She felt her temper flaring to inhuman levels; levels that only her mentor could claim to boast.
That was it, she's had enough, she needed to vent, which simply put, meant that someone needed to suffer, or at least become very terrified.
But as it stands, that certain someone who was causing her blood to boil that hot happened to be very hard to scare, even harder to hurt. That didn't mean that she wasn't going to try though.
Stalking towards his office, she drew in a few calming breaths. She needed to be intimidating and completely losing it wasn't an option. Calm and deadly is what was most likely to do the trick. Silent rage is her friend and she was more than ready to embrace it. That was her first rule: 'Never lose your temper around him, it just gives him leverage.'
The pink haired woman schooled her rage into submission enough to manage a curt knock on his door.
"Enter." Came his level voice.
The mere sound of it caused her blood to sizzle again. How dare he be that calm when she was that miffed? Oh, how that ice cold demeanor of his pissed her off.
Normally she found it endearing. But when she was upset and had to take it up with his royal stoic-ness, well, needless to say it drove her over the edge. Arguing with a drunk Rock Lee is much easier.
Steeling herself, she pushed the door open, with a little too much force than entirely necessary.
He seemed to notice and his eyes rested momentarily on the door before finding her figure.
Her boyfriend of three years, perceptive as ever, raised an eyebrow at her.
He apparently found something interesting about that and had the audacity to flash a smirk at her expense.
"How may I assist you, Sakura." He intoned, a hint of humor coating his otherwise inexpressive voice.
"How may you assist me?" She parroted. "Why are you still in the office?" She questioned, turning her full attention to him.
Itachi returned his attention to the paper he was pursuing earlier and spoke easily, "I thought we had long since established that the work day ends at 4."
Sakura's eyes narrowed imperceptibly and Itachi returned his attention to her.
"I understand that your work day ends at 4, but how about today?" She offered, doing a bang up job of not snapping at him, if she does say so herself.
"Today is a work day." He replied simply.
She glared, and he raised an eyebrow at his girlfriend.
She really was quite adorable when she got angry. The only thing that he enjoyed more than seeing her throw a fit was seeing her try desperately not to.
This was a guilty pleasure of his.
Not that he'd ever willingly admit it.
It was that temper of hers that drew him in three years ago.
He had walked past her so many times before, jotting her down as yet another Sasuke fangirl, worthy of nothing but the briefest of cold shoulders.
This is why, when she was assigned to his team as a medical aid for a particularly tricky mission, he wasn't about to change the way he always treated her.
All went well in the beginning. He had given her the guidelines, conveyed the orders, and put enough impassiveness in his voice to show her that doing anything that he wouldn't want her to would have grave repercussions.
She didn't surprise him at all during the first day. The perfect little rule follower that she was, she was always respectful, polite and obedient.
It was on the second day though, when he had ordered her to stand down while he and his team fought, that he first saw her eyebrow twitch and her little fists ball slightly.
She then smiled blissfully at him, and nodded her approval.
He actually had to waste a couple of precious seconds eyeing her intently, before heading out into battle.
She was so obviously pissed at him. Yet she tried to hide it. He wondered if he had imagined her slight temper flare.
This is why he made it a point to take her to the side that night, and specifically state, "I expect you to take cover if we were to get attacked again over the course of the mission." He made sure to sound detached.
As a response, she just stared at him unblinkingly for a few seconds, not saying a word, while he practically watched as her emerald eyes glistened and her brow creased slightly.
"I respectfully decline, Itachi-Taicho." She finally stated much to his amusement.
"And why is that?" He questioned, sounding dangerous and disapproving.
"I am a kunoichi, not some damsel in distress. I will not stand to the side while everyone fights."
"You have been given a direct order, Sakura." He said, seeing it fit to drop all honorifics just to mess with her.
She shook with pent up anger.
"You do not get to refuse." His voice was calm, but his demeanor shifted enough to raise the hackles on her back.
Still, she held her ground.
"I am not just a medic, I am also a fighter, if you do not require my services, you should have refused to attach me to your team for this mission." She argued, evidently restraining herself.
"Your services were not offered, Sakura. You were assigned to this team; I am merely respecting the Hokage's orders." Itachi deadpanned.
Sakura didn't miss the obvious 'follow your superiors' orders' message contained in his last statement.
"Why do you not want me to fight?" She questioned. Smart enough to change her approach, he had remarked.
"I am not debating with you, Haruno-san." Itachi pitched in, changing his approach in turn.
This seemed to rile her up.
"This is not fair... I..." She started, voice rising a bit, however, as Itachi watched, she reined it back in, cleared her throat, tilted her head to the side, smiled, and fluttered her lashes before stating, "Yes, Itachi-taicho." In a tone that made it obvious that she wished for nothing but the opportunity to punch him in the throat.
"You may return to the camp now, Sakura." He said, dropping his tone at her name to see what happens.
She maintained her saccharine sweet demeanor as she said, "Yes, Sir." And somehow the 'Sir' part sounded more like an insult than anything she could have called him.
