Title: A Thousand Nights of Winter

Summary: A willing victim and an unwilling vampire. Two lives inevitably intertwined with one fate. (AU-SasuSaku)

Genre: Angst/Romance/Dark Humor

Rating: T (PG-13) for language and violence.

Author: PinkStarz

Created: May 2nd, 2005

Disclaimer: Naruto doesn't belong to me. Plot adapted from A Thousand Days of Snow by Hatori Bitsuko. It's very pretty and cute, I highly recommend checking it out. If any of you want the link for the site to view the manga, email me:


A Thousand Nights of Winter

"Again..."

This time she flipped the cotton cover off of herself and slipped out of the bed. As scrupulously as she could manage, she padded to the window and opened it slightly.

The boy was still there, standing with his hands in his jacket's pockets and staring at nothing at all. From the second floor it was difficult to detect his features precisely, but she knew she had seen him before. It was unmistakable. No one stood with such an offhand body stature. It was absurd that just the position of his feet seemed to scream that he was conceited. His ebony hair seemed sapphire to her in the moonlight, rebelliously spiking out yet never seeming to change. He indeed wore the same clothing every time she saw him -that dark jacket and baggy jeans.

Running her upper teeth over the pulp of her bottom lip, her mint eyes remained focused on him. Eventually, her fingers began to skim the fog on the windows, as if she could touch him. And then, he was gone.

The next day, she wondered whether she would see him again. The window was open, curtains lightly flapping from a chilling breeze, and her eyes were focused on the night sky. The lights were out all around her and the rest of the room's occupants were slumbering peacefully.

Her hand pressed against her chest and she closed her eyes upon feeling the steady beats of her heart. At long as it didn't stop. Just as long.

She eyes began to flutter from the desire to close. Her mind was soon ready to accept her body's need; however, a sudden flash of blackness swooping past her window caused her to sit upright, wide-eyed.

The rustling sound of trees being disturbed echoed to her room and cautiously, she approached the window. The darkness was heavy and impenetrable, but her curiosity dismissed reason and she found herself grabbing a robe and leaving the room.

It had been difficult slipping out unnoticed, but once she was outside, she felt the overwhelming sensation of freedom welcome her. Heavily she breathed in the cool night air and shivered happily before continuing on her main objective.

Entering the harem of trees, she scanned the environment while walking noisily, breaking branches under her slipper clad feet and brushing against leaves. If it had been an animal, she would probably hear it whimpering from its injuries.

"Aren't you scared of the dark?"

The sudden smooth voice caused her to jump. She wasn't sure whether she had screamed but she hoped not.

She looked around cautiously, wondering who had spoken and what was his or her motives for being out so late. Finally, she speaker exposed himself.

The moonlight played kindly on his handsome features, illuminating one side of his face against the darkness of the other. However, the pitch black of his irises seemed to pull her from either side. It was definite that this was the boy she had been seeing lately, staring into the distance.

"I'm not," she found herself replying, a small smile coming to her lips. It had been a while since she had smiled.

The boy scowled. "Really," he said dryly. "Everyone is scared of something."

"Not the dark," she countered. She could see those onyx irises roll in skepticism before he turned around and began walking away.

"A-are you okay?" she called out, unknowing why she wanted to continue to talk to him. He stopped and looked over his shoulder.

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"I thought I saw you fall..."

She could have sworn he had a muscle spasm before turning around with an angered expression. "That's none of your business. Now get out of here, your kind makes me sick."

She started. "My kind...?" A mischievous leer crept onto her lips. "What are you, afraid of girls?"

The boy scoffed, looking surprisingly attractive as those coal eyes of his closed momentarily. "Hardly. And being sick from something doesn't equate to fear."

"Really..." She spoke the word softly, her eyes drifting to the ground and body becoming limp. However, her hands were clenched tightly for a moment before she released them, almost in defeat.

"Weak..." the boy muttered to his own discretion. "Ugh, this smell is making me sick..."He reeled, covering his mouth and nose with the sleeve of his jacket.

