Well, hello my dear friends. I have here the final installment of Who's back. Yup. The last chapter. It's been a hell of a ride and i want to thank everyone who has stuck by me and this story for the nearly three years that i have been writting this. Thank you all so much for the support.
This chapter is a chapter to pull together loose ends. The whole Karin business, the Keiko writer thing, the Mrs. Haruno stealing Sasuke's pictures. All that.
Thank you all for the reviews. It means the world to me , truly, it does. I know i say that all the time, almost every chapter, but it's true.
A few months had passed and she had been avoiding him. It was now late March, and she knew that she had to see him. She had been hiding out since they returned, and she felt bad for doing so. She hadn't gone down to the hospital at all while he was hurt and she regretted it every day now.
She was hurt and still angry, but she needed to talk to him. Maybe it was irrational, but she still felt something for him, and she needed to see him. She needed to see that he wasn't happy there. She needed to see that she could come in and make his life brighter. She needed him.
She gently knocked on the door and then wondered if she should have knocked louder. She raised her hand to knock again, when the door opened. Already in motion, her fist came in contact with a toned chest. She looked up with a blush and her eyes met Sasuke's.
Her hand still on his chest, she gently pat it. "Sorry about that. I didn't mean to . ." she trailed off.
He waved a dismissive hand. "Don't worry," he said with a small smile. "It has happened before," he said, remembering the day that Sakura moved in. She knocked too and he had opened the door too quickly and she ended up knocking on his chest.
She hesitated and Sasuke moved aside so she could enter. She entered and removed her shoes, looking around the nice looking house. It had a homey feel to it, she noticed, and she could see herself there.
He lead her to the living room. She quietly sat down while he went to the baby swing and pressed the button so it began to swing. Karin eyed the beautiful baby inside, who seemed to be calmed by the movement.
He looked at a lot like Sasuke, she noticed. She studied him, trying to pick out each feature that she recognized as Sasuke's. The nose, and lips for sure. He had the same dark hair, though his was tinted a different color, more reddish. She assumed that was because his wife was a pinkette. And his eyes were a very dark green, unlike Sasuke's obsidian eyes. His wife had green eyes, she remembered. It bugged her to see these features of her. She recognized the dark feeling that coursed through her as jealousy. She had become very familiar with it in resent months.
She looked up at Sasuke, who was watching the boy. His expression was blank, but there was this strange adoring, almost worshiping look in his eyes. Karin wanted nothing more than for him to look at her that way.
She tried to put on an innocent look. "Is your wife here?"
He looked up at her and shook his head. "No, she works at the hospital part-time. She just returned after maternity leave."
"How noble," she said in a tone that was almost mocking. Sasuke narrowed his eyes at her and she put on a innocent look.
Before they could say anymore, the sound of the front door opening closing greeted their ears. There was some shuffling noises and then Ino was seen, poking her head into the kitchen before moving on into the living room. She spotted Sasuke in the armchair and marched over, carrying several large clothes bag.
She held up the bags. "I dropped by the wedding shop and picked up Sakura' s kimono, the brides maid's kimonos, and, since I was feeling very generous, I even grabbed your kimono. And I have to say, I couldn't resist taking a peek, that you picked a very nice kimono."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow at her. "Well, thanks, I think, for both picking it up for me and complimenting it. Just promise not to show Sakura. We made a deal that we didn't want to see each other's wedding kimonos until the ceremony."
Karin eyed him strangely. She was under the impression that he was already married and now it sounded like he wasn't. It sounded like he was getting married soon. Which meant she still had a chance that didn't involve a divorce.
Sasuke noticed her expression but didn't get to say anything before Ino spoke. She turned, having not acknowledged that Karin was sitting there, and started for the door. "Oh, believe me, I already know about the deal. I think it's cute. I'm going to put both of your garments in the closet. Do not peek at Sakura's, it's clearly marked," she said before disappearing from view.
