warning: music geekiness (!) aksdjalds, awkward writing, etc. don't know what was up with me when i wrote this.
suggested listening: dakota – a rocket to the moon
honey, you're a bit sharp
she's got a little bit of money, and a little bit of this, and it's all she needs to live. i've got a little bit of love, and a little bit of that—and it's all i have to give.
Sakura looked up. "Hi, Sasuke." She blinked. "What's up?"
"The notes you missed yesterday," he muttered, placing some papers on her desk. "The homework questions are at the end."
"Oh." She smiled. "Thanks." Upon skimming the first page, she wrinkled her nose. "Oh. Wagner. The crazy guy." The corners of his lips curved upwards by a fraction, and he fought valiantly to hide it.
"It was an interesting lesson."
"Only we would think that." She laughed. "Music geeks are like that."
He shrugged. "Make sure you know all of that before rehearsal. Sensei said that he was going to test us." And he returned to his own desk.
Lines were drawn at Konoha Music Academy. Strings did not interact with woodwinds. He was a violin—and she was an oboe. Brasses were okay, though—they mingled in and out of the sections. Naruto, a trumpet, was a clear example of this. It was because of him that Sasuke met Sakura.
At first, he rarely spoke to her—only the occasional nod of the head when they caught each other's eye. And he had intended it to say that way—until Karin, a viola, transferred in and decided to make his life a living hell. He primarily used Sakura as a human shield—which seemed to work quite well, since she didn't flail every time he was around.
When he left the room for a quick lunch and then some practicing, he heard a familiar voice. He passed through the door and waited just around the corner.
There was a pause. "Hi, Karin."
He could imagine the expression the redhead was wearing. It wasn't pretty. "I thought I told you to back off of Sasuke-kun."
"But he was the one who approached me."
"Don't think you can fool me. You asked him to take notes for you, didn't you? You probably just faked sick yesterday so you could talk to him today—"
"You seriously have to stop that." Sasuke was surprised—she didn't sound the least bit angry. Just exasperated. "I'm not after Sasuke. I mean, he's nice and all, but honestly, we're just friends. It's not my business if you want to date him or anything. Go right ahead."
"He'd be mine if you weren't always in the way!"
"Maybe, instead of hating on me all of the time, you should try talking to him like a civilized person, instead of leeching onto him like one of those, um…sluts. They're called sluts, right? Yeah. I think he'd appreciate that." He wasn't sure about that, but he certainly appreciated her sarcasm. A slight frown graced his lips before he turned to leave for the cafeteria. He stopped abruptly when Naruto appeared right in front of him.
"What," he said flatly, his frown deepening.
The blonde grinned. "Did you ask her out yet?"
He scowled. "No." He wasn't going to ask her out. Sakura, that was. Just because he might maybe like her, didn't mean that he had to act on it. Naruto had this crazy idea that feelings needed to be acted on. He just liked that she didn't flail every time he was around.
"Well, at least, did you bitch out Karin yet?"
"I don't bitch."
Naruto threw his hands in the air. "You're hopeless!" And he stalked away.
Sasuke changed his plans a little. He'll go practice. He suddenly lost his appetite.
And sometimes, when he was lucky, he would get to talk to her before or after rehearsals.
He would usually be alone, unless Naruto joined him—which seemed to create a chain reaction; the blonde was like some sort of magnet, attracting all of these people. Sasuke would end up finding himself with a circle of people he didn't talk to—and he must abide by the rules—he couldn't deeply associate himself with woodwinds. It was just wrong.
Most of the time, Sakura was with Naruto. If she wasn't, she was with Ino and Hinata—who would usually be with Naruto. So occasionally talking to her was inevitable. Ino was a flute, and Hinata a clarinet—so the both of them were allowed to spend time with Naruto.
"Hey, you did really well on the solo today," Sakura praised as she approached him. "How often do you practice?"
"Whenever I can," he said noncommittally. "During spares, after school…"
"Wow, that's dedicated." She gestured towards her oboe case. "I find it really hard to balance studying and practicing. Both are so important—and the history—that's so hard."
He shrugged. "Just do the questions that are assigned."
