Reincarnation @wingedladycolette
Awaken

Author's Note: So there seems to be a bit of buzz for this, so I've got the second chapter done and decided to post. And it's longer because I was so excited, sorry! Thanks for everyone's support for this new story. I love hearing what you've got to say. Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Warnings: Nothing much, maybe language.

Word Count: 6,511

The two kunai in Sakura's hand drop to the ground, clanking against the smooth rock of the mountain. When she imagined fighting Madara, she never imagined that she would be alone and probably have to fight through the First and Second to get to him. She was willing to die to protect the ones she loved, along side the ones she loved, not foolishly tempt the God of the Shinobi, his little brother and the demon that is trying to destroy their future. She's willing to die for her future if they have a chance of winning. There is no way in hell Sakura can beat all three of them, including over a dozen of their clansmen from each respective side.

Thinking back to her behavior earlier makes Sakura feel light headed. Yes, that was the Uchiha and the Senju clans, and she wasn't exactly making any friends amongst them. And another point that Sakura should control her anger better and stop being so quick to judge. Sakura was never just like this. There used to be some form of logic behind it. Perhaps it's just the simple fact that she didn't recognize them so close to the village.

But it's not just that, all of these people are living, breathing proof that Sakura isn't home anymore. She must have been involved in some kind of space-time ninjutsu but for the life of her, she can't remember. That's the only reason she would be pushed into the past like this. She certainly wasn't suppose to be here because if Sakura's seeing this all correctly, this is when they are deciding that this is going to be where Sakura's future home is going to be.

And she just told them to go somewhere else. Sakura is so stupid. She brings her hands up to her face, feeling the heat come off of it. Her face must be beat red with embarrassment. Her heart beats hard in her chest, making her entire body throb with it's intensity. Sakura sways slightly from side to side, trying to stay steady on her feet, but if she's embarrassingly honest, it probably looks like she's swallowed half the sake in the world.

"Are you okay?" Hashirama asks, worried.

Sakura lets her hands drop to her side, letting her shoulders droop lowly, feeling exhausted and numb. "Yeah," Sakura sighs, looking up at Hashirama's worried eyes, a crease formed between his eyebrows. "I'm sorry Lord Fir-eh, I mean, Senju-sama, I'm a... uh..." She makes a face, trying to think of an excuse. She cringes when she is forced to say the first thing that comes to her mind. "I'm a pathological liar with delusional tendencies about winning against multiple, stronger opponents. Little dog with a big dog complex, if you will."

There was a moment of silence that follows. Some of the men share looks amongst themselves, mumbling quietly in confusion to one another. One of them, on the Senju side, a man with short, shaggy brown hair and light green eyes, asks, with a look of complete confusion, "What?"

Sakura forces a laugh, reaching up to rub the back of her head, a nervous habit that she's picked up from Naruto years ago, but stops suddenly feeling strange. Before Sakura can even force an internal check up when she becomes light headed and stumbles, forward a step, then backward before catching herself and forcing herself steady. At her swift movement, those with their hands still poised over their weapons jump and start to pull them out a bit before relaxing.

"Whoa!" Hashirama says, quickly taking a few steps forward. "Maybe you should sit down, young one, you seem faint."

"And staggering dangerously close to the edge of the mountain," Tobirama says, giving Hashirama a look. The elder of the two nods briskly when he looks back at his brother, before looking back over at Sakura.

"Why don't you sit for a moment? I can heal you," he says.

"No, I'm okay," Sakura says, then glances behind herself to see that, yes, she was right at the edge and it was quite the mighty terrifying fall. Sakura feels vertigo for a moment. She takes a few safe steps closer to the First Hokage but doesn't come to arms length, warily looking around at the staring men. "I'm sorry, um, you can build here. I was just..." She shakes her head. "Never mind, I'm sorry. Good luck. I'd better go."

"Wait!" Hashirama says, holding a hand out toward her, eyebrows pulled together tightly. "You seem very ill, young one, you should take a moment to rest. Truly. Is your home somewhere nearby?"

