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Sakura's Love Types: Alphabet Challenge

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Abscond verb : run away and hide

“Sorry, I’m late guys,” started Kakashi-sensei again, “you see there was this little old lady trying to cross the street and I just-”

“LIAR!” Sakura’s shout rang in chorus with Naruto’s automatically now. Team 7 had only officially been formed for a few months now, but some things had quickly become routine. Seriously, Kakashi-sensei had to be the laziest, most infuriating teacher in the whole village. He was late to every meeting and every mission and every everything. And he always had the worst excuses! The village wasn’t that big, how many little old ladies could there be?

With a team like hers, Sakura was ready to rip her hair out. If Kakashi-sensei wasn’t bad enough, she had to contend with Naruto too. The baka just didn’t give up. Every other sentence was “I’m going to be Hokage, believe it!” or “Sakura-chan wanna get some ramen after practice?” She was starting to feel bad about constantly turning him down, but after one team outing to Ichiraku Ramen she was mentally scarred enough. Really, he didn’t even chew! He was just like a black hole that never filled.

Not even being on the same team as Sasuke-kun was making it worth it anymore. He didn’t pay any attention to her, not even when she changed up her hairstyle or flirted with him. Not that she was going to tell Ino-pig that any time soon. She’d never let her live it down.

Ino was so lucky with her team. She’d known Shikamaru and Choji since they were in diapers. They may not be as awesome as Sasuke-kun but they were her friends. Sakura felt pretty lonely most days with her team. Sasuke-kun wasn’t one to talk and Naruto took any kind of communication as incentive to flirt with her. Moreover, there was no way she was talking to Kakashi-sensei.

He was just so weird! He always had his nose in that weird book of his and he tended to give off the weirdest, most un-manly giggle she had ever heard. From the sight of the warning label on the back of the book, she didn’t even want to guess what that pervert was reading. She guessed that was another one in favor of Ino. Ino’s sensei was actually cool…and he was kind of cute.

Sakura let out a small giggle as she leaned back on the railing of the old bridge of Team 7’s usual meeting place. She took a minute to glance over at her team. Seeing that Naruto and Sasuke-kun were arguing again and that Kakashi-sensei was buried in his book again, she took a moment for herself and daydreamed some.

Asuma-sensei was tall, dark, and handsome to the bone. He looked just like some of her favorite movie stars! He had a full, dark head of hair and those warm chocolate eyes. Sakura mentally drooled. She loved a man with deep, dark eyes that you could just drown in. She felt a little guilty for thinking of someone other than her dear Sasuke-kun, but it wasn’t her fault.

Sasuke-kun would grow up to be very handsome and manly, she was sure of it. She just needed a little something to boost her young fantasies till then. Thinking of Asuma-sensei was just the bolstering she needed, that’s all. He was so handsome and so caring! A double-knockout, who could resist that?

She’d seen Ino’s team around the village and Asuma-sensei was always on top of things. She bet Ino never had to wait two hours for her sensei to show up to practice. And Asuma-sensei seemed so attentive; Sakura would bet that Ino never got left on the sidelines during practice or on missions. Meanwhile Kakashi-sensei probably wouldn’t notice if she dropped dead. Sakura let out a rather un-lady like snort at that idea.

“Yen for your thoughts?”

Sakura jumped at Kakashi-sensei’s low drawl from beside her. Moving quickly, she took a step back from her sensei while turning to face him.

“Uh, sorry! It’s nothing, Kakashi-sensei,” stammered out Sakura. “Did you need something?”

“Just wondering when you would think it best to break up those two?” Kakashi gave a vague gesture to the still arguing Naruto and Sasuke.

“You’re our sensei, shouldn’t you do that?”

“Oh, but Sakura-chan, why would I do that when you’re so much better at it?” said Kakashi-sensei giving his stupid eye crinkle.

Sakura gave a snort and made her way over to stop her teammates. Knowing her sensei, he was just being lazy again. She’d have to abscond with her thoughts of a tall, dark, and handsome sensei some other time until she was done dealing with a lazy, perverted sensei.

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Backwoods noun plural: remote or isolated place

Baki knew he had found the backwoods of Tea country when the only “public” building he could find for miles around was a rundown tavern. Still it was better than nothing. After two days in the pouring rain, he was tired and grumpy. He wanted nothing more than some warm sake and some warm food. Ten minutes out of the rain wouldn’t be so bad either, he thought with a harrumph as he trudged into the tiny tavern.

Looking around he found the place to be completely deserted except for the barkeep and one customer seated at the bar. From the customer’s small form and the shock of pink hair sticking out from beneath the dusty traveler’s cape, he had a feeling that this was no stranger seated before him.

“I wonder what the Hokage’s prized apprentice could possibly have done to be sent so far from home in such dreary weather,” he called out.

The cautious bright green eyes that turned to regard him confirmed his suspicions that this was indeed, Haruno Sakura of Konohagakure. As he pulled back his own hood and sat down beside her at the bar, a smile of recognition blossomed on her face. In that moment, Baki couldn’t help but think that her smile put her namesake to shame.

“It’s good to see you again, Baki-san,” Sakura said with a smile. “I’m just returning from a medical mission in a village a few miles east of here. Some new bacterial disease had sprung up and Tsunade-sama insisted that we investigate. I volunteered just so I could get out of the hospital for a while,” she spoke with exhaustion but there was laughter in her eyes.

Baki gave a slight nod in understanding to her statement. He had no doubts about her busy schedule. Her role in saving Kankuro-sama’s life had given her quite a bit of fame and following within in his village. Her subsequent later trips to check on the puppeteer’s progress and to share medical practices with the Suna medic-nins had only furthered his own respect for her. During those trips he had been assigned as her escort and just a few days of watching her work had left him exhausted.

As he listened to her babble about some new medical herbs she wished to share with his village’s medic-nins, he couldn’t help but think of other things he’d like to do with her that would leave them both exhausted. She was young and vibrant with a smile that shined like the dessert sun.

After having seen her fiery temper before when she was dealing with some green-eared medics, he really couldn’t help but wonder what she’d be like in bed. If only he was ten years younger and didn’t care about inter-village politics. A stolen night in the backwoods with the Hokage’s beautiful apprentice would be so worth it.

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Cabana noun: shelter at a beach or pool

“Want some chips, Sakura?”

“No, Choji, I’m good,” said Sakura to her boyfriend of 3 months. She cuddled into his side, snug in their hammock in the cabana by the beach. She was glad to have some private time with her boyfriend finally, but she was so comfortable and warm that she was beginning to think she might fall asleep any minute…

Choji looked down to see that his girlfriend was out cold. Actually, that wasn’t all true. She was quite warm, but she was definitely asleep. He didn’t mind too much though, she was adorable wrapped up in her beach towel in his arms. Leaning down he gave a shy kiss to her forehead and pulled her closer. When her only response was to wrinkle her button nose and bury her face into his arm, Choji decided a nap wasn’t such a bad thing at all.

A few hours later Sakura woke up to a setting sun and her boyfriend’s gentle bear hug. Leaning up she laid a gentle kiss to his jawbone and giggled when he sleepily blinked himself awake. After Choji gave Sakura a quick kiss to the forehead again they did their best to carefully untangle themselves from each other and the hammock. When they eventually ended up in a pile on the sand beside the hammock they did their best to not laugh too hard.

“C’mon Choji,” said Sakura as she reached for her boyfriend’s hand, “I’m still not sure how we got into that thing. Let’s go for a walk.”

“Alright Sakura,” Choji said softly. Even after three months of solid dating, Choji was still a little shy about things and more than willing to let Sakura take the lead. He wasn’t a guy who dated around a lot and this was really new to him. Still little moments like the ones in the cabana were starting to improve his confidence as proved by the arm he slipped around Sakura’s waist as they walked down the beach in the setting sun.

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Dais noun: raised platform

The soft shuffling of packing came from a bedroom. A young woman wiped her tears off as she gathered her belongings together. When the front door clicked open she stiffened and then began to move at lightning speed. She didn’t care if he heard her. The boxes in the living room would be enough to tell him her decision. She could hear his footsteps nearing the boxes now.

