So okay I moved quickly on this story simply because the revelations from Kishimoto's interview inspired me a little bit. Also I felt like the last two stories I kind of jumped into the situation without shedding light on how Sakura and Naruto may have gotten to where they are at emotionally. I was also inspired by some songs (I've actually ripped off a few lyrics and used them as dialog lol) and a anon ask about dreams. So anyway enjoy this angsty piece of drama.The story may seem a little confusing at first but just hang in there. Oh and there is some suggestive material included but its mostly for humorous purposes.
Also for the sake of the maturity I've been extra generous to SS and NH in these stories. So y'know...i took it easy on them.
Naruto.....If you don’t wake up you idiot I’ll kill you.
An odd sensation overwhelms Naruto almost immediately upon waking. Still draped in the fog of sleep he raises his right hand from beneath his bedsheets and places it over his face. He clenches and unclenched his fist, drawing chakra while pressing the tips of fingers into his flesh.
Something is off.
He can’t mold his chakra.
Naruto is abruptly made aware that he is not alone when a flash of pink emerges in his peripheral vision. Sakura pulls back the covers on the other side of the bed and slides in next to him.
He remains motionless.
“Hey Naruto have you ever thought about having another child?”
He turns to her, his eyes wide with confusion.
Sakura snuggles up closer to him. “I mean we're still young enough to...”
“I don’t know it’s just something I’ve been thinking about.”
Sakura moves even closer until their bodies are touching. Then she kisses him. It is a soft kiss but it awakens him restoring his senses
He panics and spills awkwardly out of the bed onto the floor.
“What are you doing?” he asks while scooting further away from the bed.
Sakura peers at him curiously from the bed. “What’s wrong Naruto?”
“I am a married man you are a married woman.”
She blinks at him. “So?”
“You should see the obvious problem with this scenario Sakura-chan!”
Naruto scans the room, there is something wrong here, something beyond the obvious. This is his bedroom yet he notes the significant lack of pictures in the room, Hinata, his children, its as if they didn’t exist.
He begins to wonder about this but then he hears the voice
Naruto you probably can’t hear me. And maybe that’s for the best.....because I have a secret to tell you
The voice comes to him as if it were whispered in ear. Naruto’s head swivels quickly from left to right trying to capture the sight of anyone in his immediate vicinity. He find no one, he senses no one. The voice sounds all too familiar.
This is something I’ve wanted to talk to you about for quite sometime.
He looks over at Sakura. “How are you doing that?”
“How am I doing what?”
Her response answered one question and added another. It was Sakura’s voice that he heard in her ear, it was a perfect match. Yet Sakura wasn’t telepathic, so how?
When Sasuke came back to us, and he started to reciprocate my attention. it was a dream come true. I felt so grateful to be wanted by him.
“Can you hear that?” Naruto asks Sakura.
Sakura smiles radiantly from the bed. “Hear what?”
Naruto smiles and whispers to himself. “Genjutsu”
Sakura’s disembodied voice returns and Naruto reflexively glances up at the ceiling of his bedroom.
You know for a few days I could hardly even look straight at him. Isn’t that amazing? He’d always had that kind of effect on me. For so many years I desperately wanted him to see me as beautiful, and now when his eyes swept over me I saw that they were receptive and it was again, literally a dream come true. I had won.
A list of genjutsu techniques flow through Naruto’s mind. As Hokage he had solicited Sasuke’s help in gathering records on all genjutsu and possible countermeasures against each. That the genjutsu had even affected him this greatly meant it was powerful. That narrowed the list.
The fact that he seemed to be in no immediate danger--
He glances once more at Genjutsu Sakura, she allows the bed sheet to slip away from her bare chest. Then she softly pats the bed space beside her on the bed.
“Naruto I'm yours if you want me.”
--No immediate physical danger likely meant he was trapped in his own consciousness. This narrowed the list even further. He had no name for this technique but it appeared similar to the Uchiha kinjutsu Izanami.
I embraced every moment I had with Sasuke because I was afraid. I was afraid it would end somehow, that my happiness would be taken away. I never told you this because I didn’t want to worry you, there were times, there were times early on when Sasuke went away that I didn’t think he would come back. I didn’t think my love would be enough to keep him.
But he did come back and I would be grateful all over again. i would cling to him when he was around. Then one morning after being away for weeks he asks me to marry him. I thought to myself I can carry this happiness for the rest of my life now. But that’s not how life works is it Naruto? Now I am not saying things were bad between Sasuke and I, there were plenty of rough patches but there were great moments as well. However things changed when Salada was born.
“You know I promised I'd be worth the wait” Genjutsu Sakura says dragging Naruto from the voice in his head. “Naruto, please don't hesitate.”
