1Author's notes: Oh dear. I updated.

Indeed Sasuke is OOC. I tried to imagine him in a place where he is actually "in love" and actually happy. Since he was a friendly child, I imagine that with his demons (itachi), but no revenge plot, he'd actually be decently lovable, just very, very bitter. When people find that special someone they want to change for, that's when their character becomes more... open. Not to mention, he's quite a bit older; therefore, his "foolish emotions" would've dispersed by now. My interpretation may not be yours. If you have any other curiosities about Sasuke's personality, read THORNS.

I have to apologize to you Ino fans out there. I'm making her out to be some kind of a snobby bad guy in this story. I actually like Ino, but for the sake of the story, her character will remain as negative as it is now.

Just a Dream

Chapter Nine: Sinking Underneath

Curious eyes shot up from behind a steering wheel as a pink-haired woman emerged from Hanna's studio after closing. "Heh." Hoshi grinned and ignited his engine. He drove his car until it was parallel to her on the sidewalk and rolled down his passenger-side window. "Sakura! Babe!" He called. She spared him a glance, but kept walking. "Hey now," He revved the engine of his Mercedes. "You know you want some of this."

"I'm tired, Hoshi." She muttered angrily. "Find someone else to annoy." She walked faster. 'Why did I have to park so far?' She mentally berated herself. '... And in these heels too. Damn.'Just a block away was a parking lot filled with a few cars. She quickly scanned the area for hers and headed there as fast as her high heels would allow. Hoshi was still tailing her. "Oh give it up already!" She yelled in frustration and ignored the pain in her feet. She ran to her car.

As she got to her door and inserted the key, a rough hand grabbed her wrist. She turned her head sharply and glared. "Hoshi, let go of me this instant." She struggled to pull her wrist out of his hand, but he held tighter.

"What's the hurry babe?" He asked with a raised eyebrow. He tugged her toward him roughly and threw his arm around her waist. "The night's only just begun." He murmured into her ear.

She cringed and pushed him away. "Piss off." She said sternly and tried to get into her car again. He grabbed her from behind landing a large hand onto her bosom. She shrieked and fretfully kicked and wavered her arms until he let go of her. She took in deep breaths and clutched her chest tightly. "I thought I told you to go away! What part of 'piss of' don't you understand?! Leave me ALONE you pervert!" She stepped dig into his foot with her heel. Hoshi screamed and jumped back. In his moment of pain and shock, Sakura took the opportunity to speed away.

"Tch." He wiped his jaw where she managed to swipe him once. He glared at her retreating car, got into his own, and pursued her.

"... The NERVE of that... that PERVERT!" Sakura huffed as she sped down the freeway. All she wanted was to go home and soak her poor feet and give herself a pedicure, but for now, only one thing could make her feel better. Immediately, she took the next exit and headed toward the most dignified living area in all of Konoha.

Unknowingly, a predator followed.

Hoshi raised a curious eyebrow. "... What could she be doing here?" As stealthily as he could manage he followed as she entered an exclusive black building. He then tailed her up to the top floor. He watched as she suspiciously glanced around before knocking delicately on an unmarked black door. "What is this?" Hoshi grinned as a shadowy figure emerged from behind the door and pulled her inside. "... U-Uchiha?"

"Ow... ow, ow, ow! Damn it!" Naruto winced as he tried to pry himself off his bed. He placed one foot solid on the floor and immediately felt pain shoot up throughout his body. "What the hell did he do to me!" He growled in frustration as he fell back into the mattress.. "Arg! I can't even wiggle my toes correctly."

"Well you're awake." Kakashi said leaning against the door frame. He yawned. "You've been asleep for more than twelve hours." His eye narrowed. "I'll have to burn my sheets."

"That's not funny." Naruto said as he struggled to get up. "AH!" He collapsed. "This is ridiculous." His hand twitched.

"Sasuke really did a number on you."

