Sasuke slammed the refrigerator door shut with a bang. He frowned and repeated the same performance with several of his kitchen cabinets. Bang. Frown. Bang. Frown.

Sure, he'd been busy with missions and training recently—okay, maybe busy wasn't the right word. For the past month, he'd only set foot in his own house to eat and sleep before heading out on his next mission. But he'd never let his food supplies dwindle this low. Not being able to shop according to his usual habit was how he found himself in this mess—Sasuke shopped in bursts, usually at off hours, while the markets were at their emptiest. He grimaced, knowing he'd have to go on an extended shopping excursion some time today.

"Stupid women," he grumbled.

To put it mildly, he was unhappy about facing the female population of Konohagakure. Sasuke had been blessed—'Cursed!' he thought wretchedly—with the exceptional good looks that were the hallmark of the Uchiha clan. Just about every woman in the village swooned or at least did a double-take when he walked by. On the streets of the Leaf, he could dart in between them, dodging and weaving his way through his prospective assailants. Or, in a worst-case scenario, he could take to the rooftops and avoid them completely.

To have to linger among them in the market was Sasuke's worst nightmare.

He'd been groped while reaching for eggs and pressed up on while searching for fresh fish.

"Why do they always have to touch?" he complained.

He could easily block out the fluttering eyelashes and the blown kisses, but feeling a pinch from an unknown hand as he bent to lift a bag of rice was too much. It took all of his self-control not to coat himself in lightning armor.

"And then let them try to touch," he crowed.

Although the Hokage would discipline him severely, it would be worth it, he thought devilishly.

So, the battle plan for today was to eat what little was left in the house, train, have dinner at Ichiraku's with his moronic teammate and then make a late-night run to the market. Most of the older ladies would be asleep by then and, seeing how it was a Friday, most of the younger women would be at one of Konoha's nighttime diversions. That made for prime Uchiha shopping hours—his plan was set.

Sasuke congratulated himself on his brilliant strategy as he pushed his half-full cart around the market. Not once had he been salaciously beckoned to or lecherously handled. He smirked at the successful evasion of his would-be attackers.

Mentally cataloging his supplies, he realized he'd passed the milk. Turning around, Sasuke saw a shadow with a cart dash down the next aisle. Narrowing his eyes, he cautiously continued. Another shadow carrying a basket scurried behind a pole. Suddenly, the market was buzzing with scampering silhouettes. Crouching behind a carefully stacked mountain of canned curry paste, Sasuke reevaluated his options. With his Sharingan, he'd assessed the overwhelming enemy presence and decided that the best defense against these odds was a hasty retreat. He was calculating the quickest route to the checkout counter when he froze. He would have to reconsider his plan.

He'd forgotten the tomatoes.

Sasuke backed slowly into the produce aisle, his cart in tow. He flicked his head left then right, then left again before he deemed it safe. Rolling his groceries quickly to the mountain of red fruit, he grabbed a plastic bag and began eyeing the stock for the ripest of the lot. He spotted a red, juicy diamond in the rough and reached out to grab it. However, his hand did not land on the desired fruit, but was clamped around another. Like it or not, he'd engaged the enemy. Now he'd have to decide whether to fight or flee—then came the sound of tinkling laughter.

Sasuke followed the hand he was holding—which was still gently squeezing his tomato—up the arm and, finally, to the smiling face.

"If you want it that bad…here," Sakura giggled, her voice full of amusement.

Sasuke felt a rush of adrenaline wash over him as he held Sakura's hand. His breath hitched as her other hand slid underneath his, pushing the fruit toward him.

"No. It's just that…" His eyes flicked to the left and right and then back to her. He hoped she understood without him having to say the embarrassing truth—that one of the most powerful shinobi in Konoha, no, in the entire shinobi world, was strategizing how best to achieve a successful withdrawal from the flirtatious crowd of women that had gathered in the next aisle.

Sakura looked behind her and scowled. She jerked her wrist, snapping open a plastic bag and dropping his luscious tomato in.

"How many more were you looking for, Sasuke?" she said as she glared defiantly at the many eyes narrowing in her direction.

"Um, five or six?" he said uncertainly. What was she doing? Now was the time to cut and run, not carefully examine six deeply red, plump tomatoes and place them gingerly into the bag he now dutifully held open.

"Anything else?"

"No. I think I'll check out now," he announced, thinking she would get the hint and commence Exit Strategy Delta with all haste. Sakura sauntered casually behind Sasuke, occasionally glancing behind her with menace.

