Well Well back for more I see! Ehehe in any case, for those of you that have read any of my stories, I'm glad you've stayed tuned ;3 nice to have some dedicated readers. This is a stretch for me as I'm not soo good at angst but I'm finding I like the edge to the story line a lot more! So anyways, without further to do, my newest story!
♥Caricatures of Intimacy♥
Chapter 1 Life Reads Like A Book
With life, there are always decisions to be made, but what happens when those decisions interfere with how you want to feel about something. Could choices change how you see someone and possibly alter how you wanted to see them in your mind? Sakura and Sasuke learn the hard way that sometimes you can't really choose who you fall in love with. It just happens. ☼
" How could I have ever questioned you're love for me Daimaye! You're the only man for me!"
Sakura scoffed as her fingers gently turned the page on her novel. Romance was always her favorite, but she found herself loathing the overly gushy scenes that had suddenly sprung up in the story. Her lowered eyes didn't catch the leaf drifting down from the tree's canopy above and it landed neatly in the center of the book laid out on her outstretched legs.
Her bright eyes lifted to the treetops above and the filtered rays speckled her face delicately. She felt her face warm in the sun peering at her thought the overhead covering and lowered her hand back down to look across the grassy field. The gentle slopes of the hills rolled off to the horizon and she spotted a few Genin children locked in a mock battle. She giggled as she watched them tussle about, laughing as they chased each other around.
A breeze rustled the leaves overhead, catching the pages of her book and losing her place as the pages flew on the slight draft. She sighed and drew her knees to her chin, closing the book and setting it beside her.
She picked nonchalantly at the cuff of her long sleeved shirt, wondering what she might find herself doing in the next five minutes when a brief shadow crossed over her hunched body then moved on. Her eyes darted up to see the backside of one Uchiha Sasuke and she scowled. His back stiffened and she noted he must have noticed her look up at him.
His face turned ever so slightly to catch the image of her sitting in the grass and he scoffed. She could feel her eye twitch in anger as his signature sneer spread over his lips. She itched with anger as she watched him hunch his shoulders, nose in the air as he walked off to the center of Konoha village. She looked away just as he meshed into the crowded street and she couldn't help but grind her teeth.
" God, he's such an ass," she groaned. Thankful for his short interruption of her day, she gathered her book and tucked it neatly in her bag before leaving her place below the large oak and made her way home. She shuffled her feet as she made her way along the dirt path up the street to her apartment, fiddling with the silver charm around her neck.
She grimaced as she made her way up the steps to her apartment, briefly glancing next door. The white #3 glared at her from her neighbor's door and she narrowed her eyes at it before shutting her door, blocking off her visual attack on the apartment adjacent to hers. Dropping her bag by the door, she made her way to the kitchen, peering at the clock on the wall before she opened her cabinet to pull out the green tea and sugar.
She quickly boiled water, letting her tea steep in the black mug set out on the counter before she collapsed on the couch in the small living room. She shuffled around, making herself comfy as her feet hung over the couch back, her hair brushing the floor as she lay upside-down. She sighed, letting her eyes close in meditation as she focused her mind elsewhere.
Sakura groaned as she cracked an eye open and watched as her phone jingled on the hook. Making up her mind to answer it, she slouched off the couch and slung herself into a wicker stool before grabbing the phone and putting the receiver to her ear.
" Hello, Sakura speaking," she said brightly as she pulled the mug on the counter over to her.
" Hey Sakura! It's Ino!"
Sakura grinned as she pulled the mug away from her lips, swallowing the sweet contents before replying.
" Oh Ino! I was wondering who would be bothering me," she laughed, hearing Ino's huffy sigh on the other end.
" Well, don't act too happy that I called," she said with a false bite in her voice.
" Oh trust me, I'm not about to," Sakura stated, trying to hold back a fit of laughter. " So what did you call about, Ino?"
" Well, a bunch of us are going to the bar tonight, you know, since we aren't losers like you and don't take advantage of drinking when they're 21," Ino teased. Sakura rolled her eyes and waited for the elaboration.
