Author: BlueGreenApples PM
Post-Cannon.SasuSaku. Rin and Sakura, Kakashi and Sasuke. History just keeps repeating itself. Rated for violence and strong language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,291 - Reviews: 111 - Favs: 144 - Follows: 115 - Updated: 02-28-08 - Published: 02-26-08 - id: 4098247
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: Déjà Vécu
A girl with hair to match the riot of flowers overhead was strolling slowly down a lane lined by the trees that had inspired her namesake. Sakura Haruno was twenty-two years old and utterly disgusted with her life. As she turned her leaf-green eyes up to the swaying branches above her, she studied the flora she'd been named for. She drew in a deep breath and reaffirmed the events that had led her to her decision to leave the Konohagakure.
Her early days with Team Seven seemed a lifetime ago. She'd studied as hard as she could at the academy, becoming revered for her intelligence. Once she was assigned her cell, she had fallen head-over-heels for the boy who was still the root of her problems now. Her blind devotion for him had pushed her to excel once he'd defected to Sound, promising herself that one day she'd be able to bring him back.
It hadn't happened that way. Instead, Sakura had still been training under her beloved Tsunade-shishou when the last Uchiha returned to the Village of his own accord. He was fresh from his final showdown with his brother, Itachi. When the dust had settled, Sasuke had been the victor. Familiar anger settled in her chest when she acknowledged that he'd come back home more out of habit and lack of anywhere better to go, rather than true love for Hidden Leaf.
The Godaime had been lenient in his case, as he was the last heir to one of the greatest clans of Konoha. A year of monitoring and probation had gone quickly, and soon he flew through the Chuunin, Jounin and ANBU exams. Passing with flying colors, of course. He had settled back into the Uchiha District, slowly but surely renovating his family home between missions. The dark man joined his former teammates for the occasional sparring session or dinner, but for the most part lived a solitary existence. His quiet life showed no signs of changing and Sakura was tired of waiting. She was through begging for any scrap of attention Sasuke would toss her way.
Settling her gaze to the stone pathway before her, Sakura outlined her proposition for the Hokage. She wanted to leave the Village. It was her turn to wander the world, as both Naruto and Sasuke had been able to do with their Sannin sensei. Rolling her shoulders, she felt the two scrolls on her back shift. They were proof enough. One summoned her signature battleaxe, the other her slug companion Katsuyu. Sakura, under the tutelage of Tsunade, had become the most powerful kunoichi of the Hidden Leaf.
She was ready to strike out on her own. Make her own mistakes, learn her own lessons. This was her time.
Her pale features set into firm lines as she reached the Hokage's building and her determination remained as she disappeared inside.
It was a strange mix of nostalgia, anger, longing and determination. Her delicate face was so expressive that it all played out before his single eye with startling clarity. Like a broadcast or a beacon through fog. It was unmistakable. His fears were only solidified when he hung deftly from the branch, mentally following the path Sakura had taken through the garden. She was headed for the Hokage.
Kakashi knew what was happening. He knew with a certainty that made his stomach roll and bile rise in his throat. His only female student was leaving the Village. She didn't know it yet, but she wasn't coming back. But he knew. He knew.
Without another second of hesitation, the wizened elite-Jounin disappeared in a puff of smoke. He was going to stop his foolish students from making the biggest mistakes of their lives.
The figure at the desk's head shot up with a snort. "'M awake, Hinata! I promise!" Quickly swiping a sleeve across his face to erase any traces of drool, Naruto's blue eyes landed finally on the exasperated pinkette.
His face lit up. "Sakura-chan!" He sprang up from his seat, hurdling his messy desk and bounding over to his former teammate.
As he wrapped her in an enthusiastic hug, he exclaimed, "I haven't seen you in weeks! You're always so busy at the hospital and--"
Sakura smiled ruefully and mumbled into her friend's shoulder. "I resigned."
Still beaming, Naruto replied, "Oh, that's great! I--Wait, you what?" Pulling the petite girl back to look at her, he asked, "Why would you resign? You love your job!"
"I gave my position to Tsunade-shishou." Sakura smiled fondly, "She was going insane, sitting at home with nothing to do. Shizune's still around to help her, so the hospital will be fine."
Grinning reluctantly, the young Hokage nodded. After patting Sakura's upper arms, he stepped back. "But what will you do now that you've left the hospital?"
The woman watched as Naruto's eyes darkened with understanding and anticipation. Her friend had come a long way and was much wiser than he had been when they were young. She had the feeling that he knew what she was going to say.
Sakura squared her shoulders and delivered the speech she'd been planning for the past three months. "I want to be allowed to wander as a kage-level Sannin. I no longer feel that my presence is required in Konoha and wish to seek my own ambitions."
For a full five minutes, Naruto said nothing. He stood, fists braced on the lip of his desk and his head bowed. At last he raised his head and spoke, "And what would you pursue?"
Sakura paused. She hadn't really considered that. "I...I would assist small civilian villages as a traveling medical specialist and--"
Scrubbing a hand over his face, Naruto interrupted, "Tell me that this isn't over Sasuke, Sakura." He locked his eyes onto her surprised ones and vowed, "If you can tell me that, than you can go. If that's what you truly want."
