The Good Stuff
Holding up a finger, Sakura signalled to her teammate to wait as she finished the sentence she was reading. She bit her lip to hold back her smirk as Sasuke made a sound of affront deep in his throat. Sakura finished what she was reading and made a careful note on the scroll before turning her eyes to Sasuke and smiling innocently.
"May I speak now?" he asked sarcastically and Sakura's smile grew wider. Sasuke rolled his eyes but continued. "You're needed at the Hokage's office, we have a mission."
Nodding, Sakura rolled up her work and stored it away in the top drawer of her desk, sealing the lock with a flare of her chakra. She followed Sasuke out of her office and together they made their way out of the hospital. Sasuke was annoyed to note that many of the male patients and even some of the male med-nin were quite enthusiastic in greeting his pink-haired teammate.
Sasuke wasn't blind and knew that Sakura had grown up in the four years since the last Shinobi World War. Konoha was currently in the midst of an unusually cool autumn, and while not bitterly cold outside, Sakura had opted to switch her trademark shorts for a pair of long, black trousers. Trousers which were, Sasuke observed, just as tight as her shorts had been. Coupled with the figure hugging red top that had the shoulders cut out displaying tempting slithers of creamy skin and Sasuke – actually, the males of Team 7 in general – had a hell of a time keeping the male populous at bay.
Not that Sakura would ever notice this.
It was a constant headache for her teammates that their female counterpart wasn't aware of the effect she had over men. For a woman that could level mountains with a single punch, she walked around for all the world like a doe-eyed little lamb.
Once outside the hospital the pair took to the roofs and covered the short distance to the Hokage's office in a matter of seconds. Landing on the window ledge they found Naruto and, surprisingly enough, Kakashi, already waiting.
Slipping in to the office and standing with their teammates, Sakura eyed her sensei curiously. "How are you on time?"
"Because I called him three hours before the rest of you." Tsunade smirked, leaning back against her chair. "Now, as soon as Sai gets here we can begin."
"Five jōnin on one mission?" Naruto squinted his eyes at the Godaime. "Sounds like we're up for an important mission!"
"Sai is ANBU rank." Kakashi remarked, his face buried in his book but Naruto waved the comment off.
Tsunade watched the blonde's eager face and threw him a bone. "Well it is A-rank."
"Alright!" Naruto cheered, pumping his fist in the air. "I've been going crazy with boredom."
There was a knock on the door and Sai entered quietly, coming to stand on Kakashi's other side.
"I apologise for my tardiness." Sai said politely and Tsunade waved her hand dismissively.
"Okay, down to business then. I've had word that the Daimyo of Hi no Kuni is in need of help."
"Ooh what is it?" Naruto leaned forward eagerly. "Bandits, assassination attempts, rampaging monsters?"
"He needs a tooth pulled." Tsunade cackled inwardly as the five ninja before her blinked in confusion and Naruto almost fell over in disappointment.
"Excuse me? Shishou do you mean to tell us that you are sending five jōnin to pull a tooth?"
"Of course not." Tsunade scoffed. "Sakura, I'm sending you to pull the tooth and the other four as protection."
"Protection from what? Plaque!?" Sakura threw her hands up in exasperation.
"Look," Tsunade sighed. "Often the work of the Hokage is more political than anything. The Daimyo is a very paranoid man and it does the village a favour to keep him appeased. He will not let any of his medics near him – he only wants the best, which is why I am sending you Sakura."
The pink-haired girl looked slightly mollified.
"His paranoia is the same reason I am sending the rest of you." Tsunade addressed the men before her. "Sending in a group of ninja with such a reputation as yours will please the Daimyo – it makes it look like his safety and comfort are our number one concern… and honestly, it's been pretty slow lately so the more ninja I can send on one A-Class mission then the more I can charge the Daimyo."
Sasuke snorted at that and Kakashi chuckled lowly.
"Okay," Naruto nodded. "So we travel to the Daimyo's palace, Sakura pulls his tooth and we come home. Simple!"
