A warm blanket of sunlight spread across a neatly kept bedroom and over the sleeping occupant within. A bundle beneath the soft pink blankets stirred at the added warmth and struggled for a moment before freeing herself from her cosy cocoon and kicking the sheets to her feet. She rolled over to the other side of her bed and rested her head on the cool, unused pillow and remained in perfect stillness until another presence entered the room.
A sleepy smile spread across her lips as a furry head rested itself on the mattress by her head and a cold, wet nose nudged her cheek. The young woman laughed softly and reached out to pat the dog's head.
"Okay, okay I'm getting up." She yawned and stretched once more before swinging her legs over the side of the bed and resting them on the carpeted floor. She took a moment to grip the lush pile with her toes before heaving herself upright and following the her canine companion from the room.
Emerging into the hallway of her apartment, she shivered slightly at the cool floorboards beneath her feet briefly before continuing on, occasionally walking across a tatami mat on her way. At the end of the hall the girl paused and ran her fingers across the smooth wood of the side table, before trailing her fingers up to the play button on her answering machine.
'Hey Sakura, it's just me… and that's Temari just in case you've already forgotten me! Sorry about ringing so late, you're probably in bed already, but I just wanted to let you know that I'll be in town for a while from Monday. Gaara will be around too but Kankuro's got to hold down the fort here in Suna. Anyway just give me a call when you're actually awake and I'll tell you more. Take care!'
Sakura smiled upon hearing her friend's voice drift from the machine and moved into the kitchen upon hearing an impatient bark.
"My, my, we are hungry this morning aren't we Metsuki?" Sakura giggled at the audible sound of the Labrador's tail hitting the ground. Metsuki bounded over to her form and gave her hand an affectionate lick. Sakura laughed once more and moved across the small kitchen, reaching into one of the lower cupboards and pulling out a tin of dog food. Opening the drawer adjacent to the cupboard, Sakura found the can opener and proceeded to serve breakfast to her faithful friend.
While Metsuki ate in the kitchen, Sakura retreated her steps to her bedroom and searched through her wardrobe for something to wear. Glad that it was Saturday, she moved to the casual side of her clothes and ran her fingers across the labels before pulling out a pair of wide leg jeans and a simple vest top. Dressing quickly Sakura moved across the hallway to the bathroom and completed her morning rituals. She ran a comb through her hair and decided it would suffice before returning to the kitchen and walking to the adjoining living room. She sat on the sofa and grimaced as she realised she had actually taken a seat on her bag. Pulling the small messenger bag from beneath her she reached into it and checked that everything was still there: keys, money, ID tags. With everything present she called for Metsuki and the large dog came lolling into the room immediately.
"Full now boy?" The hound rested his head on Sakura's knee and the girl smiled. "How about we go out and meet Ino-pig today? Maybe I'll grab lunch with her or something and catch up." Nodding to herself she reached forward towards the coffee table where she knew she had left Metsuki's harness the night before.
The dog remained obediently still as Sakura fastened the harness to him and stood up as Sakura did, her grip secure on his leash. Metsuki led her to the door and Sakura pulled it shut behind her but not before grabbing her most essential accessory from the table next to the door.
Sasuke Uchiha was not pleased.
This in itself was not an unusual occurrence, nor was the reason for his displeasure.
The blonde man in question looked up to see his fuming, raven haired friend stalking toward him. Naruto's eyes widened in alarm before dropping the plastic cup that he had just gotten from the water cooler in the office hallway and retreating rapidly into his own office. He did not have time to lock the door behind him however, and was thrown to the floor as Sasuke burst into the office seconds after him.
"Sasuke-teme! What the hell was that for?" Naruto groaned and heaved himself up off of the floor.
The seething onyx-eyed male in the doorway glared at him. "What is this I hear about you getting drunk on Friday and giving my number to women that I have never met before?"
Naruto blinked, apparently feeling quite perturbed. "Huh?" He managed weakly. "I don't remember doing that… then again I can't remember much about last night. Are you sure I gave your number out Teme?"
"Oh, I don't know," Sasuke began sarcastically. "Why don't you ask the three dozen women that have been ringing me since last night, who all told me that a loud blonde man had given them the number and told them that I was looking for a wife!"
Naruto laughed nervously and took several steps backwards, putting his desk in between Sasuke and himself. "You aren't looking for a wife are you?"
"No!" Sasuke snapped, obviously irked. "I'm not even looking for a girlfriend, and it does not make me happy to have air headed fan girls twittering down the phone to me at all hours of the day either. This is the third time in as many months that I've had to change my phone number, and it's usually because of your big mouth!"
"You know what Teme? I think you should get yourself a girlfriend, it might loosen you up a bit."
Sasuke snorted derisively. "How about you find me a girl with half a brain that doesn't try to jump me because of my looks and then we'll talk."
Naruto sat down at his desk, apparently deciding that Sasuke was not about to throw him out the window, and reclined lazily. "I'd be happy to break your nose Sasuke-teme, if it'd get the fan girls off your back."
"Watch it Naruto," Sasuke snapped as he left for his office next door. "Kakashi's signed us in for practice on the firing range this afternoon and I may just… slip with gun."
Naruto performed a choice hand gesture to Sasuke's back as he left the room, deciding he shouldn't test his friend's patience anymore than he already had.
Sasuke sighed heavily as he sat behind his desk in the Konoha Police Department complex. It was just before noon and already he felt like pulling his hair from his head. He couldn't really hold a grudge against Naruto however, it was just the way the blonde idiot was. The pair had met in high school, both with a passion to be the best in all they did but for entirely different reasons.
Naruto craved success because he wanted to be wanted. His parents had died when he was a baby and growing up in an orphanage had left little chances to have someone focus all their attention on you.
