As the two continued arguing and insulting one another, complaints began rolling in. First, it was one waiter carrying the message of a nearby couple: Please watch the language. The six friends assured that the profanities would cease. But as they all tried to calm their battling friends, another waiter came with another message: Please lower the volume of your conversation, from the table across the restaurant. Again they assured that the disturbance would end.
But Sakura and Sasuke would not stop quarreling and the complaints would not stop coming. Eventually, the host arrived and informed the sextet that if their "buddies" wouldn't calm down, then they would not hesitate to call the police and have them removed from the establishment. But try as they might, Sasuke and Sakura would not let up.
"Humungous ego, big ass car, large salary: obviously you're overcompensating for something. Why else wouldn't you be able to keep a girlfriend? Well, besides the fact that you're a selfish, conceited, disgusting manwhore!" Sasuke gritted his teeth before he shot back.
"It's been almost 15 minutes. I can't stand this any longer. Hinata, can't you control your friend?" Neji asked exasperatedly. Ino and TenTen started. She knew him? But it was Hinata's response that startled them more.
"What do you want me to do? Put a muzzle on her?" Hinata snapped back in her soft voice.
"That'd be nice..." Shikamaru sighed, leaning against the wall tiredly.
"You're so incredibly irritating! That's why no guy wants to be with you; you suffocate them with your obsessive need to be with someone!"
"You know each other?" Ino asked, trying to talk over Sakura's shrill insults and Sasuke's fiery comebacks.
"Cousins." They responded simultaneously each sounding sorry for the relation. Naruto was suddenly sitting on the bench next to Hinata. She jumped.
"You mean to tell me that you're family with this prick?" indicating with his thumb. Hinata managed to nod as a blush from the close proximity graced her cheeks. Naruto's fingers lightly grasped her chin as he surveyed her face. "Hmm. It's obvious that your side of the family has the looks." He trailed his fingers along the line of her jaw. "Very obvious." He smiled as her face continued to redden.
"Do you realize how despicable you are! Sleeping with everything that has legs doesn't make you amazing, you're disgusting!"
"Are you trying to make a pass at my cousin?" Neji questioned protectively. Naruto turned to face him. "Puh-lease. I'm not trying to make a pass, I am making a pass." He slung his arm around Hinata's shoulders and brought her closer to him. "And I think she likes it."
While everything else became muddled, Hinata was hyperaware of the man she was now pressed to; the alluring aroma emitting from his skin, the rhythm of every breath he took, the steady lull of his heart thudding in his chest as hers struggled to keep a steady tempo. She inhaled a shallow breath. A fainting spell was coming on. She could feel it.
"Uzumaki I'm warning you..." Neji began before he was cut off by Sakura's ever rising voice.
"You are the nastiest, most ignorant, most infuriating man I've met! And I've met just about every guy in the greater metropolitan region!"
"And how many of those guys have you slept with? You've had to get around if you're really such an expert on dicks like you said! Maybe you should start charging for your services!"
The host once again made an appearance, followed by the restaurant owner. "We have asked you several times to keep the volume down and you refuse to do so. We have notified the police and they're on their way."
Naruto nervously responded. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Do the authorities really need to be involved? We'll just be leaving now…"
"On the contrary!" The restaurant owner exclaimed. "You will not leave my establishment until I have you arrested and fined for your reckless, uncouth behavior!" With that, he made a swift exit, heading towards the entrance to await the arrival of the authorities.
"If I get arrested because of that asshole Sasuke..." Ino threatened through gritted teeth.
"Sasuke? Was it not your friend who began yelling first?" Neji interrupted.
"Because he kept pushing her!" TenTen shot back. He shrugged.
"And she wasn't pushing him? It's obvious that your friend has caused this whole fiasco."
"Please don't start arguing too." Shikamaru complained from his seat in the adjacent booth.
"Listen here Neji—" TenTen began.
"I'm going to kill you!" Sakura spat through clenched teeth.
"Why, because I'm telling the truth?" Sasuke challenged.
"No! Because you're rude and ignorant and an asshole!"
"Says the one who started this whole thing by ignorantly judging a stranger! I can't believe I wanted to go out with you!"
"I can't believe you even thought I'd go out with you! I wouldn't deal with your stupid, arrogant attitude for anything. At least if I got with Neji over there I could deal with his shit because he doesn't have a baby dick!"
Sasuke's vein popped. "You have no idea what you're talking about!"
"I don't? I think I do! You're a self-centered, arrogant whore who has a small dick!"
"And you're a needy, irritating bi—!"
It took several seconds for the audience of six to realize what had happened. Sakura stood heaving angrily, her face red, her hands clenched in fists. Sasuke stood still, his face turned to the side, a red mark the size of Sakura's hand forming rapidly on his cheek. He turned to face her, his eyes blazing in fury.
"You slapped me." He growled.
"You called me a bitch." She snarled.
"Because that's what you are." Sasuke retorted as Sakura shifted her weight, prepared to lunge.
The girls exchanged quick alarmed gazes as did the boys before they moved towards their friends.
"Sasuke don't say anything—"
"Let's just go—"
"Don't do anything rash—"
"—she's a girl—"
Ino, TenTen and Hinata tugged relentlessly on Sakura, trying to pull her into her seat as Naruto laid a firm hand on Sasuke's shoulder, Neji and Shikamaru watching cautiously.