"Not quite." Tsunade sighed. "The Daimyo as well as being paranoid is very scared of pain."
"I can use a general anaesthetic if it will be that much of a hassle?" Sakura suggested.
"Nope. The Daimyo has a pathological fear of being put under for any sort of medical reason."
"What about just repairing any damage to the tooth with chakra?"
Tsunade laughed at that. "He distrusts chakra to an obscene extent. While ninja may be good enough to protect his lands, he prefers to avoid them where possible."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow. "I'm guessing the Daimyo was the only person around to inherit the position."
"I know, I know." Tsunade raised her hands in surrender. "He's a pain but he funds a lot of our work here and so we need to do as much as we can to meet his wishes. Sakura," she turned her attention to her student. "I think it would be best if you could heavily sedate the man, so he can remain awake but be oblivious to the procedure."
Naruto laughed loudly at that. "You want Sakura to drug the Daimyo?"
"I would never normally suggest such a thing but it will make the whole mission so much easier if you can relax the man rather than knock him out. Who knows, he might even get over this pathological fear of his if he has a good experience this time."
Sakura nodded. "It shouldn't be too hard. I'll go and prepare a sedative now."
"Good." Tsunade nodded. "Although you might want to prepare a lot of the stuff... the Daimyo is quite the corpulent man." Understanding, Sakura merely nodded. "You should all prepare to leave in the morning. I expect you to be gone for a day at the most."
The five ninja bowed to Tsunade and made their way from her office.
"Man I was hoping for some excitement." The orange-clad ninja whined.
"Be careful what you wish for, Naruto." Kakashi said blithely, flipping the page in his trusty book.
"Whatever." Naruto sighed, crossing his arms behind his head. "Anyone up for some ramen at Ichiraku's?"
"Sorry Naruto, I'd better go to the hospital and sort this sedative out. I'll see you all tomorrow at dawn?"
The men nodded watched as Sakura took off towards the hospital. Naruto eyed up his remaining teammates. "What about you guys?"
Sasuke shrugged and Kakashi mumbled in agreement while Sai smiled that disturbing grin of his and the four men headed towards Naruto's second home.
Dawn broke and found Sasuke crouched on a branch near the gates of Konoha waiting for his team to arrive. The weather was still erring on the cooler side but was not uncomfortable and would actually make travelling a lot more pleasant.
"Good morning!" Sasuke looked down at Sakura's chipper voice and found his female teammate adjusting the strap of her pack at the base of the tree. She was wearing those god-forsaken trousers again and Sasuke knew that the Dobe would find a way to travel behind her.
Sasuke hopped down from the tree to stand next to the girl. "Do you have everything?"
Sakura nodded and pulled a locked box from her bag. Injecting her chakra in to the seal on the side, the box clicked open and revealed a large syringe nestled inside. "I made extra, but as Tsunade said the Daimyo is a large man, I thought it better to have too much than too little." Closing and sealing the case once more, Sakura tucked it in to her pack and smiled at Sasuke. "It will be nice to get out of the village for a little while, even if it is just to the other side of Fire."
Sasuke nodded in agreement and the pair lapsed in to comfortable silence. Sai and Naruto arrived within minutes of each other and as per tradition, they were left waiting on their sensei.
"Hey, Sakura-chan?" Naruto piped up. "What will that drug you mixed up do to the Daimyo?"
Sakura smiled mischievously. "Well honestly, I've never tried it out."
"Well it's based on a sedative that I know is safe and works. I've adjusted it to also put the Daimyo in a more... cheerful mood."
"You're not giving him anything illegal are you?" Sasuke smirked and Sakura laughed.
"Totally legal, it's like an extra strength relaxant. It should hopefully lower his inhibitions a little and help him forget those fears that he seems to be constantly dealing with."
"Sounds like some good stuff." Kakashi spoke up, appearing around the tree his old students had been leaning against. "It seems our little Sakura could have a nice little side business if the ninja thing doesn't pan out."
