Title: Today Has Come
Summary: She loves him so much, it scares her. But at least now, he loves her back.
Disclaimer: Naruto © Masashi Kishimoto.
Notes: For the ever-amazing Epiff Annie. Happy birthday, Annie! I'm so, so sorry about this, and I want to burn my eyes now. My apologies will come in another ten minutes, though.
"We did it," Sakura breathed.
Naruto stared at the ground, dumbstruck. He looked at Sakura, blood pouring down from him in streams, and burst into a wide grin.
"We did it!" he yelled joyously. He bounded over to the pink-haired medic and engulfed her into a tight embrace, muffling her cries of joy.
From his place on the ground, Sasuke rolled his eyes weakly and allowed them to enjoy their moment of euphoria.
It wasn't as if he could move with all of his broken bones anyway.
And as they headed back to Konoha (home), Naruto half-supporting half-dragging Sasuke, Sakura, who was walking in front of them, felt her heart swell up in happiness, and thought that this — this was love.
"You're in deep shit, Uchiha," Tsunade told him frankly.
Sasuke nodded his head once, but remained silent. He didn't know why he didn't put up any resistance when Naruto and Sakura brought him home, especially since he knew what trouble he was going to be in.
As Tsunade started rattling off all of the different punishments the council were going to give him and lecturing him on how he should think of the consequences of his actions in future, Sasuke looked out of her window and saw the village that held him back, kept him weak, hindered him in his pursuit of Itachi.
Looking at it all, Sasuke still didn't know why he had returned. He should be out there hunting his (ex)brother down, and every name on his clan's gravestone was a different reason to get revenge upon him for what he had done.
Then, he looked behind him and saw two people; Sakura, who fidgeting with the hem of her shirt and Naruto, who snickering at the scolding Sasuke was receiving.
That is when Sasuke found his reason in coming back (home).
After all, majority doesn't win all of the time.
His punishment was a lot lighter than some thought he deserved.
Five years of idleness around the village with no missions, and an hour a day of community service. The elders scoffed and gossiped to each other of how weak they had become, and see what happens when a student of that man is in charge? I told you, a woman is much too feeble to run this village!
Sakura clenched her jaw and kept her words (and fists) to herself whenever she happened to hear their snide hints and blatant suggestions about how much easier life would have been for all of them if Uchiha Itachi had just finished off the last of their clan, we never liked them much anyway.
She inhaled, held her breath for a few seconds and exhaled slowly.
Ignore them, she thought to herself. She was supposed to be happy now.
She was happy now.
After all, when the tears rolled down her cheeks, she no longer had to pretend she was crying tears of happiness instead of tears of broken dreams.
"So, when are you gonna tell her?" Naruto asked one day after a sparring session.
Naruto stared at his friend blankly before saying, "Sakura-chan, duh. Damn, teme, you really are getting slow."
It took all of Sasuke's strength not to pummel the blonde into the ground.
"Tell her what?" he asked, still seething.
"Oh, I dunno, that you loooove her?" Naruto said, nudging Sasuke with his elbow and wiggling his eyebrows.
"Why would I tell her that?"
Naruto's grin slid off his face, and before Sasuke could register anything, Konoha's Number One Unpredictable Ninja had slapped the back of his head and was already walking off without him.
"And they call you a genius," he scoffed, leaving Sasuke standing in the middle of the road rubbing the back of his head, very irritated and very confused.
However, the revelation hit him when he was confronted by Sakura.
"I'm tired," she told him one night when they are alone, "of waiting for you."
Sasuke raised an eyebrow and looked at her questioningly, wondering where that statement could have come from.
"I did, for the first few years, and I didn't complain about it," she continued. "I thought that once you came home, my waiting would be over. But here you are now, standing in front of me, and I'm still waiting for you to realise."
"Sakura," Sasuke said. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Who knows, Sasuke-kun?" Sakura said, chuckling weakly. "Maybe one day, we'll be perfect for each other. I'll see you around."
With that, she fixed him with one last sad look of hers before turning around and walking off.
And just like lightening, it hit him. Naruto's words, Sakura's actions, all of them, and Sasuke mentally kicked himself for not seeing it sooner.
"You are an idiot," Naruto told him the next day, and Sasuke couldn't help but to agree with him.
"I mean, really!" Naruto continued, oblivious to the death glares Sasuke was throwing him. "She chases after you for bloody years and you only just realise she loves you?"
"Naruto, shut up."
"Alright, man," Naruto said, lacing his fingers behind his head. "I'm just saying that one day, you're gonna realise how perfect she was for you. But by then, she'll be waking up to someone who already knows that."
Sasuke tried (and failed) to ignore the truth in his words.
That day came.
It was a week after Sasuke realised his true feelings for the pink-haired medic. That week however, was also the week in which Sakura decided to avoid Sasuke like the plague, doing overtime in the hospital ward where ordinary people had no access to.
It took Sasuke one whole day to come up with a solution to this problem.
(waited, he corrected a snickering Naruto impatiently)
—outside her office until her shift was over one evening, and stalked—
(followed, he snapped)
—her until she was walking on a deserted street with no one else around.
"Sakura," he said, grabbing her attention.
Sakura turned around to see Sasuke emerging from the shadows, hands stuffed in pockets, looking (dare she believe it?) slightly nervous.
"I—" he began, then paused. He really should have planned out what he was going to say beforehand. "Do you…" he trailed off awkwardly.
"Yes?" Sakura prodded.
An uncomfortable silence settled onto the pair, Sasuke deciding what to say and Sakura waiting for him—
(always waiting for him).
"Do you remember," Sasuke said finally, "what you said a couple of weeks ago?"
Sakura's eyes widened and she cleared her throat.
"Um," she said nervously. "Sasuke-kun, let's forget about what I said then—"
"I can't forget what you said."
Those words shocked her into silence. Sakura pursed her lips and waited for Sasuke to continue, not daring to get her hopes up.
"You said that one day, we would be perfect for each other."
Sasuke silenced her by a soft touch on her cheek, and tentatively brought her face closer to his. When she didn't move away, he leaned his forehead against hers.
His face was mere inches from hers. Sakura tried not to think about how she could hear him breathing, hear him hesistating, hear his heart beating and tried not to let it affect her.
But it did.
"Maybe that day is today," he whispered.
She loves him so much, it scares her. But at least now, he loves her back.
I'm so sorry.