Author: Seynee PM
In which Sasuke tries to be a casanova, and Sakura is just Sakura. What's your excuse for bad behaviour? — Sasuke, Sakura. AU.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 82,949 - Reviews: 2,347 - Favs: 1,013 - Follows: 785 - Updated: 05-19-13 - Published: 03-01-09 - id: 4894418
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
a/n: Thanks for the reminder! And for the reviews and support, as always. I really appreciate them!
Sometimes she wondered if it was okay.
This… this thing between Sasuke and her. She wondered if it was okay, if one of them would get hurt, if both of them would get hurt. They would only get hurt if feelings were involved, and… and she didn't know. Were there feelings involved? Did he feel anything for her that was more than what their deal proposed? Did she feel anything for him that was more than she was ready for?
She wasn't sure.
Uchiha Sasuke, despite how he was when no one else was looking, was different, for the lack of a better word. He wasn't like Sai. He could read her like an open book. He worried about her, worried for her well-being, but didn't stop her from doing what she wanted or what she thought was right, and she… she appreciated that. All she needed, after all, was some encouragement, some… some kind of support, that everything would be alright in the end.
Sai would never give her that. Sai was blunt, decisive, and he believed he knew best. Perhaps he did—she never did find out in the end. Sai trusted her, but above that, he wanted to protect her.
Sakura didn't need protection. She didn't want protection.
She needed someone to trust her—and Sasuke did just that, tonight.
Did she love him?
In all honesty, she didn't know. What she felt right now was different with what she felt for Sai, and she had been in love with Sai—at least, she thought she was. Did that mean she wasn't in love with Sasuke? She didn't know that, either.
All she knew was that she didn't mind not knowing. Not now. Not yet. They had other priorities, and this, whatever this was, could wait. She had her family to think about, and her new job at the Miyazawa's, which would start tomorrow. He had his company to save, and his problems with Itachi to solve.
This could wait.
This, whatever this was, could wait.
Sakura closed her eyes, letting sleep take over her, and believed.
Karin didn't like tardy people. She was always on time, sometimes ten minutes before time, and she liked it when people respected her enough to wait for her instead of having her wait for them.
Which was why when Sakura walked into her office ten seconds to ten AM, their promised time, she wasn't sure how to feel. On one hand, she barely made it. On the other hand, she basically glowed, as if this was one very happy day, and somehow, Karin disliked that. She shouldn't be happy. This was a hell hole—for her, anyway—and the only one allowed to be happy here was, well, those with power. And Sakura definitely didn't have that.
"Are you ready?" Karin asked, finally, casting all her thoughts away.
Sakura smiled simply. "Yes."
"Alright." The redhead stood up, picking up a file from her desk and giving it to Sakura. "I'll take you around the office for a small tour and then drop you to your cubicle. You'll have to sort out those documents before the end of the day, by the way, and that book contains all the rules you have to follow."
"Alright." Sakura nodded, glancing at the title of the file. A cubicle, and a task immediately on the first day. Well, that was expected. Everyone should start at the bottom, after all, and she was hardly anyone special. Worry tugged at her heart for a split second, for she suddenly remembered that she hadn't been doing any finance-related task since she graduated, but she supposed that was okay. Don't let anything ruin your day, Sasuke had told her earlier this morning, and that was exactly what she was going to do. She slipped it into her bag and looked at Karin expectantly. "So… tour?"
Karin nodded and motioned for her to follow around the office, floor by floor, detailing the most basic things to know: names of people of authority, copy rooms and coffee machines, who worked where and who did what. She kept on showing things before they finally stopped at a small cubicle across Karin's large office.
"This would be your working space," the Miyazawa continued, "You have everything you'll need, I think. As for ground rules…" she looked thoughtful for a while, "There aren't that many, actually. The usual stuff. No loud music, no loud noises, no loitering around during office hours. Your computer is connected to the company's network and file transfer should be easier, but everything you do is monitored, so you can't really browse anything during working hours. Everything you need to know should be in that file I gave you earlier."
Sakura nodded, putting her bag on the small table. "Thank you, Karin."
"That's alright… do you have any questions?"
"Well, you have lunch at one until two PM, but since it's your first day, Grandpa would like to… have a word with you."
It was Sakura's turn to raise her eyebrows, "Really."
"Yes, we'll have lunch together," Karin said, clearly unenthusiastic, although she smirked. "Consider it a privilege, Sakura. Not everyone gets invited to the president's private room on their first day. We normally only do that when we want to fire someone, to… soften the blow, as I like to call it."
Sakura laughed humourlessly, her voice thin. "I see."
"I'll get my assistant to drop by and tell you how to get supplies and how to use our integrated software at about twelve."
"Okay," she nodded her agreement again.
"Okay," Karin repeated, "I'll see you later."
Sakura gave her a solemn, calm smile. "See you later."
As she watched Karin walk away, red heels making a soft glow of a reflection on the polished floor, she covered her eyes with her hands and sighed gloomily. This was going to be a long, long day.
Balance sheets. Cash flow statements. Stakeholder agreements.
Sasuke looked at the documents, all with various titles, on the table lying in front of him, Itachi, and Naruto. They all dated back to ten years ago, as Ichinose had retrieved for them to analyse.
