Title: Mascara-Disasters and Shoe-Mishaps
Characters/Pairings: SasuSaku, Ino, Naruto, Shikamaru, Chouji, several OCs
Warning: Some vulgar language, a little bit of fighting.
Summary: Sakura Haruno is not marrying Uchiha Sasuke. She's just getting ready to walk down the aisle with him.
Notes: So I was browsing the lovely sasusaku_month drabble prompts and apparently the whole drabble concept passed me by because this was most decidedly never going to be 500 words or less. For the prompt: "She is NOT marrying him." I kind of stole the plot wholesale from a Detective Conan episode, so if you're a regular watcher of that show, you should be able to guess the plot. Maybe.
"Forehead, you're too fat."
"Fine, you have too much muscle. Either way this dress is not going to fit."
"Just… jiggle the zipper a little bit."
"If I do that the zipper is going to break. You can walk down the aisle in a ruined wedding dress if you want to, but I personally wouldn't."
"Anyone ever tell you you suck?"
"Right. Well that's not gonna make this dress fit. Just take that vest off, forehead."
"Did you see that letter, Ino? I'm pretty sure this psychopath is serious about murdering me. I am not going out there without a protective vest."
"You can take him. It's not you he wants to murder anyways. Besides, you really don't want Sasuke to see you looking so fat in your wedding dress."
"Fine. I'll break the zipper. It's not my fake wedding."
"No—don't— Ino! I'll take the damn thing off!"
Let's get one thing straight: Haruno Sakura is not marrying Uchiha Sasuke. They're not even actually-officially-for-real dating because Sakura has no clue what a couple of furious make outs signify in Sasuke-language, if anything. The meaning could run the gamut from "I'm-seriously-emotionally-represse
d-but-madly-attracted-to-you" to "I-belatedly-discovered-sex-and-your-lips-were-right-there-so-I-decided-fuck-it-mine-should-be-too".
She is currently getting into a wedding dress and preparing to walk down the aisle with Uchiha Sasuke because they are on a mission. No really.
It all started when Tsunade called the team to her office – a fairly often occurrence lately, considering how important Naruto was supposed to be – and said, without preliminary, "I need you to be in a wedding in Toradoori village."
"A wedding?" Naruto asked. "Cool! Whose wedding? Do we get to go to the after party?"
"It's called the reception," Tsunade said. "And you do need to go the after party. Not as guests, but as part of the wedding." Tsunade paused. "In fact, you will be the wedding." She emphasized this part quite heavily.
Sasuke sighed. "If Naruto has to wear a dress again—"
Sakura punched him in the arm a little bit. "What do you mean we'll be the wedding, Shishou?" she asked.
"A request came from the Washiteru family – their heiress is getting married in two weeks. However, Lord Washiteru has made quite a few enemies in his time, and his daughter received this three days ago." Tsunade held out a piece of paper and Naruto stepped forward to grab it. He read it over.
"Man, this guy's kind of a jerk."
Sasuke grabbed the paper from Naruto, scanned it, and then handed it to Sakura. It was an unsigned letter written in swift brush strokes of bright red ink
"Congratulations on your wedding. I'll be sure to throw you a wonderful celebration – in the afterlife."
Sakura frowned and put the letter back on Tsunade's desk. "And that makes Lord Washiteru think that something will happen at the wedding?" she asked.
"Exactly," Tsunade said.
"Well," Sakura said. "Slipping us into the wedding party won't be too hard if Lord Washiteru requested our assistance. We can think up some fake identities, clear them with the couple—"
"Sakura," Tsunade said. "You're not going to be in the wedding party."
"No," Tsunade said. "You're going to be body doubles for the bride and groom. Lord Washiteru is going to stage a fake wedding in the hopes of luring out whoever sent this threat and capturing them."
"Oh," Sakura said. And then she noticed a flaw in just such a plan. "Shishou, if the assassin is good enough, he'll just see through a henge and he won't attack."
