Living For Your Whims
By: asteriskjam

A/N: As an aspiring young writer, I wanted to try a different genre other than crack and/or fluff. So I present…(da da da DA!) Angst! …Or something to that effect. XD.

Best read to sad music. :)

XXX

He slammed her door open, the deepest of glares knitting his brows and thinning his mouth and igniting fire in his eyes.

There she was.

Pastel locks splayed out, unusually dull against the white of her pillow. Her skin was pale, hidden under a cheap paper gown and a thin sheet of cotton. The vibrant green of her eyes were tucked beneath the heaviness of her lids.

She was being pumped with drugs and manufactured sustenance.

…And her body was so, so still.

He stalked over to her side, another emotion consuming him, mixing with his anger and making him sick to his stomach.

Fear.

"Sakura." He muttered, anxiety working to constrict his throat.

Slowly, she woke, eyelashes fluttering against the apples of her cheeks.

He found that her once bright orbs were a lifeless hue of teal.

She looked up, met eyes with his furious ones.

"…Sasuke-kun."

She smiled and his breath caught with an unidentifiable emotion.

"Why—" he took a minute to calm himself. He wasn't about to lose his composure now...

But he sure as hell was going to get some answers.

His question came in a hiss, "Why didn't you tell me?"

She remained silent for a moment, probably debating as to what she should reply.

"I—" she started, her voice slightly raspy. She brought the meager blanket up to under her chin and she turned her gaze away, "…I didn't want you to…worry."

Liar.

You goddamn liar.

"You told the Hokage." He spat, "And you told Kakashi."

She winced when his voice suddenly rose, "You told Naruto."

His heartbeat was pulsating in his ears. "But you didn't tell me?"

…What the hell is wrong with you?

She looked up at him, an apologetic frown upon her lips. And Sasuke couldn't help but discern how tired she looked.

He refused to acknowledge how he'd never noticed before.

And at the same time, inwardly cursed himself for his inattention.

"…Sasuke-kun…" she mumbled softly, "I'm...sorry."

His hand gripped tightly, whitening knuckles.

"You should've told me." He bit. I would've…understood.

I could've been there.

They were 18 now for gods' sake.

They were teammates. Friends for nearly the entirety of the last four years.

Damn it.

…He thought they were hell more than that.

"...Come on, Sasuke-kun." She said. He could tell she was forcing the optimism into her tone because there was struggle behind her smile, "Tsunade-sensei is working on it. Things'll...get better."

…I'm. Not. An. Idiot.

So STOP lying to me like I am one.

The kunoichi touched his arm. He slightly flinched at the clamminess of her palm.

"…Everything's going to be fine."

He took a sharp breath and a bomb exploded in his mind, fury pouring from his tongue.

"Fine?" He seethed, his nails biting into the flesh of his palm, "What about this," He made a choppy wave around the blank, off-white walls of the room, "is fine?"

Her eyes widened a fraction, glossing over beneath the fluorescent lamps of the room. "I just—"

"…What? You like being stuck, trapped in this sorry excuse for a hospital?"

Her brows screwed up in frustration and she was biting her bottom lip again.

Yes. Cry.

I want you to cry, damn it.

"You like that you don't have to deal with work or friends or life anymore?"

Sakura gripped tighter at the sheet, her head bowed low so he couldn't see her eyes behind the shadow of her bangs.

"…that you're sick beyond repair?"

She made a sound that was a cross between a choke and a sob. And he waited for her tears to show through.

Because then…then he'd know that everything was normal.

…that things would turn out ok.

"The fact that you're dyi—!"

Her head snapped up. But her features didn't relay the emotion he'd expected.

She was smiling again. There was a tinge of fatigue and bitterness at the corners of her lips, but nonetheless.

Written on her countenance was a look totally and utterly beyond her years.

Acceptance.

"No." She whispered simply, honestly, "I don't like this. I don't like the fact that I've…I've wasted so much of my time doing the stupidest things. I don't want to feel like I have to say my goodbyes already."

Her eyes were glassy.

"There's...still so much I want to do. I still...have so many dreams..."

And she gave him a full-blown smile.

"…I don't want to die, Sasuke-kun."

