If the Shoe fits... Its where your Cinderella Story ends.


If he recognized the look of horror in her visage, he didn't comment and only waited for her response.

Sakura carefully schooled her expression and wondered – does he remember anything about their kind of relationship which involved heavily relied on kill-on-sight? Was he dragged into this world like her, if not then why was he part of this world anyway when they have barely interacted and it was during the day of the demise of his partner whom she killed?

Trepidation grew but nothing happened.

"I'm...lost. Can you help me with the directions?" She had better things to do than wonder about an Akatsuki member having a part in a fairy tale that involved him donning aristocratic robes and playing a charming stranger in such a questionable place. She was lost, that was valid; why was he here?

"That could be arranged, Miss. How did a young lady as lovely as you end up in this part of palace anyway?" But of course, he'd question her instead of lending support. He was an exceptionally crazy rouge ninja back in her world, and maybe an equally wary and flirtatious soldier on patrol here.

She opened her mouth to reply an excuse when he continued, "And your identity, as well?"

She ignored the vein that throbbed horribly on her head. Stay calm. You have only one job and that did not involve bashing side characters.

"Of course, I'm from the..." She trailed off, blinking – Hatake? Haruno? Whom does she belong to? – and deciding to gamble anyway, she continued, masking her hesitation behind a cough when his eyes narrowed, "...the estate, Haruno."

She smiled when he tilted his head to his side like she was a puzzle he was attempting to solve; better luck next time, blondie.

"Haruno, and not Hatake?" She barely saved herself from cringing– Hatake Sakura was such a ridiculous title.

"Yes, one ordered under Mebuki. I work there," He nodded after a moment when something akin to understanding crossed his eyes.

Understood what, she didn't know and found herself unable to care.

She nodded back, uneasy under his impaling gaze that reminded her so much of blue skies, blue of the ocean, and of Naruto.

"I'm here for the ball... And I lost my way..." absently wondering how she could have lost her way if her escort had dropped her at the front gates. Deidara must have been thinking same along those lines as he opened his mouth to enquire when she hastily finished, "the gardens, they are truly captivating."

A dramatic smile instantly lifted his face. Like a proud owner.

"I better be on my way. Can you...guide me the way to the hall?" He watched her expectedly as if he was waiting for something, and it took all her pride to utter a small, "please", at the end to complete her request. She could draw the parallels between her world's Deidara and this man before her. Both have arrogance flowing in their veins instead of blood.

She had to will her hands from decking him when he stepped up close and whirled her around like they were dancing, placing his hands on her shoulders, his touch light yet flirty, as he whispered directions against her ears like it was their secret.

He obviously has a blatant disregard towards invading personal spaces of innocent ladies who get lost on their way to a public event involving them winning a prince over.

Maybe not so innocent...but whatever.

When he was done, she wasn't sorry for elbowing him against what he was sure were his ribs. Apparently, he was dignified enough to not let the pain affect his outward person. His eyes, however, betrayed his irritation and something akin to triumph shone in her own.

"Jerk," She hissed, loud enough for it to be heard, and quickly sauntered away, intent on making it to the ball on time.

"Now, now, miss, no need for such haste," she heard him yell behind her, amusement in his voice. "The dance wouldn't begin without you,"

She decided he was weird even in this world.

...

It wasn't hard to reach the ballroom after all. She had begrudgingly followed the directions that Deidara had told – whispered into her ears urgh – her before, ignoring that the more prideful part of her that insisted that she rely on her ninja instincts instead. But thankfully she didn't have to follow all through his directions, the harmony of the grand orchestra did their job – she heard the music before she had even turned up before the imposing grand doors that lead into the ballroom.

The dancing had yet to begin, but the place remained festive. She recalled from some book back home that dance was commenced by the prince and his chosen partner, the rest following his lead.

To the one side of the large ballroom, and from where she stood, she could see a whole buffet set. The smell of exotic food mixed with slight floral fragrance in the air, the cuisine was something she was unfamiliar with and seemed to beckon her. But no, she can't. Knowing her, she would stuff herself in food so much that it would jeopardize her intention to remain to look flattering in the dress later. She mentally pledged to taste test them after she was done seducing the prince.

