Warnings: college AU
Note: This was written about two or three years ago. If you follow my lj, you may have already read this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruo.

.


.

"So?"

Sasuke ignored Naruto at first, not realizing that the 'so' was meant for him. The only other person in the room, however, was Shikamaru, who was sprawled on Sasuke's bed none too gracefully. Turning to his roommate, Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "What?"

Shikamaru grunted and sat up. "Did anything happen?"

If possible, Sasuke grew more confused. "What?"

Naruto rolled his eyes. "Just now! You studied—WHAT HAPPENED?"

"...yes," Sasuke replied slowly. "I did. Biology. What's your point?"

"MY POINT?" Naruto pulled at his hair like the impatient brat he was. "MY POINT IS THAT YOU STUDIED WITH SAKURA, YOU KNOW, YOUR SOULMATE." Naruto crossed his arms. "This is Serious Business, Sasuke."

Shikamaru nodded. "Serious Business."

Flustered, Sasuke scowled at them. "I don't know what you idiots are talking about. We studied—that's it."

"HOW IS THAT IT?" Naruto hollered. He shook his head. "That cannot be it, you asshole." He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Are you leaving out details, Sasu-chan?"

Sasuke cringed. "Don't call me that."

"Stop changing the subject," Shikamaru muttered. Sasuke was about to point out that it was Naruto's fault—not Sasuke's—that the subject kept changing. Morons. "Anyway, did you like..."

"MAKE A MOVE?"

"...what are you talking about?" Sasuke glared at them both and sat down on his bed, pushing Shikamaru off of it and onto the floor. "Just shut up."

Naruto sighed. "Look, Sasuke, as much as you like torturing yourself with this keeping-it-unrequited-and-not-knowing-how-she-feels business, you're sorta killing us."

Shikamaru, now sitting up from the floor, stared at Naruto dryly. "Dude. This is about Sasuke, not us."

"ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL. DUH."

"The point is, Sasuke," Shikamaru began, holding a hand in front of Naruto, telling him to kindly shut the hell up, "that as your friends, we want what is best for you."

"And that is?" Sasuke asked.

There was a long pause as neither seemed to have an answer.

"Well, I'm torn between shouting 'Sakura Haruno' and 'stop living in denial,'" Naruto said anticlimactically.

"Yeah," Shikamaru agreed, "but I suppose they're synonymous."

"Well what sounds better?"

"Personally, I think 'Sakura Haruno' is more effective."

"But—"

Silently, Sasuke watched them bicker. "You're both morons," he muttered eventually. "I'm not in denial and I don't have a crush on Sakura Haruno." Sasuke immediately left, slamming the door in his leave.

It wasn't until he was halfway down the hall that realized he left his own room.

Ugh. Damn.

.


.

Things didn't change three weeks later. "I'm going out," Sasuke announced one afternoon, to which Naruto replied with an excited grin and, "With who?" Sasuke held back the retort of "whom" and replied, "Sakura." Before he could add that Tenten (one of Sakura's friends) was coming along, Naruto burst into disgustingly girly giggles, clapped, and whipped out his phone to "tell Shikamaru so they could 'flail.'"

Freaks.

"You should wear the blue shirt today," Naruto suggested, plucking the shirt in mention off the ground and tossing it to Sasuke. "It brings out your eyes."

Sasuke looked rather perturbed. "What?"

Naruto shook his head. "Fine. Whatever. You just look good in it."

Eyeing Naruto warily, Sasuke took a step back. "What?"

"Oh, go to hell," Naruto muttered, understanding Sasuke's sudden fear. He rolled his eyes. "Just, according to Shikamaru, who heard it from Ino, who was texted by Tenten, Sakura likes this shirt on you. You wore it to the dance party, remember?"

Sasuke cringed. Yes, he sure as hell remembered that dance party.

Actually, he remembered flashing lights and way too many breasts being pushed against him, but the part that stood out most was dragging an almost passed out Naruto (due too much drinking, as per usual) back to their room. He'd given up halfway down the hall and let Naruto sleep against some random person's door. When he made it to his own room, however, he couldn't help but notice the pink-haired girl trying to get in it.