"Don't worry, Sakura," Tsunade said. "Here is a picture of the couple in question." She held out two more pieces of paper, both photos.
Naruto picked them up once again. From where she was standing, Sakura could see the whites of his eyes slowly appear.
He whistled. "Well damn," he said. "That's uncanny."
"What is?" Sasuke demanded.
Naruto held up one of the photos and looked meaningfully at Sakura. "I mean, that is really close—"
"Idiot, that girl has blonde hair and higher cheekbones."
"Sakura-chan could be blonde. Don't you think if she was blonde-?"
Sakura arched one eyebrow. "This would be a lot more helpful if I knew what you two were talking about," she said.
Sasuke "hmph"-ed, snatched the two pictures from Naruto's hands, ignored his cry of protest, and handed them to Sakura, who promptly stared at them.
"Oh," she said.
The young lady of the Washiteru family looked uncannily like her. And her groom was a near-exact double for Sasuke with slicked down hair.
Haruno Sakura was not marrying Uchiha Sasuke. But when Ino had finished zipping up her not-wedding dress sans protective vest and said, "There, Forehead. Look in the mirror," it kind of felt a little bit like she was.
Sakura turned and looked in the mirror.
It was—well—it was a wedding dress which had certain Feelings attached to it. Feelings like a lump in her throat and shaky knees and the dull thud of her heartbeat in her ears and a couple of crazy thoughts about mascara running and shoe mishaps.
It wasn't the style Sakura would have chosen, but it was gorgeous - even if it was only a copy of the bride's wedding dress. It had ruffles on the bodice and a belled skirt and a rose pattern of probably-diamonds at the waistline. But her pink hair was twisted up into a soft wave under a glinting tiara and her makeup was both understated and gorgeous and Sakura sort of thought – between mascara-disasters and shoe-mishaps – that she looked like a princess which got her a little bit misty eyed.
It didn't help when Ino said, "Well, now you'll have practice for when you do it for real!"
Sakura snorted. "Just do the hair jutsu, Ino," she said. The only piece of ninjutsu they dared attempt when they didn't know how skilled the potential assassin might be.
Time to focus on the mission. She was not here to marry Uchiha Sasuke. The fact that she might never get the chance to do so was not all that important right now.
"Right, right," Ino said. She formed six seals and then touched a finger to Sakura's hair. As Sakura stared into the mirror, her hair began to change strand by strand from bubblegum pink to a honey blonde. Sakura grabbed a curl to pull in front of her eye.
"Hey!" Ino said. "You'll pull your tiara down!"
"Sorry," Sakura said. She dropped the curl. "That was really weird."
"I know that pink is the oddest hair color in the entire universe, but you should stick with it. Blonde really doesn't suit you."
"Was that a compliment?"
"No idea," Ino said. She sighed and stretched. "Well, are you ready to pretend to be Washiteru Suzu?"
Sakura took a deep breath and reviewed everything that she had memorized over the past two weeks about her double's mannerisms habits and lifestyle. She nodded. "Bring the bridesmaids in."
"Actually," Ino said. "Let me check with Shikamaru and Chouji real quick." She reached into the bodice of her own lavender bridesmaid's dress and turned her wireless radio back on. "Shikamaru. Chouji. It's Ino, I'm still with the bride. Do you read me?"
She paused. Extravagantly rolled her eyes. "I turned the radio off because I'm in a changing room you idiots. That is not the type of conversation you want going over radio waves."
Another pause. "Well if you wouldn't be so lazy about it—"
Pause. "No I have no clue how the groom is doing because that is another room. It's OK if I bring the bridesmaids in? Are you all done checking the guests for weapons?"
"Roger that. Ino out."
She didn't reach back into her bodice to turn the radio off, but instead turned straight to Sakura. "He said to bring the bridesmaids in, but don't queue up to walk down the aisle until he gives confirmation. They heard something suspicious so Chouji's going to run perimeter solo while Shikamaru goes to check it out. Is that fine, Suzu-san?"
