A/N: My very first one-shot! Yay! Ahem. Anyway, I found the song after I wrote this, which makes it kind of cool. Please read the lyrics, because they tie in great with the story! Thanks for reading!
locked away your secrets
Kept them away from me
I only came to say goodbye, now you finally see
You wanna start all over again, make it work this time
But I don't wanna end up feeling far away from fine
I memorized what you said to me
So surprised, it was hell to be
So frustrated with the way we were
Not a single word could make it work
Now look at us today
--New Year, Sugababes
Some say that what you're doing when the clock strikes twelve a.m. on New Years Day is what you're going to do the rest of the year. Haruno Sakura was sitting alone on the futon in her apartment, eating chocolate-mousse flavored pocky. The clock read eleven thirty, and she tried desperately to think of ways to have fun for the next hour so she could have fun the rest of the year. But the only think she could think of was to go to Ino and Hinata's New Years party, the one where Sasuke was.
When he came back, almost dead and his first goal achieved, she punched him in the face and then invited Naruto over for ramen. Because Sasuke was unconscious after that, she didn't have to worry about having to say anything to him. Or him saying anything to her. After that, he rejoined their team, along with Sai, and she had to suffer spending a lot of time with him.
Spending time with a man who rejected you countless times, insulted you, almost killed you, and then came back and expected you to act the same way toward him, was not fun. At all.
So she avoided him as much as she could. Sure, she still loved him. She doubted she would ever stop loving him. Because how many New Years did she spend loving Sasuke?
Going to the party was out of the question. She knew Ino would be pissed at her, but she didn't really care. All she wanted to do was punch a certain person in the face again.
Looking down at the half-eaten box of pocky, she sighed. This was beyond pathetic. If this kept going at the rate it was going, she'd be wearing green spandex and orange legwarmers, declaring her undying love and shouting about the power of youth. She shuddered. No one would want to see that.
Orange would look horrible with her hair color and skin complexion, not to mention her light green eyes.
After sighing again, Sakura stood up and went into her bedroom. She was bored. Boredom did not suit well for her, so she decided that going to a party would be better than staying at home, eating like Chouji. (Not that she had anything against Chouji, of course. He had saved her life a couple of times.) So she changed into a loose, red dress that went down to her knees and put on some white sandals that she'd bought impulsively. Then, remembering that it was December, she put on a white sweater over the dress.
Not the best look, but it was suitable. She doubted there would be many people in Ino's small apartment.
She was wrong. The place was packed, and some of the people she saw were unfamiliar. She doubted they even knew Ino.
"Twenty minutes!" she heard the blonde kunoichi shout. "We begin the countdown at exactly eleven-fifty-nine!"
Sakura shoved her way through the crowd, reminding herself to watch out for Sasuke. If she saw him, she had no idea what she would do. Kami forbid she'd jump him. She'd be seen as a lunatic for a long time, and that was not something she was able to deal with.
After shoving her way to the living area without sign of Sasuke, she found Naruto, drinking sake and loudly telling anyone who would listen that he and Hinata were now engaged. Said young woman was blushing fiercely in embarrassment, asking quietly for him to stop.
"Naruto-kun, please be quieter…"
Sakura stepped right in front of Naruto, pulled on her gloves, focused her chakra on her fist, reeled back, and punched him in the jaw. He crumpled onto the floor, the cup spilling on the purple carpet.
"Naruto-kun?!" Hinata shouted. She looked up at Sakura and smiled. "T-Thanks, he was getting a little…"
"Too much to handle?" Sakura finished. "Don't worry, when he wakes up, I promise he'll be quieter. If he ever drinks that much again, just call me."
"O-Okay, Sakura," Hinata said. "Thanks again."
Sakura smiled. "No problem."
She felt a tap on her shoulder. She whirled around, but then regretted it immediately.
"Oh, hello, Sasuke-kun," she said, blushing a bit. "How are you?"
Sasuke merely glared at her.
"Sasuke-kun? Is anything wrong?"
