Mayeevee: Hello and welcome to the revamped version of Blooming, it's so nice to have you all be here (*^▽^*)
Sasuke: Did we even have a choice on the matter（￣ー￣）
Mayeevee: You know, times like these I always think "maybe I should just leave out this character" but then that damn part of my brain that always keeps pointing out how important you are to the plot and blah blah blah I wish for death (ꐦ°᷄д°᷅)
Shisui: Well that went downhill fast, still good to see you didn't give up on this just yet
٩( ๑^ ꇴ^)۶
Mayeevee: I'm going to be frank with you all, I had this sitting on my Drive folder for the past couple years and I was just too lazy to proofread it, so that's why it took so long lol (´◉◞౪◟◉)
Sakura: Why am I not surprised? ヽ(￣д￣;)ノ
Mayeevee: Sometimes, I wonder why I do this to myself… (;Д;)
Ino: Because you love us (￣▼￣*)
Mayeevee: More like I want to torture myself (￣Д￣
Itachi: Shouldn't you start the story already? （－/ \－；
Mayeevee: true true, Naruto, be a sweetheart and give the disclaimer!
Naruto: Mayeevee doesn't own Naruto and its associated Characters! Believe it!
Mayeevee: Now on to the story!
A Special Mention! Thank you all who supported the original release of this story. Sorry for going on such a long hiatus, I hope that this new edition is at least a little more well written than my last try. If you see any grammatical or spelling mistakes, I am so sorry about it! If you point it out in the comments, I will be sure to right away fix the mistake! Thank you!
Sakura scowled as she threw her a kunai towards the target in front of her, only managing to hit the outer white ring even at the mere 15-foot distance that she had given herself, something that should have been child's play for her by now.
Huffing, she gritted her teeth as she grabbed another kunai, observing the sharp object while trying to calculate a better trajectory in her head in order to fully hit the bullseye. That was the thing though, she had a near perfect formula in her head on how exactly to hit the bullseye, she just couldn't fully implement that technique into her underused muscles.
Not for the first time she wished she had someone here to give her some pointers, most of the bases for her calculations came from books, many of which were usually directed at people stronger and/or taller than her, the academy books didn't help as they merely talked about proper kunai maintenance and placement of targets, the use of actual techniques were usually left to the teachings of the sensei the academy student or genin would be under.
Kakashi, who was supposed to be said sensei, was far too busy with teaching Sasuke anything and everything that he knew. While that was supposed to be the case for both her and Naruto as well, their teacher told them with his ever-fake cheer that their natures would make it harder for them to learn Kakashi's style of fighting. Sakura was not fast enough and tended to rely on brute strength, something that he should have told her to work on but noooo. Naruto relied on his inhumanely large chakra reserves, so Kakashi should have taught him better chakra control but again, nooo.
Sakura was earth and water nature, and while having two natures was uncommon in a genin, the mixture was common enough in terms of having two that she was easily overlooked by Kakashi. Naruto had wind nature, not quite as common but again fairly overseeable. Sasuke though, the young genius and seemingly turning out to be a little Kakashi in the making, just had to get not only two chakra natures, but fire and lightning, the same ones that Kakashi was also prevalent in.
It was almost as if nature itself was pushing Sasuke towards Kakashi and making it so that Kakashi overlooked his other two students with nothing more than a you guys can figure it out.
He seemed to take advantage of the fact that she was a paper shinobi, and so he merely threw water and earth scrolled justu with a you can do it better than I could, not my element.
Yes, not like he had any other elemental jutsus under his belt, what with the sharingan in his disposal.
Which was another excuse to focus his attention on Sasuke, the sharningan. You would think that Sasuke was in dire need of a teacher to control his kekei genkai what with the urgency Kakshi showed in disclosing everything he knew of the eye technique, as if he knew better than the freaking clan the kekei genkai originated from.
She had believed that she at least had the support of Naruto, what with him being kicked to the gutter alongside her.
But no, her lovable yet infuriatingly lucky blonde friend managed to get tutelage under a sannin. Jiraiya, seeming to have developed a soft spot for the knuckleheaded ninja, decided to extend his stay in Konoha in order to teach his little new disciple his own set of skills.
This has all happened in their first two weeks after graduation, and just when Sakura felt that hope was all but lost, she found a new light.
That light came in the form of Tsunade, who due to the Third Hokage's failing health, finally came back in order to become the Fifth Hokage.
The minute she had heard this, Sakura had scrunched up all the courage and recklessness that she had managed to acquire from being in close proximity to a certain knuckleheaded blonde, and had marched towards the office with a sense of bravo that she in no way truly possessed. She had practically demanded the new fifth Hokage to take her under her wings, and after a few stress inducing questions that had most likely shaved a considerable amount of years from her life, she said yes.
