Hello, and welcome to my fanfiction! SPOILERS ARE AHEAD! Anyone who hasn't read post-time skip in the manga, when Naruto, Sakura, and others turn 15 and get older (shippuuden!), and doesn't want it spoiled for them, then don't read this fanfiction. There are many spoilers. In fact, I've taken some of the scenes from the manga and put them in my story. I think it's Chapter 343 and on which I have used. Something like that. Also previous spoilers from pre-time skip! I have no idea how far anyone is in the manga or anime. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! You have been forewarned!!!
Lets make this part quick and painless. Want to know about me? Check out my Bio page! THIS IS MY FIRST NARUSAKU STORY!!! YAY!!! This is my first story in almost 4 years too. Woot! Sakura and Naruto are both 15 years old, so post time-skip.
This fanfiction is named "Gratification," because it is something I hope to be greatly satisfying to all who read, it sort of fit what my own inner desires for a Naruto and Sakura fanfiction, and for some reason this title just fit for some odd reason and prevents me from naming it something else. Anyway, Hope you enjoy it as well. Though I realize many of these ideas have probably been used elsewhere, if you are sitting there thinking, "I've seen this somewhere," I don't doubt it. I can't keep track of who has used which ideas, or where I've seen these from, but there is some of my 'original' ideas added in. Yes I use that term lightly since I have no way of showing whether they are original or not. The reason I used the manga is because I'm trying to stay true to the characters that are already made. Anyway, one last bit of info, I don't like going too OOC (out of character), but prefer to use what has been given.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto! I don't own the Manga! I don't own the Anime! I'm not the creator! The scenes from the manga are not mine nor will they ever be. They belong to Shonen Jump, and their creator. I'm too lazy to go look it up right now, but it belongs to them. Some of the ideas are probably not original, but I have no way of finding out who came up with them. I'm simply borrowing the characters and ideas to make my own plot. Yes folks, the storyline is mine. As in the order of events and such are coming out of my mind. ENJOY!!!
Chapter 1: Not Just Another Day
A feeling of heart-pounding, uneasy excitement flowed throughout her body like water filling a container. How did she get into this position? Sitting on the ground, inches away from her teammate, wanting to kiss him passionately, and yet restraining herself due to previous commitments. IT WAS MADDENING! It was as if every feeling she ever had for him materialized in front of her, and taking action was the last step.
She glanced over at her blond companion who was now lying on the grassy ground looking up at the stars. He had a complacent smile on his face. His good arm was behind his head to act as a cushion, while his other arm still in the cast resting upon his stomach. Knowing him, the smile was mostly a result of her existence in the training ground with him. It was a cloudless night, and the full moon was glimmering overhead. Without the moon, she would never be able to see his expressions.
"Sakura-chan," the man next to her said quietly.
This time she looked at him with a soft smile. He was the only person to make her smile in this fashion. Once they had locked eyes, the blond ninja continued, "Sakura-chan, I won't break my promise to you. It is my way of the ninja."
She instantly looked away as she could feel her smirk dissolve into a grimace. It was her fault five other ninjas had put their lives in danger. Even three years later, she still felt guilty, disgusted with herself, and more responsible than anyone seeing as it was her childhood crush that had caused so much pain in the past. While her teammate did all he could to fulfill his promise to her, she had only stood there and cried to him. Though he failed to bring Sasuke back, she couldn't tell him 3 years later she no longer cared for the traitor, but turned her attention towards him.
"Naruto…" she said as her voice trailed off. Everything was so complex. She couldn't tell him how she really felt; it would be almost cruel to say that she wanted him to give up on Sasuke seeing as it was her love for Sasuke he was trying so hard to protect. It would make all the years they trained to get stronger seem worthless. However, she wanted him with her as long as humanly possible. He continued to smile at her. Only one amendment came to mind at this moment.
"I'm changing your promise to me."
What did she mean? Naruto, confused by her words, stared at her dumbfounded.
Sakura looked at him before she continued, "Naruto, I told you this already. Together we are going to get Sasuke-kun back. I want to be with you." Sakura turned bright red in a heartbeat, and immediately looked away. Her heart was pounding from embarrassment. Did she really say what she thought she said? She felt extremely awkward sitting there, though she meant it honestly.
Naruto was stunned. Everything disappeared with the last sentence. Did she just say that she wanted to be with him? He felt himself blush; hopefully it was dark enough that she couldn't see his cheeks turn pink. When did she say they would do this together? He racked his brain, and finally remembered it was right after they had lost to Sasuke about a month or so ago.
