Lights We Burn
I do not own Naruto.
Did you lose what won't return?
Did you love but never learn?
The fires out but still it burns
And no one cares, there's no one there
Did you find it hard to breathe?
Did you cry so much that you could barely see?
In the darkness all alone
And no one cares, there's no one there
Well, did you see the flares in the sky?
Were you blinded by the light?
Did you feel the smoke in your eyes, did you did you
Did you see the sparks? Feel the hope?
That you are not alone
Cause someone's out there
Sending out flares
(Flares, The script)
The sound of thunder rumbled in the distance as rain pelted down on the group of shinobi gathered beside their fallen comrade. The colour red dyed the ground before small streams of water washed it away.
A blonde haired shinobi leaned on her knees, bent over the grey haired man's bleeding form while a green chakra engulfed her hands.
"Dan!" She cried out as tears cascade down her face only to be merged with the crying heavens.
"Tsu…nade…" The man tried to speak. "I don'… want-to… die yet… There're… so… things… I haven'… accomplish..." He spluttered as blood dripped from the corners of his mouth.
"Stop talking Dan!" She pleaded heartbroken while silently praying to the gods to save him.
"I'll save you." She said to herself as she tried to heal him. He was all she had left.
She'd already watched her parents and the rest of her family die. Her uncles, aunts and cousins. They were all dead. And her younger brother…Nawaki… She hadn't been there to save him. They'd all left her. She couldn't lose him too. 'We are supposed to be forever.'
"I…can't… die… here" The man choked out despite his lovers pleading.
He'd promised her. They'd go home together. To Konoha. Where they'd finally get married and have children who'd inherit Tsunade's blonde hair and his green eyes or his grey hair and her brown eyes. Maybe even have one of both. And one day, he'd become Hokage and they'd protect the village together and watch over the next generation. And when the time came, he'd pass on the position so he could retire and grow old with his beloved.
It wasn't right, this wasn't supposed to happen. There was still so much he wanted to do and so much he needed to say. 'Tsunade, I…'
"It's alright! I've stopped the bleeding. It's going to be alright! You'll be saved Dan!" She lied to him, hoping that by saying those words he'd live. But he could hear the crack in her voice as she spoke to him. They both knew the truth and there wasn't anything they could do, he was too far gone.
The cry of his name brought him back to the present and he tried to focus his now blurry vision on the woman above him. The corners of his lips lifted into a small smile as he remembered the times he'd spent with her over the past year. He loved her and all of her stubbornness and temper but also her kindness and insecurities. But knowing that his end was coming, he was glad that she was there beside him.
"Really…That's…great." He said trying to reassure her as his eyes began to close and the sounds of the world began to fade around him.
"Dan!" She cried out as the rain washed the tears from her face while she tried to bring the man she loved back from the dead. "Damned death… Stop… Stop... Stop… Stop. Dammit! I'm telling you to stop!"
"Dan! You can't leave me!" She yelled at him as the green glow of her hands grew larger. "Please… Please… Please… Dan…" She sobbed.
"That's enough already! He's dead!" A nearby shinobi shouted, no longer able to watch one of the legendary Sannin fall apart at the sight of her dead lover.
Slowly but surely the green glow of her chakra began to recede as lightning flashed across the sky, lighting the sight of her blood stained hands over the form of the man she'd given the last of her heart to.
'He's gone….' She thought to herself, eyes growing wide and hands shaking. 'I couldn't save him… I can't save anyone…"
And it was in that moment that something inside of her broke and all she could do was scream and cry and sob all of her pain and suffering skywards at the heavens.
Fate was cruel.
Years passed and the wars finally ended but her dreary view of the world remained unchanged as death and ghosts haunted her every step.
Observing her surroundings as she made her way through the latest town, she searched for the nearest bar. Earlier that night she had dropped Shizune off at the hotel they'd booked into and told her not to wait up. And knowing what day it was, Shizune knew better than to argue.
She just wanted to forget for once. Was that too much to ask for? She begged but knew better than to hope. Life had already taken too much from her for her to have any faith left.
Walking into one of the better bars of the village she made her way directly to the bar. Taking a seat, she signaled the man behind the counter for a drink.
Taking a small sip out of her cup, she couldn't stop her shoulders from relaxing slightly as the familiar feel of smooth sake burned down her throat.
She was so tired. Tired of dreaming every night of what she'd lost and what she could never have. Her memories were haunted by skies filled with lightning and rain and grounds soaked with blood and covered in bodies. And as hard as she tried, it was never ending.
Why couldn't she move on?
