Title: fiesta

Author: paws-bells

Characters/Pairing: Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Itachi

Type: One-shot (Complete)

Genre: Romance/Humor

Word Count: 5272

Theme: LJ Community, 50-shinobi theme #36, fiesta

Rating: T (Contains content not suitable for children)

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-san.

Summary: Non-massacre AU. Sakura comes across someone most unexpected when she finds herself separated from her friends during the summer festival.

Chapter Last Revised on: 11/01/08

The summer festival was in full swing and she was hopelessly lost amongst the immense crowds of cheerful, merrymaking villagers and ninjas.

Sakura really had no idea how it happened. One minute she was in the middle of the large group that consists of her teammates as well as the individual members of Team Ten and Team Eight, enjoying the night breeze as well as the cheerful atmosphere the next she was accidentally jostled aside by someone and by the time she recovered enough to look up her friends had already been pushed into and swallowed by the humongous crowd.

The twenty-year old kunoichi hadn't panicked at the disappearance of her group though she did try to look for them. It was rather chaotic on the streets; what with so many people walking around enjoying the festivities her search quickly proved to be quite futile. There were bright lights and sounds of happy conversations everywhere she turned, and getting a little dizzy and overheated by all the people around her the pretty pink-haired medic-nin soon gave up.

Clad in a short summer yukata made from sheer cream silk, Sakura was hardly equipped to move about in the manner in which she was used to. The new, unseasoned geta that Ino had provided her was starting to pinch her toes something fierce and with a resigned look on her face Sakura decided to look for a place to rest her poor feet. Maybe her friends were looking for her as well; and it did make more sense that she would reunite with the group faster if she stayed put instead of walking about blindly.

Decision made, Sakura started to search for a bench. The process took longer than she thought; there were couples sneaking a private moment for themselves everywhere she looked and Sakura wasn't about to intrude into their privacy by sharing their benches. Eventually, the petal-haired female found herself in the least crowded section of Konoha—the training areas.

Compared to all the cacophony of celebration earlier, it was strangely quiet here but for some reason Sakura preferred this more. Well familiar with this place, the kunoichi was hardly bothered by the dim lighting and silent emptiness. Oddly content with the feel of the soft night breeze ruffling through her long, pink hair and the sweet sound of water bubbling in the small stream nearby, the kunoichi was about to search for a suitable tree to sit under when it slowly occurred to her that she was not alone.

There was a figure sitting by the bank of the flowing water.

His back was turned to her but she could see clearly that he was in full ANBU attire; the black cloak partially obscuring the silvery grey vest, the pale glint of sleek bicep inked by the mark of the ANBU, the porcelain mask that was secured at his left hip.


Emerald eyes widened slightly with recognition. His lean, lanky form, the long raven hair.

This was Sasuke's brother.

Sakura frowned slightly. What was he doing here?

And most importantly should she approach him? Sakura was in a slight dilemma. Throughout the years she had known Sasuke she was sure that she had never spoken more than ten words to Itachi-san. The older Uchiha intimidated her, to speak the truth. Everyone was always talking about what a genius he was; how smart, how strong, how powerful. And he was so distant and impassive every time she saw him too! What was she supposed to do?

Biting her lips nervously with indecision, Sakura decided at last to greet him. She had spotted him already and she was sure that he had detected her even long before she had him and it would be rude to just pretend not to see him. Sakura walked slowly towards the Uchiha.

As she approached him the pink-haired medic wondered absently what he was doing here. It was apparent that he had just returned from an assignment, so shouldn't he be returning home to rest?

Then she saw the flasks of sake that sat by his side, and thought briefly that maybe this was his way of coping with the type of missions that he was normally assigned to.

Powerful or not, intelligent or not, he was just as human as she was, it seems.

Emerald eyes became slightly less wary and worried at her own reasoning. She came to a stop a meter away from him.

"…Itachi-san?" Her voice was soft so as not to jar the peacefulness of the surroundings.

The dark head lifted at her call, then turned gracefully to reveal a sharp, patrician profile and slanted onyx eyes. The lines of stress that stood out most prominently from his pale, aquiline features made her wince inwardly, and he stared at her for a long time.

"Sakura-san." He spoke at last, his soft tenor lilting and formally polite as usual. She nodded hesitantly at him.

"May I sit with you?" She asked.

Her unexpected request made him look at her sharply for a brief moment before he nodded.

