"Oh my god. This—it's amazing!"
"Do you like it, dear?"
Haruno Sakura nodded vigorously in reply to the smiling woman next to her. "Thank you so much for letting me stay here!"
Before Uchiha Mikoto could comprehend what was happening, the sixteen-year old had encircled her arms around the older woman in a grateful hug. Surprised at the sudden action, Mikoto stared down at the teen's head of pink hair for a moment, before laughing wholeheartedly and patting the younger girl on the back in return.
It'd been a long time since there had been a female besides herself, let alone such a vivacious one, living in the Uchiha household.
"Tell me again why we're letting some random stranger stay here again," Uchiha Sasuke, also sixteen years of age, grumbled, trying hard not to glare too hard at the person across from him.
Said person, his father Uchiha Fugaku, crossed his arms and donned an impatient scowl. "Be quiet Sasuke," he snapped. "This random stranger is a daughter of one of my old colleagues, and if she's anything like him, she will make a great addition to this household. You should be honored to have a member of such a prestigious family staying here."
Sasuke scoffed. "If they're so famous, how come I've never heard of them before?"
"Watch your tone, young man! Remember who you're speaking to!" Fugaku stood up, matching the younger Uchiha's glower. Son and father glared at each other for a moment, locked in an unyielding battle of wills. After a moment, however, Fugaku relented, breaking the eye contact. He sighed to himself, as though a sudden weight had befallen him. Sasuke stayed where he was, silently observing his father, waiting for the older man to elaborate on his unanswered question.
When Fugaku spoke, his voice was heavy with regret, "Haruno was such a talented man. He could have done anything he wanted to. He could have become the best of the best." He sighed to no one in particular again.
"But he threw it all away!" Sasuke watched impassively as his father threw his hands into the air. "He decided that being a pediatrician in some small unknown town was more worth it than working at one of the world's best hospitals. It was such a foolish choice! I couldn't even believe he—"
"She's here!" Both men turned towards the sudden sound of the front door being opened. "Hello?" Sasuke could hear his mother's voice drift into the room. "Hold on a minute Sakura, dear. Now where is that husband and son of mine?"
"We're in the parlor," his father answered as he reseated himself on the chair across from his son.
What kind of girl would be named Sakura? Sasuke couldn't help but wonder to , the color pink came to mind. He knocked the thought away. There's no way in the world that anybody would have pink—
The parlor door opened.
"Nice to meet you, Uchiha-sama!"
…It's pink. What kind of girl actually had pink hair? That couldn't be natural.
"Haruno-san, I'm so glad to finally be able to meet you," his father got up once more, extending his arm out to shake Sakura's hand, but instead found himself enveloped in a crushing hug by the petite girl.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Sakura repeated over and over again, finally letting the man go before she turned her gaze on Sasuke. "Is this the son you were talking about, Mikoto-san?"
Mikoto chuckled. "Yes, that there is grumpy old Sasuke."
"That's Sasuke?!" Her eyes widened, "I'm sorry. I thought he was Itachi."
His eyes narrowed. Itachi? Me?
"It's just you said he was the same age as me," she laughed nervously under the Uchiha boy's scrutinizing gaze, "and Sasuke-kun looked so much older than I imagined him to be."
Fugaku cleared his throat, drawing all attention to him. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Sakura. But if you'll excuse me, I have an urgent meeting I have to attend in thirty minutes."
Sakura widened her eyes, before bending down into a low bow. "Thank you for staying all this time just to meet me, Uchiha-sama!"
Much to Sasuke's horror, a small, barely visible smile found its way onto his father's lips, "You're welcome, Sakura."
Don't tell me she's already won his approval. Sasuke glared at the girl, his ire rising at an exponential rate.
"So, why don't we show you to your room?" Uchiha Mikoto suggested, once her husband had left the room.
"That would be wonderful," Sakura flashed the Uchiha a smile. "Thank you, Uchiha-san."
"Oh, please," Sasuke's mother put a hand to her mouth. "You must call me Mikoto, dear."
"Thank you, Mikoto-san."
Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Now…Sasuke! Take Sakura to her room, won't you?"
"Do as I say, Sasuke." To any stranger, his mother would have sounded fine. But to the trained ears of the Uchiha boy, he could hear the underlying threat in her tone. God, for such a nice woman, his mother was terrifying.
Muttering something incoherent, he opened the door and stepped out into the foyer.
"Sasuke's room is right down the hall from yours if you ever need anything!" he heard his mother tell the girl before she stepped out after him.
"Where's your luggage?" he all but snapped, but the girl didn't seem to take notice to his bad mood.
It was then he noticed the small duffle bag she had slung over her shoulder. Only that much? She does know she's going to be staying here for the entire school year, right?
"Follow me," he grunted.
"So…" she was speaking again, and he tried to concentrate on anything else but her voice. Of all the girls that had to stay here, why in the world did it have to be one that talked this much? "You're name is Sasuke right?" she let out a strained laugh, betraying how nervous she actually was behind that cheery exterior.
