Spriiiiing Breaaaaaaaak!... Yup it's Spring Break which means that I had enough time to finally finish this chapter. I really hope that you guys don't completely hate me for not updating for so long. Summer will be here soon, and I hope to get some serious writing done then.
I hope you like this one. And many thanks to those who are reviewing this story, you guys are the reason I write… Much love.
"No waaaaay." The eleven year old blonde said, purposefully stretching out the 'way' for emphasis.
The pink haired child in front of her looked affronted for a second, but quickly recovered, plastering an unperturbed look on her face.
"I don't care if you believe me." She said, silently congratulating herself on the well delivered line.
"Well, I don't." The blonde shot back. "No way you're ever gonna get married.. No waaaay."
"Yes way." Little Sakura said sounding every bit as a child as she was at the time. "I am too gonna get married, aaand he will be so cool."
This was barely a conversation they should be having while practicing their Kunai throwing, especially not while a few girls from their class were standing within earshot, but Ino had just so venomously stated that Sakura will likely end up an old miserable spinster courtesy of her *ahem* humongous *ahem* Forehead, and Sakura was not about to stand for it.
"Yup. He'll be a knight."
"Not gonna happen." Ino said dismissively.
"Yes it will. He will steal me away on his all black horse and we will ride…."
"Into the sunset? And let me guess, you will live happily ever after." The disbelieving blonde finished for her. "Yah, I've read that book. We both had it in the same class, remember?" She finished rolling her eyes.
Sakura looked flustered with both embarrassment and anger as she noticed that some of the other girls were having a good laugh at her expense.
"It's gonna happen." She insisted. "He will be tall, dark and handsome."
"Sasuke-kun is mine." Ino deadpanned.
"Like I care." Sakura said flipping her hair. "I'm sooo over Sasuke-kun, you can have him."
Ino scowled at her. "You're over him?" She parroted.
"Yup. I've been on the same team as he is for a while, and I know him too well to like him." She declared. Yup, the young Uchiha that she once had a crush on has long since proven that he was a little brat, she wanted more. "My husband will be nothing like him. He will be caring and nice, but also strong and confident and he will love me sooo much and he will have a great sense of humor."
"Riiiight." Ino said, rolling her eyes and exchanging an exasperated look with one of the giggling girls who were listening in on their conversation.
"He'll propose to me with a huge cake. It will be all pink and it will have 'Marry me Sakura' written on it in icing. It will be the biggest cake ever." She said confidently. "And it will have my face on it." She added as an afterthought.
"It doesn't matter how huge it will be, your head will never fit on the cake." Ino quipped.
But Sakura was way too into her fantasy world to hear her.
"Oh, we'll have a great wedding, and you'll be so jealous. And then the first morning after our wedding I'll wake up to find that he has made me breakfast and brought it to me in bed, it will have all sorts of amazing things, eggs, bread, jam, butter…"
Sakura begrudgingly blinked her eyes open, silently marveling at how gullible she once was.
*And how obsessed with food you were.* her inner added.
It is true that a few years after this conversation took place, Sakura has renounced all forms of romance in favor of proving herself and becoming adept at her job. It is also true that she will fervently and most ardently deny that this conversation ever took place. And if irrevocable evidence were to be produced, as to indicate that she did in fact utter those words, she would again fervently and most ardently insist that those were the ramblings of a child, and that she couldn't give a flying rat's caboose about those things.
But deep down inside. And I mean deep deeeep down inside, there was a part of her that was disappointed at not having her food based proposal and her savior knight.
*I don't need to be saved.* Sakura pondered.
*I hate you.* inner commented. *I really do. Look at us, look at where we are. This was our first night of marriage and how did you spend it? I'll answer that: you spent it reading this damn mission file, before falling asleep and waking up to what, ah, yah, an empty room. Congratulations, you're miserable.*
*I am not miserable, I knew what I was getting into and…*
Sakura's mental reverie was interrupted by a knock on the door. A second later a maid entered, pushing a small cart. The girl stepped in front of Sakura and curtsied, her deep brown eyes seeming timid and uncertain.
"G….Good morning." She started.
Sitting up in Itachi's bed, Sakura gave the girl a kind smile, "Hi."
"I'm Hana." She said bowing to Sakura. "Uchiha-sama assigned me to be lady Uchiha's personal maid."
