Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto.
angel897 asked for an Ibiki and sakura fic, and I love Ibiki to bits, so here it is! :) Enjoy! :)
Sakura took a deep breath, calming her nerves. She was about to enter the Intelligence Division for the first time, making her unreasonably nervous. All she was doing was delivering some papers- nothing big- and with her status as Tsunade's apprentice she could go anywhere with no trouble. The building itself wasn't even that intimidating, just a normal building with a sign in front that indicated what it was. She sighed at her ridiculousness and entered without another thought.
The lobby was well-lit with florescent lights, but apart from that it looked like a gloomy place to work. A bored woman was sitting at the receptionist's desk, flicking a pen back and forth across the desk idly. The walls were bare, and the floor wasn't carpeted. A coffee machine was shoved in the corner next to a fake plant, and it was evident that it was the source of all attention, as there was a line of ninja waiting for some coffee. Sakura gave a little wave to Inoichi, who smiled warmly and waved back before shoving aside a ninja who had tried to sneak ahead in the line.
She walked up to the woman at the desk and realized it was Anko, the proctor from the Chunin Exams. They didn't know each other well, but they talked once and a while and respected each other. Sakura would even say that they were friends if it weren't for Anko's flamboyant penchant for extreme honesty.
"I'm looking for Morino Ibiki." said Sakura, her voice much more confident than she was.
Anko glanced up, her face spreading into a wide grin. "Why, hello, there, Haruno!"
"Hi." she replied, fidgeting a little.
"So, you want Ibiki? Why?"
Sakura waved the paperwork in front of her. "Just delivering these."
Anko snorted in amusement. "He'll be thrilled. His office is four floors down, three rights, two lefts, a right, a left, and a right."
"Four floors…down?" questioned Sakura.
"It's ANBU, kid, we can't let it get too cheery."
"I forgot how depressed you guys were." replied Sakura, smiling.
"Ibiki runs the place, what do you expect?"
Sakura was glad for her good memory, the same memory that had helped her know every Rule of Shinobi Conduct as a genin, because otherwise she would've become instantly lost. The halls were as dreary as the lobby, and as she went down the stairs she could feel and smell the dank air. It was clean but boring, with tiled floors and cement walls. She followed Anko's directions to the letter and found herself in front of a door that actually did have a nametag on it…one that she couldn't read, as it was in ANBU code. She knocked on the door nervously and waited.
A man with bandages wrapped around his eyes and a cigarette between his teeth opened the door. "Yeah, what? I'm busy."
Sakura could've slapped Anko right then. "Anko told me that this was Ibiki's office."
The man swore, rolling his eyes. "Do you have any idea how many people she does this to? She never gets it right. I hope Izumo and Kotetsu get back from that mission soon. Two doors down, Haruno, and make it quick. Ibiki's in a foul mood. I'm Tobitake, by the way. Tobitake Tonbo."
"You already know me, don't you?" said Sakura, a little proud that he recognized her.
"Sure I do. Now go, I'm busy."
She wondered idly if all T&I guys were like this, irritable and anti-social. Well, from what she'd seen of Ibiki, it would make sense, especially considering their occupation. Now that she thought about it, it was almost a given.
She walked about ten steps before reaching Ibiki's actual office, which had a slightly bigger door than all the others. Was this because of his rank or because the man himself was bigger than everyone else? She knocked, her nerves returning quickly.
"Come in." growled an unhappy voice.
She opened the door to find a tired-looking Ibiki sitting at a desk, working on some paperwork with his left hand. The room itself was nearly empty, with the desk against the back wall and four or five filing cabinets along another. There were no windows, and a vent on the ceiling was the only source of ventilation.
"You know, if someone shut off the ventilation and locked you in you'd be screwed." said Sakura, glancing at the metal door.
Ibiki barely looked at her, chuckling a little. "If someone gets that far in Intel HQ, I think we're already dead and buried."
Sakura waved the files self-consciously. "Tsunade sent me with these."
Ibiki scowled. "Aren't I busy enough?"
"Hey, it's not my fault. I'm just the messenger."
Sakura, even though she'd been incredibly nervous a second before, found herself handing him the paperwork and perching on his desk. He sent her an amused glance but didn't say anything.
"I didn't know you were left handed."
