Saayyyy, a new chapter? So close to when I last uploaded? Damn I'm good.
Sasuke: Until you disappear again for some dumb reason. -rolls eyes.
Oh come on! Cut me some slack!
Sasuke: I think your readers will agree, you have slacked enough.
-sigh- You know what...
Sasuke: -worried- WHAT?!
To. The. Chap.
Sasuke: -panics- NO!
Sasuke sighed, walking out his office. Another long day done and he luckily only had one meeting to go to downtown before he would be able to go home. He noticed Sakura still at her desk, diligently typing at something and on the phone at the same time. She didn't even notice him. She truly was diligent. His eyes grew tender at the sight of her, gaining energy from the previous fatigue he was feeling. Another two weeks had passed them by since he had jumped to conclusions of her and Shikamaru. Ever since, he had only thought of what more he could do to make an impression on her, if he had not already. Naruto's words from that night repeated again like an echo in his head, over and over ever since he said them.
I really do think Sakura-Chan likes you.
Did she? Was he making her blush in embarrassment or was it a blossoming crush? Was he on her mind just as much as she was on his? Could she even think of him that way, being his employee?
There were times when their eyes would meet during the day and they locked their gazes. He swore whenever that happened, he could see into her very soul and she into his and for whatever reason, he didn't mind. He didn't care...not if it was her. He could only wish he could somehow convey more to her.
"Yes. Yessir. Of course. I understand. I shall notify Uchiha-sama." She said. His eyes hazed. He found that on the phone, she often referred to his name in a variety of ways. He supposed it depended on who she was talking to. He had heard almost all of them so far. Mr. Uchiha. Uchiha-sama. Uchiha-san. Mr. Sasuke. Sasuke-san. The one that got the most reaction out of him was Sasuke-sama, having heard her say it on the phone while passing her by, on his way to speak with a head of one of the other departments on the lower floors. He had choked in his coffee that day catching her attention and making her look at him worried. He dismissed her worries that day but had to rush off the floor before looking at her at all. He really couldn't believe his thoughts a lot of the time.
"Yes. Have a goodnight, sir." She hung up continuing to type.
"Notify me of what?" He questioned and she jumped in surprise.
"Ah! Sasuke-kun, you scared me." She laughed, placing a hand over her chest. Sasuke smirked. Yes of course, her primary means of calling him, Sasuke-kun, was still his favorite.
"Sorry. But, what is it you need to tell me?" He asked. Sakura waved off.
"That was your lawyer, calling to let you know that they have built quite the case against Danzo. They got a subpoena documents of his account balances after I faxed him the last two years of quota documents. He said this will be open and shut case and probably won't be worth you showing up at all." She informed, resuming back to typing. Sasuke smirked, feeling very pleased with the news.
"Told you I'd win." He said. Sakura chuckled.
"You did. I never doubted you though." She said smiling. He stared, raising an eyebrow. She was still working. It was six o'clock already, an hour over when she should of clocked out.
"Why are you still working?" He asked raising an eyebrow. She looked up at him confused.
"H-Huh?" She raised an eyebrow dumbfoundedly. Sasuke sighed, shaking his head at her. This had happened last week.
"Sakura, you're working past five again." He stated, closing his eyes and shoving his hand in his pocket. As smart as she was, Sakura did let quite a lot go over her head. Her eyes snapped to the time on her computer, shrieking in shock.
"EEEEHHH! I-I lost track of time again!" She whimpered, rubbing her hands in her hair. Sasuke couldn't help but chuckle, looking at her again. She really was a hard worker. When Karin worked for him, she was always already out the door by four fifty. She never worked a full day and was usually late. Sakura had yet to be late even once, always meeting him either outside or here on time. He could depend on her more than he had initially thought.
"S-Sorry, Sasuke-kun, I know I said last time that it wouldn't happen again b-but, then I got a few calls back to back and then some emails came in and-" She ranted, eyes looking up at him cutely. He looked down, shaking his head in disbelief.
"It's fine, Sakura." He dismissed. Sakura stared. Ever since their night two Saturdays ago, when clinging to his arm, Sasuke had been rather softer on her than usual. She didn't know exactly what it was that changed between how angry he had been and now, but he was a bit more livelier, at least around her. She still saw his stern, stoic businessman side, especially in his meetings with other businessmen, but with her, she was the kind and gentle Sasuke she had become accustomed to.
"Anyway, I have to go, I have one last meeting tonight. I'll see you tomorrow. Go home and get some rest, alright?" He said, walking away. Sakura smiled.
"Have a good night, Sasuke-kun!" She bid him and his eyes warmed at the ground as he walked. He still didn't really get to see her as often as he liked, but it was enough to know she was there. It was enough to see her when he did. He walked into his elevator, the doors closing as he put back on his mask of stoicism.
Sakura started packing up, saving her work and shutting down her computer. A sound coming from her phone stopped her and she looked down at it.
"Huh? Naruto?" She raised an eyebrow, her eyes looked at the date before she smacked herself in her forehead. She really was an idiot. She called him quickly, clocking out and frantically pressing at the elevator button.
"Oi! Sakura-Chan? Where are you already? Shouldn't teme be on his way to his last meeting?" Sakura's pressing on the button got faster.
"Yeah! I know! I'm sorry! I lost track of time and worked past five. I'm rushing as fast as I can! Are things ready on your end?" She asked, eyes worried. Naruto chuckled on the other line.
"That is so like you. Always the hard worker. Don't worry. I got things done here. We just need the cake though!" Sakura groaned.
