'YGGTTCB' is taking too long. I want to write this NOW dang it! So here you go. Enjoy!
Also, this story is Yamato and Sakura. Don't like? Then phooey on you! :) This is totally meant to be light-hearted and fun. You've been warned. Smooches!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its characters. This fic is made purely for entertainment purposes and not monetary gain.
Disclaimer 2: As with 'You Gotta Go There To Come Back', titles are taken from a band. Erasure this time. Why? Because I always get inspired while listening to music. And Erasure songs inspired this. :)
Light At The End Of The World
Chapter 1: Home
"So Sakura, here are the keys and it's all yours!" Sakura's mother pried open her daughter's stubbornly closed fist to press the set of keys into her palm, forcing the fingers to curl back around them when she was done.
"But Momma, you and Daddy are hardly 'old fogeys' as you put it. You really don't want to move into those apartments do you?"
Mr. Haruno's bright green eyes grew wide. "Are you kidding me?! No more lawn maintenance or household repairs."
Mrs. Haruno cut in. "No more up and down stairs to clean rooms that no one lives in."
Sakura tried to convince her stubborn parents again. "But-"
Her mother put comforting hands on her only child's shoulders. "No buts, sweetie. Your father and I have thought this through. Trust me! We spent many months weighing the pros and cons. This house is just too big for the two of us. You however, are just cresting adulthood. Someday in the near future, seriously sweetie near future, you'll be raising your own family and this house will be perfect for you. It's paid for and still in excellent shape so why not?"
Sakura rolled her eyes at her mother's 'near future' comment and then deflated. "It's not the house, Momma. I love the idea of raising any future kids here. It's just that you and Daddy are going to be so far away."
Her father let out a hearty chuckle. "What? The outpost town is maybe a two hour jog for a ninja! No more arguments. Those apartments are brand new and have wonderful amenities. We'll be happy there."
Sakura's shoulders drooped with a sigh. "If you really think it will make you happy...then I'm happy too." She let out a small smile for her parents' benefit.
"We'll see you in a few weeks okay? Come visit once we get settled in." Mrs. Haruno reached up to hug her taller daughter and then stepped away, wiping a few stray tears.
Sakura hugged her father and then waved as their wagon bounced down the path and out of sight.
Entering the house was a little surreal. With most of the furniture removed, it almost seemed eerie. The house had been filled with sounds and smells and life since she was a baby. This was the only home she had lived in until getting her own place three years ago. With it close to empty and silent and smelling of fresh paint, Sakura felt as if she didn't really belong there anymore.
She entered the kitchen, a giggle escaping as her eyes landed on the lighter patch of wall where a picture had been hanging. Her mother had thrown a fit when she realized how dingy her walls had become.
A frown formed when she looked over to the island in the kitchen. Her parents spent more time there reading than they did anywhere else. The lighting was better, they had said. She never understood why they didn't just invest in lamps so they could sit in a plush chair to read instead of on uncomfortable bar stools.
She continued to explore the house, the experience both familiar and odd. When she approached her old room, she smiled as she noticed how tiny it was. "Haha! I won't be sleeping in there!" She jumped slightly at the sound of her own voice and then shook her head, feeling silly for talking to herself in the first place.
Her parents' room, the spacious master bedroom was her room now. She had always loved that room. It had a sort of alcove where her parents had kept a small sofa and a television, a balcony that Sakura planned to enclose so she could enjoy the fresh air, but have some measure of privacy, and a huge bathroom.
She continued her exploration, realizing as she glided from room to room that her furniture would barely put a dent in all the empty space. Twirling a lock of pink, she bit her lip as she contemplated how long it would take her to fill the house. Green eyes closed with a small head shake, it didn't really matter how long it took. The house was hers now and however long it took, was how long it took. Case closed.
She really did need new furniture though. Her second-hand 'first apartment' furniture was nice enough, but it was starting to look a little rough. A few too many Team Kakashi get-togethers had taken their toll.
Shaking that thought from her head she made her way to the sliding glass door in the living room to look into the backyard. As she stepped out onto the wooden deck, it shifted and Sakura stilled. After a few seconds, she gave a little sideways push with her legs and the deck shifted rather violently. "Well, shit." She would need a new deck. From the motion she was getting the old wood wouldn't hold up much longer. Why hadn't her parents fixed that? The deck had obviously been in ill repair for a while. Then again, she hadn't been in the backyard in years, so maybe her parents didn't go out there either and just didn't know about it.
She smiled as determination swept over her. This would be no problem for an intelligent ninja such as herself! Surely she could whip up a new deck in no time. Grabbing her purse, she headed for the hardware store. Her father left most of his tools in the storage room in the backyard since apartments had their own maintenance. So all Sakura really needed was lumber and some nails.
The odd looks were plentiful as the pretty and petite kunoichi strolled home through the market, pulling along a large pallet of lumber. The stack of wood was taller than her and looked to weigh about five times her own weight, but she pulled it along as if it were nothing. She ignored the murmurs of 'freaky ninja' from the civilians and lesser shinobi, her mood too bright to be dampened by other villagers.
