So Long Sentiment
AN: Thank you MayhemBunny, AiyanaS, I'maPanda, Aoi Hana9, Suzululu4moe, LadyCalus, Haruka Kakikomi, Cerra-Sama, curious viewer, CJ, Kasonsama and EagleHawk for reviewing this fanfiction. Also a big thank you to everyone who added it to their follows or favourites list. (I would really like to mention you all too but there are so many :D) I'm glad that you like this story so much! I would just like to comment/clarify on some of the things my reviewers brought up.
I just wanted to clarify that Tsunade didn't orchestrate Yugao taking on Sakura as an apprentice. And I'm sorry if it came off that way. It's more that Tsunade assigned Yugao the job and she took an interest in Sakura which can be seen from her inquiring into Sakura's situation with team seven. Tsunade realized the possibility of Yugao taking her on as a student and then the further possibilities that would come with this thus coming up with the condition before-hand. Thank you for your review :)
Suzululu4moe: I completely agree with you in regards to Naruto's stealth skills and the allowance of fangirling by teachers at the academy. It was ridiculous but that's also why I read fanfiction ;)
I hope you all enjoy this chapter.
I do not own Naruto
"You have one condition?" Yugao voiced her surprise at the fact that Lady Tsunade already had plans for her soon to be student.
"Yes. It's not every day we have a shinobi with the potential Haruno Sakura holds." Tsunade said looking at the kunoichi. "Yugao, do you know why the Third Hokage placed Haruno Sakura on team seven?"
Yugao thought about the possible reasons Haruno would have been placed on team seven. It was obviously a team that was going to end up doing great things. But taking into account the fact that the Kyuubi Jinchuriki as well the last Uchiha was placed on the team as well, it wouldn't be far fetched to imagine she was the Third's attempt at a balance between the two.
The glue that was supposed to hold the team together. She thought to herself.
This was the conclusion most people would come to. A student who wouldn't put as much responsibility on their sensei in regards to their training. Haruno Sakura had no clan behind her pushing Hatake to train her more seriously. This left room for the famous copy-nin to focus on two students whose training and progress was a necessity to the village.
However, with a sensei as infamous as Hatake Kakashi that'd usually be an indicator that you possessed some talent or hidden potential. There were other students at the academy in their graduating class from notable clans that would have fit well into that category such as the younger Yuuhi or Namashi. And Yugao couldn't see Lord Third Hokage placing someone with no potential on such a team.
Looking at it that way, the only real achievement Haruno has shown was her expert chakra control, but even then that ability was minimized by her lack of training and small chakra pools. But that was something that could also be easily fixed.
So following that train of thought, the purple-haired Anbu began to think of all of the paths someone could take who had perfect chakra control. Medic-nin, weapons specialist, sealing-specialist, genjutsu specialist, sensor and all she would need is the right teacher.
Looking back at the blonde woman, Yugao nodded her head in understanding. "I see." She commented while the Hokage lent back in her chair.
"Haruno Sakura reminds me of myself when I was younger. The only thing she was lacking in is chakra stores, determination and a bust size or two." Tsunade stated with a slight smirk on her face. "There's nothing I can do for her bust size, but now that she's found the determination to become stronger, the first issue can be easily fixed with the right training."
"You intended to train her yourself, Lady Hokage?" Yugao asked curiously. Imagining what a next generation Tsunade would be like.
"Yes, although as Hokage I would have had minimal time with her to fully take her under my wing. But now that you're requesting to train her, well, let's just say this will work out much better."
Yugao watched Tsunade take another sip of her sake with a small smirk on her lips, wondering what exactly her Hokage had planned for the girl.
The beeping monitor at her bedside was the first thing to invade her senses. She couldn't tell if she was conscious or dreaming. Her heavy eyelids kept her vision dark and memories of that day flooded her mind.
Lifting her eyelids was a struggle and the blinding light that engulfed her vision burnt her eyes. Whoever's idea it was to place bright lights directly over the patients bed and keep them turned on was an idiot. She'd understand if this was a surgery room and her condition was serious, but at the moment, her physical state was probably anything but. It was her mental state that they should be worried about.
She didn't know how long she lay there in the same position as she woke, continuing to stare into the annoying light while listening to that awful sound.
There was a weight to her body that she couldn't describe. It didn't just stop her from moving but it stopped her from trying altogether. It was like something was attached to her body, dragging her down to the bottom of the ocean.
Her mind blanked for a moment and she tried to keep it that way but she knew the thoughts that were coming were inevitable. The dark whispers that taunted her grew louder in the back of her mind.