"Stupid damn elevator! Hurry up!" She barked at it. It dinged, finally opening.
"Fucking final-" She froze in place. In there stood Sasuke.
"S-Sasuke-kun?" She questioned.
"What the hell is he still doing there?" Naruto yelled on the other line.
"Leaving now, Sakura?" He questioned, stepping out, she tried her best to act natural, giving him a smile.
"Y-Yes. Why are you back, Sasuke-kun?" She asked. Sasuke sighed.
"I forgot some documents I remembered the moment I got downstairs. Thank goodness I'm always early. Speaking of which, do you mind waiting here and holding the elevator? I will only be a moment." He asked, eyebrows narrowing at her face. Something was...odd. He could feel it, sense it. He noticed she was on the phone.
"Everything alright?" He asked her, making her visibly tense. Sasuke didn't like that one bit.
"Yes! I'm...uhm...in a bit of a rush! I forgot something today." She laughed nervously.
"Yeah no kidding." Naruto said on the other line and she glared.
"No one's talking to you idiot!" She scowled menacingly. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.
"Naruto? Are you rushing off to go see him? He has a meeting with me at eight." Sakura smiled.
"Uh, yeah, actually." She answered.
"HOW THE HELL DID HE GUESS IT WAS ME BY YOU CALLING ME AN IDIOT!? GRRR! THAT TEM-OUCH! SHIKAMARU YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO HIT ME!" He screamed, Sakura thrashing the phone from her ear in pain, her eyebrow twitching. The loudness and Sasuke's keen hearing caught it and his eyebrow raised again.
"He isn't planning on skipping out tonight and going to Temi's, is he?" He asked. Sakura shook her head.
"No. Just...stuff I have to take care of with him." His eyes grew suspicious. Everything in his business mind was screaming she was lying to him. Just because he did feel a bit fond of her didn't mean she wasn't subject to his constant reading of her and everything about her was lying. He grunted, turning around and walking to his office to grab the files he needed. Why was she lying to him? What was it? Did she think he would be angry? He was more angry that she was lying to him more than anything. Now he really wanted to know what the hell she was doing. He walked back out his office as quietly as he could, down the hall hearing Sakura.
"Just! Ugh! Tell the guy I'll be there dammit! I'm sorry I'm late! I got caught up with work!" She growled. His eyes flared with anger. Guy? What guy? She'll be where? Didn't she say she was going to see Naruto? He closed his eyes, slamming his office door and locking it, startling her. He heard her gasp and gulp.
"I'll see you soon, Naruto." She grumbled, rubbing her eyes.
"Alright. See ya." She hung up seeing Sasuke walk towards her. He stared at her. Once again he found himself in a sea of angered questions. Were all those signals he was getting a ruse? Was he just some pawn to her? Did she have some hidden agenda against him? After he had been so gracious to her, after having been kind and generous, was she a false idol he practically praised. All those hours of thinking about her, all the lost focus he had on his work, it was all nothing? Sure, it wasn't like they were together or anything, but damn it, why was she doing this to him? Why did she play the innocent and perfect card only to be doing nothing but lying and conniving behind his back? Sure, he was wrong the last time he thought this, but his ears were not mistaken with what he heard. He knew exactly what he heard.
"Got those documents Sasuke-kun?" She questioned, giving him a nervous smile again. He glared harshly at her, earning a look of shock from her jade eyes. He had been a fool. He had been a fool for her.
"What's it to you, Sakura?" His voice was harsh, earning a pained look in her eyes. Good. That look was exactly how he felt.
"W-What's...wrong…?" She asked hesitantly. He glared. He wasn't going to let her in again. He wasn't going to fall for her beauty or her feinted concerns again.
"None of your business." He sneered, entering the elevator with her. As they went down the air was tense and Sakura looked at Sasuke with both fright and concern. Why did he all of a sudden get so hardened? What was wrong?
"S-Sasuke-kun…" His glare snapped to her, making her flinch. That was a look he gave to other businessmen. That was the same steeled and hardened look he had given Gaara on her first day.
"Why lie to me?" He called her out. Sakura's eyes widened with confusion.
"W-Wha-" He cut her off.
"You said you were going to meet Naruto, now he has to tell some guy you'll be there? That you're sorry you're late?" He questioned vigorously. Sakura's eyes were shocked. He was like this because she said that?
"I-I...I-I-I-" Her stuttering made his eyes narrow further and Sakura was literally saved by the bell of the elevator, the doors opening. She bit her bottom lip. If she said anything, she might give away her plans.
"I've got to go!" She whimpered, running out and Sasuke watched her. His look got even harsher. He walked, pulling out his phone.
"Oh, ho, ho! A call from my little brother? This is a first." Sasuke's cold eyes stared.
"Are you in the city?"
"Hm? Well, yes, but is everything okay? You sound quite angry little brother. Even more so than usual." Itachi commented. Sasuke could only watch as outside the building doors, Sakura frantically waved for a taxi that stopped for her. She got in and drove off.
"I need a favor." He said, walking out and to his car.
"Anything for you, little brother."
Sakura paid the taxi, thanking him and rushing down the block. They were stuck in a trafficjam and she had to hurry. According to Naruto, the store would stay open for only another twenty minutes and if she wasn't there all was lost. She dashed as fast as her legs could take her, huffing and gripping her bag. In her heels, she tripped, not to gracefully falling forward and to the floor.
