Disclaimer: I don't anything of Naruto and Bleach!
She felt the blood from her leak out of her in a steady flow of blood; she knew that she was finished. The medic nin in her knew that this was the end of the line, she had been hit with a fatal blow, she had been a fool hadn't she for jumping in between both Itachi and Sasuke's blows, to stop them. She had tried to bring them together, she had been a fool for not being able to choose one or the other, and now she was paying for it with her life.
But it was fine this way, she knew that she was running away from the situation, but now her heart felt at peace, that she had tried all that she could, and was and will, die for that cause. She looked at the sky its piercing blue staring down at her. It was the first time that she had actually looked at it, and she found that it was beautiful. At the edges of her slowly fading vision, she saw the silhouettes of her friends rushing, their shouts and words jumbled, she couldn't understand what they were saying but was sorry that she had caused them this traumatic event. She watched dreamily as their tears began to stream down their faces as Ino looked over her putting a hand over her hand that was trying to futilely staunch the blood.
Ino shook her head eyes closing. She wanted to tell them she was sorry. But, she didn't have the strength to do so, she felt herself fading fast, the pain no longer apparent in her rapidly dying body. She watched as a crying Naruto, as always hold her hand tightly crying profusely. At least he would carry the dream for her, they had both been chosen as Hokage successors. Using the last of her power she smiled up at him, a signal that she was dying peacefully. He seemed to get the message and go into denial, but it was alright she knew that he would come to accept this one day, just as they had accepted the death of their sensei.
At very least she knew she wouldn't be alone watching over them. Tired she began to let her eyes close the smile slowly going down as she did. She was so tired. She wondered if this is what those who she couldn't save felt, this sort of peace. She let everything go, and felt herself fall, she breathed out her last breathe and embraced the peaceful arms of death.
She didn't know where she was when she woke up on that patch of grass. Was she dead? She remembered past events, yes she was most definitely dead. She got up to look around, was she in heaven or was she in hell? It looked like neither of what she had ever seen. She found a path and followed it she looked around to her surroundings it didn't really look any different from the places she traveled in the days she was alive. Strange and she had imagined the other world to be more…pleasant. Then again this could have been hell and she was going to see something bad once she turned the corner.
She hid cautiously in the trees scanning with her chakra; surprised to find that were no people here with any sort of strong chakra signature. She stepped through the trees scanning the area, it was poor. She watched as the errant child ran all over the place, how the people slumped down on the sides of buildings having nothing better to do. If this was truly her retribution for all of the mistakes she had made. Then she would start with restoration of this place.
She walked straight down the street toward the errant children who so much reminded her of the children in Konoha. Only they were dirty, hungry, and one was injured. She approached them cautiously, "What is your name?" she asked gently to the one who was injured. Whimpering the child dint respond, his broken arm, paining him too much, she removed one of her gloves, and began to send chakra into her nerve endings to heal the child, "It's alright." She told him, as she concentrated on resetting his bones, the green light that emitted from her hand momentarily stunned him, and he tensed but the moment he felt its healing light he began to relax.
"What is your name?" she asked the child, his friends looking at her hand in a mesmerized manner. He looked up to her full in the face for the first time. "Fuyukusen, Kikumaru." She smiled at him reassuringly as she ran more chakra into his arm, "I am Haruno, Sakura. Do you think you could tell me where we are? Fuyukusen." She waited patiently for him to respond to her once she took her hand off of his arm, he examined it with fascination.
Then he looked to her and blinked as if she had just asked the dumbest question in the world, "Where else but the soul society?" She took a moment to comprehend his words, she didn't fully understand but she knew she would in time. "I see." She guessed that this was the beginning of a new life.
She dodged the incoming strike from a clawed hand, the hollow swinging at her without mercy, easily she dodged, it was a slow creature, and with the chakra elements around her, it was easy to manipulate those chakra fragments in the air and summon a jutsu strong enough to wipe it off of the map. She had come to learn that these monsters were called 'hollows' and that they ate spirits, which made her a tasty treat. She landed on the ground with ease, the hollow screaming in pain as it disappeared. She signaled the coast was clea, the children she had met on her first day came flocking up to her, pulling her along with their small hands. She didn't normally let them watch, knowing that they would be easy game for a hollow, but it was a small weak hollow, and it didn't give her any trouble.
It had been several years since her death and since she had ended up in this nameless little town on the borders of Rukongai. Even still the idea that this was what waited after life was a bit disconcerting, if that had been the case then what had happened to Sarutobi and Minato? The third and fourth hokages? The thought had worried her, although she wasn't too sure about the stories of the shinigami here, she had never seen the shinigami she wasn't even sure the shinigami knew that this settlement was here. She had only been told what they looked like, clad in black, swinging around katana. From what she had seen this was a samurai-esque run system of hierarchy. "Sakura-san!"
