note: Warning, Sasuke's OOC here. This is set in a post-canon universe where T7 couldn't get Sasuke to go back to Konoha, instead he roams around as a kind of ninja-for-hire now...ninja-for-hire, seriously? Ugh, someone please take me to a world where sleep isn't necessary. But yes, you get the gist.


that breath you take

He smells her before he sees her.

The club is dark and packed, the grind of sweaty bodies in an enclosed space a tantamount betrayal to every one of Sasuke's shinobi sensibilities. She is wearing a red dress of long and fluttering silk, and in the dark her hair is an indeterminate shade not so different from anyone else's.

Sasuke knows it is Sakura though, because the nose knows. It's a silly half-remembered expression from his genin days, but it doesn't change the fact that the first thing he recognizes is her perfume-a light apple blossom scent that he'd never quite managed to completely forget. Before he can think, his arm shoots out and encircles a paper pale wrist. Sakura is on him in an instant, hidden kunai pressing tight against the thin skin covering his jugular. Sasuke almost finds it in himself to smile.

She recognizes him a second later, and her surprise is only audible because of how close they are. The strobing lights of the club lends her face an unearthly quality, but even through the wash of blue he can still make out the green of her eyes.

"Sasuke-kun?" She says, like she can't quite believe who she's seeing. Sasuke doesn't blame her. While she continues to gape at him incredulously, he takes the moment to contemplate her hair. She's grown it out and gathered it in a thick twist on top of her head. Two long hair sticks holds the bun in place, and he doubts that they are just decorative.

With his free hand, Sasuke reaches up and slips the thin sticks out of her hair. Sakura squeaks indignantly, but he ignores her, letting his lips slide into an appreciative smirk as the mass of hair settles down her shoulders in thick pink curls.

"Uchiha Sasuke, what the fuck are you doing? You're going to screw up my mission," Sakura spits. In response Sasuke only tightens his grip and gathers her other wrist to join the first. The hair sticks are thrown unceremoniously to the ground.

"What, no spur of the moment Sasuke Retrieval missions anymore?" He says lightly.

Sakura glares, like she is angry that he's learned how to tease, "I outgrew those years ago, Sasuke. When you want to come home, you will. We're not going to be able to change that."

"Now," he mocks, tugging her along with him as he makes his way towards the back of the club, "if you two had learned that 'years ago' everything would've been so much easier."

Sakura scoffs, but doesn't struggle after the first few half-hearted attempts, "Oh yes, Naruto and I were just supposed to let our best friend stroll right into the nefarious clutches of several reputed pedophiles with well known penchants for body stealing."

"'Nefarious clutches'? Now who's the melodramatic one?"

They emerge from the crowd on the other side of the dance floor, and Sasuke finally lets go of her wrists. Sakura huffs and rubs the skin in consternation, but he knows for a fact she had only been disconcerted by his touch. He's not being conceited, it was merely fact-he'd felt it too.

"He went through there," Sasuke says without preamble.

"Excuse me?" Sakura still looks irritated, and for the first time he notices how despite the length of the dress, the slits strategically placed along the sides gave a great view of long, toned legs.

Sasuke raises an eyebrow. Sakura, noting the direction of his gaze, flushes and scowls, "It's supposed to get me into the club. Anyways, who went through where?"

"And how did that work out?" He grins when Sakura refuses to answer his question or be affected by the fact that holy-shit (he imagines that would be along the lines of Naruto's sentiments) Uchiha Sasuke had learned to smile. It also doesn't escape him that she flushes even harder.

"If you're not going to tell me, then you're just wasting my time. I've got a target to catch," the woman snarls before turning in a flurry of silk, presumably to leave. Sasuke indulgently catches her wrist again.

"Your target," he says before Sakura does what her expression tells him she's dying to do-eviscerate him painfully and slowly.

"My target," she repeats. The tic in her forehead suggests that she's quickly losing her patience. Sasuke can't help another smirk.

"Yo-ur tar-get," he enunciates slowly, "just went through that door. I took the liberty of drugging his drinks earlier. If you go through the back alley you'll probably find him passed out in the dumpster."

Sakura only looks at him like he's grown another head.

"So distrustful," he tuts, "He was my mission too, but I figured I'd let you have him. For old time's sake."

"Old time's sake," she repeats, "What're you up to Uchiha Sasuke? Just because I'm not going to try and drag you home doesn't mean I'm not up for a little ass kicking right now."

Sasuke smirks, slow and feral, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Now go, the drug won't last much longer."

Sakura's still looking at him like he's crazy, and Sasuke thinks he can catch the tail end of a muttered stupid cliches, but in the end she goes through the door anyways.

"And that dress more than makes up for any monetary loss," he can't help but add before the door closes on her back. Sakura answers by way of flipping him the bird.

Sasuke smiles again, and vaguely hopes that she will never change her perfume.


a/n: Done for 15minutefic's prompt: signature. But I ran over and it got too long, so I figured I'd post it separately from my drabbles. Oh joy, time for class now.

Once again, I appreciate any and all feedback you leave me! :)