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- Naruto - Kisses and Kettles by Kit Spooner - I recently caught up with the Naruto manga and some of the recent chapters have left me absolutely pining for NaruSaku fic because they've been so freaking adorable/fun in the manga lately. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, LeeSaku OTP, blah, blah, blah, I wanted NaruSaku just for a little while and this story was such fun. From someone sending Naruto flowers to the way he irritates her with asking what the hell to do with them to the way she snaps, put them in water, moron, and hangs up on him to the absolutely adorable ending, I just had fun with this one. I did quibble a little at the scene with Hinata, but it wasn't a very big quibble and I actually really adored the author's take on both characters--Naruto was Naruto and Sakura was suitably kick-ass. >D (Naruto/Sakura.)

- Naruto - And through a crack the truth seeps through like acid by Kittu - I admit, I was a little wary going into this fic because I know the author is a SasuSaku fan, but Zau had mentioned that the author did a fantastic Sakura and I knew I had liked her XXXholic and Furuba fics, so. And this is one of the strongest Sakura fics I've read, the language and imagery and intensity of the fic is really a tribute to the character and one of the strongest lines in the fic that really got me is the way Kakashi doesn't really quite see her, the way he's always focused on the boys. Which I can understand why, but it was lovely seeing it from Sakura's point of view, the way she views her team, the way the imagery is used, it's all so... powerful and intense. (Hints of SasuSaku, NaruSaku, but more implied than anything.)

- Naruto - Ghosts by Ninjacat - Okay, so admittedly, I'm tired and feeling very run-down, but, damn, this fic almost made me cry. Like, a fine mist of heat across my eyes that's the stage before tearing up, my heart hurting, because... well, I'm not sure I was fully onboard with this fic (out of personal preference, not any characterization issues), no matter how friendly I am towards the SasuNaruSaku trio, but goddamn was the unfolding future for Naruto and Sakura amazingly written. It hurt so goddamned much because it was so goddamned plausible, the way Naruto and Sakura are good together, but they're not good together because Sasuke's ghost is still haunting them but they're good together because it couldn't really be any other way, they're bound to each other, because they're always haunted by so many people, and, Jesus, the second to last scene had me practically on the floor wanting to bawl my eyes out. I wish I could write a better rec for this one because it's one of the few fics focusing on these characters that truly kept my attention and just hit me so damned hard. Amazing characterization here, so messy and unclean and utterly Naruto. (Naruto/Sakura.)

- Naruto - Fitting the Pieces by Aliora - *long, deep sigh* After reading this fic... part of me feels like I'll never need to read another NaruSaku fic again. The other part of me is going, "See? Look how good they are together! Go find more! Now now now!" This fic was gorgeous. Everything about it was gorgeous. To the point that I'm having trouble stopping and gathering my thoughts. This is that fic I always wanted to find for these two, the one that would remind me of Kishimoto's manga, both in terms of characterization, plotting, and style. The one that's so perfectly fit to the characters as I see them that it made my teeth positively ache. The one that's so sharply written that I could barely stand to look away before every last word of the piece was read. Naruto and Sakura, trying to move on and put the pieces of their lives back together after Sasuke's gone, finding something between them that's... it's not easy. It's not easy at all. They both hurt so much, I hurt so much at the hints of what happened in the past, they both feel so lost in their own pain, it's so hard to move on, but they're there for each other and they fumble their way towards something a little bit better. Just like how I feel with the manga. And, god, the characterization of them both is so perfect. Naruto was Naruto and Sakura was Sakura and they're tough, capable nin even while they're still raw and aching from loss. Sakura's temper and Naruto's generosity and, yes, this is everything I wanted. I wish I could describe it better, I wish this rec was more coherent. The lovely writing, the beautifully smooth prose and perfectly used imagery so that it felt like a WJ manga, all of that deserves more than this rec gives. Hell, even Tsunade was brilliant in the first chapter, so perfectly her. But the best is watch Naruto and Sakura on a bogus mission and everything works and a;lsdfkjalskjdfalskjdf, lovelovelove. Okay, gushing done now. I'll settle down. (Naruto/Sakura.)

- Naruto - Fragments by dxoverdt - I was browsing recs_rainbow and came across a post with a Naruto rec in it, a NaruSaku one and I figured, oh, why not, I'll just read the beginning to see if I like it. It was light and snappy and fun, one of those fics that wasn't so heavy that it was like wading through water to read it (not that those aren't welcome sometimes, too), the way they sparred and Naruto slowly showed her moments of vulnerability and Sakura was determined and smart and a nice break from all the angst they go through without making their lives too easy or forgetting that they're ninja. An interesting piece I'm glad to have read. (Naruto/Sakura.)

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