Title: Rainy Day Cliches
Pairings: Sasuke x Sakura; with hints of Shikamaru x Ino, Neji x Tenten and Naruto x Hinata
Warnings: OOC, TWT, and an odd premise which may or may not be slightly!crackish. HAHA. You'll see.
Summary: She smiled mischievously, her long lashes dripping with rainwater. "Every girl wants her upside-down kiss in the rain, Sasuke-kun."

Dedication: All the ever so lovely reviewers of Three Kisses. Here's to Sasuke x Sakura. And a special shout to Epiff Annie for being my first reviewer; and zOMG for all of your wonderful SasuSaku. Makes me giggle every time. :D

Notes: This came as a result of organizing my manga, and watching a bit of Spiderman. And some form of sugared!crack. Enjoy! 8D

Also, I love Rock Lee. He's such a sweetie.

Disclaimer:Naruto, Spiderman, and the quotes from the 2001 movie edition of the latter, do not belong to me. They all belong to their respective creators. No matter how much I cry.

Haruno Sakura—Konoha kunoichi, apprentice to the Godaime Hokage, accomplished medic-nin, and all-around sweetheart—had a secret.

Not a big secret, just one that would be a bit surprising, even to those who knew her best.

It wasn't something as scandalous as a child from wedlock, or as savory as a secret sexual fetish. She didn't have any extra toes, and she hadn't been born male. No, it was a rather…ordinary secret, all things considered.

Haruno Sakura…was addicted to comic books.

As the medic-nin perused the graphic novel shelves at one of Konoha's three bookstores, she idly wondered where it started, this odd obsession.

When she was younger, comic books filled the empty spaces between training and studying. Sakura was a smart girl. Things like calculating the effectiveness of shuriken under unstable conditions, or deciphering encoded messages using passkeys, came easily to her. As for the more physical aspects of being a Konoha shinobi, well—and Sakura blushed with shame when she thought about it now—it didn't really begin to mean everything to her until he left.

Once again—as she usually did when it came to that particular subject—her mind drifted from her original intentions, and followed a whole new train of thought.

Uchiha Sasuke.

Everything, Sakura mused, seemed to lead back to him.

The enigmatic subject of her childhood fantasies was no less handsome at the age of twenty than he had been at twelve. Despite his previous defection from Konoha—and his initial resentment after his capture by an ANBU team—he still garnered quite a large following.

The Official Uchiha Sasuke Fanclub had reached an estimated 80 members, and the numbers hadn't shown any signs of decreasing.

And, Sakura thought a little bitterly, why would they?

Despite having spent a little over two years under the pasty thumb of Orochimaru, Sasuke was still devastatingly handsome. His face was still composed of the same perfect arrangement of symmetrical features. His body had grown leaner, but harder, no doubt thanks to his constant training.

"Damn him," she muttered angrily, as she searched the shelf for her drug of choice. "After skipping off to join the Sound Four, and staying in that damned village for so long with a snake-obsessed pedophile and a homosexual sadist, the least he could do was come back ugly enough for me to forget about him. But no, he can't even do that for me…"

She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she failed to notice the footsteps of one of Konoha's top ANBU interrogators approaching her from behind.

That is, until she felt the tap on her shoulder.

"You know, talking to yourself is one of the first signs of mental instability, Forehead. Maybe you ought to get that checked out…"

Sakura barely suppressed a growl.

"Can it, Ino-pig."

The blonde sniffed delicately, and leaned against the adjacent shelf.

"Still hooked on those? I thought you would have given them up by now."

"It's Spiderman, Ino-pig. They re-released one of my favorite issues in color." Green eyes flitted over every visible inch of the book shelf, and Ino smiled softly. Sakura worked herself too hard. If these comic books were the only outlet she had, then so be it. Her clear blue eyes joined in the search, before her hands pulled a booklet out from an almost unnoticeable nook in the corner of the shelf.

"Here you go, Forehead. Enjoy."

Sakura squealed in delight and hugged Ino tightly.

"Thanks, Ino-pig!"

She let go and smiled brilliantly at her ex-ex-best-friend.

"By the way, what brought you here? No offense, but the bookstore's never been your number one place to see and be seen."

Ino's eyes only softened further when she thought of her reason for coming.

"I'm getting Shikamaru a book on Go strategies."

Sakura laughed.

"What for? So he can correct it? There's no room in his head for any more tactics."

"Yeah, well, there's always room for surprises where he's concerned." The blonde turned to leave, but caught one last look at the Spiderman comic that Sakura was clutching to her chest.

"So I guess you've rented the movie, huh?"

Sakura's eyes widened and her jaw went slack. When she spoke, it was in a breathy, unconsciously sensual voice that would have made any red-blooded man faint—or at least pop a blood vessel.

