Author: Neon Genesis PM
Sasuke needs Naruto's empathy, not Sakura's sympathy. But still, she tries. "I know you don't love me. I'm not asking you to. Just...look at me. Just this once, look at me." /It's hard to breathe when you're standing on your own./ SasuSakuish, oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Words: 1,657 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 88 - Follows: 6 - Published: 10-26-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4619204
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
it's quiet in the streets now
but it's screaming in your head
His cell is bleak, dim, chilly—but unlike the rat-infested, mildew-cultivating dungeons of horror movies, it is starkly clean and smelling poignantly of antiseptic. Sakura had never liked the sharp, peculiar scent of antiseptic, but over time she had come to associate it with the hospital, the place she loved and devoted herself to.
Now that she smells it in a place that holds not happy memories but instead a reunion with a teammate/friend turned traitor/enemy, the scent regains its ability to unsettle her.
Or maybe the only reason she's uneasy is because the person she has loved-hated for so long is directly in front of her, tied to a chair and staring resolutely at the floor.
Sakura pretends his utter despondency towards her presence doesn't hurt her and sits on the floor before him, her legs drawn to her chest, her chin on her knees.
say it doesn't hurt
doesn't matter anyhow, anyhow
"Hey," she greets softly, and the casual, common word is painfully out of place in its current setting.
Sasuke does not respond in any way, as she had expected. Although his silence hurts, she is relieved that there is still a part of him that she can predict, still a part of him that she knows. For although she can depict the features of his face in exquisite detail, can describe the exact pitch and cadence of his voice—
She doesn't know him. She doesn't know this person that would form a team of missing-nin, this person that would join Akatsuki, this person that would attack Konoha. She doesn't know this person that was once her teammate, her beautiful tragedy of a boy, her Sasuke-kun.
This person she is watching whose black bangs hang to cover his eyes is a stranger. Her familiar stranger. But a stranger nonetheless.
And that hurts.
saying hey, we're just bleeding for nothing
it's hard to breathe when you're standing on your own
She has nothing left to her but directness. "Tsunade-shishou says that the Council is undecided over your fate. Your crimes speak for themselves, but your redeeming points are that you killed Orochimaru, Deidara, and Itachi, and you turned on Akatsuki at the last minute and allied yourself with Konoha." Because of Naruto, she adds mentally, fondly, although with a bitter tinge of sadness—for all her talk, all her vows, she had played no part whatsoever in Sasuke's return to Konoha.
"So…" she shrugs, wishing that the responsibility of carrying on this one-sided conversation lied with someone, anyone, else. This is too awkward, too painful, too difficult.
we're passing the time
we're breaking apart
Sakura leaves a space for him to fill, a moment for him to explain himself, his motives. To say anything. To look at her.
He is silent.
"If the Council finds you guilty...Naruto and I won't let you die, you know," she imparts conversationally. "We've got a plan, you see. We grab you and run, run far away, knocking out anyone that gets in our way. And then…" she shrugs again, laughing helplessly, desperately. "I guess we'll join a traveling circus or something. I—"
Sasuke interrupts her, and she is so surprised that she gasps—a quiet, sudden sound. "You don't know, do you?" His voice is low and raspy, but it is scornful, contemptuous.
For the first time, he raises his eyes, looks up—not at her, but through her. His lips quirk into that condescending smirk that is his and his alone, but his eyes remain empty and blank. Hollow and haunted, able to see only the ghosts of his past, the prospect of his revenge fulfilled—certainly not able to see her.
we'll kill ourselves to find freedom
you'll kill yourself to find anything at all
"I don't understand what you mean," she says slowly. "Understand wha—"
"The truth," he hisses. "The goddamned truth. You—Konoha—all of you are so stupid. So blind. How could you even think to follow them after what they did?"
She regards him with the calm of a person that had worked the Emergency Room many times. "Sasuke. Sasuke-kun. Hey now. What are you talking about? I don't understand," she repeats.
He sneers at her. "Of course you don't. You never did."
