A/N: Special thanks to ALL who reviewed my other ficts, especially those who bothered to give reviews four lines long and more. Much appreciation.





He woke up to the sound of her whimpering.

In the half-darkness of the room, he could feel her twisting sporadically in her troubled sleep. She was having her nightmares again.

Slipping the kunai he had automatically grasped back under his pillow, he slowly rolled over to face her. Pale moonlight illuminated the room through the windows, causing her pink hair to look almost translucent as it splayed out on the pillow. The dim hush of the shadows silhouetted the rise and fall of her form beneath the sheets as she struggled weakly in a world only she could see.

Dully, he watched her cry out in her sleep. Tonight's nightmares were particularly vicious; she was more distressed than usual. He stared into the shadows tiredly and listened as her quiet sobs filled the still dimness of the room.

He waited.

It wasn't long before the movement beside him stilled and quickened irregular breathing told him she was waking. Automatically, his hand lifted from his side and slipped over her eyes just before she could open them.

Her head had twisted wildly in attempts to free her itself before she calmed down enough from her nightmares to remember where she was. Or at least, wherever she thought she was.


Frightened green eyes peered up as he moved his hand away. He forced a tired half-smile to ease her.

"You were dreaming again." He said shortly.

-You're always dreaming... even when you're awake-

Her eyes roved the darkness wildly, blindly, before they finally focused on him. In the ethereal moonlight, he could see her shaking. An aftereffect of her dreams, he knew. So he didn't move when her arms shyly slipped round his side and her head buried in his warmth, tears drying on his black shirt. It took a while before her trembling had calmed down to a stop.

He managed to fight off his drowsiness long enough to pull her away gently before she could drop off in sleep.

"You're still not listening to me. I told you to sleep in your own bed."

She leaned her pink head on him sleepily at his low chiding, ivy eyes watching the darkness distractedly. The satin ivory of the light from the window softened her features, and her lips were parted unconsciously. Even in the thick garments she was clothed in, her soft curves betrayed her femininity. In his grogginess, he took a while before he could push away that dark desire that had heated his blood. He was too drained to deal with this tonight.

Sighing, he pulled the sheets over her exposed shoulders and heaved himself up from the bed, muscles aching dully from the day's exertions. He had half a mind to leave till she was asleep again.

"It'll be better for both of us if you listen, you know," he muttered as he leaned on one arm.

A faintly guilty smile flirted across her lips, surprising him that she had heard and understood him. Well, she had always been saner in the night. And quieter.

His feet found their place on the cold floor as he sat on the bed, back facing her. He ran through disheveled hair with his fingers wearily as the quiet of the night invaded and settled in the room. Fatigue fogged his mind, but didn't stop his eyes from scanning the shadows automatically for hidden devices.

He was about to get up when a cool hand caught his wrist tentatively and he turned around to see cloudy eyes staring up at him. Well at least, staring at the darkness behind him. With the ease of accustomed familiarity, he slipped a hand under her chin and lifted it up so her face was tilted towards him and waited patiently. After a few seconds, sea-green eyes gradually drifted from the shadows and focused on his own dark ones.

They were pleading with him.

He sighed resignedly, gave in, and answered the unspoken question. "Fine. Go to sleep. I won't leave now."

Maybe it said something that he wasn't surprised when those delirious eyes widened in childlike trust as she smiled up at him. And perhaps it did mean something that he also wasn't surprised that timid arms came around his waist again when he returned to the bed, body half upright as he leaned against the back wall. But then again, it probably didn't.

Distantly, he watched over her while her breathing deepened and her body grew slack. He watched her eyes especially, even when they had misted over and her drooping eyelids had shut him out. After all, her eyes had always captivated him, even as her pink hair attracted most.

Such expressive pools of green they had always been, always betraying her every emotion. And now, all they betrayed was her madness.

Sasuke smiled bitterly in the moonlight and gently pulled the sleeping girl away so he could slip down onto the bed. Tomorrow was yet another long day, and not only Sakura needed her rest.


A/N: A short little chapter, 'cos it was forced through a major writer's block (hence the jerky plot, though it took me ages to write Ages.), nearing exams and a dying SasuSaku love. XP. Yes. It's that bad.
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