Author: InsaneYunay PM
REPOSTED/REVISED. "Sakura-chan, I've been behind you all these years. Won't you look at me now?" Sakura has always thought of Naruto as a friend, missing what has been in front of her all this time. [NaruSaku]Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Naruto U. & Sakura H. - Words: 2,940 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 1 - Published: 04-09-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5883923
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Another reposted fic. Upon rereading it, I don't see why I removed it in the first place because, although it wasn't the best piece, it wasn't that bad, especially for a 13-year-old. I revised any grammar mistakes and incoherent diction but left the story essentially the same as to keep the authenticity of my muse at age 13. Although I'm more of a SasuSaku and NaruHina fan rather than a NaruSaku fan, this piece was inspired by the development of Naruto and Sakura's relationship. Keep in mind that I wasn't up-to-date with the series at the time this was written, so I may not have quite captured the character depth.
Warning(s): Possible OOCness. Takes place another year after the 2½ -year jump…so they're about 16 here.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. Masashi Kishimoto does.
blah blah blah – thoughts
"blah blah blah" – inner self talking
'blah blah blah' – responding to inner self
Haruno Sakura gazed at her blonde companion sitting before her. She was surprised by the earnestness in his bright cerulean eyes and the straight line set on his lips rather than a big, goofy grin. Curiosity about his calling her out tonight was part of the reason she had come in the first place. For once he wasn't grinning nor was there any sign of the familiar mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
Uzumaki Naruto could be quite mercurial.
"What's up, Naruto?" the pink-haired kunoichi asked as she reclined against the tree she sat in front of. The two were currently sitting in a clearing in the forest they had always trained in during their years of Kakashi's teaching.
The blonde scratched the back of his neck with an air of awkwardness, his lips forming a grim expression on his face. His cerulean orbs were a bit narrowed, which added to the handsomeness of his maturing face. Sakura had to admit the boy had indeed grown to be, to put it simply, quite hot. Yes, his attractiveness competed with that of Sasuke's.
Sakura's brows furrowed slightly in worry at her friend's discomfort. To her, seeing him like this was always uncomfortable, for she was used to his spontaneous personality. And so whenever he got like this, she felt strange—a bit worried sometimes as well.
"I just…y'know…wanted to ask if you're still waiting for Sasuke…" Naruto managed to ask in a whispered tone.
The Godaime's apprentice cocked an eyebrow. Well, the answer to that question was quite obvious. Of course she was still waiting for their ebony-haired teammate. If she weren't, why would she be suffering for his absence?
She mentally froze at the realization.
Now that she thought about it, she had been quite touchy and distant for the last three and a half years ever since Sasuke had left Konoha. Was that what Naruto was worried about? That Sasuke's absence was causing her to wallow in heartache each passing day?
But first she wanted to check the deeper details to his question.
"Naruto…there's more to that question, isn't there?" she asked softly, gazing directly into his eyes.
He averted his eyes from her gaze.
"Yeah," he answered simply, knowing there was no point in hiding anything from his sharp-minded friend.
"Do share with me," she commanded in a mocking authority voice in an attempt to lighten the mood. She always worried when Naruto was uncomfortable with a particular subject. It was just so uncharacteristic of him to be like this.
Naruto smiled a bit at her effort to make him open up. "Of course. I wouldn't be here if I weren't gonna do that, right?"
"Well, all joking aside," the blonde ninja said, lowering his gaze, "why are you still waiting for Sasuke?"
Sakura's eyes widened at the question. "…what?"
Naruto directed his gaze to her, the seriousness back in his eyes. "Sakura-chan…it's been…a long time since he's left…so…what makes you think that he'll come back?"
The pink-haired kunoichi looked down. "I…"
"I'm not saying that it's foolish for you to keep waiting for him," Naruto quickly put in. "But…we…gotta be, y'know, realistic."
"I know…but…" Sakura shifted against the tree. She tucked a strand of pink behind her ear as she said, "But I've…always loved him, you know? I mean…I don't have a stupid schoolgirl crush on him anymore."
"I'm not saying you do, Sakura-chan…" he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "But…why are you waiting for a traitor?"
Sakura's eyes flashed for a moment at the word, but she didn't look back up at him. "Naruto, he's your best friend. He's the other part of our team. Why treat him like he's some filthy criminal?" Her hands were clenched into fists now, digging into her thighs.
Naruto sighed. "Sakura-chan, he is my best friend, I know, but–"
His pink-haired teammate's head finally snapped up to look directly at him, fire in her jade eyes. "'But, but, but!' But what, Naruto? That's all you've been saying!"
