A/N: This is the final chapter everyone, the epilogue. I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading this multi-chapter story. Thank you so much for all of your kind reviews and favorites and alerts. It really means a lot to me. I'd also like to thank my wonderful beta Jaggerte who has been a big help to me, thank you so much. And now for the final chapter, I hope that you enjoy this chapter. x}
Sasuke stared up at the darkened night sky. A breeze whisked through his midnight raven hair. It was a wonderful night to walk and clear his mind. He loved to walk, especially in the midst of the night when no one was outside. It gave him peace to be able to clearly ponder about various memories that had happened in his past.
"I'll never forgive what Konoha did to my family. But Hinata…has opened my eyes slowly. You have her to thank."
That had been said nearly a year ago. Hinata, she truly had opened his eyes. He still remembers whispering the words 'thank you, Hinata' in her ear that night. Three simple words and her face turned so red, you would have thought he had confessed his love for her. Long before Hinata, it had been Sakura who had filled the void of his lonely existence but when he entered the world of pure darkness Sasuke left all thoughts of Sakura behind him. When meeting Hinata and actually speaking with her, he felt a connection, the feeling of being able to actually confide in her. If it wasn't for her Sasuke would still be engulfed deep within his darkened world. There had been plenty of times when Naruto had tried to reach out to him but Hinata was the only one who had actually reached his cold heart. She truly is a pure hearted angel.
After the death of Madara, many of the fellow shinobi throughout the world rejoiced in his defeat. He had been killed not only by Naruto but by Sasuke as well. The two had banded together as a team to defeat the one enemy whose idealism and control would have brought about a great depression felt throughout the whole shinobi world and beyond. That day had been a victory for many and a great celebration had followed it. Days after, Sasuke was brought back to Konoha to be placed under a severe interrogation before being assimilated back into his home town. Being back in Konoha as a citizen didn't sit too well with many of the people in Konoha. He had gone through hell just to be welcomed back.
With the Uchiha clan residential area destroyed from Pain's invasion, Sasuke, wanting to hold on to past memories of his family, often visits the now deserted area that was once known as the Uchiha clan's home. He know now lives on the outskirts of Konoha. With him living further away from the villagers he won't have to worry about the angry glares he receives.
Often Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi would come to visit him. But the visits had lessened over a period of time, most likely due to missions. Tsunade has ordered Sasuke to two years' probation, so he hadn't been allowed on any missions as yet.
Dark orbs scanned the area and upon spotting a bench nearby took it upon himself to sit down to relax his legs. He had been walking for nearly an hour without a break and felt the need to relax for a moment. His mind began to wander to Itachi. Would his brother be happy that he is now residing back in Konoha and out of the darkness? Surely he would be. Itachi had always wanted the best for him. He wanted him to live a happy life.
"Sasuke-kun, is that you?"
That soft well-mannered way of speaking - it was definitely her. Lifting his head up, he saw her, standing a few meters away from him. Her facial features were set to a look of concern. "What are you doing out here so late? Stalking me?" Sasuke asked dryly.
Hinata blushed from sheer embarrassment. Despite the lack of emotion in his tone, she knew that he was merely teasing her. "I just wanted some fresh air, that's all." She replied, taking a seat down next to him on the wooden bench.
Since that moment a year ago in the forest after his fight with Kabuto, Hinata and Sasuke had become closer. Their friendship was considered somewhat odd by other - a kind hearted female befriending a traitor - but that didn't stop them from becoming closer. At times Hinata was questioned by both Naruto and Sakura separately if there was anything more than just friendship going on between her and Sasuke. She responded in the negative and it was true that nothing romantic had happened between the two but it was also quite clear that they shared unspoken feelings for one another.
Her confession to Naruto had been long forgotten. She still cares for him, and that will always remain, but her heart has begun to drift to the Uchiha.
"There you go again, ignoring my other question. I swear that you do that on purpose" He turned to face her, wearing an amused smirk when he saw her reddened cheeks.
"I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to." She quickly said, scooting a few inches away from him.
Sasuke sighed, "Still not answering, I see." He prodded on, just to tease her. Although Sasuke knew she wasn't stalking him, it amused him to see how flustered she could become.
"Sasuke…" She warned, causing the male to let out a rare chuckle.
