This is the first one I've uploaded, nevertheless it isn't my first story. I wanted to finish my NejiTen first before I upload it. Funny thing that I say I love NejiTen when the first one I upload is . Please don't get me wrong, I love them too.

I hope you enjoy reading.=)

DISCLAIMER:Yukina does not own any character in the story below.


"You may never know: the next time could be worth it…"


She smiled at his response. If it were other girls, she would have turned away dejectedly at the rejection again. But no. she was not like any other girls. Sure, the rejection and the snob attitude cost her part of her dignity every time she goes out to greet him, however, in the course of time; she'd learned how to manage these feelings of shame and embarrassment, making her more able to do what she wanted to do.

She watched as his raven-black hair fade away from her sight, his being growing smaller and smaller as he walked away. Shrugging, she tried one more time:

"Bye Sasuke-kun! See you later!"

She had said it as audibly as she can, though she wasn't sure whether her statement made its way to his ears. He didn't even look back or raise a hand to acknowledge her.

She shrugged again then turned away to the opposite direction, intending to head for the cafeteria.

Maybe next time.


Sakura practically had to press her palms harder onto her ears in order to prevent severe damage from high frequency. Ino's thousand decibel shriek roared throughout the cafeteria, proven by several (or rather, all) persons in the place to cease whatever they were doing and turn, (some quizzical, some incredulous) looks at a particular, long-haired blond who had her eyes emanating wild flames.

However, time seemed to go slowly when these wild flames turn from Sakura's very abashed form to them.





Sputters of water and a few coughs and murmurs were heard in the cafeteria as the people in it literally commanded their muscles to function and go back to what they were previously doing; afraid to the bones of what a certain long-haired blond would do to them if they didn't.

Ahem. Now back to the two.

"Ino would you sit down?" Sakura hissed audibly enough for the other to hear, yet low enough so as to not cause anymore undue attention. She stomped over to where Ino was still furiously standing and shoved her shoulders down rather harshly, making her sit. "You're shaming me!" Sakura added, a mixture of frustration and discomfiture running inside of her.

Rubbing the rather painful shoulders that she now had, Ino glared as Sakura returned quietly to her seat. When the pinkette became aware of her friend's death-inducing glare, she groaned and slapped a palm to her face. Why would Ino promise not to overreact when she would break it all together one second after she told her problem? Sheesh, this woman…

"Sakura, tell me the truth."

The pinkette looked up from her groaning form to silently bid her friend to continue. Ino furrowed her eyebrows. "For three years you've been trying to get his attention. Yet for three years too that he treats you as if you don't exist! Why you did even had any interest in him anyway?"

Sakura shrugged. In reality, she didn't really know. Was she some normal woman, she would've turned her back and given up on someone as cold as Sasuke, considering the emotional toll of embarrassment his responses to her were. Yet, every time she was alone in her room thinking about the subject matter, she couldn't help but feel a little bit regret if she took his smugness personally. Wasn't he like that to other people? Come to think of it, as she had noticed (Well, a more appropriate word is observed): he was snob to virtually all people. In fact, the only person she knew who could make Sasuke talk in words other than the infamous "HN." is Naruto. It makes much sense to her, Sakura thought. What's a best friend for, right?

Going back to Ino's question, she tried to think of some acceptable reason why she kept on pushing through, despite his attitude; Why, despite of the painful, but obvious disinterest of Sasuke towards her (he probably thinks of her as just one of his fan girls), she kept on greeting him with a cheery smile she only shows to him; why she had liked him for three straight years ever since he became her classmate.

Why, during those three years, she was absolutely sure that she had already fallen hard for him.

Sure, she loved to see how his walk was so graceful and how he managed to maintain that grace even in stressful exam days. He may not notice it (and probably will not take time to), but during class hours, she would muse on how he still manages to surprise her whenever he answers complex problems without even writing his solution down. She gets enthralled by how his black hair seems to glint in the sunlight when partly damp during and after their P.E. class. Most of all, she gets spellbound every time she looks straight into his eyes – his, deep, unemotional, obsidian eyes – that almost makes her believe that he could read right through her achingly hoping soul.

Now, why had she fallen in love with him?

"Sakura, you're zoning out again."

Caught unawares by the sudden intrusion of a voice, the said pinkette accidentally spilled over the glass half-empty of water in front of her, earning her a short, shrill gasp. She watched as the water, starting from the brim of the overturned glass; make its way towards the edge of the table, effectively threatening to dampen her green school skirt.

By reflex, she stood up abruptly, grabbing a couple of napkins from the holder, and carefully dabbing it to the table edge, virtuously stopping the water flow. Sighing, Ino took ones too and joined her friend in clearing up the mess.

