|One Thing In Common: Christmas Special
Author: A-Dream's-Nightmare PM
After everything, they were still family. One small ragtag group discovers this on one very special Christmas Eve. FLUFF! This is an x-mas special for a story idea i have; review and let me know if you want the whole storyRated: Fiction K - English - Family/Romance - Sakura H. & Itachi U. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,523 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12-12-09 - Published: 12-10-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5572400
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is one the many ideas running around in my head like a pack of wolves. I'm posting Christmas specials on all of my stories, and then some. So this is actually a test run for my story idea. TELL ME IF YOU LIKE IT AND WOULD LIKE ME TO POST THE ACTUAL STORY!!!
If i get no reviews, this story will never come to be and you will never get to read it. So review damnit!
The snow fell gently outside as the makeshift family sat peacefully within the warm inn. The candles had been lit; the food had been served onto the table; the radio was playing some foreign music that they couldn't help but hum along to. None of them were true blood family, nor did most of them even know each other before this night. Yet somehow, it only took two foreign-born people to bring them all together...
"How can we ever repay you for your hospitality? We don't have any money except to pay for our room," the young woman with bubble-gum pink hair bowed lowly to the couple that ran the cozy inn and spoke in an apologetic tone. In return, the innlady merely smiled brightly at the young woman and her three companions.
"We don't want to be repaid, dear! It's Christmas! The season for giving. The time for loving. The night to sit and enjoy each other's company!" Beside her, her husband cheered merrily and shared another glass of sake with the man from room 107. Every person lodging at that particular hotel (and a few townsfolk) on this wintery night had been invited (more like kidnapped) to this merry feast, laid out by the generous inn couple.
"But just what is this holiday exactly?" another lodger asked, sitting at the table filled with food. Everyone sat at the long table, politely waiting til the couple gave them permission to begin eating. Sakura sat next to the innlady, with Uchiha Itachi on her other side. Little Kirei sat to his left, who in turn sat on Sora's right. The rest of the guest filled the remaining chairs and then some.
"Neh neh, why, it's Christmas!" the innwife repeated and waved her hand at the lodger," It's only the most important holiday of the year. For where we come from, that is."
"Hai hai," her husband added," It was originally a celebration of the birth of Jesus, but now it's a time for family."
"Who's Jesus?" Kirei quietly asked, looking so cute and innocent in between the tall statures of Sora and Itachi. Sora made a face, for once not having an answer for his adorable baby sister. Kirei sighed at her brother's hopelessness and looked to Sakura for an answer. Afterall, as her sensei, Sakura should know the answers to all of her questions. And she was much more acquainted with the world than herself or Sora.
But apparently not enough, as the medic-nin merely smiled and gave a half shrug as an answer. So much for knowing about the world; even after all that traveling she's done as a nuke-nin. (A/N: If you missed that hint, you don't deserve a cookie!) In the end, it was Itachi who provided the elusive answer and leaned down to speak into Kirei's ear," He is the son of the god that people overseas worship."
"That He is!" the innkeeper boomed in a loud voice, somehow hearing Itachi even though he had whispered it," He preached the importance of love and giving and we intend to follow in his footsteps every year, on the eve of his birthday." A few people echoed his cheers.
"So now, everyone join hands and we'll give praise before we eat," his wife smiled brightly, signalling for everyone to hold hands. A few grumbled at the thought of holding hand with strangers, but everyone obeyed nonetheless. The innwife took Sakura's hand in her own, as well as her own husband's. She frowned, noticing how the young woman's other hand remained at her side underneath the table. But the innwife soon burst into a huge grin when the handsome man to the young woman's left lifted his arm to reveal that his hand was already firmly intertwined with hers. (She was right! She knew the two were closer than they let on!) To his left, the little girl, Kirei, smiled happily as she held onto the hands of both men that she loved like true brothers. Her closer brother, Sora, tried to smile at the other man who he held hands with.
The innkeepers lifted their hands, silently signalling the others to follow suit, and the woman led them in prayer. A few who knew the words followed along while the majority just sat and listened to the words and rhythmic chant. To her left, Sakura was surprised to see Itachi silently mouthing the words, keeping his head low so it wasn't obvious that he knew it.
