Disclaimer: Is this really needed? Well, fine, I don't own Naruto...yeah...
This didn't take as much time as the last one...I think. But still, nevertheless, it was fun to write. I'm soo grateful to all of those who had reviewed my last one-shot, My Choice! It was such an encouragment. :)
The time line is basically the same as My Choice, the team has basically stayed together, it's six...seven years later, so around 18 and 19, and Sasuke had not ran off to Orochimaru. Once again! Please let me know your thoughts and opinions and I will definitely take them into consideration! Good? Bad? Dreadful?
Oh, and since many had wanted an "epilogue" type thing after My Choice, please, if you haven't read that one and reviewed, please do, then I might seriously consider doing one after this setting too. Only if you want me to.
The sight was amusing, much too comical to describe. And yet, the situation was sad in its own way.
"Will you marry me?"
The words were simple, much to simple for anyone to decipher any reason to believe otherwise in any sort of relationship. But there was one problem.
There was no such relationship between them.
She wasn't stupid, she could easily read between the lines. It was a question of more commitment than anything. An obligation.
Could she stay with the Uchiha prodigy without being too unhappy? Loneliness was something she had no doubt would happen in their marriage. Sakura sighed softly, the thought of living with a man that might not notice she was there weighed heavily on her mind.
Could she somehow still be, if not happy, somewhat content?
It has been seven years since they had been placed on the same team. Naruto was now well on his way to becoming Hokage and Sasuke, who was undeniably much stronger than before, had yet to kill his brother. She, herself had managed to become an exceptional healer after shadowing Tsunade and all three of them were once again re-united.
She glanced up from her thoughts, onyx eyes clashing with see green, waiting expectantly. She knew he was waiting for an answer, but she also knew he wouldn't rush. She needed more time to think over his question carefully. Or so it seemed.
Could she not be content with him? Despite her earlier years of following him constantly, she eventually grew out of that foolish 'love-struck' stage. Her childlike relationship with him had even matured to friendship, in his case. But to her, it was more.
She loved him more than ever.
She guessed the main reason he had even thought of the idea to propose to her was because he could simply tolerate her. 'That, and he needed heirs,' Sakura reminded herself. If not for that main purpose, there would be no doubt that Sasuke would even consider the thought of marriage.
'And yet,' she thought, somewhat idealistically, 'tolerate her enough to marry her.'
Optimism was always needed when dealing with Sasuke and his somewhat morbid thoughts.
An yet, there were other reasons, she was sure. Like how she could take his short, seeming cold comments, and decipher his actual thoughts. In a more lighter, condensed way of course. But nevertheless, she understood him. And he knew that.
"Sasuke," she said tentatively after a moment, "could you honestly say that there is a possibility that you could love me?"
Not expecting an answer that she would have liked, her eyes widened at his response. It wasn't short, and it wasn't cold. It seemed to have held an open ended meaning it seemed, which, gave her a little spark of hope.
His answer seemed distant and calculating, but to her it was enough.
"If you mean," he started, yet paused shortly after, "in your notion of 'love,' by not cheating, remaining loyal, providing for you and my offspring, and helping you in any way physically that I possibly could, then yes, in those way I will fulfill my duty as a husband," he stopped and added quietly, "by your standards in a more physical sense."
She watched as he glanced away in hesitancy. "But, if by your means of 'love,' you had also meant mentally and emotionally, that, I am not sure, I could honestly say whether or not I could do."
Sakura smiled solemnly, thinking his words through.
"Lying has never really suited you," she murmured.
She noticed as his eyes widened slightly, a questioning glance at her open ended sentence.
Sakura gave a soft smile, "You were never one to lie Sasuke, and I know you just too well."
Too well, so it seemed.
His unspoken question caused a soft, bitter laugh. "Sasuke, if you honestly didn't care, what was the use in asking me to marry you?"
Seeing as a smirk lined his face, she rolled her eyes in slight irritation. "Sasuke, you jerk."
Her words weren't scornful, but they weren't filled with affection. But she knew he understood what she meant. He always did.
"Does that mean you will?" His question was more of a statement that held amusement and haughtiness than an actual inquiry.
"You always knew I would," she stated offhandedly, "which was why I found it rather unexpected that you had asked."
The look on his face was pure amusement. And she hated it.
"And why would I not? It only seems proper in…such occasions," he said, seemingly choosing his words slowly.
The idea of marriage was not a situation that was proposed every day. Ah, such irony in that statement.
"What seems proper?" she asked flippantly. Sakura watched as Sasuke slowly raised an eyebrow and continued, "You were never one to care about what was proper."
"Oh?" was his only reply.
Undaunted, Sakura began listing his 'improper' habits.
"You simply demand, never ask. You rarely show any sort of respect towards elders. You constantly put down others, and never seem to care of any other's well being. You are--"
Her lists of Sasuke's uncivil and improper behavior was cut off by his lips enveloping hers in one quick movement. His kiss was gentle and rather light as his lips briefly touched hers. After a moment of-- what it seemed to her-- pure bliss, Sasuke drew away. He was showing her his affection.
And she knew what he meant, she always did.
She glanced at his, now close, seemingly stoic face as silence encircled them. "This doesn't mean that I'm finished with your 'lists'," she said jokingly after a slight pause, biting her lower lip. It was all she could do not to smile.
It was after a moment, Sakura watched then, fairly delighted, as his onyx eyes glanced down from her eyes for a moment, then returned slowly.
"Oh? Demanding another kiss?" she said jokingly, somewhat breathless.
Sakura watched his lips turn up in a slight smirk, "I was never one to do what was proper."
Slightly indignant at his response, she rolled her eyes knowingly. He would always be a selfish, egotistical jerk that she loved.
"Sakura," Sasuke said quietly after a slight pause, "you are right."
Her head tilted in response, lips curving into a smile. "Oh? So you do care, then, for me mentally and emotionally."
"Hn," was his quiet reply.
Sakura stood up and smiled happily. Taking her hand in his, he gently squeezed his fingers around her palm, giving her an unspoken promise. He knew she would know what he meant. She always did.
They walked towards the busy, lively town from their spot atop a hill, both in content silence. And after a moment, she let her fingers around his hand gently and returned his silent gesture.
But in that instant, he knew what she meant. He always did.
If he was there with her, she would always be, if not happy, content.
Please review! I know many people don't like to review one-shots, but please, just take a little of your time and send me a message? If you want an epilogue type setting after this, please do suggest, I'll seriously consider it.