Haruka: Wazzup people? Haruka back in the scene. I was really impressed by and grateful for the reviews I received for my debut story "She Is Loved" – heck, most of them even asked for a sequel! No worries people, the sequel is currently in progress and it will be published by next week. If I don't make it in time then you may shoot my beta Momo-chan.
Momo: Hey, don't bring my name to this! Oh well. Haruka doesn't own Naruto but I do.
Haruka: Uh, no you don't. Masashi Kishimoto does. Enjoy the story!
Beta-read by .Akatsuki no Konan-sama. / Dedicated for the people who reviewed "She Is Loved" and all the readers out there.
~ Mismatch ~
I always wondered why Sasuke and I got along so well, even though we were as different as day and night. Looking back to the past, you couldn't count the times we argued – they were too many of them. Our first meeting ended up in a heated and bloody argument yet here we are after 19 years, the very best of friends. There's not much common between us. We were the rarest kind of agreement indeed.
~ Cuddling After the Bloody Storm ~
I was five-years-old back then, and I was holding my cone of mint-chocolate ice cream on a hot summer afternoon when I decided to go to the park to hang out and play. But when I got there I was in for a surprise.
"Hey, that's my spot!" I shouted across the playground, pointing to the person seated on my favorite swing. I ran straight towards him, my feet flying across the dusty ground.
"You're talking to me?" A boy about my age asked. He looked smug and cocky, and I immediately decided I did not like this kid.
"Uh, no, I'm talking to myself." I deadpanned, rolling my eyes. "Of course I'm talking to you! Do you see anyone else out here? Now get out of my swing before I push your butt off there!"
"Your swing?" He rose from his seat and inspected the swing thoroughly. "I don't see your name on it." He plopped back down on the swing huffily.
"You smart-ass! You don't even know my name! I said get out!" I turned to my ice cream cone only to find out it was gone. I looked back and found a gooey mess of green and brown from where I ran through. "You even made me drop my ice cream! What is wrong with you?"
"How is the ice cream my fault?" He shouted angrily. "You're the idiot who rushed towards here! And I'm not getting out of here because I got here first! I'm surprised that large forehead of yours contained nothing but air!" He crossed his arms in front of his chest, a stubborn look set deep in his onyx eyes.
'Large forehead that had nothing but air'? Okay, that's it, this punk's going down. I curled my fingers into a tight ball and imbedded it in his arrogant face. He stumbled backwards and out of the swing. I scrambled over to it and sat down at once.
He glared at me with tears in his eyes, his hand covering his mouth. What a wimp, I thought. But then I realized there was blood seeping out from between his fingers, and I instantly panicked. I knelt down in front of him to check the damage I've done but I was kicked in the gut as soon as I reached him. My stomach hurt like hell and my head bumped into the metal seat of the swing, so now my head hurts too. I coughed, wincing at the pain on my abdomen. There was something trailing down the crook of my mouth, and when I wiped it with the back of my hand, it wasn't spit like I expected. It was blood.
"You jerk! Look what you did to me!" I screamed, holding out my blood-smeared fist for him to see. My head was throbbing and my stomach was still sore and all the pain I felt came out as tears on my jade eyes.
"What you did was worse! Look at my teeth!" He was crying, as well. He removed his hand and opened his mouth. There was a tooth missing on the front, and it was still bleeding.
I stopped wailing and pulled out a handkerchief and a bottle of water from the backpack I was carrying. I wiped his lips and gave him the bottle. He looked at me questioningly, but nevertheless grabbed the water and chugged down half of it. He pushed the remaining liquid gently to my mouth and made me drink also. We sat on the ground wordlessly for a few silent moments until I heard faint hiccups. The black-haired boy was still crying.
Not knowing what else to do, I crawled beside him and encased the kid in a calm hug. He rubbed his eyes free of tears and looked at me like I've grown a second head or something. He didn't push me away, instead he asked, "What are you doing?"
"I'm hugging you, duh. You dumb or something?"
"No, I don't mean that," he scowled. "What I meant was why are you hugging me? One minute ago we were making each other bleed and the next minute we're cuddling like little babies. What, you like me?"
I smacked him gently behind his head and chuckled. "Me, like you? As if. But my dad once told me that hugs make others feel better. I don't like to watch you bawl your eyes out so I did this to make you shut up."
He frowned at the explanation, but leaned nearer to me all the same. He laid his head on my shoulder and said, "I never caught your name. Mind telling me?"
"Sakura Haruno," I answered.
"Sasuke Uchiha. Oh, and there's no 'Sakura' written on the swing."
"Is that so?" I laughed. "Then I guess I'll have it engraved next time."
~ Experiment Gone Bad ~
Ever since we started first grade Sasuke has never been out of my class. We were always classmates, and what was intriguing was that we always ended up as seatmates. My teacher said it was because I, being a delinquent, would have better chances of improving my grades – as well as my attitude – when I am seated beside a refined and outstanding student like Sasuke Uchiha. Refined and outstanding my ass. My hunch was Sasuke always asked to be seated next to me probably because he wants to drive me crazy; and to be known as far more amazing student compared to a poor pupil like me, who lived off on F's – and if I was lucky, C's.
