Wishing upon a star
Dreaming about fairy tales
Please bring heaven to me
I'll be a good girl
Tell me what angels look like
Come to me with a star
And let me wish
For a happy ending
A reason to smile
And to live
I don't want to let go
Let me wish
Upon a star
A poof broke the tranquil of the forest as Sakura stumbled after the teleportation technique. Pink petals glittered, fluttering as they fell around her in a soft drizzle. With her pale hand, she brushed the petals off her hair and dragged her tired feet across the clearing to a nearby oak tree.
Tiredly, the woman sat down, folding her legs beneath her. She placed the duffel beside her and looked up to the small circle formed by the branches where a soft dull sunlight filtered through. Sighing deeply, Sakura leaned back to the trunk and closed her eyes. She was very tired, from the long travel and from…
"…I was named after my father's first and only love."
…that ridiculous statement.
"Pleased to meet you! I am Sakura!"
Immediately, a voice inside her piped in. Scratch it. It wasn't you.
"Yes. Of course."
'Sakura' was a popular girl's name after all. However, it didn't stop her from twitching and her heartbeat from rushing. Small shards of hopes pierced at her heart and something… someone was begging her to believe a little, hope a little.
"…and my Father's first and only love."
Frustrated, she squeezed her eyes shut and blocked out the sound.
Someone… help me.
Though the light was blinding, Sakura tried to look up with half-lidded eyes and allowed the sunlight to filter through the cracks of her lashes. The forest was serenely quiet with frequent sounds of crickets. Eventually, the light became too bright and she tilted her head down with a sigh.
I gave up. I moved on. I won't let some child's words to sway my resolve. She balled her little hands into fists. The day I left was the day I finally moved on—
A voice sneered inside her.
It's a lie. And you know it.
She ground her teeth in frustration. Shut up, you…
"I have to tell you something." She remembered the way he looked at her. His passive face, his monotonous tone.
"Sakura, this is important."
"I've got to stop thinking." She growled softly. The more she thought of it, the worst her headache became. Thinking about that person was painful, remembering him was the worst. While traveling alone, she learned to live in the present. After all, she had to survive on her own. She became a wanderer, she even took teaching as a job while in Suna (she hid her chakra and identity from Gaara and his siblings).
She taught herself to live and let go.
She lived and let go.
Of course, in the beginning, it was difficult. Constantly, she thought of Sasuke. She missed Naruto, Kakashi, her friends and her mentor, the Godaime. But she realized, how would she grow up, live and let go if she constantly daydreamed? How would she move on from Sasuke if she constantly thought of him?
And thus, one day, she woke up— alone, cold and dazed, with one thought in mind.
I will move on from you, Sasuke-kun.
She had smiled after that. And she kept smiling after that. Amazingly, she even developed a habit: she consciously forgot Sasuke. She chose to forget him. In short, she pretended she didn't know him at all.
And life became simpler.
Or so, she thought.
The funny thing was, there were times when she began to cry… but she wasn't aware she was. Tears will quietly go down without her awareness.
I have a "room" inside myself. I locked my heart inside and I thought I could sleep here forever. In here, I would not have to remember. As long as I'm here, I won't feel loneliness. I won't be hurt, even.
As long as I can sleep here forever…I wound not have to remember.
And I will smile again.
And she did.
Her misery made her more beautiful and attracted attention from men. Several of them had fallen in love with her and they thought they can make her smile. A smile from her heart.
But she continued to smile, a practiced smile.
Then, one of them said: "I love you. But my feelings for you do not make me happy. It makes me miserable. It upsets me to remember you."
And I remembered him.
Sakura exhaled deeply and closed her eyes. In her mind's eye, she saw him, grim, unsmiling, detached. His eyes were distant and he looked like he had something to say.
But he stopped and there was look in his eyes that captured her. But they disappeared; he bent down his head and stepped back.
"…I was named after my father's first and only love."
Frustration made her eyes glistened with unshed tears. I want to sleep forever. I want to stay inside that room forever.
Where no one can hurt me.
Where no one can reach me.
Where no one can break me.
"I should have stayed away."
Her eyes fluttered close.
She felt a warm hand touched her shoulder.
She was tired, very tired. It was only in dreams where she could smile freely. She wasn't running away from Sasuke, or from Naruto. The confrontation at hand was something she didn't want to face. She was weary, at lost and confused.
The hand was shaking her.
"Stop…" she swatted the hand away lazily and snuggled comfortably against her duffel.
She didn't move; only breathe as she slept under the shade of the tree with petals falling around her.
A sad, desperate voice was hardly heard.
"Do I have to wait for another seven years?"
"Tell me. I will."
Sasuke frowned. "How…did you find out?"
The child shrugged. "It's obvious. I don't have Sharingan. Your eyes are black. And Okaa-chan is not blue-eyed, is she?" She grinned playfully and Sasuke found it rather odd that she was being giddy and cutie about this.
"I figured it out all by myself!" She added cheerfully. "I am such a cute girl!"
