Guys, GUYS! This is the end of our rose-filled journey and I must say... I am SO sad to see this go! It was a blast to write and all your love, support, and feedback, pointing out spelling/grammar mistakes that this silly author always misses (THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!) has made me all the more willing to write and write this story (: WE SAVED SO MANY BABY PANDAS! I wonder how many of you are happy knowing you won't have to hear me saying that again (;? Anywho! I hope you all check out my bottom A/N because I all need your help with something c: Until then, enjoy the final installment of A Bundle of Promises!

Warning: Fluff, slight-smut, crack-ish, jumps around, uhhhh... this also involves a wedding c: 50/50 guess of who it is! I did get some rather lovely ideas but I used my beautiful friend, Chaos' idea of a wedding c: She asked for children too, as did another lovely reviewer Mrs. Taiwolf, but that didn't seem to flow this chapter and where I wanted to take it... so I joked about the prospect instead (; You'll see!

Disclaimer: YES! KISHIMOTO HAS FINALLY GIVEN ME THE RIGHTS TO NARUTO! AKFALFASDLFJKAJF kidding. No such thing would happen to me v.v

Enjoy my beautiful readers! Enjoooooy!


Chapter Twenty: The Thirteenth Promise

+Forever and Always+

Naruto decided that the best way to truly wake up in the morning was beside the person you loved after a good night of lovemaking. He could still smell Sasuke's warm and comforting scent all around him and sighed, snuggling deeper into his raven's chest.

'If I could live in my bed forever, I totally would.' He thought blissfully as he drew little shapes and lines with his finger on Sasuke's chest. The raven was a deep sleeper—and obviously not a morning person—that was for sure. A whole list of naughty, perverted, and down right silly things he could get away with right now floated through his mind.

Deciding to act on such devilish pranks, Naruto snickered and leaned forward to grab his bright orange marker that was always kept on the top of his bed dresser.

"What are you doing?" Sasuke's eyes were still closed, but a small smile teased his lips.

Naruto whistled and casually searched blindly for his sharpie. "Ohhhh, nothing. Just a good morning stretch before I start my day."

Sasuke caught Naruto by the waist and pulled the blond on top. Their naked chests touched. Other, more intimate places, brushed together in a way that drew out gasps from both boys.

"I have a feeling you were in the midst of doing something stupid."

"Stupid? Oh no! Never!" Naruto scoffed. "I'm an angel."

"More like a little devil," Sasuke joked.

Naruto pouted and moved his hips slightly, enjoying the reaction he got from Sasuke though the raven's eyes remained close the whole time. "Why are your eyes still closed?" he didn't know why it bothered him so much. Maybe it was the fact that Naruto couldn't stare at those beautiful eyes he loved so much if they were closed.

"I'm Snow White," Sasuke answered simply. His hands were busy drawing small circles on the small of Naruto's back.

Naruto scrunched his eyebrows together. "Excuse me?"

"My eyes will only open if my true love kisses me," and just because he was feeling extra cheerful and satisfied from last night, Sasuke puckered his lips in anticipation.

Shaking his head, bubbles of laughter escaping, Naruto closed the short distance between them and kisses Sasuke soundly. When he pulled back he brushed a few midnight locks from Sasuke's face and smiled softly, "Wake up. I want to see your beautiful eyes."

Onyx eyes fluttered into the open. They shone with love and affection and adoration-the emotions were overwhelming. Sasuke tangled his fingers in Naruto's golden locks and brought him for another, passion filled kiss.

They share ten more kisses after that. Each kiss left Naruto and Sasuke breathless.

"If we don't stop soon we won't get any breakfast," Sasuke rubbed Naruto's back slowly, up and down, marveling how Naruto's back arched with every touch. Neither boy was making any real moves to get up until...

"Oh crap!" Naruto bolted straight up, nearly tumbling out of bed. "Breakfast, Iruka-I forgot about Iruka last night! He knows! He knooooows!" Naruto pulled at his hair ends. He just wanted to die from the embarrassment currently attacking his body.

