This is dedicted to Roguefan212000. I'm sorry for the long wait. this one took a little thought.
This is a Naruto fanfiction with Sasuke and Sakura. I hope you like it and if you like mature reading, to check out my other works.
Just Between Us
"Sakura, come down here and help me set the table." Her mother called up the stairs.
"Coming!" she called in return as she smoothed down her hair and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She sighed, "I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
Racing down the stairs, Sakura couldn't ignore the knot in her stomach that had been forming there since yesterday. Ever since they had become team 7, Sakura had been asking Sasuke to come over for dinner and he had always refused. She wasn't sure what had changed but yesterday after training he finally agreed to come over. She couldn't help but wonder, why now? What was he planning?
Shaking her head from her thoughts, she walked into the small dining room and began setting up the table for four. Her parents were suspicious about him coming over, especially her father. It was as if on cue the bell rang just as she placed down the last napkin.
"I'll get it." She raced to the door but was stopped by her father. Her father was no shinobi, but he was a large man. Being a blacksmith would do that. He was one of the ones that made the weapons for the village.
"I'll get it, you go help your mother in the kitchen." His voice hard and unrelenting.
"Yes, father." She turned and walked into the kitchen. Her father didn't approve of her being a shinobi, but he never stopped her, even when she told him about the chunin exams. He always wanted her to marry and have a family to take care of. Her mother met her eyes as she walked in, "Father asked me to help you." Behind her she could hear the door opening and the sound of her father's loud greeting. The anger inside her rising, I wanted to be the one to open the door for him!
"Why don't you take them some tea to drink while I finish in here, we should be ready to eat in a few minutes." Her mother smiled at her and motioned for the tea serving tray that had been prepared, already knowing she would rather be out there with him.
"Alright then." She lifted the tray made her way out of the kitchen.
"Don't spill it." She called out to her as Sakura went into the dining room.
The room was silent as she entered, Sasuke sat across from her father, both looked up at her as she knelt down and placing the tray on the table, "Diner will be ready in a few minutes. Would you like some tea while you wait?"
Sasuke didn't know what he was doing here. Sakura had always asked him to come over and yesterday he had no really excuse to refuse and the fact that Kakashi Sensei told him to be nicer to her. He had knocked on the door and waited. It was only dinner, right?
It was a few moments before a large figure appeared at the door with a scowl on his face, "You must be that Uchiha kid?"
Sasuke took a deep breath to calm himself, "You must be Mr. Haruno?"
The man smiled, "Come on in, the women are in the kitchen and dinner should be ready soon." He cautiously stepped inside and followed the man into the house. The man stopped in a door way to let Sasuke by before patting him on the back, "Have a seat, tell me how your training has been going."
Sasuke went in and sat down on the other side of the kotatsu. This man was like nothing he had ever met before. Even sitting down, he was at least a foot taller than him and it was strange how he was acting like they were friends. Almost reminded him of the Dope. He was about to speak when the door beside them slid open and in walked Sakura holding a tray. She was silent, her eyes gazed to the ground. He watched as she knelt beside the table and placed the tray down, "Diner will be ready in a few minutes. Would you like some tea while you wait?"
The man laughed, "I'll have my usually, sweetheart." The man motioned to him, "You?"
Sasuke was brought out of his gaze and nodded, "Yes."
Sakura still had not met his eyes as she worked at pouring two cups of tea. It seems she was brought up with old traditions. He was entranced by her nimble work, as if she had done this dozens of times. He hadn't even noticed when she placed the tea in front of him and her father before placing the tea pot between them. His gaze followed her hand as she tucked one of her pink locks behind her ear before standing back up. The tray was brought over her chest, her arms crossed over it as she bowed, "Is there anything else I can do?"
"If your mother is not ready with dinner yet could you bring us some of those little cakes she made earlier?"
"Of course." Sakura turned and left without another word.
He stared at the doorway in which she had walked through. This was a Sakura he had never seen before. It was very odd. The sound of her father brought him from his thoughts, "Ahh, extra sweet with honey and jasmine, my favorite."
Sasuke looked down at his tea, he hated sweet things. But he had to be polite and drink it. Lifting the cup to his lips, he took a small sip and was in bliss. It was delicious. It was an aged green tea with lemon and something he couldn't identify. There was nothing sweet about the tea; in fact it had a lingering bitter taste in his mouth that he enjoyed. Sasuke hadn't been paying much attention as to what she had put into the tea, but he knew she had made it just for returned shortly with a plate of chocolate cake and lemon cookies. Once more she was silent and avoided eye contact. Placing the plate between the men, "Dinner will be served shortly." She stood and left the room once more.