"I do! It doesn't stick!" She sighed, slumping her shoulders. "I'm good at analysis and counterpoint and stuff, but the history…" She drew a finger across her throat for emphasis. From across the room, he spotted Karin glaring daggers at the back of her head.
"Well," he said, adjusting the strap of his violin case higher up his shoulder, "I'm going to go practice." And with that, he spun on his heels and walked away.
"Wait!" He nearly imploded with surprise when she grabbed his arm to stop him, because what the hell, was she touching him? No one touched Uchiha Sasuke except for those who were too stupid—Naruto, basically.
"What," he said snapped, finding that he was short of breath.
"Can I practice with you?" She smiled.
A part of him—okay, a big part of him—wanted to say yes, but that would probably violate everything he had ever come to know. "No."
"Oboes and violins, for one, sound terrible together. And woodwinds and strings aren't allowed to—"
"Oh, please, of all people, I thought you would be the one who wouldn't believe that." She rolled her eyes. "Woodwinds and strings talk all the time! I mean, look at Tenten and Neji—they've been going out for months." Neji was also a flute, while Tenten played the cello.
He blinked. "They're dating?"
"You're a little out of the loop, aren't you?"
"Anyhow," he said shortly, "I just don't like practicing with others." At this rate, Karin was going to saw Sakura's head off with her bow. He wouldn't like that.
"Fine," she muttered, walking away. "God, violinists. They're so egotistical."
For the record, he was doing all of that for her sake—not his.
"Practicing with the window open isn't really the smartest thing to do." His playing stopped abruptly as his head snapped in the direction of the open window. He only relaxed a little when he realized that it was Sakura.
"It's warm," he said, relaxing his arms from their playing position. "What are you doing here?"
"I felt like practicing outside today, but instead, I heard the enchanting music of a violin." She smiled wryly. "I didn't think people actually used the practice rooms."
"It's the only place with a piano."
"Why would you need a piano?"
He shrugged. "Just in case." He actually used it occasionally to help him write his own compositions—but he wasn't going to tell her that. Even Naruto didn't know that. Composing was one of his little secrets.
"That's cool. What are you playing?" And then she just placed her bag and oboe case into the room and climbed in through the window, and what the hell, people did that? It didn't help that her uniform consisted of a skirt and all. Females these days really needed to learn their manners.
"Stuff," he muttered, snatching away his music manuscript that had his messy scribbles on it.
She frowned. "Fine. Be all secretive."
"Get out. You're disrupting my practicing." His grip tightened on the neck of his violin. He didn't really want her to go.
"Aw, c'mon—we both know that you don't really mean that." His heart lurched, and she smiled playfully at him. Okay. She was joking. Calm down, Sasuke. She didn't know anything. God, he seriously had some problems.
"I do." But he rolled his eyes at her anyway.
"Well," she smiled, "would you like to practice together?"
And he knew it would be stupid to do so, but he accepted anyway.
"Sasuke-kun," Karin purred, sidling up next to him. "What's up?"
"Nothing," he muttered thoughtlessly, studying his music. Their performance was next week, and he hadn't exactly taken the piece seriously yet—which wasn't exactly good, considering that he was the soloist. The manuscript lay on his lap as his left hand move as it would on the neck, his right hand moving an imaginary bow.
"Doesn't look like nothing." She peered over. "Why are you practicing? You sound great already."
It seemed the redhead had taken Sakura's advice, and had decided to talk to him normally—if not with a flirtatious lilt to her voice. He mentally grumbled to himself. "Better safe than sorry."
"I suppose." It was quiet for a few moments, and he glared at his music—these insanely high notes on the E string were near impossible to play perfectly. "You know, strings aren't technically supposed to talk to woodwinds…" His movements paused for the briefest moment, before continuing. There it was again with the stupid rules. Rules didn't matter—some overly studious student that had no friends probably made them up.
"There is nothing written on paper that specifies that."
"Does there have to be? I mean, come on—you know who I'm talking about, right? Haruno Sakura? You can do better than that, at the very least. She's an oboe!"
"You're retaining your rather rude attitude again."
She immediately started stuttering. "Oh. S-Sorry." She'd better be sorry—Sakura was ten times the woman that she'll ever be.
