HO SHIZ!!! FIVE HUNDRED EFFING REVIEWS! –faints-
I can't believe you T.T
I know I know… six months is a long time… and I really hope this pays back for it. A lot has happened. I became the hokage of NAFA on DA… subliminaljoin/subliminal
I have lots of stuff to do, so I hope you're happy with this.
I apologize, but I HAD to add Sai again T.T He's just so smexy.
ON WITH THE STORY!!!
… screw disclaimers. Do I look Asian to you?
Chapter 10: Originality
He had watched her through the night, not falling asleep until a good ways past midnight. His arms continued to hold her close and his face was now buried in the crook of her neck.
Wait… what the hell was he doing?!
His face pulled back as his conscience kicked in. Heat rose to his face as realization sunk in. The Uchiha was only halfway through scolding himself when Sakura stirred
"Sasuke?" She mumbled. Sasuke glanced down, frowning.
"Did I wake you up? Sorry." He said gently. Sakura shook her head.
"Don't worry about it." She smiled. "Are you okay? You look flushed." Sasuke nodded quickly, looking away.
"I'm fine." He replied. Sakura nodded and sat up. Her face showed that she was recollecting the memories from the night before. Green eyes became wide and watery and her frame began to tremble.
"Y-you mean that it wasn't…" Her lip quivered and Sasuke's eyes widened.
"No, Sakura don't-"
She had started crying again.
Sasuke inwardly groaned as the Haruno continued to sob. Sure, he was pissed as hell about the incident too… but… did she have to keep crying?! There were some things about girls that he would just never understand!
Sakura immediately calmed down, suppressing her cries and swallowing. "Sorry, Sasuke…" She mumbled. He looked down at her, silently noting that one of her hands was fisted in her pink hair.
"So much for originality, huh?" She laughed sadly. Sasuke frowned and sat her up.
"You're not you without it." He said gently. Sakura paused.
"But all of those other girls are trying to be me…" She pointed out. Sasuke shook his head.
"Well they don't do a very good job." He said with a small smile. It was true. All of the other girls had pink hair… but none that truly matched Sakura's. Their hair was either too artificial or too faded. Sakura had the perfect natural colour that he was so used to seeing every day. Sakura glanced up at him and smiled, her eyes still quite watery.
"Thanks, Sasuke." She mumbled. She sniffled slightly and wiped her eyes, removing any proof that she had been crying. "I'm sure today will go better."
Sasuke nodded and helped her out of bed.
"Today's our day off." He pointed out. "Let's just stay inside today, alright?"
Sasuke looked down at her in surprise. The young Haruno looked up at him with a determined smile.
"I still don't have my chakara, right?" She pointed out. "This would be the perfect time to strengthen me in Taijutsu!"
Sasuke paused for a moment and couldn't help but agree with her. This was the perfect opportunity. There were no seals to weaken her either! It was perfect!
"Can you walk yet?" He asked. Sakura tested her footing and nodded.
"Let's find Naruto too." She suggested with a grin. Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"I'm sure he'll find out."
"Aww, but Sasuke!"
"Just be quiet."
Right now, Sasuke was more than just tempted to clamp a hand over her mouth. Although he was happy to see her smiling again, her need for Naruto to come along somehow grated his nerves.
"Oh, I get it! You're jealous!"
Sasuke froze. What was she doing now? Could she read his mind?
"Yes Sasuke, I'm reading your mind." She winked before running down the path out of Uchiha territory, leaving the stunned shinobi behind. Sasuke smiled and soon began following after her at a light pace, knowing that he could catch her in a matter of seconds if he felt like it.
Besides, he may as well enjoy his time with Sakura while he had it.
Sakura headed towards the bridge, Sasuke now close behind her. She had said that she stopped because she was bored and wanted someone to talk to… but something about the way she spoke made Sasuke think otherwise. Her smile seemed strained as she spoke to him.
Then again… those women they passed by weren't sending her the nicest of looks.
