|About the Little Things
Author: aNdreaa PM
Sakura wasn't ignorant of the growing space between them; the space that had, in the moments of their greatest intimacy during their spars, dwindled to a line so thin and so blurred that they almost could have been considered 'together'. SasuSaku.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 16 - Words: 50,136 - Reviews: 570 - Favs: 577 - Follows: 323 - Updated: 06-25-10 - Published: 11-12-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3242818
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
About the Little Things
It was astounding, at first, to Sakura how busy one could become when under the tutelage of the Hokage.
She spent her days under a mass of books and scrolls; her hands stained with ink from her many hours of note-taking and her eyes tired with reading cramped text and scientific notes. And although she was constantly buried under the weight of more knowledge that Tsunade thrust upon her, she didn't complain at all. Because she liked it.
She liked learning and she liked discovering something she hadn't known before. Sure, sometimes, she overworked herself sometimes by taking late and long shifts at the hospital and of course, studying into the wee hours of the morning wasn't something Tsunade recommended at all, but knowledge of the books and of the medical mind was something Sakura could never get tired of. Even if it was almost nearing midnight.
However, one thing she did not count on was missing what was potentially the biggest news of her life on account of being at the hospital in a blur of busy hands.
Tsunade gave her apprentice a significant look.
"He's back?" she repeated. "Sasuke?"
The Hokage flipped through some papers before marking some with an inked brush, not looking up.
"…along with a full mission-free year, 2 years probation, and he must be under extensive ANBU watch 24/7 until he can be trusted in another's company. He will have to sit through council meetings and questionnaire from myself and miscellaneous police officers as well."
"No. But until he gets back on his own two feet with my trust and better judgement, yes."
Sakura gulped, not knowing quite how to take this news. Her stomach seemed to have twisted inside itself; she felt anxious all of a sudden. A billion questions ran through her head but she thought it best not to dump it on Tsunade.
"That's quite a lot."
"He left and betrayed the village to kill the last person he was related to, Sakura," Tsunade explained, "And in the process, he injured quite a lot of his own comrades and killed some Konoha police. Police with families. It was either extensive punishment or execution. You can thank Uzumaki for the leniency."
Of course Naruto had spoken on the Uchiha's behalf. Who else would?
It wasn't brand new news to Sakura. No, she had not been moping around her house the entire six years Sasuke was out fighting for his life. She had spent the first four trying to retrieve him, but after a great argument with Naruto, he managed to convince her to stay back at the village. Not for her own safety- Sakura may have had less brute strength than Naruto, but her intelligence was desperately needed- but to help the village once it was under attack.
Naruto was smarter than he looked- sure enough, the village had become a target from the Sound and if she hadn't stayed within, most of her friends would be at their deathbeds.
Sakura shifted her medical bag on her shoulder.
"When did he get back?"
"When you were on duty at the hospital. Naruto didn't tell you?"
Sakura had a fleeting memory of shaking Naruto off her back while she busied herself with the 12 patients she had at the same time.
"…I was kind of busy," she said feebly. "I don't really pay attention to Naruto's incessant talking."
Tsunade raised an eyebrow.
"Well, you can leave. I'm assigning you a D rank mission right now to heal a man's daughter down the road out of the border. It shouldn't take long and you should be there before midnight."
"Right," Sakura said, distractedly, suppressing the desire to ask where Sasuke was now.
"I'll see you in two hours when you check back, then."
Sakura closed the Hokage's office door behind her and comfortably leaned against the wall, her eyes closed. She sensed a familiar presence lurking nearby, and she took the opportunity to speak first.
"Naruto, you didn't tell me he was back. I thought it was another one of your stupid ways of getting my attention."
"Well, maybe you should pay attention to what I'm saying next time, Sakura."
Naruto had suddenly appeared next to Sakura, his trademark grin plastered across his face.
Other than the slight increase in length of his blonde hair and the growth spurt he'd achieved years ago, the only significant change was the ANBU mask hanging from his neck and the green vest. His undershirt was the favorite orange, clashing horribly with the green.
