In your heart

A NaruSaku story

Prologue: Here comes the Bride


A Heaven on Earth I have won by wooing thee

~William Shakespeare

And the river was deep I didn't falter
When the mountain was high
I still believed
When the valley was low
It didn't stop me
I knew you were waiting
Knew you were waiting for me

~George Michael and Aretha Franklin


The sounds of battle had died down as the two adversaries faced off against each other on the battlefield. The tired Iwa-nin the last one standing of his companions flew through a series of rapid hand signs as he fired off a lethal jutsu.

"Doton: Shredding earth bullets!!" He cried out pushing his hands out towards his opponent.

A large pointed stone ripped itself from the ground and the pointed end aligned itself at the Konoha-Nin across the field from him, who was panting in the middle of a series of smooth rounded craters. The stone suddenly fractured and small fragments launched themselves at lethal velocities. As it looked like his exhausted opponent would be shredded by the deadly barrage the Leaf nin suddenly spun in a circle and released a vortex of chakra which destroyed or deflected the stones.

Sakai, Tosho cursed as the Kaiten stopped his latest attack cold for the umpteenth time. Still he smirked to himself. His opponent was clearly exhausted, which was to be expected considering he had fought off the bulk of the Rock force sent against him and his team. At the same time a small feeling of discomfort went through his stomach at that thought. Of the nearly forty strong force of Rock shinobi sent to intercept the four man leaf team escorting the scrolls they had come for, all but three were left. The majority had been taken down single handedly by the man standing before him with his accursed Byakugan eyes. Yet Tosho knew that his reinforcements were closer than the leaf Jonin's were. He felt the vibrations through his feet that indicated that the ten strong reserve force was close by. This bolstered his confidence and he decided he could afford to taunt the Leaf shinobi a little.

"Your good there's no doubt, but you're exhausted, and you're alone. My friends have killed your teammate by now and my reinforcements are on the way. Surrender now, and I'll make sure your given an honorable death." He commanded his voice showing the confidence of those who thought they had the upper hand.

To his eternal surprise, and rage not only did the Konoha Jonin not surrender he actually laughed mockingly at him.

"Surrender; to the likes of you?" Neji Hyuuga snorted as if the idea were absurd which of course it was. "Yes I am exhausted and my chakra is low. But I still have more than enough strength to kill you and complete my mission." Neji's voice held not a shred of doubt in it and this infuriated Tosho.

"You're a fool!!" Tosho snarled in rage at the Hyuuga's mocking tone. He was angered also by the fact that the Hyuuga seemed to be looking past him instead of at him as if he were irrelevant.

"Now DIE!!!" He began a rapid series of hand signs to perform another jutsu but was interrupted as a cold voice whispered in his ear.

"I couldn't agree more." The shudder down his spine was amplified as he looked down and found that he was covered in a virtual swarm of insects. The Kikaichu bugs quickly swarmed him and with a strangled cry he fell to the ground dead his chakra drained completely. Shino Aburami stood there for a moment as his many small friends returned themselves to his body. He noted that Hyuuga, Neji seemed to slump slightly before straightening up and taking a deep breath.

"You are unharmed?" Shino asked him in that quiet monotone voice of his as he regarded the Hyuuga prodigy and his teammate for this mission.

"Yes, for now; though we may have to move soon." Shino watched as Neji activated his Byakugan and quickly scanned the area before settling his gaze on the north. "He wasn't exaggerating when he said his reinforcements were close." Shino's response was merely to nod in agreement.

"Where are the others?" Neji asked as he recalled the two Chunin who he had sent ahead of him as he held the Iwa-nin off. One had been wounded and the other carried the scrolls they had so rigorously defended.

"My bugs are still alive but that's all I can tell from this distance. In truth once I knew they were safe I came back here to make sure you were as well."

"You came back for me? Why…?" Neji seemed surprised that the stoic Aburame would risk his safety for someone he hardly knew.