Sakura gave her a confused look.
"I brought breakfast." The girl said looking more afraid with every second that Sakura spent being silent. "W… Would, lady Uchiha require anything else?" She questioned.
Sakura continued to look at the poor girl with scrunched up eyebrows.
"I… I…." Hana started. "Uchiha-sama left a few hours ago." She declared, racking her brain for where she went wrong and whether she might have accidentally insulted the new lady of the house. She just knew she was going to screw up. "He… He said to wake lady Uchiha up at this time, so that lady Uchiha can get ready for the ceremony."
A few seconds passed after that. During those seconds, Sakura was strangling her inner self in an attempt to jog both of their memories and entice her still sleep-stuck mind into action. On the other hand, the maid looked about ready to pass out; she fidgeted with the hem of her apron, while shifting her weight from one leg to the other.
"I'm sorry." Sakura finally said, as Hana was a mere second away from crying. "Am I lady Uchiha?"
A few more seconds passed, as Hana registered the question.
"Yes, ma' am."
"Right." Sakura said nodding her head, as some of the things the girl said started making sense. "And Uchiha-Sama is my husband?"
"Hai, Uchiha Itachi-Sama, the master of this house, and lady Uchiha's husband."
"I see." Sakura said scratching her head. "So, Uchiha Itachi-sama left a few hours ago."
"He assigned you to help me out and make me food."
"And he said to wake me up so that I can get ready for the ceremony."
"Yes." The girl nodded.
"Ok, now things make sense…. Wait, the ceremony, what time is it, what time is it?" Sakura questioned, springing up to her feet so fast that the girl jumped backwards.
"It's eight fifteen lady Uch…"
A couple of old ladies barely prevented themselves from toppling over, before raising their canes to the sky and screaming old-timer profanities at the strange pink haired girl who almost caused them to fall.
But Sakura wasn't about to stop running, for not only was she a bit late, but she was also too excited to walk.
This was it, this was the day she has long waited for, the day that would be the start of the rest of her life, the day when she officially becomes an Anbu.
*You are a very strange person.* Inner weighed in.
But Sakura didn't care. She didn't care about the fact that her hair was a mess, or the fact that half the makeup that she wore to the wedding was still plastered on her face while the other was smudged on Itachi's pillow. She didn't even care that she finished getting dressed as she dashed through the streets of Konoha.
*Who cares.* She pondered. *Today's the day.*
After years of preparation, and a grueling Anbu entrance exam where she almost got killed, Sakura was finally an Anbu. Not only that, but so were most of her friends.
"Wohoooo!" She screamed, as she ran by, effectively frightening the recently recovered old ladies, and causing them to topple over into a puddle of dirt and water.
From the depth of one of the fitting rooms in the Anbu Ceremonial hall, a wailing noise was heard.
"No… No… No, I won't imagine it anymore. I can't. It's impossible. It didn't happen, it can't, it won't, it couldn't….. could it? Oh my God it happened, didn't it? It happened! What can I do, what will we do. Oh my God it couldn't have happened. No… No… No, I am gonna stop imagining it.. Right now… Right now… Now… I can't stop imagining it!"
A second later the curtain of the fitting room was flung open and the few boys who were standing around were greeted by the sight of an irate half naked blonde, dressed only in a still unzipped pair of Anbu regulation pants.
Naruto then briskly flew over to the fitting stall next to his, and unceremoniously forced the curtain open.
The boys flinched back, eyes widening, as they saw Uchiha Sasuke standing there, stark naked, eyes glistening with malice as he stared at the offending blonde. Sasuke's hand quickly flew to the Anbu mask he had hanging next to him, which he quickly used to hide his most valuable assets from the view of the undeserving general public.
"Why aren't you answering me, Sasuke Teme? I am having a nervous breakdown here. I am going crazy." Naruto said/screamed.
Sasuke's sharingan kicked into action as he glared at his annoying best friend/eternal rival. "Shut the drapes." He said in a deadly tenor, as he flashed an angry look at the boys standing in front of him.
"Teme, this is serious. She spent the night with him, do you know what that means. Do you know what could have happened?" Naruto bellowed, completely ignoring Sasuke's angry remark. "Oh Kami-Sama, Teme, your evil brother has…. Has…. Has…. He has….. I can't saaaay itttt!" Naruto finished, now becoming fully hysterical as he dropped to his knees in front of Sasuke, now coming face to face with the aptly located Anbu mask.