When he asked her why she was trying to break into his room and she babbled something incoherent, he figured she wasn't too far off of the state of Naruto. He tried to guide her back to her own room, but that proved fruitless. Eventually, he relented and let her sleep on his bed, while he, of course, took Naruto's (unfortunately). He was used to the smell of ramen coming from Naruto's side of the room, but didn't think it'd be too kind to sic it on Sakura when she was already so close to puking.

"She was drunk," Sasuke pointed out. "And why would I care what Sakura thinks?"

Naruto gaped at him for a moment. "Seriously?" He groaned and pulled out his phone, speaking as he texted. "Sauce in denial. Lame. Serious Business. Come over now."

"Stop being an idiot," Sasuke muttered, grabbing for the phone. Naruto, thankfully, managed to press send before Sasuke took it.

"You're an idiot," Naruto retorted. He slapped Sasuke on the side of the head.

Annoyed, Sasuke returned the gesture. "What is wrong with you?"

"What's wrong with you?"

"No, I'm serious." Sasuke looked ready to throttle Naruto. "What is wrong with you?"

"...what's wrong with you?"

Sasuke took a deep breath. "One, two, three..."

"What are you doing?" Naruto asked, frowning."

"Four, five... I'm counting, dumbass," Sasuke replied. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, likely searching for his Happy Place—in the assumption that it existed, of course. "Sakura told me it's calming. Well her anger management therapist did. Though it doesn't seem to work with you around."

Naruto sighed. "Okay, you know what, Sauce?" Sasuke considered hitting him and telling not to call him that, but it was better than Naruto's old favourite (Sasucakes), so he let it go. This time. "If you want to deny that you like her, then fine, go ahead—"

"I don't like her," Sasuke denied for the nth time, utterly exasperated.

"—but you're a total moron if you think she doesn't like you."

Sasuke pinched the bridge of his nose. "Okay," he said.

"...okay?" Naruto repeated slowly. He looked rather confused.

"Tell me why you think she likes me," Sasuke ordered. "Since you're so sure she does, explain it to me. Make your arguments, Naruto."

"Huh?" Naruto pouted. "Ew, this feels like an essay."

"Just do it." Sasuke looked smug. "Unless you've got nothing and you admit you're just a moron."

"I'm not a moron!" Naruto cried indignantly. "Okay, okay, arguments..." Naruto looked troubled. "Can we wait for Shikamaru?" At Sasuke's flat stare, Naruto let out a pathetic whine. "Okay, well, you don't notice, I'm sure, but when you come into the room, she always smiles, and when you're about to leave, she does this thing where she's like 'aw, really, Sasuke?' and you're like 'uh, yeah, I just said so' and she waves and her smile sort of like, falters and shit."

"That's it?" Sasuke rolled his eyes. "That can be for a number of reasons. Namely, she doesn't want to be stuck alone with you."

"I HAVE YET TO FINISH, BASTARD." Naruto cleared his throat. "And okay, do you not remember The Date?"

Sasuke could hear the capitals.

At the lack of an answer, Naruto knew Sasuke damn well remembered. He grinned. "Yeah, you told me, I remember! You were totally flaily about it, too."

Sasuke scowled. "I don't flail."

"You totally flail," Naruto said. "Inside. You smirk and then do the waving crazy arms inside."

"That's not possible and you're an idiot."

"...your mother disagrees on both parts."

Sasuke sighed. "I really hate you."

Naruto grinned. "You know you love me. Anyway. Okay. Point one: The Date."

"It wasn't a date," Sasuke denied for the nth time. It was actually quite sad that he knew what Naruto and Shikamaru meant whenever they referred to 'The Date.' "I was actually there, moron. I think I'd know—"

"BITCH, YOU KNOW NOTHING!"

"It wasn't—"

"Dude, she was in your room, on your bed. Stop lying to me. STOP."

.


.

"I'm hungry."

"Of course you are."

"...what does that mean?"

