I'm not in Love with You
Disclaimer: I don't own anything at all.
A/N: Hey guys it's been a while since I wrote a Naruto-Sakura story so I tried my luck.
Hope you'll enjoy…
He came back. After five years of his disappearance, here he was walking casually to the massive gates of Konoha as if nothing had happened. His eyes were fixed on the two people that stood still as he approached them.
His mind cannot register that he was actually here… presenting himself as if he had done nothing wrong. The noisiest ninja in the village now has nothing to say. His ocean blue eyes traveled painfully from the man nearing the gate to the maiden beside him.
It was as if something heavy was dropped in his chest and suddenly he can't breathe. In her eyes he saw… the same look that expresses her unrequited love for their traitorous teammate that he thought she had already forgotten.
The pink haired kunoichi stared the ninja walking passed the dumbstruck guards and straight for them. Upon instinct, she blindly held Naruto's hand as her gaze never left Sasuke. Feeling his hand as cold as ice, she tore her eyes away from the man nearing them to the person right beside her. "Naruto…" her voice reflected her concern and upon hearing it… he felt alone again.
He closed his eyes painfully then held her hand tighter. Looking straight into her emerald orbs, he cocked his head sideways as if gesturing her to go to him then he let go of her hand.
"But…" Sakura was cut short when… "What are you doing? Go already," he said with the usual careless grin on his whiskered face as he playfully pushed her back to get her to walk.
"Sasuke-kun!!!" she ran to him with the usual call- the way she often calls his name whenever she meets the team by the bridge; whenever she's worried; whenever she thinks of him. Naruto had to avert his look at their reunion for a moment. The pain was too great to hide. He knows that if he pretends everything is okay… they would immediately see through his façade. This was the only thing he can do now- stand there like a frozen idiot while discreetly clenching his fist.
After he regained his composure, he ran to them like always "Oi Sasuke-you bastard! Where have you been?" he playfully hit his arm like the usual.
In the middle of their reunion, two anbus appeared in front of them and said that Sasuke was summoned by the hokage so he left.
There they were again. Standing in front of the gate, looking at each other then smiled.
With that everything ended…
That night, the blond shinobi sat on his rooftop as he drank for the first time a bottle of sake. He choked back his sorrow as he drowned himself with the intoxicating liquor. As the trail of hot liquid burned down his throat he recalled what had happened months before…
"Sakura-chan! Why don't we go out?" he playfully verbalized his usual line after a mission. There was a pregnant pause and Naruto was actually expecting her to hit him or turn him down but this time… she gave him a smile that almost made him melt. "Alright Naruto, let's go out," she replied while the blond looked at her as if a miracle had happened.
He was stupid yes, but he sure isn't numb. Immediately, he felt it. Sakura was dating him to forget about their 'ex-teammate'. A normal admirer would've stopped seeing her or something but Naruto was anything but normal. He continued dating her for the sake of making her happy… and hoping that for a brief moment she would forget about Sasuke.
In the months that passed,
Day by day Sakura was beginning to show more of herself to him. There were times when she ate more ramen than him. The man who owned the ramen stand together with his daughter and Naruto only gaped at her incredulously. Seeing their astounded look, "Gomen… I was hungry," she apologized while a fishcake was still stuck on her cheek. "It's alright Sakura-chan. Eat away…" he smiled at her while he picked the fishcake in her face then ate it.
They were still teammates. The team seven was still there except for the fact that Sai- the obnoxious yet skillful anbu, had replaced the Uchiha protégé. Often times due to his recklessness, the whiskered ninja ended up battered and broken. Thank goodness they had the best medic-nin in Konoha with them.
"Naruto, you should be more careful," she nagged him as she expertly used her healing technique to mend his wounds. "Gomen Sakura-chan, you know how I get when the action starts," he grinned widely as he scratched the back of his head. She raised her head to look at him and him to her. Then they exchanged their genuine smiles. "That's why I'm telling you to be careful," she put pressure on his injured leg that made him scream in pain.
