A/N: Welcome lovely readers! To my first Sasuke x Sakura one-shot! Yes, yes, I've dedicated this to all those Sasu/Saku fans out there! Please, enjoy!
All standard disclaimers apply.
This was all the dobe's fault.
If only his gigantic blonde head wasn't attached to the rest of his Kyuubi-inhabited body, Sasuke would have gladly broke open Naruto's skull to finally prove his theory correct.
Naruto couldn't possibly have brains.
What respectable chunnin failed a C-class mission?
Only Naruto. The self-proclaimed future Hokage.
Sasuke snorted. Yeah, right.
His only job on the mission was to distract the enemy for heaven's sake! If executed as planned, the entire team could have gone home happy, unhurt, and well informed about the ulterior motives of the Mist government.
But, no. Naruto couldn't even play his part, a mute and deaf (the team had purposely given Naruto these disabilities to feign weakness on their part) old man. He'd opened his big mouth sometime during the discreet transfer of information. Their cover was blown sky-high, naturally.
The team: Dobe Naruto, Hyuuga Neji, himself, and another medic chuunin, while still fleeing from the scene, had met the not-exactly-happy Mist army at the edge of town. After fighting the battle that probably took 2 years off their existences, they escaped with their lives. Barely.
But, of course that wasn't enough. Pain was easy. Something Sasuke could handle as easily as an annoying insect.
But this. This was—had to be—true torture. Brought on by Naruto, made happen by his evil former genin teacher.
As Naruto's blunder had cost Konoha a valuable advantage in knowledge against the Mist, the enigmatic ex-ANBU had offered a solution that easily flew for the Godaime.
Sasuke's vein twitched in his right temple. Of all things! Surely, Kakashi was begging to die by his hand.
"Welcome chuunins," yelled the cheerful voice of Iruka, now to be their acting teacher. "to Iruka-sensei's acting school for amateurs!"
Many in the audience groaned.
A hand shot up. Iruka called, "Yes, Tenten?"
The weapons master rested her arm and voiced exactly what Sasuke and most of the class had on their minds, "I don't see the point of these classes, Iruka-sensei."
Kiba added in the next part, "Yeah! Because of Naruto's stupid mistake (An indignant "Hey!" was heard in the crowd of students) all of us have to suffer!"
From his peripheral vision, Sasuke could see many of the class's agreement as they nodded their heads.
After a moment of thought on Iruka's part, he finally said with the slightest trace of a smirk, "You really think so?" The class nodded yet again. "Everyone in this class believes they don't need these lessons?"
"Of course, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto's voice boasted. Hn. This was all your fault, dobe.
"Fine then." Iruka neatly stacked the papers on his desk and the entire class inwardly rejoiced. Sasuke was suspicious though. He was simply going to pack up and dismiss the class without a fight?
He watched as their instructor walked from his desk over to a nearby file cabinet. After fingering through the various amount documents, he found what he was looking for—a horribly tall stack of papers.
He set the mountain of papers on his desk smiling wryly at his bewildered students. "These," he lay one hand on the pile," are scripts."
Sasuke shuddered involuntarily. Oh. God. No.
"To prove that you all have the art of acting down, we're putting on a play."
He flashed another deceitful grin.
"We're putting on the Western classic Romeo and Juliet for all of Konoha!"
Must. Kill. Dobe.
The next day…
"Good morning class!" Iruka greeted as he strolled into the room.
A few unenthusiastic responses were heard.
The chuunin acting instructor smiled tauntingly as if saying 'you asked for this'.
He passed a heavy stack of papers to each of the glum ninjas in class all the while explaining the basic protocol of mission: Romeo and Juliet.
Sasuke had thought it over. Perhaps, this play wasn't going to be that badHe could maybe do stage crew or something behind the scenes as to not be utterly humiliated in front of the entire Leaf village.
Like hell was he going to act in a play about romance. Like hell was he going to act at all.
As Iruka finished he took his place in front of the class announcing, "Try-outs for Juliet will be this afternoon after class. Romeo's is the next day and the rest will be on Thursday and Friday." He sat behind his desk at the front of the class and before setting to work on the play's preparations, he said, "The rest of the class is yours to rehearse, girls."
