Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, it belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. I only own the plot.
OMG. I'd never thought that there will be so many reviews! I just wanted to thank you all for supporting the story and bearing with my slow updates during the exam period. You can't believe how moved I am reading your reviews. I love each and every one of you. Thank you so much! You guys rock!
There are five poems in this story, each representing one of the following characters: Sasuke, Tenten, Lee, Sakura, and at last Neji. This chapter, by all, is the hardest chapter for me to write. I spent a day trying to write out the last poem and two more days trying to type up the rest of the story. I had a pretty good idea as to how the end of the story should be but filling the gaps in between was extremely difficult. Sometimes, I know what I wanted to say but the words are just not there, and then all of a sudden, the thing just flows. Lol.
I'm going to be moving soon so I'll be busily packing and stuff. I don't think I'll be able to have the internet connection all set up until much later. The updates will be slower for the next few months. I want to apologize for that.
Also, originally, there's extra scene of Shikamaru and Temari in the last chapter (because they are my favorite couple). However, I decided to take it out because it got in the way…after all, I'm supposed to focus on Sakura, Neji, Tenten, and Sasuke. Even so, since I typed it up, might as well put it in here too lol. This part is supposed to go right after Temari had left the room, leaving Sakura to herself in chapter 2.
"Back so soon?" Temari's husband asked her when she came back into the main hall. Temari had the urge to roll her eyes.
God, This place was hectic. She wondered what would the priest say when he saw what the people were doing in his church. People were running around, some were preparing for the food, and some where taking guests to their designated seats. The wedding of Neji and Sakura was a big event. After all, Neji was a Hyuuga and Sakura was the apprentice of Tsunade.
So many people were arriving and there were still so many things that were still needed to be done.
And what was her husband doing?
He had his arms crossed as he lean back comfortably onto one of the wooden benches.
Temari shook her head, not even bothering to tell him to help his friends out anymore. She took a seat next to him, crossing her legs. After all these years, she knew what his response would be and it would piss her off. She didn't want to yell at her husband…well at least not at her friend's wedding.
"I don't understand why they are panicking about," Shikamaru said sluggishly, "this wedding won't even take place."
"Oh," Temari raised her eyebrows, "well I'll say this wedding is a 'go'. In fact, I'll even prophetize that Sakura will give up that Sasuke-bastard once and for all. She'll live happily ever after with Neji."
Shikamaru raised his eyebrow lazily, "Wanna bet?"
"You're on," Temari agreed, "If you lose, you'll have to do all of the house chores for a month."
"What happens if you lose?"
"Well," Temari moved toward him, whispering seductively in his ear, "I'll do anything you want for a week, anything."
Shikamaru gave a charismatic grin, how can he say no to that?
Anyway, this concludes the final author note for this story. I hope you'll enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoy writing it. I love you all! ;p
Return to Innocence-3
Thinking back to the time,
When we were merely children--
The world had not been kind to me
Everything that I held dear
Sailed right through my grasp
My love became the fuel for my hate
I was so close to giving up…
Destroy the whole world
Bring everyone down with me
To break is easier then to mend
Don't give a fuck about who suffers
As long as I see people in pain
Meeting you at the academy
Was a blessing…
But also a curse
You gave me the will to live
But you also taught me to love again
Maybe if I don't remember how
Then I won't know the pain of sacrificing myself
I could still remembered
The smile you gave me
When you said…
As my team mate
As my friend
You'll hold me by the hand
Through thick and thin
Together, we will walk through all obstacles
Till the end of our time
I will never be alone again…
Because you'll be here
From then on
The darkness in my heart banished
My tears receded
The radiance you'd brought
A goddess that you were
I'd even forgotten how to breathe
I didn't dare to look up
Afraid to see your loving eyes
An ominous person like I
Will only taint your pureness
And make you cry
Our love, I know--
Once it fades it'll never come back
But even up till now
I didn't dare to take the first step
My hesitation, I know--
Became chains that held you in place
I saw your painful struggles
Oh, I saw them all
Your unconditional love…
Is always right placed in front of me
But I was never brave enough—
Would the same as breaking it
It will never work
I do not want to hurt you
If we never start---
Then we will never have to end…
I had to push you away
Protect you from me
Forgive my selfishness
When in reality
Even forever is not enough
I can never to let you go
I want so much to hold you close
Keep you to myself
Shield you from the rest of the world
Where no man can see you--
And take you from me
However I cannot…
For what can a man like me give you?
You deserves much more
A prodigy like me
Perhaps too much--
Sakura was running.
