Please read this Author's Note:
Here is the last chapter of A Pretty Still Doll, and thank you to those who have taken the time to read this story. Much thanks. :) In the future, I might re-write certain sections of the story, not this chapter alone, because there are some parts of this story where I am still not satisfied with - just in case you guys think I'm completely done with this story. ;) There will be no sequel as of now, because I do not have enough plot bunnies for another one. If I plan on writing a sequel, you guys will definitely be the first to know. Count on it. :)
Now that this story is over, as promised, I will return to writing my other stories: Just One Night, With Just One Touch - renamed now to Touch, and Enervis. Enervis & Just One Night will be my top priority, because the ideas are now actually rolling for them. Enervis - in my opinion - is a fairly dark story, and like all my other stories, revolves around Sasuke and Sakura. Just One Night is a rather flipped story of reversed roles for Sasuke and Sakura, and people have told me that it makes for an interesting read. Whichever the case, I would love it if you guys could also check out my other stories. :) - shamelessly telling you guys I will miss you all when this story ends -
BTW, if I write SasuNaru, will any of you guys read it? I'm so compelled to write a SasuNaru... x.x On a side note, mosquitoes are so. bad. over here...- ADHD kicking in -
Now, on to the last chapter! Please R&R, and thank you again!Disclaimer: Thank you, Kishimoto-sensei, for bringing such joy to all of us.
Chapter 16 - A Pretty Still Doll
"Sasuke, just where have you been for the last three years? You've had me worried sick!" Mikoto tearfully embraced her son when he returned with Sakura.
Sasuke easily shifted Sakura onto one arm to carefully hug Mikoto without waking the sleeping woman.
"She's asleep, Mother." He whispered. "I'll explain everything when she wakes."
"Oh, Sasuke." She murmured and took a step back as Sasuke walked upstairs, Itachi readily bracing her with his hands. "Itachi."
"Otouto's been through a lot, Okaa-san. He almost didn't make it."
"What do you mean, Itachi?" Her eyes widened in worried curiosity.
"I wasn't there when Sasuke fought with Naruto and the others as you know, but when I made haste in returning to them after the three of you were settled, I found him in poor conditions." He suddenly looked as if he had aged a few good years, making him truly seem like his age and not someone younger. "Kakashi told me that he had been severely injured, and that it would be nearly impossible for him to wake again."
Mikoto stared at her son for minutes before she finally mustered a few coherent words. "You mean he was...comatose?"
"Ever since we left through the passageway, Otouto fought fiercely and vigilantly for three days, but he fell unconscious when the rioters were finally put to their place. Neither of them could wake him."
"Teme...he was asleep for three years." Naruto scowled as he walked into the kitchen after overhearing the conversation, his hands thrust into his pants pockets. "His heartbeat was steady, and his wounds quickly healed, but he just wouldn't wake. We had no choice but to tell you we knew nothing of his whereabouts. What could we have said, Oba-san?"
"He was alive the whole time." Mikoto openly wept at the news. "I was so worried."
"I'm sorry, Mother. Otouto wouldn't have wanted you to have seen him in that state."
She nodded slowly with her eyes shut, collected tears dripping freely down her cheeks.
"O...tou-san?" A small voice from the door barely reached his tentative ears.
The two-year old boy stood by the recently closed door, one onyx black orb peeking from behind the door along with a tiny hand along with portions of spiky black locks. He and the boy looked almost identical, except for the shyness. That would have to be his future wife's trait.
"Come in." Sasuke offered with a small smile. "Try not to wake your mother."
The door fully opened to admit a young boy about three feet in height who ran eagerly to the bedside, his feet as light as the brush of a feather. Whose genes his agility came from he couldn't tell, but he hoped that this boy, his son, will have the best of both of them.
"Okaa-san looks so peaceful." Chiaki quietly said, resting his head gently atop his two arms on the soft mattress; he stood on tiptoe just to be able to do that. "She's been tossing and turning in her sleep lately."
"Has she now?" Sasuke gazed at his fiancée's features, still that of a vibrant young lady. "What does she dream about?"
