"Playing Cupid"
(Day Sixteen of SasuSaku Month.)

"Why won't you ever tell me anything?"

"It's none of your business."

"Don't give me that crap, Sasuke. I'm one of your best friends; of course it's my business if you're brooding all of a sudden!"

Naruto sighed. It was one of those days, huh? His two oblivious best friends were at each other's throats again, and the two were so stupid as not to notice that they actually liked each other. Mutually, at that.

And they called him the idiot. Bah.

"I have had it with your secrets, Uchiha Sasuke!"

The blonde could only gawk as Sasuke suddenly grabbed Sakura by the shoulders, shaking her furiously while glaring at her. Naruto was alarmed – this was going bad.

"I don't want you around!" Sasuke yelled, looking angry and frustrated. "I don't want to see you! You think I like having you tagging along after me like a little lost puppy? Well, I don't like it! I don't need some silly, useless girl with me! I want you to leave me alone and not come back!"

Naruto could practically pinpoint the exact second when Sakura's brain processed what Sasuke said, and her face immediately crumpled. She opened her mouth a couple of times, but the only thing that came out was a strangled sob. Without bothering to say goodbye, Sakura turned around and ran from his house, and Naruto could hear the surprised exclamations of his parents before the door shut with an almighty bang.

He rounded up on his other best friend. He could see the remorse and guilt on Sasuke's eyes, but he still made Sakura cry. On Naruto's books, that was enough reason for him to hate a person for all eternity. "What the fuck, Teme?!"

"Namikaze Naruto!" His mother thundered, but for the first time Naruto didn't quail from the tone because he was too busy glaring daggers at Sasuke, his fist clenched on the shirt of the Uchiha's collar.

It was to this scene that both Kushina and Minato stumbled, and the ire at hearing her only son cursing inside their house disappeared because Kushina had rarely seen such a look of animosity on Naruto's face – and aimed at Sasuke, too.

"Naruto…?" Minato tentatively asked, ever the pacifist. "Please let go of Sasuke-kun."

"He made Sakura-chan cry!"

Understanding dawned on the couple, and they shot each other an exasperated look. It was an open secret that both Sakura and Sasuke liked each other, and the only ones who didn't know were the two themselves. Naruto, self-proclaimed older brother to the pinkette, have been trying to play cupid to his two best friends while chasing off other interested males.

Unfortunately, both Sasuke and Sakura seemed intent on staying as friends. Which was a pity, because seeing the two dance around each other was making Kushina's son insane.

Minato heaved a sigh when his wife shot him a look that plainly said 'Fix this!', before walking slowly towards the two teenagers and grasping his son's clenched hand.


Naruto glared before roughly shoving Sasuke off. "For a genius, you can be so stupid, Sasuke-teme."

Ino heaved a sigh of annoyance, her eyebrows twitching as she watched her friend glumly poke on her straw. Sakura had been actively avoiding Sasuke like the plague, and the bastard didn't even bother to exert any effort on apologizing.

It was their batch's graduation ball, and the Rookie Nine has immediately commandeered a part of the restaurant-turned-club. It was supposed to be a happy event, but noooo, Ino was stuck trying to cheer Sakura up while Sasuke sat brooding on a table, trying not to be obvious on staring at their direction.

Jesus Christ. Can't they see how miserable they both were?

"That's it." Ino growled.

"Huh?" Sakura eloquently said, dislodging her chin from its spot on her palms.

"You two need some divine intervention, and God help me, I will make you two admit that you like each other tonight even if it's the last thing I'll do!"

Ignoring the pinkette's incredulous look, Ino stomped into the direction where she saw Naruto disappeared to. She spotted her fellow blonde near the bar, also looking irritated at the Uchiha.

He jumped to life when he saw Ino walking towards him. "Ino?"

"I've had enough!" Ino yelled as a greeting, plopping herself beside Naruto. "Those two need help. And they need help pronto, or the miserable vibe is going to rub off on me."

"You and me both." Naruto grumbled. "I can't believe their fight this time."

Ino sighed, before glancing curiously at him. "What, exactly, did they fight about? I just heard Sakura's side of the story, and we all know Sasuke can be such an asshole at times."

"Sasuke and I were hanging around at my house, waiting for Sakura-chan and do something. I told Sasuke to ask Sakura-chan to be his date for today, and he got all broody. Sakura-chan came, and she noticed he was being more of a bastard than normal." Naruto gave a dejected sigh. "She nagged him about it, and next thing I know they're fighting."

Ino gaped, then rolled her eyes. "Christ. It's like they're waiting for the other to confess or something. If they keep this up they're going to die virgins!"

Naruto screwed his face at Ino's tactlessness, but let it go. And then he brightened. "I got it!"

Ino stared warily at the mischievous look on his face. It reminded her of his pranking days, when he along with Sasuke and Sakura had been affectionately dubbed as Team Seven by Kakashi-sensei – don't ask.

"What are you planning now?"

Naruto leaned in to whisper on Ino's ear, and she looked sceptically back at him. "And this is going to work how?"

"Trust me!" Naruto beamed. "You know my plans always work."

It was true. No matter how unbelievable and stupid his plans were, they always worked in the end. Ino decided to give him the benefit of a doubt.

"Let's hope it does."

Ino stomped her way back to where Sakura sat morosely, looking utterly gorgeous with that smashing dress but not making use of it. All because of Sasuke. Man, somebody should pay her and Naruto for putting them up with those two's obliviousness.

"You're dancing with Sasuke." Ino abruptly announced, pulling Sakura to her feet and pushing the pinkette on the direction of the dance floor.

Naruto was persuading Sasuke to dance with Sakura too, on the other side of the dance floor. Ino could see the furious conversation the two were having, but she couldn't pay attention because she had a stubborn pink-head to handle.

"Woah. What the hell, Ino?"

The blonde sighed dramatically, before grabbing Sakura's face and physically moving it – ignoring her furious protest – so that she is facing the left side of the club.

"Do you see that?" Ino demanded, silencing Sakura's complaints because she understood what the blonde was saying. "Those are his fangirls. Do you want some tramp sweeping your man off his feet because you were too scared to tell him you love him?"

"But what if it ruins our friendship?" Sakura whimpered.

"Oh Sakura, of course it's going to ruin your friendship — that's the point. You're not supposed to be friends; you're supposed to be more. Now, get over there and tell him how you feel."

This boost Sakura's confidence up, and no sooner has Ino finished delivering her speech, Sakura is already striding determinedly towards Sasuke. It seems like Naruto had finished giving Sasuke the talk too, because he was staring with single minded intensity at Sakura.

They met at the middle of the dance floor in the same moment the DJ decided to play a slow song. It was sickening, how the two stared at each other like they were the only people in the room, but it was the good kind of sickening.

Naruto finally reached her side, grinning when Ino looks at him. "Think they'll find out they actually like each other tonight?"

When Sakura grabs Sasuke by the lapels and crush his mouth down on hers, Ino grins like a madwoman. "That's my girl!"

Minato and Kushina made an appearance. Yay~! Don't worry, the parentals of Sakura and Sasuke would make an appearance in the later chapters. It's just that I really have a soft spot on the Namikaze couple.


[Day Sixteen: Secrets]