Eyes widened at that one.
"Baka get to your feet and get out." Sasuke hissed, trying to sound as cold and detached as possible as an attempt to mask just how badly he wanted to kill Naruto right now. Sasuke, however, knew that it's futile to try to get Naruto to go away when he got like this.
It was his cruel, cruel fate to have to deal with Naruto's fits.
"He…. He…. He… defiled her!"
Sasuke sighed on the inside. He was almost one hundred percent sure that Naruto did not know the true meaning of that word.
"We have to defend her honor."
"He's her husband." Sasuke finally said.
Naruto sprang to his feet at that one, his eyes gleaming with anger as he stood face to face with Sasuke. "How can you say that Teme, do you think its fine for him to…."
"No." Sasuke said in a calm tenor, how he wanted to slam his head against a wall right now. Too bad he has taken that vow of stoicness when he was little. "We cannot be sure that it has happened."
Naruto calmed down a bit.
"You're right. Maybe it didn't." He said, eyes lighting up. "You have to ask her."
"I am not going to ask her. "
"You have to. It's Sakura-chan's honor we're talking about here." Naruto said seriously. "Just ask her, so that we can be sure. If it didn't happen then fine. But if it did happen then we have to start creating an army."
"An army." Sasuke repeated, sounding every bit as uninterested as a person could sound.
"Yes. To take your brother out and avenge Sakura-chan for her stolen honor."
Oh, how he longed to face-palm.
It was true, however, that Sasuke was not at all comfortable with the idea of Sakura and his brother sleeping together. He would have found it bizarre and almost unacceptable even if it was something that they both chose. It was made even weirder for him by the fact that it was a task that Sakura has undertaken. This was just too messed up.
"You have to do it Teme." Naruto screamed again, this time grabbing Sasuke by the shoulders to bring the raven's bored attention to him. "Ask her so that we could kill him."
"We are not going to murder my brother."
"We have to. We have to defend our teammate's honor. If someone raped you, Sakura-chan and I would kill him. If someone raped me, you'd kill him, right?"
Sasuke glared, he glared really hard trying to communicate every bit of frustration that he had in that one single glare.
"So I'll kill your rapist and you won't kill mine?" Naruto questioned, obviously not happy with Sasuke's silence when faced with such a serious issue.
"What an interesting statement this is." Were the words that interrupted the two boys' musings. "And what an interesting sight as well." Came the added remark.
"Shisui." Sasuke said in an annoyed tenor.
"Yare, Yare, little cousin, if you have to publicly display your affection for your boyfriend at least wait until the ceremony is over. Don't just stand here naked and talk about rape in broad daylight. And for Kami's sakes, this is not the proper way to use the mask." Sasuke's cousin said in a mischievous tone. "Well, you can use it anyway you want to, I guess. Man, I will never fully get young couples and their kinky ways." Shisui added as the few boys who were standing around started whispering animatedly amongst themselves, while Naruto turned his attention to Shisui and started yelling once more.
Sasuke was too busy counting down from one million to follow anything that happened next.
*I'm surrounded by idiots.*
Luckily for Sakura, this day afforded plenty of distractions. So many distractions indeed, that one second Ino started questioning her about the events of her first night as a married woman, and the next the blonde found herself way too distracted by how cute she will look in her Anbu outfit to even care.
Stepping out of the fitting room with her mask in her hand, Sakura silently joined Ino, Tenten and Hinata in front of the mirror.
The four girls were awed into speechlessness. After all, they spent days upon days slaving away to get to this day. Indeed, the girls never imagined they'd actually see themselves dressed like that. This outfit was reserved for the truly strong, and in their eyes as they grew up, this outfit was the ultimate fantasy.
"Wow." Sakura said, her mouth stretching into a huge smile.
"You can say that again." Tenten replied.
"I almost feel like I'm dreaming." Ino piped in, smoothing the sides of her uniform and grinning at her reflection.
"I am so happy." Hinata added.
"Well, Forehead, I thought you were an idiot for postponing your honeymoon in order to come to the Initiation Ceremony, but I hate to say that you were kinda right. This is totally worth it." Ino admitted.