Sasuke fought back a grin at the scowl on her face. "Nothing," he mumbled breezily, knowing quite well that doing so would annoy her. He tried not to laugh when she smacked him with her textbook. "It didn't mean anything," Sasuke repeated. "And I'm hungry too."

"Let's get food!" Sakura suggested. "I want a crepe. With strawberries. And Nutella. Lots of Nutella. Lots and lots of—"

"I hate Nutella."

"...yeah, so we can't be friends anymore."

Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?" Sighing, he began to pack up his notes. "Well, in that case, I guess you're going to have to start attending lectures and not sleeping until noon. Have fun writing your own notes—"

"I WAS OBVIOUSLY JOKING!" Sakura said a little too loudly. She ignored the dirty looks other library dwellers sent her way as she snatched Sasuke's binder away from him and shoved it in her bag. Standing up, she pulled on him. "Come on! Let's go eat. We don't need crepes. Let's get... I don't know. Want pizza?"

"Not really," Sasuke replied, navigating Sakura through the aisles of books. The girl was too busy texting someone (most likely that loud and shrieking friend of hers) to notice when she was about to walk into a shelf. "We had pizza yesterday."

"Oh, yeah. Okay... ramen?"

"You've met my roommate, right?" Sakura's laugh meant an affirmative. "Want mac and cheese?"

Sakura looked confused. "Where do we get that?"

"I can make some. Or ramen," Sasuke said. "Want ramen? We have a burner and pots. And ramen. Lots of ramen." Sakura still seemed a little lost. "Once again, you've met my roommate, right?"

Sakura laughed. "Oh, yeah, Naruto. He's so adorable."

Sasuke snorted. "Right."

.


.

"You're an idiot."

Naruto rolled his eyes. "You know, when you say that as often as you do, it starts losing its effect—"

"No, I'm serious this time." Though, of course, Sasuke was serious every other time. "I made her some ramen because she works two part-time jobs while dealing with school. I just didn't want her to have to go out for dinner another time."

"THAT DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY I CAME BACK TO OUR ROOM TO FIND HER IN YOUR CLOTHES."

Sasuke pinched the bridge of his nose. "I have explained this to you so many times—"

.


.

"Why is your room so cold?"

Sasuke shrugged. "Our room is always like this."

"I'm so jealous," Sakura muttered, sitting on his desk chair. "My room is always so hot. It's such a pain to fall asleep in that kind of heat. If I had this room, I'd snuggle up in my super warm covers and sleep forever."

"I'm pretty sure you already do that," Sasuke pointed out. "I've picked you up from your dorm before, you know."

Sakura turned pink. "Shut up! It's not the same. I can't sleep without a blanket so I deal with the heat."

"Is that why Ino's always barely dressed?" Sasuke asked. "The heat?"

Sakura smirked. "Nah, she's just a skank." At Sasuke's perturbed expression, Sakura could only giggle. "Are you still mad about that—"

"How can I not be?"

"I've already apologized!" Sakura shouted, though she didn't sound at all sorry. Rather, she was infuriatingly amused. "I didn't think she'd try so hard to put out on the first date!"

"Well she did," Sasuke said curtly. "And now you owe me for making me go on that stupid date with her." He shuddered. "What a waste of my life."

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Well… what, do you want me to go on a date with one of your friends? If so, I pick Shikamaru."

"For that, I'd give you Naruto. But no..." Sasuke looked thoughtful. "Whatever, you just owe me something."

"Oh, dear." Sakura rolled her eyes. "Whatever could you want?"

Sasuke shrugged. "I don't know that yet."

"Well, I might have to owe you again," Sakura said as she walked over to his closet, "because I'm taking one of your shirts. Once again I ask: why the eff is your room so cold?"

Stirring the noodles, Sasuke eyed his surname printed on the back of the shirt she took. "It's not that cold," he pointed out. "You're just barely dressed." He gestured to the strapless romper she was wearing. What an idiot. No wonder she was freezing.

"OI!" Sakura threw a pen at him and naturally, missed. "For that, I am borrowing shorts." Now dressed a bit more warmly, Sakura plopped on to his bed and giggled. "Okay, I think I'm ready to fall asleep."

