Adventure in Nadeshiko
Full Summary: Naruto and his teammate Sakura are sent on a mission to Nadeshiko Village by order of the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade. This mission enables Sakura to discover what Naruto had revealed to Shizuka about his feelings for her… and when she discovers it, what will she think about her teammate? The boy who was always by her side all this time?
Main Pairings: NaruSaku, nuff said.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto.
The Feelings of The Two
Uzumaki Naruto was asleep in his house, an odd factor considering the fact that it was already noon and everyone in the village was already up and bustling. However, he was comfortable in the shelter of his own house. Things were back to normal after the Fourth Shinobi World War, and Naruto could not ask for anything more. He had finally managed to bring back his teammate, Uchiha Sasuke, and the Allied Shinobi Forces had emerged victorious in the war against Uchiha Madara. To put the icing on the cake, Naruto had finally fulfilled his long-standing promise to Sakura-chan, the one he had made years ago whilst the two were still genin and now, things were completely different.
Yes, they were completely different. It wasn't because Sakura was a chuunin now while he and Sasuke still remained genin. No, that was a minuscule matter, since both Naruto and Sasuke had already reached the peak of their abilities whilst in the war. Naruto had unlocked his full potential as Jinchuuriki, while Sasuke had unlocked his full potential as an Uchiha. The two were already stronger than Kakashi and most of the other Jounin in the village at this point; the only person who was on their level was probably the Hokage, Tsunade. What really got to Naruto was the fact that he had brought Sasuke back, and now there was nothing that stood between him and confessing his long-standing love for his pink haired teammate, Haruno Sakura.
Thoughts of the girl filled his head and Naruto turned his head in his sleep. A small smile had broken on his face, and he started wondering why he had fallen so in love with Sakura-chan. Sure enough, she was extremely attractive, her green eyes light a fire in his soul like none he had ever experienced before, and her pink hair added to her boundless beauty. This however, did not mean that she was the prettiest girl in Konoha. Heck, even the Special Jounin, Mitarashi Anko was extremely attractive, and she had a killer rack to brag about. It wasn't anything superficial such as her appearance. Sakura was also strong; in fact she was the second strongest kunoichi in the village after Tsunade. Her medical skills were also something to write home about, since she had unlocked the Byakugou Seal on her forehead in the war, it only added to her strength. Naruto still felt the undying need to always protect her though, even if at that point in time she kept insisting that she was perfectly fine on her own. Still, he rarely left her to her own devices, and it required her own violence to actually keep him away from her long enough for her to carry herself in her own way.
Naruto was in love with Sakura ever since that day on the bench. When her, him and Sasuke had been newly formed as Team Seven, and he disguised himself as Sasuke to go and talk to Sakura. It was at that point that Sakura had confessed to Naruto as "Sasuke" that all she wanted was to be acknowledged by him. That made him realize why he liked her so much. She was the same as him, in that both of the sought acknowledgement, her from the Uchiha and him from the village that had detested him so much since he was a kid. Since that point, Naruto had put his best foot forward and tried to woo the girl. There was some progress, since Naruto had seen her shed tears for him on several occasions, plus how she healed him time and time again even when her chakra levels were dangerously low. However, something in Naruto still told him that he still could do more for her, and this was the thought that kept on pushing him to always stay by her side.
He had decided to confess to her after the war, but once they had returned to the village he simply could not find the time to talk to her in person. This was because she spent most of her time in the hospital healing all the casualties from the war who were from Konoha. They were quite a number, and since Sakura had been promoted to the Head of the Medical Corps, she always had to be in the hospital to oversee the medical care of all the patients. Tsunade herself could not assist her, since she was up to her neck in her duties as Hokage, and could not even spare anytime to go and check up on the villagers. Shizune was able to drop in from time to time to check up on Sakura, but this was likely due to the fact that she had to take back medical reports to Tsunade about the state of the hospital. I fact, Naruto was actually surprised that Sakura was not spending her time with Sasuke, who spent most of his days in the training ground by himself honing his skills more and more. Needless to say Naruto was a bit happy at this, but still he did not find any reason why Sakura had not once talked to Sasuke properly since Naruto had brought him back to the village.
