Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, any part of Naruto, or its characters. I only borrow them to make them do horribly silly things at no profit to myself. Please support the anime and manga we all love.

Author's Notes: (edited on 9-6-07) This work was heavily edited because it was sucky before, part two will be up soon.


by thatreevesgirl/Lemon Drops (both me)

Part One of Two: Night

Sakura was standing on the hotel bed, wobbling precariously with her pretty, pink kimono hiked up around her thighs. She smiled affectionately at the man watching her from the doorway. The room was ill-lit, so it was rather hard to make out the seductive little sway of Sakura's hips as she beckoned over to Naruto, a smirk splayed on her lipstick-painted lips.

"Gasp…my assassin has come to…assassinate me!"

Sakura kept the laughter at bay for as long as she possibly could, but after a few seconds she broke down into a fit of giggles. "Where does Jiraiya-sama come up with this crappy dialogue?"

"Better question," Naruto began, voice deeper than normal and brimming with a seductive, gravely quality. The blond young man propped himself against the doorframe, arms crossed casually as he smiled at the kunoichi, then continued what he was saying, "How does Kakashi-sensei stomach it?" Naruto's eyes watched her hungrily, but he held himself back, even turning his gaze away from her when she locked eyes with him for a few seconds.

Sakura's shoulders quirked upward quizzically, getting his attention once again, and then she dazzled Naruto with a warm grin, plopping down onto the mattress beneath her.

Susceptible…Uzumaki Naruto was most definitely susceptible to the wiles of Haruno Sakura. To him it didn't matter that her heart was probably stalled on their teammate. Both of them still chased Sasuke with reckless abandon, but for different reasons. Perhaps Naruto would step back and let her have another shot with Sasuke if the bastard ever returned, the blond man mused, even though his stomach churned at the thought. Naruto's heart didn't agree with that assertion either. He didn't want Sakura to love Sasuke anymore, because the Uchiha bastard had hurt her one too many times.

"I'll make you a deal, dear Assassin-san. If you spare my life, I'll let you have my body in return, to do with however you please." Sakura wriggled herself until she was sprawled quite provocatively upon the bedspread. Her jade eyes were filled with a playful innocence as Sakura once again stressed, "Anything."

Naruto watched the young woman carefully. He couldn't help himself. The slim dip of her waist, the rounded curves of her hips, the modest, but sensual arcs of her breast—these things drove him crazy. Sakura had changed so much over the years, and what used to be a very innocent crush had become deeper, more physically intense. But Sakura's body hadn't just changed, it was the way she acted, her demeanor, and especially the way she treated Naruto. She was probably the closest friend that he still had in Konoha. She was everything to him.

"Don't tease me Sakura. It isn't funny, and besides…you're drunk." It took great control on Naruto's part to keep himself from walking straight over to Sakura and taking advantage of her tipsy state. He desperately wanted to accept her offer. Naruto watched as Sakura rolled her hips to the side and arched her back sharply, the subtle curves of her breasts peaking from the opening in her kimono. The garment was slowly loosening, her obi coming unraveled as Sakura writhed on the bed and playacted her little scene from the latest Icha Icha. This was a joke, a terrible joke taken way, way too far.

"Kiss me, assassin-san," Sakura giggled, the timbre of her voice resoundingly cheerful as she instructed him further, "Kiss me, make love to me, please, my assassin…please." What started as something quite jovial, ended with a hint of desperation as Sakura begged her friend.

It was just a scene, Naruto told himself. She's just acting out the damn scene because she read it a few hours ago in the bar. That was when Sakura discovered a copy of Jiraiya's book in their booth. Of course the kunoichi had found the story's cheesy plot too hilarious to let go, so she was more than eager to spout lines from it.

This was not the first time that Sakura's innocent flirtations had gone too far. As the years passed, she became bolder with Naruto, tested him and herself and the feelings they had for one another. Sakura, however, always shied away from him when Naruto pressed the issue of them dating. Sakura's smiles, the fleeting glances, the light touches, the way she sometimes caught and held Naruto's eyes with her own; these were just a handful of the things Naruto cherished, but they were also what scared her. What if Naruto was just another Sasuke, someone who hurt her?

