For Richer, for Poorer

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 1132
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: I have had quite the shit week and this idea is turning out a lot longer than I anticipated, so I'm cutting it in two to keep it at a decent length. For the people waiting for an update on my other ongoing stories: I'm sorry for the delay, I promise I'm working on them, this week was just a lot shittier than I had expected, so again my apologies for the wait.

EXTRA WARNING: Do not read this if you're a Sakura fan. This story is definitely not for Sakura fans, because she's not exactly portrayed well in this one. I'm giving you the warning now so you can still exit this story and go look for another one to read.

Warnings: Sakura's pov (Sasuke's pov will be in the next part); Alternate universe; A/B/O dynamics; Alpha Sasuke; homophobic Fugaku though nothing explicit; SasuSaku initially; not for Sakura fans

That's all for this particular part. Next one will contain the rest of the warnings.

I hope you'll like this first part!

Part 1

Sakura knew she had hit the jackpot when she got together with Sasuke.

Uchiha Sasuke was the heartthrob of the entire town: incredibly handsome, smart, charming on top of being an Alpha and one of the heirs of the Uchiha Cooperation. The Uchiha family was rich and Sasuke working at his family's company ensured a more than decent steady income every month. He was set for life and through him, Sakura was as well.

She was the envy of everyone with an inclination to the male sex when she got together with Sasuke and she revelled in that. Even Ino had been unable to hide her jealousy when Sakura had excitedly called her one evening to tell her Sasuke had agreed to a date. Everyone wanted to be with Sasuke and Sakura was the only one who could call herself his.

Even her parents were so impressed with her boyfriend that they stopped nagging at her to get a job. She would get one eventually, but if she started working at a hospital now, then when would she get to spend time with Sasuke? She already had to entertain herself during the day when Sasuke worked, but at least she knew when he would return home. But if she started working as well, who knew when they would be able to see each other? It was doubtful that their schedules would always align, after all.

No, she had her future already planned out in detail. She and Sasuke had moved into a beautiful apartment a few months ago after having been together for eight months and now she was only awaiting the moment when he would propose to her. Once they were married, they would have a couple of kids – two seemed like a good number – and once their children were old enough, she would look for a job in the nearby hospital.

It was the perfect plan – and then Sasuke's older brother, Itachi, decided to come out of the closet and tore apart the whole family.

Sasuke's father, Fugaku, had always been pleasant to Sakura from the start, accepting her as his future daughter-in-law, but as friendly as he was, she also knew that he was rather traditional. Even with Omega men existing and capable of carrying children, Fugaku was still of the firm opinion that men should only marry women. The Class didn't matter; they could be Omega, Beta or even Alpha, as long as it was a woman.

So when Itachi confessed that he was gay, it was as if a bomb had been dropped. Sakura wasn't there when it happened, having remained at the apartment, but from what Sasuke had told her – in a very terse, abrupt tone – things had been far from pleasant and Fugaku had refused to listen to what Itachi had to say, promptly kicking him both out of the family and out of the firm, in spite of his wife's vehement protests.

"So Itachi-kun is fired?" Sakura asked shocked, bringing her hand to her mouth. Fugaku must be really pissed off if he had gone as far as firing Itachi.

He and Sasuke were currently being prepared to take over from Fugaku once the older Alpha was ready to retire and Fugaku had always been enthusiastic – in his own way – about Itachi and Sasuke both taking over the reins. For him to actually kick out Itachi from the firm too … He really was quite traditional.

"Yes, he is," Sasuke said curtly, glaring at his glass of whiskey. "I can't believe that bastard actually went that far! Itachi is his son for fuck's sake!"

"Well, Fugaku-san is rather traditional," she said cautiously, hovering next to the couch. She'd been watching one of her favourite soaps when he'd stormed into the apartment and she had only just managed to pause the program on time.

"That doesn't give him the right to kick out nii-san out of the family and the firm!" he snapped and slammed the glass down on the table, making her jump.

"Where are you going?" she asked worriedly when he marched out of the room.

"To bed!" was the bit out reply. "Before I go back there and punch him in the face!"

She winced when he slammed the door of their bedroom shut and sighed, sinking back down on the couch. Best to give him some time to cool off. With Sasuke being this on edge, it wouldn't take much for an innocent comment to really set him off and the last thing they needed was a blown out fight between the two of them.