"Aaah!" She cried out, her hands scraping against gravel. She winced, slowly pushing herself up having fallen fully to the ground, looking down at the newly received scratches on her palms. Someone came off a motorbike, taking off their helmet and double parking it.
"Whoa! What a fall! You alright Miss?" She looked up, coming face to face with a man she thought looked quite a lot like Sasuke. His hair was long and in a ponytail, wearing a leather biker jacket and dark jeans, a simple black t-shirt beneath that. Sakura picked up some fallen contents of her bag; her phone, keys and wallet before taking his hand. She winced, feeling a pain on her knees. She must have scraped them too.
"Y-Yeah I'm fine. Thank you. S-sorry, I'm in a hurry." She said already quickly trying to walk off to start running again. She had only fifteen minutes left and about seven city blocks to go. She could make it if she ran. He grabbed her wrist.
"Now, hold on, why don't you let me give you a ride? Where you going?" He questioned smiling kindly and Sakura gave a look of irritation. She really didn't have time for this.
"Thank you for the offer, but I have to pick up a cake before the bakery closes and traffic is backed up. So please let me go! I only have fifteen minutes left!" She demanded, snatching her hand away. The man raised an eyebrow as she ran, cursing out loud about running in heels. He chuckled. The bakery, huh? A cake? Now that he thought about it, today was that day. Itachi walked back to his bike placing back on his helmet and turning it to go the direction she went.
He had such a foolish little brother.
Sakura panted, still tripping but this time managing not to fall throughout the next seven blocks she ran. There she saw it, her eyes brightening. Deidara's bakery. She checked her phone. She made it! Just five minutes to spare. She dashed her face turning to horror upon reaching the door and it was locked.
"N-No! No! I got here in twenty minutes!" She yelled out, knocking frantically at the door. A blond man, through the glass door peered from the back, only to signal to her he was closed by cutting his hand at his neck. She glared furiously.
"You said twenty minutes! I'm here in fifteen!" She screamed, still panting. His eyes suddenly widened, looking behind her and he came to open the door.
"Huh? Miss, we're closed." He said.
"I'm sure you can make an exception for such a pretty lady, Deidara. After all, you apparently gave her extra time to come." A voice behind her shocked her. She turned only to see the same man that had helped her up.
"Hey, wait, are you that order from a guy about twenty minutes ago?" Sakura flashed back, her green eyes hopeful.
"Yes! That was my friend but I was supposed to come pick it up! I got caught up at work. Please tell me you still have the cake! Please!" She clasped her hands together. Itachi smiled quietly.
He had a foolish little brother indeed.
"You better still have that cake, Deidara." Itachi quipped, staring at the blond haired blue eyed man. He had a single bang covering his left eye, the rest of his hair in a high ponytail. The bakery owner grinned.
"Yes of course, un. Sorry about that pretty lady, un. I thought you were just another customer, un. Come on in, un." He said, holding the door open for her. Itachi walked in as well.
"Just give me a sec, un. It's in the back, un." He said smiling. Sakura sighed in relief. Itachi chuckled.
"So, this is why you were in such a hurry, Miss?" Sakura looked at him, feeling oddly comfortable with him. He gave off the same air as Sasuke though he appeared to be a bit more laid back. Speaking of which, her eyes lowered, remembering his harsh glare from earlier. Itachi's look became concerned.
"Y-Yeah…" She answered.
"This cake must be for someone pretty important to you for you to dash for ten blocks and not caring that you hurt yourself." He observed, smiling with closed eyes. She turned away, remembering Sasuke's harshness.
"He...is someone...really important to me." She started saying, Itachi's eyes opened, staring at her with surprise.
"H-He's helped me a lot. He's been so kind and generous to me...so...I thought I'd do something really nice for him. His best friend said he hadn't celebrated his birthday for ten years. I thought that was crazy." She laughed somberly. Itachi's eyes pained, watching her eyes sadden.
"B-But...I screwed up. I was late to pick up the cake and he was there and he was furious because he felt me lying to him." The pain in her eyes was all to evident. Itachi glared down. What the heck did his foolish brother do to this woman out of such a foolish misunderstanding?
"I...have never been a good liar, but I didn't know what to say to ruin things. With the way he looked at me…" She trailed.
"I'm sure he doesn't even want to see me." She ended. Itachi sighed. Stupid. Foolish, foolish, little brother. Idiot. Conclusion jumping, irrational moron. He placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey, chin up." She lifted her head turning to him. He gave her a soft smile.
"I'm sure the moment he sees what you are really doing for him, he will understand your motives. In fact, he will feel like quite the fool for getting mad at such a thoughtful woman like you." Her eyes grew hopeful. She didn't get why, but she couldn't help but feel this guy and Sasuke were somehow related. They looked so much alike.
"Here ya go, un! Want to take a look at my art before I wrap it up, un?" Deidara came out. Sakura smiled.
"Yes please! Thank you!" She said. He walked around the counter to one of the tables, lifting open the lid of the box. In it a blue and white cake, on it the Uchiha symbol and blue words in script.
"Sasuke huh? As in Sasuke Uchiha?" Itachi played innocent. Deidara raised an eyebrow just realizing the cake he had been commissioned to make.
"Yeah. Do you know him?" Sakura asked. Itachi chuckled, lifting a hand to offer her a handshake.
"The name is Itachi Uchiha. Sasuke's older brother." He introduced himself finally. Her eyes widened, a deep crimson blush coming onto her face as she realized everything she had just said had been said to his brother.