Because Sakura meant so much to him, Naruto couldn't imagine what he'd do if something went wrong between them, so he left the issue alone for the time being. Naruto decided to better himself for her, to become "more of a catch" to the girl he loved. It was this meager belief that he held onto; that if he got stronger, more capable, more mature, she'd eventually change her mind. He'd always wanted the Konohan villager's respect, of course; but as he aged, it was Sakura which drove Naruto to the furthest boundaries of his abilities. The fight in him was fueled by her. It didn't take much to have Naruto following her around like a lost puppy. He was all smiles, bright and cheery, as Naruto treasured every second he got to spend with his teammate, best friend, and first love. If Naruto had his way, she'd be his true love, his only love. But such sentiments were silly, weren't they?

Though unsure of her feelings, Sakura held steadfast to the idiot, hoping one day he'd realize just how much her adoration had grown for him. Sakura wished Naruto would recognize the love that she tried to deny, and call her out on it once and for all. He did ask her on dates every now and then, and it was difficult to keep saying no to him, but Naruto didn't realize the reason she kept rejecting him. She was simply afraid of being hurt again, even being rejected herself in the end. Because of this Naruto believed that Sakura didn't want him, and that she didn't like him enough. This was the greatest obstacle that the two friends faced, because Naruto somehow had gotten it into his brain that he wasn't good enough for Sakura.

None of this stopped Naruto from wanting Sakura, or lessened his feelings at all. Sometimes Naruto dreamt about kissing her, and those kisses made Sakura melt just like in the silly novels that Jiraiya wrote. Those dreams were good dreams. Other times Naruto's sleeping world was invaded by nightmares--Sakura dying, Sakura kissing Sasuke, Sakura telling him that he was a buffoon and there would never be anything between them. It was because of all these things that Naruto placed a considerable amount of space between himself and the woman he desired, because Naruto swore that he would never do anything to hurt Sakura, including forcing his feelings upon her.

Kakashi even began to intervene, hoping that carefully placed comments, the seedlings of romantic intentions, planted in his young teammate's brain would eventually grow. Kakashi hoped his hints would make a big enough impression on Naruto that the young man would be completely honest with the girl he liked. Kakashi wasn't as sure with Sakura. Women tended to be a mystery to the copy-nin, but he did leave her little hints as well to be more honest with her feelings concerning Naruto. Sakura blushed whenever her teacher told her this, and sometime she would screech under her breath and call him a pervert, assuming Kakashi had nothing but impure intentions. It was just one more rationale to add to the list of reasons why the jounin preferred Icha Icha to the real thing. After awhile Kakashi left Sakura and Naruto to their own devices, figuring that they'd most likely figure it out with enough time.

However, time was not a luxury given freely to shinobi. Time was precious and fleeting, and though Sakura and Naruto were both incredibly young by most standards, they were shinobi, and shinobi died young. Therefore, there was a pressing urgency in their hearts to do something about their feelings. Unfortunately, neither of them knew exactly what they were supposed to do. This left Sakura and Naruto at a standstill.

But then, as luck would have it, they were thrown into this odd little mission. Taking the B-rank assignment as a break from their arduous training, Naruto and Sakura were placed undercover in this small civilian town. The easiest identities to fake were either siblings (which Kakashi urged them not to do, since the sexual tension between them was often very nearly palpable) or a couple (which Kakashi chuckled at, and approved completely). So off Sakura and Naruto went to this small village on the outskirts of the southern Konohan border, disguised as young teenage lovers looking for work.

The mission was short, heavy on compensation, and relatively easy to boot. Naruto and Sakura shouldn't have had a single problem with it. That was until Sakura had gotten herself drunk while procuring information on a particular suspect, and then fate had blessed her with a copy of Icha Icha Assassins.

The book was hailed as Jiraiya's raunchiest novel to date, but adored by the fans of the long-running series. Earlier when the two of them had been sitting and acting the part of two lovers, Sakura tortured Naruto with readings from some of the more perverted passages. She would giggle and blush, drop another drink down the hatch, then repeat. Naruto could do nothing more than sit across from her and take the prose performance. When she started asking questions about the contents, Naruto almost died of embarrassment. Despite being the student of the two most legendary lechers to ever come out of Konoha, and being the creator of one of the most perverse jutsu ever, Naruto was a rather innocent bystander in his life's own perversions.

"Is yours cut?" Sakura asked once after reading a rather descriptive passage about the main male character's anatomy. Naruto could only remember how his eye couldn't stop twitching nervously for a minute or so. Sakura hadn't just asked him if he was circumcised. He wasn't. It was a common practice in Suna for some reason, but not in Konoha. Naruto had murmured an embarrassed no, and let the topic drop immediately. Sakura was easily distracted again by the book and moved on to some more reading. Aloud of course.