"I...don't know. I only know she keeps repeating the name 'Sasuke' and the words, 'don't go, please' every time she sleeps." His son furrowed his brows together in concentration to try to piece everything together, his expression seeming oddly cute to the older man.
Sasuke looked at the infant for a moment. "Come here, Chiaki." His father beckoned him to them, the infant boy padding to him in adorable baby steps. He wondered for a quick second how he would feel if he had passed three years back and missed being the father to this endearing child of his beloved. "It was my name that your mother had been calling out in her sleep, Chiaki. In order to have saved your mother, and the rest of the family, sacrifices were a necessity, and I had willingly put my life on the line to protect them."
"...Sacrifices?" The innocent black orbs of his son glanced at him as he clambered neatly onto his lap, his head tilting up just to be able to see his father talk.
"A sacrifice is something or someone that needs to be given up. What happened a few years ago before you were born needed sacrifices, and your grandfather valiantly died in battle for the sake of this family." Sasuke shuffled Chiaki around, one arm wrapped comfortably around the child's back, cradling him. "If not a promise to your mother, I...would have inadvertently met my end just as your grandfather had."
"Sasuke...kun..." A sweet lilt met their ears, encouraging the father and son to gaze at the sleeping woman on the bed beside them.
He leaned over with Chiaki in his lap, a hand instinctively reaching to brush a wayward pink strand from her flushed cheeks. "Sakura." His voice came out in a breathless tone, exultancy and admiration heavy in the way he said her name.
Her eyes fluttered open and met his for a moment before she finally spoke. "You're...you're really here." Colourless tears dripped from her eyes, the colour of fresh summer grass, and slowly slid towards her shock of pink tresses.
"I won't leave anymore. Je te promesse." He whispered into her ear, his son almost sliding off his legs as he bent down to embrace her. "Je t'aime."
Chiaki held fistfuls of Sasuke's shirt as he began to slip off of his previously solid perch. Both Sakura and Sasuke reacted by each taking a hold of one small wrist, gently pulling him to sit on the tussled sheets, and the little boy managed to catch a glimpse of his mother's face.
His eyes suddenly widened at her tears. "Kaa-chan, please stop crying." He reached a petit hand to brush away the trail her tears had left, the tenderness her son treated her with bringing another sob from her.
The woman seized her son in a tight but loving hug, his premature spiky locks tickling her cheek. "I'm not sad, Chiaki. I'm happy."
"Then, why are you crying, Kaa-chan?" His voice came out as a quiet muffle. "Do people cry when they're happy, too?"
"Yes, yes, Chiaki. People do." Sakura tearfully replied. "Your Otou-chan's back, and there is nothing more that I could wish for."
Her son pulled back with surprising force, and turned to look at the grown man in front of him. "You better not make Okaa-san cry again, or else I'll have to be-be—" He struggled with the word he had just learned prior.
"Berate me?" Sasuke humoured, enjoying the fact where his son, so young at the mere age of two, had already learned how to be an early leader. "Yes, Chiaki-kun. I've promised your mother that I will not make her cry anymore."
"Yes! If you break that promise, then—"
"You can punish me in any manner you see fit." He mused.
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura straightened from her hunched position, her green eyes bright in the dim bedroom.
"One exception, though, Chiaki." Sasuke held a finger to his fiancée's lips to silence her.
"What is it?" He pouted, displeased that there would be exceptions to his ultimatum.
"If I make your mother shed tears of content, then you shall not have the right to chastise me."
"It means to punish."
"Oh. Alright. Just as long as Okaa-san is not unhappy, then anything will do." His sharp eyes glowed at his supposed authority over his father, already approving of him just at how happy he made his mother within the past few hours and the willingness to play along with his jokes.
"I hope I'm not intruding on some private family matters." Itachi's teasing baritone filled the room as he leaned casually against the frame of the door, his arms lazily crossed in front of his chest.
"No, of course not, Onii-chan." Sakura's soft alto reassured her brother, her hands gently resting on the velvety duvets. "Please come in."
"I kindly rescind your offer, Sakura, but only because the rest are downstairs, and they are itching to hear your story, Otouto." He looked straight at Sasuke, ignoring the two others, his eyes unreadable.
Sakura glanced at Sasuke, her countenance full of worry and unanswered questions.
