Chapter 28 – The Truth Is Out!
Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and it just ruins your day? Well, Sakura seemed to be having one of those days. The only good thing about her day so far (even though it was still only morning and she had only just woken up) was waking up warm and comfortable with a certain red head sleeping next to her.
During the night, the two had moved closer to one another until eventually, Sakura was pressed against his chest, his arms were wrapped around her and their legs were entangled. She couldn't see much from her position, but if Sakura pulled her head back slightly, she could see his relaxed expression and seeing it made her feel happy. He looked so content and after hearing about his difficulty with sleeping, it made her feel warm inside knowing that it helped him sleep having her so close to him.
It didn't matter to Sakura that in an hour or so, she would have to get up and start getting ready for school. It also didn't matter to her that if she didn't get up by that time, her mother would come barging into her room and literally drag her out of bed. In Gaara's arms, Sakura felt so… relaxed and at peace. She felt accepted and possibly even loved.
Sakura bit her lip ever so slightly before once again pressing her face into Gaara's chest, inhaling his scent as she did so. Would it be creepy of her to say that he smelled good? It probably would, but it didn't mean it wasn't true. Gaara really did smell good and Sakura was secretly grateful that he had decided to sleep without a shirt on last night, giving her a good view.
It was such a beautiful sight in the morning.
Just as that thought entered her mind, Sakura leaned back slightly to get a better look, but instead her eyes locked onto her reflection due to the mirror at her vanity table, immediately making her feel like crap because damn she looked awful. Her hair was dishevelled and knotted, there were dark circles under her eyes (though nowhere near as obvious as Gaara's) and now that she thought about it, Sakura realised that she had morning breath that could knock an elephant out cold. Why couldn't she wake up like they did on television shows or on movies? You know, when they wake up and they look perfect?
Again, the sight of Gaara sleeping peacefully made her smile. Because of her being bipolar and sometimes suffering from insomnia because of it, her mother had changed her thin, summer curtains for heavy, thick ones that blocked out the light. Not only that, but she always lit some sort of stick that released a calming scent during the day, helping her relax, as well as buying Sakura a new, much more comfortable bed.
Reluctantly untangling herself, Sakura got out of bed and moved as quietly as she possibly could to the bathroom where she proceeded to brush her teeth and hair as well as wash her face. By the time she returned, Gaara still wasn't awake, so she smiled brightly and moved to join him again, immediately being welcomed into his arms as they seemed to automatically wrap around her, holding her tightly to his chest. It reminded her of the way a child would cuddle their teddy bear.
Just laying there in Gaara's embrace made Sakura think about many different things, one of them being how much he had changed since she had first met him. Despite still being angry, he didn't lash out as much and he was much calmer now. His hair had grown an inch or two as well, making it look messier, but still hot. God she loved running her hands through his hair! What else was different about Gaara… oh! He was taller, too. No longer was he only a couple of inches taller than her, Gaara was now almost six inches taller than her, making her feel rather small and dainty when he held her – a feeling she absolutely adored.
It was like he had become a completely different person since they first met, but Sakura still felt like she knew him.
"It is considered rude to stare."
Those were the first words he had ever said to her, Sakura recalled as she smiled into his chest. "I can't help it. You've changed so much and it's only been a couple of months!"
Despite his eyes being closed, Sakura knew he would be rolling them at her. "So have you."
It was true. Sakura had also changed and her parents had noticed this change, too. No longer did Sakura walk around with fake confidence or a depressed look in her eyes. Now, she was genuinely happy even though sometimes it still hurt her when her old friends avoided her. However whenever this happened, Gaara was there for her and not only him, but also his sister, Temari, as well as Itachi and Kakashi.
"We need to get up soon." Sakura mumbled but despite her words, she tightened her hold on him, her face moving from his chest and up to the crook of his neck.
"Hn." he replied simply before resting his head against hers. "I will have to go home before school, so I'll meet you there."
She groaned. "Don't go yet! I'm too comfortable."
So was he, so instead of moving, Gaara tightened his hold on her. "Very well." he mumbled, his eyes still closed.
Last night was the best night's sleep he had had in what seemed like forever! Unlike other times he slept, it actually felt as though he was well rested, like he had actually managed to fully relax and allow his body to recuperate whilst he slept peacefully. A part of him worried that this would all disappear if Sakura was to choose Sasuke, but he refused to focus on that thought and instead decided to make the best of it.
