Title: Shut Your Mouth

Song: Inspired by Shut Your Mouth by Automatic Loveletter

Couple: Sasuke and Sakura

Summary: There was another side to her that he wasn't seeing.

Disclaimer: I only WISH I owned Naruto.

XXX

Just shut your mouth
Just tear me out
Cause you keep talking till I don't know what you're talking about
Just let me speak there's another side of me
Don't shut me out, and don't turn me out

Shut Your Mouth lyrics by: Automatic Loveletter

XXX

"Sakura." Her name rolled off of my tongue so easily.

The white animal mask did nothing to hide her identity from me as intended. Her vivid pink hair was too hard to be mistaken for anyone else's.

I was more surprised at the fact that she was even an ANBU at all. Konoha must have really lowered its standards to let little Sakura Haruno become an elite ninja (even though I had been hearing very high praises about her and Naruto while roaming around other villages).

Naruto had always been considered reasonably strong to me…but Sakura? I would believe that when I saw it for myself.

She didn't say anything. She just stood there with a kunai raised in a defensive position. She was clad in the standard uniform for female ANBU.

This wasn't a reaction that I had anticipated from her. I expected her to maybe start crying, begging me to come back home with her. I even expected a mild threat from her. But I didn't expect her to stand her ground and stay silent.

True, she had her weapon raised to defend herself from any of my possible attacks (not that a single kunai would be able to stop me, or that I was planning on attacking her for that matter), but she also seemed poised for attack, judging by the way her legs were slightly crouched (since when did her legs curve like that?) in a way that resembled a tiger ready to pounce.

Her entire frame was like stone, holding in one place. No reaction at all to the fact that I was standing in front of her (you know, besides the defensive/ready-to-attack-me stance). No pleas, no words, nothing at all from her.

I unclenched my fists that I didn't even notice I had formed, when they suddenly started to go numb from the pressure.

I found myself desperately wanting to know what she was thinking right now, much to my annoyance (why did I even care about her being so unresponsive?). I searched for her eyes, knowing that she could never hide anything in them. My frustration only grew when I realized that she was, in fact, wearing a mask.

I frowned slightly, saying, "Sakura, take the mask off; I know it's you."

She didn't. I saw the grip on her kunai tighten and it looked like she was restraining herself from moving; restraining herself from attacking me.

Now, I was beyond frustration. I was livid. Sakura was not supposed to want to attack me. If she wanted to attack me then that meant that she was angry with me. And I simply would not allow that (where was the girl that was madly in love with me and would never dream of hitting me? And why the hell did I care if she was mad at me or not?).

Part of me knew that she had every right to be mad at me, to hate me even. The other, more selfish, part of me didn't care and only wanted to demand why she was being so cold towards me, the man that she supposedly loved (cold like I was to her…if that isn't enough Karma for you then I don't know what is).

I felt myself glaring at her as I said, "You might as well just drop it, Sakura. We both know that you won't attack me."

As soon as I closed my mouth I swiftly tilted my head to the right, dodging the kunai that she threw at me. It made a sharp thunk sound, signaling that it was now lodged in a tree somewhere behind me.

My glare only hardened. Sakura was lowered back into her defensive position, her gloved fists raised without any weapons in them. "Oh, won't I?" She said with a bit of an edge in her voice.

One of my hands moved behind me to grip the hilt of the sword in my belt. I spoke again, letting my anger seep into my words, "Drop the act and tell me what you want; it's not like I'm going to come back to Konoha with you." I rolled my eyes, showing how obvious the fact was.

I saw her body stiffen. "I don't want you to come back, Sasuke." She said shortly.

…She didn't want me back?

My hand slid away from my weapon and I was pretty sure that there was a mildly shocked look on my face (that I was still trying to conceal). There was no anger in my voice when I spoke to her again, "I'm sure Naruto would object to that."

I knew the dobe would object to her statement. There was no way in hell that he was ever going to give up on bringing me home; he couldn't have said it enough.

I watched as she lowered her hands to her sides, her fists still formed. At least she knew not to let her guard down (and just look at me, making myself out to be this criminal that she should fear…a criminal that has hurt her before, that she shouldn't let get close to her again).

"Naruto might still want you back in Konoha," she said, pulling me from my thoughts. "But that doesn't mean that I do."

I couldn't do anything but stare at her. My gaze wandered all over her masked face as if I would find some crack or hole in it that would let me see her. That would let me see if she was lying, if this was just some joke, or if this was even part of some elaborate plan to take me hostage. It was no surprise that I didn't find anything.

Her stance shifted, leaning her weight onto her left leg. A gesture she did when she was uncomfortable. I felt myself smirking, though I knew it didn't reach my eyes. Sakura always had been easy to read, even if I couldn't see her face.

I didn't realize that my gaze was traveling down her body until I saw her shift again; still uncomfortable.

