Hi all. I wrote this little piece a long time ago and have decided to post it. It was part of a long fic, but I had already forgotten where I was going with that story… so I kind of just ripped this out and used it as a one shot. I hope you enjoy it.
This is AU in our "reality".
Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno are high school classmates. Sasori is a sensei at their school. After Sakura found him playing shogi, like an old man, on the weekends, they became "friends". Sakura has a crush on Itachi, due to some back story. Sasuke has a crush on Sakura, and after he won a bet, he is finally going to get his first date with her. However, Sasuke, given his popularity with females, made an enemy who sabotaged his date by telling Sakura that the date has changed location.
Sakura patted her skirt, clearing away imagined dust. She looked at her phone: 11 o'clock sharp, she was right on time. Sakura glanced around her, "Wonder why he suddenly changed location. Maybe he is doing something around here?"
The pinkette could feel her heart starting to race. Hoping to calm herself, Sakura found a bench and sat down. A small smile was on her face as she watched the people in the park. Some elderly people were playing shogi, reminding her of one handsome sensei. A few children were running around the play structure, playing tag and what not. A couple holding hands walked by and Sakura wondered if that would happen to her and Sasuke. She continued to wait.
However, her smile slowly faded and worry washed over her. She checked the time again; Sasuke was half an hour late. Sakura dialed his number but it went to voice mail right away. Sighing, she hung up, "... Did something happen?"
At exactly five minutes before twelve, Sasuke arrived at Sakura's front yard. The boy had been well mannered in front of Shisui's girlfriend and she had taken a liking to him. Thus, as soon as church was over, she forced Shisui to give the boy a ride to wherever he needed to go.
Sasuke rang the doorbell as Shisui drove off, "Have fun on your date, Sasuke!"
The boy didn't reply. Although his face didn't show it, his heart was jumping with joy. The long awaited day has finally arrived and he couldn't be any happier. He was going to be on a date with the girl who plagued his mind; he planned to shower her with anything she wanted today.
However, after waiting for a moment, nothing happened. There was no hurried footsteps running about in the house or conversations that could be heard. He rang the bell again, but there was still no response. Sasuke took out his cell and hissed when he remembered that it was broken and he planned to get another one today. He tried to peek through the window to see if there were burglars inside, holding his crush and her mother hostage.
Sasuke sighed when he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Just then, someone called out to him. A man dressed in a clean suit walked out of the house next door and waved to get his attention, "Are you looking for the Harunos?"
Sasuke nodded, "Yes, I'm Haruno Sakura's classmate. Do you know where they went?"
The man locked his front door, "I saw Sakura-chan leaving about an hour ago and Mebuki-san goes on her grocery runs on Saturday mornings. I don't think they will be back for a while."
"Sakura left? But she knows I'm coming…" Sasuke thought quietly as the man took out his car keys.
"Sakura-chan looked very happy," The man smiled, "Must be going on a date!"
"See you around, young man," he waved again and got into his car.
Sasuke stood there dumb found. Sakura was supposed to be going on a date with him. "Did she run out to buy something?" He sighed as he sat down on her tiny porch. Guess he'll have to wait, since he couldn't contact her.
Emerald eyes stared at the phone's screen worriedly. It was 12:30 and Sasuke hadn't called her yet. She had tried again earlier, but it went to voice mail immediately. Since Sasuke wasn't picking up, Sakura called Kiba but the fanged boy didn't know where his sports buddy was. Sakura sighed and leaned back on the bench, hoping that he would show up soon.
Sasuke checked his watch and realized that he had been sitting outside Sakura's front door for half an hour. He began to worry, "Did she try to save another child from a truck and got hurt?" A small bud of panic bloomed in his chest, forcing him to shoot up from the ground. He ran to the corner of the street and found a pay phone, but he couldn't remember her number. He cursed himself for not writing it down somewhere. "Guess I'll have to make a trip to the hospital."
Sakura's worry was slowly turning to anger. "He was the one who said he liked me… yet he doesn't pick up my calls nor call me back." She looked at the time again, it was almost 2; Sasuke had made her wait for nearly 3 hours. "I'm such a fool. I can't believe I actually sat here for so long." Many people had left the park already. Some old man who knew Sakura had invited her to join their shogi game, but she had declined nicely. One even asked if she was alright and she lied, telling them that the person who she was waiting for was coming soon.
She sighed as she stared at her phone longingly. Someone sat down beside her and she immediately turned to see who it was. It wasn't the dark haired boy who she expected and the person frowned at her obvious loss of interest. The man dropped a can of green tea in her lap, "This is from last time."
Sakura couldn't deny that she was indeed very thirsty, so she opened the can and downed a few gulps hurriedly. "Thanks, Akasuna-sensei."