"Okay, okay I'll stop." He lifted his head up, looking at the bright stars that were scattered in the sky. Ripples of clouds could be seen above them. It was uncharacteristic of him to think but it truly was a beautiful night. Whenever he looked up at the sky he could imagine his family looking down at him; his mother smiling softly, his father giving him that rare smile of approval and last but not least his brother. "Aniki…" He whispered.
The female tilted her head to the side gazing curiously at him. He tended to drift off into a trance whenever she visited him at his home. She was never quite sure what he could be thinking about but just now it was confirmed. Hesitantly she reached out and gently placed her hand on tops of his. His head quickly turned to look down at her hand on his. Hinata watched as he stared at it for a few seconds before he turner his attention to her.
She understood him and that's what drew him in. Over the year he had become irrevocably attached to her. Just going one week without her would drive him insane. He always wanted her near, it made him feel…happy. Just like how he felt when his family were alive. She was doing this to him. He wanted to push her away but his heart wouldn't let him.
The two leaned in closer towards each other. Inch by inch the gap between them was closing. Sasuke raised his hand slowly and cupped her cheek; tilting his head to the side he pressed his lips against hers. This kiss was something he had wanted to share with her for quite some time. But he had been hesitant because of the feelings he knew she had had for Naruto.
Four months ago he finally decided to ask her if she still loved him. Her reply had been simple.
'I still care about him. But my heart beats for another now.'
Back then he hadn't thought much about it but now it was clear. She must be in love with him. Returning back to what was currently happening; he continued kissing her. Her lips felt just as soft as they appeared to be. The taste of her lips was strawberries; it must have been some lip gloss she was wearing. Sasuke didn't like sweets, in fact he hated them but the sweet taste of her lips made the kiss all the better. He could grow to like strawberries.
Slowly the two pulled away from each other, he still held his hand to her cheek staring deeply into her clear lavender eyes. As if he had come to a realization of what had just occurred, Sasuke quickly pulled away from her. "I'm sorry." He quickly said, unable to give her any eye contact. "I better get going," Sasuke stood up to his feet getting ready to walk away until her hands grasped onto his arm. Sasuke turned around noticing her pleading expression. She didn't want him to leave.
"Hinata, I don't want to hurt you," he stated. Slipping his arm away from her hold he turned to fully face her, "You deserve better."
Hinata shook her head, standing to her feet. "I'm usually shy and keep my thoughts to myself but…I want to be able to tell you this Sasuke," She started. "I really like you. In the beginning I'll admit that I didn't know what I felt for you but I knew it was something. And now I know what that something is. I…I want to be with you, Sasuke." It took a lot of courage for her to confess her feelings for him but by spending so much time with him she had grown to like him more and more. She tried to ignore the feeling but she couldn't. Hinata had come to love Sasuke Uchiha.
His eyes widened in surprise. To actually hear her say she wanted to be with him made his heart pound, a jittery feeling went up his spine and a blush colored his pale cheeks. What could he honestly say to that? Did he even want to be with her? Sure, he loves her but he doesn't know how to be in a relationship, this would be his first. His searched her eyes to see any duplicity but he found none.
Sasuke framed her face with his hands, pulling her face closer to his. "I don't know how to be in a relationship," he paused. "And I know that I will come to make mistakes but I'm willing to risk it if that means I get to be with you."
The female smiled warmly, she could hear the sincerity in his voice and knowing that he meant every word made her happy. "Thank you, Sasuke." She wrapped her arms around his waist as he embraced her tightly in his arms.
"No, thank you. You really don't know how much you've changed my view on things. You truly are special." He whispered.
The two walked together side by side in the busy road in Konoha, both trying their hardest to ignore the stunned expressions on the bystander's faces at the sight of both Hyuga and Uchiha together. Today was Naruto's birthday and they both decided to final go out together as a couple. It has been a month since they started dating and it had been kept a secret since neither was ready to let their friends know about it, especially Sakura and Naruto.
"How do you think they will take it?" Hinata asked, staring at Naruto's front door.
Sasuke shrugged his shoulders, "Not sure. We'll find out once we tell them." He spoke stoically as he knocked on the door. Once it opened, Sasuke stared blankly at the blonde standing in the doorway. "Happy birthday, idiot." He remarked dryly causing Hinata to jab him on his arm.