One time they had a mission to escort the kids from the academy to the zoo in a nearby village. Naruto was such a show off. He sat on the sleeping crocodile and played around with the huge elephant. In the end, he accidentally entered a lion's cage while the keeper was cleaning the cage.
Everyone including Sakura laughed their hearts out as they watched the blond shinobi run around the cage while two lions were at his tail.
But still there were circumstances in which he knew she reminisced the past. Like whenever they passed team seven's old training ground or whenever they crossed the bridge which was team seven's meeting place. In those times, he knew she was thinking of him still and he can do nothing about it but just be there.
With time, he grew addicted her. Even though, he saw her just a few hours ago. He missed the way she pushed her hair back; the way she laughs while she hits his back unconsciously; the way her eyes seem to sparkle whenever he looks at her or just the feeling she gives when she there- warm and comforting.
End of Flashback…
He knew these things were of the past. He knew it can never happen again the day he saw his figure walking to the gates of the village. Never again will he feel her warm comforting presence all to himself. His realization was followed by sleep that was triggered by the contents of the bottle that stands silently beside him.
The next day, he woke up with a terrible head ache. There was a knock on the door. He chose to ignore it. But as whoever it was kept pounding at his door, the pain in his head intensified. "WHAT?!" he nearly tore the door from it's hinges.
"Why the hell are you so grumpy so early in the morning?" he was surprised to see who it was. But it is true that is was early in the morning. The sun has yet to rise but the night sky was barely there. "Sakura-chan, what are you doing here?" his head felt like splitting. "Come with me will you?" she requested with a foreign look in her emerald eyes that made him raise his yellow eyebrow.
She walked ahead of him without saying a word. All Naruto could do was follow. After all, he was in no mood for any conversation. She stopped while they reached a familiar ground.
"Naruto, I wanted to thank you for everything you had done to make me happy," she said as she turned around and look directly into his sapphire eyes. The pain in his head just vanished but it was followed by an intolerable pain in his chest.
This is her way of saying that she no longer needs me now that 'he' is back. This is her way of saying she doesn't want me in her life as a pest who meddle with her love life. His entire body shook uncontrollably but he maintained his usual carefree façade. "Nothing to it Sakura-chan," he forced a grin that gave him the most painful feeling. "So I can longer take his place eh," he placed his arms at the back of his head as he diverted his gaze to the three stump in the center of a barren ground.
"Naruto…" she began to approach him. "But… Sakura-chan… I need one last favor in exchange for what I have done…" this statement made her look at him then she nodded "Anything," "Can I kiss you for the first and last time…" he blushed and so did she. "J-just on the cheek," he clarified as he flailed his arms in front of him in defense.
She shyly nodded her head then closed her eyes. He swallowed with difficulty as his pain was temporarily forgotten and was replaced by undeniable nervousness. Looking at her, he can't help but admire her unforgettable beauty with that… his heart set a steady pace. He inched away from her cheek then she slowly turned her head… letting him kiss her lips. Naruto knew he would never forget this moment and this feeling. Right then and there he swore to himself. "This is the only woman that I'll ever love."
Their lips were just on each other and nothing more. The sun gradually rose behind the training ground- shedding light as Naruto and Sakura still shared their innocent kiss.
As their lips separate, the pain that he thought was forgotten returned a hundred times stronger. He had to turn his back at her to prevent himself from taking her back in his arms and to never let her go. "I hope everything goes well between you and Sasuke…" he wished his voice wasn't shaking… he wished he didn't sound so pathetic but he was.
Sakura just can't believe what she heard when she opened the door. "Sakura… let's go out," her raven haired teammate said coolly as he leaned against her doorframe. She did not answer him instead she invited him in. A silent gesture of her agreement.