Karin looked at him and he rubbed the back of his head. "Sakura and I eloped before. We had started planning the wedding, but the whole Orochimaru thing happened and we eloped. Now we are having a second wedding, the big grand thing that my mother and all the girls planned."
"Your mother? I thought she was . . ." she trailed off in a meek tone, afraid it might be a touchy subject.
Sasuke looked at Kai, checking to see how he was. Nearly asleep, thankfully. "I meant my mother-in-law. She's the only mother I have now, so I don't really specify that she is my mother-in-law," he explained lightly.
She nodded, though she didn't really feel too happy about what she had learned. A silence lingered between them.
"So, what brings you here?" Sasuke asked, trying to be kind and civil. The many weeks that had past since there fight had cooled him down. He just wanted them to get this whole thing over with because he had other things to worry about than a petty fight with a comrade.
She tried to smile. "I just wanted to talk to you, smooth things over. The fight we had was stupid and I just want the whole thing behind us. I don't like not being able to be near you just because we said some things when we were mad."
Sasuke nodded but wasn't able to say anything as Mikoto suddenly came charging into the room. Now sixteen months old, she had the running and walking thing down pact and was currently learning how to jump. She ran straight to her father and a breath taking smile spread across his face when he saw her. She made two failed attempts at jumping into his arms before she started to get upset and Sasuke had to pick her up.
He kissed her forehead. She gave a big smile. "NO!" she yelled, though the teen already knew not to take it too close to heart. In recent weeks, 'no' has become her favorite word. She said it whenever she could.
"No?" Sasuke teased and then kissed her again. He smiled softly and glanced at Karin, who was watching him in wonder. She had never seen him smile like that. The smile slipped to a smirk. "She's a Daddy's girl," he explained.
The sound of the front door opening filled their ears and then the sounds of shuffling. A moment later, a squeal met their ears. Sasuke put Mikoto down and quickly made his way towards the hallway. He found Sakura standing there, a open package tucked under her arm and a letter in her hand. She looked up and met Sasuke's wondering eyes. "You aren't going to believe this!" she exclaimed and then pushed the letter into his hand.
"What?" he asked while she rummaged through the box for a moment before pulling out a book. It was a manuscript, it consisting of a title page, the book part, and then a flimsy back cover. The binding was cheap, he noticed.
"Read," she instructed while she flipped through the strange book.
He looked down at the letter in his hands. It was a letter addressed to Sakura from Keiko, Sakura's cousin. He remembered her from the family picnic that he and Sakura where forced to go to. She was a writer, he remembered. She and Sakura had been writing to each other none stop since the picnic.
My cousin Sakura,
I'm glad to hear that you and Sasuke are adjusting to parenthood easily. And I'm glad to hear that you two newlyweds are adjusting to married life easily as well. It's comforting to know, though I know that if you two were to struggle, you would make it through. You two are meant for one another. You two have gone through so much that caring for three kids would not be the death of you two.
But since we are on the topic of your love and all that you had to go through, I guess I'll tell you about what's going on in my life. There isn't really much to report, my life isn't as exciting as yours. The family are all good and send their love. I guess the only thing to mention is that I finished another project. My inspiration: you and Sasuke.
Remember how we went over to your house after the picnic and we talked. I took a lot of notes and I was so touched, and caught up in the intricate love story that you wove, that I had to write it down. It was jus a goof at first, something to practice my writing skills, but I showed my editor my rough draft and he loved it. We did some editing, and suddenly we had a manuscript.
You have the first copy. I leave it fully up to you and Sasuke to decide whether or not you want it published. If not, I fully understand and you get a pretty little manuscript to keep. Think of it as a wedding gift. If yes, well then you have the honor of knowing that millions of women around the world will forever be jealous of the love you share with Sasuke. That you were able to get someone as truly beautiful as him already makes a lot of people jealous, but once they know the truth about the two of you, you will be forever the envy of all women. Can you imagine? People will say that they want a love like Romeo and Juliet, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, and Sasuke and Sakura. The world will never be the same.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. Either way, enjoy the book. I put a lot of hard work into it and, though I don't mean to brag, I think it's my best work yet. I will warn you though, some of it is a little embellished. I wasn't there, after all so I had to imagine. I'm deeply looking forward to seeing you and Sasuke for the wedding. It won't be long now. April first is right around the corner. The family and I will see you in a few days. I can't wait to help you get ready for your wedding. Well, I must get going. Send all my love to the kids and Sasuke. I'll see you soon.
