Author's Notes: I'm disappointed. Most of the reviews were annonymous (not that I don't love you!), but even so, if HALF of all you people who favorited this reviewed, then it would've reached 65. Okay, here's the ending. Don't blame me if you hate this :P
Disclaimer: Never owned Naruto, never will, -drags the characters off for another fic-
I woke up.
A bright light half-blinded my vision and I closed my eyes again. I heard a gasp and the sound of quick footsteps.
Another set of footsteps appeared, hurrying across the room toward me. I winced when I heard the sharp clacking sound, it was resonating through my head, giving me another massive headache. I opened my eyes groggily and stared up. Everything seemed too shiny and blurry. It felt like looking through wax paper except a hundred times worse. I closed my eyes again.
Then I heard a familiar voice asking if I was all right. I tried to respond, but my face felt like it was on fire…like it was burning. I move my lips, but nothing came out. I didn't care anymore, I mean I totally hurt a guy that didn't deserve it and then I was punished.
Maybe Kyoko just gave me what I deserved anyway.
The voice seemed to be breaking, speaking hurriedly as if they couldn't hold back tears or something. I opened my tired eyes and looked up. The bright shiny light pierced through my vision and pain shot through my head. I looked to my right, trying to get away from the light and figure out who the person was.
Even though my vision was blurry and my eyes felt like they were about to disintegrate…I dimly recognized the person. I just couldn't remember their name Then I felt them lean closer, as if trying to see if I was all right or something
A familiar smell wafted across my face.
The smell of tomatoes.
Obviously Kyoko hated my guts.
Because now I'm the one in the hospital. The bright clean hospital filled with antibacterial cleanser and killer viruses. Oh joy.
What did I ever do to her?
I took her Sasuke. Well, it's not like I have him anymore for that matter. I mean, I said the meanest words that I have ever said to him. There must be something wrong with me.
My face still feels like it's on fire.
So there was this princess, right?
When she was born, her father and mother invited all these nice fairies to bless her. But they forgot to invite the last fairy, which was totally idiotic. So the baby princess was blessed with all kinds of stuff, but then the mean old fairy showed up unannounced and ruined everything.
She cursed the princess to die on her sixteenth birthday. When the queen and king begged her to reverse it, she refused. It was their punishment for not inviting her. Since the queen looked so distraught, the last little fairy used all her power to make it so the princess would only fall asleep.
So little Sakura grew up under those conditions.
On her sixteenth birthday, the mean old fairy showed up and knocked her over the head. Then she drugged her and tried to drown her. The little fairy rescued her and put her in bed for the prince to find. Then she put a sleeping spell on the whole castle so they would only wake up when the prince came.
One hundred years later, the prince came and fought his way into the castle. When he finally reached to the princess' bedroom, he saw the princess' face.
She was totally ugly.
I opened my eyes slowly. The headache was mostly gone and my eyes didn't hurt that much anymore, but my face still felt like it was burning. I closed my eyes again, the bright hospital light made me eyes way too tired and besides, what was there to see anyway?
Sasuke came last night.
Or was it a minute ago?
I can't tell time anymore, I just drift off into space randomly and I can't seem to feel anything but the burning on my face. It's a dull burn, hardly enough to make me scream…but it makes me nervous. What did she do to me?
It's not getting better.
I haven't been studying medicine for four years just to have fun.
I know from the flat tone of the doctor's that there's something wrong with me. That flat tone is what doctors use when they don't want to show any emotion, they don't want to make everything worse by showing that they too, have feelings.
That flat tone is what scares me.
It's been weeks.
I can tell now. There's a calendar next to my bed and each day was marked off with a red slash. There's always an empty coffee mug there and a tomato-like smell always lingers there. But I haven't really seen Sasuke since I was here.
I can't face him right now.
After what I said, did I truly deserve to have him anymore? At the beginning of the summer, everything was alright, I just had to get through the summer and avoid him, just like a normal teenager.
Then I had to go and fall for him. I mean literally. Then, when I had no time to think, I decided to take a nice trip to downtown Kyoto. I'm supposed to be a smart person, but going to downtown Kyoto and getting lost was not a smart move. Then I had to let myself get cornered by a bunch of thugs, and I had to watch when he came.
It's all my stupid fault that I'm here in the first place.
I mean, the only reason Kyoko came after me was because of that little episode in the hospital.
I just had to do that.
I can't do anything right—I can't even keep myself alive and healthy. I can't do anything even when others are always looking out for me. I'm totally and utterly unnecessary.
