Summary: Sasuke is captured by Leaf and subsequently finds himself completely blown away by the identity of the ANBU to have bested him in a fight. "S-Sakura?" Implied SasuSaku
Sasuke had never expected this. Sure, some deep part of him acknowledged that if anyone was going to get the best of him, it would probably be a Leaf ninja. He had a morbid sense of poetic justice and figured things could only come full circle if those he betrayed were the ones to stop him in the end.
But this? This was beyond comprehension. It was so beyond him, he was still reeling from the shock.
Handcuffed, dirty, bound with chakra ropes, angry, and basically helpless, Sasuke found himself the prisoner of the last leaf shinobi he would've ever guessed.
Gods above, the woman had PINK hair. That alone should've been enough to exclude her from ever being on the list of people who had the propensity to take him on and maybe possibly SOMEHOW win. On top of that, last he had checked, she was a worthless kunoichi. She couldn't have been the one to defeat him, not when so many others who were much stronger than her had tried and failed miserably!
But there she was, smirking at him.
Sasuke scowled at her smug face, turning his head away as much as he could while being bound to a tree with chakra ropes that were tied just a smidge too tightly for it to have been an oversight on her part.
Sasuke peered at her as inconspicuously as he could from the corner of his eye, noticing she had turned back to the fire she was poking with a stick. Against his will, his eyes roved over her form, drinking the sight of her in.
Well she had definitely changed, that was for damn sure. Sasuke grudgingly acknowledged the obvious swell of muscles beneath her black ANBU uniform, though she looked more lean that bulky (something he was oddly grateful for… a monstrous, manly-looking Sakura would've just been too strange). He noted the definition in her calves, the way she balanced so easily while squatting in front of her (rather impressive) fire.
In fact, Sasuke noted, she just seemed to emanate grace. From the tips of her sandal clad feet, to the ends of her bright pink hair that poked out from under her ANBU mask that had been shifted to the top her head, everything about the woman was so…refined.
It was bizarre. Tch, he scoffed, what about this night ISN'T fucking bizarre?
Sakura's eyes slid over to him, and he met them head on, trying for the life of him not to let her see that he had absolutely no idea how to react to this new Sakura.
Sakura smiled at him, her face looking strangely cat-like and beautiful in the glow of the fire.
Sasuke almost choked on his on spit at the blasphemous thought that had somehow made its way into the forefront of his mind. Beautiful? Why the FUCK would I ever think of SAKURA as beautiful?
But he had. And maybe it was the smoke from the fire bogging down his brain, but Sasuke found it almost… accurate, as he again gave his former teammate a once over.
"-and I'll be gentle, alright Sasuke-san?"
Sasuke snapped to attention, realizing the pink-haired ninja had spoken. "W-what?" he mumbled, wishing for all his dignity he hadn't stuttered, but utterly caught off-guard once a-fucking-gain and unable to stop himself.
Sakura smiled at him, and repeated, "I said, if you'll be on your best behavior while we travel back to Konoha, I promise I'll be gentle with your transportation, Sasuke-san."
Sasuke scoffed at her, "Hn. You don't need to be gentle with me, bitch. I don't need your charity, and I certainly don't need you worrying over my fucking well-being."
Sakura's smile widened and, though he'd never admit it, Sasuke felt slightly nervous in response.
"Of course, Sasuke-san," she purred, voice dripping with a sweetness that made the backs of his hands sweaty. "If that's how you would like it."
It was through sheer mental will that he refrained from gulping at the tone of her voice.
When the gates of Konoha came into view, Sasuke almost wanted to weep with joy. Of course he would never think of doing such an undignified thing, but he would've been completely justified if he had.
Sakura was a monster. A DEMON, his brain screamed, adding that even Naruto was more human than she was.
While Sakura talked to the guards at the gate, an immobile Sasuke, who sat bound next to her ankles, thought about his recent trip through hell.
At first, Sasuke thought Sakura's scary voice had been completely for show. The last three days that they'd been moving toward Konoha had been completely uneventful and hadn't really been half bad as far as comfort went.
