|Belly of the Snake
Author: MintiNeko PM
In Hebi, the dynamics are simple. With the addition of Sakura to the team, however, it gets a little more complicated. SasuSaku, slight SuiKa.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,388 - Reviews: 83 - Favs: 160 - Follows: 33 - Updated: 09-23-07 - Published: 08-20-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3735219
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello my fabulous reviewers!
Sorry about the wait, but I had school and Breaking the Glass Ceiling to worry about.
WOW, those reviews are awesome! I am sooo happy! ;) Thanks to everyone who reviewed, and because of all of you, (especially xo-Kieraa, the person who this chapter is dedicated to) this is officially a two shot!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
The healing she had worked had been long and difficult, but it was worth it. Juugo would be able to control his urges to a certain degree, which in turn would make things easier on Hebi. They were having enough trouble as it was, Itachi kept stubbornly weaseling away from them, Sasuke had almost disemboweled his teammates out of a bad temper, and Karin and Suigetsu's bickering was driving everyone else insane. Sakura herself wasn't exactly cheery, but she wasn't as on the edge as the others. But then again, she was more an observer than a member of the team. Killing Itachi was important, but persuading Sasuke to return to Konoha once the deed was done was her priority.
Sadly, it was more likely that Sasuke would knock her out and leave her somewhere for Naruto to find than for him to come back home with her. Then again, he might also do something completely unexpected; after his recent actions, she really didn't know anymore. He could have just killed her when she had found them, or beaten her unconscious. Instead, he had used pressure points to render her body immobile and had taken her prisoner. Sasuke had said he had his reasons, but she had only heard one so far, to be a medic for the team.
That in itself wasn't too bad a thing, since Sasuke left her loose and free to do mostly as she wished, as long as she didn't try to escape. However, if Sasuke told her to do something, she would have to do it or else be tied up and carried. By Sasuke. Which was far too embarrassing and awkward a situation that Sakura had no intention to repeat.
The medic just sat and rested for a few minutes before deciding it was time to let Sasuke know how the healing went, considering how he was the one who had asked her to perform it.
Sakura stepped out of the tent, pausing for a moment to feel the sun on her face. It had been overcast for over a week, it was nice to see the sun again. She wandered over to the clearing where she knew the rest of Hebi would be resting, and waiting for her.
Sasuke sat under the shade of a large cherry blossom tree, sharpening his sword with expert precision. Karin was idly scribbling in a scroll across the clearing from him, leaning next to a large boulder. Suigetsu was nowhere in sight.
Sakura walked up to Sasuke and stood a few feet from him, waiting for some sign that he had noticed her presence. She didn't have to wait long. Sasuke abruptly paused sharpening his sword and looked over to her from the corners of his eyes, his head slightly tilted towards her. This little motion, however, was enough for Sakura (and Karin, though Sakura couldn't see the redhead) to know that he was paying attention to her.
"He'll be fine." She answered the unspoken question. "He should have an easier time suppressing his urges, but you will still need to watch him at times." Sasuke nodded almost imperceptibly.
"Aa," Sakura supposed that was his way of saying 'thank you' (at least when they weren't having an emotional encounter in the middle of the night.). She suppressed a smile. Despite having been gone for nearly three years, Sasuke barely changed his personality, though he had become even more handsome and powerful than he had been when he was twelve. But Sakura still firmly believed that he could have just done the same thing in Konoha.
Feeling suddenly drained of her energy, Sakura hesitantly allowed herself to sit down next to Sasuke, who didn't protest or shift away, despite the fact that her body was pressing right up to his. He simply went back to his sword sharpening without giving her a second glance.
Lazily, Sakura glanced around the clearing, her eyes coming to rest on Karin. The other kunoichi was no longer alone, Suigetsu, it seemed, had finally come out of wherever he was and was now engaging in his favorite activity—riling up Karin. He was very good at it, and had currently begun a heated argument with the redhead. Their voices were too quiet for Sakura to hear, but she had no doubt that the state wouldn't last for very long.
She let out a short sigh. While annoying, Karin and Suigetsu's bickering sometimes reminded her of Team 7, with her as Karin (a concept she hated), Suigetsu as Naruto, Juugo as Kakashi (being the quietest, not perverted), and Sasuke as, well, himself.
In fact, some days she wondered if Sasuke had chosen his team, not only for their abilities, but also for their resemblance to Team 7.
"Something wrong?" Sasuke's voice rudely interrupted her thoughts.
"You sighed, is something wrong?"
"No, nothing Sasuke, just reminiscing."
"About?" he prompted, while at the same time still managing to sound indifferent.