Sasuke's reaction was a lot more nonchalant and controlled. "It's not that bad. You've walked in on Iruka and Kakashi numerous times and look, you're still alive."

"You don't understand! Iruka's not like other guardians! He can say things with a straight face that are meant to make someone feel as awkward as possible!"

"Oh he can't be that bad…"

Sasuke would be proved wrong—so, very, wrong.

+I Promise+

The two crept down the stairs very stealthily, afraid that once they entered the kitchen they'd be forth to face Iruka's parental wrath. To their surprise—and slight horror mixed with confusion—Iruka was sitting at the breakfast table calmly sipping a cup of coffee. Set on opposite sides of the table was two plates of bacon, omelets, and an orange slice. The scene was more intimidating than walking into a battlefield after everything was nuked.

"Naruto… Sasuke," Iruka said in-between sips. They stiffened like Iruka had just shot ice at their feet so escape was impossible. "Please… do have a seat." He gestured to the two chairs sitting on his left and on his right.

Naruto and Sasuke exchanged worried glances, nodded in silent agreement, and sat down across from each other.

"Haha," the blond scratched the back of his head nervously. "Uh… morning, Iruka! You're up early today. Don't have to work?" Iruka's no nonsense glare he got immediately shut the blond up. Okay, so Iruka obviously wasn't in the mood for small talk. Naruto slowly shrank down in his seat…

Three, agonizing, seconds passed between the three before Iruka set his coffee mug on the table and gave Sasuke a hard gaze.

"So… you and Naruto had sex last night," he said it as casually as he would if he was stating they went out somewhere last night.

"See! I told you!" Naruto stood up from his chair and pointed at Sasuke. "He knows! He knows! We're going to have to elope now to Canada or something!"

Iruka slapped Naruto on the back of the head and ordered him to sit down. "I'm talking to Sasuke right now. You're interrogation comes later. Besides, of course I would find out." Iruka chuckled humorlessly, "Our walls aren't very thick and our rooms are right next to each other's."

The blond slammed his face against the table over and over again mentally screaming: 'I'm screwed. I'm screwed. I'm so screwed!' He knew Iruka was going to make some huge deal out of losing his virginity and them have sex and all that jazz and make things unbearable awkward between the three of them. Naruto could see the look in his eyes—a man who loved to torture his little ward.

Sasuke seemed rather calm right now and casually leaned forward. "Yes, we did. And it was amazing, by the way."

Naruto's head shot up like a rocket. His face right now screamed: "Oh my goodness you did not just say that!"

The brunet raised an amused eyebrow, "Is that so?" he took a small sip of his coffee. "Condom?"

"Solo," Sasuke answered right on beat.

Naruto wanted to die. Or fall into a really deep hole. Or die while in that really deep hole.

"What if you have AIDS or a STD?"

"I'm perfectly clean, sir." Ooo… a sir—Sasuke was getting serious.

"Any proof?"

"I can have my doctor on the phone in three seconds." The raven was already holding his phone when Iruka reached out to stop him.

"That won't be necessary. However, I'd like to point out that if my son gets pregnant you're not allowed to skip town and run. You'll stay with him the whole nine yards, got it?"

And now Naruto was dead…

"Iruka!" The blond whined and threw a strip of bacon at his laughing father figure. "Why…? Why would you…? Are you serious? Is that even possible?" Naruto whipped his hand around to see Sasuke's wonderful, smirking face. "That's not possible, is it?" you couldn't be too sure with technology nowadays and all that jazz.

"It's a fun thought to try out…" Sasuke winked. The wink was the bullet that shot Naruto straight in the chest and had him howling at how unfair the world could be.

This time Naruto turned to Iruka who was looking too gleeful right now. "Shouldn't you be stopping him? Act like my guardian!"

Iruka sat down his coffee mug and gave Sasuke the "look" he gave Naruto when he meant business. "Sasuke… I give you my approval. Please take care of my little boy. I know you two will make wonderful parents someday."

"We're not having children!" Naruto defended. "I will have him fixed before that happens!"

"Adoptions always an option," Iruka sang.

