Time

Summary: She loved him for 21 years, 252 months, 7665 days. All that ends, however, in one second.

Angst one-shot SasuSaku .:Warning-Character death:.

He hated thinking. Thinking led to morbid thoughts, which lead to painful emotions. Underneath the shade of the tree, with the pink petals falling gently on his face, he can't help but reflect. He opens his eyes slowly, and grabs a soft sakura petal. His heart clenches painfully in his chest, and he instinctively grabs it. He never thought that he would miss her. Now that she's gone, he finally realizes. Uchiha Sasuke crushed the small petal angrily. Just like he crushed her fragile heart over and over again. He growled lowly in his throat. Who did she think she was? Dying on him like that.

Unbidden images of a young Haruno Sakura worm their way into his mind. Her emerald green eyes, sparkling for him and only him. Her silky pink hair swaying gently in the breeze. More silent photos appear, this time of an older Sakura, walking home from her job as a medic-nin, and giving him that smile that she reserved for him and him only. Now, he would never be able to gaze at her ever again.

Sasuke suppressed a groan, sitting up abruptly. He leaned against the tree, and gazed out at all of Konoha. Her funeral was tomorrow. He didn't know if he would be able to attend. He didn't know if he would be able to look down at her in a casket bathed in white silk, knowing that she was never going to open those brilliant eyes of her. Know that she would never call out a cheerful "Sasuke-kun'' to him ever again.

Damn her, when had she gotten so far into his skin? Sasuke angrily punched the ground, then instantly regretted it when he felt the sharp pain. He knew his fist was bleeding, he just didn't care. He deserved it. He deserved this pain. It was making amends for all the hurt he had ever caused her. The Fates were laughing hysterically right now, releasing in his pain. He just knew it. It was ironic, in a bitter way, that he realized he loved her when he was looking at her broken and bloody body, prone and lifeless on the muddy ground. 'It was supposed to be an easy mission. She wasn't supposed to die.' He finds himself thinking.

Sakura had just been there for back-up, just in case anyone had gotten hurt. 'I'm hurt.' He thinks to himself. 'I'm dying inside, and it's all your fault. You're not even here to fix it, like I know you normally would be.' She had always been here for him. Now, she was about to be buried six feet deep in the ground, forever locked in a coffin made of wood, was about to leave him forever.

Suddenly, Sasuke is angry. Angry at her for making him feel like this, angry at her for dying, angry at the ninjas who killed her. Mostly, he is angry at himself. He wasn't able to save her, not this time. The Uchiha prodigy let out a slow breath, leaning back against the sakura tree. 'It wasn't supposed to end like this.' He thinks to himself, looking up at the cloudless blue sky. She was supposed to always be there for him. He was supposed to realize he loved her, tell her in his own way, she would cry and jump into his arms, and he would resurrect his clan with her. They would have Uchiha babies with his hair and her eyes, or perhaps have a daughter that looked just like her. The possibilities were endless (he refuses to think of a pink-haired son) when you thought about it.

But now... He smiled ruefully. Now, that would never come true. Hell, he wouldn't mind having pink-haired boys, so long as she would still be alive. Sasuke sighed, and closed his eyes. An image of Sakura holding a pink-haired boy flashed through his mind, and the Uchiha sat up with an angry groan. Even after she was dead, she was still annoying! He smiled sadly, bringing a knee up to his chest and laying an arm across it. She annoyed him because of how much he couldn't stop thinking about her, and he knew forever that those would be their words. He would never tell another girl she was annoying. If he did, he would feel like he was...betraying Sakura, or something.

No, those weren't the right words. He would feel like he was betraying her memory. Their memories together. Granted, most of them were him acting cold, but there were a few where he let her have a glimpse that he wasn't totally frozen. Haruno Sakura had seen more of his vulnerable side than he cared to admit, but deep down, he was glad it had been her. For some reason, ever since the day they were on the same team, he trusted her. He knew that she would've died for him, and that alone made him realize that he would've done the same for her.

None of that mattered now, though. Sakura was dead. While he did avenge her by killing all of the ninjas that had murdered her, it didn't matter in the end. Sakura was still dead, and nothing would be able to bring him back. A bitter smile crossed his handsome features. He remembered the day he left to join Orochimaru, how she had shouted at him that revenge wouldn't make anyone happy. He remembered knocking her out after whispering "Thank you" to her. She had never understood why he had said that.

Hell, he didn't even understand it either. He meant it, though. She had been there for him when he felt alone, and had never given up on him, no matter how many times he angrily pushed her away. Perhaps that's what he meant. His nose twitched. Sakura had always smelt like cherry blossoms, and because he was sitting under the sakura tree, he could smell her. He inhaled deeply, his mind going back to when he had first gotten the curse mark. The pain made him fall to his knees. Sakura had rushed to his side, and he blindly groped for her hand. She had clutched it, whispering soothing words. He had fallen against her, and felt her arms encircle him. He remembered her smell, how it had seemed to fit her perfectly, how they had fit perfectly...

She had cried for him again. Just the thought of it made his gut wrench with guilt. Then, another memory invaded his mind. This time, it was when they were versing Haku and Zabuza. When he thought he was dying, she had rushed to his side, clutching his body and crying while everyone around them stood in shock. He remembered waking up, and the first thing he had seen was her. While he had told her that she was heavy, and that when she hugged him it hurt (which he was truthful about) he secretly relished in the fact that she cared.