Sakura calmed herself down, knowing it wasn't the end of the world. Once again the hospital scene popped into her head, "But…please," she started, "Don't use that jutsu anymore, it comes with too high a risk like Kakashi said. It was the arm you used this time, but next time it may be worse."
Naruto slowly sat up and looked at her for a moment; taking in all her features. However, multiple ideas of what to say and do popped into his head at that moment, only one idea stood out to him. He could easily tell her not to worry, or that he would never use the jutsu again, but it would be rather difficult. It would be the most ineffective way of dealing with her. Naruto hesitated for a moment, but then moved his body closer to hers…
It was as if the scene from earlier that day in the hospital had been replaying like a broken video recording inside her head. His facial expressions, words, tone of voice…why did it make her heart thump the inside of her chest. This wasn't supposed to be happening.
"It's broken in so many places….Your body can't handle that Jutsu. Don't use it unless you're totally out of options okay? You're going to kill yourself if you use it too much," she had told him sternly, hoping he would listen.
"Ah, I'll be fine as long as I have you to fix me up!"
His words had forced her to jerk her head up to look at him, "No, you won't!" It was as if she were speaking to a small child, "Medical Ninjutsu can't just heal every injury right away!"
She was almost expecting him to make some snide remark under his breath, say some idiotic statement again, or complain about how it was a cool jutsu and he wanted to use it anyway. Instead he did something unexpected. There was a short pause where all he did was stare at her affectionately. It wasn't the same cocky grin, or high and mighty smile this time.
"Actually...I feel really good...really happy."
He continued, " I feel like the two of us are getting closer to Sasuke."
She continued to walk towards the library, the scene continuing to replay once again in her mind. The library would be the most effective way for her to block out these thoughts of him. His last few sentences were just part of his master plan of driving her insane. Why did she blush every time she remembered the way he looked at her? She silently cursed at her heart when that part appeared. She then remembered she was suppose to meet Naruto and Kakashi at Ichiraku ramen bar for dinner. She could at least read a little more on the treatments for specific poisons.
She finally reached the library, and immediately dove into the isle for medical ninjutsu. It wasn't difficult to find a book that would satisfy this short amount of time. On her way back to the main area for sitting, she realized Sai sitting by himself again off to the side.
'Last time was actually helpful when I sat and talked with him, maybe again would be just as helpful,' she told herself as she slowly approached him.
"Hey Sai," she said as she proceeded to sit in a chair across from him.
He looked up from his book, surprised she was here, "Hello...Sakura," he had to pause to make sure he didn't say 'Ugly-Dog' or 'Hag' by accident. He had learned the first time what consequences came from that.
"So what are you reading this time?" she asked. She noticed once again the numerous interpersonal communication books on the desk.
"How to Help a Companion and Form Friendships," he said as he flipped through the pages.
"What do they recommend?"
"It says one should help out all his companions," he then read aloud from the book, "'true friendship is made by one helping out another in dire need.'"
"This is true," she commented, "You shouldn't forget any of your teammates. If one helps a companion in need it shows they care about them. Trust is built upon this base of helping and caring about a person's well-being." Sakura looked down towards her book again, and then as if a light bulb went off in her head, she looked back up, "Oh, Naruto and I are going to get ramen for dinner. Kakashi-sensei may come too. Would you like to come?"
He looked up to meet her eyes as she gave a small smile, "Okay," then smiled as well.
It did amaze her how Sai was slowly becoming more human compared to how cold he was when she and Naruto had first teamed up with him. A few minutes passed, and just as Sakura was starting to read about common poisons, Sai interrupted her thoughts.
"So what Naruto and you share is trust? Do you trust many other people?" he questioned.
She nodded, "Naruto and I have known each other for a long time. It's natural for me to trust him so much. I trust other people as well."
Sai contemplated her words momentarily, "Then he must have helped you out in a lot of situations if you trust him this much," he then went back to reading.
Sakura felt awkward about what Sai had just said. Thinking back on what she had just said about how trust was built. She knew subconsciously Sai was implying something. They continued to read their books, and before too long it was time to leave. Since the hospital was on the way they decided to stop by and get Naruto. He was sitting outside wearing a cast and sling around his right arm, which had been the arm Sakura attempted to work on earlier in the hospital. The moment Sakura saw Naruto, she suddenly felt excited. Her cheeks began to tingle with a warm sensation. Damn it, it was happening again.
"Naruto!" she said to get his attention. She waved at him, and then calmed herself down enough to realize something was missing. "Naruto, is Kakashi-sensei coming?" she asked curiously.