Sasuke blinked and looked up at his wife. She was happily flipping through the pages. She looked up at him with bright, sparkling, excited eyes and then quickly dropped the empty box in her hands and wrapped her arms around his neck. He was briefly aware of the fact that the manuscript smacked against his back, it still held in her hand, as Sakura's lips smashed onto his.
She kissed him deeply, before running her tongue along his bottom lip, asking for entrance. He willingly allowed her in as she brought one of her legs up to wrap around his waist. He gripped her thighs as she brought the other one up, allowing herself to be lifted off the ground. Their tongues danced and mixed in their mouths in such a way that made each not want to ever pull away.
Karin still sat on the living room couch. She watched as Sasuke got up and let someone in the hall. She heard their brief conversation clearly and she turned to look when things went quiet. He was reading something, and she was out of her line of view so Karin could only imagine what she was doing.
Sasuke read the letter quickly and then he looked up. Not a moment later, the girl stepped into her line of view and Karin felt her stomach sink as they, well, attacked, each other. There was no denying it. Karin disliked her so much from the very beginning. As soon as she found out about her, she held a strong dislike in his heart. But now, in this moment, she hated her. She really hated her.
Ino came down the stairs and groaned. "Oh, come on! Why is it that I'm the only one who ever walks in as you two are having one of your moments! We all know that you two love each other, but seriously!"
Sasuke pulled away but kept Sakura in his arms. "Shut up. His is my house and I will kiss my wife wherever and whenever I wish."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I'm fully aware that this is your house. But seriously, with the amount of people that come walking in and out of this house at all times, you would think that you would be more subtle about where you have your moments."
Before Sasuke could retort, Sakura gripped his chin and pulled his lips to hers. A muffled shock noise slipped out of his mouth and then he kissed her back. But as he was getting into the kiss, she pulled away. She gave him several chaste kisses, though he kept trying for more, before she started to detangle herself from him. He groaned and she pressed her finger to his lips, silencing him. "Later," she promised.
"I'm going to hold you to that," he muttered, giving her his own chaste kiss before fully releasing her.
She winked at him and then went to Ino. "Look at what my cousin wrote!" she exclaimed.
The blonde eyed the cheap binded book and gently took it from her friend's hands. She flipped through the pages. "Judging from how excited you are, I'm guessing it's a love story, you love love stories."
Sakura nodded. "Yeah but not any love story. It the story of me and Sasuke's love!" she exclaimed.
Ino blinked and then eyed the book in her hand. "Huh? Well, that's really something. That's really impressive," she said, walking towards the kitchen, her arm linked with Sakura's.
"I know!" Sakura said as she disappeared from Sasuke's view.
He shook his head and then turned to look back at Kai and Mikoto in the living room. He scanned them, seeing that they were both okay, but then froze when he spotted Karin staring back at him. He blinked, mentally cursing for letting himself forget about her.
He slowly made his way back over to her and offered a sheepish smirk. "Sorry about that," he muttered and she nodded robotically.
There was a long moment before she spoke. "You're really happy, aren't you?"
He blinked in surprise and then nodded. "Yeah," he said without hesitation.
She was silent, her head down. She couldn't deny it any longer. She saw how he smiled when he held his daughter, the adoring look he had for his son and she couldn't deny that he loved her. Everything about him glowed like only a man truly in love could.
