Author: rawrchelle PM
Sasuke/Sakura. AU. Let’s face it. Even though he had an erectile dysfunction, she still loved him.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 4,753 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 147 - Follows: 9 - Published: 12-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5551197
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
dedication: Kichi Penn, because it was her birthday yesterday, and i didn't want to update sticks and stones quite yet. :3 HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I HOPE THIS MAKES UP FOR IT!
warning: apologies for the random shifting of pov with the italic…thoughts-but-not-really. :)
half of my heart's got a right mind to tell you that i can't keep loving you.
He sees her seven years later in the hospital, of course. He's in the ER, waiting there patiently for a doctor—"A male doctor, please"—but the doctor who arrives is anything but male.
"Hm, let's see, Uchiha-san—" She pauses, and looks at him over her chart. "Sasuke?"
He looks at her evenly, masking his surprise. "Sakura."
She stares at him for a long moment, before smiling. "What brings you here today?"
"I would like a male doctor, please," he says. It's not because he doesn't want to see her—because over the years, all he's ever wanted was to see her and be with her and spend time with her and herherher—but he can't let her see him like this.
"Can't," she says, flipping through his chart. "We're low on doctors right now. You don't mind me, do you?"
"If you must," he mutters, but looks away.
"Well," she says briskly, looking at him again and smiling—the smile that he's always loved, and eyes that he dreamt of every night and ohGodshe'sbeautiful—"what seems to be the problem?"
He looks away momentarily, ignoring the faint blush in his cheeks. "It seems that I have—" And he cuts himself off from a sudden lack of air—and he's not embarrassed, he's determined to think—she's just breathtaking—"An…" He pauses again, and the next part comes out, barely louder than a mutter, "erectile dysfunction."
She's quiet for a long moment, and then bursts out laughing.
"Not funny," he grinds out from behind flushed cheeks—but he's not mad, really, because this is her and she's never really changed, and he is so, so grateful for that.
"Sorry," she says sincerely, but the smile is still there.
"Will you be able to handle it?" he asks, but with the certain lilt to his tone, she's able to tell that he's joking. She punches him playfully, and he lets her.
"What'll you do?" Her question is a little rhetorical, because everyone knows that Sasuke is free—he goes where he wants, and does what he likes. He's her precious Sasuke, and she'll let him fly away if he wants to.
He shrugs, and she sighs, resting her head on his shoulder. "This isn't going to last forever," she says quietly.
He closes his eyes, and tries to block out everything painful and just sit there with her. "I know."
"We're going to lose touch, and we're just going to continue on with our lives."
She takes his hand, and just this once, he'll let her, because her touch has always been comforting, and right now, he needs it. "I don't want this to end."
He ignores the lump in his throat. "Me neither."
But it's going to happen. He knows it, and she knows it, but neither of them says anything.
"Erectile dysfunctions have nothing to do with fate," he mutters stubbornly, but really, he's thinking yes, it's fate—yes, we're meant to be, I love you, IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou and I'm sososo sorry for never being there—
She laughs a little, and bends down so she can rest her head on her folded arms on his bed beside him. "Nothing's changed, really, right?" she asks, almost for reassurance.
He shakes his head—a movement so small that only she could notice it, because she's been trained to do so. "No."
She breathes a sigh of relief. "Good." Somehow, her hand finds his—so small and perfect—and he lets his fingers wrap around it—just a little, just a little, because he doesn't deserve her—not yet, notyetnotyetnotyet—"So is there any particular reason why you've discovered this erectile dysfunction? Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Yes," he replies evenly, and he notices how she stops breathing for that one moment.
"Oh." She pulls her hand away. "Tell me about her."
"Red hair," he says, staring at the ceiling. "Glasses. Intelligent, like you. Annoying, like you. But she's a bit…brash." And he'll never admit it, but he's only with her because she reminds him of her, and he wants to be as close to her as his memory will ever, ever allow him.
(She is everything he ever wanted, but not him, not her, not yet—not right.)
"She sounds beautiful," she murmurs into his bed sheets, not looking at him.
Not as beautiful as you, he wants to say, but instead, what comes out is a pathetic, pathetic, "She is."