"This must suck for Itachi-san," she muttered to herself, taking the whiskey glass and bringing it to the sink to wash it off.

While not that close to the older man, she knew how much Itachi had loved working at his family's firm. To be fired so suddenly …

She sighed again and shook her head. Well, as much as she felt for Itachi, a part of her couldn't help but think he should have seen Fugaku's reaction coming. The man had always been very clear about what he considered to be normal relationships; why had Itachi thought it would be a good idea to come out to him? He must have known that wouldn't end well. Why not just have kept quiet about it and have a lover on the side or so? That way he could have kept his job and his place in the family.

Now, instead, he had lost both – was that so much better?

"How are you feeling?" she asked gently the next morning.

Sasuke had been fast asleep by the time she'd tiptoed into the bedroom last night and she had been cautious not to wake him up when she got into the bed. She'd missed burying into his side like she usually did, but after the upheaval yesterday, he needed his space.

He snorted, sipping from his tea. He was still wearing a frown even after a full night's rest. "Still pissed off. I'm going to talk to father again today."

"And say what?" she questioned, barely able to contain her exasperation. What point was there in talking to Fugaku when the man was clear about his views? Sasuke would only get into trouble himself!

"Get him to acknowledge how much of a bastard he's being," Sasuke answered darkly. "Won't surprise me if mother has been talking to him last night as well; she was furious, rightly so."

"You're going to get into trouble," she warned him, furrowing her eyebrows. "You know how your father thinks about gay people."

"That doesn't make it right, Sakura," he snapped, glowering at her. It made her hunch her shoulders uncomfortably. "Itachi is his goddamn son! That should matter more to him than some outdated bullshit!"

"You say that to him and you might risk getting thrown out as well!" She threw her hands up in irritation. "Is that what you want? Sasuke-kun, you're going - "

"Let him," he said coolly and stood up, his chair scraping loudly in the otherwise silent kitchen. "Itachi is still my brother, no matter who he likes. I'm not going to stand there and say nothing when father decides he wants to try out for the title of biggest douchebag of the century."

She gaped at him, taken aback by the insult. Even though Sasuke had a better relationship with his mother than his father, he had always talked respectfully about Fugaku and had looked up to him for all his life so far.

"Sasuke-kun, don't say that!" she admonished him, rising up too. "He's still your father!"

"My father wouldn't kick out his own son for being gay," he retorted coldly, walking out of the kitchen.

She followed him, growing annoyed. "So what? You're going to see him and start another fight? This is between your brother and your father; it's not up to you to - "

She abruptly shut up when he whirled around to her, his dark eyes flashing with anger. "Itachi is my brother," he repeated and if possible the air would freeze now, so cold was his tone. "I'm on his side, no matter what. If that means making father realise just what kind of an arsehole he's being, then I'll gladly do that."

"And what if he kicks you out too?" she asked shrilly, balling her fists. "What if he fires you too? Have you thought about that?"

He stilled for a moment, looking thoughtful, and she breathed out softly in relief. Yes, she just had to remember him about the good job he had at his family's company. It was ridiculous to potentially risk his good job for something that was only between Itachi and Fugaku. Itachi decided to come out, he had to deal with the mess resulting from that. Sasuke shouldn't have to risk his own career just because Itachi decided he needed to be honest.

But then Sasuke said uncaringly, "Let he kick me out then. I don't care," and gone was he, snatching his jacket and his keys on the way out.

"That goddamn idiot," she hissed when the shock wore off and she stamped her foot once in anger, before remembering she was on the fourth floor and her downstairs neighbour wouldn't appreciate too much noise.

"Eugh!" She stalked back to the kitchen and started clearing the table in an attempt to get rid of her anger.

Sasuke better not did something to jeopardise his career, damn it!

"I don't think he'll say anything stupid," Ino said soothingly.

One hour after Sasuke had left, Sakura had finally calmed down enough to call up her best friend so she could tell her about everything that had happened so far – including Sasuke possibly being stupid enough to antagonise Fugaku even further and risk his own career.

