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Old 01-22-2009, 01:04 AM   #1
thegodfather2450
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In your arms

“She shouldn’t be here!! It’s all my fault Dammit!!” The Loud voice choked with pain and frustration intruded on her thoughts, as she lay in the hospital bed.

“Naruto?” she thought “What is he going on about this time?” She wondered.

Then it hit her, the last fight with the remnants of the Sound. Kabuto was in command of them now; he had taken parts of Orochimaru into him, and in a twisted mockery of Naruto’s special gift to inspire people had said he would surpass Orochimaru just as Naruto had inspired him to do.

He had lead a foolhardy attack on Konoha that had almost succeeded in its sheer audacity. But the spirit of the Shinobi of Konoha had proven too strong for him and he had retreated with only a handful remaining of the 200 strong force he had brought with him. Their had been no casualties, and only a few serious injuries. Her’s among them. Facing off against a Sound Nin with a limited version of the Cursed Seal had proven easy enough for her. Her opponent had fallen to a single shot of her chakra enhanced strength. Then looking around she had seen him; Naruto doing battle with more then a dozen Sound Nin at the same time.

It had been breath taking to watch. He was like a hurricane in action, wild and untamed, unorthodox, and uncontrolled, yet devastating everything in his wake. Then she had seen Kabuto. The Rogue medic-nin had snuck up on Naruto with out warning and his chakra filled hand had prepared to deliver a lethal attack.

She had screamed his name. Then she had moved without thinking. She had taken the chakra scalpel right in the chest, had felt her heart torn up by it. She knew she should have died right there but instead she had grabbed Kabuto’s arm and held it with bone breaking force. Only releasing it after Naruto had smashed an Odama Rasengan into the Rogue's Gut with more force then any Rasengan he had previously done. The devastated Nuke-Nin had been spirited away by his last remaining followers before any attempt could be made to stop him. This left a crying Naruto to run her directly to Tsunade with an incredible speed he had never shown before.

Tsunade had worked tirelessly throughout the night with Shizune, and even Ino helping out. Finally with a sigh of relief she had finished, and smiled while declaring the 8 hour operation a success. She would be fine, she just needed to rest. Naruto had stayed by her side all night refusing to be moved, refusing any entreaties to go home and rest. He simply sat in a chair at her bedside, and looked at her with a haunted expression on his face.

It was his voice that had awoken her in the morning. He was arguing with other voices, which gently tried to reassure him that it wasn’t his fault. But he would not hear them. Then she heard something in his voice. Not rage or the bravado she had come to care so much about, no this was different.

It was fear, pure terror, fear of the thought that she might die because of him. But something else was there as well. Something she just couldn’t pin down until he said something more.

“Naruto” Spoke the quiet but firm voice of Kakashi Sensei. “She made a choice. You couldn’t control her actions. She did what she thought was right.”

“BUT WHY!! Why Me!! I...I…” he hesitated stuttered and couldn’t continue. “Dammit!! I can’t lose her not like this. I’m not strong enough… I’m not strong enough…”I’m …” He said softer now stuck in a loop of despair.

“I love her.” He said clear as day. And it was this statement that caused her eyes to spring open in shock.

The soft gasp was heard by all in the room and 7 sets of eyes turned to her with relief. But it was only one pair that she searched out. A pair of sapphire blues that were so deep she felt she might fall into them.

“Naruto...” She all but whispered.

She mentally noted the others who were in the room with him. There was Tsunade of course Shizune ever present at her side. Kakashi Sensei, and Sai, and Yamato-Taicho. Even Sasuke was there, having returned to the village less then a month ago.

“Sakura-Chan…” came the whispered reply

Suddenly he turned away from her, unable to look at her in his shame. And that’s when it hit her. She had never seen doubt or fear in his eyes. Not since the first battle with Zabuza in wave country. But now she saw in his eyes; terror, fear, and grief. It nearly broke her heart to see him like that.

He made to leave but she reached out and grabbed his hand in a surprisingly firm grip. He tugged gently not wanting to hurt her but she refused to let go. Not now, and if she had her way not ever again. It was long past time she decided, to confront certain feelings she had for her blond teammate, and that he had for her. And she intended to do it now.

