At last, the final chapter. A final big thank to all those who have taken the time to read, alerted, faved or reviewed this story.

Warning: this story has been rated M for a valid reason, so you are duely warned.

XOXOX

When Sakura eventually awoke the late sun, already low in the sky, was streaming through the large windows of the room she was in. She blinked as she took in her surroundings and tried to recall how she has landed in the unfamiliar, spacious and elegantly furnished room. Then it all rushed back to her and her heart raced in fear and pain.

"Naruto!"

She jerked bolt upright, but immediately felt giddy and weak, lights popping in front of her eyes and she fell back down. She then noticed the IV tube coming from her left arm, but she was past caring about her own state of health, her mind only frantic with the need to see Naruto; she needed to see if her treatment had been 100% successful and that he was safe and alright_

"Sakura!" Ino appeared at the door and seeing that Sakura was struggling to get up again, rushed to the bed. "Easy now, Forehead," said the Yamanaka girl, placing a hand on Sakura's shoulder and pushing her back against the pillows. "You've been out for four days; take things slowly."

Four days? Thought Sakura, shocked. "Naruto? How is he? Where is he?" she rasped, frenetic with worry, her voice rusty from lack of use of the past days.

"Shh…He's fine," Ino soothed her. "He is perfectly alright and is in a meeting right now."

Despite the words, Sakura's anguish was not appeased. The despair she had felt while holding Naruto's lifeless body in her arms, believing she had lost him for ever, still lingered within her. She made to sit up again despite Ino's adamant protests; she desperately needed to see him with her own eyes.

Ino gave an exasperated sigh. "Forehead, don't make me sedate you!" she threatened. At Sakura's glare of disbelief, she insisted, "I'll do it; I've been given strict order to do anything to ensure your fast recovery and I intend to do just that!"

Sakura paused reluctantly under the threat.

"He's perfectly fine, trust my word," Ino said gently. "He's been by your bedside whenever he was free." Definitely now is not the time to tell her that they had gone back to the enemy, thought Ino, as Sakura's shoulders visibly eased with relief. "You perfectly know the drill, Billboard brow; you're not supposed to get off bed so immediately after you're awake from a coma, however short it was. Let's start by checking your vitals."

Disgruntled, Sakura laid back to the pillows. "I feel fine," she grumbled.

Ino set to check the usual stats: pupil reaction, blood pressure, chakra levels. "I know how you're impatient to meet your sweetheart," the blond teased as she worked, earning a withering glare and bringing some color in the cheeks of her bedded friend, "but he's in a meeting with the other Kages right now. It would be a quite diplomatic blunder to rush into the room like a crazed lovesick girl, right?"

Sakura felt her eyebrows twitch at the taunts of her friend. "Ino," she growled, "don't think that I can't punch you senseless."

Ino chuckled; then her face went serious. "That was a close call, wasn't it?"

Sakura shivered. "Thanks Kami for your quick thinking and immense talent, Ino," she said quietly. Without Ino's intervention… She could not think about the alternate ending of all this. Medically, no human body would not have lasted indefinitely through such forced dead state and they had zero clues how long this 'hibernation' would have lasted. She wondered, with horror, whether the Kumo shinobis had been rendered likewise and had been buried thus.

"The Kumo shinobis -" she began but Ino interrupted her.

"They were definitely dead; the Raikage ordered a further check to be carried out, but nothing was discovered in the bodies," she told Sakura quietly.

Both girls were silent for a while, contemplating the horrible thought.

"You were so right, Ino," Sakura whispered. At the blend's frown of query, she elaborated, "When you said that we don't know when we can get killed in duty…our lives could end tomorrow and we would die passing by the most important things in life."

It was barely over two months when she and Ino had that chat at the tempura's house, yet it seemed ages away. She had come close to losing Naruto without clarifying how she felt and her heart clenched at that thought. She crossed Ino's speculative stare and quickly masked her expression. She was not ready yet to share what she and Naruto had; or appear to have.

"Where are we?" She asked, changing the subject, looking around.

Ino decided not to press her friend. "At the guesthouse allocated for the Konoha Kage delegation," she replied. "You were not in any major health threat, just severe chakra depletion, so we thought it'd be better that you stayed here instead of the hospital."

"Wow, Suna does treat their guests grandly," Sakura remarked, looking appreciatively around the spacious room.

Ino smirked. "You've been given the room originally meant for the Hokage." Upon Sakura's immediate frown, she specified, "At the firm insistence of Naruto. My room is right across yours." She had finished with her checks. "Everything seems fine," she announced.

"It's what I said," Sakura retorted, "I feel fine."

"But you'll remain in bed," Ino said firmly. "You are still quite weak." Sakura opened her mouth to protest, but Ino cut her.

"Bed."