"Yeah, well, I won." Naruto seethed as he once again tried to lift himself up. Slowly, he managed to sit. "I hope he's feeling just as bad." He popped his neck. "No. I hope he's feeling worse."

"He left you the money didn't he?" Kakashi raised his eyebrow.

"Yeah.." Naruto took a glance at the envelope sitting on the bed stand. "He really did."

"What are you going to tell Jiraya?"

"I'm not."


His blue eyes shined with defiance. "I'm not!" His fists loosely clenched the sheets. "He won't have to know. He doesn't need to. This is my decision."

Kakashi nodded in understanding. "Eventually he will find out."

"I know, but..." Naruto closed his eyes. "It's not his concern. It's my life, and I'll be damned if I let him tell me what I can and cannot do with it."

"Speaking of which..." Kakashi started, "He's looking for you."


"He mentioned something about dinner with the Hyuuga's." Kakashi shrugged.

Naruto blinked. "Why?"

Kakashi only shook his head and walked away. "Make sure you wash my sheets. You sweat like a cow." He muttered nonchalantly.

"Asshole." Naruto wiped his mouth. "Psh. Dinner. Again."

"Arg!!" Sasuke grunted and slammed his fist into the wall. "Damn him!" He grabbed the nearest glass object in his apartment and threw it at the wall.

Sakura winced as the glass shattered and crumpled onto the floor. "Feel better now?"

Sasuke dropped onto the black leather sofa and ran his hand through his hair. He was still simmering with anger. "It's fine."

She sighed, "You really have to stop letting him push you around like that."

"I would if I could." He growled, "I don't have a choice. He's only one fucking position higher. I could beat him! I could run the company so that no one would be half as miserable as I am."

"You sure?" She asked. He glared at her. "Of course," she continued and put her hand under her chin, "You'll get your chance."

He shook his head, "Every fucking time..." He didn't finish. He dropped his head into her lap and placed an arm over his eyes. "I can beat him. I know I can." He sighed. They stayed in tense silence.

She smiled, "Now that you've got that out," She looked at the shattered pieces of glass, "That was the really expensive glass sculpture of a giraffe you got from Ino, isn't it?"

Sasuke briefly glanced at the broken pieces, "I don't give a damn."

Sakura huffed, "Why did you keep it then?"

"So I can have something to throw."

She grabbed his hand. "That's the fifth hole you put in your wall you know." Her voice grew concerned, "Your knuckles are bleeding." She said she grazed her fingers over his wounds. He shrugged. "You're already beaten from your fight with Naruto; you really shouldn't go injuring yourself."

"It's nothing." He said sharply, "Don't worry yourself over it."

She poked him in the abdomen and saw him wince. "How can you tell me that? You're bandaged from your neck to your toes!" She poked him again with an amused grin just to see him squirm.

Sasuke sat up. "I said don't worry about it." He grabbed her finger and moved it away.

She shook her head. "Sometimes, you're too stubborn."

"And you're too damn uptight."

His response got him a hard pat on his bandaged abdomen. "Well I'm sorry for being concerned about my own fiance!" She glared at him.

Sasuke seethed. He turned at her with a warning snarl. "That was unnecessary."

"You had that coming from the moment you said 'it's nothing'." Sakura whacked him over the head with a pillow. "You had that coming the moment you told me I was uptight!" She growled.

"Sakura..." He said with annoyance.

"Sasuke..." She said with equal annoyance.

'Whack!' Before she knew it, she was hit over the head with pillow.

She blinked, "Oh, you are so dead!" Sakura huffed the hair out of her face and hit him back. "You're not supposed to hit a girl." A pillow smacked her in the face. "Ass."

Sasuke smirked knowing that he was going to win this. "Your defense needs improvement." He said as he shielded himself from her swipes. "This could be dangerous when you're alone. I might have to teach you again." She glared at him and flicked him off proudly. He gave a disapproving frown.

When he saw another opening, he attacked.

