Just a little something I wrote under the prompt of "Taking Care of Somebody" for HC-Bingo on LJ. Hope you guys guys can enjoy it.
Review and let me know what you think. It's been ages since I last wrote a SasuSaku...
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
To Love Her Back
"Don't move." Sasuke heard the sweet voice on his ear. "You're too injured."
He tried to open his eyes and catch a glimpse of her face, but he couldn't convince them it was a good thing to be opened. As he tried to move, he became painfully aware of all the soreness and numb points on his body.
"I told you not to move." the voice was more demanding now, and he decided it would be best to just obey it.
He felt a cool wet towel being put on his forehead and that was when he noticed he was shivering from fever induced cold. What the hell had happened to him? Giving up, he let sleepiness take over again.
When Sasuke woke up again, half the pain had gone away. He was no longer cold and his eyes decided to open once again. He didn't dare activating the Sharingan, but he guessed he was safe there, wherever was that place.
When his pupils finally adjusted to the light, he was able to give a good look at his surroundings. For the light, it seemed it was past midnoon. The place appeared to be the insides of a very small wooden challet, with nothing but a fireplace as furniture. Very close to where he was lying, Sakura was asleep, with her body pressed to the wall.
It unpleased him to see her in such a precarious position, but as he tried to sit up, the pain overwhelmed him.
"Don't you dare trying to move again." She surprised him saying, even though her eyes were still closed. "I won't redo your stitches if you manage to reopen them."
He shot her a puzzled look.
"Medics are never really asleep, Sasuke."
Yes, he knew that. Old habits die hard, though, and even after the war he couldn't help but underestimate her a little.
"How did you find me?" he asked instead.
Finally opening her eyes, she stared at him intently.
"In despite of what you think of yourself, your chakra is ridiculously easy to track."
He looked back at her with fire burning in his black eyes. Sakura just laughed.
"You're just too fun to mess with, Sasuke."
He couldn't believe how different she was now. For starters, she had given up on calling him "-kun". Little by little, as he regained her trust, he couldn't find any difference in the way she treated him and the way she treated Naruto. No, that was not right. She treated Naruto in a much more lovely way than he treated him – and that annoyed him to no end.
He was used to a Sakura that did anything for him, just to see him pleased, not that mocking, nonchalant girl she had grown up to be. But that was the thing, wasn't it? Old Sakura would have only his despise, while new Sakura had his respect.
"Naruto sent me ahead while he convinced Kakashi-sensei to let him come too."
He nodded. Kakashi had taken into his hands the job of training Naruto to be a half decent Hokage.
"He shall be here in no time. He was really pissed at you when we heard you got caught."
He just ignored the comment. That was supposed to be the mission that gave him access to the ANBU tests, but, apparently, he made sure it would never happen to him.
"You took me out of there alone?"
"Oh, yeah. No one can kill a bunch of people better than a med-nin."
"I beg to differ."
"You're in no position, sorry to inform you. I can hit all the vitals quickly and silently, especially if I'm in a hurry to find a dying teammate."
"Teammate, huh?" he raised an eyebrow. Was that what they were now?
Sakura looked genuinely confused.
"Were we ever anything but that?"
"We used to be friends."
"Did we?" impressively, there was no sarcasm in her voice. "I never noticed it, really. I always thought I was nothing but an annoyance to you."
"Sakura, my life goal was to kill the person I loved the most. I make no sense."
"I'm glad you found the humour in you."
Getting back to Konoha did change him. With all his inner turmoil resolved, for the first time in his life he felt like he belonged there – he felt his teammates to be his family, the village to be his home. And it surely turned him into a more bearable person.
"Thanks for saving me, Sakura." he decided to say.
Her face lit up into the most beautiful smile he had ever seeing on her lips.
They fell into a comfortable silence until Naruto stormed into the front door.
"You idiot!" He practically screamed at Sasuke. "How come did you let them catch you?"
Sasuke threw daggers at him with his eyes. Let? Of course he didn't let them.
"Hey, Naruto, no screaming with my patient, thank you very much."
"Sit here next to me."
Naruto obliged, not even thinking of complaining. After the war, it was well noted in his mind not to piss the Haruno off.
