Piper: Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be so late. School started, so I've been readjusting to a lot.

I don't own Naruto.

Chapter 16 - Smiles

Sakura Haruno

I sneezed once again, cursing loudly. Tobi watched me from the chair on the other side of the coffee table, clearly amused. I pulled the blanket given to me tighter around my shoulders, shivering at how cold I felt. I took a sip from my hot chocolate, and watched as Madara came back into the room and hung up the phone. He sat down next to me, and said tiredly, "The others will be here soon."

"You tell them why?" I asked, and he shook his head with a small smirk.

"Surprise," He said, and I shrugged my shoulders. I gave a suddenly violent shiver, and cursed. I pulled more of the blanket around me to try and stop myself from shaking. Madara put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him. My head rested on his chest, and I was too tired to argue him about how my wet hair was going to get his freshly dried shirt wet once more. He was to warm for me to pass this up. I moved closer, and he chuckled, moving his arm so that I fit more comfortably against his side.

"Shut up, you're warm," I said, my voice shaking slightly. I could feel Tobi smiling across the room, something that I was able to pick up on since hanging around him and Madara for so long. When he smiled or frowned, it's almost as if you could feel it due to the fact that you couldn't see it.

We sat without conversation for a few moments, listening to the television. I wasn't really watching it, I was about to fall asleep once again on Madara. His warmth was fogging my brain, and I was about to give into the sleep when I heard the front door opened. I blinked sleepily as Madara shifted to look over his shoulder. The others entered the living room, damp form the rain. They all spotted me, curled up against Madara's side with red cheeks and nose, and looked shocked.

"Surprise," I said dully, before letting out a giant sneeze. Madara rubbed my shoulder as I began to shiver again. The other slowly adjusted to the room, and sat around the living room. They waited for an explanation, and I was suddenly short for words. I decided to just let myself talk, and not think about what I was going to say. It was really the only way to speak the truth without feeling nervous.

"I'm sorry," I started, "I'm sorry I was stupid today. I probably hurt you, and I didn't...mean to. But today, our little fight pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone. That was all it took for me to realize a lot of things. I can't stop being friends with you," I said, "Because I don't want to." I continued before they could say anything, and said quietly, "I understand if you don't want to, though. I don't understand why anyone would want to put up with my shit."

"I fucking would."

I looked at Hidan, raising an eyebrow wearily. He chuckled, "Konan doesn't freaking let me poke her bruises after she's been in a chick fight."

That little joke lightened up the room, and I felt almost peaceful. Until I sneezed.

I was sick. It was easy enough to figure that out. I stayed at Madara' apartment while everyone went to school, trying to sleep off a cold. When school was over, Madara and Tobi filled me in on my homework and helped me understand anything I struggled with. Madara cooked while Tobi sat and watched television with me. The others came over frequently, to visit or have dinner with us. My being sick didn't really both them, all saying that they usually got sick from each others colds and flues anyway.

Madara was actually kind enough to go get my things from my father's while I was still heavily sick and sleeping practically 20 hours a day. I opted out of sleeping in my pajamas, for they were to hot for my skin temperature as a sick person, and stole a pair of Madara's boxers and one of his shirts. He found this amusing, but I could care less. I was comfortable and happy.

I sat, slumped against the couch barely even watching the television I was staring at. My mind was blank, and I didn't even know what I was watching. It was like I was sleeping while I was awake, my mind shut off. I heard the door open, and the shuffle of shoes. Madara entered the living room, and I looked at him with tired eyes. He chuckled at me, and turned off the television. He sat next to me, and I asked stuffily, "Where's Tobi?"

"With the others. They're going out for some ice cream. They're bringing some back for us," He explained.

I nodded, thinking about how good ice cream would feel on my sore throat. I sighed and let my head fall onto Madara's should. His arm wrapped around me, and I was glad I had taken a shower this morning. I sure needed one; the warm water had soothed my skin and felt like heaven. Until I had a hot spell, then I turned the water on cold and ended up freezing my ass off.

"I'm tired," I mumbled into his shoulders, and my body shook as he chuckled lightly.

I looked up at him, and smirked lightly, "You're too lumpy of a pillow." We both knew that was a lie.

Madara met my gaze and smirked back at me, "Really? That didn't stop you from falling asleep on me last weekend."