Sakura smiles ruefully, unable to keep the sadness and hopelessness from her face. "I thought it was, but I'm wrong. I'm sorry."

"You can't just go wandering around, you're sick!" Hashirama says, eyes wide. "Please, I would not feel good about letting you go in your condition."

"Hashirama," Tobirama says sternly, "if he doesn't want our help then we can not force him."

Hashirama pouts, looking back at the red eyed man through long dark lashes. "I can try," he says softly. "Besides, he's irrational, feverish, even."

Sakura shakes her head, immediately regretting that when is makes her head rattle and feel as thought it's filled with cotton. "Thank you for your concern, Senju-sama," Sakura says roughly, her voice is thick and low, sounding strange even to herself. "But I think I'm..." She makes a face and sends her chakra to do an internal diagnostic check. "I'm..." She stumbles again. "I'm... oh kami," she whispers, eyes widening. How could she have gotten this bad without even noticing?

Her mind immediately lists off her ailments. Fever, dehydration, slight-malnutrition, exhaustion, not enough oxygen getting to the brain, high blood pressure, chakra irregularity. She's sick. Perhaps infection from her wounds and then being washed down a river? Perhaps the wounds were just left open for too long to fester and her own natural body odor was able to cover it up? Or, it could just be as simple as she's over eighty years into the past and caught something that her body hasn't already built an immunity for yet? Sakura didn't know.

"Damn," Sakura curses, sliding down to a knee.

Hashirama steps closer, holding his hands out to show he's unarmed, until he can go down onto one knee to get a better look. "Please, let me help you."

"I don't have much of a choice..." Sakura slurs, her vision getting blurry and blackening around the edges. "I think the fever's going to take me... I can't stop it. Damn it." Sakura lowers from her knee to her hip, trying reign in her chakra but it refuses to obey. This has never happened before. Whatever she caught, it's somehow affecting her chakra.

Hashirama puts a hand to Sakura's forehead before she has the time to protest about being sweaty and gross, but he doesn't seem to mind, sending cool healing chakra into her body, forcing it to start cooling down. Sakura watches with fading vision as his eyes widen in surprise. "Dear Kami, how did you manage to catch Uchiha fever, young one?"

Sakura didn't have time to answer or begin to wonder what Uchiha fever was before she blacks out.

Sakura felt as though she was in a barely lucid state for a long time. Most of the time, she could hear voice, feel people touching her. She couldn't make out anything that anyone was saying. She felt so weak and tired for her entire slumber, like she her eyes were closed but she wasn't resting at all. She really felt it, when she finally gained the strength to open her eyes and felt like she was being held down by bricks and had cotton in her brain. But her fever is gone and her chakra system has already begun to regulate again. Thankfully there doesn't appear to be any damage internally, externally or with her chakra system.

"You're finally awake!" A voice says, walking into the room.

Sakura sits up slowly, looking around to see that she is in a relatively plain room made up entirely of wood, she's laying on a bed in the center of the room. If she had to guess, it appears to be an old style walk-in clinic. There is one door leading to the bath and another leading out in the hallway that connects all the rooms for the convenience of the medics.

Sakura turns her attention to the woman walking into the room, she has long dark brown hair and bright green eyes and has to be in her early to mid twenties. She's wearing a thin powder blue yukata and her long brown hair is pulled back at the nape of her neck with a white ribbon, letting it hang over her left shoulder. Sakura can feel the heat from the outside filtering in from the open door and the two windows flanking it.

"How are you feeling?" the woman asks, closing the door behind her. "I'm Salma, by the way. We didn't get your name or anything before you passed out. You've been out for about two days now. You must be hungry."

As soon as the words left Salma's mouth, Sakura's stomach growls loudly. She blushes deeply in embarrassment.

Salma laughs, her large green eyes practically twinkling at the action. "I'll get you something to eat," she says, turning back toward the door only to pause and stare back at Sakura. "Tobirama-sama wanted us to change and bathe you, but Hashirama-sama insisted that wherever you come from, that might be a sign of disrespect and he didn't want to create an incident. So, if you feel strong enough, you can bathe is you want, I'll get some clothes and food for you for when you finish."

