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"-ttebayo! Live Sakura, LIVE!"

"-late. Kaguya got-"

"Peace Sakura, peace my child."

Pale feet dashed along smooth wooden floors as the moonlight rained down upon the owner. A white yukata was being dragged along the polished wood as it contrasted with the rosette hair. Dainty hands grabbed at the sliding doors in front of her and she flung it open, her eyes on the sole person in the room and she cried openly.

Within no time the same pale feet were swept off the floor and she was held against red armor; the cold metal warming her small heart. "Imouto? What is wrong?" the young girl sniffled as rough hands rubbed away the tears.

"M-Madara-ani," and the now dubbed Madara smiled gently at her, and sat down with his legs crossed to hold the young girl in his lap. Her pink hair was smoothed down by his hands as he pet her hair comfortingly. "I had a-a bad dream a-again, with the G-Goddess," the rosette whimpered again as she looked at the moon fearfully. Madara just pushed her long hair out of her face and just held her so she was facing away from the window in the room.

His own long hair curtained her from the world as he sat there, doing as all big brothers did; protecting his precious siblings. "Do not worry Blossom, the Goddess is only here to help you. I will not let her harm you imouto, I promise," and even though the promise slid off his tongue like it did every night, his sister calmed down.

"I trust you aniki."

"I know Sakura-chan, I know."

Sakura was more than happy to let his run his finger through her silky hair and asked him a very repetitive question, one that she asked every night, "Aniki? What's it like outside the compound?" Her small face looked up at him in innocent question and he sighed.

Every night was a repeat of the last, and Madara was more than aware of that but he couldn't deny his only sister her wish, "It is a cruel place Blossom, but it is so beautiful. It is as green as your eyes on the best of days, but on the worst it is when the water runs pink like your hair when I step across a battlefield. The lands are so different from our own, some snow constantly while others are sand only. There are people made of gold, their skin shining bright in their spiraling villages, but there are those like coal. Burning up the innocent and guilty alike, with no regard for life.

"I will take you to see it some day, when the fighting is over and our family is safe I'll take you. But for now, you must stay here where it is safe. Do you understand Blossom?" Madara asked her as he picked her up to bring back to her room. His sandals ghosted across the floor as she nodded.

"But why can't I go outside? Don't our cousins miss me?"

"I can't allow for the Senju demons to find you imouto, I won't let you become like Naos and Kagami. I won't let you die like them."

"Promise aniki?"

"Of course Sakura," even though he helped her today, Madara knew better than anyone that she will come back with the same problems on the next night.

After laying her in her bed and leaving her room, the Clan Leader, a boy of fifteen, looked at the moon.

"Why does she fear you so?"

Though the Moon never answer as she hangs in the night sky, surrounded by distant stars. Always watching over the world as it blazed on in turmoil, pushed on in determination, and weeped in sorrow. Always watching the young girl known only by her brothers and clan council as Sakura Uchiha, the only daughter of Tajima Uchiha.

And the one thing that the Moon craved for.

~.~.~.

When the night was over and the moon was gone, Sakura would act as any other girl would. She would sleep in as much as she was allowed, played around during the day, tried to ignore her lessons (when her brothers were involved try was the best way to describe it), and ate whenever someone called her to lunch. The day was her domain and there was nothing that could scare her in her sanctuary.

The Rabbit Goddess couldn't touch her here, by body or chakra.

So everyday, Sakura Uchiha felt safe..

Every morning after she bathed her aniki would comb her hair and ensure that she was ready for her lessons; both Madara and her other brother Izuna were rather protective of her. Rarely letting others see her and never letting her leave the Main House, but there were days were she would find herself alone. When her brothers were away at battle, she would have the freedom of being alone.

And the chance to see the outside world.

Being eight meant that Sakura was a mere child, unable to be left unsupervised and as a female alone in a male's company. Though her brothers never saw how crafty she was, and none that interacted with her would risk her going to Madara or Izuna with complaints. The rosette had the Main House staff under her fingers and when one would leave the back gate to the garden open on 'accident' she would slip away. For an hour or two at a time.

Despite this she was scared of venturing out of sight of the Main House, after all she only knew that leaving the house could bring death. After all Naos had snuck away when she was only a baby and never came back alive. Or when Kagami left with Tou-sama to the battlefront and he came back alone. So she never ventured into the world that her brother described to her often.

Making her wish for the cage that she called home.

However, every night it was a different story. Nightmares plagued her very being and she would quiver in fear of three eyes staring at her; a cruel Sharingan scaring her into the world of the living and having her seek out safety from her brothers. More often than not she would find Madara, though there were times that she would find Izuna before Madara.

Her brother Izuna Uchiha was different, not because he was younger than Madara, but because he reminded her of someone. His face always triggered a different name in her mind, Izuna would be replaced with Sasuke. Kind black eyes would be switched with malcontent ones and she could see where the smirk on his face could change into a demented grin.

But, he treated her softly and safely; always rocking her back to sleep and sharing stories that their mother would tell them in their infancy. Instead of promising her the world like Madara did, he described to her made up ones. Building worlds from the whims of their mama and creating new stories from the boundaries he remembered of her fake worlds.

She was the prime subject in every single one of them; a warrior, a priestess, a kunoichi, a princess, a civilian, an angel, and most importantly a loved one. Always addressed the same way. Saku-

"Sakura-sama! Sakura-sama, your brothers request your presence," and she looked up from her daydreams to her maid. Oka Uchiha was a no-nonsense woman and expected the same from the Uchiha Princess. The woman was everything Sakura wasn't, she had the normal Uchiha coloring and even possessed the Sharingan.

Oka was the mother Sakura never had, dressing her each day and teaching her how to behave, but punishing her by making her sit in a seiza for hours if she found her outside the Main House boundaries. Today she forced Sakura into a twelve layered kimono and used hot iron to straighten her hair completely. Calling it a punishment for removing some layers on yesterday's outfit.

She whined lightly at the elder woman, "Oka-sannnn!"

"Don't 'Oka-san' me Hime, up! Up!" and with help Sakura was pulled onto her feet and she sighed. She knew what was coming next and grimaced at the thought of being in a stuffy meeting. A rough smack on her bum had her yelp and make her way across the courtyard of her home quicker. Everyone she saw on the way bowed to her and she waved back.

Being a Hime was hard, especially when Oka forced her to bow back to them instead of wave.

Oka removed her slippers on a stone mat before stepping up onto the smooth wood and opening the door for Sakura as she did the same. Inside the room was a table put on a dais with three cushions to sit on. One for her between her brothers. On the cushions were Madara and Sasuke-Izuna, her mind supplied helpfully, and she bowed lowly to the men in the room.

Her face twisted minutely at the old men in the room, each looking at her with something in their eyes that she didn't like. Sakura quickly straightened and made her way to her seat, which was normally empty since she wasn't required to join in on meetings. She let Izuna mess with her hair before Madara cleared his throat, any talking was immediately over and he shifted slightly.

Obviously uncomfortable with what he was going to say.

Her pink hair was the only splash of color in the room besides the red outer layer on her kimono, but looking over to her brother she was mortified to see him blushing just as bright as her hair.

"Elders," Madara bowed respectively to the members before Izuna and Sakura doing the same. "Peace is offered once more to us, at a cost some might see as too steep.

"As we discussed last week, the Senju have been trying to find ways to compromise with us for a cease fire. The Senju Council have decided that a merger between the two clans will be a good as solution to stop confrontations as any. What is being suggested is a village of the two clans, Uchiha and Senju. All ruled under a single leader, all equal. It would end the war."

As her aniki talked the child part of her couldn't comprehend the idea of war, but it could understand one thing. Senju were demons, monsters, and she was a Blossom. She tugged on Madara's sleeve, "What about Naos and Kagami? What about the demons?" Remembering the warnings that he would whisper to her whenever the Rabbit Goddess frightened her.

He looked guilty and when she looked to Izuna she saw that he was the just as uncomfortable, "Aniki?" The Clan Leader looked to the Council and saw them talking among themselves. "I thought you said they were demons? Why talk to demons?" and Izuna looked over to Madara who gave him a nod. Keeping his left eye on the bickering old fools in the room.

"Well imouto-chan, we don't want to fight with demons forever. That wouldn't be good, and if we be friends with them then you won't have to stay inside all the time," Izuna explained. Hoping to appeal to her want to be included in the world and enjoy all that it had to offer.

"But I don't want to."

"Saku-"

"I don't want to! Don't want to be friends with demons! What if they hurt us?"

She turned her bright green eyes over to Madara and pouted, trying to get him to see reason. In all of his fifteen years, Madara had never felt more guilty then he did in that moment. "I promised to take you to see the world, if we say yes then you'll be able to do that," and he looked like he wanted her to defy him. And she was more than happy to.

Sakura looked to the door where Oka was sitting in a seiza and threw a tantrum that she knew would cause her to take Sakura from the room. Feeling Madara's chakra shift to give her permission, she took in a deep breath and wailed. Her hands were covered by the long sleeves of her kimono, and she used that to make herself seem cuter.

Being able to twist the situation like Izuna had once taught her to do in her favor was a helpful skill, however it was intended to be used on Tajima when he was alive or even Madara. Showing her fear of the demons as well as challenging any to force her hand and make her go into hysterics. All while her brothers were watching, daring anyone to do anything.

Large fake tears were streaming down her face and she tried to wipe them all away. The Uchiha maid quickly rushed to Sakura and picked her up, whispering to her brothers that she would take care of her and return her to them after the meeting. And Oka carried Sakura all the way to her bedroom before setting down the now smirking Hime, she too had her own smirk on her face. "Well done Princess, I'm sure that Lord Madara will send his regards to the Senju," Oka commented as she settled the girl at a low table.

The Princess nodded, "Madara-ani will say the same thing, no."

"As he should those scum should not be allowed to assume that such a union exist. Now Sakura-sama, for such a convincing tantrum how about dango to go with your edamame and soup," Oka suggested as she opened a cupboard and set out a place for the child at her table.

"Can I have spicy rolls instead of edamame?"

"No Hime, now I'll add in some squid sashimi," Oka smiled at the disgusted face of her young charge.

"Squid is nasty."

Oka tapped her slightly large forehead, "Its good for you Hime." She made an over exaggerated choking sound only to be rewarded with a sharp slap to the wrist and glared at the woman. "Please be patient until I return Sakura-sama," then she left her alone. Sakura smiled to herself as she thought about what her brother said, there was no way they could be so nice to demons.

If demons were allowed to join them then they would be no better than the demons.

But, parts of her wants to say yes. Just so she could see the world that her mind would dream up, just like the stories that her Kaa-chan would tell her. So she did as she always did when she got these thoughts and just waited for Oka to come back.

Because in truth that was all she could do.

~.~.~.

They were spoiling her, and they knew this.

Once Sakura left the room with Oka, the Council was quick to turn back to the Clan Leader; disappointed stares and silence came from them. Neither Izuna or Madara showed any sign of it bothering them, because in truth it didn't matter to them. She was their only sister, their baby sister that they practically raised from when she was a mere toddler.

The two were young children themselves at the time, but they knew what they were doing. Madara spoiled her and Izuna fed the flames happily; it was simple as that and they let her get her way too many times.

So it was easier to let her think that she won, instead of arguing tooth and nail with an eight year old.

"Now, I propose that we accept the Senju's offer," Madara's voice rang out in the large room. He folded his hands in front of him and glared at the sudden upheaval in the room. Elderly men up in arms about giving them what they wanted, and in that moment Madara wizened up. This wasn't about him or the safety of their clan; what this was about was the pride of the clan.

His family was being torn and the Compound was nothing like what he told Sakura it was. It wasn't a small village, it was a pick up town; filled with tents and dirt pathways. Nothing of the illustrious village he had described to his precious imouto. The Main House only fabulous because it was his father's dream, for a place to call their own. And the rest of the Uchiha were left to themselves when war came calling even harder than when Tajima was a child.

Naos and Kagami never got the lives they deserved, so he would make it right for the clan to have the lives the next generation.

Madara raised his gloved hand for silence, and got what he asked for. "You were among the fortunate few to live so long in life. Whereas I am forced to drag children the age of my precious imouto out into the field every other day. Its not about winning to be safe anymore, all that we have been concerned with was winning so that we could be right.

"If we keep this mentality then we will never be right! The world is sitting back to watch us kill off one another, it matters not to anyone else but our clans. I'm tired of fighting, and I'm tired of losing more clansmen. Do you not feel the same?"

The thought of losing was not appealing to him, but he could understand the gravity of their situation. His sister and brother could hate him all they want, but even though he despised most Senju he could empathize with one. One that he had been friends with many seasons ago.

"Izuna? Your thoughts?" Madara asked.

He rubbed his thighs for a second in thought before opening his mouth, "I don't like the idea of being buddy buddy with the Senju." The short haired Uchiha looked at the nods of his fellow clansmen, "But, I can understand Madara's reason and will stand behind him. Sakura is too young to comprehend the meaning of alliances or compromising. Though you lot should be more understanding of this proposal. Its not for us, its for those that come after us."

One person stood and bowed respectively to both Izuna and Madara, "But my lords, the voice of your younger sister should be taken into account as well. Is her word not to be taken into account?"

Madara plastered a fake smile on his face, "Ah, Uncle Tajimi, thank you for your concerns. However, I think Sakura will not be included in this decision, she is rather ignorant due to my actions as her elder brother. She doesn't know that situation that the Uchiha or Senju are in, but she will soon enough. Now, I've sent off a message with Haruka Uchiha and his brothers for the Senju Leaders, if they accept our counter then we will be able to meet on the morrow."

"And if not?" another member asked.

The elder brother pushed the fringe out of his face, his black eyes spinning with red as he looked over his clan elders.

"Then we do as we always do. Fight. Now you are dismissed, I have a little sister to comfort now."

Both he and Izuna knew that was a lie, even though Sakura had them both under her thumbs they knew most of her little tricks and games. Allowing her to do what she wanted, there were times that they would have to be stern with her. She could understand that, but there were many times were Izuna would turn a blind eye to everything. Madara would literally let her get away with some of her nastier habits where Oka wouldn't.

The long haired teen let her run in the courtyard in a light yukata at night, getting mud on her sleepwear.

The younger brother would carry her on his shoulders around the house, chasing after the 'monsters' in her little made up games. When in reality he was ninja running around the house after different servants.

Now, both brothers were cringing over the amount of time they spent spoiling her rotten. It would be hard to change her into a compromising, Senju loving child; but it would be worth it. She would be safe and guaranteed a good future ahead of her. And that was all that truly mattered.

So when they got to her room for lunch, they were taken aback by the already calmed girl eating her edamame with chopstick and clearly avoiding the fresh sashimi on that table. Her pink hair was being plaited by Oka as the two entered the room with a polite 'at you will'; and Izuna grabbed another set of chopsticks playfully and poked at the squid on the table.

"Don't mind if I do!~"

Faster than lightning, Oka reached over and smacked at Izuna's hand making him drop the chopsticks. "No, Sakura-sama is to eat all her food. I'll prepare fresh inarizushi for Madara-sama and gyoza and nikujaga for Izuna-sama."

Madara nodded his head in thanks while Izuna clutched at his hand and cried fake tears, making Sakura giggle at his antics. "Ani~!" she whined when he reached over to pick at the dango next to her. Once again, his hands were smacked away by the cruel Oka; the dead glare on her face made him slide away from the table. The woman nodding once at the clan leader before taking leave of the room, letting the siblings be in peace.

Now that their lunch was being prepared Madara let her talk about anything and everything; her mindless blabbering calming his nerves. He was truly worried about the Senju clan coming to meet them for a compromise; wanting the outcome to be as good as it could be for his family.

No, could was not enough.

It would be good enough for them.

Madara would do anything to make sure of it.

~.~.~.

Sakura Uchiha was flabbergasted at the sight in front of her.

She had held onto Madara's hand (despite his insistence that she not) as the hot sun beat down on her in yet another twelve layered kimono. Waiting for the Senju contingent to arrive, and she could only wonder why. Her brothers both showed a dislike for the brown haired clan, and she followed their lead. Learning from an early age that the Vajra brought nothing but pain.

Even her mind told her that something was to be feared about the Senju Clan, and her mind was right about most things.

Her brothers would not disclose to her why the demons were coming to the Compound, and when in private Oka would spew more venom to the sponge that Sakura was. Letting her know of the horrid deeds done by a clan with a rare Kekkai Genkai, how the wood could swallow even the strongest of Gods whole.

Though, she found that the descriptions of the Senju were wrong by all accounts.

Beautiful people had arrived instead of the monstrous forms that she had been expecting, there were no grotesque features to watch for instead she saw beautiful red armor heading the pack. Long brown hair framed the prettiest face that Sakura had seen outside of her brothers' faces, and she shied away from the intimidating chakra rolling off these people in waves.

Izuna only rubbed her back comfortingly as she clung even more to Madara, causing him to stoop down to alleviate the strain on him. "Blossom," he growled but before anything could be done about her behavior the Senju were already bowing in front of them. Madara let his long black hair fall in front of him as he bowed in greeting to the familiar people, and Izuna begrudgingly nodded at them. Not at all happy with showing them respect.

All that Sakura had to do was bow, but she grabbed at Madara's grey pants and hid behind him slightly.

"Hi," came her small voice as she looked at the newcomers in fear.

They had so much power, and she was so weak. "Aniki," and she tugged once more on Madara's pants, but he ignored her. In favor of apologizing for her actions and Sakura grabbed for Izuna after she realized that Madara would be no good. He was more than happy to pick her up so she could hide her face in his short hair. "Chakra," she whimpered as she trembled slightly.

It took Izuna a second to understand what she was referring to before his eyes widened, "Sorry imouto-chan, we didn't think about how sensitive you were." He pressed a small kiss to her forehead before looking to the Senju chakra powerhouses. "Ne, Senju-san would you please conceal your chakra, Sakura-chan here is sensitive to new people's energy."

The brown haired leader blinked before grinning sheepishly, "Sorry Uchiha-sama, please forgive us for not knowing this. Senju!" The rosette girl calmed when the irritating and overwhelming amount of chakra left her skin feeling raw, but untouched. It was unpleasant to be exposed to such difference from the warm Uchiha chakra.

Now that she looked properly, she wished she didn't.

"Kami-sama..."

He was prettier than she was! Nothing at all like she thought the leader of the Senju would look like, no fangs or wood growing from his body. He was a regular human being, and Izuna set her down so she could introduce herself to him. He gave her a stern look and the rosette bowed, "I'm Sakura Uchiha, nice to meet you." If it was possible it just made the man in front of her smile brighter at her.

"Likewise Uchiha-sama, I am Hashirama Senju. A pleasure to meet you," he bowed at the waist to her. Making Sakura cling to Izuna, as her face tried to emulate the color of her hair. The long haired male introduced his brother (that Sakura didn't even notice), and Madara waved for them to follow them into the Main House. Sakura held onto Izuna as they walked through the courtyard; her small legs trying to keep up with the larger pace that the men had.

The atmosphere around the four men was slightly suffocating, as if there was an underlying anger and bitter resentment floating around them.

"Hey Sakura-chan, do you want to go get Oka-san for us? Ask her if she can make tea and namagashi if possible, and send it our way," Izuna asked her as he eyed the white haired Tobirama. The young girl nodded and took off at a run ignoring Madara's 'Don't run!', causing the Uchiha brothers to chuckle as she left their sight.

Her pink hair flew behind her when she kicked off her slippers to climb up on the wood walkways, running up and down the smooth wood to find her maid. Calling softly for Oka as she opened door and walked through hallways proved to be worthless. The kitchens didn't know where she was and even after Sakura left an order with them, she still went to find Oka.

Maybe Izuna wanted her for a tea ceremony.

She wasn't skilled enough to perform one for anyone other than her brothers, since she always found a way to either over whisk the tea or just plain out fuck it up. Her soft feet walked silently through the halls of her home, making her nothing more than a whisper in the wind.

"Oka-san! Oka-san!"

Sakura sighed as she walked back to the courtyard without her maid and saw that other servants had laid out a rug and table for them to sit at. And once more she found herself between her brothers face to face with God. The pinkette decided one thing from that embarrassing tea ceremony.

God was merciless.

As the outlier in a family- no clan of black haired, black eyes people; she gained more attention from all Senju present. Both Hashirama and Tobirama were both interested of course, but they were not their to talk about the pink haired green eyed girl. They were there for business and it seemed that it would be settled despite their curiosity.

"Sakura-sama, I apologize for not being on call," the young pinkette turned when she was addressed formally by her maid.

"Oka-san!" Sakura smiled at the woman and nodded at her apology.

There was nothing wrong with the woman, but she could see the stress lines on her face grow deeper at the sight of the guests at the table. Sakura tilted her head in question before one of the Senju entourage drew her back into a conversation.

She knew that Oka hated the Senju and that she loved to tell the reasons why to anyone with an open ear (that being Sakura), but after meeting them the rosette couldn't help but to change her mind a bit. Her mind whispered to her about a fire shadow, but she chose to ignore it. After all her mind tried to tell her that Izuna was someone called Sasuke.

Sakura didn't even know a Sasuke.

But this Hashirama seemed like a good NarutoSenju, unlike the ones from stories.

"Now, Madara. Let's talk about this village proposal."

CRSH!

The entire table turned to a blushing Oka, who bent as an apology as well to pick up the tray she dropped. Though Sakura was turned to her big brother, wide eyed as Madara nodded in reassurance to her. Telling her that it would be okay.

Somewhere in her mind she knew that this village talk would happen and that Madara was right. It would be okay. He was her big brother, why wouldn't he be right?

"Oh Little Blossom, there is so much left to learn."

Chapter Text

"Sakura-chan! Don't run too far!"

Her long pink hair flowed behind her as she ran through the trees happily; Izuna trailing behind her carefully as Madara wandered off with Hashirama. It was rather heartbreaking to see Sakura so happy to be outside truly. The young girl had never been this far from home, lies all lies, and under her brother's watchful eye it was glorious.

It was everything Madara had told her it would be.

The site of their new home was picked carefully right under a large cliff, and Madara explained to her that it would be their forever home. The Main House would remain there as a summer home of sorts. It would be a place that if something were to happen she could go there and be safe. Everything about this place seemed so right and Sakura never wanted to leave.

Green was all around her; under her feet, above her head, between her toes, and running on her fingers. The outside world was beautiful and the pure joy that came from being in it squashed the bitter disappointment about the Compound. It wasn't a spiraling village like she hoped, instead it was pick up houses and war tents, but despite her living in luxury there was little to no anger towards her.

As Tajima's only daughter it was the life that should be afforded to her.

Her little lungs heaved as she took in as much air as she could, and Izuna easily kept pace with Sakura. Making sure that she didn't stray far was a hard job; twice Tobirama had to alert Madara and Izuna that she was going past her set boundaries. And she had interrupted their discussions twice for Izuna to go get her, before it was decided that he just stay with her.

It was easier than having Tobirama interrupt them for something as trivial as her excitement.

"Izuna-ani, c'mon!"

Sakura jumped over roots and criss-crossed through the large green trees with ease; she laughed as Izuna tried to catch her and let her duck out of his reach. The two siblings weaved in and out of each others reach until Sakura came across a tiny stream. Pretty flowers swished lazily in the wind before her merciless hands picked at them. The white daisies reminding her of a pig, and she could only wonder why a pig. She shook her head and thrust the flowers to Izuna, "Here aniki! For you!"

Izuna took them from her small hands and thanked her; and slotted them under the sash he wore. The white flowers contrasted against the grey on his outfit and she ran through the water to get to the other side. "Aniki, what's this flower?" Sakura plucked the flower by the stem and turned to show Izuna.

"That's a chrysanthemum Sakura-chan, its a yellow one though," he said when he took it from her.

"What does that mean?"

"It means sorrow or neglected love, I could be wrong though. Hold onto it and we can ask Madara, okay?" and Sakura nodded before putting it in the sash of her kimono. She then turned to find more flowers, determined to see if she could find a happier one. Her pink hair touched the ground as she bent over to pick at another flower, and when she looked up she saw white.

Sakura used her sleeve to shield the white of the sun, before turning back to Izuna. The teen didn't look like he was affected by the light and let her walk over to him, "You already ready imouto-chan?" Sakura nodded and he picked her up, careful not to crush the flowers both had on them as he jump into the trees.

Ninja running was the most fun Sakura has ever had, it beat him jogging around the House with her on his shoulders. The young girl was not afraid to admit that she grabbed onto his hair and face, her nails digging into his skin as he bounced from tree to tree. She kept a grip on his when he flew through the air, watching the world fly past her in a green blur.

A large smile settled on the two as they came to a skidding stop in front of Tobirama, Madara, and Hashirama. Her brother giving her a small smile as she took the flower from her sash a held it out to Madara. Eager for a response, "Izuna-ani said you could tell me more about it." The long haired Uchiha glared at Izuna and took the flower from her hands.

As Izuna set her down, Madara studied the flower for a second and sighed, "I don't really know imouto-chan. I am not well versed on flower language." She pouted but took the flower to put in his sash, like she had done to Izuna. Yellow sticking out like a sore thumb on his drab grey robes, though he nonetheless let his sister hug him before she rushed off to Izuna.

Her pale kimono looked bright next to his grey robes, the light pink sash nearly white against the green of grass. Sakura sat with the elder Uchiha as he watched her but kept his ears on the tidbits that he could gather from the conversation going on. All three men were arguing among themselves about the lay of the land and how their village could be represented.

Izuna could only sit there and stew in his jealousy, reminding Sakura of a boy smaller than him but still older than her. Cold black eyes, power hungry attitude, and the anger that he held all the time. She couldn't bare to see Izuna turn into such a...a...a Sasuke. Sakura wanted him to be the kind hearted, funny loving brother that he always was.

The wound that once festered such hate on his torso had healed over, and only his desire for a good future for his little sister kept him from opening his mouth about an alliance. Off the battlefield, Tobirama was an asshole; though he was civil with all Uchiha to an extent and did not begrudge the way that Izuna glared at him. But dammit! If Tobirama was allowed to join in such a historical event, then why the fuck couldn't he!

Though as always the voice of reason reached out to him in the form of a small tug on his robes from his cute pink haired sister, her bright green eyes moving back and forth from him and the clan leaders.

"Izuna-ani?" her soft voice was lost in the wind as he looked down.

The second son smiled at her, "Yes Sakura-chan?"

She looked over to Madara and asked him, "Do you want to be with Madara-ani? Even though Oka-san says he consorts with demons?"

Izuna frowned, "Now why would she say that? Even though we might have been opposite sides, the Senju have only dished out what the Uchiha had served them." He sighed, sometimes they had to be careful with the people they let around Sakura; because more often then not the Uchiha would find anyway to express their anger and hatred to the Senju.

Poisoning the mind of a princess was one sure way to do it.

"I don't know, but Hokage-sama is not a demon like she said."

"Fire Shadow? What is that?" the young man asked her and Sakura stopped to really think about it.

Why had she said Hokage-sama? It seemed so right to say that, it was something that took prevalence in her mind and it wouldn't leave. She turned her eyes to Izuna and felt the spinning tomoe appear and red replaced green. "Its a very strong person! They watch over regular people and care for them! I saw it in my dream aniki!" the rosette exclaimed. Not minding the thoughtful look that Madara sent their way or the small laugh that Hashirama let out.

"Where in the world did you think that up?" Izuna asked, and Sakura pondered.

To be honest she wasn't the one to think it up, people before her did; and she only did what was asked of her and followed orders. There was nothing to do but follow the orders of a Hokage. She should know because she-

Sakura didn't know, she shouldn't know.

