Standard disclaimer applies.
Author's notes:
Hello everyone! It's been a while since I uploaded something, so I went through my old scribbles and stuff and I found something I've previously posted on my journal. Now seems like a good enough time to share it, so I took some time to re-write a few bits and add some others. It's rather old, I should say, but even so share your thoughts on this drabble. I'll do my best to come up with new things, as long as work/school lets me. Manga readers, any one feels like strangling Sai like me?


They stopped by the road that faced the river and leaned over the rails to watch the water flow under them. She knew this was now his favorite place of the whole village, aside for the secluded property that had formerly been the prosperous Uchiha clan's side of the town. He likes it here, where not many wander about, where the murmurs of the people don't reach his ears, and where he can not sense the worried and suspicious glances thrown his way.

They were quiet for more than ten minutes, the slightest move from them making the wooden railing creak, before she finally broke the silence.

"I still love you, you know?" The girl said in casual and straightforward voice. Sakura straightened up and faced him, sighing inwardly at her silliness. It wasn't what she had been planning to tell him when she asked him to take a walk with her, but the words had fluttered out of her mouth before she had time to think about it. As though she needed to make sure he knew.

"Why?" His unexpected question pierced the cold air as the sun went down slowly. Sasuke glared at the river below him, his scowl intensifying.

Something started prickling her eyes, but she bit her lower lip and pushed the tears away. She wasn't going to cry in front of him again, she had done enough of that already and knew it did nothing to either improve his icy demeanor nor make her feel less aggravated. But it was strange that he asked; perhaps he had thought her feelings fickle and easy to forget, perhaps it had been a long time since he'd heard the words spoken to him. Perhaps, just perhaps, she'd been good enough to contain every sign of emotion within her when he was near.

"You are asking me why, Sasuke-kun?" she murmured, looking at her fingers, her nails, and then the reflection of her face on the water.

He simply nodded, looking up at her and his eyes fixing on her paled face. Sakura looked up, turned his way, and smiled sadly at the boy, the corner of her lips barely curving upwards. She hadn't smiled much as of late. She hadn't slept well or eaten properly and her moods, oh those were the fickle ones; she had been like this since she had started noticing that he was changing, the way he was drifting once more into himself, that if it kept going on, they would lose him once again and then it would be too late, for real.

"I just do," she began her explanation, "I know it's foolish and it may not be worth it. I'm still too young and a little bit afraid, but I know in my heart that I love you, Sasuke." Her throat was dry and her fist clenched, but her green, green eyes did not waver, her gaze never lowered from his. "I love Sasuke simply because he is Sasuke."

And then the boy thought there was something terribly wrong going on in her head because there was no way she could love such a madman like himself. How could she still find in herself to feeling anything at all for someone so unworthy? So many demons, so much hate, so much fear. People still wavered when they looked at him, still could feel that weird and evil aura dragging behind his shadow.

Sasuke didn't move, staring at her impassively as though he was trying to understand what she had said, process it even when he had expected something along those lines. It came out in an almost gasp, a throaty reply. "I see."

He walked up to her, those three, short steps that kept them apart, and his fingers ran up to her cheek in a gentle caress and wiped away the sole tear that threatened to fall from her eyes. 'Do not cry,' he had repeated so many times that it wasn't necessary anymore. She leaned on his hand, a lingering second he allowed, before his warmth was stolen and his hand fell to his sides.

"Let's go back, Sakura," his voice held no evidence of emotion, but she could tell something was different on the air about him. "It's getting late." He turned around and walked towards the path that leaded to her house. Sasuke knew his way to her home without hesitating.

She breathed deeply and nodded. As she took his offered hand, a small, if somewhat vacant smile graced upon her lips once again. It had been a smile nevertheless. "Alright."

And so, she followed him… like she always did.