Title: Defense
Author: desolate butterfly
Genre: gen
Pairing: SasuSaku
Rating: PG
Summary: A target insults Sakura. It turns out to be a very bad move.

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"Little pink-haired slut."

Sakura's grip tightened on her kunai, but before she could jab it in her sneering opponent's face, Sasuke was already there, kicking the man a good ten feet away, then pinning him to the forest floor with shuriken through his sleeves.

A bit relieved, Sakura turned to Sasuke to thank him, but her smile slipped a little as Sasuke drove an elbow into the downed man's chest, causing him to cough up blood.

"Um…Sasuke-kun?"

There was a wet smack of Sasuke's fist against flesh, and she cringed and took a step towards him, palms outstretched.

"Sasuke-kun!"

"You got the other target?" Naruto yelled as he landed on a tree branch beside Sakura. He glanced down at Sasuke, who was now kicking the unconscious ninja in the groin and shuddered slightly. "Oi, Sasuke," he called, "leave something for the hunter-nins to do, would you? Whatever that guy did to piss you off, I'm sure he's very sorry."

Sasuke gave one last brutal kick, then stalked away quickly, ignoring Naruto's confused look.

As the other two scrambled to keep up, Sakura darted along-side the swift-moving Uchiha and placed a hesitant hand on his sleeve.

"Thanks," she whispered.

The look Sasuke gave her was stony and blank. "The target was weak," he snorted derisively. "I hate weak people. That's all."

"Whatever you say," Sakura said with a shrug.

But the smile stayed on her face for the rest of the day.

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fin.

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