Title: Things We Could Not Say
Rating: K+ | PG
Spoilers: None
Word count: 2,274
Pairing: Naruto/Sakura
Summary: Naruto plans on winning this time.
Notes: This was written as a sequel to Do To Me What You Cannot Say. It is much fluffier than the first, and there is no smut in this one. I wasn't too satisfied with it; felt it was too boring and rushed. However, let me know what you think. I might re-write this... Not that I haven't re-written it a million times over.

Naruto was late, and it was beginning to rain. Clouds that had been stubbornly thick and steely gray all day long suddenly blackened, and Sakura felt the first drops of a storm on her cheeks. It wasn't a perfect day for training, but Sakura was at the training grounds anyway—a clearing just near the edge of the forest, surrounded by endless tall trees and potential hiding spots. She crouched, produced four kunai in one hand and leapt forwards. Had she been fighting an enemy, they wouldn't have seen the kunai leave her hand at all, just that her targets had been pierced quite accurately. Sakura smiled and prepared to take them back out of the trees she had marked as targets, the ones that were hidden behind bigger, broader oaks.

She stopped in her tracks, however. "You're late," Sakura said without turning around. She knew he was there the minute he stepped into the forest. It wasn't because Naruto was inept at hiding himself or that years of training as a ninja had honed her detecting skills, it was because of the years they had spent together, working together, being partners. Sakura could feel Naruto whenever he was around her, the unmistakable warm spiritual energy that always vibrated through the air whenever he was close.

Naruto made a noise at the back of his throat, half apologetic and half nervous. He had been debating whether to come or not, and the inner battle had dragged on for ages. Naruto hadn't seen her in a week, and he stared at her back with the realization that he had missed her.

"Sorry," He apologized with a small laugh.

Sakura sighed and turned around to face him. He was walking towards her, blonde hair matted down because of the rain, chest bare like it always was when they trained together, and the stupid black and orange pants he insisted on wearing everywhere and anywhere clung to him damply. She had never reacted to him before, being so used to seeing him like this, but this time was different somehow. Sakura's heart sped up, and she remembered his bare chest just mere inches above hers, the way his sweat-slicked body moved.

"Sakura? Hello?" Naruto was in front of her now, hand on her forehead. "Are you sick or something? Your face is all flushed." His hands moved to her cheeks.

Sakura cleared her throat and his hands fell back to his sides. "I'm fine. I'm flushed because I was training," She said, "Unlike someone who was supposed to be here an hour ago!"

Naruto smiled sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. "Sorry, sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you with ramen after." He ducked her punch before it connected with his jaw. "I mean, I'll gather some herbs for you later."

"Better." Sakura said, smiling.

Good. Everything seemed normal enough. He didn't seem to be any different, Sakura mused. This bothered her a little bit. Maybe a week had been enough for him to get over it? A guilty feeling weighed at the bottom of her stomach as she thought about how last week must have passed for him. Not that her days had been any better. The nights, though… They were the worst. It was as if just that one time had been enough for her to get hooked on his warmth.

Naruto watched her from the corner of his eye as he stretched. Sakura seemed different, too flustered. He would have suffered several blows by now just for being late, but she seemed too distracted. And he had grown up around Hinata enough to know when a girl was blushing, and Sakura was making a pretty job out of it right now. He experimentally lifted his arms above his head to stretch and noticed the red tint in her cheeks blossom all the way to her neck. Definitely blushing.

Why would she? Not once in the past week had she come to him, apology or not. Making love to her had been amazing, but the morning after was anything but. His heart was broken, but Naruto had realized, after several days of drinking his brains out, it wasn't any different from before. His love for her had always been one-sided and perhaps always will. But she was blushing now. Maybe she was embarrassed, he reasoned with himself. Sakura cared about him, this he knew. She felt guilty, after all.

"Ready?" He asked, finishing up some leg exercises.

Sakura nodded mutely. "No weapons for now," She told him. "I only brought one set of kunai today, and they're stuck in trees right now."

"I didn't bring any." Naruto said.

Sakura glared at him. "See, this is why you always lose to me."

Naruto glanced quickly at her chest, which had grown considerably in the last few years, and quietly thought to himself, 'That's not exactly why I lose, Sakura…'

"So, the usual bet?" He asked.

"Sure, if you're willing to go on a herb hunting trip with me again," Sakura said airily.

The two always bet when they trained. The winner gets to have the loser do whatever he or she wanted. Of course, Sakura was reigning champion. Naruto shuddered at all the long hikes and tedious plants he had to comb through just to find a specific leaf or variant thereof. One time, he fell into a whole bush of poison ivy and tried to tear off his own skin for an entire week.

This time was going to be different, Naruto told himself. He was going to win. He needed to win. There was something he needed her to do for him.

"I'm going to win this time," Naruto said haughtily, getting into his fighting stance.

Sakura's eyebrows shot up. "Oh, really? I guess I shouldn't expect any less from the future Hokage," She teased, but prepared herself as well.

Sakura didn't doubt that he could win if he was really serious, or if she was anyone else other than… Well, her. Sakura wanted to smile at the adorable and determined look in his blue eyes. There was one weakness Naruto had that only she could bring out in him. He was in love with her. There was no way she wasn't pinning him in this fight.

She made the first move, slamming her fists into the ground, splitting it open. Naruto sidestepped to avoid the crack, and Sakura used his momentary distraction to launch a twirl-kick at his waist. He only managed to barely doge the attack.

"I thought you planned o n winning?" Sakura taunted, striking at him with her fists.