Sakura tore her eyes away from where the food lined up and the people who helped themselves without a care in the world, instead choosing to look for the prince. She didn't look how he looked but she had a picture– someone dark with one-of-a-kind eyes.

She also had to bit back the smirk that threatened to break loose. She wasn't ignorant of the looks of longing and awe that was passed her way when she made her entrance; even she thought she looked amazing in her new clothes. Ino-pig would have been so proud of her right now if she was here to witness this moment.

The attention she drew in made her feel more confident about the success rate of the current mission. It would be a cake-walk if the prince turned out to be a flirty chauvinist. Even if that meant she was forced to maintain extreme self-control from bashing his head into the nearest pole. Or kick his pole.

It was excessively easy to spot the king. Modelling a brilliant crown, the symbol of the highest ranking in the kingdom, lined with gold and jewels that had forced eyes to glance his way and made aware of his presence, he sat high on his throne, above them all, observing with a cool look on his seasoned face. Beside him, flanked along his two sides, stood two men who, judging from the hilt of the swords on their hips and the armour they had worn, were his trusted knights. He looked really familiar to her for some reason– his stout figure, red nose and weird eyebrows– that was when the realization dawned on her, oh yes, he was Iwa's previous Tsuchikage that she has seen in one of the delegate meetings she attended with her mentor.

Sakura's sharp eyes allowed her a good view of the exasperated and worried looks the knights passed each other and the irritated look that the king maintained.

Strange; was something up? They weren't exchanging words so she was unable to read their lips and discern the situation.

She continued watching them from under her eyelashes under the pretence that she was only enjoying her drink, a really expensive wine, which she had grabbed from one of the servers who passed by her earlier.

Suddenly she saw the king's eye lit, almost missing one of the knight's lips, reading– he has returned, Your Majesty – and she realised who they were speaking of and what had gotten them tensed.

The prince was here.

As soon as the thought struck her mind, she saw the king turn his attention to where she stood and their eyes met. She held his gaze and passed a smile when the silence in the room finally hit her with full force and the passing glances that had now evolved into blatant staring, one that didn't hide their shock and awe.

What? Why were they looking at me like that? Was something on her face?

"I see you've made it here without getting lost again, Miss. I didn't think you would have paid attention to what I had said, let alone follow, yeah." She blinked, confusion clouding her mind too much to have caught the words.

Sakura almost jumped when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Almost. Someone managed to sneak up on her and she called herself a ninja. Shame rose on her cheeks but pretending to be unaffected, she twirled around with a polite smile stretched on her face.

"What, is something the...matt...er...?" Her smile dropped in the blink of when she saw who it was. "Oh, it's just you." Her tone bored.

That 'too-arrogant-for-my-own-good' smile from before was still fixed on his lips and he remained unaffected by her cool attitude, despite the slight irritation and something else she found in his eyes. He was wearing the same garbs from before, except for the additional coat that rested on his shoulders. It was similar to the one she had seen the king wear, except it was red and this was blue.

"Is there something you needed, Sir?" She made sure he feel her irritation in her voice and just heed to her wish to be left alone.

He got the message but he was also a cocky bastard so–

"Still as sweet as ever, Miss." He replied, his brilliant blue eyes laughing at a joke that only he understood. She frowned at the subtle flirtation.

"You flatter me," her voice conveyed anything but.

"Nothing that you don't deserve. I was under the impression that you had come for the dance." She raised a brow. Of course, she was only here for that but how does that concern him. And, glancing around them, noticing the curious looks they were attracting, she didn't understand why people seemed so interested in listening in to their conversation.

She didn't reply and just shrugged, because she couldn't bring herself to act like a polite, respectful lady before him; and she really was trying.

