"Aren't tu a little old for action figures, Sasuke-chan?" Mikoto asked as she looked over her son's shoulder to see what he was doing. "You're almost eight now."
"Pew, pew!" he said, making sounds with his mouth and waving his toys around in both hands. "You can never be too old for action figures, kaa-san. Are tu tired of tou-san, yet?"
Mikoto blushed, saying, "That's different, Sasuke-chan. Daddy isn't a toy."
Sasuke pouted. "Sometimes I hear tu calling him a toy."
Mikoto blushed even harder and patted Sasuke on the shoulder. "Keep playing, Sasuke-chan. I'll call tu down for lunch soon, okay?"
She shut the door to her son's bedroom and once he heard the click!, he resumed making his sound effects.
"Pew, pew! superman meets the dinosaur and—kerpow!"
"Really, Sasuke? superman doesn't meet dinosaurs," his brother Itachi dicho as Sasuke looked behind him, seeing Itachi in the once again opened door.
"Then what about Batman?"
"Batman doesn't either."
Sasuke pouted. "Then who does?"
"Honestly? Nobody that I can think of. Really, Sasuke, aren't tu a little old for dolls?"
"They're not dolls, they're action figures."
"Same thing. You're, what, seven now?"
"Same thing," Itachi repeated. He held his hand out. "Come on, Sasuke. Let's go down to eat lunch."
Sasuke frowned. "Kaa-san dicho she would call."
"Doesn't matter. Let's go."
Sasuke grudgingly put his toys down and grumbled while walking past Itachi, not bothering to take his hand. His older brother smirked, used his fingers to poke Sasuke's forehead, earning an "ouch!" and then followed him downstairs.
The younger Uchiha played with his food. Literally.
"I want a prince to sweep me off my feet like they do in the fairy tales," Sakura said, twirling around in her dress-up outfit. "Or maybe a superhero who could fly me around everywhere."
Hana laughed. "Sakura-chan, you're only seven and you're already planning a guy in your life? Sweetheart, tu have so much longer to think about it."
"But kaa-san! I can imagine, can't I? While I'm at it, I also want a castle, and a pony, and lots of servants to do my bidding."
Her mother chuckled. "Marry the right guy and you'll get all of it. But until then, Sakura-chan, tu have your whole life ahead of you."
"Whatever," Sakura said. She continued to twirl around in her dress until her mother said, "I'm going to go downstairs and clean up the house. tu stay here and continue to be a good girl, okay?"
Sakura pranced around in her room, wearing her mother's high heeled shoes while she continued to spin, trying not to get dizzy. But once she felt her head spinning, she lied down on her cama and took one of the thick storybooks that was on the dresser, opening up to a misceláneo page.
"This story is about a girl who meets her prince at a ball," she dicho to herself, pointing to a misceláneo line. She flipped the page. "And this one is about one who meets hers while she's locked away in the woods." She flipped once more. "This one is a girl who doesn't know she has a superhero boyfriend, and he saves her from evil."
Sakura continued to flip pages and point at the words while recognizing each story. Then, she closed the book, put it back on her dresser, and stared at the ceiling, kicking off her shoes.
"I wonder when I'll find my hero."
five years later
One was too old for action figures. The other was too old for fairytales. But occasionally, they would look back through their stuff and realize how much fun they had playing with their items that they would take ten minutos out of their life just to rewind the clock and be seven again.
"Hey, Sasuke, your friends are here!" Itachi called from downstairs while Sasuke hurriedly put his action figures back in their cardboard boxes, swooping them under his bed.
"Coming!" he yelled, trying to hide evidence that he had been playing with his "dolls" again.
Sasuke ran downstairs, trying not to trip, while coming face to face with Naruto, his best friend, and Sai, his other close friend. He looked at Itachi in a way that said, "Go away, please," while giving another look to naruto and Sai, "Sorry about my lame-ass brother."
Itachi, understanding the segundo look, wiggled his eyebrows and said, "It's alright, he was upstairs playing with his old dol—"
"Sorry. Action figures," he said, stressing the words. Sasuke flinched, knowing that ridicule would come, especially from Naruto, but instead…he looked at Naruto, whose eyes brightened up.