Naruto sputtered and tore into his strip of bacon angrily. "Fucking pricks only do this just to get a freaking rise out of me… damn them all," he muttered under his breath.

"Language, Naruto. I raised you better."

Sasuke leaned back and raised his glass of coffee to his lips. "Don't be mad because you'll make a beautiful mother, Dobe."

"Fuck you, Uchiha!" Naruto snapped.

"Naruto!"

It was just another typical Saturday morning in the Uzumaki household.

+I Promise: Invitations with Declarations+

"What is this?"

"An envelope?"

"I know that but…" Naruto flipped the blood red envelop over and over again in his hands. After a very eventful breakfast—more teasing from Sasuke and Iruka about Naruto's future motherhood status—Naruto and Sasuke went around the block to pick up the mail on Iruka's orders and were now walking back hand in hand to the apartment.

Sasuke grimaced at the mysterious letter, "I hate the color red."

Naruto couldn't help but crack a grin. Sasuke was so cute when he was jealous. "Why? Because of a certain demented fox we all know and are somewhat afraid of?"

The raven narrowed his eyes, "No. Red's just an obnoxious color, like orange." He added with a smirk.

"Orange is an amazing color and you know it, Uchiha!"

"Sure, sure," he leaned in and pecked Naruto on the cheek, knowing that would be enough to sedate the blond before he went loco. "So are you going to open it now?"

Naruto stared at the red envelope long and hard. He had a feeling he knew who the sender was but he really wanted to be proved wrong at this point. "We're not even home yet."

"Doesn't matter. Either way we'll be opening up the letter and reading it. Difference is we'll know sooner rather than later and if it's some murder letter to Iruka we can be better prepared for a response."

The funny thing about Sasuke was that he could say such hilarious things with a straight face and not crack a smile once. Until, of course, Naruto started giggling like an idiot. Then his smile cracked through the surface and surrounded his entire face with an ethereal glow.

Naruto stood on his tiptoes and kissed Sasuke on the lips. "You should make jokes more often. You'd be a riot."

Sasuke smiled and pulled Naruto in for another kiss. "I'll pass. I already stun people alone with my looks, adding my humor on top of that and we'd have an epidemic on our hands."

"You're humble, too." Naruto stated dryly.

Sasuke simply smirked. "Open the letter now?"

"Alright, alright!" the raven was more impatient than a child on Christmas. Gingerly—Naruto tore open the flap and pulled out a pearl white invitation that read: YOU'RE INVITED TO THE CEREMONY BONDING TWO, WILD SPIRITS. At first, Naruto thought it was some crazy psycho cult wanting them to conform to their backwards ways but then his eyes traveled down forward and landed on two, very familiar names.

"Oh my God… Mom and Kyuubi?" Naruto stared shellshock at the letter, his hands trembling as he reread the names over and over again, and even looked at the picture of them hugging and… exchanging saliva. He knew they were back together, and Kyuubi had yelled something about sending invites to their wedding a while back but… he didn't think the man was serious!

"What?" Sasuke pulled the invite out of Naruto's hand and read it. His eyebrows shot to his hairline and he walked over to the closest trashcan. "Invite declined," and he would have thrown it away too if Naruto hadn't stopped him.

"Are you mad?" the blond yanked the invite out of Sasuke's hand, "You can't just throw this away! I need the number so I can call them."

"You don't have to be so polite about it. Just pretend like you never got the letter and we won't go."

"Sasuke… we're going," Naruto folded his arms across his chest and stared Sasuke dead in the eye. Yes, he could be cute when he was jealous but acting this childish was really getting on Naruto's nerves. "I know you're not very fond of Kyuubi and all, but this is my mom. We may not be close but we're still family."

"Have you forgotten what he put us through all those months ago?" Sasuke couldn't understand how Naruto could be this dense! Kyuubi put them through so much pain and turmoil and now they were going to go to his wedding? Did Naruto loose a few screws when he hadn't noticed, or what?

"No, of course not. But I've moved on. And so should you." He stuck out his hand, "Hand me your cell phone so we can RSVP, please?"

