Ch. Sum: Naruto found that he slept much easier with company.
CAUTION! The rating has changed! There are mild sexual themes in this ch. Not a lemon, but this story is rated M now to be safe.
Deciding Naruto had exhausted himself beyond his limits far more than she had; Sakura took the liberty of slinging his limp arm around her shoulders and carried him through town. It was not a shocking sight by any stretch of the term to the villagers they passed. Naruto walked these streets a beaten, bloodied mess, loads of times, and he wasn't the only one. A true ninja never could keep his hands clean. This was a fortunate thing, as Sakura didn't want to attract any unwarranted attention. She just wanted to get Naruto home and in bed.
"You really are an idiot," murmured Sakura, her tone curt, but playful. It was something that would never change no matter how far they took this relationship. "But you're my idiot, so no more trying to get yourself killed during training."
"Sakura?" said Naruto, unsure what to make of that really. On one hand he had to do as much as possible to become the best ninja ever, because she deserved no less. On the other, he had to do whatever she said and make her the happiest girl alive. Training? Pssh, training was nothing to him. It was this boyfriend shit that was hard to figure out. What's more, Naruto has never been renowned for his patience. He could sort of see why Sasuke went to Orochimaru as easily as he did sometimes. To gain an extraordinary amount of power in such a short amount of time? It was horribly tempting.
Not tempting enough to break Sakura's heart and make her cry, though. It was one thing when she broke into tears out of frustration. It was another thing entirely to see the crushed look in her eyes, and feel the ache in her voice. That was why he was so quick to put his life on the line just to bring Sasuke back. It helped that the guy was Naruto's best friend, his brother, and he loved him as such, but there was no more letting Sakura down. No, Naruto had to do his absolute best for her.
He couldn't, for the life of him, sort out how he was going to do that. He thought pushing himself to the limits everyday, every damn day, would be the solution. After day one, he suddenly wasn't so sure. He wasn't sure of much these days. Whatever happened to life being simple? Where he'd do his best, hop over tremendous hurdles just to get that much closer to becoming Hokage? Where was the fine line between that, and making sure the Kyuubi didn't interfere?
"Naruto?" said Sakura, knocking him out of his stupor. He shook his head and looked up at her with a smile. Well, it was more like an awkward sideways crack of a smirk, but that was just his nerves getting to him. Really now, this boyfriend thing was way harder than it looked on the outside. Sometimes he couldn't even look at her straight, which was pretty pathetic, given his age. He'd been a legal adult in Konoha for quite some time and he was being an idiot in front of his first girl. Real smooth.
"Naruto, what's your problem? We're here, lead the way." She let him go and pushed him ahead, knowing the more helpful side of the Kyuubi should have healed him sufficiently enough to get the feeling back in his legs. They entered the building and climbed the stairs toward his apartment which, after hours of hard training, were as evil as explosive diarrhea. Sakura almost thought he was going to fall backwards against her a few times, but he made it.
The two of them entered his apartment, which was beginning to look as bad as the last time Sakura had been there. Before he disappeared with Jiraiya for training all those years ago Naruto hadn't had this habit. The few times she and Sasuke visited in their younger years, she was surprised to see that Naruto was tidy. Why did Jiraiya have to go and turn her Naruto into a total slob?
"Naruto, go take a bath," said Sakura, shooing him off as she grabbed the broom. She swore she absolutely could not make a habit of cleaning his apartment for him, and this would absolutely be the second and last time. "You stink worse than this room does."
"Aww, Sakura. Can't I take a nap first?" he asked, swept by a huge yawn. She almost forgot that he'd been too tired to stand on his own just moments ago. "Please?"
"Nap while you're in the bath," Sakura suggested. "I'll be here when you wake up if you want me to be."
He grinned. "Always, Sakura. It's always good when you're around." He gave her a quick kiss. Why was the girl he loved so damn smart? She always had really great ideas.
Off to the bath he went, humming some tune he got out of nowhere. Life was good. Sakura was better.
