-standard disclaimer applied
S w e e t T h i n g s
life is but a box of chocolates
He'd never been a very good cook.
Oh, he'd tried learning. He'd tried time and again, stirring creamy cake mixture patiently, waiting until it was absolutely perfect, until he took it out of the oven- then it would be burnt to a crisp, and he'd have to start over again. He'd sigh irritably, washing up the cooking equipment with such care, only to use the very same bowl a second or so later. He'd pick up his rolling pin, tie his pale-pink apron around his slim figure, and then start over again.
And then again.
He was perfect at everything else. Perfect at football, amazing at art, a wonderful student (if somewhat quiet), but he couldn't master that one thing. Never. He just couldn't do it. It was as though his mind was shouting at him, screaming, 'No, no, no! This is all wrong! You can't do this!' No matter how frequently he told it to 'shut up', mumbling darkly to himself, it just wouldn't go.
You can't do this.
It just wouldn't leave.
Then again, it had never occurred to him to join the cooking club.
Late night, come home
Work sucks, I know
He took his seat quickly, ducking out of sight in the pretense of groping around under his desk for something, covering his face as he did so. To put it simply, he was hiding. If anyone saw him and recognised him, he was dead. His reputation would go down the drain and people would feel the need to talk to him. It wasn't that he didn't like being social; oh, no. He hated it- loathed it.
Then again, Uchiha Sasuke loathed almost everything.
From his hiding place, he could quite effectively see everyone. There were a group of boys messing around, throwing flour at one another, pushing each other backwards and forwards. They were short and looked much younger than him; each one was spotty and red-faced, with squeaky voices. He smirked, feeling slightly smug; they still had to go through puberty, while he sat back and watched.
His eyes travelled slowly across the classroom, searching for any others he knew. There were a group of girls, giggling and pointing at him (after a quick once over, he realised that he didn't know any of them and let out a sigh of relief), but he ignored them. He twisted slightly, his hand still rummaging through his designer leather bag for that mysterious vanishing-spatula.
He jumped, a jolt of shock running through his body. His other hand flew up to massage his throbbing head, as he continued gazing at the subject of his amazement. Lo and behold, sat in the corner of the room next to a vaguely recognisable brunette, sat Hyuuga Neji. The prodigy sat upright, wondrously impassive as the girl next to him flicked flour at his face; he merely wrinkled his nose, glaring at her briefly, and then continued stirring what looked like pancake batter.
Their eyes met; the Hyuuga's stoic mask broke for a second- surprise flickered across his face- and then he was back to normal. He stared at Sasuke with a look of slight annoyance instead, as though warning the younger boy.
Tell everyone. Go on; I dare you. At least I'm here with my girlfriend, with a girl, but you- you're here alone. All alone.
But he was, wasn't he? Alone. All alone. The Hyuuga looked away first, and Sasuke resumed searching for that spatula, just searching. Searching and searching, until-.
"Do you mind if I sit here?"
He shot out from underneath his desk and blinked up at her, mildly surprised. She smiled back at him with soft, pale lips; smooth hair, as pink as cherry blossom, fell down her shoulders to her waist, in thin, straight wisps. Her emerald green eyes sparkled dully, as though she wasn't entirely all there, as though part of her had drifted away while she slept and was still floating in the Land of Dreams. Her light lilac shirt clung to her body in rippling waves of smooth material, and her jeans were old and faded. She smiled once again, before waving a hand in front of his face.
"Go ahead." He managed, finally, before diving back underneath the table. This was new. He was unsure of what to say.
Uchiha Sasuke was lost for words.
He sighed, sat upright, and then began to set to work. Ducking underneath his desk, and not for the last time, he pulled out his equipment; a clear plastic bowl, a wooden spoon, scales, a measuring jug and a baking tin. He emptied his ingredients out of his bag and onto the table, checking everything was there, and nodded once to himself. He was all set. This should be easy, as long as he followed the rules. As long as he concentrated-
She smells so good, like she's wearing some type of raspberry perfume.
-and followed the instructions. Everything would go perfectly.
He picked up his bag of flour, ready to tip out just the right amount into his bowl, and then paused. If something went wrong, he was going to look stupid in front of Hyuuga Neji. He'd look stupid in front of all these people. Look stupid in front of her. Could he just back out now?
No. No way. Not a chance in hell.
He was going to do this.
