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Straightforward

Straightforward

Before you carry on, I'd like to point out that other than the characters and setting, I own everything in this story; I am P. Lambert-Jensen from FanFiction.Net. Therefore, I have full rights to re-post this story in LiveJournal. I own the plot and the written work below all belongs to me. However, the content I have based it from belongs to Kishimoto Masashi! Please, respect his work and mine.

***

Not for the first time – and most likely not for the last – Haruno Sakura ambled up numerous, stone steps which lead towards an intricate traditional Japanese home that belonged to the Uchiha clansmen. In the crisp, warm air of a mundane Konohagakure summer morning, Sakura felt refreshed and content – relieved from her duties as a doctor at the hospital until later in the afternoon. It was close to noon now and she didn't have to retire to her duties until five-thirty, to relieve Shizune from her shift; this had given her the best opportunity to visit her civilian parents and then spoil the men in her life, maybe even squeeze an hour or two of conversation with Yamanaka Ino.

Sakura had walked the short block which separated her home from her close, knuckle-headed friend, Uzumaki Naruto, and offered him to buy breakfast. Of course, he had spontaneously asked for Ichiraku Ramen, which was a construction block of his already unhealthy diet, but she couldn't deny him because of the warm, hopeful smile which had persuaded her into giving in. The female of the two had eaten a small bowl of tonkotsu ramen, whilst her male counterpart had ordered a large bowl of shōyu noodles and thanked her with obsessive glee. Naruto and Sakura had shared idle conversation, even after she had bought him another large bowl – she was feeling rather generous. However, their time ended with a chaste embrace and a family-styled, butterfly kiss on the cheek before both parted. Naruto headed in the general direction of the Hyūga household while Sakura searched the streets for Hatake Kakashi.

It didn't take long before she found the handsome, masked shinobi clad in casual clothes – black trousers and a loose-fitted dark blue shirt that revealed his taut biceps – seated at a traditional low table with a steaming, ceramic mug of herbal tea in front of him, in a small yet quaint teahouse. Sakura had startled the older male and sat beside him, declining the polite offer of a waitress whom had come to take her order. Kakashi and Sakura conversed over trivial things – music, literature and the sciences, things which interested them both – before both had left the tiny establishment and the male had escorted her most of the journey towards the Uchiha compound before Hagane Kotetsu had stolen him for a mission. Kakashi had apologized before he had vanished with Kotetsu.

Now, instead of entering the beautiful home, Sakura strode across the pine floorboards and took the outer corridor which branched out to the left; she could hear the faint sounds of a non-serious spar reverberating from the main courtyard. The slender female sauntered around the corner and discovered a cluster of masculine powers, engaged in combat; it seemed that each agile strike and lithe block were meant to kill. But, it was clear that if the men wanted to murder their opponent – then the beautiful compound, with its intricate koi pond and decorative maple trees, would have been obliterated. Sakura leant forward on the wooden banister railing which lined the outer corridor, and observed her friend and relatives interact in a masculine, taijutsu duel.

The confrontation between the three, handsome males – two she could recognize and another with a slim, toned build and silken black hair like crows feathers – lasted for almost another ten minutes with the male Sakura didn't recognize as the victor. Uchiha Shisui and Uchiha Sasuke were catapulted onto the beige-coloured, marble tiles onto their backs in an almost effortless gesture. The other male smirked down at defeated men – an obvious relative of them both – before he folded his arms across his lean chest; the air of authority and superiority was definitely male and more so Uchiha.

"Otouto," he said in a clear voice, the octaves rich and deep. "I think you have a visitor,"

It took a minute for Sakura to realize that the unknown man of the three relatives had addressed Sasuke and then another minute diminished into time before she realized another important detail – that that man was Sasuke's older brother: Uchiha Itachi. Sasuke tilted his head back – a rather cute motion, if you asked her – and noticed for the first time that his teammate had mediated the whole ordeal. The smooth, cocky smirk she had become accustomed to as a genin spread across his face as he flipped to his feet in a fluid and rather dramatic gesture; she tried not roll her eyes at him. Sasuke brushed the dust from his clothes and sauntered in her direction, Shisui close on his heels. Itachi, of course, remained as a polite distance as he too, approached.

"Sakura," Sasuke greeted and both leaned over the rails to cord each others arms around the other in a slightly more intimate embrace than the ones she had shared earlier with Naruto and Kakashi.

"I hope I'm not intruding," she announced politely as she pulled back.

"Sakura-chan! Are you here to finally accept my date proposal?" Shisui interrupted, ignoring her comment and whatever Sasuke had been about to say, bouncing over the banister with the lithe elegance of a seasoned shinobi, and quickly joining her.

Sakura rolled her eyes. "No, Shisui-san, I am not,"

"Then, why–

"Otouto, I thought our mother and father raised you better than this. Where are your manners?"

Sasuke grimaced and faced his handsome brother. Now, closer than he was before, Sakura could observe him with more clarity. The Uchiha clan's most famed heir – since, perhaps, Uchiha Madara – had well-tended, crow-coloured hair which was bunched together in a crimson strap of tied leather, the ponytail draping around the tantalizing curve of distinct collarbones. It was evident the infamous ANBU Black Operative captain was used to the harsh effects which the sharingan often earned its user, and had not reverted to his natural eyes. But, since Sasuke seemed to be the absolute spitting image of his older brother, save for a few differing details, then she didn't doubt that his irises would be the same, collective hue of obsidian.