"Ah!" Sakura screamed as he tackled her onto the couch and trapped her there. "This is so unfair!" She tapped his side causing him to grunt. "You're supposed to be begging for mercy!"

"That hurts you know." He emphasized by saying it very close to her face.

She patted his bandaged cheek. "I know." She stuck her tongue out at him. "You deserve it you asshole."

"Damn it, Sakura." He saw her laying below him, flushed and disheveled. Seeing her flushed with anger had him thinking of another kind of challenge. He leaned down and pressed his lips harshly against hers. Sakura whimpered and ran her hands through his raven hair, immediately letting herself dive into the brutal kiss. His hands ran down the sides of her body and growled. "Hn. Your defense really sucks." He placed his mouth over hers.

But before they could go any further, a knock came at his door. He looked over the couch and gave an irritated glance at it. Sakura peeked at the door curiously. "Who could that be?"

"Ignore it," He said and kissed her again.

The knock became a loud bang. He growled. "What!"

"Hello? Sasuke-kun!! " A sing-song voice came through the door. "C'est moi! Ino! Hello?"

Sakura squirmed underneath him. "What is she doing here?"

"How the hell should I know?" He raised an eyebrow.

She pushed him off. "Sure. Right." She said sarcastically. "Just go get the door." She quickly walked into his bedroom and hid.

He sighed and opened the door. Immediately the blonde model threw herself on him. "Sasuke-kun!" She squealed. "Darling, I've missed you! Why have you not returned my calls?" She pouted.

"When have I ever returned your calls?" He asked, irritated.

"Never," She giggled, "But I know you're just shy." She swatted him on the shoulder and walked comfortably into his house. "I've brought wine, darling." She plopped down onto the couch and threw off her heels.

"Get out, Ino." He muttered darkly.

She laughed, "Hahaha! You're such a kidder!"

Sasuke crossed his arms, "I'm perfectly serious."

"My," She said as she studied him in his disheveled white button-down shirt and black slacks. "You really are perfect."

He rolled his eyes. "I'm busy, so get out and find someone else to torment."

"Busy?" Her eyes swooped over the apartment. She noticed a pair of stilettos placed neatly next to the sofa and a female suit jacket on the coat rack as well. "Busy with what?" She raised an eyebrow. The coat looked awfully familiar.

He sighed, "Just get the hell out!" He pointed out the door.

She placed an offended look onto her face, "First you invite me in, and now you tell me to get out?"

"I never invited you in." His eye twitched. "Now, leave."

She glared at the stilettos on the floor. "Someone's here. A woman is here." She sneered. "There's someone else, isn't there?" Ino demanded.

Sasuke froze. He could sense that Sakura was doing the same thing. He glared at Ino.

"Your silence is all the answer I need." She got up from the sofa. "Where is she?" She peered around the spacious apartment. "She's hiding somewhere isn't she? I'll find you, you... you tramp!" She yelled and looked into his closet.

Sasuke intervened, "What the hell are you doing?"

"Those heels!" She pointed, "And that jacket! Who do they belong to?"

"They're a part of a new line my company is working on." He stated simply thinking of an excuse.

"Why are they here?" She questioned, "Don't you have people in your company to take care of things for you?"

Sasuke sighed and shook his head. "They're my project, so get out!"

She grinned devilishly. "I see, Sasuke-kun." She walked slowly over to him and ran a finger down his chest. "I knew you weren't cheating on me." Sasuke rolled his eyes. "I just wanted to tell you," she continued, "I've been invited to the opening of that casino in Vegas. Hanabi tells me all of the Uchiha executives get to go as well. Would you like to... dare I say, go with moi? It would be a wonderful extravaganza for the public to see." Her eyes filled with stars. "The international model Ino and her young, strapping Uchiha heir together at last! We could finally confirm those rumors!" She stopped suddenly, "Oh, and when you need a model for your new project. You know where to call." She leaned to give him a kiss.

