(Author’s Note: Sorry about the update being weird this time. I’m uploading too many stories on too many servers recently.)
As Sakura knew Ino wasn't the type who could be kept at bay with simple excuses, she slowly filled her in on key details about what happened without revealing the fact that the 'squad' she was talking about was independently managed by her.
There was no problems in letting her know, as she could really use a Sensory Type like Ino on her side from now on. She might be a good fighter now and medic, but her abilities couldn't fill all the gaps...
Take what happened today for instance. If she had a Sensory Type on her side, then she would've noticed something was off earlier and jumped in to save Naruto before he was beaten to the edge of death. The more her friend heard, the more she became worried about Sakura's safety. They were still Gennin Ninja at a beginner level after all...!
"I'm fine. I can't be considered a 'Gennin' with my level anymore." Sakura spoke with confidence.
"Ahem, what about that matter with Lee?" Haku asked into her ear as Ino was digesting what she heard. There was no telling what shenanigans that kid would get up to if left alone by himself.
"Give me a sec." She releases one of her clones and allowed the memories to blend into her mind before weaving hand seals to create a Shadow Clone once again. Although she couldn't make an army like Naruto, this much was enough for her.
Then her clone vanished into thin air, causing Ino to be wide eyed in shock at what just happened...
"I know a Space-Time Teleportation Jutsu."
"A space-time Jutsu..." She did a double take.
"..." A small calm came before the-
"How the hell did you get that?!" This was a total outrage! Were Jutsus like this falling off trees?!
Even Haku was scared off by her sudden outburst and casually took his leave without a word. Of course, he didn't leave the two completely alone as SOMEONE needed to check the area's clear.
There's a reason Ninja Clans like her own tended to be secretive about their techniques. There would be chaos all across the village if anyone could get their hands on something like SPACE-TIME JUTSU!
"Y-you have a space-time Jutsu? How?!"
"Yeah it's helluva 'neat'! Like Fourth Hokage level neat! How does yours compare to his?"
"It's the same Jutsu."
"...You really weren't slacking off." And she thought HER abilities were on absurd level after training...
If possible, Sakura wanted to give Ino a Bloodline Seal as well. However, she couldn't find anything suitable at the moment considering she wasn't very knowledgeable about Sensory Types. The kind of techniques she had were all Fighting Types...
"Forget it... You've become secretive since we made up. Why do you look more tomboyish now?"
"Do I...?" Was her hairstyle really too much? She thought it gave her a 'cool and independent' vibe.
"Let me see it." She didn't even ask before taking off Sakura's headband to see how it looked unbound, and she had to say, it wasn't great considering her friend was too ragged, as even the sweat from Naruto's treatment was still there.
"Go have a bath." She couldn't get used to this. It was going overboard for Sakura to not take care of her looks this way. No cool girl looked nice if they didn't at least take careful care of their health.
She wanted her to go home already...
"I have to take care of Naruto." She spoke while bandaging his arms, legs, and even his face.
The rest of his body a little off-limits right now.
"Now let me ask my own question: Why are YOU specifically taking care of this guy? I thought you didn't like him, right?" From what she remembered from the time this knucklehead bought flowers for her, he was rejected by her quite soundly (guess).
"I have my reasons..."
"Then what are they?"
"Do I have to tell?"
"YOU.HAVE.TO.TELL!" She was extremely worried after seeing how tired and exhausted she looked.
"..." Sakura didn't know where to begin. There was so many things that she hadn't told her about...
"Fine. If you're THAT against it, then you should do something as a consolation for not telling me."
"Have a bath already, you stink!"
"..." Her lips twitched at those harsh words. She sniffed her arms and hair to see if she was honest.
"Have you ever hand a long, relaxing bath to get off all that stress you're feeling? Letting all your fatigue wash away with the steam in the air and soap bubbles on your skin." Ino asked while her friend was imagining the scene happening in her head.
Now that she thought about it, that didn't sound half bad. It sounded so calm and relaxing~
"Try it~! You won't regret it!"
"Just look at those eye bags...! You deserve a rest."
"Okay. Can you keep an eye on Naruto? I'll have to use his bath since his condition is pretty bad."
"No problem~ Leave it to me!" Ino shooed her off and even gave her a hairpin she could use when she got out. The Leaf Headband might be great as certification for the proud Ninja they were, but there wasn't a reason to wear them 24/7.
"Have a nice bath~!" As soon as Sakura was out of the room, her eyes turned to the 'newly admitted injured patient'. He was sleeping so soundly~ So she took out a violet flower and tickled his nose.
"Achoo!" The knucklehead sneezed weakly before opening his eyes to see a familiar training partner.
"Err..." But why was she here exactly?
"Oh how worried I was~ So, how did you get so injured? I was told you got into a little accident~"
"Y-yeah, I fell down the stairs."
"And broke your entire body?"
"The stairs were really, really big!" He was barely able to lift his arms to emphasise that point.
"Oh, and I also fell off the Hokage Mountain."
"Hah..." She sighed with complicated feelings.
"That must have hurt a lot, right?"
"You really do understand! It hurt a lot...!"
"Sorry for waking up. You should go to sleep."
"Err, yeah..." His eyes turned cloudy as the fact not enough blood was circulating to his brain affected him again. Little did he realise that Ino's hand had already made its way to touch his forehead.
And she wasn't checking his temp, that is for sure.
