AN: Hey everyone :) I've decided to completely rewrite these old chapters and try to make a new one in addition. It's going to take a while, but I really miss this story and the community here who left some amazing reviews. I hope you like it! Don't worry, I kept the plot intact, just added backstory and made the interactions more believable.
Disclaimer: Do not own! Much of anything, really.
Sakura tore into the wrapping of the oversized present eagerly, hardly daring to hope it was what it looked like. If it was, she needed to be super careful, these things were breakable. Not to mention heavy! But all of her anxieties were put to rest as she sat there gasping in happiness when she caught sight of the gleaming glass screen.
A brand new computer.
"Happy birthday, honey," her mother said as she beamed at her daughter. Her father, with a disapproving frown etched onto his face, clapped a hand on her shoulder.
"Now, remember," he said gruffly, "only Disney sites, you got that?"
"Dad!" Sakura exclaimed with a laugh, and mock pouted. "We're still doing this? I'm not a kid anymore." She knew he wasn't being serious, but really? She was seventeen now. That was over legal age of anything in the Fire Country. Her dad always had an element of overprotectiveness, and while she understood, still...If she hadn't been paying the majority of the mortgage on this place through her missions and hospital work, she would have had her own apartment by now. Her parents had insisted they wouldn't take her money. But they couldn't argue if she lived there too, using it herself, right? This is how she won the continuous argument for the past three years.
Anyway, that was enough self-reflection. She had a new computer.
"I'm gonna go set it up!" she exclaimed, grabbing the heavy box with chakra-enhanced ease and hoisting it up the hardwood stairs to her bedroom. The wooden stairs creaked under the added weight. She really would have to repair those later.
Sakura, being herself, had the machine up and running in a matter of minutes, enjoying a cherry-flavored popsicle as she clicked through the menus. Thankfully she had received the display model, meaning that everything was set up for her, with tons of free trials for games and even already set up for wireless internet. She grinned as she clicked the mouse a few times.
It wasn't Sakura's first time using a computer, but it was her first one that she owned herself. She couldn't be prouder. She was sure her mother was sighing downstairs, sure that her daughter would become an internet addict. Too late.
To make sure the internet worked, she found a nearby wireless hotspot (she loved that she lived next to a café) and connected. Opening her browser, the welcome screen featured tips on how to get her started.
I'm going to set up email later, too tedious to do that now…already know what the weather is…hm, what to do first? What to do…
Internet was a fairly new thing in Konoha, just recently introduced thanks to the demands for better software in the hospital, and not many people had bought a computer yet. It was still a luxury to most, but her parents had secretly been saving up for months to get her one. She would be coking them dinner for weeks to express her gratitude.
Oh! I could find out who else has signed on so far! Maybe Ino, her parents have money…I'll try looking through Chat first.
Konoha had just one chat hub, or so she had heard from the other hospital staff. It was mostly used by doctors to communicate between different areas of the building, or by vendors to suppliers outside the Fire Country. But there were certain rooms just for socializing, there had to be. Let me see…
The hospital ones were closed rooms, not that she needed those anyway. She caught sight of one labeled 'Social' and knew she had scored. With an excited little squeak, she opened it up.
Yes! There were people online! Well…okay, one. But one was good enough! Perhaps she could make a new friend. She sighed a little, though. This person's screen name didn't give any clues as to their identity, and she knew a pretty fair amount of people in the village. What kind of person had a screen name called Noir18? Creepy.
Well, let's try it out anyway. What's the harm? Choosing a random screen name completely off of the top of her head, she logged in and decided to at least say hello.
Cherrylover2: You there?
Noir18: Who are you?
Cherrylover2: You're from Konoha, aren't you?
Cherrylover2: Glad to meet someone from my area!
Noir18: I found this place by accident, still setting things up. Who are you?
Cherrylover2: Sorry, I don't give out personal information. I go by "Cherry" on the internet.
Noir18: Cherry? That sounds like a stripper name.
Cherrylover2: That is not—ohhh damn, it totally does.
Cherrylover2: Ah well, too late now.
Cherrylover2: I officially don't have a name you can call me, haha.
Noir18: I don't give out my name either, so fair enough.
Sakura clicked through the options on her profile, but her screen name was stuck. I guess I could always just create a new profile next time I'm on here.
Noir18: At least I know you're a girl.
Noir18: Or a really twisted guy, if you're calling yourself "Cherry."
Cherrylover2: Ha! I am most definitely a girl.
Noir18: I don't have time for girls.
Noir18 has set his status to 'Away.'
