I'm compiling this list little by little. I've read a lot of good fic; this will take a long time.
(Last updated on 08 October 2010)
In the Future:
New Blood, Saeki (gaiden), and Old Souls, by JFalcon (ongoing)
"For three years the ninja of Konoha and their allies have fought a losing battle. When Konoha becomes so short handed that Shikamaru must train a Genin squad no one could have predicted the effect he and his team would have on the war. ShikaTema." [I tend to hate next-generation fics, but I'm absolutely in love with this story. One of the best-plotted, best-written ongoing fics out there. Amazingly believable, compelling new characters that you actually give a damn about, and Kishimoto's original Konoha Twelve are still vital to the story. See also Red Eyes, a related side-story.]
Time and Again, and Here and Now (sequel), both by KyLewin (ongoing)
"In a war torn future, in the burning ruins of Konohagakure, Naruto fights Orochimaru and loses as the world collapses around him. From that ending comes a new beginning and a new chance to set things right, if only he can figure out how..." [Time travel fic done right for once. No official pairings, but some SasuSaku, NaruHina tension.]
Sleep with Demons (short prequel), and White Rain, by Zapenstap (ongoing)
"A mysterious woman arrives in Konoha seeking asylum for herself...and Itachi's children, but not all is as it seems. As Hokage, Naruto wants to trust her. Sasuke struggles with suspicion. Desperate to protect his family, Itachi's son becomes a Leaf-Nin." [The first chapter of White Rain puzzled me, but it all starts to make sense by chapter two. The OC's are well-written and interesting, and the way the author shows Sasuke desperately trying to piece together a life back in Konoha rings true.]
Examination, by DrerrRedclaw (complete)
"Rite of passage. Mark of progress. Things change; adapt or die." [The summary doesn't tell you much, but the plot is suspenseful and dark, excellently crafted. The familiar cast of characters, aged fifteen years in the future or so, are well-developed and wholly believable. It's a crime that this fic doesn't have more reviews. Pairings: NejiSaku; NaruHina; ShikaTema; KibaIno.]
After the Fall, by Insane Romantic (ongoing)
"When Sakura dies, the last thing she expects to do is to wake up again... eight years in the past." [There are precious few time-travel fics where Sakura is the one who gets sent back in time, and of the few that there are, this one is far and away the most promising. Please read and leave a review so that the author will keep it going!]
Oasis, by Nugar
"They couldn't break her spirit, so they killed her mind." [This is a dark scenario indeed, and yet not one of those soul-crushing angst fics that leaves no room for hope. Worth a read.]
In the Present, or nearly so:
Konoha (gen): These run the gamut from short to epic to hilarious to poignant.
Mailbox, by Morien Alexander
"A peek into the mailboxes of some of your favorite ninjas... No pairings."
It Takes a Village, by aishuu
"A Naruto snapshot series."
The Kissing Disease, by chori chupke
[Takes place during the Academy days. Shikamaru, Hinata, the rookie 9.]
First Frost, by Moonsheen
"In which it snows in Konoha and Naruto incites a revolt. Pay no attention to the brooding ninja in the background."
Ripple Effect, by rayemars
"Sasuke's return to Konoha, and everything that comes after it. Some people have changed more than they wanted or deserved to." [A classic.]
On death, chance, and being invisible, by zauberer_sirin
[The aftermath of the Sasuke-retrieval arc. Kurenai-centric, an unusual but effective point of view.]
Fire Shadow's Son, by Quill of Molliemon
"AU, post-Valley of the End. What if Kakashi made it to the valley in time? What if the events of the Kyuubi's defeat played out differently? How would things turn out then?" [There are several stories out there that explore a universe in which the Yondaime didn't die, but this one is one of the most satisfying-- perhaps because life for Naruto still remains so far from perfect.]
Smile when you're confused, by sinemoras09
" 'I notice you don't have any eyebrows. I also notice you have love carved on your forehead. Why is that?' Sai's kind of an idiot, but he means well. Sai-centric. Gen. Gaara and Lee for extra flair."
Evidence of What You Cannot See (Repeated Ten Times), by hungrytiger11
"Ten visitors to the same hospital room." [Poignant and sad and hopeful and spot-on, all at the same time. This is how you do a Sasuke's-back-in-Konoha fic, folks.]