Sakura nods her thanks, pushing the thin covers off of herself and shakily climbs to her feet and heading into the bath, closing the door behind her. She fills the tub with warm water, thankful for indoor pluming. She peals the dingy, dirty clothes from her body, making a mental note to have those burned before the day's end. As the water fills the tub, Sakura looks around at the bath soaps and the shampoo, feeling like she is in heaven.

Sakura lowers herself onto the small stool. She fills up the small bucket with warm water and pours it over her body, immediately cringing at the sight of the grungy water taking the dirt and grime from her body. She quickly starts to clean herself, starting with her body, making sure to get herself squeaky clean, before pouring a glob of shampoo into her hand and rubbing it into her hair. She closes her eyes and scrubs it into her hair thoroughly. She refills the bucket and turns the water off in the tub before sitting back onto the stool and pouring the water over her head. She repeats this process a few times before she runs a hand through her hair to make sure all the suds are out before standing up and stepping into the tub.

Sakura lets out a long sigh of relief before relaxing. She lounges in the tub for a few minutes, enjoying the strawberry scent of the water before sinking beneath the water, holding her breath. She listens to the muffled noises under the water for a couple of seconds before finally pulling back up to the surface and laying her head against the back of the tub, pushing her hair out of her eyes.

After another low rumble from her belly, Sakura finally pulls herself out of the water and uncorks the water, listening to it drain from the tub. Sakura grabs a thin blue and white cloth bathrobe from off the wall and wraps it tightly around herself. She opens the door to see Salma laying a steaming bowl of soup down next to the bed, dark summer yukata, similar blue to her chunin garbs, in her arms. But once again, there was something strange about them.

"Salma?" Sakura says, stepping into the room. "Are those male clothes?"

"Yes," Salma says, straightening up and turning to Sakura only to stop and blink rapidly. "Oh my goodness," she says, bringing a hand to her mouth, "you're a girl!"

Sakura blanches at her words. "Yes, I am. You honestly couldn't tell?" How hard was it to tell that she was a girl? Pink hair? Short stature? Boobs? None of this was an immediate indicator to any of them that she was a girl? Sakura held great respect fro the founders of her village and for their clans, but was the people of this era honestly stupid?

"No," Salma blushes. "I'm so sorry. You...well..." she trails off, looking around uncomfortably.

"What? I, what? I mean, I know I wasn't the most cleanly person before this - which by the way, thank you for letting me bathe, I feel better - but I mean, come on!" She gestures toward herself. "I look like a girl. And I sound like one too."

"Your voice a bit..." Salma says, still embarrassed. "But while you were sick, it was lower and more raspy and... well, you were dressed as a man and spoke with a more... masculine tone..."

"It's because of my clothes and the fact that I cursed that made me appeal to them as a man?" Sakura says in disbelief before she slaps her forehead hard with the heel of her hand. "I give up."

"I'll get you women's clothes right away!" Salma says, no longer embarrassed now that Sakura isn't angry, more annoyed, and tries to hold back her amusement. "I'll be right back."

Sakura growls under her breath and walks over to the bed, sitting down on the floor next to it, refusing to sit on it since she's been stinking it up for the past two days, mulling over how people could honestly be so closed minded. She's obviously a girl and yet they because she didn't act as a woman should in this time period, they all thought that she was a boy. Sakura doesn't know if she's embarrassed for herself, or for this era. Obviously so much could have slipped by them without them even knowing. Girls acting like boys and boys acting like girls. At least in Sakura's area, you can never assume the gender because it's given that no one should be outright trusted.

Sakura breaks her chopsticks and claps her hands together, "itadakimatsu", before eating the soup. It's really good. But perhaps at this point, Sakura will eat just about anything. She gobbles it up, though, barely tasting it after the first bite. She has it all finished off before Salma even walks back into the room.

When she does, with female clothes held in the crook of her right arm and a very familiar small plastic purple brush in her hand. "Oh," she says, looking at the empty bowl, "all done?"

