Together and Alone - Part 10

Sasuke woke up with a start. It was still dark out and he was in the living room and staring at the blank TV. I must have dozed off during the movie… He was panting and shaking. He had again dreamt of his parent's death. When his brother had gone on a rampage and slaughtered his entire clan…

"S-Sasuke?" he heard a timid voice say. He turned fiercely- still angered from his dream. He heard a small squeak. "Did you h-have a nightmare o-or s-s-something, Sasuke-kun?"

His face softened. "Oh. Sakura."

She was staring at him with a shocked expression. She looked fearful and was covering her face with her hands and peeking through her trembling fingers.

"Did I do something to frighten you?" he asked, sitting up and trying to keep his cool. She turned pink and determinedly stopped looking into his onyx eyes.

"Yes. You were shaking visciously and grabbing my arm." Sasuke looked down at her arm and saw scratches and cuts covering it. His eyes widened. He did that?

She twirled a strand of her pink hair around her finger nervously. She didn't want him to feel bad. He had a tough life already. "Let's go upstairs. I might sleep more peacefully in a regular bed," he said quietly.

"Y-yeah," she said. They went upstairs to the master bedroom. "I can sleep somewhere else if you-," Sakura started, but she got a cold stare from Sasuke and stopped.

They lay down on the blankets and closed their eyes. Sakura checked a clock on the side table and it read: 2:08. She sighed. She was wide awake now. She wanted to keep herself occupied, so she looked out the wide window. She could see nearly all of Konoha from here. It was beautiful, peaceful and quiet. Somewhere in the village were all of her other friends like Naruto and Ino…her old house- or what there was left of it- was there too. Same with the Academy, the Hokage's office… "Sakura?" She looked up and saw Sasuke under the blankets, on his side and facing her.

"Sasuke-kun, I'm sorry…I blanked out for a moment. What is it?" Sakura got on her side too. They faced each other for a few minutes. Sasuke took in the image of Sakura's face. Despite all the hardship she had recently overcome and the fear that flickered across her face, she was very pretty. Her large green eyes, her concerned expression, her pink hair that was neatly draped over her pillow, the few strands that were flopped over her face, her rosy cheeks, her eyebrows, her nose, her lips... Even he, Sasuke Uchiha, could not deny it. "Sasuke-kun? Are y-you ok?"

He blinked. "Why are you stuttering?" Was she afraid of him because of his previous outburst? She blushed. She thanked God that it was dark out though. It's because he looks so…so…

"Because I'm cold," she lied.

"Oh," he said. "Get under the blankets." It was an order. She did and felt so warm. This bed was the most comfortable bed that she had ever been in. She looked up and nearly jumped. She had accidentally moved noticeably close to Sasuke. They were nearly nose-to nose. She blushed harder than ever. She motioned to back away, but she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"You don't have to move," he said quietly. Another order. She froze to the spot, and her heart rate continued to increase. Sasuke was watching her curiously. His eyes were scanning her face with an innocent yet penetrating gaze that made her feel extremely self-conscious.

"Calm down Sakura. Do I frighten you or something?" he asked, a little frustrated. He didn't want to frighten her, and suddenly felt incredibly stupid for lashing out in his dream. He wished he could have controled himself.

She averted her gaze and bit her lip. "Yes," she said simply. His face was blank. Before her could speak, she asked "What were you dreaming before?"

"Of my family…and my brother."

"Oh." She thought for a moment before looking back into his eyes. "Will I start having those dreams now that I have no family?"

Sasuke stared at her. He watched as tears welled up in her eyes. "Possibly. If you deeply seek revenge, you may have the same dreams as me."

Sakura pondered over his words again. Her expression was very troubled. She didn't want to be caught up in the same cycle Sasuke was caught in. She didn't want that kind of darkness in her heart... But eliminating an enemy that could cause more harm to the village and other loved ones was an inviting idea...

"But it's alright if you have those dreams, Sakura. You can't hurt me when you're awake, so there's no way you could hurt me in your sleep."

She pouted at him playfully. "That's what you think," she said, raising her fists in front of her. He felt a strong sense of satisfaction at her lighter emotional state. He also liked the sassy look in her eyes.

"Show me," he said, smirking, and sitting up. "Right now."

She laughed, but also tried to get up. "You have got to be kidding me," she said. He hoisted her up by her waist and positioned her to face him. They were both on their knees.

"Let's see what you've got!" he said, pretending to take a defensive stance with his arms.

Sakura started to feel a little fired up by his attitude. "REALLY, Sasuke? Now is not the time for this," she said, playfully swatting him in the arm.

"I hardly felt that," he said, ignoring her remark and cocking an eyebrow.

"You're SO annoying," she said, swatting at him again, this time with a little more power.

"Ah, getting better, but you're going to-" but Sakura put a hand over his mouth.