Sakura steeled her features. "I won't lie to you, Naruto. He's part of the equation." Before the Hokage could speak she hurried to finish. "But I just feel like...You and Sasuke, you got the opportunity to see the world. I didn't. I was here, in Konoha, waiting like a good little kunoichi." Fisting her hands, she spoke passionately, "I want my turn! I want to be able to see something besides these walls. I think I deserve that. Don't you?" She began in a near yell, but ended close to a whisper.
The blonde sighed heavily and studied his former teammate. Leaning against his desk, he crossed his arms and began, "Yes, Sakura. You do deserve that." He raised a hand when she beamed and made to approach him, "But I don't think that you want this for the right reasons. I think...that you want a painless solution to all of the problems you have pressing on you right now. And I think that if you walk out of those gates right now," he pushed off of the side of his desk to walk to his stunned friend and gather her hands into his, "that there's a very good possibility that you won't come back."
Dipping his face to look into hers, he smiled sadly. "You know that's the last thing I want. That anyone here wants." Bouncing her palms a little in his to convey his excitement, he added, "Hinata is due any day now and I hoped that you'd be the Godmother." At the sight of the slight girl's teary face, Naurto pulled her into a tight hug. "Please don't cry, Sakura. You know I hate it when you do."
In a watery voice, Sakura pleaded into her life-long friend's chest, "Naruto, I'd love to be your child's Godmother. I really would. I just--I have to get away! I don't know what else to do! I tried, I tried so hard...but--"
Smoothing his hand over Sakura's silk-clad back, Naruto inhaled and said softly, "If you promise me," he pulled her back to look into her eyes, "Promise me you'll come back, Sakura. And you can go."
A bright smile shone through the pinkette's tears. "I promise, Naruto. I'll come back."
Rather than instantly breaking the grip on his person, Sasuke decided to give his mentor the benefit of the doubt. Instead, he grasped Kakashi's wrist in a subtle warning and raised a single brow.
The normally laid-back expression had disappeared from Kakashi's features and was replaced by a uncharacteristically serious one. When he spoke, it was with a strange tone. "Sasuke. I may have failed you at some point as a sensei or as a mentor or father figure...I'm not sure exactly when you stopped listening to me, trusting me." He trailed off for a moment and got a faraway look in his sole visible eye. Snapping back to the issue at hand, he tightened his grip on Sasuke's shirt front. "But you will not make the same mistake that I did. I won't let you."
When it occurred to him what Kakashi was saying, Sasuke's already slightly rankled look increased ten-fold. "I won't have this conversation again. She and I--"
Shaking the younger man, Kakashi yelled into his face, "Bullshit! You didn't separate on even terms! Look at yourself! You're still moping around this graveyard feeling sorry for yourself. And she, she's heartbroken...but there isn't a gods-damned thing she can do about it. You won't even look at her, you immature little shit!"
Sasuke was stunned for a moment by his usually mellow teacher's sudden anger. But the shock wore off quickly and he was out of the Jounin's grip in an instant. Jerking his dark shirt back into order, he stepped back and growled, "What goes on between she and I is our business. We're not Genin anymore, Kakashi."
His eye narrowed to a near slit. "Then stop acting like one, Uchiha."
Turning away from his former teacher, Sasuke took up his hammer and another board. As he crouched to lay the piece of flooring, he spoke tersely, "She and--"
With a growl, Kakashi kicked the board from the other man's hand. "Say her name, dammit! This is what I'm talking about!"
As the plank clattered loudly at the other end of the room, Sasuke stood slowly, every line of his body screaming rage. Without meeting his sensei's gaze, he spoke. "Sakura and I are both fully grown adults. What we do or do not do is not for you or anyone else to decide."
"So breaking the heart of the girl you've loved since you were thirteen is alright so long as no one calls you out on it? Is that the kind of bullshit you're feeding me?"
Sasuke's eyes bled to red as his glare locked onto Kakashi. Stalking forward until he was toe to toe with the older man, he snarled, "Do not presume to tell me how I feel."
Kakashi leaned until his nose nearly touched his former student's. "I don't have to presume anything, Sasuke."
From the day he and Sakura had separated, Rookie Nine and their allies had done nothing but dog him. Sasuke was fed up. A shout of rage escaped from the Uchiha's throat as he shoved Kakashi back violently. "Fuck you, old man. You made your own mistakes, don't push them off on me! Sakura is NOT Rin!"
Rather than rise to the barb, Kakashi hung his head and murmured, "She's leaving."
Confusion mingled with the blatant anger on Sasuke's features until he asked, "What?"
When Kakashi responded, he sounded as though the weight of the world was lain upon his shoulders. "Sakura is leaving Konoha. For good."
The confusion receded as a confident smirk fell onto his face. "You're lying. She would never--"
The elite-Jounin just shook his head. "I stopped by the hospital before I came here. Tsunade says she resigned yesterday, she was headed to see Naruto when I last saw her."