The girl narrowed her eyes. The sight would have been amusing had it not been for the amount of loathing in the boy's tone. "What smell?"

"We're at a fucking hospital!" he cried out, the power of his voice muffled by fabric. He squeezed his eyes shut. "God, I can smell the blood...So revolting..."

"Then why are you here?" she asked, her curiosity exposed. "You're always here!"

"That's none of your business -what are you, stalking me?"

"And you fell past my window!" She could feel her voice rising. "And you seem... fine."

The boy's smirk was visible only though the crinkles near his eyes. "Are you telling me you've never seen a vampire before?"

Now it was her turn to laugh. "No, no I have not," she announced, placing her hands on her hips. "And what kind of vampire hates the smell of blood?"

"It's not just the smell -I despise the taste of it."

"That's impossible."

His eyes bore into hers so quickly that she swore she had been staring into them the entire time. "Is it? How would you like to bite into my neck and savor the metallic, hot taste of blood?"

Was it an offering? She grimaced and he smiled cruelly in return.

"You're quite an idiot..."

Her face burned with indignation at the remark. "I am not!"

"You assume what you want," he said, finally removing his sleeve from his face and digging his hands into his pant pockets. "That's what makes you stupid."

"Am I supposed to believe this?" she demanded. "You have no proof that you're a vampire!" Although the boy was undeniably handsome, he was also undeniably insane. She guessed from his appearance that he was one of those 'Goths gone wrong' types that pretended they were supernatural creatures to escape from their own dismal lives.

"Why do I have to prove who I am to you?" he demanded, turning around again. Then, with a single leap he was gone.

She wanted to whisper out loud that he was strange, but instead, "So beautiful" came out of her mouth in a barely audible caress of air.

lxl

A month passed; patients came and left, and she remained where she always was. The boy she had met before ran through her mind constantly, infecting it like a virus. She had seen him outside below her window, but whenever she left her room to meet with him, he was gone.

In the summer she had been outside alone, savoring the chilly air and moonlight when she noticed a flash of darkness rustling close by.

"Hey, hey!" she cried out, chasing the dark frame. "It's you, isn't it? Why are you ignoring me?"

He ignored her and continued to run with her close on his heels. It was becoming difficult for her to keep up with his quick pace and soon, she felt her heart pounding too viciously within her chest. Dropping to her knees from the lack of oxygen, she willed for the world to stop fading on her but succumbed to the blackness soon afterward.

The boy stopped running after hearing the light thump and turned around wearily. The girl was lying face first on the ground, her cherry blossom hair fanned out to the side and body immobile.

A thousand years... was all he could think as he glided to her. Taking the girl into his arms, he walked to the tower of windows and scanned for the one he had seen her looking out.

All it took was one leap before he gently placed her into her bed. Then, he smashed a heavy glass vase and disappeared before the nurses came.

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"You saved me, didn't you?" the girl had asked the next night. She had awoken to see him sitting in the window's frame, watching her with an inexplicable expression.

"Eventually, someone would."

She clutched onto the sheet covering her lower torso and broke her gaze from him. "They say that I'm dying..."

"Everyone dies."

"Not vampires." She was looking at him again, her expression mournful. Unable to take her seeping depression, he looked away with his lips set in a frown.

"No... not for a thousand years..."

"I would like that," she said, a smile suddenly drifting onto her lips.

"You don't know anything," he cut in vehemently, a touch of disgust in his words. "A human like you could never manage a thousand years as a vampire."

"I could," she said defiantly, legs curling as she sat up. "You can't stand blood, so how do you survive?" Her leg swung gently out from under her and she propped her chin onto her flawless knee; it seemed almost seductive to him, those green eyes peering out at him through a veil of pink strands. He scowled and crossed his arms to cover up the sudden shiver running through him.

"That's none of your concern..."

"My family wanted me to see the first snowfall," she said, ignoring his bitter comment. Her head tilted upward, as if the immaculate ceiling would burst into snowflakes. He could see her blink slowly and then her head came down to face him. "Wouldn't you like that?"