Sasuke scoffed. Who in their right mind would want to act?
As if answering his inner question, a high-pitched voice screeched, "I want to act!"
Followed by another, "Me too!"
And another, "So do I!"
And another, "I'd like to as well."
Hn. Girls. No wonder.
And finally, a very familiar voice rung out, "I want to play Juliet!"
Sasuke turned around this time to where the group of females had situated themselves. As he had guessed she was among them. The one who'd made the last remark.
Sakura wanted to be Juliet?
Actually, Sasuke thought, she wouldn't be bad. From being teammates with her in their genin days, he found her acting skills exceptional as they had helped greatly in those times where they needed to undermine enemy territory. At the least, better than Naruto.
The pink-haired chuunin was dramatic enough for their entire team in times of peril. She made her love for him a constant reminder of that. She had the least emotional control of their genin team and in this case, it gave her the upper hand against the other girls wishing to play Juliet.
Not to mention, with her soft pink locks and bright green eyes, she was—though he'd stab himself 100 times before admitting it out loud—kind of…pretty.
Though he'd only thought it, a slight pink tainted his cheeks.
The Uchiha prodigy had just thought Sakura, a former teammate, pretty and blushed about it.
Since when had those words even been in his vocabulary?
Oh, and look the Dobe was coming just in time to see it.
His reputation of cold-hearted jerk, one he'd tried so hard to build, was surely to come crashing down.
Naruto walked over from his seat in the front. He immediately noticed the redness on his friend's face. A goofy smirk blossomed upon his features.
Sasuke looked down at the surface of his table, hoping his bangs would hide the heat of his cheeks.
"What do you want, dobe?" Sasuke asked as icily as he could. He pleaded that he wouldn't point out the color on his faceDon't say it…don't say it…don't say it…
"Are you sick or something?"
"I was not--!" Sasuke paused and looked to his teammate, blinking. "What?"
"You look kinda red."
Sasuke exhaled softly. Baka Dobe. "Yeah."
Naruto let out a boisterous laugh. "Eh? Is that so? Ah, too bad then! You won't be able to see Sakura-chan and I perform!"
Sasuke directed his ebony eyes toward his fellow chuunin, skeptical. "You?"
"Yeah." Naruto answered. "I'm going to be Romeo!"
A look of slight surprise met Sasuke's face, "Why?"
Naruto gave Sasuke a look that read, 'Are you stupid or something?' "Duh! So, I can kiss her in the end!"
A short moment of silence indicated the abrupt oncoming of realization.
"What?" He slightly hissed.
"Romeo and Juliet kiss in the end, remember!" Naruto yelled, not at all fazed by Sasuke's change in tone. Sasuke gripped the corners of his table. It was all he could do as to not punch Naruto in the face.
Calm down, Sasuke. You are calm.
"Narutooooo-ssaann!" cried the recognizable of Rock Lee. The older chuunin came up to them a fire burning in his eyes. "I'm going to be Romeo, Naruto-san! So I can be with my Sakur—"
"No way Fuzzy Eyebrows!" Naruto yelled. "The part of Romeo is mine!"
Sasuke sighed exasperatedly. Idiots.
"You aren't even sure whether or not Sakura is going to be Juliet." Sasuke pointed out, annoyed.
Lee looked as the Uchiha had just performed a forbidden jutsu. "How can she not! She's the prettiest, most talented, nicest, smartest, prettiest ("You already said that!") kunoichi here!" He said as passionate about Sakura as always.
Naruto added in confidently, "And if she wants to be Juliet, I'll be her Romeo!"
And the fighting began yet again, leaving Sasuke to stew over his own thoughts.
What kind of thoughts? Confused, apprehensive, and…angry?
Sasuke brushed the feelings away. Stupid.
'There's no way Sakura can get this part.'
He inwardly groaned. Stupider.
He had just contradicted himself.
Sasuke smirked as the class was dismissed. Hardly any girls had left, meaning most of them were to be auditioning. A few boys, including the excited Naruto and Lee, had stayed to watch.
The Uchiha wanted to leave, go home, and get away from this hell called acting class. But an unsettling feeling in his heart forced him to stay. To see who got Juliet.
