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The end is were we begin

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The oasis It’s guarded by proud people of the old religions, they have chakra but they don’t call it chakra, they call it soul spirit. 

They act with kind reverence around Sakura because they could tell she was a healer when they first saw her. Just as they bow with respect around Sasuke because of the lingering dark power he naturally emanates.

They show the travelling couple the way to the oasis as if it was their duty. The place is beautiful.

Underground corridors of weirdly coloured stones leading to a secret cavern and in the middle, a dazzling string of transparent water reflecting the colours of the precious gems lining the place around them.

“Only people with a powerful soul spirit can make use of the oasis.” Says the leader of the people, “the waters of this place allow the travellers who are worthy to go back in their own history and mend past sins.”

“We are powerful enough.” Mutters Sasuke purposely walking towards the waters that starts to glow as if it were sensing his chakra. 

He stops at the edge of the oasis, giving Sakura an inviting, hopeful glance. Extending his only hand in her direction. 

“Sasuke-kun, we don’t need to do this.” Taking two hesitant steps towards Sasuke, the young Kunoichi tries to dissuade her lover. “We’re happy now. Aren’t we?”

“I did so many mistakes, committed so many wrongdoings in my life, Sakura. I treated you so awfully. Don’t we deserve a second chance? A little more time to be together?” He sounds distant. In the same way he sounded as a Gennin, when his sole purpose was vengeance. 

“We have all the time in the world, Sasuke-kun.” She tries. 

“I’m sorry Sakura.” He apologises, closing his eyes. “Hopefully you won’t remember any of this when I’m finally done with everything.” After the brief but heartfelt apology, Sasuke allows himself to fall into the water, finding himself surrounded by white light and Sakura’s voice screaming his name. 

Then only Darkness. 


 

He wakes up feeling different. Weaker, in a room he hadn’t seen or been in, since his childhood days. 

A quick trip to the bathroom and a brief glance at the mirror tells him he’s four, maybe five, in any case just a few years ahead of the massacre that changed his life and transformed him into the man he is… Was. 

Now that he’s here, Sasuke is not really sure of what he wants to do. Not in specific terms anyway. He wants to be a better friend for Naruto, wants to be a younger brother for Itachi. For sure. 

He especially wants to become the man Sakura deserves. Wants to accept her invitations to dinners and festivals, to hold her hand around the village and in their travels. He even longs for the opportunity to be openly jealous of Naruto’s and Lee’s advances on Sakura. 

Sasuke wants to meet her parents without the lingering shame of being the man who broke her heart and tried to kill her. He still remembers standing alongside Sakura in front of the Harunos, telling them that he was going to take their daughter away while knowing he had dared to raise his hand at her in open violence. 

He overall wants to train alongside her, to become strong as they grow together under the same sky. 

He decides to start with the massacre because he doesn’t want to lose his brother once again. Sasuke will leave the final decision to Itachi, but he will be the one to tell him about the coup d'etat or at least he will find a less violent outcome for his clan. 

In the following months he keeps his ears and eyes open for any signs or talk of treason from his parents. He’s aware that he can’t talk to Itachi until he knows for sure his parents are at least in the planning stages of their betrayal. 

A few months into his new life he hears his mother talk about spies in the academy reporting to her. His father grunts his approval and then he tells her about Itachi being difficult about his part in the coup d’etat. That’s all he needs. 

He cries in his brother’s lap for the first time in decades, that night. Forcing Itachi to comfort him and hear him out. “Mother and father were talking about killing Lord third.” He sobs in his brother’s chest. “Are we bad people?”

“No, little brother,” placates the prodigy. “I just wish you wouldn’t have to hear that.”

“We have to tell Lord third!” Screams Sasuke just in case Itachi hadn’t thought about it already.

“I already did that, Sasuke.” Sighs Itachi with resignation. “And Lord Hokage has been trying to find peace between the Uchiha elders and the village, to no avail. It seems that as long our elders are in power, we won’t come to an agreement.”

“Then…” Stresses Sasuke, “Brother and cousin Shisui should run the clan.” This is enough for Itachi to stare at him.

“And what about father and mother?” Asks the Uchiha heir softly. 

“They’re doing something really bad, Nii-san.” He says seriously, in that childish manner of speaking he’s been forcing himself to adapt to. “We can’t let them, even if it makes them sad, even if Lord third has to punish them after.”


