First one for me! You know those plot bunnies: only way to get rid of them is to get them up and out. No evil Uchihas here so they're pretty OOC. We have some fluff and WAFF for your reading pleasure. Please be sure to leave a review, even if you absolutely hate it. I don't mind flames, even if they're not constructive. The song is called "The Roof" - anyone remember this song? Artist Mariah Carey.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Because if I did Itachi would be alive and kickin (no pun intended).
Sakura knew deep down in the pit of her stomach that what she was doing – what her intentions were – was very bad. Her motives were purely disgraceful, her actions almost criminal. She told herself she couldn't help the feelings, but she knew by that gut feeling she was beginning to really detest, that she was lying to herself.
When she received the call from Sasuke's secretary earlier in the evening while she was getting ready, she knew she shouldn't go. There was no point in making an appearance anymore if Sasuke wasn't going to be there. Sasuke was leaving on a red eye for the States on a business trip and it was undetermined when he would be back. This wasn't uncommon. Sasuke was a busy man with many pursuits that lead him away from Tokyo many times throughout the year. Sakura understood. As an Uchiha, he had his reputation to maintain, his family's expectations to live up to, and a business to help operate.
There was really nothing special about how they met, depending on your perspective. Sasuke didn't really liked to be reminded of it. Sakura had been working her ER shift at Tokyo University Hospital and Sasuke had checked in with a few fractured ribs. He had been playing softball, was running for home plate and collided pretty hard with the catcher. While Sasuke was being treated by Sakura, she discovered that the catcher had actually broken a few ribs along with an arm and had a sprained back.
Coincidentally, a few weeks later they encountered each other at a coffee shop. Sasuke would never forget the pretty doctor with the pink hair (he had actually asked if it was real and Sakura gritted her teeth as she replied, 'yes'). Sakura asked how his ribs were healing and from there they struck up a conversation and then a date invitation from Sasuke.
Sakura was star struck with the fact that Sasuke was from the infamous Uchiha family. They were wealthy, many members involved in politics and owning successful businesses; Sasuke being included in the latter.
A few months later Sasuke asked Sakura to join him for his parents 30th wedding anniversary celebration and that was where she met Sasuke's older brother, Itachi.
From the moment Sakura saw him she knew. She just knew. The indescribable, inexplicable feeling swept over her like a sudden warm breeze on a chilly day. She thought Sasuke was the most handsome man she had ever met, but when she laid eyes on his older brother, her heart knocked a little louder against her ribcage, her palms automatically moistened further, her breaths became shorter.
That evening wore on and Sakura tried her damn hardest to ignore her racing pulse, the beads of sweat that appeared on her forehead, and her tremendous blush, but it was so very difficult. It was like her involuntary bodily reactions were attempting to reach out to Itachi, beckoning him, signifying her attraction to him.
She was a professional; she could explain these reactions easily. Sometimes, a person just meets someone their body just reaches out to on a chemical level. Things like that can't be helped, but if someone is aware of it, then it can be ignored...or justified.
Then she was introduced to him, and her instinctive, yet anxious feeling of knowing was notched up to a level of definitive acknowledgement. The look in his smoldering onyx gaze was unmistakable, and when he leaned in to kiss her briefly on the cheek, it was all but innocent. His lips lingered just bit longer than was appropriate and his hand tightened ever-so-slightly on her waist. When Itachi backed away inconspicuously Sakura looked around in a mild panic, wondering if anyone – especially Sasuke – noticed the exchange. Itachi kept his eyes on Sakura, and she interpreted every single meaning the emotions in them were conveying, feeling both elated and horrified.
That was six months ago. She had only seen Itachi less than a handful of times since then, but each and every meeting always left Sakura dissatisfied and longing. The first few times Sakura told herself Sasuke's handsome, somewhat mysterious older brother interacted with all women that way, but as she observed him, it was not true. He didn't bring a date to these events, ignored most of the women that were present (unless they were of his family)...but with her...