Naruto shot a dark look at Sai and mumbled something that sounded like, 'stupid Sai' under his breath before addressing her question. "He had to discuss with Granny Tsunade about a mission. He said he doesn't know if he is coming or not."
A loud grumble erupted from Naruto's stomach, which resulted in him saying, "Lets go! I'm starving!" and dashed down the street.
"Wait! Naruto!" Sakura yelled as she chased after him.
Sai watched his two teammates run down the street while he followed slowly. He was amused by their behavior, but especially by Sakura's behavior. 'Why does she like him so much? Is it the trust they built in each other like she said? Or is it something more? They are almost identical in some respects,' he thought as he walked on.
Once they all reached Ichiraku ramen bar, each ordered their favorite bowl of Ramen and continued to wait for Kakashi at the bar. As soon as the ramen came, Naruto immediately yelled with joy, thanked Teuchi and attempted helplessly to split his chopsticks with one hand. With the help of Sakura, Naruto was finally able to split them, and attempt eating with his left hand. However, this resulted in a painful situation since he is right handed and some of the hot noodles missed his mouth.
Sakura who had been watching him the whole time, had the scene from the hospital earlier that day replay in her head, and suddenly felt more sympathy for him. He had been the reason the mission ended quickly and without any deaths from Konoha. Even though she had left the scene with Sai to assist Shikamaru and missed his new jutsu, after examining the man who had been the enemy she determined it to be a powerful jutsu. She should help out her teammate; especially after everything he did.
She sighed after watching him make another clumsy attempt to put the precious ramen into his mouth.
She grabbed onto the bottom of her chair and scooted it closer to him, "Oh Geez…Gimme your chopsticks."
As expected, Naruto looked at her stunned and his cheeks turning slightly pink, 'Whoa, is Sakura-chan gonna…feed me…?' Naruto thought to himself.
Naruto was about to respond, but felt something burning pressed against his mouth, and Sai saying, "Open Wiiiide!"
"OW! DAMNIT THAT'S HOT! AND WHERE THE HELL DID YOU COME FROM?"
"SHANNARO!" Inner Sakura yelled as she clamped her fist, though her exterior smiled at the scene before her. 'Wait...did I just get angry at Sai for ruining this?'
It was then Kakashi had come in, "Hey."
Sai and Naruto ignored his entrance, "When a friend is in trouble, you're supposed to help him out. I read in a book that that's what true friendship is."
Naruto was not satisfied with this explanation, "FORGET BOOKS! You need to learn how to read people's faces! You killed the mood!" he yelled back at Sai.
Sakura finally decided to acknowledge Kakashi though she was surprised to see him, "Kakashi-sensei?"
"What's up? Things seem pretty lively," he said as he continued to watch Naruto yelling at Sai.
After talking with Naruto, Sai and Sakura, he saw it fit to take the responsibility of feeding Naruto so as to prevent any other mishaps from occurring.
Though Kakashi had no problem smiling and feeding Naruto while the others ate, Naruto grumbled thinking, 'From Sakura-chan to Kakashi-sensei…this sucks.'
"So you're not resting up in a hospital bed for once," Sakura said to Kakashi attempting to break the silence.
"Shocking, I know. I guess that has become a tradition with me lately, hasn't it?" he said as he turned his attention back to Naruto. "Well, this time things ended without me needing to use the mangekyou sharingan. Although if you hadn't shown up when you did, I would've had to, and I'd be in bed right now! Heheheh!"
However Naruto didn't smile at what Kakashi was saying. Instead he looked back at the counter even more saddened. Attempting to brighten him up, Kakashi continued, "You've come a long way, Naruto. You're at least on equal footing with me...Probably even better. But don't ever forget...A powerful jutsu comes with a lot of risk to the user." There was a silence among all of them as they digested the warning.
"Hey, Naruto...the new jutsu is-"
However, Kakashi was cut off by Naruto, "Sensei...I know how my body works better than anyone else! And trust me, I'm the toughest guy in the Universe! And the Future Hokage! There's nothing to worry about!"
Sakura let out a, "Heh…" 'Only Naruto would say something that cocky.'
"ALL RIGHT OLD MAN, I'M FULL! Give the bill to Kakashi-sensei!" he told Teuchi then quickly exited the establishment only to see two Konohamarus outside waiting for him, "So you finally got Kage Bunshin down..."
Kakashi, Sai, and Sakura all joined him moments later after taking care of the bill.
