for Missa, who loves SasuSaku like you wouldn't believe.
happy sixteenth, and i love you more than you could possibly imagine.
more like an aversion
"She's hopeless," Sasuke told Naruto, who in turn checked to see if their pink-haired teammate was listening.
Once he had ascertained that she was giggling with Ino and therefore not likely to overhear their conversation, Naruto blinked confusedly and said "But I thought you two were dating."
"I think we are," Sasuke said despairingly. "But – I don't think she gets that I'm not romantic, I don't do those little things that she probably expects out of a boyfriend."
For once in his life serious, Naruto informed Sasuke, "I don't think she really cares. She gets that you're at least trying, doesn't she?"
There was an abrupt pause.
"You are trying, aren't you?" Naruto questioned shrewdly, squinting at Sasuke. Sasuke vaguely thought that Naruto was extremely perceptive at the most ridiculous times.
"Yes! I mean, no. Or not as much as – " Sasuke stopped and tried to figure out what he had meant to say. It hadn't exactly come out sounding cool and collected.
Naruto patiently waited for Sasuke to finish thinking, and then viciously punched him in the back of the neck.
"What was that for?" Sasuke snarled, and Naruto scowled back.
"I don't believe this, you're completely unromantic and a total moron, and you're dating Sakura-chan!" Naruto shouted in his ear. Everyone within a ten-mile radius turned attentively, and Sakura, who had finished talking to Ino, narrowed her eyes at them.
"You have the intelligence of a deformed snail crawling with fungus," Sasuke said distantly, "And I hate you. Remind me to never come to you about my relationship problems ever again."
"What – that didn't even make sense," Naruto said, and then sighed immediately afterward. "Look, just – try holding her hand or something, okay? It's not that hard."
Sasuke looked stricken and Naruto bemoaned his best friend's incapacity for romance.
"I can't do this," Sasuke muttered, temporarily forgetting that Sakura was sitting at the same table as he was, directly across from him.
Unfortunately, this did not change the fact that she was, physically, there. "What?" she asked, picking up a piece of meat with her chopsticks and looking at Sasuke inquiringly.
Sasuke sometimes wished that he didn't feel the urge to immediately say everything that came to mind. Back when he was twelve, it wasn't so bad, because he mostly only thought about killing Itachi and beating Naruto. Now there were girl complications, which, in Sasuke's opinion, were the worst type of complication.
"Nothing," Sasuke said. He wondered if it would really be so hard to just reach across the table and take her hand, and came to the decision that yes, it would be. As a matter of fact, it would be traumatizing.
Sakura moved her hand a few inches closer, as though she knew what he was thinking. Sasuke panicked irrationally, and then remembered that she had no way of knowing what was going through his head.
"Something's bothering you," Sakura pressed, leaning in a few inches closer. Sasuke wondered if she realized the effect she had on him, because honestly, it was ridiculous and a little bit undignified.
"Nothing," Sasuke said, and was horrified when his voice cracked. He cleared his throat. "Nothing."
Awkwardly he stared down at his empty bowl of noodles and wondered how long it would take Sakura to finish hers, because it seemed like she was taking a while.
"Well, if you say so," Sakura said doubtfully, and took a sip of water.
Maybe it was the suspicion evident in Sakura's voice, maybe it was the fact that it was hot and summer, or maybe Sasuke was suffering from a rare mental disease that no one knew about, but for any reason, he'd reached across the table firmly and clenched his hand onto hers.
There, he thought. That should probably last him through another week, before he'd have to come up with another pointless romantic gesture.
"Sasuke?" Sakura asked after a moment.
"Hm?" he said, and was pleased when it came out not at all nervous-sounding or humiliatingly high-pitched.
"You're hurting me," she said, her voice strained.
"Oh," he paused. This hadn't really been in his mental calculations. No matter! He had already prevailed for the most part! "Sorry," he mumbled, and eased his grip, still holding her hand lightly.
Sakura beamed at him, her entire face lighting up, and Sasuke suddenly remembered why he put himself through this torture.
"I did it," Sasuke announced. Naruto stopped slurping his ramen long enough to look mildly interested.
"Did what?" he asked, and resumed his slurping.
"I held her hand!" Sasuke said, pride unmistakable in his words.
Naruto fixed Sasuke with a disbelieving stare.
"… what?" Sasuke said defensively after a few moments of Naruto looking at him in total incredulity.
"You came over here," Naruto said, very slowly, as though he was talking to an extremely stupid person, "To tell me that you held Sakura-chan's hand. And that is all."
"… yes?" Sasuke said uncertainly, and then realized why this might have looked sort of strange.