“Sakura!” Yep, he had found them. She began to pack even quicker.

“What’s going, yeah? There’s a bunch of boxes in the living room,” he came around the corner into their-his, yes his now, bedroom. This wasn’t her home anymore. Not once she finished packing. She moved to the closet to get the rest of her clothes.

Her emerald eyes stayed focused on the closet in front of her. She did not want to turn to face the blond man. One look from those blue eyes and she’d break and that was something she just couldn’t afford to let happen. No matter how much she loved him or how much he loved her, this just wasn’t working. They were too different.

“Are you leaving?” His shout came out like a bang. “You can’t just walk out! Were you even going to tell me you were leaving?”

“One of us has to go. This isn’t working Deidara,” she kept her voice firm as she carried her clothes to her suitcases, avoiding his eyes all the while.

“What do you mean it’s not working? So we had a fight, Sakura! We always fight!” He came up behind the petal-haired woman and spun her around to face him.

She flinched away from him, turning her head. He hadn’t hurt her. Her sweet Deidara wouldn’t ever physically hurt her, but she had hurt him and the pained look in his eyes was more then she could take.

“That’s the point Deidara,” her trademark temper was finally surfacing, “we always fight.” Sakura pushed away from him and grabbed the last of her things shoving them into her suitcases.

She began to drag them out into the living room still arguing with him, “We always fight. No matter how many times we apologize and start over, we always fight. We’re not even fighting over anything when we fight. We fight over the most pointless crap and I’m tired of it.”

“Who gives a damn if you’re tired?”

She gave no response. Just put her things in a pile and sent a text message to her best friend and heart brother asking him to come get her now and to please hurry. Too long with Deidara and she’d break. She’d give up and stay and they’d be right back to square one.

“Please Sakura,” his voice began to break when he realized she was really leaving, “don’t go. We’ll work on this baby, I swear. Just please don’t go. I’ll do anything you want, yeah. I’ll stop working so much and I won’t stay out with the guys all night anymore, I promise.”

Sakura pushed the tears and the loose hair off her face and looked up at Deidara from where she leaned against the door. The man she had loved for three years looked unbearably broken as he leaned against the old couch staring at her. She knew a part of her still loved him, but that part of her just wasn’t enough anymore.

“Deidara,” she breathed out his name in a whisper. How was she supposed to tell him that she didn’t love him anymore? How was she supposed to tell him that, even though he didn’t realize it now, he didn’t really love her either? Or that like she suspected, they both never really loved each other ever?

After two years of on and off dating they had decided to move in together. They’d gotten a little apartment located halfway between the hospital where she was doing her residency and his art studio. They’d been so excited and in love at the time and then as time moved on…not so much.

Deidara was spontaneous and loud, something she had cherished in her early, boring years of medical school, but as she grew older and more settled, what had once been so endearing quickly became annoying. His wants and needs always conflicted with hers now. Dating an artist was a full time job and it just wasn’t something she could handle anymore.

“Sakura, please. Don’t do this, baby. I’m sorry.” If the look in his eyes wasn’t enough to make her feel horrible, then Deidara dropping his trademark “yeah” definitely was. God, he was hurting and it made her feel like such a bitch.

Still, if she was a bitch then that meant she had all the more reason to be leaving. Deidara deserved better. Even now he wasn’t blaming her at all. He’d always put her on some dais, too beautiful in his eyes to be anything less than perfect. She had adored the treatment when she was a wallflower, insecure young woman who had just met Deidara.

Three years later though and she was confident enough to admit her flaws and show them to the world. Deidara was the only one who continued to see her as anything less than perfect and it had worn her nerves thin. She was proud of all she had overcome to get to where she was now. When he glossed over it all, it hurt her in a way she’d never be able to explain.

As the doorbell rang, she realized she never would explain.

With one last look at Deidara she turned, grabbed her bags and went out the door to where Naruto was waiting. She’d send him back some other time to get the rest of her things when she knew Deidara was working.  This love was best left off without a goodbye. Sometimes closure wasn’t worth the pain it brought.

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Egotism noun: exaggerated sense of self-importance

Ebisu liked to think of himself as a humble man, but the rest of the village knew better. Ebisu’s egotism was infamous for knowing no bounds. If the Third Hokage had known what he was unleashing by assigning Ebisu as his grandson’s tutor, he would never have given the man the “honor.” Nonetheless, the damaged had been done.

So on this fateful day in May, the only thing Sakura could do was curse the Third.

A lot.

Continually.

All day even. 

Seriously, this was just creepy. First off, she was relatively certain that she was at least ten years younger than Ebisu. Secondly, why the bloody hell would he ever think he had a chance in hell with her?

Or at least she was pretty certain that was the angle he was going at here. It was very hard to tell what constituted as just Ebisu’s usual egotism and what constituted as an attempt at flirting, but the length at which he seemed to be going to impress her seemed awfully suggestive. The rapid glances he kept directing towards her breasts were also a good indicator. 

For god’s sake the man was supposed to be a ninja! She was going to be a lot more discreet when she finally managed to ditch the man. The question was how. Maybe if she walked by the women’s baths, he’d be distracted enough for her to escape…

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Finesse: noun 1. delicate skill 2. Craftiness


 

Sakura couldn't remember when this gap appeared. Maybe it was when she made chūnin and her missions started taking longer and longer. Or maybe it was before that, long before that, when Team 7 first went on that fateful mission with the bridge builder. Her parents had doted on her and loved her dearly when she was a child, but the more she progressed as a ninja, the more she lost as a civilian.

She felt guilty in a way. In chasing after her dreams, had she robbed her parents of theirs? Civilian parenting worked quite differently than it did as a shinobi. Instead of jutsu to pass down, there were cuts to kiss and tears to dry. Sakura had stopped needing their comfort after Tsunade became her mentor. She learned to heal her own cuts and tears were not something that she let herself have much of these days. No, she had had enough tears after they lost Sasuke.

But where did that leave her parents? At first, she had blessed her shinobi skills for the finesse she needed to handle living with two people who had become strangers to her. She saw them rarely and knew little about their lives these days. Slowly though, she was beginning to see that her parents had adapted a finesse of their own. She was not the little girl they had raised. She was the student of the slug sannin who walked with confidence and didn't need coddling.

So they walked quietly around her, because she was a stranger to them as much as they were to her. It broke her heart. The way her parents looked at her was so guarded these days. They never knew how to interact with her. No one wanted to let go of the past, but they had to face it; the past was the only thing holding them together. This couldn't continue. This strange unknown gap dividing them would slowly become hostile someday.

What would her parents do when she inevitably came home covered in enemy blood? Would they fear her or hate her? What would she do if they decided to move or confront her for "strange shinobi habits"? There was a war coming and, as a medic, Sakura knew the likelihood that she'd come home with a few emotional scars.

She wouldn't be much fun to be around and it could be dangerous for her civilian parents who knew nothing of post-traumatic stress. She'd already experienced a night terror or two following Team 7's collapse. She didn't want her parents to have to see the paranoia and jumpiness that tended to accompany a shinobi in post-war times.

No, a comrade would understand, but not her civilian parents. It was time to cut her family ties. Sometimes when you love someone, you have to realize they're better off without you.

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Gaudy: adjective tastelessly showy


Genma liked to think of himself as a smooth man. He was sophisticated and classy. The true ladies' man; he kept his wits about him and stayed away from the cling troublesome women as the Nara kid would say. Drawing in the dames with his confident air, he'd charm them right out of their shoes-and their panties too. His cool, collected features allowed him to walk away the morning after with no feelings hurt on either side.

So he had no idea how he ended up in a gaudy arm-wrestling tournament with half the male population in Konahagakure. He'd just gone down to one of local watering holes after a long mission with two goals in mind: sake and a pretty, willing woman. So far he had only gotten the first goal taken care of. With the way Gai was carrying on in the corner of the bar this had to be another one of his and Kakashi's competition's gone way out of hand again.

