A/N: so yeah...it's Sasuke's birthday; I thought I could upload my first -mainly- sasusaku oneshot...
'yenta' means matchmaker or gossip.
The one time traitor sighed, his hands burrowed deep into the pockets of his shorts. He looked a bit to his right, closing his dark eyes as he did so. He was annoyed.
Not really because he was surprised. Since the renewal of Team 7, (with the inclusion of one or two newer members) traditions had pretty much stayed the same. Outside missions, not much surprised him about his home anymore. Training was the same.
Sasuke always got to the bridge first, alone with his musings. It was so much better to be on his own in the sunlight, waiting for his teammates, than it was to lie awake on his bed, with only his memories as company. Peace was tenuous for the Uchiha.
Sakura would follow him, some half-hour later, perfectly punctual and embarrassedly smoothing her short hair as she saw him. She would call his name before joining him at the meeting place, chatting idly as she saw fit. He would smirk.
Naruto would jog up, several minutes late, cup of instant ramen in one hand, chopsticks in another as he waved. Sasuke was grateful for the ramen; it shut the dobe up for at least a few moments as he inhaled the stuff. After he'd tossed the cup, the idiot would doubtlessly provoke Sakura with an unintentional insult, to spend much time running away from her in circles.
Around this time, Sai would amble up, the unnatural smile on his face. He would acknowledge Sasuke lightly, before jumping up and sitting on the bridge railing, content to watch the show, occasionally tossing insults at the bickering two.
Then, at around lunch hour (no less than five hours late), Kakashi would poof up, waving a hand feebly, looking something between amused and shifty. Wonderful teacher, he was. Always prompt.
If the jounin was especially lazy or tardy, he would show up with the ANBU member, Yamato, dragging him. The other teacher would smile, the slightest hint of menace in his expression, as he explained that Kakashi wanted them to do group sparring. They were grateful; if it weren't for Yamato's loyalty to the team, there would be no one to drag Kakashi away from his hentai shops. (Naruto and Sasuke didn't go in there.)
It was a tradition; unconventional, maybe, but still. It was custom.
Then, one day, it changed.
Sasuke got there early, as usual, content to stare at the water flowing past the bridge in its cycle. He waited for Sakura to come, to talk his ear off. It was kind of nice, in its own annoying way, after all.
She was late; the Uchiha tried very hard not to stare at the empty path. The normal wanderings of his private mind eluded him. Where was she?
Twenty minutes later, a head of pink hair sprinted into view, quickly followed by her red, black, and beige outfit. Sasuke was instantly alert as she darted to the bridge. "Sakura, what—"
She panted heavily, glancing over her shoulder before throwing herself behind Sasuke. Her hands lingered on his shoulders; she hesitantly peaked out from behind his tall figure, whispering, "Are they still there?"
Sasuke didn't immediately grasp the situation, sharp as he was. He twisted his neck, trying to look Sakura in the eyes without 'revealing her top-secret hiding spot'. "What? Are who still there?"
Sakura stared up at him with wide eyes, and he felt himself tense. If someone was after her, they'd be met with some very sharp steel. Courtesy of one over-protective comrade.
She didn't answer him. Impatient, he turned and grabbed her by the shoulders. "Sakura! Who!" he demanded.
She paled. "The fans."
Even as she said the word, several distant shouts of "I love you, Sakura-chaan!" could be heard.
It was only the beginning.
Sasuke, himself being very popular, was more than accustomed to dodging various fans. His two-year absence had done nothing to change his levels of 'hotness' in the public eye. Not a morning passed when he wasn't forced to throw out at least twenty invitations to dinner…and lunch, and breakfast, and tea, and...well, practically every other possible social occasion that existed. One person had invited him to brunch.
It just came with being a ninja in Konoha; Konoha loved its military. Even their ex-missing-nin/traitors.
Even Naruto was accustomed to the fanbase. He got letters and valentines and flowers. He dealt with it well enough, too. He stored them all in a closet that was labeled "the people love me!" Sasuke just didn't have the heart (the time, actually; he was saving it for a rainy day) to tell him that his "people" were actually just Hyuuga Hinata.
