Author's Notes: Oh guys I am soo sorry! I feel so bad that I have not updated in such a long time! And here I thought I was going to update sooner rather than later. I feel so ashamed. :( . For those who are continuing to read, I thank you so much for your devotion to this story. And just for that, I'm making it a longer chapter than normal! ENJOY!! :)
Sakura ran for a couple more hours through the forest. When she got closer and closer towards Kohana she couldn't help but feel happiness and relief grow inside her.
'Finally! I'm home! Home sweet home!'
Her pace picked up even faster. She was eager to finally see her friends and family. Her two week mission ended up turning into a month long trip!
'I wonder what everyone has been up to? If I remember correctly, Tsunade knew that I ended up in the past. Otherwise she wouldn't have sent that letter.'
Sakura slowed her pace down as she got closer the gates that guarded her beautiful city. As she walked over towards the guards, she could hear voices farther behind, and if she squinted enough, she was about to see a group of people next to a water fountain.
The guards stood up straight at the sight of Sakura. She turned her head towards them and waved. They simply moved aside so the woman could pass into the village.
After passing the military-like guards, Sakura heard the voices grow louder and louder. Curious over took her and she walked towards the voices.
At the water fountain stood the whole Rookie 9. Neji, Ten-Ten, Lee, Hinata, Kiba, Shino, Ino, Shikamaru, Chioji, Naruto, Sai, and even Tsunade was there too.
"What do you mean the ANBU haven't found her?!" Naruto yelled, truly infuriated about the whole thing.
"Calm down Dickless. We know you want to find her." Sai grumbled under his breath.
Neji just stood there and slowly nodded his head. "Sorry Naruto, but we just haven't found any leads yet."
"That is preposterous! How can a woman with PINK HAIR vanish off the face of the earth?!" Ino yelled.
Hinata sheepishly nodded her head and Ten-Ten just placed her hand on Ino's shoulder.
"Ino, every one of us here is concerned for Sakura-Chan. But that doesn't mean you take it out on Neji-Kun."
"It's just troublesome to worry."
"What did you say lazy-ass?!" Naruto yelled.
Kiba knew something was going to happen if Naruto wasn't tamed soon. Not waiting for an invitation, he held Naruto back, making sure he didn't charge at Shikamaru. Everyone knew he would.
"Calm down Naruto." Kiba hissed in his hear. He was somewhat struggling. It was like trying to hold onto a wet bar of soap.
"Hokage-Sama. Isn't there something we can do to find Sakura-San?" Lee asked the surprisingly calm Hokage.
The whole village knew the close mother-daughter like relationship Tsunade and Sakura have accustomed. It puzzled Lee to see her so calm and collected, since it's been a month and they still haven't found Sakura.
Tsunade looked towards the Gai look-a-like and sighed.
'I've procrastinated on this topic. I can no longer hold it off. They all need to know the truth.'
Tsunade cleared her throat and everyone turned their attention towards their leader.
"Hai?" They all said in unison.
Taking a deep breath in and out, she stared at each and every one of their faces. Figuring out how their reaction would be once she told them.
"You all are probably wondering why I am so calm about this whole situation…."
She trailed off to see a light bulb go off in everyone's head. Now that she mentioned it, they have noticed how calm she has been.
"Yeah! Why is that Baa-Chan?" Naruto asked, truly perplexed.
Tsunade held back the temptation to back-hand him.
"I'm calm about this because the mission I had Sakura go on, before she disappeared, was to receive a scroll. This scroll holds a power that is unknown. She was sent to retrieve it…."
Tsunade stopped in the middle of her sentence, which made everyone raise an eye brow in her direction.
'Sakura! You're back!' Tsunade could see her pink haired student walking towards them. Although she made it seem that she was calm on the outside she was worried sick for her.
"Sakura!" Tsunade screamed out at the top of her lungs. Causing the group of people to turn around and causing Sakura to sprint towards them.
"Tsunade-Sama!" Sakura shouted out as she stopped right in front of everyone. She then smiled towards everyone. "Hey guys! Is this my welcoming party?" she giggled at her own joke.
It took everyone a few seconds to process who it was that was in front of them.
