The Seven Deadly Sins
Chapter 1 - Lust : Luxuria
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Naruto.
This idea hit me suddenly as I was reading a synopsis of The Divine Comedy, which I have been recently interested in. (It's a 14th century epic poem written by Dante Alighieri which strongly influences Christianity.) Anyway, this story is going to be exactly 7 chapters, one for every sin, and I am hoping that it will be original and entertaining.
Thanks to everyone for their help in supporting this idea, and I hope it lives up to your expectations!
Special thanks to my awesome beta, Psychedelic Aya!
His hands seemed to be burning trails of fire onto her pale skin as they swept across her face, her neck, her chest, and torso. She felt the ache of want deep in the pit of her stomach, throbbing insistently as she tried to grope for his hand. She needed something, anything, to be released from this... torture.
"Sasuke!" The name she moaned, the voice she used, the simple arch of her hips, drove him mad and he could do nothing but her bidding, until they were both so close to the edge that he could not think rationally.
Bruised lips taunted him, and he leaned close to lick them slowly before covering them with his own. The kiss was harsh and possessive, but that was what she needed, and that one lip-lock brought her spiraling down, eyes squeezed shut as broken shards of iridescent light swirled in front of her. He came with her, pushing against her thin, fragile frame as his body shook from pleasure akin to pain. He had bitten his lip in his effort to keep silent, and a drop of blood slid onto the white, white pillows.
As they lay, breathing heavily in the aftermath, Sakura could have sworn the shadows on the walls were dancing. She wrapped her arm across his neck to keep him from moving, the heat of their bodies comforting her more than the act of sex itself.
His dark, onyx eyes opened slowly, the spiky lashes brushing her cheek, and he stared into her, devouring her with his gaze.
"I love you," she said quietly.
She always said that after they had exhausted themselves, telling him and letting him know that she cared, that he wasn't just a fling. He had never returned those words, the baring of a part of his soul.
"I know." His voice was just as soft, but it held none of the promise as hers.
She smiled, the expression barely reaching her eyes, and nodded. She relaxed her arm and allowed him to rest next to her, their bodies touching just slightly. She did not push for anything else, too jaded to expect more.
They were silent, both lost in their own thoughts. It had always been that. Lust brought them close and they usually wound up in her small house, in her bedroom and on top of her cotton sheets. The moon guided them in their joining and their whispers were only heard by the wind.
Her eyes closed; she always fell asleep first, and he always left after he was sure she was completely lost in her dreams. It was an illusion of safety that he felt he owed, and tonight was no different.
As her breathing calmed and became smooth and regular, he slowly slid his leads down the bed, carefully covering her in a sheet so she wouldn't be cold, and dressed in the dark. Before he left, he would stare at her face again, drinking in the curves, the hollow of her cheeks, the smooth, milky skin glowing in the dim light.
He walked outside, closing the bedroom door softly, down the stairs, and groped for his keys on the cool surface of the leather couch. Finding them and sweeping on his jacket, he left her house silently and locked the door with the key she had given him. Looking as he stared up to the bedroom he had just left, he allowed himself a single moment of weakness.
The late summer heat brought sweat rolling down her face, sticking the petal hair to her forehead. She rolled, trying to move herself to a cooler part of the sheets. The scent of freshly cut grass wafted into the room, awakening her further.
She sniffed again, breathing in the air, but then... She also smelled smoke. She would have suspected a barbeque... But... Not 4:00 in the morning. Perhaps... Her eyes looked towards the door.
Fear, cold, gripping fear, froze her body. There was a sputtering orange glow coming from underneath the door. It took her less than a second to figure out why it was there: her house was on fire. She was going to die, because there was no way for her to get out. The house was two stories high and nothing would break her fall if she jumped out the window. Opening the door was out of the question. She was going to die and she had never yet heard the word 'love' on the lips of the man she felt so much for.
A sob shook her chest and she tried to shake herself into being rational. 'You have to get out. You have to get out now. Sakura! You're smart. Think of something. Stay calm.' She steeled herself, faltering slightly as she noticed how hot the her room was getting.
She tripped over the sheets as she tried to find her clothes, dressing herself as quickly as she could. It amazed her that, though she could die, she was still thinking about her modesty.
'Okay. What do they always do in the movies? Tie the sheets together?' She quickly pulled them together, tying tight knots as she looked around for something to secure the sheet onto. She looked to the leg of her antique vanity. 'It'll have to do.'
Tugging on the make-shift rope, she wrapped it around the leg of carved mahogany, tying the sheets together with renewed vigor, pulling on the two ends until the skin was rubbed raw on her palms. She went to the window, taking a deep breath, and grabbed the makeshift rope. Breathing in deeply and strengthening her resolve, Sakura threw herself out of the window.
She wasn't graceful enough in her jump to steady the rope, and she could feel it slipping more quickly than she had anticipated. Sakura used all of her upper arm strength to slide down the rope. Just when she was a few feet from the concrete sidewalk, the knots gave out and she fell awkwardly onto the ground.
A sharp pain shot up her leg and her eyes watered. Bending down, she tried to feel the bones in her ankle, praying that none were broken. She heaved a sigh of relief when she felt no breaks; it was probably just a sprain. She quickly glanced to her burning home. She could see the flames inside the house, licking away at the furniture.
Sakura felt drained of emotions as she watched the inside of her house go up in flames. She felt no sorrow, no answer, no... anything. She just felt the blind will to survive. Using all of her remaining strength, she tried to stand, groping for the fence to steady herself. Once she was upright, she tried to limp onto the sidewalk, her left leg continuing to throb.