"Of course," Sakura said, as formally as she could manage, in case anyone was tapping the radio communications. Practice as well, of course. They had not told the bridesmaids that Washiteru Suzu had been replaced, in case one of them was the assassin in disguise. The only people among the wedding party who knew were the bride, groom, and the bride's father.
Ino went out into the hallway. "Okay girls, I'm done protecting our blushing bride!" she said. "You can come on in!"
Three more bridesmaids filed in, none of them women Sakura had met. Sakura smiled her heart pounding. First test of the illusion.
"Suzu! You look gorgeous!"
The scene in the groom's changing room was a little bit different.
"There are a hundred and ten guests at this wedding. We can check them all for weapons twice, but that's a hundred and ten possible security breaches. This is not the type of thing six shinobi can secure."
Naruto huffed. "You get to fake-marry Sakura-chan and you're worried about security? You are an asshole."
Sasuke crossed his arms. "It's a mission. What about this makes me an asshole?"
"You haven't noticed the way Sakura-chan—no. Never mind. Not worth it."
"Not worth what?"
"Getting punched through a wall," Naruto said. "And relax. The entire point of this wedding is luring the assassin into a false sense of security. Six shinobi are plenty."
"It would be better if we managed to catch him before he attacks," Sasuke muttered.
"Well, obviously," Naruto said. "I'd better check the intercom."
"Suzu-san," Ino said, giving a meaningful look to Sakura, surrounded by bridesmaids. "Your father wants to see you."
Sakura stood up. "Of course," she said. "Please excuse me," she said to her bridesmaids.
It was stressful work being another person, and Sakura was grateful to end the illusion, at least for a moment. She left the dressing room to enter a room down the hallway where Lord Washiteru was waiting.
Sakura opened the door to see Sasuke there. She should not have been surprised, but suddenly her palms were sweaty and she had to consciously not bite her lip to keep her lipstick on. But oh did he ever look dashing in a suit, leaning up against the wall—
Sasuke, she noticed, was not the only one there. Her fake-groom was joined by Lord Washiteru and the real groom and bride, both in their real wedding clothes. Suzu was quietly reading, the groom composing a letter.
Sakura closed the door swiftly behind her and hissed, "What are those two doing here?"
Koushirou – the real-groom – raised one eyebrow in a very Sasuke-esque fashion. Of course, having the two of them in a room together, Sakura could spot the differences. Koushirou had longer lashes which made his eyes look smaller. Sasuke had a longer nose and his chin was more pointed.
"It's possible that the rest of your ninja team will catch this maniac before the wedding," Koushirou said. "If that happens, I'd like to marry my bride on our scheduled wedding date."
Sakura opened her mouth and nearly had a complaint out when Sasuke said, "Save it."
Sakura shot him a look and closed her mouth.
"I've already had all the arguments. And checked their clothes in case the assassin tried something at the cleaners."
"I requested that they come," Lord Washiteru said. "If the assassin is apprehended, then I will not have to explain to the guests why I have just wasted their time, and things can run seamlessly. You two might not be needed at all."
"And if the assassin realizes Suzu-san and Koushirou-san are here?" Sakura said.
"You've got that covered, don't you?" Koushirou said.
"We truly do thank you for all your assistance," Suzu said. "We are sorry if we've inconvenienced you, but—"
Sakura sighed. "No, no inconvenience," she said. "Was this all you wanted to tell us?"
"Yes," Lord Washiteru said. "You can see why we didn't trust it to radio communication."
"Of course," Sakura said. She looked at her fellow ninja. "Sasuke?"
He stood away from the wall. "Right," he said. "Let's go."
When Sasuke closed the door behind them, Sakura's eyes flickered over his tuxedo. It was gorgeous. He was gorgeous, really, which was the problem. The sharp lines of the tuxedo just accented the sharp lines of his face and throat and his lips which were really the problem, she really had no idea what to do about Sasuke's occasional kissing mood—
Sasuke's eyes met hers.