"You'd better not," Sasuke warned, sitting on the chair near the bed. "We need to finish eating before Naruto gets here or he'll throw a bitch fit because I didn't make enough to share with him."

Sakura laughed. "But I love your bed! Seriously, that time I slept here was like, the best night of my life."

Sasuke reddened but with her face buried in his covers, Sakura didn't notice. "You remember that?"

"Of course." She smiled warmly. "You know, I never got to thank you for that."

When Sakura sat up and began leaning toward him, Sasuke gulped. Ah, fuck.

Then the door opened.

.


.

"OH. EM. GEE." Naruto looked distraught as he shot up and began pulling at his hair. "Dude, I am so sorry!" Naruto cried, grabbing Sasuke by the shoulders and shaking him. "I am such a cockblock. I didn't even realize that. I cockblocked you. I. Cockblocked. You. I cockblocked true love—"

Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Nothing was going to happen, Naruto."

"I am so sorry," he continued, not even listening to Sasuke.

"Whatever—"

"So sorry."

"It's fine." Sasuke glared at Naruto, daring him to try apologizing another time. "And if that so-called date is the only argument you can think up, you're pathetic—"

"I OBVIOUSLY HAVE MORE," Naruto bellowed.

Sasuke looked expectant. "Go on then."

Naruto crossed his arms. "However, I would like to wait for Shikamaru to join me that way he can see your face when you finally realize you and Sakura Haruno are meant to be together. Seriously. Seriously—"

"Seriously." Naruto and Sasuke looked over to the door, where Shikamaru was standing, somewhat out of breath. He walked over to Naruto and sat down beside him. "What are we seriously-ing?"

"That Sasuke and Sakura are meant to be."

"Oh. Of course."

"Yeah."

Shikamaru looked at Sasuke while pointing at Naruto. "Stupid as he may be, at the moment, he's right."

Sasuke glared at Shikamaru. "How can you agree with the idiot?"

"Because." Shikamaru just shrugged. "I don't know. It's the truth. It's like it's fate..."

Naruto nodded eagerly. "Yeah! Don't you notice how the two of you always run into each other so randomly?"

Sasuke frowned. "When the hell has that ever happen?"

.


.

"Hurry up, Naruto."

"But I am le tiiiiired," Naruto whined as he walked behind Sasuke and Shikamaru. "Why are we going so early?"

"Because, moron, you're too inept to be able to take the train on your own," Sasuke muttered. They stopped in front of a pair of unclaimed chairs and sat down. Naruto was right, Sasuke groused as he closed his eyes. It was way too early. Still, Naruto had somehow broken their shared printer so the three were going to the next city over where there was a cheap electronics store.

"I could easily get there on my own, Sassy," Naruto proclaimed, using his irritating nickname of the week. He crossed his arms over his chest and raised his chin. "Hmph."

"Do you even know what stop to get off at?" Shikamaru asked.

Naruto rolled his eyes. "Uh, duh."

"Okay." Sasuke looked much too smug for Naruto's tastes. "Where?"

"...obviously, we are supposed to get off at, uh..." Naruto trailed off when something pink down the aisle caught his attention. "Hey, Sassy, isn't that your girlfriend?"

Sasuke, who was sitting across from Naruto and thus had his back to whatever Naruto was look at, could only frown. "I don't have a girlfriend, idiot."

Shikamaru leaned over Naruto, effectively elbowing him on a sensitive spot on his thigh (for the heck of it, of course). "Oh." Shikamaru sat back properly and nodded. "Yeah. That's her."

Naruto beamed at Sasuke. "I told you! Your girlfriend's down there! Go say hi!"

Sasuke looked ready to strangle Naruto, though that was nothing new. "I. Don't. Have. A. Girlfriend."

"Sure you do!" Naruto replied, oblivious to Sasuke's burning rage. Or maybe he was just so used to it that he considered it Sasuke's default. Whatever. "I'm going to invite her to sit with us!" Before Sasuke could cause any sort of injury or stop him, Naruto leapt out of his seat and began to walk down the aisle.

