Hi everyone, I wrote this one-shot at four a.m..when I was meant to be writing my take home exam…the plot bunnies came and attacked me…there fierce those bunnies…anyways, hurray for procrastination!

I hope you like it, all comments/criticisms/suggestions are welcome…I do take every comment seriously and it helps me to know how I can improve…I will when I finish this semester take in any suggestions you have to improve it.. :)

Disclaimer: If I did own Naruto lots of magical things would happen, but sadly I don't

Bold Italics – Sakura's thoughts
Mission Proposal

It was midnight on the outskirts on the border of the Mist country, and ANBU's newest elite were gathered in the depths of the forests, far from the enemies location and sight, to plan there next move - discussions revolved around the role everyone was to play, as well as the blueprint of the attack.

However, all was silent except the voices of two shinobis arguing…

Uchiha Sasuke, 21 years old, ex-missing nin and traitor, had now becomes one of the top shinobi in Konoha, and after he redeemed himself for his crimes and has proven himself and become ANBU's top leader. Cold and stoic as ever, he remains the shadow of his 12 year old self, except he has grown into a man in every sense of the word.

Haruno Sakura, 21 years old, Konoha's sweetheart, top medic-nin and among ANBU's strongest elite, as well as one of the top kunoichi in Konoha - strong, intelligent, and beautiful.

The argument continued.

"Sakura, let me make this clear – you will be assigned solely to your duty as medic".

"Yes, I understand that but I can also contribute in the attack on th-"

"I said, you will be assigned to your duty as a medic, and a medic only", he repeated slowly, strongly emphasizing each word.

"But..Sasuke, I can do this! And if you would just listen on how I think you could improve the formation of the attack you - "

"Stop. It's an order, not a request – I won't repeat myself", he stated, slightly narrowing his eyes at her.

The rest of the unit froze – they knew, especially Naruto, there best friend, former team-mate, and co-captain, not to interfere when Sasuke was giving orders to his pink haired teammate.

She was about to open her mouth to retort, but her mouth unconsciously froze – she couldn't believe it. She was successful in every mission, she was one of the strongest ANBU in Konoha, a skilled medic-nin, an intelligent strategist – and he was embarrassing her as though she was still the twelve year old who needed guidance and couldn't protect herself.

He still thinks of me as that Sakura…

That thought alone hurt her more than what he actually said – she had tried so hard, for herself, for Naruto, for Kakashi, for Tsunade, for Konoha, for Sasuke, to study hard, to train hard, so that she could protect everyone and everything precious to her heart…She wanted to help, she didn't want to obstruct, she wanted to redeem herself for her past, she needed it, she wanted it…

Yet in the span of one second, he erased every book she studied, every jutsu she learned, every accomplishment she ever had…he dismissed it. In her first mission with him being her ANBU Captain, he completely dismissed every accomplishment she ever had all over again.

During their previous S-class missions as Jounin, he would constantly block her away from enemies, telling her she would only get in the way. When she was injured and was unable to move, he wouldn't let anyone else carry her but himself, telling her she would burden the others in their tasks. She hated being assigned to missions with him for that reason – his constant undermining.

She still couldn't believe it, after all these years, he still didn't recognize her as an accomplished shinobi…she clenched her jaw at the memories, attempting to keep an emotionless face so that she wouldn't give him the the satisfaction in seeing her angry.

Like he would even notice…

She kept her head bent down slightly, so that her eyes were covered by her bangs.

"Hai.." she whispered.

As he resumed his discussion with the other ANBU members, she walked away until she reached the edge of a lake, illuminated by the moonlight, giving it an ethereal glow.

She stood in the cold night air and shivered. She didn't know if it was from the cold or from the anger and hurt.

She tilted her head to the sky and took a slow, deep breath, and exhaled.

She knew he could hurt her, she didn't realize he could as much as he did in the past…the painful emotions constricting her heart told her otherwise.

He was still the stoic boy who dismissed her emotions, and she was still the annoying girl he left on a bench…the emotions further constricted her heart, and she clutched the skin over it as a reflex, attempting to, in some way, hold the pain from spreading further...


Still in her numb state of mind, she slightly turned her head to the side, her shoulder length pink hair glowing, her profile illuminated in the moonlight and the mist lightly enveloped her lean figure, while her green eyes reflected her ultimate sadness to the extent that they appeared hollow and passive.


She said it merely to acknowledge his presence – she had nothing to say to herself, let alone to him – words and thoughts and emotions were churning in her mind, and producing nothing but a serene hollowness.

"Its time to go back to the tent – the mission begins at sunrise. As the medic-nin you need to rest in order to be alert to the fullest".

She knew he had only come to get her because as the ANBU Captain, it was his duty to make sure every team member in his unit was accounted for and to gather them all together prior to the mission.

