The Finale!! *sobs* I don't want to finish the story, it's given me a lot of pleasure writing this ^_^. I'm so happy that it's bringing you guys joy ^_^. I hope that the ending is satisfying! My goal is to have 100 reviews, so hopefully it will reach that in the future. Thank you so much for reading, so I'll do my part now... here it is!
Chapter 17: The Bond
Sasuke looked up to into her emerald eyes. She had changed into her red outfit, but she still had so bandages on her arms and legs. She smiled as she to a seat next to him on the bench.
" I thought you'd be out here."
" Why are you here? " Sasuke grunted. Sakura's expression changed to a concerned one.
" Well, when I woke up you weren't there. I just wanted to make sure you were all right." She said, and added. " Is that so wrong? "
" No. "
" So is there something wrong? Do you want to talk about it? "
" No. " They sat in silence for a while. Sasuke was still deep in thought. He turned away. " I'm leaving. I should have left this place. I should have done it a long time ago." Sasuke cursed himself for ever caring for those two. It only made him weaker. Sakura, as if she knew what he was thinking, turned him around and slapped him.
" Don't you dare! I won't let you kill yourself. Look... I-I know what you're thinking ok? Don't think I haven't felt pain, remember I too lost my family. We're a lot alike now. You think you aren't strong enough? You think by leaving you'll get stronger? That's dead wrong. " Sakura yelled. Sasuke stood there, frozen for a moment. She was a bit shocked at what she had just said too. She never thought she would slap Sasuke.
" Sakura...when did you... how did you... become so strong? " Sasuke asked. Sakura looked at him for a minute, then burst out laughing. She laughed as she sat back down on the bench.
" What are you talking about? " She asked him.
" Yesterday! Yesterday you were able to complete your revenge with ease. You defeated those ninjas so easily when even I couldn't! I-I was supposed to be the strongest on our team. But... now ... you and Naruto have surpassed me! What do I have to do?? I train single day, but it's not enough! Why can't I defeat him? I'm a member of the Uchiha clan for crying out loud! You were never that strong before! You and Naruto are way above me now! What is the secret damn it??!! " Sasuke yelled. Sakura sat straight up, her eyes were very wide. She never thought Sasuke would say that. Sasuke let out a sigh of frustration and sat back down. " How can I possess that power?" Sakura gave a short giggle.
" You think I'm stronger than you? " Sasuke gave her a glare. She smiled. " Heh, thanks for the compliment... but I don't think it's true." Sasuke raised an eyebrow at her. " Sasuke-kun... you have the potential to be stronger than me. You are stronger than me. You just haven't realized the secret to becoming strong when it's right in front of you."
" What are you talking about?"
" Sasuke-kun... the secret to becoming strong is the thing you have pushed away ever since your tragedy. It's love. " Sasuke's eyes widened. "I was able to defeat Hoshiko because you guys gave me the strength. You most of all. Hoshiko killed my family, and he hurt the others most dear to me. You and Naruto are the most dear to me..." Sasuke was swallowed in confusion. " Sasuke-kun, when you have someone precious to you...when you need to protect somone dear to you... only then can you be truly strong. " She turned to Sasuke with a smile. Sasuke, had not expected that to be the answer. He wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes. That was Naruto's secret to.
" Itachi... I have to kill him. You guys just get in the way. You don't understand. " Sasuke punched a fist into his hand. Sakura suddenly grabbed his shoulders and forced him to face her.
" With that attitude, and believing those things... you're letting Itachi win. " Sasuke stared at her. " Itachi... wants you to live a mizerable life. You know... he as good as killed you. I think death would be better than living the life you're trying to live. You're always cold towards us, never happy, never caring about anyone, and pushing away those who care about you! " Sasuke stared in disbelief, and it hit him. Sakura was absolutely right. Itachi wanted him to be afraid, Itachi wanted him to hurt, Itachi wanted him to suffer. Itachi wanted Sasuke to live this life, and he was winning.
