This story is not made by me. It is made by Scarred-Eye on Deviantart. He allowed me the honor of putting up this story on my account to share with all you NaruSaku fans so DON'T YOU DARE REPORT ME FOR STEALING ANOTHER PERSON'S WORK!!!!!!!!! I just want to share it.
That said...enjoy the story.
A NaruSaku Valentine
It was a clear day in Konoha Village. Winter was closing to an end and spring was on its way, as was Valentine's Day. Every year, Konoha Village held the Annual Valentine's Day Festival. Decorations were being set up all over the village; pink, white, and red hearts were, along with cupids holding their bows and arrows as they smiled, and every other kind of decorations you could think of. Valentines chocolates, candies, cards, balloons, statues, and animals with puppy dog like eyes, holding little hearts with, "I Luv U," and "Be My Valentine," were being sold in almost every store in the whole village. Bouquets of roses, tulips, daisies, forget-me-nots, and any other kind of flowers, were made, gathered with colored wrappings, as well as reefs with hearts hanging from them, with any choice of Valentine's cards.
"Love is in air," sort of thing. What the village was excited about the most was the Valentine Cotillion; a moment of dancing and shows put on by the trainee ninjas and the show of skills of the ninjas in many styles of jutsus.
Now that the dance floor was set up, all that was left was set of tables, the dance floor lamps, and the banners and ribbons. Neji, Shikamaru, Choji, Lee, and Naruto help set up the lamps, making each one stood erect and a good distance apart from the other and directly faced the ones across them.
"All done here," said Choji.
"Now we just need to set the glass heads on them," said Lee.
"Maybe it would've been easier if we put them on before we set the lamps up," said Shikamaru.
"How 'bout I climb on top of the lamps and you guys hand the glass heads to me," said Naruto.
"It would take too long doing one at a time," said Neji.
"No, it won't," said Naruto. He jumped on top of lamp that had just finished setting up, wrapping his legs tightly around it to stay up then made a cross with his first two fingers. "Shadow Clone Jutsu." A puff of smoke appeared on all of the lamps around the dance floor and then came one of Naruto's shadow clones. "See, Neji? Just hand the head to us, and we'll be done in no time."
"I stand corrected," said Neji.
"Good plan, Naruto," said Lee, giving him a thumbs up.
"Just don't drop them," said Shikamaru.
"Oh, ye a little faith, Shikamaru," said Naruto.
"Can we just hurry this up?" Choji asked. "I'm starving."
"All right, let's do it," said Neji. The eight glass heads were stacked up in their packs, giving each of the Leaf Ninjas two heads to pass to Naruto. Within few minutes, seven of the eight glass heads were set up and each clone vanished as they finished.
"Toss it here, Shikamaru," said Naruto.
"Here it comes, Naruto," said Shikamaru, and he tossed it up to Naruto. The glass head flew up over Naruto's head and began to drop from his reach.
"Oh, crap," said Choji. Unable to reach it with his hands, Naruto quickly took off his blue, long sleeve shirt, holding it by the sleeves and used it as a net to catch the head, but just as he caught, the lamp began to wobble and lean in different directions, losing its balance.
"Whoa, boy," Naruto said, suddenly, pulling himself in. Just as the lamp was about to fall, Neji and Lee quickly grabbed a hold of the post and tried to steady it while Naruto centered his weight, bringing the wobbling post to a halt. A 'whew,' let out from their lips, along with a sigh of relief. Naruto screwed the glass head onto the lamps and dropped to the ground after Neji and Lee got out of the way.
"Thanks, guys," said Naruto.
"Good jobs with the setup, guys," said Iruka, approaching from behind. "Nicely done."
"Thanks, Iruka Sensei," said Lee.
"This might turn out to be the best cotillion we ever had," said Iruka. "When your done putting the banners up, come get me. I have a few more jobs for you to do."
"Yes, sir," said the ninjas.
"Good catch with head, Naruto," said Neji.
"Now you put your blouse back on so we can get these banners up," said Shikamaru, smiling at him.
"Funny," said Naruto, throwing his shirt on.
Sakura, Ino, and Tenten were helping set up the tables. They had already set out the tablecloths and were now setting the plates and silverware.
"You girls have any plans for Valentine's Day," Tenten asked.
"I have to help out at my mom's flower shop," said Ino. "Valentine's Day's pretty much our most busiest day of the year."
"What about you, Sakura?" Sakura didn't answer. "Sakura?"
