|The Perfect Man
Author: cutecrazyice PM
"Welcome to the neighborhood, new neighbor! Please meet my family and our perfect mango tree!" Hence, their childhood begins as Sakura plays with frogs, Sasuke glares, and the mango tree watches on. SasuSaku AURated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 5,233 - Reviews: 103 - Favs: 272 - Follows: 19 - Published: 07-29-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7231024
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
theme: special occasion
for: Ashkake, who gave me an additional prompt: "Sasuke, wanna ride my joystick?"
note: gaaaah, how I inserted the second prompt is probably confusing, but I hope you don't mind, Ashkake. This was supposed to be humor, but in the end it got out of control (plot bunny became mutant monster), so I guess you can call it romance-ish?
also for: my WM siblings, two mommies and endless daddies!
beta: as usual, thanks to the ever wonderful smos/thecrazypot!
"I dumped him."
Sasuke didn't look up from the book he was reading, concentrating on the part where Othello was killing Desdemona, still unaware of her innocence in the whole twist of events. There was a soft flutter behind him before something soft hit him in the head, although it didn't make much of an impact. Trying not to roll his eyes, he kept his eyes on the book.
"Yes. I heard you."
"Well, you're not saying anything."
There was a thump behind him, followed by someone sighing in exasperation. Then, silence. Twenty minutes later, the silence continued enough for Sasuke to remember that she was never silent this long. So he looked up, and was surprised to find her spread all over his bean bag, staring listlessly at the ceiling and pouting.
"Sakura," he tried again. When she still didn't say anything, he sighed and closed his book. Then he stood up and went to sit on the bed beside her, trying to come up with something to say.
Her first boyfriend was a jerk of epic proportions, and everyone in school knew that. But Sakura seemed blind to it all – or at least she ignored it when she was with the guy, preferring to show him off and keep up the act that they were happy lovebirds living in their own world. That world crashed when she found Deidara doing the horizontal tango with a girl younger than her in the physics lab, where Ino and Sakura had apparently planned to do extra lab work that day.
When she still didn't speak, Sasuke finally decided to be blunt.
"It's not like you liked him that much."
Silence. Then Sakura sighed and finally turned her head to stare at him.
"And it's not like you're not going to move on in about…a day or so."
"And it's not like you're not going to try to pursue my brother one more time."
The last statement was a joke, of course – except Sasuke should have realized how bad he was at attempting jokes, and should never have attempted one in the first place. Nevertheless, it was enough to have a contemplative gleam appear in Sakura's green eyes before she considerably brightened.
He should have kept his mouth shut.
"That is a very good idea, Sasuke-kun!"
Really, he should have.
The Perfect Man
. . .
When Haruno Sakura first met Uchiha Sasuke during the first few weeks of spring, it wasn't like at first sight.
She had just turned seven years old the day before and was happily playing with the new afternoon tea set her father and mother had given her, along with the slice of peanut butter cake they had set aside for her. Technically it was morning, but the pink-haired girl didn't see any harm in starting her "party" early with her friends – a real snail named Tsunade, a rubber snake named Orochimaru, and a really wet real frog named Jiraiya. The frog was really being uncooperative, hopping around in the grass instead of staying in the pink chair she had provided for him. At least Tsunade and Orochimaru were behaving, and letting her pour them their drinks without much fuss.
It was on her second cup and third bite of cake that a van pulled up on the back lawn next door, followed by a dark blue car. A man and woman came out and went straight for the big house, followed by a little boy with black hair and black eyes observing the neighborhood with bright curiosity. It wasn't long before he spotted her, and the bright objects in her little plastic table. Then he spotted the snail (now slithering on the edge of the chair) and the big frog (now frolicking around in the table), and wrinkled his nose.
She waved, and yelled that her name was Sakura and welcome to the neighborhood, new neighbor! Please meet my family and our perfect mango tree!
He ignored her. She determined that he was an icky boy who just didn't know how to have any fun with cute animals.
The next day, her mother went to visit their new neighbors, the Uchihas, and took her along, one hand holding hers and the other carrying an apple pie just baked to perfection. When the door opened, there was a young boy with black hair and black eyes who looked slightly older than her. When her mother introduced them both, he nodded and asked them to come in.
