Home Is Where The Heart Is
By: neon kun
Standard Disclaimer Is Applied.
Summary: Once, Twice, Thrice she asked him to come home. No one tried to stop her anymore; they knew she had to get her heart back home. "Million words won't bring you back, neither would a million tears. I know, 'cause I've tried."
"You can fall from a tree; you can fall from a cliff—but the best way to fall…is to fall in love."
"Sasuke kun," Sakura chirped, seeing her teammate early as usual at the training ground. "Morning!"
"Hn," Sasuke kept his eyes closed; Sakura just smiled, she was used to it. After twenty minutes, the yellow blob of Konoha also known as Naruto Uzumaki arrived.
"Sakura chan!" he greeted cheerfully—typical Naruto. Sakura smiled, "Morning," she was in a good mood; Sasuke's presence was enough and he hadn't uttered anything mean for the past twenty minutes they were together.
"None of you spoke, duh." Her inner suddenly popped in.
"Oh, don't run down my parade, will you?" Sakura retorted.
"If you say so; just don't jinx your words—we don't know when Sasuke kun's tongue would get really sharp."
"Yeah… I'll be ready."
"Good luck, girl."
"Oh, teme, morning." Naruto grumbled. "Hn," Sasuke replied, not even moving at the slightest. "What an emo," Naruto muttered and in a split second it rained kunais on the blonde. "TEME!"
"Now, now," Sakura tried to calm the two. Of course, she didn't want to break her wonderful mood so she settled on being composed and not all-bashing-Naruto-out mode.
"Oh, look, it's Kakashi sensei!" and she pointed at the railings of the bridge as a diversion.
"Kakashi sensei you're—," Naruto gasped; Sakura, realizing why Naruto stopped on his words, had her eyes widened and Sasuke, for once, glanced at where Kakashi was supposedly told to be—Sakura didn't really expect Kakashi to be there in the first place.
"—early… for once." Naruto finished, dubiously.
"There's always a first time for everything, Naruto." Kakashi replied with a grin (Through the wrinkles that formed on his mask—they alleged) while holding his favorite book of all time. "Oh…" Naruto muttered, dumbfounded. "Hey—did you just admit you're always late?!"
Sakura gasped, "Naruto—you have a brain?!"
"Nice to know you've finally grown one, kiddo." Kakashi commented.
"You're being cruel! Every one of you!" Naruto sobbed.
"Sasuke kun hasn't spoken, yet, Naruto." Sakura defended the gloomy boy.
"Well, he's always going emo slash brooding slash taunting mode—that kunai of a tongue!"
"Point taken," Sakura giggled; that's Sasuke, all right. "HN." The said boy glared. "I'm damn here."
"Yes, we know." Kakashi said, participating in the conversation.
"Damn you all."
"Yeah, heard of it all too many times." The renowned jounin chirped, as if it was no big deal. Perhaps it wasn't, really.
"Asshole," Sasuke breathed.
"Mission time!" Kakashi smiled after. "And because Sasuke cursed me, your mission is to pluck weeds!"
"Dandy, isn't it?"
Sakura passed a crowded district of Konoha—she came from their training area; it ended just a few minutes ago and thus the trek towards her home, which is on the other side of town. She was thanking the gods she was a ninja, at least, if ever something unwanted happens, she could defend herself. "I'm quite drained, but whatever… adrenaline would help if it's needed, anyway."
As she passed a stall with some girls encircling it, some talking—they were wearing all black; leggings, fishnets, prints on shirts that indicated the evil side of some sorts—Sakura snorted. "Emo…" she had nothing against them, really—she's a teammate of one, remember? "Believe it!" she recalled Naruto's saying—but it was getting annoying; the posers—true emo people she respects (she can be pretty emotional at times, too, you know!)—posers, no. They just wanted attention.