Sakura stuck her tongue out and Kakashi ruffled her hair. Sakura swatted his hand away and gathered her hair back in to a ponytail deftly. She had been meaning to get it cut but had not found the time and so had to settle on tying it back to keep it out of her way while travelling.
"If you're all ready?" Everyone nodded at Kakashi's question and they moved as one in to the forests surrounding Konoha.
They ate up the distance to the Daimyo's palace with well-practised speed. Sakura travelled at the front near Kakashi while the boys lingered behind. Sasuke had been correct in guessing that Naruto would travel directly behind Sakura and so found great pleasure in putting himself between the kunoichi and the blonde. Naruto was quick to catch on to Sasuke's sabotage and soon the two best friends were having a silent competition of who could stay behind Sakura for the longest amount of time.
Sai watched his two teammates in confusion. It seemed like he still had a lot to learn.
They reached the gates of the Daimyo's palace in the early afternoon and Kakashi showed the waiting guards their mission scroll bearing the seal of the Hokage. One of the guards escorted them to the Daimyo's chambers and knocked on the door. A voice called for them to enter and the guard smiled sympathetically at the ninja.
"Lord Kenji is just inside. Good luck."
Kakashi opened the door and the quintet filed in to the room.
"Lord Kenji?" Kakashi addressed the miserable looking man sat at a low table, nursing a cup of tea in his large hands. The man nodded. "We're the team sent by Hokage-same. Sakura here," He gestured to the pink-haired girl to his left. "Is here to help you with that tooth."
Kenji eyed the girl distrustfully. "I'm actually feeling much better." He took a sip of his tea and immediately cringed in pain.
"Lord Kenji," Sakura spoke soothingly. "I promise to cause you no pain. I'll have that tooth out before you know it."
The large man stuffed his hands in the sleeves of his robes and frowned. "I don't want any chakra being used, you understand?"
Sakura nodded. "Yes, Tsunade-sama has explained it very carefully. I won't put you to sleep either."
Kenji nodded and Sakura approached the table while Sasuke and the others stood back near the door with the other guards who were in the room.
"Okay, if you just open your mouth so I can get a look at the problem." Kenji looked at her with hard eyes and Sakura smiled. "Just a look at the moment, I promise."
She was using a voice that Sasuke had heard her use when giving shots to uncooperative children in the hospital and it seemed to heave the same effect on the Daimyo who opened his mouth wide.
"Very good!" Sakura praised as she craned her head to see the afflicted tooth. It was a shame, she thought, that Kenji was so adamant on having no chakra used upon him as Sakura knew that she would have been able to repair the damaged enamel and nerve and save the tooth. Knowing not to push him however, she merely nodded. "Okay I see where the problem is. I'll pull it and it will all be over with."
Kenji's mouth clamped shut. "It won't hurt will it?"
Sakura shook he head and got the boxed syringe from her bag. Unclasping the lock she avoided pulling the needle in front of the nervous patient. "No my Lord. I will give you a small needle and you won't feel a thing."
Kenji's eyes narrowed. "I don't like needles."
"It's a tiny little thing. You won't even know I've done it."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow, recalling how large the needle had been but was very aware that the man would flip his lid if he actually saw it.
"Show me." Kenji demanded.
"I don't think that is such a good idea." Sakura tried to persuade him but the noble was insistent.
"I command you to show me the needle." Sighing and with no other choice, Sakura pulled the prepped syringe from the box and the Daimyo's eyes grew large with horror.
"No, I refuse. You may leave right now." He turned to his anxious looking guards. "Please escort these fine Konoha shinobi out."
"Er, my Lord." A nervous, freckle-faced guard spoke up. "You told us earlier that we were to make sure that your tooth is removed no matter how much you may protest."
"Well I'm changing my mind!" Kenji roared.
"Y-you said to ignore you if you said that too." The guard whimpered.
