A/N: This is a one-shot story for SasuSaku. I have wanted to write one with one-sided Sasuke x Karin for a long time, and this is it. I may write another one in the future. All of them will be AU- I don't think the plot of the original manga works with this kind of idea. Please give this story a go, and review at the end!
This story is dedicated to anyone who has had their heart broken, and has gotten back up in spite of it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
For a long time now, Karin had known that she and Sasuke were meant to be.
It was something she had known would happen from the time she was just a little girl, hiding behind her father's back and peeping out at him, standing next to his older brother with that bored, so beautiful expression on his face.
It was something she had known as she grew older, into the teenager that had blushed pink and fluttered her eyelashes coyly at the ever indifferent Sasuke.
It was something she knew now, as a fully grown, beautiful woman, who still sought and craved the approval of the man who she was meant to be with.
And she was right.
He had grown up to become the head of one of the most successful business firms in the world, finally stepping out from his brother's shadow and making a name for himself as Sasuke Uchiha, CEO of a vast company worth billions.
She had followed in her father's footsteps, proved them all wrong by becoming the heiress to a business empire to almost rival the Uchihas'. And so it was only natural when their parents started talking of an engagement. After all, it was perfectly normal to want to forge a bond between two of the most powerful companies in the world.
When their parents arranged for a meeting between the two, Karin was ecstatic. She knew there was no love spared for her from Sasuke- she was fine with that, because she didn't believe in a trivial thing like love- she had the highest expectations.
And they were fulfilled- and surpassed- in every way imaginable. The dark and inscrutable Uchiha was Karin's dream personified- heartbreakingly handsome, unbelievably wealthy, and most of all- cold and focused on his ambition.
It was something she had always wanted in a man- someone who was perfect in every way, but remained dedicated to his job, in business and in life.
Of course, he had barely strung two words together while talking to her- but she didn't mind that. He was a man of few words, and to her, that made him all the better.
So from that day onwards, Karin just knew- she didn't have to explain how she did- that she and Sasuke were meant to be together.
She didn't mind that he obviously didn't care for her. She was fine with that.
Just being on his arm at high-end events and functions was enough, knowing that she, Karin, was simply better than all of the other girls who stared at her partner with love-struck eyes.
Just seeing her name in big, bold print next to his on the front pages of magazines and newspapers was enough, knowing that he was hers, whether or not he really cared.
Because she was one of the upper class, and she knew, just as he did, that image and reputation was everything.
As she sat with her legs elegantly crossed in the seat opposite Sasuke- he was staring out the window again, what could be possibly outside that was more attractive than her?- she let her eyes scan his beautiful perfection, the hard planes and sharp angles, the dark, coldly smouldering eyes, the tousled black hair.
She could put up with everything for this perfection.
But what she couldn't just ignore- what everyone couldn't ignore- was the fact that he never once looked at her in the eyes. As they posed for pictures, answered questions from frantic reporters- whenever Karin looked at Sasuke with love in her eyes- she preferred to call it restrained affection- he never looked back.
She always only had eyes for him, but he only ever had eyes for the cameras.
The limousine drew to a stop, and already through the dark, tinted glass, Karin could see the paparazzi, screaming out their frantic questions and blinding flashes of cameras furiously taking pictures of them.
She revelled in the attention- what else was there to live for?- but Sasuke seemed to be intent on getting the evening over with as quickly as possible with the least amount of trouble.
As they stepped out, Sasuke offered his arm detachedly to Karin- was he even doing this willingly?- the flashes of cameras redoubled and for a moment, Karin was blinded- almost felt washed out and faded- by the glamour around her.
But it only lasted for a moment. And then Karin chided herself furiously for even thinking that. She was the future Uchiha Karin, and she was afraid of nothing.
So she resolutely took his proffered arm- she refused to acknowledge the shiver that went up her arm when she touched him- and pasted a beautiful, dazzling, fake smile onto her face.
