Koneko101- Yeah, I know, two updates within 4 months! Yay! Hope ya'll enjoy.

Chapter 14

Complications of the worst kind

Hinata smiled slightly as she watched Naruto fidget in his spot, almost seeming shy. "Naruto-kun, how can she meet you if you stay over here? Just remember, she doesn't remember any of us in this life. So please, be careful when you greet her," she warned gently, nudging him forward.

As if someone lit a fire under him, he bolted towards the tree, resisting the urge to tackle Sakura in a hug by hugging Ino instead, making her gasp slightly as he knocked the air out of her. Shikamaru, of course, took the opportunity to punch Naruto over the head.

"She's pregnant you idiot, be careful!" he barked, pulling Ino to him as he inspected her.

"Sorry, sorry, just got excited," he mumbled, turning to Sakura. She was still as beautiful as ever. "Hi, I'm Naruto Uzumaki! But you can call me Naruto!"

Sakura giggled slightly at the overactive blonde. She waited patiently as he talked on, managing to give him her name and some random replies here and there. But that was about it for the next few minutes.

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It had been a few hours since the reunion started. So far, Sakura had met everyone from the original Rookie 9. She found herself drawn to Naruto and Ino, and couldn't shake the feeling that she had met them before. Especially after that dream from a few weeks before…. Ignoring the odd feeling, she laughed slightly as Naruto started rambling about the different flavors of ramen. Man, that boy loved those noodles. She vaguely wondered how he kept in such good shape with all the carbs he constantly ingested. Laughing when Sasuke smacked him to shut him up, she noticed that Tenten and Neji were getting cozy over by the tree. They had arrived about an hour into the visit.

Sakura was about to throw a teasing comment at the weapons mistress when a jingle sounded from the street. Tenten and she instantly sat up straight as they tried to locate the source of the noise.

"Something wrong, Sakura-chan?" Ino asked, slightly worried.

Sakura merely grinned as she shook her head, jumping to her feet at the same time as Tenten. "Hey Tennie, it's in the next street over. Usual rules?"

"Yup, winner gets first pick. Loser has the usual fare,"

"Alright, on your mark,"

"Get set,"

"GO!"

Both girls sprinted across the park, ignoring the shocked stares of their new friend as they jumped and leaped over objects trying to outrace the other. Within seconds, they were only a few yards away from their target. Tenten managed to get into the lead, and was less than three feet away from her goal when Sakura leap frogged over her, tapping the object first before falling to the ground.

"Yay, I won!"

Tenten sighed as she looked up at their goal. The ice cream truck. Pulling out her wallet, she sighed softly at the thought of all her money gone. Yep, her best friend was a bottom less pit. "Alright, Sak, you win. Go pick. Try to keep it to a minimum though, please. I'd like to keep some of my money," she pleaded.

Sakura grinned as she skimmed over the possible flavors, not noticing the shadow coming up behind her. She did notice the arms wrapping around her waist, making her squeal slightly. "Sasuke, you scared me!" she whined, pouting at him.

"Sorry, koi. So, what are you planning on getting?" he asked.

Blushing slightly at the koi comment, she turned back to the flavors, trying to ignore the slight glare the vendor was giving them. "Ummm can I get a double chocolate with fudge, marshmallows, caramel, nuts, banana, and whipped cream in a waffle cone? Oh, and sprinkles! Can't forget the sprinkles," she chirped, as the vendor stared at her in shock.

"And I want a double chocolate in a waffle cone please, and there on the same tab," Tenten said, making the vendor laugh.

"So, you lose again, Tenten-san?"

"Aaaah, shuddup!"

Neji's eyes narrowed slightly as he wrapped a possessive arm around her. "You two know each other?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah, we go way back. Kyo-san was in our senior class in college. He works over at the university, but does this for a little extra pocket money. He's used to our races," she explained, placing a soothing hand on his arm while her other took the cone. Pulling away from him, she handed Neji her cone before digging through her wallet to give Kyo the right amount. "Ah, here we go! Keep the change Kyo-san, think of it as a tip for good service," she winked, before scurrying away.

