Cataracta's Notes: This one was on a whim, and actually... from a book I read that I can't remember the name of for the life of me. Enjoy!

Temporarily Lonely

"If we were to die tonight, then I guess we'd die tonight. Accepting the unacceptable, and maybe everything else, too. Sasuke X Sakura"

It's a strange day, Sakura decides. Strange because it's sunny and it's the middle of December, strange because it's winter and feels like summer, and strange because she is sitting next to Uchiha Sasuke and completely relaxed. But perhaps the strangest part of the entire strange affair is that Sasuke is back at all, since, really, he has only been back for what seems like a day when it's really been over a year.

He sits next to her the way the old Uchiha Sasuke would never have been able to. He sits next to her without a word, but also without his classic expression, without his classic attitude, without his classic Sasuke-ness. He merely… sits. Merely sits and enjoys the quiet and the strangely sunny weather in the middle of December, sits and enjoys the way that winter is feeling like summer.

And Sakura is sitting next to him in a way that she would never have thought possible. She is sitting next to the Uchiha Sasuke without latching onto his arm, without asking for a date, without doing enjoying the summer-ish weather in the dead of winter. Strange, she thinks.

It's also strange when Sasuke breaks the companionable silence with, "I almost died, fighting my brother."

Sakura's only comment is to glance at him, intuitively knowing it is not her time to speak.

"And when fighting Orichimaru. I almost died then, too." He continues.

Sensing that a response is expected, Sakura asks what is perhaps the most obvious question of all, "Were you scared?"

"Yes," He answers without pause, "But not because I was afraid of dying, really, but because I was afraid of what I had missed. It doesn't really seem like I lived, before. It seems like I merely observed."

It's a strange conversation, but Sakura senses something deeper in his words and asks, "And if you were to die tonight?"

He stares at her, his blood red eyes considering, "If I were to die tonight?" He pauses once more and watches her and Sakura feels almost as if he's looking through her, "Then I guess I'd die tonight."

Sakura smiles and offers him a hand, which he takes without hesitation, "Okay."


Cataracta's Notes: Let me know what you think!