50 sentences on Sakura and Sasuke
Notes: for the lj comm 1sentence, theme set Alpha. various side-pairings, past-pairings, one-sidedness included/implied.
01 - comfort
"I don't think he could have loved you," Sai offers, almost pensively, in front of Sasuke's grave.
"Let's be very clear," Naruto says, his eyes intense and serious and without, for once, the faintest trace of humour, "I am only helping you with this for Sakura-chan's sake and because I never, ever want to hear even one more word about the fucking apocalyptic tragedy, quote Sakura-chan, that was your first kiss, got it?"
He's always found her vaguely insignificant, female, overly-emotional and easily-thwarted, suffocating him like the Leaf with her warm sweetness and her tears; and then one night, he returns to Team Hebi's encampment to find Naruto and the replacement watching over Juugo and Karin – who are both immobilised with strong chakra seals – and Sakura unwrapping instruments he's seen between Kabuto's hands, and ordering Suigetsu to tell her where's Sasuke.
Sakura has cried too many tears for him; thus, when Orochimaru's voice utters her name with a drawl that is a mockery of Sasuke's, she steels her arm and lets go.
"If you're hoping to lure him back here, you'd better learn how to cook," Ino deadpans in the face of Sakura's best effort at – burning water with something in it? – and Naruto waves the problem away, saying that Sasuke cooks well enough for two anyway; the remark sends Ino into a blinking daze, and leaves only Sakura to wonder how Naruto knows this.
He glances right, then left, and ignores the smile she's doing her best to repress but which is still threatening, trembling at the corners of her lips, and he heroically resists the urge to activate the Sharingan to make sure no-one's watching and instead he tips his head back and opens his mouth wide, the drops running down his face; "You have to wag your tongue to taste it," Sakura's helpful voice rings, and, after a beat, he does.
Naruto is intransigent; no matter how much Sasuke loathes sweets, and no matter how much Sakura's cooking is a S-rank jutsu in disguise, he will have to eat and like the chocolates Sakura is bound to make for him, with her own two hands, because it's traditional; unless he'd rather she experimented with tomato-flavoured chocolate, Naruto adds perversely and doesn't bother to hide his grin when Sasuke stops dead.
Waiting for Kakashi-sensei on the bridge, Sakura alternatively sighs after Sasuke and yells at Naruto; years later, she pushes all of her energy into Sasuke's flickering life force as Naruto puts his hands on hers, so she can use his near-endless chakra supply.
After the twentieth completely stupid person who came up to her to ask if the twentieth completely ridiculous rumour concerning Sasuke's apparently completely unexpected return to the Leaf is true, Sakura loses it and makes a scene that gives the gossips something completely new to talk about.
"Wow, you really suck at this, bastard," Naruto comments, and Sasuke's already faintly pink ears turn a shade of red previously unknown outside of the Uchiha fan as he realises his dead-last clumsy pimp teammate has witnessed Sasuke's pitiful fumbling stunted attempts to ask his other teammate on a date.
She always attached a '-kun' to his name – it annoys him, like everything she does, but he only thinks to question the habit years after he's become a traitor and she still calls him 'Sasuke-kun'; and that's when he realises that to her, it's his name.
Sakura lazily stretches, long and languid like a young cat; time stills in a moment made of clothes crumpled after training, cheeks streaked with dirt, and sunshine kissing her sweaty pink locks, and then Naruto says something Sasuke isn't listening to and Sakura straightens, her body tight and controlled once more; Sasuke looks away to find Kakashi gazing evenly at him, and he bristles without wanting to.
His long-ago dying promise, I never want to see people I care about dying in front of me, flits through his mind at the same time as his annoyance that he'll never get to kill his brother now, and his unspoken shock that he jumped in front of Sakura, not even Naruto, but Sakura; he only hopes that she will be strong enough to flee now, flee and cling to life and forget him and not try to take Itachi on her own, and he would like to tell her that, and that it's neither Sakura's fault nor Itachi's if Sasuke was stupid enough to get killed by the one person he was supposed to kill, but he feels his lips moving and no sound comes out.
She swore, a long time ago, that she wouldn't be left behind again, but some things she's never managed to outgrow; she's unaccountably elated when she realises that for this at least, he's waited for her.