When he caught Sakura ogling at him, he said nothing until all was said and done and everyone began to dig into the food. "I once knew a priest when I was younger," he explained quietly, discreetly so that Sora could not overhear. (Itachi was finally convinced that it was Sora's goal in life to annoy the hell out of him with any and every bit of information or object that he could possibly obtain. Itachi never forgot the weeks Sora went on about Itachi's love for jasmine tea, going on and on about how girly it was.) He did not explain further, instead opting to pluck a sweet roll out of Sakura's hand just as it was about to be graciously devoured. She whined in protest at her sweets vanishing act, but just as she relocated the simple dessert, it was already disappearing behind Itachi's smooth lips that were curved up in the smirk she knew all too well.
"Hey," she complained, clenching her hand around his fingers painfully in a warning gesture. He merely smirked even more, making a point to brush the excess sugar off his lips ("his luscious, totally kissable lips!" Inner Sakura felt the need to add) with his ("sinful!") fingertips. Sakura glowered at him, suddenly tempted to break his right hand, the hand currently within her grasp.
"You really shouldn't eat dessert first," he said, ignoring the sharp pressure in his right hand and opted for smirking at the glowering woman. They stayed like that for a few moments while others around them dug into the delicious food. Eventually, Sakura let loose a heaving sigh and couldn't help but smile softly at the arrogant and confident man.
"Itachi, you have a bigger sweet tooth than most children," she said. He didn't say anything, as he continued smirking and reached for yet another sweet roll.
The rest of the meal passed in merry peace and small chit chat between all of the guests. Kirei was a big hit, as she couldn't help but be so adorable and innocent and sweet. She would awe over everything, having never seen such foods before in the village she grew up in, and possessing a sweet tooth that almost rivaled Itachis. When the hostess carried out two pies for dessert, Sakura nearly laughed as both of their eyes lit up. Kirei's delight was obvious, but Sakura couldn't miss how the usually stoic Uchiha's onyx eyes never left the apple pie, which Sakura had recently found out was his favorite food of all time.
It was nearly laughable how such a notorious criminal could have such a love for sweets. It was a secret he had kept since a boy, with the stubborness of a dog with a bone; after all, who would fear a criminal who had a sweet tooth. (His reasons for hiding his delight for sweets as a boy were for entirely different reasons.) It had taken Sakura months to figure out all of the little hints and clues (refusing to eat bitter foods; anything he cooked always tasted a little bit sweet; the unexplained burnt candy wrapper she found in the fireplace; and how he could never say no to Kimimitsu's dessert, even though he hated being indepted to anyone and could barely stand to eat a free dinner) before she confronted him about it. Now, three months later, he didn't bother to hide it from her. (Now hiding it from Sora was a whole other issue.)
After the meal, a few guests returned to their rooms, having to be on the road again early in the morning. The rest situated themselves around the cozy fireplace, just enjoying each other's company. A few men, along with the innkeeper, had started a small drinking game, the rules to which Sakura did not know and Itachi would not tell her. No, Sakura was content with curling up in a chair by the fire. The innwife and Kirei were sitting close to the fire; the innwife teaching Kirei to thread popcorn and cranberries on a thin string. Sora sat nearby, occasionally stealing some popcorn to eat and voicing his thoughts on the lack of purpose of the popcorn string. Until the innwife bopped him over the head, of course. A young woman from Room 86 sat in the other chair, reading a book and talking to her newfound friend at the same time. As for Itachi, he leaned against the chair at which Sakura was curled up in, with one of his legs drawn up to his chest. He was silent for the most part, preferring to simply stare into the fire as if in a trance.
"It's been a long time since we could relax like this, huh?" Sora spoke up, leaving the popcorn girls to stretch out before the fire. He pushed Itachi's foot out of the way in order to gain an advantage spot by the flames. Itachi frowned, but did not kick the samurai like he wanted to, but rather got into a more comfortable position. From above him, their pink-haired medic mewled as she stretched her back, being forced to move as Itachi had also moved.
"Hai, Sora-kun," she responded, resting her head on the arm of the chair, her head dangerously close to Itachi's ("Dear Kami! We can even smell his shampoo!" Inner Sakura had an annuerism before Sakura shoved her into a box) "I haven't felt like this in so long."
