Disclaimer: That'd be a negative, folks.

Dedication: Alanna, whose 18th birthday is today! I heart you like woah, darling, and I hope tomorrow is just as kickass as today was, and that you get your balloons and crown and other awesome stuff, because you deserve it.

Warning: Sakura has a wee bit of a potty mouth. Can't handle it? There's a nice back button up there. Click it.

Prompts: eighteen. Leather jacket. Cigarettes. All the things you can/can't do when you're eighteen.

My eyes flickered from one to the other. They were both delicious-looking, but…I could only pick one of them, and we all knew it.

I closed my eyes, inhaling deeply. Then, in a firm voice, I said, "I choose…chocolate chip!"

"That's going to go straight for your thighs. Should've picked blueberry. Now you're gonna gain wait and look like a fat ass. Have fun."

"Ino," I politely began to my best friend, "shut the fuck up. I have not had coffee yet. I will find something to shank you with. And make sure that your epitaph reads: death by plastic knife."

Ino merely snorted and rolled her eyes, used to my dramatics when I hadn't met my required needs for caffeine consumption. It could get a little dangerous.

Once I had the sweet nectar of life in my hands plus the chocolate chip muffin and Ino had checked her reflection in her little compact mirror at least fifty times, it was time to head to school.

Ino drove a little too wildly for my liking, but I was so used to this that I somehow miraculously managed to not spill my coffee all over my brand new shirt. I was giving myself a mental pat on the back for living another day with Ino behind the wheel when we screeched into the parking lot, pulling up beside a very familiar car.

Uchiha Itachi was leaning against the driver's side in a black leather jacket, smoking a cigarette and eyeballing me like I was sitting there naked.

"Hello Itachi-san." I greeted mildly as I stepped out of the car. Ugh. There went my good day.

"Sakura." He replied, giving me a look that seared me right to the bones. "A little bird told me that your birthday is in a few days. Eighteen, right?"

I gave him a flat look that told him I knew exactly what he was up to and did not appreciate it.

Because I didn't. Really. Uchiha Itachi was bad news, breaking hearts left and right, and I had no desire to become a notch on his bedpost.

"So many things you can do when you're eighteen…things that are otherwise illegal." He mused, glancing away from me for a second. I felt a dangerous flush creep up on my neck.

"I'll be sure to keep that in mind. Have a nice day, Itachi-san."

His eyes met mine as he smirked. "My day improved the minute I saw you. Have fun in school, Sakura." He paused, the smirk going up a notch to panty-dropping. "I'll be seeing you soon."

Ino chose to pull me away, sensing my conversation with the former Sex God of our high school had come to an end.

"Is he yummy or what?" She sighed happily, and I made a disgruntled sound in the back of my throat.

"I'd rather shove hot pokers into my eyeballs than have to be near him," I said mildly. "Besides, I doubt Shikamaru would be very happy to hear you say that."

"Psh." She replied maturely, and changed the subject to her boyfriend. As much as it may not seem like it, Ino loved Shikamaru unconditionally, which was cute on the best days and other times nauseating.

I listened with half an ear while Ino chattered away, but I was secretly keeping an eye out for Itachi. He would just pop out of nowhere like that again.

"Sasuke-kun!" I jumped nearly a foot when Ino screamed Sasuke's name and began to run towards him.

He nodded in acknowledgment when he saw her. "Yamanaka." He nodded again when I came into view. There was no way in hell I was running with coffee in my hands. "Sakura."

"We just ran into your brother!" Ino announced.

Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "What was he doing here?"

I shrugged, chugging down some of my coffee. "No idea."

"Sakura-chan!" Somebody tried to glomp me to death, and I narrowly kept a grip on my coffee.

"Naruto. Unless you wish to die a slow, painful death, never do that again until I've finished my coffee."

"Right. My bad." With the hand that was currently not holding Hinata's, he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. I smiled, finished the rest of my coffee, and threw it in the trash when the bell rang.

Ino spotted Shikamaru and, with a wave goodbye to all of us, ran over to him. Naruto left to go walk Hinata to her locker, so Sasuke decided to walk me to homeroom.

