This is it. I didn't plan on writing an epilogue, to tell you the truth. But I have a thing against uneven numbers and I felt that I needed to put a bit more before properly saying goodbye to A Full Circle—for now.
Plus, I wouldn't be me and it wouldn't be A Full Circle if I didn't put in a final lemon scene. Fair warning.
Read, enjoy and review.
Epilogue: Beautiful Days
Sasuke clenched his teeth and fought for control. He wouldn't give in, no matter what. He was an Uchiha. The blood of warriors ran through his veins. He was a legendary shinobi in his own right. He was strong. One of the best among the best.
He'd be damned if he allowed a pink-haired kunoichi defeat him.
His fingers twisted around said pink hair and a vicious grunt escaped his throat. Through bleary eyes, he watched as Sakura's perfect, luscious lips lowered around his steel-hard cock, taking more of him inside her warm, wet mouth.
He must have cursed out loud because she suddenly drew back, releasing his shaft with a soft 'pop.'
He nearly howled.
"Give up yet?" she asked huskily, her breath hot on the head of his erection.
" . . . No," he managed to croak, but even to his ears, he didn't sound all that convincing.
She, in turn, narrowed her eyes challengingly, and then lowered her again. She didn't hesitate as she took him back into her mouth, her lips moving in a swift, downward stroke.
Sasuke gripped her hair more tightly as his hips involuntarily thrust upwards to meet her oral attention. He was dimly aware that the pants and groans echoing throughout the bedroom were his, but he didn't care. Her name was a muttered litany on his lips as she took him deeper than she'd ever done before.
She sucked him hard, using her tongue to play with the sensitive skin of his erection. His control was severely tested again as she began to hum, using the vibrations to add to the pleasure he was already feeling.
The bitch. She knew he liked when she did that.
His eyes nearly crossed when he felt the swollen head of his cock hit the back of her throat. And then—Kami help him—she started to swallow.
"Fuck!" he growled, throwing his head back.
She pulled away.
"Sakura!" This time, he couldn't hold back his roar. His eyes were red as he tried to pull her back, but she resisted.
"Not until you say 'yes,' Sasuke!" she declared.
"Fine!" he all but shouted. "Fucking hell, yes, okay! I give in!"
She grinned triumphantly and he lost it. Releasing his hold on her hair, he grabbed her shoulders and tugged her naked body up. Without ceremony, he pressed the head of his erection to the opening of her femininity and slid in with a fast and hard thrust all the way to the hilt.
Later, he wouldn't be able to recall much of what happened after that. All he would remember was the tight hotness of her pussy as he firmly held her hips and lunged upwards again and again. His heavy snarls filled the room as he reached for the release she had so sadistically denied him for the past hour.
To add insult to his already bruised ego, he came first. He let out an inhuman growl as he expanded, then exploded inside of her, spurting his ejaculation into her womb. He was still in the throes of passion as he watched her ride him to her own climax, her scream possibly louder than his as she finally achieved an orgasm.
She was still slumped over him when she lifted her head, a big smile on her face.
"I knew you'd give in," she said smugly. She rolled away from him and let out a lusty sigh as she patted him consolingly on the chest. "Well, come on, then—we have to leave soon if we want to make good time."
There was a slightly bitter taste in his mouth as Sasuke gazed at the tall, imposing gates in front of him. The fury within him was considerably less than it had been in the past, but he knew there would always be some lingering anger, especially at the sight those gates.
In the past two years, he'd only returned to Konoha once, and that was when he received word from Naruto that Sakura had nearly depleted her chakra during an assignment she was specially asked to do. Knowing what Sasuke felt and thought about the village, Naruto wouldn't have done so had it not been serious. Hence, Sasuke hadn't hesitated as he swiftly made his way to Konoha. Back then, his concern for her had overruled his feelings for the village that he had once sworn his allegiance to.
The gates parted.
He shot Sakura an inscrutable look as they walked into the village and the gates closed behind them, effectively sealing them within the walls of Konoha—for now.
But neither Sasuke nor Sakura had time to dwell on his feelings. Before they managed to take even another step, a brightly-clad figure was barreling towards them at an alarming speed.
