First off I want to thank everyone who has supported this story. Your reviews have honestly helped this story keep going, so thanks.

In addition to this, I'm tired of having to explain the thought process behind Naruto because if you look back on the entire purpose of the Naruto series, it should painfully obvious. I also do not have the time or energy to explain what love is, so if you don't like it, then kindly keep it to yourself. Its hard enough to write this as it is.

Anyways, after a long interim, here is chapter 8.

Chapter 8: Dismal Celebration

Naruto sat on top of the hokage monument as he watched the sun rise over the village. His village. His face was being constructed next to Tsunade's, and while almost complete, he both loved and hated the attention it brought upon him. He had done so much, it seemed a shame for people to know him as just that face on the mountain.

His mind was hyperactive. His heart beat fast. His palms were sweaty. No. There's no way I can get over her. He thought. I mean come on LOOK at her. We have so much history. TOO much history for me to just drop it. She is the only one for me. I could have had Hinata 1000 times over now. But no. Had to pick the crazy one. The one I'm crazy in love with... that's too fitting. Naruto flopped onto his back. Damn. Why can't this be easier.

It didn't help that he might have to see her again today anyways. It was New year's eve, and Sai's party was today. At least Sasuke won't come. No way in hell would anyone convince him either. It would definitely save several frustrating and awkward circumstances.

Naruto stood up on his feet. His clothes were from yesterday still. He thought about it but decided he didn't care and would go into work without changing, but he would definitely change and shower before the party tonight. He stood still as the dawn came in. it was the same color as the sunset last night. In fact if you saw both in sequence you could hardly tell the difference. The circumstances surrounding the two periods in time were certainly different however. At dusk, there was a chance, but at dawn, his heart was broken. Naruto stood, watching as the town began to wake up, and picked up the pieces of himself. Everything will be alright. She was sorry. She knows what she did.

Naruto decided to walk to his office this morning. Even though time was something he didn't want to have because it meant time for him to think, he couldn't help but take things slow. He honestly didn't want to move in the first place. On his way, he observed shopkeepers and merchants setting up for the day, children passing by him, no doubt on their way to school or the ninja academy. He returned a gentle hello to everyone that gave the same to him, but he walked with his head down, subconsciously trying to avoid having to say anything at all.

He passed by the new ninja academy and stopped for a while, watching the smaller kids learn how to throw ninja tools, preform basic justu and practice hand signs. He rested his hand and forehead on the chain link fence, half closing his eyes. To everyone else it looked like he was scouting out talent that was rising up in his village. To him... to him he saw his past, and concentrated on his future. His children... what would they be like? Who would he be with? He closed his eyes. Sakura. His feet took him inside the training grounds, where the students immediately took notice of his presence. They all rushed over to him but he gave them a stern look. "Ninja do not leave any task unfinished." The students faces turned down, expecting something different from the unpredictable ninja.

"However..." he said as his face lighting up into a smile "Its a good thing I'm here to help you finish your lessons today. I'm sure Iruka-sensei would like a break, after all.." Naruto said putting one hand to the side of his mouth in a feigned attempt at whispering, "He's getting a little too old for this."

The students all began to giggle. While Iruka laughed along with them. "I'm sure that would be fine. After all how can I say no to the Hokage?" He said as he sat down on the bench, ready to observe.

Naruto turned back to his adopted students. "So what have you all been learning today?" An uproar of answers burst out from every student, with replies ranging from ninja tool practice to advanced justu, which only made Naruto laugh. "How about we compromise and do some sparring then?" Which begot several groans from the tiny crowd, which in turn only made Naruto only smile more. "Now come on form a circle. I'm not going to pair any of you based on skill level. Anyone here will fight anyone. Its how I got to be where I was today. I was dead last when I was here, and now look. Just goes to show what you can do with a little hard work." Well. Some things. He thought while his face slowly turned solemn.

He shook his head and went back to his crowd. "Alright you. Whats your name?" "Kyoraku sir."
"And you?" This boy seemed scared after he had seen who his opponent was going to be. Naruto acknowledged this, and sent the boy a challenge with his eyes. A challenge to not back down.


"Good. You two will be opponents. Now get in the circle, and after the fight is over Ill show you both things that will improve your performance. Only rule is no ninja tool and non-lethal ninjutsu is permitted. Sound good? Good." He raised his hand in preparation, then brought it down. "Go!"