"Sakura-Chan!" Naruto yelled and gathered her into a bone crushing hug. It didn't take long for everyone to join in on the group hug. Only Neji, Tsunade, and Shino didn't join in on the hug.
After everyone left Sakura some room to breath, they could see the growing smile plastered on her face.
"Where have you been forehead?!"
"Yeah Sakura-Chan, you made us worried sick." Hinata said.
"The both of them are right Sakura-Chan. Never do that again." Ten-Ten said as she lightly punched Sakura on the arm.
Sakura smiled at them and shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry everyone. I didn't mean to make you all worry about me. It's just that the mission…..took longer than expected."
As the mention of the mission, Tsunade's face went sour. "Sakura. Meet me in my office. Now."
Sakura was a little taken back by her Sensei's sudden order but realization hit her and she nodded her head.
"But Baa-Chan! Sakura-Chan just got here! Can't you let her chill out of a day until she comes to talk to you?!"
The look Tsunade sent Naruto was a sharp glare. Telling him not to even push the matter. He swallowed down the lump growing in his throat and gulped.
"Never mind." He turned his attention towards Sakura. "Hey, once you and Baa-Chan are done talking, come to the Ramen Bar. We'll throw a party there! I'll invite everyone!"
And with that every one of Sakura's friend's ran trying to get ready for the party. While Sakura and the Hokage made their way towards her office.
Once Tsunade closed her soundproof doors, Sakura took a seat at the front of her desk and Tsunade sat on the top of her desk.
"Sakura. You do know I am happy you have finally came back from the mission. But I need a mission report. Now."
Sakura raised an eye-brow towards her mentor. "You want a written one?"
Tsunade shook her head. "No Sakura I don't. I want a verbal one. I know that mission wasn't intended to take a month and a half, but it did."
Sakura took a sigh and nodded her head. "Yes it did."
"Why? What happened?"
Sakura slouched a little in the chair. She knew she was going to be there a little longer than she thought.
"The scroll you sent me to retrieve was easy to get. It wasn't the obtaining part that made it hard, it was the….after affect that caused a dilemma in my E.T.A."
"Was I right about what the scroll's power would be?" Tsunade asked as she remembered sending a note back into the past.
"Well….in a way. You see the scroll did take me back into the past….but that wasn't its….main power."
"What are you implying?"
Sakura reached into her pocket to pull out the scroll and placed it on her lap.
"This scroll…..it has a Demon sealed within it."
Sakura watched as Tsunade's eyes went wide and her mouth opened a bit.
"How do you….."
"I came in contact with her."
"It's a her?"
Sakura could tell it was a lot of information for Tsunade to swallow.
"Tsunade-Sama you need to trust me on this one. I don't know how it happened, but while I was in the past, one night I woke up to having her in my head. She told me how I got there and how I could get home. I even figured out some key information about her."
"And that would be?" Tsunade said as her tone of voice reached the peak of curiosity.
Sakura, at first, wasn't sure if she was able to say this, but after thinking it over, it might make Tsunade not ask so much questions.
"She told me how she was trapped in the scroll. She's the other demon, besides the Kyuubi, that the Akatsuki don't have."
"That's why the Akatsuki was looking for that scroll too." Tsunade said in a whisper. Hoping Sakura wouldn't hear her, but unfortunately she did.
"What?! You knew they were after the scroll?! Why didn't you send a ANBU to get it then?! Instead of me?!"
Tsunade sighed at Sakura's outburst. Thank god Sakura didn't punch a hole in her desk. Sakura did have a raging temper just like herself.
"Sakura. You read the note I sent to the Third right?" Tsunade watched as she nodded her head. "Then you know why I sent you on this mission. You're the only one I could trust enough to not change the future.
Sakura felt herself go light headed. Tsunade didn't know how wrong she was. Sure the change didn't alter major events. But it was a change. Tsunade didn't say anything when she noticed Sakura was a little lightheaded. She figured it was the realization of what happened.
"Sakura, can I have the scroll." Tsunade said as she eyed the scroll sitting on Sakura's lap.
Sakura looked down at the scroll on her lap and stared at it for the longest time.
'If I give Tsunade-Sama the scroll could I still be in touch with Anri?'
