Hi ! this is my birthday present to myself !! Happy birthday to me ! XD (yep I know I'm weird . )
This story had been co-authored by the StarsOfYaoi (Do you really think I would not mention it ?) She entrusted me with this plot bunny as she is overloaded with ideas. And beta-ed by Cyber-Porygon
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor make money out of it.
Summary: Naruto was to marry his fiancée but she didn't present on the wedding day.
Warning: Ita/Naru; one sided Naru/Saku, Sasu/Naru, Sasu/Saku; side pairing Kaka/Obi.
Naruto was restlessly fidgeting in his Montsuki kimono. The beautiful tight cloth fitting his built frame perfectly; his eyes were moving everywhere without focusing on what was around him, deep in thought.
Tugging on the sleeves of his black haori uncomfortably, he fought the urge to scratch his face; he felt hot and tight under all those layers of cloths, and the stingy sensation of having make-up plastered on both of his cheeks did not help at all as the sun pounded mercilessly on him.
It would have been better in winter, he thought distractedly, but it was mid-summer –July the 23rd to be precise… his wedding day.
The day he would finally realize his dream…
The most beautiful day of his life!
It did not matter if he had no say on the organization. It was his wedding day; he should not care about anything else.
He had not chosen the date, the place, the cloths, the guests or anything else concerning this day. In fact, he had even been forced to apply make-up, something that was all but manly, in his opinion, and he had done it without protesting, because he could understand his fiancée's desires to control everything, but he really hated it.
"It's to hide those awful scars…," his fiancée had said, with a grimace quickly hidden under a condescending smile. "I want my marriage to be perfect; you can do that for me, ne, Naruto? You understand..."
In fact, he did not really care… he just wanted to marry her.
In his eyes, she was absolute perfection –her flawless pale skin, her slender curves, which made his heart speed up, her long neck where he loved to place butterfly kisses, her light mint green eyes that were full of life, her long and fluffy pink hair that she always kept tied behind her head with bright head–bands.
Everything of her was perfect.
Naruto flushed a bit at the though of his fiancée, his cheeks reddening as he recalled his cherry blossom, not that anyone could see under those layers of make-up. Soon enough she would pass through the gate, dressed in her beautiful Shiro-maku traditional kimono and walk up to him.
Then his dearest dream would come true.
He could almost see her walk towards him with a warm smile, the same smile she reserved for him when they were alone together… hair curling around her face, held up in one of those complicated hairstyles, with one of her creamy white ribbons swaying at all her movements.
Of course her pink hair would be hidden underneath one of those wigs, Naruto knew this, but he was happily picturing her without the wig. He did not like to think of her lush hair hidden underneath some fake hair, but she wanted it.
She spent days in search of her wedding kimono, because she would never stoop as low as to make it an occidental ceremony.
No, her loved one wanted a traditional Japanese wedding, already knowing all the small details that would make it perfect. Naruto knew it was one of her own dreams, to be able to organize the perfect day for her marriage, and he didn't mind. Really...
She had chosen a Kimono that was of her two favourite colours, light pink, a warm pastel tone, and creamy white, so it would not look too shiny; it was large, and by how it had looked on her, uncomfortable, but the blond young man was sure she would deny it.
He had seen the kimono on her, and she looked so different and yet so beautiful… with layers of white fabric pooling around her feet -she had refused to wear normal shoes, stubbornly asking for the traditional and hard to walk with geta-, a high silver-ish white obi tight around her lithe frame and blossoming curves…
He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life.
Looking around nervously, Naruto bit the inside on his cheeks worriedly, once again preventing his hands from moving upwards to scratch at his sticky cheeks.
His blue eyes finally focused on something as he distractedly moved his gaze from the Torii gate to Iruka, who looked proud and happy for him. The brown haired man had been the only one to care for Naruto, from when he was seven up to now, and Naruto was grateful for all the years Iruka had neglected himself to give Naruto all the things he needed.