The flour went into the bowl, followed closely by water and eggs; he even sprinkled in a spoonful of sugar, stirring as he did so. He tried not to look at her, tried to keep his eyes on what he was doing, but he couldn't help it. She was just beautiful and even more so when she was concentrating. The wrinkle of her brow, the way she pouted slightly as she stopped and thought; he was going to be able to remember her, like a photograph, the moment this class was over.
Her face would be etched on his mind forever.
Okay, so that wasn't particularly true. Sasuke wasn't a romantic guy and he was sure he'd forget her, the moment he left the room, the moment she was out of sight. It would all go back to normal.
"You're stirring too fast," She smiled sweetly at him, before placing her hand on top of his. The warmth of her touch surprised him, making his heart suddenly feel so warm and fuzzy, making him want to hold her in his arms. He waited patiently as she slowed his movements down, before coughing.
"I can do it on my own." He said, finally. Her dainty hand moved away and, for a brief second, she looked hurt. "Thanks," He added, before gazing down at his mixture. It looked so smooth and creamy, so-.
"That looks perfect." She murmured, brushing her hair away from her face with one flour-covered finger.
He blinked and gazed at hers. Now, Uchiha Sasuke wasn't one to give compliments, unless they were absolutely necessary, but-. "Not compared to yours." He admitted, finally. Her own cake seemed light and frothy; he wondered if it would taste like heaven, seeing as it surely could only be made by an angel from heaven. 'Now, now. You're getting corny.' Sasuke's mind scolded, waggling its finger at him.
She beamed at him. "What's your name?"
"Uchiha Sasuke. You?"
She left me roses by the stairs
Surprises let me know she cares
Haruno Sakura didn't come back to the Cooking Class the day after that.
Sasuke could already feel the disappointment bubbling up in the pit of his stomach, as he thought. She'd seemed so hesitant to say her name- maybe she thought he was some creep? Maybe she didn't like him; thought he was rude and arrogant? They hadn't spoken much after all,
She's coming, why are you giving up on her? Of course she's coming; don't give up on her yet.
and Sasuke had barely looked at her after that. It hadn't been purposeful; whenever he did catch sight of her, even if it was just a quick glimpse, he found himself gazing at her for ages. And, no, he couldn't deal with that.
He couldn't deal with her.
He'd remembered his apron as well, just for her. It was pale-pink (his mother's, really) and he'd grown quite fond of it. He sighed, tying the darker ribbons around his waist, sat down, and began to work. He could remember working on and off, spending minutes where he'd be switched off and distant, thinking about something
About her, about her, you fool! It's all about her.
and about nothing, at the same time. Then he'd snap out of his daze, working mechanically for another few minutes; his cake mixture, which had been so perfect the day before, looked lumpy and had a faint grey tinge to it. It smelt terrible and he felt his stomach heave; what did he add instead of eggs, hey? Poison? He dipped his finger into it, tentatively, and tasted it.
It was bad. Worse than bad. It was as far from perfect as it could get.
He tipped it into the bin and left.
Sasuke didn't come back to the Cooking Class the day after that.
Or the day after.
He chose to cook at home, in the privacy of his kitchen, where he wouldn't be distracted by enrapturing raspberry perfume.
Say it ain't so, I will not go
Soft, pale lips.
Smooth hair, the colour of cherry-pink blossom.
Enchanting emerald-green eyes.
You're stirring too fast.
The smell of raspberry perfume, lingering in the air.
Dainty, fragile hands.
That looks perfect.
Hold her close, touch her lips, feel her body, feel her curves, feel her shape. Every touch, every sight, they are his. They are-.
What's your name?
Why so hesitant?
Sasuke woke, drenched in his own sweat, confused. What had that meant? His dream... He'd thought of her, and only her. Thought of holding her, kissing her; thought only of her. But why? He didn't love her; he'd only met her briefly.
He'd only spent a day with her, for goodness sake, and they'd barely talked!
Don't you believe in love at first sight, Sasuke-boy? Don't you believe?
Of course not! It was ridiculous, purely a fantasy created by young girls who knew nothing of love and, therefore, had no idea how it felt. Purely a fantasy.
So that's what you really believe, huh? What was that dream then, Sasuke-boy?
It was just a dream. Nothing more, nothing less.
Purely fantasy, right?
Nothing more, nothing less?
So why are you going to go back to the Cooking Class tomorrow? Why are you going to wait and see if she's there?
You don't know.
But you're going anyway.
