Aka Zukin

Luckily, I've arrived home before noon—meaning Shino can go home and snooze for a few more hours instead of killing me, for taking him away from his valuable sleep. I tiptoe as I approach the door with four bags in each of my hands. I'm praying he doesn't have a sneak attack planned for me the moment I walk in the door. The last thing I would want to do is trip over some wire at the bottom of the entrance and come crashing in, destroying everything I've purchased, while possibly waking Sakura. Though it's more than likely she's awake and helped rig the ambush, waiting with my teammate at this moment, for my arrival.

Opening the door, I immediately glance down, relieved to see no visible trap. I walk under the arch and close the door behind me with my foot. The noise causes Shino to pop his head up from the couch, and Akamaru's head rises from the floor.

"Sorry it took so long," I smile nervously. "Is she awake?"

Shino doesn't threaten or curse me, which I speculate he's just going to enjoy the rampage Sakura will let loose on me.

"Yeah, she's awake," he confirms my suspicions. "Or maybe she's asleep again, either way she's in her room."

I raised my eyebrow with curiosity and I am immediately alert, "How did you manage to keep her in her room all this time?"

He stands up from the couch, yawning while stretching his arms over his head, "I told her if she tried to leave, my bugs in her room would eat what chakra she had, meaning she would not be able to knock you out when you came home."

"Gee," I rolled my eyes, not the least bit thrilled. "Thanks," I throw the word at him sarcastically.

He yawns again, ignoring me and heads for the door, "No problem, see you later." He calls as he walks to the door. He pauses before opening, considering the information he just disclosed to me, "Well, maybe." And then he leaves, shutting the door behind him.

I don't waste anytime, because I know once Sakura realizes Shino's bugs are gone, she's going to storm out of her room and give me a piece of her mind. I head to the kitchen and place the bags on the counter, Sakura's flowers out of sight and in the fridge for now, and then I pull a pot out of the cupboards. Filling it with water and setting it on the stove, turning it on high to boil the water.

I barely get the vegetables out before Sakura emerges from her room, charging at me while pointing her finger in my direction.

"Where do you get off telling me, no—" Her finger pokes my chest. "Having someone watch and keep me here against my will!?" She's red in the face and clearly out of breath.

I grasp her hand and pull it from my chest, while my other hand reaches out to touch her forehead. My deduction is confirmed; she still has a fever.

"You're sick," I tell her. "You should be resting."

She blinks for a moment, and then frowns at me. "Like hell. I have a job to do, Kiba. I can't just stay in bed because you want me to."

I inhale slowly, trying to remain calm as to not set her off and have her ignore my orders just to spite me. "Not today you don't. I spoke to the Hokage, and she informed the hospital you would be out sick until you were well rested."

I can see the fire ignite in her eyes at my words. She clearly doesn't like that I have taken some charge in her life (as no alpha female would be okay with it), and I suspect she's not used to having anyone step in.

I cannot recall her parents, and I know since their deaths, she has pretty much been on her own as far as making decisions and taking care of herself. Not to mention she's stubborn and wouldn't ask for help even if she was suffocating and turning blue in the face.

"You. Did. What?" She grounds out the words between her teeth, and if I thought she was mad before, she's positively seething now.

But I continue to hold my stance, "You heard me." I cross my arms across my chest, "And it's not a request Sakura, it's an order."

Her green eyes follow me up and down, trying to estimate whether or not she has enough energy to either throw me over her shoulder or punch me through another wall.

I don't give her the chance to. Moving beside her, I reach to the snack bar and pull out the scroll the Hokage had handed me a few hours ago.

She eyes me for a second before taking it, then noticing the seal, she opens it and begins to read silently.

"And as you can read, she clearly stats that means no practices or training as well," I tell her over my shoulder as I turn my attention back to the stove, where the water is finally boiling.

"You can't keep me here against my will," she tells me with little conviction or defiance in words, leading me to believe she doesn't quite mean it, and I believe she doesn't have it in her today to fight me off.