The last encounter was what made up Sakura's mind. Sasuke had disappeared somewhere and Itachi had taken the opportunity to speak with her. Ostensibly, their conversation was neutral; just two people engaging in a seemingly boring discussion, but Sakura saw between the words, read the meaning underneath Itachi coming over to her exclusively and asking her questions. It was more than just getting to know the girlfriend of his little brother. Itachi was making it apparent, without being overt, that he returned the attraction. Sakura impulsively informed Itachi that yes, Sasuke and her had been dating for almost a year now, but she barely gets to see him since he's out of town so often. And yes, she was a doctor, but she now worked the day shift and thank god she didn't have to work midnights anymore and she had most evenings free...
She learned that Itachi was the Superintendent General of the Toyko Police Department, and he was soon being promoted to Commissioner General of Japan's National Police force. It was a high honor and Sasuke had invited Sakura to accompany him to the induction ceremony and after party. But now Sasuke wasn't able to go, and now here was Sakura, still going.
It wasn't raining yet,
But it was definitely a little misty on that warm November night...
The heels of Sakura's stilettosclacked along the marble surface of her downtown Tokyo apartment building as she made her way toward the limousine that had come to pick her up. As she stepped outside, she noted how the November evening was unseasonably warm and the air was thick and heavy with the mist of coming rain. If she got caught in a downpour in the dress she was currently wearing, it could be very disastrous in more ways than just a wet outfit. It would be an already body-hugging sleeveless dress that would now be sticking to her like another layer of skin. She had actually planned on wearing this a few weeks ago and obviously didn't know it was going to rain on this particular night, but as most women would find that realization dreadful, Sakura hoped the skies wouldn't relent their release upon the earth. And she hoped that Itachi might take notice of her getting stuck in the rain.
And my heart was pounding,
My inner voice resounding,
Begging me to turn away,
But I just had to see your face to feel alive...
Sakura clutched her purse with an iron-grip and her eyes roamed anxiously out the window. She couldn't believe she was doing this. This would be considered cheating. Then again, nothing may come of her making an appearance tonight. There was nothing firmly established between herself and Itachi, and technically it wasn't Sakura who was invited, but Sasuke. It was a given, however, that Sakura would be with him. Sakura resisted the urge to bite her lower lip, not wanting to remove the lip gloss she carefully chose for this evening. She took deep, even breaths, but her pounding heart refused to take the hint that Sakura wanted it to slow. Her mind was screaming at her to tell the driver to turn around and take her back home. This was a mistake. She shouldn't be doing this. She crossed her ankles restlessly, desperately teetering on the precipice of decision. Nothing had to happen. She only just wanted to see Itachi, congratulate him, greet his and Sasuke's parents, and then she could go, no one the wiser and no harm done.
It was too late to turn back now, for the driver was already pulling up to the banquet center where the ceremony and after party would take place. As Sakura stepped out of the limo she looked all the way up along the enormous building, seeing its many floors. Her invitation informed her the ceremony was on the 3rd floor and the party was on the 27th floor. Sakura wrapped her shawl around her shoulders and proceeded into the building, keeping her eyes on the ground. She wondered if she looked as guilty as she felt.
She handed her ticket to the receptionist at the front desk and Sakura was given a small plastic rectangle that fit in the palm of her hand. This gave her access to all bathrooms, the bar on the main floor, and it was her pass back inside if she were to leave. She took the elevator to the 3rd level and when she stepped off she emitted a slight gasp at the number of people present. She shouldn't have been surprised. People from all over the world from all walks of life were here to celebrate with Itachi and his great achievement. Sakura suddenly felt insignificant. She was just a mere doctor from a no-name civilian family. She was way out of her league here. A sudden rush of nerves indicated that she turn and leave immediately, but someone was calling her name. She glanced over to see Mikoto waving to her, looking incredibly stylish in a very nicely fitting blue evening gown with a hat that normally Sakura would consider tacky but actually completed the whole ensemble.
"Sakura-chan! You're here! We got a call from Sasuke telling us he couldn't make it!"
Sakura frowned. She was important enough to Sasuke for her to receive an update from his secretary, not him.
Sakura walked up to Mikoto and embraced her. "I'm so glad you came anyway, dear. I'm sure this will mean a lot to Itachi since his little brother couldn't be here."
Sakura wished she could control the blush that spread over her cheeks. "I'm glad to be here, Mikoto-san."