"Were you looking at something?" he asked.
"Just…" Sakura said. "Just your suit. It's—I mean, it's a nice suit—just, aesthetically—"
"Something's wrong," Sasuke said.
"With the suit?" Sakura asked. "It looks fine!"
"No," Sasuke said. "Here. I can't quite put my finger on it but…"
Oh. Right. Mission mode.
"I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary," Sakura said. "Lord Washiteru might be a pain to deal with but I haven't seen anything suspicious the whole time I've been here."
"I'm jumpy," Sasuke said. "I'm never jumpy."
"Jumpy?" Sakura asked.
"I don't like this setup," Sasuke said. "We're just inviting something bad to happen to—" His eyes met hers and flickered away. Sakura's palms were sweaty once again. "To one of our clients."
"Maybe you saw something in the dressing room," Sakura said. "I can check it out if you need me to—"
"There you are!"
Sasuke and Sakura both turned at the same time to see Ino jogging down the hallway towards them. She slowed as she got closer, but didn't stop.
"Ino?" Sakura asked. "What is it?"
Ino grinned and leaned close in towards the two. "They caught him!" she said. "Shikamaru and Chouji! Well, they caught a suspicious man attempting to sneak weapons in through a storage closet window. They've got him tied up for interrogation."
Sasuke and Sakura exchanged a worried look.
"Show the way," Sasuke said.
The apprehended man was of unknown origin, but it was obvious at a glance that he was a ninja. He glared sullenly at Ino Sakura and Sasuke as they walked through the door, his long bangs just obscuring his eyes.
Shikamaru sighed when they walked in. "Would one of you dispose of these properly?" he asked, gesturing to a pile of weapons and gear that he had confiscated from the ninja. "A storage window was open and he was fitting these through. Probably trying to get past us checking for weapons."
"I'll do it when I leave," Sasuke said. "So this is the assassin?"
"It seems so," Shikamaru said. "He hasn't exactly been cooperative."
"Not talking?" Sakura asked. She cracked her knuckles ominously. "We can fix that."
"That's not the problem," Shikamaru said. "It seems he can't talk. His tongue's been cut out."
Ino recoiled in revulsion. Sakura did much of the same, and then stepped forward. She placed her hands on the man's jaw and opened it to peer inside, ignoring the assassin's dirty look as she did so. She could see the stump of his tongue, a mess of scarred flesh attached to the base of his mouth.
"You're right," she said. "It's an old wound, probably a couple of years."
From across the room she could see Sasuke go rigid. Sakura raised an eyebrow at him.
"Sakura…" he started to say.
"What?" she asked. "If it was a fresh would it could be some kind of trap. He's probably a very popular assassin, though, considering he can't blab on his clients."
"Well, let's make him blab," Ino said. "If we make him write the answers to our questions, it'll be just as good as interrogating him orally, and I've got a jutsu that will do just the trick." She looked around her dress for her shinobi supplies and growled in annoyance. "Do any of you have paper and a pen? Or an ink brush?"
Sakura reached for her shinobi pouch out of habit and found it empty.
"Lord Wahsiteru had some in his room," Sasuke said. "I saw Koushirou using it."
Sakura nodded. "I'll get it," she said.
"Wait," Ino said. "Koushirou's here?"
Leaving Sasuke to explain the situation with the real bride and groom, Sakura left the impromptu interrogation room and returned to where she had left Lord Washiteru, his daughter and her husband-to-be. She closed the door behind her.
The three of them expressed a certain amount of surprise as the sight of her.
"Excuse me, Lord Washiteru," Sakura said. "We need to borrow some paper and something to write with."
"Whatever for?" Lord Washiteru asked.
"We believe we've caught the assassin," Sakura said. "But he's had his tongue cut out and is unable to speak. We need to interrogate him."
"You've caught him?" Lord Washiteru asked.
