Author: brezoflower PM
It's havoc in the office! Uchiha Sasuke is completely unable to concentrate, due to a certain woman who just moved into the office next door...Haruno Sakura. SasuSakuRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,557 - Reviews: 134 - Favs: 133 - Follows: 178 - Updated: 05-12-06 - Published: 04-17-06 - id: 2897903
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was a lonely office. No one came in there often, not until she moved in. Usually it was dark, dusty, even damp when the ceiling leaked after one too many neglected plumber's appointments. Someone needed to rescue it, breathe life into it, restore it to its former glory.
The boss never gave that office to anyone. The latest rumor was that the office would remain empty due to the fact that it was the last place her husband had worked before he died. People began to get superstitious; those who wanted it were never offered the isolated room, and those who were offered it quickly turned it down in case it was cursed.
It was the office right next to Sasuke's, and although he was easily the best-looking man in the building, he didn't help matters due to his reclusive and dark personality. He had even been called the office grouch, named so by those feeling a little less than festive during the holidays.
To be honest, Uchiha Sasuke couldn't care less about the petty names he had been dubbed. Even less did he care about the woman who had taken on that dark office, being the first to occupy it in six years. He never understood why she was so excited about decorating the darkest office in the building three weeks before Christmas. It was just the holiday season, dammit; there was no need to get so worked up over a tree and a few strings of Christmas lights. Damn her and her festiveness; she hadn't even said a word to him and already she was annoying him to the point of insanity.
Yet here she stood, bending over at the waist to pick up another strand of lights, completely unaware of the stares she was receiving from the male population of the workplace. That was another thing that annoyed Sasuke about her: she was so wholly ignorant about her surroundings and the people in them that she was clueless. She was probably just as oblivious to their intentions as well. A guy could jump her and all she would probably do was smile and wish him a merry Christmas.
Haruno Sakura had taken that office when no one else would, so when Sasuke heard the news that someone was finally settling in next door he had expected an irritable hermit. Imagine the shock he had received when this bundle of energy had made her presence known, quickly making friends with the shy girl from Accounting, and charming even that bitchy woman in the farthest cubicle down the room on floor three. What was her name? I-something. It had started with a I…
"Hey, Ino, can you please send for another box of clear lights?" Sakura called happily down the row of cubicles. Ah. Ino. Whatever.
The tall, slim brunette poked her head out from her cubicle. "Sure thing," Ino replied, giving Sakura a tight smile. "Just a little busy, though, so it might take about twenty minutes for me to get around to making the call."
"No problem," Sakura answered, a knowing smile gracing her features. "It'll most likely take that long for me to finish with these strands, anyway."
Sasuke, annoyed that he was wasting his time watching the daily, pointless tasks of Haruno Sakura, cast his glance down to the paperwork he was supposed to have sent down two floors long ago. So far, he had yet to scan the first paragraph. He let out a low growl at Sakura's absentmindedness, irritated as she clumsily let a Christmas ornament slip out of her hands.
"Oops," she said cutely, bending over yet again to pick it up, and pursing her glossed lips when it rolled out of her reach and under a desk. Sasuke had to endure the sight of her settling down on her knees and crawling around, reaching an arm under the desk as she fumbled around for the little round ornament. With a small triumphant grin, she pulled out the offensive object, a shockingly neon red ball held up by a cheap metal hook.
Oh, right. Paperwork. Concentrate on the paperwork, Sasuke told himself.
The two offices, his and Sakura's, had been constructed quite strangely when the building was first developed. They were two separate rooms, but there was a door in between them, as well as the doors leading to the cubicle room. Sasuke's and Sakura's work rarely crossed, and so the door never really had to be opened, but today she had decided to open both of her doors, giving him and everyone else in the building a view of what she was doing.
Unfortunately, they were also getting a view of her constantly bending over as she retrieved various dropped objects, and it irritated him that she could be so careless.
"Hey, Sasuke," she called cheerfully to him, and he gave a start as he realized that she had caught him watching her.
"Hey," Sasuke gruffly replied, shooting her a frown to let her know that she should be concentrating on her work rather than on making her office seem less despairing than it really was. It was a wasted effort.
"Are you going to decorate your office, too?" she inquired innocently, apparently not knowing that Sasuke was not the type to decorate anything.
"Oh, well, no worries. You don't really seem the type to decorate, anyway." She changed tactics at the speed of light, he realized. Behind that innocent face was a crafty woman, and he wasn't going to fall for it.
"Look, don't you have any projects to finish up?" He knew he was being a pain in the ass, but then he was just Sasuke. Sasuke was always an ass.
Sakura shook her head, that excited light never fading from her eyes. "I've had a pretty light workload lately, and so I've had plenty of time to do things like this." She gestured to the garlands now flamboyantly adorning her walls, and the small, perfectly office-sized tree in the left front corner of the room.
Light workload? Of course. Although why her workload was so much lighter than Sasuke's happened to be a mystery.
Speaking of him not having a light workload…
"Can you close the door?" Sasuke asked, glaring at her. "I need to get work done, and all this sparkly junk is distracting me."
Sakura's smile faded, much to his satisfaction, and she set down the string of multicolored lights she was holding. She muttered something imperceptible that sounded strangely like "grouch" before walking over to the door. That dropped the smirk right off his face.
