"I'm going to avenge him, I have no time to just sit here and wait." Said the usually cheery blond ninja. Sakura gasped in her mind, what was happening right now woke up a memory that just won't die. Her emerald eyes in shock, all she can do is look at the blonde's back, feeling helpless again.
"Naruto, since the code was decrypted, it doesn't have anything to do with you." Said the old frog sage Fukusaku.
"!?.. What do you mean by that?" Naruto shouted. Confused by what the old frog was saying to him.
"Either way, there's no way you can beat Pain now. So… come with me. I'll train you in the sage arts at Myobokuzan. If you want to be trained like little Jirayia did that is…" Naruto started to walk out, turning around once more to face the old frog. His face turned more intense.
"Will I be able to beat pain then?" Naruto asked. The old frog shrugged, and blinked.
"I don't know, but you will not be able to at your current level… Is it alright Tsunade?" Said Fukusaku.
"Go ahead, work him to the bone." Tsunade replied.
"Training in the sage arts is tougher than anything you could imagine, you still want to do it?" Fukusaku warned Naruto. Naruto opened the door, almost exiting before he stops once more.
"That pervy sage made it through, didn't he? I can't let him beat me. I'll do it." Naruto said with gusto. Fukusaku smiled at the wildered blond ninja, reminiscing him of Jirayia.
'So I've been entrusted with his pupil, the child of prophecy eh?' Fukusaku thought to himself.
"That's the spirit!" Fukusaku said to Naruto, after that Naruto left. A little later after that, everybody but Tsunade and Sakura left. Sakura worked hard today, doing a lot of errands.. it almost looks like she was overworking herself on purpose. Tsunade worries about Sakura sometimes, she has been noticing her patterns, it seems one day she looks very enjoyed of helping Tsunade out, but at other days not so much. Tsunade looked at the window, noticing it is now dusk. She got up from her desk, and tapped on the hard working Sakura on the shoulder.
"I think it's time for you to get going, you have been here since morning." Tsunade said to Sakura. Sakura looked at Tsunade, conjuring up a fake smile to fool her teacher.
"It's okay, I'm fine. Besides…" Sakura paused for a moment, looking away from her teacher.
"Besides what?" Tsunade replied.
"I don't want to leave, not until it's late. I really don't want to see him…" Sakura lowly said. Tsunade sighed silently at her students response, then started nudging her to take a seat. Tsunade sat back down to face her student, she can tell what was going on in Sakura's mind. That's what three years of being her teacher can do.
"You have been working awfully too much lately, ever since you came back from that mission with Yamato that's all you have been doing, rarely spending time with your friends, what's wrong?" Tsunade said to Sakura. Sakura bit into her lower lip, she knew she couldn't lie to her.
"I don't know…" She briefly said to Tsunade.
"I think you do know. It's okay, you can tell me." Tsunade said. Sakura gripped the arms of the chair, frustration filled her mind. Trying to search what was going on her mind, then it came back to her. It was that…
"It's Naruto, I'm worried about him.. he wants revenge." Sakura said.
"Oh, it's reminding you about Sasuke, isn't it?" Tsunade asked Sakura.
"I'm.. just really scared of losing him.. I don't want him to lead the same path like Sasuke did.." Sakura said to Tsunade.
"I see, but why aren't you going to confront him then?" Tsunade replied to Sakura. Sakura stared at Tsunade, looking all upset and startled. She nodded at Tsunade.
"I don't know.. that's the problem.. Ever since I came back from that mission with Yamato, it feels different to be around Naruto. I don't know what's happening."
"What happened during that mission? Did Naruto cope a feel on you? Because if that's the case, I'll knock his block off." Tsunade said to her student..
"Naruto didn't do anything. It's something that Yamato said… to me." Sakura said to her teacher. It was that moment when Naruto was unconscious, it replayed in her mind for a while now.
"What happened?" Tsunade asked Sakura.
"It happened when Naruto was unconscious, I was healing him… when I was healing him Yamato talked to me about something… It was about me and Naruto." Sakura continued.
"I see.. what did he say to you?" Tsunade said.
"I mean everything was happening so fast, and I was under so much mental pressure. And I thought Naruto was going to die,"
"I see that. But you didn't answer my question Sakura." Tsunade interrupted Sakura. Sakura stopped for a minute, but then started to talk again.
"It started when I asked Yamato if I can somehow learn to suppress the Kyuubi from Naruto, he said no.. then I started to get upset.. saying that I could only do the smallest things for Naruto.. Then he replied that it wasn't what I do for Naruto that is important, it was…"
"And? What else did he said?"
