This was beyond strange.

Sakura had never imagined she'd be here drinking hot chocolate of all things, with the red-headed girl of Team Hebi. Let alone right after having what civilians would describe as a cat-fight.

Well that term still applied – sort of most civilian cat-fights didn't involve chakra increased punches that the red-headed girl seemed to avoid with some difficulty, and the jutsu's Karin had thrown at her while being something every ninja was taught from a young age had been more then effective.

All in all it had been a spectacular fight that had left them both injured – although Sakura was proud to say she had less than the red-head by at least one, a cut on her arm to be exact– which had led to a strange laughing fit from Sakura – for what she couldn't remember – which had led to Karin offering her some hot chocolate while the males were away.

Sakura still couldn't figure out what had led the red-head to suggest such a thing, but she was never one to disagree with the offering of chocolate, and when Karin had produced two packages that smelled mouth watering Sakura had known she would stay.

Which led to them both sitting across from each other, both sipping steaming cups, and sizing each other up?

"I know you were on his gennin team."

Sakura looked up "I assure you Karin-san I don't know what you're speaking-"

"Oh but you do Sakura-san, you know who I'm speaking of I saw the picture when we were fighting, it fell out of your shirt, you were obvious in it with that hair of yours, but I was most curious when I saw who was standing next to you."

Sakura scrambled to feel for the picture she kept of her gennin team, but came up short. Finally she looked up at Karin.

"Do you have the picture?"

Karin nodded and handed the picture to her, she watched as the pink haired female stared almost dreamily at the faces before gently stroking the picture.

"What do you want with my teammates?"

"You're mistaken, Sasuke-kun isn't your teammate, he's mine."

Sakura glared at her "he's not property."

"Not your property you mean?"

Sakura hefted a sigh that sounded far too wishful for Karin's taste "not anyone's."

"Sasuke likes me."

"I thought he liked me too Karin-san, but then..."

Sakura trailed off and Karin felt a stab of unease "what was Sasuke-kun to you, Sakura-san?"

Sakura took a sip of her drink before shaking the cup a little watching the dark brown liquid swirl around and around. How ironic, she saw far too much of a younger her in Karin, it was startling and yet the similarities were there.

"A better question is what Sasuke is to you?"

"I love him."

Sakura glanced up "don't say that, you don't know what you're saying, don't be blinded by him, Sasuke is an amazing man if you give him the chance, but he also has numerous faults that unless you truly do love him are hard to look past, trust me he's less perfect then you think he is."

"Don't fall in love with him unless you're ready for all that entitles, and Karin-san you may think you are, but trust me your not."

"Sakura-san you love him don't you?"

"Yes."

The answer was simple enough but Karin knew there was more "why though, from what you said you don't want me to love him, and I doubt it's something so petty as jealousy, why do you love him?"

Sakura took a sip of hot chocolate "why do you love him?"

"Stop firing my questions back at me."

"I loved him for all the wrong reasons at first, he was popular and he was a prize to be won, I was in a feud with a friend and Sasuke was the ultimate prize, it was stupid and superficial until I truly saw him for him and then…and then I saw something dark in him, and I truly realized what loving someone was."

"It's not rainbow's and butterflies, and I would have been much happier having never loved him, he left me Karin-san in the middle of the night on a bench after I told him how much I loved him, he's not perfect, and the sooner you realize that the better."

For a few moments everything was quiet until Karin spoke.

"I love him because he saved me."

"Well that's at least less superficial then me…how did he save you, if it's not too personal a question."

It was but this girl had already bore her soul to try and make Karin understand and the least Karin could do was to do the same for her.

"It was at the Chunin exams in Kohana I lost track of my teammates, I couldn't find them anywhere, and then I was attacked by a bear and he saved me….His chakra was so beautiful, and I instantly loved it, and then he came to sound and I, well…."

Sakura understood all too well.

It was a grudged understanding but one none the less, and Sakura knew she wasn't what Sasuke needed right now – maybe in time, if he ever returned home to kohana something Sakura doubted would truly ever happen but she wasn't going to tell Naruto that.

Maybe if things changed she could have Sasuke, and maybe if things changed he could love her back.

But for now Sakura decided that Karin would have to do.

"The boys will be back soon you should go, Suigetsu is annoying and would come on to you, I don't know what Jūgo would do but it's best not to tempt him, and I doubt Sasuke would like it if I was sitting here drinking hot chocolate with his former teammate."

Sakura nodded and finished her cup before handing it back to Karin who took it and stored it in her pack.

"Thank you Karin-san for the hot chocolate it was wonderful."

Karin nodded and smiled "your welcome Sakura-san."

Sakura gathered her pack and her old team picture before turning to leave, only to hesitate "Karin-san can I ask something of you?"

Karin nodded and Sakura licked her lips before speaking "Sasuke…he's reckless and lets his anger guide him, he gets into the worst of situations could you do me a favor, could you protect him?"

Karin nodded.

"Thank you so much."

Sakura turned and was gone and Karin busied herself with making a cup of hot chocolate for Jūgo, Suigetsu, and another for herself.

She didn't make one for Sasuke though.

He hated sweets.

END

A/N Please don't favorite without reviewing, I want to know what you like about my story, or what you didn't like, or both.

Thanks!

Peace out and may force be with you,

Abby