After a substantial amount of time resting in the bath, all the bubbles had popped and all the warmth had faded. Naruto was barely on the brink of waking up, until he heard Sakura pound on the door and shout at him, "… three hours you've been in there. That's long enough…"
He wasn't quite ready to get up and out, but didn't return to his senses until he saw her throw the door open. She had her fisted hands on her hips and a death glare that would make one who wasn't used to it crap himself. That woke Naruto up! First thought that went through his head was aww damn, she's going to kill me! What'd I do this time?! and the next was on the distinct lack of bubbles in the tub. On that thought his hands shot down to cover up his family jewels, and it was a wonder the water in the tub wasn't boiling, given how hot he suddenly felt.
"S-Sakura-chan! I'm naked, what the hell?!" he shouted, hoping that somehow her eyes didn't catch a glimpse of you-know-what. It was bad enough fucking Sai had to talk about it in front of her, but he didn't need her looking at it so soon. She… he never even told her he loved her yet! This was all happening in the wrong order, damn it, damn it, damn it. "And you say I'm the pervert!?"
He ducked underneath the water for a moment, expecting her to slap him silly for that remark. Instead, when he needed to breathe, he emerged from the surface and looked into her eyes. There was no rage whatsoever. In fact, the way her pink lips shined with the cutest little pout, and the way her cheeks were just a tint darker than her hair, he could almost swear that she was horny. Well, that's not an adjective he ever thought he'd be describing Sakura with.
"I guess we'll have to even the score, Naruto," she said, unzipping her shirt very slowly, as though to tease and mock him. Oh god, oh god, oh god, he was getting a taste of his own medicine after many a Sexy no Jutsu stunt, now. She was so beautiful, and she was… was she about to touch herself? Blood was starting to trickle down Naruto's nose, and he was sweating bullets. His body temperature rose with every "Naruto" that escaped her lips. And she moaned his name just perfectly. "Naruto."
"Naruto," she whispered in his ear, having inched closer after ditching the shirt. The bra was next, she was fumbling with it behind her back. Gosh, she smelled so good, and her breath was so hot against his ear. Damn, forget the order. If she wanted to offer herself to him, he'd take her a thousand times. She was just too damn beautiful. As his own mouth hovered over the length of her body, she whispered her name some more. "Naruto."
"Naruto, it's been three hours. I'd like a bath, too, you know!" said Sakura, pounding at the door. Naruto sprung awake from his dream, disappointed and very, very erect. She couldn't have waited five more minutes for the good part to happen? Frustrated as he was, he'd have to work making his hard go down by his own hand, so he requested five more minutes and got to work, imagining the continuation of his dream as though it were real.
Sakura walked away from the door with a huff. Lucky for Naruto she was ignorant to his spicy little fantasies, and it would stay that way for the time being. What Sakura didn't know wouldn't kill him, after all.
She went back into the main room and admired her handiwork once more. Not an inch of this apartment didn't shimmer, thanks to her. Cleaning was a great workout, which was probably why Naruto kept the place in decent order once upon a time. She never knew him to be a slacker. A loser, maybe, but never a slacker. Too bad cleaning took a back seat to all his other priorities. She'd have to speak to him about that.
When the door clicked, she turned to see a very red and sopping wet Naruto. He emerged from the bathroom in nothing but a towel, and she had half a mind to deck him in the face for being a pervert, but all of his clothes were in his dresser, which she was sitting near. She didn't know what he'd been doing in the bathroom the last five minutes, just to keep her from believing he was a no good perv, though. He simply wasn't dumb enough to tell her.
"Take your time, I'll make us dinner," he said, and added "It won't just be ramen, either. I can cook a little more than that."
"Only a little?" said Sakura, but frankly she was surprised Naruto could cook at all. This would hopefully be a pleasant surprise. If not, she had plenty of money, as was in the mood for sushi. She wouldn't mind treating Naruto to dinner for once if worst came to worst. Still, she was curious. "Sounds good."
She turned away from him and went into the bathroom. As she entered, she couldn't help but notice just how dry and spotless the inside of the tub looked. Naruto certainly was a funny one, but heck, she wasn't complaining. As she ran the bath, she pealed her sweat-laced clothes off one by one, knowing darn well that she wasn't going to slip those back on until they've been run through the wash twice. Lee had absolutely no mercy, and she swore if she sweat another drop during that exercise she would have died. It was disgusting for any respectable lady to get her clothes that dirty, though she supposed it was customary for kunoichi.
