For Sam, who rocks out loud.

Short. Crackish. Enjoy?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything somebody else does, and I don't mean any offence to anyone. this is just for fun.

Shipping Wars

"You know who would make a good couple? Sakura and Shikamaru."

Sakura promptly spit out the sip of soda she had been gulping down, and Sasuke wrinkled his nose at the drink that went all over his face.

Shikamaru sighed wearily and handed over a few napkins to the dark-haired boy on his right, wishing futilely that his teammate was a little less blunt and a little more quiet.

It was Sakura's eighteenth birthday, and Ino had arranged to rent out a restaurant for the evening and gather the rookie nine, Gai's team, their teachers, Sai, Yamato, Genma, Tsunade, Shizune, Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro, and even Jiraiya to join them for a surprise party for her best friend. Sakura had been surprised all right, but she looked infinitely more shocked now.

"Ew," Naruto said. "Are you drunk, Ino?"

Ino narrowed her baby blues at the blond across the table, and not a moment later, he let out a cry of pain from Ino's stiletto connecting with his shin.

"Shut up, you. It makes sense!" She looked around the table for some support. "They're both smart, single, and kind of boring." Sakura bared her teeth at her, and she laughed.

"You've got love on the brain, pig. But not everyone is—"

"Actually…" Tenten, farther down the table, twirled a fork in her fingers casually, if not for the wicked smile adorning her features. "I always thought she and Neji made a nice pair."

Lee wailed with despair, making Naruto burst out laughing, and Sakura choked on the bite she was talking. Sighing, Sasuke pushed his water over to her.

Neji's lip curled. "Tenten," he began warningly.

"What? You think she's hot," she said, waving him off.

Naruto immediately stopped his laughter at Lee's expense and turned to Neji. "You think what?" he snarled.

Neji rubbed his temples. "I never said anything about Sakura being… attractive."

"So you're saying she's ugly?"

"I didn't say that. Sakura is a very beautiful young—"

"You stay away from Sakura, you—"

"Naruto," Sasuke snapped. "Shut up and sit down." Sullenly, Naruto did as he was told. Sasuke turned to Sakura, who was slouched down so far, she was practically hiding under the table. "Sakura, sit up." When she refused, Sasuke looked at Gaara, who reached down and hauled her up without looking away from his plate.

Temari grinned suddenly wanting to join in the fun. "I think Gaara likes her," she said lightly, waiting for her younger brother's reaction, which was to twitch and glare at her.

Sasuke had the foresight to take Sakura's meal away from her, so she couldn't choke on or spit out her food or drink again. So she choked on her spit. He sighed; there was no way to deal with this girl.

"Why is everyone picking on me?" she wanted to know when she recovered. "Make fun of Ino and Sai, or Naruto and Hinata! God!"

"But it's your birthday," Ino reminded her.

"And you fit with any guy," Tenten added.

"Like Kiba," Kurenai piped up.

Kiba grinned slyly at Sakura and was halfway to a wink when she groaned, and Sasuke sent him – and her – a very sour look.

"Leave me out of it," he gulped.

"I was always partial to Sakura and Kakashi myself," Tsunade slurred, obviously drunk. Kakashi looked disgusted. Jiraiya looked thrilled.

"That would make such a hot edition of Icha Icha," he said with relish, pulling out a notepad and pen out of nowhere. "Sakura, look this way," he said, ready to start sketching her for later reference.

Sakura didn't even have time to start shouting about being surrounded by perverts, along with Naruto, who was deeply disturbed by the idea of Kakashi and Sakura together, when Sasuke, nearing the end of his already short fuse, flashed through a few hand seals, blew through his hands, and sent a roaring flame at Jiraiya, burning the notebook to a crisp, as well as setting fire to the sannin's hair.

"That was so gross," Sakura said, still looking appalled. "Thank you, Sasuke-kun."


"I was always a fan of Ugly and that guy, actually," Sai said pleasantly, pointing across the table.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow coolly, and pushed the cake a waitress was just setting down towards Sakura, to placate her rising temper. Neji, Shikamaru, Shino, and the girls looked disgusted. Chouji and Kiba laughed outright. The teachers looked disturbed. Lee sobbed harder.

"Not Gai-sensei!"

Naruto cracked his knuckles. He wasn't sure who to beat first, so he settled on beginning with Sai. Sakura looked like she would love to join him, and Sasuke was really quite amused by it all.

They had paired Sakura off with nearly every male at the party, but failed to realize that both of them had been eating with only one hand throughout the entire meal.