Catarata's Notes: First things first, the title came from a Guster song titled, coincidentally enough, "Ruby Falls". Good song, give it a listen, if you'd like. This story came from the description, which was a thought that popped into my head. I'm not quite sure where I was going or if I managed to get there, but I like it nonetheless. Just a heads-up, I'm not completely sure it makes sense. Let me know what you think!

All The Ruby Falls Sing Along

"Because we are broken and they are not. How could they ever understand? Sasuke X Sakura"

It's not beautiful; it's heart-wrenching. She lies beneath him without a word and he watches her and wishes he could say something more. Her pastel pink hair is spread out around them; his fingers are clutching it as if it's some kind of lifeline. There are no intense declarations of love, no sudden epiphanies or revelations. There is only Sakura and Sasuke, and he's not completely sure that's enough.

He wants to be, but every time he thinks that it is – that they are – something comes along and he's not so sure. At first, it was simply the foolishness of the statement. She was in love with him? So were half of the other girls at the academy. Then it was the distraction. How could anything happen? Relationships were distractions, and distractions were unacceptable. After that, it was the instinct. Protect. He couldn't love her, she couldn't love him. Otherwise, they'd both end up dead.

But strangely enough, it was he that came to her. It was he that had showed up at her apartment door after far too long an absence and said nothing. She had stared at him for a moment, an arrangement of flowers spread before her, her eyes not fearful, just…sad. And before either knew what was happening he had kissed her, his arms clutching her to his body and his mouth dominating hers. There had been no resistance, even when they somehow ended up on her bed.

So now he stares down at her, his face at once vulnerable yet dangerous, a trapped animal prepared to attack. Sakura says nothing but brings her hands to his chest, running her fingers over the myriad scars as if to say, these are now who you are. Her hands have lost the insecurities of childhood to be replaced with the confidence of womanhood. She traces over one patch of marred skin and then leans up and kisses it, running her tongue along the healed wound. For a second, he tenses, torn between the desire to make her stop and the overwhelming need for her to continue.

Her voice is soft and somewhat hoarse when she speaks, and Sasuke almost has to ask for clarification as she says, "You are you."

For a moment he blinks at her, then he responds, "I've never tried to be anyone else."

Her laughter is musical and she kisses a new scar, her eyes telling him that she doesn't believe a word. A sudden need to silence her, to reassert his control overcomes him and swoops down to capture her mouth. It starts out rough, punishing, a reminder that he is the alpha dog and she the submitting female. But Sakura merely laughs into his mouth and tangles her fingers in his hair, allowing his assertion without really accepting it.

When he releases her mouth she stares up at him – through him – and says, "You were never the man he was," and as he opens his mouth in outrage, she leans closer and whispers, "You were always so much better."

It is more than he can handle and he almost-snarls, shoving her back down and taking her with the ferocity she has unleashed. He doesn't know what it is about the statement that bothers him so, but the implications behind it are enough to drive him insane. She lays beneath him once more, but this time she arches upward, her mouth next to his ear as she whispers;

"We are broken, they are not. How could they ever understand?"

.:somehow, the broken pieces fit wonderfully:.