|A Fractured Fairytale: Falling Into History
Author: ohwhatsherface PM
AU. SasuSaku. Sometimes you just can't help it. Sometimes you just fall out of love.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sasuke U. & Sakura H. - Words: 8,926 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 111 - Follows: 13 - Published: 01-05-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8880814
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: While cleaning my old room I found my copy of A Fractured Fairytale, a non-profit anthology of AU SasuSaku fics and realized I never really got to share the goodies with everyone, so here I am! I wrote one for each genre, so this is my romance one. I'll post my humor and tragedy stories another day (yes, yes I can write genuinely sad things guys). Enjoy!
Warnings: AU, musician!Sasuke, swearing, the fact that I wrote this in 2008.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Brie Larson's "Falling Into History," Jack Johnson's "Flake," Gundam SEED, Closer, The Notebook, Sweet Home Alabama, or Avatar: The Last Airbender (all of which are simply referenced in the fic).
FALLING INTO HISTORY
"This is a little cliché, don't you think?"
"No," Sakura murmured. She looked up from her train ticket and passport to give Ino a wry smile. She placed the ticket between the pages of her passport and then put it inside of her messenger bag. "It would only be cliché if he came running after me." Her smile faltered for a moment and she thought she might cry. "And we both know he won't do that."
Ino nodded slowly. "Right…" she said. "He's too proud to do that, isn't he?"
Sakura laughed slightly, nodding her head in agreement. Her sounds of amusement were quick to die down as she thought back to him.
"Is leaving really necessary?" Ino asked. She tightened her grip over Sakura's duffle bag, hoping that maybe if she kept her bag with her, Sakura wouldn't go. "You can just move out! Take your stuff and crash with me as long as you need to! Please, Sakura—"
"I'm not leaving for him," Sakura interrupted, offended.
Ino frowned. "But you're still leaving because of him."
"The contract isn't so long, you know. I'm only going to be gone for a year," she said, hoping to make the situation seem better. Sakura reached over and took her duffel bag off of Ino's shoulder and throwing it over her own. She grunted at the added weight, but pushed the strain aside. "I'll be back, Ino, I promise." She put a bright smile on her face for Ino's sake and winked jokingly. "With presents, of course!"
"Please, can't you stay? Sakura, you—"
"It's strange," she said softly. A confused expression crept onto Sakura's face. "I guess… my heart was bound to change."
Ino pursed her lips and scowled slightly when the last call for Sakura's train was made.
"I have to go," Sakura declared, taking out her passport and ticket once more. She then took a folded piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to Ino. "Take care of this for me, will you? You'll know what to do with it…"
She stepped forward and embraced her best friend tightly, burying her face in the crook of Ino's neck to hide the tears.
"I'm gonna miss you," Ino told her through small sniffles. "And your giant, stupid forehead!"
Sakura let go and moved back. She let a tear fall and waved.
"See you, Ino."
There was a duffel bag sitting neatly by her favourite boots at the apartment door. Beside it was a worn-out looking backpack that he was sure came from her high school days and the messenger bag she often used as her purse. All of them seemed as though they were rather full.
"What are those for?" he asked slowly.
Part of him knew the answer but he didn't want to think it.
Sakura came up beside him smelling like lavender. Her hair was still damp from the shower she just hopped out of and the moist tips of her hair were seeping into her red blouse. With a quiet grunt, she pulled her pink locks back and twisted them into a messy bun. She then shoved a small blue booklet that he knew was her passport into the back pocket of her jeans.
"I'm leaving you," she announced steadily. She lifted her green gaze to meet his eyes. "I got a job offer in Suna at Allurement magazine for their advice column."
Sasuke nodded slowly. "Aa."
Sakura gave an unnoticeable shake of her head as she shifted under his cool gaze.
It seemed as though he didn't care at all.
"Give me a reason to stay," she murmured. "Please, Sasuke, just give me a reason not to leave you because we were happy at one point but now…" He heard her sniffle slightly. "I don't know what happened, but things are different. You're so distant, Sasuke. You won't talk to me anymore." A tear fell down her cheek and hit her shirt. "Give me a reason to stay," she repeated weakly. "I love you, so Sasuke, please, just give me something…"
But he couldn't. They had grown so far apart since they began pursuing their own careers.
Or at least, he had begun distancing himself from her.
She was always trying to include him with everything she did but he always had to decline her offers. She was always trying to talk to him and get him to open up to her but he just wouldn't let her in. At one point, she was everything. She was his best friend. But something in him changed and he stopped letting her in.
It was as though he fell out what they used to be.
He remained quiet, refusing to beg.
She inhaled sharply at his silence but nodded nonetheless, accepting his wordless answer.
"I see," she murmured. "I… I'm leaving then." She gave him a tight smile. "I guess this is goodbye, Sasuke."
Sakura put on her shoes and grabbed her bags. As she passed through the doorway with him merely staring after her and not doing a single thing, she looked over her shoulder with a tearful grin and a light shrug.
"I'll be alright by myself."