Useless. Forgotten. Dead weight.
The sound of heals clacking across the floor outside of her room distracted her for a moment. As they stopped, the click of the door opening entered her senses but she continued to ignore it.
Maybe it's all just a bad dream she tried to tell herself but she knew that wasn't true.
"Ah Haruno-san you're awake!" The nurse stated happily. "That was faster than expected." The brunette nurse made her way to Sakura's bedside and picked up her chart before going to her side and writing a few things down as she checked her over.
Sakura drowned out her words but nodded every now and then to show a response so the nurse would hopefully leave her alone.
She was sitting up now. Leaning against her pillows and staring at the blank wall across from her, eyes clouded over in a manner that showed she wasn't seeing what was in front of her but something else.
"Can you tell me your name?" The blonde Hokage asked while running her chakra through the girl's body to double check there were no longer any internal problems that were over looked.
"Naruto and Sasuke-kun? Are they alright?" The pinkette asked, oblivious to the slight downturn of the Hokage's lips.
"The sooner you answer my questions, the sooner you'll get your own. Now, what is your full name?"
Pursing her lips, Sakura looked at the Hokage worriedly, knowing that she wasn't telling her something.
"My name is Haruno Sakura. Rank Genin, thirteen years old. Identification number 012601."
"That's good Sakura. Can you-"
"Where are my team mates?" Sakura asked cutting the Hokage off and unknowingly causing her to sigh inwardly.
Tsunade had hoped she'd have more time to break this to the girl gently but it seemed the girl's instincts were good when it came to her team, Tsunade thought to herself.
"Naruto and Sasuke are fine. There was barely a scratch on them." Tsunade told her then put her hand up to stop any more questions when she saw Sakura try to speak.
"You got the brunt of the injuries when the chidori pierced your left lung and clipped some internal organs. It was lucky you were already at the hospital and someone was able to tend to you until Shizune and myself arrived otherwise you'd be dead right now."
Sakura quieted after that. Knowing that her team was safe and sound was good enough for her for the moment.
"That was quite a reckless thing to do, Sakura. Why did you do it?" The Hokage asked while watching her closely and leaning against the window frame, her arms folded beneath her breasts.
The girl looked tired and was still on the pale side. They hadn't been expecting her to wake up for a few more days. Seeing the genuinely sad smile lift the corners of her lips as she answered the question, Tsunade found herself regretting having asked it in the first place.
Tsunade could see herself in Sakura. A younger and maybe more innocent version, but at the core they were the same. So when she received her answer all she could do was turn to look back at the genin with a pitying look.
Noticing the kunoichi was drifting off to sleep Tsunade told her to rest up and that she'd be back to check on her the following day before leaving the room.
"Haruno-san" the nurse called while looking worriedly at her patient. "I've checked you over and I'm on my way to inform someone to get Tsunade-sama…"
"If you need anything, press the red button. She should be here soon." The brunette nurse then left the room to report this development to the Hokage.
Sakura continued sitting in the hospital room staring at the opposite wall, the high pitched sound echoing in her ears.
beep… beep… beep
"Are they on a mission? Is that why they haven't visited?"
"Sakura, you've been unconscious for two weeks… They're gone."
"Gone on a m-mission?"
"No. They left the village to train individually. Naruto has left with Jiraiya and Sasuke left with Hatake."
Sakura couldn't take it any longer. Jumping out of bed, she looked around for her clothes but found only her small weapons pouch on the small table beside her. Picking it up, she made her way to the window dressed only in the light blue hospital gown and slid open the window.
The feeling of the sun on her face and arms barely registered as she hopped onto the window frame and jumped to a tall tree about ten meters from her window.
The pulse of chakra she sent to her feet hurt but she continued to push it throughout her body as she made her escape from the hospital.
She wasn't sure where she was going but she knew she had to get away from there. The memories were too close. First her parents, then her team, she had to get away.
When she finally stopped, dressed only in the hospital gown and underwear, she realized she'd arrived back where it all began for them.
For team seven.
The memorial stone was where they officially became a team. It was where they'd first accepted each other, even if only a little, it was their first step to becoming a team. It was also the place they'd learnt their first lesson as genin.
Those who break the rules are trash. But those who abandon their nakama, are worse than trash.
As the words echoed through her head, the pinkette staggered backwards against the hitting post and slid down until her backside hit the ground, thinking on her answer she gave the Hokage that day.
"Why did you do it?"
Pulling her knees towards her chest, she wrapped her arms around them and tucked in her head.