"Well, my name is Haruno Sakura!" she gave another smile. It was a rather dazzling one at that, but Sasuke was too busy feeling annoyed with her chatter at the moment to notice anything beyond that incessant talk. "So…what are some of your hobbies?"
"Oh, well…" Sasuke watched the girl bite her lip out of the corner of his eye. She looked down to the ground, probably disappointed that she was unable to make conversation.
"I have one certain goal."
Sakura's eyes snapped up.
"I wouldn't call it goal, but an ambition. It's to…surpass a certain man."
"Surpass?" she echoed his words. "… A certain man?"
He didn't grace her with a reply, instead choosing that moment to come to a stop. Sasuke gestured at the door beside him, "This is it."
"Oh!" she came around and opened the door, stepping inside to observe her room for the next year.
"Hn." He turned to leave.
"Sasuke-kun!" He paused, and turned around to glance at her. She gave him yet another smile, albeit much more relaxed and sincere than the previous times. "Thank you."
The Uchiha gave the barest of nods before turning back around and heading back to his own room. At least she hadn't immediately seemed starstruck, like most girls did when they caught sight of him.
Haruno Sakura slumped against the door of her room, finally safe in her quarters.
That was close! She sighed, wiping some of the sweat on her palms onto her jeans. He was freaking gorgeous!
She groaned at her own train of though. I can't believe I have to live with him for a whole year. A guy like Uchiha Sasuke probably had a ton of girls chasing after him, not to mention, he probably already had an equally gorgeous girlfriend.
Shannaro! We'll just have to beat the hell out of all of them, won't we? Inner Sakura was fired up, but the real one quickly shoved her other 'side' back to the recesses of her mind.
With another groan, she covered her face with her hands. What have I gotten myself into?
For as long as she could remember, Sakura had always wanted to be like her father, the most intelligent and most compassionate man she had ever known in her life. When she found out she had been accepted into the best school in the Fire Country, she was ecstatic. But of course, boarding at the prestigious school cost the same as buying several smaller countries, and she didn't want her family spending all that money just for her education.
She would have declined Konoha Academy's offer, but somehow, her father had made contact with an old friend who lived near the school area. Apparently, one of their sons was in the even more prestigious Konoha University, and the other was in the same grade as her.
When she'd arrived, she nearly choked at the size of the mansion they lived in! It was beyond words, simply put.
But when she saw the son, she was sure she was going to die. Why had her father neglected to mention that she would need to bring a blindfold with her on her journey? There was no way she could stare at something as gorgeous as thatall day for an entire school year.
What was she going to do?
The dinner actually went more smoothly than she expected. Fugaku had not returned from his meeting yet, so it was only Mikoto, Sakura, and Sasuke.
"Excuse me, Mikoto-san?"
"Well," Sakura took a sip of her drink to calm her nerves in the presence of Sasuke, who hadn't even looked up at her voice. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have another son, don't you? Itachi? I was wondering why I haven't seen him yet?"
"Oh Itachi?" Mikoto gave a laugh. "He comes and goes as he pleases. I think he has some summer student council meeting tonight. He's president of the entire student body, you know."
"Really?" Sakura let out a gasp of awe. "But isn't he only a junior in the University? My father told me he was a prodigy. Guess it's true!"
Mikoto smiled. "Oh Sakura, Itachi has been the student body president since the freshmen year."
"That's—that's amazing!" Sakura was in shock. How was that even possible? She was completely oblivious to the younger Uchiha sitting next to her, who was currently clutching his napkin so hard that his knuckles were turning white.
When dinner was over, Sakura immediately vanished into the adjacent room after collecting everyone's plates. When Sasuke and Mikoto wandered in after her, they saw her getting ready to wash all the dishes.
"Sakura," Mikoto took the plates from her. "We have a dishwasher!"
"I know," she smiled. "But parents always taught me that we shouldn't always depend on machines for something that should be done by our own hands. And besides, it is the least I can do since I'll be living here for awhile."
"Nonsense!" Mikoto laughed. "We're glad to have you, Sakura. I'm sure your parents are great people, but at the Uchiha household, you are a guest. And there is no possibly way that I will let a guest do the dishes."
"If you say so," the girl sounded unsure, but nevertheless, turned the water off. "I just remembered I still have some things I did not unpack yet. If you'll excuse me."
Mikoto watched Sakura leave before slyly glancing over at her son. "She's grown up well, ne Sasuke? Perhaps you could learn a few things from her."
When said son responded with a glare, she chuckled before walking over, and ruffling his hair. "I'm just kidding."
Putting the dishes into the dishwasher, she also exited, leaving Sasuke alone in the kitchen.
Sasuke rolled his eyes for what seemed like the umpteenth time that night. Nevertheless, he had to admit he was slightly impressed at how easily Sakura seemed to have already integrated herself into the family.
Sakura awoke in the middle of the night, with a sudden urge to go use the bathroom.
Still half-asleep, she wandered outside of her room.