She came to, looking at Tenten and Ino.
"Uh, what?" she said.
"Are you okay?" Tenten asked.
"Yeah, you seem a little out of it," said Ino.
"Sorry," said Sakura. "What were you asking?"
"What do you have planned for Valentine's Day?" Ino asked.
"Nothing, really," said Sakura. "I'll pretty much be spending the next few days looking for an apartment."
"Why would you be looking for an apartment anyway?" Tenten asked. "Don't you live with your parents?"
"Yeah, but every since the Chunin exam, my parents keep on worrying about me when I ever go out on missions, even during training. I just want to get away from that for awhile, and prove to them that I can take care of myself."
"Do you need any help looking?" Ino asked.
"No, but thanks anyway, Ino. I think I almost found the one I was looking for."
"How are you girls doing?" Kakashi asked, stepping up to their table.
"We're doing great, Kakashi Sensei," said Tenten.
"Good to hear. By the way, Sakura, your parents just called. They want to see you back at your house as soon as you can."
"All right," Sakura sighed. "I'll finish up here and get out of here."
"I'll let them know."
"Thanks, Kakashi Sensei." Kakashi nodded to Sakura and walked away.
"Sakura, why don't you go on ahead," said Ino. "We'll finish up here."
"Are you sure?" Sakura asked, not too comfortable with the idea. "I can finish with you guys."
"It's all right, Sakura," said Tenten. "We're almost done anyways."
"All right," said Sakura. "See you tomorrow." She walked by the dance floor as she made her way to the exit. As she was about to pass one of the lamps, a ribbon and bow fell on top of her head. "What the?"
"Oops, sorry, Sakura," said Naruto. She took the ribbon and bow off her head and she looked up the post and saw Naruto hunching over the bottom of his back, looking down at Sakura. "I didn't see you."
"What are you doing up there, Naruto?" Sakura asked.
"Trying to tie these banners with the ribbons, but their such a pain in the back, if you get my meaning," said Naruto. Sakura smiled and let out a little chuckle.
"I can see that," she said. "I think you'll be needing this."
"Thanks." Sakura handed Naruto the ribbon and bow, and Naruto picked himself up and finally tied them to the banner. "Finished." Naruto dropped to his feet on the floor, beside Sakura, as he set down the last of the tie wires.
"So, how are you doing, Sakura?" Naruto asked.
"All right," said Sakura. "I have to get home before my parents blow a gasket."
"You mind if I walk you? You look you could use some company?"
"No, but thanks anyway, Naruto. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Okay, Sakura. I'll see you tomorrow." Sakura nodded and made her way home. Naruto didn't want to pressure Sakura. If she wanted to be alone, he was cool with it. While he was helping out with the others, he couldn't help but notice the same expression Tenten and Ino saw on Sakura. The setup was now finished and ready for the festivities on Valentine's Day. Later that day, while Naruto walked through the streets, he saw Sakura walking out of a building pulled out a piece of paper. He quickly jumped into the alley as he waited for Sakura to pass by.
"That's five rooms now," said Sakura, as she passed the alley. "I should've taken the room when I had the chance. Well, hopefully, I'll have better luck with the others tomorrow." Naruto poked his head out, wondering what Sakura meant by rooms.
Above them were two men painting a Valentine theme painting on a blank billboard. As they set their brushes down and began to lower the scaffold, the rope began to become weak, tearing itself thread by thread. By the time they reached halfway down the building, the rope had snapped, jerking hard on the pulleys, putting more strain on the ropes, snapping another rope. The painters quickly jumped on a balcony as the scaffold fell beneath their feet, dropping to the ground.
"Look out below!" the painters shouted. Sakura didn't hear their cry, but just as the scaffold was almost three feet above her head, something grabbed her, bringing her to the ground at the same time as the scaffold struck the ground, emitting off a gust and cloud of dust while the paint spilled all over the street. Sakura coughed as the clouds of dust cleared out. She heard another cough beside her at the same time. After she waved the rest of the dust away and opened her eyes, she Naruto kneeling beside her.
"Are you okay?" he asked, offering his hand.
"Yeah, I'm fine," said Sakura, as Naruto helped her up. "What happened?"
"That scaffold there almost flattened you." Sakura looked at Naruto's direction and saw the totaled scaffold and spilled paint.
"Oh, my God," said Sakura, surprised that it could've been her.
