The Decision


A/N: Well, happy New Year to you all. If you don't celebrate New Year I wish you a happy, whatever Holiday you have. This one-shot is actually inspired by the first scenes from Shipuuden 01.

To those of you who found this because you noticed the new Chapter on Uzumaki Mikomi, thanks for being fans of my work.

This is a little more mature than I usually write, beware this contains a Lemon, I think. It's not the whole focus of the story though. Read on and see what it –is- about.


Sakura sat in her room at her house frowning at the mirror across the room. They had found Sasuke but he had nearly killed Naruto. Sakura remembered the scene vividly, Sasuke coming down with his sword poised to strike through Naruto from behind as he faced Naruto eye to eye.

It had almost been surreal, the looks on their faces and how they contrasted to each other. Naruto had a look of resolve and determination on his face as Sasuke looked him in the eye. Sharingan to Cerulean eyes looking back at each other in the waning light of twilight. The two men spoke to one another in whispers and then Sasuke's blade flashed through the air and drove itself deep in to Naruto's vitals. Sakura was sure Naruto would have died had it not been for the Kyuubi sealed in him. Her mind raced across the recent memories as she recalled Sasuke staring intently in to Naruto's eyes and finally he broke free of Naruto and jumped back up to the ledge he had jumped from. "Stop pursuing me," he had said then he was gone.

Sakura's mind kept replaying that same image in her head over and over again, the look Sasuke had given them promised nothing but pain and sorrow if they followed him. She was more worried about Naruto at the time though, her hands flashed through some seals to start saving Naruto as she knelt down next to his prostrate form. She started closing the wound Kyuubi's Chakra helping her in the endeavor. Luckily the Kyuubi didn't want to die just yet and it did everything it could to heal Naruto quickly.

Sakura sighed and fell back on to her bed with a frustrated grunt. It had been a few weeks since that day and it had crept in to her dreams every night since then. She didn't know if she was worrying too much about the whole thing. She knew, though, that Naruto wasn't going to give up the search for Sasuke, even if she was ready to give it up herself. She didn't know why he was so stubborn like that; all she needed was the disdain for Naruto's life in Sasuke's eyes to realize that the Uchiha of her dreams was dead. Sasuke had become an avenger alright, just like he wanted. Unfortunately it had come at a cost, but he didn't seem to care at all.

Sakura sat up and wondered why the first thing out of Naruto's mouth was a plan to get Sasuke back, Sasuke gave up on the family he could have built with them a long time ago. That was the sacrifice he made for his power. He lost a family to avenge an old one, Sakura had a feeling Sasuke's folks were rolling in their graves after what happened. She pictured them frowning down on Sasuke from the afterlife. Although, even after all that, Naruto was still making plans to bring Sasuke back to Konoha. Sakura shook her head with a grunt at the headache these thoughts were causing her. She just wished she knew why Naruto was so adamant about going after Sasuke again.

Sakura stood up and looked at herself in the mirror; she had changed from the days of her childhood when everything was ok. When she knew she could trust Sasuke and Naruto. Sasuke had lost her trust the day he almost killed Naruto. Her reflection looked back at her with dead eyes. She also didn't look like she really cared about how she looked anymore, even though Naruto would always tell her how pretty she was when she visited him in the hospital. He would always look at her and smile giving her a wave. She sighed again. "What is it that drives him," she thought, "Why is Naruto so damn adamant about it. Normally I'd be right there with him, but after that I've decided to give up on Sasuke for good." She took a step towards her door when it finally hit her. An image of her at the gates of Konoha and Naruto smiling at her with the nice guy pose.

Her memory had finally given her the answer she asked for several days ago. The answer to her "why," Naruto had promised her to get Sasuke back, because he knew she loved Sasuke at the time. That love had dulled over the years, but still she had always held it as her shining light. She nearly got sick thinking that it was her fault Naruto was nearly killed and willing to sacrifice everything to do it again. She leaned against her wall and frowned darkly as she slowly played the promise through her mind over and over again. She finally cussed lightly and grabbed her gloves; she was going to need them she thought. It only took her a moment to walk downstairs, with a quick shout over her shoulder to her mother stating she'd be going out for a while, and she vanished outside.

Sakura cussed lightly as she stepped in to the twilight sun, it was still raining and she had forgotten her umbrella. She frowned darkly but decided she didn't feel like wandering back upstairs to get it and trudged out in to the rain after bracing herself for the wet.

Sakura dodged a puddle near her house where a pothole had formed thanks to her mother receiving deliveries there. Her mom's sweet shop had become even more famous after Naruto declared that he loved the sweets from there loudly in the street itself. Sakura chuckled lightly remembering that scene, she had been somewhat embarrassed but now she was happy Naruto had done that. His adamant defense of Konoha had made him a fairly well liked figure in town now. It was a lot better than the disdain and killing intent Sakura had felt most of the time when they were younger. Of course, now she knew why everyone had treated him the way they did. It made her slightly angry but she was glad that he had changed most of Konoha's opinion on him through hard work and dedication to his village. It was a lot more than she could say for some other people.

Sakura had been thinking so hard she didn't realize she nearly plowed over someone until she heard a voice tell her to watch out. She looked up as she stopped coming face to face with the blond she had been fighting with most of her life.

