Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, cause that's owned by Masashi Kishimoto. I don't own Baby, You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek by Chiodos, and I ESPECIALLY don't own Grey's Anatomy, though if I did, Meredith and Derek would not be on the rocks, Izzie and Alex would still be together, and Burke would not have left.(Yeah, I basically despise Dr. Hahn.) And, oh yeah, I don't own Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.
Dedication: Annie, my love, the girl who loves ItaSaku for reasons unknown to myself but I do not question her sanity. Happy birthday, babe. I heart you muchly.
Sakura sighs, rolling her neck from side to side, trying to ease the muscles. It is seven-thirty in the morning. On a Saturday. If she didn't need the money so bad she would have told her boss where to go, what with his freaky working hours.
She grumbles a curse directed the general evilness of mornings before glancing at the clock. 7:34. Looking down, she straightens any wrinkles her outfit might have had before sneaking another look at the clock. 7:35. The bell for the door chimes, and just like clockwork he is there again, immaculate and perfect. His shoes tap softly against the tiled floor, and she tries to soften her posture in the face of such beauty. Even though she has seen this almost every day (because she STILL has to get vacations, after all) for the past two years, he still does not fail to take her breath away, and if she could she would laugh at the irony, because Uchiha Itachi does not fail at anything."Good morning, Uchiha-san." She greets as brightly as she can at such a damnable hour of the morning, and as per usual, he does not disappoint, giving her only a slight incline of the head. She bites her tongue against the question, "The usual?" because she already knows the answer, and she knows that the only reason she wants to pose the question is to hear his affirmative, because his voice is like liquid chocolate for the senses.
She does not speak as she fixes his caffeine, instead choosing to busy herself with thinking of the things she must do later. Her laundry would soon sprout legs and walk out of her apartment if she didn't do something about that fast, and she is running low on a few things, so she might as well go grocery shopping…almost absentmindedly Sakura adds three creams and two sugars to Itachi's coffee before she places a lid on it and turns around, placing it on the counter.
The money is already on the counter and he is picking up his hot drink without a word. "Have a pleasant day, Uchiha-san."
"Aa." With a whirl of his leather coat that Sakura just knows cost more than she pays for her rent money and the cologne smell of something he is gone, and the roseate-haired female prepares herself for another long day at work.
It is a good thing Sakura is not a religious woman, or she wouldn't be here at work so early, because she would be at church. Or, well, not church, because it is only a quarter past seven, but she would have been at church in a few hours; as it was, the only God she believed in was that of the glory of sleep, but it seemed He had been ignoring her as of late, seeing as how there were nights (that were becoming more and more frequent) where Sakura laid there for hours, tossing and turning with the image of dark, sleek black hair pulled back into a ponytail and even darker eyes piercing through her.
She yawns, feeling her jaw crack with the action, before she covers her mouth quickly as the door opens and a customer walks through. She smiles at him and then asks the infamous question, "how may I help you?" He answers and she nods, going to the back counter and making him his coffee. She tells him what the price is, he thanks her, pays, and Sakura is left to tap her nails against the counter, waiting for him.
At 7:34 the bell over the door chimes and Sakura straightens. He is early but then Sakura peeks at the clock and notices that he is actually on time, because he is Uchiha Itachi, solid and reliable, and occasionally predictable but if anything it is not a flaw.
"Good morning, Uchiha-san." She tries to sound bright and cheerful, but her sand-laden eyes betray her, and his mouth curls almost imperceptibly in a smirk.
"Hn." She smiles slightly before making him his coffee the way he likes it and hands it to him, the money already on the counter and their hands brush slightly as she passes him the cup of steaming hot liquid.
"Have a nice day, Uchiha-san." He nods at her, eyes connecting for just a second--her heart beats irregularly in the short span of time and damn it how does he do this to her?--before he turns gracefully on his heel and leaves the small coffee shop. Sakura leans back on the counter against the wall, next to the espresso machine, tilts her head against the wall and closes her eyes with a sigh. She has had a crush (because it is NOT love, never love) on this infuriating Uchiha for seven hundred days, and she wonders why she can't just let it go; after all, she has survived without him, in the time before she worked at the coffee shop. Surely she can go on if he weren't in her life.
