A/N:This is for Epiff Annie's birthday (I'm a day late, but that's ok.)
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, or the movie Away From Her (which inspired me to write this story.
When he enters the room and sees her, he notices that something is different
When he enters the room and sees her, he notices that something is different. The air seems a little tense, and she seems a little lost. But he ignores those facts, because that is what he does.
Slowly, he makes his way to her bed and sits on the chair beside it, silently taking in her appearance. Her pink hair is slightly messy, and her skin a little pale, but she still looks like Sakura, and she is still alive, and that is all that matters.
"How are you?" he asks, his voice a little gruff from not talking. He wasn't worried, for he is the Uchiha Sasuke, and Uchiha are never worried. He was just slightly concerned and that is why he waited all day to visit her.
She turns her head to him, and her dim green eyes brighten with recognition. "Sa…Sasuke-kun?" she murmurs, surprised that he came, for he never visits her, it's always the other way around. She smiles lightly at that, for maybe, just maybe they were slowly becoming Something More.
"Well," she looks at her hands and grins slightly, "I am fine now."
At that moment the door opens, and Sakura turns to see Naruto walk in.
"Sakura-chan!" Naruto exclaims, attacking her, and she hits him in response.
"I'm healing here!"
Soon, they are both talking to each other, Sakura giggling as Naruto informs her of what went on in the village, and all seems perfect.
But Sasuke knows it isn't. She might not realize it and Naruto might not have noticed it, but Sasuke saw it took her a few seconds to recognize the blonde boy.
A week goes by and Sakura is ready to leave the hospital. Waiting for her in the lobby are all of her friends, surprising her when she walks out.
Ino and Kibapounce on her immediately, both telling her that they are hosting a party for her tonight and that she had to come. After they leave her, her other friends come and talk to her a little, before leaving the hospital as well. Soon only Naruto and Sasuke are left behind, and Narutoimmediately volunteers them both to walk her home.
Sasuke walks on her left side and watches her from the corner of his eye.
"Sakura-chan, don't forget the party!" Naruto reminds her.
"Heh. As if…" Sakura falters for a moment, before continuing, "Ino-pig would let me!"
"Are you alright?" Naruto asks, looking at her face. He noticed her pause mid-sentence.
"Of course!" Sakura laughed out, before leading them on. "I can't wait to get home and get a good shower…" She turns to look at Sasuke for a moment, before asking, "Sasuke-kun, are you going too?"
He looks at her for a moment, debating whether or not he should go.
"As if the teme will go to a party," Naruto taunts, and Sakura grins weakly.
"You're right, I shouldn't have asked." She looks a little disappointed and before he could stop himself, Sasuke mumbles out that he might be attending.
She immediately brightens and starts joking with Naruto.
Sasuke still has a troubled look in his eye, for he notices that besides forgetting Ino's name, Sakura also seems to not realize that she isn't heading home. She is leading them back the way they came, to the hospital.
"Well, there is a slight problem," Tsunade tells him as she quickly checks her apprentice. "It might not be permanent, but it might just continue forever."
"…" He turns to look at Sakura. She's sleeping lightly, and he almost thinks that she might wake up any minute now, bursting with life. But she won't.
"She's…well…" Tsunade frowns a little at what she is about to say, for this girl has come to mean more than just an apprentice to her. She's a niece, a daughter, a cousin, and a friend. Everything rolled up into one, and this diagnosis is going to destroy it all.
"She's forgetting everything, isn't she?" Sasukeasks. He's been noticing it all month. It started with little things, like the names of her friends or locations or even meetings. And when she told him that it was nothing, he believed her at first. He needed to or else he would lose everything again.
But then she started to forget bigger things, forcing him to stop ignoring the problem.
Before she forgets him.
Tsunade looks at him, surprise on her face, before nodding tightly.
"I don't know why. Maybe it has to do with her wounds earlier. Maybe it is something else. I just don't know," she almost cracks as she says that, for she is the great medic-nin Tsunade and she has to know everything, and why is it that with all of her power she can't help someone important again?
However, she doesn't break down. She saves that for later, and she continues in her strong (for she is still the Hokage, and as Hokageshe must act strong) voice, "I will try to find a cure, but for now it is best if she stays with her friends."
"Aa," he agrees, and quickly scoops up the sleeping girl. As he is about to leave, Tsunade stops him.
He turns his head slightly.
"Don't let her disappear."
