White Elephant Christmas
Chapter 8 - Final chapter
The three weeks before Christmas went by in a blur for Sakura. She was constantly busy working at the hospital as there was a mini cold and flu epidemic going on. The few times she saw anyone from her team in town they avoided her. Going as far as running from her to not let her speak to them. She didn't want to jump to conclusions, so she tried her best to ignore their strange behavior and spent her spare time making a gift for each of them.
The day before Christmas Eve, Sasuke showed up at her office as she tried to finish two miles of paperwork so she could enjoy the next two days off, guilt free. He was quiet. He cloaked his chakra, snuck up behind her, and laid a hand on her shoulder making her scream.
"Why can't you just knock?" He was so close to her she could smell his scent, a mix of pine…ash…and man.
"You just enjoy scaring me don't you?" It was intoxicating, having him so close. It was totally unfair for one man to have this much effect on her senses.
"Why are you here Sasuke?"
"You look tired, you work too much," he observed.
Did he actually seem concerned? "Some of us have to work, Sasuke."
"Hn," he grunted.
"Anything else?" she asked.
"Tommorow at Kakashi's apartment, we're meeting at 2:00. Kakashi is making dinner."
"Kakashi sensei's cooking and at his place? What did he play to lose the bet?"
"Was it Janken?"
"Yeah. How did you know?"
"Kakashi never volunteers to cook anything. He is pretty good at it, though. I don't know why he doesn't like it. I guess I'll see you tomorrow then?"
"Aa," his hands moving through a transportation jutsu, Sasuke disappeared.
"Show off," she grumbled, returning to her mountain of work.
"Sakura-chan! Merry Christmas!" Naruto pulled her into a bear hug, making her drop her bag of gifts onto the floor. Good thing it wasn't anything breakable.
"Merry Christmas Naruto," She kissed him on the cheek. He was like a rambunctious puppy, she couldn't help but smile at his cheerfulness.
"Happy Holidays, Ugly."
"Hello Sai. Merry Christmas."
"If you're kissing dickless I want one too," the ink-nin stated
In the almost six years she'd known him he refused always to call her by her name. Sigh, she never would have guessed she'd be ok with someone calling her ugly or hag, but she'd given Sai some leeway seeing as he'd been forced to give up his emotions as a child. At least he acted almost human now. She kissed him on the cheek.
"Hello, Sakura," Kakashi pushed Sai over and leaned down to kiss her cheek.
"It's so nice of you to make us dinner Kakashi, what we having?"
"I'm making your favorite," he informed his favorite student, "tempura."
"I love it when you cook."
"Don't tell anyone else that," he whispered in her ear, "they'll want me to cook more often."
"The traitor is coming after dinner," Sai put in, "He has something to take care of first."
"Come on Sakura-chan, sit next to me," Naruto insisted, "Let's eat, I'm starving."
They had a wonderful dinner, laughing, telling stories and reminiscing old times. After dinner they all helped clean up, and as they put away the last plate there was a knock at the door.
"I'll get it," Sakura called, going to open the door, "Will wonders never cease? You do know how to knock. Merry Christmas, Sasuke," She would have kissed his cheek, but to tell the truth, she was scared. He was just too forbidding, too…Uchiha, "Come join us," she stepped back allowing him to enter.
"Hn," he grunted at her. She looked very happy today. Her skin was glowing, and she wore a pretty silky green dress that matched her eyes. It also showed off her legs quite nicely.
"Come on everyone. Let's exchange gifts," Kakashi told them, "I have to get up early tomorrow."
"You have a mission?" the rose haired girl questioned.
"Uh..no. I promised my pack I would take them on an all day hike for Christmas. We don't often get time to just play around together, usually it's work. So, tomorrow I'm devoting to them to thank them for being so very helpful to me."
"That's so sweet Kakashi," Sakura beamed.
"Yeah, whatever. You're an angel Kakashi sensei," Naruto teased, "you go first."
"Alright, I hope you appreciate what I have for you," he passed them all small, wrapped packages, "Open them together, please."
They all opened the packages quickly, anxious to see what their mentor had given them, "Hey! They're pervy books!" Naruto yelled.
"My favorites, Sakura said to pick something that made me think of you."
"Porn? Dickless, I hope he was thinking of you and not me when he wrapped these."
"I was thinking of all the time training and missions we'd spent together and also of the first bell test I'd given you."
"I think I understand, Kakashi, thank you for giving me something that means so much to you," Sakura thanked him, "We all know how much you love your porn."
"Adult, contemporary, literature, Sakura. Please be careful not to break the binding when you open them, their collectable you know. And don't read them while eating, or sweating, or bathing, or…"
"Yeah, yeah," Naruto griped, "Sakura, it's your turn."
