Title: Caught on Fire
Summery: Sasuke goes into an odd state of coma, and Sakura is the only one with the skill to get him out of it. By going inside his mind. Can she handle the thoughts and memories that the Uchiha holds?
Rating: M for violence and language
Author's Note: I actually got this idea from an episode from the fifth season of Buffy. Ha! And now I post it while I'm home sick with bronchitis. Wikipedia is a wonderful place to look for medical lingo, and pretty much the song I listened to through out this entire story was "Who will Save Us" By Cartel Such a SasuSaku song.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Blah blah blah. If I did, all the boys, especially Kakashi, would be shirtless all the time.
CAUGHT ON FIRE…BEGIN!
Someone was expecting it when Uzumaki Naruto and his ANBU team barged into the hospital.
But no one ever thought that the one Naruto would have thrown over his shoulder would be Uchiha Sasuke.
Sakura had been working a forty-eight hour shift in the hospital, and it was pretty quiet. That should have been her first sign that something was bound to happen. She was sitting in the cafeteria, eating a late dinner, trying not to get any food on her blue scrubs when the nurse had ran over to get her.
"We need you in room 214! Uzumaki Naruto and his team have returned!"
That was the only thing that needed to be said for Sakura to jump up so quickly that her seat fell back onto the floor. She ran so much faster than the nurse could follow, and didn't even bother taking the elevator, she sped up the stairs, her shoes skidding on the tile ground.
When she reached the second floor the first thing that she heard was Tsunade's voice screaming for everyone to get out, and Naruto's voice shouting right back at her.
"I need you to leave so I can do a diagnosis!"
"What the fuck kind of diagnosis do you need? He's been like that since he killed him!"
"It's a state of mental trauma!"
"No, you think! I could have friggin figured that one out!"
Shikamaru, Neji, Sai, and Lee were planted outside the room, leaning against the wall. Sakura shared a glance with Sai who just shrugged, and smirked.
"Don't look at me, ugly, they're both so damn loud it's a wonder the whole hospital hasn't woken up."
Sakura rolled her eyes and barged into the room where the two blonds were shouting over each other. Naruto's eyes were ice as he growled out curses at Tsunade, who in return hollered at the nineteen year old for using that language with her. Sakura tried to get a word in between them when she saw Sasuke sitting on the bed, his ANBU mask sitting on the nightstand, and his coal colored eyes staring straight ahead of them. His face was expressionless.
"I OUGHT TO HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR SAYING THOSE THINGS IN FRONT OF A LADY!"
"WHAT LADY?! I DON'T SEE A LADY IN HERE!"
"OH?! IT'S FUNNY THAT YOU SAY THAT SINCE SAKURA IS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU!"
"SHUT UP YOU OLD BAT! YOU KNOW I MENT YOU!"
Sakura gave a frustrated sigh and slammed her fist into the wall, having it crack and splinter under her knuckles.
"HEY!" She screamed over them.
The ANBU and the Hokage both stared at the young pink-haired woman, their expressions shocked.
"If neither of you are going to tell me what is going on," Sakura growled. "Then kindly get the fuck out of my hospital room!"
Tsunade's eyes widened at her apprentice and then she brought a hand up to her temple, rubbing it slightly, but her mouth remained shut. Sakura took that as a sign from the Godaime to let her take over. She then turned her head over to her old teammate.
"Naruto," She spoke softly as she trod over to the bed. "What happened to Sasuke?"
The golden haired boy's eyebrows creased and he shrugged. "I don't know. We met up with his brother and that fish guy and fought."
Sakura took a small flash light out of her breast pocket, bent over, and shined it in Sasuke's eyes, examining them.
"Mm-hmm," She nodded and glanced at him. "Then what happened?"
The Kyuubi-vessel ran a hand down his scarred cheek. "Then…Sasuke killed him. He killed Itachi. Slit his throat, just like he said he would. When Itachi went down, the fish guy left. Sasuke just stared at his brother, lying there on the dirt. Then he dropped the kunai…and fell. He just dropped to his knees, that look on his face."