"Happy birthday, Naruto, we have a gift for you!" Hinata quickly chimed in trying her hardest to ignore the deadly glare Sasuke was giving her.
The sunny blonde grinned ear to ear, "Awe, thanks you didn't have to do that. I'm actually surprised you remembered my birthday. Come on in." He motioned with a wave of his arm as he stepped to the side allowing them enough room to walk through. Closing the door behind them, Naruto turned around watching the two slowly look around his apartment. "Sakura is in the kitchen. She should be out soon. Go on, sit down. You don't have to look so nervous." He chuckled.
"Who's nervous?" Sasuke scoffed, his eyes gazing down at the couch inspecting it before actually sitting down. He knew how much of a slob Naruto could be and had heard from Sakura that she had seen bugs crawling around. Today his apartment looked exceptionally clean. 'It must have been Sakura's doings.' He thought with a smirk.
Sakura then entered the sitting area, her jade eyes widened at the sight of Sasuke and Hinata. "I knew I heard Hinata's voice. It's good to see you two." She smiled brightly at them both, taking a seat next to Naruto in the couch opposite of Sasuke and Hinata.
The blue haired female smiled politely back, "It's good to see you Sakura and you as well Naruto. I haven't seen much of you two lately."
Naruto chuckled, "Yeah, granny has us going on missions a lot. I barely have time to eat at Ichiraku's anymore." His shoulders slumped down sighing sadly.
"I think you eat enough ramen as it is." Sasuke voiced in.
"I'll never give up ramen! It's simply the best!"
"Shut-up, you're always so loud!" Sakura yelled, hitting the blonde on his head.
Sasuke smirked, watching the two bicker with each other was something that would never grow old. It brought back many memories for him, especially when they took their first picture together as a team.
Naruto leaned forward, "So…where is this present?" He asked, wiggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner. It wasn't everyday he received presents so the male was curious and excited.
"Oh, right!" She handed the male an orange wrapped box with a blue ribbon tied around it. "I hope you like it."
"Of course I'll like it!" He snickered; taking the box from Hinata he quickly shredded the wrapping paper and opened the box. At the first sight of it, his eyes immediately widened. It was a photo album and the cover was a picture of him as a baby with both of his parents. "It's my parents…" Naruto lifted his head and looked at Hinata, "H-How did you get this?"
Hinata looked over at Sasuke who nodded his head, "Well…I did a little snooping around in the Hokage's office. I got caught by Shizune but when I explained what I was looking for she decided to help me and we found that photon in one of your files and she said I could use it. I thought you'd like it. There are more pictures in there along with the ones from your academy days and—"Before she could even finish her sentence the blonde had quickly walked towards her, kneeling down in front of her and embraced her.
Both Sasuke and Sakura seemed surprised in his actions and merely stared in silence.
"Thank you, you have no idea how much this means to me Hinata." He whispered into her ear.
"Y-You're welcome, Naruto." She smiled softly, slowly wrapping her arms around him.
The raven haired male couldn't feel jealous because he knew that Naruto was happy about the gift. "Aren't you going to thank me too? The gift is from both Hinata and I." Sasuke exclaimed.
Naruto let go of Hinata staring at Sasuke, "Awe, I didn't know you wanted a hug too. Come here you big softy!" He grinned and attempted to hug Sasuke but instead received a punch in the face from the male. Naruto frowned, holding his cheek. "What the hell, Sasuke! It is my birthday."
"I said a thank you not a hug." He stated, folding his arms across his chest as if nothing was wrong.
Sakura and Hinata sighed as the two began arguing with each other, "Boys."
Throughout the day the four spent most of their time inside Naruto's apartment. Kakashi along with the others had stopped by briefly but all had eventually left. Sasuke had been contemplating over the last two hours how to break the news to Sakura and Naruto that he and Hinata had been together for a month now. Each chance he got something always occurred, from Sakura cutting him off or Naruto annoying Sakura about one thing or another and if it kept on happening he'd never be able to tell them.
Sasuke gazed over at his girlfriend. Since they have been together he hadn't made a single mistake which he was thankful for. She was always very good to him and the two had grown even closer. He still enjoys her sweet kisses but she tends to be shy about kissing him now. During their time at Naruto's she appeared to be too engrossed in spending time with both Naruto and Sakura to tell them the news. Seeing her smiling face made him smile, she was really special to him. He'd never give her up without a fight.