Ino stood there with an umbrella and a few groceries, smirking at Sakura. "Heya Sakura," Ino said holding the umbrella over them both, "seems your thinking rather hard there." Ino chuckled lightly as Sakura blinked a few times. "Yeah," Sakura replied after a minute, "guess I am. I've been thinking about Sasuke and Naruto recently." Sakura shrugged as Ino raised an eyebrow. Ino frowned at Sakura as she spoke again, "I'm over that jerk," Ino stated bluntly, "especially after what he did to Naruto, how about you?" Sakura sighed and shrugged, "Yeah me too," Sakura replied, "I'm over him. He wasn't the person I had imagined, I think." Ino gave her a nod of approval and smiled, "good," she said, "I'm actually on my way to deliver Naruto's groceries too him right now, want to come along." Sakura gave Ino a nod and fell in beside Ino as they began to walk towards Naruto's apartment building quietly.

Ino glanced at Sakura and her unusual melancholy and nudged her, "something still bothering ya," she asked Sakura. Sakura shrugged and looked at Ino, "it's nothing," Sakura said, "I'm just worried about Naruto." Ino gave her a thoughtful nod and sighed, "Me too," she replied, "I can't believe he still wants to go after Sasuke." Ino shook her head and muttered something that Sakura really didn't catch. "He's just like that,"

Sakura said facing forward again and clasping her hands behind her back, "he's always been that way." Ino shrugged and sighed, "Still," Ino said, "he's being an idiot again." Sakura frowned looking Ino in the eye, "he's not an idiot," she said a bit more incensed than she normally would have been, "he cares about his friends." Ino stopped a moment and looked at Sakura blankly, surprised at Sakura's tone. Ino raised an eyebrow then smirked lightly as Sakura looked her even in the eye. It was the first time she had seen the old fire in Sakura's eyes in a long time, ever since the near death of Naruto anyways. She was glad to see it again. "Indeed," Ino finally said as she began to walk again, "your right and I'm glad he's that way." Sakura gave Ino a strong nod and fell in beside her again, her posture straighter. Ino smiled glad to see Sakura acting like her normal self again and adjusted the bag of groceries to a more comfortable position.

After a fairly long walk in silence the girls finally found themselves standing in front of Naruto's apartment. Sakura was shivering because she was still soaked and it had gotten dark as they were walking. So Sakura stood there shivering with her arms wrapped around herself as Ino beat on the door. Naruto's doorbell had apparently been broken for the last few days. Finally Ino sighed and hit the door so hard it nearly flew off the hinges as she yelled at the door, "Yo," she yelled, "Naruto get over here and open this door before Sakura freezes to death." Sakura smirked lightly as Ino stood in front of the door tapping her foot impatiently.

The door finally opened after a couple of minutes with a tired looking Naruto standing in the doorway. He looked at the girls blankly for a minute before he smiled his usual foxy grin and scratched the back of his head, "sorry," he said, "what brings the two prettiest girls in Konoha to my place at this hour." Ino smirked at him as Sakura chuckled lightly. "Which one is the prettiest," Ino asked as Naruto stepped aside and held the door open for them, "out of the prettiest." Naruto chuckled deeply as Ino and Sakura stepped inside, "you know I don't make direct comparisons anymore," he replied giving Ino a smirk. Ino just chuckled as she stepped inside dragging Sakura behind her. Naruto closed his door as the two girls stepped in to his living room.

Ino went straight to the kitchen to put up his groceries with a sigh, "You know," she said as she opened a cupboard, "you can ask someone to get your groceries before you run out, Naruto." Naruto just shrugged, "you don't have to get my groceries," he replied as he looked at Sakura frowning lightly, "It's ok." Ino just shrugged, "We promised we'd help you while you recovered," she said putting up his groceries." "I'm fine now," he said incredulously as she turned to face him, "Hokage-sama said you needed to rest for at least a month," she stated matter-of-factly, "besides it's not like I'm the only one." Naruto only sighed and went in to his room for a few minutes.

Sakura stood next to his heater and sighed as she began to warm up, her fingers no longer ice. Naruto stepped up behind her and smirked as he tapped her shoulder, "Sakura," he said as she turned around, "here." Naruto handed her a pair of his pants and a shirt, "bathrooms over there," he said indicating down his hall, "last door on your right." Sakura smiled at him, "thanks," she said accepting his offering and heading for the bathroom. "There are towels on the towel rod," Naruto called after her as he sat on his couch.

Ino looked over as Sakura headed for his bathroom and chuckled as she began to cook something for the three of them, quickly silencing Naruto with a look that promised pain when he began to protest. She turned on his stove and smirked as he stopped grumbling and turned on his television. It didn't take Sakura much time to return from the bathroom as Naruto indicated the couch cushion nearest the heater vent. Sakura sighed and flopped down on the couch where he had indicated looking over at Ino a moment. "What're you doing Ino," Sakura asked as she slumped in to the back of the couch and thanked Kami Naruto's heater worked really well. Ino glanced back and shrugged, "something for us to eat," Ino said giving Sakura a smile, "I'm sure we're all hungry, I can practically hear Naruto's stomach way over here." Naruto chuckled and scratched the back of his neck sheepishly shooting Ino his patented foxy grin.

