Sakura slept so long and so deep. Sometimes she slept for days. She was never beyond the point of being able to wake, but if someone didn’t disturb her she could sleep for almost a week at a time, just storing chakra in her seal. Others around her worried at first, but she always seemed stronger after a long rest. The longer the better, so they let her be.
“What do you dream about when you sleep that long?” Aoi the sentry asked her once.
“The beginning of the world, the end of it, and everything in between,” Sakura once answered before sleeping again.
No one asked her any more than that, but kept a reverent distance and respected her slumbering.
Another month after Tobirama and Sakura perked up at the sound beyond her hedge. She could feel a presence out there, and then there was another. She held her breath as she counted two different presences she almost recognized. As adults they had seemed so different, but the core of their essence remained the same.
“Nothing rouses you like the prospect of playing with children, does it?” another midwife asked her as she helped Sakura into a simple cotton yukata. “Why don’t you have you own?”
“Not as enjoyable and too much work. Besides, its more fun to steal others.”
Sakura pulled her hair up into a bun with her nails and pinned it into place with a wooden pick so simple she could have been a present for not the state of her skin and teeth. The bandages on her hands didn’t even slow her down anymore.
Madara and Hashirama were smart enough to work together in trying to dismantle her traps and genjutsu. They came closer than all the others, mostly because when one started to get trapped, the other would wake him and dispel that layer of illusion.
As a duo they were quite formidable. It was interesting to watch. What would have happened if they never broke their friendship? How much stronger could their empire be?
“There’s someone here with us.”
The tiny Madara was dour as he turned slowly and let his red eyes rove, searching for where she was hiding. She didn’t move when he zeroed in on her location and didn’t even bother to hide herself in the layers of the illusion anymore. She smiled wide when he found her and waved.
Madara cursed. “It’s a peasant.”
Hashirama pushed his friend aside and waved back. “Hello miss!”
Madara glared hard, likely not trusting her but not respecting her enough to consider her a threat. She was still a girl and the Uchiha were famous for their woman hating, traditionalism even in her time.
I hate how internalized ableism gets, because when I meet new people even before they really know about any of my illness stuff I’m just 100% prepared for them to back out of knowing me as soon as they learn things about quite how much my illness affects me.