Disclaimer: The Naruto characters are property of Masashi Kishimoto.

Sorry about last week; I hit a little bump in the road, I guess.

After Tonight

Chapter Six: Finally…

For a while now, the people working in one certain skyscraper have been thoroughly perplexed by their employer's odd behaviour. It all started a few weeks ago, when coffee-drinking became habitual for him; he seemed absolutely exhausted. Speculations were thrown out in frenzies: was it legal issues, financial crisis, health problems, or some other predicament? Whatever it was—these elite intellectuals deduced—must be something of great importance to have such an effect on him. They touched upon the idea of this being about a woman, but quickly dismissed it. After all, if there was one thing he didn't trouble himself with, it was romance.

The only one that seemed to know what was going on was one of the higher-up executives, his close friend.

Finally, the dilemma seemed to have been resolved. After a week of completely immersing himself in work, he made a trip to—according to the loud-mouthed receptionist—his lawyer's firm. When he came back, they'd noticed, by the smirk that seemed unable to leave his face, he was in a fine mood. So, it was legal difficulties? With this conclusion, some became a little wealthier, and some, poorer. They thought that was the end, but oh, how wrong they were.

In that same week, the company employees witnessed two events which would surely shape modern history. The first was the downfall of a prominent politician; the second—much more disturbing—was their young workaholic boss leaving early on a Friday. When he returned on Saturday morning, those who worked weekends saw him, looking…a little…happy. After that, on occasion, he would still visit the law firm or get off work early.

Today, though, something was off. Yes, something was definitely wrong. These sharp-witted number-crunchers could just smell it.

As Sasuke Uchiha walked back into his office, he became increasingly aggravated. He encountered someone very unpleasant today. The strange man not only declared his "undying love and devotion" to Sakura, but did so while completely ignoring his presence. Standing next to young Sasuke—with his obvious assets—most men, feeling inferior, would simply shrink away. Yet, for whatever reason, this…creature did onto that the fact that they both wanted the same woman, Rock Lee was a threat, indeed.

Even if there were two black caterpillars he called eyebrows sitting on that face.

Where did he come from, anyways? Not around here, that was for sure. With that hair, those clothes, and that attitude of his, this one must have escaped from a museum somewhere. Who does he think he is? The more he thought about it, the more annoyed Sasuke became.

"That's weird," Naruto's presence did nothing to help, "You seem kind of…"

"Save it."

"Fine, but I'm just saying…"

"Hn."

"So…What happened with her?"

"How do you know this is about her?"

"Because," the blonde rolled his eyes, "Your facial-paralysis-thing just doesn't function when it comes to Sakura-chan."

Sasuke sighed, is it that obvious?

"Now, Sasuke-kun," he dove into the couch, "Would you just tell me, already?"

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"I can't believe he came back." Sakura groaned.

"I know," Tenten sighed, "That is just…"

"Horrible?"

"Oh, dear, it's not so bad—you don't have to marry him."

"But… I promised—I can't break a promise!"

"Sakura, you were six. Most people don't take that kind of thing seriously."

"But I think he did."

"What a strange dilemma."

"He came when Sasuke was there, too."

"Well, that's…"

"I know." The pink-haired girl buried face into a pillow.

"Did he do anything?"

"Which 'he' are we talking about, now? I'm confused."

"Lee?"

"Oh…The usual." Came the muffled reply.

"Right in front of…"

"Yes."

"Wow. He's pretty brave."

"Or stupid."

"Well, either way." Tenten shrugged.

"Sasuke didn't seem to care," Sakura sighed, "He just left without saying much."

Suddenly, realizing something, the brunette burst out in laughter.

"What?" a glare was shot at her, "This isn't funny."

"The problem isn't Lee at all, is it? You're upset because Sasuke didn't show any jealousy."

"No I'm not," Stubbornly, she turned away; "I don't care about that at all."

"Right."

"Well, he just seems kind of…indifferent, sometimes."

"How long have you two been together, now?"

"Two-and-half-months, I think."

"And he still hasn't…"

"No." She shook her head.

"Wow. I was so sure that, by now, he would have…"

"Really, you think so?"

"Yes, well, I must be wrong about him, then. He seems to really care about you."

"But…"

With another revelation, Tenten gasped loudly.

"You," she looked at Sakura incredulously, "You want him to…"

"No!" the younger woman shrieked, no longer hiding in the cushion, "I do not!"

"Don't you?"

"No." She denied.

The brunette laughed, "It's alright to want it, you know, if it's meaningful."

She didn't respond, but sat there deep in thought.

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"Sakura-san, you are the sole reason for which my eyebrows wiggle."

She didn't know what to say, except, "Thanks?"

"Now, I have come back to make you my bride."

He did take it seriously.

The young woman felt guilt in the pit of her stomach as she wondered how this could be fixed.

"Lee?"

"Yes, my youthful blossom?" His eyes sparkled with hope and expectations.