I don't reply—there is no need to argue. Because between the two of us, I am stronger at the moment, and she doesn't need to be reminded of that until she steps out of line and disobeys

"If you want to leave while you're sick, and possibly worsen your condition, go ahead," my attention is completely on the water as I turn it down and turn to cut the vegetables. "I'll just drag you back here," I promise, pulling out one of the knives and while reaching for the mushrooms. Looking up for a second, I steal a glimpse of her.

Sakura crosses her arms over her chest and huffs, puffing out her cheeks. It's a sign that she concedes, but of course, not without demands, "Fine. But I will need a book from my office if I'm to stay here for who knows how long." She rolls her eyes at me as everything I've been doing today was to my benefit.

I continue to chop the mushrooms into pieces, "That's fine, but it will have to wait till after I've finished making lunch, and naturally, until someone else is home to make sure you don't try to escape." Next I pull up the onions for their turn under the knife.

"That's fine, but I already gave you my word—" Sakura closes her eyes and sniffs the air, and I wonder if staying with us has possibly begun to rub off on her. I can only hope that's the case. "What are you making?"

Without looking up from my task I tell her, "Miso soup."

Sakura seems to waver for a second, "… You're making it for me?" Her eyes are wide with shock.

As soon as the last bit of the onion is chopped, I lift my eyes to hers. "Of course, who else would I be making it for?"

Her jade eyes slide to look at the left corner side of the snack bar, "You don't need to go to so much trouble." I think it's the softest I've heard her speak since last night, and I'm almost convinced all her anger for me from earlier has faded—almost.

"It's no trouble," I argue, waiting for her eyes to return to mine. And when they do, I don't blink or yield under her gaze, "I want to. I want to take care of you Sakura."

Her face is flushed again, and she starts to pull back one of the stools at the snack bar. Moving to her side as fast as possible, I place my hand over hers to stop her, "You should go back to your room and lay down. I will bring you a bowl when it's finished."

She opens her mouth for a minute, and then closes it, deciding not to disagree. Instead she nods, and walks around me and back to her room.

My gut feeling says she'll stay there, but I'm not willing to risk her going out the window. I give a low whistle, and within seconds Akamaru is by my side. Walking back over to the sink, I open up the bottom cupboard and pull out one of his favorite dog biscuits.

"Do me a favor boy," I say while holding the treat it front of him. "Go lay down in Sakura's room. And let me know the instant she gets up."

Akamaru nods, understanding me perfectly, and then he completes the bargain by licking his chops.

"Good boy," I fling the treat into the air and he jumps up and catches it, devouring it within seconds before going to Sakura's side.

Now that everything else seems to be taken care of, I turn back to the stove. The seaweed is next to be cut, but first to be put placed in the hot water. Next I add the tofu, onions and mushroom, with a dash of seasonings. Stirring occasionally to make sure everything goes smoothly.

It takes a little longer than expected for the tofu to completely finish cooking. And once it's cooled down a bit, I reach for a spoon, scooping a helping with plenty of each ingredient, into a large bowl.

With my free hand I reach over for a glass of water I had prepared for Sakura, as part of making sure she stays hydrated.

I don't knock, I barely have a free-hand to open her door, and I'm a ninja, I haven't been practicing to be a waiter or something.

She's sitting up with her back against her pillows, while her blankets are tucked tightly around her.

"It smells good," She gives a warm smile.

"I hope it tastes good—but the important thing is you eat it all." After placing the glass of water on her nightstand by her bed, I turn to slowly hand her the bowl. "Be careful, it still might be too hot."

Sakura nods, the second time today she's willingly to be so compliant. She picks up the spoon slowly, scooping some of the soup; she brings it to her lips and blows air on it gently. After a few breaths, she pushes the spoon past her pink lips, and swallows the spoonful.

The room temperature seems to have suddenly increased as I watch her eat. I fight off a blush before it can rise to my skin, and I'm thankful I didn't insist on feeding her myself.

"It's really good," Sakura muttered between mouthfuls.

My lips press upwards as I can only manage to smile at her. My feelings are very complex right now. I'm feeling a mixture of pride, love, and anxiety.

"What book did you need from your office?" I finally ask her as she sips the small remainder of soup that remains in her bowl.

