dedicated to: LEAP YEAR WHOOHOO
prompt: putting flowers in hair :)
summary: Sakura has always played the "he loves me, he loves me not" game with flower petals ever since she was little, up into her teenage years, always ending unsuccessfully. When Sasuke is starting to show affection...does he really love her or not?
"He loves me—" Sakura sing-songed as she picked a flower out of the ground. She lifted it up and smelled it before using her tiny, chubby hands to pull the first petal out quickly. "He loves me not."
There were still lots of petals left, and Sakura took air in her little cheeks and blew them out quickly in a sigh of frustration.
"He loves me," she began. "He loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not…"
She had started in the late afternoon in her backyard and it was about five or six in the evening as she tried to get all the tiny little petals of the small flower individually, resting her back on the hammock and watching the sky swing back and forth while the petals flew down.
"He loves me not," she said, staring at the last petal before knowing what her "fate" was. Then, she threw the flower on the ground in frustration and went inside, huffing.
She'd try again tomorrow, but with no luck.
seven years later
Sakura was thirteen and ready to start junior high. She had a new haircut, a new uniform, and new books and binders and notebooks and pencils and everything with her, along with her old friends that had trailed along.
"Are you ready, guys?" she asked them. They nodded in excitement, unable to keep themselves from bursting into happiness.
They walked together, trying to stay with each other through the crowd when Sakura noticed a lone flower growing out of the rock tiled streets. She stopped, praying she wouldn't get trampled, and said, "Go on ahead. I'll be there in a minute." Then, she took the flower, picked it, and tried to straighten it out from people stepping on it.
There were a few petals, but enough that she could still do her "love ritual." Hoping that nobody would notice (because, of course, doing that would seem uncool and that was the last thing Sakura wanted to be in her new school), she held it tight to her chest and murmured under her breath, staring down at the flower and trying to see where she was going by looking up every few seconds or so.
There were only a couple petals left. She picked up the pace walking-wise and muttering-wise, quickly slurring the words, "He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me—" she looked down and saw that there was only one petal left and cursed, hoping no one could hear her.
"He loves me not…"
She threw the picked flower back onto the rock tiles and didn't turn back as it got trampled over various students' feet.
"He's cute," Sakura's friends said to her as they hid behind her shoulder, giggling. They had only been in school for about a month. Sakura was trying to build up her popularity while her friends easily fit in with the "it" crowd.
"Which guy?" she asked. Her friends shushed her. "He's coming this way!"
Sakura didn't see anyone come until someone accidentally brushed her arm without apologizing, mostly because he didn't know that he had hit her on accident. Sakura turned to see that a boy, about their age, was walking away, his black hair spiked in the back that resembled a chicken's tail feathers. She didn't get to see his face, but by the way her friends were squealing, she knew he must have been attractive.
"Who is he?" she asked.
"Only the cutest guy in the world. Uchiha Sasuke."
"…Who?" Sakura asked.
They shook their heads. "Sakura-chan, you're never going to be popular if you don't figure out who these people are first!"
A little demoralized by their words, Sakura went to her class, hoping she could find out more about this "Sasuke" that was making her friends swoon.
It was break time and she sat under a tree outside since the weather was nice. Most of the boys were playing Frisbee and the girls were talking on their phones or texting each other or watching the game, whispering on who they thought was cute.
Sakura wanted to sleep. She was tired, and trying to be popular was exhausting. She noticed there was a flower near her and leaned over to pick it up. It didn't grow from the ground, so she looked up to see where it came from. Under the tree were multiple blossoms falling, and though she couldn't figure out what kinds of blossoms they were, they were very beautiful. She didn't want to mess one up completely, so she took another one and put it in her pocket to save as she played her game again.
"He loves me not," she began, hoping she would have better luck. "He loves me." One petal. "He loves me not." Two petals. "He loves me." Three petals.
Sakura looked up and saw a—she gulped—incredibly beautiful boy standing in front of her with no expression on his face. She couldn't' tell if he was angry, or mad, or upset, or anything. But he wasn't happy.
"Hi," she said quietly. His shadow was looming over her and she felt kind of…scared.
Sakura could make out the shape of spiked hair and realized that it must have been Uchiha Sasuke—the Uchiha Sasuke that all her friends were talking about.
"Can I sit here?" he asked, pointing next to her. "It's where I usually sit, but…anyway, I'm not asking you to move."
His cheeks were a little red and she thought it was unbelievably cute.
"Sure." She moved her stuff and he sat down next to her, trying to separate himself from her without seeming rude.
