Ino's ring shined like the early morning sun with a simple large diamond set in the center. Like the man that gave it to her, it was plain at first glance but held an inner depth and beauty. Sai did things by the book, quite literally, his every action was a carefully studied move based off of his interpretations of whatever book he was reading that week.
And Ino loved every single second of it.
"Look, at the size of that rock," Temari whistled, happily leaning back down into Ino's couch. A soft smile on her face. "What did he say when he asked you?"
Ino smiled, retracting the ringed hand to rub the stone against her cheek. "You should have been there, it was in was at the waterfall cafe where he took me for our anniversary. As soon as we finished eating the band starts playing this song, at Sai looks at me and says 'I can't imagine a world where I don't see your face every morning when I wake up, Ino, will you marry me?' I naturally blushed and held out my hand nodding as I blushed."
"Wow, Who would have thought that Sai of all people would be the first to propose," Sakura smiled as she grabbed one of the bridal magazines. Ino had called her and Temari here for the purpose of drinking wine and planning the wedding. So far all they've done is stare at a rock and down one of the bottles, Temari brought from Suna. "Shouldn't we have more people here to do this? I thought you wanted a giant wedding for the whole world to see."
Ino took another sip of wine. "Sai's one request was that we keep it to friends, other than that I can do what I want with the wedding. And honestly I agree, a small wedding would be great. You're my maid of honor and Temari will be my bridesmaid, it fits perfectly with Sai's best man and groomsmen as well."
That meant she was going to have to dance with Naruto again, why was it that every event they went to she always ended up opposite of him? Sure he was her best friend and all, and they were long-standing teammates. But that didn't mean she had to do every event with Naruto.
"I'm surprised it's not bugging you more Sakura," Temari said, as she refiled her own glass for the umpteenth time. For some reason, Sakura got the feeling that Temari was trying to out-drink her. A contest Sakura would happily lose - boozer was not a title she wanted.
"What would bug me?"
"With Ino getting married before you." Temari leaned back in the seat taking both the glass and the bottle with her.
Sakura huffed, taking a sharp turn and snapping the cap off of one of the bottles. She drank straight from it. "Why would I be jealous of that? Ino's been dating Sai for years, I'm happy for her honest."
"Yea at this rate it feels like you'll never get married forehead." Ouch, that was uncalled for even from Ino. "I mean you've been dating Naruto for longer than I've been dating Sai."
Wait what? "Wait what?"
Why was her wine bottle empty already? She needed more wine.
"Naruto, he hasn't proposed to yet has he?" Ino's voice was filled with so much pity it made her skin crawl. More importantly why on earth would Naruto propose to her?
"I honestly thought you two were just waiting until Naruto became Hokage to marry," Temari said.
"And what about you and Shikamaru what's he waiting for?" Ino teased, switching topics so easily.
Temari just smiled a great big smile. "He technically has, he set a box with a ring on it on the countertop and said 'Take it if you want' I knew what he meant but it's been so much fun watching him sweat every time I walk past the box."
"Wait, wait, wait," Sakura pinched the bridge of her nose as she felt a pit in her stomach drop. Her mind was still distracted by the fact that her two best female friends thought that she was dating Naruto. Naruto of all people her idiotic teammate that had had a crush on her for years! They thought that she was dating him? "I'm sorry, can we back up a bit, do you two really think I'm dating Naruto?"
She looked at them both with her best 'are you serious look.' One that made Naruto instantly realize that he was an Idiot.
"Well yea," Temari said leaning forward again. "Are you saying you're not? Gaara even has your wedding present planned out, and we've been setting you two up in the lover's suite for years!"
That explained why she and Naruto had to share a room every time they went with Kakashi to the Suna. "What about the other villages? Do they think me and Naruto are a couple?"
"I can't really speak for them," Temari shrugged, "but Shikamaru has been complaining that your relationship makes planning for diplomatic stays a pay, something about making sure you two get enough privacy."
"Well tell him to stop, I'm not dating Naruto!" Sakura took another long sip from her wine bottle.
Ino snorted, and crossed her arms. "Oh, please forehead, just because he hasn't proposed yet doesn't mean you can disown him like that."