Tsunade; perhaps sensing the atmosphere spoke quickly, but gently. “Were glad you’re ok Sakura. Rest up, and I’ll be back to check on you later.”

She turned to leave; Shizune gave her and Naruto a soft but knowing smile before following. Yamato and Sai both nodded in her direction before Tsunade cleared her throat meaningfully. Kakashi catching the implication spoke to Sasuke who made a soft sound in his throat before looking at the pair, with what approximated a genuine smile on his face. Finally they were alone in the room.

Ignoring the pain Sakura sat up and faced Naruto with her legs dangling off the bed. He still wouldn’t face her though, and looked like he might bolt if she let him go. So she reached out and grabbed his other hand. She was shocked at how perfectly their hands fit together. Hers fit into his as if his were the gloves she wore when using her massive strength. For a long moment she was silent. She knew he would say nothing so she would have to have the courage to start.

“Naruto” She spoke softly and gently. The sound of his name made him flinch visibly but she continued undaunted. “Naruto, please look at me.” She spoke again this time her voice stronger gaining courage just from his proximity. “How does he do this?” she thought “how does he give me this courage just from standing close to me.”

He hesitated seeming to debate with himself then slowly as if he had come to some internal decision he raised his head, and looked at her but not in her eyes. He still couldn’t do it. Suddenly She realized what she had to do, and why.

She raised her hands gently to his face, her palms gently caressing the whisker marks on his cheeks that were the only outward sign of his demonic tenant’s residency. Firmly but with great care she held him, and unflinchingly looked into his eyes. She needed to see his eyes she realized because otherwise, he might slip behind that damned fox grin of his, and she needed to see the truth; she needed to see it desperately.

In his eyes she saw it all. She was mesmerized, and entranced. Everything was there all in the depths of those jewel like sapphires; all his love, all his feelings, where there in his eyes. How had she not seen all this before?

“Because we never bothered to look before.” Inner Sakura scolded making a rare appearance these days.

She knew why of course. First she’d had her pink head shoved up Sasuke’s ass for way too long too notice him. Combined that with the misunderstanding she had with Naruto about her feelings for Sasuke. Then Sasuke had left the village. Naruto had promised her on his life that he would bring Sasuke back to her. And though in that tear filled instance she had seen, that Naruto did indeed understand her, that he did have true loving feelings for her. She was too broken up to look beyond the color of his eyes. Even after he had sat in the hospital and given her the courage to bring herself back from the depths of despair by renewing his promise. She realized that she had felt something then but couldn’t see past the confusion and pain she felt at the time to recognize it for what it was.

It was Love, pure and simple. Love, for her blond teammate, and best friend. Naruto, the one who always cared about her well being even at the expense of himself. Who inexplicably, always put her feelings before his own. Who had broken his own heart into pieces, just to make and keep a promise so he could mend hers. Naruto, her friend, confidante, and soul mate. Naruto, the true love of her life. Gods; how could she have been so blind for so long.



--
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:05 AM   #2
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Re: In your arms

A soft smile gently tugged at her features as she decided she’d take things slowly at first. The terror in his eyes, the fear that he’d lost her, the dread that it was his fault. She needed to make that go away. She decided right then and there that she’d never see that look in his eyes again. She could feel him trembling as she pulled him close and hugged him gently but firmly. Her embrace grew tighter as his tremors seemed to increase she could feel them now sobs, and the wetness of his tears. He was crying.

She had not seen him this broken up since Jiraiya’s death was made known to him. She had held him then too; as he wailed like a lost soul, his pain nearly unbearable. She was so frightened for him that she had thought at one point he was going to die right in her arms. But finally he had regained some composure. Maybe he had drawn it from that near bottomless well of courage that he had, or maybe he had simply decided to deal with it later. He had fallen asleep in her arms then, and she had felt no need to move or awaken him. So they had stayed like that for several hours before fatigue had taken its hold on her. His head resting against her chest letting her steady breathing and heartbeat comfort him. She had woken up in his bed later that evening, and she realized that he had woken up, and then picked her up and carried her sleeping form to his room tucking her in with a feather light kiss on her forehead, and a whispered thank you Sakura-Chan. Concerned for his absence, she left his room, and found him asleep on his couch his face awash in the soft moonlight. The sight caused her heart to skip a beat, and had taken her breath away.