But the Rabbit Goddess did.

"Kaguya-sama showed me it!"

"She can't be that bad now, if she showed you such a place," he pointed out to his sister, but the young girl just shook her head at him. The frantic spinning of her Sharingan was impressive, but it showed how unsettled Sakura was by the Goddess.

The pink haired girl glanced at Madara and Hashirama before leaning forward to Izuna, "Kaguya-sama only does what she does for her own gain aniki, she knows much about me." He smoothed her hair back and gave it a quick kiss. Before pulling back and staring into her red, red eyes; seeing the little girl that he felt like he half raised.

Well, kinda raised, without Madara anything could have happened with a nine year old looking over his two year old sister. But that was another subject for another time.

"Nothing will happen imouto, why would the Rabbit Goddess want anything from us?"

"I don't know."

"Then why stress over something you can't know nor control? You are too young to stress, if you do you might end up like Madara," he ignored the cloud of doom emanating from Madara in favor of listening to Sakura laugh. "All wrinkled before he is twenty," and Izuna ducked his head from the kunai that sped towards him. He stuck his tongue out at the Clan Leader, getting even more giggles from his little sister.

He was content to laugh and play around with his family, it was nothing short of good for his soul. The curse of his eyes not even mattering to him; no, the anger at Tobirama Senju dissipated with the soothing aura of his sister.

Sakura got to her feet and pulled Izuna up with her; bare feet and sandals glided across grass before they came a stop in front of the others. She raised her arms at Madara and he crouched down so she could climb on his back. A little awkwardly because of her kimono, though she was still able to climb on his back with no problems.

The Senju leader smiled kindly at her, "Do you like our new home Sakura-sama?"

She nodded, her Sharingan spun as she took in the large trees around her, "It can be a village hidden in the leaves! Konohagakure!" Her pink head tilted to the side as Hashirama pondered the name, "Right?" Once he nodded Sakura's eyes stopped spinning and they changed back to the green he had been accustomed to seeing on her.

Her silver kimono was wrinkled as she folded her arms and leaned on Madara's head; happy that the name caught with someone. It just seemed so right that she couldn't help it. "Hashirama-sama likes the name aniki! Is that the name of our new home?" she exclaimed to her brother.

New home, it sounded good to Madara. To a teen that never got to be a teen, it sounded good. A place where there would be no fighting and his sister would mature in a way that he did not. She would have the time to make mistakes and live her life, and Madara would be there when she needed advice. Not when he thought she did.

But for now, there was no way of telling what could happen; so he would keep an eye on her.

"Yeah," he said as he looked to the other teens there, "Yeah, it is imouto-chan it is."

Sakura Uchiha could only smile and wonder if her Konoha would be the same as the one she saw in her dreams.

~.~.~.

"Kaguya-sama, please don't."

She bowed desperately to the woman in white; the third eye on her forehead spun leisurely and the veins around her white eyes were engorged. The white of her kimono was stained a beautiful red, and the bodies of a blonde and a black haired male lay still at her feet. Both staring into nothing.

It was her fault, all her fault; she couldn't save them. They bled out in front of her and there was nothing she could do. She wanted to rebel against the white haired woman in front of her, but she won't.

The young woman was taught only one thing concerning the gods: Never treat them as if they were equal to you. They were always above you and that was the way that it would stay.

Pink hair fluttered in the wind and the green rhombus on her forehead pulsed in pain; her stores were empty and there was nothing she could do to defend herself. A pale hand thread itself through her hair and she shivered. "Learn your lesson," and she screamed. Her body flashed white and she could feel herself break apart; the wind scattering her to the wind as if she were flower petals. From head to toe she disintegrated, and there was nothing left of her.

Hashirama jumped along with Tobirama when a shrill scream broke through the dawn, their room in the Uchiha Main House was awfully close to the Uchiha siblings and they were given the offer to stay in further rooms. Madara had been insistent on having them know that there were other rooms, but the Senju men waved it off.

The Senju leader ripped his door open to see a small pink form brush past him into a room further down the hall. He looked to his white haired brother and nodded before closing the door behind him. The rather cheery home had turned a little more somber as the sounds of sobs echoed through the open door. Hashirama walked forward and listened to the sounds of Madara's deep voice.

"Imouto-chan, I won't let anyone hurt you. You know this."

"Ka-Kaguya-sama s-said-!"

"Forget what she said! I'm telling you that you won't get hurt, and that's a promise Blossom."

Brown haired swirled around when he decided to go back to his room, this was none of his business and he wouldn't make it into a bigger deal than it needed to be. After all, it was something that he had used to do when he was younger. Kawarama and Itama were too afraid to go to Tobirama when they were awoken by a nightmare.

He would do the same thing; just hold them close and tell them that nothing they didn't want to happen would happen.

It was something of a more private nature and that was something that Hashirama understood perfectly. He smiled at the thought of his brothers, bittersweet as it was it was a smile nonetheless.

Gods, how he missed them. Itama with his bi colored haired and Kawarama that took after Tobirama so much; both were innocent children trying to be men. All because of a damned war that they were born into. His baby brother dying on a battlefield before he reached the age eight and poor Itama who was berated for crying at Kawarama's funeral.

Who died at the hands of the Uchiha.

Though from the small amount of time spent in the heart of the Uchiha, Hashirama found out there were more sorrows than he knew about. He never knew that Madara and Izuna had baby siblings, much less a sister. From the passing servants and clansmen, from the whispers of anger, from the sorrowful eyes; he learned that there were two before Sakura.

Naos Uchiha was barely younger than Kawarama when he died; the Uchiwa fan on his back covered in blood and his life snuffed out by a Senju weapon stuck in his chest. He died before he went to the battlefield, and the Senju felt horrible when he learned that Naos never left the Main House unless he was watching a battle with his brother Kagami.

The next brother was one that died in his first battle.

Hashirama never saw him, ever; too focused on the person he became best friends with to care. Though it was hard to think that Kagami was forced away from the safety of his brothers and father by the enemy. One nine year old against seasoned fighters. His own clansmen against one kid.

Then there was Sakura Uchiha.

A girl so unlike that of her clan, so vibrant and pretty in the face of darkness. The mystery that surrounded her was palpable, and he wondered how people outside of the Main House knew so little of her. Until the day that he and Tobirama brought the Uchiha siblings to the site of their new home; the pure joy on her face as she ran through the woods was beautiful.

The pink haired child was sheltered.

By her father after her mother's death and then once more when Tajima died by her brothers. Though there was something more about her than met the eye, something in her chakra, her tiny chakra that he could feel. It was like a leech, and clung to her with all its might. He would feel it and shiver, then it would disappear. It confused Tobirama and even frustrated him.

The albino never did like something he couldn't understand.

However, he wasn't expecting Sakura to scream at the top of her lungs in the wee break of morning. To see the tears coming from her green eyes and the flickering of her tiny reserves from the overwhelming fear she must have felt.

Hashirama sighed and opened the door, his brother sitting in a seiza as the sun broke over the horizon. "And?" Tobirama question but the elder brother shook his head.

"Just a nightmare."

He flopped down onto his bedding and stared into the ceiling, "I miss them Tobi." Tobirama didn't say anything or acknowledge Hashirama at all, merely letting his older brother keep talking. "Madara's younger brothers ended up like them you know. Naos and Kagami died before their time like Kawarama and Itama," he choked out, "You see why I want this to work so bad?"

"Their crimes are irreparable."

"And ours were no better. The deaths of the two caused both Madara and Izuna to shut their own sister off from the world. Only because they feared for her safety, did you not see how happy she was when we took them out?"

Tobirama nearly growled, "The Uchiha killed our brothers."

"And the Senju killed theirs, you nearly killed Izuna as well!" he cried out, "I'm tired Tobirama, of all this fighting. Can't you say the same for yourself?" The albino shrugged; he knew that Tobirama was tired. He could see it in his eyes, but he was a bleeding heart. No one missed Itama and Kawarama more than Tobirama; he loved them more than he loved himself. Hell, more than he loved the clan.

That was the only reason he didn't want this.

But he was not the one to make that choice.

"I love you Tobi, I do. But you need to grow up, this is not about us. It hasn't been since we buried Itama. This is for our kids and grandkids, I'm not asking you to like my decision, I'm asking you to respect it."

In that moment Tobirama saw that Hashirama had grown up. He wasn't the kid with the dumbass hair anymore; he was an adult and Tobirama had to accept it.

Soft sniffles broke the silence between the two brothers, and they could hear the near silent footsteps that belongs to Madara. He whispered words that were muffled, but both could hear the love in it. The fearsome Uchiha leader was nothing more than a softie, putting his younger sister back to sleep was something that they never would have thought he did.

The knowing smile on Hashirama's face made Tobirama want to punch it off, but in that moment he could understand.

And that was all Hashirama could ever ask for.

So when everyone was sat down at the breakfast table hours later, Tobirama was in complete agreement with his brother. He might not like it, but he could respect it. Over breakfast the final details of what would be put in place, and where the two clans will build their new homes was hammered out. The Senjus that the brothers brought with them were wary of the glares that they were receiving.

The maid that stayed near Sakura was one of the more open members against them being there, but other than that people were just weary.

"Izuna, what do you think?"

"An academy needs to be headed by only skilled shinobi, however will clan children be the only attendees?"

"Hashirama, are you really insistent on a 'Hokage'?"

"Madara, Konohagakure is a good name in theory."

"I came up with that name!"

The bewildered clansmen from both clans just watched as the conversation bounced back and forth effortlessly. From the younger brothers to the sole female child, everyone seemed to have a part in the finalization of the village.

Their new 'Konohagakure', as Hashirama proposed in honor of Sakura's dream.

A few of the Senju could see the anger lines in one Oka Uchiha's face, always deepening and the clenching of her fists gave away her agitation at the sight of what she deemed to be her enemies at the table. Though, as a good maid she kept her mouth shut and merely took plates away when people finished with it. Her professionalism beating out her hatred.

After all she had a good job, instead of living in a ramshackle tent like some of her other clansmen; Oka resided in the spacious servants' quarters with fifty other Uchihas.

"Damned Senju bastards," she grumbled as she took away Tobirama's plate.

Of course, with Madara's good hearing he snapped at her, "Oka!" She startled and bowed her head; her long black hair fell over her shoulders in a curtain, a sure way to ensure that the Clan Leader couldn't see her face. "If you cannot learn to keep your mouth shut when none are talking to you, then I'm sure that you will learn to gossip in the kitchen from now on. Understood?" his tone held no room for argument and she mumbled. "What was that?" Madara asked.

"Yes Madara-sama."

"Good, now tell Tsukiko that she is to be Sakura's new maid."

Sakura looked like she wanted to say something on behalf of Oka, but deep in her mind she was seething at the blatant disrespect of the Shodai Hokage. So she wisely kept her mouth shut and merely watched as her former maid walked out of the room. "I'm sorry for Oka-san's behavior," Sakura whispered to Tobirama and Hashirama, "She doesn't like the Senju because she told me someone from your clan killed her brother. But it doesn't excuse her actions."

The brown haired man gave her a grateful nod, while Tobirama just acknowledged her.

Madara sighed, "Now, where were we?"

It was their first step together to a new future. Or so they hoped.

~.~.~.

Many months of careful planning, tedious detailing, and restless nights were worth the outcome. A small village under the large cliff face that now protected their home was now a beacon of hope for the two clans. Trees replaced with stumps and rivers in full use; nothing went to waste and many of the two clans were now in what would be their forever homes.

Of course they were separated; two new clan compounds being the biggest part of the construction process, and then what Hashirama called a Market District was quickly erected soon after. Though the dirt paths were still muddy and many things built were still unfinished. It was a village though it wasn't homey; the lived in feeling wasn't there yet.

Despite the joy of being home, Sakura didn't think it was home. Not just yet, her mind and dreams told her that it was just an imitation; that no matter how hard she wished this Konoha will never be her Konoha.

The feeling never stopped, no matter how long she lived there in the new Main House. Even as the Uchiha compound expanded over the years, even as the Senju compound bled into the new Residential area, and even as more and more clans kept joining. Never once did the feeling stop. Growing into a petite teen from a stubby child didn't stop this feeling of homesickness.

It was ruining her.

Her nightmares were progressively worse as the years went by and before she knew it Sakura was too old to run to Madara or Izuna for help. Being fifteen was different than being eight, it was no longer appropriate and she knew she was getting too old to have nightmares. But the irrational fear of the Rabbit Goddess never left her.

Sakura Uchiha was also experiencing the beautiful thing called hormones, and right now she was infatuated with the God of Shinobi. Yes, ladies and gentlemen Sakura Uchiha had a hard on for Hashirama Senju. Puberty made her see him in a different light, and boy did he glow. Instead of the headstrong child she had been, being a teen had made her shy and fidgety around him.

Seven years had made him from a boy into a damn MAN, his body said seduction but his attitude screamed charming. It was really embarrassing whenever he came over to the Uchiha Main House, and Sakura was there to show him to her brothers. She would turn a bright red and stutter (like a certain Hyuuga), but Hashirama never seemed to mind her stutter.

No it only endeared her to the shinobi even more, but before they could talk to each other he would walk away. Leaving her behind to wallow in her own misery, and Tsukiko would only help the young girl back up and dust her off. The maid refusing to let the princess get into a state of depression.

She loved the support from Tsukiko, but even she had to see when things were useless. Sakura was only fifteen, of course the physique of a twenty three year old man caused her to have a little crush. There were others that she found attractive as well, it was the natural reaction she had to it.

What really embarrassed her was the fact that Izuna picked up on her infatuation, really quick.

"Ne, Sakura-chan!"

The rosette paled when she heard her beloved brother call for her and sped up significantly. Her heavy kimono dragged across the ground as she turned a corner in the Uchiha Compound, her clansmen giving her cordial 'hellos' and 'good mornings'. But she ignored all of them in favor of getting away from her damn brother. Izuna was more than able to gain on her, his robes being lighter than hers and she was mortified to see the Senju leader with him.

"Sakura-chan! Where are you going?" Izuna called.

Forget it, she was already doing so much to ignore Izuna; Sakura picked up the bottom of her kimono and booked it. The paved roads leading up to the Uchiha main house were welcome to the dirt paths on the main roads, and when she hit the pavement Sakura took off running. Izuna and Hashirama were on her heels, but she was relentless. There was no way that she would let Izuna make fun of her in front of Hashirama!

She burst through the gates and ran up to the steps of her house and kicked her slippers off behind her; grinning at the pained groan from her brother. Doors slid as she ran in and they slammed behind her, once someone slamming into them. Her pink hair fluttered behind her when she skidded to a stop in front of her eldest brother. Breathing labored and her face pink she huffed, "M-Madara-ani!"

The long haired male shook his head at her but allowed her to jump behind him when the shogi doors bust open. Hashirama was out of breath with a bleeding Izuna behind him. "Did running a village make you weak Hokage-sama?" he teased.

"We were wondering why Sakura-chan was running from us. Right Izuna?"

Poor Izuna flopped on the floor of the hallway miserably and grunted in response; his nose dripping blood at a fast rate. Tiny hands gripped Madara's arm and Sakura's head poked comically from behind her brother. "That's not a reason to chase me!" she complained. The rosette 'eeped' when Hashirama gave her a blinding smile, and hid behind Madara again. Her face blazing redder than her kimono.

If anything Hashirama seemed oblivious to this but Izuna caught it all; and grinned evilly at his sister. Madara raised his eyebrows at the spectacle before him, giving Izuna a discrete nod. The unspoken message between them happening simultaneously; they would talk about this further tomorrow.

"Well, Tsukiko has been looking for you Sakura-chan. Hashirama, Izuna, Tobirama has been waiting for the two of you for over thirty minutes; we need to discuss the Nara clan and the Uzumaki clan today," Madara informed the bunch. He pushed Sakura in the direction of their rooms and kicked at Izuna (while he was on the ground), getting everyone in motion.

The Hokage laughed before following Madara along with a limping Izuna, "Bye Sakura-chan!" Sakura meekly waved in return and walked in a daze to her room; silently thankful for Madara but then again wanting to talk with Hashirama.

But if Izuna wasn't there then she would have ran away regardless!

Once she got to her room, she plopped on her bed and screamed into her pillows.

Sometimes she wished that her childhood had never end.


Chapter Text

"OI TSUBASA-CHAN!"

A young black haired female hit the ground and let the small basket of dirty clothes tumble as well; she turned to glare at her dear friend. Just once, she hoped that Sakura would let her do her work, it wasn't hard. But, then again; Sakura only did this when she got excited or embarrassed because of him. "Sakura-sama! GET YOUR FAT ASS OFF ME!" she screeched.

The rosette pouted at her distant cousin and best friend; Tsubasa Uchiha was very much like (INO) Izuna in her opinion. She was in her late teens and was more than happy to indulge Sakura in some of her hobbies. As well as tease her about her not-so-secret crush, but when the young girl needed help Tsubasa was always there for her.

Other than that there were no similarities, Tsubasa was okay with being a maid but she did hope to be Sakura's lady-in-waiting one day. She didn't aspire to rise above her station like Izuna (or even Ino), and only wanted to be Sakura's friend and nothing more. It made the pink haired girl's heart swell at times, and Sakura would find herself spending time with either Tsubasa or her mother, Tsukiko.

"Mou- Tsubasa-chan!" Sakura whined, and rolled off the young woman; letting the winded Uchiha gain her breath back. The young princess smiled at her maid and reached over for the basket and started to put the clothes back into it. The clothes from the basket weren't the normal dark greys and blacks from the Uchiha clan; and when Sakura's finger ran across the once scary Vajra she dropped it faster than a hot rice ball.

The black haired woman laughed at her young princess, "Ne Sakura-sama, finally see whose stuff it is?" At the quick reddening of her face Tsubasa let out a roar of laughter when Sakura dropped the basket again. "Our very own Hokage-sama's of course," Tsubasa chortled when she saw the rose haired girl sulk at the subtle jabs.

"Not funny," she mumbled, and Tsubasa wiped tears from her eyes and picked up the clothes again. Not before dangling a very intimate piece in front of Sakura's eyes, much to her amusement and Sakura's embarrassment. Tsubasa rolled her eyes when the girl squeaked and shoved them in the basket along with the slightly smaller clothes that could have only come from Tobirama. "Did they stay the night?" she asked and Tsubasa nodded.

"Madara-sama had me fetch the sake from mother's cupboard," and both girls paled.

Tsukiko was a great woman, but damn; she drank more than slugsslugs? at times and it would be hilarious to see her brothers fight the hangover. However, she really didn't want to deal with Izuna's grumpiness today. "Poor Tobirama, having to put up with Hashirama-kun after," Sakura murmured and the maid nodded. Not commenting on the use of kun after Hashirama's name, it was usual for Sakura to use that suffix for him when he wasn't around. The last time she did Sakura refused to talk with her for days.

DAYS PEOPLE.

That was something that wasn't done, and the last person she had done it to was Izuna and it was for something simple. Nothing like teasing his sister, no he was ignored because he ate her dessert or something equally stupid. Tsubasa found that silence was one of Sakura's worst punishments, it was different when she refused to talk. The Uchiha Main House was very different when Sakura was angry at someone.

"Other way around Sakura-sama, I'm pretty sure Hashirama-sama would be more obnoxious than Tobirama-sama."

"Nah," she waved off that idea, "He can't be!"

Tsubasa shook her head, "Anyways, did you need me for something Sakura-sama?"

"Mhm, aniki gave me some spending money for our guests and I want you to go shopping with me," the rosette said, but Tsubasa shook her head.

"Sorry hime, Kaa-chan said that Tsubaki was sick and I needed to take care of her while she worked for the weekend. The Uchiha are hosting the Nara and Yamanaka clan representatives, and until then I'm on leave. Today's my last day before I go and I have to prepare the rooms with Kaa-chan."

Sakura grimaced, she didn't want to go by herself and Tsubasa was busy; but Madara told her to go and get some yukatas commissioned for the arrival of their guests and to replace the ones that the siblings outgrew. "Okay, I need to find someone to go with, by Tsubasa-chan," she waved at the girl and gathered her courage. There was no way that she was going alone and the only other person not busy at the moment was Hashirama.

As she wandered her home in search of the Hokage, Sakura wrung her hands in her sleeves and wondered if it would be too bad to go alone. Just as she heard the deep voice of the man she was looking for, Sakura turned and walked the other way. It wouldn't hurt to do it by herself, she needed to be a little more independent after all.

In her obi was one wallet and one kunai, her light grey kimono spoke of her wealth and she was truly afraid that something would happen. The tailors in the Uchiha compound were busy and the ones in the residential district were available for such a big order. Sakura bit her lip and opened the door into the main house and stepped out onto the porch.

Don't go alone.

She had to go alone.

Her soft feet slipped into her sandals and she walked out onto the paved road cautiously. What do you think you are doing Little Blossom? and Sakura scowled. "You're only a dream."

No more a dream than you are blossom.

"Don't call me that."

If you wish blossom, if you wish.

Sakura sighed in relief when the voice left and turned to leave the compound; the familiar black haired family turned into a myriad of colors. Black, brown, red, blonde, even white were swirling around each other gracefully. She gulped and became one with the crowd, adding pink to the mix. It was uncomfortable to be pushed and pulled through the crowd, but she kept forcing her way through the sea.

People bumped into her and she into them; blurred faces peered down at Sakura and she shivered at the touches. "Uchiha-sama!" she turned to see a very nice, Handsome darling, handsome, looking man run up to her and she grinned at him. The young Uchiha recognized him from the first clan meetings that Madara and Hashirama organized.

"Sarutobi-san! Good day," she greeted and the brown haired man nodded at her.

"Likewise Uchiha-sama, you looked a bit lost, would you accept some help?" he asked and Sakura paused. Honestly, she didn't know where she was going and the tailor was a long way away from the Uchiha compound. Sakura nodded gratefully at the man and he held out his left elbow for her; she blushed to her root as her small hand reached out for him. "A nice day is it not?" and Sakura nodded.

"Are you well Sarutobi-san?"

Sarutobi playfully scowled at her, "You can call me Sasuke, Uchiha-sama I don't bite."

The rosette bit the inside of her cheek, "Only if you help me find the tailors, and call me Sakura." He gave her a beautiful smile (not as nice as Hashirama's) and rested a hand on her own.

"Of course Sakura-san, so how is everything going? I'm sure that a young lady such as yourself has suitors that your brothers are batting off."

She shook her head; if anything it was the opposite. Sakura rarely had suitors lining up and the last one had been scared away by Madara's sharingan, before she had the chance to see his proposal. It just didn't happen and she was more than aware that if she wanted to be married before twenty she would have to have Madara draw up a contract for her. "You honor me Sasuke-san, but no. There have been nothing of the sort, no one has approached my brothers since the Hozuki," she told him as he lead them away from the main road.

They were nearing the residential and Senju district and he gaped at her, "Surely there were more than a few, a young lady such as yourself should be surrounded at all times."

Meekly she gripped his arm tighter and gasped at the muscle she was holding, "Uhm, everyone that was there was working and I couldn't bear to bother Hokage-sama with something this trivial."

"If I were him, I would have dropped everything that I was doing," and with his other hand he pushed some of her fringe behind her ear and smile at her. His dark eyes filled with sincerity and she merely looked at the ground as they walked on. Refusing to look back to that handsome face and dashing spiked hair, lest she were to start rambling on and on.

For the rest of the way he filed the time with idle chat, and Sakura was more than happy when the voice in her head didn't start talking. Kaguya was annoying when she talked to her. As if I'm Kaguya, baka. Its not like you could forget me of all people. She ignored it, or tried to at least. He's hot blossom, it's not like anyone else has noticed you.

The young pink haired girl sighed in relief when she saw the sign come up, proudly proclaiming that it was indeed a tailoring shop. Her hand let go of Sasuke and she touched her obi, only to find that the wallet Madara gave her was not there. The young girl pat her sides and obi, but found that the kunai was gone as well. "Ahh!" she cried out in panic, and she gripped at her hair.

The loose pink strands drifted in the wind and she started to panic. "Sakura-san? Is everything okay?" Sasuke asked and she shook her head.

"Madara-ani gave me a small wallet to buy yukatas for our guests and some new ones for us. I can't find!" and he smiled at her reassuringly. He pulled out his own wallet, and Sakura immediately knew what was happening.

"Oh no! I can explain what happened to aniki!"

"And what can of man would I be if I let a beautiful lady stress herself out?" and he led her into the shop.

Of course Sasuke wasn't expecting Sakura to spend a good fifty minutes being measured, but he was patient and even happy when she stepped back into the room. Her measurements taken and her brothers' given from a piece of paper that Sakura kept in her kimono. Sasuke smiled at a small hairpin on display and picked it up as Sakura filled in the order.

It was beautiful.

A bright white cloth flower enclosed the end of the wooden pin and drooped a little curtain of what he assumed were flower petals. And with a sly look to Sakura, the brown haired man made a decision.

The pink haired girl jumped when he placed the hairpin on the counter next to her, "This as well Senju-san." He let the woman take note of it and add it to the list of expenses, and when she gave him a nod he looked to Sakura. He turned her around and gathered her hair and twisted it before circling it in on itself. The pin went in quickly and he nearly poked her, but the flower was stood out of her hair.

"Sorry, I'm not good with hair but I think it looks okay."

She blushed prettily at him, "Thank you Sasuke-san!"

"Uchiha-sama? Your order will be done by the end of the week at the latest, I assume to send any concerns to Lord Madara?" The young Senju at the counter asked and Sakura nodded breathlessly. Still red faced but thanked the woman and Sasuke.

The man paid the tailor and opened the door for Sakura, "Let me walk you back to the Uchiha Compound, Sakura-san?" And she nodded, more than happy to slot her hand into his elbow and let him lead her away. The Sarutobi head was amiable as he conversed with her; letting her talk about her brothers, hobbies, interests, and whatever.

Sakura could honestly say that she was happy to receive such attention from a clearly attractive man, and was disappointed when she saw the Uchiwa Fan above the gate to her home. "Until next time Sakura-san," he bowed to her and turned away.

Leaving her standing there with a large goofy smile on her face that her brothers and the Senju siblings noticed when she walked back inside.

One man narrowing his eyes as she passed.

~.~.~.

She wanted to go home, but home wasn't there to wait for her return. Her parents were dead, many of her friends soon to be dead, and she didn't even get to be able to hold her child before it was taken from her. A little pink haired baby boy that seemed as if his existence was a dream and not real. His life snuffed out in a matter of days as she stayed in the ICU. It had hurt at the time, but life went on.

It hurt bad, but nothing was worth than those damned white eyes. Just when she thought that she was dead, Sakura was back in a second. The pain of being torn apart was still there and it felt like there were petals of her that scattered from her. Forever missing and forever missed.

The woman in front of her had taken everything from her except her name; she still knew her first name and that was all that mattered.

"Tell me, where is that soul of yours hiding?"

Then she took her soul.

Sakura jolted upright in her bed and let herself take in deep breaths to regain her posture. She wanted nothing more than to forget it, to go on with her life but the damned goddess was haunting her every night. The girl picked up the obi she wore the day before and tied her yukata shut; her bare feet made no sound as she passed her brothers' rooms and Hashirama/Tobirama's permanent room.

After years of living with them she knew that any noise can and would wake up the shinobi in her family; when all it took was a stampede to wake her up. At this point she was well aware of how the kitchens worked and the kitchen staff even had a small spot for her hidden treats. That was were she hid her chamomile tea from Madara, thieving bastard.