"Hai," Sora nodded and closed his eyes, just enjoyed the warmth of the fire," We never have nights like these anymore. Remember when we would sing, eat, and share stories around the bonfire..." He opened his eyes again; a nostalgic look on his face," Mom always wanted us to be together...To her, the whole village was her family..."
Behind him, both Sakura and Itachi frowned, remembering Kimimitsu and the village from which Sora and Kirei came from. (Kirei at least; Sora was born and raised elsewhere, but was adopted by Kimimitsu when he came to them without a home, family, or even name.) Although tiny and without a name, they had called it home for so long, mostly because of the loving woman with the name of 'powerful beauty'. Sora smiled at Kirei, Kimimitsu's true child, remembering his own origins and how he came to the village. Kimimitsu had truly lived up to her name; she gave her life to save another's life, even though she was merely a peasant woman against a ROOT operative. Even in death, she had been strong and powerful enough to affect them all and give them the hope to continue on without her or the village. (As he looked at Kirei, Sora had the feeling that the young child would grow up to be just like her mother, and like her and her mother's namesakes, would be so beautiful as she grew up to be great, just like her mother did.)
When the village came to an end, everyone fled in different directions; unable to lead themselves without the undeniable power and leadership of Kimimitsu. Even if they had wanted to rebuild the village, they couldn't. Who would they build it for if everyone was gone? Just the four of them? Someday, Sora hoped to return to that isolated part of the forest, where his home had once laid. He dreamed that one day, he would rebuild that peaceful paradise, and would bring troubled souls to that village and give them a second chance at life. He had dreamed so many nights of this, knowing in his heart that he would build that village and then he, Kirei, Sakura (and maybe Itachi if the bastard decided to stick around that long) would take care of that paradise and protect it from outside forces. Sora would rather be damned than let his dream village go up in flames like the original one.
Even though the tiny village never had a name, Sora had always thought of it as 'Second Chance'. For that was what it truly was; many had stumbled across it, and in return had been given another chance at life. When Sora was lost and alone in the world, Kimimitsu found him and took him, rescuing him from the harsh life of rules, honor, and swordplay. The life of a samurai was not easy, especially for one so young, and that village had been just what he needed. Years later, Sakura came to 'Second Chance', looking to forget her past, her present, and hopefully her future if she was ever caught. She didn't want the life a rogue; she just wanted to live again and heal people like she always wanted to. In Second Chance, she was happy again. Not too long after that, Itachi had made his appearance in Second Chance. At first, his reason for coming was unclear, until it was discovered that he wanted to disappear from the world and start all over again, as a new man. Slowly, they came closer and closer together, but never actually become friends until that fateful night. The night that Second Chance was destroyed, they held up arms together and defended their beloved paradise, but not without a cost. Alone and lost once again, they decided to stay together and make it out in the world together. (Even Itachi could not leave their makeshift family. He had left a week later to return wandering the world on his own once again. But he eventually came back, finding himself unable to be apart from them for too long.)
They were family. And they would be forever, if they had anything to say about it. Sora's eyes flickered over to his other family, Sakura and Itachi, and smiled inwardly at the peaceful expressions on their faces. Sora knew of their troubles and pains, and had long ago decided that they all could only find family in themselves. They all understood each other's pain and sorrows and regrets, but forced each other to remember the things they love and the things they are still proud and happy of. Kirei was happy that she would grow up to be strong like how her mother wanted her to be. Sora was happy that he could repay Kimimitsu by raising her daughter how she had raised him. Itachi was happy that he had a family again that would not treat him as a tool and loved him like the man he was. Sakura was happy that she had saved Konoha, the village she truly loved with all her heart.
"All done!" Kirei exclaimed, proudly holding up the long popcorn string in victory above her head. The others broke out of their thoughts and smiled at the enthusiastic girl. With eager, she and the innwife wound the string round and round the evergreen tree set up in one corner. (Sora really didn't understand the strange traditions this holiday was entitled to...) Once finished, Kirei and the innwife stepped back to admire their work. Everyone had to agree that it looked beautiful with the decorative bulbs and hanging ornaments, complete with the beautifully crafted star on the top.
