Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimer applies (boring!).

A/N: Woah! Another one-shot! Yes, Happy very belated Valentine's Day, everyone! Yay for Sendoh Akira's birthday too! Anyways, this was inspired by the last stanza ofUtada Hikaru's "Passion". Without a doubt, it's well done, just like all her other singles before... Uh... ANYWAYS, ENJOY!

DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE ACTIVE NEJISAKU FANS OUT THERE! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! (If you know what I'm talking about... heh heh)


Replica

Flames of excitement gathered progressively in that room at the end of the seemingly endless hallway. Soon, the intensity of the heat rose into the air, quickly spreading to the corners of the usually peaceful hospital atmosphere.

Ever since the room was occupied, the babbles and side-talks amongst the doctors and nurses grew to be more abundant than ever.

" Have you heard? The patient in Room 307 will be having a child in a week!"

"…Uchiha Harumi, I think her name is?"

" Uchiha? But weren't they all murdered fifteen years ago?"

" Of course! This one is the sole survivor of the Uchiha clan, Uchiha Sasuke's wife!"

" Oh! So that's who she is…"

" Yeah… And I also heard she's quite dazzling. I took a look for myself yesterday…and it's just like the rumor says. She could compete with Haruno-Sempai in beauty."

" Really, that's…"

She waited for the high-pitched voice to grow distant and to eventually fade off into vague echoes as the darkness encompassed their figures like thin satin curtains draping over an open scene, one by one.

She did not have the heart to join them. Nor did she have the heart to eavesdrop.

At that time, out of the blues, it occurred without her permission.

Try as she may, she closed her ears, but the sound always seeped through. Her mind commanded her to proceed, yet her heart willed not. And in result, her reward included some precious material on his life.

He, whom she loved long ago, will soon bear an offspring of his own. His clan then revived, gradually increasing with the flow of time.

With his ambitions achieved, shall bliss be his final paradise?

Perhaps. She could not confirm entirely. His definition of happiness contrasted incomparably from hers, so much alike their genders, and their personalities: like day, like night.

She, a woman, he, a man. To her, love equaled her everything. To him, the pursuit of his goals and obtaining them were the only things worth the measures of his life.

Stepping out of the shadows, she placed her booted feet one before another in a steady pace, her vision unfocused on the path before her, but upon the cold, rectangular piece of glass beside her. Covering its surface, she caught the ghostly image of herself staring back.

The soft pink hair, like the color of the flower matching her name, emerald gems of inconsumable value, a small pointed nose, and plump cherry lips----she perceived herself at that exactly.

As her reflection fade away little by little, she looked beyond to see to the past on that significant day.


" Marry me, Sakura." He half-requested, half-demanded with his typical deep, sensual voice, threatening to draw her into temptation's labyrinth.

She was a butterfly, one that is attracted to the silky trap the spider has woven to lure in its prey. All she needs now is a little nudge, something that would extinguish the final remains of her conscience.

" Marry me, and aid me in reviving my clan." He took another step.

"…Is that all?"

"…Hn."

Like an impulsive slap in the face, her mind jerked awake without delay, and she replied.

" Sorry, I cannot."

Then she turned from him, pivoting around, even when by doing so, it had called forth all her will power and energy, and left marching on the same road she came.

Her defenses were low. If he came after her soon, she, with certainty, would have cast away all the decisions made previously. To hell with reasoning.

Ironically, she almost wished for it to happen.

' Yes, come running after me, Sasuke-kun… Then, I'll be all yours…'

But pride was essential to an Uchiha. He bore that name, so he could not disregard it.

She departed the way she arrived… The path that the two of them once walked side by side, now, only she was left traveling it.


If she had accepted his proposal so many yesterdays ago, maybe she would have been the one in that room currently.

But she hated to be here alone every day, trapped within the colorless hue of the walls of solitude.

She would have been the source of all gossips.

All the young, unmarried women of Konoha would shower her with looks of great admiration, many also with jealousy.

The idea alone was enough to seduce her and awaken the dark desires she buried inside.

What had already been decided, she had the urge to doubt.

However, optimism told her, there are other ways around the same problem.

" Sakura."

Broken away from her thoughts, her head spun back forward in the direction of the all-too-familiar voice.

Surely enough, there, a few distances within reach, he positioned himself, observing her with his normal calm façade secured in place.

Oh great, she knew automatically who it was, she amused, just like a loyal pet that could identify its master's location from miles away.

" Hi, Sasuke. Here to see Harumi-San?" After the incident, she chose to keep her distance to prevent leading him into falsehood.