Sasuke's smirk evaporated instantly. A little more hesitantly than before, he said, "The idiot would--"
"You and I both know that all she has to do is shed a few tears and Naruto will do anything." Kakashi stared into the last Uchiha's eyes as the full scope of what was happening occurred to the younger man. "Now tell me you don't love her, Sasuke. I'll leave and never bother you again."
The Uchiha rocked back on his heels, pressing his hands into twin fists at his sides. He said nothing.
Kakashi gave the young ninja a disgusted look and turned to leave, parting with the words, "Then you don't deserve her."
Before he could walk out the shouji, Sasuke sped past him, kusanagi in hand. The dark haired male was headed for the gates.
Kakashi's slacking posture returned as he heaved a sigh of relief. But, rather than burying his nose in his perverted little book, the man looked to the sky. He remained that way for a moment before strolling away, lost in his memories.
The Uchiha stepped up to his rival's desk, placing one hand on its surface and leaning forward until the blonde looked up. "And just what did she come here to ask you?"
Blue eyes met black. "She wanted to be granted permission to leave Konoha as a Sannin. I gave it to her."
Sasuke snarled. "Why would you do that?"
A dark look fell over the normally cheerful man's face. "Because she deserves to find out if there's something more out there for her than being your shadow."
Saying nothing, Sasuke pivoted and made to jump back out the window he'd come in through. A kunai thudded into the sill next to his hand and gave him pause. The dark haired man turned to face his former teammate.
Naruto enunciated very clearly when he said, "This--conflict--between you two has to be delt with...and Sasuke?" Finally directing his gaze toward his best friend, the young Hokage added, "If you hurt her...don't bother to walk back into this Village. You'll be dead to me."
Without another word, Sasuke leaped out the broken window, using chakra enhanced jumps to make his way quickly toward the gates of Konoha.
She was passing The Bench when the last voice she wanted to hear sounded from behind her. "Sakura."
Shoulders freezing at the sound of her name, she didn't turn. Instead she spoke to the empty road before her, letting the soft breeze carry her voice back to her former lover. "Yes, Sasuke?"
The light clack of his nin-sandals on the stone behind her stopped only a few steps behind her. "What are you doing?"
Her smile reappeared as she glanced to the puffy clouds overhead and responded, "I'm leaving."
"No, you aren't." Sasuke spoke with calm authority and certainty.
Sakura's blood boiled but she still wouldn't face the Uchiha as she hissed, "It's my turn, Sasuke. I'm leaving and maybe I'll be back. Maybe."
A low growl and the sound of his shoes on the path started again, "You're not leaving the Village, Sakura. Don't be stupid."
Twisting to the left to avoid his hand as it grasped at her elbow, Sakura didn't get violent like he'd assumed she would. Instead, she spoke, maddeningly calm, "I am leaving. You can't stop me, I've already been given permission--"
He caught her lower arm in a vice grip as he cut in, "By Naruto? He's not the one you should be asking."
Finally, Sakura's furious eyes met Sasuke's as she spat, "He's the Hokage! Who should I ask? Surely not you. You voided any control you held over my decisions a long time ago, Sasuke. It's absolutely none of your gods-damned business what I do now. I'm leaving and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"
Black eyes bored into the pinkette's emerald ones. He raised his other hand to grip her remaining arm. His voice was so soft she could barely hear him as he whispered, "Marry me."
Sakura threw back her head and laughed until she was light-headed. When she looked back at Sasuke, he was glowering at her rosy face. Still a little giddy, she laughed, "You're joking."
His face set into angry lines, he replied, "I'm not."
"Sasuke, you haven't so much as looked at me since we broke up. Now you want to marry me?," she looked at him frankly, "You're just trying to stop me from leaving and it's not going to work."
Releasing her arms, Sasuke backed off only to stalk up to her again, towering over her. "I mean it. I'm not just trying to keep you here."
The pretty pink flush of Sakura's cheeks drained away. "Stop it, Sasuke! It's not funny anymore! You're being really cruel." Backpedaling away from his taller form, she continued, "You're not going to take this from me. I'm going."
"I said no."
Before he could get a hold of her again, Sakura drew her weapon scroll from her back. Hopping away, she propped the tall seal on the path at her feet. "I'm going and I'll fight you if you won't stand aside."
A metallic sound slithered through the tense air between them as Sasuke drew his kusanagi with a slow grace.
Tipping her chin up, Sakura tossed the scroll into the air, biting her thumb and smearing it across the parchment as it fell. The enormous form of her battleaxe emerged from the seal and she hefted it with eerie ease. Its monstrous form looked out of place on her slim shoulder with only the scrap of pink ribbon at its hilt to mark it as Sakura's.
A cocky grin slid onto Sasuke's thin mouth. "What happens if I win?"
Sakura's smile had a sharp edge as she responded. "If you win, I'll marry you."
When Sasuke shifted his weight, ready to attack, she raised a hand and added, "If I win, you're coming with me. Wherever I want to go."
Chapter Two: Déjà Senti coming soon.
Thank you for reading and please review.