Smile For Me

Chapter Six

The walk back to Konoha had to be the most awkward thing Sakura had ever experienced. Sasuke walked in furious silence in front of her, effectively shutting her out from speaking to him altogether.

Not that she wanted to talk to him. That kiss had been a very large mistake, a huge screw-up that somehow…she wanted to repeat. No, Sakura, shut up about that, she ordered herself. She did not have time to think about romantic relations, especially with him.

"If you're just going to keep moping for the whole journey, then why not jump ahead?" Sakura asked boldly. "We both know you're faster than me."

He didn't rise to her bait. "I don't need to run from you," he told her bitterly. "It's not as if I'm intimidated."

"Really? Somehow I don't believe that anymore," Sakura muttered. What could possibly be going through her ex-teammate's head? He had kissed her, sure—but that didn't mean he couldn't still be furious at her now for flat-out decking him in the jaw. Well, he deserved it.

When Sasuke failed to give a reply, most likely ignoring her, she stormed ahead and left him, forgetting her stubborn I-don't-have-to-leave-his-presence attitude. She couldn't stand him any longer. If she had to spend one more minute with him, he was going to find himself on the business end of a well-sharpened kunai.

Just why exactly did he kiss her, anyway? Surely it wasn't caused by any deep-seated attraction he felt for her. The way he snubbed her back in their genin days still stung. The chance of that kiss equating to a declaration of undying love was exactly nil.

She arrived back at the Uchiha estate before he did. She growled as she stepped through the door, as she promptly realized that her room was technically the living room—no doors for her to slam in misplaced anger. Sensing that he had just arrived behind her, she threw him a dirty look, and stomped into the bathroom before banging the door shut so hard the lock nearly fell out.

Sasuke would have found her childish pouting funny had he not been so furious himself. If only she had just reacted the way he wanted her to, they wouldn't be having a problem right now. And what was he even thinking kissing her in the first place? What was I thinking what was I thinking what was I thinking—it was his personal mantra as he vented his aggressions on any and all nearby objects. The nightstand clattered to the floor after a poorly aimed kick, and the mission papers on top of it fluttered into the air. He swept a vase off of the mantle above the fireplace viciously, shattering it into millions of tiny pieces on the hardwood floor.

"Uchiha, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Sakura demanded to know as she came out of the bathroom, spying the objects on the floor she had worked so hard to keep clean. "Any specific reason you're taking it all out on my possessions?"

"Your possessions," he parroted.

"Mine," Sakura defended savagely. "I'm not merely renting a room here. In case you haven't noticed, the house is officially mine. You're welcome to leave."

"I extend the same offer."

Oh, now he wanted to be sarcastic. Sakura bit her lip to keep from screaming.

"You know, forget it. I'm not going to fight with you," she told him. "Enough."

Sasuke snorted. "Since when have I ever listened to you?"

"You need to start somewhere."

"Hn." His only response was to lean against the wall, unmoving, a clear sign of stubbornness. If the world suddenly broke in two, he would not budge.

Sakura sighed deeply, her eyes traveling upwards. "I'm leaving for a while. Don't follow me."

"Hn. Like I would."

Sakura made sure to slam the door behind her.

Storming out into the backyard, she eyed the hammock secured between the two strongest trees. She missed those days when she could lie back and relax without an aggravating Uchiha destroying her calm night. As she collapsed onto the mesh, she spotted a glint of silver.

Oh, dammit.

The kunai struck the rope that bound the hammock to the left tree, and it collapsed underneath her. She let out a yelp as she went down, and as she landed on her backside she threw the back door a deadly glare.

Of course, Uchiha Sasuke smirked back at her. She was going to kill that man.

"Ugh, I will not be able to take sleeping in the same house with you!" Sakura raged. She leapt to her feet, and launched into a fighting stance. "Go find someplace else. Oh, right—the village traitor can't exactly be seen around here." Sasuke held back a wince at her remark.

"I'll stay when I want."

"I suppose Orochimaru always has a bunk for you."

Dead or not, the mention of the Sannin's name struck a nerve. Sasuke's eyes darkened to a shade that should have signaled Sakura to stop. She, however, was in too sadistic a mood to allow rational thinking.

"Don't you ever mention him," Sasuke growled. Sakura snorted and shifted her weight to rest on one hip.

"Why not? It's not as if I abandoned my village and my friends for the sake of some screwed up, corrupted power source—"


Sasuke was at her side immediately. Before she could blink, he threw his palm against the side of her head.

The force of it sent her sprawling onto the ground, and she clutched her temples as the resulting headache rushed to her. She glared up at him, and bared her teeth.

"You bastard," she spat.

She was on her feet instantly. Her fingers hardened into tight fists, and she lunged at him ready to knock his head off of his shoulders. He parried her punch as she drove it forward, and he stretched out his fingers.

Sakura was suddenly unable to breathe.

"Sasuke—" she struggled as his hand closed around her neck. He maneuvered her so that she fell, her back colliding with the dewy grass. He pinned her there by her neck, towering over her.

"Take it back," he ordered.


Sasuke tightened his grip on her, and her eyes widened even further.

"Take it back!" he demanded again.

"I…WON'T!!" Sakura screamed.

"Goddammit, Sakura, DO I HAVE TO KILL YOU?" Sasuke roared. "Have you forgotten who I am? Do you even know who you are anymore?"

