Nervous Breakdown

summary: 'I am now wet, in my swim suit, and being held bridal style by Uchiha Sasuke, who is wet, shirtless, and really, really, really hott. And I just had to go and start hyperventilating...'

timeline: an AU Fanfic, set with the characters being in college

note: Here's the epilogue, the last chapter.


-Three and a half years later-

I still cannot believe this is happening. I can't believe I'm graduating college today. I can't believe I made the top one percent of my graduating class. And I can't believe I get to spend it sitting here, with the man I love beside me. It's not possible for today to get any more perfect - the universe couldn't possible take that much happiness and perfection.

I turn to the handsome man beside me, who's holding my hand, and offer him a smile. He gives my hand a squeeze where our fingers lay intertwined in the space between us where our chairs are pushed together and our dark blue graduation gowns are overlapping. I lean a little closer and give him a quick kiss as we listen to our valedictorian give his speech. No, neither of us graduated ranked first - me and Sasuke actually wound up tied for fourth in our class, so they threw out the third ranking. The top of our class, giving a (boring) speech right now was none other than Nara Shikamaru. Yup, the guy Ino went out with three and a half years ago when me and her got drunk and led to an absolute case of kismet as far as me and Sasuke goes. That Shikamaru. We were all surprised and totally unsurprised at the same time when we found out he was our valedictorian. The guy may not seem like it, but he's a freaking genius. He's dating some girl named Temari now I think - she's older; already graduated with an engineering degree in physics or something.

Oh, and let's not forget our salutatorian, Neji. Hyuga Neji. The psycho saxophonist me and Sasuke used to (-cough- still) make fun of. Tenten's old honey. Well, she finally wound up getting Neji's attention in sophomore year. Her brother threw some frat party that he invited her to, and she saw Neji and some girl making out there. So she just stomped over to him and like totally bitch slapped him right across the face, and screamed at him for never noticing her and being an insensitive jerk douche-bag. And after that and this whole big, old scene, Neji actually started grinning and admitted that he actually did all that just to get her attention. It was really cute. They're still together.

As for Hinata, she wound up marrying her long time high school sweetheart, a goofy blonde named Uzumaki Naruto. I always figured the two of them for early marriage - they just scream that kind of Anne Of Green Gables love. They both finished school though, and are graduating today with us. I got to be Hinata's maid of honor at the wedding, and Sasuke was Naruto's best man, so we got to walk down the aisle with the bride and groom, which I thought was cool and totally sweet. I mean, it felt like we were getting married, hell, I loved the feeling, I wanted it to be us getting married some day. Sasuke looks insanely good in a tux after all. Just don't tell Sasuke how I started having wedding stuff go through my head back then. He hasn't said anything about marriage, and I don't want to freak him out with my Jane Austen-ness. Maybe he doesn't want to marry me. All I know is that I love him, and I could see myself as Uchiha Sakura. Once again, do not tell him I think that, he will freak out.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Naruto is Sasuke's best friend, which is why he made him his best man and all. How those two are friends is an absolute mystery to me, vaguer than the Bermuda Triangle, but they are. At the wedding reception, Sasuke got pretty tipsy (I did too, only... later...) and people were talking about weddings and relationships and stuff, and they asked me and Sasuke how we met and got together and all that jazz. And Sasuke told them about the lake back when we were freshmen, only he said that the 'asshole on the bike' was actually Naruto, and they'd actually planned him bumping into me, because Sasuke wanted to ask me out. How absolutely cute is that?

Speaking of devious, blond best friends who enjoy plotting romance with their bffs, Ino. Well, she considers me and Sasuke her absolute matchmaking masterpiece. She broke up with Shikamaru after a few weeks and dropped out of accounting (she even admits she was only taking that course so she could ogle him three times a week) and she joined the theatre instead. Of course, Miss Hollywood Blondie is right at home there and actually wound up with her major in performing arts. She says she's so going to own Broadway. Ino also met this guy (who seriously creeps me out, and really pisses off Sasuke) named Sai there, and she's recently been going out with him. Sasuke almost killed him once for actually coming up to me and making a 'certain offer', if you know what I mean. Yeah, it freaked me out too. He still ogles me. Ewwness. And strangely, Ino still likes him. Whatever, it's her life.

"He's staring at your legs," Sasuke grit out through his teeth into my ear. There was only like one person sitting between me and Sai, separating me from him. I sighed and Sasuke glared at him, then grabbed me and very possessively crashed his lips against mine in a long, passionate kiss. Yeah, he still has those jealousy issues. Rock Lee, he threatens, like on a daily basis.

