I wish you'd come.
I wish you'd stay.
I wish you'd never go away.
It's such a wonder they let us be… even though it's unexpectedly.
" Take it."
He shoved something within her open palms.
She raised a curious brow.
Everybody knew that Uchiha Sasuke could never stand in the middle of the street with a freshly picked flower in one hand.
" Are you sick?"
He swerved his gaze away from her inquisitive ones, feeling the soft, burning sensation somewhere in his cheeks.
She stared at the vibrantly colored daisy in one hand, taking her precious time in observing every detail. She fought the urge to grin. She knew this whole process served its purpose as a torture device on the prodigy. She once again shifted her emerald orbs back to the teen in front of her.
" You're red."
" And you're nervous."
" And you've been scratching the same spot in your arm for the whole five minutes."
His eyes shot up in a mad frenzy. He quickly broke the five-minute contact between the two limbs, then safely tucking them back to their usual dull abode, which happened to be his pockets. His mystifying orbs darted down, apparently giving off the impression of how interesting the concrete ground was.
Sasuke looked up in surprise. Then scowled.
" You finally realized I was joking around." Sakura giggled, " I can't believe you fell for that!"
" You..." Sasuke muttered furiously, his fists curled into balls.
Sakura peered at his already scarlet face. " It was a joke, you know."
" I don't ACCEPT jokes."
Seeing how this would turn out, she heaved a soft sigh. " I'm sorry. Really, I just thought it would be fun. I hope you let it go."
The prodigy took a step forward. Then another, then another, then another.
" S-Sasuke, hey, it's not really something personal, trust me!" she began to stammer. Her slight fear of the boy escalated when his pools of onyx bursted into ones of deep scarlet. It even caught her attention when it began to spin menacingly. " I-I… I…"
The distance between the two was now merely a foot. A bandaged arm shot out from the teen's side. It aimed for her neck.
' Shit… how can I forget he has an idiotic sense of humor!' she thought. As a last resort, she jammed her eyes close.
" I… I…" when she felt that everything regained it's peace, she popped open an eye. Then the other.
" I…" she stuttered more, " I…"
Sasuke's handsome face formed a smirk. His slightly calloused hand played with a soft lock of pink hair, near the girl's cheek.
His smirk grew wider. His once scarlet irises molded back to black.
" Gotcha." He whispered huskily in her ear.
She waded her hand through the lukewarm water of the hot spring. She had been fully submerged beneath the waters for quite some time now, and all she managed to do was to run her hand through the water in a to and fro manner. She leaned on the rather large boulder behind her. She sunk herself more, the water almost touching her mouth. She continued with the hand wading.
For some reason she felt really bad.
" Uh, miss?" a timid voice reached her.
She turned to her.
" Can you s-stop splashing the water?" she asked, her voice shaking, " I'm n-not used to this temperature."
" Oh, I'm sorry, I… thought I was alone." She said politely, flashing her an apologetic smile. Sakura guessed the girl came from somewhere in the snow country, judging how she reacted quite differently in the warm air of Konohagakure. But what she can't guess was how she unconsciously transformed her calm hand wading into a furious splashing of the steamy waters.
She began to rewind everything.
What was it that made her this mad…?
Sakura eyed the orange plastic bag she had clasped in one hand. Why she hated it so much: one, it's orange, and she found the color quite repetitive, especially when she had to see that hue on Naruto's clothes almost everyday. Second, it smelled badly. She did not even know what resided in the container, which resulted to her jumping into unnecessary conclusions.
She hated it when she does that.
As a chuunin, there were still times she had to do simple missions such as deliveries, clean ups and many of such things. She can't be assigned to C-rank and B-rank missions everyday, right? She still needed money once in a while; she at least entertained the idea whenever it was needed.
This one now, she was told to fetch something in a certain apartment and take it back to her client. That meant she had some spare time to drop by Ichiraku Ramen to drop her teammates a visit. She accidentally overheard Naruto talking about this little get together with Kakashi and Sasuke during their 2-minute break. Judging by how they refrained from sharing this information to Sakura, she guessed it's a guy thing. But dropping by won't mean any harm, right?
She looked at the road ahead. Right on time, the small stand came to her view. She saw her teammates standing just outside.
" She's here, Sasuke, be nice!"
" But Sasuke-bastard has never been nice to anyone before!" there was a pause. " AARGH! He's just gonna screw this!"
' Are they talking about me?' she thought, after wrinkling her nose at the foul smell and at the same time feeling bad for the girl who walked past her, dressed a bit scantily for her liking. She saw them look at her direction. Kakashi waved at her.