Mentally bidding goodbye to her clean yukata, Sakura awkwardly maneuvered herself onto the ground. The hem of her attire was absurdly short and she had to sit sideways; legs closed together and ankles tucked demurely to the side. She pushed her long hair back absentmindedly after she had arranged the yukata as best as she could and not show so much skin; and the action was so dainty and feminine that he watched her with an air of quiet interest.

Sakura was most disconcerted to find dark obsidian orbs trained upon her when she looked up again to see him. His eyes were so intent that she could not keep the light pink blush from appearing upon her face despite her best efforts to curb it.

She was not a fangirl!!

"Is…is there a problem, Itachi-san?" She asked quickly in an effort to conceal her embarrassment.

He shook his head once and then fixed his attention at a distant spot on the other side of the stream.

"It's nothing. Sake?" He offered politely, gesturing with long, elegant fingers to the small white porcelain bottles between them.

Sakura brought her hands up and shook them immediately. "Oh, no. I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol." She sounded slightly sheepish. "Thanks anyway."

The pink-haired female watched instead as he took a flask and carried it to his lips. Emerald eyes widened slightly when he drained its contents in a single swallow. He glanced askance at her stunned look, and appeared slightly amused by it.

It was obvious to Sakura that Sasuke's brother was definitely no amateur when it comes to drinking. However, he wasn't slowly enjoying the sake the way her shishou always does, tasting and appreciating the rice wine in small amounts. It was more as if he was trying to get himself…drunk.

Sakura frowned.

"Was it a difficult mission?" She asked quietly. They were both so different; Sakura realized belatedly. She worked so hard to save lives whereas he just…took them.

She sounded genuinely curious; not at all like the others who were asking just for the sake of it. He was the heir of the great Uchiha clan after all; there were many who were interested in him in the name of material gains and the fact that this little pink-haired female wasn't one of those people made him warm slightly towards her.

"It wasn't a difficult mission." The Uchiha acknowledged at last, his calm voice seemingly a little less distant than before.

Sakura did not understand at first. "Then why-"

She was so innocent. He fixed his attention on her, feeling reluctant interest stir within him for his brother's pink-haired teammate.

"It's a habit."

Sakura looked genuinely dismayed.

"You mean you do this after every mission?"

He looked at her. Then he nodded.

Sakura's frown deepened. She stared at the amount of bottles that he had brought with him. There were definitely more than fifteen! He drank even more than Tsunade-sama! And if he imbibed this amount regularly…

"When did you start…this?" Her concerned tone caught his notice like nothing could. He stared at her intently, eyes unreadable as he saw the worried knit of her brows, the slightly anxious look in her eyes.

He turned completely to her, the expression on his face serious. He wanted to see her reaction, needed to see her reaction in order to judge her motive.

"Since my first kill."

Sakura really didn't like where the direction of their conversation was heading. It was becoming rather dark and morbid and the kunoichi frowned slightly. The way that he was staring at her made her mildly uncomfortable but the kunoichi persevered.

"And when was that?" She asked softly. Something told the beautiful medic-nin that she wasn't going to like his answer.

He did not look away from her; on the contrary, he locked down her gaze with his.

"Since I was ten."

Was Sakura impressed?


The pink-haired female blanched in shock. Her mouth fell open and the slightly mortified look on her face was most blatant to him. Her reaction was extremely gratifying. It showed that at least someone saw him as a human still, not just a living, breathing weapon meant to bring glory and fame to the Uchiha name. The clan elders had been more interested in the details of his first kill than the terrified, pale faced boy with the wild look in his dark eyes and shaking hands that had stood before them those many years ago. His Father had been proud. His Mother never even knew.

Alcohol had been his solace. The confusion between what's right and wrong as well as the innocent ideals of childhood had conflicted most violently with what he had been trained to become and it was only in the haze between drunkenness and sobriety that his ten-year old self had been able to find some semblance of peace. He wasn't allowed to show any weakness and so he hid it. The sake simply rendered him immune to the aftermath of his kills.

But then again, it had also numbed him to everything else.

His little brother had been luckier. The immense pressure of the clan wasn't on him and ever since he had his teammates the younger Uchiha no longer felt the overwhelming need to gain acknowledgement from their clan. The intense rivalry between Sasuke and the loud blonde Uzumaki as well as the gentle acceptance of this pink-haired medic-nin had forged an enduring friendship that would last a lifetime. His little brother tended to keep his teammates well away from the reach of the clan though; understandably the elders did not approve of Sasuke's close connections with a Jinchuriki and a kunoichi with only civilian background and the fact that the younger Uchiha was blatantly standing up to them told Itachi that he too was starting to see just what the clan really was.