As for me and Sasuke, well, we've been together since the lake. After that first date, we definitely knew we clicked really well. Not long after, I was his steady girlfriend and he was my steady (hunkalicious) boyfriend. I practically moved into his loft, although Ino still uses my apartment, so Uruchi isn't lonely. And about four months ago Sasuke met my dad, the biologist, when he came home once for like two days after being in Brazil for three years, then headed right back to chase butterflies that cure malaria or something. He didn't make it to graduation tonight, but Itachi is taping the ceremony anyway. As for Sasuke's family, we get along as if I'm their long lost blood daughter. His parents are great, and his mom always gets the biggest kick out of every time I remember her birthday better than half her family. As you can imagine, that's not the sort of day I'd forget. His brother, Itachi, is really cool too, and he's like super nice to me, only then Sasuke started having some 'jealousy issues' with him too, so he doesn't talk to me much.

Sasuke himself is the absolute love of my life, as ever. I can talk to him about anything and be myself, and I'm pretty sure he feels the same way. I feel like we were completely and utterly made for each other. You know that manga, Absolute Boyfriend? Well Sasuke is like my Night, custom made for me, only even better (even though I totally supported Soushi the whole time). I didn't go to prom alone, he was my first kiss, and I finally had someone to let me wear their high school letter jacket and take me to the band banquet at the end of the year. Really, there's only one sentence that can describe it

"I love you, Sasuke," I whispered once he'd stopped kissing me, and threw my arms around his neck.

"I love you, Sakura," he murmured back, pulling me tighter.

Did we totally forget that this is a college graduation ceremony or what? We're professing our love while wearing caps and gowns, not even noticing that Shikamaru's speech is over and they're starting to call names, and Itachi's probably watching the whole thing from the audience through his binoculars, laughing it up.

Oh, right, I forgot to mention how me and Sasuke are sitting next to each other at an alphabetised graduation ceremony, when I'm a Haruno and he's an Uchiha. We kind of paid Shikamaru, damn wonderful genius, to hack into the computers and make it organised by first name instead of last name. Sasuke, Sakura - honestly, we're not in the top five graduating for nothing, people. Only then, you know, Sai. Whatever, that gay-bob is so not ruining my special day! Cha! Oh God, it sounds like I'm talking about marriage again. Enough, the m-word is forbidden, Sakura!

Sasuke smirked as Tenten (notsosubtly) coughed in the row behind us; I flushed and disentangled my arms from his neck, settling for leaving our hands linked like before.

"Hachi Tsuyomi..."

Holy crow, they're already on the h's?! Wasn't Shikamaru doing his speech thingie?

"Hinata Uzumaki..."

Ohemmmgeee! Hinata! I half stood up, bouncing up and down and beaming at the trembling brunette making her way across the stage. That was absolutely nothing, however, on about four rows in front of me, where I could see Neji and Naruto sitting next to each other. They'd both climbed so that they were standing on their chairs, whooping and hollering for Hinata like idiots at a football game, and from the looks of all the flashing, it looks like Naruto managed to smuggle a digital camera in the sleeve of his graduation robe.

"Oh, God," I muttered to myself, rubbing my forehead, as Sasuke shook his head in disbelief.

Instead of embarrassment and irritation though, I was beginning to feel wistful. This was probably the last time I was going to get to see Naruto getting security called on him (that is, unless we all go out for drinks after this), and strangely, I'm going to really miss it. My heart already has that dull sort of ache in it. Not to mention one of my best friends has already officially graduated college. Aw man, this feels just like her wedding when me and her mom started crying.

"Ino Yamanaka..."

Oh man, Ino. My Ino has graduated (and is now dancing with her diploma on stage...) I squeezed Sasuke's hand, giving a fluttery smile and trying to ignore the burning at the back of my throat that was begging to burst into tears. Through the connection of our hands, he must have felt what I was feeling, because he squeezed back.

I watched my best friends graduate and Sasuke watched his. Neji accepted his with composure; Naruto, of course tried to start a mosh pit by jumping off the stage, but Neji was right behind him and grabbed him back. Good thing too; I don't think Shino's great-grandmother could have taken it.

In no time at all, they were calling our row of s's and a couple straggling r names to go line up by the stage. Sasuke kept holding my hand, either sensing my nervous, butterfly filled innards or determined to keep some space between us and Sai till the very end, or maybe both. Sai's name was called, and after a very creepy fake smile, he skipped (literally) on stage. Sasuke sighed deeply and I felt my lips twitch despite myself as I caught "homosexual" among what he was muttering under his breath.

"Sakura Haruno..."

So with that left-over smile and a quick peck on the top of my head from Sasuke, I managed to walk across the stage in my fancy shoes, shake hands, graciously accept the roll of paper offered to me without getting a paper cut, and listen to the long-winded list of honors after my name.