Sakura's patience for the man was running thin and she grasped the needle firmly in her hand. She shifted closed to the rotund man and held out a hand to take his arm. "Please Lord Kenji, the needle will ensure that you feel no pain when I extract the tooth. It's either the needle or I use chakra to repair the tooth."
"I choose neither!"
"Please, we also have orders that we are not to leave until your tooth has been dealt with." Sakura beseeched.
"No!" Kenji wailed.
"Sakura." Kakashi called and the girl cast him a desperate look. "Do it."
Sakura grasped Kenji's arm but the man was quick to yank it away. "I've told you no!"
"Be reasonable." Sakura tried but the man shifted his great weight backwards and up to his feet.
'I was right to make an extra-large batch.' Sakura mused.
Lord Kenji towered over her as well as being several times wider than her. It was quite comical to see such a little slip of a girl glaring at the large man.
"Just give me your arm and it will all be over with very quickly."
"No!" Kenji shouted.
"Lord Kenji…" Sakura gritted out.
"She's about to blow." Naruto muttered and the other men in the room nodded, watching the confrontation with rapt attention.
"Okay." Sakura said suddenly, "placing the syringe down on the table. "We'll leave the needle. I'm sure I have some cream that will do the job just as well."
Sakura saw the minute relaxing of Kenji's muscles and pounced. She refrained from using her chakra and was strong enough without it to wrestle the surprised man to the floor. Leaning her slight weight on the man she reached for the discarded syringe.
Kenji, seeing what she was trying to do struggled even more. With Sakura's lack of chakra and Kenji's surge of energy, the man gave a great heave and flung the girl off him. Sakura rolled across the table and came to land on her feet on the other side.
"Now really this is ridiculous you-!" Sakura broke off, registering a slight stinging in her leg and a curious feeling of light-headedness.
Glancing down she saw the syringe had stabbed in to her leg during the little scuffle over the table. Ripping it out she was horrified to see that it was almost empty.
"Oh no." She slurred, her head growing heavy and legs weak. She tried to pool her chakra to the injection site but her body would not cooperate. Falling to her bottom heavily she blinked up at her teammates as they appeared around her, all with worried faces.
"Sakura-chan!" Naruto yelled frantically. "Are you okay?"
Sakura blinked and a giddy smile broke out on her face. "Hi!" She giggled at how funny her voice sounded.
"Sakura?" Kakashi ventured hesitantly. Focusing on the silver-haired man now she flung herself on to him, wrapping her arms around his waist.
Naruto, Sai and Sasuke exchanged wide-eyed looks.
"What the heck was in that syringe?" Naruto asked, looking at the girl who was now rubbing her cheek against Kakashi's own masked one. The silver-haired jōnin tried to look detached but Sasuke could clearly see the flush of pink on his ears.
"She said it was a relaxant and painkiller... something about loosening up inhibitions." Sasuke mumbled, frowning at his teacher.
"Well judging by the difference between the hag's weight and Lord Kenji's, I'm guessing she's overdosed on the drug several times over." Sai noted, examining the empty syringe.
"Sakura." Kakashi said pushing the girl away from him gently. "Can you use your chakra to break that drug down?"
"Don't wanna." Sakura mumbled.
"Sakura." Kakashi said sternly and the girl's lip trembled.
"I'll try." She conceded.
The males of Team 7 watched as she tried gathering her chakra to her hands, but her control wavered very quickly and dissipated to nothing. The girl looked up at Kakashi with sad green eyes. "I couldn't do it."
"Aw! It's okay, Sakura-chan!" Naruto cooed, sweeping the girl up in a tight hug. Sakura laughed delightedly.
"Dobe." Sasuke growled and Naruto just sent him a foxy grin.
"You were trying to poison me!" Kenji's angry voice broke their little reprieve. "You would have ended up with me acting like that!"
"With all due respect, Lord Kenji." Kakashi stood, thankful to have Sakura attached to someone else. "The amount of the drug was suitable to your body weight. Sakura is under an amount much greater than the therapeutic effect you would have experienced."
