AN: thanks to every one who reviewed and faved this story and I know each of you now thanks to the new email system.
Thanks to the people who have silently born my inconsistent updates and my just plain weirdness. The unfortunate thing about writing a story that spans such a long period of time is that your ideas for the characters constantly evolve. So instead of writing a story and then looking back and asking myself how I could be that juvenile I find myself constantly re-inventing this story and characters as my views on my characters progress.
Each chapter needs to reflect this new thought while still maintaining the story
Its not easy that's for sure, but I am hoping that you guys can appreciate each chapter as more then a step ahead for the character but one for me as well.
And again thanks for your patience and your loveAnd thanks to the people from narutofan for all their help and inspiration and reminding me why sasusaku can be fun too.
quick note " " is talking out loud
' ' and italics can be inner monolouge or talking
An Affair To Forget
Kakashi sensei your so mean
Graduation day….ahh, lovely graduation day, is there any finer day to be had? Sakura didn't think so, that was for sure. She gathered her clothes and stuffed them haphazardly into the hemp bag she had been given, cramming her knick knacks and small get–well present near the top where they could be cushioned against the weight.
She still wasn't strong enough to CARRY the bag but she could stuff it so full that one of the boys would at least feel the weight, even if she couldn't get the satisfaction of knowing they were struggling.
As of today Sakura had been given a clean bill of health, she had passed the most rigorous part of the rehabilitation and she was able to walk as long as she kept it slow, but things were coming back to her at an enormous rate. They had told her today that she was fine to go home if she liked, where she would continue her physical rehabilitation on her own and under the tender loving care of Kakashi. Or 'Kakashi kare' as he liked to call it when he was being facetious, yes they had all come over to celebrate last night when they had heard the news all of them being sure to give her a hard time. IT was past the point where they would pussy foot around her wondering if any sudden movement or objection on her part to their crude behavior would send her back into a coma. No, it's true, Naruto had confessed and Sakura had had quite a good laugh on her part.
She sat on the bed once she had packed all her things and waited for the nurse to come with her discharge papers…not that she couldn't have just signed them herself but it was a formality to wait for the resident to sign the papers officially releasing her into the world.
It didn't matter; this was a great day. She waved happily at Naruto as he bounded through the door way picking up her bags and swinging onto his shoulders.
"You ready to go?" He grinned cheekily at her, bouncing on his toes, eager to get her back home where she belonged.
'what a jackass'
'shut up' and for your information that WAS NOT a man's voice…inner Sakura must have had a cold.
"Give me just a moment here comes the charge nurse with my papers."
She signed her name quickly at the bottom and then grabbed her small toiletries bag, which had not fit in the large one, and followed Naruto down the hall; she waved happily at other patients and nurses as she made her exit out of the building.
She couldn't wait to train again and she couldn't wait to be back with her team.
"Oh my god Kakashi sensei!…..NO STOP IT!! OW OW OW OW OW!!! I SAID QUIT!!!" she tried to smack him but he was unrelenting. Sakura writhed on the ground as Kakashi stretched out her leg, pushing his fingers harshly into the muscle while grabbing and pinching the tendon. Sakura continued to cry and cuss at him.
"Fuck you let go! Goddamnit, I said stop!" She covered her eyes with her hands as he pushed her leg muscle past its endurance.
"Now, now, watch your mouth, you're a young lady... you shouldn't be talking like that."
Kakashi just pulled harder feeling the soft end give as the muscle released beneath his fingers, it needed to be done or else her training wouldn't progress, and Sakura was just having a hard time with it.
"Uh, sensei don't you think you can-"
"Butt out Naruto, and go spar with Sasuke: He looks lonely." Naruto pouted then skulked off to go pick a fight with Sasuke.
Finally Kakashi released her leg and she lay panting in the grass as the muscles jumped in reaction.
"You big baby... now, that wasn't so bad was it?" she just glared at him and threw a clod of dirt at his head. "Come on, let me help you up."
This had been going on for nearly an hour and in that last hour Kakashi had been called nearly every dirty word he knew, and some he didn't. His ears were positively burning, granted Sakura had tried to behave herself at first and had taken it like a trooper despite the sweat that poured off her on this cool, early spring morning. All the way until he started on her legs at which point both Sakura and her body decided they were done for the day.
