Author's Note: oh my gosh. writing this genre is SOOO not my strong point. I don't even know why I bother. this little thing took me like, more than a month to crank out while I wrote a complete CHAPTER for one of our humor stories in like… half an hour during chem class the other day. argh. this horrific writing experience has just put me off of ever writing romance stories ever again. at least, that's the plan for now. BUT IT'S ALL RIGHT NOW, because it is finally done. gosh, this idea started out as this like, GRANDIOSO MOTHER OF ALL SASUKE SAKURA STORIES… and it kinda died into this. sorry guys, I just couldn't take any more of the headaches and frustration this was causing. and just so you know, this caused a lot of headaches and a lot of frustration. Artheph knows. she bore the brunt of my complaining about this story. poor Artheph. pet pet. ahem. anyways. do enjoy.



The only other person who knew about Sasuke and Sakura's relationship was Ino, who had long since gotten over her childhood infatuation and resumed her position as Sakura's best friend. In fact, was now involved in a love/hate relationship with Shikamaru. Sakura wasn't sure whose relationship was more intricate and odd: her relationship with Sasuke or Ino's relationship with Shikamaru.

Ino was very wary about the whole situation. She had told her several times with a disapproving sigh...

"Oh Sakura… how do you know he isn't just using you? He comes over every night… and I know you guys don't do anything… you just sleep… but, if he really cares about you, why does he hide it?"

How could Sakura explain it to her? How could she explain the way his dull, calculating eyes would light up with a warmth whenever he looked at her, or the way he would always hold onto her a little tighter and a little longer than usual on those nights when he returned from a mission that had kept him away for more than a few days? It was just… something she felt deep down, something that told her it was love, pure and simple. And that feeling, that knowledge was enough for Sakura, no matter what Sasuke did.

Sakura woke up with a start.

"Crap! The window! I forgot to leave the window unlocked for him!!"

But just as she was about to rush to the window, she heard the wind and the rain thrashing about. It was storming outside.

"That's right… the storm. He can't possibly come in weather like this…"

With that thought in mind, quieting her fears, she lay back down. As she was drifting off into the gray space halfway between consciousness and sleep, her brain finally registered that odd presence she had been sensing and what it meant. Her eyes opened wide, and she tumbled out of bed, hurrying to the window. Opening it, Sakura winced as a sudden blast of icy air and freezing cold rain accompanied the man climbing in.

"Sasuke-kun!!" Sasuke stood before her. At seventeen, his boyish good-looks had long since developed into full-blown dashing sexiness. But now, his striking features were marred by uncontrollable trembles. Wearing nothing more than his usual shirt and shorts, it was no wonder that he was dripping wet and shivering. She took his hands.

"Sasuke-kun, you're hands are like ice!! How long were you standing out there??" Sakura cried as she grabbed her blanket and started trying to dry him off.

"N-n-not l-l-l-ong-g." He said, his teeth chattering.

"Why didn't you knock or something??"

"Y-you w-w-were s-sl-sl-sleeping…"

"Agh, that doesn't matter!!!"


"Look at you!"


"You're gonna get sick!!"

"Sakura… j-just… s-stop and s-st-stand st-still..."

Sakura stopped and looked up. It was then that she noticed how very close she was standing to him. In her attempts to get him dried off, she had somehow managed to wrap the blanket around the both of them. Their proximity seemed to be helping matters, for Sasuke's shivering was getting better. In a surprisingly bold move, Sakura moved closer to Sasuke, putting her arms around him and pressing close until she felt him shivering no more. After a while, a thought suddenly occurred to her.



"Why… why did you come tonight… in this weather, I mean?" she asked hesitantly.


The silence dragged out, and Sakura thought this was just another one of those times where her question was going to be ignored. She had just about given up and was about to disentangle herself from him when she felt his arms coming up and wrapping around her.

"I wanted to see you," he murmured in a low voice.

Sakura smiled at his words and looked up. His hair was still wet, and as she reached up to brush a damp strand away from his face, he caught her hand in his. Sasuke pressed their intertwined fingers up against his chest, so that she could feel his heart beating. She laid her head against him, content to stay where she was and fall into the rhythm of his heartbeats. He buried his face in her hair.

"Sakura…" came his voice, slightly muffled.

She looked up and found herself caught in his penetrating gaze. She stood, frozen, as the usual hardness in his eyes was nowhere to be found. In its place was a new emotion, one that she had never expected to see in his eyes. Time seemed to slow down as Sasuke bent his head down and pulled her closer to him. She felt his heartbeat quicken under her hand to match her own. Still gazing into her eyes, he lowered his face to hers, until their noses were touching…

As their lips met, everything around her melted away. The storm outside ceased to exist. The fact that he was still dripping wet failed to register as he pulled her closer still. Her entire world condensed into the tiny space surrounding the two. The feel of his lips on hers was the only thing she knew. From an outsider's standpoint, there was nothing particularly special about this first kiss, but it made Sakura shiver. It may not have lasted for very long, and it wasn't the kind of kiss that left her gasping for air, but it was so full of promise. As they pulled apart, Sakura found herself staring into his eyes once more, falling even deeper into their infinite darkness. She could have probably stood there forever, entranced by his eyes, but Sasuke broke the silence.

"Come on… let's go to sleep." he said with a smile, leading her over to the bed.

As Sakura crawled in, Sasuke stripped off his wet shirt and dried himself off the best he could before following suit. There, in the comfort and warmth of having Sakura snuggled up right next to him, he quickly fell asleep. But Sakura did not. She stayed awake and watched him, just like she always did, every single night. She stayed awake to enjoy this feeling of being in his arms, to enjoy their closeness. She stared at him, taking in every line, every curve of his face, for she knew that in the morning, he would be gone. So she fought against the peaceful lull of sleep for as long as possible, trying to delay the inevitable. But as always, her body would betray her heart, and her eyes would close, only to open to the sunlight of morning. And he was gone. Just like he always was.



Author's END Note: Yeah, hope you guys liked. If you did, go read the COUPLE FIC that goes along with this. It's called Insecurities. and it's all about sexy brooding Sasuke. Come on now, you know you're intrigued.