The day was warm and the sun was shining. It's light turned green as it penetrated the thickness of the trees below it, leaving the dirt on the floor with a pleasant greenish glow. Actually, the day was beautiful.
Too beautiful to be scouting on ahead while the whole of your team packed up camp, Sakura thought. But despite that, she was enjoying racing through the area before heading home. It was warm on her shoulders—she'd taken off her zip-up shirt to enjoy the sun and was currently only in her black tank top. The wind felt nice on her shoulders and despite having to stop every three minutes to check the area, she was enjoying her time alone. It was nice to not have Naruto on yelling every five minutes about one thing or another, or Kakashi being too lazy to be bothered, or Sai being—well—Sai-ish.
Even though she'd much rather be packing up the camp herself—the boys always mix something up—she liked
running around the forest. She hadn't seen anything so far, just trees and sunlight and the glittering promise of a lake in the distance. All was calm.
That is, all was calm until the glittery blue of the lake came within walking distance and spotted a lone black bag with a long, thin sword in a black scabbard. Sakura didn't even have to get close to know it was Sasuke's. She grinned, scanning the length of the lake, wondering where the hell that nukenin with the killer bad-boy smirk could possibly be and whether he could see her right now or not. In the far, far distance—it was a huge lake—Sakura made out just the faint outline of tan broad shoulders, facing away from her.
Sakura's grin turned devilish. There was a good chance she could get killed for this—hell, it was highly probable she would get killed for this—but at the moment she didn't care. She was feeling daring. Or suicidal. Was there really a difference? Sakura walked slowly to the bag and katana, trying to make sure Sasuke didn't suddenly turn around by sheer force of will. And wow, even as a tiny flesh-colored spot in the middle of a sparkling blue lake, he was damn fine. Like the perverted little teenage girl she was, Sakura licked her lips, inching her way towards Kusanagi slowly. The scabbard was within arm distance. Slowly—slowly—she reached out for it, holding it behind her back with both hands, looking as guilty as humanly possible.
And slowly—slowly—Sakura backed away five feet, before turning away from the naked speck of flesh with dark blue hair that was Uchiha Sauske and running the hell away. Like a goddamn gazelle in sight of a lion. She ran likehell, holding the katana close to her chest and wondering, briefly, how she could protect herself with it. It was a sword, so duh she could point it at Sasuke's heart and either lead him to Kakashi or—if she could somehow go against all the odds stacked against her—to Konoha. Or die. Y'know. No biggie.
The pink-haired girl laughed joyously, holding the Kusanagi closer to her chest, feeling like the devilish prankster Naruto was. It was no wonder the blonde liked pranks; the adrenaline rush was exhilarating. Although Naruto probably didn't do anything life-threatening pranks. He was really missing out, Sakura pondered.
Giggling, she made the mistake of looking behind her, wondering if Sasuke had noticed how he was missing his favorite weapon. She sighed when she saw no one was behind her, running with more force. A thud sounded as her head contacted with the sold mass of a tree trunk. She giggled again, until she noticed that the tree has flesh. And that it was wet. Her emerald eyes looked up—scanning the smooth muscles protruding out of his chest—to see a very stern-looking, very unamused Sasuke glaring down at her with soulless black eyes.
Sakura giggled, smiling widely, although the smart thing to do right now would be to hand the katana over with a sheepish smile and, again, run like hell. "Hey, Sasu-cakes," she said, a goofy smile on her face. "Long time no see. I see you're growing just like a teenage boy should." She scanned the contours of Sasuke's sculpted wet body; he was wearing only pants, as if he'd suddenly noticed that his all-time favorite toy was gone when he was getting dressed. "Although, I've never heard of a guy growing into a tree before," she teased, rubbing her head for emphasis. Bugging one of the most dangerous men on the planet was probably not a good idea. Sakura usually exercised caution as often as she possibly could, but at the moment, she just felt like being a regular teenage girl like the ones dressed in fancy kimonos in the village. Regular teenage girls didn't fear regular teenage boys—which she was going to pretend for a moment Sasuke was.
Sasuke was not amused. "You have something that belongs to me," he said monotonously. His onyx eyes were boring into the very center of her human soul. Not for the first time, Sakura wondered if the creature in front if her was even human. He seemed too cold and too perfect for him to be so.
Sakura's green eyes dashed around the forest as she oh-so-discreetly moved Kusanagi from the front of her body to behind her back, looking again like the guiltiest person on earth. "What?" she asked innocently—but in a way that made her sound more suspicious than if she'd had the would "GUILTY" written in big red ink on her forehead. "Did you lose your shirt?" she wondered, widening her green eyes to further the picture of guilty innocence. "As much as I enjoy the sight of you in all—well, most—of your glory, I'm not fangirlish enough to do that."
"I remember differently," Sasuke droned. The only indication of even slight amusement was the involuntary twitching of a side of his mouth, desperately trying to smirk yet being denied permission.
Sakura managed to take a step back, rolling her weight around on her feet, keeping the katana safely hidden behind her. "Do you? Huh."