Cherrylover2: Ugh! Really?
Cherrylover2: Give me one good reason why you just ran like that.
Cherrylover2: I'm perfectly normal!
Noir18: Fine. A reason?
Cherrylover2: Yes. I knew you were still there.
Noir18: At the risk of sounding immature, girls are annoying.
Cherrylover2: Wow, I see where you got your screen name from. Noir = black.
Cherrylover2: Black like your soul.
Noir18: You caught me.
Noir18: I also knock over little kids' ice cream cones for fun.
Sakura snorted. This guy was interesting. He had a sense of humor, anyway.
Cherrylover2: Do I get to guess at your identity at all? Are you a civilian?
Noir18: You just told me you don't give out your identity, and now you want to know mine? And you just pretty much gave away that you're ninja.
Cherrylover2: Just curious. Okay, just give me a hint. I might know you or your family in real life.
Noir18: You wouldn't know my family.
Cherrylover2: Oh, um.
Cherrylover2: Do you have a large group of friends?
It was a couple of minutes before she got a response.
Noir18: Just one, really. Well, two, I guess.
Cherrylover2: Oh. Are you shy?
Noir18: Of course not. I just can't be bothered with most people.
Cherrylover2: Ha. That's kind of arrogant.
Noir18: No, most people are just idiots.
It's Sasuke, it has to be, Sakura thought. No one else has that kind of smug reclusiveness. I know mostly everyone in Konoha, at least in passing. This is him! What are the chances? I didn't know he had a computer…
Cherrylover2: Anyway, honestly, I'm normal. I promise not to annoy you. If I do, you can just sign off.
Five minutes pass, and Sasuke had yet to send a message. Had he left?
Cherrylover2: Hey! I said, do we have a deal?
Noir18: …fine. Agreed.
Noir18 has signed off.
Sakura leaned back in her chair. The simple use of the word 'yay' had driven him offline? Jeez. People skills, Sasuke, Sakura grumbled to herself. People skills are good.
-three weeks later-
Sakura had been talking to Sasuke every day for weeks. At first she was a bit unsure, but after he once mentioned a memory they both shared of a mission they'd taken, there wasn't a doubt left in her mind that it was him. Online, he was much more willing to talk, and she couldn't say she was unhappy about that. They were currently in a conversation yet again, and Sakura was running out of things to say. It was hard to keep up a conversation where one person didn't ask any questions.
Cherrylover2: By the way, what's with the 18 at the end of your screen name?
Cherrylover2: Is that your age?
Noir18: What's with yours? Is that your age?
Cherrylover2: Oh, that was rude.
Most of the time she didn't bother using emoticons. He knew by now when she was actually offended, and when she was just playing. Besides, putting three happy faces in a row when Sasuke was so serious and deadpan made her feel a bit silly.
Cherrylover2: The sn required a number, so I threw the two in there, since it's my favorite number.
Cherrylover2: What's yours?
Noir18: …You have a favorite number?
Noir18: That's stupid. What's the point?
Cherrylover2: The same point as having a favorite color!
Cherrylover2: Now, what is it? Oh, and your favorite color?
Noir18: Sigh. Now I have to answer both?
Cherrylover2: Hell yeah, you do!
Sakura grinned triumphantly when he hadn't signed off. Maybe he was loosening up a little.
Noir18: My favorite color is green.
Cherrylover2: Really? I would have thought it'd be black.
Noir18: Black is not a color.
Well, he kind of had a point there.
Cherrylover2: Is too! It's all the colors at once, like when you mix all the paints together.
Noir18: No, that's white. Black is the absence of color.
Cherrylover2: Ugh, fine. Favorite number?
Noir18: I don't have one.
Cherrylover2: Why not? You should!
Noir18: There's no point to it.
Noir18: You're one of those people who organizes things in your house by that number, aren't you?
Noir18: You are so OCD.
Sakura glanced around her bedroom and rested her gaze on her two matching lamps on either side of her bed. And her two perfectly lined up pillows resting against the headboard. And her two pencil-holders on her desk…which each held two pens and two pencils.
Noir18: Called it.
Cherrylover2: Now you're the one who's annoying.
Noir18: What are you gonna do?
Noir18: Sign off?
Cherrylover2: Watch me.
Noir18: Ha. You wouldn't.
Cherrylover2 has signed off.
Sakura never did find out his favorite number.
AN: It starts…This one will only be focused on SasuSaku, and maybe NaruHina. I've never done a fic involving Naruto Hinata romance, so I might experiment here!