She stepped into the red hot bath, allowing the water to soothe her tense muscles as she laid back and relaxed. She didn't plan on staying there half as long as Naruto had, but nonetheless she wanted to at least be clean and relaxed enough to survive the rest of the day, perhaps even the night. Naruto wasn't letting their new found relationship sink in so well, and Sakura wanted him to know that this was for real. She was willing to do just about anything to convince him.
Sakura's nose ducked below the water on that thought. Anything, huh? She wasn't so sure that anything was an option at the moment. It had been what, about two days since they'd shared their first kiss? Wasn't contemplating the possibility of S-E-X just a little too sudden?
This time her entire head shot below the surface of the water, and she was shaking her head back and forth. She had her share of crushes (Sasuke mostly, but another cutie or two caught her eye in the midst of her epic "love." That, and she pondered the pros and cons of letting Lee take her out on a date.) However, Naruto won her over against all odds, and she finally had her first boyfriend. Damn it, first boyfriend? Ino must have had three by now, at least, not that Sakura wanted to play catch up, or anything. Naruto was worth way more than some petty rivalry.
It was interesting just how highly she thought of him, now. Once he was nothing but a useless oaf that existed merely to get on her nerves. How can people change so much? Rather, how could she have gone so long without knowing? Indeed she ended up on the team with the boy she was meant to love, but that boy wasn't Sasuke.
Her head burst from the surface of the water, and she took deep breaths one by one as streams of water zigzagged down her cheeks. Love. That was also a bit sudden. Heck, that was even scarier than sex. At least some people could turn their backs and walk their way out of that one without a thought in mind. Love was a cruel mistress that could chew your heart and spit it right back out if you allow it to consume you. She'd been consumed with Sasuke, rather, the idea of Sasuke. After him, she was afraid of love, and the hurt it risked, hell, the hurt it promised! Her good opinion of Sasuke was dead, and she didn't want to lose her good opinion of Naruto.
It was apparent to her that he didn't want to hurt her, which was good to know. She could count on him to take her thoughts and feelings into account, something Sasuke wasn't good at. He took her life into account, and that was pretty much it.
Sakura sighed. She was so very tired of comparing Sasuke and Naruto, and making Sasuke out to be some kind of bad guy. He wasn't. Sasuke is Sasuke, and he simply wasn't right for her. That's all there was to it. She wished she could just leave it at that, but after the millionth time thinking that exact thought, she may as well give up. Even if it wasn't right for her, the love she felt for Sasuke was very real. She wasn't going to erase that from her heart anytime soon.
She also wasn't going to burden Naruto with the shame of having to hide what they had now. Even if it was brand new, it was just as real as every day of her life she wasted on loving Sasuke. If he so pleased then he could announce what they had to the world for all she cared. The inner romantic in her wanted him to, sort of. That is, if he could do it in a way that was more cool than stupid, though she doubted that. She smiled at the thought.
Sakura grabbed a bar of soap and started scrubbing herself. If she became anymore immersed in her thoughts then she'd be in that tub a lot longer than Naruto was, and his special little dinner would get cold. That'd be a shame, because she really was curious to see if he could actually cook. Truth be told, ramen and toast were pretty much the only things she could cook right. Then there was fresh fish over a bon fire, which Team 7 just kind of winged during their missions. Sometimes she really missed the good old days.
After she gave her hair a good scrub and rinse, she stepped out of the tub and watched all of the water and suds twirl down the drain as she toweled herself dry. That didn't take anymore than an hour at most, and heck she couldn't smell any burning, so Naruto might not have been failing hard core in the kitchen.
Speaking of failure, Sakura looked down at the lid of the toilet, where she rested her fowl clothing. Now, she simply refused to put those back on, but damn it all she forgot to borrow clothes from Naruto before she came in the bathroom! Things were bound to become very, very awkward.
Sakura gulped and wrapped her towel around her as snug as she could. She absolutely refused to let it slide off! He'd like that, wouldn't he! Sakura's inner shouted, and Sakura twitched. He'd either like that way too much, or he'd jump out the window at the sight of her man boobs. Well no, they weren't quite that bad, but she couldn't bear the thought. Not now. Not while she was supposed to be playing the reassuring role tonight.
