Disclaimer: I am just a poor college student. I own nothing.

Sorry for the long update! I'm out of creative excuses…


Sakura could hear soft voices in the distance. Everything was dark.

Was she dead?

No. A twig was digging into her back and her left arm was throbbing. Death had to be more pleasant than that.

She shifted and felt cool grass tickling her bare arms and legs. So she was laying on the ground somewhere. Had she been captured?

Listening to the low voices, Sakura figured out that there were at least two males. She could sense their chakra—they were both ninja, one felt faintly familiar. Maybe she'd met with him on a previous mission some time? It didn't matter, she'd find out who he was soon enough. Opening her eyes slightly, she peered around through her eyelashes, trying to get a good look of her surroundings and maybe see who her company was.

There was a flash of white hair and the next thing she knew a face was hovering over hers upside down.

"So you're awake!"

Blinking her eyes several times, Sakura looked up at the man currently leaning over her. Her eyes zeroed in on his sharp teeth and realized with a quick, startled breath that she knew exactly who had saved her.

"Suigetsu, right?" she groaned, using her good arm to push herself up into a sitting position. Her head was pounding, she pressed her palm to her forehead in attempt bring some relief.

The white haired man blinked at her in surprise, glancing at his large blonde companion. "How do you know me?"

Sakura smiled up at him and reached her hand over to her broken arm, setting the bones back in place before healing the remaining damage as she let out a shaky breath through gritted teeth, "We've already met, you probably don't recognize me."

Both males' eyes widened as she briefly changed her appearance to Rei's before restoring her pink tresses and jade eyes.

"Rei?" Suigetsu breathed, scratching his head. "I can't believe it! You're a ninja?"

Sakura nodded, "I'm on a mission of my own, I happened to meet you and Sasuke by chance. My name is Sakura."

She turned to the other man, "You must be Juugo—Sasuke's told me a lot about you."

Suigetsu snorted, "Sasuke did? Are you sure we're talking about the same guy?"

That brought a smile to Sakura's face, "Yeah, weird, I know. We never used to talk that much when we were younger."

"You knew each other when you were young?" Juugo questioned softly.

Sakura flushed, did Sasuke want them to know about his past? She figured she could at least give a vague response. "We were teammates before he left for Sound."

"You're a Leaf?"

Damn straight! Inner Sakura roared happily.

Sakura smiled, looking down as she healed a few more of her wounds. "Yeah, I am." It was then that she noticed her chest and abdomen were covered only by the thin material of white bandages, her face flushed and her head shot up.

"Who put these on me?" she snapped.

Suigetsu looked nervously at Juugo who calmly stated, "Sasuke."

"Sasuke?" Why would he do that? He saved me and—

"Honestly, Sasuke-kun she's probably on the brink of death anyway! I say you just toss her body into the river and move on! I can be here for you instead…"

Sakura looked behind her to see Sasuke and a red haired woman. He regarded her calmly while the woman scowled down at her, pushing her glasses up on her nose with a scoff.



Their tense staring contest was broken by Suigetsu's snort, "Well that was anti-climactic."

They both looked at him then back to each other. "You helped me," she said quietly.

His dark eyes were unwavering, "I told you I would," he answered simply.

She wanted to ask him if he was the one who bandaged her up, but she knew now wasn't the time. Not with the other three listening to their every word. Sakura cleared her throat, dropping her gaze and focusing on her dirt smudged hands. "So, um, what happened after I…you know."

"Passed out?" the redhead snapped.

"Oh shut it, Karin!" Suigetsu hissed.

"They're gone," Sasuke explained.

"You let them get away?" Sakura screeched.

Sasuke's eyes narrowed, "Well excuse me for being too busy trying to revive you."

Sakura clicked her tongue, knowing better than to say anything else. She shifted slightly, wishing the others would sit down as well. She was too exhausted to stand up but she hated the way they looked down at her as they stood above her.

"Well," she changed the topic, playing with a stick lying next to her, "what else happened? Where's that Mist guy?"

His gaze held hers for a moment before he looked away, "He's been taken care of. Did you know him?"

"No," Sakura shook her head. "He said he knew of me though."

