Disclaimer; I do not own Naruto Shippuuden.
A/N: This is an AU fic. The characters are extremely OOC, but I know you'd understand why it has to be so if you read on. If you are not a fan of OOCness, do not read any further.
(Songfic to Katy Perry's "Not Like the Movies")
My very first Song Fic, dedicated to Karui Yuki,
who requested for this
to be a SaiSakuSasu Love Triangle.
He put it on me, I put it on,
Like there was nothing wrong.
It didn't fit,
It wasn't right.
Wasn't just the size.
They say you know,
When you know.
I don't know…
She had met him when she was still in junior high school, and it was love at first sight and everyone had agreed it was perfect. The whole student body knew they were going to last forever, because… well… because it was just meant to be.
Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura.
He was the Introvert Campus Heart Throb. She was the Cute Class Genius.
It was meant to be.
They just – are.
When they entered College, Sakura had sacrificed her first choice, Kyoto University, to be with Sasuke in Tokyo Institute, and was not unhappy with her decision, taking her degree in English, while Sasuke, being the heir of the Uchiha Car Retailing Enterprises, took up Business and Finance.
It was as if the future was already written in the stars.
Sakura wondered why everyone thought being her was easy.
"Sooo…" she started, crossing her legs beneath the round table of one of her favorite coffee shops on campus as she gestured to her boyfriend with a feeble hand.
Sasuke looked up to her over his reading glasses, marking the page of the thick book he had opened in front of him. "Hn?"
Again with the indifferent 'Hn'. Sakura wondered if her boyfriend remembered who invited who out for an early lunch. She pointed to the book silently.
Sasuke stared at her a few seconds too long before flipping the book over and showing her the title.
Problem Solving 101 by Ken Watanabe.
Sakura had to grin mirthlessly. Of course. A business book. Sasuke turned the book over once again and resumed reading as if he weren't interrupted at all.
She absently tucked a stray lock of light-pink hair behind her ear, rested her chin on the base of her palm and started nibbling on the nail of her pinky finger. It was a habit she had acquired over the years of being with the man sitting across her. She did it usually when she was ignored. She got that most of the time from him lately.
Come to think of it, she did not have the right to complain. She knew before she started dating him that he was never really talented with getting his feelings across through words of affection and physical proximity. He was simply the existence everyone defined as her future.
It was not as if she was complaining. He was tall, handsome and smart. She could imagine their children would take after him. She liked the thought of it.
She just hoped to God they don't take after his personality; else she would never live the day she' get to see her grandchildren.
Her nibbling instantly paused. That last thought made her backtrack a bit.
For a moment there, she actually almost surrendered to the pressure everyone was placing on her shoulders.
For a moment there, she actually thought they would be getting married.
The thought made her shiver. It was not as if she had not considered it before, since she was just a girl, and everyone was saying that it was 'just normal' for beautiful people to get drawn towards other beautiful people.
This theory had been proven when she won Miss Narita in her freshman year. And of all the damn coincidences, he was Mister Narita. She had wondered why someone who was as aloof as he was would enter a vanity contest.
She knew later that day that he was supposed to enter popularity contests for the publicity of it. It was the same day he asked her out.
Had she known that he had asked her to date him was also because of the publicity, perhaps she would have said no…?
She frowned and began to chew on her nail again. Maybe not.
Finally giving up on him, she took out her own textbook, lightly flipped it open to the exercises her instructor asked her to report later today. She was already used to him giving her the silent treatment. She just wished he would do it a little more… 'un-Sasuke-like' when he did it. He gave "cold-shoulder" a different level all in itself.
She plucked a pen from her tote bag and started to read the same page seven times in the next five minutes, at the same time her pen dancing in short vigorous scribbles in the margins. This was also one of her acquired habits as of late when he ignored her.
"You're bored," Sasuke suddenly spoke.
Sakura looked up and saw him still intent on his book. "What?"
"Random, energetic scribbles can be simple space-filling as a product of boredom." His onyx eyes darted to her senseless scribbles on her textbook margin. "Or it could indicate a disordered mind." He went back to his own book. "Or it could be combined energy and impatience with a desire for structure."