Sasuke stared intently at Sakura as he moved towards her, hand outstretched in preparation to grab her. In a flurry of movement, six pairs of hands shot out to hold back the pair as six simultaneous voices cried out, warnings and reprimands hurriedly flying off their tongues. And then there was silence.
Sasuke had grabbed Sakura, but not with the intention that the group had imagined. Shocked, they looked on as he held Sakura's slight frame to his person, his lips against hers.
She stood motionlessly for a moment, baffled, before her fists unclenched and her eyes closed. Her hands had begun to travel up to Sasuke's neck when her left one jerked to a stop and changed direction.
Towards his pants.
With a collective gasp, the girls watched in horror as Sakura's hand infiltrated the fastened fabric, her arm buried past her wrist. The men, with matching expressions, shockingly waited for Sasuke to jerk away, remove her hand; do something about this woman who was practically molesting him in the public's eye. But to their absolute dismay, nothing of the sort took place.
After another moment, Sakura removed her hand and broke the kiss, her face still inches from his. Smirks painted both their faces.
"What brought that on?" she breathed. He smiled impishly and shrugged.
"I guess that slap topped off all the sexual tension. I had to break it somehow." He fingered her hair. "I guess I find strong-will, kind of sexy." Sakura chuckled. "So, how did I measure out?"
Sakura titled her head slightly, a serene look in her eyes. "Guess I was wrong about you." Sasuke's smirk widened.
"Not to brag or anything, but I already told you that I'm exceptional. In every way."
Sakura wound her arms around his neck. "Mmhm. Can I hold you to that?"
Sasuke drew her impossibly closer. "Are you suggesting that I'll be seeing you again?"
Smirking, she detached herself from him and reached into her handbag, drawing out a business card that she handed to him. He laughed. She was a lawyer. "Guess I should've known."
She smiled. "Call me some time." He tucked the card into his inner pocket. "You'll be hearing from me." He reached for her hand, kissed it softly and returned to his table, his three companions following in disbelief.
Silence reigned over the women as they each placed down their share of the bill and shrugged on their coats. Sakura glanced at their astonished faces as she tugged on her beret. "Are you guys okay?"
"Sakura. What. The. Hell." Ino hissed her arms exasperatedly gesturing in the general direction of the boys table. "After all that insulting and arguing and swearing, you let this disrespectful stranger rub tongues with you and then you stick your hand down his pants? In a restaurant? And then you give him your number!"
Sakura shrugged as the girls made their way towards the exit, passing the four men in their wake. "What can I say? It's not everyday that I'm proved wrong; I should reward him with at least one date. And besides, the man is packing." Sakura whispered as Sasuke, walking behind them grinned.
"I know you've always been straight-forward but never so brash. To a stranger no less!" Hinata whispered, shaking her head in disbelief.
"I don't get it. You douse him in wine and slap him across the face in yet, you've got a date coming up and I'm still alone." TenTen complained. "Me too." Hinata sighed. "Oh, the irony." Ino crooned as she eyed Sasuke who had casually passed the group of women and politely opened the door for them, a smile gracing his face.
"After you." He purred, eliciting pleased smiles from the ladies and a grumble from Naruto who hurriedly opened the second door, trying to make an impression on the women. He stopped Hinata, one hand nervously behind his head. "Hey, so do you think—"
"Wait just a moment! Do you think you can cause a horrendous spectacle in my restaurant and then waltz right through the doors like nothing of the sort occurred? I aim to have you punished for your unruly behavior!" The restaurant owner bellowed, scurrying towards the door.
"Excuse me a moment. "Sasuke uttered to his company as he quickly intercepted the man and led him away from the group, charmingly conversing with him as his arm draped around his shoulders.
"The one good thing about being friends him: he can get you out of anything." Shikamaru commented as the group looked on, watching Sasuke work. Within moments, he returned, a smile on his face.
"How much did you give him?" Neji inquired.
"Just enough to pay off the fine he'll receive for contacting the police with no emergency."
"What did you say to him?" Sakura asked as he placed his hand in the small of her back, gently leading her out of the restaurant.
He shrugged. "I'm pretty good friends with one of the top food critics. A bad review from him could put a restaurant out of business." Sakura smiled deviously.
"You're horrible." He smiled in return. "Aren't I?"
The chilled autumn air nipped at Sakura's cheeks, turning them bright red which camouflaged the light blush that appeared when Sasuke lightly kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear, "Look forward to my call."
He began walking away, yanking Naruto with him who had successfully asked Hinata out. Neji and Shikamaru, who had been conversing with the two other women, followed after they politely wished them a good night.
"Have a nice night ladies." Sasuke called, waving once as they departed. Sakura and her friends headed the opposite direction.
"I still can't believe you Sakura!"
"Me neither! We were almost arrested."
"I can't believe you didn't kill him. If he had called me a bitch, oh man…."
Smiling to herself, Sakura tuned out the excited babble of her friends, reminiscing about the night. Slyly, she peeked over her shoulder, catching a glimpse of Sasuke as he walked away. He was looking at her too. They smiled at each other.
She looked up at the night sky, her mind free of assumptions. For once, she wasn't going into a date with a plan. Because Sasuke would probably defy her expectations.
"So Sakura, are you still taking yourself off the market?" Ino asked accusingly. Sakura smiled, looking back once more at Sasuke's retreating frame. Maybe one more date wouldn't hurt.