Naruto characters' belong to Kishimoto Masashi…

Summary: Sakura has finally decided to go out with Naruto! Will she learn to appreciate him before it's too late? What are the forces that will separate these two? Could it be the return of Sasuke? Or the innocent Miss Hyuga? Saku x Naru.

Dedicated to: Mick

-Be Strong For You-

By Durian

1 Perfect

Sakura Haruno sat alone in a clearing inside a forest and listened to the serenity of the wilderness. Over the years she has blossomed into an independent and mature minded young lady. She has given all hopes on her childhood crush ever since Sasuke had left the village three years ago; he was now classified as a missing-nin. However, she could never forget the day how Sasuke had stolen her first kiss in the very same spot where she was sitting now.

A tear fell down her cheek and within the same instant a hand with a handkerchief came towards her face. She lifted her head slowly to be blinded by the sun but her eyes soon adjusted to a certain blonde haired boy. His blue eyes have grown sharper and more authoritative. He was definitely a very handsome young bachelor journin who had an eye for a certain pink haired girl. He gave Sakura an innocent smile that never seemed to have lost that childhood spark.

He crouched on his knees in front of Sakura and wiped away her tears. It hurt him to see her cry every time she came to this very spot yet all he could do was to wipe away her tears. She had never given him a chance and the number of times she had rejected him was too many to count. She always scolded him for seeing her weak and pathetic side. Yet he had never once complained and accepted it like it was his fault for making her cry.

Sakura stared into Naruto's genuine face and hugged him for the very first time. She didn't want to be alone anymore and secretly she hoped that Naruto would ask her out for one very last time. She closed her eyes and waited for Naruto to catch the drift and kiss her. Sadly, she didn't feel any lips on hers; perhaps Naruto has finally given up on chasing her. Suddenly she felt a hand fondling her breasts, which made her moaning from an indescribable pleasure.

Sakura opened her eyes and before she could open her mouth to accuse Naruto, he had already placed his lips on hers to cut off her words. With a little force he pushed Sakura to her back and applied himself on top of her. She was curious by the new sensations her body was experiencing and allowed Naruto to press on. He slipped his tongue inside her mouth to taste his prize. His animal instincts made him fondle her breasts harder and kiss her more aggressively.

I have always waited for this moment…

A while later Naruto sat up and looked away from her. She was finally his, lying underneath him yet he couldn't make his insecurity go away. The thought of becoming a replacement of Sasuke irritated him and he could no longer look straight into her eyes. He stood up to leave but before he could do so Sakura had held onto his arm. He felt her shivering body and decided to hug her instead.

"Please don't leave me," she whispered.

Sakura wanted him to stay with her because she selfishly did not want to be alone anymore. She wanted somebody to hug her, kiss her, and assure her and perhaps to love her. She wanted to be his woman if that was the only way to make him stay with her. Her anxiety built and the fear of losing Naruto frightened her. She closed her eyes and made up her mind before it was too late.

"Will you, will you go out with me?" she spoke quickly.

"Sakura-chan," he said softly and pushed a strand of her hair behind her ears. "I don't know, I don't know anymore. I don't want to be a replacement…"

"You're not. You won't be, please give me one last chance," she cried.

Naruto looked away because he could not face her but she cupped his chin and placed her lips on his mouth boldly. He returned the kiss and was unable to control his feelings anymore. He broke away from her mouth and carried her bridal style on his arms. He swirled her around until they both became dizzy and collapsed within each other's arms.

"Let's go eat some ramen!" He shouted.

"You never change, do you?" She asked.

"Nope, my love for you has never changed." He replied and continued, "Any man would fall for you. Do you know how pretty you are?"

Sakura felt a very warm feeling and could not help blushing, as no man has ever said that to her. She studied his slender figure from behind and could not believe that it now belonged to her. She ran up to hold onto Naruto's hand tightly, fearing that he would let go. Her eyes adverted to his short whiskers and short rubbles of facial hair. No longer did he resemble a boy to her, he was now her man.

