Lost in the Green Seas

Chapter 18

A/N: Thanks for waiting so long guys! This chapter is very short. :( But, I hope you still like it. It's a transfer chap. I'm about to move into a new 'arc' if you will. Hopefully...you will all appreciate this upcoming arc.


Tsunade read the scroll…and then looked up at everyone. "Gaara has come out of his coma. He's coming to the Leaf to personally thank everyone…and especially to see Naruto." She read, and everyone exchanged loaded glances.

Sakura cast a pained glance in the direction of Naruto's room. "Wake up soon…Naruto." She whispered pleadingly. The Kazekage was coming.


Sasuke was laying on his back. He was blind, due to a metal band around his eyes that wrapped around his head and kept his head pinned to the stone table he was laying on. He was spread eagle, held down by metal bands encircling his wrists, biceps, chest, ankles, thigh's, and around his neck. Large metal rings were around his fingers, making it impossible to form hand seals to form Ninjutsu. Sasuke was cold, and there was almost a slight dampness to the room that made him think he was deep underground. Orochimaru's lairs often felt like this…and they were always deep underground.

He had already tried to form Chakra, just to see the result, and it had forcefully been pulled from his body and sucked away…so he knew he was in a Chakra-sealing room. He had been alone for quite some time…and had been awake for a good five hours. He had been counting in his head. Suddenly, he heard the sound of a heavy metal door opening. He didn't react, but remained still and passive. He counted the differences in the footsteps and determined their were five different people. He stayed silent, while they surrounded the table he was on.

"Sasuke Uchiha." A deep voice murmured, and Sasuke felt a faint tug at his memories. Instantly, he realized who it was. Ibiki Morino, the first proctor of the Chunin Exams so long ago, the head interrogator for Konoha. He was a dangerous man…and Sasuke fought to remain passive.

"We know you're awake." Another voice said. This one was female…and Sasuke recognized it as the Fifth Hokage's voice. Tsunade…the Slug Sannin and Hokage of Konoha.

Sasuke remained silent, and waited. They were here for a purpose, and he would let them get to the point. He heard one other person 'hmph', but then silence filled the room. After a few minutes, Tsunade spoke again.

"Naruto is alive." She finally said. Sasuke didn't react. He had already counted on that fact. Naruto was too damn stubborn to die, even after the crippling attack Sasuke had dealt him. Naruto was probably already recuperating and eating ramen. Sasuke rolled his eyes behind his metal blind.

"But he no longer has a right leg." Tsunade finished her sentence coldly, and Sasuke's heart skipped a beat. He waited for her to explain, and wasn't disappointed.

"Your lightning attack cauterized the flesh and arteries completely, and made it impossible to reattach or heal his leg. Not even the Kyuubi Chakra helped." Tsunade explained, and he heard the veiled anger in her voice. "He will no longer be a ninja, thanks to you…Uchiha." Tsunade spat.

"Lady Hokage…" Ibiki murmured.

Sasuke heard Tsunade sigh, and then there was silence for a moment. "My issue right now is this, Sasuke: Naruto would be angry if I sentenced you to death the way I want to. Traitors are killed, but Naruto went through great lengths to capture you alive. I could strip you of your Chakra-molding abilities, seal away your Sharingan and make you a civilian for what you did to him…after all it's only fair. You steal his dreams, I steal yours." Tsunade growled.

Sasuke finally reacted. She had the ability to steal his dream of revenge, his dream to kill Itachi…and she was angry enough to use it. "What?" Sasuke asked through gritted teeth.

"But once again…Naruto wouldn't be happy about that. So, I decided that Naruto will decide your fate. He will decide how you will live, or how you will die." Tsunade said, and Sasuke felt his blood drain from his face.

"I'm half-contemplating lying to Naruto and telling him the retrieval team failed to recapture you alive, and they were forced to kill you…and then kill you myself." Tsunade said, and he could tell by the ice in her voice that she wasn't lying. For a moment, he wondered if she would.