Sasuke's frown deepened. He reached around her, trying to grab the sword she was so obviously hiding behind herself. Before he could, Sakura was out of his reach, perched on the nearest tree branch like a cat, her stolen Kusanagi tucked into the safety of the bandages holding the rest of her weapons. She was laughing. At him. "Miss me, miss me, now you gotta kiss me," she sang, childishly and weirdly out of character. She puckered her lips. "C'mon, Sasuke-kun, plant a big ole wet one on me," she teased. "I'm the only member of the original Team Seven that hasn't gotten a patented Uchiha smooching. Senseis don't count."
Sasuke made a low sound in the depths of his chest, like a growl. The reminder of that kiss was not a pleasant one. "Sakura," he warned lowly.
The girl in question made sloppy kissing noises. The pink tresses that made her bangs fell in front of her face. For a second, she looked like a teenage girl, not a ninja, with her greenish-black tank top and latex shorts. Just a regular teenage girl teasing a regular teenage guy. Only neither of them were exactly "regular." But at the moment they both looked it—Sasuke wasn't even wearing the purple monstrosity of a belt, just regular pants—so it was easy to pretend. "Kiss me, you fool!" she teased, making another kissing noise.
Sasuke growled, jumping onto the branch Sakura had perched herself on. The rosette just laughed, hopping onto a higher branch on the same tree. The filtered green light was a bit purer, lighter, somewhat like the color of her eyes. "I'm waiting on my smoocheroo, Sasuke-kun," she sang. Her long legs swung lazily over the branch she sat on.
Sasuke made a sound in the back of his throat, somewhat growl, somewhat groan, and all annoyed. "Dammit, Sakura," he cursed. He wondered why he didn't just kill her. It certainly would be less annoying than dealing with her. He stood up on the branch and it moved a bit, creaking with the suddenness of his movement. He was a bit heavier than Sakura. He jumps up to where Sakura sat, swinging her legs, looking up at him with innocent green eyes. He was about to speed forward to take his sword back, but the teen anticipated his movement—don't ask him how—and had moved in the same second to a branch a few feet higher.
Sakura somehow copied Sasuke's usual cocky smirk and wore it better than he did! What was wrong with the world? Other than, you know, him. The teen leaned against the thick trunk of the tree and looked down at the boy who had patented her current expression. "You know what I miss, dearest Sasu-cakes?" she asked rhetorically. Her arms were raised above her, ready to snap herself up a level higher. She was too short to reach it without jumping, though, and that fact made Sasuke feel a twinge of faint amusement. "I miss a good old-fashioned Team Seven bet," she answered, although Sasuke hadn't asked. "You know, like how Naruto used to make the stupidest bets with us and we would take them because we would always win, but he would never learn? 'I bet you I can eat a hundred bowls of ramen at once without getting sick'? Which, of course, you answered with a characteristic 'You're on, dobe,' and I just laughed and collected my winnings."
Sasuke wondered what this had to do with getting his Kusanagi back.
Sakura rested her back more comfortably on the rough bark. Her verdigris eyes glanced down lazily at her ex-teammate and current enemy. Her fingers caressed the sword's scabbard with elegant fingers and slow strokes. "I think we should have one last one, just for old times' sake, just you and me," she said. Sasuke rose a perfectly arched eyebrow. He was still wet from the lake's water. Sakura took that as a cue to go on. "I bet Kusanagi that I can shock both you and make you laugh."
Sasuke let a puff of air escape his nose, a sort of snort. "Kusanagi isn't yours to bet," he simply said.
"Do I have it?" she asked. "Did I manage to steal it? Is it in my possession?" Sakura looked down to see Sasuke's annoyed expression. "I think it is mine to bet. So, consequentially, fuck you and any feelings of possession you had towards this beautiful sword." That smug smirk was back. Was it bad that Sasuke felt slight irritation at her wearing it better? Was it bad that he also kind of liked seeing it on her? "Is it a bet?"
Sasuke would have a good time wiping away his smirk from her face. And getting back his sword. "I suppose it is."
Sakura unsheathed Kusanagi lazily, admiring the sharp edge and the shining glint on it's pointed tip. She wondered how many had died at the wrong end of this weapon. "Would you like mild shock, moderate surprise, or extreme surprise?" she asked, sounding just as lazy as she looked.
"Extreme surprise and discomfort it is, Sasuke," Sakura announced. She sheathed the katana and pressed it safely back where the rest of her weapons were. She pursed her lips for a second, wondering what to do to shock and amaze this cryptic ninja. Then she smiled. "Extreme discomfort, indeed," she muttered to herself, plopping herself down on the branch above and using it to swing herself down as if she were on monkey-bars in a child's playground. She landed in front of the shirtless wet boy-man, smiling as she admired the glistening water dripping off his chiseled pecs. "Who the hell built you? Michelangelo?" she muttered, enjoying the sight like a normal straight female and a normal gay boy both. She was drooling enough for the whole world, dammit.
"No," Sasuke said, taking back his smug smirk, "Uchiha genetics did most of the work."