He was aware that anybody else would have demanded she choose by now, but Gaara didn't want to rush her into making her decision, just in case she chose the wrong one. What was worse than being without her was the thought of being with her when her heart belonged to another. Gaara was never one for sharing and it was the same when it came to Sakura, which was another reason why he had been so adamant about them having sex. If he was going to have sex with her, Gaara wanted it to be only him who did so, which meant she would have to choose between him and Sasuke.
What made the situation worse was that Sasuke didn't know a single thing about it! He didn't know that he and Sakura were somewhat together, he didn't know about her mental illness or that she had been raped. Sakura had told him before that Sasuke preferred to reveal his feelings through his actions, but Gaara wasn't too sure if she was being taken for a fool or not. Yes, it was obvious Uchiha cared for her, but was he simply using her for sex? Damn it. It made him feel so angry. The thought of Sasuke touching Sakura made him want to smash something to pieces, preferably the Uchiha's skull.
It was strange because he didn't feel betrayed. Even though other people would have felt betrayed, Sakura was completely honest with him. She told him that her mind kept detaching during sex with Sasuke, but he didn't notice and continued whereas Gaara would have stopped immediately. Hearing that had made it feel like his heart was being stabbed with a knife and before he could even stop himself, he had told her to stop sleeping with Sasuke, using the excuse that if she kept letting her mind detach itself automatically, it was going to be harder to try and stop it. The truth was though that he didn't want her having sex with Sasuke. He didn't want her anywhere near the Uchiha, he wanted her with him.
Gaara inwardly chided himself for being so jealous and childish. He couldn't blame Sakura for being so confused about what to do, especially when he saw how much it hurt her. When she had slept with Sasuke, she came to him in tears, telling him how sorry she was for betraying him. In the past month, she had only done that once, which made Gaara a little happier since it could have been a much larger number considering how many times she and Sasuke hung out, but not entirely.
The excuses she used for turning down Sasuke's advances were always different, some hardly even believable whilst others the Uchiha could believe. In a way, Gaara felt sorry for Sakura. The girl couldn't even take her top off around Sasuke! Which, secretly, he was grateful for, since he didn't want Uchiha seeing her topless. There was a stubborn, childish voice in his mind that kept repeating the word 'mine' over and over again whenever he thought of Sasuke touching her.
Despite his words, Gaara and Sakura still couldn't keep their hands off of each other. The first time he broke his promise to wait was when they had been walking to his bedroom. One moment, it was like they had been simply walking and then the next, Gaara had her pinned to a wall and was kissing her so intensely that it made her unable to keep herself standing. They still hadn't had sex, of course, but with the way they were going…
Shaking the thoughts from his head, Gaara looked down at the girl laying against him. She was quieter than usual, telling him that she was thinking about something.
His hand came up to her face, gently pushing aside her hair. "What are you thinking so hard about?"
"How can you read my expressions so easily?" she let out a breathy laugh, but he could see that her question was serious, that she really wanted to know how he did it.
There was a soft shrug before Gaara tilted her face up to face his and as he spoke, he gently caressed the parts of her face he mentioned. "When you're angry, your eyebrows knit together, though the right one starts twitching a little and your eyes narrow. When you're sad, your eyebrows furrow and your eyes squint ever so slightly, like you're trying not to cry. When you're happy, your eyes crease at the corners and your lips lift at the corners. It makes your face seem so much brighter, prettier, when you're smiling. When you're thinking, you frown softly, but if it's something big or serious that you're thinking about, you scowl. When you're about to cry, your lips press together tightly and your eyes close to try and hide your tears. When you're nervous, uncertain or scared, you bite your lip. And…" his voice took on a teasing tone as he smirked at her. "When you need the bathroom your nose wrinkles for a second before you frown."
"You can tell when I need to pee?" Sakura asked in disbelief, though he could see the amusement in her eyes. "And here I thought I wasn't that easy to read."
"You're not very good at hiding your emotions." Gaara commented as his thumb stroked her cheek. He always loved touching her, not only sexual touches, but tender, loving touches too. Gaara liked that she didn't pull away from him, that she didn't flinch whenever he lifted his hand. She wasn't afraid of him. "What were you thinking about?"