Sasuke glared at the hand for what seemed to be forever before finally looking into Naruto's eyes and saying… "No."

"… Excuse me?"

"I said 'No'."

"Stop being such a fucking child and hand me the phone, Uchiha!"

Sasuke smirked and started to take a few steps backwards, "Gotta catch me first, Dobe." And then he was off, sprinting the opposite direction from the house towards the park. Naruto was left to stand in his dust, confused and annoyed, before he jammed the invite in his back pocket and made a beeline for Sasuke.

"When I catch you, you are so dead!"

+I Promise+

Iruka looked up from his book, happily snuggled with Kakashi who had come over to spend the day, and raised an eyebrow. "I asked you two to get the mail. Why does it look like I sent you to a battlefield?"

The boys were covered from head to toe in mud, leaves, wet dew, and a few blades of grass. Naruto spit out a random piece of grass that was stuck to his tongue and held up his prize: Sasuke's cell phone.

"Oh, no reason. Sasuke wanted to embrace his inner child so I let him."

Sasuke muttered something ugly under his breath, snatched back his phone, and stormed up stairs.

Naruto grinned after Sasuke's retreating back, "Oops, looks like someone needs a little cheering up." He turned to Iruka and Kakashi with a satisfied smirk, "He gets this way when things don't go his way. What can you do?"

Once Naruto had disappeared up the stairs, Iruka and Kakashi exchanged glances.

"I will never understand the teenagers of today," Kakashi said.

Iruka focused his attention back on his book, "I learned to ignore them and, hopefully, they become another speck on the wall of Life."

Wise words, Iruka.

+I Promise: Tuxes with Bowties+

It was the middle of July by now. The summer sun scorched everything in sight, making some people refuse to leave their ice-cold bathtubs or air-conditioned rooms. Sadly, some people weren't so lucky and had to go out today to face the unbearable heat.

"Why are we going to this thing, again?" Suigetsu asked as Kiba adjusted his bow tie. "And why do I have to wear this tux? It's like, fucking 900 million degrees right now and I'm going to fry!"

"Oh stop your bitching and hold still," Kiba's tongue stuck out at the corner of his mouth as he concentrated on getting Suigetsu's bow just right… "And done! Finally straight."

"Aww, you guys are cute," Naruto teased as he watched the budding couple fuss over one another. Kiba and Suigetsu had finally confessed their affections for each other after a long night game two months ago. They would always remember that night because it was raining furiously and when they finally kissed thunder clapped through the sky. It was pretty cool.

Suigetsu smirked while Kiba scowled and scoffed and sputtered. "I know, right?" he wrapped a sly arm around Kiba's hip and pulled him close. "We're thinking of getting matching tats. Something sexy and meaningful."

"And if you two break up then you'll have your ex's name forever ingrained on your skin," Gaara scoffed and tugged at his bowtie, "Smart move."

"That's impossible!" Suigetsu placed a sloppy kiss on Kiba's cheek. "Kiba and I are going strong! Together forever, babe."

'Kiba looks so happy,' Naruto thought, watching Suigetsu and Kiba fuss over one another and giving out corny compliments. He wondered if that was how people viewed him and Sasuke—young and dipped in a bucket of love.

"Hey, Gaara," Kiba called out after finally tearing his lips off of Suigetsu, "where's your date?"

"Right here," Neji glided into the living room dressed in a black tux adorned with a red carnation. He slipped a slim but muscular arm into Gaara's inviting loop and smiled. "I must say Gaara has a way with words."

The redhead merely smirked. Damn right he had a way with words.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow, "Hyuga and Gaara, huh?" he spared a glance towards Suigetsu and Kiba, "Well I've seen weirder couples."

Suigetsu placed his hands on his hips, "More like you've seen better looking couples! Like me and my boo, of course."

"Please," Naruto scoffed and pressed himself up against Sasuke, flashing his sexiest grin. "Sasuke and I take the cake for best looking couple!"

"In your dreams, Uzumaki!"