Suigetsu snapped his fingers, "Wait a minute—I do know you! You're Haruno Sakura, aren't you? Everyone knows you! You're supposed to be this legendary medic, aren't you?"

Karin snorted, crossing her arms and tilting her head up. "I've never heard of her."

"Stop being such a brat, Karin," Suigetsu hissed. The redhead growled and smacked the back of his head. Sakura's eyes widened as the base of his skull rippled and splashed water everywhere before reforming like nothing had happened.

"That's enough," the Uchiha ordered before Sakura could ask Suigetsu about his…interesting trait. "Sakura needs to rest so she can heal herself and get back to Konoha."

Sakura frowned at that last part, "I really think I—"

"Sakura," he snapped, not even looking back at her as the others trailed off. "Rest."

With a slight pout, the kunoichi scooted over to a large tree and rested her head against the trunk of it, folding her hands and placing them on her stomach. She glanced up at him quickly, surprised to see that he was watching for her to close her eyes before leaving.

She arched an eyebrow and he glared at her. Her eyebrows rose in surprise before she let her eyelids lower once again, slightly amused at their silent conversation. She half considered opening her eyes to slits to see how long Sasuke would stay, but she decided against it.

Maybe if she had, she would have seen his eyes soften slightly in her direction before he finally turned to walk away.

For the rest of the day, Sakura slept on and off, finally able to catch up on her sleep, as it was hard to get a good eight hours in with the sound of scared girls' screams constantly in the back of her mind. Suigetsu visited her once only to be scared off by Sasuke. She spent the rest of her time either daydreaming or thinking over the past few days' events.

Eventually she felt her chakra levels were well back to normal and finished healing her injuries. Her fingers skimmed over the soft material of the bandages wrapping her torso before she cautiously glanced in the direction of Sasuke and his team. Deciding that no one was going to drop by suddenly, she quickly removed the bandages and healed the gash on her side.

After, she realized she had no shirt to replace the bandages so she had to settle for wrapping herself up once more. Again she wondered if Sasuke had been the one to bandage her. She couldn't imagine anyone else would—there was no way he'd let Suigetsu or Juugo do it and she highly doubted Karin could stand looking at her, let alone touching her.

With a decisive nod, Sakura boosted herself up and wandered over to Sasuke's camp where she found the others. She walked right past Karin, ignoring the icy glare, and stood in front of Sasuke.

"Can we talk?" she asked, her eyes daring him to say no.

He nodded and silently followed her deep into the woods, away from the prying ears of the others. Once she decided they were far away enough, Sakura turned back to him.

"Did you…did you put these on me?" she asked quietly.

Sasuke scowled, looking away from her as he crossed his arms. She was beginning to notice that he got extra grumpy when she'd catch on to things he hadn't wanted her to know about. "Well I wasn't just going to sit there and let you bleed to death."

"Where's my shirt? And my bra." She had to force herself not to blush at the last part—but hey it wasn't like he hadn't already seen everything before.

Wordlessly, he pulled both items out of his haori, her dark bra tucked between the folds of her tunic. Their fingers brushed when he handed the clothing to her, both of them tensing slightly at the contact but continuing to say nothing. Sakura looked down at her clothes, then back up at Sasuke. Was he just going to watch her get dressed? Sure he'd seen her naked before but that didn't mean that she was comfortable enough to undress in front of him!

As it turned out, she didn't need to say anything, as Sasuke grunted at her before turning around to give her her privacy. She smiled softly at his back before hastily unwrapping the bandages and slipping on her bra and top.

"Um, you can turn around now," she said once she was finished, still slightly uncomfortable with the situation. Sasuke moved to face her, quietly regarding her with his hands in his pockets.

"Sasuke?" she started quietly, then set her jaw—what was she doing? She wasn't going to ask him, she was going to tell him! "Sasuke, I'm staying with your team."

"What?" he snapped.

"I'm not going back to Konoha," she plowed on, straightening her spine and planting her hands on her hips. She cursed the fact that he was nearly a head taller than she was and she had to tilt her head back just to make eye contact with him. "In order to find Akatsuki, you need to follow Tenshi. My mission isn't over and we're following the same people, so we might as well work together."

