|all hail the heartbreaker
Author: Neon Genesis PM
AU. It is Christmas Eve, and Sasuke is leaving. "Go back inside, Sakura. It's cold." /Christmas!gift for Kenna. SasuSaku. Oneshot./Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 1,296 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 5 - Published: 12-21-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4731139
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
all hail the heartbreaker
"Please don't do this to me."
Her voice is soft and quavering. A hesitant plea.
He exhales slowly. "I'm sorry, Sakura."
"No, you're not!" Her voice is sharp. "You're not. How long have you been planning this? How long—…God, Sasuke, it's Christmas Eve. Why…why now…?"
He grimaces. "Go back inside, Sakura. It's cold."
"You're cold! I can't believe…I can't believe you're doing this to me again…you're leaving. Why do you always leave? Sasuke…" Sakura is standing there, her small fists clenched, her lower lip wobbling. She is a vision in her flowing white party dress, the loveliest thing Sasuke has ever seen.
He closes his eyes. Out of sight, out of mind. "I'm sorry," he repeats, and turns around.
Out of sight—
"Sasuke!" And she is running towards him.
—Oh God, please, out of mind.
Three Hours Previous
"Wow! This place looks amazing!" Sakura exclaims, her eyes wide and her smile brilliant.
"Thanks," Naruto grins smugly. "I set up the tree myself."
She giggles. "I can tell by how crooked it is."
He pouts. "You're so mean, Sakura-chan! Didn't you just say it looks amazing?"
She kisses his cheek. "I said the place looks amazing. As in, overall. And I'm just saying that the tree is…unique. Um, symmetry is for losers?"
He laughs and ruffles her hair affectionately. "There ya go. Hey, I'm gonna go spike the apple cider. Be right back." And then he is running off through the clusters of their friends, all socializing in the hall that they had rented for Christmas Eve.
"Naruto, wait!" Sakura calls after him, before turning to Sasuke, who escorted her in. "Do you think he's serious?"
"Don't touch the cider," he orders in response, helping her out of her coat and hanging it up in the designated area.
Sakura chokes on a cross between a laugh and a sigh. "I guess it's not a holiday if at least half of the people aren't slammed and drunkenly mangling Christmas carols. Huh, Sasuke?" she tugs lightly at his sleeve.
He slips an arm around her waist, pulling her close for perhaps the last time.
(But she doesn't know, can't know, mustn't know—)
"Hn," he smirks, and relishes the way she looks up at him, the twinkle in her eyes putting the lights on the tree to shame.
He is going to miss her. Oh God, how he is going to miss her.
And so he lets her lead him around the room, speaking to this person and that; smiling, laughing, joking. He has eyes only for her, the rest of the world but a blur of faces, lights, and decorations.
Naruto returns to them. "Having fun?"
"Yes!" Sakura enthuses.
He smiles at her warmly, genuinely. "I'm glad."
And Sasuke feels just the tiniest bit better, knowing that Naruto will be there to take care of Sakura when he is gone.
Naruto turns to Sasuke. "C'mon, bastard, stop being such a fruitcake. Loosen up, crack a smile. Maybe try some cider?"
Sasuke forces the corners of his mouth up and, as pleasantly as he can manage, says, "Go to hell."
The blonde's shoulders shake with laughter. "Your Christmas cheer is an inspiration to us all."
Sakura appears impressed. "Wow, Naruto. Inspiration. Four whole syllables. Didn't know you had it in you."
He looks pleased with himself. "Hinata-chan's been helping me," he brags. "Speaking of which, I think that guy over there is hitting on her. Excuse me while I go kick his ass." He marches off.
Sakura rubs her face with one hand, the other secured around Sasuke's arm. "Hinata's really got her hands full."
As she rubs, her promise ring glints in the light.
Sasuke is hit by the reality of the situation.
What is he doing? What right does he have to be here with her, acting like he'll be there to celebrate Christmas with her the next morning?
His presence is as much a promise as the ring on her finger.
(Neither promise will he be able to keep.)
He can't keep deceiving her like this. Not anymore. He's being too cruel, too selfish—
It is time to leave.
He extracts his arm from her hold. "Sakura," he says, and treasures it. "I'm…going to go get some air."
She frowns, concerned. "Are you feeling okay? We can leave, if you wa—"
"No," he cuts her off.
(He's the only one that has to leave.)
"Just…stay here. I'll be back."
(Liar. Liar. He's such a goddamned liar.)
He turns from her and strides out the door, ignoring the clumps of mistletoe that he sees and how they make his throat clench. He has to leave. He has to leave.
What he doesn't know is that Sakura can read him, could always read him and, like always, she follows.
She runs up and throws her arms around him, her face pressed between his shoulder blades.
"No!" she cries out. "Sasuke, please no. Not again. Don't leave me again."
He draws a deep, shuddering breath. She's cruel, so cruel. But not as cruel as he is. "Sakura. Let go."
"I'm not letting go, Sasuke," she whispers. "I'll never let you go."
That he knows. He is the one that must let go, let her go, and he doesn't know if that makes him strong or weak.
He turns in her embrace until he is facing her, and her arms loosen in surprise.
"Sakura," he murmurs, cradling her face in his hands.
I love you. I love you. I loveyouIloveyouIloveyou—
He leans forward until their foreheads are pressed together.
"Sakura," he breathes again. "Thank you."
And then he kisses her, kisses her for all that he is worth, every memory he has made with her, every promise that he has made to her.
She kisses him back fiercely, and he can feel her pouring out all of her desperation and determination and love. So much love.
It is their last, and it is passionate and breathtaking and beautiful, all the way up until Sasuke puts his hand on the back of her neck and pinches the nerve cluster.
Her eyes roll up and she slumps forward into his waiting arms, his name stillborn on her lips.
He picks her up and carries her into the deserted lobby of the hall, where he sets her down on a padded bench. After rummaging through a nearby closet, he comes up with an emergency blanket that he drapes over her.
The last thing he does is slide his promise ring off of her finger, take one last look at her, and then step outside and hurl the offending piece of jewelry far, far away.
It only seems fitting.
...Well, what can I say? This was fun to write. =) Also, I have no idea why Sasuke had to leave. He just...did. You can fill in your own motive. Maybe he had to get an abortion? ...Yeah, I know, I'm not funny. -dies-
Merry Christmas, to Kenna and to all! And Happy Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and everything else. (I'm very sorry if I just mangled the spelling of your holiday. Really. Shoot me now.)
Prompts: Mistletoe, Fruitcake, Promise ring, "Please don't do this to me," Someone spiking the apple cider, The act of setting up a Christmas tree. Um, Kennakabam, does Sasuke getting called a fruitcake count?
Disclaimer: Hearken, all ye merry gentlemen, Neon Genesis doth not owneth Naruto(eth?). Ahahaha, yeeeah...