"So," I said by way of conversation, "your brother is a straight-up creeper."

Sasuke grunted, which, knowing Sasuke as well as I did, meant "I know."

"I find it sad that I can interpret your grunts." I told him. "Perhaps you should actually try speaking, so I'd feel a little less sad."

"Are you sure you're not the creeper?" He asked me, turning his head to smirk at me, and it was so reminiscent to Itachi's that the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.

I shook my head to clear the mental image of Itachi leaning against his car looking like sin itself.

"I am totally telling your mother that you called me a creeper. Maybe she'll beat some sense into you."

Sasuke rolled his eyes, but his lips twitched. "You're hilarious." He informed me dryly, and I grinned.

"Oh yeah, I know. You just love my amusing wit." I told him brightly.

"Uh-huh. Sure. I'll see you in Calculus." I groaned at the reminder and gave him the one-fingered salute. He gave me an almost-smile, turned and raised a hand in farewell, and headed for his own homeroom.

It was only after I was in my homeroom that I realized I hadn't done the Calculus homework and had wanted to borrow it from Sasuke.



I clicked my pen in irritation, my eyes burning a hole through my test. Literature was not a hard class…it was just the teacher who was a slave driver and gave us crazy hard tests.

I was officially Not Amused.

The door opened, and a male student walked in with a bouquet of red roses. "Haraka-sensei?"

My teacher's head snapped up and his eyes locked on the roses. He looked like he wanted to light them on fire. "What is it?" He gritted out through his teeth.

Then he sneezed.

I was the first one to get it. My teacher was allergic to the flowers.

"These are for you." He dropped the roses onto my teacher's desk, who sneezed multiple times again. The students began to catch on, and many of them were hiding smiles behind their hands. Ino turned to me, a gleeful look on her face, and mouthed, "epic!" She then mimed someone letting out a gigantic sneeze, her face contorted to look like Haraka-sensei's. I began coughing into my shirt to cover the sound of my laughter.

"And this card is for Haruno-san."

I began to choke on my laughter before forcing myself to calm. "Excuse me?" I inquired, raising both of my eyebrows. My eyes met Ino's and she shrugged.

So did the guy. "Don't shoot the messenger," he told me, and handed me the white card. It was small, plain, but the handwriting looked vaguely familiar.


I figured this would amuse you. It certainly amused me when I found out about it. It's your turn to keep the cycle going.

Happy almost-birthday. I'll see you soon.


Uchiha Itachi had just moved himself up in my book.


"Free!" I screamed two days later, throwing myself at Naruto and hugging him, and we began to jump up and down in excitement. People gave us odd looks, but no one said anything. Being a senior definitely had its perks.

"I think my pants are rebelling against me." Ino informed me upon spotting me, glaring down at her perfect long legs. I looked down woefully at my short ones.

"You probably shrunk them." I replied, digging through my locker. Ino swore violently, and Shikamaru, coming up behind her, sighed, "troublesome."

"Shikamaru!" She shrieked. "This is no joking matter! These are my favorite pair of pants!" She said that about every pair she owned.

"Of course." Shikamaru said, just to keep the peace. "Not a joking matter. Gotcha. I'll take you shopping or something."

I halted and turned to stare incredulously at him. So did Naruto. "Who are you and what have you done with Shikamaru?!" He inquired shrilly. Then he turned to me and whimpered. "Sakura-chan, the aliens are among us!"

I nodded sadly. "It certainly looks that way." Then I burst into loud, fake tears.

"Who gave Sakura sugar?"

Apparently, Sasuke's subtle ninja skills were better than mine, or maybe I was simply losing my touch (because I usually knew when he was around), since I nearly jumped out of my skin. Then I remembered something.

"You did, Sasuke! That huge penguin chocolate bar!" I grinned smugly while Sasuke frowned.

Sakura: 1. Sasuke: 0.

"ANYWAY," Ino proclaimed. "Shika-kun has to take me shopping now so I can max out his credit card." Shikamaru sighed. "Tah! And forehead-chan, I will be at your house tomorrow at 0800 hours."