(What she doesn't realize is that once someone has ingrained themselves into your life so efficiently, it's hard to let go, to just turn your back and act like they never mattered anything to you. He means more to her than he will ever know and more than she'll ever show; how do you say goodbye to your heart?)
He is late the next day. It is a Monday night, and on weekdays he comes to the shop at 8:30 pm and sits at the table in the back, on the far right, next to the display of baked goods, working on college things, she supposes.
It is 8:54 when he strolls in, hands shoved into pockets and cool as can be. He has a soft, woolen blue scarf wrapped around his neck, nestled comfortably against the smooth leather jacket, and Sakura's heart reacts instantly at the sight.
"Good evening, Uchiha-san," she smiles demurely, and he nods in greeting, midnight eyes boring holes through her soul. The look sends a shiver up her spine (and not of the bad kind) and she turns her back, rubbing her arms slightly to flatten the hair that had risen at the sight of him and his intense stares, and starts to make coffee, humming a random song as she does.
"Baby, You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek." His voice comes out of nowhere and she freezes, turning to him with an incredulous look.
"You know that song?" He smirks and digs into his bag, pulling out a black video iPod. Wordlessly, he hands it over to her, and she wipes her hand against her apron before taking it (because God forbid her hands held some remnant of liquid and she happened to break his iPod. She'd rather take a stroll down a highway naked than inspire his wrath) and scrolls down his artists list.
"Well I'll be damned…" she mutters to herself, because quite a few of these echo those of her own iPod, except she has a more Alt. Rock taste whereas his leaned more towards the darker rock, some classical rock, and also classical music. She never would've pegged him to be a Beethoven fan, but she supposed it was for when he was doing homework, or something like that. (Then again, the idea of Uchiha Itachi listening to rock music is enough to send one into a spasm of shock.)
She gives him a soft smile after handing it back to him, and thin lips lift in a smirk. Their eyes connect, and his own are a soft velvet, and she feels like she's drowning, fallingfallingfalling (except that she already has) and when she looks closer, she notices that his irises are tinted amethyst.
He looks away and the moment, the spell, is broken. "Coffee." He reminds her, and she flushes, turning around and hurriedly adding the three creams and two sugars to his coffee, just how he likes it, and she leans across the front counter to hand it to him…
And realizes that, tonight, his something cologne is muted, driven away by a much stronger smell. One of some kind of light, fruity perfume.
Her eyes glance up to his, and he takes his caffeine almost impatiently from her hand. "G-good night, Uchiha-san." She manages to mumble out.
"Hn." He grunts, and leaves--
Normally he stays, why isn't he staying this time?
--taking the broken pieces of her heart with him.
It is the next day, and he does not come at all. 8:30 comes and goes, and Sakura feels herself tensing with each passing second of the clock before she finally admits defeat at ten and closes the shop.
She won't admit it, but the entire day she had been anticipating to see velvet eyes. She won't confess it, but she listened to Baby, You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek before she fell asleep. She won't tell him, but she dreamt of him last night.
And then she woke up, and everything was just a dream, and she feels tears pool at the corners of her eyes before the dam breaks and she is crying into her pillow.
He is Uchiha Itachi and she is Haruno Sakura; they were never meant to be together, anyway, and love is just for little girls with their hopes too high and sanity too low, too foolish to tell reality from fantasy, and she is tired of hoping for something that will only turn out to be smoke and mirrors.
9:08 Wednesday night, and he comes with a dark-haired female on his arm. Sakura goes rigid, eyes alight with shock, and in the silence broken only by heels and the muted soles of his shoes she can hear her heart being grinded into particles so small they could pass for atoms.
She swallows past the lump in her throat and tries an attempt at smiling. "Good evening sir, ma'am," his eyes narrow at her but she is staring at a point over what's-her-face's shoulder, refusing to look at him lest she be tempted to burst into tears, because he is the heaven she isn't allowed, and she's accepted hell, "what can I get you?"