"So we can have our wedding?" Koushirou asked. His eyes widened and he turned to Suzu, a smile crossing his lips. She smiled back at him, looking like a mascara-disaster might be impending for her as well.
"Well, we don't know if this is the assassin," Sakura said. "And he might have accomplices around. It's probably not safe yet—"
"But the likelihood is that he is the assassin, right?" Suzu asked.
"Well, I would say that there is a good chance he was the assassin, or affiliated with him," Sakura said.
"We'll have the wedding," Lord Washiteru said. "And yes, please borrow anything you wish. Koushirou, get her a brush and ink and some paper. I want to know why this maniac wants my daughter dead."
"Of course, father," the groom said. He stood up and began looking for the supplies.
"Lord Washiteru," Sakura said. "It's possible that the assassin has accomplices, and we don't have enough forces to protect your daughter – and you and your guests – if that is how it turns out."
"Attack us?" Lord Washiteru said. "Even when his accomplice is caught?"
Koushirou had found the writing supplies – an ink brush, a bottle of black ink and a sheaf of white paper an inch thick. "Here you are, Sakura-san," he said.
She took the supplies from him. "Thank you," she said. She looked at Lord Washiteru, willing him to understand. His daughter could still be in serious danger. "It is a ninja's way to finish the mission at all costs. If there is an accomplice, then he will attack your daughter."
"Then I expect you to do your job at all costs and protect her," Lord Washiteru said. "I will not humiliate myself any longer in front of my guests because of this maniac's demands. Suzu and Koushirou will be married in an hour. You may change and join the wedding party if you so wish."
"That is final. Tell your shinobi companions."
Sakura grit her teeth and bowed. "Yes, sir," she said.
When she got back to the impromptu interrogation room, Sasuke was there, but the pile of weapons was gone. It seemed he had disposed of them. He and Ino and Shikamaru were discussion the interrogation jutsu.
"I have the paper and ink," Sakura said.
"What took you so long?" Ino asked.
"Lord Washiteru decided that he would hold the real wedding today, seeing as we've caught the culprit," Sakura said.
"You did tell him that's suicidal and stupid, right?" Sasuke said.
"Of course," Sakura said. "But he's a stubborn old goat and said that the wedding would commence in an hour. Once we're done here, I'll change and join the wedding party, in case this guy has an accomplice."
Shikamaru nodded. "Let's get this done quickly," he said. "Ino?"
Ino performed her jutsu and they placed the ink brush in the assassin's hand. Shikamaru began to ask questions, and the assassin began to write, a glazed over look in his eyes. Sakura looked at his answers – he wrote that he was from a small ninja village to the south, that he had been hired to kill Lord Washiteru's daughter, that he had come alone.
Sakura sighed. "Well," she said. "At least he doesn't have an accomplice who'll come after him."
"Yeah," Sasuke said. But he looked troubled.
Sakura flicked her gaze over to him, and then looked back to the assassin. "What is it, Sasuke-kun?" she asked.
"His handwriting," Sasuke said. "It's too angular."
"What?" Sakura asked. She looked at the handwriting again, and then realized what Sasuke had seen: his handwriting did not match that of the warning note. "Oh," she said.
"You're right," Shikamaru said. "What's to gain by disguising his handwriting? We don't know who the assassin is—whoever hired him sent that note. He might still be here."
"I'll go get changed and join the wedding party," Sakura said. She headed for the door.
"Wait," Sasuke said. Sakura turned, looked him in the eye, although her eyes flickered to his lips. What the hell—at a time like this-?
"What is it?" Sakura asked.
"I'll go with you," Sasuke said. Sakura nodded and led the way into the hallways, walking as swiftly as she could in heels. Sasuke, mercifully, didn't rush ahead.
Instead, he stopped halfway to the dressing rooms. "Sakura," he said. "There's something else. I just realized."
She stopped her swift walk. "Hmm?" she asked.