I didn't know what time 0800 hours was, but I did know that tomorrow was a Saturday, not to mention my birthday. I felt that it was a given that I got to sleep in on my birthday, so I started yelling at her. She got that smug look in her eyes that she gets whenever she's about to beat me at my own game.

"Not even if I told you that I got you a $25 gift card to Starbucks?"

I promptly shut my mouth.

Ino smirked. "I thought so. Now, Shika-kun, onwards!"

"I am not a dog, woman." He grumbled, and Ino merely laughed, linking their fingers together as they walked.

"We should all go out tomorrow!" Naruto proclaimed loudly once the other two were gone. Hinata nodded her assent.

"Sakura-chan, w-where do you think we should g-go?"

I bit my lip before shrugging. "I don't care. Surprise me."

Sasuke raised an eyebrow at me. "Do you think that's a wise decision?"

I laughed. "Oh Sasuke, ye of little faith. Naruto knows I'll slash his tires if he takes me to a restaurant he knows I hate." Naruto gulped audibly. Hinata patted him on the back reassuringly.

Naruto loved his bike a little too much. Probably because he painted it orange with little yellow squiggles (to represent ramen, apparently, but I just don't see it) and he even bought a little license for it that says NEENJA.

Some days, I don't understand why I even know him, never mind the fact that I'm friends with him.

"Alright, I gotta go. I'll see you suckers tomorrow. Don't forget to text me at midnight, or else." Cue the threatening smile that made Naruto's eyes widen, but Sasuke just shook his head.

Oh well. I'd work on making him wet his pants in terror later. Sasuke would be a hard nut to crack, but I'd find his weakness and explore it.

Oh yeah, I am totally an evil mastermind.


I was on my way home. Really, I was. I was going to get all of my homework done tonight so that I'd be free to laze around the entire weekend and bask in the birthday glory.

But then I passed by a little bakery that was having a sale and, well…

I blame the smell of the baking cookies. They addle my brain and make me do stupid things.

I shrugged to myself while taking a sip of my coffee. (Mmm.) At least I had my textbook open. I would treat myself to a pre-birthday present and get my homework done. I mentally patted myself on the back.

"Stop! Hey, you! HALT!" The loud yelling outside made me glance out the window, only to watch a man chasing after…

An ice cream truck.

Well. I guess adult men get ice cream cravings too?

The ice cream truck finally came to a stop, which was good because I'm sure the man was getting tired, both physically and from yelling. Just then some little kids came running up to the ice cream and one girl went to hug the man, her arms only reaching up to his thighs. "Thank you, ice cream saving man!" She squealed, the others chorusing their own thanks, and I smiled. The man stopped the ice cream truck for these kids, not for himself.

It was only until the man began to head over, his features being thrown into sharp focus in the sunlight, that my heart skipped a beat.

The mystery stranger was Uchiha Itachi.

God dammit. First he tortures my most hated teacher, now I find out that he actually has a heart. And, like, compassion.

What the hell, man.

"Sakura?" He asked after he opened the door and spotted me, surrounded by way too many things with chocolate in them and an extra large cup of Hazelnut Coffee. Then he huffed a laugh and said, "I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see you here. It is, after all, a coffee shop."

I pouted, because really, I hadn't intended to stop here, dammit. "I was on my way home. I blame the advertisement outside. It lured me in."

"That's what advertisements are supposed to do." He politely informed me, his lips curving upward.

Blood rushed to my cheeks. He was right, and I had just made a fool of myself in front of him. Then I noticed something.

"Hey! You work here?" Oh man. That meant I could get discounts on coffee!

He smiled like he could read my thoughts. (Which he probably could, because Itachi was a creeper like that.

Or it might've just been written on my face.

But I liked my first thought better.)

"Maybe. Why don't you stick out and find out? I get off in an hour. I'll take you out for dinner." I opened my mouth to argue, but he gave me a no-nonsense face and said, "and I'll make sure to give you an employee discount on your next cup of coffee. For your birthday, of course."

