When Sakura finally comes to, she is greeted by a sharp pounding in her temples that reverberates across her skull. Letting out a moan of pain, she tries squeezing her eyes shut, cradling her head in her hands as she lies curled into herself, and rubs at her temples, trying to soothe the pain and make it go away.

She doesn't know how long she lays there, but when the pain finally recedes and she opens her eyes, it is to take in the darkening sky above her.

Sunset. Her mind supplies.

Bracing herself on her arms, she winces at the hot pain that shoots along her limbs but chooses to ignore it, and manages to stand on wobbly legs. As she does, a cool wind blows through the clearing, causing bumps to rise on her bare skin. Standing up, she rubs her hands up and down her arms for warmth and looks around.

Tall trees surround her and she realises she has been standing on rough white ground. Walking to the edge, she attempts to hop off as carefully as she can, but it only increases the burning pain that ignites throughout her body, colouring her vision with black and white spots.

Once the burning has doused slightly, she picks a direction to go and begins to walk.

She doesn't know how long she travels but by the time she exits the woods and finds some sort of road, the full moon has risen high in the sky, illuminating her path. Glancing left and right, she decides to follow the road right when two very bright lights start moving towards her.

Her body stiffens and her stance shifts despite its cries for relief. Bringing her good hand up to shield her eyes, she stumbles back slightly unsure of what the lights are coming from. Noticing the person/thing/lights slowing down to a stop approximately fifteen meters from her, she watches as a slim figure exits the moving carriage, and moves towards her, his silhouette a stark contrast to the bright lights outlining him.

"Hey, hey I'm just here to help." The figure/boy says in a somewhat reassuring yet excited and nervous tone while moving his arms about in what she thinks is supposed to be a non-threatening manner.

He receives no response.

"Ohmygod, I can't believe this is happening! I never expected to actually find anyone tonight let alone a naked girl covered in dirt. Scott is never going to believe this! Wait that's red, is that… is that blood on you? Are you alright? Do you need a doctor? I'll call a doctor. No wait, I'll just take you to the hospital its faster and I'll call my dad, he's the sheriff- you know works in-"

She zones out as he continues to ramble about random people and an image of a blonde boy with bright blue eyes and an orange jacket flashes across her mind before her head begins to throb again. The pain dancing over her head and darkening her sight.

Raising her hands to press against her temples she whimpers in pain and doesn't realise she's gotten the attention of the boy again until he's moving towards her with a jacket to cover her, a fierce blush overtaking his face as he tries to look anywhere but at her. She allows him to wrap it around her gently yet hesitantly as if he doesn't know if he should touch her.

"Here, hop in the car and I'll take you to the hospital." He says leading her to the moving carriage made out of metal she assumes is the 'car'.

"Where are we?" She asks in a tired voice as she's led away, the words strange on her tongue.

"Beacon Hills, California." The boy answers with a pop, helping her into the car. The girl tries to recall a place called Beacon Hills or California but nothing comes to mind.

The pain in her arm begins to throb again and she clutches it tighter to herself as she tries to get comfortable with only his button up shirt on to cover her. She watches as he closes her door and moves around to the other side and jumps in before strapping himself with a belt. She looks for a belt for herself but decides against it when her arm protests at the movement.

A rumbling sound coming from the car surprises her and she jerks forward as they begin to move. He looks at her and how she's holding her arm and asks, "You still alright?"

She nods in response and turns to observe the unfamiliar objects in the car before looking outside the glass window to take in the familiar sight of trees flashing by her. A silence fills the space and she can feel her eyes closing in exhaustion when the boy starts speaking again.

"My name's Stiles by the way. Stiles Stilinski. What about you?"

"What about me?" She parrots drowsily.

"What's your name?"

"Oh… my name… I don't know. I don't… remember." She says before falling out of consciousness.




"Sakura-neechan! Sakura-neechan wake up! We have to get ready for the festival!"

"Agh…" Sakura groans as she's pulled unceremoniously from her bed.

"Tsubaki, the festival doesn't start 'til this afternoon." She says turning on the floor and reaching her arm up to grab her pillow off the bed and cover her face. "Wake me up at midday…"

"But nee-chan..." Tsubaki whines. "It's already 11 and you promised we'd make our lanterns together this morning before we go and that we'd do our hair together and get dressed in yukata together."