"Now, who would like to have some s'mores and hot cider?" the innwife turned around and face the rest of them. The men (too drunk to do much else) cheered quietly and slumped back down in their chairs, dizzy with headaches. In front of her, Itachi murmered under his breath," You might want to get them some medicine and beds instead of marshmallows and apple cider." Sakura giggled and sat up.
"I'll help you," she offered and stood up. As she brushed her skirt free of wrinkles, she glanced back at Itachi over her shoulder," You can have the chair if you want, Itachi."
"Why does he get the chair?" Sora asked dubiously and pouted cutely.
Sakura raised an eyebrow at him," I thought lying by the fire was more comfortable than a chair..."
"It is," Sora purred and stretched himself out, looking very much like a content house cat. Sakura could only laugh as she followed Kirei and the innwife into the kitchen to get the supplies.
When they returned, Itachi had situated himself into the chair, resting his elbows comfortably on his knees. Sora still lounged by the fire, but sat up when they arrived. The girl and her new friend took their places beside him, each passing out s'more sticks to everyone. Sakura and the innwife passed out steaming mugs of hot apple cider as Kirei bounded over to Sora with her arms full of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Once the mugs handed out, they all settled down in front of the fire.
Sakura sat in front of Itachi, exactly where he had been sitting not even ten minute ago. She situated herself in between his legs, feeling the warmth radiate from him as she brushed up against his shin. She glanced over her shoulder and saw him taking a sip of his hot cider with a content look on his face (he really loves apples). When he saw her looking at him, he raised an eyebrow, but she merely grinned up at him.
"Do you want me to make you a s'more?" she asked sweetly, already knowing his answer. Just as she expected, he gave her a look that clearly said 'Do you seriously need to ask me that? Of course I want one, damnit.' Alright, he might not've said damnit, but Sakura was sure he would if he did not have such prim and proper manners. She merely grinned at him.
Getting a small bowl of marshmallows from Sora, Sakura stuck one on her metal rod and lowered it over the flames, gently turning it. She passed the bowl up to Itachi, who placed it on the table next to the chair, along with some chocolate and graham a matter of moment, Sakura had the marshmallow perfectly browned (just how Itachi likes it) and took it out of the flame. Above her, Itachi had the chocolate and graham crackers ready and handed them down to her. Once the s'more was completed, she handed it back up to him.
"Just don't forgetto brush your teeth tonight, or you'll get cavities," she said as she heard him bite into the s'more. She could just imagine him glaring down at her as she felt his knees squeeze her shoulders in warning. Itachi never forgot to brush his teeth, or anything else hygienic for that matter. As an Uchiha, he was meticulously clean and borderline neat-freak.
After making herself a s'more, she looked back up at him and saw that he had finished his own and was now munching on a graham cracker. He had been staring into the fire, but his gaze directed down towards her when he saw her looking up at him. That typical Uchiha smirk appeared on his face, the one that made her knees go weak. Soon, she felt something soft press against her lips; it was a raw marshmallow. Smiling, she opened her mouth and he gently pressed the soft marshmallow into her mouth. He let his fingers linger as she closed her mouth around the marshmallow and the tip of his finger. Gently, she flicked her tongue on the tip of his digit and kissed his fingertip, pretending to be simply eating her marshmallow. Eventually, he pulled away, a smirk still on his face. She smirked back up at him.
Taking a marshmallow from the bowl, Sakura leaned forward and reached over to Sora. Having seen the little marshmallow act, Sora obediently opened his mouth, knowing what was coming next. Giggling, Sakura popped the marshmallow into his waiting mouth. While he chewed, he smirked victoriously at Itachi, thinking that he had successfully taken part in yet another private moment between him and Sakura. But for some reason, Itachi did not seem angry. Instead, he appeared quite content, like the cat that ate the canary. Or the cherry blossom, Sora thought, judging by how Itachi kept glancing at Sakura.
Having seen this tender family moment, Kirei opened her mouth towards Sora, silently demanding him to give her a marshmallow. Everyone burst out laughing.
