A/N: I told you I'd be updating more.
To those who've put me on Author Alert or are fans of my other stories, I suggest looking at my profile. I've put a poll, which will help me decide if I should continue some of my long-neglected stories, especially Impatience and Dark Days. So please, IF YOU CARE, VOTE!
Also, a new chapter of A to Z: Dream Team, Uncut! will be released in a bit. So keep looking forward!
Enjoy! And review please! It'd mean a lot to me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Plain and simple.
"Oh, she's waking up! She's waking up! MY BABY'S WAKING UP!"
Emerald green eyes fluttered open to see a worried mother looming over her. Sakura was awake.
"Mrs. Haruno, please allow me to tend to your daughter." An unfamiliar voice said, calming the woman down.
"Of course," Haruka complied, a tear in her eye.
Haruka knew that she had every right to be overly ecstatic about her child waking up. Sakura had been out of it for almost two weeks, due to exhaustion and starvation. She had a broken leg and many cuts and bruises, especially around her wrists and ankles. Oh yeah, she had a sprained ankle too. It was simply too much for a mother to take, especially when her husband had to attend an early morning defense hearing.
"Sakura, welcome back. You've been in an exhaustion-induced coma for the past thirteen days." The nurse explained.
The pink-haired girl had a hard time comprehending, but she nodded understandingly. "I see." She briefly acknowledged. "Where's Gaara?"
Haruka held her daughter's hand comfortingly. Sakura's grip was hard on it as she looked at her mother's matching eyes questioningly. "Well,"
"He's gone, isn't he?" Sakura realized, and tears came down her face. She stared at her broken leg, not knowing what to do anymore. A couple of her friends had signed the mid-thigh high plaster cast.
WAKE UP SOON! Or you'll miss prom. Love, Ino
Saki, get well soon! You promised me ice cream. - Naruto
Get well soon Sakura. We all miss you. - Hinata
Ugly is an understatement for your state. Won't call you that again. - Sai
"Wait...mom, how did Ino and Naruto and Sai and all the others get to sign my cast?" Sakura wondered. They were all on their respective vacations, and couldn't have possibly come all the way to Suna to sign it.
"Honey, we're back in New York." Haruka said, kissing her daughter's strawberry locks lovingly. "Everyone visited you over the week."
Sakura gave a faint smile to her mother. She was glad to be back in New York. She'd love to see all her friends again. But there would always be an empty space in her heart for Gaara. She nonchalantly continued reading the signatures on her cast, trying to make herself cheer up while her mother spread the good news via text.
There was one signature though, that really brightened up her mood.
I don't know when you'll wake up, but I'd like you to know that I love you. I'll see you soon. - Gaara
"Yes, sweetheart?" Haruka looked up from her Blackberry, just as she was about to send a group message to...everyone.
"Where's Gaara?" She resounded her question from earlier.
"Well, he's not here." Haruka answered. "That's what you meant by gone, right?"
Sakura slammed a bandaged hand on her forehead. This whole incident might've affected her mother a little too much. "Mom, I thought Gaara died!"
"Nonsense!" Her mother exclaimed. "What I meant was that Gaara had to rush back to Suna earlier in the week to explain a few things to the media."
"So, he didn't get shot?" Sakura's voice sounded so relieved. She felt like jumping out of the bed and running all the way to see him.
"No honey. What did you think?" Haruka giggled.
"Well, he was gonna get killed! And, and there were so many guys with guns and—and" Sakura frantically explained the horror of her last conscious memory.
"Honey, those gunshots? That was Gaara's backup. They luckily arrived on time and saved the both of you. The Uchiha made it too, but he lost some blood back there." Haruka clarified the situation. "Oh, and Happy New Year, sweetheart."
"Gaara, she's awake!" Tsunade notified, the happiness evident in her voice.
Gaara was still dressed from that press conference regarding Matsuri's arrest. He was in his room, trying to quiet his mind when Tsunade walked in, phone still attached to her ear.
He looked up at the blonde adviser. It was like a weight had been lifted off his chest. He gave Tsunade a slight grin, showing how relieve he was.
"Is that her on the phone?" He asked, anxious to talk to her.
"No, it's her father, sharing the good news." Tsunade said, and his heart fell once more.
"Well, just please tell me when she's available. I must speak to her immediately." He replied. Tsunade left with a curt nod, shutting the door behind her.
The first day back at school wasn't so treacherous. In fact, it was a slight deviation from the royal treatment. Her friends took turns carrying her up and down the stairway to get to her next class. She was given a warm welcome back from the dance troupe, and they gave her a little show. The soccer team brandished the second place trophy they earned in the Inter-City championships. Her friends even took her out for dinner.
