When a Bud Blooms
By Eevetta
Disclaimer:
Naruto and all its characters don't belong to me.

NOTES:
1)
Due to some thinking after some of you wanting me to add the proposal part, I've decided to revise this one-shot. Hope this version is better than the last one.

2) 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.

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

She was the picture of innocence and fragilety, so 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. The moment they laid eyes on her, they knew that the girl was special; enough to know that they would need to be the ones to help her 'grow'. So through all their times together, they have watched over her; protecting this little 'bud' of theirs and making sure she would never wilt before her time came to 'blossom'.

:NARUTO:

"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 to face her and gave a smirk that was all too familiar to her.

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

"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.

Truthfully he didn't exactly know what to say to her. He couldn't let her words make him feel any guilt or regret of leaving both her and Konoha, so he pushed them to the far depths of his mind and sealed them behind locked doors. Not wanting to leave her handing, he spoke the only words he could give her.

"Sakura…thank you." He then knocked her out by the back of her neck; her last thoughts being of him.

-Sasuke-kun-

:NARUTO:

The day HE left her, was the day it all began.

THEY watched as she started wilting. Her smiles became forced and were never real, her eyes dulled with emptiness and lost the shine it once radiated, and her laughs came out half-hearted and hollow.

THEY started fearing the loss of their precious 'bud', and did everything they could to bring her back, but all was for naught. Both ended up parting ways with her, and that alone created the continuous rift between them that futher lasted for the next few years.

:NARUTO:


"Why? Why do you still want me back? After all I've done to you, and to HER…why?" he questioned/demanded softly as he laid defeated before the demon vessel with extreme exhaustion. Naruto kneeled next to him, equally tired, but with just a bit more stamina. He stared hard at the teen.

"Because, I made the promise of a life time to Sakura-chan of returning you to Konoha," was the response. "If I failed this very one promise to her, then everything I've work for, everything I've struggled against in hopes of bringing you back due to both of our wishes, would leave us broken beyond repair. Especially her."

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 hesitantly nodded.

"She has wilted Sasuke, and all because of you!" the blonde spat out. Sasuke didn't say anything. "I admit though that I'm also to blame. I wasn't there for her when she needed me the most; someone to comfort her and share their pains with. Even after coming back home, the rifts Kakashi and I created between her have yet to close." He then outstretched his hand out to the surprised wide-eyed teen.

"I'm ready to finally bridge that gap Sasuke, as I'm sure Kakashi is too. My question is, are you ready? We can't leave her like that anymore Sasuke, it would break our pact, our promise."

The locked doors in the Uchiha's mind swung open, and the memories of one particular night flooded his head.

He remembered her tears, the sincerity in her words of her confessions. Sakura did love him, and not the childish crush she had when they were younger. But that had been a problem, because he couldn't bring himself to feel anything for her. He needed to only feel hatred and nothing else.

But now…

Sasuke took the offered hand, and Naruto helped him up to his feet. Both weren't really in the best of conditions of walking, but that wouldn't keep them from going back. He couldn't ignore her anymore, he couldn't let her 'die'. He had finally able to complete his revenge, and having nothing but hatred was no longer needed. He would bridge the gaps he himself made between THEM, so everything would turn out alright.

"They're all waiting for us, she's waiting for us. Let's go back to Konoha Sasuke. With you there, Sakura will return to us, and she'll 'live' again."

:NARUTO:

When HE left, THEY watched as she started to wilt; withering away with each passing day. Now as the truly last Uchiha 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 at the sight of the person she had missed so much. It really did hurt Sasuke to see the pain that Sakura held in her emerald eyes. To know that he was the cause of it, hurt even more.

Seeing the tears, he couldn't help but wipe them away with his fingers. He then gave her a gentle smile, the same one she had wished to see again that only she was able to get out from him. Now she knew she had an eternity.

:NARUTO:

"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."

:NARUTO:

"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 replied. 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 wistfully. His friend chuckled.

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

"Shut up 'Dobe'!" Naruto just ignored the nickname. Instead he asked with a mischievous grin-

"So, when are you going to ask her?" Sasuke just rolled his eyes at his friend's look.

"Tomorrow."

:NARUTO:

He was nervous, so very nervous. But he shouldn't be right? She loved him, and he loved her, so there was no way she would refuse right? He'll ask and then wait for her reaction. He shouldn't be worried now.

"Sasuke-kun!" Okay, so he was worried. But c'mon, this was Sakura we're talking about. She'll give the best answer she'll see fit. He smiled at her when she reached him. She seemed out of breath.

"You okay?"

"Yeah I'm alright." She straightened herself up. "You said you wanted to talk to me and said it was urgent, so I came running here as fast as I can. So, what is it you wanted to tell me? Did something bad happened?" she asked, concern in her eyes. Sasuke shook his head.

"No, nothing bad happened." She gave him a confused look.

"Then why'd you sound so nervous on the phone when you asked to see me?" Okay, it was now or never- he couldn't run away now. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Sasuke inwardly chuckled at her shocked face as he kneeled down on one knee and presented to her a small black ring box. He opened it and she gasped at the beautiful gold ring that adorned a small cherry blossom on its base. "S-Sasuke-kun," she whispered as tears started to form in her eyes.

"I was waiting for this moment since I came back. It took me awhile to find the perfect ring though, but Naruto helped me. How he has good tastes when it comes to jewelry, I'll never know. But enough about that, I'll just get straight to the point without saying any of those cheesy lines said in the movies. Haruno Sakura, will you marry me?"

He expected her to jump at him with a hug and a mellow answer of 'yes'. How wrong he was. She did jump at him, but he didn't expect her to jump straight at him from up in the air, so she ended up tackling him instead to the ground. And his expectation of a mellow answer came out in a loud joyful cry.

"YES! YES! YES!"

Sasuke grinned. So it came out alright after all, much better then he expected. Ha, and to think he was so worried.

Nope, not a chance.

:NARUTO:

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.

THEY looked after 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. THEY watched as Haruno Sakura bloomed from a delicate bud to the most beautiful flower in Konoha.

:NARUTO:

OWARI
So, did this turn out better? I know for sure it did.

Read and Review!