He had just dispelled the notion of Sakura being vengeful for his lack of manners on their first night together after his capture, when he felt her presence suddenly appear behind him.
She had left him tied up sitting in yet another tree, chakra copes once again just a wee bit tight, and a rather powerful genjutsu masking his presence from other nin. He'd been sitting there for an hour, utterly bored, when she had showed.
The first thing he noticed was the pain. She had smacked him so hard he fell out of the tree. With his hands immobilized in the chakra ropes, Sasuke's face took the brunt of the fall.
Head spinning and shock filtering though him, he heard her start laughing.
"Oh Sasuke-kun, you have no idea how long I've waited for this moment."
Sasuke shivered, and managed to roll himself onto his back. The horror he felt reflected on his face only increased when he saw the wicked grin she wore.
Smiling wider, Sakura began stalking closer to the flabbergasted Uchiha, who vaguely wondered if she was going to kill him, and he shrunk away as much as possible, completely forgetting all thoughts of dignity. He was just trying to survive whatever kind of vicious punishment he was about to receive.
"Ne Sasuke-kun, why so serious?" she mockingly asked, her feet stopping next to his frozen body. For the first time in his life, Sasuke wanted nothing more than to run as far away from his enemy as possible.
When he continued to stare at her in shocked silence, Sakura squatted down to his level and looked him straight in the eye, grin sliding off her face.
"I'm not the same silly girl I was back when you knew me, Sasuke-san. And I don't appreciate being mouthed off to, especially when I'm trying to be hospitable to someone like you." She looked at him quietly then, studying his face, and Sasuke's tongue continued to fail him.
She frowned and abruptly stood up, black pants sliding a smidge down her hips with the movement. "Well then, if you're not going to apologize I guess I'm just going to have to teach you about manners myself, aren't I?"
Her foot smashed into his ribcage, and he crumpled to his side in pain. Sasuke was reminded that, as he had learned in the fight that had gotten him captured in the first place, weak little Haruno Sakura had somehow managed to acquire ridiculous strength in the last three years they had been apart. He had been completely unprepared for it.
The fight had been fair at first, with him relentlessly attacking the unknown Konoha ANBU that had dared to take him on as he traveled. He had not thought the fight would last after he delivered a solid punch to the (strangely small) ANBU's stomach, but suddenly the stranger had gripped his hand, which had just made contact with their stomach, and abruptly lifted him up and slammed him back down to the ground on his spine, ripping the air out of him.
Shocked, he had been unable to react fast enough to dodge a powerful punch that shattered his right arm, and he somehow found himself bound with chakra ropes.
He stared, speechless and angry at the indignity of it all, when the ANBU had suddenly slid their mask backwards on their head and smiled happily at him.
He had wanted to vomit. Sakura. Haruno SAKURA had just bested him. In a fight. With fists. And chakra. And he hadn't gone easy on her. And it was A FIGHT FOR GOD'S SAKE! A real fight! How the hell had she won against HIM in a real fight?
He had wanted to die, then and there.
But, Sasuke thought, the explosive pain in his side drawing him out of his memory, he was still very much alive. And Sakura was very angry.
"You are still SUCH an ass, Uchiha Sasuke! Don't you know better than to mouth off to someone who royally kicked your ass and has you TIED UP?" she screamed, face turning red.
Sasuke shivered, and suddenly Sakura was standing over him, healing his bruised body like she had healed his broken arm after their first fight.
He stared at her, utterly terrified that she would continue to beat the shit out of him and heal him until she felt her bloodlust sated. Sakura's mouth was set in a grim line as she forced her green healing chakra into his body, soothing his pain but igniting his panic.
When she had finished, she grabbed him by the scruff of his ripped shirt and slammed him none too gently against yet another tree, her foot firmly planted against his chest to hold him pinned to it.
"You're an ass, Sasuke-san, and for the next two days you're going to FIX that, or so help me I will break every bone in your stupid body and put them back together in the most painful way possible thrice!"
Sasuke had gulped that time.