"I... don't really care for ... snow."

She smiled softly. "I didn't think so, but it seems to match you so well."

His eyes moved from his boots to her, asking her silently to continue.

"You're cold, but I believe with one touch, you can melt."

He snickered and shook his head, his rich black hair falling beautifully across his face, creating him into a fallen angel. With a few heavy steps he approached her and gently stroked her warm cheek. Instantly she flinched from his coldness and his smile widened.

No fangs... she noted, suddenly wondering whether it was all a lie.

His hands fell onto her shoulders, pressing her down onto the bed and his frigidness seeped through her clothing and into her skin. She shivered uncontrollably from the icy aura emitted from the boy and when his lips grazed her collarbone, she cried out slightly, as if frostbitten.

"This is a thousand nights of Winter," he said, pulling away from her with a satisfied smile. "You can't melt that into Spring."

She quickly sat up and pulled her comforter against her body, closing her eyes and relishing in the warmth. When she opened her eyes, he was gone once more.

Her quick expulsion of breath became white clouds.

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"Sakura, I'm so sorry..." her mother said, taking her child into her arms and holding her tightly. The daughter said nothing, expressed nothing, and did nothing. She had cried when she was younger -now she knew that tears couldn't solve anything. "One more month, and you'll get better!" Her mother pulled away and smiled, her mouth a wide red heart. "You'll come home and never come here again!"

False.

"Yes, I think so...!" Sakura managed, smiling cheerily. I am your seventeen-year-old doll. As long as I'm in here, I'll never age -I'll be forever the fragile baby you gave birth to in the hospital. I am nothing else.

"Good girl!" her mother said, patting her affectionately on the head. "Mommy has to go now, but I'll be back tomorrow morning before I go to work." A quick peck on the cheek and she was gone.

Sakura opened the window as she had for many nights, sneezed, and then sat on her bed, watching the crescent moon. The clouds drifted over the luminous slice like a dark smog but then were gone, the moon seemingly untouched.

There was a sudden draft.

"Sakura..." a smooth voice spoke and she stood from her bed. When the curtains parted, she could see him standing casually, leaning against the frame. "Like the petals of your hair."

For some reason, she could feel her spirits rise and she smiled slightly. "And your name?"

"...Uchiha Sasuke."

Her smile suddenly faded and she found herself gradually backing away from the window. "...Uchiha...?"

"Two years ago, Fall, and a corpse." Expressionless, his coal eyes fell on her. "Tell me what a vampire is, Sakura."

A single step and he was in front of her. He watched as she bit her lower lip, her skin recoiled and her eyes trembled. But then suddenly, it was all gone in two blinks of her eyes. Defiance resonated from her and her pale lips were set in a firm line.

"Stop it!" she ordered, her eyes becoming a glassy jade. "That boy is dead. And you're sick."

He turned around and began to pace lethargically through the room. "Life is sickening. Death is sickening. There's no in-between." He glanced over his shoulder. "My brother killed me." He then turned to the window and extended his arm out. "Right down there."

"Stop!" Sakura cried out, her body recoiling and seeming to desire to melt into itself. "You're not a vampire! You're just... just..."

Suddenly, she knelt down and reached under her bed, pulling out a knapsack. That defiant look remained as she slowly pulled out object after object.

A cross was thrown at him; he took a step to the side to avoid it.

Holy water was next; it hit him slightly on the hand and the skin bubbled for a moment before returning to normal.

Finally, garlic.

"ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME!" he cried out, dodging from the white cloves. Once again he covered his mouth with his sleeve and jumped onto the window ledge.

"Wait, I'll put it away!" Sakura said, quickly retrieving the objects and shoving them into her bag. Once stuffed, she kicked it underneath her bed while Sasuke watched her hesitantly. He slowly removed the sleeve from his mouth and gave her a death glare.

"You crazy bitch," he hissed, folding his arms and shaking his head.

