Title: Someone Screaming

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Sasuke/Sakura

Rating: PG

Word Count: 1,573

Summary/Description: Now, amongst the screams of the past and the tears of today, he realises that he doesn't want to be the one who makes her cry.

Warning/Spoilers: There's some OOC, and maybe a little graphic-ness. You've probably got nothing to worry about spoiler-wise. This fic pretty much tells canon to go shove it.

A/N: I should write these two some fluff; I really should. God knows they deserve a break from being tortured by me. This was written a LONG, LONG, LONG time ago, as you'll probably be able to tell.

Disclaimer: Masashi Kishimoto is the man. I, am not.

Naruto exited the room, looking tense and surly, but in any case, in a better temperament than when he had gone in. Sakura had heard the shouts and yells, and had wanted to immediately rush in, but Anko had stopped her. It had taken all of her willpower to stop herself from breaking down the door and barging in.

The blond nodded at her as he walked past. Sakura glanced up at him, trying to further gauge his mood. In a far stretch from the norm, though, the Kyuubi vessel's features were indiscernible.

"You can go on in," he said, voice low and hoarse. His feet stilled. The cerulean eyes, hooded and bereft of their usual sparkle, flicked to her. "He's still in a priggish sort of mood," he warned. "Expect him to be as much of a bastard as the last time you saw him."

"Okay," she said softly. She watched his back recede, the familiar orange fade into the sweeping blackness of the corridor.

The kunoichi rose from her seat. Anko was standing at the ready at the door, holding it open for her. Sakura wished that she, and the numerous other ANBU members didn't have to be here, so close. They wouldn't be in the room, but Sakura still felt that they would be an intrusion.

It had been such a long time…

She nodded at the amethyst-haired woman, and padded past her arm. The door closed, and for the first time in five years, Haruno Sakura was alone with Uchiha Sasuke.

He was chained to a metal chair in the middle of the room, shirtless, head hanging low. Sakura recognised the iron bonds; they were made of special alloys, combined with iron and ore extracts, and fortified with chakra threads. They were the toughest bonds that Konoha had ever created, and would prove very difficult for even her to escape from, and flat-out impossible for anyone without her bizarre strength.

The seals that Ibiki and his team had drawn up on the floor were fresh and dark, writhing their way around the pale man. They had been thorough in their interrogation, Sakura noted, clenching her throat to repress a sob. White skin was bruised to a dark, angry burgundy, lesions scored his appendages, and blood matted his clothes and hair.

He didn't seem to be in any pain – at least any more. She comforted herself with that fact as she took several slow steps forward. Even so, she was sizing him up with a clinical eye. The harsh bruises near his ribs could mean fractures, and his left ankle seemed to be sprained. She had not been ordered to, but neither had she been forbidden to heal him. Maybe… if she had enough time…

Would he talk to her, she wondered. If she tried to communicate, would he respond? If she shouted and screamed and cried and poured the contents of her soul onto his lap and let him see what his leaving had really done to her, would he be sympathetic? Would he yell back, like he had at Naruto, and end up joining her in an all-out shouting match? She couldn't bear to think of Sasuke-kun flinging harsh words at her, with intent to cut deep and maim, but anything, anything, was better than that cool indifference that was all he had ever had to offer.

Her footsteps were too loud, her breathing too pronounced… everything seemed amplified to an excruciating degree in the cold, silent room. Sasuke lifted his head to meet her eyes, and something in her stomach cocooned tightly, on par with the uncertainty that surged forward like a flood. Black had never been such a welcome sight to Sakura, the onyx pools that she had drowned in time and time again in her youth. She trembled slightly, and ventured further.

Sea green orbs traced his features, getting acquainted with the newness. They slid across the proud forehead, sloped down angular cheekbones, skimmed the edges of a strong, firm jaw. They caressed the corded muscles of his neck, swept over the serrated edges of the unruly hair. The same handsome face, yet changed in so many ways. Thinner at the cheeks; squarer at the jaw. A couple of scars that marred the smooth expanse of his skin. Something in his eyes that she could not identify.

Those eyes told nothing as she got nearer and nearer. It was the same impassivity that had always dumbfounded her, stumped her. The shadows that lurked in those dark depths never rescinded, never surrendered to light. Sakura felt like she was walking blindly, and she hated the feeling. Creased between that tight little space between her memories and her insecurities, Inner Sakura was hunched over, mumbling soft, desperate curses. On the outside, Sasuke blinked, and the medic swore she heard someone screaming.