Turn the lights off, carry me home
He really did it.
He sighed, tapping his foot impatiently, as he waited outside the classroom door. He wasn't going to go in- no, he was content just waiting for her to come out. If she did come out, that is. If she was even there.
The bell rang, shrill and clear, splitting through the silence like a bullet. The first few members filtered out, glancing at him curiously, before wandering away, covered in gooey stains or flour, depending on what they'd been doing. The door was wide open; the fresh smell of baking wafted out to the door, and he felt his mouth water slightly. Whatever they'd been doing, it smelt nice. It smelt great.
Hyuuga Neji and his mysterious girlfriend wandered out next. The Hyuuga caught his eye, stopped, and walked straight over to him, calling, "I'll be by the car in a minute, Tenten." The girl- Tenten- nodded once, winked flirtatiously at Sasuke, and then hurried off to the car.
The two boys stood opposite each other, gazing straight at one another. Gone was the silent rivalry between them; Neji smirked slightly, folding his arms. "You're waiting for someone, and I'm willing to bet anything that it isn't me."
"Genius." Sasuke muttered, sticking his hands in his pockets.
There was silence.
"She was in there, you know. She's clearing up but she'll be out in about five minutes." The Hyuuga nodded, still smirking. "Wasn't such a wasted trip after all." Without a backwards glance, he turned and strode off the way Tenten had gone.
Sasuke waited a moment, before nodding. "Thanks."
"No problem." Neji called back, and Sasuke could tell he was still smirking; no doubt the Hyuuga was pleased with himself. Sasuke was feeling quite grateful towards him, that was for sure.
The Uchiha waited for the last few kids to leave, before making his move.
Keep your head still, I'll be your thrill
She was there;
But you knew she was going to be there all along, Sasuke-boy
Neji hadn't been lying. She was sweeping up, concentrating on her job, not bothering to look up. She'd look at him in a second, when she'd finished, and she'd smile and say 'hello' in a kind, sweet voice. And Sasuke would say 'hello' back, before they lapsed into an uncomfortable silence.
And Sasuke didn't want that to happen.
Silently, he picked up a spare brush and began to dust crumbs of the desks, patiently and perfectly, taking as much time and care as possible. She didn't look up, not once, but he could have sworn he saw her mouth stretch into a smile, her eyes crinkle with joy. Could have sworn she was happy to see him.
"Hello, Sasuke." She greeted, eventually.
"Sakura." He nodded, sweeping a final crumb of his old desk. "What were you making this lesson?"
"Strawberry cakes." She smiled, twirling a piece of hair around one finger, looking almost nervous. He inched closer to her, slowly but surely, hoping that she wouldn't notice.
"Did it taste nice?" He asked, glancing at her briefly. Her eyes seemed to widen in mock surprise and she grinned.
"Isn't this the longest I've heard you talk?"
He chuckled, turning around. Suddenly she was right behind him, so close he could almost touch her, her face tilted up towards his. He gazed down at her and she up at him, as they lapsed into a comfortable silence.
"I actually missed you." She announced, suddenly, amazingly. "I didn't even talk to you that much. I just, y'know, missed you. I don't know why." She smiled slightly. "Love at first sight, right? Though, I've never believed in that."
"Me neither." He agreed, stiffly.
'Prick!' His mind shouted. 'A staring competition isn't exactly romantic!'
"But you're different, Sasuke." She nodded, slowly. "Yeah, you're interesting. I think I like you. I might even love you."
An arrogant smirk tugged at the edges of his lips. "I might even love you."
There's no 'might' about it, Sasuke-boy. You're head over heels for her, she's the only one you'll ever love, the only one-.
Before he knew it, his face was nearing hers, her breath was hot on his lips; and then he closed the distance, his lips crashing down on hers. She wrapped her fingers in his hair, pulled him closer in a passionate embrace- his arms cradled her body close to him, stealing her away. She was his, all his, only his. Her lips were soft on his and tasted strawberry on her tongue; that overwhelming scent of gorgeous raspberries hit his senses again, making his blood rush to his head.
He didn't care anymore, about anything; about getting better at cooking, about school, about his family.
It was just her and him.
You and me, baby, just you and me, and how close we'll be, just you and me.
Just him and her.
The night will go on, my little windmill.
I've decided that Sasuke + pink apron = too cute.
Am I right or what?
Thanks to Debbo, who BETA'd this fic for me.
Reviews equal love.