Iruka got up from his desk smiling broadly at the large amount of girls who had stayed to audition. "Okay then, girls and boys! Off we go to the auditorium!"
Sasuke remembered the auditorium. Back while attending Ninja Academy, he and his fellow classmates would come in here usually for technique demonstrations while the field was unusable. It would be strange to see it used for artistic purposes.
"Girls auditioning, please fill in the first row here." The acting teacher suddenly turned play director ordered. "Boys, sit wherever but please be quiet and undisruptive."
Everyone found seats near the front. Sasuke, seeing as how he wanted to be as unnoticeable as possible chose a seat in the back.
And the Juliet auditions began.
Some, Sasuke found, were quite good. Most, though, were bad. One had even fainted while stuttering through her lines.
Finally, it was Sakura's turn. She walked up the flight of stairs onto the stage, emerald eyes glinting with purpose. She stood there, carnation tresses shining in the spot light.
"Sakura!" whispered the voice of Ino, her former but still slight best friend, "Your script!" She waved it at her but the confident kunoichi onstage merely waved it back, signaling that she didn't need it.
She'd already memorized her part? Damn her intelligence.
To Sasuke's chagrin, she had said—practically sang—her words perfectly in such a melodic and clear voice, it felt as if she were a professional. When she finished, loud cheers echoed on the roof, no doubt Sakura's own personal fan club of two. She smiled at the both of them, slightly blushing, then turned back to her seat among the audience.
Then the audition continued on. No one had matched Sakura's excellent performance. When the audition finally came to a close at around 5:50, nearly 6, the results were announced.
And inevitably, Iruka proclaimed, "After thorough consideration, I've come to the conclusion that Juliet will be played by…Haruno Sakura!"
The 'aws' of her competitors were heard as they left the room. Sakura had a short conversation with Iruka-sensei then turned to the open arms of Naruto and Lee. Together, they cheered amongst themselves.
It was Sasuke's time to leave. He couldn't let them know that he had stayed just to—
Damn it. Too late. Sasuke turned around to the surprised faces of his classmates.
Sakura looked up at him with her innocent jade eyes. "What are you doing here, Sasuke-kun?"
Sasuke looked away quickly, nearly mortifying himself by blushing again. 'What is wrong with me!' he cried inwardly. Physically, he murmured, "I had to talk to Iruka-sensei about something."
"Oh, Okay then." She smiled. Too gullible. Sasuke almost felt guilty. "Walk home with us, Sasuke-kun!"
He nodded and the four of them walked out of the auditorium, the brisk night air and pale moonlight greeting their senses.
A cocky smile appeared upon Naruto's face as the thought occurred to him. "Hah! We told you Sakura-chan would get the part!"
"Eh?" Sakura wondered, confused.
"Well," Lee explained, "Naruto-san and I, being your loyal supporters, knew, without a doubt, that you would get the part of Juliet! Sasuke-san here," He pointed at the dark-haired chuunin, "thought you couldn't."
Sakura let out a quiet, "oh." And Sasuke desperately wanted to throw Lee into a river.
Lee pointed toward a side road off the path they were walking, "Here's my turn."
"Alright then, Lee-san. See you tomorrow?" Sakura questioned grinning.
Lee turned to her, taking her hands into his, "Why of course Sakura-san! I shall be auditioning for the role opposite you, Romeo! When I am your Romeo and you my Juliet, we shall together make the play a stupendous one and—"
Sakura sweatdropped. Sasuke twitched. Naruto grunted wanting to kick the elder boy in the shins. "I'm playing Romeo!" Naruto turned to her expectantly, "Ne, Sakura-chan?"
The bubblegum haired ninja smiled again, "I don't know, Naruto. It depends doesn't it? Whoever is the better actor, right?"
The chuunins nodded and shook on it. "May the best man win."
Lee walked home by himself while the former team 7 went on along their route.
"What about you, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura questioned, "What are you doing for the play?"
"Ah…I—" He began, until interrupted by Naruto's comment, "Yeah, Sasuke-bastard!"
He sent a glare at the blonde shinobi.
