Author: LeadYouIn PM
SasukeSakura, InoShikamaru. What will Sakura and Shikamaru do when Ino and Sasuke start dating? Why are they going out in the first place? In the words of Inner Sakura.....SHANNARO! EPILOGUE POSTED!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sakura H. & Shikamaru N. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 22,961 - Reviews: 180 - Favs: 161 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 08-25-06 - Published: 09-21-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2588398
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I know that I'll see you again. I have to, after what happened I need to. That was the most amazing night I've ever had. I can only hope you feel the same way. Do you know you have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen? They're closed right now but I'll see them again, and maybe this time they'll be happy to see me too. I'm asking you to wait for me, and I know you will. Please wait and I promise I'll come back to you. I love you.
Sasuke held that little piece of paper closer. Three years had gone by since Sakura had left on the cursed mission with Shikamaru. They had spent one night together, and then when he woke up she was gone, and there was only this note to remind him that it had been real.
He stood and paced the main hallway, looking over the changes he had been working on for three years. He hoped she liked them, they were only for her anyways. To think that only a few hours remained before they returned. Tsunade had received word that they were ready to commence the actual killing approximately two weeks ago, and then the communication had stopped. He hoped that nothing was wrong; there really wasn't anything they could do if something had gone wrong.
Half-smiling, he walked out of the door. Tsunade had planned a welcome for Shikamaru and Sakura; the whole village would be there. As Sakura's former teammate he had been one of the few in charge of organizing the event, though his sole contribution was on insisting that there be lots of flowers. He knew she loved those.
He broke out into a grin – she was finally coming home. He fingered the small box in his pocket; he only hoped she would still want him.
"Kuso, they're catching up." We've been running for four days straight. We can't take much more, especially with Sakura's injuries. "Maya- Sakura,"
"Old…..old…habits," She took a few gulps of air as she raced forward, "die hard, don't they?" Kami, my whole body hurts. That electrical attack really packed a punch.
"The gates have to be only three kilometers away. We're not going to make it at this speed. There's only five on our tails. The others are all dead so one of us needs to get help or both of us are going to die." He stopped on a particularly strong tree branch and puts his hands on Sakura's shoulders, propping her up. She was ready to fall over.
"I"ll – stay – here," she paused for ten seconds, "I'm too slow to get help in time."
Shikamaru glared at her. "I'll stay, you're too weak to hold them of-" He winced when she hit him and corrected himself. "I meant you're too weak now…with the injury. Normally you're a troublesome ass kicking mach-"
"Now I can definitely tell how much you mean that genius." She smiled wryly. "I can't believe that we could die here, after coming so close."
"Nobody's dying. But you go get help; I swear I can hold them off." He removed his hands from her shoulders. "Just go."
She nodded weakly. "Ino will never forgive me if you don't come out of this with your scrawny ass intact." She began to run, glancing back only once.
"Tch, how troublesome." He forced himself into a defensive posture; Sakura was still a little too close to his position for comfort. He easily dodged the several kunai that were thrown at him, but he failed to notice the exploding tags attached to each one. Cursing, he began to run.
"What was that?" Tsunade began to leap from the top of the village gates when Naruto stopped her. "There was an explosion, that's got to be them."
"Then we'll send out a team. As much as I care for them, sending you to investigate would be like giving them Christmas presents in July." Tsunade looked up at her successor. Cursing her own idiocy she realized he was right.
"I'm too old for this. It's a good thing the ceremony is next week." She grinned and ruffled his hair.
"What's wrong? Shouldn't they be here by now?" Ino had come forward to get a better look. The former Rookie Nine and their teachers were gathered there as well, eagerly awaiting Shikamaru's and Sakura's return. As she joined the two she began to leap off the gate "I'm going to go se-" She stopped cold as a figure emerged from the forest. Immediately the figure was surrounded.
"Oh Go-" Sasuke stared, he knew it was her but there was just no way. She was covered in blood and it looked like her death grip on her left arm was the only thing holding it in place. He immediately went and put his arms around her. "Sakura….oh god…," He turned back to the others – Tsunade, Naruto, and Ino – "Sakura what happened?"
