Sasuke touched down outside the front gates to Konoha, turning to his three team mates: Karin, Juugo, and Suigetsu. "Well, I guess we can all go our separate ways, now," Sasuke said, trying to sound sad...and failing. "Now that I've gotten my revenge, I can return to the village with no regrets."
"Won't they arrest you?" Juugo asked, raising an eyebrow.
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Of course not. Not if Naruto or half the girls in the village, inluding Ino and Sakura, have anything to say about it." Suigetsu started to say something about going after Kisame for his sword, but Sasuke had heard it all before, so he retreated to his thoughts. "Sakura..." Sasuke mentally frowned. "Now that I'm done with revenge, my head is cleared and I've realized how I feel about you...I just hope you waited for me..." He gave the village a longing glance, which didn't go unnoticed by the other three.
Suigetsu stopped mid-rant and looked at him. "Geez, you could have just told me to go away if you didn't really care." Suigetsu rolled his eyes and jumped onto a nearby tree branch. "Well, I'm off. Maybe we'll all meet again someday. Hopefully, we won't." He gave them a wave. "See you later Sasuke, Juugo, Bitch."
Karin let out an angry growl and started after him, but Juugo held her back. Suigetsu grinned at her, and then he was gone.
"Well, do you have any plans, Juugo?" Sasuke asked in his I-don't-care-but-I'll-ask-anyway tone.
"I don't know what I'm going to do..." Juugo said. "I was thinking I would join you two in the village, but I might be too dangerous."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, 'join you two'?"
"Oh, you didn't know? Karin's going to live in the village, too!" Juugo told him.
Sasuke sweat-dropped. Out of all his team mates, it had to be HER...
"That I way I can be with you, Sasuke!" Karin cried, throwing her arms around him suddenly. Sasuke's face turned green.
Juugo grinned at them. "Well, I suppose I shouldn't stay in the village or I could hurt someone, but I don't want to be by myself because then there's nobody to stop me if I get that urge..." Juugo sighed. "It's hopeless..." Suddenly his face brightened. "I know! I should go with Suigetsu!"
"He already left," Sasuke said in complete monotone, forcing Karin away from himself.
"I'll find him," Juugo said with a nod. "Well, this is goodbye."
Karin's looked at him sadly, but Sasuke just stood there. "Yup."
Juugo blinked at him. "Dude, do you care about anyone other than yourself?"
Sasuke stared back at him. "Yes..." He looked off into space suddenly. "...there is...one person."
"I hope it's me!" Karin thought excitedly. Juugo shrugged.
"It's none of my business, so I'm just going to leave now..." He hopped onto the same branch Suigetsu had been standing on moments before, and looked at them hesitantly. "Well...goodbye."
Sasuke shoved his hands in his pockets and looked away, while Karin waved goodbye sadly. Juugo waved back, and then slowly hopped away.
"Well, that's that," Karin said, sniffing a little and turning to Sasuke. "We can go in, now."
Sasuke didn't say anything, but he ignored the gate, jumping high onto the wall next to it. Karin hopped up next to him, and together they descended into the city. They followed the main road, avoiding the two men that were in charge of opening the gate, and after a minute they found themselves right in the middle of the village, it's citizens all around them. Nobody was even giving them a second glance.
"Ahem..." Sasuke cleared his throat, but no one even turned their head. "I'm back."
At that, one person about his age turned and looked at him. Kiba ran over to Sasuke and gaped at him. "Sasuke! You're back!"
Sasuke shrugged. "Yeah."
Kiba grinned. "I'm gonna go tell the others! Welcome back, buddy!"
He clapped Sasuke on the back and ran off. Sasuke blinked and stood next to Karin silently, looking around at the villagers, who continued to ignore them.
Sasuke decided to approach one. He tapped a random woman on the shoulder and said, "Hello. I'm Sasuke Uchiha."
The woman raised an eyebrow at him. "Well what do you know? The traitor's back. Someone call the Hokage," she said with absolutely no trace of emotion.
Sasuke blinked at her, and after a moment stepped away and headed back to Karin. "I think they all hate me," he told her.
Karin gasped. "How could anyone hate YOU, Sasuke?"
Sasuke pretended not to hear her. "Kiba seemed to take to me nicely. I'll go look for someone else I used to know."
"Where should we go?" Karin asked.
"The training grounds."
Sasuke and Karin arrived at every Konoha ninja's favorite place to train a few minutes later. Sasuke looked around, finally spotting two familiar faces. "Neji. Tenten." He walked over to the two older ninja, who were currently locked in combat. Tenten unleashed her weapons at Neji, who immediately used his Heavenly Spin techinique to create a shield and block them all. When the technique ended, Tenten and Neji stood facing each other, gasping for breath. It was at that moment that Sasuke and Karin reached them. "Hi."
They both looked away from each other to stare at him. "...Sasuke?" Tenten finally said. "What are you doing here?"
"I've gotten my revenge, and now I've returned to the village," Sasuke told her.
"Who's this?" Tenten asked, looking at Karin. Tenten grinned at Sasuke. "Is this your girlfriend?"
