Author's Note: Last Chapter guys. Please R&R!
Disclaimer:If I owned Naruto, then...well nevermind, it'll never happen.
Sasuke stared at his blood stained hands in shock. He had done it, killed the one man that took away everything he cared for. He squatted down and looked at his brother. Itachi laid motionless on the ground and for the first time in a long time he seemed less harmful. Sasuke didn't know what do to now. He had done what he was sent off to do and completed it. What was he to do?
"Sasuke," a soft voice interrupted his thoughts.
He stood up and looked around the room. Sakura was in this room somewhere, he just didn't have a clue where.
"Where are you?" he asked, searching.
"Over here," she replied. "The mirror."
He spotted it instantly and jogged over to it. It was cracked in multiple places with a small hole in the center. The glass did not allow him to see Sakura himself, but he didn't really need to in order to know she was in there. He rubbed around the rim of the mirror in search of a handle and found none.
"How do I open it?"
"Pull the torch next to the mirror," she explained.
Following her directions, he pulled the torch down and the mirror swung open. There she stood, the person he fought to rescue. She said nothing for the smile on her face said it all. Before he knew it, she had thrown herself into his arms. Her slender arms wrapped around his neck and her face pressed against his shoulder. She began to cry, her tears soaking his shirt. At first, Sasuke was unsure what to do. He never really had to comfort some before. Then he did the only thing he could think to do. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. His other hand caressed her head, running his fingers through her hair.
"I was so worried about you," she cried, wiping her eyes. "When I saw you fight your brother, I felt so helpless."
"But you did help me," he revealed. "You showed me that you were still alive."
She pulled slightly away from him and grinned. "I guess that counts as helping."
He smirked and realized that his blood had blotched her shirt and arms. She caught him glancing at her and followed his gaze. Sakura pulled the shirt out a little and looked at it. Sighing, the medic shrugged.
"I never liked the outfit anyway," the rosette said. "However, you are another story. I should heal you."
Sakura took his hand, lacing her fingers with his. They began to walk out of the room. "So, where do you keep the bandages in this place?"
"You don't have to heal me," Sasuke monotonically stated. "I'll be fine."
The medic flicked him in the head with her free hand.
"Alright, the infirmary is down the hallway in the third room from the end."
As they walked, Sakura began to think deeply about what they were to do now.
"What are you going to do now that Itachi's gone?" she asked.
"I'll become the king and fix what Itachi ruined," he explained. "I rather it be soon or Konoha will lose friendships with counties that would be willing to help us in the future."
"That sounds good," she said grabbing a door knob. "Can you do a coronation so soon?"
"If I can convince the people of Konoha that I am worthy, then yes I can."
The door opened and Sakura led Sasuke inside. It was a petite room with a small bed and a few cabinets. Sasuke sat on the bed while the medic searched through the cabinets for gauze. She found some and gathered them in her arms along with bottles of herbal remedies and a bucket of water with a rag in it. Sasuke removed his shirt and began to wipe the blood away with the rag Sakura gave him. He tossed it back into the bucket while Sakura applied the herbal lotion to his shoulder and arm. She took the gauze and wrapped it tight around his wound to permit the bleeding. As he put on his shirt, she noticed the wound on his leg.
"I can do that one," he assured her when he saw the look on her face.
"I figured as much," she said with a blush.
"You're going to have to leave Sakura," the prince stated when she didn't move.
"R-right, I'm sorry."
Sakura left the room in a hurry, shutting the door and pressing her back to it. As he changed on the other side, her mind began to jumble with thoughts. In the beginning, Sasuke had her join him just until Itachi was died. Since Itachi was gone now, what was she to do? Lady Tsunade never said that she had to come back to her village. Then again it would be rude to just leave and not return. The woman was her mentor, practically a mother to her.
Sasuke was another matter. Did he want her to stay in Konoha? She wanted to remain there, that much was known. However, she felt like she needed to return to Tsunade for maybe a little bit. If Sasuke asked her to stay then she wanted to spend time back home, just to say a long goodbye. She had lived with Tsunade and the others for so long they deserved such a visit. Sakura came to the decision that she would leave right after Sasuke's coronation. That way she would be able to see it and compose herself for the journey home.
The door behind her opened and Sakura slightly stummbled backward. Sasuke caught her and turned her around. She looked up into his dark eyes and smiled as wide as she could.
"Let's go look for the others," Sasuke suggested with a smirk. Sakura nodded and followed right behind him.