As they headed further in town, he couldn't help but notice the dirty looks from the middle-aged women getting worse and worse. Sakura's bouncy stride slowly faded away as they whispered to one another. Sasuke frowned as he followed alongside her. It seemed that everyone knew of the sudden trend and several weren't happy at all.
"Oh look! Hats!"
Sasuke blinked as Sakura ran over to the small hat stand, admiring the cute, fuzzy toques with ears.
"How do I look, Sasuke?" She laughed, putting on one that resembled a panda. Sasuke was having troubles trying to figure out whether to answer or not. All he could see was that Sakura was trying to hide her image. She was scared of being hated again, and hid her hair under a hat, just as she had once done by hiding her forehead with her bangs.
She was violated, in a sense… her body and face now the icon of porn magazines. Now her true body and face were hated among the older women who didn't understand the effect this had on her. The gossipy women who believe they were the law of the civilized world now saw Sakura as trash along with all those beneath them.
"Nice hat…" A voice called from above. The two glanced up to see a familiar silhouette standing on the rooftop. "But it doesn't really suit you, Sakura."
The pink-haired girl smiled happily as the leaf-nin jumped down in front of them, standing up to smile at her.
"It's been a while." Sai said with his usual small grin. The smile faded slightly as gazed at her. "I heard about the news…" He added softly. "… and I intend to help in whatever way I can."
"Sai…" Sakura resisted the urge to just hug the root member. It had been far too long since she had last seen him. It wasn't often that they shared missions together and it was rare for both of them to not be on a mission at the same time.
She also knew of the dislike that Sasuke held towards the painter. The two weren't really on good terms since they had met. Even after they managed to bring Sasuke back, Sasuke seemed almost hostile towards him. Sai always dismissed it for him being upset for losing his spot in Team 7, making it seem like a lighthearted joke.
"Don't worry about it." He said with a small smile. "Your ugliness isn't something that should be shown around like that."
Of course this left Sai with a bruised cheek. Sakura blushed and turned away, her arms crossed as she went into pouting mode. Sai gingerly touched his cheek and laughed softly. Sakura eventually looked at him again, a sheepish grin on her face as well.
"I think you're going easy on me now, Sakura." Sai teased as he stepped back, ignoring Sasuke's glares in the process. "You had better go train. Naruto wished to speak with me."
"About what?" It was the first thing Sasuke had said. Sai turned to Sasuke, his eyes holding small glimmer of mischievousness behind them.
"That, Sasuke, Sakura… would be a secret. He stepped around them, waving before heading off. "You'll find out soon enough!"
Sasuke and Sakura could only watch after the painter nin as he ran off. Well… of course, it was more of a glare for Sasuke, but he was soon dragged away by the kunoichi to help her train.
"No, Sakura… you're doing it wrong."
Sasuke sighed and walked up to her. He had already forced her to run, do drills, lift heavy things around, and now they were onto the real taijutsu. "You're too confident with your chakara, which is something you lack at the moment." He took her hands, which were currently pulling at her hair, and removed them from her head. "Rely less on your chakara and more on your own muscles."
"Alright…" She clenched her fist. Sasuke nodded and let go of her, stepping back. "There's more than just chakara. Use your own energy."
Her next few punches and kicks at him were better, but still not what he wanted. "Punch me like you used to punch Naruto damnit!" He snapped. Again, the blows failed to meet the requirements. Sasuke stepped back and placed his hands together in a seal. "Alright let's try something else…"
There was a puff of smoke and now standing before the kunoichi was Sai. He smiled and waved at her. "Hey there, ugly."
Sakura twitched and there was another puff of smoke. "Forehead girl!" Ino cried, pointing at her. Sakura's fists clenched as a third puff of smoke appeared. "Sakura has a beautiful wide forehead and inhuman strength! She punches like a hippo!"
There was another puff of smoke where Sakura punched the fake Naruto, and a figure clad in dark clothes was sent flying out, landing on his back. Sasuke sat up and rubbed his cheek, looking up at her in sheer disbelief.