Sakura bit her lip before releasing it, remembering what Gaara had just said about him knowing when she's nervous because of biting her lip. He smirked softly at her, but otherwise said nothing as he watched her breathe deeply before answering. "I was thinking about what you keep telling me. How you keep saying I should tell Naruto and Sasuke about being bipolar." Gaara was silent and noticing this, Sakura looked up into his eyes, silently asking herself if he knew she could see the apprehension that was suddenly in his eyes. "I–I'm not ready to tell them everything… but I think… if I just told them about being bipolar it might help them understand why I acted the way I did before I left."
He couldn't deny that her words were making him uneasy. What if Sasuke finally gave into his emotions and showered her with affection and love? What if he lost Sakura to the Uchiha? Gaara was aware that being with Sakura whilst there was a chance she could love another was foolish, but it didn't change how he felt. At the end of the day, if being with Sasuke made Sakura happy, then that was all that mattered.
There was nothing more Gaara wanted than for her to be happy.
Reigning in his emotions, he gave her a soft smile before continuing with his gentle caress. "You're doing the right thing."
Once again, Sakura was biting her lip. "I'm also going to tell Sasuke about you, about us."
His hand stilled and for a moment, hope filled his chest, no matter how hard he tried to push it down. Not being able to stop himself, Gaara pressed his forehead to hers and smiled again. A real smile this time. "It's for the best. Uchiha deserves to know that he'll have to fight for you now," gently rolling them over so that he was above her, he lowered himself until his lips were brushing her against ear, "because I'm not going to let you go without a fight."
"Such a romantic." she giggled as his lips pressed against her jaw.
The feeling of her hands stroking his arms, shoulders and wherever else she could reach made him relax more, if that was even possible at this point. However, as Gaara glanced at the alarm clock on her bedside table, he sighed.
"I need to go." when Sakura whimpered, Gaara smirked and murmured against her lips, "It's not like you're never going to see me again. I will meet you at school."
With a huff of annoyance, Sakura pressed her lips to Gaara's a final time before he got out of bed.
There was a last minute assembly in ten minutes and Sakura couldn't help but wonder what it could possibly be about. As if that wasn't strange enough, but the year above and below would be joining their year for the assembly, which was even more unusual. Normally, her year's assembly was on a Thursday morning and the only times other years had joined theirs was because of an emergency.
Looking through the crowd that all seemed to be heading towards the cafeteria, Sakura bit her lip. She had been looking for Sasuke for about fifteen minutes now but it seemed as though she couldn't find him anywhere!
However, just as she thought she wouldn't be able to find him, Sakura spotted a head of blond hair and inwardly screamed with annoyance when she saw that Sasuke was with Naruto. How could she get him to come with her now? Sighing, Sakura made her way towards him, ignoring the twisting of her gut and the aching of her heart as she did.
The two boys looked up the same moment that the colour pink caught their eyes and seeing that Sakura was heading straight for them, Naruto's eyes widened whilst Sasuke had to hold back a growl. What was she doing? Was she trying to make things awkward?
Finally reaching them, Sakura made sure to keep her eyes away from Naruto's, even when she could feel his eyes on her. For a moment however, she could say nothing as the pain in her chest flared. "I–I need to talk to you." Sakura spoke quietly and bit her lip before looking down at the ground. "It's about something serious… and private."
All Sasuke could do was stare at her, but when Sakura looked up with pained eyes, he nodded once before turning to look at Naruto, who was looking between them with a frown. Then, when Naruto nodded to him and walked off, Sasuke turned back to Sakura. "What is it?"
"You're coming over tonight after practise, right?"
He nodded again. "Is something wrong?"
She shook her head, but then nodded hesitantly. "There's something I need to tell you tonight. It's important and… if we're going to continue this relationship or whatever we are then you have the right to know. No… you need to know."
The sound of the bell ringing told them that assembly would be starting in two minutes and since they were already together, both she and Sasuke entered the large hall and sat at the front. She was at the end of their row, so thankfully she only had Sasuke sat by her side. The last time in assembly, she had some girl who quite clearly didn't like her sitting next to her. The only reason Sakura knew she didn't like her was because the other girl kept 'accidentally' elbowing her during the entire assembly. Well, she did until Sakura elbowed her right back, earning her a sharp yelp of pain.
