A very happy early birthday to our favorite Uchiha Sasuke! (I do not own Naruto)


A Simple Appreciation

This was bad, really bad.



She really should've listened to Ino, but of course, she always had to be right. And now she was stuck—with this. It was an inevitable "I told you so" moment that would happen in approximately... five, four, three, two—

"I honestly told you so, forehead."

"Maybe if you quit staring at me we can fix this," Sakura hissed, running her hands through her hair… or lack of. "I am going to kill him, and bury him, but not before I shove my hands down his pants and—"


That morning the pink-haired medic-nin had found some time in her hectic schedule to make an appointment at her usual hair salon, only to find out that Kagawa Ayu wouldn't be returning until next week. Ino suggested that she wait until Ayu returned, but Sakura had idiotically insisted that she needed a trim or else it'd be a hindrance during her upcoming mission.

Which lead her to Sai, who claimed that cutting hair was also an art he perfected.

Trust Sakura to agree without a second's hesitation.

He was a filthy liar, but she was stupid enough to have believed him.

That idiot.

She really should have known.




"Ino, seriously, I cannot have my hair this short," Sakura explained, her patience wearing thin.

"It'll grow back, no big deal," Ino insisted, attempting to calm her best friend.

Only Sakura would be this dramatic over a hair cut, what was wrong with short hair anyway? Hinata's hair had been above her ears just until recently when she decided to grow it out, and even Shizune managed to pull off the look. Besides, she was sure that Sasuke wouldn't min—


"Sakura," Ino began carefully, "are you worried about what your boyfriend will think?"

Said girl slightly froze, but the reaction was immediate.


"I don't know what you're talking about," Sakura huffed, still messing with her pink locks.

"Sakura, seriously? You've had your hair up to your shoulders since the chuunin exams, and he has yet to comment on it," Ino pointed out, raising a brow. "And what's a few inches from your normal length going to do? He never liked girls with long hair anyway, it was a silly rumor."

"Ino, he liked the length of my hair," Sakura sighed, crossing her arms. "It wasn't too long or too short, and he liked running his finger through my hair when we—" She coughed, blushing. "He just liked it, okay?"

"Are you saying he only dated you because of your hair?"

"Well no, but—"

"Then stop fussing over it. We all get bad hair cuts," Ino stated, looking over her shoulder. "Now there's a customer over there that's been trying to get my attention, so I'll talk to you later forehead."

Sakura rolled her eyes, hopping off of the stool.

"Bye, pig."

Ino was such a lousy friend.

If she suddenly became a mute, would Shikamaru still love her?

Wait, bad comparison. He'd probably love her more.


"Ridiculous," Sakura muttered, adjusting the beanie on her head.

So maybe she was being a little overdramatic, but admitting it would only be a blow to her pride—and it'd prove that Ino was right. Again. Fortunately her hair didn't take much time to grow, maybe about three months give or take. That was manageable; she'd just have to request a mission from her mentor that would give her enough time to grow back a couple inches. And there were only three days left before she was expected to meet up with her team at the front gates for their B-class mission, that'll give her some time to concoct a plan.

All she needed to do was avoid Sasuke until then.

That should be easy enough.

If Sakura knew that avoiding her own boyfriend would be difficult, she might have asked Shikamaru for help. Really, she didn't remember Sasuke being this needy. He made it seem as if not talking or seeing your significant other for almost three days was a crime.

She had a life, you know.




But twice… TWICE, she almost ran into him.

It was entirely Naruto and Lee's fault.

Since when did they suddenly become his messengers?


"Hello my sweet Sakura-san!" Lee declared, jogging towards her from across the market. "How are you this fine morning?"

The girl had looked up, completely bewildered.

Even five years after meeting the exuberant shinobi and enduring his declarations of "blooming" love, Sakura still managed to feel embarrassed. Though he had been absolutely crushed upon hearing of her relationship with the Uchiha heir, Lee eventually reverted back to his old ways and saw her new relationship as a competition.

That was two years ago, of course.

He really was a loyal man.

"Ah, hello Lee," Sakura greeted, still holding the apple she had picked up just minutes before. "I'm fine, I guess. Did you need something?"

He grinned at her.

"My handsome and powerful rival Uchiha Sasuke has sent me on a mission," he stated proudly. "That if I were to come across my sweet Sakura-san, I will tell her he is looking for her."

