So this was done for Bells's Valentine's Day gift-fic exchange on LJ, and Missa tempted me, so I posted it here as well. It's for ohwhatsherface, and my prompts were love letters and four a.m.
And I know this seems similar to Sincerely Yours, but... it isn't. Not really.
Enjoy! And Happy Valentine's Day, guys!
Disclaimer: I own nothing someone else does.
EDIT: 03/22/08 - Guess who had to edit because ffnet no longer allows ellipsis?
Breaking the Rules
Sakura was not a drinker.
She had not taken after Tsunade-sama in that she liked to drink, and being so small, she was a lightweight. It didn't take much alcohol to make her tipsy.
The amount of alcohol she had just consumed in the past two hours was enough to make her pissed drunk.
"Men suck," Ino spat for the sixth time that night. And for the sixth time, Tenten nodded solemnly in agreement, Hinata twiddled her thumbs, unwilling to agree or argue, and Sakura crunched on her ice savagely.
It was the night before Valentine's Day, and Ino had no plans, though she had been hinting to Shikamaru, her on-again off-again boyfriend; Tenten had told Neji she wanted to do something romantic, and he got them a mission with Lee and Gai; Hinata had tried to treat Naruto to ramen, only to have the ever-oblivious boy bring Kiba and Sasuke along; and Sakura…
Well, Sakura had learned that there were only so many chances she could give.
She sniffed. Her nose and eyes were red from crying, and her cheeks were blotchy. Just the thought of how unattractive she looked, while Sasuke was probably sleeping at home, looking as perfect as usual, while she had been dragged to the bar for a pity party, was enough to bring on a new wave of tears.
But no sooner had the tears began to well up, then Tenten slapped her palm against the wooden table.
"Why are we sitting around moping? We might as well do something productive." She looked around the table for encouragement. Hinata looked curious, Ino was nodding eagerly, and Sakura paused, one hand halfway to her cheeks to wipe away the evidence of her heartbreak.
Tenten leaned forward, and the other girls followed suit, looking interested and excited. "Does anyone," she whispered conspiratorially, "Have a pen?"
Sasuke sat up, running a frustrated hand through his hair. He was tired. He had woken up early, trained for most of the day, and had been through some emotionally draining experiences.
Yet it was almost four in the morning, and he could not sleep.
All because of stupid pink-haired girls who drugged him with kisses in their office every so often and smelled of watermelon and had soft skin and wanted Something More.
"Valentine's Day is tomorrow, Sasuke-kun. Are you doing anything?"
"Would you like to spend the day… together?"
"…Valentine's Day is for couples, Sakura."
"We aren't a couple, Sakura."
Unbidden, images of her crestfallen expression flashed in his mind's eye. Sakura had been through a lot, and she let hardly anything ruffle her too much. So how was it that she let him get to her?
He punched his pillow to try to soften it, but he knew that wasn't the problem. The problem was a girl he really liked. A girl whose heart he had just broken – again.
"But, Sasuke-kun, aren't we somethi—"
"We're nothing, Sakura."
The guilt was almost unbearable. He had been needlessly harsh to her. They could be something one day. Maybe it could've been that day, even.
Sasuke stood up. He wasn't going to get any sleep. He might as well make use of his time, he decided, heading for the bathroom to shower and change.
He would train on Valentine's Day. And he would stay far, far away from the hospital and pretty little doctors.
Or at least, that was the plan.
But then four kunoichi had shown up at his doorstep. The Shy One, Hyuuga's teammate, and the Ex-Fangirl, all supporting a nearly-unconscious Sakura at his front door.
Sasuke stared. "Do you know what time it is?" It was four in the morning!
The Ex-Fangirl gave him a very cold look. "Sakura has something to say to you." She nudged the girl with a whisper of, "Go on, sweetie."
"Sasuke," Sakura began, straightening and breaking away from the group. She paused to give them a very pointed look over her shoulder. Reluctantly, they left, and Sakura waited until she was sure the two of them were alone before she spoke.
"You're mean! You say bad things about me and you don't love me and I hate you, Uchiha Sasuke!"
She stopped to take in ragged breaths, fumbling in her pocket for something and then Sasuke realized a few things:
(a) Sakura was drunk
(b) Sakura was crying, and
(c) Sakura was serious.