Slowly, the hall filled with her year as well as the year below and above and they all started to whisper to one another as the curtains hiding the large screen drew back of their own accord. Everyone looked at one another in question. Were they watching a movie? Was there going to be a presentation? Where were all the teachers? Who was doing that?
Sakura looked behind her and spotted Kakashi as well as Kurenai and Asuma right at the back of the hall. Kurenai and Asuma were there because they couldn't leave a hall full of students unsupervised and Kakashi was there because of Sakura's fear of being around so many people. She couldn't see their expressions clearly, but Sakura could tell that they were also confused as Kakashi had straightened out of his usual slouch and was scanning the large hall with narrowed eyes.
"…what happened between me and Naruto was over two years ago and what happened between me and Sasuke…" There was a brief pause as the speaker stopped speaking for a couple of seconds. "Gaara, I love Sasuke so much that it hurts… but I'm also falling in love with you."
Her eyes widened as she quickly turned back to the screen, only to see herself and Gaara sitting side by side in a field. It was sunset and the stars had started to reveal themselves, but of course, Sakura already knew that. Her back as well as Gaara's were to the camera, but that didn't seem to affect the microphone. Once again, the whispering started up again as many people turned to look at her, Sasuke included since he was sat next to her. His eyes were silently demanding that she explain herself, but Sakura couldn't find her voice.
"I want you to be able to trust me." Sakura's soft voice spoke. "I know… I know I've done nothing to earn your trust, but if you just told me how I can start to earn it–"
On the screen, Gaara looked down at her, but his expression was hidden from the camera. "What happened to you before you left?"
Sakura's hand went up to her mouth as she cried out. No! Nobody could see this. Sakura sat up straighter as she spun around, only to see that Kakashi and the other teachers had frozen, staring up at the screen in shock. As she was about to turn around, she saw Gaara sitting on the back row, looking equally as shocked. Their eyes didn't connect like she wanted them to; he was too busy staring up at the screen in horror, in shock, in pure anger.
Turning back around, Sakura saw that Sasuke's eyes were staring at the screen intensely.
"Sasuke–" Sakura whispered desperately, but she was interrupted by her own voice.
"There had been a fight between Naruto and Sasuke, a fight over me. They weren't fighting like they usually did, they were physically attacking one another and it hurt me so much to see them hurt each other. I tried to get them to stop and eventually, they did thanks to Sasuke's brother interfering, but Naruto's eyes were filled with so much betrayal and hurt and Sasuke's eyes were guarded as they always are. We all said some things before I stormed off.
"Nobody knows this part of the story… not even my parents, Kakashi or Tsunade. I'm telling you this because I want you to know everything. I want to know that I can trust you with anything and by knowing all of this, you can trust me. I was walking…" At that moment and on the recording, Sakura's breathing came out in uneven breaths. "I was walking down the road – you know the one that leads straight to my house?" On screen, Gaara nodded once. "I was halfway home when I was grabbed from behind and before I could even react, I was dragged into the woods where I was beaten and… and r–raped." As people turned to stare at her, Sakura's body started to shake just like on the video. "The man… he left me in the woods thinking I was dead. At the time, I wished that I was."
Sasuke quickly turned to stare at Sakura, for once his eyes not hiding his emotions as her own filled with tears. Seeing pain, guilt and anger in his eyes did nothing to help her. No, what she wanted was for the person doing this to show themselves! Remembering what she had said next, Sakura looked away from Sasuke, her eyes practically burning holes into the screen as her tears silently fell down her cheeks.
Back on the screen, Sakura shook her head. "It wasn't until after five in the morning that I finally managed to get up and drag myself home. My parents thought that I was staying over at Sasuke's with him and Naruto; they didn't ask questions since we had all been best friends since we were kids. I didn't… I didn't want to wake them." Her sob caused even the coldest of people in the room to have a lump rise in their throat. "I didn't want them to see or know what had happened to me. So I locked myself in my bedroom and soaked in the bath and it was like part of me was hoping if I bathed long enough, I could wash away what had happened. I didn't eat for days afterwards and I couldn't sleep properly. I could tell my mom and dad were worried, but I kept pushing them away because I was scared that they'd judge me.
