Two Months Later.
Sakura let out a sigh as she rolled over in bed, not wanting to wake up yet, but knowing it was too late. Consciousness was fighting valiantly against her foggy brain and she let out a groan. She didn't want to get up.
She stretched and reached out for Kakashi, her hand not finding anything. She then jerked her hand away, holding it against her chest. Her eyes opened slowly and she stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds. She then rolled onto her side, facing away from Kakashi's side of the bed.
She forced herself to sit up and get out of bed, grabbing a robe and wrapping it around herself as she noted the time. It was about an hour to sundown. They still had some time to do things.
The rosette exited her room, heading down the corridor before knocking on a door. A tired voice told her she could enter so she pushed open the door and walked into the room.
"Morning, Sakura." he replied as he turned away from his computer. "Sleep all right?"
"Yeah, it was good. Those pills you gave me last month work wonders."
"I'm glad." Chouji turned back to his computer. "I found out some more about the new gang of vampires. I think we can get rid of them fairly easily."
"Good. I'll get ready for tonight and you can debrief us in the basement before we head out."
"Sure." Chouji paused. "I heard him moving around a while ago."
Sakura pressed her lips together. "Did he get any sleep?"
"I don't know." the computer genius admitted.
"Sure." he replied as the rosette left his room.
She headed down the corridor and opened Naruto's door without bothering to knock. She looked inside and saw the blond standing in front of his window, looking out at the setting sun. It wouldn't be dark outside for a while yet, but it was obvious the sun was well on its way to disappearing.
"Couldn't sleep?" Sakura asked as she walked towards him, her eyes on his back. She winced, but looked away after a few seconds, not wanting to look at what he'd done.
"No." he whispered. "I never could when he wasn't with me."
"Chouji's pills are—"
"No." Naruto interrupted her. "I don't want to take them."
Sakura just sighed before walking up beside him. She rubbed his arm soothingly before sighing. "Come on, let's go eat breakfast."
"Okay." He turned away from the window and followed Sakura out the door in his sweatpants. Sakura really wanted to ask him to put on a shirt, but thought that would be insensitive of her. Besides, he was behind her, so it wasn't like she had to look at his back right now.
They headed downstairs to the kitchen and Sakura told Naruto to just sit down while she got them some breakfast. She popped a couple of frozen waffles into the toaster before heading back to the fridge. She pulled a bottle out of it before grabbing a glass out of the cabinet and pouring the entire contents into the tall container. She turned and set it down in front of Naruto, who regarded it with disgust.
"I know you hate having to drink it every day, now, but—we can't risk you having your seizures anymore. Without—"
"I know." He cut her off. "I know." He took the glass of blood and drank it quickly, ignoring the flashes that went through his mind. He'd learned how to barely register them due to the fact that he'd been drinking a glass of blood every day for the past two months.
"Chouji said he's found out more about our new vampire gang." Sakura informed him as the waffles popped out of the toaster and she put them on plates before heading back to the table.
"That's good. Shikamaru know?"
"Probably." Sakura replied as she sat down.
The two ate in silence, Naruto getting up to do their dishes once they'd finished. They then headed for the elevator, exiting in the basement. Shikamaru was watching television across the room and Chouji had come down during their meal to position himself in front of what used to be Kakashi's computer. They'd managed to get the PC back together, but they'd had to buy a new monitor.
"Well, looks like you're ready to hear about our newest eyesore." Chouji said as Naruto hopped up onto the medical table, leaning back on it. Sakura just stood beside him as Shikamaru turned off the television, but didn't move from the couch.
The computer genius spent about forty minutes telling them about how pathetic their new threat was, and the other three listened intently. Even though Chouji was telling them not to worry, they always ensured they were prepared for anything. There was never any certainty that another Akatsuki group wouldn't show up, and seeing as how the last one had been killer, they didn't want to underestimate anyone.
"So, are we a team or solo tonight?" Sakura asked.
"I'd rather work solo tonight." Shikamaru finally stood, stretching. "I wanna head over and see Ino."
"We're going to see Kakashi and Sasuke." Sakura informed. "We can still stay teamed up."
"Thanks, but no thanks. I'll see you all later." Shikamaru headed towards the stairs.
"Hey Shikamaru." Naruto called just as the vampire was about to open the door.
"Sun's still up. You'll have to think of a better way than that to commit suicide."
Sakura slammed the car door and turned to look at Naruto. He didn't glance at her, merely walked towards the gates to the cemetery. Sakura sighed and followed, branching away from Naruto when they entered. She went to Ino's grave first, putting a flower down on her tombstone before heading to Kakashi's.
She stopped in front of his and put the other flower she'd brought on his tombstone. She bent down in front of it sadly. "Hey, hun." she whispered. "It's been a while." she smiled as she brushed some stray dirt off his name, wondering how it had gotten there in the first place.
"We're still doing well. I don't think Naruto likes his new job. Not enough work, you know? He's still mad Sasuke put him down as his heir, but it lets us pay the rent for the house and buy new equipment and stuff. I think he just hates that he's only out of the house a few hours a day. He needs more of a distraction, you know?" She sighed.
"I'm sure you're wondering whether he knows yet or not. I haven't told him yet, but I will, don't worry. I just—he needs more time. But I can't procrastinate it too long, because he'll start to notice, soon." She smiled as she put one hand on her stomach. "I hope it's a boy. I was thinking of naming him Sasuke. I think Naruto would like that. Then again, the constant reminder might hurt, too. I guess we'll have to see. Might just cave and name him Kakashi Junior." She laughed slightly. "But I still don't know if it's a girl or a boy, so I guess I better not get ahead of myself, but if it's a girl, I'll name her Shayera. I'm going to have to stop fighting soon, or risk having a miscarriage. Can't have that, can I?" She smiled sadly. "I have to tell him, I just don't know how."
She then laughed, shaking her head. "Look at me, sitting here talking to a rock with your name on it. You're probably laughing at me up in heaven right now. Curse you." She shook her fist at the tombstone before laughing again. Then, she stopped and sighed. "I really miss you. I can't—stop thinking about you. I know Naruto can't, either. I told you about his back—what he did. It hurts to look at it. I wish he hadn't done that. It makes me worry more about him when he's out there." She sighed before standing. "It's getting dark. Time for us to get back to work. I love you, baby." She kissed her hand and ran it along the top of the tombstone before turning and heading towards Naruto. The two had decided to bury Sasuke and Kakashi farther apart because that way, they each had their privacy when they came together.
She walked up beside the blond, noting the tears streaming down his face. It was always like that, but in a few seconds, the tears would disappear and he would hide behind a mask of indifference. He always did right before the hunt. No one could afford to be distracted.
Sakura often wondered if Naruto would just let himself be killed while hunting, but so far, he'd continued to live. She suspected it may have just been for her sake, and she was grateful. Maybe when he found out he was going to have a cousin things would get better. She could only hope.
Naruto wiped his tears away before his face steeled itself into his perfected mask. Sakura sighed.
"Come on." she said in a low voice, her hand on Naruto's shoulder. "We should go. The night is young, and we have work to do."
"Yeah." Naruto whispered, staring a few seconds longer before turning and following the rosette.
He rolled his shoulders uncomfortably, his skin stretching painfully due to the large scar on his back. He'd had his tattoo removed the same day Sasuke and Kakashi had died.
Naruto didn't believe in angels anymore.
A/N: There is no author's note, because Sarge is bolting as fast as she can towards safety.