Sakura sighed tugging at the hem of Naruto's shirt, the one she was wearing. It was definitely too big for her and hung limply off of her frame. His orange pants were hanging off her hips too and Sakura wasn't so sure how good she looked in orange either. She kept fiddling with the clothing for a few minutes trying to get it to work with her, but it wasn't going so well when Naruto finally looked at her. "Sakura," he said with that foxy grin of his, "You look good in orange and blue." Sakura looked up at Naruto blankly with a sigh, "yeah right," she said tugging up the waist of the pants, "I don't think Orange is my color." Naruto Chuckled and reached over to pat her shoulder gently, "you look fine, Sakura," he said, "quit worrying about how you look. I think you look good." Sakura smiled at Naruto and leaned back against the couch again, thankful that she was warm and supper was coming. It had been a while since Sakura had eaten Ino's cooking.

Ino was done cooking in what seemed like a few minutes, of course it didn't help that Sakura had dozed off for a few minutes. Sakura wasn't sure why, but she felt safe and secure in Naruto's apartment. It was especially true with Naruto sitting next to her on the couch. Ino's voice telling them that supper was ready woke Sakura up. Sakura hadn't slept very well at all in the last few days. Sakura blinked her eyes open and looked at Naruto who was smiling down at her gently. After a moment she realized she had fallen down and was now using his leg as a pillow.

Naruto had been sitting with one arm stretched across the back of the couch and one leg curled up on the couch, which happened to be the leg she was using. "Feeling better, Sakura-chan," Naruto whispered at her as she yawned. "Yeah," she said smiling back at him, it was odd but she didn't mind sleeping like that at all. Naruto gave her another warm smile, like he was glad she was ok, and turned off his television with the remote in his other hand. "Dinner is ready," he whispered to her, "and Ino hates being kept waiting."

Sakura giggled lightly but she wondered just what Ino and Naruto were when she sat up slowly and stretched. She wondered exactly why Ino was helping Naruto. Sakura's mind wandered down places she wouldn't have thought it would go for Naruto. Were Naruto and Ino an item, was there something more here than she thought, were they dating, maybe Ino was going for Naruto now that she had given up on Sasuke. Sakura frowned lightly as her mind played out each scenario before her eyes. Sakura was too busy thinking about these things that she didn't realize she was at the table and Naruto was holding the chair out for her.

"Sakura," Naruto said looking at her oddly, "you ok there?" Sakura blinked the images away and looked at Naruto for a moment then at Ino; she felt that old surge of over protectiveness she used to get when she and Ino were talking about Sasuke. This time, though, it was for Naruto. "Oh," Sakura said shaking her head, "Yeah sorry just lost in my thoughts today." Sakura gave Naruto a smile and a giggled as she sat down and Naruto scooted her in. She watched as Naruto did the same for Ino, who gave him a smile. "Had Naruto always been this much of a gentleman," Sakura thought as she watched Naruto walk around the table to take his own seat. Naruto sat down and looked at Ino, "you know," he said, "you don't have to help me out all the time Ino." Ino shrugged, "Chouji made us promise," she said, "remember, besides we're friends and friends help each other right?" Naruto grinned bright and gave a nod, "yep," he exclaimed with his usual fervor. Sakura sighed softly as Ino said they were friends, but she still wondered what Ino's ulterior motive was.

Sakura sighed again and looked at Naruto's table, "hmm," she said, "when did you get a new table Naruto?" Naruto looked at her then at his table and chuckled, "Chouji," he replied, "Chouji insisted that I have a 'proper eating surface'," Naruto chuckled again along with Ino and Sakura. "Sounds like him," Ino said as she took a bite from the small snack she had made herself. Naruto looked at Ino as Sakura took a bite of her food experimentally, "why didn't you make yourself something more than that," Naruto asked Ino as he cocked his head to the side curiously, "I mean, it is dinner and all." Ino looked at him and chuckled lightly, "I'm going out to eat with Shikamaru and Chouji a little later and I didn't feel like ruining my appetite," she replied, "besides, I wasn't that hungry."

Naruto nodded and dug in to his meal, he loved it when Ino cooked. He wouldn't let on to it, but she could cook damn well. He sometimes wished Sakura would come and cook for him, but he knew she was a busy medical ninja and never asked her. He had actually given up on asking Sakura on a date a long time ago, but he still wished she would just drop by and visit or something. He was always kind of lonely in his apartment, that's why he was usually eating at Icharaku's or training. It served to kill that loneliness for the most part. He sighed a moment and looked at Sakura, he really wished he could get over her. He knew she wasn't interested in him at all.

The silence became palpable after a few moments; Sakura felt she should do something to break it. Sakura looked at Ino out of the corner of her eye. Ino seemed to be glancing between her and Naruto with a slight frown. "How are you feeling, Naruto," Sakura finally said to kill the silence, "feeling better?" Naruto blinked and looked up at Sakura, "Oh," he said, "I'm fine, really. I'm completely healed and bored as hell." Naruto gave her his foxy grin as she smirked and Ino chuckled, "Just like you," Sakura said, "wanting to get back to work when you should be resting and recovering." Sakura shot him a warning look with a hint of playfulness as he began rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. "Ahh," Naruto said, "you know I recover quick, Sakura." Sakura knew he did and the reason he did, but still she was always worried about him.

"You know," Ino said after finishing off her snack, "you two really should talk more. Your on the same team and been friends a long time." Sakura and Naruto looked at her then looked at the table a bit sheepishly. "I know Sakura's busy," Naruto said, "so I try not to bother her." Sakura smiled lightly then looked at Naruto, "I figure he's always out training so I never come by," Sakura said. Ino sighed and looked at them both a bit incredulously. "Sakura's not nearly as busy as you think, Naruto," She said looking at Naruto for a long moment before turning her eyes to Sakura, "and Naruto's here more often then you think." Ino looked at the two darkly a moment as they both looked around the room uncomfortably. Ino actually smirked lightly under the glare she was giving, she was glad she still had it. "Now that you two know," Ino Continued, "you two should hang out more, like you used to." Naruto and Sakura sighed lightly as they looked at Ino then each other and gave her a small nod.

