By - Chibi / Warlordess

Notes - I feel like I'm going to be flamed to hell and back for doing this, but I've wanted to for awhile now and I got inspiration from an author I read something on recently - someone who came out into the open and said, quite clearly, that I should just take the plunge (thanks, xChiaki-chanx). So here we are. I'm a pathetic author, so I don't mind saying to you all that this will be my first SasuSaku one-shot, let alone my first Naruto fic all-together. Forgive me if notes like that are a pet peeve of yours. :D

Summary - Perhaps Sakura was a bit juvenile, but she'd always thought about that night differently than anyone else. . . (SasuSaku-ness, Sakura's POV. Sorta.) (One-shot.)

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Title - "Between the Lines"

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Oh, she received those looks often enough. A lot of people in the village of Konoha knew of the night that Sasuke had left them to join Orochimaru, and - therefore - they also knew of the interesting meet she had had with him that evening, too.

However, to be honest, they didn't know every detail. They figured that she'd probably tried to convince him to stay (and they were right), and they cashed in on the probability that she confessed her love to him again, unsuccessfully of course (again, they were right). . . However, not many people considered the fact that she had begged to go with him, that she had said in one of her most openminded statements ever, that if he weren't in her life (as coldhearted as he'd been while he was there that whole time), it would be the same as being alone.

No one considered that she, Sakura Haruno, girl of no unbelievably gruesome history and with family and friends who loved her so much, could feel that way. Some of them may have even been insulted at the idea, so perhaps it was better that they didn't know of it.

Anyway, back on track. . . The greatest detail often left out of the rumors and the repetitive tales working their way oh-so often around the village was the end of that encounter, that being, how Sasuke had knocked Sakura out and left her there in the dark and cold.

Sakura would admit, too, that she would have chosen a much safer and more comfortable place to be left behind at, but even so, she never really understood why everyone - even Ino-pig - seemed to pity her for it all.

Sasuke, after all, had never been a perfect prince. He called her annoying enough, and told her she was weak, and that she needed to train, and to go away, and often enough, he left her in the dust in such a way that some people might assume he couldn't care less for her.

And let's not forget what action took the entirety of the cake - that being that he knocked her out in the dead of night after all that she'd said to him, trying to convince him that she cared, and he'd left her there in the cold, without any shelter or protection against. . . well. . . anything.

But that in itself was what Sakura didn't understand. Perhaps she'd been wrong all these years and she had never really gotten to know Uchiha Sasuke as well as she'd first assumed, but. . . as aforementioned, he was definitely no prince, at least not to the average eye. . . so why did everyone seem so shocked and appalled and sympathetic for the way he'd left her that night?

What were they trying to say to her? That she should have expected more from the boy she loved? The boy who had never shown a one hundred percent romantic bone or thought in his body since she'd met him? The boy whose perceptions had always been riddled with revenge against his only blood relative left, that same relative who had brutally murdered his entire family?

Honestly, she was disappointed in all of them.

Perhaps Sakura was a bit juvenile - and a bit overcome with her feelings for the boy - but she'd always thought of that evening differently than anyone else.

After all, Uchiha Sasuke was Uchiha Sasuke and while Sakura loved him (and she probably always would), thinking back on it, she didn't expect him to suddenly turn around and say he loved her, nor did she hope that he would stay after all, or agree to take her with him and protect her simply because he felt that it was a great possibility to do so.

He might have been a tad brutally honest with her about it by calling her annoying even after all the time he'd known her, but he had thanked her too. And even though Sakura never could decipher every part of the language Sasuke spoke around her, a language she hoped to understand so thoroughly that she would finally know what all that "hn"-stuff meant, she'd hoped beyond all doubt that she'd gotten the translation to that thanks right.

After all, Uchiha Sasuke had never thanked a person once since the time she'd known him (or at least not since the massacre of his family). He'd never really felt the need to, probably because he hoped never to need the help of another person again.

And while she had been knocked out like she had, she could still remember quite clearly that she'd been in the middle of the street at the time. She doubted that she could have sleep-walked across the pathway and placed herself on that bench, which meant one thing.

Sasuke had done it. Of course, someone might have asked her how she knew this, how it couldn't have been anyone else. . . but, really. . . wouldn't someone else have tried to wake her up? Even if they hadn't thought of taking her home (Konoha was a small enough village so that you knew mostly everyone else who lived there on some level), they could have at least tried to shake her awake.

Sasuke wouldn't have tried that, though, because he knew she would have regained her edge and started ranting all over again. Sakura hoped that his almost unbelievable feat of granting her one act of kindness as he left had meant that she was important to him somehow, and that he truly appreciated how much she cared and didn't want to lose that by leaving the village despite all she said to try and stop him.

But that was something she rather liked to keep to herself, and she didn't brood on the possibility that it could have meant nothing because - with Sasuke - it always seemed to mean something.

So she bared a grin as she walked through the streets of Konoha every day, and when people stared at her with pity, thoughts drifting back to that night, her smile broadened still.

After all, it was always safe to assume things like what everyone else did, but she rather liked jumping out on that limb of hope and considering the possibilities.

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Notes - There we go. I know, I know; the title is cliche, the fic in itself is no masterpiece. Honestly, I wrote it simply because I have read so many Naruto fics that take place in the future, where Sakura bitchslaps Sasuke because of how he left her that night, and while that would be hilarious to watch, I still think that this is more likely - maybe not the possibility that Sasuke was trying to tell Sakura to hang on to her love for him, but the one where she would spend her days assuming the most out of what had happened in that situation, rather than the worst.

So, if you could, please review and tell me what you thought. I've got a couple more fics that I'd like to put out there, but I wanted to test the waters first, so. . .