A/N: Hello there! How are you readers doing? This fic is just a breather for me until I can continue on my other fics, namely Autumn Leaves and In the Rays of Sundown, which are both on hiatus right now…
Disclaimer: I wish I did, but I don't!
The Chibi Syndrome
Kakashi looked down to his wide-mouthed student who glared angrily at him in response. The corners of his mouth drooping and his left foot tapping impatiently, Naruto posed perfectly for what he was feeling through his actions.
"What is it, Naruto?" Kakashi asked in response, his exposed eye turning back to the perverted pages of his beloved book.
"Arghhh….WHERE. IS. SAKURA. CHAN!"
Ignoring his student's annoying comments, Kakashi raised his hand to tenderly touch the corner of a page of his beloved book and smiled smugly inwardly when he began reading the perverted content.
'Ahhh…Jiraya-sama…you are so clever.
Kakashi sighed, unhappy he was to part from his precious book once again, due to his loud and obnoxious unfillial student. He closed the book with much effort and glanced at his protégé, standing silently, leaning on the bark of a cherry blossom tree a few meters away.
His face was distant, and his eyes looked further away, as if looking for something…
Kakashi said, turning his face towards his other student who was quite easily said the opposite of Sasuke. Naruto returned with an impatient glare, and crossed his arms over his chest.
"For the millionth time, I don't know where Sakura is."
"Ehh? But you're her tea—"
Naruto was rudely cut off from a desperate yell not far away, and as all three heads turned towards the owner of the familiar voice, they were surprised to see Tsunade-sama herself running towards the incomplete Team 7.
Kakashi watched in surprise and lept off the tree, walking casually and gracefully towards the Hokage, his two other student following suite.
Tsunade stopped and panted for breath, slouching, a very awkward sight for the Hokage.
A few seconds later her assistant and her small pig followed; Shizune holding a bundle in her hands.
"What is it, Tsunade-sama?" Kakashi asked, unable to refrain the amusement from his voice.
"Yeah…what's the matter, Tsunade-obaa-chan?" Naruto asked curiously.
"Shizune…come here." Tsunade motioned with her hands to command to her apprentice that she should show them whatever she was holding.
"Yes…Tsunade-sama." Shizune said uncomfortably.
Shizune carefully laid the bundle of blankets down, and much to Kakashi's, Naruto's, and Sasuke's surprise, the bundle began squirming.
The next sight almost made the three faint.
Out of the violet bundle of layered quilts, a small child, about four years old, with the exact splitting image of Sakura stumbled out as she clumsily tried to untangle the blanket that refused to let go of her foot.
The chibi-Sakura had a red ribbon tied to her head, replacing the forehead protector that she often wore as a beautiful teenager, and the gloves, the black boots, and the red outfit with the white circle painted on the back was gone, replaced by a dress that matched the color of her ribbon on her head and a white blouse underneath it.
Naruto assumed that Tsunade had chosen her outfit, and it caused him to look at his crush with adoration.
"Ehh…toh…" The rest of the adults, (including Naruto and Sasuke who were to turn seventeen this year) looked with intense concentration, and also held a bit of amusement as they watched her try to untie the blanket with her stubby child-like fingers.
"Hokage-sama…is that who I think it is?" Kakashi asked.
Tsunade sighed and crouched to untie the cloth off of her shoe, in which she received a childish giggle and a hug in return.
"Yes…" Tsunade said, holding the girl in her arms and gently moving the pink hair out of her eyes. "…It's Sakura."
"But…what happened, Tsunade-obaa-chan?" Naruto asked as he looked at the little Sakura with adoration.
Tsunade sighed and nodded, motioning to Shizune to explain.
"Tsunade-sama was casting her appearance genjutsu while teaching Sakura how to brew an anti-aging potion." Shizune said, eyeing Naruto and Sasuke, who had walked over to see Sakura. "I, meanwhile, accidentally tripped and pushed Tsunade-sama into Sakura who spilled the potion on herself…which wouldn't have been that bad…but Tsunade-sama lost her genjutsu concentration and accidentally cast it on Sakura-chan instead of herself!"
