Sakura brushed her bangs out of her eyes and hefted her basket a little higher. For once after a late shift, she had had the energy to shop for food. Even so, choices always became harder at this time of night. Why did they make so many brands of cheese? Reaching up to rub the bridge of her nose, she sighed. This store mostly catered to shinobi. What shinobi ate fat free cheese?
Shaking her head, she reached for a random brand that seemed to be normal and put it in the bag. Looking at the list she had put together, she pulled a pen out between her teeth and marked it off.
"Aren't you supposed to be in bed?"
She almost stabbed herself with her pen. "Naruto!"
"I was wondering where you had disappeared to." He continued, as if she hadn't spoken. "I stopped by and you weren't home."
"I just got off shift," she said with an eye roll. "I need food."
"You haven't eaten?"
Her eyes narrowed and she studied him. "So says the man who has yet to shower."
He shrugged carelessly, his grin firmly in place. Annoyed, because that smile was doing funny things to her insides, she shoved her basket firmly into his gut. He ooomphed, hands closing around the wicker as she twisted around.
"If you're going to annoy me, be useful."
"I'm always useful, Sakura-chan."
"Except when your not," She pointed out, refusing to acknowledge that her stomach was twisting itself in knots. It had absolutely nothing to do with how he smelled like the woods, or the way his mouth had kicked up slightly more in one corner than the other. Running her fingers through her short bangs, she closed her eyes tiredly. She really didn't want to have to deal with this right now. She wasn't ready to deal with Naruto and the way he confused her. It figured that he would show up when she least wanted to deal with him. She hadn't had the necessary time to think about this yet.
"Sakura-chan," Naruto's dry voice broke into her thoughts. "Did you mean to buy sardines? I thought you didn't like them."
She paused where she was reaching for a can of something. Blinking she turned back to her basket and frowned at it. "I don't."
He lifted a brow. "Sakura, why are you shopping so late?"
"I don't have anything for breakfast?"
"So you have a jar of peanut butter, a pound of rice, sardines, and a block of fake cheese?"
Sakura stared at her basket. She remembered grabbing the cheese, but the rest of the contents were foreign to her. Blinking several times, she looked back to her list.
"Right," Naruto muttered. Setting the basket down then he reached over and grasped her by the shoulders. "Come on, Sakura-chan."
"Naruto," her tone was flat. "That was my basket."
Anger was always better than butterflies. Butterflies were distracting and led her thoughts down a path that wasn't acceptable at this time of night. Not acceptable when she didn't know what she wanted them to mean yet.
"I really don't think anything in that basket is going to be edible." Naruto told her, a smile in his voice. "I mean, trust me, peanut butter and rice just don't go well together. I'm not sure what you planned on doing with the cheese."
She tilted around, frowning at him as they stepped outside. "Huh?"
He slid his arm around her shoulder, guiding her down the street. "Don't worry about it. We'll just raid Sasuke's cabinets in the morning and make him fix us breakfast."
She eyed him. "Do you think he knows how to cook breakfast? The type of breakfast real people eat?"
"He makes good onigiri." Naruto said thoughtfully. "His miso is a bit off though. He is stingy with the tofu."
"How often do you eat breakfast with Sasuke?"
"Not as often as I like," he sighed, his arm slipping from her shoulders to settle around her waist instead, his palm on her hipbone. "Free food should never be turned down, especially if I don't have to cook it. Sasuke is possessive of his pans."
Sakura swallowed. All thoughts of sleep fled at the feel of Naruto pressed up against her side, the hard muscle of his arm at her back, the heat of his palm at her hip. Chewing on the inside of her lip, she reached up to rub the bridge of her nose. What was she supposed to do with this man?
Looking up, she caught sight of her apartment. Nervousness tingled in her stomach, but she set her jaw. She needed to get this solved or she wasn't going to be able to sleep.
Sakura took a deep breath. "What are you doing?"
"Did you remember to grab your keys or are we going to have to break in?" Naruto asked, looking at the front door of her apartment, his expression thoughtful.
"I have my keys," she said, twisting around so she was facing him. He hadn't let go of her waist yet, so she was lot closer than she had anticipated being. Swallowing a little, took a deep breath. "You're avoiding the question."
"Which question, Sakura-chan?"
She pressed her fingers against his hand, her brow lifting. "What exactly you are doing?"
The smile left his face. His other hand came up and pushed her bangs out of her eyes. "What are you doing for breakfast?"
"Apparently bumming off Sasuke," she told him, eyes narrowing at his continued refusal to talk to her. "Why?"
A blond brow arched. "You're making it rather difficult to ask you out, Sakura-chan."
She stared at him. The edges of his mouth curved upwards and he leaned down, kissing the edge of her mouth again. "Go to bed. I'll be by at dawn to make sure you're awake enough for breakfast."
She blinked at him as he walked away, hands shoved deep into his pockets, a faint, whistling tune echoing back at her. Pressing her hand to her temples, she wondered if she pleaded temporary insanity if she could just hide in her room until she figured this out.