"I'm Sakura," she said, introducing herself without looking at him.
"That's a nice name."
"You too, I guess."
Sakura blushed. She looked down and, realizing how embarrassing it might be to say "He loves me, he loves me not" out loud…she spoke it in her head as she picked petals, forcing her mouth not to move.
Without her knowing, Sasuke was observing her from his book, his eyes watching her from the side as he raised an eyebrow, unsure of what she was doing.
When she was down to the last petal, he saw how she blew her hair out of her face, as if she was frustrated, flicking the flower away from her. He chuckled, and smirked.
She seemed unbelievably…cute.
"What's so funny?" she asked. The way her cheeks blazed, and her eyes lit up…he was interested. Interested in what she was doing. Interested in her.
"Truthfully?" he asked, unable to hide his smirk. "You."
He soon started to laugh, and Sakura couldn't feel angry anymore. She broke her angry façade and laughed with him.
"You're a character," he admitted, looking her in the eye. "I'm not saying that as a bad thing. You seem…interesting."
They sat there in silence before Sasuke took his things. "I've got to go now. Maybe I'll see you some other time."
She watched him go, the spikes of hair gleaming in the sun.
Then she reached her hand into the pocket with the other flower.
the next day
"You were talking to Uchiha Sasuke? You're so lucky! Was he cute? Was he nice? Tell us everything," Sakura's friends said as they attacked her for details.
"He was alright," she said. "We didn't really talk or anything. I mean, I didn't know him well enough…"
"Ugh," they said. "You're no fun, Sakura-chan. Plus, he's an older guy. How hot is that? Oh…"
"How old is he?" Sakura asked.
"He's fourteen…" they said, falling into each others' arms. "An upper class man!"
"That's only a year older than us," Sakura mentioned. "He's not that old."
"But still!" they said. "Still!"
"Sure," Sakura said, knowing she couldn't win that fight between two love-struck girls.
"Wait, wait, wait, he's coming this way!" they said, immediately shutting up and trying to hide their giggles.
"Hey, Sakura," Sasuke said with a smirk. "What's up?"
Sakura's friends squealed and blushed with a little jealousy and envy when Sakura said, "Nothing really. What about you?"
"Just the usual. Anyway, I have to go now. See you later," he said, raising his hand up as a small wave before he turned to leave.
"What was that?" they asked. "What. Was. That?"
"It was just being friendly…"
"He was not just being friendly!"
"Yes, he was. Now stop making a big deal out of nothing," Sakura said, pushing them off her and heading to class.
It was science class, and their teacher had just passed out flowers for them to "dissect," giving them diagrams so that they could label which parts of the flower was which.
Sakura, whenever given a flower, did what she always did like it was part of her morning routine. She picked them and the petals flew everywhere.
He loves me, he loves me not…
She woke up from her hypnotization and stared at the teacher while everyone was staring at her. "You're not supposed to pick it! Now we have to do it all over again…" while the students chuckled. She blushed.
She looked down and realized how many petals were left and what she had just ended on.
He loves me not…
It was sort of a ritual for them to sit under the same tree after school and during breaks, not talking if they didn't need to, but just sitting next to each other doing their own separate things.
"You're going to kill that flower," he mentioned as he leaned over and saw that she was picking flowers again.
"S'all ready dead," she muttered, hoping that this time, she wouldn't be jinxed. Knowing that whenever she did it, she always, always, always got the negative of what she wanted, she was hoping that soon she could finally get the "Loved" option and get her man.
"Are you, like, venting your anger on something? Because if you are, you can just punch me or whatever. You seem really frustrated."
"I'm fine." She kept picking. Then, she muttered a damnit! under her breath as she came to her last He loves me not petal.
"You don't seem fine. Here. Just a slug in the arm. You don't even have to do a sissy-punch. You can go all full-out on me." He pulled up his sleeve, and Sakura stared at him with disbelief before laughing and rolling her eyes.
"Feel better?" he asked.
"You can still punch me, if you'd like."
Sasuke shrugged. "Fair enough." He rolled down his sleeve.
"I'm going to go." Sakura said. "See you later."
four years later
He had asked her out after years of just sitting under a tree together, making little jokes but never actually talking to each other.
"On a date?" she asked.
"No, on a plane," he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Sakura smirked, knowing he was joking, but was still really shocked by this news. "Uh…"
"You don't have to if you don't want to. I'm just saying it's an option."
Her friends were almost over the Uchiha Sasuke phase, but hearing that he had asked her out sparked a new interest in them, and they became the thirteen year olds they were four years ago.