Genma had nothing against either of his two oldest friends, but Kami help him, this was going to ruin his reputation. If he backed out now, he'd look like a wimp. If he didn't back out soon, it wouldn't be any better. The bar patrons were getting drunker and rowdier. He made have been a jōnin but he was more strategy and long range weaponry then he was physical strength. He was going to end up bruised and battered physically and figuratively.

No lady was going to want a man who participated and lost in such a gaudy spectacle and with the amount of people packed in the bar tonight, the whole village would be aware of who lost and won by the next night. Hell, even the young members of the new generation were here tonight. Sakura Haruno and the rest of the girls from her generation were giggling away in a corner at their teachers' actions.

For even the Hokage's workaholic apprentice to be out to night, it had to be a bad omen for his reputation.

But if I should happen to need a medic at some point…I would be able to be treated by the prettiest one in the village.

Suddenly, Genma's night was looking up. A lost arm-wrestling match with Gai couldn't do enough damage to his reputation that a night with the Sakura Haruno couldn't fix. After all, a medic couldn't resist a patient in need, right?

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Handsome: adjective 1. Sizeable 2. Generous 3. Nice-looking


It had all started when Naruto declared that he would become Hokage. The boys in the class had teased and heckled him because there was no way some loser would ever become Hokage. He couldn't even do a simple shadow clone. One of the girls in the class had suggested a completely different reason for Naruto's inevitable failure-much to the disgust of the boys.

Naruto couldn't become Hokage because he wasn't cute. All of the past Hokage had been very cute, with the exception of the Third. It was generally agreed on by the young girls that the Third didn't count because he was too old to be cute. Besides, one of the older girls claimed, her grandmother said that the Third had been very "dashing" when he was younger, so that counted for something.

It was, of course, generally agreed that Naruto would never be cute or "dashing."

The thing they couldn't agree on was who the cutest Hokage of them all was. The arguments between the young academy girls had gotten quite heated and before long they were all gathered before the Hokage Monument. Standing in roughly divided teams they argued back and forth for their candidate.

Ino's group argued that the Fourth had to be cutest because everyone loves a blonde. Ami's group argued that the Second Hokage's exotic hair color and facial tattoos made him the clear winner. Little Sakura stood loyally by Ino's group, but she remained in the back and was rather quiet as she looked upon the monument.

I don't really think anyone is being fair here. They all look so different, how could you compare them…

Sakura paused as she regarded the First Hokage. With his more common features, he'd been completely brushed aside.

He's not cute…but…he's handsome. Yes, he's handsome! He looks kind like the Third, confident like the Fourth, and his eyes…

Sakura remembered the paintings of the First that hung around the academy. He always had the warmest brown eyes in them. Much more welcoming then the icy look that the Second was constantly portrayed to have. Sakura was quite certain that she had found the answer with her revelation.

Noticing how rambunctious the other girls were getting, she shyly decided to stay quiet. With a soft blush, she decided she'd keep the cutest Hokage for herself.


 

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Intertwined:verb twist together


For two people whose lives were remarkably intertwined, it was amazing that they had never really met before. Sakura had grown up with his younger brother for heaven's sake. Sakura and Sasuke had the same teachers, same friends, same everything when they were little to the point that they could almost instinctively know what the other was feeling.

Sakura had practically grown up at the Uchiha household. She had eaten the same snacks Mikoto made each day, often in the same room as both Uchiha brothers. In turn, Sasuke had spent plenty of time at Sakura's house too. Itachi had been at Sakura's house plenty of times to pick up Sasuke from play dates. He had talked to her parents; discussed politics with her mother and gardening with her father while he waited on Sasuke to get his things.

Yet, Sakura and Itachi had never really known each other. Sure, they shopped at the same stores, went to the same school, but never a word passed between them besides "Hello" or "Pass the riceballs, please." They existed within the same sphere, two separate entities never quite touching, but undergoing all the same experiences.

Eventually, they went off into different spheres entirely. Itachi went far away for college and Sakura remained in their little town. Not long after Itachi left for college, Sasuke and Sakura began high school. They had a falling out over stupid things, as teenagers are prone to doing, so they drifted far apart and any ties between Itachi and Sakura went dead. It wouldn't be until years later that Itachi heard again about his brother's pink haired classmate.


"So nice of you to arrive for class, Miss Haruno. Please take a seat." Itachi's head snapped to attention at the arrival of a late student. The only open seat was next to him and he was curious as to who would be late to a professional ethics class. The sea-foam green eyes seemed to pause when they met his own jet black ones. It was only when her pink hair started to wave around her as she took her seat that Itachi made the connection.

Some six years after last hearing his mother babble about little Sakura Haruno and here she was again. It was mere coincidence. Itachi was two years into a Law degree and she had to still be an undergraduate. If he hadn't needed an extra ethics course, he would have never been in this class and he would never have seen her again.

Hn.

He had heard Sasuke had been quite rude to all his childhood friends once he reached high school. Itachi couldn't help, but feel responsible. He knew Sasuke had taken his leaving hard when he had decided to go far away for college. Maybe he and Sakura could get coffee. He could apologize for his little brother.


Sakura had been surprised to see Sasuke's brother again. It was nice to see a familiar face, running late to class on the first day had been horrible.

Sophomore and top of the Pre-Med students, I really should have known better than to take an extra five minutes in the shower. It's never just five minutes. How embarrassing, wasn't Itachi some sort of genius?

She guessed he didn't think too poorly of her when he asked her to get coffee with him. When they talked for hours over Frappuccino's and exchanged numbers she was quite sure she had improved any bad first impressions.

Itachi barely lasted a day before he texted her to see if she wanted to get lunch sometime. Then one lunch turned into two and soon he was inquiring to see if she wanted to make these lunch outings into a more permanent thing. They weren't quite sure how they had never quite been aware of one another, but as they grew more and more intertwined in a whole new way there was one thing they were sure of.

It was going to be really awkward when Sasuke saw them step off the train together at winter break.


 

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Jealous: adjective 1. Feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages 2. fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions.


Jashin was king of slaughter and destruction. His followers destroyed all in his name and bathed in blood to honor him. He coveted the most destructive as his high priests. Those who would not hesitate to destroy. Those who would not stop in the face of fear or death. These men and women kept him strong with sacrifices and in return he bestowed them with special gifts.

To his most devoted follower, he gave immortality. Hidan did not use the most destructive techniques, but his devotion was sincere and given time he would pave a trail of great destruction in Jashin's name. His loyalty had won him special protection from Lord Jashin. The Destructive God kept a watchful eye on Hidan. He would not have his high priest buried alive by some vengeful child again.

When Jashin felt Hidan's aura hesitate and give a slight tremble in fear, Jashin became alarmed. His high priest did not know fear. He certainly did not hesitate. As he turned his attention to Hidan's battle he understood immediately.

Hidan was not facing some mere mortal woman in combat; this was a goddess, a goddess of raw destruction. The earth quaked under her feet and thousand year-old trees were torn from their root systems by her bare hands.

Blessed blood, she will be mine .

This woman with eyes of green fire bore no mark of any other god and that made her all the more beautiful. This destructive power was her own doing and soon it would be under his influence. She bore the headband of Konohagakure, but Jashin would see this change. The only mark that would ever be allowed to grace her again would be the one marking her as his.


 

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Knitwear: noun 1. Garments made from knitted fabric


Sakuro Haruno had been born the only child and son to an impoverished merchant family. His parents had done what they could to give their son his best shot at life. When the chance had come, they sold their tiny business and gave him enough to pursue a career as a doctor. He knew he was lucky so he had worked his ass off until he'd become a rather successful doctor. He was one of Konoha's top physicians. He was successful, he was respected.

I'm as poor as a church mouse.

In the age of good King Tsuna, lineage and family name meant everything. Sakuro was talented and he'd impressed his teachers a good deal in school, but that meant nothing because he came from nothing. He had been hopeful when he'd landed a good apprenticeship, but it all ended when the apprenticeship did. No one minded keeping him around as an extra hand, but no one was going to offer him a partnership in a practice. It wouldn't be so bad if he could just start his own practice, but no one wanted to invest in someone who was as low class as he was.