Kakashi, Sasuke, and Naruto looked at Shizune dumbly as she stared back, her eyes nervous.
"So what do you want us to do?"
For the first time of the day, the brooding avenger spoke, his voice holding back a smirk as the Sakura's hand latched on to his slender finger.
"Well…" Tsunade started. " I'm assigning you this mission to take care of Sakura until I can find a way to return her to her normal state."
"HA!" Naruto exclaimed happily. " Don't worry, Tsunade-obaa-chan! I'll take care of Sakura-chan!"
Tsunade shook her head and whispered to Kakashi as she handed the giggling Sakura to Kakashi.
"Make sure you don't leave her alone with Naruto.
"Understood." Kakashi whispered back.
"Also…make sure her parents don't see her…or I'll be in big trouble." Tsunade said, picking up her pig, she began walking gracefully back the road she had come from, Shizune tagging behind.
"I'll inform you on progress in the next few days!" She yelled, and then she was gone, initiating a wave of sighs from Team 7.
"Ano sa, ano sa…do I get to take care of Sakura-chan?" Naruto said, excited.
Sasuke fists clenched and he glared at his teammate from behind. Kakashi grinned as he felt the killing intent rushing out of his silent student.
'Say…Sasuke…it seems to me as if you want to take care of her.'
"Hmmm…" Kakashi thought, as he looked up to find Sakura on top of his head, pulling at his silver hair.
"Sasuke will take care of her."
"WHAT!" Naruto and Sasuke exclaimed in unison.
"It's only right…you two almost seemed like a couple before this happened."
Kakashi looked at both of his students, who both seemed angry, and yet Sasuke held another unreadable expression in his onyx eyes as he blushed and looked away.
"Why does Sasuke-teme get to take care of Sakura-chan? He's gonna scare her off—"
Naruto silenced by the fist that landed on his head, and a giant bruise followed which grew at an alarming rate.
"Shut up, dobe, I could take care of her better than you can!"
"Great Sasuke!" Kakashi said as he grabbed gingerly the cooing Sakura on his head and placed her in Sasuke's arms.
"Let's see if you can live up to your bet! I'll see you later, minna…"
Kakashi tapped Sakura's small nose and smiled through his mask, muttering a "goodbye, Sakura-chan," and walked off, a loud and unsatisfied Naruto following soon after, yelling as loud as he can muster.
"IT'S NOT FAIR! WHY DOES THAT BASTARD GET TO TAKE CARE OF HER?"
Sasuke watched hopelessly as the two began disappearing, appearing as only dots in the distance. Sasuke then looked down, only to see large jade eyes looking back up into his curiously.
Sasuke looked away, blushing, still unable to believe that Sakura was so small. Though he was glad that it wasn't the idiot dobe that wasn't assigned to taking care of Sakura, or even the master of perverts himself, he felt irritated at the thought that he wouldn't be able to train due to his busy schedule of looking after his teammate who had turned into a child.
He angrily put Sakura on the grass, and put his hands on his hips.
His anger wasn't conjured mostly from his inability to train, (since he had already killed Itachi there was no need for him to get stronger, although he did anyway due to his fluctuating growth of pride) but from the fact that he didn't know how to take care of a child in the first place, and was very afraid he might do something wrong.
Sakura looked up, and followed suite, imitating what Sasuke was doing. She stood up, put her small hands on her hips, and trying to scowl (but horribly failing due to her cuteness) squealed (while smiling proudly), "Daaaammit!"
Sasuke looked down in shock and clamped his hand over her tiny mouth.
"No! Uhh…don't say that, Sakura. That's…uhh…bad." Sasuke stuttered. "Okay?"
Sasuke released his hand over her mouth, and stood up, brushing off the green leaves that caught on his black outfit. He then out of habit put his hands in his pocket began walking away, muttering a "Let's go home."