Locating the resources was easy and before anyone knew it Sakura was settled on the porch in the courtyard drinking her tea and looking at the moon. She hated the moon and everything it stood for. Sometimes she wonders what it would be like to be born a civilian, a normal child with no dojutsu or kekkai genkai of any kind. It would be peacefulbloodywartornpaIN! and as much as Sakura loved her brothers, she just wondered.

"Got another cup?"

"You just want to take the last of my tea."

Madara smiled at her behind his fringe and grabbed the other cup she had, "What can I say blossom? I love the tea you make, just not your food." He rubbed her hair and smiled at her pouting. "Anything wrong imouto-chan?" he asked her before taking a sip.

"No, not really," she said.

He looked her over and wondered where the little girl that came barrelling into his room went; the one that believed he would protect her from anything and everything that scared her. The baby that cried for him and Izuna when Tajima took them away from home. Instead he saw a girl that was becoming a woman; not the teen that ruined breakfast when she came running into the dining room with blood on her legs and clothes.

Sakura had become everything he hoped and was afraid she would be. His beloved sister had become a woman before his very eyes, and all the marriage contracts that came his way were rejected. But rumors spread and somehow his baby blossom was seen on the arm of one Sasuke Sarutobi. He was surprised to see how Izuna reacted, instead of being outraged or crying for the loss of his sister's innocence; he was surprised.

Yeah, he knew that Sakura had a small crush on their resident Hokage, but what teenage girl didn't? Madara never really thought more on her crush to the Senju man, but it seemed that Izuna had. Ugh, there were times he wished he wasn't the head of the Uchiha Clan, and this was one of them. "Have you thought much on your future?" he probed, obviously uncomfortable with this question. But, to his displeasure, Sakura didn't know or just didn't care.

It was probably that she didn't care.

"Mhm, sometimes. But I don't know, after the incident with the Hozuki leaving after presenting their proposal no one has cared enough to ask. Is it me aniki?" she turned to him with those big green eyes that he loved but hated in these moments.

"No, why would you think that?"

"Barely anyone has tried for my hand, so I thought..."

"Don't think like that, I'm sure there are people out there imouto."

To his horror she set her tea aside and pulled her knees up to her chin, "Yeah. If you say so." Madara gulped but reached out and pet the top of her head, his black eyes telling her all they needed to.

"Don't worry about it, but for now just be you okay?"

"Okay."

The eldest brother laid his half empty cup and the ground and gave her forehead a kiss before heading off. Overhead, the moon shined in his face and he glared at it before walking back into the house. His little sister was still in her seat, with a cup in her hands and her head in the clouds. It was better to leave her there and get someone that he knew would have the same views as him.

He rushed to Izuna's room and without any by-your-leave, he opened the door and dragged his sleeping brother out. Madara was a little surprised that Izuna was able to stay asleep as his head dragged across the ground with his arms; any other night his brother was able to wake up with the drop of a pin. Though he had to give his brother some credit, he was busy working with Tobirama to get the Uzumaki a proposal that they found okay.

Izuna was snoring when his brother dropped him and he jolted awake, "Whaaa?" He was on his feet before he could comprehend where he was and when he finally did he glared at Madara. "What!" he grouched and Izuna tried to flatten his hair before it got out of control.

"She's growing up," and thank god that Izuna immediately knew what Madara was saying.

"Yeah, she like fifteen going on sixteen. She's going to have to soon."

He looked out the window for a split second as Madara whispered what both wanted to say, "I don't want her to." The short haired Uchiha nodded; while his little sister was nothing like them, he didn't want her to change. Izuna was afraid that when she grew up, she would marry someone and move far away from them. Leaving her big brothers to their own lonely lives.

"Is it true that she and Sarutobi..."

"Yeah," Madara said, "It seems that whether we like it or not, she's being more and more interested in men." He brushed his fringe back and sighed when he thought of his Sakura with another guy.

It was something that was impossible to think of.

"I mean, its been a little obvious," Izuna commented as he pulled himself into a criss-cross sitting style. His own black eyes staring into Madara's and he was happy to see the Clan Head turn fast.

"What?"

"Her little 'crush' on Hashirama is more than that, the bastard is too dense to realize it."

They both sweat dropped as they realized how true that was; as much as Hashirama was their friend and ex-rival, he was a powerful shinobi. Hell, he may even be the best shinobi out there. Neither had met a man that could combine his earth and water chakra to get a Mokuton release, but for all his power Hashirama Senju was a dumbass.

And Sakura Uchiha was just as dumb sometimes.

Like, how could she not see the growing attraction between her and basically any male she talked to; unless they went out to say it she didn't believe it. "Mou, Sakura-chan is something else huh?" Izuna asked Madara. "She knows at least four of the most powerful shinobi the Kami have ever seen, and she's got all four of us under her fingers."

How could she not see that Hashirama was playing the cool type?

"What a mess," Madara grumbled as he leaned back. His sharingan spinning into life as he thought about the Sarutobi head, being near his sister and making her blush. He didn't like that man one bit, and disliked him even more now that he was talking to Sakura. "I don't like Sasuke Sarutobi," he said and Izuna shook his head.

"The man's not bad aniki, you just don't like him because he didn't announce his intentions to try and court Sakura. And the fact that he bought Sakura that damned hairpin that she loves so much."

"It's not even a good hairpin."

Izuna smirked at the childish expression on Madara's face, "Well, its not like we can stop it. Just let time take its course, and if you have that much of a trouble with Sarutobi then just get her a Senju."

It didn't take a genius to figure out what Izuna meant and Madara understood immediately what he was insinuating. He had a problem with Sakura marrying or even getting to know the Sarutobi. But, a Senju that came over for the night once every other week was fine. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Izuna asked and Madara nodded.

"Yeah, Hashirama isn't that bad after all."

~.~.~.

Hashirama Senju yawned as he walked through the residential district; he waved to his early rising cousins and clansmen as they started their days. His white Hokage robes were differentiating him from the small morning crowd as he walked to his favorite dango shop. He liked the Sarutobi's Dango Shop and found his way there more often than not.

"Good morning Hokage-sama! The usual?" a young brown haired girl asked as he walked into the shop. Honestly, Hana Sarutobi was one of the most experienced dango makers he had ever met before. Other than his mother of course, no one could beat a mother's cooking.

"Yes please!"

He smiled as the woman gathered a plate and walked back into the kitchens, trusting that the Mokuton user could seat himself. In fact she wouldn't be surprised if he started to help bus the tables or take orders for her. Though, when she walked out with an order of Mitarashi dango she smiled when the door opened again and greeted the head of her clan.

"Ah! Hokage-sama, pleasure to see you," and Hashirama came face to face with Sasuke Sarutobi. He knew the man from the negotiations he had with the clan when he first approached them about a shinobi village, but other than that he didn't really interact that much with the man. Sure, Hashirama saw him at the monthly clan meetings but he never made an attempt to get to know Sasuke.

The Hokage nodded in greeting and waved his hand to the seat and the clan head took it gladly. Hana bustled around the small shop, adding more tea and a small plate of bocchan dango to the tray meant for Hashirama. "Ne Sasuke-sama, Hanami-chan is wondering when you're going to try and court the young lady from the other day," the young girl commented when she made her way around the cozy shop.

Hashirama took his plate and tea from her gratefully and turned his attention to that, but kept an ear on the conversation. He noticed that the clan head blushed and rubbed the back of his neck. "I guess you all saw that huh?" Sasuke asked and Hana playfully elbowed him lightly.

"The entire clan is buzzing with excitement! I never knew you had it in you to go after big fish like her." Sasuke took a bite of his dango and relished in the taste as Hana leaned against an adjacent table, and merely hummed in response. "Sorry for the gossip Hokage-sama, but this is big news!" Hana cheered and Hashirama shook his head.

"No, it's fine," he said, "I can't help but to be a little curious myself now." He mumbled around the bite of one of his delicious treats and winked to Sasuke; his tanned skin pale in comparison to the red that was Sasuke. "Who is the lucky lady?" Hashirama took a small sip of his tea and hummed in appreciation. "Kocha tea? You spoil me Hana-san."

"Its nothing."

"Sakura Uchiha."

The two different answers messed with Hashirama's head for a second and he nearly chocked on his tea. "W-What?" he asked, not sure if he heard Sasuke right. His ears can't be working; there was no way that he said Sakura. Dear pink haired Sakura, innocent Sakura Uchiha could not have attracted the fearsome Sasuke Sarutobi right?

"Yeah, I was planning on making a formal proposal for Sakura-san's hand. Though I hear that the Uchiha brothers are rather notorious for scaring off any potential suitors," Sasuke lamented. Hana was trying to comfort him, but Hashirama was sitting there in a stupor with a wooden stick dangling from his mouth. Without any emotions on his face, he calmly tried to finish his dango and tea.

But, his mind was racing.

The little Sakura that he had met as a child, the one that flowered into a beautiful young lady couldn't be attracting this much attention. He was so sure that Madara or Izuna couldn't allow this to happen. He knew of the elder Uchiha's dislike of the Sarutobi head, but he didn't know if his dislike was enough to sacrifice his sister's happiness.

If Sakura Uchiha wanted something there was no way that he brothers would tell her no and he learned that the hard way.

He polished off his food in record time and payed Hana and said his farewells to the two Sarutobi. Hashirama needed to do something and he needed to do it quick, so without a second thought he jumped to the rooftops and sprinted to the Uchiha compound. He knew that his dear friend and rival would be available for a spar, and if not he could make time.

Because he was freaking out.

The great god of shinobi was freaking the fuck out at the mere thought of sweet Sakura being married off, and he knew why he was freaking out. He found something in his life that seemed too good and he wanted to keep her all for himself. Hashirama can to a conclusion fast, and he knew that he wanted nothing more than to be the one that got Sakura Uchiha's hand in marriage.

He finally admitted to himself that he was infatuated with the pink haired teen. Hashirama wouldn't let this bastard of a shinobi get the young girl's hand before he did, but that posed a question in and of itself.

How does one go to Madara and declare that he wanted to state his intentions to his little sister? Even worse, how was he supposed to convince him that he was the best choice for Sakura? And don't even get him started on getting Izuna to agree with it; there were parts of him that believed that Izuna was still holding anger and resentment for when Tobirama nearly killed him.

Gods, he was so screwed.

Then there was the question of whether the young Uchiha princess even thought of him in a romantic way! Hashirama was damn near in a panic when he burst into Madara's home office and demanded to spar. The Hokage was so wound up that he didn't even see the satisfied grin on Madara's face as they both raced to the training grounds.

God, Madara was right.

Hashirama was one of the dumbest people he had ever met and for once, the Uchiha was fine with it. He popped his neck and removed the top of his robes and gave his friend the time to be rid of his Hokage garb. "Well? What are you waiting for?" Madara goaded and he knew that he got Hashirama when the brown haired man began the seals to one of his more famous Mokuton jutsu.

Teenage drama, Madara thought wistfully.

His beloved sister got herself into a mess, one that was nearly too big for her to handle on her own. Madara was such a good brother; and with that thought he charged the Senju.

Chapter Text

"It's rather pretty Sakura-sama."

"Where did you get that? I want one too!"

"Did a boy get it for you? Naughty princess~!"

Whatever Hashirama and Madara stepped into, they were both too tired to deal with it or even find it in themselves to care. It wasn't their fault that the Uchiha women decided to congregate in the middle of the courtyard, but damn did they have good timing. The brown haired Hokage spotted that fucking hairpin in Sakura's hair and his fists clenched. Though as they passed through the yard, a smile on their faces and a polite wave to the ladies.

The green eyed girl was surrounded by her female relatives and her maid was patiently walking around serving the young princess and her guests. Whenever one of her obnoxious cousins berated Tsukiko, Sakura would jump to her defense. But, before anything could be said on someone's behavior Sakura's attention would be stolen by her aunts or cousins again. Then the cycle would start once more and Tsukiko would be rushing around to do the bidding of others, when there were other things that required her attention.

Either way, neither Hashirama or Madara felt envious of the youngest Uchiha sibling, in fact they believed that she brought it on herself. It was her fault for getting sucked up into the fragile politics that the female clansmen held. And damn was Sakura getting ruined, not through malicious means, but her female cousins knew that she was easily embarrassed.

And they used that to their advantage.

"Sasuke-san got it for me."

"Without going to Madara-sama first? Scandalous, my dear, what do your brothers think of this behavior?"

"Oh, on first name basis with him are we?"

"Ne Sakura-sama, sounds like you have a crush!"

"Tell us, is he hot?"

As a rule he tried not to be jealous of Sarutobi, but damn this wasn't helping him! The way that Sakura blushed so prettily would normally be a great sight for him, but due to the fact that it was because of some other man it burned him. His blood was boiling and Hashirama fucking knew it was not flattering for someone of his power, but there was no way he could help it.

The Hokage came to a stop when he saw Sakura try and dissuade her relatives; her kimono sleeves bunched up around her wrists as she tried to stop her blush from being seen with her hands. Her sweet baby blue kimono only making the red on her cheeks stand out more and he clenched his fist.

Madara bumped into Hashirama's back and glared at the man, "What is wrong-" and cut himself off with a smirk. The Hokage was doing his damnest not to show his jealousy at the current change in events, and he smiled to himself. "Get going asshole," he pushed the Senju and the two slid their sandals off. Hashirama was trying to calm his body posture but Madara could see it all with his spinning Sharingan.

The tension wasn't able to hide from him, and Madara just sighed. He smiled at the thought of Hashirama being consumed by anything other than gambling, "Come on, the saunas don't heat themselves." With one last look behind them to see Sakura, furiously blushing as her elder aunts and cousins teased her, and Madara lead them away from the courtyard.

Saunas were heated by the shinobi or civilians that frequented them, and he was not ashamed to say that he was there more often than not. Besides, Madara pondered, it would be a great time to confront Hashirama. It was either now or never, and Madara walked through the halls of his home and opened the door to the changing rooms.

"Here," he threw a towel to Hashirama before grabbing one himself, "Change out and shower quickly before heading into the sauna. I'll heat the stones before we get there. All we need is some water."

It didn't take long for either man to shower off the sweat and blood from their spars and Hashirama found himself sitting in a steamed room with his wet hair pooled on the top of the bench behind him. A towel wrapped around his waist and his feet propped up on a small stool; all while his green chakra worked to heal the small bruises and marks that littered his body.

Across from him, Madara was in the same position; both eyes closed and his head tilted back to relax. "No wonder you haven't gone crazy yet, with saunas like this its hard," Hashirama basically moaned as he sank into his seat further. His tanned chest rising and falling calmly, only to be disrupted when Madara decided to open his fucking mouth.

"Mhm, it does wonders for your jealousy does it not?" The ever eloquent Hokage sputtered and jerked upright in his seat; his mouth opening and closing as he tried to find words to say. One of Madara's pitch black eyes opened to look over at his friend, "Of course, that reaction is only natural when I'm right." There was nothing Hashirama wanted more than to smack that smug look off Madara's face, but if there was one thing in his favor it would be the red of his cheeks occurring from the hot steam in the room.

Gods, please don't tell him that Madara Uchiha of all people knew his little secret. He'd never hear the end of it if he did figure it out by some miracle. "H-How?" was all he could stutter and Madara scoffed. As if he were blind or stupid, Madara did admit that it took some time for him to see the happenings around him and without Izuna's help he never would have realized what was going on. Though he was far from blind or stupid, and although he was the last of the siblings to figure out what was happening there was no way he'd let Hashirama know that.

"After being made aware of the situation, it was easy to spot all the signs. Your little 'spar' this morning only solidified what I presumed to be true," the Uchiha smirked at Hashirama, "Plus, I had a feeling that there were unannounced emotions between you and her." He was very thoughtful in not revealing which side was projecting such feelings, and Hashirama stepped right into his trap.

If possible the Senju blushed harder, "I was that obvious?" He was silently mortified; he had only been aware of his own feelings for a short time, but Madara had picked up on it the entire time?!

"You are now."

Hashirama was silent, and his mouth fell open, "EHHHH!" The look on his face made Madara want to laugh, but he forced that feeling down and grinned instead at the Hokage. "Y-y-you mean-?" and Madara nodded his head once, that smug look plastered on his face. Hashirama banged his head on the wall behind his seat and just stared at Madara, "I-I outed myself?"

The Uchiha nodded and Hashirama could feel his soul leaving his body completely; Madara wanted to let the other man suffer for a bit and kept quiet. He could feel that his friend was waiting for the moment Madara decided to strike for the jugular. The silence was thick and he could tell that Hashirama was getting even more and more remorse. "I don't mind Hashirama," and he could feel his the brown haired man's eyes snap to him.

He merely smiled, "If it's you then I don't mind. I know that Sakura-chan would be in good hands."

Hashirama, on the other hand, didn't know how he should feel about this; his mind was still reeling and he could only look at Madara. The Senju didn't know he was hearing and looked like a dumbass as he tried to process the words. Was Madara telling him that it was okay to court Sakura? Or was his ears deceiving him? His stoic, no nonsense friend was protective of those he loved.

And Sakura was at the very top of that short list. "Madara?" he ventured cautiously, but his caution was not needed one bit.

"If you are genuine about your intentions then I have no problem with it at all, but if I find that you are not you will regret it."

For a second Hashirama was elated then he remembered why he had came for a spar, "But, she's got that Sarutobi petitioning for her hand. Hell, most of the Sarutobi clan are betting whether or not he has the guts to approach you." He ducked to the side to avoid one of the folded towels that Madara threw at him; the Uchiha head giving him a scoff.

"Not if I have anything to say about it, he gave Sakura-chan a gift without coming to me about it."

Hashirama smiled at Madara, "Don't worry I know what you mean. If I had a little sister I wouldn't let just anyone try for her hand, they would have to be the best of the best."

"No man is good enough for her and no woman could handle Izuna."

That was something that both could agree on and Hashirama leaned back to think. All he had to do was approach both Izuna and Madara in front of the Uchiha elders and formally announce his desire to court Sakura. From there, if she said yes, he gift her something with his clan symbol on it. However, she was so young; not even sixteen springs old.

Her experience in the world was a mere fraction of what his had been; at her age he had already seen what the world had to offer. He passed through Fire into Wind and from there even went to the Land of Tea. Of course, he wanted to be able take her to see the Elemental Countries and show her exactly what she had been missing out on.

On the other hand, he had always wanted a kid. Hashirama was a selfish bastard who wanted someone to come home to and a little child to love and hold for the rest of its days. He wanted to provide the safe haven that he had been denied in his own childhood, and insure that none of his children would end up like Kawarama or Itama. Hell, Hashirama wanted to make sure that he never became his father; Butsuma was not a man meant for paternal love.

He had butchered his way through he child's life and left a mark on both him and Tobirama; one that was not easily forgotten by either man as they reached manhood.

Hashirama wanted to be the opposite of that. "I know the feeling well, there's not a single lady out there that could keep up with Tobirama," he smiled as he thought of his little brother. Gods, he was an asshole. "Don't worry Madara, I won't let anything happen to Sakura-chan," and Madara merely snorted. Leaving the Hokage to ponder what was so funny.

Madara pushed his wet fringe from his face and mock glared at Hashirama, "She's a spitfire Hashirama, I'm more worried for your safety from her." Both men shared a quick laugh and Hashirama's fingers flew through a series of positions just so he could use a small jutsu to add more water to the super heated stones that Madara made.

Both sighed in appreciation as the steam rose around them. "Sakura-chan doesn't seem that bad Madara," Hashirama commented and closed his eyes.

"If you think that then you're in for a rude awakening."

Sakura wasn't that bad right?

RIGHT?

~.~.~.

"Welcome Nara-sama! Yamanaka-sama! I'm Sakura Uchiha, pleased to make your acquaintances."

Some parts of her mind bristled when they brushed off her introduction, leading their clansmen past her and into the gates of the Uchiha Compound. If not for the shinobi stationed there blocking them, then they would have left her in the dust. Those bastards wouldn't know greatness if it hit them in the head, and Sakura found herself agreeing.

She wasn't some sniveling Hyuuga! She was the only daughter of Tajima Uchiha, and the younger sister to Madara and Izuna Uchiha! "Excuse me, but if you wish to go any further I would suggest following Sakura-sama. Without her clearance then you lot would be seen as a potential threat," one of the shinobis said. The childish part of her wanted to throw her fist in the air with a victorious cry, but Sakura managed to keep what little composure she had.

"Thank you Hideki-kun, gentlemen if you would," and Sakura couldn't help but to let out a petty smile as she brushed past the Nara and Yamanaka. Her sweltering kimono (one thing Oka and Tsukiko had in common was their love for putting her in twelve layers) slowed her considerably, but she tried to pull it off as a majestic walk. Her hands were shoved in the opposite sleeves as she walked and nearly cried when she heard a soft thump next to her.

"Hashirama-san," and she nodded her head in greeting to the Hokage.

Instead of his usual white robes, Hashirama was decked out in his red battle armor with a Konoha head protector on his forehead. Reading the situation quickly, he deduced her agitation and hesitation before looking over to the clan heads. Both men looked like they ate a lemon, and followed her begrudgingly. "Sakura-sama, good evening," he greeted with a smile on his face.

It was a tad bit forced if anything, due to the damned hairpin in her hair.

"Madara-ani and Izuna-ani were waiting for you in the Main House, in fact they told me to go greet our esteemed guests as they tried to round you and Tobirama-san up."

He let out a deep laugh and rubbed the back of his neck, "What can I say? Being a Hokage is more than just looking pretty." She gave him a kind smile and turned off the main street onto the paved road leading up to the main house. The clan heads behind her trying to puff themselves up at the sight of the two imposing Uchihas standing at the entrance to their own.

"Imouto-chan, everything go well?" Izuna asked her cheerfully.

Before she could answer Izuna, the Yamanaka clan leader stepped in front of her, "Yes, yes. Uchiha-sama, we have arrived just as asked." Sakura turned to glare at the long blonde haired asshole; her body becoming rigid as he boldly stepped in front of her. As if to say that she wasn't the one being addressed and damned if it didn't hurt.

The Nara, on the other hand, figured that disrespect to the pink haired teen was not going to bode well and bowed to the assortment of powerful men in front of him; smiling when the rustle of clothes meant his clansmen did the same.

Madara stepped down from the porch; his dark clothing a mere sigh of sound as he walked forward. His visible eye blazing as he walked over to where Hashirama and Sakura stood. "Gentlemen, if you would," he gestured with a hand for them to follow him. Letting Hashirama escort his sister into their home, and Sakura blushed prettily when she felt a hand on the small of her back.

The Hokage smiled down at her reassuringly and started for the house, in front of Madara and the assortment of men following him. Basically giving their visitors the impression that there were more people that Madara knew were more important than he. Sakura smiled brightly at Izuna as she passed and wanted to die at the not so subtle wink that he threw her way.

However, to her it seemed that Hashirama didn't notice and opened the door for her to go through first; waiting patiently for her to remove her sandals before doing the same.

Sakura went down the hall and the voice in her head snickered at her, I remember you did the same thing when I was younger. Its quite alright, especially when you got some hot ass next to you. She desperately begged the voice to shut up and it kept talking to her, Don't judge, you can't remember seeing Gaara the way I did. Damn, that boy had much more going on than his insanity first suggested. There was a nearly audible groan that she bit back, she just wanted it to shut up!

Fine Blossom, but I'm always listening.

She wanted to pout, but kept her face straight as Hashirama opened yet another door for her; this time the room was filled with three different tables and Tobirama was already waiting for them there. And has been for a while if the scroll in front of him was any indication. At the sight of his brother and Sakura, the albino carefully rolled the scroll up and set it to the side.

He got up from his seat and took Sakura's hand; gently leading her to her seat and raising his eyebrow at the way Hashirama tensed. Tobirama brushed it off and sat two seats from her, wisely keeping a seat for Hashirama between them. And the way that the room was set up was so that Sakura was in the very middle of a table set on a dais. Hashirama to her left and a seat for Izuna or Madara on her right; it seemed like she was a daimyo's daughter. She was decked to the nine's in her family's finery and that godforsaken hairpin; she's never looked more mature in her life.

Sakura Uchiha was giving her new guests the impression that she was not some mere girl that they could order around; she is Tajima Uchiha's daughter, Madara's precious Blossom, and there was no way she would be treated like she was any less.

In front of the table she was kneeling at there were rows of throw pillows, both clans getting their own respective color. She smiled as politely as she could as the clansmen filtered into the room; the Naras in their muted browns and white and the Yamanaka dressed in a somber purple. Sakura wiggled her toes as Madara sat next to her and patted her shoulder for a fraction of a second.

The clans in front of them bowed respectfully and sat down; each doing their upmost best to make a good impression on the Uchiha and Senju present. However Sakura was just sitting there pissed, Even Ino wasn't this bitchy. Her smile was plastered in her face as Madara began his spiel with Hashirama; both men having rehearsed it enough times with the Sarutobi and Aburame clans during negotiations.

Sakura took in the moment to assess the Nara clan leader, Shikami Nara was a man that she could see was obviously handsome. His long spiked hair was pulled into a high ponytail and dark (not Uchiha black) eyes roamed over the room. He only seemed to settle when the negotiations began and with a cursory glance she noticed that he jumped easily into the talks. His clansmen taking notes and one was even off to the side with a large scroll and ink, painting furiously.

He was a man that was not so easily swayed.

Inomaru Yamanaka was a vain man; his attitude was traditional and his actions were quite rude. His long hair was flowing freely behind him and any other circumstances she might have thought him beautiful. Though the first impression that he left had much to be desired, and Sakura was not so forgiving when it came to him.

"-need I remind you Yamanaka-san, that your reception was one of the highest that we have given. My little sister does not wait on people, yet she was the first to invite you to our home," she looked over to Madara at the mention of her name. The little chakra that she had was veered to her eyes and she could feel her Sharingan spring to life.

"I mean not to diminish your sister's authority, however she was not what was expected," Shikami looked like he wanted to deck Inomaru, but wisely kept his mouth closed. He also was not respectful of the young Uchiha, but even he could learn from his mistakes. "We were invited here to be part of history, not be escorted by a mere girl."

Her eyes narrowed at the pupil-less man and the two tomoes spinning idly, but she kept her mouth shut. Shikami smiled to ease the tension, "What he means to say is that there are many factors to consider, and that we wish to partake in the history that is in the making." He glanced to Sakura and noted that her eyes were spinning at a fast rate, "With no disrespect to the hime, but Inomaru is not used to be escorted by a female. His clan is very male dominated and traditional in some views. No slight was meant seeing as we are rather tired from our three day trip."

Hashirama smiled kindly at the leaders, "Of course, however we decided that the meeting would be conducted today so that while we deliberate you can go visit the village." Shikami was more than happy to take that offer and scowled at the blonde when he looked like he wanted to object.

Izuna shook his head at the assortment in front of them; sometimes it was like talking to a bunch of children. "Yes, but as we were saying. The Nara would be a great contribution to the village, but what could we offer you? There is nothing we can get if you are not given the same in return," he pointed out and Tobirama nodded from the other side of the table.

"However, we can only provide something within moderation. So speak."

The rosette stared and stared into the eyes of those beneath her and the Nara felt as if she were reading them like an open book. While the Yamanaka could feel her search their souls. There was something different about her, and one of the more brave Yamanaka subtly made seals in his lap. He was going to find out what it is, because after all curiosity killed the cat.

He slumped in his seat as his mind transferred with the last hand seal; he, Akio Yamanaka, was not expecting her mind to be so closed.