"Sakura, are you sure you're okay?" Naruto asked. "No offense, but I have never seen you this out of it before."
"I'm sorry, Naruto, I just… have a lot of my mind at the moment. I'll be okay when I get some sleep. I'll see you tomorrow." Just as Sakura was leaving, Naruto took in a deep breath, building a bit of courage.
"Uh, Sakura?" said Naruto, as he caught up behind Sakura when she turned around. "I think, maybe this once, I should walk you home."
"You don't have to do that, Naruto."
"I… I really think I should, Sakura. I just want to make sure you get there in one piece." Sakura could see that she stood no chance in changing Naruto's mind.
"All right," said Sakura. Naruto made sure that he didn't too close to Sakura, giving her space. The street lamps starting to come as they made their way to Sakura's house. Silence surrounded them for a while, but they started to make conversation.
"Hey, Naruto?" Sakura asked.
"Yeah?" Naruto replied.
"Are you… going to the festival on Valentine's Day?"
"I can't. I promised Iruka Sensei that I would help him make sure that everything is set for the cotillion. What about you?"
"I promise my parents that I would go with them to the festival and meet them later at the cotillion."
"Sounds like fun. Sakura, I don't mean to pry, or anything, but are you sure there's nothing you want to talk about?"
"Today, I couldn't help but notice that you seemed a little… down, like something was bugging you."
"It's nothing really. I've just been having a lot of things on my mind I need to get in order."
"Do you need any help with anything?"
"No, I'll be all right."
"Okay." Thirty minutes later, they came to Sakura's home.
"Thanks for walking me home, Naruto. I really appreciate it."
"Anytime, Sakura." The front door opened of Sakura's home opened and there stood Sakura's mother.
"Sakura, where have you been?" asked Sakura's mother. "Do you have any idea what time it is?"
"Mother," said Sakura, her cheeks turning pink of embarrassment.
"Hello, Mrs. Haruno," said Naruto, but she didn't reply his greet.
"Sakura, you get in this house this second," said Mrs. Haruno.
"I said now, young lady." Sakura looked to Naruto.
"I'm so sorry, Naruto."
"It's okay, Sakura. I'll see you tomorrow." Naruto smiled at Sakura and she smiled back. As she walked inside, Naruto saw Mrs. Haruno give a scornful look before she closed the door and locked it. He paid no attention to it. His mind was still on Sakura, even on his way home.
"I know there's something wrong with Sakura, but why do I never have the guts to get her to tell me?" Naruto asked himself. "I guess I respect her too much to pressure her. I mean she doesn't need anymore pressure than she has now. I wish there was someway I could cheer her up." He came across a jewelry coming up on his right and then something caught his eye. In the display was a silver heart-shaped locket with a small emerald green gem in the center, lying on a small pink pillow. Sitting next to it was an identical locket, but with a blue sapphire gem. Naruto walked inside the shop and stepped up to the front display case.
"Excuse me?" Naruto asked the shopkeeper.
"Good evening, how can I help you?" asked the shopkeeper.
"I was wondering if I could see the heart shaped locket you have in the window display? The one with the emerald gem?"
"Certainly." The shopkeeper took the locket from the display and handed to Naruto. He gently held it in his hand as he carefully opened it. On the right side was a place to keep a picture and on the left were three words written in cursive calligraphy.
"My Special Someone."
'This is perfect,' Naruto thought. Then he handed back to the shopkeeper. "Thank you."
"Of course," said the shopkeeper, putting it back on display as Naruto walked outside and went home.
"I know that locket will cheer Sakura up, but the price…" said Naruto, letting out a surprised whistle after. He reached into his wallet and checked to see how much money he had. "I only a third of what it costs." He placed his wallet back in his back pocket and held his hands on the back on his head. "Well, I still got a few days. I'll have to ask for a lot of jobs and hope I raise enough money to get in time while it's still on sale." Naruto shook his head a little, getting the downing feeling out of his head.
"I'll get that locket for Sakura, and I know it will cheer her up," said Naruto, with a smile on his face.
Naruto got up real early the next morning and quickly made his way to the job office. He was willing to take any job that gave him a decent cut. Most of them were Genin level jobs, but he also got a few good Chunin jobs. Though he was already given a list of jobs, he organized them from Genin to Chunin, knocking out the easy ones first, thinking it would save time. The Genin missions were mostly yard work jobs, helping people put up decorations for Valentine's Day on their homes, and a few deliveries. After a long list of Genin jobs, and receiving a good cut, along with a few small tips, the last Genin job was a delivery. Naruto had to deliver a fresh, ten-pound bag of soil to a flower shop.