Getting home she quickly made her way to the backyard, eager to see what her handiwork produced.
Shortly after noon, a sweaty and exhausted Sakura looked at her "deck". She squinted her green eyes and tilted her pink head, but still had trouble deciphering what she was looking at. She thought she saw a stair...maybe...although the top of the structure was a strange place for a stair. A piece of wood broke and fell from her creation and she blinked in disbelief. 'That bad, huh?' Giving a sigh of despair, she realized reinforcements would be necessary.
Plopping down into the soft grass, she mulled over her options. Naruto would have gladly helped, but he was just as clueless about this sort of thing as Sakura was. Kakashi would know what to do, but actually getting the lazy jounin to pitch in would be a task she didn't feel like tackling. Sai was on a mission. Jade orbs lit with victory as her mind tumbled to the one man she knew would be the best choice to help her. Intelligent and too nice to say no, there was no doubt he would help her.
Setting off in search of her prey, Sakura made the rounds to all their usual haunts. He wasn't at Ichiraku or the training grounds. She didn't spot him in the Hokage Tower or around jounin headquarters. She knew he wasn't on a mission. The last place to check would be ANBU headquarters. Sliding her badge through the slot by the door, she waited until the little beep sounded, signaling she could pass.
Her low heels clicked along the tiled corridor as she surveyed the passing ninja, looking for a familiar mask in the dim, flickering, florescent light. Coming upon the break room, she glanced over to one of the corners and spotted him filling out a mission report. 'Jackpot!'
Sliding into the seat across from him, Sakura put on her most winning smile. "Good afternoon, Yamato-taichou!"
The wood user looked up from his report and immediately smiled at the woman across from him. "Ah, Sakura! Nice to see you. How have you been?"
"Great! How was your last mission?" She nodded to his report.
With a sigh he answered. "Successful, I guess. But you know just as well as I do that ANBU missions rarely have happy endings."
She knew all too well what he meant. A successful mission didn't mean everyone came home alive. Death was a part of every mission for the elite organization. Either teammate or target, someone was killed.
Trying to steer away from the depressing subject, Sakura smiled at him again. "I just got a house!"
Yamato tilted his head at her. "Oh, your parents moved after all, huh?"
"They just didn't want to remain in such a big house when it's just the two of them."
Yamato smiled slyly at her. "Yes and you by yourself makes much more sense."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "Well, if my mother has her way I'll be popping out babies in a year or two." She shook her head in amusement. "I'm in no hurry, but they're hopeful. I seriously don't know how my parents met and fell in love, but apparently they're under the impression that one day..." her voice took on a melodramatic quality "...Prince Charming and I will lock gazes and wordlessly, he'll sweep me up onto the back of his white steed. We'll ride off into the sunset to begin our lives as one, living happily ever after."
Yamato snorted. "In your parents' old house in Konoha."
Sakura giggled and tossed a stray napkin at him. "Shut up."
Yamato signed the bottom of his report and stood. "Well, it's been good seeing you but I've got to go hand this in."
Sakura blinked as she realized she hadn't even asked him for his help yet. "Oh, Yamato-taichou there was something I wanted to ask you."
The ANBU slowed his walk and let her catch up and walk with him. "Yes?"
"Well, today I realized the back deck of my house is not sturdy. Sort of a death trap really. And I hate to ask you for this, but no one else can help me and I already tried by myself and it didn't work out, so would you mind helping me build a new deck?"
The man blinked at the rambling question. "Hmm. I don't know. I'm not much of a handyman."
Sakura seemed to slouch. "Aw, come on! I don't have anyone else I can ask and you can manipulate wood so you're good at those sorts of things right?"
Yamato shook his head. "A common misconception, I'm afraid. As far as structures go, I really only know how to make houses. That's all I've ever trained on so I'm not sure about much else."
Sakura pouted and watched triumphantly as Yamato seemed to crack. Pulling out all the stops, the kunoichi looked up at him through her thick lashes. "Please, taichou?"
Hook, line and sinker. There wasn't a man in Konoha who could resist Haruno Sakura when she looked at them like that. With a sigh, the brunette shinobi nodded. "I'll help. I have the next two weeks off so I'm sure we can complete it."
Sakura's face lit up in a smile. "Oh, thank you! How does tomorrow morning sound?"
"I'll be there."
With a wave, Sakura turned to head back home.
Sakura woke the next day practically shaking with excitement. It wasn't often she got to do non-ninja things with any of her boys and over the years Yamato had become just as treasured as her other boys. The idea of hanging out without any pressures from work was very appealing. The added bonus of getting a brand new deck was a great mood booster as well.
After a quick shower, she dressed in some loose fitting jounin pants and a black t-shirt before getting a light breakfast. She took a moment to look around at all the boxes in her apartment and sighed. It would be so much easier to get her furniture in through the sliding glass door, but in order to do that she needed to wait until the new deck was finished. Sakura could only hope they finished the deck soon so she could move in and unpack. Having her stuff in boxes was a huge pain in the rear.
With a start she realized Yamato was probably on his way to her parents' old house and took off on the rooftops, racing to get there.