"You know, you could at least try smiling once, Mr. Grinch," she commented, rolling her eyes in a childish manner. Sasuke decided that she could not look any less immature even if she stuck her tongue out at him.
"Well, I'm a mean one," he said matter-of-factly, smirking at her. "I've got an image to uphold, don't I? After all, someone has to either hate Christmas or try to steal it. Since my workload's a bit too heavy for me to consider stealing anything, I'll have to settle for general grouchiness." The last thing he saw before Sakura shut the door on him was her exasperated, deflated look. He had punctured that happy little bubble she had created as soon as she woke up that morning, if only a little. Good.
Sighing, he gathered his paperwork together, clunking the bottom edges of the paper against the hard oak of his desk to straighten them. He hadn't made a single dent in his work. Nothing since he started that morning. He decided it was all Sakura's fault. If little Miss Haruno couldn't keep her bright sparkly lights and cheerful mood on her side of the door joining their offices, then he would have to take action. He had a feeling that she would not like it very much if he were forced to put a damper on her mood. She called him the Grinch, but she didn't know the half of it.
Without warning, the regular door to his office flew open.
"Sasuke, I really need you to pick something up for me--" Ino started, barreling through the door and lowering Sasuke's tolerance level for the day considerably. "Oh. You're busy?"
"Aren't I always?" Sasuke snapped. Politeness be damned. If one more person interrupted him, he was going to react with the same ferocity as a coffee addict without his morning latte. Ino seemed to sense this, and took a tentative step backwards.
"If it's not too much trouble," Ino continued cautiously, drawing a pattern in the carpet with the toe of her Prada shoe. "I'd really appreciate it if you could pick up a pack of clear Christmas lights I just ordered--"
"No," Sasuke quickly cut in, glaring. "I am not going to get involved with Sakura's little holiday program. You want to help her out, go pick them up yourself."
"You know, Sakura's right, you really are a Grinch," Ino said immediately, wagging a perfectly manicured finger at him. "Be careful. Someone might actually schedule your doctor's appointment early just to determine whether your heart really is two sizes too small."
"Out," Sasuke replied savagely. This woman was testing his patience; sometimes he wondered whether she did it as a hobby, to see how much she could annoy him without making him explode. It was like seeing how close a person could hold a match to a fuse without invoking the wrath of the bomb.
Wordlessly, Ino left, any possible protest she could have had dying on her lips at the sight of Sasuke's scowl. She shut the door behind her, those annoying heels of hers clinking with every step.
Sasuke wondered how many other people had heard about his less-than-festive nickname Sakura had oh-so-graciously given him. Oh, sure, he deserved it--but no one was allowed to admit this but him. If anyone so much as breathed the word "Grinch," his glare would vaporize the unlucky person on the spot. The only person he had let get away with it so far was Sakura, and he wasn't about to let it slide the next time it happened. Sasuke somehow knew that it wouldn't be the last time she inflicted her dim-witted holiday humor on him.
"Hey, it was a small favor," Sakura suddenly said as she came through the side door, frowning at him. "It was just some lights. What was the big deal?"
"Funny; it wasn't quite mentioned in the job description that I would be required to run pointless errands for my underlings," Sasuke said smoothly, concealing his irritation solely because she got riled up more easily when he was cool and collected, and he definitely enjoyed riling her up.
It worked. She was so predictable. "First of all, it's not a pointless errand, though it was quite simple. Second of all," she gave a fierce glare that could rival his, which was a rather impressive achievement, "Ino asked you the favor for me. And I am definitely not your underling."
Sasuke smirked, leaning back in his chair. "You've been on the job for only two weeks now and already you're reprimanding me?" He gave her an amused look that plainly said, "You've got courage."
Sakura folded her arms stubbornly. She was being mulish as always, and budging didn't seem to be an option for her. Despite the fact that Sasuke's inner voice was spitting, I don't have time for this, he was up to a good verbal sparring match.
"Don't start," she said dangerously. When she was crossed, her seemingly innocent demeanor would do nothing to calm her temper. "I'd rather not have another day ruined by the great Uchiha Sasuke."
"Oh, this isn't the first time? I'm flattered." Sasuke raised a hand to his navy blue tie as if her words had truly touched him. He knew Sakura was used to his type. All mocking and no true bite behind his words.
"I'll get the lights myself. Happy now?" Sakura said. Sasuke was a little disappointed, because her sentence was a cue that she was ending the battle so soon.
He furtively stole a glance at his inbox, as well as the pile of paperwork stacked before him. Nothing was getting done, and he was about to dismiss it as a lost cause anyway. It was worth sacrificing a little just to fight with Sakura a while longer.
"You know, I think I'll go get the lights," he said, sitting up and groaning a little as his stiff muscles protested. He had not moved from his desk all day, and now he was paying for it. He had to grin at Sakura's surprised expression.
"Y-you will?" she sputtered, clearly wrong-footed. His sexy half-smirk revealed all the smugness he felt.
"That's what I said, wasn't it?" He raised a sardonic eyebrow at her. And without bothering to explain why he was doing such a thing, he headed out of the office.