Hullo, it's been ages since I said I finished the last chapter and posted it but lately I've been thinking about an epilogue and this came to me. I know many people requested it but at the time (wow that was months ago) I really didn't have an epilogue in mind.
Chapter 20 Epilogue
It's been three years since I've met Sakura and two and a half years since we've started going out and things have not been easy, there are times when she slips into depression, weeks when I think I can't stand her and just want to leave, months when we don't do anything but have sex then yell at one another-but that's life.
We bicker, yell curse and scream at one another but we stick together because that's what you do when you love someone.
"Naruto I told you I didn't want Indian food!" Sakura scowled and folded her arms.
We were sitting on the back porch of our house having tea and lunch. Well I was having lunch, she was pouting. "I thought you said yes! Well don't let it go to waste I'll eat it." I moved to take her share only have it snatched away from me.
"No! I'm hungry."
"Then eat it."
"But I don't want it! I wanted sushi!"
I rolled my eyes and popped a piece of curry duck into my mouth and chewed. "Well I thought you said Indian." I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye. "It tastes really good."
Sakura has been doing really well; the doctors say it's amazing-almost as though she doesn't have Leukemia at all. Of course she really does have it but she's been in remission and aside from the occasional off days, she's been doing well. Her skin is healthy, her hair long and shiny and although she denies it; if she wanted she really could bruise me from one of her punches.
The woman can fight, I'll tell you that much.
"Curry is…I don't want curry." She continued petulantly.
"Fine. Don't eat it."
"But I'm hungry!"
"Then make a sandwich!" Really we go through this at least once a week; I'd buy something then she'd yell and scream at me to go buy something else! Money doesn't grow on trees!
"But I want-"
"Sushi I know." I finally turned to face her. "You know where the shops are-go get it then. I'll wait here." I watched as irritation then defeat and finally annoyance flashed across her face then grinned at her. "Don't be a princess Sakura, just eat it."
She huffed but complied. "I have no idea what I see in you." She growled, opening the container and scowling at the curry. I don't see what her problem is, curry is delicious!
"Oh it might be my devilishly handsome good looks? Or is it my charming personality? Could it be my incredibly good sense of humor?"
"Or maybe it's your inert ability at losing jobs?" She hissed darkly.
"Ouch. Honey that hurt." I sent her a puppy dog look; I knew she was right. I did keep losing my jobs but its only because I haven't found what I really wanted to do with my life. Finally I had the girl I love-and secretly want to propose to-but I haven't found that financial stability yet.
But soon as I do, I'll get down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage.
I mean we already act like an old married couple, might as well make it official.
Sakura sighed and reached over the small table to pat my hand. "I know, sorry. But really you've gone through so many jobs Naruto it's a bit absurd." Almost instantly my fingers closed around her own. "You need to find something you love."
I locked eyes with her and as much as I'd like to say it's bullshit, my heat sped up a bit and I still couldn't wipe the stupid goofy grin off of my face. "I love you."
"Funny." She smiled and reached up to cup my face. "But really what do you love to do?"
"Let's not ruin good curry with this talk Sakura." I sighed and returned to my food. This has been a routine conversation for a long time now; 'What do you love to do Naruto? Who do you want to be Naruto? Come on, time to grow up and take on responsibilities Naruto.' Like I don't know? Every one of my friends have moved on with their life, Sasuke's found a pretty house wife, Kiba's dating a women in love with animals and he's getting ready to propose and what about me? Sure Sakura and I have finally moved in together and we're in a steady relationship but I'm still working dead end jobs with no insight into the future.
Just then there was a loud crash inside the house followed by several choiced words.
"Stay here." I muttered, placed my curry on the table then leaned inside the patio door to peer inside. Slowly I inched inside, cursing the fact that there was a burglar and all I had at my disposal was a knife.
If I could make my way to the kitchen before finding them.
"Naruto you prick! Who the hell puts their beer under a window!" What the hell? That sounded like Shikamaru?
"Shikamaru?" I walked into the living room to see him nursing his foot. "Did you just…my window?" I looked up at the now broken window then back at him.
"Don't give me that look when I'm holding the application to your new carrier." He sighed and reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out an envelope. "I was talking to a guy down in PR and he was saying his brother is a game designer and their looking for testers." He held out the envelope. "You like video games right?"
I met Shikamaru when I accidently ran a red light and he pulled me over; because apparently I was a pathetic sobbing mess at the time-Sakura and I had a real bad fight that night-he didn't give me a ticket but instead played psychologist and listened to me cry about her.
We've been friends ever since.
I stared down at the envelope now in my hands.
Video game tester?
I never thought about it.
Would I like it?
Could I do it?
"The application is just a formality. If you want the job you've got it." Shikamaru sighed and turned around. "Is Sakura here? I should say 'hello.'"
That snapped me out of my head and I nearly blushed.
I'm a man so didn't but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't touched by this. "She's out on the porch." I mumbled and nodded. "Go ahead; she'd be happy to see you." I followed him though the house till we reached the patio door. "Thanks Shikamaru…for the application."
He looked over his shoulder at me and shrugged. "No problem. We can all use a hand sometime." And then he went out. "Hi Sakura."