"Ambidextrous. I have to be." He lifted his right hand enough so that Sakura could see the thick bandages encasing it in place of his glove.
Sakura swung her legs, her feet thumping the desk in a steady rhythm. "You broke it?"
"It's a bit of a story." He said absently, still working on his paperwork.
"I heard you were in a bad mood."
He smirked. "The worst, but it's not every day I get a pretty young woman visiting me. Being mean might drive you away."
She couldn't help but smile. "How'd you break your hand?" she asked, changing the subject.
"I punched a wall."
"Hm. That doesn't seem your style. I thought you had better self-control than that." She commented.
"I do…it's a long story."
"I could look at it if you want."
He shook his head. "I already had someone look at it."
"If you're sure…"
Sakura got up to leave, but was interrupted by the door being swung open. Anko entered looking cheery. "Ibi-chan, I sent Sakura to you, did she get- oh, hi!"
Ibiki looked pissed to be called Ibi-chan, and Sakura couldn't blame him- although that didn't stop her from snickering.
"Hey there, Haruno. Anyway, that wasn't the only reason I came. I'm having a party tonight, and I want you to be there. So, are you coming?" Anko leered from the doorway.
Ibiki began to look honestly, completely uncomfortable. "Anko, I'm busy."
"That's what you always say," pouted Anko. "Couldn't you come just this once?"
Ibiki shook his head. "I'm swamped here, Anko. Just leave me alone." The last bit he almost snarled.
Anko stuck out her lower lip. "Please?"
"I'm busy." Sakura could see how tense he was, his shoulders hunched over slightly. It was likely he was reading his own body language as she was, because he straightened himself out and glared at Anko, but not before she saw it. She could tell that whatever Anko's parties involved, Ibiki did not want to be there.
"Busy doing what?" countered Anko.
"He'll be with me," Sakura found herself saying. "We're going out to dinner."
Ibiki didn't even look surprised at her assertion. "It's true. I didn't want to say anything, because unlike you, I have a decent amount of respect for other members of the human race."
Anko squinted suspiciously. "You two are going on a date?"
Ibiki hesitated, but Sakura quickly grinned. "Yes, yes we are."
Anko sighed mockingly. "My poor, poor party. I guess we'll live without you, Ibi-chan," She blew a kiss at Ibiki as he scowled. "Have fun on your daaate." she sang. She bounced back out the door, shutting it breezily behind her.
Ibiki waited for the sounded of her footsteps to recede behind smiling slightly. "An unconventional method, but thank you."
Sakura didn't respond for a second; she was too busy checking him out. Morino Ibiki had a reputation that made his bulk and frightening outward persona even more intimidating. Right name he had a slight smile on his face, probably from avoiding Anko's party. She'd heard nurses muttering about him when he came in checkups at the hospital, and to her shame she'd had to reprimand several for trying to get out of being his doctor. His scars didn't bother her, not really, because she knew what he'd had to go through to get them. A man like him, going through what he did for his village and surviving relatively intact, as strong as he was, could only add to the attractive enigma in Sakura's mind. She'd never had much contact with him, but when she did he was as charming as he was frightening. Right now she scanned over his broad shoulders and large hands, knowing from her medical knowledge that to have that body type he had to be quite muscular.
"Oh, yes, um, no problem." she stuttered after a minute.
His small smile grew, and she blushed when she realized that he knew that she was checking him out.
"How about I take you out to dinner? Anko will get suspicious if I stick around here too long." Ibiki looked like a mixture of cockiness and uncertainty, again quickly noticing his own unease and hiding it.
It was with that that she realized that even if she wasn't bothered by his scars, most others were. Of course, she already knew that, if the nurses at the hospital were anything to go by, but it was really then that she realized that Ibiki might feel insecure about the way he looked, and therefore nervous about inviting her to dinner.
One visit to the Intel Division and she thought she was one of them, was that it? She snorted at herself inwardly.
"Sure. It sounds good, but I'll warn you, I'm not a cheap meal," she said. "I thought you were busy? Tobitake-san said you were in a bad mood."
"So you've mentioned. Tonbo will pay for it later."
She rolled her eyes. "Why were you so upset?"
He motioned to his large pile of paperwork, which spoke for itself. She hopped off his desk and he got up, stretching out a little. "Damn, I'm not even sure how long I've been sitting there." he grumbled.
