Authoress' Ramblings: Er, something I cooked up in the middle of the morning. Blame episode 108, I tell you. And blame the unknown caffeine.
Sorry if it sucks (which it does, methinks).
DISCLAIMER: This is what would've happened in episode 107 slash 108 if I owned Naruto. And since this didn't happen, you know I don't own it. Funny though; I swear my ID used to say Masashi Kishimoto--and that was before I got shot er nooo.
by psychedelic aya
And so it was again.
The speckles of blue and white, the churning and spinning of unseen forces and the cry of a thousand birds; blinking fast, flashing like lightning struck before her eyes.
She could only scream.
…Can't you hear me?
The song of the chidori continued, the loud wailing of doves and ravens alike ringing through her ears, blaring like a siren stuck in her head. Her own footsteps were thumping against the cold concrete as fast as she could, and it was supposed to be loud--as loud as striking a hollow coffin--but she couldn't hear it, couldn't register it in her head. (She didn't even know it was her who was running.) Everything and anything else was drowned out by her screams, their screams (which weren't quite the same as hers, but worse), and the repeated unheard cacophony of blank running and crying birds.
"STOP IT, BOTH OF YOU!"
…Aren't you listening?
And even though she didn't know what she was doing, didn't know what she was rushing in to--(Or maybe she did. Was she going to die now?)--she knew that she was definitely crying. Unmistakable cascading tears, pouring, flowing directly from something called emerald eyes, bringing emotion far more striking than what the cry of a thousand birds could've done.
It was sad, really. Theirs was an ending gone horribly wrong.
"ROT IN HELL, BASTARD!"
"NO, STOP! STOP! STOP!"
Why aren't you listening?
The three of them were shouting; one in exasperation and one in anger and one in regret--what else were they supposed to do? Their sensei was dead and there was no one else that could put sense into them.
(Then again, in the beginning, only one of them needed some sense knocked into the brain.)
It happened all like a split second cut. Like a movie paused by the viewer for the better notion of slow motion.
(But one became two.)
Sakura thought life was playing a sly game to her, with all the irony it was giving. All these years, they had a harmony, the three of them--albeit a rather chaotic one, she had to admit, but it was still something like a silent agreement of trust and friendship and maybe also a repeated cycle of scornful insults. (All three of them were guilty of saying something wrong to the other; no use of denying it. Their teamwork wasn't what their sensei would actually call perfect.) But it was still a harmony, nonetheless, an almost comfortable pattern for them (like a smooth song sailing)--and the funny thing is, despite everything that passed (all the strife and the hatred and the tears), they still had it now.
(It was alright, however. She had enough sense for the three of them to live by.)
She vaguely registered how much their screams made such a wonderful sound in her ears. (Nostalgia, maybe?) Even the taste of her tears was like an immediate come-along to this sort of situation. The familiarity of everything made her smile, made her glow inside; and she thought--maybe after all of this were over: everything would be fine. Everything would go back to the way it was. Maybe she would've just woken up from a bad three-year span dream and suddenly see her teammates and their teacher looming over her, worried expressions on their faces while she would just laugh sheepishly and rub her head and say she just had a very (very) long nightmare. (She could already imagine their expressions--Naruto would fuss, Kakashi would give a comforting smile, and Sasuke would sort of scoff.)
Something wringed within her. Like dozens of chakra strings squeezing blood out of her chest. Sometimes, she really despised how much she loved to love them. It hurt. The pain stung so bad, in fact; it was already hard enough to pretend that she was awake. (Let alone be dreaming…)
Still, she hoped that maybe everything would be okay.
(She didn't care if it was chaotic, or if it was revengeful. It was still a harmony.)
(And it was theirs.)
"…So will you please stop now, ne?"
They still didn't hear her.
Her voice was like a whisper's. Of course they wouldn't hear her. (But if only they listened close enough.)
And there was the pain again. (Although it seemed different somehow; like a hole literally forced to pass and rip through her stomach and chest.) She nearly smiled at it--because whispers and screams; yes, that's us, that's our harmony too--
But the screaming had already stopped.
And the cry of the oppressed doves and ravens were shut out by a deathly silence.
From her tear-stained vision, vague and obscure--Sakura could see that Naruto was pale and shaking. The rasengan had diminished, leaving only the image of a shell-shocked fifteen year old boy.
She suddenly felt confused.
Did you finally hear me?
A mere blank, shaking stare.
Feeling hopeless, she turned to Sasuke.
She couldn't read him. The sharingan was on, though, she could see--pools of red with three commas (she involuntarily shivered; three, not two)--staring at her with something unreadable, something intangible; like suddenly jolted fear.
Uchiha Sasuke was showing emotions, she realized. This, she told herself, was good.
Maybe they'll hear me now?
She really loved the way he said her name.
She didn't even realize he was already crying. (Surprisingly.) His tears were silent, like he always was; and they seemed to be running down his cheek without his own consent. He looked beautiful, though, she decided when she did see him--a perfect painting of someone who just experienced a feeling of terrible loss and regret.
Can you hear me?
"Sakura… what the hell did you just do?!"
She just laughed, or tried to, at least--it only sounded like an oppressed gurgle from her mouth. She could suddenly taste the mixed entity of saliva and blood rising from her throat and reaching her tongue, like a tantalizing call from death; she wanted to spit it out.
(She didn't need to, though. The body reacted soon enough; she coughed it out and her chest hurt even more like hell.)