"P-Pl-Please don't tell him w-what I said!" She whimpered, Itachi chuckled again.
"I won't. You have my word. So, are you doing a party for Sasuke?" Itachi asked. Deidara grinned.
"Oh? A party for Sasu-Chan, un? I haven't seen him in years, un!" Deidara exclaimed excitedly. Sakura's eyes widened. What was this turn around in luck? She had found a family member and an old friend? She couldn't help but giggle though. Sasu-Chan?
"Well, yes, but it's a surprise. Naruto is at his house getting stuff ready, with the others. Today, I made sure to keep his schedule light so that he can be home by at least eight according to the distance between his meeting and home." Sakura said smiling. Itachi smirked. His foolish little brother really was dumb. This woman had such a heart of gold.
"How did you manage to do that? My little brother often likes to keep himself quite busy, no matter what day it is." Itachi questioned. Sakura laughed.
"Simple really! I scheduled him for a meeting with Naruto at eight o'clock at his house. From there, it's just a matter of him walking in. Sasuke-kun will never be late to a meeting!" She chuckled knowingly. Deidara was already wrapping up the cake.
"Well, we better be early then, un! I'll take this in my car and follow you Itachi, un." Deidara said smiling. Itachi smiled and looked to Sakura.
"How about it? I can give you a lift on my bike. I promise I have a spare helmet." He said softly. Sakura smiled nodding, thankful she wore slacks today.
"Yes! Thank you so much you two. Say, do you know anyone else to invite to the party? It is only just me, Naruto and a few other friends he reached out to." She asked, gleefully. Itachi glanced at Deidara.
"I'm on it, un!" Sakura beamed. She hoped it would be like Itachi said, and he realized what happened earlier was a misunderstanding.
"By the way, I didn't get your name." Itachi asked. Sakura closed her eyes.
"Sakura. Sakura Haruno. I'm Sasuke-kun's secretary." Itachi smiled and he couldn't help but think of how the name suited her well. A pretty name, for a pretty flower. Sasuke was quite the lucky man.
"Well then, Sakura. Let's get a move on it. You know better than anyone how prompt my foolish little brother can be." Itachi said. It seemed he had brightened her spirits from before. She beamed a grin.
"Shannarooo!" She cheered and the three left after Deidara locked up.
Sasuke was glaring, ticked off ever since watching Sakura run off on him the way she did earlier. Even during his meeting, he was in a pissy mood, wanting to get things over with. He never liked being lied to. He hated being lied to, more than he hated a waste of his time and he snapped at the person who was seeming to be both. His eyes pained as he drove towards home.
Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he was overreacting again like he did with Shikamaru. He just...couldn't hold his anger. He both did and didn't know why but anything Sakura did spurred in him a wildfire, that could either be warm or just plain enraging. He hated it. He scoffed to himself, his heart sinking into his chest.
After the way he treated her in the elevator, he doubted fully she even wanted to see him again. He didn't know why he bothered to call Itachi to find out what she was doing. Thinking of Itachi, he had yet to hear from the elder Uchiha. He checked his phone, stopping at a red light. Seven forty-five, pm and still nothing. Did that mean he didn't find her? Sasuke growled to himself.
He was going to go home and the first thing he was going to do was grab a bottle and drink. Screw the meeting with Naruto. He really wasn't up for it. He dialed Naruto's phone, lifting it to his ear and driving.
"Hey Teme! Wassup?" Sasuke grunted.
"Hn. Naruto if your already at my house, go home. I'm not in the mood to talk about anything tonight." Sasuke ordered.
"Neh? Don't even want to have a drink with your buddy? I haven't been here in a while. I miss this luxury!" Naruto said and for some reason, he snickered. Sasuke's ebony eyebrows knitted together. Only one other thing coming to his mind. Sakura's pained look. He really, really didn't mean to blow up on her. He just...she was one of the people he felt he could trust the most. To have her lie to him…
"Have...you seen Sakura, yet?"
"Yeah, I did." Naruto didn't sound upset. Did that mean she wasn't all that upset either? The look in her eyes...she looked like she wanted to cry with how harsh he was being towards her.
"Did...she say anything?" He asked hesitantly, making the turn to his street.
"Only that you were a real jerk. But don't worry. I explained why. She forgives you." Naruto answered, snickering again. Sasuke's eyes lowered in suspicion. Why was Naruto being so nonchalant about it. What did he mean he explained why? Did she tell him everything word for word? Did Naruto tell her he had just gotten angry and felt lied to? Did he do worse and say he had gotten jealous?
"It's not like you to be so easy about things like this. You usually go off." Sasuke stated, waiting for his front gate to open for his car.
"You'll see why in a bit. I'm in the dining room waiting on you." Sasuke sighed. Looked like he wasn't just going to get rid of Naruto tonight.
"Whatever." He grumbled, hanging up. He really wanted to be alone. He wanted to think. He wanted to think of how to explain himself to Sakura. He parked his car in the driveway, stepping out while rubbing a hand through his hair. He really couldn't get Sakura's horrified look out of his head. He looked at his phone. Should he call her and meet up with her after Naruto? He sighed, exasperated. He didn't want to see that look in her eyes ever again. Not at him or anyone.
Sebastian met him at the door, a gentle smile as always on his old a face.
"Welcome home, sir." He chimed, rather cheerfully. Sasuke avoided his gaze, walking in without a word.
"Naruto is in the dining room?" He questioned. The butler walked ahead of him.
