disclaimer: not mine
dedication: to anyone who's had their heart broken, boy or girl (sappy, yes. true, definitely yes)
notes:because sakura is awesome and sasuke is an ass right now. also, in case it's confusing, high-school is grade 8 to grade 12, and they graduate to high school in grade seven. I tried to keep it close to the anime, where sakura falls in love with sasuke when she's twelve and he breaks her heart when they're thirteen.

title: louisville slugger
summary: revenge is a dish best served with a baseball bat and your best friend. SasuSaku, SasuIno, NaruSaku

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Sakura is ten years old when she meets Uchiha Sasuke for the first time.

She's sitting with her best friend Ino on the swings one day before school, when she spots him walking into the playground with his older brother. He's pale and short with spikey black hair and a cold expression on his face.

Surprisingly, her first thought isn't how cute he is, or how sophisticated he looks in his black button up shirt and dark jeans.

Her first thought is how impossibly lonely he is.

Unfortunately, Ino notices him too and falls head over sneakers in like with him, and there goes Sakura's only chance with both the boy and to talk to Ino about her initial observation.

"He's so cute!" Ino squeals, hopping off the swing and staring at the boy with her hands clasped under her chin. "One day, Forehead-girl, I'm gonna marry him!"

Sakura blinks in surprise and hops down as well. "Ino-pig, we're ten years old. How do you even know he'll still be around when we can get married?"

Ino flaps her hands and grins. "Of course he'll still be around, Forehead-girl. We're destined to be together!"

"But, Ino-pig, you haven't even really met him yet," Sakura says, and suddenly she finds herself being tugged across the playground to where the boy is standing all alone by the fence.

"Hi!" Ino cries, skidding to a stop in front of him. "I'm Yamanaka Ino! What's your name?"

He turns dark eyes on her and Sakura thinks that he's maybe sort of beautiful. "Uchiha Sasuke." He says.

Ino nearly faints from blushing so hard. "It's nice to meet you Sasuke-kun, would you like to be my friend."

His glare turns positively deadly and Sakura nearly shrinks away. Her second opinion of Uchiha Sasuke is that he is scary when he's mad. "No. You're annoying. Go away."

Sasuke's eyes flash to Sakura's face and he sneers, turning on his heel and marching towards the school, easily avoiding a loud-mouth and hyper blonde who's running after a soccer ball with a crazy sort of intent.

Sakura frowns, because he is just all kinds of rude but Ino smiles and fans herself. "See, Forehead-girl? We're destined to be together."

The pinkette rolls her eyes and adjusts her backpack as the warning bell rings. "Sure, Ino-pig; whatever you say."

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Sasuke's in her class for the next three years. The teachers separate them into groups of three for the remainder of their years at Hashirama Senju Elementary. These groups, the teacher explains, are so the children can interact with kids they wouldn't normally speak to.

Sakura listens intently as the teacher goes on about acceptance and tolerance for a few minutes before reading out the names of the groups.

She glances at Ino, who's staring at Sasuke with adoration in her eyes. Sakura thinks it's a little silly, but Ino is her best – and only – friend and she thinks that it isn't her place to tell her that the boy she likes is a big meanie.

Imagine Sakura's surprise when she's put in a group with him and the wild blonde boy with the soccer ball.

The wild boy introduces himself as Uzumaki Naruto and tells her she's pretty and will she please go out with him?

She blushes and stammers that she's too young to date, making Sasuke snort. "Like she'd ever want to go out with you, dobe," he sneers.

Naruto puffs up like a peacock, azure eyes flashing. "Who're you calling dobe, teme!" he yells back.

It degenerates from there, and Sakura leans back as pencils start flying across the table. The teacher comes to break it up, and the tiny rosette thinks that the next three years are going to be really long.

As the months go by, Sakura falls into a sort of pattern. She becomes used to breaking up Naruto and Sasuke's daily spats, and learns infinite patience when helping Naruto with English, or math, or any school subject really.