Sneaky, sneaky bastard.

Well, at least I was getting coffee out of this deal. So I went and lost myself in homework, and a little over an hour later, Itachi was standing in front of me in that leather coat of his. "Ready?" I nodded, putting my book bag on the table to stuff my books in it. I quickly zipped it up, then grabbed my coffee. When I went to nab my bag, it was already slung over Itachi's shoulder, and he when I looked up at him, I realized he looked better holding my book bag than I did.


"You do realize you don't need to carry my stuff, right?" I asked him, and he nodded.

"Is it so hard for you to believe that I can be a gentleman?" He asked me with mock sadness. I gave him a flat look that spoke volumes. He hummed in thought. "Well then, I guess I'll just have to prove you wrong." There was promise in his voice, and my body tingled.

Stop that I told it firmly. Damn hormones.

"Where are we going out for dinner?" I asked. We were walking towards his car, and it was a little chilly out since the sun was setting. I shivered, shoving my hands into my hoodie pockets.

"Now that," he replied, "is a secret." Then he winked at me.

My stomach erupted in butterflies.

Damn hormones. Damn playboy Itachi.


"You will let me pay half of this." I informed Itachi severely. I paid no mind to the shiny hardwood floor, to the ceiling that dripped with crystal chandeliers or the beautiful marble fountain right in the middle of the fancy restaurant that just oozed expensive.

Itachi gave me a dirty look. "Tomorrow is your birthday, and you think I'm going to let you pay for your own birthday dinner? Did you inhale too much coffee?"

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. "No, I just…why are you doing all this for me?"

He raised an eyebrow at me. I decided to elaborate. "I mean, you and I have always been cool, but I never thought you were interested in me until a week ago. Are you just humoring me because tomorrow's my birthday?" I couldn't bring myself to say 'or are you treating me like this because you honestly like me?'

That topic, as far as I was concerned, was off-limits. Prohibidado.

Itachi smiled. "Do you know I've never had a girlfriend?"

I blinked. That was the most random thing I have ever heard. It was also not what I was expecting. "But…what about all of those girls?"

He shrugged. "I never dated any of them. They all pictured me as something I'm not, and got upset when I told them there was nothing between us." His eyes met mine and pinned me. "You, on the other hand…"

"I need to go to the bathroom." I blurted out, and fled the scene. I ran into the ladies room and proceeded to very gracefully start hyperventilating.

Uchiha Itachi, the man I had always believed was a slick talking manwhore, actually…had never had a real girlfriend.

And had just proceeded to tell me that I was different. That he saw something in me that he hadn't seen in the other girls. That I was different.

Now that I thought about it…Sasuke had never mentioned Itachi having a girlfriend. Naturally, that would be something you would mention to your friends, right? Sasuke wasn't the most verbose person, but being around him since kindergarten…well. You tend to get a little more chatty around people you've known for thirteen years. Even though our relationship wasn't as tight as his and Naruto's, I knew for a fact that I was number two on Sasuke's (mega short) list of people he cares about. Okay, well, maybe number three. His mom was probably number one.

(If anyone ever found out that Uchiha Sasuke, resident hottie, was a mama's boy, his reputation would go down the drain. Some nice blackmail material for the next time he pisses me off.)

I inhaled slowly through my nose and exhaled deeply a few times to calm myself down. Then I splashed some water on my face, straightened my hoodie, and walked out, poised and straight and unaffected. Which was all shot to hell, naturally, when Itachi looked my way.

"Please tell me," I said without preamble, slowly so he would know I was serious, "that you're not just feeding me lines. That you don't tell every other girl how special she is, that she's different from everyone else. Because so help me, if I find out that you're only into me to hit it and quit it, not even forensics will be able to find your body."

In response, he lifted up his hand, every finger curled in except for his pinky. "I swear it on my mother's life." My eyes widened. That was a big one. Itachi was equally close to his mom.

Smiling, I curled my finger around his in a pinky-promise.


"You know," I informed Itachi, "no one's ever taken me to the beach at night."