"That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard," Sasuke growled. "You nearly died of blood loss. You need to go back to Konoha and finish healing. You shouldn't be dealing with Akatsuki, it's too dangerous for you."

Did he just say what I think he said? Inner Sakura seethed, her eye twitching as her face grew red with fury.

"Damn it, Sasuke!" Sakura shouted, glaring up at him. "I'm not that same little girl you left behind on that fucking bench! I can actually hold my own now!"

"Oh yeah?" he was shouting now too, "Well you didn't seem to be holding your own so well this morning!"

"You conceited bastard! That's not fair! I haven't eaten or slept right in nearly a month and I'm under heavy emotional turmoil with this mission!"

"I could have—"

"Oh what, you could have done better? How could I forget you're the best ninja there ever was! You never make mistakes or let people help you! You're the perfect Uchiha Sasuke! You can do anything!" Sakura was fuming, her chest heaving as she paced around through her tirade. Her eyes landed on a large tree and she stormed over to it, shooting a look back to Sasuke before getting a good grip on each side of the trunk.

"Can you do this, Sasuke?" Hoisting the tree up out of the ground, Sakura held it over her head and threw it some twenty feet away where it landed with a loud rumble, the ground shaking beneath their feet.

"Are you insane?" Sasuke roared, stomping over to her and leaning in so their noses were nearly touching. "Stop messing around and grow up already! I don't want you fighting Akatsuki because I think you're weak, I don't want you to fight them because I don't want you to get hurt!"

Well that sure was a surprise.

"I…what?" she whispered, breathing hard as her brain struggled to understand what he just said.

Apparently his confession had thrown Sasuke off as well, "I mean…I just…damn it, Sakura." He reached forward, grabbing her head in both hands and drew her mouth to his.

Damn this boy is just full of surprises, isn't he? Inner Sakura mused dreamily. Sakura's heart was pounding in her chest, sending a fast paced rhythm through her entire body. A wave of heat rushed through her at the feel of Sasuke's dry lips pressed against hers and she came apart.

With a muffled moan, Sakura rose up onto her toes, practically throwing her arms around Sasuke as his arms lowered to her back. She clung to him, her soft curves once more fitting perfectly against his hard body.

He was rougher with her, she noticed, than he had been before. But as his teeth bit at her lips and his tongue surged into her mouth, Sakura found she didn't mind in the least. Especially when one of his large hands slid down her back to cup her ass, pushing her closer to his growing arousal.

They slowly lowered to the ground, Sasuke sliding on top of Sakura again the moment her back hit the grass. She spread her legs for him to rest in, cradling him between her soft thighs. As his lips trailed down her cheek to suck on her neck, Sakura wrapped a leg around his waist, pushing him further into her heat.

Sasuke's mouth jerked away as he grunted, resting his forehead against her shoulder. "So annoying," he groaned under his breath, gently pulsing his hips into hers. For once, Sakura found herself smiling at the phrase.

He pulled up to look at her, actually smiling slightly at the sight of her mischievous grin. Sakura giggled, wrapping her other leg around him and driving his hardness directly to her moist heat. "Something wrong, Sasuke?" She giggled again at the way his jaw clenched as he struggled to maintain control in front of her. Well that wouldn't do any good—she wanted him to lose control with her for once, like he had their first time. She was sick of detached, always-in-control Sasuke.

Just Sasuke.

Not Uchiha Sasuke. Not the traitor. Not Orochimaru's killer. Not the Uchiha survivor. Not Sasuke-kun.

"Just Sasuke," she murmured.

"What did you say?" Sasuke pulled away from his handiwork on her neck, his bangs tickling her face as he looked down at her.

Her face heated up, "Nothing, I…"

"Say it again."

She blinked up at him before looking—really looking—into his eyes and understanding what he meant.

"Sasuke," she whispered and he leaned down, pressing his lips softly to her cheek before spreading the kisses across her face and back down to her neck and collarbone.

"Just Sasuke," she repeated. "I don't want anything else."

