and apparently, i'm not dead. what a disappointment, right? i know how you all feel. carrots and rotten vegetables are welcome. i will throw flowers back at ya. AND as a bonus, i'll even include the flower pot XD

summary: because love makes people do things. stupid things. like, lose their heads—sometimes, literally.

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lapsus linguae
[ or, the slip of the tongue ]

by charmtheheart

i. melita, domi adsum!
[ or, honey, i'm home! ]

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It was certainly a welcome.

He can feel the feathery warmth as her lips press against his, and he is shocked (when did she get here? I didn't see her there). Her pink locks (soft, ohsosoft, like cherry blossom petals) graze his cheeks as she pulls away slightly.

Ba-bump, ba-bump—his heart dances, and he notices the small hands on his shoulders, and they're just ohsowarm, and she is one her tippytoes. She breathes—he releases a breath he didn't know he had been holding—and he wishes she would open her eyes because they are what make her an open book.

"Thank you," it is barely above a whisper, and the wind seems to carry the words away but he hears them nonetheless. He drowns in jade—determined, anxious, caring, gentle, loving—and Sakura walks back to the gates. The same gates he was about to walk through a heartbeat ago (because that moment last forever and ended too soon).

The arch reads Konohagakure.

His body feels tingly in all the places she hadn't touched (like that time he'd accidentally chidori-ed himself) and it feels as though the warmth in the places she did touch was branded in his soul.

He takes a shaky step forward. And another; left, right, left, right.

Welcome home, Sasuke-kun.

She never said it.

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She doesn't talk to him. In fact, he thinks she's giving him the silent treatment. Sakura ignored him for the most part and was completely apathetic when she didn't.

He is confused to say the least. A part of him accepts the fact that she has matured, has gotten stronger, and that she isn't the weak little girl he used to play the knight in shining armor for anymore. She is a woman with a graceful purpose in her walk, confidence in her smile, and compassion in her green, green, green eyes. And yet, that doesn't quite explain why she refuses to acknowledge his presence in Konoha (because outside, she had kissed you, and said "thank you," and if she's getting revenge for that night then he WILL throw a hissy fit and kiss her senseless—)

"She hates you, y'know?" Naruto announces when Sasuke joins him. Sasuke slides into the stool to the blonde's left silently, ignoring the repulsive sounds Naruto emits when he slurps his noodles. He worries about the fact that yes, Naruto is Sakura's bestest friend other than that blonde girl, and ohmygosh she hates me, what did I do wrong? (knock her out and put her on a bench after she confessed her undying love for you, stupid), and wtf I am such a GIRL.

Not a strand of pink could be seen in the vicinity. And yet, he feels that she is always there, lingering in the background (and he knows she isn't, because he has taken it upon himself to stalk her and get acquainted with her busybusybusy daily schedule which is unbelievably busy if he hasn't mentioned it before). It has been a week since his return. Ayame automatically sets a bowl of beef miso before him, and the steam of ramen washes over his senses.

Naruto continues, "She missed you." Sasuke waits for him to finish speaking, but for once, the loudmouth remains silent.

"...Hn."

The two eat their meals in silence.

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She is a hard girl to corner, he decides. He has been tailing her for hours, and she walks a maze through the village, chatting and healing children's bleeding knees and purchasing herbs and scrolls.

And he decides, enough is enough.

He follows her into a small cafe (it's dinner time, his stomach dutifully reminds him loudly). It is relatively empty and looks chic and cutesy in a nondescript fashion. She selects a booth and automatically scans the menu.

Her eyes continue to examine the menu as he plops down on the bench opposite hers. "You've been following me." It is a statement, and he is a bit startled by the fact that she noticed, because he had masked his chakra so well, and this simply piques his interest for her even more.

He opens his mouth to counter, but he finds that his mind has gone blank, and words are failing him (he has never been good with words, anyway). She does not spare a glance at him and pretends not to notice his speechless state.