"Shikamaru! Hello!" She accepted his hug. "Was it you making that loud noise?"
"Oh yeah, sorry. I'll pay for the new window."
"You broke my window?"
"No one was answering the door and it was important I speak to Naruto."
At that she raised an eyebrow and sipped her glass of water. "Is everything alright?"
He glanced at me and I shrugged then ducked back inside to grab him a beer. I didn't care if he told Sakura or not-she was going to find out one way or another.
Me? A game tester?
It sounds like fun.
But is it really?
I opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a Corona.
I do like video games; maybe I'll give it a go.
Who knows? Maybe I really would like it.
"Here you go." I handed Shikamaru his drink before sitting back down; but I felt eyes on me. Somehow I knew it was Sakura. "I don't know if I'll take it Sakura. I'm still thinking about it."
"Of course, no need to rush." Shikamaru jumped in. "But I do think you'll like it. Went down to do a security check awhile back and it seemed like fun. Pay's pretty well too."
"So Shikamaru how's Ino?" Sakura changed the topic and pushed around her curry.
I, unfortunately, no longer felt like eating.
"But is she well?"
"She's pregnant." He sighed. "A pregnant Ino is not a happy Ino."
"You know what," I cut in. "I'll do it. I'll take the job." Why not?
Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at me but smiled. "Alright. Just fill out the application and give it to me." He reached inside his jacket pocket and took out a pen. "An officer always has a pen on him." He exhaled and placed it on top of the application.
Sakura reached over the table and took my hand in both of her own. "Good. I was hoping you would." She smiled and ran her thumb over my knuckles in an attempt to be supportive and soothing.
For some reason, as soon as I scribbled my name down on the application it felt right. Like this was what I was supposed to be doing.
This was just the first step to a good life.
The second would be picking out a ring for Sakura.
Why are there so many options when it comes to buying a wedding ring?
Gold or silver?
Same design or different?
"Why is this so hard?" I muttered under my breath as I twirled a small silver engagement ring between my fingers. It was delicate looking with one large diamond in the middle with two smaller diamonds on either side.
Actually, the more I played with it the more I liked it.
There was just something about it that reminded me of Sakura.
"Do you like that one Sir?" I glanced up at the woman smiling back at me. "It is awful nice isn't it?"
"Yeah…I'll take it."
She nodded and pulled out a black velvet box. "Would you like to have it engraved?"
"No…just make it look pretty will you?"
"Of course!" She grinned. "Does the lucky girl have a favorite color?"
"I like orange-do you have orange?" I handed the ring back to her and watched as she carefully seated it back into the box and closed the lid. She then rummaged underneath the counter before pulling out another box; this one was jet black with some sort of patterning on it.
"Yeah, look how cute this will look." She slid the velvet box into this new one and slipped on a small bright orange bow then adjusted it so the bow was off to the side. "What do you think?"
I grinned. "Looks great! I hope she likes it."
"I think she will."
I don't think I've ever been this nervous.
My stomach felt weird.
I was sweating in places I never knew could sweat.
My hands were clammy.
And Sakura was taking forever to come home!
There I stood out on the back porch waiting; I had set up everything. There were candles and cushions and chocolate and the ring!
Why couldn't she just come home already?
At this rate I'll quicker throw up than propose!
"Naruto I'm home!" Her voice suddenly called into the house and I nearly turned around and fled-pretty sure I could jump the fence in one leap!
But I didn't.
I took a deep breath, patted my suit jacket pocket-because I did think to wear a really nice suit-and tried to smile. "Sakura? Will you come out to the back please?"
"Why? I'm tired Naruto and I want to shower first. It was a long day at work bu-"
"Please? This is important to me." My voice shook but I kept my cool.
It was quite for a few seconds but eventually I heard her footsteps as she made her way to the sliding doors. "Why? Is something wrong?"
As soon as she stepped through that door I got down on one knee. "Sakura Haruno." I began nervously and she gasped. "I love you Sakura." I pulled out the box from my pocket and watched as she slapped one hand over her mouth.
I only hope it's because she's so excited that she's about to scream and didn't want the neighbors to think she was being raped.
"I want to always be with you." I popped open the lid. "And I hope you want to be with me too?"
She didn't do anything for a few seconds except stare at the ring in his casing.
She's going to say no.
Should I shut the box?
Stand up you idiot!
You've been rejected!
"Yes I want to marry you Naruto." She whispered and held out her hand for me to slide the ring on.
Relief washed over me like soothing aloe on sunburn.
With trembling fingers I slid the ring onto her left ring finger then pulled her down into a desperate kiss. "Fucking hell Sakura you took so damn long to say yes I nearly had a heart attack!"
She laughed and kissed me before pinching my shoulder. "Well it took you long enough to ask!"
And I knew in that moment, I made the right decision.
Sakura Haruno was the woman to spend my life with.
Yes we'll fight and scream and sometimes want to kill the other but deep down, we love one another and that's what counts.
Distance ~ End
This is really the end of this story now; I hope you all enjoyed it. It took ages to write the epilogue because it was one of those things that just had so many options. -L