Disclaimer: I am not Kishimoto Masashi, thus, I am not the rightful owner of Naruto.
A/N: This was written in August of 2010 as a birthday gif-fic for a dear friend. It was revised in July of 2012. It is not grammar perfect.
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Chuckling and with a handful of cherries, Naruto ran through the forest.
A kunai whizzed over his head, but he ignored it and made a mad dash up the nearest tree. Upon reaching the very top of Konoha's tallest tree, he cackled wildly, feeling like the almighty Kami-sama. On shaky feet, he watched as the birds took flight and the sun made its slow descend into slumber. He then sat on his haunches, observing for his fellow teammates.
Cherries fell from his pockets.
Shoving the ones in his hands into his mouth, Naruto dug his fingers into his pockets.
Gah, he thought as he pulled away with cherry stained fingers. For a second, he contemplated staining the rest of his attire by wiping his hands down the side of his orange pants, but chose to lick them instead. The cherries were sweet, masked with a ting of bitterness.
Standing once more, Naruto spotted Sasuke as he waltzed into the clearing and Kakashi-sensei who trailed behind him, too engrossed in his new Icha Icha Paradise book.
No sighting of Sakura, he thought relived. "She must've gone back home to get more cherries."
Muttering under his breath, he pumped a fist into the air and yelled 'yaaaa-hooo' as he rocked forward on the balls of his feet to emanate a powerful and triumphant call.
"The Great Uzumaki Naruto has escaped the crazed-Sasuke-obsessed-Sakura-chin." Amused with his host like voice, Naruto hooted once more before jumping down from the tree. Wind tousled his blond hair and Naruto, cheesy grin and all, kept his eyes peeled during his fast and propelling descend to the ground. Everything around him moved with blinding speed.
Landing on a crouched position—a first considering how high up he'd been—he quickly dusted his hands and headed in Sasuke's direction. This time around, he would be the first to greet Sasuke with a 'Happy Birthday' at the top of his lungs. Naruto grinned. Sakura had run off to fetch more cherries for her dear Sasuke-kun and this was his chance! Victory was entirely his, he mused.
He dashed in the direction he saw Sasuke enter the clearing. To propel himself even faster he infused chakra to his run. He was going to catch Sasuke by surprise, hurl him down to the floor and scream in the teme's ear "Happy Birthday" in his loudest voice. Then, in his tone death and scratchy voice he was going to sing Sasuke a birthday song before Sakura ever got the chance.
Naruto laughed like a madman, delusional with his incessant need to always be first. Closer to his destination he increased the surge of chakra coursing through his feet, but like always Naruto miss calculated.
Sakura stood before Sasuke, her arms wrapped around his neck. She was wishing him a happy birthday. And all the same, because the time presented itself, she delighted in the fact that Sasuke allowed her to hug him without so much as a fuss.
Public display of affection, she snickered. Glad that her now boyfriend wasn't pulling away from her.
Spotting his bubblegum haired friend, Naruto attempted to slow down. But it was too late.
He crashed into his fellow teammates, sending them all to the floor. "Uhmp," they said in unison. Naruto peered open an eye. He noticed that Sakura blushed as she lay sprawled over Sasuke, while Sasuke looked exasperated at the sky. Sheepishly, Naruto scratched his head.
"Ano sa," he crinkled his nose in an 'I'm-sorry' fashion. "Happy Birthday?" His voice hitched when he caught sight of Sakura glaring at him.
"Uzumaki Naruto," Sakura snapped, grinding her teeth together. Pushing away from Sasuke, her glare seemed to intensify. Naruto looked around for Kakashi-sensei, not that the man would help, but Naruto could wish…sometimes—err—when Sakura looked just about ready to catapult him back up the tree with her monstrous strength.
"He-he," Naruto pretended to laugh as he backed away. "Sakura, what do you say we bring out the cake?"
"The one you dipped your dirty finger into?"
