Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Summary: Naruto had never really liked shopping before. That is… until Sakura tried on that bikini.
Author's note: This one just wouldn't go away until I wrote it. Warning, some mature content ahead.
A Matter of Opinion
Naruto had never really liked shopping before.
It was a lengthy and very boring sport, especially when in the company of the opposite sex. Staying at a single store for many hours at a time with nothing to do but look at your watch every few seconds with hopes of leaving by the time you're fifty was a regular routine.
Unfortunately, for Naruto, his shopping partner was no one other than Haruno Sakura, who, as it turns out, was perhaps the most ravenous shopper ever to grace the Konoha marketplace. She would beeline through every rack, every shelf, and every basket she could find until there was not an inch of the place she had not already looked through. She was an ardent spender – every shopkeeper's dream… and a nightmare to anyone who had the misfortune to hold all the shopping bags, which was somehow always him.
His only regret was that when it came to Sakura, he was just incapable of saying no. The word just shot out of his vocabulary, along with any other forms of complaint, the moment she would ask him if he would like to go shopping with her. It was yes every single time.
How could he possibly say no to her? Not when she would look at him with those batting, green eyes of hers and curl a lock of her hair around one finger in that smoking-hot way that always, somehow, did him in. His mouth would go dry, his brain would cease to function, and before he knew it, he was nodding his head like some lovesick puppy and following her out the door with his tag wagging behind him. And let's not forget she packed a punch that could pulverize mountains.
No, a punch that could easily pulverize him, he corrected mentally. Simply put, saying no to Sakura was not only impossible (at least for him anyway) but it would undoubtedly lead to a lethal end on his part if he should disagree – a scenario he wisely chose not to enact.
Still, shopping was time-consuming and it was especially tormenting for one's back. Even to this day, he was baffled at how women could possibly bask in it as if it was a well-needed supply of fresh air. They reveled in 50% sales, special two for ones and the like, and would knock over any innocent bystander who was unfortunate enough to be in the way of over-zealous female shoppers.
In fact, the only shopping Naruto had ever particularly experienced (and actually enjoyed) was ramen-shopping. And that didn't require much brain power on whether or not he should buy said item or not. There were only a handful of choices available to choose from: pork, chicken, beef, etc. The answer was a given: it was only too obvious he was going to buy all of them, no questions asked, period, end of story. Why make his brain explode trying to decide between them when he could just take them all and be happy?
However, Sakura acted as though she needed half the day to decide whether she wanted to buy a particular shirt or a certain dress, and most of the time she winded up choosing neither. It drove him absolutely mad.
It was not that he didn't like spending time with his dear Sakura-chan – of course he did. That was definitely out of the question; there was never a time in his life when he did not enjoy being in her company. It was just… shopping wasn't really his thing. It was the only activity he knew that successfully managed to wear him out.
However, he just couldn't find it in him to really complain. Not when she'd glance at him from across an aisle from time to time, green eyes full of light and a smile on her face that was both impish and shy, but every bit as happy. He just… couldn't bring himself to dislike the experience completely—not while knowing that he'd been part of the reason she smiled that way at him. It seemed to make things more bearable for him, even for just a little while.
"What do you think of this, Naruto?"
"Hm?" he replied, still somewhat distracted.
He was sitting on one of the benches (which was a little too small for him) with a dozen bags spilled at his feet—he was like an orange in a basket of apples, so completely out of place in the sea of soft pinks and blues and bustling women. If he wasn't already so tired and bored out of his mind he would have made it a point to feel uncomfortable.
"This sweater, Naruto," she repeated, her voice touched with annoyance. "I said what do you think?"
She shoved said clothing in his line of vision until all his blue eyes could register was the color red. He held it out in front of him to examine it more properly. When he did, however, he almost rolled his eyes. It was a simple woolen top with a hood at the back, and apparently, it was the only thing keeping them from leaving the store.
There were some occasions when Sakura would turn and ask for his opinion, and all he could really tell her was, "It's fine, Sakura" or "It looks nice, Sakura" – every thing she seemed to pick up fell into the "It's okay" category, but for some odd reason this would only make Sakura even more indecisive. Sometimes he felt she should just neglect asking him his opinions because, quite obviously, they did nothing help speed up the purchasing process any better.