Sasuke wakes up with Sakura's hands on him; it takes him a moment to realise she's healing his wounds.
Her punch catches him in the chest, making his heart skip a beat.
"Are you… crying?" he asks incredulously (Sakura crying, who—), but then she looks up and her smile is neither sad nor fake; she shifts her body away from the table, and he can see that she's only peeling onions.
Sasuke is fast, fast enough that he could match Itachi in that last battle; but recently, he's become aware that Sakura is faster still – it took him years to reach the point she stood at before he left, to reach the point where he wants to say, 'I love you'.
"Let's go," Sakura snaps at a blinking Sasuke among the rumbles of what used to be a cell wall, "we're breaking you out, Naruto'll catch up with us later," she says as the echoing cry of "Rasengan!" seems to shake Sasuke out of his stupor; he opens his mouth to speak, then closes it and starts moving (good, Sakura thinks fiercely).
So Sasuke's under house arrest, big deal; it's not like Sakura can't move in with him.
They tell her to let go, grow up, forget him, yet she's stronger in that she never does.
There are many perfectly avowable reasons why Sakura hates Uchiha Itachi, and at least one more that is not.
Sasuke is uneasy when they walk together through Konoha, when they meet people they know – people she knows – and he wants to drop her hand and go back to the compound (it wouldn't be a shock, he's never done well with human contact), but Sakura, of course, only squeezes his hand tighter.
Ino takes in the disaster; she looks thoughtful for a moment, then says, "you know, Forehead, after seeing that… for lack of a better term and though I shudder to use it, I'll just go with the word dress, I think I'm coming to terms with the fact you're going to be Lady Uchiha."
Socking someone in the face never felt so good as when Sakura punches her new replacement teammate in the jaw.
"How long are you going to spend waiting for him?" Ino asks; "how long are you going to blind yourself?" Tsunade asks; "how long before you let go?" Sasuke hisses.
The girl is wearing a bride's red gloves, and her eyes are glistening with the tearful shine of a bride's eyes, her dress is several shades of red (she's always loved red), and she's looking at him as if, to her, he is the most precious thing in the world; above and behind her, he spots a patch of sky and thinks that yes, it would make sense that they had an outdoor wedding (he can't remember how he forgot, but it doesn't matter; similarly, it doesn't matter that he can't remember how far along in the ceremony they are); Sasuke just wants to tell Sakura that she's never been more beautiful and that he's happy he's married her.
Sakura's lips twist into something of a wry smile, recalling the time when she imagined taking care of a sick Sasuke with chicken soup and simpering blushes and when she'd never have imagined battling a cancer for each of Sasuke's cells; the curse seal is inactive now but is eating at him, its darkened flames covering a little more of his skin everyday, and she hasn't found yet the seal that will put an end to its growth, and Sasuke doesn't interrupt her anymore when she tells him about her progress – she is making progress because she refuses to let go – with a "you're annoying" she knew she would miss.
The snake's hisses are coming regularly, rhythmically, like the lullaby that he's forever reminded of and that forever reminds him of her, a worthless memory from a worthless D-rank mission he's supposed to have left behind; "You have no idea what I'm thinking about," Sasuke hisses at the animal – a real animal, one that cannot talk or understand him, not a summon, one that doesn't know a thing about girls with flower names and bittersweet childhood songs and wouldn't be able to tell Orochimaru even if Sasuke started talking – and he pretends that the following hiss doesn't resemble his master's laugh.
In the middle of the fight, there's suddenly a lull and Sakura feels time stretching to a stop, hears only the blood pounding in her ears, as she sees with sudden clarity, like in slow motion and more than fifty meters away, a dark-haired head turning to reveal a pale, handsome face, and she crazily hears herself think "And here is the star of the show."
He thought Konoha wasn't his home, but his years in Sound have taught him that he carries it in the very way he breathes; that must explain the pleasant warm feeling when he crosses paths with her, when they're so far away from the village that it might as well never exist.
"Your face when Sakura-chan sent you flying, man!"
Sasuke's face and Orochimaru's laugh.
She'd recognise the Chidori's colour anywhere, even when she's too far to hear its trills, she'd remember it even if the sound didn't haunt her nightmares, so when she sees the pale bluish reflection on a blood-red rock, she breaks into a dash.
