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H A N D

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I N

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H A N D

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f o r e v e r a n d ,

a l w a y s .

  The shadow of the cherry blossom tree engulfed Sakura as she sat down, and she moved her hand, no longer required to shield her eyes from the blazing sun. A sigh escaped from her mouth, her eyes fixed upon the drifting clouds in the seemingly perfect sky above her.

  She knew, he will never feel the same way as she did.

  No matter how much I cared, no matter how much I loved, how much I listened, or how much of my heart I gave him. Nothing matters, she thought back to the cold, hard expression he wore this morning, not to him anyway. Uchiha Sasuke. What did I expect? She couldn't help but scoff silently. I'm just like a fan girl to him. Nothing. Nothing at all.

- - -

  His long black bangs shadowed his face as Sasuke leaned onto the wall behind him, blending into the darkness of his surroundings. To passerby's, he was just another kid wandering alone of the street, just another person in the background. With his own thoughts, with his own worries. He had his hands tucked casually in his pocket, his stance was slouched carelessly against the brick wall. Noone could've been able to decipher the turmoil he was in.

  He knew, she couldn't possibly feel the same way as he did.

  So what if she pays me special attention sometimes? His eyes narrowed in jealousy. I've seen her treat Naruto the same way tons of times if not more than me. She doesn't love me, hell, she doesn't even like me. He recalled her neutral expression as she greeted him this morning. I'm just a team mate to her. Nothing else. Does she realise.. realise how much I love her? Think about her, worry about her, pay attention to her? Gritting his teeth, his eyes flashed. She. Will. Be. Mine.

- - -

  Fast steps towards the cherry blossom park; he knew she would find her there. The chilly wind blew against his pale skin, but he was oblivious to all his surroundings by now. He needed to get to Sakura. The sun was on its way to setting when he arrived, and he spotted her straight away, her pink hair splayed delicately around her face. The small smile that graced her face made her seem all the more beautiful and Sasuke could help but kneel down and brush a lock of hair from her peacefully closed eyes, his hands lingering on her face.

  Long pink eyelashes fluttered open delicately, revealing Sakura's bright emerald eyes. She blinked a few times, as if not sure if her vision was failing her or not. Was it just her or was Sasuke sitting next to her? She blinked a few more times and decided she would try speaking to Sasuke, whether he was an apparition or not. It wouldn't hurt, right?

  "Sasuke-kun, what are you doing here?" Her voice came out a bit slurred, still not fully awake from her tranquil sleep.

  He started a little, having not realised that Sakura had awoken. "Oh, I-" Suddenly, having to speak face to face took him by surprise. Clearing his throat, he tried again, "I have to talk to you. Alone."

  Her thoughts went in all different directions, unraveling here, twisting there, and all she could do was nod meekly and take Sasuke's proffered hand. As they walked past trees, people, children, with the sun setting behind them, all Sakura could think about was that one line.

  I need to talk to you.

  Talk to you.

  I need to.

  Talk to you.

  Alone.

  Alone.

  Alone.

  I.

  Need.

  To.

  Talk.

  To.

  You.

  Alone.

  Alone.

  Talk to you alone.

  Why alone?

  Could he be.. She bit her lip. Confessing? She shook her head. Impossible. What are you thinking? As if the notorious heartbreaker, Uchiha Sasuke, could be confessing his love to anyone like this. Then if he wasn't confessing… Her eyes widened. She wasn't.. she wasn't going to get rejected?

  Rejected.

  Her head swam. A tight vice gripped at her heart, painfully squeezing and not letting go. She closed her eyes, and opened them again. Focus, Haruno, don't think about the manwhore. She looked around, noticing her surroundings for the first time. Sasuke had lead her to a small clearing, surrounded by small cherry blossom trees that mostly shadowed the small area, apart from one shaft of light illuminating a spot on the grass floor – making it seem mythical. Surreal.

  "It's beautiful." Sakura whispered, looking around, envying the beauty of the cherry blossom trees, their branches swaying gently to the breeze.

    Like you. Just like you, Sakura.

  "What?" She turned her head to Sasuke, swearing that she heard him say something.

  "Nothing.. Nothing." Sasuke gestured to the cherry blossoms that surrounded the clearing. "This is the place I go to when I feel… alone. No one knows of this place, except me. And.. and now you." He blushed faintly.

  The grip on her heart squeezed harder, almost making her cry out. Was he, was he just going to end it here?

  "Why d-did you bring me here?"

  "I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you something.. important. About us."

  About us.

  He's sorry.

  Tell me something…

  About us.

  About us.

  She felt her heart shatter into a million glass shards, the sound ringing in her ears as she choked back on her tears. Never again. She had given all of her heart to him. And Uchiha Sasuke had thrown it away. Away.

  I understand how it is now. So I really am nothing, eh?

  "I understand, S-Sasuke…" she stuttered, desperately trying to remain cool and controlled, showing him that she didn't care. Showing him that he wouldn't affect like how he was affecting her inside.

  "You understand?" Sasuke asked, relieved he didn't have to explain anything. Does she feel the same way?

  "Y-yes. You don't like me. I understand now."

  She couldn't take it any longer. Tears streaked down her face and she turned around, wanting to run away from this place. And never come back. To leave her shattered heart behind – it didn't matter to her anymore. Nothing did. Uchiha Sasuke didn't want her.

  He.

  Doesn't.

  Love.

  Me.

  Her whole world exploded.

  She started to run, but a strong hand grabbed onto her wrist and held on so hard it made her cry out, wincing. Before she could tell Sasuke to let go of her, she was pulled fiercely back into a hug, his warm body enveloping her, arms wrapping protectively around her frail body.

  "What's wrong, Sakura? Why are you crying? Did I say… did I do something wrong?" Sasuke muttered into her hair, inhaling her sweet scent. His tone changed into a pleading one, "I love you, Sakura. Please, please say you love me too."

  Sakura muffled a sound of surprise into his broad chest.

  He held her away for a moment, willing her to look up into his eyes, but her eyes were fixed firmly into the ground. Sighing, he placed a finger underneath her chin, gently raising her head.

  Sakura raised her eyes into his entrancing onyx orbs. There were the eyes she fell in love with, the eyes she gazed into everyday, in desire, in want, in need. She felt her knees turn into jelly as she melted just at the sight of them gazing intently into her face.

  "Do you love me?"

  She gulped at the intensity of his gaze.

  "I…I love you."

  I .

  LOVE .

  YOU .

  I L O V E Y O U .

  F O R E V E R .

  A N D .

  A L W A Y S .

  She felt lips crushing onto hers, and gasped in surprise. Sasuke. Getting over her initial surprise, she relaxed against him, responding passionately.

  "I love you, Sasuke…" she murmured.

  They broke apart, and Sakura blushed as she saw Sasuke gazing at her lovingly.

  "We should umm.. probably get back now.." Sakura whispered, afraid to ruin the moment.

  "Yes," agreed Sasuke, "we should."

  He took her hand in his and with Sakura leaning her head on his shoulder, they walked hand in hand into the horizon, just as the sun slipped below the hills and the moon started to shine. The stars twinkled in the orange-blue sky.

                                                             w i s h u p o n a f a l l i n g s t a r ,

                                                             s o m e w h e r e l o n g ,

                                                             s o m e w h e r e f a r ,

                                                             i l o o k u p t o t h e s k y s o b r i g h t ,

                                                             i w i s h i m a y ,

                                                             i w i s h I m i g h t ,

                                                             s e e y o u i n m y d r e a m s t o n i g h t .

                                                             x

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