"About damn time!" Naruto exclaimed loudly. He threw his arms around his beloved Sakura-chan. "We were beginning to think you guys weren't going to come!"
Sakura giggled as the blond lifted her off her feet and twirled her around. "Of course we were going to come! As if we would miss such a big day!"
Naruto finally set her back down and shot Sasuke a knowing grin. "What did she have to do to you to make you agree, teme?" he teased.
"Naruto!" Sakura slapped his shoulder. "That's highly inappropriate!"
"Not as inappropriate as you giving the bastard a—augh!"
Sakura pinched his cheek harder. "Finish that sentence, Uzumaki Naruto, and you'll be going to the ceremony on crutches!" she warned.
Despite himself, Sasuke smirked as Naruto's loud pleas for mercy rang through the area. The blond was practically on his knees as he promised to never even think of saying such things again.
However, Sasuke's smile soon faded when he realized they were attracting a lot of attention. Much like the last he came to Konoha, the people were openly staring at him, speaking in hushed tones and unable to believe that Uchiha Sasuke, who was once one of the most promising shinobi of Konoha before he shockingly became a missing-nin, was standing among them in the very same village he'd so seemingly easily turned his back against. It didn't matter to them that he had been declared innocent and that the missing-nin story had been a ruse; negativities were much better fodder for gossip.
Fuck it, he thought angrily as he studiously ignored the gawks. He wasn't there for them.
Sakura had finally released Naruto and the blond rubbed his throbbing cheek as he returned his attention to Sasuke. "Sometimes," he said lowly so that their female counterpart wouldn't hear, "I really don't envy you."
Sakura was looking around the village, taking note of the bright banners that decorated the buildings. "They're really going all out for this, huh?" she observed out loud.
"Yeah—they've been preparing for months. Can't blame them," Naruto said. "The last ceremony wasn't exactly carried out on a happier mood."
"Everything's set, then?" Sakura asked.
Naruto nodded. "There was a final rehearsal this morning. Guess who was late?" The blond rolled his eyes. "We had to restrain Tsunade-baa-chan from killing him."
Sakura smiled. "And how is Tsunade-sama?"
"She's been cooped up in her office since the rehearsal ended. I peeked; she was writing the final draft of her speech." This time, it was the blond who snorted. "The old bat's been too drunk all week to take care of it."
"Don't be rude, Naruto," Sakura scolded him. "I'm sure she was just nervous. This is a big event. She probably needed some liquid courage."
"She nearly puked on Shizune's shoes this morning."
Wincing, Sakura shook her head; some things never changed.
She took another glance at her surroundings. Like Naruto said, the mood of the village was a much happier one. The villagers were whistling as they went about their activities. The sky was a beautiful blue and the air was cool despite the shining sun.
"What are you thinking, Sakura?" Sasuke asked, curious by the expression on her lovely face.
She clapped her hands and gave her boys an affectionate smile. "Well!" she exclaimed, green eyes bright with excitement. "It's a beautiful day to be named Hokage."
It was nearly sunset when the ceremony took place.
For once in his life, Hatake Kakashi wasn't late.
Thank Kami for small mercies.
From her place at the end of the balcony, a position reserved for the Hokage's honored guests, Sakura stood between her boys and the rest of Team Kakashi. Or is Team Hokage now? she wondered, amused.
Tears filled her eyes as Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, handed the Hokage scroll and all of the duties of a leader entailed within, to the newly named Rokudaime. Kakashi accepted it with all the dignity that made up the man Sakura loved dearly, the expression in his eyes absolutely serious. For once, his face wasn't covered by the mask that had been his trademark for so long. There had been many excited shrieks when his face was revealed; his admirers should soak up this moment, Sakura thought with a fond smile. He would return to wearing the mask soon enough.
Her boys had also stared at Kakashi long and hard earlier, taking in the face they had wondered about since their Genin days. There were no fish-like lips or huge buckteeth; younger-looking than his actual age, Kakashi was an incredibly handsome man, his features striking enough to rival even Sasuke's or Hyuuga Neji's.
Naruto had been severely disappointed; he had imagined something ghastly and gory that, in his opinion, befitted the image of such an intimidating man. He hadn't expected a pretty face. He had glanced at Sakura and had been shocked by her lack of surprise.