She turned to see, one of the village residences. Since her arrival their small village had transformed from a poor pitiful place to a great tourist site, as a resort with plenty of drinking places, a perfect way to earn money and have fun she had to say, "What is it Fukimichi-san?" His panicked expression said of trouble. "There's a brawl in Makino-chan's tavern! And its people even our stronger bouncers can't take!" She adjusted her haori, before beckoning him to lead the way, she had become somewhat of a peacemaker as well as a doctor in these parts, "Again?" she asked calmly as she ran toward the tavern where, her newly made friend Makino ran a tavern.
She arrived on the scene, just as a big body came flying out of the store smashing the door. She recognized it as, Wakaya a newly trained police officer that she had been slowly building up. He was a strong guy, a little slow in the learning, but had good morals; it seemed that his inexperience was his down fall in this particular fight. She stepped past, him, and entered the potential war zone. "What is going on?" she asked in a loud authoritative voice, which halted all action in the room. She was surprised to see two black clothed people, the katana at their sides indicated that they were shinigami. Funny that her first impression of the 'hollow exterminators' would be one of rough housing the innocent, really it made her mad, this sort of breach in protocol would never happen in Konoha.
"Who the hell are you?" asked one of them. She crossed her arms, she was the boss here, "I think that should be my question don't you think? I walk in the establishment of my friends and find two ruffians, hurting the citizens that I am obligated to protect. Don't think just because you're shinigami, that I'll let you off easy."
She watched as they reached for their swords. She memorized their faces, she was going to report them to their superiors and if they tried to rough up her city again, she wouldn't have any mercy on these, lower life forms. "If you want a fight, take it outside, the things you break do cost money after all." She turned slightly to her frazzled friend in the corner who was being a nervous wreck, "Rack up a bill, these two gentlemen, will pay for what they broke, if that fair?" She nodded and hurried to write down all of the things that were either shattered, or dented. Sakura turned waving at them through the door, as promised she would take this outside.
She began to roll up her sleeves, it really was troublesome not to have a nin outfit anymore. "I would like it if you stated your names and ranks, that way I know which authoritative figure to talk to." She knew that they were fuming at her, but ignored it merely adjusting her gloves and then standing and looking at them expectantly. She was expecting not much of a fight, from their chakra levels they couldn't be much of fighters, and somewhere on the lower ranks somewhere. "Well? Aren't you going to come at me? I can't exactly break the law here and attack you first; you wouldn't be able to survive my first hit."
She was warning them and goading them on at the same time. She wondered which one would win over, their reason or their hotheadedness. Fifty million yen was on that they would attack her when she insulted their manhood. Three seconds later, they followed her prediction. They pulled out their katana, almost professionally but the slight hesitation indicated that they were essentially beginners in the world of fighting. Sakura however, was far from that level. She knew that it was wrong to use full force on a beginner so she let them off easy. As they lunged she easily dodged hitting them squarely on the backsides of their necks, to knock them out.
It was easy, which made her slightly worried for the military power here. In Konoha even the children could do better. She snapped her fingers and immediately two of the bigger guys in her makeshift police force appeared to pick the two up. She turned to the store, "Hey Makino! Do you have your list? I'll make a formal complaint for ya." The girl, smiled it was a sign that she bounced back easily. Her long ringlet hair bouncing as she nodded and handed the calculations to Sakura, she really was a sweet girl, she hadn't changed since the moment that Sakura met her.
Another thing she had noticed, despite being here for this many years, the people, and the children never seemed to age. She began to wonder, what was the average life span here? But, that was a question to ponder another day when she could go back to researching cures. According to her plan, it was a very long way down the road. She waved, her hand in beckoning, she was going up to the huge structure here in the middle of the soul society for the first time. At first she was too busy to go herself and see what the famed 'Seireitei' looked like, and it seemed that her first time would be an experience that she would never forget.
Almost immediately horse reigns were handed to them, and they were off from their now prosperous district village to the epicenter of power here. Sakura could only wish that she had paid a bit more attention to the place but the amount of work it took to raise a poor place to middle class was extreme. They rode a slow and steady trot they would get there in two hours tops, to be honest if she just ran the two bodies over with a clone of hers it would only take ten minutes at most, but she didn't want to show any of the cards she had. They were a possible enemy, and she didn't see the logic in showing off, that would be yet another stupid mishap waiting to happen, and end, badly.
As they rode over the terrain she read Makino's report, apparently the shinigami were trying to leave without paying, and that's when the bouncers and police came in. It made her scoff in Konoha this would never happen. Then again… this wasn't Konoha. The thought pierced her heart; she wondered how they were all doing. Although her life had only been full of painful memories she treasured them, they were after all her memories. And the mistakes that had made her come here. Although she didn't hate this place she regretted the mess she left behind. She wondered if it was also a form of punishment for her not to be able to look after her friends, and her love interests she had left so abruptly behind.
She wondered if Kakashi was also here, somewhere in this barren land, or had he been reborn? The questions plagued her, but she kept them all to herself, no one here had even heard of Konoha, and her society, and it would only be natural that they wouldn't have understood her pains of missing that violent and romantic world of the ninja. They had their own lives to worry about. She skimmed through the report, throughout the duration of their short trip. Although she had wanted to see Seireitei she also had to look at the wares here, she had heard that they were top notch and a pair of gloves to replace the quickly deteriorating ones on her hands would be great.