I certainly didn't have the money to start my own practice. This arrangement can't be so bad. She'll get to keep most of her money and I'll get to start my own practice. I can finally pay Mother and Father back for everything…well, if she lets me keep any of the money I make.

Knitting wasn't the manliest of hobbies to have, but it kept the hands agile and steady, good traits for a budding doctor, and more importantly, it required concentration. It was a two hour carriage ride to his new bride's manor and he needed something to keep his mind off of the deal he'd just entered into.

Lady Kazu seems…nice, -er- perhaps pleasant at least.

The curt letter that the proposal had come in had been very…efficient. Maybe it was foolish for Sakuro to have accepted the sudden marriage proposal so quickly, but he was desperate. He had been trying to gather funds for his practice for some time, but he just couldn't find a sponsor anywhere.

I still can't figure out who are "mutual friends" she spoke of are; it's not like I travel in circles that include foreign nobility. I've certainly never heard of her before.

Regardless of their supposed mutual friends, they certainly had the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. The Land of Fire's laws were not kind to foreigners. If Lady Kazu didn't marry a man with birth-right citizenship, she would be required to forfeit her manor and lands surrounding it. She hailed from the Land of Waterfall and had only inherited the manor when a distant cousin had passed away.

She said the manor was rather profitable and that's why she wanted to keep it, but seriously this prenuptial agreement seems ridiculous! Just how profitable is this place? How rich is she?

Lady Kazu had agreed that if he married her, she would give him the funds to start his own practice. He just also had to sign a prenuptial agreement that, essentially, said that in the event of divorce,

I'll still be as poor as a church mouse and she'll get to keep everything. Oh yeah, and she gets to be in charge of all of the money during our marriage. I hope she'll be willing to allow me an allowance for knitting. Depending upon how tight she is with the purse strings, I may have to make my own clothes to survive the winter!


 

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Limber: adjective 1. (of a person or body part) lithe, supple noun 2. warm up in preparation for exercise or activity, especially sports


Lee was in love (Or perhaps, it was lust, but that's not very youthful). Haruno Sakura was a new dance instructor at Gai-senei's gym. She had just started work over the weekend and Lee had not yet had a chance to formally meet her. He'd been out of town for a week at a competition. Yet as he watched this new dance instructor limber up across the gym, Lee was overcome...with love! (Definitely love, not lust. Lust isn't youthful!) Lee was determined to make Sakura his girlfriend...as soon as his spandex stopped being so tight.

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Madness: noun the state of being mentally ill, especially severely.


It was an accepted fact that madness was a state of nirvana for Madara. This fact did nothing to ease Sakura's mind. It did not make him seem less intimidating. It did not make her feel less threatened. It did not tame the gleam in his eyes. It did not stop his eyes from following her around the gala.

Madness was nirvana for Madara. It was his realm where he exercised complete controlled and thrived in the chaos. It was his kingdom and he its king. Sakura was determined that she would not become his Queen.

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Necromancy: noun the supposed practice of communicating with the dead, especially in order to predict the future.


Kabuto was a freak. He was deranged and unstable. His perverted use of jutsu had left scars in the minds of the shinobi long after the war. Even for those whose loved ones had never had their eternal slumber disturbed by Kabuto's perverted jutsu.

Neji had never actually been one of the undead, but the scars from the war twisted him into one in nightmares every time she slept.

No one had ever known of their time together. The secrecy had not originally been intentional.

Lady Tsunade had sent them on the occasional mission together and they had developed a camaraderie of sorts. Two tired teenagers coming back from a mission late at night under a moonlit sky had shared a brief kiss on a whim. Then there was a kiss in the dusty section of the library archives. A long hug after a day of angry demanding elders. Another kiss when sparring got too physical. And then the war came.

Rush, Rush, Rush

Missions picked up, teams were re-structured, and they lost touch.

Rush, Rush, Rush

They hadn't yet gotten to talks of "being official" or going on a real date. They hadn't discussed the complications of Lee's old crush or of everyone's expectations of a future with pink-haired Uchihas. Now the war was done and he was dead, never to return.

Except in her dreams.

Her dreams of sweet faded memories that turned into nightmares every time, without fail. Where Kabuto was the twisted necromancer and Neji chased her with questions of what if.

What if he'd lived? Would they have gone official?

What if they'd told their friends? Would Naruto stop asking her about Sasuke?

What if she told their friends now? Would they understand? Would they hate them (for giving up on Sasuke; for hurting Lee)?

What if these sleepless nights killed her?

Their friends were asking questions about the bags under her eyes. There was talk going around town that Sasuke's biggest fan-girl was avoiding him. Naruto kept asking why she didn't seem happy. Sakura just wanted to ask what ever happened to easy, lighthearted teenage romance.

Chapter Text


Oral: adjective word of mouth; spoken rather than written. 2. of or relating to the mouth.


Of all of her boss' business partners, Oto Orochimaru was the most disturbing. There was a faint hiss when he talked, he kept a large pet snake in his office, and he moved without making a sound. Orochimaru could get under anyone's skin and shed his own in an instant. There was nothing normal about the man. He oozed sin.

And goddamn, if it wasn't the hottest thing Sakura had ever come across.

She prayed that she died quickly if anyone ever found out that she found the man attractive. He was slimy as an eel and two-faced did not begin to describe the number of masks he wore. But that tongue. (Also the booty, BUT the tongue!)

For some reason, the man had an obsession with sweets, particularly candy canes. Christmas had never been so naughty. She had to freaking call in sick on the days Tsunade had meetings with him because she damn near got caught ravishing him with her eyes. He was giving her some kind of kinky oral obsession.

Though...

His equally slimy, but far less attractive, assistant may have already caught on to her problem. He seemed to make sure there was always peppermint treats tucked into his boss' suitcase.

Rank Bastard


 

Chapter Text


Pliable:adjective 1. easily bent; flexible. 2. easily influenced.


There was a hen in his rooster-house. How unusual. And how daring, she was in his chair after all. Draped over it, really. Built like a tiny tank she lay across the piercing bed like an Aztec sacrifice. From his view in the backroom, Pein could map out the lines of tight corded and bunched muscle beneath her skin.

Her hair was a pink waterfall against the reclined leather piercing chair. He took a quiet step out of the backroom to get a better look. The way she had her arm draped over her eyes made it hard to tell, but it looked like she had the same haircut he did. Shaved on both side with the top grown out like the human-version of a rooster's comb. She was a tiny fighting cock, but that didn't explain where she had come from.

Cautiously, he quietly stepped closer to her just as Konan came from around the corner.

"Oh, Pein. There you are," breathed out Konan.

The tiny fighter snapped to her feet. Pein locked eye contact with her, but spoke to Konan.

"I was in the backroom."

"Ah," Konan nodded in understanding, "I brought my little mouse today. I'm trying to talk her into some piercings."

He watched with fascination as Konan reached an arm out to fold the tiny fighting cock into her side. With a single touch, Konan turned a solid tank into a pliant mouse. His sister never did cease to amaze him.


 

Chapter Text


 

Question: verb 1. ask questions of (someone), especially in an official context 2. feel or express doubt about; raise objections to

Queer: noun anyone who a) wants to identify as queer and b) who feels somehow outside of the societal norms in regards to gender or sexuality.


I do not fit. I do not belong. I don't want these thoughts in my head. I don't want these feelings in my heart. I don't want to question every single interaction I have. I don't want high school to be the biggest lie of my life.

But I don't understand why seeing Konan-sempai makes me feel so deliciously queasy. Why does Haku-san's soft, gentle smile makes me light-headed? Why is there a new kind of frustration building in my gut when I fight with Ino? Why one day I want a wardrobe of tight shirts and ruffled dresses and the next day I want baggy jeans and printed tees? Why I can't decide who I'm more jealous of in Tenten and Neji's relationship?