" Anyways, I was thinking, since you never get out and have a life, maybe I should just make you. So, want to come along, meet some hot eligible men, and drink till we're wasted? How bout it Sakura?"
Sakura contemplated the consequences, but didn't get much of a response time before Ino's voice came through the earpiece again.
" Oh come on Sakura, it won't kill you to let loose once in awhile!" Sakura could hear the plea in her friends voice and shrugged. What would one night of fun do?
" Alright fine, when do you want me to meet you?" She could hear Ino's giggle of happiness and instantly regretted saying yes.
" We're all meeting at the bar around 8 tonight! Be there, or I'll drag you out of your house in your pajamas and you'll be forever humiliated."
" Ha, so scared. I'll be there, don't worry."
" Great! See you tonight Sakura, wear something awesome," Ino added before the line went dead. Sakura hung up the receiver and sighed. Didn't anyone say goodbye anymore?
She slid out of the chair, stretching a little before walking over the cool hardwood floor to her bedroom to find something to wear. She wasn't too enthusiastic about going, knowing Ino would push off the "eligible men" on her. She tried to explain to Ino that she was happy as a single kunoichi, finding the time not spent on a relationship was used better elsewhere.
Ino protested everything Sakura said about relationships. Sakura was one for work and training, Ino the hearts and flowers kind of romantic. They never saw eye to eye, but somehow they were still the best of friends. It was Ino that had gotten Sakura hooked on the romance novels.
Ino had lent her a novel that she had just fell in love with. The story line wasn't what she thought it would be and it even had pictures, something to take her eyes of the words once in awhile. Ino had laughed, saying it was one of the worst romance novels she had ever read. Naturally Sakura disagreed, saying the characters were much more believable than the typical mushy garbage.
Sakura stood before her dresser, her fingers tracing over the kanji on the black book's cover. Bright green foliage adorned the front in delicate silk embroidery and she neatly lifted it and sat down. Opening it carefully, the pages instantly fell open to her favorite chapter, the pages wrinkled from being turned soo many times.
Mahiro stood on the crest of the cliff, her arms spread wide as the wind caught her light red dress and billowed it out behind her. Her dark hair rode the breeze and her intense eyes scanned the fading horizon. Her lids drooped and she let her weight fall forward, her slight frame tipping over the edge to tumble into the dark abyss beyond her vision.
' I can't be in love,' she thought desperatel.. ' Not with him. My feelings have betrayed me… I don't want to be in love with him!'
" Mahiro! No!"
Her hand was caught as she slipped over the cragged face of the sheer wall and she was swiftly pulled into a strong embrace. Her face, stained with tears of remorse and confusion, buried into her rescuer's chest as she struggled to realize why she was standing at the cliff and whose arms she was wrapped in. The pain echoed in her chest with each beat of her racing heart.
" Who…who are you," she whispered as she looked up into her hero's eyes. His livid blue pools returned her alarmed stare and she bit her lip, not wanting to look up into his eyes as she was, but found she couldn't look away.
" Tairu, y-you saved me? Why?"
' He, of all people, the one man I hate yet now love with all my heart,' her mind screamed. ' He should never have saved me.'
" Because," his eyes darted away, closed as he clenched his teeth, " because I love you."
Her dark eyes went wide with wonder. Her hand met his face slowly, cautiously turning his eyes back to hers.
" You love me…" she said through a bright smile. Her lips crashed into his in a hurried kiss, desperate and full of want. She parted, breathing heavily as he. His eyes opened to explore her calm face.
" Why…why did you kiss me Mahiro…I thought you hated me?"
" I do… I hate you for not telling me you loved me sooner," she replied.
Sakura closed her eyes and sighed. She wanted that sort of relationship. That was real. Hate, not love. People with raw emotion, that's what she liked to see. Not fake, not cute, and definitely not over-the-top drama. She just wanted real.
" Hell, what am I talking about? I don't need anyone to make me happy but myself, and that's good enough," she said happily, her eyes adverting from the book. She tossed it onto her pillow and stood, making her way through the walk-in closet to rummage through a pile of discarded clothing and pick through dresses hanging at the back of the small room.