"I did no such thing!" Naruto jumped to his feet, hands stretched forward in a haltering motion. Sakura stood, too, and he knew what was coming. "I swear Sakura! I only touched the cherries. You know that."
"Yeah, thanks for reminding me." Sakura bolted after Naruto as soon as he made to escape. Sasuke reached for Sakura's hands. Stilling her he said "Let it be."
"Oh, I'll make this quick, Sasuke-kun." Sakura smiled sweetly before she pulled her hand from Sasuke's grip.
"Well, don't hurt him too badly." He told her while smirking, knowing nothing would stop Sakura from the cat-dog fight that seemed to brew every time Naruto and she were in each other's presence.
Running after Naruto, Sakura shouted, "Baka, get back here!"
"Aw come on, Sakura. Why is Sasuke the only one getting your love? Sharing is caring, so show me some love."
"I'll show you," Sakura growled under her breath, pulling a kunai from her side pouch. Once more, she threw it in his direction, and like earlier Naruto threw his arms over his head, ducked and then continued to run.
"Hey! That could have hurt me!" He shouted as he stopped to inspect a gash on his brand new jacket. He looked behind him to see that Sakura was pulling out even more weapons. Grinning, the stuck out his tongue and continued to run away. "You'll only continue to miss. Give it up, Sakura-tan."
"Wrong move," Sakura mumbled under her breath. She stopped running after Naruto only to see him crash into a low branch. It sent him flying a few feet away from her.
"Ouch," he bellowed like a baby. "You could have warned me!"
"You could have asked." Smug, Sakura walked over to Naruto and dug her kunai into the branch he crashed into. Naruto paused from massaging his nose to glare at her. Before he had the chance to hiss his discontent with the way Sakura treated him, Kakashi dropped from thin air.
"What are you guys doing?" From the sound of it, he was exasperated.
"I'm about to make minced meat. Want to help?"
Kakashi turned to Naruto. "What's your excuse," he asked massaging the bridge of his nose. "Aren't we gathered here to celebrate Sasuke's birthday?" He adjusted his hatei-aite.
"We are. But since some food has gone missing I'm going to make due with Naruto. So hand him over." Sakura outstretched her hand, expecting that Kakashi-sensei would pluck Naruto off the ground and deliver him to her. She rolled her eyes when Naruto scampered behind her Sensei's leg and shouted, "Block her!"
"You guys never get tired of fighting, do you?"
"You don't have to help me if you don't want to. But remember: I'm the one who cooked."
Kakashi looked from Sakura and Naruto. Making his decision he reached down and grabbed Naruto around the collar of his jacket. "Sorry Naruto," he said before he plopped his former student by Sakura's feet. "I simply can't resist Sakura's cooking." Patting Naruto's head he turned around to leave. He didn't heed Naruto's remark which accused him of being a traitor.
"Tell Sasuke I'll be there in a minute." Sakura called after her sensei. Just as soon as Kakashi was out of sight, Sakura dropped before Naruto. "Let me get it." She said, running her hands through Naruto's jacket.
"Hey, I already ate the cherries." He swatted Sakura's hands away.
"Not that, moron! The picture."
"The picture?" Puzzled, Naruto scratched his head in that unfavorable gesture which irked Sakura's patience. "You wouldn't mean the picture we recently took on our last mission."
Sakura narrowed her eyes. "Yes. That picture. You're not going to tell me you don't have it with you."
"Why do you ask?" Naruto backed away. Unsure of what the menacing glint in her eyes meant.
"I gave it to you for safe keeping, until we could give it to Sasuke. You do have it, don't you?"
Again, Naruto scrambled backward. "Well—the thing is—," He noticed that Sakura's cheeks flushed pink with anger. Naruto couldn't fathom why she needed the picture. It was his! He won't it fair and square in a game of jaken. And if he remembered correctly, he beat Sasuke. "—it's at home?"
