He never paid attention to her.

But she loved him

He left the village.

And she waited for his return…

When she finally thought of giving up… He…

… came back…

- - - -

Five years passed before a man, feared by many, finally returned to his home village of Konoha.

Within those five years, he became a servant and subordinate to one of the Hidden Leaf's Sannin. He killed his own brother and many more in the process. He assisted in the failed attempt to take over his home village. He overpowered and killed his own master and he destroyed what was known as the Sound.

Now… He was back.

This man's name… Uchiha, Sasuke.

Though he had returned to his village to repay his past sins and had no intention of harming anyone again, he was still taken into custody by the ANBU, under the Godaime's wishes.

He was interrogated and after much consideration and debate between many of the Country's Kages and Konoha's Jounins, he was sentenced to open fire.

Three days passed, and this eighteen year old shinobi was still locked up in the underground cells of ANBU headquarters.

Since arriving in Konoha, he hadn't even gotten the chance to announce his return. But, unknown to him, Tsunade had.

Another day passed, and Sasuke was told he would be executed in exactly three days at sundown.

He didn't object to the punishment he would soon receive. He knew it was a small price to pay for the sins he had committed in his lifetime. But… he did have one last wish.

He wanted… more than anything in the world… to see a certain pink-haired girl from his past.

'I will die atoning for my sins. But I do not wish to die without being forgiven… by the woman I love…' The words played in Sasuke's mind as he sat in complete silence in his cell.

When he lived in the Leaf, the only thing he thought about was gaining power and killing his brother. He did not have time for foolishness and didn't want to get involved with anyone until his brother was dead.

He would never admit it, but he did not want to gain anything he could lose. And… somehow… that pink-haired, green-eyed shinobi of his past had found her way into his heart…

At one point, she had been the reason he left to join Orochimaru.

He had suddenly gotten the feeling that he now had something precious he would die for without hesitation, and so, he left the village, regardless of his treasured one's pleas.

Yes, it had pained him to leave her, but he had no choice. If he were to become stronger, he had to forget about her until he fulfilled his ambition of killing his brother. But she never truly left his heart.

Three days passed with no visitors, and no word from any ANBU members or anyone from the outside.

The sky was darkening outside and Sasuke had spent the day with his eyes closed. When he heard the thud of wood falling into place, he opened his grey-orbs to find three ANBU members, each wearing animalistic masks and black and grey uniforms, walking towards him.

One unlocked his cell and allowed the barred door to slid open. The other two ANBU walked inside…

Knowing what they wanted, Sasuke stood up and walked towards them, meeting them halfway.

The two ANBU members separated and stood at either side of Sasuke.

In sync, they walked out of the cell; the other ANBU member walking directly behind the Uchiha.

They walked to the stadium Sasuke had fought in for the Chuunin exams five years before… It was packed.

With his eyes closed, and holding his head high, Sasuke sensed his way to the podium in the middle of the stadium.

When he reached the podium, he was told to stand by a wooden pole. As an ANBU member approached with Tsunade, Sasuke requested that he die with his pride intact and not be tied up.

Knowing Sasuke had no intention of escaping, Tsunade allowed him to have that wish.

Sasuke stood on the podium and allowed his eyes to travel over the citizens of Konoha that had gathered.

His eyes wandered, looking for any sign of pink… But his attempts to find the one he loved were in vain.

Sighing he closed his eyes, and listened to Tsunade address the stadium.

Though he could hear the Hokage's voice, nothing she was saying was actually leaving any meaning behind in his head.

The next thing he heard was an ANBU executioner, 'get ready to fire!'

Breathing deeply, Sasuke braced himself.

This was it.

He would die repenting for his sins…

But it seemed his one, dying wish would not come true…


Sasuke's mind suddenly filled with visions of Sakura…

A long-haired Sakura who beat both a demon-container and himself in learning a new jutsu, that allowed one to climb vertically without using one's hands…

… And then it was a short-haired Sakura, who was badly beaten up by the Sound in the Chuunin Exams.