He didn't know what else to say about the sweater, and to be honest, he didn't even know if there was anything he could say about it. Although he got the feeling she wanted an actual opinion this time and not the automatic, default response he'd typically give her at these moments. Naruto was at a total loss.
It was nice? It was too plain? It was too…red? There was only so much of what he could come up with about a sweater when there was nothing specifically distinctive about it in the first place. Unless you counted its color, but Naruto doubted Sakura wanted him pointing out the obvious to her. That would only make it liable for her to hit him.
Becoming impatient, Sakura prompted, "Well?"
"Well," said Naruto, pretending to actually give it some thought, "it's… cute. I guess."
"Cute? You guess?" said Sakura, echoing his words back at him, making him wince.
Evidently 'cute' coupled with his belated 'I guess' did not fair well with her at all. She placed her hands at her hips. "Can't you be a little more specific than that?"
Naruto tried not to let the exasperation leak over his features. He failed. Horribly. Five hours of non-stop shopping (although he'd swear on his life it felt heck of a lot longer than that) had finally made a crack in his skull.
She was asking him for fashion advice? He thought, and the more he thought of it the more incredulous the idea was to him.
Of all people, she was asking the one person who'd worn orange for almost half of their teen years? Clearly, he was either in some freakish alternate universe where he'd suddenly become some expert on the topic of clothing or this Sakura was an impostor. Well, impostor or not, he was positive she could still hit as hard if she wanted to. He didn't know what to discern from her less-than-thrilled expression on whether that idea was becoming close to a possibility.
"Um," he cleared his throat, quickly trying to rack through his brain on what else to say, "it's, uh, nice?"
At Sakura's deadpanned expression, Naruto knew that at once he had failed yet again.
"What do you want me to say, Sakura?" he groaned, unable to help himself from whining a little as well. "There's only so much a man can say about a sweater."
Finally, there was a flicker of amusement in her eyes. "Point taken," she said and placed the sweater back into the rack with the rest of its sisters. "C'mon, let's go."
"Wait!" said Naruto, reacting at once to this. He glanced at the sweater again, a little confused and a little guilty. "Don't you want to get it though?"
Sakura laughed. "No, it's okay," she said with a small shake of her head. "I know you're getting bored just sitting here waiting for me."
"No!" he quickly said, standing up so abruptly that several racks beside him tipped over unceremoniously. He fumbled and righted them back with a mild air of ineptness and embarrassment he hadn't felt since he was twelve. "I mean, no… it's okay. I'm fine. Don't worry about me. Just continue until you're done."
"Really?" said Sakura, with some astonishment. "You mean you really don't… mind?"
Half of him wanted to acknowledge the disagreement of those words, but the fact that her voice had sounded so hopeful when she'd questioned him made him that much more regretful that he had made his boredom apparent, especially since their outing was meant to be enjoyable.
This isn't about me, he thought vehemently at the conflicting part of himself that strongly wanted to leave. This is about her. Stop being so selfish, Uzumaki! What's another couple more hours if she's happy?
He cracked a soft smile. "I don't mind," he said, but her brows were still knitted together, still uncertain.
On instinct he took a step closer to her and took her hand, which had been pressed together at her lap. He raised it to his lips and pressed an affectionate kiss to her palm, making her flush and melt—a sight that swelled his ego like a balloon—while the rest of the women present in the room gave collective "Awws" and dreamy sighs (whispering how they wished their man would do something like that for them) which only seemed to make Sakura blush even harder. He supposed this was a small compensation for a little shopping, he thought, inwardly smirking.
"I really don't mind," he said and liked that his voice was low and lazy and just a touch irresistible. "But just in case, how about a quickie in the change rooms… to reinstate my attention, let's say?" he suggested lecherously, tugging her closer so that she was against him and he was a breath away from her face—just a little a bit closer and he could…
Sakura tugged her hand from his and took a step back; the distinct redness of her cheeks even more obvious.
"Okay, Uzumaki Naruto, that's enough out of you," she said, trying to sound stern and not the least bit affected, but the slight daze reflected in her eyes was a dead giveaway to the contrary.
He grinned again, showing a row of pearl white teeth. He slid an arm around her waist and kissed her neck, his breath hot against flushed skin. "Oh are you sure? I thought I saw an empty room in the corner over there."
