The Accidental Haircut
Sakura knew going to the pub after her hospital shift when she barely had any sleep the night before wasn't a very good idea – and by the time she had downed her fourth drink and was feeling the fuzzy effects of it go directly to her brain, this was just all the more confirmed. She was suddenly seeing everything in blurry colors, and the semi-smart conversation she had been having with acquaintances earlier had become a dull, steady buzz.
From her perch on a stool, Ino flirted with the young bartender, completely oblivious to the pink-haired kunoichi's current predicament. There was a giggle, one which grated on Sakura's ears before she realized that no, it wasn't nails scratching her earlobes – and that she really needed to go home if she wanted to be intact the next day.
"I…noh," she tried the syllables on her tongue, and got no response. She tried again. "I-nooo!"
"Jeez, Forehead, don't shout. I'm right beside you. What?"
It was somewhat of a miracle that she could still hear her blonde friend's words. Sakura nodded her head – then groaned when her world spun.
"I need…to go hooome!"
"Holy crap, Forehead. Why are you drunk? How many glasses did you have?"
Sakura didn't reply, holding out her hand instead to place three fingers – no, wait, did she drink three or four? – in front of her friend's face. "Can we go now?" she complained, rubbing the sides of her head to ease the dizziness.
"Okay, sure," Ino replied, sighing loudly. "Just give me a minute, then we'll leave."
Assured, Sakura stood up, making sure to do it slowly to avoid any embarrassing fall. Blinking her eyes, she saw something bright orange on her right – probably Naruto, because there was a loud voice there, too, to accompany that guess. Plus there was a little orange rectangle beside him – mostly likely, it was Kakashi with his ever-present smut in his hands. Sakura waved.
See? She was still okay, despite the confusing blur. Very sober, thank you very much.
"Hi, guys!" she yelled loudly.
There was no response.
Frowning, Sakura squinted her eyes. The guy she initially thought to be Naruto was a stranger who stared at her as if she was insane. The second guy who she thought to be Kakashi was a stranger as well, completely ignoring her.
Um, okay. So maybe she was a bit drunk.
On her left was a lot of green. Lee and Gai-sensei? Hmm. She didn't want to greet anyone by mistake anymore, though she could hear the words name, ninja and springtime—
A-ha! Definitely them.
Sakura cheerily waved in their direction, and this time, heard someone greeting her back – loud shouts of youth, cherry blossom, beautiful, watch out—
Oh. The last part was a warning, apparently.
"Ouch! Don't just stand there, you stupid pinkie!"
Her world rolled all around itself all over again – but not enough for Sakura to not recognize the voice and the red blur in front of her. Squinting her eyes again, she was able to make out red eyes glaring at her through glasses and a sneer from the girl who had just brought the ex-love of her life back to the village one year ago, for which she and Team Seven should be grateful.
Except Karin called her pudgy yesterday.
It was then that the alcohol kicked in, making her do things that she knew she wouldn't be doing on her normal, non-crazy days. Below the redhead, she saw the glint of silver that couldn't be mistaken for anything else. The wicked Inner Sakura yelled at her to do something, and so she did. She picked up the kunai and aimed it at Karin's hair with a devilish idea in her mind.
Hell, even semi-drunk, she could do this. She was brilliant.
She closed her eyes, calculated, and swiped – then heard the soft swish of hair being cut efficiently, swiftly. She inwardly grinned, savoring the moment and the annoying girl's upcoming shriek of panic and terror—
"Oh, my Kami, pinkie. You are crazy! And so dead."
Wait. Why did Karin sound amused?
Slowly, Sakura opened her eyes – and amidst the blur and increasing chaos (honestly, why were people yelling all of a sudden?), wished she hadn't. She cut hair, alright.
Only it wasn't Karin's.
Squinting her eyes for the third time, Sakura was able to make out enough for her mouth to drop open in horror. Cold stare. Icy stance.
And no, it wasn't Hinata.
That was all that registered before she stumbled backward – and realized she shouldn't have, as the world spun again and this time, did not come tilt back to its rightful place.