The girl at the checkout began to ring up his items—ogling him openly. Sakura nudged him a bit, saying, "Why don't you go put those things in bags? I'll put your stuff up." She chivvied him to the end of the counter as she took his groceries from the cart. Sasuke saw her catch the eye of the cashier and, if he didn't know better, he'd swear Sakura used a dojutsu on her. The girl paled and her eyes stayed glued to her task. When she'd finished, Sakura took the ryō out of his hand and tendered the appropriate amount.

Sasuke breathed a sigh of relief as he stepped into the cool night air, bags hanging from both hands—mission complete. Sakura was a step behind with her own bag when he finally thought to ask, "What are you doing here, Sakura?"

"Getting something for dinner before I head back to the lab." She shook the bag at him to make her point. "I ought to get going, though. Those toxins won't isolate themselves!" She chuckled at her lab-humor. "Well, see you, Sasuke." She grinned and, after he nodded, walked past him.

Sakura hadn't gone far when she stopped mid-stride with a surprised "Oh!" She hurried back around Sasuke, stopping him as she pulled something from her pocket. "Your change," she said, holding up some bills. She glanced at his hands full of bundles before she reached for his pants. His eyes were wide and his cheeks were on fire as she yanked open his pocket with her free hand and plunged the hand holding his money deep inside. Sasuke audibly gulped as Sakura patted his pocket closed, wiggled her fingers in farewell and began to walk and hum. He was overcome by a wave of dizziness, but he compelled his legs to take strides toward his house.

As Sasuke struggled to open his front door, dropping the keys a few times, he noticed his heart had not stopped racing since Sakura touched him. Something was seriously wrong with him. Had Sakura picked up some illness at the lab and inadvertently transmitted it to him? Leaving his bags on the kitchen table, Sasuke took several deep breaths to slow his heartbeat as he dragged a shaky hand across his forehead. Had she left behind trace amounts of some debilitating poison when she'd touched him? The thought of Sakura's warm hand lingering in his pants pocket made Sasuke start to hyperventilate. Something was definitely wrong with him. Tomorrow, he would ask Kakashi.

His early morning trip to the Memorial Stone completed, Kakashi strolled back to the village proper. He ambled aimlessly—having no missions and, therefore, no team to watch over, left him with nothing but time on his hands. Stretching out on a tree limb overhanging Konoha's peaceful Nakano River, Kakashi pulled out a thumb-worn edition of Icha Icha Tactics. It was his favorite of the Icha Icha series—Kenji, son of the main character, was finally beginning to understand that the strange feelings he'd been having were amorous. With his father's journals guiding him, Kenji finds love—and more!—with Ume, the girl next door, who had grown into quite the voluptuous young woman.

Kakashi giggled at the thrill of young love as he hunkered down for a sunny day with his favorite pastime.

"I should've known."

The disdainful tone was familiar, but Kakashi was still not used to the deep rumble of Sasuke's post-pubescent voice. He peered at his favorite student over the top of his book. "Come to enjoy the pleasures of fine literature with me on this beautiful day, Sasuke?" Kakashi joked, his squinting eye the only indicator of his mirth.

Sasuke scoffed, but settled himself down on the branch next to his sensei. Knowing that Sasuke was not one for leisurely pursuits, Kakashi was surprised to see him leaning against the trunk—one leg dangling and the other leg holding up his languidly draped arm as he gazed at the clouds—looking for all the world like an idle dreamer. His suspicion aroused, Kakashi nudged his hitai-ate up the slightest bit, only to see Sasuke's chakra buzzing around his system chaotically. Something was up—he couldn't fool the Sharingan—but Kakashi knew he'd have to play it cool around his skittish student. Keeping his Sharingan trained on Sasuke, but hidden from view, he planned his attack.

"Would you be able to tell if I'd been poisoned?"

Kakashi almost choked to hear Sasuke start the conversation. Clearing his throat to compose himself, Kakashi slowly lifted his head to look at his student.

"You've been poisoned?" he said as casually as possible.

"Yes. I mean, maybe. I'm not sure. Well…would you be able to tell or not?" Sasuke was beginning to sound angry. His obvious impatience piqued Kakashi's interest.

"Wouldn't that be a better question for Sakura?"

"No." He'd barely finished the question before Sasuke barked out his response. Kakashi narrowed his eyes, realizing this was an avenue to pursue.

"Isn't she our team's medic? And, if memory serves, a poison expert?" He raised his eyebrows questioningly just for effect.