"It's the only black book in my collection," she replies before taking her last sip.

I raise my eyebrow, wondering why exactly she couldn't just give me the title of the book. I push down the urge to ask as she hands me the bowl.

"Thank you," she smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes. Those deep jade pools are heavy, and once again she is tired.

Once the bowl is in my hands she takes a sip of the water from her nightstand and then begins to snuggle underneath the blankets, suppressing a yawn as best as she can.

"Make sure to keep drinking plenty of fluids," I pull the blankets up to her neck, making sure she's completely tucked inside. "And make sure to keep covered. I don't want to come in here and find you've kicked the blankets off again.

"You're leaving?" Her tone is surprised, and she seems to want to protest, but regardless of my answer, she won't.

"I was going to see if you wanted another bedtime story… " I can't submerge my grin from forming as I recall the way she had clinged to me last night like a child.

Her cheeks puff out again, but she ignores my comment, "It's hot."

I can tell any second now she's about to kick one of the blankets off. "Keep covered." I remind her. "Would you like a cold cloth for your head?"

Her answer is a small nod. Thankfully the washroom is just down the hall, and I'm back with a cold rag on her head before she can remove her blankets or escape.

She exhales in relief once the damp cloth is placed on her head.

"How does that feel?"


I watch her for a few more minutes, just to make sure she drifts off to sleep as easily as possible. And once her breathing is even and normal, and collect the bowl, and spoon and head back to the kitchen. Glimpsing down at the bowl, I notice the only thing left, is every mushroom that was probably in her bowl.

The laughter bubbled in my throat, "No mushrooms then." I promised, with a mental note to make sure to never serve Sakura anything with mushrooms again.

After placing the remainder of the soup in the fridge, I grab the vase of flowers I had picked up earlier, and I carry them to Sakura's room, opening the door as quietly as I can. I placed the vase in the middle of the nightstand, hoping she'll enjoy the surprise when she wakes up. Smiling at my dog who is still at my mate's bedside, I pat Akamaru appreciatively one last time before heading to the door.

Closing her door as softly as possible, I return to the kitchen, and continue to clean until there is not a remainder of a dirty dish, or speck or food on the counters.

For a moment, I'm wondering if it's too early to start making tea for when Sakura wakes up—as she's been out for an hour now, but the door opens and Hana walks in, interrupting my dilemma.

Turning around to her I smiled, "How was work?"

"Great. The surgery went really well," She opens the fridge to get a drink and noticed the pot on the middle shelf and pauses.

"Miso soup," I acknowledged her pause. "Sakura's fever escalated."

"Hm, so she was pushing herself too hard," Hana moves passed the pot for the milk.

"Yeah—she's asleep now, but she'll probably wake up soon."

"Hm," Hana clicked her tongue. "I'm sensing a favor," She turned and smirked at me.

I shook my head at her, too tired to really play our usual game, "Don't act like you wouldn't watch over Sakura anyways."

She just shrugged her shoulder at me, "So where are you going?"

"Part of our agreement of her staying home was that I retrieve a book from her office." Stealing a glimpse back at her closed door, I allow my muscles to relax slightly. "Akamaru's in there with her now, and I shouldn't take that long."

"It's fine," my sister tries to reassure me.

Giving a nod of my thanks, I head out the door, and towards the hospital. I already recalled my last trip, and where her office was—on the third floor, room three-seventeen.

My only hope was the startled nurses I had encountered last time were off today as well. But since the last war, we hadn't had many medics or nurses that weren't being used. So I knew that was unlikely. And then I remembered my nose was sensitive to the aroma that was the hospital, the sick and medicine, all of it affected my nose. But I was just going to have to grin and bare it.

"It's for Sakura," I repeatedly told myself. And it wasn't hard to do something for Sakura at all.

Managing to slip past the reception desk without being noticed was easy. The phones were ringing, and if the nurses weren't answering it or being paged, they had their head in one of those beige files.

The climb up the stairs was just as easy and swift as the last and as I open the door and walk out, heading to her office just three doors down from where I stood, I spot a familiar face.