Then just as Naruto was about to brush his thoughts about Sakura away and delve further into his sleep, he heard the knocking on his door. A bit surprised as to who was knocking on his door at this time of the day, he thought that it was one of his friends who had come to hang out with him. A bit irritated since he did not like it when his sleep was cut short, he slowly dragged himself to his door and opened it, his eyes still half-closed. However, the person he met standing on the door surprised him so much that his sleepiness all drifted away.
"Sakura-chan? What are you doing here?" Naruto asked the pink-haired girl who was on his door steps. It wasn't such a misplaced question, since it wasn't exactly the first time that Sakura had been to his house. She had been there before to inform him that he had been summoned by Tsunade in her office. Although at this point in time, there were barely any feuds between the Five Great Nations, plus the Akatsuki had been completely dealt with, therefore the number of missions had considerably lessened. "Naruto, Tsunade-sama sent me to call you. She says there is an emergency and we need to go to her office as soon as possible," Sakura explained to her blonde-haired teammate.
This news sent a jolt down Naruto's spine. The word "emergency" immediately made him think of mission, and it had been an awfully long time since he had been out of the village. He felt like he needed the much desired break from his monotonous lifestyle at the moment, and a small part of him told him that it would help him find a way to deal with his oncoming confession for Sakura. Honestly, he did not have any idea how he would go about confessing his love for her. Of course, he could just go to her and tell her, "Sakura-chan, I have always loved you. Please go out with me." However, something told him that doing this out of the blue would just earn him a punch from Sakura, along with her extremely shocked face afterwards. Pervy Sage had once him once that with a woman you had to set the atmosphere before you confessed, and you had to go about the whole process carefully lest you risk the woman running away from you forever. Still, he had no idea how to do this, so he might have as well seek some inspiration by leaving the village and getting some pointers by observing the environment around him.
"Give me a minute. Lemme get my jacket then I'll be right there," he told Sakura, and immediately he went back into his room and retrieved his jacket which was lying on his bed. Putting it over his white t-shirt, he looked at himself in the mirror carefully to make sure that he looked presentable enough to walk with Sakura in the streets of Konoha. The last thing he wanted to do to her was to embarrass her in the midst of all the villagers who would watch them as they were walking by, so he made sure that his hair was in order and he had brushed his teeth. He had taken a shower that morning, so he did not need another one at that time of the day.
Meanwhile, Haruno Sakura took the time to observe Naruto's living room while she stood at his doorstep waiting for him. "Heeeh, so this time he made sure to clean up properly," She told herself. The last time that she had been to Naruto's place, it was awfully untidy, that Sakura had even seen a cockroach go under his bed. Thus time, however, there were few of his clothes that lay on the ground untouched, and the floor looked as if it had been cleaned hastily. Sakura had been given a break that day from her daily hospital duties, owing to the fact that the number of discharged patients had been increasing slowly by slowly. By this time, the number of patients still in the hospital was more than 20, but luckily enough by the end of the week they would all have been released and gone home. When she had been summoned by Tsunade in her office and told to get Naruto, she happily obliged, since she had missed seeing her friend for so long.
Still, one thing nagged her. When Sai had revealed to her how deeply Naruto loved her, she had been shocked. Shocked since she never thought his feelings for her were that strong, she had always assumed that he sported a silly crush for her owing to the number of times he asked her out on dates and she declined each time. She had thought that he would eventually grow out of the crush, so hearing that he had fallen deeply in love with her made her heart shatter into small pieces. She had treated him so poorly when they were kids, but still he protected her and cherished her. Then he made her a promise that he would return Sasuke back to her, even putting her own feelings for Sasuke above his feelings for her. This made her shed tears of agony; she cried and even told herself that Naruto was foolish enough to love someone like her. Sai had told her that Naruto had not confessed to her yet since he had failed to keep his promise to her, so he felt unworthy of her love. Sasuke had returned to the village already, so Sakura wondered why he had not confessed to her yet. Since the event at the bridge with Yamato, Sakura found herself questioning her feelings for Naruto. What exactly did she feel for him? Sure the two of them were friends, but was that all there was to it? She felt that there was something more, something which she could only discover once he had confessed to her.
"Sakura-chan? What's wrong?" Naruto had finished preparing himself and was standing in front of her at the door. She was caught by surprise, and immediately she shook her head to signify that there was nothing amiss. Naruto took her word for it, and closing the door behind him, the two descended the steps leading to Naruto's house, their destination being the Hokage Tower.
A/N: To be continued.