"You have a fire in you Haruno Sakura, a fire that doesn't seem easily extinguishable. I would like to be responsible of making that fire burn."
Tsunade had said this with a certain glint in her eye, one which both excited and terrified the young genin.
Something both of them had overlooked though, and something which Sakura should have seen coming with her seemingly failing luck, was the fact that Tsunade was a Hokage, a newly integrated one at that. The blonde barely had time to breathe, much less teach an inexperienced genin freshly out of the Academy,
Sakura made do though, she got herself into this hole, and if she had to, she would dig herself deeper in it. So, she diligently read all of the medical scrolls that Tsunade gave her alongside the ones that Kakashi had uncaringly tossed at her direction. She started running and reading and training and fighting and listening because that was all she could do to not give up and give it a rest.
Two months later found her here, a little more muscle in her arms, an aim that still needed help but that was miles better than when she had first left the Academy (how she had managed to graduate with such a deplorable aim was beyond her, but seeing as Naruto graduated without even fully mastering more than one of the three basics, she should not really be so surprised.)
Sakura was by no means the strongest, and she still had miles to run before even coming close to catching up with her teammates, whose own tutorships made them have a cliff high edge on her, but Sakura was nothing if not flexible, and she would take anything that was given to her.
That was how she was here, in a training field usually designated to jounin or higher. Tsunade, looking more tired than she had in years, had given her the same apologetic smile that Sakura had become accustomed to in the months of tutorship under the strong blonde. Tsunade barely had time to give Sakura some new scrolls filled with techniques and strategies in healing jutsus along with another book on herbs and their different properties before being pulled into an impromptu meeting with the rest of the council.
The young genin had resigned herself to yet another day in the library, before she was intercepted by Shizune.
The black haired jounin merely smiled a sad smile at her junior before telling Sakura some of the greatest news she had in the past months. Tsunade had been able to grant her access to the private training fields usually reserved for jounin or higher. It was a sort of apology gift that the blonde had been able to gift her, something that was usually not done but that she had managed to pull off with her privilege as Hokage.
Shizune had grabbed her hand, her palm burning slightly as a symbol formed on her palm, a circle with an x above it, kanji written in small lettering around the seal.
That is how Sakura ended up here, alone but with a little more freedom in terms of training. Living in an apartment made it so that training usually consisted of running laps around the village and practicing aiming inside the small apartment complex, praying that she didn't hit something breakable. Using weapons was prohibited inside of the village unless an emergency came up, civilians being harmed from a stray kunai or any other weapon was a terrible offense.
Though even with this new freedom, Sakura still found herself wishing for more. Tsunade-shishou was an amazing person, and a mentor she was proud of. Nobody else in the village except for Shizune could claim that they were in the mentorship of the fifth Hokage and the greatest healer known to this world.
Though, what use did all of that have if she couldn't even throw a kunai right?
Sighing, Sakura sat down roughly on her behind while looking at her hands. Green flickered into view before becoming a pale glow in her palms, cool energy soon covering the whole of her hand while she felt her energy slowly but noticeably slip away. She had managed to get a hang of healing about a month ago, something that had greatly surprised Tsunade as it had only taken her two weeks to bring the fish back to life, something that not even Tsunade herself had managed to accomplish.
"That is some great control you have there Sakura, it might just become better than my own before you reach your late teens if you keep it up." Tsunade had praised, pride in her eyes as she stared at the flailing fish on the table in front of the young genin.
Sakura could do nothing more than give her new mentor a bright smile, her own pride forming in her chest as she looked down at the fish with a bright glow in her viridian eye. She had done it! She beat Tsunade-shishou's record in healing and had managed to bring the fish alive in a mere two weeks of training.
Happy tears forming in her eyes, Sakura jumped into Tsunade's arms as she cried in happiness. She was not worthless after all; she had a chance.
Smiling at the memory, Sakura sighed as she closed her eyes. She had read in a scroll that chakra control could be improved with meditation. The size of your capacity could also grow if you continued to practice. Feeling the chakra around her, Sakura frowned at the familiar feeling of want inside of her.
Tentatively, she did the same thing she always did when she meditated when in close proximity with plant life, she let her chakra out.
Usually, scrolls talked about looking at the way your chakra flowed inside of your body and helping your control by moving chakra inside of your reserves and in that way getting better at controlling it along with making the reserves bigger.
Sakura had tried this technique at first, but soon she found herself unable to take her attention away from the chakra all around her.
