Disclaimer: I should token stamp this by now, for real. IF I were to own the rights to Naruto and the characters, I would have done each and every one of them justice. And Sakura would continue to remain a badass, as always. ;)
And no, I am not dead. As exhibited by this excrutiatingly LONG overdue update. ;)
~ Konoha no Uchiha Sakura
Strength of The Heart – Final Chapter
The sun was rising high above the horizon, casting its rays at just the right angle to where they pierced through the haphazardly drawn blinds covering the windows.
One green eye cranked open, and instantly slammed shut again as the bright light pierced her retina.
A heavy arm tucked around her waist then, pulling her away from the sun's piercing rays and further into the shadowy darkness on the other side of the bed.
"Sleep," a deep voice murmured huskily in her ear. "I'll tell you when to wake back up again."
A sleepy giggle escaped her lips, but she nuzzled close to him again, letting her sea foam green eyes droop shut once more. The warmth of his embrace and comfort of his arms around her were nearly enough alone to lull her back in to sleep's dark call.
Sakura breathed in his scent, letting it fill her lungs as she committed the sound of his groggy voice to memory. Pressing her lips to his jaw line, she whispered,
A grunt was her only reply, but his arms tightened around her for a moment, holding her closer as she drifted off to sleep again.
Uchiha Sasuke had been awake for some time, watching over Sakura as she slept. His sharp eyes noted the changes in her physically as she recovered and the gradual ease in her sleeping patterns. He also noted with a large amount of pride, that she was sleeping much better since he had all but commanded her to sleep with him in his bed. No longer did she fight against him when he asked her to remove her shirt so he could change her bandages. But he had noticed her rate of recovery had quickened drastically, and he knew without a doubt that she was healing herself when his back was turned.
He smiled with masculine pride as he watched her snuggle closer to him before drifting off to sleep again. Little moments like these were ones he cherished, though he would never admit that to anyone. Lo and behold someone ever discover the great Uchiha had developed a soft spot because of the pink haired girl in his arms. As he watched her breathing even out again, he lifted a hand to stroke her hair gently. He loved playing with the soft pink strands, and he even did it while she was awake. Tucking a piece behind her ear, he leaned down and pressed his lips to her cheek. Unconsciously, Sakura turned toward him, a soft sigh parting her lips.
He rose silently, murmuring softly to her, "I'll be back soon."
Today's weather could not have been more perfect, Yamanaka Ino decided as she tucked a stray piece of blonde behind one ear. Her sky blue eyes lifted and her lips rose into a wide smile as she took in the bright, beautiful sunny day. A quick glance the clock told her it was time to go, and she swiftly locked up, heading east toward the Uchiha Compound. She was waking up a certain pink haired kunoichi if she wasn't already up and moving!
Today her best friend, sister from another mister, was getting married. And Ino was going to make everything absolutely perfect!
Mentally going over her checklist, Ino counted the number of bouquets she had arranged the night before as she briskly walked down the street. Then there were the guests, all of whom wore a simple white and red carnation, to symbolize the blending of the two families and the lasting eternal happiness for the bride and groom. Because today's festivities called for a strictly traditional ceremony, the Hokage herself had been called in to solidify the deal.
A priest from Konoha's temple would be present to preside over the ceremony, and then Tsunade had something up her sleeve to bind the two ninjas together. Had Sakura or Sasuke not been ninja and simply civilians, this little part of the ceremony would not have been necessary. But as two of the apprentices of the Legendary Sannin, Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Sasuke were to take part in something that would become a law for all future wedded ninjas.
Ino simply couldn't wait to see what it was!
And then of course, there were the traditional garb that all members in the ceremony were to wear—
Someone landed just in front of her then, startling her out of her reverie and stumbling back to gasp at the sudden intrusion. A quick hand shot out and grabbed her arm to steady her, the grip firm but gentle.
"My apologies, Yamanaka-san." A polite male voice said quietly. Ino's eyes lifted and widened as they were met with pale lavender. "N-Neji?" She breathed, feeling her cheeks warm at the sight of him. "What is it?"
As she looked at him, she saw that he was not dressed in the formal Yukata that all of Sasuke's close male friends were to be wearing. Instead, he was cloaked entirely in his ANBU uniform; his owl mask pushed the side. His expression was grim as he looked at her for a moment.