"Come, come. It's been arranged that you sit at the head table with Fuguku and I."
Sakura resisted groaning out loud. This was a mistake.
It wasn't lost on Sakura that it was only after Mr. and Mrs. Uchiha learned she was doctor they came to like her, and when Mikoto lead her towards their seating area she didn't hesitate to introduce Sakura to more family members and friends, bragging to them about her profession. She wasn't even introduced as Sasuke's girlfriend.
Mikoto was busy chatting up some of the other occupants at the table and Sakura tried not to look too bored as she glanced around. Perhaps she might recognize someone. Perhaps some staff – besides herself – from the Tokyo medical community had some association with the Uchiha.
And then you casually walked in the room,
And I was twisted in the web of my desire for you...
The man of the hour walked in. Sakura's breath caught. He looked absolutely stunning and debonair in a classic black tuxedo. His hair was the same as always: long, tied back at the nape, shorter strands hanging loosely on the sides of his face. Sakura thought Itachi's long hair was incredibly sexy, and she would be lying if she said she didn't picture herself beneath him, writhing passionately as he made love to her, running her hands into its smoothness and pulling it when she was coming closer to climax.
She watched as he was immediately bombarded by well-wishers. He stoically shook their hands and conversed with them. But he seemed a little distracted. His eyes would wander around very discreetly, and if it wasn't for someone like Sakura observing him so closely, they wouldn't have noticed it. He found what he was looking for when his dark, all-consuming, sharp eyes locked with viridian ones. Both pairs widened at the deliberate contact, and a little gasp, no more than breath, escaped Sakura as he held her gaze. She saw those eyes do a quick once-over on her, but because she was sitting down the table was blocking the lower half of her. He seemed to like what he saw because Sakura was granted a small smile, just a quirk of a corner of his mouth, and then he was back to speaking to his counterparts.
Although Sakura could have simply sat there and stared at him all night, she already felt quite foolish for him catching her looking for him, on top of the already mounting feelings of betrayal and contrition, so she excused herself from the table and walked over to the bar. She was third in line and she purposefully kept her eyes averted from the one person whom she wanted to look at.
My apprehension blew away,
I only wanted you to taste my sadness as you kissed me in the dark...
"Sakura." A smooth, deep baritone tenor greeted her from behind. Sakura didn't have to turn to recognize the voice; her almost overwhelming feelings of unease immediately dissipating was indicative of exactly who that voice belonged to, but she faced him anyways. Of course she did. That's why she was here.
"Itachi." She smiled. And it wasn't friendly. Or warm. Or innocent. It was mischievous.
"I got a call from his secretary at the last minute. He had to fly to the States for a business meeting. I'm sure he sends his regards and congratulations."
Itachi was silent. He cocked his head to the side slightly, appraising Sakura with his intense gaze. Sakura noted how, once again, he allowed his eyes to sweep over her, starting at her face, going down, down, and then back up again. This time without the barrier of a table in the way, Itachi saw how exquisite Sakura looked in her wine colored dress. It didn't have any sleeves and it accentuated all of her curves perfectly. Normally Sakura would have blushed furiously and then shrink in on herself from the scrutiny, but not with this man. She wanted him to see every inch of her clearly.
"But you are here." Itachi finally said.
"Of course. This is an important day for you. I wouldn't have missed this for anything."
It was another long moment of Itachi staring heavily at Sakura, then he leaned in. Sakura only too eagerly met him halfway, wrapping her arms around his neck and closing her eyes. Nothing inappropriate was going to happen considering their surroundings, but Sakura's breath caught when one of Itachi's hands took hold of her bare shoulder, the other taking hold of her waist. He smelled divine of a cologne Sakura wasn't familiar with but now loved. Itachi leaned forward until his mouth was at her ear.
"I'm glad you came." He told her in a voice low enough for only her to hear, and his hot breath swept over her ear, causing Sakura to tremble slightly. Itachi took notice and pulled her a little closer. "I wouldn't have wanted you to be anywhere else." Then Itachi slid his lips along her jawline so softly they were barely brushing against her skin, and then he went for the kiss he always gave her upon greeting. But this time, it wasn't on the cheek. He placed his mouth at the corner of her lips, leaving them to linger just long enough to get a message across. Sakura's stomach fluttered frantically with desire and anticipation. He let go of her and backed away harmlessly. He left her with a parting gaze that was filled with so much deep meaning and emotion all Sakura could do was stare after him.