Then he smiled at her. "It's nice to meet you, Sakura-san."
When Sakura first met Uchiha Itachi during those same first few weeks of spring, it wasn't like at first sight.
It was love.
. . .
Her ninth birthday consisted of trying to get her father to throw her a birthday party, trying to place Jiraiya inside Sasuke's pants to make him scream like a girl, and trying to get Itachi to notice her long hair, which she had grown out because she overheard Sasuke telling their fellow classmate Uzumaki Naruto that Itachi's dream girl had amazing long hair that flew with the wind. Of course, Naruto laughed this off and said that Itachi only wanted a girl with long hair because he had long hair, and didn't want to be mistaken for a girl.
Sakura punched him in the nose and made him highly infatuated with her that day.
Her trying to get Itachi's attention didn't work out for the best, because Itachi wasn't even on her bash. Instead, he had Sasuke bring her his present – a purple sweater that apparently came from the Uchiha family, though she liked to think it came from him alone. Sakura ended up wearing it whenever he was around, earning a smile and polite nod from him which had her squealing happily in Sasuke's grumpy ears.
Five weeks later, the sweater got ruined when Naruto accidentally spilled orange paint on it. Determined to keep it, Sakura had draped it on her plastic teatime chair, calling it her queenly throne.
It became Tsunade's favorite clinging place.
. . .
"Why do you keep bugging him?"
At twelve, Sakura knew Sasuke would never understand what it meant to not have the love of your life look at you as if you were the only person in the world and there was no one else worthy of the attention. She'd read it enough in the romance novels from Kiba's older sister to be certain that such things existed, and even her two neighbors couldn't stop her from her determination to win his heart.
Or at least, try to get him to take her out on a date.
"I am not bugging him. I am expressing my love."
"Che. It's annoying."
Sakura merely gave him a dismissive wave, preferring to stare outside Sasuke's bedroom window and wait for Itachi to come home from school. Naruto came earlier, obviously going there just for the purpose of seeing Sakura and trying to get her attention. This useless activity annoyed Sasuke so much that he ended up leaving them alone and going out to play soccer in the front yard.
Of course, Naruto followed, yelling about him being a more awesome kicker.
When Itachi came home, Sasuke and Naruto were tired, and Sakura was bored – but that all changed when the boys saw what the older boy had in his hands, and when Sakura just saw him.
"Cake! You brought cake! And dinner! AWESOME!" Naruto shouted happily, already drooling.
Itachi smiled. "Mother asked me to. She and father are gonna be late coming home from their charity meeting. Your parents, too, Sakura."
They all dug in hungrily. When dinner was done and the cake was served, the older Uchiha sliced a piece for Sakura himself, telling her to eat it and be full before she went home.
She floated in the clouds for weeks.
. . .
She was fourteen when she decided to serenade him.
"This is a bad idea."
Counting the flowers in her hand to make sure she had them all, Sakura ignored Sasuke, who was glaring at her.
"A really bad idea."
Correction: glaring daggers at her.
"Psh. Whatever. You owe me."
Scowling because it was true, he had no choice but to climb up after her with the guitar heavily strung by a cord over his shoulder and waist. It wasn't an easy task, with Sakura sliding down most of the time and him having to push her up while remaining quiet.
He would never have agreed to this if not for that bet – that one ramen-eating contest where the loser's option was to either follow Sakura's orders for a day, or Naruto's.
At least Sakura's was easier than Naruto's demand that he kiss all his fangirls in the cheek. Ech.
"Che. We're going to fall off."
"No, we're not. I see a better branch up."
"This is ridiculous."
"You are ridiculous. Push me up, please."
He did, and five minutes later, they were at her desired branch, positioning themselves. It was located right outside the older Uchiha's bedroom window, a perfect place for Sasuke to start strumming his guitar as Sakura sang her love.
He was starting to wonder if he should have just taken the idiot blond's bet instead.
"Sasuke-kun!" she hissed excitedly. "His curtains are gone! And his window is open!"
"Tch. This is ridiculous."
