Naruto – Sakura Petals
‘Naruto’ by Masashi Kishimoto
DISCLAIMER: Naruto isn’t mine; this story is, though. Heh… I like this pairing. I apologize to all of you who don’t.
Warnings: WAFF, mentions of yaoi, etc.
Characters: Haruno Sakura, Sabaaku no Gaara, other villagers, Konoha ninja, etc.
Pairings: Sakura x Gaara, Temari x Kiba, [implied] Kakashi x Iruka, [implied] Neji x Sasuke, [implied] Hinata x Naruto, [implied] Shikamaru x Ino
If you have seen this posted on fanfiction.net, it’s because I posted it there.
Such sunny days were hard to come by, especially in the Konoha autumns. As the temperature decreased in the fall season, not many people dressed as she chose to. A sarong of colours swirled around her shaven and tanned legs, the warmth-filled glow only enhancing the darkened skin tone. Her top was a well-fitted plain white short-sleeved shirt. The cherry trees—her namesake, had a few stray blossoms left over from the long summer. Sighing and pausing to pick a few of the small blue flowers in the lush grass, Haruno Sakura reflected on how impossibly foolish she had been, and only a few months ago she had finally found out why. As the moon began to rise in the darkening sky, images in her head rose unbidden to the surface, the gentle blossoms she had recently plucked flew from her fingers with the wind.
Hyuuga Hinata was walking with Naruto, their hands entwined as they went to a new ramen shop. They were both giggling over ramen over something stupid Kakashi-sensei had recently gone and done. Later, she had seen them sitting beside each other on the ledge of Naruto’s small apartment as they shared a few kisses.
The other Hyuuga, the renowned Hyuuga Neji, had been spotted at a small club area with Uchiha Sasuke. Both young men—since they were both 16 or so now—seemed to be enjoying themselves. She remembered the warmth and affection in their eyes as they gazed at each other, the closeness of their bodies to each other. Oddly enough, it no longer bothered her.
Nara Shikamaru and her very own best friend, Yamanaka Ino, were a couple now. They had announced their coming engagement to a few friends, including Sakura. She remembered the squeal of delight from Ino, and the typical lazy nod from the taller shinobi.
Even Kakashi-sensei had found a lover. He too, like Sasuke, was a little…different. His boyfriend was the shy dolphin Chuunin, Umino Iruka. It was a well-known fact by now; Kakashi could be seen exiting Iruka’s window every morning.
All in all, the oddest part was Temari. She had found a home here as well, and assimilated into the life of a Konoha ninja. She was now a Jounin ANBU tracking head. Doing her work in assassination and poisons, she had decided that the half-crazy, half-genius Kiba would be a great man for her. They were engaged already, at ages 16 and 16 ½, respectively. It seemed amazing to Sakura that the two got along so well, but apparently they did…
Everyone seemed to be happy as fall began to bloom, but where was her future love? Where was the man she would fall for so completely and totally that she would spend the rest of her life with him? Was there even one?
First, it had been the ‘precious’ Uchiha loner, the guy with a fan club and no interest. By the time he was 15, they all knew why. Then it had been Rock Lee. Also taken. And by her reckoning, the girl he had by his side constantly didn’t like other people hitting on Lee… She had been enamoured with Kankuro for about three days. Laying her pink-haired head against one of the many sakura trees, she considered the last person she had ever truly thought she cared for… Sabaaku no Gaara, the present Kazekage. Now that he had tamed the beast Shukaku, he was truly a kind, even gentle being with little desire to hurt without provocation. His spirited red hair was now edged with blonde, she had heard, to honour the sand and the village. Slowly but surely, he was turning the shinobi village hidden in sand around, into a better place. Even the dim-witted Uzumaki Naruto could see that.
Sure, Naruto had matured, but he was still…well…he was himself.
Smiling slightly, after an hour or so of deliberation and deep thought, she realized that she was indeed in love. The man of the sand, Sabaaku no Gaara, had captured her heart. Whispering his sacred name to the breeze, the night sky, anything that would listen but not remember, she cried out his name without much of a sound at all.
“Sakura, I love you too…”
Was that the stirring air? Was it her imagination? Or was it…
She turned her head slightly, and smoothly brushing her hair away from her face, her heart skipped a beat. There, on the limb of her tree, she saw him.
“Sabaaku no Gaara…Kazekage,” she murmured cautiously. Speaking then as a shinobi and not from her heart, she questioned him. “Why have you come to Konohagure?” Watching motionlessly as he brought his hand gently to her startled but beautiful face, he spoke almost without words. Exploring with a single finger, he toughed her soft, full lips, her ‘noble’ brow, her eyebrows, and then trailed it back to his heart, grasping the very air.
“I came…to remember you, Sakura-chan. My only hope is that you would permit me to remember you well. This is why.” Smiling, he began to finish the thought aloud, and then the smile dropped abruptly, replaced by a saddened smile. “Could—would you accept me for who I am?” He begged her quietly, the smile dropping and displaying a look of…no, it wasn’t…but it had to be…desperation. “So many people still glare at me with hatred. I am a monster. Is that what I am, then? A beast, a shinigami that will not sleep?” Sakura nodded to this, watching his face go to exasperation with himself and the world.
“Yes, Gaara-chan, you hold a beast within you.” His face fell, saddened with the bitter taste of rejection. He was about to say something, but Sakura got there first, placing a gentle finger on his own lips now, effectively silencing him. “But we can tame it completely—together, if you will allow me.”
There will be more soon. I will update as I have more, which may be hard to do as my Claymore fic ‘Kin Metsuki no Zansatsusha’ and my Juvenile Orion fic ‘Covenant Wings’ currently come first.