She dropped dead on the cold, hard floor.
"Remind me again not to take you to a pub where somebody might recognize me and I'd end up getting embarrassed over your ridiculous antics."
The blonde kunoichi had a point, but not totally. Sakura glared. "Remind me again not to get dragged to your ridiculous flirting sessions when I should be sleeping and having a normal, decent life."
Ino rolled her blue eyes. "You mean boring." Sipping her pineapple juice, her eyes shifted around the hospital canteen, where most of the patients and employees were having their lunch. Also…
"Forehead, are you aware that most of the people around us are staring at you right now? And whispering?"
Cheeks turning slightly pink, Sakura mumbled, "Yeah."
"Are you also aware that it's because of the scene you created yesterday?"
"Yes," Sakura growled, furiously stabbing at her potato salad. She still had a slight hangover, and her so-called best friend's yapping wasn't exactly helping. "And it wasn't a scene, okay? It was an accident."
"So you mean to tell me that you really were thinking of using that kunai on Karin's face?"
"Not her face. Her hair. Hair. I have perfect aim. Perfect. I once had a successful operation when shishou called me from one of Kiba's parties to help out."
Ino snorted. "Well, last night's operation certainly wasn't successful." Picking at her own vegetable salad, the blonde smirked, eyes darting around and obviously looking for her boyfriend, who was volunteering at the hospital this week – mostly because Genma had gotten the Hokage pissed off enough to have her assigning him to the potion-injection ward. It was pretty amusing, considering how the senbon-chewing shinobi had a slight squeamishness when it came to needles and it was supposed to be a secret.
In other words? Tsunade knew how to aim.
But back to the current hot topic.
Ino opened her mouth, about to say something again – then froze, her fork pausing in the air and her eyes widening.
"Uh-oh. Run, Forehead. Hide. Never show your face again."
Sakura scoffed. "What on earth are you talking about? I am not going to hide from some gossip-mongrels who have nothing better to do than create some sordid translation of last night's tame happenings—"
"Neji isn't as hot as he used to be. That hair really sucks. Oh, and lookie – it's approaching."
The name had Sakura stopping mid-tirade, frozen in her spot. Then the rest of Ino's words sunk in, and Sakura's eyes widened in what could only be termed as panic. She looked at Ino, who only nodded, somewhat pityingly.
"And he looks really, really mad," Ino supplied.
Abruptly, Sakura stood up, steeling herself.
"He's probably going to pummel you to death right now," Ino offered.
And that was the last straw. Instead of facing the fire, Sakura did the exact opposite (because seriously, who wouldn't? This was Neji. Neji)
Later, when the coast was somewhat clear, Sakura finally decided to approach the one person who she knew could help – at least, from what Ino had told her.
Tenten was training with Team Seven, a scenario which Sakura would have avoided altogether at this point unless she was really desperate. But she was, and there really was no wasting time, so she approached the weapon-yielding girl with her shoulders squared and her stance determined.
The first person to speak out – like it was any surprise, really – was Naruto.
"Sakura-chan! Did you see what you've done to Neji's hair?"
"Not going to answer that, Naruto," Sakura said easily, bypassing him and heading straight for her target. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kakashi looking at her curiously, Sai blissfully unaware and Sasuke smirking.
"I approve for the first time, Sakura."
"Oh, shut up, Uchiha," Sakura snapped, giving him a side-glare before turning her attention back to the girl in buns.
Tenten had already stopped sparring with Sai and was looking at her in interest.
Sakura opened her mouth to speak. Sai beat her to it.
"I read in a book that cutting someone's hair off is a sign of affection," the artist stated.
They all stared at him in bewilderment.
"I'm pretty sure that's not in any of the books I've let you borrow…" Kakashi trailed off, scratching his head.
"Stop letting him borrow your books, sensei," Sakura warned.
"But like I said, it's not in any of the books—"
Growling, Sakura gave him the most threatening stare she could muster at the moment, shutting him up effectively. Then she turned back to Tenten, studiously ignoring her teammates who were blatantly eyeing the two of them.