She knew she couldn't lie to herself anymore. He loved her. He truly, deeply, irrevocably, and incandescently loved her. He was a married man, a loving husband, and a damn good father. He was a strong man, a shinobi that had defied death six times in one month, kissing death right on the lips each time before turning back and pulling through. And he did this for his family, for her. So his children could grow up with a father, and she wouldn't have to try to survive without him.
Karin knew she was fooling herself. He was a different person now. He was hers.
A tear fell and she looked up with a sad smile. "I'm happy for you. I hope that we can be friends from now on."
He blinked as she sniffed and wiped away her tears, though more took their place. He nodded slowly. "Yeah, I'd like that," he muttered.
She laughed, choking on a sob and tried to offer a bigger smile. They were silent for a moment and she frowned, wiping away tears from her cheeks. "Well, I'm glad we worked this out. Well, I have got to be going. I have to go shopping for things for my apartment. I only have the very basics and it looks so empty that it is driving me crazy," she said, rambling and stuttering.
He rose with her and walked her to the door. He sat down at the little step by the door and put her shoes on. Sasuke leaned against the wall the entire time, and after putting on her shoes, she sat for a moment, wiping away tears and trying to collect herself. She stood after a moment and offered a weak smile.
He stared down at her face and then weak smile fell. She looked down and she choked on another sob before leaning forward, wrapping her arms around his torso. She buried her face into his chest and cried, and he gently put an arm around her.
Sakura and Ino heard crying and looked at one another. They got up, following the noise and stopping, their heads peeking out around the corner to see the source of the noise. Sasuke and some girl that neither recognized, who was crying into his chest. Shock and confusion were their first emotions.
Sasuke glanced over at them, blinking calmly. He was uncomfortable, and it clearly showed, but he knew that he couldn't pull away or else it would crush her and he was tired of making mistakes and hurting people. He gave Sakura a pleading look, silently begging her not to take what she was seeing the wrong way.
She stared at him and then at the red headed girl that was completely oblivious to them. She couldn't help but feel uncertain about her, but because Sasuke was giving her that look, she fought it. She did, however, gave him a look that demanded an explanation later. He nodded and Sakura pulled Ino away.
Sasuke let out a soft sigh and Karin finally pulled herself together. She let go and then wiped her face. "I'm sorry about that," she muttered and gave him a stronger smile. "I'll see you soon," she said and he nodded. He opened the door for her and she took a deep breath, hoping for a new path in life.
A few days have past since the visit. Sasuke explained and Sakura was okay with it. She wasn't too happy that she was in love with her husband, but she was grateful that she was able to help the boys find Orochimaru. She was grateful enough to let the whole crying-into-the-chest-of-her-husband-while-madly-in-love-with-him thing go.
They know were preparing for the wedding. They were doing some last minute preparations and also preparing for the wedding rehearsal. The wedding party and important family members were all meeting at the Uchiha Compound and then moving over to a restaurant for the dinner.
Sakura was standing in the bathroom, curling her hair at the sink. Her make-up was done expertly, but simply. She wore a new red dress. It was form fitting around her bodice, and then flared out delicately at her waist, with a black sash around the waist. It was strapless and knee-length.
Sasuke walked into the bathroom behind her, grabbing his cologne. He was wearing black pants and a dark navy blue button up shirt. It was one of his nicer ones. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, revealing his scarred forearms.
He stopped, eyeing her up and down before wrapping his arms around her waist from behind. "You look beautiful," he said, kissing her shoulder.
She giggled and put down the hair curler. "You shouldn't do that. I could burn you or myself," she warned.
"Well we wouldn't want that," he said before kissing her neck and pulling away. He headed out as Sakura finished her hair. When she was done, she pulled on a pair of red heels and headed downstairs.
Most of the Konoha 12 were already there, sitting in the living room. Her parents were with them, along with the sensei's, and Mai, and arriving in an hour or so were her aunt and uncle with her cousins. They would miss the actual rehearsal but they would make it in time for the dinner. When Sakura entered, Naruto let out a slow whistle. "Damn, Sakura," he drawled. "You look good."