"Hinata, asked me to look out for you." Was the quiet reply causing Neji to smirk. He should have known, Shino was Hinata-sama's teammate so naturally his gentle cousin would ask him to look out for his well being.

No sooner had the words left Shino's mouth when ten figures suddenly burst from the ground to surround them. The two leaf shinobi put their backs together to better guard each other, and took up defensive stances. Neji cursed inwardly. He had allowed himself to be distracted by Shino's statement and missed that the shinobi he'd been looking for had vanished from his field of vision. He quickly looked around with his Byakugan and studied their opponents. They were all Chunin with a single Jonin leading them. It was then that he saw something that made a wicked smirk make its way across his face.

"Surrender now and we'll let you live." Neji spoke loud and clear with an air of total confidence as if they were not the ones surrounded and outnumbered ten to two. Shino maintaining his stoic and quiet demeanor was curious since the Hyuuga behind him was not one given to vainglorious boasts. He reached out with his senses to see if Neji knew something he didn't and found what he was looking for. Their reinforcement was on her way, and Neji could see that with his Byakugan.

"Yes our reinforcements are almost here and you won't be able to withstand her power..." Shino offered as casually as if he were talking about the blue sky overhead.

"…Especially since she's late for the preparations for her wedding." Neji nearly laughed at Shino's comment though the smile on his face was not a humorous one.

The Rock shinobi around them laughed mockingly before raising various weapons and cautiously approaching their opponents. Just as the Jonin was about to signal the attack they were interrupted as a pink blur flashed in front of their vision and the ten of them were thrown from their feet by a massive shockwave which deformed the ground around them in a large radius.

"W-W-Who are you…?" one of the downed Chunin stammered as he took in the person before them who had done so much damage. She was a beautiful woman around eighteen years of age. A head of long pink hair confined by a red ribbon with a Konoha forehead protector blew around her in the wind and was offset by a pair of intense emerald green eyes that blazed angrily at them. She wore a scarlet top underneath a white medic-nins vest, a pair of black shorts beneath a pink skirt, and a pair of tall boots. Completing the outfit was a pair of forearm length gloves.

"I'm the apprentice of the Godaime Hokage Tsunade, one of the Neo-Sannin, and fiancé of the most powerful ninja in the world Naruto Uzumaki." She spoke softly though her voice carried an edge that bespoke the awesome power at her disposal.

"My name; is Haruno, Sakura."

An involuntary shudder went down the Iwa-nin's spines as they realized who they were facing. Still they had a mission to complete, and fallen comrades to avenge. So they stood their ground and prepared to do battle. After all they were ten strong men of Iwagakure, and she was just a single Konoha female surely the legends about her were exaggerated.

"You two should be running now." Sakura quietly told the two behind her.

"And be forced to listen to Naruto yell at us about leaving you behind; Never!" Was Neji's bemused reply. Sakura smirked before replying back.

"Well don't say I didn't warn you." She smiled before launching herself like a missile at one of rock shinobi. The battle that followed was brief and to the eyes of the two leaf shinobi shockingly one sided.

With a howl the Rock-nin charged in at the roseate haired lioness in front of them. Kunai and shuriken were thrown along with several boulders one of which passed close enough that Neji and Shino were forced to leap backwards to avoid it. However Sakura was untouched, no matter what the Rock shinobi tried they could not touch her. Blades missed her by inches, punches and kicks never connected as she dodged and danced as gracefully as her namesake on the wind, avoiding every attack. But it was when she attacked that her true strength was shown. Sakura was like a force of nature; utilizing Tsunade's Iron-Fist taijutsu combined with several martial arts styles learned elsewhere, her fighting style was lethally efficient and brutally straight forward. She attacked with all of her limbs. Hands, elbows, feet, legs, knees, and at one point even used her head to knock the Jonin out with a head butt and a follow up knee strike to the groin that caused both Neji, and even the ever stoic Shino to wince. Her raw power crushed bones, and burst organs with each strike, and all to soon she stood alone and victorious amidst a bevy of destroyed humanity.

