Once upon a time Haruno Sakura was recruited as a spy. What follows is a tale of her struggles under all the difficulties this entails. Most would be crushed under the pressure, the never-ending questions (do they know, do they suspect?) and the constant prodding, demands for more information.
Instead of melting down, Sakura rises to the occasion.
Sakura's story follows her repeated attempts to circumvent her Cursed Seal, recover information without arousing suspicion, and survive both the rigors of ordinary ninja life while simultaneously evading discovery.
This fic comes highly recommended.
Provides Examples Of:
- Anyone Can Die: Hinata is killed off in the climax of the first arc.
- Awesome by Analysis: Sakura. She manages to analyze a quick-lime build up made by jutsu, breakdown the elements used to forge it, and then use her memories of how Sasuke used his Fireball jutsu to learn how to mold fire chakra and copy it.
- Becoming the Mask: Sakura notes her own corruption, it worries her at first. Then she gets over it.
- Brutal Honesty: Sakura, in the face of the Kazekage and his council, points out how their village is dying and the caravan her village was hired to protect chose ninja from a place other than their village because no one trusts them. The Kazekage acknowledges the point calmly and it serves to secure his alliance to the plans to invade Konoha, just as Orochimaru planned.
- Buried Alive: Sakura nearly does this to herself when first learning to manipulate earth chakra.
- Cloak & Dagger: Fun times!
- Darker and Edgier: And how!
- Deepcover Agent: Sakura. Also Kabuto.
- Determinator: Sakura at the climax of the Desert Arc- Holy Shit!
- Dishing Out Dirt: Sakura gets a major power upgrade- and several earth jutsu -due to some serious motivation via Kabuto and knowing Naruto is the Kyuubi container. Eventually she gets good enough to perform it seal-less.
- Kurotsuchi as well.
- Death by Disfigurement: Poor Hinata has her eyes scooped out by a Rain-nin and left to die.
- Dig Attack: Sakura's first jutsu, and one of her best. She turns it into an amazingly flexible tool.
- Dirty Business: The aftermath of the fire pit traps Sakura uses against the bandits in the Desert Arc is all about this. Sasuke is notably disturbed by Sakura's actions.
- Do You Trust Me?: Sakura asks Hinata this while the latter hesitates with giving Sakura the exploding tags she needs while bandits attack their caravan in the Desert Arc. She does.
- Driven to Suicide / Dying as Yourself: A major theme spanning the first two arcs. Subverted, played straight, and then double-subverted by Sakura. She attempts both, then fails, as she lacked the willpower to go through with it. Then when she confronts Hinata's murderer it is played very straight and subverted, because Orochimaru still has use for her...
- Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: To Sakura, by ANBU in Chapter 21. They insist they're doing a dental check up while probing her mouth with a senbon and are waking her up while waterboarding her.
- Eye Scream: What the Rain-nin does to Hinata. While she is alive, no less, though it happens offscreen.
- Frameup: Played with. Sakura is seemingly framed for the death of Morino Ibiki. While few doubt she could have killed the Jounin, they note she has a strange power and she's the only person who'd have a grudge against him while still walking around. They know she's innocent, however, they had to take her in and make it seem like she's under suspicion or some people might decide to take it personally... like Anko.
- Guile Hero: Sakura.
- Human Resources / Organ Theft: Sakura needs an organ transplant after the Rain-nin stabs her in the liver before she kills him. She got it from a perfectly healthy nurse after the doctor knocked her out and she was probably killed afterwards.
- I Did What I Had to Do: After feeling guilty about it for a while, Sakura eventually acknowledges this after having killed dozens of bandits with her fire pit traps. If she hadn't done it, the bandits would've killed more people. Kakashi points it out to her as well.
- This also what she explains to her mother and Kakashi why she turned traitor. She didn't want to die for an idea, Blind Loyalty, she didn't believe in.
- I Regret Nothing: Sakura realizes in a conversation with Ino that she didn't regret what she had done in Chapter 25.Sakura: Wow. I really dont regret it. Im a better person now, Ino. A better ninja. I think I can help my village and Konoha a lot more like I am now than I could have just being a regular genin. Im a better person because of it.
- Killed Offscreen:
- Kabuto is killed by Danzo sometime before the 22nd chapter.
- Morino Ibiki is killed between the 24 and 25th chapter.
- The Mole: Sakura, unwillingly, for Oto, and specifically Kabuto until she gets bumped up to being a part of Orochimaru's plans. From the other side of the fence we have Danzo.
- Mercy Lead: Kurotsuchi, on her father's orders, gives Sakura a thirty-minute head start before she chases her down and kills her for unplugging the canals. She still managed to get away.
- Mistaken Identity: Orochimaru made it so Sand believes that Sakura is the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki.
- My Greatest Failure: Kakashi feels Obito and Rin's deaths, along with Naruto's parents, was this. He believes he wasn't fast enough to save them.
- Pet the Dog: Kakashi, despite Sakura being both a spy and traitor, is easily the one person on her side regarless of what happened."I was already a jounin when I was your age, Sakura. What I would have done in your situation is completely different than what I should expect you to do. It wouldn't be fair to hate you."
- Playing with Fire: Sakuke and Sakura later on.
- The Power of Friendship: Kakashi believes in this, despite Sakura thinking that it was the sort of thing they, as ninja, were taught to be just the sort of thing you told kids.Kakashi: "I can see you don't really believe me. Just trust me on it. I'm a lot older than you. When you've seen as much as I have, you start to really appreciate the connections you've made and you miss them when they're severed."
"My whole point is this: a village is just a place, Sakura. It's just some buildings and dirt. The idea is that the people who fill that space, and the connections between them, are what really matter. That those things are worth fighting and dying for."
- Properly Paranoid: Sakura.
- The Spymaster: Kabuto, also Orochimaru, a little higher up the food chain.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After traversing the desert for days in hopes of saving Hinata, Sakura arrived too late and proceeded to not only chase but kill the Rain-nin who took her eyes, even if it left her near death.
- Shoe Phone: Sakura gets her missions via a disguised journal sealed inside an (apparently) blank scroll. Kakashi managed to find it.
- Talking Through Technique: An interesting case, musical notation is used as code. It took two whole hours for Kakashi to crack.
- Taught by Experience: Sakura learned how to fight from her trip from Sand to Leaf, not in training. Because Sasuke wasn't there to see it, he underestimated her when Kakashi ordered them to spar.
- Teen Super Spy: Deconstructed and played straight.
- Tempting Fate: Sasuke told Sakura it wouldn't be much of a spar when Kakashi ordered them to do so before he could leave. She has him scurrying up a tree like a squirrel to get to safety a few paragraphs later, much to Naruto's delight.
- Thwarted Escape: After being interrogated, Sakura begins to escape by burying through the ground, only for Yamamoto to stop her.
- Took a Level in Badass: Sakura, to the point she beats Sasuke in a spar, courtesy of her time spent running and fighting from Sand to River to Leaf.
- War Is Hell: Kakashi tells a guilt-ridden Sakura all about this after she killed the attacking bandits with her improvised fire pit traps in the Desert Arc.
- Wham Episode: The Desert Arc. Full stop.
- Chapter 22: The Hidden Leaf village has made an alliance with the Hidden Sound village, with Sakura being a special adviser under Sound's banner, in order to ready for an attack by Sand. While this gets her out of an execution, she's no longer a Leaf Ninja.
- You Are Too Late: Sakura thought she made it in time...
- You Can Barely Stand: The end of the Desert Arc.