"Wh-what is this place?" instead of the usual darkness that he saw, it felt like he was walking on the night sky. Stars twinkled beneath him as he walked barefoot across the blank space. His blue eyes was staring at trees, large white trees that rose above him and in the branches there were cocoons that were held high above the psuedo-ground he was on.

Red blossoms fell at random and in the center he saw a piece of her; Akio reached out with a delicate hand and caught one blossom. The inside view made no sense; lava surrounded a woman in white and an orange man made several clones of himself. He could feel determination pounding through him and hope; it was something that he never felt intimately before.

The clawing desperation in his throat was palpable, and then surprise hit him (with a bloody nose) when he saw the clones make rapid hand seals and change. Instead of the man in orange, he saw naked men surrounded by steam.

Needless to say, he dropped the flower quick. Then another caught his attention and all he could hear was someone tell him that Sakurako hadn't made it; the damage was irreparable. The pink haired baby boy didn't even live to be held by his mother once, and in the bed that his view was skewed to he could feel the heartbreak.

The flower was caught in a gloved hand and crushed.

"Who are you?" Akio turned suddenly at the voice and gawked.

"S-Sakura-sama!"

Except it wasn't her; the hair and the eyes were the same color, but her forehead held the word 'Inner' on it. Instead of long hair swept into an elegant bun, hers was cut short. Cropped above her shoulders and Akio gasped at her attire. Gone was the twelve layered kimono, and in its place was a blue body suit and a green flak vest with a red headband in her hair. 'Shinobi Allied Forces' screamed at him and Akio couldn't help but to be frozen.

"Get out now," the woman said and Akio tilted his head.

"Stay, stay here child."

His blue eyes seemed dazed when another woman; the one he had seen in the flower, appear and she held her arm out to him. The pure white eyes of the Hyuuga stared into his soul and a third eye opened on her forehead. A spinning eye that chilled him to the core. "DAMMIT KID!" the other Sakura screamed as she dashed forward with her arm cocked at an angle. The punch wasn't real but it felt real and all of the sudden he found himself laying in the Uchiha meeting room.

Inomaru was above him, worried for the young boy, and Sakura Uchiha was standing above him as well. Her sharingan piercing him and he was supported to the point where he was sitting up.

"W-what happened?" he asked.

The rosette tilted her head, "You fainted from exhaustion, maybe I should escort you to your rooms. Aniki, should the talk continue later?" The green returned to her eyes as she turned to the Uchiha head. He and the others nodded at each other.

As she lead the Yamanake supporting Akio to his room he wondered.

Who was Sakura Uchiha?

~.~.~.

"Sakurako," she sobbed.

The white haired woman glance at the young woman's head in her lap, her fingers stopped threading themselves through her hair. The veins around her eyes pulsed once before receding completely. "Hmm?" she hummed and the pink haired woman let tears stream down her face.

"Sakurako's gone, my baby is gone! I didn't even name him, they named him after he died."

The woman turned the young pinkette's face to her and cruelly smiled, "It hurts, does it not, to lose loved ones?"

"I never got to hold him."

Sakura bolted from her bed and touched at her flat stomach, "W-what?" Her confused green eyes took in her surroundings and she wanted to cry for some reason; the voice in her head openly crying. Instead of the snark she half expected, Sakura heard tears. "What's wrong with me?" the rosette whispered and she sat back down in her bedding.

Her knees were brought up to her chest and she burrowed her face into them. Sakurako! SAKURAKO! and she winced at the sound. Her chakra flared for a second before she reeled it back in. That boy! I tried to forget, but he brought it all back! and the voice was in pain. True pain flared through her as her body remembered some pain.

For some reason her stomach felt empty.

"Who's Sakurako?" Sakura asked as she wiped away her tears.

He was everything.

"Sakura-chan!" she sniffed when the door to her room burst open and she flinched. Her eyes feeling the familiar pressure of chakra running through the pathways to her eyes. And it burned. Sakura cried out and clutched at her face in agony, as large hands grabbed at her shoulders. "Open your eyes Sakura-chan!" but she kept them shut tight. "MADARA! IZUNA!" Hashirama... what was he doing in her room?

For a split second she was worried if her yukata was tied closed, but Hashirama's large hands pushed at her. He guided her to lay down in her bed, and she curled in on herself as a result. Calloused hands pulled at her hands and he gasped at what he saw; the three tomoe of the Mangekyo Sharingan were spinning idly. "Aniki!" she cried out as she tried to look around.

The flashes of color had her close them just as quick. SAKURAKO! the voice screamed out and Sakura let out another scream.

"What's wrong with her?"

"Sakura-chan, open your eyes!"

"DAMMIT HASHIRAMA! Use your medical ninjustu!"

"-angekyo sharingan-"

"-adara! Her...chakra is going-"

"I know!"

"Sakura..."

The next time waking up wasn't that jarring; instead she woke up rather peacefully. Her voice in her head quiet and her eyes felt better than they had in years; but there was someone next to her. She turned her head to see Hashirama slumped next to her with a blanket pulled over his shoulders. An empty cup was next to him and a plate that was covered in the sweet sauce from Mitarashi dango.

In all his time as a Hokage, he had never looked so tired; she felt bad. Sakura really did, and she reached out to him; any other day she would have been petrified but she knew that if he didn't lay down then he'd be in a world of pain when he woke up. The cup and plate were scooted to the side and she took one of her extra pillows and placed it next to her bedding.

Sakura was blushing the entire time, but she tugged on the sleeping shinobi's sleeve. To her surprise, Hashirama didn't wake up and slid to the side quite easily; his face would have smashed into the pillow if she didn't lower him gently to the pillow. Sakura grabbed his blanket and spread it over his body before laying on her side facing him.

Hashirama looked like he aged quite a bit of years and the bags under his eyes spoke of the long night he had. She gave his hair a quick pat before sliding back under her covers. Her hand out next to him and she wondered briefly before sleep claimed her once more. The teen wondered just what it would be like to sleep next to him everyday of her life.

But it was silly, nothing more than teenage wondering.

Do not dismiss everything as a mere thought Sakura.

Sakura frowned.

It's how I lost Sakurako.

Chapter Text

"...your son never made it ..."

"What?"

"Sakura-san, well she was pregnant. The child never made it."

Sakura groaned as she rolled over her in bedding and froze when her face came in contact with a chest, a very muscled chest. Her mind was desperately trying to catch up with the fact that not only was her nose pressed into someone, but the fact that there was an arm around her waist. There was something familiar about the hair around her and Sakura's eyes widened when she looked up.

Oh god he was hot!

The Hokage was pulling her flush against him when she moved, his arms circling her easily and Sakura could feel her mind go blank. It was like she was made for him, because her body was slotted perfectly with him. The young girl wiggled and eeped when his arms tightened their hold on her; soft breaths came from him as he shimmied a bit. Sakura looked over to him and nearly melted again. Hashirama looked so cute sleeping, why would she ever want to wake him up?

Her stomach growled in protest of the thought of staying in bed, and the light was streaming through her windows. Telling her that she slept in and the gnawing feeling that she felt told her that she missed breakfast. Sakura placed her hands on his torso and shook him gently, "Hashirama-san?"

Hashirama's eyes fluttered open for a split second, before he gripped her tighter and visibly snuggled into her side. The Senju was shook awake by small hands and it took him a fraction of time to realize where he was and what he was hugging. Pink hair filled his vision and he was quick to let the owner of the waves of pink go; his eyes groggy from sleep.

"Sakura-san?"

She peered up at him shyly, "Hi." Never in her life had she seen a shinobi move that fast; one second he was holding onto her in her bed and the next he was against the wall on the opposite side of the room. Hashirama was blushing furiously as he tried to sort himself out; his hair was in a state of disarray and his clothes were all wrinkled.

"I-I uh!" she tilted her head at him.

Pretty boy's at a loss for words.

Sakura agreed with the voice and moved so that she could sit on her knees and stretched her arms and back out. A small yawn ripped from her lips as she tried to pop her back bones. The silence in the room was awkward to say the least and she rubbed at her temples. That small action brought Hashirama over from where he was trying to blend into the wall, worry etched onto his features.

She decided that she didn't like that look and his face at all.

"Are you okay Sakura-san?" he asked, "Do your eyes hurt at all?" The Uchiha blinked as she held her hand to her cheek; the burning pain left her face numb and the chakra pathways in her head overused. When she shook her head the Hokage let out a sigh of relief, his own hand coming up to cup hers with his dark green chakra covering it.

Any tension left in her head was soothed away, "Just to make sure." The young teen nodded and he sat back in the seiza that she hated so much; his tanned skin glowing in the bright light and Sakura blinked so it wouldn't captivate her. "Do you know what happened?" Hashirama asked her and once more she shook her head. She wasn't ignorant, Sakura knew that something significant had happened to her Sharingan.

Being born with it was a milestone, and she knew that there was no way to go but forward with eyes like these.

What Sakura wanted to know was how; the voice pulled the dream of a boy with a three tomoe sharingan for her with a quick explanation of trauma forcing the next stage of his doujutsu. Though, she had never been personally affected by extreme trauma; she knew grief, but never trauma.

Flashes of a small grave and a scar on her stomach caused her to curl in on her stomach. The image of a tiny pink haired baby being carefully put into a coffin was suffocating, and the entity in her head was carefully enough to take away the picture. Of course, the remembrance of the baby was handled with enough tender care from the entity. As if it were alive once more.

"What happened?"

As if you don't already know Blossom.

Hashirama gave her a kind smile and combed his fingers through his messy hair, "You were screaming." As if the memory of her cries and pleas were hurting him, Hashirama gulped as he nearly whispered, "You were crying and clutching at your face, nearly ripped wounds into it."

"And?"

He gave a harsh breath, "Madara and Izuna were able to confirm that you gained a higher level of the Sharingan. Sakura-san, you unlocked the Mangekyo Sharingan without being put through hell and back. Both your brothers went off to the old Uchiha home to find scrolls on the condition." Hashirama rubbed the back of his neck as a blush crept up his face, "Madara trusted me to watch over you while he and Izuna were gone."

Sakura blushed also when she saw the spot in her bed that Hashirama had been laying on, a small depression marking where he had been. She gave him a beautiful smile that had him cover his mouth to hide the blush, "Thank you very much!"

Inside her mind she was rolling around in a happy daze; she couldn't wait to tell Tsubasa about this! The other Uchiha would be able to help her sort through her feelings (As if I don't?) and figure out some kind of plan. While Sasuke was very nice and all, he couldn't compare to Hashirama of all people. The Sarutobi head would be rejected by Madara and Izuna if he ever tried for her hand.

It was the simple truth.

No inarizushi for Madara after the moon has reached its highest peak. Izuna was not allowed to use Madara's stuff for target practice. And no proposals for Sakura would go through. Those were the rules for the Uchiha siblings and that was how they conducted their daily lives. Of course, Madara and Izuna's rules had come after Tsukiko got tired of their antics.

Her rule was put into place after the Hozuki came forth from the Land of Water, how they heard that the Uchiha had a girl in the Main Family no one knew. But that 'no; was put in to place almost immediately. So after that she didn't hold out for a meaningful relationship with anyone other than her brothers and their colleagues and friends.

"Ne Hashirama, did Madara-ani or Izuna-ani say what would happen with your guests?"

The Hokage nodded, "He still wanted to have me or Tobi show them around and answer any questions. But, he left strict order to leave a clone with you and restrict you to bed rest." He laughed when she pouted at him and stood, "I'm going to get some breakfast for you and I. Okay?" Sakura nodded and he left her room, his bare feet making no sound as he left.

When she was sure that he was no where in the hallway or her room, she turned in her bed and pressed her face into her pillow with a squeal. Sakura kicked her feet and rolled onto her back and gripped the pillow tightly between her arms. The soft giggles that erupted from her made the voice in her head sick from all the cuteness, That Blossom is what it is like to be in love.

"Really?"

Ah, very much so. I remember what its like to love.

Sakura sat up with the pillow trapped between her torso and knees, "Who was it? What is it like?" The voice was silent; eerily so and Sakura lamented getting an answer. A quiet whisper in her mind brought her attention back to the voice and she whimpered when the chakra pathways in her head opened once more. Soft green chakra flowed through her easily and a flower was pushed into her eyes.

Bright flashes of color passed over her eyes and Sakura forced the Sharingan on to follow it all. People congregated together and she could feel the happiness in the air; when she blinked Sakura was face to with a dark mask. An eye smile followed by a small kiss to the lips through cloth made her eyes close in pleasure; from there the man was hovering over her.

Sweat pooled from his head and she could tell that he pulled down his mask for her sake. He was chanting the same name over and over with love and she gasped as her eyes opened one last time in pure ecstasy. A rugged Sakura falling from him as he brought her close to him, and the last thing she saw was a single beauty mark near the lips of the man.

That was love; that was my Kakashi.

"Do you still love him?"

The voice scoffed, Of course I do. He taught me everything we knew, and loved me enough to let me in. I miss him and all, but Kakashi wouldn't want me to mope around all the time. She listened to the voice sigh wistfully, before it was pulled back into nothing; leaving Sakura alone and causing the girl to deactivate her Sharingan. Sakura groaned as stretched her arms and grimaced at the smell coming from her armpits. The rosette let her pillow fall to her feet and she walked over to the bright window.

She grunted as she forced it open and opened her mouth, "TSUKIKO-SAN!" All the Uchiha had to do was wait for the older woman to make it to the window before shouting, "Get me my good yukata Tsukiko-san!" Sakura rolled her bed sheets into a ball, one that would have her maids pulling their hairs at, and ran to her adjacent bathing rooms.

The water was heated already and she shed her yukata and jumped in; her reflection in the water was rippled but she could see a bright purple rhombus sitting in the middle of her forehead. Puzzled she grabbed a small washcloth and dabbed at the thing; when it didn't come off she rubbed at it. "Did Hashirama-kun see this?" she wondered and poked at her forehead curiously.

Don't touch that Blossom.

Startled, Sakura dropped the cloth; it wasn't the voice that talked to her. She shook in the warm water when she realized who was talking to her, and she could even see a small smile blossoming across an aristocratic face. There is much to do yet, in such little time. Behind her the door slid open and Tsukiko walked in, babbling about new oils for her hair and whatnot.

But she wasn't listening as the woman carefully tended to her hair.

Continue with your little life for now, be at peace my child.

Kaguya cackled in her mind as she caressed the hair of a pink haired woman, "All good things to those that wait."

Sakura let a tear fall from her eye and it was washed away with water from her bath. Then the goddess once more took the memory from the young UchihaHARUNO and another flower blossomed on the tree in Sakura's mindscape.

The girl shook her head free of the water and had a goofy smile plastered on her face, "Thank you Tsukiko-san!"

Hidden in the depths of a psyche, the Rabbit Goddess smiled to herself as she toyed with the rosette's silky hair, and another red blossom fell around her. The memory of that particular conversation was gone.

~.~.~.

A pair of brothers were basically furious as they stalked back to their home, it couldn't be true. The Sarutobi boy had no balls! Madara was the one to hear about it; his ever faithful falcons updating him when they learned this little tidbit. Neither brother would be able to find a worthy cause to reject such a proposal they were able to do so for others because they were heirs or noblemen.

But a clan leader was a different thing.

The Sarutobi was getting ready to form a proposal and that was not something they could not allow to happen.

So, when Hashirama saw the two he got confused.

"Madara? Izuna? I thought you guys were back in old Uchiha land?" Hashirama wondered when he saw the two Uchiha walk back empty handed. Neither brother looked like they found what they wanted to, but their chakras were more dispersed. "Clones?" when he got a nod from them he sighed. Like they, he was using a clone to run his errands. His own clone was tending to Sakura.

Her first thing when his clone brought her breakfast was to complain of her eyes hurting. So ever the gentlemen he healed her wish what little reserves the clone had and looked at her pristine forehead. Something about it wasn't right but he shrugged it off and set a tray of dango and tea on the ground next to her bed.

His original body was wandering around the Uchiha compound as he waited for the Naras to wake up. "Now," Madara said, leaving no room for argument as he pushed past Hashirama to go to the Main House. The Hokage blanched and reached inside his robes, a delicate hair comb sat inside one of his inner pockets. A small Vajra dangled off the piece with a small golden chain.

It was his mother's and she loved the small hair piece; he hoped that it would be good enough because there would be no more going back and second guessing himself. "N-Now?" he panicked slightly. When both brothers grabbed him and started to drag him to the house he finally understood how important this was. The majority of his mind was vibrating with happiness; he couldn't believe that this was going to happen.

Well, he did believe it was going to happen; just not under these circumstances. Hashirama thought it would be a sort of romantic profession, or even courageous; but for all that he is and claims to be he is human first and foremost. Even those as he would be nervous and despite knowing Madara and Izuna for many years he can't help but to feel anxiety creeping in him.

No longer were they his friends, but in this moment they were people he needed to impress and not those that would take pity on him. For he may be Hokage, but that meant nothing when it came to their sister's happiness.

"Yes, now."

Hashirama threw his shoulders back and forced himself to stand tall; there would be no hesitation or weakness in his voice. He pressed his hands into a seal to dispel his clone, and sighed when his chakra melded back into his system. "Okay, I'm ready," Hashirama said and Izuna groaned.

"You better be, because either way your ass is going to be up there," Madara mumbled as they stepped into the Uchiha Main House, each of them taking off their sandals as they began the final stretch of their walk. The young Hokage forcing himself to remain calm as he mulled over his words; afraid of taking too long or being too short. Hell, he could even fuck it up by not immediately stating his intention! Or could that make him seem overeager instead?

His head nearly slammed into the wall when both Madara and Izuna wacked him, "Get your head out of the clouds. This is your only chance Hashirama." The young Uchiha was adamant about Hashirama following his advice; the happiness of his sister came before anything. Even Hashirama's stupid anxious self. "Listen, don't go in there and just address them directly okay? Let them talk to you first when they see that it is no social call, and for the love of God don't try anything stupid. Just speak your intentions when spoken to and then let us deliberate. Our word counts more than theirs, so that a good thing. Got it?" Hashirama's head was spinning as Izuna gave him a quick run down on what was going to happen.

"When we flare our chakras then come in okay?" Madara asked.

The Senju nodded and both brothers opened the door to the Council Room and closed it behind them. Leaving Hashirama by himself in the long hallway; the familiar walls becoming nothing more suffocating as he looked at them.

"Calm down, everything is going to be fine," he told himself. Nothing could go wrong, both Madara and Izuna had his back and that was all that he could really hope for.

In the end it would all be okay; he could imagine a future with Sakura and that was the one that that comforted him. Maybe years from now, he'd love to see some pink haired kids going around, cheering up everyone around them. Or some brown haired menaces giving everyone heart attacks, like he did to his mother when he was younger. Disappearing for hours on end to go see Madara.

Or, if she didn't want children immediately, maybe he could be able to leave the village in Madara's capable hands and go exploring the world with her. Taking her to the Land of Tea or Hot Springs would be an experience, or even going to see the Uzumaki in the Land of Whirlpools. The entire world would be under their feet and Hashirama can give her what Madara told him she always wanted.

There was nothing he wouldn't do for her happiness and the Senju nodded to himself; he would wait to see what she wanted before doing anything. Nothing but the best for a lady such as herself.

The Hokage was so engulfed in his thoughts that he missed the maid with a basket walking down the hall towards him; so when she bumped into him he jolted a tad bit. He smiled at the woman as he bent to pick up the linen she had dropped, "I'm sorry, are you okay?" The woman's dark eyes narrowed when she looked at the white clad Hokage; she scoffed and took the clothes from him roughly.

"As if I need held from some boonie!"

It didn't matter if she roughly threw the linens into the basket, but what did matter was when she pushed past him. Years had passed since he had seen an Uchiha look at him with pure hate in their eyes, and for him to see it in a woman was even stranger. Any words he had prepared in defense were thrown out the window when he felt the slight increase in chakra from the Uchiha clones.

He looked at the leaving maid and sighed before straightening his back and opening the door. Now, he wasn't sure what he was expecting when he walked in, but all of the Uchiha elders in a large half circle around the room was not one. He expected maybe a few here or there, but each and every one of them were staring at him with red Sharingan eyes.

Two tomoe against his dark eyes.

Against them the Hokage stood his ground and forced himself to look into each pair of eyes, seeing nothing but stoicism in them. Even Madara and Izuna refused to let emotions bleed into their expressions. Their clones were surrounded by clan members, and Hashirama felt alone in his endeavors. The Senju remembered the warning given to him and forced himself to remain silent.

Every second that ticked by had his palms gather a little bit more sweat, and his knees started to feel weak. He took a deep breath and waited, not sitting down without permission and not opening his mouth.

"Come and sit with us Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage of Konohagakure and Clan Leader of The Senju Clan," one wizened man gestured to the sole pillow left open. Smack dab in the middle of the room, leaving him exposed to the wandering eyes in the room. "I am Hitomi Uchiha, and these are my colleagues. Come sit and tell us your purpose," Hitomi ordered.

Hashirama was more than happy to sit and politely bowed to the Council, and when he offered no words Hitomi smiled kindly at him. The first to switch his doujutsu off and it calmed the Senju down. "You may speak freely Hashirama-sama," and the Hokage merely reached into his robes and pulled out his mother's hair comb. The bright white painted wood stood out more than anything.

"I wish to ask for Sakura Uchiha-sama's hand in marriage, and I present my most prized possession to symbolize that there is nothing more precious to me than her," his heart started to race when the small Vajra clad hair comb was picked up by Madara's clone. He handled it with the upmost care and passed it around the room; each member treating it better than the last.

The Hokage folded his hands in his lap and waited for them to look it over.

Hitomi was the last to hold the comb and noticed the small bit of wear and tare, "To whom did this belong to before you?" And Hashirama smiled, he remembered how pretty his mother's brown hair was when it was held up with the small comb. He fought the blush on his face when he imagined Sakura wearing it though, and was unsuccessfully.

"I made it when I was young and inexperienced with the Mokuton Release, it was one of the first pieces I made correctly. It was made for my mother, Michiko Senju, after Kawarama died," while the young mother was devastated at the loss of her youngest son, Michiko was overjoyed to learn that Hashirama was mastering his Mokuton. At first the design was horrible, but he willed it to be beautiful for a gorgeous mother. His mother was so happy, and after Itama died as well it became something she always had with her.

Something about, she could have a piece of her son while he was away from her; and Tobirama even made the golden chain that the Vajra was held with. It was easily Michiko's favorite accessory and Hashirama was happy that she treasured it for all her days in this world.

"It means a lot to you," another elder commented.

"It means too much for me to let sit away in a box, I would offer this to Sakura Uchiha-sama so that it was used how my mother would have wanted to be."

From his seat in the middle of the large room, he could see and hear people talk among themselves and tried to listen in on Madara and Izuna's conversation with one another. However, the soft rumble of words blocked out any insight on their whispering. All Hashirama had to go on was the slight nods to each other as the elders closest to them leaned over and mumbled to them.

His head swayed a bit as the multitude of Sharingans staring into his eyes disoriented him, even with a hand steadying him Hashirama found himself locked into the eyes of one stern Uchiha. The man's tomoe cut into his psyche like a hot knife to butter, but he refused to cower in the face of adversity. Though it was as if his world had turned black and the Shodai Hokage gasped as gigantic eyes sprouted all around him; differing Sharingans viewing him from every angle.

Hashirama closed his eyes and opened them to look at Madara's approving nod, suddenly the chattering stopped and Madara stood up. His hand raised and all Sharingans were deactivated. "What makes you, Hashirama Senju, worthy of my little sister's hand in marriage?" he growled and Hashirama hoped it was for show. Nevertheless he stood too and gripped his hand into a fist.

"What makes you think I believe myself to be worthy?"

Next to Madara, Izuna groaned and put his head into his hands, but Hashirama wasn't done yet, "I am not worthy, nor will I ever be. But like a servant to the Kami, I will never stop worshiping the ground she walks upon. I don't demand her hand, good Lord, I merely ask for it."

All the Uchiha held their breaths as Madara threw his head back and laughed.

"Then her hand is yours, welcome Hashirama Senju. Rejoice! For today, we have a brother in our midst, I welcome you Senju to the great Uchiha clan!"

The Hokage never bowed lower in his life.

~.~.~.

A young woman groaned as she forced herself up in her bed, with a cursory look to her right she spotted silver spiked hair. She reached over to hold his hand and jumped when he pounced to his feet.

"K-Kakashi?"

That one word broke him and when he noticed who was the one that woke him, the masked man quickly got to her side. He noticed the way that she held her empty belly and his visible eye softened. "What was the baby's name? Did you name him Obito? Or was the name you settled on Daisuke?" he murmured. The pink haired woman shook her head as Kakashi climbed into the bed next to her.

"They named him Sakurako Haruno, child of Sakura."

"They?"

Her jaded green eyes glared at the white sheets around her, "I never held him Kashi. He died as I was healing from the c-section." She fingered the sheets as the anger in her broke free of its confines, "He was too young Kakashi, Sakurako never made it past the first part of the third trimester! If I just brought a guard with me, or even Naruto! THEN HE WOULD STILL BE HERE WITH US!"

The man smoothed her hair back as she cried, "You were in Suna, and I was going crazy in that house! I needed to get out and do something!"

"You are young sweetheart, you're not even twenty yet-"

"I'm old enough to know that it was stupid to put myself in danger!"

Kakashi Hatake watched as his ex-student, a woman with passion beyond belief, lost some of her fire that day. As war loomed over them with each passing day, he wanted to have this small moment to himself. Something to fight for.

All they had now was another name to visit on a gravestone.

"Stop it, let her sleep Rabbit Bitch. She's doing what you want her too, what you hoped would happen. So leave her alone."

"Oh? Really? I have yet to see a product of my plan come to fruition."

"You've waited for so long, have some fucking patience."

Sakura groaned when her shoulders were shook, waking her from her fitful sleep and bright red eyes drilled into the body of her maid. Tsukiko was oblivious to the Sharingan as she bundled up the wrinkled and soiled sheet from the bedding. Practically, forcing Sakura to get up; she moaned as her back popped and the position of the sun told her that it was past noon.

"Come Sakura-sama, your brothers have some news for you!"

Tsukiko hadn't been this excited for her since she first bled with the monthly moon cycles, the childish kimonos being replaced with form fitting attire. The young princess narrowed her eyes when she was pulled from her bed and her yukata was ripped from her. Her hair was being pulled up as bindings were thrust into her hands and Sakura grumbled as she wrapped herself. "What's the news Tsukiko-san?" she asked, hoping to get answers from the older woman.

The woman shook her head and grabbed a thin white ribbon to tie her hair off in a bun, "I can't say Sakura-sama, Lord Madara had forbade me from telling you more than I already have." She chuckled at the pout that Sakura gave her in the mirror and carefully tied a bow to frame the sides of the bun. Sakura sat in her underwear and bindings as Tsukiko looked through her wardrobe. Carefully peeling through the multitudes of clothing she had; her formal junihitoes were looked at with critical eyes and the woman settled on a white scemed twelve layered kimono.

Of course, Sakura groaned at the sight of such a heavy piece of clothing and groaned when Tsukiko held open the inner most robes for her. Dutifully she let her maid dress her and groaned as each layer got heavier and heavier on her. "Tsukiko-san, I still feel dizzy," she complained. Normally, that one sentence would be met with concern but Tsukiko was trying to get her dressed as quick as she could.

"I know, but its only for a bit. Can you last for that long?"

