DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto.

A/N: First fic! I kind of came up with this on the spot but I plan to be doing a lot more with my favorite couple of all time. I hope you guys like it!


loss


We all lose things. We have lost them in the past and we will lose more of them in the future. There are plenty of things for us to lose and for several reasons. Time, jobs, money, memories, opportunities, friendships, people. Some of these things can be replaced quickly, while others take a lot longer. Some of these things cannot be replaced at all. But, of course, no one ever tells you that.

Because you never know what you have until it's gone.

The thing is Sakura knew what she had. She knew it better than anyone in the world and she tried very hard to keep it.

But it wasn't enough.

...

Two years have gone by since that starless night where a certain girl had poured her heart out to a certain boy and all she got in response was a simple thank you and a handful of hours spent unconscious on a bench. When she came to, he was gone. She pretends to think that a part of her, her old self, left with him.

Now it has been months since he has returned along with evident signs of growing up written all over his defined jawline and stronger physique. They meet for the first time since his homecoming in the street. He pauses as onyx clashes with emerald. The moment their gazes lock, she knows deep inside her that the girl she used to be is still buried underneath layers of skin and muscle and steel concrete walls that she had constructed over time. Though she wasn't about to let a simple run-in break those walls. Not after the amount of work it had took to build them.

"Sasuke."

"Sakura."

She forced a smile on her face, although no one would be able to tell if it was anything but genuine.

He watched as the guarded expression edged its way through her features. He didn't say anything. He probably should've.

They nodded at each other before they continued on, both going separate ways. They didn't speak for a few more months after that.

...

She lies awake at night and gets four to five hours of sleep at most. She prays that the dreams will save her from her own thoughts. Sometimes they do, but to her dismay, it has been the nightmares that claim her.

When she wakes from those nightmares, drenched in a cold sweat and her dry lips parting as labored breaths tumble out, she beats herself up for caring that much. Sasuke, with that crazed look in his eyes and his hand charged with chidori raised, prepared to drive a hole through her heart. It's always the same scene. Except in nightmares, he succeeds. Because Naruto was too late. Because he doesn't care. Because she realizes none of that mattered as she lay bleeding out on the water, staining the serene blue a horrifying shade of red. She shouldn't care this much anymore. Stupid girl.

...

One night, when it just got too much, she threw off the covers and threw open the door. She welcomed the cold breeze that wrapped itself around her exposed limbs as she made her way through the Konoha streets in nothing but a loose short-sleeved shirt and pajama shorts. Her short hair tickled the back of her neck as the wind blew and she closed her eyes, reveling in this moment of absolute peace.

Which was interrupted, as usual. Because this was Sakura, and she could never catch a break!

Turning her head towards the presence, her feet moved on its own as curiosity got the better of her. Before she knew it, she was standing at the back of the Uchiha manor, where the graveyard was located. Her eyes were drawn to the lone figure standing by two specific headstones with his head down and his hands in his pockets. With a closer look, she could identify a path of tears making their way out of both of his eyes. His glorious, cursed, hypnotic eyes.

The scene broke her walls. It broke her heart.

"Oh, Sasuke," She called out sympathetically, gracefully navigating through the headstones.

His head snapped up as he heard her and he froze. Here was the last girl he wanted to have see him like this. They haven't spoke in a long time. Yet here she was, approaching him. Offering him the comfort he so desperately needed.

But because he was Sasuke and she was Sakura, it was always complicated.

"Go away." He bit out, turning his face away from her. "Why are you even here?"

"Because I should be." She stated simply.

"You don't know anything."

"So tell me."

"It's none of your business."

Sakura threw up her hands in exasperation and allowed them to rest at her hips as she shot him a glare.

"How the hell am I supposed to understand you when you keep shutting me out?"

"Go away." He repeated. But this time, his voice cracked. Ever so slightly. But it was enough for her to catch.

Immediately, her expression softened and she closed the distance between them. The minute she wrapped her arms around him, he collapsed into her, allowing his cheeks to grow hot and wet for the first time in a decade.

In an almost twisted wonder, as she sat stroking his hair, she marveled at the sight. Of course, it killed her to see him like this, but she had never seen him like this. She had never seen her most precious person be anything else but uncaring and uninterested. Distant. Cold. But the avenger clung onto her as he let out years' worth of emotion. Emotion someone his age should never had felt. He removed his mask at the same time she let her walls down and for that, she was eternally grateful.

He calmed after a moment but made no effort to move.

"I thought you hated me." He said so quietly that she almost missed it.

"What?" The disbelief was crystal clear in her voice.

He stayed silent.

"Sasuke, I could never hate you." She spoke as a soft, relieved laugh followed. "I've tried to, and I should, but I can't."

"Don't."

She paused, surprised at his sudden but firm reply. He said it like it was something he needed to survive. She would never know just how much he needed her.

"I won't. I already lost you once, I'm not going to lose you again."

She's lost so many things in her life, including herself.

"I don't ever want to lose you."

He's lost his family, his way, himself. He's lost even more.

"You won't. I promise."

And so the strange pair stayed in the other's arms for the rest of the night, watching the darkness fade as sunlight began to grace the tops of the graves in front. Because of where they were, the light didn't reach the graves of Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha. The towering Uchiha manor cast a shadow too large. But he didn't need any light. All the light he needed was right next to him.