Pairing: Uchiha Sasuke x Haruno Sakura
Theme: other world, #09 castle
Word Count: 683
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
For the sake of coming full circle, here is a continuation to chapter one!
In the end, they ran away together.
Neither was particularly proud of some of the results – a humiliated fiancé and an abandoned king – but Sakura remained at peace with her decision. In the end, a week after the date of her marriage to the king is set, she met Sasuke in the shadows of the castle stable and they rode out of the Land of the Leaves, abandoning their duties. They travelled eastward for days, stopping only to let the horses take their rest. They made their home in a small village in the mountains where Sakura lived as a healer and Sasuke, as a huntsman. They built a small cottage towards the outskirts of this village with the help of the townspeople who were eternally grateful to "Hana" and "Izuna" for their services. The place was quaint and it was no castle but to Sakura, it was everything. They never talked about the Land of the Leaves, nor did they ever hear about it. They were never formally wedded but they were certainly married in their hearts.
Their uneventful life together was disrupted ten years later when Kakashi showed up at their door with a little girl in his arms.
Sakura touched the girl's hair, marveling at its silkiness and black-as-night color. She wondered who the girl's parents were. When her son shuffled in his sling, clearly ready to wake, Sakura closed the door to girl's makeshift room and went back out to see Sasuke and Kakashi staring at the floor solemnly.
"Sir Kakashi," Sakura greeted with a bow.
He nodded at her. "Princess." Kakashi glanced at the bundle against her chest and smiled at the mop of black hair. "I take it that the two of you have been busy."
Sakura flushed ever so slightly and moved to stand beside Sasuke. "Well—"
"Enough," Sasuke interrupted. He glared at Kakashi. "How did you find us?"
"I've always known where the two of you were," Kakashi admitted. "I found you two years after you disappeared." The old man sighed and ran a hand through his hair, clearly tired. "Naruto knew, you know. That the two of you were in love. He tried everything he could to get you out of the engagement, Princess." When the room grew silent and tense, Kakashi continued, "I'm here because the young Princess – Naruto's daughter sleeping in the next room – she's in grave danger."
Sakura frowned at him, rocking the baby when he began to make noises. "What's wrong?"
"When Queen Hinata died in childbirth seven years ago and bore a girl, the elders were, naturally, outraged, but Naruto refused to remarry until recently." Kakashi looked at Sasuke gravely. "I don't know what it is about the new queen, but I—no, we, the knights, all fear she is one of Danzou's agents."
Sasuke's eyes narrowed. "And what does this have to do with my family?"
"The queen…" Kakashi shook his head. "She is a cruel woman and makes no effort to hide her dislike for the young princess, who she fears will one day take the throne from her and her master." Kakashi then reached into his pack and removed a scroll. He tossed it to Sasuke, who caught it instinctively. "Your mission details are there, Sir Sasuke."
The former knight scowled. "I'm no longer—"
Before Sasuke could question his intentions, Kakashi disappeared into a swirl of leaves.
Sasuke cursed, his hand clenching around the mission scroll. Sakura put a hand on his shoulder to calm him. "Should we read it?" she reluctantly asked.
Sasuke snorted. "Mission details are supposed to be confidential, wife."
"Is that so?" She smirked and wrapped her arms around him, conscious of not squishing their son. "If this mission involves protecting Naruto and Lady Hinata's daughter in our household, I think I get to hear all about it, husband."
"I suppose that's true," Sasuke muttered, pretending not to enjoy her closeness. "You're sure you don't mind taking on one last mission for the Land of the Leaves with me, your highness?"
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with this story all these years! I appreciate your patience and your reviews. You've all kept me going with this and I'm glad I finally finished it. You've all been so supportive all this time so thank you! This anthology has been so much fun to write and I think it's been a huge growing experience for me. Thank you all!