The Greatest Romance Ever Sold
"Was there ever a reason for us to be apart?"-Prince
Things change. Life moves on. Surprises happen. The last thing she ever expected was for her boys to come to some sort of agreement about them all being with her. The details were apparently none of her concern because they certainly didn't tell her about it. No amount of prodding could get any of them to budge-not even Naruto; whom she had been certain she'd be able to convince to tell her. Collectively they were one big stubborn mule, but they were hers and she loved them.
She sat in Sasuke's office with her feet tucked under her while chewing her bottom lip worriedly. The paper sat before her blank as it had for the last hour. She had to word this letter correctly and diplomatically and yet how she was feeling was nothing like anything that could produce such a letter.
And then he showed up.
Sasuke supplied the introduction, causing Sakura to run her hands over her face in frustration. She had been trying to write this letter for weeks but every time she did one of her boys was looking over her shoulder and offering 'pointers' as to what she should say.
Today was no exception.
Sasuke was still with her, despite the fact that she lived in a constant state of fear that this day would be the day he left her for good. It was like Sasuke to constantly remind her of his worth. Their relationship was fiery, angry, deep…and dysfunctional. He still didn't approve of the arrangement, but he would not leave her. There was no one quite like Sasuke with his half smiles and ornery ways. Half the time she wanted to kill him…and the other half, well, she wanted to do other things. One day she knew for certain that he would leave her-or make her leave. She couldn't say she was okay with it but some things had to be dealt with.
Still despite all that they were still together. Three years had a passed and she was grateful for every second he stood by her side.
I am extremely-
"Annoyed." Kakashi supplied, looking over Sakura's shoulder. Sakura nearly jumped when the famed Copy Ninja appeared out of nowhere as was his habit. He placed a hand on her shoulder as if sensing he had startled her and apologized for it She didn't let the matter rest as she turned and glowered at the two men.
"Kakashi, Sasuke I can do this myself."
Kakashi had, in time, adapted to not being the only man in her life with a great amount of unease. He didn't live with the rest of them. Sakura could tell that her decision was a wound to his heart that seemed to have scabbed over; there and painful, but tolerable. He remained apart from them but he visited frequently -so frequently that Sakura wondered why he just didn't move in but she never pushed the issue. She wouldn't infringe on his comfort zone. She was happy just to have him.
She had tried to go visit him on a regular basis but that had caused all sorts of problems when she found herself grabbed by one of the Mizukage's minions. The village wasn't safe anymore-at least not for her. The Mizukage had not yet flat out attacked the Village Hidden in the Leaves but they all had a feeling it was coming soon. As a result Naruto, Sasuke and Sai demanded that if Kakashi wanted to see her that he come to the District or Sakura would be accompanied by one of them.
"Do what yourself?" Naruto asked, walking into the room. Sakura began mentally swearing.
"She's writing a letter to the Crazy Bitch." Sasuke supplied. Sasuke had come up with the rather simple but accurate name for the Mizukage, and it had been adopted quickly-even by herself.
I am extremely flattered by your attempts to recruit me as ninja of the Mist Village. However-
While Kakashi was the air that she breathed Naruto had to be the beat of her heart. She was certain that things held together between them all because of him. To be honest, despite what anyone might think Naruto was the dearest to her; he had forgiven her without even thinking about it. He stuck with her, loved her, needed her and she found herself feeling the same way.
It was true that Kakashi hadn't completely turned away from him back then, but his forgiveness had been hesitant, and his willingness to be around her had taken time. She didn't begrudge him that fact it just made things…different.
"I would rather run naked with wild boars than be a ninja of the Mist."
"Great. Just great. You too Naruto? This is a diplomatic situation that has to be handled carefully." He knew it better than anyone. He had been Hokage for a year. It had come as a surprise that this decision wasn't overruled in the Jounin vote given their situation, but many people approached him and told him that what he did in his personal life was his business. They knew how much he loved the village and would never do anything to jeopardize it-even if he was making ludicrous suggestions as what to write in the letter to the Mizukage.
