Note: I have a horrible attention span and find I do better writing drabbles. So yeah. Hello one hundred unrelated little things!
Prompt: 003 falter
Characters/Pairings: Sakura
Summary: Sakura after the war.


After the war, Sakura heals herself slowly.

After the war, Sakura travels.

When Madara is defeated and all his supporters have fallen, Sakura thinks back to her village hidden by the leaves and feels nothing. She thinks of her mother and father wondering about their daughter and praying she is well. Then she thinks of her sisters, the ones who inherited the family business, and thinks that her parents will be fine. She doesn't fit in at home anymore. Then she thinks about Ino and Naruto and Sai. She thinks about her closest friends. If she went home—then what? She'd smile and she'd laugh and she'd probably eat more ramen than anyone should eat in a single lifetime. She'd feel some need to come onto Naruto because she's lonely and self-destructive and wants someone there, but that would be a terrible, terrible decision. She knows that. She thinks about Shizune and Tsunade and Kakashi—her mentors. What about them? No. There's nothing left to learn.

Sakura thinks about Konoha and she feels nothing.

After the war, Sakura doesn't want to go home. She doesn't want to go back to the hospital, to leave the telltale signs of her presence on the training fields, to eat ramen, to hide her master's bottles of booze. She doesn't want to go back to Konoha because she can't.

After the war, Sakura isn't Sakura anymore.

She hates herself and in her darker moments, she wishes she died in battle.

But really, isn't that what happened anyway?


Sakura is seventeen when Madara is defeated.

Sakura is seventeen when her whole world is destroyed.

She doesn't remember too much about what happened. Not at first, at least. When she sits in the darkness of the medic tent, glaring at anyone who dares to approach her, Sakura only remembers Kabuto's grinning face coming upon her as she lay broken after an ambush. She remembers the paleness of his skin and thinking about how ill he looked and my, is this what madness does? She remembers momentarily feeling pity for him. She remembers smiling sadly and musing to herself: what if I followed Sasuke? Would this be me? That is her last thought before she wakes up and sees nothing but a bright, bright light swinging back and forth.

She spends five months in Kabuto's lair.

She remembers being sedated and sedated and sedated. She remembers needles and blood and lights and Kabuto's evil, evil smile. She remembers how she couldn't move, couldn't speak, couldn't even think but just knowing he was doing something and that something definitely couldn't be good. At the end of things, she's finally abandoned by Kabuto. She's not rescued, never rescued, but an Alliance member comes across her. She doesn't even remember feeling pain.

Instead, the pain comes afterwards—the pain comes when Shizune solemnly tells her that she can no longer mould chakra.

Sakura is seventeen when she learns she can never be a medic-nin again.


Sakura stays in Konoha for a total of six days.

Sakura stays in Konoha just long enough to keep from breaking.

She goes to the hospital and thinks to herself: I can do this. Sakura knows how to heal without her chakra. She's just as proficient with a scalpel as she is with her sharpened chakra, just as she can mend skin and bones with other manmade materials. She knows every herb and plant and root. She knows her chemicals and poisons and antidotes. She does it. She spends her first five days back in the hospital. She doesn't visit her mother or father or her two sisters; they've lived without her for so long that she's really just a stranger in their household. She doesn't go to Ichiraku with Naruto and Sai; she can't stand the way they look at her, pity her. She can't bear their sympathetic glances and the way Naruto's eyes always tell her that he should have found her and been there for her and that it wasn't fair—it just wasn't fair.

Konoha General becomes her haven. It's her solace. Sakura stitches up skin with her needle almost mechanically. She barely thinks about how much faster things would be if she could use chakra. She pretends not to notice all the blood, all the other injured people. She certainly doesn't think about how many wounds she could have healed with chakra in the span of time it takes her to help one person.

After five days in the hospital living like a robot, Sakura decides it's time to go.

She tries to stay.

She thinks about the people who love her and who would want her to stay. Then she thinks about how she simply cannot live with them and their satisfaction with life. That's a lie. Rather, she simply cannot live with her own insecurities and inadequacy.

She goes to Hokage and says she's sorry. I have to go. Sorry. Sorry.

His sole eye crinkles as he smiles sadly. Go.

There's nothing left for Sakura in Konoha.