Sakura's mouth hung open.
"Which is it?"
Sakura closed her mouth as well as her book. "I… huh?"
Sasuke blinked at her. Although the man could be cold and indifferent most of the time, Sakura had to appreciate his never-ending supply of patience for her. He shook his head. "Never mind." He then mimicked her in closing his book, then took to pounding on the keys of his mobile.
Sakura sighed. This was the man everyone assumed she was going to end up with. She knew better than to complain. Everyone can't possibly be wrong, right?
Sasuke returned his mobile back into his bag, then dug further into it. "By the way, I wanted to give you something."
Sakura straightened. Sasuke was not necessarily stingy with gifts. He was actually quite generous, in fact, when it came to anniversary, Christmas and birthday presents. But Sasuke, Sakura knew, was a creature of habit. He simply did not give gifts out-of-the-blue.
It took Sasuke quite some time before he got to extract the – thing – that he claimed he wanted to give her. What made her wonder more was why he suddenly got down on his knees when he finally did.
Her question was answered when he procured a tiny velvet box from his bag and opened it for her. It was a diamond ring the size of a peanut.
"Marry me," he said, looking at her again over his glasses.
Yes, he didn't ask. He didn't suggest. He said it.
Sakura felt the people around them stop and stare. Some of them pointed, some even had the courage to take pictures with their camera phones. She knew then and there what the headlines for tomorrow's campus newspaper was going to be; A No-Brainer: Business Tycoon Heir Proposes to Long-Standing Girlfriend.
Now she knew why Sasuke had dragged her in one of the most populated places on campus. He wanted to make sure everyone knew it.
And she blinked.
She didn't cry tears of joy; she didn't press her hands to her mouth in mock surprise. She didn't even give as much as a gasp.
Because her environment had been so determined to hammer into her brain that in the end, this was what was going to happen anyway.
He slipped the ring on the designated finger.
And paused half-way.
Sakura blinked again, stared down at the jewelry stuck on the joint of her ring finger.
This got her to react. Uchiha Sasuke, who planned everything down to a tee, had made a miscalculation.
She wondered if it was going to snow in mid-spring.
Sasuke tried to force the ring into place. It wouldn't budge. Sakura winced.
"I – seem to have gotten you a size too small…"
Two sizes, Sakura mused. She tried to smile. "It's the thought that counts, I guess?" That sounded so very wrong for an engagement ring.
Sasuke gave her a rueful grin and returned to his seat. The moment he removed his reading glasses, the world around them seemed to have resumed it's movement.
"My mother and father, they practically want to disown me and adopt you. My friends get along well with your friends. We've been dating since high school and we're still not tired of each other." Sasuke raised her eyebrows, as if what he just said were enough reasons to get hitched.
But she knew what he meant. If she would go out there and hunt for a person who would tell her that Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura were not meant to be, she knew she wouldn't find one.
And perhaps this was what has conditioned their minds into having a relationship devoid of effort.
It was perfect the way it is, without even trying.
But Sakura was searching for imperfection. Remarkably, the only thing that made her heart beat fast about this proposal was the fact that the ring didn't fit.
She wondered why it didn't bother her. She wondered why it didn't bother him.
He'd just proposed.
While in romance movies, she had seen guys plan for weeks and weeks to get the right mood, rent the right place, get the right moment, Sasuke didn't even seem to have bothered anything more than purchasing a ring that didn't fit her.
But he already knew the outcome to this. She didn't even have to think twice.
Because it was just – meant to be.
"Of course I'll marry you."
"Okay," he said.
"Okay," she repeated.
I didn't feel
The fairytale feeling, no.
Am I a stupid girl
For even dreaming that I could.
If it's not like the movies,
That's how it should be, yeah.
Haruno Sakura was always calm. She had the disposition of a dead fish when it came to provocation and insult. She was smart, that given, and she seldom got intimidated, aggravated or irritated. And if she ever did, it never, ever showed.
