As Plain as Black and Pink
A Naruto FanFiction
By Krabby Patties
A.N: Warning: Excessive pop-culture references.
Chapter 1: Lord of the Fans: The Return of the Uchiha King
When I walked out of my front door and saw him, I turned right around and went back inside.
That was not how I wanted to start my morning. I could live without seeing him. I mean, I've been doing that for a while now, and I was getting by just fine. Looking at him was not some drug; I was not addicted. The occipital lobes of my brain were not thirsting to see him as desperately as a deer pants for water. He was not a survival need, such as nutrients, oxygen, water, normal body temperature, and appropriate atmospheric pressure. I wasn't going to starve without him, suffocate without him, dehydrate without him, freeze or suffer from heatstroke without him, collapse into myself, or burst into a million pieces without him. I wasn't going to die without seeing him. And if I could have continued not seeing him, my morning, my entire day, would have been better. And even though I hadn't seen him in two and a half years, I did not need to see him. I swear.
Scowling, I realized that I couldn't even think without reciting my anatomy textbook.
I was not going to walk out that door again until I knew he was not out there waiting for me. I peeked through the blinds like my mother used to. I just needed to check if he was still out there. That was all.
He was right there, sitting in his navy-blue Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, convertible top down, looking out towards my house, no doubt waiting for me to come out again. I recognized the car because my little brother, Daisuke, had recently become obsessed with them. He asked me to buy the Benz for him and I politely refused (with a little bit of yelling about our financial state).
I checked the time on my cell phone. Six minutes until my final started. Fuckshitballs.
Now, it was a necessity that I make that final.
Sucking in a deep breath, I clutched the door handle. I swung it open before I could stop myself and slammed it shut behind me. I cursed when I realized that I needed to lock the door. I couldn't leave my mom defenseless inside. I stuck the key into the slot, and it took a little bit, but I managed to lock the door. That little detour of time gave him plenty time to get out of his car and head toward me.
I took a sharp right turn, deciding to walk down the obnoxiously steep hill for quicker access to my black Toyota Camry. I pressed the unlock button on my keychain so I could get into my car as fast as possible and not have to deal with keys again. I was walking around the rear of my car to get to the driver's side when he booked it over and halted my journey.
"Sakura," he said, sounding very annoyed.
I made the mistake of looking at his face. Now, I was blushing when I wanted to look uncaring. I walked around him as sharply as I could without touching him. He grabbed hold of my wrist and I yanked it away from him, spinning in fury to face him. Expecting to see some emotion on his face, I was disappointed, of course.
To avoid any more confrontation, I turned away, stepped tersely towards the car door, and put my hand on the handle.
"Wait," he said. His voice wavered slightly, and I almost turned around to see. Almost.
"I have a final in five minutes," I said in finality and slid into my car, tossing my bag onto the passenger seat. I backed out of the driveway, avoiding looking back for as long as I could. I just had to assume that he hadn't become some kind of idiot while he was gone and knew to get out of the way when a car is heading toward you.
I arrived to my class late, of course. It was even worse because this was the lab final for my Human Anatomy and Physiology class. The way the exam worked was there were stations and at each seat on the lab tables there was a designated body part and a question about the piece of anatomy on an index card. We had to answer the question at one station before moving to the next station systematically every ten minutes when our professor rang a bell. I had to find an empty station to start and was far behind the number of questions everyone else answered. I did well though, having studied hard for the exam, and expected at least a 95 percent. I was the last student to leave the lab room. I was just turning out of the room and took a few steps down the hallway, when someone called my name. I turned and, were you expecting anyone else, he was there, leaning against the wall opposite the laboratory door. How I missed him, I have no idea.
I gritted my teeth and turned, continuing down the hallway.
"Sakura!" he called. He jogged to catch up with me. "Wait. Please."
Stopping, I realized that it was better to confront this problem now instead of having it follow me around—literally—for the rest of my better days. I quickly turned to face him and was getting a good look at him until I was tackled.
He was hugging me. When had he started hugging people?
"Sakura." He said my name, pronouncing every syllable. "I missed you." I was too aware of his body against mine, his hand on my lower back, his warm breath on the side of my neck. "Heavens," he sighed, "you don't know how much I missed you." He squeezed me tighter now. He had to have hugged me for three minutes straight, honest. I didn't know what to think.