"The whole universe is conspiring against me!" Kenji wailed dramatically. "First this blasted toothache and now a medic who wants to experiment on me!"
Sakura perked up as the man pointed at her. "Oh no, Kenji-sama." She said, detaching herself from Naruto and slinked over to the Daimyo. She leaned against his form and brought a hand up to stroke at his jaw tenderly. "I just want to help you. To make you feel good."
Kakashi slapped a hand to his face and Naruto and Sasuke watched with disgusted expressions as Sakura pawed over the now-pleased looking Lord.
"I guess Ugly was right." Sai spoke up. "Her formula really does lower the subject's inhibitions. In this case it would seem to be her inhibitions towards men."
"Shut up, Sai." Naruto and Sasuke growled as one.
"I know you're scared." Sakura soothed Kenji. "But this tooth." Here she tapped at the Daimyo's cheek. "Needs to come out."
With no further chatter, and before anyone in the room could see what was about to happen, Sakura's hand turned in to a fist and she sucker punched the Daimyo directly in the jaw.
There may not have been any chakra in the punch but the force still left the Lord reeling.
"Oh for the love of-!" Sasuke darted forward and pulled Sakura to him, quickly moving her away from the seething aristocrat.
"Why you –" Kenji paused his approaching tirade and puffed his cheeks out.
He held out a hand and spat a clearly infected tooth in to it. Probing at the inside of his mouth with his tongue Kenji smiled. "My tooth! It's out. You're right, that didn't hurt at all!"
Kakashi stared at the scene before him with an apathetic eye and wondered what he had done to deserve this life.
"We'd best get her back and have Tsunade see if she can purge the drug from her system." Kakashi led them away from the Daimyo's palace.
The guards stationed at the gates gave them odd looks as Sasuke struggled to keep a hold of the fidgeting kunoichi in his arms.
"Damn it, Sakura. Stay still!"
Sakura ignored him and continued to try and get her hands in his hair. "But Sasuke-kun," she purred. "Everything feels so good!"
Sasuke gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes at Naruto who had a wistful look on his face. "Get your mind out of the gutter you idiot."
Naruto held his hands up in surrender.
"Why don't you put her on your back, Sasuke?" Kakashi suggested. "She seems to be sure to hold on... she's being very affectionate after all."
Grumbling incoherent curses at the world in general, Sasuke stopped and let Sakura out of his arms. He crouched down before the girl. "Get on."
Sakura squealed and deftly hopped on to Sasuke's back, wrapping her legs around his waist and immediately burying her hands in his hair. Sasuke would bite his own tongue off before admitting that what Sakura was doing felt good... but god did it ever.
With Sakura no longer trying to escape, the team made quick work of the distance back to Konoha. In fact, everything was going smoothly until Sakura let out a loud and painfully suggestive moan. The men all froze, eyes fixed to Sakura and Sasuke although Sai's expression was curious.
"Is Ugly injured? She sounds like she's in pain."
No one answered him.
Sakura buried her nose in Sasuke's neck and sniffed him. "Mmm, you smell so nice, Sasuke-kun." She sighed and Sasuke almost jumped out of his skin when he felt her tongue dart out and lick the shell of his ear. "Yummy too."
"Damn lucky bastard." Naruto grumbled.
"Sasuke?" Kakashi ventured.
"Let's just go." Sasuke forced out, very conscious of the woman pressed tightly against his back.
It had been years since Sakura would throw herself at Sasuke, and even at her worse she was nowhere near this bad. So focused was she on her skills as a kunoichi and medic, Sakura had appeared to be happy to let the offers of the male population pass her by. She was more than making up for that now however.
Picking up their speed even further, Team 7 was relieved to see Konoha's gates loom in the distance. Kotetsu and Izumo were on guard duty and Kakashi came to a halt in front of them, flashing them the mission scroll as protocol dictated.
"Hey, is Sakura-chan okay?" Izumo nodded to Sakura who had slid off Sasuke's back and was swaying slightly on her feet.