Now she could feel the wet drops that were his tears falling on her shoulder as she held him. Soothing his pain with her arms, she let him have his release. When he finally seemed to settle she reluctantly released him, and her hands moved back down to his holding them gently. As she looked again into his sapphire eyes she allowed herself a brief introspection about all he had done for her that she had yet to acknowledge. She saw again clearly the moment she knew things were truly different for them. It was the moment she had finally confronted Sasuke about her feelings for him.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:09 AM   #3
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Re: In your arms

She had confronted him after him and his team Snake had come to Konoha’s rescue. A new sound invasion, had occurred only this was much more insidious. Danzo had ordered his Root shinobi to make major arrests of several shinobi who where deemed dangerous to Konoha among them, Naruto himself calling the Jinchuriki the most dangerous of them all. With the opposition removed Sound troops had entered the village and begun a systematic sweep. But a counter attack lead by Sakura herself, along with Sai’s timely betrayal of Root, had freed the prisoners. Still they were hard pressed and it was only when Sasuke had arrived with team Snake that the tables had turned. Snake was devastating, and not a single Sound shinobi survived the encounter.

Finally seizing her chance she had confronted Sasuke in private. Noting with amusement the jealous glare she had received from the glasses wearing Kunoichi she later learned was named Karin. Sasuke had agreed to speak to her briefly.

“I need to know something Sasuke. And I want the truth. Then I’ll never bother you again if that’s what you want.” She had paused and he had nodded to her to continue.

“I need to know why after we spoke that day at the bench, the day we became a team. Why Sasuke? Why when you were so gentle and caring, why when you acknowledged me did you turn on me?” She paused again the emotion of the moment overwhelming her before she gathered up her courage and soldiered on.

“Were you mad at me because of what I said about Naruto? Is that why? I understand now, the pain of loneliness you both must have felt especially after you left.” She paused again “Please tell me if you ever meant what you said that day. Why did you almost kiss me then run away from me?” She finished, finally relieved at being able to get off her chest something that had been weighing on her heart for 2 and a half years now.

He had remained silent throughout her dialogue, simply looking at her and listening to her. Then when he spoke it was with a mild hint of amusement, but also simple and to the point truth.

“I never said those things. I never almost kissed you. It wasn’t me.” She had looked him in the eyes for deception, but he never wavered. And she knew then that it was the truth. He had then explained that earlier at lunch Naruto had ambushed and surprised him. He had henged into Sasuke and left. Sasuke went on to explain that he hadn’t confronted Sakura till about 20 minutes later, when he had called her annoying.

And that’s when it had hit her. A long sequence of memories had fallen into place like dominoes, one after another each a memory of Naruto. Naruto at his best; Naruto at his worst; Naruto always being there for her; always caring; always being Naruto, but never once confronting her about that day. She realized what they now both had in common. The need to be acknowledged by a special someone. The drive to improve themselves. That spark of courage that held them up in dark times.

She had smiled then genuinely at Sasuke for the first time in a long time. She knew she could finally let those feelings for him go. They had never been real to begin with. They had been an illusion. A genjutsu cast by her blond friend. Her friend who knew what she needed so well. Now she just needed to confront Naruto and let him know as well.
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The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:12 AM   #4
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Re: In your arms



Things had not gone so well for them after that she recalled. Sakura and Sasuke had gone with Tsunade to free Naruto from the dungeons under the Hokage tower where he was being held only to find him gone. He had been turned over to Akatsuki by Danzo in an insane attempt to gain power which had cost the old hawk his life. A rescue mission had been put underway immediately. It took the combined efforts of the Rookie 9, Team Gai, and the Sand siblings, but they ultimately succeeded in stopping the extraction process and saving him.

The newly reformed Team 7 had then taken on the man named Pein, and his 5 clones. Naruto himself had landed the final blow, with the most powerful Rasenshuriken he had ever unleashed, and he had done it all under his own power. Not once had the Kyubi's power come to the fore, he had dominated the fight with sheer willpower alone. But the cost had been heavy; the injuries he sustained were near fatal making the ones he had suffered after his 4 tailed transformation seem mild in comparison. She and Tsunade; with Shizune, and Ino assisting had put everything they had and more into saving him from the near fatal injuries he had suffered.