He was breathing hard against her body, his back shaking beneath her fingers. Deciding that right now the last thing Sasuke needed was an emotional breakdown, Sakura moved her hands to Sasuke's shoulders and lightly pushed him away. He stared at her in confusion but his face relaxed when he watched as the girl lifted herself up slightly to pull her tunic off. She reached a hand up to cup his cheek, brushing her thumb across the smooth skin before moving it down and tugging his haori open and off his shoulders.

Both shirtless, they moved back down to the grass, their heated mouths meeting once again in a flurry of wet tongues and swollen lips. Sasuke's calloused hands slid up beneath Sakura's bra, squeezing and rubbing at her breasts. She whimpered, pushing her chest up into his grasp as her hands tugged at his thick hair.

Their hips rocked into each other, his hardness grinding against her wet core with every thrust and sending jolts of pleasure up their spines. Sasuke moved his hands to undo her bra and she lifted her arms to help him pull the straps away.

The rest of their clothing was shed in a frenzy as the two young lovers reacquainted themselves with each other's bodies. While their first time had been hazy and dreamlike, almost in slow motion, this time was fast, rough and hot. Heat and lust coursed through their veins like nothing either had ever experienced before.

Hands touched.

Tongues licked.

Hips bucked.

Fingernails scratched.

Lips kissed.

Finally he pushed inside her and she cried out, throwing her head back. Sasuke lowered his head to suckle her breasts, licking the trail of sweat that had developed between them. His teeth lightly bit down on one of her nipples and Sakura nearly lost it.

He moved inside of her, starting out deep and then quickening his thrusts. The feel of her slick, velvety walls clutching at him like a vice nearly had his eyes rolling back. Sakura's legs tightened around his hips and he got an idea.

Slowly removing his lips from her delectable chest, Sasuke reached down and unwound one of her legs from his hips, keeping his gaze on hers to gauge her reaction. His hand traced down her leg, gripping her calf and drawing it up over his shoulder. Sakura was slightly confused with his actions, but said nothing, choosing instead to wait and see what he was planning.

Sasuke's heated eyes stared down at her, turning almost playful before he thrust into her. She hadn't believed it could be possible, but he was actually reaching even deeper inside her.

Sakura gasped at the new sensation, so that's what he was planning.

Waiting for her response, Sasuke smirked when Sakura gripped at his shoulders before pulling him closer with her other leg. He continued his powerful rhythm inside of her, the pleasure multiplying tenfold with this new position.

Soon Sakura was a writhing, whimpering puddle of lust. All it took was a few strokes on her clit on his part and the young woman broke apart, crying out with her release. The feel of her hot walls clenching his length drew him over the edge and with a final thrust he spilled inside her.

He drew her leg away from his shoulder, smirking at her when she whimpered breathlessly at the feel of him twitch inside her with the movement. Still delirious from her climax, Sakura only lightly smacked his chest before closing her eyes once again, smiling softly to herself.

Sasuke rolled away from her, pulling her up to his chest and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Sakura hummed quietly in content and rested her head on his shoulder. They were still panting slightly, their heaving chests calming down as their heartbeats slowed.

"I…suppose you can stay for a while," Sasuke said quietly after a long pause.

Sakura snorted—well that was hardly the response the Uchiha had been going for.

"You just want me around for the sex," she teased, leaning up on her elbow and looking down at him. Her tousled hair draped over one shoulder and the setting sun gleamed from behind her, making her look almost ethereal—and beautiful. So beautiful.

"Tch," Sasuke scowled, looking away from her sparkling emerald eyes. "I don't like the idea of you fighting Akatsuki, but I don't doubt that you can hold your own against them."

Sakura grinned, reaching out and stroking his bangs out of his eyes. "And you enjoy my company, right?"


She giggled, feeling suddenly light and giddy at the new intimacy she had with Sasuke. She kissed his cheek once and he arched his head up to meet her lips with his own. Sakura moaned lightly, cupping his jaw with both hands. Shifting onto her knees, she moved to straddle Sasuke, bringing one hand down to clutch at his shoulder.

The feel of something wet and sticky between her thighs against his stomach made Sasuke tense suddenly. He knew exactly what that wet and sticky something was. And damn it, this was the second time they didn't use protection.

