Sakura Haruno: 28, fashion buyer for London's über-trendy Harvey Nichols department store. Sasuke Uchiha: 27, widely acclaimed film star and Japan's answer to Colin Farrell. Hinata Hyuuga: 26, pediatrician at Konoha Hospital and (later to be revealed) pharmaceuticals heiress. Other characters will be introduced later.

At first, Sakura Haruno thought nothing special of the quiet woman childhood friend and lifelong object of her affection, Sasuke Uchiha, introduced her to during a New Year's Eve gala held at the mansion of celebrity debutant (and best friend) Ino Yamanaka; but knowing of his famed track record with women, Sakura had felt a sense of pity for the soon-to-be heartbroken Hinata-Whatshername. Granted, Hinata was cute and well bred, but those were likely the only things she had going for her.

Hinata was different from the women Sasuke courted- the heartthrob who had been renowned for his romantic ties to supermodels, actresses and pop singers was now dating a doctor, which implied she was educated. It was a far cry from the vapid bubbleheads that normally graced his arm.

Still, Sakura wasn't bothered by her arrival. 'The poor thing,' she had mused then, as she carefully scrutinized Sasuke's current flavor of the week. 'She seems nice. It's too bad she won't last.' Truly, when it came to girlfriends, Sasuke's tended to come with an expiration date- most were dumped within a week or two.

Naturally it was her belief that since Hinata was nowhere near as beautiful as the other women, she would become like all the others who came before her: yesterday's news.

So less than four hectic months later and totally out of the loop in terms of gossip due to her absurdly busy schedule, she found herself flying back to Japan to catch the prêt-a-porter lines Asia's best designers had to offer for Fall.

While waiting at the airport for the limo driver to load her many Louis Vuitton suitcases into the trunk of the vehicle, she was shocked to see a recent photo of Sasuke and Hinata kissing on the front page of a tabloid. Violently yanking the magazine out of the hands of an elderly woman waiting for her taxicab, she skimmed through the article reporting that Sasuhina (the nickname that was bestowed upon the celebrity couple) was still together and very much in love.

She growled. He had been a notorious ladies man until he met her. Sakura couldn't even begin to comprehend how a nobody like Hinata could succeed in sinking her ugly little talons into someone as gorgeous as Sasuke when she herself could not.

He knew damn well she harbored feelings for him and would give up her successful life in a heartbeat if he so desired, yet time and time again, Sasuke had refused to allow Sakura to be anything more than a friend.

He needed a wake-up call. For Sasuke's sake (and her own), she needed to put an end to this 'Sasuhina' nonsense once and for all.

The following morning, Sakura walked into a nearby patisserie for a much needed con panna, and found, by sheer coincidence, Hinata and Sasuke sitting at a table, going over what appeared to be a script for his next movie. She was disgusted by the way the two hooked ankles under the table and held hands while reciting lines.

In the moment Sasuke excused himself to use the restroom, Sakura sauntered up to the table like a lioness stalking her prey before tapping her black stiletto Moschino boot on the checkered tile floor, impatiently waiting for the bane of her existence to acknowledge her presence.

Hinata looked up from the page she was reading and gasped in surprise. "Sakura! It's been a long time! You look wonderful!" She immediately stood up, gesturing for her to take a place at the small table and gave her a warm smile.

Sakura crossed her arms in annoyance as she took a quick glance in the direction her crush left towards. She took Sasuke's previously occupied seat and quietly admired the quality of the Armani suit jacket hanging casually on the back of the chair. She then crossed her long, pantyhose-clad legs and brushed some non-existent fuzz off the front of her Burberry-print pencil skirt.

She assessed the plaintive woman sitting before her. Low-quality lavender-hued cashmere cardigan knit set, white trouser pants that were fashionable two seasons ago, slightly scuffed camel-colored round-toe pumps... She didn't get it.

What did Sasuke see in a worthless thing like her?

"How is London? What brings you to Tokyo? Sasuke would be so happy to see you-"

"Hinata-dear," Sakura snapped, annoyed by the sweetness in Hinata's voice. "Tell me... do you ever feel guilty for being with somebody who is obviously out of your league?"

Hinata felt her blood run cold and nervously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I-I'm sorry... I-I don't understand what you're trying to say..."

"Let's cut the crap, shall we? Quite frankly, this thing you think you have with Sasuke- it's not going to work out," she remarked cruelly, as she picked up her Burberry clutch and rose to leave. She wouldn't dare make a spectacle in front of her beloved, and she so hated seeing a grown woman cry.

"Wh-why..." Hinata muttered, as numbness seeped into the rest of her body.

Sakura straightened out the satin ribbon tie of her crimson Yohji Yamamoto blouse and smiled victoriously as she noticed her rival's current state. "I know what's best for him, and sweetie, trust me," she replied, as she proceeded to walk towards the exit. Before pushing her way through the door, she turned around; and Hinata could only stare at a pair of perfectly painted ruby lips as Sakura mouthed out the words,

You're not it.

Despite the way she appears in this fic, I do like post-timeskip Sakura. At any rate, I'm still muddling through this story and what I think I can do with it, so I hope you'll bear with me.

Thank you for reading.