Title: Home
Series: Part II of Naruto x Sakura songfic trilogy
Author: Ugly.Beautiful
Genre: Romance / Angst
Rating: K+
Pairing: Naruto x Sakura
Spoilers: Only things concerning the events of Sasuke's leaving
Summary: I said these places and these faces are getting old. So I'm going home…
Word Count: 2,166

Disclaimer: Naruto is still not mine. And Home belongs to the sexy-voiced Chris Daughtry.


I'm staring out into the night,

Trying to hide the pain.

Naruto sighed for what seemed like the thousand-th time as he gazed off into the distance. Jiraiya was snoring merrily across the fire, a smile on his drool-y lips. Caught up in some perverted dream no doubt. Well, whatever it was, he slept like the dead.

Naruto sighed again and, with a soft groan, pushed himself off the ground. With one last glance at his teacher, confirming that there was no way in hell he'd wake up, Nartuo set off down a small trail near their campsite.

Two-and-a-half years. Two-and-a-half years. Had it really been that long? It seemed like just yesterday, he was at Konoha's gates talking to Sakura.

He snorted softly.

Sakura.

Would he ever be good enough for her? Sometimes it seemed no matter what he did, it would never be enough to make her look his way. If he fought someone, Sasuke was stronger. If he helped someone, Sasuke did it better. If he told her he loved her, well… he just wasn't Sasuke, now was he?

I'm going to the place where love

And feeling good don't ever cost a thing.

Not that he cared. He loved her. He really loved her. Not the she-must-be-mine-I-must-have-her kind of love that psychos had for their self-proclaimed darlings. He loved her. The I-don't-care-who-she's-with-as-long-as-she's-happy kind of love. Because when Sakura was happy, Saukra smiled. And when Sakura smiled…. Everything was alright.

When he came back from a mission. Or training with one of his sadistic teachers. Or a meeting with the old hag. As soon as he saw her smiling, green, green eyes sparkling like all the stars in the sky, pink hair shining in the sun, then none of that seemed to matter.

And if she only smiled like that when someone mentioned Sasuke's name…. Then Naruto would say his name every chance he got.

And the pain you feel's a different kind of pain.

It still hurt though. To know you couldn't make the girl you loved more than life itself smile.

And it was different than the pain of trying to suppress the Kyuubi's fiery chakra. Different than making a thousand shadow clones and training until you dropped. Different than having your bestfriend's hand shoved through your chest as you tried to save him from the darkness he'd fallen into. It was so different.

Like your heart was being ripped from your chest. Like you were stuck in one of Itachi's illusion worlds and it was happening again and again and again. Like you were drowning, and you knew no one was going to save you once you stopped breathing.

I'm going home,

Back to the place where I belong,

Where your love has always been enough for me.

And he surely must be the worst masochist in all of Konoha for the fact that he simply didn't care how much it hurt. How much it made him feel like dieing. Or like leaving and never coming back, so he didn't have to see her be happy (so beautifully happy) with someone that wasn't him.

But he could never manage to leave her. He always had time after a mission to say hello, to see how she was, to ask her for a date, even though he know she'd say no. And these past two-and-a-half years had been torture because he never got to see her.

And now he was going back.

I'm not running from

No, I think you got me all wrong

I don't regret this life I chose for me.

Even though he knew she'd yell at him when he got back. He might not even see her. He snorted to himself. He just wanted to let the old hag know he was alright and then be was heading out to find Sasuke and bring him back whether he wanted to come or not. Although… he would have to deal with Jiraiya's endless "wisdom." He could almost hear him now……

"Hey brat, you sure you don't have a girl to see? Looks to me like you're avoiding someone, leaving so soon like that, not even letting an old man take a break."

Then Naruto would throw something at him and stalk off, waiting for him to catch up.

He was NOT avoiding her! If she hated him for being less like her precious Sasuke-kun, then, well… he couldn't really change that. He just…. He sighed. Sakura was stubborn, everyone knew that. And Naruto knew that she had her heart set on the youngest Uchiha, and he wasn't going to stand in her way, even if it killed him.

He kept up his façade, cheerfully asking her for dates everytime he saw her, because it was routine, the same way she asked Sasuke even though she knew he'd say no. It was familiar. But, what are you gonna do? If she was happy, he was happy (ish) and he was fine with that.

But these places and these faces are getting old

So I'm going home.

But, even with all the pretending, it got lonely out here training with only the old perverted hermit to keep him company. Day in and day out, all that sannin did was push him. And day in and day out, Naruto let himself get pushed.

This is for getting back Sasuke. This is for proving the villagers wrong. This is for protecting the villagers. This is to get Orochimaru. This is to get Akatsuki. And this, this is for Sakura.

For two-and-a-half years he'd trained to make all those people happy. And now he was going to show them (all of them) the man he'd turned out to be.

The miles are getting longer, it seems

The closer I get to you

They'd started the long road home almost two months ago. And they stil weren't back to Konoha yet. Just goes to show you how far out they were. Naruto didn't even know there were shinobi villages out that far. Jiraiya said they should reach the village by morning and (instead of traveling through the night to get there like his pupil had insisted) the frog-hermit plopped to the ground and went straight to sleep. Tch. Lazy bastard.