Ino had been working the cash register all day in her mother's flower shop. She was grateful that there was less and less customers with passing hour that drew close to the end of Valentine's Day.
"Here you go," said Ino, giving the last customer his change, his receipt, and his bouquet of roses. "Happy Valentine's Day."
"Happy Valentine's Day," said the customer, making his way out the door. She let out a relieved sigh when the bell rang as the door closed, but let out a whimper when the door opened again, thinking it was another customer.
"Special Delivery for Yamanaka Flower Shop," said a familiar. Ino turned her head and saw Naruto walking inside, holding the bag over his left shoulder.
"Naruto?" Ino asked, with a surprise look on his face. "What are you doing here?"
"Mrs. Tobi said that your mother had placed an order for her special fertilizer that needed to be deliver, so I showed up and took the job," said Naruto, smiling at Ino. "Is there a place where I can put this thing?"
"Yeah, in back," said Ino. "Follow me." Naruto followed in the back of the shop, to the green house where they grew all of the flowers. "You can set it here." Naruto lifted the bag off his shoulder and set it next to the other soil bags. "Thanks, Naruto."
"Anytime. Hey, uh, Ino, can I… ask you something?" Ino gave him a curious look.
"About what?" shed asked.
"What about her?"
"Well, how… how close are you two?"
"We're pretty close. Why?"
"Have you noticed that she's been… somewhat different lately? Like she's not herself."
"I have, but why does it concern you?"
"Because I think there's something that has got her fixated, Ino, and she won't tell me what wrong, so I thought… I was hoping that you would
"Why would you think I would tell you, if she wouldn't tell you either?"
"Sakura is my friend, as well as yours, Ino. Because yesterday, she was almost flattened by a scaffold without even paying attention."
"Is she okay?" Ino voice became concerned as Naruto's.
"She's okay, Ino" said Naruto, trying to settle her concern. "But it's because of that incident that has got me so worried about. I'm asking you, Ino, please. Do you know what's troubling Sakura?" Ino didn't answer at first. She lowered her head as she sighed then she leaned sat against a stack of soil bags, crossing her arms over her stomach, then met Naruto's eyes.
"Sakura didn't tell me or Tenten much" said Ino. "Only that she would spend the next few days looking for an apartment."
"An apartment?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah. She said that she had found one, but when I called her this morning, she said that the room had become occupied later that day."
'That explains why she was upset last night,' Naruto thought. "Did she say anything else?"
"Only that she may have found some vacant rooms downtown, but she wasn't sure if she would take any of them."
"Why would Sakura be looking for apartments?" Naruto asked.
"Sakura said that her parents were being overprotective since the Chunin exams," said Ino. "She wanted to get away from that and prove to them that she could take care of herself. That's all she told us." Naruto sighed as he scratched the back of his head then looked back to Ino.
"Thank you, Ino," said Naruto. "I really appreciate it."
"Sure thing, Naruto," said Ino. Naruto nodded his head to Ino and left the shop. After he marked the delivery job off his list, all that was left was the Chunin jobs. The first one was a job on the east side of the village. A landlord needed help moving old furniture out of his building, along with a few cleaning jobs. Naruto made his way to the address as fast as he could, trying to save as much of the rest of daylight he had. After ten minutes of searching in the outer east side, he managed to find the address, and to his surprise, it was a hotel building.
"I guess this is it," said Naruto, and he walked into the building and into the lobby. There was no one on the front desk but he heard a commotion in manager's office. He knocked on the door and then footsteps moved to the before it opened.
"How can I help you?" said the man.
"Are you the landlord?" Naruto asked.
"I'm here about the job you requested at the job office."
"Are you the only one?"
"Yes, sir. I assure I can get the job done in any way you need it to be," said Naruto. The landlord looked at Naruto's face for a moment, then he gave him a grin.
"All right. Let's see what you got. We'll get the heavy stuff out of the way. Follow me." Naruto followed the landlord down to the basement and into a room passed double door. There laid a number of old furniture; busted up and torn couches, chairs, broken coffee tables, shelves, lamps, and so on and so forth.
'Oh, boy,' Naruto said in his mind, trying not to seem too surprise.
"This is it," said the landlord.
"So where do you need these?" Naruto asked.
