Sasuke Uchiha, I hate you.

Surprising, ne? The infallible Sakura, actually hating the great, sexy, Sasuke? Surely not possible. And yet, it is. Funny thing is, I had to get murdered to realize it. It hit me when I saw Lee, sweet little dumbass that he is, cradling my cooling body while badly silenced tears poured out of wide, innocent eyes.

But, that's not the point.

So here I am, literally a mere ghost of what I once was, watching you sitting huddled in some damp cave in the middle of nowhere. Dreams of ruling the world and winning over your brother are slowly fading away, disappearing with the snake that possessed your body; eventually he shucked you like the second skin you are. Hurts to be taken advantage of, doesn't it? Surely lying in a bloody heap of blue and white cloth wasn't what you imagined being, years- no, mere months ago- when evil sidled up and offered you power in a simpering, seductive voice.

You know, you being in Konoha held life in balance. Our sacred little trio kept life in this horrid age somewhat bearable. After you disappeared, everything shattered. You remember the mirrors Haku used way back when? It shattered exactly like them; strength suddenly became so utterly weak in moments. Naruto wilted, he just wilted like a flower that had been picked, caressed once or twice, than dropped to die in some dark corner. I cried my fragile little eyes out and ripped out this glaring pink hair in frustration, sadness, doubt, and a little fear. No, don't try to stand up, you horrible little excuse for a boy, I've got something to say and you aren't going anywhere until i'm finished. Now listen the fuck up, 'cause you're not moving anytime soon judging from that gash Orochimaru gave you, and I'm the only one who can save you. Not that I'm going to.

I said listen you asshole! Listen! I don't think I can leave this realm until I give you a piece of my mind. Now try to make yourself comfortable, try to ignore the feeling of your life blood slipping thickly out of you. Maybe a... final bedtime story will calm those nerves and soothe the pain. The physical pain, anyway.

But, that's not the point.

I remember how used to stroll around Konoha like you owned the world, and, well, you probably did. You had all the girls, all the moves, and all the godamn eyes. Sasuke, the dark avenger. My ASS. All the girls and most of the guys fell for it, you know, the whole sulky angsty don't-mess-with-me-i'm-sasuke-uchiha-bitch persona. I did too. Even poor Naruto did. Maybe even Kakashi.

Emotionless and hostile, the only person you were given the honor to call friend was your polar opposite. He was so different that people even treated him differently. Who could blame them? He was the demon, and you were the poor orphaned child who watched his brother kill his parents. Maybe that's how he got under your skin. The way people ignored the guy with real problems, and focused on the kid with problems they could understand. Sort of.

Or was it just the fact that he looked so different? Was it the way his skin gleamed tan and scarred whereas you had your own silky pale smooth epidermis. Or was it the way his eyes were so different from yours? So open, loving, caring... kami I feel like an idiot. Chasing after you when he was so close. Why, why, did we all ignore him when he was sitting all alone, reaching out with innocent, heartbroken, albeit slightly foxlike hands to a seemingly gray, cold world that wanted you. You. You make me sick. Sick doesn't express it! Right now I wish... I wish that your brother had killed you, Sasuke! I really do!

But, that's not the point.

I want you to know, or at least feel some vestige of the pain I- no, Naruto- felt for you. You know, seeing you two fight to within an inch of death -heh, you guys called it sparring- made me want to imagine that maybe time could freeze. Freeze so that everyday, we could wake up, and nothing had changed. Danger still lurked at the edge of the village, but inside, we were all safe. Freeze so that every day you two fought some mock war that strengthened your bonds instead of breaking them. I remember your every morning, every night, every waking moment would be spent fighting and training silently, but you two had some mental chat going on, some conversation of the soul. I think that maybe if time had slowed down, if it had frozen like I fervently wish, you two might've fallen in love. It was a possibility, you know? It really was. Kakashi and Iruka already had jumped that milestone, and it seemed inevitable that you two would follow in the tentative footsteps of your senseis.

