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.


by thatreevesgirl/Lemon Drops (both me)

Part Two of Two: Day

Note: If you read this story when I first posted it a while back, then you need to reread the first chapter. I edited it a lot, changing quite a bit, and it is much, much better. You might actually enjoy it this time. XD
Morning came very, very early the next day. Sakura swore that the sun rose two hours earlier than it normally did, her internal clock irrevocably screwed up from the sake and her hangover. She vaguely remembered Naruto offering aspirin, and she pondered why she hadn't taken it. Blinking a few times at the harsh light that slipped into the room through the heavy, fabric window treatments on the big bay window, Sakura decided that morning should be banned forever and ever. That or sake, one of them had to go.

She reached over to Naruto's spot on the bed, the place where he normally lay. On missions they tried to act like mature adults, so sleeping in the same bed wasn't really out of the norm for her and her partner. Her hand ungracefully patted the empty spot beside her, finding purchase on vacant, unused bed space.

"Naruto?" she ventured groggily. "Naruto?"

No answer. Not even Naruto's usual snoring, which she couldn't believe a ninja allowed himself to do, but he did. Every morning she had to shake him awake and he'd snort at her, a disgusting, phlegmy sound that made Sakura want to smack the snot right out of him. It was gross. It was so, ugh, man-like. So it surprised the kunoichi when she realized that Naruto wasn't there, and even more shocked that she actually missed their odd morning routine, even Naruto's snoring.

This was how their morning waking routine went: Naruto snored, Sakura smacked him, Naruto snorted, Sakura shook him awake. Finally, Naruto would smile up at her with sleep-crusted, baby-blue eyes and say, "Hi, Sakura. Did you have a good night's sleep? Any good dreams? Any of me?" She'd smile, sometimes even recount a couple of them for her teammate and friend (as long as they weren't anything too personal), until he started snoring once more. Then the whole process began again until she finally forced him out of the bed.

Today there was a note on their hotel nightstand. It was written in piss-poor code that Sakura could barely decipher. Not because it was difficult, mind you, but because Naruto wrote code like crap. His talents were elsewhere, and code-writing was a skill that he still hadn't picked up yet. She sometimes wondered how he ever passed the Chuunin exam without her. She barely passed it without him. Those three years Naruto was absent from Konoha were the toughest years of her life. She used the time to focus and train with all her heart, but she couldn't deny how much being without both of her teammates and close friends took its toll on her.

More than she wished that Sasuke would have taken her with him to Sound, she was a little bitter than Naruto didn't take her with him as he gallivanted across the countryside with that old pervert. Yeah, being with Jiraiya-sama would have been pure torture, but being with Naruto would have made up for that. Sakura hugged her pillow tight and sighed as she remembered her hangover and the pain in her head.

Sakura, went out to follow the suspect. Got a hot tip this morning from the manager. I think it'll pan out. Get some rest.

That was what Sakura managed to get from Naruto's note, though it was all jumbled and the code-syntax was completely irregular and just plain wrong in spots. It made her mad and worried that he took off without her. This wasn't a single-shinobi mission. Taking it on alone was dangerous, and no matter how much Naruto wanted to avoid a grumpy, hung-over Sakura, he should have woken her up and dragged her along.

Sighing again, she noticed a glass of water and a couple of pills on the nightstand near where the note had been. Water and aspirin, she mused, that was nice of Naruto. Crawling back to the nightstand again, Sakura grabbed the glass and tabs of medicine and swallowed them quickly. The water went down the wrong way and Sakura started coughing as she tried to dispel the liquid that had weaseled its way into her lungs. Sakura set the glass back down and tried to control the violent coughs racking her body. As she did so, the kunoichi noticed a book on the floor. It was wedged between the bed and the table, and it looked vaguely familiar.