He was happy for Sasuke; at least one of them had escaped completely untouched by the greedy, grasping fingers of their family.

And now he had his brother's teammate beside him, all sweet innocence and gentle, warm concern.

Her character was strangely captivating to him, and belatedly the Uchiha heir wondered if this was how she behaved around Sasuke as well.

If so, he wanted to know more about her.

Wanted to know what he was missing.

Meanwhile, Sakura could only stare at the older male with disbelief painted clearly on her face.

He took his first life when he was ten?! She was still playing with dolls and braiding flowers into Ino's hair when she was at that exact same age! Sakura recovered quickly from her surprise. A large frown was still gathered on her forehead though. It was no wonder he was so emotionally detached! Sakura simply could not imagine how it was like for him. They were living in relatively peaceful times now, after all. She looked at him closely.

"Were you forced? To kill that is?" She couldn't imagine any other way.

She really was such an innocent.

"It was the Chuunin Exams." He answered shortly. For some reason he decided not to tell her that the expectations of the clan had been overwhelming as usual and he had been expected to do whatever it took to pass.

The way her eyes softened with understanding—and relief made him cock his head slightly and stare at her with increasing interest. Sakura did not notice that she had just successfully captured the attention of one of the most powerful shinobi in the world. She was too busy grimacing to herself. Of course it was the Chuunin Exams. The kunoichi pursed her lips with mild irritation. There was always such a ridiculous amount of casualties when teams from different countries come together in a clash of rivalries and egos to try to outdo each other. Sakura decided to quickly focus back onto the more worrisome topic before she worked herself into a lather just thinking of the promotion exams.

His problem was worse than she had originally thought.

"So you are telling me that you were consuming alcohol since you were ten?" Sakura was most appalled.

His long, sooty eyelashes came down to conceal his thoughts from her, not that she could read his deadpan expression very well in the first place.

"And if I was?"

To compound to her agitation, he took another bottle from the cluster of sake flasks and drained it all at once again. Sakura's frown deepened.

"You should stop. It is not healthy, you know." She began to lecture him. "Our lifespan as ninjas is already short enough; you are going to destroy your liver if you are drinking as much as I think you are drinking." She paused, then looked at him in utter incomprehension. "Why do you drink so much anyway?"

What a question to ask. The Uchiha was not entirely sure of the answer either. The Genin team that he had been on those years ago had consisted of two older Genins and it was them who had introduced him to the alcohol. It had numbed the terror and anguish that he had felt whenever he recalled decapitating his first kill, the sensation of kunai tearing into flesh, bones and tendons so alien to him then. Now that he was a seasoned warrior, the aftermath of the kill didn't affect him as much anymore and to be honest sake no longer had any effect on his senses either. He was stone-cold sober no matter the amount of alcohol he consumed; even the ability to temporarily forget the type of things that he did on a regular basis was now denied to him.

"…It's a habit." He repeated softly.

Maybe it was because they were truly alone with each other with no outside interferences, maybe it was the peaceful environment that they were in, maybe it was the alcohol that had lowered his guard but Sakura could clearly see the mild flash of…something that went past his eyes at his admittance. She felt like she had learnt more about him today compared to the handful of times that she had spoken to him in the past combined.

The kunoichi shook her head slightly.

"Then I think you need to switch to a better habit." The pretty medic announced.

Her firm determination intrigued him mildly. The way she set her jaw and looked at him with such guileless expectation made normally expressionless onyx gleam with cynical amusement.

"Oh?" He questioned in his customary soft, rich voice. However, the rare hint of languid interest was evident even to Sakura. She stared at him with surprise. "You have given this some consideration, I presume."

Tapping a finger against plump pink lips, Sakura thought about it for a moment. Then she looked sideways at him just in time to see him reach for yet another flask of sake.

"Hey! No more drinkin-ack!"

Before the petal-haired medic could even think of how they barely even know each other and that she was actually quite intimidated by him, she reacted reflexively. The kunoichi pounced over to the powerful Uchiha immediately, never mind the fact that he was evidently a very dangerous shinobi and that she had no call trying to engage him in a wrestling match; albeit a purely unintentional one.

She forgot that she was not dressed in her usual attire either, and promptly tripped on her own geta. Emerald eyes widened slightly as she started to fall towards Itachi and then started to close tightly again as she braced herself for the inevitable impact.

