Hello all, my love for Sasosaku resurfaced lately and I had to write something to ease my fangirlness. This story will be updated regularly. Update: This story was originally suppose to be short and end on a humorous note, but I've decided to extend the story with a sequel. The sequel will be more romance/drama centric, unlike this one which is more based on friendship that became romance.
World: AU Suna-Verse - Team 7 and Kakashi age swap. Basically, in the main story, Sasori is 26, Sakura (+ her boys) are 20, Kakashi is 10, Rin and Obito are 12. I am a big fan of Sasosaku, but a story in canon-verse usually rely on some sort of time travel or resurrection to bring the pair closer in age (or else Sasori would be a cradle-robber.) I am also aiming for a more lighthearted story with a dash or humor here and there, so hence this Suna-verse.
Main Characters: Sasori, Sakura
Genre: Romance / Friendship
Full Summary: Per agreement between Suna and Konoha, Sakura was sent on a medical exchange to Suna, where she will teach medical ninjutsus and in exchange, learn about poisons from Chiyo. Little did she know that it was not only knowledge that would be exchanged.
The Exchange: Foreword
He knew about Chiyo-Baa-Sama's grandson. Everyone in the village knew about him. Some felt sorry for him since his parents perished during the war when he was just a child. Some admired him for his skills and talents as a shinobi and warrior of Suna. Some fawned over his charming, boyish face. Some feared him when they learned of the first human puppet.
But to him, Sasori was a shinobi with limitless loyalty - if his trust was earned. He knew that this teenager would be one of his greatest warrior for years to come.
"Did you call for me, Kazekage-sama?" The red haired boy in question greeted the man donning the third kazekage's robe, as he entered the quiet office.
"Sasori," the Third Kazekage smiled as he gestured for the boy to come closer. "On time as always."
Sasori nodded as he stood to attention. He was wearing his standard jounin flak jacket and carrying some of his battle gear, despite working inside his workshop all day.
"I called you here because I wanted to see for myself," the Third narrowed his silver eyes slightly, "The creator of the first human puppet."
A flash of emotion crossed Sasori's eyes, but it was gone so quickly that only highly skilled shinobis, such as the Kazekage, would have caught it.
"Chiyo-Baa-Sama reported to me. She seemed concerned about you, but I think what you did was fascinating... Given that you did not intentionally kill the boy."
Sasori muttered under his breath, "But I did kill him. It was my poison that ended his life."
"Sasori, Sasori. I read the autopsy report. Your friend accidentally ingested the poison that you placed onto his prosthetic arm - which was a feat in itself - but it was not your fault."
The Third was watching the boy carefully. He knew that Sasori was a strong shinobi, but his heart was vulnerable. He had a fall out with his grandmother, after discovering her lie about his parents. And now, after the passing of his only friend, this boy clung to any offer of companionship. He was a seedling, buried in the ungiving sand, fighting for the day when water would come and help him flourish.
"And I will be that source of water that he needs," thought the Kazekage as the boy quieted down once more.
"I want you to become a special ANBU elite and serve as my right hand man."
Sasori's eyes widen a small fraction, "But I am not even an ANBU operative."
"Yes, but the entire village knows of your abilities and many high ranking operatives and council members know that you have completed missions on par to ANBU's missions. Just because you did not apply to become ANBU, does not mean you are not qualified to be one," the Third continued before he could be interrupted, "In exchange for your services, I grant you access to the bodies of prisoners that are to be executed and bodies of Suna's own shinobis who perished - given that their families do not object, of course."
The implications in the Kazekage's words did not escape Sasori. The leader of Suna was literally offering him access to bodies, perhaps some with special abilities, for him to convert into his human puppets. This meant that he did not need to end lives unnecessarily.
Honey almond eyes met silver ones head on, "All I have to do is become ANBU?"
"Yes," the Kazekage smirked.
"When do I start?"
"Be at ANBU headquarters at six tomorrow morning and the vice commander will give you the rundown. You are dismissed."
Sasori nodded politely, then turned to leave. His eyes lingered at the window behind the Kage for a brief moment before he exited the room.
