traffic in the sky
by: ohwhatsherface

After the initial shock of almost dying wears off and Shion is as safe as she can be, Sakura takes a moment to wonder how it was exactly that she landed so gracefully on the forest floor, when she knows she had fallen from a high distance.

She looks at Neji with a curiosity in her frown.

He stares at nothing with apathy in his eyes, aloof to the world.

"I…" Her brow furrows and she tries not to look too confused. "I should have broken some bones. When I woke up, I should have had some broken bones—well no, technically, I should have died, considering the poison and all, but I should have broken some bones. The tree I fell from when the poison had me paralyzed was high up. I should have broken some bones—or something…"

(She has a theory, but doesn't quite want to confirm it.)

"Did you catch me?"

(But she tries.)

Neji nods his head, ever so slightly.

"I did."

(And she does.)

"Oh." Sakura moves her head up and down slowly. "I see."

Her green eyes glaze over and threeyearsago comes rushing back to her and she wants to wrench in pain but doesn't. Her lips pull into an almost bitter smile as she sighs regretfully. Sakura stares longingly at nothing and tries not to sound pained.

(She isn't.)

"I distinctly remember Tsunade-shishou say you were replacing Kakashi-sensei," Sakura whispers, hoping he doesn't hear her.

(I moved on.)

She looks up and meets his pearly eyes.

"I don't need you to catch me," she says, her voice firm and strong.

"But I had to." Neji shrugs slightly. "And I did. And I will."


Sakura swallows almost painfully because it almost hurts. She gives him a swift nod before looking behind them, hoping to see Naruto or Lee. Her lips part and she is hopes that rustling of the leaves or the whistling of the wind drown out her voice.

"…Thank you."