"Indeed, sir." He said, opening the door, revealing darkness. With a raised eyebrow, Sasuke walked in.
"Naru-" Before he could finish, the butler turned on the light behind him and Sasuke's eyes widened.
"SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" A group he hadn't had the chance to fully grasp yelled, confetti and streams were thrown and popped all over. His eyes felt a flash of someone taking a picture. His dining room was decorated with decorations of blue, white and red. Trays of covered food lined his large dining table, a white box that was most likely a cake in the center. Different kinds of liquor bottles lined the table as well. He took the scene in, completely shocked. He saw Naruto, Hinata, Temari, Shikamaru, Mari, Juugo and Suigetsu. Old faces he saw were Itachi, Kisame, Hidan, and Deidara. Finally, his eyes caught her, the one he should have noticed first. Sakura. She was standing there, grinning at Naruto's side. Naruto was the first to walk up to him, throwing an arm over his shoulder.
"Happy Birthday, Teme!" Naruto grinned. Sasuke was still in quite the shock. He completely forgot today was his birthday. He was twenty six today. He looked over.
"Did...you plan this?" Naruto released him scratching the back of his head.
"Naaah. Sakura-Chan did. She asked what you were going to be doing for your birthday when I brought it up last week and when she found out you haven't even bothered to celebrate it for years she wasn't having it. She wanted to do this for you. I just helped out. Everyone did actually." Naruto chuckled only for the said woman to walk up to him. She was blushing and looking away.
"Uhm, Happy Birthday, Sasuke-kun. Thank you for everything you have done for me in the past month. I-I wanted to throw this party for you in gratitude." She said quietly, giving him the best smile she could, holding up a blue wrapped box with a white ribbon. He took the box, feeling even worse than he did before. Now it made sense. Earlier made so much damn sense. Her being in a rush, talking to Naruto on the phone, not giving him the full truth...he had overreacted again, when her actions were pure and innocent. His eyes paused, one of his hands grabbing hers.
"What happened to your hands?" He asked with concern. They had been wrapped up. Naruto snickered and Itachi joined in on the conversation.
"She really was in quite the rush, brother. She had taken quite a nasty fall, running to get to Deidara's bakery shop before he closed." Deidara gave him a peace sign over Itachi's shoulder. Sakura flushed in embarrassment.
"My best work, un!" Sasuke's eyes widened further. He remembered.
Just! Ugh! Tell the guy I'll be there dammit! I'm sorry I'm late! I got caught up with work!
Sasuke sighed. It made perfect sense. Naruto must've been here decorating and since she was already in the city, she was commissioned to get the cake. Now he saw why he hadn't gotten back from Itachi. He did find her. He found where she was going and what she was doing. She was doing this for him. His eyes opened again, staring at Sakura with completely guilt in his eyes. She only smiled up at him, a hopeful gleam in her eyes that he was happy. He was and he wasn't. After the way he treated her earlier, he really didn't deserve this. After that look he put into her eyes earlier, he didn't deserve this at all.
"Sakura…" She looked up into his eyes and in contrast to earlier in the elevator they were back to gentle.
"Thank you…" Sakura and Naruto grinned. Itachi smirked.
"Tch. Foolish little brother."
"ALRIIIGHHTT! LET'S FUCKING PARTYYY!" Hidan screamed and Mari shuffled, putting on cheery dance music. Sakura laughed at the man's antics and Sasuke stared down at the gift still in his hand. Naruto yelled in agreement, dashing towards the table for one of the bottles. Temari hit him across the head, screaming not to get too drunk since he had to drive Hinata home. Itachi smiled, smugly at his little brother, patting him on the shoulder and walking back to the group with Deidara. Sakura looked back to him, smiling.
"You can open it Sasuke-kun! I-It's...not much and I bet you have a dozen of them, but-" She urged, but she paused at the look on his face. He was somber, sad looking.
"W-What's wrong? You...don't like the party?" She asked and his gaze lifted, instantaneously.
"It's not that Sakura. It's not that at all. I...I just…" He looked away from her sighing.
"I'm sorry. I'm really sorry for snapping at you earlier. I...I didn't really mean to it just...I just…" Sasuke apologized. He had been a moron yet again. From now on, he had to keep himself in check with her. He couldn't do what he did again. He couldn't ever see that look in her eyes again. Even now, when she was smiling at him again, he couldn't unsee it.
"It's alright, Sasuke-kun. I understand. But...I wouldn't lie to you. I wasn't trying to anyway. I just wanted to keep you as surprise as possible." She explained, giving him a forgiving smile. Sasuke shook his head, giving a disbelieving smirk.
"You...really are…" He started, deciding to stop in his tracks. He looked back down at the gift.
"I'm going to open it later, okay? While I know them well, I don't particularly trust Hidan or Suigetsu." He whispered into her ear. She laughed watching as he motioned for Sebastian and ordered him to take the gift to his room. Temari had made Sakura and Sasuke their signature drinks, becoming the bartender she was, even at a dining table. They ate. They laughed. Sakura was smiling and beaming.
To be honest, her glowing face was probably the only thing he paid any attention to all night.
The party was dying down. A tipsy Naruto had said goodbye to Sasuke with an arm around Hinata's shoulder. The navy hair, pearl eyed girl bid him goodnight and happy birthday once again. Hidan got wasted and got taken home by Kisame and Deidara. Temari and Shikamaru went their own way as well. Itachi and he were talking in the kitchen and Sakura had stayed behind in the dining room finishing her drink and saying goodbye to a leaving Juugo and Suigetsu.
