Differential Chapter 11

Chapter Eleven: And So It Begins

Sakura’s eyebrows drew down and she grumbled into the pillow. She made a low whining sound until Sasuke pulled up his quilt over her shoulders. He stroked down the curve of her spine and she sighed, snuggling her face against his pillow.

Sasuke traced the line of her spine down to the cleft of her butt. He paused for a moment there and then began a path lower until Sakura spoke up.

“I’m not that tired. You go anywhere near there and I’ll punch you in the throat.”

Ignoring her, he flattened his palm and squeezed.

“Hey!” Sakura reached over and pinched his arm.

Sasuke sighed and turned his head to where his alarm clock sat. Or had once sat. The space at the head of his bed was empty, all of the items having fallen off earlier. He had probably knocked them off when he held onto the headboard to keep it from smacking into the wall.

Or when he tossed Sakura up onto the bed.

He knew it wasn’t the smartest place to perch his things but it kept him from having to hop off of his bed to turn off his alarm.

“What time is it?” Sakura murmured, rolling onto her side. She curled into him, sliding a leg between his. Sasuke drew her in closer, tucking her head under his chin. She would have been warmer if she got up to put her clothes on but she had a habit of lying around naked in the aftermath.

Sasuke wasn’t sure if he enjoyed that or not. Her nudity was counterproductive to things he wanted to get done.

“Not sure. My alarm clock fell.”

Sasuke felt her head shift against his body and then heard her snort.

“Your glasses are all foggy on one side.”

“Yeah that happens.”

“I should get going,” she exhaled, but made no move to leave. Instead she curled back into Sasuke, wrapping an arm around his waist.

It was quiet for few minutes and Sasuke was sure she had gone to sleep.

“Oi.” He shook her shoulder gently. “You can’t stay here naked. My roommate is going to come back eventually.”

Shino had been preparing a mug of something when Sasuke was pulling Sakura into his suite style dorm. Sakura was barely a foot inside when Shino was taking his mug and his cellphone and leaving. Sasuke could only assume he went as far as one of the dorm building’s communal areas considering he had shuffled out in his house slippers.

Sasuke wasn’t even sure if Shino had remembered to take his key card for their dorm. He would have to text him when Sakura left.

“I don’t wanna go back yet,” Sakura mumbled against his chest, lips brushing on his skin. “Ino and Sai are watching one of those ocean documentaries.”

“You like wild life documentaries.”

“Yeah, but Ino doesn’t. So who knows when documentary and chill will slip into the chill part of the evening.”

“Documentary and Chill?” Sasuke snorted. Leave it to Sakura to call it something as dorky as that.

“Don’t laugh, it’s cute!” Sakura insisted, slapping him lightly on the chest. “She’s trying so hard with this guy and when have you seen Ino put any real effort for anyone before?”

He had to think back to their middle school days. He wasn’t very fond of Ino but if Sakura was there then so was she. Of course it didn’t take long to realize that the girl had developed an annoying crush on him.

She had even forced herself to drink almond milk just because she thought Sasuke would like that she was considerate of his dietary needs. For weeks she suffered through dairy alternatives only to find out that he wasn’t the one that was lactose intolerant.

Then why do you drink it? It’s gross.” Ino wrinkled her nose and squirmed in her seat as if she needed to get as far away as possible from his cafeteria soy milk.

You would think they would carry more alternatives to milk considering how common it is to be lactose intolerant.” Sakura set her tray down with huff. “And why does orange juice count as one of my fruit and vegetable portions? I’m already underweight for my age group as it is without them taking away one of my sources of nutrients. School lunch is ridiculous!”

Wordlessly, Sasuke offered her his carton of soy milk. He pushed it with a finger, sliding it across the table top until it hit Sakura’s tray.

He always arrived to the cafeteria sooner than the two of them considering they always ran off to the restroom together when their Algebra teacher released them for their lunch break.

What they needed to do in the bathroom for so long he would never know.

Looking up to check that Sakura accepted the carton was a mistake. He found himself in the receiving end of one of Ino Yamanaka’s looks. The kind that usually had one of her other best friends heading in the opposite direction.

She kept her eyes on him as she bit into one of Sakura’s carrots.

“Pig! Did you not hear my rant literally five seconds ago about my weight?”

“You’re the only ballerina I know that worries that she’s too skinny.”

Rolling her eyes, she focused her attention on Sakura instead and tried to coax her into sharing one of the big chocolate chip cookies with her.

“You even have your milk now to wash it down that was sooo generously given to you by Sasuke sweetie.”

