Chapter 5—Charades

Sakura and Sasuke's passionate relationship continued for three days and nights. Oddly enough, no one seemed to question the disappearance of Sakura's second ANBU guard; all Sakura knew was that Sasuke had somehow resolved it, and the kunoichi had been left with one "guard."

But their current relationship would soon come to a close as Naruto returned from his mission. When the kyuubi knocked on Sakura's door at 2 a.m., Sasuke scrambled back into his uniform and strode to the door, opening it authoritatively. He said nothing.

"Yo, Sakura!" Naruto called out just as Sakura was emerging from her bedroom, her normally kempt pink hair mussed from having been roused from a passionate night with Sasuke.

With a stifled yawn, Sakura collapsed into Naruto's warm embrace. Sakura was vaguely aware of Sasuke's cold glare on her and Naruto, but she was successful in ignoring him. Sakura was being deceitful. She knew that. But there was no possible way for her to pull herself from Naruto's arms to blurt out 'Hey, I've been sleeping with your ex-best friend while you were away on a mission. And guess what—we've had sex at least five times!' The kunoichi was positive that she would never have to tell Naruto about the affair. Or so she thought.

Early the following morning, Sakura rolled over on her bed, pressing herself against the warm body beside her. "Sasuke," she whispered, running her hands across his bare chest.

"Hmm?" Blue eyes blinked open as Naruto looked down at Sakura. "Sakura, are you dreaming?"

"No," she replied. "Sasuke, when are we going to fuck again?"

Naruto was taken aback. "Sakura…" He shook her shoulder slightly until she responded.

"Sasuke, what are you—oh…" Green eyes opened, and Sakura found herself in the arms of Naruto, not Sasuke.

Naruto should have said something then and there, but the notion that Sakura had been engaged in intimacy with Sasuke seemed insane. "Sakura, please don't worry about Sasuke. I'm sure he's left the village by now."

Sakura said nothing. She was embarrassed by what had just happened, but glad that Naruto had not questioned it. However, now Sakura was no longer certain about her relationship with Naruto. Sakura loved him, but could they ever stay together? The kunoichi had found it so easy to betray Naruto before, so wouldn't it be easy to betray him again?

"I love you," Naruto whispered, pressing his lips against Sakura's crown. Sakura didn't know how to respond. So she simply nodded, allowing herself to doze back off into a fitful sleep.

When she awoke once more, it was to an empty bed. Naruto had left, most likely to turn in his mission report, and Sasuke was undoubtedly standing about in Sakura's living room or outside her apartment, acting as an ANBU.

With a stifled yawn, Sakura pushed herself out of bed. She could not tell what time it was due to the heavy drops of rain pattering against her window. Sakura dressed, and as she walked into the living room, the greasy smell of frying bacon met her senses, giving her a sharp awakening.

"Sasuke?" she asked as she entered the room. But she was not met with Sasuke's dark face. Instead, she was met by a certain platinum-haired man.

"Yo, Sakura."

"Kakashi-sensei! What are you doing here?"

"Tsunade and Naruto were worried about you, so I came to check on you."

Sakura didn't really understand. Tsunade had already sent ANBU guards to "protect" Sakura, so why did she need her former teacher as well? That's what she was about to ask when Kakashi pressed a finger to his mask, presumably in the place where his lips should be. He snuck out of the kitchen, a kunai in hand. Before the ANBU guard, who had just entered, could respond, Kakashi had the kunai at his throat and was directing orders for him to remove his mask. He did so; the man standing before Kakashi was not Uchiha Sasuke as he had expected.

"Ah, Takashi. Terribly sorry. Carry on."

The man slipped his mask over his face just before Sakura entered the room. The ANBU guard took up his place at her door, his from and rigid and still.

"Well, Sakura, it seems that you're in good hands here, so I'll take my leave." Before Sakura could protest, Kakashi was gone.

At the smell of smoke, Sakura rushed back into the kitchen. The bacon Kakashi had left had caught fire.

"Damn it," Sakura snarled under her breath as she picked up the flaming pan and tossed it out the window. Now it was someone else's problem. She turned off the stove with a sigh. Kakashi's appearance signified that something was up. Someone had caught a whiff of the charade. Sasuke and Sakura would have to be extra careful from now on.

Running a hand through her short pink locks, Sakura returned to the living room. The ANBU guard was still at his post.

"Sasuke," she called out to him. "You can quit the act now. Kakashi's gone."

The ANBU didn't respond, but continued to look at Sakura through his unfeeling mask.

"Sasuke?" The kunoichi walked nonchalantly up to the man whom she though was Sasuke. "What are you doing?" she asked as she ran a hand up his bicep. He didn't move. Sakura looked up at him. Had Sasuke grown taller? It must have been her imagination. But it also appeared that he had been working out more. His normally slender arms seemed…well, ripped. And then it occurred to Sakura that this man wasn't Sasuke. "Shit," she cursed under her breath as she pushed past the guard and sprinted out the door. She was in such a flurry of emotions that she didn't notice the ANBU trailing her, and didn't worry about the rain soaking her clothing and skin.

Sakura ran as hard and as fast as she could, until she found herself at the village gate. It was guarded. So she turned and ran again until she found herself, panting, outside of Naruto's apartment. But she couldn't go in. How could she explain to Naruto what was going on? She couldn't without telling him of her affair with Sasuke. That was something she had decided she would never tell him. Never, as long as they both shall live. But despite her better judgment, the kunoichi found herself knocking on Naruto's door. Tears welled in her eyes as her fist met the unrelenting wood of the door. Despite her continuous pounding, no one answered. The only person who heard Sakura was the ANBU guard watching her from the hallway.

"Naruto!" she yelled out as hot, salty tears began to stream down her cheeks. With a final sigh, she slumped down, her palm sliding across the door. She was emotionally exhausted. So much so that when she tried to stand, her legs refused to budge. She eventually cried herself into a fitful form of slumber. During that time, she vaguely recognized a pair of large, warm hands lifting her up and carrying her inside.