Sakura dropped the unconscious Rock Jonin, and walked over to her friends with a serious expression on her face. "Why didn't you two send for help earlier?" she asked them somewhat accusingly. "I was close enough to help." This time there was no mistaking the accusation in her voice and both men gulped softly. They had just witnessed her decimate a ten strong group of Chunin and a Jonin with nothing more than Taijutsu, and with no more effort than it took to brush the dirt off her white medics vest. As such they did not wish to brave the brunt of her considerable wrath.

It was Shino that answered first his voice as quiet and stoic as always "As Neji told you, did you think we would want to listen to Naruto lecture us about your safety if we let anything happen to you?"

"Yes, much less what the Hokage would do to us." Neji was quick to add, as Sakura used her healing jutsu to ease the ache of his muscles. "What of the others?" Neji quickly asked in a somewhat indelicate attempt to distract the irritated roseate haired woman.

"They're fine." She replied with a huff. "I healed Subaki's leg and sent them on ahead. Shun'o has the scrolls safe in her possession, and they should be halfway to Konoha by now. "She answered casually apparently unwilling to continue the argument as she concentrated on healing their—mostly minor—injuries.

Finally she finished and nodded apparently satisfied with her work, and gave the two of them a cheeky grin. "Well then, It looks like I'll have to have a talk with my fiancé about his over protectiveness as soon as we get back wont I?" she replied before turning and leaping away leaving Neji and Shino standing there with their jaws hanging open.

For a moment the two men stood there contemplating the topics of discussion the Fox and the Cherry blossom would share, before both decided it was best not to contemplate further and leapt after her as they headed for Konoha.

-ooOoo-

Two weeks.

She had been away from him for two lousy weeks on this accursed mission. Away from home, away from her job at the hospital, away from her friends, and most importantly away from him; Naruto, her fiancé, her soulmate, her best friend, fiancé, and the love of her life.

"Naruto…" Just thinking the name made her go all light hearted and giddy with anticipation. She imagined him scooping her up in a crushing bear hug while he kissed her passionately before using his Wild Storm flight technique to fly her to their apartment where he'd do things to her that caused a bright red blush to spread across her cheeks. Inner Sakura was gleefully rubbing her hands in anticipation as well.

Sakura could only smile at the thoughts of what they shared. Naruto was the bright shining sun in her life. She orbited him as surely as the earth did the sun. He was her center, heart, mind, body, and soul. Over the course of her life he had waited for her, showing her nothing but love and affection always. Always standing up for her, building her self esteem and confidence with every word, never once doubting her or thinking her weak. Even though he went out of his way to protect her he never held it against her. Instead he would fight all the harder for her. No matter whom the enemy he would protect her, even from herself. He was her Earth, her strength and courage in the darkest times. When she wanted to quit, or was at her limits he would be surpassing his, he would drive himself to exhaustion and beyond, and then he would come back for more. This inspiration was what drove her to excel under Tsunade during the two and half years he was away. It was also what had made her fall deeply, madly, and whole heartedly in love with him.

Soon the gates of Konoha appeared before them, and sure enough a familiar chakra signature was felt by the trio. As this signature became apparent Sakura suddenly sped up trying to reach them as quickly as possible. Her excitement was all but showing on her face, and Neji could only smirk and shake his head. She had been gone from Konoha for two weeks now as their backup and she had surely missed her blond lover. Sure enough he looked out with his Byakugan; the white eyes scanning ahead brought into focus the enormous chakra flow of a single individual. Again Neji smiled as he increased his speed to keep up with Sakura who was beginning to out pace them both. Sakura's excitement was infectious as even Shino smirked slightly while he leapt forward as well eager to get home and see his teammates again.

-ooOoo-

Two weeks.

She had been gone for two weeks from Konoha on this accursed mission. Two weeks of fear and anxiety while he worried about her safety, worried night and day about the love of his life. Next to him on top of the wall Ino sat and placed a gentle reassuring hand on his shoulder. He gave her a small smile of thanks which she returned, but his gut still twisted and bubbled unpleasantly. So he resumed pacing praying to every spirit he knew that she would return ok.

