Hello, dearest readers. This story, delicately and happily thought out, is my gift to you. It is mainly ItaSaku with sprinkles of other pairings. Also, there are things you must know:
1. Madara Uchiha was killed by Minato. The Kyuubi was still sealed in Naruto, but he got to grow up with family!
2. Mikoto and Kushina were/are best friends, therefore Kushina and Minato managed somehow to save the Uchiha clan, making this a non-massacre story as well.
3. Because Naruto and Sasuke's parents are alive, I believe they would've had more children. Plus with Sakura gone, her parents wanted another. Bare with me I hate OCs too but ill make them as unannoying as possible.
Disclaimer- I do not own Naruto, but here's an idea of how it'd go if I did...
chapter one of A Haruno Kunoichi
Cha! A Haruno returns!
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
The birds chirped pleasantly throughout the forest. It was soothing.
The sun just began to peek through the trees and warm my pale skin, though the wind nipped at me, making me yearn for the warmth of yesterday's hotel.
"We'll arrive within the hour at this pace."
We've been traveling since nightfall. Shishou was having a mid-life crisis and despite all her previous reservations of returning to Konoha, here we were.
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
I haven't been home since I graduated from the academy at 12.
At the ripe age of 18, I was now returning to my old home.
In Konoha, I was the nameless forehead girl, that just so happened to have pink hair. Yes, even my intelligence went unnoticed by my peers because I was a nobody. I wasn't hated nor feared for my past. My family was a below average shinobi family, and I wasn't at all beautiful. I was mediocre, something to laugh at when they took the time.
Well, until Tsunade found me.
"Hey kid." I stood in the academy hallway, my classmates already racing out to meet their families, jumping up and down, eager to be called ninjas.
The woman's voice caught me by surprise. It wasn't my mother's voice, nor any other of the Academy's teachers.
I glanced over my shoulder suspiciously. My own jade eyes met with a fierce blue I've seen around the village once or twice, but not from her. The blond was graciously beautiful, radiating confidence like the sun does its rays. Her large chest puffed out, very much like a lion does its own chest.
And her smirk was the smirk of a warrior.
I knew at once she was a kunoichi.
"Iruka and Minato told me about you." She said this nonchalantly, as if it were no big deal to talk about a nobody like me. I wanted to correct her, laugh, and walk away, but instead I simply turned to face her. My body was closed off, unable to produce the same levels of confidence this woman had, but I scraped up what a 12 year old could.
I held my tongue.
"Haruno Sakura. The most intelligent kunoichi of her class, if not all young kunoichi, since me. Also, perfect chakra control." She began walking towards me. "You were specifically recommend by the Yondaime to become my second pupil."
I stiffened at this, pinned to my spot. Here I was, little forehead girl, being propositioned by this complete stranger of a woman, to be her apprentice! And all I could manage to get out was not gratitude, not a confident monologue, but a pathetic, "..me?"
The blond poked my forehead gently, now standing in front of me, before she lowered herself to my eye level.
"No, I was talking to the other Haruno Sakura." She drawled.
This woman must be insane. I'm just Haruno Sakura. Haruno. Sakura. I'm not gifted, no not like the Uchihas, or Hyuugas or Uzumakis, I'm just-
"Now's your only chance, kid. Do you want to apprentice the one and only Tsunade Senju, or not?"
Before my brain could thoroughly think it through, I had stuttered out a, "Y-yes Tsunade-sensei!"
And I knew that it wasn't a mistake.
Exiting the Academy, I found my parents, their faces shone with pride. My mothers magnificent smile, which slowly crumpled when she saw the hand Tsunade placed on my shoulder. She led me to my parents, most of the other families already gone to celebrate.
Tsunade told them of my apprenticeship and my poor, dear mother begged with me and cried for me not to go.
Tsunade informed her of Minato's approval and my own choice, and my harsh words to Mebuki Haruno were, "How can you be so selfish? All I've ever wanted was to become the greatest kunoichi!"
My mother quickly became withdrawn and I left the next week.
I write to my parents occasionally, but it's hard since Tsunade-shishou, Shizune-san, and I are always on the move and exploring.
...And gambling, drinking, and smoking.
"Tsunade-sama, there's the gate!" Shizune exclaimed. I scanned the village warily.
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
The sun illuminated the massive gate in a way that made it seem almost ethereal. It reminded me of the last time I'd been here.
"Don't worry, Sakura." Tsunade said, honey eyes hard with worry. "You'll be welcomed warmly."
I smirked as I ran my left hand through my long pink locks.
I know now, confident in my looks and abilities, that I could take on anything Konoha would throw at me. The years of activity had been amazing for my body, showing off both curve and muscle. I typically wore my modern Haruno kimono. It was short and reached my above knees, having white long sleeves while the torso was red and black with my clan symbol and a white obi. I wore the standard ninja fishnets and had my kunai pouch, with another hidden on my theighs and arms with medicinal remedies and herbs and other advanced weapons.