"You need to take better care of yourself." reprimanded Sakura.
He chuckled. "I'm here, aren't I?" He pulled his black trench-coat from the back of his chair and put it on over his gray uniform.
"Any I assume you want to stay on this green earth, right?" she retorted, stepping into stride next to him. She wasn't aware of the stares they got as they walked down the halls of the Intelligence Division, her head barely reaching his shoulders…at best. He saw them though, and smirked.
"Now…where would you like to go? I haven't been around Konoha in some time, so I'll leave it to you." he said warmly.
They were both dressed in their work clothes, and Sakura knew it wasn't a real date, because Morino Ibiki didn't go on real dates, but she couldn't help wrapping her small arm around his much larger one.
"I know this little place about a mile from here. I haven't been there in a while, but it's great," Sakura said quickly. He raised an eyebrow in her direction. "It's a steakhouse." she continued.
"Trust you, Haruno, to want to go to a steakhouse." he snorted.
She glared at him. "What did you expect me to say?"
"A teahouse, maybe. A ramen shop or something dainty like that." The word dainty sounded very strange coming out of Ibiki's mouth.
"Are you questioning my womanhood?" she nearly shrieked. Ibiki gave her an amused look.
"What happens if I say yes?"
She smacked him violently; a smack that would have sent Naruto flying, but only made Ibiki laugh more. A few passerby wondered how on earth this unlikely pair had come about.
"I'm very much a woman, you ass," she growled. "And don't forget it."
His eyes ran up and down her body. "I won't, trust me."
Sakura quieted down when she realized he was checking her out, but turned red when she realized how easily Ibiki had manipulated her into getting angry. Unable to help herself, she smacked him again.
They reached the restaurant, which was depressingly close to empty, and were led to a booth near a window. Sakura glanced at Ibiki, wondering if he was concerned about people seeing them. As though he could read her mind he commented, "There's nothing to be ashamed of, for me at least."
She glared at him. "How do you do that?"
He shrugged. "A trick of the trade."
A silence followed as Sakura absorbed his previous statement implying that she was ashamed of being seen with him. "You need to get out more." she finally said. He looked up from his menu in bewilderment.
"If you honestly think that anyone would be ashamed of you, you need to get out more. God, men are so stupid. Do you think I would have let you take me out to dinner if I didn't like you? Morons, your entire race."
He shook his head. "You're an interesting one, aren't you?"
"Saying things like that doesn't help you get dates, idiot." retorted Sakura playfully.
"I'm not looking to get dates." he said calmly, ordering them drinks from the waitress, who looked nervous at seeing two of Konoha's most dangerous and well-known in her restaurant.
"Then why am I here?"
This surprised him, and after a moments' silence he stuttered, "Gratitude."
Sakura smirked, and Ibiki could appreciate how annoying it was when he did it. "Really? Because you're not known for it."
"What do you want this to be?"
"It doesn't have to be anything. I just want to enjoy myself."
"That's good enough for me." Their drinks arrived, and they ordered their food. The rest of their meal was spent eating and small talking (Sakura also laughed at the idea of Ibiki using small talk) and very enjoyable. Eventually they finished their meal and headed out of the restaurant.
"I'll walk you home." said Ibiki, gazing at something the other direction.
"What are you looking at?" asked Sakura curiously.
"I can see Anko's party from here," sighed Ibiki, exasperated at his subordinate's penchant for the dramatic. "They're lighting fireworks."
"Aren't you glad I saved you from that horror?" teased Sakura.
"Incredibly," he replied seriously. "A dinner with you is far better than Anko's party."
"Well, thank you." she replied, flattered.
"That's not saying much."
She led the way back to her apartment, and stopped only once they were there. He gave her the patiently amused look she was quickly getting used to.
"What?" he asked.
"Did you invite me out only out of gratitude?"
He was silent for a second, and her heart sank. She didn't know why she was him to say that he liked her, but she did. She wanted him to like her so badly her chest ached.
He leaned down so he was eye level with her and softly pressed his lips against hers. She could smell him, his masculine scent and feel the ridges of the scar that ran over his mouth. He drew away, his black eyes unreadable.
"What do you think?"
She grinned. "I think that you're going to find it very hard to get rid of me."