Maybe she wants to know if I lost it. That's why she was asking. Or maybe she's green with envy that I won over Sasuke. She's so biased, after all.
"Why is it at home?" Venom dripped from her words. "I thought we agreed that you would bring it with you on his birthday. It's his birthday gift!"
"Wait just a damn minute," Naruto shouted, jarred from his train of thoughts. "I never agreed to do such a thing. The picture is mine. I won it fair and square. Why do I have to hand it over when Sasuke-teme lost our match of jaken?"
Furiously, Sakura dug her fingers into the dirt. "Were you drunk? I specifically told you that I wanted the picture to give to Sasuke on his birthday, to help commemorate our getting older. You agreed!" She stood and looked down at Naruto. He looked confused. "Don't you remember? After we had dinner that night, we talked about getting Sasuke a gift. Because he doesn't like us to spend money on him we agreed a second picture of Team 7 would be great."
"Ah—," Naruto thought about it. He remembered sitting at a ramen booth, a little over a week ago. Sakura had slithered up beside him. At first she said nothing, only pretended to have an interest in the chopsticks she swirled around in her hands.
"Ne," she'd started the conversation.
Absentmindedly he looked at her. Sakura glanced behind her before she resumed again. "Ne…I was wondering if you could bring the picture we took last week to give to Sasuke on his birthday. We still haven't gotten him anything and I'm not sure what would be an appropriate gift anymore. I was thinking…maybe a second picture to remind him that we'll always stick together would be good."
Naruto remembered how viciously he slurped down the ramen. It had been two long days since he last ate, that the vortex in his stomach would not settle with five plates of noodles. He told her he would think about it, and when she pleaded with him, he couldn't shake the devious feeling that fluttered about in his system.
"I never agreed," he finally said. "I said I would think about it. But I didn't okay it."
"There was nothing to think! You were supposed to bring it. It's the picture I wanted to use before you placed your sticky fingers on it." She stomped indignantly.
"I won it fair and square." Naruto reminded her, stomping, too.
"Unlike you, I remember that you did win it fair and square. In fact, I remember you saying you would think about it. But it's obvious you gave it no thought. Now did you, Naruto?" Crossing her arms, Sakura stared at Naruto.
Naruto waved the question away. If he was honest about it, Sakura would chomp his head off. "Well, is Sasuke-teme going to give it back for my birthday?"
"Argh!" Sakura roared as she lunged for Naruto.
Naruto, seeing how he wasn't helping his own hide, dashed out of sight. He ran in the direction of the clearing only to bump into Sasuke.
"Naruto." Sasuke noticed that Naruto continued to run for his life, and that Sakura still screeched after him. Sasuke also noticed the red mark on the bridge of Naruto's nose. He had to wonder, Did she kick him again? The last time she kicked him square in the face, was for pointing out how she missed deactivating a trap on their last mission.
Running behind him, Naruto sought refuge, but it did not stop Sakura from chasing him. They ran circles around him, shouting murderous threats at one another until Sasuke pulled Sakura around the waist. "Is this how you want to celebrate?" He asked looking down at Sakura who turned her puppy dog eyes on him.
"Hand him over?" Sakura fished out meekly, hoping Sasuke would let her finish Naruto.
Sasuke sighed. Sakura was getting better at manipulating him with her innocent and pleading looks. For a second, he considered dragging Sakura back to their meeting point, but he gave in. "Whatever," he said, digging his hands into his pants pockets. "I guess I'll go home." He looked down between them before he looked up at Naruto and Sakura. As Sasuke freed his grip from around Sakura's waist, Sakura stared wide-eyed at him.
"You can't be serious!" She said, holding firmly to the hem of his shirt. "It's your birthday. We must celebrate."
"You guys seem to be having fun on your own, so I should just go."
"No!" Naruto and Sakura shouted together. Sasuke refrained from laughing; he too could make them dance in the palm of his hands.
