Summary: Women. Drama. Pride. Games. (Humor and sweet, I promise).
Author's Notes: Sweetness. Because I feel the need.
-ahem- Please don't review just to tell me to update my other fics. They'll update... maybe.
The Exchange - By Mindlezz
Basic Outline: Sasuke's returned, it's been three years, everyone's living in peace.
It was a typical day in the village of Konoha. The birds were chirping, the bees were buzzing, and the newly reunited team seven was causing their usual stir in the blissful hours of the morning.
Naruto and Sakura, of course, were the cause of the stir.
"Come on!" Naruto whined, "Please, Sakura-chan? Just once. Please." He quivered his lower lip in a pout and gave her a teary eyed look.
"No!" Sakura told him sternly.
Naruto pressed on, "Please! It's only once. I'll never ask for it again! What's so hard about it?" He took a step toward her. "All you have to do is open your mouth and-."
"You can forget it! That privilege is reserved for Sasuke-kun only!" She crossed her arms.
"Oh come on, he wouldn't care." Naruto looked over at his raven-haired teammate. "Right?"
"Tch." Sasuke responded and looked away from the two.
"So is that a yes?" Naruto grinned.
"No!" Sakura interjected. "Sasuke-kun! Be a bit more of a boyfriend will you!"
Sasuke sighed and strode between his two teammates. He turned around to his girlfriend. "Now what?"
"Well, well..." Sakura huffed, "Defend me against him!" She pressed on.
Naruto shoved Sasuke out of the way. "Do it for me as a present!" The blonde suggested. A fist suddenly came out and hit him over the head. "Ow! What the hell Sasuke! It was only a mild push, you didn't have to go that far!" He placed a hand over the bump. "This isn't going to heal up by tonight either!"
Sasuke glared at the blonde. "Dobe. Shouldn't you be over there helping for tonight anyway?" He asked sharply.
"Well, yeah, dress rehearsal is tonight." Naruto tapped his chin.
"Then why are you so determined to do this now?" Sakura inquired.
"Sakura-chan," Naruto slung and arm over her shoulder, "How long have we known each other?" Sasuke gave a sharp 'ahem.' The blonde removed his arm. "Jeez..." He turned to face her, "How long have we known each other?" He asked again.
Sakura pondered it for a second... "Well... almost... nine years now?"
"We've gone through a lot together." Naruto said seriously, "I mean we've trained, gone through missions, saved this," He pointed at Sasuke, "idiot's ass-." Another fist hit his head. "Ow!" Naruto winced. "I mean, come on, I even helped you guys get together..."
"Locking us in a closet for a week does not mean-." Sasuke glared at the blonde.
"Yeah! But without my help you'd both be hopeless." Naruto pointed and accusing finger at the Uchiha, "And I'll have you know that my closet is going to be tainted forever by your guys' touchy... lovey... soft whispers and promises of bliss... bleh!" He cringed.
"No one asked you." Sakura stuck her tongue out at him. "You were listening!"
"Well, it is my closet." Naruto grinned. "I had to sleep over at-... never mind." He shook his head. "The point is, we've known each other for a long time..." He sighed.
A breeze flew between the trio. "Sakura-chan," his voice went soft, "You've never once showed me any sign of concern."
"Are... are you serious?" Sakura said with surprise. She took a step back. Realization dawned on her. She felt terrible! Naruto was one of her best friends... perhaps her best! (Besides Sasuke because he was still "number one"). She placed a hand on his shoulder and looked at him with wide eyes. "Really...? I... I..."
"Well, yeah, I mean... all you did was yell at me and be bossy and... well, yeah." Naruto smiled, "I'd really like to hear it once, just to see what it would've been like to have your feelings aimed at me."
Sakura gave him a sad look. "I'm sorry, Naruto." She pulled him into a tight hug. "I'm so sorry..." Her voice cracked from trying to hold back the tears of guilt.
Naruto began to shake... "S-Sa-Sakura-chan... y-you..." He hugged her back.
They stood like that in slience for a while. "Ak!" Naruto clasped tightly onto the fabric of her shirt, "S-Sakura-chan! Ak! C-ch-." He clawed at her, "Sakura-chan! C-choking..."
"Eh?" Sakura blinked, "What?" Naruto let out a gargling noise. "Ah!" She jumped back. "Naruto! I'm sorry!"
The blonde wheezed, "I-it's okay. Grandm-ma... brute... I-I got it." He let out a cackle.
Sasuke finally made a move after watching his girlfriend and best friend give such a 'sweet' exchange. He was disgusted (slightly). He walked over to Sakura and wrapped a protective arm around her waist. "Get up and get this done quickly." He and Sakura had some business to attend to...
Naruto gave a glare to Sasuke and then turned to Sakura. "So... will you?"
Sakura nodded, "Sure." She took a deep breath.
"Naruto...kun," Came out sweet and lovingly, the same way she said it to Sasuke.
Naruto's face brightened immediately. He broke into a wide grin, ran, and enveloped the both of them in a big hug despite Sasuke's protest. "Thank you." He said in a muffled voice. "That's all I wanted."
He was loved.
Yeah. Short. Cracked. Hopefully sweet. Hopefully humorous. Not too random? Overall, probably not the best work, but I was feeling pity for Naruto.
A. Tsunade's the grandma.
B. It's the dress rehearsal day for Naruto's wedding. He's signing his love away to someone else.