In a flash Kyoraku was upon Ushio, who's fighting stance was less then desirable. Kyoraku launched punch after punch at Ushio, who managed to block the majority, but took blows to the ribcage, face and kidney. Kyoraku was relentless, and did not give Ushio a chance to attack. After he delivered the final blow in his barrage and hopped back, flashing through hand signs. "Doton! Goremu no Justu!" A small figure made of stone emerged from the ground, and 3 others followed it, all about half the size of the two combatants. Ushio stood there, frightened of his opponent's technique which he had never seen before. All at once the four golems attacked, none of which moving at speeds that surpassed even the slowest ninja. Ushio thought quickly. He as well flashed though hand signs with urgency, trying to finish his jutsu before the golems were upon him. "Suiton! Suiben!" A rope of water shot out at the 4 golems and wrapped around them, and then continued to chain it's way to Kyoraku, who was still concentrating on maintaining his own justu. The water circled him and tied his arms, and then Ushio shifted his stance, and separate water extensions came out from the water that held Kyoraku and staked into the ground, rendering him immobile.

Naruto raised his arm. "Ushio is the victor." Ushio, who was dumbfounded at his own luck, just stood there again, not sure of what to do.

Naruto clapped his hands. "both of you did a great job. Kyoraku, I'm going to be honest. You probably should have won that. Your chakra control is phenomenal to be able to control four separate entities. Your taijustu is also slightly above average. However. You thought you were going to win, and therefore let your guard down and did not think about the possibilities and outcomes of this battle." He turned to Ushio and bent down on his knee, placing his hand on the boy's shoulder, making sure to meet the eyes of the obviously timid and nervous child. "Your instincts for survival and defense are great. This was a good match up because both opponents had a great deal of control over their own justu. I can tell you have been practicing. But you have to trust more in yourself. Any team you will be assigned to will suffer if you don't learn to believe in yourself. You can be a great ninja and a great person. But not if you don't allow yourself to be one."

Naruto paused and thought of himself. I did the right thing Sakura, didn't I? I fought for Sasuke didn't I? Its what you wanted right? Why aren't you happy with him? Or me? What is it you want? I believe in you and you believed in me. I don't know what to do anymore. I wish you would tell me.

He stood up, his hand still resting on Ushio's shoulder, a big grin resting on his face. "Well I'm afraid that's all the time I can spend here." Garnering a large group of 'awwws' from his surrogate pupils. "i would like to stay here all day, but you know how Sakura-chan gets when I don't finish my paperwork! Iruka-sensei I leave the rest to you." He said as he dashed away, grin fading from his face.

That grin didn't come as easy to him anymore. Maybe it was the job, maybe it was the experiences and heartbreaks he had survived, but he just didn't smile like he used to. Everyone took it as a sign of him growing up, but he missed it. He felt part of him was empty without that ease and happiness. Maybe he needed to find something that filled him with that happiness.

Naruto got to his office through the window. He really didn't want 3to go through the front door. Sakura was there, he could feel her. And it wasn't any normal day where she would just chastise him for being late, it would have been awkward, maybe they would have fought again, he didn't want that. He couldn't take that.

His day went by, surprisingly uninterrupted. He got little to nothing done however, his mind just kept wandering to other subjects. One time he looked down to his calender and saw that it was in fact new years eve and Sai's party was today. Well. Looks like I wont get to avoid Sakura after all. He thought to himself as he finished up early. In his busy state he didn't notice that almost the entire building had left except for him. Hell they probably didn't notice that he ever came in and thought he took the day off. Naruto gathered what he needed and left for his house. Despite how much he did not want to do anything tonight, he had promised Sai, and his friends would be there, which sort of made up for it.

Naruto Jumped across rooftops and looked at the sunset and recalled something that Kakashi had told him a long time ago: "Want to know what the difference is between the dawn and dusk? One leads into darkness, the other into light. Both have the same amount of light, but given both without the context of a day, you would never know. Treat every day like the sun is rising."

Kakashi-sensei is right. I need to think positive, maybe this will turn out to be a good night. Maybe Sakura wont show up. Although I kind of hope she does. Aggghhh! I cant tell which one is the one I want more.

Naruto unlocked the door to his house and images of Sakura lying on his couch with various lingerie andoccasionally naked drifted into his head, as they did whenever he came home. He so desperately wanted for once for those images to be true. But again, he was disappointed. He through off his clothes, walking upstairs, and eventually wore nothing as he stepped into the shower, trying hard to make sure he was all clean before attending this party.

He got out and threw open his closet, which barely contained any casual wear aside from his jumpsuits. He decided on wearing a suit that Sakura had bought for him for the celebration of the end of the 4th great ninja war. He never let her know, but it meant a lot to him, that she would do something like that for him.