He's a light-haired brunette with glasses, the same male I had grabbed by his white lab coat last time, demanding to know where Sakura's office was. He immediately feels my eyes on him, and looks up to notice me.

And then he immediately turns around and heads the opposite way he was walking before.

I shrug it off. I didn't need to explain anything to him. It was probably just as well that from now on he stayed away from me—and well, I'm sure he'd stay away from Sakura as well, co-workers or not.

Her door is unlocked, and I figure it's not uncommon in a hospital. Walking in without hesitation, my eyes scan the books on every shelf of her bookcase on the right side of the room, and then the books on the bookcase on the left. Finally my eyes land on the one with black binding and cover, and I grasp it and pull it to me, ready to leave as soon as possible.

My eyes roll over the book as my fingers flip through the pages, most of which are blank, and other with diagrams accompanied by words. The mystery book has no title. Hence the reason Sakura never supplied me with one.

The door to her office opens, practically slamming to the wall next to it.

"Sakura, I think we need—" Sasuke's words drop off as his coal eyes land on me instead of his pink haired teammate.

What is he doing here?

I can feel the small hairs on the back of my neck rise and I have to fight the growl that's rising in my throat.

"Are you lost?" The question joins the smirk on my lips.

The Uchiha opens his mouth, and then closes it to frown at me before speaking. "No more than you, apparently."

"No," I toss the book into the air and catch it. "I got what I came here for."

His mouth is closed and still, but I'm almost positive my sensitive ears can pick up the slightest and smallest sound of grinding teeth.

"Sakura wasn't present for training," it's a statement, but he means it as a question to whether or not I know where she is.

I roll my eyes and wonder if I should leave him wondering, or just give him enough information to tweak his nerves.

The decision goes back in forth in my mind as I roll my shoulder blades, waging my decision. But he is her teammate. And there could come a recent moment, when he can withhold information about her wellbeing from me. I'm not willing to take that risk.

"She's at home—she has a high fever."

"You mean she's at your house," he thinks he corrects me, but unlike him, I know Sakura's rightful place, her true home.

And either way, she wasn't at his house.

"Don't expect to see her at the festival tonight," I walk passed him and stop under the doorway. Glimpsing back at him from over my shoulder, "Guess Naruto and Hinata will have to double date with you and Sai."

I don't stick around to see what his smartass reply is. I still have a lot of things to set up at home before Sakura awakes from her nap.

When I arrive back at home, my mother is home now as well. And she insists on watching over Sakura while Hana and I set up the decorations I had acquired while running errands today.

There is a small amount of doubt I feel at leaving Sakura with my mother, but I remember how wonderful she was taking care of Hana and myself whenever we were sick. Not too mention Sakura's not likely to disobey my mom. Most people wouldn't.

The decorations are done and finally up, hanging both high and low from the banisters on our balcony and deck.

My mother summons me then, "Kiba!"

Hana and I smiled at our work once more before I heed my mother's call.

"Thanks for your help," throwing a quick appreciative smile at her, she returns it.

"I'm off to the festival, have fun," Hana yells after me.

Stepping inside the house, my mother hands me a bowl miso soup, without mushrooms, as per my instruction earlier. "Sakura's awake, and hungry I suspect."

Smiling I take the bowl from her, "Thank you."

She nods, "I'm going to be with the Hokage during the festival." There is a corner of her eye that twinkles and I stutter, pretending not to have seen it or her underlined meaning.

Coughing, I mutter, "Have a nice time," and retreat to Sakura's room.

She's sitting up against her pillows like before, but she doesn't look as pale as she did earlier, and I hope that's a sign her fever is decreasing.

"How are you feeling?" I asked her as I walked in, shutting the door behind me.

Sakura glances as the flowers set off to her side, "Uh… " Her eyes drift to me. "Better. Thank you for bringing my book by the way."

"You're welcome," my eyes gloss over to the black book I had sat on her nightstand when I had arrived home, before returning to her. "Are you hungry?"

She notices the bowl in my hands and nods enthusiastically.

Placing the bowl in her hands I smile down at her, "I made sure there were no mushrooms… You could have told me earlier and I wouldn't have added them."

