Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto

I'd like to recognize the following fabulous reviewers who, in part, helped to ensure this story was posted as promised and completed as hoped:

Yengirl, Lady Rini, Sakura's Unicorn, Pixie07, minthegreen, Nessie910, YoungBlossom, Itachan18, Tuvstarr's lost heart, wingedmercury, oyink, and guest

You're the best! Many of you have awesome stories of your own and I encourage others to check them out. That said, all of you are A+ reviewers. You know I'm a fan of the positive constructive review and all of you have proven you've mastered that art perfectly.

To my other readers, please review if you've made it this far and you haven't done so yet. I'd love to know your thoughts now that we're at the end of this tale. Also, if you find yourself a fan of the positive constructive review, I invite you to check out my Profile Page to see if you're interested in joining the Fanfiction Review Movement. I'm always happy to welcome new pledges. Have a wonderful year everyone!


Now onto the last chapter...


There was very little room in the igloo for much movement, but Sasuke and Sakura made do, and since it was quite cold within their little makeshift abode, they kept little Sarada protectively nestled between them.

It was usually Sakura who tended to Sarada at night, so cuddling next to his baby girl was a special treat, and Sasuke knew he would treasure this memory for the rest of his life.

Their combined body heat made things cozy, and as Sasuke thought might happen, Sakura alluded to energy for 'other activities,' but she dozed off after Sarada's feeding, (clearly exhausted), and Sasuke decided it was best to let her sleep. He was also tired, but for some reason, the Sharingan user couldn't bring himself to succumb to sleep. For several minutes he lay there wide awake and restless, until a grand idea popped into his head. Sasuke spent a few minutes pondering it over, then soundlessly poofed himself out of the igloo and decisively trudged ahead to the nearby lake with a handful of weapons and a torch for light.

Slicing blocks of ice with his kunai was the easy part, but towing them and figuring out how to go about his plan was the tricky part. Not sparing a moment, Sasuke focused on the task at hand. An hour had already passed, and he estimated he had about three more hours before Sarada would wake Sakura again. Just enough, he decided.

Once Sakura awoke and nursed their baby, she sensed Sasuke was standing outside, but since he came back into the igloo shortly after that, she assumed he had exited to go to the bathroom or something of that nature. Snuggling with her two favorite people again, falling asleep came easy, and Sakura didn't even notice when Sasuke poofed himself outside once again and went to work.

When morning came Sakura nudged Sasuke to watch little Sarada and bundled up so she could exit the igloo and go to the bathroom. It surprised her was how soundly her husband was sleeping, and she hoped he wasn't ill. It was as if he hadn't slept a wink all night, and it was so unlike him.

Once ready, Sakura shimmied through the exit of the igloo to the outside, and her breath caught. Wide-eyed and touched beyond measure, she stared at the unexpected surprise. Standing in front of her were three beautifully carved ice sculptures glistening in the early morning sun.

Sasuke? she wondered, but as she looked down the row to the third block of ice, a giggle escaped her. There was no doubt this was his work, and she moved forward to look the carvings over carefully.

The first sculpture was wonderfully handcrafted. It was a scene with the two of them, hand and hand, at the Winter Festival they never saw. Sarada was nuzzling next to Sasuke's chest resting, while Sakura looked around with wonder in her eyes. Even though it wasn't meant for them to make it to this year's festival, this intricately carved ice rendition was a golden moment spent at this year's Winter Festival in her books.

Next came a glorious miniature ice rendition of the onsen lodge. The small figurine in the grand pool most certainly represented her, and the warm memories filled her soul, despite the scene being carved in ice.

Lastly, and this was what certainly gave the artist away, a man whose spiky hair was unmistakable, stood with his back to her, pulling off his shirt while a little old woman held Sarada and watched him. The man and the woman were faceless but there was no doubt whom they represented.

Touched beyond words, Sakura went off to go to the bathroom and joined her husband in the igloo shortly after. He must have worked around the clock with several Shadow Clones and the use of his Sharingan and fireball jutsu to capture the details so brilliantly. No wonder Sasuke was so exhausted. The last of the torches he had used to light the area were extinguishing with the snowfall, but the sculptures remained perfectly preserved in the freezing temperatures. It was the sweetest gift since...well the sweetest gift ever.

Sakura nudged Sasuke when she made her way back into the igloo, and finally spoke.



"I loved your gift," she told him.

"What gift?" he tried to brush off, only making her smile.

"The chiseled gift of sweet memories I discovered outside...made from a heart of gold," Sakura added. He said nothing, but she knew he was trying to hide a smile.

"I know we never made it to the Winter Festival, but from here on, I will always remember this as the trip where we found something much better."

"Better?" he questioned.

"Absolutely. Sasuke, this whole trip has been like a dream come true. I'd always hoped one day we would embark together on an adventure and make our own special memories. I wasn't sure we would ever get a chance, but happily thanks to you and this trip, the mission was accomplished." Sasuke's smile then started to peek out.

"On top of that, Sarada and I plan to cherish the rest of our time with the winner of this year's Winter Festival ice sculpture contest...YOU!"

With that, she nuzzled next to her sweet, exhausted husband and placed little Sarada between them. With great happiness, Sakura gave them both a squeeze, sharing her warmth, and reveling in just how much she loved them, in the small confines of their makeshift igloo home, out in the middle of nowhere. Right then, if you asked Sakura, life really was grand on this next to perfect vacation, and resting right beside his baby and Sakura, feeling his two most prized people happy, warm, and comfortable, Sasuke would undoubtedly have to agree to that too.

~ The End

Wow! Unbelievably I made it. 12 prompts for the 12 days of Christmas. I hope you enjoyed this little Winter Festival tale, and just like Sasuke, may the good you do this year, receive it's own rewards.

As a final reminder, for anyone interested in taking on this prompt challenge, let me know. I'd love to see what you can do. Take care everyone, thanks for reading, and have a Happy New Year!