"What movie?"

"The adaptation of Spiderman the Americans made a few months back. I'm renting it tonight." Ino feigned a look of shock. "You didn't know?"

Before the blonde could get any other words out, Sakura was clutching her by the lapels of her periwinkle coat.

"Details. Now."

Ino shrugged her off, a look of amusement on her pretty face. Then, she smiled.

"Hinata, Tenten and I are watching it. The actor who's playing…what's his name? Petey? Pablo?"

"Peter, Ino. His name is Peter Parker, and he's—"

Ino cut her off before she could go into full autobiographical mode.

"Yeah, yeah. The point is, he's supposed to be a major cutie, and you should come. If only to explain what's going on because you know how we usually do these things. Tenten starts going on about the weapons, and Hinata can't get past the emotional overkills, and I'm…"

Sakura rolled her eyes.

"Anyway," she winked impishly, "we haven't had a girl's night in quite some time…"

Sakura mentally ran through her schedule. Nothing for tonight, and she had the next two days off…

"You know my answer, Ino. Why do you even pretend?"

"All right, then! This is gonna be fun! Tonight. Eight. My place. Bring the sake."

Ino was halfway to the Games section of the bookstore before Sakura's voice stopped her.

"Wait, Ino-pig! What about Shikamaru? What's he supposed to do?"

Her best friend smirked.

"Oh, him? He and the other big, bad male jounin are going out to a bar tonight."

Sakura snickered.

"Doesn't he find that…troublesome?"

"Not as troublesome as what would happen to him if he refused."

"Right. See you tonight!"

"Bye, Forehead!"

As Sakura ran through the list of things she'd need for movie night, she smiled slightly at the thought of her four best, female friends. With Hinata's teaching duties, Tenten's ANBU missions, Ino's T&I lessons and Sakura's own medic-nin duties, it was nearly impossible to find a weekend when they were all free.

It really had been too long since they'd had a girl's night out.

Smiling brilliantly at the prospect of "girl talk," Sakura thought about her current dilemma.

How many bottles of sake should she buy?

She didn't want to get too much. Tenten and Ino, despite being two of the toughest and most ruthless kunoichi in Konoha were living, breathing incarnations of the adage "waste not, want not." Her eyes filled with mirth at the memory of what Ino had said the last time they'd all gone to a bar together.

Drink up, Sakura-chan! There are sober people in Wind Country, so we can't waste a drop of the good stuff! Let's drink to their name…

Sakura—who'd been gifted with a high tolerance level and a mentor she could test her limits with—could vaguely remember helping them all home.

Tenten, who was slightly better than Ino at holding her liquor, had been giddy, and giggled every time a man with brown hair walked past their table. It was amusing to see the usually reserved weapons-specialist act like a schoolgirl in love. Sakura made a mental note to ask her how that little romance was going tonight.

Hinata, sweet innocent Hinata, had surprised them. She didn't have Sakura's tolerance, or— thankfully— Ino and Tenten's enthusiasm for alcohol, but she didn't lose herself after the first sip. She'd later explained that the Hyuuga were expected to act with decorum in every situation, and that she'd been drinking sake at formal occasions since she was eight years old.

So, considering all of their individual drinking styles, Sakura decided she'd bring seven bottles. That'd be just enough to get them to the point of "comfortably buzzed," and not push them into the realm of "pissed drunk."

With a last look at the comic book on her nightstand, Sakura grabbed her overnight bag, shut the lights, and left her home.

"How's it going with..."

He paused, as though he thought better of continuing the sentence.

"Never mind. It's none of my business."

She looked down at her shoes, clearly avoiding the intensity of his gaze.

"It's not? Why so interested?"

"I'm not."

"You're not?"

"Why would I be?"

"I don't know. Why would you be?"

"Oh! I can't stand it! Why don't they just kiss each other already?"

Sakura shot a venomous glance at Ino.

"Shut up, Ino-pig! It'll happen when it happens!"

Beside them, Hinata and Tenten were looking with rapt attention at the couple on the screen.

Sake bottles littered the floor around them, and just as Sakura thought, they were all feeling warm and only slightly tipsy. Popcorn had run out a long time ago, and now the girls had taken to opening packets of chocolate-covered, almond-encrusted Pocky.

A long, thorough moan of appreciation broke through the tension-induced silence and three heads turned to face Tenten with varying degrees of amusement.

Ino smirked.

"Tastes almost as good as Neji-kun, huh?"

"Yeah—wait, what?"

Her pale skin turned a pretty shade of pink at the implication.

"What makes you think I have any idea what Neji tastes like? He and I are friends, nothing more." With a firm nod of her head, she turned away from their prying eyes, and returned her attention to the screen.