Ino smirked after a few minutes when her two friends gave her the nod. It had been a long time since she could get away with doing what she did on them both. They both were strong Shinobi and hard to intimidate most times. Ino knew there was more to it than something so simple, but she decided to leave it alone and stood up. "Well," she said picking up her bowl, "I have to get going." Ino strode to the sink and rinsed out the bowl. She glanced back noting Naruto and Sakura looking at each other and then at her and grinned.

After a few moments Ino walked over to Naruto, "see you later," she said as he smiled with a nod, "and don't push yourself." She then leaned over and gave Naruto a kiss on the cheek, which took him completely by surprise. She looked at Naruto as he turned several shades of red and looked at Sakura who was glaring some. Ino chuckled to herself as she walked over and patted Sakura's shoulder. "It's up to you," she said, "to make sure he doesn't push himself." Sakura gave her a nod but still seemed slightly jealous. Ino just chuckled and went to the door; she knew something was going to come of this night. She also knew it was probably the last time she'd get away with giving Naruto a kiss. Ino chuckled lightly again as she let herself out, but she really loved teasing those two. She closed the door and left leaving Naruto and Sakura in his apartment, alone with each other.

Naruto looked at Sakura across the table and smiled at her, "I'm glad you decided to drop in," he told her, "it get's kind of lonely here." Sakura looked at Naruto and smiled softly, "I'm sorry, Naruto," she said taking another bite of her food. Naruto just chuckled as he gave her a shrug, "I know you're a busy person," he said as he continued with his meal. Their meal was finished in relatively comfortable silence; Ino had done a pretty good job on it.

Sakura stood up just as Naruto was finishing his food and took the plates, giving Naruto a concerned look. It had been a long time since she had eaten with him, being a medical ninja she was kept fairly busy most of the time. Of course, all the missions they had been given kept them both busy. She wondered if there were missions stacked up that the Hokage, Tsunade, was keeping back for them. After Naruto's return they had been doing nothing but B rank or higher missions. She sighed as she went to the sink and rinsed the dishes off. While she was doing that she heard Naruto get up and walk over to the couch again, and she tugged on the pants she was wearing. She silently wondered if her clothes were dry as she walked over to his couch and sat down next to Naruto.

Naruto looked over at her and smiled again, with that foxy grin of his. "Really Sakura," he said looking at her with those clear eyes of his, "is there something wrong." He had noticed that she had been acting strange ever since the Sasuke incident. It had been a rather close call for him and he secretly wondered if he should go after Sasuke any more. It was at those times that he remembered the promise he had made to Sakura, what seemed like forever, ago. Back when Shikamaru had taken a team to go retrieve Sasuke from the sound four, which turned out to be the sound five. He had his own reasons to go get Sasuke back, but the promise he had made was the thing he remembered the clearest.

Sakura looked at Naruto, she had been with him long enough to know what he was thinking sometimes. She wasn't a mind reader but his face was very expressive and she could read it. He was thinking about that promise again, he always got the same look when he thought about that. It had been a long time since she was that weak girl who couldn't even help her team and now she realized that Sasuke had left of his own will. Sasuke had proven that when he nearly killed Naruto. She frowned darkly looking back at Naruto; it was time to make her request. She couldn't turn back now; she secretly searched her heart for any doubt about this. She found none, and she gave a nod. Even her inner Sakura was backing her decision up, to forget about Sasuke.

Naruto was still looking at Sakura as she had her internal search. It had been a few minutes before she finally looked at him; she had a serious look in her eyes. Naruto was almost taken by surprise. Sakura had always been serious, but this was more than he expected. He found his features becoming more somber, he knew Sakura was going to ask something important. He just hoped it wasn't about Sasuke, he knew the promise he hadn't been able to fulfill yet. Naruto felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise as Sakura looked at him. Finally after a few more moments Sakura began to speak.

"Naruto," Sakura said, "we need to stop looking for Sasuke, it's time we gave up on him." Naruto was blown away; any response he could have come back with totally fled his mind. Sakura, the one who had been working so hard to get Sasuke back was asking him to forget about it. Naruto sat there for a long time his jaw hanging open slightly as he tried to think. "He left of his own free will, Naruto," Sakura continued looking at him intensely, "and he nearly killed you this time. That tells me, he doesn't care about us anymore." Again Naruto was flabbergasted by her words, he was almost too much to process all at once. Sakura, the girl who had never given up trying to love Sasuke, was telling him to stop trying.

Naruto sat there for a long time as his mind wrapped around what Sakura had just said, he just seemed to stare at her. Every time he thought of something to say he saw the intensity in her eyes and it fell apart. It took him a long while before he could speak again, but finally he managed to speak. "Sakura," he said, "I know I haven't gotten him back yet, but that's no reason to give up." Sakura frowned at him but he went on anyways. "He's a Konoha Shinobi," Naruto continued, "He was forced to leave by Orochimaru, thanks to that seal. We need to get him back and fix him. I mean, I don't want to see Sasuke become another Orochimaru." Naruto looked at Sakura intently; he wanted her to understand that he needed to save Sasuke. He had made a promise and Sasuke had been the closest thing to a brother Naruto had ever had.

