...

popping cherries
by mystical spirits

japanese gum.
it's not like I'm a slut or that I really like to fuck

I just want every boy I see to walk away with part of me.

...

I was fifteen years old when I lost my virginity.

I know it sounds young, but it really wasn't. As a kunoichi, I had to learn how to be mature from an early age. Life for me wasn't supposed to be full of rainbows and sunshine, even though I lived in Konoha where the world was always green. I never knew if I was going to be ambushed or sent on a mission that wasn't ranked high enough or be in the wrong place at the wrong time. No ninja knew. So when I say I was fifteen when my cherry was popped, I don't want to be judged.

Being a shinobi had a lot to do with my sexual life. I found I could only be understood by other shinobi, and that's why I never really talked to anyone else, even if some of them tried sometimes. It sounds rude, but that was just how it was. No one else knew what my life was like, how dangerous and spontaneous and really very difficult, and it was too hard to explain because you really had to live that way to understand it. That being said, it made sense why the only guys I'd ever slept with were shinobi.

The first guy I ever had sex with was Nara Shikamaru. I know it sounds weird because, shit, it was Shikamaru and he was the laziest person in the world, but the whole experience was actually very mind-blowing. Even though it was our first time, we knew what we were doing. We weren't naïve to that sort of thing. All the same, our sleeping together was sort of an experiment.

I remember it was fall at the time, but early enough that it was still warm. It was after we had seen Sasuke again but before Akatsuki attacked the village, so Sasuke was still on my mind at the time. Even though I figured I was over him by then, it was still hard. Naruto didn't feel much like going out because he was probably even more upset than I was, but I still needed something to take my mind off things. I ended up going to a bar.

There were quite a few late-night places in Konoha for ninjas. As mentioned, the average lifespan of a shinobi was a lot shorter than those of civilians, so the legal ages for drinking and partying and everything else were different for us. I still wasn't old enough to buy any alcohol though, so I sort of sulked into my glass of water, already used to the smell of the place because Tsunade-shishou's office smelled similar.

I looked at my glass in just the right way so I could see the reflection of a dark shape coming closer. He was wearing his Chuunin outfit and looked just as lazy as always. He barely even looked at me when he sat down at the stool to my right, but as the night went on, I noticed his stare lingered a little longer than usual.

He bought me my first drink because he was sixteen and could, and we talked about everything except Sasuke and Asuma-sensei, who had died maybe two months before. Eventually I asked if he wanted to come over to my place because my daddy was dead and my mom moved in with her aunt, whose memory was slowly but surely going away – I took care of our real house until a year or two later when her aunt forgot how to live and my mom came back home.

Shikamaru accepted even though I just said, "Wanna come over?" without giving any reason as to why he should. And the reason? I didn't know at the time, I didn't know why I had the sudden urge for a boy in my house. It wasn't until he was actually there in my living room when I realized I was lonely.

I had seen Sasuke, and he was beautiful. And he didn't seem to care one bit about me. Hadn't I changed? Wasn't he surprised, at least a little? Even though it had been weeks since then, I was still even more insecure than ever, and I wanted someone to see me. Shikamaru was that someone.

I showed him around a little, but when we got to my room he decided he wasn't too lazy to kiss me. One thing led to another, and soon neither of us were blushing virgins anymore.

And we weren't drunk. Even though it was my first drink, and even though he was skinny as hell, we weren't lightweights and we only had one cup of sake each. We were in our right minds when we were humping the living daylights out of each other and being positively devilish, like two stupid kids who lived on impulses instead of strategy.

At first I thought we had done something wrong because it didn't hurt. I didn't bleed or have trouble walking the next day, not really, and we didn't use a condom but it turned out alright since nothing happened afterward. Maybe it was stupid of me to be so careless about it all, but for some reason it never bothered me because I was grown up (I believed) and had found my real inner power.

When I told Ino about Shikamaru later, she just laughed. It took forever to convince her that yes, I did sleep with her teammate, and yes, he was actually really good. It didn't bother me that he was a lot lankier than the other shinobi I knew, but I did regret not undoing his pineapple-shaped ponytail because even to this day, I've never seen his hair loose.

Ino told me to ask him out afterward, but I never did. We weren't romantically interested in each other. Sure, he took me as his own, but I took him too. As far as I was concerned, that was fair enough. He would probably be the worst boyfriend anyway, since he didn't seem to like doing anything. I'd be damned if every time we went on a date, it would be to look at the clouds or smoke something vile. Besides, we sort of used each other, and we weren't low enough to deny it. We were distractions from the real world, from Sasuke, from Asuma, from the way the entire shinobi world was getting scarier and more dangerous and really very risky. For that one night, nothing had to matter.

