note: I really need to get over the whole "SASUKE IS A SUPER DUPER BUSINESS TYPE GUY" thing in AU's...

On Truths and Lies


Karin knows that she will marry Sasuke. It's a given, a fact in her universe as much as the sky is blue and the Earth is round. She will marry Sasuke and become Uchiha and they will have at least three children together, because she's seen the want in his eyes a few days every month of the year.

Karin knows, because she has been working with Sasuke for well over half a decade. Karin knows because Karin chose him. She'd been recruited by his engineering firm—one of the top in the country—straight out of college, and to say she was surprised would have been a complete lie. She was only twenty two, and had risen in the ranks until she was a member on the board of directors as well as an actively contributing engineer. Karin had been the first woman to do so, and she was proud, very proud because she'd been able to disprove her mother and her father and all those sneering professors.

Sasuke helped her achieve that. He's always listened to her with quiet, serious consideration, never mind her scum-alley roots, and she is the only woman that he talks to on a regular basis. The last Uchiha is also the youngest to ever take control of the company, spearheading experimental projects and risky ventures with a flawless record and a one hundred percent success rate. He takes risks—but they are only ever calculated, and Karin respects him for that. She sees herself in this man, in their shared story of overcoming a past to reach a greater goal. Karin chose Sasuke because she can't see it ending any other way; they are perfect for each other, really.

Unlike all the other men she's known, he's never been one to begrudge her growth or career out of some misogynistic pride or vanity. He wouldn't be self-sacrificing to a fault, but they'd make compromises—calculated risks—and it would be a rewarding relationship, tempered with quiet love and a certain understanding. It might be a passionless marriage, but Karin hates passion, detests it despite the fire of her hair and the red of her eyes. Passion ruins and destroys—just look at what it did for her parents. Passion is unnecessary, and based on Sasuke's cool eyes and cooler skin (she remembers every small brush of their fingers as they exchanged papers and messages), he is the same.

Karin knows that she will marry Sasuke, it is a sure fact impending. He just needs a little push.

It's a quiet Sunday morning, and the top floor of Uchiha Conglomerate is nearly empty of the usual retinue of workers and briefcases. Karin is in, as always, because she never takes a day off, not for holidays or sick days or weddings or funerals. She knows Sasuke doesn't either, and that only plays a very small role in her choosing to come in every Sunday morning instead of every Sunday afternoon, like most of her colleagues do. And if she gets to share a cup of coffee over Sasuke's tea (what he drinks depends on his mood, she thinks, although what coffee tea latte and sometimes, just once or twice a year, alcohol, corresponds to she doesn't know), then all the better.

This morning begins as all Sunday mornings do, with the measured clack of her heels against polished marble floor and the calming waft of caffeine from the coffee tray balanced in her hand. The receptionist gives her a polite, deferential smile as she comes in, but other than the younger woman the entire floor—opening out to cubicles—is empty. Sasuke though, she knows, will be in his office, just a hallway and two doors down from hers.

Karin clicks her way past four cubicles before she hears the elevator ding open behind her again.

"Hello," says a distinctly feminine voice, "I'm here to see Uchiha Sasuke."

The redhead freezes, one foot already poised for the next clack to follow the click. This woman, whoever she is, already irritates her. Maybe it's the presumption in her voiced desire to see Sasuke (besides, Karin thinks smugly, he never took visitors on Sundays anyways); there is no question or doubt in the single statement, only fact. Truth.

"I'm afraid you need an appointment," the receptionist returns, icy polite.

Good, Karin thinks, now that that's taken care of…

She moves, breathes again and begins to continue on her way to Sasuke.

"He's going to want to see me," comes the firm reply.

Karin doesn't want to turn around, because if she does, if she does—she turns around anyways, and isn't prepared for what she sees. She's expecting the run-of-the-mill fangirl, but this (here she struggles to contain a snort of laughter) girl with the pink hair and dusty jacket and was that blood? army boots is not it. She wanted to see Uchiha Sasuke?

