Shades of Red
Sangria. Scarlet. Amaranth. Crimson. Cerise. Alizarin. Vermilion. These are the colors of their lives entwined.
My first SasuSaku fic, inspired by the pretty names of different shades of red that I never even knew existed. I wasn't fond of Sakura when I first started watching Naruto actually but since Naruto Shippuden came out I like her alot more. Everyone got hotter too, Gaara and Neji especially. So much more satisfying to watch than when they were little brats who hadn't even hit puberty yet. Enjoy!
Sangria. It's the color of the viscous liquid that oozes out from the cut on her knee, the result of a not-so-graceful fall to avoid a kick aimed at her head. She had narrowly missed the merciless whip of his leg towards her face, at the last moment snapping her body to the right a little too suddenly and falling hard on the rough earth.
She sits on the ground, trying to gather her wits about her and rest for a moment. She pretends that she is resting because of the pain, even though she knows that it is a more than ridiculous excuse-shinobi like them do not stop for the pain of minor wounds. In actuality, she is more than just a little winded from their sparring-something he knows too.
"Get up," he commands. His voice is hard and unyielding, indicative of the contempt he feels for what he has deemed the weakest link of Team Seven. It is obvious that if he had his choice, he would not have chosen the emotional pink-haired girl to be his training partner.
"Get up," he says again, "how do you expect to improve if you just sit there?"
When she remains in her seated position, he strides over to her and roughly hauls her up, his grip like steel on her arm. Momentarily she delights in their brief contact, but wishes that it was tender and soft instead of cruel and forceful.
Scarlet. It's the color of his eyes, the color that replaces his irises' bottomless pits of black when the kekkei genkai of his cursed clan is activated. Sharingan. Capable of copying jutsu, enhancing perception, and hypnotizing its victims.
She had come to stop him from going to Sound to suffer the influence of Orochimaru. She was weeping bitterly, shouting out her undying love for him, promising to help him if he would just remain by her side. When he refused her requests, she threatened to scream.
In the blink of an eye, his form vanished and she sensed him reappearing behind her. His speed had always been awesome-not as breakneck as that of Rock Lee's, but faster than the rest of the Genins their age.
"Arigato," he says softly, before hitting a pressure point in her neck.
As she lapses into unconsciousness, she can't help but think that their relationship had been just as fleeting.
Amaranth. It's the color of the uniform she wears when he returns to Konoha, barely standing and beaten within an inch of his life. He staggers into the hospital with Uzumaki Naruto on one side, Hyuuga Neji on the other, and a fully equipped ANBU team surrounding the three.
She is startled at the sight; even though she had seen him at his weakest moments when they were Genins, watching a battered nineteen-year-old whose reputation preceded him stumble into her hospital was…strange. Here was the boy who was the number-one ranked rookie when they were twelve and gave the then-insane Sabaku no Gaara one hell of a fight; here was the young man who slew the Legendary Sannin Orochimaru and killed his older brother Uchiha Itachi to avenge his clan.
To her, it was almost pitiful to see one of the greatest shinobi alive reduced to such a bloodied, half-alive mess.
"The Hokage says to start the healing process," Naruto tells her. In his weariness, he forgets to call the Godaime "Tsunade-baa-chan."
She nods. "Get him on the bed."
They oblige, slowly maneuvering him onto the pristinely white sheets. She slips off her gloves and walks over. Red slashes mar his flesh, blood seeping out. His eyes are half-closed but when she comes near they rest on her, the inky blackness revealing nothing.
"Sakura…" He says quietly.
It was a cool greeting, and no one is more surprised than her by how apathetic it sounded. A slight frown crosses his face, but she acts as though she never saw it.
Neji is the first one to get over the initial shock. "The largest wound is on his back," he informs her.
Using her enormous strength, she grasps his shoulder and rolls him onto his side. She does it a little more brusquely than usual and Naruto, who visits her frequently at the hospital, notices this.
"Sakura…" he admonishes, "Sasuke's hurt."
"Your observational skills amaze me," she responds curtly. Guilt creeps into her when he flinches at her tone, but she ignores it and looks up from her work. "Leave."
The group of men and women file out the door and already she can hear them murmur in surprise at her behavior. Brushing it off, she gathers green chakra in her hands and begins to mend the torn skin.
"You've changed," he remarks, shattering the oppressive silence.
"Seven years does that to you," she says wryly.
They lapse into muteness again as she continues her work methodically, this time on his chest wounds. Perversely, he wonders if she's affected by the sight of his half-naked body but if she is, she gives no sign of it.
"Do you hate me?" he asks finally.
She looks up, and for the first time in a long time he notices exactly how green her eyes are.
"Why do you ask?"
He draws breath, an action that bathes his body in pain. "I'll be honest with you. That was…"
"A less than ceremonious reception on my part?"
She says nothing. Then, "That was a less than ceremonious good-bye on your part."
Crimson. It's the color of her blood staining the bed sheets, the blood from giving up her virginity just moments before to the man above her. Briefly she thinks of how new and expensive they were, but right now she doesn't care because she is in the arms of the man she had loved and probably never stopped loving.
They lay in silence, his hand stroking the strands of her hair. Never has he treated her with such gentleness, physically or emotionally, and she wonders how long it will last.