"Can I at least have some food? I'm ravenous. And I need a shower." As Ino started to protest, Sakura growled. "I feel gritty, Pig. I need a SHOWER."

XOXOX

A shower, some food and an hour later, Sakura was feeling completely better –though Ino continued to disagree with her. The IV tube was removed and she wore a loose brown tunic for comfort, courtesy of Temari, as her own clothes had not been appropriate for "convalescing" in this hot climate. After a spat with Ino about what Sakura accused as obstinate insistence of being treated like the sick person which she was not anymore, a compromise was reached between the two friends and she now reclined in the comfortable couch found in the bedroom instead of being in bed. It was obvious that Ino was enjoying and abusing this temporary upper hand of power, much to Sakura's indignation, and she felt a little more sympathetic with Naruto when she thought about all the times that she had restrained him in the hospital despite his protests; though of course she intent to never admit that to him.

Upon learning that she had come out of her short coma, the others, except for Shikamaru who had accompanied Naruto in the Kage's meeting and which was still not over, had crowded in the room for a visit and were now all lounged about on all available sitting surface – Akamaru wrapped around his master's legs- chatting and filling her in the past days' events.

Sakura was still digesting the fact that Naruto and the others had gone back to the enemy's lair. She was upset but was deeply relieved that they were all safe, and the threat of the enemy was definitely behind them.

"When you guys walked on that pentagram, the presence of Kyuubi in Naruto activated it's Jutsu, and the clan members was teleported to it," Kakashi, who stood leaning by the window, explained when Sakura queried about why they had not been able to sense the presence of the enemy. "Basically, the people were nowhere near you guys for you to have sensed them."

"And a prolonged presence of that chakra inject would have eventually killed Naruto," Neiji said. "From the interrogation, we gathered that they had not intended to remove it from him. It would have served it's purpose for the extraction of the Kyuubi; it was all they were interested in."

Sakura shuddered.

"You should be warned, Naruto is very upset with you," Sai told her quietly.

"He knows about?_"

"Yes. He had to be told," the young man replied, looking a tad bit guilty. "As the Hokage, we owed him a complete and true report."

"And he should definitely be informed when such a Jutsu is being used by his people," Sasuke added darkly.

Sakura inwardly winced at the barely hidden reprimand. She felt nervous tickle running down her back, but she firmly pushed it away. "We've got to do what we've got to do," she insisted mutinously and Kakashi sighed ruefully behind his mask.

Sasuke grunted, "Yeah, sure. You tell him that."

"So, when do we leave?" she asked, hurriedly changing the subject.

Temari raised an eyebrow. "You're in such a hurry to go?"

Sakura shook her head. "I love Suna, you know that." She frowned. "I just hope it's not me who has been holding up the departure." The finals of the Chunin exams being over two days ago, logically they should have left for home by now.

"Most of the other delegations are still here and leave tomorrow," Temari said. "Gaara has planned a closing ceremony festivity for this evening, starting with a banquet and finishing with fireworks later."

"And we are glad that you would be able to attend, Sakura-San," came the calm voice of Gaara and Sakura jerked her head towards the door. "It's good to see that you have recovered."

The young Kazekage stood at the door, Naruto by his side, Kankuro and Shikamaru at the back.

"Kazekage-sama," Sakura greeted, but her eyes were all for the blond by his side.

"We were informed that you've woken up," Naruto said. The blue eyes sparkled bright in relief as he inspected her, taking in the face that has gained some color, the freshly washed pink hair shining with life, falling loose to her shoulders and the lively green eyes holding a myriad of emotions as they looked at each other from across the room.

"How are you feeling?" he queried, quickly moving in the room but reluctantly checked himself and stopped only a few steps within. He needed to have a serious discussion with her first and did not want to be distracted by his emotions right now, and those beautiful, wide eyes looking at him would surely undermine his resolve. The past days had given him time to calm some of his anger towards her for what she had been about to do, but he still had cold chills when thinking about the what could have been. He needed to settle things with her, and despite her having just got out from coma, he needed to do it now before anything else.

Sakura was too busy drinking the sight of him to immediately notice his pause. She did a hungry survey of him, her eyes running anxiously over his frame, clad in a tunic similar to hers; frame which she had held in such utter despair some mere days ago, thinking that she had lost him for ever. Her heart clenched at the memory.

She suddenly felt the immense urge to lunge herself into his arms and burst into tears; it was with big effort that she curbed the urge. Feeling jittery, she was afraid to get up from the couch, least that her suddenly jellied legs would not support her. Realizing that he was looking at her expectantly, his question still hanging, she hitched a breath in before speaking, her voice coming out quite shaky.

"I'm fine. How are you doing?"

"Perfect, as you can see," he replied, "thanks largely to you." She then noted that his face has gone serious, very serious, his eyes dark navy and fiery and she quivered. It was easy to see that he was extremely upset with her; Sai had been right.