I hate high school.


 

Chapter Text


 

Rally: noun a competition for motor vehicles in which they are driven a long distance over public roads or rough terrain, typically in stages and through checkpoints.


Raido felt groggy and achy when he woke. He was disoriented and couldn't quite place where he was at first. The damp, greasy smell of oil and car grease became his first clue as it immediately assaulted his senses. As he shifted around he could hear the metallic clang of spare car parts by his feet and he was certain there was a wrench poking his thigh.

Years of growing up with Genma helped him to identify the snoring lump across the room. As his vision cleared, he began to identify the storage room they were in. Last, he remembered, they had been guarding the old warehouse where the Konoha Gang stored the spare parts and cars between rallies.

As he recalled, the night had been pretty uneventful. They had taken over guard duty, dismissing Koetsu and Izumo early in the night. Raido couldn't remember any weird sounds or suspicious activity...At least he didn't think so, but the throbbing in his head made it hard to think. It was like the worst hangover he'd ever had and his mouth had that odd cottony taste to it.

Gingerly sitting up, he began to try and think of what had happened after dismissing Koetsu and Izumo. He was relatively certain the first hour or two had been quiet...but then Genma had started to not feel well. With his head and stomach hurting, Genma had gone to lay down in the back room. Raido was pretty certain he recalled the next half an hour going well...and then little Haruno Sakura showed up.

His memory was a little fuzzy, but Raido was pretty certain that she had been pretty drunk...Yes, she was drunk. Very drunk. With a large (half-full) liquor bottle in her hand...She was also upset. He remembered that for sure. She had been complaining about feeling lonely and she'd obviously been crying. From what he could remember, he had let her come in and keep him company after just seeing her face.

He had felt bad for her. Everyone did. After Sasuke and Naruto had had a fight last year, they'd both left and formed their own racing teams. Sakura had refused to take sides, but had ended up lost a drift. There didn't seem to be any need for her in the crew. Honestly, Raido couldn't remember what she did for the gang when the boys were still around. Barely anyone had seen her unless Naruto hunted her down and dragged her along it seemed.

She was just a lost little tag along and Raido had always had a soft spot for the sweet innocent type. So he had let her keep him company...and he finished the bottle with her, partially to keep her from drinking herself to death and partially to look down her shirt every time she passed the bottle over. Tipsy and stumbling everywhere, Sakura had asked him questions about the parts and the warehouse. Raido tried to remember more but the more drinking he remembered the fuzzier things got. The fuzzy memory was becoming a bit alarming, because he was certain it couldn't have been enough to knock him out. He wasn't a lightweight like Iruka!

But here he was sitting in a storage room with a headache that could only come from a major hangover.

Or from being drugged.

"God damnit," cursed Raido. Lost little tag along, my ass!

They were drugged, Sakura was gone and all the parts she had been looking at were gone too.


 

Chapter Text


 

Sue: institute legal proceedings against (a person or institution), typically for redress


"What do you mean she's suing me?"

Sasori's voice came out quick and sharp like a scorpion's sting. Deidara cringed and leaned back as far as he could while handing over the notice to his partner. As soon as Sasori snapped the paper away, Deidara leaped back and inched his way to the office door. His favorite past time may have been annoying Sasori, but only when it wasn't one hundred percent likely to get him killed in the process (a 50/50 ratio was much more preferable).

"Haha," Deidara's chuckle sounded nervous even to himself as he tried to defuse the situation. He liked actual explosions, thank you very much. He did not like it when Sasori exploded. Call it artistic differences if you must, but if he's going to die, it's going to be instant and fiery and big...not slowly and painfully by Sasori-No-Danna's own hands.

"Danna, what did you do to her?" Deidara jumped back when Sasori turned a sharp glare on him.

"Not-Not that I'm saying you did do anything to her! It's just Haruno was one of our best workers and then she just quit-"

"Quit? She didn't quit, I fired her." Sasori's irritated look did nothing to ease Deidara's surprise.

"What? But Danna, whhhhy? She was invaluable-when you said she wouldn't be working here anymore, I figured you meant she got a better job offer by another company."

"And she'd just leave with no notice? Don't be stupid, brat. Haruno is a professional. She wouldn't just leave without giving a proper two weeks' notice."

Deidara felt like his confusion had brought him down to Tobi's level of stupid. (This being the same Tobi who had managed to jam the copier twice so far this week and had broken the work room coffee pot just this morning. And it was only Tuesday.) Yet, Sasori just sat there glaring at the legal notice as if it offended him to the marrow of his bones. Mentally shaking his head, Deidara squared his shoulders and readied himself to discover the mystery.

"Alright, she didn't quit. You fired her." When Sasori just gave a small grunt of acknowledgement and continued staring down the paper, Deidara raised his voice to bring Sasori's attention back to him. "You FIRED her. You FIRED our BEST worker-a very PROFESSIONAL worker."

Sasori reacted to Deidara with his usual air of dismissal and annoyance. "Yes, brat. I fired her."

"THEN WHY?" Deidara bellowed.

Sasori returned Deidara's yell with silence and a sneer that suggested Deidara was an ignorant fool.

"Come on, Danna. Why would you fire our best worker? What could she have done to make you fire her?"

"She didn't do anything-"

"WHAT!" Sasori did not respond well to being stared at like he was the idiot but Deidara didn't care. Sasori wasn't the one who would have to find Haruno's replacement or cover her work. He had to know what had happened, if he was going to have any luck at getting Haruno to come back to work...if she first agreed to drop this suit.

"Sasori-no-danna, if she didn't do anything-why would you fire her? Why would she sue you?"

"You read this stupid thing first, brat. That should at least jog your memory; you suggested it last week yourself."

"Well, I didn't read all of it!" Deidara exclaimed as he snatched the legal notice back and scanned though it. He stopped at the words written in bold "SEXUAL HARASSMENT."

As their conversation from last week dawned on him, Deidara looked up at Sasori in utter shock. Surely, his Danna wouldn't have done anything depraved to Haruno and then tossed her out like last week's trashed. At least he shouldn't have been dumb enough to think she wouldn't retaliate, right? This was Haruno. She was the one who put Zaku, last year's creepy intern, into the hospital when he tried to feel her up during the office holiday party.

"Danna, I just joked to you that she would make a good girlfriend for you because she's cute and can put up with your attitude. I didn't mean for you to-to...DUDE! You never even responded when I said that, you just shoved me out of your office!"

"Well obviously I recognized your idiotic joke had some merit. Haruno's aesthetic is odd, but it has its own charms. As for my attitude, she and I have compatible temperaments so I decided to act."

At Deidara's alarmed expression, Sasori scoffed and clarified.

"As we were leaving the office last Friday, I informed her of our compatibility and requested her presence later in the evening. She became agitated and I told her we could find another time if her schedule didn't allow for that evening, but she said that her schedule wasn't the problem-I was." Here Sasori scoffed and threw his head back like he always did when he thought others were being too dramatic.

"Thankfully, she grew more eloquent and explained herself. I wasn't the problem, our work relationship was. It would be unseemly for an employee to be dating their boss. Of course, I agreed that she had a reasonable point and that I had perhaps hadn't taken proper care of all the details for such an arrangement. I don't know why she's suing me now. She seemed pleased when I agreed with her."

Fearing the worse, Deidara plowed ahead, "But Danna, if you both agreed you shouldn't date and she did nothing wrong-why did you fire her?"

"What do you mean?" Sasori seemed perturbed. "Brat, I said I agreed with her that a boss-employee relationship was unseemly-not that we shouldn't pursue a relationship at all. As I left the building, I told her I would enjoy her company next Friday so she could spend this week focusing on finding new employment as she would no longer be working here."

"Danna, what! Did you ask her if she even wanted to date you or did you think she'd just agree and leave without her answer?"

Sasori's blank stare gave Deidara his answer.