This was a Sakura that he could not get use to.
Sakura returned to the kitchen just as her mother was plating food upon serving trays. She watched silently as her mother hummed while she worked. Her mother had always been a good wife. She always made sure Sakura knew her etiquette and house manners. Be the submissive female to the head of the household, which would be her father. Even her kunoichi training had taught her how to be the perfect wife. Sometimes, it all made her sick.
What had Sasuke thought about her behavior? Had he even noticed? Probably not. She sighed and thought about the tea she had made him. Sasuke was the exact opposite of her father. Sasuke hated sweet things, she had made sure to make his tea slightly bitter, just the way he liked it. When she had returned with the cakes, he seemed to enjoy the tea. A smile came to her lips at the fact she had done something right for him.
"Sakura, come here and help me carry in these plates, I bet those boys are hungry." Her mother called her over.
"Yes mother." Sakura went over and picked up one of the trays and followed her mother into the dining room. She was now having second thoughts about having invited Sasuke over.
"So tell me, is my little girl to much trouble out on the training grounds?" the man laughed before taking a sip of his tea, "I tell her that she should give all that up and keep training to marry into a good family."
Sasuke clenched fist around the cup, "Sakura is very helpful out on missions. Being the only girl on the squad, she always seems to know how to break the tension between the guys." His voice hard and cold. He was not about to let her father talk about her that way.
The man laughed, "And here I thought all women could do was cause tension."
At that moment, Sakura entered behind another woman that Sasuke could only assume was her mother. He couldn't help but stare as the woman entered with such grace and manners as Sakura had earlier. She knelt beside her husband and served him his plate, never meeting the man's gaze. This could be an older version of his teammate. The women had the same rosette locks and emerald eyes as her daughter, but her features were softer and her form was of a full grown woman, curves and all.
"Looks good, Honey." He smiled down at the plate before him.
Sasuke, distracted by the woman serving this man, didn't notice Sakura placing a plate before him, "Can I pour you some more tea?"
Breaking his gaze on her mother he turned to her and finally met her eyes for the first time as she sat beside him across from her mother. Without looking down at his cup, "yes, thank you."
She smiled and took his cup and once again poured the tea just as before. This time, he watched her carefully, hoping to learn how she had made the tea he had liked so much. He watched her nimble hands as she poured a liquid from a small bottle along with a squeeze of lemon before lifting the tea pot and pouring the tea itself. He still didn't know how to make it. Darn it, that meant he would have to ask her.
"Here you go." She handed him the cup, a slight smile upon her lips, eyes soft and caring.
"Oh, thank you." he took hold of the cup, his fingers grazing hers. She quickly turned away and began pouring herself a cup of tea.
"Hurry up and eat, boy. How are you suppose to ever grow any if you don't eat." He turned back to her father who had a large grin upon his face.
He nodded, lifted his chopsticks and began to eat. The steamed vegetables with beef smelled delicious. He couldn't remember the last time he had a home cooked meal. They ate in silence, well, almost silence. Her father continued to speak of trivial things as his wife smiled and nodded occasionally. He took a glance at Sakura from corner of his eyes. Her head was cast down as she stared into her bowl and ate. Why did it bother him to see her like this?
"I saw Nara –san today. He came into the shop wanting to buy some kunai for that kid of his. What's his name?" her father bellowed.
"Shikamaru." He turned to Sakura who had answer softly without lifting her gaze.
"That's the one. Well, turns out his mother is already looking for someone suitable for that lazy kid." He smiled, "She wants him to marry someone very much like herself, someone to take care of the house like she does and kept those boys in order." He laughed, "I told him that our little girl would be happy to take charge of a household."
Sakura's body went stiff beside him, her eyes wide. He watched her hand go under the table and clutch something so roughly, she shook slightly. Sasuke looked back at her father, "Can you imagine dear, our daughter, married to the heir of the Nara household." He paused to take a bite of food, "I knew sending her to that school would pay off. With her perfect chakra control and house manners, she would make any shinobi a good wife. She's going to birth strong heirs."
He could feel his anger rising. How could this man talk about his own daughter like she was something to be owned? So he sent her to the school just so she could train enough to produce strong shinobi children. It was disgusting. He dare not turn to face her, but looked at her once more from the corner of his eye. Her bottom lip trembled, the anger present in her eyes as her shoulders shook. How could she put up with this each day? Sasuke did the only thing he felt he could do in this situation. Under the table, he reached over and place his hand over her hand the clutched her skirt. He could feel her grip loosen and her body stopped shaking lightly. She did not look at him, but stared down at the table once more.