"Sakura-chan, calm down! I'm just being realistic!" he insisted, holding his hands up in front of him in defense. In a softer tone, he continued, "Sakura-chan…what if he never comes back? Did you ever think of that?"
As Sakura composed herself, she pondered Naruto's question in her intellectual mind. She had never thought of it like that. Of course she hadn't. No. She believed that Sasuke would come back someday, and that was why she hadn't thought of it.
"You're just too scared to admit that that's still a possibility," Inner Sakura said.
"Don't deny the truth. You DID think of it before, but you didn't want to admit that it's possible." And with that, Inner Sakura said no more.
She…she's right… Sakura thought bitterly. Sasuke-kun…could never come back…
"Don't…" Naruto's voice penetrated her thoughts, "Don't waste your life waiting for him, Sakura-chan. That's all I'm saying."
Sakura's eyes widened as she looked back at him. "Waste…my life? You think I'm wasting my life?"
"Sakura-chan," Naruto started firmly, "stop jumping to conclusions and listen. Do you want to isolate yourself from everyone else just for him, who may never even come back? Sakura, it's been three and a half years since he left. For all I know, he could be dead now."
He felt a sharp sting on his cheek as his head slightly moved to the right.
Sakura seethed in front of him, her right hand raised in front of him. "Naruto…how can you…say that?" she asked shakily, feeling her eyes burning with oncoming tears.
Naruto raised a hand to his stinging cheek as he faced Sakura. His brows furrowed a bit, but he didn't lose his patience. "Sakura…you've always been behind him."
"Sasuke…he's such a lucky bastard," Naruto said, continuing to hold his cheek. "He didn't realize how lucky he was to have someone like you behind him all the time."
"Naruto…I've been behind both of you for, like, ever," Sakura retorted. "I was always watching your backs when we were still all together."
"That's not what I mean," he said. "Sasuke…he could always count on you to be there for him."
"He could always count on you, too, Naruto," Sakura said in a gentler tone. "He trusted you more than me."
Sakura could feel her patience wearing thin. "Then what?"
"I mean feeling-wise," Naruto whispered, a blush spreading over his cheeks.
It took a while for the kunoichi to decipher what he had just whispered, but she eventually got it by watching his blush. "Are you…talking about my infatuation with him?"
"I…promised myself I would always be there for him," she clarified slowly, watching him. "It was the most I could ever do for him."
"Sakura…it's the same for me…"
"Well, of course, you're his best friend."
"No, not Sasuke." Naruto shook his head. He stared at her as he stated, "I meant for you."
She blushed at his intense gaze and averted her eyes, feeling timid about meeting his endless pools of cerulean. "W-What do you mean…?"
"Just like how you've always been there for Sasuke, always present to help him whenever, I've been doing the same for you, Sakura-chan."
Sakura froze at that statement. It was true, was it not? When Sasuke had first left, Naruto had vowed to bring him back for her. That was all he could have done for her at the time. Before when they had first become teammates in Team 7, Naruto had continued to crush on her, despite how mean she had been to him.
No matter how many times she had pushed him away, he had always come back to look after her, regardless of his knowledge of jer infatuation with his best friend.
Taking her hand gently in his, he whispered to her, "Sakura-chan, I've been behind you all these years. Won't you look past our friendship now?"
Sakura sucked her breath in sharply, looking down again. Why was he asking her this? He knew that she was still holding out for Sasuke, and yet…
She gasped when she felt him pull her to his chest, his arms wrapping securely around her. A blush rose to her cheeks. "Naruto…"
He didn't answer her as he buried his nose in her hair, savoring the intimate contact. He didn't want this moment to end so soon, the only moment that he had the chance to be so close to Sakura.
She was the only girl he ever had eyes for.
"Sakura-chan…it's your choice," he whispered in her ear. "You can push me away like you always have or you can look past our friendship…"
She didn't know what she could do. She cared for Naruto, she really did, but she was also in love with Sasuke.
Or was she?
She knew that she would eye Naruto from time to time. She had tried to convince herself that it was her hormones, but honestly, the blonde-headed idiot had really become just as worthy for fangirls as Sasuke. The attraction to her other teammate was killing her, and she had tried with all her willpower to resist it.
"Face it, girl. You're into Naruto now. Don't deny that. You're always in denial, ya know that?" Inner Sakura chimed in.
But Sakura had to listen to her inner conscience. Was it true that she harbored feelings for her other teammate? Or was it really just belated hormones?
"Forget the hormones and estrogen, girlfriend. It's all you."
Sakura pulled back a bit to look up at Naruto. "Naruto, I've always thought of you as a friend, but now…"
"But now what?" he asked, eagerly awaiting her answer.