"To Sakura!" Naruto announce, raising a glass of ginger ale. "For surviving a national epidemic!"
"To Sakura!" Everyone else raised their glasses, and Sakura grinned with compliance. It was definitely good to be back, she told herself. Aside from needing crutches for the next two months, life was absolutely normal.
"Now if only you'd introduce us to your heroic fiance!" Naruto continued, and the group burst into fits of laughter. Sakura giggled along with them, feeling a bit down after Naruto reminded her of him.
She had been trying to reach Gaara through Skype, phone, etc. But his PAs have all been saying that he's been very busy recently, and he'd get to her as soon as possible. Slightly disappointed, she'd tell them to notify her as soon as possible.
"So anyways, Sakura," Ino started, digging into the her salad. "Prom's coming up, and we have to go shopping." She proposed.
"Well, try as you might Ino, I don't think you'll get this—" She motioned to her cast and bandages. "—into prom worthy shape by then."
"CHALLENGE ACCEPTED." The blonde declared, and the two burst out laughing.
"Ah, and who are you bringing?" Sakura questioned.
"Well, since I don't have a handsome fiance to sweep me off my feet, I'm settling for Kiba." Ino said.
"WAAAAAIT, Kiba?" Sakura said in disbelief.
"Mmhmm," Ino affirmed. "He asked me at the hospital, actually."
"Well, that's...different." Sakura noted. The two teenagers were the school's most notorious players, as people'd like to say. "I'd think the both of you would be going solo."
"That's the thing. He said that we'd probably end up going by ourselves in 'a declaration of independence', that we might as well go together!" Ino said. "Anyways, I think we'd really look good together. Who knows, right?"
"Who knows..." Sakura agreed, trailing off.
"You miss him, don't you?" Ino noticed.
The pinkette nodded. "I haven't talked to him since before I passed out. Plus, with all this senior prom talk, the drastic loneliness is seriously dawning on me. I just want to know that he's okay."
"You really love him."
Once again, Sakura nodded. "His 'I love you' was the last thing I heard before passing out." She fought the urge to cry. She knew she was strong, she knew he was strong, but she was still so worried. "He hasn't even called."
"Don't worry. He'll call you soon. He's probably thinking of you, right now." Ino reassured, stroking her best friend's back in a comforting manner. "For sure."
"High Prince, you have another message from Lady Sakura." Shizune said, intercepting Gaara as he came from another press conference, this time about the upcoming parliament elections.
He glanced at his watch. It was already 12 noon in New York. She would be in school.
"Would you like me to dial her back?"
"No." Gaara said, before walking back to his room. Halfway there, he stopped and turned around. "Shizune,"
"Yes, High Prince?"
"Cancel all future press conferences this month. If something comes up, put Tsunade on it. And can you please give a call to Haruno Ken. I need to speak to him. Oh, and also call up this number." Gaara ordered, taking out a piece of paper and handing it to the PA. He then continued walking to his room. Inside, he started packing.
Was Sakura going to get the surprise of her life.
Sakura had been nominated for Prom Queen. She thought that it was out of pity, especially with a leg fracture. She was very well liked and everything, but Prom Queen wasn't exactly her thing. Luckily, she had a socialite of a best friend to campaign for her. Unluckily, Ino was a very, very good campaign manager.
"Good luck, Sakura!" Random people called out to her in the hallway. She just had to smile and wave, which was pretty hard to do while still in crutches. The pain was still unbearable, and she had to go through the whole week without ear or hair of Gaara. Not to mention she had to visit that trauma shrink for the next six months.
Before she knew it, the Saturday of the dance had come. Ino and Tenten were in her room, helping her get into her prom dress. It was an emerald green halter, with lace detailing and a draping skirt that ended just before her knees.
Ino disregarded the fact that Sakura had a disabled leg in a cast, she adorned her foot with a simple golden heel (the kind with the protective strap, just in case). She gave her friend gold bangles and matching drop earrings. Her hair was up and set with golden flowers around her cranium, and she had very light eye makeup in the same shade.
"You look absolutely perfect!" Ino exclaimed, pleased with her work. The blonde was dressed in a blue tube dress with silver accessories.
"It's true Saki, you look prom-ready, even with the cast!" Tenten agreed. She wore a silver metallic high-cut gown that wrapped around her athletic figure. Her shoes and jewelry were a startling black leather and studded.
"Kiba and Lee will be here soon. Lucky Kiba has a van, right?" Ino pointed out. Five of them would arrive together. Having Lee in the car was enough, but with Sakura's crutches, a van was definitely called for.
"Yes, yes." Tenten agreed. "Saki, I think your mom is calling."
"Dammit! She has the camera."