He sighed and squatted to level his height with hers. "Someone told you. Don't lie to me." The girl scratched her cheek, her smile stretching nervously. "Who told you? Was it your mother?"
"Noooo." The child said, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet.
A dark brow lifted.
The girl pouted and Sasuke hid a grimace. The girl pouted like her father.
"Okay, it's Okaa-chan." She finally gave in. "Ne, don't get mad at her!" she added, dark blue eyes like the sea rounded in anxiety.
"I'm not mad." He sighed. "When did she tell you?"
"During my seventh birthday." Which was three months ago.
The girl looked up to his face with a small shrug. "It's okay." Sasuke frowned. "I don't know, maybe because…she told me why you married her. And that I was named after your most precious person. Okaa-chan was smiling prettily. She told me I should be a good girl and understand you. After all, you loved me like your own." She smiled. "She said: Sasuke-san sacrificed seven years to help us. So be a good girl."
Sasuke nodded and his lips curved in the corner. "Hn."
She grinned at him. And suddenly, he wished the other Sakura would start smiling at him again.
"Did she tell you about who your real father is?"
She wrinkled her nose. "I asked her but she ended up crying. So, I didn't ask again."
Sasuke patted her head. "Good girl," he said and straightened up. "I'll walk you back to your school."
"Why do you want to marry me?"
"A child needs a father."
"…oh, yes. But the father…" her voice cracked and a tear fell from her eyes.
"…is in love with someone else." Sasuke finished for her.
"And will always love her."
"…Sasuke-san, you really don't have to do this."
"I know." He said. His voice was in monotone but not cold nor sharp. "I want to help you. I guess since Sakura left, I've become humane." He smirked bitterly. "Maybe THAT will impress her, you think?"
The woman smiled softly.
"Besides," he looked at her abdomen. "The child is somehow precious. After all, that child is his."
"Sasuke-san… she will come back, right?"
"I know she will. I can feel it."
"Are you tired of waiting?"
"No." He'll keep waiting. No matter how long it takes.
"While I wait, let me help you."
Naruto's tanned handsome face darkened. Sakura-chan had come back after seven years. It's about time to get serious and face responsibility. He sighed sharply. It was a…mistake.
He bit his lip, blue eyes darkening. And now because of that mistake, he had lost his chance to be with the person he had loved most. Or maybe he had lost it many years ago… The moment Sasuke realized and sorted his feelings, it was the moment that Naruto lost it all.
It's time to step back, live and…let go.
And maybe…live and…look for other things to live for. Well, he would always love her. Maybe. Maybe not. Only time would tell. No matter how trite it sounded.
He took a step forward inside the Academy—
The blonde jounin looked around. "Oi,"
"Ojichan!" little Sakura waved at him happily. Naruto grinned at her.
"Have you informed the Hokage?" asked Sasuke.
"Yep and she was… well," he shrugged. "Shocked." That was an understatement. "It's all up to you now, teme."
"What are you doing here, ojichan?" the child asked curiously.
Naruto grinned. "I have to talk to someone." The child looked quizzical. "I have to talk to your mother."
Her eyes widened. "Why?"
"I have to pick a bone with her." He said, face dark.
"Huh?" an expression of confusion took hold of her face. Sasuke narrowed his eyes.
"Naruto." He called warningly, nodding at Sakura discreetly.
Naruto instantly picked up the message. His face quickly brightened up. "You know, sweetie, bones for Akamaru's babies!" the child blinked and grinned.
Naruto grinned back. "Of course, honey."
Suddenly, the girl squealed. "OKAA-CHAN!!" she cried out happily, detached herself from Sasuke's hold and ran through the gates to her mother. The two ANBUs watched as the mother smiled and bent down to kiss her daughter.
"Hm?" the blonde raised a brow curiously.
The yellow-haired ninja offered a blank look. "Knows what?"
Sasuke took time to answer. "That I'm NOT her real father." His voice was low and quiet. He waited for Naruto to explode but amazingly, the blonde only tensed up, scowled then there was a look of suppressed hope and sighed.
"She doesn't know who her real father is." Sasuke continued.
At once, a dark expression took over. "How did she know all of these?" he asked calmly.
Sasuke weighed his options but chose to tell the truth. Expecting a harsh response, he answered, "Her mother told her."
Expectedly, Naruto's face hardened. The blue eyes weren't cerulean but like the sky above Konoha but dark, like the violent sea. "She told her but didn't tell me?" he hissed. Uchiha lowered his gaze. "Maybe I should talk to the mother NOW." Naruto added, anger boiling beneath the calm exterior.
"Naruto—" Sasuke called. Naruto stopped halfway his stride and looked back to the Uchiha with a narrowed stare. The dark-haired ANBU frowned thoughtfully, ground his molars and shoved his fists inside his pockets.
Naruto's eyebrows shot up. "Are you on drugs?"
Sasuke glared sharply.
The blonde motioned with his hands. "Alright, alright. Look, I didn't hate you." Uchiha raised an eyebrow. Naruto snorted and folded his arms behind his head. "Fine, I got angry at first. It was a natural thing. A reflex, right? But it wasn't your fault. You just wanted to help…her."
