His hands clutched the kunai so tightly his wrists turned white. It was dark and silent and deserted this mansion. Moonlight streamed in from the open windows, its light touching him gently, almost sadly. The night sky was dotted with stars, so many beautiful stars.
He liked the stars. Tonight was going to be the last time he'll be able to watch them.
The silence was almost deafening. But he didn't care.
Silence knew him best and enveloped him in a cool embrace. It was his only companion on the many sleepless nights when he used to stare at the stars with glazed eyes. Silence… the ambience didn't bother him.
His eyes turned to the old mirror, cracked and dulled by time to take in his image.
He was called a pretty boy by the people around him. His features were the classic knockdown looks of his clan. With dark hair, almost black eyes, and a poker-faced he was said to drive girls crazy with just a look. He never wanted them.
Not the attention, the jealous looks, the swooning, and definitely the grudging respect. He didn't want any of them.
Leave me in peace.
They never did. Swarming around him like flies, pleading, talking, fawning… he never had a moment's peace. At day he was surrounded by the voices of the people around him, at night the screams, shouts, and tears.
No peace. Silence was never a refuge because beneath it was the silent voices of that long-ago night. It didn't help that he relived it every night, feeding the anger in him.
He was so angry, so driven, so sad.
Everything is useless. Life is pointless.
His life lost direction. No one was there.
He called. Nobody answered.
Uchiha Sasuke was truly alone.
Though everybody said they'd be there for him, none came. Lies, all of it, are lies.
No family, no true friends, and no life. How ironic. And he was said to be the most privileged child of the village.
He was a shell. His soul had died a long time ago, after being eaten by hatred. He grasped any reason to continue living, though it was a bad prospect to run after your bother to kill him.
Kill. Avenge. Hate.
Uchiha Sasuke's Nindo… his only purpose and what drives him to go on.
The Uchiha clan was famed killers anyway. It wouldn't be too difficult for him.
Kill. Kill Itachi. Avenge your family.
The scars... No one saw, no one noticed. They said they rescued the heir and healed him from external injuries. But no one saw them. Long and deep, still aching from the blows… scarred forever. The boy died and his shell remained.
The stars shone brighter as he stared, almost hypnotized by their innocent beauty. He'd fancied that they were beckoning him. A place in Heaven, if there was such a place.
But he didn't belong there.
Everyone adored him before. Now everyone shunned him. They were waiting, like predators, for a chance to kill him for a wrong move. Ever since he went out to seek power from Orochimaru he was despised and branded as traitor. When he came back, people were wearing fake smiles and rained fake welcomes. Not real. No one was there.
He belonged in Hell.
He can almost hear Orochimaru's voice. You belong in Hell… with me.
I don't believe in Hell, he'd retorted. And the snake laughed sardonically.
The darkness drew him in closer to its depths as he readied himself. He'd rather die than go on living. It was pointless anyway.
How could he continue his revered Uchiha lineage when he was a traitor? He'd rather save some rags of dignity by killing himself than inflicting pain and discrimination on his future children.
It was a secret. Sasuke never told anyone.
He'd always wanted to start a family, one with laughter and love and affection. Something he never had as a child. Something he'd give to his heirs to ensure they didn't follow his footsteps. He wanted to live a normal life with a wife to kiss him home, children to read to, and a good life.
Too bad, he'd never have it.
Life never gave you what you wanted.
Always out of his reach. Another irony, some joke of the universe. Everything was at his feet but what he really wanted was out of his grasp. It would always stay as a dream secretly cherished forevermore.
His eyes turned to the kunai. It was smooth, sharp, and he could feel its metallic coolness from his fingertips. Such an innocent-looking object could bring so much relief. He turned it this way and that, examining it. His faithful kunai, ready to serve him to the last…
How will he die?
Slitting wrists, stabbing, or performing a secret jutsu?
Suddenly his fingers lost its grip and it slid out of his grip.
The kunai clattered to the floor. He stared at it, unable to move.
Maybe he was afraid to die. But he'd faced it so many times. Why?
His lips formed into an ironic smile. A traitor and a coward, how did he degenerate into this weak creature?
He'd never know.
The wind blew in cherry blossoms from the window. He picked a blossom up and stared at it.
He closed his eyes and let down his guard for a moment.
Green eyes as beautiful as emeralds, pink hair like the flower she was named after, and the sweetest spirit. Kind and gentle; passionate and strong-willed… It was funny how she contrasted her character sometimes.
The scent filled the air like some intoxicating perfume. Regretfully he let go of the flower and watched it fall, spiraling, to the floor.
Her memory would stay with him, would accompany him while he walked into oblivion.
Apologies… are useless.
He'd hurt her so many times. The years know how many tears and smiles she'd given him. Smiling while crying… always because of sadness. He didn't know how to give her happiness.
Perhaps because he never knew it, an alien word…
Maybe he did know.
She gave it to him. Her happiness slipped into a crack of his mask and warmed his icy heart. Though he tried so much to push her away (for her own good too) she was there. She gave him her happiness and her heart.
He clenched his fist. He deserved to die… for breaking her heart until no shards remained. Did he care?
A little but he pushed his guilt and regrets to the back of his mind.
How foolish. He only realized it now.
Apologies… will never be accepted.
He was a traitor, a coward, a fool. Even in Hell, no matter how many centuries would pass, he'd never be forgiven.
Kill… Kill… Kill…
The voices beckoned him. He picked the kunai up. Silence waited to take him in again, this time for keeps.
He sat down before the window and let the wind blow on his face softly. The cherry blossom's perfume hung over the air, gentler, sweeter.