She loved him so much, but she really didn't understand why he was so willing to get into a fight with his father about something his brother had done. Let Itachi solve the mess – he was the one who'd created it in the first place!

"I don't know," Sakura said despondently. "You didn't see how angry he was, Ino. He might say something that'll make Fugaku-san even angrier and what's that going to solve?"

"Well, you know he and his brother are close," Ino remarked. "It's natural that he's angry. If I had a sister or brother who got kicked out just for being gay, I'd be pretty pissed off too. You have to admit it's a pretty stupid reason to kick someone out. Itachi-san didn't kill anyone, he's just gay."

"Yeah, but he might be risking his own career," Sakura pointed out and frowned, curling up on the couch. "How's that going to help anything? I just don't understand why he doesn't let Itachi-san fix the mess he created. It's not up to Sasuke-kun to solve everything!"

"I wouldn't exactly call being honest to yourself and coming out as gay as 'creating a mess' like you put it," Ino said dryly before she sobered up again. "Look, it's normal for Sasuke-kun to want to defend his brother. Their father is being an idiot, you can't deny that."

The pink haired woman huffed and plucked at her bracelet. "But what if Fugaku-san gets so mad he'll fire Sasuke-kun too? That's what I worry about!"

"Even if he's stupid enough to do that, Sasuke-kun is one of the smartest people I know. He'll be able to get another job in no time," Ino said confidently.

Perhaps her friend was right and Sasuke would be able to find a new job immediately – but would he be able to find one at the same level as he had now? They were living quite comfortably and freely thanks to his high pay; what were the odds he would be able to find a job with an equal high pay immediately?

You're worrying about nothing, she scolded herself and got up to search for her charger when she noticed her phone's battery going dangerously low.

No matter how loyal Sasuke might be to his older brother, he was also smart enough to realise there was no point in ruining his own career and standing in the family all because of something his brother had decided. Sure, the upcoming family gatherings would probably be rather uncomfortable for a little while, but they would get over it. Either Fugaku and Itachi would make up or they wouldn't, but that didn't have to influence the bond between Sasuke and his father.

Yes, she was being silly. She had known Sasuke for many years now and he'd always been the cautious sort. He wouldn't throw everything he'd accomplished away just because of a fight between his father and Itachi. That would be idiotic and Sasuke was far from an idiot.

Everything would be all right, she was sure of that.

"He fired me."

The words didn't register at first, busy as she was making sure their dinner wouldn't burn. She'd taken her eyes off the pan for just a couple of seconds, she swore, but now she was scrambling to make sure the chicken wouldn't get burnt. How was that even possible?

"I'm sorry, what?" she asked distracted, shutting off the fire underneath the pan and moving the pan to an unused cooking pit so that it could cool off a bit.

"He fired me."

This time the words did register and alarm bells instantly went off as she whirled around in shock, gaping at her boyfriend.

Sasuke was braced with his shoulder against the doorjamb, his arms crossed, and looking incredibly unbothered for someone who'd just been fired from the best job they'd had so far.

"What do you mean, he fired you?" she repeated shocked, grasping the counter for support.

He raised an eyebrow. "Exactly like I said: he fired me. I confronted him about his shit treatment, we got into a big fight and at the end he decided that apparently he's better off without his sons and kicked me both out of the family and the firm," he explained and he sounded so blasé about it, as if he was merely talking about how dreary the weather had been today instead of the fact that he just got fired and disinherited.

"He kicked you out?" she echoed dumbly and she felt so stupid for only being able to repeat parts of what he said, but she had a hard time wrapping her mind around the fact that Sasuke was fired.

He no longer had his well paying job. He wasn't climbing up the ranks anymore and wouldn't be taking over as leader anymore. Why was he so calm about this?!

"Yeah, he did. When I left, mother was still screaming at him about it. She called me a bit later before getting into another row with him," he said calmly and entered the kitchen fully, wandering over to check their dinner. "Chicken, hm? Sounds good."

"Why are you so calm about this?" she demanded incredulously. "Sasuke-kun, he fired you."

He raised his eyebrow at her again. "Yes, he did. I already confirmed that several times now."

"Then why are you so calm?!" she exploded, throwing her hands in the air. "Do you have any idea how much of an impact this has on us?"