"Tsunade-sama has requested your presence this morning. I was sent to retrieve you before you arrived at the Uchiha compound."
She eyed him suspiciously for a moment before nodding. If the Hokage wanted something done before the wedding took place, then it had to be serious. Without any little quip Ino disappeared with a poof. Neji smirked as he watched her go. "Not quite as troublesome as you say, Nara." His grin stayed in place as he followed her to Hokage tower.
Tsunade took in the small group of Nins gathered in her office. All members, save for two, of the original Rookie Nine were present, each wearing expressions ranging from grim to determined. Just then, a knock sounded at the door, and the final two Nins walked into the office. The best friend and self-appointed Matron of Honor of Haruno Sakura, and Hyuuga Neji.
As each went to stand by their old teammates, Tsunade rose from her chair. "I have called you in here this morning because under recent circumstances, the safety of one of your own has come to the forefront. I am hereby officially appointing each of you a mission of security, which will be completed the moment I complete the jutsu to officiate the Uchiha ceremony."
No one spoke.
"Furthermore, Sakura is not to know of any of this. As all of you know, my apprentice is very strong, but her mind is in a fragile state right now. The best we can all do for her is to keep her safe, and to make sure that today is the happiest day of her life."
"Ne, Sakura-chan is marrying the teme! Of course she's going to be happy!" Naruto spoke up, giving the Hokage a huge thumbs up and a foxy grin.
Ino poked him. "Urusei! Tsunade-sama wasn't finished!" Ino hissed to him. The only member of Team 7 present smiled impishly as he rubbed the back of his head.
Tsunade suppressed a smile.
"Everything is to proceed as originally planned," She continued. "Yamanaka Ino has worked very hard to make this ceremony happen, and the attire she has assigned will remain a constant." One almond eye twitched at Naruto's foul expression, but she said nothing. "I do not want my apprentice's day to be spoiled by any whisper of this meeting. Uchiha Sasuke was the original one who requested we increase the security today, and as many of you know, there are still several former ANBU ninja undergoing investigation. We cannot allow for this team to be compromised."
"So Uchiha is in with us too?"
"You're damn right I am."
All eyes turned to see the one and only Uchiha Sasuke standing in the entrance of Tsunade-sama's office, dressed fully in his ANBU uniform and a menacing expression written on his features. Each member of the original Rookie Nine was met with the infamous Uchiha Glare as he spoke.
"Our team is the innermost layer of security today. Sai will be with Kakashi and another group of ANBU guarding the surrounding areas. They are to keep out of sight until the reception, where all of us will celebrate but keep our eyes open."
"Hai!" Nearly every ninja present responded, determined.
Sasuke felt his nerves ease, if even but a little. Rookie Nine would make sure that nothing happened to Sakura, even if they were still a little leery of trusting him entirely. As he looked around the room, he remembered back to when he'd returned to Konoha, and how many of the shinobi present here today had mistrusted him for years before even bringing themselves to finally speak to him again.
"So, if I can…How does Sakura not know that you're here?" Tenten spoke up, keeping her sly grin mostly hidden. "From what I've seen, the two of you have been practically inseparable the last month or so that Ino-chan has planned this wedding."
Sasuke felt the smirk slide into place once more. "She was asleep when I left, but I told her I was going out for orange juice and would be gone no longer than five minutes."
Naruto snorted, and dodged Sasuke's fist.
Tsunade cleared her throat, bringing everyone's attention back. Her eyes were serious as she looked at each and every one of them. "I want this mission to proceed flawlessly. Every single person in this room is important to making sure it is a success. Let's not allow anything to spoil this happy day. Understood?"
"Hai, Hokage-sama!" Came the reply.
Her warm smile returned then. "We all have work to do. Uchiha?"
Sasuke bowed slightly before he disappeared.
Her vision was blurry.
She blinked several times to clear it as she slowly wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Lying before her was the white ceremonial kimono that had once belonged to Uchiha Mikoto. And today, it would now belong to her. Emotions swam through her, none distinguishable from the other, just flooding her senses all at once as she imagined the last time the kimono had been worn…the last woman to marry off in—
Sakura swallowed the lump in her throat as she tenderly reached down to gently grasp the soft satin in her hands.
Her back turned, she didn't sense the other presence that had entered the room until she felt two arms snake their way around her waist. "Not getting cold feet, are we?" A playful voice murmured in her ear.
