Author: dance of isis PM
But as soon as he kissed her, she opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly. SASUSAKURated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,987 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 09-20-08 - Published: 09-19-08 - id: 4546137
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
i pray that something picks me up
and sets me down in your warm arms,
and miles from where you are,
i lay down on the cold ground
There are different ways to fall in love—
i. you just fall
When Sasuke first met Sakura, the darkening sky was her backdrop. Everything was grey and green and black, with purples and pinks mixed in-between. When Sasuke first met Sakura, he realised that there was still good left in the world. It was a foreign concept to him, almost forgotten underneath all the pain and anguish—
But when Sasuke first met Sakura, he began to hope again.
ii. friendship comes first
He was given a room in the eastern tower, a place amongst the servants and stable-hands and cooks. It was a nice little room with a window overlooking the gardens; a nice private room where no one questioned him and no one forced him to be something he wasn't. The king's advisor wanted him to work like everyone else, but Sakura had thrown a tantrum, claiming that she wanted Sasuke to learn archery and fencing and reading and writing and go out one day and be something.
She would come to his room everyday, sneaking out of meetings and classes, bringing food from the feasts with her.
"You like tomatoes," she said the first time he opened the door.
Sasuke stared at her blankly. "Hn…?" How do you know?
"I just know," she grinned sunnily, happy to be right. "You seem like a tomato person. So here, I brought you this—" the tray was laden with delicious foods, all with tomatoes as the main ingredient. "—because I figured it was a lot better than the icky food the servants get."
He could have kissed her, he reflected later. He really could have.
iii. the moments are bittersweet and precious
"What do you wanna be when you grow up, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked idly, as they sat on the castle wall, gazing out at the farmer's fields.
"…I don't want to grow up," he mumbled, almost inaudibly. Can't it be like this forever?
"But you have to!" she tugged on his arm, whining. "I have to, so you have to. I have to grow up and be a queen—but I don't want to, really, you know. I'd rather have someone else be queen. Someone who could just do things. Like… like a soldier! I'd like to be a soldier, protecting people."
Sasuke stared moodily out at the fields. His own wishes had been to grow up and become a knight to her, to Sakura, his first and only—everything. He wanted to be a special knight of her guard, someone who could always be there. He even practiced when he knew she wouldn't find him.
"Can you promise me something?"
Sasuke glanced across at her, frowning. "…what?" he was wary of promises. Promises had hurt him in the past—promises had been broken. But Sakura had kept hers.
"Promise me if—" a shadow flitted across her features, darkening her smile, her world. "—if something goes wrong, if something happens to me or you or anyone, if we have to leave… promise me you'll run away with me?"
"As if I'd want to stay here. It's boring," he snorted.
Sakura knew him better than she let on. She knew that was an agreement, that he was saying yes, of course, what do you think? but that he wasn't so good with words. She hugged him and they both tumbled off the wall, onto the grass below.
Sasuke would remember that day—that moment—for years to come.
iv. through tears and fights
"This is stupid! This is stupid!"
"…get over it," Sasuke rolled his eyes. She was so melodramatic.
"I don't wanna have extra lessons," she pouted. "I don't wanna drop archery to attend hugely boring business meetings. I don't wanna learn about the state! They have a council that makes all the decisions; we're just there for looks, why do I have to learn about it all?"
"Don't let your mother overhear you," he responded uninterestedly, throwing a dart and hitting the bullseye. I have good aim. It's getting better.
"You're not even listening!" she whined, eyes filling with tears. "You don't even care about my pain!"
"Sakura," he breathed. "Don't be so annoying."
She didn't speak to him for a whole week. At first, it didn't worry him—he expected she was busy with her new schedule, that she was annoyed at his harsh realistic words. He expected she'd realise the error of her ways and things would soon be normal. But after a week, he grew worried. After a week, he missed her.
Sakura forgave him when he presented her with a bouquet of roses—ones that he had single-handedly stolen from the royal gardens.
v. feelings get too intense
Sasuke became an apprentice under the captain of the knights—he was fast with a bow and arrow and even better with a sword. Sakura congratulated him, but he knew she assumed he would leave to protect some other noble family. He knew she was sad underneath her smiles.
Of course not. I'm staying here with you. It was unspoken, but Sasuke wouldn't change his situation, would never tire of the girl with the wonky smile who had offered her heart to him when they'd first met.