"Look, he gave me the choice between staying at the firm or supporting my brother," he said irritated; his eyebrows pulling together in a deep frown. "Of course I'm going to choose my brother then."

"Of course you did," she said in disbelief. "How's supporting your brother going to help us pay the bills?"

"I've still got some money saved." He shrugged, still looking completely unbothered. "And I'll start looking for a new job tomorrow, it'll be all right."

"No, it won't be all right!" she snapped and smacked her hand down on the counter, ignoring the stinging pain in her hand. "Go back to your father and apologise! I'm sure he'll take you back if you apologise!"

He threw her an annoyed look. "Why the hell would I apologise to that bastard? If anyone should be apologising, it's him! I'm not going to beg for my job back, are you insane, Sakura?"

"I'm insane?" She laughed humourlessly, shaking her head. "You're the one who gave up an excellent job all for your brother when it's his damn mess to fix to start with! Why the hell did you have to piss off your father so much, Sasuke-kun?"

"Money isn't worth more than family, Sakura," he said sharply. "So yes, if I have to choose between my brother or working for a major dick, I'll choose my brother without a doubt."

"But what about your career?" she snapped angrily. "What about our future? Were you even thinking about us when you decided to piss off your father?"

"What's your problem? I told you I'll be looking for a new job starting tomorrow," he snapped back. "Why are you acting like that stupid job is more important than my brother?"

"Because your brother decided to be stupid enough to come out to your father, that doesn't have to mean that you should be stupid too and piss off your father!" she retorted, raising her voice. "Your brother is old enough to fix his own damn problems, damn it, Sasuke-kun!"

"My brother wasn't stupid for coming out, he was brave," he said coldly. "I promised him I would be on his side no matter what and I'm going to stick to that promise. No job is more important than my brother and Fugaku's backwards views are definitely not worth losing Itachi over them. If that means being fired and being kicked out of the family as well, so be it."

How could he just stand there and say all that like it was nothing? Like him being fired didn't mean that they were going to land in financial trouble eventually? Sure, they had saved some money, but did he have any idea how much it cost to keep everything running in their home? This neighbourhood wasn't upscale for no reason! He had had such an amazing job with a fantastic career and now here he was, having thrown it all away just because Itachi couldn't have been smarter and remained quiet about his sexuality.

Why did they have to suffer all because Itachi decided it was a good idea to come out of the closet? They might even lose the apartment if Sasuke couldn't find a well paying job soon and for what? A stupid promise to an adult man who should have known better?

"Go back to your father and apologise," she said, hating how her voice starting to tremble, hating the anger burning in the pit of her belly, but loathing the prospect of losing everything they had even more.

"I won't," Sasuke said resolutely. "He can apologise to me, but I won't do it."

"You're unbelievable!" she growled and marched out of the kitchen. "Enjoy your dinner, I'm going to Ino!"

God, why did he have to be so damn stubborn?!

It turned out that Fugaku had a lot more influence than Sasuke had expected.

Every position in the financial branch that Sasuke tried out for, every company he sent his resume to, rejected him again and again. It definitely wasn't because he didn't have the right qualities: his degree, experience and credentials was perfect for every job offer the tried out for, yet they either rejected him through mail, didn't contact him at all or bluntly told him he wasn't suited for the company if he did manage to get a live interview.

It didn't take long for Sasuke to find out what had happened: apparently Fugaku hadn't taken kindly to his youngest son supporting his oldest and had used his connections to ensure that neither of the brothers would be able to start fresh in another company.

"This is exactly what I was worried about," Sakura snapped and crossed her arms, leaning back against the counter.

Sasuke was glaring at his laptop screen showing yet another rejection mail. Six weeks after Fugaku had kicked out both his sons, Sasuke had yet to find a new job in the branch he'd been working in for years and soon he might have to start looking for jobs outside his field. If that had to happen, how on earth would they keep affording everything then? Their savings wouldn't last forever!

"Don't start this again, Sakura," he said irritated and rubbed his forehead. "I can do without that now."

"But I told you, you had to be careful and look what's happened now!" she insisted and waved at the laptop. "Because you just couldn't let things be, now you can't even find a job in the field you've been working in since you graduated!"

He pursed his lips and remained quiet, stubbornly refusing to look at her.