That was Shikamaru, my first. And he wasn't my last.

After him was Hyuuga Neji. A shock, clearly, but I guess I've always liked surprising people. It took a while for me to notice, but I was especially attracted to the guys everyone wanted to sleep with but couldn't. I liked being the only one who could.

Neji often reminded me of Sasuke. For a while, I had been paying more and more attention to him, this prodigy who was so similar to Sasuke, but so different. It was the differences that attracted me first. He opened up to people. He was loyal to his country. In my mind, Neji was the Sasuke I always wanted, the one my childlike-self always dreamed about and wished for but never got. And then I found that Neji actually cared for me.

He started following me around sometimes. It wasn't creepy, but really very sweet, as he would walk me home if it was even close to getting dark, even though the Hyuuga complex was on the opposite side of Konoha from the cheap residential district where I lived. After a few months of this treatment, he finally gave me a kiss goodnight. As always, I over-analyzed it, especially with Ino at my side, and after a few goodnight kisses after that, I invited him inside.

Neji, like all the other guys I had ever slept with, was a virgin too. His eyes were still a little creepy to me, and I wasn't used to seeing his curse mark underneath his hitai ate, but I avoided them both by tilting my head back and shutting my eyes and unconsciously picturing cold, stoic Sasuke above me. It turned out to be a smart move, moving my head back like that, since Neji seemed to like how I looked when I did it. It just made the experience even more enjoyable. He truly was a prodigy, I'll give him that. I took it as a compliment that Neji never regretted giving himself to me, and I sure as hell didn't regret sexing him up either, even though we soon realized we didn't have honest feelings for each other, just a bit of sexual tension, and I persuaded him to go after Tenten instead.

After Neji was Rock Lee. Don't jump to conclusions. He was actually fantastic, in his own way.

Contrary to what you might think, I didn't sleep with a different guy right after another. There were always huge gaps in-between, for months at a time, and in some cases, even over a year. But I won't deny that I turned into a bit of a sexaholic; I loved the way boys lavished me with attention and smoldering gazes, and for once I felt good about myself, good because I could hold onto their hearts even after I stopped caring about them. It was a guilty pleasure that just wouldn't shake. To be seen as the pretty, innocent, kind Medic Sakura by the public, but to be admired as the shallow, exotic temptress in private...it was enough to get me hooked. Gone was the emotional Sakura who lagged behind all her friends. Gone was the Sakura who was called "weak" and "boring." With my femininity, I could become the woman I so wanted to be.

So when I realized no one had looked at me that way in a long while, I became desperate. Desperate, but not cruel. Lee approached me as usual, and for once I took him seriously, even though we both knew he didn't care about me the way he did when we were younger. My emotions were wild and my energy was overflowing with the desire to be back on top of the food chain. Lee was just the guy I needed.

He had a lot of energy in general, everyone knew, so when he got started, it took a while for him to stop. He went a lot slower the first time, but that was because he didn't really know what he was supposed to do, even though he was older than me by a year. Lucky for him, I wasn't new to this myself. Once I taught him what I liked best, he performed, and he performed well. Even though it was a little awkward seeing a face like his light up like that, it was still worth it. He had a body to die for underneath that green jumpsuit of his (which, I won't lie, was a pain to remove). I was especially thankful that he wasn't incredibly loud during our lovemaking, and even happier when he didn't scream to everyone about what we'd done. Except for Ino, who I told everything to, no one had a clue that I'd seen him. It was better that way. After all, it was just a one-night stand that went nowhere and ended quickly.

For the first time in my world of seduction, I was ashamed with what I had done. Lee wasn't the first person I took advantage of, but he was the one I felt most guilty about. He was only considered because I needed someone, anyone. I knew I was becoming into a shallow, two-faced whore, and just the thought of Lee made my stomach sink. He didn't deserve what he had gotten. It was a relief when he treated me the same as always, but the memory continued to haunt my conscience completely.

And then I shrugged it off. It was not something I was proud of, but I could see no other option. Guilt was something I was terrible with; I hated my trashy self almost as much as I hated my fan-girl self, maybe more because I was supposed to know better this time around. It wasn't something I could live with. So with as much inner-strength as I could muster, I convinced myself that the night with Lee was fun, was what I wanted, was something we both wanted. I had turned yet another boy into a man, and I was powerful and wonderfully manipulative, and I had won someone's heart yet again.