 

In the following months the crimes of the Uchiha elders alongside his parents and some extremists are revealed to a close number of people. The elders and his parents are put on trial and disposed as leaders of the clan. 

In their place, a group of young powerful Shinobi with Itachi as the youngest clan head in history are taking their place. But the Hokage is merciful with them, only banishing them into the outskirts of the Uchiha district, being carefully observed by Hyuuga Anbu. 

At the same time, Shisui, coming out of a horrifying fight with Danzo, exposes the man and his followers as sadistic treacherous Shinobi. Training young kids into a personal army, experimenting with dead Uchiha. Killing young, promising ninja just for the sake of emotional torture.

Sarutobi-sama, intransigent as he may be, can’t and won’t allow child abuse in any form, the deaths of so many children forever carved in his mind and his heart as a personal penance. He orders Danzo’s execution on the spot.

Sasuke celebrates his sixth birthday without his parents, but with his big brother by his side as a better clan head than his father could ever be. 


 

Sasuke finds Naruto on a park a few weeks after his birthday. He wasn’t planning on it but he figures this is a good enough moment as any other to start a better friendship with his surrogate brother.

“Hi.” He says over the blond boy who is kneeling alone in the sandbox, looking dejected and broken. “My name is Sasuke. Who are you?”

At first the boy doesn’t realise he’s being talked to, he moves his head but doesn’t look at him until Sasuke stomps his foot on the sand to get back his attention. “I’m sorry” apologies Naruto. “I can go if…” 

“I asked for your name.” Insists Sasuke.

“Naruto Uzumaki,” answers his future friend surprised.

“Well Naruto, do you want to play with me?”

Naruto screams an excited yes with one of those sunny smiles that never failed to make girls blush in his timeline, Sasuke smirks as he sits alongside the blond and plays with him until Itachi himself comes from a consul reunion to bring him home.

“Hi, Nii-san,” smiles Sasuke, expecting and faking annoyance at his brother poking him in the forehead. “I made a friend today can he come for dinner and stay the night?”

Itachi would deny his request in a heartbeat if he wasn’t aware of Naruto’s story. But he does and so, he grants him his wish that day and the days to follow. Effectively becoming a surrogate three man family unit for Naruto.

Sasuke still wants to find Sakura, maybe even partake in his own version of puppy-love with her. But the Uchiha’s second son can’t be seen marauding civilian territory. Tentative peace between the Uchiha and the village put into action or not.

So to his utter disappointment they don’t meet each other until they both enter the academy. 


 

Part of Sasuke doesn’t want to be Sakura’s knight in shining armour. Because he genuinely believes that is Ino’s job and because he knows Sakura deserves her independence. 

But he hates seeing her cry, hates seeing mean girls hurting her and humiliating her as if the act of belittling her were a sport they were particularly good at playing. Sasuke feels the physical need to run over there were the little girl is kneeling on the floor, hiding her pretty face with her long bangs and tiny hands as she cries her green eyes out while she’s being insulted and kicked by her classmates. 

In the end Ino ends up beating him to the punch. The Yamanaka heiress does a beautiful show off being Sakura’s warrior princess, too.

She jumps on the scene with her chest held high, screaming at the girls to stop and to scram, the bullies glare at Ino with defiance and the flower girl returns the challenge with the same or even stronger determination.

She then takes care of Sakura, cleans her dirt covered face and puts a cute ribbon on her head to clear her face.

“There, you look cuter this way.” Compliments Ino holding a hand-mirror in front of their faces.

“But… But my fo-forehead,” stutters Sakura, in a display of shyness Sasuke has never seen before. He’s always known Sakura as an energetic, strong and confident girl, this shy version of her is new and not something he knows how to handle.

“The more you try to hide it, the more attention you bring to it!” Exclaims the blonde. “Besides it’s not so bad, you just have to show off a pretty face like that. I like the style, anyway.”

Sakura blushes and looks at Ino as if she’s the sun. Sasuke decides to let them have their moment.

He has all the time in the world, anyway. 

Sasuke resolves to wait until they get in team seven together to become closer to Sakura. He tries to start a conversation with her a handful of times, but her shyness always unsettles him.

He still acts kinder to her than anyone else when he can. Smiling at her when she manages to sit by his side, accepting her hand-made bento when she wills herself to give it to him, he even trains shuriken-jutsu with her two or three times when Iruka-sensei instructs them to pair off.