Sakura felt the tension bleed out of her as the smile slowly spread across her face. Gently placing the kimono back on the hanger, she twirled around in his embrace to face him. "Now Uchiha, why on earth would you come to such a conclusion?" Her eyes were playful as she smiled up at him.
Having her back in his arms again was a relief. Even as he smirked down at her and watched her cheeks bloom pink with the blush he adored so much, he couldn't help but feel at ease now that he was back home, and his most precious person close.
The extra security is worth it.
Sakura threaded her fingers in his hair as she pulled him against her. "Took you long enough to just get a carton of orange juice," She teased, pressing up on her toes to place a kiss along his jaw. "How's a girl to know that you aren't the one with cold feet?"
Sasuke tightened his grip around her and backed her up until he could press her against the wall. His eyes were hooded as he smirked at her.
"Uchiha men fear nothing." He growled softly in her ear. "We take what belongs to us." Her little squeak of surprise was all he needed. Claiming her lips fast, he silenced any protest before she could even have the chance to. And when he broke away, her cheeks were nice and red…just the way he liked them.
"Sasuke-kun," She pouted a little as she pretended to glare up at him. He tilted her chin up with his thumb, and gently stroked her jaw. "Yamanaka is outside. You'd better go let her in before she breaks down the front door."
As Sakura's eyes widened, she raced by him, but not before he caught her once more to give his bride a kiss goodbye. "See you soon." He winked at her, which of course wreaked havoc on her heart all over again.
Ino rolled her eyes, groaning with annoyance as Sakura let out another howl. "Jeez Forehead, ever heard of a hairbrush?"
Sakura glared at her best friend in the mirror with watery eyes. "I can't help the fact that the darn stuff got tangled while I slept!"
Tenten giggled. "Either that or Sasuke had some fun messing it up…" She let her voice trail off mischievously as Sakura's emerald eyes widened and her cheeks went bright red.
"Please, like he would really do something like that right before they're married." She winked at Sakura in the mirror and gently softened her grip on the pinkette's hair.
Sakura had no choice but to submit herself to the torture. Her wounds had healed, thankfully, but she wasn't to protest the pre-Uchiha Wedding of the Century preparations as she was primped and propered for the ceremony.
Which meant getting dolled up by Ino, Tenten and Hinata.
She had to force herself to suppress the smile as she remembered what her bestie had threatened to do the night of her Bachelorette party if she messed her hair up.
And then how a few hours later, Ino had gently washed the blood and grime away as soon as Sasuke would allow her to.
Reaching up behind her shoulder, she grabbed onto Ino's hand that was carefully detangling her pink locks, and squeezed gently. Tears were pooling in her eyes as she met her best friend's gaze. Ino's warm answering smile was all the reassurance Sakura needed.
Leaning down, Ino's bright blue eyes smiled at her friend as they both looked in the mirror at one another. "You're gonna be fine, Sakura." Ino said quietly, lightly bumping her head against Sakura's, followed by a wink. "You're marrying your Dark Prince, who would face Hell itself to protect you." She let out a little giggle and smiled.
Sakura couldn't help the smile that tugged the corners of her lips up. Love swelled in her heart as she thought of Sasuke, and before she realized it, a giggle escaped her lips too.
Tenten chose that moment to pop in. "What're we giggling about?"
Ino straightened and grinned broadly. "Just boys." Her smile was wicked as she pegged Tenten with a look. "Care to share, Mistress Dangerous Beauty of Youth?"
Tenten's cheeks blazed pink, and that shut her up quick. "N-Not exactly!" She blurted out, completely flustered.
Ino laughed. "If you don't spill, then I will!"
Tenten's eyes widened in shock. "You wouldn't! We haven't even gone public yet! Ino!"
Sakura and Ino both were in a fit of giggles as Tenten planted her hands on her hips and stuck her tongue out at both of them.
Hinata chose that moment then to enter. Her eyes were on Sakura as she entered, holding Uchiha Mikoto's wedding kimono.
"Sakura-chan…" Her lavender eyes were welling with tears as she came forth, holding the kimono as if it were made of crystal.
Sakura rose from her chair, the updo and curls Ino had pulled her hair into staying perfectly in place. She approached Hinata, the lump that had been in her throat this morning returning once more.
Ino rested her hands on Hinata's shoulders as she looked at her best friend.