"I'm sorry..." Sakura attempted to hide her smile through a lame cough. "I...just didn't believe you."

"Why should you?"

"Because... I like you."

Sasuke responded by looking away from her and groaning exasperatedly. "Heh...affection. Such a waste of time."

"And what do you do?"

"I plan to kill my brother."

She started, unable to believe he was continuing with his story. "Ah... what did..."

"I told you that he killed me!" he snapped, slamming his hand against the wall and rattling some of the medical equipment. "And he made me into this..."

"You said that you don't drink blood..."

"Yeah. Two years of famine. I don't have much longer left..."

"Are you doing this on purpose?"

"No... If I could live, I would."

"Then... drink my blood."

He gave her look of pure disgust. "You're insane."

"No, I want you to!" she protested, taking a step toward him. "You'll be able to live, and I'll be able to live. What will you lose?"

"What if I just drink you dry?" he demanded, seizing her roughly by the neck. His frozen fingers dug into her tender flesh, sensing every pulse of life and feeling the blood rushing through her veins and arteries. She winced for a moment but then gave him a sad smile.

"You'll live and I'll die instead of living for a few more empty weeks..."

He released her. "You're sick. Get some other vampire to suck you."

"No! I just want you..."

"You never answered my question before..."

"A vampire drinks the blood of the living, walks at night, is..."

"Dead. I am dead. My flesh refuses to rot because of a bacterium my brother transferred to me when he tore into my neck." He lowered his collar to reveal a ghastly healed-over gash in the curve between his neck and shoulder. He returned the collar to its original place once he had comprehended the look of horror on Sakura's face. "Die peacefully, Sakura."

"I want to die with you!"

"You barely know me!"

"But I know that I love you, Sasuke!"

His eyes widened -with what, she couldn't tell but anger soon drove them into crimson slits. He then moved so quickly that she didn't realize their faces were inches apart until she felt his hands on her neck. His cold fingers pressed against her flesh, squeezing and unfaltering as she clawed at him for air. Blackness began to overcome her vision but before it seeped into her mind, he released her.

Instantly she fell to the floor, gasping for breath. But he wasn't satisfied. Reaching down, he seized her by the shoulders and lifted her up until her feet were slightly above the ground. Quickly he turned around and slammed her against the wall. She could feel her heart clench again and struggled to catch her breath.

When the pain began to subside she lifted her eyes to his and found that he was stoic. But before she could question him, his mouth parted and revealed a twin pair of long, sharp fangs. He leaned into the curve of her neck and his mouth hovered over her skin, his icy breath stinging.

Frightened, she squirmed against him and wondered why she couldn't scream. Instead, hot tears rolled from her eyes and she stiffened when she felt the tips of his fangs trace their way up her neck.

However, his trail ended right below her ear. He released her so abruptly that she fell against the wall and scrambled away from him. There was the slight tinge of redness on the tips of his fangs but with a single wipe of his tongue, it was gone.

He offered her a glance, his crimson eyes fading into onyx pools. She wanted to say he looked remorseful but he had vanished too quickly for her to be certain.

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He didn't come back.

That slender, dark form never drifted across the frost-bitten grass and outside it remained as desolate as her room. She familiarized herself with her bed again, pulled out a forgotten novel and awaited her death calmly.

Then one night she saw a figure outside. Misguided by her joy, she rushed out of her room and through the hospital outside. The night was bitter and callous, harassing her to return inside. At the time she didn't think of it as a warning.

It hurt to breathe, yet she dove into the forest depths, frantically searching for him. Her lips failed to move, voice restrained in fear that he would vanish once more. She began to despise the pool of darkness to which she had grown accustomed.

She first saw twin ruby red orbs peering at her and serving as a beacon of light. She could feel her breath catch and she stopped walking, hesitant that he would run.

Therefore, it surprised her when those eyes came closer. The moonlight streamed through the canopy of trees, illuminating him and she froze.

It wasn't him.

He was someone else.

