title: carry your heart out to me
disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
A/N: I always knew I'd end up actually writing something from that headcanon I made like almost a week ago. Also because I had so many goddamn feelings about this fanart I saw. ANYWAY ENJOY THIS NEW MINI-SERIES OF SORTS. I'M ON FIRE MAN. I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS FUCKING SHIP MORE THAN EVER.
It had been six weeks since Sasuke had left the village, and Sakura missed him more terribly than she had in the past four years he was gone.
While the years had been awfully painful to bear through, with frustrating setbacks, cripplingly anguishing betrayals, and heartbreaks so intense she could barely manage to pick up the pieces before the next one came along—she knew why this parting was different. She knew why it hurt so much more. Why her heart ached for him in ways it had never before; why she longed for him so terribly her heart wrenched itself apart.
She'd watched her most loved one spiral down a path she once thought he'd followed too far, but it never hurt like this. This kind of pain… it was different. Because this time, she knew he would come back. He'd promised her himself, in his own little way. Promised her so much more upon his return—and it hurt to wait. It hurt to be in the dark about everything, to never know when he was due to return, to wonder how he was doing and what kind of people he had met.
Sasuke had torn down his walls and had set out on a new path with the objective of making amends. Of bringing peace, of healing instead of burning. Of righting the wrongs he'd made.
"No longer focused on revenge… and you want to see everything you've missed," she murmured to herself, tucking her chin on her knees. She ignored the goosebumps on her skin as the midnight breeze caressed her balled up form on the windowsill.
Slowly, she lifted her head back against the frame, looked at crescent moon and whispered, "I wonder, Sasuke-kun… now that your eyes are open, are you open to love, too?"
The thought of Sasuke meeting a pretty, black haired, gentle beauty along his travels, no longer set back by the all-consuming goal of revenge, able to appreciate a kind heart when he would see one—it sent her heart careening in anxious rhythms.
"Get a grip," she told herself, shaking her head. The thoughts of their time spent together after his return from the war, constantly in each other's presence, hovering around one another for reasons they didn't quite bother to understand; melting in a habit of comfortable quiet and whispered sighs, of accidental brushes and secret smiles.
"Sasuke's not so easily swayed," she went on, nodding. "He wouldn't even consider being with someone he barely knew. Especially on his healing path."
But there was a doubt in the back of her mind, one that tormented her, reminded her that Sasuke was a boy who, all his life since the massacre, had been starved of love. A boy who'd greedily drunken the love she offered, who was desperate for the touch of someone who loved him for all he was worth, who'd been grateful for the way she gave everything to him—and who'd always pushed it back because he wasn't quite ready to accept.
Because he didn't yet feel like he deserved it.
And this is what scared her. If he was out on his self-set path of redemption, who was to say he wouldn't cave into his need for love? Who was to say he would still push back every girl that approached him? Who was to say he wouldn't consider any of them?
With a worried mind and hammering, aching heart, Sakura slipped off the windowsill and into her bed, wishing for sleep to overtake her soon.
"You're not really listening, are you, Sasuke-kun?" she teased, glancing over her shoulder to find Sasuke reading over the titles of the books in her small home-library, fingers brushing the mix of silver, golden cursive letters on the spine of them.
He paused at her words, tilting his head to the side to look at her. She smiled at him, and he blinked, finally moving back towards her again.
"I am," he said, coming up to her back and crouching down to her level. He was silent for a few moments, before he reached forward and pointed out exactly where she'd left off in her explanation. "There. Molecular regeneration process of the cells."
She couldn't help but to blush, pleasantly stunned that he'd been carefully listening to her rant enough to pinpoint exactly where she'd stopped.
Sakura grinned, a bit meekly, the pretty flush still to her cheeks. "I'm not boring you, am I?"
"Hn. If you were boring me," Sasuke said, plopping himself on the ground beside her, with his head cocking to the side and a slight, teasing, smirk on his lips, "I would have left a long time ago. So get on with it."
She giggled a bit, tucking a fallen strand of pink hair out of her vision. He was so close she could feel the heat of him. Blushing, still, she readjusted the book in her lap and tried not to hold her breath so obviously when she felt him shift ever so slightly, body almost curling around her side—but not quite.
She didn't have the courage to look at him, but she could feel the soft intensity of his gaze on her face; warm like a summer breeze, gentle as the first lights of a sunrise.
She woke up the next morning to the sound of rustling feathers and faint scratching on wood. Groaning softly in her pillow, Sakura gripped the thin sheets of her bed and pulled them just a little closer, muddled-minded as she considered shooing the bird away for whatever mission it had for her.
These days, her dreams were the only comfort she could find in regards to Sasuke's absence, comforted by the memories of the few months they'd spent together, and by the fantasies of a world where he'd returned and promised never to depart again.
Flapping of wings snapped her out of the comfort of her bed, and Sakura muffled a sigh. She tossed the sheets from herself, running a hand through messy pink locks before running them over her tired eyes, feet searching blindly for the slippers she kept near the nightstand.
She stopped herself short, however, when she noticed the messenger bird wasn't actually a messenger bird. And it wasn't any regular old hawk either, no, this was a—
"Summon hawk?" she mumbled to herself, surprised and confused. "Who would send me a message with a—"
And that's when she remembered.
("You can summon hawks, too?"
"Is that why you named your team Taka?"
"…I guess it was partly inspired by that."
"That's kind of dorky, Sasuke-kun.")
His name left her lips without preamble.
It's been nearly 6 weeks, and I'm in Ishi already. I think, perhaps, that I'm moving on too fast because the people haven't been so easily accepting in Ame and Kusa. But my sins were not so easily overlooked in Konoha without a little—no, a lot of persuasion and advocacy. I suppose it's only to be expected that the villagers elsewhere would not be so forgiving.
I'm beginning to see that my sins have reached and influenced a far greater number of people than I've first anticipated. If hidden villages are so weary of my words and distrustful of my person and true desire to make amends, what will leading countries think of me? Will I ever be able to make them believe in my true regrets?
My path to redemption will not be easy, or short-liven. But I can't say I wish I could turn back. I know now, that this is the right thing to do, and the only way for me to redeem myself in the eyes of the others.. and my own.
Sometimes I wish more people were as forgiving as you, and Naruto. But, I guess, that's what makes you both so different from everyone else. It's what makes you both… special, right?
I'll come see you both when I can.
In the meantime, you can use this hawk to reach me whenever you feel the need. He is yours to use as many times as you please—every day, should it suit you.
It's quiet here in Ishi, anyway. The people are no less friendly than they are hostile. They're just distant.
I think I could use a little piece of home.
I'll see you soon.
A/N: to be continued :)
IM A TEASE, I KNOW.