"Oh fine." Kakashi tried to inject some cheerfulness in his voice. "Just a little mishap."
Sakura had apparently gotten fed up of her ponytail pulling at her scalp and drew the tie from her hair. She shook her head to free the long pink tresses and ran her hands through her hair humming in appreciation.
Sasuke's eyes bled red at the drooling faces of Kotetsu and Izumo. "Put your eyes back in your head in your head before I do it for you."
"Yeah, what he said!" Naruto growled.
The two chūnin averted their eyes promptly and Sasuke and Naruto each took a hold of one of the girl's arms. She chattered happily as the group made their way through the darkening streets of Konoha and up the stairs to the Hokage's office.
When their knocking received no answer, Kakashi pushed open the door and they found Tsunade fast asleep slumped over her desk.
"Tsunade-same." Kakashi tried to rouse her but the woman merely gave a light snore and continued to snooze.
Naruto rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. "GRANNY! WAKE UP!"
The woman jerked upright, a piece of paper stuck to her cheek. "Have some respect you brat!" She blinked dazedly before focusing on the group in front of her. "Back already?"
"We had reason to hurry back." Kakashi gestured to the pink haired girl currently playing with the ends of her hair and singing quietly to herself.
"What's wrong with my apprentice?" Tsunade frowned.
"She was accidentally injected with the drug intended for Kenji-sama." Kakashi explained nervously, rubbing the back of his head.
"How much of it?"
Sai withdrew the now-empty syringe from his pouch. "This much."
"What!?" Turning to her oblivious student she sighed. "What have been the side effects?"
"Well-" Naruto laughed nervously and Sakura looked up. Her eyes brightened when she saw what Sai was holding.
"Hey, my thing!" She moved over towards her socially-inept teammate and grinned at him. "Did you bring that back for me Sai? Thank you!" It was Sai's turn to be hugged this time and Sakura scratched him under the chin gently as one might do a beloved pet. "You're so kind to me."
Sai remained impassive as the pinkette pressed against him and looked to the other, rather dazed-looking, people in the room. "I'm afraid that I am unsure of how to deal with this social protocol."
Tsunade pinched the bridge of her nose. "Oh dear." She turned her amber eyes to her student. "Sakura, sweetie, can you tell me what you put in that syringe?"
Sakura grinned at Tsunade. "Sure!"
The room drew a collective sigh of relief. "Er, there was some of that blue stuff I think, and a little of that other thing I was working on."
Tsunade groaned. "I should have known. Sakura, had you tested that drug before you used it?"
"Of course!" Sakura nodded but Sasuke shook his head.
"Before the mission Sakura informed us that the vial contained a general sedative combined with another medicine of her own creation designed to ease stress and lower inhibitions. She was hoping to make the Daimyo forget how scared he was of... well everything."
Tsunade shook her head. "Sakura what have I warned you about using drugs before you have fully tested them on multiple subjects?"
Sakura glowered at Sasuke. "Tattletale." She poked him in the chest. "You're lucky you're so damn gorgeous, Sasuke-kun or I'd give you a right good spanking."
"Where's the punishment in that?" Naruto whispered to Kakashi and Sasuke sent him a glare before turning to a now amused Tsunade.
"Can't you use your chakra to break down whatever she's got floating around in her bloodstream?"
Tsunade rounded the desk and passed a glowing hand over Sakura's chest. "Hmm, it looks like the sedative properties have closed down a lot of her chakra points. I don't want to risk forcing my own chakra in there if she won't be able to access her own. I think it would be best if she stays at the hospital for the night so we can keep an eye on her. Hopefully this will have made its way out of her system by the morning."
"Hospital?" Sakura frowned. "More work?"
"No." Tsunade explained patiently. "We're going to have you stay there for tonight so we can make sure you get better."
"I'm not sick." Sakura smiled. "I feel fabulous." Sakura threw her arms up and her top rode up to expose her stomach.
