I DO NOT OWN NARUTO!
Naruto stood all in black as the clouds gathered overhead and people from all over the world gathered to set Tsunade to rest. She had sacrificed herself to save the other Kages and now she was gone. Naruto had nearly died pushing through his and Bee's battle with Madara while Kakashi and Guy battled Obito. The world turned out to mourn for Tsunade and all who had lost their lives in the war. Naruto glanced beside him as Sakura and Ino walked up, both letting their tears fall silently. Sakura gave a small smile to Naruto as she moved closer to him. She took refuge in his strength to push her on and save him.
They had taken to staying near each other if only to feel they could carry on. No one noticed when Sakura reached over, taking his hand, un-fisting it and holding it tight him her own. She looked over at his watery blue eyes and something connected in her mind. There was a quick jolt of lightning that shot through her brain and body before it was silent again. She felt his hand tighten as he moved closer. They spent the ceremony hold each other's hands. They both knew how closer the other was with Tsunade and they needed to comfort them. It was to not only help the other but to get them through the pain.
"You want to come over?" Ino asked Sakura as the two young woman stood to then side. Sakura glanced at Naruto who was trying to hide his emotions as he spoke to Iruka and Kakashi.
"I think I'll just go home." Sakura told her friend. Ino nodded and made her way home with her parents and several others to talk and spend time together. Sakura walked towards Naruto with a small smile and heard Naruto as he looked back at the two teachers.
"I'll see you later." Naruto turned and started walking towards her as the two teachers smirked. "I thought you wanted to go to Ino's."
"I'd rather not be around all the depressed people right now." She shrugged. "You want to go for a walk?"
"I'm not any better than Ino and the others." Naruto shook his head.
Sakura gave a small smiled and tried again. "Come on. A walk will do us both good." She watched as Naruto thought a minute before agreeing.
The two started walking through the streets to the park just outside the cemetery. Once on the small walkways out of sight Sakura took his hand again. She could see the emotions playing on his face. Over the war, he had become better at hiding what he was feeling. Sakura stopped them making Naruto look at her confused.
"Sakura?" He asked. Sakura looked at him, noticing the absence of the term of endearment.
"Naruto…" She took a breath to calm her own pain that was welling in her chest. "It's okay to be upset about Lady Tsunade. I know how close you were with her and it's not good to hold it all in." Naruto looked at her a bit more confused. "Why do you have to be so stupid?" she half yelled as her emotions came to the surface. "You can't hide and run away from stuff all the time. Why can't you just admit you're hurting and face it?!" She was now in tears, yelling at the confused Naruto. He reached out, feeling the need to console her, pulling her into his arms.
"I know she's gone. She died to help and protect everyone. I can't relax until I know I can uphold what she started, even if it means I don't cry over her death."
Sakura did not know what to say as she looked up at him. "Naruto.."
"Come on. Let's get something to eat." He said softly as he pulled her with him.
"I'm not hungry." She told him as they left the park
"You have to eat something. You'll get sick if you don't." Sakura just followed as he started down the long road filled with construction, towards his apartment. "Come on, I'll make you something."
Sakura smiled as they reached his place." Since when are you the smart, caring one and I'm the stubborn idiot?"
Naruto chucked as he moved about his kitchen. "I wouldn't say that." He pulled two cup ramen from the cupboard and glanced at her. "I don't have much."
"I'm not all that hungry anyway, remember?" She shrugged as she moved farther into the room. Naruto waited for the water to boil before putting it in the two cups. He turned to tell Sakura that the noodles would be done in a few minutes and he was met with her lip against his. He stood shocked a minute before he kissed back. Before they knew what was happening he had her pinned to the wall, kissing her passionately.
They were in a haze as Sakura pushed him away and through the kitchen. She could not help but moan as his strong arms pulled her tight against him and lifted her to sit on the counter. The two did not know what came over them but neither wanted nor was willing to stop. Sakura gave a soft sigh as Naruto dropped his mouth to her neck. She gripped his back earning a soft groan from Naruto. Their bodies moved of their own accord as they stripped, making their way to his bedroom with the ramen and pain of the day forgotten.
