Love's Past

There I was walking down the aisle toward my future. I was going to be Sakura Uzumaki, wife of Naruto, the rokudaime. Looking through the snow-white veil I see that everyone showed up. Next to Naruto I see Gaara, his best man. On his left I see my bride's maid and my best friend Hinata; also Gaara's girlfriend.

As I approach the alter I start remembering the four single events that brought me to realize that I love Naruto.

My first memory brought me all the way back to the beginning of the academy. I remember Ino being alongside Hinata and me. Back then all three of us would hang out but later guy trouble got in the way especially between me and Ino. We were all playing in the sandbox that particular day.

"Sakura what are you going to give thanks to?" I heard Ino say.

"I really don't know...there's a lot to choose from" I responded

"Sakura I'm going to thank you for being so cute and adorable" I heard Ino say right before she caught me in a tight bear hug.

I don't know what I was looking for but there was one sight that caught my eye, a little boy with golden hair spiked in all directions sitting on a swing looking at all of us play as if waiting for someone to invite him yet no one ever would. I'd recently learned that he had no family what so ever and was always receiving dirty looks from all the adults in the village; even my own parents gave him those looks yet whenever I tried to find why people gave him these looks my parents would never say but just told me to stay away from him. Every day he would be picked on by kids called names and even beaten up yet I could never do anything about since my parents told me to not to. Yet through everything that he goes through he still fools around as if nothing is wrong but today I noticed that moisture was running down his whiskered cheeks. I wanted to run up to him and embrace him let him know that even with many people treating him badly I want to be his friend, but I couldn't force myself to do so. Suddenly he turns around and he spots me staring at him. Within his cerulean eyes I didn't see the eyes of the trickster of the academy but instead I saw the eyes of a boy longing for someone to care for him. His eyes were so deep far more deep than any ocean drowning me with his intense feeling of loneliness and sadness. As I continued to gaze into his cerulean eyes I notice his tears came to a stand still and turned away finally breaking me from my gaze.

"Sakura, come on lets get inside" Ino said as she tugged me away from the sandbox.

We approached the class filled with chatter and laughter as everyone poured in yet my attention was all on the blonde boy. We sat down in a circle on the rug and the 'Thank you's began and all kinds of thanks were made some to their families for being their inspiration, to their pets, parents, and friends.

"I want to thank my friends; Sakura and Hinata for always being there for me and helping me understand that girls can be shinobi as well." I heard her say with her perky and childish voice." Sakura, you are up next" She said looking at me with her pretty desert sky blue eyes.

I forced myself to walk up to the whole class I felt my cheeks were on fire and my heartbeat accelerate. When I finally reached to the front I started doing that thing with my fingers that Hinata always did so I guess it's something that I picked from her. I still hadn't figured out what I was thankful for but seeing my classmates I knew I had to thank for since they were all important to me and influenced me in some sort of way. Yet there was one thing that came to mind…

"I-I want to thank Naruto" I said while looking at my fingers but then I suddenly looked up at the class, "I want to thank him for never loosing that smile of his no matter all the things that he goes through and making me laugh with his pranks and jokes".

When I met eyes with Naruto, he was vulnerable again but not with despair but with happiness his sapphire eyes looking brighter as he met my emerald ones. A pink tint ran across his cheeks nearly matching my own hair and feeling my own cheeks redden when I saw him smile straight at me. Seeing that I felt my heart thump even faster and I thought it was going to burst out through my chest. But I was still able to smile back at him.

My second memory brought me to a mission we had before the chuunin exams. My father had recently died and sent me into a depression. I didn't want to be near anyone even, Hinata. By now Ino and I were rivals in the challenge in capturing Sasuke's heart. Yet I had the clear advantage since we were placed in the same squad along with Naruto. Ever since that day in the academy he started talking to me but soon after I met Sasuke and my attention was occupied by him yet Naruto was always pestering me calling me "Sakura-chan" which at times felt weird to me since I didn't even know him well enough but I didn't mind. I was near the campfire and everyone had gone to sleep for the night, so I was staring at the full moon and stars. Involuntarily I felt tears fall down my moonlit cheeks landing on my lap each holding memories of my smiling father, calling me his little pink flower, his treasure, his hopes and dreams, so many memories that just escaped with each new tear.

Suddenly I felt a finger upon my right cheek. I turned only to find Naruto sitting right beside me looking at my teardrop on his index finger. Then he looked at me with his cerulean eyes that once again hypnotized me and again I had the same feeling to hug him. But this time instead of ignoring it I let myself hug him. As soon as I embraced him I started to weep I let out all my emotions out and he didn't push me away instead he wrapped his arms around me as well and held me tighter and closer. I felt the warmth of his body radiate off of him and his head resting on top of mine. At that moment everything around me meant nothing. No woods, no Sasuke, no Kakashi, nothing the only thing in my mind was on us intertwined and me mourning over my late father. I don't know how long we were like that but neither he nor I let our hold on one another loosen.