"Team 7." Sakura thought that the reminder would dissuade Sasuke from probing anymore into her thoughts. Not that she minded, but she was considering facts. Every time she tried to bring up the past, he would change the subject or engage her in combat of some sort. Which usually ended up with her and him in suggestive positions that Karin or Suigetsu invariably would find them in. Sakura had an inkling that that was Sasuke's way of telling her to drop it, and much as she hated to give in, she had dropped it.
"That didn't answer my question." Sakura did a mental double take. Sasuke was for once actually taking an interest in her thoughts, once again surprising her.
"Well, Suigetsu and Karin are like Naruto and me, always bickering with each other. So any minute now she's going to physically hurt him, and he's none the wiser."
"Your vocabulary still hasn't improved." Sakura observed with a light laugh, ruefully shaking her head. Sasuke just gave her a Look.
"But of course," she went on a little sadly, "If that had been all you wanted to improve, you would have stayed." Sasuke had once again paused sharpening his sword, but as he opened his mouth to say something, a loud crack followed by a shriek interrupted him.
"Shut up you baka!" snarled Karin, looking ready to pounce on Suigetsu, who was knocked flat on his back with a rather large bump on his head. Sakura couldn't help but giggle at the scene, not even bothering to try and stifle them. Karin jumped and looked around frantically, before her eyes came to rest on Sakura. She glowered at the medic for just a spilt second before her eyes slid to Sasuke and she turned red with embarrassment. Sakura also turned to look at Sasuke, who was smirking in amusement at the scene.
She jumped slightly in surprise when he leaned over to whisper something in her ear, his breath tickling her ear.
"I can never be rid of the fan girl and the idiot, can I?" Despite her best efforts, a blush rose on her face as she giggled a second time.
"No, you won't be." Seeing a chance to voice her thoughts, Sakura went on, "But Sasuke, you said that you severed all of your ties, right?" without even giving him a chance to respond she continued, "I mean, if you truly have cut ties with all of us, then why would you want teammates who are just like your old ones?" Sasuke was silent, and she did not expect him to answer.
But he surprised her again. "Suigetsu and Karin are nothing like you and Naruto. Suigetsu is considerably most malicious and devious than Naruto ever was, not to mention much weaker. As for Karin, there is no real comparison to be made between you and her."
"What does that mean?" asked Sakura, feeling her heart sink. She wasn't comparable to Karin?
"The only way you and Karin are comparable now is that you are both excellent kunoichi." He stated calmly, "While your past behavior matches up with her current behavior, it would be unfair of me to compare who you were to who Karin is. Sakura, you've changed, and this you is the only one I care to deal with or think about."
"What does that mean?" Sakura felt some relief, and a good deal of confusion.
There was silence as Sasuke looked at her—really looked at her—for a long moment.
"You are still annoying."
It wasn't a real answer, but Sakura accepted it. She smiled slightly and rested her head on Sasuke's shoulder, her eyelids growing heavy.
"But if I am no longer who I was, why am I so annoying?" she murmured sleepily as her eyes drifted close. Soon her breathing grew relaxed, and the tension in her body was relieved.
Sasuke leaned against the tree, mindful of his former (and technically, current) teammate's head on his shoulder. He looked over the fine features of her face, her peachy skin, and her thick eyelashes.
"I don't think I know." He told her sleeping form frankly, "Even if I did, I wouldn't tell you." Sasuke knew that he cared for Sakura; he had taken her on his team for a reason similar to the reason that he hadn't killed Naruto. Just like he couldn't bear to watch his 'brother' die, he hadn't been able to bear the thought that 'his' Sakura would go away once he had laid eyes on her again.
But other than that, he was confused about his teammate. Why, for example, would he want to tear out Suigetsu's liver when he teasingly flirted with her, and not care less when Suigetsu turned to Karin?
For now, he would just focus on Itachi, and ignore his feelings about Sakura. It would be easier with her right next to him; he wouldn't have to worry about where she was or what trouble she was getting in, a habit that had occured frequently during his tenure at Sound.
He reluctantly took his eyes off of Sakura and looked over to his other teammates. Karin was (as usual) glowering at Sakura, and Suigetsu…
Suigetsu, for once, had no trace of maliciousness on his features. Instead, he was watching Karin with a sort of longing, a look he quickly masked when he caught Sasuke's gaze on him.
Sasuke could only shake his head at Suigetsu's helplessness, but did not condone it. Sakura, after all, had looked at him the same way only two and a half years ago, and here he was now, constantly thinking things about her. Not that he hadn't before, but the thoughts had become more frequent and greater in their intensity.
And Sakura wondered why he called her annoying.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed, I love you all!