On his birthday, he had received a note from her—
You're mine but you're so far away,
I wish you were closer,
I wish we were closer—
And maybe you wonder how
But I know that you think it's already over,
Before it even begun,
But I know better—
We will be by each other's sides forever
Sasuke had just smiled, in the quiet of his window-room, letting his mind swallow the words whole. And they said he was heartless.
They were friends, they were close, they were eternity.
(And maybe, just maybe, Sasuke could forget for a moment that he wanted more.)
Five years, to the day, after Sakura had found her sad-eyed boy—
Uchiha Sasuke had realised he loved her.
That was the beginning of the end.
Five years, to the day, after Sasuke had met his bright-smiling girl—
The prophecy concerning Haruno Sakura started to stir.
It was inconvenient, if not the killing of something beautiful.
The two stood in awkward silence, the meeting room stretching out between them. Kakashi cleared his throat.
"Lady Haruno has—"
"The girl with the magic," Tsunade interrupted. "Yes, yes, something about a curse and a prophecy and hidden talent, I take it?"
Kakashi nodded gravely. "Her parents have decided that it is in her best interests to awaken her powers. Tutelage under one of the great mages will prepare her, in some sense, for—"
"Curses don't work like that, and you know it," the woman glared, amber eyes sparkling with malevolence. "They're insidious little bastards—excuse my language. But they aren't malleable. They won't budge because of a little magic talent. Get yourself a new plan."
"We don't intend to override the curse," Kakashi responded politely, ignoring her profanity. "We intend to find a loophole."
The woman's eyes widened fractionally, but she didn't betray her surprise. "You think it can be done, then?"
"We think that a great mage will be most beneficial—"
"I don't research curses," Tsunade barked irritably. "I will try to find the reason behind the curse, and the girl's magic source—but nothing more. I can't, and I won't. I don't trespass on forbidden laws."
"That is all we expect, Lady Tsunade."
She frowned. "She is fifteen, you say?"
"Fifteen and eight months," Kakashi responded. "The curse will be activated on her sixteenth birthday. Although the prophecy is unclear…"
"They often are," the woman rolled her eyes. She hadn't earned respect from countless villages and nobles by tolerating purposeless banter. Already she was finding herself tiring of this situation, of this girl—her intuition told her that getting involved was foolhardy. But she didn't turn down money, even when it was coated in darkness and scheming and curses.
Kakashi didn't appear to notice her rudeness. "…it says something about an 'emotional event' triggering the curse… that that is why it even happens… we have found it difficult to see how we can prevent—"
"You can't prevent curses," Tsunade added helpfully.
"—prevent it from being triggered. But it says there is a cure, it just fails to tell us what that is."
"Of course it does," Tsunade sighed. "Prophecies are never exact, or precise, because they are individual and unique to each person. Once you have a mage meddling in your life, there's no way out. You have to live through what they placed upon you. May I ask who—"
"That information is confidential," Kakashi interrupted smoothly.
The two stared at opposite ends of the room, two worlds colliding—a great mage and captain of the knights. If Kakashi were poetic, he could have composed many meaningful works relating to the dramatic irony of it all. If Kakashi had been poetic, had any semblance of real talent—then he supposed he wouldn't be here.
"Indeed. Next week I will be here in the morn, and I expect to meet the girl upon arrival," Tsunade ordered, demanded, declared. "Until then, I bid you good day—and that you remember that curses are almost always better left alone."
"I'll remember that," said Kakashi stiffly.
But the king and queen ordered it. I only follow orders.
"Of course," Tsunade muttered, before leaving the room.
I follow you into oblivion, no matter how foolish it is.
Sakura had a dream that night about paintings.
The paintings followed her with their eyes, their scenes, their emotions. It was impossible to escape them and impossible to try. Blood soaked through her skin and Sasuke was calling her and—
When she awoke, she had the strangest feeling that something important was going to happen.
And even if I don't believe in Fate—
Fate is for children. Fate is for stupid people. Fate is for losers.
—I think I'm kinda scared.
(She would take a walk with Sasuke in the morning, and try to forget all about it.)
Sakura had never particularly liked Yamanaka Ino. The girl was too tall, too blonde, too beautiful—everything and anything someone could aspire to. Everything that her parents really wanted, behind their hints and smiles and dismissals.
She'd been forced to spend a lot of time with the girl growing up, in the hopes that Ino's ladylike mannerisms would rub off on her. Sakura eyed the girl distastefully, envying how well her figure filled out her summer dress. She had curves in all the right places, and she was quite well-endowed—Sakura felt like a cheap imitation of a woman next to her.