The fact that they still made him Hokage was something that made him happier than she had seen him in a while. She knew then despite anything he said that he had given up his dream for her. Sakura still didn't know how to feel about that. Love was sacrifice, right?
Sakura shook her head. She couldn't dwell on that right now.
"As carefully as she handled the situation with us?" Sai asked, appearing from nowhere as well, causing Sakura to groan. The situation was bound to deteriorate with all of them here with her.
Sai had changed. She wasn't sure if it was because of the events of the fire so long ago or if it was because she was so bull-headed but he always, always watched her carefully. It should have felt stalker-like but she never thought so. If anyone tried to hurt her inside the village Sai eliminated the threat before she even knew there was one. He was always there whether she knew it or not and she felt safer because of it. She wondered sometimes if the others had appointed him to be her guardian-as if she couldn't take care of herself; one incident where she let her guard down and they all go bonkers-but it was something that she didn't worry about too much. She liked the feeling of having him there with her.
Since Naruto had become Hokage the Mizukage had waged a mini war with the five of them. Since things were kept on a personal level for the most part they were able to hide the feud from the rest of the village. Although there were some that were beginning to figure things out.
However, I am a proud kunoichi of the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
"Damn right." The current Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves supplied.
And I always will be. No acts of-
"Manipulation." Kakashi offered willingly.
No acts of persuasion will pull me away from my home. While your arguments-
"Are merely doped up schemes that almost always ends with one of us nearly dead and hating the crazy bitch even more than we already do." Three heads nodded in agreement with Sasuke's words.
While your arguments are sound there is nothing that will change my mind. I now have to ask-
"Say that if you don't cease and desist that you may wake up with your tongue cut out and stuffed up your-"
"Sai!" Sakura yelled. Trust Sai to always push things to that next level-it was something he had in common with Sasuke. "That's it! All of you out! Out! OUT!"
Kakashi sniffed. "No need to be so rude." He strode out the door to their office without a backwards glance.
"We were only trying to help." Naruto said his head hanging low as he exited the room effectively making her feel guilty, which was probably his intent all along.
"I don't see the problem." Sai said not the least bit contrite as he trailed behind Naruto. "You need to be beaten with a stick," Sakura replied to which Sai answered, "Kakashi may like those types of things but I don't." Sakura's mouth fell open and her cheeks flooded with color. A small smiled played on his lips as he left behind an exasperated Sakura.
Sasuke remained and Sakura glared at him because he was the one that started the whole mess in the first place. He was always the one to start it when it had to do with the Mizukage. She had already intercepted several death threats that Sasuke had sent to her. He even had the balls to sign his name to the letters. She was partially scared that she had missed some and that was why she was trying her best to make peace with the leader of the Mist. On the other hand she was just certain that Sasuke got some perverse pleasure in giving her a hard time.
Naruto, the twit, said he wanted the situation handled carefully. The last thing they wanted was a war but her boys collectively were not making things easy.
"I say we just kill the bitch."
"I don't recall asking you."
"You didn't. I'm just telling you because you and I both know that's what is going to happen in the end."
"Deny it all you want Sakura. Just know that when the time comes I'm ready. Will you be? Because I won't ever let another person harm what belongs to me."
Sakura said nothing as Sasuke finally left her alone. She couldn't say she blamed Sasuke for how he felt. In fact, she understood him a lot better now than she did when they were younger. It was hard watching those you care about in pain. It was preferable to have your own soul ripped out.
The Mizukage did whatever she felt was necessary to get Sakura to come to Mist but whatever kunai she threw at them they were able to deflect. The schemes grew more elaborate, more dangerous until at some point she felt more like the woman didn't really want her as a kunoichi of the Mist. No, she just wanted to play some sick game with her. They had been hurt badly several times by her actions. Once, Sai almost died and Sakura had nearly gone insane. She had to be literally dragged out of the room where he was being resuscitated because she was more hindrance than help.
She was tired of being the mouse while that woman was the cat. She was nothing to be played with before she was killed.