She didn't even know why it bothered her too much, but when she opened the locker in Advanced English Literature classroom, she felt her heart palpitate violently at the sight of someone's red paint dripping from a brown paper bag right on her white wool sweater. It was dribbling exactly on the spot where her heart should be. She stared at it a full minute before cursing under her breath. She grabbed the paper bag and unceremoniously dropped it by her feet, not caring if she smeared paint on the linoleum. The sweater was a gift from Hinata. It wasn't new, but her friend had bought it when she went for a vacation in Hokkaido last winter. It was Ainu hand-made. It wasn't cheap.
And it was now splattered with red blood paint. If she wore it, she didn't doubt people would assume someone had stabbed her.
"I'm sorry. I believe these are mine?" said someone from somewhere near her ankles.
She looked down and saw a dark-haired man squatting to collect the paper bag she had carelessly discarded. He had a large sketch book tucked under one arm, a heavy-looking backpack over his shoulder.
Sakura had to step back when the man straightened up to stand. He was head and shoulders taller than she was. Even with the baggy blue parker he had on, she knew he was fairly muscular, and though his height and physique would have normally intimidated a tiny girl like her, there was something about his dark eyes set on a pale face that made his over-all appearance seem – perfectly serene.
Those eyes, Sakura saw, darted to the white sweater hanging in the locker, did a double-take on the paper bag in his hand, and groaned. "Did my paint spill on your sweater?"
"Someone's paint did," Sakura grumbled and snatched the now ruined clothing into her hands and examined it at arm's length.
"Oh… damn… I'm sorry. Maybe… maybe I can buy you another one?" he asked hopefully.
"Sure, if you're planning to drop by Hokkaido on the way home."
His face fell. "Hokkaido…"
Sakura closed her eyes and started to thumb the shell of her left ear. Another habit of hers when she tried to rationalize. She was making a mountain out of a molehill.
The guy was reaching for his wallet. "At least let me pay for it, then. How much is it?"
Eighty-five thousand yen. "I forget."
The guy forced a ten thousand yen bill into her free hand. His fingers brushed at the diamond ring that was still stuck on her finger joint. "When you remember how much it is, tell me, all right?" He then busied himself with wiping the floor with a handkerchief he had pulled out of his pocket.
Sakura stared down at the ten thousand yen bill. It was smeared with red paint. Her gaze traveled to the top of his head, she frowned, and then gasped when he suddenly looked up at her. Those eyes – sharp, keen – met her emerald green ones.
"My name is Sai. I take Fine Arts."
"My name's – "
"Sakura, right? Everyone knows who you are."
Sakura bit her lip. She wondered what he meant by that.
"In a good way, that is," he continued, as if he just read her mind. He lowered his face again. "Everyone would know a genius when they saw one."
When he's the one,
I'll come undone,
And my world will stop spinning
And that's just the beginning, yeah.
Snow white said when I was young,
"One day my prince will come."
So I wait for that date.
They say its hard to meet your match,
Find my better half.
Sakura didn't see the mysterious Sai much on campus aside for English Literature which they shared, and even then, neither found a reason to talk to each other except the hello-how-are-you greetings. Even so, there were several times their eyes would meet and he would wave at her, and she would look away. The paint encounter was completely forgotten by mid-July when summer came, especially since sweater season was over and she kept the ruined object at the back of her closet out of novelty.
However, one encounter didn't make them friends. One encounter didn't make them acquaintances. He was just another face in the crowd. And she was just the fiancée of possibly the-soon-to-be richest man in Car Retail Business history.
Life was good.
Life was monotonous.
She had kept the ten thousand yen bill smeared with red paint and scribbled all over it with hurried, vigorous strokes.
So what if Sasuke thought she was craving for order? Her life was already one orderly mess, anyway.
So we make perfect shapes
She had the perfect yellow dress for the dinner party the Hyuuga's were holding for Hinata's engagement.
Now there was a happy girl, and she sure as hell showed it. Clad in a sleeveless Chinese dress and high-heels, Hyuuga Hinata looked quite content tucked in Uzumaki Naruto's right arm while she blushed when the tall, lean blonde whispered something in her ear as if sharing a secret.
