A little one shot I made as a little apology to my lack of updating. I've been caught up in school work and such. I'm extremely sorry, everyone. But I hope you enjoy this little story!

Beware of randomness and OOC.

Standard Disclaimer Applied.

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Another

By:XxSeriouslyJadedxX

An eighteen year old Yamanaka Ino was humming happily along the streets of Konoha, having just returned from a mission with her beloved Team 10 and returning to her own house, when she heard voices to her side and upon curiosity, twisted her head in that direction.

That's strange. She faced an alleyway—a rather dark one at that—and cocked her head to the side. Noises from a place like this?

Reflexively tightening her grip on the kunai by her side, she took a few cautious steps into the abandoned passage, and strained her neck around the corner to get a peek at who—or what—was there.

A mop of untamed black hair, depthless onyx eyes, and the trademark fan.

Uchiha…Sasuke? Ino was even more confused than before. What in the world is he doing here…!

Her thoughts were cut short when her eyes fell upon the person on the ground besides the young man. Who…?

A girl—from the Hidden Rock judging from her forehead protector—was panting, her hand encased in his, her hair rumpled, and her clothes torn. An appreciative smile was on her lips, as she looked up at the stoic Uchiha with grateful eyes.

What's—What's going on?! Ino stumbled back, a hand flying to her mouth. Her mind immediately flew to the worst conclusions. Were they…!

As discreetly as possible, Yamanaka Ino quickly turned around and fled from the scene, one thing on her mind:

Sakura…

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"HE DID WHAT?!" Haruno Sakura ignored the shattered plate before her—one she had dropped when she received the shocking news—and stared at the nervous woman before her.

"I swear that's what I saw!" Yamanaka Ino was shaking her head from side to side. "They were all alone in an alleyway and—and…Sakura, are you alright?"

The rosette-haired kunoichi had her head lowered to the ground, and was trembling due to some restrained emotion. The loss of control was over in an instant, and in the next second, Sakura had lifted her head, a pasted smile on her face. "I'm fine, Ino!" she chirped with faux enthusiasm.

Ino placed a comforting hand upon her friend's, "Sakura…are you sure?"

Sakura laughed, her uneasiness slowly disappearing behind her cheery mask. "Of course! I just can't believe that idiot! He didn't even tell Naruto or me anything!"

"Sakura…"

"Oh my!" the medic-nin withdrew her hand from Ino's. "Look at the time! I've forgotten about my appointment with Tsunade-sama! Thanks for telling me, Ino. I'll be sure to pound him for being so secretive the next time I see Sasuke."

Ino watched Sakura's back vanish into the crowd.

Who are you trying to fool, Sakura…

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Sakura's mind was in turmoil.

It hurt to know that he loved another. It hurt to know that he did not trust her with his secrets. It hurt that he had kept this from her.

It hurt…a lot.

"Sakura, are you listening?" her mentor's sharp voice snapped her out of her thoughts.

"I'm sorry, Tsunade-sama!" Sakura quickly bowed her head in apology, before turning her eyes to the complicated medical procedure before her.

Focus…Focus!

"Hokage-sama?"

Tsunade let out an exasperated sigh, and turned towards the door. "What is it?" she snapped.

The messenger, a pretty girl about a year or so younger than Sakura, cowered quickly in fear. "I'm the messenger from the Hidden Rock!"

Hidden Rock! Sakura immediately directed her attention the stammering messenger girl. Is she…

With a sinking heart, Sakura realized that if this girl was indeed an interest of Uchiha Sasuke, then there was nothing she could blame him for.

The young girl was comely, and would definitely turn into a beauty as she aged.

I've already lost…Inner Sakura wailed at the defeat. How could she, with a short temper and a wide forehead, ever compare with the attractive girl before her?

As the messenger quickly delivered the note to Tsunade, Sakura found herself asking to be excused from the room.

Tsunade, seemingly sensing something was not right with her pupil today, nodded her head silently.

Sakura quickly escaped.

I guess I had to move on sometime…

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Uchiha Sasuke was not a happy man.

Of course, who could be happy when a loud blonde was besides you and trying to force-feed you Ichiraku's latest ramen?

"Don't make me hurt you, dobe," the Uchiha scowled, becoming even more peeved when his so-called best friend ignored his threat and continued to try to shove the noodles down his throat.

Closing his eyes in annoyance, Sasuke willed for the annoying blonde to just disappear and leave his sight before he really lost his temper.

"Oh, it's you!"

A hand was placed on his shoulder, and Sasuke and Naruto turned around to see a smiling girl.

Sasuke immediately recognized her.

The girl in the alleyway…

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Sakura found that her bad mood had not necessarily gotten any better.

After she had left the Hogake's office, she had immediately tried to find something to occupy her mind.

She had gone to her house, only to find that there was nothing needed to be done there. Next, she had wandered off to Yamanaka's Flower Shop, but Ino was not present, so there wasn't much of a point in staying there either. Hinata and Tenten, as far she was aware, were currently on missions with their teams.

Naruto was the only choice left for her, and if her intuition was correct, he would most likely be at Ichiraku's at the moment.

So that was where Sakura was headed. To Ichiraku's. Perhaps she would be able to voice her woes to her other best friend and he would be able to help her resolve her inner conflict.

But the sight that greeted her only made her mood worse.

Naruto was there, all right, but so were two other people.

Uchiha Sasuke and the messenger girl that had been in the Hogake's office about half an hour ago.