"Hi, Sakura," Tenten greeted.
Sakura nodded, smiling. Then the smile was replaced by a nervous look as she tried to think over how she was going to phrase her request.
Naruto beat her to it.
"Tenten, I think she's going to ask you how to help her out with…okay, not butting in. Sorry."
Which was the last straw, to be honest. Glaring enough to make anybody uncomfortable and wish they would die instead (well, except for Sasuke, who never really cowered under her glare), the four wandered away, finally getting the picture. When they were alone again, Sakura turned her attention back to the weapon-wielding kunoichi, who now had a faint smile on her face.
Sakura opened her mouth, not sure what to say. She closed it back in frustration. Getting the hint, Tenten spoke.
"Yeah, he's still pretty pissed."
Oh, okay. So it wasn't just her imagination.
"And he's still looking for you."
"And he wants payback."
"And his hair's very crooked, because he won't let anyone touch it."
"So, he's really not gonna stop getting…pissed?"
Tenten nodded her head. "Well…"
Of course he will, only an idiot will hold a grudge over—
"If he's still looking for you, then he definitely has revenge on his mind. He's almost as unreasonable as Sasuke on that one."
Mid-stance from a kunai throw (and obviously eavesdropping), Sasuke glared.
Sakura moaned and tried not to despair.
"Tenten, how can I fix this?"
Tenten looked at her thoughtfully, obviously torn between amusement and pity. From afar, Sakura's four boys pretended to practice on their spars, ears perked up and waiting for the verdict.
Tenten hesitated. "Well, I may know one solution."
Any idea would do. Anything.
And so, Sakura grabbed on to that one moment of hesitation and pushed.
"Yes. Tell me. Please."
"I've come to shave your hair."
This was a bad idea.
The way the Hyuuga mansion seemed to close in on her, huge and tall and intimidating, suffocated her and made her wish she could run as far away as possible.
The way Neji himself was glaring at her with those pearly eyes, his stance huge and tall and intimidating, nearly made her choke on her own saliva and wish she could hide forever.
Particularly away from Konoha. Suna seemed like a very good option right now.
"I beg your pardon?"
The words sounded so ladylike, except they were uttered in a deep, disbelieving voice – proof enough that he could not believe she was actually saying it. She really should just turn around now and forget about all this. Seriously.
"Or I could just cut it evenly using my chakra," she blurted out. "You know, so it won't be so…crooked?"
Neji stared at her as if wanting her to wither. Remembering Tenten's advice, she made sure not to let her stare waver.
Okay, this was a lost cause. There was no plan if he didn't say yes, and it was pretty much obvious that her jittery, lunatic proposal had him thinking she was as stupid as any kunoichi could get (an assumption that bothered her pride, but it wasn't like she could pick a fight with him in a situation like this – she was smarter than that). Time to turn around now. Leave, change her name and address (she was half-serious about this), go someplace where he wouldn't follow and—
Jerking out of her stupor, Sakura's eyes widened.
"I beg your par—er, okay. That's good. So, where shall we do it?"
A pause, where she realized that what she said sounded so much like an embarrassingly suggestive innuendo – not that he noticed. He finally started walking and motioned his head for her to follow. He led her through a series of clean hallways (it was like a maze) before stopping in front of a what looked like a room. Sliding the door open, he then allowed her to walk in first before following and sliding the door closed.
Inside was a bedroom in musky green, cream and the scent of masculinity in the air. It was obviously his, and as intimidating as its owner.
Without preamble, Neji sat on the backless couch. He gave her one stern look before stiffly facing the bed and fixing those pearly eyes on the wall. Slowly, she approached him until she was standing behind him.
Sakura went through her head one more time. What was it that Tenten said?
Go cut his hair first and make sure you do it right. Earn his trust.
Summoning chakra in one hand, Sakura tentatively placed her other hand on his scalp, drawing out the hair that stood out longer on the right side. No wonder he didn't go out anymore. She cringed at what she had done. Almost immediately, he stiffened again at her touch. She ignored this, and with a practiced move, snipped the long hair off. It scattered on the floor quietly.