Things That Cannot Be Fought, by Dr. Breifs Cat
"And then they found what they needed to make them happy."
Tides, by Elizabeth Culmer
"Three years have changed them and their world, and they don't have much time to put things back together."
Prerequisite, by Sadie DragonFire
"In which Team 7 receives some special education to prepare for their next mission."
Late Night Awkward and Late Night Misadventures, both by Bittersweet Mika
"Sakura can’t sleep, and Kakashi just can’t escape his students. Awkward situations and revealing conversations abound. Not to mention some realizations about themselves and each other."
Comrades, Coming Out, and Cows, by Asuka Kureru
"Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi. Friendship. A gen, but not quite, story about comrades, coming out, and cows."
Neighbors, by rhoddlet
"Naruto is a better next door neighbor than you think he'd be: he's friendly. He's helpful. He might be a little rude sometimes, but if you ask nicely, he's more than willing to look in on your cat when you go away for a weeklong mission." [Starts sweet, but the last line hits you like a punch to the gut.]
Lessons Learnt Along the Way, by jamjar
"This is what Jiraiya learns in Hachida: That although Naruto is too young to be a client at the places they visit, he is old enough to be mistaken as a worker." [Naruto-centric.]
The Reinvention of Memory, by Luc Court
"Trying to fix a three man team has its own quirks for Sakura, especially when there are four people involved."
Anniversaries, by Phoenix of Eternity
"One night every year, Uchiha Sasuke lets himself mourn the family he lost years ago."
Blood Equals Thicker, by Klayter McCabe
"Deep in the bowels of the Sound, Sasuke wishes the words had been there when he’d had the chance. He wants to tell Sakura and Naruto that, if he’d been any other boy, they would have been enough."
Running Backwards, by Sadie DragonFire
[Sasuke's kept from leaving Konoha after all. Author gets his angsty, angry, teenage boy perspective just right.]
Naruto's Day, by imawalrus
"This is Naruto’s birthday. He spends it with friends for the first time. He has his first birthday party ever. And he’s turning 19. These are Naruto’s previous birthdays… they aren’t as cheerful. Vague SasuNaru." [A sweet fic. Should be read by more people.]
Summer, by pellaz
"Naruto's mornings, he had come to find out, were not exactly normal."
Grown Up Orphans, by Spectrum
"Just Naruto, Sasuke, and the quiet hum of the refrigerator."
Joy Ride, by firefly
"The reason why Konoha has no cars? Blame Kakashi."
Some odd convictions, by shoutgraffiti
"The stroke of a sage's brush relies on more than just a good story. The Tale of Uzumaki Naruto begins, simply, with fear." [Admittedly, not very much happens in this story. It's Naruto and Jiraiya and travels and reflections, and it's lyrical and serious and beautiful.]
Five Things that Did Not Happen The Same Way in Canon, and One Thing that Still Could, by book_people
"The benefits of eaves-dropping: everything would have played out much more neatly if Sakura had overheard one conversation." [Sasuke stays! For a believable reason! Only 2 parts of 5 up so far, but this looks to be promising.]
Triage, by mercurial_wit
"Sakura has grown adept at recognising the point at which a fever teeters between recovery and fatality." [I don't usually go for fic about about Sasuke/Naruto/Sakura as a threesome, but I'll make an exception this time. Mostly because the relationship between Sakura and the recently-returned Sasuke seems real to me-- the back-and-forth, the suspicion and distrust, the stirrings of the old flame.]
No Legends Left, by runespoor7
"Over twenty years after the current chapters, Madara has won. There are no longer Hidden Villages. But there are still ninjas; they just need to be hidden. There's no place left for the legends."
Five Things Sakura Will Never Tell Naruto, by sowell
"Kunoichi know how to keep their secrets." [I don't know why it took me so long to discover this author's stories, but now I'm awfully glad I did.]
Of Fate and the Unexpected, by Paige O.o
"Sasuke returned—a shadow of his former self. Some nights, alone with nothing but her memories, Sakura swore she could still feel his fingers wrapped around her throat. Squeezing. A cold reminder of just how far he'd fallen." [This sounds like the setup for another Sasuke-Sakura story, and it is-- but it's so much more. The focus is really on Team 7-- *all* of Team 7, even Sai!-- learning, testing, trying, seeing if they can still fit together as a team. Sasuke's development is convincing, and his interactions with everyone are pitch-perfect. Ongoing, so give it a read and a review!]
