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Heartwarming / Dead Garden

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  • Mizuki, who's a good guy in this story due to being Sakura's father's old teammate and relating to Sakura like Iruka did to Naruto in canon, turns on Tsurugi when he decides to take Sakura back to Orochimaru along with the Hokage's scroll, even though his wife Tsubaki is still under threat to ensure his cooperation. It's just as heartwarming as what Iruka did for Naruto:
    Mizuki: Listen to me. You are Haruno Sakura. You were born on the twenty-eight of March, and I held you in my arms on that day. You are the daughter of Haruno Takeru and Amaya. You are my most wonderful student. You are not the demon, and never will be.
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  • Naruto's dearest wish isn't to be Hokage- it's to become the world's greatest medical ninja in order to heal his crippled mother. Even though it's almost impossible to imagine canon!Naruto ever having an interest in medical ninjutsu, that is so in character for him.
  • Kakashi's hastily-improvised subtitute for the bell test after Sakura takes it the wrong way and tries to give up. He orders Naruto and Sasuke to kill her for desertion, then threatens to do it himself when they refuse to even consider it for a second. While Naruto and Sasuke are quickly disabled they refuse to give up even when Kakashi threatens to kill them as well, Naruto repeatedly telling Sakura to run, while Sakura just begs Kakashi to just kill her quickly and spare her teammates. This display of courage and loyalty is enough to convince Kakashi that they deserve to pass and become ninja.
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  • The talk between Sakura and Naruto in chapter 4 after she breaks her arm and Sasuke goes ahead to finish the mission and come back with help. There's a lot of awkwardness, apologies and even some crying from Sakura when Naruto tells her about the Kyuubi having killed his father (which Naruto comforts her through) but eventually he makes her see that he wants to be her friend because she's a nice person and he actually likes her (not romantically; unlike canon!Naruto he doesn't actually have a crush on her). Keep in mind that Sakura has never had a friend before now.
    Naruto: And that's why I want to be your friend. You're kind, even when people don't deserve it. <laughs> You even manage to put up with Sasuke, somehow. Even when… even when you found out who I was, back when we started at the academy. You didn't try to hurt me or get revenge. You just wanted me to leave you alone, didn't you? <Sakura nods> Well, I can't do that anymore. We're teammates now. So… do you want to be friends?
    Sakura: Yes.
    Naruto: Then we're friends. That was easy, wasn't it?
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  • It's subtly implied that the kidnapping attempt traumatized Hinata, and may explain why she is a Shrinking Violet in canon. Here, Naruto was her friend at a young age and helped her adjust, leading her to be much more confident and outgoing.

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