"I'm not disowning him!" Why was her wine bottle empty? Must have busted a hole in it. The next one seemed dry enough as she cracked it open. "I'm not dating Naruto Uzumaki, I never have and I never will."
"Oh please, you totally are!"
Why as she friends with this airhead again?
"I'm not dating Naruto!"
"I'm not dating Naruto."
Apparently, they were twelve.
"Look, he's a great guy and all, but there's no way that I could be in that kind of relationship with Naruto." Sakura huffed, when did this bottle get half empty? She was fairly certain she was too busy yelling to actually be drinking it. There was no way that she could see ever date Naruto.
"You practically live at his house Sakura," Ino smiled like she had just played her trump card. "I know for a fact that you have more clothes at his house than you do at your own apartment."
"It's closer to the hospital," Sakura mumbled around the lips of the wine bottle. "And you know how long the shifts there are, it's why you quit!"
"Yea, but you aren't there that long, I saw your schedule, you have plenty of free time once you finish training the new recruits." Ino snapped her fingers in that annoying way she did whenever she thought that she was so right about something. "Free time that you spend with Naruto."
"I don't spend my free time with Naruto, besides he's my best friend, can't I spend time with him without people thinking we're on a date. "
"Yes you do," Temari joined in. "Every time I see you in Konoha you're with him, you were at the ramen place yesterday, and last night you were waiting for him outside of the Hokage tower."
"Yea forehead," Ino chimed in, great she was getting double teamed by two dumb blondes. Three if she counted Naruto. This was all his fault. "When was the last time you ate a meal that wasn't with Naruto? You two have more date nights than me and Sai do!"
"Just as friends!" Sakura mumbled grabbing yet another win bottle. "And I'll have you know I ate lunch alone, and I ate dinner with you tonight."
"Uhuh, and who provided that lunch?"
It was delivery… courtesy of Naruto.
"Okay, fine I spend a lot of time with Naruto! But that doesn't mean we're dating! It's not like that! And Naruto's on my side, he hasn't asked me out in years."
"Cause you've been a couple for that long?" Ino laughed, "If you and Naruto are just friends, why does he buy you flowers every month and leaves them in your office?"
"Those are from Naruto!?" She had thought she had a secret admirer!
Ino slapped her forehead before making a reach for her glass of wine. "Sakura please tell me you're not this…. This horrible?"
"If you're not dating Naruto, then you're the biggest tease in Konoha." Temari opened her second bottle. And imitated Sakura by taking a swig directly from the bottle, it backfired and she ended up coughing. "Actually probably the world."
"But… I don't love him?" Why did that sound like a question? If she had really been dating Naruto for so long how could he not try to make a move on her? He hadn't tried to kiss her, sleep with her, or even hold her hands! And there was no way that she was buying that he was too dense to know what couples do. He invented the sexy Jutsu, and had Jiraiya's entire collection in his room.
"Yes, you do," Ino said firmly. "And he loves you."
"I do?" Sakura's brain was in the process of rebooting. The last three years of her life became crystal clear. All of Naruto's random moments of kindness, him giving her his key, his willingness to sleep on the bed, all the meals he paid for, all the meals she paid for, all the looks and smiles from people wishing them well. Her happiness. "He does?"
Ino sighed, "Yes he does, why do you think he's turned down all those other girls? And a lot of them are prettier and nicer than you are. And those are just the ones bold enough to not care that you'll pound their face in."
"They're annoying though, I have every right to get-"
"Jealous that they're hitting on your boyfriend." Temari finished, clearly enjoying this whole conversation. "Honestly I thought you were one of the smart ones. And if you want further proof, ask Naruto about the ring."
Sakura stared at the empty bottle of wine in her hand. Her head was spinning and she couldn't quite get her thoughts to actually become thoughts, just a storm of emotions was raging inside of her. She had been dating Naruto for years, she had been living with him for months now - when was the last time she had stayed at her own apartment?- He was still in love with her. And now there was a ring involved
And… and… and… "Do I love Naruto?"
Sakura stared at Ino as waited patiently for the answer. She was willing to believe anything her friend said right then. There had to be some kind of truth/suggestion serum in the wine that was making her think that she really had been dating Naruto for that long. And that she might want to keep doing it.