"No," Sasuke said, but it was quickly drowned out by Karin's, "YES!"
Neji looked away from them and back at Tenten. "We should continue our training."
"Wait," Sasuke interrupted. "Do you know where I could find...Naruto and Sakura?"
Tenten nodded. "Yeah. They train here a lot too. Their usual spot is right through those trees." She pointed off to her left.
"Thanks," Sasuke said with a nod. He headed in that direction with Karin following behind. After a one-minute walk through the trees, they came to another clearing. In the very center were two figures. The one on the right was doubled over with the other's fist lodged in his gut. Sasuke stared at them.
Naruto collapsed on the ground, coughing up blood, and Sakura's eyes widened. She kneeled down next to him and pressed her hands against his stomach. They glowed with green chakra. "I'm so sorry, Naruto! I didn't mean to punch you that hard!"
"S'okay Sakura," Naruto said hoarsely, smiling up at her. After a minute he stood up. "I feel better already! See?" He looked over at Sakura to see her staring at something behind him. Naruto turned around. His jaw dropped.
Sasuke walked towards them almost nervously, with a girl that they didn't know trailing behind him like a lost puppy.
Naruto opened and closed his mouth like a fish until Sasuke reached them. "Sas...Sasuke?" he asked.
Sasuke nodded, his eyes moving from Naruto to Sakura, who was still on the ground, staring up at him.
"Sakura," Sasuke commented with another nod. Sakura stood up, not taking her eyes off of him.
"Sasuke...you came back."
He stared back at her. "Yeah. I did."
Karin and Naruto frowned, noticing something was going on. Naruto leaned over and grabbed Sakura's hand suddenly, leading her away before she could do anything. Sasuke watched as they glared at each other angrily.
"You were staring...him...about me?" Was all Sasuke could make out of their hushed whispers.
"I...love...!" Sakura responded just as angrily. "just...he...came back!"
Naruto sighed. "Okay...trust you. Remember...have...secret, okay?" He gave her a small smile and looked like he was holding himself back from doing something else. Sakura nodded and smiled back softly.
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. What he had heard made absolutely no sense. Did Sakura love him? And what was Naruto so angry about?
Sasuke smirked. "I bet I know what's going on," he thought. "Sakura likes me, and Naruto likes Sakura and is jealous. Just like old times...except this time I have a little surprise of my own..." He smiled to himself. "I wonder when I should tell her..."
Sakura and Naruto walked back towards them and after a moment, Naruto grinned. "It's good to have you back, Sasuke. Would you be interested in rejoining Team 7?"
Sasuke tried to manage a smile. "Sure."
Sakura looked at Naruto. "What about Sai?"
"Sai can still stay. Now that I passed my Chounin exams, none of us are Genin, and our squad isn't really official like before, right? So it doesn't matter how many people we have."
Sakura shrugged. "I don't know. I guess I could ask Tsunade-sama about it." She looked from Sasuke to Karin. "Who's this?"
"My fan girl," Sasuke said with a frown before Karin could get a word in. Sakura giggled and Naruto crossed his arms and looked from Sasuke to Sakura.
Karin huffed. "Say that all you want, Sasuke, but eventually you'll be my boyfriend!"
"I seriously doubt that," he replied without looking at her. Karin glared at him but didn't reply.
Sakura and Naruto looked at them with raised eyebrows.
"So where are you two going to stay at night, or live, assuming you're staying in the village," Sakura asked.
"We're staying," Sasuke said with a nod. "I'm going to live at my old house, like I used to."
"What about her?" Naruto said, pointing at Karin.
"My name is Karin, thank you very much!"
"She also answers to bitch," Sasuke said.
Naruto laughed and Sakura and Karin frowned.
"That's mean, Sasuke!" Sakura told him.
"You haven't seen what she's put me through," Sasuke replied.
"Where is she going to stay?" Naruto interrupted.
"I could stay at Sasuke's house!" Karin cried, forgetting her anger.
Sasuke went pale. "No."
"Well, my house is too small, we couldn't fit another person. And I doubt Naruto could fit her in his house..."
"Sure I can!" Naruto cut her off. "I have plenty of room!"
Sakura shot him a look. "No, you can't, right Naruto?" she said through gritted teeth.
Naruto went red. "Apparently you can't stay with me, Karin. I...uh...my house has a cockroach infestation!"
"Ew!" Karin cried. "I don't want to stay there anyway!"
Sakura mentally breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, well, maybe the Hokage knows where you can live, Karin. Her office is that way." Sakura pointed in a random direction and shoved Karin that way. "Go find her."
"But..." Karin started.
"Hurry! It gets dark out here pretty soon and you could get lost!" Naruto cried.
Karin gasped and quickened her pace, leaving the three of them alone.
Sakura and Naruto laughed, and Sasuke grinned.
"You chose HER for your team?" Naruto asked.
Sasuke shrugged. "She has her dumb moments, but normally she's pretty sharp."
"Do you like her?" Sakura asked curiously.
Sasuke stared at her seriously. "No."
Sakura looked back at him nervously. "O-oh. Why not?"
Naruto watched the two of them with concern.