"Lady Hokage…the Kazekage has sent an advance messenger. It is Temari, the sister of the Kazekage, and she requests a meeting with you." A voice said, and Sasuke assumed it was from outside of the room.

Tsunade sighed, while Sasuke quickly put two and two together. Temari was Gaara's sister, as well as Kankuro's, but he doubted Kankuro was Kazekage material. So that left Gaara, whom Sasuke knew something from reports that he had quickly advanced through the Suna Ninja ranks. So, Gaara was Kazekage…and visiting Konoha on top of it all.

"Very well. Have her escorted to my office…and I'll meet her there." Tsunade said. Then, he felt a light breath caress the side of his face. "I'll deal with you later, Uchiha." Tsunade murmured, and he could practically feel the hate she felt for him just from those few words.

Then, the people in his room marched out and shut the heavy door behind them…leaving Sasuke alone. He laid there for a few moments, in the oppressive silence. He wondered what Naruto would sentence him to. Then, he sneered and said, "Che."


Kakashi stared down at Naruto. He wasn't alone in Naruto's room…though it wasn't as crowded as it had been hours ago. Now it was just the Jonin and Jiraiya and Sakura in the room. They were all carrying on hushed conversations, while Kakashi and Jiraiya stood over Naruto's bed and looked down at the blonde.

"Just when everything looked like it would go right for him." Kakashi finally murmured. He was overwhelmed with emotions…he had known for a long time how harsh Naruto's life had been. Naruto had always persevered, no matter how many curveballs that life threw at him…but this obstacle seemed impossible to get by. No matter what Naruto tried, it seemed that fate had nothing but sorrow planned for the knuckleheaded blonde.

Jiraiya looked at the white-haired Jonin. He could see Kakashi's lone eye was red, watery and puffy. Kakashi had cried, though no one had seen it, and Jiraiya knew the feeling. His pupil's son, the son of Kakashi's master, had just lost his dream. He could no longer be a true ninja anymore…not with only one leg. Jiraiya had entrusted Naruto with the duty to find hope, and find the answer to stop all the despair and pain in the world…but Naruto would most likely be overcome by the very things Jiraiya sought to have him overcome.

Jiraiya spoke with a choked voice. "He'll pull through. Maybe not in the way we hope…but maybe enough to make a difference." He said, and Kakashi looked at the Toad Sannin and nodded.

"What?" A soft voice rasped, and the room suddenly became deathly quiet.

Everyone who wasn't already looking at Naruto, suddenly was. They moved quickly to his bedside, Sakura shoving her way to his side. His blue eyes seemed glazed, and he looked pale still…but he was awake.

"Naruto." Sakura whispered, and leaned over him and captured him in a hug. Naruto winced, but hugged her back fiercely.

"Sakura." He murmured, and everyone watched as the two teenage Shinobi kissed. Only Naruto's eyes, his mouth, and a little bit of skin around his eyes was visible…the rest was bandaged.

"Oi, Naruto." Kakashi greeted casually, trying to lighten the mood.

"Glad you finally woke up, Gaki." Jiraiya grunted, and attempted to smile.

Everyone else murmured similar greetings, and Naruto nodded at the Jonin. Neji, Tenten, Guy, Asuma and Kurenai were all there…smiling kindly. "Can…I get…some water?" Naruto rasped, and instantly Sakura grabbed a cup from his bedside. They waited patiently while Sakura helped him slowly drink…and after a few minutes he finished.

"How long was I out?" Naruto asked, and looked around.

Everyone exchanged glances. "A year, Naruto." Kakashi said, his face serious.

"WHAT?!" Naruto screeched, and almost jumped out of bed. Sakura held him down, and glared at the cycloptic Jonin.

"Kakashi-sensei! Be serious!" Sakura growled.

Kakashi chuckled, looking at a wide-eyed and panting Naruto. "Only kidding. You've been out for about seven and a half hours." He laughed. "It's about midnight right now."

Naruto glared at the white-haired ninja. "Jerk!" He roared, and tried to jump at Sakura. She hit him on the head, and he cradled the top of his head and whined, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!" Sakura winced.