Sakura nodded and whimpered when the pang in her eyes started again, but other than that she was fine. Her brothers had no reason to want her unless it was something big; they knew that she had a rough night and would let her sleep in. Something had to have come up for them to request her presence so quickly. So she endured the dizzying feeling and forced herself to let each layer of her junihitoe to be put on her. She never liked the last sleeveless layer but Tsukiko was adamant about it.

"Come, come!" the woman hurried her and Sakura's bare feet were stepping in sync with her. The smaller woman was clearly uncomfortable with the way that servants and maids bowed to her as they walked through the halls of her home. Usually, they would greet her casually, but today they were all lined up against the walls in a seiza and bowed when she passed.

"Tsukiko-san?" she asked, "Did something big happen?"

"I guess you could say that Sakura-sama! Now hush child!"

She led the princess like Uchiha to the closed doors of the Council's Room and Sakura visibly startled. No good came from being in the Council Room in her opinion; it was a place for old men to berate her and treat her like a low class citizen! That Yamanaka brat invaded the sanctity of her mind there and rummaged around in her brain, but she was glad that the voice got rid of him before any harm could be done.

Tsukiko's hand shook as she reached out to knock on the door, "Tsukiko-san?" The woman used that hand to wipe tears from her eyes and flip back her graying hair; she took a good look at the young girl she's been caring for since she was eight. Seven years was a long time for her to get invested in her future and happiness and Tsukiko was honored to be a part of it.

"I love you like a daughter Sakura-sama, just as much as I love Tsubasa and Tsubaki. You do me proud hime-sama, go child." Before Sakura could say anything back, her maid rapped on the door and opened it when her eldest brother's chakra flared. Sakura was prodded in gently and Tsukiko closed the door behind her; leaving her in the room filled with nothing but males all by herself.

Her brothers were seated on the dais and the council members were circling the room in their seizas; there was a small table in the middle of the room with a box on it. It was rather ornate, but what drew her to it was the Senju clan symbol on it. Her heart beat started to escalate when she realized what was happening and why everyone was being much more formal with her.

Someone from the Senju clan was asking for her hand in marriage; many Senju have commented to her on how she would make someone very happy. In this moment it was time to make their statements true. While she was spoiled, she was not vain and allowed herself a second to contemplate the suit. This was the moment that her life could change forever.

If she chose to go forth, then she would be accepting the Senju's proposal and be married to one of their members. Her brothers didn't offer her the name of the man that presented the box. Instead letting her change her fate of her own free will. Her mother, Shizuka Uchiha, was a bit of an oddball when it came to marrying into the Main Family.

She walked out of Tajima's proposal three times before she caved into his requests, but unlike her mother and father she was hesitant. There was a chance that she would not get the proposal again and another situation like the Hozuki debacle could happen again. Sakura's verdant eyes flitted over to her brothers and Madara gave her a slow nod.

The first step she took had the Council sag in relief; the young Uchiha had sealed her fate as she slowly approached the ornate box. "Sakura Uchiha, daughter of Tajima Uchiha and Shizuka Uchiha, do you willingly accept the suit brought forth by the Senju Clan?" her brother's loud voice boomed. She looked up to Madara and nodded, her delicate fingers touching the edge of the box with glee.

"Do you accept that you will be joining another clan in name and be mothering children from such clan?"

"I do accept."

"Then open the box and accept his present."

With permission, Sakura carefully opened the white box and gasped at the small hair comb that sat so prettily in the box. It was delicate and beautiful, obviously made for a woman of high standing. The bun that Tsukiko had put on her head without decoration made sense all of the sudden and she carefully raised the comb and slid it into her bun. Her brothers being the first to rise from their seats and bow to her, every other elder in the room following their example.

Madara raised his head and smiled at his little sister, "Then when the time comes imouto-chan, you shall be wedded to one Hashirama Senju. May you find happiness among the Senju, but never forget your brethren here in the Uchiha." He was smiling brightly at her and was followed by Izuna when he went down to congratulate her, "I'm so proud of you Blossom." Her dizziness grew but she merely ignored it as her brothers hugged her.

"Ne Sakura-chan, don't forget about your favorite big brother here okay? It'll be too lonely here without you, " Izuna pouted at her, "But Hashirama has asked that any wedding be held off until your sixteenth birthday." He ducked the punch from Madara and grabbed at his sister; spinning her around in celebration. She kicked the air and when he let her go she held onto him.

"He did?" she asked as her head spun around.

Nausea was starting to settle in and she gripped her brother's sleeve desperately, "Sakura-chan?" She shook her head and before she knew it Madara had swept her up in his arms. "We know that you had a bad night, so go back to bed. We'll wake you if something comes up," Madara smiled at her gently as the young girl nodded. He only had so much more time with her before he had to give her up to Hashirama.

A smile flitted across Sakura's face; it was like in the romance scrolls that Tsubasa showed her.

It was a teenage miracle.

"You're getting so close Blossom. Just a little bit more."

Chapter Text

She needs to know.

She'll know when I want her too. Soon child, soon. It has to be perfect.

Clothes were strew across the floor rather inelegantly and the servant could only sigh in frustration; she never taught the young Uchiha to be this sloppy. No, there would be a sharp rap on the knuckles and a stern word. The Uchiwa fan on the back of the junihitoe made her angry, because soon the beautiful fan would be replaced with the damned symbol from those boonies. Speaking of boonies, that damned hair comb that she saw in her lady's hair was rested on a tiny pillow on her table. Set to give the impression that it was precious beyond belief.

A head of pink was barely seen over the sheets of her clan's decorated bedding, and before she could act on any urges. The servant left, just thinking of the best way for Sakura to not go through with this. There was still time for any refusal. The black hair of the servant ghosted behind a corner as the kind face of Tsukiko Uchiha rounded another.

In her hands was a small tray of food, made personally with the older woman's tender hands. Umeboshi with a small bowl of rice porridge, to help the young girl's touchy appetite. For the last two days since her acceptance of her marriage proposal, Sakura had been complaining of dizziness and nausea. Finally, she broke and asked Tsukiko to make her food until she got better.

The mother was more than happy to follow that order seeing as she made food for both her daughters when they were sick frequently. It wasn't something that warranted suspicions to her, whenever she got sick Sakura looked to her for guidance. However, both her brothers were worried that something or someone may be tampering with her food and allowed Tsukiko to bring food from home.

"Sakura-sama! Sakura-sama!" Tsukiko called as she knocked on the door. The Uchiha maid waited a second before opening the door on her own and smiled fondly at the mess inside. She balanced the tray with a hand as she kicked aside some of the clothes on the ground before setting the tray on the floor carefully. Tsukiko hummed to herself as she poured a small cup of gyokuro tea for the bride to be.

"Sakura-sama, it's time to get up!" and the young girl groaned as she flipped onto her side to face Tsukiko. One hand came up from below the covers to rub her eyes and she let the woman pull her into a sitting position.

Her rose pink hair was flung in every which direction as Tsukiko pressed the hot cup into her charge's hands, "Drink up." The woman then walked around to clean up the mess that Sakura left and smiled at the hair comb sitting on her table. "I'm so happy for you my girl," Tsukiko cheered as she picked up the junihitoe from the ground.

"Thank you," Sakura mumbled as she gingerly ate the rice porridge with and gulped down her tea.

"Yes, Hokage-sama is a lucky man to have you accept his suit! Now if I can only get Tsubasa to really think about what she wants in her future. Tsubaki already has offers lined up for her, but Tsubasa never seemed interested in any of hers," the woman droned on as she threw the clothes into a basket. Giving Sakura a sufficient enough distraction from the voices in her head that seemed to always bicker.

The kinder voice was much more sympathetic to her, and looked out for her when she needed it the most. Though it kept all the information that Sakura was craving to itself, the last time she tried to think on her dreams with the Rabbit Goddess the voice would push the memory away. It was annoying but she took the voice's suggestion to keep living her life and let the voice handle these premonitions.

Although there were times that the voice would lose a little control and she could hear the conversations that the two carry on with; like she could today. Her chakra pathways were getting agitated as her chakra would move on instinct from her coils to the endings in her hands. Sakura would try to control it with varying degrees of success, but she knew that she was a mess.

And despite this Hashirama still wanted to see her.

The Hokage had yet to see her since she accepted his proposal and if it weren't for Madara and Izuna; he'd have been by her side when he found out that she was experiencing some discomfort. Though, she wasn't ready to see him yet! Sakura didn't want him to see how much she was struggling and how unlady-like she had been recently.

Oh Blossom, you don't want him to see how weak you are.

The young girl nodded and blinked away tears that gathered in her green eyes; yes, that was right she wasn't weak. Something in her mind nagged at her and she cautiously reached to the memory and only saw the backs of two boys before the voice booted her out again. Sorry Blossom, but I don't want her getting to you. Again. Sakura merely sighed and felt the chakra burn through her pathways once more. Sorry Sakura, but the urge to fight is still there sometimes.

"Are you okay Sakura-sama?" she jolted and nearly spilled her tea when Tsukiko touched her back carefully. "Is your stomach still bothering you?"

She huffed a bit but shook her head; it was mind numbing staying in here all day and she was sure that her brothers were wondering if she was okay yet. "Good! Let's get you dressed for the day!" Tsukiko said, and she was kind enough to realize that Sakura didn't have the stamina for a twelve layered kimono. A simple yukata was brought out, a pale green with a white obi that was light and reached Sakura's knees.

"Finish breakfast and then we'll get you all ready! I heard Hokage-sama is stopping by today with Tobirama-sama to talk to the Yamanaka and Nara clans."

Sakura choked down all her food and rubbed at her stomach, Its so empty, before letting Tsukiko dress her in the yukata. The older Uchiha carefully tied the obi around her and handled her hair comb as if it were a snowflake. Her green eyes looked at the purple rhombus in the middle of her forehead and she frowned at it; Tsukiko never acted like she saw it. Nor did anyone else see it.

That is a seal Blossom, try to leave it be.

It was tender to touch and she wisely followed the voice's advice; it would do her no good to try and figure out more about it. All Sakura could do was get used to seeing it and move on with her life. Because, it was simple really; she had so much more to worry over. In a few short months she would be getting married! She grinned brightly at her reflection and tested out the name Sakura Senju in her mind; it didn't have the same umph as Sakura UchihaHaruno but it was something that she looked forward to.

"I'm going to be married soon!" and Tsukiko grinned at the sudden change in attitude in her young charge.

"That's the spirit, Sakura-sama!"

The young Uchiha was helped up after her hair was delicately assembled into a beautiful bun; Hashirama's hair comb standing proud in the pale pink hair that she was born with. For the last two days she was plagued with the aftershocks of her new Sharingan; her chakra pathways were not used enough to handle to sudden strain that accompanied the use of the Mangekyo. As well as the sensitive nature of the voice in her head; it was more sombre than she was used to.

It was in a state of constant remind of Sakurako, a baby that belonged to the voice in her head. My name does not need to be remembered in this world, but if you need something to affix to me then call me Haru. Sakura died with her child. Sakura flinched at the voice's- no, Haru's sad voice echoing through her head; she ignored the voice and walked out of her room with Tsukiko on her tail.

Oh Blossom, I'm sorry for plaguing you. I am, but I've no time to grieve in life. It does as it always will; it moved one. Whether I wished it to or not; but if you wish then I will try to keep Sakurako to myself. As I should have done in the first place.

To the Uchiha, it was saddening; she knew that the voice, Haru, darling Haru, had been through a lot. It wasn't even her fault for remembering, Haru had been angry beyond belief after she ejected the Yamanaka from her mind. The secret of Sakurako had been something that was locked away with consent from Haru, supposedly, and the voice had been violated.

Privacy was ripped in the most unlikely of places, and even Sakura was not privy to the occurrences that happened inside of her mind; why should some upstart get the chance to see what she was denied?

"-ow do you feel about that Sakura-sama?" and the rosette blinked in surprise.

She sheepishly rubbed the back of her neck and smiled at Tsukiko, "Ano, could you repeat that Tsukiko-san?" The maid looked at her exasperated as the two walked into the bright sunlight courtyard.

"Some of the Nara and Yamanaka wish to have lunch with you later today, if you are okay with that," and Sakura nodded absent minded. Her eyes focused on her brothers and future husband across the spacious courtyard. The elder woman smiled wistfully at the sight of her; eyes only for the man that would eventually make her the happiest she will ever be. "Good, good. Now what do you wish to do until then?" Tsukiko asked, jolting Sakura from her thoughts.

The rosette shrugged; there was not much she wanted to do really. Her plans consisted of staying in her room until Haru told her what she was interested in hearing or going around with Madara and Izuna. Tsubasa was rather tied up in taking care of her sister and the two clan representatives were still running around the village with Hashirama and Tobirama. There was really nothing for her to do unless someone needed her.

Tsukiko sighed, "Would you like to go to the kitchens with me?" The Uchiha nodded and she watched as the long haired Hokage turn into a corridor right behind her brothers. "You brothers will be hungry soon and so will Hokage-sama," she commented to the girl. Almost immediately Sakura nodded, more than happy to help out when her interests lay with her options. While she was a terrible cook, Sakura was able to make tea with the best of them.

Believe her, Tsukiko had tried her damn hardest to teach her how to cook anything other than rice or tea, but the princess wasn't cut out for it. After one experience with Madara and a piece of spoiled, burnt fish; her cooking career was over basically. Her brothers didn't trust her in the kitchen after that again. However, in her great concentration she found that she was kind of okay at making some food things of the more sweeter variety.

Daifuku was the best food that she made and even that was merely passable.

Sakura was immediately outfitted with a large apron upon entering the kitchens and she greeted each of the staff working there. All hands were on deck to prepare food for the visiting representatives; she sniffed as she passed some of her clansmen patiently pickling fruits. Umeboshi was one of her favorites and just the sight of its preparation was more than enough to make her a tad bit peckish.

Even after just eating.

A small paring knife was pressed into her hand and she found herself face to face with a daikon; she groaned at the sight of white vegetables but a stern look from Tsukiko had her stop. Sakura listened to the mindless chatter and orders flowing around her as she carefully used the sharp knife to peel off the skin of the daikon. It was peaceful to just stand there and work alongside Tsukiko as she started talking about her daughters again.

The mind numbing work was what she was best at and (without permission to touch the oven or anything remotely warm) to be honest if she was good at it, Sakura would love cooking. After all, what kind of woman couldn't cook? Many, Blossom. I knew a kunoichi that managed to burn water. There are some that are worse than you, so be thankful.

Sakura grimaced twice.

The first time when she imagined someone being bad enough to burn water; then again when she heard an outraged screeched. The rosette turned to see her former nanny/maid Oka, red faced and shaking with her Sharingan activated. For that small moment in time she felt the world around her bleed away and she knew what it was like to be looking at an enemy.

She shook her head and glanced to the woman, "Oka-san? Are you okay?"

No one moved an inch and the only sound in the room was the sound of boiling pots and sizzling food. "Oka-san?" and the woman stalked forward to Sakura; ignoring the reprimands and shrugging off halting hands. "May I help you?" she asked coldly.

Several people let out shocked gasps when Sakura felt her head snap to the side; her pale cheek turning red within seconds and her hand clutched the knife tighter. A fellow cook tried to reach out for Oka, but one small hand sign had the man fall to the ground. As did many others in the immediate vicinity, and Sakura felt Haru move within her and Sakura was pushed to the back of her mind.

"Whore! You demon loving whore!" Oka roared as she reared her hand back, "Did I teach you nothing? Are you really that desperate for a man that you would marry into a clan from the sticks!?"

"And who do you think you are? Touching me with your filthy hands?"

Tsukiko Uchiha watched with horror as a bright purple rhombus appeared on her dear charge's forehead, before it bled away. Chakra filled the air and Sakura's eyes spun into angry red, and the vision of a cruel goddess came to her mind first and foremost. The three tomoe that she had seen before in Madara and Izuna elongated dangerously, connecting with the middle of the other tomoe.

Small black triangles were framing a red iris, the points were more circular and Tsukiko feared Sakura Uchiha for the first time in her life. Without a second thought the maid fled the room.

She knew of one person that could fix this.

"You don't understand just who you're messing with."

~.~.~.

Sakura had no clue where she was; her body was still the same and her clothes were on with that damned apron, but she was gone from the kitchens. Oka was no longer in front of her and Tsukiko was no where to be seen. In fact, she wasn't even in a building anymore, and her feet stood upon a black star-filled world. There was no ending in sight and to make matters worse the only structure in the area she was in was a goddamned tree.

It was a large spiraling tree with large branches splintering off the sides, dark red blossoms were nestled in the protective arms of the white wood and she could only stare at its beauty. Tiny and large red petals fell all around her and she smiled as she reached out to touch them. Her fingers jolted back when the petals shimmered into nothingness, only leaving small particles of light to tell it had ever been there.

"Do you like the Tree?"

The rose haired girl turned on her feet quickly to see the owner of the second voice in her head, and Sakura froze completely. She knew that face; the long white hair, white eyes, spinning Sharingan third eye, and even the clothes she was wearing. It was the very person she had been so afraid of, and still was, in her childhood and Sakura felt like screaming.

Everything in her body told her to run and never look back.

This time Haru was no there to help her, talk to her, or even comfort her with her presence; it was just Sakura. The Rabbit Goddess floated close to Sakura and she smiled at the tiny teen before her. It was all going to plan, her white eyes gleaming with emotions she was reached out to touch the white hair comb in the Uchiha's hair.

"Why do you fear me Blossom? The other one does not, not anymore at least," her voice dragged sensually and Sakura's body relaxed. Pale hands were exposed when the Goddess forced Sakura to look into her eyes, and the Goddess frowned for a split second. "You are not good enough for Ashura," she hissed in that split second.

"W-Who?" the young girl stammered.

Kaguya shook her head and stepped back; with a flick of her wrist Sakura saw another her standing in front of her own body. Everything looked the same and Sakura watched as her skin melted away along with any tangible body structure. The only thing left was pathways, some bigger in the center of the cluster while others were tiny.

Her green chakra pulsed into the pathways in her eyes to activate her Sharingan and she flinched when the same soft green did the same in the cluster in front of her. Then she noticed the difference. The place where all her chakra was stored and created looked like it was inhibited; there was something dark blocking the circulation of it.

"You aren't strong enough for him," the Goddess seethed and she reached into the center of the dark block and pulled.

It burned. More than anything Sakura had ever experienced; she fell to the ground and convulsed as the woman kept her assault up. Not once did she let up and not once did the pain stop for the young girl. Sakura screamed and screamed and screamed, however there was no one to hear her and there was no one that could help. This was her own nightmare, except she didn't wake up.

The nightmare continued.

In one swoop, the pain disappeared and a surge in chakra flooded her body in ways that she never knew where possible. She could feel pathways that she never knew were there open and in that moment she felt like the daughter of Tajima Uchiha. Not the doll created by Shizuka Uchiha. It was intoxicating; the power flowing through her was better than anything she ever felt. "You like the power, do you not?" Kaguya asked, "You like the idea of being strong. You never wanted to be nothing more than a housewife. Loved when needed, but more than not forgotten."

"You don't know me!" Sakura spat out and Kaguya scoffed.

"I know more than you could ever comprehend child. You are weak, spoiled, and you have no backbone. How my Ashura could have noticed you is a mystery."

The pink haired girl staggered to her feet and tried to keep herself up, "Any progress you have helped make or contributed, was not your very own ideas. It wasn't even your own memories, you are a thief child. A mere girl trying to be a woman." Kaguya thrust a finger to her collar bone with each and every point, trying to find some weakness within this mere slip of a girl.

But, Sakura wasn't some girl.

"I am no thief! You are a thief, living within me and stealing my own sanity and comfort from my mind! This is my mind and this is my life!" Her sudden outburst momentarily shocked the Goddess. The sudden surge of chakra giving her more comfort against such an adversary than she had ever hoped to have. But instead of being surprised or even startled in the slightest, Kaguya threw her head back and laughed.

"There you are! After that pesky mind defense from the first Sakura, I never thought that there would be any sort of passion within you. But I suppose that your 'Haru' will be enough to keep that spark alive for my dear Ashura."

Sakura mimicked her, "Ashura, Ashura, Ashura. Who the hell is Ashura!" In return she was thrown against the white tree and she sputtered in elegantly as Kaguya floated ominously close to her.

The Goddess was pissed since she could see the nerves near her eyes bulged in response to her mimicry. "Do not mock me little Blossom," she spat the term of endearment like it was acid, "Do not make me regret doing all that I have done for you and for him." Then she ripped a passage into the air, and glided through it gracefully. Leaving there and although she knew Kaguya was no longer there, she was always there. Lingering out of sight and watching over her; coveting her and she purged the food from her stomach.

It was sickening.

"I'll never be rid of her!" the young girl wailed.

Her lament was heard by none and there was none to give the teenager comfort. The only thing that she could do was look at the white tree that towered over her at such ridiculous heights. Petals still drifted softly through the space that was her mind and she smiled wetly at the red petals. When the sole blossom that blew from the tree descended towards her, Sakura reached out for it.

Slightly trembling, she grabbed the flower and looked at its beauty. Only to be drawn into a memory that she did not remember, or ever experienced.

She was a fighter, born a fighter and taught to be a fighter in every sense of the word. Though this was something else, it took the fight from her and left her empty. She was walking in a field, and while she would have been happy to be there this was hell. Everywhere she looked, there were people. Both dead and dying, shinobi that she knew and didn't know were all around her.

Her finger itched to help them all, but there was nothing she could do.

The ones alive merely called out to her, in pain and near death but she walked over their bodies. People she knew and loved were dead and so was she; in her heart she knew that she could never recover from this. There was one woman that she hated the most, but she could save her from her pain. She would do anything to see the world in its light.

To be one with happiness again.

"Kaguya!"

The Goddess looked up from the two men she had on the ground in front of her; both were bleeding and staring at her in horror as she called for the Goddess's attention. Tears streamed down her face as she walked over a head of spiky gray hair. "Don't do it dattebayo! Live Sakura, live!" the blonde male on the ground screamed. His voice hoarse and he struggled to keep his head up to see her.

Kaguya floated over to her and caressed the young woman's face; the pink hair she fingered was pushed to the side to expose her dull green eyes. "What do you wish for my child?" she asked and the girl let out a sob.

"I want to start again."

"Then I know what I can do for you, in exchange for Ashura's happiness."

The white haired Goddess had ensnared the young woman's hope and crushed it with the bodies of the two dying men. "You dumbass Sakura! DON'T FORGET EVERYTHING WE FOUGHT FOR! DON'T FORGET WHAT KAKASHI SACRIFICED FOR YOU!" the black haired man roared. And that snapped her from her catatonic state and the fire returned to her eyes.

Though it was all too little, too late.

She sunk to her knees and bowed to the Goddess, "Kaguya-sama please don't." Though she knew it was too late and started to blame her own self; it was all her fault, she couldn't save them. Pink hair fluttered in the wind and the purple rhombus on her forehead pulsed in pain; her stores were empty and there was nothing she could do to defend herself. She wanted to rebel against the white haired woman in front of her, but she won't.

A pale hand thread itself through her hair and she shivered. "Learn your lesson," and she screamed. Her body flashed white and she could feel herself break apart; the wind scattering her to the wind as if she were flower petals. From head to toe she disintegrated, and there was nothing left of her.

The poor black haired man let a bloody sob from his body, "Its too late, Kaguya got her." And the blonde stared into the other's eyes as Kaguya floated back to them.

"Peace Sakura, peace my child."

"What did you do to her?" the ravenette demanded and the Goddess made a shushing sound.

"Indra, you always got more attention than Ashura ever did. It's time for him to be given some love as well, not in this life but as his last. She will make him happy." The pale men grimaced as they took their dying breaths, on their hands were a sun and a moon. Symbolizing their failure and Kaguya smiled for the first time in a long time.

She glanced at the two dead bodies before ripping a whole into time and space itself and found the broken soul of the pink haired woman she spirited away. With great care she reformed her body and then carefully lay her down. Kaguya frowned when she felt the presence of another soul, deep within the head of the rosette. "Tell me, where is that soul of yours hiding?"

Her hand plunged into the head of the woman and she ripped out a tiny black and white soul; it fought against her in every way before she rubbed the tiny soul between her fingers. As if it were a bug it died, and was smeared on the white fingers of the Goddess. A constant reminder of what she had stole from the woman. She took a small breath and immersed herself into the spot that the second soul had occupied and threw the soul and mind of this woman into the past.

Straight into the stillborn baby girl of one Tajima Uchiha and Shizuka Uchiha, and when she regenerated the deteriorated carcass the baby began to scream.

She knew the horrors it screamed of, Kaguya having been the one to cause those horrors and she decided to hide it. Seal it away from the pink haired baby, and let things play out naturally. The Goddess decided to let the baby's life play out naturally, but if her plans were diverted then she would react. The former Sakura Haruno, the adult that had bargained with her for a second chance, scoffed as she settled into the mind of the baby with her.

"I understand now, you Rabbit faced bitch."

Kaguya smiled condescendingly at her, "You just don't get it do you?"

And the flower burst into light and scattered away from Sakura; this time Kaguya let her keep this memory. She saw the navy blue of a suit in front of her before she was pushed back into the world she had always known.

"Haru!"

~.~.~.

All of them felt the chakra spike within the kitchens; it was a light chakra, one that was meant to soothe and it was so much like Sakura's. However, there was too much of it, and Sakura was not blessed with the large chakra stores that her family had. She took after her mother in that aspect.

The first one to feel it was Izuna, and it was nothing that he felt before; then both Madara and Hashirama were blown away by the sheer amount of such soothing chakra in one place. It was unnatural and definitely worrying, without a second thought the three went to investigate. While most of the house had become aware of such a build up in such short time, it was nothing the guests and staff were strictly worried about.

This was a ninja village after all.

"Madara-sama! Izuna-sama! Hokage-sama!" Izuna gave the elderly Uchiha a smile when she came running down a spacious hall; out of breath and definitely tired. "It's Sakura-sama! O-Oka -!" she huffed out and the Clan Leader shushed her carefully. It would do no one any good to panic in a situation like this; and without knowing what was happening there was no way for them to fix the problem.

The brunette smiled at Tsukiko, "Can you tell us what's going on Tsukiko-san?" And the elder woman looked at Hashirama with panicked eyes, her only way of conveying her shock and fear was to whimper.

"That's not Sakura-sama!"

She was right; that was not the little girl she had met after Oka had ruined her credibility. The bright eyed girl was different than most people, even her own brothers; but Tsukiko only saw the good in her. Sakura was like another daughter to her, and where she went Tsukiko was bound to follow. Her lady was the most kind and precious lady that she had ever met.

What Tsukiko saw was not the Sakura Uchiha she had taught since eight years of age. This Sakura was burdened and cruel; it was like she was a candle and someone had snuffed out her flame. There were things on and part of her body that she had never saw before; things that should never be. Everyone in the Uchiha clan was aware of their hime being born with the Sharingan. After she had died as a babe, but fought her way back into life. The Sharingan was her reward for living, for fighting death and winning.

Tajima Uchiha was very pleased with that, but her weak chakra system kept her from utilizing it in a way that her father would have been happy with. Then, there was the matter of her abyssal chakra storage. That purple rhombus gave her more chakra than Sakura ever had in her body at once; while it felt like her's it wasn't. Tsukiko had been around long enough to distinguish the difference in chakras and that was not her lady's chakra.

It was more malicious.

"Sh-She's different! That's not the Sakura I know."

Hashirama nodded to both men and gave Tsukiko a pat on the shoulder, "We'll check it out, so don't worry okay? We'll never let something happen to her." He meant it; if there was something wrong with her then he would do his best to fix it.

