Hi Guys! Long time, no time. lol. K, so this is one-shot, and I've tried to make everything more direct to the point with this new piece. It's still my style of writing - only a little more laid back - I guess? Less nitty-gritty, more get-to-it! Iunno. (..)
This is in no-way related to Weeks Before He Left. No, there will not be a sequel - but I appreciate it so much that some people want one. It means so much to me. hugs to all
What else to say... Nothing really.
Just that you enjoy and review if you want to. No forcing with me. Comes when it comes. ;)
Was this what she wanted?
Her foot teetered over the rocky ledge and she struggled to hold herself up.
Her calves burned from tiptoeing. How long had it been?
She focused on her breathing.
As long as there was oxygen, she would be fine.
Her muscles would have energy to burn.
Her hands clenched into fists.
She felt the leather stretch.
"After all this time, it's still your problem…"
She heard the calm murmur. That was all.
She couldn't see past the swelling of her right eye.
How did she get the bruise? She couldn't remember.
The struggle had been a blur.
Now, she was completely immobile.
And his infamous sword - Kusanagi - was propped right across one side of her face.
An imposing, albeit, silent threat.
One false move and she almost knew that he wouldn't hesitate.
He would strike.
Is that what he wants me to think?
"Give it to me."
His voice held the same unbending authority, the same calm slur and sleek timbre.
She could smell him - a mixture of damp earth, crushed grass, sun-kissed wind, and that strong scent of maleness. The presence crept over her – like an invisible warm space.
Silent and careful, and dominating.
If she concentrated hard enough, it almost felt like a mouth forming words over her neck…
And she remembered:
A certain random day, three and a half years ago, sometime mid-June – when they had been keeping watch outside the tent while Kakashi gathered firewood and Naruto slept.
He'd asked her about the constellations, about the twin clusters peppered near Polaris.
He'd taken a twig and drawn the shapes of the stars into the dirt mound between their legs.
And while the locks of raven hair skittered over his pale cheek, she'd closed her eyes and chiseled that moment into her heart.
She still loved him.
The thought was something she would repeat to herself often in the long time of his absence.
Never mind the blade cutting into her face.
Never mind,… that one look into his eyes could mean the end.
She turned her good side to him and gasped as the blade pierced skin.
The blood was surprisingly cool as it trickled sideways down her jaw.
Her green eyes looked unflinchingly into his. Steady, truthful.
She blinked the blood away.
"Sasuke-kun, come… home."
Her throat was dry, but her words were audible.
Somewhere along the way, the feeling of needing him, of wanting him back, had turned into an obsession.
"Home…?" The question rolled off his tongue eloquently.
And then he lowered his head and gave a discreet smirk.
Was that bastardized smile directed at the way she'd referred to the village as such, or did he find the invitation amusing?
She wouldn't really ever know.
Did he know how to smile because of joy?
In the short time she learned him… Did he ever really feel happiness?
"Give me the scroll."
She looked into his eyes. The same subdued calm.
The same mastered face that conveyed no expression.
"Tell me where it is, Sakura."
It was funny he hadn't faltered over her name, when he hadn't said it for so very long.
It was funny he demanded rather than asked.
But wasn't that the way he always was?
"I know how to use it." She raised her chin, and it was all the pride she had left in this situation.
He seemed unmoved, though he lowered the sword calculatingly to her shoulder.
"I will learn it." He countered softly, stoic gaze flickering to her collar for a brief moment, before his eyes fell shut.
He said nothing else. And it seemed as if he were concentrating on a multitude of strategies as the wind stirred at locks of his hair.
Even her very presence didn't distract him.
She shifted, trying to make herself more comfortable against the jut of rock digging into her spine. Her left boot slipped over a pebble and the reflex of her muscles to regain balance brought a grueling cramp to her side.
Sakura cringed, sucking in shaky breath as her leg trembled from effort.
That was it. She was tired of fighting against the wires pressing to her skin.
Her body slumped.
"You said …. You only had one goal. To kill your brother-" Sakura started urgently.
"Somewhere along the way – …" Sasuke broke in with a frustrated clash of eyebrows,
"I saw the bigger picture." His voice was seething with vehemence and he clenched his jaw to put out the rage.
Calmly, he studied his sword - seeming to mull something over in his head.
And then Sakura saw the blur of his blade before she felt the jerk forward and fell to the ground on her knees.
Wire floated down at her sides, only fibrous ribbons now that he'd stopped using Chakra on them.
"He's dead." Sakura whispered with a choke. Her fingers grasped the powdered dust under her. And then the anger of the situation, of disappointment and pain for him reared and she turned her head up to look into his eyes.
"HE'S DEAD, SASUKE-KUN. THAT'S ENOUGH ISN'T IT?!"
The kunoichi thought she saw a flicker of exhaustion come over him. It crossed his face for a second before it disappeared.
The sun above his head turned his shoulders to broad shadows.
"No." The boy quietly answered. "It's not enough."
Not enough? Would it ever be?
She wondered. And in the process, felt something inside her clench painfully.
Sakura wouldn't cry.
Her throat constricted and she reminded herself that after all this time – she should have already been numb.
"I need it."
The voice sounded much closer and she didn't really bother to comprehend how he had gotten to crouching in front of her so quietly.
One pale hand propped to his knee, the other pushed his sword into the dust.
And then, after a moment of mutual silence Sasuke's shoulders lowered and he let out a breath.
It surprised her.
"I need to bring Uchiha Madara down. I need the technique you have, Sakura."
She raised both green eyes to him, though she could only look out through one now.
The other was completely unreliable.