Sakura sighed as she saw the determination in Naruto's eyes. The Determination that made her believe in Naruto so much, but it was getting in the way now. It was unhealthy to continue, Sasuke never wanted to return. Sakura knew that. "Look Naruto," Sakura said, "I know Sasuke and you were close, but it's time to give up. He doesn't want our help; he doesn't want us to save him. He's so stuck on being an avenger he sacrificed everything he had for his goals." Sakura looked at Naruto again as the tears began to come to her eyes, she hated crying about this anymore. She was so tired of it. She desperately wanted to save Naruto now. Naruto had saved a lot of people but he couldn't save himself. She wanted to be the one who saved him this time. "Sasuke doesn't care about anything but his revenge, Naruto," she continued, "we need to leave him be and let him do what he has too."

Naruto frowned at Sakura and sighed, he could see her eyes begin to water but he wasn't done yet. He had to make her see that Sasuke needed to be saved. "Sakura," he said, "We have to save Sasuke it's just how it is. A Konoha Shinobi saves his comrades, aren't you worried about him at all?" Sakura was shocked that he'd ask that question. She took some time to recover.

Sakura sighed and just moved without thinking wrapping her arms around Naruto's waist and embracing him. "I'm worried about you," she said as Naruto felt her tears drip on to his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her and sighed patting her back. It was time to listen to her for once, he figured. Let her have her say. "Naruto," she continued, "you've saved so many, and yet you can't even save yourself." "But," Naruto said his voice beginning to waver, "I made a promise." Sakura just shook her head, "it's ok," she said, "You don't have to keep it. I'm releasing you from your promise, it was made to me."

Naruto gave a sigh, "but," he started but was cut off by Sakura sitting back and staring at the couch. He couldn't watch her being like that; it nearly tore his heart out to see her so depressed. His logical mind finally began to work again as he realized that this was over him, not Sasuke, but him. He couldn't help but feel that resolve begin to melt away as he looked at her.

"You can't save those who don't want to be saved," Sakura whispered. Naruto was barely able to make out what she said and sighed. He knew that his resolved was gone now, he knew she was right. "Promise me Naruto," Sakura said still looking at the couch, "promise me you'll stop." They sat there in silence as Sakura's tears dropped on the couch cushion and he stared at her with his heart in his throat.

Sakura sat there crouched on the couch as the tears dripped to the cushion. She was waiting for Naruto to tell her he was going to do it anyways; the fears in the back of her mind came to the forefront. Images of Naruto actually killed by Sasuke, the look Naruto was going to give her. A look of disgust and loathing because she was giving up. It all came to the forefront of her mind which just made things worse; her emotions were tying in knots and making her almost sick. What happened next was something she didn't expect. She felt a hand grasp her chin gently. Her face was lifted to look him eye to eye. Naruto was sitting facing her now, his legs crossed on the couch. He had a serious look on his face; the look in his eyes was intense. It was like she was looking at the sky and getting lost in the blue emptiness. She was waiting for him to tell her to keep fighting for Sasuke. After, what seemed like eternity, he spoke again.

"I understand," Naruto said, "I understand Sakura. I promise." He smiled as his thumb wiped the tears off her cheeks. Naruto's foxy smile was in full effect as the emotions washed away, as if by the tide of the ocean. Almost like a cleansing wind had blown across her body and cleansed the fears and darker emotions from her soul. She was relieved and exhausted at the same time as she smiled back at Naruto. She couldn't help but notice the clarity in his eyes at the time, she had seen it so often before but just ignored it. She sat looking him in the eyes and seeing him smile at her understandingly, an understanding that was evident in those cerulean depths. He had always been there for her. He always understood where she came from, he always supported her.

She didn't know what was going on as she leaned forward; she wasn't even thinking as she placed her lips on his gently. Her body just moved of its own, like some internal clock had begun to move again as he told her he promised. It was surreal; she could see what was going on like she was watching a movie. The feel of his lips on hers was real though. She knew that he was shocked by her suddenness but she couldn't stop what was going on herself. She could feel he softness of his lips playing on hers, the gentle touch of his hand still on her chin. The kiss seemed to stretch in to eternity, even though it was only a short one.

Sakura finally sat back, as Naruto pushed her head back, gently, with the hand on her chin. He was looking at her with confusion. He was totally taken by surprise and he wasn't even sure what was going on. She could see the question he wanted to ask written in his eyes. The one he couldn't give voice too because his vocal chords decided to stop working "what's going on here". Sakura didn't know herself; they sat there in silence looking at each other for a few moments as her mind began to function again. She wondered what would happen if this was allowed to go on further, she wasn't going to fault Naruto for anything. She was the one who initiated the contact. She wondered what her folks would think, what her friends would think. Though, the biggest fear in her mind is what Naruto would think. It was odd, but she really worried what Naruto would think. She let these worries play across her mind for a moment. Finally, though, she decided that she was done worrying about things. All she had done, for most of her life, was worry about what everyone would think. She was done worrying.

Sakura leaned back in to Naruto and planted her lips on his again. She didn't give him the chance to protest, or even think more. She wanted to do this; it was one of the few things she was sure of. She didn't understand the emotions and feelings that were swirling around in her subconscious, or the feeling in the pit of her stomach. She didn't care, though; she would figure it all out later. Right was the time to live in the moment and go with her instincts.