Sasuke ran a hand through his thick hair.
"You're a good asshole, a good bastard. Surprise, surprise. Nevertheless, you're a good asshole, a good bastard. And I like you – a bit— for that. Hey! Show some gratitude, you ass!"
Sasuke shrugged but he smirked. Understanding the expression, Naruto shrugged and lowered his arms.
"Whatever had happened, it was my fault. It was my responsibility." He added. "You took good care of the child, Sasuke. And I'm grateful, you know that right?" Naruto asked. Sasuke nodded, eyes looked unfocused, thinking… "And you didn't lie to me."
"I should have told you earlier." Sasuke began.
Naruto shrugged indifferently. "It was your decision. You had reasons for that, I believe. Being an Uchiha ape shit that you really are, I know you got a list of reasons to slap me in the face. And yet, you didn't."
"Just don't shout at her." Sasuke said quietly after a while.
Naruto grinned suddenly. "Look who's talking. You— don't shout at Sakura-chan, you hear?" He didn't miss the look that crossed the Uchiha's eyes. People will agree that Uchiha Sasuke was an amazing ice berg but they didn't know him that much. Even Sakura didn't know him that much.
"I talk to her. You talk to Sakura-chan. Let's fix our lives. Fix yours. I'll fix mine."
Sasuke's gaze became intense. "But you will always be in love with her, won't you?" It bothered him. The fact that Naruto loved Sakura. In front of him, the blonde tensed up. The cerulean eyes were dark; they were no longer the light shade of blue. Emotions clouded those eyes and Sasuke clenched his fists. Will Naruto take his everything from him? Ah. He had no everything. How could he lose something that never became his in the first place?
Plus, he had decided already, didn't he? When he saw her, he knew, he wasn't the one to provide the happiness she deserved.
"That's the fact. I will always love Sakura-chan."
Sasuke glared. Naruto returned the glare unflinchingly.
"You can't take that away from me. I loved her first. You?" he snorted. "I don't even know when you started to love her. I don't even know if you DO love her at all."
Sasuke flinched, fists tightening. There was a look in his eyes that painfully tugged at Naruto's heart. A wince tugged at the blonde's face and instantly, he regretted the words that shoot out of his mouth. He opened his mouth to apologize but Sasuke spoke first.
"Don't worry. I won't do anything."
Naruto lifted a brow. "What do you mean?"
The dark-haired shrugged and smirked weakly. "She's… gone far away, Naruto."
Naruto blinked. "But…"
"She came back. That's what matters, right?"
"Did you see the way she looked at me?" Sasuke interrupted. Naruto blinked and shrugged. "Exactly. There was nothing. She didn't even look at me, Naruto."
"Don't be an idiot, you bastard! Of course, she looked at you—"
"Looking at me and seeing me are two different things."
Naruto's frown deepened. "I don't have any tiniest idea what the hell you are talking about. You complicate things. You're a cynic yet you want to believe. You're a non-believer but you clung to it. And you hide because you wanted to be found. You were found and you continue to hide. You said she's gone far, far away but you're not just stretching far enough! God. Who write your damn script?"
Sasuke grunted. "Whatever. Who write yours?"
"Blah! You and your philosophy bloody hell. Just talk to her and as much as possible, don't be a bloody ass. Be honest."
"Hn. For a change, your idea's not so stupid."
They glared at each other. Both hearts wishing for the same desire.
But one has to let go.
"I love her."
Sasuke wondered what planet Naruto came from. For the idiot to say such thing with blatant honesty was ridiculously amazing. Was it really that easy to say something like that to a girl like her?
"Maybe… I could not love someone as much as I've loved her. I cannot even say how much it was that I felt for her that I got inside me but it is there."
"…but I've accepted the fact that I'm just one of those people who loved her. And you are the only person that she could… at least be impossibly in love with."
"I wonder where you got that idea…" Sasuke said quietly. Naruto shrugged.
"I dunno. And I'm giving you a chance right now, asshole. Don't ruin it. Make most of it. Just one chance, Sasuke. That's all you've got." Naruto slapped a hand over Sasuke's shoulder. "I'll kick your ass some other time. Got a bone to pick."
Naruto grinned lopsidedly as he understood the other boy's silence. "And for some old fuck's sake, change your goddamned scripts!"
Sasuke gave a half-smile and half-smirk. "Dobe."
…stop wishing for an ever after.
"…you do deserve that, Sasuke."
Snort. "…and so are you."
Make your own fairy tale.
And your own happy ever after.
The child looked up to Naruto. "…ji-chan?" The woman beside the child stiffened.
"Your mother and I have to talk."
"In private, please." He gave the child another smile.
"Good girl. Now, kiss jichan in the cheek." Naruto said, grinning as he lowered his face. The girl giggled and gave him a sweet peck. After which, she joined her friends in the playground.
"So," he began icily, his demeanor changing abruptly. "Had a good time?"
"I think it's about time you tell me the truth, isn't it?" he hissed. "…you know, about my…child."
The woman trembled in fear.
"Do you think so…"