"Start," Sakura ordered.
Grumbling, Sasuke started. The pink-haired girl perked her ears and craned her neck, waiting for the opening chord and trying to get a glimpse of her one true love. The chord came and she opened her mouth, ready to belt out her heart and soul—
She stopped. Stared. The light turned on, and she could see Itachi – only he wasn't alone, and his face was currently preoccupied as it nuzzled a girl's neck, then kissed her lips.
A very beautiful girl.
She panicked and scrambled away, not hearing Sasuke's alarmed voice and completely forgetting that she was not on the ground, but somewhere up where any sudden movement would be catastrophic – but it was too late.
There was a floating feeling in the air before a loud crack hit her ears, then numbness. Then she felt the ground, and her legs, and the sickening crack and Sasuke's shout before everything went black.
Sasuke was grounded for a month.
Sakura got a broken ankle, and an even more broken heart.
. . .
Sasuke was sixteen when Sakura began dating this guy named Kankuro, who seemed to like tattoos and body art too much for his own good.
"He is not."
"Weirder than the teme."
"Hey, that's my boyfriend you're talking about."
"For three days. Hn."
"It will be longer," Sakura countered.
It lasted one month.
Her next boyfriend was a student nurse named Kabuto, whose glint behind his glasses made Sasuke think that he really just wanted to slice up Sakura and experiment on her intestines.
That lasted two months.
Her third boyfriend was a frequently-cussing, religious fanatic named Hidan, whose gelled white hair made Sasuke think that he wasn't as young as he posed to be. Also, the way he talked about his so-called religion made the Uchiha boy semi-concerned.
"How sure are you he's not gonna sacrifice you in some cult?"
"Pfft. What are you on to again?"
"Your latest arm trophy."
Sakura scowled. "You're just jealous because I'm not socially retarded like you. And he's hot and nice, Sasuke-kun."
"He's probably got the knife ready."
Her relationship with Hidan lasted two weeks, because it turned out Sasuke was right – he had been planning to use Sakura's virginity as part of some cult sacrifice. The ass.
Deidara, her fourth, was normal enough, except he had an obsession with clay and firecrackers that made Sasuke (even Naruto) think that he probably dreamed of becoming a bomber when he grew up – that, or enter some beauty contest with how he paid too much attention to his hairstyle. When news spread of the cheating and Sakura's eventual dumping, and three weeks later, Itachi's breaking up with his girlfriend, it wasn't long before she was back to pestering him on how to win the older Uchiha's heart.
"I thought you were over him."
"I will never be over him, Sasuke-kun. You'd better believe it."
"Hn. Stop sounding like Naruto."
And the planning – on her part, anyway – began.
. . .
Her first idea was to serenade him again, but this time with a basket of mangoes outside his bedroom door and maybe a tape recorder with her favorite songs. Sasuke had called her cheesy and declared that she would be dubbed even nerdier than Naruto if she proceeded with this kindergarten plan.
Her second idea was to place her scent on essential areas in Itachi's room until he craved her like she was his eternal salvation (her words). Sasuke shot this down immediately, declaring it corny and too cliché to be even believable.
When she got to her third idea, he wished he had just gone with the first two ones.
They were in the kitchen, Sakura sitting on the counter and him trying to slice some tomatoes without any fuss – but she was trying to be the fuss, anyway.
Looking like he had just eaten a bag of dirt, Sasuke glared at her. "I am not going to make out with you just to make my brother jealous."
"But it's going to work!"
"Tch. Your boy trophies never worked."
"I wasn't using them to make him jealous."
"Okay, maybe a bit, unconsciously – but the point is, this time we have a plan."
"Haruno, do you seriously think my brother will fall for floozy tactics?"
"Uchiha, it's not floozy! And it will work!"
"Well, fine. What do you think will work?"
The silence went on enough for her to assume that he didn't really care what would work. Sakura was about to express her frustration when he stalked towards her (yes, he actually stalked) and asked her a blunt question.
"Do you really want to know what my brother wants? In a girl?"
It startled her so much that she remained speechless for a moment before recovering and nodding.
"Of course. Do you know something? Anything?"
