A/C Hiya! It's good to be back! Yeah… hehe… I kinda said that the chapter would come in sooner, but it didn't. Sorry, sorry, SORRY!!
I was, for a while, obsessed with the Tomoyo and Eriol paring.
Enough of that. Ladies and gentlemen, please focus your attention on the chapter before you!
Read 'n Enjoy!!
Sasuke had a problem. A big one.
As if life wasn't confusing enough! Now he had to worry about some silly socializing error he had made! And it wasn't even his fault! Okay… maybe he did cause a little part of it. But, but, Naruto said something mean to him!
Okay, now he was being pathetic.
There was a solution to this, and he knew it. It was to apologize. All he had to do was to say 'sorry' and he would get back to his normal life.
It wasn't that easy. Saying that one simple word could ruin his reputation, bruise his ego, and damage his pride.
Sasuke stared up at the blue sky and let his mind occupy him.
Boy, oh boy, what is he to do?
Sakura stood next to a tall oak tree, panting. She's been running for the past 20 min. and now she's completely lost.
So why has she been running? Simple. She was humiliated. She wanted to get away from Sasuke.
Stupid, stupid, STUPID! She thought over and over again, Ugggh! All I wanted was my hair color to return back and now I've freaked out over something stupid! I bet Sasuke-kun is wondering why I'd ran off! And the way I screamed, you would've thought that I was a freaky goody-goody mom!
At this, Sakura instantly blushed and covered her cheeks. Oh, the humiliation! She was so mortified! It wasn't like Sasuke-kun and Naruto didn't argue before, they did. It was just, just- Nevermind.
Sakura shook her head again. No. She had a right to be mad. They were arguing over something stupid. It was her duty to stop them. Yeah. Right. She was absolutely correct.
Even so, then why was she still blushing?
Sakura faced the tree, grabbed its trunk, and started banging her head repeatedly on the tree. When she finally did stop, she felt dizzy and couldn't think straight.
Great. She thought flatly, that helped a lot! Now, not only do I have blue hair, but I also have a giant bruise on my forehead!
Sakura froze. She instantly grabbed a kunai out of her holster and sprung into a taijustsu position.
There it was again! Her eyes scanned her surroundings until they spotted a berry bush. The tops of the bush were moving.
Sakura quickly threw her kunai at the bush. It landed directly in the middle. Sakura put her arms in front of her, bracing herself for what was going to come out.
She held her breath as she waited for the expected enemy to pop out and surprise her. Oh no, he wasn't gonna surprise her at all! She waited some more.
That's weird. Why wasn't the 'enemy' attacking her? Sakura cautiously took a few steps closer to the bush. She peered over the head of the bush.
What she saw nearly made her heart break in half. There, as innocent as ever, was a small bear cub. Her eyes widened when she saw the small trail of blood on the cubs forehead.
"You poor thing…" Sakura murmured, reaching to wipe away the blood, "I can't believe I was stupid enough to do this to you."
The cub growled as Sakura's hand neared its forehead. Without warning, the cub's head arched up and bit her finger.
"MMMMFFFF!" Sakura bit back a cry as she stuck her finger in her mouth, sucking on the throbbing wound. This helped, but not much.
Sakura glared at the cub. He was glaring back at her, growling too. How could she have thought that the cub was innocent?!
The cub pounced on Sakura and she –on reflex- threw him off.
The cub slammed into the tree trunk and fell on the ground.
Oh great. I think I threw him off with a little too much force.
Just as she was about to try and heal the cub, Sakura felt a presence behind her. It wasn't a familiar one. It was one that sent off a monstrous aura. This made her blood chill.
Slowly, just ever so slowly, she turned her head to meet …
Naruto kicked a random stone. It rolled away from him and then settled down when it bumped into a tree.
Naruto sighed. This was boring. He threw a meaningful look at Sasuke, who didn't seem to notice it at all. –either that, or he was pretending to not notice-
What was Sakura doing that was taking her so long?
"Kakashi-sensei, can we go look for the mushroom now?"
Kakashi giggled. He made no indication that he had heard Naruto at all.
"Hmm?" Kakashi looked up. "What did you say, Naruto?"
"Can we go now?"
Kakashi blinked. "What for?"
Sasuke gave Kakashi a look and sighed.
Naruto stomped his feet. When will Kakashi ever listen?!
"To get the mushroom!" He had to strain himself from saying 'duh'.
Kakashi blinked again. "Fine. Sasuke, you go look for Sakura and look for the mushroom together with her. Naruto, you're coming with me."
"What?!" Naruto's eyebrows practically smashed themselves together. "Why does Sasuke-teme get to go with Sakura-chan?"