Sakura, however, who had blossomed a bit later than others, was completely unused to the popularity. Worse still, from her public position as a medical ninja, even more civilians saw her daily than those that saw Sasuke. During the last months, Sakura's fame had skyrocketed. Every morning, they chased her to practice, quelled only by the foreboding presence of her teammates. Every evening, they followed her home, serenading her with self-made rhymes and songs.
Sasuke shook his head, thinking of the fanboys' newest antics. Honestly, his local fan-following had some decency. The girls who dogged him never would have faked illness so that he could give them a check-up. They certainly never would have jumped off the three-story hospital building holding signs, with the hopes that she would see them from her office and understand their infatuation.
Sasuke walked home—the constant attention was wearing his teammate down gradually. Every time she came to training, she was later; the bags under her eyes seemed to darken every morning. He didn't like it.
An idea occurred to him, and it was all he could do not to slap himself on the forehead. He should be walking her home! At least that would insure safe passage. Then again, his own fan club and hers might combine and the whole thing would be useless.
At least he would get to spend some time with her.
Wait, what was wrong with him? Spend time with Sakura? The annoying Sakura? No thanks; he'd rather walk home in silence.
But he had to do something about it; she couldn't keep coming to training late. If her fans kept keeping her awake, it could prove hazardous on missions. Or, as previously mentioned, their fan groups might combine and become an unstoppable force.
It had to stop. But how?
Sasuke looked up, and found his answer.
The answer was painted in large font, consuming most of the space of a tacky pink sign. It read:
"NEED HELP? CONTACT MS. YENTA! AND REMEMBER: NEED TO PLAN? MS. YENTA CAN!"
The Uchiha twitched once, before caving into his instincts. There was nothing about the billboard that should attract the attention of a well-established shinobi, but he sensed that this 'Ms. Yenta' might just have an idea. Besides, he was drawing a blank. He made his way toward the base of the sign.
The store looked like an abandoned teashop—it probably once was one, too, judging by the faded lettering in the window 'tea, coffee, soda.' Sasuke stared incredulously for a minute, wondering just why he even cared (and why he, a powerful shinobi, was seeking help from an abandoned drink stall). Taking a deep breath (inconspicuously), he stepped into the shop-turned-salon.
The interior was plush, decorated in varying shades of burgundy and cream; the very air of the room seemed tinted pink. Old-fashioned flame lanterns made the light flicker, casting deep shadows in the room's corners.
As he hesitated in the doorway, an old (yet lively) voice called out to him. "Ahh, a customer! Come in! Come in! You're letting all the cool air out."
Cool air? There was no 'cool air' in the entire stuffy room. Still, Sasuke let the door swing shut behind him, his nerves not liking the situation at all.
"Have a seat, dear." It took Sasuke some time to find the source of the voice—she looked rather like the cushions she sat on, situated in one of the room's more furnished corners. He bristled at the endearment, but still seated himself on what he thought was a firmer-looking chair.
"Now, what's your problem? Tell old Ms. Yenta." It was hard to tell the age of the woman, so wrapped in shawls and jewels as she was. Almost in contrast to the pink room, she garbed herself in shades of heliotrope and lilac. The slightest strand of light hair peeked out from under her wrapped headdress; she spoke strangely, like only whens she was inhaling.
Still, Sasuke thought something about that voice was familiar. He shook his head.
"My problem." Sasuke dully asked.
"Yes, dear, your problem." Ms. Yenta drummed heavily ringed fingers against the arm of her rose-colored recliner.
"I don't have a problem," Sasuke paused. "At least, none that you could help with."
"Then, dear," Ms. Yenta seemed a bit impatient, her voice growing a tad livelier, more youthful, "why did you come here to my shop?"
He debated a moment, on whether or not to hold back the snide comment that was begging to be released. No, this was a business venture. Caustic remarks could wait. "I don't know," he replied honestly. "I saw the sign and thought you could help."
The old woman seemed perplexed by his answer, before her eyes morphed into a knowing glint. "Ooohh, I see. You require my skills."
Sasuke's eyes narrowed, wary. He responded with deliberate slowness. "Yes. Is that a problem?"
