The beautiful summer sun was shining through the curtains, slowly waking up the young couple. Sakura and Neji were cuddled up in Sakura's bed. It was the fourth of July, about half a year after they had finally gotten together. And it was one day after Neji's 18th birthday. Sakura was the first one to wake up after a long night of a special birthday celebration for her lover. With a smile, she placed a kiss on his lips, which woke him up. He sighed contently and Sakura whispered: "Good morning, love. How does it feel to be an adult?"
He pulled her in for another kiss and then he replied, "Feels good."
She played with his black hair. "I wish we could wake up like this every morning." It was rare that they had some time together. Both of them still had to do their duty, often they were gone for days or – in Neji's case – even for weeks. And although Neji spent most of his time at Sakura's apartment, he officially still lived at the Hyuga estate. Hiashi wasn't exactly happy about his nephews relationship with a ninja who wasn't a member of a clan. Their moments together were rare.
"You know," Neji began, "Tsunade will nominate new Anbu members in a few weeks. Chances are that I might be among them."
Sakura sighed. "Which means your missions will become even more dangerous. Every time you leave, I worry about you. When you'll be an Anbu, I won't have a minute of peace." The thought that Neji might join the Anbu worried her so much that she thought she couldn't breathe. "But I know it's your goal to become the captain of the Anbu. That's why I'll support you, even if it kills me. Just promise me that you'll be careful."
"I promise I'll always come back to you," Neji purred.
Sakura suppressed the pain within her chest and forced herself to smile. "You liar. Don't promise things you cannot keep."
"We're both Shinobi. We never know if we survive the next mission. But I'll do my best not to leave you."
Sakura sadly quoted: "Being a ninja means to kill your feelings. A shinobi must possess a heart that never shows tears." She closed her eyes and took his hand to make sure he was still with her. "But if you died, I wouldn't know how to survive."
"We never know how much time we have left. But until I die I want to spend as much time with you as I can." His fingertips stroke her bare skin. "Sakura? Let's get married."
This took her by complete surprise. She fell silent and stared at him wide-eyed. When she found her voice back, she muttered: "Are you… serious?"
He turned his head to look at her. "Yeah." She just couldn't believe her ears. He was proposing for her and his voice was like this was nothing important at all. He was smiling but the look in his eyes was serious. "I have been thinking about this, Sakura. I want to be with you, and I want everyone to know that we belong together."
So he did take it serious. Sakura smiled brightly at him. "Yes. Let's get married."
They sealed their promise with a kiss.
One week later, they were officially engaged. Hiashi wasn't entirely happy about it, but there was nothing he could do. Neji moved in with Sakura and the wedding was planned for the end of august. Sakura was happier than ever.
She was oblivious to what was happening far away in the hidden sound country at the same time.
Warm summer rain was pouring down on his unmoving body. His face was pressed into the mud. He knew he was going to die. Maybe there had never been a chance to survive this final battle. But he had to try. He could not have faced her as a coward.
His eyes widened. Sakura. He had promised himself to come back to her.
With his last amount of strength, Sasuke placed his hands on the ground and pushed himself up. He reached out for the broken sword next to him and his grip tightened around the handle. He heard his brother's voice, "So you still won't give up." He was coming closer.
Sasuke knew that this was his last chance. "I have to… return to her…", he muttered. The curse spread, marking his pale skin. Itachi stopped right in front of his brother. "Sakura… this is for you…"
With a wild scream, Sasuke jumped up and lunged himself at his brother. Maybe Itachi was too surprised to protect himself, in any case he did not move. The broken, yet sharp blade of the sword penetrated his chest and Sasuke pushed it in to the handle.
Seconds passed by as the Uchiha brothers stared into each other's eyes.
And then, Itachi collapsed. He was dead before he touched the ground. Sasuke fell to his knees. So this was it. Victory. The past would no longer haunt him. Itachi was defeated. Dead. He grabbed the handle of the sword and pulled it out of his brother's dead body. And then he forced himself to stand up. This nightmare was finally over.
He would abandon Orochimaru and return to the hidden leaf village. To her. To Sakura. And then he'd finally make her his.
This is not exactly an end, I know. But now you should read "I believed you", in case you haven't yet, to know what happens next. I planned to continue the story, to see what happens after the wedding, if Sasuke is going to give up on Sakura or not, etc, but I'm not sure yet. Writing the first chapter was a bit tough, but if I feel inspired there will be a sequel. Thanks for all the lovely reviews everyone!