"THERE'S ONLY TWO CENTS IN CHANGE, YOU CHEAP SKATE!"

She laughed as they made their way back to the others, both girls munching happily on their ice cream. Sasuke laughed slightly as Sakura got whipped cream on her nose, to which she happily flipped him off. Moving closer, Sasuke used his finger to get it off. He never expected her to wrap her lips around it, sucking off the sweet concoction. His eyes darkened as she grinned at him coyly.

"Looks like I win, eh, Sasuke-kun?" she purred, before bolting forward to catch up with Tenten.

Sasuke growled slightly as he followed her, silently plotting his revenge. They were soon back at the meeting spot, ignoring the wide eyed looks from Ino and Naruto.

"What was that all about?"

"Oh, Tenten and I always race to the ice cream truck. The winner has to pay. After all, you can never turn down ice cream, eh Ino?"

Ino didn't respond, opting instead to shake her head at how little Sakura had changed. The girl had always been a bottomless pit for food.

As the friends got to talking again, no one noticed the blurs that were coming towards them. The only notice they had was when Sakura was suddenly in the air, thrown over the shoulder of a certain blue haired Akatsuki. Sasuke snarled as he pulled out his katana. "Put her down, Konan."

The woman ignored him, instead focusing on the struggling woman over her shoulder. Grasping her hair, she pulled Sakura's head back until her neck was completely exposed. "Hmm, I don't know if I will, Sasuke-san. After all, what better way to get my revenge than to take your precious person away from you," she purred, ignoring Sasuke's snarl of rage as she fingered her kunai. "Or perhaps…… I should let her live. But with the memory of how you failed her before. Maybe that would be better?" she mused as her eyes settled on Tenten.

Too fast for anyone to stop her, she flung Sakura into Tenten, causing the two to roll down the hill. Racing after them, the others could do nothing as she cast a jutsu over them. Sakura's eyes widened as her head pounded, memories racing back to her that weren't from this lifetime. Clutching her head, she tried to ward off the voices that were screaming at her.

Weak.

Annoying.

Sakura, thank you.

I'll bring him back, Sakura-chan. I promise.

Hurry up, forehead!

She screamed for them to stop, pain coursing through her body as she tried to push them away. Her wails grew louder and more agonized as the voices grew louder, lashing out when two strong arms encircled her. She fought against her holder, clawing at them. They tried to hold her still while forcing her head up, but she bit the hand on her face, forcing it to let her go. It took a second pair of arms to restrain her as she was forced to look into red spinning eyes. She sobbed with relief when she felt her eyes growing heavy, welcoming the darkness that allowed her to escape from her torture.

Sasuke held Sakura tightly as she fell into a deep asleep, ignoring the bleeding scratches she had inflicted on him in her struggle. Turning his head slightly, he saw Neji lifting an unconscious Tenten. He assumed that Neji hit a pressure point to knock her out. Looking back at the woman in his arms, he growled slightly as he stood. Adjusting Sakura into a more comfortable position, he took to the rooftops as he headed for home. Ino had already gone to get Tsunade, wherever the old hag may be. Only she had enough healing ability to help with this chaos. Growling slightly, his eyes bled to red as he allowed some of his anger to show. Konan would pay for what she had done. With her life.

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Sakura groaned as she roused, her head still pounding horribly. She felt a soothing hand rub her forehead, and then a cool feeling swept over her as the pain diminished. She sighed slightly, leaning towards the hand that made the pain leave. It stroked her hair once before leaving, making her whimper slightly. She calmed when another hand encircled her own, large and warm and very familiar.

"Sasuke-kun?" she whispered, unable to make her eyes open.

"Shh, don't speak. You need to rest. I'm right here," he said softly, spreading out beside her, spooning her.

