Looking at the Sky
Disclaimer: Seeing as I am not Japanese, male, or a company specializing in animation, none of these characters belong to me. I don't make any money off them and would like to keep it that way.
Warning: Implications of shounen ai and het of the threesome variaty. Yes my friends; the more the merrier.
"What do you think about when you look at the sky?"
Sakura looked away from the window, her fingers never ceasing in their steady caress of the worn wooden frame. "That's a stupid question," she said with no malice, "What else would I be thinking about?"
"I didn't mean right now," Naruto said, his voice equally devoid of censure or affront, "I meant in general." He sat cross-legged on the bed; Sasuke a tightly curled knot of suffering in his lap. The dark haired youth was naked; fiery shadows writhing and surging across his white skin, cooling briefly into coal-black shapes before some force sent them blazing again. Naruto wore only a shirt soaked with Sasuke's sweat, hands steady as he bathed his partner's tortured brow with cool water from the basin on the nightstand.
"It depends on my mood," Sakura said softly, opening the window further though she knew the gentle breezes would have no effect. "Sometimes I just think about how pretty the stars are." But not for a while now. Most nights her mind was too embroiled in darker things for such careless thoughts.
Sasuke let out a moan, low and strained through clenched teeth. Sakura flinched at the sound and walked silently back to the bed; placing her small hand on the taunt line of Sasuke's stomach in a motion of useless comfort.
"I like sunny days better than starry nights," Naruto admitted, not so much as wincing when the hands clutching his lower arm tightened enough to bruise, "But sometimes I try to find the patterns Iruka-sensei tells me about."
"Constellations," Sakura corrected absently, "My father tried to point them out to me when I was little, but I never could see them."
Sasuke screamed suddenly; body arching like a band of metal under pressure; muscles locked tight and unyielding. Naruto dropped the moistened washcloth and held him with both arms, tucking his pained face into a tense shoulder. Sakura's hands shifted and twitched like nervous birds; the one rubbing Sasuke's shuddering stomach, the other clenching tightly on the flesh of her thigh. She wanted to help hold him, but Sasuke's nails were cutting deep trenches into Naruto's skin and it would upset them both if she too bore such marks in the morning.
On the nightstand, next to the water basin, a kunai and the scroll with the sealing spell sat within easy reach, should Sasuke's fight with the curse take a turn for the worst. Sakura stared at them so that she didn't have to watch the struggle taking place beside her.
One heartbeat, two heartbeats, three, four...Sasuke gasped loudly, twice, and then went limp. The tangled marks of the curse seal flared one last time, a sullen flame, then retreated swiftly back up his arm and torso, coiling into the harmless seeming dots at the base of his throat.
Naruto loosened his supportive hold and grinned at Sakura; the wild, triumphant grin of the victor, even though his part in the battle was minimal at best. She smiled back weakly.
Sasuke was still panting, tremors of exhaustion trailing up and down his arms and legs. Sakura touched the moisture that glistened at his mouth and wasn't surprised when her fingertips came back bloody. She retrieved the washcloth from the floor while Naruto carefully slid Sasuke off his lap, arranging the other youth into a more comfortable position on the sweat stained sheets.
"I only ever see the one shaped like a big spoon," Naruto said as Sakura soaked the washcloth in the basin. She gave him a confused look, then her brow cleared when she remembered---ah yes, constellations.
"There's three I always spot that are part of a belt or something," she said, cleaning away the dark smear on Sasuke's lips and chin, water chilled fingers quick and light on fevered flesh, "But I really don't mind much. They're all so beautiful anyways, clustered up like puddles of glitter; it seems silly to separate them into pictures."
"Glitter?" Naruto demanded, but Sakura barely heard because Sasuke was mumbling something, head turning toward her.
She knelt next to the bed, cloth swiping back sweat and tangled hair from his forehead. Glazed eyes opened half-way and Sakura could see they were bloodshot even the gray light of the bedroom.
"Hey," she said, trailing her fingers across his cheek, "You were having a bad dream, go back to sleep." Sasuke's brow furrowed, whether in confusion over her meaning or in confusion over her lie she couldn't tell.
"Yo, Sasuke," Naruto said, not physically loud, but so much more lively in comparison to his earlier voice that Sakura actually flinched in reaction, "Did you hear that? Sakura-chan says stars look like *glitter*."
A slow blink and Sasuke's awareness shifted away from Sakura, leaving her abandoned and ignored before his blind stare. "Glitter?" he whispered, voice rough and dry, "Sakura...that's so girly."
She smiled, when she realized that Sasuke was seeing her again, and stuck out her tongue in a poor attempt at playfulness. Sasuke didn't respond to the gesture; eyes falling shut and body going lax against the bed in degrees. She waited until his breathing was even; petting the clammy skin at his temples like the satin smooth worry-stone she kept in her pocket sometimes. If the motion helped, she couldn't tell, but it was a comfort to her nonetheless.
"I'm going to dump out the water," she said when Sasuke was still, rising from the floor and grabbing the basin so harshly the water splashed over the sides and onto her hands.
She didn't get very far before strong arms folded around her, pulling her back into a bare, damp chest. Naruto had taken off the shirt and his skin was warm in a completely different way than Sasuke's fever heat. "Leave it," he said into the hair at her ear, "Lets go to sleep. I'm tired, Sakura-chan."
Sakura shivered at the sound of his voice. Not for what it held, but for what it didn't. No fear in its familiar timber, no doubt or question; of course Sasuke had won against Orochimaru's influence. Sasuke always won.
Except when he didn't.
And then he...
"Alright," she said, making it annoyed, making it exasperated, and put the dish on the floor where she stood. Hopefully Naruto would trip over it on his way to the bathroom in the morning.
Naruto grinned in the dimness, all flashing teeth and eyes like pools of water that only look shallow until you step into them, and led her back to the bed.