The first time Sakura sees Sasuke she is four and he is four and when he looks at her she thinks that she is drowning, drowning in pools of amethyst irises, and when he smiles at her, timidly, shyly, Sakura returns the gesture, and though she really knows nothing about him, besides his too-perfect eyes and his too-perfect smile and his too-perfect name, she thinks that he is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen.
Sakura has heard of love and crushes, but she has never experienced one until now. She believes in the power of love, in protectinglovingdying until your last breath, and she is young yet, knows that she is not in love with this boy, but she can sense, already, that he is special. Someday, he--they--are going to be something. Just what, she isn't exactly sure, but she will have patience and wait for that time to come.
The first time Sakura gets her heart broken, she is eight. She hears about the Uchiha Massacre,
"Such a shame. Itachi was famed for greatness. Poor Sasuke, orphaned all alone at such an age."
and her thoughts immediately drift towards the boy she had met so long ago. When Sasuke returns back to the Academy, too-perfect eyes just a few shades too dark, now no longer that unexplainable shade of purple but a deep, haunting black
like his heart? She wonders,
and smile now non-existent, and she feels her heart tugging, because no one deserves this, especially not Sasuke-kun, who smiled at her sometimes when they met on the street and very occasionally walked her home and who she sent tomatoes to. Anonymously, of course, but she knew he always knew the person who gave them to him.
Thank you. He tells her one day, and she is flustered, doesn't manage to get out a response until he's five feet ahead of her and the distance is growing. You're welcome. Her words are sincere, and he pauses before continuing on.
She leaves him a basket of tomatoes a few days later, because she doesn't think he's eating properly and though she knows that she really shouldn't be intruding on his business, she worries for him, this sudden boy-become-man, forced into a role he doesn't want to play. He no longer talks in class, and she walks home alone, eats lunch alone, completely alone--like him.
The next day, Sakura finds the basket of tomatoes on her doorstep. There is a note to accompany the throw-back-in-your-face-gift, and she reads it, feeling her heart splinter because he is no longer Sasuke-kun with the soft eyeshairsmileheart he is now Uchiha Sasuke, orphan extraordinaire, and because he is a ninja, he likes to break things. Her heart should be no exception; after all, she means nothing to him now.
Sakura is twelve when she learns true irony.
Sasuke-kun basically hated her guts, and no matter how much she pulled, he pushed. In science, the bigger force always wins, and she always pulled and he always pushed and he always won and she always lost and she always hurt and he never cared.
So she finds it ironic that they are placed on a team together, because teams require bonding and trust and faith, something that Sasuke has not felt in four years.
It seems like forever, like Sasuke had never been that child that used to eat her tomatoes and smile at her softly; Sakura can't help but wonder where that child is now. Then she realizes that he has killed it, like he has killed everything else--his friendships, his emotions, his heart.
She still tries, though; it borders on the edge of an obsession, the way she wants him to just smile at her again, except that Sasuke's facial muscles are unaccustomed to such a gesture, so he never does it.
Or, at least, this is what she tells herself--the other option is that he doesn't want to smile, or that he can't, and it hurts, hurts so badly, more than his cold words and even colder demeanor, because it would mean that his broken pieces are too shattered for her to fix, and Sakura is so stubborn and she refuses to believe it.
Someday, she knows her foolishness is going to come back to haunt her.
Sakura finds out what it is like to truly lose something when she is twelve and a half.
Her entire life had basically revolved around Sasuke-kun-turned-Uchiha-Sasuke so it would make sense that, out of all of them, she would realize first when something was wrong with him.
It was hard to tell, of course, because he is Sasuke-kun of the unfeeling emotions, of the blank face and cold demeanor, and you'd probably get more of a response from a brick wall than you would the Uchiha.
However, there is something thicker about his silences as of late, and Sakura feels every bone in her body tensing as the days drag on and Sasuke-kun's eyes become more and more blank, almost like he is preparing for something.
It is when she is awoken in the middle of the night from a deep sleep that she knows something terrible is about to happen.
So she pulls on her clothes and takes a walk, allowing her feet to guide her instinctively.
When she rounds the corner he is walking towards her--no, not towards her, towards the gates--and she is not surprised, though she knows that she should be.
Though she does not feel surprise, or even shock that he is doing this (because in her heart of hearts she somehow knew, knew that this was the path he would take and nothing could stop him from it) she does feel hurt (that, she simply cannot stop herself from feeling, though she wished it so) and so, she cries, begs, pleads, and finally the pain erupts, eight years of hurt, of tears, secret smiles and beautiful onyx eyes and dreams that become shattered right before her very eyes; she confesses that she loves him, would do anything for him.
When she feels his breath on the back of her neck, she knows she has failed, like she has done in everything else. She feels the hesitation in his posture, and feels a grim pleasure in the knowledge that even he knows this is wrong. (Or maybe he is sorry, but she does not hope for such a foolish thing.)
