When a Bud Blooms

By Eevetta

Disclaimer: Naruto and all its characters don't belong to me.

A/N: Instead of retrieving Sasuke 3 years later after his leaving of Konoha, they get him back 5 years later. So, every team except for Team Gai, are 17.

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She was born a bud; small, soft and delicate.

She was the picture of innocence and fragilety. Even a small mar on her features would ruin her perfection; hair the shade of pink as the flower she was named after, eyes as green as the finest emeralds, and skin smooth as porcelein.

This was what her teammates secretly viewed her as; the perfect image of a bud that has yet to bloom. Through all their times together, they have watched over her; protected this 'bud' of theirs, making sure she would never wilt before she blossomed.

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"I…I love you more than anything, with all my heart!" she cried out to the retreating form of Sasuke. "If you're by my side, I'll make sure you won't regret it! I'll do anything for you, anything you want! That's why, I'm begging you to stay!"

The boy didn't budge nor speak. "I'll even help you with your revenge, anything! So please, stay here with me…" Wind started to pick up. "If that's not possible, then…take me with you!" The clouds in the sky parted to show the full moon radiating down at them. Sasuke turned slowly, and faced her.

"Geez, even all this time, you're still as annoying as ever," he responded. And with that, he turned to leave.

"No wait, don't go!" Sakura yelled out. "If you do, I'll scream and…" before she got to finish, he blurred from her view and was instantly behind her.

"Sakura…thank you." He knocked her out, and her last thought was of him.

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She had that day, the day HE left her.

The others had watched as she wilted; her smiles never real, her eyes empty, her laughs half-hearted. They feared they were losing their precious 'bud', and it remained that way for the next few years.

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"Why? Why do you still want me back? After all I've done…why?" he questioned in confusion as he kneeled defeated before the demon vessel; panting a bit due to his fatigue state.

"Because, I made the promise of a life time to Sakura-chan to bring you back to Konoha," was the response. The other started at that, but stayed quiet. "Remember what you, Kakashi, and I promised a long time ago Sasuke? That we would do everything we could to keep her from wilting?"

The raven-haired teen nodded.

"She has wilted Sasuke, and all because of you!" the blonde spat out. Sasuke didn't say anything. "Yet, there is still hope to bring her back." He outstretched his hand out to the surprised teen.

"They're all waiting for you, she's waiting for you. Come back with me to Konoha. If you don't then the 'bud' we vowed to help grow will never bloom. With you there, she'll return to us, she'll 'live' again."

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When he left, her friends had watched her wilt; wither away with each passing day. Now as the Uchiha heir limped pass through the entrance of the village gates with Naruto, they watched as their wilted bud slowly came back. Tears flowed down her cheeks, and Sasuke couldn't help but wipe them away. He gave her a gentle smile; one that she had wished to see again, one that only she was able to get out from him, and one she wanted to see once more. Now she had an eternity.

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"Sasuke-kun!" the kunoichi cried out in happiness as she leapt at him. She cried her heart out on his chest as he stroked her hair. She didn't care if she caused a scene. She was just glad Sasuke was back.

"I'm home Sakura," he replied softely. "I'm home."

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"C'mon Sasuke-kun, hurry hurry!" exclaimed an excited Sakura as she pulled her boyfriend towards the festival full of crowds.

"Hey hey, take it easy. The festival isn't going anywhere," Sasuke repliled. She gave him a cute pout.

"Awe, but the others are waiting! Hurry!" She tugged harder on the hem of his yukata, and he couldn't help but comply. Once they reached their waiting friends, they each went to separate groups; Sakura with the girls, and Sasuke with the guys.

As the girls left, the guys gave lingering stares after them; three of them at the pink haired kunoichi who was talking and laughing with her friends like there was no tomorrow.

"Well guys," spoke out Kakashi to his two ex-students, "Mission accomplished." The two teens nodded.

"The bud has unfurled its petals," replied Naruto.

"And will continued to grow and live as long as she continues to breath in this world," responded Sasuke. His friend chuckled.

"Since when did you become so poetic 'Teme'?" Sasuke growled.

"Shut up 'Dobe'!" The blonde ignored this of course. Instead he asked…

"So, when are you going to ask her?"

"Tomorrow."

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The next day he proposed to her, and of course she said…I mean cried out 'YES!'

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She was born a bud; small, soft, and delicate.

She was the picture of innocence and fragilety; the perfect image of a bud that has yet to bloom.

Her friends had watched over and protected her over the years to make sure she never wilted.

She had 'died' the day HE left.

She had 'lived' again the day HE returned.

And after that the 'bud' had finally started to open. Everyone watched as Haruno Sakura bloomed from a delicate bud to the most beautiful flower in Konoha.

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END

So what do you guys think? If it isn't to your liking, complain all you want, it'll just help me do better next time. Read and Review!