Sakura nods, humming pleased, no longer able to be angry now that her stomach is filled with food. "You got my brush," she says.

Salma nods too, looking down at the brush in her hand. "Yes, I'm sorry for going through you things without your permission. But when you said you were a girl, I figured that you'd want to brush you hair and got the idea that you may have had one of your own on you, so I checked and found one so I thought you might want to use this one instead... I'm sorry if that was too presumptuous." She walks over to Sakura and lowers herself to her knees next to the pink haired girl and offering the hairbrush.

Sakura takes it slowly, looking down at it and feeling a pang of pain in her chest. Her pain must have shown on her face, because Salma bows a bit. "I'm truly sorry. I hope I didn't upset you."

"It's okay," Sakura says, running the pad of her pointer finger across the teeth of the brush, noting just how worn down it is.

"It's beautiful," Salma says. "It's purple and glitters like snow in the sunlight..."

Sakura smiles. "Yeah. It was my friend, Ino's, hairbrush. She really loved this sort of thing, but she gave it to me before she left, saying that I would probably end up needing it more than her." Sakura laughs thinly, recalling the blond smirking and giving Sakura a wink before heading off to battle and leaving Sakura behind. "Yeah... that was kind of a bitch thing for her to say, but I guess she ended up being right." Sakura brings it up to her hair and starts to brush through it, using her fingers to make the part in her down the middle. Her hair is now pretty dry, just a bit damp.

"She sounds like... a nice friend..." Salma says, not sure what to think of Sakura's words. Yes, she definitely spoke more manly.

"She is," Sakura says, letting out a little laugh. "Sure we didn't always get along, but she never sat back and let me get hurt if she could help me. I owe her a lot. A lot I don't think I ever thanked her for..." Sakura's hand slows down. She runs her fingers through her smooth pink hair slowly before lower the brush to look at the glittering back of it, thinking of her long time childhood friend and rival. It just seemed too surreal without the jabbering blond there with her.

"I'm sure that you will get the chance to," Salma says, smiling kindly. Her long brown hair brushing her legs when she leans forward to put the clothes next to Sakura. "I'll give you a moment to change. I'm sure Hashirama-sama will want to see you as soon as possible. Would you be able to go when you finish changing?"

Sakura nods, picking through the clothes and finds battle wrapping and smiles. "Thank you, Salma. I'll change and be out in a minute." Salma nods and stands up, walking to the door, closing it softly behind her.

Sakura pulls off her acting bathrobe and immediately starts putting the wrapping around her chest, then the underwear and the simple blue yukata with a white, orange and purple floral patter on the bottom. Sakura ties it tightly so that it won't fall off, and spots her regulation blue shoes and picks those up, thankful that they didn't throw them away. Sakura picks up her shoes and Ino's hairbrush, having already assumed that the rest of her things wouldn't be returned to her until later on. Thankful she didn't have many sentiment things on her. Or perhaps, that's a bad thing. Any mementos could be gone for all Sakura knew.

Sakura opens the door and sticks her head out to see Salma patiently waiting outside the door for her. She looks Sakura up and down and smiles, more to herself than Sakura and says, "I knew that would fit you. I'm getting good at this!" Sakura quirks an eyebrow at the other woman's words in question, but she just laughs and shakes her head and gestures for Sakura to follow her.

The two girls put on their shoes, Salma being much like Master Jiraiya's except they don't have the height. Simple civilian sandals.

The hot heat of the Land of Fire is blissfully familiar making her happy, but also tired. She won't be able to be out for too long. She'll have to return and rest again and try and continue to regain her strength. For now, her ailments have mostly been sated, but she's still tired and her slumber for the last few days haven't been what Sakura would call "restful".

As they walk through the small version of the Leaf, which was actually a collection of homes and a few cart venders dotted between the trees. Yes, before it's more industrial rule beneath the Third and the large number of expansions to the village, one could barely see all of the village from the view of the moment through all the trees. Sakura had to wonder if the First would be happy or sad to see what had ended up becoming of his village, years later. Large and prosperous, aside from the large dimple in the very center of it, but it lost a good portion of it's traditionalistic sense.