"Oops. Sorry." She said, and everyone chuckled.

Suddenly, Naruto looked up, his eyes hard and fierce. "Where's Sasuke?" He asked.

Everyone grew silent. They all looked to Kakashi, who gave Naruto a kindly smile. "Naruto…you did it. Sasuke is back in Konoha. He's in Anbu headquarters, being held at the moment, but he's back. You drained him enough to allow Shikamaru to paralyze him and Shino suck away his remaining Chakra and strength. You kept your promise…Sasuke is back here in Konoha."

Everyone watched as Naruto stared, looking dumbfounded, at Kakashi. Then, he chuckled softly. Slowly, his chuckle grew to a laugh…and then full-blown laughing at the top of his lungs. "I did it! I finally did it!" He laughed, and everyone smiled and watched the young man with pride.

"Naruto…Gaara is awake. He's coming to Konoha, and he's due to be here by seven o'clock tomorrow morning." Sakura murmured, smiling. Naruto jerked in surprise, but his grin grew.

"Yes! Gaara! You did it!" He whooped, and threw energetic punches at the air. His grin was wild, and his eyes sparkled. Then, he winced and held his chest and doubled over. "Ouch…guess…I'm not healed all the way yet." He mumbled.

Sakura placed a hand over his chest and helped to straighten him. "Relax…you need to rest. Your body's still working on healing the wounds Sasuke dealt you." She murmured.

"I'll be fine in no time, Sakura!" Naruto said, grinning brightly. "See?"

"Naruto, no!" Everyone cried, as he threw back the covers and attempted to spring out of bed. Kakashi and Sakura jumped to grab his arms, but as soon as his left foot touched the ground and the lack of his right foot threw his balance…he fell face-first.

"Oh, God!" Sakura cried, as Naruto coughed in pain. She and Kakashi knelt next to him, and he groaned.

"What the hell?" He coughed. "Why…what's wrong with me?"

Sakura and Kakashi grabbed his arms and pulled him up, and then Naruto looked down. "Naruto…stay calm." Sakura pled, as the heart-rate monitor he was still connected to accelerated.

Everyone watched, sick and horror-struck as they watched Naruto's reaction at what he saw. You could almost see it slowly processing…him thinking, 'I should have two legs…why am I only seeing one? Wait…where's my other leg? What…?' His heart-rate was accelerating wildly, and his eyes grew wide. He started to shake, and Kakashi and Sakura anxiously put him back on his bed, trying to force him to lay down.

"Where's my leg?" Naruto cried, and panic and horror were in his voice and on his face. "WHERE'S MY LEG? WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!" He screamed, and he started to thrash.

Sakura started to cry as she and Kakashi tried to hold him down, but he was proving difficult. All of the other Jonin dashed forward, and helped restrain him…but it wasn't easy. Naruto was not only stronger from his transformation back in Suna, but he was also empowered by adrenaline and fear. Finally, Neji jabbed Naruto in the side of his neck, and Naruto went rigid. His eyes were wide, and his chest heaved…but his body didn't move.

"Relax…I temporarily paralyzed you." Neji said calmly, but sweat beaded his brow. Naruto's eyes jerked around wildly, and his chest heaved rapidly.

"Please, Naruto, calm down!" Sakura pled, her tears landing on her Mate's bandaged chest.

"Naruto, you need to calm down now." Jiraiya said firmly, shoving his way forward so Naruto could see him. "Calm down so we can explain everything." Jiraiya ordered.

Slowly, Naruto's breathing decreased and his eyes focused solely on Jiraiya. Jiraiya regarded Naruto carefully, and then said, "Neji…release his paralyses."

Neji stepped forward, and jabbed Naruto's neck. Instantly, Naruto's body jerked. Everyone stared down at Naruto, though he only had eyes for Jiraiya at the moment. "Please…what happened?" Naruto whispered. Everyone could tell he was on the verge of panic, and Sakura bit her lower lip as she felt him struggling to control his emotions. She could tell how close he was to losing it, and he was practically drowning in the roiling emotions at the moment. She sent a calming wave through their bonds, but it hardly did anything to help him.

