by thatreevesgirl/Lemon Drop (both me)
One-Shot (maybe I'll add another chapter if you guys like it)
Naruto's smile was as wide as the ocean as he stood outside Sakura's apartment door. The blond teen grinned from ear to ear as Sakura shifted nervously and focused her attention more on her feet than her teammate. This, this was going to be the moment where Naruto created that magic he been dreaming of. Naruto waited all night to get a chance to prove to Sakura that there was indeed of spark of passion between them, something that would bind them together in some blissful relationship just like he'd always wanted. Ever since that moment at the ramen shop a couple of weeks ago, when Sai had spoiled the romantic mood between the himself and and his female teammate, Naruto had been dying to have another crack at it. Sakura finally agree to go on a date with him, which had been fairly uneventful up until this moment, but Naruto was determined to end it with a bang. That bang was going to be his very first, real kiss.
Sakura looked at him and blushed furiously and Naruto knew it was time to make his move. Laying a hand gently on her shoulder and letting his grin die down to a warmer, calmer smile he watched as Sakura closed her eyes and reached up on her tiptoes, her lips moving steadily towards him. Naruto could feel the kunoichi shaking ever so slightly and he too closed his eyes only seconds before their lips made contact.
Sakura's lips were warm and moist and tasted a bit like strawberries. She gasped a little when Naruto's other hand wrapped around her waist and pulled her closer to him, deepening the kiss as he did. His mouth firmly pressed against her mouth, his lips tenderly sucking on her lower lip, his tongue brushed ever so slightly against the crevice of her mouth. It was a beautiful and well-executed first kiss between the two.
Sakura moaned very quietly as Naruto pulled away, and opened her eyes to see a very perturbed young man staring back at her. "What?" she whispered quietly, "Is something wrong, am I a bad kisser?" Sakura's mind went into a tailspin, because she had greatly enjoyed the moment they had just shared, in fact, the whole evening with Naruto had been nothing short of wonderful. Sakura's feelings for the knucklehead were slowly but surely changing, but now he was just staring at her scowling a bit.
"Eh, Sakura? Are kisses supposed to suck that much, I mean, um, I expected more, like fireworks or something. It kind of felt, well...just eh, okay, nothing great..." Naruto continued to go on and on about the apparent lackluster of the kiss which had made Sakura's heart pound and her stomach all fluttery, she might have cried if she weren't absolutely furious at the idiot.
"Naruto! Baka!" Sakura yelled out just before she slammed her fist into the top of his head. "What do you mean there weren't fireworks?"
Naruto whimpered and hopped back, clutching his head and eyeing Sakura carefully, trying to avoid any more of her attacks while he explained just how much the kiss did nothing for him. "Well, you're really pretty, and I like you a lot, so I just expected more you know?"
Gritting her teeth so hard that Naruto could hear them mash together, Sakura grumbled, looking so angry that she might have been mistaken for a mad woman. "More? What do you mean more? Didn't you feel anything, Naruto?" She wanted to add how just moments before there had been little butterflies dancing in her stomach and that she still felt hazy from the momentary kiss. It was a DAMN good kiss, so how could Naruto, a person who had supposedly been in love with her for years, have felt nothing.
"Oi, Sakura, I don't know, it just felt so normal. Jiraiya always told me that when you get a really good kiss from a girl it makes you feel all funny, warm and stuff, and usually you start getting..." Naruto cut off the sentence right there. He wasn't about to tell Sakura that Jiraiya told him that the best kisses will get you half hard, that would make Sakura just wail and hit him again.
Sakura, not amused, and mad that Naruto didn't finish his sentence asked, "Start getting what?"
Oh crap, Naruto hadn't been expecting her to want clarification, so he answered with a, "You know."
"No, I don't know," was the succinct counter from the pink-haired kunoichi.
"Okay, you don't wanna know," he threw back at her, hoping she'd just drop the subject, but Sakura was persistent at the very least.
"Tell me now, or I swear, Naruto...your head will meet with my fist for another round of negotiations."