"Yes, but…it's just that…" Sasuke grit his teeth in frustration.

Now, this was interesting, Kakashi thought. Sasuke stumbling? He snapped his book closed and slipped it into his kunai pouch, giving Sasuke his full attention. "Something you want to tell me?"

Sasuke sighed deeply and looked at his knees. "I think Sakura might've been the one who poisoned me."

"Why would our sweet Sakura poison her own teammate, Sasuke?" Kakashi couldn't help his playful, taunting tone—how often do you get Uchiha Sasuke in this kind of position? That's right, never. He was going to milk this for all it was worth.

Sasuke was back to gritting his teeth only this time, he'd fisted his hands as well. 'My, my,' thought Kakashi, 'this is getting good.'

"I'm not saying she did it on purpose," Sasuke said, his frustration rising. "She's always doing research in the lab—she's surrounded by poisons. What if she had some left over poison on her hands when she touched me?"

"Oh, she touched you, did she? That's different." Kakashi tried hard not to smile. "Where exactly did she touch you?"

Sasuke mumbled something incoherent.

"I'm sorry. What was that?"

"My pants, okay! She touched my pants," Sasuke said, his ears blazing red.

As his burning flush crept across his cheeks, indicating that his embarrassment was now at least equal to his anger, Kakashi mentally chuckled and pined for a camera.

"We met at the market last night and…" Sasuke faltered—were there more uncomfortable details from last night's market trip that he was unwilling to disclose? Kakashi took in all of his body language—the slight hesitation in his speech, the subtle way his hands were twitching, the stiffness in his posture. Thanks to his ANBU training, Kakashi knew there were definitely things Sasuke wasn't saying.

"My hands were full, so she put my change in the pocket of my pants. I think that's when she poisoned me—or maybe it was earlier when she squeezed my tomato."

"Hmm." Kakashi tapped his chin, trying to appear as if he were seriously assessing this new information—he was actually wondering if 'squeezing the tomato' was some new erotic euphemism he hadn't heard yet. "What makes you think this incident was the time of contagion?"

"After she touched me, I started showing symptoms." Sasuke seemed to be more willing to share now that Kakashi acted like he was taking him seriously. "I started to sweat and shake. I barely made it home. My breathing and heart rate were elevated as well."

"And Sakura seemed fine?"

Sasuke nodded.

Kakashi hummed again and furrowed his brows to keep from smiling. He was deep in thought, indeed—just not about Sasuke's ludicrous poisoning idea. He was wondering how he could engineer a scenario where Sasuke would realize that what he was feeling was the rush of love—without him shutting down.

He knew that Sasuke, traumatized as he'd been by his past, had become a little, well, emotionally stunted. But he'd seen the way his two students looked at each other when they thought no one else was looking. He knew they both cared deeply for the other. He also knew that Sakura has been attracted to Sasuke since they were both thirteen. For Sasuke to finally discover that same attraction was a testament to how far he'd distanced himself from his dark past. Kakashi felt sure that this romance had the potential to last a lifetime. He sighed at his own mushy, romantic heart.

"So, have I been poisoned or not?" Sasuke had clearly lost patience with his sensei's lack of response.

Kakashi suddenly sat up—inspiration had struck!

Arranging his face—what little of it that was visible—into a mask of concern, Kakashi said in a somber voice, "Sasuke, I'm afraid you have been poisoned."

Sasuke's eyes flew open and his jaw dropped.

"But, if what you tell me about Sakura not displaying any symptoms is true, then your cure lies there."

"Lies where exactly?" Sasuke narrowed his eyes at Kakashi.

"Apparently, working around all those poisons and exposing herself repeatedly to them has created antibodies in Sakura's system. She is immune to the very poison she inadvertently exposed you to, I'm sure of it," he said, trying to sound like an authoritative sensei. "There is only one way to cure yourself."

"What? What do I have to do?"

"Well…I'm just not sure you'll be able to handle it, Sasuke." Kakashi knew he needed to poke at his pride if he really wanted to guarantee Sasuke's compliance with his plan. "No, no. There has to be another way. I'm sure it'll be much too difficult for you."

Sasuke's fisted hands and ramrod-straight back told Kakashi he'd hit the nail right on the head.

"Just tell me what I have to do," Sasuke ground out through his teeth.

"Well, you'll need to get some of Sakura's antibodies into your system. Once you have them, they'll start to work on breaking down the poison—then, you'll be cured!" He smiled, hoping to display the simplicity of this idea.