Sakura stood up, her eyes confused. "Did you try to snap him out of it?"
"If you call shouting his name and slamming my fist into his jaw snapping him out of it, then yeah. I tried."
Sakura rolled her eyes at him, and then turned to her raven-haired friend.
"Sasuke? Sasuke…can you hear me?"
His face remained impassive; his eyes still stared into the wall. Sakura lifted a hand to his cheek and searched his face for any response.
"Sasuke, it's me, Sakura. Do you understand?"
"His breathing is regular. I can't put a finger on what's wrong with him."
Tsunade went beside her student and carefully observed the last Uchiha.
"A chronic state in comatose?"
Sakura shook her head. "Comatose would most directly mean that he was sleeping."
The Hokage shook her head. "It's possible that his mind is in comatose, but his body isn't."
"What do you mean?"
Tsunade raised a brow. "Do you remember what I told you last year?"
Sakura searched in the files of her mind for something that related to Sasuke's state. Then it clicked.
"You think that it's Akinetic Mutisum?"
"Excuse me, Akin whatta what?"
Sakura looked over at Naruto and tried to explain it.
"Akinetic Mutisum. It's when someone doesn't speak or move. It normally happens if someone experiences damage to the frontal lobe of his or her brain."
Naruto nodded in understanding, but then he shook his head at her. "Itachi didn't touch Sasuke's brain…or, I mean, where his brain is. Unless the sick fuck did some crazy shit with the Sharingan."
"I don't think that's it though." Tsunade murmured. "I think it might just be a state of Catatonia."
Sakura looked up at her teacher. "Catatonic Schizophrenia?"
"That's my best bet."
Naruto coughed out a short laugh and raised his hand. "Um, hi, not a doctor. What the hell is that?"
Sakura bit her lip. "It's a certain stupor. When someone doesn't show any response to any external change. They won't have any motor skills; they'll become mute. It's like he is locked up inside of his mind."
Tsunade nodded. "It is possible that his fight with Itachi did this to him. Made him get sucked into his memories."
Sakura sent a frantic look up at the older woman as a chill ran down her spine. "But we can't leave him like that! Do you know how horrible his memories are? With what happened to his family, and Orochimaru! I won't leave him like that!"
The Godaime laid a hand on the medic's shoulder. "I don't intend to leave him like that Sakura. But we need to perform a jutsu that can bring him out of this state. You know which I'm talking about."
"But you said I wasn't quite ready for that one." Sakura responded.
"Ready for what?" Naruto questioned, when he got no response he probed Sakura again, but she was staring at Sasuke with uncertain eyes.
"It's rather like Ino's mind transfer jutsu." Tsunade explained. "Sakura would have to go inside of Sasuke's mind and bring him out."
Naruto was silent as he stared at his two best friends. "Can…can she do that?"
"She's ready now." Tsunade nodded. "We need to prepare so we can do it tonight."
"But it's dangerous." Sakura whispered. "I could damage his personality, give him amnesia if I don't perform it right. Tsunade-sensei why can't you do it?"
"Because," Tsunade bent over and took her student's face in her hands. "You know him better than I do, Sakura. You will know what to say. Naruto can't do it. Kakashi can't do it. They're not medics. It has to be you. Someone that he is familiar with."
Sakura doubted this. It was Sasuke. Sure, since they had brought him back to Konoha he had become better friends with her; he spoke to her as a friend, like he did to Naruto. But would he want her invading his mind. Seeing what he sees?
It doesn't matter. She thought. He'll understand if it's to save his life.
She was immediately overcome with a strong feeling of determination, and nodded at her sensei.
"I'll do it."
"I'll get everything set up for you."
Tsunade squeezed Sakura's shoulders and walked out of the room. Sakura stared at Naruto and gave a nervous smile. The teen returned it after a moment, and went toward his friend. Sakura moved into his arms, and he stroked her hair gently.
"You can do this Sakura-chan. I have faith in you."
Sakura nodded into his shoulder, and returned his embrace.
"Will you stay with me Naruto? In this room, while I'm in Sasuke?"
She felt him nod, and then he pulled away. He cracked out his big goofy grin and tucked a piece of her short hair behind her ear.
