This is a story I've had in the works for awhile. I believe it turned out better than expected.
AN: Naruto and Sakura are 17.
Her First Accident
Sakura looked at her hands, her shaking, bloody hands. The movement spread until her whole body was shaking uncontrollably. One thought was running through her head. She couldn't do it. She couldn't do it… She slowly backed up until her back hit the wall and she slid down until she hit the floor. Blood. Blood was everywhere. On her hands, in her hair, on her coat, on her skirt, everywhere.
She'd never not saved anyone before. This was her first… accident. The guilt was ripping her apart. She couldn't pull her eyes away from her hands. They were sickening, revolting, useless! How could she, Sakura Haruno, fail to save a life? A child's life for God's sake! That little girl's parents were never gonna see her smile, hear her laugh, or celebrate another one of her birthdays…
She was disgusted with her self.
Sakura felt a slight pressure on her shoulder but she couldn't look at anybody right now… not after her failure.
"Sakura," A female voice softly cooed. Sakura recognized this voice. She forced herself to look up and found her eyes staring into knowing hazel orbs.
"Sakura, listen to me." It was Tsunade's voice. "This isn't your fault. We knew it was next to impossible to save this girl's life…"
Anger coursed through her body as she stood up and glared at her master. "How dare you speak about this girl's life as if it didn't matter! We should've tried harder!" Tears began running down her cheeks. "She will never get to grow up!" Sakura's voice was at a low whisper now. "N-never become a ch-chunin! She wasn't even a ge-…" She had to stop talking when her sobs were rocking her whole body. Her arms wrapped around her midsection as she stood there, head bent, and cried her heart out.
Tsunade watched painfully. She still remembered her first death… At least Sakura's didn't have to be the boy she loved.
Sakura felt two arms wrap around her and looked up. Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw it was none other than her master.
"Shhh Sakura." Tsunade's right hand reached up to sooth Sakura's hair. Her voice was barely above a whisper. "You will never forget this day. Akira was a terrible loss. But she will never be forgotten." Tsunade pulled back and made eye contact with Sakura. "You are not alone in this situation. We all feel the loss. One medic can't save everyone. There will be more people that you will not be able to save. But let that be your motivation to become better."
Sakura nodded as her last tears ran down her cheek. She quickly turned and exited the operating room. Her grief got the best of her. When she neared the end of the hallway she reached out and obliterated the wall to her right while keeping pace.
The cool night air enveloped Sakura as she stepped outside of the hospital doors. She stood still for a minute, wondering where she could go. She didn't want go home and face being alone. But she couldn't face her friends either. She started slowly walking through the village, putting one foot in front of the other, taking random turns whenever she felt like it.
She was walking along the street Ichiraku's was located on. When she was a few feet away she heard a laugh she would recognize a mile away. She stopped in front of the restaurant and turned her head to look at it.
Naruto felt her presence as soon as she had turned the corner. He placed the money on the table. "See you tomorrow Ayame! Tell you're father I said he better start feeling better so he can make me more ramen!"
Sakura started walking away. She couldn't let him see her like this. Not right now.
Too late. She had walked two steps before he grabbed her wrist. "Hey Sakura-chan where are y…" His eyes widened when he took in her appearance. He grabbed both of her shoulders and turned her to face him.
She kept her head down. She couldn't bring herself to look at him.
Naruto stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. "Sakura, I am so sorry." His hold on her tightened as he whispered, "But it's not your fault."
Sakura's body stiffened and she looked up at him shocked. "H-how did you-"
"-know?" The left side of his mouth curved up. "I can read you like a book Sakura-chan. It's painfully obvious."
Tears started welling up in her eyes. Naruto couldn't stand to see her like this. He turned around and bent his knees. "Get on my back."
Sakura stood there, appalled. "Wha-"
"Get on my back now, before I make you." There was hint of seriousness in his tone that made her obey him.
She took a couple steps forward, placed her hands on his shoulders and took a little leap. As soon as her stomach was pressed against his back, she wrapped her legs around his torso and her arms around his neck.
A small sigh escaped her lips. "Why are you doing this?"
"Well for one, I'm not stupid. I know you would've spent all night wandering this village until you passed out. Two, you're my best friend and I can't just leave you alone. And three, this gives me an excuse to kidnap you and keep you in my house."
He grabbed both of her feet before they had a chance to kick him in his nether regions. A small smile appeared on his face. He was slowly reaching her.
Sakura closed her eyes and laid her head down on Naruto's back. Endless tears slid down her cheeks on the silent walk home.
