, she still wanted to provide as much as she could while training.
"I know I know." Naruto replied absently.
"So do you wanna be the lost daughter of that Karumi lady that disappeared all those years ago after that big scandal?" Naruto joked after a moment of silence, holding up another old file.
Sakura's face scrunched up, showing just how much she like that idea.
"I just want to be able to keep healing." She muttered.
"Heh, you will go stir-crazy if you can't help out anyone." Naruto told her with a knowing smirk.
She agreed with a chuckle.
"I never thought there have been so many people that Konoha lost track of." She voiced after she finished the last useless document of her pile and automatically moved a new pile of paper to her right.
"Well, we can be grateful for that now." Naruto replied, though he glanced at the piles next to him with a rather unhappy expression.
"Now, how about being the lost daughter of the sister of a nobleman, who had been kidnapped during a trip to family?"
"Possible healer factor?"
"Ehm... they trained her to become their personal one?"
"Yeah right, who would be crazy enough to believe that." She drawled, flipping over another page.
"Hey, there are plenty of crazy people who would actually be able to do that you know…" Naruto defended and shot her a pointed look.
Sakura couldn't argue with that and stuck out her tongue at him instead.
"I'm not going to be some suspicious possible brainwashed infiltrator. I can't stand people breathing down my neck that way."
"As if your infiltration skills aren't good enough..." He couldn't help but snort.
"Still, don't want to go through the trouble of people feeling suspicious of me."
'Certainly, when it would be people I know.' She left unsaid, but Naruto probably knew she thought it anyway.
"Fine…" Naruto conceded. "Here, I have a promising one though. Of course, it had to be on the bottom of that stupid dusty pile but anyway… The mother is a retired medic ninja after having gone through something pretty dramatic. She was pregnant when she left, but there was never anything to –"
After a few hours of checking other records that included tracking down the location she had lived in. It would be no good if thousands of people were supposed to know her and no one would know that she had had a 'daughter' as it would hinder with Ino's and Naruto's jutsu that she had been practicing. So after the necessary background checks, it was decided.
She would be known as Sasaki Hana.
Naruto had no qualms bothering her enough with the name until she reacted to it properly.
The few punches that hit their mark – though painful – were worth it.
~ About a month later ~
"Are you sure that this is going to work out? Will you be alright? "
She couldn't help but voice her last doubts as she watched the man in front of her smear the red liquid on the floor.
"You have practically the best chakra control out there, Sakura-chan." Her best friend calmly reminded her from where he was crouched on the ground.
The tension in the blond's shoulders told her that he was anything but calm though.
She shivered slightly as she watched Naruto hand dip into the bowl with red liquid once more. His hands were already covered with blood – her blood – as he continued to draw the last complicated symbols in the circle that he had been working on for nearly days on end. Not only the floor of the cave was covered, even the walls were drawn upon.
The blood had become crusty and dark from having remained on his hands too long as he hadn't taken a break for a few hours now.
Sakura bit her lip, feeling absolutely useless as she paced behind him in a restless manner.
They couldn't afford to take a break. A few days ago they had heard of 'Tobi's' movement. They had tried to postpone it as much as possible, so that they could prepare to the fullest. Now, their time was up and they needed to hurry.
What they were currently doing was unheard of, not to mention very – extremely, incredibly, stupidly so - dangerous. In the last few years, however, they had both built up quite a reputation to survive the impossible, especially the Fūinjutsu Master next to her.
"Still… so much chakra." She argued, crossing her arms in discomfort as she continued to watch him perform his art.
"I can't be prepared for that…"
He glanced at her from the corner of his eye, quietly taking in her worried face and then looked down again. Sakura watched her teammate finish the final swirls before he stood up and walked towards her, nudging her playfully with his hip as he picked up a wet cloth to thoroughly clean her blood from his hands. She stared at the movements of the cloth, which soaked up the blood with some mesmerizing feeling of symbolism.
He hated having blood on his hands, especially hers. In a way, she realised, it could symbolise her life. He would soon have her faith in his hands as well. It was clear that he didn't like that either, even more than she did; yet he still managed to give her the smile that she could always expect from him. 'Look at the bright side.' He always seemed to say.
It was the reason why she had always stood by him all those years.
She squared her jaw as she felt the first signs of tears appear in the corner of her eyes.
Kami, she was going to miss her obnoxious friend so much.
"We have already practiced for a long time Sakura-hime…" Said obnoxious friend reassured her, before he grinned as he dodged a swat – she had told him not to call her 'hime' many times – that had been aimed for his head. She glowered at him, but stopped when his expression became more serious. He reached out with his hand and brushes his clean knuckled gently over her cheek.
"No seriously Sakura-chan, please don't doubt yourself, you will be fine." He continued, sounding very confident on the matter, before he let his hand drop.
It was the reason why she trusted him so much.
There was a silence between the two best friends before, as if having heard an unspoken signal, they moved towards to each other and hugged. The hug was desperate, full of love and had the feeling of a sad goodbye at the same time. The emotions ran so high that the kunoichi couldn't keep her emotions under her control anymore and tears started to run down her face.
"I will miss you." She whispered. So much.
"I will miss you as well." He whispered back, obviously feeling a lump in his throat by sound of it.
"Will you try and follow me?" She whispered hoarsely, mentally telling herself to stop crying.
"Maybe." He mumbled into her hair, pulling Sakura a little closer.
She wasn't satisfied with that answer.
"Promise me." She protested, pushing her head against the coat that he had nearly always come to wear after he had become Hokage and took a deep breath to take in his familiar scent for the last time.
"Promise me." She repeated stubbornly.