Sakura doesn’t notice, still too shy and with a still too low self esteem. But Naruto surely does. Sasuke knows Naruto still likes Sakura, he’s attracted to her odd hair and her sunny smiles just as much as every little boy who ever fell for her in his timeline was, and even if the younger Uchiha is aware that someday in the future they will develop a sibling bond, his heart still constricts when Naruto asks him:

“Do you like anyone?” His eyes staring at the ground, while unconsciously scratching his head.

“Yes,” he answers with the honesty Naruto deserves from him. “I like Sakura.”

“Wh-What?!” Exclaims the Kyubi. “You can’t like Sakura-chan!” 

“Why?” Maybe it’s healthier for them to exteriorise their feelings about it. He knows one or two things about bottling up emotions.

“Because I like Sakura-chan!” Confesses the boy as if it was the easiest thing in the world to say.

“Well, I like her, too. So if you want to win her over you’ll have to confront me, idiot.” He challenges his best friend with an air of superiority.

“You’ll see!” Screams Naruto, pointing directly at his face “I’ll become Hokage and I’ll marry Sakura-chan!”

And so, their rivalry is born.

Sasuke knows that someday in the future, Naruto will notice the girl that has been chasing him around for longer than anyone. 

He also has the conviction to never give up on Sakura’s love, not ever again. 

But for the time being, their relationship could do with some girl related rivalry.

Chapter Text

This new period of his life spent in the academy it’s a distinctly more peaceful and joyful affair than last time. He no longer trains until exhaustion, no longer spends his days alone and bitter waiting for the minutes to pass so he can distance himself from everybody at the academy.

Now he has Naruto, who trains with him everyday, who smiles more often, eats a little healthier and no longer tries to draw attention to himself in boisterous and destructive ways.

In this timeline Sasuke spends most of his time by his side while Itachi, alongside Shisui act as parental figures for the both of them.

Even if he encourages their rivalry, Sasuke now can understand the importance and the beauty of their brotherhood. He now finds enjoyment in their encounters, encourages Naruto to stay the night at the Uchiha compound and to eat dinner with them.

Naruto deserves a good childhood. Just as he did.

Girls still fawn over him and act with a vindictive sort of violence towards Naruto, because as they say “He corrupts Sasuke-kun.” This time around Sasuke is more prone to defend his friend loudly.

Sakura still grows out her hair for that stupid rumour from years ago and she still starts a rivalry with Ino over him.

Sasuke knows that both of their feelings are probably hurt over this, but Sakura’s fight with her best friend is a decisive point in her personality just as his own rivalry with Naruto is a determining factor on his own. She will get back the beautiful friendship they saw bloom a few years ago in the Chunin exams, that friendship he wasn’t there to witness. He’s sure of it.

He smiles charmingly the day of their graduation when Sakura asks if she can take the sit beside him, and half-heartedly glares at Naruto when he stubbornly sits at the girl’s other side. He doesn’t cheer like Sakura and Naruto when Iruka-sensei announces the names on team 7. But he’s definitely more accepting of being on a team this time.

“Should we go out for lunch?” Asks Sakura, when every team leaves the room to do exactly the same. Naruto brightens up at the invite, Sasuke smiles under his high collar.

“Let’s go to Ichiraku’s!“ Suggests Naruto with a wide smile. Sasuke doesn’t hates Ichiraku, per se. It’s just that in this time line being friends with the blond since the very start only means he’s been eating ramen almost everyday since they were ten or less.

“What do you say, Sasuke-kun?” Asks Sakura in turn, avoiding eye contact with her crush and blushing prettily.

“Maybe we should go to the Dango stand near the academy.” He suggests smirking towards Naruto. “They have the best Sakura mochi in town, and they make good Bento boxes, the black tea there is also good.” Lists the raven haired boy “I heard you liked sweets.”

Sakura squeals to the skies, Naruto growls at him in clear annoyance. Sasuke can’t stop smirking at his rival until he arrives at his brother’s favourite Dango stand and the sickly-sweet smell of the sweets hit him right on.

In the Dango stand Sasuke orders rice balls and black tea, he also orders korokke and tempura shrimp with soy and sweet-sour sauce for the table when he remembers the long wait to follow after dinner. If there’s something he definitely didn’t miss from his childhood days, it was Kakashi’s lateness.