"Ok," she handed them all her small packages.
They opened their gifts to see she had made them all scarves of blue silk. On Sai's there was an embroidered symbol of the Anbu. Naruto's had the rasengan training tattoo symbol from his training with Jariaya. Kakashi's had the red Konoha symbol found on his jounin uniform and Sasuke's carried the Uchiha clan's fan.
"Sakura-chan, these are cool, when did you learn to sew?"
"I sew all the time Naruto. Usually though, I'm sewing bodies back together."
"Very nice, Sakura-chan," Kakashi complemented her, "This will come in handy on cold nights. Sai, it's your turn."
"I want dickless to open his first," Sai said handing Naruto a very small package.
"This better not be your garbage."
"It's too small for that, Dobe, just open it already."
Naruto opened it, "What the hell is this?" He held up a scrap of black lace and silk.
"Sai!" Sakura yelled.
"What? I thought since he was Dickless he could use some pretty girlie panties."
Naruto held the sexy underwear up between his hands, "You weren't supposed to buy a gift Sai," Sakura was turning a bright shade of red.
"I didn't buy them, Dickless, they're Sakura's. She wasn't kidding about all that lingerie, she has lots of it."
Sasuke was pissed, "Why do you have Sakura's underwear, you prick?"
"I'd rather be a prick then dickless…or a traitor," Sai quipped smiling that idiotic fake smile at him, "The underwear got mixed with my laundry, when we washed it together on a mission."
"You never gave it back," Sakura accused.
"Why, should I have?"
"Sai!" Sakura was so embarrassed. Maybe this white elephant thing wasn't going to work with these idiots, "Naruto, can I have those back?"
"No way! It's MY gift."
Sasuke clubbed him, "Give them back Dobe," Naruto handed them back to Sakura rubbing his head.
"Sai, anything else?" Kakashi asked.
"Yes," he passed out a large scroll to each of them, including Naruto, "that was just a joke, dickless, this is your real gift."
"Oh Sai, it's so good!" Sakura exclaimed, "How did you know what they all look like?"
"I was Root and Anbu, remember? I specialized at finding information."
They all held in their hands painted scrolls of their parents, "I'm touched Sai," Kakashi said looking at lifelike picture of his mother and father.
Naruto had tears in his eyes as he looked upon a picture of Minato and Kushina smiling at him, "Thank you, asshole. Who knew you could do something nice?"
"You're welcome, Dickless."
"They are beautifully done Sai," Sakura smiled at him.
"Naruto, it's your turn," Sasuke reminded him.
Naruto handed out his packages to his team mates.
"Oh, Naruto! How pretty," Sakura opened a pair of jade chopsticks.
"Ichiraku gave me those for being their best customer. I thought you could use them to put your hair up."
"I love them, Naruto."
Sai opened his gift, it was a homemade book of coupons good for free ramen. "Dinner's on me asshole, once a month for the next year."
"I didn't know you could spell? Nevertheless, I look forward to your gift," Sai told him.
Sasuke opened his gift. It was the picture team seven had taken together, "I know you destroyed yours before you left."
"Aa, thanks Dobe."
Kakashi screamed like a little girl, he had opened his gift and almost passed out, he was so excited, "Naruto! You shouldn't have!"
"Well I knew you'd like it, they are first editions, signed by Jariyah. He keeps giving them to me."
"Oh, My GOD!" Kakashi screamed as he opened the first book. "The pictures, they…they're…holographic!" he fainted for a few seconds before coming to with a huge smile behind his mask.
Kakashi hugged his new set of the Icha Icha series books, "You're amazing Naruto. I'll treasure them forever."
"Sasuke, it's your turn."
"Aa," He handed a largish package to Sai. It turned out to be a wall-mounted adjustable easel, "My uncle used to paint," He told them.
"Thank you, Uchiha," Sakura did a double take, it was the first time she had heard Sai call him anything but traitor, 'He must really like his gift,' she thought happily to herself.
Kakashi received a scroll containing the jutsu for chidori stream.
Naruto received his katana blade 'Kusanagi', "All right! Teme, you gonna show me how to use this?"
"Come on, Teme!"
"Cool. Thanks, Teme," Naruto beamed.
Sakura open your gift, I wanna see," Naruto said excitedly.
"Alright. I just want to tell you all first, how nice it was for you to do all this. Your gifts, well, except for maybe the underwear, were all so thoughtful," Sakura smiled, opening her present from Sasuke.
"It's a…key," She looked a little confused but knew it was the thought that counted, "Thank you, Sasuke."