"Sakura-Chan don't worry. I'll still be able to communicate with you. Now that a speckle of my chakra is flowing through you, it'll be easier to talk to you. And besides if you carry around the scroll, it will make you even more of a suspect.'
Sakura mentally nodded and she slowly grabbed the scroll and placed it, gently, into Tsunade's hands. Tsunade smiled at her and tucked the scroll away in her robe.
"Well that's all the questions I have for you at the moment." Tsunade said as Sakura nodded her head and got out of the chair and walked over to the door.
"Oh, before I forget Sakura. I want you in my office, along with Naruto and Kakashi. You three have a mission brief tomorrow morning at 11."
"Hai." Sakura said as she exited the door and closed it behind her.
At the Ramen Bar, everyone was drinking, eating, dancing, and laughing amongst themselves. It seems that Naruto went full out for this welcoming back party.
"Sakura-Chan!" Naruto yelled once he saw his best friend enter the bar.
Sakura smiled brightly at him and shook her head at him. "Naruto, why did you go all out?"
Naruto smiled his fox-like grin at her and winked. "How could I not Sakura-Chan?! We're all happy you're finally back! So come on unwind and enjoy yourself!"
Sakura shook her head towards the silly blonde but none the less she smiled brightly and grabbed a drink. She then took a sip of the drink and made her way to where her girl friends were dancing.
After a couple of dances Sakura decided to take a break and sat at the bar. Watching all her friends dance with each other.
'If we got them drunk enough they would end up having a huge grinding chain going on!'
Sakura couldn't help but giggle at her little image. Picturing everyone dancing like that was quite funny.
"What are you giggling at?"
Sakura turned around quickly to see her ex-Sensei sitting right next to her.
"Hey Kakashi!" She said with a smile.
Kakashi watched as she took a sip of her second drink. For some reason, she reminded him so much of a girl that was on his Jonin Team with Itachi, before the two of them moved up to ANBU.
'Why would Sakura remind me of Pinky? Sure they have the same name, but they have different last names.'
Sakura could sense Kakashi staring and when she was done drinking, she stared at Kakashi. But he wasn't all there. It seemed like he was in another world.
'I wonder if he remembers me. Itachi knew who I was right in the beginning, but Naruto doesn't even seem to remember. I expected him to not remember because….well….that's just how Naruto is.'
While the two of them were in la-la land, they didn't see the beer bottle Naruto threw at Kiba, that he dodged, and was know on it's way towards Sakura and Kakashi.
Before anyone knew what happened, Sakura was covered in beer. Everyone heard the glass shattering against the bar, but when they all looked at who it hit, their faces paled.
Kakashi snapped out of his thoughts to see a drenched and a really pissed off Sakura. Sakura's hands clenched tightly together and she turned, very slowly, towards the direction of where the beer bottle came from.
"Who threw that." She hissed out, as her jaw tightened in frustration.
Kiba immediately pointed an accusing finger in Naruto's direction. Naruto's eyes went wide and people could see the skull and cross bones that appeared in his eyes. He could of sworn he saw his life flash right before his eyes.
"Now Sakura-Chan, it wasn't intentionally for you…." Naruto said as he rubbed the back of his neck and chuckled uncomfortably at her.
"INTENTIONALLY?! WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU THROW IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!" Sakura couldn't hold back anymore and before Naruto knew it, he was punched right upside the head.
Kakashi watched the exchange with widened eyes. 'No….she couldn't……then again…..there is only one way to find out.'
After Sakura was done extinguishing her anger out on Naruto, she returned back to her seat.
Kakashi turned towards her after the commotion died down and sighed.
"Jeez Pinky, I think you were just a little over the top with Naruto over there… yeah sure he's a klutz but still…"
And that was all the conformation that Kakashi needed. He watched as Sakura's fists tightened once again.
"What did you call me Kakashi." She grunted out.
Kakashi smirked towards his student. "I said Pinky…."
Sakura turned sharply towards him and glared ten-fold at him. But when she saw that he was smirking her, her anger went away and she sat there, puzzled.
"Why are you smiling?"
She watched as he pulled her from her seat and they made their way outside, so that way no flying beers could interrupt their conversation.
Kakashi lead Sakura around the front of the restaurant and stared at her with stern eyes.