Wait! She stopped in her steps, rubbing her eyes as she tried to adjust them to the darkness of the hallway. Where in the world is the bathroom?
She looked around, and to her dismay, realized that all the doors looked the same. She couldn't just open random doors. What if she was disturbing someone's privacy?
Suddenly, Mikoto's words flashed in her mind. "Sasuke's room is right down the hall from yours if you ever need anything!"
"I hope he isn't mad at me for barging in on him so late," she whispered to herself. Please don't sleep without a shirt. Please don't sleep without a shirt.
PLEASE SLEEP WITHOUT A SHIRT. PLEASE SLEEP WITHOUT A SHIRT. The treacherous Inner Sakura cackled.
To her complete and utter dismay, she was greeted by at least five equally similar-looking doors at 'the end of the hall.'
Which one is Sasuke-kun's? She was beginning to grow flustered. After all, she did have a bit of an emergency here.
She took a deep breath, and chose the door all the way at the end. Please be him. Please be him. She reached for the knob and—
"Do you want me to call the authorities?"
Her heart leapt out of her chest and Sakura covered her mouth to stifle the scream that threatened to escape as she felt someone behind her.
"What do you think you're doing?" the voice was also deep, like Sasuke's, but somehow more refined and...
Cold. Sakura thought, as shivers involuntarily ran down her spine. A voice colder than Sasuke's? Now that was really saying something. She turned around slowly, and stared up at the man before her.
He looked strikingly familiar to Sasuke; in particular, those deep onyx eyes that it seemed all the Uchihas had inherited. However, his hair was a deeper hue of black, while Sasuke's hair had almost tinges of blue throughout. Also, this man's hair was tied in a loose-hanging ponytail, which Sakura couldn't imagine Sasuke pulling off for the life of her despite only knowing the boy for a few hours. Realization came to Sakura. This was—!
"I didn't know fan girls had become insane enough to start breaking into houses." The older Sasuke lookalike was saying.
"I—I um…" Sakura snapped out her thoughts, yet couldn't form the words as she cowered under that piercing gaze. "S-Sasuke?"
He looked down at her. "Excuse me?"
She quickly shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. "I—um, may I speak to Sasuke-kun?"
"Please, I need to speak with him!"
If Sakura had been in another state of mind, she might have realized that it might have just cleared all the confusion if she had stated her name and said she was a guest.
Seemingly sensing the girl's desperation, the man, who was obviously Itachi, gently pushed her aside, and turned the knob she had been about to turn herself.
The room inside was black, but Sakura could make out the figure of a boy sleeping on a bed against the wall. The figure bolted up so fast at the sound of the door opening that Sakura covered her mouth again to stifle yet another gasp of surprise. She had never met such a light sleeper before.
"Who's there?!" Sasuke demanded into the darkness, before he spotted his brother in the doorway. "Itachi?"
No…it wasn't just Itachi. As his eyes adjusted, Sasuke saw the pink-haired girl behind his brother, and his eyes immediately narrowed. What in the world is going on?
With a quick glance at his clock, he saw that it was only two in the morning. "What do you want?" the question was mostly directed at his brother.
Itachi gestured to Sakura. "One of your fangirls broke into the house. She seemed desperate to see you."
Sasuke looked at Sakura. Fangirl?
"Sasuke-kun!" Sakura squeaked, bowing low. "I'm so sorry to be bothering you at this time of night! But I…I just…" her face turned red as she mumbled something inaudible.
"What is it?" Sasuke sighed, getting out of bed.
"I…I woke up…and I needed to use…"
"Where is the bathroom?"
If it had been any other situation, Sasuke would have laughed. Except, one: Sasuke never laughed, and two: he was beyond annoyed that he was awakened for this purpose. "Use my bathroom for now."
He pointed to the smaller door against the opposite wall of his room.
"Oh!" the girl realized what he was saying and bowed again, before cautiously stepping into his room. "Thank you."
YOU KNOW HE'S NOT WEARING A SHIRT! Inner Sakura was squealing in delight.
Her body moved of its own accord, and Sakura turned around to stare at the delicious abs of Uchiha Sasuke. Now that was a washboard.
"Are you going to use my bathroom or not?" Sasuke's unamused, deadpanned voice snapped her back to reality.
"Y-Yes!" she squeaked again before hurrying into the bathroom.
Sasuke shook his head. All this trouble for a bathroom?
"Care to clarify, little brother?"
The younger Uchiha had almost forgotten that Itachi was standing in the doorway.
"She's the girl that's going to be staying here."
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "Interesting little creature, no?"
Sasuke scowled. "Get out of my room."
Itachi inclined his head in farewell, before stepping back into the shadows of the hallway. "As you wish, foolish little brother."
"I told you not to call me that!"
I loved writing this chapter. Don't worry, Sakura won't just be a useless fangirl. She's got some brawn under that cheery exterior of hers. And Sasuke...eh..what can I say? He's just a lovable jerk.
Please leave your comments and review!