|Those Who Chase The Sun
Author: sparou PM
Sakura isn't twelve anymore. She knows what opportunity really is. (AU set right after the three year hiatus, spoilers for up to that point, dark, sakusasu. Yeah. You heard the pairing right. I'm shocked myself XD)Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 1,205 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 14 - Published: 02-12-05 - id: 2260798
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It's easier than Sakura would have thought to infiltrate Orochimaru's stronghold. But then, when Orochimaru had made his first impression she'd been twelve, and he'd been a bogeyman who walked through walls and hid in the eyes of snakes.
She's not twelve anymore.
And she knows how to walk through a few walls now, herself.
Still, she's shaking by the time she gets to the ventilation shaft above Sasuke's room, sweat rolling down in drops like blood with the precise, perfect control it takes every passing second to completely silence her chakra.
It's not enough to make her hands-the hard-trained hands of a medic nin-clumsy, though. She removes the metal grille and slips to the floor below without a sound.
Visibility is low in the faint moonlight from one slit window. Sakura's eyes flicker to catalogue in an instant anyway: stained concrete walls, a bed, a toilet, one windowless metal door. It's not a room, really, from this vantage point. Closer to a cell-but that's a metaphor that she doesn't want to think about now.
It only takes her a split second to realize that the bed's empty.
It's not quick enough to prevent, the next instant, being jerked against a solid body with a the cold edge of a kunai against her throat.
"Sakura," Sasuke says in the dark.
Somehow, though he couldn't possibly have read her chakra or known someone was going to brave the entire force of Sound to break into his room tonight, he'd figured it out, and he'd figured out it was her.
It's a stupid, stupid thing to feel sudden nostalgia over.
But then, Sakura's feelings for Sasuke have never made very much sense.
I've missed you more than you'll know, she wants to say, here, pressed against him almost like an embrace.
"Sasuke," she says evenly instead.
"Where's Naruto?" he asks. And she'd been expecting it, so it doesn't hurt like a slap.
"He doesn't know I'm here."
Sasuke seems genuinely surprised at that, if the miniscule jerk of the kunai is any indication. But she'd been expecting that, too.
"This isn't...the sort of mission Naruto had in mind."
Sasuke is silent for a moment, most likely calculating all the possible things she might have meant by that in a split second. Then his grip on the kunai tightens again.
"I didn't kill you before. Don't think that means I'll hesitate now, if you try to get in the way of what I have to do."
From nowhere, Sakura recalls a memory from a long time ago, when they'd all trusted a friendly white-haired nin much more than they should have in a forest full of death. If you'd really had no qualms about fighting me, Sasuke-kun, you'd have attacked before declaring your intent.
It's enough to make her smile a little, invisible, in the dark.
"My wish is what it's always been, Sasuke-kun. That I never get in your way again."
It doesn't matter that Sakura can't move her head an inch unless she wanted it severed. She can feel Sasuke's eyes on the back of her skull like they burn. Narrowing beautifully, the echoes of the Sharingan flickering beneath cold black, searching every stray hair, every tiny motion, when-
Across the room, the deadbolt jerks and the door bangs open.
"Hey snaketoy," drawls a kunoichi twirling a flute, framed by the harsh fluorescent light from the hallway. "That fatass says he sensed-"
Medic razors have carefully, precisely severed all the veins in her neck before she can finish her sentence.
Shutting her eyes against the kunai that's dug almost fatally deep, Sakura slowly lowers her gloved hand.
Sasuke's hand on the kunai isn't quite steady.
Sakura realizes, as a hot drop of blood slowly rolls down her neck. Perhaps the for the first time in her life, she's done something completely beyond his expectations.
"Why," Sasuke asks, slowly, as if it's pulled from him, "did you do that?"
Sakura isn't twelve anymore. She knows what opportunity really is, and she knows how to exploit it.
"Do you remember what I told you before you left, Sasuke-kun?" she rasps painfully against the metal edge.
Sasuke doesn't say anything, and he doesn't pull the kunai out.
"You probably don't. You never remembered much of what I said to you. But-"
She pauses, breathing wetly. Her vision is beginning to blur; she's losing blood fast. Maybe not a fatal wound, but it'll become one, if she doesn't heal it soon...
And this is her only chance. In so many more ways than that.
"But I told you it didn't matter if you left. I'd help you kill your brother. I'd do anything you wanted. If you'd only take me with you."
The world is starting to darken at the edges now. If she can't staunch the bleeding, these passing seconds are her last shot to heal herself; once she passes out, there won't be a healer around for miles not owned by Sound.
"I told you...I understood you. Because if you left...no matter how many people I knew...I'd be alone, too..."
Taking a deep, final breath, Sakura lets all her coiled chakra drop away and closes her eyes.
"I told you I understood you. But you never did listen to me."
She's lived her life for this moment.
Crawling, hiding, surviving, becoming strong.
She's lived her life chasing after a back with an Uchiha fan.
She wants to say, there's a fine line between hate and love.
She wants to say, I understand you more than you'll know.
Instead she's silent, and Sasuke's silent, for moments that seem like a long time. Sakura wonders if he's going to let her die, and this, here, Sasuke's silence in the dark, will be the last thing she ever hears. And-really, that wouldn't be so bad...
Then abruptly, the world is moving.
The kunai is gone and she's sliding some direction-downwards-hard floor beneath her.
A hand pressed to her neck instead. Warm and calloused and not gentle, stemming the blood. Just for a moment, but the echoes of Sasuke's hand against her skin for the first time in three years remain even when the touch withdraws and cloth is pressed and wrapped and she's hoisted up-dizzily-legs around a waist-arms tugged around a neck and-
"That busty bitch taught you healing, right?" Sasuke's voice closer than she'd expected, right beside her ear, everywhere. "Don't just bleed while we get out of here. Make yourself useful."
Then they're moving. Up. Toward the door.
Then they're moving. Across the threshold. Into the light.
Releasing her chakra like breaking a dam, Sakura wraps her arms around Sasuke's back and holds on tight.