At his muttered words, she nodded brightly, and the two of them walked up the red carpet together, posing for pictures- at least Karin did, Sasuke more just tolerated them- and she thought that she had never seen him more handsome than that moment.
Picture perfect from every angle, beautiful and elegant in every photo taken- that was Karin's life now. She had made that choice, and she didn't regret it.
And that was how things worked.
No questions, no answers- just do what you have to, and smile.
When he asked her to marry him, Karin knew that she had been right all along.
As he offered her a painfully brilliant diamond ring, and asked her to become his wife, Karin felt the feeling of triumph and the satisfaction of being right- not once did she ever notice that the whole time, he had never looked at her.
Smiling at the congratulations of all of their friends and family- especially their parents- Karin felt as though her life's ambition had been fulfilled.
Her father nodded approvingly at her. "You've done well, Karin. You've brought honour to the family name."
Karin just smiled with her painted red lips, and kissed her father decorously- the word rolled off her tongue beautifully, decorous was the word she was looking for- on the cheek.
As she turned and thanked the next person who was offering congratulations to her, she glanced at Sasuke, who was bowing to his father.
Just for a second, her certainty faltered, and she wasn't so sure that the choice she had made was right- suddenly, she thought of what could have been, if she hadn't chosen this life for herself.
But then she forced the thought out of her head, and told herself that her choice was right- there was no way of being wrong.
She was engaged to Uchiha Sasuke, one of the richest and most powerful men in the country, the man who she had always seen as the ideal husband.
What could possibly be wrong with that?
The solid, heavy weight of the ring on her left hand was reassuring, a reminder of the security she had bought willingly with her freedom.
She was born for this.
As she greeted other members of the upper echelons of society leaning- not clinging, she told herself, that was cheap- on Sasuke's arm, she knew that she was born for this life.
Her dress was bold and plunging- black with an almost indecent amount of skin revealed by the backless dress and the long slit up to her thighs- but the almost was what made the difference between daring elegance and cheap showiness to Karin.
Men in business suits and tuxedos came up to Sasuke, greeting the young, talented man warmly and shaking his hand.
As she curtseyed to them- back straight, chin up, smile dazzling- she offered a white hand to them to be kissed. With satisfaction, she admired the gleaming of the diamond on her fourth finger.
She almost laughed at the way that every pair of male eyes went straight to the plunging neckline of her dress. As it was, her mouth twisted scornfully- she wouldn't bother hiding the disgust she felt for these men.
Sasuke would never be like them- no, he would never be attracted by mere… appeal like that. To break him out of his cold mask, she would have to find something even more- something that even he could never have expected.
As the two of them, Karin leaning on Sasuke's arm, greeted an almost as handsome as Sasuke- but in Karin's mind, not even close- man, who introduced himself to Karin formally, she caught him giving Sasuke a strange, almost disapproving glance.
She was immediately outraged- how dare he blatantly show Sasuke his disapproval? Besides, what was there about her to dislike?
Of course, she fully expected Sasuke to simply turn away and ignore the look.
Karin felt the first crack in her perfect dream when Sasuke stared back at the man, and gave a stiff, surreptitious nod.
Don't mind it, she told herself, it was nothing. Sasuke was probably just answering some question that had come up between them before. It had nothing to do with her.
But even in the back of her mind, she didn't really believe her own words.
She knew there was someone else.
She had known it ever since she had found that distinctly feminine ring in the drawer of Sasuke's desk.
It had been clear to her that it belonged to a woman- Sasuke would never own such a delicate piece of jewellery, silver embellished with tiny emeralds.
As she had held it contemptuously between her fingers, her resolve had faltered ever so slightly- could she really marry Sasuke when he was in love with someone else?
Yes, she told herself firmly, she could. This was a matter of what she wanted, what she needed so badly.
It didn't matter whether Sasuke was in love with someone else or not. She had known he held no love for her when she agreed to meet with him for a possible arranged marriage.
But still, she couldn't deny that it hurt.