The most refined difference between the two males – other than the significant difference between their hair – was that whereas the younger brother, even at the end of adolescence, was that he hadn't lost the rounded cheeks that he had as a genin. Although, that was not to say that Sasuke appeared chubby, not in the slightest, but Itachi's jawline was much more like their father's, defined, with a straight, proud nose and high-placed cheekbones. Whereas Sasuke was overconfident, bordering arrogant, Itachi had a sadness that doused his handsome features, defining the purple shadows beneath his eyes and the almost indistinguishable tear troughs burrowing into and under the shadows.

"Aniki," Sasuke said slowly, before he gestured to the magenta-haired female beside him. "I'd like to introduce you to my teammate, Haruno Sakura. Sakura, I'm sure you've heard of my older brother, Uchiha Itachi,"

Sakura nodded to him and offered him a polite bow, which in turn, was returned to her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Uchiha-san,"

"Likewise, Haruno-san. I have heard much of your esteemed medical skills, which have been rumoured that are even more exceptional than the Godaime Hokage,"

It was a girlish reaction, but a reaction she could not control; a pretty pink colour dusted her cheeks as she bowed once more. "Thank you, Uchiha-san. But, you are surely mistaken. I am only her apprentice,"

"And an apprentice is meant to surpass their master, are they not?" Itachi asked, rhetorically in such a low voice, Sakura swore her heart had fluttered at the melodic octaves.

"I-I suppose you're right. It would be a dream come true, to be considered able enough to surpass one's master,"

It was an idle conversation, one which could have been shared amongst shy acquaintances, but the other Uchiha males weren't naïve; both could feel the intense sexual tension which had started to build. Of course, neither were foolish to not acknowledge that Itachi was a handsome man, with his stereotypical Uchiha features and pacifist stare, behind the sharingan, but to see Sakura – Sakura – cave, seemed to astound them both. By the time the conversation had ended and Sasuke had started to guide her from her relatives, she could not process any non-Itachi-related thoughts. Sasuke might've found it all amusing if it hadn't been Sakura and Itachi.

"Sakura," he started once he had escorted her into a spacious and abandoned common room within his home. "Did you find my brother attractive?"

"N-No!" If the stuttered outburst, almost said instantaneously, hadn't been made without a magenta hue flecking her cheeks, he might've believed the obvious lie.

"Oh, really, Haruno-san? That's a shame... I found – find you absolutely intriguing,"

Sakura's honed, kunoichi skills forced her to react the instant he had mentioned her name; the room had been empty moments earlier, save for each other, but it seems that of all the places to retreat too, Sasuke had not noticed that a collection of Itachi-owned items had dotted the room. Itachi smirked down at the chunin, his calloused hand curled around a scroll while his other arm cradled a stack of books against his muscled chest. The younger Uchiha scowled.

"N-No, forgive me, Uchiha-san," she spluttered out. "I find you very attractive!"

Sasuke exhaled and resisted the temptation to slap himself in the face. Itachi, on the otherhand, seemed all too amused by the current situation. "Then, I shall pick you up for dinner on Saturday night, at seven o'clock, then?"

"Huh? An–

"Hush, otouto. It's rude to interrupt during someone else's conversation. Now, Haruno-san. Are the arrangements to your liking?"

"But, you j–

Itachi cast him a withering stare, and for the first time since Sakura had encountered the handsome gentleman, he could've passed off as the monster everyone believed him to be. He was a dominant alpha-male, and while she was a feminist and did not appreciate these qualities within a man, it did not stop her from acknowledgingthem as something at least remotely attractive. Especially, if it was Itachi.

"I-I'm not sure if that's entirely appropriate, Uchiha-san," she decided for the neutral party. "I mean... I only met you several minutes before,"

"Aa," he nodded, agreeing with her. "I guess then we'll have a lot to talk about this Saturday, right, Haruno-san?"

"I-I guess..." she muttered shyly. Sasuke blanched.

"Did you just accept my brother's proposal for a date!?"

Sakura looked at Sasuke, and Sasuke stared back. "I–

She fainted. Sasuke rolled his eyes. "Now, look what you've done,"

"I could always carry her to my bedroom?" Itachi pointed out, feigning innocence. Sasuke glared.

"To hell you are, aniki!"

Itachi clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "No fun, otouto. No fun."

"Did you– Nevermind. Just, go away, aniki," he ordered and then watched his brother cackle, disappearing down the corridor. "Oh, and aniki – stop seducing my friends!"

Sasuke swore he heard his cackle become louder.

***

Well! I hope everyone enjoyed that-- Okay. I know it's weird. But, haven't you already learned that I'm not exactly ordinary. It is only a one-shot, so, please, don't beg for more. (Beg for more). Anyway! Please, I'd like to hear your thoughts! So, feedback will be adored. Thank you!

Sincerely, Traumaddict.