The man stood taller than Sasuke, deep lines etched under his tired eyes. His mouth was static, his stance lethargic but his eyes seeming eternally blood-filled. She covered her mouth, hating the resemblance this man had to Sasuke. He dressed in a similar dark cloak but she could see -no, she could smell the blood stains on it.

"My brother killed me."

She wouldn't ask him questions. She would run.

Her feet refused to move.

As he came closer, his face revealed nothing resembling humanity. His fingers reached out, flickering against her chin and then streaming down her neck.

"Foolish little brother..." he mumbled, his voice so menacing and demonic that she wanted to die on the spot. She closed her eyes, begging her heart to stop.

No false alarms, please... No trickery...

"He can't even kill one girl..."

She felt his hot breath first on her jugular. His soft lips followed, then the wetness of his tongue and finally, the white-hot pain as her flesh was split apart. Her hands pushed against his lean chest, nails digging into his skin and she tried to scream but found her vocal chords were blocked by the bubbling froth of her blood.

He bit down harder, his fingers embedding into her waist and pulling her closer to him. The darkness of the trees began to ebb, the familiar detail dissolving until she wondered whether it was really there at all. Her eyelids felt heavy and she struggled against closing them.

Her body was jerking now, spastically. When her lips parted, she could faintly feel a stream of strangely warm sticky liquid traveling down the side of her mouth. Drawn momentarily to reality, she began to attack him again. Her hands weakly grasped his long, ebony hair and pulled as her heart began to gradually throb.

Filled, he drew away from her. Sakura's grasp unfurled and she drifted away, freeing his hair from its hold in the process. As she fell, her right hand closed around the crimson ribbon, her own trophy. It streamed like blood from a slit wrist and she smiled softly as her body hit the ground.

She didn't even feel anything.

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By the time he found her, her body was as cold as his. He noted, as he picked her up gently, that his brother had done a neat job draining her -he tended not to rip apart women as he did with men.

He cradled her in his arms for a few moments, wondering where traces of his emotion had gone. She was lifeless, slack in his arms. His brother had taken her life away and yet he couldn't feel anything. He squeezed his eyes shut, demanding his subconscious to tell him where it had gone. Had he truly become like his brother inside?

He didn't want to believe it.

All he did was haunt these grounds, awaiting this second form of death. But Death had other plans and had taken someone else. He had simply been too late. He held her until she began to twitch in his arms, a sick version of life overcoming her. Had his brother left, thinking that Sasuke would slit his wrist and let her suck his black blood?

He placed her onto the ground and swept back her soft hair with one hand. As his hand was retreating back, her mouth caught his wrist and she bit down. He winced slightly but didn't bother drawing away.

"Sakura...Did you want to see winter?" he asked, knowing well that she didn't understand anything he spoke. Not at this moment. His black blood spilled from the corners of her mouth, instantly masking the dried crimson, her own blood. Her eyes suddenly opened and her mouth parted, freeing Sasuke's hand. In those mint eyes he saw instant horror and as realization came to her, he knew she was ready to scream. But before she could lift her hands and wipe her mouth, or even sit up to vomit, he bent down and swiftly seized her mouth with his own.

His blood in her mouth tasted like honey, much to his disgust, and his tongue attempted to rid of it, just to see what she tasted like. When her arms attempted to push him away, he grabbed both wrists and pinned them down. She responded tentatively for a few moments but when she began to struggle again, he finally pulled away. His thumb wiped away some of the blood from her corners of her mouth and he stared at her with an unreadable expression, his eyes remaining their emotionless pools of blackness.

"Sasuke..." she whispered, wondering why she couldn't cry. "I'm sorry..."

He was still firmly holding onto her wrists, his upper body looming over her. As a response, he closed his eyes while Sakura kept hers open.

Only she saw the sun rise and the soft flecks of snow come with it. As the snowflakes fell onto her cheeks, she noticed that it didn't melt; instead, it remained as frozen tears before both she and Sasuke vanished into the winter air.

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