Rules of the Game, by sna
"Jiraiya knows life isn't a game but when he's got Kakashi, Rin & Obito for the afternoon he'll be damned if he doesn't try teach them how to play. And since this is Jiraiya... guess the game..." [Team Yondaime goodness.]
Persistence of Vision, by sna
"Quite literally, Kakashi's always got someone keeping an eye out for him."
Lunchtime, by kilerkki
"Life is full of danger. It is not, however, full of good food, and so Konoha’s Team Yellow Flash enjoy it while they can."
Shame and Fame, by ckret2
"The day before Obito died, he babysat his cousin. The day after Obito died, Itachi cried for the last time. Obito had no idea how much he'd changed Itachi, and the Uchiha clan would pay the price for his good intentions."
Team Gai (with some NejiTen)
The Height of Walls, by Pierrot twixt Columbine
"SakuLee. While recovering from his injuries, Neji learns more about Lee than he ever wanted to know." [Gets the Lee-Neji friendship just right. Also explains how Neji ended up on the whole Sasuke-retrieval mission.]
How to Bake a Cake, by Kaeru Soyokaze
"Lee wants to bake a cake for Sakura on White Day! Too bad Neji and Tenten are forced to help him...and why is everyone ELSE there? Nejiten, NaruHina, and more..."
Ultimate Taijutsu Technique, by Cyberwolf
"Lee tries out a new Ultimate Taijutsu Technique on Neji. Much to his team's dismay. Except Tenten, she thought it was funny."
Kaleidoscope, by Goldberry
"Every time he looked at her, she changed. [NejiTen]"
A Conversation about Sakura, by teamgaifan
"Is there a pair more dysfunctional than Sasuke and Sakura? Neji and Tenten share a conversation about Konoha’s favorite couple and learn a little more about themselves in the process. Light one-shot."
Midnight Rendezvous, by Peliqua
"NejiTen Oneshot. NejiTen fluff - Post-timeskip. Follows the account of one night's training between Tenten and Neji."
Nicknames, by Cyberwolf
"Naruto may come to regret introducing Sai to Team Gai. Or he might not."
Let Nothing Come Between, by Goldberry
"A mistake by Sakura creates tension between Sasuke and Neji. Tenten comes to an understanding."
Symmetry, by Goldberry
"Balance. Equilibrium. Or the lack thereof. (Team Gai, NejiTen)"
What Remains Unmentioned, by Dayadhvam
"Kakashi keeps accepting Gai’s challenges because he likes to pretend that they still make a difference in the tally of their Eternal Rivalry."
Firsts, by Sahara Storm
"First kisses are important to all young girls, even kunoichi. Tenten is no exception."
Things that could have happened had Hizashi been the older son, by runespoor7
[A series of short AU fics centered on a world where Hinata is no longer the Hyuuga heiress. This one is my favorite, though all of them are worth reading.]
Firecracker Tales, by TeaLeavesGreen
"A collection of oneshots revolving around the world that revolves around Hyuuga Hanabi. Um, what? Mostly Gen, some light NejiTen." [This fic deserves some love. A hidden gem of ff.net]
Cages and Kindness, by Ceresi
"Someone has been freeing the caged birds in the Hyuuga compound."
A Whiter Shade of Pale, by Cephied Variable
"To read this poem, one must have myraid eyes. One must put aside antipathies and jealousies and not interrupt. One must have patience and infinite care and let the light sound- a spider's footsteps, a leaf on the water's surface- unfold as well. Nothing is to be rejected in fear and horror."
Rosemary for Remembrance, by Sintari
"Hyuga is a house with many rooms. A Neji & Hinata centered fic. Expect madness, love, sex, and murder. This is the story of two lives and as such the parings will change. NaruHina, NejiHina. COMPLETE."
Healing Touch, by Bittersweet Mika
"Hinata’s thoughts and reaction when Neji is brought back half dead. To see him she's willing to do something a little out of character. It will lead to change, maybe enough to change a family."
The Space Between Us, by hungrytiger11
"Hanabi is ten when she decides she will never marry."
A Simple Gift, by vampirepenguin
"Kankurou, Gaara, and a birthday present. [gen, oneshot, Kankuroucentric]"
Heal, by gelfling
"After Gaara loses the demon, courtesy of Ataksuki, he has to learn to be human."