The older woman jumped—no, leapt is more accurate—nimbly to her feet, gesturing madly with her hands. Sasuke forgot that she was a civilian for a moment and his fingers tapped his kunai pouch. "No! No problem, dear! I just don't see how someone like you should need my help in such an area!"
Obviously, she hated to lose clients. Something she said, however, caught Sasuke's attention. "Wait, what do you mean, 'in such an area'?" Suspicion burned in his onyx eyes.
Ms. Yenta blinked, seating herself once more. "Why, in the matchmaking sense, of course, dear." She ignored when Sasuke sputtered. "That is, after all, my trade! My very essence! My talent! Give me any woman in the world, and I can make her fall in love with a man! Give me any man in the world, and I can arrange it so that he trips headlong into the love of his life. There is no love affair too great for Ms. Yenta, oh no there is none!"
Sasuke calmed his coughing, managing to breathe again after choking on his spit. His voice was still scratchy, however, as he found the flaw in Ms. Yenta's rant. "You're not married, are you?"
She shot him a glare, checking herself so as not to lose another customer. "Well, sir, if you are so wise in the affairs of women, why are you here in my shop?"
Sasuke shrugged, having regained his calm. "Sakura."
Ms. Yenta's eyes lit up; he presented a challenge, perhaps. "Oh! See! So you do need my assistance! In that case, we can either force her to ackn—"
"No!" Sasuke snapped at her. He felt his eyes twitching, the familiar feel of the Sharingan aching to take over; he pinched the bridge of his nose, shutting his eyes. With more composure, he explained. "I don't need help…'wooing' Sakura. She's my teammate. I have the exact opposite problem." He went on to explain the entire situation regarding Sakura and her…devoted followers.
Ms. Yenta was, seemingly, intrigued. "Ah, I see, dear. So the woman you love is fair enough that she has more suitors than you wish. It all becomes clear to me now."
Sasuke wanted to shake the old woman, make her understand that, no, this was his teammate! He didn't care how many 'suitors' she had—it was not his problem!
Then again, he was here, asking for a solution, wasn't he? His subconscious—the annoying voice that spoke uncannily like Naruto—pestered him with the fact that he hadn't been so quick to deny the 'fair enough' part. Or the 'woman that you love'.
Sasuke shook his head against the twisted logic of the insane voice inside him and the one sitting across from him. He stood, more than ready to leave the unhelpful elder and her shop behind.
"You know what you have to do, right?" she piped up—literally, the wooden bowl in her hand smoking with tobacco.
Sasuke turned, rolling his eyes. "Yeah. I come to eclectic stores like this just for fun after training."
She caught his sarcasm and scowled (at least, he thought she did; it was hard to tell with only her blue eyes showing. Sasuke felt some measure of sympathy for Team 8. He could now imagine how difficult communicating with Shino could be for them sometimes.) "Alright, dear Uchiha, the concept is to corner the market on her."
Sasuke frowned. When did he tell her his name? The clan symbol was clear on his shirt, but only from the back. He was pretty sure he'd had his back to the wall the whole 'visit'. "Come again?"
Ms. Yenta was unfazed. "Corner the market. Monopolize. Make a steal. Let her fans know that, without a doubt, she is yours, and yours alone."
The Annoyingly-Like-Naruto-Voice-In-Sasuke's-Head spoke up. 'Saaassuukkee! Here's your chance! Tell those fans whose she is!…'
He shook his head; the perfumes were going to his head. Or maybe the smoke. Or the tobacco. Something. "I've got to leave." Confused and (only a little) concerned, Sasuke leapt toward the entrance.
As the door opened, Ms. Yenta called from her seat. "Good luck with Sakura-chan, dear!!"
The door slammed, and Sasuke was half-way down the road before he realized something was off. The old woman hadn't asked for payment. He debated, but only a moment passed before his logic decided for him.
He was never again going into that store. Never again.
The Uchiha left, and Ms. Yenta cackled, most youthfully, from her seat. Her old eyes blinked for a moment, before heavily jeweled fingers formed the 'release' seal.
