Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Masashi Kishimoto

AN: There's an announcement at the bottom. This is just a small omake to justify it.

Team Seven's Ascension



He cringed as Sakura built herself up to her full height, right hand at her hip in that peculiar fashion that screamed domestic danger. "I told you to buy a cucumber," she said, holding up a grocery bag with prime examples of a zucchini and an avocado.

Sasuke grunted in the background. Naruto peeked past Sakura and saw him relaxing on a chair, leafing through a medical book, the symbol of his clan covering the wall behind him. Naruto directed his eyes back to the grocery bag, now emptied, and found the content in Sakura's hands.

He grinned sheepishly. "They look kind of the same. Not the right one, I mean—what do you call it again?"

"It's an avocado, and it's a fruit."

"A fruit?" He hit his palm with his fist. "I knew there was something fishy about that thing. It didn't look at all like the other one, the zucchini. I had the weirdest feeling when I bought these two. Like something spoke to me, saying, 'Uzumaki, you not only have to buy the vegetable but also the fruit.' It's a matter of balance, see? So how could I leave the pear-thingy there? You know me, Sakura. I couldn't. Not in a lifetime."

Sakura's lips parted, then her mouth closed again. Behind her Sasuke shut the book and came over, leaning against the doorjamb. "Have to agree with him there," he said. "Balance is vital, in all matters. The shinobi who only trains the mind"—Sasuke took the zucchini—"will soon learn that without the strength of the body"—he plucked the avocado out of her hand—"his efforts are worth nothing."

Naruto laughed. "See? I only wanted to preserve balance. That's all."

Sakura stayed speechless for a moment, and Naruto enjoyed it immensely. Confusing her had become harder these days. Eventually Sakura grabbed both, zucchini and avocado, and put them back into the bag.

"You know," she said, eying the rest of the groceries, "all that talk about balance I might actually believe… If you hadn't bought the wrong vegetable!" In a swift motion she drew the zucchini and bumped it lightly on Naruto's head. "I don't care a lick if you want to balance out your diet with fruit—all to keep the cosmic scales in place, right?—but if I tell you to bring me a cucumber, then you will bring me a fucking cucumber, Naruto. Is that understood?"

"Yes, Sakura-sama!" Naruto fell to his knees. He had seen her eyes light up during the tirade, voice cracking with mirth. And in the end, being knighted with a zucchini had its merits.

"Get up, moron," Sasuke said, "you're getting the floor dirty."

Naruto didn't. From his position he had a perfect angle under Sakura's skirt as she wheeled around to Sasuke. "You were in this whole balance thing too," she said. "And you've done nothing all day but read. I think it's time for you to strengthen your body, don't you think so?"

Sasuke grunted, but his defense was weak against Sakura. They had noticed that two weeks into living together. He'd soon cave. Naruto, in the meanwhile, was pondering whether he preferred Sakura in her black shorts, or—

AN: The sequel Lines in the Sand can be found through my profile. I hope you'll enjoy that one as well.

PS: If you liked this story and its sequel, please consider reading my current project 'Rokudaime', which follows Naruto and Shikamaru in a different setting. The story updates weekly.