Is this the feeling of hopelessness?
I sat by the window. The gentle afternoon sun was coming through the glass and falling onto my icy hands. They didn't warm up though, nothing would.
I've been here for a few weeks and that has given me plenty of time to think. It's given me more than enough time, actually. I haven't seen Sasuke yet, only faint wisps of his smell and the disappearing form when I wake up. The coffee mug is still there and the smell is as strong as ever.
He still has to go to college, besides…why should he even wasted his time with me?
The lock on my door clicked open.
I didn't turn around—I knew full well who would be coming through that door. Maybe if I ignored him…he would go away? But I knew that he wouldn't be dissuaded so easily.
I heard him walk slowly into the room, dropping his heavy backpack and slipping off the navy blue jacket that he always wore. He sat down on a chair near me and said nothing. I didn't want to see him, I didn't want to face him after everything that happened.
I didn't want him to see me like this.
But I knew that it was a lie.
I didn't want to see him because I was ashamed an I felt worthless…but I needed to see him. I couldn't bring myself to look at him, to face the memories of shame and guilt that had been building up for days…
"So…you're up…how are you feeling?"
I blinked away tears to this, Sasuke's asking me if I'm alright. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, something that I would've died for…once. Now I just couldn't answer, if I did, I was sure that my voice would come out as a choked sob and then I would be weak all over again. I'm not going to be weak again.
Certainly not in front of him.
I could feel his gentle gaze on my face, searching my pale features for any emotion. I was sure that my cheeks were red and that my eyes were glassy from fever and tears. My skin was pale and gaunt now…the unfortunate result of digesting large doses of drugs. I was skinny, skinnier than Ino had ever been, but that just made me even uglier.
The worst thing was my face.
Kyoko must've had a lot of fun with it. There was a long, burning scar running down from the edge of my right eye to the edged of my chin. She probably had a good night's sleep after she slit the side of my face open. I wouldn't have really cared too much; but the worst thing was that other people just gawked whenever they saw me.
I don't want Sasuke to see me like this.
I don't want him to see me as a defenseless weakling, a child that has to be protected.
Why am I so weak?
A tear tumbled down my burning cheek despite my defenses. My vision started to get blurry as more and more tears started to come out. No..why was this happening? I promised myself that I would be strong, that I would be someone that never needed to be protected, someone that actually did the right thing for a change.
Someone who was useful.
A sob came out of my throat, I wanted to hold it back, to show him that I could be strong too. That I could be someone that didn't waver at the slightest setback, someone that would be deserving of him. Someone that would understand, someone who could actually think.
Someone who wouldn't be so stupid.
I started to cry softly, trying to hold back, trying to stop the flow of tears from my eyes. It hurt…it hurt so much thinking about how I must look right now, thinking about how stupid and worthless I was…it hurt thinking about how Sasuke must hate me right now.
I heard him get up, yeah, probably to go away, to get away from my stupidness, to get away from me. Then something light and warm brushed my cheeks. I looked up, Sasuke was standing right next to me with an unreadable expression on his face. It seemed to be anger, sadness, and regret all rolled up into one.
He was staring at my cheeks, staring at all the signs of weakness and shame flowing down my face. He bent down and touched my cheek, a look of worry flashed through his eyes.
"You're burning up…" he murmured softly. I just stared at him, willing him to go away, not wanting to look at the sympathy and pity in his eyes. I don't want to be pitied. I don't need his sympathy. Besides, haven't I already promised myself that I would be strong? That I would be someone that could look out for herself?
But at the same time, a weak voice in my mind was begging him to stay, begging him to just show me that everything could go back to what it was, what it was before I ruined it. His sad expression made my breath hitch; I've never seen this type of expression on his face before…he never showed his feelings to someone. The only things I remember on his face were love…but mostly just lust.
He looked at me at eye level, wiping my tears away gently. He came closer, brushing his lips along my cheek. I flinched, the memory of that day…that hallway…it just wouldn't go away. I couldn't stand being near him like this, I didn't want to feel so scared, so vulnerable again. I backed away, shaking like a leaf. He stared at me miserably, his voice cracking as he said, "Sakura…"
"P-please…j-just go…p-please…" I shut my eyes, willing the awful images in my head to just go away, willing my body to stop shaking and shivering, trying to be stronger. I could hear him sigh and walk across the room. He picked up his backpack and hoisted it over his shoulder and stepped out the door.