He began walking, but felt no one following him, and turned around to see her still standing there, looking back at him with her jade eyes, which reminded him so much of when she was older.
Still a few meters away, Sasuke sighed, letting his raven bangs fall onto his eyes, only to have him sweep them up again as he walked towards the small girl.
He held his bandaged hand out to her, and Sakura looked at it curiously for a second, and grabbed it with her left hand, smiling, and as the two began walking, Sasuke couldn't help but breathe another sigh.
'…how the hell am I going to do this?'
Sasuke woke up drowsily, opening his eyes widely when he saw a pair of emerald eyes staring back at his own. He swallowed the urge to yell in surprise as he stood up suddenly from his bed.
He watched as she looked back at him with those giant eyes that resembled a baby fawn, and he couldn't help but smile…inside though.
He glanced at her and back at himself in embarrassment as he noticed that he didn't have any clothes but his boxers on and ran out of the room, with Sakura tilting her head in confusion.
Sasuke entered back into his room to find her where she had been before, but was surprised to see her eyes start to water as she began whimpering quietly.
Sasuke hurriedly rushed to her side, not understanding what was going on. "Sakura…what's wrong?"
"Taa…be…" Sakura whimpered which was followed by a series of hiccups.
Sasuke watched as she nodded, and almost kicked himself right there when he realized that she hadn't eaten anything since yesterday. He had been too tired yesterday and had flopped himself and Sakura right on the bed, with himself falling asleep soon after.
Sasuke began leading her to the kitchen in his apartment, in which he had decided to bring her here instead of the Uchiha Estate so he can keep a better eye on her. He was afraid, (though she didn't look or act like the type to be) that she would run away and he would never be able to find her.
Sasuke rummaged through his shelves, only to find tomatoes after tomatoes.
'Hmm…will she like tomatoes?'
Sakura looked at Sasuke as he stuck his head into his refrigerator and followed suite.
"Toh!" Sasuke looked down and saw Sakura pointing at a stack of rice balls he had made before leaving to the meeting yesterday.
Sasuke nodded and took the rice balls out and put them in the microwave, setting the time to one minute.
He looked down at her as she looked at the microwave, wondering at why her food wasn't given to her.
"Just hold on a sec'…it'll be ready soon." Sasuke said, still sorry he had forgotten to feed her.
'Maybe the dobe was right…'
Sasuke then violently shook his head, arguing with himself.
'Arghh…No!…I won't let the dobe be right! I can take good care of Sakura!'
Sasuke snapped out of his thoughts when the microwave door popped open and the steamy smell of rice balls clouded the kitchen. Sasuke reached for a plate on the shelf and carefully placed the six hot rice balls onto the plate. He then brought it over to the kitchen table where Sakura quickly followed.
Sasuke stacked some cushions on a chair and motioned Sakura to sit there as he pulled a chair out for himself.
Sasuke watched Sakura as she grabbed a rice ball with two hands and quickly dropped it back down on the plate.
"It's too hot…" Sasuke gently grabbed own and blew it and put it to Sakura's mouth so she can eat it.
Sasuke watched as she timidly took a bite out of the rice ball. He reached over on the table where some napkins were placed and wrapped it around the food and handed it to her.
She took it gratefully as Sasuke grabbed another rice ball off of the plate for himself.
After Sasuke ate three rice balls, he stood up and walked towards the refrigerator to grab some milk for Sakura. He poured the white liquid into a small cup and handed to Sakura who happened to be still eating. She carefully set her first rice ball down (she eats very slowly) and reached for the cup.
Sasuke watched in horror as the cup slipped out of her hands and was spilled all over herself.
Sasuke then sighed, as he looked at her eyes which were begging for forgiveness. He wasn't able to resist her eyes when she was her normal age, and there was no way in hell was he going to be able to do it when she more than ten years younger and cuter than she had been before.
Sasuke reached for dozens of napkins and began wiping the milk off of her red dress.