"Oboes are difficult to master." He finally looked up from his music to focus on her. "If played by someone inexperienced, it will sound horrid. But when it's played well, it sounds elegant. Sakura plays it very well." He couldn't explain how content he was when he practiced with her that day.
"The same goes for nearly every instrument," Karin scoffed. "Violins are hard, too."
"I never said oboes were exclusive," he said shortly. "Every student in this academy is talented—we wouldn't be here otherwise. There is nothing wrong with oboes." Despite it just being Karin, he was frustrated. It was a given that Sakura was a little odd—but being music students, they were all odd. She was just more obvious about it—and there was nothing bad about that. Straightening the pages of his music, he stood from his seat to leave the room.
"Wait! Sorry, Sasuke-kun—I didn't mean to offend you."
He glanced at her, struggling not to glare. "Don't apologize to me. Apologize to Sakura." She was about to say something rude, he knew—but she held it back.
"I will." She rubbed the back of her neck and stepped closer to him. "Just as long as you…" And before he knew what was happening, she was kissing him.
What the fuck.
She was off of him and he was out of there in the next second.
Sakura looked surprised as he yanked her roughly by the arm out of the cafeteria line. "What's wrong with you?"
He was half crazy, half livid, half disoriented. Well, that made three halves, which meant that it was more than a whole. Okay, he was really disoriented. "You and I," he said, frustrated, "are now officially a couple. Got it?"
She blinked. "I thought these things were born from mutual feelings. Unless I'm like, your slave?"
"No. I like you, and you like me. We're dating."
"But I don't like you." She laughed. "Sasuke, we barely know each other enough to even call ourselves close friends."
"We know each other well enough to date."
"You've never done this before, have you?" she asked incredulously. "I mean, dating usually consists of winning over the girl, taking her out on dates, buying her jewelry—but in my case, you can just get me some double reeds, 'cause I'm kind of running low—not just demanding a relationship in a cafeteria. That's not romantic at all."
He glowered. "Look. If you want all of that, fine. I'll do that, while we have the status of a couple. Anything to keep Karin away from me."
She raised an eyebrow, and he got the feeling that she was mocking him. "What, is a viola too much for you to handle? She's just a girl."
He leaned in closer to her. "She kissed me," he hissed. "A complete invasion of personal space. I need to give her a reason to stay away from me." He didn't notice the way his hands were clenched together in angry fists until she glanced at them, looking a little intimidated.
"Why not someone else? I'm sure there are a lot of other girls who'd be willing to go out with you."
"You're the only one who doesn't flail."
Pause. "Excuse me?"
"You don't flail whenever I enter your line of sight. Is that good enough of a reason for me to choose you?"
She didn't speak for a long moment, as if thinking things over. Finally, she breathed in deeply, rubbing the back of her neck. "I suppose it's fine, I guess…it's not like I'm really concerned about my love life anyway. But don't expect me to do anything intimate with you!"
"Do you think I'm attracted to you that way?" But he was, and his stomach was doing flips.
She giggled. "I'm glad the feeling's mutual."
"Then, from your criteria, this qualifies for a relationship."
"I suppose it does." Her eyes were sparkling with life.
"So." His lips curved into a small smirk. "When would you like your double reeds to be delivered?"
Gossip, Sasuke came to realize, spread like wildfire around the academy. He never cared for it much, but this time, he was the center of the gossip—and he couldn't help but notice how people looked at him more than usual. Every morning, from when he left his dorm, to when he returned, it felt like eyes were on him at all times—and it was a little unnerving, at best.
"Hey, Sasuke. What's up?" Sakura bounced up to him one morning as he was making his way to class.
"I feel like I have no privacy anymore," he muttered. "People are watching me even when I sleep." He was tired—he had listened to Naruto babble all night about how he was going to win her heart. As if he didn't know anything about winning hearts. He knew everything there was to know about winning hearts.
"Well," she said briskly, "it's never this bad unless it's about you. And this time, it's kind of all about you. You won't believe the amount of girls who've approached me so far!"
"Actually, I think I can." His heart sunk at the thought.