She ignored the looks she'd gotten from her family and friends. She ignored them when they called her name. Instead, she focused the sound of her breathing and the clicking that was caused by her heels.
She'd got out of the church and was currently running down the familiar streets of Konoha. Sakura picked up the front of her dress as she increased her speed.
This is the biggest mistake in her life, she knew. She was supposed to think rationally. She was supposed to only pursue an action when the benefit exceeds the cost. As a kunoichi, she was taught to store her emotions in a box and under her bed.
Feelings will only get in the way of her missions. She learned that lesson the hard way when Naruto was forced to pay the price of her failure. She'd never wanted that to happen again.
But this isn't about accomplishing a mission.
This is about her life.
"I'll be waiting at the bridge tomorrow, for the whole day."
There was a time when she was blindly in love with Uchiha Sasuke. He dominated her life. First she gave up her only friend after Ino said that she was in love with Sasuke also. Everyday she spent hours making sure that she looked perfect before she headed out to meet Team 7. She wasted years not doing her potential because she was scared of Sasuke getting mad at her for being better than him. It was much later did she realize that even though Sasuke will be angry, he would at least acknowledge her as a person rather than just some 'obsessive fan-girl'.
She wasn't like Naruto who had unbeatable stamina nor was she like Neji who is a prodigy. She was a simple woman. The only thing that she is good at was in wielding her charka. People believed that she'd made a good choice to become a medic-nin since she will never be a good offensive shinobi. It was much later did she find her true calling was indeed to become one.
People believed that she could be a powerful asset during the upcoming war with the Sound, because perhaps, more lives could be saved. However, what they didn't see was that in the beginning, she'd only joined so she could see Sasuke again. Because Sasuke and everyone else will only become stronger and stronger from then on; therefore, she had to catch up to them in her own way or she'll get left behind forever.
It was all about Sasuke.
That was how pathetic she was.
There was a time when she was disgusted with herself. How low can she get? Back when they were in the Academy, she was happy to be in the same team as him. She thought that god was on her side, giving her the chance to spend time with Sasuke. In some twisted ways, she hated Naruto and even Kakashi for being in the way, barging into what she thought was their perfect moment together.
Sasuke turned out to be anything other than what she fantasized him to be. He'd turned each of her invitations down and treated her like dirt. But she was determined, thinking that true love will overcome everything. After all, doesn't love means sacrificing for the other unconditionally? She'd heard what happened to the Uchiha clan. She felt sorry for Sasuke but at the same time she thought she would be the one that help him get over it. She thought that once Sasuke accepts her, he'll change, that he'll fit her description as the ideal man.
Love is supposed to change the person for the better, isn't it?
She refused give up on the relationship.
But then later, she asked herself.
The closest word that can be used to describe Sasuke and her would be: associates. Sasuke wouldn't even bother with her if she wasn't placed in the same team as him. He was so focused on his sole goal in killing Itachi that he will destroy anything that stands in the way. Sasuke had no room for her at all.
After all these years, she'd asked herself why she even bothered. Everybody thought that it was just a childhood crush, something that will die after some time. Hell, even she, herself, thought that it was.
People say that if one starts questioning about the motive behind her love, then she should be able to get over the man quickly. She asked the same question again and again.
Why is she in love with Uchiha Sasuke?
She couldn't come up with even one reason why she should be. She simply couldn't.
Sasuke might be one of the good-looking men in Konoha but he wasn't the handsomest. There were other men: Shino, Shikamaru, Neji, hell even Naruto turned out to be quite a hottie. There might be a time when she cared about people's appearances but as time goes, she realized that looks don't last forever. After all, people do age and she wasn't that shallow. Therefore, she crossed out the idea that she is in love with him because of his looks.
As of his intelligence, Sasuke might be the number one rookie of the year but he certainly wasn't the brightest. After all, Shikamaru had an IQ of 200.
Certainly, joining the side of Orochimaru could not be Sasuke's smartest idea. Anyone with a brain would know not to join someone who could kill without a second thought. A person who kills without conscience is a walking time bomb, a double-edged sword. Orochimaru only cared about his personal ambition. He sought after Sasuke because he wanted to get something from him. If even a girl like her can see it, why couldn't Sasuke?
The desire to seek vengeance had made Sasuke a fool…
Then he came back to Konoha. Maybe it was because after avenging his clan, he didn't have anywhere else to go. Maybe it was because he'd seen the world more than he'd liked.
He'd changed. He really did.