"Sakura-chan…" Ino trailed off, moving aside once Tsunade began the medical procedures necessary to stop the bleeding. "What…what the hell happened?"
Sakura didn't answer, her eyes were glazed over and staring at Sasuke. He's so beautiful, was all she could remember thinking before she fell. She didn't hear the screams, she didn't feel Tsunade's repeated attempts to stabilize her heart beat and breathing, she couldn't stop looking at Sasuke.
At least I got to see him one last time . .
Ino swam into her line of vision and she recalled Shikamaru who must still be fighting. It wasn't fair for her to go and recover or die here while one of her best friends was out there dying for her. Summoning her last bit of will power in her final moment of lucidity she managed to spit out his location – and then the world went black.
Beautiful silence and encompassing darkness, for as far as the eye could see.
"Ino," Shikamaru reached out his hand and found hers, he knew she would be here. "You look …er, that colour…your ha-" he stopped when he felt a gentle finger on his lips. She was smiling, something he had longed to see for three years.
"We almost lost you." Her voice was quiet, it was never quiet. Her eyes were shining and much larger than usual. She was crying.
He reached out his fingers and clumsily brushed away her tears. "Sshh, it's okay. I'm still here." He smiled at her, the smile disappearing when he noticed that she was still crying. Shifting slightly in the bed, he made room for her and she climbed next to him. He winced with the effort, but hid it from Ino. She had enough to be worried about with Sakura – they both did.
Her words were garbled, "I'msosorryandIknowthatyoumightneverforgivemebutifyoudon'twanttobe-" He placed a finger on her lips, noting their change in position before speaking.
"That doesn't matter anymore. I love you. How's Sakura?" Ino smacked him on the back of the head. He hissed in pain, the pounding intensified.
"You come back after three years, say you love me, and then ask how Sakura is?" Ino exploded. Then she calmed down and realized what she'd said. Kissing his cheek, she added, "That little jealous streak is what got us into trouble last time wasn't it?"
Shikamaru smiled wryly at her. "Troublesome."
"And proud of it!" She grinned. "You know, I thought you would come back a completely different person but you're still my Shikamaru."
He arched an eyebrow, "Your Shikamaru?"
"Yes, my Shikamaru," She grinned. "but Sakura…she's not doing so well." She silenced Shikamaru and began to speak again. "They think that the nuke-nin caught her in that explosion that you managed to get away from. You only caught the tail end of it, Sakura got the full thing." She shook her head and continued again. "What happened, Shika-kun? I mean, how did they get on your tail?"
Shikamaru sighed and rubbed his forehead. His head was pounding again "They heard us talking the night before we were going to take them out and then they overwhelmed us. We managed to get most of them and we critically wounded the ones that were on our tail. We were just running, for four days, and then they caught us. How … " he started gasping for breath, "how could I have been…" His eyes flickered open and shut, "my fault…all…mine…" His heart monitor flat lined. He didn't hear Ino screaming.
Sakura pulled Shikamaru into a dark room. "I think it's finally time." She looked around nervously before continuing, "I just received word from Tsunade-sama that they're getting prepared to attack Kumogakure again and they can't handle another blow."
"Alright. I think I've got all the kinks worked out. We should attack Hiro, Yoshiko, and Asahu first. They're supposed to be doing reconnaissance of the country's fortifications about thirty minutes from here tonight. Then we'll have to start from separate areas of the compound to ensure that no one escapes." He quelled Sakura's protest before it even came. "I know it's not the safest course of action but it's our only insurance that nobody escapes."
"Fine," she huffed, "Let's just go. They're all sick bastards anyway." She shuddered at the horrible images of her so-called friends killing countless innocents simply because they could.
"Shit! Shikamaru, I can't find Hiro – I think he got away!" Sakura appeared in front of him. "Did you get him?"
"No." He formulated another plan. "We have to beat him back to the compound before he ruins this."
She nodded and began to race off, turning behind briefly to speak to him. "Come on, you were always lazy, but this is so not the time," She smiled – something she rarely did anymore.