Sometimes, when she looks at him, he feels funny. Usually he felt a little strange anyways, with his face feeling a little warm and his clothes a little tight. His hands would feel sweaty and he would wonder why did his stomach skitter around and his heart dance nervously whenever she smiled at him.
However, the way he feels now is something different. It is more of a heavy feeling, with his chest feeling tight and no matter how much he tried, he couldn't seem to breathe.
She is Sakura, but she also isn't.
Her eyes sometimes glow when she looks at him, recognizing him as Sasuke. When that happens, she chatters about how everyone around her is just paranoid, and that she is just fine. All the while he listens quietly, taking it all in as he doesn't know when this will happen again and he needs her like a drug.
More often than not, though, she just looks at him as if he is a stranger, a nameless person who walked through her door.
He is afraid. One moment she is there, another she is gone, and he is left trying to figure out if it is hisSakura or the new one that is greeting him.
And then it happens one day.
He visits her for the nth time, and when she looks at him, he knows that it is too late. She is gone, and instead of giving him his smile, she gives the smile she gives everyone else.
"Hello," she politely talks to him.
She doesn't look at him as if he is special, and her eyes are a little dull. His mind is screaming to him that this is not Sakura, this is just an imposter, but he replies with a "Sakura" anyways.
She smiles at him again (he feels something break a little).
"I had a nice sleep," she pauses, thinking before continuing, "Sasuke."
She looks at him curiously, surprised by his response. "Are you ok?"
He frowns a little at this, before replying.
"Yes." No because you're gone. And you might never return.
He nods a little, not trusting his voice to speak.
"Ok!" she beams at him, and he wishes that she would stop smiling like that because it isn't her smile. "Well, I feel much better, and I think I can go outside today."
She climbs out of bed and stretches a little. As she started to leave, Sasuke quickly pulled her to a stop.
"Sasuke?" she asked, looking at their hands and then at him.
He just looks at her. Maybe this isn't Sakura, and maybe she doesn't remember him, but for the moment he just wants to pretend that she knows him and everything is perfect. That everything is as it should be, and she will be nervously asking him if he wants to go out today and he will motion to her to follow him. That later he will be awkwardly trying to hold her hand, or do something and then wondering why he didn't do it before because it just feels so perfect and right.
"Don't leave me," he asks—because Uchiha never beg and that pleading tone in his voice is not him wishing that she would just come back so that he doesn't have to eat dinner alone again and wake up to a cold and empty house because she isn't there to pull the curtains and place flowers in every corner. He wants to say something else to her, something that he has been wanting to say for a long time, but just hasn't.
"Leave you?" she echoes, looking confused before replying, "Don't worry! I'm here."
He feels a little more defeated as he hears that, because all he knows is that she isn't there and that she's already lost to him—that no pretending can fix this.
Sakura stands by her window, looking up at the stars. The wind is blowing lightly and as she stares at the midnight sky, she thinks of him. She thinks of the tall, raven-haired stranger who visits her everyday and she feels a little lost and confused.
She felt something ache when she looked at him, something in her chest. It's a bittersweet feeling, one that she wants to disappear but never leave at the same time. It might be from her heart, but she isn't sure. For if it is, there is something missing, an important piece, and she can't remember what it is. Maybe it has to do with this stranger, for it is only when she thinks of him that this pain comes, this thing that makes her feel as though her heart is breaking and healing at the same time.
Raising her hands to her face, she notices that she is crying a little.
"Why?" she feels the pain again, and the tears run down faster. "Why am I crying? Why do I feel like I just lost something important?"
She wishes that she could remember 'Sasuke' because she thinks she's hurting him. Whenever he looks at her, his eyes are a little sad and painful, and his smile forced, and makes Sakura wish she could just give him a reassuring hug. But she can't, because he is someone she just met and they are still strangers.
But why, if they are really strangers, does she dream of him every night?
"Sasuke-kun?" she whispers a little as she says his name. He doesn't turn around to look at her and doesn't notice the pain flash through her eyes.
"Sasuke-kun?" she tries again, a little louder. This time he turns to look at her, waiting for her to continue.
"Sasuke-kun…." She pauses for a moment, and just looks at him.
And with that, his eyes widen. Sakura's eyes were her bright, green colour again, her small smile was her smile just for him, and she looked at him as if he is Sasuke.
"Sakura…." His voice hitches a little as he speaks because it is Sakura and he doesn't want to lose her again.
She tilts her head slightly and gives a small smile. "How are you?"
And this time it is the truth.