Title: The Third Watch

Author: Dark-Hooded Eriol the Magician

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Sasuke x Sakura

Theme: 1. Warmth

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. It's for the 20blankets LJ community.

Uchiha Sasuke was always prepared. He ought to beat a Boy Scout. Every mission required good packing skills because a ninja should only bring the essentials. Every ninja knew how to pack properly because a too-heavy pack would slow them down while a too-light one would mean that some things were forgotten. Uzumaki Naruto was an example of a ninja who did not know how to pack properly.

So the Uchiha heir was quite confident that he'd brought everything that was important. It was to his surprise when they were setting up camp when he found out that he was missing something important. Sasuke took out everything on his bag and realized it was too late.

He forgot to bring a blanket.

He was bothered by his lack of foresight. How did he forget such a basic necessity? How could he sleep on the forest floor without anything to protect his body from mosquitoes and their ilk? How could he sleep if he was cold?

Hatake Kakashi offered to set up the first watch. He said that the whole team was tired from a long day and they deserved to rest. Sasuke took it as a cue to take up the second watch so that Naruto would have the odd hours in the morning. He watched Haruno Sakura bring out her bright pink blanket and prepare for bed.

Naruto and Kakashi rose up to the top tree branches to keep a lookout. Sasuke was quite confident on the traps that they had set up. It was almost impossible to get through those. He was sure that he could sleep soundly for a while.

Winter was coming. He could feel it on his bones. He regretted not bringing his blanket for the nth time that night.

Sasuke fought the urge to shiver. The sleeping bag had its blanket but it was too thin. He was also used to having the extra blanket wrapped around his body for extra warmth. He suddenly wished that he could ignore the cold that was stealing up on him.

"Sasuke-kun?" Sakura said quietly. She sat up on her sleeping bag. "Are you awake?"

He grunted to let her know that he was.

Sakura got up and walked towards him. She was carrying something in her arms. He wondered what that was. She smiled down at him.

"I've got an extra blanket. I thought maybe you'd like to use it," she said quietly as she knelt down beside him. "I always have one because I believe in being prepared."

He unzipped the sleeping bag and sat up. His dark eyes stared at the soft white and blue blanket that she was holding out to him. She was smiling at him. "Do you want to take it?"

He took it. She smiled sweetly. "I know that it's either you or Naruto who might need it. Naruto does have an annoying way of forgetting his things. Well, good night."

Sakura gave him one last glance before walking towards her sleeping bag. She lay down and turned away to go to sleep.

Sasuke stared at her prone body and let out a small smile. He did not want to believe that there was somebody who was more prepared than he was. He knew that it took a lot of courage for Sakura to offer it to him. Girls were strange that way. Come to think of it, girls were sweet and nurturing creatures. Sakura was one of those.

He lay down again and spread the blanket over his body. It felt warmer. He could smell the familiar and comforting smell of roses and soap. He was deeply reminded of his mother's scent. He did not realize that Sakura smelled like her. He had to thank her tomorrow.

Sasuke took the third watch which was Sakura's turn. Her blanket was still wrapped around his body when she found him later that morning. Sakura had to smile.