"They're all I have left, Hokage-sama… If I have to die for them to realize their dreams, then I'd do so happily."
She told herself she wouldn't cry again.
She told herself she would become strong.
But the warm tears that trailed down her cheeks were enough for her to acknowledge exactly what she was.
Clenching her fists and gritting her teeth, the female member of team seven wiped at her eyes and made to stand up when she was forced to duck and roll as a kunai flew at her and implanted itself in the post behind her where her head had been a moment ago.
A glint of light hitting metal had Sakura rolling again and pushing herself onto her feet while pulling out one of the kunai from the small pouch attached to her upper leg and throwing it back in the direction her attacker's kunai came from.
"Come out whoever you are!" She yelled while standing still in the standard position the academy taught, Sakura raised her kunai and angled it so that it would allow her to either defend or attack when she needed.
Scenario upon scenario ran through her head as she tried to figure out who would be attacking her. But her thoughts were cut off when another three kunai flew towards her.
Blocking the three weapons with her kunai, Sakura couldn't help the feeling of wrongness that assaulted her senses as she watched a fourth kunai fly at her. That's when she realized there was no light reflecting off the metal.
Bringing her hands to form the seal to release and normalize her chakra, Sakura felt the genjutsu lift from her senses and was immediately met with the sight of a person charging towards her.
Dodging to her right to avoid the fist that flew towards her face, Sakura barely had time to take in the features of her opponent as she was forced to block their next punch. Unfortunately, this left her side open and the position was taken advantage of.
A hit landed on her left side just below her ribs causing her to crumple forwards. A mistake she realized as soon as she noticed her attacker's leg in striking range.
Dropping to the ground she was immediately forced to jump as her attacker brought their leg around and into a low sweep in a fluid movement that made Sakura envious. Now airborne, the pinkette realized her mistake when she was forced to bring both hands up into a block from another oncoming punch.
The pain from the punch ricocheted across her right forearm as she flew backwards in the air. Realizing how fast her enemy was, Sakura tried to put as much space between them by flipping her body back and proceeding into a series of back flips before sliding again into her taijutsu stance and facing her enemy.
The figure across from her was slightly taller than Sakura and looked to be in her teens but closer to Sakura's own age. She was dressed in a tight black singlet with thick straps and the standard black shinobi pants.
Her hands were covered by long finger-less black gloves that reached to her biceps and were further protected by arm guards on her forearms that were usually worn by sword users. This observation was confirmed by the handle of the katana the pinkette could see strapped to her opponents back.
The girl across from her had short purple hair that reached just past her shoulders and her eyes were a dark brown colour that almost appeared black. But what confused Sakura the most was the Konoha head band that was tied around her neck in a similar fashion to Hyuuga Hinata.
"Who are you and why are you fighting me?" The pinkette asked her opponent with false confidence.
She realized that this kunoichi was quite skilled. Sakura could barely keep her defense up against her earlier. Her opponent's strikes were fast and hard and she didn't waste any of her movements and hadn't left any openings in her stance. It was obvious to the pinkette that she was holding back and could have taken Sakura down earlier, but she didn't.
The kunoichi opposite her was also dressed to accommodate her weapon so it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that kenjutsu was her main offence and she hadn't even unsheathed her blade yet. There was also the genjutsu earlier that she used that made Sakura believe that she was way out classed.
The range of abilities this person displayed was obviously chunin level or higher which didn't sit well with her considering that she was attacking her for no reason. Having had enough, Sakura decided to voice her question again only to receive a kunai thrown at her in response which grazed her cheek.
Seeing the small drop of blood collect at the bottom of her face before falling, Sakura looked up at the girl in front of her with anger in her eyes.
"I don't know why you're here but if you want a fight then I'll give you one!" Sakura told her before pulling three kunai out and throwing them at her not wasting anytime in attacking; she pushed chakra to her bare feet and launched herself at her.
As they moved across the grass, punching, dodging, kicking and blocking in a dance of taijutsu, Sakura couldn't help but feel like a bumbling newborn taking her first steps while her opponent was performing an elegant dance. It looked so easy as her opponent changed positions while attacking her and it made Sakura feel inferior on so many levels.
Was this how Naruto felt fighting Kakashi-sensei that day? She asked herself.
But what made her feel like the most inadequate ninja was the fact that this person was still holding back. Just like Ino did during the chunin exams and just like her team always did during training. And it made her angry, so angry. She knew Sakura wasn't as good as her and it felt like she was just toying with her.
An all-consuming fire lit her body at this thought and she strengthened her stance and pushed more chakra to her hands as she tried to land a hit on her opponent.