"Would you care to explain to me why you've been avoiding me for the past month?" he said, the anger evident in his voice.
"Uh, ano, Sasuke-kun," she stuttered. "Don't you think that's obvious, considering my feelings for you?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Do you hate me? That's the only reason why one person would avoid another, right?"
Sakura blinked. He wasn't avoiding her, which, considering his logic, meant that he didn't hate her. But, still considering his logic, that meant that she hated him. But even more so, he actually sought her out. What did that mean?
"Don't strain yourself," Sasuke said, interrupting her thoughts. She looked up into his eyes, noticing the smirk on his lips. Those lips that looked so inviting. Inner Sakura squealed with delight. "So, do you?"
"What?" Sakura asked dumbly. "Do I what?"
"Hate me," Sasuke answered. "Or is there something you don't want me to know?"
"Sasuke-kun," she said, smiling sadly and laughing at herself. "My feelings for you are the exact opposite of hate. I thought you knew that."
Sasuke crossed his lean, muscular arms—Inner Sakura nearly had a heart attack at the sight of his muscles through the cloth of his shirt—and raised an eyebrow.
"Obviously, you didn't," Sakura said, defeated. "Um, I have to go now."
She turned to leave, but Sasuke's hand shot out and grabbed her arm. Without turning her head, she sighed. "What, Sasuke? Haven't I been humiliated enough here?"
Something flashed in his eyes. There was no –kun at the end. How many times had he heard his names that way? When had he started counting on it to always be there, somehow bringing consistency into his abnormal existence?
"Sakura, come with me," he commanded, though not as rudely as he could have been.
She turned to look at him and shook her head. "No, Sasuke."
"Ten minutes!" she heard Ino yell. Cheers erupted from the crowd.
"I have to go," she mumbled, pulling her arm out of his grasp. "See you later."
She turned again and took one step. Sasuke suddenly appeared in front of her, blocking the only pathway to the door of the apartment.
"Sakura, all I want is for you to listen to me. That's all I ask, and then you can go wherever you want," he told her, his black eyes smoldering. "I promise."
She debated it for a moment. "Fine."
She led him through the crowd into Ino's bedroom, which was the only room not occupied. She turned on the light, plopped herself on the the edge of the bed and crossed her arms. "I'm listening."
Sasuke watched her for a moment and she began to feel the tension in the air. It seemed harder to breathe. He sat next to her on the bed.
"I didn't regret leaving," he began. "I had a goal I'd set the night my family was murdered. It was the only reason I was alive."
Sakura looked down at the floor, not wanting to hear this. But she had promised to listen. That was all she had to do. Then she could leave.
"By going to Sound," he continued, "I became powerful enough to defeat both Orochimaru and Kabuto. Then, I trained on my own after that and became strong enough to defeat Itachi." He spat the name out, disgusted with himself for even saying it. "When Naruto found me, it was only a few hours after I killed my brother. I didn't expect him to bring me here. Did he ever tell you what happened that day when he tried to bring me back?"
She shook her head.
"I almost killed him," Sasuke said, his voice filling with something she couldn't identify. "By killing Naruto, I would have gained the Mangekyou Sharingan, the one my brother had."
Sakura looked up, instantly interested. "But…how?"
"To gain the Mangekyou Sharingan, you have to kill your best friend," Sasuke said, staring at the wall in front of them.
"Five minutes!" Ino yelled.
Sakura looked back down on the floor. "You cared about Naruto that much? To classify him as your best friend and then spare him when you had the chance to become more powerful?"
"Yes," he answered simply. "I didn't kill him because I didn't want to be on the same level as my brother."
"But, Sasuke-kun, you would never be like Itachi. I don't think anyone could."
Sasuke turned his gaze to hers, and she found it harder to breathe. Never, in a million years, would she have ever expected to be talking like this with the man she loved.
"Sakura, thank you," he said. She gasped. "No, not that. I…I just wanted to thank you for listening to me."