Looking down at her feet, Sakura retained her grip on Sasuke's shirt. She couldn't let him escape. After some relentless pestering he agreed to celebrate his birthday with them. But now, because of stupid Naruto, he wanted to go home.
Sakura panicked. Flaring red signs flashed in her head as she thought about what to do. While they weren't doing anything remotely lavish to celebrate Sasuke's turning of age, she had put together a small banquet for the four of them. Sai was expected to join them a little later, and while the rest of Rookie Nine couldn't be present for one reason or another, they could still enjoy a small celebration.
Sasuke deserves to enjoy!
Sakura upturned her pitiful eyes to gaze at Sasuke. "So you're saying, all the food I prepared for you will go to waste."
Naruto came around the couple and draped his arms around them both. "We weren't having fun without you," he assured his friend. "Truthfully speaking, Sakura just whining about the picture she wanted to give to you as a birthday present." Sakura jabbed her elbow into Naruto's side but he continued to blabber. "And here I thought she wanted to murder me because I stole some cherries."
Sasuke arched an eyebrow and Sakura turned to glare at Naruto. "I was planning to murder you for those."
"Why? It's not like I took them all." Naruto shrugged and grinned at Sasuke.
"Those were specifically chosen for Sasuke."
"Oh, giving him cherries. What a special treat, cherry blossom." Naruto gave Sakura his smuggest smile.
Catching his drift, Sasuke couldn't contain his own smirk. He cleared his throat and Sakura backed away from him.
"Move," she angrily said, shoving Naruto's arm from around her shoulders. Naruto started to laugh and it became less humanly possible for Sasuke to retain a firm hold over his stoic composure. Sometimes, Sakura's antics were too cute.
"Will you guys ever grow up?" Kakashi asked. No one seemed to notice the relaxed manner in which he lounged against a tree.
"Naruto started it!"
"Sakura started it!"
They both shouted, pointing a finger at one another.
Kakashi laughed. His former students still laughed, argued, and defended one another like they used to when they first became members of Team 7. It was nice to see that despite the years and all the hardship, they were very fond of each other. Though, a more special bond had formed between the Uchiha and his female student.
He stared at them, unsure if in the current situation Sakura felt like his daughter or his daughter-in-law. Laughing, he pulled out his book. And why am I their father. At best, I could be their eldest brother.
Sensing that something was wrong with him, Sasuke and Sakura simultaneously asked, "What?"
"Well," he looked over his book. "All that pining for Sasuke finally paid off. Right, Sakura?" Kakashi smirked behind his mask when he watched Sasuke stiffen and Sakura avert eye contact.
"You wouldn't believe the things she calls Sasuke, Kakashi-sensei." Naruto proclaimed as he ran to his side.
"Naruto! Don't you dare!" Sakura threatened as she moved to follow Naruto, but Sasuke blocked her path. He arched an eyebrow signaling that Naruto had caught his attention.
Conveniently standing beside Kakashi, Naruto laughed. "She calls him things like Sasu-cakes and—,"
Sakura reached for Sasuke's dagger.
Sasuke pushed her behind him. "Is there something else I should know, Naruto?" He asked, eyeing a mortified Sakura who colored heavily.
Naruto scratched his head, attempting to recall the numerous times Sakura consulted him about her relationship with the Uchiha. He realized that she'd come to him a lot, even though he was no expert in the subject matter. While Sakura mostly argued with him, she loved and trusted him enough to ask for his advice.
Still, this faith of trust did not keep his mouth closed. I think I'll nudge them in the right direction, he thought as he opened his mouth to speak. "She mopes about how slow things are progressing between the two of you. How 'unlovey-dovey'," he quoted with his hands, "things are." Naruto laughed when Kakashi shuddered beside him, probably horrified with the thought of the stoic Uchiha becoming engrossed in things like idle swooning.
"She also claims you haven't kissed her properly." When Sasuke frowned Naruto added. "You know, hot and heavy. To the point she beings to suffocate in her own skin." Hastily, Naruto put up his hands. "That's what she said. I honestly don't know if you're a bad kisser."