"Isn't this great Sakura? Sai did a pretty good job with decorations!" Naruto said, sitting by his pink-haired friend at their table. He had just finished his shift as the DJ, and decided to spend the rest of the night keeping the disabled Sakura company while everyone else danced.
"That guy is definitely genius," Sakura added, sipping from her punch glass. "Where is he, anyways?" She wondered, glancing around for the pale, dark-haired boy. It was true, Sai had done a pretty good job with the gymnasium. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and Sai had worked his butt off to make it extra enchanting. Heck, he even rented some robotics!
But instead of the targeted artist she wanted to congratulate, she instead found two pale, dark-haired boys.
And they were brothers.
Her eyes darted around the large room for more familiar faces. She counted them—nine, in total. Two Uchihas, two Hyuugas, Shino, Sasori, Deidara, Kankuro, Temari...and the redhead boy making an uncannily dramatic entrance could be no one else but Gaara.
Sakura suddenly jumped up, her stomach filled with butterflies. She struggled with getting on her crutches, absolutely flustered. Naruto helped her up, letting her hold onto his arm for balance.
"Surprise, Sakura!" He declared.
"You knew?" Sakura questioned.
"Well, yeah. He called from Suna a few days ago. Said not to tell you anything. Kinda awesome actually. He got the Naruto stamp of approval!" Naruto explained. "So surprise!"
"I'm still deciding if I love you or if I want to bury you 6 feet underground." Sakura teased, punching her best friend on the arm. "Thanks, Naruto. Sort of."
"Well, in return, you wanna might...introduce me to that pretty girl who was with you when we skyped?" Naruto asked, blushing bashfully.
Sakura grinned. It was too adorable not to succumb to. Anyways, Naruto and Hinata are perfect for each other.
Of course, Tsunade found the idea absolutely absurd. He could tell just by the way her eyebrow was creased towards the center, and how she was reaching for the sake bottle on her desk.
"...you do?" Gaara asked, shocked by the sudden permission given.
"You have to see her sometime. And I know you're tired of press conferences." She explained. "I think it's perfect."
So here he was, walking towards her. She was a dream in emerald, regardless of the handicap. He pushed through the crowd of dancing teenagers to where she stood, waiting for him.
It was absolute bliss when he swept her in his arms and kissed her. It has been way too long—three weeks—since he last had a taste of her cherry lips. He lifted her off the ground bridal style. There was a spotlight on them, courtesy of an unmentioned friend (Fact: Shikamaru was assigned to the lights team), but they didn't mind. For that split second, it was just the two of them.
"I missed you," Gaara stated as their kiss broke.
"Then why didn't you call?" She scolded playfully, adding a little slap to his chest.
"I tried, so hard. But things kept coming up, and the timezones...look, I'm sorry. Forgive me?" He pouted uncharacteristically, and she couldn't help but do so. With another kiss, he set her down on her chair.
"What are you doing?" Sakura asked.
"If we're gonna do this, might as well do it properly." He was getting down on one knee. He brought out a small velvet box and opened it. On a golden band sat a diamond the size of her pinky fingernail. She gasped, tears falling from her eyes with surprise. "Haruno Sakura, will you do me the honor of being my un-arranged, wife?"
Sakura smiled and uttered "yes," through her joyful sobs. Gaara then proceeded to place the ring on the finger it belonged, and kissed her hand gently.
"I love you," He whispered in her ear as she hugged him.
"I love you too."
"And now, the moment you've all been waiting for!" A voice boomed from the speakers. All the dancing stopped and everyone turned their attention to face their school principal. He held a small white envelope in his hands.
The crowd cheered, predicting what it was.
"This year's Prom King and Queen are;" he pulled out the results from the envelope and read out "Naruto and Ami!"
The crowd roared as the spotlight landed on the winners. Naruto stood up and accepted the praise gladly. He ran up the stage and joined Ami, who was absolutely disgusted with the other result. Regardless, Naruto accepted the crown happily.
Sakura laughed, thinking the crown simply looked like extra spikes from his pointy hairstyle. She clapped profusely for her best friend, slightly relieved that it wasn't her standing there with him.
"Aw, you didn't win." Gaara commented.
"How did..." Sakura wondered. "...right. You called Naruto."
"And Ino." He added with a smirk. "I got constant updates from the both of them, including the nomination for Prom Queen."
Sakura gave out an amused giggle. "I didn't want to win anyways."
"Well, I guess that's fine." Gaara conceded, getting lost in her deep green eyes. He then leaned forward to whisper quietly in her ear, "You're my queen, anyways."
A/N: AND THAT'S A WRAP!
"Sora, go to sleep already." Sakura cooed the five-year old. She sat on her son's magnificent bed, waiting for him to finally fall asleep. She's been at it for hours, and she had probably become more sleepy reading the child's storybooks than the redhead child had.