Sakura shrugs her shoulders, "I didn't want to disrupt your recipe."

"You didn't disrupt anything, you wouldn't have." A sudden wave of nausea rolled over me and I shook my head, shocked at how nervous I was. And now I was hoping my voice doesn't revert back to that of a fourteen year old boy with a new set of hormones.

Sakura didn't seem to notice my inner turmoil. "How are you feeling?" She asked before taking a spoonful of soup.

I blinked, "Fine. Why do you ask?"

"Before… You said you could feel what I was feeling, because of the imprint." Her eyes focused on her new spoonful as she waited for it to cool. "You're not feeling ill, are you?"

A hurricane of guilt coursed through me, knocking away my nerves all at once. And I realized this is what Sakura was holding on her shoulders, guilt that she might be responsible for me getting sick because of her.

"No," I tried to get a grip on myself, and work through her guilt that was surrounding me. "I don't think the imprint works that way. I think it's more intoned to emotions."

The guilt seemed to subside, but there was still something that remained, but all I could decipher was that Sakura was tense.

Sakura placed the spoon back in her bowl, "So, um… " She avoided my gaze again. "Who are the flowers from?"

My hand came to brush through my spiked hair, "I thought they'd be nice, you know… As a 'get well' gift… "

"They're lovely," Sakura face flushed a pink that matched the flowers next to her, and I think it was safe to assume it wasn't the fevers fault. "D-Did you pick them out?"

I bit my tongue before answering. I was hoping she wouldn't ask, but I supposed it was a girl's job.

"No," I still hesitated despite my decision to tell the truth. "I didn't know what you liked, and I didn't want to get you roses, because I wanted them to stand out from the flowers girls usually get." This seemed to make her lips tug into a smile. "So I asked Ino for something different, and this was the arrangement she came up with."

My almond eyes swayed over the pink, purple and white arrangement that looked almost as pretty as the girl next to it.

"I think they fit you," I rubbed the back of neck nervously. "Besides a cherry-blossom, of course."

Sakura coughed, and her skin reddened even more.

"I-If you want me to get rid of them… " I was choking on the next words that were supposed to come out of my mouth.

"No! It's… They're beautiful. Thank you." Her green eyes slowly traveled to meet mine.

"You're welcome," a laugh came out of me, out of nerves. "I know you can't smell them as well as I can, but they smell sweet. Especially those white ones that look like cherry blossoms almost—only with red in the middle and pink speckles. They're very nice." I inhaled and exhaled slowly, and then felt my lips tightening as I grinned. "Course, they're nothing compared to honeysuckle."

"They're called Almond blossoms," Sakura sat her half-empty bowl on her nightstand. "They mean… " Her face darkened to another deep shade. "Virginity, fruitfulness, and—" She eyed me for a second. "Watchfulness."

Coughing, I tried to shield my embarrassment from her view, "O-Okay… D-Didn't know that… "

Sakura began fidgeting with her hands above the blanket, "The dark pink ones, with the lighter pink center? Those are Begonia picotee… And they stand for… " Her words seemed to stifle in her throat and she paused for so long I was beginning to think she was going to suffocate on them. "T-They mean… Beware… I am… F-Fanciful…" Her whole body was turned from me now, but I could still see her skin coloring, "And first love."

"Oh… " Was all I could form as a response.

"Yeah," Sakura squeaked. "The light pink ones with the dark pink center? They're called Peach blossoms."

The palm of my hand came to greet my face, "Please tell me they don't mean I'm going to take advantage of you… "

"They mean generosity and… Bridal hope." Sakura coughed and continued without waiting for me to reply. "And the white ones, those are Pear blossoms. They symbolize health and hope."

A beacon of hope shined on me for a slight second and I almost smiled and thanked Ino for not completely making me look like a randy desperate male, eager for Sakura to get healthy just so I could jump her.

"The indigo ones with the purple tint and big full blossoms, they are Primrose, their meaning is; 'I cannot live without you.'"

Ino took the imprint a little too literal… But even I had to admit they were beautiful, and perfect, even if Sakura knew the meaning.

Whether Sakura liked the flowers or not… Shikamaru was going to get a very good earful in regard to his girlfriend.