He knew he was worrying over nothing really. After all she was with Shino and Neji, two of Konoha's strongest Jonin, and quite frankly she was more than capable in her own right. Still that didn't stop the worry from eating its way into his insides, especially with rumors of Rock shinobi in the area making its way to his ears. The two Chunin who had been with Neji and Shino had returned and passed on the information that Sakura had healed one of them before leaving to go and rescue the two Jonin, that was the last they had seen of her, and so naturally he worried.

And rightly so; after all she was the love of his life, his heart, soul, and everything good he had in his whole misbegotten life was tied up in her happiness, well being and safety. She was everything to him, his wildest fantasy, his clearest reality all wrapped up in a pink haired bombshell that could knock him off his feet with even the tiniest smile. She was his Heaven; the sharp mind, and keen wit that kept him safe, and the courage and determination that pushed him to strive ever onwards towards his dreams. He knew he wouldn't be able to relax until she was safely inside the gates of Konoha, safely inside his arms. Than he would hold her, and kiss her, and finally relax as he listened to her talk about the mission while he massaged her sore shoulders, and nuzzled into her silky pink hair.

Naruto spared a brief glance to his right as he took in the purple clad, platinum blond beauty at his side. Ino sat there on top of the wall overlooking the forest as casually as a house cat sunning herself—which she was in truth—apparently having no worries at all. Her sparkling turquoise eyes looked up at him and twinkled with happiness and a hint of mischief as she blushed slightly before smiling back at him.

Naruto smirked inwardly a bit; ever since they had come back from their vacation Ino whom he already considered a friend, and who Sakura considered a sister, had been very openly flirtatious with him. Apparently she had seen he and Sakura make love together, and it had shaken her up pretty good. Still Ino was a strong girl and a good friend to them both. So she had taken to the role of big sister for him with aplomb and grace.

She had also taken to the role of Maid of Honor with equal aplomb. Working hard to make sure that their upcoming wedding went off without a hitch, and that all the preparations were in order. Her vivaciousness, and intelligence, and sharp tongue enabled her to get things done quickly and so their wedding date approached and soon he and Sakura would be husband and wife.

The very thought both exhilarated and scared him half to death, however before he could contemplate that thought further, something caught the attention of his Kyuubi enhanced senses. A whiff of strawberries, and cherry blossoms carried on the wind towards him, far away but approaching fast. Ino started as he leapt to the edge and stared hard in the direction he'd smelt the scent coming from.

"Is it them?" she asked him eagerly. He didn't answer her focused as he was on extending the range of his senses as far as he could. For a moment nothing was there, and he felt a small twinge of disappointment, but then at the edge of his vision he saw it, a flash of pink and red that could only be his one and only love. Ino was about to ask again when suddenly she was buffeted by a gust of wind as Naruto shot skyward like a rocket before flying off in a black and orange blur. The expletive she was about to spurt died on her lips, and was replaced with a chuckle as the orange and black blur, became an orange, black, red, and pink blur which zoomed out of the forest and swooped past her before circling Konoha once, then rocketing skywards where it slowed down and just floated high overhead drawing a lot of stares, and quite a few comments from the citizens.

Ino could only shake her head before she leapt down to the ground and waved in greeting to Neji and Shino who had just arrived at the gates via the more conventional method.

"Ino-san." Neji greeted her formally, he looked a little tired but otherwise unscathed. Hinata would be happy about that she thought, as well as happy that her teammate was unharmed as well.

"Hi Neji-sempai, Shino-san, made it home safely I see." she smiled back at them.

"Of course." Shino replied quietly as if it were an everyday occurrence. "The others are safe? "He asked her in that monotone voice of his that you almost had to strain to hear sometimes.

"Yeah they arrived two hours ahead of you and already reported to Tsuande-sama." She replied evenly with a smile.