"Cheh, troublesome." He headed after her.
Shikamaru dodged several kunai and a fire-jutsu before countering with techniques of his own. He knew that he would have to use his chakra as sparingly as possible if they were going to succeed. The ninja in front of him dropped.
"That's thirteen down," he muttered to himself. "Time to go see Sakura, there's only eight more so she should be about done by now." That's when he heard her screaming, and he ran.
Sakura shot up in her bed, immediately lying back down when she felt someone push her back into bed. She recognized those hands, even if she couldn't exactly see who it was.
"Sasuke-kun," she whispered, not feeling up to talking at her normal volume. She wasn't even sure what else to say. There was so much between them, where to start? "I-" he cut her off.
"I think I should be the one talking." He smirked at her from his place beside her bed. "You got hurt pretty badly," he looked down.
"I bet you hurt the people who did this to me pretty badly too." She laughed, and then stopped when she noticed how awful it sounded. "Do I look as bad as I sound?"
He…he was blushing? Maybe it was the drugs and the lack of lighting that made her think that. "I really look that bad? Jeez," she pouted, "not exactly how I imagined our meeting again after three freaking years."
"You look beautiful," he said quickly, before averting his eyes again.
She smiled weakly. "So do you. Anyways," she smoothed the sheets on her bed, for lack of conversation. Shit, my arm hurts. I guess that's what happens when it almost gets blown off but jeez! Where's the morphine when you need it! "where's Shikamaru?"
Sasuke's expression darkened slightly. "About that…he's fine. But I need to know," He looked up at her only to find Sakura staring at him curiously. "You two were gone for a long time. If…if you love him…" he was obviously uncomfortable, "If you met someone then I want you to be with that person. I won't be in your way." I don't have the right to after what I did.
"Sasuke-kun," Sakura smiled. Sasuke was finally willingly letting her in past the walls that had been up and nearly impenetrable since his clan's death. "I did meet someone," She smiled when she noticed his fist clench. "It was about eight years ago," she continued in a quiet voice, "when we first got assigned to the same team. He's … incredibly strong, smart, funny in a 'I'll-make fun-of-you-because-you're-stupid' kind of way.." She smiled at him, then frowned when she noticed he still couldn't look at her. "Sasuke-kun, look at me. I'm not angry about what happened three years ago. I forgave you for that…three years ago and I want you to know that no matter what happens I'll always love you and only you."
She was about to continue when he started kissing her. Emotions that she had to keep bottled for three years flew back to her. Sure, they were in a hospital room and she couldn't really move because of the extent of her injuries but he was kissing her. And she kissed him back, and it was perfect.
When they broke apart Sasuke spoke, "When you get out of the hospital I have something I want to show you."
As she agreed, he kissed her again.
As he slowly made the transition from unconscious to conscious, the first thing he saw was Ino muttering away in the corner. He resisted the urge to laugh, because he knew, even if he had only been back for a few hours, she was muttering about him.
"How could he almost die, again!" Ino stalked angrily from one end of the hospital room to the other. "I love him so much and I waited for three years. So, I know he waited too but still! I love him too much for him to die because of some retarded nuke-nin that woke up today and decided to try and blow the hell out of my best friend and the love of my life!" She cracked her knuckles, and Shikamaru cringed, deciding it was safer not to open his eyes. Then he heard sobbing, and he dared to look.
There was Ino, sitting on the floor across from his bed, crying again. He moved to get up, hissing in pain as every muscle protested. He sat next to her, with none of the grace that she moved with.
"Ino…" no response. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and tried again. "Ino.."
She heard him and threw her arms around him. "You're awake! You almost died, again!" He smiled ruefully, then watched as her expression changed from one of elation to anger. "How come you didn't tell me that something hurt? You just almost died, right in front of me!" The tears started up again, "Why didn't you tell me?"
Shikamaru pulled her closer. "You're really something, you know that? I'm the one who almost dies and you need consoling." She laughed lightly against his chest, it felt…it felt right. "I love you."