Sakura lifts the pillow from on her face and peeks out at her red-haired cousin who was wearing the most adorable pout.

"You've been spending too much time with Ino." Sakura states then rolls her eyes when she notices how the red head folds her arms and cocks out her hip while wrinkling her nose in distaste.

Definitely too much time with Ino.

"I'll sit on you." Tsubaki threatens, causing Sakura to lift an eyebrow at her before she turns around and closes her eyes to feign sleep.

Listening to the minute sound of fabric shifting and light footsteps Sakura choses the exact moment her cousin is about to sit on her to roll to the side. Hearing the thump of her landing on the floor, Sakura begin to cackle in an unlady-like manner while Tsubaki lets out a loud "SAKURA-NEECHAN—"

"Okay, okay, I'm up! I'm up!" Sakura laughs picking the small, pouting seven-year old up under her arm and leaving her room all the while smiling.




Emerald eyes open and close with a wince as bright lights flashed overhead. Voices speak over her at a fast pace but she was too tired to discern them.

She feels so tired.

The feel of someone tugging on her arm, has her letting out a cry of pain as she jerks away from them, using more strength then she thought she had left. The bed she is on finally stops moving but her eyes continue to roam sluggishly as she takes in the small white room that smells familiar.

Hospital. The stray thought enters her mind like a scent on the wind you are unable to hold.

The tanned face of a middle-aged woman appears above her and starts speaking to her and asking questions but she cannot find it in herself to answer anything.

She is so tired, when her eyes begin to grow heavy she doesn't fight it, instead, she lets them fall closed as she descends into a deep sleep.




Adjusting the bed of Beacon Hills' Hospital's mysterious patient, Melissa McCall takes the clip board from the end of the bed and jots down the latest readings from the monitor before leaving the room quietly. Nodding at the officer stationed at the door, she turns to face the Sheriff.

"Melissa." He greets her with a tired smile. His exhaustion is apparent in the dark marks that circle his eyes, and the way his face appears more haggard, as if he has aged overnight. "How's she holding up?"

"She'll pull through." Melissa says looking back through the window. "She was badly injured. Fractured foot, sprained wrist, a clean break in her left arm, two stab wounds and a minor head injury."

"Gods, how did she walk on that let alone survive it. She's just a kid our boys' age." The sheriff says quietly, the concern of a parent in his tone.

"Stiles said he found her on the road leading from the reserve, naked and bloody. Said she didn't even know her name."

"It's possible, though she woke up when we were moving her to this room from the ER and she might have said her name was 'Sakura'."

The sheriff looked at her with interest at that. "I'm not 100% sure, there was still a lot of morphine in her system at that time."

The sheriff nods his head in understanding. "Anything else I should know?"

"Yeah but it's not pretty. She has scars. Quite a few of them. And scans from her arms and legs show stress from previous breaks that have been healed."

"Well okay." The sheriff sighs, rubbing at his brow. "Will you let me know when she wakes up? This case already sounds like it's going to be some nasty business."

"Of course. As soon as she wakes or if anything changes, you'll be the first to know."




"Tell me where Uzumaki Naruto is."

Sakura sways slightly on her feet before looking up into the purple ringed eyes of the leader of Akatsuki.

"No." She says with a strength in her voice that doesn't match her broken body.

"You will die." He states flatly, causing images to flash through her mind.

Shizune, her still body cradled in Ino's arms.

Kakashi bloodied and buried upright in rubble, eyes half open and looking at the sky.

The crushed bodies of her parents in their own home.

A small girl with red hair, running towards her and reaching and reaching and reaching but never touching before they are separated by the same jutsu that reduced the village to dust.

"I have nothing left to live for." She says, an emptiness filling her chest and tears burning behind her eyes before a familiar anger courses through her body.

Pushing chakra to her feet for speed and fist for strength she charges again at the man who took and took and took everything from her.

Ignoring the pain from her broken arm and wrist and fractured foot as they dance around each other, her anger and frustration only grow as he continues to dodge her feeble attacks, before dissipating when he performs a quick turn and kicks her into one of the few remaining buildings on the outskirts of the village.

