A/N: I'm back from a considerably long hiatus, and I bring you romance, drama and a healthy dose of angst. I trust you'll enjoy.
Disclaimer: I only own a couple Naruto figurines. Everything else Naruto-related belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
It had been a perfect day, and now, a perfect evening was about to begin. Sakura felt as if she was floating. Three months of preparations had finally come to fruition and it couldn't have been any better. The entire event was supposed to be symbolic of the newest creed of the Uchiha Clan- marrying tradition with progress and forward-thinking. 'Tradition' was symbolized by the simple, private ceremony at the temple. It had taken her nervous attendants nearly an hour to tie her obi, but it was beautiful; her silk, uchikake kimono had been exactly as she envisioned.
The reception, on the other hand, was all modern and western-influenced; a confirmation that the clan was not one stuck in the past and indifferent to the world around it. All their friends, well-wishers and colleagues made it a point to attend. Hanging lights filled the huge tent and spilled outside, giving a soft, ethereal glow to the surrounding forest area as evening fell. Sakura shifted and her soft designer wedding gown rustled quietly. The whole reception was all class and expense, as was intended. Uchiha symbolism… Sakura felt like giggling; she didn't mind. It was still her day, and besides, she was one of them now.
Her attention was drawn back to the present as Naruto stepped away from his place at the head table to give his toast. Her friend stood at the microphone for a few seconds, staring blankly, obviously trying to think of something to say. So typical- Naruto never planned, no matter what the occasion. Leave it to him to just go up to center stage and try to wing it. Sakura felt like giggling again; even this was perfect. She wouldn't have it any other way.
"I didn't get you guys anything."
Everyone in the reception blinked collectively at the hastily blurted out statement from the nervous blond. Naruto smiled sheepishly and attempted to prove that he was going somewhere with his odd admission.
"It's not that I didn't want to- I mean I tried. I never know what to get you guys when you're supposed to get presents. I was going to get you a plant, but then-" He looked about the reception area where dozens of pink roses and floral bouquets filled the scene. The guests chuckled softly.
"But I think it's a good thing that you are so hard to shop for because I guess it means that you're not wanting for anything, and today, officially, you have each other. What greater gift is there than that?"
The bride smiled, feeling herself soften even more as her friend raised his glass for the toast. Instinctively, she placed her gloved hand over the hand of the man she had loved practically all her life. Sasuke looked back at her and returned a small smile.
"So for the couple who I now think has everything: I wish you happiness and contentment and kids with normal hair. So here's to soul-mates."
"So do I get to dance with you or what?"
"You're always such a charmer, Naruto."
Sakura moved easily into the arms of one of the few men she knew loved her unconditionally. She smiled up at him, feeling almost giddy while Naruto simply looked amused.
"Feel free to stand on my toes and let me do all the work; you must be wiped out by now."
The woman laughed, finding the thought absurd. "No pain, no tiredness here. I could get shot right now; I wouldn't feel it. So how are you doing? Are you okay?"
"You're not supposed to be asking about people's feelings on your wedding day. How weird are you? You are supposed to be in 'screw you all, bridezilla' mode."
"I can't help it. I'm a big fluffy ball of love right now and I want to spread the joy. Plus, I know I've seen you look happier; and I will not have subpar happiness from my bridal party on my wedding day."
Naruto smiled down at his friend. "Well fine, I'm a little bummed out right now, but it's not every day you lose the love of your life to your best friend."
"Oh please, I haven't been the love of your life since that summer when Hinata came back to town all 'developed'."
"Oh yeah, that was a great year for twins- ow!"
"You are not allowed to fantasize about large-chested women on my wedding day."
Naruto sighed as he continued to sway the young bride in time to the music. "Ugh, you and Sasuke are so adult now. Getting married and living together, breaking up the three musketeers and leaving me here in my… 'non-adult-ness'."
"Don't be stupid; we're all still here, and you're an adult. You have a very adult job."