She had money to spare; she didn't have to spend a lot anyway for the kids anymore. They had opened an orphanage where they could all interact and Sakura had personally chosen the staff, for them, they were happy, and that was fine. It was fine if she pampered herself a little bit right? Plus it wasn't like she was taking from the people; the people decided her annual salary and since she didn't spend much it had stacked up over the couple of years, even with the taxes in place.
As they entered the central city that surrounded the huge white walled structure, they approached the gate. She was surprised to find a big man guarding the gate. She looked at the chakra enforced force field slightly amazed at its size wondering why in the world they would need the extra muscle to guard it. She had to hold back the urge of touching her chakra to it to examine the components that made up the powerful shield. She had always liked to analyze such things, a wave of nostalgia hit her, it was like those times with Itachi when she was trying to figure out how his sharingan worked, while he was asleep, of course then she had been a traveling nin with no affiliations with Konoha anymore but still…
But this wasn't the time for the past and speculation, it was purely for the purpose of telling the law they were wrong, "I'm here to deliver your two shinigami scum back to where they belong, we don't appreciate people who come and try to take the livelihoods of others, we demand that the Seireitei give us our proper payment, I believe it is only fair." The big man looked down at her skeptically, before turning to the wall and telling the shinigami stationed atop. The strong hold reminded her of Konoha's defenses, she was glad that they had at least that going for them.
She was happy to see that the military power here was doing something right, instead of the huge breach of protocol they seemed to lack in teaching their warriors. The big man turned to her with another shinigami in his hand, this one it seemed knew what he was doing, "State your name and your residence so we can clarify the complaint, we would also like proof that this is in fact our shinigami." Sighing she turned and waved one of her bigger men over with the scrawnier looking man slumped over the back of the horse. "Haruno, Sakura, We are from a small village at the edges of Rukongai that has recently become a local tourist attraction by the name of Miroku Valley, known for its resorts and drinking centers." She faked a grunt as she took the man by his kimono front and threw the man down to the ground at the big man's feet.
"Your, men." She indicated to the two knocked out, men on the ground, "Were trying to leave one of our starter bars without paying under the terms that they were shinigami, and did not need to pay for they were protecting us from the hollow." She held out the report and the man took it carefully, amazed at her bold statements it seemed that many did not oppose the shinigami rule as she did. "I would like to see their superiors, and want to know what training they had been given to act in such a mafia-like manner. They seriously scared the owner; don't you think that there should be an apology to that?"
Sakura could tell that this man wasn't the brightest bulb in the building but he did comprehend her words, he looked over their uniform and paled slightly at the emblem on the side, "11th squad," he said under his breath he turned to her and asked if she really wanted to proceed with the request, and with un conceding words she persisted which allowed her into the gate within five minutes. If it was one thing she knew how to be it was pushy when fighting for the right cause.
She told her big police to stay where they knew that they would be dead meat if it ever came to a fight, they were good street fighters but she knew that they didn't know how to dodge a katana strike to save their lives, and she preferably wanted to keep them alive. She knew their families would appreciate it. She was lead through the maze –like structure of the Seireitei wondering if she could just run there on chakra blessed legs. Looking at the man's chakra before her she didn't think it was a great possibility. Patiently she walked alongside him, and another shinigami who dragged the ones who had lost consciousness under her blows on a mat.
She was lead to a quaint office; it appears that she was the only one with a particular complaint. The one she had conversed with so far went up to the desk and outlined the situation, she only caught snippets, because she didn't particularly care, but apparently the 11th squad was a feared name. She saw an eyebrow raise and direct herself in her direction. The man turned to her hands wringing. "Uh, are you sure you want to go through with this?" it was her turn to raise an eyebrow. She opened the door, "Lead the way." He nodded and walked out with her following, they came to a big wooden door with the eleventh division emblem on it. He opened the door, and talked to the man at their gate.
The man went in a few minutes later. A big man with spiked hair with bells on the end and a scar that ran down the side of his face in an almost Kakashi-like cut came out. "So? Who was the person who wanted to complain about my people?" He was big, not as big as the man in the front gate, but she could tell that this man liked to fight; the tattered haori and scars said that, just as the way he brandished his sword, she had lived with enough fight gun-ho people to know what sort of feel they gave off. "Haruno, Sakura, and I am the one who complained." From his chakra she could tell that this fight wasn't going to be a walk in the park, she could already see the visible signs of him readying to fight as he read her chakra as well, it made her only raise her head a bit higher.
"Zaraki, Kenpachi nice to meet you." She knew that discussing was out of the question you couldn't get through stupid animals like that. It seemed that only interest he had in her was her fighting ability, the fact that she had knocked out his men and dint have a scratch on her, as well as the fact that her chakra was vibrant was like a red flag with a bull. It seemed that she had made the mistake of not hiding her chakra levels, how stupid of her. She gripped her hands; really she should have just bought those leather gloves, that way she would have a perfect fight to break them in.
My first ever BLEACHXNaruto crossover … now who will Sakura end up with? Have any suggestions?
Can't wait to hear the feedback!