She landed on him in a flurry of long pink hair, pale milky legs and white silk.

Sakura was utterly mortified.

The petal-haired beauty froze against the warm, hard surface that she was now leaning against. Then he shifted slightly under her; the sinuous pull of lean muscles most evident to her. Sakura started to turn bright red.

She reopened her eyes timidly.

"Erm…" Anything else she was about to say was cut off in a soft squeak when she felt a strong arm curl slightly around her waist to balance her properly. Wild emerald eyes flew up to meet mildly intrigued onyx immediately.

"So, this is your plan?"

Utterly embarrassed, Sakura opened her mouth immediately to deny.

"Actually, I-"

"Very well. I will try it your way." He didn't wait for her to finish and his tenor was decisive—and mildly curious. "What am I supposed to do?"

Sidetracked by his abrupt question, Sakura promptly decided to temporarily ignore the fact that she was currently sitting on his lap in a most scandalous manner. The kunoichi was always happy to help others and now was no exception. Emerald eyes turned slightly vague in thought.

"Well…your long-term consumption of sake has probably evolved into a need." The kunoichi mused softly to herself. "You are going to have to curb that urge every time it crops up of course, which is after every mission, right? I would suggest a distraction of some sort. Some activities, perhaps?"

He arched a brow at her. "A distraction?" He questioned calmly. She looked back at him and nodded. Her slight movements nudged her soft, feminine curves against his lean form and unreadable onyx eyed her speculatively. A distraction.

The pretty pink-haired medic stared at the Uchiha curiously, mesmerizing verdant eyes staring straight into his. "Do you have anything in mind?"

To her surprise he answered almost immediately. "Yes, I think I do." Before he could elaborate Sakura smiled happily at him, totally pleased by how cooperative he was being. Sasuke's brother wasn't so intimidating after! He's just a little distant but was actually quite—

"Will this do?"

Sakura was caught completely unaware when he drew his face down and brushed his lips gently across hers. The pink-haired female froze immediately. He had been observing her and he watched intently as her eyes widened and flittered over to him with pure confusion.

He withdrew slightly from her, and simply waited for her reaction. It didn't take long to come.

"I-Y-you-I—What was that for?" Sakura asked faintly. She thought that was she acting rather calmly too, seeing that he had kissed her like he just had and they barely even knew each other. It was such a chaste contact too, but it was as if the feel of him had been branded onto her and Sakura resisted the urge to lick her lips in curiosity.

He looked at her.

"You requested for a distraction."

Honest to god, Sakura gaped at him.

"Yes, but I meant for you! Not for me!" Her voice was pitched a little higher than normal and combined with her growing fluster and the fact that yes, he did succeeded in 'distracting' her all the same Sakura felt herself turning pink.

His answer was calm.

"I was suitably distracted as well." He assured her.

Forget pink, Sakura thought that she could pass off for a glaring neon light at the moment.

Itachi eyed the open-mouthed, disbelieving female. Then he bent his head down and did it again!

This time, his tongue flicked out to trace the closed seam of her mouth. Then his teeth came to take her lower lip in a gentle nip before releasing her again.

Onyx eyes were slightly darkened.

Her breathing quickened slightly and her heart started to pound in her ears.

"You don't like this?" He asked.

Sakura snapped out of her stupor immediately. She refocused back upon him with slight difficulty.

"This is not about me." The pink-haired beauty muttered in a cutely fierce manner. "This is about you!"

To her complete bewilderment he nodded in agreement.

"Yes," he answered. "And I want you to be comfortable with me."

His short reply was so unexpected that she could only stare at him. Was this really Sasuke's cold, stoic brother? He sure as heck wasn't acting anywhere near cold—or stoic now for the matter.

Then keeping her firmly sprawled on his lap, the enigmatic male started to angle his face towards her again. Sakura was immediately alarmed. He was going to kiss her again and she had no idea what to do about it!!

"W-wait!" Immediately she pressed small hands against his shoulders in an effort to keep him from coming close. The subtle shift of muscles under her hands made her flush even harder and for the life of her Sakura could not understand why her heart was thumping so hard. "You are not thinking clearly, Itachi-san! You are drunk!!"

He merely looked at her, and the way his eyes were observing her with such alertness quickly told her that he was anything but inebriated.

"Do you really think so?" He asked her calmly. She nodded her head vigorously.

"We don't know each other very well, Itachi-san." The pretty female pointed out quickly. "You are just…er…confused by the alcohol now! Why don't you let me up now and we-er can continue discussing this tomorrow, when you are feeling more sober?"