The small hint of curiosity in her voice made his eyes widen. He wasn't sure if he should be shocked or turned on that she was actually considering his proposition.
Well… damn, he thought, feeling his arousal. He hadn't been counting on this. He supposed he should have known better than to play seduction in a clothes store—it was making that change rooms at the corner look mighty tempting from where he was standing.
Luckily, Sakura was the first to regain some sense of rationality.
"What? I mean—no! Naruto!" She pulled away from him and he hated that he was actually disappointed. Idiot, he berated himself, of course they couldn't do it in a change room—what the hell was he thinking?
He had her against the wall, lips pliant and soft and swollen against his as he took her; she was clawing at his back and shoulders—both a wonderful and painful feeling—as she tried to hold on to him for as long as she can, begging him to go faster, harder, deeper—
Naruto jerked from his reverie. Damn, he thought again, this time with a mixture of helplessness and frustration. This really wasn't what he had in mind when he pursed the impulse to tease her a little bit.
Turning to Sakura, and seriously hoping that… certain body parts weren't functioning properly for once, he said, "Yes?" and cringed—even his voice sounded rampant with desire. He cleared his throat. "Um, yeah?"
Sakura was still looking at him with some semblance of weariness. "I'm just going to check the stuff at the back." She narrowed her eyes slightly and poked him on the chest. "Behave yourself, will you?"
He grunted; a tad dejected.
However, to prove she wasn't entirely cross with him, she leaned up and kissed him—much too briefly for his liking—gently whispering a "Be right back" against his lips before pulling away again. He would have liked to tug her in for another kiss that involved heck of a lot more heat, a little bit of tongue that's for sure… and maybe some skin, but figured pursuing that sudden whim will only lead him to more trouble, so he let her go, albeit reluctantly.
She gave him a tiny smile, which he weakly returned, before turning on her heals towards the back of the store.
Naruto sighed as he sat back down again, feeling forlornness and tedium being mixed together with his arousal and evident frustration. Damn. And suddenly the next three hours or so were looking pretty dim and heavy for him. Naruto shook his head and willed himself to calm down.
Think about something else!
I don't know…Think about Sasuke naked maybe. Ew. That was definitely a sight that would blind any good man into oblivion. Or maybe Sai or Kakashi… Or all three? Naruto nearly gagged but he reveled, desperately, in the temporary distraction that that unwanted visualization had produced.
That was until he heard Sakura call his name from the back of the store.
"Naruto? Do you mind coming here for a sec?"
Naruto breathed through his nose, made sure he was completely composed before he stood up and made his way to the back. "Where are you?" he called as soon as he reached the part of the store which was occupied with change rooms.
"I'm in here," she said from one of the rooms. As he walked towards her voice, he could hear a distinct sound—like the shuffling of clothing (Oh damn, he thought, squeezing his nose)—from behind the door. "I'll be out in a second. Wait right there. I just want your opinion on this thing."
There was more shuffling, and Naruto, for once, detested his incredible ability to hear what was going on side there. A scuffle here, another shuffle there—he was so in tune with her movements already that he was even aware of the precise moment she'd leaned forward to peel off her underwear. The wait was becoming unbearable.
Just think about Sasuke naked… think about Sasuke naked… he thought frantically, still unable to believe he'd been reduced to this form of desperation, and yet unwilling to find it in himself to particularly care at the moment.
This is a life or death situation here! He thought with maddening conviction.
Just think about Sasuke naked… think about Sasuke naked… just think about—
The door opened. "Okay, what do you think?"
Holy—what was he supposed to be thinking about again?He couldn't recall. It didn't seem all that important anymore. But… hot damn, he thought, and found he could no longer tear his eyes away from her… not when she was stripped down and wearing nothing but a…
A bikini. Sakura was wearing a bikini. His Sakura. Wearing a bikini. Naruto blinked twice. He still couldn't wrap his head around it.
And she looked absolutely stunning in it too. It was a dark, forest green—it insinuated the color of her eyes, made it stand out more. But it did a lot more than just that. It insinuated her curves, her soft, pale skin, her long, long legs and the fact that she was so completely and utterly female and he was so completely and utterly male.
