Title: The Mission From Hell

Author: JackieLupin

Disclaimer: Kishimoto-sama owns all!

Rating: Light R for suggestive language, swearing, and battle scenes.



Three Months and a couple uneventful B-rank missions later...


Sakura awoke suddenly one night, sweaty, twisted and entangled both in the blankets and in Sasuke's grip. Blearily, she blinked and glanced around the room, confused as to what caused her to jerk awake. Her keen eyes told her that nothing was out of place; the books were still stacked neatly on the shelf, the door to the bathroom was still slightly ajar, and the picture frames on the dresser were undisturbed. What had woken her up?

Then the knocking at the door resumed again, this time stirring Sasuke. He yawned, unconcerned, then glanced over at her. "What is it?" he murmured sleepily, tightening his hold on her and nuzzling his head back into his pillow.

"Someone's at the door," Sakura replied, shrugging off his hold around her waist to throw on a bathrobe over her pajamas. She quietly padded down the long, ornate staircase and crossed the vast, empty entrance hall of the old Uchiha Compound to open the door.

At the door stood Naruto, who was grinning from ear to ear.

Sakura scowled at him, then wordlessly pointed at the clock that hung in the foyer.

Her blond teammate looked over, then blanched slightly and smiled at her sheepishly. "Sorry, Sakura-chan!" Naruto said, but he didn't seem very sorry. Instead, he looked almost unbearably excited over something, and at any other time of day Sakura would have pressed him for the details, but right now, at 1:37 in the morning, Sakura found it hard to care.

"What is it?" the pink-haired woman bit out in exasperation, closing her robe tighter around her body to keep out the cold air as she stepped aside to allow Naruto inside the Uchiha mansion.

Naruto suddenly hugged her tightly, nearly knocking the air from her lungs. "Hinata-chan and I are together!" he cried happily, "And I wanted you and Sasuke-teme to be the first to know! Speaking of which, where is that lazy bastard?"

Sakura smiled and hugged her teammate back. "That's great, Naruto!" she said halfheartedly, still slightly annoyed at the ramen-loving shinobi for interrupting her sleep at 1:37 in the morning, "But you could have told Sasuke and I at training tomorrow." Naruto released her and chuckled, one hand rising up to scratch the back of his head. "Yeah, I guess I forgot about it. I just wanted you to be the first to know, Sakura-chan."

She smiled, touched. "Aww, you've grown up too much, Naruto! Just make sure you treat Hinata just as well as you do ramen!"

Naruto mock saluted her and stepped outside, blue eyes twinkling. "Yeah, yeah. G'night, Sakura-chan! And tell Sasuke-teme I'll be waiting to kick his ass first thing tomorrow! Neji and Shikamaru will be there to witness it! Make sure you tell him that!"

She rolled her eyes at his antics. "Sure, Naruto!" she waved, then closed the door and leaned against it tiredly, rubbing her eyes. That baka Naruto... but she was happy for him and Hinata, really. About time, too! After all, the Hyuuga heir had loved him for years upon years, and Naruto had been all but oblivious.

"Sakura?" she heard Sasuke demand loudly from the other side of the house, "What is it?"

"Naruto wants to kick your ass," Sakura called as she retraced her steps back to the bedroom at the other side of the Uchiha Compound.

"Hn. That's nothing new," the Uchiha remarked when she reached the doorway.

"He finally got together with Hinata."

"Not for long. The Hyuuga will kill him."

"Not Neji. Neji already gave his blessing." Sakura lifted back the covers and sleepily crawled into bed at Sasuke's side, throwing off her robe as she did so. With a soft, sleepy sigh, she drew the blankets over her body, snuggled deeper into the bed and closed her eyes.

"Sakura?" Sasuke asked her quietly a moment later, his face inches from hers.

"Yeah?" she yawned, reaching out of her warm cocoon to rub her eye lazily. She cracked one eye open to look up at him.

"Thank you." His dark grey eyes were sincere as he gazed at her. Hesitantly, a calloused hand reached out to brush away a stray lock of pink hair from her forehead.

"For what?"

"Everything. Caring about me, even when I made it hard to." His hand brushed over her skin to rest near her collarbone comfortably.

