I don't write many one-shots, but here's one that's been begging to get typed out for awhile. Please read and review, and perhaps I'll post more one-shots soon! :)
Thanks! - LovelyWrath

Return to Me

The war had been strenuous on his mind, soul, and body, but with their opponents defeated, the world was once again saved, for the time-being. The cycle, however, of good vs evil, and more and more tainted hearts and self-centered, greedy intentions pushing forward and forcing him to sacrifice more and more of himself had taken such a toll on Naruto.

Throughout his life he'd insisted that his ninja way was to walk down this righteous path, and never to look back with regret, and never to go back on his words. It was, by far, the most difficult path he could have chosen. As a child, he never would have guessed that the path that was most true to his heart would be the path most painful and damaging to it. But he was older and wiser now, and as the dust settled on the battlefield, one thing became most apparent to him.

Despite his dreams, his efforts, his love of this world and these people, he might never truly achieve his goal, peace may never be truly attained, and his heart may never be at ease. It was a devastating revalation, seeing that this cycle was a never-ending one, and that somewhere, someone was always going to be unhappy, and more than willing to risk themselves and the lives of so many innocents to prove a point or have their way. Knowing that this would be his lifelong battle, possibly until he had nothing left to give, Naruto had collapsed on the battlefield after he defeated his enemies. He couldn't dwell on the past, he couldn't concentrate on the fact that this cycle would never end. To do so could permanently damage his soul.

He was barely conscious when he felt her presence, and her hands upon him. Her warmth flowed into him as her chakra was transferred in and began doing it's work. The ninetails didn't like invasions, but was either too exhausted to fight the healing, or perhaps, like Naruto, he had accepted her as a permanent fixture in their lives. Either way, with Sakura there, holding him, saying his name softly, Naruto felt at ease to drift into the darkness.

Battered to the brink of destruction by the enemy, the recovery for many such shinobi would be a long, tough road. Under the immediate and capable attendance of Haruno Sakura, however, Naruto found himself feeling almost favorable. He'd been transported home, to Konoha, and given his own private hospital room on the top floor. He could hear them all, speaking in hushed tones around him as they came and went. The most frequent of visitors, however, was Sakura, though she was more often than not accompanied by Sai, who had, against all odds, learned how to be excellent emotional support.

Kurama had spoken to Naruto a few times, but failing to entice him away from his deep, meditation, the kyuubi decided to allow him to rest and emerge when he was ready.

Sakura had done her best, and healed Naruto's body quickly. Several times daily, she would check in on him, give him a checkup, boost the healing chakra, and finally, she'd try, in vain, to smooth down his spiky blonde hair- that was his favorite part. Feeling her fingers running through his hair was as close to heaven as he imagined he would ever get. It was only her touch that brought him close to returning, Perhaps the only thing that stopped him was knowing that waking up would end that affectionate contact.

The days during his sleep had taken their toll on Sakura, though. She'd done her best, given her all, and as far as she could tell he was healthy. He didn't seem to be in a coma, but in a state of deep sleep. She'd gotten bold and tried to examine him deeper, but the kyuubi had deflected her, pushed her away. She could even tell that the kyuubi was resting, too, which was good- it was apparent that the beast was not holding Naruto prisoner in his own body. It made the situation less understandable- why wasn't Naruto waking up? Sakura was wracking her brain over it, losing sleep. Even the Hokage had said there was nothing that could be done for him at this point. It was up to Naruto. Did that mean he was purposefully not waking up? That didn't make sense to Sakura, but slowly she began to believe it.

On this particular evening, Sakura ventured to Konoha's hospital alone. It was well past visitor's hours, but being a medic meant such rules didn't necessarily apply to her, and as such, she found herself at Naruto's room. She slid in, and closed the door behind her, turning the lock- she didn't want anyone to wander in and overhear her. She just wanted to be alone with Naruto.

He was immediately aware of her, and judging by the lack of movement in the immediate area, it was indeed well after midnight. She didn't turn on a light, but she sat on the edge of his bed, taking his left hand into both of her own. She held it there, for a long moment, and he wondered if something had happened.

"I had a nightmare, Naruto." She started, and he listened, curiously, unmoving. She took a deep shaky breath, and exhaled a whimper. "I dreamed you didn't wake up, that you didn't make it, and that I failed you as a medic."