"You've seen it before, haven't you?" he accused, somewhat outraged.
She rolled her eyes. "I was his personal medic. I've seen him naked, too," she answered blithely.
Sasuke didn't like hearing that and he gave her a pointed glare, which she returned, lifting her eyebrows challengingly.
"Please," she scoffed. "I've seen all of you naked. Did you think I performed surgery with my eyes closed?"
Sasuke really didn't like hearing that. Naruto's response was a torrent of questions as to who had the bigger package.
She punched both of them.
Sakura returned her attention to the ceremony; Tsunade had stepped down from the podium and Kakashi, in full Hokage regalia, was taking center stage alone. The roar of applause from the crowd below was incredible, the noise fairly shaking the rafters.
No one cheered louder than the new Hokage's three former students. Naruto hooted and hollered while Sakura practically jumped up and down, immensely happy for Kakashi. Even Sasuke wasn't immune to the entire thing: he blew up a couple of fireballs, the fiery tiny bubbles attracting weary glances from the ANBU officers that now guarded Kakashi.
Still clapping, Sakura shot her blond friend a questioning look. "Okay, Naruto?" she asked gently. She wasn't entirely sure of his feelings concerning Kakashi's appointment. Kakashi, who had served his country amazingly well for so long, deserved this, but Naruto had coveted the position since he was a child.
Naruto grinned widely. "Yeah. Kakashi deserves this," he echoed her thoughts. "He's going to make a great Hokage. When Tsunade-baa told me that she's naming Kakashi as her successor, I realized that I still have a long way to go. It's only fitting that he sits in office before I do. When I do finally inherit the title, I know I'll be getting it from good hands."
"You sound very wise, dobe," Sasuke mocked.
"Hush!" Sakura poked him in the ribs. She smiled at Naruto. "You're going to make a great Hokage, too, Naruto," she declared loyally.
"Thanks, Sakura-chan!" Naruto threw his arm around and drew her into a half-hug. Over her head, he stuck his tongue out at Sasuke.
The Uchiha deftly flipped him off.
Being a man of few words, Kakashi's inauguration speech was unsurprisingly short—and very sweet. He reiterated his vows to serve his village with honor and integrity, thanked his fellow shinobi (those who were still here and those who were long gone), and spoke a few words of his late father, which drew tears from many of the women present.
His last words nearly caused Sakura to bawl.
"Courage isn't about being fearless—it's about facing great obstacles even with the fear, even with the thought of failure. It's about risking everything for the ones you hold dear and sacrificing yourself for justice." He glanced upwards, and then looked over his shoulder to the former Team Seven. "For those who taught me that, I honor you."
And then the great fire signaling the presence of a new leader was lit, and a new era was born.
The celebration that followed afterwards was a massive one; the streets were filled with music, bright lights and jovial crowds well into the night.
Seated on the roof of the apartment she still kept for the times she would be in the village, Sakura half-listened to the cheerful crowd and watched the fireworks that lit the beautiful night sky. She snuggled closer to Sasuke, enjoying the time alone they managed to steal.
Sasuke's arm was firmly wrapped around her waist, his big hand warm and comforting on her belly. He was slightly tipsy from the alcohol he'd consumed at the new Hokage's behest. Naruto had also taken great delight in tipping a small bottle of sake into the reluctant Uchiha's throat as Kakashi all but made it a law to get Sasuke drunk tonight. Sakura had taken pity on him and shuffled him away before things got out of hand, much to the protests of their former teammates.
Some things would never change, she thought fondly. Unlike her counterpart, she was stone-cold sober.
In the distance, she could see the ramshackled roof that had once crowned the magnificent Uchiha manor, which sat in the abandoned Uchiha district. Over the years, Sasuke hadn't once taken the initiative to have his inheritance restored to its former glory and she hadn't pushed him to do so.
She glanced at Sasuke. He was also gazing the Uchiha manor, his dark eyes filled with past memories.
Perhaps it was the night and the event of the day and the fact that they were in Konoha under their own will, but Sakura finally found the courage to ask the question she had wanted to ask him quite some time now.