She knows what he means. You don't understand what true loneliness is, she remembers. She realizes that there is truth to his words. Sasuke needs Naruto's empathy, not Sakura's sympathy. But still. She had tried, tried so to be someone he could talk to, someone who could help him.
everybody's gonna need somebody
to take our troubles and our worries and our problems all away
She is—angry. "Hey," she snarls, getting to her feet, standing over him, "hey. Don't even start with that. I tried to understand, Sasuke-kun, you just wouldn't let me. You wanted the part of the tragic orphan, the child no one understood—you wouldn't lower yourself to even attempting to let someone in."
She is going too far, she knows, but she cannot convince herself to stop, to halt the runaway freight train that is the words spilling out of her mouth. "Whether you like it or not, you made bonds. You tried to cut them, but you didn't. You made some half-assed attempt. You didn't even have the decency—you didn't even care enough to make it a clean cut. And you know what? Sometimes I really, really wish you had. Because this bond I have with you? It hurts, Sasuke-kun, it hurts every day," she tells him.
"And that's not fair," she goes on. "It's not fair that you can still hurt me even when you're not here. It's not fair that I hurt for you every day when you probably haven't thought of me once since you left. It's not fair that I love you and you left me. It's not fair that you had the gall to switch sides at the last moment. It's just…I just…"
running out of time
and running out of breath
He is sitting there, unmoving, simply looking through her, and the fire dies out of her, her words lose their anger, their passion, become a broken mantra. "I love you," she says. She needs to say it, has to say it, has to make him understand. "I love you," she promises. "I love you," she vows. "I love you." And you won't even look at me.
Silence blooms, nurtured by Sakura's sudden weariness, by Sasuke's unyielding stoniness. Until: "I don't love you." From anyone else, it would have come across as an apology. But from Sasuke, it was merely a statement.
And yet it brings a small, sad smile to her lips. "I know," she sighs. "I know you don't love me. I'm not asking you to. Just…look at me. Just this once, look at me." Although she had not meant it to, it comes out as pleading. She slides to her knees in front of him.
He looks through her.
Finally his eyes, while not moving, seem to shift in their focus, and—and they find her, she is sure, because the beauty of them strikes her so deeply, and she sees something in them that reminds her of something just shy of the indifferent flash of a camera.
sky black and blue
blue turned to red
He exhales. "Sakura." And with that one word, that one utterance of her name, she knows that this person is not a stranger, that this person is still her Sasuke-kun, just changed and grown and shouldering the burden of some terrible truth she doesn't know yet—but hers.
She wonders what he saw when he looked at her—when he looks at her still. It is a small victory, this small concession of his, but…it is almost like a promise. A promise of what they could have had and maybe could still have.
A silence like a breath of fresh air.
"A traveling circus, huh?" Sasuke drawls, his voice quiet and amused and, while not warm, not cold either.
"Yeah," Sakura smiles. "Yeah."
there's fire in the streets now
but it's quiet in your head
STUPID LINE THING STILL DOESN'T FREAKING WORK! This is very distressing.
...Yeah. UM. So this was me procrastinating on my English essay due tomorrow that I haven't started yet. This was also me with "Hey Now" by Augustana on repeat for, oh, maybe two hours. That's where the italicized lines are from, by the way.
If you're confused, here's the backstory (which may possibly contain spoilers): Sasuke changed allegiances at the last minute as Akatsuki was attacking the village because...I dunno. The sight of Naruto inspired a sudden fit of humanity in him? But yeah, after the battle he gets locked up because the Council isn't sure if they can trust him and Sakura comes to seem him and...yeah. It was word-vomit, but it was fun to write. And although I'd intended it to be a oneshot and am going to continue to label it as such until otherwise stated, I kinda wanna continue it...maybe make it into a series of connected drabbles? Or something.
Is Sasuke OOC? I think he might be. -.-'
Disclaimer: Alas, there are no ways left to say this: I do not own Naruto, nor do I own the lyrics to "Hey Now." That is all, carry on.