She slumped, "Oh, well, you see, I don't think I can…I just don't feel that…"

"Ah, I understand." He nodded.

"You do?"

"Of course, I will definitely wait until after we're married." His face was red.

To this, Sakura had no response. She willed the phone to ring, anything to interrupt this strange conversation. At that moment, her wish was granted—and then some.

The door was opened without a warning. Sasuke Uchiha walked into the office, suddenly making it seem even smaller. Not a word was uttered as he walked past the other man, right up to her. Sakura couldn't place the frightening expression on his face.

"What…?"

She had not time to say much else, as he quickly leaned in to—

Bite down hard on her lower lip.

Her mouth gaped in surprise and pain, and he saw this as the opportunity to kiss her into the next century. This one, unlike any other that they'd shared, was laced with the metallic taste of blood. When he finally ended the bruising kiss, Sakura was left feeling flushed and dizzy. If she'd been standing, her knees would have buckled.

Satisfied with his work, he turned to a shock-frozen Rock Lee—smirking in triumph all the while—and easily shut him out of the room.

"What was that?" she murmured.

"Punishment," He simply said.

If it was possible, she would have turned a deeper shade of red.

"By any chance," Sakura stood, "are you jealous—?"

She was silenced with another kiss, softer, shorter this time.

"What do you think?" Sasuke glared, and she simply smiled.

I'm sinking deeper and deeper, he thought hopelessly.

"Now," he said, "Explain why there was mention of 'marriage'."

"Well," she grinned sheepishly, "you wouldn't believe it."

"Try me." Hands folded, he tilted his head to the side in curiosity.

"Err…See; it all began when I was six years old. He lived next door, so we played together a lot. And one day, he had this huge piece of cake,"—her eyes lit up—"and he said, he said…"

"Said what?" he prompted.

"He said I could have it," her voice became softer and softer as she hung her head in shame, "if I married him."

"Really?"

She nodded in response, "He moved 10 years ago; I didn't think he would…"

"Come back to marry you?"

She nodded again.

Sasuke was so, very amused. Standing before him was a bright, successful young woman who sold herself to the neighbour's boy…for cake.

With one movement, she was in his arms, their foreheads touching.

"Now," he breathed, absently toying with her hair, eyes smouldering, "What if I gave you all the cake in the world?"

Sakura huffed, "I'm older now; that wouldn't work. Besides…" she muttered some inaudible words.

"Hmm?"

"I said," she took a deep breath, preparing herself, and whispered it in his ear.

"You don't need any cake at all."

At these words, he felt his rationality crumble. Given how they'd met, Sasuke had been holding back. He wanted her to know that she was important, that this wasn't just physical. But after this many weeks, his self-control was slipping just a little. But before he could do anything, she surprised him.

"Would you like to…come over for dinner?" She asked, anxiously fidgeting, "Tenten is visiting her parents for the weekend."

Looking into her wide, pale green eyes, he could do nothing but nod.

"See you tonight."

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"I didn't know you were a cook," He said, looking at the table before him.

"Well," she laughed, "My mom taught me."

All throughout dinner, Sakura was so nervous couldn't help herself as she babbled on about anything that came to mind. He didn't seem to mind, and just sat there, listening, learning.

When she was five, she ran her bicycle into a tree.

When she was eight, she kicked a boy for taking her crayons (she seemed quite proud as she was talking about it, too).

There was a pear tree in the backyard of her parents' house; they bore the best-tasting fruits.

The more he knew about her, the more precious she became.

"And yesterday, I read in the paper that—"

"Sakura, stop."

But he couldn't possibly comprehend this much in one night.

"Sorry," she looked down.

Shaking his head, he pulled her to him, arm snaking around her waist.

"Now what?" he felt her tremble as he pressed his lips to her ear.

Hesitantly, shyly, she responded, "Bed…room?"

"Good girl." He kissed her temple.

It was a good thing these walls were thick.

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When he woke up, she was no longer in bed; he didn't like this feeling at all. While getting dressed, Sasuke noticed that his shirt was gone. Was it in the living room? Thinking back to the previous night, it seemed to him very likely.

As soon as he opened the door, he faint heard sounds in the kitchen, and so followed them. When he entered he saw—

His shirt.

She was wearing it under an apron, cooking on the stove. Even though he was taller than her, the thing barely covered her pale legs. Sasuke sighed; this was too much. Did no one tell the girl about men and mornings?

Out of the pocket of his pants, he took out a cell phone and dialled.

"Naruto, I'm taking the weekend off." Without waiting for an answer, he hung up.

When she took note of his presence, it was already too late.

"Sa…Sasuke! Breakfast…"

"Later," he grumbled.

What a fine morning.

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THE END.

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Well, that's it, folks!

Thanks for staying with me; it's been very much fun.

As always, I hope you liked this final instalment.

Please look forward to my future stories.

Anyways, school starts tomorrow; I'd better start brushing my hair.

Bye!