"Really?" He turned his head to face me, his eyebrow cocked. "You missed out on an amazing thing, young grasshopper."

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, well, I'm seeing it now, so relax yourself, ninja master."

And I was. The water was totally different at night, a darker hue of blue than its usual sapphire-like color, and the moonlight sparkled prettily on the surface. The best thing was that it was a full moon tonight, so it was very picture-esque.

"What did you want to be when you were a kid?" I asked Itachi quietly.

"My dad." He said, smiling faintly. I smiled too. "You?"

I chuckled softly. "A chef, actually."

Itachi snorted. "You are good at many things, Sakura, but cooking isn't one of them."

I punched him in the arm. "You shut your mouth, buddy boy. I happen to know that you are a very shitty mechanic."

Itachi scowled. "Yeah yeah." He muttered. "What's your favorite color?"

"Indigo." I informed him, and then added, "a shade of purple." Guys don't really know specific colors like that. "What about yours?"

"Red." I laughed at nodded towards the hood of his car, the only outside part of it I could see, which was painted red. Itachi grinned.

We passed hours like that, just talking about the little things. I told him about my life, about my younger brother and my crazy mom and my hilarious dad, about how much I hate powdered donuts and that I would walk around in fuzzy pajama bottoms all day if people let me. He opened up to me as well, dishing the dirt on Sasuke (which I filed for a later date), how much he honestly enjoyed majoring in Criminology, that fruit punch is his secret addiction, and that on lazy, rainy days, he likes to watch re-runs of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

"Want to know something sad?" I dug my hand into a bag of pretzels, coming up with a handful, which I promptly passed to him.


"This is probably the best date I've ever been on."

He paused in the middle of munching on a pretzel before a slow smile spread across his face. "Does that mean you're giving me a chance?"

"Perhaps." I replied vaguely, but I was smiling, and the cocky bastard knew he had won.

And yet, somehow, it didn't feel like I had lost anything at all.

"Check the back seat." He said, and I glanced back, just now noticing a bag there. I reached back and grabbed it, moving aside the tissue paper and grabbing a long, velvet box. I opened it, gasped, and then let out a squeal.

Itachi had bought me a jeweled panda necklace for my birthday.

He knew I liked pandas, something I had never informed him of and which I doubt Sasuke had told him.

"You explained to me once, when you were ten, that pandas were the most amazing animals. They're your favorite." It was a statement, not a question.

"You remembered?" I whispered, taken aback, because shit man, that was eight years ago. It was a freaking miracle if I could tell you something that happened last week.

"I did." He said simply, and I bit my lip before reaching across the seat and kissing him on the cheek.

"Thank you," I murmured. "I think this is the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me."

He chuckled. "Well then, you'd better get used to it. Look in the bag again, there's something else." A folded paper was inside.

'Do you like me? Check yes or no.'

No he did not just totally break out the asking-someone-out-fifth-grade-style. I laughed loudly before grabbing a pen from my book bag.

And checked yes.

Author's notes: This fic found my secret bag of drugs and decided to take some. It became full of crack.

So. My first Naruto fic in over a year. And it's a crack couple fic. I don't know how these kinds of things happen to me, I really don't. I think we should all blame (or thank, depending on how you view it) my friends, who sucker me in with things like, "but Missa, it's my birthday! Don't you want to make me happy?" Curse you people and your manipulative ways! (Even if I totally never intended to deny you, but SHH, LET'S PRETEND I WAS GOING TO.)

The end is kind of mediocre because I am practically falling asleep in my seat. It's also a little rushed because it's almost midnight here and I wanted to get this up exactly on Alanna's birthday. Since she's totally incredible like that. Which is obvious, since she gave me the option of writing a SasuSaku and I turned it down for an ItaSaku, something she was totes unaware of. I am working on my ninja!skills.

Random: if anyone gets the "prohibidado" reference, I will love you forever, because it's from one of the most hilarious movies ever made and a movie which also happens to be one of my favorites. Should you be curious about where it's from...I will totally recommend it to you. It is THAT good.

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