Date: December 7th, 2006.
Pairing: SasuSaku. Implied NejiTen. Even more implied NaruHina.
Author's notes: I'm so sorry! I was supposed to upload this three days ago (when I got back home from my vacations), but I was getting ready for school and stuff. But here it is, the last part to this fic with some Neji-looove, a paranoid Sasuke, and a Sakura like we all know here to be: pure genius. I hope you've enjoyed the story as much as I did when writing it. Thank you very much for your comments. (Do remember to review for this last chapter, though:D) And, lastly, thank you for your time!! Hopefully, I'll be seeing you guys soon.
Standard disclaimer applies.
by hikari yuuko
PART III: One Last Bit of Jealousy
He knocked on her door once, twice, and still the door was unanswered. A third time and he thought that if he had to do it again he would just leave. He was about to go when the door was opened hastily by a rather flustered Sakura. She'd seemingly rushed down the stairs to get the door.
"Sa…suke? Why are you here?" At his irritated stare she fumbled for words, cheeks pink with embarrassment. "I mean! Welcome! Um…"
"Today is Saturday," he told her plainly with an annoyed scowl on his handsome face, still standing outside her doorstep with his arms crossed over his chest.
Every Saturday evening they'd have tea or coffee at each other's house and talk about their week. It had been part of their routine, much like going to the ramen shop every week with Naruto or him going to pick her up at the hospital when she had night shifts. They hadn't missed one Saturday in almost three years.
"Oh! Yes, I'm so sorry! I forgot to call you. I've been so busy at the hospital that it must have slipped my mind."
It didn't go unnoticed to his sharp, sharp eyes that she was dressed up in one of her finest blouses, the wine red one he secretly liked, a dark skirt, and her pretty shoes that she'd bought on her last trip to the shopping district with Ino three weeks ago. In other words, she was in this fancy get-up she rarely wore, since she was always at the hospital or training. And her satin pink hair had been brushed down and her lips were shining slightly, too.
"Hn," he grunted. "To the point, Sakura?"
"Well, I'm expected at the Hyuuga compound at five." She said, taking a quick look at the alarm clock on the little table in the entrance hall, it said four forty-five in square, red digital numbers. "So I need to go now," she explained. Sakura paused and added as an afterthought, "Actually, would you mind going there with me? And later we could have a cup of coffee at that shop nearby, would that be alright?"
"Hn." Hyuuga, huh… Now she was going to see the bird-boy? Couldn't she like, just have girl friends? He frowned despite himself; it was almost a habit now. "Whatever."
"Perfect!" she cheered. "Now just let me get my purse and we can go, alright?"
And then she went inside her house, leaving the black-haired shinobi all by himself to think. That wasn't necessarily a good thing.
His mind strayed to Sakura's fancy clothes and her visit to the Hyuuga… She was going there to see Neji, right? But why would she dress up for Neji? She never dressed up for him… Not like he wanted to, because he definitely didn't want her to. That'd be, in Nara's words, too troublesome. But… why? Perhaps she… No, he narrowed his dark eyes, that couldn't be…
Maybe she liked Neji. Maybe she liked Neji and that was why she was going to visit his house in those girly clothes.
It was perfectly reasonable if she did like Neji, though. Why would she not like him? After all, he came from a family with a special blood limit, recognized as the second most powerful clan in the village after his own (like hell he'd admit his family was below his), and he was sure to ascend in status within his family due to his improvements. Sasuke respected Neji as a fellow ninja and acknowledged his strength and ability as ANBU. And Hyuuga also had a small fan club of his own so that meant he must have good-looks for female standards too.
So he was well-known, rich, good-looking, and a superb ninja. Besides, as far as Sasuke could tell from looking at a few of their encounters, he was on friendly terms with Sakura.
Befriending that old nurse at the reception desk had turned out to be useful after all. So, after receiving the usual call, Sasuke had come to pick Sakura up because she'd stayed up late again. Sakura had smiled weakly at him, having almost dozed off on her desk while immersing herself in those thick medicine books that dominated her small office.