"He's a great kisser!" Sakura shouted. When she realized what she'd done, she covered her mouth with both of her hands. Shyly, she glanced up at Sasuke. It's not that he was a bad kisser, Sakura understood he was doing things sweet and gentle with her, but with his temperament she thought he'd be more…caveman. Or maybe that was her preference? A domineering man who wanted to overwhelm and control her senses with a simple touch of his lips. Sakura blushed from ear to ear.
Unable to say anymore she glared at Naruto from over Sasuke's shoulder.
"Oh, and there's the time when—,"
Reaching up on her tippy-toes, Sakura covered Sasuke's ears. She didn't know what more embarrassing things Naruto would share with him. Peeking from around Sasuke's shoulder she mouthed something that read Hinata.
Naruto gasped. "No, you wouldn't!" He broke into a cold sweat and looked up warily at Kakashi, who pretended to be uninterested in the things being said.
Sakura smirked. "I will if you don't shut up."
Naruto smirked. "But wait. I did tell Sasuke! So it doesn't matter."
"About—," Sakura mouthed the incident, and shaking his head Naruto answered with a yes.
"I thought you couldn't ask him about that so you came to me!" Sakura exploded, knowing she had nothing against him if he decided to speak. Naruto was shameless, after all. With the exception of the incident with Hinata, all of Konoha was aware of all of his embarrassing deeds.
Naruto scratched his head. "It sounded like you didn't know what you were talking about so I asked Sasuke."
"How am I supposed to know if we haven't done that?"
"Well how was I supposed to know you guys hadn't done it?"
"It's not like Sasuke has done it either! So why did you ask him?"
"Because he's a man! And he knows what I was feeling!"
Sakura came up blank. She'd been yelling at Naruto so furiously she forgot all about Kakashi-sensei who seemed to be smirking under his mask, no doubt having caught the meaning of their exchange in words. Mortified, she peered at Sasuke. He looked a little irritated as he dug his hands into his pockets.
"Because of your yelling he's heard everything."
Sakura glared at Naruto. "Shut up you stupid virgin! You were yelling, too. And Kakashi-sensei heard it all."
Naruto's ears burned bright red. "Sasuke's a virgin too!" He shouted at Kakashi, as if, the knowledge would redeem him in Kakashi's eyes.
"If it makes you feel any better, I don't expect any of you to lose your virginity by tomorrow." Kakashi closed his book and looked at Naruto. He then looked at Sakura and Sasuke. "My only advice is that you do things at your own pace and not worry about what others may say. If there's no love you'll only regret it in the end." Opening his book once more, Kakashi decided that it was right for him to feel like Team 7's parent. Here was Naruto, acting like a teenage boy under stress by his father's expectation and too ashamed to admit he was still a virgin.
Kakashi scoffed. Since when have I given Naruto that expectation to uphold? Turning to him once more, Kakashi ruffled Naruto's blond hair. "You've grown exceptionally well," he said in a voice only Naruto could hear. "Don't ever feel ashamed of the things you do or haven't done."
Feeling a little brave Sakura stepped from around Sasuke and asked, "Kakashi-sensei, what if my pace is a little faster than Sasuke's?"
Laughing, Kakashi threw down his book. While in the past he hadn't spoken about sexuality with his students because the topic was too embarrassing for him to explain with a female student, now he could see he had nothing to fear. Sakura had them all beat, and if Sasuke wasn't careful, it would be a matter of time before she pushed him down.
Consternated beyond relief, Sasuke pulled Sakura around to face him. "Are you out of your mind? Why would you ask him such a thing?"
Startled into her senses, Sakura apologized. "I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking. I'm really sorry," she repeated, nearly bowing at him in apology. She then caught sight of his sly smile. "Hey!" She shouted, noticing he was only putting up a front. She pouted and crossed her arms.
