Thank you so much for the wonderful reviews! Anyway, I'm sorry for the delay of the chapter. But, I think this chapter is longer than the other ones...So, I hope you guys could forgive me. Anyway, without further ado...
I don't own Naruto or any of the characters you recognize here. They're all properties of Masashi Kishimoto.
Sakura scrunched her eyebrows as she bit her tongue. She needed complete silence, she needed concentration. Something important was about to occur. All she needed to do was to finish it with one last piece. Nothing could go wrong, after all. She was safe in her.
Sakura held her breath as she raised her hand, when suddenly; the door swung open and destroyed her work of art.
Sakura screamed as she stared at the thousand of toothpicks that lay before her, which resembled that whole Uchiha Mansion just a while ago. Sasuke flinched slightly at her voice.
"WHAT DID YOU DO!" she exclaimed loudly as she pointed an accusing finger at Sasuke. He raised an eyebrow, as he contemplated whether he should still tell her the news, or let her mourn her work of art.
"I spent hours working on that-bloody hours working on that! And I was just about to put the last piece in-when you-BOOM!- ahhh! You destroyed it-no-massacred it without mercy-and-you...APOLOGIZE NOW!" babbled Sakura and Sasuke frowned at her as he closed the door.
"And why would I apologize?"
Sakura gasped as she put her hands on her hips and glared at Sasuke, her green eyes glinting menacingly.
"Be-because you destroyed it...I put so much effort on it-and-and-
"Fine...You can go ahead and cry on my shoulder. Just make sure you don't make sounds while crying." said Sasuke flatly. Sakura, taken aback, glared at Sasuke more menacingly.
As if...Arrogant prick.
"And what makes you think I'll cry?" she asked angrily. Sasuke rolled his eyes. Why did she have to be so stubborn?
"Only because of the fact that you've done it for the past fifteen years."
Sakura turned around and walked towards her bathroom. She flipped her pink hair elegantly before turning back to look at Sasuke.
"Yeah...well, you make assumptions too much. From now on, we are not allowed to talk to each other. The first one who does is a loser!" she said before entering the bathroom. Sasuke frowned yet again as he stared at the close door. Too bad, he wouldn't be able to tell her the news. But then again, Uchiha Sasuke would never be called a loser. So, she'd have to find out through another source. Pity.
"Poochi, I assume you can show our visitor out the door!" shouted Sakura from the bathroom, referring to her dog.
Sasuke stood up from the bed angrily and went out of the room, slamming the door shut. This earned him a loud growl from Sakura's dog inside the room.
Did she really have to make a big deal out of this? It was just a stupid toothpick structure. It's not even that good.
As soon as Sakura heard the door shut, she peeked out from the bathroom and scanned the room. It was only occupied with her dog, Poochi, sitting quietly on top of her bed. She sighed in relief before she went out of the bathroom.
"He is such a jerk. Stupid male ego...he can't even apologize. If he apologized, then I would've forgiven him easily...but NOOO! He had to go and say that I could cry on his shoulder- without making any sounds! How rude- ahh...I loathe him." Mumbled Sakura as she went to her dresser and began brushing her hair.
She frowned slightly as she turned to Poochi, who was currently nibbling on a chew bone.
"Do you think things will go back to the way it was before?"
Poochi barked. Sakura sighed and smiled slightly before she returned to brushing her hair.
"Yeah...I hope so. After all, we've gone through some squabbles in the past. What's the difference this time?"
Sasuke looked up from the book he was reading, to see Itachi standing in his doorway. He sat up on his bed as he nodded at Itachi, giving him permission to enter his room.
"I heard shouting from her room. What happened?" Itachi asked as he stared at Sasuke with his red sharingan eyes. Sasuke looked away as he frowned.
"You should be careful with your actions, Sasuke. Sakura will soon face a serious decision in life, and you're certainly not helping by adding up to her problems." He said seriously. Sasuke glared at him.
"You know nothing. Besides, it was just something shallow. It'd be fixed by tomorrow. You'll see." He said stubbornly. Itachi smirked before he started walking towards the door. Midway, he stopped. Sasuke stared at his back.
"Pride...It's something we Uchiha males protect too much. You should know when to bend sometimes, Sasuke."
Sasuke scoffed at his brother's hypocrisy.
"I don't see you bending 'sometimes', Itachi."
Itachi smirked as he turned his head towards Sasuke.
"That's because you're not me, Sasuke..." and he walked out of the room.
"Don't you understand the word 'no', Fugaku?" asked Mikoto angrily as she held her hairbrush in her right hand, ready to fling it towards her husband when she felt as if she needed to.
Fugaku shook his head at his wife's protective instincts. It just didn't seem to go away.
