A/N: I wrote this story a long time ago. It's one of my... least favorites, I must say. Yet I still like it. Anyway, enjoy and review!
Sakura's Story: Guilty for Being Blind.
It all started when the three-man teams were assigned: I was stuck with an obnoxious, loud-mouth brat who only seemed to enjoy irritating me. Much to his dismay, and my glee, a skilled raven-haired Uchiha was also on our squad. A man named Hatake Kakashi was our sensei, always late, but a really good person once you got to know him.
I forget how my crush for Uchiha Sasuke-kun developed into a love. A love so painful, and one that I just couldn't erase. I'm so glad I had Uzumaki Naruto...
I still don't understand why Sasuke-kun left Konoha, thirsty for power; and he sought out Orochimaru, a legendary sannin snake-bastard. I hated myself for being so weak, letting the boy I loved leave. I tried, but I couldn't seem to do anything; and Sasuke-kun just left me... Seemingly all alone... I was wallowed up in my own pain, that I couldn't see Naruto, who was always there for me.
Every day, I regret the way I used to treat him, especially then...
When Sasuke-kun was gone, my world crashed, my heart torn, but I never thought about Naruto, who aided me, saved me, kept me alive and out there. He pulled me to my feet, and stayed there in case I fell again; he made sure to help me rebuild myself. The boy adolescent risked his life for me so many times it's not even funny.
Part of me is crushed, and always will be. It's not just because Sasuke-kun betrayed us, but because of the way I acted towards Naruto. Why couldn't I see his pain?! He remained by me, but I never once thought about helping him deal with his own grief. It's not like he ever showed it, just barely, because Naruto was always so cheerful, active, childish, and confident. I rarely ever got to see the other side of him, the one that carried all the burdens from his past; the one that held the scarred and wounded soul of my dear friend...
Naruto kept me happy, not once giving up and letting me be all depressed and sad. The smile on his whiskered face masked everything from behind it, but I never even attempted to look close enough; I was too busy trying to be annoyed with Naruto, but my lips would always pull up into a grin, and even if I wasn't grinning, my heart soared for a time.
I shall always cherish that boy for being with me. My relationship with him was a brotherly/sisterly type of love; and I remember once that Sai and captain Yamato pointed out how gentle I was with him, so caring, but I still wondered how I could possibly consider Naruto a brother, when I barely knew him!
So strong he was... I can recall his sparkling azure eyes, spiky and tawny-colored hair, his whisker marks, the orange and black he dressed up in; I can remember everything. How could I forget?
I struggle to this day, pondering as to why I loved him, even forgave him for everything, except...
"N... Naruto!!" I sob uncontrollably, my tears spilling like violent rain-drops and soaking into the shredded and bloody clothing of Uzumaki Naruto, who lay there on the rocky ground that is close to annihilation, his face pale and burnt. His eyes are closed, his body limp. I continue to try healing his wounds, pressing and attempting to even send my chakra into him. Deep down, I know it's useless, but I refuse to admit it, that Naruto is dead... My hands are covered in a crimson fluid that once belonged to him, my pearly-white tears mingling with it. "Naruto!!!" I cry, weeping once the truth slaps me hard in the face. He's dead... For real this time... Not even the Kyuubi can save him, and now they're both dead... Gone...
I care not for the damned nine-tails, but for my companion, my beloved brother! Earlier I expected for Naruto to suddenly open his loud mouth and complain that his body hurt like hell, or something of the sort, like he usually did after saving my weak ass... But there is no heartbeat... No breathing... No chakra... Nothing... And his body is freezing cold by now and I collapse and bury my face into his chest, not caring if I am only smudging more dirt and blood onto my face. "Why...?" I whisper, crying freely, not forgetting that a certain dark-head is watching from behind, his stoic eyes showing a hint of astonishment, and yet I know he's glad... The damn bastard's glad that he killed Naruto, the nuisance who kept trailing him, trying to mend our bonds. I want so badly to scream enough to rattle the earth and cuss myself out, but I just remain where I am, my body shaking. Slowly, slowly my eyes start to dry up, and my tears are done flooding.
"Darkly Tumult Dragon Jutsu!" yelled Sasuke, thrusting his palm upwards into the air. Naruto and I stared in shock as the clouds gathered and blackened, and beneath us the ground shook violently. Dozens of dragon-like forms shot out of the sky and coiled, heading straight towards us, their jaws gaping wide and roaring, flames everywhere about them. Their bodies were shadowy, and yet if you touched them, they're like stone that cannot be broken. Metal spikes jutted out of the dragons' sides, eyes, and snout.
"SAKURA-CHAN!" yelled Naruto. So fast, that I couldn't react, he shoved me out of the way, sending me as far as he could. The jutsu struck him, and the entire ground quivered and seemed to explode before I landed, my back skidding along tiny rocks that pierced my skin. The commotion finally settled after a few minutes, and there was a large crater that even I, with my superhuman strength, couldn't create. Naruto stood in the center, his body scorched and bleeding, fresh gashes dragging down his chest and impaling his heart as well as his lungs. Naruto's hair was matted in red, and I could see his right arm was broken, just like his crushed legs, but somehow, he was standing.
"Naruto..." I said quietly, my voice getting louder. "NARUTOOO!"
My friend then fell into a bloody heap, his voice scratchy. "Sakura...-chan..."
"Naruto... I am so sorry... So, so, so sorry for everything..." My voice is but of a whisper barely heard, it would take very keen ears to hear. Only now I think... and realize what Naruto has been through... I know he had a Bijuu in him, and I assumed his past was difficult. But...