Sasuke and Sakura reunited with the other members of their traveling party and discussed the future. It took awhile, but Konoha finally accepted Sasuke as the new King. They obeyed his request for a quick coronation and decided that it would be in at least a week. The day of the coronation came up quick in the city. People hung up decorations on their houses, the Uchiha banner dancing in the wind on flag posts. It was perhaps the happiest day in Konoha since before Itachi's reign.
In the castle, Sakura walked around the corridors in search of Sasuke. She stopped a rushed maid and the woman told her that he was in the gardens. Sakura thanked the woman and found her way outside. The gardens were a spot of lush green ground near the back of the castle. The medic found the to-be King standing in a patch of flowers looking down at a slab of stone. She saw him squat down and press two fingers to his lips. Then he touched the stone with the fingers and nodded his head. When he stood, she had already walked over to him.
"It is customary for the to-be ruler to pay respects to his ancestors before he becomes the King," he explained before she could ask. "You look nice."
She looked down at the dress that he had made for her. It was a dark emerald green with a low collar that showed her shoulders. A black skirt was underneath the dress itself and could be seen from the stylish cut in the green over-dress. Swirls climbed the skirt and shone when it moved. A diamond necklace was placed around her neck tied with a black velvet ribbon. She blushed.
"Thank you," she managed to get out. "Um, there is something that I need to talk to you about."
"What is it-..."
"Your Majesty, it's time," a servant interrupted Sasuke and ran off after delivering the message.
Sasuke looked to Sakura and asked her what she was going to say.
"It can wait," she insisted. "You have more important matters right now."
The coronation took place outside. It was not very traditional, but Sasuke encouraged it. Coronations usually took place inside with only a selected officials and nobles allowed in. However, Sasuke had a different idea. He wanted Konoha to know that he was their King and even if the civilians were lower in status compared to him, they were still equals. They had a right to see him being crowned.
A crowd of people surrounded the front entrance of the castle, filling the courtyard. Sakura stood on top of the outer staircase with Naruto and the others. She, along with the crowd, clapped when Sasuke came out of the castle on a royal blue carpet that rolled over the staircase. He stopped at the top step and knelled, his head hung low. A red cape pooled around his feet and over his shoulders. Behind him, the newly appointed seneschal (*a royal officer in charge of justice and control of the administration), Kakashi, lifted a crown up above the Uchiha's head. Usually this duty was done by a person of religious stature, however there was none to be found in Konoha and due to the rashness of the coronation, one was not sent for. So the duty fell on to the highest ranking person in the area.
Kakashi was proud when his old student asked this of him and willingly accepted the task. He gingerly propped the regalia onto Sasuke's head with a hidden smile. The newly crowned King touched the crown when he stood just to make sure that it wouldn't fall off. The crowd all knelled as did the group behind him. It was official, he was the King of the Land of Fire. Sasuke scanned the civilians. Their faces were hidden from him, as if they not divine enough to face him.
"Why do you conceal yourselves from me?" he spoke, his voice echoing. "Did I not say that we were equals?"
Some of the people lifted their heads to look at him. They looked to one another, unsure of what to do. The Uchiha only stared in return. He did not know what to do to make these people realize what he was trying to imply.
"You have to say a speech," Kakashi whispered into his ear.
"What?" Sasuke asked flabbergasted, his tone quiet.
"Trust me they'll listen."
Sasuke took a deep breath and slightly glanced behind him. Sakura was gazing at him with her chartreuse eyes. She gave him a brief smile and mouthed "It'll be fine." He turned once more to the crowd and hoped that he could form the right words.
"You stand before me as representatives of Konoha," he started, "I am the ambassador here. I don't know what it was like to be ruled by my brother except that it was probably unpleasant. For a long time you have known the cruelty by an Uchiha's hands. The suffering, the pain is still fresh in your minds. I know it must be hard to summon the courage to trust one again, but you must know that I am nothing like my brother."
More people tore their stares from the ground.
"Change is hard to adjust to, I know it is. I am going to have a hard time getting used to the fact that I am king now. You have to help me run this kingdom, show me what it's like to live how you live. No longer be the prey that fear loves to devour, but rather the predator that bravery hunts alongside. Today we are those people. Allow me to reign alongside you."
Sasuke did not wait for a reply and pivoted away from them. He began to walk back toward the castle and heard a loud cheer. People were clapping, jumping up in joy screaming their happiness to the heavens. Kakashi jogged up next to him and told him, "Now that was good."
Konoha threw a banquet for their new king. It was rushed, but still elegant in a way. The streets were cleared for the festivities and people made sure that there was enough food to go around. A small band played in the city square were the most activity was present. Tables were lined with diners so that they could witness people who wished to dance as they ate. As the day grew into night, laterns were lit and then hung around Konoha.