The Third clasped his hands together in front of him and rested his chin on it. A shadow jumped in through the window and her baggy clothes flopped back into place as she landed.
"Chiyo-Baa-Sama," the Third greeted with a small smirk.
"I advised against having Sasori as an ANBU elite. His heart is too gentle for it," Chiyo muttered as her beady eyes stared right at the Kazekage.
"Chiyo-Baa-Sama, forgive my rudeness, but I believe you have hindered his potential long enough. A shinobi train in order to become stronger. Just as how his body grows stronger, his heart needs to grow stronger, too. Your method of "protecting" him is the reason why he no longer speaks with you unless absolutely necessary."
The Elder sighed. Sasori had only spoken 10 sentences to her since he found out the truth of his parents' death 5 years ago. To say their relationship was broken was an understatement.
11 years later, in Konoha
"Naruto-sensei! When are we going to train with Sakura-sensei and Sasuke-sensei again?" a dark haired boy with goggles around his eyes asked.
"Yeah! I missed them. I want to show Sakura-sensei how much better I am at healing small cuts now," a girl with short brown hair and purple marks on her face added.
"..." the last person on the team, with black lazy eyes, did not say a word, but images of a smiling pink haired woman flooded his mind and a small tinge of pink appeared under his mask.
Naruto groaned as he took a step back from the three genins that were slowly mobbing him into a corner. He held up his hands in a defensive position, "Geez! Calm down, will y'all? Sometimes I feel like y'all don't appreciate me enough as your sensei."
"Of course we love you, sensei, but it's been a while since we last saw your teammates!" chorused the two talkative members of the team.
Naruto scratched his chin, "I guess you are right. Sakura-chan and Sasuke have been really busy lately."
It had been many years since the "end" of last Great Shinobi World War and talks of treaties and alliance had finally begun. For some, it seemed the effort was futile since the villages still did not trust others. For others, it was a start to peace and hopefully, less death. This was why the two other members of Team 7 had been occupied lately - Sasuke, as a member of the prestigious Uchiha Clan, had to attend meetings with his father and Sakura, as the apprentice of Tsunade, the Hokage, also tagged along to those meetings to give her perspective from a health-care professional's point of view.
Technically, Naruto had to attend as well, since he was the Kyyubi's host and many villages still feared the nine-tailed beast sealed inside of him. However, Tsunade argued that he was a Konoha shinobi first and foremost and not a weapon of destruction, which was why she exempted him from attending. Truth be told, the tailed beasts were a sensitive topic during the meetings. It was true that all nine beasts have been sealed and each of the five main shinobi villages had one jinchuruki, but people needed promises that none of these beasts would be unleashed ever again.
Naruto scratched his head, "I think today is the last meeting for a while. I am meeting them for Ichiraku ramen later. But you guys shouldn't come, we are going to be boring and talk about politics."
Obito made a face and Rin sighed, but Kakashi perked up.
"I'll pass." "Maybe next time then." "I will go!"
All three pairs of eyes focused on Kakashi and his raised hand.
"If only you have such enthusiasm when I want to work on team building exercises," Naruto sighed as he waved goodbye to the rest of the team and followed Kakashi, who already started walking away from the training grounds.
Obito nudged Rin's shoulder, "He so has a crush on Sakura-sensei."
Rin nudge back, "Only Naruto-sensei is blind enough to not notice it. But Sakura-sensei is super awesome! Besides, it only makes sense to like someone who saved your father from the brink of death."
Naruto had his arms crossed behind his head as he walked leisurely next to Kakashi. For every step he took, Kakashi needed to take two. After all, Naruto was quite tall and Kakashi was a small kid. He peeked at his student from the corner of his eyes, "You really like my team, huh?"
Kakashi looked back at him, "Sakura-sensei saved my father's life."
Saving Sakumo Hatake's life was nothing short of a miracle. His team was ambushed during a S-rank mission and Sakumo, being who he was, took the blunt of the attack to protect his teammates. He had returned, slung over two of his teammates, with makeshift bandages that were barely holding his innards together. It was only his will power that kept him alive. It was lucky that Sakura was at the hospital at that moment and pulled him away from certain death.