Sakura only offered a smile in response; she was way to giddy to think about the wedding or anything else for that matter. Yup, they did tell everyone that they were delaying their honeymoon in order to attend the Anbu initiation. After all, this was the day Sakura has been working towards for years. And as for Itachi, as far as Sakura knew, he couldn't care less about this whole honeymoon business.
*Actually, he couldn't care less about anything. His caring levels are at an all-time minimum. If he actually manages to care any less, he might as well be unconscious.* Were Inner's views on the subject.
The four girls floated out of the fitting room, eyes wide and glistening with both fascination and disbelief, as they took in the giant hallways of the Anbu Ceremonial building. This building was a legend in its own right. Built in the time of the first Hokage, this building was off limits for any Shinobi who was not an Anbu. And over the years, every new Hokage's first order of business has been to take an oath in this building and in front of all the Anbu squadrons; an oath to protect and serve the people of Konoha, no matter what.
Naruto for one, has long since been dreaming of the day when he would take his own oath in this building. Alongside Naruto, almost every child in Konoha has at least once dreamt of donning the Anbu uniform and walking down this very same hallway.
And now, the four girls were drifting dreamily down the hallway and towards the ceremonial hall. They were only vaguely aware of Sasuke, Naruto, Kiba and Lee joining them. No words were exchanged as the eight of them merely continued walking.
Soon, they were assigned numbers, and instructed never to forget them.
"Those numbers will be your identities for the coming few months. Do you understand rookies?" Declared a masked Anbu. "Now form a single-file line and follow me. Do not make a sound as we walk in. And whatever you do, do not put your masks on," Were the instructions.
The line moved at a steady pace, leading the rookies into the huge hall.
Their giddiness summarily turned into intimidation as they took their first step into the hall. It was huge with a ceiling that hung so high that almost every recruit stepping through the door had to take a second to look up and appreciate it.
At the front of the huge room stood five masked Anbu, and facing them were lines upon lines of Anbu; veterans who had come to attend the initiation of the newbies.
What was really intimidating though was the fact that, even though dozens upon dozens of Anbu stood in the room, the room was dead silent.
*How can so many people remain that silent.* Inner wondered. *And why are they all masked? Damn this is scary. Do we have to do it?*
Sakura ignored her in favor of focusing on walking as soundlessly as possible. It was all beginning to sink in, this wasn't only a sweet fantasy come to reality, this was Anbu, and it won't be easy.
With that in mind, the rookies came to a stop facing the front of the room.
Silence reigned supreme as no one talked, no one moved, and Sakura was almost certain by the stillness of the room that no one even breathed.
Seconds stretched on, and the rookies were starting to get anxious, their eyes fixed on the five figures standing near the front of the room, hoping that one of them would say anything. But nothing was said, and it was almost torturous for the restless newbies.
Sakura started pondering what she heard about these initiation ceremonies, which wasn't a lot really, given that Anbu were really secretive. All she knew was that the captains of the top five squadrons were the ones who stood facing the new recruits. She also knew that the president of Anbu did not attend the initiation ceremony and that the initiation speech was normally given by the head of squad one who was also the vice president of Anbu.
No one, however, knew who the vice president was or even who the president was for that matter. This is how secretive those people were. The only thing people knew was that some people were members of Anbu, and that others were known as captains, but of the internal workings of Anbu, no one was knowledgeable.
Almost two minutes later and just when the new recruits were about to start having mental break downs, one of the figures near the front started moving.
The figure's steps were calm and calculated, undertaken with such agility that he seemed to cover a huge distance without really seeming to move. And despite the stillness of the room, no one heard this person move.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sakura saw Sasuke go completely stiff in front of her. And a second later, when the figure's long steady fingers moved to remove his mask, Sakura knew why.
"My name is Uchiha Itachi," came his ever so emotionless voice. "And I am the vice president of Anbu." He added, and if it wasn't for how intimidated the new recruits were, they would have started whispering amongst themselves. "We are here to welcome the new recruits to the ranks of Anbu. But we will do no such thing. You might be under the impression that you have successfully joined our ranks, however, you are still to merit your masks." At that, Itachi paused allowing the newbies to digest the information, the horror on their faces assured him that their minds were actually starting to process what he said. Yes, they were instructed not to put on their masks. And out of everyone in the room, they were the only ones unmasked. "Starting next week you will receive Anbu training and you will be assessed on all aspects of your performance. In exactly one month, you will be informed as to whether you have merited the right to don the Anbu mask. If you did not make the cut, you will be dismissed. You will have the right to rejoin the ranks of the regular Shinobi. Yet you will not have the privilege of applying to Anbu again."