I was still on the other end of the stage when I heard the booming announcement of "Sasuke Uchiha", and I quickly whipped around and watched him go through the line, a smirk spread across his features.

He didn't walk fast enough for me I guess, and I'm just exactly the kind of crazy, needy, true-romantic girlfriend that does things like this, but I ran across the remaining yards of glass floor separating us, and glomped him in a hug. I heard the audience 'aw', but what I was really focusing on was the way his warm, strong arms so automatically reached out and caught me, how his untidy, black hair tickled the side of my face, and how I could feel his quiet laughter vibrating in his throat.

Anyway, we got kicked off the stage and stood in front in four or five long lines of the alumni who had gone before us. And then it was all over. Everyone's name was called, the headmaster of the university gave a speech, and we yelled out our class year and threw our hats, same as in high school, only this time, we weren't going to be attending school ever again. It felt kind of funny, thinking of that.

Once we threw our hats, the people in the crowd started coming down into the main area where we were, parents looking for kids and friends wildly finding people to hug. It was really crowded, so Sasuke pulled me over to the big, glass stage, and we sat on the edge.

"So, how do you feel?" he asked me.

"Old," I replied very seriously, but I still laughed.

He laughed too, "Do you have any idea what you want to do with your life now?"

"Well, you know I'm qualified to be a doctor now, silly. I'll find a hospital, a residency, and maybe, after a few years, I can get my own practice. And my dad can supply me with malaria curing butterflies," I joked, twisting at the sash around my shoulders that proclaimed me as being very smart.

"Well, where do I fit into that?" he asked.

"Honestly, I wasn't sure if you wanted to fit into that," I mumbled truthfully.

"Well, duh," he said, rather childishly.

I cracked a grin, "Then you're my hunch-backed assistant who gets to pull all the levers in the lab."

"Wow," he said sarcastically as I laughed at him, but I could totally tell he thought that was funny. Then he said in a more serious tone, "Speaking of your dad."

"What about him?"

"Well, when he came back from Brazil, I asked him something."

"What did you ask?"

"I'll tell you in a minute," he said deviously, pretending to ignore my annoyed expression at being in the dark.

"So what did my dear, old dad say then? Huh, Uchiha?"

"He told me yes."

"Well, that clarifies th-

"I asked him for permission to ask you to marry me."

"... what?" OMG, he said the m-word. I just heard the m-word. Did he just say the m-word?!

"You heard me. I wanted to do it right."

"So you asked my dad's blessing four months ago?"

"Actually, I sent him an e-mail asking him to call me, about a year ago, since I didn't know when he'd be coming back, and I was getting impatient. He said his Blackberry broke when it fell out of his pocket while he was climbing a tree."

"A year?! Y-you you, a year!"

"U huh, I've been waiting. So now that only leaves one more person for me to ask." He stood up on the stage and pulled me up with him. He knelt down on the glass, and fished a tiny box out of the sleeve of his robe.

"Sakura Haruno, please, please marry me."

I. Am. In. Shock. I am in shock. IaminshockIaminshockIaminshock.

Can you repeat that?!?!

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.

I'm going to be engaged. Me. Seriously. I'm not going to be an old cat lady after all. Take that, Ino! You owe me fifty bucks! I'm engaged. I'm engaged! Woot!

While this little party is going on in my head, on the outside I'm standing perfectly still, my mouth open, because, yeah, SHOCK. I think it scared him, because he started looking really nervous, like I wasn't going to say yes. He started to stand up, I guess he was considering my silence as a rejection and just wanted to leave. My brain finished its shock slash wedding slash ohemmgeee to the extreme moment, and I could control my body again. I unexpectedly glomped him, and almost caught him off balance.

"Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes..." I sang excitedly in his ear, and I noticed that the crowd of people who had stopped their hugs to watch our little drama had taken my hugging him and the dazed smile on his face as a good sign, and started clapping. But, again, all I care about is the man who's hugging me tightly, rocking us back and forth. He stopped hugging me.

"Yes," he agreed solemnly, and gave me my first kiss as his fiancee. His fiancee.

Okay. Wow.

This one is for Arianna, love you eternally, honey, and Matt, whom I love so much it hurts, even if he doesn't know it. He really inspires a lot of my work.

Okay, readers, I apologise infinitely with my very heart, mind, body, and soul, for my lack of presence on Fanfiction and the extremely scarce updates. I can't even forgive myself! Again, really sorry. I've just been so busy lately. But I finally got this one completed at least. Excuse the corniness. I'm just that kind o gal.

So, I hope you enjoyed that chapter, the story, and thanks eternally to all who read and reviewed. Much love.