Of course, she had been a little off since that poor Yamanaka collapsed in the middle of negotiations. Nothing had been exactly okay with her since she woke up screaming in the middle of the night. The green of her eyes had dimmed and it seemed like there was something wearing her down; but then that moment would be over and she would be the same ol' Sakura.

"Come on Hashirama! Move your ass!" Izuna yelled at him.

He shook his head and noticed that his future brother in laws were already on the move; both were sprinting across the grounds without him. Determined to get to their sister with or without him, and Hashirama could respect that. His long hair flew behind him as he ran to catch up with them; he thought that he could handle the fact that his future wife was not herself at the moment.

But he was wrong.

Sakura was different, very different.

Her Sharingan was nothing that he had ever seen in his life; even though he had been victim to and had seen Madara's Mangekyo. The design of hers was not the standard tomoe; no, this was different. She was different; the young lady that would never hurt a fly was gripping Oka Uchiha's neck viciously with one hand and held her in the air.

The Hokage's eyes widened when he realized who the woman was; it was the same woman that refused his help earlier in the week. Despite what she said or thought of him, she was just a human and he could no let her get hurt. Not under his watch. However, there had to have been something that caused Sakura to change so drastically.

"Now Oka, let's share with the rest of the class. What did you do again?" the voice that came out of her mouth was darker, more refined than anything Hashirama had ever heard. "Huh? Don't want to?" Sakura asked as she tsked, "Then I shall. Because, your clan leader and Hokage will be pleased to know how you struck me without cause and degraded my good name. Whore, I believe the word you called me was. Was it not?"

Madara took a stepped forward with his own Sharingan activated, "Sakura-chan, let her go. Now."

"Why? So this filth can continue to spread her own brand of lies and hatred? Aniki, I thought you were better than that," the young girl pouted but nonetheless dropped the maid. Her eyes darted to her brothers then Hashirama, and she let go of the knife in her hand. "There is hatred in her soul, she wants nothing more than to ruin everything. I will not let her," Sakura roared.

The Hokage stepped forward with his palms facing her, "No one is trying to imply that she hasn't any hate in her, but this is not the way to get justice for her actions. Sakura-chan, you need to understand that and please calm down." The teen shook her head frantically, her body heaving desperately as she tried to get her breath back.

When did she get out of breath?

Then at once her chakra flared and traveled through her pathways at fast rates; the chakra that exploded outward earlier gathered again and coursed through her veins. Her brothers ran forward to catch her flailing body, and against her wished Sakura's body convulsed as her chakra burned its way through her. Hashirama stepped forward to comfort her with his healing chakra when she started to scream.

And scream she did.

Within a few seconds the Uchiha princess let out wails so fierce that her voice grew hoarse and she finally fell limp. Sakura's pink hair kept from her sweaty face with help from Hashirama's hair comb, and he gently took her from her brothers. In his arms, she was so small and fragile. There was pain lines etched into her face and he wished that he could take them away from her.

But he couldn't and he knew that.

His dark green chakra gathered on his body and slowly spread over hers; the small twitches that her body involuntarily experienced were soothed and Sakura's Mangekyo faded back to the green eyes he so loved. "H-Hashirama? Madara? Izuna?" the deeper voice came through in rasps.

"Imouto-chan? Sakura, what happened just now?" Izuna asked carefully and his sister shrugged. Her chakra levels rose to the point that he sensitive nature to great amounts of chakra made itself known. As Hashirama helped her sit up she turned her head and vomited; the half digested food she had for breakfast spilled across the wooden ground but it fazed none of the men there.

"We need to get her to her room so she can recover," Hashirama said and the Uchiha brothers agreed with him.

Sakura merely laid her head in the crook of Hashirama's neck and trusted him to care for her. The group of people rushed through the Uchiha main house at speeds that they considered to slow as Sakura babbled incoherently into Hashirama's clothes. Then she jolted suddenly with a cry of 'Haru', throwing her brothers and Hashirama off guard.

"Madara-ani? Izuna-ani? What happened?" she mumbled before she snuggled deeper into Hashirama's chest.

"I don't know imouto," Madara whispered, "But I promise we will find a way to help you."

Sakura scoffed internally, there was no way any earthly remedies could help her now that she knew that there was something seriously wrong with her. She didn't know who or what she was anymore. Where did she hail from or if she was an imposter in an innocent's body? Did she belong to others or was she some sort of freak? Why was the Goddess so insistent on her of all people?

Was she really Sakura Uchiha, soon to be Senju?

Man, talk about teenage crisis.

Chapter Text

"HARU!"

"Please, please don't cry for me. There is nothing I can do now."

Haru sighed as she organized the mess of Sakura's mind; the young rosette's psyche was in tatters and she knew whose fault it was. Her fingers touched the large cracks and gouges that littered the tree in her young host's mind. The instability left by the Goddess was doing Sakura no favors and her own memories were scattered across the mindscape.

Inside tiny blossoms she could see different aspects of her life play out; eating at Ichiraku with Naruto and Sasuke, dodging the brutal attacks from her shishou, and laying in her ex-sensei's arms reading that damned book with him. "I can fix this. I can fix all of this," Haru mumbled as she picked up the blossom that held the memory of her son's tiny grave.

"This is causing too much trouble," Haru looked past her long pink bangs at the white tree in front of her, "It all is." The tree was getting more and more chaotic as the days went on and she pumped chakra to her fingers. The long gouges in the tree could not be fixed, but she could alleviate some of the pressure of their combined memories for her young host. It was all she could do in reality. "Damn that Yamanaka," she grumbled, "If he hadn't messed around in the first place the seal would still be functioning properly."

She went around picking up her precious memories, and knew that there was one course of action. Haru would have to seal them away before they continued to do Sakura harm. The rose haired woman looked into the center of one flower and winced at the sight of her dear Ino playing with her as a child. The apparition looked around at the scattered memories and ruined mental foundation of Sakura's mind.

"Something has to be done about this."

~.~.~.

"Something has to be done about this!"

Sakura could understand why her precious brothers were mad, but she didn't think that they would ever be this mad at her. In fact, Izuna was ranting more than Madara ever did and it was about her little to no control of her chakra. Granted, she never had enough as a child to go through practice, just enough to activate and deactivate her Sharingan at will. Though, ever since the Yamanaka boy had fainted in during negotiations, things had been happening to Sakura more than ever.

The rose haired teen sat demurely as Izuna paced in front of her, while Hashirama was behind her with his chakra covered hands running along her back lightly. "Do you know what you've done? What you've tried to do!?" he nearly roared at the smaller Uchiha, who flinched at the sight of his own Mangekyo. "We were so worried Sakura! You could have been hurt, or have hurt someone else!"

"I'm sorry aniki, I-I didn't know where I was," her breath hitched as she stumbled over her own lie. It wasn't often that she lied to her brothers, Madara had the nose to tell when she was lying more so than Izuna. Though, she knew where she was in her spirit; there was no way that Sakura knew where her mind had taken her. Where Kaguya had taken her, and where her thoughts had taken her.

Haru, having gone radio silent, left her even more lost.

"How could you not know!? You were holding Oka up with one hand! You can barely hold a tray of tea up for more than a couple of minutes!" and Sakura bowed her head in dismay. She could feel Hashirama's thumb moving in calming circle, giving her the support that she needed while Haru was off and Kaguya locked herself away in her mind.

"I-I don't know aniki!"

"Well you should, before you get married we're going to teach you control imouto. So that this can never happen again! I honestly can't even begin to believe this Sakura! You could have killed one of our clansmen!" Izuna stomped the ground with his foot and Sakura couldn't help but to think that he was blaming her. It wasn't like she could control what was happening to her! He didn't understand her at all! Tears welled up in her eyes and she shrugged off the healing hands; her shoulders going rigid like she saw in her dreams (or memories) and she held her own ground.

Her pink hair flared slightly as she screamed at Izuna(Sasuke), "Its not like I wanted to hurt anyone! You never cared before to teach me, so why care now!?" Sakura was quick to turn on her feet and flee her room while her brother tried his hardest to reach for her. His black eyes widening when he saw her run from him in tears, and his elder brother's hand settling on his shoulder. Keeping him from going after her.

Instead, Hashirama was faster and was off like a frog; bounding after their sister and no doubt being the one to comfort her. "I worry for her," Madara mentioned as he let go of Izuna, "But I worry more of what will become of her. Not how she controls herself. There is something here that needs to be fixed. Some things need to be done."

The younger brother sighed and rubbed his eyes with his hands, trying to alleviate the slight buildup of pain there to no avail. "Let Hashirama fix this, eventually he will be doing this for the rest of their lives," Madara advised and Izuna nodded. "What we can do is trace back to when she started to change and find the problem there," and he pushed his hair from his face, "But, we don't have to do that anymore."

Izuna perked up at that, "Why?"

"When the Yamanaka boy fainted, you would have to be blind not to notice the hand seals or feel the chakra move his mind," if the situation weren't so dire to them, then Madara maybe would have felt some sympathy for Izuna. His brother was beginning to lose it at times; but Madara paid him no mind. If something were truly bothering him, then Izuna would have stepped forward long ago.

Though, excuse the digression, the entire time the Yamanaka had been in the Main House there was a distinct dislike for Sakura. Whether it was personal or not, there was a bridge between them that could not be fixed. It was as if she frightened the Yamanaka, and the only thing they had to go off of was the incident in negotiations. "Lets go find ourselves a Yamanaka, otouto," and as if they were one, their Sharingans both activated and their unique designs were spinning sluggishly. Nothing like Sakura's, but impressive all the same dangerous.

Having two of the most powerful Uchiha trail you, was easily one of the most frightening thing to expect from the Uchiha Clan. But, if no one was expecting it then it was something else entirely. It was like a wolf stalking its prey. It was primal and it was destructive in nature, yet beneficial to the food chain. So when the Uchiha Clansmen saw their leaders stalk through the grounds just before lunch, they knew what was happening.

They have seen both men do the same before, yet to the Hozuki instead; Izuna with his katana and Madara with his gunbai and kama. Both men ceased to be their devoted leaders, in this moment the two had become brothers. Just brothers worried for their only sister; the only thing that kept them from descending into hatred and madness.

So imagine the surprise of the Yamanaka representatives, when the two brothers came strolling in with their weapons within an arm's reach away, and a look on their face that spelled trouble. In the second that all the Yamanaka looked at the brothers, it became clear that there was trouble that needed to be discussed. Not a single one doubted that it had something to do with Akio Yamanaka, in fact they all knew what Akio did and what he saw.

The blue pupil-less eyes of the Yamanaka stared deeply into the cutting edge of the Sharingan; and none dared to move, or say the first word. They were wise enough to leave it up to their hosts to initiate a conversation and it was the smartest thing that the Yamanaka had done in a while.

Madara Uchiha fingered the handle of his kama gently before letting it go completely, "Akio Yamanaka, a word if you please." As one, the Yamanaka clan turned to give a glance at the young man that was being called away. The blonde teen was visibly shaking when his clansmen helped him up and he sent a panicked look to Inomaru, a silent plea for help.

Though his clan leader would not invoke the wrath of the Uchiha Leaders, and Akio soon found himself in front of all his clansmen; like cattle led to the slaughter. There was not much preamble to their interrogation, nor was there a lot of tact. This was no negotiation and nor would it ever be; this was pure intel gain. Anything learned would have them go back to the old Uchiha Main House and search through their father's things again.

"Tell us what you know."

And like that, no weapons used or very little stimulation causing visual nervousness, Akio began to crack. All it took was a quick look into both Madara and Izuna's eyes the mere sight of their Sharingans was enough for the young man to break under their gaze. "Don't be afraid, there is nothing to fear. Unless there is something you don't want to tell us," Izuna mentioned casually.

The blonde opened his mouth, but no noise came out; he was trying to formulate words but he didn't know what to say. What Akio saw was not human, and it was not natural. How could he be the one to tell these powerful shinobi about the monsters that lay in their beautiful sister? About the memories that couldn't possibly be her own? He flinched when Izuna brought his hand down in a loud thump on the wall behind them.

"I-I don't know h-how to explain it my lords," and he squeaked when Izuna's sharp eyes bore into him once more. "I-It's not tha-that easy to describe! H-honest!" Akio stumbled and looked back to his clan head in a panic. Though the wise eyes of his leader was not on him anymore, instead they were on his hands in his lap and Akio felt abandoned in that moment.

Sure he shouldn't have done what he did, but there was no way he was expecting that.

Akio gulped and his hands trembled as he made sloppy hand signs, ones that were easily recognizable to the Yamanakas; his mind was soft and malleable when it transferred from his body. Unlike with Sakura, he prodded gently at the mind of the Uchiha Lords and slivered through when both acquiesced to it. His mind was intrusive and fought for every inch of space that he could find inside of the minds of the Greatest Uchiha since Tajima.

Both Madara and Izuna blinked when they realized that they were no longer in front of the Yamanakas, instead the mind they both shared was the field outside of the old Uchiha house. The one that their mother had loved so much, and the only thing out of place in the little paradise was the blonde haired teen trying to catch his breath.

"What are we doing here?" Madara asked as he looked around. He went to step forward when he felt a small tug on his head; upon turning he was startled to see a cluster of light blue threads attached to him. Just from the small grunt from next to him, Madara knew that Izuna had found that he was attached to. His brother had a bright yellow thread that nearly covered all of his hair.

The same threads were trailing all the way to Akio and attached themselves to the base of his head; and in that moment Madara could feel the ample amounts of chakra being pumped to them. It wasn't by any means pleasant, but it was like he was being connected to another human. He saw what Akio and Izuna saw, and felt the exhaustion that was beginning to overtake the young Yamanaka.

"This is the common ground that your two differing minds c-can mingle in harmony, and the only place where I can share the memories between more than one person," Akio explained as he reached around him. Tiny flowers were tingling with chakra as he passed them by, trying to find the right one. As he did that Izuna looked around in awe, his eyes lost in the past when he had all his brothers and sister.

"Izu! Izu!" and Izuna gasped as he saw the small cherub face of one Kagami Uchiha. He let out a wet sob as he tried to get his brother's attention; unlike both Madara and Izuna, Kagami was an angel. He was the one thing that kept Naos from getting jealous of all the time their mother spent looking at Sakura. The Uchiha Matriarch was, even now, and beacon of beauty and health.

Instead of the pallid skin and dark spots under her eyes when he last saw her, Shizuka Uchiha was batting her youngest son's hands away from his sister's newborn body. The pink haired baby was fussing and Izuna smiled at the sight; it had been years since he had seen Sakura need someone's help or allowed herself to be truly babied. While both he and Madara spoiled Sakura relentlessly, he was glad that she didn't end up to be a bitch. The young girl knew after a while that there were things she had to do for herself, and did so without complaint.

"Naos! Be nice to your sister, she just got here," Shizuka admonished her tiny son.

"Nuh uh! Gonna sen' her back to Kaa-san's tummy!" the child proclaimed and Izuna laughed. He vaguely remembered that, at the time he had been a little put out that his mother chose to spend more time with his wrinkly and stinky little sister too.

His mother suddenly looked at him and sighed, "Izuna-chan, its time to go back."

"What?"

Even Naos and Kagami were shaking their heads at him, "Go back to Madara-aniki and Saku-tan!" He opened his mouth to protest but Izuna felt the threads on his head yank him back.

"Please refrain from using my chakra like that, it's hard enough to keep two lords of your caliber inside your mindscapes for this long," and Izuna wanted to rage at Akio. He wanted desperately to go back and see more of his beautiful mother and tiny brothers; however, he knew that there was more pressing matters in this time.

The past needed to stay there.

The younger Uchiha yelped when he felt Madara whack him in the side of the head, and he knew what that meant. It basically meant that he needed to behave or so help Madara he would beat the attitude out of his brother. Family or not, Madara knew when people were overdue for a good ass whooping and boy was Izuna ready for one.

Hell, the one time he beat sense into someone else his sister found herself with a new fiance and a future looking bright. "Have you found what you are looking for?" Madara asked and Akio merely hummed as he fingered his way through the flowers. The blonde smiled as he plucked the right flower from the ground and held it up in the light.

"Got it," he cheered and forced his chakra into the small flower and let the memory bleed into the landscape around them. The two brothers watched as their old field melted away in favor of a black world. It was cold and unforgiving, the only splash of color being the large white tree in the world.

Madara's jaw dropped when he activated his Sharingan; the size and complexity of the seal in front of him. The ground was covered in the seal's light lines and he could sense the raw chakra in the air radiating from it. "Holy shit," he heard Izuna say and for once Madara was in agreement with him. "Madara, look," and the elder brother raised his head from the ground and frowned at the sight of a white haired woman drifting aimlessly into view.

The lady seemed emotionless and she gazed at them as if she hadn't seen them, and crushed a bright red blossom in front of them cruelly. Both listened as they heard Akio's voice stutter when he noticed the woman and heard the whispered invitation to stay. What they saw was not their sister, Sakura Uchiha did not have short hair and neither did she have a seal on her forehead.

This Sakura was beat to high hell and she looked tired, blood and dirt covered her blue suit leaving nothing to be desired. Before they could see anything else, the chakra being pumped into their minds was suddenly taken away and they were ejected from the memory. The image of the Sakura they saw was burned into their minds and all of the sudden Madara was able to understand why exactly Sakura had been afraid of the Rabbit Goddess all her life.

Kaguya, the Rabbit Goddess, was inside her head.

~.~.~.

"Don't cry Sakura-chan," of course the girl did the opposite of what Hashirama was suggesting. She seemed to sob harder as the Hokage rubbed her back awkwardly, he wasn't used to the notion of comforting a woman but tried to adjust to the feeling. Sakura was held in his strong arms and she buried her head into the crook of his neck. "I know that Izuna only said that out of fear. He only wants the best for you Sakura-chan," but she wouldn't hear of it.

Inside of her mind she knew that Izuna was right; she was a pampered brat that couldn't even hold a tea tray for more than a few minutes without getting tired. Sakura had no sense of control and was a weakling. Sure, she was a female but she was also the daughter of Tajima Uchiha, and any child of that man was supposed to be prodigies. All she was was a damned mistake.

Haru wasn't talking to her and even better she knew that she stole the body of the only female child in the Main Uchiha family. Top it all off with her beloved brothers' anger and disappointment and all Sakura had left was Hashirama. In this life of her's he was the only contradicting thing that made her feel alive once more. When she was a child, Madara would tell her about the Senju demons lead by the monster Hashirama Senju.

Then he turned out to be nothing more than a god in a human's skin.

She never expected him to ever feel any romantic inclination towards her, but they were to be married by her next birthday. Any sort of expectation that Sakura had set up regarding the Senju was shattered by him and he never stopped amazing her. Of all the things she had seen in her short life (and previous one?), Hashirama Senju was something entirely different.

Unpredictable delectable, strong inhuman, and even godly godly.

The Hokage rubbed at her arms absently, "He's a big brother Sakura-chan, and as a big brother I can understand the concern he has. Izuna's only ashamed, not of you but himself. He thinks that he should have known that this was going to happen and Izuna blames himself as a result." His own eyes darkening as he spoke the truth; there was nothing more challenging than being a big brother.

Hashirama knew from experience that if something happened to a beloved little sibling then the first instinct is to blame oneself.

"R-really?"

"Of course, Sakura-chan. Izuna and Madara only want the best for you and it scares them that something of this magnitude happened under their watch," he smiled at her. She tried to wipe away her tears, but only succeeded in messing up the makeup that Tsubasa put on her. Since Tsukiko was still getting over the incident from yesterday. "C'mon, lets not be saddened Sakura, now is a time to rejoice!" he tried to cheer her up.

The young rosette wiped at her face, "I-It is, isn't i-it?"

"Let's go have some fun!" and it was all Sakura could do to keep a hold of him when he bounced off without preamble. Her dainty hands clutched the white fabric of his clothes desperately as he raced away from the village he spent so long creating. A perfect place in mind for the petite flower that made his heart race faster with each smile.

The world blurred away as Hashirama pushed his body to carry them further and further from Konoha, past what Sakura was used to and he remembered the beautiful land of his old home. While they were more nomadic , the Senju were fortunate enough to find many different locations that sang to their love for nature and Hashirama's affinity for wood.

So it was no surprise that when Sakura was finally placed on the ground, that the site they were at was the most gorgeous thing she had ever seen. A small stream was lazily running and an old maple tree was leaning against a young sakura tree. The two keeping each other up and in the middle a small, yet old firepit was the only mar on the picturesque landscape. Old etchings of the Senju's Vajra was seen in the maple tree and old grass made bedrolls were still layed around the pit.

She knew that this was one of the shinobi stops for the Senju, they never stayed in one place like the Uchiha did when she was younger and so they were able to explore the world. In this moment, she was kind of glad that they were mobile because if they never found this place then Sakura would never get to see this little piece of paradise.

Hashirama smiled at the awestruck look on her face and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. The look on her face was one that he would remember for all eternity. When he felt her dainty shoulders shake Hashirama looked down to see if she was alright, but he wasn't expecting a full on tackle. If he were a lesser man, then he had no doubt that they both would have fallen to the ground.

"Sakura-chan?"

"Thank you!" she mumbled into his shirt, "Thank you for showing me this." His eyes widened before he calmed and returned the hug; thinking nothing of how inappropriate this was. To have his future bride be so intimate with him before they were married, and the second Hashirama thought about that his face lit up in a bright red.

Oh no, MADARA AND IZUNA WERE GOING TO KILL HIM!

The brunette shivered at the thought of the Uchiha brothers killing him or torturing him in the worst of ways; suddenly he valued his life a hell of a lot more than he ever did. But the smile on Sakura's face as she left his embrace to explore the little safe haven was worth the possible pain and torture. So Hashirama kicked back and lay on one of the old mats in peace and let himself relax for the first time since he convinced the Uchiha Council to let him wed Sakura.

Of course such peaceful conditions led to him dosing off, but always aware of his surroundings.

On the other side of the clearing, Sakura was sitting with her feet in the little lazy stream and tried her damnest to understand the happenings in her head. She could feel Haru's presence rooting around in there, doing whatnot, but never once did the other entity try to contact Sakura or respond to her gentle prodding.

Deeper in she heard the small mutterings of Kaguya, and felt the slight happiness that came with spending such time with Hashirama. Other than that the voices have decided to leave her be for the time being, and Sakura relished the freedom that came with that. So with that in mind she leaned back and let Haru do whatever it was she was doing.

If she wasn't going to talk to Sakura then there had to be something of importance that she needed to get done, and who was she to get in the way? If anything the young Uchiha was going to take this time to get well acquainted with her husband to be; her mind and thoughts now her own to dictate, though she would miss Haru's little comments.

Her pink fringe fluttered in the wind as she gently kicked her feet in the water; the rosette flexed her knew found powers cautiously. Chakra flooded her foot and she kicked the surface of the water as if she had hit a wooden floor. Sakura looked back to the lightly snoozing Hokage and pulled herself to her feet; her light green chakra encased her foot and she took a tentative step onto the water.

She could feel the lazy current and held onto a tiny sapling when her foot couldn't stay on the surface; the dainty appendage fell through the water. The pink haired teen shook her head and changed the amount of chakra she was putting through to her foot. Every second she felt as if she needed to change the amount of chakra needed for the way that the water moved.

A breezy chuckle interrupted her concentration and Sakura whirled around and fell through the water; the chuckle turned to a full blown laugh and Sakura pouted. Her kimono was now dripping wet and all she could do was glare at Hashirama. "Mou! I was doing so well!" she complained as he helped her from the creek.

"Yes you were," he agreed, "But you lose concentration so easy."

"Its not my fault you startled me!"

He gave her a blinding smile and she returned it; it was easy being around him and she loved the fact that he was as enamored with her as she was with him. For Sakura, it was like there was an attraction between the two and that there was a tiny connection that had always been there. With ease, he switched them so she would be on dry land and he would be walking on the water's surface.

"It's all about the movement of chakra, the surface you're attempting to walk on is constantly moving. And so, your control over your chakra has to be precise to keep the movement of the water in sync with that of your chakra," Hashirama explained as he moved to demonstrate what he told her. His chakra was a vibrant green that moved easily around his feet, each current of water had different amounts of chakra needed to fill the gaps between his feet and the water. Creating a physical surface for him to walk on.

She awed at it and he showed off my tapping his feet and even did a little dance; Sakura grinned at him mischievously and pounced onto him while his back was turned. The Hokage wasn't expecting it because they both fell into the stream, his chakra control broken as both were absolutely soaked in the water. His pristine white robes were now muddy and waterlogged.

He gasped at her, "You cheeky-!" and was promptly shut up when she flung a handful of mud at his face. Sakura chortled as he slowly reached up and wiped the mud off his face. His dark eyes filled with mirth and a promise of revenge. "Oh, it's on," he grumbled at her before picking the Uchiha up. The pink haired teen squealed with laughter as he held her like a bride would.

Laughing, Sakura tried to wheeze out please for him not to do it, but Hashirama looked her in the eyes and said, "Whoops." She hit the water ass first and spluttered when she got a mouthful of river water. Her heavy clothing made it a bit harder for her to spring up and tackle him; at this point he was expecting it and easily grabbed her waist and twisted them around. Again, she fell ass first and took his head in her hands to slam it sideways. The petite teen dunked his brown haired ass into the water and only stopped when he tickled at her sides.

"Cheater!" she giggled at him and Hashirama laughed deeply at her betrayed looking face.

"All is fair in love and war, Sakura-chan!"

Pink hair escaped the comb that he gave her and carefully he removed it from her hair and set it on a large rock near them. In his moment of being careful and weakness, she pushed him into the clear water once her comb was safe. "You evil little minx," he pouted at her when he sat back up and Sakura actually held her belly and laughed hard at him.

In his mind, everything happened in slow motion. The way water dripped from her hair and how her kimono was like a second skin on her. Hashirama knew in that moment that he had no problem marrying her one day, and if he felt this way ten years from now then they would be alright. He pulled her face up towards his so he could look at her properly.

"Come to dinner with me."

He wanted to hurt himself; what Hashirama meant to say was 'I love you', not eat dinner with him. However, it seemed that it didn't matter to her and he could have said anything. Sakura beamed at him and he gave her a bright smile in return. Hashirama was more than happy to bring her back to the compound so that she could be more 'presentable' and after he was cleaned as well, they were ready to go.

What could go wrong?

~.~.~.

To his surprise and eternal happiness, not a damn thing went wrong.

For all the bad things that seemed to happen to them recently; dinner was the one thing that went right and Hashirama was grateful for it. He was all smiles and charm; using them to the best of his ability to make Sakura melt in her seat. And did she melt. The rosette blushed prettily under his attention and her lack of chakra control gave away her excitement.

Every time she got excited about something her chakra would spike and inversely it would recede when a pretty hostess would walk over and linger longer than necessary. Though he would notice her smug satisfaction when he would wave them away or pointedly pay more attention to Sakura. If there was one thing that Hashirama knew about the Uchihas regarding love, was that they were supremely jealous and were the most loyal of spouses.

He was very honored to be so coveted by such a lady.

Hashirama noticed that she loved sweet foods as much as she did savory ones, enjoyed reading and had skill for good penmanship, and wanted to start training with her new storage of chakra. The rosette loved the falcons her brother used to raise and train, one of them named after her but it was a damn shame that the thing hated her. There were a myriad of places that she wanted to visit in her lifetime, the Land of Whirlpools at the front of her list.