Just as she was about to replace the ring, the door opened and no other than Sasuke walked in. He stopped when he saw her, and his eyes immediately went to her fingers, clutched tightly around the delicate ring.
He showed no sign that he recognized it, but Karin noticed the tension in his shoulders and the coldness of his eyes.
"I- I was just looking for some spare paper…" She winced at the guilt in her voice, and knew that he wasn't fooled. But he didn't say anything.
"Hn." He stepped forward, and held his hand out for the ring. For a second, Karin was frozen, unable to move. Her fingers turned white as she clutched the ring in a death grip.
Finally, after a few moments of stony eye contact, Karin forced her fingers to loosen and let go of the ring, dropping it into Sasuke's hand.
Watching the way his fingers curled almost protectively around it was sickening.
Karin couldn't watch in silence any longer. She had to say something, even though she knew it would only hurt her even more. "Sasuke…who is it?"
He had turned away, and he stopped, back still facing her. "It's none of your concern." And with that, he walked out, shutting the door behind him.
Karin could feel the burn of angry tears wanting to be released in the corners of her eyes, but she furiously blinked them away. She would not show any weakness now. She was still his fiancé- what more could she want? It didn't matter whether he had an affair with someone else- in the end, he would still marry her.
She desperately grasped at anything to save herself- she had to believe it. Why shouldn't she?
She knew the answer. She just refused to see it.
It was at, ironically, a upper society event that Karin found out who she was. Ironic that it would be at a place where Karin was in her element, at her best, that she met someone who completely eclipsed her.
She was wearing gold this time, a long, backless dress with a halter top and a long slit down her chest almost to her stomach, and the front of the skirt cut short enough to brush her thighs and just hint at what was underneath.
Her red hair was pinned up high, and her makeup was dark and smoky. She knew she was beautiful- and she knew that everyone else knew it.
Sasuke was heartbreakingly beautiful in his black tuxedo, his dark blue tie slightly loosened and the top button of his white shirt undone, just enough to give him the rebellious, hellishly sexy edge that only he could pull off here.
Karin was almost happy- on the most handsome man in the room's arm, seeing the envious glances of almost every girl in the room, hearing compliments about how beautiful she was that night, what else did she need?
This was what she lived for- the attention, the stares, the spotlight.
And that was when she saw her.
When she first noticed, she only did so because she had realized that suddenly, there were strangely less people talking to her. This, of course, irritated her to no end- what was better than talking to her, the future wife of Uchiha Sasuke?
She looked around, and saw people crowding around someone. Through the glittering dresses and dark tuxedos, she managed to catch a glimpse of pale pink, just briefly.
She pulled lightly on Sasuke's sleeve, and he looked around at her, an expression of indifference on his face. What? he seemed to say.
"Sasuke? What's going on over there?"
He followed her line of gaze, and suddenly, she felt his body stiffen as he saw what she was talking about. This confused her- what had gotten him so alert?
And then the crowd of people scattered slightly, and Karin was able to see one of the strangest people seen.
A girl was walking into the high-ceilinged room, and the first thing Karin saw was the pale pink hair that was messily, but somehow so elegantly, swept into a low bun, strands of hair artfully falling out of the hairdo and framing her face. Karin immediately decided that she hated that shade of pink.
The girl had white skin, a small face, and impossibly large green eyes. Karin disliked those eyes especially- really, who had such doll-like eyes? They were framed with thick eyelashes, and the girl had a habit of looking up at people through them shyly.
Everything about her just displeased Karin, and she didn't even know why. From her slender, petite figure- that was far too tiny and weak, thought Karin- to the elegant dark blue dress that she was wearing, clinging softly just enough to reveal her beautiful figure.
When she looked up at Sasuke, she knew why she didn't like the girl. He was staring at her in shock, but not in an unpleasant way. His eyes were wide, and filled with an emotion that she had never, in all their years together, seen in him.
She knew at once that she was the one.
Viciously, Karin decided right there that she absolutely hated that girl, whoever she was.