Sakura looked on at her friends as she crossed and re-crossed her legs under her. She knew the couple since childhood. Friendships based on geography were common with rich families. Naruto's parents came from a long line of doctors and nurses. Naruto was the only one who broke out of tradition and pursued a career in sports. The man could play baseball all day and never get tired. Five universities had offered him a scholarship, but chose Tokyo Institute simply because Hinata was going there.
Sakura turned to Sasuke, who was quietly sipping his champagne. "You and Naruto didn't plan to propose simultaneously, did you?"
Sasuke shrugged indifferently. "He helped me pick the ring and I hinted that he should get hitched sooner or later or Hinata would leave him for another man. I didn't think he would take it seriously."
Sakura could only nod, then turned to the happy couple just in time to see Naruto jump into the pool, ruining his suit. He got the group of very important-looking people standing by the water wet with one splash.
Sasuke tapped her on the shoulder. "Our engagement party, by the way, is on Sunday next week. Everything's settled. All you need to do is show up."
As always efficient, dependable and downright perfect.
Sakura nodded again. "I need a dress…"
"I took the liberty in getting you one."
Sasuke always took liberties in buying her clothes. She supposed it was for his image more than hers.
She looked down at her yellow dress, then at Sasuke's yellow tie. The perfect couple, indeed.
In the corner of her eye she saw someone familiar appear at the side of the pool.
The man, dressed down in a casual suit, reached his hand to help Naruto up. The blond laughed loudly and reached up to him.
And the blonde suddenly pulled him in. The dark-haired boy fell into the water with a loud splash.
Sakura didn't know Naruto was friends with anyone from the Fine Arts Department. And she didn't even know why she found it endearing to watch Sai clumsily splash in the water like a child, the way he pretended to panic and throw his weight around desperately as if…
Sakura's eyes widened. "Naruto, you idiot! He can't swim!"
The commotion was over before it really escalated, with Hinata – who was an amazing swimmer – diving into the pool in her dress and pulling Sai out of the water.
Sasuke had watched the whole scene, still calmly drinking. He gave no comment, because Sakura knew that Sasuke cared less for idiotic public display. He never really tolerated it, except Naruto's. Sakura excused herself and approached Naruto who was now sitting with Hinata and Sai in the middle of a huge puddle, laughing.
"What do you think you're doing, you?" Sakura asked as she squatted by them.
"Enjoying the last days of being a bachelor, what else?" Naruto explained happily as Sakura leaned over and gave the boy an affectionate kiss on the cheek. She turned to Hinata and gave her a tight hug, not caring if the girl was getting her yellow dress wet.
Naruto tugged on her sleeve. "Oh and Sakura, by the way, I don't think you've met my friend yet. His – "
"Eighty-five thousand yen," Sakura interrupted, looking at Sai straight in the eye. "I remembered."
Sai wiped at his forehead, causing a huge chunk of dark hair to stand up on end. "I owe you seventy-five thousand, then."
Sai smiled back.
And Sakura's heart skipped a beat.
If stars don't aline
If it doesn't stop time
If you can't see the sign
It was the end of Autumn Break. Sakura, stretched across her bed, had her chin resting on her pillow, her left arm stretched in front of her, her ring finger pointing up. She stared at the ring that wouldn't go all the way to the base of her finger – where it belonged – and sighed.
On her hand was the evidence of the only blunder Sasuke had ever made in front of her. And she was feeling bad about it.
The people around them, they keep on insisting. Everything was predetermined, and Sakura wanted romance.
She decided there was nothing romantic in perfection.
She looked up when she heard the door on her apartment opened. Sasuke never knocked. He carried a spare key with him and she was never bothered with him suddenly helping himself in.
They had been dating for four years and there were times when Sasuke had stayed for the night. But he not once tried to touch her inappropriately. He was the perfect gentleman. He slept on the couch while she slept on the bed. He never pushed. She never asked.
She was just too embarrassed.
"I'm home," Sasuke said, dropping his heavy business textbooks on her table and patted her head gently.
Like a pet.
Sakura looked up, watched him shrug off his cardigan. She sat up on the bed, hesitated, then said, "Let's have sex."