"Um, why are you staring at Hinata like that?" Naruto asked, raising his brow up in question.
This snapped Sasuke out of his daze, causing him to finally take this opportunity to tell them. "I…no, we, have something to tell you."
Sakura looked at both Hinata and Sasuke in concern, "What is it?" She asked, fearing the worst.
Sasuke grabbed onto Hinata's hand, "We're dating." He confessed to his two friends.
Naruto dropped the cup that had been in his hand while Sakura stared in disbelief. "D-Dating? But…I—when did this happen?" Sakura asked, feeling her heart swell.
Hinata squeezed Sasuke's hand. She could see the pain in Sakura's eyes. She truly felt as if she had literally ripped her heart out. Hinata knew how much the cerise haired female loved Sasuke. Her love for him had, or still was, as great as her love for Naruto had once been. "It's been a month now." Hinata spoke softly.
Sasuke gazed over at Naruto, he looked like he was taking it harder than Sakura but he was forcing a smile on his face despite the pain that had clearly shown through within the depths of his cerulean eyes.
"That's great! I'm happy for you two. If there is anyone who deserves happiness and to have someone to share that happiness with it's you two. I'm glad that you found each other." He grinned widely.
"Y-Yeah, I'm happy for you two as well." Sakura smiled sadly. She gazed over at the clock on the wall, "I really should get going. It's getting late. It was good seeing you two again. We should do this some other time." She said, quickly walking past the two and heading out the door.
"I'll be back." Hinata left Sasuke's side and ran after Sakura, leaving both males alone.
The blonde chuckled, "What are you saying sorry for? You have nothing to be sorry about."
Sasuke narrowed his eyes sadly, "You loved her, didn't you?"
Naruto looked away from Sasuke, his hair falling over his eyes shading them from Sasuke's view. "I do love her actually. But it's my fault, you know? I ignored her confession and acted as if nothing happened. She probably couldn't wait any longer and decided to move on. I don't blame her…"
"She still cares about you. And she always will. I'm not trying to take her from you. From what I understand she's the first person to tell you those three words. I know how much that means to you."
"Please take care of her. And if I hear that you mistreated her in any way I'll hunt you down and kick your ass." He then lifted his head and smirked at his best friend.
"Sure thing," Sasuke smirked.
Sakura halted, turning around to see Hinata running towards her. "Hinata, what is it?"
Hinata stood in front of Sakura; she bit down on her bottom lip until she parted her lips to speak. "I'm sorry; I know how much Sasuke meant to you. I wasn't trying to take him from you…I just well…we formed a bond together and—"
"Hinata, its fine. You don't need to apologize to me. I know that you aren't the type of girl who would do something like that. I need to learn to give up on him anyways. He never did view me in that way no matter how much I wanted to believe that one day he'd return my feelings. I am hurt, that much I am willing to admit. But I am happy for you. It's just too bad that knucklehead is too late, you know he really liked you." Sakura exclaimed with a smile.
Hinata seemed surprised about that piece of news but decided not to voice her thoughts on that matter. "So…we are, friends?"
Sakura waved her hand in the air dismissing the question with a lighthearted laugh. "Of course we are friends Hinata. In fact we should hang out more. It would become annoying hanging out with guys so much, much less those two teammates of yours. Ino and I would love it if you ever would like to hang out with us." She offered with a happy smile.
"I'd like that very much."
"Great, I'll see you around Hinata. Be sure to keep Sasuke out of trouble." She grinned, turning around to walk away from the Hyuga.
It hadn't turned out like she thought it would but luckily Sakura had handled it well. She turned around to get ready to walk back to Naruto's but stopped when she noticed Sasuke walking towards her. She smiled warmly at him as he approached her.
"How'd it go? She didn't do anything brash did she?"
Hinata shook her head, "No, we came to an understanding. What about you?"
He stood in front of her admiring her angelic features, "He threatened to kick my ass if I hurt you." Sasuke smirked when she giggled.
"I trust you not to hurt me." She smiled brightly up at him as she walked closer, wrapping her arms around him while she rested her head on his chest, listening to the rhythm of his heartbeat. "Sasuke, I love you."
Sasuke smiled warmly, resting his chin on top of her head. "I love you too, my sweet angel."