"I could talk about how you can't imagine your life without Naruto." She really couldn't. "Or I could talk about how you don't even look at other guys, even Sasuke is off your radar." He was just a brother at this point. "But I think the easier question is do you want to love Naruto?"
That thought shocked her with its simplicity and its urgency. It thrust itself through the clouds of her mind and glowed like a beacon of hope. She wanted to love Naruto. So, what was stopping her? "I think I need to go."
"Good, we can continue planning my wedding once you get your shit together."
Sakura stared at the door to Naruto's home… should she knock? She never knocked before, she just barged in and occupied Naruto's couch, or bed, whatever wasn't occupied really. Sometimes she'd take a shower or raid his fridge. Naruto never complained, half of the food and stuff and there was hers, to begin with. Like the curtains. She bought those.
Holy crap she really did actually live with Naruto. Not like a roommate. More like…. A live-in girlfriend.
Okay, so she was Naruto's live-in girlfriend. That meant that she didn't have to knock, besides she had a key. Sakura took a breath and stared at the "Home Sweet Home" doormat. Her heart was beating. What on earth was she going to say to her apparent boyfriend of three years?
"Sorry I thought we weren't actually dating but uhh I'm up to date now. let's fuck?"
Actually, that sounded like a good plan. Only maybe tone it down a little bit. Start it slow. Maybe just kiss him.
Alright, that was her game plan. Walk-in. Grab Naruto. Kiss him. On the lips. It sounded like a D-rank mission. But her heart was pounding like it was an S-rank.
Naruto was standing in the kitchen, staring at the microwave as he made himself a cup of instant ramen. Good, she got him before his mouth was tainted by that crap. It actually wasn't that bad… sometimes. But she did not want her first kiss to be ruined by it.
"Oh, Sakura you're back early." Naruto smiled at her. That stupid smile of his that she now found so very very charming. It made her heart flutter, almost enough to stop her from moving forward. Dammit, she never used to get like this with that stupid smile. She'd just roll her eyes and not look at it.
She stood in front of him when the fuck did he get so tall? All she had to do was reach up and kiss him. It was simple.
"Are you drunk Sakura?"
"No, yes… Maybe? Look it doesn't matter. Just shut up." She growled grabbing him by the collar of his shirt. Before he could open his stupid mouth to say something stupid she kissed him. Mostly on the mouth. Enough that it counted if she rounded it up. It was sloppy, not at all romantic. But it made her heart do this weird thing that sent shivers down her body.
She liked it. She liked kissing Naruto Uzumaki. When she was drunk. Wait no that part wasn't important, did Naruto like kissing her? Pulling away she looked at Naruto, he had a stupid smile on his face, and a smear of her lipstick was placed more or less on his lips.
"What was that for?" Naruto asked, blinking himself into recovery.
She released his collar allowing him to stand back up to his, fuck really when did he get so tall? "Don't get mad, but I found out that we've been dating for three years and I didn't actually know and I'm sorry for being a horrible girlfriend and I just wanted to you to know that I really do love you and that I'm ready to really really really be your girlfriend and I'll even say yes if you ask me to marry you, and."
He grabbed her arms. "Wait we were dating?"
"Huh?" That sobered her up. She was going to kill Ino. "You mean we're not dating?"
"I never thought we were." Yep, Ino was dead. She was very very dead.
"But the ring, and the living, and the flowers?"
"What ring?" Naruto looked really confused. "I mean I helped Shikamaru pick his ring for Temari. But that's about it."
Those lying whores!
Sakura swallowed. "So we're not a couple?"
Her head was spinning and she felt like puking. And not because she was probably drunk with four bottles of wine somehow inside of her. She had to pee.
Naruto scratched the back of his head, the way he always did when he was nervous about something. "I mean, I'd kind of like to be. I really do love you."
Sakura was so happy she puked. their first night as a couple was spent with Naruto holding Sakura's head out of the toilet.
AN: So I wanted to write Narusaku. And I wasn't doing anything on Halloween. So here's this stupid idea I've had for a while. It was supposed to be longer but it just didn't turn out like that so here's another One-Shot from me. Probably more Flower Shop later, its also Nano and I have some Original Projects I'll be working on. So my update speed will be diminished. Thanks for reading! See ya later!