Pain spreads across her back as she makes contact with the first wall only to break through and hit the next, coughing up blood as she stops. Before she can even recover, black and red fills her vision and a familiar sharp piercing sensation in her side has her crying out in pain and more red coating her form.

Blood dribbles down her chin but she grits her teeth, wraps her one good hand around the black rod to pull it out, only to be stopped by another rod piercing her just above her collar bone.

"Aghhhh!" Her cry echoes around the room before turning into harsh breathes.

Unable to move her body that's been pinned to the wall, Sakura looks up at the sound of receding footsteps and watches as Pein walks away from her with black and white spots dancing across her vision.

Anger begins to boil in her gut.

At the Akatsuki for destroying her home and family but mostly at herself. She curses at how weak she is. She thought she'd grown stronger while Naruto was away but she was still so useless.

Throwing her head back against the wall in frustration, the kunoichi tries to pull herself off the rods only for her vision to go momentarily black from the pain ricocheting throughout her body.

Hearing a loud thud, she pushes her eyes open to inspect the sound only to feel a bitter and slightly hysterical laugh rise in her throat at the sight. On the floor beside her legs was a Shinigami mask soaking in the pool of crimson.

If that wasn't a sign of her untimely death, then Sakura didn't know what was.

Tears finally begin to fall freely down her face as she thinks about all of the people she'd lost that day. She wished she had been strong enough to protect them, to protect her home. But she wasn't, and now here she stood, waiting for death to take her. She couldn't help but think with some relief though, that at least she would see those she lost again soon.

Her thoughts were abruptly cut off however, when a wisp of white silk flutters across her vision.

Slowly looking up, Sakura's heart begins to thud rapidly as a large figure with long white hair stands before her holding a katana. Blinking to clear the tears disrupting her vision, Sakura notices he has two red marks on his forehead above his glowing golden eyes which sit between two short horns.

Looking at the Shinigami, because it could only be a Shinigami, Sakura accepts that she will finally be leaving this world. Lowering her eyes to the sword in his hand she cannot find it in herself to care if that is the case any longer.

"Do you wish to save them?" A voice whispers in the back of her head.

"Yes." She answers without hesitation.

"There will be a price." The voice responds, causing a shiver to run down her spine.

Sakura thinks she must be hallucinating, but it doesn't matter to her. Let it be a dream, she thinks, as memories of her dead family and friends flash across her mind.

Her parents bickering at the dinner table while her cousin who was more like a sister to her, shares secret smiles with her.

Kakashi-sensei perched in a tree, Jiraiya's newest perverted novel in his hand.

Shizune scolding Tsunade-shishou and then winking at Sakura as she hides their Hokage's sake.

Their faces, voices and laughter bring a small smile to her face.

"Anything." Her voice sounding as broken as her body. "Anything. Just please save them."

The kunoichi watches as the Shinigami raises his katana but closes her eyes when he points it in her direction. There is a moment, where it seems as if time stops and she feels at peace with herself, but the illusion is broken when excruciating pain engulfs her body and her eyes fly open as a silent scream tries to leave her throat.

White begins to fill her vision but she cannot help but look down at the katana now piercing her stomach. Black seals and blue chakra run from the Shinigami's hand along the blade until it reaches a black seal forming on Sakura's own stomach.

Bursts of pain and heat run through her body before she can no longer take it and blackness fills her vision. A voice whispers once more in her head before she loses consciousness.

Villagers watch on as green streaks of light begin to shoot across the darkening sky of Konoha and return to their owner's bodies.

Later that night, a group of shinobi in search of their nakama will follow her scent trail to the outskirts of their village where the abandoned compound of the Uzumaki clan once stood. There they will find a floor matted with a pool of crimson blood and a Shinigami mask grinning up at them under a full moon.

"Protect the balance."




Emerald eyes snap open and Sakura wakes with a jolt, eyes shifting wearily side to side as she takes in the room. An incessant beeping sound begins to take over her hearing, increasing in pace like a drum rhythm getting faster and faster with the beating of her heart.

Where am I?