As the dust cleared, Ino brushed off her flawless outfit. "Honestly, Forehead-girl owes me big time for this. Like she'll ever know..." She smiled then glanced at the pipe on the armchair. "How Shika stands that smell, I don't understand."
She gathered her stuff and went back for her afternoon shift at the flower shop. She mused absently. If Sakura ever found out that Ino'd called Sasuke 'dear'—aged appearance or not—there would be trouble.
Hours later, Sasuke moodily walked home, still not satisfied despite his four-hour training session. He was more reserved now in his ponderings than before he entered that store. Mentally, he cursed that gaudy sign that misguided him into that strange hole in the wall. His clothes still smelled like ginseng. And now sweat.
"Sasuke-kuuun!!" It almost sounded like a voice from his childhood, filled with enthusiasm. He knew it was Sakura, jogging toward him from the direction from the hospital, finished with her night shift. His shinobi skills also tipped him off to the fact that a herd of fans was tailing her. Then again, anyone within a mile could hear the stampede.
He still looked up to watch her, though, as she sprinted towards him, barely stopping before she collided into him.
Sakura panted, trying to catch her breath. To his eyes, she still looked exhausted; happy, but exhausted. She beamed up at him, catching his arm with hers and linking them. He humored her.
…or, did he like it? Everything was so confusing now.
"You seem pretty tense, Sasuke-kun. What's up?" She slowed their pace.
"Hn." Let her translate what she could from that.
"You can talk to me, you know," she added, sticking her tongue out in a very genin-like action. When she did it, though, it was almost cu—
Stop right there, Uchiha.
"Come on, Sasuke-kun!" She pestered. Whatever was bothering him had to be big. He hadn't used his nonchalant 'aah' yet. "You know you can tell me anything!"
He raised a dark eyebrow. They were paused now, in the middle of the road. Sakura's fans hung back a little, wary of the famous Uchiha prodigy. "All of you?" He let his eyes scan the crowd of onlookers conspicuously. She followed his gaze. And flushed, sighting her fans, AGAIN.
"Okay, okay…you win, is that what you want to hear?" She looked down, embarrassed by her instant popularity.
Sasuke's amusement touched his eyes for a second, but a flashback to that afternoon squashed it. Ms. Yenta's cracked old voice warbled in his head, echoed by the Naruto-sound-alike. 'Corner the market…the market…She's yours, teme!…'
"S-Sasuke-kun?" She was confused now. More so. What was with him tonight?
Sasuke's eyes were wild again, the deep red of the Sharingan diluting his dark eyes.
"Sasuke-kun? Sasuke-kun, are you sure you're oka—?!"
He cut her off, grabbing her waist and pulling her into his chest. Her emerald eyes widened, startled, while her sharp mind tried to catch up with Sasuke. Logic, however, faded into the background when she realized that the Uchiha was, in fact, kissing her.
Hey, it didn't happen every day. Not to her anyway. (Not then, anyway) She entertained a moment's uprising of jealousy, wondering how many gorgeous women must have thrown themselves at him over the years.
Wait—that wasn't important, not now—he was kissing her right now, remember? Back to the moment, Sakura, back to the moment.
The Uchiha tried very desperately to salvage his ego, but once he lost control of his bloodline limit, his boundaries pretty much went out the window too. Now (even as a very major part of him enjoyed being so close to Sakura, finally bridging that gap, getting to—OFF TOPIC!), his genius mind was hard-pressed for an excuse that would explain his behavior once his mouth was free. He didn't have any reasonable answer yet, so he didn't bother releasing his hold on the medic.
…or so he told himself, even as his long fingers toyed through her pink hair.
Needless to say, around fifteen minutes later (or so), when the two finally separated (when Sasuke finally realized there was no possible cause for his…actions), there were no fans in sight, though a few "I Love You, Sakura, Be Mine" signs drifted by in the evening breeze.
A/N: you've got to love the idea of Konoha citizens forming an official "Sasuke and Sakura" club...hey, I can imagine it...with Rock Lee and Ino its main supporters...lol...
And I love Naruto, too. He's so sweet; I can just imagine that silly closet stuffed with Hinata's valentines. Lol.