"Action figures? I amor playing with them! I did when I was younger, and I still do now! Could I see what kinds tu have?" naruto was jumping up and down with glee while Sasuke looked over at Sai, who blushed and looked down at his feet. Sasuke came to the conclusion that Sai was also interested in his toys and Sasuke half-smiled.
Itachi, however, was not pleased to know that his plan on humiliating his brother did not work out.
"Sure," Sasuke said. "It's upstairs. Let's go," he said, motioning to his friends. They followed him eagerly while Itachi sighed.
"Still just kids inside…"
"He's so cute," Sakura said, lying on her cama with a yearbook open while her friends crowded siguiente to her, shoulder to shoulder, trying to see which guy she was looking at.
"This one? Ew, no," Karin said, shaking her head. "You must need my glasses. Here," she said, taking them off and handing it to Sakura, who laughed and pushed them away.
"You don't like him? Fine, whatever. What do tu think, Hinata?"
"Means no. Gotcha," Sakura sighed. "Two vs. one. Can't win." She flipped the page and Karin said, "He's cute!"
"Neji? Uh, that's awkward," Sakura said, looking over at Hinata, who blushed. Karin had no idea of the relationship between him and Hinata.
"No reason. Next," Sakura said. "How about Suigetsu?"
"He's, uh…" Karin began. She blushed. "He's okay."
Sakura saw the look on her friend's face and wiggled her eyebrows. "Hmm." Then she looked towards Hinata, who cracked a small smile. "You like him, right?"
Karin sat up abruptly and shook her head. "No! Ew! Of course not. He's a weirdo. Look at that hair! And his teeth. Ugh. He probably never shaves o anything. He's disgusting. I could never—"
"Don't worry," Sakura said. "Your secret is seguro with me."
Karin, still wary, raised an eyebrow. "What about Hinata?"
Sakura laughed. "You really think Hinata would tell?"
The redhead calmed herself and said, "No, she wouldn't." She lied back down on her stomach and said, "So what about this guy for you, Sakura?"
"Nah. But maybe for Hinata. I heard this naruto guy is quite the troublemaker."
But por the way Hinata fainted and toppled over the bed, her face red as Karin's hair, they could tell that she already had a thing for him.
"But this guy," Sakura mentioned, pointing to a photo. "This guy is something."
Karin looked to see who she was pointing at.
"This is so cool!" naruto said, taking out Sasuke's action figures. Sasuke didn't even need to tell his usually reckless friend to be careful, because naruto was handling them so carefully it didn't even seem like naruto anymore.
"These are pretty great," Sai mentioned.
"Thanks," Sasuke said. He took his favorito! hero out (Superman) and, feeling too embarrassed to make sound effects, nervously just waddled the figure across the floor.
"Fwoop," naruto said, waving them in the air, making his own record. "Kapow! Boom! Pow!"
Sai didn't say anything, but Sasuke could see that he, too, was enjoying himself.
"So, Sasuke," naruto said, putting down the action figure for a second. "Are there any girls that tu think are cute in our school?"
"How did we get from action figures to girls?" Sai asked.
"Like tu care anyway," naruto dicho sarcastically, rolling his eyes but making sure Sai knew he was joking. "So, anybody interesting?"
"You sure? I swore I saw tu check out some booty one time o another…"
"They were in my way! Where else could I look?" Sasuke said, almost angrily. naruto raised an eyebrow.
"I don't really know any of them well enough to say that I…harbor feelings for them."
"Harbor feelings? What are you, forty? Old hag, just name a girl in our class!"
"Okay, okay. How about…" Sasuke struggled to think of a girl's name, but being the loner he was, couldn't place one.
"I'm not going to be here forever, Sasuke. Here, let me help you. What about Karin? The redhead with the glasses?"
Sasuke shook his head. "No. She's not that great. Plus, she has a really loud voice. It's annoying."
naruto frowned. "Okay, what about Hinata?"