"Look, just go to your father and apologise," she pleaded again. "Stop being so stubborn and go make things - "

"You really don't get it, do you?" he asked abruptly and turned to face her; his eyes cool and flat. "Why the hell do you expect me to be the one to apologise when he's the one who has to get his head out of his arse? I did nothing wrong and Itachi did nothing wrong! So why should I apologise?"

"Because you're the one who's got no job!" she snapped back. "So suck up your pride and go apologise to him so that you can get your job back!"

"This has nothing to do with pride," he hissed, slamming his laptop shut. "This has to do with being a decent person and not dropping someone because of who they are!"

"How's being a decent person going to help you find a good job?" she yelled frustrated. "Is your brother going to get you a new job? You know, because he's the one who landed you in this mess?"

"Leave Itachi out of this, Sakura," he said warningly. "I'm the one who made the choice, he didn't land me in this mess."

"Then how about you make another choice now?" she snapped. "Go talk to your father or I'm out of here!"

"I'm sorry?" he said flabbergasted.

"I'm serious, Sasuke-kun! You either go talk with your father and get your job back or we're finished!"

"Aren't you overreacting now?" he said annoyed. "You're acting like the job at the company is the only one that exists. There are thousands of other jobs I can do if nobody in this field will hire me. I'm not going to - "

"But they're not going to pay as well as your previous job did and you know that too!" She balled her hands into fists, almost trembling with anger. "So stop being so damn stubborn and - "

"So you think money is more important than being on my brother's side?" Sasuke laughed incredulously and shook his head. "Come on, you can't be - "

"Is your brother going to pay our bills?" she cut him off angrily. "I didn't think so!"

"Hey, here's a thought: if you're so worried about money, why don't you go looking for a job as well?" he suggested snidely. "You've got your medical degree, don't you? Instead of relying on me to bring in all the money, how about you start making use of your degree?"

"Don't turn this on me!" she hissed and stamped her foot. "You're the one who decided that supporting your brother is more important than your own damn career!"

"I'm not going to keep arguing about this, Sakura. I'm not going to beg Fugaku for my job back, end of story," he said coldly.

"You either go talk to your father now or I'm breaking up with you!" she said decisively and crossed her arms again. "I'm serious, Sasuke-kun. Either you talk to him or we're over. I'm not going to stand by while you let your whole life be ruined!"

Surely Sasuke would realise she was serious? She didn't want to break up and lose him, but they could hardly go on like this. How were they going to afford everything if Sasuke had to make do with lesser pay? How were they going to have the wedding of their dreams if they didn't have enough money for it? How would they raise their children if they had to worry about money every month? Surely he would realise that wasn't a way to live!

Yes, supporting family was important and all that, but how was that going to help him with his own private life and his career? Itachi would surely understand that his little brother had to look out for himself and his girlfriend now. He had made a statement, had let Fugaku know what he thought about his treatment of Itachi and that should be enough now. Sasuke didn't have to agree with Fugaku's decision, but he could still work at the company!

Abruptly Sasuke stood up, startling her. "Well, if you consider money more important than our relationship, you know where the door is," he said coldly. "Don't let it hit you on the way out. Can I expect you to be out of here soon then?"

"Excuse me?" she said furiously, storming after him when he walked away. "Are you seriously kicking me out?!"

"Well, you made your choice, right? Money above family, seems pretty clear to me," he smiled thinly. "And in case you have forgotten, sweetheart, I bought this apartment with my money and it only has my name on the papers. So yes, I'm kicking you out. I wouldn't want you to stay with a poor man like me."

He mock saluted her and grabbed his phone and his keys. "I'm going to my brother. Enjoy packing your shit."

"You're going to regret losing me!" she yelled after him, her entire body trembling with rage. "We were perfect and you fucking ruined it!"

"Only one of us ruined it, Sakura, and it sure as hell wasn't me. Goodbye." He slammed the door shut behind him, making the nearby picture frames rattling against the wall.

A primal scream of rage escaped her, making her throat sting, and she stormed to the bedroom to start packing her bags. Fuck Sasuke! She was going to leave and he was going to regret choosing his damn brother over her! She had only been trying to look out for him and his career, but of course his ungrateful arse couldn't see that.

