Title: bandage

Author: pawsbells

Beta-ed by: MelissaRose85

Characters/Pairing: Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Itachi

Type: One-shot (Complete)

Genre: General/Romance

Word Count: 1963

Theme: LJ Community, 50-shinobi theme #06, bandage

Rating: K+ (Some content may not be suitable for young children.)

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto-san.

Summary: AU. Like her, he bleeds as well.

Chapter Last Revised on: 01/10/08

Sakura's eyes widened with alarm.

"You are bleeding!"

Within the blink of an eye she was by his side, and before he could warn her away, she was already prodding mercilessly at his injured arm. It was a rather superficial wound of course, but the cut was long and quite deep, which certainly explained why he was bleeding so much.

Itachi tried to remove his bicep from the woman's reach but she was having none of it. A firm grasp and a stubborn tug from her later, he was still nowhere away from the petite female, and resigned to his fate, he kept still as she fussed over him.

Worried emerald met his gaze.

"Does it hurt?" she asked softly, eyes shining with concern.

The gentle, doe-like look on her face rattled him. Onyx darkened to pure obsidian before he turned his gaze away from her and fixed it resolutely on a point far at a distance.

"Must you ask the obvious?" he retorted calmly in response, and from the corner of his eyes he saw her flush with annoyance. Once again, he tried to retrieve his arm but she was not letting go. A small frown creased his brow.

"Well, this is your entire fault." She started to glare at him now that she was assured it was business as usual with the stoic Uchiha. His tongue was as sharp as ever and it told her without a doubt that his injury hadn't incapacitated him—much.

"We had the chance to escape, but no! You wanted to play Macho Man and take on an entire gang of hooligans all by yourself!" Just remembering the fight had her literally trembling with agitation. The odds had been clearly stacked high against him and she had been so worried! How he managed to defeat all of them, she still had no idea; everything had happened so fast. "And just because you happen to be one of the highest ranking officials in the police force does not make you invincible; for all your genius intellect you sure are severely lacking in common sense! There were twelve of them! It's not like there were only a couple or three! Aren't you supposed to be-"

"You talk too much." He interrupted her growing tirade in such an impassive manner that it made her grit her teeth in irritation. How could he be so blasé even when he was bleeding all over the bloody place?! He annoyed her so much sometimes! "Everything turned out like I had predicted it would in the end."

Of course it made perfect sense that he would have planned everything out firsthand! He was always so analytical; always quietly watching everything around him, that brilliant mind of his constantly working and logging all he saw into neat little mental files that could be easily retrieved in the span of a second should he so wish. Sometimes, she wondered if he was actually a robot in human disguise; he certainly seemed like one most of the time, what with that expressionless façade that he liked to don so often as well as his unruffled personality. Life could throw literally anything at him and he would probably breeze through it as though it was a mere walk in the park. Sakura always had trouble deciding whether to be irritated or to be impressed by that unshakable composure of his.

"That's not the point!" she snapped at him grumpily. "Yes, so you managed to defeat all of them but you still got hurt in the end! Do you know that I nearly had a heart attack when I saw you surrounded by those punks?! I was so worried-"

Sakura froze at her own accidental admission, then immediately clamped her mouth shut, looking very grim all the while. Without another word she stiffly unwrapped her scarf from around her neck and immediately focused her entire attention on his injured arm, blatantly ignoring the owner of said arm as she quickly and efficiently tied a makeshift tourniquet to temporarily staunch the profuse bleeding.

Her fanciful notion of him being a robot in disguise had been irrevocably destroyed tonight. Machines do not bleed but he sure as certain was shedding crimson, life-sustaining blood right now. Itachi was just as human as she was, and for some reason the knowledge had her feeling extremely relieved. It reminded her that just because he seldom revealed his emotions didn't mean that he had none.

He was so perfect in everything he did, so smart, so accomplished, that sometimes it seemed to her that he might as well be as unreachable as the stars. Coupling his astounding intellect with that infamous distant personality of his, it was no wonder that people were always shying far away from him. It was hard not to be intimidated by Uchiha Itachi; the man had a way of making you feel stupid just by standing next to him and an innate arrogance that was unrivaled by anyone she knew. He was silently watchful all the time, almost like a hunting hawk really; those unreadable onyx eyes seemingly able to pierce into one's very soul, and it was really no surprise why the higher ranks had wanted him to head the force despite the fact that he was only twenty-five.

He was the youngest and most brilliant prodigy to enter the organization for as long as anyone could remember, and after tacking on the seemingly unending list of accomplishments that he had under his belt, it was so very easy to forget that he was only human as well.

Sakura sighed inwardly.

This was getting complicated. He was getting complicated. The pink-haired female was starting to feel as if she had been deceived. He was supposed to be this unbelievably annoying pain in the behind that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and the assumed arrogance of the rich and famous. He was supposed to be strictly self-centered and hateful and she had been all prepared to dislike him from the very beginning.