Sasuke stared up at the ceiling fan disdainfully. One arm was strewn across the empty half of the bed and the other was crossed over his forehead. His head was spinning as it was and the light peaking in through the curtains was not helping his situation. He laid in his boxers with the blanket barely covering his legs, letting the morning winter chill brush against his pale skin. He welcomed the bite it brought with bitter frown.
She was gone.
He grunted and sat up slightly, leaning on his elbows. He winced as his hangover worsened and reached to the nightstand where he had abandoned his nth bottle of beer from the night before to get some sleep. Sasuke brought the now flat drink up to his lips and chugged down the contents, cringing at the bitter taste.
Maybe he deserved it.
With a sudden sneer, Sasuke's eyes narrowed and he bared his teeth as he growled to no one. Furiously, he whipped the empty bottle against the bedroom wall and watched it shatter into pieces on the carpeted floor.
He was going to have to be the one to clean that now that she wasn't here to pick up after him.
Sasuke let out another sound of frustration and threw himself back against the bed once more, hoping to fall asleep.
He turned over and faced the vacant side of the bed where she used to sleep. He rolled over further until his face was buried in the pillow that used to be hers.
Instinctively, he inhaled, and fought off an angry cry at her sweet, lavender scent that seemed to still linger on her pillow.
She was gone.
There was a loud knock on his door and Sasuke pretended not to hear it. After a few minutes of the mindless banging, knowing exactly who it was, Sasuke pushed himself off the bed to answer the door since no one else was going to do it. He pushed back the pang in his heart as he picked a shirt up off the ground and put it on while walking to the entrance of his apartment.
He opened the door with a bored face and saw Naruto with a hand raised, ready to knock once more.
The blond boy immediately frowned at the worn expression on Sasuke's face.
"Jeez, what happened to you?" Naruto asked, walking into the apartment. "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!"
He began to go to the kitchen and Sasuke closed the door gently, not wanting any more loud noises to ruin his morning further. When he made it to the kitchen, Naruto was already opening up a second package of instant ramen for both of their breakfasts.
Sasuke watched in silence as his best friend put both bowls of soup in the microwave and waited eagerly for them to finish. He then brought them to the living room coffee table and turned on the television to watch some Saturday morning cartoons while eating.
"You better freaking remember we have a show coming up," Naruto said as he kept his eyes glued to the screen, "tomorrow night at the BonePalace."
"Yeah, yeah," Sasuke muttered, stirring around the noodles he had yet to eat.
Naruto regarded Sasuke with a barely concealed frown.
"Hey," the blond began, trying to smile optimistically. "It'll be alright, you know—"
Naruto jumped slightly as Sasuke tossed a black notebook to him, but managed to catch it. The pages were frayed slightly and there small scraps sticking out, as if Sasuke had ripped some sheets out rather messily. The blond opened the book and flipped through the pages, noticing they were all filled with words and music.
"I wrote some songs," Sasuke muttered.
"Some songs?!" Naruto repeated incredulously. "Dude, this can make up another freaking album!"
Sasuke rolled his eyes and gave his bowl of untouched soup to Naruto as he stood up from the couch they were sitting on.
"I'm gonna take a shower," he announced, walking away.
He made his way to the bathroom and closed the door when he stepped inside. There was still a stick of eyeliner and a few tubes of mascara and lipstick lying on the vanity that he had yet to throw away. He scowled at the thought and swept his hand across the cool ceramic counter, shoving the makeup to the ground.
Sasuke looked down at his feet where a tube of red lipstick rolled up against his toe. He glared at the offending object and kicked it away.
He furiously grabbed at the hem of his shirt and pulled it over his head before pushing down his boxers, stepping into the shower and turning it on.
As the near-scalding water dripped down his skin, Sasuke let out a small groan. He opened his dark eyes, uncaring of the hot water brushing over them, and frowned slightly when they came upon the caddy that hung off of the shower head, holding Sakura's stupid, lavender-scented shampoo.
They sat side by side with a bowl of popcorn in her lap. In his opinion, there was too much butter on it, but Sakura liked it like that so he didn't say anything. Much to his curiosity, she even had a bowl of nachos on the coffee table with some salsa, and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. All he really wanted was a bit of her popcorn, so it was up to her to finish the rest.
"Are you sure you should eat all of that?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
Sakura looked up at him with a cookie between her teeth. Her eyes narrowed as she bit into it viciously. When she finally finished chewing and swallowed, she glared at him. "Are you calling me fat?"
He snorted and reached into her lap to take a few pieces of popcorn and put them in his mouth. Ignoring her rhetorical question for the sake of evading her short temper, Sasuke looked back at the movie they were watching with a dull face.
"What movie is this?" he inquired, propping his legs onto the coffee table.
"Closer," she replied as she chewed on something.
He could feel the rotation of her jaw against his chest where she was laying her head. Her body was pressed against him snugly and his arm was draped over her other shoulder, bent slightly as he unconsciously ran his fingers through her rose-colored hair.
"I love this movie," Sakura commented. "It gives me that whole wrenched-heart feeling, whenever I watch it."
Sasuke stared down at her incredulously. "What are you, some kind of masochist?"