She sighed, shrugging it off. "Oh well. It'll die down soon. It's not like we're an actual couple anyway." And somehow, those words struck him in a way they shouldn't have. Determined, he grabbed her hand and laced their fingers together. "Uh, Sasuke? What are you doing?"
"Holding your hand. Are you really as stupid as you look?"
"Well, no, but that's just a little stupid in itself, considering you're probably shriveling up on the inside from touching a woodwind's hand." She smiled cheekily at him, and he rolled his eyes.
"Whatever." It actually felt like his insides were on fire. She made him feel alive.
"A woodwind could never date a string instrument without having it end up in flames," he heard Karin retort to Sakura from across the room.
The way she sounded so unaffected made his heart fall a little. "I suppose we'll just have to wait and see, right? I mean, it won't be the end of the world if we break up." When he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, she was shrugging. Why was she so nonchalant?
Oh, right. Maybe because their relationship wasn't exactly a typical one.
"Just wait," Karin said, pompous. "When he dumps you, you'll be in tears." His grip tightened on his pen. If there was anyone ending the relationship, it'd be her. He enjoyed spending time with her more than he'd like to admit.
After he packed up his notes, he approached her desk. "Sakura."
She smiled. "Hi, Sasuke."
"Hi, Sasuke-kun," Karin said shyly. He glanced at her and grunted, before returning his attention to Sakura. With that, the redhead scowled and walked off.
"What's up?" Sakura rested her chin on her hands, a smile playing at her lips. "For the record, I think Karin completely hates me now. It's not my fault my body doesn't instinctively flail whenever you're around."
He nodded solemnly. "Of course." The way she smiled made his heart do flips, and he figured he should do something about it. "Are you busy this Friday?"
She raised an eyebrow at him. "As busy as a music student attending an academy in the middle of nowhere."
"Good." He appreciated her subtle humor. "Nine o'clock at the west gazebo? I have something to show you."
"Okay." She had a peculiar expression on her face, as if she was trying to analyze him and figure out what he was doing. He wasn't a piece of music—he couldn't be analyzed. His lips curved into an involuntary smirk.
"It's a date, then."
"It's a date," she agreed.
It felt as though the end of the week couldn't come faster. Sasuke spent copious amounts of time practicing—in a practice room that, he was sure, had claimed for himself like an animal would claim its territory.
Just before he left his dorm towards the gazebo, his violin case and bag in hand, Naruto clapped him on the back.
"I'm proud, man." He grinned, the brightness of his teeth nearly blinding Sasuke. "You go and get laid. I won't be expecting you back tonight."
Sasuke rolled his eyes, but a faint smile ghosted across his lips. "Shouldn't you be more worried about Hinata?" Naruto had recently expressed his interest towards the Hyuuga—and from the way she fainted every time he was within two feet of her, it was likely that she felt the same.
"Eh. I'm taking her out tomorrow night."
"Really." He raised an eyebrow.
"Unlike you, I know how to approach women."
"Whatever." Rolling his eyes, he opened the door. "I'm going."
"Get laid, man!"
When he arrived, she wasn't there yet. It was late spring, so the sun was only setting—and he grimaced at the thought of his violin being a little sharp from the warm air.
"Weird. I don't think I've ever seen you out of your uniform." He looked over at the door of the gazebo to find her there, pink hair tied up in a half ponytail. She was wearing jeans and sneakers, with a hoodie over a white t-shirt. It was casual, but Sasuke thought she looked amazing.
"The same goes to you." Now he felt a little overdressed—he was wearing jeans and a dress shirt. "You look…" He struggled for the words. "Good."
She giggled. "Thanks. You look good too. Actually," she corrected herself, "you look really good."
His ego grew about ten times its original size, and he couldn't help but smirk. "I know."
"Violinists." She rolled her eyes, and then glanced at his violin in his hand. "Oh. Was I supposed to bring my oboe?"
"Not necessary. I actually…wrote something for you." He looked away, feeling the back of his neck growing warmer. She would be the first person to ever hear one of his compositions.
She blinked in surprise. "Seriously?"
"Granted, it's not very good—there are limited things you can do with only one instrument."
"So wait, you actually remember and apply the things we learn in harmony and counterpoint?" she asked incredulously.