A purple chakra covered her hand as she used Psycho Mind Transmission to extract the information she needed. This was essentially an invasion of privacy, but she couldn't think of any other alternative. Naruto might be an idiot, but he's stubborn when he wants to be. Even insisting on ridiculous claims just to get out of questioning.
As soon as she shifted through his most recent memories, she found what she was looking for.
'Who the hell is that?' She focused in on a memory where a redhead was beating the life out of Naruto.
The more she extracted information, the paler her face became as she pulled back her hand. There was a tinge of fear in her eyes as she looked at Naruto, now being able to sense Kurama within him... Even now, she felt a lot of pieces were missing from the puzzle, but rather than focusing on that, she was concerned about their future.
'What the hell have you gotten yourself into?!' Her heart was in disarray as Haku returned inside.
Her eyes turned towards the new 'data bank'...
Meanwhile, Sakura was truly having a relaxing time in the bath. She laid there lazily while resting her eyes a little. Her thoughts mostly revolved around what just happened between her and Naruto.
'...Is it possible to change up?' Her romantic feelings towards Sasuke had already faded by now but she still found it hard to 'move on'. After all, will Sarada exist if she chooses a different life partner?
'Maybe she will have blonde hair.' Well, her daughter will be her daughter either way.
Although she might look different, she will still be her girl as long as she was the one to 'have her'.
'Should I give him my answer?' She couldn't pretend not to be moved by his caring nature.
However, there a little bit of a problem:
'It is too early to decide right now.' They were still young and had a lot of years before them anyway.
The most pressing matter was dealing with the Akatsuki and Black Zetsu before she started making any plans on settling down. Three years, a lot of events will happen in three years time.
She couldn't quite remember everything, but the big moments that affected the Hidden Leaf were there. That's not even mentioning the fact that a Jinchuriki now wants both her and Naruto dead...
'How would HE have dealt with everything?' She thought back to the 'Orange Hokage' she knew.
What would he have done if he had gone back in time? Run around beating everyone up? No, he'd probably also befriend literally everyone he meets through empathy and understanding. There was only one person in the world who could pull it off.
It was then she remembered Kurama's words:
'Are you going to try changing the world alone? The same way as those of the Uchiha?'
Her mind wandered as she recalled the heaviness within the fox's tone as he spoke. She now had great strength, but even with it, she now started to understand why Kurama was concerned for her.
She was no Naruto. She couldn't have empathy for her enemies or bring them to her side. She knew how to fight, she knew how to heal, but she was lacking compared to that youth who could shoulder the world without losing that foolish smile on his face. Now she understood the 'destiny' that awaited them. It was a tough road ahead, but she'll be able to endure and move forward regardless.
'After all...' She thought of her friends.
'...I am not alone.' And with that thought, the fate of the entire world started to become more clear.
Events that should have happened and events that shouldn't have happened started to blend with each other, creating a catastrophic future not even she could predict. In the middle of the endless void between time and space, one man floated silently.
Unknown to the world, the Sage of the Six Paths opened his Rinnegan eyes to see a future far different from what had been preordained. There was a complicated look on his face as he spoke:
"Sakura Haruno." His words resonated with the endless void as a spark of yellow lightning ran through his body. Memories of the future he had never actually experienced flowed into his mind.
"Keep my sons safe." He murmured before closing them again, content with leaving the fate future with the young ones of the Hidden Leaf. They might not know their destiny, but thank to his very recent improvements in controlling space-time, he was able to glean a happy ending, no matter how much trials and tribulations they took to get it.
The destiny of his sons constantly killing each other was no more, and a new one sprung forth.
Whether this future was better or worse was up for debate. Rather, his improvements gave more leeway for him to interfere should something that should be stopped happens, like the resurrection of Kaguya... Another name left his lips as his closed eyes revealed an angry expression beyond wrath:
"Black Zetsu...!" The rage within those two words were enough to freeze the hearts of warmongers.
None could even imagine his absolute fury...! His right hand clenched as he used some of his newly recovered power to interfere with space-time. A link between him and Sakura formed as he used the Flickering Thunder Formula Seal to send a 'gift' to her, similar to the ones he'd one day give Sakura and Sasuke once they matured in the future.
Since he knew Black Zetsu's aim and couldn't allow things to unfold the same manner as before, he used the overwhelming might that came from the yellow volt-like distortions in time to make a plucking motion at the moon with his free hand.
Sakura, who was having a bath, felt her body shiver as strange, pinkish electricity started to discharge all over her body. She jumped out of the tub to see that despite being drenched, this pink electricity didn't seem to exist on the material plane at all...!
"I only have the strength to inform you briefly: I have stolen a large portion of my weakened mother's power and blended it into your soul. From this day forth, you are part Ōtsutsuki." She heard an old voice ring in her ear before kneeling in pain.
Although most tended to scream when they were in pain, Sakura only gritted her teeth as she felt the Formula Seal of her Level 3 version of the Flying Thunder God Technique near her belly button.
It morphed and twisted, causing a pain to overcome her as she realised there seemed to be some minor changes happening all over her whole body. Even her skin whitened by a small shade and the tips of her hair turned a creamy blue tone...
Once the transformation stopped, she looked at the mirror to see an 'eclipse' seal on the area between her collarbones. The words 'Six Paths Thunder Seal' entered her head as her vision started to blur. She slipped and hit her shoulder onto the nearby door, alerting Ino who started to call out to see if she was fine. It was from day forth that the destiny of the 'Three Gods' has cemented itself into the world at large, alerting even Toneri Ōtsutsuki who didn't have 'time-space sensory'.
The new future was going to rock the world!