 

Chapter Text


 

Trouble: difficulty or problem


Sakura briefly considered slapping a giant uchiwa on her forehead if only so that damn Senju would finally take a hint. It was a very tempting idea if only to see that smug smirk fall off his stupid face. Yet, the possible reactions that it could bring from the Uchiha clan made the idea significantly less appealing. Mikoto still seemed far too keen on permanently attaching her to the clan in any way possible.

Besides, you give an Uchiha an inch and they'll take a mile. Itachi hooking her up with this job was proof enough and he was one of the more sane members of the clan. Though, Sakura wondered if sane was really the correct word. It was more that Itachi's innate crazy "Uchiha-ness" displayed itself in more subtle ways.

"My damn job is the best example of that," Sakura thought again. Originally, she'd been terribly grateful when Itachi had helped her find a part-time job that worked with her busy med school schedule. She had known the Uchiha family since first meeting Sasuke in grade school. She knew she could count on them to help her, but that was exactly what had made her hesitate to ask for help in the first place.

If she'd gone to Mikoto, that dear woman would have insisted on all sorts of "help" and the next thing she'd know she'd be indebted to the Uchiha clan for life. All Sakura wanted was a flexible job that kept her nose as clean as possible. She didn't want her future career in medicine being ruined by getting tangled into the in-fighting between the great families of Konohagakure. Or their mobs, gangs, turf wars, or "business transactions."

Whatever, you wanted to call it.

Long story short, Sakura was going to be the best damn doctor ever someday. With the hospital and medical centers being controlled by several different factions, she couldn't afford to appear overly familiar with any individual group in particular.

Like the Uchiha.

Or that damn SENJU.

"Bloody hell, he's here again. That little shit, he's more annoying than Uzumaki." As Sakura peered through the stage curtains out into the dining areas, she wasn't sure whether she meant Naruto or Karin, but maybe-just maybe-she meant both.

The kami knew there was no person on Earth as infuriating as Senju Tobirama.

He was arrogant, conceited, and he wouldn't stop coming to her hear sing. At first, she hadn't even noticed him in the crowd. She was still far too pleased with her upgraded paychecks that came with her shift from kitchen work to live entertainment. Nothing could bring her down.

Until the roses came. And kept coming. And the restaurant owner suddenly became so much more pleased with her...and wouldn't stop asking her if she'd like to take her breaks out in the dining area. Or if she'd be willing to meet with some "fans" or fan, as it seemed.

The restaurant wasn't officially affiliated with any of Konohagakure's factions but Itachi had been able to influence the manager into giving her a kitchen job doing dishes and clean-up. It hadn't been bad but it was a little boring so she had taken to singing to herself to past the time. Of course, she always tried to be quiet and only do it when she was alone taking out the trash and other chores. Yet somehow, someone had heard her and then the band didn't show one night...

The rest had happened in a flash.

One night, she was doing a one-time fill in. The next time she was made the official back up for when bands didn't show. Then she was keeping a spare dress on hand and then they gave her a little dressing room backstage and she began regularly singing 2 or three nights a week.

Then that damn Senju showed up and ruined it all.

"Shit," Sakura breathed out as she jumped back behind the curtain. Like a spell summoning the devil, the arrogant bastard had turned towards her hiding spot and locked eyes with her as soon as she thought of him.

Shaking her shoulders in an attempt to literally shake off her anger, Sakura stormed away towards her dressing room to finish getting ready for her set. She liked this job a lot, but she was beginning to fear that this stupid fan boy might actually ruin it for her.

Her job paid well, was flexible with her schedule, and her co-workers were overall very nice. Sakura had very much hoped to keep this job for as long as she could. Since it was a fancier restaurant, it was in the nicer part of town that was safe with plenty of bus routes and near the library making it just perfect for a college student.

But that Senju had started asking about her! The manager had been kind enough to keep any admirers away from her (especially since they were mostly old, balding business men), but the second ranking member of the Senju Clan was a different matter entirely. The usually absent owner had started making more appearances once he heard of the uptick in influential guests his restaurant was getting-and he wasn't easily swayed like the manager.

Sakura was fairly certain the manager had grown fond of her and if nothing else, he had been proven to be easily swayed by Itachi when he had first agreed to hire her. But that damn owner! She gave a particularly vicious tug at her hair as she thought of him while twisting her hair into an up-do.

The restaurants neutrality in the town wasn't apparently something the owner held to be particularly important. He had made it perfectly clear that he had no issue with gaining the patronage of the highly influential Senju family. He had also been making it more and more obvious that he wanted Sakura to help him gain that patronage.

Accepting the roses had been one thing. Other creepy men had sent her roses before. All she had to do was ignore them. It wasn't like she even signed off on their delivery. They were just their in her dressing room when she came for work. She never took them home, never even touched them. She let the other workers take them or throw them away when they got gross.

But Senju didn't send just one bouquet. No, the damn man just kept sending them until Sakura was forced to respond.

"That damn man forced my hand," growled Sakura to herself as she tried to remain calm so she didn't stab herself with her eyeliner. He had already been troublesome enough to complicate her life; he was not going to make her go blind too!

She had sent one short politely worded note through a waiter. Just a quick, little note scribbled on an old food wrapper. Sakura had been proud, she had very nicely thanked him for his praise for singing, but that he need not keep sending flowers as she was only doing her job.

So of course, he sent chocolates next. Then chocolates and flowers. And the notes. So many little notes. Sakura was no damn fool. She hadn't needed the notes complimenting her eyes or how she dressed to let her know that he wasn't actually interested in her singing. No, she had already figured that out, thank you very much. But even another negative note from her and the manager making a few attempts to dissuade him, had not made him stop.

Of course, that was when the eager to please owner showed up and stopped their attempts at getting rid of him. She was highly suspicious of the owner's timing, especially given how chummy he quickly became with the Senju bastard. He had never taken to stopping by the restaurant before!

"Urgh," she slammed the eyeliner pencil down and grabbed for the wipes to fix where she stabbed herself. By the kami, that idiot Senju obviously thought she was the idiot.

How the hell was she not supposed to have caught onto his intentions already? He came every night she sang and only the nights she sang, as the owner had so cheerfully informed her. He requested the table closest to her every time. Hell! He had even made them move the table closer to her so he could more "comfortably" hear her.

She knew for a fact, he wasn't comfortable now. Her whole job was to give quiet soft, background noise. That's why none of the tables had been so close to her before. There was nothing pleasant about having a speaker right next to your ear.

"Oh well," she thought with a viscous smirk, "he can move closer, but I can choose higher pitches and louder songs." Sakura had greatly enjoyed his wincing when she had sung a particularly vengeful note.

But still he kept coming!

Her eyes flared at his arrogance. His notes had started being more direct as well. Notes asking if she sang anywhere else or if she wanted to join him for dinner after her set some night made Sakura wrinkle her brow in concern. She couldn't help but wonder if her fanboy was becoming a stalker. But oh those other notes! They were so insulting and offensive!

Those notes had just started coming within the last few days. Asking her if she had ever considered another career besides singing or if she knew how far she could get with her talent if she had someone with the "right" influence in her life. That blasted man! Had he really not considered that she wasn't just some dolled-up, pretty face singing for her supper? He literally knew nothing about her!

His lack of knowledge made her all the more infuriated.

The Senju were supposed to be the main rivals of the Uchiha. She'd grown up surrounded by the Uchiha; she knew how much power they had and if the Senju were supposedly comparable...That bastard had her name! He should have easily been able to find out plenty of information on her! A simple search should have shown that she was a student at the local college!

But noooooo, Mr. Fancy Pants Senju took one look at her and decided she was just another pretty face with no dreams or ambitions-or morals as the notes seemed to imply. Ugh, she shuddered at the thought of whatever condescending comment his next note would bring.

"Wait! Where is the next note?"

Sakura shot up like a jack rabbit and scanned her little dressing room. There was no new flowers and no note. He had consistently been bringing her new flowers every single time he came to her sets for the past month. She knew he was here, she had seen him. Something wasn't right.

Sakura had grown-up around the Uchiha family, damn it! She knew how to handle arrogant, conceited men! She knew how to handle powerful men with obsession disorders! Hell, she once made it through and entire family dinner at Sasuke's house with her sanity intact even after a surprise appearance by Uncle Madara.