"Naruto!" Sakura yelled, punching him over the head, "It's rude to interrupt people when they're talking!"
When Naruto, clutching his hurt bump, let out his, "Ehehehe. Sorry, Sakura-chan." Sasuke could almost smile. It was just like the old times. He was glad to know his friends hadn't changed.
Sasuke continued, "I don't know yet." He answered truthfully. The thought of merely working in the background while someone was playing Sakura's lover, had, for some odd reason, set his blood boiling. But acting…? It left him thoroughly confused.
Naruto, craving for attention yet again, waved his script in Sakura's face. "Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan! Since you are Juliet and I will become Romeo, why don't we try practicing our lines now?" His cerulean irises turned to Sasuke, "Sasuke-bastard, you check for any mistakes."
Before Naruto could even begin Sasuke said with cool indifference, "Mistake One: You aren't Romeo."
Sakura giggled lightly and Naruto told Sasuke to shut up.
So they read their lines, choosing the most dramatic parts between their characters. To Sasuke's displeasure, they had voiced the balcony scene quite nicely. Perhaps, Naruto could become Romeo. And somehow, the thought bothered him greatly.
Finally, Sasuke came to his turn in the road—which also happened to be Sakura's.
"What! Sakura-chan? You turn here! With Sasuke!" Naruto questioned loudly.
Sakura nodded, cherry locks bouncing.
"B-but Sakura-chaan…" Naruto tried his skill for puppy-dog eyes, "we didn't even get to the final scene!"
He walked up to her suddenly grinning, "How bout a goodnight kiss for the road?"
Before Sasuke could hit the dobe, Sakura did it for him, punching him over the head. "Good night, Naruto." She said firmly though still smiling.
"See you tomorrow, Sakura-chan! Then, we can really kiss!"
A rock landed nicely on Naruto's big head.
And Naruto left for his home.
Before they knew it, the two were alone.
Damn. What to talk about now?
How was it possible that they hadn't they walked home together before?
Why the hell did he even care!
Awkwardness and silence wasn't something new to Sasuke when it came to Sakura.
Then why did he feel he needed to say something? Anything!
"Sasuke-kun…" broke his thoughts.
He turned his gaze to the kunoichi. A hint of sadness lingered on her lips. "Did…you really think that I couldn't…do it? Act, I mean?"
Sasuke thought it over. 'I didn't want you to.' On the outside he answered her with silence.
Sakura looked up at him, sadly. Good thing she didn't press the issue and instead brightened forcibly and said, "Hey! Sasuke-kun, help me memorize the rest of my lines!"
Feeling a little guilty for not answering her he complied albeit hesitantly.
Strangely, they did well. His deep voice meshed easily with her light one. They both had good control over the language and knew when to speak more dramatically at each minor turn of events.
When they came to Sakura's house, Sasuke walked her to her porch, still saying the appointed lines of Romeo. And they came to the final scene.
As Romeo, Sasuke had just died.
With the skill of a veteran actress, Sakura carried on her lines well with expressions to match. From a time of surprise at finding herself in a tomb, to a horrified one when she'd found her one true love dead, and finally one of solemnity when she decided that she too would die.
Sakura unconsciously stepped closer to him as if they were actually in the play. Sasuke tensed at the distance between them as well as the sweet fragrance of her cherry-scented shampoo.
She looked up at him, her sea green eyes half lidded under long lashes.
Abruptly, she reached out and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.
She pulled away slowly and looked up at him. Suddenly, as if just realizing what she'd done, she blushed hot red.
"S-sorry, Sasuke-kun! I didn't know what I was—I just thought that—I was just trying to—" She smiled sheepishly though the pink tint on her cheeks could still be seen in through the darkness.
"I-I was…in the moment."
Sasuke nodded slightly, still surprised, to say the least at Sakura's boldness.
The rest of her words were tuned out as Sasuke couldn't get the brief kiss out of his mind.
The kiss was unexpected, feather-light…sweet. And her pinkish lips had been soft against his own…
Sasuke's hand formed a tight fist at his thoughts. It was all he could manage without banging his own head against the wall repeatedly.