"This is ridiculous," he tells her. But he doesn't take the ring off.
"Well, once we're old enough, we can actually get married. You know I love you, right?"
He sighs and looks up at the sky, lying back in the grass. "Yes."
"Right. And you love me too—don't give met that look; you know it's true—so there's nothing wrong! We'll go to college and do all that snazzy stuff, and then when there's time, we'll get married. And it won't even be that different from now, since we spend so much time together anyway."
"We're not even dating, Sakura."
She contemplates this for a moment. "You're right. Why aren't we?"
And he looks at her and thinks it's because I'm not good enough for you, I'm never good enough, I'm just wrongwrongwrong while you're so bright and happy and perfect—
"Who knows," he says, closing his eyes.
The sudden crack of the door opening sounds too loud, and both of them look up. He struggles to remain impassive.
"Karin," he greets. Sakura sits up and combs her hair with her fingers, smiling. But he can tell it's not genuine.
"Sasuke-kun," Karin says, eyeing Sakura. She thinks she's competition. "Who's this?"
He sits up a little straighter in his bed. "This is Sakura, my childhood friend." The girl that I'm so desperately in love with. "Sakura, this is Karin. My girlfriend." Your replacement.
Sakura stands up from her seat and says in a falsely pleasant voice, "It's nice to meet you. Sasuke told me about you." She holds out her hand.
Karin takes it, but Sasuke knows she's not letting her guard down. "He hasn't told me anything about you." And he thinks, It's because if I did, you'd feel nothing short of inferior.
"Oh. Well, we haven't really seen each other in years." Sakura doesn't appear fazed, but Sasuke knows she is. They were such close friends in high school and university—he doesn't doubt that she's mentioned him to her friends numerous times.
But he's never been one to talk about his past. Let alone about someone as special as Sakura. (He'd never, never share her.)
"I suppose I'll go," she says, picking up her purse. "Leave you two alone." She smiles at Sasuke when she reaches the door. "I'll see you tomorrow in surgery, then?"
He nods, once. "See you." I'll miss you.
She glances at him one last time before closing the door behind him. Bet I'll miss you more.
He stares. "Sakura?"
She turns around and smiles brilliantly, hugging him. "Sasuke! How was your summer?"
He blinks. "Good. How was New York?"
"Amazing," she gushes. He still can't take his eyes of off her and when did she become so beautiful? "There was almost too much shopping for me. And do you like my hair?" She twirls a lock around her finger, frowning a little. "I'm still not sure how I feel about it."
"It's…good," he manages. It's amazing.
She sighs huffily. "I knew it. It's not good. The hairstylist said side bangs would work, though…"
"I said it's good," he says, rolling his eyes.
"Yeah, well, you don't sound very convincing," she retorts.
"When was the last time I sounded convincing when it came to appearances?"
"You seem to like to boast about yourself a lot."
"The point is," he scans her again, and ignores the urge to swallow, "you look good." Because he's always thought that she was attractive, ever since she accidentally whacked his face with her purse—which was how they met. But now—now—she's absolutely breathtaking.
She smiles, and hugs him again. "Thanks."
"I told you," he grunts, staring at the windows with the curtains drawn over them. He feels so trapped. "She's my childhood friend."
"I don't believe you." She looks at him, unreadable. And for once, he wants to know what she's thinking. "You never told me about Naruto, and he happens to be your best friend. Just who is she? Do I"—she seems to choke on something—"do I have to be scared?"
His eyes lock with hers. "No." But I have to be scared, because she's pulling me in like all of those years ago and ohGodshe'samazing—
"Whatever," Karin grumbles, splitting the orange into slices. "As long as you're still mine. Right?" And she feeds him. It takes her a moment to pry his lips apart with the fruit, but in the end, he complies. Doesn't she realize that he likes tomatoes yet?
He doesn't answer her—instead, closes his eyes. He'll sleep, and tomorrow morning, he'll see her again before going into surgery. Yes. That's a nice thought.
Karin's hand closes around his, and he does a blasphemous thing, pretending it's Sakura's.
Sasuke's eyes narrow. "What."
"I told him to give me time," she continues, inspecting her nails. "I think I'll say yes."
