Standard Disclaimer Applied.
Warnings: slight OOC
Uchiha Sasuke had realized years ago that the best remedy for clearing his head was waking up early to train in the forest. Surrounded by only trees and fresh air, he felt most at peace with himself. Practicing this daily discipline had kept him at top shape both physically and mentally.
It was only beginning to turn light when Sasuke emerged out of the forests and headed for home. Perhaps today, he would go and see what missions Tsunade could assign him. His probation was ending soon, and if he was lucky, she'd finally give him a job worthy of his skill. Really, doing nothing but catching cats and helping old ladies with their household chores for the past two years was beginning to grate on his nerves. Surely, he'd go insane if he were given any more D-rank missions.
So immersed in his thoughts, it was only until he heard his name being called that he realized that someone was standing underneath his front gates, obviously waiting for his return.
The rosette haired kunoichi gave him a smile and walked up to him. "Good morning!"
He gave no response and only stared down at her, wandering why the girl was here at such a time. The sun had not even fully risen in the sky.
"Well, see I was going to come find you a little later," It was as though she were reading his thoughts, "but I was afraid you'd set out already and I'd have difficulty finding you. I know you're an early riser so I didn't think you'd be asleep right now. I'm so glad I was right; it would have been terrible if I woke you up."
"What exactly are you here for anyway?"
"Oh! Well, about that…" she fidgeted a little and seemed hesitant to reply.
"Sakura…" his eyes narrowed. If Haruno Sakura was reluctant to say anything, it must have meant she knew it wouldn't please him.
"Iwantyoutobakeacakewithme." She shot out, and immediately cringed, as though expecting him to explode.
However, the med-nin had spoken so fast that Sasuke had to take a few seconds to split apart her sentence. But when he finally realized what she had asked of him, he turned to her and pinned her with a most frightening glare. "No."
"Oh please, Sasuke?"
Sasuke shook his head in disbelief. He knew the girl had her sudden urges, but wasn't this a bit too absurd? Not to mention, why was he somehow included in this crazy fantasy? "Sakura, you can't just suddenly decide that you want to do something and expect me to—"
"But I already volunteered you!"
He stopped mid-sentence, and once again took a few seconds to comprehend her words, and then if possible, glared even more. "Volunteered me for what?"
"It was Ino's idea! You know it's Chouji's birthday tomorrow? So she held a meeting last night saying she wanted to throw a surprise party for him. I mean, everyone was there! Even Neji! Honestly, I don't know how Tenten and Lee persuaded him, considering he's almost as much of a rock as you are—"
He frowned at her comment.
"Yes, Sasuke, you are a rock, no use denying it. Not that there's anything wrong with being a rock—"
"Sakura…get on with it."
"Oh! Well, like I was saying, Chouji has been so kind to all of us over the years, so we decided to return the gratitude you know? Everyone started dividing up the work that needed to be done. And Sasuke, I just had to volunteer you! Imagine how it would be at the party when you realized you were the only one who didn't contribute?"
"Couldn't you have done this with Naruto?" he growled. He didn't dislike Chouji, but he had never been especially close with him either. Helping out with a task wasn't particularly a hassle, but why had Sakura just had to choose baking a cake out of all the possibilities?
"Naruto's working with Hinata." Sakura gave him a sly glance. "Wouldn't want to intrude would I?"
Sasuke grunted. He supposed her logic was right.
"Great! So now that you know the situation, how about it? It'll be fun!"
"I don't think—"
"Of course, you could decline and go on a mission instead," Sakura smirked. "I heard that old lady that lives next to Ichiraku's really needs someone to clean her four dogs."
Uchiha Sasuke immediately blanched.
Sakura's apartment was on the third floor. Despite the fact that there wasn't too much space, everything had been organized in a way that made her home seem very comfortable.
She led Sasuke to the kitchen, and proceeded to grab the ingredients from the refrigerator. When everything had been placed on the counter, she took a cookbook from the shelf, flipped to a page, and pointed at the illustration that appeared. "See this? We're going to make it. Just follow the directions."
They set to work. Sakura measured the flour and the sugar, and Sasuke grudgingly took the eggs and began putting them into the mixing bowl. Honestly, what had possessed the kunoichi to think that he of all people was capable of baking? Sure, throw him into the wilderness and let him deal with fish or wild animals, and he would be able to survive without a problem. But this, this was completely a different story. Since he was young, he hadn't liked sweets, so naturally he'd never made an effort to learn how to create the types of food he detested the most.
"There," Sakura smiled down at the mixture of white and yellow, seemingly satisfied. "We'll have to beat this before we can go any further." She reached down into the cupboard and pulled out a piece of machinery. Sasuke assumed this was the "beater."
He was prepared to watch her operate the equipment, when instead; she stuck out the whisks and signaled for him to take it. He gave her an incredulous look, but she just smiled in reply. "Sakura, you do it."
"Oh come on," she urged. "It's easy! Just turn it on and put it into the bowl."
He grimaced, and reluctantly took the electronic from her. Just turn it on, right? Showing absolutely no enthusiasm, he turned the notch all the way and as the whisks whirled to life, he jammed them into the mixture.
"No wait, Sasuke, the power's too high—!"