Meditating made it so that she could feel the faint chakra in the plants and trees all around her. For some reason it felt almost as if...as if it was calling out to her.
As time passed, she had tentatively brought her chakra out of her body and into the world around her, the experience was nerve-wracking, and not something she had ever done before. It was almost as if a part of her was leaving her body, as if her spirit was leaving her body and staying in the in-between.
Her chakra found coverage in the grass around her, and she had never felt more at ease in her life.
It was as if the small energy around her was soothing her, pulling her into a dance as it pulled her chakra deeper into its roots, its own chakra mixing with hers to the point where she no longer knew where her chakra started, and its chakra ended.
Suddenly, while she is relaxing in the way that her chakra blanketed across the grass, its own chakra pulling her in a warm embrace as if afraid she would leave, Sakura felt a pull.
The pull caused her to push her chakra further, as the pull brought her chakra to a tree not too far away from her. All her chakra suddenly concentrated on the tree, as it pushed her chakra further into its branches until her chakra made contact with foreign chakra.
Sakura's eyes snapped open as she turned towards the tree, wide with fear before forcing herself to calm down. This was the jounin training grounds, and while she had reserved this particular ground for herself, it was not too uncommon for some jounin to not bother with reservations and simply go to their preferred training grounds.
Biting her lip, Sakura felt the intruding chakra seeming to try and feel out her own chakra. Something that always amazed her, and a secret she kept from everyone but Tsunade herself, was the way she was able to feel other's emotions with her chakra.
It was a gift she had learned when experimenting with her chakra control, she always felt that her chakra felt more natural outside of her body rather than inside, and when she was close to any life forms she could always interpret their emotions based on how their chakra felt, be it human or animal.
She used that skill now to see that the person before her was not hostile, rather their chakra was that of a calm river, calm and flowing if not a bit curious, of what she was unsure.
Suddenly she felt her chakra slowly creeping up the person's body, and she knew this to not only be rather inapposite, but also something that not many were able to accomplish without direct contact. Hence, she quickly called back her chakra, inwardly lecturing herself for her foolishness.
Something that has always bothered Sakura since she was but an Academy student, was just how free willed her chakra was, much like it had its own mind. She kept that secret inside of herself, much like the existence of her Inner, for she knew that such knowledge would cause others to become wary of her mental state.
Shaking away her thoughts, Sakura bit her lip as she managed to choke out a few words to the unwelcomed guest in her temporary training grounds. "Hello jounin-san, I am sorry to say this training ground is currently under my usage."
"If I am not mistaken, you are a genin. How is it that you are here in this training grounds?" She heard a deep baritone voice suddenly say. Sakura blinked; how did this man know of her current status? While at times of peace it was rare for children to move up in ranks rapidly, it wasn't exactly unheard of. Sakura resisted the urge to play with her fingers, she needed to stay calm in the face of this man. As the successor of Sanning Tsunade, she must not be a disgrace to her teacher.
"That is…I have special permission from my shishou in order to train in this training grounds, if needed I can show you the mark that shows such." Sakura responded, but she berated herself for her initial stutter. It seems like she could not help but show some of her nervousness.
"Hn." The man suddenly said, and from the tree jumped what she could only describe as a prettier more grown up Sasuke. No, rather while the resemblance was there, this man held a colder, seemingly stronger aurora that told the world here I am, don't mess with me. She couldn't help but remember the man from her many visits to the Uchiha home, both by her own accord while she still held Sasuke in her heart, and by invitation of the younger Uchiha in show of his mom's nagging to meet his teammates.
As far as she knew, the older Uchiha brother had needed to go on a long term mission not so long ago, if Sasuke's whining could be trusted. So, she had only met him once or twice in the four months that she had been part of Team 7, she had also rarely seen him while she and Sasuke were in the Academy, again most likely caused by his busy mission schedule.
That didn't stop her from burning his face into memory, at first in an effort to make a good impression to her future bother-in-law, but now rather in a sort of benign admiration for his accomplishments. Even Tsunade, who could not stand the 'arrogant and self-important Uchiha bunch' as she said it, could not help but admit the oldest of the Uchiha brothers was a rare genius not likely to be seen again in the generations to come.
Now here she was, in the presence of what most likely could be said to be the strongest of his generation, and Sakura felt the need to run away and not look back. Still, she held strong as she stood her ground, not looking at the Uchiha in the eye for she had been deeply ingrained on what foolishness such an act was, but rather looking at his chest, a safe in between.
"If Uchiha-san has nothing else to say, I must get back to training." Sakura said, though she hoped he got the hint and freaking left her alone. Her blood-pressure had enough from Tsunade's rare but deadly training exercises, and she wasn't really in the mind to keep such a high-status person company.