Clan rivalries be damned, nobody did crazy like Uncle Madara did crazy!

There was no way Senju would just suddenly stop now. No, he had to be changing strategies.

Sakura hated to admit it but it might be time to call in backup if she wanted this to end with any possibility of her keeping her job. She'd call Itachi first thing in the morning. If she begged, and maybe fudged some of the facts, he'd help her. He'd either twist the owner's arm (hopefully only figuratively-Itachi wasn't usually one for physical violence) or he'd help her find a new job elsewhere.

A sharp tap on her dressing room door made her freeze.

Sakura quickly glanced around for something to use as a weapon and wondered if she could get away with just ignoring it. Surely, they wouldn't let Senju backstage? If nothing else they wouldn't want such an influential guest from seeing the less then glamorous back of the building.

"Haruno-san?" The familiarity of the manager's voice made Sakura relax and sit back down.

"Yes, sir. I'm dressed and almost ready-what do you need?"

Taking Sakura's response as invitation to open the door, the manager popped his head inside her room.

"Do you have a moment? I think there's something you should be aware of." His nervous face and shifty eyes made Sakura's gut clench and twist in dread.

"Yes, sir. Of course." She agreed to his unspoken request for privacy and gestured for him to come fully into the room and close the door.

As he entered, she caught the familiar sight of the bouquet he was carrying and gave it a viscous glare. Her glare didn't go unnoticed by the manager and his expression was stone when she made eye contact with him.

After an uncomfortable and tense pause the manager waved the bouquet and set it down near them. "From your usual admirer," he said with a half-hearted laugh.

"I see," Sakura retorted.

"Haruno-san, if you don't mind me asking, do you have...are you connected..." the manager trailed off for a moment with an uncertain look before refocusing back on her. "Haruno-san when I first met you, you were accompanied a member of the main branch of the Uchiha family. Now, a highly ranking member of the Senju family has been sending you flowers for weeks."

Sakura didn't respond. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to respond or what the manager was trying to get at.

"I had assumed that you were...friendly...with Uchiha-sama when you came in together," here there was a suggestive look from the manager that made Sakura blush a deep pink, "But then he never came by again and you've made no comments or references about him so I had assumed that any ties you had to him were gone now."

Well of course I haven't mentioned him, thought Sakura, I've been purposely trying to avoid looking like I was friendly with any of the clans. Though that's an entirely new type of friendly to now try and avoid as well.

"Then Senju-sama arrived," continued the manager, "and you rebuffed all of his attentions. At first, I thought it was because I was wrong and that you still had ties to the Uchiha or that you were trying to avoid a messy scandal if Senju-sama was only...uh, scratching an itch..."

At this point in the conversation both Sakura and the manager blushed and avoided eye-contact for a moment. Sakura wondered how much more embarrassing this situation could become as the manager let out a nervous cough and began again.

"Uh, anyway, you've continued to show no interest in Senju-sama's affections even though he is a very powerful man, as I think you would know-"

"I am well aware of who he is and the power he holds," interrupted Sakura. Fully done with this embarrassing conversation and wanting to get to the point, she clarified, "I have no interest in Senju Tobriama, his power, his money, or any of his family. I simply wish to do my job in peace and earn my way through medical school, by my own hard work."

"Ah well then, there may be a problem," the manager nervously wheezed out.

At Sakura's alarmed expression, the manager explained more.

"Senju-sama has become quite insistent in asking about you. A-A-and as you may know, Owner-san thinks his patronage at the restaurant is an important resource for publicity," here Sakura struggle not to roll her eyes as she recalled all of the times that the owner had insisted that she be nice to tht blasted Senju, "Well, they were speaking today and Owner-san agreed to shorten your set later this week so you could have dinner or drinks with Senju-sama afterwards."

"What?" Sakura was alarmed; no one had consulted her about this.

"Mhmm, yes, I told Owner-san that I wasn't sure you would be willing to meet with Senju-sama, but they were both insistent. I thought I just might warn you so you could have some time to come to terms-"

"Come to terms? Sir, this is harassment! I am not some man's little play thing and I am not going to drape myself all over that pig just to make the owner happy!"

"Well then I'm sorry Haruno-san but you'll likely be fired then. Owner-san is quite keen on keeping Senju-sama happy...I think it's quite admirable that you want to find success through your own work, but maybe you should at least consider what Senju-sama has to say."

Sakura gave the man a glare that could melt solid rock.

The managed turned to the door, but seemed to find his spine (or maybe he just lost his mind) on the way out. With a sniff he said, "You didn't seem to have an issue with accepting Uchiha-sama's aid when we first met. Now that he's seemingly gone, perhaps you should accept Senju-sama into your life."

Sakura let out a noise of indignation as the manager close the door behind him. Oh, she could punch something. She had been willing to think that the manager was trying to be kind, but she could see now that he just wanted to keep everyone else happy so he could keep his own job.

"Oooooh," Sakura let out an angry breath. There were clear differences between a childhood friend helping you gain a dish-washing job and a man (who had to be at least 10 years her senior-if not more) trying to make her his...his...well whatever he wanted, it wasn't good!

She hadn't referenced or explained her relationship with Itachi or the Uchiha clan because she didn't want it to define her or cling to her wherever she went. It was why she asked Itachi not to come to the restaurant or tell any of his family about her new job!

But god damn it! This was ridiculous. She was going to give that Senju a piece of her mind! In a flurry, she picked up the new bouquet and slammed it into the garbage.

Huffing in exasperation, she bent down to pick up the note that had fallen on the floor. Daring to flip it over, she flushed from head to toe with rage and embarrassment at the message:

Do you think you would sing better if you wore less constricting clothing? Of course, the body is never as free and relaxed as it is when freed from all earthly materials, but I know of a few tailors who could make you something suitable. Perhaps we could explore these options after your next set.

-T

The manly scrawl was firm and did nothing to hide his innuendo. In fact, it only served deeply to provide emphasis where there were key phrases that had obviously been written to draw attention. The only thing more infuriating was the unspoken fact that her sets finished late at night when no tailor would be open to "explore."

Oh, screw this damn Senju and screw everyone here. She wasn't calling Itachi. She was calling in the whole damn Uchiha Clan. She wondered what the arrogant son-of-a-bitch would do when he arrived the next night and found the entire main branch of the Uchiha clan seated at his table.


 

Chapter Text


Unicycle: a cycle with a single wheel, typically used by acrobats


As Utakata lay stunned in the dirt of the big tent, he realized that he had no idea why he had ever agreed to re-vamp his show for Naruto. Honestly, he still wasn't sure why he had left his last circus troupe to join his old friend's new group. The blonde fool was a dreamer and a charmer. Since childhood, Uzumaki Naruto had dreamed of nothing more than being the "Big Man in the Big Hat in the Big Tent" and now he was.

Naruto currently owned and ran one of the biggest, most successful travelling circuses in the five nations. He had staffed his crew with the friends that he had made from all across the land. Utakata had been one of those friends even if he didn't know what had made him accept Naruto's invite. His friend had an unusually canny way of being insanely convincing.

Utakata was a performer who specialized in optical illusions and brilliant performance art. His trademark involved using a special soap mixture to create impressive illusions and artistic displays trough bubbles that soared and sparkled entrancing his audience. He liked to think that he had become very good at his job. Of course, there's no such thing as too good for Uzumaki Naruto, so the blonde had insisted that Utakata work together with the acrobats to make his show even more of a grand spectacle.

This request was what had led to him working with Haruno Sakura. She was Naruto's childhood best friend, lead acrobat of the troupe, and the woman Utakata was hopelessly smitten with.

Honestly, his feelings for her were the entire problem. As she leaned over him, concern in her face, he briefly wondered if she would punch him if he leaned up and kissed her right now. There was no way he would have ever gotten on that damn unicycle if she hadn't been the one insisting on the idea in the first place.