"No." Sakura extended her arm to put the bowl of popcorn on the table before twisting around to lean against him more comfortably. "It's just that, you only get that feeling when there's love." The look on her boyfriend's face told her he had no idea what she was saying. She giggled to herself quietly because really, since this was Sasuke, she wasn't too surprised. "You only feel it when like, you get to the part in Sweet Home Alabama, where Melanie is drunk and bitching to Jake, or like, in Gundam Seed DESTINY – which by the way, was epically lame – in the episode when Cagalli has to marry that dude and she's having all the flashbacks of her moments with Athrun and there's the sad music on, or in episode twenty-six or whatever, when Athrun totally looks at the ring he gave Cagalli but still leaves all depressed and such, or like ZUTARA—"
"I get it," Sasuke replied, although he really didn't.
That wasn't a pleasant feeling, so why would anyone enjoy feeling it?
"No you don't," she said, reading his mind. "Heh, It's okay, Sasuke, you don't have to pretend you get it, with me." She winked at him and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. "I won't tell anyone your little secret."
He snorted again. "What secret?"
"That contrary to popular belief, you actually don't know everything," she teased, whispering the so-called secret into his ear.
Sasuke stiffened slightly as her lips brushed against the shell of his ear but he made no show of his nervousness. He simply cleared his throat and put a hand on her shoulder to push her head away from his own before his hormones took control.
She giggled, taking his silence as agreement and snuggled into his chest. "This is nice," she mumbled lazily.
Sasuke looked down and saw that her eyes were now closed and she wasn't paying attention to the dramatic movie.
A faint smile pulled at the corners of his lips at her peaceful face and he brushed her bangs out of her eyes. She wasn't asleep, but she looked so content and he didn't want anything – not even something as simple as her hair – to ruin that.
He lowered his head slightly and kissed her head, inhaling the sweet smell of lavender.
"You smell good," he murmured into her hair.
She giggled slightly, his warm breath tickling her and sending shivers down her spine. "It's my shampoo, silly. It's lavender. Do you like it?"
He nodded absently. "Yeah, I do."
It was around noon so Mangekyou was still empty except for the bartenders setting the place up for the evening. Ino was among the people behind the bar, but ever since Sakura left, the blond had been treating him with a frosty indifference. Since his brother owned the club, Sasuke was allowed in there whenever he pleased. He sat on the edge of the stage, strumming his guitar while singing the lyrics to his current song.
"Maybe she knows something I don't. I'm so… I'm so tired of trying—"
"What are you playing?"
He looked up and saw Karin. His brother had hired the redheaded girl to manage Mangekyou when his eyes began to wear down and he decided to take some time off. It was no secret that she had a thing for Sasuke, but he made no show of reciprocating her feelings nor did he lead her on.
It had been three months since Sakura left him and still, all he could think about was her.
Karin sat down next to him on the stage, near the end of his acoustic guitar. Sakura had given it to him the previous Christmas as one of his presents, saying it had belonged to her grandfather when he was younger. He knew it meant a lot to her and that giving it to him wasn't easy because she could have used it instead.
"A song," Sasuke mumbled, no longer singing but still playing the tune.
"Obviously." The redhead rolled her eyes at Sasuke's answer and turned slightly, crossing one leg and letting the other dangle off of the stage. "What's it called?"
"I don't know," he answered a bit louder. "She never told me."
Sasuke almost snorted at the brief pang of jealousy he heard in Karin's voice. The girl was foolish if she thought she actually had a chance with him. He wasn't trying to be arrogant, but he knew that all Karin wanted was a rock star boyfriend that she'd get bored with in a few weeks.
"Sakura. My annoying girlfriend… Ex-girlfriend. I don't fucking know," he said curtly. "She wrote this stupid song. She wrote the lyrics and the music. It said 'Flake' at the top of the page, so I guess that's the title."
"I bet she thought she was being so bloody fucking subtle," Sasuke muttered, strumming harder than he should have. "Yeah, switching genders and all… It's pretty sad that she put all her stupid feelings into writing songs and music she'd never even freaking play for anyone." He snorted to himself and abruptly stopped playing. "Ah, but I guess I'm something of hypocrite."
"What the fuck do you see in me?" he asked, staring into her eyes.
Karin's jaw dropped slightly at the blunt question. "W—what?"
"Don't play stupid." Sasuke rolled his eyes and tucked his pick in between the strings of his guitar. "I'm not blind, Karin, and it doesn't take a genius to tell you like me, so tell me, what the fuck is that you're crushing on? What the fuck did Sakura miss that she decided I was so damn terrible she had to leave?"
The redhead appeared to be shocked by Sasuke's out of character behaviour, judging by the troubled look on her face and furrow in her brow.
"You didn't love her."
Sasuke looked to where Ino was, drying off some glasses with a furious glare.
"You were never there, Sasuke," Ino stated, putting the cups down and then walking towards him. "All you ever gave a shit about was your music and your career. Sakura cared so much about it too that she put her own stuff on hold to help you make money to pay for all the stuff you wouldn't let daddy put on his credit card." She threw the rag in her hand at him, missing his head when he sidestepped it. "All she cared about was you but you were never there!"
