Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Summary: He walked away from her two years ago. Now, when she's finally ready to let him go, he's back, demanding entrance into her life – and her heart. SasuSaku.
Un of Deux
"I'm leaving, Sakura."
"Oh, that's good," she responds brightly, looking up from the magazine she is perusing. "Pick me up some brown sugar on your way, would you? I want to make cookies, but I'm all out."
"I'm leaving, Sakura."
The smile slips from her face, and she grants him a confused look, "You said that already. What do you mean?" A short trot, and she's in front of him, hand reaching up to his forehead, "Are you feeling alright?"
He brushes her hand away, the movement brusque, and, almost, gentle.
He fixes her with that dark, impenetrable gaze. "I'm leaving, Sakura."
"No," she whispers. "I don't understand what you mean. Sasuke, you… what are you doing? Why?"
He grabs his bag – long packed, she sees – and swirls the long leather duster over his shoulder, jamming his feet into his boots. His eyes are bleak and empty as he turns back to look at her. "Good-bye, Sakura," he says, and reaches for the doorknob.
Her small, delicate hands fist in the back of his shirt, stopping him from moving. "Please, Sasuke-kun," she finally manages, voice trembling, forcing its way past the block in her throat. "Don't go. I love you. Please. Please, Sasuke-kun. I'm begging. Don't… don't leave me."
He closes his eyes, briefly, in indecision or annoyance, she cannot tell – and for a second, she hopes.
And he turns the doorknob, and steps out of her grip, into the night.
"Good-bye, Sakura," he says, and she wonders what she did, what went wrong, and she realizes, nothing. Nothing went wrong. It was him, it was always him; she had given him everything, had offered him everything, and he had accepted it and now he was throwing it back in her face.
She steps up to the door, dashes away her tears. "Fine, Sasuke," she says, voice cold, though trembling. "Leave. See if I care what the hell you do. See if I give a flying fuck what the hell you do with the rest of your damn life. See if I care. I hate you, you hear? I hate you. I hope I never see your face again!"
He pauses. Tenses.
She tries not to care. She wants to hurt him, even half as much as he has hurt her.
He turns back, sees her, out of the corner of his eye.
"Very well," he finally says.
"I get the house," she spits at him, "the furniture, and the cats. I get everything."
She turns and walks into the house. He turns and walks down the street.
One of them cries.
The other gets drunk.
"Oh, ow…" the pink-haired woman lifts her head off her desk, rubbing her temples. Sighing, she gatheres the stack of reports from her desk, wishing she could just go home already.
"Hey, forehead, I don't think slamming that huge forehead of yours against the table is going to help any."
Sakura sticks her tongue childishly at her best friend, "I fell asleep, Ino-pig. You try pulling six shifts and three hours overtime on two hours of sleep, alright?" She finishes the rest of the reports, whining, "And that lecture Tsunade-shishou had me give? I suddenly feel for any professors who had us."
Ino walks the rest of the way through the door, revealing a large bouquet of cosmos and a steaming latte. Teasingly, she waves the latte in front of Sakura, letting the fumes waft up her nose.
Sakura's eyes narrow threateningly, "Ino-pig, if you say I can't have that, I swear I will start charging you for all those headache medications I've been prescribing for you."
Ino laughs, carefree and strong, "No problem, forehead – this cup is for you. I've got to go deliver these cosmos." She shudders theatrically, whispering, "I'll bet that these are an apology."
Sakura giggles, green eyes drifting to the bouquet as rosebud lips sipped at the steaming drink.
Ino sighs, frustrated beyond belief, "Are you still thinking of him? Sakura, you've got to get over him! I mean, come on, it's been three years!"
"Two," Sakura responds, quietly. "Its only been two."
"And," she belatedly adds, "I'm definitely over him."
The moment of silence following her statement expresses her friend's feelings completely, but the blonde finally asks, "You want to get a drink tonight?"
Sakura rolls viridian eyes in her direction, "Did you not just see me? I need sleep, not a hangover. Anyways, Tsunade-shishou thinks I should give more lectures at the University and let some deserving interns and students into my surgeries, so I need to, you know, touch up a bit."
Ino's face falls, almost comically, "But if you're not there, who'll drag my drunken ass home?"
Sakura rolls her eyes heavenward, "So that's why you wanted me along. Hate to break it to you, darling, but the next time I go out with you, you're going to be the designated driver."
Ino sends her friend a fleeting, white-toothed grin, "Whatever, forehead-chan. You get some sleep tonight, yeah? I don't think the bags beneath your eyes are helping anything. And trust me, sweetling," she added with a wink, "you need the help."
Sakura simply nodded, too exhausted to send any barbs back, and Ino went her way as Sakura slowly stuffed her things into her bag, and managed to ooze down the hallway to the elevator. She leaned against the elevator wall, briefly closing her eyes as the elevator dropped.
Her eyes struggled open. "Sai. Whoa, sorry, I'm just really tired. Didn't see you."
Sai blinked, "Whoa, Hag. You shouldn't skip so much sleep. You know, you really don't need to help your ugliness along any more than you already have."
She waved him off, "Yeah, yeah; what are you doing here, anyways?" The man – so similar to Sasuke-kun – shrugged. "Eh, here to see a relative. A bit annoying – you know how it is. I've seen him twice in my life, but since I live here…"
Sakura nodded sympathetically, smothering a yawn, "Yeah… once, my third cousin twice removed got into a motorcycle accident on I-98. Guess what I got stuck doing?"
