-28-Sakura woke up to someone playing with her hair and the smell of miso. Cracking on eye open, she glared at Naruto. He was sitting on the bed and braiding her hair, a small grin on his face.
"Why are you here?"
"Bastard is making breakfast."
"That doesn't explain you."
"I came to wake you up!" He said cheerfully. "It's almost ten."
Sakura pressed her face under the pillow and grunted at him. He laughed and slapped her butt. "Up, up, up, Sakura-chan!"
"I'll bribe Neji into killing you."
"Neji doesn't take bribes. It's beneath him!"
"You'd be surprised what he will do for a good neck rub." Sakura returned as she pushed herself up.
Naruto paused. "What?"
"Don't worry about it." Sakura said sweetly as she staggered towards the bathroom. "Tell Sasuke I'll be out in ten."
She was done in eight and when she stepped out of the bathroom, feeling a little more awake. Naruto and Sasuke were waiting on her in the kitchen. Naruto was sprawled across a bar stool watching Sasuke finish breakfast, eyes narrowed in concentration.
"Do you need any help, Sasuke?"
"I'm almost finished and dobe set the table."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Don't make it sound like I didn't offer to help either. You turned me down."
Sakura breathed in the pungent smell of fish and grinned. "Still eating simple?"
Sasuke shrugged. "It's good."
"It's boring," Naruto corrected. "You need more ramen in your diet."
"You don't have to eat it." Sasuke returned mildly. "That leaves more for me and Sakura."
Naruto put a hand over his heart and sulked. "I'm hurt. Right here."
Sakura ruffled his hair as she went by. "You'll live."
"I'm feeling a distinct lack of love in this apartment," Naruto grumbled as he deliberately moved the chair so that Sasuke had to sidestep or trip over it as he laid breakfast on the table.
"What you're feeling is a distinct lack of the correct ratio of blood and caffeine." Sakura informed him as she flopped into a chair and smiled her thanks at Sasuke.
Naruto rolled his eyes and tried to steal a piece of fish off Sasuke's plate. Sasuke speared Naruto's hand with his chopsticks and glared.
"Absolutely no love."
Sakura rolled her eyes as she poured herself a cup of tea. "When do you think you'll have time to head over to the Tower to talk to Tsunade about what happened in Sand?"
"Probably after lunch. I've got a few things to take care of this morning." Naruto said around a mouthful of fish.
"A few things?" Sasuke asked quietly.
"Just a few loose odds and ends." He smiled at them. "What about you Bastard?"
Naruto shifted forward towards his plate again and Sasuke narrowed his eyes.
"I'm not reattaching fingers." Sakura said firmly, setting her cup down and leaning forward. "Behave."
"Awe, Sakura-chan, you take all the fun out of breakfast."
"I'm going to take all the fun out of breathing in a few minutes." She replied serenely, fingering her own chopsticks.
Naruto pouted. "Fine, fine. No love."
Sakura shook her head. "Is there anything else we should know about, Sasuke? About the council. Before we find ourselves neck deep in backlash?"
Sasuke stared at her for a long moment. "Hiashi placed the bird seal on his youngest daughter."
Naruto froze, his hand hovering over the rice bowl. Sakura bit her lip at the curious way Naruto's eyes had gone flat and hard.
"A few days ago." Sasuke said calmly as he lifted his chopsticks to his mouth. "Hinata-san stopped by to inform me of the decision."
Naruto's fingers curled into fists. "Fucking Hyuuga."
Sakura sighed. Sasuke sure knew how to kill an early morning meal. Still, she supposed it was better for Naruto to hear about it now, with them, than on the street with no one to buffer his temper.
His shoulders were tight but he turned to face her.
"You weren't here. You couldn't have stopped it." She closed her fingers around his wrist. "Even if you were here, all you would have done was complicate matters. Hanabi-san wouldn't have wanted your help and Hinata wouldn't have asked."
"You can't save the world, idiot."
"I can try." Naruto snapped back. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "I can try."
"We'll, you've got to start with things you can change." Sakura said briskly. "The Hyuuga's have a chance to change with Hinata. The way they went about enforcing his decision is terrible but it is the best thing for the clan."
Sasuke lifted his tea. "Hinata-san said she had a promise to keep."
Naruto stilled and finally nodded. "Yeah."
Naruto shook his head, the tension slowly easing out of his shoulders. "I'll tell you some other time."
Sakura nodded and exchanged a look with Sasuke. Time for a distraction. What Naruto really needed right then was to beat the hell out of something. Sasuke had just volunteered himself for that duty. "Right."
Sakura leaned over and smiled at him. Naruto blinked at her expression and narrowed his eyes as she leaned back and popped the last of his fish into her mouth.
"Well I gotta run. I'll give Tsunade-sensei my report after I stop by the hospital!"
"Sakura-chan! You can't eat and run! That's cheating!" He lunged for her, but she dodged him with the expediency of kicking his chair back into his legs. He grunted and slammed into the table.
Sasuke glared at her.
"I'll see you two later."
Naruto tilted his head as the door shut. "Do you think she does these things on purpose?"
Sasuke snorted and started collecting dishes.