"Look, Sasuke," she said. "Just…turn around and walk away and we'll pretend that this never happened."

I raised an eyebrow. "This did happen, Sakura. And how do I know that you're not just going to go back and tell everyone where you last saw me so that another search party will come after me?"

I started moving towards her. I didn't know why, but I just had to be closer to her, to know that this was actually happening, to know that this really was Sakura that was speaking to me.

Sakura flinched but didn't back away. She stood her ground like a good little ninja. "I already told you, I'm not interested in your return," her voice was hard when she spoke next, "What reason could I possibly have for wanting you to come home?"

When I was barely a foot away from her she raised her fists again, ready to fight me off should I attack her.

I shrugged and spoke casually, "Well, there's always the fact that your teammate and one of your closest friends is pretty intent on finding me," I was directly in front of her now; the only thing between us was her fists. "How would he feel if he found out that you met me in a forest and decided to let me leave without so much as a fight?"

"Naruto already knows that I gave up the search for you; it shouldn't be a surprise to him if I simply walk away from you."

Something stung in my chest. It felt so final with those words, that she really had no feelings towards me whatsoever anymore (there I went again, worrying about her feelings).

My hands reached up and gripped her wrists, not enough to hurt her, but enough to bring her fists down to her sides. She didn't fight me.

"What about your village? Don't you have an obligation to your Hokage? Isn't she searching for me as well?" Tsunade was still Hokage and of course I knew about Sakura's apprenticeship to her. Sakura wouldn't be willing to disobey her shishou.

"She knows I gave up the search, too…she won't blame me for not saying anything." She spoke so surely. "Sasuke, I'm giving you a chance to get away with out a fight, without any troubles at all…the one time you get that and you don't take it…" She pulled her wrists out of my grip, taking a step back.

I looked into the eyes on the mask, knowing that she was looking back at me.

"And what about you, Sakura?" I asked. "Why don't you want me to come back?"

She didn't say anything even though I wanted an answer. I stepped up to her again, faster than before. My speed seemed to surprise her because she backed away this time, stumbling a bit in her haste. It almost seemed like she was afraid to touch me.

I only moved closer, backing her up until she was pinned against a large tree with no where else to go.

I spoke again, "You used to want me back just as badly as Naruto did." My tone was accusing, though I wanted to be as gentle as possible with her (gentle…it seemed like I had always tried to be gentle with her, even when we were Genin, but I always failed at it).

My next movement was swift. I grabbed the front of her mask and tore it away from her face; still being careful as I tried not to hurt her (I should work on trying not to scare her too).

Now, all I could do was look at her. Her emerald eyes were wide as she stared back at me, but she didn't look afraid like she probably should have been. She seemed more surprised at my actions than anything else. And pained…pained that I wasn't listening to her; that I wasn't going to leave so easily.

She was breathing fast and deeply, the motion showing with the rise and fall of her chest (not that I noticed that she had a chest or anything…). Her pink bangs were sprawled across her forehead and the sides of her face from when I had ripped her mask off in a hurry.

I would probably never admit this out loud to anyone, but Sakura truly was a beautiful woman.

"Sasuke…" She hung her head, squeezing her eyes shut. My hands clutched some of the bark on the tree behind her. I hadn't realized until now that my arms had ever moved to press against the tree on either side of her head. "Please…just leave."

I clenched my teeth. This woman, my woman (of course she was my woman, mine and no one else's; if I cared about her feelings, her safety, then dammit, she wasn't going to belong to anyone else), was not going to escape this easily, not without giving me an explanation as to why she didn't desire my return anymore.

Ignoring her plea, I leaned in to whisper in her ear, slowly, "Don't you love me anymore?"

I thought it was a pretty low thing for me to ask, but I had to know the answer. I had to know if she still felt anything at all for me. If she really didn't care anymore.

I saw her whole body stiffen, then everything happened all at once. Her head whipped up, her eyes narrowed into slits (full of pain not anger), and I knew that whatever crutch she was using to keep herself up throughout this entire meeting had just snapped.

She growled, "Shut your mouth." And I felt something hard in my gut before I flew back into another large tree.

I held back a groan and opened my eyes (when did they even close?) to see that I had flown several meters away. Alright…maybe Sakura did have some strength in her. I also saw that Sakura wasn't across from me anymore…but her shadow was above me and she was coming down on me fast with her boot laced with chakra.

I moved quickly, several yards away, just in time to see the impact. Most of the area crumbled and shook with the force of her blow, sending dust and debris everywhere. As soon as the air cleared, she was running at me with a raised fist.

I stepped to the side and she sent a well aimed kick for my head. I caught her ankle and said, "Sakura, stop."

She braced her hands against the ground and spun her body to aim another kick at me with her free foot. I caught that one too. "Sakura, just answer me."

"It's not like you care!" She jerked her legs, shifting her weight so that she lifted me up and then flipped, throwing me away from her. I twisted, landing on my feet, my back bumping into another tree.