"What was that just now, that you did with your chakra." She suddenly heard him say, and Sakura wanted to weep out to the sky why it was that he hasn't left by now. She was merely a genin, true she was under the tutorship of the Hokage, but surely the pride of the generation wouldn't care for that fact.
Biting back her screams of anguish, Sakura replied as politely as she could with a hint of finality. "I have no idea what you are insinuating Uchiha-san…" Sakura was really unsure of what he meant, didn't sensors usually have that sort of chakra manipulation? What was so weird about how she herself senses other people.
"Hn, you were able to push your chakra though the network of plants around you, not only that but you invaded my own chakra network without even coming in contact with me." Sakura was pretty sure this was the most the other Uchiha has ever spoken to her, well actually this was the first time he had ever truly spoken to her personally, outside of a polite "Welcome".
Now here she was, stuck in the gaze of the Uchiha as he barraged her with questions, she wasn't entirely comfortable with sharing. She didn't want to find herself in the other side of a Uchiha genjutsu torture in order to find out all her secrets though, which to be fair was highly unlikely to actually happen, but again she was in an uncomfortable position right now and her brain was going berserk in ways that things could go worse.
Finally, Sakura decided to suck it up and answer the Uchiha with as much detail as she could. The better she answered, the sooner he left her alone, at least that's what she hoped.
"I merely just had my chakra intermix with the plants own chakra. Can't everyone do that?" True she hasn't really read any books of such an act, but Sakura had thought that it was merely just one of those duh things, kind of like how you are able to push chakra through a human. True, in order not to disturb the other person's chakra network, such an act was highly unusual and only those with medical chakra or excellent chakra control could do such an act, but other than that Sakura believed that it was merely commonplace.
The man before her though, knew for a fact that it was not so. Kneeling down to the ground, he placed his chakra on the plant before him. He pushed some of his own chakra into the plants before him, much like what Sakura had done. Though, unlike how Sakura's own chakra had done nothing, the grass shriveled and wilted when coming in contact with Itachi's chakra.
Sakura narrowed her eyes, her chakra seeming on its own volition coming out of her system and going towards the plants that the Uchiha had killed. She felt through its overloaded chakra, her own chakra going through it and seeming to trough the simplistic chakra network of the plants, and, much to her own shock and the silent shock of Itachi, the plant seemed to liven up, some of its greenness coming back.
Sakura stayed slack-jawed, never having actually done that in all her years of chakra manipulation. But to be fair, she had never thought of having her chakra go into dead plant life.
She looked back at Itachi, now staring directly at his slightly widened eyes, her past caution gone by this discovery. Itachi furrowed his brows, looking at the plants that seemed to liven up after he had burned them with chakra, all in the act of this genin's own chakra. Hmmm.
"Will you be here tomorrow?" Itachi asked, Sakura's eyes widened before she nodded her head, speechless. "I will talk with the Hokage about this, meet me here tomorrow." With those final words, Itachi flickered away.
Well she did it now, she officially chewed off more than she could bite. 'You know, the more you find yourself I these types of situations, the more I think that you don't have any gods looking after you Outer-chan.'
'Sometimes I wonder why exactly I still try anymore.' While Sakura was not at all bothered by her mentor getting to know her newly found out abilities, but the fact that a certain Uchiha wanted to meet with her tomorrow was not something that she really wanted to deal with. She had sworn off the Uchiha clan, especially after her nth disgrace by the hands of herself in an effort to please one Uchiha Sasuke. She swore to herself that she would instead work towards bettering herself, no more fangirl Sakura who only knew how to look pretty and act like the damsel in distress.
The memory of the first month into Genin year, where she was forced to watch in the background while her teammates fought for their lives was something that would forever be imprinted in her mind. The Land of Waves will forever be a memory that would push Sakura forward, and so she was not keen on catching any unwanted attention until she at least managed to make a name for herself other than, 'the Hokage's new apprentice' or 'that girl form Team 7'.
Going through her options, Sakura thought about going to see her shishou and clearing up any misunderstandings that would probably arise, but figured that Uchiha-san was already there and making a case for himself. Hence, she made a note to go tomorrow in the morning, like she usually did to pick up any training scrolls that Tsunade might have.
Nodding her head, Sakura sighed as she looked back at the target she was practicing on, before looking up at the sky. It was close to nighttime already, and while the training ground was a private one, she didn't really want to overwork herself too much. If she overdid it, she would do more harm than good, and she was feeling quite a bit tired at the moment.