Those three words made Sasuke pause a brief moment before starting at her with wide eyes. He recovered quickly. He wasn't about to drop his perfect image because his fiancée asked him to have sex. "That's very sudden." He sounded calm, but it definitely caught his interest. There was a light in his eyes that Sakura hadn't seen before.
She blushed. "Fuck me," she whispered.
She began to wonder why it took her four years before she got the nerve to ask her man to make her his own. She wondered even more if Sasuke ever thought of her that way.
God, after everything, she hoped he wasn't gay.
She leaned back on her elbows on the bed, pulled her knees up and spread her legs open. "Fuck me," she repeated.
It didn't take much coaxing. Sasuke planted his hands on the bed on either side of her waist and climbed on top of her like a wary predator.
Sakura let him have his way with her, meekly letting him pull her shirt over her head, touching her body everywhere before unhooking her bra and exposing her chest.
And she waited.
His hands ignited her skin like little fireflies where he touched her. His mouth was on her breasts and her hands were on his shirt, fumbling with the two buttons on his collar. He sensed her desire and he pulled his shirt off, discarding it on the floor carelessly.
And she waited.
Her eyes hungrily searched his broad shoulders and chest. This was the closest thing to proximity that they had shared. And she watched him tear at her shorts in three seconds, her underwear in two.
They kissed more. In the moment she stole a glance at her clock. She watched the second hand tick away leisurely, as it should.
Why wasn't time stopping?
"I'm going to fuck you hard," Sasuke snarled into her ear savagely, and she believed this was probably the dirtiest thing he's ever said in his life.
She tore at his hair, scratched at his neck and chest. He was greedily eating at her skin, sucking, biting.
And he took her.
And she waited.
And waited some more.
After what seemed like forever, her eyes fluttered open and found Sasuke collapsed beside her, his head resting on one of his arms, the other hand on her hip.
She blinked and waited some more.
She wondered why the 'magic' didn't come…
When you make love, wasn't it supposed to be magical?
She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the second hand of her clock.
Time still wasn't stopping.
Wait for it.
One hundred percent,
With every penny spent.
He'll be the one that,
Finishes your sentences.
Sakura felt idiotic coming to a game center alone.
"Seventy-five grand," someone spoke from behind her as she stood in line for her turn on the Whack-the-Hippo game.
She turned around to have several bills shoved in her face. The next thing she saw was his chest. She craned her neck to look up. Then she saw those eyes.
"Hello," he said.
He frowned. "Uh… hello?"
Sakura shook herself. "Hi." She gingerly took the money he was still holding against her cheek, stared at it, then shoved it back to him. "I don't need it."
Sai raised his hands in front of him. Sakura saw his fingers were stained black, as if he had just been painting. "I ruined your sweater. Manner calls I pay for it."
Sakura shook her head. "It's all right. It's not as if – "
" – It's my fault? Because it is."
"It's not as if you did it on purpose." She shoved the money into the open zipper of his body bag.
He sighed in resignation, then changed the subject as awkwardly as anyone can. "What are you doing here, alone?"
"To whack hippos, what else?"
His mouth turned up into a grin. "A hobby?"
"A whim, really. I do it to release stress."
"Are you stressed?"
Sakura decided to lie. "No."
"Then why are you lined up to whack hippos?"
Drat it. She just remembered she wasn't good at lying. "Because… I don't like hippos…? Eh…?"
Sakura opened and closed her mouth, tried to think of something witty to say. "Leave me alone." She had been dating Sasuke for so long that she discovered she couldn't relate with any other guy but him. She wondered if this Sai was born to make her miserable. This was her third meeting, and none of them had been relatively close to decent.
Sakura's heart shot up at the thought.
She blinked to see a huge mallet inches from her face. Sai was holding it up for her.
"The hippos are waiting for your stressful judgment." He smiled.
Her heart did a little jig. "I am not – "
" – stressed? Yeah I know."
"It's true! It's just – "
" – a whim, yes?"
Sakura's mouth snapped shut.
And her heart skipped another beat.
If it's not like the movies,
That's how it should be.