As Salma lead Sakura toward a large single floor meeting house with the Senju and Uchiha symbol on it, Sakura began to feel anxiety coil up in the pit of her stomach the closer they got. Sakura didn't know what she was going to say to the First Hokage. She wasn't sure how any of these things worked. Surely her being here had to be some sort of Time Displacement ninjutsu, but for the life of Sakura, she could recall when or if one was used.

Sakura was a bit torn. On one hand, she wanted nothing more than to run for her life away from this strange reality and era. She had always been fascinated learning about it, but she never wanted to be part of it. She didn't want to change her own reality, which if Sakura had to guess was already fucked up somehow because she was here, but she didn't want to think about that just yet. She's content living in oblivion right now. She doesn't want to think about what will happen if she ends up being unable to return home.

"Hashirama-sama," Salma says, knocking on the door politely, opening it just a crack to make sure they hear her and she can hear him. The voices inside get quiet. "You guest has awoken and is here to see you." Sakura glances over her shoulder at the Senju and Uchiha walking around, having stopped to look at her suspitiously, being a stranger in their new home.

"Ahh," Hashirama says. "Send him in, Salma."

She glances over at Sakura and her lips curl up in a small smile when Sakura's face blanches at his words. "Hai, my lord." She steps back from the door and bows a bit politely to Sakura. "Good luck... um," she and Sakura both blink at each other in realization that Sakura hadn't told Salma her name yet.

"Sakura," the pinkette says, smiling. "See you." Hopefully.

Sakura leans down and pulls her shoes off and leaves them by the three other pairs of clothes, noting just how small they are next the three obviously men's shoes. She has to roll her eyes again, annoyance fresh once again. Sakura opens the door and steps it, turning around immediately to close the door behind herself. She can sense three different chakra signatures behind her. She recognizes all of them and feels her anxiety raise.

Turning slowly, Sakura sees a large wooden room, with a table in the center of the room fit to hold up to eight people with cushions all plain colors; reds, blues, greens, whites, oranges. A few windows filling the room with light, two separate bookshelves with a few books and scrolls on them, and a couple of candles around the room to be lit for when it gets dark out.

As Sakura already suspected, and feared, Hashirama, sitting at the head of the table was flanked by Tobirama to his right and Madara to his left. All three of them were staring at her strangely. Hashirama looked down-right bewildered, Tobirama's eyes were narrowed, with one eyebrow quirked, while Madara's one eye was staring at her, half lidded with his head tilted slightly to the side.

"I'm sorry." Hashirama is the first to speak after a long moment of Sakura just awkwardly just standing by the door way, staring at them as they stared back at her. "Forgive my rudeness, I thought that you were..." he tilts his head slowly, looking more and more perplexed, "...someone else..."

Surprisingly, it took all of Sakura's willpower not to burst out laughing at their confused looks. Yes, she was a little annoyed that they thought she was a boy at first because it was a bit of a strike at her femininity, but to be standing before them again, just a few days later, having bathed and put on different clothes have a completely different reaction from such godly shinobi is a little funny. It helps loosen her anxiety, if only a little bit.

"Someone else?" Sakura says slowly, raising an eyebrow. "You mean like a pathological liar with delusional tendencies about winning against multiple, stronger opponents?"

All three of them stare at her for a few moments in silence before exchanging looks with each other. "Woman," they all say, as if it all suddenly made sense to them now. Where they were stalk still, staring at her just moments ago, trying to figure her out, they finally shift a bit, moving their muscles around. Sakura blanches again, letting out a huff under her breath.

"Right," Sakura mutters before straightening up, locking onto Hashirama with her eyes. "I would like to formally apologize to begin with, Hashirama-sama," Sakura steps into the room a bit to be better seen and bows deeply at waist. "I'm very sorry to the three of you and your respective clans for my lack of respect on our first meeting." Sakura could hear her all business voice, the one she got from Tsunade, crisp and to the point. But that's not what she wants, it's not what she's going for. While still bowed deeply at the waist, aside from silently praying to Kami that she doesn't suddenly tip over, says again. "I am very sorry. I know that first one didn't really sound like it, but I am. I guess I'm still a bit out of it."