Tsunade brought her hands back down gently and turned to the flushed looking men. "Take her straight to the hospital. If I get word that my apprentice has flashed someone on the way I will personally see to it that you all get nothing but D-rank missions for a year. I'll come over to check on her later on."
"Please stop trying to pull your top up, Sakura-chan." Naruto begged. "I don't want to spend a year chasing after cats for batty old women."
"But I'm so warm!" Sakura whined. "I have a bra on underneath so it's fine."
"No, it's really not." Sasuke mumbled.
"I wish Ino was here, she always tries to get me to take my top off when we go drinking."
"No more drinking with Ino for you." Kakashi said sternly and Sakura pouted.
"You guys always spoil my fun." She leant back on the pillows of her hospital bed. "Don't think I don't know about you chasing off all the guys who ask me out."
"They're no good for you." Naruto patted her hand.
"Yeah well I have needs!" They were not used to Sakura speaking so bluntly about things like this. "I've waited almost eight years for mister tall, dark and brooding to make a move but noooo! Even after the war you'd have thought he'd have a little time for some fun but nope, nadda. Icha Icha can only do so much!"
The men all stared agape at her and Kakashi looked at his little orange book in a new light. He discreetly closed it and slid it in to his pouch.
"What I don't get," Naruto began, scratching at his chin. "Is that if Sakura-chan made that drug to make Kenji forget that he was scared of stuff, then why is it making Sakura act like this?" He gestured to the blissful looking girl.
"Men can be so stupid." Tsunade walked in to the room, a medical chart in her hands.
"Huh?" Naruto frowned.
Tsunade bent over Sakura and began a more thorough check up on the girl's chakra systems. The Hokage glanced at the men and smiled wryly. "It's very simple. Sakura fears showing affection."
"No way!" Naruto argued. "She's one of the most loving people I know."
Tsunade laughed lightly at Naruto's sincere defence of his friend. "I mean towards men particularly. Her previous attempts at finding love have not been easy on her."
Sasuke was very aware of the eyes that turned to him and he kept his eyes resolutely fixed on his oblivious teammate.
Tsunade straightened up. "Right, everything seems fine apart from her chakra points being closed. A good night's sleep should see to that." She raised a glowing finger to Sakura's forehead and the girl slumped in to her pillows. "She should sleep until morning."
Looking at the rather despondent Team 7, Tsunade smiled. "I didn't mean to rain on your parade. It will serve you well to know that girls are always more complicated than they seem. Now come on, all of you out. You can visit Sakura tomorrow. If she's lucky she won't remember any of this."
The men were ushered out of the room by the Hokage and forced out of the hospital doors.
"Man what a weird day." Naruto grumbled. He glanced at his companions. "You want to get some food or something?"
Sasuke shook his head. "I'm going home. " With that he stalked off and out of sight before any more words could be spoken.
He gave it a few minutes until he was sure the others would have moved on before heading back towards the hospital. He entered the building unnoticed and made his way to Sakura's room without anyone questioning him.
Slipping in to the room, Sasuke observed the deeply slumbering girl and took a seat on the window sill, waiting.
When Sakura came to the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon. The girl groaned and rolled over, pressing her face in to the mattress. Feeling like her body had been hit by Chouji's Human Bullet Tank technique, Sakura whimpered in a rare show of vulnerability.
Someone was next to her a second later, pressing a straw against her lips. Sakura sipped at the cool water for a moment before opening her eyes to meet ebony orbs.
"Sasuke." Sakura began, voice quiet. "I am having some very strange memories from last night. Would you please tell me it's all a crazy dream?"
Sasuke set the cup back on the side table and smirked lightly. Sakura groaned and buried her face in her pillow.
"Kill me now!" She moaned. She peered a hazy green eye at him. "Dare I even ask what happened?"
"Your sedative did the trick... or it would have had you not got stuck with it instead. It seems that at high doses it does not only relax the patient but can also be used to completely lower inhibitions."
"Oh my – what did I do?" Sakura whispered, horrified.