"Oi, Sakura, no need to be abusive, I'm not looking for that kind of relationship." Naruto chuckled at his own stupid joke for a second until he saw the piecing glare of green eyes and a tightly wound fist heading in his direction. "Hard...good kisses make you hard!" he yelled right before Sakura could hit him. She withdrew her hand in shocked silence, jaw hanging and nearly dragging on the floor. Sakura might have been innocent, having very little experience with men, but she knew what Naruto meant by that and it made her blush furiously.
"So I didn't make you...you know," she murmured, now sounding more hurt that angry.
"No, you didn't, and I don't know why. Hey, let me try again, maybe I was just nervous."
Sakura would have argued with his warped logic, but she was as curious as he was to find out if it was just a fluke. Somewhere in the back of her mind a very perverted inner-Sakura was shouting a very perverse cheer for Naruto to get it up. As she closed her eyes and waited for Naruto to give her a second kiss, she berated the idiotic inner-voice for being nearly as stupid as Naruto.
Once again warm lips were laid on Sakura's and once again a tongue playfully licked as teeth now joined it and nibbled at her bottom lip. Opening her mouth ever so slightly, Sakura invited Naruto's moist muscle inside and he greedily explored the new area, using his tongue to lap and dance with her own. Sakura nearly melted as he did this, because she had never imagined a kiss could be so wonderful. If she would have known kissing was this great she would have been trying it long before this moment with Naruto. Sakura moaned as her partner pressed his body flush to hers, thrusting his tongue further into her mouth, but not to far, then coaxing her tongue into his mouth for a repeat of the whole process. Sakura's body, mind, heart...all were completely on fire, falling for the young man who she hadn't even really considered until he returned to Konoha.
Naruto began pulling away, leaving Sakura's whole being tingling with desire for the handsome blond, and as she opened her eyes, expecting to see him looking at her as lustfully as she was him, instead Sakura was met by the same skeptical and confused look that she had received before.
"N...nothing?" she asked. The incredulous bastard! How could he have felt nothing during that kiss?
"Nope, it felt...weird," he replied with a sheepish and hurt look. "I wanted it to feel good Sakura, really I did, but it kinda felt..."
Sakura waited a moment, hoping Naruto would finish his thought on his own, but he never did, so she poked him in the stomach with her index finger and murmured, "It's okay, you can tell me."
"I wanted it to be this great thing, like fireworks and knowing that I want you more than anything else. I wanted to have to beg you to let me in so we could...ya know. But I got nothing, Sakura, absolutely nothing. I've never had a sister, but I'm pretty sure that this is what kissing your sister is like."
A tear slipped down Sakura's cheek, "Your sister? Your sister! Nothing! But I...I..." It was nearly impossible for the young woman to admit the rush of feelings and emotions she just had during her first two kisses, especially the realization that she liked Naruto as much as she had ever liked Sasuke, but now he was standing right in front of her and saying that she was like kissing a sister. "Dammit, Naruto," she growled as she shoved hard on his chest, making him stumble backwards.
Naruto felt horrible, he realized it was him and only him who had felt nothing, otherwise Sakura wouldn't be so mad, and that tear wouldn't be dangling from her chin. Knowing he had to do something, Naruto pulled Sakura into a hug and he let her pound on his chest with her hands, watched as she began sobbing into his jacket.
"You were supposed to replace him! You were supposed to make me forget him!" she cried into the orange and black material, balling it in her hands as she let her feelings out. "You're my best friend, Naruto, you're kind...you're everything he's not. I was supposed to fall for you..."
Naruto could feel the tears stinging his eyes as well, it hurt so bad knowing that everything he thought he wanted wasn't true, and hurt even more knowing he couldn't save Sakura from her pain. "I'm sorry," he whispered, stroking her hair and trying to calm her down. "I really wish I felt differently."
Pushing away from him gently she murmured a quiet, "Me too," before spinning around and rushing into her apartment, slamming the door in Naruto's face before he could follow. He sighed and tried knocking for a good fifteen minutes before giving up and walking home.
