Disclaimer:I don't own Naruto. If I did, I'd be a rich guy in living in Japan at a Hotsprings
Naruto was standing outside the front gate that lead into the Village Hidden in the Leaves. On his back was Sasuke, lifeless. Everybody ran to greet him and to find out what had happened. They bombarded him with questions as he passed by them, his eyes focused on a pink-haired kunoichi near the back of the mob. She stared in disbelief as he fell to his knees in front of her, as if to beg for forgiveness. He laid Sasuke's body in front of him and placed his hands next to his fallen friend. Sakura just fell to her knees, her body wracked with sobs. "I'm sorry Sakura-chan. I'm so sorry. I kept my promise to bring him back, but I didn't want it to be like this."
Months passed since Sasuke's burial. No one who knew the story of him wanted him to be honored as a Ninja of Konoha, but Naruto's vehemence that he be honored as one kept those people quiet. Tsunade didn't even want him to be honored, but she let him as she felt truly grieved for Naruto and Sakura. Sakura couldn't keep her tears from flowing freely at the funeral and Naruto could only hold her and try to keep his in check, which he was doing poorly at. Kakashi let a single tear roll down from his uncovered eye as he mourned for his former student. The rookie nine and Gai's team showed up out of respect for Naruto and Sakura. They could've cared less if Sasuke was alive or dead as they shared the same view as most of the other ninja in the village, but they dared not say that in front of their grief-stricken comrades. Jiraiya and Tsunade showed up for their student's sake.
The months that followed showed a stronger bond between Sakura and Naruto. The only time they would fight would be when she asked who killed Sasuke and he would refuse to answer only to have his jaw broken every time. He would tell her afterwards that not even Tsunade knew and he wouldn't tell anyone what happened. this mostly went on during the first few weeks after the funeral but eventually came to a standstill as the two spent more time together. Sakura even went on a date with Naruto once, even if they did just go to Ichiraku's.
"Sakura-chan!" yelled Naruto from down the street as the pink-haired medic made her way home. She stopped and waited for the knuckle-headed ninja to catch up to her. "Yes, Naruto?" she asked as he reached her.
"What are you doing tomorrow night?" he asked her with a small fox-like grin on his face. His blue eyes mirrored his smile.
"Nothing much. Just gonna spend some time studying for this new medical procedure that Tsunade-sensei wants me to practice on," she replied with a dull tone. Her clothes matched her voice as the pink top she wore was fading and the red shorts weren't as red as they used to be.
"Hehe, well I'm having a party tomorrow night with just the other teams from the academy coming and Lee, Tenten, and Neji. You wanna come along too?" he asked her, his eyes pleading with her. Oh, she knew he loved her, but she just didn't know her feelings toward him. Especially not with Sasuke's funeral just a few months ago. It was hard for her to think if she could love Naruto.
"Well, I might go. I dunno though. It's a really tough procedure that I have to study for," she said, already planning on what to wear to this party. 'Alright!' inner Sakura
"Alright!" he exclaimed jumping up and pumping his fist in the air. "Party starts at 8 o'clock. Bring something to drink. This is gonna be fun!" he yelled as he ran off into the night.
"But I only said I might go!" she yelled back at him knowing full well he didn't hear her.
Sakura showed up at Naruto's doorstep wearing a pink, button-up shirt with no sleeves and a pair of dark red capri pants. She had behind her back 4 bottles of a nefariously known drink that Tsunade loved to indulge in, taken from Tsunade's own stash while Tsunade and Shizune were busy with something else.
Naruto opened the door and lead her inside where everybody was at. There was some music playing and Ino was trying to show Chouji how to dance. Neji and Tenten were watching Lee make a fool of himself. Hinata and Kiba were in a corner making out as they had started dating only a few weeks ago. Shikamaru and Shino were playing Shogi in the kitchen. How Naruto talked Shikamaru into coming to a party when he could be sleeping was anyone's guess, but Sakura thought it might have to do with Shikamaru's girlfriend not being here. Not long ago he and Temari actually started dating. Surprising since he considered her the most troublesome woman of all.
"So Sakura," started Naruto, grinning like a fox, "what did ya bring to drink?"
A mischievous grin graced her lips. "Well, since we don't do enough rule breaking, I brought these," she said as she produced the bottles of sake, giggling. She had let inner Sakura take over for a minute or so so she could do this and it looked worth it as she saw Naruto's face. It had a dumbfounded look.
"Y-you brought sake?" Naruto half-stammered, half-asked as she placed the bottles on the table. "But we're not old enough to drink sake!"
She let inner Sakura take over again to explain. "Why do you think I said we'd be breaking the rules, baka?"
The others stopped what they were doing to surround the table. Some of them nodded and murmered an agreement with Sakura, the rest just stood there. Naruto grabbed some cups for them all to use except for Lee. He remembered what happens when Lee drinks sake and he wanted his place to be intact by night's end. He passed the cups around as Sakura unstoppered the first bottle.
"Where is my cup at Naruto?" asked the taijutsu master as Naruto finished handing out the cups. Neji was the one that answered him.
"You cannot drink sake, Lee. You know Gai-sensei would not approve of it from you. That and you cannot hold your alcohol very well."