There they were having their first date- watching a movie and eating in a restaurant. In the process, the pink haired kunoichi can't help but compare. With Naruto, watching movies would end up in embarrassment because he would often shout his side comments and reactions in the middle of the movies or with Naruto, I don't have to eat like a fancy princess with elegant manners. True enough her dates with Naruto were everything but boring. She unknowingly realized that then she smiled. "What's so funny?" Sasuke asked as his onyx looked eyes at her.
She flushed as she looked into his eyes. "Nothing," she averted her gaze down to the ground. He led her to the place in Konoha where there bond as a team was forged- the training ground where they received their title as genins. "Everything seems like yesterday," Sakura said out loud as she walked to the three stumps that stood quietly in he middle if the field.
Image of what had happened between her and Naruto played back in her mind. She unknowingly touched her lips remembering the most wonderful yet painful feeling.
"I didn't mean to abandon you guys." She heard him say behind her. Sakura turned around and looked at him. "I just had to…" she saw his pain evident in his eyes. "But when I succeeded in killing him, I felt… empty," tears started to trickle down his cheeks. All she could do was listen. "G-Gomen… I knew I never should've returned but I have no place to go back to but here," he looked at her but she looked away.
"You know you are always welcome here but circumstances change. People might still see you as a traitor but for us… you will always be the Sasuke we know," she smiled at him.
Without second thought, Sasuke wrapped his arms around Sakura and crashed his lips with hers. She stood there not reacting. Trying to feel something as his lips were on hers but she found none.
Then she heard someone approach them. Opening her eyes, she saw the last person she wanted to witness the scene. "Naruto…" she whispered.
He wanted to go back to the place where he felt the most enlightening feeling so he head back to their training ground only to find them there. "G-Gomen, don't worry about me. You guys continue what you're doing," he said with the usual goofy expression then he ran away. "Naruto!" she struggled out of Sasuke's arms and ran after him.
He wanted to run with the speed that will make him leave behind the feeling that was slowly eating him alive. "Naruto! Wait!" he heard her voice.
Landing on the usual meeting place of team seven, he stopped and looked at the kunoichi that was pursuing him. "Don't worry about me Sakura-chan… go back to him he might mistake your actions for something else," he grinned at her while tears were starting to accumulate in his eyes.
"Why do you keep pushing me away?!" she yelled at him as she saw the tears that he held back. "Because… you don't love me…" he started to walk away. She stared at his back as tears trickled down her cheeks. "I'm sorry," she muttered. "You know Sakura… I don't know what's more painful… having to know every desperate detail about your love for Sasuke…or… having to know that you never came close to feeling the same way about me…" tears ceaselessly flowed form his eyes to the wooden bridge.
She felt an excruciating pain in her chest. In all this time, he knew but still he… in all this time I kept giving him pain yet he still gave me his genuine smiles. Feeling so heavy she sat on the bridge as she watched him walk away.
"That's right… I'm not in love with you because if I am then I would be thinking about you every time, I would be comparing every single detail of Sasuke to yours…" she raised her voice. This was not a statement for Naruto… it was more of a statement for herself. Sakura was trying to rationalize… to persuade her mind that she is not falling for the last person she thought she would. Hearing this, he can't help but be more hurt.
"YOU IDIOT!!!" that made him stop walking. "IF I'M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU THEN WHY WOULD I RUN AFTER YOU AND LEAVE HIM BEHIND?! IF I'M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU WHY THEN DID I GIVE YOU MY FIRST KISS?!" she stood up as her eyes never left his back.
He can't believe what he heard so he kept on walking. "I'm sorry Naruto but I love you," she whispered. In a blink of an eye, his strong arms were around her and she returned his embrace with equal emotions.
"Gomen… for causing you so much pain before realizing what you mean to me," she muttered against his chest. He drew back and held her chin so that their faces were only inches from one another. "You were worth it…" he uttered just before their lips collided with all the emotions that they held back.
A/N: Do you want a sequel? I was considering of making a lemon sequel but I don't know. Tell me your views… Read and Review please…