She said nothing, instead leaning into him, burrowing her head into his chest as she attempted to sort through the memories. Everything was jumbled. Two different fathers, two sets of memories, the old mixing with the new. It was almost impossible to sort it out, and she knew it would take her a while before she was able to do so completely. But one thing was constant in both sets. Her love for Sasuke was the same intense feeling in both lifetimes, and she used that as a constant as she tried to put the pieces of her shattered mind back together.

Sasuke didn't say anything as he watched her, squeezing her hand every time her expression became pained. There was nothing he could do; he couldn't fight this battle for her. Gritting his teeth, he swore that Konan would suffer ten times as much pain as she had forced on his love. A knock on the door made him turn slightly. Naruto stood there, looking down at Sakura sadly. He was feeling just as helpless as Sasuke was, and just as angry.

"We're all meeting downstairs, teme. Tsunade said that Sakura needs to sleep, and sent this to help with the pain," he announced, tossing a small vial to him.

Sasuke caught it one handed, inspecting it slightly. It contained a light lavender liquid, one he recognized. Tsunade had often used it on him after Sakura had died to make him sleep. Nodding to Naruto, he turned back to Sakura. Brushing her hair back, he leaned down to whisper to her. "Sakura, koi, I need you to drink something for me. It will help you sleep as you heal," he cooed, lifting her head a little.

She forced her eyes open slightly to stare at him, and he visibly relaxed at the familiar emerald squinting up at him. Holding the vial to her lips, he made sure she swallowed all of it before laying her head back against the pillow. He waited until she was completely asleep before rising, tucking her securely under the comforter before following Naruto out of the room. They walked in silence for a moment as they went upstairs. Naruto finally broke the silence as they were midway up the steps.

"You really love her, don't you, teme?"

"Yes, I do. Even if I don't deserve to have her," Sasuke muttered his fist clenching.

"You do deserve it Sasuke. Today was not your fault, it was no ones. If we could have stopped it, you know we would have. Now come on, stop blaming yourself and let's get this meeting over with so that we can go back to our women," Naruto joked, trying to lighten the mood somewhat.

Sasuke smirked slightly as they entered the meeting room, and he glanced around at everyone. All of the rookies were there, excluding Sakura and Tenten of course. Taking a seat, he was silent as he waited for them to begin.

"How's Sakura?" Ino asked, worried.

"Better, since Tsunade helped clear her mind slightly. She needs to rest for now, but you can see her when she had recovered more," he informed.

She nodded slightly before leaning back, her hand resting on her stomach.

"So, what are we going to do now? I know that you both had planned to restore the girl's memories after mating, but it's too late now. You need to mate with them soon. The Blood Path grows more every day, and with the full moon approaching, it will be extremely dangerous for them to be as they are," Shikamaru informed, looking at them both with a scrutinizing gaze.

"We are well aware, Nara. However, the added stress of mixing our chakra with theirs would be too much on them at the moment. We need to allow their minds to piece back together for a time before we can begin the mating process," Neji said coldly, clearly still angry.

Sasuke nodded his agreement before looking around, waiting for more comments to be made. None were, so he excused himself to go back to Sakura. He heard them start discussing other topics as he left. They would inform him of anything useful later on, for now he wanted to return to Sakura's side for when she awoke. Making his way down the stairs, he paused for a moment when he reached her door. Would she still accept him after she knew what he had done? Shaking the thoughts away, he entered the room and silently closed the door behind him.

She was still fast asleep. Smiling softly, he spread out beside her, allowing his body heat to mingle with hers. She turned to him, seeking him even in her sleep. That told him more than words ever would that she would still want him. Letting that thought relax him, he closed his eyes as he drifted to sleep along with her, his arms holding her tight against him. Protecting her from any danger he could. As the night wore on, he constantly awoke to even the slightest sound from outside. He knew the dangers that faced her at the moment, and around dawn finally just stayed awake. Grasping at his few hours of rest, he looked upon the still sleeping face of his lover.

The pained expression had almost completely disappeared, and he silently thanked the gods for Tsunade's help. She had turned what could have been a terrible experience into no more than a bad headache. Kissing her temple, he slowly sat up. He pulled her into his lap before keeping watch, simply waiting for her to wake up. It took a few hours, but around mid morning she finally opened her eyes for him. They were slightly dull, and full of confusion.

