Sakura saw it, she smelled it as well, but she just couldn't believe it. Here she sat inside of a sitting room of the Akatsuki headquarters staring at a tree. However, it was no ordinary tree. It was a Christmas tree. Akatsuki, the most deadly shinobi group celebrated Christmas. What did they give each other? Decapitated heads roasting on the open fire? Sakura felt her eye begin to twitch. Now this was just plain stupid. Akatsuki is feared by everyone, but yet they celebrate Christmas. Maybe they all wore pink boxers too. Sakura thought about it before throwing it aside. Itachi wore black silk boxers, or sometimes he just didn't feel like wearing them. She could feel a blush rising on her face.

"I hope those thoughts are about me."

Sakura turned to the teasing voice of the one Uchiha Itachi. Speaking of which, she didn't remember him putting any on this morning. Her blush deepened which earned a smirk from him. He came over and kneeled by her. Sakura turned back to the Christmas tree. She mentally pictured the exchanging of gifts. Yeah right, the day they do that with smiles on their faces, Sakura will know she's dead. Itachi could tell by Sakura's face that she was highly displeased about something. He put his hand on her shoulder and she jumped away. He smirked again. Sakura had that habit when she was allowed to be engrossed in her thoughts.

"What's wrong?"

Sakura's eyes bugged out. He usually only asked that in their room, when he was on top, trying to strip her naked. Itachi only referred that question when he wanted her riled. He would ask something along the lines of 'What's wrong? Do you not like this?' Now remembering, Sakura narrowed her eyes at him. He usually did get his way when she thought about it. She watched him sight before standing full length. He pushed her against the wall nibbling on her neck. A giggle escaped her mouth. His teeth grazing her skin usually did that. She tried pushing him away but he just pressed harder. His tongue slid over her skin making her moan.

"If you two are going to get sexual, do it in your room."

Sakura blushed as she opened her eyes to a sneering Kisame. Itachi didn't look happy to be interrupted, he never did. Itachi would get unusually cranky when he wasn't allowed to have his fill of her. She caught the small quiet cursing from his mouth. He never approved of her cussing but he was free to do it all he liked. Itachi just rarely did it. During those times, he usually possessed a murderous aura. However today he seemed to be keeping it in check. Itachi released his lover before facing his partner more. Sakura leaned around Itachi's body to address Kisame.

"Does the Akatsuki really celebrate Christmas?"

Just then the rest of them entered. They all heard the question.

"Doesn't everyone?"

Sakura hit her forehead with the ball of her hand. This was ridiculous. Sakura walked out of the room and into the cold. She shivered at the sudden temperature change. She walked quickly into another doorway. She then weaved her way through the castle till she reached the room she shared with Itachi. Once inside, she dived into the warm futon. Snuggling deeper, Sakura never wanted to leave the warmth. Just then the door slid open and Itachi entered. They stared at each other for a couple minutes before he walked over. Releasing his cloak to the ground, he climbed in next to her. Sakura shivered at his cool clothes but he eventually warmed up quite nicely. He then repeated his question.

"It just seems stupid that you guys celebrate Christmas. Do you guys all have matching pink boxers?"

Itachi glared dangerously at her. Sakura just laughed. Itachi hadn't hurt her since the first month she came to the headquarters; that was back in the summer. It seemed like a long time ago. Sitting up and looking around, she wondered if Itachi brought her a present. Sakura looked skeptically down at him. He looked back as if he knew he wasn't going to like what was going on in her head. Sometimes she just asked random questions. Like the time she was writing in her medical book and he was drawing her. She just suddenly asked him where he bought their condoms. Itachi had snapped the pencil. He looked at her in complete shock. How could something so vulgar escape the lips of something so innocent? She never did realize what was wrong with that question, she still didn't.

"What did you buy me for Christmas?"

Okay so it wasn't so random this time. She seemed to really want to know. Itachi's silence confirmed Sakura's thoughts. He hadn't bought anything. Sakura felt her heart sink but she sure as hell didn't show it. He looked at her for a few more beats before throwing off the comforter. Slowly he placed his feet on the cold ground. Pulling off his shirt he headed to the shower.

"Was I supposed to?"

Itachi entered the bathroom and running water followed a few seconds later. Sakura just felt depressed now. A long sigh escaped her lips. She wanted a present from him. This was her first Christmas with him after all. Her heart sank with utter disappointment. Was she just a bang toy to him? Sakura pulled the comforter back up over her head. She curled into a small ball. Wasn't Itachi supposed to fix her broken soul not crack it even more? Sakura fell asleep feeling a little more lost again.

Sakura woke up with no Itachi beside her. She then read the clock beside the bed. It was seven in the morning, which meant Itachi had gone off on a mission. She could still feel the lingering warmth of his body. Sakura got up and dressed more warmly so as to encounter the day better. Walking out into the bitter cold made Sakura's cheeks a pink tint. She walked out onto the snow, hearing it crunch beneath her sandals. Just then another pairing of crunching feet joined her. Sakura slightly turned her head to see a woman Akatsuki member smirking at her.

"What do you want Naomi?"

Naomi was indeed an amazing shinobi. Sakura had only seen her in action once. She had been sparring with Itachi so Sakura wasn't sure how much more Naomi could fight. Sakura became jealous fast. During that whole session or at least the first five minutes, Naomi looked like she was flirting. Her moves were close to the body, way too close for Sakura's taste, and she would whisper in his ear like a lover. Sakura had hated her since that very moment. However, her presence sent alarms off in her head, like get away while you can. Naomi's smirk confirmed it for Sakura.