What the hell was it about weddings that turned even the toughest of males into straight up nervous wrecks?
Hatake Kakashi watched his student pace around the west side of the Uchiha Manor, back and forth, over and over again. Sasuke pressed his hands down the front of his formal black yukata for the umpteenth time before he dragged a hand restlessly through his hair.
The ceremonial katana that draped across his shoulders was loose thanks to the pacing, and his feet came to a dead stop as he halted the pacing and tightened the sash.
Kakashi chuckled. "She's not going anywhere, Sasuke."
The Uchiha looked over at him, feeling the strangest urge to throw something at his former sensei.
The loud, orange loving ninja landed beside Sasuke then and slugged him hard in the shoulder. "Hey! You better take good care of our Sakura-chan! Otherwise I'll beat the ever living hell outta you!"
His blue eyes grinned.
Sasuke felt some of the tension ease from him as he looked down upon the main Uchiha Garden. Yamanaka had really come through with everything, he decided as he watched guests file in to take their seats. A flash of movement caught his eye to the left, and his hand went instinctively to his very supposedly ceremonial weapon before he realized it was one of their own.
The future Rokudaime leaned against the railing beside him. "Sasuke." His voice was actually serious. When the Uchiha didn't respond immediately, Naruto gripped his shoulder supportively.
"We're not going to let anything happen. Don't worry."
Sasuke surprised the hell out of him by clapping him on the hand before releasing him to plant his own two hands into the railing.
The third story of the west wing overlooked everything. Careful eyes were everywhere, security was tight, and ceremony guests were limited to immediate friends, family and private invitations by the wedding party only. There would be no surprises today, and the ninja facing trial were in lockdown under Ibiki's watchful glare.
As soon as the guests had all filed in, Kakashi clapped him gently on the shoulder. "Your father would be proud of you, Sasuke." He murmured quietly. "Today you carry on a Clan that many had thought had forever lost its name. You bring pride to your family name and to your parent's memory."
Sasuke felt his eyes sting a little, but he gave no sign of it.
Kakashi smiled behind his mask. His approval written in his one visible eye.
"It's time, Sasuke."
With a deep breath, the Uchiha turned and headed for the stairs. The other two males of Team Seven followed, each by his side. His wingmen, his family, and his support.
He couldn't have asked for more.
Sakura was blind.
As in literally blind.
Always one for the dramatic, Ino had tied a blindfold over her eyes to maximize the surprise for her.
Ino walked in front, guiding Sakura's right hand, Tenten was on the left, and Hinata was behind her as the three kunoichi lead her from her dressing room to the Uchiha Gardens outside. She could hear faint music in the air, and the air itself smelled sweet. Ino was practically buzzing beside her with excitement.
"Ohhh! Everyone looks so wonderful!" Her squeal was totally not discreet, and before she knew it, Hinata had reached up and freed Sakura of her blindfold.
The sharp contrast of the dark material covering her eyes and the bright sunlight were enough of a shock for Sakura's retinas to adjust to. But once they focused, everything came into view.
Her gasp was enough gratification and thanks in her best friends' mind.
Weeks and weeks of planning and preparation had all gone into this day. The flowers had been fed special organic formulas to give them rich, vibrant colors for the ceremony, and the scent of the blooms filled the air, giving it a sweet, enjoyable smell.
Sakura's voice was full of emotion as she looked around the Garden. The set up was beautiful, and the guests that were all standing, waiting for her had her trundling to a halt. Big fat tears filled her eyes then, but before they could fall, Tenten reached forward with a tissue and carefully blotted them away.
"Don't cry! You'll ruin your make-up!"
Sakura laughed, happiness erasing the tears with warmth and excitement. "It looks so beautiful, thank you so much!" She gathered her three best friends into a big group hug.
The sound of someone quietly clearing their throat brought her attention back.
Kakashi smiled down at them as he silently extended a hand to Sakura. "Shall we?"
Tenten tucked another tissue into Sakura's hand and Ino gave her a gentle push towards Kakashi.
The gentlemen came forward, each claiming one of the girls. Naruto sent Hinata's heart racing and her face a tomato red as he offered her his elbow. She tenderly took it, a little squeak of excitement slipping out of her lips as she looked back at Ino and Tenten, her eyes wide with elation and happiness.