Naruto wasn't sure what to make of it, but he knew she wanted something. All that time with Jeriya and he still didn't know how this whole thing worked. Fortunately, his instincts began to take over and he slowly released her chin. He caressed her cheek gently as his other hand began to creep up her arm. He knew she could feel his touch because she shivered as his hand glided across her shoulder to her neck and finally to the base of her skull. He began to massage her neck and scalp gently. He was unsure and he hoped his movements didn't reflect that. Though it didn't seem Sakura cared as her own hands began to caress their way up his sides. He couldn't help but shiver, at her touch. It was soft and gentle, for all her strength and power she was being surprisingly gentle with it. He felt her arms wrap around his shoulders and neck as her fingers played in his hair. His scalp tingled with each touch of her fingertips and he felt a surge of something he didn't understand.

Sakura wasn't thinking, her body just knew what she needed to do. She caressed his scalp as his hands gently caressed her cheeks and ears. His lips were soft and his touch was gentle. One of his hands crept to the back of her neck and began to massage. Her body moved again, slowly creeping closer until she was straddling his hips. All Sakura knew was she needed to get closer to him, to be embraced by him and feel his body against hers. His embrace was a secure embrace, telling her that she didn't have to worry about anything.

Naruto's hands moved to her back and began to gently rub up and down her spine as she moved closer. Her lips parted slightly as she got closer as she began to gently suckle on his lower lip. This seemed to drive him a little more as his own lips parted and his tongue ran along her teeth. The request was clear to her, so she returned the favor. Her tongue began to brush across the inside of his mouth. Their tongues met as their hands began to explore each others' backs. She could feel the muscles in his back begin to twitch at her touch. She knew hers were doing the same under his feathery touches. Sakura kept running her hands and fingers across Naruto's back, exploring every muscle and running down his spine.

Naruto shivered as Sakura's hand ran down his spine, it was like the touch of a soft waterfall on his skin. His hands began to move without him controlling them anymore. They crept down to the hem of the shirt she was wearing and slid underneath it. He just knew he wanted to feel her skin. Her skin was soft and supple. He could feel her muscles moving underneath his fingertips. Each soft twitch of a muscle he was exploring at the time made him all the more bold. He could feel fire build in his stomach and cascade across his body. It was like a bonfire, very hot to the touch but somehow comforting as well. He could feel the gentle curve of her body, the slight raising of her ribs. He didn't want to explore too much yet, so he stayed content with exploring her back, gently, as she explored his.

Sakura was feeling hot, as her lungs began to ache for some air. Finally she broke the kiss and took a breath as her and Naruto sat looking at each other panting. They were both flushed brightly and she could tell he was overheating like she was. She decided to look at him, really look at him while she caught her breath. He was slender but built well. He wasn't a large man, but the muscles on him were defined and strong looking. She rested her hands on his chest and began to feel his chest and abs. She could see the seal on his stomach and placed her hand over it. She wondered if she would ever see the tenet that seal told of. It was a fleeting thought as she looked him in the eye, once again.

Naruto was looking at Sakura warmly. He wondered if she really wanted to do this. His mind would travel back to the first kiss, as innocent as it was. It blew his mind that she would finally see him the way he wanted. He could feel her hands caress down his chest and stomach. He felt her rest one soft palm on to the seal. He felt vaguely uncomfortable with her touching the seal, like the fox could hurt her if she touched it. Nothing happened, though, as she looked him in the eye again. He had a question in his mind; even though her eyes were intense he had to ask. "Sakura," he breathed softly, "are you sure you want this?" It was a simple question but his mind wasn't thinking to complexly right now. Sakura smiled down at him and reached for the shirt, it was off in a moment as she gave a simple answer to the simple question, "yes," she said as she attacked his lips again.

Naruto nearly flew out of the seat when he felt her breasts gently touch his chest. His skin was getting goose bumps everywhere after that. He just knew one thing after that, it was time he simply accepted her answer and went with it. Her breasts continued to caress his chest, dancing across each muscle, like a warm summer's breeze. He couldn't stop now if he wanted to his hands crept around her sides, gently brushing his fingertips along her ribs. He gently cupped each breast in each one of his hands and felt the softness of them. They were so soft it was like touching something fragile, something that would break if he squeezed too hard. He released her right breast and let that hand trace feathery soft trails down her stomach. His fingers circled her navel and came back up to touch her breast again. He was sure he was squeezing to hard, but Sakura didn't seem to think so as she arched her back and pushed her breasts into his hands, when his right came back.

Sakura felt that same heat begin to build in her body again as she pressed her body against his. She felt her breasts begin to tingle as they brushed across his chest; she even gave a soft gasp in to his mouth when she felt his hands touch them. He traced a soft trail down her belly that made her melt inside and gave her a shudder. His hands were so soft and gentle, nothing like one would expect from Naruto. He seemed timid though; afraid that he might hurt her if he did anything to them. Sakura knew she was tougher than that and pressed her breasts in to his hands, arching her back so her belly brushed across his. She wanted to feel his body against hers more and more with each passing moment. She broke the kiss and kissed his cheek. Her lips brushed across those whisker marks of his as she moved to nibble his earlobe. She could feel him jump when she did that and couldn't help but smirk lightly. Her hands made their way around his neck again. She let one hand trail a soft path over his neck as she moved it to caress the side of his head. Her other hand kept busy with his back, she didn't want to scare him if she went for where she really wanted to go for.