They had succeeded; but as he lay there comatose they knew he needed more, he needed a reason to live. So all of those present had then confessed to his comatose form how he had affected them individually. All of them, Neji, then Ten Ten, and Lee, Shino, Hinata, and Kiba, Shikamaru, Choji, and Ino, Kankuro, Temari, and Gaara, Tsunade, and Shizune finally coming full circle to team 7, first Kakashi, then Sasuke, and finally her. She had done the only thing she could think to do at the time. What do you say to someone you’ve ignored for so long? Who you’ve only truly seen recently because of a crush on another. So she had said nothing. She bent down and to the great shock of everyone present had kissed him full on the lips.

Her first kiss; she had thrown all her love, all her longing, all her fear and pain at the very thought of losing him into that kiss. The feeling hadn’t left her lips for days afterwards. He had awoken slowly, just long enough to give her that special smile that he saved only for her before slipping back into a restful sleep. She had cried then refusing to budge, refusing to release him as she cradled him to her chest. Rocking him gently back and forth as she cried grateful that he was ok, and safe.

She wanted to say more to him but she had been a bit busy since then. Both of them had, to be honest. Naruto had been promoted to Chunnin by Tsunade as a reward for his heroic deeds. He had been sent out on multiple missions. She had been dealing with a multitude of injuries at the hospital in the aftermath of the Sound's failed invasion, and Naruto's rescue. So what little time they had gotten to spend together had been brief. Just quiet lunches at Ichiraku (his treat of course) or quiet time spent at her apartment, or his just enjoying each others company.

Now though they needed to talk, and she needed to know. So she decided to start slowly at the beginning. Giving his hands a reassuring squeeze she looked him in the eyes and spoke.

“Naruto” Her voice was calm but firm. He looked her in the eyes finally. “I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to be honest with me. Even if you think it well hurt me. Do you understand?”

He didn’t say anything, all he did was nod, but she looked into his eyes and she saw in them the truth. He would do as she said.

Hell she realized; he’d throw himself off a cliff and flap his arms trying to fly, if he thought it would make her happy. She smiled inwardly at the notion, while Inner Sakura nearly had a breakdown laughing so hard at the image of a chibi Naruto flapping his arms wildly trying to fly like some animated bird. Scarily enough though while looking into his eyes, and seeing the vast well of courage, and knowing the deep devotion he had for her. Their were times she was convinced that he could actually do it. Simply because she asked him to, and that thought scared her a little, and she knew she'd have to be careful. Because that type of devotion was once in a lifetime. She resolved she would never abuse or waste it.

“Naruto” She continued “When we first came together as a team. You asked me a question. Do you remember what it was?”

He looked confused for a second then replied simply. "I asked you if you wanted to eat lunch together since we were on the same team." He replied shrugging slightly. Irked at his response Sakura felt like she should have clobbered him right then and there for his simplicity. But then she realized that he was just being honest as he could be under the circumstances.

She shook her head she’d have to coax him further it seemed. “No Naruto, that’s not what I meant.” She allowed just the right hint of irritation to surface before quickly shoving it back down. She wanted him honest not scared more then he already was.

“I meant the question you asked me next.” She looked at him as if daring him to try and obfuscate his answer, or play stupid with her. He still looked confused, and she wondered if he even remembered. Then his eyes widened and he turned away again in shame. He had realized that she knew now. But she quickly reached up and turned his head back to her caressing his whiskered cheek’s soothingly. All the while she looked directly into his eyes her emerald one’s never leaving his.

‘I..:” He hesitated visibly. “I asked you what you thought of me.” He finished simply and in a slight whisper. “I’m sorry Sakura-Chan I never meant to hurt you.” He apologized softly. “I just had to know what you thought of me, I had to know why I felt like I did about you. Why when I looked at you my stomach got all tight, why my heart beat fast, so fast I’d swear it would burst out of my chest. Why every time I’d see you the sky would be a lot bluer, the sun would shine brighter.”