"Sakura. How is it you are in my memories when I was a Jonin? Your age now doesn't fit you being 13 back when I was Jonin."
Sakura gulped, she had a sneaky feeling he would figure it out sooner or later.
"Kakashi, listen. You can't tell anyone about this ok? Only you and Tsunade-Sama know about this."
She waited for him to nod his head before she continued. "You know how I was gone on that scroll retrieving mission a month and a half ago? That I just came back from? Well when I was on my way back home it transported me back in the past. I tried to not change the past, I truly did, but I just couldn't do it."
Kakashi stared at his student with a softened glaze. "Sakura don't worry. You didn't change the future. You just changed a selected number of people's memories."
Sakura nodded her head, but didn't meet his glaze, she was too ashamed with herself.
"Yeah I guess…."
Kakashi placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and sighed. "That means you know a few secrets huh?"
Sakura nodded her head again. But this time Kakashi could see her mood coming back to her.
"Yes." And he watched as a smirk started to form on her face. "I never knew that THE copy-cat ninja was terrified of spiders."
Sakura shot her head up and smirked towards him. Kakashi could see her emerald eyes sparkling with mischief.
"I'm not terrified of them, I just find them un-wanting." He said trying to defend himself.
"That's a load of shit. And you know it." Sakura said while she giggled softly.
Kakashi shook his head at his student. "Sure Pinky. What ever you say."
Sakura punching him lightly on his shoulder. That was going to be a start of a new relationship for her and Kakashi. Sakura had a sneaky feeling that it would turn into a sister-brother relationship, just like her's and Naruto's.
"Hey Sakura-Chan! Kakashi-Sensei! Come on! You're missing the party!" Naruto shouted out loud.
"Ok Naruto! One second!" Sakura shouted as she turned around and walked inside. Kakashi following behind.
'Sakura, if I can remember you from the past, that means Itachi and everyone else will too. And if I remember right, Itachi had a crush on you. If the Uchiha still remembers that, then that means I will have to keep you away from him. Who knows what he would try to do with you.'
Sakura didn't notice the change in mood Kakashi suddenly had, and continued into the party.
After a few more hours, everyone left the restaurant and made their way home. Sakura unlocked her apartment and looked all around. She was so tired that all she did was lock the door and slip into her covers. Finally she was home. The place where she belonged.
The next day, Sakura woke up to a bright sunny light filtering through her curtains. She pilled out of her bed and got ready for the day.
After she called Naruto and Kakashi to remind them about their briefing in the Hokage's office, she decided to walk around the village until 11.
'It's amazing how much Kohana has changed. It's amazing how fast technology can advance in a city in only six or seven years.'
As Sakura passed the park, she decided to venture in and sit in one of the Cherry Blossom trees that were on top of a small hill.
'I wonder what Anri has to train me in. I mean what could there possibly be that I need to learn?'
Before Sakura could elaborate anymore on the subject she looked down at her watch, which read 10:50 A.M.
With one leap out of the tree Sakura made her way towards the Hokage's office. As she walked into the office, she saw that she was the first one there.
Tsunade smiled at her apprentice and sighed. "So I'm guessing Kakashi is going to be coming around 1 instead of 11." She said as more of a statement than a question.
Sakura shook her head. "No, he'll show up on time."
Tsunade looked at Sakura with confusion. But before Sakura could tell Tsunade why he would be on time, Naruto came running through the door.
"Sorry Baa-Chan! I lost track of time! I'm sorry!" Naruto said as he hoped Tsunade wouldn't beat him.
Tsunade didn't pay any attention to him. "What do you mean he won't be late?"
Sakura smiled at her Sensei. "If you tell Kakashi that the meeting starts two hours earlier than normal, than he'll show up on the right time instead of two hours later."
Tsunade smiled at Sakura, as did Naruto. "But Sakura, I don't think you can do that more than once. Kakashi is a smart cookie. He'll figure it out the first time it happens."
Before Sakura could say anything they saw a cloud of smoke pop in the room, which revealed Kakashi.
"Glad you could make it on time for once Kakashi." Tsunade said with a smirk.
Kakashi looked at the Hokage with a curious glaze. "What do you mean Hokage-Sama? Sakura told me the meeting started at 9."