She snorted. "Hell yes you did. You were so hot and cold! One minute you were pushing me away, the next we actually had a real conversation! What was I supposed to think!"

Sasuke glared at her, but because he tightened his grip on her, Sakura knew he wasn't truly angry at her. "I was confused. I didn't know what I was supposed to think of you. One minute you would act like you did when we were genin, and the next time I saw you, you ignored me and flirted with Neji!"

"I did not!" Before Sasuke could respond, Sakura quickly pressed her lips against his. He made no move to kiss her back for a few moments, but then finally moved his lips against hers gently. "I love you, you idiot," she reminded him when they broke apart for air, "How many times do I have to say that to you?"

Sasuke huffed. "As much as I want you to." He nuzzled his face into her shoulder gently. His every breath of warm air hitting her sensitive skin caused her to shiver slightly.

"Okay," she agreed sleepily, too tired to argue. Sakura made a mental note to debate the subject in the morning during training.


If someone had told her months ago on that fateful summer day when they received the mission scroll from Tsunade-sama that eventually Sasuke would invite not only her into his private life, but include Naruto and Kakashi, she probably would have laughed. And if someone had hinted that Sasuke would finally accept and return her love, Sakura probably would have hit them on the head and cursed them into next week for messing around with her.

Life had settled into a normal routine. Team 7 would eat breakfast at Naruto's apartment, seeing as Sakura had long since sold hers and the Uchiha compound was too far away from the training grounds. Training occurred every morning, and afterwards Sakura took her shifts at the hospital while Naruto and Sasuke terrorized the rest of Konoha. Of course, them always managing to land themselves in the hospital once a week when they took training a bit too far left them with a big black mark in Tsunade-sama's book; they had been assigned missions B-rank and lower as punishment, something Sakura and Kakashi didn't altogether appreciate. But their team was finally complete.

The only blight on Sakura's sunny horizon was that Itachi was still alive, but she knew that when the time came, they would handle him together. Afterall, Team 7 had fully become a family. Orochimaru was free to come up with however many plans he wanted to to ensnare Sasuke, but here in Konoha was where the last Uchiha truly belonged. Only now did he seem to believe it.

Sakura had no idea what tomorrow would bring, but as she gazed down at her dark-haired teammate as he slept quietly in her arms, she found she really didn't care all that much. Tomorrow always would come no matter what, and they would make the best of every day they were given.

For they were all together at last, Team 7. Friends, brothers and comrades. And they were ready to take on the world together.


Weekends are for the warriors

All those late nights walking through front doors at daybreak

Raise all of the glasses high

This one's to all of us sitting around here on Friday night

I remember eighteen

Hated Mondays

And sitting and staring at the clock dying to get away

Don't look back

And have no regrets

We only got two days and time won't wait for us

I could't ask for a better place to be

This can't last forever

Raise a glass together

Doesn't get much better

No better than

This can't last forever

Raise a glass together

Doesn't get much better

No better than this

I've been to hell and back

All the snow storms

And the bathroom stalls which you pulled me out of

I'll be there

Like you've been there

My word's my bond

Don't stand alone, you can count on me

I couldn't ask for a better place to be

We fight this fight to stay free

And never say 'never'

If you leave this choice up to me
I'll stay young (stay young) forever

This can't last forever

Raise a glass together

Doesn't get much better

No better than

This can't last forever

Raise a glass together

Doesn't get much better

No better than this

Weekends are for the warriors



For now. :D

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you that have stuck with me and "The Mission From Hell" from the beginning, middle, end and all! This has been a great accomplishment of mine, since this is the FIRST full-length story I have EVER finished, and I have to say, despite the tears, headaches, late nights and writers block, the experience has been FANTASTIC! Your reviews have made everything seem worth it, and while I'm glad you enjoyed this story, I wrote it for myself to prove that I could do it. So HURRAH!

Okay, on to the next project. I think it might be a Neji-Saku! Just a feeling... oh, and the little plot-bunny sitting on my shoulder demands it. Or a possible continuation of this story... So be on the lookout for it! If you have any plot ideas that you might like to see incorporated, just let me know. I plan to make another full-length story!

-Love, Jackie