Naruto was nearly blown away when she nibbled on his ear. He could feel it every single touch as she caressed his face and neck, running her fingers through his hair. His neck instinctively curled moving his face closer to her neck as his breathing became heavier. He took advantage of the situation and pressed his lips against her neck and nipped at the skin there. He heard Sakura gasp when he did that, her hot breath running across his ear as the sound sent shivers down his spine.

Naruto could smell the floral shampoo she used, the fruity bath oils on her skin. Her soft musk permeated his nostrils. It was all too much as he felt his mind blow again. It all worked together in a gentle melody of scents and touches, sounds and tastes. He growled softly as he nipped at her neck again, he felt the familiar surge of red chakra he had come to expect from overwhelming situations. It was too late to stop though he could already feel his pants become restrictive as he felt her body shudder and heard her gasps. The musk she was producing was strong now. He could see each muscle twitch on her neck, feel each shuddering gasp she gave, heard those same gasps in his ear, and smell her musk clearly. He only knew he had to make her his.

Sakura's body was on fire, everything that was going on was simply overwhelming her senses and yet she could pick everything out with crystal clear clarity. His musky smell was driving in to her brain, like a jackhammer. She could feel his body heating up, the sight of his skin becoming redder under her soft ministrations. It made her body ache and burn hotter. She felt like she was in a hot spring with the temperature increasing by the minute. She could feel his passions growing as he became bolder and his smell becoming more hot. His scent was changing slightly to a thicker musk. She could see a red haze out of the corner of her vision, she didn't know what it was but she couldn't really think about that right now. Her pants were getting hot and somewhat wet. She heard him growling softly and that just made her hotter. It made her cringe and become bold all at the same time. It was almost a feral growl, but soft and gentle like a breeze on a warm day. Her hands made a trail down his sides, feeling his muscles and ribs as they slid by, and hooked under his waist band. His growls and nipping were driving her to heights of sense and elation she never knew.

Naruto followed Sakura lead as she hooked her hands underneath his waist band. His hands simply slid down her sides leaving wispy trails of red chakra. His hands didn't stop at her waist, though, they continued on slipping her pants off slowly. He craned his neck lightly to nip at her neck and see what the pants revealed. Sakura moved her hips and legs to help him remove her pants, he could see the soft skin of her thighs and rear. He trailed a hand across one of her glutes and slowly caressed her outer thigh. His other hand made its way around her other leg to massage her inner thigh. He heard Sakura gasp in to his ear again as her hands faltered under his waistband. It drove him even wilder to hear her gasp as the scent of her arousal hit him like a runaway train. He growled even more as the red haze began to grow around them. He vaguely noticed that the red chakra was engulfing them both and not just him this time as Sakura regained herself just enough to push his pants off his body. He helped her by moving his hips up and nearly lost complete control when he brushed across her womanhood with his manhood.

Sakura moaned in to Naruto's ear as she felt him brush across her, her head seemed heavy for a moment as she rested it on his shoulder. She vaguely recalled a haze of red around them both as she opened her eyes a moment before nipping at Naruto's neck gently, her throat giving up a gentle growl as well. She felt a surge of energy as the red haze thickened, but it didn't quite register to the forefront of her mind as she nipped his neck and wrapped her arms around his neck shoulders. Her senses seemed to become clearer as the red haze grew and the feelings in the pit of her stomach intensified. She wanted to make him hers, more than anything at that time and nipped a little harder at his neck. She didn't notice that she drew blood as her teeth elongated slightly. She didn't know that the Kyuubi's chakra was altering her at the moment. Naruto didn't seem to mind as he returned the favor on her neck, both of them marking each other as theirs. She could feel his manhood brush against her again and it nearly drove her mad for a moment. She wasn't even thinking now, she just wanted it to happen.

Sakura moved her hips forward and slowly lowered herself on top Naruto, the feeling was intense as they both gave a deep moan in to the others neck. He pushed in to her first, gently and slowly. She gasps and moaned as she felt him impale her with such a gentle touch. Naruto set the pace at first, slow and deliberate until Sakura began to match his rhythm. She would roll her hips with his thrusts. The slow and deliberate pace didn't last long as the waves of pleasure washed across their bodies. Their senses mashed everything together in to a, nearly, otherworldly whole. It was almost ethereal how the waves crashed against them and their stomachs would tie in to knots the wash out. The tides came and went s the pace quickened slowly at first. Just a little faster after a few moments, that didn't last long.

The waves of pleasure began to build more and more, each time leaving a lingering pool that grew with each passing tide. Sakura and Naruto didn't think anymore. They just blended together in one cacophony of pleasure, each one building on top of the other to shift them in to another plane of existence. The red haze continued to build around them until it was all they could see out of their peripheries. They didn't seem to care as their bodies began to glow with their exertions, the sheen of sweat reflecting the red light that they found themselves bathed in. Their bodies ached and became tired but they couldn't stop, the tide washing them out to sea. Sakura's back began to arch as the pleasure was becoming too much for her small body to contain. Naruto wasn't faring much better than she was. They both felt their backs begin to arch as the final wave was coming close and closer.

When they couldn't hold in any more of the feelings the damn broke and they were both washed away on the tides. Their minds exploded and their world crashed in around them as they were washed out to sea. The otherworld drew them to it as their bodies became rigid. The waves crashed around them and dashed them in to the rocks of the otherworld, driving them deep in to the feelings they were feeling. Everything was exotic, new and beautiful. Finally after what seemed like eons they found themselves slowly slipping back to their world. Their bodies finally settled as they collapsed in to each others' arms, breathing heavily.