She surveyed her own body in disgust. Scrawny, too skinny, too bony, too small—her dresses had to almost always be taken in. We'll allow room for growth, her tailors would say, but she knew that there wouldn't be much (if any at all).
Haruno Sakura was a bud—something not yet blossomed, and something with the potential to die out unawakened. Yamanaka Ino was a flower, an eternal spring of beauty, something that would never fade away.
"So father is attempting to find me a suitable husband," Ino gushed, perched on the edge of Sakura's bed. "I mean, we are a noble family—I bet he can find somebody quite handsome, and kind, too. I wouldn't mind so much if they were interesting. I'm not really interested in marriage, but…"
"Would your parents let you marry for love?" Sakura interjected suddenly, as though the thought had only just occurred to her.
"Love?" Ino stared at her strangely. "I don't suppose there would be many men from noble families that had a disposition I could love. But maybe we could be friends. Companions, at a stretch—all I desire is somebody to be comfortable around."
The pink-haired girl nodded thoughtfully, almost listlessly. Is it really so hard to find someone suitable to love…? Or would no one ever be satisfied with that reasoning?
"What about you, Sakura-chan?" Ino had adopted the nickname—not before deciding that giving her insulting names only made her seem less of a lady—some time ago, and was beaming at her curiously. "Are you planning on getting married?"
Marriage. White dresses. Flowers. Cake. Promises. Rings. Forever.
"I-I'm only fifteen," she replied, baffled.
"Well, so am I. But it would certainly stop all those hopeless losers from turning up at parties to 'woo' you, wouldn't it?"
Sakura winced. She remembered an incident involving a very drunk man named Lee last year—of course, her Sasuke-kun had managed to fend off the man before anything had transpired, but the declarations of love had been rather embarrassing.
"I'm sure your parents would handle it for you, anyway," Ino continued matter-of-factly. "You are going to be queen eventually, after all—I don't suppose they'd want you worrying about men too much. They've probably already arranged it and everything."
The other girl looked up, startled. "You really think so?"
I guess I would have no choice. There was no possible reason why she would be uncomfortable—after all, it had been a thought in the back of her mind, waiting, dormant. Someday she would be a grown-up, and a queen, and married. She shivered at the prospect.
"I don't want to think about it," she said, before Ino could make any scathing remarks.
Aw, is little Sakura-chan scared of marrying a man? Of consummating her marriage? And then there would be a laugh, and she would blush, and the world would seem bleak and cruel.
Ino shrugged indifferently. "Well, Sakura-chan, let's just hope you meet the man of your dreams before anything's final. Then we'll see what kind of man you end up with!" she trailed off into giggles.
Sakura stared out the window, wishing she was outside watching Sasuke-kun practice his fencing. Ino eventually launched into a story on dress colours and sizes and the upcoming banquet.
Yes, Sakura did envy Ino for her happiness, her easy acceptance.
Why does it have to be so hard?
You would make a great hero, Sakura thought to herself, frowning at Sasuke. And I would be the damsel… wouldn't I?
But fairytales were never that simple. Sakura was done with them.
No. I don't want to be a damsel. I want to be a hero, too, Sasuke-kun—
Will I ever be good enough for that role?
"Do you think Ino's prettier than me?" she blurted out, as he was walking beside her.
He had remained silent, debating. "No," he finally snorted. Never.
Sakura gave him an uneasy smile. At least, in Sasuke-kun's eyes, I could be perfect.
There are different ways to earn respect—
i. do something worthy
When Sakura was eleven, she snuck out of the castle with Sasuke. She was bored and rebellious and immature—she dreamed of a life away from everything, and dreamed of one with Sasuke, too. But fairy dust and children's stories weren't enough to stop reality from catching up with them.
They were attacked by brigands in the middle of the road. They had seen Sakura's clothes, too expensive to belong to a regular traveller, and demanded the two hand over their money.
Sasuke had fought off the group of men. Fought majestically and beautifully, twisting and turning and landing blows, darting out of the way whenever they tried to strike back. One of the brigands went for Sakura, and in a haze of fear and no Sasuke-kun isn't here I have to do something no get away from me get away from—
There was a crackle, something akin to electricity, and everything stopped. When Sakura opened her eyes, the brigands were all unconscious. Defeated.