But what perked her ears was when she heard the name of her favorite boy from the mouths of those particular people and laughed to herself. "Come to the dark side!" she had heard of the phrase, one where the next sentence made her surprised—"We have cookies!"—but the sentence she heard from them wasn't what she first learnt. But rather; "We have Sasuke kun!" followed by a sinister laugh. She grinned to herself; she had something to tell and laugh over with her friends now.
Weeks after, Sasuke left for Orochimaru. Sakura's heart broke primarily for the reason that she witnessed his departure firsthand.
"Sasuke kun, you're leaving, aren't you?" Sakura asked, revealing herself from her hiding spot. Sasuke halted, scrutinizing her. He was wearing a back pack and his forehead protector was nowhere visible on him. He remained silent.
"In order to leave Konoha, you must take this road."
Sakura's eyes squinted. "So I've heard."
"Go back and sleep, Sakura. It's best you forget about this happening."
"I can't Sasuke kun, I can't. A part of me is leaving, my heart is."
Sasuke grunted but Sakura ignored him.
"Wherever your brain takes you, Sasuke kun, bring your heart, too…" although she said so, she argued for him to stay. But she understood why she said that; she knew he'd leave no matter what.
"But it would be better if you just stay here with us, be happy with us…"
"Don't be foolish," Sasuke grunted. "Staying here will not give me happiness."
He shook his head. "You've always followed your heart with whatever you do…" he continued. "But it'd be better if you just take your brain with you." He twisted her words and as she threatened to scream, "You're annoying," he said and suddenly appeared behind her. "But thank you…" and he pressed a point on her neck, rendering her unconscious. It was dark, practically pitch black nevertheless he could perceive her tears ever so clearly, like he always does. And he knew why—he had taken her heart away.
The next day, she awoke on a bench, screaming his name.
"Don't cry over someone who won't do the same for you—but if they are worth crying over, they wouldn't make you shed a single tear."
She remembered Tsunade's words—her master, her mentor. After Naruto went after Sasuke and came home with broken bones, she decided she wanted to be functional—to be useful. She became the apprentice of the Hokage, a legendary Sannin. Because she knew, the moment Naruto was brought to Konoha on Kakashi's back with disfeatured joints and bones, and more than all the wounds he received, his heart tore. Just like hers.
"Sasuke kun…" she murmured, the name felt so right on her lips but she knew it was all so wrong, he was…
"Nothing but a traitor."
Tsunade made sure to clear that up to her.
"Tsunade sama, I'm sorry, but I can't…" she sobbed. "He isn't worth your tears, my dear." The Hokage replied, no—it wasn't as the Hokage, it was as her mentor, her second mother.
"Yes, I know, I know… but… I can't forget; I have to bring him back."
"I don't suppose you can't reconsider?"
"I'm sorry, shishou… but until I get my heart back home, I'll never stop."
And as much as she suppressed it, a subtle smile graced Tsunade's lips.
Because no matter what her second mother may say, Tsunade's words could never dither Sakura's faith—to her, Sasuke was that and more.
It has been years—two and a half to be exact—when Sasuke left. Sakura was known as one of the best medic; quite talented and beautiful. She had blossomed from a bud (as Ino metaphorically stated) and deserved all the praises she received. Under the tutelage of the Hokage had its rewards; she gained knowledge in the medicinal field and achieved brute strength. And since she was a Genjutsu type of kunoichi first off, some even opinioned that she might surpass her master since she also have perfect chakra control, but of course, she worked tremendously hard for all her triumphs.
"Haruno Sakura—my apprentice, Uzumaki Naruto—Jiraiya of the Densetsu no Sannin's apprentice, Yamato, Sai (the person speaking closed her eyes for a minute or two), Hyuuga Hinata—heiress of the Hyuuga Main Branch, Aburame Shino of the Aburame Clan of Insect specialists, Inuzuka Kiba of the Inuzuka Clan of Ninja Dogs specialists, and Hatake Kakashi—Jounin titled as the Copy Ninja," Tsunade spoke with solemnity. "You are to partake on an S-rank mission."