Tenten's turn was next, as Rock Lee came forward, for once not dressed in green, but the formal black yukata that the men were all wearing for today. He bowed to her and offered her his hand, which she promptly accepted. Enthusiastically, he pulled her against him, his sparkling smile practically illuminating the entire Uchiha Garden.
Ino felt the rare shy smile appear on her face as Neji stepped forward. His cool gaze found hers and he smirked down at her, offering her a hand. Ino's cheeks blazed, but she accepted his hand, and squealed a little when he tucked her beside him and escorted her away down the aisle. Her eyes flashed back to Sakura's, the squeal of joy having totally reached her eyes.
Sakura gave her a thumbs up and a wink. ;)
Kakashi gave Sakura's hand a gentle squeeze. "You doing okay?" He murmured softly as they watched each of the couples make their way down the aisle to the front where the Priest waited.
Sakura's eyes found Sasuke, and her heart stopped. Her Dark Prince was dressed very sharply, his hair away from his face and a cool smirk on his lips. Her heart restarted and then began pounding away against her ribcage, as if it were trying to flop right out of her chest.
"Y-Yes." She whispered, feeling like she were about to pass out or choke with emotion.
Breathe. She told herself as she allowed Kakashi to escort her down the aisle. Breathe…
As she passed the guests down the aisle, she saw familiar faces, some smiling; others with happy tears trailing down their cheeks. Her eyes caught a slight movement to her left, but it was gone a second later.
She stumbled at the end, feeling her feet decide to forget their own basic function as nerves took over, but just as soon as she'd lost her footing Sasuke was right there beside her, catching her fast and holding her close.
His dark eyes smiled tenderly at her as he leaned forward and whispered, "Oops."
Her cheeks went red again as he rose with her in his arms, drawing a collective "Aww" from the small crowd gathered there. Kakashi chuckled softly as he went to take his seat.
A stern throat clearing suddenly brought their attention back to the forefront.
Sasuke gently took Sakura's hands into his own and held them as the Priest began the ceremony. He spoke of undying and unyielding devotion of union, the importance of the unity, and the unbreakable bond that they would forever share as one.
His smile was tender as he gently looped a single red string first around Sakura's wrist, and then another around Sasuke's.
Sakura's eyes were watering by this point, but Sasuke gently took her hand in his and gave it a little squeeze.
"As both young ones have lost their families, I would ask each of the closest members to the couple to stand and come forth for San-San-Kudo." The priest said, his hands raised above his head.
Tsunade carefully poured sake into each of the three sake cups resting on the small table in front of the priest.
Naruto and Kakashi rose from their seats, and came to kneel behind Sakura and Sasuke. Sakura's red lips gently met the rim of the first cup and she took a small sip, feeling the burn from the sake. Her eyes widened at first at the flavor, and as she carefully placed the cup back down, she met her mentor's gaze with a secret smile.
It was so just like Tsunade to use her favorite flavor of sake for the ceremony.
Sasuke took a sip next, and each of them drank from the second and third cups, symbolizing their union and communion together as one. Next, Naruto, Kakashi and Tsunade each drank from the three cups, symbolizing the creation of a new bond, and a new family.
Sakura started tearing up. As their friends surrounded them, Sasuke took her hands in his, and looked into her eyes. His voice was low, but soft enough for her to hear.
"I've waded through the fires of hell only to be healed by you, Sakura. Loving you wasn't ever something I've tried to do. Only what came naturally. I will always love you, for the rest of my life and then for eternity."
Tears were streaming down Sakura's cheeks, leaving little tracks in their wake. She smiled lovingly up at him as she squeezed his hands tight. "You are my light and my soul, Sasuke-kun. My heart beats with yours. And I shall belong to you forever, through the rest of our lives."
The priest murmured more words of love and commitment, as the two were bound together by love and the blessings of Kami-sama. Sasuke lightly held her hand as he slipped his mother's ring onto her left hand, and Sakura felt her heart swell again with love for him as she met his gaze.
This is really it, She thought silently as she beamed up at him. He's mine, and I am his. Forever.
As they finished, the priest smiled. "And thus the great Uchiha Clan rises once again! Born anew from the fires and forged through the bonds of friendship and love."
Sasuke felt his chest tighten at the priest's words, and he heard a little sniffle beside him. Sakura's fingers linked through his and she held on tight as the priest blessed them.
