Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Payback, Sasuke decided there and then, was a bitch.
Naruto and Sakura however thought it was the greatest thing on God's green earth.
Now this is kind of odd, considering it was Sasuke who had sought revenge against his brother, for murdering his entire family. Naruto and Sakura should be the ones abhorring the idea of payback; it's what lost them their best friend for so many years.
But when did life ever decide that it would make sense?
"You worthless piece of shit," shouted Naruto. "You're so luck you're already completely fucked, or I would beat the absolute crap out of you!"
Sasuke could only muster enough energy to glare at him and even narrowing his eyes hurt. He could only imagine how many panda's were gonna try and pick him up tomorrow.
"Hell, you don't even deserve our help!" he went on, "The most you've ever done is ditch us!!"
"And look how well I did," rasped Sasuke, his throat felt like sand-paper.
This, when you're not the one calling the shots, was not the wisest thing to say. This time it was Sakura who spoke. Except unlike the dobe, she didn't shout or threaten him. In fact the entire time Naruto had been monologue-ing, she had just stood there looking at him through her familiar green eyes.
"Still a wanker," said Sakura.
Sasuke didn't reply, only observed her. She still wasn't showing an obvious emotion, which was annoying. Sasuke always tried to read a person's body language and expression before he listened to what they were saying. How anything was said, told much more than what was said. Despite her unreadable face, he did see something that was interesting.
The adoration was gone.
And then she did something neither Naruto or Sasuke expected, she knelt down in front of the black haired man and began tending to his legs.
"Don't help the bastard, he doesn't deserve it!" spat Naruto.
Sakura started to apply her green chakra to the more serious injuries, and said, without looking up, "He can't walk. I'll stop if you want to carry him."
Naruto said nothing.
"Didn't think so."
Sasuke watched her as she continued to heal his wounds. He'd heard long ago that she'd become the Hokage's apprentice, though he'd underestimated how much good that might have done her. When she was finished, Sasuke noticed that she had healed more than just his legs, she'd also taken care of the deep cuts to the remainder of his body. All that remained was some bruising and scratches. Somehow, this extra care had escaped the dobe's notice, as he was currently taking his pressing anger out on a tree.
"Not a word." She said quietly. Sasuke just glared at her.
"Hey you done yet??" hollered Naruto, who was impatient to get home.
"Yeah," she shouted back, and then turning to Sasuke said, "can you stand?"
Sasuke did not reply verbally, instead slowly got to his feet, his strained muscles screaming in protest. Testing his weight on each foot, though sore, he couldn't feel any cuts or broken bones in his legs, or anywhere for that matter. She'd done a pretty thorough job. Who knew Sakura could be good at something?
Looking around, he saw Naruto had already started along the path that led to Konoha…..home. Sakura was a short distance away and waiting for him.
"For god's sake, Hurry up!!" called Naruto, who'd stopped to look back.
Once Sakura and Sasuke arrived at the point he was waiting, Naruto's eyes narrowed.
"Where are you other injuries?" he asked.
Speaking like an angry cat that was cornered, Sasuke hissed, "Sakura finally proved she was useful."
Unfortunately for Sasuke, Sakura only a little ahead, had been within earshot. She stopped walking.
"Would you just shut it?" snapped Naruto, sick of his bullshit, he'd used most his energy fighting, "I just wanna get home. Let's go."
"Not yet," hissed Sakura, who was stalking her way back toward them, with an odd gleam in her eye.
When she reached them, she moved so quickly, he couldn't have avoided it if he'd wanted to. Taking her aim, Sakura swung back her fist and punched Sasuke, squarely, in middle of his face. She swore she'd felt the satisfying crunch of bone breaking against her knuckles.
Taking a relieved sigh, Sakura turned to a surprised, but amused Naruto, and said, "Okay, now we can go."