"If anyone here looks the best together, the obvious choice would be Gaara and I," Neji turned his pale purple eyes towards his escort, "Isn't that right?"

Gaara cracked a smirk, "You wouldn't be too far off."

Iruka and Kakashi came in a few minutes later, both dressed up in tuxes adorned with a colorful carnation. Iruka's was deep purple and Kakashi was a scarlet red. Everyone had a color for himself and wore it proudly. Naruto's was orange. Sasuke's was dark blue. Kiba's was black. Suigetsu's was a light blue. And Gaara's was a muddy red. They all sported spiffy bowties as well.

They were dressed to impress today.

"Is everyone ready to go?" Iruka tossed his keys into the air and expertly caught them.

"Yes!" Naruto answered for the whole group.

"Alright then! Let's head out."

"I call shot gun!" the blond was half way down the stairs and out the door by the times the words collapsed in the air.

"Fucking cheater!" Kiba shouted, dashing after Naruto. "You're sitting in the trunk for that!"

+I Promise: I Dos+

"Are you crying?" Sasuke teased, leaning in to get a better view of his love's face.

"N-No!" Naruto sniffled and blew his nose for the tenth time that afternoon. "I just have a cold! I… Why would I be crying?"

"Weddings normally generate tears," half the congregation that was there—Kyuubi's ex gang friends and Naruto's mother's family and friends—were either on the verge of or in tears by now and the couple hadn't even said "I do" yet.

"Yeah, well… I'm not crying!" Naruto defended lamely.

"Promise?"

"Pinky swear. Now shut up I can't hear the priest talking."

The wedding was held outside since it was such a beautiful, summer's day. Weeping willows enclosed them in a circle of nature. A huge lake was to their left and the opening doors leading back to the hotel was off to their right. Vibrant flowers of fiery reds and golden yellows were blooming everywhere. All in all, the location for Kyuubi's wedding was beautiful—a lot more than either of them, minus Naruto, expected to see from the barbarian.

"My mother has very refine tastes," Naruto had stated earlier when everyone else was enrapt by the sheer beauty and elegance of the hotel. "And Kyuubi's a man who likes to please so they both work out."

Now the couple were standing at the altar, staring adoringly into each other's eyes, and whispered the second most important words a human being will ever say:

"I do." Kyuubi answered almost immediately.

The priest nodded and turned to Naruto's mother, Kushina. "And do you, Kushina Uzumaki, do you take this man to be your husband, to live together in holy matrimony, to love him, to honor him, to comfort him, and to keep him in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, for as long as you both shall live?"

"I do." There were tears coating her violet-blue eyes.

After a few more words and vows, the Pastor finally nodded and said, "You may now kiss the bride."

Hoots and hollers ascended around the church as the two locked in a passionate and love filled kiss. By this time, Naruto wasn't afraid to admit he was crying. Sure, Kyuubi wasn't his favorite person in the world. And his mother had abandoned him, but Naruto had moved passed all of that for their benefit. The two were happy together, and Naruto was happy to see them together.

His hand found Sasuke's somehow. A roaring crowd surrounded the two, and Naruto looked up at him with expectant, blue eyes. "Do you think we'll be like that one day?"

"What? Old and psychotic?" Sasuke chuckled at his own joke.

Naruto pouted and punched Sasuke on the shoulder. "No… I mean like. Together… and stuff."

"We're together now."

"I know that! But like… what if we broke up or something? Do you think we'd ever get back together?" blue eyes desperately wanted to clash with those lovely pools of onyx they loved to drown in, but they were too scared of the answer that could be lurking at the murky depths.

Sasuke blew a puff out a puff of air, pulled Naruto onto his lip, and stared him square in the eyes. "That's never going to happen, so you shouldn't even worry about that. We can have arguments. We can have nights where we can't stand each other. But I would never leave you." He kissed Naruto. "I love you."

A huge blush conquered Naruto's face and he buried it in the crook of Sasuke's neck, "I'll never get tired of hearing you say that."

"I spoil you too much," Sasuke chuckled and ran his fingers through golden locks.