No, he thought with a mental shake of his head, I must not jump her… I must not jump her… I must not—
"Well?" she insisted.
She made a splay of turning around, showing her back to him, where his eyes automatically zoned in on the strings that were holding the two piece together. He was so close, he thought—he could just reach out and it would all be off, it was so easy…
"Naruto," she said, and she was standing in front of him, waving a hand over his face. She laughed a little at the lack of response. "Hello? Earth to Naruto, do you read me?"
She was frowning; more concerned now, when he still had yet to budge—he was standing there, gapping, like a statue or some sad dear caught in headlights.
"Geez… what's the matter with you?"
Nothing. Still no sign of life. She sighed and placed her hands at her hips.
"Oh never mind," she said, sounding put off. "I should have known better than to ask. I'll just change back now."
But as she started towards the door, hips swaying slightly and slender fingers poised at the string at the back of her neck, Naruto's self-control had shattered.
He was behind her before either of them knew what was happening. "Those are going off," he hissed in her ear, making her gasp, "right now."
And then they were kissing—hungrily, frantically and with little or no care in the world that they might be caught for doing this in, of all places, a public change room. Frankly, Naruto didn't give a damn; he wanted this, he wanted her—and judging by the way Sakura was ardently trying to rip off his shirt at top speed, he would say she didn't quite care much for being caught either.
"Off," she ordered when she was having some difficulty unfastening the buckle of his pants.
He complied, kicking them away with his foot, along with his boxers. He saw the fire in her eyes as she took him in and he couldn't resist some teasing, despite his obvious stimulation.
"Whatever happened to behaving, Sakura-chan?" he whispered hotly against the juncture of her neck and shoulder. He nibbled the skin and smiled at the breathy moan that came out.
"I've decided to restore some of that attention of yours," she whispered back, not about to back down. He smirked. He loved that about her. She was hardly ever what he expected.
He fingered the edges of her bikini; blue eyes lathering languorously over the soft silk. He wanted this off right now, were his exact words, but he couldn't help himself from admiring some more—she looked breath-taking. She was always breath-taking with or without this. And she wanted him… only him… always only him. He saw it in the way her eyes danced and lit up and her lips smiled. Just for him.
"What is it?" she murmured, as if sensing his thoughts.
"I just…" he started, and then pressed his face into her hair, loving the smell of shampoo and strawberries and simply Sakura. "I just wanted to say I love how this bikini looks on you."
Sakura laughed, and it was beautiful and soft in his ears. "You do?" she said and he nodded.
"I think you should buy it," he said.
"And here I thought there was only so much a man can say about a piece of clothing," she teased.
It was his turn to chuckle. "I can say a lot," he mumbled, tugging her closer—she went willingly with him—and wagged his brows suggestively, "when given the right motivation that is."
"Oh you're terrible," she scolded, but her smile was wicked and her green eyes were knowing. If that wasn't a dead giveaway that this had all been planned out, then the words that came out of her mouth next were, "Was it too much for you to handle?"
Naruto's smile promised all sorts of immoral delights.
"Babe, you haven't seen anything yet."
With another insistent tug, Sakura's bikini fell to the floor.
Fifteen minutes later they were kicked out (having been unable to tone down the volume of their voices and the fact that they were taking a suspiciously long time in one stall had prompted the store manager to call security), but Naruto hadn't had that much fun store shopping in… well, ever. At least, the store clerk was generous enough to give Sakura the green bikini for free.
They definitely had to do this again, he thought pleasantly. Who knew shopping could fun? He supposed it was all a matter of opinion.
He was grinning like a madman as they made their way up another street. Sakura was blushing up a storm, but she was positively glowing. Male pride shot up like a launched kunai.
"So," he piped up—and there was a certain leap to his walking. He took her hand in his, "where to now?"
"Well…" she said, just as casually and just as slowly, "there's a lingerie store down the street I really want to go to."
His smile widened. "Oh?"
"Yeah, I heard there was a sale." She tapped her chin, as if pretending to give it some thought. "I could use some opinions on those," she said, and turned her eyes on him—they were twinkling mischievously, "do you mind?"
Naruto brought her hand up to his lips and smirked.
"Not at all."
A/N: Well, tell me what you think! Feedback would be most appreciated :D