Disclaimer: (Points at Naruto) Not Mine

Okay, I got really bored at school and the result was me writing 8 pages front and back of a story that popped into my head. I think it turned out pretty well. It should all be first person. If I lapse into third, I'm sorry.

Note: Sakura is a 16-year-old in high school.

Nightmares

I sighed as I began searching for a long sleeved shirt in my small closet. Finding one wasn't difficult considering that I had only bought long sleeved shirts the last five years of my life.

I pulled it on and winced slightly as the fabric passed over my newly acquired bruises. They weren't easily seen, my father had long ago learned how to make them nearly invisible, but gods, they still hurt like hell.

I fixed my hair and prepared to face a new week of school. Which was going to be a pain since people will bump my bruises all day.

It will be especially difficult with my friends considering that they don't know and have a tendency of greeting me with a hug or slap on the back. I love them, and I will not make them deal with my troubles. That is why they don't know, why they'll never know.

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"Hey Sakura." Ino greeted me warmly as I walked up to school. She quickly fell in beside me and started talking about her weekend. She then caught me of guard with an unexpected question.

"You wanna got to the movies with Shika, Sasuke, and me?"

"When?"

"Friday night."

I froze mid-step. Fridays were always the worst beating days. It was the day of the week my mother died and on it, my dad usually drank twice as much as usual. That meant of course, that if when he wanted to hit me, I wasn't there, it would be even worse when I got home.

However, I couldn't give that as an excuse, and I'd promised Ino the last time when I turned her down that I'd go the next time no matte what.

Therefore, I said, "I'll go."

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"The week passed in a blur of tests, homework and bruises. Before I knew it, it was Friday night.

Reality set in when Ino appeared to pick me up. I was actually going out. Something I hadn't done in ages. I was determined to at least try to have a good time. Screw the consequences, I'd deal with them later.

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We ate first and I enjoyed the carefree talk and laughter. It had been too long. I hadn't realized how much I really needed this.

After dinner, we went to the movies.

I ended up between Sasuke and Ino in a theater showing a movie I had never heard of. Once it started, I learned why it is always good to read what the movie is about before watching it.

The movie was about a young girl who lived with an abusive father. It followed her through her teenage life. It really was a dramatic love story. However, that didn't stop it from terrifying me.

The story on the screen was my life. Okay, subtract the love and extra drama, then it was my life, but still. Flashbacks came at me relentlessly and I could feel betraying tears threatening to pour.

I was frozen in place, but then when the father was moving in on the already wounded girl, I found the ability to stand, and to run.

I stumbled down the stairs and out the door. I didn't stop running till I reached the inside of a bathroom stall. Once there, I cried.

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"Sakura?"

I stopped crying so loudly as I tried to identify the voice. It was definitely Sasuke's, but that didn't make any sense, for starters, what would he be doing in this bathroom?

"Sakura, if you're in here please come out.'

His tone shocked me. He sounded genuinely concerned. He had ever been concerned about me before. What was going on?

I slowly opened my stall door. I decided to take a direct approach. "Why are you in here?"

Sasuke smiled softly at me. Wait, he knows how to smile? Ahh, this day just keeps getting weirder.

"I think the appropriate question at this time would be why Sakura, did you run out of the movie, and why are you in the boy's bathroom.

I think that statement was longer than any he'd ever made to me before. I think that is why I answered half the question.

"I wasn't looking where I was going. I thought this was the girl's."

"You didn't answer my question."

What could I answer? I couldn't tell him the truth. I opted for silence.

I walked to think, washed my hands, and arranged my hair. Then I walked out of the restroom and towards the theater. A hand on my harm stopped me.

"The movies over. The girl's father ended up killing her."

"Oh"

What else could I respond? I turned and began to walk towards the exit that would lead to the cars so Ino could take me home.

When I reached the spot, only one car was there.

"I offered to give you a ride so Ino and Shikamaru could have some alone time."

Yet again, he had been, well kind to me. This wasn't making any sense. No one cared about me. Right? RIGHT?

"Why?"

"Hm?"

His answer annoyed me. Didn't he understand? I decided that maybe it was necessary for me to spell it out.

"Why did you care about what happened to me, and how do you know how to get to my house?"

The second part was added on when I realized we were on the road that would eventually lead to my neighborhood.

"Ino told me."

"You didn't answer my question."

"You didn't answer mine."

Jerk. Asshole. A million other words. There was no winning was there? I gave a huff and looked out the window.

"You could tell me the answer, you know. I wouldn't tell anyone else."

His speaking caught me off-guard. I was reflecting deeply on what would happen when I got home. There would be hell to face. I was bracing for impact, and therefore didn't have a response.

However, his words touched me. He was the first to ask in a long time. For that, I felt the need to thank him.

When I reached the doorstep, he stopped on the step behind me. I turned to face him.

Without thinking, I leaned forward and gave him a tight hug. He tensed, but then hugged me back. I never wanted to let go. This was my last lifeline. When I let go, there was no turning back, but even this piece was disrupted.

"Get the hell off my daughter!"

My father yanked me back and pushed Sasuke down the stairs.

The fact that he didn't fall still amazes me. He in fact only stumbled down two steps before regaining his balance and shooting me a questioning look.

I mouthed go to him and with a slight nod, he left.

Then my father dragged me into the house and my punishment began.

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I was hobbling to school on my crutches when a car pulled up along side me. The door popped open.

"Get in.'

It was a command, not a request, and I did not argue. I just climbed gracelessly into the car, shutting the door behind me.

We sat in silence for a few minutes as he drove before he started talking.

"So, your father did that?"

I nodded and looked out the window. There was no point in denying it. He knew, and there was nothing I could do about it. Then a question occurred to me.

"Are you okay?"

"Hm" He gave me a puzzled look.

"My father, he pushed you. I wanted to know if you were okay."

"Don't you think I should be asking you that question."

"No not really, no one has cared before, save one, and besides, I don't want you to be hurt because of me."

"Don't sweat it. I've gotten worse."

I sighed, "That isn't the point. The point is, are you going to be okay?"

"I'll be fine."

"Okay then, let's got to class."

With that, I got out of the now parked car and walked into school.

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I managed to avoid him all day, but he finally caught up with me in art, my last period.

He sat down across from me at my table.

I ignored him and continued with my sketch, then froze when I remembered the subject of my art.

I had been drawing him from when he had smiled at me last night.

"That's pretty good," he said softly.

Damn, I could practically feel me turning crimson. I quickly flipped the page to a fresh piece of paper and mumbled out a thankyou.

I then began to sketch again. This time, my subject was decidedly neutral, a bowl of fruit.

"So," he began," how long."

"How long what?"

"How long has it been happening?"

Damn it. Why did he care? It would only get him hurt knowing, but I found myself answering anyways.

"Nine years. Ever since my mother died."

"Oh…..Why haven't you gotten help?"

"The last person who tried to help got hurt."

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That is actually as far as I got at school and I think it's a good place to stop. I never thought I would be able to type this much.

P. Rose: I would love a review.