"It's okay!" Hashirama says. Peaking through her eyelashes at the First Hokage, she can see him waving his hands around wildly. "Please straighten up. There is no need for you to apologize. It was a simple mistake and no one was hurt from it." A pause, he lowers his hands to his lap, then a chuckle comes from the long brown haired man. "Well, perhaps aside from hurt pride after this." Sakura obeys, straightening up, feeling the blood rush to her head. She blinks rapidly until the spots disappear before focusing on the three seated men at the table. Hashirama gestures for her to sit. "Perhaps introductions are in order?"

Sakura wanted to tell them that such a thing wasn't necessary. She already knew all three of them and she wasn't important enough for her name to be known by them, but when she didn't immediately move, Hashirama gestured again, seemingly completely unbothered by her hesitance.

"Thank you," Sakura says softly, lowering herself onto the red cushion at the opposite end of the table of Hashirama, trying hard to ignore the heavy gazes of Tobirama and Madara and focus on Hashirama's friendly and kind one instead.

"As I suppose you already know, I am Hashirama Senju," Hashirama says, pointing to himself.

"I am his younger brother, Tobirama Senju," the Second says simply, still staring at her with intense red eyes.

"Madara Uchiha," the final man says and his low voice makes Sakura shiver, recalling the first time she saw him. The smell of blood and death and decay. So much residual chakra in the air that Sakura could practically taste it in her mouth from both human and demon jutsu. Or straight up bijuudama. In retrospect, Sakura realizes just how bad that is. Chakra is a type of poison, that's why not everyone can be medical shinobi. They have to have enough control over their chakra to nullify it's adverse affects in a foreign body.

The shiver didn't go unmissed by the three in the room.

"Have you met Madara before?" Tobirama asks.

Yes. A long time from now. "No," Sakura says, then hesitates, wondering if they would be able to tell it was a lie. "Okay, yes, but not up close like this. It was from the distance..." Which wasn't necessarily a lie. She first saw him from a distance and then moved in to engage. Before they had time to really analyze her words, Sakura continues, "My name is Sakura Haruno." As soon as the words slipped from her lips, Sakura wondered if that was smart or not. Wouldn't it fuck something up if she gave her real name? It's at this point that she wished that she had delved more into Space-Time ninjutsu.

"Sakura!" Hashirama says suddenly, making Sakura jump and Tobirama and Madara turn to glare at the oldest in the room.

"Yes?" Sakura says, eyes wide in surprise.

"No, sorry. I was arguing with Tobirama about the tree that I wanted to put in the courtyard of the Senju compound this morning but for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name. That was it though, brother. Cherry Blossom tree."

Tobirama rolls his eyes. "Well done, brother. Now you can stop bothering everyone you talk to trying to explain the tree."

"No one knew what I was talking about!" Hashirama says, pouting.

"That's because the only thing you could offer was it bloomed in the summer and was beautiful and small compared to trees usually found in this area," Madara says, looking over at his friend. "That is nothing to go on."

"Anyway," Hashirama says, turning to Sakrua, "have you seen your namesake, Sakura?"

Sakura nods. "They grew around where I grew up. I was born during their blooming season and my mom liked the name," Sakura says offhandedly.

Hashirama suddenly looks excited. "Truly? Do you think they will grow around here? I saw them for the first time about four years ago. It was truly beautiful, you know, before it was burned down. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since."

"Nice going, by the way," Tobirama says, glaring at Madara. "And how does it feel knowing that while he was battling you, all he could think about was the pretty tree you burned down because he refused to focus on you?"

Madara's eyes narrow in annoyance while Sakura's hand trembled to fly to her face to cover her smile but instead she kept them on her lap and pressed her lips together to try and force the smile away. Hashirama looks amused too.