Sasuke sighed, and stood gracefully from the bed. "I will be down in a few minutes. Tell Okaa-san that the story will not be left untold, Aniki."
"That would be uncouth of you if you were to do that, Sasuke. Would you rather I tell the tale?"
"You knew!" Sakura gasped in surprise at Itachi's words, Itachi's silence striking her as if she had been slapped by Hizuka's hand as she had been in the past. "You knew and left me in the dark!"
"Shh. It's not his fault, Sakura. I'll tell you everything when we are downstairs." He placed a brief kiss on her rosy lips.
"Ahh!" Chiaki hurried off the bed and grabbed hold of his uncle's pants as he hid behind them, peeking to watch his parents' display of intimacy.
Sakura regarded her son with slight surprise as Sasuke winked at the little boy. "There's a lot more to learn, Chiaki."
They descended the stairs with silent grace and took their seats around the table, the table only seating four cramped from the excessive number of people gathered around it. Extra chairs from the garden were taken the liberty to be moved into the kitchen, giving the impression that the room was much too small than its usual spaciousness. Each person had their own respective seat except for Chiaki, who comfortably situated himself on top of his mother's legs, his baby legs just barely reaching past Sakura's knees.
As the creaking of the chairs quieted, the rustling of dresses being put into place, and the yawning of an extremely loud blond deadened, everyone's gaze was intently focused on the previously missing man of three years. He sighed and leaned forward in his chair, his shoulders hunched forward, his arms placed on the table so he could put his weight on it. His feet scraped dully across the polished hardwood, his hands entwined together on the solid wooden surface.
"I was comatose for almost three years." He finally breathed out, a grim line set in his handsome features.
The occupants of the table looked at him blankly for moments before Chiaki broke it with a yawn.
Sakura started, surprised at the noise. "It's time for your nap, Chiaki. You haven't rested."
"No, Kaa-chan. I'll...sleep...here..." He quickly dozed in her arms, her warmth swiftly lulling him to a deep sleep.
"It's alright. I will take him upstairs." Yume gently took Chiaki from her sister and walked upstairs with the infant in her arms.
Perhaps it would be better to continue the rest of the storytelling in whispers, for it seemed any loud commotion would startle them irrevocably for the time being.
"What happened?" Mikoto slowly asked, almost afraid to pronounce the words that might reveal to her that her son is living on borrowed time.
"Excessive use of the Sharingan." The raven lost no time in quelling their worries at the thousands of possibilities that raced through their minds. "We suppressed the riot within a few days, but we barely slept."
"That, they do know, teme. Just get to the point, dattebayo!" Naruto scowled, his whiskered face scrunched into his arms on the table.
"You are being rude, Naruto. You are also taking up much space on this cramped table." Itachi sighed and crossed his legs.
"Hmph." The sun-kissed man suddenly found the azure sky the same shade as his eyes much more interesting than what Sasuke was narrating.
"What Aniki had constantly fretted about to me was indeed the truth. There were no records of what would happen to the wielder except for blindness as a result if the Sharingan had been used much more than its appropriate time, and I was ready for such a fate. But—"
"He's not blind." Itachi drawled.
"You said interrupting while someone is talking is rude!" Naruto bellowed.
"Naruto!" Sakura sternly reprimanded the boy. "Please, Chiaki is sleeping!"
"O-Okay, Sakura-chan." He backed away from the rest and cowered in a little corner by the sink.
"–it seemed as though that did not happen to me." Sasuke menacingly finished his sentence, his eyes closed with restraint, a vein pulsing a little too close under the skin for comfort. "I could only presume that the blood loss, the fatigue from lack of rest and continuous usage of the Sharingan took its toll on me, and I fell unconscious, only with the thought that I would take a nap to revitalize my depleted stamina source. I do not remember much after that."
"I returned to the mansion, or what was really left of it after I was certain the three of you would be safe here." Itachi made eye contact with the three ladies in the room. "By the time I arrived, the battle had already ended, and I took the liberty to bury Otou-san in the family grave with the proper rites. Kakashi had done a remarkable thing to guarantee that most of the house was still intact, and the enemies could not go past the third rooms of the first floor. As usual, I left him to his usual devices, because what he would do would usually be how I wanted things to be done and even better. However, when I found Naruto, he was kneeling on the ground with this guy–" He lazily kicked Sasuke's chair and earned a vehement glare from his brother. "–who was sprawled on the floor with blood gushing from every angle."