"You're next, miss." The lady behind her pointed toward the bar.
If Sakura had to admit it to anyone, the whole ceremony would have been mind-numbingly boring if it wasn't for the recipient of the honor. She was glad it was him, because it gave her the opportunity to gaze at him freely without suspicion. He was an excellent orator and she didn't take his eyes meeting hers personally. He maintained eye contact well with everyone while he gave his speech.
After the formalities and the dinner which was catered and served to each table, there was the party. She followed Fuguku and Mikoto to the elevator and chatted amiably with them over her duties as an ER doctor. She saw on the floor panel of the elevator the 27th was the last.
The music was already blaring from outside the two large wooden doors, and when the trio entered they came upon a darkened room with blinking strobe lights and people milling about the room dancing or talking.
"Ugh, Fukugu dear, I don't think I can take the noise. I already feel a migraine coming on." Mikoto stated, taking hold of her husband's arm. "Sakura, please enjoy the party, but we're going to have to take our leave."
Sakura nodded, briefly hugged Mikoto, shook Fukugu's hand and watched them depart back onto the elevator. When the door dinged shut Sakura turned back to the huge party room, momentarily paralyzed. What was she going to do? She didn't really know anyone. There were a few of Sasuke's family members that Sakura had met before, but she wasn't familiar enough with any of them to just go up and start a conversation. And there was also Itachi. She wanted to see him again, talk to him, but he was probably being surrounded by over-zealous supporters and benefactors, all wanting a piece of him, as well.
Sakura sighed, suddenly feeling defeated. This was insane. She shouldn't do this. But then her thoughts immediately went to Itachi's hand on her shoulder, his other at her waist, bringing her closer to him, his lips against her skin. What if he was like that with a lot of other women? Sakura's heart thumped painfully at her pessimistic reasoning. He could be doing the exact same thing to another woman right this moment-
The sound of her name snapped Sakura from her jaded thoughts, and she turned to find a man coming down the hall for her. He was dressed in custodial fatigues.
Instead of answering her verbally, when he approached her, he held up a small device, similar to what she had been given when she entered the banquet hall.
Again, without a word, the man just pointed to a door at the end of the hall, then he got onto the elevator. Confounded, Sakura watched the man disappear behind the elevator doors, then she started to walk toward indicated door. She saw a red sign with "Employees Only" indented in white letters attached. It made her pause, but when she swiped the card over a small plastic box mounted on the wall beside the door, its sensor read the bar code and the red light turned green. She heard the clicking of a lock being released and she cautiously turned the handle and opened the door. What the hell was this about?
It was dim inside a large space and before Sakura closed the door on the light source she saw flights of winding stairs. She was on the top floor and assumed since the janitor hadn't told her what floor to go to, she was to only go up, so she started to trudge that way. At least it was only one flight because unstrapping her stilettos to walk some damn stairs and then re-strapping them would have been a pain in the ass. When she reached the top there were two doors, one directly ahead and one to her right. The one to her right said "Utility Closet" and the one in front of her said "Exit." Seeing as how it was possible, but not probable that a mysterious person might lead her to a room full of brooms, mops and cleaning supplies, she thought the roof was a more sensible option so she opened the door that led out into the night.
The air was muggy in the aftermath of a rainfall and Sakura walked along the building toward the balcony. When she reached the area beyond the building she saw a tall figure leaning against the railing, looking out over the city of Tokyo and its brilliant lights.
Itachi... Sakura thought with both alarm and excitement. Her heart started hammering again with all the implications of this secret meeting. Itachi sure went out of his way to get her up here.
The wet pavement concealed Sakura's footsteps and Itachi didn't notice her until she came up to him. He stood up from the railing, turning to face her. He had taken off his jacket and it was draped over the black iron bars. They stared at each other for a few long moments, both unsure of what to say, very sure of what they wanted to do but not brave enough to take that step.