Naruto's door was unlocked when they reached his apartment. He didn't hesitate to carry her inside and straight to the bathroom where he gently set her down on the floor.
"You can take a bath in here. I'll go get you some clothes to change into afterward." As he turned to leave, Sakura grabbed onto his arm with both hands.
"Don't leave me."
He turned back to her, surprised. "Sakura-"
"I can't be alone. I-I'll wear my undergarments." Her plead was desperate.
"Okay Sakura-chan. Just don't hit me tomorrow." He saw her eyes light up for a split second before they become deep endless pits of nothingness again.
Sakura slowly started peeling off her coat. She threw it on the floor and began taking off her shirt and bandages. Once those had joined her coat she slid off her black shorts. Sakura shivered and wrapped her arms around herself. She couldn't remember ever being this exposed to Naruto and suddenly she felt self-conscious.
Naruto grabbed Sakura's hand and pulled her over to the bathtub. She hadn't noticed but, while she was undressing, Naruto must've turned on the water. Sakura put her first foot in, and then her second and slowly sat down. It was extremely hot. She could see the steam rolling off the top of the water. Some of the blood that had gotten on her skin began to come off. She almost jumped when she felt something weird on her left arm. She looked over to see Naruto gently rubbing a washcloth over her arm. He gave her a small smile. "It's just me Sakura-chan."
Sakura's lip curved up on one side. When she looked back down at the water, however, her grin faded. The water had turned a light shade of pink. Tears began welling up in her eyes as she squeezed them shut. "So, Ichiraku came out with this new ramen yesterday. Of course, knowing me I just had to try it! I went this morning. Sakura-chan, it was amazing! I've never tasted anything so wonderful in my life."
Sakura forced out a small laugh. He was distracting her. What would I do without him?
A sincere smile appeared across Naruto's face. "I figured I would take you to try it tomorrow. You'll love it, I promise. It is heaven in a bowl. Then we could go walking around town. Maybe pop into all of those little shops that you like. I'll even go as low as to give you advice on clothes…"
Sakura made sure to little to his ramblings as he gently washed the blood of her skin and hair. It was the one thing keeping her sane. It kept her mind off of her current mental state.
She turned her head to look up at him. She couldn't tell whether he noticed her looking at him; he looked concentrated. A small smile began to make its way to her face.
Maybe it was a good thing he had found her. He was right; she would've wandered the streets until she passed out.
When had he learned to read her like an open book? Of course she knew exactly what was happening with him. But that was the girl's job. Right…? Maybe not. She was dealing with Naruto after all.
They've been close friends for years now. Their friendship had only strengthened after he had gotten back from his training. He had finally grown out of his immature and annoying twelve-year-old self. He did crack jokes and make idiotic comments every now and then; but that's just what makes him Naruto.
When had he become so… beautiful? Now that she really looked at him, she could see no faults in his face, aside from his adorable whiskers. Adorable…? Sakura felt her face heat up at her thought.
"Sakura-chan, are you okay?"
Sakura's eyes widened as she realized he was giving her a puzzling look. "What?"
"Your face got all read there for a minute. You're not still thinking about the girl are you?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Well thank genius. I am now."
And then she paused. "How did you know it was a girl?" Sakura began to feel the pain seep through her again.
"You kept whispering Akira while I was carrying you home. And Akira isn't a boy's name." Naruto shrugged.
Sakura smiled sincerely. "Thank you Naruto."
Naruto smiled back for a moment before it disappeared. "Wait, for figuring out it was a girl?"
She shook her head while chuckling silently. "No, silly. For this." She gestured at him giving her a bath. "If you hadn't found me.."
He interrupted her. "But I did. Let's not think about the 'what ifs' okay?" After he unclogged the drain to allow the tub to empty, he held out a hand for her to take, which she did. Once she was standing he held out a towel for her to dry herself off with.
"I'll be right back with some clean clothes, including the underwear you left here last time." He was out the door before she could question him.
Surely I really didn't leave my panties here.
Naruto was proved right when he walked through with a shirt, shorts and her panties sitting on top of the pile. Sakura hoped she wasn't blushing.
"I'll go cook something warm for us to eat."
"But you just ate!"
Sakura shook her head. "You're a bottomless pit."
Naruto bloated his stomach and patted it. "And prooouuuud of it."
"Yea yea. Let me change." Sakura made a 'shoo shoo' motion.
Now it was Naruto's turn to blush. "Aye aye captain!" And in a split second he was shutting the door to the bathroom.
Sakura changed into an orange shirt, with the Uzumaki clan symbol in black, and a pair of black sweatpants. When she was done, she walked out and into his kitchen, living room area.
