Chapter Two: Frustrating
The Harunos were a small family. Mebuki was a foster child and Kizashi was the only child and his parents had passed away when Sakura was younger so holidays had once been a small affair.
That had all changed when they met Mikoto Uchiha.
Mikoto had insisted on inviting them to every holiday event and Sakura’s parents couldn’t say no to her. Sakura didn’t think anyone could say no to her when she smiled so sweetly at them. After a while it became tradition that the Harunos and Uchihas celebrated together. The Uzumaki-Namikaze family would usually join them if Minato Namikaze didn’t have some sort of function his family needed to attend.
Which was why Sakura was currently standing in the middle of the Uchiha’s family room dressed in a semi-formal sweater dress cradling a mug that wasn’t filled with tea.
“You’re not fooling anyone,” Sasuke scoffed, standing next to her by the fireplace with his arms crossed. Sakura snuck a glance at his forearms, cursing his habit of rolling up his sleeves to his elbows.
No one is supposed to look that good in a sweater vest.
Sakura just rolled her eyes and offered her mug which he accepted and took a swig of it’s contents. The two of them had been sneaking drinks at family functions since they were sixteen. The only person that knew of it was Shisui who had offered them their first taste of alcohol. The only other person their age and a minor at these events was Naruto but he couldn’t handle his liquor and would have ended up face down in his dinner if they let him have any so they had to keep it a secret from him as well or he would out all three of them.
“Alright everyone,” Mikoto sang out cheerfully. “Time for dinner.”
She and Izumi and Mebuki were carrying out the last of the dishes to the table while everyone else filed into their seats. Sakura took her seat between Sasuke and Shisui, the seat she always had since they joined the adult table at Thanksgiving.
“So how does it feel to be back at school?” Fugaku directed his question to both of the teens who had just come back home after starting their third semester, second year at KU.
“It’s great. My studies keep me so busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It will all be worth it when I stay on the Dean’s List,” Sakura replied with a polite smile. She continued to beam at everyone as she stomped on Sasuke’s foot after he made a derisive sound under his breath.
Her answer was genuine despite whatever Sasuke thought. He was always accusing her of being a suck up and trying to please everybody, especially the adults in their families. Yes, she liked making them happy and proud of her but she wasn’t going to lie to them to get the results she wanted.
She was a horrible liar anyway according to her best friend Ino. Although what Ino usually accused her of lying about wasn’t about her study habits.
Sakura tightened her hold on her arms so that they were drawn closer to her body. With so many people sitting around the table it was hard to keep herself from brushing her arm against Sasuke’s arm. Hard to keep herself from feeling the heat that radiated off of his body and the firmness of his muscles.
It was unfair. She was suppose to be above being affected by physical appearances. She was suppose to be above crushing on her next door neighbor.
Sasuke Uchiha frustrated her. It was such an odd relationship. The two were always trying to one up each other. Sure Naruto was his rival when it came to sports and growing up they had━mostly one sided on Naruto’s part━stupid competitions but the only one their families acknowledged as his rival was Sakura even though it wasn’t intentional.
It was mainly due to the fact that Sasuke cared about academics more than extracurriculars.
Still…you don’t get guns like those from sitting behind and staring at a computer screen.
Sakura took a gulp of water, sneaking a glance downward, her pale lashes hiding the way her eyes turned downcast to take in the contours of Sasuke’s hands as he gripped his fork and glass. He always had such nice hands. Large and strong with a delicate touch that he used to build computers and a range of other things she couldn’t wrap her head around.
Sakura’s focus was moved up to his face as Sasuke used the hand she was watching to push his black, rectangular framed glasses up the bridge of his nose. Sasuke noticed her gaze on him and raised an eyebrow. Sakura glared at him and then turned away, attempting to be swayed away by whatever it was that Shisui was explaining to her father.
Yes, Sasuke Uchiha frustrated her.
“Oh Mebuki, I must show you the mirror that Sasuke made me. It’s so fascinating. I can get ready for my day and it displays the time, weather reports, and even the news for me. This morning it told me ‘Good Morning Mikoto’ as soon as I approached it and leaves blew across the surface to show it was windy outside! It was so cute.”
“So that’s what the nerd brought home,” Shisui laughed, reaching around Sakura to playfully punch Sasuke in the arm.
And suddenly the conversation was about Sasuke. He didn’t contribute, just continued eating and acting completely unaffected by the praise from everyone at the table as they discussed how he had made the Smart Mirror for his mother. He only bothered to answer questions from his father when Fugaku forgot a step that Sasuke had previously explained.
Sakura huffed, resting her chin on her fist, as Sasuke made something she would never have been able to figure out sound like it was as easy as learning to tie one’s laces. They both came home with almost perfect scores on their recent tests and papers, but Sasuke also showed up with a fancy mirror that he programmed for his mother. Typical.
Sakura was curled up on her couch with her laptop going over lecture notes when her mother started calling her name.
“Yes?” Sakura shouted back from her spot without looking away from her laptop screen. Her mother remained quiet, refusing to respond. Sakura groaned and set her laptop aside. Her mother wasn’t going to tell her what she wanted until she joined her in the kitchen.
“Yes?” Sakura questioned but as soon as she entered the kitchen her mother thrust a wooden crate filled with ingredients into her hands.
“Mikoto really liked the pumpkin cream cheese roulade we took over the other day and wanted to make it for her in-laws. I have to go help your father in the shop today so I need you to go and help her make it.”
“No buts.” Mebuki raised a finger up and narrowed her eyes at Sakura. “All you’ve done is look through your notes and books. It’s supposed to be a break, now get out of the house.”
Sakura slipped on her fur lined boots and marched across the shared yard over to the Uchihas. She set the crate down and rang the doorbell.
After a moment of waiting the door swung open but instead of the pretty older woman, Sakura was at eye level with a minimalist circuit board tattoo on a defined left pectoral.
Really? I know he’s home but does he have to be shirtless?
“Are you going to say something?” Sasuke crossed his arms in front of his chest which caused his muscles to become more pronounced. Sakura narrowed her eyes at him. There was no way he wasn’t doing that on purpose.
“I’m here to bake with your mother.”
“Of course you are.” Sasuke bent down and lifted the crate Sakura had brought over. Without another word to her he turned to walk back into his house, leaving Sakura a good view of the defined muscles on his back. He was just so frustrating.