With a few deep breaths, Sakura flung the door open and walked out. Naruto was going to see her like this regardless. Better to get it done sooner than later, she reasoned. The possibility of throwing on her filthy clothes was looming over her more and more as she entered the main room. Naruto had set two plates and two bowls of rice on the table, and he nearly dropped the two glasses of water he had in each hand when he spotted her. She clamped her hand against the two corners of the towel and refused to look at him.
"I, um, need clothes," said Sakura, and her inner was going nuts over how he was just standing there, gawking like a total maroon. That's right, big boy. Get a good look cos it'll be your last!
"R-right!" said Naruto, placing one of the glasses down on the table. He walked over toward his dresser, fishing around for an outfit similar to the one she had loaned him last time. She noticed his eyes drift toward her every now and then, but they were more nervous gazes than perverse ones, hence the reason he didn't taste her fist for taking so darn long. Besides, fist that got the message across required enough force to knock her towel clean off, then it'd become a great, big victory for him. If he wanted to see the goods underneath the towel, he was going to have to earn it, just like everything else.
"Here!" he squeaked, shoving a t-shirt and his smallest pair of boxers into her hands. "Wow, I really wasn't expecting you to walk out in only a… yeah."
In spite of herself, Sakura tried to lighten the mood by saying, "I guess we had to even the score" in reference to his walking out in only a towel. She hadn't expected him to spit out and choke on the water he was drinking when she said that, though. Was it really that serious? Her boyfriend was such a weirdo.
In any case, she got herself dressed, and threw her clothes in the wash along with Naruto's. Then she sat herself at the dinner table, pleasantly surprised by what he had prepared. It wasn't much, but clearly he had her on his mind with the plate of boiled, assorted vegetables. Then beside it was a small bowl of rice, which was customary addition to a normal dinner.
On his plate he a trout, which he claimed to have come out of some frozen dinner pack he found on sale once (but he threw away all the vegetables that came with it, typical Naruto.) He knew she couldn't stand to ingest things with preservatives, so he ran the risk of getting many a various door in the building slammed in his face on his quest for vegetables. Thankfully some newbie from the Mist moved in awhile ago and was very, very nice. He got all kinds of stuff just to please his Sakura.
She was very pleased, too. Where the food itself wasn't all that impressive, it was the thought that counted. They spoke very little as they ate, and when they were done Sakura offered to clean the dishes. The mood had become so light that it was almost surreal. It was almost as if some force from the great beyond had scripted this very moment in their lives. Sakura laughed as Naruto joked around and she dried plates. At one point he managed to make a total asstard of himself and fall backwards from leaning too far back in his seat. Sakura left him to pick himself up off the floor as she walked toward his bed. The sun was setting, and she wanted to watch.
"Naruto," she said, when he finally caught up and took a seat beside her. She watched the sunset through the window, and he watched it in her eyes. "Do you think things can always be like this?"
"Huh?" He cocked his head to the left in confusion. "Like what?"
"You know," she sighed, turning and falling back against his crossed legs. She rested her damp head against his ankles. "Peaceful, carefree, lo-loving…"
He didn't say anything, but she could tell that his mind was racing. She hadn't meant to let that last one slip past, but she had a hard time keeping her thoughts and feelings to herself, regardless of whether or not she feared them. Even if this rushed things a bit, if she couldn't be open from the beginning then how could they possibly work in the future?
"Sorry, Naruto. That…" That nothing. She didn't need to say anymore and she didn't want to. Damn this girlfriend thing was really hard. How in the world did Ino make it seem so easy? She needed pointers and fast.
"Sakura," he started, and she could feel just how tense he was by the sound of his voice. He placed his hand on her shoulder, and she placed her hand on top of his. "A lot of things in my life have changed, so much that I don't think a lot of things last.
"But I… damn it, Sakura. I suck at this shit." He laughed, and then he sighed. That was OK, because Sakura sucked at it, too.
That was the last that the two of them spoke until the sun was completely gone, and all that could be seen is a faint strip of orange over the horizon. Naruto was threading his fingers through clumps of Sakura's wet hair, and she didn't seem like she was ready to say anything anytime soon. Normally Naruto had the words to say in almost any situation, then again, normally he was single, and so he was at a loss. As the moonlight, and street lights began to trickle in, he reached over and switched on his bedside lamp. He had no clue when Sakura would be going home. Never, if he had it his way, but that was up to her. She was more than welcome to stay the night. Naruto found that he slept much easier with company.
