Title: Bittersweet

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Sakura-centric. Team Seven, Ino/Sakura, Sasuke/Sakura.

Rating: PG.

Word Count: 449

Summary/Description: Three things that never happened to Haruno Sakura. (The moon is bright and cruel tonight.)

Warning/Spoilers: None.

A/N: For Monique27. :)

Disclaimer: Kishimoto's got the deeds to this train wreck.

1. Sakura frowns, the waves roaring in her ears. Sasuke and Naruto's shouts are dull in the foreground, and she can hear then scuffling on the sand. She looks at them and sighs. Figures that the only time they get the chance to come to the beach as a team, those two would be too busy fighting to notice... anything else.

She picks at the string bikini she wears, screwing her mouth to the side. She quite likes it, and thinks she looks nice, flat chest and wide hips be damned, but neither of the boys have deigned to look her way, much less compliment her. Not even Naruto.

Maybe they haven't gotten a good enough look...

She stands, adjusts her suit, and calls out,

"Naruto! Sasuke-kun!"

Naruto's hand is fisted in the Uchiha's hair, and Sasuke's foot is square in his rival's stomach, but they both turn to look at their team-mate.

"I'm going to take a little dip, okay?" Her hands are poised on her hips, and her hair is flung back. She wears her best seductive look, narrowing her sea green eyes into slits.

The boys blink at her.

"Okay," they say in unison, and Sasuke attempts to knee Naruto in the groin while the latter attempts to pull out a fistful of dark hair.

Sakura fumes.

2. "Winner: Haruno Sakura!" Hayate-sensei proclaims.

Sakura is heaving, drawing thick, laboured breaths that don't come as quickly as she'd like. Ino is flat on her stomach on the floor, trying to get up, but unable to do so. Blood smears her face; she seems broken. She looks just as flabbergasted as Sakura feels.

Naruto is screaming like a maniac from the balcony above, and Kakashi-sensei is nodding at her, wearing a pleased look. The happiness, the ebullience, the prideā€¦ they all bubble just beneath her skin. She knows that she should let them show, knows that she should feel something other than this, but...

She looks at Ino again, and doesn't know what to say.

She has won, but the victory feels somewhat hollow.

3. The moon is bright and cruel tonight.

"Thank you," Sasuke says, his voice flat and hollow. The hairs on the back of Sakura's neck raise, and Sasuke lifts his hand.

He doesn't think he's ever been more shocked when she grabs his hand before he can bring it down on the side of her neck. She turns around, and there are tears in her eyes.

"If you're so grateful," she whispers, voice raspy and broken, "show me."

The moon is cruel and bright tonight, illuminating all that he has never deigned to see before, and Sasuke is at a true loss for words.