She has never known words of gratitude to sound so foreboding, and then she thinkshurtscries no more because she feels a sharp pain in the back of her neck, echoing that of her heart, and closes her eyes, struggling against the pain, and before she loses hopefaithlovehim she whispers his name.
When she awakens the next morning on a stone cold bench, the cold air engulfing her despite the sun, he is gone.
(How can you lose something you never really had?)
The first time Sakura finds out what it feels like to know someone and yet not know them at all, she is fifteen and staring at the epitome of everything she's ever wanted, everything she's ever worked hard for, and in complete, her everything.
He looks older, obviously, but the coldness on his face isn't something she's used to--at least, not that degree of coldness, aloofness. Sasuke is looking down at her and Naruto like he never even knew them.
Sakura swallows the lump in her throat, watching as he closes those charcoal--they used to be amethyst, she remembers--eyes, like the sight of them pained him. (It probably does, and this time, the lump doesn't go away.)
He and Naruto talk (though it is not really talking, because Sasuke's words are like silk wrapped around a jagged blade) and though she is five feet from him she can feel the hurt that Naruto radiates, and then the surprise as Sasuke is right in front of him, and the irony pains her.
He tries to attack Naruto, and she tries to attack him--him, Sasuke, the four year old with the beautiful everything; Sasuke, seven, whose heart was buried too deep for Sakura reach, though she tried and tried, time and time again, crying with the effort only to be rebuked coldly, because Sasuke no longer had a need for anyone but himself; Sasuke, twelve, finally peeling back his walls slowly only to cast them in iron and thorns, walls too far and cold to reach.
Sasuke, who is fifteen and is now completely dead inside.
Later on, lying in her sleeping bag and feigning sleep, like she knows Naruto is, because Naruto was the one who felt the loss of Sasuke the most, she wonders if Sasuke regrets any of it.
She realizes bitterly that he doesn't.
When she is twenty, Sakura finds out what it is like to try to pick up broken pieces of a shattered something and not be able to because it cuts too deeply.
Sasuke is in Konoha and, quite frankly, she could care less.
She walks with Naruto, holding his hand for support--he is squeezing too tightly, but she doesn't mind, because Naruto needs a hand to hold, since the one that normally held his own up deserted them eight years ago--into the hospital room holding Sasuke.
His wounds are too extensive for him to be placed in a jail cell--Sakura thinks that Naruto also had something to do with this, because she did not talk to her shishou about letting Sasuke off easily--but he is sitting up when they walk in. His eyes are staring at the wall and do not flicker to them, and Sakura plops down in the chair, watching him. She has a basket of oranges in her left hand and slowly she begins to peel them while Naruto talks and finally gets a response out of the stoic Uchiha.
She can feel Sasuke's eyes flicker to her every so often but she calmly ignores this, breaking the oranges into their pre-cut pieces and looking over at the blonde jinchuuriki. "Naruto." She calls, and azure eyes--so broken inside, and she wants to punch Sasuke in the face because of what he has done to their team, to Naruto and Kakashi and her--look at her.
"Yeah, Sakura-chan?" She beckons him over and Naruto grabs the plate of oranges, eating a few gratefully. Sakura stares at Sasuke like, 'These are not for you. Not anymore.'
She doesn't really think Sasuke cares, actually, and wonders whether she should be hurt by this.
Three years have passed before Sakura realizes that she is a fool, has always been a fool and who was she trying to kid, thinking that she was over him?
She lays in their empty bed, listening to the rain pound against the window pane, and feels regret choke her throat and burn her lungs. She was so, so stupid.
Ten years ago, she would have killed to be Uchiha Sakura, married to Uchiha Sasuke, be his wife and the mother of his children.
But, of course, nothing comes without consequences.
He walks in, so graceful and self-assured, doesn't greet her as he strips out of his clothes and into his boxers and lies down beside her, never speaking a word. Within moments he is asleep, and Sakura is blinking back tears. (She wonders if it is possible to hate someone and yet love them at the same time.
Yes. Yes, it is.)
She thinks that maybe she and Naruto were fools to try and fix Sasuke's broken pieces.
(After all, all they wound up doing was cutting themselves into shards so small that no one could fix them; just like Sasuke.)
She listens to the rain outside, feels him breathing next to her, and thinks that this must be what her love feels like, this chasm between them; she is always so close and he is always so far. A tear hits her pillow.
(After all, you can't revive the dead.)
A/N-- That last line doesn't mean that Sasuke's dead. Well, physically anyway, but emotionally he is. The title of this is Italian: it means shattered. I'm kind of iffy about the ending; it started off really good, though, and despite the eh-factor of that ending, I'm pretty proud of this. But why don't you guys give me your thoughts, and drop a review?