"You went into a four-tailed state…" Jiraiya started, and Naruto winced instantly. Jiraiya instantly reassured him, "You didn't hurt anyone, Naruto."

Naruto nodded tersely. Then, Jiraiya continued. "Sasuke unleashed a high-powered lightning jutsu. It fired several blades of pure lightning at you…and cut through the thick Kyuubi Chakra. It almost severed your right leg…and cut you pretty badly in several other spots. The lightning cauterized your flesh and arteries, and the Kyuubi didn't seem to help at all. We couldn't save your leg, or attach a new one…but Tsunade did all she could. She exhausted herself for hours, attempting anything she could think of. In the end…it couldn't be helped." Jiraiya said. Naruto lowered his head, and clenched his fists.

"So…I…can't…" Naruto choked out, and everyone lowered their own heads.

"I can't be a ninja?" Naruto asked, his voice wavering. He wasn't stupid. He knew he wouldn't be an effective ninja with only one leg. He couldn't dodge properly, run fast enough, and he'd be a hindrance no matter what.

No one said anything…and Naruto shook. He trembled, in rage…in despair.

"Why?!" Naruto suddenly yelled. He looked up and his eyes were blazing red. "Why is it that everything has to go wrong? Why can't something go right for once? Why can't I just catch a break?" He screamed.

"Naruto…" Sakura murmured, taken aback by the intensity of his anger through their bond.

'Boy…Calm yourself.' A deep growling voice said.

"Calm? CALM?" Naruto screamed. Everyone looked confused, and looked to Kakashi and Jiraiya.

"The Kyuubi…" Jiraiya murmured. Everyone looked at Naruto, as Sakura stared at him apprehensively.

'This isn't irreparable!' The Kyuubi growled. Sakura flinched, as she heard the booming voice in her own head. Kakashi grabbed her arm, looking at her questioningly.

"I can hear him…" Sakura whispered, and Kakashi's lone eye widened.

"How the hell can I get over this?" Naruto yelled, and slammed his fists down next to the lump of flesh that should have been his leg…but stopped at his knee.

'I'm the strongest of the demons, boy! Do you think a mere flesh wound like that would stop a true demon?' The Kyuubi snorted derisively.

"I'm not a true demon!" Naruto snapped back, his blazing eyes burning violently. Naruto glared down at his bed sheets, chest heaving.

'No…but you have one locked inside of you. I can heal you.' The Kyuubi promised.

Sakura gasped. "What? Can he really?"

Naruto didn't seem to hear, as he bitterly asked, "At what price, Fox?"

'No price at all. I need my host in fighting condition, if we're to survive Akatsuki. I'm looking out for myself.' The Fox said offhandedly, and Sakura narrowed her eyes. She didn't buy it. The tone of his voice made her stop and think. What was the real reason?

"And how could you heal it?" Naruto demanded.

Everyone listened intently, thoroughly spooked, but they couldn't move. They were held by this conversation being held unheard to their ears.

'I can accelerate certain parts of your body's metabolism. You'll need nutrients. I'll accelerate your body's healing function. Similar to the lowly Gecko that can regrow a limb, I'll alter your own body temporarily. If you don't supply it without enough nutrients, however…your body will eat at itself.' The Kyuubi said, and then Naruto was uncharacteristically silent.

"Naruto?" Jiraiya asked cautiously.

Naruto looked up, his eyes no longer red, but a deep blue that held an almost fanatical resolve. "I will be a ninja. I will be Hokage." Naruto said firmly, and Kurenai was the first to speak up.

"Naruto…we admire you for your will, for your persistence…but how can you still be a Ninja with only one leg?" She asked. She was clearly just as confused as the rest of them, but she was also someone who didn't know Naruto intimately.