Sasuke sat back and rubbed his hand through his spiky hair, obviously pondering the logistics of Kakashi's plan.

"How exactly am I supposed to get these antibodies out of Sakura?" Sasuke asked. Kakashi tried not to smirk at his success.

"You'll have to exchange some kind of bodily fluid to pass the antibodies from her system to yours," he said with calm poise. He had to make this seem like the only logical answer to the problem or Sasuke wouldn't go for it.

"You mean like a blood transfusion or something? I didn't want—"

"I get it." Kakashi laid a firm hand on Sasuke's shoulder in understanding. "You don't want to make a big deal out of this." Sasuke nodded his head and shrugged off his sensei's hand. "There is a way to get the antibodies you need without a lot of fuss."

"Well, what is it?" Sasuke was leaning forward in anticipation.

'Hook, line, and sinker,' Kakashi thought with satisfaction.

"You could kiss her."

"What?" Sasuke looked like he'd just been hit by an ice jutsu.

"Antibodies can be passed through saliva quite easily. But…if you don't think you can do it, I'm sure she won't complain too much when you ask her for that transfusion," Kakashi said dismissively as he pulled his book out and buried his nose in a chapter. "Good luck with that."

Out of the corner of his Sharingan eye, Kakashi could see Sasuke's chakra whirring in indecision. Turning the page and pretending to read, he saw the flow of Sasuke's energy start to even out, but the occasional spikes told his sensei that he was contemplating this exciting course of action. With mumbled thanks, Sasuke slid off the tree limb.

Kakashi rubbed his hands together in delight at a plan well executed. Flash-stepping to his favorite store in the Konoha market, he realized there was one last gift he could give to his romantically reticent pupil.

The overwhelming smell of soup hit Sasuke square in the face as he lifted the noren flap of Ichiraku Ramen Bar. Nodding his head at the owner, he asked "Have you seen my teammate here today?"

Teuchi scratched his chin and said, "Naruto left a few hours ago—but I'm sure he'll be back soon for lunch. Why don't you pull up a chair and have some ramen while you wait?" Grinning, he wiped his hands on his apron as he reached for a bowl.

"Not the moron, my other teammate."

"Oh, you're looking for the pretty, pink flower, huh?" he said, smirking and raising his eyebrows. Sasuke's face flushed hotly as he tried to scowl. "Nope. Haven't seen her here today. She's a smart one—have you tried the library?"

Sasuke nodded and dropped the curtain. His face set in grim determination, he stalked off in the direction of Konoha Library. He'd better find Sakura soon—the tightness in his chest told him the symptoms were getting worse.

After sneering at the young, female librarian's throaty offer to help him search for Sakura in the deepest, darkest, most private areas of the library, Sasuke checked the weapon shop, the training grounds and even Hokage Tower with no luck.

In a panic that she'd left the village on a mission, he went to her house. He pounded on the door for several minutes with no response, so he jimmied her window open and searched her bedroom. Sasuke exhaled his relief when he found her backpack in the closet—Sakura was still in Konoha. It worried him to think she was out on some mission alone and...and with his cure, he thought with a sudden jolt. Yes, that was it. He didn't know how much more incapacitating this poison was going to get as time wore on. He didn't want to have to wait for her return from a mission to get his cure.

Raking his hands through his hair in exasperation, he realized he was sitting on her bed. Her bed! Sasuke jumped up as if the bed was on fire—glaring at it as if it attacked him. A vision of Sakura resting peacefully there—her hair splayed against the white pillow, her limbs thrown out in graceful slumber—caused his throat to go dry. He scrambled out her window as fast as possible, wondering if he was hallucinating now.

Racing across the rooftops of the Leaf village, Sasuke knew there was only one other place she could be.

The lab.

Konohagakure's Research and Development Laboratory was only accessible to shinobi with the Hokage's personal clearance. Sasuke had no way of getting anywhere near the lab as its entrance was guarded with ninja, both visible and hidden, as well as any number of traps. Getting caught by the guards or the traps was a hassle he did not need—he could wait. She had to come out of there sooner or later, and when she did, he would have his cure.

The sky turned from pink to dark blue as Sasuke waited, leaning against a tree. He knew it was well past dinnertime when his stomach growled at him—where the hell was she? Was she even in there? There was no way to tell for certain. Sasuke folded his arms and huffed—had he really just wasted the entire day? He stared at the ground, thinking he should just go home and come up with a better plan for tomorrow, when two nin-sandals appeared in front of his. Jerking his head up, Sasuke found himself directly in the line of fire of Sakura's sunny smile.