"Hai", she half heartedly replied.

In her opinion, he just made it clear just a short while ago that he was her ANBU Captain, and nothing more, not a teammate, not a friend – so she had to be respectful if nothing else and unwillingly she accepted his order so that she wouldn't be kicked out of this mission altogether.

As she turned to walk back to the camp site, she passed Sasuke without giving him even the slightest glance. This did not go unnoticed to the stoic Uchiha, who carefully followed her movements with his eyes until she got back inside her tent.

As Sakura walked to her tent, she observed the ANBU who were chatting and laughing in their own tents, before the big day tomorrow..a way to temporarily forget about the seriousness of the situation they would be placed in very soon.

She walked inside her tent, only to find Naruto lying down with Hinata in his arms.


"Sakura-chan, I was looking for you. Listen can you do me a huge favour, can we switch tents tonight? Hinata needs me."

"G-g-omenasai, Sakura-chan…its my..my first ANBU mission and…"

She didn't need her to explain further. Hinata went a long way, and she was a very skilled shinobi – even Sakura was like this on her first night, and knowing how Naruto was so good at reassuring Hinata, she knew why it was a good idea for him to be with her before the harsh mission, only a few hours away.

"Of course I don't mind…I think seeing you two like this is beautiful", she said as she smiled sincerely at them both, with Naruto grinning and rubbing the back of his head while Hinata blushed.

To break the embarrassment that spread from her comment, she changed the subject.

"So Naruto, which tent were you assigned to stay in? Shikamaru's or Neji's?", she asked as she turned to walk out of the tent.

He stopped grinning. "Ahhh..Sakura-chan, I was assigned with Sasuke-teme".

She stopped in her tracks. "Sasuke?"

"Ahhh…yeah..but its ok Sakura-chan, he doesn't snore or anything!"

That's the last thing I'm worried about…

She took a deep breathe and smiled to reassure him.

"It's ok, Naruto, really. I'm going to see if I can sleep in someone else's tent".

"B-but Sakura-cha.."

She left the tent without letting him finish, she didn't want him to worry. She actually didn't want to share anyone's tent, she would set up a fire and sleep against a tree trunk, she did it on several occasions on her A-rank missions, it was nothing she wasn't used to.

As she walked past the camp site, a hand roughly clutched her fore arm.

"Where do you think your going."

"Sasuke, please let go of my arm".

"Turn the other way around and I will".

"I'm not sleeping in the camp site, Naruto is staying at my tent with Hinata tonight, so if you don't mind please let go of my arm".

Without saying a word, and not one for using conversation skills to convince, he dragged her forcefully until he reached his tent, ignoring her struggles and incoherent ramblings.

All the people who she had just watched laugh and talk moments ago suddenly froze in mid-conversation as they saw there Captain drag the pink haired kunoichi across the campsite. However, the men didn't pay that much attention to it, as they expected this type of behaviour from their Captain, and so they resumed theirconversations – however, this wasn't the case with the women, who focused their glares at Sakura and the "attention" she was receiving from Sasuke. If you could call being dragged forcefully attention. After all, it was Sasuke – in the minds of the fangirls, any attention was good – be it a glare or an insulting remark. Unfortunately, Sakura knew this from experience.

She didn't know whether she should laugh out of how ridiculous there thoughts were or shout at them for even letting it cross there minds that she was ploying how to get Sasuke. It was an insult to her, and a reminder of her fan girl days.

Take it easy, girls, its not what you think…your precious Uchiha Sasuke isn't mine…

But her bitter memories of her days as a loyal fan girl were interrupted when she was forced into the tent.

"You'll stay here. We need to get a decent few hours of sleep before the mission, and we all have to be gathered in the same area. I won't allow anyone to stray. Don't be stupid" he remarked, as he lightly pushed her inside the tent.

She winced at the "stupid" remark as she was pushed inside.

"….Fine", she sighed. She was too emotionally tired to struggle and produce her own comeback, which, she noted to herself, would fall on deaf ears anyways.

He took off his shirt and laid down, giving her a blanket before taking his own and laying down on it.

I guess an ice cube doesn't get cold...

"Thank you", she whispered, as she cautiously moved to the far end of the tent, which, given its small proximity, was not that far so that they were only mere inches apart. She wrapped herself in the blanket and edged further away from the shirtless Uchiha.

The last thing she needed was for him to think that she would try to seduce him and take advantage of the situation they were in.

It's enough you think of me as annoying…I don't need you to still think of me as one of your fan girls…

She closed her eyes, but found that she couldn't sleep. She listened to Sasuke's slow, laboured breathing, and oddly enough, it relaxed her. She hated how much he affected her every being, even after every hurtful comment and action that pierced her heart - she was sure every part of it was engraved with signature "U.S." scars.