"The thing that is important was, how.. strongly I felt for him. Ever since then I have acted strangely towards him, we still talk.. but it's awkward. That's why I'm spending more time here." Sakura admitted to Tsunade. Tsunade wasn't surprised, she knew that it was somehow involved with Naruto. She actually kind of smiled at Sakura, she shrugged and poured out a cup of sake.
"I think you've developed feelings, it's completely natural for girls your age to feel awkward towards boys. But you have to overcome that awkwardness, especially if you are to confront him. Understand?" Tsunade said to Sakura, Sakura started to well up tears
"I really don't want to lose him, he's just too important to me." Sakura said. Tsunade sighed a bit, this felt all too familiar to Tsunade. She knew what it felt like to lose an important person to the darkness. Tsunade knew that Naruto will never do that to his village, especially to Sakura.
"Can I tell you something, Naruto isn't going to leave the village like Sasuke did. Naruto is not that kind of person who would cut any ties with his village, his friends, and his most precious. Do you understand what I'm trying to say here? He's not there yet, but if you don't confront him, he will resort to that path." Tsunade explained to Sakura. She was right, It hurts to lose people who were dear to you. And Naruto experienced that for the first time in his life. Right now Sakura needs to be there for him, and she knew that.
"You're right, I'm not screwing up this time. Thanks Tsunade-Sama." Sakura said as she left her seat and exited Tsunade's office.
'Good luck Sakura.'
The Next Day
"Are you ready kid?" Fukusaku asked Naruto. Naruto pounded his fists together, looking very opportune to this training.
"Duh, I'm going to become future Hokage, I'm ready for anything!" Naruto shouted. Fukusaku feels just as energized as Naruto does, his scrappiness kind of haves that effect that will rub off on other people.
"Okay let's head off then," Just as Fukusaku was about to finish himself, Naruto dashed out of the village. Fukusaku rolled his eyes at Naruto, and slapped himself on the face. Naruto's started to have a tick in his mind, he realized that he doesn't know where the hell the place is.
"Uhh, where exactly is this place?" Naruto said as he scratched the back of his head.
"Naruto, it would take a month to get there on foot. It is called the mountain of the wandering, if you don't know the secret path it will be impossible to find." Fukusaku said to Naruto. Naruto's posture immediately went down.
"It's that hard to just get there…" Naruto mumbled under his breath. Then immediately a puff of smoke happened. Naruto got startled by the sudden appearance of a huge scroll. Fukusaku opened the scroll, it looked familiar to Naruto.
"Naruto… you've already made a pact with Gama, don't worry about it. I can transport you there. I'm the secret path." Fukusaku said to Naruto, then immediately Naruto got giddy and zipped right to Fukusaku.
"Well that's good to hear! What are we waiting for? Let's go!" Naruto said with excitement.
"Okay then. Let's,"
Naruto turned around to notice Sakura dashing towards him and Fukusaku. Naruto quirked his eyebrows at the sudden appearance of her. I mean it's the dead of morning.
A few seconds later she stopped.
"Sakura-Chan, why are you up so early?" Naruto asked Sakura.
"Because i.. I almost forgot that you were leaving today, so I came here to say good luck on your new training." Sakura lied. Naruto smiled small at her.
"Uh, Thank you Sakura-Chan. I'll see you when I come back." Naruto said to her as he started to walk back towards Fukusaku. Sakura clenched her fists at herself, she knew that she was blowing it. Sakura sucked up her fear, and grabbed gently at Naruto's shirt. Naruto turned around, and looked at her sad emerald eyes. He was starting to be concerned with her.
"Is there something wrong? Are you ok?" Naruto asked Sakura. She nodded at the question.
"Um, can you leave for a moment frog sage?" Naruto asked Fukusaku. He nodded and disappeared for the time being.
"Naruto.. I… I'm concerned about you.."
"What for?" Naruto queried.
"Ever since you heard that Jirayia died, you have been acting real distant towards everybody.." Sakura said to Naruto, Naruto kind of falsely smiled at her. He was playing that card again.
"Sakura-Chan, he was like family to me. You can't expect me to be all happy go lucky." Naruto said.
"I know that, but it's not like you to do that. It scared me." Sakura said.
"Don't worry about it, I'll be ok." Naruto said to calm her down. Then Sakura grabbed a fistful of Naruto's jacket.
"Stop lying to me, it's obvious that you are not fine. Why can't you just let people in?" Sakura asked him exasperatedly. Naruto turned his head away from her, he can only just give a shrug to her.
"I'm not worth your time, or anybody else's.. It's better if I just go away. I mean think about it, if I get killed by Pain, that means Akatsuki can't complete their goal.. " Naruto said. Sakura grinded her teeth, and tightened her grip on Naruto.
"What did you say!" Sakura shouted at Naruto.
