“Sakura, the target has been spotted, she’s on her way.”
“Alright. Commence Mozart on orchestra…” she spoke into her headset earpiece as she peeked from behind the potted plant she was currently using as a shield to help block out the guests from seeing her. But all it was really doing was blocking her view of the entrance for the bride. Wait, was that a flash of a white shirt and red pants?
You call that white? It looks more like around charcoal white with stains of green and brown and-- the heck if I knew what color that was.
“Sakura! We need your signal on the orchestra,” her second in command reported.
Oh well. How mad could she really be at me if I kill the whole thing?
“Now,” Sakura whispered to her staff. At that same moment, Mozart’s Violin Romance started to play. Everyone arose from their elegant white satin covered chairs complete with silver ribbons at the waist to stand for the woman they had all been patiently (well some of them anyway) waiting for nearly two hours now.
As the violin started picking up speed and more instruments were added to the mix, Sakura guessed her assumption of the bride was right on the money. Even though she hadn’t bothered to change once she got back from her mission but, she was running late. Perfectly understandable.
The music started playing fluently and now Sakura could see more of the bride walking down the aisle. Mixes of red and white rose petals dusted the runway, along with pink cherry blossom petals that fell from the trees above. The sun glistening on the grass was a nice touch. Indeed the bride had not gone home to change. Sakura knew she wouldn’t. Walking down the aisle in mud covered attire (Sakura hoped the style would not catch on), Tenten was certainly one of the most unusual brides Sakura had ever thrown a wedding for. Granted that Tenten had only wanted a small wedding during her and her husband’s mission that afternoon, but Sakura wouldn’t have any of that. She wanted to be a witness in her friends’ happiness. Or as much of a witness she could be with the potted ficus irritating her last damn nerve.
Sensing it was almost time to change the venue, Sakura noiselessly scurried back to her seat, which was directly in front of the podium where vows were to be exchanged in a moment, and took a seat next to her longtime friends.
“Good timing.” Naruto winked at her as she took her seat.
She smiled back. Into her headset she said, “Fade music, commence Tsunade.”
Sakura imagined one of her staff flailing their arms in the air at the very back to get Tsunade’s attention to begin. If that were the case, Tsunade didn’t show her irritation. Now if only the Hokage could perform that feat in her office.
Tenten approached the makeshift alter. Her veil, the only thing that Sakura had managed to convince Tenten to wear on her special day, was being held up by Hinata as it trialed behind in a flow that somehow reminded Sakura of shimmering silver water at night.
For the first time, Sakura got a good look at the groom and his groomsman. Neji, like his weapon wielding beauty, was also a tad (make that severely) underdressed for the occasion. Wearing his usual white long sleeve shirt and black pants, both badly covered in grass stains, specks of blood, dirt, fire powder, and your occasional tear here and there, Sakura couldn’t imagine a more suitable match then those two. Rock Lee, on the other hand, looked very well put together for today with a charcoal black tux, white leather JGL’s, white cuffs and lapels peeking from the coat, and polishing it all off with a red rose in his coat pocket. She hated to admitted it, but he looked real good.
“We are gathered here today, in the Land of Fire, to join this man” she motioned to Neji, “and this woman” her gaze went to Tenten, “in holly matrimony. Please, join me, in congratulating and binding these two in their journey to come. A journey of trust, loyalty, friendship, but overall, love.”
Naruto made a chocking motion to his throat with his hands. Sakura elbowed him in the gut.
“May you two find true happiness. May you two find the sense of balance in your busy lives that Konoha has to offers. Two of Konoha’s most elite ninja stand here before us, as well as friends, families, neighbors, fellow shinobis, and future leaders.”
Sakura wasn’t sure, but she swore Tsunade just winked at Naruto?
“Neji of the Hyuuga clan, and Tenten, you will become husband and wife but do not forget to become each other’s best friends. For a wonderful relationship is key in marriage.
And so, by the power vested in me and by the Konohagakure council members, I now pronounce you man and wife. Neji, you may kiss the bride.”
Neji grinned practically from ear to ear as he lifted his new wife’s veil. Tenten, also, wore a same expression, maybe a bit more seductive. Sakura couldn’t believe how two people could possibly love each other so much. She was sure that if the wedding were indoors, they would have been chocking on the passion and heat radiating from those two. Sure, she had done close to 60 weddings in just over four years, but it still amazed her how much tender heartedness there were in people. Neji Hyuuga was proof of that.
Sakura could remember back when she was 12, Neji’s eyes were empty, filled with hatred and disgust at the world. Nothing on his mind but the power to get stronger to prove his clan wrong. But now, those eyes from long ago were now filled with a new source: happiness, peace, excitement, love, that were all for his woman, his love.
Everyone erupted in applause and cheers and catcalls. A standing ovation soon followed.
Remained seated, Sakura looked around her at the happy sight. Turning her head to the left, she spotted the raven-haired boy of their team, also seated. Of course, at 19, none of them were regarded as boys or girls or kids or children. Although, Sakura wasn’t sure if the analogy held true to Naruto.
Sasuke must have sensed her watching. Turning his head, he gave her a small nod. She in turn nodded back. He looked toward the kissing couple, who know looked like they were eating each other’s faces off and nodded again. Sakura raised an eyebrow, not understanding. Sasuke sighed. Moving three chairs to his right, her finally made his way to the empty chair next to Sakura.