Naruto was already in his knees (he fell in the mere moments she was looking at Sasuke), and his stare was concentrated on a faraway place. Glancing at him yet again, Sakura noticed he was bathed in blood--whose blood, she had no idea; she didn't even notice how it got there. Half of his face had a waterfall of crimson liquid splattered on it, sliding down as if they were his tears--
"S-Sakura-chan, kami, oh kami, I'm sorry, Sakura-chan…"
It was really strange. Although both seemed torn--Naruto wasn't crying (his eyes were dull and blank); but Sasuke was (glass onyx had now replaced the scary red).
Three years ago, it'd have been the other way around.
(After all, Naruto would've cried if he just put a hole through Sakura's stomach; Sasuke would've felt guilty if he just put a hole through Sakura's chest.)
Theirs was an ending gone horribly wrong.
(Then again, sometimes, things are better this way.)
Sasuke was doing the talking now; he forced the dry words to come out of his throat.
Kami-sama, he prayed, this is so wrong. It wasn't supposed to be this way!
She was still standing, in that dramatic position between them, back arched to the sky and hands limp by her side. There was blood everywhere--her blood--on herself, him, and Naruto; staining the three of them with perfect equality--no one got too much or too less of it, not even her, who was the owner of the life-giving liquid she had just shed.
Sakura smiled at him then, her last ounces of strength diminishing, her knees buckling to the ground in finality. Sasuke caught her, though, even before any part of her skin could touch the bloodstained floor.
(She can't be anymore stained than she is, he thought.)
In truth, he was just guilty. Because this was punishment, he knew. Punishment for being the arrogant bastard that he was, punishment for being an avenger, punishment for being a traitor. But why, why did it have to be her?
His whole body was shaking. Clenching his eyes and holding her tight, "Why?"
The question wasn't really meant for her, but she answered anyway.
She gave a wry grin. "Didn't you hear me?"
He didn't even know what she meant.
(Now both of them wished, truly, that they had been dreaming. That they'd wake up and find out they were both part of some cruelly schemed nightmare.)
Naruto was also currently wishing the same thing.
(They had harmony, after all. Telepathy. A connection.)
Sakura looked at Sasuke's confused face and knew. Knew that he and Naruto heard nothing of her cries for them to stop, heard nothing of her tears and sorrows, heard nothing that she said to keep the harmony.
They heard nothing.
She touched Sasuke's cheek, her palm caressing the bloodied part of his face; which was half-only, just like their other teammate. She smiled at him, one last time, like she always used to smile for him; with the eyes full of emotion and the lips curved in an endearing manner. She wiped away his uncontrolled tears, calmed his shaken face, cleaned his bloodstained cheeks and relaxed his bruised lips.
He had never really paid attention to what she said. Before, her squeals of excitement and cries of worry were just mere nothings to him--only a distraction hindering him from the ultimate goal of power.
"…I love you… and Naruto… you know?"
What he wouldn't do to hear that again. (Somewhere at the back of his mind, although he refused to accept it, although he refused to acknowledge it--
--he knew that would be the last time.)
Feeling her hands on his face, seeing her unending tender smile, Uchiha Sasuke began to hate himself for suddenly feeling so loved.
(Things he considered precious always seemed to be snatched away from him at the last moment.)
Nothing could be done anymore.
(And to think this happened because all she really wanted was just for them to listen.)
Listen to me.
Her thought until her last breath.
Can you hear me? Stop fighting!
Her repeated request out of the two of them.
Can you hear me?
(No, he couldn't. Not yet.)
Sasuke cried, hating himself.
Dimly, at the back of his still-alert conscience, he could recognize the image of Naruto crawling up towards them, looking wasted, bangs unruly all over his face and clothes torn everywhere. (The blood on him stood out terribly against the yellow hair and orange jacket. Then again, he wouldn't fit in the scene any other way.)
He was crying now--(too late)--they both knew she couldn't see anymore.
Because after hearing the acknowledgement of his voice (she just wanted to hear both of them speak one last time), she had fallen limp in Sasuke's arms.
STOP IT! BOTH OF YOU!
NO, STOP! STOP! STOP!
…So will you please stop now, ne?
I love you… and Naruto… you know?
Didn't you hear me?
Can you hear me?
(Sasuke thought life was funny, at this point. Because amidst his tears and wrecking pain, he finally could.)
(And the electryfing warmth of her touch was gone. A flame diminished. He hated the way her skin had so easily turned cold.)
Naruto started sobbing on her hollow chest. Sasuke tried to stop the tears while cradling her head.
I can hear you.
"…We hear you now."
.:Nee kikoe masu ka?:.
Authoress' Ramblings: Another one that probably sucked big time. Why do I always write stuff in the dawn of the morning? Ahwell. Note that their attitudes here is something I predicted if Sasuke still holds Team 7 in his heart the way he did before he left Konoha--I'm pretty sure he cared for them lots, loved them even, and although he would probably want to kill Naruto--well, er, I'm sure he can't do it in the end. (Or so I hope.)
This fic was just basically inspired by episode 107 and 108... Like an answer to a what-if question I had in mind--I think, see, that Sakura would've died if Kakashi hadn't come along at that critical moment. The Rasengan and Chidori are jutsus that cannot be switched off so easily when summoned--imagine a split-second situation where Sakura just suddenly decided to throw herself in between them. Naruto and Sasuke would panic, (much like in the anime) but wouldn't be able to call of the jutsu. (Add watching these episodes+++the song "Harumonia"--)
And thus this fic.
Er, I'm sorry for making you read nonsense babblings and theories of mine that aren't even possible. Ahwell.
Smile cause Jesus loves you.
You can run away in madness from the authoress now.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Edited as of 080605. Thank you to the eight reviewers before this. Thankies much also to Larsgo, who pointed out some spelling errors. I corrected them now. XD Thanks a lot, ne?