"I spent the last nights fully awaken and used pretty much all of my chakra healing Sasuke; so it's your turn. Don't let him move. He can talk, he can blink, nothing else. Got it?"
She smiled at him and let her head fall on his lap, immediately dozing off. This time, the two boys could see not even an explosion would wake her up.
"She trusts you a lot."
"Of course she does." Naruto grinned. "Why wouldn't she?"
"She has no reason not to." Sasuke agreed in a whispered tone.
Naruto was truly amused. He liked this version of the Uchiha, who had given up pretending not to care, but it was still quite amazing to see the manifestations.
"Do you still love her?" Sasuke asked.
Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"I'm with Hinata now."
"That wasn't what I asked."
"I would never do such a thing to Hinata-chan, Sasuke. Sakura is my family, like a sister. I love her more than anyone in the world, but not in a romantic way."
Sasuke only nodded, to what Naruto rolled his eyes. And he was the one considered slow in Team 7.
"You should tell her, you know."
"Tell her what?"
"That you love her back, of course!" he rolled his eyes again.
"She is different now... I'm not sure she still loves me."
"Oh, please. She's been taking care of you for four days."
Wow, four days? Sasuke couldn't believe he had been unconscious for such a long time.
"But she would do the same for you and Kakashi-sensei. Damn, she would have done the same for just about anyone in Konoha."
"You're right. That's her thing. That's what she does."
"And she really shouldn't love me anymore. Even if you cross out all my history, our history, what do I have to offer her? Sleepless nights filled with nightmares and a district of ruins."
"At least now you can admit it."
Sasuke looked puzzled at him.
"At least now you can talk, Sasuke. You're no longer that cold bastard I grew to loathe."
Only silence answered Naruto, but it sufficed. He had given Sasuke enough to think of already.
After they got back home, Sakura spent two weeks on Sasuke's house cleaning, cooking and changing his bandages when needed.
"You can go home now, you know?" he told her over the breakfast of the 16th day.
She had been incredibly helpful and all, even organized the mess he had done of the house on the past months, but he was sure she would already be missing her own home by now. He was already good enough to take of himself and his house.
"Am I annoying you?" she asked with sincerity. "Because I don't really care, staying here. I'm being paid by the Hokage to look after you."
What hurt the most weren't the words, but the way she said them, as if she was so used to be an annoyance to him. And truth was, he had spent an entire childhood convincing her of that.
"Could you please stop saying things like that?"
He just wanted her to understand she had never been an annoyance at all. Actually, he had always liked the way she took care of him, but was just too stupid and stubborn to admit it. However, his voice sounded a little bit harsher than he meant it.
Opening a heart breaking sad smile, Sakura got up from the kitchen table.
"You see? I do annoy you."
As she passed by him, he grabbed her hand before she could escape.
"I didn't say that."
She tried to get her hand back, but he didn't let her.
"It's okay, really." She said, trying to hold back her tears. She had promised she would never cry in front of him again. He had had enough of it when they were children. "I always knew you couldn't really bare my personality. But I can't change who I am, and neither can you."
"Sakura, are you even listening to me? I said I didn't mean that!"
He got up on a haste, what triggered the phantom of a scar he now had on his lower stomach.
"Careful with your movements, idiot! You're still convalescing!"
However, he just smiled at her, bringing her fingers to his lips.
Sakura felt her cheeks burning red as his cold lips met the tips of her fingers.
"Do you actually like it? Being here with me?"
She let her eyes fall into an especially boring piece of wall, just so she didn't have to look him in the eye.
"Of course I do."
"Is that so?" he smiled a little bit. "Never figured someone could like living with me."
"How stupid are you, really?"
Her light green eyes were already glimmering with tears.
"Then, move in permanently."
"What?!" she asked, finally turning her eyes to him.
"I… I love you, Sakura. Always had, always will."
"Don't mess with me." At this point, she was already crying freely.
He wiped away her tears, waiting for her answer.
"I'll accept it. But don't think too much of it."
"Sure." He chuckled. "Are you moving into my room, then?"
"Yeah, well. Yours is the best room of the house, after all."
His laughed echoed hers.
"That's right, it is."