" Why I have all this junk, I'll never know," she giggled as she pulled a frilly pink dress, ribbons lacing up the corset style front. The bottom billowed out at her mid thigh and she shook her head. What possessed her to buy such a thing was beyond her, but in some way, she was drawn to the overly sexy and skimpy dress.
" Hmm, I wonder what Ino would think if I wore this tonight. No wait I know exactly what she would say, ' Sakura that's scandalous!'" Sakura laughed as she spread the dress over her arm and laid it back down on the small dresser in the corner. She turned a full circle before letting her eyes rest on her semi-formal black dress.
Naturally all women had a little black dress, and Sakura was no exception. She pulled it carefully from the row of dresses and held it against her. The tight fabric would cling to her comfortably, showing off her every curve, the halter neck low and risqué. Plus it wasn't too short so it wasn't that inappropriate. She saved this dress for dates preferably, but Ino had said to dress awesome, so that's exactly what she would do.
She walked out to her bedroom and spread it out over her bed, laying her accessories beside it before grabbing a fluffy towel on a chair and heading off to the bathroom to prepare. She glanced at her watch as she removed it, setting it on her removed clothing.
' 2 hours to go,' she thought nervously as she turned the hot water on and stepped into the steam.
Sasuke coolly walked off toward the Ichiraku, late already for his meeting with Naruto and Neji. Why Naruto had befriended that loser, Sasuke would never know. But Naruto's almost overfriendly nature had persuaded Sasuke into eating lunch with him and the Hyuuga. As if it wasn't bad enough, he had to pass her, of all people, on his way to an already irritating meal.
He had felt her glare burn a hole in the back of his head as he waltzed past her. He wanted to spit something nasty at her, get the upper hand, say something witty to hurt her, yet he felt it was punishment enough he had disturbed her peace for the day. God did he hate her. From her wide, curious, nosey green eyes to her loud and obtrusive pink hair, she was vile to him.
Their last encounter hadn't been so pretty. In fact, they had tried to kill each other with insults, Sakura finishing off her tongue lashing with a few kunai aimed at his head. He had brewed over that for sometime.
" She's such an idiot," he sighed as he made his way up the street. His feet carried him slower than usual to his seat at the ramen bar and he grimaced when the sign came into view, shielding Naruto and Neji in its grandeur. He shriveled his nose. If there was one person he hated almost as much as Sakura, it was the Hyuuga genius.
" Hey Naruto…hey, what's-your-face," he said snidely as he sat down in the swivel chair beside Naruto. Naruto scowled at Sasuke's crude remark, but brushed it off with a smile. Neji remained unmoved by his words and continued eating. Naruto tipped his chair over to Sasuke, Sasuke leaning away at the close proximity.
" Hey Sasuke, me and Neji were talking and he heard from Shikamaru who heard from Chouji who heard from Hinata that a bunch of the kunoichi are going to the bar tonight. Wanna join in, maybe pick up on some hot girls, get totally wasted then puke on something sacred?" he said through a mouthful of steaming hot ramen.
Sasuke shook his head, grinning at the fox boy. Typical Naruto, always wanting to have reckless fun. Instead of training, he would rather waste his time trying to get with the local kunoichi, or get completely drunk and wander Konoha, puking on everything.
" Alright, I can't have you ruining my good name by association. People have seen us together, what would they think of me if they saw you puke on something sacred," Sasuke chuckled, picking up his chopsticks beside his bowl of ramen.
" Alright! I'll come by your place at 8, that's when everyone's going," Naruto said happily, slurping the last of the noodles in his bowl.
Sasuke sighed, realizing this probably meant he was going to have to see her there.Sakura's Journey…
" Ino, why the hell did you come to my house, I was leaving you know."
Ino tapped her foot impatiently, waiting for Sakura to finish locking up her apartment before blowing her bangs back with the side of her mouth, Sakura staring at her.
" Well, I wanted to make sure you weren't going to flake out like the last 5 times," she said with a devious smile. Sakura rolled her eyes and proceeded to be dragged off to the bar, figuring word had spread about everyone going to the bar and she would have her night of freedom ruined by Sasuke.
