Summary: Baker Sakura can't help but hand out cupcakes to the unfortunate and depressed. Sakuharem
Word Count: 3620
Page Count: 7
Musical Inspiration: Various happy tracks, bpm (VOCALOID: Hatsune Miku), Minna Daisuki (Artist: Buono)
Notes: After eating one of my home-made delicious brownies, I came up with this idea from a sugar rush. Plus, I'm good friends (I'd like to think) with Vesper chan, who writes slammin' high school fics… And being that I haven't had a school fic yet and wanted to join the bandwagon, this story had been born. YES.
~~~~~~Cupcake for the Emo
If anything could match what love and caring is, it might just well be a cupcake.
Sure, a cake is large, boisterous, and packed with flavors all around; chocolate is sensual and rich, and brownies are cute and soft with the little chocolate chip surprises hiding deep inside, but the cupcake defines love better than them all. Cupcakes are smaller than the machismo cake and more feminine, with the cute frosting on top and occasionally the surprising filling or fudge or whipped cream hidden inside, and topped with little sprinkles of joy. Love's not something to be so largely expressed as a cake, and it's not all about being drowned in its flavor or aroma. The cupcake is small and expresses the feeling of being homemade, precious to the heart but not in that suffocating way; the sprinkles dotting the top like little kisses of a blooming relationship.
If anyone believed this truth to be truer than life itself, it was a little baker girl named Sakura, who always handed out her cupcakes to those in need, feeling that love was for everyone and that she could love anyone and everyone.
However, some of the lucky people that received her baked cups of love wanted her love all to themselves…
"So, I have blueberry, cherry swirl, lemonade, pineapple upside down cake," Sakura listed off, looking into her second bag, an unbelievably cute wicker basket that had rainbow ribbons weaving all throughout it and bowing at the base of the handle, "red fudge, and the Delighted Toad special! What a selection!" Smiling at the colorful array of baked good resting in the basket, she shut the lid and hefted her schoolbag higher onto her shoulder, careful not to jostle the sweets. Sakura was alone on the sidewalk that led to her high school, Konoha High (cleverly named after the town itself). Not that she minded—silence was a rare thing in her young life, something to be cherished. Besides, she thought of her best recipes when it was quiet!
This was Haruno Sakura, Konoha's very own piece of sunshine, famous for her cupcake gifts and good nature. She was the equivalent of the sun shining in the sky, raining down joy and happiness upon those who basked in her presence. The pinkette (naturally) loved everyone and everything that she came across, and in return everyone loved her back. She was even allowed to wear an apron above her uniform, since she seemed to get messy all the time, no matter where she was or what she was doing.
(That was a big problem—Sakura tended to be unnaturally clumsy for a person that used her hands all the time.)
The white expanse of a campus that was Konoha High appeared before her, beckoning her to begin another day filled with knowledge. The girl loved to learn everything she could about anything, as her childhood companion was books, before confections came into play. It was one of her side hobbies to baking, and since it didn't hinder her perfection of the art of cake making, her parents fully encouraged it.
"Good morning!" she greeted to fellow students as she walked onto campus, lifting her basket a little higher on her arm. A few greeted back and a few ignored her, but she passed by happily. Her good mood could never be broken, not by anything. In fact, she was contagious, and brightened up any room she entered. Many wondered, "How can someone just be so happy?" Sakura only answered that, if there was no reason to be sad, why not be cheerful?
Besides, most agreed, it was probably the mass amount of sugar she digested every day that kept her going.
That statement led to one of her well known names: the Sugar Girl. Sure, it was lame, but there was rarely a time when anyone saw the pinkette without some type of delectable sweet. And, if it wasn't her aptitude for sugar that had her name circulating around the halls, it was her reputation of giving cupcakes to the most depressed, dangerous people she could find anywhere, and coming back unscathed, still as cheerful as ever.
"Today's going to be a great day!" Sakura announced to no one in particular, closing her locker to proceed to first period, basket of goodies still on arm.
Little did she know, her reputation was about to increase a few notches, thanks to the one and only Prince of Konoha High.
"Have you found anyone yet, Neji?" Sakura asked, prodding her best friend with a small elbow. The brunette shook his head negatively, provoking the pinkette to sigh. "There seems to be a lot of happy people, nowadays," she mused, nibbling on a cookie that had been dredged up from the deep recesses of her basket. "It's great people are enjoying themselves, but I feel bored, not having anyone to imprint my happiness onto!" The Hyuuga looked at her questionably, copying her actions to retrieve another cookie.