If Kakashi had been a lesser man he was sure he would be terrified of the petite woman and to some small extent he was, but she was weak right now and Kakashi was never one to pass up the chance to torture one of his loveable students. It was just so rare that it was Sakura, the novelty had yet to wear off. He avoided the blow she aimed at his head with half– hearted grace as she slumped over to the tree and collapsed on the ground.
"Uh uh, you'll just freeze up again, keep it moving missy." He grabbed her by the arm and forcibly propelled her to her feet prodding her into a slow walk around the field walking behind her and getting her to do occasional lunges and stretches on her own.
"You touch me again and I swear to god I will come into your room at night and stab you in the crotch you sick, perverted, half eaten cud of a diseased cow." she yanked her arm away and stomped three steps ahead of him while Kakashi smiled in delight.
"Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" normally Kakashi would never allow one of his subordinates to talk to him like that but he granted that she was in a lot of pain as she began to walk hunched over gripping her side.
"Ok, go take a cool down." she limped off and once more collapsed under the tree, Sasuke sauntered over to her and started down at her and Kakashi looked away not wanting to even know what they were talking about.
'hmm I wonder what Naruto is up too if Sasuke has his hands free.' Kakashi decided to go check it out and see what he could do to facilitate whatever mischief Naruto was up to.
The world was cruel and it wasn't fair.
She laid on her back and stared up at the clouds as they lazily drifted overhead. Everything hurt, there was no part of her body that wasn't screaming at her, and she threw her arm over her eyes blocking out the sunlight as her face lit on fire as she recalled all the nasty words she had thrown at Kakashi–sensei. It's not like there wouldn't have been any consequences…he just felt sorry for her right now, but he would get her back at her, that was for sure.
She felt a shadow fall across her and she looked up to see Sasuke brightly outlined by the great blue sky. A cloud outlined his head in white, completely throwing his body into darkness.
"It always hurts that bad, it's not just you." she remembered that he too had been in a coma and for not much less time then she had been out of it. So she guessed he would understand.
"How did you know that's what I was thinking?" She stuck out her lower lip and blocked him and the world with her arm, turning her face into the sweet smelling grass.
"Heh, its not hard to tell when your having a pity party." She heard the grass crushed beneath his knees and her nose was overwhelmed with the scent. She wrinkled her face trying to ward off the imminent sneeze, but relaxed when she felt his warm calloused palm wrap itself around her ankle. He coaxed her muscles into relaxation with circular movements, his fingers finding and digging into small cramped muscles kneading the pain away. Sakura sighed and slumped further into the grass.
"You shouldn't talk to him like that, he'll only get you for it later." He had rolled her onto her front and had straddled her lower back pressing his elbow into her shoulder. She grunted in agreement as his bony elbow found the pain and dug it out, she looked over shoulder and saw him smirking at her. "You talk like that during sex too you know."
"I Do not! I have never said anything like that to you!"
"Yes you have. Last time you called me a dirty bastard and told me to fuck your brains out." He was full out smiling now at her embarrassment.
"I do not!"
'I told you to be quiet.' Sakura silently screamed at the dark voice at the back of her head. She prayed that Sasuke hadn't notice any change of expression.
She lay in comfortable silence as his strong fingers kneaded her muscles, she sighed in pleasure as his weight came down on her low back. It was very comfy lying here in the grass, she sighed and tried to ignore the kink that had started in her neck….it was amazing how Sasuke could be such an unmitigated ass most times, yet he could come back and do something like this that was so endearing and sweet and-
"Stop feeling up my ass! I swear to god you are all perverts!" She rolled away from him and rubbed the offended area that Sasuke had just groped. "People are watching!"
"Who?" He asked sardonically, raising one of his elegant, perfectly formed black eyebrows that probably never needed to be plucked. 'HA! Like Sasuke would ever pluck his eyebrows…..it would take away precious training time.'
Which now that she thought about it seemed weird, it wasn't like Sasuke to suddenly come over and want to massage her. Even as a quasi-sometimes-lover he had never been overly affectionate, he was more of a ;roll over and fall asleep' kind of guy.