"Huh? What's going on?" Sakura said when she noticed Naruto and two Konohamarus facing each other from a distance as if about to battle.
"ALRIGHT! Now lets see how much better you've gotten! COME ON!" Naruto said, encouraging Konohamaru.
"YOU'RE ON NARUTO-NIICHAN!!!" Konohamaru yelled back. "DOUBLE KNOCKOUT GIRLS!" In a cloud of smoke, Konohamaru transformed himself and his clone into two naked females. Both were over 18 body-wise, had enormous breast, and perfectly shaped bodies. One had dark hair, while the other had blonde hair. They were also hugging each other as if about to engage in sexual activity.
Naruto immediately reacted excited; almost like Jiraya the first time Naruto had performed the Sexy No Jutsu for him. His eyes just about burst out of his head, his cheeks turned pink, and he was smiling so hard from excitement "WHOOOOOA!!!! WHAT A GAME PLAN!"
Sai watched unaffected, while a teardrop formed on Kakashi's temple. However, Sakura reacted as if she had witnessed something completely vulgar. Which she did in this case. She was disgusted by their idea of fun. Her eyes were enormous, there were no pupils anymore, and she was twitching angrily. She marched towards Konohamaru.
Naruto recovered from the lose of composure a moment ago, while Konohamaru changed back, "How's that, Naruto-niichan?! That was two girls about to-GYAH!"
Sakura had finally reached her target and nailed Konohamaru directly in the chest, "No need to go any further..." she then yelled back at Naruto, "IS THIS ALL YOU TWO DO WHEN YOU MEET UP?! HUH?!"
"No...This jutsu can work as a diversion...and you could call it a...serious battle between two people..."
Konohamaru was glaring at Sakura for ruining their fun, but Sakura failed to notice. Her veins were pulsating out of her forehead from rage, and angrily warned him, "Don't even think about going any further! You pair of pervy Ninjas!!!" As if mocking them, "Diversion? You're the only ones who'd fall for a jutsu like that!!!"
It was then the idea came to Konohamaru. He made his hands into the seal and transformed yelling, "DOUBLE KNOCKOUT GUYS!"
Sakura was forced back from excitement, her eyes snapped open, cheeks turned pink, and blood freely came out of her nose. It was an identical reaction to Naruto's moments before when it was two girls instead of two guys, "KYAAAA!!!! WHAT A GAME PLAN!" Sakura yelled happily. Before her was a naked Sai and Sasuke about to engage in sexual activity.
Kakashi once again had the comical teardrop, and Sai immediately recognized the people, "Ah! It's me and Sasuke-kun!" It obviously had no effect on him. It did however affect Naruto; he reacted like Sakura did when he had seen the two naked girls. He was enraged by the sight before his eyes.
"OH!" though Sakura had enjoyed the scene, she was snapped out of it once Naruto had taken his turn in marching over to Konohamaru and nailing him directly on the top of the head. This caused Konohamaru to change back. Naruto then proceeded to warn him saying, "DON'T DO CREEPY THINGS LIKE THAT!"
Sakura had turned completely red and held her cheeks hoping to cover the reaction. She decided to quickly act as if nothing had happened, "Y-Yeah...Don't just do useless jutsu like that. You should practice more useful..." though her voice trailed off as soon as she noticed the four males staring at her, two of which were smiling sinisterly.
"HEY...WHAT?!" she said completely shocked, then realizing they had seen her reaction and probably thought of her as a pervert. She attempted to persuade them otherwise, "NO NO! That's not what I'm into at all..." but that was a failing argument.
Konohamaru congratulated himself for revealing her perverted side, "Hm...Looks like you're just like us after all..." This however resulted in a beating from Sakura for what he had done.
Once everything had settled down, Kakashi informed them that they would be having the day off tomorrow, and that they should all rest. Sakura who had enough of this humiliation left saying she had to go speak with Tsunade-sensei, Kakashi accompanied her saying he forgot to include a bit of information to Tsunade. This gave him his opportunity to leave so he could go reread Make-out Paradise. Sai slowly followed suit, saying goodbye and going home to finish one of his art pieces. This left Konohamaru and Naruto in front of the ramen bar.
Though Konohamaru was young, he wasn't oblivious like other fellow members of the Konoha genin division. When everyone was definitely out of earshot, he turned to his adult influence, "Naruto-niichan, Sakura-neechan's reaction to me doing the 'Double Knockout Guys' was just like your reaction when I did the 'Double Knockout Girls.' She acts just like one of us."