"Now, now, Tobirama, I was focusing on your battles, I would have died if I didn't," he says simply, which only seemed to annoyed the long black haired man more, but instead of responding to Tobirama's goad, her looks back over at Sakura with deep, pitch black eyes that appear endless. Sakura was hesitant to look into them, but then decided that so long as they stayed black, she would be okay.

"Where do you come from? And why were you dressed as a man?" Madara asks, seemingly more interested in taking care of Sakura's situation first than deal with Tobirama and Hashirama.

Sakura knew that they would ask her about her. Of course they would, she's stranger that just appeared out of nowhere and made a scene then passed out in a painfully cliché way before she could explain anything so it's only natural that they would need some answers, but for some reason as soon as he asked, pain and sadness filled her chest. There was a horrible twisting pain in her gut that she had perpetually during war, trying to cope watching people die left and right and feeling helpless because she couldn't do more.

And it was all Madara's fault.

Sakura lowers her head to look at her lap, seeing Ino's brush in her hands, her grip is tight, but not enough to break it. "It's gone now. My entire village is gone." Each word is like a knife in Sakura's chest, her voice is soft and uneven. She takes a moment to calm herself down, avoiding any form of eye contact with any of the men present. She did notice just how silent it became at her words. "As for why I was dressing like that, it was the basic shinobi garbs from my village."

"You're village is gone?" Hashirama says softly, eyebrows pulled together worried. "What happened to it?"

Sakura didn't know how to answer that. Technically, she had no idea what ultimately happened to Konoha. There would be no way for her to figure that out just short of her finally returning to her time, but something tells her that they wouldn't appreciate that answer, or at least understand it. Perhaps, Tobirama would, having delved into Space-Time Ninjutsu before with his Flying Thundergod technique.

So, instead, in her mind's eye, she sees Pein, floating over the village, hands spread out wide, ringed Rinnegan eyes staring down at the village with cold detachment as he summoned the power of old and destroyed her home and killed so many within it. The blinding power and disbelief. So easily. So easily one man was able to destroy eighty years of hard work and dedication and love. So quickly, in seconds it was all gone.

"Sakura?" Hashirama calls out to Sakura softly, pulling her from her memories.

Sakura is trembling, holding Ino's brush to her chest tightly, chin trembling with the force to contain her tears. It was so vivid. It was like she was there again. Watching as everything that she ever loved being destroyed. Sakura takes a slow trembling breath, reaching up to roughly wipe away the few tears that managed to escaped her eyes.

"I'm sorry," Sakura says finally, forcing a smile, her grip intensifying on the brush. At the last second, she drops the brush to her lap and grabs the edges of the table, not sure she can trust herself to hold Ino's brush any longer without snapping it in half with her strength. "Um, it was destroyed in the name of peace by a man who thought himself a god. We wouldn't give him what he wanted and so he..." Sakura shakes her head, dipping her head lower, unable to maintain the false smile any longer. "He destroyed it. He killed everyone he could. Oh, Kami," Sakura shakes her head again, curling further into herself. She can hear the crunch of the wood gripped between her fingers as it gives beneath her strength.

"He killed women and children, civilians, young and old! It didn't matter! He didn't care! Everyone... everyone I ever loved!" Sakura growls, louder than she intended, no longer feeling rational at all. She just wanted to let off some rage and pain, so much was swirling around inside of her, Sakura feels like she could blow at any moment. But she wasn't seeing Pein any longer, she was seeing Madara. "Damn him! Damn him and his false peace!"

"Who?" Tobirama asks, voice low and serious. "Where is he now?"

"Dead," Sakura says, harshly, feeling the wood give and come off in chunks in her hands, breaking off into a bunch of smaller splinters. "He didn't understand that while peace can never be eternal, it is up to the people to try and make it last for as long as they can. Death is not the solution," Sakura growls, standing up slowly, her entire body trembling with anger and pain, "it's merely a coward's way out. Denying the bad will also deny the good. Stripping away choice for war is the same as stripping away the chance to desire peace."

