Summary: '... I never go after women – they go after me.' Such words were immediately swallowed upon noticing Sakura's pink hair exit the same shop as one Hyuuga Neji. Measures are taken and chaos ensues, but to what degree is platonic anyways?
Author's Note: I'm still quite a newbie to the whole Naruto Universe, so please forgive whatever mistakes I've made. Here goes anyways: my feeble attempt at SasuSaku. Review.
Platonic (to a Higher Degree)
Chapter I: When Reason Fails to Serve
The day started off like an overused cliché of the typical fanfiction – perfect. Fat, cotton-coloured clouds hovered amogst the vast sea of sky above, powdering lavish periwinkle with dabs of white; fresh green leaves swayed airily in the the springtime wind, whispering when brushed against one another; large birds swung through the air, carrying soft cooes and gentle chirps in their wake; a pleasant, coin-shaped sun hung amidst the clouds, spreading rays of light and warmth downwards, towards the heads of village citizens; and, above all else, Uchiha Sasuke was walking, hands-in-pocket, through the busy streets of Konoha sporting a genuine smile.
Now, if it had been any other person walking through a crowd of bustling, gossip-hungry citizens, such an act of total abnormality would be considered... well... pretty much normal. But, alas, no. This was not just a person – not the type of guy one would meet on their way to the market and exchange pleasant, "Hellos" with – this was THE Uchiha Sasuke – the one and only (as he'd often remind people), the brooring guy in the corner, looking positively ansgt yet devastatingly pretty at the same time. The same young man, in fact, who was constantly seen obsessing over his awful childhood and emo-ing over his deranged murderer of a brother.
THE Uchiha Sasuke did NOT smile.
Yet, whoever this person was taking the appearance of our dashing protagonist was indeed looking genuinely happy. He had had quite a day, this person-who-looked-like-Sasuke – to have woken up with the realization that finally, after a year of much endurement, his parole had been lifted off him, and to have treated himself to a particularly tasty dish of tomato and onigiri, and, oh yes, the fact that his brother had DIED, did wonders to cheer this usually brooding young man up.
After marking the today's date off the calender, our hero (for today the spotlight had taken a turn for, what he considered, the better) set off upon the journey to complete his second largest mission in life – resurrecting his dead clan, or, in other words, finding a good woman and making lots and lots of babies.
Now... if only he could find such a woman.
Uchiha Sasuke continued on his mission, smiling all throughout the process, without at all bothering to notice the gaggle of giggling, drooling young women that flocked his path. Such a passionless, nonchalant manner was considered most disturbing to said women, who moaned, complained, wailed and threatened suicide when he had walked passed them – it was almost as if he all ready had a certain person in mind.
Uchiha Sasuke's best friend was, for once in a few long months, bright enough to point such an impossible possibility out.
'Who's the lucky lady?' asked the blonde friend, Protagonist Number 2, otherwise known as main character of a series named after himself, Uzumaki Naruto, when they had met up for ramen about an hour later.
Sasuke shrugged. 'Whoever catches my eye,' he said, trying to sound indifferent, and succeeding perfectly at it.
Naruto dug so deeply into his bowl that it almost looked as if he were attached to it. 'Well,' he started, his voice muffled through noodles and the bowl itself. 'If you're going to ask Sakura-chan, you'd better act fast – she has many admirers.'
Sasuke "tsk"ed severely as his friend, not unlike a teacher would her annoying, dim-witted student, before saying, 'Naruto, for one thing, the relationship between Sakura and I is merely platonic.' He took a moment of dramatic pause to casually run his fingers through the fallen bangs of his onyx hair. 'And besides... I never go after women – they go after me.'
Most guys would feign-gag upon hearing such words, and Naruto was, indeed, most guys. Yet, even as he did jab a finger through his mouth and make horrible fake wrenching noises, the blonde could not help but feel some admiration towards his vain friend – not many would take the risk of waiting for Sakura to go after them. She was, after all, one of the prettiest (if not the prettiest) single women in Konoha; her beauty once admitted by even the stiff, socially-deprived Kazekage of Sand, Gaara.