He pulled away from me, and just when I thought I was free, his hands went to the sides of my face. He turned my head gently from right to left. His fingers were feathers on my cheeks. He ran his thumb over my bottom lip, which caused my mouth to open a little, involuntarily.
"Sakura," he spoke quietly, "you've changed." He paused, still examining my face.
He touched my hair, running his fingers through the strands like he used to. "You cut it." He moved his head so he could try and catch my eyes. I wouldn't let him.
My hair barely reached my shoulders. I touched the ends, not looking at him. "I'm not sure, but I think that's what a lot of girls around here do, cut their hair when they get rejected by the guy they loved." I glared at him now, making eye contact. I liked it better short anyway. It was easier to manage, especially since I didn't have a lot of time anymore, working two jobs along with classes and bundles of homework.
He was the one to break eye contact now. "Sakura…"
"Sasuke," I said. He said my name so I said his.
He stepped back, frowning. "I told you I loved you. You rejected me."
I took a step forward. "Right. And I left you a hundred messages proclaiming my love for you. I told you I was wrong for rejecting you like I did. And did you answer them? No. Did you ever try to contact me? No."
"It's been hard." He reached out to touch my face again, but I stepped back and continued to move away from him until we were three feet apart.
"Don't you dare tell me that 'It's been hard.' You have no idea how hard my life got after you left. I was suffering here while you were buying land and buying hookers." Sasuke opened his mouth, probably to retort against the hookers comment, but I cut him off. "No. You can't come home and expect me to hold you lovingly. It's not going to work that way; you've ignored me for two years."
I walked away, and this time, he didn't follow.
I knocked on the door to the master bedroom before I entered.
"Hi, Mom," I said, walking over to the bed.
My mother was sitting up in the bed. A good sign. She was the sole person in a bed made for two—no longer a rarity. Her fingers clutched a sultry romance novel, the kind with an exceedingly erotic picture on the cover. The hands holding the book looked incredibly impuissant. The skin strained over the bones, muscles, and blood vessels was very thin. I almost wondered how it was even possible for her to hold a book. Her hair, which used to be made up in no-hair-out-of-place hair-dos, was limp. Her violet eyes were bloodshot. Her cheeks were shallow and her cheekbones stuck out. Her lips were cracked even though I made sure that there was always a stick of lip balm on the end table next to her.
My sickly mother looked up from her book. "Hi, dear." She smiled and I winced, hoping her dry lips wouldn't bleed.
"How are you doing?" I asked reaching for the lip balm. I popped off the top and handed it to my mother. She took it and spread it across her lips several times like it was second nature. When she finished, I took it the lip balm, recapped it, and returned it to the end table surface, saying lowly, "You need to use this more often."
"I'm fine," she said. "How are you doing?"
"Good." Her eyes returned to the pages of the novel. I watched her turn a page. Another good sign.
"I took my last final today. Anatomy."
My mom looked up at me again. "That's great. So you're on summer break now?" A sense of time. Good sign.
"Yup." I smiled despite the knowledge of my mother's condition.
"Did you come to tell me that you and the boys are going to the ocean for a crazy week-long beach party?" Believing that since I'm in college, I'm supposed to go to wild, booze-filled, sexed-up college parties. Good sign. It was like she was almost normal. Or as normal as she could get.
"No." I laughed. "Of course not."
"Okay, okay." She laughed some herself. "Because I was going to tell you to bring protection. Who knows if those boys will remember to bring condoms?"
She laughed again.
"Sakura," she said, "do you know when your father said he was coming home from work today?" Bad sign. BAD sign.
I sighed, my optimism thrown out the window. "No, Mom. I don't."
I turned the cable box off and the DVD player on. I sat down on the couch and pressed Play on the remote. The DVD started from where I last stopped.
Gandalf: "My lord, there will be a time to grieve for Boromir, but it is not now. War is coming. The enemy is on your doorstep! As steward, you are charged with the defense of this city! Where are Gondor's armies? You still have friends. You are not alone in this fight. Send word to Théodin of Rohan. Light the beacons."
Denethor: "You think you are wise, Mithrandir, yet for all your subtleties you have not wisdom. Do you think the eyes of the White Tower are blind? I have seen more than you know. With your left hand, you'd use me as a shield against Mordor, and, with your right, you'd seek to supplant me. I know who rides with Théodin of Rohan. Oh, yes! Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And I tell you now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the North, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship."
Gandalf: "Authority is not given to you to deny the return of the king, Steward!"