Turning on her heel, Sakura walked away, completely missing the calm onyxes that scanned her frame with escalating amounts of interest.
This girl, he concluded, didn't seem to fear him at all as was the case with most people. She also didn't seem to fawn over him; he'd made it a point to stand next to her on more than one occasion over the past two days and she has yet to give him any reaction.
As a matter of fact, she seemed more intent on her work and on the mission than anything else.
And he found that most fascinating, wondering absently at how many interesting things he was yet to discover about her.
A few days later when he casually stepped back in the middle of a raging fight and ordered her to replace him, he couldn't help but admire the ecstatic smile that graced her features once the original shock wore off. And in no time she was racing forwards smashing and crushing to her heart's content.
Yup, it was at that moment that he knew that this was the girl for him.
Said girl now moved silently towards his desk, before slamming her hands on it making it rattle ominously. Vaguely he wondered at how many desks he had to replace just because his little lady was mad at him. He truly needed to have a talk with her about breaking stuff. If she really wanted to break the desk, he could easily suggest an activity that would be much more pleasurable to experience and would just as well render the desk a squeaking heap of soon to be trash.
Valorously pushing images of said activity out of his mind, the Uchiha heir focused his attention on his lover as she brought her face closer to his, a menacing look in her eyes.
"What is wrong with you?" She questioned, mock concern in her voice. "No, I mean it, what... is... Wrong... with you?"
"Nothing that I am aware of." He declared, not missing a beat and enjoying how she momentarily lost her grip on her chakra, as her rage grew.
Her tiny hands gripped the edge of his desk bringing so much more destruction to the defenseless inanimate object.
Itachi watched her intently, carefully masking his amusement behind a veneer of boredom, as he attempted to steer his mind away from the activity he had in mind. Silently remarking that if his desk had to end, that would sure be a more befitting end for it.
For her part, Sakura debated just leaning forward and grabbing him by the hem of his shirt and maybe giving him a shake or two for good measures.
Things were normally good between them. If you were to ask Sakura why they were together, she would actually shake her head and tell you it was because underneath his unemotional facade he was a real stalker and a perverted freak.
If you were to ask anyone else in Konoha, they would tell you that the union between those two is God's way of punishing mankind for their sins, by bringing together two forces of nature to form a united front. On one side you had the deadly calm one and on another you had the untamed one with the explosive temper.
On the other hand, if you were to ask Itachi why they were together, he'd probably kill you and make it look like an accident for sticking your nose where it doesn't belong.
Regardless of what brought them together, or what keeps them that way, one thing was the common consensus, and it was that they worked.
No one knew how or why, but they just did.
They enjoyed each other's company. She saw through his facade and tried her best to understand him. And he relished everything about her and tried to not let his overprotective streak smother her.
They had their problems. But they just worked. And none of them could imagine having another for a partner.
However, every once in a while, Itachi would test her patience, and Sakura would go on a tirade.
Just like right now. As a matter of fact her patience was being so severely tested at the moment.
Calm down, Sakura, calm down and turn it on him. She chanted in her head.
"Today is Valentine's." She declared.
"You have informed me of the date a few weeks ago." He said monotonously, edging her to elaborate further.
Sakura then drew in a calming breath. Dealing with the emotionally stunted sure was hard. But she knew what she was getting into, so she just needed to soldier through.
Snapping at him won't do her any good, since he'd just watch her throw a hissy fit, until she tries something rash like throwing something at him, and then he'd just tackle her to the floor and smirk victoriously down at her beckoning for her to retaliate. Which she'd sure as hell do, and they'd engage in a fighting bout that would inevitably turn into flirtation when he sneaks up behind her and draws her in. And that of course would lead her right to his bed, couch, desk or whatever opportune object that just happens to be nearby.
This has happened many times before. But not today, she won't let this one go.
"Couples celebrate valentine's." She accused.
Itachi eyed her silently for a second.
Rule number 2: 'Use logic as a weapon.'
"We're a couple aren't we?" She questioned.
"Yes." Brief and to the point.
"Then why aren't we celebrating."
"You could celebrate if you want to."
She almost growled at him, but sighed instead.
"It's not the same thing. We should celebrate together."
"Why?" He questioned, eyes meeting hers evenly. He looked genuinely interested.
"It's a day for lovers, and lovers are supposed to celebrate it."
She sighed again.
"That's the way it is; people go out, they eat out, exchange presents and go home happily."
"Oh for crying out loud!" Sakura screamed.
Itachi just eyed her calmly.
"It's the romantic thing to do. This is how people show they love each other." She tried again.
"I see." he said, and for the briefest of seconds he considered it and Sakura let out her breath. "Do you not feel loved, Sakura?" He questioned.
Sakura gave him an incredulous look.
Rule number 3: 'Never get sidetracked, he will try to distract you'
"This is not what I mean."