"What the fuck do you know—"
"More than you!" she shot back. "A lot more than you! Sakura's my best friend. Obviously she told me about all of her problems with you."
"There were no problems," Sasuke growled. "There was nothing."
"And that's exactly it!" Ino exclaimed. "There was nothing! Nothing at all! You were never there and she was getting sick of that, Sasuke! She wanted someone who would love her and cherish her! You were just so—so absent…" Ino shrugged and stared at him like he was the biggest idiot in the world. "She was tired of waiting."
Ino's voice died down and she sighed tiredly.
"She was so tired of trying."
"So out of curiosity, Sasuke, do you think you can make time in your busy schedule to do something special with your girlfriend?"
Sasuke looked past his shoulder to where she was dressing up with her back to him, a towel still wrapped around her damp body. He couldn't help but stare as she bent over to reach into the lower drawer where she kept her underwear. She stepped into her panties, pulling them up and under the towel.
"Yeah, I think that's possible," he murmured absent-mindedly, watching her drop the towel and slip her arms under the straps of her bra.
"That's good," she replied as she took out a nightgown and slipped it on. It was barely long enough to cover her thighs, but usually she just wore a t-shirt of his to bed. She turned around and brought the towel to her long hair as she began to dry the pink locks. "I was thinking we could go on a vacation next weekend to… well anywhere, really."
He frowned slightly. "Can't. We have a show."
"Okay, then the weekend after that?"
"Alright." Sakura gave him a tight smile as she hung the towel on the doorknob to the bathroom and began to run her brush through her hair. "Well what about the next weekend?"
Sasuke sighed and something pulled at her heart.
"Then Sasuke," she drawled, staring at him dryly, "when is your next free weekend, huh?"
He shrugged, putting his guitar back on the small stand he had for it. "Not for two months, at the least."
Sakura pulled at the covers on her side of the bed and lifted them so she could slip in. She laid her head down on the pillow and grimaced at the wet feeling her damp hair caused. Sasuke immediately followed suit, taking off his shirt and lying down next to her. He turned off the lamp on the night stand and stared at the dark ceiling.
"Remember when we were watching Closer?" she whispered. "I think that was a little after I moved in with you, actually…"
He nodded but did not open his mouth to reply.
"I told you I liked that feeling…" Sakura continued. "The one where your heart hurts so much and your chest aches and you almost want to cry—the one that you feel when you're losing someone or you've already lost them… but… but it only hurts because there's love?"
A frown pulled at his lips but it was too dark for her to notice even if she was looking at him.
"Am I losing you, Sasuke?" she asked, turning on her side.
They couldn't see each other in the dark but he knew she was staring at him.
Sasuke narrowed his eyes at the question, furious that she could even think such a thing. He wrapped his hand around the arm she folded between them and pulled her to his body. She leaned her forehead against his chest and he placed his chin upon her head.
"Because this relationship really feels like it's dwindling—"
"Are you sure?"
He could hear the hitch in her voice and knew she was trying not to cry.
"I am," he said, loudly and confidently. "I'm sure. We're fine."
She nodded. "I'll hold you to that."
Sasuke cleaned out what was once their apartment with glassy eyes and a bitter scowl.
Half a year had passed since she left and the sight of her stupid shoes, the scent of her perfumes, or the sight of her clothes was driving him insane. They had a walk-in closet with their room, but he let her use all of its space, preferring the drawers instead.
He found so many outfits she had never worn and a particular outfit she had worn that seemed to be fazing him.
It was a red, satin baby doll that she had worn on the night that they did eventually take their short vacation together over the weekend.
With a huff, he flung the offending piece of clothing across the large closet and stood up, not wanting to stay in there anymore. They were just clothes and shoes and purses but they were still hers and it still hurt to be reminded of her.
Sasuke stepped out and slammed the door behind him before sitting on the edge of the bed.
He had never bothered to cleanse the apartment of the things that belonged to her. Everything just seemed so in place, whether they were his or hers or theirs. He had left the photos on the shelves, her jewellery box on the bedroom vanity, her toothbrush in the holder it shared with his own and so much more.
Sakura was gone and he was finally realizing how much she meant to him.
A life without her was going to be hell for him, he mused with regret, which was why he couldn't bear to change the order in their—his apartment.
He pushed himself off of the bed and went to the shelf by the vanity, bending down to take out the scrapbooks she had put there. He found most of them were empty as he flipped through the pages, but there was a medium-sized shoebox next to them that he knew was full of photographs. He then sat down in front of the shelf and removed the lid.
There were multiple, tiny stacks held together by rubber bands. Many more though, were tossed carelessly into the box.
He pulled out a pile and began looking over them nostalgically.
He snorted at the photos of the two of them celebrating Sakura's twenty-fourth birthday the previous year at Itachi's club. Sakura had been wearing a shiny, plastic crown that Naruto had picked up for her at the dollar store on his way to their lunch. She had worn the thing the whole day, even when they came back to Mangekyou in the evening for her night out.