"I'll even call Kakashi-sensei and tell him what's going on. I'm sure he'll come down too. It'll be like a crazy reunion."
Sakura giggled and nodded before walking out of the room.
When Sakura entered the hospital room that held Sasuke, she saw her old sensei leaning against the wall with his nose in his orange book. He looked up at her when she entered and raised a hand in greeting.
"Hey Kaka-sensei, how's it going?"
"Better than Sasuke." He shrugged.
She grinned at him, and then looked over at where Tsunade was. The blond woman was painting a red circle between the bed Sasuke was sitting on and the one that was against the wall across from him. The room was dark, two candles giving an eerie glow on the walls and lighting everyone's face with an orange tint. The ANBU squad that had once planted themselves on the wall outside the room had left. Now it was only Sakura and her original team. It was sad, Sakura thought, the things that had to happen to bring all of them together again. Sure, she saw Naruto every day, and she saw Sasuke once or twice a week, but she hardly ever saw Kakashi anymore. Most of the time, the men that she had once considered, (still considered) her boys were gone on missions.
"We're ready." Tsunade grumbled as she stood up. She positioned Sasuke's feet so that they were standing on the red circle, and then brought her honey eyes up to Sakura.
The kunoichi nodded and moved to the bed across from Sasuke, sitting directly in front of him. He stared into her emerald eyes, but then again, he didn't. Sakura moved her feet so that they were standing in front of his on the red circle.
"Ok everyone." Tsunade grunted. "Here are the rules if you're going to stay in this room. Rule one; get comfortable, because this is going to take a while. Rule two; no one steps on or inside the circle, that is what is binding Sakura to Sasuke, if there is any interference, the consequences will be dire."
"No rule three?" Naruto scoffed.
"Ok," Tsunade growled between clenched teeth. "Rule three; Shut the hell up."
Naruto rolled his eyes, then looked over at Sakura.
"You ready for this?"
"Good luck, Sakura." Kakashi's visible eye crinkled with an unseen smile.
"Thanks, sensei." She replied. Her gaze returned to Sasuke, and she stared into his onyx orbs, completely captivated. Then she performed several hand seals that ended with the sign of the dog. Once her hands connected into the last seal, she stomped her right foot onto the circle, and it glowed a bright neon green. Sakura's hands fell into her lap, and her jade orbs became opaque. Her expression mirrored Sasuke's.
"Sakura-chan?" Naruto moved from his leaning position on the wall to step towards her.
"Stop." Tsunade ordered. "She is inside his mind now. All we can do is wait."
"How do we know when she's out?" Kakashi shifted his gaze to the Hokage.
Sakura didn't know where she was. It was dark, and there were houses surrounding her. She continued to walk down the unfamiliar street, her gaze going from house to house. It was odd, she was in a small neighborhood, but there were no people. A deathly silence made her feet echo with each step.
"I am certainly not in Konoha anymore." She whispered to herself.
Her feet continued to carry her down the road until something to her right caught her eye and she stopped.
There, painted on the white stone fence, was the symbol of the Uchiha clan. The red and white fan was different though; it was dented in the middle, as if something strong had been jammed into it. The dent led a crack up the fan until it reached the top of the fence.
Then she understood where she was in Sasuke's mind.
The Uchiha district.
She only wished that it wasn't at the time that she thought it was.
A child's scream echoed in her ears and her blood ran cold.
Wishing got her nowhere.
She ran down the road, following the child's screams until she was brought to a large house. The child's cry reached her again, closer this time, and she ran into the estate. Her feet followed the boy's shrill hollers until it brought her to what looked like a training hall.
What she saw made her choke down a sob of her own.
A woman and a man lay on the wooden floorboards, crimson liquid pooling around their bodies. Sakura saw the frightened look on the young woman's pale face, her dead eyes reflecting agony and sorrow. The man lay over his wife, his eyes closed in pain.
Sakura looked to her right and saw a small boy, who shared the looks of the man and woman, standing against the wall. His hands tore into his hair, his face full of pure fear. Tears fell down his cheeks as his large dark eyes stared, not at his parents, but at the shadow that was standing over them.