"I had never felt so alone before in my entire life." came Sakura's broken whisper as she clutched her knees tightly against her chest. "Ino had stopped talking to me and at the time, I had no idea why. Naruto and Sasuke were both ignoring me and everyone else who I thought were my friends also avoided me." Sakura sobbed once again before speaking. "It hurt so much. I felt so down, so disgusting…"
Everybody in the hall gasped once again as on the recording, Sakura lowered her legs and lifted her sleeves to Gaara. Although the camera didn't show what she was showing him, it was more than obvious what it was, especially when they saw his body stiffen.
Sakura looked down at her wrists both on screen and off. "I disappeared from home for about two weeks and I did some… some awful stuff with people I didn't know. My parents found me one day when they were out searching for me and brought me home, screaming at me for acting so selfishly. A couple of days later, I tried to kill myself, but my parents found me in the bath." Then, Sakura cried out, "I still hear her scream my name at night when she has nightmares about finding me unconscious in the bath, bathing in my own blood. When my mom wakes up, the first thing she does is check on me, to make sure that I'm still there with her, that I haven't tried to leave her again.
"I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital." she told him suddenly and on screen she was lowering her sleeves once again. "Whilst I was there, they diagnosed me bipolar and suicidal."
Sakura buried her head into her hands, wishing that she could just disappear right at that moment in time as she quietly sobbed. Sasuke looked at her in shock as Sakura started to shake but when he went to put a hand on her arm, she flinched away from him as though he had burned her.
She nodded once. "Yes."
"I never realised…"
"Nobody did, not until it was too late. Being… Being attacked that night was the final push, though something else triggered the disorder long before it. Even after my mom saved me, I still wanted to die. I had tried starving myself, but they fed me through a drip and monitored my meals. I tried hanging myself, but they made sure somebody was watching me at all times." On screen, Sakura ran a shaking hand through her hair before wrapping her arms around herself. "I felt like I was suffocating, like I couldn't breathe. My mom… she didn't want me to come home until she knew for sure that I wouldn't try to kill myself again. I was never allowed any visitors except for my parents. I had to be watched as I ate, whilst I bathed.
"It was so hard." said her broken whisper once again and it was obvious she was crying. "But then… the thought of breaking out of that place, of seeing the outside world and actually feel the wind on my face or in my hair… it was enough to keep me going. I dreamt about getting better, getting out of there and seeing all my friends again, spending time with my family where I don't have to be watched. But the thing I dreamt about most was speaking to Sasuke, Naruto and Ino again. I wanted to tell them I was sorry for everything I had done to them, that I love them all so, so much."
Another sob tore out of Sakura's chest as she squeezed her eyes shut.
"Then when I finally do start to get my life back on track, when I'm finally allowed to socialise once again, I'm torn down by Ino in front of everyone. It had taken me so long to work up the nerve to step out of my house, to think that it would be safe for me to do so."
People turned to glare at Ino, but she was too engrossed with the recording to even notice. Her skin had turned a sickly pale colour and her horrified eyes were wide and filled with tears. The memory of their fight in the cafeteria, of how Sakura kept yelling that she didn't know her… it all kept replaying in her mind. Bile started to rise in her throat, but Ino forced it down as she covered her mouth with her trembling hand. Beside her, Sai was watching her silently, wondering if there was something he should say or do.
"When were you discharged?"
"Four months after being sectioned."
"You should tell them." Gaara told her. "Sasuke, Naruto and Ino all deserve to know."
There was a sound of a scoff. "Yeah, because I haven't tried so many times to explain myself to them, to apologise. Sasuke… at least he seemed to somewhat accept my apology, but he still doesn't know. I couldn't find a way to tell him. Naruto won't even look at me for longer than five seconds, let alone hear me out and every time I see Ino, she's trying to tear me down." Sakura shook her head softly. "I forgot how mean Ino could be when her anger and hatred was turned on you."
Everyone grew silent once again. However this time, the sound of someone trying to break open a door filled the silence as well as their grunts.
On the screen, Gaara didn't reply, but he moved closer to Sakura and moved his hand almost hesitantly before holding hers.
"Thank you," he said quietly after a couple of minutes of silence.
She looked at Gaara, who was clearly avoiding making eye contact. "Thank you for what?"
