Chapter 1: A New Road
A/N: Welcome to the sequel of Blackened Petal! I’m so pleased to have finally written and uploaded the first chapter. I start classes next week, so I can’t promise regular updates, however, I fully intend on writing this story and finishing it, regardless of how long it takes.
I hope you enjoy the first chapter and will support Call of the Matriarch as you’ve done with the prequel.
In the months that have passed since the return of men and the Phoenix forces, Konoha flourished. The Hidden Leaf Village had been rebuilt from the ground up.
With inspiration from the numerous visions Sakura received from her embryo, the contracted civilian construction team created tall skyscrapers that shined bright along the horizon. The once damaged infrastructure was replaced with new and colorful buildings that contributed to the atmosphere of peace and happiness that now blessed the once gloomy village.
The evidence of the Black Death that had plagued Konoha more than two decades ago was erased.
The first few weeks were extremely difficult for the younger members of the Phoenix forces. Many still considered themselves loyal to the dead Slug Sannin and didn’t take well the instauration of Minato as Hokage.
To appease their immediate threat of rebellion, Yūgao was selected to represent them and be “on par” with the Hokage’s authority. In reality, the purple-haired kunoichi always deferred to Minato due to her immense respect for him.
Another point of tension was the relation between men and women. The young daughters coldly rejected their fathers’, to the latter’s grief. Months later, much progress had been made in tightening the bond between fathers and daughters, yet more work still needed to be done.
Yūgao stood on top of the Hokage mountain and admired the view of her beloved village.
For years, she had lost hope that Konoha would ever return to its former glory. Now, its resurrection completely exceeded her expectations. She felt life return to the village and its inhabitants once more.
A small smile curved her lips as she delicately placed a hand over the barely noticeable bump on her abdomen. Yes, life was indeed returning to the village. The tree that set the foundation of their village and the Will of Fire had more branches with new leaves ready to bloom.
Beside her, Minato’s golden hair shined under the bright sun.
A look of serenity made him appear younger, and a quiet sigh of content blew past his lips.
Yūgao glanced at him. “Have you thought about my proposition?”
The man nodded his head. “I have, and I accept it.” His face softened. “I’m honored to be the godfather of your child.”
The soon-to-be-mother smiled brightly at him. “Thank you so much, Minato-sama! Hayate will be very pleased, as am I.”
“I’m glad.” The man replied. “Kushina and I have thought about having another child, but we’re too old for that. Besides, with your little bundle of joy coming soon, we’ll certainly be busy.”
Yūgao snickered. “You’re not that old.”
Minato laughed in good nature. “I may not look it, but I certainly feel so. Especially with Naruto bouncing around in excitement and wanting to be friends with everyone.”
“He’s happy to finally be at his true home,” the woman reasoned. “We’re all happy to have our home back.”
Minato nodded. “Yes, that’s true.” His eyes darkened slightly. “How is Sakura doing?”
Yūgao looked back at the village. “She’s doing much better. She’s still haunted by her experience with the Akuma and Tsunade-sama, but the Uchihas and her friends are a huge support for her. She’ll pull through this.”
The Hokage hummed, pleased. “This is good news. I can only hope that one day, she’ll find absolute peace from the dark past.”
“She will. Sasuke will guide her there.”
A smile graced Minato’s face. “I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a wedding yet.”
Yūgao grinned. “Not everyone can move forward fast like your son.”
A combination between exasperation and affection passed over Minato’s face. “I’m still not sure if he should marry so soon, but he’s absolutely smitten by Hinata. I’m surprised that her father agreed to the marriage.”
The woman shrugged. “Love’s a mysterious force. I think Hinata’s headstrong ways influenced her father to accept the match.”
“In that case, Kushina and I won’t need to have more kids. Naruto and Hinata will probably give us grandchildren immediately.”
Yūgao smiled in amusement. “Enjoy the peace while you can.”
Minato rubbed the back of his head. “I have a feeling that I’ll go grey before I turn 50.”
“Teme, get your ass back here!”
Said person scowled in annoyance. “For the last time, I wasn’t peeking on you and Hinata. You shouldn’t have chosen the public gardens to sleep with her.”
“It’s closed, or can’t you read the signs?!”
From there, the fighting turned physical as Naruto launched himself at the Uchiha, and they started exchanging punches.
A certain rosette stood at the entrance as she stared at the two arguing men in confusion.
Her hair was now shoulder-length and more luscious. Another six months, and her hair would reach the same length from before.
Her once gaunt-looking face also regained the lean muscle from before and her skin glowed in a healthy complexion.