"We should leave now," Ino chimed in loudly, eyeing the others pointedly.

"No."

All eyes turned questioningly towards Naruto.

"Stay, all of you. You should be witness to what I have to tell Sakura."

Sakura flinched; the ominous tone did not bode anything good and she quickly stole a glance at Sasuke. The Uchiha shrugged, his expression holding an "I told you so."

"Sakura," Naruto started grimly and the pink haired cowered even farther at the lack of Chan in her name, meaning he meant real serious business, "you had intended to use a forbidden Jutsu during the battle and this is unacceptable." He did not even bother to question how or when she had come to learn the Jutsu; someone of her caliber would not have any hurdles for that. "There is absolutely no excuse for you trying to give up your life like that to save mine."

Putting a brave front, she looked at him steadily. "Nothing would have happened to me since technically you were not d-dead," she replied.

"The fact still remained that you had been intending to use it," he said tersely. "It's classified as a forbidden jutsu for a good reason and I formally forbade you to use that jutsu. Ever again, under any circumstances."

Sakura remained silent.

"I would never forgive myself if anything happens to any of you because of ME," Naruto continued, his voice low. "How do you think I would have felt if you…" he could not finish his sentence.

"Then you can understand how I felt when you laid there, lifeless," Sakura replied quietly.

"Sakura," he snapped, his eyes hard, "it's not the same thing. As a Hokage, heck, as a Shinobi, we are prepared that we will fall any time. But what you were about to do was not right."

She opened her mouth but his narrowed eyes stopped her.

"No arguments, Sakura. You aren't going to use that Jutsu again. You have to give me your word." At her mutinous silence, he growled, "Don't make me question the validity of having you as my personal security escort."

Sakura felt the blood leaving her face as she stared at him, stupefied. "N-Naruto?"

Naruto lowered his gaze, evading the wounded look of those green eyes. "If removing you from the position of my personal bodyguard is the only way to guarantee that you will never use that Jutsu again, I'll do it," he said.

The shock running around the silent room was almost palpable. Sakura felt as if the world was crashing down on her. She had always valued her duty as Naruto's medical security guard above all. Knowing that she shared the responsibility of keeping Naruto safe has always meant much to her; it was her own small way of actually doing something significant for him and to keep her vow of protecting him. It was what kept her going when she had to smother her feelings for him, cherishing the fact that at least she could care for him in a tangible way, in a field where she was good.

"Naruto…" Her voice shook. She did not care that the others were witnessing her expression of blatant desperation.

"Maybe it was a bad decision on my part to take anyone close to me as bodyguard," he said quietly, "if it comes to letting emotions be involved in the line of duty."

Sakura felt a sudden anger blazing through her. She sprang up from the couch and stomped to stand within a few paces in front of him. "Fine, I give you my word not to use that Jutsu again," she flared, "but what you've said is bullshit! Don't you dare belittle those of us who wants to protect our close ones. We choose to do it; we don't do it out of obligation and our emotions are our force when we protect someone we care about."

"She is right, you know," Temari's wry voice rang out. Kankuro nodded and Gaara remained silent.

Sasuke slid narrowed eyes to Naruto. "I hope you're not finding my body-guarding duties lacking since I believe we had some emotions involved too?"

Ino's eyebrows twitched.

"I meant as brothers," the Uchiha grunted as the others had started to snicker.

Naruto felt cornered and was peeved that the others were making such a light matter of the subject. He looked stubbornly at Sakura. "I'm the Hokage and a Jinchuriki, Sakura, I'll always be at risk of danger, always the target of some enemy or another_"

"_and I'll be by your side when you face those dangers," she interrupted fiercely, her green eyes an open door to her soul as she looked at him. "In danger or safety, for the better or the worse, in health and sickness, I'll always be by your side."

The air seemed to suddenly still. Naruto's eyes widened, incredulous. Sakura suddenly realized how her words were close to a particular vow. She reddened.

All the eyes had zoomed on the pink haired, all varying in degrees of incredulity and amusement.

"I really think it's time we leave now," Gaaraa said quietly, breaking the silence as Naruto seemed incapable of words, his jaw hanging open. Sasuke grunted in agreement.

Groans of protests welcome his words. "It's getting to the interesting part!" Kiba whined and Akamaru woofed in agreement.

"Yeah, we need to have a closure too!" Kankuro added.

Chouji nodded, to immediately receiving a glare from Ino and found himself being dragged out by the arm.

Gaara swept his calm but warning stare across the protesting two. "We leave now," he said softly but with an underlying steel. Neiji was already leaving the room, a faint smile lifting his lips.

"We'll be at the banquet dinner if you guys are up to it," Temari threw towards the silent pair as the herd reluctantly left the room.