The next week was a little weird between them, but Sakura, Kakashi and Sai all helped Naruto train for the upcoming chuunin exams, and slowly but surely Sakura warmed up to Naruto again, which relieved him completely. Sakura even accepted a request for a date from Lee, which she flaunted to Naruto for some unknown reason. Sakura just felt she had to prove Naruto hadn't hurt her too badly.
"So whens the big date with fuzzy-brows happening?" Naruto asked her after training one day.
She snorted lightly and replied in a rather snippy manner, "This Friday, he's taking me to the lake and we're going to catch fireflies. Isn't that romantic? I think it's romantic."
Naruto wanted to laugh, Sakura had been trying to prove to him all week that he didn't affect her, but he was glad that she was talking to him again. Stopping and picking a flower from the side of the road he ran up to her and placed it in her hair, attempting some sort of truce, but it only made the young woman scowl at him, her eyes boring holes into his own. "What?" Naruto asked innocently.
"Don't do nice things for me," she retorted angrily, "Lee will do nice things for me."
Naruto had just about enough of her childish tantrum, that was supposed to be his territory according to her, and so he rolled his eyes and responded, "I hope he kisses you and it's like kissing your brother, then you'll know what its like."
Sakura was stunned to say the least, because Naruto's words really hurt, stabbing her heart and making her want to cry again. "That was a shitty thing to say, Naruto," she forced out.
"Well, how do you think this makes me feel?" the blond teen growled as he kicked some dirt up and shoved his hands deep in his pockets, pouting and sulking for a moment before continuing. "Did you think I wanted it like this? I wanted you, I wanted someone, I still want someone, Sakura. I hate being alone, I hate it!"
Sakura watched as Naruto walked away, visibly hurting as he kicked at rocks ever few steps, sulking a little, stomp a few more feet, and then repeat the whole process. "Naruto," Sakura called out as she watched him slowly make his way back to his apartment, "I'm sorry, Naruto!"
The demon carrier heard and halted his movement, a clear invitation for her to catch up with him, which she did in a near-run, making large strides until she was standing in front of Naruto, now witness to the true sadness of her friend as a few rogue tears trailed down his cheeks. There wasn't a need for anymore words, or apologies, instead Sakura just pulled him to her, hugging and holding him as he quietly clutched her back. "You're my best friend too," Sakura told him quietly as she rubbed tiny circles into his back, "That's why I hoped we could work."
"Naw, fuzzy-brows loves you more," Naruto said with a sniffle. "I'm sure you two will make a really cute pair."
"Maybe..." she replied with a slight giggle. "I wouldn't get your hopes up, I'm thinking I will know exactly how you felt the other night at the end of my date with him, and I'm sure it is really hard to tell someone that you don't have..." Sakura nearly choked at the words, but finished them so quietly that they were nearly inaudible, "don't have feelings for them."
"Sakura, it sucks more than you know," he replied, as Sakura pulled away and they started walking together. Naruto tried a slight smile and Sakura responded by taking his hand in hers, giving it a reassuring squeeze as they finally mended all the bits and pieces of their broken friendship. Sakura walked Naruto all the way back to his apartment and even accepted the invitation inside for a cup of tea, which she was surprised Naruto even had.
"Honey, milk, plain?" Naruto asked as he poured hot water over the packets to seep the tea in.
It was cheap tea, but a nice gesture all the same. Sakura remembered Naruto's fondness for not checking the expiration date on his dairy products and murmured, "Just honey please," not wanting to think about how sick she'd be if she asked for milk.
Naruto poured some honey into her mug and stirred it gently, clinking the spoon into the side before he rushed the warm drink to his friend. Sakura and he had talked about all kinds of things on their way home, something they'd done since Naruto returned from his three years of training. The young woman sighed, it really was disappointing that he didn't have any attraction to her, but more than wanting Naruto to like her, Sakura wanted Naruto to be happy. "So...is there any other girls who have caught your eye lately?" she asked quietly as she sipped at the hot liquid in her coffee mug.