"You're going to need to wear something else, Sakura."
Sasuke watched her for her response, only to be met with a curious look in her shining emerald eyes.
Sasuke sighed and got up from crouching.
"Come on Sakura…"
Sasuke said, leaving the kitchen towards the door.
'I guess she'll have to wear my baby clothes…'
Sasuke easily walked up the steps of the Uchiha Estate, the grand stairs leading to the main house, where he lived. His hands in his pockets like always, he looked anxious about visiting his home again.
To clear off the uneasiness he felt for himself, he looked behind, to see Sakura grabbing the next ledge of the steps with her arms and hoisting her body up, putting her leg first to the step above.
He cursed at himself for being so selfish as he watched her put so much effort into walking the steps. But he couldn't help but notice the similarity she shared with her older self…in which…no matter how hard things got for her, she never seemed to complain…and she would just keep trying and trying.
'Well…they are the same person..'
Sasuke walked back down the steps and picked the struggling Sakura with ease, and walked casually back up the steps, towards his giant house.
Sasuke rummaged further into his old closet as Sakura watched curiously from behind, her head tilted in that same fashion.
She watched as Sasuke took dozens of navy blue shirts and held them up to her, trying to estimate the size, and then shake his head in disapproval and throw the item back into the closet.
Sasuke observed the piece of clothing he held in his hands, which happened to be the smallest clothes he had…the rest he assumed his deceased mother had thrown them away after.
He picked the outfit that he assumed he had worn when he was two and put it up to Sakura in order to measure it. It looked about right, though it looked it was going to look a little loose on her, but he thought it would be better than wearing some milk stained clothes.
'Now…to put it on her…'
Sasuke blushed, and tried to think.
'Calm down…I saw Sakura in a bikini, so this wouldn't be any different…so stay calm.'
"Put you hands up Sakura."
Sasuke said, trying to look away.
Sakura smiled, "Banzai!"
Sasuke looked back into her eyes as he took the dress off and cleared his throat.
'It's no different…she trusted me then…and she trusts me now.'
Sasuke held Sakura as they walked down the familiar streets of Konoha. People walking by whispered at the adorable sight as they both matched, Sasuke in his black outfit, his arms clad in heavy bandages, and Sakura, in her navy blue outfit, with the supreme Uchiha fan on the back.
Sasuke became red with embarrassment as some people went as far as to take pictures.
'…ahhh…what did I do to deserve this…'
Sasuke stopped at the destination he was looking for, the Mochi store.
Sasuke knew from experience that Sakura loved mochis. When she was old she and Sasuke would often go to the Mochi Store and she would eat them non-stop, while Sasuke sat beside her, content with a piece of dango.
Sasuke entered the restaurant and sat down on a mat, placing Sakura on a mat right next to him.
Sasuke watched with amusement as Sakura looked around the restaurant in wonder, and tilted her head sideways. He now knew from experience that it was a gesture used when she was confused.
He wondered why Sakura didn't talk at all, because she talked a lot when she was old. She would always talk to him nonstop and he would most of the time enjoy when she was talking to him. But now, the little Sakura was hardly talking at all…
"Here you go, sir."
Sasuke watched as the waitress placed two plates of mochi and two glasses of green tea in from of them, and smirked as Sakura breathed in the fresh scent of leaves in the tea.
Sasuke grabbed the mochi she was motioning at and gave one to her, he smirked as the corners of her mouth lifted and her face started beaming with irresistible joy.
Sakura ate happily, unknowing that she had made someone's day.
Sasuke shuddered as he heard the loud voice calling to him. His "Naruto senses" were tingling.
He turned around to see Naruto running full-speed towards him. And Sasuke, knowing something bad would happen at that clumsy pace, walked a little to his left, with Sakura in his arms, and watched as Naruto tripped and fell into a pile of ripe oranges.
Sasuke smirked as he heard giggles coming from Sakura. She smiled as she watched Naruto brushed himself off.
Naruto, at sixteen, was still a clumsy idiot.