The next morning the two woke up and the memories of the night before flashed in their minds. "Sakura…. I…" Naruto stumbled.
"Naruto." Sakura shook her head as she looked at him, making sure to keep the sheet up to stay covered. "I… I shouldn't have-" She was cut off by a quick kiss.
"Don't say sorry." He told her as blue met green and she could feel the lightning shoot through her again. "What happened last night…. look we can just forget it, okay?" He turned and started to sit up. "We should get going so we can help the others." He said before he turned to get dressed as she slipped from the bed to dress herself, peeking over her bare shoulder at Naruto as he pulled his boxers on. Sakura flushed as the night before flashed in her mind before she continued to dress.
The two were in their own thoughts as they reached the newly built academy. Even with the war, those who stayed behind had worked together to get nearly the entire village finished. As they walked in they found Ino talking to Choji and Kiba.
"Finally!" Ino called as she moved to her friend's side. "Where were you?" She sounded like a parent scolding a child for being out too late. Before Sakura could answer, she continued. "It doesn't matter. We have to wait for Hinata and then we are going to the hospital. The guys are stuck helping to build up a few of the major buildings." She laughed.
"You won't be laughing when we forget to build you a place to stay." Kiba shot at her. Ino stuck her tongue out as Hinata, Neji and Shikamaru walked up.
"Time for work." Ino said with a grin.
"You don't know what work is." Kiba argued. "You wouldn't last five minutes building these places."
"And you can't do our job at all." Ino called back over her shoulder as she pulled the two women along behind her. Naruto glanced at Sakura who gave him a quick look before she was gone. He knew things would be different if not strange between the two but he was not thrilled about being thrown into construction as Sakura was pulled off to the hospital.
"What were you two yelling about?" Shikamaru asked.
"Apparently we're stuck building stuff and the girls get to sit at the hospital." Choji told his best friend.
Shikamaru rolled his eyes. "Then we better get moving." He pushed his hands into his pockets with a sigh. "Man why do I always get pulled into this stuff?"
"Because we need all the help we can get rebuilding the official buildings." They heard as Kakashi, Iruka and Guy walked over to them. "You're right though. We should get moving. Shikamaru, Choji. Go to the Intel division." Kakashi told the two young men. "Kiba. Neji. You are going with Guy to the mission desk to rebuild it." Kakashi looked around to Naruto. "You're going with Iruka and me to the Hokage tower to finish it." the group split and went to their assignments getting to work, surprised to see the ninja and non-ninja who had come to lay Tsunade to rest had all stayed and were helping to rebuild the village. As Kakashi turned to help a fellow worker, Iruka looked at Naruto with concern. He was used to his old student running around with a comment and irritating attitude, but now, he was silent.
"What's troubling you Naruto?" He asked, making Naruto's eyes jump to him. "What are you thinking so hard about?"
"It's nothing." Naruto shrugged, waving off his teachers worry. In reality, his mind was still swimming with thoughts of Sakura. He didn't know what to do or where to turn as the memories flashed again.
"Naruto." Iruka said with a stern tone as he walked over to the young man he saw as his little brother.
"It's nothing. Really. I'm just figuring some stuff out." Naruto shrugged.
Kakashi walked back over looking between the two. "Everything okay?"
"yeah." Naruto said turning away to get back to work. Kakashi looked at Iruka as if asked for an answer to Naruto's odd behavior but the man only shrugged.
"Says he's figuring something out." Iruka explained to Kakashi with a sigh before he turned away to get to work. Kakashi looked back at his old student. He may be a splitting image of his father but he acted just like his mother. Kakashi heaved a sigh before he continued on to work knowing there was nothing that would make him talk.
"Sakura?" Ino said moving closer to her friend when she did not answer. "Sakura? Hello? Earth to Sakura!" She called waving her hand in front of Sakura's face.
"What? Oh. Sorry Ino. I just have something on my mind." Sakura explained shaking her head.
"Have anything to do with where you were this morning?" Sakura turned away to hide her blush. "I knew it! Where were you?"