"What is with you?" she asked with a chuckle. She could hardly believe how playful Sasuke was acting. Just then he grabbed her wrist and pried her hand off.

"Nice try," he said. His smirk was growing. He caught her other wrist as she was flinging it towards him. He held her wrists firmly. "You still have practice to do, Sakura."

She rolled her eyes. "I'm tired, Sasuke," she said while crossing her legs. "Next time, I'll take you out for sure."

Sasuke nodded, also crossing his legs, still holding her wrists. "That sounds like an excuse... But I will take your word for it." Sakura twisted her hands and grabbed his wrists in turn. For a moment they both looked at each other. His smug grin began to soften. Her expression became a little more serious.

"So you'll never give up revenge?" she asked quietly.

"Never."

She frowned. "What will you do after you kill your brother?"

He thought. "I don't know yet. We'll just have to see when the time comes."

"Will you be less cold-hearted after you kill him?" she asked with a smug smile.

He cocked an eyebrow. "I'm not cold-hearted right now, Sakura."

"Fair enough," she said, nodding. She thought about this, but her expression grew more serious. "Sasuke-kun, tell me something... What if you die while fighting your brother?"

"I will take him down with me," he said flatly and a little too quickly. The answer seemed rehearsed. He must have put a lot of thought into this idea.

Sakura's expression hardened at his answer. She looked down with furrowed eyebrows and seemed even more troubled than before. Sasuke didn't like this at all. He disliked this expression on her face - the lack of vibrance - and he especially disliked how he was the source of it.

"Why, are you worried about me?" he asked, a little sarcastically, in attempt to lighten the mood.

She pierced her lips, supressing a small smile and nodded. Her expression was so cute that Sasuke's face flushed. She peered up at him to meet his gaping stare. His expression was so cute that she blushed in turn. Her control over her emotions was more feeble, however, so she turned away. In mid-action, his hand caught her face, and he gently brought her head back to face him.

"So, Sakura," he said, continuing to cup her face with his hand. "What are your life goals right now? What do you want to in the future?" Sakura remembered when Kakashi had asked her the same question. Her answer had involved a glance at Sasuke and a squeal. That was it.

"I'm not too sure about what my goals are… They certainly aren't as serious as yours, but I guess my dream for now is to achieve high levels in my ninja training, to live a happy life with no regrets, to kill as many Sound ninja as possible, but try not to be caught up in revenge. My goals may change, I guess. I don't know."

Sasuke thought about her words for a moment. "Sakura…you're different from before."

"What do you mean?"

He studied her. "Well… you treat me very differently. Before you couldn't even look at me. Now you're so…so different." She had a feeling that she knew what he was getting at. He stared at her intently. "What happened to you?"

She paused and slightly averted her gaze, but his hand kept her face steady. "Well…before I couldn't look at you or talk to you because I was head-over-heels in love with you." She wasn't sure how else to explain it to him. His brows furrowed in concentration. She felt his hand shift against her cheek. He seemed very confused. He was studying her face. She felt very vulnerable.

"What... about now?"

Her face grew very still. She didn't know what to say. Of course she still loved him. But admitting it felt so impossible. She still felt vulnerable under his piercing gaze. She couldn't make the words. She simply stared at him. Sasuke's face slowly fell. His brows continued to furrow and his lips were pierced.

Sakura did not want to see this expression on his face. But she could not find her voice. Instead she placed her hands, gently, on either side of his neck, and slowly caressed his jawline with her thumbs. His expression didn'tchange. If anything, it became more confused.

She pulled herself a little closer until her lips found his cheek. She let them linger for a moment, hoping that she could somehow speak through her actions. She pulled back and stared at his face. His expression was very blank. He was watching her with equal intensity. Her hands still rested on his neck when he blinked and tilted his head to the side, as if in contemplation.

His face, ever so slowly, drew nearer. He was moving cautiously, daring her to move in turn. But she was frozen to the spot. He was hesitant. Sakura did not answer his question. He wasn't sure if he was jumping to the right or wrong conclusion. In fact, he didn't even know what he was doing at all. But moments later, his lips touched hers - only touched. He did not know what he was doing. His eyes were open and she was not moving.

This was all wrong. He was all wrong. His mind was flooded with doubt and he motioned to pull back. But her hand slid up his neck and reached his hairline. She held his head in place, and finally pressed her lips against his, closing her eyes. She was very gentle and he was now the one in shock. Soon he raised his own hands to the back of her neck, and he kissed her back, with a little more force. He still didn't know what he was doing or what this meant. But this seemed to be a sufficient answer to his question.

The kiss lasted several minutes. It was very tender and gentle. It answered all the questions that were brimming in their minds. Sasuke vaguely wondered whether he should have taken advice from the little book Kakashi kept in his shuriken pouch.

They were both parentless and alone in a huge house, and in a huge world. But they were, and always would be, together.

This was the final part in the story. :) I really hope you enjoyed it!
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