Sorry for the long wait, I've been on hiatus for a while. I'm not saying I'll start updating frequently again, but I'll certainly try more. Onward!

Kissing Contest

Chapter Three

"L-leave the rest…to your imagination," Sakura parroted bleakly. Sasuke simply nodded and folded his arms. "But…how can they do that?"

Sasuke brandished the contract at her and she flinched as though he had just swung a rattlesnake in her direction. "Either read it again or take my word. Let's just hope it isn't anything too bad."

"Well, we still have…a while before we even have to face it, right?"

"A week."

"I think I need to lie down."

"You are lying down."

The hotel room Sakura and Sasuke occupied now looked incredibly small and cramped, as the possibilities of things they would have to do in this room grew larger as their imaginations went to work. A script. Sakura couldn't believe that they would actually be handed a script. Like they were simple marionettes. Someone was going to get hell for this.

Sakura sighed and sat up from her sprawled-out position on the bed. "Let's go get dinner. At least we can take our minds off of it for now. No sense worrying about it too far ahead."

From the look on Sasuke's face, he could see several reasons to worry about it.

"Oh, relax," Sakura snapped, her patience waning. "Moping about it won't get us out of it."

"You seem pretty used to the idea," muttered Sasuke as he reached for his coat on the nightstand. Sakura held her chin high as she surveyed his pouty expression.

"I'm just not going to let it get to me. I'm willing to do anything to get that money, and I mean it."

Sasuke's face suddenly darkened, and Sakura wondered if she had said the wrong thing.

"Anything," he said, more of a question than a statement.

Not one to back down, Sakura nodded. "Anything."

He attempted to stare her down for a few moments, but she wouldn't budge. Finally, he strode over to the door and held it open for her while tugging his jacket over his shoulders.

"Do you realize that I'm not willing to do anything to get this prize?!"

"Hi, can I get you anything tonight?" the cheerful waitress asked as she beamed down at them with a notepad in hand.

Yeah, someone who will get me out of this damned romance show, Sasuke thought despairingly.

"We'll take two apple martinis," Sakura instructed immediately. The waitress jotted it down, shot them another fleeting smile, and flounced off. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.

"Who said you could order for me?" he demanded to know.

"You need a relaxing drink, and this one's the best as far as I know," she said. "I may not be an expert on alcohol, but these got me through college, let me tell you."

Sasuke snorted. "I know of stronger drinks."

"I'm sure you would."

Deciding not to take the bait and ask what exactly she meant by that, Sasuke sat back in his seat and waited for the waitress to return. When the apple martini came, he drank it down without a word. Sakura smirked smugly when he downed it in one go.

"Can we get a few more drinks?" she asked politely, and the woman before them winked.

"No problem. What would you like?"

Sasuke cleared his throat of the syrupy taste and spoke up. "Something strong."

"Gotcha." She disappeared again before Sakura could order hers. The pink-haired woman cursed under her breath.

"Now you know how it feels," Sasuke said victoriously.

"Bite me," was the muttered response. Sasuke quickly lost his smile.

"Come next week, I think I'm going to have to."

"Ugh, just shut up about that!" Sakura spat as she threw her hands up. "Can't you just get it off your mind for ten seconds?"

"Can't you just hurry up and realize that I might be forced to have sex with a complete stranger?"

Sakura's mouth gaped open. "They wouldn't go that far."

"Is there anything in the contract that says they won't? That's why you're not worried? Because you think that they'll just stop at making out?"

"That…that wasn't exactly what I had been thinking…" Sakura stammered.

That was exactly what she had been thinking.

"God, you're dense," Sasuke sighed frustratedly. Thankfully, the waitress materialized out of thin air at that moment, two intimidating-looking drinks in hand. She set them down, and without a word was off again. Sasuke slipped his hand through the mug's handle and began guzzling.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Sakura asked him worriedly as he continued without stopping for breath. They were in a relatively classy restaurant, with dim overhead lights and soft piano music in the background. He was going to get drunk here?