"Augh! Sasuke I'm so sorry!" She cried, running over to him. "Are you alright? I didn't mean to–"
"No its okay…" He said, standing up. "That's what I'm looking for." He glanced down at her sheepish face as he wiped the blood off his chin. "Punch at me like you would Naruto or Sai. Direct anger like that towards all your enemies."
And so it began. Sakura's punches were much stronger than before, but still not up to snuff. Of course, they would have a few more days to practice before her chakara fully returned. And even so, they could have someone temporarily seal it off again when it did start to return.
They returned later in the afternoon, both quite satisfied with what she had managed to achieve in that span of time. The two had headed back that afternoon, immediately heading to Ichiraku in order to search for their blonde teammate. Of course, the two couldn't help but be slightly surprised that the fox wasn't there for his afternoon meal.
"That's odd…" Sakura murmured. Sasuke ignored her and continued on down the road. What surprised him was that not only were their friends not there, but also the other members of the village were missing as well.
"Looking for someone?"
Sasuke spun around to come face to face with a smiling Sai. Sakura spun around at the sound of the boy's voice, her green eyes lighting up.
The artist turned his head to look at the pink-haired kunoichi before taking her hand.
"We have something to show you." He informed her softly. With that he created a simple hand seal and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Sasuke followed quickly, anger growing all the more in the pit of his stomach. What the hell was going on, and since when did Sai get that cozy with Sakura?
The three appeared in a darkly lit room with a polished wooden floor. A stone wall stood behind them along with on either side, and before them was a red curtain. Sasuke glanced at the other black-clad boy, who put a finger over his lips.
"Just wait here." He said quietly before going through the curtain. Sasuke and Sakura exchanged confused glances, but did as they were told.
At least they could see what was going on…
"They're ready." Sai said calmly to the finely dressed group before him. A young blonde man with striking blue eyes nodded, an eager smile on his face as he adjusted his top hat. Another man with brown hair and sharp looking eyes chuckled to himself while another one merely sighed.
"I can't believe you pulled me into this." He muttered.
"Oh shut it!" A fifth boy said, whacking the fourth one on the head. "You know that my sworn rival refused to participate in this! That's why you're here!"
"And that's why the lazy ass is up in lighting?" He said, loud enough for the long-haired man in the catwalk to hear as he glared upward. His eyes narrowed and he flipped a switch, shining a powerful light in his eyes.
"FUCK! Turn it off!" the fourth man cried as he shielded his eyes. Eventually the light flicked off, leaving him blinded nonetheless.
"Such a pain in the ass…" He hissed. "Let's get this goddamn thing over with."
"Agreed." A sixth man, slightly taller than the rest, strode into the group, his top hat tilted fashionably on his head as silver hair covered his one eye. "Curtains up." He winked.
Murmurs spread throughout the crowd that stood before the stage. Questions such as 'what do you think is going on' and 'where the hell did this massive stage come from' being the two major ones. The crowd was immediately silenced by a booming voice.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Here live in Konoha comes a special presentation from fellow shinobi from all around!" The crimson curtains drew back slowly, revealing six men in black suits in top hats; three on each side of the stage. Tipping the hats slightly, they pulled them off their heads and extended them out to the center, where in unison they called out:
"Doshite no Sakura wa sho ka game!!"
Sakura and Sasuke's eyes widened as they watched from backstage as six of their friends continued to make fools of themselves on stage.
"What are they doing?" Sakura breathed. Sasuke shook his head.
"Shall we wait to find out?" He inquired lightly as he glanced down at her. Sakura looked up with a smile and nodded.
The crowd, both excited, and stunned at the same time, decided to stay to see what the show was about. More people walking by joined the audience which was soon crowding around.
"You see…" Naruto stepped forward and brought the hat to his chest. "Ever since the Icha Icha incident, we have been having problems trying to find our dear friend Sakura."
"We soon became frustrated." Kakashi continued. "So we got something that would get her attention."
"A game, we should say." Sai intoned with his mysterious smile. "A game with a prize that any female would fall for."
The boys (minus Shikamaru of course) smirked to themselves as they put their hats back on.
And all the other guys rolled their eyes.