"And he ran his hands up her slim thighs, parting them ever so slightly, breathing deeply as he memorized her intoxicating scent. Do I have an intoxicating scent, Naruto?"

Naruto floundered again. Any other girl in the world and he would have been fine. Ino, Hinata, even Gaara's sister Temari wouldn't have received the mortified reaction Sakura was getting. "No, I mean…I don't know, Sakura."

Of course Sakura instructed him to smell her. He wasn't sure that she understood the scent that the novel was implying (which happened to be that of an aroused woman, not of her perfume or normal body scents). Naruto thought better of explaining it though, and instead sniffed the wrist she offered him. "Like roses, Sakura," he said with a small smile, "You smell just like roses and a bit of vanilla."

Then Sakura read more from the damned book, and of course the stupid thing led them right to where they were now—Sakura laid out on the bed, reciting more of Jiraiya's "masterpiece" again.

Naruto cursed and thanked their serendipitous fortune for finding that trashy novel all in the same breath, because as he looked at Sakura, Naruto realized that he couldn't have wished for a more wonderful sight. She was hooking her thumbs into the collar of her kimono, and Sakura managed to spread it further off her body. Now her bindings were in plain view, as well as the three miniature kunai and about six shuriken which had been stealthily hidden in her obi.

"Oh assassin…" her voice dripped with a sweet, alluring honey. Sakura's tone made Naruto's throat dry and his pants feel infinitely too tight.

"Sakura, I'm going to get you some water and an aspirin, 'kay? I'd hate for you to have a hangover tomorrow." Naruto used the opportunity to wander into their rented quarter's bathroom, digging for some medicine, but also taking the time to splash a little cold water on his face.

What was he doing? Better question: what in the hell was Sakura doing? They weren't kids anymore. They were teetering on the brink of adulthood, their abilities already surpassing those of many elite shinobi. Sakura should know better than to do this to him, even if she was drunk. Naruto tugged at the collar of his charcoal sweater. It was so damn restricting right now, not to mention entirely too drab for his tastes. Tsunade had insisted that he wear something that would keep them both inconspicuous. That was why Naruto was wearing black and grey clothing. The only color on his entire body that wasn't monochromatic was the burnt umber scarf still hanging loosely from his shoulders.

"You look five years older in that," Sakura purred as she slinked up behind him, winding her arms around Naruto's waist and pulling herself against his body. Naruto froze and watched wide-eyed in the bathroom mirror as Sakura's graceful hands locked around him, her head snuggling into his well-muscled back right between his shoulder blades. Naruto's body was rigid and unmoving, because though he was dressed from head to toe, Sakura was behind him in only bindings and a pair of very lovely pink panties. It struck him as funny for a moment, until he groaned audibly at the heat caused from having his teammate pressed so haphazardously against himself.

Sakura was quiet for a few moments, but she broke her own silence by repeating what she had just said prior, "You look five years older," she murmured into his back, "But it doesn't really suit you. You look way too normal, and I've grown to like the color orange."

Naruto appreciated that compliment very much. He also heartily agreed with her critique of his clothing. However, the clothing expertise and advice was only meaningless smalltalk as Naruto realized their bodies were slightly swaying from side to side. Sakura's scent wafted in and out of his nostrils. She still smelled like a mixture of vanilla, rose petals, and sake. He wasn't too keen on the sake bit, but he loved the familiarness of her vanilla soap, and then the rose-glycerin water that she used to moisturize her skin.

Sakura always brought a small vial of it on missions with her, and she was always going on and on about how glycerin in its natural form was much better than the perfumed lotions that most kunoichi and civilian women bought in boutiques. Naruto's fingers grazed Sakura's skin in a small test to see if her fabled rose-water did make her skin as smooth as she boasted. Touching her in timid, fleeting strokes, Naruto realized that it was even better than she had described. Sakura felt sinfully soft.

"Water…aspirin…b..bed…" Naruto's voice forced out. Taking in a ragged breath, the shinobi finally found the ability to speak as he rearticulated what he had told the kunoichi holding him, "You are drunk. You need to take some aspirin and go to sleep."

Sakura didn't listen, and the tips of her long, graceful fingers found purchase on Naruto's belt clasp. It jingled quietly as she fiddled with it. Naruto was in shock, and he actually had to force himself not to slap her hands away. It wasn't that he didn't want her to undo that belt, or the zipper to his dreary black slacks, but he was terrified at what Sakura might say when she was sober. "No…no, no, no…" he said without much conviction, "None of that, Sakura."