Neji and Tenten were situated at Sasuke's table. Tenten was still getting over her injury and dancing was out of the question. Neji sat with her, listening to her talk as they decided what to do next with their lives. He kept a close eye on his cousin who Naruto had dragged onto the dancefloor. Hinata blushed the entire time as he swung her around. Meanwhile, Shikamaru found a cozy spot to doze underneath a tree. He had sat there to look at clouds during the party and ended up asleep in the end. Lee, on the other hand, was having the time of his life. He danced alone, but made the whole crowd cheer for his "youthful" dance moves.
Sasuke sat at the head of the table and watched the party. He was not the type to be present at these types of things, but because of the things he had said in his speech, it seemed appropriate for him to attend. A few people he didn't know came by his table and bowed, saying how happy they were that he was king now. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a group of girls staring at him. They giggled when he looked at them, whispering to one another about matters of no importance to him. He figured that they were trying to figure out how to ask him to dance with them. He smirked when he knew that his response would be a flat out "no."
"Sasuke," a kind voice stated.
He swiveled to see Sakura smiling down at him. The light from the lanterns gave her face an angelic glow and made her eyes sparkle when they blinked. She had her hands folded in front of her, almost sheepestly.
"Do you want to dance, Sasuke?" she asked, her cheeks a light pink either from blush or embarrassment. Sasuke couldn't tell. He was slightly stunned at her sudden request, but he soon regain control. Would he like to dance? Dancing wasn't particularly his thing, but Sakura's eyes silently pleaded at him and she did look beautiful in the light...
He stood up and walked around the table. Her expression was shock, as if she was expecting a no, but she then smiled warmly. He glanced once again at the group of girls and saw that they had stomped away with jealous expressions painted across their faces. It made him mentally smile for he knew that Sakura was doing something that no girl had ever been allowed to do. Taking her hand, he let her led him to the dance floor in which she en-laced her fingers with his as they began to swish from side to side. Sasuke nervously began to step with her as she moved and she noticed.
"You don't know how to dance do you?" she asked softly with a somewhat mocking expression.
She chuckled lightly, "Just follow me and no one will notice. Okay?"
He nodded slightly to her content and followed her lead. He stepped forward as she stepped back and did the opposite as she pranced towards him. They swayed from side to side in perfect rhythm to the music. Sakura released one of her hands and motioned for him to spin her. Sasuke lifted her hand and delicately twisted her body around. Her dress fluttered around her as she spun as did her hair. He caught her at the waist and his hand remained there as they continued to dance. The moment was completely flawless in both of their minds.
"I want you to stay," he said suddenly, surprising them both. Sasuke knew that he was thinking it, but never thought that he would actually say it. The look on her face seemed to express that she wanted to stay too.
"Sasuke, I can't."
Well, that wasn't necessarily the answer he expected. He had thought she was going to give him that lovely grin and thrust herself into his arms as she shouted "yes."
"Why not?" he asked, slightly wounded by her rejection.
"Well, it's not that I don't want to," she explained. "I really do, it's just that I want to spend a little time back with Lady Tsunade for a bit. She took me in when I was little and she's like my family along with Ino and Shizune."
"But I will come back when I'm ready to say good bye to them."
That was good news to his ears. She would come back, he would see her again.
"What would you do when you get back to Konoha?" he asked her, just to be curious.
She brought a finger to her cheek and looked up at the sky. Then her gaze came back to him with a grin.
"Well, I heard that the King is notorious for getting injuries," she said cheerfully. "I might make a fortune wrapping his wounds as his medical adviser."
He stared at her with his dark eyes. "What makes you think that he wants you as his medic?"
She gave him a wink. "I just know."
Sasuke smirked and leaned in close. They were inches away from each other. She could feel his breathe on her lips. Their noses touched, jade and obsidian locked in admiration. Neither had noticed that they had stopped dancing.
"Then you would be correct," he said with a leer.
Their lips met and it never felt so right.
Author's Note:So it's done, I'm finished. Did you guys like it? I want to thank Ichigo-101 for helping me with Sasuke's speech there. I was having just a little trouble with that (I wanted him to stay in character as much as possible). There will be a sequel, that's a definite promise. I'm going to begin drafting it as soon as possible. Anyone want to guess what gender Tenten's baby is going to be? I want to see what you guys think. Thank you guys for reading this, it really means a lot. Please stay tuned for the second one which will be named Seeking You. Press the review button ! ;)
Edit: Um, the first chapter of Seeking You has been posted. Yeah, I know right? So soon? I just sat down today to type just a little bit of it and just kept typing. Go check it out when you can!