I don't own Naruto. Definitely AU now, here comes the good stuff.
Hold On To the Other Light
Sakura walked outside of her house, ignoring her mother's calls for her to get back inside to rest. She had been resting for the past week and she was restless. A nice walk will do her good, besides it is not like she is training or anything too strenuous. Naruto and Sasuke were training, she knew that much, since she has not seen them since the hospital visit. She stopped by Ichiraku's for a quick lunch and then she decided that she would go visit Ino.
"Sakura-chan," said Izumi, walking next to her, "how are you feeling?"
"Good," said Sakura, lying. Her body was still sore. Izumi smiled and did not question her any further. "So what are you up to, Izumi-san?"
"Okaa-san disappeared this morning, I'm afraid she might be shopping," said Izumi, grinning. "Want to come to look for her?" Sakura nodded and the two walked along the shopping district. They passed the Yamanaka Flower Shop, when Izumi backtracked and Sakura followed. "Oh dear, she's buying flowers. My allergies will act up." Izumi and Sakura entered the shop.
"Hey, Sakura," said Ino, greeting her technically ex-best friend, which title could be contested.
"Okaa-san, what are you doing," asked Izumi to her mother.
"We need flowers for Tou-chan," said Zelda. Izumi sighed sadly. Sakura was busy being mystified by a Sand Lily.
"Pretty, aren't they," said Ino, smiling. "We just got them today. Did you hear that our treaty with Suna is fixed? They are officially allies again. It's kind of scary with Suna having with that Gaara guy and his teammates and all."
"Yeah," said Sakura.
"How are you feeling," asked Ino.
"Better, but I'm so bored without being able to train," said Sakura. Suddenly, laughter erupted from Zelda. Ino and Sakura watched Zelda giggle like a school girl. "Uh, Zelda-san, what's so funny?"
"Is this Sakura-chan, Izumi-chan? Are you making her a workaholic like you," asked Zelda. "You're so much like your father, it is funny. Hello, Sakura-chan, it's nice to finally meet you." Zelda shook Sakura's hand.
"Likewise, Zelda-san," said Sakura, smiling brightly.
"I'm glad Izumi-chan made a new friend," said Zelda. "She was so reclusive for a while. And I never imagined that she would be training anybody ever again."
"Okaa-san," whined Izumi.
"Woah, Sakura, you got a private sensei," said Ino. "No wonder, you're going off attempting to play hero." Sakura glared at Ino. Ino glared back.
"Anyway, you going to visit Otou-san today, Okaa-san," asked Izumi. "I'll take you." Zelda shook her head; it seemed that she wanted to go by herself. She paid Ino and walked out. Izumi watched her mother with a sad look on her face. "I worry about her."
"Ah, Izumi-san, I need to talk to you," said Sakura, suddenly remembering her vow in the hospital a week ago. Izumi looked at her curiously. "Bye, Ino!"
"Feel better Sakura," said Ino, as Izumi and Sakura left.
"Now that I know where Okaa-san is, I need to go to a meeting with Tsunade-sama," said Izumi. "We can talk on the way." Sakura nodded. They walked on the roads, since Sakura was not supposed to do anything too strenuous. Sakura thought about what she was going to say.
"It's about Sasuke-kun," said Sakura. Izumi nodded, indicating that she was listening. "He's going to make the wrong choice." The other woman stopped and looked at her with a strange look on her face, when all of the sudden some blonde haired blue eyed man came over.
"Izumi-san, there you are! I've been looking for you," he said. Sakura looked at Izumi, who was this? "Please, go out on a date with me!"
"Again, Takato-san, I will not go out with you," said Izumi, sighing. "I'm busy." At least, Izumi was being polite unlike someone she knew (Sasuke).
"That's always your excuse," said Takato. "Will you at least come to see me perform at the bar?"
"Perhaps," said Izumi. "Come, Sakura-chan, we do have things to talk about. Have a nice day, Takato-san." Izumi dragged Sakura as far away as possible from the man. Sakura swore that she saw Izumi blushing. She made a mental note to question Izumi about the man Takato later after she finished with her problem. "Anyway, you said you know that Sasuke will make the wrong decision, how?"
"He told me to stay out of his fights and he seemed to not want me to get hurt, I think also the fact that his brother was trying to capture Naruto hurt him as well. I have to figure out a way to convince him to stay here, Izumi-san," said Sakura. "Sasuke-kun wants power right? Kakashi-sensei seems to have taught all he could to Sasuke-kun, so what can I do?"
"Let's go talk to Tsunade-sama," said Izumi. They reached the Hokage Tower, Izumi knocked on the door. Tsunade called her in. Izumi motioned for Sakura to follow her. Jiraiya was sitting on the window sill as well. "I brought Sakura-chan; she's expressing some concern over her teammate Sasuke and his loyalty to Konoha." Tsunade and Jiraiya exchanged looks which Sakura could only assume it was something about Orochimaru, the other Sannin.