She tugged impatiently at her short dress as she and Ino walked the short distance to downtown Konoha, slipping through the alleys to ensure their early arrival. Her hand kept a firm grip at the skirts hem, ensuring it wouldn't rise to expose her weapon satchel, or anything else.
" Why are you fidgeting with your dress Sakura? You look great, now hurry up!"
Ino grabbed her hand, Sakura practically jogging in her black heels to keep up with Ino's impressive pace. They turned out into the street, already crowded with the bars regulars. They filtered into the crowd, slipping into the tepid room and sliding unseen into a booth in the dark corner of the expansive lounge.
" What can I get you two ladies?"
Sakura had barely enough time to look up as the waitress watched her and Ino expectantly before Ino responded with her usual lighting quick order.
" Two sake, please!"
" Right away miss," she said with a smile before disappearing into the crowd gathered around the bar. Sakura sighed and placed her chin in her hand and scanned the crowd with her ever-watchful eyes. Ino scowled as Sakura played with a strand of her hair, her stare focused ahead.
" Sakura, I didn't bring you here to look bored out of your skull! Try to have fun for once, please!"
Sakura turned her eyes to her friend's pouted face and laughed.
" Fine, I can 'try', but I swear Ino, if you try to get me a date with some guy again, I'll leave," Sakura countered, noticing the mischievous sneer already on Ino's face.
" Oh, now how could you even suspect?"
Shrugging her shoulders, Sakura plastered a coy grin on her painted pink lips, her eyes roaming the men that entered the front door. All handsome, all wasted personalities. A few caught her stare and sent a devious smile back at her, making her insides writhe, but she waved politely and flipped her hair in flirtation. She knew what worked, what didn't. It wasn't too hard to figure out what a guy wanted.
Sakura tore her eyes away from a man at the bar she was having a staring match with and looked up to see the waitress, drink in hand.
" Oh, yes sorry," she said, sitting back a bit to allow the drink to be set before her. Eyeing the red liquid in the glass stemware, she raised an eyebrow at the young waitress.
" Oh yes, my apologies. Compliments of the young man at the bar," she said shyly before retreating.
" Oh Sakura, reeling in the men already I see!" Ino laughed, winking at Sakura. Her face fell to a smile as she nudged Sakura's leg from under the table, tilting her head in insinuation of the man behind her. Sakura turned slowly in her chair till she could see their visitor properly.
He stood taller than she knew she would, dark hair with flashy green eyes and a sincere smile that could have melted her heart had she not been so startled to find him leaning on her side of the booth. He wore the customary Jonin garb, and she could swear it would never look better on another man.
" Mind if I join you?"
Sakura looked down into her lap, feeling her face go red and nodded shyly. Ino gave Sakura a brisk kick in the shin as she rose.
" Pardon me, but I think I see some of the others we came to meet," she said, giving Sakura a knowing wink before taking off. Sakura grimaced but managed to look at her guest without her face burning to brightly.
" I noticed you come in earlier and thought you looked beautiful. I hope you didn't mind me buying you a drink," he said politely, taking Ino's seat. Sakura smiled and nodded.
" Not at all. Passion fruit is my favorite kind of flavored wine, thank you!"
He smiled and Sakura could feel her eye twitch. If she sat here, looking at him any longer, she might explode. Loud noises in the background signaled their comrades arrival and both she and her guest looked towards the door to see Naruto and Sasuke pile in with the other male Jonin.
" Damnit, he's here. I knew it," Sakura said low, gripping the hem of her dress in her fist.
" Oh, sorry, it's nothing!" she beamed. He smiled nervously as her eyes reverted back to Sasuke, narrowed and intense. His wandering gaze met hers and he scowled, taking a seat at the bar, his onyx eyes never leaving her jade ones.
" Um, am I intruding? He's your boyfriend right?" Sakura's eyes darted back to the man across from her and she frowned.
" No, he's not my boyfriend. Sorry, I guess I'm being terribly rude! My name's Sakura, I never got yours," she said quickly to cover her ranting mind. He smiled as she turned her full attention back to him and reached his hand over the table to grasp hers.