"So Sweetheart, what do you think of that Nara kid? Do you get along with him?" his voice full of hope.
She was silent for a bit, under the table she had turned her hand over and intertwined her hand with his. He squeezed her fingers lightly as she took in a deep breath.
Sakura took in a deep breath and released his hand. She couldn't believe he had done that, but she was grateful. She needed that to push her. Placing her hands on the table in front her she lifted her gaze to meet her father's eyes, "Well, father, I don't really know him that well since we are not on the same team, but I don't think I would want to marry him." Sakura lifted her glass to her lips and waited for her father's response. This was the first time that she had responded like that to him. It was almost freeing.
"And why not?" his voice slightly harder than before.
Placing the cup down, she stared at the wall between her mother and father, "Well," she paused, "he's not the type of boy I like. He has no determination, and beside. I have reason to believe that one of my friends likes him. It would be rude for me to get involved." She kept her voice calm while inside she was screaming. I finally told him. I can't believe that I finally told him what I was actually thinking.
"What do you mean 'he's not your type'? What does that matter?" the anger in his voice rising.
Sakura looked down at her food and began picking at it, "I'm just not interested in him in that way." She paused, "May we continue this later, when we don't have company over?"
Her father cast a glance to Sasuke, who sat beside her in silence and then cleared his throat, "Well, I think it is best we discuss this later. Now let's eat."
Sakura was grateful that the rest of the meal was eaten in silence.
"Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay for desert, Sasuke-san?" her mother said as he prepared to leave.
"I apologize, but I must be getting home. Sakura and I have an early training tomorrow and it is getting late. Thank you for the meal though. It has been a while since I've had a home cooked meal." His voice calm and polite. He didn't think he would be able to leave so calmly, but since her father hadn't bothered to see him out, that must have helped.
"Oh, well thank you. You are welcome here anytime you want a home cooked meal." She smiled sweetly.
"Thank you, I will keep that in mind." He bowed towards her then turned to Sakura, and paused. He could not find the words.
"Thank you for coming." A sadden smile upon her lips as if she was silently apologizing for her father's actions. He could only assume that she was regretting inviting him over to her house, "I'll see you at practice tomorrow." She bowed at him.
"Yeah, see you at practice." He gave her a small bow and was out the door.
As he walked down the street, he couldn't help but think of her. It was frustrating how she was acting in there. She was better than that. She was an excellent Kunoichi. Sure she wasn't as powerful as himself and Naruto, but her skill was not to be taken lightly, and of course he always worried about her safety on missions, but so did Naruto and Kakashi. He could never picture her giving up all the work she has been doing, all the training she put in, and become a house wife and baby maker.
It was almost maddening. But it wasn't his life, he could not afford to get distracted by others problems. He sighed, and headed away from his house, needing some air to clear his mind.
Sakura helped her mother clean the kitchen as quickly as possible. She wanted away from her father's line of view and to just hide away in her room. It was only minutes after Sasuke had left that Sakura made it back into the sanctum of her room and locked the door. Her father was furious, she could feel it. She had to get out of the house, give him some time to calm down, give herself some time to think of what she should do once he came to 'have a word with her', which meant her sitting in silence while he yelled. She went for her closet and grabbed her spare sandals and went to the window.
Sitting upon the window sill, she slipped on her shoes and threw her legs over the ledge. Just as she was about to jump a voice on the other side of the door stopped her, "Sakura, open this door. We need to have a word with you."
Her whole body stiffened, she hadn't expected him to come so soon. If he came in and found her gone, he would only get angrier and then she would really get it. But she couldn't face him, not yet, she needed time. She had to get out of there. With one last glance at the door she jumped from the ledge and landed on the roof of the house next door.
Sakura looked back at the window of her room and smiled, her shinobi lessons were more helpful than her father realized. With that last thought she raced off, jumping from roof to roof, needing as much space between her and her problems as she could get.
It wasn't until she was on the bridge into the training grounds that she stopped to take a breather. She was most at home here, with her teammates. She could be herself here with them. Leaning on the rail, looking upon the water below, thought of what her father had done tonight came rushing back.
It wasn't until she saw the ripple in the water below that she realized her own tears, bringing her hand to brush the tears from her face. Why was she still so weak? She shouldn't be crying over this. She sniffled and looked back upon the water, "Why am I such an idiot?"
"Maybe it's because you let others control how you live?" a familiar voice called out behind her.
Oh dear heavens, why did it have to be him.