In one picture, she had a bright smile on her face as she hugged onto his arm, the two of them looking at the camera.
Sasuke flipped to another photograph and felt a hollow pang in his chest.
It had been taken at the wedding of Sakura's uncle and coincidentally Sasuke's former guitar teacher, Kakashi Hatake. She wore a champagne-coloured cocktail dress and her long hair was pulled back. In her hands were the flowers that Kakashi's bride had thrown. She had a look of embarrassment on her face as she looked into the camera with a small gape, and Sasuke who stood beside her was blushing ever so slightly.
The next photo he took out was from a vacation they took together.
Sakura was the only one in the picture. She was sitting on the couch of the cabin they rented in the Snow Country in a tank top and her bath robe. She was holding a mug of coffee or hot chocolate while looking over her shoulder with an amused grin as the picture was taken, obviously by him.
Sasuke let out a pained grunt that he didn't know he was holding in and closed his eyes with difficulty, afraid of what he might see.
He took a ragged breath and let go of the print in his hand.
He put the photos back into the box and closed it.
They had gone to the Snow Country and rented a cabin for themselves for the weekend. Sasuke had always enjoyed snowboarding, and Sakura, skiing, so they had no plans of staying cooped up in the wooden lodge for the whole trip.
All of Saturday was spent on the slopes but towards the evening, there was a raging storm that kept them stuck in their cabin.
"I think you broke the heater," Sakura said with an amused grin, donning only her red slip. It was too hot in their little cottage to wear actual clothes. At least though, the heater was working too high rather than too low and they weren't coming down with hypothermia.
Sasuke huffed and crossed his arms over his chest as he stepped away from the heater. "Whatever."
Sakura giggled at his childish attitude and walked over to him and wrapping her arms around his lower abdomen from behind. "It's okay," she murmured, brushing her lips against back and causing him to stiffen under her touch. "I think I like it all hot like this. Kind of makes me want to—"
"You better shut up now," Sasuke growled out. She noticed how his head was bowed slightly and she was sure that if she were in front of him and not behind, she would see something akin to a predatory gleam in his dark eyes, "or I might do something I'll regret in the morning."
"Why would you regret it?" she asked, standing on her toes to touch the shell of his ear with her lips. She stuck out her tongue and licked him tauntingly. "I don't think I'd have a problem with anything—oh, hey, Sasuke!"
She giggled loudly as he threw her over his shoulder and started walking to the bed.
"Hey, put me down!" Sakura whined. "I get motion sickness easily, Sasuke!"
He snorted. "That's a lie. We spent the whole day rushing down the hills."
"Oh..." Sakura gave up on her reasoning and decided that getting physical was the best option. She squirmed in his grip as she repeatedly slapped him on the back. "Sasuke! Put me down! This is making me nervous! I know you're going to drop me—"
"You're such a pervert!"
"Ugh, you totally suck—ow! HEY!"
Sakura pouted up at him from where he threw her on the bed with her lips pursed and eyes narrowed. Childishly, she stuck her tongue out at him.
"You better put that away, Sa-ku-ra," he warned huskily, kneeling over the bed.
"Or what, Sa-su-ke?" she challenged, struggling to sound confident but failing.
He then pounced on her, grabbing her wrists in each hand and holding them to the sides of her head as he slanted his mouth across her own. He kissed her hotly and pressed his tongue against her lips, parting them without bothering to ask for entrance. Her legs wrapped themselves around his hips and she pulled him closer.
"I love you," she declared between breathy moans as his hands roved over her nearly naked body.
She lifted her head to press her lips on his and kissed him over and over as she repeated her previous statement.
"I love you."
Eight months had passed since Sakura disappeared from his life. As the cool spring breeze drifted past him, he sipped on his coffee and continued walking down the street. He downed the rest of the warm liquid and threw the Styrofoam cup into the nearest trashcan. With a small yawn, he adjusted the guitar hanging off of his back as he stepped into a corner store.
"Give me a pack of Marlboros," Sasuke said to the man behind the counter. As the old man turned around to get his order, Sasuke's eyes drifted to the magazine rack beside the cash register and the bright letters that spelled Allurement. He stared at the magazine for a moment before taking one and adding it to his pack of cigarettes. "Oh, and this, too."
The man nodded and punched in the price.
After paying, Sasuke walked out of the store with a cigarette dangling between his lips and the magazine rolled up in his hand. He walked silently to the city park with his earphones in place and his iPod playing, almost anticipating reading what Sakura left him for.
Sasuke sat down on a bench when he arrived to his destination after leaning his guitar against it. He unrolled the magazine and began flipping through the pages as he began a second cigarette. He was about to deem it pointless until he saw her name. He carefully read through the page and noted that Sakura had apparently been given an advice column.
A smile almost came from him, because he really felt Sakura deserved it. She deserved a nice job and especially one that suited her. She was great at helping people with their problems.
My boyfriend and I are having a bit of trouble right now. It's almost like the past amazing five years between us never took place! He doesn't talk to me anymore and he barely wants to spend any time with me. What happened? Did he just lose interest? Is he cheating on me? I'm just so confused. What should I do?