"Hmmm…" the girl hums, aquamarine eyes scanning the board behind Sakura's head. Itachi is looking at her, eyes scrutinizing, but she won't give him the pleasure of watching her break into pieces so she stares at the wall, thinking of what she must do for tonight. I've got Psychology homework tonight, and I have to study for English, too…"I'd like the Vanilla Frappuccino, please, with two sugars!"
"Hideki-san, I'm sure your coffee needs no more sugar to it." Sakura's eyes widen; Hideki-san, as in Hideki Akemi, daughter of the famous Hideki Diachi?!
Sakura swallows, and Itachi's sharp eyes did not miss this action. And when Sakura turns, smiling at him (too wide, too bright, too broken) he sees that it is fake. "And for you, sir?"
His eyes narrow even more, and Sakura's smile falters a bit. "Black coffee three creams two sugars. You know that, Sakura."
She laughs, but only Itachi can see how forced it is. "So I do, sir. Forgive me." Forgive me, because I love you and you are out of my reach, the epitome of what I crave but aren't allowed.
Akemi watches the two of them and smiles secretly; the UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension) between them is astounding, and this woman--Sakura, apparently--had gotten more reactions out of Itachi in the five minutes that they had been here than she herself had gotten out of him the entire night. Now she knows why the ebony-haired male was so adamant (well, as adamant as Itachi can get) on coming to this particular coffee shop.
'I'm in love with the woman who makes my coffee,' Akemi manages to turn her giggles sound like a coughing fit, but from the Look that the man she's standing next to gives her she know she's failed.
Sakura hands the two of them their respective drinks--being careful not to touch Itachi or so much as look at him-- and sends them off with a smile and a "Have a nice night!"
When she is sure that they have gone, she slides down the back counter, brings her knees up to her chest, buries her head in them, and cries.
Days pass, and he does not come in at all. It is a Monday, and Sakura is wiping down the counter when the bell jingles. She glances up, but it is only a harried-looking business woman clutching a briefcase and looking more like she needed sleep than caffeine. "One black coffee with two creams and a sugar, please." She whispers, voice strained with tiredness.
Sakura gives her a sympathetic smile and makes her coffee, handing it to the woman and watching as she sits at a table in the back at the far right--Itachi's table. Sakura shakes her head and pulls a water out, gulping it down and rubbing her neck tiredly. She supposes that she should start some of her Anatomy homework, since she has twenty terms to write down due by tomorrow (she thinks her teachers have it out for her, she really does) but she isn't in the mood to get interrupted by customers. (And though she won't admit it, she is waiting for him. Why does it always seem like she's waiting for him?)
(It's because you love him.)
Tuesday and he still isn't here. Sakura's feet tap against the bottom ring of the stool that she dragged behind the counter, writing out a History essay, and her eyes itch with the tiredness of sleepless nights, because when she dreams, she dreams of him, and she is so tired of waiting for a Happily Ever After that will never come.
She tries not to feel hurt at his absence, but he is the drug that sustains her, and without her drug she feels like she's floating out to sea with no anchor.
Sakura is running on three hours of sleep, and she feels like she could gladly stretch herself across the counter and sleep forever, but she knows that she will dream of silken black strands and midnight eyes that swallow her whole, so she doesn't so much as put her head down.
It is nearing ten on Wednesday night, and Sakura thanks the heavens above that tomorrow is her day off. She thinks that she will get caught up on cleaning her apartment, then she will sit down on her couch and watch some Grey's Anatomy and get lost in the love affair that is Derek and Meredith. (Because, honestly, they are the only couple left rooting for ever since Burke left.)
Sakura sighs, shooting a grateful look at the clock, which reads 9:57.
The roseate-haired female freezes, and her blood sings, because her heroin is back, like he had never left her in the first place. His voice soothes her ears and erases the tension that had settled itself in her shoulders in the week that he had been gone.