"Well, I'm kind of busy—" Sakura started, busying herself with the fruit stand.

"Nonsense!" Lee exclaimed, removing the apple from her hand and slowly ushered her to the Uchiha district. "I'm sure it was urgent as he seemed angry. Let's go! I will not fail him."

Sakura protested, struggling to remove his hands.

"Lee, really. I have to go! I'm not uh, proper," she lied, averting her gaze as he stared at her.

"You look as radiant as ever, even with that new hair! And look! I see him turning the corner!" Lee pointed out, now motivated to drag the poor girl towards her raven-haired lover.

"Wha?" She asked, her eyes forming a squint, immediately spotting her boyfriend which left her in a state of frenzy. "Sorry Lee, no can do!"

She broke her grip and ran down the nearest alley.





"Hey Sakura-chan!" Naruto greeted, towering over her as she sat under a tree reading the mission scroll. "Whatcha doin'?"

"Reading," Sakura answered, eyeing the blonde. "I thought you were supposed to be with Hinata?"

"I was but the teme wanted me to—"

"Go away."

"But Sakura-chan! He threatened to kill me!" he whined, plopping down in front of her. "He said to tell you that you're being annoying!"

"I'm busy, can't hear you," she half-sang, skimming the paragraphs.

"Whatever," Naruto pouted, then suddenly tilted his head as he stared at her. "Hey, did you get a new hair cut? It's almost like Hinata's old hair! Looks a little funky—hey! There he is! OI BASTARD!"

Sakura slammed her hand over his mouth, then proceeded to glare.

"Naruto, if you want to live you will shut up right now," she threatened, glancing over her shoulder to see if Sasuke was approaching. "And you tell Sai that when I get my hands on him, I will personally castrate him myself."

Naruto nodded wordlessly.

"Good, now I'm going to go on my mission now," Sakura said slowly, removing her hand. "I'll be back soon, so tell Sasuke-kun not to worry."

She formed a few hand seals and vanished in a puff of smoke.

Sakura was minutes away from freedom.

Walking towards the Konoha gates, her smile brightened as the distance between her and the meeting spot became shorter. Now, all she had to do was somehow request a mission right when she returned. Tsunade-shishou would disapprove, but surely she'd understand? She should, anyway. The darned woman used a genjutsu to mask her physical appearance! Skipping slightly in her step, Sakura felt a sense of pride at having gotten this far.

It was difficult, but she managed to completely avoid—


Damn it.

She winced, noticing his glare.

By the looks of his posture, whatever patience he had been harboring the past two days no longer existed. Sasuke looked calm given the current situation, but she had been with him long enough to depict his facial expressions and body language—and he was downright angry. At her. The only other time he had been this furious, was when she had defied his orders during an S-class mission.

At least this time his sharingan wasn't activated.

"You've been avoiding me."

"No, I haven't," she denied, not meeting his eyes.

Onyx orbs narrowed.

"Okay, maybe I have." She sighed. "But I have a good reason!"

Sasuke snorted, clearly unimpressed.

He raised his brow, urging her to continue.

"You see, a few days ago I needed a haircut," Sakura started, already feeling ridiculous. "And I usually go to this woman named Ayu, but she went on vacation for a week and won't be back until later. But I really really REALLY needed a trim because I have a mission today, and my hair was getting too long—"

"Is there a point to this story?"

"She wasn't there, so I went to Sai, and now my hair is like… this."

It was silent for a moment.

"That doesn't explain why you've been ignoring me," Sasuke pointed out, crossing his arms.

Sakura shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, and it didn't take long before he was able to put two and two together. Only someone like Sakura would worry about something so insignificant, she really was—


"I just thought—" She paused, exhaling loudly. "That you wouldn't, I don't know. You liked my hair, and I just thought now that it's this short you wouldn't…"

"You thought I wouldn't like you anymore," Sasuke finished, earning a slight nod from her. "It doesn't matter."

She looked up, surprised. "It doesn't?"

"No," he stated, slightly offended by her silly assumption.

"You're absolutely sure?" Sakura asked again, still unconvinced.

He stepped towards her, hesitantly laying his hand on her head and ruffled her pink locks.




"Your hair is pink, isn't it?"

His eyes slightly softened.

That was the only indication she needed before she tackled him into a hug.


Thank you.