"I need all these busted furniture carried out in the back. A truck will come by later on today to take all this to the dump. After that, you let me know when you're done and I'll set you with the easy jobs."
"Are you sure you can do this by yourself?"
"In a way." Naruto crossed his fingers and summoned a number of shadow clones, surprising the landlord at the same time.
"Wow. I may be getting than I paid for."
"You can bet your money on that." Then the clones, and Naruto, went to work while the landlord went upstairs. Within a little more than five hours, every single piece of busted furniture was out in the back of the building, lined up neatly in groups form big to small. Naruto's clones vanished and he went to the landlord's office. When he went to the basement to make sure, his face was masked with surprise.
"Amazing," said the landlord. He knelt the floor and swiped his finger across his. He did the same to the walls, the ceiling, and the corners. "You even cleaned up the dust and cobwebs?"
"Yep. Thought I tried to clean the room up a bit. I was going to mop, but I wanted to run it by you first."
"No, no, you don't need to mop in here. You did enough in her already. Come on. I have some moping to do in the halls."
"All right, let's do it." The landlord was rather surprised to see such enthusiasm in Naruto.
"Say, don't you have any plans for Valentine's Day?"
"No, nothing special."
"Okay. Here's what I want you to do. First, you sweep then mop the lobby, from the entrance to the back exit, after that you're done for the day. Okay?"
"What about the other floors?"
"Don't you think you're overworking yourself?"
"No, it's no trouble. You saw how I did with the basement."
"Okay, if you insist. Remember: sweep then mop."
"Yes, sir." Naruto made fourteen more clones and set two to each floor while he worked the ground floor. Another two hours had passed and the floors were made clean enough to eat off, or at least see your reflection. The landlord was greatly surprised. All his requested jobs done in one day.
"You did a great job, kid," said the landlord and he handed him an envelope. "Here's the money for the job office, and here is a little something for you." Naruto opened the envelope for him and his eyes shot open and his mouth stood agape then he looked back at the landlord, showing his surprise.
"No, sir, I can't except this much," said Naruto.
"You earned, kid. You did a great job and I am very impressed. I wish more ninjas like you."
"Thank you, sir," said Naruto, placing both envelopes in his pocket.
"Thanks for helping me out, kid," said the landlord.
"Sure thing," said Naruto, just as he was about to leave, a thought came to his head and he turned back to the landlord just as he was about to go inside his office. "Excuse me, but do you happen to have any rooms available in this building?"
"Of course," said the landlord.
"Can I take a look?"
"Sure. Follow me." Naruto followed the landlord inside and up to the third floor, where the nearest vacant room was. "Here it is." Naruto had a satisfying look on his face. There was small kitchen to the left complete with a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a sink, and an oven and stove behind the bar table. The drawers were stocked with enough utensils and the cabinets filled cooking and dining wear. There was a full bathroom with towels and washcloths, a couch and a few chairs in the living area, along with a polished oak coffee table, all sitting on a smooth carpet, a flat screen television hanging on the wall with a bookcase standing beside it. There were two bedrooms with already made beds and closets set with extra sheets, blankets, and pillows.
"And all of this comes with the room?" Naruto asked.
"That's right," said the landlord. "There's also a free Laundromat just down the halls and the mailboxes are in a room next to the lobby."
"Could a Chunin ninja afford something like this?"
"Certainly. With all the help I manage to get, I always offer ranked ninjas a fair price for a certain room. You could ask any of the other Chunin that live and they'll tell you no joke. You looking to reside?"
"Not me, but could you, by any chance, keep this one open? I do have a friend who's looking for a place. Could I give you her number and you could suggest this room to her?"
"Sure, after all the work you did, why not?"
"Thank you. I'll pay for the first rent if she decides to take the room. But don't tell her that, and don't tell her that I asked you to suggest this room."
"Okay." Naruto took out a piece of paper, writing down Sakura's name and home phone number.
The sun was setting behind the forest and hills outside of the village. There was no point in doing any more jobs today. He made his way back to the job office and gave them the money that the customers had paid to the jobs Naruto had done. For his efforts, they gave him, what they said was a well-earned tip. With the money he had earned from the employers and the job office, he almost had enough money to buy Sakura the locket.
"I am so close," he said, his body filled with eager and excitement. "I am so close."
Naruto went home for the rest of the night. Along the way, he saw Sakura sitting on a fence, holding her head down, staring at the ground. He walked up along side the fence and stood two feet away from her.