"Seeking the prince, for a dance with him, yeah?" Sakura felt a brow twitch in annoyance and resisted to glare at him. Is this an interrogation? Did they have to do that in front of the crowd? The blonde-haired man still stood straight, patiently waiting, which also seemed so out of his character. He seemed so impulsive and bad-mouthed in her world.

"Have you found him yet? I told you dance wouldn't begin without you." Her eyes narrowed at him. She was getting an idea about what he was trying to imply.

"Or is it that you don't know who he is or how he is like?" He continued on, not caring for her lack of reply.

But then again, maybe it had to do with how he was finding the situation so entertaining and fun that he chose to nag her here as well. The thought that she was somehow the source of his amusement didn't hell quell her resentment for the man, no matter his pretty-boy looks.

The 'know-it-all' tone and tease in his voice soured her mood.

Her response left many in gasps.

"Are we playing, state-the-obvious, here? Because, if we are, I'm sorry to spoil your fun, Mister, but I'm not in the mood for the games. Next time...perhaps?" She tried to politely edge away from him when something caught her eye and upon closer look, her breath.

The symbol. The Royal family insignia.

What. The. Fuck.

"W...what?" Her shock was written all over the face when she turned to meet his eyes because she saw his smile widen into a grin like a cat that caught the mouse. Everything suddenly clicked – why she amused him so much, why he was teasing her before, and why he was shaking like he was a second away from bursting into laughter.

She took a step back, her eyes wide and mouth agape.

He was here because he was the prince.

People were staring because he was the prince.

People were in shock because... she was disrespectful to the prince, in his party, hosted in his house, in his kingdom.

And the prince was...her enemy, Deidara.

Blood rose to her face like a flood, exuding heat like a fire hydrant, she had no doubts that she looked like a giant tomato too. Oh, fucks. She was screwed. Her mission failed. She can see it now, Cinderella having her happily ever after behind the bar, and that Cinderella was her.

He opened his mouth to say something but she cut in, oncoming tears blurring his image, her humiliation overriding her sense of preservation.

"I-I-I will leave!"

She twirled and took off running at a speed that surprised those she passed by. She expected him to yank her back, or signal his soldiers to grab her or tell his attendees to block her, but nobody tried anything. She didn't know why, nor she wanted to know.

What she didn't know was, if she had glanced back, she would have seen Deidara, her sworn enemy back from her world, signal his soldiers against going after her.

...

Sakura took off from the ballroom and down the hallway. The guards standing by the doors had looked surprised when she stepped out of the room with tears in her eyes and probably, out of sympathy, didn't follow after her when she wandered off to somewhere, possibly guessing washrooms.

The orchestra resumed playing from where they had left. It was like her absence made no difference. Of course. A bitter smile engaged her lips.

She didn't know where she was heading but she kept walking. There was no particular destination in her mind– ballroom was her only. She didn't have a backup for a situation like this – hadn't even considered a situation like this happening.

Besides, there was no way she could have considered it– Deidara as the prince she was to fall in love with tonight.

Her plan was idealistic, but one valid since it was a fairytale, which went like this: her attending the ball, approaching the prince in attendance, charming him with her wits and beauty, him asking her out for a dance, them dancing, the clock strikes 12, she leaves her shoe as the only reminder of her existence, kissing him for extra measure, him turning the kingdom up and down in search for her, and finally rubbing her victory in the faces of her family.

But it was ruined; the perfect ending. Now she will never be able to woo the most unlikely prince and would have to return back home where she will be forced into slavery for waltzing in and out of the ball as she did. Her mother will make sure of it. Ino and Karin will torture her to death. Her life will be hell...

Unless she becomes a rogue. She could survive that, living the life of the little pink riding hood in the middle of the woods.

"I'm such a fool..." She muttered to herself, rubbing on her tear-stained cheeks absently.

Looking around, she realized she had come a long way from the ballroom. The silence in the place was almost eerie considering there was a loud orchestra playing just a few hallways away. The corridor was deserted, probably in favour of the guards being placed in and around the parameters of the ballroom. She wondered about the palace's security system and how it could easily be threatened. Shaking her head, she noted how there were not many cabins in the corridor she was currently walking down in comparison to the one where the ballroom was located. Also, the interior design was different – having more modern designs decorating the ceiling with more blues and whites to them.