Sakura orders a plate of three mitarashi dango sticks in brown sauce with a bowl of Sakura mochi and some green tea. She daintily eats her sweets, conscious of the boys near her. Even when Sasuke knows that she’s a messy eater. Especially when she likes the food.

Naruto tries to order ramen to no avail and when he fails, he settles for a plate of three coloured dango sticks with honey sauce. He also buys some deep-fried tofu rice balls and the biggest bento box they have.

“Hey! Do you know who will be our Jonin teacher?” Asks Naruto loudly, talking with his mouth full of mochi.

“And how could we know, moron?” The insult and the lie come naturally for him after years of friendship with Naruto and years of faking innocence.

“I for one would like a female teacher!” Pipes out Sakura cheerfully, completely forgetting her previous manners.

“Really now.” Sakura never complained about Kakashi further than her grouchiness at his tendency to arrive late for everything.

“Yes! I’ve heard from some the older girls that male teachers are more likely to neglect their Kunoichi’s training.” She says as if she was giving him a lesson “I believe that is the reason there aren’t many active Kunoichi working for the hidden villages, well, that and maternity alongside the quantity of honeypot missions we’re forced to do in comparison with shinobi.”

“We won’t let our teacher neg-neglect you, Sakura-chan!” Promises Naruto loudly yet struggling with Sakura’s terminology. “We’ll become the dream team, you’ll see!”

“Moreover we can train together, the Uchiha compound is always open for us to train in and I can assure you that even if idiotic, my cousin Shisui is anything but chauvinistic.”

“Itachi-nii and Shisui are the strongest!” Gushes Naruto “We’ll become just like them and nothing will stop us!”

“You know, Naruto…” blushes Sakura smiling sadly “I think I was wrong about you. I thought you were just this inconsiderate, problematic child but you’re really kind and think I should be nicer to you from now on.” Her smile is real and kind when she directs her happy eyes at Naruto blushing face. “Because we’re a team now, right?”

Sasuke suddenly remembers the reason he allowed himself to fall in love with the woman this little girl will eventually grow into. He knows it will be easier now. Sakura has always been a great girl. Cute, too, of course. But her strengths and the maturity of her mind and soul has always been an attractive characteristic of hers for Sasuke.

He also liked that she was an angry girl.

With a sigh he steps up to pay for the whole group. “We should go back.” He instructs listlessly hiding his hands on his pockets. “Our teacher may be waiting.”

He was not.

Kakashi as expected doesn’t arrive early or even at the right time, Sasuke decides to sit out and wait patient. While Naruto decides to play a prank on their future teacher. Sakura as the last time, acts as if she isn’t enjoying Naruto’s childhood behavior.

When Kakashi enters the room the eraser falls onto his head with a funny plop sound. Naruto practically rolls over from laughing. This time Sakura doesn’t play coy with her new teacher, she hides her face away from Kakashi, and smiles.

“Well my first impression of you kids.” Hums Kakashi “Is that I don’t like you.” The statement doesn’t fall as hard now as it did before. Sasuke remembers being a young prodigy and never before being told he was less than that. It was ground-breaking in a way, but now it fells almost cathartic, being around people as full of love and forgiveness as Naruto and Sakura can be misguiding. Kakashi has always been brutally honest.

They eventually are forced to leave because the academy wouldn’t allow them to be inside the classrooms past school hours, so they settle for talking over on the rooftop.

“Well, tell me a little about yourselves,” requests Kakashi with a smile hidden by his mask.

“Something like what?” Mutters Sakura looking at her teacher distrustfully.

“Like your name, your likes, your dislikes, your hobbies and your dreams about your future.”

“Hey! You should introduce yourself first!” Suggests Naruto.

“Yeah! You look kind of suspicious…” Agrees Sakura.

“Well my name is Kakashi Hatake, I have no desire to tell you my likes and dislikes… And about my dreams, hum…” He ponders. “Well I have a lot of hobbies.”

“So all he told us…” She says sweat-dropping and holding her slender legs against her chest, “was his name.”

“Well it’s your turn now, let’s start from the right!”

“Yes! My name is Naruto Uzumaki, what I like is cup ramen, but what I like even more is when Iruka-sensei pays for my ramen!” Smiles Naruto, “What I don’t like is waiting those 3 minutes for my ramen to be ready, I also like is hanging out with Sasuke and his family in the Uchiha district and someday… I’m going to become Hokage and so everyone will have to acknowledge my existence!”

