Nightshroud: Another Naruto couple oneshot. I got so much positive feedback from my first oneshot that I decided to do more. Hope you enjoy!

Song: The Best of Me by Starting Line. I don't even like this song or band but I thought it really fit.
Love is a strange thing. In one moment it can grab you, but sometimes you can't shake it off for the rest of your life. But then you start thinking, do you really want to? Asuma and Kurenai are about to find out.

"Hey, stop that! Leave me alone!" shouted a twelve year old Kurenai.

"Shut up!" yelled one of the bullies, pushing her over.

Kurenai tried to hold back her tears as the bullies continued to pick on her, pull at her hair, and kick at her.

"Hey, knock it off!"

The bullies looked over and frowned. "Mind your own business, Asuma!" they said.

Kurenai looked over to see a boy about her age. He was a few inches taller, tan, built for his age, and handsome. She fought the blush that creeped onto her face.

He ran over and pushed the ones closest to her out of the way.

"You got a lot of nerve," the apparent leader said.

Asuma turned and glared at him. "You're right. I should let you just pick on defenseless girls."

"Come on, fight me if you can."

Asuma cracked his knuckles. "My pleasure."

Quick as lightning Asuma punched him right in the jaw and sent him sprawling to the floor.

"I always wanted to do that."

The other looked at him and took off. He watched them run away and then turned to Kurenai. He helped her up and brushed her hair away from her face.

"Hey, are you all right?"

She blushed and nodded her head.

"Hey, why don't you come to my house and get cleaned up?"

She stared at him and said, "Really?"

He grinned back at her. "Sure."


Asuma led her to his house where she washed her face and dusted her clothes off. Asuma had just gotten her something to drink when the door opened.

"Asuma, I came to get – oh…."

Kurenai's jaw dropped as the Third Hokage entered the room.

"You mean you're Asuma Sarutobi?" she said in disbelief.

Okay, now this was too good to be true.

"Oh, who's your friend here, Asuma?"

Kurenai looked away shyly. "My name's Kurenai Yuhi."

"Kurenai Yuhi, huh? Today must be my lucky day…."

"Hey, Asuma!" said Kurenai, running over to the table he was sitting at.

"Hey," he said with a smile.

She blushed and held out a package. "What's this?" he asked.

"I made a lunch for us to share," she replied without looking directly at him, "It's the least I can do to thank you for helping me."

He grinned. "Hey, no problem. And don't worry, you're under my protection now."

She smiled and sat next to him. "I hope you like it."

"If you made it, I'm sure I'll like it."

Over at another table, Kakashi, Genma, Gai, and Anko watched the two eating together.

"Hey, look at Asuma and Kurenai. They're really a couple now. Eating lunch together….hmm that's a surefire sign."

Genma looked at them, then turned back. "You sure about that, Kakashi?"

Gai shouted, "Look at the flame of youth burn! Is their love not obvious?"

The others sweatdropped as Asuma and Kurenai (as well as the whole room) heard them and blushed while suddenly looked away from each other. "Look what your youthful crap has done this time, Gai," muttered Anko.

"It's been a while," Asuma thought as he walked through the gates. It has been a few years since he had left the Hidden Leaf Village to become one of the 12 Guard Ninjas of Fire who protected the Land of Fire's daimyo.

He had hoped to make it to his destination as soon as possible, but he didn't plan on a reunion with Kakashi, Anko, Genma, and Gai that slowed him up for a bit.

He reached the Hokage's office and walked in.

"Hey, dad."

The Third looked up and smiled. "Asuma, you came back, did you?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I guess pursuing interests outside the village wasn't as great as I thought it would be."

The Third smiled at his son. "All right. I'll arrange your papers immediately."

There was suddenly a knock from the door. "Come in."

"Lord Hokage, I looked over the mission and accept, but unfortunately my partner fell ill. May I suggest Kakashi or-"

For the first time Kurenai looked up and her eyes widened as she saw Asuma standing there.

"Asuma…" she said quietly.

"An excellent idea," said the Third craftily.

"Huh? But I only just got here!" protested Asuma.

"Well, nothing like being back in the old life, eh?"

Asuma (--) sighed and left the room with Kurenai behind him.

"So, you came back," she said after a pause.

"Yeah, I missed the village. And you…"

Her face registered shock and she forced herself to look at him. He had grown taller since she last saw him. He was even more muscular and had grown a beard. She blushed as she realized that she found him even hotter than before.

At the same time, Asuma had looked at her. "Woah, she's so hot. Man, what a few years will do. I could barely control myself back then, but now…"

They both stood in awkward silence for a moment. "Well, I'll see you for the mission tomorrow," said Kurenai. As she walked away, Asuma continued to stare, muttering a soft, "See you then."

"Aww crap, and the mission had been going so well!" Asuma pouted as he and Kurenai stood poised for battle as a group of ninja surrounded them.

Asuma pulled out his trench knives and rushed at the enemy. He slashed through them at rapid speed, taking out a whole group of them in a matter of seconds. As he ran at the last one, he thrust out his blade at the ninja. The ninja dived to the side, avoiding the slice. Asuma only smirked as he passed him by. He extended the blades with his wind chakra and cut through him. The ninja suddenly cried out in pain and collapsed.


He turned back to see Kurenai fighting off the last of the ninja. He had knocked her back and pulled out a handful of kunai. Asuma had only enough time to put himself in the way of the kunai.

He winced as two kunai stuck in his chest. With his last strength he stumbled towards the last ninja, grabbed him by the neck, and stabbed him. He then passed out, thinking, "I wouldn't mind dying, if I knew that I had saved your life."

