|Letting You Go
Author: Atomic Jello PM
For me, letting you go was like a cigarette addict giving up smoking: it hurt like hell. Only now, seeing you with him, do I know what Sasuke felt all those years. But, time heals all. NaruSasu NaruSaku LeeSaku Part 3 of Synchronized Arc.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Sakura H. - Words: 3,542 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-10-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4530750
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Letting You Go
Summary: For me, letting you go was like a cigarette addict giving up smoking: it hurt like hell. Only now, seeing you with him, do I know what Sasuke felt all those years. But, time heals all. (Sasunarusasu) (Narusaku) (Leesaku) (Part 3 of Synchronized Arch)
A/N: Here it is! Sakura's view as suggested by blugirlami21! Because, well, I'd never be smart enough to come up with the idea to write Sakura's view. Domo arigato, blugirlami21! Thank you so much for your advice!
Yeah, this is accompanied by yet another horrible poem, but bear with me, please. This takes place three years after Synchronized, and the order goes like this: Colors, Synchronized, Letting You Go, and the final installment, Hope.
This doesn't really sound like Sakura, but, well, I guess it's a cross between Outer Sakura and Inner Sakura, thus the slight potty mouth. Nothing too horrible, but still requiring at T rating.
Shameless Advertising: Hurry! Finish up this one-shot and go read Synchronized, Colors, and Hope (when it comes out) if you haven't already because this is part of what I now dub the Synchronized Arch.
Now, to clear up confusion: Lots of people wanted me to write just a third chapter to Synchronized and possibly an epilogue and not Letting You Go, but I feel entitled to write this as well, for bluamigirl21 because ignoring the genius of her advice would be just plain mean.
Beta: The wonderful, fantastic MikoGoddess of course! Thank you times ten for being an awesome beta, MikoGoddess!! The only reason that this story doesn't suck is because you take care of my mistakes and help me make my writing better (has anyone noticed the difference?)! Domo arigato!!
Disclaimer: Last time I checked, Kishimoto Masashi was still refusing to share Naruto with Narutards like me… hmph. Crazy, stingy Japanese manga artists that are too successful for their own good…
Letting You Go
It's killing him by inches,
Seeing you with me.
He's no longer the same man,
He used to be.
Gone is the laughter…
He used to smile so happily.
He was such a beautiful boy,
All smiles and smirks,
He was such a beautiful boy,
No duties would he shirk.
He was such a beautiful boy,
But where has that boy gone?
I'll give up my drug,
I'll send you to him,
I'll save his heart,
Whose light has dimmed.
I guess I'm undeserving,
But who isn't?
A smile is curving,
That perfect mouth once more.
And some way, somehow,
It still manages to warm my frozen heart.
I met the two of you years ago, in middle school. Truthfully, I'd like to say that it was love at first sight between you and I, but, honestly, it wasn't. I fell in love with Sasuke first. I guess it was his perfect looks and his loner attitude that drew me to him. I wanted to alleviate that sadness and emptiness that I only glimpsed in his eyes.
You moved to Konoha together in sixth grade, to train with the legendary Tsunade Sannin: my aunt. I was told to show you two around, and I was more than happy to cling to Sasuke. He was perfect to me: crazy beautiful, smart (honor student, straight A plusses, four-point-oh grade point average, student body president…), athletic (he had a great body too), popular… everything I wanted in a guy. Ino and I both hunted him all those years, but then Ino met Shikamaru and my only real competition (or so I thought. I had counted you out for obvious reasons) was eliminated. I still chased Sasuke, but not as avidly. Every time I tried to get closer to him, he just pushed me away. I completely ignored you even though you openly adored me. At the time, I thought you were just a nuisance; an annoyance that was part of Sasuke's package.
No, not that package, you pervert!
Anyway, we started dating our first year at Tokyo University. At first, it was a ploy to get closer to Sasuke and to figure out how to capture his heart, since he seemed fairly enamored with you, even then, but I guess I sort of just… discovered how sweet you were and that you really weren't an idiot deep down.
Really deep down.
It was wrong, using you that way, but I learned to love you, didn't I? I learned to love you more than I thought I could ever love anyone.
And now, I've learned to let you go.
But, damn, it hurt.
