Green Tea: Welcome to my latest Sakura/Sasuke fanfiction one-shot, Maybe. This fic doesn't follow the canon timeline, but assume that all Genins are now Chuunins (2-3 years later). Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters, however this plot is mine.
Even if it's just an illusion...
It was almost one o'clock in the morning when a lone shadow stumbled it's way on the dusty roads of Konoha.
An illusion, meaning that it's just a figment of my imagination...
Sakura limped to her apartment, hands clamped over the various wounds and cuts scattered across her body.
Her face was marred and scratched with blood and dirt, her clothes torn. She took a deep breath and choked, coughing up a puddle of blood.
Perhaps I was training too hard, so I started seeing things...
Ever since her pact to someday to match Naruto or Sasuke in strength, she trained literally from day to night, sleeping less and less, eating less and less, talking less and less.
Her parents tried to stop her, but they became so disruptive that she moved out with the money she saved up her entire life. Now she had nothing but her training. She'd been so busy she hadn't even seen her teammates in over six months. They didn't know where she lived, because she moved every two weeks.
Just training, training, training, pushing past all the limits she thought she had... Come to think of it, when was the last time she spoke?
Even if it's just a dream...
Sakura's vision began to blur. She bit her tongue to stay consicous, for it was only ten or twenty meters to the steps of her apartment.
Despite her attempts, her vision blurred more, the road became a large brown rectangle, the houses, big grey circles. She fell...
A dream, meaning that it's just a wish...
And something caught her. Something soft. Something familiar. She passed out, but not before realizing that she recognized that scent, from somewhere far, far away...
It's too much to hope that it's true, I'll just end up disappointing myself...
Sasuke carried Sakura up to her apartment, taking the keys from her hand. After finally fitting in the right one, he walked in, closing the door behind him with a dull thud. Flicking on the lights, he observed his surroundings in shock.
Unlike Sakura's room from when she still lived with her parents, her one bath, one room, one kitchen apartment was completely bare, except for a trashcan, a wooden chair, a large blanket spread on the cold wooden floor and a box containing weapons, clothes and bandages.
A closer examination of the trashcan revealed large amounts of empty soda cans, instant ramen cups and rolls after rolls of used, bloody bandages. There was absolutely no decoration to speak of. Stains of red were scattered across the walls and floor, giving the room a cold and sinister air. To be quite truthful, it looked like something out of all those murder mystery books that Naruto took an interest in lately.
It's too much to hope that anything could accept me the way I am now, or bother to help me now...
Setting Sakura down on the blanket, Sasuke made his way to the kitchen to look for something to clean her wounds. His search revealed nothing cans after cans of soda and a crate of instant ramen cups. Sakura's dress was too filthy to use, but there seemed to be not a shred of clean cloth in the house. Sighing, he tore one of his sleeves off his shirt and soaked it in warm water. Slowly and gently he began wipe the grime off her many cuts and gashes.
Why should they? I'm too weak, too helpless to deserve acknowledgement. I should strive to earn my honor like everyone else... Then I'll recieve their respect... And actually deserve it.
In spite of himself, he winced when he lifted up the hem of her skirt, revealing multitudes of scars and cuts, opened, closed and reopened once more. All this on top of the fact that everything was dyed the same blood-red color.
Her oldbandages fell off long ago, soaked with more blood, trailing at her ankles like red ribbons. He ripped away the bottom half of her dress. The wounds were poorly treated and uncleaned. It seems like she merely wrapped a bandage around them to stop the flow of blood. He almost chuckled at the irony. To think she was once a medical-nin in training...
I'm sure I'll reach it, however long it takes. The road is long... It's to be expected.
Sakura opened her eyes wearily. First everything was a blur of blue, black and red, but slowly the colors and shapes came into focus and she found herself staring into the vastly deep eyes of one Uchiha Sasuke. If she was in a normal condition, she would have jumped up, startled, but so tired was she that she settled for a little twitch.
Her vocal chords strained to form the sounds from lack of use. She barely could whisper.
In hopes, one day, that he would meet my eyes, and I would not feel ashamed.
One day, that he would look at me as his equal, not a whining burden forever placing herself in danger.
She felt rough, but gentle hands wash the blood from her face. Inner Sakura probably would have cheered, but she was gone, along with the childish pride of her Genin years. She turned her head to meet his eyes and was startled when she saw the concern and care embedded within the onyx pools. She fainted again.
That he would finally accept me, maybe, just maybe, the way I accept him. Love.
Sasuke shook his head. Her wounds were far too numerous and her body was completely spent and malnourished. It was a wonder she didn't fall into a critical coma already. This was beyond his help, she would have to be placed in the care of a medical-nin. He picked her up carefully, and carried her as though she were a fragile doll.
He sped off toward the hospital.
After making sure she was taken to an emergency ward, he settled himself in one of the benches outside. It was past three A.M.
Even if it's just an illusion...
Sakura awoke next noon and recieved a harsh scolding from all of the medical-nins. After promising to take better care of herself, she was finally released from the hospital. Her body was still weak, she couldn't even run, let alone train, she noted with a hint of bitterness. This would be a whole day wasted.
Even if it's just a dream...
She realized that she felt slightly disappointed that he wasn't there when she awoke, like she had been so many times for him. She noted that the medical-nins didn't mention him, and she didn't ask. Perhaps it was a dream after all.
She opened the door of her apartment and gasped.
Her apartment was completely clean, stains gone, floor and blankets cleaned. And somehow, as if by magic, the room had furniture. A real bed, a comfortable chair, a desk and a small table with a couple of dining chairs. Her clothes were washed, sitting in a neat pile on the bed, the trash was emptied and for the first time in six months, the apartment actually resembled a living space. The scent of cooked food wafted from the kitchen.
"I figured you might need some furniture, so I moved some from my home. I have too much anyways. If you don't like it, I can always take it back."
She turned to see Sasuke standing in the kitchen, molding an onigiri, focusing a little too intensely on his task.
Sasuke's gaze hardened as he looked up from the onigiri, his hands trembling slightly.
"What do you think you were doing? You could have killed yourself the way you were working. What you did isn't even training, it's... it's... sheer stupidity!"
He stopped himself. True, it may have been extremely idiotic of her, but even a fool could see the dramatic improvement she had made. Her body was literally rippling with muscles and her gait showed her excellent coordination and dexterity. Even in her condition, she moved smoothly, like an eagle. He knew that her intelligence combined with her willpower would bring her a long way, and it had... It showed.
Sasuke noticed her slightly slack-jawed gape and decided to finish this conversation.
"You have come a long way though, perhaps when you recover, we should spar a little. Maybe." With that he returned to the kitchen, leaving her in the living room, stunned.
Sakura'seyes widened when she finally realized what he said. It was like her body moved on it's own, running to the kitchen and tackling a surprised Sasuke in a big hug, sending rice and tomatos flying everywhere.
For the first time in six months, Sakura felt herself return. She felt her thoughts, her emotions, her personality flood back, like a wave. For the first time in six months, she felt her age, she felt like a simple, fourteen-year-old Chuunin. Inner Sakura reawakened and did a victory dance, seeing that she was hugging Sasuke.
"Thank you." she said simply.
Sasuke blushed ever so slightly and averted his eyes from her.
"Sakura, you're making a mess..."
But he didn't try to push her off, nor did he mind the fact that he was lying in the kitchen, surrounded by a sea of rice and tomato, being hugged very tightly.
that it's real...
Green Tea: This was actually my first Naruto fic, except it was a lot worse before I edited it. Still not too satisfied with the result, but I don't think I know what to do with it. Review?