" I'm sorry. " Sasuke finally said. " Look... it's just hard for me alright? You don't know what it's like reliving that day, everyday. Always. Their bodies, their screams, his voice. "
" I understand your pain... Sasuke-kun." Sasuke turned to look at her. She gave him a small smile. " You can cry on my shoulder. " For once, Sasuke let the tears that he had been holding back for years fall. He quickly wiped his eyes and was back to normal.
A/N: Don't worry Sasuke isn't becoming a crybaby or anything. He just teared for a sec.
" I'm also sorry for anytime I called you weak. You were never weak, you're strong." Sakura smiled and patted him on the back.
" Thank you so much. I know you will become stronger than Itachi, but don't get forget...to live. "
He looked at Sakura. He wanted to let her know how much he appreciated her helping him. He then had a crazy thought, ' will I ever fall in love. ' He shook his head to wipe the thought out of his head. He really appreciated Sakura staying by his side. He hadn't told her about the dream he had last night. He began to wonder if it meant something.
***Dream Sequence*** (Sasuke's POV)
I awoke in a room to a crying sound. I looked around to find the source of the noise. My eyes landed on a dark-haired boy crying over his parent's dead bodies. It was the young me. My brother appeared behind me. He started to laugh. I threw a punch at him and he advanced. Fear overtook me and I ran away. I begged him not to kill me. He called me weak and not even worth killing. He told me if I wanted to hate him and kill him, I need to run. I need to survive in an unsightly way. So I ran. I ran and ran but suddenly came to a stop. Orochimaru appeared in front of me, I was back to my normal age. He stretched his long neck and bit me. The curse seal overtook me. I howled in pain. Visions of my teammates appeared in my head. The curse withdrew. I clutched my head and yelled in confusion. Nothing made sense. Darkness overtook me. I slowly opened my eyes, but could see nothing. I began to search around widly, when a twinkle of light caught my eye. Off far into the distance there was a small spec of light, it was moving. I stood there, wondering what it could be. I was on my guard for fear of an enemy. The light was coming close and closer. Then he slowly saw someone's eye glittering in the darkness. He could hear their footsteps. He saw a foot step into the light followed by another. It was then that the figure came out of the darkness... It was Sakura. Holding high the lantern of hope, love and care in her eyes, she held out her hand to him. He grabbed it... then woke up.
Sakura and Sasuke had been sitting on the bench in silence, until they heard footsteps approaching. They both looked up to find that it was a blonde-haired boy with large fox grin
" Hey guys! "
" Hey." They said together.
" Are you feeling better Sakura-chan?" Sakura smiled at him.
" Much better," She replied. Suddenly, a large growl came from Naruto's stomach. Sakura and Sasuke stared at him. Sakura giggled while Sasuke gave a smirk.
" Hehehe...." Naruto sighed. " Well, I could use some ramen! Wanna come?" Naruto gave them another grin.
" Sure Naruto." Sakura smiled and turned to Sasuke. " Will you come too?" Sasuke gave a sigh and then a nod.
" Great then! " Naruto said. " But uh... you know I could also use some money..."
" YOU IDIOT! " Sakura screamed, giving him a bump on the head. " Do you expect us to always be paying? "
" Come on Sakura-chan! Just this once!!"
" Alright then..." Sakura said, still a little annoyed. [ That little brat! ]
A/N: [TEXT] = Inner Sakura and ' TEXT ' = thoughts
Sasuke found their little fights amusing, but his mind was consumed with many thoughts. A sudden shadow came over him. He looked up to see Sakura smiling.
" Let's go Sasuke-kun! " He nodded back at her. They all started to walk, thoughts racing through our couple's heads. The three of them had their eyes connect a few times... knowing a bond that they shared. They were like a family, they all cared for each other. They had all lost their parents, but they knew that the others were always there for them.
' I've never felt these emotions... but I do know that you... Sakura... are a precious person to me. This emotion is...'
Sasuke and Sakura followed Naruto as he skipped to the ramen shop. Sasuke looked over at Sakura. She looked back. Sasuke slowly took Sakura's hand into his. Sasuke and Sakura walked into the sunset towards the ramen shop, with Inner Sakura's cheers.
[ HELL YEAH! LOVE WINS BABY! ]