Tsunade then came and stood before them. A golden kunai was presented to Sasuke, and as he took it, he felt a sharp zap go through his fingers the moment he touched the kunai.
"Please grip the blade." Tsunade's voice was soft.
Sasuke wasted no time in grabbing onto the blade of the kunai, feeling it slice into his palm. Tsunade presented Sakura with a golden shuriken, and asked her to do the same.
Each of the Konoha ninja complied.
"By new law and the authority I wield as Hokage, I now bind the two of you together."
Her hands moved fast in a sealing jutsu, that once completed, visibly tied around both Sasuke and Sakura's wrists, fueled by their blood and forging an unbreakable bond between them. Their chakra was drawn out through their blood, and Sakura watched with an incredulous look on her face as Tsunade tied hers and Sasuke's chakra together.
"When one is in trouble, the other will feel it. When one has been injured, the other will know how to find them quickly. And if one is in great agony, the chakra from the other will heal them much faster."
The seal was complete, and Sakura felt her hand throbbing. Sasuke flipped his hand up and released his hold on the kunai. The cut was healed, no sign of it at all on his palm. He carefully returned the kunai to the silk lined box it had been presented to him in. Sakura opened her hand to find it healed as well. Her smile was radiant as she too replaced the shuriken in the box, and she turned to face her new husband.
The priest clasped their hands together and smiled warmly at them. "Uchiha Sasuke, you may now kiss your Uchiha Bride."
The loud roar that ran through the air was thunderous as Sasuke easily dipped her back, and kissed her deep. Sakura's fingers threaded into his silken hair as she kissed him back, feeling her heart skipping erratically in her chest. Happiness had bubbled up and overflowed as she was brought upright, but Sasuke never released his hold on her. "You're mine now, Uchiha Sakura." Sasuke's voice was low in her ear.
Sakura giggled and she kissed him again. "Always." She whispered against his lips. "I love you."
"I love you too." He whispered back and he kissed her again.
The cheers of their friends went on as they were surrounded by people, but the only thing she cared about, was being tucked safely in Sasuke's arms.
Her eyes lifted to the bright blue sky, and she felt warmth spread from her head to her toes.
I love you, Okaa-san. Thank you.
The celebration never seemed to end.
The moment Sakura had gone off with the other kunoichi to change; Sasuke scanned the perimeter, and gestured to his fellow shinobi. Six flashes appeared on the far side of the Gardens, away from the reception.
Naruto's grin was broad. As per normal.
"Ne Sasuke-teme, everything is good. Someone'd have to be a dumbass idiot to try and get through us!"
Neji smirked. "Hai, Uchiha. My platoon has reported nothing all afternoon. From the looks of things, we're all clear."
Just then, a loud call from the stage demanded the presence of the future Rokudaime, and Naruto's eyes about bugged out of his head with excitement. As he tore off for the stage, Sasuke felt his shoulders sag. They'd made it through.
Neji smiled a little before lightly placing a hand on Sasuke's shoulder. "Come Uchiha. The celebration for the prosperity of your rising clan awaits."
The smirk returned as he allowed himself to be steered back towards the party. His dark eyes scanned the area, searching for his wife.
If it were possible, she was going to invest in Kleenex.
Haruno…no, Uchiha Sakura stood before the full length mirror once again in the ladies' wing of the reception hall. Her eyes were watering as she looked at herself in the mirror.
Her bright smile took over her features as she positively beamed.
"Oi! Forehead! Are you dressed yet?" Ino's voice came through the door.
Sakura spun on her heel as she turned towards the door. "Almost!" She hollered back. Shaking her head at Ino's boisterously loud voice, she began changing from the wedding kimono into a more casual and easier-to-sit-down-in one.
Her hands trembled as she smoothed her fingers over the silken material, feeling the softness and smiling to herself as she recognized where she'd seen this before.
A few months back when she'd been out shopping with Ino, Naruto and…Sasuke.
He'd picked it out for her.
She seriously had to quell down her inner fan girl squeal that threatened to let loose from her lips. The Uchiha clan crest had been embroidered into the back, and as Sakura slipped it on over her shoulders and pulled her hair free, she swore she felt herself grow a little taller.
She was the new Uchiha Matriarch.
Talk about one helluva title. First apprentice to the legendary Tsunade, to top medical ninja in all of Konoha. Now wedded to Uchiha Sasuke, and female power head to the clan.
