Chapter 9: Reconciliation

In the next morning, Sakura woke up from the sunlight shining on the window. She sat up, sadly for believing that Sai did not make it. Therefore, her chakra was not enough to save him or to heal him.

"Sakura!" Sai called her, surprised to see that she has woken up. Uryu was also there and relieved that she was feeling better now.

"Sai!" Sakura excited herself after seeing him all healed. She quickly hugged him with relief and happy that her friend was still alive.

Sai got surprised from the embrace and was confused about it. "What was that for?" he asked with curiosity.

She happily answered, "I thought I lost you, and I got so happy for seeing that you are alive." She held a smile filled of happiness and joy to see her friend, looking better than ever.

He smiled at her, "Don't worry about me, I'll be alright." Her words meant everything to him; how she cared for him and used all her chakra to save him from death.

"But I always will," she suggested back. Truthfully, she will never stop worrying about her friends and be there for them. Then, she remembered about Sasuke after what happened yesterday, so she decided to confront with him. "Sai, will you get Sasuke? I need to talk with him," she told him.

"Nani?!" Uryu shouted in shock. They both looked at him, "You still want to see him after what he did yesterday?!" He really doesn't want that Uchiha near her again, and he couldn't understand why she still wanted to see him. "He nearly killed you both!" He was afraid what he will do to her again.

"Uryu, just trust her…she knows what she's doing." Sai persuaded him. In comparison, he also doesn't want Sasuke near her, yet he believed in her and trusted her instincts. Uryu hmph-ed angrily and walked out of the room, and Sai also left looking for Sasuke.

(~~~~~~)

Few minutes later, Sasuke came to her room. He was also wondering why she wanted to see him for, and he assumed that she was mad with him about what happened yesterday. He was about to say something, but he stopped after seeing her smiling. He made a small smile, for he was deeply affected with her smile. But he doesn't understand why she was smiling and looked so happy. "Sakura…" he began, "gomen about yesterday."

Sakura stared at him in a serious face then away. "No…" she declined him, "I am." He got confused with his declined apology and why she was saying sorry to him.

"I just want to say about the last three days…after you came back to Konoha," she started explaining. "I hid my happiness inside because I was so angry and shocked that you came back after three years." Sasuke looked down for knowing that at first. "I decided to show you rejection, ignorance, and arrogance, so you would know how those feel like. As you have experienced them, you don't like it, right?"

He admitted silently in nodding. "I was also stuck in the past and forgot the most important thing my parents had taught me." She stood up and looked at him as he looked at her, "Everyone deserves a second chance."

Sasuke looked at her in surprise after hearing her forgiving him. He also believed that her feelings for him have returned, so he went up to her. "Arigatou, that's all I wanted," he said breathily; she felt his breath on her face. He stepped more close to her; he put his cheek on her top side head. He started smelling her hair, her strong scent of cherry blossom filled his nose; her hair is so silky on his cheek. This feeling became so unresisting and made him give her kisses on her hair. He moved to her cheek then down on her neck. Her skin felt so soft, so he continued using his lips tasting her skin and licking her neck with his tongue.

Sakura felt tingles circulating in her body, and his breath blowing on her skin tickled her. His lips felt so warm and pleasurable. His tongue excited her and this delicious feeling felt so tender and needed for more. She placed her hands on his chest and moved close to him. His body felt so warm, so strong; she wanted this to continue. But she realized what she was doing, she pushed him back. "Don't do this," she said to him.

Sasuke got confused, "Why? I thought I had a second chance?" He got confused why she stopped him.

"Yes, you're forgiven," she answered, "but not this way." She wanted him to understand that her forgiveness was only meant for friendship, not in a romantic way.

"Sakura, please...let me do this," Sasuke asked desperately. He wanted to show her his feelings, so she would know that he was returning her love feelings.

She declined, but he was still advancing toward her. He wouldn't stop until she returns his love. She figured how to talk with him, so that he would know her feelings right now. "My heart doesn't belong to you anymore!" she exclaimed loudly. He stopped and looked at her, and he was puzzled about what she just said. She continued, "My heart belongs to Naruto." From the moment, he understood what she meant—her words resulted that she loves Naruto more than she loved him before.

