title: Road to Sakura
pairing:
possible eventual SasuSaku.
summary: She only just realized how wrong she had been. Her negative feelings had blinded her. These two hadn't been out to get her, but rather they had been there to support her. They stuck with her, despite her nasty insults and snappy retorts. They truly were her friends, and she couldn't believe it took her this long to realize that. Well . . . it's better late than never, she supposed.
notes: Well, this is the first time that I actually did something for SasuSaku month... It's not much (I don't think there's much SasuSaku in this either), just a chapter that fits into Day 2's topic. I actually had this chapter planned out before today, but it fits nicely with the topic, so I tweeked it a bit. Sorry I didn't update last week, but last week was graduation and Rutgers orientation for me. Orientation was the best, and I encourage everyone who's going to college to attend their college's orientation too. It's a great way to make friends and get to know the college/university better. And without further ado, enjoy this chapter.
notes 2: I am pretty sure that most of the chunin exam arc will focus more on Sakura's growth as a person, so bear with me, peoples! This chapter is going to have some character reflection! Just a warning... But I think I made this chapter sorta crappy... Tell me what you think of it please.
notes 3: Lyrics from ayumi hamasaki's Too Late (see what I did there? Happy SasuSaku Month, fellow SasuSaku fans!)

°∴✿° ·°✿∴° .·°∴°·. °∴✿°· °✿∴°

Road to Sakura

"Faster than everyone,
You even pass the wind.
Higher than everyone,
You even pierce the clouds.
Even if you live too quickly.
"

She found herself cheering along with the crowd, her heart thumping and her blood pumping as the fight between her two teammates continued. It was a great fight. Both boys were giving it their all, although this may not have been that great of an idea, considering that this fight may be determined by endurance rather than power. And given that they were both her teammates, Sakura just couldn't decide who to cheer for. One minute, she was cheering for Naruto ("Yes! Go, Naruto, go!") and chastising Sasuke for a bad punch ("You call that a punch, Sasuke? I've seen old ladies who could do better than that!") and, the next, she was jumping with joy when Sasuke managed to land a good kick ("Yes! Now that's what I'm talking about!" )and reprimanding Naruto for using his Sexy Jutsu in front of so many people ("Naruto, you idiot! When this is over, you better hope I don't get my hands on you!"). It was truly a sight—and Sakura was sure that everyone who sat with her thought she was bipolar halfway through the battle. But the pinkette didn't care about what anyone thought. She was having a great time, enjoying herself albeit at her teammates' expense, and cheering for the two people who mattered most to her.

Yes, that was who Naruto and Sasuke were to her, her two most important peoples... The fact that it took this long for her to notice this almost hurt Sakura. She only just realized how wrong she had been. Her negative feelings had blinded her. These two hadn't been out to get her, but rather they had been there to support her. They stuck with her, despite her nasty insults and snappy retorts. They truly were her friends, and she couldn't believe it took her this long to realize that. Well . . . it's better late than never, she supposed.

And as the battle was coming to its end, she along with the other spectators waited with a held breath as she watched her two tired boys go for one final punch. She winced when both Naruto and Sasuke landed a punch to the other's jaw and when they both flew back a couple of feet to land flat on their backs. She waited along with the other spectators to see who would get up first. Naruto or . . .

It was Sasuke who stood up first.

The crowd exploded into applause. But Sakura was the only one who noticed that, once the proctor call the match, Naruto was immediately up on his feet. The blonde had thrown the match, just so Sasuke could make his brother (who had forced his sickly body out of his home today) proud of him. Aw, Naruto... You're always thinking of others, aren't you? Sakura mused to herself as she watched as Naruto clapped for his best friend.

Her eyes then turned their focus to Sasuke who, for some reason, was staring up in her direction. Sakura wondered why that was. She awkwardly waved to him, wondering if he really was looking at her or just staring randomly at some space. She was given her answer when he waved back at her. She hoped he couldn't see her slight blush from the arena. But then he disappeared and suddenly re-appeared, squatting on the railings in front of her. He gave her a smirk that she didn't like.

Before she had a chance to ask him about his behavior, the proctor spoke, "The battle between Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura will take place after a short intermission. Participants, ready yourselves."

Sakura's eyes widened. She had completely forgotten that Naruto and Sasuke's battle would determine her next opponent and, by the way Sasuke smirked at her, Sakura wasn't so sure if she wanted to go up against him. His next words didn't calm her nerves either.

"This battle is when I will make due on that little wager of ours," he said, poking her forehead with his index finger. "And I'll show just who it is that's, as you put it, stupider than Naruto to actually like me."

And as Sakura rubbed her forehead, she found that the mischievous glint in the Uchiha's eyes was something she really didn't like.

"With the light you've sharpened,
You continue persistently
Even if the end of this path is
the end of the world.
"