When he's the one,
He'll come undone,
And my world will stop spinning,
And that's just the beginning.
The news of Haruno Sakura and Uchiha Sasuke breaking up over Winter Vacation spread though campus like wildfire.
The rumors varied.
Some said Uchiha Sasuke had just gotten tired of Haruno Sakura because she wouldn't let him in her plants until after they got married.
Shows how much they know.
Some said Haruno Sakura felt overwhelmed by Uchiha Sasuke's future as a business tycoon, and that she was afraid of disappearing in his shadow.
Why didn't they understand that there were more things to fear other than disappearing in someone else's shadow?
Like maybe… messy perfection… monotony… empty, non-magical love-making…
If ever they got married, she knew they would be no sooner divorcing.
Of all the people that talked, none of them even tried to find out the truth.
The truth was, Haruno Sakura was looking for imperfection.
She wanted to choose her own dresses to surprise her boyfriend at how she would look in it.
She wanted to make a joke at his blunders of getting a too small ring, and laugh at him as they get it resized.
She wanted conversation about friends who jump in pools. Or better yet, conversations about jumping into pools with them.
She wanted crazy, scream-your-heart-out sex.
Or the next best thing: whacking hippos together.
She wanted imperfection.
As she leaned her forehead on the cold glass window of the bus on the way back to her apartment, she felt the insecurity seep in.
And she loved it.
Sasuke had been security.
She blinked, waiting for the bus to get a move-on. She stared out into the snow-covered side of the road.
And her eyes widened as her green eyes met black ones.
Cause I know you're out there
Wrapped in layers of clothing and scarves, was Sai.
She felt her heart leap.
She pulled back from the window. She didn't even know why, but she found herself standing and exiting the bus in a hurry. She saw him make his way towards her. They met on the landing.
"What – "
"Naruto told me," Sai said silently, his breath fogging up in the cold. His expression was unreadable.
She had almost forgotten this guy was friends with Naruto. "I'm – "
" – not fine, right?"
She frowned. He always seemed to like cutting off her sentences.
You're looking for me
"I was worried. About you," he added.
It's a crazy idea that
you were made perfectly –
Sakura wrinkled her nose. He was a perfect stranger to her. Why on earth was he worried?
– for me,
"I.., I'm going now. Goodbye." She retreated into the bus.
He had a vague expression on his face. In his hand was a bulky paper bag. Helpless, he raised his hand as if to wave.
The door of the bus hissed to a close.
Sai's hand shot out to stop it. He hesitated, sighed, then hopped on the landing. "I'll… see you home…"
Sakura had to back away from him. "Why?"
Just like the movies
That's how it will be
They sat in silence for the first ten minutes of the ride before Sai dropped the paper bag he had with him on her lap. "For you."
Sakura frowned down at it. "What is it?"
She did. It was a white wool sweater.
"Ainu hand-made. Eighty-five thousand yen, but this one had a twenty percent discount." He grinned "I bought it myself."
"From Hokkaido?" she asked skeptically.
"I was away all winter break. Didn't you notice?"
"Excuse me, I was busy canceling my wedding plans to give it a moment's thought…" she said dryly.
Sai looked away, embarrassed.
It's not like the movies
But that's how it will be
"Listen, if you're nor doing anything tonight, Naruto and Hinata would really like to see you. They told me you've been avoiding them."
Sakura fingered the material of the sweater in her hands. She nodded briefly. "Sure. I'm free. I'm always going to be free."
Sai turned to her optimistically. "Really? Naruto gets off his last class at quarter to five and –" he stopped talking as he glanced at his watch. "Damn, my watch stopped. Do you have the time?"
Sakura pushed the sleeve of her parker to reveal her wristwatch.
Only to find it had stopped, too.
When he's the one,
you'll come undone
And your world will stop spinning.
She looked up at Sai.
Sai looked down at her watch, laughed, then shrugged, looked out the window.
And it's just the beginning.
Sakura closed her eyes and smiled.
A/N: I'm not used to writing songfics, and writing Sai in an AU story in-character is almost close to impossible for me. Forgive this fic.