Ino moved as close as she could to him. "I love you too. But I think if you go into cardiac arrest or arrhythmia or whatever that was again, Tsunade-sama is gonna have a whole lot of something else for you."
And they stayed like that until they feel asleep, exhausted by the day's events. When Chouji found them together, it was all he could do not to take a picture. It was wonderful, really, to see his best friends happy. They were happy together. And now he was happy too.
One month later . . .
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura giggled as she and Sasuke walked…somewhere. She had been discharged that morning and Sasuke was taking her to that oh-so secret place. He'd tied a blindfold around her head, repeatedly asking her if she could see. Finally satisfied that she couldn't see, after she'd told him more than ten times, he took her right hand (the left arm was still rather useless, and would be for a while) and was leading her … somewhere. "Are we there yet? This place must be on the other side of the village!"
"Aa," She hadn't heard that phrase in a while. She realized she'd actually missed hearing it. "We're here."
"Well, aren't you going to take off this blindfold? As much as I love the view and feel of this very nice black blindfold, I'd really like to see something else now."
Sasuke smirked at her, "You always were a smartass." He untied the blindfold.
She looked at him in mock indignation. "Well, it takes one to know one!" She smiled, "So…" she was still looking at him, "where are we anyways?"
He looked nervous again. "Lo-look and see."
Sakura looked at him quizzically, he had stuttered. Sasuke never stuttered. But noticing his look of nervousness and..was that anticipation, she turned her head to take in her surroundings.
I'm in the Uchiha compound! The symbol that adorned Sasuke's back was on the gate and walls behind her. But the rest…it could only be described as beautiful. All of the smaller houses were clean, fresh paint covering the walls. The grass was trimmed and there were gardens and flowers and trees everywhere. She gasped, delighted.
"I..I…I…" She turned around again and again, beaming, trying to take it all in. "How did you do all this? I thought…after…I thought you let it all go." She finally stopped spinning and turned to Sasuke. She hadn't stopped smiling.
"When I told Naruto what I wanted to do he got everybody to help. I think I'm ready to live here again." He seemed somewhat embarrassed and seemed to be fiddling with something in his pocket.
"I think it's great! This place is so beautiful! I have to admit though, I never thought you liked lilies and dahlias, or even sakuras for that matter." She blushed, "This place is full of them!"
"They're your favorites," he said simply.
She stared at him, speechless. "How..how did you…"
"You told me once. When we were sixteen we were assigned to go to the Yamanaka flower shop and felt Yamanaka-san take stock of all her flowers. You told me and Naruto all the flowers that you liked and the flowers that you didn't like."
"I didn't think you were actually listening!" She finally managed to spit out after about two minutes of silence.
When Sasuke spoke again, it was quietly. "I always listen to you."
Then, the proverbial lightbulb went off in her head. "But..if they're my favourites…why did you plant them?"
Her heart stopped when Sasuke got down on one knee and pulled out what he had been fiddling with all day. It was a small box, it looked like…a ring box. She gasped, but smiled when he took her hand.
"Sakura," his voice was going to crack, he could feel it. "I love you. I know that in the past I was awful to you but I promise that I'll never treat you that way for as long as I live." He opened the box to display the silver ring (he knew she hated gold) with the large diamond in the center, offset by two sapphires. The ring had reminded him of both of them, together. When cleaning out the main house, he's found it amongst his mother's jewelry and he knew he's found the ring. "I'm ready to move in here, but only if you do it with me. You're the person who brought me out of the darkness that I created for myself. You saved me. You once told me that without me, you'd be alone, even if you were surrounded with a lot of other people. I feel the same way, about you. So..Haruno Sakura,"
She started crying, "Yah?" He couldn't hold back a small laugh, she was beautiful.
"Will you marry me?" And his voice cracked. Damn it, he thought, I was doing so well.
"Yes!" She threw herself down on the ground and on top of him. "Did you even have to ask?" She kissed him. "It's not possible to be this in love," She whispered happily as Sasuke slid the ring onto her finger.
He smiled at her. "I promise I won't ever do anything to hurt you again."