Denethor: "The rule of Gondor is mine and no other's!"
The scene ended, thankfully, and I exhaled. I absolutely hated Denethor. Actually, is there anyone out there who likes him? Yeah, his favorite and oldest son, Boromir, dies, but that certainly didn't make me sympathize with him. He treats is younger son, Faramir, who just wants to please him, like poop and sits on a throne that technically doesn't belong to him, ignoring the threat of the evil land of Mordor while feasting.
None of that made me hate Denethor as much as I did. It was because he reminded me of my mother. Don't misunderstand me. My mom is much classier than Denethor, but Denethor was a reminder of what my mom could become.
What if my mother turned against me? Before I would try to tell her the truth and she'd deny me so resolutely I almost believed that she was right. Gandalf wants to help Denethor; I, of course, wanted to help my mother. If that wasn't a sign for me to change tactics and take better control of this situation we've been put in, then I don't know what a sign is.
About forty-five minutes later, the front door blew open and my younger brother, Daisuke, ran into the living room. He threw himself beside me onto the sofa after dropping his backpack on the floor near the door.
"Hey, Sakura," he said, smiling too much for a kid that just had just gotten off the school bus from that horrid place we call middle school.
"Hey," I said very slowly, trying to figure out what was going on. Daisuke hadn't just asked a girl out, did he? I knew sixth graders dated, maybe even younger than that now, but I didn't think Daisuke was interested. "What are you watching?" he asked. "Lord of the Rings? Is this the Two Towers one?"
"No, this is The Return of the King." When I wasn't in class, or working, or studying, or cleaning, or cooking, or helping Daisuke with homework, or taking care of my mom, and when I wasn't watching TV, I watched movies. My new thing was to watch movies that are part of an 'epic' series. I had already watched the movies released to date of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Chronicles of Narnia, and I was currently working on finishing up The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I planned on watching the Harry Potter movies out so far next, then The Twilight Saga, and then the Christian Bale Batman movies. Maybe the Transformer movies if there was time. I had all summer. I could do it.
"Oh. Okay. Cool." The eleven-year-old leapt off the sofa and ran out the door.
"Wait! Where are you going?" I paused the movie, got up, and headed for the door. I nearly collapsed when Daisuke dragged a beautiful, dark-haired, dark-eyed, beautiful, kind of muscular, tall, beautiful man in behind him.
"Sakura, look! Uchiha Sasuke came and picked me up at school. He's back! Now you don't have to be sad anymore!"
I glared at Sasuke. He wouldn't meet my gaze as he closed the door behind him.
My eyes narrowed at my brother. "Daisuke, you know you're not supposed to get into strangers' cars. That's incredibly dangerous."
"But he's not a stranger!"
"He certainly feels like one," I muttered, looking at Sasuke. He found the set of my school pictures since fourth grade on the wall more interesting. "Well, Dai, now that Sasuke has dropped you off, he can go now."
Daisuke grabbed onto Sasuke's T-shirt. "No!"
"Sasuke needs to go, Daisuke."
"No, Sakura! Let him stay."
I crossed my arms over my chest. "No."
Daisuke stepped toward me and held my hand with both of his, shaking it a little. He mimicked little Lucy Pevensie from the 2005 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie with a funny little British accent. "Come on, Peter, please!"
I giggled, but still said, "No." I walked off toward the kitchen. If Sasuke didn't want to look at me, then fine.
"?" Daisuke chased after me. "Sakura!"
I grabbed my keys and wallet off the kitchen counter and headed back into the hallway just before the front door.
Daisuke continued to follow me. "Where are you going?"
"Grocery shopping. You don't want to starve, right? Make sure Sasuke's gone by the time I get back."
As I walked passed Sasuke, he finally met my eyes. We were locked together until I reached the door. I pulled it open a bit only to have it slammed shut.
"Let me take you." First, words I'd heard out of Sasuke since earlier. He was standing directly behind me, almost touching, with his hand against a high point of the door.
"No, thank you," I said, opening the door. "I can drive myself."
Sasuke pushed it shut again. "I'm going to take you," he said slowly.
"I said, I can drive myself." I tugged on the door and it wouldn't open with Sasuke leaning all his weight onto it.
"Come on, Sakura. Let Sasuke take you," Daisuke said. WTH?
I turned sharply to look at Daisuke. First, he was begging me to death to let Sasuke stay and then he wanted him to leave? What the heck was going on?