"I'll make it happen." Naruto vowed. He turned to Sakura, his eyes softening. He opened his mouth to speak, but she beat him to it.

She smiled softly, and nodded. "I'll get it." She said. He was about to speak again, when once more she beat him to it. "And…I know." She said confidently, ruining Naruto's 'I love you', and then she ran from the room. Kakashi ran after her, calling her name, and left Jiraiya to deal with Naruto.

"Okay, Naruto…spill the beans. What's going on?" Jiraiya demanded. He planted his hands on his hips and glared at his young pupil.

Naruto looked up at the Toad Sannin. "I'm going to get my leg back." Naruto said firmly.

Jiraiya narrowed his eyes. "How?" He asked, ignoring the surprised gasps from the Jonin behind him.

Naruto answered slowly. "The Kyuubi…is going to try to accelerate certain parts of my body's mata…metaba…er…" He sighed, and then shook his head. "The Fox is going to regrow it, but I have to eat alot of food and nutrient s or my body will eat away at itself."

Jiraiya jerked in surprise. "What? It can do that?"

'Of course I can, idiotic human!' The Kyuubi growled in Naruto's head, and Naruto rolled his eyes.

"Yeah…he can do it." Naruto said firmly, and then he felt a reassuring wave of emotions from Sakura. "Sakura's got the nutrients." Naruto said.

"I'll send for Tsunade. She needs to see this…just in case." Jiraiya said. He flew through hand seals, and summoned a tiny toad that appeared on the clean hospital floor.

"Tell the Hokage to come to Naruto's hospital room immediately." Jiraiya ordered firmly, and the toad croaked an affirmative before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Jiraiya and the Shinobi in the room looked towards the doorway, where Kakashi appeared with Sakura in his arms. Sakura held onto a few bags of clear liquid tightly.

Sakura sprang from Kakashi's arms and to Naruto's side, and Kakashi explained went to the machines next to Naruto. "We grabbed Nutrient-rich liquids, which should do just as good as food for now. If we can hook them all into Naruto via IV's…it should work just fine." Kakashi said, and everyone nodded.

Sakura sent Naruto an apologetic look as she quickly fixed IV's on to the bags, and then jabbed them into Naruto's arms. He hissed in pain, but tried to stay relaxed as she jabbed seven more needles into his arms. He let his arms lay limp, and Sakura nodded once she was finished hooking him up. "Okay…" She said, and stepped back.

A large explosion of smoke erupted in the middle of the room, and everyone flinched. However, the smoke cleared quickly and revealed a distressed looking Tsunade and Shizune, and a surprised Temari. "What's going on?" Tsunade yelled, taking in the scene in one look.

"The Fox is going to regrow Naruto's leg…we need you to be here just in case." Jiraiya explained, and then noticed Temari. "Sorry for interrupting your meeting." He added apologetically.

"No…it's fine." Tsunade said. She instantly eyed the nutrient bags, and nodded. "Good placement, Sakura." She complimented her apprentice. Sakura nodded her thanks, but Temari interrupted them all.

"What happened to his leg?!" She cried, taking a step forward. Shock was written all over her face as she eyed the bandaged lump that was Naruto's leg.

"Sasuke Uchiha was retrieved…and Naruto paid a price for it." Tsunade said sharply. "Now…Naruto…begin." She said, and Naruto nodded.

They all waited, breathless, as Naruto closed his eyes. "I'm ready, Fox." Naruto said aloud.

'Good. Prepare yourself for a large amount of pain…this will not be pleasant.' The Kyuubi growled in Naruto's mind. Sakura heard it as well, and she paled.

"The Kyuubi says there will be a lot of pain." Sakura warned everyone in the room, as Naruto screwed his eyes shut tighter.

Temari watched, clearly confused and still horrified, as the change began. Naruto's hair grew shaggier, and his fists clenched. His nails elongated, and everyone was sure that his whisker-marks grew thicker and darker under the bandages. He shook, and Sakura felt his pain through their bond…not exactly in the degree he did, but still pain. She winced, but bore through it as Naruto's body shook and the veins and muscles all over his body stood out against even the bandages.