Taking much effort on her part, because she was hung over with a blinding headache and neither her self-healing or the aspirin had kicked in yet, Sakura bent down to find that it was none other than Jiraiya's newest book Icha Icha Assassins. Sakura blinked a few times, and wondered why she knew that the main character was an elite shinobi assassin with an impossibly big, uncut, member; who also had a weakness for beautiful women in formal kimono? Oh yes, because she was reading it in the bar last night…to Naruto.

Sakura's brain stalled and froze for a moment. Naruto? She had read Naruto porn? Bad porn at that about thighs and uncircumcised male anatomy and smells and…oh deceased Kages, she didn't. No, there was no way she would do that, her brain was obviously playing tricks on her. It was a bad dream. All of it.

The memories started rushing back, and she denied they happened. Sakura remembered returning to the room, she remembered undressing in front of Naruto, she remembered feeling him up in the bathroom… Fuck. Sakura remember propositioning him. Sakura swallowed dryly, and tried to sip a little more water to cure herself of the cottonball texture that coated the inside of her mouth. The worst, she recalled, was that she told Naruto she hated him. Then she remembered why she had said that, because he rejected her. The memory of that still hurt.

Sakura was clutching the bedspread to herself as she relived the spotty memories of the night before for a good thirty minutes. The more her headache and hangover disappeared, the more clearly she could remember the happenings of the prior evening. The sound of her own heart was deafening, so much so that she didn't notice when the room door creaked open and Naruto slid inside with every bit of stealth that most elite shinobi possessed. He could be effective at his job when he choose to. He wasn't the bumbling twelve year old of yesteryear. Unfortunately, this was probably why Sakura was completely unprepared when he plopped down on the bed next to him.

She screamed, lunging a shuriken that had been hidden in her chest's bindings straight at his head.

Naruto dodged it, chuckling a bit as the star-shaped weapon lodged itself deeply in the wall behind him. "Settle down, Sakura, it's just me."

"Just you! Just YOU!" With that, Sakura's palm made contact with the back of Naruto's head. "Why do you go all ninja on me when I don't want you to? Why can't you be that stealthy at night and not snore?"

Sakura was shaking, tugging the blanket around herself as she fumed quietly. Trails of mascara were still present on her left cheek, so Naruto stood and found a cloth, dampened it with water, and began gently wiping the black streaks from her face. Naruto wanted to bring up the previous night, but he was pretty sure that wasn't a good idea. If Sakura wanted to talk about it, she would bring it up in good time. Thankfully, Naruto didn't have to wait long. The glare on her face was directed right at him, and as Sakura cleared her throat Naruto was sure he was in for it now.

"I'm sorry about last night."

That wasn't what Naruto was expecting. Sure, she had been the one in the wrong, but he didn't expect her to realize it so quickly, and even when she did figure those kinds of things out, Sakura rarely apologized for her actions.

"So, you don't hate me?" Naruto murmured as he wiped another streak from her cheek.

Sakura felt awful. She could see the hurt in her teammate's eyes, and how it made Naruto's face quirk in an odd, pained way. Now wallowing in guilt, she realized just how much of a bitch she could be at times. Sakura was grateful for the young man with her, because Naruto was the most forgiving, kind soul in all of Konoha, possibly in all the ninja nations.

"No, Naruto, I don't hate you. I could never hate you," Sakura admitted in the tiniest of whispers.

Naruto didn't care if he was encroaching on her boundaries now—or that she was dressed in only bindings, panties, and a bedspread—because Naruto needed to do what he didn't let himself last night. With his rough, callused hands, Naruto tugged Sakura into his arms and held her tight. "I think I should take a cue from Shikamaru and call you 'troublesome' or something," Naruto mused. He still loved Sakura, despite her imperfections, and regardless of the hurtful things she said to him the night before.

"Did I really read you porn?" she wailed into his chest, her whine more from mortification than from annoyance.

"You didn't just read it," Naruto chuckled, "You acted it out on the bed, and…um…in the bathroom too."