Sakura blushed and tucked some hair behind her ear. "Thank you."
They waited for awhile longer, waiting for the final members to join them. When they did, they all moved over to the Uchiha Garden, where the ceremony would be. They had some of the chairs set up already and an archway set up in front of the koi pond where they would stand. The wedding party was decided. The maid of honor was Ino, of course, and the bride's maids were Hinata and Tenten. The best man was Naruto and then best men were Neji and Shikamaru.
Mr. Haruno was giving her way. Sasuke was going to stand at the alter while the rest of the wedding party waited with Sakura. Mikoto was going to be the flower girl, with Mai helping her walk down the isle. Seto was the ring barrier. And the couple had talked to Tsunade and requested that Itachi be allowed into the village for the wedding. She was reluctant, but finally agreed when Sasuke said that he was his only family and he wanted him to represent his side of the family. That, and a very pleading look from Sakura.
The entrance was going to be a grand thing. Sasuke was going to be the only one up there until they all come in. Hinata and Shikamaru were going to enter first, right after Mikoto and Mai, followed by Neji and Tenten. Following them were going to be the maid of honor and the best man. Then finally, as the whole bridal party was now at the front with Sasuke, Sakura and her father would enter.
The ceremony was going to be traditional, combining ancient Uchiha traditions and modern wedding practices. It wasn't going to be really long and then they were going to move the wedding to another part of the Uchiha Garden where they had it all set up for the reception.
The guest list included friends and family, though obviously most was Sakura's. Also, since it was the first Uchiha marriage since the massacre and it was a sign of the Uchiha Clan finally coming back, nobles and other very important people from every nation were attending. They were going to be seated on the groom's side, where his family was supposed to be seated.
They ran through the whole wedding ceremony quickly before they moved onto the restaurant. Sakura's aunt and family met them at the restaurant and then all enjoyed a dinner for intimate friends and family. Tsunade drank and both Shizune and Sakura had to start monitoring her after only a half hour there so that she wouldn't be totally hung over at the wedding.
Sakura pulled Keiko into a hug. "Thank you so much for writing that book. I'm just so touched. We both are," she said, gesturing to Sasuke who was currently arguing with Naruto with Mikoto in his lap.
Keiko smiled. "No problem. It was fun working on it."
Sakura kept her stare on Sasuke, watching the lively expression on his face, something she could never have dreamed of when they were younger. "And Sasuke and I discussed it and we decided that we wanted you to publish it. It could give your career a boost, and that was the main factor that decided it, and after all your hard work, more people deserve to read it than just us and your editor," she said and then with a coy smile added; "And hey, I want to be up there with Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet."
Keiko smiled and hugged her cousin tightly. "I'm glad! I think the world deserves to know about you two!"
Sakura laughed. "Me and Sasuke started reading it the day we received it. We only have time to read it at night, and by then we are so tired so we only read like a chapter a night, but it's unbelievably good."
"I'm glad you like it," she said, hugging her cousin again.
Sakura went home with her parents that night. She stayed in her old bedroom, while her aunt and other family were at a hotel. Sasuke went home with the kids and Naruto went back with him as well.
When Sakura woke up, her parents cooked her dinner and then they took her back to the Uchiha Compound. By the time they arrived, the boys were already in a neighboring Uchiha House. The girls went to the bedroom while Mr. Haruno joined the boys.
Sakura was sitting down in a comfortable chair with Ino was standing behind her, gently tugging at her hair. She was in a comfortable robe, eating carrot sticks and taking to the girls. Her mother came in with a white bag, an odd expression on her face. Sakura eyed her with a puzzled, suspicious look. "What do you have, Mom?"
"A gift," she said, gently handing it to her.
Sakura blinked and down at the bag. She slowly removed the tissue paper at the top of the bag and lifted a book out. It was decorative, and big and white. It took a moment, but she realized that it was a scrapbook. She gently opened it.