"Good than we should do the same." Neji replied before bowing to her "We'll see you at the weekly get together tonight Ino-san." He than turned and with Shino behind him leapt to the roofs and made his way to the Hokage's tower to report leaving a sighing Ino to make her way back to the flower shop.

-ooOoo-

Sakura was leaping from branch to branch at a good clip as she could clearly see the gates even as far away as they were when suddenly she screamed in surprise as a blond, black and orange blur swooped down out of the sky and caught her in midair before rocketing skywards over Konoha. Her scream turned into a joyous laugh as she felt herself soaring above Konoha and carried bridal style by a familiar pair of arms. Quickly she wrapped her arms around Naruto, and buried her head in the crook of his neck as the wind whistled past her.

Naruto flew in an exited circle around Konoha soaring overhead and shouting an exited YAHOO before going ballistic and stopping in midair high above Konoha where he relaxed and allowed the thermals and air currents to push them slowly along with the clouds. As they drifted his lips captured hers in a kiss that left her as breathless as her sudden ascent had. Gently he readjusted her in his arms so that his were wrapped securely around her waist, and hers wrapped around his neck. Together they began to sway back and forth dancing slowly high above the roofs of Konoha to a music only they could hear.

"Your back, I missed you so much." He whispered softly while resting his forehead against hers.

"You're a dork; but you're sweet to." She chuckled slightly before kissing him softly. Their lips flowed together like soft honey, sweet and gentle and stayed that way until the need for air forced them apart briefly.

"Wanna go home?" he asked her his sapphire blues met her emerald greens and stayed locked in her gaze as he took in all that she was with a look.

"I am home." She sighed softly while nuzzling into his neck "I'm here in your arms, and everything's right with my world." She finished softly feeling the soft rumble in his chest as he chuckled happily. Then she felt him nuzzling and nibbling and kissing his way down her neck which caused a small moan to emit from her throat.

"Keep it up Fox; you may have to follow through before you're done." she purred as his lips did more sinful things to her neck. Suddenly his lips closed with hers clashing together like two storm fronts. A tempest of lust ensnared them pushing them further and deeper into the storm that was their love.

"I'd better go report to Tsunade-Shishou." She sighed softly as their lips parted once more and she laid her head against his chest.

"Meh! Baachan can wait besides, Neji and Shino can fill her in." He grumbled unwilling to let her go now that he had her back in his arms.

"Naruto you know better than that." She scolded him though her voice was soft and had no real edge to it. "Drop me off at her office and I'll meet you at home so I can shower. Then we'll go to the get together tonight."

She smirked as he put on that adorable pout she loved so much. "What if I don't wanna go?" he whined slightly causing her to narrow her eyes at him, before she saw him get a mischievous grin on his face that usually meant she would be getting into trouble.

"Instead what if I want to take you to bed and make up for the last two weeks we missed?" He smirked while nuzzling her neck causing Sakura to feel a pleasant shudder run down her spine. "HOME NOW!!" Inner Sakura made her preference known loud and clear. But Sakura quickly mastered herself and narrowed her eyes at him.

"Hokage's office, now babe." she poked him in the ribs to emphasize her point, before smiling beautifully at him.

"Yes babe." He responded with a smile before kissing her gently. Sakura moaned softly before deepening the kiss as his tongue began a soft exploration of her mouth. She felt a small lurch as they began to descend slowly down from the sky before they touched down on the roof of the Hokage tower as light as a feather.

"Go home, get showered, and I'll see you soon." She crossed her arms to emphasize her point. He saluted cockily before kissing her long and deep. She felt her knees go weak and if he hadn't cupped his hands on her cheeks she certainly would have dropped to the ground in a daze. But no sooner had the kiss begun then it ended and he was airborne again soaring off towards their apartment.

Chuckling softly Sakura thought that maybe just maybe she'd give her Shishou a fast report before quickly making her way home. Then maybe she and Naruto could share the shower. Sakura allowed the thought to percolate in her brain a bit as she made her way to the Hokage's office to report in.

To be continued


Naruto owned by Masahashi Kishimoto

Story owned by me