"N-nice prize…" Sakura was trying to stifle her laughter, but was failing miserably. Sasuke glared and whacked her on the head.
"Now tell us! If you are Sakura, come up on stage!" Lee shouted to the riled up audience. A stampede of girls shook the ground; some of them with pink hair, and some of them not. They squealed and crowded the stage. Kiba, one of the boys in the top hats, frowned and leapt up to the catwalk quickly.
"I think we'll need more stuff." He informed Tenten and Neji. Tenten nodded and vanished while Neji took over her job of tying the ropes up properly.
White eyes glanced up at the messy haired boy. "Do you think this will work?" He asked. Kiba grinned and shrugged.
"Who knows?" He laughed. "All I know is that the ending will be hilarious no matter what."
With that, he leapt back down to the stage, his eyes set on the group of girls, which had already started to be narrowed down until the remains were pink-haired, skimpy clad wannabes who claimed to be the medic nin. Shikamaru had gotten fed up halfway through and walked off the stage, simply stating that it was too troublesome to finish. Several more pink-haired girls claiming to be Sakura came up on stage as well, and soon, about forty finalists were left on stage.
"Now." Sai stated with his usual secretive smile. "Sakura is strong and agile. Her monstrous strength is known everywhere along with her wide forehead."
Backstage, Sakura's eyebrow twitched. "That asshole!" She hissed, immediately seeing Sai catch her eyes. "I'm going to kill him!"
Just as she made a move to walk, she felt herself jerked back to where she was. Turning around, Shikamaru stood there, now missing his tie, coat and top hat. "Sorry, Sakura, but I can't afford to have you go out there."
Sakura frowned. "Why not?" She asked. Shikamaru smirked.
The girls were lined up together, giggling and shoving one another as Sai walked up to the side of the stage. He glanced up at the catwalk, making sure Tenten had returned. She glanced down and gave him the thumbs up, giving him the signal to go ahead. An unusually dark and sinister smile spread on Sai's face; one that would even make the likes of Orochimaru shiver. His slender fingers gripped a rope beside him as he turned back to the audience.
"And now, perverts, stuck-ups, and other members of the crowd who have no idea what is going on… we shall now narrow down the group even further."
With that, he jerked the rope downward, dumping a massive amount of green dye on the heads of the unaware females. High pitched shrieks echoed through Konoha and for a split second, they feared the stage would collapse.
Sai straightened up and dusted himself off, glancing at the now green women. Naruto came up in front of the shocked audience, throwing off his top hat in the process.
"None of these idiot girls is Haruno Sakura!" He shouted angrily. "It never ceases to piss me off how many of you seem to love the idea of copying or degrading my friend!" His eyes flashed as he spoke as he pointed to the group of girls. "If ANYONE does anything like this to Sakura again, I promise that a fate ten thousand times worse shall befall you!"
Kiba threw off his hat as well and ripped off the tie, muttering something about it being a pain in the ass. "Sakura isn't some porn star or model." He added. "She's a spectacular shinobi with enough problems to deal with without this stupid incident!"
They watched as the women in the crowds began whispering to one another, shooting dirty glances up at the stage. Sai took this chance to walk up and remove his own hat, tossing it aside.
"As for you ugly hags out there," he began calmly, "who believe that you are so much better than the rest of society. I would like to take a moment and praise you on your stupidity." This received several gasps from the audience, making the artist grin on the inside.
At least they weren't denying anymore.
"How many of you ugly hags have sons or daughters that are ninjas?" He asked. "Haruno Sakura is Yondaime's personal apprentice and one of the top medic nins out there! And how many times have you even thought about thanking her? Not once! Because you'd all rather spread degrading rumors about her instead!"
Kakashi smiled to himself and glanced at the girls that still stood on the stage. It was only then that he noticed that they were held by Kage Mane no Jutsu. He smiled at Shikamaru backstage before turning back to the women.
"And as for you…" His onyx eye glinted eerily as he stepped toward them. As he did, a light near his feet flicked on while the one above him turned off; giving him an even more eerie appearance. He glanced up and waved at Neji in thanks, who nodded back, before glancing back at the frightened group. "If any of us ever see another Sakura impersonation, I seriously doubt that any of us will be very happy… especially Sakura herself."