"Absolutely not," he says flatly.
She rolls her eyes. "Thanks for the advice, Dad, but I'm a big girl now." And anger bubbles at the pit of his stomach, because Gaara? That bad influence dating Sakura? Not to mention that they wouldn't even work together—
And no, he's not jealous.
"It'll be nice to date again." Her last boyfriend was Shikamaru—and it was only a fling. It lasted less than a week. "Why don't you get a girlfriend, Sasuke?"
"You know perfectly why."
"Because you're gay?" He shoots her a look, and she giggles. "Sorry. I meant asexual."
"No." Grudgingly, he takes his iPod out of his pocket and puts his earphones in, blasting his music. She pulls out of his ear to listen with him, and he exhales huffily.
Finally, she laughs. "Okay, okay. Sorry. It's because you love me, right? And you won't be with anyone but me."
He looks away. "Hn."
"Let's date," she says, smiling. She takes his hand and intertwines their fingers, and he can't help but note how well they fit together. He almost lets it stay that way, but he pulls away and looks in the other direction.
It's her turn to sigh. "I don't know why you torture yourself like this, because you know perfectly well that I love you too." Her head rests on his shoulder, and he lets her. Just for a little while.
It'll all be over soon anyway.
"Nice to see you're all enthusiastic." Truth be told, he's wondering how much dignity he'll have left after she operates on his penis. She looks around. "Where's Karin?"
"Working. I told her to come back after the surgery."
"Ah." She's quiet after that, and he wonders what she's thinking. He never realized how attractive she is in scrubs and a cap. But don't deny it, she's always, alwaysalwaysalways been attractive—
It's quiet all the way to the operating room. There are people getting things ready when they arrive, and she smiles softly down at him. "Are you excited?"
"For an erection?"
She laughs. "I suppose that's one way of putting it."
"Hn." He's not excited if he doesn't get to use it on her.
Oh, that was dirty. Take it back.
"We're going to put you to sleep now, okay?" She takes his hand, and he wishes she'd never let it go. "By the time you wake up, you might even have morning wood."
"What a wonderful thing to anticipate."
She laughs again, but he's already feeling groggy.
Please don't go.
"Why," he retorts, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Because it's Friday, and we have no school tomorrow? And I want to spend time with you?" She looks at him and smiles innocently.
"We see each other all day, every day," he mutters, pulling his arm out of her grasp and walking towards their bus stop. Movie, his ass. He'll probably do something stupid—sitting in the dark for more than one hour with her does that to him.
She skips over to him. "Not on the weekends," she reasons.
"You're unhealthy for me."
"What, because I try to make you smile once in a while?"
"Hn." No, it's because you make my heart pound in my fucking ribcage and I can't think or even breathe around you.
"Oh, I recognize that hn! That's the one that means, 'I know you're right and I know that's best for me, but I have too much dignity to admit it with more than a grunt.'"
He glares at her. "Hn."
"So." She smiles again. "Movie?"
He sighs huffily. "Fine."
"Hey." Her smile is wide, and her eyes are shining. "How do you feel?" She's imagining the sex. But maybe, now that he's found Sakura, there won't need to be any sex. With her, anyway.
"Hn." He closes his eyes, trying to sleep again. Trying to dream.
Karin chatters away for the next little while, but he barely listens. He never does anyway. Finally, there's a knock on the door, and Sakura enters, wearing her scrubs and doctor's coat. She looks all grown-up—nothing like the Sakura he remembers her as.
"Well, Sasuke," she says cheerily, flipping through his chart. "You look pretty good to go. You'll be discharged this afternoon."
"How do you know it works?" he asks rather seriously.
She blinks. "What works?"
"My"—he pauses briefly—"penis."
"Oh." She laughs. "We stimulated some of your nerves, and it went up all right. Don't worry about it." And he feels like a little more of man now, and oh that's right she saw his dick. God dammit.
"You're sure it'll work through sexual stimulation?"
She looks at him curiously. "Yes," she says. "Why?"
Give me a reason to stay. This time, I will stay.
"Just making sure," he says, nonchalant—but really, his insides are in turmoil. And he's sure she can tell—she can tell because she loved him—loved, he reminds himself, not loves—but she says nothing of it and smiles.