Well, fuck him! He wasn't the only fish in the sea and she was going to find someone even better than him, someone who did appreciate her and would listen to her advice!

She moved back in with her parents two days later, where all her bottled up emotions finally broke through and she spent hours crying on her mother's shoulder before calling Ino and complaining to her amidst another bout of tears.

Yes, she had technically broken up with Sasuke by giving him that ultimatum, but it still hurt, damn it! He'd been her first serious relationship, she had hoped to marry him and have his children, and then he had to go and ruin everything by being so damn stubborn!

"What was so wrong with me being concerned about his career?" she ranted, pacing back and forth in her room.

It was three months after she'd broken up with Sasuke and seeing the Alpha walking across a parking lot earlier today had brought back all her mixed feelings to the front again. But that was normal, right? She'd been together with him for so long, had been preparing for marriage, of course three months wouldn't be long enough to forget entirely about him.

"Isn't it logical that I was worrying about money?" she went on with a huff, kicking her purse to the side. It tilted to the side, spilling some pens, her wallet and her lipstick, but she couldn't be bothered to pick them up. "He acted like all I cared about was money, but I was just worrying about our future! It's not like the world is getting any cheaper, you know?"

She'd heard through the grapevine that Sasuke had sold the apartment and had moved in with his brother. Apparently he was still unable to find a decent job and a dark part of her – a part which gloated about the fact that she had warned him for this! – was glad about that, because it confirmed what she had known from the second Sasuke had pulled the door behind him for the last time: that they definitely would have landed in financial trouble if they had stayed together.

It wasn't as if she had been throwing their money out of the window, but she had definitely grown used to living at a certain standard and it had become obvious that Sasuke was no longer able to keep up that standard. His current misfortune hadn't escaped the town's attention either and as desired as he had been before, now a lot of people were definitely more hesitant about trying to approach him even when he was single now.

She couldn't blame them; who would want to be with someone who was financially unstable and not that great at making the right decisions either? Certainly, money wasn't everything, but it was definitely important and that was something Sasuke had stubbornly refused to acknowledge, all because he considered Itachi to be more important than his own career.

Really, all things considered, perhaps it was better that Sakura had ended things now: who knew what would have happened if this situation had occurred when they were already married and had children together? She shuddered and brushed the back of her hand across her mouth. Eugh, she didn't even want to think about that!

"True," Ino replied non-committedly. "Hey, you know what? You, honey, are in desperate need of some real distraction. How about you and I go to the club tonight and let loose? Like old times, remember?"

Sakura smiled, feeling her annoyance draining away at her friend's suggestion. Trust Ino to come up with the best idea to distract her. "Yeah, I remember. And you're right, I definitely am in need of some distraction, so let's do it! It's been ages since I last went out!"

Since before she got together with Sasuke actually, now that she thought about it. Sasuke had never been the club type, preferring to stay at home or go to a restaurant, and she'd happily stayed with him, because she had loved spending time with her boyfriend.

He was no longer her boyfriend, though, so she didn't have to think about what he might want to do. An evening at the club with her best friend was definitely something she was in dire need of!

Sakura hadn't expected to meet anyone at the club that evening, resolved to just enjoy herself at the dancefloor with Ino, celebrating her new freedom.

But then her eyes locked on a pair of dark eyes, which wouldn't look away, and there were nervous butterflies starting to squirm around in her stomach when Ino nudged her side and nodded subtly at the guy in question, a smirk gracing her pink coloured lips.

The guy looked vaguely similar to Sasuke, actually, at a closer look with his black hair and black eyes, but his hair was in a simple cut that suited his face and his skin was at least a couple of shades paler than Sasuke's. His face wasn't really similar either, but he possessed a kind of handsomeness, different from Sasuke's, that drew her in and intrigued her. There was something about him that called out to her and before she realised what she was doing, she wriggled her way between dancing bodies and approached him at the bar, watching dark eyes light up in interest.

She halted right next to him and leant slightly forwards, both to make herself audible and give him a subtle peek at her cleavage. "Hello there, my name's Sakura."

His eyes briefly flitted down before they locked onto hers again and he smiled, making her breath hitch when his face transformed entirely with it, making him look soft yet even more handsome at the same time. "Hello, my name is Sai."