The red head nodded, "Anyways, what are you doing?"
"Waiting," Sakura answered in a dying murmur.
"For what, the fourth hour?" Sasori said as he stared off into space.
Sakura blinked and stared at the man beside her, "How did you know that I was sitting here since this morning?!"
"So you really didn't move at all."
"I... Uh..." Sakura didn't want to admit how stupid she was.
Sasori spoke again, "I was on my way to the book store when I saw you sit down. I came back a few hours later and you're still here."
Sakura tried to change the topic, "Book store? Did you get anything interesting?"
"Sakura, who are you waiting for?" Sasori asked bluntly, ignoring her question.
Sasori's eyes narrowed when she nodded.
"Did you try calling him?"
She nodded again, causing him to sigh. Sasori took out his own phone and called someone, "Is he there? ... Yes, him. ... When do you close today? ... I'm bringing a guest. ..."
Sakura wondered who was on the other side of the line as Sasori talked. Once he was done, he hung up and held out a hand to her.
Sasori looked at her indifferently, "Since he has been 3 hours late and has not contact you, I hereby declare your date 'over'."
Sakura gawked, "What?"
"Since you're all dressed up today, I'll take you somewhere nice, come," Sasori grabbed her hand and pulled her up.
"But, he may be coming at this moment."
"He missed his chance, come," Sasori ordered and pulled Sakura away from the park. The pinkette had no choice but to follow. Sasori muttered something about taking the train and the pair walked to the nearest station side by side. Sakura had asked him to let go because she didn't want any misunderstandings.
During the ride, Sakura asked about Sasori's new books to pass the time. After riding on the train for half an hour, Sakura asked, "It's almost 3 o'clock, where are we going?"
Sasori pointed to a station's name on the map, "There. Don't worry, the place won't close until 9 tonight."
Sakura wondered why they were going somewhere away from the main city of Konoha. She had never been to the station that Sasori had just pointed out. "Oh well… I had decided to come anyways."
After they arrived and exited the train, Sakura gasped. Hanging all over the station were posters and banners that promoted a nearby Aquarium. Her eyes brightened when she remembered the commercials that she saw. "Kisame's Aquarium" was popular and famous. It had many different species of animals and was renowned for being one of the best at captive breeding and reintroduction to the wild. Sakura had wanted to visit this place for a while now, but high school exams kept her busy.
She looked at Sasori with gleaming eyes, "Are you taking me to the aquarium?!"
Sasori smiled at her childish expression, "Yes. I know the owner, come."
When they got to the station's exit, they found a long haired blonde leaning waving at them. He ran towards them and grinned, "Hey, you must be Sakura!"
The pinkette looked at Sasori, then back at the blonde, "um… Hello."
Sasori shrugged, "This is Deidara. We are part of the same art club."
Sakura shook his hands, "Nice to meet you."
The blonde grinned cheekily and Sakura felt like he was a hybrid between Ino and Naruto. He grabbed her hand and started walking away, "Kisame said Sasori was bringing someone to the aquarium and told me to come get you guys. He didn't say you were this cute! Are you his girlfriend?"
Sasori sighed as he followed, "Deidara, she is a student. Due to certain circumstances, I took her here."
Sakura was glad that Sasori didn't bluntly say that she was stood up on her date.
"So hands off the girl," Sasori glared.
"I'm a college student, so it's fine!" The blonde grumbled as he led them to a nearby car that was decorated with sea animals.
Sakura gasped, "Wow."
Deidara got in the driver's seat, "This is Kisame's 'work' car, pretty neat, huh?"
Sakura replied yes as he started the engine and drove away. The ride to the aquarium was fairly short. When they got out of the car, Sakura gasped. "Wow, this place is so big! The commercial made it seem smaller!"
Deidara shrugged, "Well, Kisame sure love fish and other marine stuff. There is a dolphin show area, shark cave, penguins… He even have an underwater garden. It's actually more beautiful that it sounds."
Sakura looked lost for a moment, "The tickets must be expensive, I don't know if…"
Sasori cut her off, "We're taking you in through the staff entrance, it's fine."
"Think of this as a payment for keeping Itachi and my secret," Sasori said softly as Deidara took them to the staff entrance. A security guard nodded when the blonde showed him his special ID and let them pass. Sakura was in awe, she often imagined what it was like to be "backstage" and it was as amazing as she thought it would be.
Deidara led them to the second floor, where the offices were located. He knocked on a door that had "Boss" written on it and pushed it open. "Kisame, I brought them!"
Sakura's eyes widen at the sight of the office. Two of its walls were made of glass, showing the aquarium on the other side. She couldn't stop staring at the colorful tropical fish that acted as live wall paper.
"Like what you see?" a gruff voice asked.