"Tch, yeah, and I'm a good cook," Sakura snorted sarcastically. "Pecs like those come from hours of bodybuilding and steroids. Speaking of which, is that why you left? A monster case of roid-rage? It sure has been one hell of a roid-rampage."
Sasuke rolled his eyes and tried once again to reach around her to get his Kusanagi. Sakura took a large step back, the size of her own body, and tsked. "Ah ah ah, no no no," she sang. She crossed her arms behind herself, holding the sword in an awkward cradle behind her. "We had a bet, Steroid Sasuke."
Sakura jumped up again onto another branch right above where she had been. She hung upside-down from it. "Why did you leave, anyway?" she asked. It sounded like simple small talk, not ninja-on-nuke questioning. She swung herself right-side-up and onto the branch of a tree to the right. On it she laid on her stomach, kicking her legs absentmindedly as she looked down on the nukenin expectantly.
"To become stronger," Sasuke answered automatically. What was this girl's game?
Sakura moved again, to a branch lower than Sasuke's, looking up at him with wide green eyes. "Yeah, yeah," she dismissed. "We all know your cover-story. But why did you really leave? Did you have the creepy morgue-robbing hots for Orochimaru?"
This didn't seem to shock Sasuke. Sakura pouted when she noticed that he'd probably heard them all before from his Sound friends or whatever. She thought it was a good one, too.
The rosette tree-hopped again, hoping to confuse him enough to shock him when she did what she was planning to.
"Nothing?" she asked hopefully from the top of a short branch directly across from Sasuke.
"Zero," he deadpanned.
Sakura scowled. She jumped to the branch directly atop Sauske, hanging up-side-down in front of him. Kusanagi clanked metallically on the bark. "Dammi—" She cut herself off, swooping in and pressing her lips to Sasuke's, his shock allowing her to slip her tongue in like the dirty devil she was. For a moment, he actually started to kiss her back, then Sakura pulled away, Sasuke's trademark smirk on her face.
She got to see emotion play out on his face for one rare moment. "What the hell was that?" he demanded.
Sasuke's smirk was once again used without written permission. "That was three things," Sakura said. "One: that was me shocking you, so I'm halfway winning the bet already. Two: I finally got a patented Uchiha smooching and kudos to you, you deserve to have that patented. Three: Spider. Fucking. Man. It would have been so much better if it were raining, Mary Jane."
Sauske bristled a bit at being called "Mary Jane." He glared at her. "There's a vital thing about Spiderman, Sakura, and it's Spiderman," he almost huffed.
Sakura shrugged. "Fine then. I'm Spiderman's genderbent self, Patricia Parker, Spiderwoman."
Sasuke rolled his eyes and chuckled. "You sure are something," he said exasperatedly.
"And I am victorious!" Sakura shouted. "Three cheers to Haruno Sakura—the first to do what is scientifically improbable—nay, impossible!" Still upside-down, she extended her arms in the famous move of triumph. "C'mon, Sasuke, I haven't punched you yet or tried to take you home, the least you could do is clap for me in my moment of triumph. I'm breaking a law here."
Sasuke rolled his eyes. "I chuckled."
"Counts as a laugh."
"No, it doesn't."
"Yes, it does."
"No, it doesn't."
"Yes, it does."
"No, it does not."
"Yes, Mario Jose, it does."
Sasuke's perfect dark blue brows knit together. "Mario Jose? Who the fuck he is?" He looked completely and utterly confused.
"Mary Jane's genderbent self," Sakura said, as if it we're the most obvious thing in the world and he wasn't very much of a genius if he didn't know that. "Duh."
"So now Mary Jane's Hispanic?"
"What's wrong with Hispanics?"
Sasuke shrugged. "Nothing," he said, "except that Mary Jane's white."
"Yeah. Well. You try making up a name on the spot," Sakura defended herself.
"Mark Joseph? Makishi Jun? Mao Junsuke?" Sasuke offered.
Sakura pouted. "Shut your mouth and keep your superior naming skills away from me," she murmured.
"Superior, huh?" Sasuke laughed a brief, second-long laugh.
"Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!" Sakura shouted, flipping herself right-side-up because her blood was rushing down to her brain. "You laughed! Hah! I still win! What now, sucka!?" She pulled the katana from her side and hugged it to herself. "Mine, biotch! You lost, you bitchy nukenin!"
Sasuke rolls his eyes. "You realize I'm not going to let you keep it, right?"
Sakura snapped up to a straight stance. "Pry it from my cold, dead hands! This is my souvenir!"
"Souvenir? You mean you don't even know how to use it?"
Sakura shrugged. "Hand-to-hand combat is more my thing." She grabbed the katana. "You want Kusanagi back?"
Sasuke glared at her. What kind of question was that?
Sakura raced off, a blur of pink and black and green. "Fight me for it! And Naruto! And Sai! And Kakashi! YOU WILL BE OUR BITCH, SASUKE. EVENTUALLY. ESPECIALLY NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR BABY!"
"Goddamn it, Sakura!" he growled, starting to race after her.
"Don't worry, Sasu-cakes! I'll be a good auntie!"