"She's just not the right girl." Sasuke looked into Sakura's eyes as he said this, emphasizing every word.
Sakura looked from Sasuke to Naruto anxiously. "Well...I have to go. See you guys later." He gave Sasuke a shaky smile, leaned over and kissed Naruto on the cheek, and promptly fled.
"What was that all about?" Sasuke asked. "I think I scared her off..." he thought to himself.
"Um...I don't know..." Sasuke noticed Naruto's cheeks were pink. "I guess she just did it for no reason...she must have forgotten we're just friends...hehe..." Naruto blushed darker.
Sasuke frowned. "I wasn't talking about that, dobe. I was talking about how she left so quickly!"
"Oh!" Naruto cried. "Well...um...I don't know why she did that, maybe she had something to do..." Naruto looked up at the sky. "Well, it's getting dark out. I'm going to head home."
Sasuke nodded. "Bye."
"Bye!" Naruto waved at him and left.
Sasuke stared after him. Once Naruto was out of sight, he headed in the direction Sakura had went. Within minutes, he had traced her to the road. He peeked out from behind a bush to see Sakura walking down the main road of the village, alone.
Sasuke frowned. "Should I?" he thought. He shrugged to himself. "Now's as good a time as any." He stepped out from behind the bushes and walked towards her, letting his feet hit the ground hard so she could hear him coming.
Sakura spun around to see him a few feet away. "Sasuke, what are you doing here?" She crossed her arms suspiciously. "Your house is on the other side of town!"
Sasuke looked at her. "Turn on the charms, Uchiha," he thought to himself. Then he shook his head. "Something is seriously wrong with me."
"Sakura, I have something to tell you." He took a step towards her.
She looked at him nervously and took a small step back. "What?" Sakura asked.
Sasuke frowned at her actions. "Sakura, do you still like me?" he asked suddenly.
Her eyes widened. "W-why would you want to know that?" she asked.
Sasuke stared into her eyes. "Because..." He sighed. "I like you. The same way you liked me three years ago."
Sakura was frozen to the spot. "Wha...what? Sasuke...I..." She trailed off and stood their silently, finally taking a deep breath. "I don't like you like that...not anymore."
He stared at her. "What?"
Sakura took another deep breath and stepped away from him. "I said I don't like you."
Sasuke glared at her. "Well, who do you like, then?"
"It's none of your business who I like," Sakura said, crossing her arms. "...but it's just not you."
Sasuke frowned. "Why not?" he asked stiffly.
Sakura raised her eyebrows. "Why not? Because you've been gone for three years, that's why not! I've moved on." She took a deep breath. "Besides...I..."
"You what?" Sasuke looked at her curiously.
"I..." Sakura's cheeks went pink. "I have a boyfriend."
He snorted. Sasuke Uchiha snorted!
Sakura glared at him. "What, you don't believe me?"
Sasuke smirked. "Of course I don't. And I also don't know why you're rejecting me like this, but it won't last for long. You don't know how lucky you are, Sakura. Out of all the girls in Konoha, I picked you."
"Ha!" Sakura laughed. "Like anyone would date you now! Everyone thinks you're a traitor now, other than Karin. Even Ino's moved on!"
"Oh please." Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Who's she dating now, and how long has it been going on? Two days?"
Sakura grinned. "Ask her yourself." She turned around and pointed at two figures behind him on a bench. Sasuke turned around. It was almost completely dark now, and from his distance he could see a girl with blonde hair that he realized was Ino, and a guy with dark hair that looked familiar. Sasuke blushed when he realized they were making out. He looked back at Sakura to see her smirking at him. "I'll tell you what. You get her to go on a date with you, and you can have a date with me."
"Fine." Sasuke looked at her, mentally forcing the blush off his face. "Should I go right now?"
Sakura nodded. "Right now. In front of her boyfriend."
Sasuke shrugged. "Easy." He turned around and headed towards the bench. As he got closer his jaw dropped, and he stopped in front of the kissing couple. They broke apart and looked up at him. "What the hell?!" Sasuke cried. "Shikamaru?!"
Shikamaru sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose as Ino stared at Sasuke. "Sasuke...you're back." Ino said.
"Yeah," Sasuke said, remembering what he was supposed to do. But in front of Shikamaru? He smirked. Sakura was even smarter than when they were twelve. "Um...listen, Ino..." He started, scratching his neck.
"What?" Ino asked.
"So...would you be willing to go on a date with me?"
Shikamaru sighed. "Women are so troublesome. As soon as you think they love you, they turn around and..."
"Hell no!" Ino cried, standing up and smacking him across the face. "You're a traitor! I would NEVER date you! And as you can see, I have a boyfriend!"
Sasuke stood still, trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened. Ino Yamanaka had just smacked him. Ino...Yamanaka. Overreaction, much? And to top it all off, she had rejected him for Shikamaru. Shikamaru! This was an outrage! What would Sakura think?
Sasuke turned around to look in Sakura's direction. There was nobody there. "That little...hmph. I'll talk to her tomorrow." He turned back to Ino, who was still glaring at him. "Goodbye." Sasuke quickly walked away in the direction of his old house, without another word.