Dammit, he missed her. He never thought that it would ache this much though. Sure, it had hurt when he was with Orochimaru, and yeah he had thought about the pink-haired konoichi more than he cared to admit, but he knew that he would see her again. She had been sitting on their bench (as he now referred to it as) and she looked like she had been lost in thought. What she had done once she saw him shocked him. She had punched him, but then pulled him into a hug, clutching his ripped clothes and crying into his shoulder. She had threatened that if he ever left her again, she was going to do more than sock him.

He smiled fondly at the memory, and scratched his nose. His eyes widened as he felt wetness. When the hell had he started crying? Uchiha Sasuke did NOT cry. Then again, he wasn't supposed to love. He had the heart of an avenger, but she had pushed all that aside and made herself comfortable in his heart, and he knew that she would never leave. She was dead, but she wasn't gone. Not in his mind. He smiled sadly. She would be waiting at the gates of Heaven for him, but did he even deserve to be there? He didn't deserve her, but yet, she had given her heart to him willingly, knowing that he would break it, but she hadn't cared in the least.

She had loved him more than anything. She had shouted that at him as he was about to leave to join Sound. He found it ironic that the same applied to him. She meant more to him than she thought. However, deep down, he believed that she knew he loved her. When he had come back and found out that she worked at the Hospital, he insisted on walking her home every night. He had blamed it on the fact that he didn't want anything bad to his former teammate, but it was actually because he had just enjoyed her company. They had both known it.

He wasn't sure if Sakura knew why her suitors were always beaten to a pulp. Jealousy had not been something Sasuke was accustomed to, so he had been surprised when he found himself growling at the guy who had been flirting with Sakura. He had dragged her away (much to her protests) and muttered that he didn't like the way the guy was looking at her. Sakura had giggled and said nothing more. Perhaps she had known. When he had figured out that he was jealous of the men who courted the beautiful medic-nin, he had protected her even more viciously. After all, who did those guys think they were, touching what was HIS?

She would always be his. She knew it, and didn't have to hear it. Sasuke had never told Sakura that he loved her, and he had never uttered, "You're mine." but she had known. That thought alone soothed Sasuke a tiny bit. The Uchiha glanced at the sky again, and was surprised to see the oranges and reds bleeding into the blue. The sun was setting behind the Konoha mountains, turning a burnt yellow. How long had he been out here? Shaking his head, the raven-haired man got up. Hands shoved in his pockets, he walked home with his head bent, lost in thoughts.

The next day

He was alone, and that didn't bother him. He looked around, and immediatly spotted Naruto. Beside him was his wife, Uzumaki Hinata. She was crying into the blond's shoulder, and he had his arm wrapped around her. Naruto looked on the verge of tears himself, and Sasuke felt a sharp pang in his stomach. In the pew in front of them was Nara Ino and Shikamaru. She too was crying, and was wiping her eyes every so often with a handkerchief. She clutched her husbands hand like a life line, and Shikamaru stared straight ahead. He recognized a lot of people, people that had once been Sakura's friends. People that would always be her friends.

Clad in all black, everyone began to get up, roses in their hands. Sakura's casket was open, and her hands were crossed, a peaceful look on her face. Sasuke felt his insides twist, and bit his lip. Damn it, he was NOT going to cry. Not here, in front of all these people. He was an Uchiha, and Uchiha's do not show their pain. She was his weakness, though. He would mourn her loss when he was alone.

However, everyone was watching his every move. They watched him lift up her left hand, and take something out of his pocket. Somewhere in back of him, he heard Tenten gasp. She knew what was in that little velvet box. He silently slipped a silver ring on her hand. A shining diamond sat in the middle, with two smaller ones set on the side. Next to the two diamonds was the Uchiha symbol. He put her hand back, and couldn't help but think of how right that ring looked on her pale dainty finger.

"Goodbye, Sakura. I love you." He whispered quietly, and turned around. He walked to the back, ignoring everyone's shocked faces. He didn't sit back down, he just left the funeral. He had said all he needed, and now, he just wanted to be alone. His pose was familiar. Hands shoved in pockets, head bowed. He walked back to the sakura tree, and leaned against it, eyes closed and trying to control his breathing. He opened his obsidian eyes, and gazed at Konoha. He could see a wave of people in black walking.

Wait for me, Sakura.

This is the last time, I promise. Just wait for me, I promise it won't be long

As Sasuke walked away, walked away for good and felt the wind whip his dark hair, he could've sworn he heart her tinkling laugh, and she spoke.

I'll always wait for you, Sasuke. Forever and ever.

A/N- Wow. This is possibly the saddest fic I've ever written. Well, apart from the ending of Different Worlds... But that was just a chapter, this is a one-shot. I was reading some angst stories, and I felt really emotional, so I was like, I'm gonna write an angst one-shot! This was last night, at 2:30 in the morning. I tried to finish it last night, but then I was talking to my friend, and I didn't feel like writing something sad when I myself didn't feel sad. Ever feel like you write better if you're feeling the emotions of your character?

So yeah. Sorry all Sakura fans! (ducks flying tomatoes) I have absolutely nothing against her at all, so don't hate. I think this story is alright, it could be better, but ah well. So review and tell me what you think about it!

invisible-DAM YOU MELISSA! You made me sad...your gonna pay for this when you come up here again! Lol jk...