Sasuke wouldn't believe it, but her face, along with her words, was serious. Her feelings really did changed these past three years because it was all his fault. He predicted the innocent, annoying fangirl Sakura was gone. She died a long time ago.

In his mind, he saw 12-year-old Sakura with the beautiful smile shinning at him and laughing cheerfully, but it cracked and shattered in broken glass. Next, she was there crying and begging him not to leave her, yet he ignored her and kept on walking, never look back. Afterwards, he came back to her with a change of heart and in love with her; in return she didn't smile and held a face of unhappiness. Then, he offered her his hand to come to him. She didn't move nor got surprised, just stood there; until Naruto came into the picture and hugged her behind. She smiled and turned hugging him, and they kissed passionately. While watching the sight, Sasuke felt his heart melted in shreds of heartbreak and despair. The girl he deeply love was kissing and hugging her boyfriend, his former teammate and friend, really made his stomach feel twisted from the making-out scene. Then, they stopped and turned leaving together; he tried to run but couldn't move his place. So, he cried begging her to stop and don't leave him, but she didn't listen and disappeared into a bleak.

A flashback of three years ago appeared in his mind, remembering how he treated her so cold—ignoring every time she tried talking with him; calling her weak and annoying; and knocking her unconscious after rejecting her love confession on the night he was leaving Konoha. He wished that he would never have done those bad things to her, but it was too late. She has moved on and in love with Naruto. He also wished that he would have not turned her down that night, so he would have been together with her, happily in love for three years.

His heart couldn't handle the pain, so he dropped on his knees and cried with tears. Sakura noticed how hurt he was, but this was what it should be. Life is meant to change and not to stay the same; the future must be presented and the past could not continue going. She gently hugged him, holding his head; then he wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her tightly. "I need you with me," he said quietly.

He couldn't let her go; he admits more, "Sakura…I love you!" She got silently shocked from his confession. Before she could say something, he continued, "You were the only reason why I came back to Konoha. Every day and night, I have regretted for leaving the village and rejecting your love for me. That night had been running in my mind for three years, and I have been dreaming about you and seeing your face, hurt with heartbreak. I have been thinking that you were alone and crying for me to come back."

She felt so touched with his sweet words of thoughtfulness, but she took it in a caring way. "You are the only woman in my heart, and I cannot stand seeing you with that dobe. You were the only person who understood my sadness and lonely heart, and you said that you will always be by my side. I really want us to be together because your love had awakened my light in my cold heart. I want you to feel mine." He took her hand and placed it on his chest where she could feel his heart. She jerked a little and tried to pull her hand away, but he pressed her hand tightly. "Sakura, I love you! Love me back!" he lastly begged.

She stayed silent for a few minutes, and she was speechless for hearing his love for her. She remembered three years ago—her deep infatuation for him. Instead, he was cynical and cold to her every day. Now he came back differently and fell in love with her, and he confessed and asked her for a chance of a relationship. Her heart felt his love, and it was so warm. But Naruto is her love life: present and future, and she can't breakup with him after their two-year relationship. If she breaks up with him, he will be hurt and alone again. She doesn't want that for him, so she must give Sasuke her honest answer.

So, she started, "Arigatou, Sasuke-kun." Sasuke opened his eyes widely and looked up at her after she called his name with –kun again. She smiled at him sweetly and said, "Gomen, I cannot return those feelings back. You know I'm in love already, and you also must move on with your life. But I care about you, I really do."

Sasuke felt his heart skipped a beat after hearing his love turned down by the woman he deeply loves, but the only he received was her care which he didn't want in return. The return of his love was what he wanted from her.

Before he said something, she grabbed his hand and helped him stand up. After he was on his feet, her hand was still holding his (he was glad about it). "Come on, we have to leave now," she indicated that the mission was still incomplete. He nodded as they left the room. They walked through the hallways, with their hands still holding; he tightened his hold around her hand because he doesn't want to let her go. He wanted to stay close with her and have her by his side. He still wouldn't accept her rejection, so he will fight for her love and develop their relationship.

They meet up with Sai and Uryu, outside of the hotel building. They got surprised for seeing them and holding hands. "What happen with you guys?" Sai asked. He held curiosity about what happen with them while they were talking inside.