"You pawed Sai and Kakashi, punched the Daimyo, tried to flash several people and may have destroyed Kakashi's love of Icha Icha."
Sakura laughed miserably. "Is that all?" She shifted on to her back before moving to sit against the pillows. She looked balefully at the Uchiha. "Why are you here?"
Sasuke frowned. "Charmed."
"No," Sakura explained. "I would have expected to see Naruto here too... I wouldn't have thought you'd be here on your own."
Sasuke in his pockets. "I wanted to make sure you were okay. I want to talk to you too."
"About what? Did I offend you yesterday too?"
Sasuke thought back to Sakura burying her face in his neck and her hands in his hair and shook his head to clear the thoughts. "Definitely not." He replied. Shooting her a sly glance, he smirked. "So that's what you'd be like if you didn't hold back huh?"
Sakura gave him a half-hearted glare. "I think my actions were rather exaggerated."
"Tsunade said that you probably acted the way you did because you usually have a guard up against men."
"Most women do." Sakura frowned.
"She also said you're scared."
Sakura raised a challenging eyebrow. "Did she now? Well with all due respect I think I know what I'm afraid of more than anyone else."
"You also mentioned that you've been waiting for me since we were twelve."
Sakura laughed at that, hollow sounding. "I don't think so Sasuke,. You really should take what is said with a pinch of salt, I was drugged after all."
"So you're not afraid of getting hurt again… hurt because of me?"
"That's what I said." Sakura sniffed, fingers playing with the starched blanket covering her.
Sasuke moved closer to her until his standing figure was hovering above her. "Look me in the eyes and tell me that."
Sakura met his gaze confidently. "I'm not… I'm not –" She sighed heavily and slumped in to her pillows. "I'm not that stupid little girl I was before."
"I know you're not."
"Then why are you doing this to me?" She said miserably. "Everyone already knows that I never stopped clinging on to the hope that you'd change your mind about me." Sasuke remained silent and Sakura continued. "After the war I was happy that I'd proved I deserved a place on Team 7… I wasn't the girl following behind anymore.
"So you're right I guess, I didn't want to look like the annoying girl I was before. I didn't want the men who approached me for dates… but I couldn't have the person I wanted so it was easier to put up a wall against men in general. Better to be alone than look like a fool right?"
Sasuke felt like the scum of the earth at that moment. He knew he was an idiot when he was younger (still was if he was being honest with himself) but he would never have imagined how much his actions affected the people around him. He leaned forward, his body caging Sakura against the bed and he caught the girl's chin in his hand, forcing her gaze to meet his.
"This fear you have about me breaking your heart again?" His eyes burned in to hers. "You have nothing to be scared about."
Sakura offered him an unsure smile and Sasuke's lips twitched in return. "Just promise me one thing." He said, voice serious.
"The next time you feel like lowering all you inhibitions? Make sure we're alone first."
Sakura couldn't stop the laugh that bubble up at his words and she gazed at him fondly. "Deal."
Naruto skipped happily through the hospital corridors eager to see if Sakura was feeling back to normal. When he reached her room he was surprised to see Kakashi, Sai and Tsunade all stood outside, conversing lowly.
"Hey," the blonde called out as he approached them. "What's everyone doing out here? Is something wrong with Sakura?"
Tsunade coughed in to her hand. "Actually, Sakura is already awake."
"Great!" Naruto cheered and headed for the door.
"I wouldn't go in there if I was you." Kakashi warned, his lazy eye fixed on Naruto.
Naruto waved him off. "I want to see Sakura-chan."
Before anyone could stop him, Naruto wrenched open the door and took a step inside. It took a split second for his brain to process what he was seeing.
"Oh my god!" The blonde man screamed, staggering back in to the corridor, slamming the door shut behind him.
"Funny," Sai noted calmly. "That's what Ugly's been shouting all morning."
I think this is the first Naruto piece I've written that isn't an AU setting… even if it is completely crackish!
I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope it was as much fun to read.