Angels Don't Cry by ACM a.k.a. Annie May (Deviant Art ID: Belleza-Encantada)

This fanfic was inspired by http/ www . deviantart . com / deviation / 10443314/by –babykefka-. Take out the spaces, because this does not handle links in the stories very well.

Sasuke's eyes lit up, a rare thing indeed, as Naruto approached the bridge that served as their meeting place. Sakura had not yet arrived, and one could always count on Kakashi's being late. He considered dulling his expression to his usual smirk, but he knew Naruto was well aware of his feelings. Instead, as soon as Naruto drew close enough, he swept him up into his arms and kissed him. Naruto moaned as he surrendered himself to Sasuke's kiss, closing his eyes and letting the world fade away.

Sakura stopped dead on the road. It had been a normal day: breakfast, calling out a quick goodbye to her family as she raced out the door…and suddenly, she was watching the world as she knew it come to an end.

'They're in love,' she thought miserably.

Certainly, there was no way she could face a day of training with them now, knowing that they believed they were hiding the secret that had been so brutally thrust into her face. Looking around to ensure that Kakashi was nowhere in site, she turned around and ran.

Having nowhere to go, Sakura ran into the woods and tried to think of a good hiding place. Her mind was so clouded that she settled for merely taking a seat on a log that was large enough to be a park bench.

'They're in love,' she though again, unable to get her mind around this concept. She had realized that Sasuke currently had no romantic feelings for her, but the idea that he might in fact have no interest in girls at all had never occurred to her. It made him seem so much further out of reach. She sat and stared straight ahead of her, knowing she needed to mentally resolve what she had just seen, and yet hoping that if she could stop thinking about it, she could escape all the pain that welled up inside of her.

Several hours later, when twilight was beginning to fall, Gai and Lee emerged from the forest where they had been training together. As he listened to Gai's brilliant speech about the energy of youth, Lee began to distinguish a small red shape in the clearing ahead of them. As he drew closer, he recognized her.

"Sak--" he began, but stopped when he heard the faint whimpering sounds coming from beneath her hands which covered her face.

"Gai-sensei," he said politely, lightly touching the older man's arm, "Shitsurei shimasu."

Gai nodded his understanding, and took a different way out of the forest.

Approaching quietly, Lee took a seat next to Sakura. She looked up slowly, unsure of what to say.

"Sakura-chan…daijoubu desu ka?"

Sakura looked deeply into Rock Lee's sweet, dark eyes. The kind look on his face reminded her of the way she had always hoped Sasuke would look, and was now sure that he never would. Without saying a word she threw herself at Lee as a torrent of tears rushed from her eyes.

Lee was surprised by this and for a moment he had no idea what to do. With Sakura in his arms, he had never felt so nervous in his life. Was this really happening? But it didn't matter. Lee had sworn to protect Sakura to the death, and now was his chance, to save her from her sadness.

"Shh, Sakura-chan," he whispered, tenderly kissing her forehead. "Angels don't cry."

Sakura clung to Lee as if he were her only link to a life that made sense, the way she thought things were supposed to be. He felt warm and soft, and his bandaged hand stroking her hair felt just the way she imagined Sasuke would feel. Sasuke would be romantic. Sasuke would kiss her forehead and with that one motion he would give her all the love he had stored up in his heart but had always been afraid to show. Sasuke would dry her tears, and she would look at him through her tear-stained eyes and the light of love coming from him would make her feel more beautiful than she had ever been. And then she would kiss him…

Sakura pulled back from her embrace and again looked into Lee's eyes. His eyes were bright and loving with a look that never appeared in Sasuke's. Sasuke, she suddenly thought, was not really alive. He hadn't been since he was a little boy, but Lee was filled with spirit and hope and strength enough to overcome any challenge and heal any wound, even a wound to the heart. And his hair was dark, the same color as Sasuke's. The same dark hair, the same dark eyes. Sakura touched his face. Lee froze and could only stare at her; she was so beautiful. She closed her eyes and gently pressed her lips to his. He held her more tightly and she let her body melt into his as she kissed him more deeply.

The same dark hair, the same dark eyes, the same open heart. The dreams she never knew she possessed had finally come true.