"So what did Itachi buy you for Christmas?"

Naomi's smirk bloomed into a full smile as Sakura's eyes narrowed and frown deepened. Sakura turned her head away from Naomi, at least trying to keep some of her dignity.

"Oh? Didn't he get you anything? That seems awful strange since he buys the rest of us gifts. Guess you don't mean anything to him after all."

Sakura heard Naomi turn away and walk off. If anyone could have seen, Sakura's eyes were truly a blank void. They were back to how they used to be. She turned and entered her bedroom. Sakura pushed off her sandals and just left her winter cloak in the middle of the floor. Pushing under the comforter and sliding underneath, Sakura just laid there with a void. Sakura felt the mark on her shoulder beginning to burn. She ignored it as if it were nothing. Pulling a kunai out from a pillow, Sakura wondered what would happen if she killed herself? Would Itachi even care? Slowly, she put the cold blade against her pale wrist.

Since earlier this morning, his left shoulder had been burning in pain. Itachi knew this was an indication that something was wrong with Sakura. When they had first met, Sakura had intrigued Itachi quite a lot. In order to keep track of her, he placed a marking on her left shoulder. He then proceeded by putting the receiving mark on his left shoulder. The marking was of course the Uchiha fan. However, many kanjis surrounded it in a jutsu. It allowed him to track her and know when she was in extreme pain or had suffered death. If she was indeed dead then the pain would remain till the marking was removed. At first, it hurt till the fall when Sakura had begun to finally trust Itachi. Trust that he had betrayed when he returned her to Konoha. He eventually went back where she waited with open arms, but surprisingly enough, Itachi couldn't take her. Sakura had returned to the Akatsuki under strange circumstances.

Itachi knew he needed to return to base and see if she was alright. However, he received two missions and would be away for about a week. Christmas was tomorrow and he had no present. Itachi had panicked when Sakura had inquired into the issue. He had accepted the missions without a missing beat. True, being away from her for Christmas was causing him pain. This way however, allowed him to get her a present and just blame it on missions. It was a perfect plan if only he hadn't indicated he already forgot. He could have hit himself last night in the shower. Sakura was smart she figured it out just by his silence. Just then something caught his eye, and Itachi decided a short return wouldn't hurt.

Christmas Day was soon over. Sakura had slept the whole day away. Every once in a while she would wake up just to go back to sleep Sakura didn't see the purpose in celebrating since she had no family or friends to celebrate it with. Since Itachi didn't come back, there was no point in celebrating Christmas. Sakura just decided to skip the holiday in general. It was sad but it was for the best was all she could come up with. If she didn't think about it then it wouldn't hurt right? However, no matter how much she might lie to herself, the marking told no lies. It still burned with intensity.
Around eleven o'clock at night, Itachi pushed opened the door to his bedroom. It was dark and unwelcoming as if Sakura wasn't in here. Sakura, however, was often found in this room with this heavy atmosphere. Itachi lighted a couple candles beside him before lighting ht rest. The room now contained a small glow. Kisame had informed him that Sakura spent the whole day in here. The proof lied outside the door where a small pile of gifts waited for Sakura. Itachi shouldn't have left. Maybe his presence would have been enough for her. He knew it would have been enough for him. As he sat down on the bed, the small curled ball in the middle unraveled itself. Sakura slowly pulled her head out of the comforter.

If she was surprised to see him it sure as hell didn't show. Sakura was about to curl back up but Itachi stopped her. Her eyes opened as she tried to pull herself awake. Itachi waited patiently amused by her attempt to stay awake. Eventually it just seemed like she gave up and fell back against the pillows. Itachi saw her raise her arm and pointed toward the window sill. It was their usual sitting spot. She whispered something like Merry Christmas before falling back asleep. Itachi stood and went over. There sat a brand new katana and kunai set. Beside that resided a new sketchbook, artist pencils, and a couple new novels. His eyebrow rose in question. He wondered how she knew he wanted to read those. A smile crossed his lips as he looked back to her. Itachi turned to walk out of the room deciding to deal with her when he got back. Placing a small box on the bedside table, he sat back down on the bed. He linked something around her neck and left satisfied.

Sakura woke up the next morning vaguely remembering Itachi. She looked over at the window sill. The katana and kunai were missing. Her eyes scanned to the desk where the rest of his present laid. She slowly rose from the bed and entered the bathroom. Sakura looked in the mirror and concluded she looked really bad. A silver glint caught her eye. As she looked down, a lot of her doubts dissipated. There on a silver chain laid the silver ring of the Uchiha clan. Each clan member had one. If she looked inside the ring, an inscription would be there. The inscription would read his name. Sure enough 'Uchiha Itachi' was what was placed on the ring. This was his way of claiming her from other males. It also proved to no other woman would come between them. 'Beat that Naomi!' was all she wanted to say right now.

Sakura exited the bathroom fully showered and dressed. She was completely happy. Her Christmas wasn't so bad after all. A small box sat on the bedside table beside her medical book. Sakura easily tore off the bow and wrapping. Inside a glass case sat the most stunning cherry blossom hair pin Sakura ever laid eyes on. Tears involuntarily spilled. Getting up she decided only one thing remain. Opening Itachi's boxer drawer laid a pair of…

Elsewhere, Itachi smiled feeling the pain in his shoulder disappear.
Merry Christmas to you all!