He snorted derisively. "Ghost-writing for Ero-sennin may be in the adult-industry, but it's not an adult job. A perverted twelve year old could do it."
They were both quiet for a while, as Naruto's mind couldn't stop racing, barely registering what was happening around him. His thoughts ground to a halt as he picked up Sakura's voice, slightly muffled against his shoulder.
"Do you think he's happy though, Naruto- I mean, is this what he wants?"
Naruto pulled back slightly from Sakura, making the young woman look up at him.
"No one can force Sasuke to do anything he doesn't want to do. He wants to be here, he wants to marry you. He chose you- that's the truth. He may have a completely retarded way of showing it, but he cares about you; never doubt that."
She felt herself relax as she tried to let go of that last nagging doubt that had been plaguing her. She smiled brightly up at her friend, who always knew what to do and say to make her feel better.
"Uh oh, this is a new one. I'm guessing it's his 'get your hands off my wife' glare."
Before Sakura had a chance to ask Naruto just what he was talking about, Sasuke materialized beside her. Naruto promptly stepped back and wordlessly dropped the bride's hand into the groom's. With a mock salute and a wink to Sakura, Naruto turned heel and walked away. Sakura blushed warmly as Sasuke pulled her into a simple waltz and she smiled shyly up at her new husband.
"Um, do you think he's okay?"
Sasuke raised a cool eyebrow in question. "Is who okay?"
"Naruto; he seems a little out of it."
They both looked across to find Naruto at the bar, obviously flirting with the responsive bartender. A short while later, the young girl snuck a couple bottles of champagne to the blond along with a piece of paper which undoubtedly had her phone number. Naruto flirted a bit more before disappearing with the alcohol outside the tent.
"Seems fine to me..." Sasuke responded drily as Sakura bit back a laugh. She stood corrected.
It would be time for them to leave soon. The couple slipped away from the reception area to the lodge a short distance from the tent. Sakura's bridesmaids went with her to her room as Sasuke disappeared into to his. He figured he had another half-hour to forty-five minutes before she would re-emerge, ready to leave. He quickly stripped off his tuxedo and pulled on his shirt and khaki pants. Not bothering to tidy up the room, he was out the door less than five minutes after he had entered. He quickly found his way out the back door of the lodge, careful to avoid being seen by any relatives or guests. Once outside, he took a few deep breaths, grateful to be out of the confines of the suit and away from all the people. He walked into the surrounding woods and quickly skirted the periphery of the party, keeping care to stay well out of sight. It wasn't long before he came across what he was looking for.
Naruto stood leaning against a tree, taking copious swigs of champagne. He was alerted to Sasuke's arrival by the sound of twigs snapping under his friend's feet. The sullen glance he sent Sasuke stopped the other man in his tracks.
"What do you want?" It sounded angry and bitter, and he didn't care. It was how he felt after all.
"What exactly do you think you're doing?"
The question sounded mildly amused and condescending, and it only served to piss Naruto off more.
"I am trying to get drunk- which is kind of hard to do because, for all its expense, this champagne is still shit. I need to get drunk so I can go in there later and be the life of the party, because that's what best men do."
"You are such a child."
A second hadn't elapsed after that sullen statement before Sasuke was on him, pressing him against the tree, hands fisting into the blond hair. The kiss knocked the wind out of Naruto, as he felt the lips crushing against his as he felt his own body respond. For a moment he forgot where they were, the strains of music from the party barely audible- though audible nonetheless.
The kiss deepened, Sasuke trailing his tongue along Naruto's bottom lip before plunging it into his lover's mouth. They both moaned, getting caught up in the moment as Sasuke started tugging the other man's shirt out of his pants. The jarring action sobered Naruto a bit, and he began to twist his face away trying to break the kiss. Undaunted, Sasuke moved his attention to Naruto's neck, sucking hungrily as he splayed his free hand against the warm skin of his lover's abdomen. However, Naruto was beginning to resist in earnest now, and Sasuke huffed his frustration. He startled the other man by suddenly dropping to his knees.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Sasuke ignored the panicked hiss as he quickly undid Naruto's pants. Any further thought of resistance evaporated as Sasuke started sucking lightly on his rapidly hardening erection.