Regardless of the ANBU men taking out various throwing weapons and taking aim, Sasuke still allowed his mind to think of her…

He was suddenly plunged into a recollection of the night he left to join Orochimaru.

He remembered Sakura stopping him on his way to the village gates.

It had surprised him greatly, and it pained him to see her cry because of him, but he knew what he had to do….

'HOLD YOUR FIRE!' Tsunade's voice interrupted the executioner.

The ANBU who were hired to carry out the job stared at the Hokage, the executioner doing the same.

Sasuke merely leaned back and allowed the wooden pole to fully support his weight.

All was silent and then… she… appeared.

Directly in front of Sasuke, with her back to the firing squad, a pink-haired shinobi appeared out of the blue, in a whirlwind of cherry blossom petals.

She was wearing a rosy-red, sleeveless top and black, knee-high shinobi boots. She had lavender elbow pads and a short skirt of the same colour.

'Sa-Sakura…' Sasuke murmured, his voice audible to both himself and Sakura.

The pink-haired shinobi was looking down, her pink locks blocking her emerald-green eyes from view.

Sasuke cleared his throat, 'Sakura. Get out of the way.'

It pained him to say that. He wanted to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness, but something inside wouldn't do it.

'Sa-Sasuke-kun…' Sakura whispered.

Suddenly looking up, Sasuke was overwhelmed to see her eyes glistening with water and tears running down her cheeks.

It hurt him a lot… knowing that, once again, she was crying because of him.

Sniffing slightly, Sakura broke down. 'How dare you come back in silence! How dare you come back and… and… and get sentenced to death! How dare you?'

With each and every accusation, Sakura pathetically let her anger out by banging her fists on Sasuke's chest.

The entire stadium was quiet, and Tsunade watched her subordinate speak to her loved one for the last time.

The Godaime didn't want Sasuke to die this way, but it had already been decided…

Running out of things to scream and shout and bang on his chest for, Sakura continued to cry and had to hold onto Sasuke in order to stay on her feet.

She cried and carried on sobbing, her hands clasping onto Sasuke's shirt for dear life… Or more specifically, for her dear love…

'Sakura…' Sasuke murmured softly, 'don't cry…'

Much to the surprise of Sakura and many in the stadium, the Uchiha raised his hands to cup the Haruno's face and wiped away her tears.

'I've made you cry enough for one lifetime…'

Sakura inhaled sharply, and stared into his eyes. They were filled with… regret…

'Sasuke-kun, why do you have to leave as soon as you arrived?' Sakura's voice quivered as she spoke.

'I have to pay for my sins…' Sasuke began, 'but what I really want… is forgiveness…'

'Forgiveness?' The Haruno asked, baffled.

'Aa… Forgiveness… from you…'

Sakura sniffed loudly, 'why me?'

The last Uchiha shut his eyes. This was proving to be something so much harder than he though it would be…

'I used to push you away, because I didn't want to gain something I could lose… And because of that, I've made you cry countless times…' Sasuke paused and opened his eyes to find Sakura had stopped crying. 'Sakura… Forgive me…'

- - - -

She forgave him.

They shared a kiss.

She got out of the way.

Tears fell.

She yelled.

Shuriken struck.

He bled.

But he didn't die in shame…

He knew he was loved.

And she knew the same.

He had fulfilled his ambitions;

Killed his brother.

Returned home.

Atoned for his sins.

And was granted eternal forgiveness…

Forgiveness, Finish!

One-day one-shot. Got the idea before I left this house, when I came home I wrote and this is the result.

Not bad for someone like me...

I hope you all enjoyed... Sasuke died... cries

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Advanced thank you to all future reviewers!

REMEMBER: All reviews are welcome, but constructive comments make the world go round! (LOL)

God Bless you all… Ja ne