"I'm not much for parties, so I decided to come up here." Itachi bent to his other side and produced a bottle of champaign and two glasses. "Would you mind accompanying me?"
Sakura grinned, this time widely with a bit of warmth. "Of course."
Itachi meant to hand her a glass but was momentarily stunned to silence by Sakura's dazzling smile. She took notice of his pause and felt the blush creeping onto her cheeks. The way he was looking at her made her feel extremely warm inside and she felt her knees grow a little weaker.
"I'm sorry that I haven't had much of a chance to speak with you tonight, but let me take this opportunity to tell you how beautiful you are."
Sakura's eyes widened at the wonderful sentiment, and then she smiled again. "Thank you. So are you."
Itachi gave her a glass and set his own on the ground. He popped open the champagne and poured Sakura hers. Once Itachi poured his own Sakura held the champagne glass out to him.
"To you, for your remarkable achievement of becoming Commissioner General."
Itachi gave her a long, steady look, but it was difficult for Sakura to discern his thoughts. Their glasses clinked in cheers and they both indulged.
She didn't pay attention to the label of Itachi's contraband but at the first taste of it on her tongue she recognized it as what she was drinking earlier. She was amazed that, again, Itachi made the effort to find out what she had been drinking and then to bring it here. And then specifically request her presence. Sakura felt overwhelmed, high. Did Sasuke ever take the time to...do anything?
And so we finished the Moët and started feeling liberated...
Sakura downed her glass in a few gulps and lifted it for more. Itachi chuckled lightly, obliging her. She leaned on her side against the railing so she could face her companion. She was too nervous to eat, so she only had a few bites of her appetizer. She was basically enjoying her Moët on an empty stomach. The wonderful thing about alcohol was the pleasant hollowness of a buzz that enabled the barriers to be lowered, one to be less timid and words to be said that otherwise would not have been revealed.
"I can't remember the last time Sasuke had done anything this nice for me."
Itachi was also leaning against the railing, his elbow resting on it, supporting his weight. A brow quirked at Sakura's statement.
"Nice?" He asked.
Sakura gave him another dazzling smile.
"Yes, nice, like what you've done for me tonight."
"What have I done that's nice?"
Sakura rolled her eyes – something she wouldn't have dreamed of doing had her frontal lobe been less muddled.
"You asked me to come up here and you brought the champagne I was drinking. It was very considerate of you to take the time to find out what it was and to arrange for the janitor to come find me."
That trademark smirk of his returned, and Sakura watched his mouth in mesmerized rapture. He had a fabulously sexy mouth.
"Sasuke doesn't do those sorts of things for you?"
That question snapped Sakura out of her entranced state and she frowned.
"Oh c'mon, you know Sasuke probably better than anyone. He doesn't seem the type to do sweet things spontaneously."
"You have been with him for almost a year now, but you act as if you're just getting to know him."
Sakura peered up into Itachi's inquisitive gaze, feeling particularly vulnerable to his perception. She turned so her body was facing the railing and she placed her forearms on it, her hands hanging off into the air.
"I guess it's taken me a lot longer than most to figure out Sasuke, but I'm only starting to learn how he really is. I don't feel close to him at all. We hardly see each other as it is, and when we do it's usually on a short lunch break he barely manages to pencil me in for." Sakura sighed heavily. "I honestly don't know why he's still with me. I know that I'm a very low priority to him."
"You have that backwards." Itachi stated pragmatically.
Sakura turned to face him. "Have what backwards?"
"You said, 'I honestly don't know why he's still with me,' but you should be asking yourself 'why am I still with him?'"
Sakura knew exactly why. If it wasn't for Sasuke, she wouldn't have met Itachi. The only times she has seen him was when she was with Sasuke, and Sakura wondered if she had broken things off with him, would she ever see Itachi again?
Sakura turned her entire body so she was facing Itachi again and she took a step closer. She didn't say anything, but Itachi read all of her thoughts as they were conveyed in her gorgeous jade orbs.
"Why are you still with Sasuke?" Itachi asked quietly, his feet moving of their own volition toward Sakura.
"Why do you think?" Sakura whispered.
Itachi slowly reached a hand out and cupped Sakura's face into his palm. She leaned eagerly into him.