" Hello! I thought you forgot about your get together with Sasuke!" Kakashi greeted jovially.
' Get together?' she thought, ' With Sasuke? What is it, a date?'
Sakura flushed at the thought. She may be quite stable without her usual pursuit of the boy's affection, but her inner self still entertained the thought. Well, he did give her a flower, right? It should mean something logical.
" Uhm, hey…! You guys really never told me—" she waved back.
" Kimiko, you nearly made us think you're not coming." Kakashi chirped good-naturedly.
The teen that walked past her giggled in a dainty laugh that was clearly fake. " Better late than never! You know I can't say no to Sasuke-kun!" She touched Sasuke's arm.
Naruto nudged Sasuke forcefully on his back. Out came the bouquet of daisies, which was soon pointed at the girl's direction.
" Flowers! FOR ME? That is like the sweetest thing EVER!" the girl squealed, latching on the boy's arm tightly. " I love it, Sasuke-kun!"
Sakura sorted out her options before pure embarrassment and possibly jealousy override her brain.
Her easiest choice: RUN.
Soon enough, she disappeared through the maddening crowd that surrounded the street.
Sasuke glanced sideways. So did Naruto.
" Hey! There's Sakura-chan!" Naruto chimed. " HEY! SAKURA-CHAN, OVER HERE!"
" She ignored you." Sasuke stated flatly. His brain surprisingly bounded into action. ' Which meant… she saw… everything. Shit.'
" I'm out." He growled, snatching his arm back from the girl who possibly clawed on it. He was about to make a run for it, but he turned back to Kimiko, forcefully plucking the bouquet off her arms, then said, " I need my money back. Ino accepts refunds anyway." He told Naruto. He then turned to the girl who seemed to have lost all courage to speak. " I trust you don't need this."
Sasuke then disappeared as quick as Sakura did.
Kakashi scratched the back of his head. " I have a feeling…"
" What feeling?" Naruto asked his sensei, all the while staring at the direction where Sasuke dispersed.
Kakashi shrugged. " Oh, nothing. Just a feeling."
There was a moment of silence. " Wanna follow him?" Naruto asked.
" There's nothing to do anyway."
Kimiko was then left alone. As it turned out, she had been made a fool in this very moment. She scowled. " Go ahead! Leave me! I don't care! And I don't even liked daisies anyway!"
' I left the Hyuuga mansion for THIS!'
End of flashback.
' Oh yeah. THAT.' Sakura's words echoed in her relaxed mind. ' The bastard…' she growled.
Knowing she made a complete fool of herself made her mad. Knowing she did not have the right to be mad made her even madder.
Sakura wondered what it could be again. She was pretty sure she kept her hands clenched in fists this time. " Yes?"
" Do you have a problem?" The girl seemed serious this time. " Is it a boy?"
Sakura wasn't so sure. " Uh… no?"
A new batch of women was soon going to use the onsen, looking at how the noise from the door at their left grew louder. Sakura felt she didn't need additional chattering while she sought a place to think, so she grabbed her towel and wrapped herself up. She was about to take a step on the warm cobble-stoned flooring, when the fence separating the outside world from the bath house collapsed from some kind of force, as well as exposing those who are in it. After snatching her kunai off a large boulder, Sakura guessed the newcomers have arrived and the event that recently just happened closed their mouths shut.
At least there's a brighter side.
" Oi! What the heck do you think you're doing!" she yelled at the possible intruders.
The element of surprise just didn't fail her this time. As the fog finally settled, three figures appeared before their partly shocked, partly furious eyes. Sakura was ready to deny that these three are actually her teammates. With the sight of these three, she felt angry all over again.
" Wow, this is what the girl's side looks like!" Naruto exclaimed.
" Nothing new." Kakashi shrugged.
Sasuke tried his best to look unaffected. Embarrassment was a foreign emotion for the teen. Quickly dispersing any unneeded thoughts, he easily picked out the girl he was trying to find for the past couple of hours. He then dropped his gaze on the ground. It was only in that split second that he realized she was half-naked.
He was starting to wish he didn't have hormones.
" Sakura, I need to—" he tried to say, but was then forced to stop when multiple shrieks were spewed from many mouths. He wasn't sure if it was a good or a bad thing.
" Uh oh, better get out quickly. Let's go." Kakashi decided, knowing that he was the one who had all the expertise in this kind of things.
" Damn—I'll—Shit, let go of me!"
" SASUKE-KUN!" the teen shrieked out.