When she lifted her head from his crossed ankles, he noticed that somewhere in the middle of all this his feet had fallen asleep. Yeah, he noticed that for all of maybe twenty seconds until Sakura leaned over and kissed him, again, and again, and again.
"It's OK, Naruto," said Sakura, wrapping her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. The proximity was just a tad daunting, only enough that Naruto forgot to breathe for a moment there. Her lips found their way to his again, pressed firm and chaste to them as though she didn't know where to take it from there. Naruto slid one hand back up into her hair and the other around her waist. He licked her lips, and she gasped, opening the way for his tongue. He swirled his curious tongue around hers, getting the taste and feel of her that he'd always dreamed of. He pulled her forward just a little more, deepening that heated kiss. Not an inch of her mouth went unexplored, and when they broke apart they were panting.
The next kiss Naruto dove in for, but this time her tongue got the better of his. It was a little awkward and sloppy, as she had a trickle of saliva escape from the corner of her mouth, but it felt so good that he just didn't care. They got so caught up in the heat of it; Naruto eventually had her pinned to the mattress as he ravaged her jaw and mouth with kisses. Kisses which trailed down her neck, and to the one shoulder the oversized shirt exposed. Her breathing was uneven and strange, and he was hard as a rock. This was all happening so fast, and where he wanted her, fuck did he want her so bad, he was afraid of where it would lead.
So he backed off for a little bit and took a deep breath, and Sakura lifted herself up, having snapped herself out of whatever that was. Damn, she was trying to be reassuring here, not, well, slutty. Where would it have gone if Naruto hadn't backed off? Sakura wasn't sure she wanted to know. Guys did turn her into an idiot sometimes, after all.
"It's kinda late, yeah," said Naruto, scratching his unkempt head of hair. It wasn't really all that late, but he couldn't think of anything else to say. He was fresh out of anything useful to do or say. Sakura did turn him into an idiot sometimes, after all.
"Do you want me to go?" asked Sakura, noting that the clothes in the wash should have been finished. They wouldn't take long to dry, and then she could be out of Naruto's hair if he wanted her gone. It was getting late, and unlike him she didn't even get a nap in the bath. She was sore and exhausted, and not looking forward to the long walk home.
"No, I don't," said Naruto. She was sitting up, and he crawled over and wrapped his arms around her. "You're always welcome here. You can stay here forever for all I care."
Tone those muscles in your arms anymore big boy and I might just take you up on that offer, said inner Sakura with a cackle. There was a fine line between desire and reason. Now, spending forever with Naruto sounded good at the moment, but she knew it would take a long time before she decided whether or not it was even possible. So if forever meant tonight, then sure, she would be happy to stay with him forever. Then in the morning she'd be off to work, probably as groggy and useless as the last time she and Naruto did this bed sharing thing together.
This time, though, she wouldn't bother making him move over.
A/N: The end?? How could I stop it there?? Well, it had to stop somewhere, and I thought dragging it through the night would be boring, so oh well. Even though this is set to complete, I might add an extra thing in this story where Sakura discusses Naruto with Ino, and maybe Hinata and TenTen (a little all-girl time thing, maybe.) I would just add that for fun, because I really think at least Ino deserves to be in on this. Also, I still say that a lemon is due somewhere in the Move Over timeline. If I write one I will post it on AFF, but please only read it if you are 18 and older, thank you.
I ended up bumping the rating of this story up it M after all. But nothing too lemony happens, just awkward teen-love. I tried really hard to find a way to get Naruto to confess that he loves her in words, but I just couldn't get it to work without it ruining the flow. I apologize, but you KNOW Sakura knows!! It's so obvious. Writing this made me wish my bf were a Naruto, but he is definitely more of a Shikamaru. XD
Anyway, in my next NaruSaku fan fic they will have a daughter!! :O I have been planning it for months, but wanted to finish this story first. If you are curious put me on your author alerts. I should start putting it up soon.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT! This story's completion may not have been possible without it.