And I surrendered as you took me in your arms,
I was so caught up in the moment,
I couldn't bear to let you go yet,
So I threw caution to the wind and started listening to my longing heart...
Sakura closed the distance between them. Itachi heard the shattering of glass on the ground as they both dropped their champagne. Sakura's arms wound around Itachi's neck and he pulled her closer to him by his hands around her waist.
"You're right. I do know Sasuke better than anyone. It's not that he doesn't love you. I don't think he's capable of expressing the kind of love a woman deserves. And you are the kind of woman that deserves more than what he offers."
Sakura felt the sting of unshed tears in her eyes and the stirring of her lonely heart.
"What are you saying? Are you saying you're the kind of man that can give me what I deserve?"
And then you softly pressed your lips to mine,
And feelings surfaced I'd suppressed for such a long, long time...
Itachi's answer was to take a hold of Sakura's face and cover her lips with his. There was a moment where they were both completely still, testing, venturing cautiously into a territory that was newly developed between them.
And for a while I forgot the sorrow and the pain,
And melted with you as we stood there in the rain...
The heavens took that moment to unleash a torrent of water upon them, and in the same manner of the rain rushing down to them, Itachi and Sakura gave into each other just as urgently. All of the need, the anxiety, the pent up feelings and suppression of their attraction to one another was channeled into that kiss. The rain created some kind of barrier from the world and both didn't care anymore. Sakura didn't care about what she was doing to Sasuke and Itachi didn't care about his position, his status or his party. All there was was this and each other.
Passion drove both of them to completely let go, and when Sakura felt Itachi's tongue slide along her bottom lip, she immediately opened up for him. The feeling of his tongue hastily, almost harshly dominating her mouth made warmth gather low in Sakura's belly and she already felt the heady thrills of arousal.
The sensation of the rain hitting her skin didn't register in Sakura's mind and didn't hold any merit to her body's current feelings. Her skin buzzed with tingles and shivers of electricity. Her heart knocked against her ribcage with such force she thought her entire body might convulse from its efforts. Her breaths were desperate and needy, not for oxygen, but for more of Itachi's lustful attention. Their hands were everywhere, roughly groping, searching, exploring the other vigorously with abandon.
Itachi had only intended to kiss her. He hoped for this kind of reaction, but his plan had been to express to Sakura how he really felt about her; how since the first time he saw her at his parent's house he wanted her, to show her everything that she was missing with Sasuke and continue this night away from the onlookers of his associates, like perhaps his place or hers. But he was too encompassed by her to present the options at the moment. The fact that they were on a rooftop with hundreds of expectant guests beneath their feet didn't take precedence in Itachi's mind.
When he began to pull her away from the railing and toward the building he altered his plan slightly. He could still take her back to his place and make love to her there, but it could be done in parts. Like starting here first.
When Sakura's back hit the wall did they finally separate, both gasping and panting for much needed air. They continued to hold each other and Sakura saw the longing and the question in his eyes: 'do you really want this?'
Sakura was surprised at herself when she suddenly felt the sting of tears in her eyes again. It wasn't out of happiness. She really really wanted this, and it was horrible of her! What kind of person was she to cheat on her boyfriend with his brother? The enlivening of lust and yearning that had started in her stomach had now turned to uncomfortable clenching; a hard, almost agonizing ache that made her want to cry.
Itachi saw the conflict raging in her eyes and the uncertainty etched in her features and felt sympathy for her. He leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. It was unfair to her...all of it. He had no right to provoke her with his unwarranted feelings, even if she did return them, which she clearly did. It was cruel to place her into this position and force her to make a choice, because that was what she was going to have to do. Even if Sasuke didn't treat her as she deserved; even if Itachi knew more than anyone that Sasuke cared only for himself; even if he was determined to love Sakura more than him or any other man...Itachi already felt shame and loathing at Sakura's wavering expression.
"I just want you to know that this has nothing to do with my brother. Sakura, I've wanted you since the first time I saw you. I question fate every day as to why he found you before I did, but regardless, I'm sorry for putting you in a position that is going to force you to choose. If you love Sasuke then you should be with him."
Even before he ended his last sentence Sakura was shaking her head. "No, no, I don't love him. But..."