That didn't make sense- she was an excellent medic.

"No, that's not it. I didn't fail you as a medic." She shook her head, "I failed you. I just... failed you entirely. As a person." She sighed, pausing to run her fingers over the palm of his hand- the action seemed to send electric bolts up his arm, rousing him further from his deep meditation, making him even more aware of her proximity.

"For all my skill and strength in the field, I sure am completely useless at life outside of that." She laughed lightly, "No, it's really not funny. But if I don't laugh, I'll cry, and I've been doing so much of that lately."

She'd been crying? It was a fact, indeed the warm, damp droplets on his arm and hand suddenly were proof of it. Her breath hitched and she fought to control her emotions before continuing, "You know, I thought I hated you when we were growing up." She laughed again. "Looking back, my most vivid memories of those times are always the ones with you in them. I know there were some trying moments, but I can only seem to remember you smiling..." Her voice trailed off. Suddenly Naruto remembered something Sai said awhile before the war, about how he always smiled for Sakura, and how that was a telltale sign of love.

She shivered next to him. The room was a bit chilly, and she was underdressed, wearing just shorts and a tank top- pretty much her night clothes. She'd slipped across Konoha and into the hospital like a bandit directly after her nightmare. She had to be near him, there wasn't time to change. She wouldn't be okay until she saw him, alive and well... well aside from the neverending sleep, that is.

"I looked away from you, Naruto. I didn't want to see- I don't know why I've been this way. But I can see it now, albeit a bit too late. Human beings are flawed. We don't understand ourselves, we don't recognize our mistakes until they are far behind us and the chain of events has been set too far in motion. I'm no exception to that rule, but for what it's worth, I have been very wrong for a long time. I never hated you. I was just young and stupid. And somewhere along the way, the way I felt grew into something that I still didn't know or understand." She paused.

"Naruto, I love you." She'd said it before, but he could tell this was different. She shook her head and shivered again, "It doesn't matter what happens from here, I do love you, and that's how it stands. I just wish I'd been better to you in the past. I wish I'd been smarter about this. I wasted a lot of time and I've hurt you, I know. I hurt myself, too. This hurts. I wish I could fix whatever is wrong and wake you up. I miss your voice and your laughter. I miss your jokes, your silly antics, your anger and your smart-ass retorts. I miss getting ramen with you." She couldn't believe she missed ramen... but she'd been unable to consider to eat it ever since he'd been gone. "I miss your smile, Naruto. It's like the sun doesn't even shine anymore." She was choking up again, but she couldn't help herself, the tears began to roll down her cheeks, "I.. wish you would wake up, Naruto. I'd do or give anything for it, anything."

She had his attention before she slipped under the covers and nestled against his side. But now, well... between the emotional confession and her proximity to him, it was all he could do not to wake up and wrap his arms around her- among other things. "I think I figured it out. I haven't been sleeping well, but regardless, I haven't wanted to wake up. For me, it's been because you wouldn't be around to smile at me, keep me company, or annoy me or make me laugh... but then it occurred to me that you might have reasons for not wanting to wake up. I wish I knew what they were, but since I don't, here's a proposition for you."

She squirmed beside him, leaning up to whisper in his ear. He could feel her breath against his neck and ear, and feel his heartbeat increase. She must have felt it, too, because her hand slid across his chest to rest just over his heart, where her fingers drew tiny circles. "If you come back, whatever ails you, I will help you heal in any way that I can. This goes beyond the vow of a medic..."

It was hard to breathe. From somewhere in the darkness, Kurama was eyeballing Naruto with a quirked brow, and a grin that was widening.

"I do believe she's offering herself to you... That's actually really enticing," Kurama said.

"Shut up." It was the first thing Naruto had said to the ninetails in quite some time.

"Tsk. I don't know how you stay hiding in here with an offer like that on the table... if it were me, I'd be up there showing her wh..."

"Shut up!" Naruto insisted again, hoarsely. He was still having trouble breathing, thinking. Sakura was an absolute assault on his senses, even from where he was hiding.

Sakura sighed and slumped against Naruto. Shaking her head, she continued, "I'll stay here awhile... you're just so warm.." Moments later, she stretched and yawned. Her arm outstretched, she ran her fingers through his hair, and twirled several strands around her fingers continually until she fell asleep.