"All of it, Naruto," she murmured into the sweater again, getting quite annoyed with the itchy wool. One of Sakura's hands continued to lay claim to his belt buckle, and the other snaked under the bottom of Naruto's offensive sweater, tugging it up just enough to make contact with her partner's well-muscled abdomen. Then Sakura circled her fingers around to Naruto's back and he could feel the sharp rush of cold, autumn air hitting his skin as Sakura lifted the article of clothing up high on his body. Then her lips kissed the slight dip of Naruto's spine, sending a pleasurable shock coursing over the teen's skin.

"S..Sakura, stop," he ordered again, but weakly, even following it with a pitiful, "Please," as Sakura kissed one shoulder blade, then the other.

The kunoichi didn't stop, she just tugged Naruto's sweater a little higher, trapping him in it as she forced part of it over his head. Naruto whimpered, but he couldn't find the strength in his heart to stop Sakura, because he desperately wanted her to continue. More than that, Naruto wanted to touch Sakura back, kiss her, hold her, make love to her like he had done so many times in his dreams.

Falling forward a bit, Naruto's fingers gripped the edge of the sink's countertop. He moaned lightly as Sakura continued laying feather-light kisses on his back. Naruto couldn't see anything, because his sweater was impeding any vision he had. The damn thing was still wrapped half around his head thanks to Sakura. One hand steadily undid his belt, but it moved so slowly and deliberately that Naruto was about to just rid himself of it without her help. The other hand, the one that had trapped Naruto inside his sweater, had found a new interest. Sakura's hand traced the lithe pectorals of the blond man, letting the very slight, curled chest hairs tickle her fingertips. Then Sakura settled on the small, erect nub that was Naruto's right nipple, rolling it between her thumb and forefinger.

"Whoa!" Naruto yelped, actually jumping back a bit as his backside bumped into Sakura. The kunoichi took the opportunity to mold herself further to Naruto's body. Finding the ability to move once again, Naruto shrugged the sweater off, and tried to escape the molestation he was receiving from his friend. "Gotta stop, Sakura, right now."

Any more of this, Naruto thought, and she might realize what the offensive tent in the front of his pants was, and Sakura would probably yell at him and call him a pervert. That was if he was lucky enough to have her speak to him again sometime in the next decade. Naruto was positive that it was the sake talking and touching, not his friend and teammate. Moreover, Naruto desperately wanted Sakura to be in the right state of mind when he kissed her and touched her for the first time.

Pushing Sakura away gently, Naruto murmured a very soft, "Really, Sakura, I'll be game if you want to do this sober, but not like this. Never like this." Naruto allowed himself one small kiss, laying it squarely on her bountifully blessed forehead before taking her hand and leading her into the bedroom. "I'll take the floor tonight, so you sleep well, 'kay?"

As shaky and intoxicated as the kunoichi was, she couldn't help but feel the bitter sting of rejection. It felt really shitty. Naruto pushing her away had been a tremendously crappy thing to do. So what if she needed a little liquid encouragement and a few ideas from an Icha Icha? Didn't Naruto realize that she was being genuine, that she was too scared out of her mind sober to ever approach him like she had done tonight? Sakura's cheeks flamed in embarrassment. What if he thought what she'd done was slutty? Worse, what if Naruto thought she was a slut?

As Sakura climbed into bed she gave Naruto a harsh, piercing glare and murmured, "I hate you," under her breath. It was out of spite, and Sakura didn't really mean it, but Naruto still felt his heart clench at his partner's words.

"We'll talk about it in the morning," he whispered, tucking her into the bed and returning to the bathroom to rid himself of a particularly annoying problem in his pants. Naruto felt like he was going to throw up as he realized that he'd pushed Sakura away and probably ruined the only chance he'd ever have of being with her. He hoped vehemently that he could patch up any problems come morning, because Naruto didn't know what he'd do without his friend, whether their relationship be romantic or not.

After finishing himself off, Naruto returned to the bedroom to find Sakura sleeping, tears staining her pretty cheeks as she gripped her pillow mercilessly. "I'm sorry, Sakura," Naruto whispered in her ear, and stole one last kiss as he laid his lips lightly on the trail of tears and mascara. "I really hope you don't hate me in the morning."