Knowing I couldn't win, I turned in my little spot between Sasuke and the door and looked up at him. I put on a face that said I meant business. "Fine."
He smirked and leaned down a little. "Great."
I charged outside, Sasuke trailing behind me. I waited impatiently at the passenger side door. Sasuke took his sweet time in getting to the car, unlocking the doors and starting the car.
"I don't have all freaking day!" I yelled at him.
He chuckled darkly. "Where am I taking you, your Highness?"
I told him and Sasuke started off in that direction. We were at the first light when Sasuke asked, "So, what happened to Neji?"
I stared out the window, most of my body turned away from him. I hoped that my body language would suggest that I didn't want to talk, but apparently Sasuke didn't get the message. "I broke up with him. He goes to some fancy college in the east with Hinata." I didn't know why I was telling him this.
"So, you're single?" Of course, Sasuke would get right to it.
"Not if my fiancé has anything to say about it."
Sasuke nearly rear-ended the car in front of him. His face couldn't even hide the shock. "F-fiancé?"
There was silence for a minute. "Where did you meet him?"
"Right after you left." Yes, I realized that this wasn't the answer to the question asked, but I wanted to turn things on Sasuke, make him feel bad.
"Do your parents know?"
"Yeah, I told my mom."
Sasuke's knuckles on the steering wheel were turning white. "What's his name?"
I said the first thing that came to mind. "Kishimoto Masashi."
His eyes flitted toward me. "Isn't he that comic guy?"
"I…don't recall. But we are deeply in love. We have a spring wedding planned. You can come if you want."
"Are you fucking with me?"
"Sasuke, why would I lie about this?"
"Because you're mad at me," he said quietly.
I didn't reply. We sat in silence for a couple minutes.
"So…" Sasuke started. "What's this guy's address?"
Why could I picture Sasuke showing up at his house and beating the daylights out of him? I laughed at the thought.
"I'm sorry, Sasuke," I said, still giggling. "There is really no Kishimoto Masashi. I'm not engaged."
Sasuke didn't speak for a couple seconds. "You…" And then he said nothing else as he pulled into a parking spot at the store. I watched his face because I couldn't discern if he was angry or relieved or annoyed or amused. His face was completely emotionless.
"You can wait in the car," I said before getting out.
Sasuke ignored me, as expected. He even went and got a forest green shopping cart from the cart return area and pushed it beside me into the store.
While I was choosing the best from the selection of daikon radishes, people began whispering and staring. I could hear a mother and her teenage daughter over by the potatoes whispering so loud I could have shot them in the dark.
"Uchiha Sasuke is back," everyone was saying. I could have been in peace if Sasuke had just stayed in the car.
He surprised me when he wrapped an arm around my waist. Until then, he had silently followed me, pushing the cart wherever I went. I pushed his arm away. "Stop or people will start spreading rumors that we're together." Flashes of memories from the first time I was in the newspaper with Sasuke came and went, and I cringed. I caught sight of Sasuke's expression as he returned to his spot behind the cart. It made me think that that had been exactly his intention.
I left the produce area and Sasuke followed me to the cereal section. As I passed a couple of staring ladies, their mouths open like a goldfish, I sent them glowers.
I scanned the cereal, contemplating what to buy. If I got Daisuke his favorite cereal, he'd be taking in unnecessary sugar and he'd probably eat it all in two or three days. But he'd be very happy to see that I bought it for him. If I did buy the cereal, I could just make Daisuke play outside more and that could help burn up the extra sugar. But what's to say that Daisuke won't want to play outside or it rains for a week or something?
"You take grocery shopping seriously," Sasuke said close to my right side. I'd forgotten he was there, to tell you the truth.
"Well, good nutrition is important. Plus, I enjoy shopping. It takes my mind off things." I decided not to go with Daisuke's favorite, Froot Loops, and instead chose a couple boxes from a brand with much less sugar but still tasted good, Honey Nut Cheerios.
"What things?" Sasuke asked, leaning on the cart toward me.
"Don't worry about it."
In the rice aisle, I asked Sasuke to help me find the Ox Head brand that was on sale. We spread out, Sasuke starting on one end and me on the other, and worked our way to the middle.
"Over here!" Sasuke yelled a minute later. I turned and was hit in the gut by the end of a cart.
"Ow!" I yelped.