Something about this place seemed almost...private.

She rounded the corridor and found only a single room to her opposite, at the end of the hallway, which further continued on in the opposite directions.

Sakura quietly walked down the passage and would have ignored the room if her attention wasn't captured by the sound of something tumbling. She stiffened.

An intruder? A thief? A servant? Falling easily into her position as seasoned spy and assassin, she tiptoed towards the door and grabbed the handle. Bracing herself, eyes sharp and her other hand ready to punch down anything that so much as come at her, she pushed the door wide open.

"STOP WHERE YOU A– eek!"

"Meow!" She belatedly dodged as a snow-white cat lunged at her with malicious intent to dislocate her ears from her head. She sidestepped and felt its sharp claws scrap her cheeks, drawing blood.

"Fuck!" She stepped inside the room and quickly shut the door when the cat made a move to actively attack her again. She wasn't surprised by its attempts. Cats back home didn't like her too. She heard faint scratching against the door and drew in a breath.

The faint wetness against her cheeks drew her attention and she quickly reached for her chakra...until she realized she didn't have any.

She signed. A little blood loss wouldn't matter much anyway.

Looking around the dimly lit room, she was able to make out some silhouettes, frames lying around and decorating the walls. The smell of paint and clay was thick in the air; not unlike how Sai's house smelled. This was definitely a painter's cabin. More she looked, more her eyes adjusted in the darkness; she was able to tell the dark figures were actually sculptures.

"Wow..." Really beautiful and detailed sculptures. She touched the bird, her finger pads tracing and feeling the minute details of the still figure. The artist must be really talented to be able to make this.

She leant and took a deep breath. Definitely clay.

Clay figures... And paintings. She looked at the incomplete drawing near where she stood. It was a painting of – she tilted her head as she observed – the ocean. Her brows drew in and mouth drew thin as she continued observing the painting. She was seeing the ocean, but...it also appeared like she was seeing something else at the same time.

"...but still, wow." She seemed to have run out of words to express what she was seeing.

Something drew her eyes– a photograph. She picked it up from the table where all the art supplies were scattered haphazardly. It was a picture of a family of three. It was the kid sitting on the woman's lap that left her gaping– Deidara. She blinked and then looked at the woman, or her eyes specifically.

Her eyes widened in understanding and she looked at the painting with renewed interest.

"Do you not know you shouldn't poke your nose where it doesn't belong, yeah, Miss?"

A hand snatched the picture from her grasp. She had somehow gotten accustomed to that rough, deep edge in his voice so she didn't start or even found herself growing irritated. When wheeled around to face him, she shot him her most thoughtful look when it should have been instead an ashamed blush against his harsh, condemning glare.

It was the first time in their entire interaction that he glared at her; one that seemed to pulse in rage.

But Sakura was also someone who had mastered the art of discerning glares, courtesy of the human-ice-block Sasuke, so no amount of intense coldslashheated glares was going to affect her.

"It's your mother, isn't it? This painting– it is her eyes!" His eyes widened and he stilled. In his distracted state, she stepped forward and yanked the picture back. Turning back around, she compared the picture and the painting.

A proud smile lit her face.

"The picture is taken by the shore. You've painted her eyes...and in her eyes, the ocean. She must have really loved the ocean, huh?" She passed a compassionate smile over her shoulder.

"You must really be missing her..." Her voice was very soft but with distance so thin between them, she knew he couldn't have missed it.

Her observation must have unsettled him so much because the next thing she knew, she was shoved against the table. Her eyes widened when she saw him – his lips drew back in a snarl and eyes clouded in rage and sadness.

She should have feared him – he was her enemy in other world and even without his chakra, he could overpower her if she didn't punch him first. But she didn't feel threatened even if everything about him screamed that she run, fast.