"I think…I can see you as more than a friend now…" she said, falling back into his chest. Closing her eyes, she said, "Yeah…I think I can. Sasuke…what had he ever really done for me?"
She still had feelings for Sasuke, yes, but they were different than they were before. Sasuke…he wouldn't let her into his life, and she had tried so hard to understand him. Naruto…he had always been there for her, even when she was broken after Sasuke had left. He had done so much for her, and she didn't know how she could ever thank him for it.
"But…why me?" she inquired in his chest, her arms draped loosely around his neck.
To her surprise, Naruto just chuckled in response, at which she raised her head up to look at him. "What's so funny?" she pouted.
"That's so easy, Sakura-chan," the blonde told her, winking.
"Well, sorry that I don't get the implication," Sakura snorted.
"You don't know how much you can affect a man's life," Naruto responded dramatically.
"Man? I don't think you're quite there yet," Sakura said, tapping his nose. "You've got a long way to go before you can be called a man, Naruto."
"I am too a man!"
"Keep dreaming, you dreamer."
"And I'll be a man by the time I become Hokage!"
"You will…" Sakura said softly, smiling at him. "I know you will."
"And…and you can be my personal nurse! And you can wear a nurse outfit from that one costume shop!"
One second Naruto was holding Sakura, the next he was kissing the ground. This time he had been punched on the right cheek, the left still recovering from the pink-haired kunoichi's slap from earlier. "That hurts, Sakura-chaaaaan…" he whined, rubbing his other cheek as comical tears streamed down his face.
"Serves you right, you perv," Sakura reprimanded, nodding in satisfaction.
"But you still wuv me, right?" Naruto pouted, making himself comfortable on the kunoichi's lap.
She flicked his forehead, for his head resided on her thighs. "I guess I do."
"Then you'll gimme a kiss?" Naruto suggested slyly, a fox grin curling on his lips.
"What makes you think that?" Sakura wasn't falling for it.
"But I thought you wuved me…"
"All right! Jeez, you're so serious for a while and then you're back to your idiotic self! What's up with that?" Sakura muttered as she leaned over him. As she hovered right above his face, she frowned and said, "Uh, hello, I don't think I wanna be the only one working. Get up here!"
"On my way, Sakura-chan!" he answered all too sweetly, leaning up to her.
Nervousness ate at her as he neared her. This was her first kiss, damn it! She never expected it to be from Naruto! But upon the simplest brush of his lips against hers, she concluded that she actually liked it and deepened it, placing a hand on his cheek and surprising him with her straightforwardness. As she pulled away, the two stared at each other for a moment.
"Wow…" was all they both could muster.
Naruto sat up and moved a bit so that he was sitting across from Sakura. Staring directly at her, he moved in for another passionate kiss, this time cupping her chin with his right hand before pressing his lips against hers. His other arm snaked around her waist, pulling her into his lap. To his pleasure, he felt her wrap her own arms around his neck to pull herself even closer to him, her legs on either side of his own, for he sat on his knees. He felt her engage into the kiss with her own fire, her desire for him unfolding itself with her fiery passion.
As they broke away for breaths, Naruto reclined himself against the tree, supporting Sakura's weight with the move. She lay down on his chest, her arms latched around his neck loosely. Her legs were entangled with his, but he had no desire to move any more.
"So I'm guessing you see me as more than a friend now?" he commented, looking down at her.
She turned her head upwards and smiled at him. "Yeah. I guess I do."
"I guess it was worth being behind you all those years."
"I guess it was."
There were no more bounds. Not even Sasuke was a bound anymore. Their friendship had been taken to the next level, and now their bond was strengthening to one that could not easily be broken. Naruto had been behind Sakura all those years, had always been there for her. He had made her realize that always looking at the future rather than at the present would break her rather than hold any hope for her.
"I love ya, Sakura-chan."
She laughed. "I love you, too, Naruto."
And with that, another passionate kiss was instigated between them, sealing their new relationship and leaving behind their simple friendship.
They didn't know what the future held for them, whether it would bring back Sasuke or give them a difficult time, but they knew they would somehow get through it together. Naruto had Sakura behind him now, just as he had always been behind her.
And in that way, Sakura finally realized that Naruto being behind her opened her eyes to the boy who had always been in front of her.
A/N: The only real change I made in this fic was the end, which I think was the reason I even removed the fic in the first place. The end may not make sense to some of you, but it's actually a paradox that I couldn't find the words to convey back when I was 13. But now at 17 and having taken numerous English honors courses, I have finally been able to rewrite the ending in a way that expresses the same meaning as the original one but with a clearer diction. Anyway, reviews would be greatly appreciated =)
Original post: April 2006
Revised: April 2010