“Don’t call me that.” Sasuke stood up, pulling his legs up from over the attached stool.

There was only so much time he could spend in Ino Yamanaka’s presence. Her only redeeming quality was that she had instantly become friends with Sakura who had moved up a grade level and didn’t have any friends in their class yet.

“Where are you going?” Ino demanded. Sasuke did what he always did when it came to her and continued as if she never spoke up.


This time it was Sakura and with her it was always more difficult to pretend he hadn’t heard her. He paused in the middle of cleaning up his lunch tray and reluctantly answered the question hidden in the call of his name.


“Wait for us!” Ino continued to call after him. She was awfully persistent. Sasuke didn’t acknowledge her and just grabbed his backpack.

“Save us some seats,” Sakura chirped up, not even bothering to look up from rearranging her food on her tray in the order she was going to eat it.

“Yeah, yeah,” he answered her.

“He blew me off again,” he heard Ino complaining to Sakura. “You need to help me figure out what kind of girls he likes.”

He hadn’t heard Sakura’s response at the time. He had picked up the pace, increasing the distance between him and the girls, not wanting to hear Sakura offer her assistance.

“So what are you going to do then?”

They could clean up and go find something to do on campus. Even take the shuttle out to somewhere deeper in the city.

Sasuke had expected Sakura to avoid him when they returned to campus. It would have been karmic payback if she had decided that after coming back from holiday break that she would pretend nothing had happened.

He had prepared himself for that outcome. Sasuke spent the two hour drive back to the city avoiding taking too many glances at his sleepy passenger. If it weren’t for her sleepy sighs and half murmurs that caused his eyes to stray from the road he wouldn’t have believed she was there. Sakura could have made any excuse to avoid being trapped in a car with him, could have tried to stuff all of her things into Ino’s car and driven back with the chatty girl or even beg her parents to drop her off at KU themselves.

But she hadn’t.

“Can I sleep for like a week?” Sakura whined, shifting so that she was resting on her stomach. “I’m worn out.”

“You did ask to be worked out.”

Sakura propped herself up so she was resting on her forearms and gaped at him, mouth opening and closing like a fish.

“Th-that is not what I said!” She spluttered, cheeks burning a hot pink. “Geez..no one would believe me if I told them how dirty you are.”

“Would you tell anyone?”

“Hmm?” Sakura hummed, settling back under his quilt.

Sasuke shook his head. The afterglow was not the moment to bring up that conversation.

He watched as she curled up, making her body as compact as possible to keep warm. She nuzzled her face against his chest and sighed.

“I’m not ready for this semester at all. I have to start my shadowing hours now because I finished all of my pre-requisites last semester.”

“How many hours do you have to do?”

Sasuke curled an arm around her waist and pulled her closer. Even though it was winter he still got really warm and kept the heater lower than Sakura liked. She would whine a little and then seek out the warmth of his body.

“I gotta split it between medical related and non-medical related shadowing and then I have to do something medical related that’s not just shadowing. It’s split like ten hours and then five each of the other two categories to round up to twenty hours.”

Sakura groaned and pressed her face into his chest more so that her lips moved against Sasuke’s skin with her words.

“I have to do that every semester from now on on top of everything. I’m going to have no life!”

She grumbled softly, only easing out of her frustration when Sasuke dug his fingers into her hair and massaged her scalp. She exhaled and murmured against his skin.

“At least I finished the reading for UNIV. I hate when they assign reading over the semester breaks.”

Sasuke tensed up at that and paused his massaging circles.

“…you didn’t do the reading did you?”

“I was kind of busy all break.”

Sasuke could feel the skin on his chest warm up just from the contact with Sakura’s face.

“I had my hands full.” He slid his hand lower on her back and downward, cupping the curve of her backside. “Really full.”

“Pervert.” Sakura nudged him until she was free of his hold.

Sasuke fell back against the mattress and watched as she settled one knee on each side of his hips and straddled him. He watched curiously as she nestled his cock between her folds and dragged herself back and forth up the length. He gripped her hips and guided her grinding.

“We should try me on top again,” Sakura suggested with a swivel of her hips.

“Are you forgetting what happened last,” Sasuke exhaled deeply, unsuccessfully hiding a moan as she added more pressure and increased the friction, “time?”

“I’m sure I can accommodate for our size differences this time.” Sakura braced her hands on his sternum and swiveled her hips again. “I’ll just go slow.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“I’m not the impatient one here.” Sakura clucked her tongue at him. “You practically threw me against the wall trying to get me in bed.”