Kakashi turned to see Sakura and Naruto chuckling at him. That's when he picked up on Sakura's little trick she played on him.
He just rolled his eyes and sat down in the chair. Hoping to get on with the briefing so he could continue reading his book.
"Ok. Now that everyone is here, let's get started."
Tsunade sat down in her chair and placed her elbows on her desk, as she folded her hands together and rested her chin down on them.
"You three are going on a mission. This mission in a B-Rank. I'm sure two Jonin and one ex-ANBU can handle this situation."
Tsunade scanned her amber eyes around the room to make sure she had each and every one of their attention.
"What's the mission Baa-Chan?"
Tsunade smiled. "This mission will take place in a club. But not just any club, you are familiar with a club called The Lunar Eclipse?"
"It's only the best club in the world! They have the best music and drinks and don't forget about all the action that happens down there!" Naruto yelled out in happiness.
Tsunade nodded her head. "Ok…..You see the owner of the club has been losing some of his staff members. Ranging from dj's to bouncers. He doesn't know who or why they could be doing this. Especially since the people that are disappearing have nothing in common."
"So you want us to go behind the scenes and find anyone who is suspicious looking?" Kakashi asked.
Tsunade nodded. "Something like that. Two of you are going to act as employers and if you see anyone that would seem suspicious you will question them. The other one will be the person that dances at the club. Kakashi, you're going to play as a bar tender. Naruto, you're going to play a Dj. And Sakura, you're going to be one of the dancers out on the floor, you'll be the only one that isn't an employee. This will give you three access to behind the scenes and anything on happening on the street."
Sakura and Kakashi nodded their head and Naruto couldn't hold in his excitement.
"Yes! Finally an interesting mission! Wait till everyone hears that I get to work at the best Night Club for a month! And even play some music there! WOOT!"
Sakura giggled at Naruto's explosion of emotion and Kakashi smiled. It had been a long time since the three of them have worked together as a team.
"When are we leaving?" Kakashi asked.
"Be ready by five. Since the club is in Lighting, it will take a while to get there…..Sakura you might want to change your hair color."
"What?! Why?" Sakura said as she grabbed her pink locks and held them tightly to her head. Afraid to loose her precious, unique hair color.
"If you don't want to draw attention to yourself, dye it. There will be ninja there, and your hair color is a dead give away of who you are."
"Aw man." Sakura said as she crossed her arms in despair.
"Now get out of my office. You will have a month to work on this. Now get out!"
Not wanting to feel the Hokage's wrath, they ran out of the room and got ready for their mission.
When Sakura entered her home with a black hair dye in her hand, she groaned out loud and made her way towards her bathroom.
She opened the box and held the bottle out in front of her.
'Why am I the one that has to dye my hair? How much more sexist can you get Tsunade-Sama?! Oh well…..maybe I can keep some pink. I could make it look like I have pink high lights! Yeah that's a good idea!'
And with a design set in her head, Sakura got to work. After two hours of working on her hair, she was finally done. When she looked at herself in the mirror she had to admit it looked pretty damn good.
'Perfect! I don't look….too fake.'
She then dyed her eye brows to match her hair. After brushing her hands through her black hair with pink high lights, she packed her bag and made her way towards the gates.
'I just got back and she's sending me on another mission?! What the hell. But I guess I shouldn't be complaining. I mean at least I'm with Naruto and Kakashi. This sounds like a fun mission anyways. Plus I haven't been on a mission with them in forever.'
With one last look around her apartment, she took the key and locked her door. She took a deep breath and made her way towards where Naruto and Kakashi would be meeting her.
She had a feeling this mission was holding a lot of surprises for her and her team. She just couldn't wait to start the mission. It was going to be full of action and everything.
'I just hope nothing goes wrong. How much would that suck?"
Author's Note: Just a FYI E.T.A. means estimated Time of Arrival, just for those that didn't know.I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter! I tried to make it longer because of the guilt I felt for not touching this story in a while. I just had so much going on with school. BUT IT WILL BE OVER SOON! AND THAT MEANS I'LL BE ABLE TO UPDATE FASTER! At least I hope so. :)
HOPE YOU ALL LIKED IT! EVEN AFTER MY LONG ABSANCE!