She landed soundlessly next to her "deck" in the backyard and screamed when there was an unexpected 'pop' next to her. "Taichou! You scared the hell out of me!"
Yamato chuckled at the pouting kunoichi next to him. "Shouldn't you be alert enough to not be surprised, my fellow ANBU?"
"Well, I didn't expect you to pop out of nowhere as soon as I landed in the yard!" Sakura crossed her arms and her gaze landed on her creation, causing a flush to run across her cheeks.
Yamato followed her line of sight and his eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Is that...?"
Shoulders slumped as Sakura sighed in defeat. "My attempt at a deck? Yes."
"Ah." Trying to be polite, the brunette tilted his head this way and that, trying to decipher what was where. When he got nowhere, he merely smiled at her. "Well, it's...very..." He trailed off, not really sure where to go from there. "Um...okay. Shall we try again?"
Sakura's face lit up. "Actually, I was hoping you would use your wood jutsu to make the deck."
"Eh, Sakura, I don't think that's such a good idea. I haven't trained at all on decks."
With a roll of her green eyes, she stated her case. "Come on, I trust you. You've admitted you're not much of a handyman and obviously my attempts don't amount to squat. I think you could do it." With a bright smile, she turned glittering eyes on Yamato and the ANBU captain was suckered in again.
"I'll give it a shot, but don't expect anything great."
Sakura stepped back and clasped her hands to her chest in excitement. "Ready when you are!"
After running a hand through his slightly messy hair, Yamato knelt down, formed a few hand signs and smacked his hands to the ground. There was the expected rumble and wood started to erupt from the ground to form the deck. The neat and even beams fell side by side to form the top and support beams criss-crossed underneath the structure. When Sakura gave a cry of delight, Yamato was slightly startled and lost his concentration. A surge of chakra rushed through him and went into his jutsu before he could stop it. The legs of the deck shot up toward the second story of Sakura's house before swaying towards the wall. Yamato tried to pull it back, but the deck broke through the back wall and the damage was done. He could only watch horrified as the structure rattled and the roof caved on the back side where there was no wall to support it. The pull of the roof caused the front of the house to follow and before he knew it, Sakura's house had caved in on itself.
He sucked air through his teeth and muttered a mild curse before turning wide-eyed to the volatile kunoichi behind him.
Sakura had a blank look on her face before she busted out laughing. Yamato was completely creeped out by the laughter. He was used to the yelling and screaming and hitting fits she was prone to. This was odd and cause for concern. "Sakura?"
"Okay, taichou. Haha, you got me! That was pretty funny. Let me just dispel the genjutsu and see what we have."
Yamato could only watch with increasing nervousness as she repeatedly clasped her hands and yelled, "Kai!"
Sakura began to frantically try to dispel the illusion and Yamato finally laid his hands on top of hers. "Sakura, I'm sorry. It's not a genjutsu."
After a few blinks, he got the reaction he had been waiting for. "YOU DESTROYED MY FUCKING HOUSE!!"
He winced as he tried to create some distance between himself and the advancing and dangerous woman. "I told you I wasn't sure what would happen!"
"YOU NEVER TOLD ME YOU MAY CRUMBLE MY HOUSE!"
Dark eyes darted around, looking for an escape route until Sakura started to giggle again. Confused, Yamato waited to hear what she had to say.
"I don't know why I'm getting so worked up over this! Just rebuild it." She smiled again and Yamato gulped.
"The only floor plan I can do is the normal house I build for our missions."
There was a great roar and then pleas for forgiveness as Sakura caught the elite jounin in her backyard.
Tsunade's gaze flickered between the scowling visage of her apprentice and the almost unrecognizable face of one of her elite ANBU captains. "So, what happened again?"
Sakura retold the tale through her clenched teeth, arms shaking as she visibly restrained herself from pummeling Yamato again. "And now I have no fucking house, because he destroyed it!"
Tsunade sighed. She was seriously going to need some sake before the day was through. "Well, as far as having your house rebuilt, I believe you and Yamato should split the cost."
Sakura opened her mouth to argue but the Hokage raised a hand. "He is at fault for using the jutsu, yes. But you were the one who egged him on. You're both at fault. The other issue is that we don't have any living quarters available. It's a bit of bad luck that your house met its end the week we're doing renovations to one of the shinobi dorm buildings. Everyone living there has already been crammed into all the other spaces available."
Tsunade shuffled through her papers, making sure there was nothing vacant. "Is there a friend you could stay with?"
Sakura ran through her friends in her mind and groaned. Naruto and Hinata just had their first baby and there was no way she going to intrude on that. Ino and Chouji were newlyweds. Lee would read too much into it. Kiba's place reeked of dog. Shikamaru was planning his wedding to Temari. Ten Ten and Neji were on-again off-again so much that she didn't want to be around either one. She was never close to Shino. And she knew Kakashi would say 'no'. "Everyone has something going on that I don't want to get into the middle of."
The Godaime smirked at Yamato. "Congratulations. You just got a new roommate."
A/N: The chapters won't be long for this. This is just something fun, not some huge epic. Leave a review if you have time, please! Smooches!