Before he left, he looked at me one more time, looking at my pitiful and shaking form. Then he left without a word, leaving me to my miserable thoughts. It wasn't until he left that I noticed one thing.
He left his jacket behind.
I looked at his lifeless jacket as it slid off the chair and onto the floor. Sasuke never leaves his jacket behind—he even brought it to the beach once. He would never forget it unless something was really distracting him.
A tiny voice in the back of my mind prodded me to get up and give it back to him. But I couldn't, wouldn't listen to that voice. It was the same voice that got me in trouble so many times—it was that tiny voice that suggested that I go outside, that I scream at Sasuke for what he did—or almost did—that I should get away from him. Now it wants me to go and actually talk to him.
My legs were still shaking and a bead of cold sweat ran down the side of my cheek. The fresh scar burned. I stared at the place he had last been, his voice resonating in my mind. He had actually sounded sad…he actually seemed like he regretted something.
It sounded like I had broken his heart.
The thought frightened me. I hurt his feelings? Me, Sakura Haruno, never been in a relationship, hasn't kissed anyone (except for Sasuke) and the poster-girl of Japanese geekdom. And I did that to him? It was an awful realization; I always thought that I was a good person, someone who only made small mistakes—the kind that everyone makes. I never thought that I would ever really hurt someone.
What have I done…?
So there was this girl, okay?
She was nice and pretty, or so she thought. She always did the dishes and all the chores for her stepmother and stepsisters. In her spare time, she studied and pranced around in front of a dirty, cracked mirror. Her hair was pink, so everyone called her Sakura.
One day, an invitation came from the palace for a three-day ball in which the prince would choose his bride. Sakura and all her stepsisters went. Even though Sakura hated the prince, her fairy godmother forced her to go; saying that it would good for her.
So she dressed up a bit and got into her big pumpkin carriage. Seriously, sometimes fairy godmothers think of the weirdest things. She rode all the way to the castle and went in.
The prince saw her and fell in love with her. They started to talk and Sakura found out that he wasn't really and mindless bimbo after all. After the strike of midnight, the pumpkin carriage disappeared and Sakura had no way to get home. It was snowing and it was freezing outside.
The prince offered a room in his castle.
That night, the prince went to his parents and started to plan the wedding. Sakura found out and went into a rage. She stormed in and started to scream at him, saying that she would never actually marry him and that she hated him in the first place.
To say that the prince was surprised would be an understatement.
So Sakura made her fairy godmother transport her to a land far, far away and then she married a green ogre whose name was Shrek.
Weird how these fairy tales are, aren't they?
That was a weird dream.
A very weird dream.
To say that it was weird would be an understatement.
Just like saying that the prince was surprised would be an understatement.
And…oh whatever. This isn't working. I've been thinking of every possible way to distract myself, and it's definitely not working. Whenever I sleep, all these strange remaking of fairy tales appear. They all seem to be twisted and wrong; especially since the girl/main character always turns out to be jerk. And she always has pink hair.
Pink hair and turquoise eyes, in fact.
Wonderful, now I'm officially a princess who can't take a joke, a girl who only cared about looks, a princess who was ugly and now, a girl that overreacts. The scary thing is, they all describe me perfectly.
I can't take a joke—especially if it comes from Sasuke. Just like that facelift thing, he did say that it was a joke. And only caring about looks…that certainly seems to be true. I only card about what Sasuke looked like, not how he acted or what his life was like….and I certainly am ugly now. And the overreaction. That is definitely me.
I can't take this anymore.
I can't just stay in this antibacterial room waiting for more anesthetics and painkillers. I can't just wait here, stuck with an I.V. twenty-four seven waiting for this depression to pass. I can't just lock myself here. But I can't come out. I can't come out and face the world bravely, I can't face him.
Why can't he just forget about me?
Why can't he just forget everything I did, just forget who I am…just so that this pain in my heart would go away?
But no, he comes here everyday, doing his homework or just watching me until visiting hours are over. Why can't he understand how painful it is for me to see him? But, I know that I need him here. No matter what I say, I need him. He's the only one that seems to remember who I am. To the doctors, I'm the psychotic young woman, to the others in the world, I don't even exist anymore.
Even Ino doesn't want to see me anymore.
Maybe once every couple of days, always just for a few minutes, then its back to her 'dear Shikamaru' as she always says. Hinata left Kyoto for private instruction somewhere unknown and Naruto is too busy writing to her and studying.
Even I don't know myself anymore.
