A/N: I couldn't help it…I couldn't resist writing a SaiSaku fic:P Yesh, after having read all of the latest chapters of the manga, I couldn't help but fall in love with this pairing. The way they fight makes me think they make a good couple. I know—I'm weird that way. But there are seriously not enough fics to this pairing, much less GOOD ones—not that I'm saying MY fic will be good cuz Sai is so freakin' OOC in here, haha. However, this is a one-shot cuz I'm not ready to take on writing a full-fledged SaiSaku without first testing how well I can portray Sai's character. Anyhoo, please enjoy and review this one-shot!
Warning(s): Definite OOCness because I'm not going to make Sai a total dickhead in here since this takes place about two more years after the time skip. Possible spoilers if you haven't read in the 300s yet.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, cuz if I did, Sai wouldn't have (insert Chapter 312 spoiler here). Sorry, can't spoil in the disclaimer either.
A Sai x Sakura One-shot: Wake Me Up Inside
He couldn't help but feel his own heart break at the very sight of her. His cerulean eyes took in her puffy jade eyes, her rather messy cherry tresses, and her pale face. From his window he watched her carry on her training with Tsunade, and he was sure the Godaime was also wary of her broken spirit.
Tearing his eyes away from the sight before him, Naruto turned to walk away from Tsunade and Sakura's training site, releasing a dejected sigh as he made his way to his apartment.
How long was she going to go on like this?
Two years…two years had passed since their last encounter with Sasuke. And during that encounter, they had failed to bring him back home, devastating Sakura and himself. The Uchiha traitor had monotonously declared his severing of the ties between himself and all of Konoha, which had absolutely destroyed the two even further.
But unlike Naruto, Sakura had been broken.
After having trained so hard to become strong enough to bring him back, she had still failed, and even now—two years later—she couldn't accept it. She had put forth all of her passion into becoming stronger so that she could be of some use and help Naruto retrieve Sasuke. Her so-called "love" for the Uchiha had motivated her to grow stronger, and when he had declared the end between the relations he shared with Naruto and herself, her heart had broken.
Her heart had broken again.
Why did she keep holding on if he kept hurting her?
And when he had left with Orochimaru and Kabuto, she and Naruto had cried. They felt no shame in crying during a failed mission, but for that time, and that time only, they were willing to screw the rules because of the pain they felt.
He lost his best friend.
She lost her love.
He felt alone again.
She felt useless again.
From the side, Yamato and Sai could only watch them with sympathy—watch how their spirits broke after the departure of their former teammate.
"Crying won't bring him back," Sakura had assured Naruto through her tears. "We're not alone. We have each other. And we'll grow stronger together."
And then Sai had stepped in, declaring that he would complete the threesome with what seemed to have actually been a true smile for once.
All the time after the failed Sasuke retrieval mission was spent training, and the comradeship between the three had grown stronger. They occasionally bickered, just like when Sasuke had still been a part of Cell 7, but they had always made up in the end. Sai cracked his insults now and then, but Naruto and Sakura understood that that was just the way he was.
They had grown so much closer during that time.
Sai had opened up to them, and Sakura and Naruto treated him as they had treated Sasuke—looked out for him and supported him after his tragic past.
To the blonde's surprise, Sai and Sakura would spend more time together, mostly in the library to discuss terms that he himself couldn't comprehend. He could easily see the closeness between them now—as in how Sai no longer called Sakura names and how Sakura no longer beat the shit out of Sai. Naruto couldn't help but a feel a bit left out, but he knew that Sakura would always have a place in her heart for him.
Because Sakura loved everybody close to her.
But why did she love someone who had rejected her?
It had torn her apart, and he could only watch her suffer silently with each passing day, offer his support and comfort whenever he could. He had watched her fall apart little by little, and it pissed him off knowing that he could do nothing for one of the people who mattered the most to him in his life. He wouldn't dare ask her to share her troubles with him, though, for he knew that she had always been the type to deal with her inner problems herself.
Like the time she had tried to rescue Sasuke on her own shortly after the failed Sasuke retrieval mission four and a half years ago.
That time, Naruto had been able to intervene with her plans, and Sakura had accepted his support.
But now, in the present, Sakura's problem had left too much of a scar for anyone to help heal.
Sakura-chan…don't destroy yourself like this… Naruto thought sadly as he approached his apartment building. But instead of starting up the steps, he decided that perhaps he would talk to his other teammate.
Sai would be at the library, he knew.
He made his way to the library, entering the silent facility and heading towards the usual tables Sai and Sakura would occupy whenever they decided to visit. He could recall the times he saw the two together, and he could recall the tinge of envy that would fill him at the sight. But he knew that there was nothing he could do about; it was their choice, not his.