"Mikoto, think about the Kingdom..."
"Then I'll translate 'no' for you then. Negative, never, disapproved, disagree, nope, no can do- I SAID NO!" Mikoto exclaimed, becoming more hysterical with each passing minute.
"I know you're trying to protect Sakura-
"And I'm certain that you're not trying to protect her!"
-but, you must know that Sakura would have given anything to protect the Kingdom!"
Mikoto gripped the hairbrush tighter.
"You-are-not-understanding-my-point!" she said through gritted teeth. Fugaku was on the brink of throwing a fit. But luckily, as a King, he had managed to learn self-control for most time. But truth be told, his wife was driving him insane.
Fugaku took a deep breath and ran through the thoughts of his mind. He knew what to do. He'd listen, then he'd speak...then all will end well...hopefully.
He looked up at his wife who was just about to start tearing up.
"Then...what is your point?" he asked calmly. Mikoto's eyes widened at the sudden change of scenery, but maybe she could convince him then.
"My point is...I just don't want her to get hurt."
"And you know, maybe I did act a bit childish. I mean, it was just a stupid toothpick kingdom, which I worked so hard on. But, did I really act...too...well, let's say...harsh?" asked Sakura as she lay down on her bed , a book held in her hands as she tried to read, but apparently, she wasn't reading...seeing that her book was upside down.
She frowned as she turned to Poochi, who was staring at her innocently. Poochi then made a sound and hid his head behind his hands. Sakura pulled her hair angrily.
"You're of no help!"
Her curiosity getting the better of her, she placed her book on top of her bedside table and stood up from the bed. Poochi turned to her expectantly.
"You expect me to play with you after you totally ignored me? Get real..." she scoffed, and Poochi made another sound before walking away from Sakura. Sakura rolled her eyes.
She's too emotional...
Sakura then headed out of her room and began walking to the direction of Sasuke's room.
"She's so young...so young."
"I know she is...I love her just as much as you do. I hate to see her hurt. But...our kingdom is in grave danger. I suppose you know how strong the Hyuuga Kingdom is. Without them as our affiliates, then with possible upcoming wars...our kingdom will cease to exist." said Fugaku seriously. Mikoto sighed deeply as she fingered the cloth of their curtains.
"What about the boys? You know them...They're very overprotective of Sakura."
Fugaku bit his lip.
"They would understand. They're very overprotective, yes...but they know our responsibility."
Mikoto bowed her head down before she turned to look at her husband. She sighed deeply yet again before she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. Fugaku knew that he was finally getting somewhere. All it needed was a little push...
"Stop...Don't say anything."
Fugaku was caught by surprise as his wife spoke.
"Don't...I'm not saying that I fully approve of this-this deal. But, to be fair...I say we consider Sakura's decision." Mikoto said gently. Fugaku gave this a moment of thought. He was a little bit of nervous, knowing that Sakura, even though sweet and kind, could be as stubborn as a rock. But then again, it was her personal life.
Sakura grunted as she knelt down in front of Sasuke's door, trying to peep through the keyhole. Unfortunately, there was nothing much to be seen.
"Darn...Maybe I should try from another point of view." mumbled Sakura as she turned to the side a little, and tilted her head towards the keyhole of the door. Still, nothing much was to be seen.
She mumbled a few incoherent words of anger. Then again, there was one thing she could do.
Sakura rolled her eyes and smirked.
"As if I would really do that..."
Nervously, Sakura turned to her left, trying to decipher whether anyone was coming, then to her right. The corridors were completely empty. Biting her lower lip, she dropped to the floor and tilted her head, peeping through the narrow opening under the door.
"Man...I must be really desperate to see what he's doing..." she grumbled quietly as she closed one eye in order to be able to see more clearly.
"I believe that's what Sasuke has been thinking." A voice from her back caused her to jump up in surprise, and she found herself staring face to face with her brothers.
Itachi was standing there, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Sasuke stood beside him, smirking visibly...and Sakura had wanted to disappear right then and there. But of course, being Sakura, she had decided to come up with a come back.
"Itachi-san! I was actually looking for you, because...uhm...because of a reason I totally forgot and I'll tell you when I remember it! I actually thought that this was your room, I mean, after all, your room is just beside this room, right-and-and..." said Sakura quickly as she fumbled for her words.
"You were looking for me, through the opening under Sasuke's door?" asked Itachi, amused. Sakura smiled a little too sweetly.
Yeah...Embarrass me, why don't you.
"Well, I didn't want to disturb whatever you were 'possibly' doing, so I thought I'd look first before-
Itachi and Sasuke stared at her with amused looks on their faces. Sakura felt herself turning red with each passing moment. Deciding that it was enough, she put on a cheery face and raised a hand to her ear, pretending that she was hearing something.