"We… We can't do this." Naruto protested weakly, even as his fingers curled into the dark hair and he felt himself arch into the ministration.
As expected, Sasuke blissfully ignored him, picking up speed as he used his hands and mouth in tandem to break down any remaining resistance. He groaned, feeling perversely turned on by the mix of guilt and pleasure playing across Naruto's face. At his limit, he unzipped his own pants.
This was stupid; it was beyond stupid. Sasuke knew it was the heights of idiocy, but couldn't stop himself. They were just a few hundred feet outside the reception, barely shielded by the thick of the forest, and he was doing a thing like this. Any moment now, someone could appear, catching them in the act. Naruto was moaning now, panting harshly as Sasuke continued plunging his mouth down the length of his penis. Sasuke was moaning too, distracted by the sounds Naruto was making and the feel of his lover's hand in his hair; moving his own hand jerkily down his own erection.
He felt Naruto's body stiffen, then felt the spasms of oncoming release which served to precipitate his own. Soon he was wiping his mouth as Naruto struggled to compose himself and neaten his clothing.
"Are you insane? Someone could have seen us!"
Sasuke knew that; of course he knew that. He wasn't stupid. What had just happened wasn't his fault though, it was Naruto's. It was Naruto's fault because the man was stubborn, unrelenting and infuriating. In the last month leading up to the wedding, Naruto had refused to be alone with him, let alone touch him. Sasuke had passed his limit weeks ago, and if Naruto had just been reasonable, none of this would have happened.
Sasuke zipped himself up and brushed off his pants, trying to make sure there were no tell-tale signs of what just happened. He then popped open the second bottle of champagne and tried to rid himself of Naruto's taste.
"This is never happening again."
Sasuke didn't respond to the declaration as he swirled and swallowed the liquor. He was still trying to tamp down the urge to pull Naruto deeper into the forest and satisfy his cravings more thoroughly, but he was almost out of time and couldn't risk alarming Sakura.
"I'm serious Sasuke, we're done. This is done."
Sasuke handed Naruto the rest of the champagne and started to walk away. "We'll discuss this when I get back."
"There's nothing to discuss." Naruto might as well have been talking to himself. He watched tiredly as Sasuke disappeared from view, and took another swig of champagne.
Sasuke made it back to the lodge just in time to see Sakura step out of her room.
"Are you ready?"
She smiled at the question. "Always."
They returned to the tent to say their goodbyes and thanks to their guests as they prepared to leave for the airport. As she followed her husband to the exit, she spotted Naruto at the back of the tent. She waved at him and he gave a small smile back, distinctly mouthing the words 'he chose you' as he waved goodbye. Sakura beamed gratefully; a little last minute reassurance never hurt anyone.
Within a couple of hours, they were settling into their first class seats. Sasuke had resisted the idea of waiting until the next day to leave or taking the company jet. The less time spent alone with Sakura, the better. Clearly, it was a matter of postponing the inevitable. A flight attendant was by their side the moment the flight levelled off, asking what she could bring them.
"Champagne- lots of it. It's our honeymoon after all."
The flight attendant murmured her congratulations and went off to fetch their order.
"You're trying to get me drunk."
Truer words had never been spoken. It was exactly what Sasuke was trying to do, since Sakura was the perfect drunk; the type that giggled and fell asleep quickly. True to form, after a few glasses of bubbly, Sakura was passed out, hopefully for the duration of the flight to Paris. As she slept, Sasuke opened his carry-on and retrieved the files outlining the acquisition of Haruno Pharmaceuticals by the Uchiha Corps. It was a long flight, and he might as well bone up on the company for which he'd signed away his life.