"Look what I found," he answered as he stepped up to a seat across from the raven-haired boy.
Sai stared at him before asking, "Do you need something? Like your missing dick?"
Naruto knew that the art jutsu specialist was really just teasing him with sarcasm, but he wasn't in the mood to endure it at the moment. Sighing, he dragged out a chair and settled down in it. His face darkening, he simply said, "Sakura-chan."
Dark brows furrowed in mild concern as his company asked, "What about Sakura-san?"
Cerulean eyes widened in disbelief as they settled on the blank-faced shinobi. "You mean you haven't noticed?"
"Naruto-kun, you know I am still not good with emotions."
"She's been falling apart since our encounter with Sasuke two years ago."
Passiveness settled over Sai for a moment. Lowering his dark yet empty eyes, in a quiet voice, he asked, "What does it mean to be a 'broken' person? Sakura-san never told me."
"Sakura-san," Sai started as his lifted his head up from behind his open book, catching Sakura's attention. "What does it mean to be 'broken?'"
The cherry-headed medic-nin stared at him for a moment. "Er…what do you mean, Sai?"
"What does it mean to be a broken person?" he elaborated, gazing at her with dim orbs that shined with speculation.
Melancholy flickered in her jade orbs as her face darkened, her side bangs shading downcast eyes. She didn't answer him but instead bowed her head down, hiding the emotion that was threatening to break out on her face.
Puzzlement filled Sai as he stared at the tense girl across from him. "Sakura-san?"
Head snapping up abruptly, a nervous smile broke out on her lips as a fake cheerful façade masked her face. "Don't worry about it, Sai. It's not very important."
He simply stared at her as she chatted away as if the earlier tension hadn't occurred, wondering what it was about his question that had disturbed her.
Naruto sat in silence as he allowed Sai's words to sink in. A few more moments passed before he spoke up. "She didn't want you to know…"
Sai blinked. "What?"
"She didn't want you to know that she's broken," he clarified, his unusually dull cerulean eyes downcast as gloom overtook the room, drowning out all other emotions; silence shortly followed, casting its apprehension over the two.
The former ROOT member didn't look up nor prod him any further. After having spent so much time around the spontaneous bombshell, he had learned when to keep his lips sealed and when it was appropriate to comment. Yet, knowing that Sakura was falling apart was killing him—drowning him, suffocating him, angering him—and he had no idea why.
The spiky-haired blonde lifted his head at the mention of his name.
"How can I fix Sakura-san?"
Sai's question didn't quite register in Naruto's mind. "What?"
"How can I fix Sakura-san so that she's not broken anymore?" Sai repeated. He'd be damned if he couldn't help one of the few people who had grown close to him, had helped him understand the complicated world of emotions.
Even without being told to did he know now what it meant to be broken. Had he not been broken himself when his "brother" had passed away? He had unconsciously known what it meant to be "broken" all this time; and he was damn well going to see to it that Sakura didn't become like how he once was.
Emotionless. Empty. Introverted.
"Hold her, Sai," Naruto whispered, gazing directly into Sai's eyes. In a louder tone, he said again, "hold her and wake her up. Wake her up from her love for Sasuke. I can't do anything else for her."
"Wake…her up?" The phrase seemed to be foreign on his tongue, to his ears.
"She's asleep inside…she can't let go of Sasuke, and because of that, her heart has shut down. Hold her. Open her eyes for her.
"Wake her up."
She sat on the edge of the roof of the Hokage's office; her dull and lifeless pools of jade peered down at the animated life taking place below her.
How could they go through life like they carried no burdens on their shoulders?
Her delicate fingers curled along the concrete edge, clenching tightly, ignoring the rough surface that bothered her so.
Why did she feel as if she were the only one in the world who was now suffering in silence?
She clenched tighter, harder.
Why did she feel so alone?
Without turning around, her gaze still distant and unfocused, she responded rather monotonously. "What do you want, Sai?"
He didn't answer her. Instead, he continued to keep his eyes trained on her back, observing the anxiety that coursed throughout her body. He took a step towards her.
"You didn't answer me."
"Sometimes it's better not to answer, no, Sakura-san?"
He took another tantalizing step towards her.
She finally swung her head around to face him, tedious green eyes peering at him through tousled strands of pink. "I'm not going to kill myself."
Another step. "I never said that you were."
Eyes narrowing, she concentrated on gathering her chakra to the soles of her feet to keep her steady as she stood up on the edge of the building, glaring down at the advancing Sai. "Look, what are you doing here?" she demanded, setting her hands on her shapely hips.
The innocent smile that she had not seen in the past two years crept onto his lips. "Is the hag going through menopause already?"
