Emotions Or Obligations
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It was a feeling… I'd never forget. How much my body craved his, how much my mind yelled blasphemy, how my sanity swiveled, and how my heart yearned for his. And if the saying is true, that we have two eyes, two ears, two hands and only have one heart is because we are yet to find the other within another, his might just be my pair. I desperately wanted it. I would've broken all the rules, thrown away my life and career or the ideals of Sayuko sama just to have it. It was selfish, but I very much ached for it.
Besides, wasn't I selfless enough?
People badly wounded for spiritual needs scattered all over just to go to the shrine, pray and seek refuge.
…I guess not.
Chapter 3: Friendships
"Sakura, are you listening to me?" Ino huffed, brushing her long, blonde hair, though it didn't seem to need to be combed anymore. The pink-haired miko stared outside the window, out to the dark sky with clusters of stars twinkling dimly. "Hey, Sakura, are you—snap out of it!"
Sakura jolted, blinking. She turned her head and met the eyes of an irritated blonde.
"Sakura, are you okay? You've been dazing out since you've come out with that hot guy from the hall!"
"Sasuke Uchiha." Sakura instantly said, like it was automatic.
"His name: Uchiha Sasuke."
"You mean the dark-haired guy?"
"Mm-hm," Sakura nodded. "I'm tired; I think I'll go change and rest now."
Scurrying off, she took her bedtime clothes and went directly to the bathroom connected to their room, leaving a perplexed Ino. It was lavish for mikos but they've accepted it without a complaint. Lavish but simple in a way. The curtains were primly tied to the sides so as not to obscure the window, there were two futons laid on the floor which blankets were decorated with flowers (something Ino adored, mostly). A small desk was by the left side of the wall with a vase on it. There was also a cabinet beside it and the bathroom door was perpendicular to the cabinet. Hey, girls need their own bathrooms, after all.
Ino shrugged her shoulders and fixed her clothes. There's always tomorrow. Somehow, she felt excited for the day to end for another to start. A pineapple-haired guy was making things turn for the better.
"…hopefully, Sakura won't go dazing off in the bathroom." She blinked and scrunched her facial expression. "Probably she won't. What's to daze off there?"
She placed her nightgown beside her, folding it neatly. "Definitely not the toilet—it was not pretty."
Another change, another life—renewed, for the better, for the worse. And yet, how could I say I repent it so? Isn't this what I've always wanted, to help everyone with the best I am able to?
People shouting, saying profanities, cursing, struggling, fighting—lies, lies, all lies!—, greed, blasphemy—mine, me! Bless me first, me first!—, selfishness.
I cannot. I can only do so little. What about me?
"Uchiha Sasuke at your service," his voice reverberated in her ears. Turning around, she glanced up and down at his whole form. "A… rebel of some sort?"
Sasuke sported a black shirt with denim dark blue pants. A chain was dangling visibly from his back pocket to his front belt holder parallel perpendicular to his front pocket. He wore black gloves and black sneakers. But that only emphasized his pallid complexion, in contrast to what he wore. "Hello…" she replied with a smile.
"Isn't it a bit early for you to be eyeing me so much?" A cocky grin played on his thin yet perfect subtle lips. Sakura was shocked to hear his words but then, she realized, why should she be? Hasn't he demonstrated that he would take advantage of every opportunity to out win her? She recited a brief prayer in her mind and smiled, determined. "Oh, I was not. I was just wondering why you wear such clothes in a holy place."
She wouldn't be mad at him for whatever he would do or say.
"I'm no priest or what; I believe I can wear however I wish to."
This was his job; this may not be his true personality. He could be acting to pull off his mission to its finest.
"True. Well, I must go."
And if he would do so well to carry out his mission…
"I'll go, too. Some errands, right?"
She nodded back and smiled at him, he, returning it with a lazy smile of his own.
"Let's go, then."
…then she will carry out hers as well.
They started to walk side by side. It was the start of Sakura's duties. She breathed in and breathed out, a new confidence brimming in her.
She will win this battle.
"I will not lose!"
It troubles me to know that I could sin just for him, willingly, even. Haven't I been the goody-good girl I've been trained for the whole of my life? I was taught never to hate, love unconditionally, never romantically because my love is needed by everyone. It is the meek's sanctuary, the poor in spirit's strength…it was my role to be the pillar of the weak. And yet, I sin. The pure, holy medium of God. But am I really? Because I've sinned. Sinned—no! How dare you? What made you think you have such options!—and I shouldn't let myself be consumed by my self-interests.
I really am fooling myself. I'm no pure, holy medium of God.
I'm just a human being—
That smile that always made her heart leaps. She smiled back, almost afraid that he'd frown the moment she wouldn't respond.
—just like everyone else.
"Dear, soon-to-be-priestess sama," a little girl with innocent blinking eyes spoke. Her voice held that childish soprano pitch that held only curiosity, no malice, no dishonesty, and no manipulation, whatsoever.
The hall was busy. People were buzzing in and out; the shrine was flooded with people but not enough for it to resemble clusters of school of fishes. This was the central shrine, the biggest among the small regional ones. More than a thousand miko resides the central shrine.