She was so frantic to convince him that he was making a mistake that it was most unexpectedly endearing. Watching her with onyx eyes that were fractionally warmer than normal, Itachi spoke, voice tinted by the slightest bit of amusement.

"I am actually quite sober." Before she could protest he continued. "Is that all you are concerned about, Sakura?"

The way he curled his tongue around her name coupled with that interested look on his face was so oddly flattering to her that she could only stare—and blush. Thanks to the amount of most intimidating men in her life, no male had ever dared to even look at her the wrong way and she was most abashed—and secretly thrilled despite herself.

Still, she was most unsure.

This was Sasuke's brother. Sasuke's very scary brother. She had never spoken much to said brother in the first place until tonight. This was completely insane.

"I really don't think that this is a good idea." The kunoichi blurted out quickly. "Can you please let me go?"

She was afraid of him.

Instincts told him to release her right away but he was quite reluctant to do so.

He eyed her quietly.

"Have I upset you? I apologize."

To say that Sakura had been surprised would not be an understatement. She stared at the stoic Uchiha who was looking at her intently. He sounded so genuine that she felt herself soften towards him.

"I wasn't…upset." She found herself admitting reluctantly. "I was just slightly taken aback."

It didn't take him long to find the loophole within her statement.

"But not anymore?" He asked. She looked at him with a mildly wary flash in her eyes, and he was immediately reminded of a young doe.

Sakura shook her head slowly.

"Yes. Not anymore."

He nodded at her. "Very well. Then we can attempt this again."

Emerald eyes widened at the quiet determination in his voice. "But-! Wait-"

He didn't allow her to finish.

Sakura could only freeze on the spot as the handsome Uchiha quickly closed the distance between them and kissed her into silence. This time he was more aggressive, but not necessarily in a bad way. He slipped past her lips almost immediately; she had been so stunned by the suddenness of it all that she didn't even think to pull away. The taste of sake and his own unique flavor teased her tongue into responding to his but it was only after awhile that she recovered enough to slide her own appendage curiously against his.

Her eyes still wide open; she could clearly see onyx orbs dilate with pleasure. The delicate cobalt slivers that were embedded within his pupils flared with such intensity that she found herself reluctantly mesmerized. His arm around her waist tightened and he pulled her closer to press against his ANBU vest and awkwardly her hands eased from their original position on his shoulders to a most intimate one around his neck. He didn't protest her shy, instinctive movement.

She was being thoroughly kissed by Uchiha Itachi but Sakura quickly decided to push that most worrying thought aside first. Concentrating on the delicious sensations that he was giving to her was so much more enticing.

His lips were firm as they rubbed gently against hers, and she gasped into his mouth when she felt a large hand close around her uncovered thigh. The heat his callused palm radiated made her insides react most oddly and Sakura trembled slightly despite herself. He nudged her limb to the side to move her even closer to him, and coaxed her wordlessly to open her mouth wider for him.

Sakura obeyed.

The feel of his tongue sliding wetly against hers and the taste of him was so heady that Sakura was immediately lost. The kunoichi released a soft whimper and arched into him most unconsciously. He felt so good. Slowly though, he broke away from her mouth in favor of inspecting other portions of her; namely her neck. Emerald eyes glazed over completely when he trailed his tongue down the graceful curve of her throat, occasionally scraping his teeth against her tender skin as he did so. Sakura panted softly as he marked her with his wet kisses and hot, sucking mouth, her fingers curling and uncurling amongst the sleek raven-hair at his nape as he laved her with his sensual brand of attention. Her cream yukata was getting horridly disheveled by their intimate acts but Sakura could not bring herself to care at the moment. Then her right shoulder lapel was shoved down slightly to reveal the pale gleam of her shoulder blade before the powerful shinobi before her employed his teeth on her smooth flesh, clamping down lightly and making her jump with the unexpected nip. The kunoichi sighed bonelessly, then leaned willingly against him as he continued to explore her shoulder, utterly intoxicated with her distracting scent of mangoes and cream.

It was only awhile later when his ardor for her was slightly cooled, and the pair made a most arresting picture sitting by the stream under the moonlight, the enigmatic ANBU Captain and his pink-haired, yukata-clad nymphet.

Sakura was most embarrassed when her attempt to slip off him to sit on the ground instead was abruptly halted by the firm, unyielding hand on her thigh. Her face was bright red when she turned her head to look at him.