"Teme collapsed as Kakashi reported that everything was under control. I couldn't get him to wake up even after I slapped him several times." Naruto slurred sleepily.
"Oh, Naruto. You hit him?" Sakura whispered, anguish compressing her heart at how she wasn't able to be there to aid Sasuke in any way.
"I see...so that's why he was bleeding so much more than he should have been." Itachi coldly glared at Naruto.
He immediately straightened in the chair, looking slightly nervous at how everyone else would regard him for his blunder. "I...hit him lightly?" The blond shamefully scratched his head as five pairs of eyes scrutinized him.
"It matters not. There will be less dinner for him tonight." Yume flicked a slender hand in the air for Itachi to continue as she returned, earning a choking sound from the deflated blond.
"I thought he would soon wake, but days became weeks, and weeks became months. The time that I've been away when I should have been here, Okaa-san, was spent conversing with an irresponsive Otouto. When I couldn't be there, Naruto took over my place, and when he and I were here, Kakashi filled our roles." Itachi sighed, a frown marring his usual smiling countenance just at the memory of the past.
"Oh, dear Lord." Mikoto breathlessly gasped, tears filling her weary eyes. "Just how can I ever thank him enough for what he's done?"
"If it weren't for him, Otou-san's body would have been ripped to shreds, and we would have been pulverized."
"Kakashi-sensei says that he will come to visit one day soon." Naruto voiced in another piece of information. "When he took over my shift, he mumbled something so I couldn't really catch anything but that."
"He told me you were sleeping also." Itachi humoured.
"I was not, dattebayo!" He countered.
"So you drool when you are awake? That is...rather hideous."
"Why didn't you tell us that he was alive? Why couldn't the two of you have told us that Sasuke-kun was still alive?" Her voice sounded so small amidst the meaningless chatter flitting between one ear to the next. "Why did you leave us in the dark for so long?" The pinkette broke at the end, crying in relief for Sasuke's safety, and crying in anger that they did not tell her something she had the right to know.
"I didn't want you to know." Sasuke murmured into her ear as he pulled her close. "It wouldn't have been fair to you to see me like that."
"It wouldn't have been fair?" She jerked away from him and stared at him as she quickly got up from her chair, her lucid and watery eyes full of disbelief at his words. "You left me alone with no knowing whether you were dead or alive! And you leave these two idiots—" Sakura gestured at Itachi and Naruto, surprise depicted quite evidently on their features. It was the first time that she had raised her voice to such a volume and said such a fairly inappropriate word. "–were of no help in establishing that you were still breathing and alive!"
"Sakura—" Sasuke reached for her arm, but she yanked it away from his searching hand.
"You left me with a son to take of all by myself, Sasuke!" She glared at him, her eyes bright, tears glistening on her damp cheeks. "I couldn't explain to Chiaki where his father was when I didn't even know really where you were!"
Frankly, Sasuke was at a loss of words, as were the other men in the household. It came as a surprise that Chiaki did not tumble downstairs to ascertain what the disruption was about. The two women sitting opposite them only smiled approvingly at Sakura's outburst, causing the men to look disconcertingly at them and regard them as mentally crazy.
"You didn't have a right to have withheld that information from her, Sasuke." Mikoto softly said. "After you sleep with a woman you intend to marry, there really should be no secrets."
"It's a relief to know that you are not hiding your emotions anymore, Imouto. You've had us worried, Sakura." Yume daintily took a sip of her cup of Earl Grey tea.
"I'm sorry." He gently whispered to her overwhelmed appearance, her frustration dissipating fast at his presence alone, but with his apology, all her negative emotions dissipated. "I wouldn't have blamed you if you had aborted, but, thank you."