Afterwards, I guess I was numb. I slept around like Ino had before she met Shikamaru. I partied and drank and whored myself out to whoever wanted a meaningless lay. People talked about, called me a whore and a bitch and slut, and I though, What the hell; it's all true, isn't it? I didn't give a damn, though. It was a path of self destruction, and I knew full well what was waiting for me at the end, but I did it anyway.
Lee saved me.
He was that dorky kid who had a crush on me in middle school, and he went to private school in high school, so seeing him again at your twenty-fifth birthday party was a huge shock. I mean, who thought the skinny, bony little bowl-cut-sporting, green-jumpsuit-wearing boy would become a hot, muscular stud? He even ditched the jumpsuit for relatively normal (but still blindingly green) clothes and he'd gotten his hair cut so that it resembled the hair of some famous movie star.
It suited him really well.
Now, I can't say that that was love at first sight either, but, well, I fell in love with the new and improved Rock Lee the second my eyes met his. We started dating and he was the perfect gentleman, bringing me flowers and chocolate and all of that clichéd crap and I loved every minute, too.
Who knew his freaky uncle, Gai Maito, was loaded?
I guess I'm happy that we broke up. Sure, you and Sasuke had to march over and give me a verbal lashing to get me to accept the fact that the two of you were blissfully happy together. I remember it perfectly, because, even though it was painful, it is one of my most cherished memories.
"Sakura?" You sounded more serious then I'd ever heard you sound before.
"Yeah, babe?" I fiddled with my pink, Swarvoski crystal-covered Razr, studying me reflection in the full-length mirror: soft, waist-length pink hair, wide green eyes, a large-ish forehead, flawless peach-colored skin, long legs, curved hips, a narrow waist, and an annoyingly small bust line. I frowned in agitation. Was I really going to be stuck flat-chested forever?
"I think we need to talk." You sounded almost… angry.
"Why, Naruto?" I asked. "You sound like you want to break up." I laughed at the thought; who would want to break up with me?
"No, Sakura, I want to make sure you understand that we're over and that we've been over for a week now." You sounded really angry now, like you were talking to an annoying little kid who just wouldn't understand a word of what you were saying.
"We're not a couple?" I asked, baffled. "What are you talking about, 'Ruto?"
"I'm saying, Sakura, that we're over and you need to understand that."
"Naruto, you're being ridiculous. Let's just talk this out, 'kay?" You were obviously going insane. I gave you everything you wanted, and then some. Why would anyone in their right mind want to end a relationship with Sakura Haruno?
"Fine. Meet me and Sasuke at café Amoureux on the corner of 42nd and 43rd." And, just like that, you hung up. No "I love you, Sakura," no "Later, babe. Love ya," no "See you later, love"… And what was up with the way you worded it? 'Me and Sasuke'? You and Sasuke? Why did Sasuke need to be there? Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. And, a breakup at a restaurant named 'Amoureux', literally meaning to fall or to be in love with somebody or something?
I pulled on a slinky black dress that came to mid-thigh and was dangerously low-cut. If it didn't convince you to come running back, nothing would. But, for insurance, I slipped a powdered aphrodisiac into my purse, just in case you needed extra convincing and was unwilling. A little of the powder in your wine would have you begging for me. I smirked and strode out into the street.
Amoureux it was.
You were waiting at one of the outdoor tables, Sasuke seated calmly by your side, playing with… kittens? Yes, the almighty Uchiha was petting an orange kitten that was nestled into his dark, silken hair as its coal black brother batted at Sasuke's bangs, finding great amusement in how they always swung back into place to frame is annoyingly perfect face.
Turning heads, I waltzed right up to you, throwing my arms around your strong, broad shoulders, just to spite the Uchiha. Sasuke glared at me. I'd noticed a while ago how the Uchiha felt about my Naruto, but, first come, first serve.
"Hey, babe; what'd you want to talk about?" I asked even though I knew very well what you wanted to discuss.
"Sakura, I want you to know that we're over," you said, looking me straight in the eye. You took Sasuke's free hand in yours, entwining your fingers, ivory skin against your golden tan. "I belong with Sasuke, Sakura."
"Don't be silly, Naruto." I said, a hint of desperation coloring my voice. "What can Sasuke possibly give you that I can't?"
"I love him, Sakura. I guess I always have." Your blue eyes were pleading. I've always been a sucker for them. "Please understand, Sakura."