At least that surprises even Kakashi. “I see…” He says scratching his hair “Next.”

This is different for Sasuke, this time he’s not consumed with hatred and blood hunger. “My name is Uchiha Sasuke,” he says, “I like to train mainly, I also like to spend time with my brother and the idiot, I guess…”  He sighs “I dislike many things but what I dislike the most are sweets. I don’t have many hobbies, I train and learn about the clan, sometimes I like to feed the cats and the crows.” At least now, “And as for my dreams… I want to have a normal life, I want to become strong enough to protect my loved ones and live in peace.”

This time, he thinks, things will be different.

“And the girl?”

“Well what I like… the one I like is…” She stops herself looking coyly at Sasuke while blushing. “My dreams for the future is…”

“And your hobbies, Sakura?” Asks Sasuke staring directly at her blushing face “What do you like to do?”

“I like to read!” She squeals happily “I like to learn new things.” This isn’t news for him, Sakura has always been a smart girl, but it’s nice to hear it from her.

“And your dislikes, Sakura-chan?” Asks Naruto.

“Feeling weak” Confesses she sadly. “I guess my dream is to be stronger.”

Kakashi ends their meeting there, giving them the instructions for their survival exercise the next morning.

This time around Sasuke and Naruto accompany Sakura to her home, she smiles gracefully and thanks them with a parting hug.

It feels right.

Chapter Text

Sasuke ponders his options when Kakashi decides to train them in Chakra control by teaching them how to climb trees without using their hands.

One the one hand he can fake his inability to master Chakra control on the first try and train alongside Naruto again as a way to strengthen their bond as best friends and brothers just like the last time.

Or he can use the knowledge he already has to get off of training something so basic and maybe accompany Sakura in her detour in Waves with Tazuna, and even perhaps force Kakashi into teaching Sakura something more advanced, like she deserved last time when Sakura proved to be so well versed in Chakra control.

He knows that his relationship with Naruto right now is nowhere near as strong as it is in his own timeline. But nevertheless their relationship is stronger now than when they were twelve the last time. With Sakura tough, he’s in a different situation. His relationship with the girl who will eventually become his wife someday in the future is pretty much stagnant as it is right now.

So this time around he decides to fail on the first try just to smirk proudly to Sakura who’s happily sitting on the highest branch of the tree she choose to climb, looking down to them, proud and blushing childishly as she should.

In the second try however, he climbs to the top alongside the pink haired girl and continues to do so until Sakura and him are tired and depleted off Chakra.

“You already mastered tree climbing, Sakura and Sasuke,” praises Kakashi as he looks at them breathing heavily and resting, weakened on the ground “So why don’t you go and shadow Tazuna while I help out Naruto with his training?”

Sasuke gets up swiftly and offers a hand to Sakura, “Thank you, Sasuke-kun,” She blushes accepting his hand and carefully standing up with his assistance.

Sasuke hums in response but silently places a hand on the center of her back, resting a dainty yet solid hand on the white circle painted on her dress. “We will rest for now,” he concedes, glaring forceful at his teacher “But tomorrow we will come back to learn something new.”

Kakashi sweat drops and sighs listless but doesn’t deny him.

With Tazuna and Sakura he sees a different side of the story. Waves is dying on poverty, they don’t have jobs to get by, they don’t have food to portion around the people, there are even kids sleeping on the streets.

He breaks the wrist of a tall, bald man who tries to steal from Sakura’s bag but who Sasuke initially mistakes for a pervert trying to cop a feel of a young girl.

He’s on high alert after that, seething around her as guard dog and tensing up when she shrieks quietly “Again!?” She growls and turns around just for the both of them to find a young kid, dirty and malnourished smiling sunnily at them with both palms open.

Sakura, ever the sweetheart rummages on her bag for anything remotely edible. She finds some candy and sadly gives it to the kid who runs away as if Sakura had given her a treasure. “We will give you your home back,” he promises to Tazuna with fervour “I promise.”

Later that night when Naruto eats until he throws up, he hits him in the head himself “You know that food is precious!” Sasuke chastises him, “don’t waste the food like that.”

Sakura touches his shoulder kindly and regales him a sweet smile, Sasuke blushes a little and Tsunami-san giggles amused behind her hand.

“Young love is so precious to watch,” she muses, holding the side of her face with the same hand and showing them a nostalgic smile.

