Her Paper Heart

By K-chan

AN: Hiya!  This was a challenge/contest ficcy I wrote for the SasuSaku mailing list.. apparently I was the only one that entered ;_;  oh well I hope you like it!  This was our senario:

"Scenario #3: Birthday Boom
It's Sasuke's birthday and Naruto and Sakura have something planned. But
first, they have to find the birthday boy. Sakura locates him first, finding
him at the Uchiha shrine. He is in a sour mood, and refuses to budge. How
does Sakura coax him out?"

So yeah waha might be a bit of ooc on Sasuke's part but I tried ^^' its difficult when you have 1000 word limit O.o

Sakura sighed dramatically, allowing her pink bangs to fall over her eyes as her shoulders slumped slightly.  Why did he have to be so stubborn?  Why did he have to be so cold?  Inner Sakura screamed in frustration.  Why did he have to be…to be…Sasuke?!  Arg.  Her eyes trailed up from their hiding place behind the candy coloured screen of her hair and landed on the dark head in front of her once more.  She sighed again.  Life just wasn't fair to girls with big foreheads.

After not-so-gently telling her to go away Sasuke went back to brooding, staring at the Uchiha memorial as if it would provide some answer to the demons that lay deep in his heart.  Part of him felt incredibly guilty for being rude and altogether cruel to his female teammate.  That was, however, a very small part.  If she actually cared as much as she said she did –a fact, which Sasuke sincerely doubted- then she would see, he wanted to be left alone.  He knew that on some level her infatuated mind wanted only the best for him.  It was what truly was best for him that was in conflict.  Apparently their opinions differed on the matter.

"Sasuke-kun-"

"Go.  Away."  He spoke slowly and in a tone of voice that promised action if his demands weren't met.  Too bad Sakura wasn't afraid of him like so many others seemed to be.

The pale haired girl groaned, rolling her eyes.  She may love him for his stubbornness, among other things, but sometimes she just wanted to scream!  Stupid Sasuke-kun can't even see that I'm trying to make him happy.  One shouldn't be alone on their birthday!  She thought frowning.  Naruto was going to flip.  He had everyone waiting back in one of the classrooms at the Academy, a surprise party waiting for Sasuke.  After all, it wasn't every day that one turned the big one-six.

Too bad Sasuke didn't see it that way.

Sasuke resisted the urge to roll his eyes.  He wasn't really surprised that Sakura had ignored his wish to be alone.  She always did.  It was slightly heart warming to know she cared enough to put up with his mood swings.  He snorted to himself.  Cares enough to put up with me…that's the infatuation talking.  She sees me as nothing more than a pretty face to swoon over.  If she knew my dark side she wouldn't be so loving.  His thoughts were cynical as he prepared himself for the long haul.  He knew she wasn't going to leave anytime soon.  He sighed.  She had too big of a heart for her own good…

"Alright Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke was startled out of his brooding by Sakura's quiet voice.  Quiet…there was something wrong.  Sakura was hardly ever quiet when it came to him, and then it was only because he had hurt her feelings.  She didn't sound hurt, just silently frustrated and worried.  Frowning, he stood from his crouching position in front of the shrine, turning as he did so.  "Nani?"  What was she talking about?  Alright what?

Sakura took a deep breath, wringing her hands anxiously.  "I can see that you truly want to be alone, so I will leave."

Sasuke blinked in surprise.  She was…leaving?  But she never left!  A sort of panic settled in his stomach and his eyebrows furrowed.  Why did it bother him so much?  Solitude is what he wanted…what he deserved.  Then why did the thought of her leaving bother him so much?  Anger surged over him, replacing the confusion and panic.  What was he thinking?  He didn't need anyone!  Least of all a silly teenage girl who was superficially in 'love' with him.

"However, before I go, I want to give you your birthday present."  Sakura paused, exhaling loudly.  Come on Sakura, gather your courage… She chanted to herself, willing her hand to move to the pouch she carried on her hip.  This was it.  The moment she had waited four long years for.  It was time to tell him how she really felt.  Sakura knew he thought she just had some silly school girl crush on his face like Ino did, but he was wrong.  She saw the pain, the loneliness, the darkness that dwelled inside of him.  She could see it in his eyes.  She just hoped her efforts weren't going to waste.  That today he would see that she loved him for him.

Sasuke watched her pull something out of her kunai carrying case.  His curiosity got the better of him.  He hadn't got a birthday present in years.  Not since his parents were murdered by his bastard of an older brother.  The thought caused a scowl to grow on his face.  Itachi

By the time he surfaced from his angry thoughts Sakura had retrieved the item from her kunai case and thrust it out in front of her, into his hands.  A pretty blush crossed her face and Sasuke could tell she was decidedly embarrassed, or nervous, or perhaps even both.  Curiously, he peered down at the object that had been thrust into his hands.

It was a small piece of pink post-it paper cut into the shape of a heart.  A small blue inked line decorated the edge of the fragile scrap, and in the very center of the heart was two words.

My Heart.

Confusion settled over Sasuke once more as he stared at the small paper heart.  What was it suppose to mean?  Even knowing Sakura as well as he did he was still horribly bewildered at the meaning of the two neatly printed words.  My Heart?  What did she mean by that?  Before he knew it, Sakura was speaking again.

"I know you think that my feelings for you are only a crush…that I only care about you because you look good.  But you're wrong Sasuke-kun.  I love about you because you are you.  I can see the loneliness, the pain, in your eyes, so I gave you the one thing that might be able to help drive away the loneliness and anger –if you let it-.  My heart.   I only want to help you, and if you think it's best that you are alone right now, I will leave you."  After spewing the words out in a rush, Sakura whirled around, preparing to leave.  She couldn't believe she had said that!  Where had the courage come from?  She shook her head.  Instead of staying around for rejection she hurried forward, intent on disappearing before the shock wore off.

However, before she got even three steps a firm hand grasped her wrist tightly, effectively cutting off her escape.

"Sakura." 

Sakura froze at the sound of her name.  It sounded…different somehow.  He had said her name hundreds of times before, but this time was different.  Slowly she turned so that she was facing him, his hand still firmly circling her wrist.

What she saw was surprising.  Sasuke's head was bent forward to that his ebony bangs shadowed his eyes.  His expression was unreadable because of it.

Sasuke was surprised.  Not because she had gathered the courage to tell him she loved him –she told him at least once a day normally- but because he could tell she actually meant it.  Maybe she did see him for all he was, the good and the bad.  His icy heart melted slightly at the sight of the small heart clutched in his right hand.  She gave to him the one thing that meant the most to her.  He understood then what the two words meant and cursed himself for being so blind before now.  It was time to change…if only a little bit, he decided a tiny smile tilting the corner of his lips.

"Sakura."  He stated again, lifting his head so that his dark eyes stared into her confused sage ones.  With a firm jerk on her wrist, Sakura was stumbling towards him, falling against his chest, her blush intensifying.

"Sas-Sasuke-kun…?"  She stuttered, blinking owlishly at him, her rose coloured lips parting somewhat.

His eyes darkened, moving down her face to rest on her parted lips.  Maybe softening a bit wasn't such a bad thing.  A smirk grew on his face.  "Aa," he acknowledged her question before dipping his head and brushing his lips across hers.

No, letting her in wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

"SASUKE NO BAKA!" A voice from the entrance to the shrine screeched as the thumping of feet on marble ensued. 

Sasuke's smirk grew.  Happy Birthday indeed.