Naruto exploded. "I don't care!" he bellowed, and threw his bowl of ramen at Sasuke's face. "I don't care! Holding hands is a given! I have to hold hands every single day! That is not a sign that you are romantically inclined! Do something bigger and tell me about it and then maybe I will care! And you're paying for my ramen!"
Sasuke looked startled, and then frowned. "I'm not paying for your ramen," he grumbled.
"Yes you are," Naruto said, stealing Sasuke's wallet, and that was that.
"I need flowers," Sasuke said without preamble, and Ino looked up from her (probably trashy) book with curiosity. "I think. You sell flowers, right?"
Ino blinked at him bemusedly, and then cackled and called into the other room, "Shikamaru! Get your lazy ass out here, it's Sasuke acting idiotic, you won't want to miss this!"
Sasuke gaped at her, and then remembered that he was supposed to look calm. He pondered his next words.
"What the hell, I thought you had a crush on me," someone said. Belatedly Sasuke realized that he was the one who had said it.
Shikamaru came out just then (typical of him to emerge at the most inopportune time) and looked surly.
"Not anymore," Ino informed Sasuke, while simultaneously moving to stand next to Shikamaru. "Maybe when we were twelve, but the whole emo-avenger thing gets sort of old after a while. Sorry," she added, as Shikamaru slid an arm around her waist.
Somehow, Sasuke did not feel that it was an immense loss.
"You needed flowers?" Ino remembered.
"Yeah." At this point, Shikamaru was smirking and Ino was smiling slightly, and Sasuke kind of wished that Ino didn't own the only flower shop in Konoha.
"What kind?" she asked briskly, elbowing Shikamaru slightly when he started outright laughing.
"I'm not really sure," Sasuke hesitated, and then figured out that it was unwise to look hesitant in front of Shikamaru, who apparently took joy in others' pain. "Maybe – roses?"
Ino hovered near a bucket of roses, plucking out several of the prettier ones, while Sasuke stood uncomfortably near the door and Shikamaru alternated between laughing and choking on what sounded like his own spit.
"Here," Ino said finally. Sasuke rejoiced.
"How much is that?" he asked, unable to keep some of the relief out of his voice.
"They're for Sakura, right?" Ino inquired suddenly. Sasuke blinked.
"I don't see how that's any of your business," Sasuke said sharply, because Ino basically had the biggest mouth in Konoha.
"Which means that yes, they're for Sakura," Shikamaru interjected.
"On the house, then," Ino said, her voice abruptly much softer. "Make her happy, yeah?"
Sasuke hoped he would, but he was painfully new to this whole girl-thing and really didn't know much about dating to begin with.
"You're an idiot," Naruto said, in some awe. "I didn't give you enough credit before, you must have been dropped on your head when you were a baby repeatedly and then stuffed in an oven for a few hours, how did you not realize – "
"I didn't know they wilted this quickly!" Sasuke snapped defensively. "And anyways I thought flowers had more stamina."
"I have no idea how you managed to land a girl like Sakura-chan," Naruto said, still in disbelief.
"Neither do I," Sasuke said, and stopped.
"I'm sorry I'm not more romantic," Sasuke said in one breath, "Please don't dump me because I'm not sure anyone else would have me anyways."
Sakura, lying comfortably on the couch, looked at him in bemusement. "What on earth – ?"
"Flowers," Sasuke said, holding up said roses. "I – meant to get them for you, but I didn't realize they had to be put in water. I wasn't even sure what type of flowers you liked, anyways, but Naruto said that girls liked flowers and considering he's been with Hinata for as long as he has – " He paused when he realized that he was rambling, and prayed Sakura wouldn't break up with him.
Sakura looked unbelievably touched. "You got me flowers?" she asked, reaching up and taking the bouquet.
"… hn," Sasuke acknowledged, reverting back to his old habit. Maybe he should have written a love poem instead, but he wasn't really good with those either.
"Sasuke – " Sakura set the flowers on the table, and turned towards him. "I know you're not romantic."
This wasn't the most encouraging thing to hear, but Sakura clearly meant it in a comforting way, so Sasuke repeated, "Hn."
"I knew that when I agreed to date you," Sakura went on, reaching up and pulling him down to sit next to her. "That's okay. I'm a kunoichi, I don't need any extra excitement. What I want – "
She moved closer to him, and Sasuke automatically put an arm around her shoulders.
" – what I want, is just a steady, reliable boyfriend who cares, and that's you," she continued, leaning in against his shoulder and pressing her head against his chest.
"Besides," she murmured. "We're good together, aren't we?"
Sasuke bent down and rested his cheek against hers. "Of course we are," he whispered, and Sakura smiled up at him.
A/N: I can't write SasuSaku to save my life, and I know they're sort of out-of-character. In my defense, I wrote it in an hour. At six AM. Cut me some slack?
And feedback is loved, as always.