A/N-Yes, I know that this story isn't part of the Great Repost (if you don't know about the Great Repost and you like WHR, go to my profile for more information) however, this is a one-shot that was kicking around in my head and when In True Meanings asked me for a Sakura/Kakashi story (even though it took a few weeks for me to get the idea into my head…. ) It just hit me! Anyways, this One-Shot, based on the song 'Skin' by Rascal Flatts.
Disclaimer-I don't own Naruto which belongs to Shonen Jump. I also don't own Skin by Rascal Flatts.
Haruno Sakura wore a long black dress. It was spaghetti strapped with a corset back, pink flowers embroidered along the hem at the bottom. It clung to her figure, hinting that she might be a little less than ideal weight. A small white shawl that was trimmed in fur was pinned closed at her throat. Makeup jars and bottles lined the dresser, indicating, if her wardrobe didn't, how important that night was. The annual Konoha ball was that night-one of the biggest events, second only to the Chunnin exams.
When a young girl was asked to the Ball, it was considered an honor, because only Chunnin and higher could attend. Younger Genin only heard stories of how on every table there were dozens of roses on the tables, of how the Hokage used special jutsus to make the tablecloths glow soft silver. Young girls would dream of the day that they would be able to attend the dance.
Haruno Sakura, by right, shouldn't even be attending the ball. For, although she was 18, she had decided to hold off on the Chunnin exams until she grew stronger. She had, however, been asked to the ball by a Jounin. And not just any Jounin-her sensei had asked her. She was going to the ball with, not only the most eligible bachelor in Konoha but it was her first ball which was one of the most, in her opinion-important nights of her life. She had bought the gown when she saw it, approximately a year ago before he even asked her simply because she had fallen in love with it and Ino had said it looked perfect on her. She had decided to buy it and save it for when she was a Chunnin and it was time to go to her first. Then, about two weeks ago he had asked her.
Yes, Sakura looked beautiful. Her date was coming in an hour, however, and her makeup wasn't even done. She had, in fact, not even looked into the mirror yet. Why? Because she didn't look perfect in the dress anymore. When she had originally bought it, she had filled it out perfectly and her long pink hair complimented the small, embroidered flowers trailing along the bottom. However, a month after she had bought the perfect dress, she had received a horrible diagnosis.
Sakura shivered as she worked in the heated office of the Fifth. A long sleeved shirt as opposed to her normal short sleeved one covered her arms where bruises from a fight with an enemy nin hadn't quite healed. Normally that wouldn't raise suspicion but when the bruises didn't go away after 2 weeks she started to get a little nervous; what she suspected dwelt within her body couldn't be healed by Chakra. She finally approached Tsunade and asked the fifth to diagnose her condition. Sakura was devastated when she was finally told what was going on.
"You have cancer Sakura-Chan, I'm sorry…" Tsunade wouldn't meet Sakura's horrified emerald eyes. "We can't…heal cancer through any of our magic, you'll have to do it the other way-with that new Chemotherapy." Sakura, being in training for a medi-nin knew exactly what the side effects of Chemo were. She ran a hand through her long tresses and let out a dry sob.
The next day, before her first session, she went to the local wig makers and had a wig made in the exact shape and length of her hair. She also went and told Kakashi and Naruto that she would be unable to finish her training with them, telling them in no uncertain terms of her condition.
They, along with Ino, Hinata and TenTen, had stood beside her every single step of the way, taking the place her parents would have occupied, (the place of main support) had they not been killed when she was 15 in an accident that involved them going on a winter vacation and getting caught in an avalanche.
Finally Sakura decided that enough was enough and she turned the mirror around, after firmly securing the wig to her head. She hated looking in the mirror and seeing herself bald…it was a sight she'd rather not see.
It took her only 15 minutes with the makeup available to her, to erase the paleness that the disease had put into her complexion. She used a violet eye shadow to accent her eyes which were already standing out because of her black dress, with only a little mascara. She had a liquid foundation on with a little rouge on her cheeks.
After this was over she finally plucked up the courage to reach up and give the wig a tug. It slipped soundlessly into her lap, leaving her staring at herself. Why would he ask her to go to this dance? Especially looking like this. The night was going to be ruined because everyone would be staring at her bald head. Not many people in the village knew of what she had. However Kakashi had made her promise not to wear her wig that night. She remembered back to when he had asked her and she had shown him her head for the first time. It had been when Kakashi had asked her about two weeks ago. No one except Tsunade and the wig maker had known about the loss of hair…and she wanted to keep it that way. But she wouldn't hide the truth from people who deserved to know it.