"If I don't like you, Sakura, I think I'm meant to be alone," Naruto joked, once again hiding his sadness with a grin and a chuckle.
Sakura watched and found it rather heartbreaking. Poor Naruto...more than anything she wanted him to find someone, someone to give him that love he so desperately wanted. "Not Ino?" she tried, he shook his head no, "TenTen?" she asked, he still refused, "Hinata?" Sakura's trump card, someone who had a huge crush on the blond, but Naruto just sighed.
"No, none of them sound good. Ino is pretty, but loud, I don't even know TenTen very well, and Hinata is nice, but she is sooooo weird," Naruto answered with his blue eyes dancing from thought to thought, as if he too was trying to comprehend why he was in this situation. "If it isn't you, it isn't anyone, Sakura."
Sakura knew that wasn't true, so instead of a person, she decided to try and figure out what qualities Naruto wanted. "What do you like in a girl?"
Naruto thought for a moment and then began with his long list of requirements, "I like strong girls, the kind who are challenging to me, weak girls are booooring. I also want someone nice. Ooo! I want someone who understands me, and..." he paused for a minute. "I want someone who won't hate me because of the Kyuubi. See...that was the best thing about you and me, Sakura...you didn't care."
"About the fox?" she asked.
"Yeah. You didn't look down on me for being the Kyuubi vessel, a jinchuurinki. Most girls would."
Sakura smiled big at him. I told my dad that I knew, since all the older shinobi know, and he told me he thought you were a hero. He said that it was an unpopular view to take, but I should adopt it too. I would have whether he urged me to or not, Naruto. You are my friend and my teammate, and it's because of you that our village was saved and has been saved since. Without you I think this world would be pretty dim and abysmal."
"See...that's why I wanted to like you," Naruto whispered, putting his tea down on the floor in front of his old, tattered couch. "You accept me. You are one of the few people who know the real me. There aren't many people like that."
A long, drawn out sigh escaped Sakura's lips. She studied the sad expression on her friend's face carefully before asking, "Is there anyone else other than me that actually gets you?"
"Iruka-sensei...he's like the best big brother ever. He believes in me."
"Anyone else?" she asked again.
"Kakashi-sensei, he's always pushed me to be stronger, and ero-senin and baa-chan...they are all like my adopted family," Naruto replied happily, recounting the most important people in his life.
"Anyone that isn't like family?" she prodded one last time.
"Sasuke...but I guess he was like my brother?" Naruto told her, but the way he worded it as a question made Sakura think twice about how he viewed their awol teammate. "And Gaara...he's the only one who really gets what its like to have a damn demon forced inside you. He wrote me a letter the other day, sent me a half a handful of sand in it too. How weird is that?"
Sakura almost burst out laughing, that was pretty strange, but it also made her curious, "Can I read the letter?"
Naruto turned red, and started to shake his head no, but then rethought it and stood and shuffled through a drawer in his desk. Sakura noted that on top of said desk was a vial about half filled with sand. The sand wasn't colored like most of the granules found in the desert, but instead it had a small twinge of dark reddish-brown to it.
Using her keen powers of observation, Sakura deduced that it was, in fact, a sample of that weird sand Gaara was always toting around, but she asked Naruto for clarification. "The sand, is it Gaara's? I mean the sand that he fights with?"
Naruto didn't answer, just nudged the letter into her hand and sat back down on the couch. She waited a few more moments for a verbal response and then assumed she wasn't going to get one and began reading.The amount of crossed out words and rewritten parts shocked Sakura, especially since you could kind of tell what had been written. It was obviously scribbled quickly, very unlike the Kazekage. Tsunade was always going on and on about how Gaara's calligraphy and hand writing was unbelievably beautiful (the letter could be considered chicken-scratch compared to that).
I hope this letter finds you well, and I send my deepest gratitude to you and your village (the next few words were scribbled out). I must say that I have had time to do a lot of thinking in the past few weeks, and I've decided (more scribbled out) that I hope to have a chance to tell you this in person. I know you are rather busy (an entire two lines scribbled out), but if you find the time I would enjoy a visit from you, or I will be visiting Konoha in two weeks for diplomatic reasons. I enclosed the packet you find here as a present for (lots and lots of scribbling) you to keep.
