A/N: A drabble collection. Prompts taken from the "30 angsts" LJ community, though I changed the secondary theme to one of my own choosing.

This might be slightly confusing, but for a few of these, I wrote about some of the possible futures (or lack thereof) for this couple; thus, not all of these drabbles are "canon," and not all of them "fit" together. You have been warned, so I don't want any comments about this.


- 1. Broken (all the pretty little pieces) -

He has been broken since he was a child.

The loss of all his loved ones at such a young age shattered something inside him, not something so cliché as his "heart," but something integral to forming relationships and friendships nonetheless. Being near other people in whom this something is still fully intact is painful, and so he seeks solitude to spare himself that unnecessary discomfort.

He is still little more than a child, and he is still broken, but for a time, Sakura is sure that he is healing somehow, at least a bit. He is warmer, less distant, more willing to spend time with them, with her. The broken pieces are not being shifted or twisted or moved; they are being joined together, jagged edges smoothed away, and while what is being formed is not exactly what had been broken, the pain is fading, and that is all that matters.

But such contentment cannot last, not for someone so fractured and incomplete. All he needs is a catalyst to return to his previous state, and such a thing is difficult--no, impossible--to avoid. Sakura fears that he will run away to seek what he cannot find hidden among the leaves, and though she begs and pleads and cries and swears that she loves him more than anything, still he leaves her with a headache and a flimsy attempt at gratitude.

There are some things that simply cannot be fixed, and she has to learn to accept that sometimes the pieces are too small to ever be put back together.


- 2. Toys (playtime isn't just for children) -

Uchiha Sasuke is a puzzle, and Haruno Sakura has more than a little trouble deciphering him. She finds to her immense frustration that she simply cannot understand him: there is no discernable pattern in his treatment of her. He seems so cold most of the time, and yet she gets the feeling that he is not really being honest, either with her or himself.

For, as little as he seems to care about her when they are safely in Konoha and going about their everyday lives, the instant she is in any sort of danger on a mission, the very moment she braces herself to take a hit, he is suddenly there, blocking the kick, or deflecting the kunai, or even taking the blow in her stead.

But when she tries to thank him, he is gruff and silent once more, always refusing to meet her eyes or divulge his reason for protecting her.

True shinobi don't let their teammates get killed, he finally mutters once, but he looks away too quickly for that to be the whole truth and refuses to say anything more on the matter.

Sakura is more than a little confused by his actions, but she cannot accuse him of playing with her emotions, of that she is certain: for he has never done anything but reject her outright.


- 3. Hand phone; cell phone; mobile phone (on call at all times) -

Working in a hospital is a largely thankless job. Oftentimes the people you're working with are in too much pain to show proper appreciation for everything that you're doing for them (and at times you really are doing everything for them). And yet, regardless of that Sakura still spends as much time as possible inside that building, oftentimes working herself to the point of exhaustion. In any emergency, she is the one who they call, and no matter what time of night, the nurses and other medic-nin know that Sakura will be there almost instantly, breathless and businesslike and pushing up her sleeves in a determined manner, demanding to know the specifics of the situation and snapping out orders. She is always on call, and more than a few patients should by all rights be grateful for that simple, unwavering dedication.

That sort of resolute commitment isn't only seen in vocational situations; it is a character trait that is exhibited in every aspect of her life. She is unbendingly, unswervingly loyal to her Village, to her family, and to her friends.

She is also loyal to herself, however, to her heart and her own feelings, despite the pain and assorted complications that more often than not are the only results of that devotion. That is why, despite his standoffish attitude, she refuses to give up on Sasuke. After all, he isn't cold all the time: occasionally he lets her touch him, comfort him, simply be with him, and even more rarely he comes to her seeking these things.

But never once has he thanked her, not since that night when they were twelve and she caught him leaving the village.

Perhaps he thinks it unnecessary, or too trite a phrase to express his gratitude, or perhaps he really and truly isn't thankful for everything she does for him.

But no matter what, she will always be there for him; no matter what, she will always answer his silent calls for help, even if she never again hears a single "thank you" fall from his lips.