XOXOX

Kakashi smiled beneath his mask as the as they left the guesthouse. "So, who won?" he asked.

"Gaara and Sasuke – tied up position," said Ino, checking on her list.

"Oh man," Kiba groaned, thinking about the stake. The winners were to get one week free lunch from each losing participant.

Sasuke smirked. He had bagged at least half a year worth of free lunches.

XOXOX

Left alone, Naruto and Sakura stood facing each other wordlessly. At least, Naruto stared at her while she stared at her feet, still red. No interruption was forthcoming this time, no one would barge in; there was only them and no evading the glaring, obvious fact concerning their feelings.

Sakura was such a nervous havoc that she felt like bolting out of the door with the others; her hands were clammy, her stomach felt as if it had been flipped inside out, her legs felt about to give up on her anytime soon. But she locked her knees firmly; the time to run away from this was gone.

"Always by my side?" Naruto asked softly, breaking the silence. She raised her head to look at him. He looked as if he has received a punch, his face pale, the eyes locked on hers insecure and hopeful at the same time.

He was not talking about her duty as his medic security consort and she knew that.

"Yes," she replied shakily, feeling incredibly shy and weak and meek. "Always."

She was not talking about platonic friendship and he knew that.

Her heart did a somersault as the blue eyes shifted in an expression of pure joy. "As long as you don't get tired of me always being a burden to you," she breathed, making a feeble attempt at laughing but it came out as a choked gasp.

"Never," he whispered hoarsely, taking a step towards her.

"Always leaning on you…"

"_Don't ever stop…It's my honor you believe in me that much to do so."

"Always weak_"

"_My strength…"

"I_"

"It was always you…Sakura-Chan. As long as I know, as far as I know... there has never been anyone else but you in my heart." He took another step towards her. "I love you."

With a chocked cry, Sakura finally gave in to the yearning that had gripped her since he came in the room and hurled herself at him, the whole length of her body pressed hard against his, her face buried in his chest. His arms immediately wrapped around her and he was holding her so tightly that she could barely breathe, but she did not care; she wanted to be as close as humanely possible to him, basking in the wonderful warmth radiating from him despite the layers of clothing.

"And I love you," she said into him, her voice muffled.

Naruto shook at the feelings crashing over him, all his longing and need that he had kept in check for the long years overflowing him.

"Sakura-Chan…" he breathed, his face against her sweet smelling silky hair.

They stayed like that, locked in each other's embrace and reveling in their finally being together. At length, he loosened his hold and she pulled her head back to look at him. Any further words would have been quite superfluous, the cerulean blue eyes eloquent enough about his feelings as they roamed hungrily over her face, the green orbs looking back at him equally as open about her emotions.

Then they were kissing, lips fused hungrily onto each other, feverish and desperate. Needing no coaxing, she readily opened her mouth to give him access and got submerged by the delicious feelings that racked through her body as their tongues heatedly met and set out for a thorough exploration of each other.

Eventually they break off, both of them breathing hard, still holding each other tightly. Naruto had to strongly remind himself that she has just got out from her coma and was still recuperating; he struggled to control his whacked senses. Giving in to one of his oldest fantasies, he dropped a hot kiss on her forehead.

"I adore this forehead of yours," he said huskily, earning a flustered eyeroll from her. She was reminded of the famous bench incident when he had henged into Sasuke.

"Baka," she mumbled shakily, cheeks pink.

"Your baka."

Her heart skipped a beat at the bright, tender grin. "My baka," she agreed and he promptly captured her lips with his in another heated exploration - he just could not get enough of her sweet taste, he was already addicted to it.

Sakura felt giddy, her entire body buzzing and feeling blazingly alive as his lips and tongue fervently probed and explored her mouth and she responded with an ardor matching his. When they pulled apart, she was trembling, her longing for him having reached pitch high. She wanted all of him, now - they had wasted enough years as it is - but she felt hesitant and utterly gauche, not knowing how to formulate her yearning across; so, she just clung to his shoulders and standing on tip toes, rained kisses along his jaw and chin. Her warm, shaky breath teased him as she trailed her lips over his cheeks, tracing his whisker marks.

"Sakura-Chan…" Naruto sighed in a shuddering breath.

She lowered her arms and pressed her hands into his chest, feeling his heart drumming wildly beneath her palm. Unable to resist longer and giving in to her urge, she leaned back a bit, dragged her hands down his torso and grabbed a fistful of his tunic to lift it off him.

Naruto's breath hitched at the direction things were going. "Sakura…" he rasped as he looked at her through half lidded eyes, "your health _"

"I'm fine," she growled, heat gushing to her cheeks as she tossed the garment aside.

She lowered her eyes, drinking in the sight of the well toned and gorgeous body which she had mooned over since so long now. She raised her hands to run them ecstatically over his shoulders and chest, glorying in the powerful muscles, the tanned skin feeling wonderfully warm and supple under her exploring palms.