"I was sick from the rain then, too." I was aware that we were both leaning in.


"Of course."

We met in the middle, and my heart jumped against my ribcage. I didn't know what to really feel about this. I hadn't kissed a boy before, and I certainly never had a boyfriend before. I liked Madara. A lot. But I wasn't sure if that was enough or not. Did he feel the same, or was a forcing myself on him?

I banished that thought quickly when Madara held me in place, keeping me close. My mind went foggy after that, and I could only think once we parted. My face felt hot, and we looked at each other surprise. The next thing I knew there was a flash of white, and I groaned as my head gave a heavy throb. Rubbing my eyes, I looked over to see the group standing in the doorway, Konan with a camera in her right hand. I was at a loss for words, and apparently so was Madara.

I sighed to myself, kicking my foot against the ground. Principle Tsunade looked down at me, before a small smirk met her lips, "Why is that you can't not get caught, Miss Haruno?"

"Because Karin screeches like a banshee when she's getting punched in the face repeatedly," I said quietly, and to my surprise she chuckled at me.

Tsunade waved her hand at me, sighing quietly, "Detention next Friday, now get out of my office, brat."

I scrambled from my chair and exited her office, said a quick "Hello" to Shizune, and exited the school. A smile met my face as I ran for Madara's car, sliding into the passenger seat. Madara raised an eyebrow at me, and I laughed a little, "Next Friday I have detention."

He shook his head at me and started his car, steering easily with one hand as his free one took my hand. He rubbed his thumb across the back of my hand, and I squeezed his palm lightly. I sighed happily and looked out the window, smiling happily. It was a whole year since Madara and I started dating, and it's been smooth sailing so far. We've had a few bumps with my past, but everything turned out fine. The Akatsuki and I became like one giant family, and everything was normal. I was smiling now, and laughing. I was lighter, and happier. My life was going some where, and Konan and I were studying with Tsunade on the weekends to become doctors after high school.

Karin and I still have out fights, obviously. Karin and Sasuke's relationship is non-existent, something about Karin sleeping with other men or something like that.

I found my peace with the Akatsuki, and I was now more content with life. I had come to terms that my mother's death was not my fault, and that I had no say in my father's decisions. I let him live his life with Tohru and Miki, now fully living with Madara and Tobi. Life was good, and I was becoming more stable everyday with the Akatsuki, surprisingly. They all had their pasts, and they all had their fair share of bad memories, but they still helped me through it all.

My eye brows furrowed as Madara pulled to a stop in front of the park a few blocks away from his house. I looked towards him in confusion, "Madara?"

He looked at me, dark eyes hiding something in their depths. He turned his body towards me, taking the hand he was holding into both of his. My heart sunk, and I expected the worst. Madara took one hand away and reached into his pocket, looking me in the eyes, "Sakura, I know that you're thinking of the worst. Stop it." His command made me chuckle a little, and I nodded.

Madara pulled his hand from his pocket and slipped a silver band onto my ring finger. My heart skipped a few beats, and I almost chocked before I commanded myself to breath again. He looked down at the ring, rubbing his finger across it lightly, "If you want me to save this for a later date, when you're ready, I will...This is a promise ring, for us, if you want," He said, looking up so that his eyes met mine. "I promise that after we're through with high school and you are done with you're training to be a doctor... I'm going to buy you a wonderful ring with all the money in my pocket, and ask you to marry me."

I bit my lip, and leaned closer. I rested my forehead against his and smiled lightly, "You don't have to spend all you're money. As long as I know you love me at the time, you could give me a ring pop and I would still say yes."

He chuckled, his breath fanning against my face, "I might just do that."

I smiled, and our lips met. Everything had changed since I met the Akatsuki. If I was still that Sakura I was, I would say that it was a bad thing and go on about how terrible it would be to get close to someone, but now... I'm to busy drowning in the love of my boyfriend and friends to even think about the past.

Piper: You guessed it, this is the end. Sorry if any of you are dissatisfied, I kinda am. This was no way the best I could do. AU was kind of hard for me, because it was kind of difficult to make for a plot. I think I'm going to make a Naruto world story with Sakura and the Akatsuki sometime soon. Thank all of you who did for reading, reviewing, alerting, and favoriting!

Please review and I hope you had fun reading!