After the drinks we're poured everyone raised their glasses in a toast to each other and downed them. Hinata coughed and spluttered and so did Naruto, Sakura, Ino, and Tenten. Neji and the rest just stood there and let the effects start to kick in, relaxing some as it started. Shino picked up the botle and started to pour more into their cups. Hinata quietly refused anymore as did Tenten. The rest just sipped their sake this time, quietly asking for more if they wanted any and just putting down their cups when they were through.
Sakura and Naruto drank the most sake, leaving enough in the last bottle for everyone to have one more cup. Sakura was the one who poured the sake for everyone and handed them the drink, even if they refused she made them take it but said they didn't have to drink it. After the last bit was handed to Hinata and Kiba she raised her cup, everyone watching her. "To Sasuke, "was all she said as she drained the contents. Everyone just raised their cups and sipped the sake. All except Naruto. He dropped his cup and walked upstairs. Sakura wondered why and followed him, stumbling slightly as she started up the stairs. She found an open door and looked inside to see Naruto's bedroom. She looked around and couldn't see him. She was about to leave when she noticed the window was opened. 'He's on the roof' she thought as she headed to the window and climbed out. She was right.
"Naruto," she said as she sat down next to him, her voice slurring slightly. She looked at him as he gazed into the starlit sky. His gaze was transfixed upon a single star. Sakura said it was Sasuke's star because it appeared the night after his funeral.
"Sakura-chan, I have something that needs to be said to you before it breaks me apart inside," he said, a serious tone touching his somber looking features. She knew he was being serious at this because he didn't even slur and had just as much alcohol as she did.
'Maybe he's gonna tell us who killed Sasuke-kun!' yelled inner Sakura.
'Maybe' was her only reply.
"I swore to myself that only when I thought you would be able to handle this is when i would tell you, but I can't hold it any longer. If I do I'll snap like a twig," he continued.
"What are you talking about Naruto," she asked him tentatively.
"I'm trying to say that it was me who killed Sasuke, Sakura-chan," he said, looking away from her.
She was stunned. She thought for certain that it must have been Orochimaru who killed him, not Naruto. 'Why?' she thought as his words replayed in her mind. Tears started welling up behind her emerald eyes. Naruto turned to her opening his mouth to speak but she cut him off.
"How could you kill Sasuke-kun?" she asked softly turning to face him. "How could you kill Sasuke?" she screamed this time. He couldn't look her in the eye. He knew she would hate him after he told her, but he had to tell her the truth or he would hate himself more than she could ever hate him. "Why did you kill Sasuke!?" she creamed again.
His voice was barely above a whisper. "I had to. There was no other way."
She pulled her arm back and slapped the piss out of him. He looked at her with tears streaming down his face, not because she hurt his face but because she hurt his heart. "No other way?" she said, still screaming. The others had piled outside on the ground to see what was going on. "There is always another way!Always!" her voice carrying quite far in the still, windless night.
"Sakura-chan..." Naruto started before she cut him off again.
"Don't ever speak to me again Naruto," her voice deathly calm as she said these words. With that said she ran along the rooftops crying the entire time...
Weeks passed as news of Naruto's and Sakura's fight spread faster than wildife in a drought. The contents of the argument spread even faster than that. Everyone felt on edge if they were in either of the two's presence and if they met on the street Sakura would ignore Naruto. This made the ninja very downhearted and it affected everybody in his company. They couldn't take it for long and no amount of trying to cheer either of them up worked. Konoha started to become a very sad place to be.
"It shouldn't be this bad even if he would have told her when he first brought back Sasuke's body," Jiraiya said sipping his cup of sake.
"For once you're right Jiraiya," Tsunade said as she slammed her cup down on the desk. "It's more than the fact he waited this long to tell anyone or the fact he actually did it."
"What do you suppose is making it worse now than it should be?" he asked pouring Tsunade more sake.
"I believe the reason is because she was starting to realize her feelings for Naruto were more than just that of teammates or friends."
"So you think it's because she's in love with him, huh," said the Frog Sage.
"Yes and if we don't do something soon we'll never be able to get this rift between them fixed in time for her to realize this," Tsunade replied slamming her cup again.
"What did you have in mind?" Jiraiya inquired.
She was leaving. She already had permission to leave the village from Tsunade-sama and she wasn't going to waste time saying goodbye to everyone. Sakura made sure she had all her possessions she wanted to bring with her. She didn't know where she was going to go, maybe to see Gaara and the rest in the sand village before moving on again. She grabbed her things and walked out the door one last time.
She made her way to the gates from along the back alleys so she wouldn't run into anyone who would try and stop her. She made this route with Tsunade because she had told her she didn't want anyone to know she was leaving. She was about halfway to the gates when she heard a soft, sad tune being played on a piano. Probably in one of the clubs she thought. She looked at her watch and saw it was almost time for sunset. Then she heard one of the most beautiful singing voices start.
"I know there's something in the wake of your smile. I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yeah. You've built a love, but that love falls apart. A little piece of heaven turns too dark. Listen to your heart, When he's calling for you. Listen to your heart. There's nothing else you can do. I don't know where you're going and I don' know why, but listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye."