"Stephanotis, are the white ones that look like five-pointed stars."

"I like those, simple but pretty."

"They symbolize happiness in marriage… "

Coughing again, I tried to clear my throat. "Well… Now that we know Ino can't be trusted… "

"They are really, very beautiful, and I appreciate the gesture," Sakura's eyes gleamed over the many petals ad blossoms. "I've never received an arrangement like them before."

"I'm glad you like them." My eyes glimpsed to the window and noticed the sun had already set. "Are you feeling well enough to stand?"

Sakura raised her eyebrow, "Yes… Though I imagine you aren't planning to let me off the compound."

I didn't reply, instead I took her bowl and placed it in the sink in the kitchen, and then returned with a bag in my hand.

"I'm sorry you have to miss the festival," Continuing as to not let her point out how that was my fault, I pulled a white and red kimono from the bag and held it out in front of me. "But I thought, maybe, I could bring the festival to you."

Her emerald eyes widened, "Kiba… That…"

The flower pattern matched the Almond blossoms sitting in the vase next to her; that ironically stood for virginity and watchfulness, and ultimately meant the end of my trust for Yamanaka Ino, seeing as she had helped me pick it out. But it would look stunning on Sakura regardless of all that.

"It's gorgeous," she was transfixed in awe.

"I had to get Ino's help because I didn't know what size you were, I'm not good with measurements." Placing the kimono on the bed, I moved to the side of the bed to help Sakura stand. Taking her hand in mine, I gently pulled her to her feet, and wrapped my arm around her waist to steady her.

Once she seemed grounded, I released her, despite my instincts that were screaming for me to hold onto her for much longer.

"I'll let you get dressed," moving to the door, I tried my best to be a gentleman give Sakura her privacy. Minutes passed by, and after a while I was beginning to think Ino and I had selected the wrong size.

"Kiba?" Sakura called for me, peering through the door. "Could you help me?"

She stepped aside from the door and allowed me to walk in. I froze at the sight of her, in only the tabi socks and white cotton juban, the under garment that is worn beneath the kimono. Suppressing my urges, I had to fight off my instincts, reminding myself that Sakura was still ill, despite how resistible she was to me.

She turned her back to me and handed me the white and red kimono. Gulping, I lifted it behind her, allowing her to place her arm into her right sleeve first, and then her left. Once both her arms were in, I wrapped the right side of the kimono over her body, feeling her perfectly shaped hip beneath the fabric and my hand as I did this. And even though she wasn't pressed against me, I could still feel her slender form as if were a joined at the skin.

The very thought was sending shivers down my spine as I inhale her scent, and it alone is enough to bring me to my knees.

Ignoring my growing arousal, I tried to subdue myself and hurriedly overlapped the left side of the kimono. Sakura adjusted the collar of the juban, to make sure it was showing. When she was pleased with it's position, she handed me the red obi sash belt. Sakura pulled the kimono up a bit, holding the extra material around her waist as I crossed the koshi-himo belt in the back, and tied the front.

She smoothed out the lines making sure everything looked perfect, and then handed me the date-jime belt, to complete the final touch. I wrapped it around her waist, and the koshi-himo belt, tying it to hold, but not too tight to hurt Sakura. I wanted to make sure she could breathe.

"Thank you," her grateful smile was enough thanks for me.

"You're welcome," I ran my arms down the sleeves of the silk kimono.

Turning around so that she was now facing me, she looked up into my eyes, and she was absolutely gorgeous. The white kimono looked breathtaking on her, against her creamy skin-tones and soft rosette hair. And the red accented everything perfectly. The whole visual was soft and elegant, even with Sakura's hair down brushing just above her shoulders.

She was a vision. I couldn't tare my eyes away from her, nor did I want to.

I knew I was attracted to Sakura before. She was a healthy girl, in good shape, nice, perfect legs, not too small chest, or too big. And her neck seemed to hold me transfixed with thoughts of nibbling and sucking.

But I think this was the first moment I actually realized she was stunning. And the glow from the imprint wasn't even accenting her this time—she didn't need it. She was lumiscent on her own.