Yes, Konoha had another thing coming if they thought they could push around this kunoichi! Besides, I was excited because once we were in Konoha I was eligible to take exams to increase my rank as a shinobi. Tsunade confirmed I easily surpassed her, and I was hoping that, should I stay here, I could flourish with the role of Hokage, if not anbu captain.
And so we entered the gates, checking in with the guards who pleasantly welcomed Tsunade and Shizune.
When they turned to me, their gazes were curious and friendly, so I managed to smile politely.
"Welcome back, Haruno-san."
"Thank you! It's good to be back!"
Our first to-do was to meet the Hokage and inform him of our visit. Tsunade took the walk to the tower in stride, greeting civilians and such. I just followed awkwardly like I did in most villages we visited.
Actually, walking around Konoha as a capable eighteen year-old woman was alot less intimidating than when I was twelve. People bustled around various shops, healthy looking children frolicking. Konoha was in much better shape than other villages we've visited on our travels. We'd been almost everywhere. Part of Tsunade's many lessons was getting acquainted with the different regions, including customs, people, herbs, and the animals.
Being unattached to this village during this point in time made me neutral. The atmosphere was quite positive, while previous experiences caused my heart to disagree.
The Hokage building, easily one of the tallest, was particularly busy. Or at least that's what I heard Tsunade say.
Almost every ninja stopped to greet Tsunade warmly, curiously stare at me, then move along. The reactions weren't necessarily bad, just... Not what I expected.
At the top of the tower was the Yondaime's office. I only met Minato-sama once when I was 6, and he was a nice man. His son Naruto was in my year during the academy... Naruto seemed to be a sweet kid, but was practically glued to the side of Uchiha Sasuke.
"You may enter."
He still sounded friendly, his voice beginning to show his age and I innerly cheered, hoping he'd retire soon and notice how amazing I was and was worthy to be the first female Hokage.
The Yondaime had risen to hug Tsunade, who's face looked rather guilty-stricken. I watched curiously and took note of this, and stored it in the back of my mind for later.
"It's nice to have you three back."
Minato's gaze travelled to me. I stared back, offering a confident smile.
"Sakura." He spoke pleasantly, as if we were old friends. "It seems that you have grown up alot."
I nodded politely. "Thank you, Hokage-sama."
Minato sent me a brief smile before continuing. "You know you three arrived at the perfect time." He held up a picture on his desk, a boy I could have easily mistakes for the younger Yondaime if I had not known Naruto previously. "Today is my son's 18th birthday and as such I'm inviting all our comrades to celebrate the special occasion with my family and I."
Aah, Minato-sama was so kind and down-to-earth. I wanted to be like that when I became Hokage!
His eyes burned into mine. "Sakura, today would be a wonderful opportunity to meet your peers. Considering they will be your greatest allies and companions here in Konoha." My greatest allies were my fists! CHA!
"Thank you Hokage-sama, but I really don't want to be the line wolf after just arriving, plus my family..."
"Ah, that's right." Minato gasped lightly. "You haven't met that little brother of yours!"
I grinned like a maniac and nodded. My mother wrote to me shortly after I had left that a little brother was on the way. I guessed it was the tension of their preteen daughter leaving them sooner than what was comfortable. The little one would be turning five soon.
There was a knock on the door.
"You may enter."My eyes widened. The wooden door opened to reveal my family. A tearful Mebuki, smiling Kizashi and then...
"S-Sakura-nee-chan!" I dropped to my knees as the little boy lunged himself into my arms.
He was an adorable little brother! I ran my fingers through his locks, finding peace. His hair was a soft orange, hanging straight and flat against his head, his bangs almost covering his jade eyes. He was pale, like most Haruno's, and pretty thin with some baby muscles showing.
"Masaki-kun, my little sapling, I'm honored to meet you." I sighed happily as I hugged my brother tightly. When I released him he grinned up at me happily. "Née-chan is even prettier than kaa-san!" Masaki exclaimed, looking wildly back at our mother.
Our parents chuckled before enveloping both their children in bone-crushing hugs. In this moment, I felt ultimately happy. Like life was perfect. Here I was, with my family and sensei, hopefully on my way to being the best kunoichi ever.
"Haruno-san." The Hokage said warmly, addressing our family. "Can my wife and I expect to see you all at the party tonight?"
I looked to my parents, fine with whatever they decided as long as we were spending time together.
"Of course, Hokage-sama. I promised Kushina-san I would." Mebuki said.
The Hokage nodded, obviously pleased, and looked to Tsunade. Her eyes were sad, I would describe them as melancholy, as she'd observed her pupil's family. "I'm happy for you, Sakura. I'll see you all tonight, then."
"Of course, Shishou." I smiled at her, my mentor, my second mother.
"For now, I'm going to have to ask you all to leave. Tsunade and I have matters to discuss." Minato said apologetically.
My father shook the Yondaime's hand before turning to Masaki and I. "Who wants some ice cream before the party?"
Masaki scurried up my leg and into my arms so I was holding him taller. "I do, tou-san! Me and nee-chan dooo..!"
I giggled at his behavior as we walked out of the office.
It was good to be home. And I could hear the birds chirping in the distance and knew they agreed with me.