Asuma opened his eyes and saw white around him. He focused on the room around him and realized that he was in a hospital room. He felt a strange weight on his chest and looked too see Kurenai sleeping on a chair next to him with her head resting on him.

He smiled and ran his fingers through her hair. He loved having her this close to him.

She suddnely awoke in a cute and groggy way. She looked over and saw him looking at her. "Asuma, you're awake!" she said, hugging him gently while crying a little.

"Hey, don't worry yourself over me."

She looked at him and playfully shoved him. "You saved me by risking your own life, and you expect me not to care?"

She suddenly blushed, and Asuma followed her gaze.

Oh, he didn't have a shirt on. He had bandages covering some of it, but she could still see the muscles coming through. And she had been resting her head on that. She thought she was the luckiest girl ever.

He suddenly blushed too. They were saved by Kurenai suddenly yawning.

"Tired?" he asked with a grin.

She nodded and got up. "Well I better get going."

"But you live far away from the hospital. At least wait till the morning so I can take you home."

"But the….where will I…"

"I don't mind," said Asuma, determined to win over the blush that threatened to cover his whole face.

She wasn't so successful, but finally (and happily) decided to stay. She resumed her position, but this time she felt suddenly hot when she felt Asuma's arms wrap around her.

A few days had passed when Kurenai got an unexpected knock at the door. She opened it and found Asuma with a slight pink tint on his cheeks.

"Hey, Kurenai, the annual spring festival is coming up this Saturday and I was wondering if you were going."

"Yeah, I think I'll be there."

"Would you…want to go…with me?" he asked, the pink becoming slightly more visible on his tanned face.

She smiled and said, "Of course I'll go with you."

His face lit up with joy. "Okay, I'll come by your place at seven. And, I want you to have these."

He produced a boquet of roses. "To match your eyes," he said sweetly. She was speechless until she felt her cheek tingle as he gently kissed her.

"See you then."

He turned and left (quickly so as to hide the blush covering his face), leaving Kurenai staring with her hand on her cheek.

That Saturday, Asuma and Kurenai walked down the street together. Men and women watched the couple happily, or just as often, jealously.

They arrived at the grassy area where tables and decorations had been set up. There was music going, and the two made their way through the crowd with difficulty before finding their friends.

As they stood talking, people started going to the dance floor.

"Hey, you should ask Kurenai to dance," whispered Genma.

"You think?" he asked.

He turned to Kakashi who gave him a smile and a nod.

"Uh, Kurenai?" he asked in front of gang "Do you want to dance?"

She smiled and gave him her hand. "I'd love to." The others smiled and watched them walk away.

"I think they've finally come to it," said Kakashi thoughtfully.

Tell me what you thought about
When you were gone and so alone
The worst is over
You can have the best of me
We got older but we're still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we wont give up

Asuma held her tight against him with his arm around her waist and the other on her back, drifting occasionally through her hair. She smiled and closed her eyes as she rested her head on his shoulder

Here we lay again
On two separate beds
Riding phone lines
To meet a familiar voice
And pictures drawn from memory
We reflect on miscommunication
And misunderstandings
And missing each other too
Much to have had to let go

We turn our music down
And we whisper
Say what your thinking right now

"Kurenai, I want you to know something. When I went away to the Fire daimyo, there was nothing that came to mind, nothing that I missed more than you."

Tell me what you thought about
When you were gone and so alone
The worst is over
You can have the best of me
We got older but we're still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we wont give up

Kurenai opened her eyes and looked up at. She locked her red eyes with his soft brown ones. "I missed you too. More than anything. The day you left it felt like all my happiness, my existence was torn out."

Jumping to conclusions
Made me fall away from you
I'm so glad that the truth
Has brought back together me and you
We're sitting on the ground
And we whisper
Say what your thinking out loud

He sighed and looked down. "I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you."

She lifted his chin. "But now, I'm the happiest woman alive, and it's because of you."

Tell me what you thought about
When you were gone and so alone
The worst is over
You can have the best of me
We got older but we're still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we wont give up

"Kurenai," he began, and everything seemed to quiet down and still.

"I think you're the most beautiful and amazing woman I've ever met. I love you with all my heart, just as I did from the moment I met you."

"Oh, Asuma. I've always loved you too."

We turn our music down
And we whisper
We're sitting on the ground
And we whisper
We turn our music down
We're sitting on the ground
And next time I'm in town
We will kiss, girl
We will kiss, girl

He gently lifted her chin and gazed into her eyes, before pressing his lips against hers. Her leg popped up like a fairytale kiss, and she couldn't help but wonder if this was just a fairy tale, seeming too good to be true. But when she felt the warmth of his lips, she knew. She put her hand on his face and stroked his beard while she licked his lips and pressed against him.

They were suddenly aware of everyone around them clapping. Apparently, a lot of people had been waiting for this moment. Asuma thought this a good time and pulled something out of his vest.

Tell me what you thought about
When you were gone and so alone
The worst is over
You can have the best of me
We got older but we're still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we wont
Feeling that we cant
We're not ready to give up

"Kurenai, will you marry me?" he asked, presenting her with a dazzling ring.

"Asuma, how could I say no?"

And in six months, another kiss sealed their mariage.

As Asuma held Kurenai, he whispered to her, "I love you, Kurenai, and I'll always be here for you."

And somehow she felt, knew somewhere deep inside her heart, that that was true.

We got older but we're still young
We never grew out of this feeling that we wont give up

Nightshroud: I've been thinking about doing an Asuma Kurenai oneshot for so long, and I finally got around to it. They are definitely my favorite couple, and the only official one too. Well, I'll be putting up some more Naruto couple oneshots, so keep an eye out for them. And please R&R. Your reviews are most appreciated.