“You’re annoying,” Sasuke panted, covering his eyes with an arm. He didn’t want to get worked up just for her to end up in the fetal position and cursing him again.

“Bet I’m not so annoying when you’re rammed all the way up my—”

Annoying,” Sasuke hissed, grabbing her hips to halt her movements. “We can’t anyway. That was the last condom earlier.”

There had only been one time they had been irresponsible—the day against the washing machine in the Haruno house—and Sasuke wasn’t having anymore repeats. The drive to the pharmacy for an emergency contraceptive was awkward enough, he wasn’t going through the ordeal again by walking to the campus health center.

“Hmm,” Sakura hummed, tapping her chin thoughtfully. “I can use my mouth.”

“No you can’t,” Sasuke groaned. Sakura was attempting to fight the hold of his hands and kept moving her hips back and forth. She was going to be the death of him. “I’m covered in lube from the condom.”

“Right. Ick.”

“What happened to being tired?” Sasuke muttered, rolling Sakura off of his lap. He was already irritated that he had forgotten about the assigned reading and now he had a throbbing erection to deal with.

“The reminder that I’m probably going to be too busy for anything once the semester starts gave me a rush of adrenaline.”

Sakura stretched her arms over her head before sitting up and hopping off of his bed.

“Where’s my stuff?” She picked up her underwear up on top of Sasuke’s printer and slipped it on. “You have a printer? And I’ve been paying to print stuff at the library?”

“You use my printer, you help pay for ink.” Sasuke rolled onto his side and watched as she gathered her belongings from where they had landed around the room.

He chose not to remind her that their first three semesters at KU was spent avoiding each other unless it was absolutely necessary to interact.

“That’s still a better deal than fighting people just to get to one that works at the library.”

Silently agreeing, Sasuke finally slid off from his bed and grabbed his clothing as well. He was hesitant to ask if she wanted to do anything else but he could at least walk her down to the lobby.

“Give me a sec,” he told her as she shrugged on her coat.

“You don’t have to come down with me. I’m sure you wanna you know,” Her eyes shifted down to his crotch and then back to his face, cheeks turning pink, “clean up.”

Sasuke gave her an unimpressed look and slipped on his boxer briefs. Sakura shook her head and used his arm as a support as she stood on her toes planting a chaste kiss on his lips.

“Besides, you can’t waste any time you should be using to do your reading,” she said in a singsong.

“Shit,” Sasuke breathed out. He had almost forgotten about it again.

“Good night, Sasuke.” She stood on her toes one more time to give him a kiss and this time he returned it, before she shuffled out of his door.

He listened to the sound of the door to the suite open and closed before he searched the room for the rest of his clothes. He picked up everything that had fallen, including his cell phone which gratefully hasn’t sustained any damage from falling from the height of the dorm bed.

The first thing he noticed was a missing call from Kiba Inuzuka and a few texts from him and one from Shino.

Considering Shino had been Kiba’s penpal and Kiba had introduced them to each other when Sasuke needed to find a roommate, Sasuke wouldn’t have been surprised if Shino has mentioned to Kiba that Sasuke had a girl over.

I don’t have the energy to deal with this, Sasuke grumbled inwardly, swiping away the notifications. He sent a quick text to Shino to inform him that he was able to come back to their room but tossed his phone on his bed ignoring Kiba’s texts.

He was sure Kiba would try to contact him again the following day. He was like Naruto that way, persistent as hell, but at least he gave him the space after the first few attempts. He just happened to come back like a dog that would keep after it’s owner.

If Shino had described the girl he had been with Kiba would know that it was Sakura and that would explain all of the texts. He would just have to hope that right now was one of those periods that Kiba was annoyed with Naruto and wouldn’t bring up anything to him. That was last person Sasuke wanted to know about what was going on with him and Sakura.

Whatever it was that was going on.

It was still confusing but he did know what it would be disastrous if everyone else knew what had been going on between them before he could clearly define for himself what it was. He was going to need to deal with that soon.

But first, a shower.

Karin was humming and usually that was a bad sign especially before she had any caffeine in her system, but Sakura couldn’t help but find her cute.

When she had come back from her date she had burst through the door of Ino and Sakura’s room and practically launched herself on top of Sakura’s bed. At first Sakura thought she was upset but Karin had just laid there with a dreamy expression on her face. It had clearly been a good night.

She was in such a good mood she didn’t even care about having to wake up early the following Monday for the first day of classes which annoyed Sakura who was still upset over her new packed schedule.