The first page was of her. It was pictures of her mother pregnant and when she was a baby. The next page was of Sasuke, very similar to her page. Flipping through the pages slowly, she watched as picture of both her and Sasuke growing up. Sasuke's pictures stopped at a certain age and then it was all of her, but then the pictures picked up again after he had returned with Seto.
The last page was the dress rehearsal and the dinner. In the very center was a picture of Sakura in her red dress, Sasuke is his nice blue shirt and black pants, standing at the alter, holding each other's hands. They weren't looking at the camera, not even aware that it was there, but looking at one another, laughing at what one had said.
A tear fell onto Sakura's cheek. "Aw, mom," she said, unable to think of anything else to say.
Mrs. Haruno smiled. "I have all of Sasuke's mother's pictures in my purse. I made sure to make copies of them and use those in the scrapbook. I didn't want to use the originals without permission," she said. "I finished it at three in the morning, while you were sleeping. I had to wait for tomorrow to finish the last page," she explained, her voice growing weaker and thick.
Sakura held the book to her chest for a moment before gesturing for her mother to come close. "I can't go anywhere with Ino trying to do my hair so you are going to have to come to me," she said, her voice thick.
They hugged each other tightly. "I love you, Mama," Sakura whispered to her mother.
"I love you too, baby," she whispered back.
Ino let Hinata take over on the hair and was the next to look at the scrapbook. While Sakura and her mother were both gushing about how they weren't going to cry, Ino was flipping through the pages. She snorted and Sakura looked over at her.
"Sasuke looks like an idiot here," she muttered.
"He was three, leave him alone," she snapped jokingly.
Mrs. Haruno eyed the picture. "Oh, I love that one. I think it's cute."
The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. Sasuke wore a dark blue kimono with a layer of red and black. The boys wore similar kimonos, with only one other layer in black.
Sakura wore a tradition wedding kimono of the Uchiha family. During the actual ceremony, she wore two layers of white. She would add several other layers of several different colors and beautiful designs for the reception. The girls were wearing kimonos with two layers, a white and a red.
All was in attendance. Both Itachi and Kisame were present, something that made Sasuke very happy. Having his brother there made the whole thing that much more special. He was his family, the only bit of his old family he has left.
The ceremony ended and the couple and then wedding party exited the Garden. They moved over to Uchiha Manor while the guests moved over to the reception area of the Garden. Sakura dressed in the other layers and kept by Sasuke's side.
When they were all ready, they reentered the Garden, the wedding party going first and then the married couple. It was the perfect moment for the couple. Their friends and family and guests all clapped and cheered for them, as they made their way to table. They sat down and smile before sharing a kiss.
The reception went well. The couple had their first dance, they did the whole shoving cake in each other's faces thing, shared a dance with their children. Friends laughed and had a good time. The couple made their rounds the guest and received best wishes and love.
The couple had arranged for the Haruno's to watch the kids for the night. By this time, Hinata and Tenten had moved out and into their own apartment. Ino was going to spend the night with them, giving the couple the night alone. When it was time to go, the couple kissed and wished their kids goodnight, telling them to behave.
The two went home and up to their bedroom. Sakura groaned and tried to free herself from the many layers. "Good, I see why woman only wear that for one day. That is a lot to wear at one time."
Sasuke chuckled and helped her remove the layers. "But you looked beautiful," he reminded.
She laughed and turned in his arms, now only wearing a very thin layer. "Yeah, well, that was the goal. If not, I wouldn't have subjected myself to the horror of so many layers," she replied, pulling the obi, the sash on the kimono. Gently, she pulling his kimono open and running her hands down his chest.
"You're irrational, sometimes," he whispered, kissing her neck.
She smiled, her fingers briefly brushing over his abs. "Sasuke," she paused. "I'm glad you came home that day, more than a year ago."
He pulled her lips to his, wrapping his arms around her petite body and pulling her close. "I'll always come home to you," he whispered.
Sucky chpater. Sorry. Well, i hope you liked and enjoyed the ride. Again, thank you all for the support.