Title: kill something beautiful
Inspiration from: Random plot bunny and an afternoon of Grey's Anatomy. You'll know it when you see it.
Notes: I LIVE. And I'm sorry for lack of update. I suck, feel free to fling rotten vegetables and spoiled milk at me. :[
I blame my job, among other things, but I won't bore you with an explanation.
Anyway, this scenario has been in my head for the past few months. I couldn't figure out how to put it on paper, hence the lateness of any sign of life from me. Excuse any choppiness, I do hope you enjoy this anyway. It's wistful, but not really angsty. It's probably also very confusing. And OOC, since dearest Sasuke-kun is ever so loquacious. Takes place sometime after his (triumphant?) return. Which I hope happens. Come on, Kishimoto-sensei, throw us a bone.
Any questions, please feel free to ask.
Disclaimer: Naruto and Grey's Anatomy belong to their respective creators. Read: Not me. The title comes from Ani DiFranco's Unrequited. Read: Also not me.
I apologize for my cheesy pun(s).
"Haruno-san, may I ask you something? Something of a personal nature."
"Of course. And, really, you can call me Sakura, you know."
"Oh, I couldn't. I mean, well, it would b-be, you know, terribly forward, and I—"
"Breathe. Now, you said you had a question for me?"
"You are joking, aren't you? It doesn't matter. You should already know my answer."
At least he hadn't completely shot it down. Yet. And he was talking. A lot more than usual, anyway. But then, that was probably due to the strange nature of her request.
"Just let me have this. This one thing, and I swear it'll be done."
And it would be. Because he was Uchiha Sasuke, and she was Haruno Sakura, and real life didn't always work out in the way of happily-ever-after, and she was getting too old to be holding onto impossibly distant dreams.
"…And if I let you do this, there won't be anymore Sasuke-kuns? No more asking for dates, or offering chocolates, or bento? No more distractions on missions?"
She cringed. Had she been that much of a burden?
But he wasn't finished yet.
"No more begging me to stay—"
"As long as you don't plan on leaving again." She interjected, almost waspishly, but he continued as though she hadn't even spoken.
"No more declarations of love? Can you promise that, Sakura?"
There was a pause. When she spoke, her voice was quiet, and soft, but it did not waver.
"You can't expect it to be gone overnight, and it's difficult letting go. You should know that better than anyone. I've never given up on anyone before, so I don't know how long it'll take me. But I'll make a conscious effort to stop annoying you so much."
"And I haven't done any of those things in years, and you know it."
He paused, thought it over, and conceded.
"Fine. You haven't."
He took two steps closer to her. Now, they were only an arm's length apart.
"But you look at me."
She fidgeted under the sudden intensity of his gaze.
"Is there some law that says I'm not allowed to?"
"…No. But you know what I mean. Sometimes, you look at me like you want me to save you. Like you're drowning and I'm the only one who knows how to swim. Like you see something in me that I still can't seem to find."
He looked away, and ran a hand through his hair in evident frustration.
"Sometimes, you look at me like you meant what you said that night."
"Is it so hard to believe that I did?"
"Well, it's not really a question, so much as it is…well, there are rumors."
She quirked her brow at him.
"Rumors? Well, those are always fun. Let's hear it."
"Are you worried I'll tell people?"
"I'm not worried."
And he wasn't. Because worrying required giving a damn, and all he really wanted to do right now was get back to his training. Even more, after his sudden bout of verbal diarrhea a few moments ago.
"Why is this so important to you anyway? It's just a kiss."
She blushed a little, but her eyes didn't change. There was a mix of feelings in her green gaze, but sadness dominated. And a stubborn glint of hope, that maybe this time, maybe in this goodbye, he would feel something. Maybe not the same sort of something that she felt for him—which she still couldn't quite describe—but perhaps the beginnings of…
And she paused. Because really, that was what she had to stop doing. Expectations bred nothing but disappointment, and hoping was simply a slow decay. The best she could hope for at this point was that he agree to her unorthodox request. And then finally— finally— she could start making blueprints for that bridge she was going to have to build to get over it.
"It's my first. Consider it my form of closure."
"I still don't understand how this is supposed to help you. Won't it just make things worse?"
"I'll worry about that. And if I were you, I'd be a little more careful. You almost sound like you care."
She looked away for a moment, shoulders slumped, mouth in a tight line, and trying her hardest not to look like she wished he did.
And, Sasuke thought, he did.
Sort of, anyway. Before he'd left, she'd been a teammate, and something of a friend. Not like the idiot, but still. Now, it was a little less clean. After his eventual reinstatement as a Konoha shinobi (something he knew he owed to her and Naruto both), he had been placed on Team 7 again. So she'd been his teammate. And as she'd stated, it had been years since she'd outwardly called attention to her feelings for him. So maybe, they were friends now. Real friends. And yet, sometimes…
In any case, as much as he'd tried—which, if he were going to be completely honest, wasn't very much at all—he couldn't quite pinpoint what he felt for her, but he knew that it wasn't the same as what she still felt for him.
And it seemed to mean a lot to her. He'd been so good at disappointing her, but in this, for some reason, he couldn't find it in him to refuse.
She looked at him, bewildered, and clearly in disbelief.
"What? I said, fine. Just make it quick. Whatever."
He muttered something low under his breath.
"What was that?"
"No. Please. As long as we're both being totally honest here."
He sighed, and looked almost regretful.
"I said that it didn't matter much to me anyway."
For an instant—he wasn't sure if he had just imagined it—her eyes dulled, her shoulders slumped and every cell in her body seemed to draw into itself, as though they knew the effect the words had on the sum of their parts. But then, he blinked and she stood there, face set in the same way it had been all morning.
"If it's all the same to you, Sasuke-kun," she said softly, savoring the way the syllables of his name (or rather, her name for him, since even Ino had dropped the suffix) felt in her mouth, "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." She chuckled, a small broken sound, and something in him wished he was still capable of feeling something besides anger and indifference.
"I'm going to pretend that you love me. That I didn't have to ask for this. That I'll wake up beside you tomorrow morning. That I have all the time in the world to kiss you, and that's the only reason I'm not taking my time right now. I'll make it short. Maybe sweet…"
She smiled up at him, and tried to mean it.
"Like it's a habit."
"Well, people have been talking, and it's so silly, it can't be true, you're so beautiful and—"
"You're doing it again. Rambling. Calm down, and speak."
"Have you really never been kissed?"
She turned back to him, and licked her lips.
"All right. I'm ready. And don't worry, I won't take long."
She held hands behind her and he wondered aloud at her actions.
"Oh. This way, I won't touch you anymore than necessary. I know you hate it when other people touch you."
He wanted to tell her that maybe, just this once, he wouldn't have minded, but his mouth couldn't form the words. He couldn't think much of anything, really.
She'd already covered his lips with her own.
It wasn't passionate, but it wasn't tame. She seemed determined to hold back, to keep a part of her for herself, since she'd already given most of it a long time ago. It was at once languid and desperate, bitter because it was for goodbye, but sweet, because it had been so long in coming, even if they weren't here—together— to stay, it was almost beautiful, it was—
And before he opened his eyes—when had they slid shut?—she was gone, leaving only words in the wake of her absence.
He'd always hated irony.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have pried."
"Please, forgive me. You don't have to answer if you—"
"No, I've never been kissed."
Several tables away, Uchiha Sasuke ordered his dinner, and tried not to regret the truth in her words.
This could have ended so many different ways. I went through a billion scenarios in my head, each more angsty than the last, and this won out.
School's coming. Le sigh.
Please review. And once again, sorry for my absence.