"Are we allowed to eat now?" Naruto interrupted Kakashi-sensei who continued to chuckle to himself, and Sakura's faux annoyance with Sasuke.
"You won't be having any cake." Sakura stated firmly as she turned around and headed to the blanket she spread earlier.
"I already told you I didn't touch the cake." Naruto whine, following Sakura back to their picnic area.
Looking over at Kakashi-sensei, Sasuke nodded in Sakura and Naruto's direction, signaling that he would follow behind them. All the while, keeping it a secret that he'd dipped his finger into the cake. He wasn't particularly fond of sweets, but just like Naruto and Kakashi-sensei, he loved Sakura's cooking.
Sitting across from Naruto, he let Sakura fuss around him. Once the celebration was underway, laughter could be heard from deep within the forest of Konoha. To reminiscent about old days, they chased Kakashi-sensei around in an attempt to remove his mask. They already knew how handsome their Sensei was, but they wanted to prove that this time around, they could peel the mask off his face. But like always, it seemed the thing was glued on to his face. Not even with Sai's help, could they pin Kakashi-sensei down.
When Kakashi pretended to be asleep, Sai took his revenge by painting a very beautiful and elaborate flower over his mask. Laughing, Sakura chanted 'Icha-Icha-Paradise' reminding him that his artwork was still incomplete. Quickly, he drew the characters of the infamous book down the front of Kakashi's mask—where his mouth was indented.
"How was your mission, Sai?" Naruto asked after Sai put away his paint brush. Both the old and new Team 7 settled around Kakashi-sensei, who still feigned to be asleep as he reclined against the trunk of a tree.
"Very dull." He offered as he pulled Kakashi's book from out of his grip and flipped through it. "Are you trying to make small talk?" He then asked, in an almost crossed-eyed fashion when silence engulfed them all.
Naruto squared his shoulders and before he could fish out a response, Sakura interjected.
"Sai, are you sure you don't want any more to eat?" She asked this so sweetly that Sai could tell she was asking him to not pick a fight at this moment.
"I'm stuffed." Patting his exposed stomach he averted eye contact with the last slice of cake that sat between Sasuke and Sakura. Although the Uchiha hadn't called dibs on it, Sai could tell he was saving it for himself.
"So what do we do now?" He asked, folding his legs and grabbing his ankles in a childish manner.
Naruto looked at Kakashi and then back at Sai. "Truth or Dare." He grinned.
Sai smiled. "One round. One punishment."
"Sure!" Naruto promptly agreed, confident he wouldn't get pushed.
"You in, Uchiha?"
"Why not?" Sasuke answered Sai.
"Alright, then you go first Naruto."
"Wait! Why me? Make—," He looked around for a victim. "Make Sasuke-teme go first."
Sai looked at Sasuke for a moment and considered someone better. "Alright Sakura, you're up."
"Me?" Her eyes widened as she stared at them all. "I haven't agreed to play."
"And you never backed out, so you're it." Naruto happily retorted.
"Come on Sakura. Don't spoil the fun." Sai chided. "You're the only female here so you get the honor of starting the game. As you've often corrected me: ladies first." Sakura glared at him and he laughed with Naruto.
"Fine," she said at last. She then stood up and plopped herself in the center, looking like a sacrifice to a pack of hungry wolves and a sleeping lamb.
"Truth? Or dare?" Naruto asked.
Sakura looked at Sasuke. She weighed in her options and because she didn't want him to know about the things she'd told Naruto—that big mouth—she chose dare.
Naruto looked around, not knowing what to dare Sakura to do. Sai burst into laughter. Everyone turned to look at him.
"Would you like to dare her, Sasuke?" Naruto asked, not knowing what Sai was up to.
Before Sasuke could reply, however, Sai moved extremely close to Sakura. He looked her in the face before murmuring in her ear, 'Do this'. He pulled open a page from Kakashi's Icha Icha Paradise. Sakura, horrified at the detailed scene, turned away from Sai and the perverted picture.