Itachi paused once more, his face expressionless as he scanned the vastly expressive faces of the recruits.
"This Initiation Ceremony is hereby concluded." He finished, replacing his mask on his face.
"No way… What is wrong with those people? We've worked so hard. This is it; this is supposed to be it, where do they get off." Were Ino's two cents.
"Damn it!" Naruto screamed, banging a fist against a wall as they all walked down the street. "Just how many tests are we supposed to take?"
"Technically this is an assessment, not a test." Sasuke said, having finally managed to get a grip on his shock.
"Yah, you're one to talk." Kiba pitched in. "You probably knew about that all along, what with your brother being the vice president and all."
Sasuke glared at him emphatically.
"He didn't." Sakura stepped in. "He didn't even know that his brother was vice president."
"You're kidding." Kiba said laughingly.
"I didn't." Sasuke seconded her words.
"Man those people are really big on secrecy." Tenten commented. "When Neji made it in last year, he refused to tell me anything about it."
"We shouldn't say anything either." Hinata finally stated.
"You're right HInata-chan, we should uphold the honor of Anbu by refraining from divulging any information." Rock Lee declared, placing a hand over his heart for emphasis, as he mentioned the honor part.
"I don't think we have much of a choice. If we mention anything, they'll know and we probably will suffer for it." Sakura pointed out.
"I'm sure you won't, Lady Uchiha." Ino said, sticking her tongue out for emphasis.
"Oh, shut up."
So many hours later, and after an endless day of whining about what happened, Sakura made her way home.
It was after walking half the way that Sakura realized that her home now was on the other side of Konoha, within the Uchiha compound.
Resigning herself to her fate, she turned around and marched forwards. She passed the gates to the compound, made a detour at the manor where Sasuke and his parents resided and finally found herself standing in front of the mansion that was Itachi's house.
Sighing, she walked in.
"Hey Hana, please call me Sakura."
"I…. I…. I can't…" The girl stuttered looking mortified.
Sakura sighed again, she really was in no mood to argue and would much rather march upstairs and call it an early night. She definitely had a tough few days. Her poor nerves were already too strained.
With that in mind, Sakura headed for the staircase.
"La…. Lady Uchiha…" Hana called from behind her, making her stop and turn. "Uchiha-Sama is waiting for you in the dining room."
Sakura's eyes widened.
The girl nodded.
"Alright." She said steeling herself and gesturing for the girl to lead the way.
The huge doorway was opened revealing a magnanimous table featuring all types of delicacies.
Itachi was perched at the head of the table, and Sakura quickly counted four people surrounding him.
Stifling a shiver that threatened to run down her spine, the girl walked in.
"Good afternoon." She said, steadying her voice.
"Oh, Sakura dearest." Mikoto said, getting to her feet and racing towards the girl, before engulfing her in an affectionate embrace. "Come in, come in." She said dragging the girl towards the table.
Sakura noticed that the other occupants of the table also got to their feet and were walking towards her.
"Sakura," Itachi greeted. "You know my cousin Shisui." He started gesturing to the man on his right. Shisui shook Sakura's hand before bringing it to his lips, giving it a little peck and winking at the girl.
"Kitten." He said with a grin.
Sakura smiled and greeted him.
"And you also know Mitarashi Anko-san. I believe she was your exam proctor during the latest Anbu examinations." Itachi pushed on.
"Yes, good afternoon, Anko-Senpai." Sakura said with a nod.
"Sakura." Anko greeted.
"And this is Uchiha Eri." Itachi finished, bringing Sakura's attention for the first time to the woman who was now standing right next to Itachi. She was tall, only slightly shorter than Itachi, her hair was long, the silken black that was unique to the Uchiha clan and her eyes were a dark onyx, which paired with her fair complexion and soft features gave her a look of pure aristocracy.
Sakura caught herself gawking at the woman, and quickly checked herself, "Eri-san." She greeted.
The woman gave her a curt nod in response.
"Sakura dearest: Anko-san, Eri-san and my dear Shisui will be helping you out with your duties." Mikoto cooed.
"My duties?" Sakura parroted in question format.