Naruto sat in the darkness silently while Kurama stared hard at him. Finally, the fox spoke up, "What is wrong with you? Haven't you always wanted that?"

Naruto shot Kurama a glare, "Of course I've always wanted Sakura, but what do you want me to do? Pop on out there and roll over on top of her? Get serious! She's emotional, desperate and confused. She doesn't mean..."

Sakura shifted in her sleep, slinging a leg over Naruto and snuggling against him. He could feel her curve pressed firmly against him, and he nearly choked mid-sentence.

Kurama laughed at Naruto, "What are you actually going to do, then? Lay there like a limp.."

"No! No.. shut up. I need to get out, but I can't just leave her like this, she's exhausted. What if someone finds her here, like this?"

Kurama just looked at Naruto, who huffed. Sakura began to snore softly, and figuring that was his cue, Naruto willed himself back to the outer world, and awoke.

It took him a few minutes to get all of his muscles to respond, as he'd been immobile for several, several days. He carefuly extracted himself from Sakura, and stretched carefully before turning to regard the conked girl silently.

She was beautiful- her mid-length pink hair was wild and unkempt, her pale skin seemed to glow in the dimly lit room. She wasn't wearing much, and that fact wasn't lost on Naruto, who did take a long moment to admire the length of her bare legs, and the area where her tank top had ridden up to expose part of her hip and side, the thinnest area of her waistline.

Even Kurama had to admit from his vantage that she was a damned delectible sight- but he wouldn't say that aloud. He enjoyed his window to the world, and if Naruto thought for a second that his good friend was also admiring Sakura in that way, that window would be boarded up for good, surely.

Naruto glanced around, trying to get a sense of who might be around. Knowing he couldn't stay here with Sakura, yet he couldn't leave Sakura at the hospital in her pajamas, he made up his mind to take her home.

It was easy enough for the jinjuriki to sneak across Konoha with a woman on his shoulder. It wasn't much of a task getting into her apartment and to her room, either. What was most difficult was looking at the pink-haired beauty sprawled upon her bed, and considering walking away from that, when every fiber of his being wanted him to simply crawl in that bed with her.

Instead, Naruto pulled her duvet up over her and reached over to tuck her in. He stood to look at her one more time before turning to leave.

Before he got a step away, however, her hand shot out and grabbed his wrist. He froze on the spot, unable to move, unable to turn to look at her, and there was a long silence.

She tugged at his arm a few times, and finally he turned to look upon her, as she sat up in the bed. She stared up at him with those green eyes and pursed her lips.

"I'm... so happy to see you." Her eyes seemed to tear up, but she smiled, and rose to her knees, shuffling to the edge of the bed near him.

She wasn't entirely sure she hadn't dreamed going to the hospital to see him tonight, or if she was dreaming now. But whether she was or wasn't dreaming, she wasn't about to lose her chance. She rose, sliding her arms around his neck to embrace him. He hugged her back, but as he began to shift uncomfortably, she refused to let him go.

"Sakura... you've been through a lot, I think you need some rest." He tried to extract himself from her once again and she pulled back to stare at him.

"I meant it." She said simply. "I meant every world." She seemed to search his eyes, which widened considerably as he blushed intensely. He would have denied having heard her, but he could pretty much imagine what his own face must look like. He would never be a skilled poker player...

"I know you meant it," he said, finally, "... you were the only one I could hear or feel the entire time I was out. You're what kept me anchored to reality, I suppose. I should thank you."

Sakura settled back upon the bed, sitting on her knees. "Then stay here." She patted the bed.

Naruto looked away, feeling his body react to her. Sakura could sense him, her training not failing to alert her to his growing desire to do just as she asked and more.

She blushed softly, but watched him as he concentrated on some other part of the room. Fingering the buttons of her tank top, one by one she slowly unbuttoned the garment until it fell open, exposing her full, round breasts. He found it impossible not to look, and felt his little bit of remaining self control slowly slipping from his grasp as he took in the sight before him. She slid the top from her shoulders and watched him with pleading eyes, her lips parted, her fully exposed breasts and pale nipples, and her slender waist and flat tummy. Her arms extended to him, inviting him to embrace her.

"You truly meant what you said?" He wanted confirmation.


"You love me. Like this?"

"I do."