Their story was old and long, but their bond was made of iron and steel, and with the 'toughest freaking thickener I have,' Sakura described. Recently, due to his affiliation with those of the more depressed sort (old, old friendships that took backseats when Sakura was introduced to him), Sakura used his resources and connections to find those in need of a "good cupcake." Those in need of cupcakes were really the most down-on-their-luck people he could name.
"I have a feeling you'll find one soon," Neji offered, turning the chocolate chip cookie over in his fingers. "Besides, you attract those kinds of people with your happy magnetism." Sakura giggled and roughly pushed the hand holding Neji's cookie into his kisser, making him gag briefly.
"Just like you?" Smiling amiably, she stood up, stretching for a moment, and then grabbed the wicker basket. It was lunch hour for the both of them, so they were free to do whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't illegal or off campus. Only seniors could go off campus with the people they brought along. "I think I'll go take a nice walk. You can come if you like." The taller boy shook his head again, standing alongside his long time friend.
"I have to go and speak with a teacher about a project," Neji explained, his normally stoic face broken by tiredness. "My... Partner can't calm down enough around me to work properly." Sakura thought it over for a second, before a light bulb turned on above her head.
She slyly looked up to the taller person and said with understanding, "You got Lee again, huh?" By the face Neji made at the comment, she knew that she had got it on the bull's eye. "I'm sure you'll do fine," she said, comforting. She turned to leave, but Sakura smirked and added, "Just tell him his beautiful blossom wants to see a wonderful project." Irritation was the next expression across Neji's face—he hated when Lee would come up and act so informally around his friend, but Sakura could take care of herself, and easily diverted the green beast to another topic that wasn't as girlfriend-related.
"See you later," the brunette sighed, making his way to the school. Sakura watched him for a moment, and giggled to herself.
She wondered if Neji noticed that cookie crumb on his cheek...
Sakura cheerfully strode along the school's garden path, carefully grown and maintained by the Botany Club. Appreciating each bloom as she passed, the pinkette slowly reached the lake at the end of the path. The high school was big, yes, but a lot of that size had to be attributed to the vastness of the school's nature area. The builders had chosen to preserve the forest instead of mowing it down, and built the school upwards. The farther parts of the ground were too wooded to really venture out into without tougher clothes, but the areas closest to the school had been carefully tendered into a beautiful, flowered pathway that started at the greenhouse of the school and ended at the school's pond. The science classes often went out to examine the lake for animals and natural forces, but it was mainly left as a romantic place for confessions or get-togethers. (No one could argue, either—who didn't think that a pond filled with fish, surrounded by flowers and sakura trees wasn't romantic?)
And for that reason, Sakura found it strange the Uchiha Sasuke, the official "Prince" of Konoha High (as proclaimed at last year's Prom, even though he was a freshman then and technically unable to be crowned) was sitting alone by that very same pond, staring into the waters in a very brooding manner.
Sakura's eyes glinted in the way a cat found a corned mouse—she had just found today's cupcake recipient. If she had been forced to admit who she thought was the most miserable, depressed, and morbid student attending Konoha High, she would have to be forced to say "Uchiha Sasuke." She didn't exactly know his back story, but she knew he was a big, cold jerk to all the other students, except for a few kids, like Uzumaki Naruto.
'If there wasn't a person more in need!' Sakura sang in her mind, quietly scuttling to a few paces behind the boy. He hadn't noticed her yet, so she assumed he was simply too deep in thought to sense her presence. That gave her a chance to examine him a little—he was so often surrounded by fangirls that she never got a chance to actually see him—and she realized why so many girls flocked to him. Sasuke was very handsome, and had that "tall and dark" air about him that made all the girls melt into helpless puddles. She couldn't say he struck her as a shining knight type of person, but she could say he was that sexy bishounen in all the anime she watched; the bishounen for whatever reason, was a magnet for traumatic pasts, power, and girls.