The rising sun kissed the horizon as its light spread across the sleeping city of Konoha. Its light crept across the city slowly, like a slow forming realization. It spread across the academy where children would be in a few hours, and across the training grounds. It found a couple of people training and continued on. The light slowly edged down the streets of the city, streets that would be full of people in only a few hours. The Hokage tower sat facing the new dawn, the light gently caressing down its surface. Finally the light found it's way to an old apartment building, and touched it's surface like a lovers caress. The light spread in to a window that had a simple white drape over it, partially parted to allow the new day sun in.

The light spread across the room that the small portal led in to. The light washed across the floor in a multicolored hue, as it found its way to the center of the room. It washed over the couch that sat there until it finally met two more people, these two in a gentle embrace. The woman and man had their eyes open and watched the light play across the floor. The woman was snuggled next to the back of the couch a leg softly resting across the man's pelvis and thighs, an arm draped across his chest. He had an arm behind her, wrapped protectively around her shoulders. His other hand resting behind his head, they snuggled on the couch smiling. Two red chakra tails swishing around lazily, the tails appeared to be those of a fox. The peoples' eyes narrow slits and red like an ancient evil. The eyes didn't hold any malice though, just contentment and peace.

Naruto and Sakura sat on his couch watching the sun rise, each with their own red chakra tail and fox-like countenances. They didn't know why or how, but it seemed the Kyuubi's chakra had spread to Sakura and gave her the appearance of a vixen. Smoke trailed from each of her cheeks where small whisker marks had finished burning in to them. Sakura didn't seem to notice the burning though as she watched the sun crest the horizon with her head resting in the crook of Naruto's neck. Naruto and Sakura smiled as the sun met their eyes and washed across their bodies like a cleansing fire. Both of them were watching the new day, realizing that this sunrise was the marking of their new days too.

Sakura was content and sighed as she watched the sun rise, "I think I'm going to be able to sleep better than I have in years," she said glancing up at Naruto and yawned like she had never slept in her life. Naruto chuckled lightly and squeezed her against him gently, "yeah," he said looking back down at her, "I think we'll both be resting better than we have in a while." Sakura nodded as she came to a realization, this was the beginning of her new life. The new beginning she had been wishing for, sometimes healing could only come in the company of others. Naruto was thinking the same thing as he began to slip in to unconsciousness, he'd think it over later. Sakura sighed again and closed her eyes drifting off to the dream world, in the arms of a man she cared about and who cared about her. She felt herself being taken away in Naruto's arms when another realization came to her but that would wait for another day.

A woman stood atop the Hokage monument looking out over Konoha, several years later. She appears to be waiting as the soft and gentle summer breeze brushed her pink hair back. Suddenly the woman seemed to hear something as she turned around in the softening darkness of night turned to day. The woman smiled as she seemed to see the person she was waiting for crest the stairs that led to the Hokage monument. Her hand rose in to the air as she gave a wave.

Sakura stood on the top of the Hokage monument watching the sky become lighter in the early morning. She hadn't been here in a long while, seeming to always be busy. The soft summer's breeze felt good as it cascading across her ears and pushed her hair back, trailing pink across the light blue sky. Finally the voice she had been waiting to hear echoed across the monument and she turned around, giving a wave as she smiled brightly. A blond man was just cresting the stairs, with two children in tow. Sakura couldn't help but grin as she watched the little girl climb on to the blond mans back to sit atop his shoulders and the boy raced ahead. "Mama," the boy called as he ran in to Sakura's arms and hugged her, "we can watch the sunrise together again." Sakura chuckled as she hugged her son and ruffled his hair.

Finally the man and the girl made it too her, both with recognizable foxy grins on their faces. The man bent over to let the girl off his shoulders as he embraced Sakura and gave her a kiss on her whisker marked cheek. "How are you my beautiful and caring wife," the man said softly as the children made funny faces. "I'm doing well my gentle and handsome husband," she said returning the kiss and twisting around to face the sunrise again, leaning back in to him. "What took you so long Naruto," she asked after a moment and looked at her children. Naruto chuckled lightly as he ruffled their daughter's hair, "she had to do her hair," he said as Sakura chuckled. Naruto pulled Sakura down to sit next to him on the Monument, each child picking a lap to sit in.

The sun crested the Horizon again and washed across them as they hugged their children and each other. It had been a few years since the dawn that changed every thing.

Naruto was Hokage, just like he had promised everyone, and Sakura had become the head of a new elite medical ninja division.

Watching the sunrise with their family whenever they could became a tradition in their family. It had become a symbol of the new life they were given way back when they gave up on Sasuke, finally. The new life that had given them everything they had ever hoped for and more. They had two beautiful children, both born at sunrise, and a new appreciation for what they had.

They had both realized on that first day, it was the first day of their new lives. They remembered the time with fondness and wanted to instill that appreciation for new beginnings in their children. So they had started coming to the monument to watch the sunrise with their children as often as they could. It was a wonderful sight, the new world they lived in.

Sakura looked at her husband and children, as the sun's rainbow of colors cascaded across Konoha and smiled. She realized, again, what she realized that day; just before she had fallen asleep:

She had made the right decision.


A/N: I hope you liked this one shot I wrote. It was a fun write and I hope a good read. And as always, review, review, and review please!