She turned and saw a bluish man with gill tattoos looking at her. He was tall, monstrous. His hair was blue and when he smiled, Sakura thought she saw razor sharp teeth. She quickly bowed in greeting, "Hello! I'm Haruno Sakura."
The man chuckled, "I'm Hoshigaki Kisame, boss of this place. Nice to meet you, little girl."
"Nice to meet you!" Sakura chirped. Although the man appeared scary, he seemed quite friendly.
"I'm leaving her in your care now," Sasori said.
Sakura spun around and stared at her sensei. He explained, "Deidara and I are going to an art exhibition, don't worry. They'll take care of you."
With that said, he turned around and pulled Deidara, who was waving goodbye to his new friend, out of the office. Sakura was at a complete lost. Akasuna sensei said he will take her somewhere nice, but she didn't expect it to be this nice. She also didn't expect him to leave her there… alone. Technically, she wasn't alone, but close enough.
"Hoshigaki-san…" Sakura fidgeted, "Uh…"
Kisame gave her a toothy grin, "Don't worry. Your personal tour guide will be back soon."
As soon as those words left his mouth, there was a knock at the door. It slowly opened and Sakura's heart skipped a beat. Standing in the doorway was none other than Itachi. He was dressed casually, in black jeans and a red muscle shirt. He seemed just as surprised to see her. "Haruno-san?"
Kisame waved at his Uchiha best friend, "Itachi, this is the person that I told you about. Go, take her on a tour and make sure she has fun."
Itachi tore his eyes away from the pinkette and glared at the blue man, "What is going on?"
"Don't ask why," Kisame said, "Just take her around. This place is huge, a few hours may not be enough for her to see everything."
The Uchiha looked at Sakura, who seemed to have shrunk into a ball, "Alright."
He held the door open, "If you will, Haruno-san."
Sakura nodded. She waved goodbye to Kisame and ran out the door. She was too afraid to look at Itachi. Sakura had no idea that sensei would be here and she completely didn't expect this situation. Itachi was taking her around an aquarium, on a Saturday. Sakura's face flushed, "It's like a date." However, at the thought of that taboo word, Sakura instantly felt dejected. She had just decided to give Sasuke a chance, but he stood up her up. Then, just when she was at her lowest, Itachi came in the picture again. "… It's fine to enjoy this, right?"
Itachi stopped right in front of the doors that would lead them into the aquarium's guest corridors. He looked at the pinkette beside him. She was obviously dressed up, but he had no idea why. "Haruno-san, what is going on?"
Sakura fidgeted, "I… well… You see…"
Itachi sighed, "It's alright if you do not wish to tell me."
He was about to push the doors open, but she grabbed his shirt, "I was waiting for someone, but he didn't show up for a long time. Akasuna sensei saw me and decided to take me here."
"Waiting?" Itachi rose an eyebrow, "Sasori-san usually doesn't interfere with anyone's business. May I ask, how long were you waiting?"
Sakura really didn't want to tell him, but the answer came out anyways, "3 hours."
The Uchiha's eyes flashed red for a second, "You waited for someone for 3 hours? Whoever made you wait doesn't deserve you at all, Haruno-san."
Sakura released his shirt, "I tried calling him… maybe something came up." "… I can't tell him that it was Sasuke."
"Sasori-san made the right decision," Itachi said softly, "This place will surely cheer you up."
He pushed the door open and Sakura followed him out. They walked into a dark hallway that was only illuminated by the lights in the tanks. Itachi took Sakura around the entire underground floor, stopping whenever she saw something interesting. He took her to both the freshwater and saltwater exhibits and found himself smiling at her cheerful expression. He took her to the underwater garden, where a small café was located.
When Sakura saw the café, her stomach unconsciously grumbled. Her face blushed and she prayed that he didn't hear or see what had just happened. Unfortunately, he did hear; but fortunately, he didn't laugh. Instead, he seemed rather concerned. "Haruno-san, when did you last eat?"
"I," Sakura paused before admitting, "I ate a bowl of cereal this morning."
Itachi's eyes flashed for the second time that day. He pulled her toward the café's and ordered her to seat. Sakura's face was burning, "It's fine! Really!"
He narrowed his eyes and she gulped. Itachi waved one of the workers over, "Green tea for me. Order, Haruno."
The worker smiled warmly at Sakura, "May I recommend the special?"
Sakura nodded quickly and the worker walked away. She had no idea what the special was, but she didn't want to think about it. Her mind was running around in circles. Itachi and she were sitting, together, at a café. "He is going to watch me eat, this is so embarrassing."
However, Itachi's thoughts were on a different level. He rarely got angry at anyone, but he made an exception for the girl in front of him. "She waited three hours for someone and didn't even eat. How foolish for such an intelligent girl."