Just revel in it while you can.
"Do you regret it?" She asks, out of the blue.
His hand pauses. "No, why?" His breathing becomes sharper. "Do you?"
She snorts. "If anyone regrets anything, it'd be you."
"Why do you say that?"
She turns to look at him and she marvels at how underneath his devastatingly handsome features, the looks that could almost be described as beautiful but so definitely masculine, used to lay a monster whose bloodlust could only be sated by that of a direct relative's.
"Can you honestly tell me that you have completely erased my former self from your memory?"
He doesn't say anything.
"You're still…stunned at what I've become, aren't you?"
"It's a difficult concept to grasp."
"What? That I'm no longer your naïve, ditzy, number one fan-girl?"
"That, and the fact that you're in my bed."
She smiles and props herself up on one arm to look down at him. The sheets slide off her body, and she knows why she isn't staring into his eyes like she usually does. "I'll make it easier for you to comprehend the fact that I'm in your bed."
With the fluidity and grace of a skilled kunoichi, she eases herself onto him and they lose themselves in each other once again.
Cerise. It's the color of her wedding kimono, embroidered with a multitude of designs that symbolize aspects of her life and their love. Cherry blossoms for her name. Butterflies for her and his metamorphosis. Paper fans for his last name and the surname of their future children. Cranes to represent everlasting love.
She couldn't remember a time when she was so happy, besides the times they had made love or the day he proposed to her. But unlike those days, today was official, a celebration attended by everyone in Konoha. They were all here to partake in the festivities…
And get roaring drunk.
"SAKURA!" Came the slurred, booming voice of their former teammate. "Congrashulashons! Kami knows shou two couldn't keep shour hands off eash other…when the kids comin'?"
"Naruto…" she hissed warningly.
"Hey hey! Ish nothin' to be 'shamed 'bout! Everyone's a'doin' everyone!"
"You're the exception, dobe." Her newly proclaimed husband smirked.
"HEY! SHOU SAYIN' SOMETHIN' TEME!?"
They were distracted because to their right came a mighty crashing sound as Rock Lee, completely inebriated, began trashing the bar in an attempt to reach the crates of sake.
"THE MIGHTY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!!" He roared, and proceeded to smash open the wooden boxes and the glass bottles as well. Clear white liquid soaked the ground and they stared, horrified, as their entire supply of alcohol went to the grass.
And that was before an intoxicated Tsunade stormed over.
"I'M GOING TO CASTRATE YOU YOU LITTLE BRAT!"
Alizarin. It's the color that their son is named after and the color of their son's eyes when he is blessed with the Sharingan. It's not quite as intense of a color as his father's, nor does it possess the three tomoe in each eye that signifies complete maturity of the kekkei genkai, but it is the ultimate symbol of the Uchiha clan and the both of them couldn't be prouder.
She watches him train in their backyard with his father, frustrated at his attempts to master the Katon: Ryuka no Jutsu and she can't help but wonder at how much he looks like her husband. The spiky blue-black hair that hung straight in the front and is a mess in the back, the curve of his jaw, the aristocratic nose, the firm line of his mouth when he frowns. The only recognizable trait she passed on to him was the viridian eyes, as clear and pure as her own.
She smiles when he finally succeeds, a fireball erupting from his mouth to singe the edges of his father's shirt. Excited, he looks up at her window.
"'Kaa-san, did you see that? Did you see that?"
She nods. "I did Akako, I did."
The Uchiha clan was finally on its way to regaining its former glory.
Vermilion. It's the color of the sunset they are watching as they sit in the backyard under the cherry blossom trees, hands clasped together. Never had she believed that she would one day be at this point in her life, married to the man she had loved since childhood and mother of his children.
"What are you thinking about?" He asks, his fingers caressing her hand.
"Mm…life. And how ironic it's been."
"That I ended up with the man who used to think I was annoying."
He smirked. "Regret it?"
She shrugged. "I regret the fact that my children look more like you than they do me."
He snorted. "You should be grateful for that." Instantly, he was pinned to the ground by his wife's super strength, staring up at her blazing eyes.
"What's that supposed to mean, darling?"
"Who'd want pink-haired boys?"
She applied pressure to his wrists. "I think they'd be a welcome respite from brats looking like you."
"You know, I did wonder before that if we were to have kids, whether they would turn out to be pink-haired or not."
"Oh? When was this?"
"During one of our many bonding moments in bed."
"Wow, you were thinking of something other than having an orgasm?"
"Your skills didn't command my complete attention."
"Are you saying I'm lacking in the sex department?" She growled.
Incensed, she slammed her husband into the tree. "And whose fault is that?" She snarled. "I've only been with you-obviously you're a bad teacher."
He grinned. Wary of the devious glint in his eye, her grip on his arms hesitated and he took advantage of it to push her onto the ground, him on top.
"Then let's have another lesson."
I had been entertaining this idea for a few days before I finally broke down and just wrote it…who knew it was easier than the rest of my works? I felt the loose connection between the vignettes was a little weak, and the gradual move from dark to light in the mood was...eh, but overall I like this piece.
I thought about different possible endings: Sasuke dying on a mission, a repeat of the Itachi/Sasuke situation with their sons…but then I decided, no angst.