"Hi, Sasuke."

He couldn't blink or swallow. The poison must be advancing through his system!

"What are you doing here?" she asked, tilting her head questioningly.

His heart began to beat disturbingly fast and his stomach swooped uncomfortably. He somehow managed to swallow the rock in his throat and shrug. Breathing fast, he averted his eyes back to his feet to try to regain some control. He hadn't counted on the poison activating in her presence and debilitating him so. He knew he should retreat immediately and work on a better tactic.

"Um, so, Sasuke, have you eaten yet? Because I was just on my way to get some barbeque and it's no fun going by myself. So?" She flashed him another of those smiles that tied his stomach in knots. "Do you want to come with me?"

Sasuke thought the poison must be mutating because now it wasn't just impairing his abilities—it was somehow controlling his actions. When she unleashed that smile on him, all he could do was nod his head dumbly. His mind was screaming at him that he'd just agreed to a date with Sakura, but when she wrapped her fingers around his wrist and lightly tugged, he found himself compelled to follow her to the restaurant.

His feet pounded the floorboards as Sasuke paced in his kitchen, making the dishes rattle in the cabinets. He alternated between fisting his hands and pulling them through his hair in exasperation. Last night's attempt to cure himself had ended in complete failure. Instead, he felt worse!

At the restaurant, Sasuke's hands were sweating as he gripped the menu tightly. In his head, an echoing chant of "it's a date, itsadate, itsadate" reverberated loudly. Sakura seemed not to notice his difficulties as she chatted happily. He'd managed to grunt and nod at her a few times—his lack of verbal ability not perplexing her in the least. His torment had been excruciating at times. However, the most painful part of the evening came when she offered him a small plate of grilled steak. He'd been trying not to look at her, but the plate suddenly shoved in front of him took him by surprise. His eyes involuntarily flicked to her face and what he saw caused his heart to actually stop beating.

She was holding the plate out to him with both hands, her eyes were shyly downcast and a captivating pink flush lit up her face.

Despite an enormous effort, he could not stop his hands from shaking as he took the plate from her. When his fingers brushed hers, he felt like he'd been branded. In that instant, her eyes lifted to his and a smile curled her lips. His breath left him in a gasp. It was exceedingly unlike him to have to struggle to control his body's reactions—the toxin must be permeating every pore of his being! His brain told him to just leap across the table, pin her down and drown her with kisses until he was cured. But just the thought of his lips touching her full, smiling mouth paralyzed him.

Back and forth, Sasuke paced, trying to come up with a better angle—a more efficient stratagem. Sifting carefully through his symptoms, he recognized that when he first met Sakura's eyes last night, his condition worsened significantly. He paused in his stride and contemplated this fact. Was the poison somehow activated by her presence? Or did it require actual eye contact? As a dojutsu user, he was well aware of the power of the eyes. Thinking back to last night, he recognized that he'd been perfectly in control of himself when Sakura was standing in front of him without his knowledge. It was only when he looked into her clear, open, deeply green eyes that he…

He shook his head and cursed. Just thinking about her caused his brain to fog. He resumed hammering the floor with his feet, hoping it would keep him grounded. It seemed to be so easy for his thoughts to stray—he needed to focus on a more successful strategy or he'd never be free from this accursed poison.


He whirled around and found himself face to face with his adversary—Sakura was in his kitchen. His mind swarmed with evasive tactics, but his body was frozen to the spot.

"Sorry to interrupt your thinking," she murmured timidly. "I guess you were so occupied that you didn't hear me knock."

With a strength of will he didn't know he possessed, Sasuke managed to stagger back two steps before he found himself pinned against the counter—his exits were blocked!

"Kakashi-sensei asked me to deliver this package to you. He wrote a note on it, too. It says 'These will cure what ails you.' Sasuke? Are you sick? Why didn't you tell me?" she asked. Her brows furrowed and her lips fell into a frown as he struggled to shake his head no.

His eyes went wide as she came closer and closer. She lifted a hand to his forehead and said, "Oh, you are warm…and a little clammy." She moved even closer. "Are you sure you're okay?"

She was mere inches away from his face, leaving him trapped against his own kitchen counter. He swallowed hard and thought what an inglorious way this was for a shinobi to die. Sakura suddenly halted her movements and ran her eyes over his face. She moved slowly—or was that just his muddled perception—taking in his trembling, his sweating, his cheeks infused with color. Her concerned frown gradually slid into a small smile and a radiant happiness blossomed in her eyes that he found himself incapable of looking away from.