'All the more why all of us wer friends, Sakura.'
"Dammit, Sasuke-teme…you could've helped me."
Sasuke grunted in return and suddenly looked down as he saw Sakura point a finger at him.
Sasuke watched in horror as Naruto nodded aggressively, not to mention beaming happily.
"Yes Sakura-chan…that is Sasuke-teme."
Naruto stopped nodding as he felt a fist hit the top of his head…
"Shut up, dobe."
Sasuke said angrily.
"Doooo…be…" Sakura said as she pointed at Naruto.
"No, no, Sakura-chan…I'm Naruto-kun, that Sasuke-teme."
Sakura looked confused, and pointed at Sasuke and said, "Sasuke-kun," while she pointed at Naruto and said, "Naruto-teme."
"Shut up, dobe…stop defiling her mouth like yours." Sasuke said coolly.
"Arghh!" Naruto then pouted in anger.
"So why did you want to see me, dobe?"
"Ohh! Tsunade-obaa-chan said to give you this."
Sasuke watched as Naruto took a vile out of his jacket and handed it to Sasuke to see closer. It was a small cylinder container, with a violet purplish liquid inside.
"What is it?" Sasuke asked, assuming what it was but wanting to make sure.
"It's the cure for Sakura-chan. It should work in a day or two…so you should feed it to her now." Naruto said, trying to regurgitate the information provided by Tsunade.
Sasuke uncapped the container with his fingers and held it in front of Sakura's mouth to drink. He watched as Sakura drank it carefully and then swallowed the rest.
"Good job, Sakura-chan!" Naruto said as he ruffled her pink hair.
Sasuke, jealous at the frequent attention Naruto got, started to formulate an excuse to leave.
"Uhh…I have to go now."
"Ehh? Why? You have nothing else to do!" Naruto said, curious.
"Yes, I do."
Sasuke took off, Sakura firm in his arms…
While Naruto stood there, confused as ever.
Sasuke watched as Sakura picked the flowers from the nearby garden.
He had gone to the forest to train and left her in a close proximity so he wouldn't lose sight of her.
Sasuke called to her and watched her turn around in surprise. She had been watching him train for the first hour, and he assumed she was bored (though she wasn't) and had taken her to see the flower field by the forest. He also assumed that since she had loved flowers when she was older that she would love them now.
Sakura approached Sasuke, a few camellias, dandelions, and daisys in her hand.
"It's getting late, we should go home now."
Sasuke turned to leave but stopped when she tugged on his pants.
He turned around and watched as she held out the bundle of flowers to him. He noticed the shy smile, exactly the same as when she was older, (usually appearing when asking for dates, or when he had offered to walk her home, etc..) and smirked in return.
He put the bundle of flowers in his pouch carefully, trying not to smash the fragile flowers.
"Thanks, Sakura." He said, patting her head as she giggled.
He walked with Sakura following close after, his hand grasping hers tight.
As he strolled through the forest he couldn't help but feel as if someone else besides he and Sakura were there, and he was sure there were others when he felt familiar chakras looming around the forest.
He followed the chakra, and was surprised to see Hyuuga and his team, standing in the middle of the forest. He strained to hear what they were saying.
"So we must preserve our youths…for one day, they may be gone!"
"You are so wise. Gai-sensei!"
Sasuke watched in horror as they exchanged hugs, and he began to step back in fear of Neji saying something about his current predicament with Sakura.
He turned to leave when—
"You should come out, Uchiha…I can even sense your chakra from here."
Sasuke cursed as he heard the cool voice of the Hyuuga.
He cursed at himself for forgetting to hide his chakra.
"Sasuke-kun?…Neji, Sasuke-kun is here?"
Sasuke heard Thick-brows mention his name, and with the agility of a cheetah Sasuke turned to leave when he saw the boy in the hideous green suit wink at him.
His face turned into disgust.
"Sasuke-kun! Why are you hiding?'