With an afterthought, Sasuke, not meaning to sound too interested, added in a most casual tone of voice, 'She... err... has admirers?'
Naruto smirked, catching the Uchiha off-guard. No duh, she had admirers.
'Oh, yeah,' replied the grinning blonde. 'Tons and tons of admirers. Our Sakura-chan has really grown up to be a vixen, all right. There is, like, a HUNDRED guys lining up her door practically EVERY DAY!' –okay, so maybe a little exaggeration on his part, but still, he was on a roll and Sasuke seemed to have not realize the minor details, as he seemed to be bristling more and more with each passing moment – 'There's Kiba, Shino, Shikamaru'—so what if Shikamaru was all ready dating Temari? He must have had a crush on her at some point—'And Choji'—he didn't know that many people, damnit!—'And Lee, and Kakashi'—he really didn't know that many people—'And even Gaara! And...'
Naruto paused, noticing the bob of pink and mocha from out of the corner of his eye, both bobs moving simultaneously and both seemingly have exited the same door of same shop at the exact same time.
Naruto's grin widened, becoming almost maliscious when he saw Sasuke move his gaze towards the same direction – his usually impassive coal-coloured eyes widening with shock and horror.
Naruto swallowed his excitement rather lousily as he, again, turned to his friend. 'And there's Neji...' Again, he was forced to swallow the glee from escaping his tongue. 'Those two have been spending loads of time together doing who-knows-what!'
Sasuke's eyes, if possible, widened even further.
'But hey,' chirped the blonde with a shrug. 'Its just platonic, right?'
Sasuke's right eye twitched as he struggled to maintain a straight face and a neutral smile.
'Sure... just... platonic...'
Sasuke took a deep breath. 'This is NOT spying,' he reassured himself, ducking so low that his belly scraped the surface of the earth beneath him. Thorns scratched arms both left and right, and his nostrils were filled with the heavy aroma of pine-needles. 'I am merely... protecting her from that pompous Hyuuga-ass.' Sasuke managed a wary, almost hysterical chuckle under his breath. 'After all... Hyuuga's are known for their... their disrespect towards those they consider beneath them, and Sakura's not exactly genius-clan material, thus, he'll probably take this time to insult and redicule her, which would therefore make her cry and pester me... and we all know how I hate being pestered. So... so... therefore... this idea is merely an elaborate scheme for my own benefit. Yeah. That's better.' Sasuke silenced his roaming thoughts, feeling particularly more cheerful than he did twenty seconds ago.
The twinkling laugh of one Haruno Sakura filled the tense (in his opinion anyways) silence, causing the Uchiha genius to creep further still to the ground, as if expecting her accusing eyes to descend upon him at any second. Taking the risk of peeking through his current hiding spot, Sasuke watched their unlikely conversation continue.
Hyuuga Neji was blinking, his milky eyes bright with obvious question. 'Is it something I said?' his voice, thankfully, remained neutral, if not slightly akin with curiousity.
The pink-haired medic nin laughed some more, her jade eyes sparkling with mirth. 'Oh, no, Neji-san,' she assured between a giggle. 'Its just... you placed your words with bluntness worthy of Naruto, is all.'
Neji's pearly eyes suddenly hardened at the familiar name. 'Uzumaki Naruto?' he added, a little stiffly, his legs slowing from their brisk walk.
Sakura giggled. 'Of course, silly,' she said (Sasuke gasped, 'Pet-names!') 'What other Naruto could I possibly be referring to?' Upon noticing the sudden serious edge in her friend's posture, however, all lighthearted jokes were set aside, and Sakura, as she had been walking alongside him, slowed down as well, her jade eyes warm with worry. 'Is something wrong, Neji-san?'