Be well, Uzumaki,
"You know if you give me a minute or two I could probably decipher the scribbled parts," Sakura told Naruto, cocking her head to the side and trying to read the blacked over words.
"No need, I already did," Naruto whispered. "Lets just say they were kind of...well...I didn't know Gaara was like that."
Naruto's eyes quirked and he focused his gaze to another corner of the room, as far from Sakura as he could get. "Like that."
Naruto harrumphed and finally owned up to what he had deduced about Gaara, "Gaara likes guys, he called me his most precious person."
Sakura giggled maniacally, but not for the reason Naruto thought. She wasn't laughing because the Kakekage was gay, she was laughing because she finally added up the whole screwed up past week or so in her head and discovered the reason behind everything. It was a brilliant little theory, she was sure of that, and it had to be true, it just had to be.
"Naruto has a boyfriend..." she chimed in a sing-song verse, waggling her eyes and noting Naruto turned very red at the mention of that.
Stuttering and deciding to play the game of deny-deny-deny, Naruto started spitting out excuses to why Sakura's hypothesis was wrong. "I don't like guys! I'm not gay!"
"You are keeping his sand in a vial."
"I didn't want to throw something important like that away, I'll give it back when he visits."
"You blush when I say his name and call him your boyfriend."
(More blushing on Naruto's part) "I do not!"
(Lots of blushing). "DO NOT!"
"Mirror please?" Sakura said with an evil grin, digging through her weapon's pouch till she found a small mirror compact and held it up to Naruto's face and showed him just how red he actually was.
"Doesn't prove anything," Naruto pouted, rubbing his cheeks and scowling angrily at his body for betraying him.
Sakura was far from done with her little experiment and asked sweetly, "Do me a favor?"
Naruto glared at her, but finally responded with a, "What?"
"Close your eyes," she said, and waiting for him to follow her directions. Naruto just glared more, so Sakura raised her voice and ordered, "Close them!" Naruto did, begrudgingly, and then waited for more instructions. "Now I want you to imagine that you were on a date with Gaara last Tuesday instead of me."
"Sakura..." Naruto whined, eyes popping open as he tried to get out of her little exercise to discover his sexual identity.
"Eyes closed! You are on a date with Gaara and that is that!" she spouted back, reaching forward to where he was sitting and placing the pads of her thumbs over Naruto's eyelids and shoving them down. Naruto began to object again, but Sakura shushed him and continued. "You are at the door of..." Well, they couldn't be at Gaara's apartment if they were on a date in Konoha, "...your apartment, and he closes his eyes like he wants you to kiss him."
"Sakura..." Naruto tried one last time.
"You damn well better be doing what I tell you to, and you better be imagining this with every ounce of brain power your dull little mind can muster," Sakura barked back before continuing. "You lean down, place your lips on his, kissing him lightly..." Sakura used her own memory of the wonderful kiss she'd received to lead Naruto through the imaginary exercise, which was working quite well as she noted how Naruto blushed and gulped, keeping his eyes closed the entire time. "His lips are warm, inviting, you take the kiss deeper, hold him close to you. Gaara's mouth opens slightly and you slip your tongue inside, it meets his and they clash and dance together..."
Naruto couldn't take anymore, "Oi, Sakura, stop!" he shouted, eyes popping open as he began running frustrated fingers through his hair. Naruto slumped in his seat and added one last thing, "Fuck, Sakura, I'm half hard."
(a week and a half later, during the arrival of the Sand diplomatic envoy)
Naruto paced nervously from one corner of Tsunade's office to the other. Sakura was lounging on a chair, watching her friend with great amusement, trying her best to not laugh at how worked up he was at the thought of meeting with Gaara again. She also wanted to giggle at how cute it was that Naruto now had a certain vial of sand strung around his neck. Though it was usually kept hidden under Naruto's jacket, and he didn't wear it at all on missions or training out of fear it would break, today it was proudly displayed for all to see (or for Gaara to see as Sakura suspected). She wanted to start another sing-song round of teasing where she incessantly chanted "Naruto's got a boyfriend," over and over again until he went mad. If she did that Naruto might bring up how horridly her date with Lee went, so she just kept quiet and smiled at her very anxious friend.