She accepted him with her arms wide open and what did that get her?
He disappeared only to show up once again five years later.
This time he told her that he loves her...just before she was going to marry Neji.
But for the last time in her life…
She wanted him, wanted a man that was not worth loving.
She wanted Uchiha Sasuke…
She stopped. She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she failed to notice her surroundings.
They looked like they had just come back from a mission…with their Jounin vests on and knapsacks on their backs.
Tenten's glare hardened while her voice remained firm. "Haruno Sakura, why are you doing here."
Sakura bit her lower lip. From the tone of Tenten's voice, she was in Jounin mode. Tenten wasn't even asking her a question; it was a statement. Sakura had worked with Tenten for enough missions to know that, at those times; Tenten was not someone to be messed with. Shinobis of other countries learned their lesson the hard way.
Things would get tough.
When Sakura didn't answer her question, Tenten approached Sakura. Tenten softened her tone. It wasn't time for her to make any judgement yet. There weren't enough information….things might not be as bad as she think. "Why aren't you with Neji?"
"We are not marrying each other anymore." Sakura said in a steady voice. She stepped back slightly.
Tenten narrowed her eyes in suspicion. What the hell? Did Sakura have any idea what she'd gone through when she left Konoha only to come back? Tenten was planning to give them her blessing damn it! It's a marriage they were talking about, not a date! This marriage was something that people had been planning for months. Why would it all of a suddenly be cancelled…and on the day of the ceremony too? Unless…
"I heard Uchiha Sasuke is back."
When Tenten saw something in Sakura's eyes flickered as her mouth widened a bit. Immediately, she knew what was going on. After all, Tenten wasn't a Jounin by chance. She knew how to read people's reactions.
Her theory was right after all.
Sakura was still in love with Sasuke…and on the day of her wedding, she left Neji for Sasuke.
Tenten balled her hand as she felt her anger rising. Who the hell does she think Neji is? A fucking replacement? Neji is her…her…She…
Taking in a deep breath, Tenten forced herself to remain calm. Blowing up at a moment like this would do nothing. "Sakura…go back to the church now."
Sakura didn't answer, but her unmoving stance already told Tenten what her reply was.
"Sakura," Tenten's tone turned cold, she did a few quick hand seals and her large scroll of weapon appeared. Unravelling the scroll slowly, her eyes ever once left Sakura's. "Don't make me drag you back there."
Sakura ripped the bottom part of her wedding dress off in response, preparing herself so the long dress wouldn't get in the way of their fight.
"So be it."
Tenten hands were running through a familiar sequence of hand seals when someone grabbed both of her wrists from behind, forcing her hands apart so she couldn't complete the last hand seal. Only one person could move this fast without her knowing.
"Lee! What the fuck!" Tenten screamed as she struggled against him.
"Sakura run!" Lee called out as he held Tenten in place.
"No!" Tenten tried to wrestle out of his grip. "Let Me Go!"
Sakura looked at them for a moment before turning away. Only when Sakura disappeared around the corner of the street did Lee let her go.
Tenten slapped him hard in the face.
She thought he was on her side! She has to stop Sakura! Sakura must marry Neji! She was about to give chase when Lee appeared in front of her again, arms extended.
"Lee, you…YOU!" She pointed her finger at him accusingly. Her body was shaking in anger. Tenten didn't know what to say anymore.
"Tenten," Lee's tone was calm and gentle. "Our techniques are used to protect Konoha, not against fellow comrades."
Tenten's eyes widened, she felt her chest tightened as if someone had punched her there. Memories of what Gai-sensei had taught her flooded back. The hand seals that she was doing…what was she thinking? She'd let her anger got the better of her…and she…she hurt Lee in the process because she wanted to vent off her emotions.
She approached Lee and embraced him. "Oh Lee, I'm…I'm so sorry."
Lee returned the gesture as he continued softly, "We have no right to force her into marrying Neji if she doesn't want to. Nobody would be happy in a forced arrangement, not even Neji."
"I…I don't understand her at all Lee," She choked the words out as her vision became blurry. Tears began to fall from her face. "Sakura…she…Neji…Neji is willing to marry her. What more does she want? I thought they love each other deeply, that's the reason why I…I…How…how could she just leave him like that? Sasuke is nothing but a bastard who'd hurt her for more times than we can count but she's…she's willing to go back to him without a second thought. Did…did I make a mistake Lee? If I'd only known…I would have…I would have…"
By then, Tenten broke into sobs. Lee patted her back gently, smothering her. Suddenly, Tenten froze, Lee looked at her.