His breathing had turned erratic, his body shaking with feeling.

"Then stop smiling, damn it!" He shouted, unable to hold on to his usual indifference. "If you really don't want to die, then stop looking like that! Stop accepting it!"

Stop looking like you're ready to move on!

...Because I'm not.

"…I…can't." She whispered, coughing a fit, "I...at least, I'd...like to go with no regrets..."

At that point, he wanted to curse her for making him feel like this.

Making him feel like he was about to be left behind.

For grinning like she was going to live for 100 years.

When she wasn't going to make it past 19.

For never blaming him for breaking her heart.

And for keeping it.

"Then why didn't you tell me?" Was his next question, a stubborn repeat of the first. "And don't give me that 'I didn't want to worry you' bullshit."

Her eyes narrowed a little, "I…said I was sorry didn't I?"

He took a shaky breath. "...Sakura."

I don't want to hear your apologies…

I don't want your excuses…

"Tell me what the hell's wrong with you!" He yelled, grabbing her arm and squeezing for his pain, his anger, his loss.

For hers.

The fragility of her state suddenly registered and he let go in a rush. But his questions didn't cease, "…Am I not important enough to tell anymore? Is that what it is?"

"Do Godaime, Kakashi…does Naruto rank above me now?"

Because I'll understand.

And I'll leave.

He shot her a deadly glare. That trademark Uchiha one that inadvertently displayed his inner turmoil.

That his heart hurt.

She looked to his face. And it overcame her to find raw emotion playing across his features. She shook her head furiously. Because she absolutely hated, hated seeing him like that.

"I love you, Sasuke-kun." She confessed softly. He gazed at her, silently waiting for the 'Just not as much anymore' that would give him leave to walk through the door…

"...More than you'd ever know." His eyes widened in the slightest.

What?

"I…" she continued, hesitantly. They locked stares for the 3rd time. His was confused, his breath caught in his throat and his eyes, searching for answers. Hers was still that sick shade of dull, rimmed with moisture, a contrasting smile upon her light pink lips.

"I was…scared."

Finally, there were tears in her eyes. And Sasuke found that he didn't want to see them anymore.

"…I was scared of what you would think if I told you I was afraid to die."

Her glassy orbs grew smaller with the build up of droplets.

"…that you'd think me weak for not knowing how to deal with my disease."

Despite the fact that she rubbed at them, they kept flowing, gradually running down the contours of her cheeks.

"For crying."

He absolutely stilled.

"…I was scared that you'd pity me." She choked back a sob, "That you'd call me annoying again."

"I-I—" she mumbled, incoherently, the force of her cries causing her to tremble, "Most of all…I was so scared that…that if I told you I was dying…"

Sakura breathed in desperately through her bawling, "…You wouldn't care."

Time seemed to slow the moment before the Uchiha impulsively took her in his arms.

He breathed in her scent. All of it. Her sickness and her sweat. Her tears and her hair. That faint but always present smell of vanilla and strawberries. He breathed her signature fragrance like oxygen.

Because he was going to remember it. Lock it in his memory like anything precious and valuable and worth it.

To remind him of who she was. Her intelligence. Her strength. Her will to give when there was nothing to gain.

What she'd done for him.

Her 12-year-old infatuation. Her 6 years worth of unconditional love.

"I'm sorry."

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

I care.

I care.

God damn it, I--

The words would be empty now he realized. So he kept quiet, kept on holding her, letting her tears soak through the front of his shirt.

For all the heartbreak he'd caused. That she endured.

For the tears she'd shed. That he sought indifference to. And failed.

For her fears. And his.

For all the wasted years and for what they could've been.

It was painfully ironic how his heartbeat was thumping loudly against his chest while hers was continually slowing.

"I'm so...sorry."

XXX

The next day Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura went on their first date.

And last.

XXX

The pink-haired kunoichi died of her long-term disease within the next 24 hours.

XXX

End

XXX

A/N: Wow. I finished! XD. Hopefully ya'll like it. It's not quite as good as "And All The King's Horses" by Icarusy (which I recommend you ALL read because if you liked mine, then you'll worship that one-shotter), but I hope it was decent enough to earn some feedback!

Review Please!