This story is a sequel to my story called "Snow," which explains who Yuki is and how Naruto ends up with her. I kind of like that story as a one-shot but people requested that I continue it. Therefore, I have written this sequel separately so that the reader can chose to leave "Snow" as a one-shot or not. In addition, this chapter at least is a bit more explicit than "Snow," just to let you know.

The Next Day by ACM a.k.a. Annie May

Chapter One

Naruto squinted his eyes and slowly opened them. He was looking at an unfamiliar ceiling. Last night he had been drinking…Then he remembered what had happened. The sincerity in Yuki's eyes, her gentle, guiding touches, the tears that fell from his eyes though he had thought he would never cry again…Yuki. Yuki was amazing. He slowly rolled over and looked at her. A few strands of her black hair had fallen over her face, but he could see the same familiar, serene expression, the same one that Haku had worn even in death. It showed acceptance of oneself, of others and of the ways of the world. Haku wore it when he thought his destiny was to be only a tool, that he would never again know love like what his parents had given him until he was rejected and hated by his father. And Yuki must have found the same inner calm, also accepting that she would never know the love of a father. She really was amazing.

Naruto reached out to stroke her cheek, then stopped.

'What am I doing here? I don't even know her and this happened…we…'

It was unlike Naruto to end up in a situation like this, in the aftermath of sex with a stranger he had just met at a bar the night before. In fact, Naruto had never had sex with anyone prior to last night. Years of unrequited love for the same person and a personality that valued friendship and cried out desperately for emotional connection had prevented him both from engaging in casual sex and from forming a romantic relationship with someone. He certainly had never expected that he, Naruto, would lose his virginity to a girl he had just met in a bar.

But this wasn't casual sex. And Yuki…Yuki wasn't just any stranger. When Naruto really thought about it, she wasn't a stranger at all. There was something about her that made Naruto feel as though he connected with her completely, understood her on every possible level and cared deeply for her. It had been the same with Haku. Naruto had spent only a few hours with Haku, and had conversed with him only twice for about ten minutes each time. But he felt that he had known Haku, almost as though they had been close friends. He had sincerely grieved for Haku at that time and he still thought of him often. There was just something about him, at once mysterious and open, that made him impossible to forget. And it was impossible to think of Yuki as a stranger with whom he had engaged in casual sex. All of the emotions were there, as far as he was concerned. What he felt for Yuki was admittedly unlike what he felt for his important person, and Naruto did not understand what that meant, but it did not seem to matter. The only question was what to do now.

A few moments later, Yuki stirred in her sleep and slowly opened her steel-grey eyes. Brushing the strands of hair out of her face, she smiled sadly at Naruto. It was not yet completely light outside, so perhaps Naruto had an excuse to still be there. It wasn't morning yet.

To show that he was comfortable with the situation, as much as possible, Naruto whispered, "Hi."

Yuki smiled a bit more at this but said nothing.

Naruto made a sound that was a combination of clearing his throat and chuckling.

"I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to act like a jerk and leave. Or maybe that was while you were still asleep?"

Yuki looked at him with a puzzled expression. It was clear that she did expect him to leave, that from her perspective, the night was all that had drawn him to her.

"Look, I haven't done…any of…this…before…"

Naruto rubbed the back of his neck and laughed sheepishly.

"I guess you realize that."

Yuki's expression remained serious. Naruto grew quiet.

"Anyway, the thing is…I don't want this to end now…necessarily."

Yuki frowned slightly at that.

"Listen, I know that maybe it's not what you're looking for…You said we all need someone sometimes. Well, maybe you only need someone sometimes…I know that you're strong and maybe you don't need anyone…But I do. I need someone, not just for a night, but always…I know this doesn't make any sense, and that I don't really know you yet, but I feel like I do…I feel like I understand you. And I want to get to know you better…Would you…be willing to eat breakfast with me?"

Yuki stared at him for a moment, apparently trying to decide if he was merely stringing her along. Finally, she laughed. Naruto looked crushed. Catching herself, she stopped laughing immediately and took Naruto's hand in hers.

"Naruto, I would love to," she said genuinely, looking directly into his eyes. "I'm sorry…Well, I've been…with people…before, and it doesn't usually turn out like this."

Naruto looked bewildered, unsure as to whether her reaction was positive or negative.

"But, I think it's nice. It's something different…I'd like to get to know you as well."

This wasn't exactly the answer Naruto had wanted, but nothing on this trip to the Waterfall Country had resulted in something he had wanted, at least, something he had known he wanted. He knew that he was more than a silly kid getting emotional after a one-night-stand. He was Uzumaki Naruto, and his friends mattered to him! Even a friend that he slept with…Sure. He needed to know her better, to care for her and to take away the sadness in her eyes. Even when many of his other personality characteristics had faded, his devotion to his friends had never diminished.

Yuki laughed lightly again.

"So, what should we have for breakfast?" she asked, laughing softly.

"Well, we could go with the old favorite, instant ramen in bed. Breakfast in bed is always great!" Naruto exclaimed in his old energetic tone, which was most likely to return when the subject of ramen was discussed. He usually washed it down with sake now, but he hadn't lost his taste for it, now matter how depressed he had become.

Yuki smirked and averted her eyes from Naruto as she replied, "If we do have food in bed, it won't be ramen."

She gave that a second to sink in as a fierce blush came to Naruto's cheeks.

"So, then, let's go to the kitchen…We'll have steamed rice and green tea, okay? I'm sorry, but that's all I have around at the moment."

Naruto ran his fingertips lightly over Yuki's cheek and down her neck.

"That sounds great," he whispered, smiling.

After looking into Yuki's eyes a moment longer, Naruto slid further underneath the covers, laid his head on her chest and went back to sleep.