"Sakura?" Naruto asked.
"Naruto," said Sakura. She saw Naruto standing beside the fence then she quickly turned her face away as she rubbed her eyes. Naruto got up on the fence and sat a foot away from Sakura. She looked back at Naruto after she hid a sniff and brushed her hair out of her eyes. "What… what are you doing here?"
"I was on my way home until I saw you sitting on the fence," said Naruto. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," said Sakura, smiling at Naruto. "How about you? You look all tired out."
"I've been working around for a while, just keeping busy."
"I see." They turned their gave away from each other and looked up stars in the sky as the lit up one by one.
"You must've worked pretty hard is you seem so tired," said Sakura.
"You, too, Sakura." Naruto lowered his head and looked back at Sakura. He wasn't sure, but he saw what must've had been a dry tear streak. "Sakura, are you… feeling okay?"
Sakura looked back at him, keeping her smile on her face.
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"
"No reason." Both of them chuckled as Naruto smiled as well. "Hey, Valentine's Day is the day after tomorrow. Are you and your parents excited?"
"Like little children. I think Valentine's Day is their favorite holiday."
"What about you?"
"It's okay. I like the decorations rather. Something about the shapes and colors."
"What do you mean?"
"I think the colors really bring out the shade of your hair and your eyes. It's its your special holiday."
"Thank you, Naruto. Well, I better get home." Sakura hopped off the fence.
"Can I walk you?" Sakura turned and looked at Naruto.
"I'll be okay, Naruto. I'll be sure to look out of fall scaffolds this time." Naruto chuckled and so did Sakura.
"Okay. Good night, Sakura."
"Good night, Naruto." Naruto sat on the fence until Sakura was gone from his sights then his smile diminished.
"Please, be careful, Sakura," Naruto sighed with worry, and then he went home. The night seemed to pass by so quickly, bringing day in an instant, thought Naruto had slept all the way until after noon, sleeping through more than half the day. Luckily, when he went back to the job office, he managed to gather enough Chunin jobs that would get him enough money to buy the locket in the small amount of time that he had left. Stores were going to close early that night.
"Almost there," said Naruto. "Almost there." He worked his butt off all afternoon, doing completing every Chunin job on his list. After the last job was done, Naruto rushed to the job office, giving them the money paid to complete them and was given his cut.
"Yes, yes, yes!" Naruto shouted with joy, as he left the building. He looked at his watch on his left wrist, then his joy suddenly turned to worry. "Oh, crap. I better get going." Naruto lunged from rooftop to rooftop, making his way to the jewelry shop. It was already six o' clock. The shopkeeper stood in front of the entrance and closed the door shut as she reached into her purse and pulled out her keys and inserted them in the lock.
"Wait," a voice shouted. The shopkeeper looked to the roof of the building behind her and saw Naruto land to the ground, then instantly dropped to his hands and knees, taking deep and long breaths.
"Is the locket… still… on sale?" Naruto asked, struggling to raise his head to look at the shopkeeper.
"It is," said the shopkeeper. "Do you…?"
"Right here, plus tax," said Naruto, holding his wallet, trying to hold it steady in his trembling hand. "Please. I really need to get that locket. It's for a friend." The shopkeeper smiled at him.
"All right, let's get you settled."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you." Naruto got on his feet and followed the shopkeeper inside. She took out the locket from its display and placed it in a small red box and set it in a small red back with gold string handles.
"Here you go," said Naruto, handing her the money.
"Thank you," said the shopkeeper, and placed the money in cash register. "Do you have a card?"
"Card?" Naruto asked, then he slapped his forehead. "Oh, crud. I forgot about the card."
"Tell you what, why don't you pick one here. On the house."
"Really? Oh, Thank you so, so much." After picking out the right card, he thanked the shopkeeper again, after they wished each other a Happy Valentine's Day.
Later that night, Naruto went to Sakura's house. He saw that all the lights in Sakura's home were turned off. He could only hope that everyone was asleep. He made his way outside of Sakura's cracked opened window, but as he stood beside it, he heard a faint sound coming from inside. He carefully peaked through the window and saw Sakura lying on her bed, her face buried in her pillow as she cried. His heart began to feel cold as he listened to her cry and her tears glistening in the dim moonlight.