Okay, so Naruto had read Icha Icha Assassins, and there was no bathroom guy-molestation scene, but maybe Sakura wouldn't realize that and things could go right back to how they used to be instead of getting awkward or hurtful between them. Unfortunately, Sakura knew better, and she called him out on it. "I think they had balcony sex, not bathroom sex, there was no bathroom in that entire story."

"Maybe you thought it was a balcony?" Naruto ventured.

"Maybe we should just admit that I was drunk and I came onto you, Naruto."

The silence that invaded the room was swift and overwhelming. Naruto watched as Sakura cowered embarrassedly in his arms, unable to bring her eyes up to meet his at all. Her fingers were balled in the shirt he was wearing and her face was tucked into the dip of his shoulder. Naruto hugged her tighter. "So you didn't want to come onto me?"

"Uh, no, that's not quite right. I wanted to," Sakura said with a cough, "But I didn't think you would be an ass and push me away."

That was still a bit of a sore spot for Sakura's partner. Naruto refused her because he cared, because he knew that if he were to cave to temptation there was a good possibility that it would ruin everything. Love makes you do stupid things, but it also makes you do the right things from time to time.

"I don't just want sex with you, Sakura," Naruto told her firmly. Glaring at her fiercely, a resolute look upon his face, Naruto added, "And I'm definitely not going to fuck you when you're drunk. I'm not losing you because you were drunk, horny, and a little lonely, and then I couldn't keep it in my pants."

"Most guys would have gone along with it."

"I'm not most guys, if you haven't noticed. I have a little bit too much invested in this to do that. I'm attracted to you, Sakura, more than you'll ever know, but I won't fuck you on a whim and ruin any chances I have at a relationship with you."

Naruto's eyes were unusually serious; his face was the furthest thing from a joke as Sakura glanced up to see if he was telling the truth. Geez, could Naruto get any weirder? If Sasuke would have been in Naruto's position, Sakura was sure that she would have been bent over that bathroom counter faster than Sasuke could have said, "Uchiha heir." The worst of it? Sasuke would have probably been impassive the next day, uncaring and unyielding to his own heart's desires. Sasuke would have fucked her without a second thought, Sakura seemed sure of that.

"So what exactly does that mean, Naruto?" Sakura questioned him, not only verbally, but also with her puffy, red eyes. Sakura inspected Naruto very closely as she waited for him to answer. Naruto was quiet again, because the words were really hard to find. This seemed to be a moment of impasse, and there was no way to deny that or get out of it. Naruto searched Sakura's face for answers, then the room, even the dusty rose blankets that were swaddled around them were useless right now. But…the book on top of them wasn't. Thank Jiraiya and his stupid, hentai brain.

Naruto snatched up the novel and flipped to a chapter where he knew the big, climactic romance scene was, then very quietly started reading from it. "Sometimes, babe, we're thrown in situations that we don't understand, and probably never will. I didn't mean to hit it off with a girl like you, honestly, I never thought I would."

Sakura giggled, rolling her eyes at the blond who was holding her against his chest with one arm and holding a porn book in the other. What in the hell was Naruto doing?

"I was this lone ninja, you see, and I was supposed to kill you…" Naruto paused, looked down at Sakura and amended himself, "Not really, I guess that part is a bit off," he whispered before reading on.

"But you see, a heart, it's a funny thing, my lil' chickadee. A heart can make a man like me fall in love with a gal like you, and I don't have any say in the matter whatsoever. So face it, babe, we're predestined to be together, cause I've never been so sure that something has been written into the stars as I am about you and me. We were meant to be, so quit denying you love me and get over here, untie me from this bed, and let's make sweet love, sweetheart."

"That…was atrocious," Sakura told Naruto with a giggle when he set the book down. "Not just bad, but horrifically awful. Someone should write Jiraiya and tell him that he needs to lay down that perverted pen of his for good."

"Yeah, other than the fact that he can write a sex scene better than any author out there, I don't have a clue why he's so popular," Naruto whispered, his eyes focused heavily on his teammate. "You know, I wasn't reading that so we could criticize ero-sennin."