He was on a roll now, and as her eyes widened at his confession she felt a wrenching at her heart. A pain of knowing how much time she had wasted. “I just had to know. I wanted you to know that I liked your forehead even when you didn’t. I loved how smart you were. And I loved how you looked at me. You weren’t like the other kids. You didn’t hate me because of him.” He hesitated but only for a second. “You got mad at me only because I was being a jerk or a brat.” Another brief pause “I just had to know, and I figured you wouldn’t talk to me so I needed a disguise. I ambushed Sasuke-Teme and henged into him. That’s when I spoke to you.”

He looked into her eyes and she saw the whole truth. Her cheeks flushed pinker then her hair, as she heard his reasons for wanting to know more about her. That he liked her abnormally large forehead. He loved her brains. Now that she thought about it. All his comments about her “Monstrous Strength” had been his indirect way of saying "WOW!! Sakura-Chan I think your awesome.” It was his special way of praising her the way no other ever had. She felt pride and a great deal of happiness that he thought so highly of her. Even feeling charmed that he loved what she thought of as her worst feature. She also felt an equal measure of shame in herself. Was she really such a vain and selfish bitch back then that she couldn’t even offer to let him speak to her without his feeling the need to disguise himself?

Suddenly she felt him move. His hands reached up and gently placed themselves on her shoulders. She realized that he must have felt her discomfort and moved to make her feel better. The instant his hands 

touched her shoulders she felt that incredible warmth and safety that she felt when she was with him. Comforted and protected all at once by his unselfish nature.

?
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Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:13 AM   #5
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Re: In your arms

Smiling again she looked into his eyes. Trying to do what Kakashi had told them to do all those years ago at their first bell test. To look beneath the underneath, as he'd said. Closing her eyes for a moment she took the memory of his eyes, and tried to see what she could. And it was in this instance, that she felt all the walls come down. All the barriers she had erected around her heart after Sasuke’s betrayal. All she had to do was allow him in. Allow Naruto into her heart. He was already there she realized, and he had been there for a long time. She saw now all her memories in the context of him and his love for her.

Naruto standing in the middle of the street as a child, receiving cold stares from the people of the village, except her mom who felt sorry for the boy. Little Sakura wanted to reach out to him but he had run off crying before she could. Her mother then led her back home for supper.

Naruto now; not henged into Sasuke. Complimenting her forehead just as she’d imagined. He knew her so well already even then.

Naruto cheering with her loudly when they became the first genin team to be passed by Kakashi ever.

Naruto constantly mirroring her expressions, and she mirroring his on numerous occasions most especially when Kakashi was late.

Naruto showing amazing courage by standing up to Zabuza. Taking a pounding in order to retrieve his precious headband. The amazing feelings she had for him at that moment now clear as crystal. The stirrings of something special in her heart.

Naruto cheering her on and giving her high praise when she had mastered the tree climbing exercise on the first try. Even later humbly asking her for her help with it.

Naruto in the Chunin exams going berserk as he’d taken on a snake 100 times his size in order to save her and Sasuke from Orochimaru.

Naruto in the preliminaries Shouting like a madman, giving her the strength to break Ino’s mind transfer jutsu. His courage enabling her to fight Ino to a draw.

Naruto defeating Kiba. Displaying incredible courage and durability despite the beating he was taking. The way she cheered him on, and the incredible way she had felt when he won.

Naruto blowing her and everyone else away by beating Neji, the Hyuuga prodigies face as shocked as everyone’s when he reactivated his chakra, and finally putting Neji down for the count. She had cheered louder then anyone at that instance. She couldn’t have been prouder of him at that moment.

Naruto comically trying to learn Chidori from Kakashi sensei, and The look of utter shock on her face when Sasuke had told her that it had been Naruto that had saved her from Gaara, putting his life on the line, and showing amazing powers he had never shown before. All for her, and the soft smile she directed at Naruto that had followed.

Naruto, easing her concerns after his fight on the rooftop with Sasuke. Naruto being the only person she felt she could confide in about the cursed seal.

Naruto, in the obvious pain of a broken heart, but putting it aside for her his hand shaking visibly as he gave a thumbs up, all while making her a promise of a lifetime. The moment that stood out most clearly though was when she finally knew how much he truly understood her, and how much he truly cared for her but most importantly how much she truly, deeply trusted him.