"You are forgetting your place, bitch. This is my place, my territory! Don't let it get to your head; just because I didn't send guards after you doesn't mean you're any more special than any other women I've met– and don't think you have fooled me, you wanted power, just like rest of them, didn't you?" He brought his face closer, their faces only separated by a hairsbreadth, their breaths blending in the small space that divided them. But his grin, that crazy grin was one she recognized with the one back home. "You were trying to steal information, weren't you?"

Her breath hitched.

"What are you –"

"Shut up! Stop pretending and don't give me that look!" She felt something wet drop over her wound. She blinked, mouth parted. "Your plan was flawed from the very start– there wouldn't have been any ball if there was never a prince to commence the dance anyway. I wouldn't have wanted this ball to happen– it wasn't my choice in the first place. I only wanted ever a gateway!"

Something clicked – God, she was so slow for someone so smart – finding Deidara so far away from the ballroom in the garden without a guard on the scout. She suddenly remembered his proud grin. His garden. King's irritated look and the knight's worry, it was because they were afraid whether or not Deidara would show up at the scene. He did not want to marry.

Then why did he show up?

"Why...why did you..." Her words died in her mouth.

"What do you think?" The hostility in his voice and the raw pain in the blue of his eyes left her feeling so, so guilty.

She didn't – couldn't – say anything and just drew in a shaky breath, realising she was holding back her breath.

"And you wandered into here, of all places. Are you mocking me, yeah?" He was so unstable at the moment and he was reminding her so much of the man back home. "Whatever you came to accomplish here, well, failed so get your little scrawny ass out of here before I call the guards."

It's strange how they turned from being strangers who bantered and teased, into something so raw and real like this. She felt no magic in this; whatever this was. Was this seriously even a Cinderella story anymore?

He wasn't holding her hands so she had all openings to push him away and get the fuck out as he had so nicely put. But...wasn't that what he expected her to do? If she did run, wouldn't that become a confirmation that he was right?

Liar. Manipulative wench. A bitch who only wanted money. He who didn't want to marry and was still in pain over the loss of his mother.

"I wouldn't." She said, her voice clear and unrelenting.

His eyes seemed to grow dark as he pushed her harder against the table, knocking off the bird sculpture she had admired earlier but he didn't even so much as pass a glance at its direction. She couldn't bring herself to care either, a person of his genius probably can make another in no time.

"What?!" He snarled at her, his expression sharing parallels with the Akatsuki member who was the bringer of mayhem, the crazy explosion artist, the one who brought down Suna overnight, an international criminal.

"Are you hard of hearing? I said I wouldn't go. I wouldn't leave this room." But none of the parallels he shared with the explosion artist mattered at that moment. She wanted a happy ending; he wanted a happy ending.

So she had a plan.

He opened his mouth to call the guards – but she pushed him off her so hard that it knocked his breath, with or without chakra she was still strong, and utilized the time to her advantage to pin him on the ground. She probably looked horrible with her hair sticking at all directions, blood caking her cheeks and paint staining her dress from the back. He looked up at her, alarm written all over his face. He made no move to push her away though. A smirk of sorts danced on her lips for a heartbeat.

She figured it out; everything.

Cinderella wasn't chosen that night because she looked the prettiest but because prince realized she was the kindest. Good for them; kindness came naturally to her.

Deidara, the Prince Charming, needed someone who showed him kindness.

"Shut up. You listen to me here, jerk. Don't spout nonsense about me when I just saved your little sanctuary from getting destroyed by your stupid cat," he gaped, then sputtered and shook her hands off his arm to point at her face, looking positively offended. It was almost funny when his eyes looked so red.

"He's got a name, Lucifer!" She rolled her eyes. Oh yes, it was so important right now.

"And for your information, I ended up here because I got lost, yes, again! But hey– you humiliated me there in front of everyone. You could have just told me in the garden that you're the prince and saved me all trouble. I'd have left!" She shouted at his face, rage simmering. Prince or not, nothing gave him the right to play with her.

"Why wouldn't you leave now, yeah?" He was growing frustrated.