"Sasuke-kun..." She buried her face into his chest as he stood to embrace her in his arms, her exhausted body willingly leaning onto his for support. It had been much too long ago since she had relied so much on anyone. It pained her to be reliant on anyone after their separation three years ago, but they wouldn't hear of a pregnant woman going through the process alone. After Chiaki's birth, Sakura had taken care of him all by herself until her body was too fatigued from all the chores and taking care of him alone.
"She's so different than before now, Itachi. Do you think it's menopause?" Naruto whispered behind the couple's back to his aficionado. A sharp rap on the back of his head made tears gather at the corner of his eyes. "Yeow! Teme!"
"No, Naruto. I believe they coin the term 'love'." Itachi smiled at the nearly complete reunion of his family.
"Am I late?" Kakashi popped his head through the window of the empty kitchen, his usual grey-black mask masking his handsome features, the scar across his eye half-hidden by an elegant eye patch.
"Good Heavens, no, no, Kakashi. Please, come in and sit." Mikoto threw the door open and ushered the aged man to the previously occupied table. "Sasuke just told us how much you've done for us an hour prior to your arrival. I hope you do not mind."
"No, Mikoto-sama. I did not intend to have been here when the three told you of what we have kept from you all. I am deeply sorry for my silence towards you." The grey-haired man gravely apologized as he sat down.
"Nonsense, Kakashi! You are our saviour along with Shikamaru. I will never be able to thank the two of you enough for all that you have done for the Uchiha line. If I may ask, though, were you visiting your dear friend again to be late for the explanation of Sasuke's wordlessness?"
He closed his good eye briefly before answering. "No. I was making preparations in case any of you have wishes to return to the mansion. Everything is the way it has been before, and the Underground is even more secured as well. Shikamaru and I have given it another once-over before my arrival here."
"I see…" Mikoto pondered his words at the table, absentmindedly pouring a cup of tea for the man sitting opposite from her. "I would like to see Fugaku, and of course, the remnants of my house."
"The entirety of the property is just as it had been before, intact and clean. It is just a little more secured, and with a few more of Fugaku's late followers in the crypt. The interior of the house has been repaired, none of the things stolen, broken, or raided. Everything else remains the same."
"It's a comfort to know that everything's been so well taken care of by you and everyone else, Kakashi. I do not mind whether I stay here or return to the manor in the city. Wherever my children decide to be, I will follow them even if they tell me otherwise. Aside from my wish that I've voiced earlier, the decision to leave this place is solely based on Sakura-chan and Sasuke's judgments."
Just then, Sasuke and Sakura walked into the open-aired kitchen, the lady stopping in her tracks at the sight of the silver-grey haired man sitting in front of her. Her eyes widened as she remembered where she had seen him before, the fleeting minute where they had conversed still quite memorable to her. His elegance, his graces, and his kind words reminded her of her husband quite a lot now that she paid mind to it. Why had she not thought that the Kakashi everyone kept mentioning was the same as the one she had met in her deceased mother's house a few years back?
Kakashi broke the silence with a smile that crinkled his eyes. "It's a pleasure to see you again after so long, Sakura. How have you been?"
"Kakashi-san?" Sakura whispered. "You were the one from back then—"
"Yes, and if I heard correctly, I am sorry for the small scarring that the thorns on the roses had given you." He looked apologetic.
It was a surprise to her that he even remembered, because she surely didn't. "Oh, no. Please don't say that. What you've done for Sasuke – for us all – we really couldn't ask for anything more. Excuse me for my rudeness earlier. It's a pleasure to finally be able to speak you without the demanding social graces of the city, Kakashi-san."
"Even without having to adhere to them, Sakura, you are still a woman with the most perfect societal etiquette. You are very lucky, Sasuke, to have her as your beloved." Kakashi teased the younger man who glowered at him in return, his fiancée lightly blushing at his comment.
"Don't stand at the door, you two, come in and close the door behind you. Oh dear, the mosquitoes are coming in." Mikoto busied herself with trying to get rid of the annoying insects with a fly beater. "You are welcome to stay for the night, Kakashi. Please don't hesitate to help yourself to anything in this house."
"Thank you, Mikoto-sama. It will be nice to have a nice chat with everyone again, but perhaps I will bring the question that I've asked of you earlier to them now."
"Question?" Sakura quietly asked and looked at Sasuke, who didn't seem fazed by his inquiry.