"I can hold my alcohol," Sasuke said roughly, clearly defensive.

"Fine," Sakura said under her breath, deciding it was best not to argue.

"Are you both ready to order?" the plump brunette waitress asked.

"Yes, thank you," Sakura replied as she folded up her menu. "I'll take the chicken fettuccini."

"And you?" The waitress turned to Sasuke, and she blinked a few times at his slightly reddened face.

"I'm taking the mignon filet," he said, frowning at her for reasons even he didn't know.

"You mean the filet mignon?" Sakura interrupted.

"Yeah, that."

The waitress smiled, gathered up the menus, and left, shooting worried looks over her shoulder at Sasuke.

"Sasuke, stop."

"I'm fine. Just shut up about it." He gave her a stern, "don't question me" look and Sakura sighed. It's his funeral.

But no, Sakura's rational side spoke up as Sasuke's face disappeared behind his mug again. If he's having a funeral, he'll be dragging you down with him by causing a scene.

"Sasuke, we need to leave."

He traced the flower pattern on the placemat before him with his index finger as he looked up at her. "Why?"

"We can't have you causing a disturbance here while eating your mignon filet," Sakura hissed. She received a sharp glare in return.

"I said I can handle my alcohol. Will you stop being so damned motherly? It's like all you do is…" he trailed off, and suddenly turned redder.

"Errrr, Sasuke?" Sakura asked cautiously.

"Quiet, I'm trying to concentrate," Sasuke spat, and closed his eyes. He breathed deeply for a few moments, and Sakura felt slightly panicked.

"Concentrate on what?"

"On not throwing up."

Suddenly he was on his feet and zipping up his jacket. "We're leaving." Sakura, too relieved to comment back that she had suggested that first, stood without a word. Shooting an apologetic smile at the waitress, she thrust a few bills down on the table and left, a slightly green Sasuke trailing behind.

As Sakura slid the key card through the reader slot to open the door, she felt something warm approach her neck, accompanied by a strong bourbon smell. Immediately she tensed. She needed to get him to sleep.

"We're almost in," she said to Sasuke. "Give me a sec."

The door swung open, and she was free from Sasuke's intrusion upon her personal space. Or so she thought.

"Sakuraaa," Sasuke spoke, his voice low and tired, but not from a need for sleep. "I have an idea."

"What idea could you possibly come up with now?" Sakura threw her cream coat onto the armchair beside the television and collapsed onto her own bed. "Being drunk doesn't make you think your brightest."

Sasuke's jacket was unzipped and cast onto the floor carelessly, and he shuffled over to her as if attempting to keep his balance. He stopped at the foot of her bed, and gazed down at her with the oddest expression she had ever seen him wear. It was just so…un-Sasuke-like.

"You really are sort of attractive," he stated bluntly. Sakura flinched at his shameless remark, and turned her head to the side to conceal part of the heat rushing to her cheeks.

"Oh, thanks," she replied sarcastically. "Nice to know I'm only 'sort of attractive.' I'll remember that next time you go looking for compliments."

"No, I mean it." Sakura felt a weight at the edge of the mattress, and lifted her head to see Sasuke placing his knees onto her bedspread. Slowly and awkwardly, he made his way up to her. Or rather, up and over her. Paralyzed, Sakura was immobile with shock as Sasuke's body towered above hers.

"Wh-what are you doing…?" Sakura whispered uncertainly.

"Here's my idea," he said, only slightly slurring the 's' in his sentence. "We get over all of that tension that's going to happen next week by getting it all over with now."

Sakura's heart skipped a beat.

"That's your grand master plan?" she asked incredulously. Sasuke only smirked down at her, confident through the drunken haze of his thoughts that his plan was genius.

"This way, it won't be awkward between us, because we'd already have done everything," he continued, lowering himself closer to her. Sakura shot her hand up, and it connected with his chest, effectively stopping him.