"You were wrong little brother." Itachi said softly. Sasuke looked away, a frown reaching his lips.
"I-I've...never had felt the way she makes me feel, Itachi. I can't explain it. I don't...I don't know what to do." He whispered, drinking his own drink as well. Itachi chuckled.
"Just give it time, brother. Try to calm your nerves. Mom use to say that we Uchiha's fall so deep in love it is almost insanity." He reminisced. His index finger and second finger poked Sasuke's forehead, a gesture he hadn't hadn't done in years.
"Trust me when I say, she seems to genuinely care for you as well." Itachi said. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?" Itachi chuckled, remembering Sakura's crimson red blush.
"Sorry, little brother. I promised your pretty flower I would not say. I gave her my word." Sasuke glared grudgingly.
"You shouldn't hide things from me." Sasuke growled, his voice a warning and threatening. Itachi only chuckled like he was some cute puppy.
"This time I must, but, I will say this much…" He paused and placed his hand on Sasuke's shoulder.
"Her eyes do not lie. If you want to know something from her, just ask. As she speaks, stare into her eyes. She will tell you the truth. She did to me, having not even known my name." Itachi said softly. Sasuke looked down. He already knew that that to be honest. It was the matter of controlling his emotions around her. That was the difficult part. Itachi said to calm his nerves but how could he, when just the mention of another man from her lips drove him to near madness? The thought of her having eyes for another enraging? Even now, he could barely stand the thought of her in just the next room with two coworkers, both of which had worked for him way longer than she had. To stare into her eyes himself, was spellcasting and to hear her voice was soul lifting. Her smile was bliss itself for him. How could he control all of that? He could barely do it now. These thoughts manifested on his face into a troubled look. Itachi laughed lightly.
"I see your turmoil brother. Don't worry, you'll figure it out. After all, our father did for mother. You remember how he used to be. You will figure it out too." Itachi eased. The two brothers were interrupted by a throat clearing and they turned in surprise to see the butler.
"My Young Masters, if you will, please come to the dining room." Sebastian asked. Itachi and Sasuke looked at each other, following the elderly butler that raised them. Once entering they were met with a sight. One Itachi chuckled softly at, Sebastian smiled at and Sasuke's eyes widened at.
Sakura sat at the dining table, drink finished in her cup in front of her folded arms. In her folded arms was her head, turned on its side and eyes closed, a light and slow breathing indicating a deep slumber.
"She did have quite the long day and running ten blocks in those heels couldn't have been easy. She must be exhausted." Itachi said, smiling at Sasuke with suggestion. His younger brother did not look at him. His eyes were staring at the sleeping pink haired woman, in his matching obsidian eyes, a smoldering expression, taking her all in. Itachi smiled in approval and placed a hand on Sasuke's shoulder, patting it.
"I leave this to you, little brother. Goodnight." Itachi said, walking away. Sasuke walked over to her. The forgotten butler watched the youngest of the house, seeing him gingerly pull on the sleeping beauty, making her sit back. He was gentle, staring at her when she moaned in disapproval but didn't open her disturbed, scrunching eyes. From the seat, he lifted her in his arms, having a firm hold on her, though the lady looked as light as a feather. Upon entering his arms, she turned her head towards his warmth, burying into his young master's neck with incoherent mumbles. In the young CEO's eyes, a tender and soft look, unlike any he had ever seen. He walked, Sebastian following him incase he was in need of any assistance requiring an extra set of hands. He carried her up the marble stairs of the mansion, his gaze never leaving her and walked to a guest bedroom directly across the hall from his room. Sebastian opened the door, opening a murmured thank you as he walked in, careful not to hit neither her head nor her legs as he stepped in sideways. Sebastian made quick work of rolling back the sheets, to make for an easing covering once she was in bed.
Finally in the room, he watched the young master place her down on the comfy mattress. He watched a pleased smile come upon her face the moment her head graced the pillow. She turned, one hand going under it and the other over it, clutching as if in complete comfort. The head of the house stared at her, as if not wanting to part from her and one of his hands moved to brush away an invading strand of hair from her face. The action earned her smiling even further. He was about to cover her himself before noticing she still had on her heels. His eyes showed dismay, remembering what Itachi had said. She ran blocks in these? It must have hurt.
As gently and slowly as he could, he slipped off the black feminine footwear with ease. He placed them on the ground beside her, finally, completing the ritual with pulling the covers over her as softly as he could. She curled in them, humming in acceptance and making no other sounds other than the slow breaths of slumber.
Sebastian smiled, closing in his in reminiscence of doing the same thing to his late wife. Such a ritual was certainly a humbling and distinguishing one, he longed for the days where she was alive having watched the tenderness his employer showed in doing so. Seeing the man he raised stay staring at her for a long while, the older and wiser butler, placed a hand on his shoulder, breaking him out of the spell that was watching over something precious to the heart. His onyx eyes looked up to the butler with a mix of irritation and censure. Sebastian gave a knowing smile, understanding completely the feeling of wanting to stay by the side of someone important.
"I'm sure you are tired as well, Young Master. Let us let the madam have her rest as well as get rest of your own." He spoke quietly, as to ensure they didn't disturb her. Sasuke turned to look back at her once more, eyebrows scrunching together with reluctance. With no other choice he sighed, standing from his seat at her hip and walking out with Sebastian. Before he did, he looked back once more, seeing her remain in comfort.
A secret smile came upon his face.