"Oh, then why?" Sakura asked with a small glint of evil in her eyes. Naruto gave her an amused, but disappointed look, which the young woman countered with, "I don't see you tied to any bed, and you best not be calling me little chickadee, Naruto."

"How is it that you, the one blessed with the biggest brains of team seven, misses the hidden meaning of me reading you that?" Naruto sounded genuinely pissed.

Sakura's fingers gripped at her teammate's shirt a bit tighter, "I got it, Naruto, I just…I'm a little scared here, and I'm making sure you know what you just implied."

"That I love you, and I want to stop this silly little game of avoid-the-intimacy, so let's cut the crap and just be together. That's what it meant, Sakura. No sake. No Icha Icha Assassins. Just you and me, Sakura."

The last few words Naruto spoke were a mere whisper, and his lips brushed up against Sakura's forehead as he kissed it gently. Sakura let him do that, but when he tried to kiss her properly, on the mouth, her hands were instantly slapped over her face, covering her lips from the impending kiss Naruto was trying to give her.

"What is with that?" Naruto grumbled, trying to pry the fingers away from Sakura's face.

"Hangover breath," Sakura managed to muddle out through her hands, though it was muffled severely. "Don't kiss me yet, please."

"I don't care, Sakura. I don't. Get your hands off your damn mouth and let me kiss you!" Naruto said as he tugged at her wrists now. Sakura shook her head vehemently, giggling as Naruto tried harder to get her to release her mouth.

"I don't care if it tastes like month-old milk, I'm kissing you!"

Sakura made a break for her toothbrush, Naruto close behind. He caught her in the bathroom doorway, and wrestled with her as she stretched her arm as far as she could and grabbed the toothpaste container on the counter. Sakura couldn't get to her toothbrush, it was a bit too far out of her reach, so she plastered a strip of the paste on her finger and shoved in her mouth, rubbing vigorously at the gross science experiment gone wrong on her teeth and tongue.

Naruto couldn't help but laugh at the girl in his arms. He'd secured her fairly well, his arms anchored tightly around her waist, but now she was foaming at the mouth as toothpaste was smeared everywhere. Naruto also noticed that her bindings were loose. Watching them with great interest, Naruto witnessed as her left breast came into view. It was perfect, pert, and the he couldn't help but to salivate at the thought of his mouth exploring that taught, pink nipple that stood out erect from her body.

Kiss her properly first, twit, Naruto told himself as he finally released her. Sakura hadn't noticed that she'd fallen out of her bindings until she rushed into the bathroom. Then she saw what a holy disaster she was. Smeared make-up, hair sticking up every which way, her left boob popping out for the world to see, and her underwear was the only thing that she was wearing other than the loosed bindings.

"No!" she shrieked and slammed the door in Naruto's face.

One of Naruto's eyebrows quirked upward, quizzically. "You okay there, Sakura?" he asked.

Sakura was already combing her hair and washing her face. Instead of trying to redo the binds that were an absolute mess of knotted bandages at this point, Sakura found her nemaki robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door. Good enough, she thought, I doubt it is staying on that long anyway. Then Sakura froze. Was she really going to sleep with Naruto? First, they were on a mission; second, no amount of combing and washing was getting rid of the sake stench which seemed to be coming out of her pores; and third, the thought terrified her. She had never even kissed a guy, let alone slept with them. Her hands trembled as she reached to shut the water faucet off and then dried her face with a towel.

Opening the door slowly, eyes locked solidly on the ground beneath her, Sakura murmured, "I don't think I'm ready for this, Naruto. Sex is a big step, and so, um…"

Naruto chuckled. Silly Sakura, he didn't care about that…well, he did, but it wasn't important to him right this second. He refused to do anything to jeopardize him being with her.

"And I'm the idiot? How about you let me kiss you now, and we'll worry about that other stuff later? We have a crook to discredit and a mission to complete, Sakura. Not to mention that I plan on having you in bed all day when we cross that bridge."