“Where are you off to now?” Sakura questioned as she wrapped her infinity scarf around her neck.

“Comp-Sci. I’ll probably run into Sasuke ‘cause we gotta take most of the same classes.” Karin reached over and adjusted Sakura’s beanie. “Can’t wait to bug him all semester.”

“Ughh, I gotta go to Orgo. Ino has it on different days but we have the same professor so that’s something at least.”

“Why? Because it makes it easier to help her study for tests?”


Karin snickered and swung her backpack over her shoulder. Ino had been a brat the entire night before because unfortunately for her, she had no choice but to take her Organic Chemistry class in the morning.

“You want to grab a real lunch today or just get some doughnuts?”

“Doughnuts require more walking but I’m also craving some real bad.” Sakura took out her planner and groaned. “I can’t. I have UNIV after Orgo.”

“Sucks to suck,” Karin taunted her. “I’m completely free today after Comp-Sci.”

Sakura clasped her hands together and pouted. Karin rolled her eyes and nodded. Sakura threw her arms around her torso and squeezed her tight.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” Sakura lifted Karin up and put her back down. “Make sure to grab some of the maple bacon ones please. And french crullers, those are my favorite.”

“You owe me!” Karin shouted after her but Sakura just waved back at her as she rushed out of the building to make her way to the one housing her class.

Sasuke had half a mind to skip his UNIV class. He had wasted so much energy on spending an entire two hour class with Karin. When he saw her enter the computer lab he had tried to hide behind his monitor but it was too late. She had noticed he was in the room faster than he could duck and she made a beeline straight to the only computer available next to him.

Sasuke always chose the most inconvenient seat so that he would only have to deal with one neighbor. It didn’t matter where he sat, he would learn just fine.

Not that it deterred Karin from taking the seat right next to him.

He was already tired from the phone call with Kiba the night before. He had teased him in between bouts of barely concealed snickering that they could double date but congratulated him. That was the better part of the phone call before Kiba started complaining about Naruto and how he was moping and being clingy because Gaara wouldn’t even look at him.

“That’s not my problem,” Sasuke had told him before hanging up. Kiba of course had attempted to call back repeatedly but gave up finally after the fifth time he reached Sasuke’s voicemail.

He would have skipped but he knew better than to waste any of his allowed absences on the first day of the semester.

Sasuke had finally opened up the assigned reading and read the section he was meant to have read by the first day of classes. There was a small voice in the back of his mind reminding him that Sakura had already read it and that there was a high chance that she had actually finished reading the entire text and made annotations.

The only positive of the mandatory UNIV class was that it counted as the English credits he would need for his degree without actually taking any English courses.

As soon as he entered the lecture hall he headed straight for the back row. It was the least recommended section to be in but it almost always ensured that he wouldn’t be sitting next to anyone unless it was a large class. Even then he would only have one seat neighbor considering he sat in the very last seat in the row.

One by one his classmates filed in, choosing seats as close to the front as possible. Feeling secure in his decision he pulled out his text and notebook from his messenger bag and reviewed what he had read the day before.

“What? You didn’t finish the reading yet?”

Sasuke shifted his gaze to the right and caught Sakura pulling out her materials from her backpack. As soon as she had everything she needed out, she shifted in her seat so that she was facing him.

“Hey,” she greeted him. “Fancy meeting you here.”

For the first time since high school, Sakura Haruno was in one of his classes.

Mirepoix Chapter 3

Chapter Three: Exposed

Sakura scanned the shift schedule one more time. She squinted at the board willing it to look differently.

“Everyone’s working on the fourteenth.” She frowned at the board. “Not a single staff member is off…”

“It’s always like that.” A soft voice just behind her almost made her jump.

The pleasantly plump pastry chef was just behind her, pulling at her long dark hair. Sakura never had a chance to speak to her before but always got the impression that she looked a bit like the petit fours she made. She mainly kept to herself and her station and if it weren’t for the occasional moments when Sasuke would shout at her for moving too slowly, Sakura would forget she was even there.

“Oh, it’s you Hinata.”

“No one ever gets off on Valentine’s Day. It’s our busiest day of the year.”

“That seems a little unfair. What if you wanted to spend the holiday with your boyfriend?”

“You would need to get a boyfriend first, forehead girl.” Ino tossed her jacket over Sakura’s head and immediately started stripping. Hinata pulled her hood over head and covered her eyes.

“This is a mixed gender locker room.” Sakura tossed the jacket back over Ino’s head.