It would not do for me to be dragged down by something like self-loathing when I could improve with self-confidence instead. Reputation be damned. Haruno Sakura was an adult now.

I tried so hard to believe this was true.

After I believed myself to have recovered from that moment of weakness, I was with one last person before my nineteenth birthday. I wouldn't be surprised if no one believed me about him because, fuck it, it was hard for me to believe too.

My fourth was Sabaku no Gaara. I was on a solo mission to Suna because there was this epidemic going around. It wasn't a fatal one, but I was determined to find the cure, which I of course did after a few weeks. Gaara was one of the many who had caught the virus, and it was top priority that I heal him first, since he had plenty of Kazekage-ing to get done.

I'll be honest: I didn't cure him. He sort of healed on his own, even if I helped a little. Shukaku wasn't in his body anymore and hadn't been for almost three years, but there was still something in him that patched him up a lot quicker than usual. Still, it took a while for him to get better, and during that time I was his personal medic. I was ecstatic to find this out because, I admitted to Temari beforehand, I'd always thought he was gorgeous for a psycho-killer, and I would be allowed to touch him as much as I wanted during our time alone together in his room.

Thankfully, it seemed he liked how I touched him too.

It was a twisted plus that the sickness in Suna made its victims sweat profusely. The more I saw Gaara trying to catch his breath and sweating all over the place, the more I wanted him. I was determined to seduce him. Not only that, but I was determined to redeem myself for my foolish behavior with Lee and rid myself of that burden for good, because this time I really did like Gaara, and I wanted to know what it was like to truly love someone again. I didn't want any more one-night stands that meant nothing but inner weakness.

About halfway through Gaara's illness, I leaned closer to him to wipe his forehead, but I lingered a little on his "ai" tattoo as though the word had a hold on me. He must've liked the way it felt, because he grabbed my wrist and pulled me down so he could kiss me.

Out of all the men who'd slept with me, he was the only one I actually had a relationship with.

He got better just a few days later, and during his last check-up he asked me to dinner. I went, of course, and I was surprised when I had a good time. I didn't believe I deserved it. Gaara wasn't what I'd call social, but he had this way about him that I liked. He helped me recover. Some people started talking when they saw us together, but they were careful about it because he was the Kazekage, and even though most of the villagers liked him by now, they didn't want to upset him.

It took ages for me to finally sleep with him. That came out wrong. I wasn't with him because I just wanted to use him for my sexual urges, even though my addiction to stealing boys' virginities had an influence over my thoughts as always. I couldn't help it. But I really did like him, and I didn't want to ruin everything by taking something of his that I could never give back, because that's what I was used to doing with boys who meant nothing. But Gaara...he didn't mean "nothing." He wasn't "everything" either, but he sure as hell was "something."

I did whatever I could to postpone that final step, but I couldn't help but want one of those special moments with him before I had to go back to Konoha and our fling had to end. I think he understood this perfectly. He was a regular man now, and he had desires just like I did.

We were lying on his bed, kissing and touching each other like we were going to disappear if we didn't. Eventually I stopped him. I knew what he'd been through as a child and as an adult, and I knew very well that he had never been with a girl before in any way before I came along. And with my history, he was getting into something risky. I had to warn him.

I told him I wouldn't be around forever, that I would be going home soon. I admitted I didn't love him and that he didn't love me either, and that sex didn't mean that we did. It took a while to explain the situation to him, especially because I didn't want to say the wrong thing and make him overreact. He was very sensitive about the word etched into his forehead, and he was still trying to figure out what it meant. Apparently, though, I explained everything well enough because we slept together that night.

I ended up being with him twice before I kissed him for the last time in front of the Suna entrance. He didn't look like he wanted to break up, but he knew as well as I did that it had to be done. He helped me love myself again, or at least forgive myself for the stunts I'd pulled since I was fifteen, even though they still resonated in my mind like a reel of film. But the confidence had returned, the good kind of confidence, not the sleazy, man-eating kind. There were more important things, he taught me. I was supposed to be a medic, an honorary kunoichi of the Hidden Leaf, and sex couldn't buy me love.

I left Gaara for Konoha, but in exchange I had successfully created a medicine to heal the virus in the city. I was lonelier than ever when I got home.

Since the mission to Suna was a solo-one and there were no local witnesses to see me cuddling with the Kazekage, I pretended like our relationship never happened. I had to take Gaara's lessons and put them to use; I couldn't waste my time wallowing in loneliness. I had to get my priorities straightened out first.

Regardless, I never truly forgot. When it came to things like this, I never did.