Sasuke came in close. Sakura swallowed. This wasn't the start of another furious make out session, was it? Because he was leaning in towards her face and his lips were right there and looking mighty damn handsome for a pair of stupid lips and—
He nearly pressed his lips to her ear, and then he began to whisper.
Oh. Mission stuff.
Sakura listened. And then she listened hard.
"Are you sure?" she hissed when Sasuke was done.
"Positive," Sasuke said.
Sakura took a deep breath and looked into his eyes. He was her teammate. She had to trust him. "All right," she said. "But if we alert them now, he might run, and the wedding is about to start."
"I've got a plan. You just have to keep Suzu-san out of it," Sasuke said. "Without tipping anybody off." He looked pointedly at her blonde hair and the wedding dress she was still wearing, and then leaned in close again.
Sakura thought that he might be wearing cologne.
"And you're sure you want me to-?" Sakura asked when Sasuke had finished explaining.
Sasuke nodded. "It's the only way to keep our culprit from running," he said. "If I'm right, he won't have any weapons, and he won't even get near you. Besides, you're wearing a protective vest."
Sakura nodded, suddenly nervous. She patted the rather unprotected bodice of her dress. "Right," she said. "You're sure your plan will work?"
Sasuke said nothing. He pressed her against the wall and kissed her rather insistently. Sakura made a tiny sound at the back of her throat and kissed right back. She had, apparently, been right about the furious make outs earlier.
Sasuke cupped her neck and began to draw her closer, and Sakura pulled back. "Hair," she explained. "It's not that finicky but I don't know how to redo it."
"Right," Sasuke said. He took a deep breath. Let it out. "Sakura," he said. He looked at the floor, and then into her eyes, and Sakura thought, quite clearly: Screw the hair, kiss me again you magnificent bastard.
Instead, she said, "What?" Sakura coughed at the breathiness of her voice and restated, stronger, "What?"
"Just… don't get yourself killed," Sasuke said.
"Well, that's reassuring," Sakura said. Sasuke went rigid again. Sakura sighed. "I won't die. I still have to talk to you about what all… this… means."
"You seriously didn't notice the furious mauling you just attempted with your lips?"
Sakura might have thought that Uchiha Sasuke had the presence of mind to blush. Sakura laughed. "Just go get your plan set up," she said, and the two of them parted ways.
Sakura picked up the skirts of her wedding dress and began to sprint.
"The bride, Washiteru Suzu-san, will now be escorted by her father. Everyone, please welcome them."
The doors opened, the music swelled, and everyone in the church stood and clapped to welcome the lovely bride. She glided down the aisle at a measured pace, matching the tempo of the all-too-famous march.
The wedding of one of the Washiteru Family was bound to be beautiful, but this one was lovely. The church was pristinely white and decorated with white flowers: anemone, jasmine, lily, magnolia, white poppy, white rose. Each had their own meaning.
All of the guests were dressed their finest, but all eyes were on the young and comely bride as she walked down the aisle, until she was nearly at the groom's side.
"Stop right there, Washiteru Suzu!"
The bride turned, along with the rest of the guests, to see a masked man brandishing a kunai knife jump out into the aisle. The bride nimbly fled behind her groom.
"That's him!" said the blonde-haired kunoichi bridesmaid. "Naruto, get him!"
"Gladly!" Naruto yelled. He rushed forward.
The church hall was filled with sudden laughter. But it did not come from the ninja with the knife.
It came from the groom.
"Thank you for the attempt to make my wedding entertaining," he said. "But could we get on with it now? I don't appreciate Konoha shinobi waving knives around at my bride."
"No!" the masked man said. "You've got it all wrong! I'm the assassin coming to kill your lovely bride!"
Another laugh from the groom. "You're no assassin," he said.
Naruto grinned. "Oh?" he said. "And how do you know that?"
"Because he's one of your companions," Koushirou said. "It's completely obvious."
"Really?" Ino asked. "One of our companions? How could you tell?"
