The Lady Kickboxer
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor did I in any way help Masashi Kishimoto create it.
Warning: Alternative Universe, people! If you don't like AU, don't read.
Pairings: Solid SasuSaku, let the rest surprise you, please. ^^
Info: My inspiration comes from reading many medieval fanfictions, plus my fascination for martial arts, kickboxing especially. Be prepared for timelessness (is that even a word?), because many modern aspects shall be chucked into the bucket of medieval times, and then thoroughly mixed.
So… What happens when a lady from the medieval era can kickbox?
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Insistent pounding on the door, jerking her back into the waking world. Unfocused, cloudy eyes the color of honey, fluttering open sleepily. Staring at the door as the knocking continued to shake dust loose from the cracks.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
She groans, the sharp raps reverberating through her skull deafeningly, courtesy of last night's alcohol. Slipping on an empty bottle of sake as she stands up. Left shoulder, aching from the cramped position she had been lying in on the floor. Miserable, she kicks the clay container away, listening as it shatters against the wall.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Shut up!" she snaps. Or tries to snap. Her voice slurred. Making her way slowly and painstakingly to the door. The knob is cold as she grips it and then drags the door open. Blinking as light floods her home and burns her sensitive eyes.
A figure stands there, strangely hunched as if holding something tightly to its chest. She squints her watering eyes. Trying to discern the blurry features of her visitor. Finally, the world stops spinning long enough for her to recognize the man at her door.
"Jiraiya," she grits out between bared teeth.
The large, white-haired man dips his head. Confusion. Where was his trademark preening and prancing? Was this really Jiraiya? Her eyes narrow suspiciously.
"Tsunade," he responds in a hushed tone, "I have to talk to you."
Her pounding head makes her irritable. More irritable than usual.
"Well, you're talking to me now, aren't you?" she barks, "Get in here, you oaf."
He stoops to fit through the narrow door. Surveys the thatched roof, the clay and mud walls. The mess of bottles and trash littering the floor.
Once they are both seated on more or less cleared chairs, Tsunade carelessly waves a hand covered in dirt and scratches.
Jiraiya clears his throat. Starts to say something. Stops. Takes a deep breath.
"Tsunade…" he begins again, hesitantly, "Something terrible has happened."
She cuts him off with a bark of harsh laughter.
"Something terrible… this whole goddamn war is terrible. Who thinks Civil War is not terrible?"
She leans back and shuts up. Astonished by his sharp tone. Listening more attentively this time as he speaks.
"Yesterday…" he murmurs quietly, "One of my messengers got the news to me. Danzo made his move, Tsunade. He's done it. He killed the King."
Silence fills the tiny hut.
Her eyes, frozen wide. Hand stopped midair as it twisted strands of blonde hair. Slowly, her mouth works, forming inaudible words. A broken whisper shatters the still air.
"… dead? The King, dead?"
Jiraiya bows his head gravely. He stands then. Places a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Don't give up yet," he rumbles, his voice warming the frozen air.
He opens his heavy coat, revealing the tiny bundle hidden in a sling around his chest.
Round, cherubic cheeks. Smooth, wide brow. Eyes shut, rose-colored eyelashes curling up. Tiny, pink petal lips. Dimpled, pale hands clenched into feeble fists. Curls of pastel pink framing the sleeping girl's face.
"Good lord," Tsunade breathes in awe, eyes fastened on the infant's face.
"Yes," Jiraiya's dark eyes are grave, "It is exactly who you think it is."
She finally tears her gaze away. Fixes a firm glare on the white-haired man's face.
"Why did you bring her here?" she demanded angrily, "I don't want anything to do with the Royal Family anymore. Shizune and I, we get along fine without the Crown interfering."
"Princess," Jiraiya reprimands her sternly, "She is your niece. Your blood." The heavy lines on his face soften as he returns his gaze to the baby girl.
"Plus… Would you leave her to die?"
Tsunade falls silent as her eyes are pulled back to her niece. Watching how the girl's chest expands and then falls rhythmically, peacefully. That innocent face.
Her throat seems to tighten. She had sworn to leave all the Kingdom's affairs behind. She wanted nothing to do with them. But this… surely this was not breaking her oath.
Family comes first, after all.
"Fine," she concedes, admitting defeat. The tension dissolves. Gingerly, Jiraiya hands her the warm, living bundle, safely depositing the baby into Tsunade's arms. She stares at the girl's face, hardly noticing that Jiraiya turns to leave. Only when he opens the door does she snap out of her stupor.
"Leaving already?" she inquires testily.
"Danzo has his eyes on me," he rumbles, tone disgruntled, "I'm lucky to have gotten away in the first place. He was going to kill her, too," he added, nodding at the bundle Tsunade clutched to her chest.
"Are you going to be ok?" the words slip through her lips before she can stop them. He stops. Turns. Smiles that huge, shit-eating grin.
"Aww, is the Princess worried about me?" he begins in his usual boisterous tone. Then dodges to the side. Chairs thrown by Tsunade are no joke.
"Get out," the blonde growls threateningly.
"I'm out, I'm out!" Jiraiya calls, ducking out the door. Pulling up his hood to throw his face into the shadow of his cowl. Pauses one last time, looking back.
"Take care of Sakura, Tsunade." And then he's gone.
She looks down at the baby, peacefully asleep. Pity wells up inside of her. A girl without her parents. A girl without the people who loved her.
"Sakura…" she muses, smoothing a wayward lock of pink hair out of the cherubic face.
"We'll get along fine, my girl. Shizune, you, and I. You'll enjoy the perks of being a warrior, just you wait and see."
Ta-da! Hope you guys enjoyed this. ^_^ I know this is short, but… it's just the Prologue.
I don't know when this story will be updated, because the mood to write comes and goes faster than I can follow. Still, it's something for you guys to chew on for now.
And no, I am not dropping Cherry Bridge! I just need some change of scenery, that's all. This fanfiction has nothing to do with supernatural, ethereal terrain, unlike CB.
I'll be around, trust me. ;) Every review you guys drop into my inbox is read thoroughly at least three or four times. If I don't get around to answering your review, I apologize. But know that you're contributions are greatly appreciated!
And again… Hope you enjoyed the début of The Lady Kickboxer!