He nodded again. “Nice ceremony.”
She smiled her thanks. “I just set the environment and mood. They’re the ones who took it to the next level.”
The kissing had ended but the cheers hadn’t calmed a bit. Naruto jumped up and down while hugging Ino, both still in utter excitement. Sasuke pulled up his legs to save his feet. Sakura offered her lap. He accepted.
They both smiled.
“Sakura,” a voice in her ear said.
She held up a finger to Sasuke and pushed the button on her earpiece. “Yes, Sakura here. Okay, Yoshi, commence orchestra. Hatsumi, standby in the carriage for my signal.”
“Busy?” Sasuke asked looking at the guests already starting to mingle.
“You haven’t seen nothing yet.” Into her earpiece: “Be sure to set out plates, utensils, napkins, all of that stuff. Standby for main dishes.”
“Sakura!” Tenten greeted as she came into view from within the crowd of happy wishers.
In her attempt to stand up quickly to congratulate the bride, Sakura nearly dragged Sasuke off his seat. “Sakura,” he hissed.
“Sorry.” She felt her face split into a smile as she saw her two friends hand-in-hand, the rest of their friends in tow. “Tenten, Neji, congratulations.”
They hugged. After they pulled apart, “Sakura, this is more than I could have asked for. You did such an amazing job.” More hugging.
“Yes, I agree,” Neji interjected. “Sakura, thank you.” And to her amazement, Neji embraced her too.
“Oh,” Sakura felt her nervous smile on her face. “You two are very welcome. Hungry?” Sakura motioned for all of them to take their seats as the waiters came by to drop off plates of shellfish, dumplings and all sorts of desserts anyone could imagine.
After a few bites of sushi, Tenten and Neji returned to their love gaze before locking lips yet again.
Naruto, unfortunately, was the first one to break the ice. “If the air was any thicker with your emotions we’d have to call the paramedics for oxygen. It’s like being on Planet Love, and I need a space suit to protect me from the treacherous atmosphere.”
Everyone at the small table looked over at him. Only Hinata, Naruto’s girlfriend for two years looked like this was a normal Naruto thing. Maybe it was.
Finally, Neji said, “You are weirder than I remembered.”
After more laughs, jokes, most of them featuring Naruto as the butt of the joke (although he didn’t know it), it was time for the bride and groom to drive off to their honeymoon. Neji was all too ready to leave as the carriage pulled up. With one last round of goodbyes, cheers, tears, and honeymoon tips (mostly from Jiraiya), the two were off to embark in their new lives.
And I’m here to embark on the cleaning process, Sakura thought as she scanned the scene before her. Confetti, plates, cups, garbage in short littered the ground all around her, and at least three of the guests were intoxicated, one of them being Lee himself.
She sighed. At least most of the guests had the nerve to ask if she needed help.
It was an hour into the restoring the park to its park-self that Temari, followed by a rather embarrassed looking Shikamaru Nara, strolled over to Sakura just as she was about to pick up someone’s forgot shrimp in the grass.
“Hello, Temari, Shikamaru, what can I do for you?” Sakura straightened, her smile in place.
“Hi, Sakura. We just wanted to say what an amazing job we think you did here. It was a very lovely ceremony.” Temari shot a look at the man beside her. “Wasn’t it, Nara.”
“Uh, well…” Shikamaru shifted his balance on his opposite foot.
“It was rather lovely, I agree,” Sakura stated. “Of course, what would Shikamaru know about it? He fell asleep halfway between it.” She shot him a look and he had the good grace to look away.
Temari rolled her eyes before continuing. “Well, we were wondering if you would plan our wedding as well. You know, nothing big just, a small get-together for friends and family.”
Sakura froze. Did Temari just say ‘our wedding’?
She looked over at Shikamaru.
He fidgeted with something invisible on his jounin vest.
She laughed out loud the sound scaring even Sasuke not half a foot from her.
She shot him an apologetic smile before turning that smile to the couple. “I’m sorry, it’s just that, you two, together, it’s…”
“Weird,” Temari supplied. “I know.”
“When are you planning on wedding?”
“Two weeks from now.”
“And do your brothers know?”
“They had a similar reaction to yours.”
Somehow Sakura found it hard to believe that Gaara, the stoic Kazekage of the Sand, could sound anything like her, but she didn’t say anything.
“Well, I’m off tomorrow at seven. You can find me at the hospital after my last shift and we could discuss the planning process over a bit to eat. What do you say?”
Temari smiled wide. “That sounds perfect. Till then.” Grabbing Shikamaru by the arm, they quickly left the venue. Sasuke walked up to her, a raised brow on his face by way of confusion by his teammate’s out of nowhere behavior.
“You’re not gonna believe this but,” Sakura crossed her arms under her chest, “I think someone may be pulling the ultimate practical joke on me.”
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Table of Contents
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Story notes: dont own naruto, thank god, i would have made a mess of things. starts off slow like the space shuttle, takes off fast and heavy later on like sex (ha! thought i was gonna say rocket huh?)
Chapter notes: stop...the...madnesssss....
Chapter end notes: questions? comments? suggestions? flames? cheesy come ons? all welcome here :)