A/N: Hellooo everybody! I'm sure that many of you have gotten tired of waiting for me to update. And I hope that this chapter is worth the wait. I recently got over my writers block and became inspired for this chapter. I will be updating more regularly but I'm working one chapter at a time and I can't promise any dates. Thanks for being patient with me!
Sai walked back into the room wearing an innocent expression, "What are you looking for?"
"The chocolate, you idiot!" She stood bolt upright when she realized what she did.
"Oh, the chocolate? I threw it away."
Her face turned red in anger. "You…what?"
"You're on a diet, Ino. That means no chocolate." He said seriously.
"SAI! How dare you!" Curses spilled from her mouth and she swiped stuff off the counters. "I need that!"
"No you don't." Sai said coolly.
Ino slammed a kitchen knife into the counter. "Sai, please return the chocolate to me." She said through gritted teeth.
"Okay." He walked up to her and slammed his lips against hers. She backed up against the wall and wrapped her arms around his neck; his arms around her waist. He pulled his lips from hers and said, "That's as close to chocolate you're going to get, young lady."
"Okay." Ino breathed.
As the months went by the air grew cooler and the green leaves turned orange, red, and yellow. They eventually fell of in a colorful rain of foliage and snow covered Konoha. The children made snow forts and had snowballs fights. Sakura had made snowmen daily with the children while Sasuke watched; unsure of how to act around children he observed Sakura's behavior.
The snow melted away and March came along. Gardeners planted their seedlings and Sakura's twenty-first birthday came and went. Spring bloomed and the air was thick with the scent of flowers. Summer began to peak and the seedlings had grown into young green plants.
The village bustled with activity as the preparations of the 'last Uchiha's' wedding neared.
"I'm so nervous! The wedding is tomorrow!" Sakura exclaimed to Ino as they stood inside the bakery. They were admiring the cake that would be served at the wedding.
"Yeah," she replied faintly, her eyes shining with tears.
"Oh, don't cry, Ino! Nothing will change between us, I promise!" Sakura put her hand on the blonde's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Sakura," A tear slid down her cheek. "But the reason I'm crying is because," She pointed to the sweets surrounding them. "It's because I can't eat even a crumb of cake until after the wedding!"
"Ino!" exclaimed Sakura, voice raised and a joking smile playing on her lips.
"Well it's true!" She ran her hands along her now slim body. "I will only allow myself one slice of cake at the wedding." Ino said making a note of it in her head.
The day of the wedding Sakura stood silently in one of the rooms of the Uchiha mansion as her mother clothed her in the wedding kimono. Not a sound was heard besides the rustling of fabric and the birds outdoors.
The wedding would be preformed in the garden which had been drastically changed by Sakura, Ino, and Kyoko. They had weeded for hours on end, watered, and trimmed bushes and flowers until their hands became raw. The algae had been scooped and cleaned out of the pond and the stone garden benches had been scrubbed until they were blindingly white.
The bride watched Kyoko wrap the yards of material around her thin body, tucking and tying where it was needed. When Kyoko was finished she stepped back and whispered softly, "Oh, Sakura-chan…"
Sakura's mother hadn't called her that since she was a small child and she turned to face the mirror. She gasped in surprise as she saw her reflection. There was no way on earth that woman in the mirror was her. Her kimono was flawlessly white with shaded green and flowers and silvery intricate designs frosted against the white material. The large bow around her waist was cherry blossom pink with tiny silver beads sewn across it. Her shoulder length hair was lifted off the back of her neck with white butterfly clips and her curled tresses fell loosely over them. Mingling with her pink locks were thin red ribbons the same length of her hair.
Kyoko stood behind her daughter and clasped a pearl choker around Sakura's pale throat and put matching studs on her earlobes. Sakura touched the stones at her neck with her fingertips as her mother gently placed the pearl tiara Hinata had made for her upon the crown of her head.
"This was my mother's on her wedding and was passed to me on my wedding day. Now it belongs to you."
The young Haruno sighed heavily repressing her tears. She didn't want to go out with a red puffy face. She didn't know why she was so emotional today. She's just getting married, for crying out loud! She dabbed her eyes with an embroidered handkerchief and hugged her mother.
Out in the hallway Sakura met up with some of her bridesmaids, and her junior bridesmaid.
"Oh, Sakura, you look so pretty!" Hiyo said clasping her hands together.
"Thank you." Sakura said, as light pink spread across her cheeks.
Ino and Ten Ten also complimented her.
"You look nice with you hair down, Ten Ten." Sakura smiled.
She was right. The brunette looked beautiful with her hair curled into long ringlets with the sides pulled back into a clip. "Well, you know. It's just something different." Ten Ten blushed..
"Yeah, just wait until Neji gets a look at you." Ino winked.
