"Counterparts"
(Day Ten of SasuSaku Month.)

The day he is out of probation and is finally reinstated as a Konoha ninja, Sasuke knows that his teammates are planning something.

Naruto is smiling a little bit too widely, Kakashi's eyes aren't moving even if Icha Icha was in front of him, and Sakura doesn't let them inside her house even if the team normally ate their dinner there.

And he guesses it right.

The moment Tsunade had handed him his forehead protector, the original members of Team Seven drags Sasuke towards Sakura's house and announces that they should have a congratulatory party, just the four of them like old times.

While Naruto shoves him in his usual chair, Sasuke warily looked at the food placed on the dinner table. "Sakura, did you cook this?"

The team never let Sakura do the cooking, although they always used her kitchen. She was horrible, and ironically enough, the men in the team were considered the better cooks than her.

Sakura's eyebrow twitched. "Watch it, Sasuke. Just because you're Konoha-nin now doesn't mean I can't pummel you."

Naruto laughs uproariously. "As if we'd let Sakura-chan cook!" This earns him a painful slap, making Sasuke and Kakashi wince. After all the years they've been together, you would think that the Dobe would learn not to test Sakura's patience by now.

"Shut it, Naruto!"

"But Sakura-chaaaaann!"

"Now, now, children." Kakashi said, trying to be placating. It earns him two glares, but he doesn't give it any attention. "We still have a party to finish, so let's get along for a few hours okay?"

Sakura frowned, before taking her seat beside Sasuke. "You're not getting any cake for that, Naruto."

"What?!"

Sasuke rolled his eyes at Naruto's aghast expression. "Let's just eat, Dobe."

"Shut up, Teme!"

The dinner goes along smoothly, punctuated by the usual bickering of the three teenagers and Kakashi's dry humour, and Sasuke wonders with a pang how much of this has he missed while he was gone. The foreign but welcome weight of his forehead protector reminds him of his right to be here though, and the thought makes him participate more at the conversations.

Their banters squealed to a halt when all of them simultaneously smelled the smoke coming from the kitchen, and Sasuke heard Sakura let out a curse before dashing inside.

"Oh my God!"

The three men looked exasperatingly at each other, before following their female teammate at a more sedate pace. They find Sakura in front of her still smoking oven, looking devastated at the charred piece of lump resting on the kitchen counter.

She looked so distraught that even Naruto didn't have the heart to tease her about it. "Sakura-chan…?"

"It was supposed to be Sasuke's cake." Sakura whispered.

Kakashi forced a cheer on his tone. "It's alright, Sakura. We can always buy another one!"

Sakura mournfully looked at her former teacher before going back at the fruit of her disastrous attempt at cooking. "I was really going to get it right this time."

"It doesn't matter." Sasuke says sincerely, because it doesn't. He'd be more concerned if she got it right, to be honest.

"It was for you though." Sakura whimpers. "I was going to get one right for you."

The sight of that heartbroken expression distorting her face, reminding him of the look she once gave him a long time ago, made Sasuke's heart twinge. Sometimes, the boundless abundance with which she dispensed her kindness staggered Sasuke – he's never met anyone as selfless as Haruno Sakura.

It reminded him that the two of them were different, that they resided on the opposite sides of the spectrum.

One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good - she is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

And really, Sasuke thinks as he calms Sakura down together with his teammates, he wouldn't have it any other way.


Short, but I'm fairly satisfied with this. Can't wait for the next Naruto and Bleach update, though. I wanna see Team Seven interaction, as well as a glimpse of Rukia and Byakuya. I don't know if I can finish the whole thirty-one days of SasuSaku Month since I still haven't written the last ten days. Reviews make me inspired, just food for thought.

[Day Ten: Recipe]