"Oh god, Neji."
Tenten broke the hug and together, they head toward the church.
As they were speeding down the street, Lee thought about what Tenten had said earlier. He knew what she was implying. He couldn't understand Sakura also. What she did was beyond comprehension.
However, one is not suppose to be logical when they are in love.
Sakura had made her choice; therefore, no matter what, she'll have to bare the consequences of her decision, whether it is good or not.
Neji was no longer at the church. Lee and Tenten had gone their separate ways to cover more ground in Konoha.
But she had a good idea as to where he would be.
And now, she stood before Neji, who was sitting on the ground and lodging against a tree at their usual training field. He was looking down onto the large gravel field below.
She kneeled before him. She opened her mouth to speak but he beat her to it.
"Why are you here?" He asked in a quiet voice.
He didn't look at her.
"I…I…" Tenten pressed her lips into a thin line…He…he didn't want her to be with him anymore? If he doesn't need her…then…
At that moment, she wanted to throw herself off a cliff, at least that way; her heart wouldn't be shredded into pieces.
All she ever wanted was to remain by his side…if she couldn't do that…She…She'll…
"I told myself that if it was Naruto or Hinata who shows up, then it's destined for me to not have you." Neji slowly turned toward her, his stormy pale eyes met her onyx ones. "How can I stop loving you when you are always…Why are you always here whenever I needed you the most? I'm going to be dependent on you, pretty soon, I won't be able to…I love you so much…but I cannot claim you."
"Neji…" Tenten trailed off as she couldn't bring herself to say Neji…I'm not Sakura, I'm Tenten!
It hurt so much…She didn't know how she could feel so much pain and still be alive. Her heart…
He caressed her cheek. Gently, he pulled her toward him. Not knowing what else to do, Tenten allowed him.
Neji slid her forehead protector off as he planted a kiss on her temple. Tenten's body went rigid as he wrapped his arms around her neck, closing their distance. Her hands remained on the ground beside him on both sides. She didn't move, fearing that once she touched him, she'll realize that this was all a dream.
She is not Sakura damn it…
Tenten clenched her hands so hard that her knuckles turned white.
He continued…moving down, trailing kisses along her jaw. He traced her lips with his tongue, teasing her, tempting her.
She wanted so much to give in, to respond to him with all her passion…
And she did.
Tenten closed her eyes as she opened her mouth slightly, granting him entrance. A part of her told her to push him away for what they were doing is wrong. He was not seeing her but seeing someone else through her.
The one he wanted to kiss is Sakura.
Taking advantage of him during his weak mental state…Neji would be angry at her once his mind is clear. They will probably never be friends again.
She kicked that thought away by tilting her head to the side, deepening their kiss.
God…she waited so long for this…
The day…when Neji would kiss her.
Let her pretend, even for a second, that he loves her instead of Sakura. If this is the only way where she can feel his affection, his passion directed at her is to become Sakura, then so be it. She couldn't turn away from him. She didn't want to stop him at all. He was like a drug, so addicting, so mesmerizing. Let her be selfish for once. Give her something to remember him by in the future during the long lonely nights.
She might be a strong kunoichi but she was only a woman. She…loved him…loved him so much that it hurts…because no matter what…
She cannot have him…
He stopped; his hands were no longer holding her in place.
Tenten slowly opened her eyes and moved back. She didn't realize she was crying until Neji had told her.
This is the moment where all the magic ends.
Neji will hate her, she can foresee it already.
They looked at each other, breathing at a rate that was slightly faster than normal due to their earlier activity.
This…really is the end.
More tears fell.
"I…I'm sorry!" Tenten pushed herself up and ran away from him.
Sorry that she kissed him. Sorry that she'd took advantage of him. Sorry that she wasn't able to drag Sakura back to the Church so he can marry the woman he loves. Sorry that she'd remained at the side line when Sakura and he got together. Sorry that she let her feelings got the better of her.
Sorry that she loved him more than she should.
In her emotionally unstable state, she wasn't watching where she was going. She tripped over a preset trap. She was about to plunge into a large deep hole when she felt someone grabbed her by the waist. Before she could do anything, Neji hoisted her up and carried her away.
He placed her on the ground and kneeled before her. Tenten lowered her head, not wanting to let him see her like this. Moreover, she felt too ashamed to even look at him. She didn't want to hear what he wanted to say. She didn't want him to tell her that he hated her for what she'd done earlier.