"Grrr…." Naruto growled, and he bared his teeth. They were longer, sharper and deadlier-looking. His eyes flashed open, and he threw his neck back. "ARG!" He yelled, and his eyes blazed a bloody red.

"Remove the bandage!" Tsunade barked, as the lump of flesh and bandages that was Naruto's right leg started to quiver.

Sakura darted forward, and used a Chakra Scalpel to slice open the bandages cleanly. Red, weeping flesh presented itself to everyone's eyes and everyone flinched instinctively.

Pain, similar to the pain of transformation, blazed through Naruto's body. But, the pain was primarily concentrated in his right leg. Agony ripped through him, and he cried out in pain as the flesh around his severed appendage bubbled. His leg elongated, nothing but a quivering and bubbling mass of flesh, and sweat poured from Naruto's body. The bags of Nutrients were being drained quickly, Naruto's body and the Fox's chakra pulling it from the bags forcefully now. Everyone watched as steam lifted from Naruto's body, and especially his leg, and he began to thrash and emit strangled and choking sobs. The bandages that completely surrounded his body shriveled and burned into nothingness, earning alarmed gasps.

Everyone paled and everyone took an unconscious step forward, but only Sakura grabbed Naruto and held him down. He yowled, like a wild animal that was dying, and tears welled up in Sakura's eyes. The pain he was experiencing was unbelievable…and she was surprised he hadn't passed out from it yet. Finally, his thrashing lessened, and the bubbling of his limb lessened. His leg solidified, and Naruto went limp as the pain seeped out of his body. Sweat drenched his clothing, and everyone stared in awe and surprise at Naruto's new right leg.

It was perfectly formed, and matched his unblemished left leg. Everyone gaped, too stunned for words, as Naruto dazedly looked down at his leg and weakly wiggled his toes. He seemed slightly thinner, not unhealthily so, but still in good shape. He smiled slightly, and chuckled. "It worked." Naruto rasped, as the last of the Kyuubi chakra was drawn back into the seal at his navel. Everyone stared at the spiral seal that was visible at Naruto's navel as it slowly disappeared and Naruto's features returned to normal.

There was deafening silence for a moment, before Sakura leapt at Naruto. He caught her, exclaiming in surprise, and fell backwards onto the pillows of the hospital bed. He laughed, and Sakura kissed him fervently on his face. He let her shower him with kisses, while the one-eyed Jonin, Kakashi, smiled and shook his head. Naruto was full of surprises.

"Naruto…how do you feel?" Tsunade asked, stepping forward.

"Really…good." Naruto said, considering his words for a moment. "Tired…but good." He sighed. He then kissed Sakura's forehead, and smiled wearily.

Tsunade sighed, and shook her head in disbelief. "That's one for the books…regrowing a new limb…amazing."

Jiraiya shook his head as well. "The Fox sure comes in handy…I hate to admit it, though." He said.

Naruto experimentally raised and lowered his leg, and nodded. "It's fine, like I never lost my leg to begin with." He murmured, and then he looked at Sakura, who crawled off his bed and stood next to him.

"Can I go home now?" He asked eagerly.

"No!" Everyone said at once, and he flinched at their timed response. Then, everyone laughed.

Tsunade chuckled and stepped forward and kissed his forehead. He blinked, and she pulled back. "You have to stay overnight…just to make sure you don't suffer any adverse effects. Then, in the morning…you can be released and come greet Gaara at the gates yourself."

Temari watched from near the back of the crowd, filing away the event to tell her brother before he came. 'So this is the power of the Nine Tailed Fox…' Temari thought.

Tsunade watched as Naruto kept looking at Sakura, his eyes trying to convey a message Sakura was obviously missing. She smiled wryly, and thought, 'Oh to be that young and in love…' She sighed internally, and then put on her gruff Hokage attitude. She clapped once, getting everyone's attention.