"I just want a bath and a meal. Is that too much to ask, Gaara?" came a deep, gruff voice from the other side of Tsunade's office door. Sakura sat up, and Naruto froze in terror. Both of the Leaf-nin's knew exactly who that voice belonged to, and where there was Kankurou, there was bound to be...
The door opened and Sakura heard Naruto murmur a familiar name, the name of a certain redheaded younger sand sibling who was standing in front of Kankurou in kage robes, eyes fixed on the blond young man waiting for him a couple yards away.
"Ah great, your damn boyfriend is here, that's why we didn't stop at out guest suite first," Kankurou whined, flopping down on a chair next to Sakura. "Hey, Haruno, got anything to eat?" the elder Sand brother groaned, clutching his stomach and slumping in the chair so horribly that it made her laugh.
"Sure, Kankurou," Sakura told him, "I think the lovebirds want to be alone anyway."
A tired eyebrow lifted slowly as Kankurou couldn't believe that his little joke had been confirmed. He didn't really think Gaara and Naruto were dating, or together, or anything of the sort, he just knew Gaara had been wholly obsessed with the Leaf shinobi in the last few weeks, ever since being revived. He didn't question it, he didn't even really want to know, so Kankurou didn't argue in the slightest when Sakura motioned for the door, leading him to what was hopefully a tasty meal.
Naruto almost squeaked as he watched Sakura abandon him, and with Kankurou no less. With stupid baa-chan putting him in charge of greeting the envoy (which unfortunately was only two people strong), there was no one left in the room but him and Gaara. "Hiya, Gaara," he greeted the other man, his voice nearly jumping an octave, making Naruto sound like he was going through puberty all over again. How he dreaded that thought. Naruto had a somewhat annoyingly high voice as it was, and he didn't dare to think how horrible it would be if he sounded like he was eight again.
"I missed you," Gaara told Naruto quietly, hands folded in front of himself, his gourd strapped to his back, and his deep aqua eyes focused at his feet. The Kazekage gave a slight bow and then began undoing the straps of his gourd, tugging and pulling them away until he set it against a chair, abandoning it there as the Suna leader walked toward Naruto. "Did you miss me?" Gaara asked with pleading eyes as he stopped only a few feet away from his friend.
Naruto was still in shock, trying to will the waves of nerves to leave him be, and then attempting to gulp down the sudden feeling of sandpaper which had invaded his mouth. Gaara...I didn't know... he thought but only verbalized, "Yeah, I missed you too."
Gaara nodded and reached for the vial around Naruto's neck, studying it and fingering it gently before he caught Naruto's eyes once more and told the other man, "I see you liked the present I sent, I know it wasn't much...but it protects me, like you protected me. I wanted you..."
Gaara never finished his sentence, because lips were suddenly covering his lips, Naruto's mouth silencing the words which wanted to spill from the Kazekage's heart, swallowing them all because they didn't need to be said, they were already understood.
Silently Naruto's kiss told Gaara, I know, I understand, I want you, I need you... Each tiny movement between them Naruto spilt every emotion he could into the kiss, and he realized Sakura had been right, because with Gaara it was everything a kiss was supposed to be. The butterflies, his stomach doing flip-flops, the hazey state of mind, the fireworks which Naruto had always wanted. Naruto smirked into Gaara's lips, even Jiraiya's perverted little test proved true. This was the kind of kiss which made your toes curl, your heart pound, and your...well...let's just say that Naruto kind of wished he could beg Gaara to take him inside an apartment somewhere so they could continue their little escapade in private, but for now he just settled for a damn fine first kiss. Naruto was sure all that other stuff would come later.
A/N's: There is probably another chapter coming, but I doubt I'll be able to post it here, cause it might have the smex in it XD.