She felt his muscles coil, almost as if he was clenching his teeth to prevent from speaking.
Praying to Kami he wouldn't lash out at her, she placed chakra on her other hand and continued on her task. When she was halfway done and felt his shoulders relax a bit, she felt enough courage to finally ask, "Would you like it to be shaved regularly, or do you prefer—"
She blinked, startled. She was not expecting that. Slowly, Sakura set her chakra again, measuring and snipping until she got his hair cut to the way he wanted it done. It looked odd on him – but then again, she was only staring at the back.
And really, that wasn't even what she was supposed to be pondering about.
With a deep breath, Sakura pretended to snip some more, at the same time placing more chakra concentrated into the tiny points of her fingers. She lightly placed them on his scalp, touching them on the skin and trailing down. Then she pushed.
He froze, but didn't move.
She pushed some more, rubbing his scalp similar to a massage and inwardly groaning. Just what the hell was she thinking, listening to Tenten? Her fingers slid further down, alarm ringing in her head as she waited for him to grab her wrist – most likely to snap them before he proceeded to kill her—
Something else happened instead.
It was her turn to freeze when he shuddered – subtly, as if he was trying to calm himself down. Then he shuddered again. Experimentally, Sakura massaged lower, eyes widening when a soft, quiet sound came out of his mouth. A moan.
Dear Kami. The man had a massage fetish. Suddenly, Tenten's instructions made more sense.
"It's just something he hides – a reaction no one knows about, except me and Shikamaru. We discovered it six months ago by accident on a mission. And it's a knowledge I'm sharing to you to get him off your back. Don't ever share it to anyone else . And don't tell him you got it from me."
Sakura panicked slightly. Hell, when Tenten had mentioned this, she was expecting the man to be ticklish or something – not this. Mind working furiously, she finally deduced that this was even better - this was going to make her life better. The word blackmail rang through her mind over and over, like a ringing bell that would not stop. He can no longer retaliate. She no longer needs to dodge and be paranoid of his possible vengeance.
She felt him make a move to stand up. Quick as lightning, Sakura slid her hands down his neck and massaged deeper, determined not to let him get away. His back arched slightly, his own fingers digging into the couch he was sitting on. The moan turned into a groan, long and low – the sound like the one a man would make when – when he…
Her mouth went dry at the image her mind supplied. Without thought, she dug her hands harder, and was rewarded by his back arching again, his muscles flexing. It mesmerized Sakura enough to have her pausing, wondering why her heart was thudding so loudly against her ribcage and her belly was tingling.
It was enough.
In an instant, he had slapped her hands away and had stood up, facing her with eyes glaring even more intensely than before. His breathing was harsh as he strode forward, hands clenched into fists. Alarmed, Sakura backed away.
"It's just hair!" she said defensively. "And I now have information that you wouldn't want others to find out, so you can't touch me—eee!"
She was cut off when he pushed her forward using those fisted hands, as if to back her against the nearest wall. She resisted, and there was a brief struggle as arms and limbs clashed. She almost resorted to biting, but before that thought could fully form in her mind, she was immediately brought to the floor by the inevitably stronger male. He pinned her down with his own body, waves of irritation coming off him enough to have her panicking again. Not about to give up, Sakura used her chakra to gather strength, freeing her hands enough so she could place them over his head. Then she proceeded to massage him in fast, repetitive movements, eager to get away.
He stiffened, giving her one furious look before her hands began to take effect and the furious look dissolved into something feral and almost hungry. She tried to buck him off – and froze when something hard and warm touched her stomach. Was that…was that what she thought it was?
"Let me go," he ordered, arching against her moving hands. As if realizing how weak this made him look, he arched forward instead – right into her, causing her to be pinned down further.
She inhaled the breath that almost escaped from her mouth as the hard thing – holy crap, he was aroused –pressed further into her, hotter now. Resolutely, he buried his face on the tatami mat beside her neck, muffling his groan.
"Release me," he demanded.
And risk getting pummeled after what I just did?
"No," she bit out stubbornly, nails practically digging. He let out a harsh breath and began nipping her neck.