Sakura had accompanied the youngest Uchiha son to the gardens for a surprise he had planned for her, only for him to run out as an enraged Uzumaki chased him down.
Since the two men were occupied, Sakura made her way to where they came from.
She was surprised to see the Hyuga heiress completely naked aside from the blanket she was using to cover herself.
Upon seeing Sakura, the raven-haired woman sighed. “So much for a romantic night.”
The rosette cocked an eyebrow and studied the scenery.
A pale blue blanket covered the soft grass as the couple sat there previously. Some leftover food was roughly shoved away as the rosette imagined Naruto pouncing on her friend. Beautiful flowers of dazzling colors decorated the area, including a crown of them that adorned Hinata’s head.
Sakura had to admit that she was impressed by Naruto’s effort for a romantic evening.
The rosette offered a sheepish smile. “Sorry for ruining your night.”
Hinata sighed but offered her friend a kind smile. “It’s not your fault. Neither of us knew that Sasuke was planning something similar on the same night.”
Sakura’s face flushed as she held out her hands. “N-no! That’s not why we came.”
A slight smirk passed over Hinata’s angelic face. “Sure, you weren’t.”
Sakura ignored her jab and held the raven-haired woman to get dressed.
Once appropriate, the two women walked back to the men and saw Sasuke hold a still angry Naruto down.
Hinata stepped forward. “Naruto-kun, please calm down. No harm was done.”
Naruto pouted. “But anata, he saw your perfect body; something that he had no right to see!”
Sakura sharply turned her head towards Sasuke who conveniently pretended that he hadn’t seen her. The reddening of his ears was the only indication.
Hinata gestured Sasuke to let her fiancé go and approached the blond.
“We can continue this elsewhere, Naruto-kun.” She pulled him up and looked over at Sakura.
“Have a good evening.” With a wink, the couple left.
Sakura walked over to Sasuke and slapped his head hard.
The Uchiha winced and rubbed the sore area.
Sakura sighed, and quickly healed the rapidly-forming bump, and kissed Sasuke’s forehead.
Sasuke grumbled but pulled the rosette into his embrace. “The dobe ruined the surprise.”
Sakura sniggered. “Yes, but he and Hinata certainly surprised you.”
The Uchiha made a “hmmp” sound of discomfort, and Sakura laughed at his adorableness.
“So, what was the surprise?” The woman asked.
Sasuke lead her to an isolated zone of the public gardens past where Sakura found her friend. A similar scenario as to what Naruto prepared, awaited them.
Sakura’s heart swelled with affection, and she showed it by kissing the Uchiha hard.
When they pulled away, Sakura nearly cooed at the cute sight of a blushing Uchiha.
The couple sat down on the blanket and shared the delicious snacks while they talked about their day.
As Sakura recounted what she did, Sasuke took pleasure in not seeing the darkness within her eyes that had haunted her for months after her death.
He inwardly winced.
Not her permanent death, but a vicious attack nonetheless.
About a month after they’ve settled in Konoha, Sakura confessed the deal she made with her embryo.
Shock wasn’t an appropriate enough term to describe how Sasuke had felt then.
He was angry at her for making such a risky deal with an unpredictable monster, yet he couldn’t deny the relief he felt knowing that the embryo played a part in protecting Sakura from the Akuma Queen’s mental wrath.
He willed those dark thoughts away and focused on the rosette.
He admired her beauty as her eyes lit up in pride of her medical apprentice, and the smile that graced her face.
The rosette had wormed her way into his heart and he had no intention of letting her go. She was the sun that pushed back the darkness that nearly consumed him. She gave him his life back.
“Yuki asked me for a visual demonstration on how to stabilize a fractured vertebra. I told her that I couldn’t since none of the current patients had such an injury, so that crazy girl broke her own back on purpose. I nearly had a heart-attack, and when I did heal her, I was half tempted to break her back again.” The rosette laughed.
The Uchiha’s heart felt light and his face softened at the joy and ease Sakura felt.
He cupped the rosette’s face and pulled her in for a kiss.
She responded eagerly and ran her fingers through his soft hair.
They pulled away and rested their foreheads against each other. Onyx and emerald eyes stared into one another as a silent message passed through them.
Sakura quickly removed something from her neck. She gently grabbed a hold of Sasuke’s hand and placed the delicate object in it.
His eyes bore confusion as he touched her necklace. “Why are you giving me this?”
Sakura swallowed hard. “It was originally given to my mother by my father shortly before they married. I’m now giving it to you.”
Immediately understanding, Sasuke stared at her in surprise. “Sakura, are you sure about this? You do realize what it means by giving me this?”