The familiar ache in her chest brought on the sudden urge of recklessness. Taking the small bottle of Sake, she downed it in her next drink before hitting the bartender up for another. Deciding to take this one slower, she refilled her small cup and brought it to her lips before putting it down again.
"Rough day?" A masculine voice questioned from beside her.
Running her finger along the rim of the sake bottle in front of her, she took in the sight of the man beside her from the corner of her eye, judging whether or not he was going to be a problem.
"Yeh, you could say that…" She responded while pouring another glass as she felt that same urge of recklessness settle inside of her.
'Just one night', she thought to herself, as she turned to the handsome man beside her and gave a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
'For just one night I want to forget everything.'
And she did.
Later that night when her body became entangled with his and he thrust roughly into her with wild abandon, she forgot everything that meant anything. The pain, the suffering, the loss, the loneliness. And for just one night, she felt alive once more, before she woke to the dark and grey world that was her reality once more.
Eight Months later
Tsunade observed her young dark haired apprentice from the corner of her eye, or more specifically, she observed the small delicate bundle of pink that her apprentice held carefully in her arms.
She knew that Shizune had hoped that the small child would change Tsunade for the better. Heck, Tsunade herself had been hoping for that as well. And for the duration of her pregnancy, she had. She'd given up on gambling and even her favourite sake. And after a while she even thought that she'd come to care for the little bean growing inside of her, but that all changed the moment she glanced down at the fragile infant that was wrapped in a soft, white blanket after nine hours of labour.
At that moment, the blonde kunoichi felt like her heart had been shattered into a million pieces all over again.
What had she been hoping for? That the child would have her blonde hair and Dan's forest green eyes? She realized then, that her whole pregnancy she'd been deluding herself into thinking that the child belonged to her long dead lover. That she'd have the chance at the future her and Dan would often day dream about. But she was wrong.
This child, would be a reminder of the life she never got the chance to have. She would be a reminder of the mistakes she'd made in the past but most of all, she realized on the day of her birth not a week ago that she'd be a constant reminder of the guilt, regret, sadness and self-hatred she felt for betraying Dan on that night eight months ago.
And no child deserved to be looked at that way by someone they should consider their mother. But Tsunade knew the moment she saw her pale pink hair and beryl green eyes. She knew that was all she would ever feel whenever she saw her.
Children needed to be nurtured with love and kindness and surrounded by a happy and stable environment. And Tsunade could provide neither of those.
Making up her mind, Tsunade took a sip of her sake as she watched the cherry blossom petals that were falling from the trees in front of them. Raising her hand, she held it out flat and watched as a pale pink petal fell into her palm. The same shade as the child's, She noted and she couldn't help but think that they were so fragile before her thoughts were interrupted by her apprentice.
"Tsunade-shishou… Are you alright?" She asked softly while gently rocking the sleepy baby. Shizune was unsure of how to feel about the way her mentor was behaving. When Tsunade had confided in her about her pregnancy she'd been surprised but started thinking that maybe Tsunade would be able to move on from the memory of her deceased Uncle Dan and finally find happiness again. And for a while, that's how it looked, like things might have been progressing.
During the pregnancy, Tsunade had opened up more to Shizune and smiled more often. And this was despite the fact she wasn't allowed to drink sake anymore, which to Shizune was a big achievement. It wasn't until the baby was born that she began to withdraw into herself again. It was like a switch had been flicked and she'd instantly forgotten the past eight months.
But what bothered Shizune the most about her mentor's behaviour was the fact that Tsunade had yet to hold her child a second time. Even to feed her, Tsunade would rather express milk into a bottle than simply breast feed her. That and the fact that she hadn't even named her yet and had instead taken to calling her 'the child' or 'the baby'.
Shaking her head inwardly, Shizune looked at the contemplative expression that adorned the blondes face as she held her hand out to catch a cherry blossom petal.
"Aa, I'm fine… Shizune pack your things tonight. We're leaving tomorrow." She told her as she stood up and with her sake in hand, walked past a surprised Shizune.
"Eh?! Tsunade-shishou, where are we going?" She asked, accidentally startling the baby awake from her nap, while watching Tsunade walking towards their shoji door that led to their rooms.
"We're returning to Tanzaku." She threw over her shoulder, leaving behind a shocked Shizune and crying baby.
AN: So the idea for this story came to me when I was reading an interesting fact about Kishimoto's Original character design for Sakura, which was to make her the granddaughter or last living relation of Tsunade Senju. And I was like 'Wow that would be cool! So many possibilities!' and then I looked down in my note book and Wallah! I had like planned the first five chapters of this story and had written some dialogue for each. So here you have it! My take on a Senju Sakura story.