"Did…you do that?" she asked (her) Sasuke-kun in awe.
"No," he responded, baffled, and faced her with his half-smile. "You did."
ii. fight back
"You are annoying," he had said to her. "And useless. And weak."
"No, I'm not," she had shouted back. "No, I'm not!"
"…and how would you prove that?" his words had been a challenge—had been ice cold and fiery red. Sasuke was in a bad mood today, for reasons she could only guess at.
"Because I don't have any reason to be!" she seethed. "You know what? I think you're annoying. All you ever do is sulk and grouch and yell and criticise. Nothing is ever good enough for you, and I never stopped trying to be anyway!"
Her raged is only doubled when he says nothing to this. "And you know what?" she continued. "You're useless. You're useless because you don't help people, you just let them suffer and be in pain and you just make it worse! Maybe you can protect people, but you could never ever save them—you're too selfish for that!"
There is a steely glint in his eyes now, but Sakura persisted.
"And you know what? You're weak. You ran away and you don't deserve to be miserable forever because of your decision!" she growled, glaring. "Don't you ever, ever call me any of those things when you're all of them, too."
Sasuke hadn't responded. Sasuke hadn't denied it, or yelled back. He had simply stared—stared as though he had only just realised that Sakura had said all those things and meant them.
"Hn," he turned and walked away.
But he never called Sakura any of those things again—and the one time he had slipped up, he had apologised with roses.
Sakura knew that that meant something.
iii. heal and mend and fix broken things
When Sakura was thirteen, she found Sasuke in the library one day, gripping a particular book so tightly that his knuckles had turned white.
"What's wrong?" she'd asked, because to her straightforward questions made sense.
"None of your business," he'd snapped back, but his heart hadn't been in it.
The book was just a meaningless jumble of words and pictures to her—but to Sasuke, her Sasuke-kun, it was so much more. And this was something she didn't understand.
He was hunched over, like an old beggar-man, face haggard and stained with sadness. The last time he had been so sad was when they first met—when he'd had no hope, and had been immersed in something so much bigger than himself.
She had knelt down beside him, placed her hands on his shoulders, and wondered what she could possibly do.
In the end, she sat with him. She shared his pain, she let him bleed—
She was by his side, and she knew that Sasuke would never forget that.
Sakura remembered that time as being the bravest she'd ever been.
iv. by falling to pieces
"I don't want to do this anymore."
That had been her mantra for so long she'd almost forgotten what it was like to be comfortable with the direction of your life.
"I'm not good enough to be queen," she'd told him, her only confidant. "I'm not good enough for the people of this country. Maybe I wouldn't make major decisions, maybe I would only be a figurehead—but I'm not good enough to represent these people. They… they should find someone better, someone who has their heart in it."
That was the most honest she'd ever been. It hurt her to think that her honesty would never change things.
"…I just want to go away—far, far away. So I can be selfish and not have to make other people pay for it."
Sasuke had taken her by the hand and lead her around the gardens. He hadn't spoken a word to her—
But he never let go, either.
That was how Sakura defined their relationship.
v. you are always kind and firm
The note she had sent him was never spoken of, never brought up in conversation. She had been scared of what would happen, scared of him leaving and finding a life she would never have—letting go, and leaving her behind. But on her fifteenth birthday, there was a reply. Short and sweet, but it meant the world—
Don't wish for it to be stronger,
Because it already is. (Moron).
And Sakura had never smiled so brightly before in her life.
As Lady Tsunade left the castle grounds, she noticed a pink-haired girl and a dark-haired boy out in fields.
The pink-haired girl was most definitely the princess—everyone in town knew of her, described her abnormal physical appearance. She was currently running freely, happily, as the boy walked calmly by her side.
There was an unspoken air of tranquillity surrounding the two of them—a deep, intense blanket of emotions that was left buried, so that neither of them could be hurt by it. But it was there—I love you, I love you too, maybe someday we'll be honest.
Tsunade narrowed her eyes. That won't end well.
Stories concerning princesses and knights and curses never did, in her book.
It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
their word's mostly noises
ghosts with just voices
your words in my memory
are like music to me
A/N: So I was originally going to post the prologue and the first chapter together (as one whole thing) but I decided to separate it up a bit to avoid confusion. Does it, uh, make any more sense now? Maybe? Hopefully? Possibly? Well, whatever. (SIDE NOTE: Set Fire to the Third Bar is probably one of the best SasuSaku songs ever. For serious.)