Fuck. His hands slid up to her shoulders and gently pushed the girl away from him. "Mph, Sakura, stop…"

Her face showed her confusion, "What? What's wrong?"

"Sakura, we haven't…when we…" His hands slid down to her inner thighs and Sakura's eyes widened.

"Oh? Oh!" She shifted on him slightly, feeling the sticky slickness coating her thighs and his stomach for herself. "Um, we don't have to worry about that."

"What?" he snapped—they'd had sex twice in the past twenty-four hours with no kind of protection. Kami, if she got pregnant and Itachi found out…

"—Sasuke? Sasuke, listen to me," he focused on her voice, his onyx eyes meeting her worried ones. Her hands traced the black mark circling her navel, "Do you see this? It's not just some tattoo…"

His fingers covered hers, tracing over the small circle. The design looked faintly familiar, "A seal?"

"Tsunade-shishou put it on me for the mission—it stops ovulation," she smiled slightly at the confused look in his eyes. "Basically it means I'm not even producing eggs for my cycle. There's a zero percent chance of pregnancy."

"So…we're good then."

"Yep!" she nodded quickly, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "In fact," she leaned forward with a sly look on her face, wrapping her arms around his neck and nuzzling his nose with her own. "Right now, we're more than good…"

Sakura winced as she pulled her pants up over her legs, damn she was going to be sore for a week! She noticed Sasuke smirking at her from the corner of her eye and scowled at him. This was all his fault! Sure she was the one who initiated their second round, but he didn't have to go and start the third one!

Continuing to mutter under her breath, Sakura pulled on the rest of her clothing hastily before following Sasuke back to his team. The three looked surprised to see her, but no one said anything.

"Sakura will be coming with us to complete her mission," he said, once again using that monotone of his.

As Sakura expected, Karin scoffed from across the campfire. "So what, you can't complete a mission on your own so you're just going to use us to clean up the mess you made?"

The three males glared at her but Sakura paid them no attention. Instead she stepped forward and glared back at the other girl. "So you think I'm weak for asking others for help? Does that mean Sasuke is weak too? I mean, that's what he's doing with you guys, isn't it?"

Like they were watching a tennis match, the others looked from one female to the other, waiting to see how Karin responded. Seeing Sasuke look to her, her face heated up instantly as she grew flustered.

Sakura continued, "I wonder if you're not upset because I'm coming with you, but because you're jealous Sasuke wants me around."

Karin's jaw opened and closed so much she looked like a fish out of water. Suigetsu and Juugo smirked as Sakura kept up her tirade, "Did you know about our history? Mine and Sasuke's? We've known each other since we were kids—we were teammates, even. And you know what? He's needed me long before he even knew you existed."

Everyone turned to see Karin's reaction—she scoffed, opening her mouth to deliver a comeback that never came. Instead she crossed her arms and growled before stalking off into the woods.

Juugo let out a badly held back chuckle and Suigetsu whooped, pumping his fist in the air as they watched the redhead storm away. "Sakura-chan, you're my new favorite person!"

Sakura couldn't help but grin, folding her hands behind her and letting out a breath to ease the remaining tension in her body. She turned to Sasuke, who arched a dark eyebrow at her, but said nothing.

Eventually Karin returned—Suigetsu slyly commented to a giggling Sakura that she probably smelled dinner—and once the fire burned low they got ready for bed. Everyone spread out to different sides around the campfire and quietly drifted to sleep.

Sakura didn't know what to do. She wanted to sleep next to Sasuke, but knew better than to snuggle up to him. They both agreed it was for the best to hide their relationship—whatever it was—from the others. He seemed to pick up on her uncertainty, because he looked up at her from his spot on the ground and flattened out the blanket he was lying on a little more, creating just enough space for her small body to fit on.

Glancing back at the others, Sakura smiled down at him and lay down next to him. They remained untouching, but she could feel his body next to hers, only inches away. Looking over at him once more, she nodded to him as means of saying good night before drifting into a deep, peaceful sleep.

So my all-time record for reviews for a story is 590 for Where the Heart Is. Luck of the Draw has 576. Please, please, please make my day and help me break that record! I'll dedicate the next chapter to whoever does it!