"Hey…" Naruto pulled back and flashed Sasuke a seductive smile… "I'm feeling sort of horny…"

Shaking his head, onyx eyes danced in amusement as he, not too secretly, brushed his hand over Naruto's crotch. The blond bit his lip to hold back his moan. "Couldn't you wait until after the reception?"

"I can't help it!" Naruto whined. "When you say things like that… it makes me want you really, really badly."

Naruto's seductive face was doing a pretty good job at getting Sasuke to bend to Naruto's whims. Grasping Naruto's hands tightly in his, the two boys dashed through chairs and chattering people, desperate to find a little closet or a bathroom to hide away in. Just around the corner was a small supply closet that was left a little ajar. The boys dashed inside and locked the door behind them.

The minute the door slammed shut their lips met. It was a hot and passionate and needy kiss that left them breathless and downright horny for more. Sasuke lifted Naruto by the calves and wrapped them around his hips. Their evident hard-ons shamelessly brushed against each other, causing strangled moans to escape both boys.

Naruto bucked his hips against Sasuke, throwing his head back in pure bliss as the friction caused sparks to ignite across his body. Sasuke met him thrust for thrust, biting down hard on his jugular.

"Ahh… aahhh… F-Faster," Naruto croaked. Their thrusting increased. Moans were floating and climbing up higher and higher into the air like smoke. Random brooms and other mops clattered to the floor from such a reckless commotion but the boys didn't care. They were too consumed about each other to notice.

"Close," Sasuke grunted. Snapping his hips in wild abandon. All too soon their orgasms crashed over them. They had called out the other's names in a strangled, hoarse whisper afraid that some unlucky passerby would be forever scarred by their foreplay. Naruto's body shook and shivered from the pleasurable aftershocks of his orgasm as Sasuke continued to grind against him until they both slid to the floor.

Exhaustion came over them pretty quickly, and neither was too willing to get up yet.

"Do… Do you think anyone will notice?" Naruto asked, out of breath.

Sasuke shrugged lazily and wrapped his arms around Naruto's waist. "Not unless they have really good hearing."

"Not just that… I mean… won't it show?" a slight blush took over the blond's face as he pointed with his eyes toward their crotches.

Sasuke looked down, narrowed his eyes, and then looked back with a tiny spark hidden in those orbs. "We're wearing black. So we'll be fine."

"You sure?"

"Positive," he leaned in for a kiss when the door opened slowly. Light flooded the tiny closet, exposing their secret and hidden deed.

"Uhhh…" Naruto's face was a vibrant red staring up at the confused and slightly offended janitor.

"I told them this would happen again!" the janitor cursed and stamped his foot on the ground. "They say that the kid's won't go in here for sex and look what they do! They fuck in my closet! Freaking sons of bitches…" he muttered under his breath as he turned on his heel and stormed down the hallway.

Naruto and Sasuke stared at each other, dumbfounded, before cracking into smiles and bursting into fits of laughter.

"Crazy kids these days. Going into closets to fuck! What is wrong with this world?" Naruto screamed exaggeratedly.

"Who knows," Sasuke sighed dramatically. "That man obviously couldn't have been talking about us."

"Oh never." Naruto's giggles slowly dissipated, but the light mood surrounding them didn't disappear. "Come on," he helped Sasuke out and peeked outside before fully stepping out of the closet, "I'm hungry and I heard the cake here is banging. Let's get some before Kiba stuffs it all away in that black hole he calls a stomach."

+I Promise: Slow Dances in Red+

Naruto and Sasuke, Kakashi and Iruka, Gaara and Neji, and Kiba and Suigetsu were all seated at a table located in the middle of the white sea of table clothes and sparkling candles. There were around thirty tables on each side—yeah, Kyuubi and Kushina combined knew a lot of people—and somehow they had managed to snag the best seats in the house.

"A toast!" Suigetsu raised his glass high in the air, "to the chef for making this kick ass food!"