"But, Mama, I'm not sleepy!" He cried, looking at his young mother with pleading, emerald orbs.
Sakura sighed. At twenty-seven, she couldn't deny that her little Sora was the best thing that every happened to her. But for once, she'd like to feel like a normal twenty-seven year-old for once, without having to wait several hours for her son to fall asleep.
"Mama, Papa hasn't given me my goodnight kiss yet."
With a twinge in her heart out of pity, she stood up from her son's bed. Her silhouette admonished with a simple blue nightgown and a matching robe. She didn't want to leave her son, especially when he said something like that.
"Sora, Papa is busy. He'll give you a kiss when you're asleep. I'll make sure of it." She reassured, giving him a goodnight kiss of her own.
Sora whined, but conceded. He yawned, his determination to stay awake waning. "Goonight, Ma-PAPA!" he suddenly cried.
Sakura turned around to see her husband, tired from hours of paperwork and conferences. He leaned on the doorframe, his eyes illuminated by the weak lamplight in their son's room. He approached the bed with a small smile and leaned over to give his son a kiss and a ruffle of his matching locks.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Sora." He apologized. "Now, you can sleep."
Sora nodded. His parents noticed the drowsiness in his eyes. Nevertheless, the 5-year old smiled, satisfied that his father was able to give him well wishes before he drifted into dreamland.
"Goodnight, Sora." Sakura said, turning off the lights and closing the door behind her. Once outside, she let out a sigh. "I don't know how you do it."
Gaara chuckled, offering his arm for her to take. "It's a talent," He said, leading her down the long hallway.
"I still don't understand, but I'm just glad you saved me. He's getting to be an energetic little kid." The pinkette noted the challenge of being a mother. "Ah well, now we can go to sleep."
Her husband smirked. "I'm not letting you off that easily."
Sakura looked at him in disbelief. Sure enough, he hadn't led them to their bedroom. Instead, they were in a large studio. The floors were a light bleach planking, and a mirror took up the whole west wall of the room. Roses were scattered around, but left the center clean and petal-free.
Gaara let go of her as she was in awe, only to walk towards the stereo and turn it on. He then quickly rejoined his wife, and led her to the sensual rhythm of a samba.
The pinkette giggled as he spun her around. Back in his arms, she whispered, "So this was your little plan. No wonder you were taking so long."
"I felt guilty for leaving you on our anniversary." He explained. "The day I found you in the hotel." He added when his wife gave him an incredulous look. Their wedding anniversary was two months ago.
"Ahh," Sakura acknowledged the date. "You know, for a king, you're pretty good at remembering these things."
Gaara smirked. Oh, after all these years, Sakura still melted every time he did that. "And for a queen, you're not very good at it."
She gave him a playful slap. To retaliate, he dipped her halfway.
"Careful," He warned, supporting her a little higher than usual. "I don't want to hurt the baby."
His wife bounced back up, startled at his knowing. "I was going to tell you later! How did you find out?"
"Careful observation over the past few weeks." he stated as-a-matter-of-factly.
"Past few weeks? I found out the other day!" She cried.
"As you said," He kissed her forehead gently. "I'm good at remembering things. Like your pregnant cravings."
Sakura smiled, unable to stay mad at him for long. As the song ended, she wrapped her arms around him, taking in his essence. "I don't know if I should be angry, or if I love you."
"Oh, you're doubting me now?" Gaara questioned, his tone teasing.
"A-a-a, I didn't mean it like-!" She was interrupted by his lips slamming into hers. "...I love you."
She felt him smiled in her cheek. "I love you too."
A/N: And now, it's a wrap.
*Standing on podium, holding flowers in one hand and wiping tears with the other*
I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL MY SUBSCRIBERS, FOR THEIR UNVOICED SUPPORT. MY REVIEWERS, FOR VOICING THEIR SUPPORT (almost one hundred reviews!). I'D LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO GAVE SUGGESTIONS AND UPDATE ENCOURAGEMENTS. Without ALL of you, I really, couldn't have made this my first complete, multi-chap story! I'm so freaking happy, I'm crying.
No, really. I am.
It's been two long years full of delays and such. I've grown up a lot because of fanfiction. When I re-read this, I could see the difference in maturity from a seventh-grader to an incoming high school junior.
I'd like to apologize for all those times I've left you hanging, sometimes for months. I've explained myself several times, but the guilt kills me. But anyways, it's complete. The story is finished. It's a relief, but a pain to finally let go of this story. But, my baby has grown up, and needs to be set free~
So yes, reviews are encouraged. Hopefully, you don't skip out on this sentimental, last author's note for Dance Floor.
Dance Floor, a GaaSaku story.
Completed on 04182011, Tuesday