"So," Naruto looked at the pile closest to him nervously, "This is probably going to take all day, huh?"
"And more," Itachi replied, smiling just a little, "And this is just the start."
"That's no problem," Sasuke added, "It's better than nothing."
"That's true," the older Uchiha agreed, "It's better than nothing, for it is a start. A very good start."
Naruto just shrugged and picked up the first document, sitting down and starting to read it. Sasuke and Itachi did the same, and for a moment they were so immersed on their work that nobody heard the knock on the door—until someone came waltzing in the room.
Uchiha Madara, in all truth, looked like any other Uchiha. Black hair, dark eyes that glinted reddish brown under the sun, a tall, muscular build. However, he also was one of the most conceited men to ever walk to earth.
"Madara," Sasuke addressed him calmly, and although he was surprised, he did not bother to hide what they were doing. Madara would have known anyway. "I thought I told Setsuna that we are not to be disturbed. What brings you here?"
"Setsuna was a little darling, she let me in. I came to talk about the company, dear nephew," Madara replied, "Or should I say nephews—Itachi, I did not think I would find you here. I must confess that I thought you were going to run away under all the pressure like you did the last time, given the opportunity."
Itachi didn't say anything, didn't even give so much an indication that he heard Madara, as he continued to study the document in front of him. Naruto glared at him for a split-second before turning away, huffing angrily.
"Enough," Sasuke thundered, "Say what you need to say, Madara. We do not have much time for—"
"I'm selling my shares," Madara said simply, interrupting Sasuke before he finished his sentence. "You know what that means, don't you?"
"Yes," Sasuke clenched his fists so tightly on the arms of his chair, his knuckles whitening. Since Madara had more shares than both he and Itachi had combined, it would mean that a takeover or an acquisition was bound to occur—which meant that the Uchiha's wouldn't be the Uchiha's anymore, but only in name. Simply put, it was his parents' worst nightmare, one of his biggest fears. "Can I ask why?"
"Why sell my shares?" Madara raised his eyebrows and gave a low, throaty chuckle, "Well, simply put, it makes me sad to see a company not working its full potential, so… I am leaving."
Sasuke stood up, "What the fuck do you mean by that?"
"Let us be honest here, dear nephew, if I may be so frank…" Madara continued, "The company is not working as well as it could be in, say, my hands. You are not so fit to own all this, so I'm doing something about it."
The mention of his given name from his uncle's lips stopped Sasuke dead on his tracks.
"For someone who is in charge of such a big thing," Madara said, "your behaviour isn't going to get you far—or anywhere at all, did you know that, nephew?"
Feeling as if he had been slapped across the face, Sasuke just stared, angrily seething, but not saying anything. Words were wasted on this man, and he shouldn't spend any time saying anything. Don't let anything ruin your day, he thought, and clenched his fists harder. Don't let anyone ruin your day.
Madara looked at him, and then at Itachi, and then to Naruto, and then back at him. "I was being courteous by telling you what's going to happen," he said finally, walking to the door, "One day, Sasuke, Itachi—you would thank me."
"Not in your wildest dreams," Naruto muttered under his breath, once Madara was out of earshot, although he kept his eyes fixed on his paper, "What a—what an asshole. I can't believe you're related to someone so…so… evil!"
Itachi chuckled, but his voice was humourless. "Don't take what he said to heart, Sasuke," he told Sasuke instead, "You know that it was all big talk. You're good at what you do—I couldn't have done better myself."
"So what's going to happen now?" Naruto asked. "He's going to sell the company, and that's it? Once he finds a prospective buyer, that's it? We're done? Finished?" he scratched his head, "I don't really get it, to be honest."
"Well—the thing is, he owns more shares than both of us do," Itachi started to explain, a frown creasing his brows, "So if he sells it to, say, a company, there would either be a takeover or a merger, or we become a holding company. It's not that bad, actually, depending on who gets to buy it, but with the possibilities of what can happen… it's not a safe choice. Our parents wanted this to be solely us, solely the Uchiha's… it's meant to always be the Uchiha's. That was their dream, create a company that saves a lot of people out there, makes a different in people's lives, and yet it would be our hard work. If this company is owned by someone else, they might want different things than we do, and… like I said, it's not exactly a safe choice."
"Alright," Naruto nodded, "Then we have to do what we have to do."
"Yes," Itachi agreed, "although it wouldn't be that easy for Madara, too, I suppose. He has the Uchiha elders to convince, as they also own some of the shares… not to mention that if he does something they don't like, he might be cut off all of our assets."
"He wouldn't want that, greedy little pig," Naruto muttered scathingly.
"No, he wouldn't want that," Sasuke agreed, glaring at the ceiling, and then sighing heavily as he dropped to his chair. He hung his head and sighed again. Seconds passed in silence before he finally looked up, his dark, dark eyes shining in more determination than ever, "That was a declaration of war."
Naruto raised his eyebrows, confused, "Yeah?"
"Yes. And… that's what we're going to do," he said, arrogance filling his eyes and tugging at the corners of his lips, "We're going to fight, and we're going to win."
a/n: Thank you for reading. Have a lovely, lovely weekend, beautiful people!