She also finds herself falling in like with Sasuke, which is bad on so many levels because one, he still has the emotional range of a rock even though she's seen a more helpful side to him these past months, and two, her best friend likes him, and the Number One Rule of Best Friendship is that you don't like the boy your best friend likes.

But she can't help it and every day she spends with Sasuke, her feelings grow stronger. It's a gradual thing, not instant like with Ino, but by the time she's twelve and ready to graduate to high school, she knows (if it's even possible at her age) that she is hopelessly in love with Sasuke.

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Graduation comes and Sakura finds herself standing in the foyer of the Uchiha mansion, waiting for Naruto and Sasuke to come down so they can go.

Her dress is pretty, she decides: spaghetti-strap and a pretty red colour with a flow-y skirt and strappy back. She feels older and more sophisticated in the dress than she's ever felt before, and suddenly decides that tonight she'll tell Sasuke she loves him.

Sasuke and Naruto come down in their suits; Sakura comments on how dapper they look, blushing when she sees Sasuke and hiding behind her hair when he looks at her.

Itachi drives them to the school, where Sasuke and Sakura's parents and Naruto's foster father Iruka are waiting, and Sakura can't focus on anything for the butterflies that have taken up roost in her stomach.

The ceremony passes in a blur that Sakura dimly remembers. She remembers getting honours for her grade average and receives subject awards for English and Music and honourable mentions for Science, and Math.

Before she knows it, they are at the grad dance and she's slow-dancing with Sasuke. Her palms are sweaty and she tries to build up the courage to tell him when suddenly he smirks at her and says, "Sakura, go out with me."

It isn't a question but Sakura doesn't care because the boy she's been in love with for the past year has asked her out and she says yes without a second thought.

She should have taken that second thought.

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They are thirteen (Sakura is fourteen) and have only been dating for four months when Sasuke dumps her.

Dump is the appropriate term because there was no awkwardness or sad, mushy good-bye. That would imply Sakura being given enough time to protest. Instead, Sasuke walks up to her in the cafeteria, looks from her, to Ino, to the rest of her table-mates, and back to her, and simply says, "I don't like you anymore. We're over."

That said he nods to Sakura, who looks dumb-struck, turns around and walks away.

Sakura sits frozen for all of five minutes before she jerks her body out of her seat and runs out the door. Her feet thump heavily on the linoleum floor as she tears out of the school and down the street, running aimlessly yet with purpose.

She bursts through the front door and scares the hell out of her mother, who is sitting at her desk reading. "Sakura?" her mom stands, taking in her daughter's running make-up, red face and rumpled clothes. "Honey, what's wrong."

Sakura breaks down crying then, leaving her mom to pull her into her lap like she used to when Sakura is small and rocks her back and forth. Somehow, Sakura gets the story out and her mom wipes away her runny make-up with a tissue and tells her that it's okay, that everything will be alright.

"How can it be alright?" Sakura chokes. "I love him, mama. I love him and he dumped me."

"Just give it time, love," her infinitely wise mom says. "All heart-breaks heal in time."

Privately, Sakura thinks that this heart-break will never heal.

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Sakura spends all of grade eight and nine alternating between hating Sasuke and desperately wanting everything to be normal again, back when she could hold his hand when they walk down the hall and kiss him whenever she wants.

Now, she watches jealously as he totes that bitch Karin around like a trophy, making out with her in the halls and basically having sex with clothes on.

It's disgusting to watch, but Sakura slowly realizes that she doesn't want to be that girl. She still loves Sasuke, but she's sort of glad now that she isn't the one who has been turned into Sasuke's personal hooker.

Slowly, turtle-slow, she begins to heal.

It all goes crashing down when Sasuke breaks up with Karin. She finds him sitting on a bench and sits next to him, clasping her hands in her lap.

"I'm sorry about you and Karin," she says.

He grunts. "Doesn't matter. She was sleeping around anyway."

Sakura blinks in surprise at his bluntness. "Uh, Sasuke, I was wondering –"

"I'm not getting back together with you," he cuts in coldly, standing up. "You're annoying and we ended things years ago."