Iruka was not Naruto's biological father, but to the blond he was more than just that. For the last sixteen years Iruka had been his father, his confident, and the only person Naruto could turn to when he had a problem.
Naruto did not know what he would have done without the teacher at his side comforting him.
He had been there when all he could see were glares and hatred. He had been there when his first friends entered his life. He had been there when he had felt confused about his life and goals and directions, and then he had been there when his future wife had appeared. He had been there when for an entire year he had courted the pink haired young woman, and he had been there for all the rejection he received from her.
Naruto had never dated anyone else, denying with himself any other attraction but hers.
And now, after six years together, Iruka was there to see Naruto marry the love of his life.
Iruka had showered Naruto with all the love he never had before, and now Naruto wanted to allow the man to have his own happiness in life. He owed him so much, after all.
Looking towards his lovely fiancée's mother, who was currently sitting on a bench bent in two, he saw her serious and unreadable expression and shuddered. He had always felt unwelcome by his lover's parents.
The woman took out from her loosened sleeve a small fan decorated with a sakura flower theme, fanning herself to counter the heat, whilst her husband, dressed maybe even more formally than Naruto himself was, tried to shadow her from the hot July sun.
Had he not been worried about his blossom's whereabouts, Naruto would have smiled at the sight of the proud woman refusing to give in to the heat, fanning herself as if her life depended on it, and the equally proud man refusing to wip the drops of sweat rolling down his forehead whilst showing this light nice acting towards his wife.
Naruto wished for Sakura and himself to end like them, and today was the day he would make the first step to reach this new dream of his.
But now, worry was already shadowing this happiness he felt, invading his mind like a dark plague, seeding it with insecurities he thought he had defeated years before.
All his fantasies slowly disappeared, leaving behind a single urgent question –where was Sakura?
Meeting eyes with Iruka, Naruto allowed his worry to reach his adoptive father, who smiled at him in a comforting way; Naruto was not fooled though –he could clearly see the wary look in the man's eyes.
Yes, Iruka had always been at his side in his wooing and dating Sakura, but he had also been the only one to oppose to the marriage, claiming they were still too young to think about such life–long promises.
Although, it was true, since Naruto had just graduated from university, and had started working three months before, to him his situation looked fine.
He was working as a foreign exchange analyst in a famous bank in Kyôto, the possibility to be promoted already lingering in the air; and for her part, Sakura was a make–up artist that had been already making her way through the world of models for the last two years.
It took Naruto hours of pestering his foster father to convince him to give them his blessing; of course he could have married Sakura without it, as she had suggested at first, but then he would not have done it without his approval.
Naruto could still remember the words Iruka had said to him–
"As long as you are happy nothing matter, but you can't stop me from worrying about you."
Those words held the greatest meaning for an orphan like Naruto was. That was why when he finally had Iruka's approval, hearing those words, he had felt like the happiest person in the world, because no matter what, he knew that there were people who cared for him enough to be worried enough to want him happy, even enough to marry him. And that was something no one could take away from him.
Naruto fidgeted a bit more, not liking the way the sweat was making his kimono sticky on him, not liking the sensation of the rough texture against his sensitive skin; but more than that he did not like the looks that were thrown his way, those eyes filled with pity and a vague condescending look people had when they thought they knew something he did not.
Those stares were suffocating him more than the heat and the heavy air.
From the corner of his eyes, he caught a glimpse of Ino, Sakura's best friend. She looked at him smiling sadly before quickly turn her head, her blonde ponytail flying across her face could not hide the guilt tarnishing her usually lively pale blue eyes.
And then he had a sudden realization –something was going on.
Maybe it was Ino's pitiful stare, almost as if she felt guilty for something, or maybe it was the realization that Sakura was already three hours late.
It all clicked up –he knew that Sakura would never be late, especially not for her own wedding. After all she had been the one to organize it all, the one to think every little detail, the one to control everything.