The continuous chatters reverberate in the hall. A queue of people stands impatiently in front of Sakura, waiting for their turn. The pink-haired miko smiled as enthusiastic as she could to everyone. Sasuke's eyes watched her carefully. He could see she was tired, and that probably her muscles were sore from all that smiling. But the way she talked to everyone, even if one was so sour and grouchy, is something admirable. Her patience and tolerance was unbelievable. She made sure they were accommodated equally. He wanted to do something about, let her rest or a break, at the most. He sighed, he couldn't understand why. His job was to make her fail, to seduce her, to corrupt her. On top of that, they've just met and haven't really established a good enough connection for him to be this concern.
Infatuation? He shrugged the thought nonchalantly. Whatever, it'll go away.
He snapped out of his reverie when the hall quieted. Apparently, the little girl spoke, with the most naïve and pure voice anyone could ever believe existed.
"Are you an angel?"
Sakura smiled gently, her eyes softened almost in a motherly fashion. Caressing the girl's messy hair, combing it with her fingers, she moved in closer to her ear and whispered something. She then drew back and winked at the girl, whom grinned ear to ear.
Sasuke didn't miss it; he was too close not to hear.
The girl left and Sakura continued to entertain other people. This was her duty as the next-in-line High Priestess. She had to be well-recognized by the people, approved by the people and loved by the people. And pleasing people isn't the easiest to do.
When all the people left, Sakura slumped on her seat, her eyes and body showed over fatigue, however, her eyes expressed something deeper. Sympathy, care, concern, yearning, hope… love.
"Hard work?" Sasuke spoke. "Poverty made the people doubtful, made them hate the world, you know. The only refuge they have is their faith—well, whatever little it could be—some aren't even believers but they still come for whatever help they could get. Especially when the government doesn't do a lot to lessen the problems, the only running space they could go to would be here. Meaning: you."
The pink-haired miko grinned at him with as much as fervor she could pull off. She really did want everyone receive equal bouts.
"Yes, but I'm just happy that they're happy. Especially the kids!" her eyes glinted in sudden passion, "—they were adorable, so innocent—,"
She continued to speak and Sasuke couldn't take his eyes away from her. She was beautiful, yes, he would admit. But what tugged his heart towards her is her persona. The passion and the love. He shook his head. She was the very epitome of innocence.
Maybe, he thought, still watching her speak of her experiences. It was like she held no remorse for him for his task. She couldn't hate even if she wanted to, he realized. Maybe humanity still has a chance.
"—like the girl! She asked me if I was an angel, could you believe it?"
He nodded at her.
"It's a secret, okay? I am; I'm your guardian angel."
"If I can make people so happy just being who I am…" she placed her hands on her chest, closing her eyes and tilted her head slightly as she kneeled. "Then…" she breathed in a low voice. "This life may not be so bad."
Looking at her, with the illumination from the windows spotlighting her figure. He could've sworn he saw wings. He knew better though but the idea didn't seem quite delirious. An angel, indeed. He smiled slightly. Such a waste… of innocence, of pure innocence. Sakura, this is just the gist of things. He wanted to tell her a lot of things, fearing for her sake. But he knew he shouldn't, he couldn't risk it. There were a lot of things he had to complete at the moment. He has bigger priorities at the moment but he couldn't help but give a silent warning, anyhow. Nothing in this world is true, anymore. You may be the only one. Such a waste that you had to be forced into something such as stupid as this.
"Sasuke san, are you listening to me?"
He nodded again, tilting his head and stood up. Nearing her, he offered his hand. "You should rest; you look exhausted."
She smiled in an ethereal way and took his hand. He helped her up and he let go almost immediately, knowing he shouldn't. It would be easier to not be so attached, not so concern for her welfare. He still had his own to think about.
His heart thought otherwise, though.
"Sakura," his voice strong and firm as he started walking ahead of her. Turning his head slightly to look at her. "Try being selfish, you're too angelic for your own good."
Before she could retort, he was already sauntering over the exit, motioning with his hands that she should follow. She smiled at his retreating figure. Sakura may not be able to understand him at the moment; he had such complex way of thinking. His actions didn't help more than she hoped it would and the small time they were together, too.
I guess time will tell what will happen. She ran after him. He isn't so bad.
"Come on, guardian angel, hurry up lest I change my mind and mess with you."
Intricate but I'll solve your puzzle, Sasuke san.
"Just make sure you're going to keep your end of the bargain."
"Why, of course." An eerie grin was suppressed by the speaker. "Do not worry."
"Just makes sure," and the person left. Just be sure it's worth it, this.
"And you get a bit of water there—oh! A few drops would do," Ino grinned happily as she sprinkled water to the flowers, bushes and trees.
Shikamaru sat from his reclined position at the edge, his feet dangling over the edge of the shrine. He eyed her lazily, smirking inwardly at her babblings.
It was then that Ino halted from whatever she was doing that caught Shikamaru's full attention.
Her eyes softened as she saw a bud amidst other full-bloomed flowers. She quickly neared the bud and held it gently in her fingers, careful that it wouldn't get plucked out.