Sakura smiled, unfazed at his sudden appearance.
"I never listen to what you say, Naruto," she joked. He grinned.
"Well," he said again. "Would you like to visit him at the hospital? He's in room 106."
So that's where he was staying. "Maybe some other time. Tsunade just gave me a mission, and then I'm done for today."
"But…he's our teammate."
Sakura tried hard to resist saying that he used to be their teammate. He had finally returned after six treacherously long years. 3 were spent training with Orochimaru to kill his brother. 2 were spent to find his brother and perform the actual killing. And the last year was spent overthrowing Orochimaru. It was like a circle going nowhere.
Six years of silence.
Six years of a nonexistent Team 7.
Sakura had found it hard to look at their team portrait that lay in a frame in her room.
She was 18, and a new person. The second best medical ninja in all of Konoha, surpassing Shizune and one step behind the Godaime. She was not in ANBU yet. Perhaps in the near future, but she was happy being a medical Jounin. Hospitals needed her just as much as the battlefield.
"Has he changed?" she said, awkwardly.
"A little. He got taller, and his hair got spikier, and his voice is a little deeper—"
"That's not what I meant, Naruto," Sakura said serenely. Naruto grinned.
"He's still the same stoic bastard as before."
"Well," Sakura said, breaking her train of thought, "tell him I'll visit him soon. Just, not tonight."
Taking a glance at the look Naruto was giving her was enough to make her apologize, but she held it in.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Naruto," she said quickly, walking away.
What was she thinking? Sasuke was her friend. Sure, he was a backstabbing traitor who had said thanks for worrying about him and slung her romantically on a bench before he left the village…
…but he was Sasuke. Where had the infatuation gone?
Sakura looked up at the sky. It was a dark blue with no stars and no moon. It was best to do the mission as quickly as possible to avoid late-night attackers.
She passed the hospital and couldn't help but look toward the first floor. There was a light on one of the windows. A silhouette was sitting up in bed, and Sakura knew it too well by the trademark spiky hair.
Snapping back to what she was supposed to be doing, Sakura walked faster to keep from thinking too much. Her breath made little white clouds in the cold night air, and she pulled on her gloves.
It was best to listen to Naruto and simply visit him to get the tension out.
The Next Day…
The pink-haired girl looked up, surprised.
"Naruto? I thought you were on a mission."
"It ended early," Naruto said, frowning. "You said you were going to visit Sasuke."
"Well," Sakura said, quickly, straightening out the files in her hand. "I've been busier than usual, and I'd really like to get all of the patients cleared for this aft—"
"Sakura," Naruto said with slight superiority. "He's just down the hall."
Sakura swallowed. There was no excuse. She was working on the first floor. His room was close.
"Two minutes," Naruto insisted. He seemed to understand the anxiety Sakura was bearing, but the only way to get it out was to confront it.
"Two minutes," she stated, and set down her files on a table. Taking off her white apron, she walked down the hall to room 106.
Holding her breath, she knocked.
No one answered.
"Okay, he's not there," she said quickly to herself, and whipping around she came face to face with the very boy she had been supposed to be visiting.
Sakura couldn't seem to get his name off her lips.
"Sa…uh…" she cleared her throat, "Um, I was just trying to uh…"
The words died in her throat.
Sasuke was taller. That was the first thing she realized. His chin probably would have barely graced the top of her pink head. His eyes seemed blank and dark like the first time they had met him, but he wasn't looking at her. He was looking past her. Not daring to look up, she grew red from embarrassment.
Sasuke didn't say anything.
"Right. That was two minutes. Bye!" Sakura said quickly, and almost running down the hall, wondering why on earth she was trying to avoid Sasuke when only several years ago, as a genin, she had tried to kiss him.
Haha, not a really big cliffhanger, but I was about to cut it off when Sakura sees Sasuke's silhouette…
Hm, I'm not sure where I'll go with this fic, but it'll probably be another long one filled with Sasuke angst and drama. Heehee, please review!
7/28/2009: I edited the beginning of the first chapter a bit. Nothing big. Don't mind.