While they waited, Sakura whispered, "Sorry, Uchiha-san."
"I accept your apology," Itachi said softly, "But you must take better care of yourself from now on."
Sakura nodded, "I will."
As soon as her food and his coffee arrived, Sakura dug in. The special was tuna sandwich and it was amazingly delicious. She gobbled it down furiously, completely forgetting about Itachi's watchful eyes. It was after she was done that she realized he was staring. She flushed, "Sorry! Was I really gross?"
Itachi's eyes gleamed with amusement, "Not at all. I'm glad that you enjoyed the food. Shall we head upstairs now, Haruno-san?"
Sakura nodded in reply and dug in her bag for her wallet, but Itachi stopped her, "My treat." Sakura tried to fight for the check but Itachi annoyingly held it up: at a spot that she couldn't reach. In the end, she had no choice but to thank him for the meal and follow him away like a good little duckling.
It was almost nine when arrived at the penguin exhibit. A sweet voice called out from speakers, bidding the guests goodbye and asking them to return soon. Sakura's smile fell a little at the announcement, "Fun time sure fly by."
"I'm glad you had fun, it is quiet disappointing that you couldn't see everything," Itachi replied as he led Sakura back to Kisame's office.
"No, no! It's fine! Sensei, you're an amazing tour guide. I saw the things that I wanted to see most! The dolphins were very cute and the shark cave was cool! The sea otters were adorable, too! This place was better than I expected!"
Itachi's heart warmed at her beautiful smile, "I'm glad."
When they returned to the office, Kisame smiled, "Did you have fun?"
Sakura nodded, "This place is wonderful! I'll definitely tell all my friends about it!"
Kisame grinned, "Thank and thanks. If you work for me in the summer, I can give you a free pass like the one that Deidara has."
Sakura's eyes gleamed, "You mean it?!"
"Sure! But make sure you keep your grades up and not go to summer school!"
"I promise!" Sakura cheered.
Kisame didn't miss how Itachi smiled at the pinkette's enthusiasm. He looked at his friend, "Itachi, take her home safely, okay?"
The Uchiha nodded and extended a hand to Sakura, "Let's go."
Sakura was on cloud nine. She definitely was. She just had the most wonderful time at the aquarium with Itachi and he was taking her home! "Should I be happy about this? Sasuke was the one who stood me up and I didn't know Itachi would be there. I shouldn't be feeling guilty," Sakura reasoned.
When Sakura got to her station, she tried to tell Itachi that she could walk home alone. But the man had insisted, saying that the streets at night were dangerous. Sakura felt a strong sense of déjà vu as they walked side by side. Sakura stopped at the corner of the street, "Here is fine, sensei."
Itachi's eyes softened, "You're welcome, sleep well."
A pair of similar onyx eyes watched the exchange with growing fury. He didn't like the smile that Sakura was giving to Itachi. He didn't like the gentle look in his eyes. He didn't like how close they were standing together, as if they were intimate. He didn't like the fact that he didn't know what happened. He was furious.
After he had left Sakura's house, he had ran to the hospital. All the staffs remembered the heroic pinkette easily and assured him that she wasn't there. After that, he went back to her house, but no one was there still. Thus, he went to the local convenience stores and the train station. He even asked around, but no one had saw the pink haired girl that day. He spend hours looking and finally came back to her house an hour ago.
Mebuki was surprised to see him since she thought Sakura went out with him. Sasuke said that there were probably some misunderstanding and explained that his phone was broken, so he couldn't contact Sakura. Mebuki immediately dialed Sakura's number with her own cell, but it went to voice mail immediately. By that point, Sasuke was in full panic mode. Ironically, it was Mebuki who had to calm him down and suggest that he wait for her at their house. The blonde woman reasoned that Sakura probably didn't hear the call or she was somewhere without signal. Of course, they didn't know that the latter was correct: there was no signal at the underground part of the aquarium.
Sakura's heart almost stopped when she saw the boy standing outside her front yard. "Sasuke?"
His face was stoic but his eyes were sad. Sakura walked toward him, about to ask him why he didn't call her, but he spoke first.
"Why were you with my brother?" His voice was cold.
"I didn't know he was there," Sakura replied, "Akasuna sensei, he…"
"Hn, so you were with him too?" Sasuke narrowed his eyes.
"That's because-" Sakura felt her heart clutch at the painful look in Sasuke's eyes. He looked so sad, broken, betrayed. She was angry that he stood her up but all the fury had left when she saw his sad, sad eyes. She wanted to reach out and hold him; to ask him what happened today and to explain that it wasn't Itachi or Akasuna sensei's fault.
"Enough," Sasuke backed up, "I guess you chose already."
With that said, the anger blinded Uchiha turned on his heels and ran. Sakura could only stare at he disappeared into the darkness.