"You do realise that the last promise I made was the one I bro-"
"Promise me Naruto!" She cut him off firmly, pushing a little away from him so that he could see her glaring into his sad eyes that were looking down on her.
If it weren't for the fact that he was hugging her and refused to let her go for the short time they had left, Naruto would have run his hand through his blond spiky hair.
"Sakura-chan." He whispered desperately, pleading her to understand.
"We don't know how time-paradox will work out. As far as we know you will be the first one that going back!" He shook her shoulders softly as he told her this in a more frustrated manner, feeling hopeless with the situation at hand. "Who knows what can happen if you get back. You either create another dimension or you could erase-"
He was once more abruptly cut off when Sakura's hand planted itself firmly on his mouth. He muffled in protest before he realised that she was trembling. Looking down, his eyes widened when he saw her fearful eyes.
"Don't finish that sentence… " She hissed.
"Please." She whispered, looking up at him pleadingly.
They both knew all to well what he had been about to say. ' You could erase me from existence.'
She could not bare the thought that she might erase her best friend, her brother in all but blood…her family.
Slowly but surely, the sad blue eyes gained a faint determined light that she had seen many times before. Looking down at her – who had ever thought he would grow so much taller than her? - he nodded slowly and pulled her back into a firm hug. He would not put his anger towards that bastard Madara above his friend.
"I promise to do my utmost best to follow you." He said, kissing her forehead as if to seal the promise.
Sakura couldn't help but feel relieved by the gesture and kissed him on his cheek in return. He would try, which practically meant that he would go as far as nearly killing himself in an attempt to follow her. There was no guarantee, but it would be enough for her. He would try to follow her. The idea that her precious person – her home - would try to be at her side, no matter if it might take years, was more reassuring than anything at the moment.
At least, she would have hope that he eventually would.
They stood there for a few minutes, enjoying the moment to the fullest. She could hear him inhale the scent of her hair, much like she was inhaling the smell of his coat and pulled him a little closer. His heartbeat was speeding up, betraying how nervous he actually felt. She smiled ruefully before she swallowed, knowing what came next.
"Alright, let's get started." Sakura muttered before she could change her mind and both reluctantly pulled away.
Standing in the middle of the seal, Sakura crouched down and took off the cloak she wore. There was no embarrassment as she exposed herself to her teammate. They were professionals. They weren't teenagers anymore. They had gone through war. They had both lost people, both lovers and loved ones. They were the only ones left.
And they wouldn't be for much longer.
She closed her eyes as Naruto gently started to paint special seals on her bare back, waist and eventually even her chest with her own blood. Which, Sakura thought with sad amusement, would have left him blushing completely to a very red shade many years ago.
"Can you stop repressing you chakra please Sakura-hime?" Naruto softly requested, breaking her line of thought.
The kunoichi blinked before she realised that he was right. She was feeling nervous – nerve-wrenchingly so - and had therefore automatically repressed her chakra to a nearly unnoticeable signature for him. She took a deep breath to calm down and let her chakra flow more freely, allowing him to enjoy her 'presence' for the next hour.
They didn't talk during the hour that it took to cover her whole body with the necessary seals. There wasn't anything to be said, so they enjoyed each other's presence instead. "I'm nearly done." Naruto gently let her know, getting her out of the meditative state she had nearly automatically slipped into.
She didn't want him to be nearly done.
She didn't answer though, afraid to move as he continued to work on a very complex seal that he was drawing on her large forehead, this time with his own blood to properly channel the natural chakra to protect her.
He smirked as he looked down at her. "At least you have enough space there." He teased her, knowing that she wouldn't be able to lash out, before focusing on his work once again.
Sakura couldn't help but be amused, though she still shot him a dirty glare for the good measure. "Whatever you say Naruto-sama." She mocked him back, causing him to scrunch up his nose at the formal title.
After another half an hour, he finally drew back. As he let his eyes travel over her body to check the seals, she knew that he was studying her for the last time as well, just like she was studying him, trying to engrave his image into her mind, never to be forgotten.
However, the time that was left was not unlimited, so the blond ninja slowly nodded. He then carefully drabbed her own favourite cloak on her shoulders, making sure that the blood had dried as he did. She smiled ruefully at the gesture.
He met her eyes. "Be careful."
"Thank you. You too." She said and returned the smile that he gave her.
"What are friends for?" He grinned as he glided back to stand out of the circle, making sure not to stand on any seal on his way out.
"Are you ready Sakura-hime?" Naruto asked her softly, not even caring to hide the tears that were building up in the corner of his eyes.
"I'm ready Naruto." She confirmed softly.
"It will hurt."
"I know. Don't stop feeding me chakra whatever happens though, do you hear me?"
"I know." He said. He despised the idea of hurting her, but he knew it was necessary.
"Be sure to make the future blossom alright?" He told her seriously, though a happy glint in his eyes was visible. He was happy that they would get the chance to make a difference and he trusted her completely to make the right choices.
She just hoped that she would be able to do it.
"Make the future blossom." She repeated with a sad but hopeful smile, easily realising that he had chosen those words for her.
"I promise." She echoed.
With a last determined look and a smile, Naruto placed his hands above a special seal connected to the large seal that she was sitting on…
"Here we go."
They both went through the necessary long sequences of hand seals.
"Release." They both muttered and a moment later the cave they were hiding in was overloaded with chakra as the diamonds on their foreheads dissolved.
"Seals Activate!" They both echoed – to make sure that the timing was just right – as they both slammed down their hand on the seals right in front of him on the floor.
… And not long after that her senses were overloaded with pain before she slowly – oh so slowly – was whisked away and everything went dark.
Only the floating image of those sad blue eyes was some comfort for her.
I nearly finished the next chapter so hopefully you guys enjoyed this one.
Till next time!