"You're out of your mind!" She accused him as she backed away and looked at Naruto. "Hurry up and dare me." She told him, knowing that Naruto wasn't a pervert like Sai.
"Kiss Sasuke." Naruto proclaimed.
Sakura blushed. "Never mind," she turned away from Naruto and Sai. "You dare me, Sasuke."
"He's obviously the target and you're the one being dared. So you have to choose either Naruto's dare or mine?" With a devious smirk on his face, Sai crossed his arms expectantly.
Sasuke smirked, too, knowing what Sakura would chose. He could only begin to imagine what perverted image the dark haired man had shown her.
Sakura glared at Sai and Naruto, too overwhelmed by their dare to remember that there did not exist a rule preventing Sasuke from daring her. Crawling on her hands and knees, she moved in Sasuke's direction, eyes kept downcast as she shortened the distance between them. Before the blush reached her neck, she grabbed Sasuke's face in her hands and planted a quick kiss on his lips.
"I believe Naruto meant a hot and heavy kiss, to the point your skin feels on fire," Kakashi vouched from his seat when Sakura pulled away with a 'there'.
Everyone minus Sakura burst into laughter. Glaring at Naruto she told herself she'd make him do something far more embarrassing than kiss a loved one.
Laughing at Sakura's expense Sasuke said, "You didn't have to do it."
She glared at him, too. "And face Sai's crazed punishment? No thank you!"
"Naruto was only teasing you." He carelessly brushed strands of pink hair away from her face.
"How do you know," Sakura asked while pouting. She was fully aware that no matter how badly she wanted to bury her face in Sasuke's chest, he wouldn't allow it. Not here anyway, she thought indignantly.
Sasuke turned over to Naruto. Smirking, the dobe motioned for Sasuke to keep his mouth sealed and then put up a thumb.
Sai continued to cackle. "You call that a kiss? I agree with Kakashi-sensei. Kiss until your lips go numb."
"No one specified. And I believe it's my turn." Glaring at Sai and then Naruto she said, "Kiss each other."
"What? No way, Sakura-chan! Are you asking me to cheat on Hinata?"
"Yes. I'm asking you to cheat on Hinata with another man. Now hurry up and kiss! If you don't do it, the punishment is to shave your head bald."
Naruto stared at her horrified. "What have I ever done to you?"
"Today?" Sakura smirked. "You've gone and said too much. So you either do the dare or take your punishment like a man."
"But—why must I do that with Sai!"
"You can always kiss Kakashi-sensei," Sasuke suggested while laughing. Sakura marveled at the sound of his laughter. From the looks of it, he was enjoying himself, on his birthday, even if it cost Naruto a gay moment.
"You guys leave me out of this!" Kakashi turned over on his side, to hide his face away from those terrorizing kids he once called students, and yet continued to call him Sensei.
"Isn't that incest?" Naruto asked, scratching his head.
"So you're saying I'm not considered family?" Sai glared at Naruto.
"You are, but you're more like the adopted brother."
"You bastard!" Sai grabbed Naruto around the collar. "Since when did the rest of you become blood relatives?"
"Alright, just lean in a little more and you'll be done with the dare."
Sasuke and Sakura both laughed when Naruto flung Sai's arms away from him and put some distance between them. He then thought better of it and said, "Fine!" Puckering his lips and closing his eyes, he didn't bother to move another inch as he waited for Sai to lean in the rest of the way.
Turning to look at Sakura, Sai slowly licked his upper lip, to show her he wasn't scared of kissing another man. But before Sakura had the chance to blink, a clone of Sai was kissing Naruto.
"That's cheating!" She said getting up.
"My lips are precious." Sai said all innocent like. "Besides, who said I couldn't cheat? Where is that rule explicitly written?"
"It doesn't have to be written! It's how things work!"
"Well then, it's worked out nicely." Sai pointed at a fuming Naruto, oblivious to the whole cheating incident.