"Sasuke?" she mumbled, glancing up at him.

He looked back, simply waiting. He knew that she would have some questions for him, and that it would hurt him to answer most. But it must be done, and he would be nothing but honest.

"You left me," she said softly, her eyes becoming teary.

He nodded slightly, bowing his head. Of course, that would be the first thing she asked. "Yes, I went with Orochimaru to gain power. When we were twelve, or possibly thirteen. It's been so long, I've forgotten our exact ages. I do remember that it was after Itachi had attacked Naruto when he was out of the village, and that he broke my arm and used the Mangekyo on me for the first time. You weren't there at the time, and for that I was thankful. I did not want you hurt," he said by means of an explanation.

She kept quiet, tears streaming softly down her face for a time. He wiped them away gently, unable to meet her eyes.

"When we were young, back then, did you really mean everything that you said to me? Especially after you came back, that night in the forest?"

A small smile came to his face when he remembered that. Ah yes, that night. He had almost forgotten. It hadn't been too long before her death, when he had been planning to court her. He could still remember every little detail.

Flashback

Sasuke panted slightly as he trained, using only the moonlight above him as a guide. He twisted and turned in the air, landing every throw perfectly in their targets. Only the small scruff on bark against cloth had him turning. Sakura stood at the edge of the clearing, leaning against a tree. She had on her nurses outfit still, and he was thankful for the lack of light as his face went slightly red.

"Still out here training, eh, Sasuke?" she teased, pushing off of the tree.

He rolled his eyes slightly at the remark, but smirked in amusement none the less. "I haven't been out here for that long, Sakura. Only a couple of hours," he informed.

She merely raised an eyebrow in amusement, making him tense slightly at her obvious knowledge of something. "Really? Because when I last saw you during your training, that was when my shift was just starting. Over eight hours ago," she drawled, looking at her fingernails.

He blinked slightly at the information, doing a mental calculation. Damn, she was right. He had been out here much longer than he thought. His stomach growled loudly, showing him that he was nearly ravenous.

Sakura laughed again, seeing his sheepish expression, while holding up a couple of bentos. "I assumed you had lost track of time, AGAIN, so I took the liberty of bringing dinner, if you care to join me," she chirped, tossing him the food.

He caught it easily, and easily joined her on a nearby log to enjoy the food. They didn't say a work to each other as they ate. Sasuke glanced at Sakura out of the corner of his eye, noting her somewhat thoughtful expression. Keeping silent, he knew she would speak when the time came.

"Sasuke, why did you come back?" she finally asked, not looking at him.

He stopped mid bite, not expecting this to be her question. Setting his food back down, he grasped her arm, forcing her to turn to him. "There were some precious people that I needed to return to," he said softly, not breaking eye contact with her even as she gasped.

Neither said anything as they stared into each others eyes, not noticing the gap between them slowly disappearing. Sasuke noticed first, and decided to close it completely by pressing his lips to hers firmly. She gasped again, and he took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. Her eyes slid shut slowly, and she returned it with all the love she had for him. When they finally pulled apart, he rose to leave. When he felt her questioning gaze, he turned back to say one thing.

"I have to kill Itachi so my precious people stay safe. Until then, I am still an avenger."

She nodded slightly in understanding, even as the tears fell down her safe. If only they had both known of the figure watching them from above, then perhaps Sasuke would have reconsidered his decision. Perhaps.

End flashback

Shaking himself from his thoughts, he looked back down upon her. "Sakura, I meant everything. And I mean all that I have told you now, my love. All of it," he whispered sincerely.

She smiled gently at him, accepting his words. Pulling him down to her, she rolled under him as he showed her the full extent of his love. This was all she had ever wanted, in two lifetimes now, and she refused to let it go.

Koneko101- Well, here it is. The next chapter. I don't know when the next update will be, so I tried to make this chapter a bit longer than usual. Hope you all enjoy it! Please read and review!