'He's probably upset about his life or something,' she thought, holding her chin in her fingers. 'Maybe he's upset about fangirls, or maybe he got a bad grade?' A second later, she threw those options away. 'He never seems affected by those girls, and I've never heard of him being anything less that perfect academically... Maybe his family?' She knew that Sasuke had bad blood with his brother (who didn't know that?) and he was the second son of the head of Uchiha Corps, one of the biggest police enforcement and weaponry forced in Japan. Could his family be riding him hard about being a successful student so that he could graduate into an above excellent college, and one day take the company alongside his brother?
'Whatever the reason is, he's not getting any happier by me standing and thinking of random reasons!' And with that, Sakura silently sat alongside the brooding male, her legs stretched out, and her wicker basket of goodness set on her lap. Sasuke jumped at the noise, jerking his head to the girl, who calmly smiled back, her eyes never losing that sparkle.
'Oh, no, a fangirl,' Sasuke sighed, falling back into a cooler position. 'She's probably here to ask me on a date or a picnic.' The latter statement was added when he noticed her insanely girly wicker basket, latched closed. The black haired boy narrowed his eyes at the basket, and looked up to glare at the girl's smiling face. The grin didn't falter a bit, and that discouraged him unbelievably. That was his main fangirl-thwarting technique, and if she had no reaction to the glare, then she must be a different class of fangirl, or something else. 'Psycho fangirl,' flitted across his mind for a split second, and he found himself backing up that claim. She wouldn't stop smiling—she hadn't stopped since she plopped down.
"Uchiha Sasuke-san," Sakura began brightly, filling the air with a happiness that Sasuke found suffocating. He was so not used to human contact. "I have noticed that you're particularly broody, dark, silent, and melancholic..." Oh, no, he was right—she was a psycho stalker fangirl! "...Which is no way for a boy as young as you to be acting, so I have brought it upon myself to bring your spirits up with nothing else but..."
Sasuke flinched and prepared for some type of syringe, ready for a potential kidnapping...
"...A delicious cupcake!"
His defense shattered and Sasuke found himself staring at the now definitely psychotic girl. Sakura paid no attention to his broken composure, and fished in her basket for the perfect treat just for him. "My name's Sakura, by the way," she chirped, gleefully roving her eyes over her current selection, "since taking a cupcake from a stranger is kind of weird." Her hands settled for the last cupcake in the basket, and finding it an acceptable choice, Sakura plucked it out from the basket and presented it to the still flabbergasted boy. "For you!"
In her hand sat the cutest cupcake he had ever seen—the cake part was yellow, and the icing was green. Black icing had been used by a careful hand to create a frog face, and two circular red sprinkles put a blush on the frog. Sasuke stared at the girl, who was still waiting for him to take it out of her dainty hands.
Suddenly, his defense was back up, and in a tough voice informed, "I don't like sweets."
Sakura's world stopped for a long moment. He did not just say that. Someone not liking sweets? Impossible! While Sakura was having her little breakdown, Sasuke became wary. The glint in the girl's eyes turned crazed for a moment and her smile faltered, but suddenly they snapped back to normal, like it had never happened.
"Oh, it doesn't matter!" Sakura chirped,a little more forced than she had been speaking previously, Sasuke noticed. The pinkette forcibly plopped the frog cupcake into the boy's hands, careful not to smear her carefully crafted frog face. "Now, enjoy it and be happy!"
"I just told you, I don't like sweets," Sasuke repeated, angrily. "Stop being so annoying." The smile didn't falter like the first time he mentioned his dislike for sweets, but it did stretch a little more. The Uchiha stared down at the frog cupcake, and saw it as more of a Naruto thing. Sakura shook her head, standing up and brushing off her pants. "Besides," Sasuke muttered suspiciously, "it could be poisoned." Sakura froze for a moment, and Sasuke smirked, figuring he had her caught, but he was forced to drop the expression when she began to laugh.
"I know you're wary of crazy fangirls, but, really, a poisoned cupcake?" Sakura bit on her fingers in an attempt to muffle her amusement. She giggled a few more times, Sasuke watching her all the while, and calmed down. Her smile was gentler now than her initial one had been. (Her psycho smile, Sasuke whispered mentally.) "You know," Sakura started, gazing off to the water, her reflection wavering in the pool, "I would sit around like you do now. A long time ago, I'd just run away from my problems and sit somewhere to contemplate my life." Scuffling the toe of her right brown shoe, Sakura continued, "I would spend hours like that, every day. After awhile, it became habitual, and I found that I couldn't stop feeling sad for myself or angry at the situation I had gotten into that time."