"Naruto, I'm sorry I got your shirt all wet", I said looking up at his blue lucid eyes.

"Don't worry, it'll dry up," he said with a smile on his face," what happened to make you so sad?"

"My father passed away", I whispered between sniffs. It didn't surprise me on the fact that he didn't know, I tried as hard as I can to keep from anyone from knowing and the few that did didn't said that they wouldn't tell.

"Oh" he said, while he said that he looked sad "it must be hard on you"

"Um...yeah but I know that I'll get through, my mom always told me that you can't live in the past for ever. So I will eventually get through it"

"Yeah, hey Sakura-chan I don't really know what it would mean to lose your parents but when I was little what really helped was looking out at the night sky", he said looking up at the sky.


"Well because of the way it looks, a single moon surrounded by stars that accompany it. It's a light that doesn't cast out the darkness or loneliness but embraces it."

"You lost me", I said with a chuckle feeling a bit happy that he was by my side

"Well I always felt so alone and in the dark I couldn't face the light since so the night was perfect for me at times I still do."

"Well you're not alone anymore you have me, I'll be in the dark along with you better yet lets face the light together" I said with a smile.

"Together" he said that in a monotone, the way that he said it caught me off guard.

"Thanks Naruto I'm really glad that I made a friend like you" I expected to see Naruto with a smile across his face but when I mentioned friend he didn't look as happy as I thought instead carried a disappointed expression.

While I was looking at him and he looked back, his eyes looked like the night itself and longing for a friend. But he got closer I felt his nose brush against mine. My cheeks were on fire. When his lips meet mine, it felt gentle and insecure. I wanted to move but I was paralyzed by his touch. His hand held my face and skin under his palm tingled with the heat that radiated from his hand. It took me a while to register that I was kissing Naruto, Naruto! My friend and clearly not Sasuke, the guy I have been crushing on. At that instant I gripped his shoulders and pushed him away and hiding my face from him, not wanting him to see my face which by now was even darker pink than the shade of my own hair. But through the corner of my eye I saw that he too was blushing

"I'm sorry", I managed to say and ran to my tent not bothering to look at him for I was worried for the look he might have. I mean I was in love with Sasuke not Naruto; Sasuke was the one that I longed for not Naruto. I was mad at him, he took my first kiss, the kiss that was supposed to be for Sasuke not him but mad at myself because deep down I liked it. What was wrong with me? That night I remember sleeping with fingers touching my lips remembering the warmth that were on them a while ago.

My third memory was when I was sixteen and already a chuunin. It had been almost three years since I have seen Sasuke and Naruto they both decided to leave to reach their goals leaving me a step behind as always. I never seem to be able to keep up with either one of them. I always struggle to barely reach were they were at but only to find out that they are still a step ahead of me. I had learned medical jutsu in order to be of some help to others since it's the only thing that I can ever do as well as monstrous strength but in comparison to my other teammates I still felt that I wasn't good enough. But it's something. I still haven't been able to forget the stupid request that I entrusted in Naruto. I never realized that he would go through with it but he did but now that I look back on it he would do anything to ensure a smile on my face. And because of that promise he had left Konaha, his friends, his squad, me. It was bad enough that Sasuke the guy that I thought I loved left me but he did as well my comforting sun that would shine through even the darkest of events left as well. But I still managed to smile through it all to not worry my friends and family, I finally understood why Naruto would never cease smiling since it would upset those around him plus this loneliness makes me strive to make something for myself and not let it over come me.

As I walked down the streets I heard a voice that I no longer thought I would hear in a long time. A voice that belongs to the one that inspires me, Naruto Uzumaki.

"Naruto?" I turned to see actually see him. He had grown taller than me in his three year absence nearly a whole head taller, and finally lost the orange and blue jumpsuit for an orange and black. Those eyes never lost the same fire that I remember seeing the day he was in the hospital; instead they seem to burn brighter and with a glint of something else.

The moment our eyes met I felt myself always getting lost in those sapphire eyes of his. He smiled and just like that I felt my day brighten even more than usual.

"Sakura-chan?" My personal sun had returned. Which if I remember brought a warm feeling within my stomach and caused my heart to flutter with those two simple words

Ever since Naruto returned we have been getting along better than before he left. It was bad enough that after the kiss we shared things were awkward between us, but now it seems that he either forgot or it didn't matter because our friendship was far more important. But as the days passed I noticed that I would think more and more of him. There would not be a day that I could go without having my thoughts straying to his whiskered face and warm personality. Even though it seemed childish to still hold feelings for Sasuke but they were still there. He would always be the first person I openly gave my heart to even after all the trouble he put me through but he was still there but now it seemed that Naruto walked into it as well and without me noticing it at all.