"I don't know how many times people have approached you with money on the top of their mind, but don't shove your trust issues onto me!" Because that was so Sasuke-esque, and she was beginning to think it was out of her good luck that it wasn't Sasuke who ended up the prince. Only Naruto could play the role of Cinderella with him.

"I- I do not have trust issues, bitch! Get off of me dammit!" She again ignored him in favour of continuing her rant.

"I didn't know you were the prince. When I met you, my first impression was that you were a flirtatious man with a superiority complex. You irritated me a lot for some reason and because you have no sense of personal space," he shot her a look but she continued as though she wasn't currently straddling his hips, "but even if I had known it was you, my opinion wouldn't have changed. Even now, you're the same irritating man I met back in the garden this evening..." She trailed off and passed a glanced around the room.

"Except there's more; I now know how you're also an exceptional artist to boot," her eyes fixed on the painting of the blue eyes that reflected the ocean within. "And that you're also a crazy emotional guy." She turned back to look at him.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

"I'm not emotional, yeah. You are." A very weak response, especially coming from him. His voice lacked the animosity.

"Right..." She made sure her word conveyed the underlying message ("I hope you don't want me to remind you how red your blue eyes look right now. It isn't the product of anger, I assure you.") and he seemed to have understood the hint because the said eyes narrowed in warning.

The sound of midnight chime resonated throughout the building but they didn't move an inch, keeping their eyes locked with equal spirit as though they were willing the other to give in first. Sakura remained in her place, even though she should be making a run for it about it now, as promised – as was the in the story, to leave the palace at midnight, perfect 12 – and she needed to get away from the prying eyes before her dress turned to rags.

And she probably would have left, had it been the original take of the fairy tale, had she wasn't writing her own fairy tale.

"And you know what crossed my mind when I realized it was you who drew that..." She angled her head towards the painting, a ghost of a smile at her lips but for eyes dark in sadness. The entire situation reminded her so much of Sai and Sasuke that it stung her heart. Deidara maintained his stony silence even as his eyes stared like they were searching for something.

"What a shame." The bonds holding his facial muscles loosened but she wasn't done.

"Your mother would have loved to see you become an artist." His eyes widened and she heard him take deep breaths.

"W-what the hell, yeah? You're crazy, Miss..." He held a hand up to his face. Even as tears rolled by along the side of his face, he remained still.

The corners of her mouth lift up into a smile and it hurt because of the cut on her cheek but she didn't care. His mouth twitched, and she was pretty sure he was fighting a smile. Even though it hadn't become a smile just yet, it was enough to send an unexpected rush of warmth through her.

"Your Highness!" Sakura started when someone knocked at the door. She glanced back, smile gone and eyes stone before she turned back to his shielded, tear-stained face. A defeated smile lifted her lips.

Glancing down at her robes, Sakura resisted to sigh; her gorgeous gown had poofed out of existence, leaving in its place the same dirty old rags she had donned before having met her fairy godmother. Guess all magic lasted only until midnight chime; shaking off her disappointment, she made a move to get up when she realized she still had her glass shoes on.

Just like in the story.

Another knock, another call – this time more frantic.

A thought occurred to her.

"Here, I want you to have one of these." She placed one of the glass slippers beside his face. "I hope when you look at them, you'd remember me and know that I wasn't using you, that not the entire humanity is after your money..." She paused to choose right words,"...and that there's more to you than just a title."

With that, she got up and staggered her way to the closed door only to realize that it was locked. He not only had sneaked up on her but also had locked the door without her notice; she really was a poor ninja it seemed. She glanced back at the supine form of the blonde-haired prince whom she seemed hell-bent on hating a few hours ago.

"Um...deidara?" She whispered but he showed no signs of response. She began to walk over to him when –

"Yes, I'm here. What is it?" He responded loudly from his position.

The knocking stopping abruptly. Then carefully,

"Your Highness, Your Majesty has requested your presence to join him for dinner."

Sakura turned her attention back to the prince. He took his time to decide, as if weighing his options, before –

"Let my father know that I'll join him shortly and also make that dinner for three."

