What It's Like

She came up gasping for air as she flicked water from pale fingertips and slick hair. She panted at her reflection. She wiped her bangs back, but then let them fall over her forehead again as she turned from her reflection with a sigh. Being a girl was difficult. On top of increasingly difficult training, irksome physical developments, and isolation from other females, there were the overpowering problems and complexities of boys, more specifically Sasuke. She didn't understand boys, foremost on the intangible list being Sasuke, and couldn't communicate with them, or rather Sasuke, because they, Sasuke, always had some escape. They ignored, they eluded, they dismissed. And that was the end of it. She sighed again and slid down the cabinet, suddenly feeling like crying in frustration. This had happened about five times this week. Against her wishes, she had become ridiculously emotional, the tactless Naruto had pointed out, and sensei had saved him from certain death to talk with her, which was a teary disaster, and now she was determined never to go to Kakashi again for "help" due to the overwhelming embarrassment she felt when she recalled sobbing into his jacket for fifteen solid minutes. At least, she conceded, the inverse was also true: boys couldn't possibly understand girls. She levered herself up, pointedly ignoring her reflection, and went to the bathroom door. She reached for the handle. It turned under her hand. Instinctively, she leapt back and flung herself in the closet, heart pounding. She left it open a crack.

Oh no… Sasuke's head appeared. He looked around, puzzled, then allowed the rest of himself in. He was carrying a towel. Damn, damn, damn! She nestled in the towels further, as if she might sink into the earth if she went deep enough. He'll kill me if… I can't just come out! That will be so embarrassing! What could I say? But if I… she gulped, heart pulsing. He'll kill me. Sasuke ducked his head into his shirt and began to pull it off. Her eyes darted hysterically all over his bare, tensed back. She tried to calm herself desperately, which only worked her further into her unexplainable fit of fear. He put his head under the sink, just as she'd done moments before, while she fought the urge to shout and remain silent simultaneously, causing her lungs to burn. What's wrong with me? Be calm, calm, calm, calm, calm down, calm! She squeaked and covered her mouth in horror as Sasuke whipped around. She pulled her feet further under her. He knows! Damn, damn, damn! He turned again to shake his head, dismissing the noise. She released her held breath and then clamped a hand over her mouth at the sound. Sasuke squinted at the closet, or was it the door? The window? Nothing? Her back touched the wall and she could retreat no further. Then, without warning, he moved his hands to his hips to slip out of his pants. She shut her eyes tighter than she had ever, ever, ever in her life before. She could hear two feet in the tub, the squeak of the hot water knob, the increased intensity of water hitting the shower, the curtain, his (she gulped and shook her head to chase away the thoughts pounding against her skull persistently) face as the unsqueaky cold water knob was turned on. Maybe I should look… it's probably better than making things up… Even as she thought this, her mind pieced together images indecent enough to make her blush. Humming. Was Sasuke humming? Uchiha Sasuke? Moody, unfeeling, serious Sasuke? She couldn't believe- of course he's humming. She was calm now. Somewhere within her, deep within her, a Sakura she had never encountered before, an inner inner-Sakura. What?

Of course he's humming. You knew that.

I did?

Yes. Just like you know he likes his sandwiches cut diagonally, and cats over dogs, and folds napkins length to length then over so it's easier to take one out of a stack. You've been watching. Remembering. Preparing.


"Yes," she murmured. She shifted, legs loosely bent in front of her, back now on the door. Her eyes were gently closed now, not squeezed shut. Now she just saw what was happening, knew what was happening, felt, heard, tasted. Now she found herself humming along gently. Some how she knew this song, this song from a long time ago. But she didn't bother to figure out how she knew. The shower stopped it's own humming, leaving Sakura to finish the song. The shower curtain was hurriedly yanked back and followed by two squelches of feet on wood and a towel swishing down and around, and,

"Um-" Sakura stood and opened the door. She took a few careful steps forward. He didn't speak. She knew he was looking her up and down, expecting an explanation. She just smiled. He needed to figure it out, feel what she was feeling. "Your eyes are shut."

"You promised not to look so I can't either." Pause.

"I'm sure you've seen worse." Hands on her shoulders, down her arms. Warm. She beamed. "I don't want to get you wet." He was holding her wrists, keeping her at arms length. "I'm sure you know," she could sense him closer, "I wouldn't," feel warmth on her face from his breath, "give a-" Their lips met. Not in the shy way a boyfriend and girlfriend's do on their first date, romantic in the snow, alone, exciting, but calmly, realistically. And they weren't thirteen, they weren't standing in the bathroom in a four man compound, they were somewhere- Is this what it's like? What it's like to be-

"Are you done already, Sasuk-…. eh?" Naruto's blue eyes shot accusingly around the room. Sakura's eyes flew open at the grounding voice. She took in the sight of Sasuke, dripping, towel around waist, wearing a complex, unreadable expression. Their eyes met briefly and he almost, almost, looked sorry.

"Hmm." The moment ended, he brushed past them. "Bathroom's all yours, Naruto." She scurried out after him. Maybe, maybe, he does understand girls.