"Hey, hey, Ino," Sakura butted in. "Don't make fun of her."
"Well you're the one who's making them go down the isle together."
Sakura smiled mischievously, "I know."
"Well, well," a voice said from behind the green-eyes kunoichi. "Looks like you were actually able to fit into your outfit, Ino."
Ino brushed past Sakura and pointed her index finger accusingly at the speaker, "Temari!"
"In the flesh," the said ninja replied crossing her arms over her chest.
"How dare you say something so insulting? I worked hard to get this form." Ino breathed loudly through her nose to control her temper. She turned her head away and asked, "When did you get here anyways?"
"Just a little while ago. Hinata brought me to the dressing room so I could get changed."
Hinata showed up shortly after changing into her own bridesmaid kimono. All of the bridesmaids looked beautiful in their kimonos. The fabric matched the eye color of the wearer; Temari's violet, Ten Ten's amber, Ino's aquamarine, Hinata's pale lavender, and Hiyo's junior bridesmaid kimono, dark blue. All the outfits had the same white flowered pattern and their bow the same color as the kimono.
Kyoko jogged as quickly as she could in own her pastel yellow kimono and put a hand on Sakura's shoulder, "Sakura, you need to get going. We're almost ready!"
Sasuke smoothed the wrinkles out of his dark blue kimono for what seemed the umpteenth time already as he stood on the veranda. I must be going crazy to get nervous like this! I wasn't even this nervous with Orochimaru.
His palms felt cold and clammy and his breathing was uneven. Even the Uchiha crest on his back gave him no comfort. He was anxious to see Sakura, he was thinking how embarrassing it would be to kiss her in front of everyone and he didn't want to look like a fool. An Uchiha kept a cool head and so far Sasuke wasn't doing too well with that. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Calmness. Peace of mind. Tranqui-
A hand landed roughly on his shoulder tearing him away from his reverie. "Hey, Sasuke! How're ya doin'? Are you nervous?" Naruto said. "Man, you don't know how nervous I was when I was getting married to Hinata. I almost wet my pants!"
Sasuke growled. This knucklehead was not helping the situation at all! He felt knots forming in his stomach. "Tch, can you just shut up?" Sasuke couldn't help but wish his mother and father was alive to help him get through this. Mikoto would probably tell him "You're going to be fine, Sasuke-kun." She would smile lovingly at him and add, "She's a very kind girl. I'm so proud of you right now!" Sasuke thought of his father, Fugaku. He would probably just stand next to Mikoto and stare at him seriously then nod; a small trace of a smile on his lips.
"Oi? Sasuke, are you in there?" Naruto waved a hand in front of his face. "You had better get over to the arch. You're gonna get married soon!" Before Sasuke could reply the fox-faced man disappeared.
Sakura slipped on her traditional wooden sandals and Hiyo handed her the bouquet of soft pink roses and daisies. Sakura and her bridesmaids got in order with the groomsmen and she noticed the light pick faces of Ten Ten and Temari as they had their arms linked with Neji and Shikamaru.
It's almost time to start. Sakura's heart felt so full of emotion she felt it would burst if she held out much longer. Her mind was a whirlwind as images from the past whirred through her mind. Her first time seeing Sasuke as a child, the excitement that filled her when she found out he was assigned to her team, his astonishing entrance to Konoha after five years of betrayal, their first kiss the morning after he woke up, and his proposal in the park.
Sasuke stood under the ivied arch in the Uchiha garden and stared at the faces in the crowd. It was a small wedding so there weren't toomany people there. On one side of the isle were the family members of the bride, Katsurou and Kiyoko, and family members of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Mamiko, Hiyo's mother, looked thrilled to be here. Sasuke guessed this was the first time her daughter had ever been in a wedding. On the other side of the isle were friends and senseis. Tsunade was also there.
Sasuke swallowed hard as a harp and flute began to play. He knew what was coming; what was going to happen.
Sakura gripped her bouquet as the music began to play. She watched Ino and Sai go arm in arm down the isle followed by: Ten Ten and Neji, Temari and Shikamaru, and Hinata and Naruto. The tune of the music changed giving the pink-haired bride her queue to make her way to the alter. At once everyone but Sasuke disappeared. She saw only him as she made her way towards her husband-to-be. Unfortunately, she wasn't quite used to wearing the wooden sandals and when her ankle slipped and she found herself sitting bewildered in the middle of the isle. Getting over the initial shock she reprimanded herself. Stupid sandals! What kind of ninja am I falling like that?
She didn't take notice of the audiences' stunned silence until she felt strong yet gentle arms lifting her up by the wrists.
"Come on," mumbled the raven-haired groom, looking ahead.
