And I decided to expand. Because I'm crazy. And because a couple of people asked me too.
(haha, shopping tahm.)
Sakura needed a dress.
Well, technically, she wanted one, but details like that were irrelevant. She really didn't have any (or at least, the ones she did have hadn't fit her in years) due to her skimpy chuunin wages (she should really look into being promoted), and Ino had invited her to a party, so...
She was getting a dress.
Nothing too expensive, though. Despite the fact that she had refrained from flamboyantly spending money since as long as she could remember, she still didn't really have that much to splurge on. She envied normal teenage girls with wealthy fathers who bought them things just for a kiss on the cheek. Her father just grunted at her whenever she visited.
She was staring at her yellow-clad self in the dressing room mirror when she caught a flash of orange out of the corner of her eye. She spun around.
"Heeeeey, Sakura-chan. How's it hangin'?"
She instinctively threw her arms up to cover herself, backing away. "Naruto! This is a women's dressing room!"
"Well, yeah," he said, looking confused. "But people change in the stalls though, don't they?"
"Get out. Get the hell out!"
"Woah." He held up his hands defensively. "It was Sasuke's idea, not mine."
"It was not."
What the fuck? She turned, and there was Sasuke, leaning against a stall door. She numbly wondered what the woman inside was thinking. And there...crap, Kakashi was there too.
"Did you...did you follow me?" She asked incredulously.
Sasuke shrugged. "Naruto's idea."
Kakashi ignored them, scrutinizing her. "Sakura, that dress isn't your color."
"I dunno." Naruto squinted. "It makes her hair look really...pink."
Sasuke looked like he might kill himself.
"I don't...oh my God, just get out."
Naruto looked crestfallen. "But, we came to help. Don't you want opinions?"
"Not really, no."
"I rather like the green one," Kakshi said unperturbedly, pointing to the heap of dresses she hadn't gotten around to trying on yet. "Very classy."
Sakura narrowed her eyes. "I don't give a rat's ass what you – "
"Sakura," Sasuke interrupted wearily. "Just try them on so I can go. Please."
"Yeah," Naruto jumped in eagerly. "We'll leave you alone for the whole day."
She stared at them. Well, she couldn't take on all three of them at once, and the store owner might sue him if she tried, anyway. And...hell, who knew? Maybe their advice was worth something.
Given that they were all polar opposites, probably not, but she liked to be optimistic.
She snatched the green dress from the top of the pile and retreated into her stall, glaring at them. Sasuke and Kakashi mostly. Naruto was a lost cause, but they at least should know better to participate in these kinds of things.
"So, Sakura-chan, how far have you gotten?"
Her eyes appeared over the top of the door. "I'm sorry?"
"You're a virgin, right? Have you gotten to second base or anything?"
She let herself drop back to the floor. It would be too much of a hassle to go after him while she was half naked. She should have realized it was simply too much to ask for her to expect to spend quality time with her team and not end up talking about anything weird or awkward or none of their business. (Well, actually Sasuke and Kakashi were pretty good considering their chromosomal makeup. It was Naruto who couldn't act his age.) She heard a thump and a yelp that might have been Sasuke punching Naruto in the face. She sighed.
"Why do you care?" She asked distractedly. Only, the dress had these tricky crisscrossing straps that she couldn't figure out, and she was half afraid she was going to rip it...
"We're your teammates!" Naruto's voice was offended.
That was true. "Hey, Sasuke-kun," she said, rolling her eyes. "How far have you gotten?"
There were a few painfully loud seconds of stiff silence, then Naruto broke it. "Oh, Sakura-chan, he's obviously a vir – FUCK!"
Another thump and another yell, and Sakura decided it was time to intervene before Naruto lost a limb. Feeling strangely self-conscious, she pushed the door open and stood before them. "Well?"
The scrutiny was palpable. Naruto tilted his head thoughtfully.
She stared at him. "What?"
"The dress is too short," Sasuke repeated.
"What do you mean, it's too short?" She asked, chagrined. Honestly, it was fairly modest, only two or three inches above her knees.
"He means, Sakura," Kakashi clarified. "That if you would like to stay a virgin, you should pick another dress. Personally, I think it's very tasteful."
She was just starting to seriously wonder if maybe Kakashi really was gay, when Naruto interrupted her train of thought. "No, Sasuke's right," Naruto admitted reluctantly. "Too short."
She turned her head to look at him accusingly. Honestly, this was just ridiculous.
"What about Sasuke-kun's shirt?" She demanded, pointing.
"What's wrong with it?"
"No offense, but you might as well just not wear one."
"Yeah, I've been meaning to get around to that," Naruto said quickly. "You know, you piss a lot of people off by wearing it."