Today was the anniversary of my father's death, my mother had recently passed away as well I guess when the person you truly loved passed away it leaves a hole in your heart that I couldn't fill since she suffered from depression till she left me as well. So here I was all alone I finally understand what Sasuke and Naruto felt all those years. But what always turned my heart was the fact that I always paid all my attention to Sasuke and disregarded Naruto who at times needed a friend more than anyone could ever understand. And right now I needed him to shine through my darkness.

After I went to visit my parents I headed out of town during the sunset so I can be there by nightfall. Ever since the conversation with Naruto almost four years ago I saw night in a new way and like he said he couldn't face the light and I couldn't right now. When I got there the breeze played with my hair and the sound of the roaring water comforted some of the pain I felt. I sat by the water and looked down at my reflection. Nothing different about pale face, emerald eyes, pink hair and a huge forehead, I'm still the same Sakura Haruno, the girl who can never keep up with her teammates and cries too much. The gentle breeze played not only with my hair but made the trees and mountain lilies dance as if the breeze wants to cheer me up. I was completely relaxed until I saw a shadowy figure stand right behind me and felt myself tensed up preparing to attack whatever was behind me.

"Seems that this place isn't so private anymore", I heard a voice that I would recognize without second thought.

"Naruto!" I turned to find him there standing, his eyes looked directly at me and I felt my cheeks heat up the more I continued to look into his cerulean eyes.

"Hey, haven't seen you all day and started to worry especially since todays the day…", he couldn't force himself to say of my parents death but I understood since hear I am with tear stained eyes and been avoiding everyone but I felt a smile creep onto my face since he came all this way to check up on me." what were you looking at?"

"Um...at the stars, you know constellations".

"Oh, mind if I sit down."


When he sat down beside me his skin brushed against mine sending sparks of electricity through my body and just like that I didn't feel lonely anymore. Once he sat down he started pointing out many constellations and the legends behind each one. It amazed me that he knew so much. And even though it began getting colder it didn't matter because being next to him made me warm on the inside. Even after all this time I still couldn't sort out my feelings between him.

"Hey you know that star, right?" He said pointing to the brightest star in the night sky.

"Yeah, it's the North Star, it is supposed to lead you were home is", I said confidently

"Yep you're really smart Sakura-chan ", he said with a foxy smile.

"Hey what's that supposed to mean"

"Nothing just saying" he said in a defensive manner hoping that I wouldn't hit him.

"Sakura-chan" he said in a different tone, almost sad.

"Hmm" I said as I turned to face him.

"I still plan on keeping my promise" the voice that he said it in sent chills down my spine, it was so serious and made me feel that he would not stop till he completes this promise, a promise that should have never have been made in the first place. But he would never go back on his word. The more I thought back to the days of squad 7 the more I thought about my relationship with Naruto. Who was always there to cheer me up every time I felt heartbroken? Who was the one that screamed the loudest in my fight against Ino? Who was the one that nearly died in order to save me from Gaara's sand? Who was the one that always made me laugh even if others didn't know how? Who was the one that would never go back on his word to bring back a certain S-ranked criminal in order to make me happy? Who was the only person that ever really called me 'Sakura-chan'? Who was the one that came all this way just to make sure I was alright? All of these were none other than Naruto, the person that I just came to realize is far more important than Sasuke ever was just I was too blind to realize

We sat there in silence as if he was expecting me to answer to his statement of the promise I no longer wanted me to keep. But I couldn't say anything at all since he would never go back on his word.

"Hey it's getting pretty late and cold come on lets go home". He said finally breaking the silence

He stood up wiping the dust of his pants and offered his hand to me. I took it and even with that small touch I felt differently. I wondered that if he felt the same or that he knew what his touch did to me. it was now or never if I was going to tell him of my feelings it had to be now since he mentioned the promise and tell him of my new revelation. Once I was up I also wiped off the dust and began walking. With each step I thought of new ways to admit my feelings for him as well as my courage fading with each passing moment. But I had to tell him because just like four years ago he could leave again without notice and who knows how long it would be before I would get to see him again.

"Naruto" I said it so low that I thought he might not be able to hear it. but I knew he did the moment he came to a stop and turned to look at me.

"What is it Sakura-chan?" he said with an almost worried tone.

"I don't want you to go after Sasuke anymore" as I looked up he looked surprised as if he was making sure that he'd heard me correctly. "I came to realize that my happiness no longer lies with him instead with him lies all this pain that I no longer want. I came to realize something that I should have known since the beginning. My happiness lies with you Naruto-kun"

"Sakura-chan" he looked so surprised that it was adorable "are you saying what I think you saying?"