Naruto sternly looked down at him, he had twitched at the mention of 'Double Knockout Guys,' but then calmly chuckled, "We did both hit you too, huh?" he said absentmindedly then became more serious, "Just don't ever do something that creepy again. No matter how tempted you are."
"Are you and Sakura-neechan dating?"
"W-WHAT?!" That was completely out of the blue. He hadn't expected the boy to ask such a question based on trivial things, "N-No, we have just known each other for a really long time. What gave you that idea?"
"Asuma always said that when two people act so much alike it's because they have known each other for so long. He said those people would probably get along the best when they date, and that sometimes when they go back to where they first began it helps them realize it."
"Asuma always had good advice when it came to these things. Yes, Sakura-chan and I have known each other for a really long time, but we aren't dating. I had a really big crush on her when I was younger, but we're really good friends now," it was as if he were lying to himself, "You and your friends act similar, don't you?"
"Yeah," Konohamaru responded, thinking about his actions as well as his friends, "We have the same likes too!"
"Huh?" Naruto cut him off.
"It's different! Naruto-niichan, it's not the same. Sakura-neechan wasn't as happy when you were gone, but when you came back she changed."
Konohamaru nodded his head rapidly with excitement as he beamed a smile towards Naruto-niichan, "Sakura-neechan is always smiling around you, except when you say something about her strength. When she heard you came back she got really excited for the first time in months. Oh, she is scarier too." It was the best way he could think of describing her actions, however he meant them earnestly.
Naruto chuckled at the last comment. He remembered certain occasions where he called her monstrously strong only to have her demonstrate her strength on him. He really liked Sakura-chan, and is comfortable with her. However, he wasn't going to push her into anything she didn't want nor would he interfere with her feelings for Sasuke. He felt like he had stabbed his heart again with the next words, yet still smiled when he said them, "Sakura-chan likes Sasuke. No matter what happens, I made her a promise to get him back, and I don't go against my words. It's my way of the Ninja," he said firmly, as he smiled down towards Konohamaru. "I will protect those feelings."
Konohamaru was skeptical about what Naruto had just said, but he wasn't going to press the subject any further. Besides, he had to gather his comrades soon and be on his way. He had done his part here. "If you say so, Naruto-niichan. I bet you can't top my techniques! I've beaten you at your own game!"
"WHAT?! WATCH THIS!"
The two continued to try and outmatch the other before Konohamaru had to leave saying he had to be at home. Naruto also headed home, happy that in the end he was still able to beat Konohamaru. Though Konohamaru and Naruto had gone their own separate way from the group, Kakashi and Sakura also had an interesting discussion as they headed to see Tsunade briefly.
"Sakura, it was very noble of you to try and help Naruto," Kakashi had told Sakura.
"Uh...Thank you, Sensei," how was she suppose to react to that statement? She had no idea he had seen what she did for it was before he had entered the ramen bar.
"Remember though, people change over the years though they may still act the same on the top. It seems as if you and Naruto have come to understand each other much better than anyone else," he gave her a smile, "Remember to read underneath the underneath," then vanished with a puff of smoke.
She stopped walking and looked at where Kakashi-sensei had been just seconds ago as if confused by his words of advice. Didn't he say he was going to go see Tsunade-sama too? And yes, he had told team 7 the phrase before, but why reiterate it now? Why was the damn scene from the hospital replaying for the fiftieth time in her head that day? It was dominating any other thoughts she would normally be having, and she didn't have time to go to the library again. This wasn't fair!
She soon reached Tsunade's office, "Tsunade-sama, you wanted to see me?"
"Yes, bring Naruto here in two days. I was expecting to be more prepared to speak with you, but my contact has yet to get back to me. That is all, good night." With that, Sakura left the room and headed back home. It was very odd of Tsunade-sama to not be prepared like that.
The moment Sakura left the room, Tsunade looked out the window to make sure she had gotten onto the streets before she stated, "Okay, everyone please come in. We need to discuss this mission."
Hehehehe, who is coming in? What happens now that Sakura isn't talking to Tsunade? The next chapter will catch up with the beginning.
Please read the story and give feedback. I don't care if it is flames, criticism, or positive feedback. However, please be respectful and don't leave me some stupid comment such as "I don't like this couple." Okay, why are you reading it? However, if you say something like that, but also comment the plot, story, writing style as well as mentioning you don't like the couple, then by all means. I accept pretty much any feedback. Okay, now here is the question: Should it be Neji and Hinata or Kiba and Hinata? I like both, but I would like to know how those reading the story feel about it. Until next time!