"Naruto," Sakura whispered. He wasn't sure why she said his name, but he was more concerned about what could have made her cry so much. Naruto didn't leave. He stayed beside her window until Sakura was fast asleep. During that time, he wrote a note within the card, but didn't sign his name. After he tucked the note into the back, he quietly opened the window, giving him enough space to climb inside. Naruto set the bag on her beside desk then knelt beside Sakura. He could help but see her still sad face. He couldn't help but brush her hair from her eyes, but did it with care then brought her blanket up to her shoulders, trying to keep her warm.
"Good night, Sakura," Naruto whispered. "I hope tomorrow will be better for you." He snuck back out of Sakura's window and closed it back to the crack where he found it, making his way back home.
The sun's light shined through Sakura's window, its warm touch waking her from her sleep. After rubbing her eyes and sitting in her bed, she saw the small red bag sitting on her bedside desk.
"Where did this come from?" Sakura asked herself. She set the bag on her lap and pulled out a red envelope and the card inside. The cover had a gold, decorative frame with an angel with long, pink hair, smiling as a heart occupied the space between her hands as it shined with heavenly light. When she opened the card, she read the words set in the center.
"The light in my heart shines when it sees you smile
Even it only lasts a while.
But come what may,
I hope it will last during all of Valentine's Day."
Then she read the note that was written beneath it.
I don't know how hard things may have been for you, but I think I know how you felt. For to see you cry has made me cry as well. I hope that this Valentine's Day you will a moment of happiness, whether it is in this card, in your gift, or in the smiles that you see from others and from your friends. Happy Valentine's Day, Sakura."
No name was signed on the bottom, but the words brought tears to Sakura's eyes as she smiled, dropping on her card. Sakura wiped her tears away and set the card upright on her bedside desk then pulled out the small box that rested on the bottom of the bag. A gasp of breath came to her when she saw the locket, winking at her with its emerald gem. She picked the locket from the box and brushed her fingers around the gem. Suddenly, her phone rang.
"Haruno resident," Sakura answered.
"Is this Sakura Haruno?" asked a male voice.
"I am to understand that you are looking for an apartment, right?"
"Well I have a spare here on the east side of the village, and if you're interested, I would be happy to show it to you. I think you may like it."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes, ma'am, I am."
"That's fantastic. Can I come to today?"
"Of course. I'll be here all day."
"Thank you. Thank you so much. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"I'll be waiting. Happy Valentine's Day."
"Happy Valentine's Day." Sakura hung up the phone and she tried to keep her breath steady when she smiled with joy. She was speechless now, but there was no use just sitting around. She quickly slipped into her shoes and made her way to the address.
The Annual Valentine's Day Festival began as the sun shined on Konoha village. The streets were filled with people, parades, laughter, joy, and love. Cards and gifts were exchanged, along with words and poetry, rhymes and songs, flowers and candies. Then came the cotillion after the sun had set and the stars shined bright.
Most of the village was there, everyone dressed up in their best get up, dancing to the soothing music the romantic candlelight the sat upon each table and shined from the lamp posts around the dance floors. Couples held each other in their arms, reveling in their cherished moments.
"This is so beautiful," said Ino.
"You can say that again," said Tenten. "I wish Sakura was hear to see this."
"You mean me?" said Sakura. Ino and Tenten turned around and saw Sakura standing behind them, wearing her pink kimono as she smiled at her friends."
"Sakura, you came," said Tenten, hugging Sakura.
"I thought you were too busy to come," said Ino, getting her share.
"Not anymore," said Sakura. "I finally found an apartment and it is amazing."
"Sakura, that's wonderful," said Ino.
"It looks like things are finally looking up," said Tenten.
"Yes, they are," said Sakura. "Yes, they are." Naruto saw how happy Sakura was as he stood beside Iruka. Seeing her smile brought a warm feeling to his heart. The festival and the cotillion had sadly come to an end, but was moment all would remember, until the new one came for next year.
Naruto went home after sharing a ramen dinner with Iruka and the others, each eating until their stomachs were full. He just took off his shoes and dropped on his bed, lying on his left side, resting his hand on his under his pillow. A few seemed to have passed as Naruto let out a quiet moan and opened his eyes halfway as he sat up on his bed, staring into spaced. After he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, he saw a red envelope, leaning against his lamp, on his bedside desk. He opened the envelope and took out the card within it. On the front were two foxes sitting together, one with its head above the other in a cuddle and their tails intertwined.
"Let the world know and let the world see,
That you are the only fox for me."
Naruto opened the card and then his heart fluttered.
Happy Valentine's Day, Naruto.