Sakura followed his gaze and saw the sharingan staring at the boy. The young Uchiha next to her then fell to the ground with a large scream, and his fingers tore at his head.
Sakura's heart broke as she dropped to her knees next to her young friend. She reached out to touch the cringing boy, until he stopped screaming and lay hyperventilating next to her.
"S-Sasuke?" She whispered in a horse voice.
He gave no sign of hearing her.
She saw his lips moving, but didn't hear the words that were coming out. She looked up at the dark shadow of his parent's killer, his older brother, and saw the young man reply to whatever Sasuke had said. Yet she didn't hear him either. But suddenly Sasuke shot up with a cry and ran out of the room.
Sakura didn't understand, how come she could hear his screams, but not his words? She ran after the boy, crying out his name, but he didn't hear her. She was too far away, she couldn't hear him, and he couldn't hear her.
She continued to chase him, but then it was as if she was moving scenes. It wasn't dark any longer; she wasn't even in the Uchiha district. The small boy Sasuke had disappeared.
It was bright, and sunny. Three new Genin sat in front of a man with silver hair and a masked face. Sakura went around so that she could see the faces of the students, and she couldn't help the smile that graced her face. A twelve-year-old Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura sat in front of her. Naruto had that child-like look on his young face, and his sitting position reminded her somewhat of a dog. Hunched over and bored looking with his arms hanging in between his legs on the steps. She giggled slightly and her eyes traveled to Sasuke, who hadn't changed much. He wore his old blue outfit and sat with his elbows on his knees with his fingers laced together, covering the lower half of his face. Then she saw herself. Out of the three of them, she had changed the most. Her outfit was the old red dress that she grew out of when she was fourteen, her hair was long, almost to her waist, and she held such innocence in her eyes. Probably the only thing that the three children held in common was their cubby-cheeked face. Sakura looked down at her clothes now, the blue surgical scrubs she wore at the hospital, and she lifted a hand up to touch her short pink hair. She grinned and hopped up so that she was sitting on the rail next to Kakashi.
"Well, why don't you go first, so we know how to do it?" She saw the younger her say.
Sakura knew what her sensei's reply was going to be by heart, so she said it just as he did.
"Oh Me? My name is Hatake Kakashi. I have no desire to tell you guys about my likes and dislikes. Dreams for the future…? Well, I have a lot of hobbies."
She grinned wider at the annoyed look on the student's faces. She saw the younger her lean over to Naruto and mumble something to him that he nodded in agreement to.
"Ok, let's start with you." Kakashi nodded towards Naruto.
As Naruto expressed his deep love for ramen, the Nineteen-year-old Sakura hopped off the rail and went to sit next to Sasuke. She rested her head in her arms as she studied him.
"You really haven't changed all that much you know." She whispered to him.
He gave no reaction to her words. When the younger version of her spoke up on what she liked and disliked Sakura watched.
"I'm Haruno Sakura, I like…" The girl looked over at Sasuke. "I mean…the person I like is…" Her eyes trained on the last Uchiha. "My dreams for the future are…." She giggled and moved her blushing face to look away.
Sakura watched her younger self and then leaned in towards Sasuke, whom she saw was watching the young Haruno out of the corner of his eyes with an annoyed look.
"Wow, was I really like that?" She questioned the boy.
Sasuke grunted as if to say 'yes'. And Sakura grinned at him, weather it was for his reaction or getting a response out of him, she didn't know.
"I am so sorry." She laughed.
"I am Uchiha Sasuke." He responded to Kakashi's gesture. "I dislike a lot of things, and there isn't much that I do like. I don't have any dreams, but I do have a goal. And that is to kill a certain man, and restore my clan."
Sakura rolled her eyes and moved to rest her chin on the young boy's shoulder.
"You are way to angsty for a twelve-year-old's stability."
The boy shrugged his shoulder and she brought her chin up. Sakura's brow furrowed.
"Sasuke, can you hear me?"
No response from the child.
"Can you see me?"