The taunt had only been meant to rouse up Sakura, to anger her to the point where she would rant off what was bothering her, but alas it was to no prevail, for said medic-nin instead clenched her hand into a fist and prepared to propel herself towards Sai using her chakra, but…
"Sai…let go of me…" she whispered into his chest.
He didn't answer her as he tightened his hold around her. Obviously his little plan from a few moments before had backfired, and he had taken action before she could send him flying off the Hokage building. As a result, he had drawn her into an embrace, and he stood like that for the time being.
She pressed her hands against his pectorals, trying to create distance between him and herself, but he only held her tighter, closer. Pink tinged her cheeks as her face was pressed against his chest, against the area where his heart beat. Again, she tried to push herself away from him, but his grasp on her didn't falter at all.
"Why are you doing this to me…?"
"Why are you doing this to yourself?" he countered as he pulled back to look at her, emotion showing in his usually blank eyes for once. He retained his hold around her as he gazed into her confused eyes.
Her eyes shifted away from his own. "What do you mean?"
"You know what I'm talking about, you idiot." Grasping her arms even tighter, he roughly pulled her back into his embrace. Burying his face in her hair, he growled into her ear, "Why are you allowing yourself to break?"
A small gasp escaped from her lips but was short-lived when his lips descended on hers.
Her hands desperately tried to break them apart, but his death-grip on her didn't relinquish, and she couldn't help but succumb to his kiss.
Why was he doing this to her?
She struggled again, but he showed no signs of loosening.
Moisture stung at the corners of her eyes and threatened to spill.
She so desperately wanted to thrash her legs, but she knew that she risked falling off the edge if she dared to move her legs.
Tears began to cascade down her face.
She surrendered herself, allowed herself to collapse into his arms while continuing the kiss, cried as he continued to hold her. She hated this. She didn't want this. She couldn't stop it.
And then she realized why he had come up here in the first place.
He broke away, his face lingering in front of her own, his lips only a few centimeters away from hers. Clouded dark eyes locked with moist green ones, and he could only say, "Wake up, Sakura."
Moving her hands forward, she clenched the black material of his form-fitting mid-drift, sobbing softly. "He's…never going to come back…is he?" Her sobs became louder as she felt his hands loosen. She hated to admit the heartrending truth that she had known all along ever since that fateful encounter two years prior, but because she hadn't, she had broken day by day.
He felt that he had no right to speak as he continued to listen to her, simply hold her as she cried on him, vented out her suppressed anguish. Keeping his grasp on her, he stepped off with her from the edge but continued to keep his arms loosely encircled around her.
"Sa…suke…kun…" she sniffled before curling his shirt into her fingers tightly as she squeezed her eyes shut in pain, tears oozing from her closed eyes and trickling down her cheeks. "He's…not coming…back…nnn…"
"Sakura," he said firmly, "do you really love him?"
Her sobs yielded momentarily as she tilted her head up to stare at him. "…what…?"
He had never felt this way before, and the unfamiliar emotion scared him, but if it was going to help Sakura, then he was going to face it. "Is this…what 'love'…is supposed…to be? Does 'love'…break people?"
Bowing her head down shamefully, she answered in a hoarse yet hushed tone. "No."
Fear flooded through him again when he felt himself lose control of his body as he pressed his forehead against hers, asking quietly, "Then why are you this way?"
"I don't know…" she whispered, her voice cracking. "I don't know…"
She felt herself engulfed in his warmth once again, but this time she didn't dare push away. Instead she cried again as she wrapped her own arms around him, desperately clinging onto him as if to keep him from leaving her. She didn't want to lose another person whom she cared deeply for, and she was inwardly grateful for Sai's unusual compassion at the present. But unlike Sasuke, he had actually shown that he cared for her. Why did she have to let herself break over Sasuke when he was here for her?
"Wake up, Sakura…" he said again. He couldn't remember if there had been a time when Sakura had said a similar thing to him some time ago before he had openly accepted her and Naruto.
A pause. She remained passive and didn't answer at first.
Then, "I'm awake."
He gazed down at her.
She gazed back up at him.
"I'm awake, Sai. He's not the one…not him…"
Interest showed in his eyes.
"Then who is?"
Her arms squeezed his waist.
"Sai...thank you…for waking me up."
A/N: Wow, I finally got this finished! I like how this turned out, despite Sai being totally OOC. The ending is another one of my strange ones, but I think it kind of suits this. It doesn't directly have Sakura say that Sai is the one—it's kind of discreet, and I like that. Only one kiss was shared, and that was it. Nothing "passionate" because this is angst. So yeah, I like how this turned out XD Anyhoo, please review!