Sakura was sitting on a swing, looking to the ground, silent tears running down her cheeks. A bunch of other kids were standing around her, yelling at her.

"Ha ha, you look like a sheep!"

"Bah, bah, pink sheep!"

"Sakura, can I use your hair for my new pullover?"

The little girl clenched her fists, but didn't say anything. What was she supposed to reply, anyway?

A while ago, everyone had made fun of her forehead. So she changed her hairstyle to cover it. But now, everyone would make fun of her because the hair fell into her eyes. As long as Ino was with her, everyone was friendly to her, but when she was without her friend, she was laughed at by the other children.

"Hey, what are you doing here?", a voice Sakura didn't know suddenly asked. She lifted her head, trying to see who had come over to the playground. It was a small boy, probably as old as her, with spiky blond hair and big blue eyes.

"We're watching the sheep", a girl giggled, pointing at Sakura. She wondered who the blond boy was. She had never seen him before.

"Sheep?", he asked, "Which sheep?"

"Sakura's a sheep", the girl from before said, "look at her hair!"

The blond boy blinked and smiled.

"Her hair's pretty."

"Nah, it's way too long, and the color is weird", another girl babbled, "and look at that silly ribbon! A sheep with a ribbon, bah, bah!"

The boy suddenly looked angry, crossing his arms in front of his chest and tapping his foot.

"Sakura-chan is no sheep", he said, "she's pretty. It's not nice to make fun of her."

"Ha ha, you're in love with her", a small boy smirked, "you're in love with a sheep!"

The blond suddenly jumped forward and collared him, angrily staring into his eyes, and raised his hand.

"I'll slap you if you call her a sheep one more time", he huffed, sounding like one of the adult shinobi. "And if you and your friends don't stop to make fun of her, I'll tell my big brother, and he'll come over and beat you up. All of you."

He let go of the other boy without slapping him. After a few seconds, he and the other kids started to wander away, slightly scared by the strange blond, who was keeping his eyes on them.

Only when all of them had left the playground, he turned around to Sakura and smiled at her.

"They won't make fun of you ever again", he said.

Sakura wasn't sure if he was right. The kids had just been startled, but they were likely to come back in a few days. The blond boy wasn't that frightening, actually. He sat down on the swing next to her.

"You don't have a brother, have you?", the pink haired girl asked shyly, wiping away her tears.

"Nah", the blond chuckled, "I don't have any siblings. I'm an orphan, you know."

Sakura frowned. She had heard that word before, but she didn't remember what it meant.

"I'm Sakura", she said quickly.

"I know", the blond said, "I've seen you many times before, and I heard the other kids say your name. I'm Naruto."

Sakura gave him a faint smile, slightly blushing. Right, he had called her Sakura-chan some minutes before. And he had said that…

"Do you really think I'm pretty?", the girl asked, blushing even more.

"Of course", Naruto smiled, "you're the prettiest girl of the playground!"

His voice sounded so sincere Sakura believed him at once. Her face flushed even more red, though. No one had ever called her pretty, only her parents. Even Ino would never say something like this, although she was her friend. But Naruto…

Sakura had never seen him before. Maybe he was new to the village. But yet he knew her name, and he thought that she was pretty, and he had scared away the other children without even punching them. He was really cool.

"Thank you", Sakura said, shyly casting her eyes down.

"What for?"

Naruto's big blue eyes gave her a quizzical look, causing her to laugh. He might be cool, but he was a little slow, obviously.

"For helping me", the pink haired girl smiled, "people don't do that very often."

"That's because I like you", Naruto smiled back.

"Are you really in love with me?", Sakura asked, out of the blue. She had just remembered the other kid's words, and now she wanted to know.

The blond stopped swinging and looked at her, frowning.

"Maaaybe", he drawled, a finger put to his mouth, as if thinking about it, "you're in love if you think someone is pretty, and if you want to be near them, and if you want to be their friend, right?"

Sakura hesitated, then slowly nodded her head. She had no idea what it meant, actually. She knew her parents loved her, but there was a difference between love someone and be in love with someone, even if she didn't exactly know why.

"Then I'm in love with you", Naruto smiled and stopped swinging, looking into Sakura's green eyes. The little girl stretched out her hands towards him, her face flushed red again.

"We can play together, then", she said, "if we're in love."

The blond jumped off the swing and grabbed her hand, happily dragging her along.

"Fine", he said, "you're my girlfriend now, right? Then I will protect you from now on. If anyone makes fun of you ever again, just call me, and I'll kick them for you."

A smile appeared on Sakura's face when she was walking hand in hand with Naruto. It felt good to be in love, somehow.

I don't know what happened. We were just sitting next to each other, talking about that day back then, when we both were four or five years old, but now Sakura is lying in my arms, snuggling her head against my chest. She smells of cherries, sweet and fruity, and her body is warm and soft on my lap.

Sakura looks up to the sky once again, then suddenly bends her head and stares at me, her beautiful green eyes looking into mine. Her face is so close to mine I can barely breathe. My heart is racing when she moves closer, and I involuntarily close my eyes. I'm not ready for this, I'm not ready for this, I'm not…

I am. Kissed by her. Right now. In the moonlight.

Her lips feel soft and juicy and warm on mine, making a shiver run through my body. She slightly opens her mouth and so do I, our tongues carefully starting to move, to explore, to play with each other. It feels better, way better than anything else I've done so far. Because it's her. Her in all her beauty, in all her elegance.

Our kiss ends all too soon, but I know there are many, many more to follow.

"I've waited for this so long", Sakura says and nestles her head against my chest, looking up to the sky again, "I never thought you would come back after all what happened, but there you are."

Yes. There I am. Sitting on the grassy ground in the backyard of a bar and holding a girl in my arms. The prettiest girl of the playground.