It was barely even a whisper, but the affectionately familiar suffix attached to his name caused his head to swim. Sakura's fingertips grazed his glowing cheekbone tenderly as her eyelashes fluttered, her gaze moving from his lips to his eyes. Her fingers drifted down his face, fanning out across his jaw before burrowing into his hair. He shuddered and closed his eyes, knowing complete and utter defeat was near. A gentle touch against his mouth set him on fire. He managed to lift his eyes slightly when the pressure lessened and a cold dart of panic laced through him—she was pulling away!

Sasuke summoned all of his willpower to lift his stiff arms—his determination not to let her go driving him to place his hands against her back. As she hummed in delight, Sasuke tried not to think about how soft and warm she felt in his embrace. Emboldened, Sakura pushed her mouth against his with more fervor, wrapping both of her arms around his neck. Inhaling deeply, she brushed her lips and then her tongue against his mouth. Taking his parted lips as her invitation, she slid her tongue against his.

Suddenly being cured was the furthest thing from his mind.

Sitting slumped against a kitchen cabinet with his arms still wrapped around her, Sasuke tentatively rubbed the bruise on his hip. He didn't realize his counters had such sharp edges—or that Sakura could be so…forceful. He pulled her closer and rested his lips against her head, making her sigh warmly against his neck.

"Sakura," he mumbled into her hair. "What was that package you were talking about?"

She sat up in alarm and he felt a rush of cold as she scrambled across the floor to retrieve Kakashi's gift.

"Sorry, Sasuke-kun." She held it out to him sheepishly. "Kakashi-sensei did say it was very important. I meant to give it to you before we got…sidetracked." He smiled as her face glowed a delicious shade. He reached out, but instead of taking the bundle from her hand, he slid his fingers behind her head and pulled her to his lips. After a few gentle kisses, she overflowed with joy and giggled into his mouth.

"Open your gift already," she softly commanded, pressing the present against his chest.

Sasuke took the deceptively heavy package and read the inscription—These will cure what ails you. Pulling open the knotted cord, Sasuke ripped at the brown paper, wondering what Kakashi could possibly give him. When an all too familiar orange cover poked out of the corner, Sasuke saw Sakura's eyes narrow. Despite his self-preservation instinct telling him not to, he continued to rip open the wrapping, revealing the complete Icha Icha Trilogy. Sakura was on her feet before he got the last bit of paper off.

"Why, that old pervert! Wait till I get my hands on him!"

She was down the hall and pulling her boots on before he clambered to his feet.

"Sakura. Wait for me."

As he sat down very close to her on the hallway stair and stepped into his nin-sandals, he saw her fury dissipate—if only for a second. He let her lead the way as they roof-hopped through the Leaf, ostensibly searching for their degenerate teacher—but Sasuke knew Kakashi was too smart not to hide his chakra or high-tail it out of Konoha for a while. Besides, Sasuke had come up with a new strategy for tonight—he'd let Sakura run off her anger and then he'd convince her to come to dinner with him.

On a date.

When he did find his sensei, he'd be sure to shove his filthy books in an especially painful place…and thank him for his help.

When Sakura happened to glance back at him as they hurtled over Hokage Tower, a brilliant smile broke across her face—his agility and grace were staggering. And she'd kissed him! A powerful fullness spread through her chest—she felt as if her heart would burst as she touched her lips, remembering the feel of his mouth on hers. Dropping to the street, she felt the urgency to maim Kakashi begin to diminish as a sudden warmth overtook her. Sasuke's fingertips skated down the inside of her forearm before his hand enveloped hers. She shuddered when he smirked at her—why was she having so much trouble catching her breath?

About to run some healing chakra through her system, she was startled as Sasuke tugged her to a stop in front of a sushi-ya and said, "Sakura, do you want to get something to eat? Because I want to get some sushi." He pulled her closer and sank his fingers in her hair. "And it's no fun going by myself."

He kissed her slowly and when he released her, all she could do was nod dumbly. As he gently pulled her inside the dimly lit restaurant, her head began to throb with the echoing sound of "it's a date, itsadate, itsadate."

A/N: First and foremost, I have to thank PaigeO_o for suggesting I make this into a one-shot and then for patiently editing it. Your highlighter is sharp, Paige! Hee, hee.

Second, thank you for taking the time to read my story. Reviews are really nice...