Mortality, by diamondmuse
"Legs crushed and ethos shattered, Gaara stagnates in the hospital at Konoha, hovering over the abyss."
Journey Through the Night, by Oreithyia (ongoing)
"An epidemic forces the Kazekage to summon aid from Konoha. But from the horrors of disease to the ties of family and clan, from the fine line between executive and dictator to the complexities of international policy, nothing is ever so simple." [A suspenseful story with a well-crafted mystery at its heart. Though it takes place in the Sand, Sakura, Neji, Shino, and Kiba all play big roles, and Hinata has a significant task to perform as well. All are excellent characterizations. Some Gaara-Sakura romantic tension as well.]
Ripples, by Yellow Mask
"Following a botched mission, Sakura is made a slave by Sound, a position that could very well alter the future…especially concerning a certain familiar missing-nin. SasuSaku." [(Multichapter, complete. Quite possibly the best (and most believable) long SasuSaku fic ever written. Period.]
Something I Can Do, by kurzon
"Follows manga chap 384, focusing on Sakura's story in the aftermath of the Uchiha brothers' fight. Primarily Sakura action and character development, revolves around Team 7, with SasuSaku and minor NaruHina." [Multichapter, complete. The action scenes with Akatsuki move a little too quickly in the first couple chapters, but the interaction between Sasuke and his team once he comes back to Konoha is spot-on and convincing.]
In Nine Days, by cutecrazyice
"'Then prove it! Prove it to me in nine days!' It was that, or run around naked in Konoha. Of course making the Uchiha fall in love with her was easier...right? SasuSaku." [The premise-- a bet with Ino-- requires the suspension of some disbelief, as do the mobs of fangirls constantly stalking Sasuke. But their growing denial as the two try to handle their increasingly insistent attraction to each other rings true.]
Like a heart that stumbles onto knowledge, by Arabesque05
"Facts of Life: Girls crushed on boys, girls were rejected by boys, girls developed fantastic vengeance issues and sometimes became sufficiently embittered to join a nunnery. Of course, Facts never really apply to Life. Or Haruno Sakura."
The Flame that Burns Brightest, by Dr. Breifs Cat
"The flame that burns brightest was never lit at all, but its warmth is enough. Sasusaku."
If At First You Don't Succeed, by AngelOfDeath10
"SasuSaku, At Naruto's wedding Sakura seeks out Sasuke only to find less than she wanted but more than she'd hoped."
Twenty-five, by zauberer_sirin
"Most elite ninjas don´t live to celebrate their twenty-fifth birthdays."
First Kiss, by incandescence
"Trees were her favorite place."
Echoes, by Calendar
"It will be Sakura's first real solo mission without her teammates. She regrets that she ever looked forward to it."
I think, by Lady Starburst
"She thinks it's impossible to get over something that never was. He thinks there's nothing left. A few years later, Sasuke and Sakura pick up where they left off. Sort of."
Serpentine, by pen-x-pistol
"In the aftermath of a mission gone awry, Sasuke's hormones choose the worst time to finally surface -- and his emerging snake fetish doesn't exactly help matters." [PG-13]
Kakashi is a Sadist, by Gutemine
"Kakashi is a sadist. From the deepest throes of his very soul." [SasuSaku crack.]
Rain, by Kuro Shi
"A little version of Sakura and Sasuke's married life: The day they were married, it rained. It’s what Sakura thinks about as she stares out the window, waiting for him to come home. He is never late."
Like a Lamb, by Linay
"She is a willing prisoner and he hates her for it."
The Problem with Pink, by jc_eastling
[Fluff and humor of the best kind.]
Aficionado, by Annie Sparklecakes
" 'I bet I can drink more than you without puking!' Tsunade was really a horrible influence on Sakura, Sasuke mused. SasuSaku. Oneshot.
A Highly Contested Topic (ongoing), by Annie Sparklecakes
"In which Sakura desperately tries to form a bond, and Sasuke grows more and more attached by the day. He won't admit it, but the truth doesn't lie." [Only one chapter of three up so far, but the characterization rings true. If Sasuke ever did come back, this would be his one-step-forward, two-steps-back dance with Sakura.]