Sakura's heart was pounding—she was aware of what it was. Naruto was the person responsible for the mission to be stated; she was there when he voiced it.
"Orochimaru is dead. Sasuke is on the move; he's not yet coming home. So I'm going to drag his damned ass back here whether he likes it or not!"
"A particularly very dangerous one and I expect every one of you to take this seriously. No kidding around—the possibility of death occurring is vastly high."
"Why, for what reason, Naruto? He's a traitor. We don't even know if he has any intention on returning back."
The eight ninjas stood straight, staring with discipline at the Hokage. Neither protested nor made a sound and everyone was thinking the same thing. "This mission…"
"Yeah, I know. He's too stuck up to lower down his stupid pride. But Tsunade baachan, this is more than that…"
"Your mission," Tsunade's voice barked loudly and clearly. "Is to capture and bring back Uchiha Sasuke—preferably alive. But in any circumstances that it is impossible, you have the permission to kill. Anyone who does not wish to participate in this mission may leave, now."
"What do you mean?"
No one budged an inch.
"He is team seven's family member lost in the darkness—stupid arrogant asshole."
Naruto paused. Sakura gazed at him with empathy.
"But we're the bastard's light."
He grinned. Sakura smiled—she understood what he meant.
"And we're going to bring him back home!"
"It is decided, then." Tsunade glimpsed at all their faces, one by one, and stopping for a few seconds at Sakura, who kept firm. "You may leave as soon as possible. Say goodbyes to your family and do biddings you must—this may be the last time for you."
And all left with a puff, visiting all their love ones, having fun, having a tour in Konoha for maybe the last time, and preparing for the mission—a mission where lives are at stake.
It was official.
Sasuke Uchiha was going home, by hook or by crook.
It has been a week since the start of the mission. Everyone was ready and prepared and most importantly, they knew the consequences of their actions. It's Uchiha Sasuke they're dealing with—and with companions. Furthermore, knowing the avenger, if he would have cohorts to accomplish his mission, then those would definitely be downright strong, if not in league with him.
Sakura's heart suddenly ached. "Weren't we strong enough for you?"
Her being shook.
"No, I wasn't strong enough for you, wasn't I?"
She couldn't say if she was exultant or distressed when they finally encountered each other. She, standing beside Naruto, while the others were behind the two because they recognized Sakura and Naruto has the most connection with the avenger. Sasuke stood a good few meters away from them, wearing an impassive face with three people behind him, one of which is a woman.
The insults were heartbreaking. The fight was long and weary—and Sakura had her eyes only on three people. Naruto, the woman named Karin—as she heard, and Sasuke. And for an unknown basis—things were transpiring so fast, she couldn't keep up with the lot—she was standing in front of Sasuke, with him and no one else. She was panting and Sasuke was, too. Not because of her, though. It was because of Naruto—he wore him out, Naruto and Sasuke were fighting before she and he were finally alone. How, she had no idea, but the situation at the moment was what most essential to her. "Sasuke kun…"
The said man stood upright. "Sakura."
"Come back home…"
Sasuke's face remained stoic. "Sakura." His voice was solid and harsh.
"You know better than to ask me that."
I know, I know, but my heart…
"Sasuke kun," she started; she can sense Naruto's chakra nearing them. Meaning, the two would be separated—they wouldn't have the privacy to converse with each other.
"Someday you'll be sorry, Sasuke kun."
She smiled. His eyes were on hers.
"And someday when you're free..."
She could hear Naruto shouting his and her name.
"Memories will remind you that you and I were meant to be."
He silently contemplated on her words. "Perhaps." And Naruto arrived, Karin arrived and the fight of the century began.
They arrived to Konoha barely alive—Sakura was exhaust of her chakra from healing all her teammates, desperate to keep them at bay until they reach even just the outskirts of Konoha. She knew the ANBU patrol the area. And despite all her wounds, her pain, the fatigue and memories—even if they weren't able to accomplish the mission, she gave a smile before she passed out, near the borders of the village. She remembered his reply.
