disclaimer: i do not own naruto
note: this anthology will have a plot btw. i'll get into it later. promise!
Naturally, as a child, Sakura is quick to get herself dirty. The yukata he originally found her in is always stained with mud by midday when she wears it so Itachi decides to find new clothes for her. He loans her one of his smallest shirts at first and thinks the Uchiha fan looks odd under her obnoxious pink hair. Later, when they get to a village, he decides to buy her a few outfits. She picks plain tops in reds and pinks and one in black because she wants to be just like Itachi-sensei. She gets a pair of longer pants and one pair of shorts. She pleads with Itachi to get the pretty white dress in the window, but he isn't moved even when she uses her cutest pout.
Having a new set of clothes, however, doesn't do much to change her messy nature.
Itachi's face gives nothing away and Sakura fidgets under his gaze. When she comes to their camp with the guiltiest expression across her features, Itachi knows something is wrong.
"Um…" Sakura glances up at him. She meets impassive eyes that, in her head, are screaming disappointment. She sighs. "I'm sorry, Itachi-sensei," she mumbles almost inaudibly.
Itachi raises an eyebrow, silently inquiring what she was sorry for.
Sakura cowers even more. "I—" She bites her lip. "I ripped your shirt!" she cries. "I'm sorry! It was an accident, I swear!" He holds up a hand to silence her and she shuts her mouth for only a moment before bursting into apologies once again. "I didn't mean to!"
"Let me see it," Itachi orders gently. Reluctantly, she gives him the shirt. He looks over it carefully until he sees a small hole on the sleeve. He nods to himself. It's nothing he can't fix, and it certainly isn't anything Sakura should be fretting over. He sighs when he notices her shifting uncomfortably and trying very hard to prompt the earth to swallow her up. "Sakura."
She jumps at his voice. "Itachi-sensei, I'm so sorry! It got snagged in a tree when I was trying that wind jutsu you taught me so I could dry it after I washed it! I tried really, really hard to get it off but it ended up ripping and I'm so, so sorry, sensei."
Itachi nods once. "It is fine. You did nothing wrong."
"I didn't?" she asks, sounding adorably confused.
He almost smiles. Almost. Instead, he gestures for her to come closer and she hesitantly complies. She stops in front of him, staring up with wide eyes conveying more confusion than Sakura's probably used to. She's smart girl after all.
Then he notices the twig in her hair. Twigs, actually. He frowns and pulls a few out, then holds them in front of her. "From when you were getting the shirt?"
"I see." Itachi pulls out a kunai and rolls his eyes when she stares at him frantically. "You need a haircut," he explains, eyeing her waist-length locks.
Itachi is shocked when she launches back to the other side of the fire, clutching her pink hair fearfully. She pouts at him and shakes her head wildly. Itachi is mildly surprised. This is the first time Sakura's openly defied him since he'd taken her into his care. He almost snorts. And over what? A haircut?
"You can't cut it!" she yells. She looks ready to have a temper tantrum—something Itachi will most definitely not entertain.
"And why is that, Sakura-chan?" he asks. Itachi decides to put the kunai away, hoping it will calm her down, and when the blade is no longer in sight, she immediately relaxes and lowers her hands.
"I…" Sakura looks at her feet and goes back to shifting nervously. "I want my hair to be long like Itachi-sensei's!"
Stunned, he merely blinks. "What?" Sakura plays with a lock of her hair while staring at the floor. She repeats herself in a frustrated mumble and Itachi holds back a small smile. "Very Well. However, we must trim it at least," he adds in a firm voice.
Sakura pouts, recognizing his no-more-nonsense voice. "But only a little, okay?" she whines, kneeling down with her back to him.
He nods. "Only a little."