Her lips were rosy from his kisses and her eyes bright from their earlier encounter. Onyx pupils dilated and darkened.

She was having a most unexpected effect on him.

It was not exactly unwelcome.

"You are right." His slightly husky voice made her lick her lips in unconscious reaction and in response his eyes half-lidded, the lazy predatory intent most evident to her despite his action. It made her nervous—and excited. Sakura eyed him cautiously; he looked like a well-fed jungle cat now that he had his way with her, languid and mildly amused by the little plaything in his arms—her.

A part of her was belatedly regretting poking her nose into the affairs of this Uchiha.

The other part could not wait to find out if there was a likelihood that he would kiss her the way he just had again.

"Er." It was obvious by the slightly dazed look in her eyes that she had trouble remembering what they were talking about earlier. His eyes gleamed. What an intriguing reaction. Would she behave thusly every time he touched her?

It was certainly something worth considering…

At least until the next time he could test his hypothesis on her.

The small smile on his face was something she had never seen on him before. It made him look so much younger, and so devastatingly good looking that Sakura could only gape like an idiot.

"Congratulations, your persuasion worked." Before the pink-haired kunoichi could decipher what he meant, he continued. "I will change…my habit."

His languorous purr towards the end of his sentence went unnoticed by Sakura. She brightened immediately at his promise.

"You will? That's great!" The pretty medic was ridiculously pleased with herself. She had always hated to see people abuse their bodies and the fact that she could persuade the Uchiha to quit imbibing alcohol made her feel most satisfied. And it wasn't exactly all that difficult too! All it took was just one…kiss.

Sakura promptly turned pink just thinking of his lips against hers. Long fingers caught her chin and lifted her gaze to meet his.

"I will exchange my cravings for you."

It didn't take long for his tranquil statement to register. Emerald eyes cleared and widened immediately. She was learning quickly that Itachi was at an entirely different level compared to Sasuke—so much more intense than his younger brother, not to mention that his touches made her feel things that she had never felt before. Sakura was still a little bewildered by it all.

"Wha- wait a minute!" The formerly happy female was now quickly getting alarmed. "What do you mean?!"

He looked at her simply.

"What do you think?" He asked.

Sakura's mind whirled. Exchange his cravings for her?!! But he claimed to consume sake after every—

Sakura looked stumped by his implications.

"After…every mission?"

He didn't reply; instead the powerful Uchiha lowered his dark head to run his tongue down the curve of her throat. There was a growing bruise that he had just put there moments ago and he was most interested in soothing it.

Sakura was just as adamant in continuing the conversation. Small hands came up to his shoulders and tried to keep him at arm's length.

"Itachi-" She was about to add the '-san', then realized that was not exactly suitable now. In the span of less than an hour, their relationship had changed from almost strangers to something a lot more…intimate. It had occurred so quickly that Sakura still could not understand how it happened. She was slowly coming to the conclusion that she had been tricked, though she could not prove it of course.

Just what had she gotten herself into??

He lifted his head to look at her. His intent was obvious, and the seriousness in his gaze told her that he was not joking.

"After every mission." He confirmed quietly before leaning over to press his mouth against hers. She was too shocked by his admission to react, but did manage to feel the curve of his lips as he smiled lightly.

"And then some…"


Questions That I Would Like To Answer Before You Ask:

Regarding Itachi's ANBU mask, I'm very much aware that there is no 'Weasel' in the ANBU rankings. According to Wikipedia, the porcelain masks of the ANBU are depicted after the twelve traditional zodiac animals. Obviously the weasel is not one of them, so I'm tweaking things up a little.


After writing so many ItaSaku one-shots, I'm starting to feel like I'm whoring out poor Sakura. Sakura's character here is slightly more passive than in canon-verse, as I'm sure most of you have already detected already. She's also quite the goody-two-shoes and a lot more innocent in this fic. Itachi kissing her was a little sudden, and I'm also quite aware that the fact she had allowed it to continue was not very realistic. So here are my apologies!


And…I'm also in the process of writing a follow up for this one-shot, so do look out for it. I know; I just can't help my itchy fingers.


Lastly, for the record, I'm not portraying Itachi as an alcoholic in this one-shot. He is not an alcoholic and there is a difference, trust me. He has an unnaturally high tolerance for alcohol for one, and for another the sake does not control his life. It is more of a habit for him than anything, I suppose, to drink after every mission.


Your reviews fuel my passion for writing. So please leave a comment if you like this fic, thank you.