I am the happiest man alive to have you by my side…

Naruto led Sakura to Ichiraku his favourite ramen street stand that has now developed into a restaurant. He had never once grown tired of eating the same food over and over again. The Ichiraku owed much thanks to Naruto in making their business flourish. For one, he ate a lot of their ramen and he would always take his friends to this place. Once, he even offered to work as a waiter when the business was going downhill.

Whenever Naruto came to dine in the Ichiraku the owner would offer him half price. He would give free bowls of ramen to Naruto if the growing blonde boy didn't have such a huge appetite. It was Sakura's first time stepping into the restaurant, as she was not a great ramen fan. Naruto ordered two bowls of each of the seven flavours available in the diner.

"I don't know which flavour you'd like so I ordered one of each," he said.

"But I can't eat that much!" She replied.

"Of course you can, I want you to fatten up!" Declared Naruto.

The rich aroma of two bowls of noodles soon arrived to their table. Sakura watched Naruto's eager expression to slurp up the ramen. She watched him eat the strands of noodle and was amused that a simple bowl could make him so happy. She blew at her ramen to cool it down before taking her first bite. It tasted just like any other ramen she had tasted and she found nothing special about it.

"I don't want you to waste your money so can you please tell them to cancel the bowls of ramen you've ordered for me?" Asked Sakura.

"Don't you like it?" He asked and stopped eating abruptly.

"No, I do like it but I'm full. How about I taste a bit of the other flavours from your bowls?" She replied.

"OK!" He said and told the manager to cancel Sakura's share.

Sakura continued to watch Naruto eat while only tasting a bit of the flavour in each bowl that came. As she wondered when he'd get full, she studied a pink and white striped naruto floating around Naruto's bowl. She stood up and decided to sit next to Naruto before picking out the naruto out of his bowl with her chopsticks. She placed it gently in her mouth and waited for Naruto to finish his gulp of ramen.

She turned his head towards her and kissed him unexpectedly sliding the piece of ramen into his mouth. She broke free of the kiss and smiled to him while Naruto savored the familiar taste of the ingredient that symbolized him. He gave her a cheeky smile and continued to finish his seventh bowl of ramen. Tonight, the bowls of ramen didn't seem too satisfying, his heart craved for something else…

I want you. All of you, body and soul…

Naruto was like a son to the storeowner, he knew that the kid was the demon carrier but that did not frightened him at all. He chuckled silently in his hidden corner as he watched the young couple share a kiss. He decided to give Naruto a free of charge in return for finding a girlfriend. Sure Naruto was always happy eating his ramen but never this happy.

"I hope a wonderful evening awaits you, my boy," said the owner with a wink to Naruto.

The night was still young as the couple walked out of the warmth of the restaurant. Naruto noticed that Sakura was more silent than before so he gave her a hug to reassure her. He studied the soft pale features of his angelic princess and vowed that he would let no man hurt her. She was now his and he promised to protect and cherish her. He took hold of her hand and clutched it as a seal to his pledge.

"Are you tired? Do you want to go home?" He asked softly.

"No. No I want to stay with you." She stammered.

"I was hoping you'd say that. Come, I want to show you a secret place of mine." He suggested.

Naruto took a long walk with Sakura until they eventually came to Konoha beach. The nearer they came towards the sea the colder it got as winter was approaching maker the night colder to withstand. Naruto noticed that Sakura was on the verge of shivering so he took off his orange jumpsuit and wrapped it around her. She felt his warmth through the fabric and thought how foolish she was to not have accepted him the first time.

I will make you fall deeply in love with me, Sakura-chan.

The two of them sat down to watch the brilliant stars and full moon. Fate has finally aligned the two and even the night sky is clear of clouds to shine light down to them. Sakura rested her head on Naruto's shoulder and admired the beautiful view that she had never appreciated when she was alone. Now that she had Naruto by her side, everything would be perfect right?

To Be Continued

2 Envy- Sakura wonders what Naruto finds in her? She cannot describe the irritating feeling she gets when Naruto gets close with other girls, especially Hinata Hyuga.

As long as there is one person reviewing this I'd continue. Please review!