She could hear his breathing quicken; it made her feel more confident and she brought her face forward to plant her lips on the firm pectoral above his heart. All mine, she thought fiercely, running her tongue across his skin and relishing the delicious taste, eliciting a deep groan from him. Her hands fluttered down his abdomen and over his taut belly, reaching until his waistband before stopping abruptly, not daring to move further.

Naruto's breathing became harsh and he felt an obvious, insistent stirring in a specific part of his body. Needing no more prompting, he felt all restraint disappearing from his mind and drew her back in for another long heated kiss, his tongue caressing hers with a renewed boldness and earning some enticing moans from her. Pulling his lips from hers, it was his turn to eagerly drag her loose tunic over her head, her arms obligingly raised to facilitate the process, leaving her clad in only her white lacy underwear sets.

Darkened blue eyes swept hungrily over her, feasting in the sight which he had fantasized about since as far as he could remember. What he saw was much, much better that what his imagination had conjured. She was perfect; pearly silken skin, modest but so perk and perfect breasts hugged snuggly by the lacy white bra, flat, firm belly centered with the tantalizing bellybutton, lower down the white panty demurely and temptingly hiding her most intimate part, softly curved hips giving way to her long, slender yet powerful legs… He felt blood rushing wildly up his face.

His smoldering inspection caused an attack of shyness to overtake Sakura, turning her into an even redder shade. Diving into him, she buried her face into his neck, her heart drumming against her chest and her whole body quivering.

Naruto could not help smiling tenderly. "Kami, you're so beautiful, Sakura-Chan…" he murmured huskily into her ear, his breath fanning the flames already racing through her.

His hands roamed over the soft curve of her back and hips, relishing the silky feel of her skin as he shaped the soft contours of her body. The feel of their almost naked bodies pressing against each other and the searing caresses of his calloused hands inflamed Sakura's already churning senses and she moaned, shyness quickly forgotten and face raised to him.

His mouth left a scorching trail over her eyes and ears and jaw, then return to her mouth for another feverish kiss, all the while his hands heatedly moving up and down her spine to finally come to her fleshy, firm and so kneadable backside covered by the thin fabric of her underwear. The touch and feel of her was driving Naruto crazy with desire and he felt his body jerk even harder within the confines of his pants; his hands tightened convulsively on her.

"Sakura," he muttered against her lips, then in a fluid movement swung her up in his arms and closed the short distance to the bed. He laid her down and joined her, pinning her on the soft mattress.

Sakura's heartbeat sped crazily as she felt his powerful, warm length on her, his weight crushing her deliciously, her nostrils assailed by his unique earthen, male scent. Supporting himself on his forearms planted on each side of her, he did not move any further, his blue eyes raking into hers.

He had so often dreamed of a moment like this that now it seemed like another of his fantasy. But this was real. She was real and this was a turning point.

He suddenly felt unsure. Everything was spiraling so fast and he wanted to be sure whether this was really what she wanted. Furthermore, this was the first time for both of them and he felt afraid to disappoint her, his knowledge about sex being so limited.

"Sakura, are you sure_" he started,

"_love me, Naruto," she cut in, eyes blazing, breath choppy. She was done waiting. To seal her decision, she arched her back up, pushing her body even closer to his. "Love me."

His eyes burned as her softness molded into him, the trusting, needy green eyes looking up at him catching his breath off. He dipped his head and took her in a demanding kiss.

What occurred next was only a blur of mind-numbing pleasure of discovering and loving each other.

Sakura was so submerged by a heated haze as his hot mouth slid to the side of her neck, placing wet, fiery open-mouthed kisses onto her sensitive skin, nipping on the pulse beating madly under the surface to immediately soothe the sting with his tongue, that she did not even know when he had removed her bra off. She only became aware of the fact when she felt his warm palms kneading her bare softness and she whimpered in surprise and pleasure. His mouth soon followed his hands, a satisfied growl escaping him as he latched hungrily on a hardened nipple.

Head thrown back and spine arched forward, Sakura raked her fingers through the blond hair and clutched his head closer, a loud moan of ecstasy escaping her as waves of pure pleasure rippled through her from his hungry ministrations. He responded by latching harder onto her sensitized breast, before moving on to it's counterpart to lavish it with the same feasting.

The temperature of the room seemed to have increased dramatically as they were surrounded by a heat wave of their own making, hot fire searing their bodies together, his hot mouth kissing and biting his way over her ribs and flat belly. She was only dimly aware as Naruto quickly invested them off their remaining clothes, his eyes twins of smoldering blue flames as he looked down at her.

"Sakura…" he said thickly, everything in him reacting wildly to the sight of his lifelong love finally completely naked before him.