"Well, if that's all of the questions you have, then I'll be tending to my other patients now," she says pleasantly. "Bye, Sasuke." And she leaves the room.
And somehow, it seems so final.
Karin looks at him incredulously. "What was that about?"
They're going to prom together. She looks absolutely gorgeous in her green dress, half of her hair tied up, the other half framing her face in soft curls. She comments on how dashing he looks, and he hns at her like usual.
They spend a lot of time sitting at the side, talking to each other like it's the last day they'll be together—and it's almost true. And Sasuke hates it. And finally, after numerous requests, he gives in and lets her dance with him. Or maybe it's the other way around—maybe he let himself dance with her.
Just for this one moment, maybe, he's good enough for her.
She smells like jasmines, just like she normally does from her shampoo—but tonight, it's even better. And as his hands rest at her waist, she pulls him even closer—ohGodIcan'thandlethis—and rests her face against the crook of his neck.
And maybe it's bliss. Or maybe it's not. He's not quite sure.
"This is your last chance, Sasuke," she says softly, just loud enough so he can hear her over the music. "I'm right here. Isn't that all that matters?"
How can she always be so sure of everything?
"You can do better," is all he says, closing his eyes. He'll survive without her. At least, that's what he tries to think.
"What if I don't want to?" Her arms tighten around him, and pleasedont'letthisend. He barely registers the music—it's only him and her, and whoever is screaming shrilly at Sakura to get off him can just go to hell—
"Sakura—" He stops when she pulls away a little to hold his face between her hands.
"Sasuke," she mocks, smiling a little. "Just shut up." Her lips press against the corner of his mouth, and he can feel the lip gloss that she left there—but it doesn't matter, because he's trying to calculate what to do. "For once"—ohgodshe'ssoclose—"don't think. Just feel."
I want to, oh God, I want to so bad—
"The song's over," he tells her, pulling away and disappearing out of the room. He needs to wash off that lip gloss.
"We haven't exactly had a proper conversation for seven years," he reminds her, stripping out of his hospital gown and back into his normal clothes—something that he would've never done around Karin. (She probably would've fainted.)
"We haven't exactly had a chance," she counters, crossing her arms, and where is that Sakura that he saw yesterday, sitting with him in silence and holding his hand?
"Well, we have time now. How have you been?"
"Pretty good. This place is like my second home." She makes a gesture with her arms. "What about you? I never did know what you went into in university."
"Business," he replies. "I suppose it runs in the family."
She nods. "That's good."
And why isn't it the same as before? Why does it feel like he doesn't even know her anymore?
And suddenly, before he knows it, he's cornered her against the wall, his hand supporting him beside her head and God everything's finally undoing at the seams—
"What are you doing?" she asks him, regarding him evenly—and it's so painfully familiar, because it resembles how he's looked at her all of those years ago—never in the way she wanted him to look at her—never in the way he wanted to look at her—
And he doesn't know what to say.
"You're seven years late," she adds.
"Would you still take me if I'm late?" His voice is strangely husky, and he doesn't quite recognize it.
She doesn't answer his question. "You have Karin."
"Karin isn't you."
"What makes it different now?" Her eyes sharpen, and despite the fact that he's the one pinning her against the wall, he feels inferior. "What makes things different from before? Why are accepting your feelings now?"
Because we're more responsible now? Because I'm finally giving in? Because I finally deserve you? Because I just realized that we're meant to be?
"Why not?" he finally decides on saying. He smirks in triumph when she says nothing in return—but her small hand cradles his cheek, and oh, how he's longed for her touch after all of these years—
"Things seemed right back then," she says, sounding bittersweet. "We were young and we had no responsibilities. But now…" She trails off, and he doesn't give her a chance to finish her thoughts, because God, her eyes are so green and the fragrance of her jasmine shampoo is so nostalgic, and why does she seem so perfect to him when she's Sakura, just Sakura—
She kisses him back softly, but that's all it is—soft. It's delicate and careful and where are the feelings?
"With time," she says when they pull apart, "you begin to think that you get over someone. But they step back into your life, and everything is turned upside down. That's what you've always done to me, Sasuke—mess everything up."