In fifth grade we were assigned as Science partners. Not that I was surprised or anything. On the other hand, I was looking forward to having Science experiments, and volcano-making happened to be our first experiment for the semester.
At fourth period we were finally seated inside the Science laboratory. I was practically shaking with giddiness. However, Sasuke, having the reputation of Mr. I'm-too-cool-and-mighty-to-be-talked-to, ignored me like I was a microscopic piece of dust. The gesture was mutual.
The teacher cleared his throat, gaining the attention of the students. "Okay class, in front of you are clay volcanoes. What you should do first is to fill half of the beaker with baking soda."
Sasuke grabbed the box of the said item and put approximately half. "And then, you need to add two to three drops of food coloring into the bottle of vinegar." I immediately produced my own bottle of inky black coloring. As I was about to pour it in Sasuke grabbed my wrist, then set it down away from the vinegar.
"Black vinegar? I don't think so." He added his own red food coloring into the vinegar. I was pissed. So when he turned away to sneeze I quickly added the black coloring, turning the vinegar into a dark, murky shade of indigo.
When Sasuke saw it he glared at me murderously. I just shrugged and smirked.
"Finally, pour a quarter of the vinegar into the volcano. Your volcano should spurt out lava the same color as the vinegar."
Once again taking charge, Sasuke the 'leader' did as the teacher told. Chicken-butt and I watched in amazement as our volcano overflowed with bubbly violet lava. However, I wasn't satisfied.
I pulled out a small plastic bag of white powdery stuff. My friend from detention, Deidara, gave it to me as a gift. He taught me how to make art by adding the white stuff into paint-filled balloons, then throwing it into walls which made a huge explosion of colors. It was beautiful, but it was loud and kinda startling, plus he did it on the school wall so he got into major trouble. When I asked what the powder was for, he said it was supposed to add "flare" and make art a "bang, un".
I ripped the plastic open and Sasuke caught sight of it. Before he was able to ask I already emptied the contents into the volcano. It added "flare" and "bang", alright – but it was too much that a large blast erupted from the volcano, engulfing the whole room in smoke. The fire alarm went off and drenched us with water. Everybody exited the lab quickly, their bodies soaking wet, but the teacher commanded Sasuke and I to stay. We were suspended for a week and Sasuke was stripped of his title as 'Most Promising Student'.
I was going to apologize when we came back to school, but he stared at me furiously when our eyes met and shunned me for the rest of the semester.
So much for a stupid experiment.
~ Heartbreak ~
It was the final year of high school and Sasuke and I are in speaking terms again. In fact, we weren't just speaking, we're practically dating.
Yep, you heard that right, the rascal and the genius are going out.
We weren't committed to each other just yet – hell, I don't think he even thought of me as his romantic partner – but we're on the stage of hanging out and having dinner together casually. Somehow, even after all the fights we shared and the mutual disagreements between us, we shared a little common ground (although it was extremely minute, it was still existent) and somehow understood each other's quirks and attitude.
I was sitting in the front porch of my house, waiting for a certain Uchiha to come and pick me up. His parents invited – no, insisted – me to come to a formal dinner because they had something important to announce. And when formal dinners are mentioned that usually meant dresses and killer shoes. Usually I would've thrown a fit when I'm asked to wear something related to any girly shit – I've grown up used to wearing loose t-shirts and baggy jeans – but since it's very important, I had no choice.
As I was seated in the front seat of Sasuke's silver Lamborghini, I tugged on the stupid, itchy hem of one of my few dresses. My mom bought it for me when I was 14, meaning it was untouched for almost five years. It was a pearl-white dress that reached down just below my knees, and it was sprinkled with small crystals which subtly sparkled when hit by the light. It had a v-neckline and was halter-styled, meaning I had to tie the stupid string behind my neck – which is really difficult, if you asked me. I also wore these black 3-inch high heels. I'm surprised I even know how to walk in these things.
"You okay?" he asked me, his eyes trained on the road in front of him.
"Yeah," I replied. "The dress is kinda itchy, that's all."
He glanced at me and smiled. Something about him doesn't seem right – he was too quiet. I could swear I caught a flicker of sadness in those obsidian orbs of his.
We reached the restaurant and found Sasuke's parents waiting for us. When we approached their table Sasuke sat down right away, but I stood and bowed to each of them out of respect.
Sasuke's mother was the first to speak. "Sakura dear, I know you and my son are going out. You've been great friends for a long time, haven't you?"
I nodded. "Around 14 years, to be exact," I supplied.
She smiled softly, but her eyes showed remorse. "I hope you won't take this news the wrong way, Sakura." She paused for a while to take a deep breath. "Sasuke is going to America to study college, and to meet his fiancée there as well."
I froze. The world in front of my eyes stopped moving, as if time itself halted. Thoughts swarmed around my head at once: Sasuke's leaving the country; he has a fiancée; my best friend is suddenly leaving my side. I felt my eyes welling up with unshed tears, but I blinked them away. Instead I grinned and congratulated them. We had a pleasant (on their part, but not mine) conversation as we waited for the meal to arrive. We talked about Sasuke's and my future plans, the courses we're going to take, then Sasuke's father decided to bring up the topic of Sasuke's fiancée. In the middle of our discussion I asked to be excused. The subject of Sasuke's bride-to-be was too much for me to take.