Naruto after he returned from the failed attempt. His body injured, and his heart broken even more then hers was. By Sasuke’s confession of friendship before trying to kill him and his failed promise to her.

Naruto in that instance when she was lost to despair giving her heart wings again, by reaffirming his pledge. Giving her the strength to go to Tsunade, and demand to be trained, So that the next time. They could go together

She had spoken with Sasuke at length about their fight at the Valley of The End recently. And while he had not gone into too much detail he did say that Naruto had won that fight. All he had to do to claim victory was kill his best friend and brother. But he didn’t, or he couldn’t for some reason he didn’t understand. She knew why though, because if he’d killed him he would have broken his promise to her.

She paused in her recollection at that moment. The look on Naruto's face and, the strength in his eyes, the courage of his conviction, always for her. She realized it was then at that moment, a moment now she could see with no blinders on no prejudices. She could see it as clearly as the sky. That was the moment she fell in love with him for the first time.

Other recollections soon followed. Her blushing thoughts on his return after his training with Jiraiya. The second bell test with Kakashi, and the way they had worked together so smoothly despite two and a half years apart. The mission to rescue Gaara, and Naruto’s surprise confession about his demonic tenant. Her shock and anguish at learning he would die if the Kyubi were removed. The mission to the bridge and the pain he was in as he transformed into the 4 tailed state. His agony, injuries, and the guilt he felt at having caused her own injury which would leave a scar she would bare the rest of her days. His despair and pain again at failing to retrieve Sasuke, and her calm resolve that helped him pick himself back up. All of these and more flowed through her mind as she recalled them all with near perfect clarity. Yes now she could truly see for the first time.

Opening her eyes she looked up into his sapphire eyes and allowed a soft warming smile to cross her lips. This smile would be reserved for him she promised herself. No one else would see it unless it was directed at him.

He looked at her with concern at first, then as that smile crossed her lips. He smiled back a genuine true smile. That same smile he had given to her when she’d kissed him then. Gently she pulled him closer. Her lips parted and she kissed him again. It was different from her last kiss with him. It was softer and flowed more easily. It was filled with love, instead of the great angst and pain she’d felt then. As she could feel his initial surprise melt away he wrapped his arms around her, and she did the same deepening the kiss as she did. All she wanted was this moment here with him, nothing more nothing less. And as they held each other time it self seemed to stand still. And the rest of the world seemed to move far, far away.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only a few minutes they parted lips, And Sakura buried her head into his chest. She was tired and still sore but she didn’t want him to leave yet, she didn’t want to leave the safety and comfort of his arms. She tried to stifle it but a yawn escaped her. Naruto though caught it, and laid her down gently on the bed. She protested weakly but he soothed her by kissing her forehead gently. As Naruto tried to disengage her arms though, Sakura refused to let him go. Instead she slid over and pulled him down on the bed with her. His initial shock nearly overwhelmed him. So she did the only thing she could think to do. She let a tear fall down her cheek, and said in a quiet voice.

“Stay. Please stay with me.” She whispered

She didn’t say I love you, I need you, never leave me again. No, Not yet. She would soon though. Later when she was healthy she promised herself that the two of them would take a vacation to Wave country or too one of the Hot spring resorts in the Islands of the Tea country. Tsunade-Shishou would grant her request. There they would relax, and speak of many things, all away from the pressures of being the so called Neo-Sannin as they had heard themselves, and Sasuke being referred to.

Silently, he acquiesced to her plea. Kicking off his sandals and sliding onto the bed with her he made sure to tuck the covers around her first. Something her inner self silently protested. But she allowed him this small concession to his pride. Wrapping his arms gently round her she snuggled into him; for the first time in a long while feeling completely safe and at ease. Let the world fall to pieces she thought as long as she was in those arms, listening to that heartbeat beating in synch with hers. She could care less. All she needed was there in his arms.

The End
__________________

Failures must be seen as amusements,they are trials which hone your skills.
The frog in the well drifts into the great ocean.
Feel pain,conteplate pain,accept pain and know pain.
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