"Uchiha-sama, I guarantee a partnership between us would benefit both our companies." The businessman from some company he didn't care about spoke. He had more important things on his mind.
"Hn." He only responded, looking at his phone, not at all intrigued. The man went into some rant about his companies quota, their specialization and something else Sasuke tuned out, while he stared at his phone reading messages from Itachi. Sakura was still asleep at the mansion. The last photo Itachi sent was that she had simply turned over from the position he had left her in last night, her face still completely sound asleep without a care in the world. While the party did last until one in the morning-which was relatively early considering the four o'clock am curfew she had with Temari's place-she must've been absolutely exhausted and maybe drank a bit much. He hadn't counted how many drinks she had. He saw her with a couple. She did go crazy or do anything brash. She even spoke fine. Sasuke chopped it down a full day of her working from five in the morning, to six at night and then the whole surprise party.
"So what do you say, Uchiha-sama?" Sasuke looked up, staring at the guy blankly. He didn't hear a word he said. Instead...he wanted to cut his day off right after this, which was absolutely a first. It was only three in the afternoon. He could do the last two hours, but then he had a couple of meetings to get to before he would be home by around nine o'clock. That would be too late…
He had something important at home. She wasn't here. He decided to let her sleep and have the day off. Besides, he didn't necessarily have any clothes for her to wear to come to work with him.
"I decline." Sasuke said, standing and closing his laptops. The man stood with him, flabbergasted.
"B-But Uchiha-sama, our companies merge of projects would certainly-" Sasuke was grabbing his briefcase.
"Find someone else. I'm not interested." Sasuke dismissed, packing away his laptop and a few files into his briefcase with indifference. He wondered if by the time he got there, would she still be sleeping?
"How can you just-" The man started and Sasuke glared angrily. Now this guy was just getting in his way.
"I gave you an audience. I heard what you had to say. Now take my answer like a man and get out of my office and my building." He snarled from lost patience. The man glared back, though it was a glare of complete defeat and he turned, walking out. Sasuke brought out his phone again, placing it to his ear.
"Yes little brother?" Answered the other line. Sasuke closed his suitcase, having all that he had.
"Is she still there?" He questioned. Itachi chuckled on the other line.
"Mari just checked on her. She said she is sound asleep like a bear in hibernation." Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed.
"Mari tried to wake her?" He asked.
"She just wanted to do right by the household and hopefully give Sakura some food, but Sakura only grumbled and turned away from her apparently." Itachi snickered again. Sasuke could somehow imagine it, though having never seen it himself. He found himself smirking.
"I'm leaving work early." Sasuke admitted, locking his office door and walking towards the elevator. He heard Itachi snicker.
"Such an interesting change in you, little brother. Don't feel like being too busy anymore?" Sasuke closed his eyes hearing the ding of the elevator.
"Hn. See you soon." He said, hanging up and leaving.
Sakura moaned, rubbing her eyes and sitting up in the bed. She felt completely exhausted but at the same time, unnaturally rested. It was quite a fun party last night, she didn't remember getting home. She froze, taking in her surroundings. The room she was in was large and lavish. She was alone in a king sized bed, with a comfortable comforter over her. She was still wearing her clothes from the night before, though, her aching and recuperating feet noticed her heels were gone. A knock at the door startled her and she glared in expectancy. Where the hell was she?
"Who's there?" She barked. The door opened, revealing Itachi. Her eyes lost their guard, blinking in confusion.
"I-Itachi? Where am I?" She questioned. The eldest brother of the Uchiha chuckled, walking in.
"Finally awake huh? Did you really have that much to drink last night?" He questioned. Sakura thought back, remembering the party, saying goodbye to Juugo and Suigetsu who had made her laugh the rest of the night and then...she drifted off. Her eyes widened and she turned, getting up from the bed.
"I-I'm still in Sasuke-kun's house? B-But, why didn't he just take me home? I-I didn't mean to intrude!" She was about to start rambling again, before Itachi waved it off.
"Relax, Sakura. Sasuke himself brought you to this guest room. I don't think he had it in his heart to wake you, or that you could be woken up, as a matter of fact." Itachi explained. Sakura blushed, looking down. Had she really been that tired last night? She remembered only thinking she'd rest her eyes for a few minutes before calling a cab. Instead, she guessed, she totally lost consciousness from the excitement the day brought. She stood, her feet touching warm wood beneath her and gave a stretch.
"Uhm, where is Sasuke-kun? Today is Thursday, isn't it? I was supposed to be at work with him." She whimpered. For the first time ever, she had missed a day at work with Sasuke. She wondered what he thought of her now. Itachi sighed, hopelessly.
"That foolish little brother of mine went to work. You know how he is. He decided to leave you to rest, in gratitude for throwing him such a nice event." Itachi informed her. Sakura smiled, feeling happy. That had to have meant that Sasuke enjoyed himself. She hoped he did. When she found out he had spent the last ten years of his birthday either studying or working from Naruto she was appalled. Naruto explained he tried to bring him out, but Sasuke just wouldn't go for it. He had "too much work to do" apparently. That's when she came up with the idea. If he wasn't going to go out for the party, they would surprise him with one. With as many friends and people he actually cared about they could muster. She was happy it all went well.
"I'll have to thank him for allowing me to stay in. I didn't realize how tired I was." Sakura said, her still bandaged hand scratching the back of her head sheepishly. Itachi shook his head.
"Nonsense. You did quite a lot. Sasuke understood that." Itachi said, before gesturing towards outside the guest room.