The dark-haired boy's eyes moved to the side, and his head tilted a bit. But Sakura saw that he was staring right at her. He knew that she was there. Sakura smiled at him, before the scenery started to fade away. Sakura broke her gaze with Sasuke and looked around at the new place she was at, she knew it very well. It was a dark forest. The forest of death, to be exact.
"Now Sasuke-kun will come to me." She heard a voice that made her sick to her stomach say. "Because he wants power…that I can give him."
She shut her eyes and refused to look at the snake-bastard. But she knew that he had left by now and looked over where Sasuke was holding his neck and hissing in pain. The younger her kept questioning what was wrong with him, until he fell to his knees and grabbed her hand.
She remembered that he squeezed it so tightly that it almost broke, until he passed out and fell into her embrace.
She watched the young girl hold him and cry.
"I didn't know what else to do." She whispered to the scene before her. "I was so weak."
"There wasn't much you could do." A voice replied.
Sakura looked around for the newcomer, but there wasn't anyone besides herself and her past.
"This was about all that was in your power at the time." A voice spoke again.
Sakura wandered over to the unconscious Sasuke in her other's arms. She crouched down and looked at him. His eyes were open and he looked at her.
"You were weak." He said.
Sakura smirked sadly at him. "Sasuke, are you alright?"
"A pedophile just bit my neck." He grumbled.
Sakura laughed lightly. "Yeah, that would make just about anyone pissed off."
He glared at her slightly.
"I mean now," She put her hand over the younger Haruno's on his back. "Why do you keep going through these memories? I don't understand what you're trying to tell me, or what you're trying to tell yourself."
"It hurts." He replied.
"What does? Your neck? Yeah, that's gonna happen for a while."
He smirked at her in amusement. "You're annoying."
She sighed. "Yeah, you're going to say that a lot in the future."
She moved her hand from his back to his face.
"Sasuke, I need to know how to get you to come back with me. It's not healthy for you to stay this way. You have a life outside."
He moved his eyes away from her, and they closed again.
"Sasuke? Sasuke? Hey! Don't ignore me, you ass!"
The scenery faded around her again and she rolled her eyes.
"THIS IS GETTING REALLY OLD!" She shouted to the mix of colors.
It was night again, seemed like it always in Sasuke's mind. But she remembered this memory well. It was one that was close to her heart.
"If you go, I'll scream!" She heard a girl yell. Sakura turned around and felt a whoosh of air, she saw Sasuke's back. He was standing behind the girl.
His hand hit her neck and she fell over into his arms. He lifted the girl up, and her head lolled over to his chest.
He walked slowly towards the stone bench that sat against the woods. He put her down gently, and her head rolled away from him. He stared at the sleeping girl for a moment. Sakura saw his shoulder's tense.
"I thought about it, you know."
It took her a second to realize that he was talking to her, and not the sleeping child-like her.
"Thought about what?"
"I thought about what you said. About staying with you, and Naruto. Living my life here."
Sakura bit her lip, and he turned to face her.
"It was a bad idea." He mumbled. "If I stayed here, then I would never get stronger. I wouldn't beat him. If I stayed here, then he would have found me, and he would have killed me. He would have killed me. He would have killed you and Naruto. All the people that are important to me."
"You know," Sakura sighed and stepped towards him. "Naruto and I can take care of ourselves."
"Not then, you couldn't." He raised his eyes to hers.
"No, you're right." She nodded. "Back then your brother would have snapped me like a twig. But now, I think I would have given him a bit of trouble. What with the whole, healing-every-bone-he-breaks thing."
"That's true." He smirked. "But then he would have gotten annoyed and just used the Sharingan on you."
"Yeah, that would have sucked." Sakura sighed. "Sasuke, at the risk of sounding like Shikamaru, this is getting really troublesome. What are you trying to tell us by getting like this?"
"I'm not trying to tell you anything." He replied. "I just…I'm just…I don't know."
"Well, explain it to me, maybe I could help."
"You can't. No one can. You can't heal guilt."
She planted her hands on her hips. "Is that it? You feel guilty for your clan? For killing your brother?"