He found himself in her bed in an instant, wrapped in her arms, his lips upon hers. She tasted sweeter than he'd ever imagined, His hands found her back, her sides, her breasts- her skin was soft, warm, welcoming to the touch. The kiss lasted, their tongues entangled awkwardly at first, but soon they were in unison, and he thought himself in heaven.

She gasped and moaned as he grasped her breast, his intense fervor assaulting her mind and body. He didn't want to break the kiss, but soon he found her hands tugging upon his clothing, and he wanted her to touch him directly. He pulled away long enough to slide his shirt over his head, and returned to kissing her, without wasting a moment.

He was hard, and it nearly hurt, but when her hand slid down his chest to press against his concealed manhood, he nearly lost it. He groaned throatily and opened his eyes to look at her, wanting again to confirm that she wanted him still.

She tugged the waist of his pants and finally released his erection. She stared directly at him, licked her lips, and lowered her mouth upon him, marvelling at how large he was. Her lips met the head of his erection and he nearly bucked against her. She slid him into her mouth, and began bobbing her head up and down, until Naruto tried to stop her as he met the edge of extacy. She only smiled, reaching down to expertly manipulate his jewels.

"Sakura... I'm going to.." He pleaded, but she didn't stop, taking him entirely into her mouth and causing his release. He shook and thrust his hips, and she rode him with her mouth until the quaking stopped. She drank all he offered her, then licked her lips as she moved to lay on her back.

He sat there, propped on one arm, his cock still hard, throbbing. He watched her move as he caught his breath, focusing. She seemed too relaxed for his tastes. Moreover, he'd inherited some things from Kurama that made it damned impossible to stop there; he could smell her, and she was aroused and ready.

He startled her when he lifted her and quickly removed her shorts. Sakura nearly squealed as he parted her thighs and positioned himself between her legs, examining her. She blushed furiously as he looked her over, his gaze coming to rest upon her fully exposed, most sensitive area. He inhaled slowly, watching her as she squirmed beneath his gaze. He asked her nothing before his head dipped down between her thighs and he tasted her, causing to squeal, then moan, and writhe at his attentions. He held her in place with ease and continued his exploration of her nether region.

His tongue lapped at her sensitive nub several timed, dipped within her and invaded her insides before returning to continue the assault on her sensitive spot.

She was wet, and the sweet taste and smells of her arousal made him ready again. He flicked her nub and licked her up and down until she couldn't form real words anymore to plead with him. He slid a finger just inside of her and explored carefully as he continued his tongue's attention. She tipped over the edge, a flood of sweet juice bursting from within her.

He sat up and looked her over as she panted and struggled for breath, a thin sheen of sweat covering her beautiful, pale skin, and her breasts rising and falling with every breath.

He was ready for her, "Sakura... I want you."

She opened her eyes to stare at him as he watched her. He sat upon his knees, his hands resting upon his thighs. His toned chest and abs were perfection. His face was serious, his eyes questioning her; he was waiting for her final okay. He was beautiful, and gloriously at attention for her- she almost feared he wouldn't fit.

"I want you, Naruto. Please..."

There was not hesitation. His hands slid up her legs, sides, up to her breasts, where his hands were filled with her soft, sensitive flesh, and he squeezed her. His lips crushed down upon hers and their lips entagled- she could taste herself on his lips. His intense attention to her lips and body were nothing like what she felt when he slid slowly insid of her, filling her up, causing her to moan into the kiss.

He pushed slowly inside, and a moan escaped from deep within his throat as her inner walls wrapped tightly around his member. He began to rock back and forth within her, and she arched and groaned beneath him, moaning his name. As his thrusting sped up, her legs wrapped around him, and she locked her ankles behind him. His hands slid down to her hips and he grasped her bottom, bucking against her, maddening them both.

"Naruto, I can't take much more!"

Naruto growled and pushed himself all the way inside with one final thrust, pushing her to the brink. He felt her shudder and tighten around him as she reached climax, and he followed suit, his hot seed filling her belly.

He fell to the side, pulling her too him as they both panted, covered in sweat.

He looked to her, and she peered at him with wide eyes. He settled back on the pillows and sighed contently, closing his eyes. Sakura smiled, resting her head on his chest, satisfied there beside him. They remained there, content and exhausted, for the rest of the night.