" Sakura, I have to—OI! NARUTO GET YOUR ASS UP—talk—GOD DAMMIT!—to—you—" Sakura watched as the three sink under the trampling weight of the women trying to ambush them. Luckily for them, they found a nearly impossible way to shake them off.
" I need to—god—I NEED TO TALK TO YOU!" his words came out as a yell, which he did to assure the girl's attention.
Sakura was a pretty reasonable person. She was the kind of person who can maintain a level head during tough times. But as of now, she decided to spare her pride. She knew she had damaged enough of it.
She huffed. " No thanks." And she walked off.
Sasuke growled in frustration. Had this been the exact feeling she used experience when he rejected her too many offers? Well if it did, it partially sucked. But most of all, it felt really annoying. And hurtful.
" Don't you dare take another step, you pain in the ass!" he snapped, losing his control.
But it seemed to make no effect at all. Growling in anger, he grabbed the nearly crushed Naruto off the dirty flooring and dragged him to where Kakashi was safely nestled up in a lamp post.
" Get going. And take the dobe with you." He said, flinging the barely unconscious, drooling body towards Kakashi the moment he got down. He easily caught it with one arm.
" Going somewhere?" he inquired.
" Yes. I'm off to teach someone a lesson."
Sasuke then poofed away.
Kakashi stared at the figure of the boy who grew smaller by the distance. " I have a feeling."
" What feeling? Naruto gurgled, his voice muffled against his jacket.
" Oh nothing. Just a feeling."
" Oh. Okay."
' He truly is a bastard.'
Sakura was now fully dressed, smelled of flowery fragrance, and had her back on a trunk of a cherry blossom tree, where everyone seemed to sit under during times of deep thinking.
' And a retard.' She decided, remembering how they broke down the onsen's wooden fence.
' That Kimiko… I think I saw her somewhere…' she mused, ' I went to Hinata-chan's mansion last week when I have to pick up my scroll from Neji. Which he refused to return! Why are prodigies such bastards? The funny thing was, one of their younger maids scurried over to where they were talking and batted her lashes at Neji. Oh man, the look on his face… real priceless.'
' Should have brought something to—' she stopped. ' Wait… that Kimiko… she looked a lot like the maid back at the Hyuuga mansion… if I'm on the right track then—'
" Yes, that woman is one of our maidservants." A deep voice came from her left, " You guessed right again Haruno."
She turned to see Neji walking up to where she was. " Here." he said, tossing the used scroll onto her arms.
" It's kind of you to return this." She said sarcastically, opening the flap of the scroll a centimeter. She then pocketed it. " You mean Kimiko?"
" Yes. She was setting her eyes on boys that are clearly unreachable for her. She did not find the consequences dire enough." He ended the sentence snappishly. " She's even stupid enough to go after Uzumaki when clearly he's so attached to Hinata-sama. I have to bash him in the head every time he hugs Hinata-sama too tightly."
Sakura would have laughed if she wasn't too preoccupied with surprise. Neji was clearly one of those 'boys that are clearly unreachable'. She could have spitted on how he felt so self centered, but she found it ridiculous. She knew the boy would not like the woman scandalizing his title of a number one rookie with her constant clinging.
A big realization hit her. It was some kind of puzzle and with her tremendous luck the pieces fell into the right places.
' If Naruto was turning out to return Hinata-chan's affections, he must have noticed her birthday would be next week.' Sakura concluded, 'If so, he would not be using the traditional ramen cups he used to give me. He would have wanted to gather information about Hinata-chan to get the right gift… who else to ask but one of her maids! And, and, because Kimiko had the hots for Naruto, he pushed SASUKE into the date instead! I wonder what he was in for… I'm pretty sure he's clearly not the type to date…'
By a distance, Sasuke spotted where Sakura was. And she was clearly not alone, for beside her was Hyuuga Neji. Sasuke fell to a stop. He settled on a top of a lamp post, trying to gain a better perspective of what was going on. He remembered the Hyuuga had unbelievable sighting ability. He practically had eyes on the back of his head to put it into simpler terms. But he didn't care. He'll make his presence known anyway.
Neji did not have to use his eyes to know Uchiha arrived. The pulsating anger in the teen's chakra was enough to identify his location. He knew it was time for his exit. " I'll go now."
" It seems you're too sudden. Felt something, didn't you?" Sakura asked.
" Goodnight bastard."
" Thanks." He answered. He then disappeared amidst a column of smoke.