Sasuke turned around to see whoever Naruto was talking about, but the idiot was taking the entire aisle. "Who did he see?" Sasuke asked Shikamaru gravely.

Shikamaru blinked. "Your girlfriend..." he answered, as if Sasuke was the moron.

"I don't have a girlfriend," Sasuke denied once again.

"Fine." Shikamaru rolled his eyes. "But calling her your girlfriend sounds better than using soulmate so... we're gonna stick to girlfriend."

Sasuke clenched his fists as he glared at Shikamaru, who failed to look at all intimidated. "Who is he getting?"

"Hey, Sasuke!"

Sasuke stiffened. He knew that voice.

"Sakura-chan was sitting all by herself!" Naruto explained, pushing Sasuke so he'd move to the next seat and give Sakura some room. "I asked her to join us because I'm nice like that."

She laughed, most likely to entertain the moron, Sasuke decided. "What are you doing here?" he asked.

"Oh, I'm going to the mall there since it's bigger. Ino's birthday is coming up," she replied, missing the way Sasuke shuddered distastefully at her name. "Tenten and I are going to have a party so I was sent to get supplies. And a gift."

"Cool!" Naruto said loudly.

When Sakura smiled back at the blond, Sasuke could only shake his head and wonder how she could tolerate the idiot so early in the morning. Then he remembered what kind of friends she had and it all made sense.

"What about you guys?" she asked.

"Naruto broke our printer," Shikamaru said tiredly. "Now we have to get a new one."

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "And that requires all three of you?"

Naruto nodded. "Duh! We're like, the Three Musketeers! We do everything together! We—" He grunted when Shikamaru elbowed him in the stomach.

"We can spare Sasuke, though," Shikamaru said oh so suavely, eyeing the Uchiha, who was now glaring at him. "You shouldn't be alone so far away from home so... you can take him."

Sakura laughed and looked over at Sasuke. "Well how 'bout it, Sasuke?"

"...fine."

.


.

"She didn't run into me, morons," Sasuke pointed out. "We ran into her."

"You don't know that," Naruto said. "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST ACCEPT TRUE LOVE? GOD."

Sasuke scowled. "Because this isn't true love. This is... two idiots with nothing better to do than to try forcing a girl on their friend."

"She doesn't think we're idiots!" Naruto yelled. "She likes us. There's another reason! She accepts your psycho friends and doesn't judge you for loving us."

Shikamaru frowned at Naruto. "Dude. You could've worded that way better."

"...yeah, I know." Naruto sighed. "But I was in the moment, you know?"

"I guess—"

"Guys!" Sasuke interrupted. "Look, I don't understand your sick delusions—"

"OKAY, FIRSTLY, THEY ARE NOT SICK DELUSIONS. AND SECONDLY, HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND AFTER I PRACTICALLY WROTE YOU AN ESSAY... WITH MY MOUTH."

Having enough, Sasuke stood up. "You're both morons," he muttered as he left the room.

Shikamaru broke the silence after a minute. "So... do you think we got to him?"

"Definitely."

.


.

"My friends all think you're in love with me," Sasuke said quite bluntly. He placed a cup of coffee in front of her—caramel macchiato, her favourite—and sat down. "And that I'm in love with you."

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"Yeah. Sorry. They're probably spying on us right now, too."

"Naruto and Shikamaru?" He nodded and Sakura grinned. "They're so cute!"

"They're not," he disagreed. "They're idiots. They're annoying. And loud. And obnoxious. Really obnoxious." So fine, maybe he was talking more so about Naruto than Shikamaru.

Sakura smiled. "Okay, so tell me why they think I'm in love with you."

"It's mostly because we study together a lot. And we go out to eat—but I mean, sometimes they tag along. Or Ino. Ugh, Ino."

When he shuddered, Sakura laughed. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry I tried to set you up with her."

"You should be," he muttered.

"What else?"