Her medical knowledge told her that aside from internal bleeding, the cornea had torn. Nothing she couldn't fix.
She must look hideous to him.
But she couldn't care less about the way she looked now.
She'd matured past the stage of being concerned about those petty things.
Vanity really had no place in a Ninja's world.
"… If that scroll is indeed what the First Hokage had used to defeat him in the dividing battle…-" The boy's voice trailed off.
And all of a sudden, he seemed to have noticed the extent of the damage.
He turned away, and Sakura couldn't help catching a glimpse of the dark tattered mark branded into the curve of his neck.
Sheens of sweat made the tomoes glisten against his pale skin.
Sasuke tossed the statement into air. Made it sound petty, like something to be shrugged off.
But his refusal to look at her meant everything.
It was regret.
And the kunoichi felt her insides stir as she realized that despite all the time he had struggled and ached, Sasuke still knew how to feel.
And damn him.
At a time like this when she should be fearing for her life, only he knew how to make her feel such misery.
But why was her mouth lifting?
Why was she smiling?
The glow of chakra felt comforting to her skin.
She sighed in between biting her lip, mentally visualizing the surfaces of the eye, mending and fusing the cornea, restoring the retinal veins and healing her fused eyelid which was crusted in dried blood.
Sasuke watched her eyes flutter open.
He remembered butterflies. The ones that plagued the meadows during spring and when the Cherry blossoms would fall.
On his way to the academy as a child, he'd passed by the same scene several times.
Butterfly kisses. The white wings that gently brushed at his nose and cheek in passing.
Always brief and unintentional, though the flutter left a stirring in him he entirely remembered.
She seemed different now.
As they battled – him trying to disable her, and her trying to land a blow on him – the girl had shown no mercy.
She had fought with such persistence and concentrated vigor.
Sasuke's dark gaze flickered to hers as he watched her swipe an arm over her bleeding cheek.
Still… quite slow.
He gave an inward smile - though the only evidence of that was a slight twitch of nostrils.
But so much more power.
If she had been looking more closely – Sakura could have caught it.
The softening of his gray-tinged gaze as he studied her face.
But it was quickly gone - replaced by all the thoughts of duty.
The tone of his voice, the question, suddenly set her on edge and Sakura froze, before eyeing him and pulling on her right glove.
"No." The girl tightly whispered.
And thinking to convince him further, she chased the word with a frantic shake of her head.
She fought the bubble of emotion pulling at her throat and beseechingly looked at him.
"Come with us, Sasuke-kun-" Her eyes were the color of grass, wet with mildew in the soft light of morning.
Exactly that shade, Sasuke thought.
"Just come ho-"
"-Where is it?"
It was a soft inquiry that cut her off.
Not because he addressed her in a gentle, reassuring way.
– Sasuke said it in a way that dangerously lingered.
It reminded her of big cats crouched into the ground, shifting their weight carefully as they surveyed oblivious prey.
It reminded her of deception and never, never underestimating.
Strong fingers that were capable of so much strength, but now only held such careful restraint – suddenly pressed to her shoulder.
In a blur of force and speed, he had knocked her against the boulder she'd previously been tied to.
Her eyes flew open, now fully alert as the breath was wrenched from her lungs.
It was a gasp. Partial disbelief at the sudden change of character. Alarm.
And though she wished to deny it...
It was also fear.
She could feel the pressure where he touched--
Invisible chakra, masterfully controlled, but still bruising; pushing her right socket back against the jutting rock behind them. Pushing it, testing to see just how much more her body could take before the muscle and tissue would tear.
"I'm capable of many things, Sakura. When I want something, I'll do anything to get it."
She could hear the breath between his sentences. And as he slid closer, she could feel it, wispy over her cheek.
His voice seemed to crack.
Was it the weight of emotion?
Was it only desperation?
His other hand drifted lower.
She felt his fingertips trail lightly over one thigh.
The surface of her skin prickled as his touch lifted away.
"If I did… what you always wanted, imagined…"
His voice really was something else.
Apparently, Sasuke knew how to mold his words so they traipsed off each other in what could only be described as lyrical and magnetic.
In a way that painted pictures of dark caresses and tender promise before Sakura's glazed-over eyes.
Suddenly she was short of breath. And it was wrong.
This was wrong.
"Stop it." Her voice quivered and she closed her eyes - pushing away the enticement.
And how pathetic Sakura felt now, how weak and vulnerable, being exposed to this embodiment of danger and power.
She was disgusting.
But he was what she always longed for, fantasized over…
"… What you've always wanted me to do." He finished evenly.
The last word left his lips and he branded its heat teasingly inches from her ear.
Did he enjoy this? She wondered.
Indeed, Sakura realized that the boy she loved had grown all too much.
He'd learned about the worthlessness of holding on to pride.
He'd learned to throw everything away.
He had nothing left.
The desperation that drove him to do reckless things like this.
Was this what she wanted…?
Give it to me...
The demand was in his eyes. In the movement of his body.
Sasuke-kun... What's happened to you…
Seeing him this way hurt her even more than when he had first left – with all his hope, with the drive of his dream.
He had been so strong.
And now, it seemed that he was only just blindly wandering.
It was slowly destroying him.
The tears came and Sakura began to cry as he lowered to press his mouth over her sobbing lips.
The feel of him was soft and tender.
But it was only just that.
The meaning within was as vague and unreadable as his intentions.
This wasn't what she wanted.
AU: WOOH! Tis short! D8 ... Anyways I hope this wasn't a waste of your time. XD
... Thank you for reading! Share the SASUXSAKU lurve!!!
cookies to all