Weeks before he left, by Propertyoftheuchiha
"Why did he leave, really?" [As the summary implies, this is an alternate take on the events leading up to Sasuke's leaving Konoha. I have mixed feelings about this one-- I love it until about 4 chapters away from the end, where the plot takes a turn that, frankly, disturbs me. But the many chapters before that (ignoring the odd formatting and line breaks) have a pretty amazing, realistic grasp on Sasuke and Sakura as teenagers with hormones-- they're awkward, they're terribly inexperienced, but there's also an intensity and an earnestness about them that comes only with one's first physical relationship. Your mileage may vary, I guess.]
Perfect in Weakness, by Ravyn
"Team 7. Team Hebi. Sai. Because when Sasuke comes home he brings some people with him and some interactions are more hostile than others. Team 7 never said they'd share."
Parallels, by questfordreams and lazzchan
[Multichapter, complete. A jutsu gone wrong sends Naruto into a parallel universe. Later chapters are rated M, but an engaging story regardless.]
Aftermathematics, by ronsard
"How many miles to Babylon? Of destinations, blind fish, and converging vectors."
When the Cat's Away, by Vee-Sempai
"Naruto and Sasuke are left alone while Kakashi trails an enemy, and Sasuke is badgered into admitting something he would rather not." [Rating: M]
Anchored in Dust, by mercurial_wit
"Sasuke's first thought was: there is an excess of space in the desert." [I'm not usually interested in Naruto/Sasuke stories unless they're in-character and really effing good, and this one takes the cake. Every sentence is beautiful and sharp, and feels true.]
Wrong Turn, by sowell
"Naruto and Sasuke have an interlude in the desert. Nothing changes."
[This fic and the next by sowell have really brought me around on Naruto/Sasuke stories. I used to avoid them, but when they're this well-written--gritty and dark and yet not hopeless-- they feel right to me.]
Asymmetry, by sowell
"Naruto and Sasuke find their way through Konoha's post-war politics."
A Series of Firsts, by leafy_girl
"The first time Kakashi had seen Sakura in three years, she was fighting."
Duty Before Honor, by SilverShine
"Sakura knew why Tsunade didn’t want a virgin on this mission. Things might get out of hand. Acts might be carried out too far. She was glad Kakashi was accompanying her, but right then she wouldn’t have minded the entire population of Konoha."
Seven Days, by SilverShine
"A mission gone awry lands two squeakyclean ninja in the Konoha Prison for a week. One cell. Seven Days. What could possibly happen? (Aside from the obvious throttling, of course. This is Kakashi and Sakura we’re talking about.)"
Hokage Sama, by SilverShine
"Every Hokage needs his assistant. KakaSaku. One-shot."
Sabotage, by the real esther
"When her fifth date got food poisoning, and her sixth date cancelled in over the phone in a tone bordering on hysteria, Sakura decided things were getting out of hand."
A Poor Imitation, by leafy_girl
"Sakura is injured on a mission, forgetting everything she knew of life in Konoha."
Nymph, by SilverShine
"To her it is as natural as breathing. She wouldn't know how to keep men from adoring her, even if she tried." [Definitely not work safe. Also definitely hot, slow and seductive.]
The Apartment, by incandescence
"He talks of the peeling paint and cracks in the floor; she waxes eloquent of large windows and spacious balconies."
Five Times Kakashi Touched Sakura's Ass, by sowell
"Pretty much exactly what the title says."
SasuHina (a difficult pairing to work with, but these fics get something right.)
These are the Facts, by Sunfreak
"Promises are what shape a ninja- or perhaps a clan. HinaSasu, one-sided HinaNaru."
Cause for Conversation, by firefly
"Hinata has always been intimidated by Sasuke, but when she serves as a substitute for Sakura on a mission, she comes to learn that the stoic Uchiha is not so bad after all." [Gets Sasuke's odd combination of rudeness and his hidden sense of decency just right.]
Of Nights and Fireworks, by shilhouette68
"Hinata spends a wonderful event with someone unsuspected. SasuHina." [If Sasuke ever did feel like human company, reading this makes it easy to believe he'd find Hinata less annoying than the majority of the population.]
Do Not Feed the Animals, by Lazuli
"Hinata makes Naruto food, but as usual, he doesn't notice." [Some good Sasuke-Hinata interaction as well.]