"Cheers!" the table roared and downed their drinks with fever. Naruto had forever banned alcohol after his last experience but decided a little wine wouldn't kill him, especially since Iruka had dumped over half the contents out just in case Naruto's tolerance was low. You know how strict parenting goes and all that jazz. When his glass hit the table, a blaze of fiery red appeared before him. And draped on his arm held together by a form-fitting white dress… was his mother.

"Ay there, Kit!" Kyuubi grinned from ear to ear. He looked a lot more… human with Kushina by his side.

"Hey, Kyuubi…" Naruto locked eyes with his mother and nodded, "Mom."

"Naruto!" Kushina ran for her son and held him by the neck, nearly crushing the dear boy. "Oh my have you grown! I remember when you were such a freaking pipsqueak, always obnoxious and climbing onto everything! Now you're a skyscraper, baby!" she beamed and poked her son in the side, "You even lost your baby fat! Gosh, you were the cutest, chubbiest baby ever!"

"Mom!" Naruto whined and hid his embarrassed face from his boyfriend, friends, and extended family. They were all wearing thin, laughter hiding, grins right now and Naruto knew any second one of them was going to explode.

As expected, Kiba was the first.

"Awww, Naruto was such a chubby, wubby little baby!" Kiba cooed and went to pinch Naruto's cheeks, only to have Naruto threaten to bite him. "Ouch… baby's got bite."

"I will kill you," the blond roared.

Kushina gave her son a look and smacked him on the back of his head. "That is no way to talk to your very handsome friend." She turned to Kiba with a smile, "I'm sorry young man. My son's an idiot."

Kiba smirked and shared a glance with Gaara. Gaara smirked as well. "Tell me about it," he said.

"Mom, not that I don't enjoy your company with me or anything but… why are you here? I'm pretty sure you have a million other tables to visit."

"I came here to ask you to dance with me, obviously." Kushina stated matter-of-factly.

Naruto's eyebrows shot to his hairline. "Come again?" but his mother was already dragging him onto the dance floor. She thrust them into a throng of slow dance couples and cute children who were doing their own little thing. She smiled softly and wrapped her arms around Naruto's neck. "You know how to do this, right? Just place your hands on my—"

"Yes, Mom," Naruto groaned as if she just told him to go take out the trash when he really didn't want to be bothered. He placed his hands on her hips and started to sway back and forth. Awkwardness started to itch at his skin as he attempted to make eye contact with his mother… It wasn't that he hated her or anything just felt really indifferent towards her. Yes, he still loved her. But she did what she did for her own reasons. It's not like before Kyuubi snapped she hadn't given him the best—she had. It was just her attitude towards life was a little flippant. Naruto had to admit, his mother looked absolutely beautiful tonight. Her hair was tied up in a bun with loose curls tumbling to frame her face perfectly.

"You've gotten so handsome," Kushina whispered, gently cupping her son's face in her hands.

"You're as beautiful as I remember, Mom." Naruto smiled softly.

"I'm sorry I was never a better mother to you…" her voice was strained, as if she were desperately trying to hold herself together.

Naruto shook his head and smiled even wider. "You were a great mom. Sure, I would have liked you to stay a little longer but…" he shrugged, "you did what you had to do."

She was quiet for a while. The song taking a more upbringing and angelic tone to it's melody. The bass pulsed and the lovely piano keys became lighter and more… freeing. Finally, she said, "Am I even worthy of your forgiveness?"

"Mom… please… I've already forgiven you a long time ago. This is your day. Don't worry about me and have a blast." He spun her around to make her face Kyuubi who had one hand in his pocket and another hand beckoning her towards him. "Be happy with your choices, Mom. It's your life, after all."

Her eyes said more words than were possible to speak aloud.

Before leaving him, Kushina pulled Naruto into a bone-crushing hug and whispered, "Love you, baby boy."

Naruto stood a little stiffly. It was awkward feeling such maternal affections after a long time without them, but finally he hugged her back. "Love you too, Mom." He watched with sad eyes as Kushina reconnected with Kyuubi on the dance floor, the two glowing like angels had just appeared before them to show that their union was fully recognized.

'I still can't believe how weird things turned out this way?' Suddenly, he felt very alone in the sea of dancing couples and was about to head back to his table when a red rose popped into his vision.