"Well, thanks so much for walking me here Sasuke-kun." She smiled gratefully and his insides went for a roller coaster ride. He had to have some kind of illness. "I'll see you tomorrow then?"
"Um…well…goodnight." She said quickly and shut the door.
Sasuke silently walked to his own home, Sakura's kiss lingering on his lips and most likely in his dreams.
The next day…
Damn. It. All.
It had been short. Simple. Something done out of instinct. She had said so herself that she was merely, "In the moment".
So why the HELL was it replaying over and over and over, damn it, in his mind!
Worst part of it all was…he had…liked it.
Hormones. Blame it all on hormones.
He was 15 after all, he thought rationally.
It was perfectly normal to feel this way…right?
The fact that he was going to the Romeo auditions had absolutely nothing to do with Sakura. He just wanted to see who got the part, that's all.
It wasn't as if he liked Sakura that way. She was a valuable teammate. A good friend. Nothing more.
He immediately squished the annoying voice at the back of his mind telling him otherwise.
Sasuke walked into the auditorium and his hands formed tight fists. His eyes narrowed and if looks could kill…well, lets just say the population of boys in acting class would have at least decreased by ½.
What were these idiots doing here!
"Sasuke-kun!" The familiar voice of none other than Sakura, called surprise evident in her voice.
He found her in the front amongst a throng of auditioning boys. She was here to help the guys audition?
"Sasuke-bastard! What are YOU doing here!"
"Sasuke-san! Have you come to audition as well!"
The Uchiha sent his signature glare toward the two. Obviously and as expected, Lee and Naruto were there too. He walked towards where they were seated, choosing a spot in the second row behind them.
Sakura turned around, a cheerful smile yet again gracing her countenance. "Ne, Sasuke-kun! What are you doing here anyway? Come to watch Lee-san and Naruto?"
Sasuke nodded slightly looking to the ground as to avoid her gaze. The paranoid side of him told him that if he were to look at her right now, embarrassment would have met him straight on.
Sakura smiled sadly as she had the night before and turned around to face the stage yet again. His insides twisted and Sasuke went with the former notion that he'd caught some kind of stupid virus. Nothing to do with emotions whatsoever.
"Okay, welcome my potential Romeos!" Announced Iruka as he took center stage. He grinned at the vast amount of willing actors. "Today, aye, I must say, you boys are lucky! Yesterday, the girls had got it pretty tough for not only had they had less time than you, but also didn't have an opposite to be playing with them!"
Many in the crowd looked confused and the instructor merely smiled.
"Boys! As I had proclaimed before, Haruno Sakura, was to be playing the female lead, Juliet. Today, she has agreed to act with you onstage during each of your auditions!"
The clapping and cheers echoed as Sakura walked onstage confidently.
Sasuke noticed in disgust how some of the boys had followed her every move, eyes tracing her every step. They were ogling her. Sasuke suddenly wished he could chidori their eyeballs out of their sockets.
Since when had Sakura gained so many damn fan boys?
When she grew up and grown a figure.
The thought made Sasuke shudder and caused a pinkish hue to paint his cheeks. He had just noticed her, Sakura's, a former genin teammate's, nothing-more-than-a-friend's, body's curves.
At this rate, hell had already frozen over.
Damn. Damn! DAMN hormones!
And so the Romeo audition began. And the heat formerly on Sasuke's cheeks had transferred to his blood.
Questions bounced along the walls of his head and anger caused him to fume.
'Why did they all have to touch her like that!'
'Why did they have to hold her like that!'
'Iruka-sensei, This is surely some type of sexual harassment! I must put a halt on these auditions until Sakura is away from these idiots' wandering hands!' Was what Sasuke wanted to yell as he watched each horrifying rendition of the final scene went on.
But of course, Sasuke would keep quiet, seething on his own and wishing for each of them to parish. He would not risk his rep with such an outburst for people would get the wrong idea. They'd think that he actually liked Haruno Sakura.
With each passing audition though, it was getting harder to ignore her attractive physical attributes, the memory of their brief kiss, and the voice in his heart that constantly disagreed with the rest of his practical logic.
When the last guy had finally stepped up to audition, it was also the last straw. One thing that Sasuke had been grateful for was that each of the males, including Naruto, had been respectful enough to not kiss her.