While trying his best to ignore her Naruto makes for the bedroom door only to find it locked. He throws his body against the door but it holds firm. He searches within him for the necessary chakra to aid him in blowing the door open. He finds none. He moves to the windows. They are locked as well, and slamming his fist against them is akin to pounding on solid steel.
A soft sigh escapes Naruto’s lips. “Okay if this is like Izanami, it uses my own consciousness against me. I trap myself, I can free myself. All I’ve got to do is acknowledge something about me.”
The voice returns, Naruto tilts his head instinctively attempting to listen in.
Three months after Salada was born Sasuke went away again. It might sound terrible to say this but I was so focused on my daughter I barely felt his absence. I wanted to be there for her, I wanted to be the best mother I could be, I wanted to be a better person for her. There was no time to feel lonely when my daughter needed me. I found strength in motherhood, and I found happiness without Sasuke.
Then he came to me one night after missing one of Salada’s birthdays, he came to me and told me about the families he had saved while he was away from his own. He told me about an orphan boy he had rescued and mentored for awhile near The Land of Waterfalls. And I was happy for him Naruto I didn’t feel any anger or resentment I was thankful that he had found meaning in his life. But that was all I felt, happy for him, I used to feel something more between us once but somewhere along the way it got lost.
“It’s a fantasy” Naruto whispers to himself. “I get it, it’s an immature fantasy that i would have had as a kid.”
This is where the irony kicks in, this is the contrast that complicates the issue further. Months later I saw you give a speech, I think it was an anniversary festival for the end of the war. It was back when you still smiled frequently. You gave this speech that moved everyone who was able to hear it. You were our Hokage and you had us, you had the support of every one of us. I felt so proud. I was so happy. I wanted to run up to you and shout, “look how far we’ve come, can you believe it?” And I wanted to kiss you. Then a thought to myself I am a terrible woman eh? This wasn’t the first time I’ve thought that about myself.
Naruto turns to Genjutsu Sakura, she smiles coyly at him.
“Genjutsu Sakura-chan it’s obvious that I am attracted to you” he says.
She licks her lips. “I am ready to give all my love Naruto, I won't hold back.”
He pauses to re-collect his scattered thoughts. “Genjutsu Sakura-chan it’s obvious that I am very attracted to you. But this is okay, its not unusual because I had very strong feelings for Sakura when I was younger. But that’s irrelevant to me now, I have my wife, and our intimate moments are not amazing every time but these things come in phases. We get along well. I love her.”
Genjutsu Sakura nods. “I bet when you were younger you thought to yourself ‘someday.’ Someday is tonight Naruto, let me make your dreams come true, don't hold back.”
Naruto draws a sharp breath through his teeth. He turns away from the bed and paces the room.
“Okay, okay. I know what this is about. I can’t say that I don’t have feelings for Sakura. I can’t deny that, but I know why it’s come back. Yes I am attracted to her that’s never gone away. That’s just natural,she's beautiful and I am not an old man yet. But now I can see that’s she’s feeling lonely, and I know it’s partly because of the assignments Sasuke has been taking from me. And I feel guilty about that. I feel guilty and I want to help her and it’s bringing back old memories, old feelings. I know that and I acknowledge it!”
He glances around. Nothing is happening.
Eventually the voice returns.
I realize I might have put the cart before the horse yesterday when I talked about wanting to kiss you. That did happened but there was a lot of confusion and soul searching that had to be done before that. It wasn’t exactly divine revelation though you could see it as a karmic joke if you choose to be cynical. Anyway realizing that you are no longer in love with the father of your child is not a discover one takes lightly.
Naruto shakes his head. ‘“This is not Sakura....that is just I don’t know it’s my twisted imagination or something. but it’s not Sakura. Sakura loves Sasuke.”
“I want you so bad, I can taste it.”
Genjutsu Sakura, fully nude, brushes up against him and Naruto stumbles backwards crossing the room in long strides.
“I appreciate your interest in me. But I can’t-even if this is a fantasy.”
Genjutsu Sakura spreads her arms wide. “There’s no need to fantasize anymore Naruto I am right here.”
“I am Hokage listen to what I am telling you!” Naruto demanded.
“No” Genjutsu Sakura says firmly. “I tell and you listen Naruto.”
Heat flushes through Naruto’s body. He stammers “I-I”
He stops when the voice returns.