At that moment, the girl looked around in the middle of a conversation and she saw Sasuke standing there. Her mouth was slightly open, and her eyes were wide.
Karin suddenly felt washed out, faded into the background, unnoticed as the two stared at each other, gazes intense and deep.
Finally, the girl began walking over, and a smile began to grow on her face, growing wider as she drew closer.
Stay away, Karin thought savagely, biting her red lips as hard as she could, almost enough to draw blood, just stay away from us. But the pink-haired girl didn't stop.
When she did stop in front of them, her eyes were fixed on Sasuke, and Sasuke only. Karin felt bitterly unnoticed, forever the last to be seen. She felt the sudden urge to slap the girl- ladies do not slap, she reprimanded herself- and tear at her face with her perfectly manicured nails.
"Sasuke-kun? Is that really you?"
He's not going to answer you, Karin thought viciously, glaring at the girl, when he never even answers me, his fiancé.
Her world dangerously tilted, shaken, as her bitter thoughts were proven wrong.
"Aa, it's me."
He wasn't supposed to answer, she said to herself, how was it possible that he was? What had gone wrong for this to happen?
"Sakura, what are you doing here?"
Sakura- now Karin had a name to go with the face she already hated- laughed at this, smiling at Sasuke, who- god forbid, Karin could not believe her eyes- almost had a smile on his face, which was as soft as she had ever seen it.
"You don't have to sound so surprised, Sasuke-kun. I'm back from America now, got my degree and everything! Aren't you glad to see me at all?"
So she had been in America, and had even gotten a degree. Such things were for commoners- what proper upper class woman would go to university?
But no matter how much she willed him to agree with her, Sasuke didn't seem to think so. "So you really did get your degree in medicine, after all." This was said in an almost wry tone- Karin hadn't even known that Sasuke was capable of such words.
Sakura laughed again. "Yes, I did. So what have you been up to while I've been gone?" At this point, she finally noticed Karin, who was still clutching Sasuke's arm possessively, glaring at the other girl.
Sakura looked taken aback at the glare that Karin was giving her, but she tried to ignore it and smiled politely at her. "Sasuke, care to introduce us?"
Karin felt Sasuke shift uncomfortably, and she ferociously willed him to say no and leave. But of course, her hopes came crashing down.
"Karin, this is Haruno Sakura, someone I've known for a very long time." Karin frowned at his deliberately vague and ambiguous description of her. But at least he hadn't said anything suspicious yet.
"Sakura-" Karin suddenly noticed the revolting intimacy with which they addressed each other, "- this is my…fiancé, Karin."
The red-haired woman revelled savagely in the shocked expression on Sakura's face at Sasuke's introduction. But she quickly rearranged her features into one of polite congratulations. "I didn't know you were engaged, Sasuke! It's nice to meet you," she said to Karin politely, holding out her hand.
Karin just glared at Sakura, putting all the venom she could muster into that one look. She didn't move, but only clutched Sasuke's arm tighter than ever.
Sakura's expression faltered, and she withdrew her hand uncertainly, looking at Sasuke with an expression of obvious confusion and hurt in her eyes. Clearly, Sasuke wasn't going to stand for it, either.
"Karin, go and speak with my father over by the entrance."
It was clearly a dismissal- a carefully, but at the same time, carelessly worded rejection, Sasuke's way of saying I don't want you here.
She looked up at her fiancé in hurt- why was he not supporting her? They were engaged, for god's sake- why was he asking to be left alone with another woman?
But she couldn't do anything, with one last pleading, angry glance up at him- which he didn't even see anyway, he was too busy looking at Sakura- she huffed in indignation, spun on her heel, and stormed away.
As she left, she managed to hear Sakura's last words- "Sasuke, what was that about-?"
She didn't want to hear the rest- it would be too disgusting a sight to see. But Karin couldn't resist taking a brief glance over her shoulder, in the vain hope that Sasuke might have regretted his decision.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
They were already in deep conversation, and she saw with anger that they were very close to each other- Sasuke leaning down slightly, and Sakura with her face tilted upwards as she spoke lowly into his ear.