"Yes dear, your duties as the future Uchiha matriarch. There is a lot to learn my dear. This is why Itachi has carefully selected those three amazing individuals to assist you."
"Your lessons will start tomorrow." Itachi supplied.
"I can't wait, Kitten." Shisui sang.
"Well then, now that the introductions have been made, how about we leave those two love birds to it." Mikoto cut in before any further conversation could ensue.
"No, it's OK, please stay." Sakura offered, not wanting them to leave just yet. She really needed to cool her head, and something told her that being alone with her adoring husband who just so happens to be the vice president of Anbu, was never going to prove good for her nerves.
"Nonsense." Mikoto declared. "It's about time we left anyways. It's enough that the two of you didn't get a honeymoon because of the Anbu ceremony, you need all the alone time you can get." She said, leveling a meaningful look at Itachi.
Shisui gave a low whistle which merited him a cold look from his younger cousin, to which he replied with an unapologetic grin.
"Well, then ladies, let's leave them to it." Shiusi declared with a lecherous wink, as he walked to the door following Mikoto.
"Good night then." Anko said before following.
"Good night Itachi-sama." Eri said. "Lady Uchiha." She added, her tone velvety smooth but lacking emotion.
"Good night." Sakura said as she watched them leave.
Sakura watched as Itachi walked away right after the guests left. She expected him to say something, but wasn't too disappointed when he merely exited the dining room. A few minutes later, and after making sure that he was nowhere near the dining room door, she exited as well and made her way towards the stairs.
After a quick shower, Sakura once again appropriated one of Itachi's pajama pants and paired it with one of her T-shirts. *No way am I wearing one of those flimsy excuses for nightgowns.* She pondered as she gave a dirty look to the bag of evening wear that Mikoto so thoughtfully sent her.
With that in mind, Sakura hopped on the bed and located the mission folder that Itachi had given her the day before. She had carefully hidden it earlier so that no one would find it. And after taking Hana up on her offer of a cup of tea, she carefully started reading.
So it was true, she wasn't supposed to act as his wife, she was supposed to be his wife.
*Yah right. As if you were gonna find a better husband.* Inner interjected. *Just be happy that he agreed to it. I knew that if you were to get married one day it would be because the groom was forced into it by a higher power.*
Sakura rolled her eyes at her inner and continued reading.
This mission file was very detailed. For example, now she knew that she was to call him Itachi in public. She also knew what to say in case someone were to ask about: how they met, why they decided to get married so fast, as well as almost anything else that went on between them.
"This is genius." Sakura murmured.
And that was when the girl jumped up so fast that she actually fell off the bed and landed, alongside the heavy folder, in a heap at Itachi's feet.
Slowly, Sakura pushed up to sit on her knees. Looking up she was greeted by the same inexpressive face that delivered her initiation speech this morning. For the life of her it was almost surreal to imagine that this man who she felt so distant from was actually her husband.
"Your trainers have been informed of your lack of balance." Itachi supplied in that deep lulling tone that was uniquely his.
"What's wrong with my balance?" She questioned, sounding a bit affronted as she got to her feet hugging the mission file.
Itachi gave her an impassive look that somehow managed to communicate to her that he thought she was an idiot. Or maybe she knew that this was what he meant courtesy of her years of working with Sasuke.
"You were the one who scared me." She accused, now feeling a bit braver after reading the mission file. If she had to be his wife, then maybe being so utterly intimidated by him was not the way to go about it. "You just appeared out of nowhere. Who does that?" She said meaningfully.
Itachi gave her another silent look, "Ninja." He finally said when she had lost almost all hope of an answer.
And with that he turned around and stalked towards the bathroom.
*Ninja.* Sakura mentally repeated in a mocking tone.
Sakura sighed as she watched the door to the bathroom close.
She put a hand on her heart, as she sat down on the bed once again. It seemed as if every time she saw that man her heart gave a fear reaction. It started racing exponentially as if in preparation for a fight. She couldn't blame it though, *Given everything that we know about this man and what he's capable of, it's smart to be on my toes.* She pondered.
*On your toes?* Inner questioned. *You mean flat on your back on the floor after taking a nasty fall.*
*Yah whatever. I still insist that this was his fault. He walks like a cat.*
"I have previously informed you that it is not acceptable for you to wear my pants." Were the words of said cat as he once again materialized near the edge of the bed.