"Uchiha-san." She greets back dully, and the walls are back up, because she is so very tired of hurting, of dreaming of What Ifs, because his heart does not belong to her, no matter how much she wishes it so. "It is almost closing time."
"Aa. I know." She sighs, tiredly, wearily, and begins to gather her stuff. "If you want your coffee, you should come back tomorrow, or just go to another coffee shop."
"But you're not working tomorrow." Sakura pauses in shoving her folder into her bag before resuming the action.
"Yeah. So?" She wants answers, dammit. She thinks that after two years of possibly, maybe (definitely) being in love with the Uchiha she deserves it.
He doesn't answer her, and she smiles sadly, because she hadn't expected him to. "Where is Hideki-san?"
His eyes are measuring her, she knows, but she no longer cares as she grabs her bag and the keys and walks past him to turn off the lights. "We are not a couple, I hope you know."
"I don't care." She tells (lies to) him. "Come on, I need to close up the shop." And you need to leave, she doesn't say the words but they hang in the air anyway, and he opens the door, the bell jingling (she realizes she hadn't heard him come in earlier, so lost in her thoughts she had been. Not to mention she had been tired, which was all his fault) as he exits. With a tired sigh, Sakura turns off the lights and leaves, locking the door behind her and reaching up to pull down the gate, but he has always towered over her and he pulls it down for her.
It is then she realizes that she is trapped.
She turns around, only to be met with a black shirt clad chest. "Uchiha-san," she grinds out between clenched teeth, because she just wants to go home and forget he ever existed, "would you please move?"
"No." She moves to the right, then the left, but each time he blocks her. Sakura feels her fingers form into fists before she consciously relaxes them. 'Easy there, Sakura…'"Uchiha-san--"
She glares up at him from behind her bangs. "Itachi-san," she corrects, and feels strangely giddy at this, though she knows she should not, "I need to get home, so would you move?"
"Sakura." Her heart skips a beat at the sound of her name passing from those lips, and then, his lips are on her own, his fingers weaving through her hair and his body pressing her against the gate.
Her body acts of its own accord as her hands come up to cup his face, and he tilts his head, the kiss getting more passionate. He pulls back, and Sakura feels a blush work its way onto her face.
"You are so stupid."
And the dream is broken.
Sakura's eyes fly open, connecting furiously with his own. "Excuse me?" She sputters, and Itachi smirks, one hand coming out to fix a wayward strand and tuck it behind her ear.
"You never realized the reason why I come to this exact coffee shop every day, do you?" His hand rests itself on her cheek, and Sakura refuses to lean into it, no matter how warm his hand may be. "And of course you wouldn't realize this, but I don't come here on Thursdays."
Sakura's breathing is shallow, and she closes her eyes as his thumb caresses the arch of her cheek bone. "Then why did you show up with Hideki-san?"
"I wanted to see your reaction."
She wets her dry lips. "You hurt me." She tells him honestly, because she can no longer keep it inside of her anymore, and she thinks his lips robbed her of her sanity.
"Forgive me." His voice is deep, and she opens her eyes to find his eyes probing her before he leans down again, and this time the kiss is slow, sweet, unhurried, and with this--
--he mends the broken pieces of her heart.
He takes her hand, and they walk; there are no words needed, but Sakura is fine with this, and in this moment, this is, she thinks, what heaven feels like.
--You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be, and I just don't want to go home right now.-- A/N-- This was super hard for me to write. (A hardcore!SasuSaku fangirl, writing ItaSaku?! Hence the AU, yo, because if I was forced to write canon-verse this would have been the angst that I had originally intended for it; however, I refuse to make Annie sad on her birthday.) I am, however, rather pleased with this, but still, reviews rock my world and make my day, so drop a review, yeah?
--You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be, and I just don't want to go home right now.--
A/N-- This was super hard for me to write. (A hardcore!SasuSaku fangirl, writing ItaSaku?! Hence the AU, yo, because if I was forced to write canon-verse this would have been the angst that I had originally intended for it; however, I refuse to make Annie sad on her birthday.) I am, however, rather pleased with this, but still, reviews rock my world and make my day, so drop a review, yeah?