Hmm? Oh... yeah. Sure it hurt, thinking like that, but it seemed, and it is, so much better than the way things have turned out now. Damn you Sasuke. kami fucking damn you! This is all your fault you know. You and your need for power. It was cool, and provocative, the way you were willing to chop, hack, smash, slice, claw your bloody way inch by agonizing inch towards your slightly homicidal cravings, but it wasn't good. Not for any of us. And especially not for him. It was only a matter of time before you'd break your limits, Sasuke; the only problem was that no one was willing to admit it, let alone actually do something. We all forgave you time and again.

But, that's not the point.

Heh, I'd bet if someone asked you to betray your friends, you'd pause, give it some thought... then you'd ask, 'what's in it for me?' in that casual, cold, hateful tone. Shit, your onyx pupils probably dilated hungrily when Orochimaru made that exact same proposition. You know, eyes really are the windows to your soul... and maybe even your heart. Don't understand? Think about it, you were always the smart one, eventually you'll get it.

I remember the way I ran up to Naruto sobbing and making him promise to bring you back. Back from the evil that had taken over your perfect little black haired body.

He said he'd bring you back Sasuke. He promised. Me, himself, and you. He promised everybody. But you never did come home. Why couldn't you just-?

But, that's not the point.

As soon as I died, I went back in time. I had to see what happened that day, when he went after you and you two had this great battle to end all battles. I saw the way his mind worked, the way he blamed himself for what you had done. He saw the hate in your eyes with every blow, and it broke his heart. He was crying, you asshole! Naruto isn't supposed to cry, it's impossible, he can't, just can't. The tears streamed down his face all the same, though, and still he fought, smiling briefly, but so hollowly at the way your eyes matched his in the blood red clouds of unbridled rage. None of the feeling, none of the... Naruto was there. The only reason he didn't break down and die of the sadness that was steadily tearing through his heart was the small, almost masochistic comfort of knowing that at least you were close, that at least he could feel each blow, regardless of the way you were slowly ripping him apart.

Every time you touched, however brief, however painful, he savored it. Maybe he knew what was going to happen. Maybe he knew that you were going to crush his head into the ground and watch him pathetically slip into the glittering turquoise waters. But he had hope. Which is more than you will ever have.

So you left him there, bleeding, broken, crying, sobbing, asking, begging for you to come home, so that maybe things could go back to the way they were. So that maybe, just maybe life could go back to the bittersweet heaven it used to be.

He opened his eyes for a moment under those deceivingly calm waters, and the hoarse sob that broke his throat, muffled by the choking clogging yet crystal clear liquid... he was whispering your name, Sasuke... before he slipped into blessed unconsciousness...

And you... you just watched... were you enjoying it? Enjoying the way he looked at you so weakly, painfully, the way he reached for you, only to fall short mere inches from your damnably perfect, cold, pulseless chest? Bastard. You fucking bastard! How could you?

But, that is the point.

Hey, Sasuke? I think I know why I was so obsessed with you. I think I got hate confused with love. Maybe if you think, maybe, just maybe, there's a chance that someone you pretend you hate, you actually… but that's a lot of maybes, and you're Sasuke.

Right now, though, Naruto stumbles aimlessly through life... to him there is nobody left... sure, he became hokage, but at what cost? The loss of you, me, Iruka, Kakashi, Tsunade, Jiraiya, everyone. Still he protects what's left of our already small village with a warm heart and a happy hyper mask of ecstatic life. It's not like that much has changed, the same amount of people love him. Many more respect him. Underneath that suspiciously frozen mask, though...

But, that's not the point.

At this single moment, a clone sits stoically in his desk, while the real Naruto runs through the forest, silently crying, and still searching for the famed traitor of Konoha...

Sasuke Uchiha, I hate you.

More than you will ever know.

But, what's the point?