The irony caused him to snort.
It didn't take him long to look at what she had to say while taking another drag.
I should probably tell you not to worry because your situation isn't too uncommon. Heck, even I went through it. My best advice is to take a break from your relationship and just use the time to find yourself. Obviously the two of you changed into different people over the course of your relationship and you're no longer the same. That's okay, though. As long as the two of you still love each other, Mai, there's still hope.
"Ah, swaying the other way now that Sakura left, I see?"
Sasuke looked up and scowled.
"Kakashi," he muttered in greeting. He closed the magazine and put it on the bench carelessly. "What do you want?"
"Oh, just visiting my favourite student," the older man drawled, taking a seat beside Sasuke on the bench. "I heard your career is rising pretty fast. I always knew you had potential."
Sasuke nodded absently, still taking small glimpses at the magazine on his side.
"I also heard that your muse decided to leave you," Kakashi added. He smiled at Sasuke wryly and reached over him to retrieve the abandoned magazine. "Sweet girl, she was, although rather naïve. If I had been her, with how much you pushed that girl away, I would've left you much sooner."
He sighed and looked at Kakashi with a bitter frown. "So I'm the bad guy, right?" he asked sarcastically. "It's my entire fault?"
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "You thought otherwise?"
Sasuke glared at him for a moment before turning away shamefully.
"She's coming back you know…" Kakashi said slowly, breaking the awkward silence. He put a hand on Sasuke's shoulder and narrowed his visible eye when he noticed the cigarette in the boy's mouth. Kakashi immediately ripped it out and threw it on the ground, "Now, now, I haven't seen you doing that since you were nineteen, Sasuke."
He rolled his dark eyes at the statement and took out another one, shifting a few seats down on the bench.
"Yeah, well, when I started dating Sakura, she wouldn't let me kiss her if I smoked," Sasuke admitted. He played with the lighter in his hand, wondering if he should light it or not. "She said it made me taste bad and that it was a pain to wash the smell out of my clothes."
Kakashi smiled faintly. "She was really good for you, wasn't she?"
Sasuke sighed and tried not to look regretful. "Yeah, she was."
Checking one last time, Sasuke confirmed that Sakura was asleep. Carefully, he pushed the covers off of his body and crept out of their bed. He stood up and went to the jacket he always wore that Sakura had hung up on the door, reaching into the inside pocket to take out his cigarettes. He went over to the balcony and quietly closed the door behind him, cautious not to wake Sakura.
He didn't smoke that often now that he was with Sakura. The times that he did smoke, though, were when she definitely would not know.
"Don't even think about putting that in your mouth," she had warned him when they first started dating. As usual, he had ignored her request and smoked the cigarette, and that night when he moved to kiss her good night she turned away and went home, saying, "Sorry, Sasuke, but you taste nasty when you smoke. I don't want to kiss you."
It was that moment that had made him try to quit.
But right then, he was beginning to feel stressed.
His parents had been calling him a lot, asking him to come home so he could start working for them. They owned a chain of five-star restaurants in the Fire Country and were currently opening some in other cities outside. They claimed it was time for Sasuke to stop trying to be a musician and put his business degree to use for them.
His older brother had recently opened up a club that was declared a new hot spot for celebrities. Since Itachi and Sasuke had always had a close relationship, the elder allowed his brother and his band to play there a lot and refrained from reporting anything to their parents.
With a sigh, Sasuke took the delicate stick out of the box and put it to his lips. He leaned against the railing and took out his lighter.
"Don't even try it."
Had he been anyone else, he probably would have jumped at the sound of Sakura's cold voice.
Sasuke turned around and saw her standing in front of the glass sliding doors, glaring at him and daring him to try smoking the cigarette.
He stared back at her for a minute with the unlit cigarette still dangling between his lips before shrugging and taking it out. He put it back in the box and struggled to stay still when she took the pack and threw it over the balcony rather carelessly.
"You know," he drawled snidely. "Some little kid might find that and decide to smoke them."
Sakura shrugged. "Well, everyone is allowed to experiment a little." He raised an eyebrow at her and she repeated, "A little." She reached for the lighter he held between his fingers and put it in the pocket of her bathrobe. "But they shouldn't get addicted."
"I'm not addicted," Sasuke muttered. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her closer to take back what she put in her pocket. "I'm just… a bit stressed."
"Oh?" There was a look of curiosity in her eyes. She suddenly grew nervous as she looked away from him at the night sky over the balcony. "You… you know you can talk to me, Sasuke, right?"
Sasuke nodded slowly. "I do."
"Then will you?" she asked rather forcefully. "I care about you, Sasuke." Sakura put her hands on his face, cupping his cheeks in her palms while staring into his dark eyes. "I'm here for you. I love you."
He nodded once more and leaned his forehead against hers. "I know." Slowly, he lifted his arms wrapped them around her form in a loose embrace.