"His voice," Koushirou said.
"And tell me," Naruto said. "Where did you meet this particular shinobi before?"
"Well, here of course," Koushirou said. "I-I mean, I recognized him."
"Really?" Ino said. "That's strange. Because Chouji has been outside, running perimeter this whole time. He never even met you."
"Wh-what?" Koushirou demanded, as the "assassin" took off his mask to reveal pleasant-faced and smiling Chouji. "Of course we've met before!"
Naruto laughed. "Quit the act," he said. "You know he wasn't an assassin, because you're the one who sent the note! Sasuke noticed it earlier—well, he's better at that type of thing than I am—anyways, you were writing a letter and he saw your handwriting. No matter how you tried to hide it in that note you sent, you couldn't get rid of your style altogether."
"Give it up!" Chouji shouted. "Lord Washiteru knows everything now! He knows that targeting Suzu was just a ruse! You won't ever get close to him!"
Koushirou began to emit a low laugh. "You're right," he said. "I was planning to kill Lord Washiteru at this wedding, because of what he did to my father, and it's true that I pretended to target Suzu so that I could get to him. I wanted to rub it in the face of you Konoha shinobi who failed to protect my father!" He laughed again. "Of course, I didn't expect that you would have such close doubles of Suzu and I. But you know what? You didn't expect something too!"
He pulled a knife from his jacket and brandished it at the guests.
"Where the hell did he get that?" Naruto demanded. "Sasuke said he didn't have any weapons! He said he'd checked his suit!"
"Well, I had a helper ninja who put all the weapons I was trying to smuggle inside right in my lap," Koushirou said.
"So that's where Sasuke put the confiscated weapons," Ino said.
"And now I'm going to kill Lord Washiteru and anyone who gets in my way with these!" He pulled another knife from his jacket.
Only to be stopped by a pair of arms wrapping tight around his neck. "Oh no you don't!" the bride shouted, holding on tight. "This might not be my wedding but you are not allowed to ruin it!"
The groom struggled to raise the kunai as the bride struggled to hold on. And then the world seemed to slow as the groom-turned-assassin plunged the kunai backwards, straight into the bride's bodice.
She released her hold, mouth open in surprise, eyes wide, hair slowly turning pink as the jutsu broke.
Sasuke crouched outside the church. If Ino, Naruto and Chouji messed up the plan, this was the way the groom would run, and with Shikamaru busy with their captive, Sasuke would be the last line of defense. Of course, nothing should happen – he didn't stand a chance against four ninja, especially with no weapons, but every plan needed backup.
Sasuke was vindicated when the tuxedo-wearing man burst out of the church doors in a full sprint, carrying two weapons, one tipped with ominous red.
Where did he get those? Sasuke thought, that red at the end of the kunai knife giving him a queasy feeling. Something had happened in there. But he waited, counted down seconds—
When the assassin was close enough, Sasuke appeared. He swept the man's legs from under him, wrenched his arm behind his back, and tied his arms and legs together for good measure. Then he stood and dusted his hands off.
The church doors flew open a second time, and Sasuke's eyes widened in sudden unexpected terror.
The church went silent as Sakura fell back.
Slowly, the pink-haired bride straightened herself up. "You know," she said. "Corset wires are pretty tough." And she leaped forward, pinning her errant groom to the church floor. He slashed at her with the knife. Sakura took her attention off of him for a second to search for her own kunai amidst the ruffles of her skirt.
Koushirou broke free, stood up and started running for the exit.
"Ino!" Sakura shouted. "Get him!"
Ino jumped into the aisle but she was too slow. Koushirou slashed at her with the kunai, drawing blood. Ino shrieked and pressed a hand to her arm.
To hell with the kunai! Sakura thought. She struggled to her feet in her wedding dress, took a quick glance at Ino's wound – it was easily treatable – and began running towards the doors. Koushirou had already gone outside but Sakura was not going to let him get away.
She burst through the doors and out into the bright sunlight. Where did he go-?