Sasuke sighed in resignation. Then he stepped forward, standing in between her legs and trying to get her hands to stop moving. There was a brief struggle as she argued that he was just trying to be perverted, and he argued that he wasn't interested in her that way, shut up, Sakura.
He started to speak – and because her hands were trapped and she was too curious for her own good, she listened.
"He doesn't like pretense."
"He doesn't like aggressive girls."
"He doesn't like girls who talk too much."
She clamped her mouth shut and glared.
"Also, he's not perverted. Instead of touching your legs and breasts, like I'm sure you're used to—" She glared harder at that, "—he's going to do this instead."
He put his hands on her waist and dragged her closer, causing their faces to nearly collide.
Ignoring her, he went on to explain that Itachi liked smart, intelligent girls who were beyond the game of jealousy and betrayal, and who were content spending time with him discussing politics, art and the things in life that mattered. Her eyes lit up, a dreamy smile playing on her lips as she realized that the Itachi Sasuke was describing was even more perfect than she had initially thought. That smile vanished when Sasuke's thumbs started rubbing her elbows – an innocent act that had her heart jumping and looking at him in surprise, before realizing that he had tilted her head up so he could gaze thoroughly into her eyes.
"Is this how Itachi would look at me?"
It was during the middle of this staring session that Itachi walked in, fresh from a dorm shower with his gym bag in tow.
"Oh. I'm interrupting."
The thought that the older Uchiha would leave with the conclusion that he was interrupting something when he wasn't was enough to make Sakura panic – and in panic, she was never really the most sane person on earth, tending to do or blurt out whatever first came to mind.
"Sasuke, wanna ride my joystick?"
Instead of the jealousy she had predicted, Itachi merely stared at her strangely, before smiling and politely excusing himself.
One week later, Sasuke still deemed it the most embarrassing moment of their lives.
. . .
She was seventeen when she got sick of being too behaved around Itachi and another idea hit her.
"Sasuke-kun? Who's got more willpower? You or Itachi?"
"Willpower? You know, who can resist temptation more?"
"Both of us."
"Yes," he answered confidently, a hint of arrogance in his tone. "We Uchihas are built that way."
She tilted her head, considering. "Hmm. So if I kissed you, are you saying you'll resist me?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Sakura."
There was a momentary pause before he was flat on the bed by a sudden impact. Before he knew it, she was already straddling him, her palms flat on his chest and a steely determination in her eyes. Already knowing what she was up to, he rolled his eyes.
"You're an idiot."
"No. This is a brilliant idea."
Because she was Sakura and he knew her practically all his life, he knew the best way to get her to stop – and that was to not react at all. If he stayed in this position without protesting or even so much as fighting back, she would eventually get tired of this stupid idea and leave him alone.
"Whatever you're planning, it's not going to work. I won't be turned on, Sakura."
"We'll see," she hummed.
Then she began her so-called mission.
She started out slow and soft, placing kisses on the area where she knew his mother kissed him a lot – the cheek. Then she trailed down, feather kisses all over his face until she reached the area where neck met shoulder, and concentrated there.
Kissing turned to sucking.
"Is it working yet?"
Her hands started to move – fingers fluttering on skin, pressing on areas that might make him react: elbows, wrists, stomach.
She rolled up his shirt, despite his initial freezing – then she placed her mouth there, and felt a slight tremor.
Translation: I got you now, Sasuke-kun.
She didn't know at what point they got carried away, and went on when they should have stopped. Maybe it was when his hands tangled in her hair, tugging her up half-insistently. Maybe it was when she did go back up, and began to kiss his mouth with all the pent-up passion inside her for not getting to do this with Itachi. Maybe it was when his mouth began to respond. Suddenly what was experimental and supposedly a joke began to spiral out of control, as Sasuke's hands found purchase on her hips – it wasn't long before he tried to stop her from wiggling.
"Fuck, Sakura," he growled.
The word sent both an explosion of tingles and alarm in her mind, quickly forgotten when his responding mouth began to dominate, invading every cell inside her until tingles became a haze of lust, and there was no more room for thought. She felt hands under her shirt, rolling it up as one palm scalded her bra-clad breast and squeezed. Her breath stopped. Mindlessly, she pressed her hips down – and was rewarded with a deep male groan that vibrated in her throat and sent her senses into overdrive.
