Prompt: Lick
Prenotes: I really do love tootsie rolls, you guys. Although, admittedly, it's not as much as I love almond joys and kit kats. Written for SSM 2012. & for my dear licking lovers of the world, cutecrazyice and fadingink.

Summary: AU. But then Sakura unwrapped the tootsie pop and licked. And licked. And licked. And that was precisely where everything went downhill. Sasuke/Sakura.

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unwrapped
seleneswan


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"Hey, look!"

It was happening again.

"…what?"

He didn't know how he ended up in the mall with her because mall situations with her always ended the same: with him being dragged off to do something stupid. Two weeks before, it was playing a prank that involved a runaway clothes rack on a group of middle schoolers. Last week, it was playing the penis game in the middle of the Toys R Us…and then being escorted out by police officers.

(He was bewildered at how these things happened. They were in their twenties, not tweens. And yet…)

"There's a contest to win a bag of tootsie rolls and money!"

"…"

And he knew, he just knew it was going to happen again.

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"How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?" the man behind the small counter pitched. "The saying goes 'the world may never know,' but our scientists have spent their time and energy finding the average number of licks it takes per person to get just to the center of a tootsie pop—no biting, no sucking—just licks.

"And now, today, we present you the promotional challenge: how many licks does it really take? So grab a partner and grab a tootsie pop! Whoever has the patience to make it to the end—or guesses the amount closest to it—wins!" he finished with a flourish, pushing his glasses up his nose. "If you have any questions, feel free to ask."

Sakura turned to him, and he restrained the urge to roll his eyes and sigh. He knew that look on her face.

"Hey, there, partner," she said saucily, "Let's go get our tootsie pop!"

He sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets, his form of silent acquiescence. Her lips twisted up in a grin and she bounced upwards, pecking him on the cheek.

Maybe, he thought, just maybe this wouldn't be so bad, a smirk working its way on his face.

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It was bad.

At first, when they sat down, rather peacefully at a bench after procuring some paper and their pop, Sasuke was beginning to think that things were looking up. For once, he wasn't being chased out by cops or being stared at dirtily by parents.

They were just sitting and counting.

And he'd gotten a kiss. On the cheek, granted, but there was a promise for more—he could feel it.

But then Sakura unwrapped the tootsie pop and licked.

And licked.

And licked.

And that was where everything went downhill.

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"Four hundred and seventy two!" she chirped, tongue darting out once again to take a thorough lick of the side. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye as he rubbed a hand through his hair—the mannerism she associated with frustration. "Hey," she said, prodding him in the side.

He stiffened, but didn't say anything in return.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Let's just get this over with," he said brusquely, his voice hoarser than normal.

"Are you coming down with something?" she asked worriedly, concerned with the roughness in tone. "You sound like you've—"

"Just finish the damn tootsie pop."

Her eyebrows pulled together, but consenting, she turned back to her tootsie pop. "Four hundred and seventy three!"

And licked once again.

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Sasuke was sure he was dying. He didn't know whether to accurately call this heaven or hell because it was equal parts of both, and his pants were tenting.

But dear god did she not know that he was a man and she was licking and fine, it wasn't like she was sucking on a popsicle or eating a banana, but it was the same concept and he had to endure it until the whole pop was gone.

And it had only shrunk not quite half way.

Keeping tally was a tedious job because it meant that he had to sit there and watch the amount of times she had licked the tootsie pop and not envision her…

…licking…

He clenched the pen tighter in his hand and carefully arranged the notebook over himself.

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Thirty minutes had passed.

"Sakura, how about this," he proposed again, "We leave and I just go buy you tootsie rolls at the store."

She cocked her head at him and licked slower this time, obviously trying to wrap her head around something apparently inconceivable. "I didn't think you were a quitter, Sasuke. What's gotten into you?"

"…"

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Another five minutes passed.

"Or we could just pitch a guess and say that since about half of the tootsie pop is gone, it'll take about the same amount of licks to get to the center, and just multiply what we have by two," he said, voice more strained.

"But we don't know if the amount of volume I've taken away is the same as what's left without a scale, which we don't have. So your method only works so long as you know for a fact that we have gotten exactly halfway there," she commented, taking another lick.

He sighed and marked another lick down.

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"Are sure you're okay?" she said, after kissing him for a moment and finding that he was totally unresponsive.

"Shut up, Sakura."

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He closed his eyes while she was 'taking a tongue break,' and it was entirely her fault that less than innocent images came to mind. Images that made his pants grow tighter and that involved her and him and something luscious wrapped around his—

"Sasuke?"

He cracked his eyes open.

"Are you tired?" she was leaning over him, and he had a clear view right down her shirt, the red, lacy bra a bright beacon for his eyes to follow.

He resisted the urge to groan, but he couldn't pry his eyes away.

"I'm fine."

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"How many licks are we at?"

"…"

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"Really, Sasuke, what's wrong?" she implored for the millionth time.

He glared at her. "Do you really want to know?"

She blinked, eyes wide and green and all too naïve. "Yes? That's why I've been asking. I want to help you."

And oh, he could definitely think of ways she could help him out…

He sucked in a breath. "If you really want to know what's wrong, it's that we've been sitting here for forty five minutes while you licked and licked and licked and I'm only male. So you want to help? Do something about this," he said, irritated, his fuse of patience entirely gone as he vaguely gestured towards his pants.

Her cheeks reddened slightly, and then she glanced away awkwardly. "Oh."

"Yeah. Oh," he repeated, sarcasm dripping from his tone.

She looked back at him, and then down at his pants, and then back up at his face. She chewed on her lip for a moment, and then got a mischievous glint in her eyes. She dumped the half finished tootsie pop in the trash can by their side, crumpling his sheet of tally marks as it followed the half eaten candy in there, as well.

He looked up from where he was hunched over, elbows on his knees, in typical brooding posture.

She stuck her hand out, and he put his hand in hers, unsure of where this was going. "Well," she said, unable to keep the glee from her tone. "Let's take care of that, then."

He stared at her as if she'd grown a second head. "…what?"

"I said I wanted to help, didn't I?"

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He wasn't sure how they ended up back at his apartment, but he could have sworn that on the edges of sleep, he heard her mumble into the pillow three words as she shifted restlessly against him, her legs tangled with his.

"…just as planned."

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Postnotes: Hahaha, Sakura knows how to get some; yes, she does. Also, happy America day. Do drop a review in between setting fire to your home with firecrackers, please?