Furthermore, she despised lateness. Naruto had experience it first hand many, many times, as he had once been late for one of their dates.
Sakura had given him the cold shoulder for an entire week, screaming at him every time she met him somewhere, not allowing him to get near her, or kiss her…
-Of course they had never had sex either, she was like her parents were a traditionalist… she would never concede herself to a man outside marriage.-
He would never been late again after that one time. But he had the occasion to see Sakura's wrath falling on numerous of their friends for their lateness. She always said :
"Punctuality is the politeness of Kings !"
Naruto passed his tongue on his dry lips twice, not even noticing it when his fingers scratched his cheek.
This was not good. Not good at all.
He barely noticed some of the guests leave discreetly the temple, walking away with their heads lowered, already gossiping about him –about them.
It was then that he accepted the facts and finally stopped denying himself the harsh truth.
She would not come.
Sakura would not come to their wedding.
Naruto felt his heart clench painfully in his chest, almost as if a cold hand had grabbed his heart and was now squeezing it, it was a pain so deep it made his lungs twist and burn.
It should have been the best day of his life…
His unfocused eyes looked around again at the beautiful garden of the temple with the sun shining hotly above them no cloud covering the sky.
The flowers disposed around, daffodils because it was Sakura's favourite flower.
All the guests, dressed with formal traditional clothes, himself looking pathetic in his attire, sweat running from his forehead.
His family, Iruka, his close friends; Shikamaru, Gaara, Temari and even Kankurou, Chouji, Kiba, Tenten, Shino and even his boss Kakashi, who was a close family friend, was here with his best friend and lover Obito.
All gathered here for his marriage. Looking for his happiness, and now everyone was staring down in shame, not even meeting his gaze.
They were embarrassed but not of him. They were embarrassed for him.
He looked at Ino again, his eyes dull. He didn't even have the strength to feel angry. The blonde young woman lifted her gaze to him and mouthed a sorry at him. His heart skipped a beat, feeling heavier with every breath.
So she had known all along.
Sakura would not come.
She would not come for real.
Slowly, Naruto closed his eyes tightly, tears pooling in them as he fought hard the urge to cry. With a fierce show of self–control he pushed the tears away, as he had promised he would never cry anymore in front of his precious people. It was not the time to break down.
He turned around; preparing to face the last guests that had remained out of pity and his friends, to inform then the ceremony was cancelled.
His eyes trailed over Miko, Sakura's mother, who bowed her head in apology, cheeks flushed with shame and fury. She was radiating the two feelings clearly for him to feel them.
Then, his eyes rested on Sakura's father, Higashi; the two had never really liked each other, but now, in such circumstances, Naruto saw in his eyes that for the first time ever, the man was not angry at him, but at his daughter for bringing shame to his family. It was a brief contact though, because then the man's eyes evaded Naruto's gaze, not able to hold on his stare anymore.
Naruto did not really care. It did not matter that he was going to make a fool of himself. No, it did not matter at all.
All he could think about was her face. The face of the person he had considered to be the woman of his life, the one he would have spent the rest of his life with.
And he could not chase away that nagging feeling telling him that she had betrayed him. She had deserted him in the most sacred day. She had left him the day they were to get married.
He halted in his turning around, unable to stop a single tear from rolling down his make-up covered cheek, disappearing in the folds of his haori, before finally turning to the crowd.
End of the prologue.
Montsuki kimono and Haori : part of the groom's attire Montsuki kimono are used for ceremonies and special occasions which bears the family crest on both the front and back of the kimono. The kimono is full length and is tucked into the hakama pants. A matching haori overcoat is then worn over the kimono to complete the attire.
Shiro-maku : The bride's kimono dress in Japan ; Shiro means white and maku stands for pure.
Geta : wooden-soled shoes
Torii : literally bird perch. It's the 'gate' that you generally found at the entrance of Shinto's temple.
I hope you enjoy this... Review, please.