Sakura's skin infused with red under the raw male appreciation in blue eyes, and she herself could not prevent her own silent gasp as her wide eyes took in the sight of him, naked. He was gorgeous – all male and powerful.

She lost the thread of her thoughts as he joined her and claimed her mouth in another rough kiss, at the same time his hands leaving a trail of fire down her abdomen to reach her soft and hot center. She buckled her hips without even being aware of it, clutching his shoulders desperately. Her wild moans were muffled by his mouth as he began to caress his way her soft pink curls, his warm, questing fingers finding the aroused mound of nerves and driving her into a frenzy as he pinched and rolled it experimentally between his fingers. She was already so wet, so ready, all coherent thoughts having since long left her, only feelings and sensations reigned.

Her pleasured moans against his mouth encouraged him to drive further, and finding her core entrance, he inserted a curious finger into her. Her reaction was immediate; she groaned and jerked her lower body up to him. Dragging her lips away from his, she pressed her mouth against his shoulders in an attempt to curb the wild sensations racking her as he pushed his finger deeper into her molten heat. She could not refrain from grinding her hip harder up to him, feeling a wild heat flowing though her lower body as he began a slow surging movement of his finger,

"Naruto…" she whimpered heatedly, the sound utterly sexy to Naruto's ears and the sensual scent of her arousal infusing the air.

Needing to touch him as well, Sakura set for a timid exploration of her own, her shaky fingers wrapping around his erect, warm member which nestled among some rough curls. Naruto hissed out in pleasure at the timid groping and tentatively, she began to slowly run her hand up and down his length.

'Sakura…" he rasped hoarsely, buckling his pelvis, pushing himself further into her hand, his breathing ragged and her hand became more daring and moved up and down with more confidence.

Sakura trembled at the raw desire of his voice as he moaned and felt a responding throbbing ache deep within her. A raging need for release suddenly engulfed her; she wanted to feel his hot length inside her, soothing that sweet ache. She pulled both arms up to wind them around his shoulders, clutching him tightly and raising her face up to his throat.

"Naruto…please…" she beseeched heatedly into his skin, shoving her lower body suggestively up to him, all trace of reasons or shyness thrown in the winds as only the new, raging need engulfed her.. She wanted him now; she could not wait any longer.

Naruto tried to get a grip on his senses, wanting to slow down things… he wanted to draw out each second of discovering her, he wanted to savor this moment to the fullest; he wanted to taste her in the most intimate way, but the frenzy gripping both of them was driving all his sanity out of the window. He felt at the brink; hot, wild excitement was getting the better of him, his arousal painfully engorged by now. He doubted that he would last much longer.

She buckled her hips insistently and he groaned through gritted teeth, feeling the little remaining control spiraling off.

Settling between her legs, he braced himself with one forearm, holding his member in position at her hot, wet entrance. He raised his eyes to look at her, noting her heavy breathing, her wide, glazed eyes, her flushed face; she looked so sensually beautiful, and all his. He paused for an instant, burning the sight in his mind. He again felt a first-timer doubt; but she impatiently rolled her hips up, causing his tip to rub against her hot wetness. They both groaned.

All his doubts fled. This was the girl he has loved most of his life. He decided to let his feelings and body be his guide, trusting his instincts to do things right.

With a strong push of his hip, he entered her.

She stiffened, her mouth opened in a silent gasp at the painful intrusion and he immediately stopped, eyes wide with concern. He leaned over her, raining anxious kisses all over her face.

"Sakura-Chan?" he whispered hoarsely.

Her hands tightened on his biceps and she buried her face into the crook of his neck. "Don't stop," she panted urgently into his skin.

Encouraged, he prepared his hip again and with another powerful thrust he went deeper, her tight walls enclosing him and providing some resistance as he pushed himself to the hilt into her. This time, she could not prevent the low whimper of pain that escaped her and he quickly searched for her mouth, swallowing her moans.

Pearls of sweat adorned her forehead and she paused, the time to let the pain settle and her body to get adjusted him. Soon enough, Sakura felt the pain recede to be replaced by an incredible, indescribable feeling, her whole being gloriously alive and feeling thoroughly complete as she felt him embedded deep within her.

Releasing her mouth, Naruto raised his head to look at her as they stilled for an instance, both shaken and awed by the sweet, ultimate closeness. The whole world seemed to have shrunk to only the two of them; nothing else mattered apart from them and this coming together.

She moved her hips to indicate him to move again. Not breaking their gaze, the darkened blue eyes almost compelling her to drown within the deep fiery pools, Naruto slowly, very slowly, pulled almost half way out of her, to plunge back in, a deep groan escaping him. Sakura cried out at the exquisite, slightly pain-laced pleasure racking through her.