"I'll make it right this time," he promises, but he doesn't even know if he can keep that promise.
"Maybe," she agrees. "I thought that yesterday. But then you told me about Karin."
"I don't care about Karin."
"I know. It's actually painfully obvious." She cracks a wry smile. "I think she knows too."
"Then she'll understand when I leave her for you."
"You don't care about her, but she cares about you, Sasuke." Her thumb strokes his cheek. "She's in love with you. She's intelligent, annoying, and brash. She's what you need."
"You're what I need," he corrects her, and why is everything going wrong?
"Like you said, she and I are similar."
"You're not," he says shortly.
This time, her smile is sincere, and she pecks his cheek before moving away from him. He lets her. "Think about it," she tells him, taking his discharge papers and signing them. "Give it time. And when I say time, I mean a couple of weeks. A couple of months." She looks at him. "You've never really grown up, Sasuke. You've always had a problem with growing up."
"And you didn't?" he retorts, but knows that she's probably right.
"I grew up enough to know that I'm not going to get everything I want." She clicks her pen shut, and tucks it back into her breast pocket, turning towards the door. "I'm not expecting to see you again after this."
And she's gone.
They're both at the airport—their bags packed, but heading in two different directions.
"I can't believe this is happening." It sounds like she's talking more to herself than she is to him. "We're going to be…apart."
"Really," he says dryly. But he's hurting too.
"All of those years together. It's just going to end."
"It's not," he says firmly, looking at her. Her green, green, greengreengreen eyes are staring back at him, shining with unshed tears. "This is not ending. Nothing is ending." He doesn't want a single thing to end. His feelings for her will not stop when they board their different planes.
"Sasuke…" She swallows. "Once I settle down, I'm going to change my e-mail address and phone number. Would you please do the same?"
He doesn't appear fazed, but he's thinking why, whywhywhy—"I don't see the need to."
"I don't want to cling onto the past." She sounds so broken and oh God can I just hold her for a moment? "I still love you. And I'm not going to stop for a long time. But you never let us start—and I don't know why, but it's too late, and I can't wonder what could've been. I need to move on—and you're not going to help."
It's quiet for a long moment, before he breathes in deeply. "I'll change it at the first possible time."
Her voice is soft. "Thank you."
But he doesn't feel like he deserves the thanks.
She's unreadable. "Hi."
"I didn't think about it." His grip doesn't loosen on her. "I didn't want to think about it. I'm Sasuke, and you know full well that I won't do the things that I don't want to do. And right now, I want this. I want you." And he pulls her in and kisses her.
"You're so selfish," she says. "You want me now, so you think you can have me? Back when we could've been, you didn't let us happen—"
"I would've hurt you otherwise."
"And you think I didn't hurt anyway when you neglected me?" Suddenly, her eyes are sharp, and he inwardly flinches. "God, Sasuke, you're still as stupid as ever, aren't you? You weren't the only one who was hurting—I just couldn't help you because you'd never let me! You were probably spouting all of that manly, chivalrous stuff in your head, when really, it was for nothing—just so you know, chivalry is dead—"
He kisses her again to shut her up.
When he pulls away, she's quiet for a long moment, and he can seem flashes of something behind her eyes, but he can't read her—God, he can't read her anymore—
"I'll make up for it," he promises. And he will. He'll somehow keep that promise—he will make things right.
She sighs, exasperated. "This almost feels like one of those cliché, happily-ever-afters." And he has to pause for a moment, because did he hear her right? Is she letting him back into her life?
"There's a reason why everyone loves fairytales," he tells her seriously, and she laughs.
"Would you like to go for a movie?"
This time, he doesn't hesitate. "Of course."
notes: half of my heart – john mayer ft. taylor swift, yeah? kind of reminds me of sasuke in this fic. :) and for the second half, i was listening to a lack of color by death cab for cutie…such an amazing use of sevenths in the bridge. -hearts-
i was really stuck on the ending, 'cause it'd feel more realistic if she rejected him, but i thought Kichi Penn would've probably wanted something happy for her birthday…i had an epic battle with this fic.
(sometimes, i still cannot believe that i dedicate so much of my time to fanfiction.)