"Yes, Your Highness. Is there anything else I can do?"

"Yes, inform him of this special someone I want him to meet. I've come to a decision." Her jaw went slack.

"Of course, Your Highness." There was a ruffle of clothes she heard and then the sound of retreating footfalls that filled the silence of the room. He didn't speak after that so she had to.

"Why?" Her voice so soft but in the silence of the room, it was hard to miss.

"Why what?" His reply was one of exhaustion and building annoyance.

"Why did you...not give me away?" It took her a while to choose the right words. She could have asked why he wanted to introduce her to his father but then she could've risked being laughed at.

"Like I said, you're one crazy woman..."

He sat up from his lying position, groaning and massaging his head when he did, the dishevelled look of hair that cascaded down his chest in loose waves made a picture that caused her stomach to emit strange warmth. He didn't look immediately at her and she was glad he didn't because it just wouldn't do her image if she was caught red and bothered; his gaze wandered to fix upon the incomplete painting that in her opinion looked so complete and true.

Meanwhile, as she busied herself to school her stupid expression and emotions, his eyes crinkled around the corners as he took in the painting, his lips quirked up in a way that seemed to require so much effort. It was one of those kinds of smiles that brought back a rush of memories. She studied him for a moment before a dreamy smile met her lips.

He kind of fit the role of prince charming after all.

He suddenly turned to her with a new look in his eyes and Sakura found herself waiting in bated breath. She was not warming up to this guy– it was just his pretty-boy looks getting her nerves worked up, she told herself. But nothing prepared her to what was coming–

"I have decided I love crazy." He grinned at her; cheeky.

She absolutely loathed those clicheslashcheesy lines, but feeling the searing heat of imaginary flames setting her face ablaze, she thought maybe she could make an exception for him, after all, he was her prince charming.

He noticed her change of clothes as his eyes dropped down from her face but for whatever reason he chose not to comment. Reaching over, he picked up the pair of the glass shoe she intended to leave for him, inspecting it closely as he rose to his feet.

"Seems precious, yeah, but I'm afraid I wouldn't ever require a material to remember you." His eyes took on a playful look. "This belongs to you, Miss..." Realization dawned on him – his blue eyes widened – he didn't actually know her name.

He walked over to her; her features as obscured by the darkness as were his. She looked up at him, still donned in rags that he had never seen her in before, but somehow he looked past it all and reached his hand over the strand of hair that had escaped the clutches of the bun and pushed it gently behind her ear. In their wake, his fingers traced the cut left behind by Lucifer, the cat. Something probably came to his mind because he suddenly had made that infuriating laughing eyes at her – an inside joke of sorts for him.

"May I?" His amusement was starting to become infectious.

Deidara got on his knee and she saw the parallels shared in the original story and the scene before her. A strange excitement of sorts sent a shiver down her spine; she watched, breath held, and hands sweaty. He gently guided her left feet into the glass slipper which was a perfect fit and allowed her to stand straighter, now sporting identical sandals. A strange feeling – one similar to how she felt as being the lovely girl she was until around fifteen minutes ago – set in her gut. She was quick enough to put two and two together this time.

"Sakura. My name is Sakura Haruno, Your Highness." She announced in the silence of the room.

Deidara probably had a lot to say – like how unoriginal the name was, how it was actually his first guess, the lack of creativity it upholds, and several more that he could and would say – but she didn't bestow him that luxury, instead, she pulled him to her, yanking hard on his coat and dove headfirst into a kiss that blew the world away, quite literally.

...

"Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?"

"Shut up, Shina."

Meanwhile, her stomach rumbled in hunger, not at all helping her emotional health by reminding her of the missed opportunity of tasting exotic, gourmet food.

...

Took me a while to update, yes, I know. That's why I present you this extra-long chapter that I have completed in one sitting.

I hope you'll enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Please check out my other Sakura story – Just A Memory. It's a multi-chaptered time-travel story told in the perspective of the characters Sakura interacts with.