Her heart was fluttering in her chest as she forced herself to calm. If she was able to perform a triple bypass chakra pathway while repairing a lung then she could certainly balance the duties of re-establishing a clan.
She wasn't going to be doing it alone either, she told herself. The road ahead of her and her new husband would be a long one, but Sakura knew that no matter the journey or the trials that they were to face, she and Sasuke would be able to conquer it all.
Sakura punched her fist into her open palm as she grinned at herself. And they would kick a whole lot of ass in the process.
Brushing strands of pink back from her eyes, Sakura drew in a deep breath before emerging from the dressing room.
Ino was sitting in the vanity chair, an impatient look on her features, but the moment Sakura entered; she was up and out of her seat and fussing about her best friend again.
"Honestly Ino-chan, I'm fine! I'm a fully grown woman completely capable of tying up my own obi, I'll have you know." She smirked at Ino as the blonde went about smoothing the kimono down and synching up loose ends of Sakura's obi.
Ino had all but to glare at the medic to get the girl to shut up.
As the two met up with Tenten and Hinata, the four kunoichi rejoined the celebration outside, and Sakura was able to see with immense delight that everyone was thoroughly enjoying the reception.
Naruto was up on the stage singing karaoke with Jiraiya, but the moment he saw the four girls, he hopped off the stage, mic in hand before he went to his knees before Hinata, and grabbed her hand.
"Baaaabaaaay! You've got, that lovin' feeling! Woaaaahohhh that lovin' feeling!" He'd changed the words a little, but succeeded in completely thrilling Hinata by the gesture. Her cheeks were bright red, but as Naruto stood up before her, she pulled him fast by the back of the neck and down to her height to kiss him right there in front of everyone.
Cheers came from the crowd as the two kissed, and before she knew it, Naruto had brought Hinata up with him onto the stage, and proposed to her in front of everyone present.
Her answering yes came to no surprise from anyone.
But loud cheering and squeals of delight emitted from the crowd as Naruto dipped her low, and kissed her tenderly.
Ino had gone off at that point to make her rounds, but Sakura's sharp eyes noted that the blonde had been…held up, by the Hyuuga nin. Neji was smirking at her as she looked to be stammering her way around an excuse for something, before he just silenced her with a kiss.
Sakura's eyes popped out of her head and she covered her mouth as the gasp of shock left her lips.
"Where have you been, little blossom?" A deep voice murmured huskily in her ear.
Sakura felt her heart skip a beat as two warm hands encircled her waist from behind, and pulled her up against a very warm chest.
"Sasuke-kun…" She sighed happily, turning around to face him.
"I'm glad I've got you back by my side." He murmured softly. "You're right where you belong."
Sakura couldn't help the little giggle that escaped her then. Happiness swelled in her chest as she smiled lovingly up at her husband, before she pressed herself up onto her toes to gently kiss him.
"Forever," She whispered into his mouth.
Sasuke kissed her deeply, holding her tightly against him. "Forever." He said with a possessive but warm smile on his face.
"You are mine."
OHHHHHH MY GOOODNESSSSSS! SIX EFFING YEARS! T_T;;;
To preface this, I would love to formally apologize for being one of those evil mean authors that takes forever with updating and then promises an update…but then gets so busy that she forgets…her password.
Though I will say that I was thoroughly amused by one reviewer's comment: "I hate to ask but…have you died? Because even if you have... I expect you to continue writing this story in the afterlife."
You officially made me smile and laugh mine arse off. XD
To all of you who have stuck with me over these last six years of this story's existence, I am eternally thankful and so very happy! I am so very very sorry for the extreme hiatus that was unintentionally placed on this story! I hated that it took me so long to finally get around to finishing it.
Two computer crashes, two different college transfers and then a helluva lot of writer's block, and HERE YOU FINALLY HAVE IT! XD
Life's had a funny way of keeping me on my toes the last several years, and now with college graduation on the horizon (finally!), I've looked back to when I first started writing on here. Gosh, so much has happened! Thank you so much to all of you who have grown right there along with me, and while the fandom has gained and lost fans, our love of the characters are unchanging. ;)
Thanks guys for encouraging me and keeping me going. I'm so happy to say that this story is now complete. ;)
Konoha no Uchiha Sakura