He wondered if it was a concussion affecting him when he considered telling her that she'd have to kiss him better before he'd get back on that monstrosity.


 

Chapter Text

Virtue: behavior showing high moral standards


Hoshigaki-Haruno Sakura was going to the Valentine's Day Dance even if it was the last thing she ever did. For the first time in her young life, she had an admirer. A real one that sent flowers and chocolates and the cutest note ever, and god damn it, she was going to that dance!

The note in her locker had said they would meet her at the dance by the fountain and hadn't given a name. She didn't recognize the handwriting but that just meant she knew it wasn't a prank from one of the girls at school. Surely, she or Ino would have recognized the handwriting if it was. The note was romantic and sweet and maybe, just maybe, she'd finally be able to get a boyfriend.

Sakura banged her fists on her bed as she tried to think of how she could convince her father to let her go. She had her dress picked out and everything, but the pig just had to ruin it. Ino had squealed in excitement a little too loudly when they were looking over the note together. Sure enough, her father had heard them ("From downstairs, Ino! He heard you from downstairs!") and found out.

Hoshigaki Kisame had two rules in life.

1. Don't touch his car, Samehada.

2. Don't touch his daughter, Sakura.

Sure, he had no problem with her going to the dance with someone he could meet first before the dance. But meeting up with a "secret" admirer? Oh no, her usually laid back father had gone off in a rant about virtue and respect and who knows what else.

He refused to listen to the idea that he might be the problem. Think about it, what teenage boy in his right mind, would willing approach THE Hoshigaki Kisame for his blessing to take his beloved daughter to the dance?

Sakura knew her father was a good man and he was usually very calm, but that couldn't erase the other facts. Like the fact that her dad was freaking built. He was literally just a tall skeleton that someone had slapped a ton of muscle and war tattoos on. Even if a boy didn't piss himself at the sight of her father, they'd likely never last long once they heard the stories.

Sure, the war had ended when Sakura was still very young, but that didn't change the fact that The Great White was her father. He was a war hero with the skill and strength to not only rise in the ranks but to survive and make it out of the war with everything intact.

Though they were just as highly respected, Ino and Shikamaru's dads even carried clear physical signs of their time in the service. Ino's father had a limp and Shikamaru's father had a strange, constant cough that just screamed chemical poisoning.

Oh no, no boy was going to stare down The Great White.

Sakura had long ago accepted this fact, but everyone forgot-like father, like daughter.

She was going to get around her father one way or another. She was going to go to that dance.


 

Chapter Text

Womanizer: a man given to seducing women


Welcome to our city! I'll be your tour guide, allow me to impart some important facts about the residents to you.

In the city of Konohagakure, the perverts rule the bath houses. And the bars. And the streets. And the odd training field.

And the bookstores, definitely the bookstores.

As the hometown of the author of the popular Icha Icha series, it goes without saying that our village has an unusually high number of perverts for such a small population. This means that the ladies of Konahagakure must never let their guard down!

They are vigilante.

They are careful.

They are...perverts too.

Let's be real, have you seen the male population of Konohagakure? Do you know how hot it gets in the summer here? It's a darn good day to be a lady (or a homosexual male) when those boys start taking off their shirts.

But wait! We're leaving people out! What about the other women? What you say? We already covered the women? Oh no, my friend. We covered the heterosexual women. We can't forget about the lesbians and bisexuals (yes, they do exist I promise)!

(And let's be real-there's probably a lot more "-sexuals" we're not covering here. But it's rude to ask everyone invasive personal questions about their sexuality and besides...)

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE QUEEN OF BOOBIES-HARUNO SAKURA!

While Konohagakure has many lesbians and bisexuals, Haruno Sakura is the most interesting! Why you ask? It's because she carries on the perverted legacy of Konhagakure's Sannin.

Little known fact for you folks, but Jiraiya and Tsunade unknowingly switched students somewhere down the line. We're not sure how or why, but it's very likely that large quantities of sake are somehow to blame.

Regardless, these days Naruto is set to follow in Tsunade's footsteps as Hokage while Sakura works hard at the hospital where she keeps her female patients very happy (which, arguably, is very unlike Jiraiya's legacy). We can only guess that Jiraiya's residence in heaven floats above the hospital with a clear view into Dr. Haruno's office where to view can give him plenty of peace in the afterlife.

Now, we would never say that Dr. Haruno is remiss in her duties as a medical professional. It's just there have been clear reports of suspicious activity occurring in the surroundings of the good doctor's office. For instance, after seeing to the needs of certain patients, Dr. Haruno and the patients are always noticeably, significantly, happier. And what are the similarities and links between these patients?

CUP SIZE!

It's their cup size, I tell you! The bigger the cup, the happier the doctor and patient. Noticeably, the patients show symptoms not only of increased happiness, but they seem to be in a, dare I say it, post-coital bliss. Additionally, patients have exhibited soreness in their lower body, odd stains on their clothes, and a fascination that is seemingly directed towards Dr. Haruno's fingers and tongue.

In a village famed for its extroverted womanizing men, could it be that one of the more notorious womanizers is actually one of the women?

Perhaps it's true! Rumor has it that if one listens closely enough, strange sounds can also be heard coming from the office.

Quick, let's listen now! Can you hear it?

" Oh  Doctor, Doctor!"

Chapter Text

Xerox: copy (a document) using a xerographic process


Sakura was going to die of embarrassment, even if no one ever figured out it was her. But dear good god, who was her partner-in-crime? Who was the Clyde to her Bonnie? Who did she screw at the company office party?

And which one of them thought it would be a good idea to fuck on the Xerox machine- while it was on?

All she knew for sure when she came into work this morning, was that there were Xeroxed copies of her butt (with her favorite panties mostly off) making the rounds around her office. The only good thing that she knew of, thanks to the loud complaining of those she worked with, was that no one knew who it was staring in those photos...yet.

Oh and apparently if the picture was to be believed, her partner had at least been very well endowed. She wasn't really sure if that made things better, but it did explain why she had been so sore when she woke up.

Chapter Text

Yarn: spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing.


Sakura adored these quiet moment with Yugito. With both of them working demanding, full time jobs, they didn't have much time to simply enjoy each other's company. Sakura loved being wrapped up in an old blanket while she curled into Yugito's side. Quietly they sat just enjoying each other's warmth and listening to the rain tap against the windows.

Matatabi lay asleep on the floor by Yugito's feet worn out from playing with its owner earlier in the day. For once, the grouchy old cat had was content to leave them in peace and for that, Sakura was grateful. The demonic little thing had never really liked her. For that matter, Sakura wasn't sure it really like anyone. Yugito had gotten the cat long before she and Sakura had met and became a couple. At this point, Sakura figured her girlfriend and her cat were just two ends of the same string.

But Sakura was happy to put up with that damn cat for a girlfriend like Yugito. Reaching over to where Yugito was still fiddling with one of Matatabi's yarn toys, Sakura took her hand. When her girlfriend gave her a questioning look, Sakura just smiled and held her closer.

Chapter Text

Zoo: an establishment that maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public


Zabuza was going to kill his coworkers. All of them. He was going to chop them up into pieces with his biggest cleaver and then feed them to the animals. Then he would set free all of the animals in the zoo and just laugh while they took over the town.

Except he wasn't going to do that because it would be cruel to the animals.

He didn't hate animals. He hated people.

It's why he preferred working behind the scenes at the zoo. He oversaw the meal prep for a large part of the zoo's animal population. He always worked hard to make sure each animal was getting their nutritional needs met. Similarly, he made sure that his idiot coworkers didn't screw things up and accidentally poison one of the animals.

God, interns.

So here he was heading to the offices to meet the new vet…over an hour late.

Oh god, he was really going to kill the interns.

Stepping into the office, he caught sight of the new veterinarian. The new, very cute veterinarian who immediately locked eyes with him (So green)... and who was now coming at him with the ferocity of a very pissed-off lion.

Though the hair did kind of make her look more like an irate flamingo.

Ooh, but with a really nice ass. Yep, he's killing the interns...if the new vet doesn't kill him first.