"Okay, everyone, we need to spread the words to those who are waiting for it…and let them know all that's happened with Naruto. He needs his rest after such a strenuous technique! Let's let him get some rest, and we'll see him tomorrow!" She said, and all the Jonin nodded.

They all murmured their farewells, before using Shunshin to disappear from the hospital rooms. Tsunade, Shizune, Temari, Jiraiya, and Sakura were the last to leave. Sakura brought up the rear, looking wistfully back at Naruto. Tsunade could have smacked her apprentice up alongside the head, for how much sense she was showing at the moment. She let the others file out of the room, and then in the doorway she grabbed Sakura by the shoulder, and turned her around. They stood almost side by side, Tsunade murmuring in her apprentice's ear.

"Sakura…stay with him. Tonight, he needs you." She whispered, and then walked out of the room. She gave Sakura a gentle push into the room, and then quickly shut the door.

"Playing matchmaker again, Tsunade?" Jiraiya's voice murmured at her ear.

She gasped and turned, holding the door knob for support. Jiraiya smirked, and leaned away from her, due to the fact their lips had almost touched. He looked smug…and for a moment, she wondered what he was thinking. Then, she put up a gruff façade.

"Of course not. I'm just giving the girl a shove in the right direction." She said, and then brushed past him like there was nothing about him that had suddenly surprised her.

Jiraiya chuckled. "Literally." Then, he followed her and Temari and Shizune away from the room.


Inside the room, Sakura was already at Naruto's side. She could feel his emotions but couldn't quite identify them they were fluctuating so wildly. She crawled up next to him, and sat his side. He looked down at his lap, and she felt one emotion and recognized it easily. She had felt it often enough herself. Insecurity.

"What's wrong?" She whispered.

Naruto obviously tried to quell his emotions, and she firmly reached over and grabbed his chin in the fingers of her right hand and turned his face towards hers. She got as close as she could so their faces were millimeters apart. "What…is…wrong?" She whispered softly, spacing the words out.

Naruto opened his mouth, and his eyes looked away from her. "What…what do you think…now that…Sasuke is back?" He whispered, and Sakura blinked.

"What do you mean?" Sakura asked. She was suddenly confused. What could he mean by that? What did she think?

Naruto swallowed and said, "What are we going to do? He obviously didn't want to come back…and he obviously was upset you were with me and bonded with me…"

Sakura frowned and pushed him down into the bed. She crawled over and straddled his lap, and placed her hands firmly on his chest. "I think that nothing between us will change. I'm yours. You're mine. End. Of. Story." She said, and punctuated her words with pokes to his chest. She felt his surprise, and his happiness, at her words and it made her smile.

"Sakura…" Naruto murmured.

She leaned down and nuzzled against his neck. "Yes?" She asked.

Suddenly, she found herself underneath Naruto. He had rolled them over so now he was on top. His hands pinned her wrists gently above her head, and her legs were still spread as she suddenly found their bodies pressed together in areas that made her blush. His mouth found the seal on her neck, and she gasped.

His body rubbed against her, and she moaned. "May I…" Naruto started to ask, and she knew what it was as soon as she felt his burning lust and need through their bond. Before he could finish his sentence, she interrupted.

"Yes." She whispered, and she felt him grin against her neck. She felt his body rub against hers again, and she moaned, and wrapped her arms around him and brought him close. She wanted, needed, him just as much as he needed and wanted her. She wouldn't let him go tonight…not once.

They made love that night, into the long hours of the morning, and they never once separated from each other.


Sorry that this chap is so short. But, this is a 'transfer' chapter. It's the transition between 'arcs' if you will. There's the 'Naruto's Return arc', 'Rescue Gaara arc' done, what I call 'Marking arc', and now the 'Sasuke Retrieval arc' done. The next arc…oooh boy it's gonna get pretty interesting. I have grand plans. :) Thanks for your patience guys. You truly are great! I'd like input so far on what you think of the series so far…and how many stars out of ten you'd give it! :) Thanks! (A hint for the new arc: TAILS. if you think you know what it is...hehe...good for you.)