Two more steps brought her close enough to see the blue-black stubble peppering his jaw and neck; close enough to touch it. His eyes bore down into hers, blank, not even one flicker of emotion curling at the rims. The thickening in her throat heralded the moisture in her eyes, and she was just only beginning to realise that he was back; he was home, for good. That alone threatened to bring her to tears.

One more step, bringing her as close as she dared. The obsidian eyes wheeled away, dropping to the floor with the descent of the blue head. The dampness in the pink-haired girl's eyes grew, forming droplets that would give way to tears. Her breath hitched, and she damned every muscle in her arm that made her hand stretch up and out of its own accord, fingers flexing, wrist shaking.

"Sasuke-kun," she rasped, trembling, almost spastically. God, to touch him… It had been five years…

"Aa," he replied, not lifting his head, and something in Sakura snapped.

Sakura's fingers made an indistinct sort of clapping noise as she snapped them into a fist. The arm recoiled sharply, and pistoned forward with all of the kunoichi's weight behind it. Her fist connected with the missing-nin's jaw with an audible crack. Sasuke's body lurched to the side, straining against the holds of the chains that bound him. The metal creaked; one of the links snapped. The blue-haired man coughed violently, wracking coughs that shook his whole body. Bright blood spattered onto his lap, a pearl-white molar in its crimson midst.

Sasuke blinked, straightened, gave another weak cough that made blood bubble at his lips, and said nothing.

Sakura broke; splintered like a glass frame under pressure. She folded to her knees before him, sobs spilling unchecked and free from her lips, like raindrops from a hopeless sky. Low and mournful, Sakura cried into his lap, blood smearing her cheek, her fingernails digging into the sides of his thighs. Her saline anguish undulated on her cheeks, and permeated the worn, dirty material of his pants. Aching and bleeding from a place inside where even she herself could not reach, could not mend, Sakura cried.

Uchiha Sasuke stared with bleary eyes at the girl, the phantasm of his past. The grip she had on his upper thighs hurt, but that barely registered to the avenger as his dull eyes burned a hole into the rose-pink of her hair.

He had been careless. Coming back from an assassination, he hadn't realised that the route he was taking was dangerously close to his old home. Coming upon Shikamaru's ANBU platoon taking a breather in a clearing had been an ugly surprise. When a tall, wiry blond had ripped off his fox mask and barrelled into him with the force of an unruly canon, it hadn't been any more agreeable.

Naruto had never been one for pleasantries.

Five hours later – three of which had been spent screaming his agony and his secrets to the ceiling of the cramped interrogation room, and another half an hour arguing heatedly with his old best friend – and here he was. A severed best friend who probably never wanted to see him again, and a broken team-mate crying in his lap.

His eyes shifted into focus, bearing down on her. She was always crying, wasn't she? It chafed to admit it, but it was the truth. And it was always because of him, wasn't it? The emerald eyes only welled with tears because of him.

And Sasuke was tired. A deep, innate weariness that belonged on the shoulders of an eighty year old man, not an eighteen year old boy. There were battles that he had lost, those he had won. There were his ambitions, his pride, his hatred. But now that he had come full circle, to the place that had begotten him, he was beginning to see that none of that really mattered. Not when juxtaposed with the important things, things that had been forgotten.

Sasuke found himself wanting to remember.

Naruto was his friend; his best friend. And he didn't want to fight with him; not like that. Sakura, she was his friend also, maybe a little more. And in the end, he didn't want to be the one who made her cry.


The kunoichi felt a weak pressure at the top of her head, moving against her cherry blossom locks. It came as almost as much of a shock as the low, rough whisper had. She looked up, blinking the tears away rapidly, hiccoughs jerking her frame.

"Don't cry."

A/N: Okay, I know you're thinking that that's way OOC for Sasuke, and it is. And I really despise OOC Sasuke, but I was feeling really lazy while writing this fic, and I just wanted it to end, damn it. And besides, after being beaten to shit by ANBU, and having a shouting match with Naruto, gosh, even Sasuke-kun's bastardity is going to be a little tempered. So, I hope that bit of introspection was believable.

As a side-note, this whole fic was born out of an urge to see Sasuke get hit.

I very much doubt that I shall ever even glance in this fic's direction ever again. If in fact I do, maybe I shall edit it. Maybe. Maaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyybbeeeeee.

(I.e., Never.)

Anything you have to say, from "You suck" to "Good job" would be appreciated.