"The Ramen Date." Sasuke visibly stiffened when he realized he used Naruto's favourite name for that particular event. He scowled. That stupid idiot was clearly infecting his brain. "Basically, they think the Ramen Date was the start of everything." Sasuke cursed himself for doing it again. "Apparently you fell in love with me then. Or something. Like I said, they're idiots."

Sakura looked amused. "The Ramen Date?"

Sasuke blushed. "That's what they call it. That day when you came over and I made—"

"I know," Sakura interrupted. She looked down, but Sasuke could see her cheeks turning pink. "Ino and I use the same name for it." He was too busy cringing at the blond girl's name to realize she and Ino spoke about that night too—enough to give it a name. And she even called it a date. "But Naruto and Shikamaru are wrong."

"Well obviously," Sasuke immediately said, pinching the bridge of his nose. "They're so—"

"It was way before then."

"...what?" Sasuke watched with wide eyes as Sakura calmly took a sip of the coffee he got her. She put it back down, all the while intently watching the steam rise from the small hole at the top. Perhaps she didn't hear him. Sasuke cleared his throat to get her attention. "Sorry," he said, "but what was that?"

Sakura raised her head and smiled shyly. "I've been in love with you for a while, Sasuke."

He appeared none the wiser.

"It was at orientation," Sakura explained. "And it was rather cliché. And stupid."

Sasuke didn't seem to remember her falling and in need of saving. Or asking for directions. Or bumping in to him. Or having the same schedule as him—

"Ino and I were standing right in this hall," she continued, pointing to a spot near the large doorway. Sakura shook her head, laughing in embarrassment. "We were—in typical Ino fashion—scoping out boys, when she pointed you out and declared you would be her future husband."

"...do you really not see why I don't like her—"

"And then," Sakura said loudly, interrupting him. Still, there was a bright grin on her face. Clearly she found amusement in Sasuke's discomfort. "I don't know what happened. I looked at you and... yeah. It happened. But Ino had set her sights on you. I wouldn't fight with my friend over a guy."

"Obviously," Sasuke bitterly sneered, "since you made me go on a date with her."

Sakura sighed. "Sasuke, if this will ever go somewhere, you're going to have to get over that."

"Who said it'll go somewhere?" he defensively replied, missing the hurt that crossed her face. Immediately, however, he regretted his words. Saying that meant acknowledging that Naruto and Shikamaru were actually right: Sakura Haruno was in love with him. Sasuke clenched his jaw and looked away.

"You're right," she mumbled. "Thank you for the coffee." Sakura began to hastily pack up her work. "I'm sorry."

He grabbed her hand before she could leave. Sasuke swallowed nervously, watching as she kept her eyes glued to their joined hands.

"This means it'll have to be just you and me then. Us," Sasuke said eventually. "No more Ino. Or Tenten. Or Naruto or Shikamaru. Just you and me."

Sakura looked confused. "What?"

"When we go out," he clarified through clenched teeth, all the while struggling to keep from blushing. "When we go out and stuff it should just be us. And..." Sasuke tried not to look too pathetic. "And I know girls usually take guys' clothes, but you really have to stop using mine. It gives the wrong impression. If you really must, use a sweater. Or just leave yours at my dorm. You're there all the time anyway. Or will be. Whatever. I have air conditioning, remember? And I don't care—as long as you don't either, I mean. And I, uh—"

Sasuke stopped so he could cringe. But really—he'd already said plenty of embarrassing things so far. Why not a few more?

"We can't keep doing this though."

"Doing what?" Sakura asked carefully.

"This." With his free hand, he gestured to the book he'd dropped on the table earlier and her half-full coffee cup. "I mean, the coffee is fine, but we can't keep just... studying together. I want—I want—I want more than that. I want..."

She squeezed the hand linked to hers. "I want you."

"Yeah. That." Sasuke cleared his throat and glared at his textbook to avoid her gaze. "I want more than studying and food and complaining about our friends." Slowly, Sasuke raised his head to meet her eyes, and reluctantly, he allowed himself to admit what he'd spent nearly a year denying. "I want you."

"Okay." She leaned over and kissed him. "Then I'm yours."

He smiled against her lips. "Okay."

fin.