Three days after finding herself god knows where, Mar had finally reached civilization. Of sorts. This village or town or whatever it called itself was in sorry shape, buildings and people looking dingy and in disrepair. Mar couldn't help but think that she had seen this place before, a long time ago, and that it was wrong the way it looked now. Everything about this situation was wrong, really, but this town-village-thing was worse. Mar had glanced into a shop just to check it out, and had been disappointed to see nothing for sale except for some sorry looking vegetables. It was almost like Wave before- Mar stopped dead in her tracks, causing the people behind her to curse loudly at her. That was what the place reminded her of, Wave before Naruto's team had turned everything around. But it couldn't be, right? That was years ago, in both their times, so Mar couldn't really be in Gato-Wave. Could she?
There was one sure fire way to find out. Taking a deep breath, Mar steeled her nerve and set off to find the one thing that would prove to her whether it was true. Or not. Mar was praying for not. Several wrong turns later, since the lazy ass show had never bothered letting them know how to get to the damn thing, Mar had found the bridge. The noticeably incomplete bridge. This wasn't Shippuden, as Mar had thought. It was a reasonable assumption, right? The ninja had been from there, so that was where you could expect to end back up, yeah? But how far back was she? Is this the beginning of the Wave Arc? Or is it before Tazuna had gone to Konoha for assistance? Mar rubbed her temples, wincing at the headache she was giving herself. A flash of bubblegum pink out of the corner of her eye was her answer. 'Sakura! Will she remember me?! Or did their memories reset when they got back?' Mar's headache worsened. "Are you alright?" Eyes snapping open, Mar saw the girl she had just been agonizing over giving her a concerned look.
"You know what? No, I'm not okay. I'm lost, defenseless, with no idea how I'm getting home. And to top it off, the people I've been looking for may or may not remember I exist. My days have been better." Sakura had backed up a step, seemingly taken aback by her outburst. Then Sakura frowned before asking, "You said you were lost? Do you have a place to stay?" Mar shook her head, looking away sheepishly. "I've just gotten here. I've been camping out in the woods for the last few days." Sakura opened her mouth, then paused seemingly torn. "I would ask you to stay with us, but it isn't my place to invite you. We can go ask Tazuna-san, though."
'No recognition whatsoever. Sakura definitely doesn't remember me.' This solved that problem, at any rate. "I'm not sure if that's a good idea." Mar said slowly, trying to think through her options. Alas, Shikamaru she was not. "Why not? You just said you have no place to stay." Sakura pressed, leaning forward earnestly. Leaning away from her, Mar paused.
"You only just met me two minutes ago! And this doesn't seem like all that prosperous a place, he might not even agree to let me stay." Mar said quickly, latching on to the first argument she could think of. "Well, we'll never know unless we ask!" Sakura said cheerfully, grabbing an unwilling Mar's arm and dragging her back to the pathetic shop Mar had seen earlier. "Tazuna-san! My friend has just arrived in town, and has no place to stay. I was hoping you would let her stay with us, as a favor for us continuing the mission." Damn, the girl could be manipulative when her crush wasn't around.
Tazuna looked torn, on the one hand not wanting another mouth to feed and on the other not wanting to offend the ninja who had agreed to help him despite his dishonesty regarding the mission. With a sigh of regret, Tazuna agreed to let Mar stay. "She can stay with us, Sakura-chan. I'm Tazuna, the bridge builder. It's a pleasure to meet you, miss-?"
"Mar." She gave a little wave. Sakura beamed at her success, grabbing Mar's hand as she led the other girl away. Tazuna sighed a very world weary sigh, and followed along behind the two of them. Mar noticed the look on Sakura's face as they traveled through the village, getting more and more morose. It would seem that Sakura had a hard time dealing with the conditions these people found themselves in. Mar really couldn't blame her, it was a pretty difficult thing to witness. All those 'starving children in Africa' infomercials had desensitized her to things like this, however, and Mar could walk through without batting an eye.
Sad, yes, but true.
When the little group arrived at the house, Kakashi was the only ninja in attendance. He and Tsunami were in the kitchen, chatting about something small talk related, and looked up at their entrance. "Hello father, Sakura-chan. Who is this?"
"This is Sakura-chan's friend Mar-chan. Sakura-chan has asked us to let Mar-chan stay with us. I couldn't really refuse her a favor, could I?" Tazuna refused to meet his daughter's eyes, looking everywhere but at her. "I'm sorry for intruding." Mar said hesitantly. "But Sakura-chan insisted that I ask to stay here, and I couldn't refuse either." Sakura elbowed her in the ribs. Mar glared over at her, rubbing her newly forming bruise. "Any friend of Sakura-chan is more than welcome to stay." Tsunami said cheerfully, blissfully unaware of the tussling. Kakashi was reclining in the kitchen chair, neutrally regarding the two girls. "Well, it is a pleasure to meet a friend of Sakura-kun. I should be making sure those other two haven't killed each other." Mar watched as Kakashi carefully levered himself out of the chair and hobbled out the door. It was obvious that he was still a bit off, but Mar had a suspicion that he was overplaying the injury.
He really struck her as being that lazy.
When dinner was just about done, Sasuke and Naruto dragged each other through the door. Naruto was grinning like a loon, a sight Mar was very familiar with, and Sasuke looked his normal indifferent self. Well, maybe he seemed a bit more irritated than usual, seeing as Naruto wasn't being all that careful about his balance, but other than that... "We both made it to the top!" That was when he noticed Mar ensconced in the corner. "Who's that?" Sakura went to bop him over the head, but Sasuke stopped supporting him at the exact same time making her miss. "This is my friend Mar-chan! She just got here today, and had no where else to go, so Tazuna-san was nice enough to let her stay here." Sakura regained her composure very quickly, Mar could give her that much. "She's a friend of yours Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked eagerly, sitting up on the ground. Mar nodded, observing the room from her corner.
Mar was in foreign territory, and she had to act accordingly. Especially when her self-appointed bodyguards no longer existed, so to speak. "You've never mentioned her before." Sasuke said, taking a seat at the table. He was too close for Mar's liking, but she couldn't complain without seeming suspicious. "You never asked, Sasuke-kun." Sakura pointed out, wincing when he glared at her. "So, you made it to the top, Naruto?" Sakura said quickly, changing the topic. "Yeah! Me and Sasuke both made it!"
"Then all three of you can go to the bridge tomorrow." Kakashi said brightly, eye curved in that smile of his. Naruto's loud cheer was the last thing Mar heard before making her escape into Sakura's room. If she was going to potentially be held hostage by a couple two-bit swordsmen tomorrow, Mar needed her sleep.
A/N As promised two minutes ago, here it is. I'll try to keep the humor, but the original storyline doesn't give me a lot to work with. It has it's moments, and I'm bound to create more because there's so much worth mocking. Here's hoping you like my idea as much as I like playing with it.