"You're so lucky! He's beautiful. And I bet he's good at knowing how to please a girl."
"How to please a girl or how to please a girl?" the other friend asked.
The two laughed between each other while Sakura ignored them. The fact that Sasuke, now 18, had asked her out…it was different. They were somewhat friends and shared a special spot together, but this just changed her whole perspective of him entirely.
Sakura walked outside to her next class before noticing a flower on the ground. She picked it up and paused in her steps, still continuing to do what she had started twelve years ago.
"He loves me," she murmured. "He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me…" Sakura paused.
"…He loves me not."
She bit her lip, looking up and feeling an unfamiliar sting of tears that had never come before. But she wiped them away angrily, heading to her next class.
"You don't need to get all dressed up for this," Sasuke said as he picked her up at her house. She had went through multiple outfit changes to find out what was the "perfect" outfit for this date, never having been on one before. "But you look nice."
"Thanks. You, uh…too." He looked beautiful, as always, but more so in something that wasn't an all-black school uniform. With a blue hoodie and a gray t-shirt and jeans, he looked casual and…kind of sexy. Sakura gulped.
"Thanks." They walked together and Sakura slung her small bag over her shoulder as Sasuke chuckled. "We seem like opposites, don't we?"
"I guess," she said, nervously laughing along with him. "Sure. So…where are we going?"
"Is that a smirk? Don't you smirk at me!" she said, half-laughing, half-trying to be serious. He couldn't help it and smirked even wider before they both started to laugh together, pausing for breath.
"You really are a character," he said, trying to catch his breath. "Really. It's so interesting."
"You're a character. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. You seem…interesting."
"Something wrong?" he asked.
She shook her head, realizing she was spacing out. "No, nothing. I was just thinking of something."
"Was it important?"
She shook her head. "Not really."
But maybe to me it was…
"Let's go," he said, holding her shoulder. "I think you'll like this place a lot."
"Alright, we're here. But wait—you can't look yet. I'm going to cover your eyes but just listen to where my voice is leading you and follow it. If I say step down, step down. I'll hold your hand if you need me to. Sound good?"
"Honestly? Not really…"
"Good." He put his hands over her eyes and she struggled to get them off, but he said, "Just wait. Okay, now keep walking forward. A little more. Good. Wait, stop. Step over it with your right foot. Whoa, easy there—" he took her hand in his own and she saw a little peek of what he was trying to show her.
"Don't look yet!" He let go of her hand and put them back on her eyes. "Okay. Now step down. Great. Walk a little more. Step down again…Now keep walking straight. Take bigger steps, I'm not trying to trick you! Keep walking. Now…" he took his hands off her eyes. "Look."
Sakura gasped and put her hand over her mouth. It was a huge Sakura tree, and around her was a park. There were kids playing, dogs barking, and people chatting happily. Sasuke took her by the shoulders and led her to the tree.
"Sit down," he said, making himself comfortable before patting the ground next to him. "I won't bite," he smirked.
She smiled back and sat down, a little farther than they usually sat together. He scooted closer and handed her a flower.
"Sakura flowers," he said. "They're falling from the branches." He sniffed it and handed it to her. "I think they're the most beautiful flowers ever."
Sakura looked at him with confusion into his eyes, which stared into hers. She blushed and turned away, looking at the flower, not knowing if he meant her or the flower itself.
"I always knew what you were doing with those flowers. At first I supposed you were just a flower girl. You liked flowers. But the way you would pick those petals and mutter under your breath…you were doing that game that those little girls do, don't you?"
"So what if I do?" Sakura said, blushing, trying not to deny it.
"Hey, whoa. I'm not saying it's bad," he said, defending himself. "I'm just saying that I knew."
Sakura twisted her lips until Sasuke continued. "Who else do you think gave you those flowers for your birthday? Who else knew you better than your friends? Who else…liked you better than any other guy?" he said, muttering and blushing at the last part.
Sakura didn't look up. She just stared at the cherry blossom in her palm.
"Play the game again," he commanded.
"But there are only five petals!" she said. "Then I'll know what to choose!"
"Doesn't matter. And say it out loud this time. Don't try to hide it from me." He scooted closer to her and put his arm around her shoulder.
Sakura wanted to reply, but he looked at her with that stare and she began, "He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me…he loves me not." She looked at the last petal, back at him, and felt her eyes begin to tear up. She felt Sasuke smirk softly before he pressed his lips to her forehead.
"…He loves you."