Not good…

"Oh?" Naruto instantly caught sight of her. "Sakura-chan!"

Her feet were nailed to the ground, and no matter how much she told herself to move, she was just unable to flee as the rest turned their eyes towards her.

"You're just in time!" Naruto continued cheerily. "You just have to try this ramen!"

"N-No thanks," Sakura stammered out in reply, but Naruto would have none of that.

"Sakura-chan!" he whined childishly, "PLEEEEAAAAAAAAASE?"

Sakura found that she was being dragged into a chair before she had time to utter out any sort of protest. And just her luck, too. She was placed next to Sasuke.

"Here!" Naruto shoved a bowl into her hands. "It's delicious!"

"Hey!"

Sakura wanted to flinch. Keeping the smile on her face, she turned to face the owner of the voice. "Yes?"

The messenger girl from the Hidden Rock was beaming. "You were in the Hokage's office!"

Sakura was able to manage a weak nod of her head.

"Did you know Sakura-chan is Tsunade baa-chan's apprentice?" Naruto boasted. "My Sakura-chan is the best!"

"Really?" The messenger girl's eyes widened. "That's so cool!"

Again, Sakura gave a weak nod of the head.

The conversation continued on for the rest of the meal, and Sakura forced herself to act normal.

She immediately took flight the moment the lunch was finished, murmuring some lame excuse about how she had work to do.

God, how embarrassing…

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"Hey Sasuke?"

"What is it, dobe?"

"Is it just me, or was Sakura-chan acting weird?"

The two were walking out of Ichiraku's. The messenger girl had left shortly after Sakura's departure, and now, it was only the two of them left.

Sasuke turned to look at Naruto. "She was acting happier than normal."

Naruto glared at him. "What did you do to her this time?"

"What are you saying, dobe!" Sasuke scowled. "What makes you think I did something wrong?"

Naruto gave a pointed look, and Sasuke let out a frustrated sigh.

"It's not my problem…"

The Uchiha was thoroughly surprised when a hand smacked his head.

"What do you mean it's not your problem," Naruto crossed his arms. "She's your teammate, therefore, you will find out what's going on. Do I make myself clear?"

"Do it yourself."

"Sasuke!"

Sasuke was already walking away. "Fine, whatever."

God, how annoying…

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Sakura sat on the swing, watching the sun set in the distance.

"I'm such a fool," she scolded herself bitterly. "To think that…that he would actually feel anything for me. I guess I had to move on sooner or later. I mean, I can't just wallow in my self-pity." She sighed. "How pathetic you are, Haruno Sakura. Such a fool…"

"Who is?"

Sakura nearly fell off her seat. "S-Sasuke-kun!" When had he gotten there?

He took a casual step towards her, and seated himself leisurely in the swing besides her.

"What are you doing here?"

Sasuke didn't reply, as he stared off ahead.

Sakura looked down to her knees, unsure of how to continue such an obviously tense conversation.

"…You were acting weird today."

Sakura looked up, surprised. "Oh?" And I thought he hadn't noticed.

He was still looking ahead. "You were smiling too much."

"Really?" Just act like nothing's wrong. "It should be good to smile, no?"

"It was unnatural."

"…"

"Sakura," he turned to face her. "What's wrong?"

She sighed, and before she could stop herself, she had started to spill everything out. "Ino told me that she saw you and this girl in a dark alley and that her clothes were torn and hair was messy and you guys were holding hands. I mean, I can't believe you didn't tell Naruto or me anything about this! Well, perhaps you told Naruto, but what about me? I thought we were teammates, and I thought we didn't keep secrets anymore. You didn't even mention this girl to me at all. Perhaps you thought I would become jealous, and well, I suppose I was jealous when I heard, but that doesn't mean you can't tell me these things! I'm still you friend, Sasuke-kun and I would like to know these thing no matter how much it may break my heart and no matter how much—"

"Sakura," he cut her off from her ramblings. "What did Yamanaka tell you?"

Sakura blinked, and realized that she was on the verge of tears. How pathetic. "I—she told me that…that you liked another girl."

A scowl was already forming on the Uchiha's face. "And you believed her?"

Sakura lowered her head in shame. "It…sounded plausible."

Sasuke's scowl deepened. "That girl was attacked on her way to Konoha and she lost her way in the alley. I was merely helping her as a passerby." He turned away, and started mumbling to himself about how he was going to slaughter Yamanaka Ino and how gossip should be banned from the village.

Sakura quickly swiped her tears away. "W-what?"

The Uchiha seemed to be a tint of red—but perhaps that was just her imagination—and he scoffed. "You heard me. I don't like that girl. Why would I like her?"

"That means you don't like anybody right?"

He paused in contemplative silence, before scoffing yet again and turning away.

"Right?"

"Hn…"

"Is that a yes or no, Sasuke-kun?"

"I didn't say I didn't like anyone," he finally answered, his back still faced to her.

"Oh…"Sakura felt her heart shattering once again. So he may not have like that particular girl, but he still liked another. "I see…"

Sasuke couldn't help but roll his eyes. Why did she have to sound so disappointed? Did she not know that he hated to see her miserable? Did she not know that he had made it a personal mission to cheer her up if she was feeling distraught?

"You're too naïve," he murmured, before swooping down to place a peck on her lips.

Sakura had barely felt the contact before it was gone, and when she finally registered what had happened, he was no longer on the swing.

She couldn't help but smile as she leaned back to continue watching the sunset.

Sasuke-kun…

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Hope you enjoyed!

Reviews always appreciated!