He walks away and Sakura stares after him, mouth open. "I wasn't going to ask that." She whispers to the wind.

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The months roll by and Sakura finds herself staring wistfully at Sasuke in class, imagining all the 'what if's' and what could have been's. Her diary is filled with pages upon pages of her ranting about how it isn't fair that he's been able to move on and she's still stuck in a rut, hopelessly in love with him.

She tries to pull back, tries to clear her head, but nothing works and while their friendship is repaired, Sakura can't help but pick apart what he says and does, finding signs of him liking her when really, there probably are none.

One frustrating day, she can't take the mixed signals anymore and arrives home in tears, flings her backpack hard into the corner, flops on her bed, buries her face in a pillow and cries.

Her daddy finds her a few hours later, still in the same position. He sighs and gets his wife, because some things he just can't handle.

Mrs Haruno sits on the edge of Sakura's bed and rubs her back soothingly. "I don't get it mom," Sakura whispers, "I keep getting all these mixed signals and I don't know what to do. One minute it's like he likes me and the next he hates my guts. I swear if he weren't so masculine I'd think he was a PMSing girl!"

"I know how you feel," her mother says, laughing at Sakura's surprised look. "Don't give me that face; I was a teenager once too. Everyone goes through at least one unrequited love, honey."

Sakura sniffs and sits up, scrubbing at her cheeks. "But mama, I really thought he was the one. I mean, he was my best friend, and then we started dating, and, and…" she trails off and tries not to cry again. "I feel like such a freak." She confides. "We've been done for over a year and I'm still hanging on like an obsessed preteen."

Her mom pulls her into her arms and Sakura inhales the warm scent that is uniquely her mother. "Sweetie, it's perfectly normal to still hang on to Sasuke. He was your first love. And honey, him being your first love doesn't mean he'll be your only love. The 'first' just means there will be many more after him."

Sakura nods into her mother's neck and sighs. "I want to get over him," she says honestly. "I just don't know how."

"Well," her mother says, "I suspect you have a habit of looking at him in class and the halls and such?" Sakura blushes and nods.

"So, start by training yourself not to look at him anymore. Think of it as…breaking a habit, like when we made you break your habit of biting your nails. Whenever you think about looking at him, tell yourself all the reasons why you shouldn't and don't look. Eventually, you won't look at him at all, and then you can start getting over him."

Sakura nods and lets her mom kiss her forehead, before following her down to dinner. In her head, she has already come up with the plan to be ride of Sasuke, and while part of her heart mourns for the friendship that will surely never be the same after this, another part leaps for joy at the freedom from Sasuke-obsession-love.

The next day, Sakura resolves to get completely over Uchiha Sasuke starting now. When she gets home that night, she deletes him from Facebook and MySpace, erases his number from her phone, and cuts him out of the pictures of her, Naruto and him, or her and him, her him and Naruto.

She is going to erase Sasuke from her life. For good.

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Grade Eleven rolls around and Sakura is sixteen, single and on top of the world.

Her heart no longer breaks when she sees Sasuke with his new flavour of the week. She no longer gets butterflies when she sees him in the halls or hears him speak. In fact, she barely acknowledges his existence now, although she tries to be civil because he is, after all, dating her best friend.

Sakura has blossomed, that is for sure. She's tall, leggy, kind and smart, the epitome of a popular girl without the cliché bitchiness and arrogance. Rarely is she seen without Ino, Hinata or Naruto.

It's December and school's been let out for Christmas break. Sakura crunches towards her car, keys in hand, when a shout makes her turn. Naruto is running towards her, bright orange coat blinding in the cloudy winter sun.

"Hey, Sakura!" he cries, skidding to a halt in front of her. His face is pink from cold and his hair's a mess, but Sakura can't help but smile at the sight of him.

"Hi," she returns, blowing impatiently at a strand of pastel pink hair in front of her face. "Do you need a ride home again?"