Sasuke drew himself up to his full height (which was fairly considerable, but nonetheless unimpressive to his quite deliberately unimpressed teammates) and stood with all the proud stiffness of a king. "It's a symbol of what I went through during my mission," he said solemnly. ("Yeah, like we need to be reminded of that every time we look at you," Naruto muttered.) "It's no one else's business but mine."
She had to admit, Sasuke could be an intensely powerful killjoy when he wanted to. Honestly, she didn't mind his loose rob-top and all the extra flashes of chest it offered, but he did seem to be needlessly tempting fate by keeping it. One day some overly patriotic gang was going to track him down and corner him.
And he would knock each and every one of them into next week, but that wasn't the point.
Kakashi was quickly losing interest in the conversation (or he was pretending to) the way he always did when they discussed Sasuke's defection, and Sakura made a snap decision to distract them. "Which one next? Red or white?"
"White," the boys chorused. She pulled the red one out from the bottom of the pile and disappeared back into her stall.
"You know," she heard Kakashi begin as she wriggled out of the perfectly appropriate green dress. "It's perfectly all right that you're a virgin. Just think, your first time will probably be extremely enjoyable."
There was another outbreak of activity outside her stall. "Ew, Kakashi-sensei!"
"Ew? It's not gross when you talk about it?"
"We're her age!"
"Will you two shut up?"
"Hey! Don't tell me to shut up!"
"So hurry up and do it and I won't."
"Teme – "
Sakura raised her voice to be heard. If Naruto and Sasuke were going to kill each other, fine. She would talk to her damn teacher instead. "You realize I'm your student, right? And you're giving me sex advice?"
"Former student," he intoned lightly. "And I'm just looking out for you."
Naruto picked his way back into the conversation, momentarily losing interest in Sasuke. "Yeah. In fact, you should just stay a virgin. Forever. Okay?"
"Hmm. No." She pulled the red dress over her head and shimmied her way into it (It was a little tight, but honestly, she was small-chested enough to get away with it.), and the price tag scratched against her arm. She automatically glanced down at it.
Well, damn. There was no way, she thought as she turned to look in the mirror just for curiosity's sake, that she could ever –
It was so...so pretty.
But...no. She couldn't afford it. She would rather have three meals a day.
But it was so pretty.
After some brief internal debate, she slipped it regretfully off and put it back on its hanger. She couldn't. Really. She had more important things to pay for.
"...Sakura-chan? What's taking so long?"
"It's too expensive," she sighed, failing horribly to hide her disappointment.
"Oh. Well, there's still the white – "
Her heart sank.
By the time she had yanked all her clothes back on, Naruto had gotten into a full fledged argument with the store owner. She emerged just in time to see him gesture wildly and say, "Yeah, but we didn't go in the stalls."
"We'll go," she interrupted. "Right now."
He turned on her. "You let them in here?" He asked, scandalized.
"No, no. They followed me."
"Hey – "
The shopkeeper chose that moment to clamp a hand around the shoulder of the person closest to him, saying, "I don't care. I really don't, just get out."
That person happened to be Sasuke.
Sakura didn't know whether his years of shinobi training or his years of being mentally unbalanced contributed to his doing it, but either way he snapped around and had the man pinned to the wall with his hands jerked behind his back before anyone could blink. She shrieked an irritated "Dammit, Sasuke!" at the same time Kakashi sighed wearily and a woman popped out of a nearby stall, where she had most likely been eavesdropping the entire time.
"What on earth are you people doing?" She demanded, aghast. Then she fully comprehended the situation, and before anyone could stop her her eyes widened in shock and she spun around and ran out. "Help! This man is being robbed!"
They froze. Then Kakashi coughed lightly and disappeared with a small poof of smoke.
The three of them exchanged panicked looks, and without further adieu Sasuke released the shop owner and they all hauled their asses out onto the street, sprinting past the quickly growing crowd. Naruto was careful to subtly ram his hip into the woman as they flew by her.
Roughly half an hour later Sakura arrived at her apartment, safe, alone, and out of breath. She could only assume Naruto and Sasuke and managed to escape too since their parting about a mile back. She scaled the wall to her window, cursing her mistake in judgment for letting herself believe she could depend on her team for anything not life-threatening. She dragged herself into her bathroom for a quick shower then collapsed on her bed, vaguely hoping none of them had been identified.
The next morning she found the red dress neatly folded on her coffee table, under a note with slender, delicate handwriting she recognized to be Sasuke's.
He can afford it. Beneath that was a scrawley smiley face that undoubtedly came from Naruto.
Frankly, it irritated her that first thing in the morning she had to find herself responsible for a stolen dress.
But then she looked at the smiley face and the neat, precise crease where the note had been folded in half, and felt the anger drain out of her. They were boys.
So she kept it.