I found solace inside the cubicle of the comfort room. I sat there for a few minutes to contemplate what was happening to me – why I was crying at that moment; why my heart felt like it was ripped apart and torn into pieces; why I experience a strange twinge whenever we talk about Sasuke's fiancée. I felt like I was a lost child – puzzled and lost.
I had to make sure I didn't look like I wept before stepping out of the ladies' room. I explained to them that my mother had called, and requested me to come home as soon as possible. Sasuke offered to drive me home but I declined, saying that he should stay with his parents and I was perfectly capable of going home by myself. He didn't buy it and persisted, and so I gave in. I thought that this would probably be the last time I'll see him again so I better cherish the moments with him while I can.
The drive back to my home was eerily silent – neither of us had said a word. It's like he understood that I'd like to be alone for a moment to let the news sink in. What he didn't know was the news was like a knife stabbed on my heart – the further it sunk in, the more my heart was injured.
I barely managed to make it home without shedding a single tear – I had been desperately trying to hold it in; to save it until I got inside my room. As I turned to open the car door he pulled my wrist and the next thing I knew, his lips were planted on mine.
The kiss was overwhelming – every single memory I had with him rushed back to my mind like a huge wave: our fights, our laughs, our pranks and jokes, even the times when we just sat next to each other without acknowledging the other's presence. I realized, as a lone crystalline liquid escaped my eye, how much I loved this person. I didn't know it and didn't show it, but deep in my heart there was a special part that only he occupied, and that was part of me I won't ever forget.
The kiss ended as quickly as it started. He released me from his grip as he muttered a soft "I'm sorry". There was one more thing he whispered, so quiet I almost didn't hear it. I hoped what I thought I heard was right.
"I love you."
~ Return ~
Five years after his departure he finally came back to Japan. I never really expected to hear from him after the incident, so I was thoroughly taken aback when he called me upon arrival. He asked me to meet him at the playground where we first met, and I reluctantly agreed.
My first thought was he was going to introduce me to his wife and children. I was really flattered that he still remembered me after all those years, but part of me was wishing that he didn't change after all those years. That piece of me wanted the silent, kind Sasuke I had known and grew up with. I certainly haven't changed – despite the development of my physical appearance; I was still brash and wild. That was probably the reason why I still don't have a boyfriend – but sometimes I still blamed it on the fact that no one can replace my best friend's spot in my heart.
Here I was, sitting on the old swing we used to fight over when we were kids. I stared at the specific site where my mint-chocolate ice cream was wasted and melted under the scorching sun. I smiled a little, the fond memories comforting my rapidly-beating heart.
The sound of footsteps broke through my thoughts. A second later I was staring into those deep, charming black pools. Only one word entered my mind at that moment – Sasuke.
"Hi," I greeted. He nodded in response, and then sat on the swing next to me. I was confused – shouldn't there be someone with him today? His wife? His kids? I shook the questions out of my head; I would probably invade his personal space if I asked him those questions.
"You're back after five years," I grinned. "How did college go?"
"It's fine. I finished as the top of my class," he spoke. He still sported the same velvety voice. "How about you? If I remember correctly you said you were going to take medicine, right?"
"I did," I replied. "In fact, I trained under one of the best doctors here in Konoha, Tsunade. I'm now the head doctor of Konoha General Hospital."
"Good for you," he remarked. "Who knew the delinquent would achieve something other than detention?"
"Shut up!" I laughed, just like before. "Well, what happened to you? I thought you had a fiancée?"
"I broke off the wedding," he stated.
"Broke off? Why?" I was shocked. This girl sounded perfect, so why let her go?
Rather than answering my question, he stood up and knelt before me, like I did when I noticed his mouth was bleeding when we were kids. He pulled out a small black box and opened it, revealing a beautiful silver ring with pink sapphires encrusted on the top.
"Sakura Haruno, will you marry me?"
I gasped. This was too sudden for me to take. But something inside me snapped; the part that still loved Sasuke. This isn't the time to be shell-shocked, it said to me. Answer him now!
Salty tears ran down my face, flowing like waterfalls. This time it's because of happiness.
"Yes," I choked out between sobs. "But why?"
"I always felt like there was something missing inside me when I left you. I was never complete without you by my side. I love you so much, Sakura. It took me so long to realize that."
"I love you too, Sasuke. I'll never be the same without you."
The ring was placed on my finger. Our lips collided, finally attaining the missing piece we had yearned for so long. Because even though we're utterly different – like Yin and Yang, the sun and the moon, light and darkness, black and white – we can never be complete without the other.
Opposites do attract – they always have, and always will.
Haruka: Another one-shot done. I wrote this at around 11 pm, and finished it around 4:30 the next morning – no breaks in between because I was scared that my stupid short-term memory will delete the plot bunnies for this story. Thank for reading and please tell me what you think!
Momo: You heard her people – review her story as well as mine!
~ Haruka and Momo – out! ~