It was too late. Sasuke tried to duck, but
I can't believe I'm doing this. The Uchiha was in the mood for murder.
"Well, there you go," Sakura finished tying the knot to the apron and stepped back to view her handiwork. "Sorry that I couldn't find something…more masculine, but I'd rather you wear this than ruin your clothes. Luckily, everything that was in that bowl washes out easily. But just in case anything else happens, better safe than sorry."
Sasuke caught a glimpse of himself in the bathroom mirror across the hall. He looked ridiculous, clad in a frilly little pink apron that seemed to be best fit for a giggling preteen. He wandered if this had been Sakura's during their genin days…
"I'll do the beating," Sakura quickly tossed on an apron of her own, and then gave him two apples. "While I'm doing that, peel and cut these okay? We'll have to add them to the batter later."
They began their tasks, but barely five minutes into the work, a voice came from the living room. "Sakura-chan? Are you home?"
Sakura exchanged a glance with Sasuke, "I wander what he's doing here." She raised her voice for the blonde to hear, "Naruto, I'm in the kitchen!"
"I met Ino down at the market and she told me to come check up on how you and Sasuke were doing with the cake—"Naruto walked into the room, but came to a halt when he saw the sight in front of him. The groceries dropped from his hand, and he stood there, mouth wide and gaping, eyes glued to the raven-haired Uchiha. Slowly, the corners of his mouth lifted and his eyes narrowed in glee. He let out a chuckle, and then another, and before they knew it, Naruto was on the ground roaring with laughter "S-SASUKE TEME?! Y-YOU IN THAT APRON! WHAT IS THIS?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! OH MY GOD HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Sakura's eyes darted worriedly from the laughing blonde to the boy next to her, whose aura just happened to be darkening by the second. Her eyes then shifted to the knife clutched in his hand and her eyes widened. Oh god…
"HAHAHAH—WHAT THE?! Teme…uh, what are you doing with the knife?"
"AHHH, YOU BASTARD! YOU'RE CRAZY! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"
"Hmph, not if I kill you first."
Sakura swore she was ready to suffer from a heart attack. Somehow, she had managed to get Naruto out of the building fully attached and alive, and had calmed down the raging Uchiha.
"Perhaps I should chop the apples instead," she gently took the knife out of his iron grip, and pushed the cookbook into his face. "Here, I finished beating. Just add the rest of the ingredients."
They worked in silence for a good ten minutes, before Sasuke suddenly spoke up, "Sakura…when'd you learn to bake anyway?"
Caught off guard by the question, she turned to him and gave him a strange glance, "What? Are you implying I'm not girly enough for baking? Well for your information, you don't have to be a girl to enjoy—"
"That's not what I'm asking," he sounded irritated. "But you have no time to learn."
"Who says I have no—"
"You're either always on missions or at the hospital," he gave her a pointed look.
She remained silent, and seemed almost embarrassed to reply. When he kept staring at her, expecting an answer, she let out a sheepish laugh, "Well, I learned when I was a genin. You see…that is…"
"I wanted to impress you." Her voice was so quiet that Sasuke thought he was talking to the Hyuuga girl for a split second. She gave off another laugh, "Guess it didn't really work huh?"
They lapsed into silence once more, and Sakura couldn't bear to look in his direction, afraid for the reaction she'd see. Yes, she realized that her idea had been stupid, but back in those days, it seemed like a feasible way to impress a crush. Too bad the certain boy she liked just happened to despise sweets.
"…You still impress me."
She glanced sharply in his direction, but he wasn't looking her way anymore. Had her ears deceived her? No, she was sure she had heard correctly. Smiling, she resumed her work, enjoying the comfortable hush that had filled the room.
Sakura collapsed onto the couch besides Sasuke, letting out a sigh of relief. Finally, they were done! When she had met Sasuke this morning and told him to come make a cake with her, she'd never expected for it to cause so much problems!
He seemed as equally relieved as her, as he practically tore off the silly little apron and tossed it onto another couch.
"I'm sure the cake will be wonderful," Sakura said, resting her head on his shoulder. She was exhausted. A little nap wouldn't have been so bad. "Chouji will be so happy."
"I still can't see why you couldn't do this without me," Sasuke scowled, though he made no move to push her off.
"Obviously, I could have left you out," she snuggled closer. "But I wanted to spend time with you. Is that so bad, Sasuke-kun?"
Sakura bolted up from her seat. When had she fallen asleep?!
She glanced at the clock, and relaxed a tad when she realized that there was still ten more minutes until the cake was done baking in the oven. But, something else was bothering her…
OH MY GOD!
"Sasuke!" she hissed, shaking the Uchiha who had also apparently fallen asleep with her.
His eyes immediately snapped open, and he stared into her face, "What?"
"The baking powder! I didn't have baking powder!"
"Huh? Oh…I just substituted it with baking soda."
Haha...Guess they'll have to bake that cake all over again. This was actually a one-shot inspired by something that occurred between my friends. Let's just say they aren't exactly pros when it comes to baking either. Also, Chouji's birthday is on May 1st. Even though I don't mention him that often, I am actually quite fond of his character. So dedicated to Chouji also! xD