"No, no," he says absently, reaching out a hand to swipe that pink hair back behind her ear. "I don't need a ride."

Sakura feels her cheeks heat up as his cold hand brushes her cheek and butterflies explode in her stomach. They are the usual symptoms she's been experiencing the past month, and she's starting to realize what they mean.

"I was wondering would you like to go get coffee with me sometime?" he asks.

She feels her face burn and smiles like a fool. "Sure." She says honestly, and he grins and kisses her cheek and runs off to his car, leaving Sakura blushing and on cloud nine.

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Naruto and Sakura become an official couple January 12 of the New Year.

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Sakura is seventeen and in love and completely happy when Ino shows up on her front door in tears.

She sits the girl on the couch and dries her tears and after several hours and four boxes of tissues manages to get the whole story.

Sasuke and Ino were at a karaoke bar downtown, because Ino loves to sing and is going to be a star. Ino went to get drinks and found Sasuke and some blonde tramp necking on the wall with her hands down his pants and his hands up her shirt.

Ino wails and sobs like she's dying inside, and Sakura just smiles and heads up to her room. She grabs her necessary equipment and asks if Ino has the keys because she reassumes Ino would be the designated driver. The platinum blonde nods, confused, and Sakura merely smiles wider, grabs her hand and tugs her out the door.

They drive back to the bar and Sakura finds Sasuke's precious black, four-wheel drive truck he bought a few months ago parked in the back alley. Sakura's grin is positively feral now as she hefts her Louisville Baseball bat on her shoulder and approaches the car.

First, she digs the keys into the side of the truck, carving designs and swirls into the metal. Next, she takes her slugger and smashes in both headlights and the windshield, and then goes for the tail-lights.

Ino is watching with a look of utter shock, and Sakura innocently holds the bat out to her. Ino hesitates for a heartbeat before she grasps the metal bat and swings it hard at the sides of the truck. Dents and bends appear in the well-cared for metal, and Ino positively glows.

They demolish the truck for a little longer before Sakura wrenches open the door and holds up the penknife on the keychain. Flicking the blade up, she carves her name into Sasuke's leather seats, but it isn't her hand-writing, oh no.

It's Karin's, the bitch who spread rumours about Ino and Sakura and their friends to try to get back in Sasuke's pants.

Ino is all for it and adds her name too. The girls grin and carve 'cheater' and 'man-whore' into the malleable leather and, as a finishing touch, slash a hole in all four tires. They then dump the baseball bat back in Sakura's car before heading into the bar.

They find Sasuke easily enough. The blonde tramp is obviously drunk and getting kind of frisky, and the look on Sasuke's face clearly states that he thinks he's getting lucky.

He sees Ino and Sakura and detaches his mouth from the tramps, who scowls. He looks guilty and surprised, but Sakura merely links her arm with Ino's, smiles and drops his keys into his beer glass.

Ino smirks. "We're through, Sasuke. You're a prick and an asshole and I wonder what I ever saw in you."

He looks afraid. "Ino, what did you do?" he demands.

Sakura grins. "Payback's a bitch, Sasuke."

"Payback's a bitch."

Turning on her heel, she and Ino strut from the bar. On the way home, she turns on the radio and bursts out laughing at the song that just turned on. Ino looks at her like she's crazy until she hears the lyrics and soon both girls are howling with laughter.

Sakura wipes away her tears and focuses on the road as Ino jabbers happily in her ear about how the revenge Sakura issued was sweeter than non-fat ice-cream.

All Sakura can think is that she can't wait to tell Naruto, and as she turns onto Ino's street, she can't help but think back to the words her mama told her what seems like forever ago.

"All heartbreaks heal with time."

Damn right mama. Damn right.

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notes: listening to carrie underwood on repeat and this story just popped into my head. for reference, the song playing at the end is before he cheats by carrie underwood. i originally had lyrics here, but recieved a review warning me that it might cause my story to be deleted. i don't want that, so i deleted all the lyrics. thank you therealgoodytwoshoes because i would have been mega pissed if my story had gotten deleted :)