After a moment, she pulled away and grasped his hand within her own. "Let's go back inside," she murmured with a light smile, pulling him along with her. As she walked, he made no move to follow. She turned around and frowned slightly. "What's wrong—"
Her frown deepened and she tilted her head a little. "What do you mean? Is something wrong—"
"Thank you," Sasuke repeated. "You… You're always saving me…"
"It was just a cigarette—"
"From everything. From myself. From…"
He looked down and she could see a faint blush on his usually pale cheeks.
She paused to think over his words before nodding. A small smile pulled at the corners of her mouth.
Sasuke awoke to a faint knock on his door. He had fallen asleep on the couch once again, something he had been doing for the past year without Sakura.
The near-silent taps against the door came once more and Sasuke stood up to answer it. He frowned slightly, annoyed by how quiet the knocks were, as if whoever was there didn't want to be heard by him.
He opened the door and was greeted by the sight of Ino, her blue eyes narrowed and lips pursed. She did not bother greeting him before she reached into her purse and took out a folded piece of paper and shoving it into his chest for him to grab.
"She asked me to give that to you," Ino explained.
He raised an eyebrow at her, because really, when was the last time Ino had spoken to Sakura?
Ino shrugged in response to his unspoken question. "I know, she told me to give it to you a year ago, but hey, I did it didn't I?"
Sasuke nodded faintly, pocketing the folded sheet.
The blond girl sighed as she squirmed under the harsh scrutiny of his gaze.
"She's gonna come back, you know," Ino mumbled, as though she didn't want him to know. "She didn't want to write in fashion, anyways. She just wanted a year's worth of experience at such a famous magazine because she said it'd look good on her résumé." The blond girl sighed under her breath. "Sakura… She's coming home in a few weeks."
His dark eyes suddenly lit up at the news and he was quick to ask, "When?"
Immediately, Ino narrowed her eyes once more, as if she was suspicious of him.
"Two Saturdays from now, I'm supposed to pick her up from the Konoha train station," Ino explained slowly, watching Sasuke for any sort of reaction. "She said her train will be arriving around eight in the evening, and I have work." She cleared her throat. "Do you think you can pick her up, Sasuke?"
"I have a show," Sasuke said instinctively, because really, he did.
"I see." Her rose-painted lips straightened into a line as she gazed at him coolly. "But you'll cancel it, right Sasuke?"
"O—of course," he muttered, cursing himself for stuttering. "I will."
Ino gave him a curt nod before poking her head into the apartment and looking around. She had a calculating gaze as she scrutinized every inch of the room as if she was looking for some sort of mistake or change he made.
"Everything looks the same," Ino commented dully, pulling back into the hall.
"I never wanted things to change."
If you're reading this then that means Ino actually listened to me.
I don't know why I'm writing this, to be honest. Maybe for closure, right? I've always hated loose ends and waiting so it would have been a little hypocritical of me not to at least give you that. I can only hope that Ino doesn't wait ten months or whatever to give this to you.
Sasuke, I loved you.
You meant the world to me and leaving you was almost the hardest thing I've ever done but I did it and now I feel fine. I wanted forever with you. I wanted to be by your side as you became a star, I wanted to move out of that crummy apartment we have and get a house, I wanted us to get married and have kids and a dog. I wanted everything with you.
What happened to us? We used to be so good together, Sasuke, so what happened? Did you find someone else? Were you finally just sick of me? Did you just fall out of love—or were you just never in love with me in the first place? You just stopped talking to me entirely. You were so cold, Sasuke and it hurt. It was almost like you just stopped caring about me.
I'm not stupid, though. I know you didn't 'stop caring' because no matter what, we're still there for each other, but Sasuke, you were always just so absent. You kept pushing me away and distancing yourself from me. Believe me, I tried to push the insecurities away but Sasuke, I don't know, it just wasn't working.
I tried to wait. I tried to tell myself that whatever was wrong with you was just a phase and that if I gave you time, you'd be the man I fell in love with again, but it just never happened, Sasuke.
Eventually, waiting for you to be you again got to be too much and I don't know, I guess I just wanted out.
I think I'm over you now. I know that's not very believable considering how just earlier I told you I loved you and begged you to give me a reason to stay, but Sasuke, I think waiting for you to love me back just began to take its toll on me, you know? You just started to fade from my memories and well, I don't know, fall into history.
I wish you so much luck with your career and hope you go far. Music is your passion and I would never ask you to choose me over it. Maybe when I come back, if you figure out how much I just might mean to you and there's still something in me for you, we can try again. All the best, Sasuke.
I guess this is goodbye, huh?
I think I'll miss you, Sasuke. And really, thank you for everything.
Sakura shifted uneasily as the rain began to pour down harder, berating herself for going outside of the train station. Ino had said she'd be there to pick her up and that she'd even arrive half an hour early, but Sakura should have known that a year wasn't enough to help her friend's skills—or thereof—in punctuality. She sighed and dropped her duffel bag onto a bench and removed her messenger bag, tossing it on top of the larger one.
She shivered slightly as the droplets hit her bare arms and ran down her skin, tracing a chilly, wet path.
"You're really back."
Her eyes widened briefly at the voice and she thought for a moment that was still on the train, sleeping and dreaming. She looked over her shoulder and her breath hitched at the sight of him. His dark eyes were rimmed with black showing the sleep he'd been missing out on with her gone and his skin seemed paler than before. He looked older, as though much more than a year had passed by for him.