"I'm ruined. I've been ruined." He wailed dramatically as he furiously wipes his lips free of Sai's kiss. "It's your entire fault, Sakura!" He glared at her and pointed an accusing finger. "How will I ever explain this to Hinata?"
"That's if she doesn't break up with you first," Sakura laughed, knowing Hinata wasn't capable of such a thing where Naruto was involved. Not that she'd allowed him to cheat. But kissing Sai…she had to know he'd been tricked.
"Well then," Sai turned to look at Sasuke. "Truth? Or dare?"
Realizations dawned on Naruto. "Hey! I wasn't allowed to choose."
"Because you're a moron you fell right into my trap." Sakura smiled smugly.
"Truth," Sasuke answered before Naruto had the chance to start a shouting match with Sakura.
"Kill joy," Sai whispered. "Alright, tell us how you feel right this very moment."
Sasuke rolled his eyes. Leave it to Sai to continuously peg him as the anti-social one of the group. Just because he wasn't obnoxiously loud like Naruto did not mean he had no communications skills. Someone of the lot of them ought to be less verbal then the rest. As things stood amongst them, they were the rowdiest group of shinobi around.
Sasuke looked at Sakura then at Naruto. "Grateful," he began. "This time last year I was washing cake out of my hair. All thanks to you two." He looked at his teammates through narrowed eyes. While he couldn't remember why they argued, he did remember all the food that went to waste that day. He then looked at Sai and in a monotone voice, purposely said "the end."
Sakura laughed and latched onto Sasuke's arm. Hugging him she said, "Can't you see how loved and cherished he is? Of course he's happy!"
For the second time that day, Naruto sent them careening towards the floor. But this time, no one got angry. Everyone burst into laughter as Naruto hesitantly pulled Sai into their group hug.
"This was your plan all along." Sakura sated, matter-of-factly, as she looked up at Sai. He only gave her a crocked smile before asking, "Isn't anyone going to dare me?"
The old Team 7 looked at Kakashi-sensei.
"Oh—I don't know—," Sakura began.
"Ne! Ne! My birthday is the next one, right?" Naruto asked, diverting their attention to him.
"Yeah. Why," asked Sasuke.
"I was thinking about how we should celebrate."
"Sasuke's birthday isn't even over yet!" Sakura barked. "And you haven't given me the picture!"
As if procured by magic, Naruto dangled said item in her face.
"Here, I carry it around." He sheepishly looked away and Sakura's heart melted.
"Aren't you a cutie," she said while laughing. Pushing against his chest, she asked him to get up and off of her. Obligingly, Naruto and Sai moved and kneeled with her before Sasuke. Sasuke said nothing, knowing it was a custom for them to kneel before him when presenting him with a gift.
"Shouldn't someone wake up Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked.
"He's always in the background," Sakura brushed off Naruto's question. She then turned to Sasuke. "Sasuke Uchiha, we present your gift."
Sasuke smirked. Only in this occasion did they treat him like an oujisama. Taking the picture out of Sakura's hand, he inspected the image. True enough, when he looked at the picture, Kakashi was part of the background, waiving at the camera from his perch atop a railing. Sakura was flanked to his right, while Naruto and Sai to his left. He couldn't help and smile at the look of annoyance on Sai's face. If he remembered correctly, the ladies who helped take the picture always commented about his well-defined muscles exposed by his overly short shirt.
"You must promise to always cherish this picture, and the people in it." Naruto ventured forth.
"I'll slip my gift under the door," Kakashi leaned up against the tree and looked at Sasuke, his smirk masked by the mask. "I'll try to see if they sell it in cherry flavor. Winking at his former student, Kakashi retrieved his book off the floor and waved it at Sasuke.
Not having caught his meaning, the others had no idea why Sasuke blushed.
When Naruto jumped into the air to shout, 'Believe it', a cherry fell out of his pocket.