Sai was a popular upcoming artist who frequently travelled across the globe to present his photography. He filled exhibitions to the brim every time, selling out all tickets and every gallery was eager to invite him, wanting to be the one who displayed his work.

Sakura barely knew anything about photography, but even with her very limited knowledge, she could see why Sai was so popular. There was something about the pictures he took, the angle, that made them look magical, even when it was just a picture of a bank standing in front of a building. He had that type of touch that turned every photo to magic, no matter the subject, no matter the angle.

He'd been on a short break when they had met in the club, refreshing his mind before he would go out and tackle his next project. They kept in touch even after that evening at the club and one thing led to another: five weeks after their first meeting, they went on a date.

That date led to another and that one to a third, a fourth, a fifth …

Butterflies – ones she hadn't felt in a long time – raced in her stomach every time she met up with him and she was head over heels by the time their tenth date happened. Yes, he was definitely not like Sasuke, bar some vague similarities, but that was exactly what she needed: someone who wasn't Sasuke at all.

Because unlike Sasuke, Sai did listen to her advice, even retaking pictures when she wasn't immediately sure what to think of them. Unlike Sasuke, he didn't mind taking her to expensive restaurants or joining her on a shopping trip that ended up taking the whole day. He was completely different from Sasuke from his personality to his financial status and she couldn't be happier with him.

This was exactly what she needed: someone who listened to her, who took her serious and who wasn't afraid to show her he loved her by taking her out and letting her go wild in the shops.

When Sai had to travel to another country again to show his latest exhibition, it was only natural that she joined him. Because that was what you did when you were in love: you supported each other. And she couldn't be prouder of her boyfriend when he showed important people around, discussing his photos, all while keeping an arm loosely wrapped around her waist.

At one time she had thought she would marry Sasuke, but she acknowledged now that it had just been a silly fancy of her, because he'd been her first boyfriend and the hours spent alone had allowed her to amply fantasise about how things would be once they were married.

She might not be at the stage yet with Sai where she could expect a marriage proposal any time soon, but that didn't matter. They enjoyed their time together and when Sakura got bored of the photography talk, she could explore whichever city Sai's work had brought them to.

This was yet another thing that made him better than Sasuke: thanks to Sai's successful job, she was able to visit places she never thought she would be able to visit, because Sasuke had never been particularly interested in travelling to other countries. He'd been rather boring, she admitted in retrospect, and now she couldn't understand why she had stayed with him for that long when he'd never wanted to do anything fun.

Sai was anything but boring, however, and she enjoyed every second spent with him.

Five years later she broke up with Sai and landed back on her parents' doorstep.

Sakura had tried so hard to be understanding, but with more and more exhibitions taking up Sai's time, time that couldn't be spent with her; with him getting annoyed every time she treated herself with new clothes even though he earnt more than enough money to be able to spend ten times that amount and still not landing in a worrisome situation; she just couldn't do it anymore.

The fun, even geeky Sai had turned into a workaholic who apparently thought they were barely making any money with how tightly he controlled their finances. Oh sure, they had still gone to the occasional expensive restaurant, but he had started complaining more and more about her spending when really, what was she expected to do? His photography work left her alone for hours on end most of the time unless she wanted to subject herself to the boredom of photography discussion with pretentious snobs. What was she supposed to do then to keep herself occupied until Sai finally returned to the hotel? Even sightseeing only took up so much time!

"You'll find someone eventually, sweetie," Mum reassured her and brushed a kiss on her forehead. "Go rest, all right? I'll wake you up once dinner's ready."

"Hm, yeah, thanks," she muttered, rubbing her eyes. She was experiencing some jetlag – the flight back from Dublin had been murderous, god – and resting sounded good now.

After dumping her clothes in the baskets, promising herself to wash them once she woke up, she returned to the kitchen to grab some water before making her way upstairs. When she passed the table, her gaze landed on the newspaper and she was about to walk away, not interested in reading the thick paper, when a headline caught her interest and instantly made her wide awake.

Uchiha Brothers to Organise New Charity Event

AN2: Like I said, not for Sakura fans. I hope this wasn't too awful!

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me!

I hope to see you all back in the next part! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!



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