|Keep Coming Back
Author: Alley-Oop PM
There was no guarantee he would come back. But somehow he always did. SasuSaku OneshotRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Family - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 1,192 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 20 - Published: 02-14-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4861807
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: There was no guarantee he would come back. But somehow he always did. [SasuSaku]
A/N: This little ficlet was inspired by a picture I have and love, despite it being a coupling I don't so much care for. So, voila. Oh, and it's not really for Valentine's Day, but I guess you could consider it holiday-oriented. However, I have a nice SasuHina coming out for VD, so keep an eye out.
Keep Coming Back
Captain of the ANBU. It wasn't what he had always wanted, but it was his job nonetheless. Sakura had learned him, by then – learned his ticks and the little telltale signs of the inner turmoil. She had seen the hesitation in his face before he had accepted the duty, as was expected of him. No one would have known what to think, what to do, if he had refused. He was not the only one qualified for the job, but he was the best one available. Sasuke was the only person willing to risk his life as much as would be needed and still have hope to come out alive. He was the only one that didn't have a family to go home to every night.
But he did. He just didn't know it yet.
Sakura had opposed it from the start. As the new Hokage's closest advisor, she had given reasons – feeble reason, but reasons all the same – to keep Sasuke from becoming captain. Keeping him from ANBU was absolutely out of the question, and she knew it, but captain… She had been on the brink of begging shamelessly. She had wanted to cry, had wanted to throw things, and had wanted to scream, but she hadn't and so nothing changed. There was no one else.
And no one knew about the baby just beginning to form in her womb. She thought if she could just tell them, they would choose someone else. They could find someone. But she had to tell Sasuke first, and the moment hadn't come to tell him yet. She would have told anyone to save him, she would do anything for him, but she couldn't force the words through her dry, closed throat. The only person that came before Sasuke was the new addition in her stomach, and she wasn't even sure her child – if the little creature could be called such yet – was more important than Sasuke. She thought they must be equal.
It was not until later in his new career that it really sunk in for Sakura. He was captain of the ANBU. Every morning, when he held her close to his solid chest with one arm and kissed her on the forehead, it could be the last time she'd ever see him, and she often clung to Sasuke's shirt until she found the strength and courage to let him go, knowing there was no guarantee that he'd ever come back.
But he did. He returned with bruises and covered in sweat and grime, but he returned, and it was at one of those times when she blurted it out. She told him that she was pregnant, the word sounding foreign in her mouth but tasting sweet, with his child. At first he just collapsed on the bed, exhausted and overwhelmed, his breathing deep and even, his eyes closed. Sakura knew that he was thinking, contemplating. She knew he was fretting, by the lines formed between his eyebrows as they pulled together in worry.
She slowly laid next to him, her body fitting perfectly to his, as it always had. He opened his deep, midnight eyes and turned them to her face, and she caught the glimpse of worry hidden within. She rolled to her side and began rubbing his stomach comfortingly, like she knew he liked, though he wouldn't admit it. His eyes closed again and he sighed.
"Are you glad?" she asked quietly, her hand pausing for a moment as she waited for his answer. She felt nervous, for some reason, like the entire world hung on his next words.
"Of course I am. I just wish I had known before…"
Yes, she also wished she had told him earlier, before he had accepted the job. But it was too late now. ANBU would not let him resign, once he'd accepted, without an exceptional reason, and Sakura doubted that her being pregnant would make an impression on the ruthless men.
"What will you do if I don't come back?" Sasuke wondered aloud, and Sakura's breath caught. What would she do? Kill herself, most likely, but she couldn't tell him that. There were so many answers, but so few of them right.
"I don't know." She wondered if they were really having this conversation. She wondered if Sasuke had really just asked that. Of course he would come back. He was the best ninja in the village other than the Hokage himself.
Sakura could try and lie to herself, but it wouldn't work, and she knew it. Everyday the odds became worse and worse, the percent of chances of failure rising and rising steadily. Sakura knew this, and she knew Sasuke knew. Neither of them was stupid or delusional.
"You would raise him, right?" Sasuke asked, placing one pale, long-fingered hand on her stomach, which wasn't even showing yet, though it would soon.
"How do you know it's a him?"
Sasuke frowned. "I guess I don't."
"Do you want it to be?"
Sasuke took a long time answering. "If I weren't here, I don't think it would matter. Would you raise him or her, if I were to die?" He wouldn't let her slip past that question, and although it pained her to think about, she nodded once. It was more than an acknowledgement. It was a promise, and now she was bound by it.
Their conversation ended there, and Sakura was glad to let it go, as well as relieved that Sasuke now knew. However, everyday, when he held her close and kissed her, he held her tighter and kissed her longer, and she responded by clinging more desperately. And when he would come home, at last, late at night, he was more exhausted than usual. Sakura knew he was fighting harder than he had ever fought before, because he wanted to live. He wanted to live to see his child, and to do so meant he had to live for at least seven or so more months. He fought harder, and she worried more.
Because there was no guarantee he would come back. But somehow he always did.
A/N: That turned out way differently than I expected it to. Hope no one was disappointed. (This would make a good full-length story, I think, but I don't want to start another one of those, so this is as good as it gets.)
Oh, and this story was unbeta'd, so please ignore stupid mistakes that I've made and missed.