Naruto got to Sai's appartment, and was immediately greeted with a tipsy Ino who practically dragged him in. She was trying to tell him something but he ignored her, not that he wanted to ignore her, it just happened subconsciously. Naruto took note of the people there, and settled upon a group of his friends. Shikamaru, Kiba, Chouji and Shino all greeted their Hokage with a smile, and Naruto returned the favor.

Time seemed to slow as he just stood there talking with his friends laughing about recent events, joking with each other. Then Chouji, who had had a considerable amount to drink, went to go hug his friend.

In an instant drinks were splashed everywhere from Chouji's girth. Naruto managed to avoid the most of it, but he still got some on his pants. "If you want Naruto, I can throw them in my dryer, it would only take a few minutes.

ONLY a few minutes without pants. Great. But it was the best solution that was offered at the time. Naruto reluctantly took his pants off and handed them over to Sai. Its not really such a big deal though. Its not like im in strange company, the people around have probably seen me in less. At least Sakura-chan isnt here.

Then. Right on cue. Sakura walked through the door.

Oh fuck me. She wore a tight red dress and black patterned stockings. Her heels, which of course she immediately took off, were also red, and also about 4 inches tall. He couldnt stop staring. Here he was no pants, and the girl of his dreams dressed the most provocatively he had seen her ever. Great. He thought. Dont get a boner dont get a boner dont get a boner...

"Hi Naruto-Kun!"
"Hiiiiiii Sakura-chan. How are you?"

"Goo-... Where are your pants?"
"Ask Chouji." He then thought of the innuendo that would follow and was obviously coming across Sakura's face and began his recovery.
"He hugged me and spilled my drink on me. Not that."
"Oh I see."
Awkward silences, I love those...
"Im going to go get a drink Naruto-kun, ill be back!"

He watched her walk away from their encounter and took in every curve that she displayed with her dress. Naruto saw Sakura at the makeshift bar, downing serveral drinks in quick succession. He thought nothing of it.

Thought nothing of it, until she came back over to him. Time slowed down very fast. Her half lidded eyes came closer and closer to him. He felt her breathing close to him. Their bodies were touching now, and it was several seconds before he realized what was happening.
She was kissing him. HIM. As his brain came into focus his arms wrapped around her frame and returned the kiss. The world was gone now. It was just Naruto and Sakura, making out in the middle of the room. He was sure he he heard comments but he couldnt care less. All he ever wanted was in his arms then. Gone was every worry, every dark thought every doubt. She was in his arms now and thats what mattered to Naruto. Also the alcohol was kicking in so it definitely deepened those effects.

Naruto picked her up. He had no idea of the layout of Sai's apartment but he moved nonetheless.

Must. Find. Bed.

Naruto moved with that one purpose, and he found the room that Sai had set up for people to rest in if they were too intoxicated. Sakura's lips moved against his and she held him tight. He was in elation. He set her down on the bed while they continued their deep kiss.

Sakura's tongue weaved into his and he set his pace to move with hers. Naruto ventured his hands up her waist, still keeping in mind the attempt to not screw things up. His hands continued upward and cupped her breasts. Naruto started kneading softly, moving his weight on top of her. He pulled her low cut dress down below her bra and revealed her right nipple. He placed his mouth on it and she let out an audible moan and stuck her hand in his tussled hair. He kept licking and sucking, and revealed her left nipple and switched back and forth.

Naruto was feeling brave. He moved his hands down across her stomach and lifted up the skirt of her dress to reveal lace black panties. His knee was in her crotch and he could feel heow warm she was. Sakura wanted him now. He was sure of it. He took his hand and snaked it underneath her underwear and moved his finger over her clit which rewarded him the sound of a deep intake of air and an arch of the back from his partner beneath him.

Then. All at once. It was over. Kiba, in a drunken and oblivious stupor waltzed in and flopped onto the bed closest to the door. Naruto wore the worst scowl he had in his life. Sakura moved him off to the side. He couldnt see her expression in the dark, and wished that he could. He steeled for taking her in his arms and stayed there until he morning.

Naruto never closed his eyes the entire night.

Phew! All done with that one. Let me know what you think~

Also a short note: Please, if you dont have anything nice to say dont say it. It's difficult enough writing this story already.

Aside from that, translations:

Doton: Goremu no Justu – Earth Release(Style) – Golem Technique
Suiton: Suiben – Water Release(Style) – Water Whip