Itachi waited, analyzing her delicate features very closely.
"...but he's not a bad person and I suppose I owe it to him to at least break things off before we..."
Sakura was having difficulty completing her thought. So, what then? Was she going to break up with Sasuke and then immediately start dating his brother? She was disgusted with herself for essentially cheating on him, but dating his brother would be just as bad, if not worse than an affair. Not only that, how could Itachi want to be with her knowing she was so ready to betray his brother? Certainly Itachi had to have more sense than that, unless that coincided with his own character. And that's not how Sakura was. She wasn't the type to cheat on someone. She never had. Even if they deserved it, she felt she had more self-worth to get out of a lousy relationship before doing vindictive things like cheating. This whole situation was so convoluted and twisted that now the only thing Sakura wanted was out.
Last night I dreamed that I whispered the words I love you,
And touched you so very subtly as we were kissing goodbye...
...how I'm missing you...
He understood what she wanted, and with one last lingering kiss, he departed from her.
Every time I feel the need,
I envision you caressing me,
And go back in time,
To relive the splendor of you and I,
On the rooftop that rainy night...
Sasuke returned a few weeks later. Sakura had determined the moment Itachi left her that she was going to end things with Sasuke, but was vacillating on whether or not tell him about her attraction to his brother. It was unavoidable that if Itachi and Sakura were to start dating Sasuke would find out about it, so she thought it would be better just to get that little detail out of the way. However, when a few weeks went by with no contact from Sasuke, she decided what was between her and Itachi was irrelevant and Sasuke wouldn't care. It was evident Sasuke didn't care enough for Sakura to be upset about anything going on with her and his brother.
Sasuke called her at the hospital and asked if they could get together for dinner. She didn't want him picking her up so after the break-up there would be the awkward circumstance of how she was going to get home. She didn't think Sasuke would make her walk home or take a cab and she really didn't want to endure a silent, fuming car ride with him, so she told him she would meet him after her shift.
Sakura walked up to the restaurant and paused before opening the doors, inhaling a large, nervous breath. With steely resolve she entered and was surprised to be informed from the maître d' that Sasuke was already waiting for her. That realization left an ominous, foreboding feeling in Sakura's gut. It wasn't a good sign. Sakura always arrived before him, since her fastidiousness for punctuality compelled her to always be early and Sasuke's lack of consideration in the matter always made him late.
She hadn't planned on staying long for obvious reasons, so she only removed her doctor's coat, leaving her in business casual attire. It was somewhat inappropriate for the restaurant Sasuke had chosen, but it didn't matter. She wasn't here to enjoy an evening out.
When Sasuke actually got up to pull the chair away from the table for Sakura to sit down, the jittery feelings Sakura was experiencing hiked up to some serious levels of nervousness.
Sakura had always been a bad liar (especially compared to Sasuke who was a master at masking his feelings) and Sasuke's intuition told him he had been right when he looked at her. She was antsy, a little restless and didn't even smile at him when she settled into her seat. She was here to end things.
When Sasuke sat back down he took a drink of wine, then emphatically placed the glass on the table and studied Sakura. She wasn't looking at him, but fidgeting with the linen napkin that had been elegantly placed on the plate before her, but was now a rumpled piece of fabric caused by her kneading fingers.
"How have you been Sakura?"
She looked up abruptly, her eyes meeting his for only a second before looking away again.
"I've been fine."
"I apologize for not calling you while I was in the U.S. Our company is currently going through this new merger and the meetings weren't exactly productive-"
Sakura's face flushed hot with her sudden anger and she looked back to Sasuke, her eyes glaring.
"This isn't working out, Sasuke." She blurted. She waited for his response, but all she received was an incomprehensible stare from Sasuke.
"Uh...I'm sorry, but...I can't do this anymore. I'm almost thirty and I feel like I should start looking for someone to settle down with because obviously I'm not getting any younger and one day I want to have children...and I don't think this is working because you're gone a lot and we've been together for almost a year and I don't feel like our relationship has progressed to where a relationship should progress to after that amount of time-"
"Sakura." Sasuke interrupted her. She almost cringed openly for her rambling like an idiot, and then she focused her attention on Sasuke, reading his expressions closely and trying to determine what he might be thinking. He didn't appear to be thinking anything. His handsome features were as indistinguishable as always.