"Are you saying that you've been lying to me all these years, claiming that you love me unconditionally?" I demanded, hysteria creeping into my voice. I wouldn't let Sasuke steal you from me. Not now, not ever.
"I do love you, Sakura," you murmured, your voice soft and gentle. "But not in the way you want me to. Gomen nasai (1), Sakura-chan."
"Prove it to me." I whispered to Sasuke, my voice poisoned with hatred. "Prove to me that you can make him happy, and I'll let Naruto go."
Sasuke lifted his head and his beautiful midnight eyes met mine. "I don't need to prove anything," he said, his voice uncharacteristically soft as he gently stroked the orange kitten's comically huge ears, soft and silky and pink. "He's happier when he's with me, and you know it."
"No, I don't 'know it'," I spat, venomous. "Naruto is happy with me, and that's the end of it."
"Sakura," Sasuke said softly, gently, "I love you like a sister. It's hard for me to admit this, but you are very important to me. Please, Sakura, I love Naruto, and Naruto loves me."
I decided to go for the low blow. "Are you really okay with this?" I screeched, slamming my fist down on the table. The black kitten let out a yelp and leapt up onto Sasuke's shoulder, curling up against his neck, trembling. "You can't give Naruto children. I can. How can you live with yourself, knowing that you've deprived the world of little Uzumaki children?" I knew it was a horrible, horrible thing to say, especially to someone who always put you first like Sasuke, but I was desperate.
Instantly, the pain and sadness flooded Sasuke eyes, and I could see him reconsidering. For a second, I wanted to take the last few sentences back. My old high school crush on Sasuke still lingered, and seeing his beautiful face twisted in pained indecision hurt.
"I…" Sasuke drifted off.
"Sasuke, I don't care about stuff like that," you whispered intensely, your long, strong fingers gently caressing Sasuke's porcelain cheek, tender and sweet.
"But…" It hurt to see Sasuke so pained, so un-Sasuke-like. It hurt like a bitch. And seeing the pure, adoring love and devotion in your eyes… it was too much.
"Sumimasen (2)," I whispered suddenly, bowing my head and letting my hair hide my face. "I know now. You two really love each other. Gomen, Naruto. Gomen, Sasuke. Please, forgive me."
And then, something amazing happened: Sasuke smiled. It wasn't any ordinary smile. It was a heart-achingly beautiful smile; the smile of an angel. Everything around him seemed to light up with an ethereal glow the second his lips curved upwards, and it was as if a chorus of angels had flown down from heaven and were singing, and I felt my heartstrings strumming in time with the angels' beautiful song. He leaned forward and took my hand in his, and even the kittens seemed to be smiling.
"Arigatou gozaimasu (3), Sakura." Sasuke murmured, his sapphire eyes alight, and it was then that I realized that you had done something amazing; you had banished the loneliness and sadness that had haunted Sasuke for so long, and I felt myself smiling.
Maybe letting you go wouldn't be too bad.
As long as the two of you were happy, I could live with the pain.
I can't say I didn't see it coming, of course. I mean, you two were always unnaturally close. After all, you guys are Japan's perfect synchro diving pair. You do everything together, finish each other's sentences, know exactly what the other wants and needs… it's like your brain waves run the same frequency or something.
Do you remember the time that guy called you a fruit in seventh grade? Sasuke punched that guy out. Too bad that guy hadn't noticed the whole "mess with my dobe, I cave your face in" vibe Sasuke was sending the whole time he marched up to him and tried to talk civilly before confining the poor guy to the hospital for weeks. It was actually kind of hot in a weird, slightly creepy way. I mean, what girl doesn't have an inner yaoi fangirl?
And, you know that time our freaky college professor, Orochimaru-sensei, tried to molest Sasuke after class? You seemed to receive some weird distress signal that only you could hear, because, all of a sudden, while we were walking to Physics, you went white as a sheet, then red with anger and sprinted the whole way back and slammed open the door and there Orochimaru-sensei was, crushing Sasuke against his desk and kissing the struggling brunette like there was no tomorrow while putting his hands in places that made me see red (life-long crushes don't really go away). You got Orochimaru-sensei fired and banned from teaching ever again, and also gave him a broken arm for his trouble.