Well… Naruto thought to himself, the sun's been up for an hour and he's still out. Stupid hentai. If he wakes up and finds me gone it serves him right! We're this close to being home and he wants to sleep! What kind of ninja is he? Tch. Whatever. I'll go back by myself.

I've not always been the best man or friend for you

But your love remains true

And I don't know why

You always seem to give me another try

He sighed. Again.

He hoped Sakura wasn't too angry with him for being gone so long. It didn't seem like so long at the time, but now…

He smiled sadly. Some teammate he was. He gets mad at Sasuke for leaving and making Sakura upset, and then he turns around and does the same thing. Granted, he didn't go off to join some tongue-raping psychopath hell-bent on world domination, but, it was sorta the same thing.

And even after he failed to bring the Uchiha back from the Sound Four, after he stood in from of Konoha's gates and promised her with the Good Guy Pose that he would, he didn't. He was brough back in a bloodied, beaten mess and Sasuke walked into the arms of the enemy. No thanks to him.

And she still seemed… confident in him when he left with Jiraiya. A simply stated, "You promised me, remember?" At least she didn't tell him he would probably fail, because he probably would. He was no match for Orochimaru. He knew it. Orochimaru knew it. Hell, even Sakura knew it. And still she didn't rub it in his face.

Apparently, she still believed in him.

So I'm going home

Back to the place where I belong

And where your love has always been enough for me

I'm not running from

No, I think you got me all wrong

I don't regret this life I chose for me

But these places and these faces are getting old

And that thought alone made Naruto's heart sing and beat like a caged bird within his chest. He felt like he could do anything, defeat anyone. She believed in him. She believed in him. It made him think that maybe it was worth it to go look for her once he got home. It made him think that there was a small possibility that she had missed him as much as he had missed her.

And because she had faith in him, he didn't mind traipsing all over the place, training with people as sadistic in their methods of learning as his own teachers. He was doing it for her and that was all that mattered.

Be careful what you wish for

'Cause you just might get it all

You just might get it all

And then some you don't want

Be careful what you wish for

'Cause you just might get it all

You just might get it all

And at times, late at night, when he counted stars to keep himself from running back to Konoha as fast as he could to just see her face, he wished that she felt the same way as he did. It sure would make his life a helluv a lot easier if she could just forget about loving Sasuke and could turn her attentions to her other teammate.

Toying with the thought of Sakura falling in love with him, the Kyuubi-vessel's mind conjured up images of her face, blushing and beaming at him as he returned from Konoha, dragging Sasuke by his hair.

"Sakura-chan! Ne, ne, ne, I brought the bastard back just like I promised you I would! See?! See?! So I think we should go on a date to celebrate!"

Blue eyes shining at her in pride at his completed mission, they widened in shock as she used Tsunade's super-human strength to toss Sasuke over her shoulder where dream-Naruto was pleased to see he was immediately set on by his rapid fangirls. "Sakura-chan…? What- MMPH!"

Eyes now widened to the size of dinner plates, dream-Naruto stood shocked as Sakura grabbed his face and brought it down to her level, letting her plant a kiss on his lips.

Letting him go, she glanced down shyly, long lashes sweeping over emerald eyes. "Naruto-kun, I realized that, you're the only one for me."

A grin that could shame the sun split his whiskered face and dream-Naruto pulled her lips back to his…

Oh, well I'm going home

Back to the place where I belong

And where your love has always been enough for me

Tch-ya. Like that would ever happen. S'all right with him though, he reasoned with himself, as he finally found the road that lead to Konoha and started walking down it. He wasn't going to pretend to be a goofy, moonstruck little kid anymore.

I'm not running from

No, I think you go me all wrong

I don't regret this life I chose for me

As soon as he got back, he was going to find Sakura. Before he went to see Iruka or Kakashi. Before he went to ask Tsunade if there was any word from Sasuke. He was going to find her. He was going to find her and then he was going to tell her how he felt. Without any of the bubbly, giggly-ness. He would be serious. He would show her how serious he was. How seriously in love with her he was.

But these places and these faces are getting old

Recognizing where he was, he realized he was closer to the village than he though, and Naruto broke into a sprint, a grin lighting up his whiskered face. Almost three years of training with people he'd probably never see again.

I said these places and these faces are getting old

So I'm going home

Passing people in the marketplace or on the road as they traveled from one shinobi village to another. Listening to his teachers and mentors telling him about how this person had done that and how that person had done this. Faces with no names. And names with no faces. It was ridiculous.

And now he could finally walk into a town and know the people. He could say hello and ask how their day had gone. Ask if they wanted to go out later. He knew them.

Suddenly skidding to a stop, the blond looked up at the gate in front of him. It seemed bigger than the last time he had seen it.

Konoha.

He grinned a thousand-watt smile as Kiba, Choji, Shikamaru, and Lee stood up from leaning against the wall. They waited for him! He laughed as he made his way over to them.

So I'm going home


A/N: Whew::wipes forehead dramatically. Finished part II!