“It’s nothing anyone here hasn’t seen before.” Tenten, the brunette Ino had told Sakura worked as the boucher, opened up her locker next to Ino’s and stuffed her bag.

“You know you like what you see,” Ino teased, reaching over and tickling Tenten’s sides.

“I’ve never been into blondes.” Tenten smacked Ino’s arms away, trying to catch her breath. “Or girls taller than me.”

Tenten pulled out her smock and slid her arms into the sleeves. After she was done she pulled up her pigtails and styled them into twin buns.

“Wait,” Sakura whispered to Ino, “I thought she and Neji were a thing. They always head home together.”

“Nah, they’re just roommates. But I’m sure Neji has a thing for her. Must suck being hung up on someone that━”

“Neji isn’t interested in women,” Hinata interrupted. This time Sakura did jump. For some reason she thought Hinata had walked out already. “He’s just protective of her and vice versa due to solidarity. People tend to make that mistake.”

“You need a bell or something,” Sakura muttered, embarrassed.

“Kiba says that all of the time.”

“Well guess I should expect to hear some griping from Naruto,” Sakura sighed, feeling exhausted already. The boy was a ball of energy and was always talking her ear off whether she actually paid attention to him or not. “He probably won’t be able to see his boyfriend that day either.”

“Boyfriend?” Ino cocked her quizzically as she adjusted her bandana on her head. “Naruto doesn’t have a boyfriend.”

“What?” Sakura rubbed her eyes with her thumb and forefinger. “I could have sworn the produce delivery guy was his boyfriend.”

Ino burst into a fit of laughter and wrapped an arm around Hinata’s shoulders.

“No he’s just super friendly so people think he’s always flirting. Wanna hear something scandalous, Sakura?”

“Ino, no!” Hinata cried. Her voice was louder than Sakura had ever heard it.

“That dumbass hooked up with Hinata on New Year’s Eve. They both got drunk and headed to his place after our staff party.”

Hinata glared at Ino but the effect was lost with her round cheeks puffing out and blooming pink. It was more of a pout than anything.

Sakura tried to recall anything about Naruto that would give her the impression that he was dating the pastry chef. She caught him being friendlier than he should and begging her for treats but nothing that she would call romantic.

“Don’t worry about it.” Ino waved her hand dismissively. “It gets confusing. Right, Hinata?”

Hinata sighed and worried her lip.

“I keep thinking he’s asking me on dates but Kiba or someone else usually tags along.”

It was the most disgruntled Sakura had seen her and it made her want to pinch Hinata’s cheek. She and Neji looked so similar but she was so soft that any familial similarities in appearance still made it difficult to tie the two as cousins.

“Well at least Hinata has someone to be confused about.” Ino patted the top of Hinata’s head. “Unlike Sakura.”

“I’m too busy to date,” Sakura huffed.

It wasn’t a lie. She was still a student and all of her free time went to work shifts, studying, and clinicals. Nursing school was enough stress as it was and dating just wasn’t an option.

Sakura never liked hook up culture and had deleted the dating app she had been using. One too many pricks messaging her and the “safe” men she did end up going out with had her turned off from even attempting to put herself out there.

“Yeah, sure.” Ino snorted. “You just don’t want to put any effort.”

“Says the woman who ended up dating a coworker.” Sakura adjusted her tie and grabbed her apron.

“That’s completely different,” Ino grunted as she shimmied out of her skinny jeans to change into her work slacks. “Chefs have, like, no life. You just choose to not have one.”

“I do not,” Sakura denied. “Stop making me look bad in front of Hinata.”

Sakura peered out of her peripheral to where the woman had been standing but the spot was empty.

“When did she━? I swear she was just in here.”

“She does that a lot. Especially when she’s avoiding someone. You’ll get used to it.” Ino had barely pulled out a fresh t-shirt from her backpack when Sasuke had walked into the locker room.

He walked straight to his locker and pulled out his cell phone, typed something, and then put it back. Without even glancing over at Ino he slipped out of the locker room like he had never entered in the first place.

Sakura gestured to the doorway and then back to Ino’s shirtless body. Ino cocked her hip and crossed her arms in front of her sports bra covered chest and snickered at Sakura’s floundering.

“Yeah, the man doesn’t even flinch. I might as well be one of the lockers.” Ino finally pulled her shirt over her head and shrugged her smock over it. “It was a little insulting at first. Would have kept being insulting if he weren’t like that with everyone.”

“With just women or━?”

Everyone,” Ino insisted. “He’s the definition of not having a life.”

“Oh,” she muttered dully.