Over the course of the next two days, Sakura had lectured him and beat him within an inch of his life about everything under the sun. From "You shouldn't have left a GIRL on a bench in the middle of the night, you bastard! My hot bod could've been completely MOLESTED!" to "You fight like an igit, Sasuke-san. Don't you know it's stupid to underestimate your opponent?" to "Naruto still misses you, you baka, and you'd better be on your best damn behavior when I leave you with the Council, because if you get your ass the death sentence, I'm going to fucking KILL YOU for putting Naruto through more anguish."
Sasuke had lived in fear and utter misery for those fourty-eight hours. She was constantly screaming at him and smacking him and being as nasty as she possibly could. Even when he had been with Orochimaru, he had never been so miserable. Sakura had been annoying as young girl. As an adult, she could make anyone wish for an immediate death.
"-but yeah, we need to get going boys. But it was great talking to you! Much better than trying to have a conversation with the stiff here." Sasuke looked up, tuning back into the present. Sakura grabbed the back of his shirt again, and he was hefted roughly over her shoulder.
Oh, hadn't he mentioned that? Besides becoming a living punching bag upon which Sakura could vent everything that had ever frustrated her, he had also been reduced to the dignified position of a sack of potatoes. The only time he wasn't forced to endure the utter humiliation of being lugged around immobilized on the shoulder of a girl that stood no taller than five-foot-one was when he was slammed carelessly onto the ground next her, and forced to sit and wait on her like some sort of detained child.
His pride had taken more fucking blows in the last two days…
Sakura marched through the gates of Konoha, Sasuke humiliated but resigned on her shoulder, and headed straight for the Godaime's office.
Thankfully, it was just past 5 a.m., and there appeared to be no one on the streets save for the two of them. Sasuke silently thanked whatever god was watching for allowing him to save some face. He'd have died from a stroke if that damnable Hyuuga Neji had been witness to the last Uchiha being dragged around by a fucking Barbie doll of an ANBU.
When they reached the mighty doors of the Hokage's tower, Sakura channeled chakra into her feet and raced up to the Godaime's window, Sasuke bouncing along over her shoulder. She thrust the window open with one hand and slid inside.
Tsunade was asleep at her desk, surrounded by piles of paperwork and empty booze when they arrived. She woke with a jolt when Sakura tossed Sasuke unceremoniously onto the wood floor in front of the Hokage's desk, and she glared at the sight of her grinning, mischievous apprentice.
"Sakura, what-" the blonde began, before she noticed the heap of last Uchiha on the floor. The irritation in her brow relaxed into a wicked smile, and she began to cackle madly. "So you finally did it, eh? Well, I guess it's only fitting that my apprentice be the one to get that brat to his knees."
Sakura smiled prettily at her teacher, and nudged Sasuke with her foot. "Now Sasuke, didn't I teach you anything about being respectful of your betters these last few days?"
Sasuke grumbled and rolled himself onto his haunches, a low "Godaime-sama" tumbling out of his stupid mouth. Tsunade smiled evilly at him and turned to Sakura.
"Send word to Shizune to wake those old, batty council members up. I believe some sentencing is in order today," she chortled, and Sakura, nodding in agreement, turned to leave.
She had just reached the door to the Godaime's office when she looked back over her shoulder at her former teammate. "Remember what I said about not letting Naruto down, Sasuke-san. You know what the consequences will be if you fail."
Then she swung the door open and walked out, leaving him to stare after her.
Despite the fact that Tsunade was howling with laughter behind him and gasping about how he'd been whipped by her feisty apprentice, Sasuke didn't say anything in his own defense. He couldn't tear his eyes off the door Sakura had been standing in front of just moments before.
Traitorously, despite everything he had been forced to endure since coming into her care, and completely opposite of everything that had ever made him Uchiha Sasuke, a thought burned through his mind and remained there.
He wondered if the pink ANBU would be averse to dinner plans with him later.
He supposed he would simply have to find out.
Sasuke's a masochist. And strangely attracted to a violent Sakura. Of course he is. What a little freakazoid! Hope you like! Review, if you please!