She shined so beautifully as she rambled on about her passions in life and why she wanted to do many things; her purpose for life was to be someone that her brothers would be proud of. He admired that about her, she didn't want to further herself. All Sakura Uchiha was concerned with was that she wanted to make Madara and Izuna to be proud of her.

"Ne, what do you do for fun Hashirama-kun?" and he ripped his head from his thoughts and looked at her bright smile.

That was a good question, and thinking about it he realized that he didn't do what he enjoyed anymore. All he did was paperwork, eat, and sleep. "Hmmm, when I was younger I made time to do some botany, bonsai, and wood sculpting. Though now I spend more time than anything doing work to keep the village running, these alliances don't happen by themselves Sakura-chan," he winked at her.

A small giggle left her lips and Hashirama was beaming with joy; everything was going so smoothly and it couldn't be better for him. "But I guess, other than work I spend most of my time running away from Tobirama when I leave the office. He's always chasing after me to sign a document or another. It gets interesting whenever Madara and Izuna get involved," he laughed. It truly was at times, the two either chasing him down or helping him hide from his brother. Over time it turned into a game that Hashirama played, and it became the bane of his brother's existence.

So that conversation had spun into one about his childhood antics and he spoke fondly of how he and his brothers had all gotten along and caused havoc for his dear mother. Letting Sakura butt in whenever with questions as well as the occasional 'You can do that'! in astonishment. He thought that his pranks as a child was bad but at the end Sakura bust out laughing.

"You needed siblings? I caused havoc all on my own, no one expects a tiny pink haired girl."

Gods, any kid they had would be a little monster.

In the end, they spent the night drinking tea and snacking on little food items here and there, perfection at its finest. Though when it came time for him to walk her back to the Uchiha compound, he found that he didn't want the day to end. But all good things came to an end eventually, and before he knew it they were at the entrance of her family's home.

From the slightly sour look on Sakura's face; Hashirama knew that she didn't want the evening to end just yet as well. Although he had only begun to understand the depth of his new found love for the young Uchiha, he couldn't bear to send her home with a frown on her face. Hashirama tenderly grabbed at her hand and kissed the back of it, "It was a pleasure being able to spend the night with you my lady."

The blush that took over her face was worth the embarrassment that he knew she felt; so departing from the sweet flower was easier than it had been. Her face was lit up with happiness as she nearly skipped into her home, but ladies of her station didn't skip. No, Sakura walked elegantly into her home and retreated to her bedroom without saying hello to her brothers. She couldn't see them in their offices or their bedrooms, so she assumed that they weren't there.

Whereupon she belly flopped onto her bed and squealed into her pillow, her feet kicking back into the air as she tried to process what she did that day. Okay, so she might have went ape shit on Oka that may or may not have been facilitated by her. She was stopped from killing Oka and then lectured by her brother, the one that would have never lectured her about this. Then Hashirama consoled her and her hurt feelings, while letting her relax with him in an old Senju hideout.

FINALLY SHE HAD THE DINNER OF HER DREAMS WITH THE MAN OF HER DREAMS AND AHHHHHHH!

It was perfection to her shit show of a day and Sakura could only be completely happy. Sure she had some serious issues to work out later, such of her identity crisis that she encountered. The matter of her alter-ego/separate entity not responding to her mental probings, and the actual Rabbit Goddess holed away in her head.

But, her present would not determine her future; Sakura would have to begin spreading word of her impending marriage if the dinner today didn't already. She needed to broadcast that she was going to be a married woman soon.

Isn't this what you have always been waiting for? Isn't my little Ashura just perfection?

"I'm ignoring you."

"I know I wasn't being the kindest Sakura-chan, but you aren't going to ignore me. Are you?" she startled and rolled over. Sitting at the small table she had in her room was both Madara and Izuna. Somewhere deep in her chest, she could feel the perfect feelings that she had all evening evaporate as her brother smiled at her in the way that she knew he had bad news. Izuna always did that when he had bad news to tell her.

Her older brother didn't even try to hide the worry and anxiety he must have been feeling, because Madara was openly frightened. Something wasn't sitting right with them. And truth be told, it hasn't been okay for a while. Not since the damned Yamanaka brat entered her mind and started rummaging around in there before either her or Haru noticed.

Madara's deep voice broke her from her thoughts, "Blossom, remember when you were younger and you would come running to me about the Rabbit Goddess?" To which his little sister nodded, there was no way that she could forget something that had appeared to be so imperative to a young child at the time. She had been so scared at the idea of someone that powerful being in her head and sharing ideas with her that she shouldn't have known.

"Well," Izuna interrupted when Madara couldn't seem to find his words, "We never understood your fear of her. But recently, we have become more ... acquainted with the intricacies that we should have been more investigative about."

Sakura frowned, "Whatever you're going to say, just say it."

"We know what you've been hiding in your brain Sakura. We know Kaguya is in there somewhere and that there is something else in there as well. We're going to help you, Sakura, I promise," Izuna vowed to her.

She wanted to throw up, not because she was worried about them finding something in her (she knew what was there). No, Sakura was going to throw up because the hatred that suddenly surged in her.

Neither entities wanted to go.

It all seemed like a bad teenage dream.

Chapter Text

"Sakura-san!"

The dainty Uchiha spun around and blanched at the sight of Sasuke Sarutobi in his handsome splendor walking towards her. He looked genuinely happy to see her and a tad bit nervous. The deity inside of her chuckled, Foolish boy, this girl has already been claimed. Though the pink haired princess merely ignored her and waved at the Sarutobi.

Both Haru and Kaguya knew that the clan head was looking forward to going to her brothers and asking for her hand in marriage; Sakura, herself, felt a tad bit bad because he had ordered all those clothes. Though she did know that Hashirama being such close friends with her brothers had ultimately led to him being favored more than any other suitor. The odds had been stacked against Sasuke Sarutobi since the beginning and truth be told she didn't know much about the young clan head.

She had known Hashirama and his brother since she was a child and she had only heard of the Sarutobi head in passing before meeting him in person. All Sasuke did was a nice gesture that she was going to get Madara to pay back, but Sakura knew Hashirama as a person and as a friend. "Good afternoon Sasuke-san!" she greeted when he got close enough.

He gave her a warm smile, "How has your day been so far?"

"It's been good, thank you for asking Sasuke-san," Sakura gave him a winning smile. She fidgeted with the hem of her sleeves nervously as the silence between them stretched a little bit. There were things she needed to do, but Sakura didn't want to be rude and just brush the Sarutobi off. "Is there anything I can help you with?" she asked him.

Her green eyes flickered to his and tracked his stunned gaze; suddenly it dawned on her why he was being quiet. The man had spotted the hairpin Hashirama gave her in her long pink tresses, and instead of being angry or sad like she thought. Sasuke seemed reserved and a little bit defeated, "Did I ever have a chance Uchiha-sama?" He hid his disappointment well for a man of such open emotions, but despite his downcast eyes and brown bangs covering them Sakura could see the pain.

The sudden formality told Sakura that whatever he had hoped they would be had been severed, and she shook her head. "I want to say yes, but Madara-ani has been very close with Hashirama-kun. Both of my brothers had denied every courtship that had been presented before, like with how they refused the Hozuki when I was fourteen. I'm sorry if I had ever got your hopes up Sasuke-san, but I think Madara-ani and Izuna-ani had only ever favored Hashirama-kun," she explained to the clan leader.

If anything that didn't make Sasuke feel better, it made him feel worse than he was. He bowed at the waist and bid her a good day, leaving Sakura to her errands and the entities in her head. As she walked on through the different districts, Sakura listened closely to the dribble that both Haru and Kaguya were spitting.

Haru was more concerned about the state of her mind and the fact that both Uchiha brothers were now focused on getting rid of them. The soul, or whatever the hell she was, had spent the majority of time repairing the tree in her mindscape and sealing away her previous memories. Every little thing that she cared to remember or loved and lost were taken and stored away. It was a long slow process that took a while, but the cracks and gouges in her mind were healing much to Haru's delight.

On the other hand, Kaguya was actively producing outdated ideas of wedding ceremonies that Sakura could use. The Goddess's only ulterior motives at the moment were seeing her walk down an aisle that lead right to Hashirama. As a virgin, it is only acceptable to wear white at a wedding. If not then there are those that will doubt your purity...

Shut up you dumb bitch. Enough of the wedding talk, Blossom will choose what she wants when the time comes.

Sakura sighed and passed through crowds of people; greeting those that stopped to talk to her. Her smaller body slipped through the crowd, she was scanning the buildings and smiled as she came across a small tea shop. Instead of Hashirama treating her to dango, she was going to bring some to the Hokage Tower.

She opened the door of the small shop and inhaled the mouthwatering scents; the waitresses and cooks behind the counter were all Senju and noticed the soon to be matriarch in the doorway. Each one bowing respectfully at her and ushering her into a seat while they prepared her order; a meek brown haired teen pressed a cup of lavender scented tea in her hands.

"S-Sakura-sama, w-would you like s-some gyoza as- as well?" the meek girl asked her, and a distant Hinata coursed through her as she nodded. The teen's sleek hair only brought forth more memories of a black haired Hyuuga that had been set to marry a certain Uzumaki, and sorrow was present at the forefront of her brain.

The pink haired teen smiled brightly at the girl, "That would be nice, thank you for the offer Miss..." she trailed off so the girl could introduce herself. Immediately the Senju stuttered out a small 'Miki', and Sakura knew that meant tree or three trees together. "Thank you Miki-chan, I'd appreciate it. I'm bringing lunch with me to the Hokage Tower. I know Hashirama-kun eats dango but do you think he likes gyoza?"

As soon as the Uchiha mentioned bringing food to Hashirama, all of the staff went into a frenzy to make the best damn food they had ever made. Sakura was in awe at the sweat and renewed atmosphere in the small shop. It was something that she missed, spending all her time in the Uchiha district had her only experiencing the quiet and reserved ways her clan worked.

The Senju were rambunctious and free in the way they expressed themselves, leaving Sakura blindsided by their own beauty. All her life she had been surrounded by monotonous people, black haired and black eyed, while they were all beautiful, they all looked the same. The Senju had the most variety of all the clans that were in Konoha, each clan had their own distinctive trait but not the Senju. From blonde to even blue hair, and a range of differing skills to choose from.

It was a clan all brought together under a head, or as she heard Hashirama say it; a forest of differing trees all living in harmony.

"Give Hashirama-sama our best wishes!" she nearly jumped in her seat, and a large basket was being presented to her. The Uchiha didn't mean to make them a little frantic, but nodded nonetheless and paid them more than they thought was necessary. With a kind goodbye to the Senju, Sakura pushed her bangs from her eyes and started on the path to the Hokage Tower.

It is a shame, really. That Sarutobi wasn't all that bad looking.

Stupid girl, of course he was. How could anyone compare to those of the blood from the Otsutsuki?

You're just biased.

Sakura giggled to herself when the Goddess refused to deign Haru with a response; of course, the Rabbit Goddess was nothing but biased when it came to matters concerning both Hashirama and Madara. In her mind there was no other that could compete with the two and she wasn't sure if Kaguya was right about that. Izuna and Tobirama were both just as good as their older brothers, but the Goddess wouldn't hear of it.

It was favoritism at its finest.

The pink haired girl shook her head in mirth and excused herself as she pushed past people to get closer to the Hokage Tower; she used the basket as a sort of large shield to make a path for her. Sakura wasn't used to crowds, and always found herself being jostled to and fro no matter the situation. The voices around and in her head were getting louder and the Uchiha was hurrying to the relative quiet of the Tower.

Random 'good mornings' were spouted out at her; she waved as much as she could with her basket and pushed the sliding door to the Hokage Tower with her foot. "Good morning Sakura-san," and the pink haired teen looked over to see Tobirama emerge from a small office space with a few scrolls in his hands. She sheepishly gave him a smile as she hefted the basket along with her. "Do you need a hand?" the albino asked her, but she merely shook her head.

"Do you know if Hashirama-kun is in?" and despite it, she managed not to blush under his scrutinizing gaze. Instead Sakura stood there with her head hanging a little bashfully, and he nodded. The Senju sighed and merely handed over the scrolls he was holding to her.

"I know Hashirama, he won't work if I tell him to, so you can try. He's in his office, you know the way," and with a small nod in her direction, Tobirama walked from the room. Quite giddy, the Uchiha found herself nearly skipping to the familiar doors to the Hokage's office, and with a basket of food (and the scrolls that needed to be looked over) Sakura knocked politely on the door.

Her heart beat rapidly when the silence stretched for a fraction of time, but calmed when she heard Hashirama's baritone voice call for her to enter. The young girl steeled her nerves and wiped her sweating palms on her kimono before setting the basket down to open the door. The Hokage was sitting quietly at his desk with a brush in hand and a pile of documents and scrolls to look over and sign, but the second she opened the door it seemed as if a light switch went off. Gone was the stern leader of Konoha, and in his place was a young man seeing his future wife; a lovestruck fool.

"Sakura-chan! What a pleasant surprise!" he greeted her, as he moved to help her with the load she had.

"Good morning Ha-Hashirama-kun!" the Uchiha stuttered, her nerves causing her jitters to start. Kaguya cooed in her mind and sent a small pulse of calming chakra through her young vessel. "I've brought some food for a small break if you want," Sakura managed to say, and squealed when Hashirama gave her a small hug.

A rather blinding smile took over his face when he pulled back from her, and Sakura could only return it when Hashirama exclaimed that he was a truly lucky man. To have such a caring person to be his wife seemed like a dream to the Senju, for a man that had spent most of his life fighting without someone to care for him. It was a joy, and Sakura was attempting to be a loving soon to be wife; for Hashirama that was all that truly mattered.

Such a charming man Ashura has become; to be so genuine with his affections.

Sakura merely gave him the scrolls that Tobirama gave her, and watched him deflate comically. "My beautiful Sakura-chan has betrayed me! Tobi has ruined my own bride-to-be!" Hashirama sulked in a corner, and Sakura could almost see the doom lines above him. She smiled fondly as the man tried to pull himself from his stupor, and prepared the dishes for them.

At the smell of fresh and delicious food Hashirama perked up, and excitedly made his way over to her. Amiable chatter filled the space and all Sakura could think was what a perfect day.

Life was going great for the moment, but Sakura knew that if life was going so smooth then there could only be something horrid down the road.

~.~.~.

Her brothers were different to her, now that they knew what was in her and how powerful the entities truly were. Such things caused both Kaguya and Haru to scoff at the stupidity; never once have they possessed Sakura Uchiha's body. They altered it, yes; kept it alive when it was meant to die at times, but not once did the mind of Sakura Uchiha change; as a young girl she had been terrified of the moon and what it had stood for in Haru's memories. And then at the Goddess, when she began to communicate ideas in flashes; Konoha and the title of Hokage had been some of them.

That specific fear had diminished when she got older, but it never really dissipated. But, as much as she was Sakura Uchiha, she was Sakura Haruno and Kaguya Otsutsuki; they were integral parts of her now. It was a confusing concept, that she was sure of, but it was her and no one else would be able to understand. Despite everything, neither entity wanted to leave or be sealed away.

Sakura Uchiha had become precious to the two, and neither were going to say that immediately but they would not deny it.

So when Madara and Izuna had promised to help their darling little sister; it had caused a rift between them that Sakura wanted to fix desperately. They were constantly busy with their own affairs and finding a cure or solution for what the Yamanaka had found in their sister. It left Sakura alone, except for when she sought out others like Hashirama or even Tsubasa and her mother.

"Sakura-sama?" and the pink haired teen looked up from her dwellings to the servants in front of her. Her green eyes turning into the red of the Sharingan; she was irritated at the sudden disturbance but managed to deactivate it before it could be of any consequence. The servant bowed politely to her, "Madara-sama wishes to see you for lunch, hime-sama."

A slender pink eyebrow raised in suspicion, her brothers have been too busy for her after all this time. Hell two weeks had passed since the incident with the Yamanaka, if anything they should have tried to talk with her earlier. Sakura wasn't that happy with her brothers at the moment and nearly sneered at the thought of seeing her brothers pretend to help her.

"Tell aniki that I am choosing to decline his offer, and if he truly wishes to dine with me that he comes and gets me himself. Understood?" the servant nodded and went to go conduct her business.

The teen felt tired already and the sun had only passed its highest point a mere hour before, Rest blossom, and greet the day when it arrives. For now, would a story help you? And despite Haru being in her head, she nodded and crawled over to her bed. Not caring that her kimono was getting all wrinkled, or that her hairpins were still lodged in her hair; Sakura lay on her stomach and rubbed her head into her pillows.

Sleep had never come easy for her, not anymore; her body ached more than she could ever remember and her mind barely hanging by a thread. She was only a girl, barely into her teens and a mere genin trying to take on more than she could chew. Her Hokage was relentless in her training, but day by day and week by week the results were being more noticeable.

Gone was the baby fat of her lax training under Kakashi, and in came the toned muscle to support her new style of fighting. Her taijutsu mirrored that of her Master's, raw power from the concentration of chakra into critical areas.

"Not everyone can have the control needed for me to teach them, so be grateful brat!" the blonde Hokage had grumbled and Sakura felt happy in that moment. For once she had something that Sasuke and Naruto didn't have; she had the control of Team Seven, while they had chakra reserves in spades.

Then came the time when she had begun missions, and then she had been there to fight Sasori of the Red Sand. That was when she saw the way that the world worked; she got a taste of it in the Chunin Exams, but only when she was needed that she saw the brunt of cruelty the world could be. One life for another, that was how it all worked.

Yes, she had defeated Sasori, and yes, she did help revive Gaara and save his brother; but she couldn't sleep at night anymore. All she could think of was the fact that if she had lost; then not only would people be dead, but that she could have become a mindless doll. Her body going cold from being made of wood, or her hair being limp from the lifelessness in her.

Every night she would sleep for no more than two hours, always awoken by the sight of glazed over green eyes; beckoning her forward with their forlorn gaze. When it became too much for her to resist, it was then that Sakura would awake. Only when she had given herself up for the sweet oblivion, would she be yanked back to such a painful reality. It left her hanging on the edge of sanity.

One such night, she was sitting atop the sand buildings in Sunagakure; the circles under her eyes more pronounced then they had ever been and her mind in tatters. But a calming man had helped her; for he had been where she had been before, when his demons kept him from sleep he had sat atop buildings like her. Wishing that things had been different; that life had granted him a reprieve.

Unlike others, he did not talk nor did he try to console her. Gaara, Kazekage of Suna, had sat next to the pink haired teen and gave her his silent support; telling her with his presence that he knew what was happening to her and that only she could figure out what to do. A hand on her shoulder lifted the weight of her nightmares and realities, and with a silent beckon.

A small gesture had her following him to a place where both could simply be.

She found that in the presence of others, could she sleep without nightmares plaguing her; and after she climbed from his bed in the morning, she knew that something in her had changed. Yes, sleep had never come easy for her, but where sleep failed her, people sought to help her. Sore in places that were vastly different then the muscle fatigue she had experienced under her Master's guidance, Sakura found that sleep had come easily.

Under the night, passion had chased away fear and left her too tired to even dream.

Gone was the girl that had stood in the shadows of her teammates, and in her place; emerging from a bed and blood was a woman. Reality hadn't been that hard to face when hand in hand with those that she had come to love.

"Ah yes, Blossom. There was something there, a different kind of understanding. I know that you feel spurned by your brothers, but if you want them to understand you then guide them to it. Just as Gaara had once guided me, just not in such...perverse manners. If they truly understand, then there is no need for words; actions will speak for themselves."

Sakura stirred briefly in her sleep; her eyes opening to see the afternoon sun beam light into her room. Though the second she had them closed, another story replaced Haru's and she could only lay there and watch it unfurl.

People have always feared what they did not know, so when a young woman of high bearing took the fruit of a tree revered and feared; she showed a bravery against the unknown. Her teeth had pierced the unknown and she had walked forward into the large expanse of the world with her head held high and white hair swinging behind her.

Despite once belonging to the world, she didn't deign herself to share the gifts that she had reaped with just held no trust for the humans of this land, and would not bestow upon them a gift that they could use to create more war. A beloved handmaiden had shown her that humans couldn't be trusted; Aino had been a lovely person, but her execution was the last straw. She ran with her hands and arms wide open, for a chance to save her; but those twisted humans shot her down.

Her own sons had power that she wanted to keep for herself, but she had let it slide. And it had been her downfall. In her arrogance, she became cruel and a champion against what she had once stood for; so she was punished for it. Getting complacent in her waiting for anyone of her clan to find her, Kaguya let her guard down. She got cocky and had been sealed away for that.

Years made her bitter, but she took joy in her grandchildren.

Both were so different from the other; one was serious while the other was a ray of sunshine. Their reincarnations were just as alike as the originals that they made her weep in the confines of her mind. Hashirama and Madara were some of the more beloved forms her grandchildren had taken on, and in other worlds and times so were Naruto and Sasuke.

So when a girl, like her, weary of life and mistrustful of others had come to her asking for a second chance; Kaguya had saw a way to begin atoning for her crimes against such a pitiful race and her family. The young girl had been given to her dear Ashura, since she knew that her Indra would always find a way to be loved, tragic in some cases but beautiful in the rare few.

Yes, this weary girl would be revived by the light and love that Ashura held, and she went along for the ride. Wanting to ensure that Ashura would be happy, but she didn't expect to care for the vessel that she and the girl had occupied together. Neither did she think that the vessel would gain any sentience, but like a handmaiden, Kaguya came to care for Sakura Uchiha.

She would not be parted from this girl, one that came to dissolve her old self and establish a new identity. Soon Sakura Haruno would be no more, and in her place Sakura Uchiha would rise. All with the coming of time, both would merge and get what they wanted and Kaguya would rejoice in one mistake being fixed. She could see the embers of Sakura Haruno fuel the flames that they both knew Sakura Uchiha would become; fierce, yet warm.

Only if her pesky Indra and his current reincarnation's brother would stop interfering.

And she had been very unethical; pieces of conversations and memories would never be seen or thought of again by her young vessel. Chakra locked away for her vessel's own good, and her eyes becoming powerful to defend herself if need be. But she was willing to sacrifice anything to fulfill her promise to the Haruno and make her grandson happy. So gone were the memories of old and new, gone were the things that Sakura Haruno remembered.

After all, there wouldn't be enough room in a single vessel for all three entities.

Kaguya would be damned if she didn't get to stick around and let her Ashura be happy.

"I would do anything for my grandsons Blossom, anything at all."

"Sakura! Wake up!"

Her body jolted awake in a most undignified way, and blurry green eyes took in her brother's worried face. Madara loved his sister with all his heart, and despite him ignoring her recently; it had shocked him to know that something known to be malevolent was in his precious Blossom. His black haired covered her from the outside world and when she blinked slowly, he sat up.

A small tremor ran through her body, but she covered it as much as possible.

"Hmmm? What is it?" Sakura asked, her hands rubbing the crust from her eyes. The Clan Leader seemed to calm down once he saw her sit up and stretch her arms; small pops from her arms and back made him want to cringe. But, she was alright.

"You've been asleep for hours Blossom!"

Sakura pouted at him. "I was sleepy!" Her eyes challenged his own, and after a moment; Madara seemed to back down and giver her a tired nod. She blinked as she took in her eldest brother for the first time in what seemed like forever. His face seemed a little more gaunt, dark circles had taken over the space beneath his eyes, and his hair was a tad bit greasy. Madara was working himself to death over her.

This wasn't what she wanted, never in a million years did Sakura ever ask for this to happen. "Aniki-" she mumbled and reached her hand out to push his fringe from his face. Her eyes filled with tears, "Why aren't you taking care of yourself?" The stories that both the entities told her had fled her mind at the moment, all that mattered was Madara.

He refused to answer her.

"Why are you so focused on me!? I'm fine aniki! I'M STILL HERE!"

Madara Uchiha grabbed his little sister; the same little sister that survived a certain death at birth and merely let a tear stream down his face. "You don't understand imouto," the Clan Leader said, "I'll protect you from anything." Sakura watched him pull back a fraction and froze at the Sharingan in his eyes. His tomoe spun rapidly, and she felt the world slip from beneath her.

"You're worth protecting Sakura, I don't care if helping you hurts me," his eyes were wild and imploring as he took in his sister's face, "When you were a baby, you were born dead. Okaa-sama and Otou-sama didn't want any of us to see you, but then you did the most amazing thing Blossom."

Sakura shook as her own Sharingan activated; her brother was near tears as well, but he stayed strong. "You started crying, even after the midwives had pronounced you dead, and it was the most beautiful sound I ever heard. They told me that my only sister had died, an exotic babe with pink hair died too soon in this world, but you defied those odds.

"I swore that I would protect you with all my heart that day, even if you hate me it'll all be worth it if you are okay," and he brushed the hair from her face. His precious sister launched her face towards his shoulder, and he merely held Sakura as her sobs racked through her. Madara hummed the songs that their mother had sung before her death, and he rubbed her back.

"I don't hate you Sakura, I'm not avoiding you. I'm trying to help you."

The pink haired teen looked up at her brother; the wild Sharingan she always had pulsed minutely as it died down. Outside, the moon stared ominously at the brother and sister before being covered by clouds.

Unseen, but always there.

~.~.~.

Things would be remiss if she would let herself squander this opportunity; Hashirama, Tobirama, Madara, and even Izuna were all counting on her to not fuck it all up for them. Sakura had spent hours in the company of Tsukiko and Tsubasa, getting pampered to the nines and groomed into a proper princess.

Concealer had been smeared and blended onto her face; her long pink hair had been forced into a braided up do with the Senju hair comb embedded within. A junihitoe had been slapped on her still damp body after her bath; all the while both women were uneasy around her. Instead of the flowing conversations they used to have, Sakura was met with stifling silence.

It was something that she never had to encounter before, and it hurt more than she would like to admit.

But, in the face of adversity Sakura Uchiha merely kept quiet and held her head up high. Like Tsukiko used to teach her, but when thrust into her silvery kimono Sakura put her sandals on and left the house.

Now, she was desperately wishing that she could just go and crawl back into her bed, tug the sheets over her head and sleep for a decade. Though, on Hashirama's arm as the Uzumaki delegation strolled leisurely to Konoha's gates; there was no where to run or go. The back of her neck was drenched in sweat and she was dying in the hot clothing.

"Ah, Hashirama-san, it has been a while."

Leading the entire procession was a man of high bearing, his white hair was flowing freely and his goatee was shorn in a straigh line while his mustache was free. Behind him the delegation of red haired men and women followed, most notably was a young lady with her red hair styled into twin buns. Sakura could see how beautiful she was and her jealousy flared for one second before she allowed herself to calm.

Despite the Uchiwa fans littering her outer kimonos, there should be no mistaking her claim on Hashirama. Her dainty fingers gripped his arm a little tighter, and he gave her a small glance but nothing about her face betrayed any discomfort to him. It reminded him of when he first met Sakura, as a young teen he had dismissed the child hanging off of Izuna's roles for what it was. A pampered girl being forced to attend an event she didn't want to attend.

However, as she grew; he figured that there were types of chakra that she was uncomfortable around.

The raw, overwhelming chakra from the Uzumaki could be source of her discomfort, and he used his to cloak her. Protecting her from the intrusive nature of the other clan's chakra. Little did he know it was a jealousy streak that she had developed; fueled by the pretty Uzumaki with twin buns.

"Ashina-sama! It is good to see you," he greeted, and Madara mimicked that.

The Uchiha was watching him with the eyes of a hawk, before settling in his spot and reached out a hand. "It is a pleasure to meet such an esteemed clan and its leader, I am Madara Uchiha. This is my brother Izuna, and little sister Sakura," both his siblings either returned his greeting with a handshake or a simple nod.