"Neji's cousin? She's weird. Not fantastic, either."
"The blonde with the ponytail? No way."
naruto was running out of names. "How about TenTen?"
"She's the one with the buns, right? Too boyish."
"She'd probably eat me."
naruto couldn't think of anyone else, until one name popped up. "Sakura! The girl with rosado, rosa hair."
"Pink hair…?" Sasuke began. "Oh. Her." He thought for a segundo and tried to remember her face. "Yeah. She's alright."
Sasuke struggled to remember más of her face, which was not very clear knowing that he hadn't really looked at her clearly before. "She's…pretty, I guess."
Sai looked away, putting the action figure down. He blushed.
naruto whispered, "I forgot to tell you, Sai's also got a huge crush on Sakura. But he tries to hide it por bullying her and calling her ugly. It's okay. He's just insecure." naruto patted Sai's back. "It's cool, bro, Sasuke won't go after your girl."
Sai smiled and then picked up the action figure again. "Pew, pew," he said.
"You're sixteen, teme! Are tu going to drive yet?"
"No, dobe. I'm not that irresponsible. Plus, I have to get my permit," Sasuke dicho as naruto took a big bite out of the birthday cake that Itachi bought. Sai smiled as he snapped photos, cutting a piece of cake for himself.
"Permit, schermit. Drive without."
"I repeat. I'm not that irresponsible."
naruto rolled his eyes while his lips were covered with frosting. "You're such a weirdo."
"At least I don't have a ramen fetish."
"Who dicho it was a fetish?"
Sai put the camera down and placed one hand on Naruto's shoulder, calming him while cutting another slice of cake for the boy. "Here," he said, giving it to the blonde. Then, he sat down siguiente to Sasuke and put a hand on the Uchiha's shoulder. "Happy birthday, bro."
Sai smiled and said, "So how does it feel?"
"How does what feel?"
"To be sixteen."
"No different than yesterday. Wait, aren't tu sixteen? Why are tu asking me?"
"Because the experience is different for everybody."
"I guess." Sasuke shrugged. "So, have tu and that Sakura girl…?"
"No," Sai admitted, blushing. "I can't…I can't ask her out. I'm too scared."
"Well, what if tu had naruto play wingman for you?"
Sai stared at Sasuke as if he were stupid. "You really think that's a good idea?"
Sasuke thought of what would happen if naruto did indeed play wingman. Instead, all he got was a monkey in a vest clapping symbols and then a huge seta bomb exploding.
"You're right. Never mind. Well…" Sasuke thought about it for a second, realizing he wouldn't take back his words no matter how much he would regret it, and said, "What if I played wingman for you?"
"You'd do that?" Sai asked.
Sai patted his shoulder. "Thanks." He gave Sasuke a smile.
They all ate cake together while naruto tried to prove that he didn't have a ramen fetish, but perhaps maybe a ramen obsession.
"Hey, Sakura," Sasuke said, coming up to her one día in the middle of the hallway while she was alone.
"Oh. Hi, Sasuke," she said. They hadn't talked much, only "hi's" sometimes and "see ya." But never más than that.
"I know we don't talk much, and this may seem weird, but…" Sasuke rubbed his neck nervously, and Sakura froze. Was he going to ask her out? Would he be her superhero to sweep her off her feet? She had harbored a small attraction to him ever since the sleepover…
"Uh, Sai wants to ask tu out. On a date. Sunday night."
"Yeah. tu know, Sai…" Sasuke said.
Sakura didn't know what to say. She didn't really know Sai that well other than his jokingly 'ugly!' taunts. It wasn't that Sai wasn't good looking. He was. But she just didn't feel anything for her. She didn't know that he would be her prince.
Sasuke, however…he suddenly realized why his friend liked her so much. She had that sweet innocence that he never saw in other girls. Not even that Hinata girl. Her eyes were green, like limes, and her hair was soft and rosado, rosa and framed her face well. And when she smiled…
He almost wanted her for himself.
"I'm sorry," Sakura said. "I can't…I can't go on a fecha with Sai."
