Author's Note: This is the final chapter, thank you for your patience. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters or world of Naruto they are the property of Masashi Kishimoto, and are not my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be is for entertainment purposes only.

At age twenty, Sakura Haruno did not meet society's standards any more than she had at age sixteen when Kisame had first met her. She was still flat-chested, short-tempered, and acted nothing like she looked.

Haruno-kun was not society.

Kisame was glad for that.

He had been fond of the little fan girl he had gained at Konohagakure High School. Oh yes, he thought with a chuckle. He had caught her little blush every time she talked to him. The look of awe after he helped her out with the punk from his old boarding school would have given her away if nothing else did.

Kisame didn't mind though, she was a cute kiddo and she had never acted on her feelings. He could pretend to be oblivious if she'd allow him to avoid the awkward situation of rejecting her feelings.

Kiri Prep had been a rough place to go to school, especially for someone like Kisame who had been held back a year and gone undiagnosed with a reading disorder for a long-time. His school really hadn't cared much about school work. KHS had been a breath of fresh air and his little friendship with Haruno-kun had made the transition easy.

Little Sakura had been a hoot. Intelligent and unfailingly polite in front of the teachers and when tutoring him, she played the role of the perfect school girl. But Kisame had seen her in the halls with her friends, where she was less guarded and more prone to expressing a short-fuse. Gentle flowers aren't likely to become best buds with the majority of the athletic club presidents after all. The flower who does is one who's polite to the outside world while keeping her less socially accepted traits under wraps.

Oh no, Kisame knew better and he had wondered what she'd be like once she grew out of her shell more and had some time away from Konohagakure. Sure enough, it looked like she had turned out to be one rad chick.

She had blushed all over when they first talked, just like she used too in high school. Kisame had thought it cute, but ignored it in favor of finding out what the little flower was doing showing up at the Akatsuki Beach Party and figuring out how much she'd changed.

Sure enough, it didn't take long and he was able to literally watch her bloom and come alive as she rattled on about how she'd been.

This kid's really grown up since I saw her last, thought Kisame fondly. She was never this comfortable and outspoken before. That hoodie and swimsuit aren't hiding some other changes either. Pinkie's a gym rat.

Kisame found himself feeling bad as they talked. He couldn't help it once she mentioned Itachi inviting her. The whole gang knew Itachi had been trying to win over some girl recently. He and a few others had had their suspicions about the situation, but now that Kisame knew who Itachi had been speaking too, he was sure.

His best friend was a genius, but denial was a tough enemy to beat. And Itachi was deep, deep in denial if he thought he had a chance with Haruno. Kisame had thought it sounded like the girl was trying to let him down easy before he knew who it was, but now? Itachi was a good man, but he obviously hadn't picked up yet on some of Haruno's changes.

Poor guy, can't see the boobs for the brain. Well, Kisame gave a quick discrete look, maybe not boobs. She hasn't filled out there that much since high school, but a blind man could see those calves and she's not skipping on her squats and arm curls either.

Kisame allowed himself an appreciative look at her backside as she went to get a drink.

Nope, Haruno's not getting muscle like that by just studying all the time, she's not going to go for a man that does the bare amount of exercise he can.

With a smirk and a subtle flex of his own muscles, Kisame smugly thought of the reaction he could still bring out in her as further proof of Haruno's type. Feeling proud of himself, he shifted his attention to where Hidan was chatting her up by the drinks.

Oh yeah, Itachi's chances are screwed. That short-temper of her's is still alive and it doesn't look like she bothers to hide it anymore...Uh...maybe.

Kisame became a bit confused as he kept watching Hidan and Argue? Flirt?

Honestly, he wasn't sure what they were doing but he could see Itachi's distressed face from across the beach. Deciding quick, Kisame thought it might be a good idea to go have a talk with his best bud.

Itachi may have been a genius catch in society's eyes, but if there was anything that Kisame knew-

Sakura Haruno was not society.

Author's Note:

NOTE: Please do NOT make spin-offs, sequels, podfics, or similar works without my permission. Fan ART is the exception to this, feel free to make fan art of my work. I have no artistic talent so I'd love to see your's!

Thank you for reading. As I stated above, this is the final chapter for "The Hero, Nerd, and Sakura." This was my first real work and my precious little fanfic baby and I'm so glad to have it done. So again, thank you for your support and patience.