For so long she has ignored him, and now that they are here, sitting down, neither willing to back down and admit defeat, his mouth refuses to cooperate. Sasuke blinks and attempts to give his mind a restart. He can think of so many things he wants to say (why did you kiss me?; I missed you; the fact that you're ignoring me is kinda hot; do you still love me? I need to know; you look beautiful right now) and apparently, he gave his mind too much of a restart, because suddenly his thoughts are a jumble, and he is kind of feeling the beginnings of a headache.

A waitress (she bats her eyelashes at him, much to his disgust) comes to take their order. He does not pay attention to the little exchange the two girls have, and his eyes automatically focus on her plump lips. Deep breaths—inhale, exhale—and he remembers how soft she had felt against him. It was such a chaste kiss, his first kiss (he refuses to acknowledge that accident with Naruto as a kiss), and it was so mind numbing and confusing, and God, she is being annoying right now.

And the words flow out of his mouth. "You're annoying."

(YOU IDIOT! Why the heck did you say that?)

A sickly sweet smile sugars her lips at his words, and her eyes glint dangerously. "Why, thank you, Uchiha-san."

He growls at the name, and suddenly their food is here and—I don't remember ordering anything. She looks at him expectantly, and he sighs, picking up the chopsticks resting by the plate (of onigiri and tomatoes—she knows him better than he wants to admit) and splits the two pieces of wood. "Ittadakimasu," he says unceremoniously, and daintily lifts a tomato slice to his mouth(1).

Sakura rolls her eyes and silences her snort by facing her own food (tempura, with a side dish of dango—same as always). Her bangs hang like a pink curtain between them, but he still notices the small smile (nee, Sasuke, you made her smile!) and hears her mumble "stupid."

Sasuke feels his heart lift a little, because no matter what, Sakura will always be Sakura, and this Sakura is his, and she doesn't really hate him.

"What did you say?" he questions off-handedly, setting his chopsticks down and taking one onigiri in his hand. His eyes settle on her lazily, and he suppresses the smirk when he sees her cheeks tinge pink (Sakura, Sakura, Sakura, still the same naive Sakura).

"I said, stupid, tomato-obsessed, chicken-haired, egotistic, homicidal butt-face, albino, heartless jerk." She pauses, and the fake smile graces her lips once more, "That's you."

Alas, he spoke too soon.

Silence rings as he stares at her incredulously. She resumes eating and his mind reels. Maybe she has changed. Oh, how she confuses him—and he really needs to know: why is she acting as though she had never kissed him? Had she been drunk? Was that Sakura some random henge? Had he kissed some random person disguised as Sakura? IF THAT WAS NARUTO, HE WILL CHIDORI THAT DOBE'S ASS TO OROCHIMARU'S GRAVE (because he had harbored a preference for blonde-haired boys at the time of his death).

He really has to know now. "What am I to you?"

She raises a (pink, he never really noticed before) eyebrow at him. "Pardon, Uchiha-san?"

"Stop calling me that." He glares at her, and she hides a leer expertly by sipping at her milk tea with her pinky dangling snootily in the air. He knows that she is playing mind games with him, and that she is trying to trick him into admitting to the fact that he missed her. (oohhlala, little Sasuke-chama (2) has a crush!)

"What do you want me to call you then, Uchiha-san?" her eyes flutter at him innocently and he notices—her eyelashes are pink, too. And he realizes; in some twisted way, they are doing a little something called flirting.

(WTF.)

"What did you use to call me, Sakura-chan?" She frowns at the (not-so-clever) way he evades her question and waves her hand dismissively.

"YOU should know, Sasuke-kun, what is in the past is in the past."

He feels himself smirking at her words. "Oh, really? So, is the...kiss in the past, too, Sakura-chan?"

She flushes at the implication behind his words, and sputters embarrasedly, "Stop making it sound so...dirty!"

"You took advantage of me."

"Wha-I DID NO SUCH THING, STUPID!" She denies vehemently, and his mind registers that she looks like a cherry tomato with her face all red and her cheeks puffed out in a pout.

He considers her, but then something on her neck catches his eye when it reflects the light, and he frowns a bit at the white gold chain he had noticed before (while he was stalking her).

The Hyuuga pendant hangs at the end, taunting him. And suddenly, his mood darkens, and Sakura fears that she has stepped over some invisible line between them. Her eyes follow his, and she opens her mouth, but he cuts her off before she can explain.