Still in a way Sakura was grateful to her because it was she that drew her and her boys back together. Slowly the fences between them mended and eventually they all-with one exception- moved into the Uchiha district. Sakura had thought about rebuilding her home but Sasuke hadn't allowed it. He said they would all be safer in his ancestral home and he was right. They were able to sleep at night knowing that the Uchiha district was warded so tight that they could barely get in and out of it. Sasuke was a rather paranoid bastard which aided them well.
All of them being her lovers was something that…wasn't exactly an easy thing since privacy…with them all living in the same house was virtually nonexistent.
The first time Sasuke walked in on her and Kakashi had led to a fight that was legendary. People talked about it for years afterward. Naruto and Sai were completely open to this decision and were even willing to be a part of a rather lovely threesome. For some reason they understood the concept of sharing. Perhaps it was because at first it had been the three of them and they were already used to the other. Whatever it was it worked.
The thing that Sakura learned was not to get involved when her boys fought amongst themselves-that seemed to only make things worse. They seemed to think she was taking sides or showing some sort of favoritism so she learned that if she wasn't directly involved to keep her mouth shut and most times even if she was directly involved it was best to stay out of it. They always worked it out in the end-with very few hard feelings.
Temari hadn't taken the end of her engagement to Sasuke as bad as Sakura would have in that situation. The fact that she hadn't alleviated the guilt that Sakura felt for essentially taking away her man. Yet Temari cornered her one day and told her,
"If he willingly leaves me he was never mine to begin with and I accept that. You should too."
Shortly afterward she discovered that she wasn't the only one in a less than monogamous relationship in Konoha. Nara Shikamaru was seen with not one but two kunoichi on a regular basis. How Temari and Ino got him to agree to that she'd never know-nor was she bold enough to ask. Still, people accepted their situation more readily than they had her own. She liked to think that she had paved the way to make things easier for the trio but she knew most of her problems stemmed from the Mizukage's meddling but a lot of it was just plain old discrimination. It was alright for a man to have two women but for a woman to have more than one man-it was unheard of.
The biggest change in Sakura's life had yet to occur. It was one that she hadn't even mentioned to the others. She intended to retire from active duty. They all had given up so much for her…it only seemed right that she return the favor. More than that it felt like she hardly spent any time with them. She was only one person and between work in the field, the hospital, and four men she was stretched mighty thin. Besides, she was ready to start a family. She desperately wanted a child. She already had her letter of resignation written and she was just waiting to give it to Naruto. But she had one thing she had to do before she could make that decision.
"Sakura!" Sakura shook her head broken from her thoughts. She looked at Kakashi who was trying to hide his concern from her but was failing miserably. Worry gnawed at her at that look. She knew it could only mean one thing.
"What is it?"
"The Mizukage's minions have broken through Sasuke's wards. We have trouble in the District."
Sakura closed her eyes briefly and when she opened them Kakashi was gone. She knew he was expecting her to follow him and she would. She just had to do one thing first.
She balled up the letter that she had been working on, tossed it in the trash, and pulled out another sheet of paper.
She wrote a single line on it. It wasn't poetic, diplomatic, or even nice. It read:
Bitch, we are coming to kill your crazy ass.
The Mizukage responded with a single line of her own.
As soon as she received it she brought it to Sasuke and they began making plans.
It goes without saying that Team Seven learned a few valuable lessons on this journey of love, pain, and betrayal. There are things that as ninja they already knew. In war only the strong, and intelligent survive. The ninja world is a place where fighting dirty can put you on top. Anything goes. But despite all that you must remain loyal to those closest to you. You protect them with you dying breath because that is what one does for a comrade.
Love is wild and untamed. You can't control it. You can stop it. You can't free yourself from it's chains. You can only ride the wave and hope you come out unscathed in the end and if not unscathed well enough to survive the next battle.
Nothing is fair when it comes to love. Just because someone loves you and you love them back doesn't necessarily mean things will work out for the best. You have to make love work. You have to fight for it every day of your life…or you'll lose it. And if love is strong enough, pure enough then nothing can break the bond between those who love each other.
So once more nothing is fair when it comes to love and since nothing is fair that means everything is.
All's Fair in Love…and War.
My thanks to cutecrazyice, BlueArcticWolf, and Endoh for helping me make it through this story. I couldn't have done it without you ladies.