"Do you ever want to go back?" Her tone was gentle.
He was silent for a while. Then he shook his head and drew her closer. "No," he answered just as quietly. "If I have entertained the idea in the past, it was because of you. This was your life."
"Shut up," she chided softly. "Two years ago, I had a choice to make—and I did. Since then, I've never regretted anything. This—the life I have now—is what I want. I have the best of both worlds."
The corners of his lips lifted slightly. There were days when she repeatedly told him this, as if she had to say again and again it to reassure him. He didn't bother telling her to stop; she needed to say it and he probably needed to hear it. But he no longer doubted her.
He believed her, after all.
He caressed her stomach, which was still very much flat. Summoning a small amount of chakra, he shot it into her and felt the responding chakra that wasn't hers. He had to smirk, marveling at the strength.
"Are you tired?" he asked, concern filling his voice. "It wasn't too much for you?"
She shook her head, smiling reassuringly. "Nope. We're good to go."
"Good." He paused and studied her face for a moment. "Sakura, if . . . they don't have to take my name. Considering the past—it's not something they'll wear with pride."
At that, Sakura scowled. For the first time in two years, she was honestly angry with him. "You stupid man!" she snapped, surprising him with the bite in her tone. "How dare you belittle yourself—and me—like that? They'll wear the Uchiha name not because it belongs to your damned family—but because they also belong to you! And they damn well will wear it with pride because of their incredible father, who is one of the strongest and most honorable men I've ever known. If you ever say such things again, I'll—"
"Okay, okay," he soothed her quickly, placing his hands over her closed fists. "Calm down."
"I mean it, Sasuke. Of all the stupidest things to think—"
"I'm sorry." He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.
Her tensed shoulders eased and she allowed him to kiss her again, this time on the lips. Seriously, it was hard to be mad at him when he was being so affectionate.
After several moments of kissing, in which Sakura was properly mollified, Sasuke pulled away and looked deep into her beautiful green eyes. He pushed back strands of pink hair from her face, his eyes somber. "Sakura," he began. "If my children are going to wear my name, it's only fitting that their mother should, as well."
She blinked. How in the world did he manage to that? He'd gone from making her mad enough to kill to nearly bowling her over with his words.
"I—uh." She blinked again. Then she began to frown. "Did you just propose to me?"
He fought back his grin. "Didn't I do it well? Here then." He released her to stand on his feet, one hand digging into the pocket of his pants. He withdrew a small box from his pocket and tossed it at her. She was so shocked, she barely managed to catch it. Her fingers stumbled and she almost dropped it before firmly cupping it in her hands.
She opened the velvet case. Not surprisingly, it was a ring. A beautiful, wonderful, diamond ring that had what seemed like a flame in the heart of it.
"I took out of the deposit box the last time I was here," Sasuke told her when she continued to simply gape at the ring. "It's a family heirloom. Since you seem to have no aversions to the Uchiha name and all that it bears, I don't think you'd have a problem of wearing its traditional engagement ring."
She seemed to snap out of her stupor. To his surprise, her scowl was even fiercer than before. "Oh, is that was it is?" she asked silkily. "You threw my engagement ring at me?"
He realized his mistake and hastily attempted to correct it. "I've been carrying it on me for a long time," he started.
At that, she recalled his earlier words. "You took it out the last time you were here? That was a whole year ago!"
"Did you think I wasn't ever going to marry you?" he retorted, beginning to get irritated himself. "Do you want to get married here or at the house?"
She nearly slapped him. "You haven't even asked me!"
"I'm asking right now!"
She smiled at his obvious frustration. The tips of his ears were red and she knew it wasn't because of the alcohol. He was embarrassed.
What a life they would have.
"So?" Sasuke demanded impatiently.
"Is it because I'm pregnant?" she asked suspiciously.
He covered his eyes with his free hand, a clear sign that he was well and truly annoyed with her. "For fuck's sake, woman," he muttered. "You weren't pregnant a year ago!"
She almost giggled as he glared at her.
"Uchiha Sasuke," she said, grinning. "Love of my life, and the man I have resisted murdering so many times over the years, I do. Very, very much so!"
"Thank God." And then, to both of their surprises, Sasuke began to laugh.