Figuring it was high time to head home, Sakura quickly gathered all of her stuff, though before leaving the training ground she shot one last look at the plant life she had miraculously saved. Biting her inner cheek, Sakura shook her head as she turned around and left the training ground.
On her way home, she suddenly thought about her choice of clothing, the past her had bought a total of 3 red qipao dresses, something that she now knew was not exactly the best at combat. While the dress was form fitting, it left too much room for the flaps to be tugged by branches and the likes. The red also really clashed with her pink hair, something that had taken her a while to understand, and it was like a red-light wanting others to know her location, completely useless in cases were staying unseen was the objective.
Making up her mind, Sakura went towards one of the shinobi clothe stores, that was miraculously open even though it was evening already. Heading inside, Sakura browsed around, not exactly finding anything that caught her eye.
That was until she headed more towards the back of the shop, where she hit bullseye.
Maybe it was because of the feat she had managed to pull off today, but the sight of these clothes made something inside of her bloom.
The shirt was a long sleeved dark green shirt that matched nicely with her eyes, the pants were a darker green looking almost black. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were hidden compartments in the shirt and pants. Smiling, Sakura quickly brought over the shopkeeper and asked for three sets of them, while the material wasn't exactly cheap, coming from a merchant family, Sakura would be able to resize the clothes to fit her for some time, hence she wasn't exactly mad about buying such nice clothing.
Bidding the shopkeeper a good night, Sakura had barely managed to leave when the shop was closing. Taking her goods, Sakura quickly took to the rooftops as she headed to her apartment.
Landing in front of her apartment door, Sakura opened the door quickly before going inside the apartment, muttering out an "I'm home", were silence only followed.
In front of her, on a little desk by the door, Sakura was met with the picture of a couple smiling brightly, in between them they were holding a pink haired baby. Now this fact would not be so odd, if it weren't for the fact that neither of the couple shared the baby's unique gene. The male had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes, while the woman had light blonde hair and dark purple eyes. Neither parent looked anything like the young baby, yet they still managed to birth the anomaly.
Her mother had time and time again explained to Sakura that she had gotten her genes form her great-great-grandmother, who she looked exactly alike. This was said in an effort to comfort the crying child that had just been bullied by some less than upstanding children, jeering about the fact that Sakura looked nothing like her parents and how weird her hair was and what big of a forehead she had and how she was different.
Her parents loved her though, for as long as they had been alive, they never stopped showing their true love for her.
Tears prickling at her eyes, Sakura blinked them away as she walked forward inside the small apartment, going inside her room and taking out a carefully kept sewing kit. It had been her mother's, and Sakura prided herself in having been able to catch up to the woman's talent by the age of 10.
She had personally sewed the Haruno clan circle in her own qipao when she had gotten them.
Taking out the needle and thread, Sakura lost herself in the art of sewing. Letting all her doubts and worries leave her as she created intricate patterns here and there.
When she was done, it was already close to midnight, but Sakura was so happy with her work that she didn't even care. The first shirt had a variety of vines bordering the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves, with vines going down the sides of the pants. The vines were a golden color, which complimented the green nicely, and the Haruno circle was proudly placed in the back.
One another shirt, she had sewn her given name, the cherry blossom, also in golden thread with tree branches on the left side. What looked like falling petals in the pant legs.
Finally, in the final one she created a bunch of irises together with petals fluttering about, the symbol of irises also going down the pant legs. For some reason, Sakura always felt a kinship with this type of flower, more so than even her birthname flower the Cherry Blossom. If someone were to ask what Sakura's favorite flower would be, they would be amuse to know that the white Iris is her favorite.
Now that she finished with her touchups, Sakura decided it was prime time to sleep. She had a long day tomorrow, what with Tusnade most likely finding out that she held some sort of gift, but Sakura couldn't hope to imagine how exactly she would react to it, hopefully not too severe, seeing as that it was merely a useless gift such as bringing back some plants.
With those thoughts Sakura quickly put everything away, making sure to carefully hang her new clothes on her closet. Once that was done, she got comfy on her twin-size bed, her white fluffy pillow becoming her heaven after a long day of training.
Pulling her purple comforter in a tight embrace, Sakura smiled as she looked towards her nightstand, where another picture was placed, this one not just holding her and her parents, but also a younger looking teen who had dark blue hair and light blue eyes.
"Good night okaa-san, outo-san, Aneki." Sakura murmured, as her eyes slowly closed, and she succumbed to sleep.
Some meanings of the Japanese words
Shishou: teacher of sorts, master, or exemplar (in this case teacher)
-san: an respectful honorific, practically meaning Ms. Or Mr.
Aneki: Older Sister