"Yes, Sakura. I would like to ask if you wish to return to the city." The older man watched the couple kindly, his posture relaxed, his hands casually clasped together in between his thighs on the seat of the chair. "Mikoto-sama gives her regards that your choice would be her choice as well."
"Kakashi!" The older woman reprimanded him just as she killed one of the few mosquitoes that had gotten in.
"I—" She began, but stopped.
The city was poison. There were rules to abide by, a reputation to uphold, danger to the family she loved, and of course, the trivial matters of being even more so overly-lavished by her mother-in-law. Aside from that, Chiaki would soon need formal education, not just being home-schooled by herself. It wouldn't be right of her to take him away from the opportunity of being able to see the workings of an aristocratic society, and the underground society that her father-in-law had worked so hard on protecting and stabilizing. Everything the family had done in the past was in the palm of her hand, whether or not she wanted to stay or return all depended on her. The wealth, the riches, everything that the Uchiha had power over was in the city, just how could she forbid them from returning to claim what was rightfully theirs in the first place?
But she didn't want to return to such a Hell where memories of the past would catch up to her.
"I do." Her voice was a bare whisper.
"You don't have to if you do not wish to, Sakura." Sasuke murmured into her ear.
"You can always return here every summer or whenever you prefer, Sakura. This property is also owned by the Uchiha, so by returning to the city, we are not leaving this place forever." Mikoto kindly said to her as she placed a hand on her daughter's forearm. "This will be your refuge and home whenever things get too tough in the city, or you just wish to be here again. There will be no goodbyes."
"Home is wherever all of us are, Okaa-san." Sakura softly said. "I will return, for the sake of memories, and a life that I do not want for the rest of you to leave behind."
Mikoto's eyes were damp as she scolded the pinkette. "I've lived my life, and I want you to live yours to the fullest. Be selfish and choose where you would like to be. It matters not to me where I go."
"I can't be selfish for the sake of Chiaki, Kaa-san. I don't want him to miss the knowledge of how the aristocratic society works, the city life, and the organization that the Uchiha family's worked so hard on. I also want him to receive a city education, not that I mind him being home-schooled, but it would keep him isolated from other children his age. He would be lonely."
Then there was a pregnant pause before the grey-haired man broke it.
"Then is it settled?" Kakashi's tenor remained the same volume as before, a quiet but strong voice.
"I suppose it is. You've heard what the lady said." Sasuke quietly said.
They lazily sat on top of the hill overlooking the ocean, watching the miniature figures of the pinkette and the recently resuscitated raven moving on the beach below. The wind moved through blond and black locks, a tanned hand running through the unruly spikes as azure eyes watched the sun dip lower into the horizon, a blinding ball of gold disappearing behind the line of the ocean. He closed his eyes to feel the warmth of the sun on his face, the light accentuating the golden highlights in his hair and making the scars on his face less prominent than usual. In all honesty, his being engulfed in the late afternoon sun made him look like an angel, and Itachi believed that his idiotic blond truly was, what with his innocent and naïve thoughts on everything around him. It was this idiosyncrasy that made him want to protect the childish young man.
Instead of watching the newly reunited couple on the beach, he was watching Naruto, noticing the lines on his face that showed how weary and tired he was after so long of keeping a secret, keeping watch, and keeping his mental stability in check when his best friend of twenty-two years had slipped into a seemingly neverending coma. He raised a hand to slip a black piece of stray hair behind his own ear, the shortened length unfamiliar to him, his decision to cut it having been impacted when he finally found it a bother to keep tying it up in a ponytail in such a windy town. Naruto liked it better like that, his mother stopped complaining, and it was much easier for him to keep too, so it was much better off regardless.
He let his hand fall back into the fresh green grass, his fingers itching to run through the blond's soft locks to comfort him even more so than what he knew his presence alone already did. His other hand was stationary on top of his knee, his knee drawn up to his chest, his other leg lazily stretched out in front of him. It would be a pity to have to return to the city, but again, since this place was Uchiha property, he supposed it wouldn't matter much if they did leave, since he could just return whenever he wanted to. He was used to the laborious work the Underground required, but he would rather his lover be away from the perils of the Uchiha family even though the blond had been treated as family ever since he became Sasuke's friend when they had only been five years old.