When Sakura was twelve and still a stranger to the horrors the world could bring, she had pictured her wedding day in all of the glory only a starry-eyed child could. She had imagined a bright spring day filled with the sweet scent of blooming flowers and her namesake's petals littering the floor. She had pictured her mother and Ino helping her prepare for the ceremony with tears in their eyes and happy smiles on their faces. She had imagined a huge wedding, with hundreds of guests and an extravagant string quartet playing beautiful music after beautiful music.
And she had pictured her husband, dark-eyed and incredibly handsome, standing next to her with a gentle smile on his face and love in his eyes as they were named man and wife.
Now, years later, she was no longer that naïve child. She had seen the ugliness of the world—but she had seen its beauty, as well. She had fought, she had killed, she had won, and she had lost. But more importantly, she had loved.
She still loved.
The private ceremony in the Hokage's chamber was nothing like the elaborate wedding she had imagined, but it was fitting, she believed. The room was crammed with the people that played important roles in their lives at some point or another. The former Konoha Eleven, along with Yamato and Sai, lined one side of the room, while Sakura's parents huddled with Tsunade, Jiraiya and Shizune at another. Sakura's mother, who had come to adore the man who made her only daughter so happy, had shed tears as she and Ino helped Sakura into her simple wedding kimono.
It wasn't the wedding she had pictured, but Sakura didn't mind. The people she cared about were here and she had the man she had dreamed of standing beside her, a gentle smile on his face and love apparent in his eyes.
As Kakashi's voice filled the quiet room, Sakura stared into Sasuke's dark eyes and deemed that this was the most perfect wedding ceremony she could ever imagine. Behind the two of them, Naruto stood with a proud grin, a best friend and best man to them both.
And then Sakura took a sip of sake from the cup Sasuke held out to her, careful to drink only a little, and just like that, they were married.
Sakura's eyes widened as applause filled the room. They were married!
Naruto, of course, was the first to congratulate them. "Finally!" he crowed, throwing his arms around the both of them. "You finally made an honest woman out of her, teme. A few more months and I was going to lose some serious cash!"
Sakura's pink brows snapped together as she understood his meaning. "You bet on us?" she demanded incredulously.
"It was Baa-chan's idea," he protested, carefully inching backwards. "We had a three-year-above-under agreement. Ha! Looks like you get to keep your losing streak, Baa-chan!"
Tsunade, who was talking to the Harunos, retorted in a way that made Naruto stare back at her with horror. "You led a village with that mouth, Baa-chan?" he gasped dramatically.
"I'm not the Hokage anymore, you stupid boy—I can do whatever I want!"
"I still don't get why you guys were rushing," Naruto said after the guests had finished congratulating the newlyweds and were leaving the room to go to the wedding breakfast Ino had hastily set up. "You could have waited and have a better ceremony."
Sakura shook her head. "No, this was lovely as it is. My mother and Ino did a wonderful job, considering the short notice."
"That's my point. If you guys had waited . . ."
Sasuke and Sakura exchanged a look, and when Sasuke nodded, Sakura covered her best friend's hand with hers. "Would you like to be a godfather or just an honorary uncle, Naruto?" she asked gently.
Blue eyes widened as Naruto understood the question. Then his eyes all but disappeared as he gave the biggest grin. "Hell, I'll be both!" he exclaimed, moving to embrace her. "Your kid is gonna need a fun male figure in his life," he added, shooting Sasuke a teasing glance over her head.
"Kids," Sasuke corrected smugly.
"Twins?" Naruto gaped. "Jeez, teme, you really are an overachiever!"
"Hey!" Sakura lightly punched him in the shoulder. "I had a hand in it, too—maybe even more so. My grandmother Kana is a twin."
Naruto looked properly horrified at that information. He had met Sakura's maternal grandmother, who lived in a nearby village, several years ago and had been severely scarred by the meeting. Between her cussing and downright scariness, the spry old lady also had the tendency to pinch his butt whenever he was near.
"You mean there's two of them?" he asked, aghast.
Sakura's mother, who had overheard the conversation, leaned in and fixed Naruto with a stern gaze. "Is there something wrong with that, Naruto-kun?" she asked in a sweet voice.