Sasuke's desire to succeed was due to the fact he did have a family. His older brother, Itachi was a child prodigy, exceptionally smart and already a successful shareholder in his father's company. Itachi had been showered with praise for as long as Sasuke could remember, while Sasuke was lucky if his father even glanced in his direction. Regardless of the amount of effort that Sasuke put into his pursuits, whether it be school, sports or otherwise, it just never seemed to appease Fugaku Uchiha. His mother on the other hand was the light of his young life. Mikoto was a gentle, loving wife and mother and always made sure that Sasuke felt loved at all times.
Deciding that enough was enough, Sasuke did not enter into his father's banking corporation straight after high school. Instead he went to university and got a degree in criminal psychology, and after graduating he joined the Konoha police force as a criminal investigator.
His father had not been pleased.
To Sasuke that was immaterial however, and he loved every moment he spent chasing down criminals out in the field and sat in a lab late at night pouring over clues. Initially the only down side of his job had been his partner; it was safe to say that Naruto Uzamaki possessed more balls than brains. After a year of working as partners however, the duo, forever in competition since school, had found themselves functioning as a well-oiled machine. Sasuke provided the brains, Naruto's gut instincts turned out to be shockingly accurate most of the time, and they were both skilled enough to pack a mean punch.
The twenty-five year old stretched his arms out and cast a look at the time on the computer screen. Deciding that he had enough time to go and get some lunch outside of the KPD complex (Kakashi was notorious for being late for his engagements at any rate), he stood up and grabbed his jacket from its place on the back of his chair.
Sakura sighed happily as she walked down the pavement with Metsuki trotting contentedly beside her. They had had a pleasant stroll from the apartment, basking in the early summer warmth, taking their time to reach Ino's workplace; her family's flower shop.
The noise of the streets surrounded Sakura, she listened to the sound of the traffic, people talking as she passed and the occasional interlude of music as she passed an open window. She loved walking though the streets, they always seemed so alive and vibrant, although sometimes she would take the route that led through Konoha's beautiful park and just let the quiet ambiance of nature surround her.
She was occasionally jostled by some people as she allowed Metsuki to pull her through the thriving mass of bodies, but she did not mind. Metsuki took a left onto a new street, and as Sakura realised that Ino's shop would be just a few more roads away, she was knocked to the floor by someone who was obviously in a rush.
The air left her body in a rush as she landed hard on her bottom, and she immediately felt Metsuki nudging at her cheek with his nose.
The person whom she had collided with groaned slightly from somewhere in front of her, and Sakura could only gather that they had taken a tumble too.
Sasuke groaned as he heaved himself off of the floor. He had been in a rush, having let his lunch break run over a little too long and had run slap bang into another person as he hurried back to the complex. Suddenly realising that he was no longer carrying the cup of coffee he had been bringing with him back to the office, he looked down and scowled when he saw that he now had a rather large coffee stain on his thigh.
Feeling decidedly bitter, he couldn't help but snap at his impromptu obstacle.
"Watch where you're going next time yeah? What are you, blind?"
"Actually," a cool voice came from the floor. "I am."
Sasuke's eyes snapped downwards so quickly it hurt. Sat before him was a petite, pink haired woman, whose cheek was currently being nuzzled by a large, black Labrador wearing a distinctively yellow collar. He also noticed that scattered on the floor between them, along with the girl's bag and Sasuke's empty coffee cup, was a white, retractable stick.
Feeling like a bigger jerk than he had ever felt before, Sasuke immediately started to grovel.
"I am extremely sorry miss, here let me help you." As he reached out to take her arm however, the dog by her side let out a low growl causing Sasuke to pause.
"Metsuki, stop it," she chided softly. Allowing Sasuke to pull her gently to her feet, she smiled. "It's fine, I know that we always say things in the heat of the moment and you obviously didn't know." She paused and grinned a rather pretty smile. "Besides, it has been a while since I've had the opportunity to make someone feel so guilty."
Guilty. That pretty much summed up Sasuke's feelings. "Please, is there someway I can make it up to you?"
The woman before Sasuke laughed, and it struck him that she was young, definitely no older than he was. "Well, I would appreciate it if you could hand me my bag and stick, and perhaps if you wouldn't mind giving me your name?"
A little surprised by the second request, Sasuke did not hesitate to pick up the bag and white stick from the pavement and tell her his name as he passed them to her.
"Sakura Haruno," she smiled. "And it was nice meeting you Uchiha-san."
"Sasuke, please, and it was?"
Sakura reached down to find Metsuki's lead. "Oh, yes. It was different and what is life after all without variety?" She nodded with a very good estimate as to where he stood and carried on her previous path.
"Have a good day, Sasuke!"
He blinked, then blinked again for good measure. "You too, Sakura." He mumbled before looking at his wristwatch. Damn, he was now very late.
Thank you for reading (unless of course you skipped the chapter just to read this author's note), and to anyone who clicked on this thinking I'd posted another ATLA story, I apologise.
This is my first venture into writing Naruto fan fiction, although I've been in the grasp of the fandom for a good few months, and I've been itching to post this for a while so I finally took the plunge. I'm not one hundred per cent savvy on all things Naruto, but I've got a good general grasp I think.
This is obviously an AU, so any OOC-ness would be due to the fact that it's a different time and different circumstances. Don't worry though, I'm not going to have Sasuke running around throwing flowers in the air… hmm.
If I've completely screwed something up, you like the story, or you'd just like to ask me something, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and yell at me, berate me, or just plain praise me… whatever floats your boat.
I hope to have a lot of fun writing this one, and I hope it's just as enjoyable for you to read.