But of course, he just had to go and mess up all her nicely planned out arrangements by suddenly developing a personality. In the blink of an eye, her carefully gathered perception of him was turned upside down and inside out and it didn't take long for her to understand that there was definitely more to this Uchiha then he had originally let on.

And it made her wonder just how many people in his life had bothered to find out what he was really like under all that ice and impassivity, and how many more had preferred to just keep a safe distance away from him.

Perfection has its price, it seems.

He was placed so high up the pedestal by everyone around him that he had attained a near godly status. However, a god he was clearly not, and more often than not, the expectations on him were so demanding that it was obvious to her he was running himself ragged just to fulfill his responsibilities. Whereas most males his age were still living their lives without a care in the world, there were already harsh lines of stress and exhaustion etched onto his sharp, aristocratic face. Sakura really wouldn't be surprised to see strands of premature white mingling among his long raven hair a couple years down the road. She wondered just how he could still manage to make everything look so easy when it clearly was not.

A small, reluctant sense of admiration rose within Sakura then; one that had nothing to do with his astounding abilities or intellect whatsoever and everything to do with the man that he was.

Of course, that still did not excuse the fact that he had been incredibly reckless today, and vindictively, Sakura tightened the last knot of the tourniquet with almost inhuman strength. To her displeasure, he didn't even flinch, and she rolled her eyes with exasperation.

While the pretty pink-haired female was busy having her revelation and looking after the Uchiha's wound, she remained unaware that her earlier inadvertent confession had elicited a reaction from the tall male, a reaction that she had not expected at all. His attention had been immediately snagged by her words; his head had swiveled around so quickly that he was mildly surprised he had not sprained his neck accidentally. Dark eyes were trained intently on her the entire while, but she had taken to pretending that he did not exist. Itachi frowned slightly, not liking the way she was purposely ignoring him.

This was certainly something that he had failed to take in consideration…

"Sakura. Would you care to repeat what you said earlier?" Itachi's smooth tenor was quieter than usual, and Sakura could literally feel the weight of his eyes as they probed her face intently for answers. She promptly ignored the hint of steely strength hidden behind his seemingly soft-spoken demand, and now that she was finally satisfied with her handiwork, she quit fiddling with his arm but still did not let go of him. Instead, the petite female started to tow her larger male counterpart determinedly down the street to where his car was parked.

Itachi did not try to retrieve his arm from her again. The warmth of her delicate hand against his flesh was pleasing enough, and he decided that was that. She could stay. Besides, he was more preoccupied with the fact that she was still blatantly ignoring him, and the niggling sense of irritation that it had caused had him frowning again.

He, who normally could not care less about what others thought of him and would like nothing better than to be left alone, was quick to understand that he did not enjoy being given the cold shoulder by this headstrong little female who had opinions on just about every little thing under the sun.

His frown deepened thoughtfully, and never one to passively remain within a situation that dissatisfied him, the Uchiha was about to verbally prod the pink-haired woman into responding to him, when disgruntled emerald eyes snapped up to lock with his.

"Do not," Sakura announced grumpily as if she was aware of what he was about to do. "And I'm not speaking to you until we get to a hospital and have your arm looked at, and that is that. I'm still not at all pleased with you, in case you have already forgotten. And by the way, I have no idea where that switchblade has been and you are definitely going to get a tetanus shot no matter what. I hope you are prepared for the painful experience, pal. Give me your keys; I certainly do not trust you at the wheel…"

She was probably the only female on the face of this earth who would dare to boss him around in such a manner, and oddly enough, he did not seem to mind. As she nimbly stole the ring of keys from him and forcefully loaded him into the passenger seat of his Lexus, he wondered idly if she knew that she had just broken her own promise. At the rate she was going, lecturing him all over again, it was highly unlikely that she would be stopping anytime soon.

Itachi didn't mind much, though; she was no longer ignoring him and all was well again. Besides, he had found out long ago that just hearing her speak was rather soothing to his senses (which certainly explained why someone like him was with someone like her) and as he lazily filtered her words out and started to drift into a light doze, he gave himself a mental reminder to resume their unfinished conversation later.

So she was worried?

It was…nice…to know.


Questions That I Would Like To Answer Before You Ask:

Here is a short little AU to make up for actually forgetting to put up something last weekend. I was somewhat busy, but bah, you won't want to know anyway.

'bandage' was written a long time ago, sometime last year, in fact, only that I had forgotten about it and left it collecting dust for a very long time. If it does feels a little wonky to you, well, now you know why. My beta mentioned that Itachi may be somewhat overpowered by Sakura here, but poor Itachi will just have to live with it. 'bandage'-verse Sakura tends to get very bossy whenever her precious people gets hurt, and that's almost the same as all my other-verses' Sakura, come to think of it.

Also, this is a random, modern AU piece that has absolutely nothing to do with my other AU-verses, but if any of you wishes to place connections to it, feel free to do so.


Last but not least, many thanks to all the dear readers and fellow Naruto fantards for putting me on over 1000 plus Alert Lists. I'm definitely feeling the love, people! Haha.


Your reviews fuel my passion for writing. So please leave a comment if you like this fic, thank you.