He shrugged. "We're musicians. What do you expect?"
"I don't know. Play for me!" She seemed too excited for her own good. Her hands clasped together behind her back, and the way she smiled at him actually made him a little nervous. What if he messed up? He wouldn't be able to play his part at tomorrow night's concert if he couldn't even play for Sakura.
So he closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, imagining her eyes sparkling with mirth. And then he played.
It was silent.
And then he realized that she was crying.
His eyes widened by a fraction. Shit. What did he do? There was absolutely nothing tear-worthy about his performance. He could already see the end of their relationship, before their first date even ended.
He hated his life.
"Oh my God." She brought her hands away from her mouth and fanned herself desperately. "Sorry. This is so embarrassing."
Embarrassing? This was beyond humiliating. The only time he ever tried to do something for a girl, and he made her cry.
"I'll just go," he muttered, snapping open his case and placing violin back in as fast as he could without breaking it. He folded up his stand and stuffed his music back in his bag—maybe he'll burn it later. Yeah. That was a good idea.
Karin was probably way easier to impress.
"No, don't go!" She hastily wiped away her tears. "It's just that—no one's really ever wrote anything for me. And so seriously, too. I mean, Ino once wrote this sixteen bar-tune for my birthday, but it was a joke, and she said it took her five minutes, anyway…" She trailed off. She was kind of cute when she babbled. "I actually thought it was really good. I'm a sucker for secondary dominants and dominant sevenths."
He rubbed the back of his neck. His cheeks were probably a little flushed, too. Dammit. "I was trying to make it a bit more playful, since you're a light person."
"What, do you usually write depressing music?" she teased. Her eyes were still a little red from her crying, and she sniffed once. "But honestly, Sasuke, that was amazing. I could never write anything like that." She wrung her hands together, as if nervous. "Thanks. Really."
"It wasn't much," he muttered, looking away.
"It didn't take you five minutes, right?"
"Well, no." Actually, he had started the piece two weeks ago—he had never planned to show her, but everything just seemed to fall into place.
"Then it's enough. It's more than enough." Her eyes were shining again, and she quickly wiped away the beginnings of her tears. "God, I'm such a sap. I'm really sorry."
Honestly, if she was that touched by his music…He had practically opened himself up to her, completely exposed before her while he was performing. There was honestly nothing left to lose. Gently setting down his case and bag, he stepped towards her and held her face—with slightly shaking hands, he noticed—before pressing his lips to hers in a chaste kiss.
She was silent when he pulled away, his thumb subconsciously brushing her bottom lashes. She was staring at him in wonder, and he thought he had done yet another thing wrong—but one of her small hands held his against her cheek, and a small smile settled on her lips. Before he could ask what ridiculous idea she was thinking of, she closed the space between them again, and this time, she was the one kissing him and what did he say about ridiculous ideas? This idea wasn't ridiculous at all.
"Sasuke," she breathed, "I've never told you this, but I think you are all things amazing, and maybe I do like you a little more than I should. But that's okay, right? Because, to be honest, I really do try hard not to flail when you're around, just so I can keep what's left of my dignity."
"You deserve something for your hard efforts," he said, looking at her seriously.
"Thanks." She smiled shyly. "I just really hope that whole strings-woodwinds thing isn't really out to get us."
"It's not even a solid rule."
"Maybe Karin will come at me tomorrow with a machine gun." She was smiling widely now—it even looked painful—and it seemed contagious, because suddenly, he was smiling a little too. (Just a little.)
"Perhaps." He let himself pull away, his hands leaving her face. He felt like he could take on the world.
"Oh, and by the way"—she tried not to giggle—"you were a bit sharp."
notes: i actually feel really bad for karin…everyone hates on her so much. she's human too, you know.
i was actually thinking that mendelssohn's violin concerto in e- op. 64 was the thing they're practicing in this, but i don't know if they're really that skilled. (um, i must check the instrumentation for that…i'm not even sure if there's an oboe in it. nor do i know if warm surroundings affect a violin's tuning—it does affect woodwinds and brasses, though.) but oh well, fanfiction defies all laws.
p.s. flail is one of my favorite words. :)