Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Warning/s: Unbeta'ed. Awkward grammar.
Title: Cherry Blossoms
Summary: When Sasuke drove Naruto away from his side seven years ago, the blond had unknowingly taken an important part of him. And now, it is up to Sasuke to complete the broken pieces connecting his past and future together and starts anew. And this time, with Naruto by his side. But is everything going to be that easy? AU/SasuNaru
"I am good at walking away.
Rejection teaches you how to reject."
— Jeanette Winterson, Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles
A tan and blonde young man cringed upon hearing the high-pitched voice of his boss, Chiyo-baasan, the old owner of the restaurant he was currently working at the moment. He stumbled on a costumer's feet and almost tripped but miraculously didn't.
Naruto sweat dropped.
Thank God he wasn't holding any bowls.
The old woman would surely have his head if he broke any of her prized porcelains now.
He winced as he faced the customer and uttered a sincere apology. "I am so sorry, ma'am."
The woman smiled at him and waived her hand. "It's alright, you go now. She's kind of cranky every morning, isn't she?" The woman said as she whispered her last sentence. "Don't tell her I said that though, a'right?" She added and laughed afterwards.
Naruto smiled at her and with a salute, he said, "Yes, Ma'am!"
He dashed in the kitchen to see what was the old granny was up to now.
The last time he called her, she was sprouting some nonsense like how she was feeling so old and rusty –"Am I that old now, Naruto? Do I look old to you?" – that Naruto just playfully answered –"85 years old is certainly very old, if you want my honest opinion, Granny" – and earned him a very loud smack on his head.
It very much hurt, so Naruto guessed talking honestly about her age (in front of her) was not really an intelligent thing to do.
Naruto saw the old woman looking for something inside an old box.
Naruto's eyes squinted as he tried to see in the dark.
"What are you doing, Chiyo-baasan?"
He heard a small grunt of triumph coming from the old woman and the next thing Naruto knew, she was already pushing – shoving – something green and odd on his face.
When he realized what it was, Naruto screamed like he never scream before.
Every morning, Granny Chiyo's day won't be complete without playing a prank on poor, poor Naruto –and that was how he normally started his day.
That morning, the old woman decided to scare the living daylights out of Naruto by shoving a dead, preserved – and dead – bull frog on his innocent and handsome face.
Well, he was planning to just tremble, but when a dead, cold, and oddly looking amphibian as big as your butt was being toss to your face, well, you couldn't just tremble, you had to freaking scream like a girl – high-pitched, too, and all that shit.
He heard the whole restaurant trembled in laughter after that.
Granny Chiyo's love for pranks was really pushing Naruto into seriously thinking of resigning as soon as he could.
But he knew that it was just his girly side talking. The truth was, he was grateful to the old woman for accepting him in her small ramen restaurant.
Four months ago, Naruto was on the brink of being homeless. His jobs at that time were barely helping him manage his financial troubles.
He couldn't afford the new rental fee that was being demanded by his landlord and he was three months delayed from his rent.
He tried to talk to his him but he knew he couldn't sweet-talk Ranmaru-san again because the man had to feed his family, too. And an occupant who couldn't pay was as good as dead.
Well, not really. Ranmaru-san wouldn't really kill him for not paying, but Naruto would have to pack his things and leave his small apartment behind.
He tried talking to his supervisors at work if they could loan him some money but he was immediately refused.
Life was hard, that he knew.
He was already beginning to lose hope when he remembered his favorite ramen restaurant one afternoon.
He used to eat a lot in Chiyo-baasan's small restaurant before. He was, in fact, a regular customer of her delicious and mouth-watering ramen that was famously known in the town.
And now, an idea struck him.
He gulped as he as thought about it. Maybe he could ask the old woman to accept him as a part-time worker.
She was already pretty old (no offense meant, really) and Naruto thought that she could use some help from a young man like him.
Naurot knew he had to try, and so, asked her that very afternoon after he finished a hearty bowl of ramen.
To his utter disbelief and joy, the old granny said yes (as if she was really waiting for him to ask) and the rest was history.
And now, He was a 22-year-old young man who was juggling three jobs at the moment.
Well, it wasn't really easy, but he was coping.
Aside from being a ramen boy, he was also a pizza delivery boy and part-time janitor at a nearby preparatory school for filthy rich kids at night.
How he could manage to be all that in one day was a mystery, even for him.
All he knew was he had to work or else he would starve.
It was enough motivation for Naruto not to dawdle around, doing nothing.
It was a normal day like other.
Well, aside from a dead rat he found lying on the usual path he normally took when he was going to Chiyo-baasan's place every morning, everything looked fairly normal.
Naruto cringed when he first saw it but decided to man-up himself.
But really, what's up with dead animals nowadays?
Couldn't they look more appealing to the eyes?
He was almost a few inches away from it when Naruto dashed; legs were sprinting so fast, leaving his faint shadow behind.
This was all Chiyo-baasan's fault!
"You are not very smart, aren't you, Kiba?" Sasuke slowly said as he glared at his employee. He was flipping the stack of papers lying on his desk.
"Forty copies, sir. That was what I heard you said a while ago ––"
"You heard wrong, then, Inuzuka. I said twenty. Not forty."
"Dismiss. Do not come to my office until I say so."
Kiba Inuzuka stared incredulously at his Boss, Uchiha Sasuke, the young heir of Uchiha Corporation. He gulped as he tried to contain the anger bubbling inside him. He was so sure he heard him said forty when he asked him for the second time half hour ago.
He was not stupid, damn it.
But he knew he couldn't do anything about it anymore.
Teeth still clenching, Kiba headed to the door and bowed his head before he left.
The young Uchiha sighed the moment the door was closed. He massaged his temple and stretched a little, easing the stiff tension lingering in his upper body.
He was damn irritated and restless today.
Aggravation was slowly creeping in his system and the incident about Inuzuka was a telltale sign of it.
Sasuke knew he said forty to Kiba and he would normally admit his mistake if only this was a just a normal day for the young heir.
Sasuke closed his eyes as he tried to calm his raging thoughts.
"You're a fucking whore."
A glint of a bloody face brushed in Sasuke's memories.
He abruptly opened his eyes and looked at the laptop in front of him.
He stared at the date in the lower right part of the monitor.
It was the day he lost his best friend seven years ago.
Note: Cherry Blossomsare known for maintaining a short lifespan. This concept ties in with Buddhist ideals concerning the nature of life. Nowadays, the flower represents innocence, simplicity, and spring.