"Hn," Sasuke got up, took her hand, and made her put her shoes on before pulling her out of Kakashi's apartment. The others followed obediently. Apparently they already knew what was up.
Sasuke had a lot to think about when he left the Hokage's office. Surprisingly, he had understood what she was trying to tell him. He just had to decide what, if anything, he wanted to do about it.
And here he was living alone, with a huge complex of empty houses, doing nothing for no one but himself. It didn't make him unhappy, but how long did he really want his life to be like this?
And, if he really did like Sakura, how long would she wait for him? He used to think forever, but he knew now that was his cocky Uchiha pride talking, because of all the silly women that followed him around. Sakura had quit that club some time ago and, while he knew she was attracted to him, the time would come when she would start to notice all the admirers she had herself. One of them might even steal her heart.
He knew her heart now, and no gift would fill it, but one.
He'd given her a box with a small key in it.
They eventually came up to the Uchiha complex.
Sakura looked confused as he took her up to the door of his own house.
"Why are we here Sasuke?" she questioned him.
He merely took the box from her hand, took out the key and handed it to her, "Open the door."
She gave him an incredulous look before following his instruction, "It fits, but why would you give me a key to your house?"
The boys behind her were snickering, Sasuke glared at them.
"Go inside," he pushed her and they followed.
Once inside they went through the kitchen to the living area to see the small tree with a few gifts around it. Sleeping next to the tree, a red ribbon around his middle, was Fugaku.
A strangled cry came from Sakura, she covered her mouth with shaking hands.
Sasuke put his hand on her back to steady her.
"Oh, Sasuke. Does this mean?" She turned to him with tearful eyes. He nodded and she jumped into his arms, whispering her love to him before going over to wake her child.
The little boy leaped into Sakura's arms as he woke, "Okaa-san! I met them all! The avenger, and 'ruto fox, ambu shadow and the lazy sensei! They came to bring me home to live with you!"
She smiled and nodded, not trusting her voice right now. Fugaku filled in the silence with telling of his adventure flying through the trees with the avenger. Of fireballs and the fox's clones, the sensei's lightening and his many dogs, and the anbu's shadow drawings that came to life. Apparently had taken him from the orphanage, with permission of course, and they'd had him for the last few weeks.
"Okaa-san, they even showed me how to use chakra. I can stand on water and walk up a tree!" Sakura was surprised, she had never even thought to test him for it, but he apparently had a natural affinity for chakra use, to show so much at three years old.
"That's wonderful, Fugaku!" she told him proudly, "Did you remember to tell them all thank you?"
Fugaku ran around giving them all hugs and bowing to thank them properly. He played horsey with Naruto and Sai while Kakashi sat down to open a new first edition of the porn he received from Naruto.
Sakura shyly kissed Sasuke on the cheek and thanked him again for bringing Fugaku back and giving them a home.
After everyone had gone home and Fugaku had been put to bed, Sakura sat and watched the fire in the grate, not believing her luck. Sasuke came and sat beside her, kissing her temple and setting something in her lap.
"Merry Christmas," he said
"No, it's too much Sasuke," she tried to give it back, "you've given me the world already. I feel so blessed."
"This present is for me," he put it back in her lap, "Open it."
She picked up the small box with the bright red string tied around it, suddenly feeling more clumsy then she had been when she was 12.
It finally opened and the firelight caught the sparkle of the ring inside.
"Sasuke," she whispered.
He bent and plucked the box from her fingers.
"Sakura, I know I haven't always treated you right, but I hope you'll give me a chance to make up for that," he said seriously.
She held out her hand wordlessly and he slipped the ring on it.
"Are you sure, Sasuke-kun?"
"I've seen your heart, Sakura. I want it for my own."
Her gem green eyes sparkled, "It's always belonged to you Sasuke-kun," she promised.
"Hn," he kissed her thoroughly for a while, enjoying the warmth of both her and the fire.
"There's one more thing," he told her, nuzzling her neck and making her sigh.
He smirked at her.
"It's a good thing you're so agreeable," he approved, "Fugaku told me he is going to want many siblings so he won't be lonely."
She giggled, so he kissed her into silence before picking her up and taking her to their bed.
Her generous heart had brought his family back to him.
And he loved her for it.
Aaaawww! Come on, you got to review that!
Thanks for staying till the end!
A/N-Janken is a game- rock, paper, scissors.
Sigh. Well that's the end, thanks for hanging in there. I'll be starting a new fic or two soon, I have quite a few ideas in the works and the final chapter of Good Samaritan should be out pretty quick too.
Let me know what you think of my story (hard work).