Sakura recognized this smell from a mile away. "Ramen. You can't help yourself can you."
"But Sakura-chan, I haven't gone grocery shopping!" Naruto whined.
"I'm sure." She said as she sat down on the couch. Naruto walked in with two bowls of steaming hot ramen.
"Ramen always makes people feel better."
"We'll see." She said as she took her bowl. Naruto plopped down right next to her.
Sakura picked up her chopstick, gathered a bunch of noodles and placed them in her mouth. As they slid down her throat, Sakura's whole body seemed to warm up.
"I was right wasn't I?" She looked over to see Naruto smirking.
"You'll never hear it from me."
"That's alright. Your body did the talking."
Sakura's eyes widened. "What did you say?"
"Your whole body relaxed."
"Oh." To end the conversation, Sakura began to eat the rest of her ramen. When she looked over, Naruto was already finished and lounging back on the couch.
"It's a special talent I have."
"If that's what you want to call it." Sakura smiled at him.
"So tell me about Akira."
Sakura's demeanor darkened. "Naruto.."
"No, Sakura. Don't 'Naruto' me. Whether you like it or not, this will help you."
Sakura turned her head to look at the ground as she began recalling all of the details about this girl's life.
"Well.. She was attending the academy. She had red hair and blue eyes. She was beautiful, actually. Probably had all of those little boys crushing on her. Apparently she was really smart, one of the top in her class. Her dad had taken her outside of the village to a training ground."
She paused. Naruto had moved closer and put an arm around her shoulders. The gesture was comforting.
"Well, I guess the shinobi who had caught those rogue ninja a month ago missed one of the traps they had set and well.. you can guess the rest."
"And why couldn't you save her?"
A tear slid down Sakura's cheek. "The trap triggered poisoned kunai to shoot at the person who activated it. The poison had spread too fast by the time she got to us and one of the kunai had punctured her lung.."
"Was there anything at all that you, Sakura Haruno, could've done to save her?"
Sakura thought about this question long and hard. She went over every detail of the surgery in her head several times. "No."
And just like that, a huge weight lifted off of her shoulders. She could still feel the sadness over the loss but the guilt and regret had dimmed a lot.
In just slightly over an hour, Naruto had taken the worst night of her life and reshaped it. In fact, that happened whenever one of her days hadn't gone as planned. Somehow, he always knew where to find her, know what to say and what to do to completely change her day. His care and love has never faltered. He has protected her in sticky situations, turned her tears into a smile, and made her laugh when all seemed lost. He really did love her. And there was no in hell she was going to let anybody else have him.
Sakura turned her head and looked up at Naruto. "I love you."
Naruto did a double take. "What?"
"I love you."
Naruto reached a hand over and placed it over her forehead. "Sakura, maybe you need some rest. I guess ramen really isn't good for you."
Sakura's anger flared for a second. "Naruto Uzumaki if you talk to me like that one more time I will punch you through your wall and all the way to the village gates. If you don't believe me fine, but do not question me to my face!" She turned to leave but she didn't make it two steps before his hand had grabbed her wrist to turn her around.
But instead of stopping to face him, he had pulled her into him while placing his lips on hers. Sakura didn't know how to respond. This feeling was alien. She had never kissed anyone before. But she figured she'd better start moving her lips with his before he got the wrong message.
When he felt her lips responding to his, Naruto placed Sakura's hands on his shoulders before placing his on her waist.
Sakura had taken the initiative and wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him closer. The kisses had started out short and sweet before hormones got the best of both of them and the kisses became more passionate.
She couldn't remember anything feeling this good. And she was perfectly content she was sharing her first kiss with Naruto. In fact, the thought made her giddy. This was what she had been missing. This was what she needed to make her whole. She could feel the whole in her heart that had been there since the accident, beginning to fill. How could one man be everything she needed and more? Then again, this was Naruto Uzumaki, the achiever of the impossible.
Much sooner than she wished, Naruto pulled away and to look at Sakura. The look his eyes were giving her was loving, intimate, and passionate.
"I love you too." Those four words were enough to make Sakura glow with happiness. Sure, he had said those three words before. But never has she been able to feel the full effect of their meaning.
Sakura placed one kiss on his cheek before pulling back to look at him again.
"So, ramen tomorrow?" Sakura smirked.
Naruto's eyes widened before he smiled the Naruto smile. "And every day after that."
Before Naruto could pull her into a hug, Sakura playfully punched his chest and giggled.
Thank you for reading my story. I really hope you enjoyed.
Please tell me what you think in a review. I would love to hear your opinions!