Sasuke huffed and looked out to the lake as well, musing over her words. Somehow, he felt like he was relating to her. He turned the green confection around in his fingers, watching the frog face rotate. Yes, he did come out here often to wonder about his position, but he had good reason to—he would never get out of his brother's shadow; he'd never get his father's respect, and he'd surely never take the place as the head owner of Uchiha Corps. What else could he do, since there was no way to fix the problem without taking out Itachi?
"Then one day," Sakura spoke up again, now looking determinedly at her companion, "I realized how much time I was wasting by just sitting there. The problems around me were getting worse and worse, and all I was doing to affect them was coasting along with them, but acting like I hated them.
"I felt horrible that I was letting situations run my life, and I wasn't doing anything to stop it—I realized that I couldn't spend my precious time moping around, wondering 'Why me?' No, I had to go out and find out why exactly it was me in the first place." Reaching down, Sakura plucked her basket off the ground and settled it in the bend of her arm. Sasuke watched her, a feeling he couldn't place blossoming in his chest. "I realized, Sasuke," she was speaking directly to him to emphasize her point, "that the reason it was me was because I wasn't doing anything at all to make it not me. Until that time, I had simply accepted that it was all me, and that I was to be pitied and had to brood. That was the completely wrong way to go about it, you know." 'Or don't,' she added mentally, given his position.
"So what did you do then?" the boy asked after a moment of silence. Sakura smiled, having waited for that question to arise.
"I started fighting against my problems. Instead of just letting myself flow to their current, I kicked and punched and bit and everything you could think of. I made it so that it couldn't be me, essentially. If I failed a test, I didn't mourn over my failure, I hit the books and studied harder, so that when we had another test, it wouldn't be me again that failed." Turning away from Sasuke, Sakura sent one last smile. "I tackled life head on, Sasuke. I smiled through everything I could, and I realized it was harder to smile and fight than to sit and whine, but my benefits from being so strong let me do things like perfect the perfect frog cupcake, or gather up the nerve to stalk right up to Konoha High's Prince Sasuke, and accuse of him of being emo in hopes it would help bring him out of his rut." Walking away at a leisurely pace, she ended her speech with a simple, "I hope that you learn how you can fight too, Sasuke!"
Sasuke stood, amazed, and stared at the frog cupcake in his pale hand. Then he smirked and muttered, "Annoying," before taking a small bite out of the frog cupcake. He couldn't just simply walk around with a frog cupcake all day, could he now...
...And "psycho fangirl" or not, Sakura made a good cupcake.
The next day, when each classroom received their copies of the Konoha High Times, they'd see the front page news story: "Uchiha Sasuke, Prince of Konoha High, visited by the famous Cupcake Queen, Sakura Haruno," with a picture of Sasuke holding the cupcake, watching as Sakura walked away, cutely decorated wicker basket on her arm.
UFU. You see, everyone? I'm not dead, just trying to survive a major writer's block and attempting to not eat so many sweets.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, I WROTE SASUSAKU. INSANITY, I KNOW. I have no idea if he's canon or not—I'm pretty sure Sakura's a bit OOC, as well as Neji, but oh well. I haven't found many high school fics that are in character, anyway. I feel like I've done a decent job.
Yeah, Sasuke's family isn't dead. I think it's stupid in most modern-day AU fics for Sasuke's family to have been brutally murdered single-handedly by Itachi. Seriously—big family, phones and a number called 911, guns, and video cameras? Not to mention they're a police family, which makes me believe that it's just bad plotting.
Anyways... It looks really nice as a oneshot, but as you all know, I'm no good at oneshots, so you get chapters. OF THIS AWESOMENESS. It's your lucky day!
By the way... dedicated to Vesper chan, 'cause she makes me cry and giggle too much when I read. WHY. WHY WITH THE PETER PAN STORY, VESPY?
Sakura's monologue is so long. But I had to do it! It's like the first episode of an anime—gotta have some long, speech that proves the main character is awesome. (Prove me I'm wrong. Tell me an anime that doesn't have a pilot episode to make the main character look like some cool cucumber.)
Also, I'm working on Kakurenbo. I am, promise. I'm just stuck.
STUCK LIKE A BUG IN HONEY.