"nowhere. Mind your own business." Sakura tried but Ino was not going to let it go.
"Come on, forehead. Where?" Sakura just glared at her and looked away to look over another file. Ino knew she was going to have to pull out the swear if she was going to find out. She was determined to find out ever since she saw the blush. "I'll take the oath." Sakura looked at her. the oath was a swear, a promise that they wouldn't talk about what the other told them. Sakura paused a minute looking at her.
"It's really important, Ino." Sakura said making Ino roll her eyes.
"I took the oath, didn't I? Now spill." She said with a small smile.
Sakura paused, taking a deep breath. "I was with Naruto."
"That's you're big secret?" Ino rolled her eyes again. She, like everyone else, knew how close Naruto and Sakura had become after the war.
"No. Ino. I spent the night with him." She said emphasizing the word 'with'. After a minute it finally registered and Ino's eyes went wide.
"Sakura!" She yelled before dropping her voice as she looked around. "You? And him?" Sakura nodded. Ino smirked at her friend. She had known there was something between the two but she never expected it like this. At least not so soon after the war. "What happened?" She asked.
Sakura shrugged as she gave a small smile. "We went to his place and he started making us food and I kissed him. I don't know what happened; it's all just a flash." Ino was surprised but she could not say she was not happy that her two friends had gotten together. They both deserved happiness. Especially after the pain, they had gone through because of the war. "I don't know. I just can't stop thinking about last night." Sakura paused and looked at her friend. She knew Ino loved to gossip but it was when she took the oath not to open her mouth to anyone that Sakura felt she could really open up. She trusted Ino, no matter how crazy she got she was always there to be a good friend.
"What?" She asked.
Sakura gave a soft sigh. "It's just that… this morning he told me we could pretend it never happened. We can say it was a mistake. We were both emotional wrecks."
"Do you really want that?" Ino asked confused. Sakura paused a minute as the idea bounced around her head before she looked back to Ino.
"No." She said with a shake of her head.
"Did you tell him that?" Again, she shook her head. Ino glanced at the clock before back to Sakura. "It's almost lunch. Why don't you take a break? I can cover for a little bit while you get something to eat." Sakura looked at her confused. She had already eaten lunch it was early afternoon. "Just go." Ino shook her head. "Sakura I've seen you two. You need to tell him."
Sakura slowly smiled at her before she gave her a tight hug. "Thanks Ino." She called over her shoulder as she made her way out to the construction to find Naruto.
"Sakura?" Shikamaru asked as he took a break from carrying another piece of wood to several ninja working on a wall. "Thought the girls were at the hospital.
"Yeah, I was just looking for Naruto. Do you know where he is? I need to talk to him." She said feeling impatient.
"He went to help with the Hokage tower with Kakashi and Iruka. Everything okay?" Shikamaru watched as Sakura nodded with a small smile calling a 'thanks' over her shoulder.
"Naruto?" She called as she walked into where she saw most of the men working. The men turned to look at her as she walked farther in. She gave a small smirk as he and Iruka walked around a corner, shirtless.
"Sakura-chan." He said confused before she grabbed his arm and pulled him with her out into the hall where they could have more privacy. As they stopped, Naruto furrowed his brows and looked down at her. He was stopped from talking by a loving kiss making him pause. "Sakura…" He strained, pulling back.
"You win, Naruto." She said with a smile. He looked at her utterly lost and she smiled a bit brighter. "Last night…" She blushed a bit thinking of it. "I've been pushing away what I should do today for tomorrow."
"Sakura we can talk about last night later. We can't-." He was cut off with another kiss.
"I don't know how you did it or when exactly but you won. You have my heart. I love you, you idiot." She smirked up at him as he searched her eyes for that look he had seen not so long ago that told him she was only lying to him and herself.
"You… you really mean it." He whispered and watched her nod. "Why?" Was all he could get out.
"Because you're you." She told him with a big smile. "Last night just showed me that we aren't just friends, we're not just trying to push each other through a rough patch. It showed me that this," She pointed between them. "Is something worth the wait and the fight."