I barely had time to move as she came after me again.

She kept swinging at me, throwing kicks and punches, kunai and a few explosive tags. I never fought her back, never even hit her. I just kept dodging and moving out of her way, trying to get her to stop and talk to me.

"Sakura! Would you just listen to me?!"

"Why should I?! Every time Naruto or I would try to talk to you, you attacked us! Well, how does it feel now, Sasuke?!"

Ouch…that stung a little…it was true, but it still stung (there was that Karma thing again).

She aimed another chakra filled punch at me and I reacted fast enough to miss it, but the back blast sent me skidding back, my feet barely stopping at the river bank. I didn't even realize we had been moving through the forest until now (hell, I didn't even realize there was a river in this forest).

Sakura jumped at me. She was going to tackle me into the river.

I reached my hands up and caught her around her waist, but her sudden weight pressed against me still caused me to fall back, splashing into the river with Sakura trying to grab for my neck.

We both swam to the surface and Sakura wasted no time before charging at me again. I finally wrestled her for control, grabbing her wrists like I had before and forcing her backwards until her back hit the riverbank. I pinned her wrists on either side of her head, watching her thrash about, trying to get herself free (most likely so that she could try to pummel me again).

Sakura was strong, but I could tell that she was getting tired from expending so much of her energy and chakra in such a short amount of time (the emotional weight seemed to be taking its toll on her as well).

Her struggling finally started to stop until she was just standing there, looking down at the water's surface between us. We were still waist deep in the river.

I sighed, squeezing my eyes shut. If this was how she reacted to my question of whether she still loved me or not, then perhaps I didn't want to know the answer.

Sakura's sudden intake of breath caused me to look down at her. My eyes widened when I saw her crying. She bit down on her lip, trying to muffle her sobs.

I released my grip on her wrists and brought a hand out to cup her chin, tilting her head up to look at me. Her gaze met mine and I asked again, "Sakura…do you still love me?"

She squeezed her eyes shut and tore her chin out of my hand, bringing her fists up to beat against my chest, though she didn't put the same force behind it as she did earlier.

She started yelling at me through her sobbing, "Why didn't you just stay gone?! Why did you have to come back into my life now of all times?! Just when I was starting to get over you!"

I listened to her complaints, my chest clenching with every word that she said. I just stood there and let her beat her small fists against my chest, half-heartedly, until they slowed in their movements and her forehead was leaned down, resting on my skin in between her hands.

I took her shoulders and she looked back up at me. I said, "You never answered my question…"

Sakura glared at me and said, "No, Sasuke, I never stopped loving you; happy? Go ahead; tell me that my feelings are pointless! Tell me that I'm weak and annoying just like you always do!"

My grip on her tightened. "If you still love me, why did you give up on finding me?"

She sighed, probably figuring that there wasn't much that she could do now except answer all of my questions. "Because…I didn't want to be in love with you anymore…"

My eyes narrowed. I definitely didn't want to hear that.

I jolted forward, pressing my body against hers, leaning my forehead to meet hers. I felt her jump before saying, "Sasuke, what are you-"

"Don't." I said, cutting her off.

"Don't what?" she asked.

I searched her eyes for a few seconds, seeing nothing but her confusion in them, until I finally said, "Don't stop loving me," and pressed my lips against hers.

I expected her to try to fight me off, especially since she froze after my action. I pressed my lips harder against hers and she finally started to kiss me back, her hands moving to tangle in my hair.

Everything seemed clearer now, all of the questions and frustration from our encounter completely washed away as soon as our mouths were connected. Everything that I knew about Sakura felt so new and refreshed now. My arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer, allowing me to really feel her, not just see how much of a woman she had grown into.

Everything about her seemed completely different now.

She pulled away, gasping in some much needed air. I didn't want to stop, but I couldn't deny that I too had to breathe.

We stood there in the water for what seemed like hours, just looking at each other, feeling each other.

Sakura touched my neck, then my jaw, my cheek, as if she was memorizing my face. She looked into my eyes, like she was searching for something. She finally sighed and said, "You've done so much to me…my friends…my home…both good and bad. You gave me every reason to hate you…but I still can't bring myself to do it." She closed her eyes and smiled bitterly.

I cupped her face in my hands, causing her to open her eyes again.

"I've made you cry." I said, and leaned in to kiss her cheeks. "I've hurt you." This time I laid my cheek against her chest where her heart should be, listening to her heartbeat. Her fingers traced circles on the back of my neck soothingly.

I looked back up and gently kissed her lips. I said, "I don't deserve you…but don't leave me before I have the chance to return to you…please."

She smiled now, leaning up to brush her lips against mine, and whispered, "Shut your mouth, Sasuke…" And suddenly, I found it very easy to comply with her demand.

XXX

Yet another Sb one-shot XD.