A soft smile graced Sakura’s face, before she leaned in to kiss Sasuke softly. “It’s my wish to give it to you, as is my heart, if you’ll accept them,” she said quietly, looking down shyly.
The momentary silence had the rosette biting her lip nervously, though it was quickly washed away when she felt Sasuke’s hands grab hers gently.
She looked up and felt her heart soar at the sight.
Sasuke smiled at her gently, and she could clearly see the happiness in his eyes.
He chuckled. “You’ve made this easier for me.”
Sakura cocked her head in confusion. “What do you mean?”
Sasuke reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a black box. He opened it and revealed a gorgeous sapphire ring that had Sakura’s jaw drop.
Emotions swirled through the Uchiha’s dark eyes as he looked at her. “Will you do me the honor in marrying me?”
Sakura snapped her jaw shut and wrapped her arms around him. “Yes!” She said ecstatically, and tears of joy poured down her cheeks.
Sasuke chuckled as he reveled in the rosette repeatedly kissing his lips and cheeks.
Sakura finally calmed down and smiled widely at him. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
Sasuke gently slipped the ring on her finger, and she marveled at the way it gleamed even in the moonlight.
She glanced back at Sasuke who stared at her with intense eyes.
The man pulled her into his embrace. “Thank you, Sakura.” He whispered.
Said person smiled and cuddled against him.
Her life may not have been perfect, but it was certainly getting better.
Sakura was stunned to see the Uchiha clan members throwing confetti at them and wearing identical grins on their angelic faces.
She looked at Sasuke whose ears burned a bright red as Itachi clapped him on the shoulder.
Mikoto stepped towards them and engulfed the rosette into a tight embrace. “I told you that soon enough you’d be calling me ‘kaa-san’.”
Sakura returned the hug gladly and laughed joyfully as the other Uchiha women surrounded her and asked her for details about the proposal.
In her peripheral vision, she saw Sasuke chatting with his brother, the fathers of the Uchiha girls and Kakashi who offered the younger man a one-eyed smile.
The rosette still didn’t understand why the copy-nin insisted on wearing a mask even though he was among family.
Little Kai and Takara presented Sakura with a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers that specifically grew within the Uchiha compound.
“Congratulations, Sakura-nee-chan!” They both said.
The rosette smiled at them, and ruffled their hair, before she took their gift.
Kai’s mother embraced her as well and wished her all the best in her relationship.
Then, she humbly accepted the various engagement gifts from her soon-to-be family members and proceeded to chat with Kakashi and Itachi.
“Mah, I’ve had a feeling that Sasuke would pop the question soon.” Kakashi commented.
Itachi nodded. “As did I. When Sasuke wants something, he’ll do anything to get it.”
“You know the rules: no love without the glove. You may be getting married, but you’re still too young to have kids.”
Sakura flushed in embarrassment, yet she couldn’t help the smile that formed on her face.
Mikoto scoffed. “Nonsense. Itachi isn’t married yet, so of course Sasuke and Sakura will have to give me grandchildren.”
Itachi and Sakura both blushed.
The eldest Uchiha son discreetly glanced at one of the Uchiha Phoenix kunoichi who was conversing with the other women.
Mikoto noticed and kissed his cheek affectionately. “Perhaps, I’ll soon have two daughters-in-law.”
Itachi looked away in embarrassment as the small group laughed in good nature.
The celebration party went on until the moon reached its apex.
By then, the children were already asleep, and the couples returned to their houses to settle down for the night.
Sakura and Sasuke were given privacy as they made their way to the large lake in the center of the compound.
Immediately upon reaching the lake, they pressed themselves against each other and quickly removed their clothing.
Sasuke gently laid the rosette on the soft grass and looked at her tenderly.
She glanced up at him and admired his dark eyes that shined with the starlight from the heavens.
Their lips met, and Sasuke slowly entered the rosette’s tight heat. Groans were earned from both of them as they relished in the feeling of being one.
They started off slow, but through the throngs of passion and desire their speed increased.
Sakura held on tightly to the Uchiha as he pounded into her and made her see stars.
She cried out his name as she experienced one of the most powerful orgasms to date, and the Uchiha was close behind as his seed exploded inside of the rosette.
The couple shuddered in ecstasy and kissed each other once more, before the Uchiha pulled out.
He wrapped his strong arms around the rosette who sighed in contentment. This was where she belonged; safe in his embrace.
Sakura didn’t know what the future held, but as long as Sasuke would walk along the new road with her, the rosette would face life head first.