Sakura Mochi

By Afrokane

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Chapter 3 – They, together

"Neji.....Neji..." I knelt down, placing my trembling hands on his shoulder.

Was it raindrops or tears running down on our faces? I did not know anymore.

I shook his shoulder, desperately hoping he would listen to that single sentence that I would say.

Even though that would be so hard —

Even though it would be so cruel –

Yet, I have no choice.

"Neji......Neji!!" I put my hands on his head, forcing him to face me.

"Neji......please... listen. Sakura...her...." I choked. "..She......She wished you to tell her, if Sakura Mochi was really that bad...."

He froze.

Then, he started to tremble.

"....I..."

He lost his ability to speak.

And the rain still poured on us brutally. It painfully reminded us it was not a dream.


"Lee, I am going. I will be back on time. Remember—I.Will.Be.Back.On.Time." She narrowed her eyes, emphasized again to me that she will be back on time from her mission.

Passing through the border of Konoha, I recalled every single word that she said before she left.

"I will be back on time. So, don't forget to prepare a huge birthday present for your good friend!" She stuck out her tongue, smiling to me childishly.

I grimaced. That was just two days ago, wasn't it? Didn't she tell me that she would be coming back on time for her 22nd birthday?

The sky was covered by a shade of dark gray. It was going to rain.

I stole a glance at him who was running beside me. I felt so sorry for him.

Because, I knew he was regretting.

Regretted that he did not say goodbye to her when she left that day.

"Good morning Neji." Watching he coming to us, she dismissed her childish smile and greeted him morning with a standard smile.

"Morning" As usual, he greeted her back expressionlessly.

"......Then, I'll go now. See you." Since the year she became Jounin, their relationship has gone backward—back to the time when they first met each other. She no longer talked to him the way she used to be.

And he also did not show his emotions to her anymore. The relationship has gone so worse that they even could not say goodbye properly.

So she turned around and left. And he just watched her back fading away.

It started to rain.

In my memory, the sky was blue and clear on her birthdays. There were Sakura petals flying everywhere.

Only today, this rainstorm has replaced the usual Sakura rain. Each raindrop was so cold that it pierced right into my bone.

I shivered. It has been a day already. Since we heard from Tsudene-sama that Sakura's team has been ambushed, we started to rush to the Sand as fast as we could.

"Lee, Sakura's ambushed." Neji panted slightly.

"What? What are you talking about?" I thought I just heard it wrong.

"Her team got ambushed. Move, they should be at the border of Sand" His expression was ten times more serious then his usual self.

"Isn't it only a simple C Rank escort mission? How come..."

"It is a trap." His fist clenched. "The one that she was escorting was not an ordinary businessman."

My brain was all blank. Wasn't it just a simple mission that was specially arranged by Tsudene-sama so that she would come back on time for her birthday?

"LEE!!!!!" He yelled at me. "We've got no time! GO!"

At that moment, I knew the situation must be very bad.

Because, Hyuuga Neji never yelled at people like that.

Suddenly, the air was filled by the smell of blood.

And then a horrible scene was shown in front of me. I was so sure that I would never be able to forget that scene for the rest of my life.

It was her. Her petite body lied helplessly on the cold and bloody ground. Her hair was drowned into the blood pool originated from her body, reminding me of Gaara of the Sand.

"Sakura!!" He rushed to pick her up.

A kunai was deeply stabbed into her chest .

Her heart to be exact.

That moment, everything seemed to stop moving.

I could not move, I could not think.

I could only saw her pale face, and his pair of rough hands that were slapping on her face.

"Sakura!! Sakura!!!! Wake up! Wake up!!"

Was it his voice, or was it my voice?

Suddenly, she opened her eyes.

"....Sakura!"

Then, tears started to fall down uncontrollably from his pair of white eyes.

Because, he knew that it was the last breathe of her life. She was going to leave.

"Ne..Neji...." She smiled weakly. She tried to raise her bloody hand, hoping to reach his face.

He caught her hand quickly, holding it to cover his cheek.

"I....Sakura......" She did not have the strength to speak anymore.

"If you only have one last breathe in your life, who will you want to talk to, and what are you going to tell?"

I knew she was going to leave.

"If I died, please help me to ask that stubborn ass a question."

I knew she just wanted to have the answer now.

"Please help me to ask him—"

"Neji.....Neji..." I knelt down, placing my trembling hands on his shoulder.

Was it raindrops or tears running down on our face? I did not know anymore.

I shook his shoulder, desperately hoping he would listen to that single sentence that I would say.

Even though that would be so hard —

Even though it would be so cruel –

Yet, I have no choice. She was slipping away.

"Neji......Neji!!" I put my hands on his head, forcing him to face me.

"Neji......please... listen. Sakura...her...." I choked.

"--is Sakura Mochi really that bad?"

"..She......She wished you to tell her, if Sakura Mochi was really that bad...."

He froze.

Then, he started to tremble.

".....I...."

No matter how hard he tried to answer the question, he could not come out a single word.

He lost his ability to speak.

He lost his ability to answer her question.

The only thing that he could do was holding her tightly in his embrace and regretted.

The rain still poured on us brutally. It painfully reminded us it was not a dream.

Then, everything went silent.


Watching the hard and dried Sakura Mochi on the grave, my heart ached.

It had become his habit since she left. Every year around this time, he would come here and gave her a Sakura Mochi.

Yet, she couldn't try them anymore.

Those lonely mochi could only be placed here, until they became dried and perished and threw away by the cleaner.

"Sakura," I sat down, fixing my gaze to the beautiful name that craved on the grave. "..happy birthday."

If she was still here, it should be her 25th birthday.

"Sakura, did you meet him?" My voice was shaking. "....Neji...that baka....he left yesterday."

I closed my eyes painfully.

"Do you know how much he had missed you Sakura?" I started to convulse uncontrollably.

I could not continue anymore. His face just continued to pop up in my mind since last night.

His body was full of bruises and deep cuts. Blood were flowing out from those kunai like a river.

Yet, all I saw was a peace and smiling face. There was no pain or sorrow shown on his bloody face.

His pair of silver eyes told me clearly that his dream has finally come true. From all those continuous deadly S class missions, he finally has chosen the right one. This time, he finally could sacrifice himself for the mission.

I picked up the Sakura Mochi from her grave. My tears started to fall down.

My heart ached. How come the most precious people of my life had to leave so soon?

"If you only have one last breathe in your life, who will you want to talk to, and what are you going to tell?"

If time could fly back, I'd rather not asking them this question.

Because, I never expected that I really need to become their messenger to pass on these painful messages.

"Sakura..." I choked. "Neji said he wanted to try your Sakura Mochi."

Yes, it was that simple. And it was also the answer that she wanted to know so much.

The Sakura Mochi in my hand started to become soft and fluffy because of my tears.

I think, they could finally be together.

In a place where only peace and happiness could be found.

"Goodbye."

Wish you well and happy.

--Final--

Author's Note:

Really, I feel so sorry to kill them both.....PLEASE...DON'T KILL ME FOR THIS!

In my original plan, I didn't intend to make the story to end like this. I actually planned a happy ending. Yet, as the story goes along, Neji and Sakura become out of control(Trust me, it is.). In my opinion, this should be the way if they are to be together. It just went along with the flow of the story.

Sorry this story has ended up being so sad. Just think of the bright side—they are finally together right? Right?

Lastly, thanks SO MUCH for reading my 1st fanfic. I never expected that I can have over 10 reviews for this story. Without your support, I definately cannot continue the story.

Maybe I should make something up for them.....hope I will have the time to do so.

Ja ne for now! :D