That was the first time Kakashi met his pink haired Goddess. Her hair and clothes were soaked in his father's blood and she was resting on the ground against the wall, with her eyes closed. When she blinked them open, viridian green focused on him and a small smile graced her lips. He had ran to her then, not knowing why, but he found himself hugging her and crying out "thank you" until his voice was lost.
One week later, when Team Naruto went to see Sakumo prior to his discharge from the hospital, they were formally introduced to their sensei's genin team: the world famous Team 7. Obito had immediately jumped at Sasuke, asking him to help him train his sharingan and Rin had shyly asked Sakura for medical training; both of them made Naruto cry in betrayal. Kakashi had remained quiet, but his father smiled to himself when he saw how his son's eyes never left the medic-nin.
Naruto pushed aside the drapes that hung over Ichiraku and smiled at his teammates, who were already sitting inside.
"Naruto! We already ordered for you!" Sakura chirped.
"Thanks, you are the best, Sakura-chan!"
Naruto was about to sit on the open seat on the right of the pinkette, but Kakashi scurried beneath his arm and plopped down in the blink of an eye.
"But I wanted to sit there!" Naruto wailed.
Sakura blinked twice before addressing Kakashi, "Kakashi-kun, how nice of you to join us." The silver haired boy immediately blushed. The medic-nin felt slightly guilty as she inwardly giggled at the genin's flustered face.
Sasuke sighed, "Just get over here, Naruto."
With a defeated slump on his shoulders, Naruto sat down on Sasuke's left. "Can we-"
"But you didn't hear my whole sentence!"
"No, you cannot change seats with me," Sasuke glowered.
Sakura laughed, "Naruto, you can still see me from over there! Over the Sasuke-Up-Do Mountain!"
"I told you guys that my hair is naturally spiky!" Sasuke growled as Ayame started serving their food.
"Anyways, how did y'all meetings go?" Naruto asked as he broke his chopsticks apart.
"Same old. There was barely any progress during the Noble Clans meeting. No one wants to send their own kin for a diplomatic exchange," Sasuke stated.
"Well yeah, no one wants their clan secrets to be leaked out," Sakura mumbled as she slurped up her noodle.
"What about you, Sakura?"
"We actually made a big leap in progress today for the medical division!" Sakura smiled at her boys.
"Which is?" Sasuke asked as Naruto and Sakura high-fived over his head.
"As of now, Suna and Konoha have agreed to have a medical knowledge exchange. Konoha, being more advanced in medical knowledge, will be sending a representative to Suna for three months. In exchange, this representative will be receiving poison training from their renowned Elder Chiyo-sama and participate in regular meetings with the Kazekage."
"Wait, what?" Naruto choked, "Why is Konoha sending someone instead of Suna sending over medic-nins to learn?"
Sasuke smacked his back, "It's much easier to send one than to send many, idiot. Who is the representative that we are sending? Must be a highly skilled personnel who could also defend themselves, right? Just in case the "peace" falls through."
Sakura nodded and then pointed proudly at herself, "Yup, which is why, I, Sakura Haruno, will be journeying to Suna in two days' time!"
All at once, three things happened. Naruto spit out his ramen onto Sasuke's back, Sasuke snapped his chopsticks, and Kakashi fell off his stool.
2 days later, at the main gate of Konoha
Sakura secured her pack tightly and did one last mental count of her belongings. She was set to leave Konoha at ten am sharp and due to arrive at Suna in four days by evening. Two ANBUs that are accompanying her during the journey were waiting at the top of the gates as Sakura bid farewell to her friends.
Ino hugged Sakura tightly, "If you find a cute man, you must let me know immediately!"
Sasuke also hugged her, albeit awkwardly, "Be safe."
Naruto wouldn't let go of Sakura until Ino whacked him on the head. "I can't believe you are going there by yourself! What will I do without you for three months?!"
Sakura laughed, "You will be okay." Then she turned to face her blonde teammates' genins and pulled all three into one big hug. "Make sure your sensei behaves himself, alright?"
Rin and Obito cheered while Kakashi tried to not faint.
"I will be on my way then!" Sakura waved one last time and then bounded into the forest, with the ANBUs following close behind.