"Man's desire for peace can destroy far more than war could do any day," Sakura says softly, feeling weak and tired now. Her hands open slowly, suddenly away of the pain there to see the chunks of wood that she still had in her hand refused to nothing more than dust with the pressure for which she was squeezing. "I'm sorry," Sakura whispers, lowering herself back to the messy pillow, looking down at her hands held up level with her chest. She spots the splinters under her skin. "I'm sorry, the pain is still... fresh..."

She sniffles, forcing the tears back again, finally starting to relax. She needs to go somewhere and scream and cry to release this pain before she makes an even bigger ass of herself in front of Konoha's founders. Sakura as her healing chakra forces the splinters out of her hands, making her cringe at a particularly deep one pushing it's way out once more.

Sakura hears someone stand up but doesn't look up. They are probably stepping out to either give her a moment to collect herself or to call in the guards to throw her ass out of the village.

"You poor girl," Hashirama says, dropping down to his knees next to Sakura, shocking the pink haired girl at his sudden appearance. "That's why you were reacting like that when you saw us? I understand now. There is no need to worry anymore, you're safe." He reaches out, grabbing her shoulders and pulling her tightly against his chest, face deadly serious. "Such a thing is unforgivable," Hashirama says softly.

Sakura was tense at first, wondering if she was going crazy or not, but when Hashirama didn't immediately pull away and laugh or ask her to high-tail it out of their make-shift village but instead held her close and pet her now dry hair down whispering that he was so sorry against her hair.

Sakura closed her eyes, unable to look at Tobirama and Madara's slightly surprised looks on their faces any longer as she whispered that she too was sorry. Sorry that all of her precious people were without her, that she was here instead of with them trying to save the world. That Hashirama was unknowingly condemning his own best friend's actions.

For the Reviewers:

1. LChan3706: Thank you very much! :D I hope you liked it!

2. Guest 1: I see. I will try harder next time.

3. Guest 2: Not yet, but I'm open to suggestions!

4. animefan36: I'm happy to hear that. Not yet. I wanted to see what everyone was thinking pairing wise, at this point, it could go with anyone so I guess it just depends. This would be the first time I write one with Tobirama/Sakura, so it would be exciting, as it would with Hashirama/Sakura or Madara/Sakura. I haven't written for any of them, so I can't wait! Thanks!

5. Guest 3: Aw, thank you so much! That's so kind! I was a little disheartened but I suppose that's life. Got to take the good with the bad. I'm not sure, either way, thank you for your kind words, they did end up making me feel better! Thank you so much!

6. LoonyTuned: Okay! Okay! Okay! Okay! Thank you. :D

7. Guest 4: Thank you! I hope you liked it!

8. Guest 5: I hope you liked it!

9. Hakkuchi: I hope that I can make it interesting!

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Return Home 4928 0 0 2. Awaken 6285 0 0 3. Help 6312 0 0 4. Kaido 6522 0 0 5. Suggestion 6004 0 0 6. To be ashamed 6743 0 0 7. Yin and Yang Seals 5243 0 0 8. Dream 6904 0 0 9. The Dance 6870 0 0 10. The Show 6631 0 0 11. The Friend 6324 0 0 12. Two things 5430 0 0 13. Helping Madara 6348 0 0 14. Izuna Uchiha 5434 0 0 15. Memory of Konoha 5019 0 0 16. Izuna's time 5222 0 0 17. Tobirama's Seal of Apology 5779 0 0 18. Goodbye 5603 0 0 19. The Call 5339 0 0 20. Hashirama's Power 5699 0 0 21. Rememberance 5191 0 0 22. And She Felt 5284 0 0 23. Why 5191 0 0 24. See for yourself 5134 0 0 25. Forest 5017 0 0 26. What you think you know 5026 0 0 27. You will be 5004 0 0 28. What does it mean to you 5110 0 0 29. One of those annoying author's notes 702 0 0 30. What's next 5299 0 0 31. Pushing forward 5766 0 0 32. Change 4770 0 0 33. His name is 4883 0 0 34. Readers, I love you 2566 0 0 35. What you see 4929 0 0 36. Civil Maturity 5291 0 0 37. Own Pace 4573 0 0