There was no escaping once you've been involved with the Uchiha, and it made him a little sad that he could not have met the blond outside and away from the bloodshed of his family. At least it would have ensured that his life would not be hanging by a thread at any given moment if they had met as strangers on the streets. But, he highly doubted that they would have gotten to know each other so well if not for his little brother and the family's duties that have been passed down for generations.
Naruto suddenly collapsed onto his back on the grass, an arm thrown casually across his eyes to shield the sun from his eyes. A quiet sigh escaped his lips, and even though they were in such close proximity, Itachi barely heard it.
"Naruto?" He gently asked.
The blond would be the only person he would caress the name of.
"I won't break, Itachi. Everything's finally over, happy endings are here, and I couldn't ask for anything more than what I have right now. I'm just a little tired is all. There's no need to worry." The fair-haired man whispered. Then he added in a cautious voice after a quick pause, "Was your confession to Sakura-chan genuine?"
Itachi smiled at him, knowing that the blond was happy just by being with him, and knowing that the blond was going to ask this question. He reached for Naruto's open hand, palm-up, carelessly lying beside him, almost as if he was waiting for him to take it in accordance to his awaited answer; he did, his pale hand closing around the tanned one of his aficionado. As soon as their skin touched, Naruto's hand tightly but gently closed around his, anchoring him to his side.
"There's no need to worry when we're together, Naruto."
The grip on his hand further tightened, but he didn't mind, because truthfully, it was what both of them wanted. Separation would only be the worst of their nightmares.
The house was emptied, the curtains drawn, the wagons packed until it could hold no more. A flurry of feet were quickly running across the gravelled ground, their owners finishing off the last of the packing before they were to return to the place they had called home three years prior. While the rest of them were busy, two individuals were walking care-freely on the beach by the ocean, the sand caressing their bare feet, the ocean water gently lapping at their skin. Identical watches flashed in unison on their wrists in the sunlight, their threaded hands lightly swaying in a cheerful manner to the soft breeze that caused their clothes to restlessly move in the wind.
"You've changed, Sakura." Sasuke smiled down at her as they walked, watching as the sun highlighted her pretty features.
"What makes you say that?" She softly replied, turning her head to look up at him, her rosy lips curved upwards at the ends in a pretty smile.
"You're prettier than before, your voice less soft-spoken, you're more confident, and now you're a mother. I'm worried that when we return to the city, I will have to be wary of other men, or else my beautiful wife will be taken away before I know it." He leaned over and pressed a light but long kiss to the side of her head.
Her eyes closed at his embrace, but opened them again when he pulled away. "Is that all, Sasuke? If you don't tell me more about how I've changed for the better, I might end up running away…" She trailed off in a suggestive tone.
"Should I chain myself to you to ensure that I will notice all of the changes?" He humoured.
Sakura suddenly dropped her hand from his, making Sasuke stop in his path, her feet carrying her forward a few steps ahead of where he was standing. "Maybe you should, because you never know where I will run to…" She hinted before she turned and started running down the beach, the hand with the watch holding up her skirts so she would not trip on them as she ran.
Sasuke stood and watched her quickly retreating back, realizing that his wife had managed to outwit him, and making him realize that he had better chase after her or else she really would be gone. He began to run after her, his lips upwards in a smile at the childish race the two of them had taken up, but nonetheless, people do say that being in love makes one young, and he would be more than happy to be a part of that stereotype.
The sun slowly continued its descent into the horizon as their game continued, the swell of the ocean tide sweeping over the imprinted sand and slowly washing away their footprints, leaving it as smooth as it had been, just before it had been touched.
French Translation to English:
1) Je te promesse. - I promise you.
2) Je t'aime. - I love you.
Can you believe this story has been ongoing for a year and a half? It blows my mind. Please review and give me your comments and or feedbacks, and just because this story is complete doesn't mean you shouldn't review to let me know of what you think about it, because I can still improve for future or current pieces! ;)
Thank you again for reading, and I hope to see you guys with my other stories!
- Kanryu 1:17AM 31/05/11