One of Naruto's beautiful, cerulean eyes winked at her, causing the pink-haired girl to blush. She blushed so much that Sakura swore the temperature of the room had just risen ten degrees as the flush took over her body. Naruto didn't let her think any more. Blushing, bad breath, loose bindings, her insecurities, nothing mattered more to Naruto than giving Sakura a proper, and very romantic kiss. With that blinding ninja speed of his, one of Naruto's hands was instantly on the small of her back, the other between her shoulder blades. Sakura gasped as he dipped her, in that cheesy, corny way that you read about in Jiraiya's books and saw in the Icha Icha movies. Holding Sakura tightly, Naruto laid his lips securely on hers. He gave her one, good, hard kissing; one that left Sakura panting and her head swimming as they returned to their normal, upright positions.

"You and me forever, lil' chickadee," Naruto joked, earning himself a needling knuckle pressing against one of his ribs as Sakura made her dislike of that nickname known. As much as she hated it, Sakura couldn't be too mad at her teammate. Naruto was just too endearing.

Still recovering from the kiss—and Sakura would forever refer to it as "the kiss" seeing as her brain was still scrambled, and wires were still crossed from the experience—Naruto tossed her a shirt, a new set of bindings, and a pair of tight slacks which looked like civilian wear, but gave her the ability to move fairly freely.

"Time to go take out the bad guy, I've already got most of it set up. It'll be easy enough to discredit him, so we'll probably be home tomorrow or the next day."

Sakura was still in shock. Naruto was moving professionally, slipping kunai into hidden compartments of his clothing, strapping shuriken along the inner length of his arm on an armband the blond man was wearing beneath his shirt, and even hiding a knife in one of his boots. Sakura's daze was profoundly affecting her ability to think. The kiss. Deceased kages, that was the best damn kiss in the world. Sakura could have never imagined one being better, nor did she even fathom the feelings that Naruto could drudge up inside of her when he did it.

"How can you just go on with your day like this?" she finally murmured quietly, her body still buzzing as she watched Naruto finish his preparations. "I feel like my head isn't attached to my body. Actually it isn't even describable, Naruto. Don't you feel it too?"

Naruto laughed. It was that full-body, hearty laugh that made the people around him smile. "You don't understand, Sakura, that's the way I've always felt about you. I guess I'm used to it." Naruto looked at Sakura one more time, eyeing her up and down before adding, "Do I have to dress you? We have a mission, Sakura."

A smile crept onto her lips as Sakura went back into the bathroom to change. When coming back out, she found Naruto sitting on the edge of the bed. "Ready to go?" he asked her.

"Yep, I am," she replied as she slipped one last shuriken between the valley of her breasts. Never hurt to have too many shuriken hidden on yourself.

Naruto rose and headed to the door, but Sakura stopped him and asked a single question. "So what was the main female character's pet name for the assassin?"

Naruto thought about it for a moment, and then remembered, grinning wildly when it popped into his head . "She called him, big-boy, my lil' chickadee."

Sakura rolled her eyes, "Alright, Big-Boy, let's go fight the bad guys and get back home." Naruto's smile was impossibly large after Sakura called him that. "After today I'm never calling you that again, and you are never calling me 'lil' chickadee' either."

Naruto led Sakura out of the door, holding hands just like they were instructed to do for their undercover identities. "Whatever you say, my lil' chickadee," Naruto told Sakura with a true smile, "Whatever you say."

Author's Notes: So, I know what you are saying. "WHAT? That's it?" Yeah, for this story it is...kinda. There is another part of this series in the works, but it didn't flow enough to keep it together in the same fic, so it will be a sequel. You'll have to keep your eyes open for "Complexity" which will be in three parts and deal more with their relationship a little bit further on down the road. You have to admit that it wouldn't work for me to have them jump too far into things at this time, it would have ruined the story. Besides, Sakura isn't completely over her issues and neither is Naruto. You know that this isn't gonna be perfect for them, because issues don't resolve themselves overnight. But rest assured, my wonderful readers, there will be more.