That wasn’t surprising at all to Sakura. In the few weeks that she had been working at Wisteria Place, no matter how late she stayed past all of the employees and even Ms. Kato, Sasuke was always the last to leave. It could be one in the morning and she was dragging her weary feet and he would be in his office going over paperwork or giving the kitchen one last inventory check.

It was one of the rare moments he seemed almost relaxed. There was no shouting or glares.

Sakura found it a shame he wasn’t like that usually. He was pretty cute that way.

Not that she had time to think about that.

“Neji’s doing that thing again,” Sakura chatted away with Ino as she picked up her food. “Is it really that big of a deal what wine you drink with your meal?”

“Trust me, it is.” Ino nodded seriously and leaned over the service counter. “Don’t let him hear you ask that or he’ll make you go to a seminar.”

“Is it really that bad?”

“I’ll help you with that later. Now,” Ino tapped a bowl with her short nails, “take the soups to the diners.”

“You just wanna wine me up,” Sakura teased her as she grabbed her dishes.

“Oh, you know it.” Ino winked back flirtatiously. She giggled to herself as she plated for service.

Because of work and Sakura being in school she barely got to see her friend. Ino jumped at the chance at bringing Sakura to Wisteria Place when she needed a job. Now they could joke back and forth and talk during breaks.

Ino hadn’t been kidding earlier when she had called Sakura out on not putting any effort to have a social life.

I swear she’s as bad as Chef Uchiha, Ino grumbled inwardly, refusing to flinch as Sasuke barked an order across the kitchen.

At least he was yelling.

It was worse when he wasn’t.

“Quit distracting Haruno,” Sasuke scolded. “You can’t afford to waste time either.”

A “yes chef” was on the tip of her tongue but she  bit back the words, her mind working double time on his earlier statement.

“Oh,” Ino turned to him and gave him a sly smile, “you called a waitress by name.”

“Get back to work.”

Ino couldn’t even feel bad about being shouted at. She just hummed to herself as she made sure all of the plates were clean and ready for service.

Sighing to herself, Sakura massaged the base of her neck where it met her shoulders and rolled her neck. She hadn’t expected to take so long to fold the cloth napkins, but one of the waitresses had a family emergency and left her alone after the rest of the wait staff had left for the night.

“We could switch tasks if you would like to complain,” Neji had warned her off from whining about how many napkins there had been to fold. He had been helping until it was time to gather all of the written checks and match them with what was input into the computer system.

He had left earlier when Tenten dragged him away insisting they hit a club. Neji looked absolutely scandalized when Tenten had mentioned opening up his dating app and “shaking out the cobwebs” in front of Sakura but she pretended she hadn’t heard a thing.

Just because she lacked any sort of sex life didn’t mean she would tease others for theirs.

She should have gone home earlier when Ino insisted. Neji had reminded her that the first shift wait staff could finish up folding napkins but she wasn’t ready to head home yet. Ino and Sai looked so cute walking with their arms linked as they left the restaurant that she didn’t want to intrude and be the third wheel.

They were just as busy as she was and it was difficult for them to get any time alone between working at Wisteria Place and Sai’s time as a resident artist.

If we had showers here that would have been great.

Sakura sighed heavily as she reached behind her back and untied her apron and made her way to the locker room. She couldn’t wait to be home so she could wash away all of the sweat and grime that accumulated throughout her shift.

Going to have to take some uniforms to the cleaners.

Sakura shimmied her shoulders to shrug her button down shirt off. Being the last one to leave at the end of the night had the wonderful perk of privacy. She hated wearing her work clothes on public transportation. Unbuttoning her slacks, she let them drop to the floor before bending over at the waist to pick them up. A cough had her snapping back up quickly.

She spun around and clutched her pants to her body to cover up as much of herself as possible.

“Chef Uchiha!” Sakura squeaked, slamming backward into the lockers. “Oowww!”

She had forgotten about her still healing bruise. It no longer bothered her except when she applied too much pressure to the area. She reached around to soothe the area, wincing at the throbbing.

“Oh, shit.”

Sakura felt a hand gripping her upper arm and another reaching for her hip when she dropped her pants to push Sasuke away.

“No, I’m good! I’m really, really good!” Sakura continued to push until he took a step back. “Just, please, leave.”

“Right.” Sasuke nodded and averted his gaze. “Just let me know when you’re done.”

As soon as he exited the locker room, closing the door on his way out, Sakura fell back against the lockers and slid down onto the cool linoleum floor.“Oh. My. Fucking. God.”