He shifted forward, and whispered into her ear.

"You're still as weak as before."

When he pulled back, Sakura found herself staring into Sharingan.

"Maybe now you'll understand," he growled.


"Your hate is not strong enough," Itachi whispered to him as his grip on Sasuke's neck intensified. "You still do not hate me enough."

Sasuke shut his eyes tightly as the memory struck him hard and fast. He was nothing like his brother. Itachi had done things Sasuke could never comprehend doing. He was not repeating Itachi's actions! As he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was Sakura's menacing glare, defiant until the end.

"I hate you, Uchiha Sasuke."

He dropped her.

She crumpled on the floor, coughing and gasping for breath. She curled up as she fought for air, the oxygen somehow never managing to reach her lungs fast enough. Gradually, her hysterics subsided as her breathing slowly returned to a normal pace. When she looked up, Sasuke was still gazing down at her, his face now wiped of expression.

"Get out," he mumbled. She barely heard him over the growing buzz inside of her own head.

"No," answered Sakura just as quietly. His eyes slid over her briefly, poorly concealed worry hidden underneath practiced apathy.

"I almost killed you."

Sakura read the tone in his voice. He wasn't threatening her any longer. His words roughly translated to, "I lost control. And I could do it again, at any time." The anger had dissipated. He was more afraid of himself now than anything. There was too much to think about to concern himself with her any longer.

For a moment, Sakura merely laid there, gazing up at him, all traces of anger gone from her face.

He tried to kill you! Inner Sakura reminded her furiously.

He doesn't know what he's doing anymore, her rational side whispered sadly. What's become of Sasuke since he left?

"I'll take my chances," she told him. Sakura pulled herself upright until she sat in front of him and stared. She was all too aware that her face was only inches from his. Perhaps if they were close enough, she could read the turmoil in his eyes. No, she couldn't see it yet. Maybe if she were closer…

She could feel his breath on her lips.

"Sakura." She stopped as his voice held a slight note of concern, and more than a little panic. "Don't."

She was so close that she actually could not see his face. It was kind of a relief for her; she was so near him that she couldn't see what was going on anymore. If she stayed like this…she wouldn't have to think any longer. His image of a raging murderer faded, only a little, but it was enough for Sakura to spot the glimmer of his old self just beneath the skin.

"Since when have I ever listened to you?" she retorted softly.

"Stop being so close."

What was that supposed to mean?

"I would have thought this is what you wanted," she said to him almost accusingly, but her voice was far too breathy to allow for that. "You started it. Are you now trying to tell me that you'd back out now?"

Sasuke opened his mouth to respond, and she saw his uncertainty. Nothing came out, and he settled for simply closing it again.

She shifted closer, ever so slightly, so that her lips barely touched his. It wasn't a kiss; they were simply close enough for contact. "Does it bother you?"

"Very much," he managed. His breathing had become shallow. It seemed he was fighting for control between the part that wanted her and the part that would very much like to see her dead.

Sakura slid her hand agonizingly slowly up his bare arm, only a feather's touch.

"Whatever happens, happens," she whispered.


He kissed her.


It was tentative at first, almost shy. But Uchiha Sasuke was never shy, merely cautious. He experimentally brushed against her lips, and when his darker side didn't twinge he let himself kiss her harder. He could feel her sharp intake of breath when his hand found the small of her back. With only a small pull she fell into his lap, one knee between his legs to steady herself. No more doubts, no more guessing; she was responsive enough to let him know that she was finally his. The arms entwining around his neck and the feverish kisses she pressed to his mouth told him that much.

Sasuke leaned back until he was lying on the dewy grass, purposefully taking her with him. The sensation of having her flush against him was somewhat fulfilling; probably only the satisfaction of knowing that he now had her. No one would take that away from him.

Sakura's fingers moved to his jawline, where she caressed the spot she had so forcefully punched him before. She felt the rough stubble of two days without shaving on his skin. Her other hand moved to his hip, where she tucked her fingers into the waistband of his pants.

This produced much more of a reaction than she had anticipated. Sasuke let out a low groan before flipping her over, and Sakura found his weight settled on her, his hands now sliding daringly across her body. He broke their kiss to seal his mouth on her neck, and his tongue swirled in circles on the spot. For someone who had never had a real girlfriend, Sasuke knew what to do. It must have been an instinct thing.

Sakura bit her lip as he brushed over her thigh, his touch less light and encouraging as hers had been. He exuded confidence, a sureness of himself that demanded reciprocation. Well, she was never one to refuse a challenge.


"I told you the pink-haired girl would be with him," said the gruff, shark-like man from beside his long-time comrade. His bluish skin glowed in the moonlight, and he cursed himself for not arriving more camouflaged.

"Be quiet, Kisame." The second voice was soft, but his tone was commanding. Itachi never did like the phrase "I told you so." The user of that sentence usually found himself in a puddle of his own blood, had it been anyone other than Kisame. Kisame himself was lucky.

"He might forget his revenge."

This time Itachi was quick to respond. "Impossible. It is all he's ever known." He was never more sure of anything than that.

"And if he does?" Kisame pressed. "Does that mean it's all over?"

Itachi started forward, his robe swishing with the movement. When he spoke, he spoke with conviction.

"I'm going to kill her."

AN: I'm not proud of the writing style I used to start this, and I'm at least glad to say that I believe it improved as time went on. Please review!!