"Sakura," he said, a faint smile showing on his lips.
She didn't know what to do or say. She stood there under the rain, staring at him, almost hoping he wasn't real.
"Sakura, I'm sorry," he apologized, stepping towards her. She took a step back and he flinched. Sasuke looked pained for a moment by her silence. He grabbed her upper arms and held her gently in place. His dark eyes locked with hers and he stared at her almost pleadingly. "Sakura…"
"W—what are you doing here?" she murmured, finally speaking to him.
Something in his heart fluttered at the mere sound of her angelic voice. "I need you," he declared, staring into her eyes. "I need you with me, Sakura. Please."
"No." Her jade eyes glazed over and he no longer saw any warmth in them. "No," Sakura repeated. "I might've said—no, I can't—"
"Why?" he whispered.
Sasuke dropped to his knees and wrapped his arms around her waist tightly. He buried his face into her stomach and let the rain pour over them, uncaring of the wetness on his knees or the droplets running over his head. He tightened his grasp on her and pulled her closer.
His plead was soft, almost silent, with the loud rain.
He pushed himself up and grabbed her hands.
"I get it now, okay?" His voice was harsh and husky. "I hurt you and I pushed you away and maybe you needed to leave because then I wouldn't have realized how fucking important you are to me, Sakura, but I get it now, okay—and I…" Sasuke bowed his head and his voice lower. "I need you, Sakura," he said once more. "So please…" He then lifted his head and she swallowed harshly at the broken look in his eyes. "Just take me back."
He wrapped his arms around her loosely and pressed his forehead against hers. She shuddered at the feel of his warm breath brushing against her chilled skin. Both ignored the rain that continued to fall, dripping along their faces.
"Just come home."
"Why didn't you write me? Why? It wasn't over for me! I waited for you for seven years and now it's too late!"
"I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you everyday for a year."
"You wrote me?"
"Yes. It wasn't over, it still isn't over!"
And as The Notebook played and Noah kissed Allie, Sakura couldn't help but squeal happily and squeeze Sasuke's arm even tighter. The two of them were sitting on the couch watching movies together, once again, and that night just so happened to be Sakura's pick.
"I love this movie," Sakura gushed, pressing her cheek against his shoulder as she leaned on him. "It is just too sweet!"
Sasuke let out a quiet snort and ate some more popcorn.
"Definitely," he muttered. "Way too sweet."
She looked up at him with a glare but the mood of the movie eventually got to her and she kissed him on the cheek.
"But seriously," Sakura said, poking at his arm. "You totally have to agree that this movie is just a classic for a romantic like me."
Sakura watched as the couple on screen kissed one another against the wall. It seemed so hot and romantic but still tragic and frantic all at the same time as they pressed their mouths against each others and pulled desperately at each other's clothing.
She smirked up at Sasuke and patted him lightly on the cheek.
"Hm, I'm getting kinda hot for you, Sasuke."
He rolled his eyes and shoved her away from him.
Sakura laughed loudly at her boyfriend's reaction and then laid her head against the arm at the other end of the couch. She propped her legs onto his lap and grabbed the couch pillow to hug as she continued to watch the movie.
Sasuke sighed and slouched, sliding down the couch slightly.
"Aw, does Sasucakes not like the movie?" she teased, knowing the answer quite well.
At his lack of response, a small smile pulled at her lips. "Ah, Sasuke…" she murmured, sounding rather serious. "Thanks for watching with me. I know you don't want to."
"I never said that," he muttered.
"Yeah, but you really don't need to," she replied. Sakura dropped the pillow she was cuddling on the floor and sat up to go back to her original position. She pecked him lightly on the cheek. "But really, you're such a sweetheart."
The rainy scene concluded and Sasuke visibly frowned.
"Isn't that a bit cliché?"
Sakura looked at him, eyes wide at him suddenly making a comment on the movie. "What?"
"This," he said, gesturing to the television where the movie was playing. "A reunion in the rain? This is a little cliché, don't you think?"
She smiled and shrugged. "Clichés always work."
"A reunion in the rain with you asking me to come back," Sakura whispered to herself observantly, looking up at the dark sky, letting the rain hit her face. "All you need to do now is kiss me…"
Sakura looked at Sasuke, feeling oddly whole with his arms around her. She ignored the rain that was growing stronger and now drenching her hair and dripping down her face. The water was probably seeping into her bags.
"This is a little cliché, don't you think?" Her voice was almost a whisper and barely audible above the loud splashes of the rain. She chuckled weakly and placed a hand on his damp head, pulling lightly on his hair.
"Clichés always work," he murmured.
Slowly, Sasuke let go and stood up. He pressed his forehead against hers and closed his eyes, embracing her once again. He brought a hand up and tangled it into her pink locks, pulling her head back and slanting his lips over hers.
As she fell into his kiss, she allowed herself to let go of the past.
She wasn't lying when she said she'd be alright by herself.
"I love you."
But she was still better when they were together.