Throwing her arms around his torso, she hooked her legs higher up over his back and he gripped her hip, anchoring her closer to him. He repeated the movement, this time pulling almost all the way out and ramming back into her, going further in by the momentum of his push, her velvety, molten heat englobing him tightly. Both groaned at the intense waves of pleasure crashing through them.

Their panting moans filled the room as Naruto moved in and out of her, his movements quite erratic at first to slowly build into a smoother rhythm, the time for Sakura's body to fully accept him and for his confidence to grow. Guided by her pleasured moans and heeding to the call of his desire, Naruto gradually moved harder and faster, the push of his hip getting more powerful in the motion. His body was slick with sweat, the damp blond spiky bangs falling over his eyes, the late afternoon light glistening on the damp skin of his back as he pushed his pelvis in the deep surging to and fro movement into her.

His breath became jagged while he continued with the rapid rhythm of his thrusts but he did not slow down, his body seeming to have acquired an energy and accord of it's own in this very primal act of love. His eyes feasted on her perk breasts which bounced with each push and he brought a hand up to heatedly fondle the soft mound, producing an even louder moan from Sakura.

Sakura's body seemed to have a mind of it's own as well, her hips instinctively pushing up each time to meet him, participating in this sensual dance as old as mankind. Brows furrowed, gasping and whimpering at the intensity of the pleasure shooting through her, she could feel the tightness in her stomach growing into a ball of fire, intensifying with each of his wild thrust, expanding within her until she felt that she has left ground level and was being lifted higher and higher above. She felt a violent, uncontrollable need to be relieved of the blazing tension building up inside her, almost sobbing at the powerful, so utterly filling hotness moving in and out of her inner core.

Naruto brought his mouth down to hers, their loud, raspy breathing mingling as he lapped his tongue sensually around hers, each brush as passionate as his trusting pelvis. Leaving her mouth, he lowered his head to take a nipple into his mouth and latched wildly. It was too much for Sakura; she went rigid; then felt her inner walls spasming violently around his thrusting length.

"Naruto!" she cried out, flinging her head back, gripping his back so tightly that her nails dug into him.

She felt her head spin and all of a sudden, felt that tight ball of fire in the pit of her stomach exploding, a blazing rush of fluid enveloping Naruto. She gasped his name over and over again, the pleasure slicing through her shattering her voice, her hands clutching him for support as her body was racked with shudders of pleasure.

Her release caused Naruto to bulge and hardened further if it was even possible. Burying his face against her deliciously soft chest, grunting and wheezing, he accelerated his thrusts. With some final jerky pushes, he was sent over the edge too, and with a guttural cry, he released himself into her, his body pulsating with the intensity of his release.

It took quite a while before their minds finally calmed down enough to regain their senses. His body slackened on top of her and they held onto each other tightly, still panting wildly, their heartbeats drumming in their chests, too dazed and spent to utter any words.

Feeling that he was too heavy on her, Naruto gingerly pulled out of her and rolled to his side, though not releasing his hold of her and pulled her across his chest. He dropped an open mouthed kiss on her sweat damped forehead.

"I love you," he whispered when he felt able to speak again.

She raised glowing eyes to his. "I love you too," she whispered back.

XOXOX

An explosion of bright multicolored lights set the sky ablaze, momentarily illuminating the sea of eager and awed faces looking up, loud cheers welcoming the impressive display.

Ino squealed as another shower of fireworks was set off, the bright image mirroring in her wide, enchanted eyes and Chouji smiled at her. The group of friends was sprawled on the roof of the Kazekage tower to watch the fireworks show, courtesy of the Kazekage, the view being unobstructed from the high vintage, some of them sitting, some lying down on the concrete surface.

Sai was busy with his brushes and sketch pad, working on capturing the happiness reflected on their faces on paper as they all shared this moment of celebration under the glittering sky. He had already presented Sakura with an exquisitely penciled portrait of her and Naruto when they were standing face to face back in the room, right before the others left.

Sakura could not believe that she had such an adoring look in her eyes when she had been talking to Naruto; but the details were so vivid that she doubted that Sai would have invented it. She felt quite exposed knowing that her feelings had been so open for all to see, but then she looked sideways at one in her thoughts and her heart raced, her embarrassment seeming so futile.

No more hiding; she could yell her feelings on the roofs for all she cared. She felt so happy that it was difficult to put it into words.

The sky was again illuminated by an explosion of lights and she looked up. "It's so beautiful," she murmured, though her heart was more dazzled by the blond sitting besides her and whose fingers were intertwined with hers, their clasped hands held on his lap.

Naruto nodded, turning to face her, their eyes meeting and locking intensely onto each other, no words needed. He brushed the inside of her palm with his thumb in an unconscious gesture and she felt a warm jolt shooting through her, the delicious, still sensitive tingling of her body reminding her of their recent intimacy.