" Hn."

" You know the room she's in, right? Or do I have to take you there?"

He shook his head.

She smiled softly in approval, a small, polite curve at the corners of her lips, the one she would give everyone.

" Okay. I'm off duty now, so I'll be going. See you!"

Propelling her feet forward once again, the heels of her shoes clicked gently against the surface of the marble floor.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

She was by at his side, facing the opposite direction as he.

Thud. Thud.

The rhythm matched the undisturbed beat of her heart.

Suddenly, without warning, an object shot out like an arrow piercing through the blanket of silence.

Internally, she felt something crumble when calloused palm and fingers of a masculine hand gripped at her delicate wrist.

" What is it, Sasuke?" She brushed off the fact he was allowing physical contact between them, but still could not turn to give him her attention.

The arrow disappeared, and the silence wove itself back together as one.

He spoke a few moments later.

" …Are you happy now?"

He engrossed himself with seeing her reaction; his head twisted in her direction, his eyes studying and attending to her every movement. Those sharp onyx depths dared her to tell a lie.

She agreed to the challenged wordlessly, knowing she had nothing to fear. What she will say is undisguised, sincere.

" Yeah, I'm happy. After all, isn't a loving family what a woman always wanted?" Irony and sarcasm coated her speech, producing the most agonizing mockery directed towards him. The message boomed out clearly: What she longed for, he cannot give.

Yet, she will not blame him, for she was the one to abandon him first.

Allowing her rosy lips to curl into a bright, fulfilling smile, distinctive from her usual ones, the woman withdrew her hand from his loosening clasp.

And she left him there, not bothering to spare another glance back.

The past has passed, lingering no more. That ignorant, naïve wish to have him come chasing after her flew away as a bird would leave behind its home upon reaching maturity.

What to them could not be done would remain exclusively as fragments of the puzzle called The Past.


The merciless December night air cleaved at her frail skin, the second she stepped through the building entrance.

' Damn,' she cussed mentally. ' I should have brought a jacket along.'

Unfortunately, the only thing that could protect her from catching a cold was the light clothing she wore on her back.

She swallowed her complaints unwillingly, making her way back home in a turtle-like manner.

Would he be waiting for her outside, she wondered. Probably, she verified, since he has always done so, time after time.

Except, today, she yearned for a pair of wings to take her to his side instantly.

She had something to tell him, something important.

A gust of wind blew at her, poking at her exposed skin and biting her bones like a mischievous imp.

" Ah, stupid wind!" She burst out, driven away from her calm composure to shake a violent fist at the air.

" It seems my worries were unnecessary."

" Eh?" She paused abruptly. Looking up, her curious gaze met the pair of gentle moonlit amethyst orbs looking back at her, with amusement clearly surfacing. " N-Neji-kun!"

" What were you doing, Sakura?"

" Ah… That…" Blood surged to her face, tainting her cheeks a matching shade of her hair. " Um… heh heh…"

Since when had an intelligent Kunoichi like her been stuck speechless?

No one would believe him if he chose to tell anyone.

" Come. We can do all the talking once we reach home." Saying, he enclosed the thick winter jacket he brought with him around her shoulders and secured it off in the front. He did not appear to be satisfied with his work until he encircled her waist within his arm.

" Ne, Neji-kun…" She began when they resumed to elegant strides.

" Hn."

" Eh… I don't know how to put this… But…" Her hands went at the slight bulge of her abdomen under the heavy jacket. " Have you thought of having a child?"

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The rhythm of their pace on the ground corresponded to each other's in harmony. It was the single sound audible in the deserted streets.

" … If you want one so bad, I can try harder." Sarcasm played at his firm voice.

" Ah…" She blushed, surprised at what he was referring when she saw the strange light in his eyes. " No… I-I mean… What if I already have one growing inside?"

He stopped. She halted.

Bringing her close to lock her within the warmest embrace in her life, she understood his answer immediately.

If he could not express his emotions through words, his actions spoke loudly enough.

And soon, like the wife of the one she had once loved, she would end up staying home, spending the months before her delivery in the warmth of her futon (providing that her overly-protective husband would not allow her to stay at the hospital where she would be out of his sight).

The chattering would start, the gossips spreading like fire…and…

There was much to expect…


Author's Crap:

Um... I think I'm satisfied with this. Very much. Thanks for reading (if you made it this far)! Oh yeah, anyone catch the name of Sasuke's wife? Anyone who gets the point I'm trying to make there, please tell me!

Reviews will be very much appreciated! Every word counts!