Sasuke's head shot up. So, Naruto didn't think that he was good enough to go with Sakura?
"What's wrong with me going with Sakura?" Sasuke asked coolly, narrowing his eyes a bit.
Naruto grinned like a Cheshire cat. "A lot. Besides," Naruto put his arms behind his head casually, -Sasuke narrowed his eyes even more-, "for all we know, you might touch and fondle Sakura-chan."
"WHAT?" Him? Touch and fondle Sakura? He angrily shook his head. But, that wouldn't be too bad of a thought… NO! Sasuke shook his head again. He would not let the perverted images enter his mind.
Naruto almost chuckled out loud when he saw Sasuke blush and shake his head. Naruto turned around and proceeded to walk to Kakashi.
"Oi!" Naruto called to Sasuke, "Hurry up and find Sakura-chan before something happens to her!"
Sasuke scowled at Naruto in annoyance and darted into the lush green forest.
Sakura held back a scream when she turned around. Standing behind her, was the largest grizzly bear she'd have ever seen!
Under any other circumstances, Sakura probably could've jumped away from the grizzly, but standing this close to it, it towered a good six feet over her. Her legs seemed to have forgotten how to move.
When the female grizzly brought its paw down to strike Sakura, her legs finally seemed to remember how to move. She back flipped, bounced off the tree, and landed behind the grizzly.
Furious at letting Sakura escape, the grizzly lunged at her, preparing to knock Sakura down.
I really don't want to harm the mother… the cub might end up without a parent.
Seeing that the grizzly was intent on killing her, Sakura had no choice. She was prepared to do a ninjutsu to make the grizzly fall asleep, but the female wouldn't stop trying to attack her!
Defeated, Sakura threw a kunai at the mother hoping that once hit, the female would fall to the ground. Thus, Sakura would be able to make the grizzly fall asleep.
The kunai met its target, but instead of falling down, the grizzly howled in pain. Once more, the grizzly lunged at Sakura, bringing a piece of bark towards her. Sakura quickly evaded the deathly blow by jumping in the air.
Unfortunately for her, the grizzly's arm caught her and threw her towards the ground. Shit! Sakura twisted easily in midair, so she would now land on her hands and feet instead of on her back. This theory was great, if she didn't crash into the tree.
Sakura landed on her stomach. Her left ankle hurt so much that it was all she could do to stop from crying. Tilting her head, she glanced back at her ankle.
"Ugggh." Sakura groaned. Her ankle was swollen and red. It looked about twice its original size.
Slowly, she bent her right leg so she could shift her weight onto her knee. But the grizzly wouldn't let her do it.
The grizzly walloped again, only this time, she met her target.
Sakura yelped when she felt the searing pain on fore arm. The pain was so much that it had caused her to shift her weight on her sprained ankle. Sakura fell backwards and leaned on the tree for support.
She let out a small moan when she massaged the sore ankle.
Feeling as if all the hope had drained out of her, she lifted her slashed forearm over her head and waited for the final blow to come.
Wait as she might, the blow never came.
Sakura cracked open an eyelid and peeked out. The first sight that greeted her was the female grizzly. She was lying on her back and she seemed to be unconscious.
Sakura widened her eyes. How could the grizzly be unconscious?
She certainly didn't remember hitting it. So then what could…
Sakura slowly turned her gaze to the figure that was beside the unconscious bear.
Sakura felt her mouth drop open.
The raven-haired boy turned around slowly. Sakura saw that his sharingan was activated. The blood red pupils seemed to show a little bit of worry, pain, and regretfulness. Sasuke closed his eyes. When he opened them, they had turned back to his normal onyx orbs.
"Sakura," Sasuke said in a quiet voice. He seemed to be afraid or reluctant to come closer to her. "I'm… I-," Sasuke shook his head and said in a clearer voice, "Let's go. Kakashi wanted us to go look for the mushroom."
His eyes traveled down her body. Sakura felt a shiver down her spine. She repeatedly told herself that Sasuke was just looking for injuries and that there was no meaning behind it.
No meaning at all… Sasuke would never show any emotion towards me. I'm just his teammate. Nothing more.
It didn't work.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Sasuke spoke.
"Sakura, what happen to your arm and ankle?"
Sakura looked down. She could see why Sasuke looked kinda startled. Her forearm was a bloody mess. Along her arm, there were bruises and minor cuts here and there. Her ankle was angry, red and still swollen.
"Uhh… I didn't want to hurt the mother so I tired to put her to sleep and yeah…"
Sasuke's eyes flashed with anger for a moment.