Holding her hand in his, he led Sakura to the alter where they would finally be united as one. Sakura smiled as Sasuke as he glared at the ground embarrassed. The priest began speaking and Sakura stared into Sasuke's onyx colored eyes as the words of marriage flowed to her ears; her heart swelling with overflowing happiness.
Sasuke stared intensely back into Sakura's loving eyes. He knew he shouldn't deserve her love after all the trouble and pain he put her through, but at this moment he didn't really care. All he needed was her. He was unaware of himself putting the wedding band on Sakura's left ring finger and of her putting it on his. He barely caught the words, "you may kiss the bride," as he snapped out of his trace and slowly closed the gap between him and Sakura. It was a short sweet kiss that neither was going to forget.
The audience applauded and a few even whistled as they threw rice at the couple running down the isle together laughing gaily as children.
At the reception Sasuke and Sakura cut the wedding cake together and gently served two slices of cake for themselves. Sakura took a bite of her slice then looked mischievously at Sasuke. She prepared to take another bite when she thrust her piece on its paper plate at Sasuke's face. Sakura placed a hand over her lips as she choked back her giggles as the plate slid down his face. Several other chuckles erupted in the background. Once Sasuke opened his eyes they were bright red; his Sharingan activated.
"Oops," squeaked Sakura. I made him angry.
Sasuke's lips twitched and Sakura evaded his flying slice of cake, "Oops, is right."
She stood up with her mouth agape. She recovered quickly and grabbed a handful of cake she threw it at Sasuke, but it failed to hit him as she vaulted into a nearby tree. The bride grabbed two more fistfuls of cake, jumping to another limb.
"Sakura, dear," her mother pleaded. "Would you please come down? You'll ruin your kimono." But her words went unheeded. Most often Sakura would be worried about keeping the dress in perfect condition, but today she just wanted to have some fun. And she was sure it would be good as new after a good wash.
Once the couple got in a few more throws Sakura raised her hands in the air and surrendered. "Alright, Sasuke-kun, you win."
He landed silently next to her, his face inches from hers, "That's what I thought." He discreetly licked a bit of frosting off Sakura's chin. She shuddered inwardly. Her face flamed in embarrassment.
"Okay lovebirds, settle down." Ino said as she approached; Daichi in hand. "There are children around. More importantly my child!"
Sakura grinned sheepishly.
Come Sakura, you mom says to get you cleaned up to see off the guests."
The bride reluctantly followed her best friend into the house where both Daichi and Ino removed chunks of cake and frosting from her face. Sasuke too, went about cleaning off his face to appear a little more presentable. Once cleaned up the couple saw off their guests.
"Thank you for having us in your wedding." Tenten said as she left early with Neji to train for their upcoming mission.
"Yeah, it was so much fun!" Hiyo quipped. "I can't wait until my wedding," breathed the junior bridesmaid.
Sakura laughed at her
"You were so wonderful, Sakura. I hope you will visit us soon," said Hinata.
"Man, you guys look great together." Naruto smiled. "Well at least one of you does more than the other." He murmured. Sasuke glared at him.
The rest of the teams and team members helped clean up the garden and reception area taking down decorations and sweeping the sidewalks of rice and dropped food as best they could. Tsunade had left early to return to the Hokage Tower with Shizune. Both bride and groom were in desperate need to bathe and Ino stayed Sakura helping her with her bath.
In room next to the restroom was the tub room where Sakura sat in the large wooden bath full of frothy white soap bubbles while rubbing her arms down with a rag and sighed.
"What's wrong?" asked Ino as she thoroughly scrubbed Sakura's short pink locks of cake bits and remaining frosting.
"Nothing. It's just been a long and wonderful day," replied Sakura.
"Uh, uh. Don't play that stupid game with me, Sakura." Ino said. "Tell me what's really going on in your head. You shouldn't have to feel down on your wedding night." She pressed.
Sometimes Ino really got on Sakura's nerves. Especially when she pried into other people's business. This was one of those times. "Really, Ino, I'm fine so let it be."
"Sakura." Ino said her name sternly.
The pink-haired kunoichi rolled her eyes knowing she herself would have to give in to escape the endless prodding of Yamanaka Ino. "It's just a foolish wish."
"A-and?" Ino drew out the 'a' expecting her answer.
Sakura was silent and the air suddenly felt heavier to the two women. Ino continued scrubbing Sakura's scalp patiently waiting for the answer for once.
"I just want to have my own baby." She said in a voice that ghosted a whisper.
The hands stopped moving on her scalp and Sakura smiled bitterly to herself. She and Ino both knew that was a wish that wouldn't be possible to grant.
Ino left for home as Sakura dried off and put on some comfortable sweatpants and a white t-shirt on. She walked down the long hall and paused when she saw Sasuke leaning against the wall at the end of the hallway. He stood up and wrapped his arms around Sakura's shoulders whispering in her ear, "Welcome home, Sakura."