The bastard had crossed the line when he'd nearly placed a kiss on her lips. And from the position of his arms, he had wanted to embrace her in the process.
Idiotic moron. Sasuke got up from his seat in a rush.
Iruka, not noticing the Uchiha prodigy walking up to the stage, began, "And so that concludes—"
Sasuke hopped onstage. The second he landed and Iruka-sensei had stopped talking, his dignity and cold-hearted status flew right out the auditorium window.
"Ah, Uchiha Sasuke-kun? Go on ahead!" Iruka stated cheerfully, taking his seat on the sidelines.
Sakura watched with wide emerald eyes as Sasuke came walking up to her at a brisk pace. Everyone in the audience seemed also surprised at Sasuke's sudden interruption as the auditorium had suddenly gone eerily quiet.
Sasuke began to recite by heart the lines he'd studied last night with Sakura. Romeo's lines.
A sign of the apocalypse.
The spectators watched in anticipation as Sakura also began to, although a little nervously, perform her lines.
Iruka, among many others, found their acting oddly complementary.
On stage, Sasuke was starting to sweat.
He had gotten up here…for what reason exactly?
To beat Lee and Naruto (again)? To humiliate himself?
They were fast approaching their last few lines and he suddenly fell to the ground as if he really wanted to sell his acting, as if he was really Romeo.
Startled by his sudden fall, Sakura knelt to the ground hastily. Awkwardly, she placed his head on her lap, blushing furiously, but continuing with their scene.
Before closing his eyes, he looked up into her sparkling green ones. Moving down, he saw the pink lips that had so quickly pressed against his own the night before. It suddenly hit him. This was why he'd gone and thrown his arrogant bastard image in the trash heap.
He closed his eyes and let Sakura finish the last of her lines.
And before anyone could stop him, he pulled her head down to his in a sweet, longing kiss.
The crowd gasped audibly and a few ("Sasuke-BASTARD! GET OFF, Sakura-chaan!" "Sasuke-saaaannn! How could you!") shouted at the pair onstage.
The couple acting, meanwhile, had drowned out the sound of the audience as they parted. The pink-haired kunoichi, obviously surprised, looked at her companion curiously. He had averted her gaze, black bangs trying (but failing miserably) to hide the blush that spread across his cheeks.
"Why did you just…?" The voice was inquisitive, not disgusted. If anything, a little pleased, he noticed gratefully.
He took a chance and gazed at her face. He took satisfaction in knowing she too was blushing a hot crimson. He pondered over an answer to give to her question.
Of course he couldn't say that he had been wanting to kiss her again since she'd pecked him quickly on the lips the other night.
Of course he couldn't say that he was jealous of the so many other guys that so obviously wanted to be with her too.
Of course he couldn't say that he was just being selfish and didn't want anyone else to place a kiss on lips that he'd claimed.
Of course he couldn't tell her that he liked her.
Even though his reputation had been so horribly destroyed, it was in his character to hang on to the pride he had left.
In due time perhaps, but for now, Sasuke simply stated, "I was…"
"…in the moment."
Konoha News: 6/25
Iruka'a Acting School for Amateurs puts on a Hit Play!
Iruka-sensei, a well-known teacher at Konoha's Ninja Academy, along with his talented class of Leaf chuunins, had put on the Western Classic "Romeo and Juliet" and not only brought the scene to life but the characters as well. To those of you who are not familiar with the story, the tale focuses on our two 'star-crossed lovers' Romeo and Juliet, tragically separated by a feud between their families.
With the pretty and talented Haruno Sakura playing Juliet, and playing Romeo, the resident Konoha heartthrob Uchiha Sasuke, these two dominated the stage, and, acting with marvelous professionalism, made the play one hard for The Hidden Leaf's townsfolk to ever forget.
A/N: Hey readers! Wow, that was longer than I expected. O.o So, what'd you think? Good? ULTRA-good? (XD) Sucked? (Though, I don't appreciate flames!) Review please!
P.S. And don't worry Neji/Saku or Gaa/Saku fans, I haven't forgotten you! I've a one-shot coming up for each of you! wink, wink