"I'm sure he does," the receptionist—what's her name again?—says, and she and Karin lock eyes over the pinky's shoulder, "but Uchiha Sasuke-san will not be disturbed. You will have to contact him and make an approved appointment yourself."

"Tomorrow," she adds pointedly.

The stranger only pauses to slip a sleek cell phone out of a pocket—probably stolen, Karin thinks with disdain—when Karin finally decides that enough is enough. The blond receptionist looks overly relieved that the redhead has decided to intervene, but what can she do? Not everyone is as competent as she herself likes to be.

"Excuse me miss," she says sugary sweet, "I'm sorry you had to come all the way up here, but Sasuke-san really isn't seeing anyone today."

The woman finally turns at the sound of Karin's voice, and she's greeted with the biggest pair of green eyes she's ever seen. It's ridiculous really, eyes like that should only ever be seen on children, or dolls. She is slim and pale, and although she's probably a respectable five feet four her eyes coupled with the sharp, fragile features of her face gives her the illusion of diminutive size.

"Are you sure I'm not in the appointments? Haruno Sakura. Ha-ru-no."

The receptionist shakes her head while Karin strives to look sympathetic, "You're always free to try again later this week."

The girl bites her lip, giving her cell phone a look of disgust and mutters, "I knew I shouldn't have trusted Naruto."

A few quick dials and then, "Uchiha Sasuke? Guess who's standing in the lobby of your office?"

Karin scoffs at first, who does this girl think she's kidding? That a fake phone call would get her access to one of the most reclusive men in the country?

And then an office door bangs open, and all of Karin's expectations are shot straight to hell.

Uchiha Sasuke stands at the threshold looking as Karin's never known him: his hair messier than usual, product of an agitated hand, the expression of surprise and disbelief written across his face more than she's ever seen.

The girl, Sakura, only smiles, like she is used to this—to Uchiha Sasuke reacting, like it was no big deal. It only makes Karin dislike her more.

"Sakura," he says, and it is not a question, only a statement of immutable fact.

"Hello, Sasuke-kun. Long time no see," she cheerily replies.

Sasuke walks towards them with great purposeful strides, and this is the Sasuke that Karin knows, covets. He stops directly in front of the girl, ignores Karin and the receptionist—what is her name—and looks down at the pink haired bitch (Karin shushes herself in her head, ladies are never vulgar) with all the intensity that she thought he could never posses.

"I thought you were still away," a pointed look at her clothes, but not in disdain. Rather, there is the raise of an eyebrow and a shrugging of broad shoulders; a question unasked.

The girl smiles again, answers easily, "The whole thing was a hundred percent success. The disease is pretty much eradicated from the villages now, and vaccines have been supplied and stocked just in case. I figured I could send my team home early."

"Just in time to pick up that Peace Prize?" Sasuke asks dryly. Karin starts, wonders at who this girl is. Wishes that Sasuke cares as little as she does—as little as she thinks he should. There's only a light snort from the woman, and all of a sudden Karin feels uncomfortable watching this, like she shouldn't be here, which is ridiculous because it is this intruder that is trespassing anyways.

Then, "I know you have work and all, but do you want to catch up over a cup of your favorite coffee?"

He doesn't have a favorite, Karin wants to snarl, and he's never going to leave work just to talk to you, she adds in spite.

Sasuke looks at the girl, Sakura, for a long, slow minute, and then nods, "I'll get my coat."

The pair heads towards his office and Karin is left standing in the immaculate lobby with the world quietly ripped out from under her feet.

a/n: Still not quite happy with this...

This fic will basically be a quick two-shot, told from Karin's point of view. It is, however, strictly sasusaku, with onesided sasukarin. I wanted to make her into a more...understandable character? I'll probably experiment with that in canon soon, and depending on the ending and the editing that I'll do later maybe delete this first attempt. What'd you guys think? (Yes, uber-powerful magnate Sasuke is getting repetitive to write, but his job isn't a big part of the plot so much so as what his position provides Karin with-an opportunity to prove herself.)