"Sakura…" He didn't know what to say, but he at least wanted to convince her to come in and lie down. She looked like she was going to fall over at any given moment.
She didn't give him a chance to try and speak though, because she finally seemed to find what she was looking for, and held it out to him.
Sasuke blinked. It was an envelope.
"It isn't a love letter," Sakura was quick to say.
Sasuke reached out to grasp the envelope tentatively. Sakura's grip loosened, the letter came away…
And then the girl herself lost all consciousness and came along with it.
And Sasuke was left with a pile of ex-something in his arms, a not-love letter in his hand, and no idea what to do with either.
(there was a 'kun' scratched out, Sasuke noticed regretfully)
I don't like you any more. I don't love you, either. Don't ever speak to me again, because your voice makes my pulse race and I don't want to love you anymore.
Don't even come near me, because I still think you're gorgeous, and your eyes make me want to just fall into your arms and never let go, not in a million years, because I'm safe and happy there, and I don't want to love you anymore.
Don't ever kiss me again, because when you say my name, all out of breath, or when you brush the skin under the hem of my shirt, before apologizing and distancing yourself, or when you pull your hands through my hair to angle my head back the way you do, it breaks my heart a little because it's not for real, and I don't want to love you anymore.
Forget my name. When you say it, it makes my heart skip a beat. Forget that I loved you. Forget it all. Just the thought that I might be on your mind makes me smile.
And I don't want to love you anymore.
Sakura woke up six hours later in an unfamiliar bed, wearing yesterday's clothes, and sporting a splitting headache. All in all, the perfect way to start the worst day of the year.
She groaned, sitting up slowly and taking a look around the room. The walls were bare, the closet tidy, and the blankets dark blue.
And then it all came back to her.
Sakura winced. That stupid letter! Had she really given it to Sasuke? Maybe he hadn't read it… maybe he had even thrown it away?
Clinging to her last hope, Sakura made to just about leap out of bed, eager to find Sasuke and see what was going on with them. She wondered just where he was, concluding that he must have carried her to his room last night.
The very thought made her burn with embarrassment.
Clutching at her throbbing head, she shuffled over to the edge of the bed and—
--sat on something.
Curious – and not a bit apprehensive – Sakura moved over to spot what she had just crinkled.
It was an envelope.
For one relieved moment, Sakura thought it was the one she had tried to force on Sasuke the night before. But then she saw her name on it.
With shaking fingers, she held the envelope up, lifted the flap, and pulled out the letter. And then she began to read.
Sometimes, when I kiss you, you're still so close that I can feel your heart beating. It's loud and fast, but that isn't why I notice.
It's because my own heart is racing just as fast.
Sakura, you should know by now I'm never going to do what you tell me.
"Happy Valentine's Day."
Sakura jumped and looked up. Sasuke was leaning against the doorframe of his bedroom, arms folded across his chest, expression guarded.
Sakura gripped the letter in her hands so hard the edges crinkled. "You too…?" she said cautiously.
Sasuke scrutinized her for a long moment. Then he walked forward, moving to sit beside her on his bed.
"Are you still mad at me?" he asked. He was talking to her. He never listened to her requests.
Sakura's breath caught in her throat. She didn't know how to answer.
"Sakura." Another rule broken.
He moved closer. Another rule. He cupped her face in his hands, dark eyes boring into her own. Another rule.
"You still love me, then?"
Sakura closed her eyes. He had broken nearly all the rules she had outlined for him in one go. She was never going to be able to stop loving him, as much as it might tear her up.
"I love you," she whispered.
And then he broke her last rule. He kissed her, long and hard, then short and sweet. He kissed the knuckles of her right hand, her shoulder, her jawline, her lips. He held her to him, and he whispered her name, again and again. He broke her rules, again and again.
Sakura finally stopped him, taking in a long, ragged breath. "I don't want to do this again, Sasuke," she started to protest.
Sasuke looked at her with hooded eyes. "Fine. Do you want to go out for lunch? It's on me."
She gaped at him. "What? Why—"
Sasuke stood up. "It's Valentine's Day, isn't it?"
She looked at him and didn't answer.
"And Valentine's Day is for couples, isn't it?"
Still she was silent, but that hope was blooming in her chest.
"Come on, then."
Sakura followed Sasuke out of his room in a daze, only looking up when he called her name.
"You write really crappy love letters, just so you know."
"…I love you too, Sasuke-kun."