Sakura quirked an eyebrow and waited for the sarcastic response…she had given the voice a perfect opportunity….silence. Good IT -because she refused to let IT become a person by saying HE which he couldn't be because she was a girl and therefore could not have male personalities no matter how deep and sexy they were- was finally listening to her and had decided to shut up.
Sakura knew at some point she would have to give in and admit to someone that there was now more then one voice crawling around inside her head. But really, why give people another reason to think you are strange or crazy? Wasn't it bad enough to have to admit on psyche evaluations that you have a second personality? Before becoming a chuunin, Sakura had never really delved into the fact that her second personality would become a matter of interest to her higher ups.
But she had stolen a peek at her psyche files and had breathed a sigh of relief to find that something she had never considered anything more than an inner monologue was dubbed 'non– threatening'. The line "should seek counseling and further treatment" had kinda pissed her off, it was just like that ass of a counselor to recommend something like that. He had hated her from the moment she walked in the room and was already dubbing her crazy in his head, she just knew it.
That's why she knew that if she did go to someone it wouldn't be that jerk wad. He would just up her crazy status and then the counseling would be mandatory instead of just strongly suggested. Really what the hell was so wrong about having a voice in your head? They could be very helpful…
It was at this point that Sakura found herself staring into the perplexed faces of her team mates, at some point she had drifted off. She smiled apologetically and waved as she sat down…when had she stood up?
"You did very well Sakura, I thought you were going to give me more trouble than that, but I have to say we had a very productive day." Her sensei smiled benignly at her and waved them off.
"Wait sensei...aren't we going to finish I mean I thought you said we were going to do more…" She broke off as the three of them grinned at her.
"I like to see you so spirited but its almost seven and some of us have to go eat. Go home and get some dinner, tomorrow's training will come soon enough." He waved and then puffed out of existence his newest novel already in hand. Sasuke offered to take her home but Sakura sent him on his way her mind troubled. She could have sworn that when Kakashi sensei let her rest it had been nearing five….not seven.
Sakura could honestly say that she had no idea where two hours of her day had gone, she couldn't remember finishing her training for the day. She was sore but then that wasn't new she had been sore all day, she twisted a lock of her hair around her finger as she shuffled home. If she could black out and not remember anything….then that was a problem. The kind of problem she could NOT keep to herself.
'..Are you there?' she asked hesitantly.
Conversations with herself had always seemed so natural and to be honest, one sided. This sort of conversation was rather new to her and she had no idea how to speak with someone (thing!) that might or might not really be there. It had really talked to her, that was for sure, but that was no indication that it was in any way real.
'Where do you think HERE is exactly?'
Great…the voice in her head was a smart ass, not like she needed another one.
'In my head jackass!' she replied sick and tired of these games.
'What if your in my head?'
'No im pretty sure your in mine….im used to this sort of thing,' she admitted candidly.
She chose to discount the fact that that one word answer was strangely and disturbingly familiar, she had heard it many times in her life this was nothing new.
Pain began to blossom at the back of her head and her feet dragged as a wave of exhaustion overcame her, she sat at a park bench and just stared ahead of her waiting for then sudden weakness to pass. She fought to keep her head up and she massaged the back of her neck trying to ease the discomfort, she put her head back trying to find a comfortable position grinding her free thumb down into a leg spasm.
The last heat of the day washed over her in waves while the cicadas sang in their hidden places in the trees, the buzzing grated on the edge of her nerves and she found herself clenching her jaw in reaction. Her eyelids grew heavy, and the park bench the only thing supporting her head and unaware she finally slumped down asleep.
She stared up at the sign above the door: The hinges to one side had broken and it swung softly in the night breeze making a slight creaking sound. The last thing she remembered was sitting down on the park bench with a killer headache; she had closed her eyes and when they opened she was standing here in the dark. She was thankful this time that less then an hour had passed but her fears hadn't been erased in the least to find herself standing in the middle of a dark street alone with no idea how she got there.
Sakura watched as the wind once more played with the tattered sign the insignia of the Uchiha clan still bright after all these years, she heard a dog nosing about in a nearby trash can trailing a broken chain, and the loud blare of a TV down the street. Not even memories of a massacre could stop the passage of time and people lived here unwilling to recall where blood had splattered and life had been lost.
She felt tears prick at the back of her eye and she forced down the feeling of panic that threatened to choke her; wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she turned away and headed back towards the center of town.