Later that night, Sora, Sakura, and Itachi were sneaking back into their hotel room, trying not to wake up Kirei. (She had gone to bed early hours before.) Once inside, they looked towards the windowsill, where Kirei liked to sleep so she could see the snow fall outside as she fell asleep. Seeing that she was fast asleep, Sora sighed in relief. Dead tired, he pulled off his shirt, more than ready for bed. With sleepy eyes, he looked back at Sakura who was hanging up their cloaks. (Itachi had already disappeared into the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face before bed.)
"Where are you sleeping tonight, Doc?" he asked, letting out a big yawn. Sakura smiled sweetly, hanging up her own dark green cloak last before turning to Sora. She couldn't help but smile at his tired disposition, looking more like a little child than a full grown samurai.
"Go to bed, Sora, your dead tired," she said softly, walking up to him. He barely blinked, fighting hard just to keep his eyes open. Sleepily, he could only nod at her. Giggling at his childishness, Sakura leaned up on her toes and kissed his forehead softly.
"But you didn't answer my question," he whined," Where are you going to sleep tonight? We all know you can't stand sleeping alone and you need someone to cuddle up with." Sakura giggled, knowing that he usually whines when he's tired.
It was true; after her genin years with Naruto and Sasuke, Sakura had never been the same. When on missions, they had always slept together in their own tent and would always wake up invariably cuddled together in the morning. Sasuke would rise first and deny it had ever happened. Naruto, of course, enjoyed those nights very much. As for Sakura, she had grown accostumed to sleeping by someone she trusted with all her life, especially when outside of Konoha and in enemy territory. But after Team 7 split up, she tried so hard to crush that part of her. She knew that they would never be a team again; she would never have someone there to protect while she slept when she left her precious village. But it never fully died. After the destruction of Second Chance, Sora and Itachi soon discovered that she had frequent nightmares. And the only cure for those nightmares was if one of them held her while she slept.
Though some might find it strange, it was completely normal for them, and Sora often fought Itachi (who really didn't give a damn) over who would sleep with Sakura. But in the end, the choice was always up to Sakura, who more often than not, had been choosing Itachi in the recent weeks.
"Do you really need to ask anymore, samurai?" Itachi's baritone voice interrupted Sora's rant, causing both to look back at him. Wearing only sweatpants, Itachi still looked as regal as he always does standing before them. Sakura smiled at him before going into the bathroom for her turn.
"Sora, don't forget to get ready for bed," she reminded the tired samurai before closing the door. Sora merely grumbled and threw a dark look at Itachi.
Itachi simply ignored him and headed for his bed (soon to be also Sakura's bed), ready to curl up underneath the blankets and fall asleep. No sooner than he had closed his eyes, he sensed something flying his way. He ignored it again, as well as the soft THUMP the pillow made as it connected with his body.
"Sora," he heard Sakura's scolding voice and then Sora's tired grumbles before the bathroom door closed yet again.
"Sometimes you two remind me of Naruto and your brother," Sakura said as she lifted the blankets to find the elder Uchiha comfortably spread out on the bed with his eyes closed. He peeked one eyes open at her and hn'ed. The familiar grunt caused her to smile nostalgically and shook her head. She crawled into bed with him and curled up to his her head resting on his shoulder, she felt his arm wrap around her shoulders as his other hand rested underneath his head.
"It was a perfect day," she remarked, snuggling closer to him, even though he did nothing to pull her closer. But at the same time, he didn't push her away.
In response, he hn'ed again, but Sakura recognized it as an agreeing hn. "Maybe we'll be okay, after all," she murmered softly," Maybe we'll find another home again..."
Finally, Itachi's hand squeezed her shoulder reassuringly. "What made you doubt in the first place?" he asked softly, even though he didn't expect an answer," Don't worry about it."
He was right, Sakura thought, thinking back on everything that has happened to them. Bad things have followed them throughout their entire lives, but in the end, everything turned out alright. As long as they had family, they would be okay...
"Yeah, goodnight to you guys too."
Yeah...in the end, they were still family.
Remember!!! REVIEW damnit! if you like it, review and tell me to continue this story. If you absolutely hate it, REVIEW and tell me!
For those who enjoyed it, I give you a hug and cookie. ^_^