" I'm Nira," he said warmly.
" Lovely to meet you Nira."
" OI! SAKURA-CHAN!"
Sakura turned, her hand sliding from Nira's as Naruto, Sasuke, Ino and Shikamaru came to join them in their spacious booth. Sakura scooted closer to Nira as Ino and Shikamaru took a seat beside her, Naruto and Sasuke sitting across from them.
Sakura kept her eyes on Nira, not wanting to see the sneer she knew was crawling on Sasuke's face. Nira smiled down at her, taking her hand as she linked her arm through his.
" Everyone, this is Nira. Nira, this is Ino, Shikamaru, Naruto and, yeah," she said haughtily as her eyes came to rest on Sasuke. He shifted in his seat, seemingly unmoved by her lack of manners. She grinned maliciously and scooted closer to Nira as Ino struck up conversation and Sakura could see the vein in Sasuke's forehead throbbing as his eyes darted over to her every few seconds.
" So Nira, what is it you say you do with black ops? It's soo terribly fascinating," she said in a husky whisper, feeling Sasuke's eyes on her. All was lost on the others as Naruto tried to balance a shot glass on his head while Shikamaru and Ino took turns trying to make a basket with wads of napkins.
" Well, I- um, I'm a tactics specialist," he gulped as she sidled up to him, resting her hand on his thigh, the other tracing down his chest. Her low intense eyes lingered on his, her hair hung about her face in a pink curtain. Through her bangs she could see Sasuke fidgeting in his seat, arms crossed and a scowl replacing his sneer. Sakura couldn't help the bubble of pure joy at seeing him soo unhappy.
" Nira, that's fascinating, do you ever get time away, to do…other things," she whispered in his ear, but just loud enough for Sasuke to hear. The sound of tinkling glass interrupted her rampage on Sasuke and she looked over to see the shards of Naruto's shot glass all over the floor. She sighed and removed her hand from Nira's thigh and sat back in the booth as Ino shot her a look of warning.
Raising an eyebrow, Sakura turned to see a scantily dressed kunoichi press herself into the booth beside Sasuke, her flirty fingers playing in his hair. Sasuke caught her gaze quickly and with a huffy leer that would put her own to shame, wrapped an arm around the kunoichi's waste to draw her closer. Sakura stuck her nose in the air and turned back to Nira, cuddling up to him, her head resting on his shoulder.
" Well, well Sasuke. I haven't seen you in some time. Sure seems like its been too long, doesn't it," the kunoichi giggled while she pressed her chest up against his, her revealing shirt riding low. Sakura growled low in her throat at the thought of being beaten, Sasuke's stupid grin making her itch with anger.
" I have to use the rest room for a second," Sakura stated as she rose from her place beside Nira and stalked off to the restrooms down the hall. She made a quick look behind her to see Sasuke tuck a strand of hair behind the kunoichi's ear, his eyes lifting to watch her walk away. Sakura gripped her purse tightly and cursed herself for being too subtle.
If she was going to win one over on Sasuke, she would have to pull out all the stops. She quickly locked herself in the bathroom, spilling the contents of her purse out into the vacant sink. Taking a spare kunai, she ripped the lower hem of her dress at her upper thigh, leaving hardly anything to imagination as she pulled the dress down a bit over her smooth legs, reveling her cleavage more in doing so.
She ran her hand messily through her hair, giving herself a wild and exotic look. Finally, she smeared a generous amount of lip-gloss on her pouted lips before grinning at the mirror and shoving all her belongings back into her bag. She quickly looked over her lower half, removing her satchel and stuffing it into her purse before unlocking the door and walking back out to the table.
Her high heels clicked melodiously on the floor as she made her way back to her seat, her now shorter dress turning heads and earning her a few whistles. She stopped at the table, letting Sasuke and Nira take in her appearance, the kunoichi wrinkling her nose at Sakura's shapely long legs and wild pink hair.