"You're an idiot," Sakura said harshly. When Sasuke only moved closer to breathe on her neck, she glared to keep her rational thoughts buzzing. "You think this is going to help us get out of that reality show crap?"

"Not get out of," the man above her corrected. "You already said yourself that there is nothing we can do about that. But this can help us live through it."

For someone so completely drunk, why was he making so much sense?

"Your logic is so screwed!" Sakura struggled to move out from under him, but he had already settled his weight on her. "This isn't going to help anything!"

He shot her a quirky smile, and she was mystified.

"Maybe if you were drunk too, you'd see my reasoning."

What the hell kind of drunk are you? Sakura mentally screamed at him. She pounded on his chest with her fists, but he was too close for her to hit him with any real force. His lips brushed her neck, and a tremor raced through her body.

"Get…off…" Sakura demanded as she grasped his arms in another attempt. This was apparently a mistake, as Sasuke glanced at her hands, his attention caught. Within seconds, Sakura's wrists were pinned together above her head, utterly useless.

"Do you see it now?" he whispered to her, his face so close that she could not really look him straight in the eyes. "We're too uncomfortable with each other. Just do this, and I promise everything will go so much easier."

"You're insane…" Sakura mumbled, her voice quieted by his mouth grazing her cheek. "Get off of me now." I hardly even know you, she thought. Attraction doesn't take the place of common sense. But apparently alcohol does.

"I just want to make you see my point." His hand traveled over her stomach, and finally Sakura had had enough.

"I said get the hell off of me!!!" she shouted, and pulled back her fist before slamming it into his cheek.

Sasuke recoiled from the pain and released her wrists to run his hand over his cheek. He looked at her in stunned amazement, but she had already begun to wriggle out from underneath him, giving him such a heated glare it should have vaporized him on the spot. She stumbled from the bed, and scrambled to her feet on the carpet.

"You don't even realize what you just did," she spat dangerously, humiliated tears welling up in her eyes. "Do you?"

Sasuke sat upright on her now wrinkled bedspread, a frown slowly crawling its way onto his face. Didn't she see his plan? Why couldn't it make sense to her? Was she stupid?

"Why are you so against this?" he asked, anger steadying his voice. "It was a simple thing!"

"Sex isn't a simple thing to me!" Sakura screamed. "And I still don't know how you can just sit there and think that I'm wrong for not wanting it!" Backing away from him, she found the door to the bathroom and flew inside, slamming it behind her.

Sasuke was up in an instant. "Sakura, come out of there!" he said, pounding a fist on the door. Sakura turned the lock and leaned her back against the door, intensely aware of every strike his fist made with the wood. The tears on her face finally fell, and with them went her self-control. Sasuke couldn't even hear her sobs through the loud thumps his hand made. Was he trying to intimidate her into coming out? Surely he would know that that couldn't possibly work…

For five minutes he continued, striking the door over and over again while ordering her to come out. And longer she cried, as she wondered what the hell she had gotten herself into. This is what she deserved, entering herself into a stupid kissing contest with only the money in mind. She should have known things would get out of hand. She had assumed that her partner would be perfectly agreeable in every way, and now here life came back to slap her in the face.

The pounding ceased, and it was only then that Sasuke heard another sob escape Sakura's lips. Time stood still. Ever so slowly, he lowered his hand to his side. His head throbbed. All he could do was listen to the sound of her muffled cries.

Sakura's hysterics eventually subsided, and she slid to the floor, her hearing sharpened with each passing silent minute. Drawing her knees up to her chest, she waited. She would never come out. Not tonight. Even less likely was the possibility of her getting sleep.


Four hours later, she heard a shuffle of movement.

"I'm sorry."


When Sakura burst out of the bathroom, the hotel room door was ajar.

And Sasuke was gone.

AN: Wow. What kind of mood was I in? Anyways, hope you liked it. I think I may have to up the rating soon… review please!!!