Quiet Proposal, by otherworld violet
"She wants to tell him she’s scared, and she doesn’t want to marry Nejiniisan or Sasukekun – she wants to marry him and only him and if she can’t she’ll never be happy. NaruHina." [If the two of them ever ended up together, this is how it would happen.]
Loophole and Genshi (sequel), both by leafygirl
"Sakura formulates her own plan to get Sasuke back. Unfortunately, using Itachi as part of the plan is a huge gamble."
Project Human, by randomsomeone
"Growing up gets a little more treacherous, as friendship, caring, and the rehabilitation of those in need eventually all boils down to . . . What? LeeSakuGaa triangle, just to confuse things."
In Stone, by randomsomeone
"When it looks like everything might be taken away, Gaara can at least be grateful that he doesn't have to meet his challenges alone. Now if he can just hold things together for long enough to figure out where Naruto went..."
Beginnings, by paws-bells
"Naruto needs a favor, Gaara needs an escort and Sakura wants nothing to do with it! As usual, nothing goes her way and she even got more than she bargained for! How did she always end up in this kind of situations, anyway?"
10 Genres for Sakura x Gaara, by redbrunja
[Just as the title says.]
Scattered Thoughts, by randomsomeone
"A collection of unrelated, mostly lighthearted GaaSaku ficlets. The pair seems to enjoy abusing each other . . ."
See also Journey Through the Night, listed above under The Sand.
Bitch, asshole, and other pretty words, by zauberer_sirin
"He wakes up with sand up his nostrils, just like in his dreams of this place (oh, yes, he has dreamed about this journey, he often dreams of all the things he doesn´t know about her), just like in Konoha, where he wakes up wondering why his mouth is dry and his head full of dunes and realizes there are still some grains of sand in her hair."
Semantics, by Cephied Variable
"Shikamaru, Temari, and her brothers."
Conductivity, by two if by sea
"A week after they all came back from fighting the Sound ninjas, Shikamaru takes Temari to a beach at the edge of the Fire Country borders. The Sand ninjas aren't going to stay in Konoha for too long. This is the last chance Shikamaru will have. This is the only thing Shikamaru can come up with. He's not a Chuunin for creativity, necessarily; no one's ever said he was an artist in these kinds of things."
Sun and Shadow, by lynnxlady
"After a decade’s worth of absence from it, she came barreling back into his life, with kunai flying and the sibilant, deadly whisper of her fan opening."
Three Days, by Lotos-Eater
"The Nara doth protest too much, methinks." [rated M towards the end.]
Not Heaven, by Anria
"Naruto is sent on a mission to the Hidden Sand. There, he meets Gaara once more."
Water displacement, by two if by sea
"Sand Country smells of sand and chlorine all the time. The smell hits you like something physical the first time you arrive and then slowly fades into the background until you leave, when you start wondering what it is exactly that you've lost, some important part of your breathing. Then you realize that it's the smell. You'll miss the smell for weeks. It's a warm and hot and humid smell, dry and wet at the same time, unable to be pinpointed, and it's in this smell that Gaara grows up."
Necromancer, by V-chan2k6
"Uchiha Sasuke was holding on to something. In one chance encounter, she brought it back to life." [Sasuke and TenTen, the way it could have been. Takes a completely unlikely twosome and makes it (miraculously!) viable, all the while writing a different-- and quite satisfying-- ending to part 1 of the manga. Some NejiTen here as well.]
Breathless, by incandescence
[Warning: rated M. But it manages to come up with a believable Neji/Sakura/Shikamaru situation, and thus worth reading.]
Acting Out, by Sunfreak
"Ino is growing up, and chooses to rebel in a very unexpected way. Inonaru."
Music from Another Room, by Sunfreak
"Ino hangs out in the back room with a cigarette and Neji drops by. InoNeji."
For You, by SkItZoFrEaK
" 'It’s alright,' Rock Lee soothed, though he did not let go of her wrists and his leg stayed firmly locked around her knees. 'I’m here for you now,' he murmured. Lee. Sakura." [A slightly angsty, ineffably sweet, believable LeeSaku fic.]
The Anatomy of Need, by mercurial_wit
"To Sakura's credit, his hands are covered in blood. But it seems irritating and appropriate in equal measures that she doesn't give him a chance to explain what he's doing – making a last-ditch effort at saving someone's life, actually – before she slams her fist into his chest." [Kabuto and... Sakura? It works, somehow.]