He had had this bright grin stuck on his face, the cerulean eyes glowing, ever since they've set out to meet the others at the banquet, and she felt a blissful tremor going though her every time she got to be at the receiving end of it, which had been very frequent for the past hour.

Everyone had been happy and very unsurprised when the two had announced their official being together. They had to bear a lot of teasing innuendos though, Ino and Temari pressing Sakura with suggestive questions to the point that the red faced Medic Nin had to practically run away from them.

Having momentarily left the company of the other Kages to join the group on the roof, Gaara looked at his two hand-clasped friends. "I'm glad that Suna got to be the place where you two finally got together."

Naruto spluttered and Sakura turned deep crimson.

The browless eyes glinted with rare amusement. "I mean, you became an official couple," Gaara specified, while a lot of loud snickers fused out from the background. "I hope you'll always think of Suna with fond memories and consider it as your second home."

Naruto felt warmed by his friend's words. "Same as you will consider Konoha as your second home," he smiled.

"So, when's the wedding?" Kiba called from the across the roof, Akamaru adding his usual echoing woof.

The young Izunaka immediately received a painful punch from Ino who was sitting next to him. "Mind your own business!" She hissed indignantly. She may be the number one gossip of Konoha and fully intended to wring out the maximum juicy details from her pink haired friend as soon as she got the opportunity, but she was considerate enough to know when to ask such questions, and now was definitely too soon.

"Hey, what's wrong in asking?" Kiba protested indignantly. "She's already made the vows anyway," he snickered.

Ino started berating him again and they got into a short spat.

"You guys are so troublesome," Shikamaru sighed as he continued to enjoy the view of the sky as he lay on his back; his most favorite hobby of the world, with the clouds missing, though. Temari, seated a few paces besides him, glared at him pointedly and he slid a glance at her, to immediately look away, feeling nervous as he thought about how he would come up with his proposal. He had finally decided to take the plunge; they would deal with the hurdles when they come, the shinobi life was too unpredictable to linger on trifle matters. But the hardest was yet to come – that of proposing to the Suna Kunoichi and he quivered at the idea. He sighed. Why things are always so troublesome? He thought gloomily.

But the main concerned couple was not paying any attention to the bickering friends. Naruto was looking at Sakura while another explosion of lights was triggered above them, illuminating his intense blue eyes. He bent his mouth towards her ear.

"I know it's quite sudden and not conventional," he whispered, "and I don't have a ring to present to you…but …" he took a deep breath as Sakura turned incredulous, sparkling eyes to him, "w-will you marry me?"

She could not reply as at that instance another explosion drowned out all sounds. When the noise died, leaving only the falling showers of lights, illuminating her bright green eyes, she bent towards him. "Yes, I will," she whispered back. "And I couldn't find a better way or time for it."

They had waited long enough; they were amidst their close people - though some of their friends were missing. It was the perfect time and place. She was happy to share this joyful moment with them, and she knew that Naruto felt the same. He was no more, ever again, the lonely, orphaned boy of long time ago.

The blue cerulean blue eyes shone even brighter than the fireworks, the happy grin getting larger if possible. "Yes, Dattebayo!" he whooped, so visibly exalted, while Sakura couldn't help a giggle at his use of his old favorite expression.

"Kiba, the wedding will be soon…as soon as possible," he yelled enthusiastically to the still arguing pair. That immediately stopped the two.

"Kyaaaa?" Ino shrieked. "Billboard Brow, I hope not before my wedding!" she threatened shrilly and Sakura groaned. It seemed she had another bout of competition coming soon from her old rival.

Shikamaru had jumped to a sitting position and looked indignantly at Naruto. How could he make such a huge hurdle sound so…easy? The Nara thought, miffed.

Sasuke grunted and turned towards his two team-mates. "So, congratulations are in order," he drawled and the others followed suit and enthusiastically congratulated the couple.

"Isn't it time that you start to seriously work on the 'reviving my clan' ambition of yours?" Naruto quipped in between back slaps and handshakes and thanks, addressing to the Uchiha.

Sasuke grunted again though a very faint blush adorned his cheeks.

"I hope that now I'll have a chance with Hinata," Kiba murmured absent mindedly, then jumped in fright when he realized that Neiji was standing right next to him and overheard his loud self-musing.

The Hyuuga just looked at him blandly. "You will never know if you don't make a move," was all he said and Kiba almost fainted in shock.

Neiji was too busy in his own thoughts to notice it. Afterall, he had a certain weapon specialist Kunoichi to propose to and Naruto's move had given him the motivation to do it.

Naruto sighed happily, fingers still entwined firmly with the girl of his dreams, soon to be his wife, as they all laughed and chatted and teased each other.

Kakashi's smiled behind his mask as he looked at the young, happy group before him. The new generation has surpassed the previous one; finally, they were to get a happy ending.

The End.