Neji merely shook his head, easing her needless anxiety. 'No,' he assured. 'It is just... I heard that Uzumaki Naruto is dating my cousin...'
Sakura beamed, cheering up almost immediately. 'Well, what you've heard is true, for sure!' she said, smiling brightly. 'Though its odd of you to have just noticed! Those two have been together for months! He's planning to engage soon!'
Upon hearing these words, the obvious tension in Neji's shoulders rose to the extent of pain, causing him to grimace with hurt.
'Neji-san!' cried Sakura, concern etching her facial features once more. 'Is something wrong?'
Neji tried waving her off with the air of indifference most villagers within seeing distance were accustomed to – even this uncomplicated act, however, seemed impossible, as, all of a sudden, the proud, stoic Hyuuga lurched forward, his heavily bandaged arms clapped over his stomach in pain.
'Hyuuga-san!' It seemed (and Sasuke was pleased to note) that during moments of dire circumstance, Sakura had taken to medic-mode and gone immediately into formalities. 'Please! Move over so I can re-check your wrappings!'
Neji's failure to cough out a reasonable excuse forced his arms into moving in their own accord. Sakura's actions were lithe, fluid and professional as she stripped the Hyuuga prodigy out of his beige overcoat, and proceded to unwrap his bindings; unhindered by the outward protests of one squirming Hyuuga genius, and the silent protests of one horrofied Uchiha.
'This is not HAPPENING!!' The larger portion of Sasuke's mind was screeching wildly in his ears, while the smaller, more superior part of his brain – the sensible one, so it seemed – tried, unsuccesfully, to reason with him. 'She's a medic!' cried little Sensible Sasuke, desperation edging in his make-believe voice. 'That's what medics do! They're supposed to uncloth their patients!'
'YEAH! But does she HAVE to TOUCH him like THAT?!' screeched Insensible Sasuke, the part of his mind that seemed to have taken the wheel and was currently in the process of driving him overboard. 'She's practically GROPING him, damn you!'
Sasuke could almost hear his senses sighing with defeat. However, just as he thought the war was over, and Mr. Unreasonable had claimed victory, Sensible Sasuke jumped straight back into the ring with what happened to be his last comeback... 'She's not groping him! She's a medic (Sense seemed to be running out of solid backup and was therefore returning to his previous piece of evidence)! She'd have probably seen tons of naked men at work!'
But just as those words left the mouth of Sasuke's so-called "Sensible Side", he knew he was done for, and that Jealousy had overtaken the voice of reason, for it was at that moment that Sakura and Neji, both in the midst of healing and escaping (in accordance), had paused to face the direction of Uchiha Sasuke's current hiding spot – the place where, for a second there, they had heard a tremendous popping noise, as if something (or in this case, someone) had exploded on the spot.
Upon recovering from that sudden emotional overload however, Uchiha Sasuke had risen from the ashes (for he had, indeed, exploded into a pile of rubble(1)) with one thought in mind – and that one emotion that powered his one thought was anger.
Uchiha Sasuke was pissed as the last thing that came to mind -- before mysteriously slinking off like the emo-avenger he was so proudly known for – were the words, 'Kill'.
These words were, of course, followed by 'Hyuuga Neji' and 'Retrieve Haruno Sakura so I can continue on my quest of finding the perfect mate to resurrect my lost clan', but, hell, those were so not the right words used to end a perfectly emo moment.
Authors Note: This was meant to be a oneshot, but I kind of lost track and ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom, next thing I knew, I've got a 2000+ word story. Not one of my best works, of course. The writing is messy and the vocab heinous, but, hey, I haven't been writing for a hell-of-a-long-time. Do me some justice, won't ya?
Reviews are greatly appreciated. More the merrier, of course.
(1) As this is Naruto, and Naruto is an anime series, I find it quite logical for one of the Naruto characters to explode into rubble/ash, don't you?