He pushed her away disgustedly and out his door. "Get the hell out." She blew him a kiss and strutted away with a smirk on her face. He slammed the door and brushed off his shoulders.

Sakura walked out of his bedroom calm and steady. He immediately approached her with the same lustful intent of finishing what he started a while ago. As he leaned to kiss her, she turned her head in a childish manner to the side and gave her fiancee a curious glance. "What rumors?"

Sasuke groaned. He suddenly felt the need to throw another glass giraffe at the wall.

'So much for relieving stress...'

"Why?!" Hanna shook her head. "This is unbelievable." She slammed her fist on her desk. "You're telling be that I'm... I'm going broke? How is that possible?"

Her accountant fumbled in front of her and took out a piece of paper. "M-ma'am your debts have not been payed off yet a-and... they're accumulating to an impossible amount to pay even with the Uchiha deal."

"I can guarantee you I don't have a problem." Hanna seethed.

"B-but your previous marriage... and the terms of your present one..."

"AND?" Hanna urged.

"Your profits lately have not been up to standard. Many of your clients are started to go elsewhere. Within the last three years your sales have reduced nearly sixty-five percent! Compared to Uchiha Industries now, you're merely an ant."

"Ludacris! Once my negotiations have settled with Uchiha, I will be back on my feet and everything should be back to normal."

"You know as well as I do Mrs. Hyuuga that the Uchiha's will not settle for any low-end deal. They only want the best." Her accountant readjusted his glasses. "I-I'm sorry. I've tried my best to keep your bills manageable, but your spending habits- not to mention that of your children-"

"Excuse me." Hanna interrupted. "MY spending habits? What makes you think ME going broke is MY fault. It obviously has to do with a flaw in my financial system." She glared. "Maybe it's this untalented, idiotic, nimble-minded son of a bitch I have sitting in front of me that's screwing up my entire LIFE!" She yelled and threw her coffee mug at her accountant. "Get out of my face this instant you idiot! I don't need you anymore! You're fired!"

Miraculously ducking the glass object. Her accountant huffed and rubbed off his shoulders. "It was a... privilege." He said through clenched teeth and walked out the door.

Hanna huffed and collapsed into her chair. "What is this?" She looked down at her shaking hands. "How did this happen? Hisashi..." She cried miserably. "Hisashi... help me."

She walked down into the lobby of the extravagant building. "Good day Ms. Ino." She heard the receptionists say. She nodded graciously and prodceeded to her car when suddenly she was grabbed from behind. Ino jumped as a hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her into a narrow hallway. "H-Hoshi?" She blink. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Shh!" He shook his head and grinned. "I've got some interesting information to share with you."

Ino raised her eyebrow. "Oh really?"

"Uh huh."

She pulled out a cigarette and lit it. "Go on."

Hoshi grinned widely. "You'll never believe who I saw going into Uchiha's apartment."

"Is that it?" He asked as he sat back in his leather chair.

"Yes sir." The lawyer put away the papers into his briefcase. "All you need to do is have her sign the papers stating that she is agrees with the terms divorce."

Hisashi sighed.

"Problem, sir?" The lawyer glanced at his client.

"She doesn't even know." Hisashi grinned a little. "When we got married I agreed to take care of the living arrangements, and she agreed to take care of her children and her own bills. I do admire her independence. However, I imagine, since she's in a financial snag, she won't divorce me so easily." He sighed. "She's squandered all the money from her previous marriage on everything from furs to golden spoons, and yet she can't spare some money to pay for her bills. I suppose I've become fed up with fixing her mistakes."

"I understand sir; however, you can always re-negotiate if you need to. Perhaps..." The lawyer pulled out some papers from his briefcase and highlighted a few lines. "Propose another more irresistible deal?"

Hisashi straightened himself and glanced at the lawyer. "I'm listening."

'All I want is peace...'

Hope you all enjoyed!