"For now, why don't we get you something to eat, Sasuke told me not too long ago he'd be back home soon. He's taking half a day off." Itachi said, making Sakura bewildered.
"Really?" She questioned. The elder Uchiha nodded.
"Seems he is a bit tired himself." Itachi murmured.
It wasn't too long after that, when Sasuke got home. All of them had a hearty lunch and Sakura couldn't help but laugh at the rivalry and antics between Sasuke and Itachi. The two brothers mirrored each other a lot, but they also went against each other just as much. She could see the love between them, though there was also a feeling of slight tension with them always. She wondered if one day she would ever know. Afterward, Sasuke drove her back home in a comfortable silence, always feeling rather at ease in his presence, at least when he wasn't angry with her. Sakura was so happy. Having stopped in front of her building, he turned to her.
"Sakura...again, thank you." He said. Sakura grinned.
"I'm happy it gave you a good time. From now on, we'll celebrate your birthday every year! All of us!" She promised. Sasuke's tender eyes on her grew even warmer, if it was possible, giving a smile he only gave to her.
"If that's what you want. I'll see you tomorrow." He replied. Sakura grinned, turning and stepping out. She walked up into her cozy brownstone apartment. It was a bit small, but it was modest. She wasn't quite used to the large and luxurious room she had woken up in earlier, but it was sort of nice to feel what it was like to be a bit spoiled. Their food had been brought out by Sebastian, cooked by Mari. Sasuke's house was grand and marvelous, compared to hers which was rather mediocre.
She hummed, deciding on a shower, but first to go to her bedroom and pick out some comfortable clothes and get her clothes ready for tomorrow.
Their next day started off just as it had before Sauske had gotten angry with her. They were pleasant with each other. He was calm and relaxed with her, only to stiffen in to his business facade with his clients or other rivals in the business world. Sakura was happily working at her desk, still thinking about the nice time the other night. Sasuke stepped out of his office, looking at her.
"Sakura, I'm sorry. I'm gonna have to ask you to stay here for your lunch break until I come back. I just need you to cover for me while I go to meet with one of my advisors." He apologized. She looked up from her typing. He really didn't want to take her lunch break, but his advisor Kakashi had called him about something that apparently needed to be discussed this instant. While he didn't mind it if she went out to lunch, with or without him there, he was also expecting an important phone call from one of the hospital chairmen, in regards to his investment and funding into the hospital. Sakura smiled without bother.
"Don't worry, Sasuke-kun. I'll be fine. See you when you get back." She replied. Sasuke sighed.
"I'll try not to be long." He said, walking and disappearing towards the elevator. Sakura hummed, getting back to work without another thought. Then she heard the elevator door ding again. She raised her eyebrow. That sure was fast. He wasn't even gone more than fifteen minutes. She had good news for him though and with that, she grabbed the paper she wrote down her notes on.
"Sasuke-ku-" She stopped dead in her tracks. A red haired man walked towards her from the elevator doors. His hair was more crimson than Gaara's and his eyes were a brown hazelnut color. She stared, a bit cautious of the tense feeling around him. It was often that she could sense the tension in the air between businessmen who entered Sasuke's office but that was usually if he was here. He wasn't right now and right now, all she felt was tension. Her body was on edge, an instinct coming over her that she supposed came with growing up the way she did.
"Sorry, sir. If you're here to see Uchiha-san, he is not here at the moment. Maybe you can leave me your name and contact information and I'll be sure he gets it and gets back to you." She started off, playing the secretary part, just incase she was just overthinking things. She didn't want to attack or be attacked for being rude and therefore she figured to play things cool. Despite this, her feelings weren't wrong. She looked into the stranger's eyes, recognizing them all too well. She used to have eyes like that once, before she met Naruto and Shikamaru. Before she understood what love and friendship was, she knew those eyes all too well.
Those eyes were dead. They had no life in them. From his suit coat he pulled out a gun, pointing it at her.
"Sorry, cherry blossom. I'm not here for Sasuke." He said coldly. Sakura's eyes were wide before sighing. What happened this time? Why were people after her? She had been keeping a clean nose, she was sure of it. The most she had ever done to make anyone pissed with her was that she was keeping her nose clean, or was it some old enemy of hers that paid for her to croak? She gave another tired sigh again. So long she had to spend fighting. Most of her life really. She really was tired. She used the same curelty . She stared, taking in every last detail. Of the man, the gun, everything. She stayed there, before her eyes narrowed, giving her own, cold look. One she tried her best to hide from everyone, especially Sasuke, who she had met giving almost close to nothing but cold looks her entire time of knowing him. Her parted lips, closed, forming a neutral, indifferent line on her lips. She grew up in Konoha's slums. She had been through so much. She had done it all. She was tired of anger and fighting and violence. However, that didn't mean she wasn't going to fight back.
It was not like she hadn't been held at gunpoint before.
"Well, then, Sasori?" Was all that came from her lips.
Sasuke: -trembling- You wouldn't! You wouldn't dare!
Would I? -checks chapters in Under Sasuke's Watchful Eyes- Huh. Looks like I would.
Sasuke: STOP PLAYING AROUND! -Susanoo activates-
RIGHT. Sorry, my guy, I'm not playing around. Anyway, see ya next chap!
Sasuke: -yelling furiously- YOU GET THAT BASTARD AWAY FROM MY WIFE!
Oh. Scary! You'll need me alive if you want dear Sakura to live. -walks away-
Sasuke: -furiously explodes-