"I am!" Naruto grunted, meeting her blow for blow. When both her arms jutted out to grab him, Naruto managed to snake an arm around her neck and whirl her around. Now he was behind her, one hand to her neck and one hand holding her wrists firmly behind her back.

Naruto was fully planning on pinning her down afterwards, but one pink tendril of silky hair floated his way and, well, his advantage didn't last long.

Now the roles were reversed. "Hah!" Sakura cried out triumphantly. "Prepare to die!"

"D-Die!?" Naruto sputtered.

Next thing he knew, Naruto found himself lying on his back with Sakura straddling his waist firmly in place. "Gotcha." She said, smiling in satisfaction. "I win. Again."

Naruto groaned, half at the loss and half at the pressure she was applying to his groin with her hips. She was unbearably soft on top of him.

"Naruto…" Sakura started to say.

"Just answer me something," Naruto interrupted quickly. Winner or not, he would have her answer at least this. "I have been wondering about this ever since last week. I just want to know something, and you have to answer me truthfully."

Sakura froze. She had been wrong. He hadn't gotten over it. Part of her reveled in the fact that he was still thinking about it, but part of her wanted to run away, just like the morning after their lovemaking. Of course he wouldn't have forgotten, idiot, Sakura reprimanded herself. Panicked, she moved to get off of him, but his hands shot forward and grabbed her around her waist, firmly locking her in place. Sakura tried to ignore how hot his hands felt through the cold and wet fabric of her shirt.

"Let me go, Naruto." She warned.

"No." He said stubbornly.

Sakura sighed, looking away. She wanted to drown out whatever he wanted to ask next, but knew that she couldn't. This was going to happen eventually, she thought to herself. Did she really think that she could hide from him forever?

"Naruto, I…" She started, trying to gain control of the situation before he could ask her what he wanted.

"Was it really a mistake?" He asked, blue eyes peering up at her. Sakura swallowed hard at the hope she saw in them. Naruto continued, "Because to me, it wasn't. It felt right, Sakura. How can it be a mistake, then?"

Pain tugged inside of her chest. It hurt her to hurt him. "I was drunk," Sakura finally said, unable to keep the waver from her voice. "I was really, really drunk."

Something in the air settled, something akin to sadness. Sakura felt Naruto's energy deflating, and she felt her own energy go with it.

"Oh." Naruto breathed, looking sideways.

It was more than she could bear. Sakura touched his cheek tentatively, gently. "I'm sorr—"

"Don't," He cut her off angrily. "Don't say you're sorry."

She knew he was trying hard not to cry, and somehow that pushed her over the edge and she found tears slipping down her cheeks. She had never been one to cry so easily, but she did so readily when one of her friends was hurt. Especially when it was Naruto.

Naruto's eyes softened as he looked at her questioningly. "Why are you crying?"

"Because I hurt you," Sakura said, angry at herself for everything. She wiped the tears away furiously. "It was because I was a coward. I was afraid." Then, she placed her hands on his chest to calm herself.

He moved his hands from her hips to where her hands lay, folding her hands into his, and waited for her to continue.

"I didn't want to be alone that day… So I gave into whatever I wanted at the moment." Sakura took in a deep breath. "Even though I had already promised myself never to burden you again, never to depend on you so much—"

"But you should depend on me!" Naruto blurted. "I'm your friend!"

"But I've been so selfish," Sakura said. "I told myself I would always be by your side as your friend, as someone you can depend on, but it has always been the other way around."

"That's stupid." Naruto said flatly.


"I depend on you too," He told her. "You know that."

Sakura didn't know what to say to that. Finally, she spoke again.

"I'm afraid," Sakura said.

"Of what?" Naruto asked.

"Of being selfish, of…" Sakura's voice trailed off. Truly, what was she holding back?

"Being happy?" Naruto finished for her. "You're punishing yourself again. You don't want to be with me because you feel as though you don't deserve to, because you think you're being a burden to me."

She didn't respond. Was that it? Was she afraid of happiness? Or was she afraid that she was burdening Naruto with what she wanted, yet once again? Sakura knew that Naruto would never hesitate to make her happy, but what about him? What was best for him? She felt frustration welling up inside her chest.

"What is it that you want?" Naruto suddenly asked. "It wasn't a mistake, was it? You wanted it to happen because you've fallen in love with me."

"I don't know," Sakura cried. She attempted once again to get off of him, but Naruto's hold was still strong.

"Don't run away from me, Sakura." He said quietly. "Please."

"I-I'm not ready." She said. "I don't know what I want."

"I'll wait." He said resolutely. "I've waited for all these years, I think I can wait some more." Then, with a playful grin, he added: "I'd like to get into your pants again before I die, though."

She stared at him, speechless. His blue eyes were blazing with an unspoken plea. Stay with me. Stay by my side. She felt something inside of her unfurl, some kind of courage developing. Sakura bent down to kiss him on the lips.

Naruto's eyes flew open, but he didn't say anything in case she decided to try and run from him again. He closed his eyes, welcoming her kisses, offering some of his in return. When a little moan escaped her lips, Naruto deepened the kiss, trying to taste more of her.

After a moment, they pulled apart, trying to catch their breaths. She looked down at him in bewilderment at what she had started, what it would eventually mean for the both of them.

Naruto grinned beatifically up at her, as if he was thinking of just the same thing, but in a more confident light. "You never answered my question."

"And you never won," Sakura retorted.

She couldn't say it just yet, but Sakura knew that maybe one day she would be able to. One day, she would be able to tell him how she felt. When they both got to their feet again, Naruto held out a hand.

"Rematch?" He asked.

"Yes." She answered.

Then, with a jerk of her hand, Sakura pulled him to her for another kiss.


Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think.