Sakura gawked at him, trying to wrap her mind around the fact that he somehow went into the bathroom, showered, went outside, got some pajama pants and was now wearing them, all in less than five minutes and all without her being aware of it.
The thing that caused Sakura's gawking, however, had little to do with Itachi's stealth and efficiency and a lot more to do with his current state of shirtlessness, paired with the wet locks of dark onyx that were allowed to cascade freely down his back.
Swallowing, Sakura realized that she has been ogling the man who apparently just said something.
"What?" She questioned.
"Pardon." He said.
"Pardon." He repeated, voice even.
"Pardon?" She parroted.
"Huh?" She questioned.
Itachi gave her a long look that Sakura took to mean 'you're hopeless.'
"Say 'pardon', not 'what.'" He finally offered, seemingly finding it very hard to deal with idiots.
"Right." She said with a smile and a light tone that was clearly meant to annoy him by making fun of his hardship in dealing with her, as well as the effort he undertook to make this point come across. "Pardon." She added with the same almost mocking smile.
If Sakura didn't know any better she could have sworn that Itachi's eyes narrowed. But that was, of course, impossible; Itachi just didn't emote.
"Remove those pants." This time he spoke slowly, his tone deadly.
Sakura blinked up at him, her hackles rising and her survival instinct kicking into action as Inner Sakura advised her to make a run for it.
Sakura gave him a disbelieving look from amidst her panic.
"But, I have no other clothes."
Itachi took a step around the bed and stalked towards her so that he was towering above her as she sat on the bed.
*Is he serious?* She marveled in awe.
*Yes… Yes… you idiot… Does he seem like he's joking? Take the pants off and run… RUN DAMN IT… I Don't want to die a virgin. Especially not at the hands of the guy I was hoping would be part of the solution for this whole virgin problem.* Inner screamed.
Sakura on the other hand had other thoughts on her mind.
"You're serious aren't you?" She said in disbelief, she then paused, and realized that if she was going to say or do something she had to do it fast. Itachi, the Uchiha prodigy, Sasuke's older brother, the heir of the Uchiha clan, the captain of squad one and the vice president of Anbu, was for all intents and purposes, standing above her, half naked, soaking wet, and seemingly about to kill her for wearing his pants again. "It's your fault that I have nothing else to wear." She accused.
Itachi's intensity seemed to lessen, just a fraction, he was listening.
"I had lots of clothes. It was our agreement that I would send all my clothes over. But when I sent my night clothes, Mikoto-sama decided that they weren't good enough, so she threw them away. So, given that Mikoto-sama is your mother, and given that you did not honor our agreement of having all my clothes sent over here; it is your fault and I get to wear your pants." She said, breathing fast and talking even faster, but nonetheless satisfied with the fact that Itachi straightened up a bit and thus appeared less likely to lunge at her.
But you never know with that man, maybe straightening up meant he was actually about to lunge.
After a few seconds of silence, where Sakura regarded Itachi with escalating agitation, he started to speak.
"Did my mother not buy you new clothes?" He questioned.
"Yes, she did. But they weren't my clothes, so it was a breach of the agreement so I get to wear your pants." She said now growing more confident.
Itachi gave her another one of those looks that she was growing more familiar with by the minute.
"Sakura, just because you did not get your clothes, does not mean that you are entitled to my pants." He said, and somehow his tone sounded a bit lighter.
"And why not?" The girl questioned.
"Because I said so." Was all he offered, as once again he seemed about ready to take her out.
"But… But… wait… is that all?" She questioned. "It's not my fault that I have no clothes."
"I clearly communicated to you that I do not wish for you to wear my pants."
"But I couldn't find anything else in your closet. I actually wanted a long T-shirt, but I didn't find any. If you can point me to any T-shirts I could wear I would be glad to take off your pants." She resisted the urge to say 'your precious pants' or to roll her eyes, or at least to call him childish.
Itachi paused again, watching her, and something about his demeanor assured her that he was not used to having someone question or argue with him. This whole argument would have been avoided because anyone else would have long since done what Itachi wanted, apologized profusely and ran for the hills.
"I do not own shirts." Itachi said after almost a minute of silence.
"You don't own shirts?" She repeated.
*Well that explains the shirtlessness.*
"So, umm," Sakura started. "Why does it matter if I wear your pants?" She finally questioned to try and stop Inner from drooling.