With a sudden jab of pain, Karin realized with dismay that her dress was exactly the same shade as Sasuke's tie.
Karin was drunk- she couldn't deny it now. But that just made her even angrier- and that led to her drinking even more.
The whole night she hadn't talked or even come close to Sasuke- he was too busy talking with that pink-haired freak. She swished the red wine in her glass around as she watched them closely- they were talking in a corner, still completely unaware of everyone around them.
Karin knew that others would be talking about them, and that angered her to an unexpected degree. She knew that everyone was talking of an affair and her moody, unsociable, unacceptable behaviour- but she couldn't bring herself to care.
Suddenly, she noticed that Sasuke and Sakura were no longer where she had last seen them. Lurching up from her seat, she swayed unsteadily for a second, before setting off in pursuit of them. Why, she didn't even know.
Walking out onto the long colonnade outside, she allowed herself to enjoy the cold, crisp air. And then she froze as she saw them.
Sasuke was talking intensely, saying something almost angrily to Sakura, who he had backed up against the railing of the balcony outside. Karin's heart turned cold as she watched, unseen and frozen in the glass doorway.
They seemed to be having an argument, Sakura was saying something tearfully, and Sasuke seemed to be almost pleading with her when-
Karin felt her heart break, shatter into tiny broken fragments as she numbly saw them kissing.
Passionately, beautifully, full of love- something that she knew she would never see in her marriage with Sasuke.
She didn't want to see any more. She turned away, but she couldn't get the image out of her mind, searing and in some twisted, sick way- releasing.
Back in their hotel suite, Karin walked as quickly as she could towards her room, intent on locking herself in alone before Sasuke could say the dreaded words that she just knew he was going to say.
She felt his hand reach for her wrist, trying to stop her.
"Karin, I want to break-"
"Don't say anything!" Sasuke stopped, surprised by her sudden vehement exclamation. Karin took a deep breath, inhaling slowly, trying to calm herself down. "Don't say anything now, Sasuke. Leave it until tomorrow."
He looked surprised, but nodded his assent.
As he left her room, Karin just stood there, staring at the door as an angry tear stained her cheek.
She had had enough.
She wasn't going to stay in an engagement that only brought pain to both of them. Just to her, she could have handled- but the fact that neither of them wanted it anymore made up her mind for her.
Besides, she knew now that Sasuke's heart would never belong to her- it had already been given to Sakura.
She didn't hate him for breaking her heart- but she wasn't going to deal with it anymore.
It was time to start fixing her life, not watch it crumble and crack around her more than it already had.
The next day, when she walked out, Sasuke looked up from his seat. He put down his papers, intent on saying what he had to say. "Karin, I want to break-"
Before he could get any further, she interrupted him. "Sasuke, I want to break this engagement. Now."
He was too surprised to say anything- she noted with pleasure that she had finally got a reaction out of him. She pressed on, "I've seen the way you look at her- yes, Sakura," she continued as he glanced sharply at her in shock. "Don't ask me how I know. I refuse to be in a marriage where I know that there's no affection whatsoever. We're done, Sasuke. Don't ever talk to me again."
As she walked out- she was pleased to say that she had remained calm and cool the entire time- she stopped for a second and glanced back. "You'll want this back, I guess." She took her engagement ring off and carelessly placed it on the table nearby. "This is the last time we'll see each other, Sasuke. Don't try to fix things."
And then she was gone.
Outside, Karin took a deep breath, and began walking. She finally had a purpose in life- she felt the paper of a plane ticket- to America, where else?- in her purse, and she felt truly free for the first time in her life.
Many people thought that her flaming red hair meant that she had a quick temper that was to be feared.
Red was for passion- but red was also for anger.
Because she was supposed to be the heartbreaker, not the one whose heart was broken.
A/N: Please review, thank you very much for reading this story!