"There, there," she spoke, smiling to the bud. "Don't worry, you'll bloom soon. Be patient." And she sprinkled apt water to it before tending to the others.
Raising an eyebrow, Shikamaru shook his head and withdrew his feet into the shrine's roof and stood up. Sparing the blonde miko a final glance, he left. Who knew that harpy is capable of having a soft side? He flexed his shoulders and gave a tired yawn. This is so troublesome.
"Hinata chan!" the said girl turned with finesse to the caller whom is a certain pink-haired miko. "Sakura chan, hello."
"Oh, I missed you!" Sakura grinned. "Didn't see you anymore after yesterday's fiasco."
"I… I miss—missed you, t—too, Sakura chan," Hinata pursed her lips. "Anou… How was the—the meeting wi-with Sayuko sama…?"
Sakura sighed, making Hinata startled. Thinking that something was wrong, she was about to speak but found out she couldn't when Sakura smiled. She had such a beautiful smile. "Sayuko sama gave me an ordeal. Apparently, every High Priestess-to-be have to undergo one."
Hinata blinked. "For what?"
"Just to prove myself."
"What does… uhm…Sasuke san ha—have to do—do with it?" Hinata couldn't suppress her curiosity and her interest towards Sakura's situation made the pink-haired miko smile.
"Oh, no—nothing bad, I—I hope," the meek girl spoke and looked down. "Sakura sama do—doesn't need to tell me, though, if—if she does not wa—want to."
"Sakura sama?" she spoke, her eyes widening. "Call me Sakura, or Sakura chan, but never Sakura sama, dear Hinata chan!"
"Hush, no buts. We are friends. I'm just a miko like you. Even if I become the High Priestess, which isn't a sure thing as of the moment since I am yet to conquer this ordeal, we are still equals. Becoming a High Priestess would just give me bigger responsibilities. Nevertheless, I'm still a miko."
Hinata gaped softly, surprised at Sakura's words.
"And to answer your question, my ordeal is to keep out of temptation's way, corruption, sins," she grinned and hugged Hinata, making the humble girl utter a small, 'eep.' "Sasuke's representing temptation."
"Oh, I kind of guessed that that would be his role." Hinata replied and hugged back before quickly holding the sides of Sakura's shoulder gently but firm, breaking the hug. "I'm sure you can do it, Sakura chan."
"HINATA CHAN!" Sakura gasped dramatically. "You're not stuttering anymore!"
Hinata only smiled as a reply. "I would need to go now, Sakura chan. I'll see you later."
Sakura blinked, and smiled to herself as she saw Hinata's retreating back. She's opening up. She snapped out of her thoughts as Hinata spoke, turning her head slightly back at her. "Anou, Sakura chan. I'd just like to say…" she seemed to hesitate but continued, nonetheless. "Sasuke san is a good person. He really is." And she left, turning at the corner and completely disappearing from Sakura's view.
"Oh, I'm sure, Hinata. I truly want to believe in that."
And Sakura stayed for a moment to contemplate. She has never thought of him as a bad person, mysterious, yes, but bad? Not at all. So maybe he's an obstacle to her dream, to her fulfillment, to her role, to their expectations. But he's just doing what he's supposed to do. Perhaps, he doesn't even like what he's doing.
"Sasuke," and it's the first for her to acknowledge his name without any honorifics, relishing the alone time she has and just being free. "I'll be a friend to you."
She walked out, still thinking about that complex of a person young man who wears black in a place full of white. With eyes the same shade as his clothes, and hair rebellious to the ordinary and whose smile can make a heart flutter. And she thought: I'll be a friend to you.
Not noticing a figure obscure from her view, hiding from her deliberately and just watching her every movements and hearing her words and guessing her thoughts.
He gazed at her the way she gazed at Hinata when she left. His eyes hardened and ground his teeth. This shouldn't happen, don't feel any empathy. Not pity, I don't need all that.
And a new determination brimmed in him. I will win this.
Never did I think that this could happen. It was simple before I met her. Do as told, get what should be gotten, leave and just live. Being a dog to them was never what I wanted but there are sacrifices that should be done. I never thought that I'd be more involved in this than I already was. I never wanted it.
But there are just things that will never come your way. And I never believed that everything happens for a reason.
But for whatever reason it may be, I can't deny I felt happy.
I never thought that this would happen.
I have to forget…
I'll be here forever and ever and ever…
For my love one's sake, I'll have to fulfill my mission.
I can't be a friend to you, Sakura, no matter how much I want us to be to.
I forgot this story. Yeah, I won't deny it. Sorry. And yeah, it's short. And yeah, it's crappy… but no, you may not throw things at me.
So yeah, I live. I'm so hungry…
But anyhow, I'm sorry I almost killed the fic. I really didn't mean to forget! HONEST!!!
THE ACTION STARTS NEXT CHAPPY! Dun dun dun… no, you may not hit me. XD
Sorry for the grammatical errors and or typos. (Too hungry to recheck will do later)
Hope you enjoyed that!