Flavor of Life

(Edited: 08/02/2015)

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The final battle with the remaining Akatsuki and Madara was an extraordinary and surprising one that would forever be remembered. Just when everyone – including Naruto – was about to lose hope, Sasuke appeared all of a sudden with a few strangers on his tail. So in the end, it was not just Naruto that faced Madara but Sasuke as well. The two old team-mates acknowledged each other with a short nod, a few insults and then finally launched themselves in a perfect partnership to take down the one who was threatening their home.

After the long exhausting battle, the two heroes finally succumbed to their wounds and fell into some long weeks of coma. However, neither was bitter about it as the major enemy of their story had finally perished by their combined effort.

When the two were finally back on their feet, they immediately settled into helping (more like forced by Tsunade-sama) rebuilding the village that had been almost destroyed during the course of battle.

Now that the battle was over and the villain was defeated, everyone was back home trying to live a relatively normal life by training hard, patrolling, and returning to their missions in order to prepare themselves for the next Madara. Because no matter what there will always be someone, somewhere out there, after some selfish almighty goal that threatens to destroy the world as everyone knows it.

Meanwhile, inside the Hokage tower, a handsome man of nineteen held his usual scowl on his face as he stalked down the hallway, his trek an elegant and confident one. Ignoring the curious glances that other shinobi threw at him; the red-eyed male strode past them, his long dark locks flowing behind him. Upon reaching his destination, the male stopped by a closed door that had a sign glued to it which read 'Do NOT disturb'. He rolled his eyes and proceeded to knock. Almost immediately he heard a loud yelp followed by curses behind the closed door. With a slight shake of his head, the male went on in without being invited and upon entering he noticed that the Hokage who had been obviously asleep was now desperately trying to appear as if she had been working.

"Hokage-Sama." Sasuke greeted as he glared at the blonde-haired woman who snorted in return, "What's with that look, Uchiha? I was in the middle of an important work." She snapped, making Sasuke roll his eyes in absolute exasperation.

Because she was already used to his superior air and no matter how many times she would beat him to a pulp, the superiority look wouldn't disappear, so she decided to let it go. Smirking, she looked up directly into his crimson eyes.

"Well, how did the mission go?" she asked, the sly smirk still tugging at the corner of her lips.

"We found no resistance or whatsoever." Sasuke replied, arching an elegant eyebrow. He was starting to feel somewhat uneasy. If there was someone in the entire world capable of making him shift uncomfortably was Tsunade.

"Is that so?" Tsunade leaned back on her chair, adopting a comfortable position, "Oh well… no matter. There is something more important that we need to discuss."

Sasuke knew exactly what she was going to say next. Ever since the Uchiha joined the ANBU, he was having some difficulties in adapting. Okay, maybe it was not really adapting, he just wasn't just cut out to obey to someone's orders. He was an Uchiha for crying out loud. He should be entrusted with his own team. He was more than ready for it.

Tsunade arched an amused eyebrow as she looked up at Sasuke's expression. She knew exactly what he was thinking and what he was doing - deliberately making the ANBU captains dismiss him from their squads. Tche… who did this kid think he was dealing with?

With another defiant snort, Tsunade began to rummage through her carelessly thrown pile of files. With a loud, "Yoshh!" she pulled out the one she was looking for. Smiling to herself, she threw the file case at him.

Catching it with ease, he opened it only to find himself lost in the most breathtaking sea-green eyes. Blinking he looked at the picture and the information.

Name: Haruno, Sakura

Age: 18

Occupation: ANBU Captain. (Specialized in healing and genjutsu).

Squad: 13th

Members of 13th Squad: Utada Makino, Hitori Soujiro, Tsukasa Kenjiro, Matsumoto Natsu.

Looking up, Sasuke face was marred with suspicion and annoyance, "What does Sakura have anything to do with my next mission?" He snapped.

Tsunade chuckled causing a shudder of displeasure and cold fear run down his spine, "You have been dismissed again. It's only natural that I have you move in to another ANBU squad."

Sasuke clenched his jaw. He was sure that he did not hear it correctly, "I beg your pardon?" Sasuke asked, his voice barely a whisper.

"That's right, Uchiha. No matter how hard you try to screw up your missions and no matter how many times you keep hospitalizing your fellow shinobi, I still won't let you have your own ANBU team." Tsunade sighed deeply, her honey eyes analyzing the now angered Uchiha, "The village… and I... we are very grateful to have you as a leaf shinobi, but as a Hokage, I don't think you're fit to lead… just yet."

Sasuke wanted to strangle the blonde-haired woman, he really did. How dare she? She didn't understand him at all.

"So that is why… I am moving you to Sakura's squad."

Wait a minute.

"What? You must be joking." Sasuke snapped. If glares could kill, Tsunade would be drowning in her own blood right now.

"I guarantee you, Uchiha. This is not a joke." Tsunade arched a challenging eyebrow, "This is your chance to prove yourself to me. Six months, Uchiha. I give you six months to change or I will be obliged to banish you from the ANBU force."

"What about Ibiki's squad?" Sasuke questioned, his hand curving into a fist. There was no way in hell that he, Uchiha Sasuke would serve under Sakura's orders. That day would be the day when hell would freeze over.

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Sakura sighed and dropped her white coat on the tall wooden chair. She stretched her arms above her head and yawned. She was beyond tired.

There was a sudden knock on the door making her sigh in irritation. She had just arrived from a long painful mission! Why couldn't she just be left the hell alone?

"Haruno-sempai, there is someone here to see you," a soft female voice called out.

Sakura rolled her eyes, "Tell Naruto that I'll be right there."

"Ano… it's not Naruto-kun…"

This perked the pink-haired girl interest. Normally the blond-haired boy would always come to pay her a visit as soon as she arrived to the village.

"Then tell whoever it is-" Sakura was suddenly interrupted.

"Please sir! You mustn't-"

"Just be quiet, woman."

Sakura eyes widened at the familiar voice. Her heart jolted slightly as she watched the door knob move.

"Sakura."

The cold voice echoed inside the room and rang over and over inside her head. Her green eyes quietly gazed at the tall man in front of her. Red eyes watched her intently and his lips were pressed together in a subtle pout. He was carrying a letter in his hand.

"Sasuke." Sakura replied somewhat shakily. She hadn't seen him ever since he had left the hospital after the ferocious final battle.

He looked different. His hair was longer and reached his shoulders. His pale skin was now a little tad tanner.

"What brings you here?" Sakura asked, finally breaking the ice cold silence.

Not bothering to reply, Sasuke simply extended his hand. The pink-haired girl raised a skeptical eyebrow as she looked at the letter, noticing the Hokage seal.

"What is this?" She asked as she opened the letter.

While she unfolded the piece of paper, Sasuke could see the many expressions on her face. At first, Sakura looked quite shocked, then confused, and then what intrigued him the most was the half disgusted look that briefly took over her pale features.

A simple "Oh," was all that Sakura said after finishing reading the letter.

Sasuke furrowed his eyebrows; he was clearly expecting more than a simple "oh."

Looking up to the dark-haired boy, Sakura couldn't help but to smirk at the awkward situation in her hands.

"That settles it then, ne? Welcome aboard, Uchiha."

It was only six months, he repeated over and over again. Sasuke inhaled deeply, refraining himself to snap at his new captain. His stomach lurched. Oh god. Sakura… his new captain. He was going to get laughed at. Oh well, at least things couldn't get any worse than this.

"Oh, one more thing…" Sakura added as she signed the letter, a cunning smirk decorating her features, "Please cut your hair."

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