" Sakura, my… you look…wow," Nira stuttered as Sasuke looked away, feeling the heat rise in his face. ' So that's what it's gunna take Sakura, for you to expose yourself,' he thought bitterly as Sakura slid into her seat. Sakura, nose in air, ran her fingers coolly through her hair as the staring match commenced between her and Sasuke. He could feel the corner of his mouth twitch as Sakura leaned forward, resting her chin on her hands.
" Something you wanted to say Sasuke?"
He scowled as she mocked him, her eyes narrowed, her lips in a twisted smile. She faked a gasp and dramatically lifted her hand to her chest.
" What! No witty comment from the stone cold Uchiha! It does seem appropriate for him to know when he's beat," she laughed, Sasuke growling. He turned to the kunoichi beside him, his eyes hard and set for the exit.
" But Sasuke," she began, but his hand quickly shoved her out of the booth, leaving her standing bewildered as he brushed past her to the bars door. Sakura dropped her hand to the table with a thud, Naruto and the others looking over at the commotion.
" Oh no you don't Sasuke!"
Sakura quickly jumped up from the table and ran out after him, leaving the rest to watch in confusion. Nira was the first to speak.
" Um, what was that all about?"
" Damnit, can't they just stop for one night and get along!" Ino protested, sulking back in the booth.
" No you don't Sasuke!"
Sakura's voice echoed in the still night air as Sasuke was caught standing in the middle of the moonlit street. The lights from the oil street lamps gave off an eerie glow and basked the two in an orange glow. Sakura approached angrily, her hand clinging to the side of her dress to keep it from exposing herself. Sasuke turned to face her, his dark eyes locked with her livid green pools. She stopped before him, her hair blowing calmly about her face.
" What! What the fuck was that about Sasuke?"
Her voice, normally calm, rose like the shriek of a harpy as she faced him down in the otherwise still night air. It took all she had not to simply smack him right then and there.
" What the hell are you talking about?"
A pain moved through her face as she gritted her teeth until they squeaked. Curling and uncurling her fingers, she fought back the urge again. Though it was fight she feared she was losing. And she knew how wonderful it would feel when she did lose that battle.
" That… that… skank kunoichi! You know damn well what I'm talking about Sasuke, you were playing the same game, and if you think I'm just going to let you walk away without soo much as a… "
" What? You're the one acting like a whore to get the upper hand. Don't think it's my fault your new boyfriend thinks you're easy! I mean, look at you! You make me sick. Don't act like you're jealous Sakura, its almost too convincing."
Sakura took his insult as a slap in the face as she staggered backwards, her eyes wide. He sighed and turned away from her. She could feel angry tears burn in her eyes.
" I-I'm not jealous…" she whispered angrily, her hair billowing out behind her as the breeze swirled around them, her tears ceasing. Sasuke chuckled, a sardonic tone in his deep laugh. She wiped at her eyes angrily as he tilted his head, waiting for a response of some kind, but she just stood and watched him.
" Come on Sakura, you had to have come out here for some other reason than to act like an envious fan-girl." She stood petrified with rage, tears welling up in her eyes as he ran his fingers smoothly through his ebony bangs calmly.
" I mean, after a performance like that, you have to have something better to say than " Oh shame on you Sasuke for touching that skank!" Ha, it was a good laugh to see how far you would go though, thanks for entertaining me tonight."
" I HATE YOU, BASTARD!"
Sasuke glared as Sakura quickly pushed past him, tears of rage rolling down her face, her black mascara running under her eyes. Sasuke could feel himself give into the urge to go after her, to scream in her face about how fucked she was to dangle that so easily in his face, but quickly refrained. He simply watched as she marched off down the street, her hand holding her dress in place, her pink hair billowed out behind her.
' I hate her too… for what she makes me. I hate her more than anyone.'
I'm really hoping that was good, I took some extra time to work out the Confrontation part of this chapter. For a while they sounded like a bickering married couple but I figured it out with some help from a good dA friend InspectorZenigata! Luvs to you for beta reading the last few paragraphs and giving some great input!
New chapter should be up soon, I have nothing new going on and man the ideas are coming easily for things to write on this!