And that was enough; there was a possibility. He hasn't forgotten about them, he's still reflecting. And maybe, just maybe, he'll come back someday in his own accord. And she'll accept him with open arms.
It has been seven years since their attempt to capture Uchiha Sasuke, seven years since the great battle in which, miraculously enough, the eight dispatched came back to their homeland still breathing albeit exceedingly weakened and injured. She couldn't move on; she still loves him and everyone was aware of that. Even Sai, the person she's currently dating. He knew though, and figured it was something no one, not even him, not even Naruto, Kakashi, Tsunade, not even one soul living (but then again, all souls are alive, only the flesh dies) can pry away from her being. Her love for the youngest Uchiha alive was just that too much and he learned to live with it. Everyone did; simply due to the fact, it was already a part of her.
Naruto was currently in training for Hokage; Tsunade insisted, said it would help him mold into a fine leader. Although Sakura could see it was for her mentor's entertainment. She laughed when she found out but she knew better; it was only an excuse. Tsunade was dead set on making Naruto Hokage even if the council of the elders disapproved.
"We all perfectly know he's more than capable! So why don't ya just suck it up and admit it, old fools!"
It was the time Sai proposed to her when news came. Itachi was dead and Sasuke was found near the village. Without further ado, after muttering a small sorry to Sai, she left.
Left him for Sasuke.
Sai sighed and shook his head. He departed for his apartment; he knew he would have work to do in the morning. "Better get that rest, now," he said.
He shrugged it off, her expression when she heard the news. He knew he had no chance, he learned to endure the reality that Sasuke owns her heart. It was expected, he smiled. It was better to endeavor seeking happiness rather not doing a thing, right? She taught him that. Besides, that's all he could do. And he knew he felt the pain; a complete paradox. For when he got to his apartment, the façade was broken. He smiled but the tears were apparent. It was the first he felt love. Now, he knew what Sakura went through. Smiling once more and wiping off the tears, he muttered to himself, "You're a lucky ass, Uchiha Sasuke. Damn you."
"I don't know if it was wrong, but I loved you too much. Sadly, I don't regret it."
"Sasuke kun…" Sakura uttered. She knew it was erroneous to leave Sai just like that, and for Sasuke, no less. She tried to love the guy but she realized she couldn't; her love was reserved for Sasuke and Sasuke alone.
"Come back home, please…" and this time, when she said so, she pleaded. Because she was dying, "my heart…"
"Sakura, I told you—,"
"But Sasuke kun, please!" she was desperate; Sasuke was aware of it but she could care less. What was significant was to get him back—pride thrown away for the moment.
"I still love you."
He shook his head.
"You think you love me but you don't know me."
She smiled at his words. "So you won't come back home because of that?" she laughed.
"You know, I wouldn't fall in love with you if I don't know you."
Her tears were distinguishable even at dark—like he can always.
"Million words won't bring you back, 'cause I've tried…"
She paused and let the tears slip. He was watching her ever so closely and both were aware of it.
"Neither would a million tears; I know, because I've tried…"
The next day, Naruto found the two together, holding each other. And he knew—they knew Sakura's heart found a way back; he was finally home.
Done! I hope that's all good for you. I really have no inspiration for my chaptered fics right now. And I don't want to write something I have no enthusiasm to—I'm sure it'll turn out horribly and it'll just add to my bleakness to the fic.
If flamed and sued and you didn't read this, I'll track you down and kill you.
I don't own the quotes here; some are from an author's profile. Yeah, I read profiles. And that particular author would be… Bored Konoha Kunoichi… thumbs up to her. Thanks for telling me, I'm very grateful! She's a great author, I tell you. Take it from me, honest. Thanks again for the quotes, and sorry for the late asking of permission! This one is for you.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that.
Pardon for the grammatical errors and typos.