The Bitter Scent Of Coffee

Warnings: This is an AU SasoSaku story with K-rating. Characters may be out of character.

Author's Note: Inspired by a cup of bitter coffee . . . Special thanks to kaoru-sama for beta.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

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"Thank you for your patronage. Please come again."

The customer ignored her bright smile and pocketed his change, before stepping out through the door. Once he was gone, Sakura dropped the 'service' smile and hurried over to clear the table. Business had been slow today but her boss would be displeased if she didn't do her job efficiently.

Depositing the dishes in the large aluminium sink, Sakura let the water run to fill the sink, and while waiting decided to prepare herself a cup of coffee. Retrieving her personal mug from a cupboard, she placed it under the coffee-making machine and clicked the necessary buttons. The machine made several loud whoosh sounds and the hot fragrance of coffee wafted through the small café.

She held the cup up and closer. Her eyelids shut as she breathed in the scent.

Still bitter.

The thick aroma imbuing her senses triggered a fond memory.

Ting-a-ling-a-ling…

"Welcome to Konoha Coffee Shop. How may I help you today?" outwardly, she seemed calm and collected, greeting a customer but to the man who was leaning against the counter, the telltale blush on her cheek spoke otherwise.

"A cup of black coffee, please."

Sakura placed the steaming cup of coffee on its accompanying gold-rimmed saucer, followed by a gold ornate spoon which was more for décor than for its role.

"Here you go."

As he sipped his coffee, his amber eyes noted the absence of her annoying boss, "Where's your boss?"

"She's out to get a new bag of coffee bean." It was an excuse to get out of the place. The bossy woman was probably off to the nearest Pachinko shop to gamble away the previous day's earning.

Sakura watched quizzically as he turned to look around the deserted café then back at her.

"Come closer." His right hand motioned for her to lean forward.

Curious with what he had to say, she followed blindly, not noticing the mischievous tug at the corner of his smiling lips. A gasp escaped her lips when he inclined forward quickly and stole a kiss.

"Sasori!" she found herself hissing warningly at the red-haired man who went back to drinking his coffee although her mock anger was given off by the silly smile gracing her face now. Unconsciously, the tip of her tongue peeked out to lick at her moistened lips. Strange enough, the bitter taste of the plain black coffee spread over her lips was sweet.

Sasori placed the now empty cup on the counter and leaned closer towards her. His intentions were clear to the pink-haired waitress as her breath quickly picked up. "Someone might see us."

One red eyebrow rose as if to say 'Now, really…'

"There's no one here." His lips were against hers although not really kissing her. With the close proximity of their faces, she had no choice but to stare into his eyes. Those alluring amber eyes proved to be her undoing.

"Oh," she breathed out, her hand slipped out from behind the counter to fist in his dark red hair as their lips met.

Back in the small cafe, the water in the sink began to overflow but Sakura was too lost in her thoughts to notice.

Impetuously, her finger reached into her mug and dipped into the hot black liquid. It scalded slightly but she ignored the sensation and thoughtfully traced her lower lip with the finger. Her smile was wry as her tongue traced the same path.

A kiss so sweet that even the bitterest of coffee could not overcome. She could never find another cup of black coffee as sweet as back then.

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