"What am I to you?"

"Pardon?"

"What am I to you?" he repeats tonelessly, and really, she wonders what is going on in that little pretty boy head of his.

"What am I to you?" she counters, fixing him with a challenging stare.

"An annoying girl that won't answer my question." He replies without missing a beat.

Sakura winces at his answer, and suddenly, her eyes are guarded once more, and she withdraws a bit until her eyes are emotionless, but her voice still wavers. "O-oh."

"An annoying girl that still waited for me even though I literally ripped her heart to pieces. An annoying girl that would give me a second chance. An annoying girl that would explain why she has the Hyuuga clan symbol around her neck."

"Oh!" She laughs nervously, fingering the pendant, "This? Heh, well you see, when you...left, I kind of got...depressed and stuff, and then things happened, and then Neji-kun"—his eyes narrow a bit at the name—"kind of comforted me while I was trying to get over you when you tried to...kill me." Her voice is barely above a whisper now, and she was fidgeting with the necklace. "We tried, but it didn't work out because...I kept comparing you two, and...Ilovedyoutoomuch."

He pauses and scrutinizes her, and he is awed by just how much she had really changed. Gone was the girl that used to fangirl over him: this was the timid girl he had left four years ago, the girl that was honest and didn't care so much what people of thought of her and wasn't so weak anymore. She resumes eating self-consciously, chewing her food slowly and thoroughly.

"Aa. You're annoying." She doesn't wince this time, but she gives him a small broken smile, and it tears at his heart. "And I...just might hn you, too."

She brightens automatically, and he feels that he just might be able to risk saying the word just to make her happy. "Really?"

"...really."

"...really?"

He can feel his eye twitch in annoyance. "Hn."

"Really?"

He stands up a bit and takes her face in his hands and presses his lips over hers. He can feel her hyperventilating against him, and it amuses him. The kiss is just as chaste as their first one—or well, it was until he simply couldn't resist and nipps at her bottom lip and licks at it. Sakura gasps, and he can taste the milk tea, but he retreats before they can get carried away.

"Shut up, Sakura."

"...Okay, Sasuke-kun."

And a smile ghosts on her lips as they finish their respective meals.

He knows that everything will be alright, because she's Sakura and even though he messes up (he hopes and prays he won't mess up again), she will always forgive him, and really, in the end, he loves her, too.

"So, what am I to you again, Sasuke-kun?"

"...a really annoying girl that I kinda hn." He finally replies, and something about the way she is beaming at him ohsoproudly makes his ears burn.

"Oh, you're so cute."

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"Oh! Sasuke-kun, I forgot something!"

"Hn?"

She pecks his cheek and takes his hand.

"Welcome back, Sasuke-kun."

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[ naruto © masashi kishimoto / lapsus linguae (fanfic) © clarisse ]

(1) Ittadakimasu-i'm not exactly sure that i spelled that correctly. but it is something (or so my aunt, who teaches english in japan-oh, the irony-says) that japanese people say that before meals that can be roughly translated into "thank you for the food." anyone who has watched enough anime will know this by now, because...they do it all the time XD

(2) little Sasuke-chama-you see, one can baby-fy honorifics. "chama" is a baby-fied version of "tama," which is a baby-fied version of "sama." so "chama" is a cutesy and somewhat degrading honorific.

and that's a wrap! don't ask where that next-to-last bit came from. it sounded better in my head while i was being an insomniac last night. it sounded better the first time i typed it, and then the computer erased it. autosave is a dear. milk tea is love!

so this is my debut piece...kind of. candy hearts is actually supposed to be my debut piece, but i'm still working on it. it's literally a monster, oneshot that it's supposed to be. word count is currently...5,000...?

i have no excuses. to not writing. and um, to all my old VK readers, you know the stories I deleted and planned to rewrite? my dad was a butt and deleted everything on my laptop. blame him. i don't remember half the things i wrote. so, umm, sorry, and hopefully i'll actually post the things i write.

AND added to that, my mum became preggo. ANY BABY BOY NAME SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME. especially ones that start with a "C."

candyheartstyouall!

clarisse