He smirked up at her and then the scenery changed around her.
"Oh for the Hokage's sake!" She stomped her foot on the ground and saw Naruto lying, broken and bleeding on the ground, Sasuke standing over him, broken as well.
"I thought of killing my brother." He told her, his eyes trained on Naruto. "My brother that loved me, that fought for me, that stood next to me. I realized here that Itachi wasn't my brother. Naruto was. That's why I chose not to kill him. I did choose it on a whim. But I chose it none the less."
"It was a good choice."
"It wasn't!" He glared up at her. "It was stupid! I am stupid! This would have been easier if I had killed him! I wouldn't be bonded to stupid Konoha! I would have gained the next stage of the Sharingan! I would have…"
"Been ridden with more pain then you would ever imagine." She snapped at him. Sasuke's mouth shut with a snap and he stared with wide eyes up at her.
"You fucking idiot." She mumbled. "It would have been like killing your clan all over again. Putting you through that pain all over again. Don't you understand that! You're just a boy Sasuke! A stupid little boy who doesn't know what he wants! The only thing you knew for sure is that you had Naruto and me! Wasn't that enough?! Weren't we enough?!"
"Not until he was dead." Sasuke whispered with a tight throat.
The scenes changed much faster this time, and Sakura paid attention and remembered this next scene well. It was four years ago. The first time that they saw Sasuke after he left. When he was still with Orochimaru.
"I kinda thought that you were hot here, you know?"
She snapped her head to look up at the boy who was standing above the crater, rather than in it like her. He snickered at her expression.
"It was the whim of a thought. Just suppressed hormones coming up to play. Lots of things are whims of thoughts these days." He gave a sickening sinister grin. "Just thought you'd like to know."
"Well I wouldn't!" She shouted up at him. "You're really starting to piss me off, here espically!"
"What's wrong Sakura? You don't like this memory?"
"I don't like the person you are in this memory! I'm finding that which each scene I see, you're the person that you were in that scene! And the Sasuke that you are now, the Sasuke that is sitting with a dumbass expression in the hospital right now, is you! My friend Sasuke!"
"Come off it Sakura, don't tell me you actually think of me as your friend."
"Of course I do." He mumbled, averting his gaze. "But I don't think that you could ever think of me as anything but the object of your stupid fangirl fantasies or your enemy."
Sakura was suddenly in the air in front of him, and she slammed her fist into his nose.
He flew backwards ten feet and then stared up at her in shock, his hand on the bridge of his nose.
"Is that what you think of me Sasuke? This warped view that you have?"
"No…" He whispered, and she saw his face age slightly, he looked like he does now, the man that she knows. "You're my friend. One of my best friends."
Before she could even process it, Sakura was standing next to Sasuke. He was on his knees on the ground; Itachi lying in front of him with his neck split open, scarlet painting the desert ground around him. Sasuke's face was blank.
"Oh good, we're recent." Sakura sighed.
"I hesitated, Sakura." He whispered. Sakura knelt down next to him, so that she could hear him better.
"I had wanted to kill him all my life, and I hesitated right before I did."
He shook his head, his brow furrowed. "I don't know."
"Is it because…he's your brother?"
"He's not my brother." Sasuke growled.
"I don't know. I'm just. I'm angry with myself. I hesitated. Not a lot, but enough for me to notice that I did."
Sakura exhaled and slowly, her arms came around him. One arm rubbed his back, and the other arm came around his neck until her hand lied in his hair. It was so much like how she hugged him when they were twelve in the Forest of Death. He slumped over on her too, only because she pressed against him so that he would.
"You hesitated." She whispered, her fingers brushing his hair softly. "That's alright. You killed him. That's all right too. I agree that he deserved to die. It's ok that you hesitated Sasuke, because I think that a part of you. Part of the child that you showed me in the beginning…recognized him as your old big brother. The one who used to carry you on his back and play with you? It was a small part. But it was there enough to make you hesitate, but you killed him anyway. It's ok Sasuke. He's dead now."