"Naruto-kun… I love you" I turned my face away to shield him from my beat red face and hoping that he didn't hear my heartbeat as loud as I thought it was. I heard the sound of Naruto's steps growing closer with each step and stop the moment I felt the heat of his body radiate off if him and then I felt his strong arms snake against my back and his head resting against the crook of my neck.

"You don't know how long I dreamt of you saying those words Sakura-chan please don't be lying to me Sakura-chan" He looked at me with eyes so tender so vulnerable that showed just how much this could affect him if I was lying to him. I reached up and stroked his whiskered cheeks. And in instinct I reached up just about to kiss him when I realized what I was about to do and stopped myself and looked away. But then I felt finger beneath my head that tilted my head to his. My emerald eyes met his cerulean, two drifting hearts that should have been together a long time ago but I was just too naïve to notice it. This time we both closed the space between our faces. And once again our lips met once again. With each second I felt my blood boil and my heart accelerate. Our lips were perfectly molded for one another and all I thought about was how could I have not noticed how he was the missing puzzle piece to my heart. I never thought that I would ever get enough of him after tonight. His hand gripped my face as his other hand rested on my waist and held my tighter to him. My hands wrapped around his neck bringing him closer to me while playing with the tips of his golden hair. But being this close wasn't enough I felt that I had to be even closer to him. With each kiss I felt electricity flow through my body each one leaving a warm sensation running through my veins. The loneliness that each of us had for so many years melted away with each passing kiss.

Finally we came to a stop each one of us grasping for air but with our cheeks blood red and longing for more. His actions all created one message "I want you", but when I looked at his warm eyes they said, "I love you".

"Hey do you mind if I tell you something" He said still breathless.

"Y-yeah" I was also breathless.

"You know that North Star and the fact that it leads you home?" he asked regaining his breath and I nodded," I always followed it as a child especially when I was beat up by the villagers but you want to know where I always ended up" he said with a smile.


"By your house and no matter where I was whenever I followed the star I will always found myself by your window as you looked into the night sky", he gently kissed me but it was enough to bring a bright red color onto my cheeks "Freaky right?".

"It is. So I began questioning the word 'home' and you want to know what I came up with," he said with the same smile.

"What!" I sounded as eager as a little child.

"Home is where the heart is".

"That's it," I was disappointed expecting more. "It's so cheesy Naruto-kun!"

"Yeah, but it make sense, just look at where the star is", he said pointing up at the night sky.

When I looked up I searched for the biggest star in the sky. I looked all around until finally I saw it. The North Star was right above us. And like always he was right.

"You see it leads me to you and how else do you think I found you and you know why" he said tilting my head in his direction, again "Because my heart belongs to you it always has and always will".

The way he said that last part, so seductively and soft as a velvet rose petal, made me breathless. Did he really mean everything he just said?

"Naruto-kun I want you to make me a new promise, first off I want you to forget Sasuke I don't need him to be happy but what I want is for you to promise to never leave, I never want to leave without telling me when you left it hurt me far more than when Sasuke left, so please I don't want you to leave, promise me that " I felt myself begging for him but it was true I would never want him to leave I never wanted to be separated after I found what truly made me happy.

"Don't worry Sakura-chan that won't be a hard promise to keep and plus I wouldn't want to stay away any way I promise that from here on out I won't leave and I'll always be yours"
After that moment Naruto and I became inseparable. It seems that we were destined to be with one another. He always knew how I felt and vise-versa. I do not know how many things we had in common and how instinctively we knew how to treat ourselves. And eventually he asked for my hand in marriage

I finally reach my true love. I felt his hands clasp mine, even after all that time I still can't shake the pleasure that his touch brings me. The priest at the podium makes us recite our vows and now the moment that will forever be engraved on my heart.

"Do you Naruto Uzumaki take Sakura Haruno as your long-loved wife to have and to hold till death do you part?"

"I do" I didn't know that just two words could make me feel so emotionally touched.

"Now do you Sakura Haruno, take Naruto Uzumaki, as your long-loved husband to have and to hold till death do you part?"
"I do".

"You may now kiss the bride."

I saw Naruto pull the veil over my head. I saw all the features of his body his arms, his sun colored hair spiked in all directions and everything else in between. But the last thing that I set my eyes upon was his eyes, his beautiful colored eyes that shined with happiness that always remind me of the night at the waterfall. The space between our faces closed and our lips met. The shock that went through me filled me with pleasure that it always does and joy that we are forever bonded to one another. My life along Naruto will be the new chapter in life, one that will hold many surprises to come.