"Tolerable Rains"
(Day Fourteen of SasuSaku Month.)

It's their vacation, and they plan to make the most of it. Months in university were tiring; the perfect student nightmare enough to drive healthy teenagers in a dazed stupor. And even if they could have chosen any other village – which was their original decision – Konoha would always hold a place in their heart. So Konoha it was.

Sasuke had stayed with the Haruno's the night they came back because the Uchiha manor was located a bit further in the village. Sakura said that it was no bother, really, and her parents were away because of some family reunion she couldn't have the time to attend.

After breakfast, they both looked towards the door, but Sakura was the one to make the first move, practically skipping to them. They were going to walk around the village today, see what's changed and what didn't.

When Sakura opened the door, she's met by an absolute deluge. The entire world is wet and shinning and gray, and Sasuke makes a noise of disappointment behind her. Rain runs in streams down the gutters of the streets and the water comes from above in sheets. Sakura screws her face up as the wind throws some of the droplets into her eyes.

"Figures." Sasuke grumbled, closing his eyes for a moment of annoyance to Mother Nature. He never did like the rain. "The one day we choose to roam around and it rains."

He opened his eyes to look at her, only to see that Sakura isn't there anymore, and the door is hanging open. "Sakura?"

He runs to the door in alarm, peering out into the street in time to see Sakura hop with a cheer into the gutter-river, water splashing up around her feet and soaking her slippers. The material of her shirt has darkened with the rain - Sasuke thanks whoever is up there because her shirt isn't white - and her hair is dripping already, strings plastered across her face as she turns and jumps again. He watches with a kind of incredulous disbelief as she kicks with a whoop.


"What're you standing there for?" She turns and places her hands on her hips, grinning despite the fact that chilly rain is probably seeping into every inch of her clothing in that moment. "Only way to enjoy the rain is to jump in the puddles."

"You'll catch a cold," he protests, refusing to move from the threshold of her house where he's perfectly safe and dry, and he'd like to remain that way, thank you very much. "Come back inside."

She turns up her nose. "Oh, you're that kind of person. No, thanks."

Sasuke splutters. "I'm—what kind of person am I, then?" He folds his arms across his chest, frowning.

She smiles—smirks, really—and steps up onto the pavement, walking until she can look up at him. He fidgets but doesn't budge from his spot, doing his best to look every inch the disgruntled and stubborn Uchiha. He apparently doesn't succeed—or maybe he succeeds too well—because her smirk stretches into a grin. She takes his hand and tries to pull him out of the house, and he gives a very un-Uchiha like noise and grabs onto the door's ledge, gripping it like it's a lifeline.

"Sakura!" he complains, and she drops his hand so he can retreat a few paces. "I'd rather not go for a swim," he says pointedly. She, very maturely, pokes her tongue out at him.

"A little rain never hurt anyone," says Sakura, and he gives a derisive sniff.

"I beg to differ," he mutters. She raises her eyebrows at him, and he fidgets again.

"Oh, don't," he groans, but she only shifts her weight onto one hip and folds her arms, pursing her lips. "Sakura, no." He's practically begging now. He can't stand the look. She knows this, which could be why she employs it so often.

She's merciful this time and lets it drop. What she does do is about ten times worse—she steps into the house, little rivulets of water dripping onto the wooden floor, and tweaks the neckline of his shirt playfully.

Sasuke tenses like a spring. She notices and scoffs a little. "You know what you need?" She's got a glint in her eye that he either likes or really, really doesn't. He doesn't quite know which it is right now. Sakura leans up onto her tiptoes, dangerously close, and he can't summon up enough saliva to swallow. "You need to relax."

"And—" His voice is a hoarse croak, and this time he manages to swallow past the wet cement in his mouth. "And this is supposed to help me, is it?"

He's much too aware of the hand still toying with his shirt, the other resting in the middle of his chest, just above his heart. She quirks a smile up at him and his brain damned near shorts circuits. Sasuke thinks he makes an incoherent little 'uh' sound but he can't be quite sure.

In his currently shorted-circuited state, he offers no resistance as she slides her hand into his and pulls him out of her house like a confused little lamb obeying its shepherd. The ice of the rain sliding down the back of his shirt snaps him out of his confused spell, and he makes a noise of protest and tries to retreat. Sakura's grip is firm, however, so he hikes his shoulders up to his ears and screws his face up unhappily.

"Am I enjoying myself yet?" he asks drily and Sakura laughs, making him feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

"You look ridiculous," she comments, touching her fingers to her mouth to self-consciously hide her smile—he looks like a tortoise like that, trying to withdraw into his shell with a thoroughly grumpy expression. The rain has flattened his messy hair so the fringe in the front repeatedly drips water into his eyes. He blinks rapidly whenever this happens, making Sakura snort into laughter again.

"Glad you're enjoying yourself at my expense," says Sasuke, frowning, and Sakura immediately tries to make amends, albeit with an entirely unapologetic smile.

"Oh, come on, it's a little funny," she appeals, and he shakes his head.

"No," he deadpans, "Not funny. Not even a little." She only stares at him with that smile, and his mouth begins to twitch without his permission in response. As soon as he realizes this he turns his head away with a huff, but Sakura's already seen. She points at him knowingly.

"Aha, see?" she says smugly. "It's a little funny." His mouth does the twitching thing again no matter how he tries to fight it. Eventually he gives in and turns back to her with an entirely over-exaggerated smile that looks a little painful.

"There," he says through gritted teeth. "I'm smiling. Fun, yes? I enjoy freezing my fingers off in the rain. Can we go back inside now?"

Sakura sighs. "Drama queen," she says, and he rolls his eyes, letting the sarcastic smile drop. "Yes, we can go back inside." He's begun to drag her eagerly back to the house when she digs her heels in. "One last thing."

He huffs and turns back to her, rolling his eyes again. "What is i—"

Sasuke only has a second to register how close she's gotten before she's on her tiptoes again and kissing him. His mouth, in the middle of speaking when she did, is left completely vulnerable. She's got him by his shirt, and gradually he brings his hands to her waist and closes his eyes shut. He's able to forget about the rain creeping down his spine, the water seeping into his shoes, the absolute misery of his sodden shirt weighing too heavy on his frame. It all becomes irrelevant.

It doesn't last as long as he'd like it to, and he's only just begun to kiss her back when she pulls away. Very much the dazed lamb once more, Sasuke blinks down at her, absently noting somewhere in the back of his mind that her cheeks are flushed and her green eyes are bright and he's fairly certain that she's never looked better, even with the rain taken into account. Somewhere in his center there's a glowing warmth where the cold of the rain can't reach, and the sputtering embers in his stomach rear into a flame when she smiles up at him, and it's softer than anything he's ever seen. She takes his hand again and they walk back to her house, Sasuke slightly stumbling over his own feet because he feels disjointed and bubbly and it's the strangest yet most pleasant thing he's ever experienced.

Later when they've both changed and curled in the couch, Sasuke thinks that he can tolerate the rains in Konoha, if Sakura was by his side.

Fluffy fic for day fourteen. Btw, I'd like to thank the people who keep on favoriting and reviewing my stories - it really means a lot. I love to see my mail flooded with messages from FFN. I'd give you a cookie if I could.


[Day Fourteen: Our First Place]