"We're a team, Sasuke-kun," Sakura patiently repeats as Naruto viciously kicks Sasuke, who is bruised and bloodied and not in a state to defend himself, much less call upon the curse seal – "listen to Sakura-chan, fucker!"
"I hear he's not on the market anymore," Ino says with an interested gleam in her eyes beneath her nonchalance, "well done, Forehead."
"This," Kakashi says cheerfully, holding up a bit of plastic Sasuke is trying his utmost to pretend is not really there really, "is called a condom; use it if you don't want Sakura to kill you."
Sakura's routine doesn't change for her birthday, or Sasuke's, or even the anniversary of the day he left, there are too many loving people surrounding her on those days trying to make sure she's alright, trying to make her forget; but it's on her routine birthday that she found the date of the Uchiha massacre.
She wants to tell them it's not a smirk, it's a smile, but the three people in the world who matter to Sasuke already know, so she doesn't and just enjoys it when it's directed at her.
Sakura's father is looking at him with hard suspicious eyes, and Sasuke wants to tell him that his intentions, honourable or otherwise, should be the least of this man's worries, not when his daughter's would-be suitor has tried to kill her in the past.
On the first day of his trial, Sasuke knows that he will be executed, and he almost wishes that he could tell Kakashi he's sorry to destroy his last chance at a vicarious happy future through his two other students; on the last day of his trial, he is surprised to have a Leaf hitai-ate handed back to him, but less so than by Naruto's bawling, making him look tired and small after every day he has stood to Sasuke's defence, glaring and awe-inspiring in his stupidity; on the next day, he isn't sure what to think when someone knocks at Naruto's apartment where Sasuke is assigned for now and he hears Naruto opening the door, and a moment of silence, and then the door closes again and Sakura enters the living room, alone and calm.
Sasuke isn't surprised by the storm brewing on Tsunade's brow, nor by the cutting lecture she aims at both his teammates but more particularly Sakura, but he is startled by her resigned sigh and her reluctant admission that she'll see what she can do about the Council.
"Hi!" Ino says brightly, dragging a wet and slightly reluctant Naruto by the sleeve as soon as Sasuke (his expression grumpy-turning-sour-by-the-second, his clothes askew and his hair in wild disarray) has opened the door, "we were just walking by and it started raining something awful, and since your house was closer we thought you'd let us stay until it stops – oh, you're here Forehead, that's a surprise, I hope we're not interrupting anything, are we?"
It's the end, he's done it, Itachi is dead and Orochimaru is perfectly locked away in his mind and he is freer than he has ever been, euphoric and drunk on victory – and now he can turn toward her and tell her that he's coming back, because this is the happiest he has ever been and everyone deserves to feel that way, but especially her.
He turns to look at her, drenched in Uchiha Itachi's blood, but this isn't what makes Sakura want to scream; it's how Sasuke's smile is Orochimaru's, and his eyes are Itachi's.
Sun lotion: Sakura learns to cherish it after she sees Sasuke looking like a boiled lobster at the end of the afternoon; aspirin: Sasuke learns to stuff a small quantity in the drawer of the bedside table, in prevision for when Sakura says that there are no medical jutsus to soothe sunburns; gloating: Naruto learns to tune it obnoxiously up, as Sasuke is in too much pain to do anything about it and Sakura is studiously avoiding looking at either of them.
The moon grows and fades and disappears every month; when Sasuke comes back, she will never let him vanish again.
"I AM NOT A WATER TYPE!" Sakura bellows into Sasuke's ear when he exposes his plan to subdue Hoshigaki Kisame, which involves raising a prison out of sea water and hinges mainly on Sakura's supposed ability to pull major suitons off; Naruto watches Sasuke work his mouth soundlessly as he tries to readjust his world view while Sakura rages on about predictability and smug ice cold handsome jackasses who never bother to look at her instead of through her, and Naruto is having so much fun that he's almost willing to forgive Sasuke for falling rapidly in love with Sakura.
"Their kids will have pink fowl hair that will clash horribly with the Sharingan, and they'll have big scowly foreheads," Ino announces in drunken heartbreak, and Naruto nods gloomily.
Every time she sees a falling star, Sakura makes a wish.