"Don't cry Tenten," Neji whispered as he lifted her chin with his thumb and forefinger. With is other hand, he brushed her tears away from his thumb.
Neji…had called her by her name! He called Tenten not Sakura! Tenten realized.
"I don't know what to do anymore. Every time I see you cry I felt so powerless. I'm the main cause of your agony but I couldn't do anything to prevent you from hurting. I should've controlled my emotions, but I couldn't stop myself anymore. Everything that I treasure, Tenten, will be destroyed. I'm a cursed man. I cannot afford to lose things that are significant to me anymore. Therefore, I have to make myself stop…"
Don't use that tone, don't use those words, and most of all don't give her hope, her mind screamed. Don't say things like that! It'll mislead her into thinking about nonexistent things…
It'll make her fall harder and deeper in love with him.
"What should I do?" He asked, sounding helpless.
Don't be so cruel to her…Neji.
"What should I do with you Tenten?"
She was about to say something when Neji placed his forefinger on her lips, motioning her to hear him out.
"I love you Tenten. Love you so much that I don't even know how to protect you from myself anymore. I want to be close to you but I'm scared of ruining you."
Tenten wanted to pinch herself, to make sure that she wasn't hallucinating. Yet she didn't. If she was indeed dreaming…then she wanted to stay in this dream forever and never go back to reality.
Neji had just declared his love for her.
It was something that would only happen in her reverie.
However, even if this is a dream, she will not let another chance slip by her again.
"Don't I get a say in this?" Tenten bit her lips as she looked at the Hyuuga prodigy before her. It was now or never, she has to tell him her feelings. "Gai-sensai and Lee might say I'm a flower but I'm not. I'm a grown woman; a kunoichi in fact. I can take perfectly good care of myself. Have you ever thought that maybe I don't want your protection? That maybe I wanted to be with you no matter what?"
"I love you Hyuuga Neji." Tenten stated firmly. "You hear that? I love you."
"But I'm unworthy of your love. I'm a Branch member. I may never be able to provide the things you—"
"I don't give a damn about that. I'd known you for most of my life. I know what you'd gone through. I know what your abilities and your limitations. I accept all of that because that's who you are. I'm not a materialistic girl Neji." Tenten caressed his cheek, her tone softened. "All I ever wanted is you. If you think anything otherwise, I'm going to hit you."
Neji looked like he was about to retort so she covered his lips with hers, effectively silencing him and diverting his attention.
This topic is permanently closed; she'll make sure of it.
Sakura ran and ran until she entered the area that was known as Konoha Park. She headed toward the bridge as her mind replayed what had just happened.
She was one of Neji's closest friends and they'd known each other since forever…the way how she confronted her, the emotions that flickered in her eyes…Sakura wondered if Tenten loved Neji more than just a love for a friend.
As a woman, Sakura had a strong intuition about these kinds of things.
If Tenten said anything about what she'd felt for that man, the wedding ceremony today would probably be between Neji and her. From what Sakura'd heard and seen from Neji…she knew that the decision was correct. Neji and Tenten make a better couple than Neji and herself.
Neji and she…lacked the romantic chemistry that was required in a love relationship. The closest thing they could probably be would be close friends. Before she'd left, he had a chat with her. Both of them agreed that it was better for them to not marry…not when Sakura was still thinking about Sasuke and him…not loving her in the way that he should.
Maybe after today, Tenten and Neji will finally be together.
As for Lee…Sakura supposed she will forever owe him. The love that he'd given her was something she could never return. A relationship should not be base on pity and she was sure that Lee didn't want that…
Sakura ran up the rock stairway that would lead her to the suspension bridge that hover the manmade lake…the place where she'd waited for him on the day he'd left Konoha five years ago.
She was almost there…
But when Sakura got to the top…
Sasuke was nowhere in sight.
Sasuke looked at his watch—1:23pm. He looked onto his left where the exit of the town stood.
If things had gone as planned, then Sakura would've exchanged her vow with Neji already…
Sakura didn't show up.
It was expected.
It would take a miracle for her to leave Neji and come to his side.
Oh why was he such a coward?
He wanted to hate her but found himself couldn't. It was he who had given up his chance with Sakura. He ran away when she was still in love with him, hurting her in the process because he was scared of their relationship developing too quickly.
Now, he'd lost her forever.
Suddenly Sasuke wanted to leave, leave this place only to never return. Konoha reminded him too much of his painful memories: his clan, his parents, Itachi, and most of all…Sakura.
But he couldn't.
Not until the day is over.