She moved her arms, weighing the sleeves of the kimono, "How come you didn't get a Yukata?"

Shaking my head from my thoughts, I addressed her question; "I didn't want you to be too cold, with you being sick."

She opened her mouth, and I raised my hand to stop her, "You don't need to thank me anymore." I took her hand in mine again, and began to lead out of her room, at a slow pace.

"You're not changing into a Yukata?" She asked me before we passed the kitchen.

Shaking my head, I smiled at her, "It's not about me."

I opened the glass door to the side deck that wrapped around the house, and taking both her hands, I helped guide Sakura outside, where Akamaru was already waiting, lying down on the wooden deck and where the colored lanterns Hana and I put up earlier, were lit giving off the atmosphere and look of a homemade festival.

Sakura's eyes grew twice the size in wonder and awe as she looked up. Never letting her hands out of mine, I helped her sit down.

And then it happened. Six flames of colors; red, blue, green, gold, purple, and pink shot up into the air and exploded above us.

"Did you get your own fireworks?" Sakura asked, her head tilted back as she took in the fire-art show for every boom.

"No," I grinned at her. "It's just the Inuzuka compound happens to be the best seat in the village… Well, next to the Hokage monument anyways."

"This is amazing." Her eyes twinkled like the stars above us, "You didn't have to do all this."

"I wanted to," I replied, admiring my handy-work.

She turned to me and before she could say anything I felt her guilt once more.

"I was very rude when you were trying to take care of me… And you had this whole thing planned and I—"

Shaking my head, I collapsed my hand over hers. While leaning forward, my lips caressed her cheek, and when her guilt rinsed clean from her, I pulled back immediately, with a genuine smile sliding over my lips, "You're not going to scare the big bad wolf off with a little hot air, Red."

Author: Wow. I had no idea this chapter was going to end up this long. But this was everything I wanted to include, so I hoped you enjoyed it. Lol—Ino was sneaky… But I figured that would totally be in character for her, meddling into other people's relationships. I really cannot thank you guys enough for your awesome feedback. Seriously. Thank you for reading and reviewing. All of you—you're just too awesome! Thanks again!

I really wish everyone would stop by Alpha_Pairing on livejournal. We have our first KibaSaku fanart from the lovely Kaachan. Special thank you to her for her wonderful contribution!

And we have a new layout, and if we have enough people to participate, we're talking about holding a contest to design the Header for the community layout. Nothing is for sure yet, and we'll have to work out the rewards when we have more participants, but prizes could include a KibaSaku one-shot or drabble by me, or possibly by another author willing to participate, and or maybe a fanart from artist. I look forward to hopefully hearing from you all!

Miso soup—Japanese soup consisting of onions, mushrooms, tofu, seaweed, and water-broth.

Almond/Almond Blossoms—White and pink flowers, meaning: "Virginity and Fruitfulness, hope and watchfulness. The almond blossom I described with the red in the center is the Salobrena Almond blossom.

Begonia picotee—Flowers with a dark pink outline, and lighter pink inside, with full soft petals, meaning: "Beware! I am fanciful!" and first love

Peach blossom—flowers with a dark pink center, light pink and white out towards the ends of the petals, meaning: "generosity and bridal hope."

Pear blossoms—flowers that are white, meaning: "health and hope."

Primrose—Flowers that have Blue and purples petals with big full blossom petals, meaning: "I cannot live without you."

Stephanotis—White flowers that look like little five-pointed stars, meaning: "Happiness in marriage."

Juban—A white, cotton slip, under garment that goes under the Japanese Kimono.

Obi Sash Belt—consists of many belts, the koshi-himo belt, and date-jime belt.

Yukata—Summer Japanese Kimono made of cotton.

Putting on a Japanese Kimono—Kiba did place the Kimono on Sakura correctly. Well, aside from a man helping a woman do it anyways.

Mushroom dislike—I'm not sure if Sakura does detest mushrooms. But in her profile it states she likes sweets, and mushrooms are not. Plus, I don't like them, so it was a bit extra I pushed in there for plot.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I claim to own any other characters therefore owned by Masashi Kishimoto.