I can't seem to remember the happy days, the days when I used to go to school, when I used to be happy and carefree in my hate of Sasuke.
If this is what love is about—all these trials and tribulations, these heartbreaks and sorrows—then I want no part in it.
I looked at the jacket again. Sasuke never seemed to notice it when he was here. I reached out to touch it, the soft smell of tomatoes and fruit reached my nose. I stiffened. The smell made me nervous, it reminded me of him. I threw the jacket onto the bed, but I missed and it fell onto the floor.
It made a light thud, more like a box than a jacket. I scrambled up and snatched it off the floor. Something wrapped in pink wrapping paper fell out. It had a blue ribbon around it and the dead stem of a flower.
It must've been here for days!
My hands started to tremble as I read the tag. It had my name on it in the elegant spidery script that Sasuke always wrote in. It was a bit faded, but I could make out the tints of pink long the edges of the paper.
I opened the wrapping paper slowly, just wanting to take a peek, nothing more. A fuzzy pink box slipped out. It was one of those jewelry boxes. My throat stiffened and I could feel tears coming.
I'm not going to open that box.
I'm not going to be hurt again.
Despite what my tired mind said, my trembling hand flipped open the box and then I saw it.
A white gold charm bracelet with one pink charm on it. There was a red tomato one lying next to it. My breath hitched. I blinked tears from my eyes as a slip fell out of the box.
A shadow fell across my lap and I looked up with tears streaming down my face. It was Sasuke, staring at the box in my hands and my trembling arms. I blinked a few times and whispered, " Sas-Sasuke…?"
Then I looked at the jacket strewn on the floor.
"Oh…I'm sorry. I'll get it—"
I stiffened at his voice. It was strange to me now, I haven't heard his voice for so long. I never talked to him during his visits, I only ignored him, blinking away tears and holding back sobs. I had forgotten how silky smooth it sounded.
Then I realized that I had dropped the bracelet onto the floor. I started t obend down to get it but a pale hand wrapped around mine. I jumped, startled that he had touched my hand. I stared at him, the tears falling onto the floor. His black eyes were full of emotion, looking at me, trying to see if he hurt me, if I could possibly forgive him.
"Will you?" He gulped slightly, "Forgive me..?"
"I—I…" forgive you…"don't know…"
I closed my eyes, wanting to erase the look that just came across Sasuke's face. His hand left mine and he straightened up. I knew that feeling, that piercing, painful feeling in your chest. He started to get up and walk away. Every step was getting farther and farther away, as if he was leaving him. My body just froze at the sight of him with his back turned, shoulders shaking ever so slightly. I stared at him, not knowing anything, just knowing that I didn't want him to leave.
I knew that I ignored him, I knew that I didn't deserve him, I knew that I had hated him before.
But that was then.
And this is now.
He had asked me to forgive him, asked me to look over what he did to me, asked me to just forget it all. Isn't this what I wanted in the first place? Why did I have to mess this up, why did I have to break his heart a second time?
Doesn't he deserve to be loved just as much as me? I watched as every single step took him farther and farther away from me. For once, maybe I'll listen to this little voice. Maybe I'll run after him. It's not reasonable, or understandable, but I know what that voice is.
It is the voice beyond all reason and understanding.
For who can understand love?
If this love led to all these trials and tribulations, all these sorrows and heartbreaks, then what is beyond all that? Surely it cannot just be that suffering. It's something more.
If love led me through all that, then I'm at the end of this trip. I've had enough to last a lifetime, to last an eternity.
Now I just want this.
Just. One. Moment.
One moment where I could be in his arms, when I could just forget that anything had ever happened. One moment when my face wouldn't bear this ugly scar, one moment, where everything would be normal again.
I will listen to this voice one last time.
Just for him.
Author's Note: Look, I warned you. I don't like those endings where they end up kissing and all that. Besides, you probably know what she's going to do. So I won't write it out. I tried, I seriously tried to make it a happy ending. I TRIED, OKAY?! I just don't write happy endings. They make me sick. And what happens to our beloved Sakura and Sasuke? Well, the oneshot will be on my profile as soon as the review thingabobber reaches 65. Just a BIT more. It will have a happy ending in that follow-up. I know that you guys now hate me forever and you'll tell me that they're all OOC. Well, they're not. See, even though I don't really like Sakura, you have to admit, she can be serious and depressed. Just look at the Forest of Death scene, and after the timeskip. She can totally be serious and depressed. Nya.
See you in another fic (and the following oneshot)!
moonlight haku, signing out.