However Naruto doesn’t think they’re cute, at all “Ah! Sakura-chan and Sasuke are not together!” Screams the blond to everyone’s amusement.

Kakashi is the first one to break out on amused laughs, then the rest of the adults and even Inari himself follow his example. They go to sleep on high spirits.

The next morning, team seven returns to a different area in the woods, this one has a small current river hidden by the tick trees.

“Today Sasuke and Sakura will be learning something similar but different,” he explains doing the ram hand sign and slowly walking towards the river. “You will learn to walk over water.” Sakura and Naruto scream in excitement when they see him.

“Not fair, Kakashi-sensei!” Screams Naruto in outrage “I want to learn how to walk over water too!”

“I will teach you this, Naruto,” placates their teacher with kindness instead of his normally bored tone. “But first you have to learn how to climb trees perfectly.”

“You’ll see Kakashi-sensei! I’m going to master tree climbing and then you will have to teach me how to walk over water!”

Naruto runs into the woods with a huff.

“I will go after him after I teach you the basics, okay? Can you handle doing this by yourself? I don’t want to leave him alone to do basic training…” He asks concerned by his student.

“Yes Kakashi-sensei,” concedes Sakura, “and even if we can’t handle it alone we already mastered wall-walking, Naruto hasn’t.”

“You’re so kind, Sakura-chan. This team it’s really coming together.” Kakashi pats both, Sasuke’s and Sakura’s hair with a proud smile, easily noticeable in his tightly closed eyes and the faintest of movement under his mask.

Sasuke growls at him and Sakura blushes under his praise, “Just tell us how to do it, Kakashi.” Orders Sasuke with his well practised cold tone. In response, his teacher carefully takes his hand away with a wary smile, then he gives them the instructions and leaves them alone to train together.

Sasuke falls under the water multiple times and Sakura falls two or three times, but on the first try she actually stands over the water. Sasuke remembers the first time he learnt to walk over water and it took him more than a whole day to even stand.

“Maybe you have an affinity with water,” he muses later sitting shirtless by a bonfire they ignited together to at least dry their clothes. “I know you’re excellent with chakra control,” the Uchiha praises her with a smirk at her delighted reaction.

Sakura is not facing him, she had to take off her dress to dry and even when her dark bra, fishnet under-shirt and hot pants are fairly proper she’s overwhelmed by their state of partial nudity, Sasuke still can see her red ears and the edgy set of her back “maybe you are affine to the element and can start to learn water-style jutsu. We’ll talk to Kakashi tomorrow,” he decides “learning elemental jutsu is crucial and you’re behind in ninjutsu.”

“Thanks, Sasuke-kun.” She slightly turns around to regale him with a saddened smile “I really want to fight alongside you and Naruto and be a teammate you both can count on!”

“You will and you are,” he consoles her. They will grow strong together as a team, Sasuke will make sure of it.

They come back to Tazuna’s home side by side, Sakura’s hair couldn’t dry probably because of the length and Sasuke’s shirt is still wet yet, they return smiling.

Even when Sasuke knows that the next day will be horrifying and life changing, he decides to fight Zabuza and Haku on the same grounds as before, he will mourn Haku’s death and regret the decisions they make as a team. But he needs to awake his Sharingan to protect his loved ones, just like both Naruto and Sakura need to learn about the horrors of the shinobi world.

After the fight they leave the great Naruto bridge and Waves on fairly good high spirits. Naruto and Kakashi walk together, talking about the blond learning to walk over water while Sakura and Sasuke walk behind them.

“Maybe after we come back to Konoha, we could go out eating…” Suggests Sakura to Sasuke shyly.

“You should think of training first,” reprimands Sasuke “You’re still behind Naruto and myself.” Sakura deflates visibly. Sasuke really doesn’t want to bring her down, he just wants her to prioritize her personal growth over her love for him. “Come to the Uchiha compound tomorrow so we can train with my cousin or my big brother,” he suggests and she brightens up happily “You can stay for dinner.”

Sakura in his own timeline doesn’t hug him anymore, they were barely starting their relationship back then and she still wasn’t completely comfortable with giving him physical affection, but this Sakura is a happy, cheery girl in love with a boy who just invited her over to his house, so she squeals and hugs him holding onto his neck.

“Thank you, Sasuke-kun!” She screams thankfully.

This time around Sasuke can accept her hugs gratefully, he would even accept a kiss if she were bold enough.

Sadly, she’s not.