Sakura dug her heels into the dewy grass lightly. She didn't have to be a genius to figure out who was trying to make his appearance. " Don't be such a hard-ass, Sasuke." She said loud enough for the boy to hear. " I thought you wanted to talk."
The shuffling of leaves signaled his approach. From above the sturdy branches of the Sakura tree, Sasuke's unmistakable figure bounded down, landing just behind her with a mellow thud. He seemed furious.
Uncertainly, she asked. " What?"
" That Hyuuga bastard." He can't help but snarl, " What was he doing here?"
" As if you're not a bastard." She mumbled.
As expected, he heard every word. Unbelieving to the idea of him being called a bastard by a girl teammate, he spat out, " Wha-what did you call me!"
" I CALLED YOU A BASTARD! HAPPY!" she screamed at his face. " Prodigies like you act like complete bastards!"
" Why you—" he bit his lip. Breathing through his nose like an uncontrollably angry dragon, he tried to calm himself down. " If you're angry about Kimiko, then be angry! I DON'T CARE! It's your fault if you're so affected!"
Sakura glared at his words. Sasuke was directly accusing her of having this notion of her still having a larger than life attraction to him. Which was another big blow to her pride.
" Who are you, my girlfriend? Dream on, your brain must be damaged because your forehead's so large it's taking over the universe!" he continued the backlash.
An even lethal, deadly, larger blow. That really hurt. That was the combination of the meanest things she had ever heard. And like every sane person, she didn't like it.
" Why don't you just crawl into your little corner instead, huh! Since you're so full of yourself! You should just—"
Two consecutive fists collided with the Uchiha's face, cutting his statement off. Tumbling backward because of both surprise and the ache on his face, he casted an indecorous look towards the girl who just hit him close-fisted.
" What the heck did—"
" Don't you dare say 'What did you do that for?' because you know exactly why I did." She said, her voice shaking with tremors.
" Fine, I may have interpreted wrongly a while ago. I may have made a fatal mistake earlier. I MAY HAVE LET MY BRAIN BE OVERRIDDEN BY EMBARRASMENT AND JEALOUSY, BUT AT LEAST I KNOW HOW TO BOUNCE BACK FROM ALL OF THAT!" she ended with a furious yell. " Unlike you who can't get over the fact that you can't do anything about your family's death any longer." She muttered in disgust.
She knew she just jabbed, kicked and physically dissected a nerve there.
But he did jab, kick and physically dissect a whole bundle of nerves since she started to have liking towards him. Rejection was a pain, and now is the right time to pay back.
Seeing as how this was not leading to anywhere good, she decided to leave. As the moment came that she was about to turn her back to the shaking teen at her front, she felt a rough pull on the shoulder, forcing her to face him.
Grabbing the back of her neck he forcefully crushed his lips onto hers into a bruising kiss.
After the almost ten-second lip lock, he finally pulled away. He remained silent.
Sakura, unexpectedly, grew mad. " What the fuck was that for!"
Sasuke, unexpectedly, smirked. " Punishment."
Sakura, unexpectedly, grew even madder. " PUNISHMENT? WHAT ARE YOU, MY FUCKING TEACHER?"
Sasuke, unexpectedly, shrugged. " Maybe."
Sakura, unexpectedly, sighed. " You retard."
Sasuke, unexpectedly, stated. " As of now, you're my girlfriend."
Sakura, unexpectedly, snorted. " You think I'll agree to that?"
Sasuke, unexpectedly, nodded. " Yeah."
Sakura, unexpectedly, teased him. " You're a bad kisser."
Sasuke, unexpectedly, smirked again. " You didn't say I have to be a good one."
Sakura, unexpectedly, admitted the slight defeat. " You're right."
Both, unexpectedly, sat down and stayed in the park until the night sky disappeared completely.
That was refreshing. This is something I really wanted to write out. And, it's some kind of a one-shot! It wasn't a struggle for me to write this one, 'coz I think the words flowed right out of my mind then into my fingers, which eventually led to the keyboard. WOW. Weird, isn't it? I hope you understand the plot I mapped out.
Announcements: Love story would be placed under hiatus, because I have completely altered the plot and led it astray. For one thing to be sure: the cheerleading stuff would be moved into the further chapters, and so does the crazy crew fight. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but my brain is not working with me right now, he's only cooperating whenever the plot is loose and the words can come out freely. I have a weird brain. Yeah, it's a he. Meaning I'm dealing with chauvinism here people. And I'm an all out feminist.
Next chapter: Why did Sasuke came to Naruto's plea for immediate help? Why did he accept the date in the first place? The answers in the next installment.