Chapter Two: Meddlesome Uchihas
Sakura decides that she likes Sasuke’s hands. Unlike her hands that still have the clumsy and chubby look children have, Sasuke’s fingers are slender and have a sort of graceful quality she is sure she will eventually have but for now she’s ten and she has to wait for the baby fat of childhood to melt away.
Sakura looked up from her spot in the middle of the clearing. Sasuke was handing her what looked to be a small carton. He took a seat beside her, their knees brushing slightly against each other as they sat cross legged in front of the target boards.
“Senbei?” Sakura opened the carton box to reveal rice crackers.
“It’s the only thing I can eat that’s even a little bit sweet.”
“This is really good!” Sakura happily munched on the treat.
“They’re from a shop in the Uchiha district.”
“They’re the best I’ve ever had.”
Sasuke smiles softly at her and Sakura feels guilty at the airy feeling in her stomach. She was suppose to be training and becoming a better shinobi, not gushing over Uchiha Sasuke. He was kind enough to go along with her request of helping her train and she didn’t want to seem as though she were trying to take advantage of their time alone.
But at the same time Sakura didn’t want anyone else to get involved. A part of her liked being selfish and taking up Sasuke’s time.
Sakura had always been smitten with Uchiha Sasuke but had never been vocal about it. At one point in her excitement she wanted to share the discovery of her feelings with Ino and her new friends she had made through her but something held her back. Later on she found out that Ino also had feelings for Sasuke when the rumor of him liking long hair had circulated.
Sakura didn’t offer words of support only continued to stick her nose in her books. Coming from a civilian clan she had to work harder than anyone else and nothing was going to stop her from doing just that.
That didn’t stop her from growing out her hair though. She had caught Sasuke staring at it a few times as they trained and she figured she made the right choice.
“You guys need a better hobby.”
Itachi and Shisui both just shrugged and scooted apart as Izumi squeezed in between the both of them and took a seat on the branch of the tree overlooking the training field Sasuke and his pink haired friend happened to be using.
“Any progress today?” Izumi asked as Shisui shushed her and clamped a hand over her mouth. She nudged him with her elbow and glared at him. The older boy just kissed her nose and stuck out his tongue at her.
“He fed her.” Itachi sighed, resting his chin in the palm of his hand. “Which is a step up from criticizing her posture.”
Itachi had become accustomed to his brother pleading with him to train together. Something he usually brushed off with a poke to his forehead and a vague promise of there possibly being a next time. For the past couple of weeks Sasuke was out of the house almost as often as he was and curiosity had gotten the best of him.
Itachi and Shisui had tailed Sasuke after he was dismissed from class and found him training, but not on his own. A small pink haired girl had been with him and after a while the two of them had begun observing the two Academy students whenever they could.
“The little squirt has had so many chances to make a move and he’s completely oblivious.”
“Shi-chan. He’s eleven.” Izumi crossed her arms in front of her chest and just shook her head as he snickered. “The only ‘move’ he should be making is to be nicer to her.”
“Perhaps I should talk to him.”
“Oh, Ita-kun, honey,” Izumi patted Itachi’s arm and smiled sweetly at him, “no.”
“What? I think I would give helpful advice. He obviously likes her.” Itachi nodded to himself. “I should help.”
“No,” Shisui and Izumi said in unison. Itachi’s eyes went wide and he stared back and forth at the two of them, confused at their united front on the matter.
“You’re not exactly…” Izumi looked at Shisui nervously for assistance.
“Smooth. You’ll probably make it worse.”
“How so? I have a boyfriend and a girlfriend.” Itachi pointed at the two of them.
“Oh, babe.” Shisui put a hand on Itachi’s shoulder and gave him a sympathetic smile. “That wasn’t really due to anything you did.”
“Shi-chan and I did all of the work with that Ita-kun.”
“That and those three bottles of sake.”
“I am so insulted right now.” Itachi feigned a hurt look, placing a hand to his chest dramatically.
“Aww.” Izumi clung to his arm and leaned against him. “I’m sorry. Would it make you feel better if Shi-chan bought us dango.”
“Yes. I think that would make me feel better.”
“Are you two ganging up on me?”
Something felt off about the way his older brother was smiling at him. Sasuke slowly lined his sandals up alongside the pairs that belonged to his family members and hesitantly made his way into their house.
“So her name is Sakura.”
Sasuke froze and turned slowly around to look at his older brother who was still giving him that odd smile.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“She’s awfully cute.” Itachi continued, ignoring his brother’s obvious discomfort. “Izumi wouldn’t stop gushing about that pretty shade of pink her hair is.”
Sasuke’s ears burned a brilliant shade of red and he began to stammer. He couldn’t believe that it wasn’t just his brother that knew about Sakura’s existence.
The sound of his mother coming down the hall had Sasuke clamming his mouth shut. He glared up at his annoying brother and muttered something incoherently.
“What was that?”
Sasuke’s eyes went wide in panic as his mother turned the corner and came into view.
“I said I have no idea what you’re talking about!”
Sasuke stormed up the steps to the second floor and Itachi just chuckled, amused at his younger brother’s behavior.
“Was Sasuke just yelling at you?” Mikoto looked up the steps and back to Itachi in confusion. Her sons never got into fights.
“I was just teasing him,” Itachi assured his mother. “Nothing to be concerned about.”
“If you say so…” Mikoto narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
Itachi just smiled at his mother until she gave up and returned to preparing dinner.
Itachi was going to have fun teasing his brother but it didn’t mean that he had to tell his secrets to their mother.
Sakura winced slightly at the shrill sound of her mother’s voice. She paused in her reading for a moment and when there was no other call of her name continued.
“Haruno Sakura I am talking to you!”
Sighing, Sakura folded the lower corner of the page she was reading and marched downstairs to face her mother. Mebuki standing at the bottom of the stairs with her hands on her hips, tapping her foot impatiently.
“Care to explain why I tripped over another stack of books?”
You weren’t paying enough attention, duh, Sakura inwardly grumbled. Instead she mumbled out that she forgot to put them away.
“What a bad trait to have passed down from your father. I have enough trouble with his books we’re not starting this up again with yours. Now take them up to your room and put them away. In your bookcase this time.”
Sakura groaned as she hefted up the heavy tomes. Concerned, her mother took half of the stack from her to help her carry the load.
“When did you pick up books on human anatomy? Aren’t these a little advanced for an Academy student?”
“It’s just for some light reading,” Sakura chirped.
“Light? Hate to see what heavy reading looks like,” Kizashi joked as he passed by with a mug full of tea.
“Papa!” Sakura groaned, hands too full to smack her own forehead from the shame.
She grumbled to herself as she dropped her load of books on the floor by her bookcase. Ignoring what her mother said about tidying up, she flopped back on her bed and picked up where she left off on her book on medicinal plants.