"Leaving the dance floor already? I thought we could share a slow one…" Sasuke appeared with a bright red rose in his hand and a small smile on his lips.

Naruto shook his head and stepped closer so that their bodies were touching. He wrapped his arms around Sasuke's neck and kissed him on the lips. "Well if you're offering me a rose in exchange for a dance…" he gently plucked the rose from Sasuke's fingers and brought it to his nose, "who am I to decline?"

"Oh, that rose wasn't for asking you to the dance." Sasuke said as he wrapped his arms around Naruto's waist and started swaying back and forth to the rhythm of the piano keys. "It just helped to add to the effect."

"You sneaky little bastard," Naruto snickered and rested his head on Sasuke's shoulder. Being so near and close made everything that happened this past year so real. Sasuke was all he wanted and more. He was always the sanity to his insanity, dealing with his childish moments and tainted past. Not once had Sasuke judged him or left him for what happened. He was always there, right beside him. His heart thudded loudly against his chest as the lights around them dimmed into a darker hue.

"Then… if this rose wasn't to ask me for a dance, what did you need it for?" Naruto whispered.

Sasuke tipped Naruto's chin with his finger and kissed him softly. "Just a promise."

"Really?" Naruto's eyelashes fluttered and he found himself entranced by Sasuke's lips, "What's the promise."

"A simple one, really. This rose is to remind you that… no matter what I'll be yours." He kissed Naruto again and this time their lips lingered as if they were too afraid to break apart. "Yours forever," he added in a hushed tone.

"But what if the rose dies?" Naruto didn't want to sound silly or anything. He fully believed Sasuke would stay with him even if the rose were nothing more but a withered stem. But he did want to know.

Sasuke smirked, and for a minute Naruto thought Sasuke was going to crush his heart under the steel boot of reality. Instead, he said something that totally blew Naruto away.

"You won't have to worry about that. The rose is a fake. And even if it weren't, I'd still be by your side. I love you, Naruto."

The raven truly had a way with words. Every sentence, every syllable, was just another gunshot to Naruto's already erratic heart. He hugged Sasuke for all he was worth, possible crushing the fake flower to its death.

"Sasuke, you are the best! Have I ever told you that?"

The raven smirked, "The sentence rings a few bells…"

"Well don't you ever forget it because it's true!" Naruto sighed and bumped their foreheads together gently. "I love you too, Teme."

+I Promise: Finally+

When Naruto finally returned home, Naruto made a mad dash for his bedroom and ran to his phase that held twelve, beautiful roses glowing in the moonlight. Naruto stuck the final rose inside and stood back to stare at the red forest bursting from the vase. He couldn't believe it…

"Thirteen roses, thirteen promises," and not one were ever uncompleted and left alone to rot. Time and time again Sasuke proved his love for Naruto. Proved that he was worth the risk of falling. His fingers gently brushed the last rose's synthetic petals and smiled when a pair when a pair of arms wrapped their arms around his waist, tugging him towards the bed.

Naruto Uzumaki, a boy who was once blinded by puppy love, now had someone to call his partner, a boyfriend, and a lover. And to think this story of love all started with one simple promise tied to a dangling rose.

The End: These Promises Will Never Wither


So guys... this is the end! T^T But I promise you I'll come back soon! I'm itching to start working on a new fanfic but I don't know WHICH one to start. So I was wondering if you guys would help me? They're all going to be SasuNaru but if the urge ever arises I'll probably crack out a Sladin fic or a JessexJaden fic... but really, all the stories that you,if you could, check out will be Sasunaru.

Here are the titles: City of Towers, Borrowed Not Stolen, Resurfaced, Illusions & Roses. I'll have the link to my memories page where everything should be found by their title c: First chapter of each fanfic has been posted! And I'll make the poll as quickly as possible so you can vote! Thank you so much! GUYS I'LL MISS YOU! BUT UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN! MWAH MWAH. HUG. HUG. YOU'RE ALL AMAZING! AMAZZZZING!

Till Next Time! ~Fallen