Title: the art of denial
Fandom: Naruto
Pairing: SasuSaku
Category: General/Romance
Disclaimer: Standard ones apply.
Summary: Uchiha Sasuke thinks little of beauty, and even less of Haruno Sakura.

Uchiha Sasuke thinks little of beauty, and even less of Haruno Sakura.

At least, this is what he tells himself.

There are moments when she annoys him, and he tells her as much.

(He pretends he doesn't notice the way her smile falters and her eyes lower to the ground he knows she wishes would swallow her whole.)

She's always so damned weak, and he always has to be the one who's keeping her safe, and couldn't she do anything for herself, just this once? She's not a distraction - she doesn't even register when she's not getting herself almost killed, or doing something unspeakably foolish.

(Like protecting him - just who the hell did she think she was, anyway? He never asked for her love, and he sure as hell didn't need it.)

At least, this is what he tells himself.

There are moments when she mystifies him, but of course, she'll never know. Sometimes, she'll look at him and her eyes will cloud over, and the corners of her mouth will curve in a gentle smile that, for the span of a heartbeat, takes Sasuke back to a time when he wasn't so angry all the time, when that man was still nii-san! and his facial muscles were still familiar with - even used to - the concept of smiling.

(These instances are far and few in between, and he never bothers to ask what she's thinking about in those few seconds, because quite honestly, he doesn't care.)

At least, this is what he tells himself.

And then, Sasuke thinks, there are moments when she could be beautiful, if he were the kind of boy who thought about such things (which he isn't). Moments when he thinks her foolishness could be called bravery, and her idiocy, mistaken for unselfishness. There are moments when he thinks she is dangerously close to making him reconsider his life's path, moments when he remembers that he has two goals, and he's always liked the color green, despite rumors that his favored shade was a murky mix of blue and black.

(He still seethes when he remembers those two colors on her face, because even if she was annoying, he'd never wanted that. Not for her.)

In Sasuke's estimation, Sakura is an inconvenience, a nuisance, a mismatched palette of too-loud colors, too-soft scents and there is no room in his life for anyone but Itachi. She will probably die young anyway - good shinobi rarely made it past their thirties, and she was nowhere near competent. It wouldn't do to get attached.

(He tries to suppress a shudder at the thought of her - broken and bloodied, on some distant battlefield, eyes permanently dulled, pink hair matted with too much blood - but he doesn't quite make it.)

Sasuke doesn't think much of Haruno Sakura.

Except for when he does.


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