Sasuke had hidden his chakra once he saw her standing upon the bridge, hoping to hear her thoughts, but she had stayed mostly quiet except for the tears she had tried to hide. It wasn't till she had asked a question out loud that he made himself known. She said nothing, didn't even turn as he stood just paces behind her. Had he been to cold?
He was about to speak again when she stood up straight, "What are you doing here?" her voice distant.
"I'm out for a walk. Last time I checked, you were at home, what are you doing out here?"
She brought her hands to wipe her eyes before she turned to face him, a smile upon her face, "I'm just getting some air before bed. My room gets kinda stuffy during the summer so these walks usually help me sleep."
Liar. He thought to himself. He could see her eyes were rimmed red and he felt the pain radiating off of her. She was masking it all to make herself seem stronger. Why was she pretending nothing was wrong? If she didn't want to talk that was fine with him, he wouldn't push it from her.
"Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow then." He was about to turn and walk away when she called out.
"I'm – I'm sorry about my father. He can be a little eccentric sometimes. And it may seem weird, what he said about me, but-." She paused and he met her eyes, "he really does have my best interest at heart."
How could she say that, was she just making excuses for that man? He turned away from her and looked down at the floor, "Is that how you want to see it, fine, but you shouldn't make excuses for him to other people."
She looked at him hurt and then turned away, "Do you know what it's like to have people expect something of you that you want nothing to do with?" she paused and shuddered, "I hate it. I hate it so much." Her voice breaking, "Every time I talk about extending my studies or about my missions, all my father can ask is if there are noblemen's sons in those classes or if I got an wounds that would scar my body." She hissed a breath and mocked her father, "A scar flaws the body and men don't want flawed bodies." She gripped the rail of the bridge and leaned over it, "I'm sick of being an object to him. I'm sick of how he treats me. I want to be a Kunoichi more than anything, but all he wants is for me to gain status trough marring into a high family. I should never have invited you over; I was an idiot for wanting to spend time with you outside of the team. I never wanted you to see me like this. Is that what you want to hear, Sasuke? Is that what you want to hear?" she shuddered and he watched as her knees gave out and she collapsed to the floor, her hands still holding the rail.
He took the few steps and stood directly behind her, "If you're sick of it, then stop. Stop acting like some stupid doll in front of him. Stop pretending you give a damn about anything he talks about. Just be yourself and tell him what you've told me." He braced himself on the rail and loomed over her. Her eyes cast upward to meet his as he spoke, "How are you supposed to grow any stronger, if you can't even stand up to the one holding you back?"
Sakura looked up at him, her eyes rimmed with tears wondering why she had just spilled her heart out to the one that seemed to have no heart. Why was he being kind to her? After she just practically threw a tantrum right in front of him and probably ruined any chance of him ever respecting her, why was he here comforting her? It was so unlike him.
She took in a deep breath and said nothing.
"Can you stand?" he asked as he stood up straight once more.
She nodded and attempted to pull herself with the rail only slipping slightly causing him to grab her arm, bringing him closer to her than she had wanted to be. His arm was around her front, her body braced upon his left side. A blush spread across her face as she rested her head upon his shoulder and stifled a cry, "Thank you." she whispered softly, "Thank you for putting up with me."
Sasuke pulled away and looked to the ground, "Don't mention it. We're teammates after all."
Sakura wiped her eyes and smiled at him, "I guess I should go home and face my father." She turned and took the few steps to the end of the bridge and stopped. This was most likely the only chance she would ever get in long time of him being nice to her and being alone with him. She had to take a chance, "Sasuke?" she paused not turning to face him.
"Yeah?" he responded.
It was now or never. In the blink of an eye she appeared in front of him and just as quick she placed a kiss upon his cheek and pulled away. "See you tomorrow." Her voice filled with a hidden happiness and she raced off towards home. She would see him tomorrow and she knew they would both act like nothing had happened. It was the way things were. And for that she was glad.
Sasuke stood on the bridge in a dazed confusion. What had just happened? It all seemed like a blur in his mind as he touched the flesh that her lips had just touched. It was a warm, almost comforting to feeling that coursed through him. He didn't know what to make of it. For the brief second, he felt like he had no control and it was almost freeing. And just as quickly as it had come it had gone. He watched her race off with that same smile she had every time he saw her. He had missed that smile all night.
He laughed silently to himself and slowly walked the same path she had taken back into the village center. Deep down, he knew that this whole evening would be a secret between them. And he was fine with that. It was best that nobody knew that for a brief moment, Sakura had made him lose himself.
I hope you liked it. Please Comment.