I swore off sex for a while. I stopped going to bars and kept my hands to myself and forced my coy glances to turn into indifferent ones whenever males were around. And besides, Konoha was running out of inexperienced shinobi, which was my stupid, embarrassing addiction that I just couldn't shake no matter how hard I tried.

Gaara wasn't my last, but that's a different story, a story I'm going to tell because if I don't, it won't seem real. And God, more than anything in the world do I want it to be real.

...

I don't know why I told you everything I did. I don't want to sound like some whore who uses men to get what she wants. I'm not like that, I promise you. Not exactly.

I think I said all that stuff about my sex life because it's important, very important. Each of those guys prepared me for what was going to happen later. If it wasn't for that first night with Shikamaru, I'd probably never have won Sasuke over. I'd never have been able to make him fall in love with me.

There, that's the point I was trying to make. I made him fall in love with me. The only problem was that I had never really gotten over Gaara yet, not to mention all the things I ended up doing with Naruto. But I wanted Sasuke to fall hopelessly and completely in love with me. It was what I lived for when he came home. It had been too long since I had felt a man want me, and I was losing my patience. It didn't matter that I didn't love Sasuke anymore, that I didn't want him. I don't know what it was exactly, but I think it was my own form of revenge. I wanted him to know how I felt when he had left me alone and turned me away. I wanted him to fight for me.

I'm all too aware it sounds cruel, but I am only human, and sometimes I get selfish. Nobody's perfect. It wasn't right for me to want to use him, especially because I knew he had his reasons for leaving us – leaving me – behind, but the desire to throw my lack of interest in his face was just so appealing to me at the time, I couldn't let it go. I had used guys before, and that only brought out the ugly side of me that I wanted to banish completely. I didn't want to do this again, but Sasuke had hurt me and the village and destroyed my old, honorable way of thinking. I was never the strongest member of Team Seven, despite my medical knowledge and physical strength, and being able to control Sasuke was my own way of realizing how truly powerful I was.

I needed to do this. I had the willpower and the experience. As a kunoichi, I knew how to seduce a guy into bed, and it wouldn't be too hard to go the next step up and seduce a guy into loving me. I knew I had it in me, and I was going to do it no matter what. I could see Gaara's affectionate gaze in my mind as a reminder to just leave Sasuke be because nothing good could come of this, but the will to become Seductress Sakura again was too strong. I had to make Sasuke mine.

When I told this to Ino, she fully approved of the idea. She was convinced as well as I that he deserved what was coming to him, but she wanted me to be careful. Sasuke was, after all, an Uchiha, and he was stubborn enough to keep pursuing me even after I left him. I knew this was true, but I didn't care. As far as I knew, that would only make it more fun. I've always been insecure because of my hair and my forehead and my inability to prove myself, and to feel better about who I was, I needed someone to follow me around like a puppy. It would be ten times better if that puppy was the cold-hearted Uchiha Sasuke.

I love challenges. I said it before, but I'll say it again: I love having what others can't have. Whether it was Shikamaru or Neji or Lee or Gaara, whether it was Naruto or Sasuke, I wanted the assurance that I was good enough for something.

All the other kunoichi I knew weren't as selfish as I was, but then again, they didn't have anything to be insecure about like I did. They were never teased as a child. They never had to study as hard as I did just to get a little recognition. They were never the odd one out, they were never called annoying, and they were never left alone by the boy they loved. Tsunade's case didn't count because she couldn't help it if the guy was about to die. Sasuke, though, it was very possible to stop him. I just couldn't do it.

But now I was going to be able to change his mind the way I couldn't years ago. Maybe another reason I wanted him to love me was because I wanted to make it up to myself. Whatever the reason, I was going to do it.

Sasuke was going to love me, even if it was the last thing I ever did.

...

Disclaimer: MK owns. "Japanese Gum" by Her Space Holiday.

A/N: I'm not used to writing stories in first person, especially not from a female's point of view, and I've never really written sexual stories before either. I'm doing my best though, I promise. And I know I shouldn't be posting this (actually, I'm REPOSTING this), but I have so many ideas for this running through my head, and I can't help it. Sorryyyy. (;

If you've read any of my stories before, you should know how long my chapters usually are. This one isn't really a prologue, but it gets the ball rolling. The rest of the story will have a lot more interactions and dialogue, don't worry. (:

I'm sorry if this chapter sounds really trashy! Sakura isn't a whore, I swear, just our antihero. She's flawed and unlikeable for a reason. Hehehe. REVIEWWW so I know I don't suck!

Check out the links in my profile. Kthxbai.