Sasuke came back from his fantasía and said, "Are tu sure? If you're busy, then we can try and find a different date…"
"No, it's not that I'm busy. Sai seems really nice, but I don't think that…sorry," she said, stopping half-sentence.
Sasuke didn't know what he would say to his friend. Sakura bit her lip, said, "Bye, Sasuke," and walked past him.
Sai heard everything and sighed.
"I feel awful," Sakura dicho as she told about what happened to Karin and Hinata. "Really, I do. I'd hate it if I got rejected."
"But tu don't like him! You're just making it easier for both of you," Karin said, trying to comfort her. "It's okay, Sakura, tu did the right thing."
"Really? Hinata, do tu think so?"
Hinata nodded in approval, and Sakura smiled. "Thanks."
"But Sasuke, on the other hand…you like him, don't you? Remember that sleepover we had where we looked at his picture and tu thought he was 'something?' Remember that? I saw the way tu looked at him that night. Like he was a piece of dulces o something. Did tu reject Sai because tu liked Sasuke?"
Sakura didn't like Sasuke per se, but she did think he was cute and kind of had a crush on him. Maybe. But she knew that he was cute.
"I didn't reject Sai because I liked Sasuke, which I don't. I think. But because…yeah."
"You can't wait for your prince forever, Sakura."
"I know. But I'd still like to wait a little longer."
"I'm sorry, Sai," Sasuke dicho as he sat siguiente to him, naruto on the other side, both trying to comfort the rejected friend. "I know that tu liked her a lot."
"It doesn't matter that much anyway," Sai said. "We probably wouldn't match."
"That's no reason to stop trying!" naruto said. "Me and Hinata are complete opposites, but look how great we are together!"
"Because tu guys just work. Sakura and I don't." Sai looked at Sasuke. "You think she's pretty though, right? tu dicho so. And she thinks you're good-looking, too. I saw the way she looked at you. So why don't tu go for it?"
"Because you're my friend, and friends can't do that."
"Not if the other friend says it's okay," Sai said. "Besides, she probably thinks I think that she's ugly."
"She doesn't. She's smart enough to know that you're joking."
"Doesn't matter. But really, Sasuke." Sai looked at his friend. "I think that tu might have the shot I didn't."
Sasuke wanted to say something, but the look in Sai's face made him realize he wouldn't be listened to. "Is it okay to try?" he asked.
Sasuke put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "I'm sorry, bro."
"It's okay." He smiled.
Sasuke smiled back.
Her fairytale book was ripping apart due to having been read so many times. She still knew each story por heart, but her absolute favorito! was the superhero who had a girlfriend in his regular alter ego and saved her from evil while she had no idea.
"Su-pa man," she said, lectura the Japanese. "So amazing."
While she continued to read her stories, Sasuke had taken out his old box of action figures and began to play with them again, locking the door and clearing his throat before he took out superman and his dinosaurios and started to make sound effects.
Sasuke thought it would be alright to try to pursue Sakura once Sai had gotten over his crush. It had taken two years, but Sai seemed almost alright, and Sasuke had grown más and más drawn to Sakura when he saw her in school, the way she would laugh with her friends, tuck her hair back when writing, and put on glasses while she read a book deeply…
Sakura, on the other hand, was also becoming más and más smitten with Sasuke. The way his bangs dripped in front of his face, the way he walked, and the deep voice that echoed whenever he answered a pregunta in class.
The small crush she had at twelve turned into something bigger. Granted, it wasn't love, but still…she thought he was the closest thing to her superhero prince.
She wanted to see if he could be him.
"Hi, Sasuke," she said, walking siguiente to him in the halls after class was over.
"Hey, Sakura," he said, a little surprised that she had come up to him.
"Are you…are tu busy this week?"
"Depends. What day?"
Sakura thought for a moment. "Does Saturday evening sound good?"
"Seven. I'll correo electrónico tu my phone number with the school email."
Sakura walked away, shy but proud. She had asked Sasuke on a date, and he had accepted.