And you know the time we went over to your house and Iruka-sensei cracked out the photo albums? Well, that deserves a retelling all its own:
"Kawaii!" Ino and I squealed in unison, bent over a photo depicting you and Sasuke building a sand castle at the beach. You two were only four or five and were viciously attacking the sand with shovels. Your golden hair was covered in sand, as was the rest of your tanned skin, while Sasuke was mostly clean except for sand clinging to his ivory hands and knees. You two were utterly, irrevocably adorable.
The previous photos had been all of you and Sasuke, skipping around in your lives; prom, your first dive, your first medal, your first world championships, your first ten-worthy dive, your birthday, Sasuke's birthday… You two were so close…
Ino and I eagerly flipped to the next page. In the background, I could hear the solid thud of your head meeting the wall in exasperation and I could feel Sasuke's eyes freezing everything in sight. Stifling a giggle, I let out a cooing, "Aw, so cute!" This picture was of the two of you, wrapped around each other in what looked like a hammock, your lovely gold hair contrasting beautifully with Sasuke's ink black locks, ivory skin and tan skin mingling as you two snuggled into the other, a tangle of limbs and happy faces. You two were beautiful as children, Sasuke angelically beautiful while you were deviously adorable. The looks of pure bliss on your tiny faces… it was heart-warming.
You glanced over and spotted the photo we were gushing over, and your eyes flashed with anger, as if the picture was something precious not meant for just anyone to see. But, as quickly as it came, it was gone. "I'll go check if Her Majesty the Ice Princess is still alive and kicking," you said with a smile, going into the next room where Sasuke was mercilessly spearing fruit with long toothpicks in his annoyance. A little dizzily, I thanked the heavens that those poor grapes and melon slices and papaya wedges weren't me, though Sasuke was most likely envisioning my and Ino's faces as he stabbed the fruit.
I could see you as you stood by Sasuke and spoke to him too quietly for me to hear, and I could see Sasuke drop his toothpick with a huffy sigh (he'd been on his thirteenth kabob), pouting (or getting as close as a self-respecting Uchiha gets) as he crossed his arms over his chest.
And, for the briefest moments, something soft and tender flooded your eyes.
I guess that should've clued me in, but it didn't. I was an idiot back then and didn't think past how great I looked and how much fun it was to flaunt you like a handbag or a new pair of earrings. I should've realized that what we had was shallow and could never last, but I was too wrapped up in making Sasuke suffer for never acknowledging me, even willing to hurt the two of us for my petty revenge.
Our lives have been like a Sunday soap opera, huh?
Too bad I can't pull myself away from reality and settle in front of the TV with a blanket, hot chocolate, and my favorite pillow, laughing at your antics, crying at Sasuke's pain, getting worked up over how damn stupid and annoying I acted, screaming for my favorite couple.
Now that I think of it, who is my favorite couple?
You and Sasuke?
You and I?
Looking into my heart nowadays is like looking into turbulent water: clouded and unclear and changing too quickly to keep up with. I know I love Lee, but I will always love you, and I will always love Sasuke. My love for Lee is like fire, strong and wild; my love for you is like earth, steady and loyal; my love for Sasuke is like water that has captured the moon and stars, brilliant but constantly changing. I love each and every one of you, but in different ways.
My heart is like taffy, pulled and stretched in three different directions; stretched to the breaking point.
I never much liked taffy, but then again, I never much liked you or Lee before.
And now, I can't help but wonder: what is my breaking point?
Seeing you and Sasuke diving was magic.
Poetry in motion, an art form, boundlessly beautiful, perfect… It struck something in my heart and made it sing. You two stood together on that black platform, calm and impassive, top athletes, not the two kind but rough around the edges boys I'd known for what felt like forever. You two were beautiful creatures the second you jumped into the air, moving in perfect synchronization, like a mirror had been placed between you and I was seeing a warped reflection of Sasuke diving; a reflection that looked like you.
Being so alike, so perfectly made for each other, creates a bond.
I was stupid to think I could break that.
But I tried anyway.
And now, the two of you are the "It Couple" I've always wanted to be and more and more people are coming out of the closet because you two did, and you guys are changing the way people think about gay couples, and you're rich and famous and, most importantly, happy.
And now, so am I.
(1) Sorry in Japanese, of course!
(2) Sumimasen is another way to say sorry, though it's normally used as "Excuse me" or "Pardon".
(3) You should know this, but it means thank you very much.
A/N: REVIEW!! Or you guys don't get that third and possibly fourth chapter of Synchronized! The authoress threatens you! Muhahaha!