"I forgave him," she answered, "we are friends now." Sai sighed with relief that they have settled things without any problem.

Uryu was also relieved, but he still doesn't trust Sasuke and didn't like him holding hands with her. His theory was really proving him that Sasuke does have romantic feelings for Sakura, so he would not let that happen. He declared Sasuke as his rival for Sakura's love.

"We should leave now," she said. They agreed and took off.

During the walking, they have communicated about all sorts of things. Sai had mentioned about Naruto, which Uryu was curious about him, and Sasuke still bragged about him being a dobe. Sakura proclaimed that Naruto is as kind and strong as the hero of the Leaf and the light of all kind; she added in thought that he is the love of her life (they caught her blushing). Although, Sasuke wouldn't admit Naruto had physically changed, but his goofy personality hasn't at all. Uryu still wondering about how Naruto looked like and what he was to Sakura, but he had heard rumors from his village mentioning his name and defeating the Akatsuki leader, Pein, solo. Sakura showed him a picture of Team Yamato and pointed who Naruto was, and Uryu held a stern face for noticing her blushing and their hands holding with fingers intertwining. He felt a twinge in his chest from losing his chance to have Sakura, but he hoped that they will eventually break up. He admitted that Naruto is indeed a legendary ninja but an idiot-looking boy, and Sakura laughed nervously. She and Sai hoped that Uryu and Sasuke would have anything positive about Naruto.

(~~~~~~)

After several hours, the team finally made it to the Land of Quincy. Sakura was stunned at the glamorous, beautiful sight of the village; every building was painted white and light blue, and each have the Quincy symbols. Markets were selling fresh vegetables and fruits, and their sweets were Quincy crosses, like cookies, lollipops, and ice cream. The clothing stores were selling gorgeous dresses and kimonos, and men suits. There are little children running around and playing with ninja toys. This village is dignifies as honorable, respective for the name of Quincy. There were blacksmiths, working and making new weapons for ninjas and new tools for villagers.

"This village is breathtaking," Sakura shared her opinion while looking around. Uryu smiled at her, and he was touched with her opinion about his village and loving the sight.

"My prince," they heard someone behind them. They all turned to the person and stunned for seeing his appearance. "Welcome home, we've been waiting for your return." His voice sounded so heavy, and his face looked so serious. He looked like he was a white ghost, and his eyes showed sadness.

"Ulquiorra," Uryu said his name.

Ulquiorra: assistance of Uryu; short, messy black hair; pale white skin; green eyes, teal lines underneath; white jacket; black sash; white hakama; and top-left head side horned helmet

Ulquiorra bowed to him, showing devotion and loyalty to his prince. Uryu went and stood next to him, and he turned back to the team.

Sakura said, "Well, this is a goodbye, Uryu."

Suddenly, Uryu walked to her, took her hand, and put something in it. She looked at the item; it was silver Quincy necklace. "So beautiful," she loved this jewelry, "Nandesuka?" She couldn't take her eyes off of the shiny gift.

"It's my gift for you," Uryu answered, "so you can come visit here." She was overwhelmed for receiving a gift of friendship. "When you come here, find Ulquiorra, show it to him, and he will bring you to me," he finished, and she nodded in understanding.

So the team bid their goodbyes and left. As they were leaving, Ulquiorra glanced at Uryu and found him staring at the pink hair girl. He could make out the expression on his face and figured what Uryu was thinking.

After the team was out of sight, Uryu and Ulquiorra turned walking to the Quincy castle. Ulquiorra was also concerned about the gift he gave to Sakura, and he was wondering how the King of Quincy (Uryu's father) will react about this. "My prince, I cannot help thinking how your father will react about the girl," he said, "I have a feeling that he won't approve it."

Uryu's face hardened and said, "I can care less whatever he thinks. I just won't let him control my life or force me who to marry." Ulquilora paused from the hard expression on his face, and he wondered how Sakura will react about the necklace.

There I managed to finish it. What was Ulquilora talking about? Is he sensing bad luck will come to Sakura? I hope not…

Well, I hope you all readers will love this chapter. Can't wait to read your comments, and hope you like it.