He kept walking down the hall when he saw Karin approaching. He froze for a second, and Karin walked right up to him.
"So you're Sasuke. We need to talk," she said, pushing him into an empty room.
For some reason, Sasuke was afraid of what was going to happen.
"Now listen here. I'm one of Sakura's best friends. She has liked tu for a long time. por long, I mean since she was twelve and we were stalking your yearbook picture. Don't interrupt, just listen. It's a long story. Anyway, she's still a little girl inside, waiting for her Prince Charming and superhero and all that, so if you're going to let her down, let her down easily. She may be old, but she's got the mindset of a kid who loves fairytales. The point is, she likes tu a lot, and thinks that tu might be the one for her."
Sasuke sat there in silence.
"Sorry to bother you." Karin left, leaving Sasuke to think about what she had just said.
She likes you.
With this newfound information, he left the room, a little dazed.
He picked her up at seven sharp at her address. It was raining out, but luckily, he brought an umbrella. He wore nice jeans and a unbuttoned plaid camisa, camiseta over a T-shirt. When she opened the door, she was wearing a flowy falda and a rosado, rosa top, and he felt his collar tighten a little bit por the way the wind blew against her, making her look pretty and almost like a movie star.
"Hi," she said, almost breathlessly.
"Oh. tu can come in," she said, opening the door a little wider.
"Thanks," he said. He took off his shoes and placed them siguiente to the door, and she said, "I didn't know the weather would be bad. Guess I should have planned ahead," she laughed. "Uh, do tu want something to drink o eat?"
"I'm alright. Thanks."
"Okay. Well, we can stay here, o we can hang out in my room…what do tu prefer?"
Though the living room was nice, he kind of wanted to see what her room was like. He imagined it would be rosado, rosa and frilly with posters of boy bands and the fairy-tales that Karin dicho she liked, but he wanted to see for himself.
"Could we go to your room? I'd like to see what it looks like."
Sakura blushed. "Okay. But it's a little messy." She led him upstairs and he followed while they turned left and entered a plain white room with the occasional flor decoration. The whole room was austere except for a few stuffed animals, clothes on the ground, and various libros on the shelves. A thick fairytale book was on her dresser, obviously worn out por having been read so much.
"It's not much, but it makes me happy," she said. She sat down on the cama and patted the asiento siguiente to her. "Here."
"Alright." He sat down, then pointed to her dresser. "You've read that a lot."
"Yeah. It's my favorite." She leaned over to get it and opened it up. "It's just a bunch of fairytales from when I was a kid. Princess meets prince stories. Saving the damsel in distress. That kind of stuff." She flipped the book to a certain page where he saw the pages were taped together securely with duct tape. It was a story of "Su-pa Man and His Girl." He didn't know the exact context, but could probably figure the storyline out.
"It's my favorite. This guy—Su-pa man, he has an alter ego as a regular guy. And he meets this girl, and falls in amor with her, but she doesn't know that he's a superhero. So he dates her as a regular guy and then fights crime as a hero at night, and eventually she finds out and accepts him. And they go flying through the sky at the end and kiss. It's really sweet." She blushed. "But it's also really childish, too."
"I think it's cool." He looked at her. "I used to amor playing with action figures all the time. My mom and brother teased me about it a lot. But it didn't matter. I liked them. I still play with them sometimes, to be honest." He should have felt embarrassed admitting it, but he didn't. "My favorito! hero was Superman."
"He's great, isn't he?"
Sasuke looked at her eyes. He knew that she liked him. He knew that she was pretty. He knew that she was still a child inside, wanting love, but really, she was like other girls—wanting to find their hero.
Those eyes looked up at him and he knew how he felt about her. He secretly thanked Sai for having his old crush, because otherwise, Sasuke probably wouldn't even know what it was like to be attracted to someone like this.
"So, Sasuke," Sakura began, closing the book. "What hero would tu want to be? Superman? Batman? Spiderman?"
He thought for a moment. And though all those choices would be great, he didn't want to be any of them.
Then, he closed his eyes and smiled.
"I want to be your man."