I eventually came to the conclusion that I was not unhappy. Sasuke was good to me, as good as a wife could want her husband to be, and I had an amazing daughter. No I was not unhappy but I grew more and more nostalgic. I would find myself staring off into the past whenever I had a moment to myself. I spent a lot of time dwelling on my training with Tsunade. She used to start off our most grueling training sessions with a philosophical question just to get my mind focused. I went over these questions again to see if my perspectives changed. Back then she’d say something like “think about who you were five years ago, are you and that person the same being?” My initial reaction was of course we are, that’s me, just me from five years ago.
How can I know this? Naruto thinks to himself. Was his own mind making the story up? His eyes cut to Genjutsu Sakura who simply looks him up and down wolfishly.
“Are you doing this?” Naruto asks again
The voice continues.
But if you think about it, if your priorities have changed, if the way you answered personal questions have changed, if the way you see the world has changed, how can you be that same person? Is it unreasonable to say that we as humans can transform multiple times over the years? My husband alone may prove this point.
Naruto studies the room a second time. Everything is the same, nothing has changed. What clues was he supposed to see, to hear? He couldn’t waste too much time trapped in his mind. He was in danger, vulnerable in this comatose state. No beyond even that what of his village? Was it under attack as well? He was Hokage of the Leaf, he had people to protect. He had a village to serve.
In my heart I know I’ve changed dramatically over the course of two periods of my life. When Salada was born and when Sasuke defected. I guess the recurring pattern there is that both times Sasuke was barely around. I’m sorry that was a tasteless joke but its at my own expense!....You would probably be scowling now.....But if you can’t laugh about yourself Naruto...well anyway my point is this. Salada made me want to be a better person and I became a better person for her. Now Tsunade gave me a dream she offered me purpose but she wasn’t the one who brought the best out of me. No it was you Naruto, you brought the best out of me.
Naruto sits on the floor, his legs crossed beneath him. Unable to draw in natural energy he takes in deep lungfuls of air instead.
He closes his eyes.
“Okay there are times when I can’t sleep at night so I walk. I really don’t know why I go walking around at night. Sometimes it feels like I’m searching, searching for something somebody took from me. I don’t know what it is. If I knew I probably would have found it right? It’s an undefinable thing but it’s missing in me, it makes me feel different sometimes, I mean I feel like I’ve become a different person. But I don’t question myself, I don’t question my decisions, any of them. A Hokage who can’t trust himself can’t be trusted by anyone...”
He opens his eyes and stares sternly at Genjutsu Sakura “I know I did the right thing giving up on her. Even if what I just heard was true, it doesn’t matter now. I already walked away because I saw them with my own two eyes. They were happy, she was happy, I stood at their wedding, I was the best man, I gave a speech I felt nothing-but-happiness. I did the right thing.”
Genjutsu Sakura simply smiles at him.
Hours perhaps days later, Naruto can't tell, the voice reappears. He listens quietly
I told you before that I felt like a terrible woman when I wanted to kiss you. It really wasn’t the first time. When you are young it’s hard to find the right words to express yourself, you don’t have the experience to define the ambiguities of life. Gratitude, guilt, fear, friendship, love, they can all run in the same circles. I probably knew Hinata loved you before you did. That fact always came back to me when I thought about you, it made me feel terrible that I was thinking about you. At times I was jealous I can see that now. Back then I thought I simply envied Hinata's courage, she would do anything for you and it seemed like I could only cry when it came to Sasuke. You brought him back to us, I suffer no delusions about that. Sasuke would have never come back without you. Hinata was made stronger by love and I was just useless to the both of you.
After my confession...you should have hated me Naruto, I wouldn’t have blamed if you had hated me....but after that I thought you deserved someone strong, you didn’t deserve to be potentially loved. You didn’t need someone who was confused about the man she felt she needed to love and the man she could love.
I can’t allow myself to say I regret my choices. There is no way I could regret being Salada’s mother. Hinata loves you so much, and she is good for you. And your children, your children are beautiful. You have a wonderful family. I know the past is the past, I know things have changed, our lives have changed, and we have everything we need now to be happy people Everything has worked out for the best for everyone, there is nothing to regret. Yet knowing that doesn’t stop the fact that when I see you...when I think about you. I just smile, you make me smile Naruto. You always have...
Naruto sits in the corner of the room farthest away from Genjutsu Sakura with his back against the wall.
He speaks with his gaze on the floor.
“My father gave his life to protect the village. The third als ooffered his life for the village. By all accounts The Second and First died with the village on their minds.”
He looks from the ground, tears brimming in his eyes. “The first thing I learned about being Hokage is its about sacrifice....If I can’t even sacrifice love what kind of Hokage am I?”
Genjutsu Sakura doesn’t respond. She rests demurely on the edge of the bed her eyes glowing of pleasant promises.
He spits. “What kind of man am I if I marry a woman while being in love with another. How could I do that to Hinata? How could I be that cruel? I am better than that, I have to be better than that! The Hokage is supposed to be better than that!”