A small nod was reciprocated, but the Uzumaki didn't deign himself to reciprocate it; instead he was more focused on the two Senju and Sakura. "Hmmm, don't look much like an Uchiha, do you?" he asked the rosette. What he meant was 'You don't look like much girl'.

Sakura merely held her tongue; it would do her no good to squander this opportunity for Hashirama and Madara. "There is more to some than meets the eye, Uzumaki-san," and the elder man gave her a tight smile. "Well, it is quite hot out here, why don't we head inside? You all must be parched after such a long journey to our humble village," Sakura suggested.

It was the opening both Tobirama and Hashirama was looking for; they took over the attention of the Uzumaki and lead the clans towards the residential district. For a second, Sakura didn't really comprehend where they were going, since she had been out of the loop concerning clan negotiations. But she was sure her face heated up when the group was lead towards the Senju homes.

The Senju leader smiled to himself when he glanced over to Sakura; the awe and anticipation on her face was easy to spot when his home came into view. The entire home was not as big as the Uchiha Main House, instead this served a much more homier purpose. Everything was centralized; the house was constructed around a tree in the middle, a spiraling gingko that stood above the rest of the forested area.

She could see the way that time and effort had been put into the house; it was a place that would house a family, not just a clan.

He rubbed his thumb against her arm as they walked through the doors to his home; and for the first time Sakura looked upon his home. In every little corner, there was a small bonsai plant and the flooring was smoother than any Uchiha could ever do. The walls were a nice creme color and despite being smaller and more intimate, everything was cooled.

"This way," Tobirama spoke from Hashirama's other side, and the group moved towards the inner courtyard where the gingko tree resided. Pillows sat there in perfect lines and Senju were waiting in their seats for the others to arrive. Once Hashirama had entered the room with his entourage did the Senju sitting there get up to bow to their Leader and Hokage.

Instead of branching off to sit with her brothers, Hashirama brought Sakura to the very front and sat with her and Tobirama at his sides. Putting her in a place of power at his side as if she were already his wife. It spoke of how much he held her in esteem, and she practically beamed with happiness. The rosette's brothers were smiling softly at her exuberance; this was the Sakura that they had seen too little of.

She had been so different since the day that the Yamanaka and Nara had arrived; everything turning on its head, but things were starting to turn around. And Sakura was going to ensure that things stayed this way.

The young girl was helped into a proper seiza by Hashirama, and it was then that she noticed the way his hands started to get clammy. She looked up at him in question, but he sat next to her with a nice smile instead and waited for the Uzumaki to take their seats. Both watching as the entire clan representatives sat separated from the rest of the Uchiha and Senju with a slight frown.

The entire reason that they were all interspersed was to create a sense of cohesion between the clans, to promote inter-cooperative relations within the village. It felt like a smack in the face to Sakura, to see all the hard work that her brothers and future family put in get destroyed. Whether they realized it or not, the Uzumaki had snubbed them. Horribly.

Hashirama waited patiently for every person to be seated before he addressed them, "Thank you, everyone, for your time. I'd like to personally thank the Uzumaki for responding to our invitations for a meeting." The clan merely nodded to acknowledge the thanks given, but otherwise offered no other interaction with Hashirama.

From her perch next to the Senju brothers, Sakura could see both Izuna and Madara whisper to one another and sending blank looks to the Uzumaki. "A point that both Konoha and the Uzumaki have been worried about is the new budget for the year. However, in our negotiations there have been additional riders and clauses added that Konoha, in particular the Senju, cannot complete anymore," the Hokage's voice was steady and it seemed as if Sakura was the only one that didn't know what was going on.

Her brothers were both taking their own notes with charcoal and some empty scrolls, but neither looked surprised at all. Then again, Sakura had never had to worry over money for anyone other than herself, but Haru knew of all the troubles it took to keep a village running.

Ashina cleared his throat and Tobirama was the one to address him, "Yes, Uzumaki-sama?"

"I, and I believe I speak for my clan, am not happy or pleased with these turn of events. When we last spoke two years ago, it was agreed that the Head of the Senju clan would marry a lady of our choosing in exchange for Uzushio to help when it came to monetary donations. However, our agreements have been broken by the man that would lead this village, why should we still be apart of this deal?" Ashina's eyes were fixed upon Sakura and she tried to keep her control over the Sharingan from slipping.

Green met black in a violent clash and Sakura gripped the silk of her kimono, "Why should we even be here? When there is some powerless slur sitting where Mito should be."

"Powerless?! Sakura isn't just some pretty noble!" Izuna roared from his seat and ignored Madara's attempts to calm down. Granted her oldest brother did look offended on her behalf.

"Ashina-san, I would appreciate it if you were to apologize to my future wife. She has had no knowledge of this contract between us; I am the one that needs to be responsible, so do not attack her with your words," Hashirama's voice was steely. "There is no problem with Sakura, however, we have proven to do well so far without your help. So please, let us sit like adults and talk the problems out instead of acting on our frustrations. You may have been invited here, but you are also to act with a modicum of respect if not for me, then for the occupants of our village."

The way that they all stiffened was satisfying to the pinkette, she hid how smug she felt and kept a straight face as Madara stood and started his rehearsed speech. His baritone going over points and new assertions, destroying any and all credibility of the Uzumaki arguments.

Sakura sat there and let the entities in her nod in appeasement, there would be nothing getting in the way of Hashirama's and Sakura's happiness. Everything was going to be fine.

It was the happiest the teenager had been in a long while.

Chapter Text

Ink danced along lines as a brush painted calligraphy across a scroll; a daft hand was taking notes as was dictated with a soft body posture. There was a sprig of life in the air, and black eyes flitted over to an energetic girl. Who would have thought, that Madara Uchiha, would be taking notes for his sister's upcoming wedding.

For him, it was turning to be more bittersweet than he thought.

The little rose haired girl that used to crawl into bed with him to soothe her night terrors was to be married in a few short months. She had grown from a timid, sheltered child into a gorgeous bride-to-be. His little Blossom had bloomed before his very eyes, and despite her not venturing into the world Sakura would be leaving them.

Uchihas married within the clan or clanless shinobi; it was hard for the clan to realize that any children she bared would have the Sharingan. And by that connection, so would the Senju. If Tajima was still alive, then he would have been the first of many to protest such a union. Even he and Izuna were skeptical of letting their bloodline go so freely, but they would decide what to do when the time came.

"-ani? Madara-ani? Are you listening?"

The clan leader looked up and saw that the ink from his brush was bleeding through the back of the scroll, Sakura frowning as plates were being placed in front of them by their servants. Little daifuku pieces and kazunoko were served on dainty plates, and he blanched when his sister glared at him "Sorry? Can you repeat that Blossom?"

She shook her head at him and pointed to the food being brought out, "I asked what do you think works better. Kazunoko? Or should we be less traditional and have more Akimichi styled foods? I like the tonkatsu and gyudon from this one restaraunt..." Madara sat back as she went on about the different types of foods.

There was something different about her however, it had been weeks after their confrontation and the departure of the Uzumaki and Sakura had changed a little bit. Her demeanor had shifted a bit; the young Uchiha held herself with the grace of a battle hardened shinobi even though she had never been apart of a battle before. While still childish and cheerful, Sakura was more subdued.

Sakura was a woman now.

With her upcoming wedding she had grown to be more mature, and commanded everyone's presence whenever she walked into a room. "Hmmm, we've all grown fond of the Akimichi cuisine. But I'll make a note to ask Hashirama later," he commented as they started to taste the small portions of food brought out to them.

"Ewww! Why would anyone want to eat this?" Sakura cried out when she brought the kazunoko to her mouth. The roe was not pleasant for some and Madara smiled at her disgusted face.

"It's a symbol of fertility and prosperity Blossom-"

"Nope!" she interrupted and gave the plate back to a servant before looking for another dish to try. Her green eyes lighting up at the sight of her favorite gyoza, and Madara noted that it was something to serve at the wedding. He broke his chopsticks and reached out to grab one, only to startle when Sakura wacked him with her own chopsticks quicker than his trained eyes can see. "Mine," and Sakura laughed at his petulant face.

There she was, the little sister that he missed was back in full throttle. "Blossom-" and he reached again. Madara's Sharingan was lightly spinning and he smirked when he snatched a little dumpling from under her protective chopsticks. Despite the childish actions, he was happy in that moment. It was like they were children again.

It was a bright spot in his busy life.

Between balancing budgets with Hashirama and Tobirama as well as sitting through council meetings day in and day out; there was no actual time to spend with his sister. "It's been too long since we've been able to sit together as a family," he commented as the gyoza was taken up with Sakura's approval and katsudon was placed in its stead.

The rosette nodded, "You and Izuna-ani have been worked into the ground. So has Hashirama-kun and Tobirama."

"Mhmm, Izuna wanted to be here today, but more for the free food than anything," Madara laughed with Sakura. They both understood that while Izuna was happy for Sakura, he probably would have shown up only to get some food in before dinner. "Then again, I would have fought him because if I have to be on one more board meeting then..." he trailed off.

Green eyes shown amusement, "Maybe then I would have had a shot at being the Clan Leader."

Laughter rang freely between the siblings as the last of the food was brought out. They easily wasted the minutes away, sitting in complete comfort and sampling food. Neither having the time to really sit and chat with the other, Sakura was more than happy to indulge her brother in what she had planned out for the wedding. Just as Madara was equally as happy to sit and have another cherished moment with his little sister.

There have been no problems within the last weeks about her control over what was in her head. Madara was glad for that, he didn't understand what was happening to Sakura but understood that she was getting better. Yes, he knew that Kaguya was probably influencing her, but both he and Izuna had chosen to drop the issue. Well, for as long as Sakura knew.

Behind curtains and meetings, there was a nonstop need for knowledge. Fuuinjutsu and and different types of animal contracts were sought out and consequentially ruled out. They weren't sure how to get rid of Kaguya, but they understood that there was no possible they were able to extract the goddess safely.

They were at an impasse.

"Maybe so Blossom," he chuckled. Madara gave her a small smile as the last of the savory foods were replaced with little desserts; his fringe briefly distracting him until he pushed his hair back from his eyes. She hummed under her breath as they both snacked on little namagashi and wagashi, for her this was truly peaceful. Her tiny frame was practically vibrating with happiness.

For two hours they both talked over colors, cloths, table settings, seating arrangements, and anything and everything that concerned a wedding. Despite the mind-numbing topic, both were happy to have spent the time together and Madara was going to start the actual preparations for Sakura. They had about one to two months left before the wedding and it was now go time.

The siblings said their goodbyes when it was time for Madara to go back to his office and get ready for his next few meetings with Hashirama. Sakura was left to her own devices once more. She merely wandered the halls of the Uchiha main house, and conversed with the entities in her mind. The two were bickering again, Haru finally losing the strength to stay in Sakura's conscious for more than a few hours at a time. Instead of her being steadfast and constant like she had been in the previous months since her engagement, the other spirit was fading away.

Sakura was mourning the loss of Haru, but she knew that Kaguya was becoming someone to trust. The goddess was doing her best to warn Sakura about some things and people; she advised her when Sakura needed it. It was concerning at first, since the goddess had been the object of her fears and nightmares ever since she could remember. But then again, there was no real reason to be afraid, not anymore.

Child, there was never any real threat to you. I want what is best for you and for Ashura.

"And how was I supposed to know that. I've only ever seen the cruel part of you from my dreams."

Ahh yes, I understand that Haru has been unknowingly projecting her memories on you. But you must know that your body is too small for three minds, one of us has to go.

Sakura looked out into the backyard of her home and stopped in her tracks, "What do you mean?"

Kaguya let out a soft laugh, Haru will dissolve into nothing, she will merge with you completely. She's sealed away her memories, the personal bits at least, but her knowledge remains. Dear child, sweet Blossom, you are blessed and burdened with knowledge. The entity caressed her mind softly, as if she were her mother. I intended to be here for you and Ashura, I will move heaven and earth to see my grandchildren happy.

The rosette shook her head, she didn't want to lose Haru. She was afraid of losing someone, she didn't want to have knowledge without the soul that had lived through it. The weight of the knowledge wasn't worth the price of it.

"Haru?"

Yes Blossom?

"Is it true?" Sakura asked, "Is she lying to me?"

The spirit merely sighed, Why ask questions that you know the answer to? Baka, I am sorry, but I won't let you burden my memories anymore. I've had my time, and I am more than happy to have changed the future. If you are lucky then you will never go through what I have. I've loved, lost, and fought more than I ever wanted. I don't want to leave you, but I am happy to go.

As I said child, I will watch over you.

But I am sorry that you have to deal with this ancient bitch by yourself.

The young Uchiha sighed as the two began to argue again. She looked at her reflection in the mirror and frowned at the rhombus she saw, Sakura felt like she's seen it somewhere. The teen rubbed at her temples, well if there was one thing she would be glad about was the fact that they would stop fighting. "Stop you're making my head hurt," she grumbled.

Her bright green eyes were replaced with the red of the Sharingan. She heard a small creak in the wood behind her, and both Kaguya and Haru stopped their arguing at the slight sound.

Run Blossom!

Sakura turned to see Oka Uchiha standing there; her eyes a dangerous red and her hands gripping a glinting kunai. "Oka-san, don't do this," she pleaded, but the older woman was furious. Her neck had healed nicely from her near strangulation, but her voice was rougher than it used to be. The lady that had taught her decorum had lost all of hers.

"You stole my voice in the clan, you marry the clan that killed my boy, and you dare order me around," the Sharingan spun faster in Sakura's eyes as she backed to the door. "You little, entitled bitch!" Oka rasped and she charged forward.

Now Kaguya?

Now. Thank you for your sacrifice Sakura Haruno.

Sakura felt her head pound from the pain of her headache, and then she felt a sharp stabbing sensation behind her eyes. The beautiful rhombus on her forehead blurred into existence and her small chakra coils grew exponentially. The memories of jutsus and techniques were almost second nature when she doubled over from the pain. Haru whispered her final goodbye as Sakura stood back up.

The young princess held her arms up when the older woman charged her, and she hesitated on what to do. The sharp kunai dug into flesh and the rosette's white outer kimono dyed itself red. She could have stopped the attack, but the teenage mind in her blanked and Kaguya cursed in her mind.

The goddess took the time to flash her vessel's chakra briefly and let it die quickly.

Help would be there soon.

~.~.~.

It had been such a good afternoon, Hashirama thought numbly as Tsukiko Uchiha stumbled into the meeting room of the Hokage Tower. She cried out her fears and the news that Oka had truly lost it this time. The older woman was in tears as Madara grabbed her and flash stepped his way to the Uchiha main house with Hashirama on his tail.

He was happy. Madara had told him about how he and Sakura were going over wedding arrangements and had asked his opinion about some of the choices they made together. The clan heads were deeply engrossed in the shared payments of such arrangements when Tsukiko burst into the room.

Now he was terrified.

His bride-to-be was on the ground motionless in her own home, a dead clanswoman was slumped against the wall next to her. Tsubasa Uchiha was putting pressure on the jagged wound on Sakura's chest, she was frantic and let out a shaky laugh of relief when she saw Hashirama. "Ho-Hokage-sama! Hurry!" and he snapped out of his stupor and ran to the rosette.

Her breathing was shallow and her blank green eyes were staring into nothing, but they moved over to look in his direction. "Go get some warm water, NOW!" he ordered as he dropped to his knees in a warm, red liquid.

"Sakura-chan, can you hear me?"

The Uchiha didn't show any inclination that she heard him, and he carefully began his work. He pulled at the edges of her kimono and bindings to clear the wound of any debris. There was no indication of poisoning, so he was glad for that. Hashirama placed his hands on her and pumped the slightest bits of chakra into her system, and cursed when it was all drawn to Sakura's forehead.

"Madara! Look at the seal on her forehead! It's taking in all my healing chakra!"

The eldest Uchiha sibling crouched by his sister and took in the purple seal curiously. He growled in frustration, "I don't know enough about fuuinjutsu to comprehend this, where's Tobirama?"

Hashirama shook his head, "He's out in the Capitol, attending a meeting with the daimyo."

They were shit out of luck, and he looked at the labored rise and fall of her chest. Hashirama grabbed the small bin of warm water that was placed next to him and poured some onto his sleeve before he dabbed gently at the wound. He clenched his jaw and began to channel as much chakra as he could into her, he would redirect a small portion to her forehead where the seal ate it all greedily.

Both he and Madara watched as the deep gash healed slowly; her new, baby pink skin grew with Hashirama's careful direction. But, the more he healed her the more chakra that the seal ate.

He watched her pained expression slowly fade, and she grabbed blindly for someone's hand. Both he and Madara came to a conclusion in that moment, she was in danger among to Uchiha. She was in danger by herself, and worse off the goddess in her head didn't do anything to help her. Hell, Madara didn't even know if it was capable of helping or if it was trapped inside of his sister.

When Hashirama finished his healing and broke contact with Sakura, he swept his sister into his arms. The long haired Uchiha walked with her curled up in his arms to Sakura's room.

The Hokage followed silently and he and Madara sat in vigil next to her bedside.

"You will marry her before the month is over."

Hashirama looked at his best friend in question, "I know we were going to wait until her sixteenth birthday, it's close enough to count though." Madara gave the Senju and tiny, broken smile. "There are still Uchiha that resented me and my family for our choices to integrate with the Senju and make a village. They still feel anger over the war, and they have resented Sakura for her decision to marry you and they have hated us for sanctioning it."

The Uchiha looked so old in that moment, his laugh lines were deep as he contemplated his next words.

"I don't want her life to be in vain, so take care of her and keep her safe within Senju walls. Take her out so she can see the world. I don't care how you do it, but you will keep her hale and whole."

"Of course brother," Hashirama vowed, "I will spend my life keeping her happy and safe. You need not worry."

Madara sniffed, "I'm her brother, I will always worry."

Both sat through the night with her. Whenever Sakura broke out into a cold sweat Hashirama was there to channel his cooling chakra into her; when Tsukiko came in to change the young teen they both turned their heads. Neither said a word when Izuna came to join them in their silent vigil, and all of them waited through the night and most of the day.

She looked peaceful, she lay there with her eyes shut and her body covered in bandages and an easily accessible yukata. Sakura didn't move and the purple seal on her forehead stood out on her pale forehead.

Two days had passed before she awoke, the room was dark and both Izuna and Madara were sleeping propped up against each other. She turned to see Hashirama slumped against a wall. His legs were splayed out in front of him and he held onto a kunai in his sleep. The young princess turned her head back to her brothers and saw that they both had weapons out. Madara's gunbai was right next to him and Izuna's katana was laying across his lap.

Go back to sleep Blossom, you have some healing to do.

What? She fought against her exhaustion and tried to channel her thoughts to Haru, but there was nothing but emptiness. Sakura let out a small groan but sleep reclaimed her.

In her mind's eyes she saw that the white tree was still giant, but it resembled one of Hashirama's trees more than the monstrosity it did before. The cracks and gouges that had been in the tree were healed, and Sakura noticed that the seal was completely whole again. The white lines were pristine, but the space was empty. Instead of the red blossoms that used to inhabit her tree, they were pink instead.

She could see memories of textbooks and scrolls, information that she could only dream of were dangling in front of her. Sakura noticed that Haru was gone completely, the other spirit left behind nothing but knowledge. Just as Kaguya promised she would. She didn't think that it could happen so soon and she walked over to the tree and curled up next to it.

There was no one to counsel her on how men are, no one to give her advice on kimono styles, and no one to tell her romantic stories that have happened in real life.

"Sweet girl," and Sakura looked up to see Kaguya floating towards her. The goddess's white hair was swinging behind her in a faux breeze and Sakura wanted Haru to be there. With her ripped blue jumpsuit and sweet tone, the spirit would have made a great mother. "Do you mourn her? She was a good mentor to you was she not?"

Sakura nodded, "She was. I wish she was still here."

"That's the thing about life Blossom, it takes from us at the most unexpected times. It is both cliched and random at the same time. But worry not, I will be here for you. Go and learn from what she had preserved for you, it is your inheritance."

The young Uchiha looked up as a wind blew through her mind and flower blossoms fell from the tree. She opened her hands and watched as a pink blossom revealed to her the intricacies of the Mystic Palm Techinique, while another floated into view with the similarities of the fish and human organ systems. She sat there and learned obediently under Kaguya's watching eyes.

Time was passing them by.

She learned control, how to walk on any surface, how to dodge projectiles, and much more than that. The Uchiha could recite the hand seals needed for the Phoenix Flower Jutsu, while at the same time she was sure that she could write the multiple handbooks for children starting in the academy. Kaguya would occasionally drift over to correct something that she had seen, but for the most part she did nothing.

Her mind was filled with every useful thing that Haru had deigned to leave her. Sakura opened her hands for one last blossom and was surprised to look in and see nothing about education in there. Instead it was Haru, and the woman looked at peace as she lay next to a silver haired man. She smiled at the man and Sakura gasped when she realized that that was the Kakashi that Haru would talk about.

"What will we name them?" Haru asked him and he pondered for a small bit.

"Yuuri for a girl and Tetsuya for a boy."

Haru frowned and rubbed a hand on her distended stomach, "I don't like that name, Tetsuya sounds so stuffy."

Kakashi chuckled, "We'll figure it out when the time comes, I promise."

The Uchiha smiled and tucked the blossom away for safe keeping, but she was glad that she had something to remember the strong spirited soul. She merely lay back against the truck of her tree and waited for the time for her to wake up. She didn't want to worry her brothers or Hashirama, but then again she didn't want them to think that she was weak for not being able to defend herself from Oka.

It was all one big mess, and the teen sighed.

This wasn't how she envisioned her day to go, Sakura was supposed to go out and get some dinner for her and Hashirama. They were gonna then take a walk around the residential district and then he would have escorted her home. It was supposed to be romantic, but instead she hesitated to attack and it ruined her day.

Sakura closed her eyes and let the calm of her mind take her.

~.~.~.

Hashirama Senju was a man that loved openly and protected fiercely, but he also was not the most patient of people and some would say that he had a gambling problem. Though he would happily say that he was a worry wart as well. His bride-to-be was just as impatient as he was and recovery had been a tedious thing for her to go through.

She wanted to go full throttle through the wedding preparations, but was limited to what she was allowed to do. The Uchiha had been confined to her bedroom for a week after her attack, and she was not a happy camper. Instead she was quick to anger, even Hashirama had to tread lightly around her. He had been the one to decide that she needed two weeks of bed rest. The Senju didn't want her to get an infection or to overwork herself, and may have overestimated her actual recovery time.

Both Madara and Izuna hovered around her for the first week; neither of them had decided whether or not she was truly okay. They brought her finalized invitations, and decided to go against a formal dinner with the Senju clan elders. For every decision she made, they took two more away from her. Sakura hadn't seen the wedding venue, nor had she seen her own uchikake.

All she could do was sign off on certain arrangements that had been decided on by both Izuna and Madara. And frankly it was pissing her off.

Sakura was trying to listen to Kaguya lecture her about patience and not to lose face in times of turmoil, but she was fine! Hashirama and her brothers were taking this too far!

It was mid morning in the middle of her second week of recovery when she decided to get out of bed. The rosette struggled to dress herself in the yukata that had been laid out for when she had to go take a bath. She couldn't tie the obi as tight as Tsukiko, and she worried that her chest bindings would be seen if she didn't tie it tight enough.

The pink haired teen tiptoed to the door and reached out with her chakra a little and frowned when she felt someone standing at her door. She quietly made her way to the window and forced herself to barely open the window. It was large enough for her to squeeze out and she was almost out when the back of her obi snagged on something. Sakura tugged it and winced at the audible ripping noise it made.

She checked her torso and made sure that her yukata was still firmly in place before she made a run for it. Sakura smiled as she ran through the courtyard and ducked through the alleys and ran over walkways to the main road. The young teen ducked around carts and looked up to the rooftops; she had seen it in the old memories that were left to her by Haru. Her lips drew into a fine line as she used her chakra to propel herself into the air, and she let out a loud gasp.

Her feet hit the roof with a loud bang, and she stumbled, nearly falling off the roof if she didn't stabilize herself with her hands. The Uchiha nodded to herself, and like the memories she continuously used her chakra at a steady rate to criss cross over the rooftops. The teen laughed as she zipped through the Uchiha district and she gave passing shinobi a small salute on her way through town.

Something inside of her felt free and she embraced that feeling as she skid to a stop.

This is what it felt like to be a ninja, even children could perform the rooftop jumping. Sakura grinned brightly as she slid down the roof and jumped to the ground. People around her weren't even fazed when a person dropped from the sky, and she blended into the crowds. You should be resting Blossom. Kaguya said idly.

"I'm sick and tired of being in bed all the time," she whined.

Your health is more important than your wants.

Sakura pouted, but didn't deign to answer. She knew that her health was important but was also very tired of lazing around.

"Sakura-chan?" someone called out for her. Turning around was agonizing but she gave a weak wave to an amused Hashirama who was standing with his hands on his hips. Looking very much like a berating mother, more specifically he looked like Madara did when she would steal sweets as a child. "Sakura-chan what are you doing out?" he asked.

Hashirama offered her his arm and she took it reluctantly, Sakura had just left her house only to get intercepted on her little impromptu trip. "How did you know I was out?" she asked him and he gave her a boyish smile that made her heart beat a little faster.

"I was coming by with some food from the Akimichi matriarch, she sends her thanks for the invitation to the wedding. Though, I decided to see if I could find you, but it was easy seeing as you haven't learned to mask your chakra signature," Hashirama commented as they cut through the residential district. He grinned at her, "I didn't know you knew how to jump like that."

His young bride gave him a small smile, "I didn't know I could do that either."

Silently, they both walked back to the Uchiha district, people would wave at them or give the Hokage greetings. They were all met with a pleasant smile and small chatters, but both kept walking on. Every now and then she would look up to see him staring at the purple rhombus on her forehead. His head was constantly working out the seal, but for the most part it was just storing the chakra that she wasn't using.

The seal didn't bother her, she remembered Haru having that seal as well. Though it bothered her brothers more than it did for Hashirama, since both Madara and Izuna freaked out when they saw the bright shape. Her brothers' first instincts were to bring her to the old Main House and scour their father's old books and scroll for information on the seal. Though necessity had them keep her safe in bed and healing from her injury; while it was no longer life threatening it was certainly going to scar.

Her porcelain skin was disrupted by the thick white of her scar, but she wasn't concerned with it. Haru had once been heavily scarred and told her once that there was no shame in having scars. They were symbols that you have lived and they were something to be proud of.

"Sakura-chan? If you wanted to go visit someplace, where would you wish to go?" Hashirama broke the silence with a question and she pondered on it. There were so many beautiful places in the world to go visit.

She nodded, "I'd like to go the Land of Hot Springs. Or maybe the Land of Tea."

"Those are good choices! I've been to the Land of Tea before, but maybe after we get married I'll take you to the Land of Hot Springs," he promised her and Sakura nodded.

She gave him a wide smile, "I'd like that Hashirama-kun."

The Hokage blushed and looked away, "If you want, you can call me Hashirama. We're gonna be married after all."

"Okay H-Hashirama."

When they got to the Uchiha Main House, he gave her hand a brief kiss before bidding her goodbye. Sakura went wide eyed and then scrambled inside of her house as quick as possible, ignoring his chuckles as she climbed up the wooden stairs as quick as possible.

She slid to the floor in front of the door and buried her face in her hands.

Gods, she was one big teenage mess.