"Oh my God..." The words slipped from her mouth as she saw the fire consuming her living room curtains. And suddenly, she felt so very tired. The stress, pain, and shock pounded into her as a single fist, and Sakura felt worn out. Without another thought, Sakura allowed herself to drift into unconsciousness.
From behind her silhouette, the fire continued to burn.
"Is she alright?"
The middle-aged blonde woman looked up from her charts to the panting young man before her. Her lips curved into a slight smirk when she realized who he was and couldn't stop herself from teasing him.
"Can I help you, sir?"
His eyes widening slightly, Sasuke ground out a respectful greeting, trying hard not to groan. "Tsunade-sama." Why did it have to be her? From the dozens of doctors in the hospital, he had to stop to talk to this one–the woman who, a few years ago, had taught them him the basics of first aid in the academy, and had required all of her students to call her by the most respectful title she could think of.
She continued to smile, though now with less arrogance. "I'm glad you remember me, Uchiha Sasuke. Still looking as tense as ever, I see."
Sasuke grit his teeth. He didn't have time for this. He had to know if Sakura was safe. "How is Haruno Sakura?"
Tsunade heaved a sigh and placed the chart back onto the table before her. "She's extremely lucky, if that's what you're asking." She looked up to Sasuke with a serious expression on her face. "She was smart enough to get herself out of the house. If she hadn't, she wouldn't be here in the hospital. Alive, that is."
Sasuke hissed, anger darkening his eyes. 'If.' The word was too dangerous to touch. "Is she conscious yet?"
Pursing her lips slightly, Tsunade allowed herself to study the boy, her honey brown eyes cool and intelligent. "Yes, she's conscious... Mild carbon monoxide poisoning, but, like I said, she's lucky. She has a minor sprain in her left ankle and she's still coughing from the smoke inhalation, but I am willing to release her tonight... Providing she has a place to go, of course."
"Her house is completely gone?"
"Well, I guess she could sleep in the backyard if she wanted. Luckily the back deck was proofed with a fire retardant, so it was partially saved. But yes, according to the paramedics who brought her here, the house is just a smoldering skeleton now."
Sasuke's body was itching to move, to find his... lover? It could be his fault she could have died. It could be his fault that she had been in danger. The worst part was that she had been in danger, and he had not been there to protect her.
"Can I see her?" Sasuke struggled to keep his voice steady. His hands were clenched into fists inside his pockets.
Tsunade smiled secretly to herself at his strained concern. Who would have thought? Uchiha Sasuke, the man who never showed emotion, not even pain, cared for her former student, the pink haired girl that, years ago, had chased after him with almost mindless abandon. Back then, he didn't seem to want to give her the time of day. What had changed?
"Yes, I suppose you can... Don't excite her too much, though. The initial shock is over, but that doesn't mean she's fully absorbed it." With those words, the doctor turned to lead Sasuke down the hall.
Pausing before the door marked 4-18, Tsunade stopped and looked intently into Sasuke's face. "Remember, be careful around her. You must remember that she has lost all of her possessions and her home. Be gentle."
Sasuke nodded, agreeing to her requirements. "I will."
Still eyeing him warily, Tsunade opened the door and allowed Sasuke into the clean, white room.
Sasuke's breath caught in his throat when his dark eyes passed over Sakura, whose eyes were closed. She looked so pale and delicate, he was afraid to touch her. She looked as if she were a broken porcelain doll. She looked so small on the bed, her pink hair splayed over the pillows.
The girl's eyes fluttered open immediately, and filled with tears when they rested on him. "Sasuke!"
He couldn't stop himself from walking forward to be closer to her. "How are you feeling?" His sudden worry was uncharacteristic and Sakura didn't know whether she wanted to cry into his shoulder or freeze her emotions inside.
She opted for just nodding, and letting their eyes break contact. "Fine. Just a sprained ankle."
Sasuke's brow furrowed as he watched her wind up into her shell. His hand tentatively reached out and touched her shoulder. "I'm sorry."
Her head snapped up. "For what?"
"I wasn't there to protect you."
A watery smile. "You couldn't have known. I'm fine, I promise."
"You don't have a place to stay." It was spoken like a fact, not a question.
Sakura held in a sob. "My house is gone." She looked down to her hands, resting limply on the crisp hospital sheets.
Without even thinking, the words popped out of his mouth: "Stay with me." He hurried to finish his offer. "At least until you find a new place to live."
The pink haired woman couldn't stop herself. The absolute stress and fatigue came rushing back again, and she needed the comfort he was offering. Without thinking, Sakura threw her arms around Sasuke's torso, weeping helplessly.
Sasuke's arms awkwardly wound themselves around the crying girl. Her body shook with the sheer power of her sobs, and he noticed exactly how small and frail she was. A bird-bone brittle body.
Her sobs eventually softened and she grew quiet, her breathing becoming more regular as her exhaustion brought her into a deep, dreamless sleep. Sasuke removed her arms slowly and gently moved her head back onto the pillow, drawing the covers over her body.
He stared down onto her tear-stained face and sank into the chair next to the bed. Watching her with dark eyes, he allowed himself to think. Inside his mind, he allowed himself to speak. He allowed himself to say the things he never could in front of her. He allowed himself to be human.
'I'm sorry... I'm sorry I wasn't there to help you. I'm sorry I can't return your feelings. I'm sorry I've fallen for you. And... I'm sorry I can never tell you.'
End Note: This story was originally written in Summer of 2004, around the same time Shattered Minds was published. I withheld this piece because I wanted to write a few more chapters. Now that I've regained interest and significantly edited it to better fit my current writing style, I think it's the right time to post it.
Feedback would be wonderful.