She smiled sadly at the thought.

How is it that I still love you to the very core of my being Uchiha Sasuke…

She let out a small sigh and turned on her side, and found herself unconsciously staring at the stoic Uchiha. He looked so incredibly peaceful and serene when he was asleep, and his profile, with his closed eyes and mouth, made him look absolutely ethereal, like a god...

His unconscious state allowed her to stare at him at her own will, enjoying the part of Sasuke where he wasn't the stoic ice cube he is during the day…Her thoughts drifted to her feelings on the Uchiha next to her, thinking about what to do with her pitiful heart.

It's a hopeless case...

As her thoughts began to further drift off to this harsh realization of her tired heart, she continued to absently stare at Sasuke, until-


She jumped, startled - he was awake?

"Stop staring at me", he said, without opening his eyes or moving from his current position.

"I..I'm not staring at you! I just cant sleep.."


She found it funny how his questions never sounded like questions, just statements.

"I…I don't know" she lied.

"I told you I don't like repeating myself".

She frowned – she didn't want to remember that conversation where he informed her of that fact, as she was just beginning to forgive him mentally while she was enjoying his sleeping figure.

"Sasuke, it doesn't matter. You'll never understand, and why would you want to? You made it clear tonight that not only do you not care for me interfering in anything, but also that you don't care about my opinion and underestimate my abilities as a shinobi", she said, her voice slightly shaky due to the replaying of the conversation in her mind.

"That's not true".

She was shocked – what was he talking about?

"What do you mean it's not true! Not only did you dismiss my opinions on how this mission should be run, but also you excluded me from it! I'm not just a medic-nin, I'm also a shinobi, a Jounin, so there's no excuse for you to restrict me to only medical duties!" she snapped, her frustration and finally boiling over. Her usually calm demeanor was affected by the anger filling her being, and the frustration that he instilled in herwas finally surfacing, as was clearly evident by the tone of her voice.

"There's a simple reason for that", he whispered calmly, his deep voice filling the empty space between them, resonating unwillingly in her heart.

She couldn't take how calm his voice sounded.

"And that is?" she snapped again, the pain and hurt twisting itself around every word.

"I need you for another mission, a more important one, to begin immediately after this one".

She was taken aback – another mission? Had she been so stressed at her work at the hospital that she forgot about another mission?

"…But Tsunade-same didn't inform me of any other missions…I…think…"

As her mind was attempting to remember the mention of another mission and turning over past conversations in her head, she didn't notice as Sasuke moved his hand to forcefully clutch her wrist in one quick motion and slip something on her finger.

"S-sasuke, what are you…!"

And when he loosened his grip on her wrist, she glanced at what he slipped on her finger, and her heart almost stopped.

"….Sasuke..." she whispered, her voice strained with emotions.

There was a simple silver ring on her engagement finger, engraved with the Uchiha crest.

Time was frozen as Sakura took in the meaning of everything that ring embodied. All her anger on their conversation on the mission completely flew out of her head – everything now became an afterthought.

His voice broke her out of her thoughts.

"Will you or won't you accept this mission."

His eyes were still closed and he didn't move an inch from the position he was in.

Sakura, all the while, was still trembling and couldn't keep a hold of the feelings coursing through her veins.

Everything went quiet for a few minutes, although it seemed like time stretched on forever as the stunned Sakura continued to stare wide eyed at the object on her shaky finger.

Her lack of response was not faring well with Sasuke.

"Sakura.." he grunted impatiently, but was silenced by a pair of small hands placed gently on his chest.

He slightly opened his eyes to find Sakura staring down at him, her hands lying down on his bare chest, and he successfully restrained the small fire which spread over the area she touched.

It was not a proposal that would go down in history or be written in any romantic novel, but it was his way, and she knew, she absolutely knew, that this was the first step.

"I accept your mission…" she whispered softly into his lips, and, still shocked and high on the ecstasy she was feeling, she had the courage to bend down slowly, and slightly hesitantly, to place a gentle kiss on his lips.

She was euphoric, despite the fact that he grew stiff when she placed her hands on his chest, and that his response to the kiss was much less enthusiastic than she hoped, she knew he wasn't used to such a sudden display of emotion.

But as her lips were still gently placed on his in a soft kiss, she told herself she would change that – she would not give up on him, as she never did – no matter how long it would take, she would sacrifice it, because she knew her heart would always be his. And she had newfound hope that someday his heart, if even only a part of it, would be hers.

He drove her crazy and erased all rational thoughts out of her mind, he hurt her, and he made her angry…but she loved him, and she loved him for who she knew he was, and she would unearth that part of him, she would unearth that part of Sasuke that only her heart could see..even if only a little…

Sasuke-kun…I promise I'll succeed in this mission, no matter what..

Please review, thanks:)