Sakura stood there listening to the beautiful voice and melody of the song. She couldn't help but feel that somehow the song was meant for her to hear, like it was made specifically for her.
"Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worth while. The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yeah. They're swept away and nothing is what it seems. The feeling of belonging to your to your heart When he's calling for you. Listen to your heart. There's nothing else you can do. I don't know where you're going and I don't know why but listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye."
Now she knew the song was about her. Her and Naruto. She felt a surge in her stomach as she thought of his name. And it wasn't a surge of hatred. it was something she couldn't place her finger on. She knew she had feelings for him, but when he told her he had killed Sasuke...It was just too much to think about right now.
"And there are voices that want to be heard. So much to mention but you can't find the words. The scent of magic, the beauty that's been when love was wilder than the wind. Listen to your heart when he's calling for you. Listen to your heart. There's nothing else you can do. I don't know where you're going and I don't know why but listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye."
She understood what the song was telling her now. It was telling her that Naruto deserved to know the reason why she was not talking to him. She realized that she loved him and the reason why she was so upset wasn't because he killed Sasuke, it was because she was disappointed that he no other way to bring him back except dead. And that wasn't even his fault. She needed to find Naruto.
"Listen to your heart. Mm mm mmmm. I don't know where your going and I don't know why but listen to you heart before you tell him goodbye."
She heard the last of the song as she ran off towards Naruto's house. Hopefully he would be there. She had nothing else on her mind as she raced towards his house in the distance...
Jiraiya and Tsunade walked into the alley that Sakura was in just moments before. Tsunade turned towards her former teammate and fellow Sannin. "I never knew you could play the piano Jiraiya. When did you learn?"
"Not long after I became a hermit i met a young, blind lady who needed help around her house for a few days. While I cleaned up the House she played her piano. I asked her to teach me how to play because I thought it was good. That and you couldn't imagine how many young ladies love a man who could play the piano," he explained to her with a perverted look in his eye as he finished.
Tsunade turned to the perverted sage and swung. The last thing that could be heard was his yelp of pain...
Naruto heard a knock on his door. He didn't want to answer it. The girl he loved hated him and his friends weren't helping him too much trying to cheer him up. He just wanted to be alone, like he was before he became a ninja. Unfortunately the person knocking on his door had other plans as they bashed in his door. He looked to see who it was and was surprised to see his dream girl standing there in the battered door frame.
"Sakura-chan..." he started before he was cut off as she raised her hand.
"Naruto, I want to know. Why did you have to kill Sasuke?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Do you promise not to hit me before i can start?" he asked, a smirk sliding onto his lips. She knew it was his way of keeping back the pain.
"I'll hit you if you don't tell me," she said as she glared at him. She tried to make it look like she was pissed at him, like it was his fault for everything. She could only hope her eyes didn't give her away.
"I tried to persuade him to come back as we fought. He was intent on killing me this time. I just wanted my friend-no-my brother back. He said he was going to prove to everyone that he didn't need me or you to help him. He said after he killed me he was going to come here and kill you. He said you would follow him around like a sick puppy and when he made you the most vulnerable he was going to kill you. I couldn't let that happen. And i knew by the way he spoke he wasn't lying either. He truly wanted to kill us because we reminded him of his 'weak past'," Naruto explained, his voice quivering with the sad memory of the brother he never had being so evil.
Sakura was shocked. Sasuke was going to kill her so Naruto protected her when he killed Sasuke. Naruto continued.
"When he said that I lost it. I couldn't keep my anger in check any longer. No one, and I mean no one, will ever lay a finger on you to hurt you while I'm alive Sakura-chan. No one," he said again, conviction in his voice.
Sakura walked up to Naruto and hugged him. They both broke down in tears. Him because he relived a very painful memory and her because she finally understood.
"I am so sorry Naruto. I had no idea. I was too stupid to listen and to hurt to try to understand.I-I h-ho-hop...," she tried as she choked back sobs.
Naruto put his hands on her shoulders and pushed her back some only to lose himself in emerald green eyes. He leaned forward and placed his lips upon her soft ones, kissing as softly as her lips felt to him. She hesitated at first but soon gave in as his tongue slowly traced its way across her lower lip. She opened up and allowed him access, letting her tongue explore as well. After what seemed like an eternity they broke the kiss.
"Could you ever forgive me Naruto?" she asked, her voice barely above that of a whisper.
"What would I ever have to forgive you about?" he asked smiling.
"About how mean I was to you when we were still in the academy. How I treated when Sasuke was around. How cruelly I've treated you these past few weeks when I should've just listened. How I've..." was as far as she got as Naruto placed a finger on her lips, quieting her immediately.
"Sakura-chan, if I didn't forgive you, do you think I would be right here with you now?"
She didn't say anything. She knew he was right. She knew it was right as she pressed her lips onto his again and again. Naruto knew he would never forget this moment. And Sakura knew she wouldn't either as she finally listened to her heart.
A/N:This is my first submission to this site, it's been redone and i'm still trying to figure this whole damn thing out. just gimme time. r/r, flame, who cares