"Really, Tenten-chan?"

This time, Hinata was the one who spoke, a smirk that was eerily reminiscent of her cousin gracing her fine features.

"Then, what are all those noises I hear when I walk by the do—"

Apparently, the alcohol had affected the normally, mild-mannered Hyuuga heiress a little more than they'd thought. Tenten almost glared at her, but then thought better of it and decided to turn the tables on her instead.

"How are things with you and Naruto? Hm? Do tell, Hinata-chan."

At the mention of her newly-acquired, hyperactive boyfriend, all the alcohol-induced bravado seeped out of the shy girl, and she did the tomato impression she was so famous for.

"We're doing just fine. Though I do wish he'd hurry up and kiss me already. It's not as though I'd break or anything…" The last portion of her statement wasn't meant to be heard by the other girls, but Murphy's Law won out.

"Getting a little frustrated there, Hinata-chan?" By now, Sakura had already paused the video.

Her friend only blushed in response.

Surprisingly enough, it was Ino who decided to stop her torture.

"All right, guys! Let's save all that for after the movie. I want my romance, damn it!"

Sakura pushed play, and they settled back to watch.

"You have a knack for getting in trouble."

She smiled.

"You have a knack for saving my life. I think I have a superhero stalker."

"I was in the neighborhood…"

It was a moment Shikamaru would have relished, had he been there to experience it. All four women watched with bated breath as Mary Jane slowly, painstakingly lowered Spiderman's mask…

And kissed him.

It was definitely a kiss for the ages, though a part of Sakura wondered if all the blood rushing down to his head wasn't hurting him, seeing as how he was hanging upside down.

She decided she didn't much care. That kiss was hot.

Ino was mentally calculating the chances of Shikamaru getting off his lazy ass and doing something like that for their upcoming three-year anniversary…

She slumped in her seat, before perking up.

She could probably get him to at least wear the spandex…

Tenten's mind was somewhere between mush and goop. The weapons mistress didn't often get a chance to show her feminine side, so she relished times like this.

Now, where did Neji say he was going to be tonight?

Meanwhile, Hinata was taking notes. Surely she and Naruto could improvise…

After all of their respective moments of silence were through, the ensuing squeals were heard all through the neighborhood.

Across town, the male members of the Rookie Nine, Hyuuga Neji and Rock Lee winced as they heard the echoes of four piercing squeals.

Inuzuka Kiba was covering his sensitive ears with both hands.

"Oi…are they women, or banshees?"


"What are they doing, anyway?"

Rock Lee, who had regained his customary cheerfulness, answered Chouji's muffled query.

"They are fanning their flames of youth by watching an action-packed cinematic adventure! YOSH!"

He followed this proclamation up with Nice Gai! pose #67, which momentarily blinded all of the bar's patrons.

"Geez, Lee. Could you put that away? You're scaring all the girls!" Kiba flashed a roguish grin at a table of chunin kunoichi, and promptly disproved his own accusation when they fairly swooned in response.

Uchiha Sasuke withheld a snort at his antics.

In fact, the Uchiha survivor tried to remember how Naruto had convinced him to join them in this night of "good, old-fashioned guy talk". Next to him, he could see that Shikamaru, Neji and Shino were wondering the same thing.

"This is stupid; I'm going home."

"Sasuke-teme! You can't leave!"

"Watch me, dobe."

"Don't call me that!"

"Then, stop acting like one."

Their would-be, gunslinger moment was interrupted by a sudden Chouji's next question.

"What movie?"

Shikamaru sighed before answering.


"Oh, that guy? Please, I could do so much better."

"Shut up, Naruto."

Shino adjusted his glasses.

"They got most of the major facts right."

His former teammate smirked.

"Figures you'd be into a movie about bugs."

"While his youthfulness is apparent in his red and blue suit, perhaps the producers should have dressed him a shade of green? Like Gai-sensei and I! We're hip."

Only Neji, Sasuke and Shikamaru refrained from participating in the conversation.

"What's it about anyway?"

All eyes stared at Chouji.

"You've never seen it?"

"Well, see, it's about this spider—"

"No! Tell him about his friend first, Harry Something—"

"His last name's Osbourne! Can't you remember anything?"

"Oh, yeah! Anyway, there's this spider—"

"Why don't we just rent it and watch it? It's too troublesome to explain."

Naruto smiled widely, his eyes filled with energy.

"And that's why they call you a genius. Now, whose house?"

Naruto is the cutest freeloader EVAR.


Anyway, alerts seem to be back. That makes me happy.

You know what else does?

I bet you do.

So pwease, select the review option from the dropdown, and make an author happy?

TBC... ;)