She smiled back. "So, you'd be alone without me, huh?" She asked in a teasing voice, standing up.
"You're the one who came up with that line," he answered wryly, taking her extended arm, careful not to pull her back down.
"True. So…which house is ours?" She looked up at him expectantly.
"My old house, no..it's new. It's different. It's not going to be like that ever again."
"I love you," she began pulling him in what she hoped was the direction of his old house, "and I promise you I always will."
"I have a mission for you," Naruto looked over his desk at the four people he'd selected for this particular task. It had been over a year since Sakura and Shikamaru had returned to Konoha. He'd become Hokage shortly after, then watched as his friends got together, got married, and moved on with their lives in a direction he'd only hoped he'd see them go in, together.
"I kinda guessed that's why you called us here Naruto." Ino laughed lightly, "That is what you do now, right?"
"Very funny Ino-pig, but I think Hokoga-sama over there has something he wants to tell us." Sakura laughed as well, noticing Naruto's reddening face.
"Tch, dobe." Sasuke shook his head. The idiot may be the Hokage, but he'd always be the same goofball on the inside. He realized he didn't want it any other way.
"Mendokusai," Shikamaru muttered under his breath. "Are you planning on telling us anytime soon?"
"Well," Naruto huffed, pretending to be angry. "I guess that if you don't want the mission I could always assign Sai to it instead of you, Sasuke." He grinned inwardly at his best friend's expression of extreme dislike. "He told me the other day he hadn't seen much of Sakura since you two got married. And then, Ino could be replaced by Tonton. You know, we always need at least one pig on each mission but since this particular pig doesn't want it I gues-"
"I'LL KILL YOU!" Ino lunged at Naruto, Hokage or not, intending to beat him to a pulp. He seemed to be laughing as he repeatedly held her off until she succeeded at creating a rather large bump on his head.
"Jeez," Naruto rubbed said bump, "Well…since you two couples really can't be separated and I get an earful of complaints every time I try it," he raised his hand when four glares met his humored look, "Anyways, this one's on Gaara's turf. He has some nuke-nins that you might remember. The ones that got away after blowing your arm off," he gestured to Sakura, "and pretty much killing you. They're in both our interests to eliminate and we've finally tracked them down, licking their wounds in some god-forsaken desert. I figured you would like this mission?"
Sakura grinned, "Thanks Naruto. You really are a good Hokage." She smiled at his embarrassed look. "Well, I accept." I'LL KILL THOSE BASTARDS!
"I accept." Sasuke took Sakura's hand and proceeded to walk out of the office.
"You'd better not be-"
"Don't worry dobe," Sasuke turned, "we'll be back in time for your wedding."
Ino smiled, "I wouldn't miss seeing Hinata all dressed up, pledging her love…" she got a dreamy look on her face, only returning to earth when Shikamaru elbowed her. Her glare returned, "You on the other hand," she picked up the scroll on Naruto's desk, "I never want to see again!" Ino stuck out her tongue playfully before following Sakura and Sasuke. Shikamaru shuffled out after them.
Naruto smiled as the group left his office. He could hear Ino and Sakura chatting amicably (for once) down the hallway. Things are finally how they should be.
Indeed they were.
YYYYYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAHH! IT'S DONE! So…what did you think? I knotted up the loose ends, Sakura and Sasuke got married, Ino and Shikamaru are happy, and Naruto's the Hokage! I know I didn't bring in any of the other characters (besides Chouji) but I really wanted the epilogue to be short and focus on those particular relationships. So tell me what you think
Anyways, about January 2005, before I created my fanfiction account I read a Team 7 friendship story in which Kakashi takes them (then 12) into the woods overnight, they talk about their futures, etc. Then, it jumps into the future where Sakura is the Hokage, Kakashi died protecting them (or something along those lines), and Naruto and Sasuke fight and both die (Naruto is trying to bring him home). I think that's the basic premise of this one-shot. So, if you know what this story is please let me know!
Anyways, please tell me which one of my other stories you'd like to see updated next. I have all the other chapters about ½ finished so let me know and the next chapter will be out before school starts. Thank you again for reading!