The prostitutes and wannabes were frozen in fear, which gave Shikamaru the chance to release his hold and lead Sakura out. He of course had shed the coat, top hat and had already had his white shirt un-tucked. Sai smiled and took her up to the front, taking one of her hands in the process. Naruto took the other as they dragged her to center stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen," They announced in unison, "we would like you to meet the REAL Haruno Sakura!"
With that, they lifted her arms into the air and they gracefully took a bow as the crowd (minus the offended women) broke into a huge applause. Sakura felt a blush rise to her face as the cheers grew even louder. Kiba and Shikamaru stood further back with satisfied grins on their faces. Neji and Tenten watched lazily from above; pleased that the plan had been a success. She looked behind her to see that Sasuke was peeking through the curtains with a small smile on his face. She felt those annoying butterflies in her stomach flutter around happily.
She had never felt so special in her entire life.
"Thank you so much everyone!" She exclaimed as she pulled both Sai and Naruto into a hug. The two teammates could only smile as they embraced her back. Several more hugs were spread through the rest of the group; from Kakashi, to Tenten to Shikamaru and Kiba. She fortunately managed to stop in mid-leap at Neji, and smiled sheepishly, extending a hand. The prodigy simply chuckled and ruffled her hair just as an older brother would.
They ended up at Chouji's favourite barbeque restaurant and a huge meal was made to celebrate the day's work. Sakura offered to pay for everything, but her generosity was immediately turned down. Sasuke reassured her that they only wanted the best for her and that everyone could pay for their own. Today was her day.
Celebrations grew larger and soon other friends came in. Their now massive party had expanded and even the Hokage herself made an appearance. Things got crazy and Neji and Sakura found themselves in a position that they could not escape.
"Just go, Neji!" Naruto had laughed. The Hyuuga's eye twitched and even the medic-nin found herself trying to plot an escape. She glanced at Sasuke, who was watching her with his own taunting smirk.
DAMN him! He was against her too!
The two glanced between each other before Neji finally leaned down and kissed her on the cheek.
Several groans spread through the crowd as he led her out of the circle. He smirked as he glanced over at the disappointed Naruto.
"You didn't exactly say where to kiss her, did you?" He asked in a mocking tone. The blonde ninja scowled and pouted, but soon more dares were brought up, making him forget the incident completely.
The party soon dispersed and Sasuke led Sakura home. He glanced over at the smaller shinobi, discovering a smile on her face.
"Did you really like that kiss that much?" He questioned with a curious gaze. Sakura blinked and blushed, making her suddenly more innocent then she usually looked.
"No… well…" She smiled sheepishly. "Just everything today… that whole performance they pulled off… you helping me with my Taijutsu…" her smile broadened and she gripped his hand happily. "I haven't been so happy in so long."
Sasuke gazed at her with a solemn expression. He had to admit, this was the happiest she had been a while. Just this morning she had been in tears and now she looked like she had just been granted her deepest wish.
He paused. It was a long shot but… it was worth a try.
With a light jerk, the prodigy pulled Sakura back to face him. When she opened her mouth to question his actions, he bent down and kissed her on the forehead. He pulled back and got a quick glance at her shocked expression before continuing his trek to the manor.
"S-S-Sasuke…" She stammered with a blush. "W-Wait up! What was that about?! Sasuke! Come back!"
He wasn't sure why… but he slept easier that night. Maybe it was the fact that there was some sake in his blood… or maybe it was the fact that it was quieter around the manor now… or possibly that he was once again cradling his one-again-one-of-a-kind Sakura in his arms.
Nah… it couldn't be that.
So yes… I pray that this will fill your appetites for a while. Yes I know I had some NejiSaku and SaiSaku hints in here… but as you can see, I got hooked on those pairings as well. T.T
As I said before go to www.nafa. and enter our art contest:3 I'll be putting up some funnies later on 3
For now, I must DRAW
And Happy Halloween 333