Sakura shot up out of her seat, knowing what was about to be said. As she did, her eyes connected with Gaara's and the latter looked as though he was close to losing it. Her breathing came quick as it felt as though everyone was looking at her, as though everyone was judging her. In the back, Kakashi stopped with trying to open the door to the room that held the computers for the big screen as he seemed to sense her discomfort, as he sensed her slipping.
The red haired boy finally caught her gaze. "Thank you for telling me everything."
It was one thing for them to know about her, but Gaara… what he had told her was in so much confidence, so much trust. Sakura couldn't allow for the others to find out. He didn't need another reason as to why he shouldn't trust people.
"I don't–" he started to say, but was interrupted.
Before anyone could stop her, Sakura grabbed her chair and with an angry yell, she spun once and released it.
Her emerald eyes were wild as it connected with the screen, causing the glass to shatter and break as sparks seemed to fly from it before it started to release thick smoke. The students in the hall all tensed and some even shrieked as Sakura turned to them, as she looked through them all, trying to figure out who could have done such a thing.
However, before she could do anything else, Kakashi had silently approached her from behind and pinned her arms to her sides in a restraining hold. Her entire body tensed as dark memories flashed before eyes, causing Sakura to cry out and thrash. Sasuke, Gaara and Naruto all stood up immediately after hearing her cries of distress. After hearing her story, it wasn't too hard to guess at what Kakashi's hold was reminding her of. Just as they moved forward to help her though, Sakura smashed her head backwards into Kakashi's windpipe, making his hold loosen. As it did, she spun around and pushed him away from her, backing away as he regained his stance and took even breaths, trying to keep calm despite the pain and difficulty breathing.
"Sakura, it's okay." he told her as he stepped forward.
"Stay away from me!" Sakura spat, her features, voice and body language screaming distrust as her tears continued to fall. "Who the hell did that?" she screamed to the rest of her year and the year below and above. "Was that supposed to be some kind of sick, twisted joke?"
Nobody stepped forward and when she received no answer, Sakura fell to her knees. She felt completely and utterly ashamed of herself as she covered her face with her hands.
Her secret was out.
Now everyone knew the truth.
The only good thing about the past twenty minutes or so had been her quick thinking in stopping Gaara's secrets from also being revealed. Sure, there was no doubt in Sakura's mind that her punishment for this would be severe, but it was worth it. If it meant Gaara's trust in her would remain undamaged, that he wouldn't fall deeper into his depression and hatred for people, his distrust of them, it was definitely worth it. She had said it before and she would say it again. No matter what, she would be there to protect him.
"Sakura." Kakashi spoke warily as he knelt down beside her. Sakura tensed as he placed a hand on her shoulder, but made no move to push him away. "Come on. We should get you out of here."
As he helped her to her feet, Sakura looked up at the still full hall. Her eyes were filled with defeat and pure hatred as she mumbled to them, "I hope whoever did this is happy now." However, just as Kakashi went to place his arm over her shoulder, Sakura's entire body tensed once again. "Let me go." she said quietly. "I don't need help. I can walk by myself."
Kakashi seemed unsure, but did as Sakura asked as she walked out of the hall. He kept right on her heels as she walked, ready to catch her if she fell.
Gaara was just about to leave the hall so that he could be there for her when a blond with blue eyes stood in his way. His eyes and features remained impassive as Gaara slowly looked over the boy before scoffing and moving to step around him. However, just as he did, the blond narrowed his eyes and stepped in front of him once again, his fists clenching.
"You're not going anywhere until you tell me everything." Naruto spat angrily.
A/N - I think you can all guess why I was so excited to get this chapter out! Drama, drama, drama!
When I first started writing 'They Never Knew', I never planned for it to be any longer than twenty, possibly twenty-five chapters. Now, I've almost finished writing it and I can tell you now that it's nowhere near over. I hope you all like long stories, because this one is going to be around seventy chapters long! And not only will it be filled with drama and angst, but also sex, violence and surprises! ;-)
Thank you to those who not only reviewed, but also messaged me with their opinions on my shorts! I was kind of worried about looking a little slutty. Also, as for showing you a picture, look up 'short shorts Miley Cyrus white'. They're pretty much the exact same length, only mine are blue denim instead of white.
HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED AND DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW! :-)