She smiled in spite of herself. "It's no problem, Sasuke-kun. I mean, it was as first, because I thought you were going to talk about me, and I just—I was terrified, and I wondered why you would want to talk about me, because you obviously don't like me—"
"I do like you, Sakura, that's the thing," Sasuke said, staring at her with an amused expression on his face. "And you're babbling."
Sakura blushed, apologizing. She didn't seem to have heard what he said.
"Sakura, did you hear me?"
"Huh?" she asked, turning back to face him again. "I'm sorry. I guess I wasn't really paying attention. Gomen, Sasuke-kun."
Sasuke smirked. "I said that I do like you. It shouldn't be a surprise."
But it was. Sakura's mouth opened in an 'O' and she almost fell over. "You like me?! But—But what about all those times that you said I annoyed you?!"
"Well, you were annoying to me then…" he said sheepishly. "But now, I think I miss you following me around. Compared to ignoring me, that is."
"One minute! Everybody get ready!"
"So you like people who stalk you?" Sakura blurted, almost shouting it.
"So, what makes you like me following you around?"
"Knowing that you liked me enough to want to spend time with me. Only my mother and Naruto treated me like that, other than you."
"And what about the love letters?" Sakura asked. The two were gradually leaning toward each other, her eyes dropping to his lips occasionally.
"An annoyance," he teased.
Sakura couldn't believe it! Uchiha Sasuke was teasing her! She could tell by the way every time she leaned forward quickly, he would move just out of reach of her lips.
"And the presents?" she asked, looking up at him through her eyelashes, which was something she never thought she'd do.
"I appreciated them all, but I never thanked you because I knew you'd give me more. I felt guilty."
He was the one who moved closer this time.
"What about the night you left?" she asked, her voice quieter. "What did you think when I told you that…"
"That you loved me with all your heart?" he finished. Now they were only centimeters away. They were sharing breath and Sakura swore he could hear her heart pound.
"I remembered, if that's any consolation," he whispered. His breath hit her face and she nearly fainted.
"Believe me, it is," she whispered back. His eyes darkened.
"Mhmm?" he mumbled, his eyes dropping to her lips. They looked to inviting, especially when he saw her tongue dart out and wet them. He followed suit and almost sighed in anticipation.
"They say that what you're doing when the clock hits midnight on New Years, that's what you're going to be doing all year," she told him.
"Well, then," he murmured, "I think we should…"
"Kiss?" she finished, hoping he'd say yes. They were already so close…
"Yeah, that," he agreed, moving closer, tilting his head and brushing his lips against hers.
She leaned into the gentle kiss, moving her arms around his neck and trying to pull him closer.
He pulled away for a minute and stood up. He turned off the lights. She looked at him questioningly, and then found herself being pulled to a standing position. The breathlessness from the kiss and then changing elevation so quickly made her gasp.
Sasuke roughly pulled her towards him and kiss her, cupping her cheeks with his calloused hands. She sighed softly into the kiss, relishing his taste, the feel of his lips against hers. In response to her sigh, he kissed her more deeply, running his tongue on her lower lip, asking for entrance, which she gladly granted.
He pushed her onto the bed, pressing his body against hers in delightful ways. Both moaned in pleasure.
"One! Happy New Year!"
They broke apart, both gasping for breath. Sasuke rolled off her, both instantly missing the warmth.
"That was…" Sakura trailed off. "That felt…Oh my…Wow."
Sasuke smirked. "That good, huh?"
All Sakura could do was close her eyes and nod. Sasuke moved to lean over her, his left arm holding him up, the right caressing her cheek. She leaned into the caress, sighing once again.
Before he could kiss her again, however, the door burst open, and light flooded the room. Shielding their eyes, both looked toward the person standing in the doorway.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY BED?" the person yelled. Sasuke immediately stood up, and Sakura blushed as fiercely as Hinata.
"Ino," Sakura said, fake surprise etching her face. "Fancy seeing you here. In your bedroom. Heh, heh, heh."