Her scenery changed, but right before it did, she felt him relax into her arms. But then he wasn't her nineteen-year-old Sasuke anymore. She was holding an eight-year-old crying boy. She was sitting in the room with his dead mother and father, and he was crying into her arms.
"Okaa-san and Tou-san…"
"It's alright." She moved so that Sasuke was sitting in her lap, and held him firmer to her. She rocked the weeping child back and forth and pet his hair, soothing him.
"You are only eight years old, Sasuke," She whispered. "You couldn't do anything. It was done by the time that you got there. It isn't your fault. Do you understand? It's not your fault."
The child wept harder and his small hands bunched into fists into her shirt, he buried his face into her shoulder and she smiled softly at him.
"It's alright…" She kept repeating it like a mantra. "Sasuke, do you know who I am?"
"You're S-Sakura." He sniffed.
"That's right." She smiled gently. Sakura lifted her hand and wiped away the tears from his round face. "Sasuke…do you trust me."
The boy sniffed and nodded his head.
"Ok." She nodded, and continued to hold him. "Sasuke, you need to wake up. I promise you that when you do…I will be right there. Ok?"
The child looked up at her with large, innocent, sorrowful eyes.
"You hug like Mommy."
She gasped softly and then smiled.
"Wake up, Sasuke-kun. We're all waiting for you. Your family is waiting for you."
The first thing Sakura was aware of was light shining through the curtains of the window.
She shook her head slightly and looked over to the end of the beds.
"Got any threes?"
"Go fish." Kakashi said, turning a page in his book.
"You didn't even look!" Naruto threw his hands up in the air.
"I still know I don't have any."
"You are such a cheater! I'm not playing with you anymore!"
Naruto was growling softly when he looked up and saw Sakura smiling at him.
"Hey!" He grinned at her. "How'd it go?"
She looked over at Sasuke, and saw him blink a few times. His eyes had some life to them again and the first thing that he saw was Sakura. His mouth opened slightly, and then he shut it again. Sakura scooted off of the bed and fell to her knees inside of the circle. She stared into his eyes and gave a breathtaking smile.
Sasuke slid off the bed, and into her arms. He didn't say anything, but she held him, exactly the way that she did when he was a small child. 'You hug like mommy,' he told her then. She threaded her hands into his hair, and his arms came around her.
He moved his head into her neck, and his lips brushed against her throat, probably by accident.
She held onto him tighter.
"I'm your teammate." She laughed softly. He shook his head.
"You're annoying." He mumbled.
Sakura laughed out loud, shaking both their bodies.
Naruto and Kakashi watched the pair inside of the circle, before Naruto stepped in as well and punched Sasuke lightly on the shoulder.
"Hey teme, don't freak the hell out of us again, ok?"
"Hn." He grunted, letting go of Sakura. Which might have been a mistake, because as soon as he did, Naruto tackled her.
"You are the most amazing medic in the world!" He laughed.
Sakura giggled and poked Naruto in the sides, making him squirm a little.
"Get off of me, you idiot."
Naruto chuckled and stood up, looking down at them.
"Well I don't know about you guys. But I'm super hungry! Ichiraku, anyone? Sasuke can pay for making all of us scared shitless."
"Gee, thanks dobe." He grunted.
"No problem what-so-ever!" The blond grinned and bounced out of the room.
Sasuke stood up and looked over to where Kakashi had stood, only to see that he had left already. He looked down at Sakura and offered a hand.
She slid her small hand into his large one and he pulled her up easily. He stared at her a minute, and she raised an eyebrow at him.
"What? Do I have something on my face?"
Sasuke shook his head, and smirked. "You'd make a good mom someday, you know?"
Sakura felt the blood rush to her face and she looked away, smiling.
"Come on, emo-king," She pulled his hand. "Let's go eat before Naruto orders seven million bowls of ramen and makes you pay for them all. You know he would."
In a somewhat daring move, Sakura laced her fingers through Sasuke's and walked out of the hospital room.
To her surprise, he didn't pull away.
Neither of them mentioned to anyone what happened that night. No one had asked them about it either. It was best that way. From then on it was just understood that Sakura and Sasuke had a bond that was different than before.
It was better that way.