He pauses to catch his breath.
“I did the right thing” he chokes. “And I’ll do it again”
He waits, hours, days, who knows.
He waits for the voice to come and it does.
Tsunade told me a story that Jiraiya once told her. He told her this right before she left the village, her leaving is a story in on itself I don’t think you know it in its entirety. When you get your lazy ass off this bed, I’ll tell it to you. So this is a story within a story if you think about it. Anyway Jiraiya tells her about two shinobi brothers Want and Able. Want and Able were from the Land of Cyclones and they took great pride in inventing, discovering or theorizing over new jutsu. However the Kage of their village was a powerful but jealous and petty man. Want and Able’s clan has been mandated to reveal all their secrets to the village heads for decades. They could keep no secrets for their own improvement. So of course the village prospered while the clan became marginalized. Want begs his clan to defect and start their own village where they can be finally be free. Able points out that its their clan that is keeping their current village safe and prosperous their clan’s defection would be disastrous to their comrades. Want knows its not right to live a life never to be fulfilled, a life knowing the true happiness might just be around the next hill. Able understands that the happiness of many rests on their shoulders, he will not defect it is not in him to abandon his friends. For their respective ideologies Want and Able are both simultaneously noble shinobi and fools depending on ones perspective.
Now Tsunade and Jiraiya are drunk off their rear-ends when he tells her this story so she thinks he was just summarizing his next book. It lacked the eroticism of his previous efforts so she in her drunken state figured it was a book for young shinobi. She claims she didn’t catch the metaphor until after her hangover waned and she was already miles away from the village Want and Able are two different things of course, one is a desire, and the other is the means.
The voice begins to tremble..
I want you to know that I do love you Naruto, but I can’t bring myself to speak those words you. I am just not able to.
Naruto gazes out of his bedroom window. He sees nothing in particular, he stares at nothing in particular. His mind reels.
He is contemplating what he has just heard when a hand touches his shoulder.
“I can ease your mind” Genjutsu Sakura cooes.
He turns towards her.
“You’re not real,” he sighs.
Though visibly puzzled Genjutsu Sakura pulls at his arm.
“You are not real but these feelings I have for her they are all too real...”
Naruto laughs “me and that old perv I call my godfather have more in common than we both thought.”
The bedroom starts to fade.
“Being happy for her is one thing, but I never gave up on her. I am not the type to just give up on anything I dreamed about.”
Genjutsu Sakura frowns. Naruto smiles tenderly at her
“Unfortunately everything I am not made me everything I am,” are the last words he says before everything goes black.
She only peers into his hospital room to briefly check in on him. She didn’t expect to find him out of bed halfway through a situp motion.
“You should be resting!”
He grins. “You don't think fours days of being in a coma is enough rest?”
“Naruto I know you are strong and all but you suffered severe damage while trapped in the genjutsu. It was frightening.”
Naruto doesn’t last long under Sakura’s disapproving glare. He picks himself off the hospital floor with relative ease.
“You know that was the second time I've woken up to hear that you’ve saved my life.”
“It was a close call, I had to operate on you three times, but I wasn’t going to watch you die.”
He nods to her. “How is my family?”
“They’re fine, they’re worried obviously. I will let let them know you are awake.”
“Good, have Shikamaru send them up to my room as soon as possible.”
He averts his gaze. “I will have to call Sasuke back. I will need his help now.”
“I understand” she says again.
“Sakura-chan thank you for saving my life.”
“I was just doing my job.”
“About your job--” he hesitates. Sakura watches quietly as Naruto reaches a conclusion.
“-If you talk to someone while they are in a coma will they hear it?”
She stiffens beneath his gaze. “It’s rare but its been known to happen. Did you hear anything while you were under?”
Naruto answers by stepping forward and reaching out for her. She trembles slightly as he slowly strokes her face with his thumb. Her lips are slightly parted when he places his mouth against hers, and she kisses him back, lightly, her eyes still open. She closes her eyes when he dives in once more. The second kiss is firmer, deeper.
She breaks the kiss with a long contented sigh. She then rests her head against his chest.
“You shouldn’t have done that” she says.
“I wish you hadn’t done that.”
“I shouldn’t have kissed you back.”
‘What happens now?”
‘I don’t know” he answers truthfully.
They both hear a light knock on the door to the room.
“So close and yet so far away” Sakura murmurs.
“A shinobi endures” Naruto whispers to her.
Well let me know what you think,Hopefully the quality is as good as the previous two entries.
I think I'm going to take a break from the angst for now. The next NaruSaku piece I write will be somehwat fluffier.