They were about to leave when one of the younger nurses had rushed to them, claiming that there was a patient who'd just arrived with a wound and was waiting for her in the first exam room. Sasuke had frowned, but nonetheless he followed Sakura to said room, her bags on his shoulder. They opened the room only to find none other but Hyuuga Neji quietly glaring at the painting of a bird on the wall.
"Neji-san!" Sakura hurried to his side and took hold of his injured arm, instantly beginning to examine the damage. "How did this happen?"
"We were ambushed on our way home," the Hyuuga explained as he moved so she had a better view of his arm, "but we took care of them."
"Rain-nins?" Sasuke wondered, passing through the door and leaning against the wall of the examination room.
"Correct," Neji affirmed as Sakura began cleaning the gash on his arm.
"How's Tenten-san and Lee-san?" Sakura asked, concern on her words as she focused on her task.
A smile fleetingly crossed the usually stoic ANBU. "Tenten went home to rest as she didn't sustain any major injuries." Then the smirk on his face was clear as he told her, "Lee is with Gai-sensei, training."
Sakura chuckled as she imagined the green-suited ninja all battered up and still somehow training. "Typical Lee-san," she admitted. Now she was dressing the wound with clean gauze after applying little chakra to stop the blood flow. "Anyhow, tell them both to stop by tomorrow for the usual check-up. You too should get a full one too, but I'll let you off with this for now. You need some rest first."
Neji nodded as he checked out the mobility of his newly bandaged arm. "Thanks, Sakura."
"You're welcome," she nodded back. "Ah, but I still owe you a cup of coffee."
"That was nothing." Neji shrugged. "Besides, you've been busy. We'll get that coffee some other time."
Sasuke, who'd been watching them deep in conversation, narrowed his eyes. Just what the hell had that last bit been about!?
But Neji had a woman! …Didn't he? That Tenten girl that always followed him around, the weapon mistress on his team; wasn't she his girl? It had seemed so to him… Oh, Neji wouldn't try to two-time Sakura, right? He'd rip his guts if the bastard dared to even hurt his teammate. He had no right!
Sasuke sighed deeply. Maybe he was just imagining things… Maybe…
He looked up at her, eyes questioning and reproving, as she came outside and locked the door to her apartment. "Do you like him?" he blurted. It was one of the few times that words had slipped out from the Uchiha's mouth without his permission. And he didn't care.
It would be perfectly reasonable if she liked Neji. But it still didn't mean he had to like the idea.
"What?" she asked, looking puzzled as she turned around from the door.
Sasuke was dead serious; his chipped onyx eyes were unwaveringly fixed on hers. "I said, do you like him, Sakura?"
"Like whom?" she looked at a complete loss. The pink-haired young woman glanced down at her wrist-watch. "Sasuke-kun, I don't know what you are trying to tell me, but Hinata-chan is waiting. Let's have this talk later, okay?"
Sasuke looked at her surprised. "Hinata?"
And then it dawned on him.
Hyuuga Hinata… Hyuuga Neji's younger cousin.
Sasuke felt a wave of relief wash over him, though seconds later he was feeling incredibly stupid. He was being paranoid for no reason. And, really, for no reason at all because Sakura could like whomever she wanted to for all he cared. That was not his business.
"Yes! She is planning this big, surprise party for Naruto's birthday. That's why I asked if you could come, maybe you can help us with some ideas," she explained, a happy smile on her, as Maito Gai would say, youthful face. "We could use some of your manly strength to carry things around, too," Sakura joked. With her power, manly strength was the last thing she lacked. "Come on, you already said you'd go!"
Sasuke sighed. He was going to get some grey hairs, for sure. Or a have stroke… Damn it.
"Let's go to the Hyuugas, then." He smirked at her and began walking, "But I'm not carrying anything around."
Sakura smiled to herself as she watched Sasuke walking slightly ahead with amused, twinkling green eyes. 'Heh. Gotcha, Sasuke-kun.'