"What about Sasuke?" He asked cautiously, worried that she would remember about the man she had been saying she was in love with since childhood and she would turn away.
"Naruto, what I felt for him was only a crush. I worry about him and I want to get him safe but only because he's our friend. I never felt like this with anyone. This is what's real." She watched as the worry on his face slid away and he bent capturing her lips before lifting her and spinning around, setting her on her feet as she laughed.
"I love you Sakura-chan." He said low making her smile.
"I love you too, Naruto." She could not help the smile that seemed to be permanently attached to her face now. "Can you take a break?"
Naruto grinned and nodded. "Let me go tell Kakashi-sensei and we can go."
Sakura followed him back into the room and noticed all the men turn to look at her again. "Everything okay?" Iruka asked as they walked back over to their teachers.
"Yeah." She said with a quick nod. "I had a break so I figured Naruto and I could go get something to eat."
"You going on a food run?" asked a Jonin, Sakura had seen around a few times.
"What do you want?" She asked as Naruto's attention was pulled away towards Kakashi as he spoke to him about the new tower.
"Whatever you're willing to give." Another said as he walked over giving Sakura a look she did not like. The moment the words left his mouth, he was regretting them. Naruto turned and pulled enough of Kurama's chakra to send his eyes blazing red as he glared at the man.
"You obviously don't know who I am so let me get things straight for you. My name is Sakura Haruno. I studied directly under Lady Tsunade and if you even think that way with other women in this village, I will personally rearrange a few things you find very precious to you, even before Naruto can get to you. So I suggest you back up and go back to work before we do something we both won't like."
As the man looked at her frightened, Naruto started laughing. Kakashi and Iruka smirked seeing the fire spring to life as Sakura stepped forward. She turned giving Naruto a soft glare making him stop laughing and settling for chuckling.
"Told you, you were scary." He smirked but got an eye roll in response. She elbowed him in the side.
"Shut up, Naruto." She said before turning to leave.
Iruka watched the angry Sakura leave as Naruto stood with a grin. "You should probably listen to her." He said.
"She really has taken on Lady Tsunade's temper." Kakashi said worried. Naruto just smirked as the two teachers looked at him worried. "Perhaps you should go stop her before she destroys something that was just built."
"I'm going, I'm going. I'll bring you lunch, just meet us out side. I don't think Sakura-chan should come back in." He glanced at the men off to the side and saw Kakashi nod before Naruto went after Sakura. "Sakura-chan!" He called as he caught up with her outside. She was angry, he knew. She gave him a glare before he grabbed her hand, letting his instincts take over. He gave a little tug making her turn into him. He let his hand drop to rest delicately on her waist as the other went to her cheek as he pressed his lips to hers.
She looked up at him as they parted. She was surprised at how fast her anger had disappeared with just one kiss. "Don't think that will work every time." She told him as he grinned at her. They stood there a moment longer before they realized they were being watched. Turning they saw Temari, Ino, Shikamaru and Choji. Ino stood next to her teammates with a bright smile as Choji smirked; Shikamaru rolled his eyes and Temari's jaw dropped.
"Oh. My. God." Temari said before she gave a bright smile. Naruto and Sakura blushed as they smiled at their friends, unsure of what to do. "It's about time." Sakura and Naruto looked at each other confused. "Come on you could see it for so long, this last year was killer for everyone who had to watch you two." Temari rolled her eyes.
"Where're you two off to?" Ino asked giving Sakura a knowing smile.
"We're getting lunch." Naruto announced.
Ino grinned. "Right, lunch."
"Ino!" Sakura scolded her friend making her laugh as Sakura crossed her arms.
"Lunch?" Choji rubbed his stomach. "I could go for some food." Naruto laughed as the friends moved closer together. "B-B-Q?" Choji asked hopeful. Naruto looked at Sakura as she smiled and nodded before they were all off. Sakura reached over taking Naruto's hand, not for strength but just to feel the other one beside them to know that this was all real, the two teammates where in a relationship after so long of dancing around feelings. All of this because of one night of total reality.