"It's okay, I understand. I agree with you."
Sakura's jaw dropped. She really hadn't expected...acquiescence.
"I know that my schedule doesn't always permit me to give you the kind of attention you need and deserve, so I agree with you that we should probably part ways."
Sasuke examined Sakura for a few long moments.
"Is there something you want to tell me?"
Sakura's eyes widened. Oh god...did he know? She fidgeted with her hands beneath the table, casting her eyes downward.
"Uh...um...is there something I want to tell you?...nope."
Sasuke suddenly laughed and Sakura looked up in surprise.
"Itachi obviously didn't tell you like he said he would."
Sakura felt like the legs of her chair suddenly collapsed and she had fallen on the floor without warning.
"Itachi?" She squeaked.
Sasuke chuckled again, this time at her expense. He sighed and shook his head exasperatedly. "He told me he was going to tell you, but I can see that he hasn't. Sakura, Itachi told me that he's been harboring feelings for you for a while now."
Sakura was too stunned to say anything.
"He told me that he didn't want to come between you and I, but that got me thinking. I'm always so busy and don't really have time to adequately give to a relationship. I care for you, but you deserve someone who can be there for you more."
Sakura's jaw dropped, but then narrowed her eyes and quickly asked, "what else did Itachi say?"
Sasuke cocked his head in confusion. "What else?"
"He didn't say anything else? All he told you was that he had feelings for me?"
Sasuke's intuition sparked again, and after a long moment he eyed Sakura with an inquisitive gaze. "You have feelings for him, too, I gather."
Sakura's reflexive response was to deny it, but what was the point of that now? Sasuke seemed satisfied with their outcome (a little to Sakura's chagrin) so it probably wouldn't hurt him to admit it. But before she said anything, Sasuke sat back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and closed his eyes, smiling to himself.
Presumptuous bastard Sakura thought, irritated. Thinks he has it all figured out.
"It's okay. I could tell there was something between you two."
Sakura's expression softened and she reached across the table, laying her palm open for him. Sasuke accommodated her by placing his hand in her own.
"Thank you, Sasuke." She said sincerely.
"Like I said, you deserve someone who can be there for you more."
Sakura squeezed their joined hands, giving him a warm and tender smile. Sasuke did care for her, considered her intelligent and incredibly beautiful, but she needed more than he could give.
"Would you still like to continue dinner?"
Sakura was a little shocked.
Sasuke got up, and Sakura followed him with her eyes, a little bewildered. "I have to run to the bathroom."
Then he did something very odd. He walked directly before her and lifted her hand that was still in his and kissed it gently. Then he let go and trailed a finger down her cheek, and along her jawline until he was holding her chin. He smiled a small smile before leaning in and gave her a sweet and chaste kiss. Sakura was too dumbfounded to respond at all except to stare stupidly at him, but then he walked away.
Sakura blinked at the table, but wasn't really looking at it. That was weird. It almost had an air of...goodbye or something. But no, Sasuke wouldn't leave her here by herself. Sakura took a drink of Sasuke's wine and as soon as she set it down he was back.
"Sakura." A low baritone greeted her as he sat down in the chair across from her.
"What are you doing here?" She asked in disbelief.
"Sasuke asked me to come and join you for dinner. I hope you don't mind."
Sakura shook her head slowly, attempting to compute everything that had happened and what was currently happening. Itachi chuckled at her.
"I told Sasuke how I feel about you. He gives us his blessing and has requested that I tell you not to forget to invite him to the wedding."
Sakura's face flushed red.
"We can discuss the details of that later." Itachi reached for a menu. "For now, why don't we start with an appetizer-"
Sakura abruptly held up a hand. "Actually, I do mind." She said seriously.
Itachi's eyes widened slightly, then his brows furrowed in confusion. Was he proceeding forward too quickly? Was she not interested anymore? Perhaps what happened between them that night on the roof had turned her off forever. Itachi's mind was shooting in rapid-fire over all the potential mistakes he could have made...
"Why don't we get it to go and eat at my place?"