"Please, tell me what you think, Sakura," said Tsunade. So, Sakura told Tsunade and Jiraiya that she felt that Sasuke was going to leave because he probably felt that he was being screwed over on the power that he wants. "I see your concern."
"Revenge is what he thinks about all the time," said Sakura. "Can't you figure something out, Tsunade-sama?" Tsunade looked thoughtful.
"If I may, Tsunade-sama, Jiraiya-sama, I have a suggestion," said Izumi. "I have some scrolls he may be interested in that I could let him borrow, since he seems like a self-sufficient learner. And perhaps since Jiraiya-sama is leaving with Naruto in a few days time, you could take Sasuke along. Jiraiya-sama can, after all, teach Naruto all he wants but make sure Sasuke does not kill himself with over-exertion. And besides, if Naruto and Sasuke are nearby training, they are going to work harder." Tsunade smiled, Jiraiya looked like he was going to complain and Sakura felt her hopes grow.
"Do you think that will help, Sakura," asked Tsunade. Sakura nodded. "Then, Jiraiya, you are to take Uchiha Sasuke along with you. I will have to fight the Council on this, but I think they will have to agree if two Sannin and two of Jounin and his teammate think it'll be best."
"Fine, but give him the scrolls, Izumi-san," said Jiraiya. "I'll go tell Naruto and the Uchiha." He left. Sakura felt better.
"Anyway, Sakura, are your wounds doing alright," asked Tsunade. Sakura nodded. "Okay, I want you to go home and rest some more." Sakura understood at once that Tsunade needed to talk to Izumi alone.
"I'll come and visit you later, Sakura-chan," said Izumi.
"Okay," said Sakura, leaving the office, wondering what they could possibly be talking about now. But at least she knew that Sasuke will stay with Konoha for a little bit longer. Briefly she thought about the Council and hoped they did not give Tsunade any problems. When Izumi visited later, she was going to have to ask about that man that asked her out on date.
A couple of weeks passed and Jiraiya decided to take Naruto and Sasuke earlier than he planned. So Sakura stood in front of the gates of Konoha where Naruto and Sasuke were standing with backpacks. Jiraiya was talking to the guards of the gate. Naruto looked worried about Sakura and Sasuke, as always, had a blank look on his face.
"You'll be alright, Sakura-chan," asked Naruto. Sakura smiled reassuringly. "Good, we'll come back stronger than ever, you count on it!" He ran over to Jiraiya and began bugging his sensei. Sasuke and Sakura looked at each other.
"Good luck, Sasuke-kun," said Sakura.
"Ah," said Sasuke. He probably didn't know that it was her that convinced Tsunade to let him go with Naruto and Jiraiya and she wants to keep it that way.
"So, anyway, will you and Naruto try to write a few letters to me, so I know you're alright," asked Sakura.
"Whatever," Sasuke said. Sakura sighed.
"Anyway it seems like Jiraiya-sama and Naruto are ready to go," said Sakura. Sasuke nodded at her. She took a deep breathe, should she tell him? "Uh, Sasuke-kun, wait one more minute." Sasuke stopped and looked at her, annoyed. She smiled at the memory. "I'm in love with you. Have a nice trip!"
Sasuke looked temporarily shocked, but Naruto grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him out of the gates of Konoha after Jiraiya. Sakura smiled, she made Sasuke's face change to something else other than a scowl. Now all she had to do is to wait one more week to get back to training.
She found herself sitting in the hospital with Tsunade. She was checking up on Sakura and her wounds. Tsunade smiled.
"You're a very good healer, the scars aren't as bad as I thought they would be," said Tsunade. "Now I still want you to go easy in training and it you're in pain come to me, alright Sakura?" Sakura smiled.
"Any word from Jiraiya-sama and the boys," she asked. Tsunade shook her head.
"Don't expect a million letters from any of them, that's men for you," said Tsunade, chuckling. "Well, you're good to go. Remember my warning."
"Yes," said Sakura, getting up off the chair. "Tsunade-sama, I have a request of you." Tsunade looked at her. "I'd like if you could teach me. I know Izumi-san is as well, but you are the greatest kunoichi Konoha has ever seen, and I really like to learn to be a medic for Naruto and Sasuke's sake."
"I'm a tough teacher, just ask Shizune," said Tsunade, warningly. Sakura noted her reluctance.
"I'll work hard, I promise," said Sakura. "I have to become stronger to help protect Naruto and Sasuke!" Tsunade sighed.
"Well, then, meet me at the Hokage Office tomorrow at noon," said Tsunade. "But you will also train with Izumi when she has time. She and the other Jounin are going to be even busier now."
"I promise, Tsunade-sama."
End of Chapter