Konoha's wind… the sweet air of his youth…
Death is the only way. He took the kunai and started.
He set his lips in a grim line. Your choice, remember? Don't be a coward.
Sasuke lay back on the carpet of cherry petals. They embraced him, eagerly, sticking to his hair and his shirt. The cherry blossom's perfume made him feel lightheaded.
She said she'll be there. He never replied and walked away. Now, she was here in a sense.
Until the end, he supposed.
He'll keep his secret… that she was the wife in his dream. Until oblivion claims him, he'll remember her.
The stars twinkled slyly and he smiled weakly. Bring Sakura to me, he wished. He never believed in wishes but it was irrelevant now.
I want to see her before I die…
His life was empty. It never had any meaning, always dark and icy cold. His purposes seemed… pointless. How could he pursue such things when it was rage that blinded him?
Too late, he thought. I'm a fool.
His lips whispered her name, like a heartfelt prayer.
The door shrieked open. He was too weak to turn to even see who it was. The figure moved closer to him.
Sakura, he repeated, like a mantra.
"I am here." Her voice was shaking. She was.
His dark eyes looked at her, hypnotized. It must be an illusion, the angel of death… His wish did come true.
"Oh, Sasuke-kun…" she murmured and cupped his cheek. Tears dropped, one by one, slowly, as if crossing space and time. Her eyes, more beautiful with misty tears, mesmerized him.
Blood was dripping on the cold floor. "I'll save you, Sasuke-kun…" she said, determined.
He was too weak. He cannot protest that he didn't want her to see him die.
Apologies… are not enough.
Sakura started to perform healing jutsus. She was efficient, quick, but she cannot do it. Not without him.
His vision was fading. Well, at least he can see her before he goes. Pretty, pretty Sakura…
"Don't die on me…"
He tried to shake his head.
I want to die… Leave me…. Sakura…
Coward! Traitor! Fool!
He nodded slowly as if agreeing. He was those things, never deny it. The bare and naked truth on his face…
"Save yourself… Sasuke-kun… I cannot do it without you…" She whispered, almost despairingly.
"I… I can't…" he managed to say. I don't want to.
"'No one can help you unless you help yourself,'" she quoted. He tried to smile but it hurt. His face couldn't remember how to do it. "Please…"
"Life… is pointless-"He said.
"It isn't…" She lifted his head and hugged it to her chest, trying hard not to cry but her tears bathed his face. "I live because of you. You're my reason for going on… Sasuke-kun…" Please don't die.
"I am a traitor… a c-coward…" he said through parched lips. His expression was painful. It wrung her heart and she gently traced the contours of his face.
"Shh," she said as she placed a finger at his lips. "You are not. At least to me, you are still my Sasuke-kun. He is cool but not icy, he goes away but he comes back… Don't you see?"
"D-Do you-"care for me?
She nodded, smiling painfully. "Always… I'll always care for you…
"If you do want to die, let me stay with you… you won't be alone." Sakura said. She cannot save him and it hurts. Staying with him was a consolation.
He closed his eyes and sighed languorously. "Sakura-"
I can't… I'm a coward…
He cannot say it. Sasuke was always a proud man.
Her eyes rested on his face, memorizing his features. She was crying now but her tears were slow, gentle, like rain on a spring day. Long tapering fingers caressed his hair and his cheeks, wiping away the warm blood.
"I love you, Sasuke-kun."
Black met green. A sudden understanding blossomed between them.
They were closer to each other than they realized. A love, almost palpable, existed but never acknowledged.
Perhaps now was the time to pick up the threads again.
Sakura started to cry with relief as she performed more jutsus. Her abilities surpassed the Hokage's. This was what she'd been training for… to save the one she loved…
He cooperated and tried to forget the pain. He clung back to the thread of life, determined. Forget cowardice and betrayals.
She was here. His only, true light… his Sakura…
"I'm a coward…" he whispered.
"I don't care… I'll always love you…" she said quietly as she performed the jutsus quickly. Never lose time… each second were spilling away like grains of sand…
Save yourself! Her words echoed in his mind.
Maybe it was time to let go.
The past will remain as the past. The shadows and silence and darkness will not claim him again.
He was a coward, a traitor, a fool. That was the old Uchiha Sasuke.
Death wasn't the only way out. He was a fool to consider it as an option.
She saved him. He saved himself.
He'll go on living and try to change. Forget the darkness, he'd found light.
She led him back when he got lost. He'll always be grateful.
He will see the new sunrise. A new Uchiha Sasuke is reborn.
No more lust for power, no anger, no hatred.
He tried to smile as he envisioned the future. But he was already so tired… and he was so sleepy…
"You're not alone Sasuke-kun…" Sakura whispered as his eyelids fluttered to a close. Her eyes softened as she brushed away his bangs. "I am here…"
She hugged him closer to her chest as she cried. His hand slipped slowly to the floor, dipping into a crimson pool.
The wind blew and the cherry blossoms danced and chased each other, spiraling around them. Her misty eyes looked up with wonder.
"I love you too."
His voice was there, right inside her mind.
Sakura pressed her fist to her mouth to stifle the cries threatening to come out of her. The wind died down and the cherry blossoms settled on the floor as if nothing happened.
Her arms tightened around him. He was gone.
The stars twinkled and winked as she kept vigil on him. Dark and silent and cold… the room warmed with the sunrise.
"You're here, Sasuke-kun."
And she smiled lovingly.
A Valentine angst fic for Xero-kun whether he wants it or not
I know you hate Sasuke-kun. XD