"No, but it wasn't her fault! The mom thought that her child had been killed! That's why she tried to kill me." Sakura hurriedly explained.
Sasuke eyed her once more and said gruffly, "Can you walk?"
Not wanting to seem like a helpless girl, Sakura stood taller and tried to reply in a calm –or at least she tried to- voice.
"Yeah, I'm sure I can."
Sasuke walked passed her and was heading toward the area that was fertile.
Sakura wanted to tell him to wait for her but decided against it. He probably wouldn't anyways.She shifted her weight on her bad ankle and tried to step forward. That was completely disastrous.
Sakura fell forward and desperately tried to grab something. Anything.
Well, too bad for her, but she had grabbed the stoic Uchiha.
Sasuke whirled around, surprised, when he felt Sakura grab onto him. He saw a flash of light blue, and the next second, he was leaning against a tree, with Sakura draped on him.
He instantly put his arm on Sakura's waist to steady them. When everything had calmed down, Sasuke suddenly registered the fact that Sakura's soft curves were pressed against him. He also realized that his arm was pulling her even closer to him, embracing her.
Sakura, on the other hand, did not no so much about the fact that she was in Sasuke's arms, but she did know that the searing pain in her left ankle was unbearable.
"Owww…" Sakura moaned. She bent down to rub her sore ankle, but lost her balance. To add to her agony, Sasuke was brought down with her.
Into the leaves they went. The soil and rocks flew into the air as they landed.
To hoist himself up, Sasuke put both arms on either side of Sakura.
"Sakura," Sasuke groaned, looking down, "you-!"
He opened his eyes. Big mistake.
He stared right down her face, taking in every single detail of it.
Sakura's hair, though blue, was framed around her face. Her face was flushed –probably because of the pain- and she was panting. The sudden rush of color made her green eyes seem brighter and even greener. Captivating. That was the single word that he could say to describe them.
His eyes trailed down to her lips. Oh god. It was sitting right there, a few centimeters below his own, looking so damn kissable.
"Uh, Sasuke-kun? Could you get off me?"
Her voice suddenly broke him out of his trance.
"Huh? Oh. Right."
Sasuke instantly jumped off of Sakura. He tried to avoid her gaze.
Look at anything but her eyes. Look at anything but her eyes. He kept telling himself.
He shifted his gaze to the plant beside Sakura.
"Hn?" Sasuke tried to concentrate on the plant.
Don't look at her eyes.
"Y-yeah, I'm sorry that I made you fall on me."
"Uh-huh." Sasuke gave her a slight nod and continued to stare intensely at the plant. The plant was quite pretty actually. It was pink and green. Like her.
"U-um," Sakura looked down. "I really didn't mean it." She paused, waiting for Sasuke to say something.
She looked up.
Sasuke was staring down at the ground hard. Very. His eyebrows were scrunched together in concentration. Sakura sighed. She knew it. Sasuke was mad at her.
"Look. I know tha-"
"Sakura." Sasuke knelt down and picked up the flower. He held it out for Sakura to see.
Huh? Was Sasuke going to give her the flower? Was this some weird way Sasuke was making up with her?
"I-it's pretty." Sakura didn't know what else to say. Should she reach out and take it? Should she grace him with a smile and say 'thank you'? She looked up at Sasuke, hoping that he would give it to her.
Sasuke was baffled. Why was Sakura staring at him like that? He had expected her eyes to light up in recognition and thank him for finding the flower that they were looking for.
"Sakura. This is the flower we were looking for. See?" Sasuke brought the flower closer to her face.
"Huh?" Sakura broke out of her blushing and stuttering trance and stared at the flower. Sasuke was right. The flower was a perfect shade of light pink with little specks of dark pink. Yup. That was the flower all right.
So Sasuke wasn't planning on making up. He just wanted to show her that he found the flower. Suddenly, Sakura didn't feel as happy as before. She actually felt kind of… disappointed.
"Oh. Right." Sakura said flatly. She grunted at her attempt to get off of the ground, but failed.
"Here." Sasuke said. He stretched out his hand so Sakura could grab it and get up.
She didn't. Instead, her gaze hardened and replied back in a curt manner.
"I'm fine. I can manage." Sakura used all the strength she could muster to get herself of the ground.
She staggered a little bit and leaned against the tree.
"Do you need any help to get back to where Kakashi and Naruto are?"
Sakura avoided his gaze again. "I'm fine."
Whoa! When did Sakura get so… touchy? As he watched Sakura's retreating figure, Sasuke couldn't help but wonder what he did wrong this time.
A/C So… how was this chapter? Did you like it? Seems like Sasuke has another problem now! Well, see ya in the next chapter!