Then she was abruptly pushed away, and his mouth and hands and skin were gone.
When her senses came back, she found him sitting at the edge of the bed, and herself lying down. They were breathing deeply, her looking at his back and him looking at the floor.
Then Sakura spoke quietly. "I…I thought you had willpower."
"I'm a guy," Sasuke replied bluntly. "And let's forget this happened."
That night, when she was in bed and trying to sleep, she didn't know which was worse – the quiet shutting of his door as he left, or the fact that she couldn't forget like he asked.
. . .
It wasn't until she caught Sasuke kissing the brains out of a senior in the school's storage closet that realization crashed through her, and acid burned in her chest and throat.
Twenty-four hours later, she deemed it a mistake – she was simply projecting her love for Itachi to Sasuke, and was confusing the two.
Time to clear up that confusion.
. . .
"Just to clear it up – what happened will be our secret, okay?"
"And it's not gonna change anything."
"Don't expect me to fall in love with you and ruin our friendship."
. . .
He was seventeen when he broke up with his closet kissing partner, and she felt happiness that she had him all to herself again. It was selfish and probably a bit too arrogant, but perhaps she really was just a selfish girl – wanting two Uchiha boys who probably had a lot better things to do on their free time than hang out (and fall in love, for one of them) with an average girl like her.
She invited herself to his room for an impromptu slumber party, and began talking his ear off about the latest gossip Ino had passed on to her, Naruto's latest antics and the way Itachi spent time with her yesterday for a few minutes to talk about their life ambitions.
In the middle of her chat, she realized that Sasuke had not said anything and was simply staring at the ceiling. Then after a minute of silence, he uttered words that had her breath stopping.
"Maybe you shouldn't stay here tonight. We shouldn't be this close anymore, or Itachi will think we're together. It won't help your plan."
It felt like there was no air left in her lungs as her heart constricted, squeezing so painfully that she had to blink her eyes to keep them clear.
"That's true," she said brightly. "You're very smart." She said her goodbyes and left the room as fast as she could, feeling like the biggest loser in the world.
Maybe she was.
. . .
"Sakura-chan, my beloved blossom, you look so beautiful today!"
Sakura smiled and nodded her head. "Thank you, Lee."
"And I will love you for the rest of my life!"
"Thank you, Lee. You're very sweet."
"And I will never hesitate to tell you – I'll always be honest with my feelings for you, Sakura-chan!"
Her smile faded.
. . .
On her eighteenth birthday, after Ino's surprise party for her was over and the weekend loomed by as midnight struck, she went to visit Itachi in his room, and told him that she'd loved him since she was a kid, and love was still pure and bright. At first he was quiet, staring at her as she stood in the middle of the space, nervous and hopeful and slightly tipsy.
His answer took her aback, and she gaped at him.
"I've always known, Sakura. You weren't really good at hiding it."
She gaped some more, trying to process the information in her alcohol-fuzzy mind – maybe it was the slow processing that caused her to not notice that he had already stood up from bed, and was already in front of her. When it finally registered, she stared him straight in the eye and blurted out the words that felt as natural as her next breath.
He gently backed her into the nearest wall and did as she asked.
It felt glorious and purposeful and as hot as she had expected, and she allowed herself to reciprocate – the hands trailing warm and overpowering on her skin, the mouth capturing hers and nipping almost hungrily. Then the panic set in, alarms ringing in her head and telling her that this was wrong, this wasn't meant to happen – until it spread like wildfire throughout her system, squeezing her heart and making her push him away.
When she looked over his shoulder, she saw Sasuke standing outside the bedroom door, cold and expressionless.
"Please close your doors on your business next time."
Then he walked off, leaving her with Itachi who stood away now, quietly watching as she tried to catch her breath and finally looked him in the eye. She was flushing from head to toe, her mind and heart fighting a battle that decided to make itself clear at this very moment, ugly and truthful and so painful.
Her face crumpled as realization slowly set in like pieces of a puzzle clicking into place.