"What does matter is that you received an order to remove the pants." He said monotonously.
"Well, I figured that since I am your wife now I get a certain degree of leeway when it comes to following orders." She said half-jokingly. "Right?" Sakura finished with a smile.
"No." He replied without missing a beat.
Sakura felt her heart race again. *For every second you spend arguing with him you reduce our life expectancy by a year. Stop it!* Inner roared in her head.
For his part, however, Itachi was watching her very closely. Very closely indeed that Sakura was becoming even more anxious than she has already been, which was a feat given how anxious she was to start with.
A few seconds later Sakura realized that he was watching her closely because he expected her to comply and take the pants off.
*Take them off! Take them off! Take them off!* Inner chanted.
"I'm not gonna take them off." Sakura finally said.
"I see." Itachi said darkly.
And before Sakura knew it, something shifted, suddenly and for the briefest of seconds she had the impression that she was someplace else, a huge open space with utterly terrifying crimson skies.
In the split instance that followed Sakura crawled back on the bed in sheer panic, having realized what has happened.
"No… No… wait ….wait, I'll take it off." She declared. No one wanted to endure Itachi's Tsukuyomi for one lousy pair of pants after all.
Itachi who was still standing at the same spot gave her a glance that could pass for playful.
"I think you should keep it on, Sakura." He said in an easy tenor as he took a step towards the bed, eyes now completely crimson.
*He's messing with me.* She concluded.
"No… I'll take it off." She declared, moving her hands to the waistband of the pants. Thank goodness she had the presence of mind to wear shorts.
But before Sakura could slide out of the pants, Itachi's hands were on hers.
Startled, she looked up only to stare directly into a terrifying pattern of quickly revolving Tomoe.
"I'll take it off." She declared, struggling to slide the pants down.
His eyes appeared lighter now, he was having fun at her expense and she knew it, but by God this man's eyes were legendary and he was apparently willing to go to great lengths for these pants. *Crazy, evil, bastard.* And for her part, Sakura had no intention to endure any pain for these pants.
"Keep them on." He said in a light tenor.
"Nope, taking them off." She said struggling against the iron fists that kept her hands in place.
"Let go…." She said, struggling. "I'll take them off… I'll take the pants off…"
"Wow." A foreign sound echoed from the doorway.
Sakura's head snapped up only to see the familiar figures of Naruto, Sasuke, Ino, Kakashi, Shisui and Mikoto.
"I met your friends on my way back home, my dear. I thought I'll accompany them here, and then we heard you screaming and thought something was wrong." Mikoto explained, eyes gleaming with happiness. "But obviously, nothing's wrong." She added almost singing this last part, as her eyes darted between her son and his eager-to-strip new wife. "Keep it up dear."
"Or down." Shisui commented with a low whistle. "Man, kitten, I had no idea you were ….you know…. Wow."
"No… No… you misunderstood, I didn't want to… He's the one who wanted me to take them off, and I….."
"Wow, Forehead… Who knew!" Ino interjected.
"Nooooo, Sakuraaaa-chaaaaaan…." Naruto finally screamed, snapping out of his daze. "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"
Sasuke, seemingly still shell-shocked only stared at the couple in front of him, while Kakashi easily restrained the frantic Naruto. Who knew that Sakura would be the one so eager to strip while Itachi would actually attempt to slow her down.
"We should take our leave, then." The copy ninja said in his trademark easy tenor.
"Yup, we should." Mikoto said enthusiastically. "Good work, Sakura-dear. I'm sure I'll have my grandson in no time."
With that the six of them walked out, with Naruto draped over Kakashi's shoulder, and Sasuke drifting behind them like a lifeless zombie.
For his part, Shiusi winked at Sakura, "I knew I liked you for a reason my little jungle kitten." He said before closing the door behind him.
Sakura's eyes widened. "It's not like that!" She screamed after him, before watching as Itachi let go of her hands, straightened up, and walked away.
"I'll be in the Study."
*DAMN YOUUUU!* Sakura mentally roared with balled fists.
Poor Saku-chan is now gonna come across as the biggest pervert in town. A town that is home to Jiraiya, Kakashi and Shisui, mind you.
I hope to be able to get one more chapter out before Spring break is over. Wish me luck.
And please let me know what you think of this one.