She froze. He took that as an advantage and tried to pry her hands off. Sakura was nothing if not persistent – despite feeling how sexy his body felt against hers, darn it! – and refused to let this happen. In retaliation, she rolled until he was the one being pinned, placing a thumb carefully on the nerve ticking on his neck.
"Listen," she hissed right near his face, "I have you pinned down and I'm not scared to hit your pressure point and make you sorry—"
The sentence was cut off as Neji did the most un-Neji thing in his whole life.
He kissed her.
Momentarily in shock, the thumb she had pressed on his neck went numb. Then her hair was grabbed and she was flipped again, her back hitting the mat and…his lips still fused to hers. He nipped her bottom lip, earning a squeak from her – one which turned into a small, barely-heard moan before she could stop it.
She didn't go around kissing strangers – not that Neji was a stranger, because heck, she'd known him her whole life and was with him in at least more than ten missions. But she technically didn't know him well, and that meant that he was practically a stranger.
Oh, and she had never been kissed before. Kiba tried once, but that had ended up in a hospital-resulting disaster.
So why wasn't she inflicting some hospital-worthy bruises on him right now?
Oh, right. Because she was kissing him back.
Who could blame her? The man was an excellent kisser – a far contrast from his earlier stiff demeanor. When he began tapping her lips with his tongue, asking for entrance (wait, no, demanding it), she hesitantly tapped her tongue back. He groaned.
She liked the sound very much.
She promised herself she would let him kiss her (and yeah, kiss him back) for about thirty seconds more before she ended this and went back to blackmailing him. Yeah. Just a few more seconds. She was Sakura, queen of willpower – of course she would end this soon. Piece of cake. One taste wasn't enough to keep her distracted, or infatuated, or—
Murmuring huskily in her mouth, Neji's hand traveled to her right hip, shifting her until he was completely on top. The action made her hyperaware of everything – his firm lips taking, his tongue gliding, those big hands caressing tingling skin underneath her shirt, his warm body pressing. Then he moved against her, and his mouth went to nip her ear playfully. Playfully.
Her mind went blank. All thoughts flew out of her head.
Shit. She was done for.
Haruno Sakura melted into a pile of goo. She also burned ten thousand times from a chidori-like inner fire.
Ignorant to the bolt of unbelievable pleasure singing through her, Sakura tried to grab fistfuls of his hair, squirming restlessly against him until she realized there was no more hair to grab on to. Well, darn it! She cried out in frustration, clawing at his back instead as his mouth moved to her neck, lips teasingly tasting. He must have liked it because in a few seconds, the teasing tasting had turned to hungry sucking, and it was all she could do not to plead for his mouth to come back and kiss her again – the way he did earlier, so thorough and amazing and—
Oh. His mouth was back. He got a good grip of her hair, tilting her head to deepen the kiss. Yummy. Still thorough and amazing and—
All movement stopped.
She felt hands release her hair, and a draft on her face. Opening her eyes, Sakura let her senses come back one by one. She smelled the polish on the floor. She heard the sound of her beating heart. She felt the tingles on her skin still electrifying every inch.
She saw Neji, standing and hovering above her, a satisfied look on his face—
Neji smirked. "Now we're even."
Then his expression sobered and he walked away before she could utter a single word.
Sakura stared. Tried to process what happened for a few more seconds.
Then she sat up – and realization set in like a dropped bomb as soon as she saw clumps of pink on the mat.
Oh, hell no.
The next day, one of the training grounds was destroyed, Neji was sent to the hospital and a girl (boy?) was seen walking around with a bonnet on the top of her head, falling off without her noticing it. She was whistling, grinning and waving at everyone who stared at her exposed bald spot.
The Rookie Nine plus Kakashi stared as she cheerfully announced that she and the Hyuuga were dating.
Nobody dared mess with Sakura ever again.
a/n: ohoho. I had fun writing this. I've never really written Neji before, so...yeah. I hope he's still IC. Reviews are appreciated! :)
up next: sasusaku, narusaku & kakasaku oneshots.