In the back of her head a small voice was yelling at her, telling her this was reckless and stupid but she couldn't stop herself, she needed to try. She needed to prove to herself that she could be better.
She didn't want to be weak.
She didn't want to be useless.
She didn't want to be dead weight.
As she dodged a punch and moved into her opponents space a small flare of hope rose in her chest as her fist moved towards the purple-haired kunoichi while glowing a bright blue, but just as it was about to touch her, in a move too fast for Sakura to see, the kunoichi had moved her body to the side, blocking Sakura's punch at the forearm causing her momentum to continue forward into the ground.
A small explosion occurred from a small crack splitting up the ground when the pinkette's fist made contact but Sakura paid it no mind as she forced herself to hold in the cry of pain that threatened to spill out from her lips at the feeling of some of the bones in her hand and wrist breaking from the impact.
Sakura wasn't finished yet, she had to show her that she wasn't weak. Bringing her injured hand closer to her body she dropped into a roll and pulled a kunai out of her pouch with her good hand while she turned to her opponent and laced it with chakra as she threw it.
The kunoichi dodged it easily and it landed a few feet behind her but Sakura had aimed for that. Bringing her one good hand up in a seal, Sakura felt her body become displaced and in the next moment she was standing behind the purple haired kunoichi and charging at her with a kunai aimed for her back.
Sakura watched as the head of purple hair whipped around to face her with surprised eyes before they narrowed at the kunai and in a split second, Sakura's wrist had been grabbed hard enough for her to release the kunai and her arm was once again twisted behind her back as her face met the ground.
Yugao looked down at the pink haired kunoichi struggling in her grasp. The purple haired Anbu had known the girls chakra control was almost perfect but she hadn't realized the girl would be that good yet.
Executing a successful jutsu one-handed, even if it was only a substitution, not even a year into her career as a genin and self-taught at that was certainly something special. And to be able to almost replicate Tsunade-sama's chakra enhanced punch wasn't something to be ignored.
The older kunoichi felt a swell of anger rise in her chest at the potential that's been ignored in Sakura since she graduated. Her team mate's backgrounds as the junchirki host and last Uchiha had over shadowed her potential and set back her training. The girl had some serious talent, and Yugao decided then that she was going to make sure she reached it. But first, she needed to make sure the girl had the right drive.
"I'm going to let go of your hand now and you're not going to fight me." She ordered then let go of her hand which the young kunoichi snatched back before turning over and sitting up with her injured hand cradled to her chest.
The former Anbu inwardly frowned when she thought about how long it would take for the injury to heal before they could start training properly.
"Who are you?" Sakura asked quietly looking at the woman opposite her with a confused expression. "You have a Konoha hitai-ate but why did you attack me?"
Yugao didn't answer. She knew they'd get to that shortly, instead she decided to ask her own.
"Before I answer any of your questions I want you to answer one of mine." Yugao paused to make sure the girl would listen. "Why do you fight?"
The pinkette was surprised by the question. This person had just attacked her and now she was demanding answers. Sakura sighed deciding to just answer the question.
The first answer that popped into her head was the one she'd given to the Hokage that day, but as she was going to answer she realized something that became apparent at the memorial stone.
They'd left her behind.
They were the only family she had left and she was willing to do anything for them, and they left her behind. Without even a note to say goodbye, she was alone.
"I…" She whispered while trying to think up an answer to the question.
She'd told herself she wanted to be strong. That she didn't want to be weak. But were those good enough reasons to fight.
Why do I fight?
Instead of answering, Sakura looked into the brown eyes of the other girl unsurely before looking back at the ground and answering.
"I-I don't know anymore… I d-don't have anyone left…" She told her as her eyes watered. Looking angrily at the ground, she fought to control the water leaking from her eyes but was surprised by a warm hand resting on her shoulder.
Following the arm up, she looked at her fellow kunoichi who was looking at her compassionately.
"It's going to be alright." She told her with a certainty and gentleness in her voice that Sakura hadn't heard since her mother died. "We'll figure it out together."
Sakura didn't know what to say to this person in front of her, but found the words coming out on their own.
"Together?" She parroted confused.
Realizing that she was still transformed, Yugao apologized to the genin before releasing the jutsu in a cloud of smoke. She watched as Sakura's eyes widened a fraction then a look of understanding crossed her face.
"My name is Uzuki Yugao and from now on I'll be your sensei."
Hey guys, sorry this chapter took so long. But I hope you all liked it! Please review and let me know what you think :)