"Hey! Is that Poochi? I guess she's calling me...can't you hear it? The sound of barking? No? Well, I have to go!" she said before she walked past both of them.
"I'll see you later, Itachi-san...and...person." she said before she fled out of the scene.
Itachi and Sasuke were left, staring at the dust that trailed after her.
"Do you think we should tell her after dinner?" asked Fugaku nervously. Mikoto gave it some thought, before she smiled uncertainly at her husband.
"Definitely after dinner...We'll tell-
Dinner is served, your highnesses...said a voice from behind the door. They both gulped. They didn't know that hours had passed by since Hiashi left.
"We'll be there."
"Mother, I'm a little tired today. I think I just want to go ahead and sleep. I'm sorry for missing dinner. But I'm really tired." pleaded Sakura as she entered the dining hall, staring at her parents who were sitting at the table already, waiting for their children.
The King and Queen stared at each other, before they turned back to Sakura.
"But Sakura-we have-
Suddenly, Sasuke entered the dining room, and Sakura turned around to glare at him, before turning back to her parents. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.
She's so stubborn...
"I must excuse myself now, Mother...Father...Person."
With a last glare at Sasuke, she flipped her hair and turned to leave the room. The king and queen watched her, before turning to Sasuke.
"Why, Sasuke, dear...Come sit –
"I just came to excuse myself too mother...father. There are just some things that I have to attend to."
With that, he left the room without another word.
Mikoto and Fugaku stared at each other in disbelief. Something was up between those two.
The door opened yet again and Itachi entered, with the common blank look on his face. Both parents smiled at him, and was just about to invite him to dinner, when-
"I'm sorry, Mother...Father...I have to excuse myself from dinner, because there is little time left and I still have to find my horse. She's currently out in the wild." He said and, much like Sasuke, he left without another word.
Both the King and Queen frowned at their children's attitude, when a servant came to them and bowed down.
"Your highness...Does that mean we have to store the ice cream?"
Sasuke ran a hand through his hair as he desperately tried to remember how he now stood in front of a large white door, with the name 'Sakura' carved upon it.
You just want to know what she's doing...Calm down.
Sasuke ran a hand through his hair again, before he began pacing before Sakura's bedroom door. It was now eight o' clock in the morning, but he was pretty sure that Sakura was still asleep.
But Sasuke, being Sasuke, knew that he had to avoid doing a 'Sakura', which would surely result to embarrassing himself. He just needed to know if she was safe or not. After all, it was just his brotherly instinct.
Damn...I forgot...She doesn't snore.
So now, trying to listen through the door won't be of much help. Sasuke ran a hand through his hair yet again. He felt pathetic.
Stupid toothpick castle...
Feeling that there was no other choice, he took out a pin which be brought with him (apparently, he knew it would come in handy), and inserted it into the keyhole.
He would just open the door slightly, take a look at her, and close the door and then before you knew it, he would be gone. Yeah, the plan was perfect.
Sasuke then twisted the pin, trying to open the lock.
"It'll be just a minute. I forgot my jacket in-
The voice caught him by surprise and his eyes widened as he withdrew the pin and turned around, only to find himself facing a surprised Sakura.
Both of them didn't say a word, as the bet was still ongoing. Itachi then appeared behind Sakura, holding a book in his arms and he was smirking at Sasuke.
Sasuke frowned at the sight. He just needed to come up with an excuse.
"I-I-I was just-
He was cut short when Sakura walked past him and knocked on her bedroom door.
To his and Itachi's surprise, the door opened to reveal a dog that looked as if it had just woken up. Sakura smiled at Poochi before entering her room.
Sasuke then turned to Itachi, who was smirking at him still.
"Nothing...Let me guess, who were trying to look for me because of a reason which you forgot and you'll tell me when you remember..." said Itachi, amused. Sasuke glared at him when he felt Sakura brush past him yet again.
"I got my jacket, Itachi-san. Anyway, thanks Poochi! Who would've thought that teaching him to open locked doors would come in handy." said Sakura cheerfully as she skipped off the scene.
Sasuke glared at Itachi before he walked away angrily.
"It's not like I'm totally to blame. I mean...it was just his stupid male pride and ego." complained Sakura as she lay down on the grass, staring up at the blue sky. The birds around her chirped, as if agreeing to her statement.
"And I wouldn't have made that stupid deal if I knew that we would be so serious about it." She said sadly. She then turned her head to stare at the bird, before chuckling to herself.
"Look at me...I'm talking to a bird."
"Yeah...you're talking to a bird."
Sakura sat up at the voice, surprised. She found herself staring straight at clear white eyes, staring with an amused expression on his face.
Green eyes met white eyes.
Let the game begin.