His face held the shadow of a sorry smile. "Aaah. I take it that wasn't the kiss you expected."
She shook her head. "No, it's not that. The kiss…it was perfect."
"Not all perfect is right."
It was true.
She apologized, and fled.
. . .
Sasuke found her in her backyard, hidden behind the mango tree and staring at the stars above. There were tears drying on her eyelids, which she quickly wiped off the moment she saw him.
"I can cry anytime I want—"
"Stop hiding it from me."
Abruptly, she paused from her movement and turned to stare at him.
Impatience subtly spreading across his moonlit features, he sat down beside her and made a noise similar to a tiger ready to pounce.
"Did he hurt you?"
"Itachi? Of course not."
"What did he do?"
"Stop hiding," he repeated, before taking her face and quickly looking her over. It was such a thorough and efficient check up that she should either have been happy at his concern, or angry that he was all over her business when he just told her to basically leave him alone.
She laughed instead. She laughed and laughed until she was rolling on the ground, and the grass tickled her and she laughed some more. She hadn't realized that tears were flowing with the laughter until Sasuke's hands were touching her skin, wiping them away.
The laughter turned to uncontrollable sobs, and for a moment she wondered if she was going crazy.
"I'm insane. I'm insane and I'm stupid. You should stay far, far away."
He didn't seem to care as he gathered her in his arms and helped her weather it all.
. . .
"You're in love with him."
"I'm talking about the other Uchiha."
Perhaps it should not have been surprising, but she was surprised all the same as she stared at Naruto's deep blue eyes looking at her with such quiet maturity (when did he grow up so much?) – and hints of mischief, of course.
"Am I that obvious?"
"Nah. I just know you that well. You were my first love, after all."
She blushed, then absorbed his words.
"What? But he knows me even more. If you can tell…"
"Oh, you know that socially-constipated bastard. He can be pretty stupid."
"So when are you gonna tell him?"
"I'm not. Unrequited love is unrequited."
"I hate to say this, but you're pretty stupid, too."
. . .
On the dawn of his eighteenth birthday, she woke up to his familiar scent, and music floating from outside her room. Mind instantly on alert even as she tried to stifle a yawn, she opened the front windows and got the biggest surprise of her life.
There was a man sitting on a branch, with a portable radio beside him and a mango in his hand. His stubborn expression clearly told her that this radio was all she was getting, because he was never going to sing for her even if the world broke and crumbled, thank you very much. Lady Gaga's beloved hit crooned about fun and disco sticks, probably the silliest song to play at a moment like this.
"That's not the right song," she blurted out.
"It's supposed to be joy stick, not disco stick."
"Don't think you can get me easily. I'm not as easy as you think."
"Tch. What's one year compared to eleven?"
"You're not deaf, Haruno. Just blind."
The realization of his words rushed through her like a bubble of happiness bursting, and she tried to fight the smile that threatened to make her heart explode, too.
"Eleven? Really? You are such a martyr, Sasuke-kun."
"And you are so dense."
The smile couldn't be held back anymore, and she didn't bother to try.
"So where's my basket of mangoes, you adorable man?"
And she thought, there.
That's my imperfect man.
Itachi was right, after all.
. . .
There were nineteen and, in a way, on top of the world.
"So what do you think of a duet for Itachi's surprise birthday party?"
"But Mikoto will love it!"
"Tch. You've said that already."
"And Fugaku-san will be even more proud of you."
"—I am not singing Lady Gaga's song for my brother's birthday."
"If you do this…I'll ride your joystick. Tonight."
They sang a Japanese song for Itachi instead – well, Sakura sang. Sasuke reluctantly played the guitar and thought, this is silly. But at least he had her beside him. Until they grew old, hopefully.
Sometimes, he was so cheesy, he should have just strangled himself to oblivion.
Really, he should have.
a/n: I'm not really satisfied with how this turned out. I wanted more ItaSaku moments, but obviously I wasn't able to do that. XD Anyway, I hope you still enjoyed reading! I had fun writing it. And...reviews are love. :D *winks*
next project: KakaSaku oneshot for help_japan.