There! A dark-haired man wearing a tuxedo; long aristocratic nose, dark eyes.
"Oh no you don't!" Sakura shouted. She charged forward, focusing her chakra in her fist, and swung. Fist met bone with a crack.
Her target hit the ground hard.
He cradled his heavily bleeding nose and moaned in pain. "Sagura! Whad the fugg—" he said.
"Stop being such a baby! It healed fine!"
"You broke my nose."
"I thought you'd slashed up Ino's arm. What was I supposed to do?"
"Check before you punch your teammate in the face?"
"I said I was sorry."
"Lord Washiteru thanked us. He said Koushirou is properly put in jail now. And Tsunade is processing the paperwork for that ninja he hired."
"He didn't go to jail too?"
"We can't legally hold him," Sakura said. "If we aren't going to kill him we have to send him back. And he was only supposed to smuggle weapons in, not actually kill Suzu-san. So no harm done."
Sasuke paused, sighed. "A lot more harm could have been done," he said.
"What?" Sakura asked.
"Why didn't you tell me you weren't wearing a protective vest?" Sasuke asked.
"Well, why did you hand all of the confiscated weapons over to an assassin?"
"You said you wouldn't get yourself killed," Sasuke said.
"And I didn't," Sakura said. "Your point is?"
Sasuke crossed his arms, stared out the window of the chapel room they had borrowed to check if he was concussed. Sakura looked him over. He still looked dashing, even though the front of his tuxedo was drenched in his own blood.
Of course, she hadn't had time to change out of the dress, so maybe they were both a little ridiculous.
But her thoughts weren't really dwelling on their choice of attire. Sakura was thinking about what else she had said, when she had promised not to get killed.
"Sasuke," she said. "I think you need to stop kissing me."
"I'm not kissing you," Sasuke said.
"I mean," Sakura said. "Permanently." She looked him in the eye. Sasuke raised one eyebrow in a signal to continue. "I mean," she said. "All of what just happened—with the chapel and the me in the wedding dress and the you in the tuxedo—"
"And the assassin attempting to murder you?"
"Well, not that part. But the wedding part. I want that, sometime. Maybe not right now, maybe not for a few years. But someday." Sakura sighed, looked down at her hands, and then back up at Sasuke. "And the problem with you kissing me is—I'll get stuck on you. I probably already am. And—today I was wearing the dress and you were wearing the tux, but I'm not sure if that's ever going to happen again."
Sasuke's look was steady.
"Sasuke," Sakura said. "I can't get stuck on you if I'm not sure if you're serious."
Sasuke stood up from his seat. Sakura stood as well, confused. Her skirts ruffled around her. Sasuke moved closer, and Sakura's resolve wavered. She might never get to wear a wedding dress, but maybe it was worth it if he would just kiss her one more time, oh god he was going to—
Sasuke tilted her chin up and pressed his lips to hers.
Spinsterhood here I come Sakura thought. But damn if spinsterhood wasn't worth it. She wrapped her arms around Sasuke's neck and drew him closer, changing the angle of their kiss—
Sasuke jerked back. "Ow," he said. He rubbed at his nose and glared at her. "It's still tender."
"Well," Sakura said, hands crossing across the bodice of her dress. "I said we shouldn't kiss and you didn't listen to me."
"Sakura," Sasuke said. His eyes met hers, dark black against light jade. Sakura swallowed hard. "If I wasn't serious, do you think I would be kissing you at all?"
Sakura wobbled and nearly had a shoe-mishap. "Oh," she said. She could feel a mascara-disaster building behind her eyes.
"Yeah," Sasuke said.
"Okay then," Sakura said. "You may goddamn well kiss the bride."
Sasuke did so.
Let's get one thing straight: Haruno Sakura is not marrying Uchiha Sasuke today. They are actually-officially-for-real dating, though, because apparently a couple of furious make outs signify something unexpected in Sasuke-language:
"I love you."