"But how…?" Naruto whispered.
"I did," said Sakura. Naruto raised and turned his head, and saw Sakura step out from the dark corner of his room, wearing a light, whitish and pink dress, walking up to his bed and sat beside him.
"Sakura? How… wh…?"
"I know you sent me the card and the locket, Naruto," said Sakura, smiling at him. "I recognized your handwriting." Naruto's cheeks began to turn pink, and Sakura chuckled. "Why didn't you give it to me in person?"
"Well, you seemed a little stressed out and I didn't want to pressure. It seemed that you needed some time alone. I thought I get you something to cheer you up for Valentine's Day."
"You did much more than that."
"The landlord told me that you asked him to suggest the room in his building to me, and said that the first rent was already paid for, by you." He cheeks turned rose red as he rubbed the back of his head.
"I just wanted to help." Then Sakura dropped into Naruto, wrapping her arms around him and buried her face in the nape of his neck. Taken by surprise, Naruto became overwhelmed by her warm embrace, trembling a little. Then he felt a few tears shed Sakura's eyes and drop to his skin. "Sakura?"
"Thank you, Naruto" Sakura wept. "Thank you so much." Naruto took Sakura in his arms, holding her as she held him.
"Sakura, cow come you never asked for help?"
"I didn't want to feel like a burden if I asked for help. I thought I could do it on my own, but I had forgotten that I had friends who are there to help me no matter what, especially you."
"What do you mean?"
"Last night, I heard your voice. You came into my room, you wished me good night, kept me from the cold night, and hoped that today would be better, and it was. You made this day the most memorable day for me."
"I'm sorry if I didn't tell you."
"It's all right, Naruto. I'm rather glad that you did."
"Sakura, last night, why… why were you crying?"
"Because of what my parents said."
"What… did they that would make you cry like that?"
"It was about you. They told me to stay away from you, because of who you are. Because of what is inside you." His eyes widened as he gasped, his chest rising against Sakura's. She knew of Kyuubi. "They said that you were a demon, and you deserved to be alone. I told them that you were nothing like that, but they didn't listen, nor care."
"How… how did you find out about Kyuubi?"
"Tsunade told me. Every year, I saw how sad you looked during the Fourth Hokage festivals, how you hid yourself away from everyone else, all because you were afraid of the people if they saw you."
"Because of Kyuubi being within me."
"I don't care about that, Naruto. I don't care who, or what, you are. All I care about is you; all I want is to be with you. I love you, Naruto." Naruto's breath trembled when she said those words and tears began to shed from his eyes, running down his cheeks and Sakura's.
"Naruto, the locket you gave me…"
"What about it?"
"Look in the envelope." Naruto picked the envelope up and looked inside and saw something lying at the bottom of the envelope. He poured it into his hand and saw that it was the sapphire gem locket that came from the locket he had given to Sakura.
"But this is…" Sakura slowly pulled away from Naruto, as if she didn't want to, but she wanted to show him something. She pulled the emerald gem locket from underneath her jacket. What Naruto had saw surprised. She opened her locket and showed that she had Naruto's picture inside.
"These two are union heart lockets. They say that the locket is meant to be shared between two people, each holding a picture of the person who is special to them. One person gives the other half of the locket to the one is special to them and hopes that they feel the same way as they feel about them, and I have. I want you to have the other half, Naruto."
Naruto was speechless beyond words to describe. His chest felt warm inside as a tear shed from his eye. He shook his head a little then looked back at Sakura, smiling at her as another tear ran down his cheeks.
"Thank you, Sakura." Sakura took the locket from his hand, opened the chain and clipped it around Naruto's neck. Her arms wrapped about his neck and Naruto wrapped his arms around her, both brushing their cheek together, two tears joining in the middle.
"I love you, Sakura," Naruto whispered.
"I love you, too, my Naruto," Sakura whispered. Their cheeks had parted as they looked into each other's eyes, then their lips came together into passionate kiss, one that matched the strength in their embrace and the love in their hearts. Their bodies became weak and lowered to the bed, lying together, as their lips slowly parted. Sakura snuggled in Naruto's arms, placing her face in the nape of his neck, falling fast asleep as Naruto kissed her forehead, brushing his hand across her soft hair from her warm cheek, until his eye closed. That night, they were alone together at last.
Happy Valentine's Day, Naruto and Sakura.
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I'll say it once again...
THIS STORY ISN'T MINE!!!!!!!