Disclaimer: Hahaha. No.

Dedication: EJ, because she not only requested it but deserves this, a billion times over and over again.

Prompt: Awards


She doesn't want to, not anymore. But Sakura can't help it, when she finds herself at a certain bench.

She swore to herself that she'd never come back here, not again, but he breaks promises so why can't she?

The wind whistles through the trees, and the sound echoes around her, a broken kind of laughter. The kind of laughter that she has now.

It was windy the night he left, too. The leaves surrounded her, also. Almost like an embrace. Maybe he could control the weather, and that was his sorry, sorry for everything he couldn't say.

Don't you dare think like that again, Sakura!

The memory of his defect is such a bitter pill to swallow. Years have passed since he's been gone (and the miles that have stretched between them are like a physical ache) and yet, she still can't let go.

Even after everything, he's still got her locked in chains, unable to break them, even with her insane strength, because these chains are emotional and not physical.

It's 2:18 in the morning, and it seems like she's the only one alive. Certainly the only one insane enough to be outside and sit on a stone bench that is freezing while the wind blows through the (hollow) trees and she's only in a long-sleeved shirt and shorts. (Because really, after all this time, she obviously hasn't learned her lesson.)

Despite herself, despite all the voices in her head screaming for her not to, she thinks of all of those oh-so-painful what could've been's. What would've happened had he not left then, if he had let them save him.

But, then again, if that had happened, then that wouldn't have been Sasuke.

They wouldn't have been perfect, but they, together, would've been enough. Together, they could've balanced each other out.

Instead, now, they are this broken, fragile thing, always on the brink of shattering into a billion pieces over the edge of oblivion.

And Sasuke will never know what he has done to Naruto. Naruto, with his bright blue eyes and brilliant smile. Those looks that hide the deep sadness beneath the surface.

Sakura thinks, with a hint of a smirk on her face (that, had she looked in a mirror, would've looked painfully familiar, belonging to another face, in another time, where she had been whole and happy, surrounded by her boys) that Uchiha Sasuke should be given an award (awards, actually, since she is not the only person he has left broken) for what he has left behind, for what kind of condition he has left them all in.

Kakashi-sensei, she knows, goes to the gravestones every day, each time for a little bit longer, and it makes her hate Sasuke more, because if there is one person who doesn't need to be broken anymore by the absence of someone else in his life it's Kakashi.

It's now approaching three A.M, and her entire body is becoming numb (not that it hasn't been ever since he left) from the cold. Unwillingly, her eyes drift towards the gate, thinking of everything that has transpired in the two universes that make up Team Seven, one where they were slowly mending and the current one where they are like fragments of glass, never able to be fully put together again.

"I love you with all my heart!"

"Sakura…thank you."

She says goodbye to the memories, deciding that really, she should know better than to hope. Uchiha Sasuke is not coming back, and it is so incredibly foolish to hopewishpray that he was.

Goodbye's are always painful.

And yet, she thinks, walking away (she wishes Sasuke were here, just so that she could see the sight of her back, and know that this time, it was her walking away, and not him. She really has become too familiar with Uchiwa fan) that, just like everything else, it wasn't hard for him.


A/N- Wow, this is pretty bad. And basically plot-less. I guess that's what happens when you're away from (good) writing for two months. Promise, EJ, your next gift WILL be better. Anyway, review?