He'd said so many things to her, most of which he'd never carried out. Even though Sakura may never know about this, he wanted to keep his promise…
Because this might be the last promise he'll ever make to her.
From now on, she had someone else fulfilling his commitment to her.
Despite the fact that Sasuke will never tell Sakura, he owed her his gratitude.
Thanking her for putting up with him. Thanking her for risking her life for him whenever he was in danger. Thanking her for accepting him despite what he'd become. Thanking her for giving him another chance even though he didn't deserve it. And most of all…
Thanking her for loving him with all her heart…even though she loved him no more…
That was enough right? For him, who had lost his meaning in life after killing Itachi…had found that there was something else worth living for other than revenge.
He learned what it felt like to love and to be loved again.
It can't be…
Sasuke turned toward the sound of the voice. Before him, Sakura stood at the entry of the bridge, slightly out of breath.
The wedding dress was no longer white in colour; there were dirt and mud caking it. The bottom part was torn away, exposing her legs. Her hair looked like a hurricane had blown through it. The beautiful braid which Temari made had come loose a long time ago since the crown and clips weren't able to securing her hair in place anymore.
She was a mess.
But Sasuke didn't care about her appearance.
"How much money do you have?" Sakura asked as she tucked strands of hair that were in her way behind her ear.
Stunned, Sasuke blinked a few times. Of all the things she would inquire, a question about money had never crossed his mind. Absentmindedly, he checked his wallet before answering truthfully, "About 200 dollars."
"Neji gave me a 24 karat gold ring for the engagement and offered me a large diamond band as the wedding ring."
Sasuke had spent the past five years as a vagabond, working only when he needed the money. The way she stated things made it difficult for him to say anything back at her, because he was, indeed, flat broke. Therefore, He could only stand there and watch as she slowly approached him. One of her heels snapped during the process so she discarded both of her shoes, walking to him barefooted.
"I ignored the shouts from my family, friends and Tsunade-sensai as I ran out the church, pissing everybody off during the process. The whole Hyuuga clan is probably going to kill me on sight. I'd almost ended up fighting with Tenten because she wanted to drag me back to the church. I spent more than an hour running through Konoha like some crazy lunatic looking for you, thinking that I'm the stupidest woman in the whole world. Neji and I spent months planning for this day and I left my fiancé at the church today, on the day of our wedding Sasuke. Not just any fiancé but Hyuuga Neji, the richest and the most wanted bachelor in Konoha, for a man who only has 200 dollars in his pocket. I don't believe this."
"Sakura…" Sasuke started.
"And do you know what you did wrong?"
Sasuke was surprised when Sakura grabbed him by the shirt and yanked him toward her. They were so close that their noses were touching and were practically breathing the same air.
"Next time Sasuke," Sakura said between her gritted teeth, "When you said bridge say which bridge."
She let go of him and took a step back.
Then she smiled lovingly at him. "But you are forgiven."
Suddenly, Sasuke found her to be the most beautiful woman in the world. In a dirty wedding dress, with her hair all messy, she was…
"This is your entire fault you know." She said playfully as she poked him in the chest. "We'll have to go back to explain this to everybody and apologize for the mess we'd caused. It's your responsible to protect me from everybody's wrath. I'm sure they'll forgive us…sooner or later. If you take off again though, I'm going to hunt you down like an animal and chain you to me. You are not getting rid of me that easily Uchiha Sasuke, not in this lifetime. Do you understand?"
Sasuke took her by the hand. "I'm not going anywhere Sakura."
He looked at the woman before him and the hand he was holding.
This time around, he's not going to let her go.
(We are ordinary people
That's why we make ordinary mistakes
We cried, we yelled, we hated
We forget that…
In the midst of our busy lives
We tend to get ahead of ourselves
Let us start once again from the very beginning
We'll smile, we'll talk, we'll love
And this time…
We'll take it slow--
And make this work)
A/N: people seem to be confused as to why Neji will want to marry Sakura when he's so in love with Tenten. The reason why he would do that is because he considers himself unworthy to be with someone like Tenten. Also, at the same time, he's scared to take the relationship with Tenten to the next level other than friends. It is because all the things he value and love in his life were either taken away from him or killed. He knows that Tenten loves him and that make's things much worse as he knows about things that 'could've been'. He loves her, but is scared to take the first step, fearing that he'll be dependent on her love that if he loses her in the future, he'll be devastated. That's where Sakura comes in, by marrying her; he'll force Tenten to give up on him and him to give up on Tenten. He likes Sakura, but it's more of a like for a friend.