"You've been zoning out a lot more these past few days. Guess you already knew the answer to my question didn't ya?" Ino teasingly whispered, to which Sakura responded with a childish stick of the tongue. Nevertheless, she didn't argue.

Ino shrugged. "You know, I care a lot about you Sakura, even though it may seem that I don't. I'm just – you know – kind of a little worried of how the things will work out. For the life of me, I don't know how you would react if you suddenly learned he already got a girlfriend."

Smiling at her friend's rare show of concern, Sakura dabbed her remaining tissue on the liquid, drying its entire remnant out before holding out her palm to grab Ino's drenched tissues. "Ino, thanks." She replied, crumpling all the trash in her hands. "I know about your uneasiness, but please don't focus all your energy on me. Don't worry. I'll let you know when I need a shoulder." She winked. Ino pouted, obviously not pleased with the current topic yet she managed to elbow Sakura lightly on her side.

"A shoulder and an avenger you may say." She giggled out.

Sakura rolled her eyes at Ino's childishness. She politely excused herself, gathering all the remaining trash, then casually proceeded to the bin and threw each one in their proper bags. This seemed like a normal day, she thought again as she spun yet around to return to her seat.

However, you can't imagine the shock that ran course through her veins when at the farthest corner of the cafeteria; a raven-haired, obsidian eyed man entered the door, talking casually to a smirking, red-haired woman beside him.


He seemed comfortable talking to her, and Sakura swore with the sharp eyesight she had that he saw a hint of pink on his cheeks, even deepening in color when the said girl remarked about something and giggled.

She bit her lip, remembering Ino's words. Now she hadn't expected this yet. She hadn't prepared herself for the fact that, as stoic as Sasuke may seem, he also had the liberty to choose himself a girlfriend, which would – of course – explain the look on Sasuke's face this very moment. His eyebrows were furrowed as he looked away from the girl, whereas the girl playfully nudged his arm with her shoulder, obviously teasing him.

Sakura just stood there, letting her consciousness absorb all the information she had just beheld. As she watched Sasuke and the girl take an empty table (Sasuke still avoiding eye contact with the teasing girl), Sakura felt a twinge of hurt (she wouldn't dare say Ino had never warned her) and a stinging sensation onto the corners of her eye at the painful realization:

I'm too late…

She watched them for a minute more before she sighed in defeat. She should've known this day was coming. Soon that he'd be able to find a pair, and as odd as it may sound, contrary to what jealousy does to people, she was genuinely happy for him. Never had she seen Sasuke so comfortable with another woman as to let her tease him like that. Yes, she admits that she is downright jealous but then if that girl provided him what she couldn't, why would Sakura be angry at her?

But then, a thought suddenly came to her nimble mind that set her off grinning evilly and making her way towards the couple.

I think now is that 'next time'.

Okay, so Inner Sakura is alive once more. XD

The couple looked up from their conversation, surprised by the intrusion of a certain pink-haired batch mate. Sasuke automatically turned serious again, looking away from Sakura, who by the way, didn't mind at all, but continued grinning like an idiot.

The red-haired, red-eyed girl who was with Sasuke was as taken aback as him, but she chose to remain silent.

Sakura shrugged at her. "I'm sorry to interrupt your conversation. I just thought that maybe I could talk to Sasuke-kun even for a minute."

The other girl, though puzzled, nodded.

Sakura giggled like a naughty child, and then turned to the eye-contact avoiding Sasuke. "Hi Sasuke-kun! I was worrying where you could have gone, only to know that you are with someone already. But it's okay. I'll just wait for you in our next class. Hope I haven't disturbed anything important. Well, I gotta go!" she lively waved off as she turned her back from them the same time Sasuke looked up to her with confused eyes.

However, just merely two steps away Sakura remembered something that she should have added to her statement earlier. Whirling back rather animatedly, she turned to face Sasuke and made sure his attention were fully upon her.

"Oh. And also…"

Sasuke's eyes widened as Sakura allowed her lips to curve up into the smile that she reserved only for him, but even more so when he heard the next statement that she uttered with a soft, yet sincere voice:

"…I love you."

Satisfied with getting the heavy weight off her chest, she chuckled once more and walked away, never looking back and caring about the consequences of her actions.

Meanwhile Karin, in all her exuberant attitude, gave a bonk on the head of a deeply blushing and dumbfounded Sasuke before retorting out an amused statement:

"Where the heck would you use my advice for, when your longtime crush is already your girlfriend?"

Yukina deeply appreciates your taking time of reading her story.=)

Kami no gokago ga arimasu youni...