"Sakura." Sasuke rushed to my side. "I didn't mean to." I guessed Sasuke didn't expect me to be so close to him. He touched my stomach with one hand.
"Oh, my goodness. Look at you two!" An old woman I didn't recognize approached, an excited smile on her face. She looked just like the typical cute, little old grandma and I thought she was adorable until she spoke again.
"When is the baby due?" she asked. My jaw dropped. Before I could correct her, she continued. "I am so happy for the both of you! I reckon it's your first child since y'all look so young and in love."
"Do I look pregnant?" I mouthed at Sasuke as the woman continued to talk.
He vigorously shook his head no.
"I remember my first baby. Little Kei," the woman gushed. "Now, he's Big Kei. I actually came up from down south to visit him and his family." She sighed. "Oh, Lordy, that first time being pregnant is always so memorable. I am so very happy for you. Bringing a child into this world is such a blessing!"
She took my right hand and Sasuke's left in her hands. "I wish you too the very, very best," she said grinning at us as if we were her own children. She suddenly stuck a finger up at Sasuke, dropping our hands. "And you, Pretty Boy, you better take good care of her. You better continue to love her no matter what."
Sasuke nodded, seemingly intimidated by this fail-looking old lady.
"Goodness, you two are going to just have the most beautiful children! You are such a stunning couple!" The woman touched my cheeks and I'm sure she would have done the same to Sasuke if she could reach. "Look at this girl you've got here, young man. She is absolutely beautiful!"
I blushed hard.
"I know," Sasuke said solemnly.
I hit his arm. "Stop it!"
"I'm serious. You are beautiful."
The old woman put a hand to her heart. "Ah, young love. Keep that up, boy, and you might get lucky tonight." She winked at me like she had just said some inside joke between us.
"Excuse us. We need to go." I dragged Sasuke away from the woman and we left the aisle after grabbing the rice I had been looking for.
"Ta-ta," the lady called after us.
Jeez. What a bold lady, insinuating I was pregnant with Sasuke's child. This lady had absolutely no shame.
"You know, she's right," Sasuke said cockily. "We would make a beautiful baby."
"Can we name our son Draco after Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter?" Sasuke asked. "I always liked him." He would.
"Who said our baby is a boy?" I snapped. "Why can't it be a girl?"
Sasuke opened his mouth, but I held up a hand, stopping him. "Nevermind. We're not going to argue over the sex of a nonexistent child."
He smirked at me and we resumed shopping.
A.N: Ohmypancakes. Finally, right?
So. I got a beta reader! TemariXshikamaruluva - she's friggin' awesomesauce. Look her up. She has good stuff. I actually found her on PerfectImagination, the beta reader database. You guys should check it out.
If you're a returning reader and you've skipped over the preview I posted with the "Beaten Black and Pink," you should go check that out. It's stuff that isn't in this first chapter.
I would just like to say thank you to the staff for making a mobile version of this site!
Good news: I pretty much don't have anything else to say to you.
Thumbing through the pages of my fantasies,
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and its characters or plot lines. Naruto is copyrighted 2002 by Masashi Kishimoto. I also do not own Mercedes-Benz (© 2010 Mercedez-Benz USA), National Treasure films (© Walt Disney Pictures), Pirates of the Caribbean films (© Walt Disney Pictures), The Twilight Saga films (© 2010 Summit Entertainment), The Chronicles of Narnia films (© Walt Disney Pictures), The Lord of the Rings films (© New Line Cinema), Harry Potter films (© 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.), Batman films (© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.), Froot Loops (© 2010 Kellogg NA Co.), Honey Nut Cheerios (© 2010 General Mills. All rights reserved.), and Ox Head Brand (© OxHead Brand Jasmine Rice).
Chapter 2 Preview
Men Who Stare at Sakura
I turned to peek at Sasuke. He was definitely asleep. He was facing away from me, but I could hear his steady breaths. However, I cared much more about his naked back. Fanservice. It was like God, or whatever, put this sexy man on my couch for my personal enjoyment. Of course, it was 'look, don't touch,' which makes one want the item in question so much more, right? I wonder, if you were in my place, would you have slid your fingertips over that smooth, pale skin? I didn't, because soon enough I came to my senses, and I swiftly pulled the blanket that bunched up at Sasuke's waist over his shoulder. Still, I wondered if anyone knew the Uchiha prince the way I did. He was lying half-naked on my couch. That's some kind of wonderful.