"So you know that I love you." He said. Sakura could never understand how he managed to say that so easily. He has surprised her with it when they first started dating and he'd been unabashed about it ever since. God forbid his stoic-ness should extend to this, noo he has to continuously blurt that out and make her blush like a school girl.
"I know that." She gave in, a bit deflated and slightly flustered. "But I just thought it would be nice."
"You already know I love you, Sakura. Not to mention that we eat out a few times every week, exchange gifts on birthdays and official celebratory occasions, and we normally go home in a rather pleasant mood. I do not see a reason to acknowledge this day given that we habitually partake in those activities."
Rule number 4: 'Don't overdo the 'logic' thing, Go emotional, it will frustrate him.'
"We need to show our love."
"I believe we do that every night and more often than not first thing in the morning. I am more than open to doing so more frequently if you so desire." Itachi's unperturbed tenor echoed, and Sakura eyed him, silently wondering how someone could say something that lewd in the most neutral tone ever.
She glared at him long and hard.
Rule number 5: 'Make accusations whenever possible. Put him on the defensive.'
"Are you trying to give me a stroke?"
"No, I do not believe this to be on my list of things to do to you."
She glared harder.
"You are impossible!" She said in a slightly maniacal voice.
"This is not true, Sakura" Itachi pitched in, Sakura just looked at him. Maybe there's still hope for him. "A person can never be 'impossible'. You may say that I am 'statistically improbable' if you must."
Yup, that did it. It took every last bit of her self-restraint to prevent herself from punching him in the face. She then straightened up and turned away.
Storming out on him always served as the last weapon in her arsenal to be used on the infuriating man.
He would eventually chase after her, and ask her to talk rationally about the matter at hand. And then things would get decidedly better. She knew that from experience. Itachi was most likely to compromise when she let him mull things over first and made sure that he knew that she was upset.
With that in mind she stormed away.
She was going past the open door to his office when she felt him grab her sleeve.
That was fast, she thought smugly, making sure to avert her eyes from him and pout for good measures. She wasn't gonna make this easy for him.
"Let go of me." she said petulantly, trying lackadaisically to free her sleeve from him. She didn't really want to be let go, though.
"I said let me go, Itachi." Sakura repeated, this time dramatically leaning her head down and bringing her other hand to her forehead. "You've really upset me, you know. This day means a lot to me and you just treat it like it's nothing." She paused and when he didn't say a thing she added. "I don't wanna hear it. I really don't, I just need to be alone now... Let me go."
Another pause where he still held onto to her.
"There's nothing you could say to make me feel better. I wanna go.. Leave me alone." The medic finished in a theatrical voice.
Yup, this oughta do it. He couldn't let her be upset and the fact that he came after her this fast proved her infallible theory. She had him now and it was only a matter of seconds before she gets her romantic dinner. To say the truth, she wasn't really that much of a romantic, but it was valentine's and Ino just teased her endlessly about not having plans. So she sure as hell wasn't about to let the obnoxious blonde win.
Nope, she was winning as we speak.
A moment passed and the man behind her just held onto her sleeve wordlessly.
Sakura's patience was starting to wear off.
If he didn't know what to say to her then he could just try to placate her. Wth? they've done this so many times before. Why was it taking so long?
On that thought, Sakura turned towards the Uchiha with every intention of glaring at him and play-asking him to let her go.
It took her a second to register what she saw, though.
Another second passed as she was flooded with shock.
During the third second her shock turned into mortification, as her mind registered something paramount.
Itachi wasn't holding onto her sleeve. He wasn't attempting to get in her good graces.
As a matter of fact, and much to her horror, Itachi was still firmly planted behind his desk.
Her eyes travelled from him and back to her sleeve, which happened to have gotten caught on the door knob as she stormed by, and back to him again.
She did this a few times not really knowing what to do.
It took only one more second for Itachi's laugh to echo through the place, a warm hearty chuckle that only she has heard before.
Sakura was mortified as she turned towards him and sunk to her knees on the floor in humiliation only to have the normally impassive Uchiha laugh even harder and bring his hands to cover his eyes as he leaned closer to his desk.
Sakura watched her boyfriend's rare display of mirth, it was great to hear his laugh, even if it was at her expense, and she couldn't help it, she just adored this man.
"Shut up." She said playfully.
He dropped his hand and met her eyes. "My apologies." He said, before the sight of her sent him once more into a laughing fit.
It wasn't everyday that he got to sit back and watch his girlfriend play hard to get with a doorknob..
Sakura pouted, before laughing with him, face flushed in embarrassment.
"This is so unfair." She muttered.
And for his part, if Itachi was to actually answer the question regarding why he and Sakura worked, he would essentially say that it was because he could be himself with her, be that self an impassive prick, a chuckling idiot or a slightly perverted overprotective lover and she would still look at him just as adoringly. Maybe a romantic dinner isn't such a bad idea after all.
I haven't written ItaSaku in a while, so I thought this would help me get ready for the next storyline. I am actually considering having it focus on their dynamics as a couple rather than on how they manage to get together.
I hope you guys liked it.
I would love to know what you think.