Sasuke glared at him while Lee smiled that carefree smile, and watched in horror as the rest of his team approached him.
"My eternal rival's student! What a pleasure meeting you here!" Sasuke watched and glared his most infamous glare as Gai winked at him.
'Please don't mention Sakura…DAMMIT PLEASE!'
"Oh my gosh! Who is that?"
Sasuke watched as the girl with buns pointed at Sakura and ran towards her.
It also attracted Lee's attention, and Lee crouched to examine her closely.
Meanwhile, Sasuke felt the smirking eyes of Neji, and felt ultimately humiliated in front of his rival.
"This looks exactly like Sakura-san!" Sasuke heard Lee exclaim.
"Who is this?" Ten-ten asked.
"It's Sakura's cousin." Sasuke muttered.
"Sakura-san's has a cousin?" Lee asked.
Lee received a loud smack on the head from Ten-ten. (in which Sasuke managed to notice it wasn't even as half as hard as Sakura's to Naruto)
"Everyone has a cousin, Lee!"
"But, why are you taking care of her, Sasuke-kun?"
Sasuke's eyes twitched as he noticed Neji's smirk in the back.
"I…found her playing in the woods…" Sasuke paused for a second. "…and I thought I would bring her back to Sakura."
'What a lame excuse…even lamer than Kakashi-sensei's…'
Sasuke looked down as he heard Sakura giggle as Thick-brows made funny faces out of his already funny face. Sasuke, again jealous of the attention, and wanting to go home from fatigue from training, made his cue to leave.
Sasuke turned around with irritation.
"What?" He snapped.
"May I take Sakura-san's cousin back?" Lee asked politely.
"No." Sasuke said quickly, not wanting to explain why.
"It seems Uchiha has a thing for children…" Neji said, superiority evident in his tone of voice.
"Shut up Hyuuga." Sasuke said, embarrassed, and he turned to leave.
Sasuke set Sakura gently on the bed, and carefully put the blankets over her tiny body. After, he lay quietly next to her, not wanting to wake her from her slumber.
He couldn't help but feel warm as he heard her small snoring and reached over to sweep some pink hair that was covering her eyes. She slept with an adorable expression, and Sasuke smiled inside as she whispered his name in her sleep, along with a few other words including, "dobe," and "mochi."
After a few minutes of looking at her, Sasuke fell asleep also, a sweet lullaby playing in his ears.
Sasuke attempted to open his heavy eyelids, and when he did he rubbed his obsidian eyes with his index finger. He squinted his eyes from the sunrays that peeped through the window curtains and shifted his head to the right.
Sasuke rubbed his eyes again.
Sasuke leaped off of the bed, a dark crimson blush appearing on his cheeks.
Sakura, now fully grown, was half-awake from the sudden movement.
She stretched as she got up from bed, and the shocked Sasuke, (who was still looking at her) assumed she didn't know where she was.
As shocked as Sasuke was, and though he missed the little Sakura already, he couldn't have been more relieved to have the big and beautiful Sakura back.
Sakura turned her head toward where Sasuke was standing and her emerald eyes widened.
"S-Sasuke-kun…w-what are you doing in my room?"
Sasuke remained silent, unable to tell her that she was in fact in HIS room and that they had just slept together.
"Uhh…" Sasuke, in the first time in his life, stuttered.
"I'm tired, Sakura…" Sasuke said, not wanting to explain the atrocious events (though some were very good) that he had to go through in order to "baby-sit" her.
Sakura watched in confusion as he lay back down on his bed, and Sasuke smirked as he saw Sakura tilt her head a little sideways.
"Sasuke-kun…what am I doing in your room—"
"Sakura." Sasuke motioned for her to lie down next to him on his bed, "Just sleep."
Sakura shyly went under his blankets as he wrapped an arm around her.
It was one of those few nights where Sasuke didn't have any nightmares, and he dreamt of walking through the flower fields, his mind and body peaceful and calm, and a little Sakura trailing behind, her tiny hand grasped tightly in his.