"Umm…Sakura. I know it's a bit unorthodox and I had to go through Hokage-sama to obtain permission to do this but will you go to the ball with me?" He asked her, looking at her with all seriousness from his one eye. Sakura had turned away under his intense gaze and, unable to take it, turned her back on him. "You don't want to take me." She said softly. Kakashi arched his eyebrow that was visible. "Why not? Because you have Leukemia? Sakura, it doesn't matter…" Sakura shook her head violently and said "Yeah…actually it does matter…you should take someone who's…pretty." Kakashi stepped towards her and said, "You are pretty." Sakura shook her head and said "You don't get it…it's been about eleven months since I was diagnosed right? That's eleven months of Chemo." She reached up a hand and gave the wig a violent tug. It slipped off revealing a head covered by wisps of pink down that looked to be barely hanging on. "Look. LOOK AT ME!" Sakura broke down and sobbed. "Take someone else. Someone who…you can appreciate their beauty…" He took her into her arms and whispered into her ear. "You're still beautiful." Holding her while she sobbed from the loss of her hair.
"Why can't I wear the wig?" She once again groused as she stood in front of the mirror, adjusting her dress. She had told Ino, her roommate (she had moved in after Sakura's first chemo session) of the invite. Ino had, of course, known all along of her hair loss. Ino had, in fact, been the one who had held her while she cried that first morning she had found a lock of hair on her pillow. Her roommate had produced a piece of silk that matched the color of her dress and had embroidered fine pink flowers along the edge and fashioned it into a sort of a cap for her friend's head.
Now she slid it onto her head. She had to admit, Ino had a knack with a needle. She made one final adjustment to her dress and…the doorbell rang. She slid a glance at the wig, her hand twitching. She wanted to pick it up, did she ever want to pick it up and slide it onto her head. But he had asked for no wig and no wig was what he would get. No matter how displeasing it made her look. When she looked into her own eyes she noticed…they were flat. They lacked any life-hadn't had any since she was diagnosed. She hadn't had a reason to be happy. Those who knew about her disease treated her with pity-like an invalid. This crippled her-thus the lack of spark in her eyes, she wasn't happy, truly.
She finally, grabbing her purse, walked out into the hall to greet her date. She opened the door slowly, eyes downcast. She really didn't want to look at him…she didn't want to know his reaction to her bald head even if it was covered.
Finally, when he didn't move except to take her hand and whisper "you still look beautiful" she finally looked up at him. Her eyes trailed up his tux; she noticed that he wasn't wearing his mask. Finally she looked into his eye.(The sharingan was under a eye patch) And it took her breath away.
Tears filled the made up eyes that had taken her 15 minutes to do but she made no effort to brush them off. Instead her hand reached up to his head where…and this morning, she was sure, there had been…
"Kakashi…do you still want to take me to the ball tonight?" said the emerald eyed shinobi. "My mind hasn't changed in the past two weeks, why would it change the morning before the dance?" he asked her, while the wind blew his long silver hair.
Her hand brushed his bare pink scalp…there wasn't a strand left on his head. He brushed his hand over her cheek whispering, "Don't cry pretty girl…" She smiled, the tears still glimmering in her eyes but they no longer threatened to fall.
She went out and, despite the fact that she was stared at-she had even heard someone whisper, "Why did she cut off her beautiful hair?" Then someone who knew the truth of her disease would realize what had happened and what had been hidden the whole time and explain it to the people who had asked. Her only consolation was that Kakashi received an equal amount of stares until people realized that he had cut it off to support her.
After five minutes however the novelty had worn off and the couple was left alone to their night.
Sakura danced the night away in the arms of her true love and, for that one brief moment in time, the disease, her loss of hair, and her gradually thinning body all vanished into thin air.
She wasn't… scared.
A/N- Well there you go. A fluffy…kind of Angsty, rather depressing at parts. This story was originally supposed to be a SessKag story but I figured that I don't have the skill to write that particular paring so I switched it to a Sakura/Kakashi. Anyways R&R!
Dedicated to In True Meanings.