I grow determined, and straighten myself. Placing my hands on Naruto's stomach once more, I think of Chiyo-Sama, who was the only one able to use a life-transferring jutsu, a jutsu where you can bring a person back to life, but you give up your own in the process. Chakra glows on my bloody hands, covering them with a green orb of light. I will bring Naruto back... Somehow... I think.
Impossible. She will never be able to commit such a jutsu, thought Sasuke, instantly recognizing what was happening. The teenager has been wordless the past twenty minutes, watching silently as Haruno Sakura cried over Naruto. He surprised himself by remaining so tolerant and still, almost guilty.
"This is for you, Naruto... Live and become Hokage, the greatest of them all... This is what I owe you for everything you've done for me..." I smile weakly as I feel my strength leaving me and entering him. I see the color returning to the boy's face, and I'm glad. The wounds begin healing and the burns are disappearing. My vision flickers and blurs, and I feel light-headed.
"Sa... Sakura...-chan..." I hear, so low and soft. Naruto is barely conscious, like I am. I use the last of my chakra and begin falling backwards, everything turning black around me. Visions rush through my mind. My past, along with Naruto's, connect, and I witness what happened to my comrade before engulfed in complete darkness.
-Ten Days Later-
So loud... I think, irked. My head is already pounding like hell, and my body hurts. I can sense someone's face above my own, and my fist immediately meets it. I hear a yelp of pain and a crash, and I slowly open my eyes.
"Ah, you're awake at last," kindly greets Tsunade, surprising me.
I attempt to sit up, but I only meet the soft mattress against my back again. I realize my body is out of strength, and I wonder why, and how long I've been here, in the Konoha hospital. I turn my head instead and see Naruto stuck in the wall, his face red from getting punched. Memories start flooding back and I instantly bolt out of bed, gripping Naruto in such a bone-crushing embrace, nearly popping his blue eyes out.
Tsunade looks surprised, her dazzling brown eyes wide. A moment ago Sakura was barely able to move, but now she's acting as though she hasn't been in a coma at all, she thought with a smile, realizing why.
"Naaaaaaaaruto!!!" I cry, letting him go. "You're aliiive!" My childish self is on at full blast. I am so happy to see my brotherly companion.
"Of course!" yells Naruto, pumping his fist into the air, smiling big time. "Sakura-chan, you saved me!!! I don't even have the stupid fox in me anymore!"
I blink. "Really?!" I ask.
Tsunade steps up. "Yes. When Naruto died, the Kyuubi died as well. You only had enough will and chakra to bring Naruto back, but the nine-tails is gone for good now," she said. "Sakura, you are amazing," the fifth adds.
Naruto nods vigorously. "Yeah, yeah!!! Thank you so much, Sakura-chan! I don't know what to do to repay you!" he cries.
I just smile. "Arigato Naruto, it's alright," I say. Then something else comes up. "Wait... Where is Sasuke?" I ask, forgetting to add the suffix '-kun' I always crooned affectionately, just for the Uchiha I loved.
Naruto and Tsunade fall silent, glancing at each other. A cold fear strikes me, but then it is replaced by nothing.
"He's... dead, isn't he?" I just question.
Slowly, Naruto nods, looking away. "Gomenasai... Sakura-chan... I forgot that I died... and thought you did instead... I grew so angry that I fought Sasuke again. I... I... I ended up killing him..." The last part is said so softly, just barely above a guilty mumble.
I look down, staring at the plain white tiles of the floor. "Well... I guess it is all for the best, huh?" I state, my gaze once again shifting to Naruto and the fifth Hokage, who both look shocked. Tsunade then nods, agreeing.
"Yes... Yes, it is," she says.
Naruto is quiet. "So, then... You forgive me?" he finally asks.
"Of course! Why wouldn't I?" I smile again.
As I stand here over Sasuke's grave, a few tears leak out of my green eyes. I wipe them away impatiently, and stare at the gravestone, marked: "Uchiha Sasuke," and that is it. No one bothered to put more, for Sasuke was a traitor, and he just doesn't seem to matter anymore. Naruto and I haven't forgotten him, and probably never will. Somehow, and I really do not know why, but my love for Sasuke hasn't disappeared fully yet. I wonder if it ever will. My thoughts are interrupted by a shout from behind me. I turn and put on an annoyed expression, faking, as Naruto trots up, smiling widely. Hyuuga Hinata rushes to catch up with him, gasping for air.
"Sakura-chan! Wanna head to Ichiraku Ramen with Hinata-chan and I?" asks Naruto, reaching me. Hinata reaches us and smiles at me, her fingers interwining with Naruto's. They are a couple now, planning on getting married. Hyuuga Neji and Tenten are already together, expecting their first child soon. Everyone is in their twenties now, and I think of how Naruto boosted Hinata's confidence, getting her shyness to wane. Only when she is embarassed or upset does the woman go back to old habits: pushing her fingers together; shifting from foot to foot; or blushing.
Naruto and I are the best of friends now, closer than ever before. Like he does for me, I'm there for him, and will always make sure he's happy. We talk about practically everything, like Yamanaka Ino and I did in the past. It was strange to me at first, but not anymore.
Temari and Nara Shikamaru finally admitted they loved each other a while back. I am glad, for everyone. Even if I don't have anyone to go out with, I'm fine.
I shake my head. "Nah. I was thinking of training for a while," I say, grinning.
"Oi, Sakura-chan, alright," says Naruto, scratching the back of his head.
I look at Hinata, whose pearly lavender eyes shine with love and happiness. She is a medical-nin now, like me, and Ino. Everyone is turning into great, well-respected shinobi. This village, Konohagakure, will go on as strong as ever.
I stare up at the great blue sky, streaked with puffy white clouds. The gentle wind blows through my short pink hair, and carresses my body, comforting me as my thoughts drift to Sasuke once again.