"You heard me, it's better if I just go away.." Naruto replied to Sakura. She started to well up tears in her eyes, this wasn't usual for Naruto to act this way, he's usually the one who never gives up.. It was like Tsunade said, if she didn't came soon enough, he would've become what he was acting now.
"Wh, what about becoming Hokage.. I THOUGHT IT WAS YOUR DREAM! NOW YOU'RE JUST GOING TO THROW IT ALL AWAY?!" Sakura snapped at Naruto, Naruto smiled at her.. then frowned again.
"Sakura, how can I become Hokage if I'm not able to keep my promises to people.." Naruto said to Sakura. Sakura immediately lessened her grip, her head lowered. Now those tears she held was now coming out.. She knew what he was implying by that statement..
"I know how. Stop making promises that are near impossible to complete . I know why you make promises to people.. You want to see them happy, admit it Naruto.. The reason why you made that promise to me was to see me happy with Sasuke. Was it?" Sakura said with a small smile. Naruto's eyes widened a bit.
"Yes, for the most part…" Naruto admitted to Sakura.. Then Naruto saw a light in Sakura's eyes that he hasn't seen in a long time..
"I should've known. I remember that day vividly, what you did for me was really noble of you. But at the same time really stupid… You were throwing away your chances to ever be with me.. I saw the hurt in your eyes, I saw the way you made that pained smile. You went through this much just for me and Sasuke being together" Sakura said to Naruto. Naruto's smile kind of returned, but still in his depressed mode.
"Anything for you. You've always known that I put you first before anything else…" Naruto said to her. She still had her grip on Naruto's jacket, then she thought of an idea..
"If what you said is true, then stop what you are doing, open up a little more.. for me. Because I think you are worth my time." Sakura asked him with kindness. Naruto smiled again, now his mood has lifted..
"Ok, I'll do it for you." Naruto said to her.
"Thank you, I don't want you to throw you're life away, promise me that you won't go after Pain. I don't want you to become like Sasuke." Sakura said to Naruto. Naruto's eyes widened, now he knows why this was hurting her, it was like that night all over again. Then out of Sakura's surprise, Naruto hugged her. She blushed slightly, the embrace was warm and calming, she liked it.
"I promise, I don't know what got over me.. I promise I won't follow the path that Sasuke choose." Naruto said to her. Sakura broke off the embrace, then an idea entered her mind.
"How about after you come back, we… can go on a date…" Sakura suggested to Naruto. Naruto eyes immediately nearly blew out of his sockets. Well this was something new, for the both of them.
"Are you serious, really?!" Naruto said out loud. His goofy side was back in full swing, she knew this would make Naruto feel better. But she actually wants this, she really does want to go on a date with Naruto.
"Really. How about it?" Sakura asked Naruto. She knew this was somewhat a rhetorical question that she's asking Naruto.
"Of course, but I have to ask you something, why?" Naruto asked her. She was shocked that he asked why. Sakura leaned to his cheek and pecked Naruto's cheek with a kiss. Naruto blushed deeply, never in his life would he even imagine that Sakura would kiss him on the cheek.
"Because, maybe I like you a little bit more than a friend. I don't know, it's just that when I'm near you I feel I can be myself, I just don't know how to explain it.." Sakura explained to Naruto with such sweet intimate eyes. She was now blushing big time.
"Then you don't need to, as long you like me and I like you, that's all we need." Naruto said to her. Sakura suddenly got shocked with hormones, it seemed like Naruto's words jolted her tenderness for him. Then suddenly for some unknown reason, they started to lean towards each other. They were nervous, never before have they gotten got close to anybody before, they were so close they could feel their each other's breath.. they were only centimeters now, then;
POOF!! A sudden cloud of smoke appeared, breaking them out of their tender trance. Then Fukusaku appeared.
"C'mon Naruto, I'm not getting any younger here, oh.." Fukusaku said as he found the two teenagers being so close to each other. Both embarrassed by Fukusaku appearing, they immediately got unclose, but still pretty close…
"Umm.. I guess I'll see you when I get back Sakura-Chan?" Naruto asked her with a shy smile. Sakura laughed at him, she bap him on the shoulder gently.
"Of course, good luck with your training, Naruto." Sakura said to Naruto. Naruto then ran towards Fukusaku, and waved Sakura goodbye.
"Goodbye Sakura-Chan!" Naruto said to Sakura.
"Bye Naruto!" Sakura said with a wave goodbye. Then Naruto and Fukusaku disappeared. Her heart was beating, never before in her life has she felt this way for anybody. She couldn't wait for Naruto to come back.
'When you come back Naruto, things will be different between us. I promise.' Sakura said to herself as she was walking back to her house. She knew now that Naruto needed her, and she needed him.
Things were definitely going to change between them, and they couldn't have it any other way. –The End-