The blond shook his head furiously. "O-of course not, Mama Haruno! You're all lovely ladies!" he nearly shouted. When the older woman seemed satisfied and walked off with her husband, Naruto took a step closer to Sasuke and whispered sotto voce, "Be careful, bastard. Papa Haruno told me that Sakura's just like her mother and grandmother when they were younger."
It took all of his famous Uchiha dignity to not shudder.
The wedding breakfast was attended by more guests, and Ichiban Ramen, which had expanded into a restaurant over the years, had to be closed down for the party. Ino had initially suggested a more expensive and classier restaurant, but Sakura had been adamant about the famous ramen place, much to Naruto's delight.
Despite the early hour of the day, alcohol flowed freely and the guests repeatedly toasted the newlyweds, wishing them a long and happy life. Sakura, who pretended to drink her sake, ignored the knowing glances Ino shot her way. The blonde kunoichi was not yet privy to the news of Sakura's pregnancy, an issue Sakura knew she had to correct soon before Ino started to pout.
Sitting at a table decorated with the fresh and beautiful flowers specially provided from Yamanaka Flower Shop, Sakura glanced at her husband. She appreciated the effort he was making, knowing how uncomfortable he was with so many people around, and with being in Konoha. Most of the guests in turn were also weary of him, not really knowing what to make of the once missing-nin. Patience, Sakura knew. It would take a lot of patience and a lot of time from either party before the situation would become better. For now, she was deeply grateful to both groups, knowing that they were making an effort because of her.
Soon, the guests had to leave. Sakura and Sasuke stood up to receive the well wishes and made promises—or at least she did—to meet up again before they leave the village.
"And then there were four," Naruto announced when the place emptied out save for him, the newlyweds, and the new Hokage, who had ordered his personal guard to wait outside.
"Six," Sakura corrected, patting her tummy.
"I still can't believe you're pregnant," Naruto said, shaking his head in amazement. "Soon, there'll be mini-Sasukes running around." He blanched. "Or Sakuras. I'm praying for mini-Sakuras. Wait, that means they'll have her temper. And Granny Kana's grabby hands. I take it back. But wait! What if—"
"I'd shut up now if I were you," Kakashi said sagely.
Kakashi smiled underneath his mask and turned to his the pink-haired bride, who still giving her blond friend the evil-eye. "Are you sure I can't persuade you to stay on and join my new council?"
Successfully distracted from any intention to maim, Sakura shook her head. "Sorry, Kakashi-sensei. I want my kids to grow up at home." The last word slipped easily from her tongue; home was no longer Konoha, but the several acres of land she shared with her husband. Her husband. That was a word that would also easily become a part of her vocabulary.
"What about when they're older?" Naruto wanted to know. "With the two of you as parents, they're bound to inherit a lot a chakra."
Sakura's eyes widened. She hadn't thought about it, but she realized now that her children would be the first Uchihas in history to have a civilian life. Eyebrows high, she turned to her husband with a questioning look.
He shrugged. "Whatever they choose to be, it will be what they want. Sakura and I will of course teach them to defend themselves, but if they choose to lead a civilian life, then we'll support it no matter what. I just want them to be . . . happy."
Kakashi and Naruto gazed at him with surprised expressions, but Sakura merely continued to smile, reaching over to cover his hand with hers. "What a wonderful idea," she murmured. Should they choose to be shinobi, her children would serve Konoha. With Kakashi as a leader, she knew they wouldn't have to go through what Sasuke went through. But if they chose to open a shop or become a merchant, neither she nor Sasuke would rebuke them. They would have a choice. They would be free.
She couldn't be happier.
That's it. I started A Full Circle two years ago (and then stopped writing for nearly two years before I decided to get back on the fanfiction train), but I had no idea it would turn out this way. Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews. I may be tempted to return to this story (as it is, I already have several ideas concerning it), but until then, I'm working on my other new stories. I'll be posting the first chapter of my latest story, The Fire Lord and His Lady, in a few days on my blog and once I've come up with an appropriate title for my other new story, I'll post on Fanfiction as well. Keep a look out for them. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as you enjoyed A Full Circle.