As Sai stared at her, the bell dinged and she stepped out into the lobby, smothering yet another yawn and trying to force some cheerfulness into her voice, "Bye, Sai! Have fun visiting!"
She turned, gave a jaw-splitting yawn, and began the trek down the hall. Footsteps behind her made her halt, turning around. "Eh, Sai?"
He gave her a look, "Where did you think I was going? I already visited, now I'm leaving."
"Oh," she blinked. "Oh."
They began walking again, slowly. "Hey, how was this relative?" The onyx-eyed man beside her shrugged, "He had checked himself out as soon as he woke up."
The sense of déjà vu overcame Sakura, and she gripped the strap of her bag tightly.
When she spoke, her voice was rigid, "Sasuke used to do that. All the time. I always told him…"
She bade him a hasty farewell, eager to get out of his sight, pushing open the doors and trotting, heels clicking against asphalt, to her car.
"Oh, damn," she breathed. "Oh, damn."
Tiredly, she stuck her key into the keyhole, twisting it hard to the left and jiggling it a little. The lock clicked shut, and she frowned, muttering to herself, "I could have sworn I locked the door…" She twisted the key back, and pushed the door open, stepping in and slipping off her heels.
A cat came bounding up to her, twining sinuously about her ankles. "Hey, Sachi," she crooned, reaching down to rub her ear, "I'm glad to be home, too. Now, where's Sayuri? Is she hiding again?" The cat purred, pressing a wet nose to her toe, and she grinned, "Oh, you're a good girl, you are." With one last pat on the head for her companion, she straightened and walked toward the kitchen, smothering another yawn.
"Sayuri?" she called. "Sayuri! Come on, sweetling. Come on… Mommy loves you, and she's tired and wants to say good…"
Her voice trailed off as she walked into her living room. Sayuri, sure enough, was on the couch. What stopped her was the pale hand stroking her ears.
A pale hand connected to the arm of The Ex.
Quickly, she rubbed her eyes, ignoring the mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow she was probably smearing all over the place. No way.
Apparently, yes way.
She snapped her jaw shut, glaring as hard as she could, "What are you doing here?" He flinched, almost unnoticeably, and it hurt like heck that he was here, but she was getting over him, dammit! "I told you I never wanted to see you again. Ever. I hate you. What are you doing in my house?"
"Ours," he said, softly.
"Mine," she said. "You gave up any rights to it when you walked out on me. Get out of my house, Sasuke. In fact, get out of my life!"
"Hm," he said, uncharacteristically pliant. "I just came for some things. Just let me get my things."
She looked at him, stomped over to slap her hand on his forehead. His eyes slowly focused on her, and, to her shock, he fell into her arms.
"Sasuke?" she asked, worried despite herself.
He groaned, and she slowly slid to the floor. "Sasuke, this isn't funny. Sasuke?"
Her voice rose, and she quickly dropped him to the floor, turning to scramble for the lights. A hand gripped her ankle, and she slipped, barely catching herself on the palms of her hands. "What the hell, Sasuke?" she panted, catching her breath after the shock. "What was that?"
She twisted around to glare at him, only to find that his eyes were still closed, his grasping hand now slack. Slowly, she stood up again, and then took a step away from him. Immediately, his hand swiped out to catch her ankle, yanking her closer.
She turned, glared, and shook his shoulder as hard as she dared, "Sasuke… Sasuke? Sasuke! Sasuke-kun!" His eyes slid open, slowly, "Sakura…" He blinked once, twice, "Sakura? Is this a dream? Heaven? Are we dead?" Panic flashed across his hazy eyes, "Sakura… you aren't dead. You can't be dead. He promised me… he promised!"
As much as she hated herself for it, Sakura finally slid down besides him, wrapping her arms around his trembling form. "Shush, Sasuke. I'm not dead, and neither are you," she said, slowly, as if to a child. His hands gripped her shirt and he stared at her with something akin to worship in his eyes, "This is a dream, then. Please don't let me wake up."
Sakura's heart clenched, and she squeezed his midriff. "Sleep, Sasuke."
He obeyed her, burying his face in her chest, slowly drifting into sleep. Sakura lay awake, no longer tired, running her fingers through his hair; thinking of what he had said to her.
There were very few conclusions she could draw. Either he loved her, or he didn't and was playing her for a fool. And someone – someone important, someone threatening – had promised him that she would live.
But why? Why would he need this promise; and if he loved her, why did he leave?
Yet… Sasuke, her Sasuke, at least, wasn't one to toy with her emotions. Ignore her for weeks on end, yes. Forget anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's, Christmas; definitely. But to toy with her was cruel, and she believed – she wanted to believe – that he wouldn't do that.
A soft moan drew her attention. Sasuke.
She didn't know what to make of him. Why was he saying these things? Doing this? Why was he ever here?
He always was a different man when he was tired and half-asleep like this. Nice, almost. Loving.
And then he'd wake up, and everything would go back to the way it had been before, as if he had never opened up to her, as if he had never said the things he did.
"Before" being, in this case, away from her.
He whimpered, as if sensing her thoughts, and she brushed a kiss across his forehead. A shadow of a smile formed on his lips, his face turning up to her like a leaf to the sun, and she turned her gaze away.
He hadn't ever shown her he cared, never showed her that he needed her; not like she had. Ever day, she had smiled at him, held him, loved him. She had shared everything with him, and gotten nothing in return – not even a smile.
Not when he had asked her out for the first time, and she had agreed. Not on dates. Not the first time she'd cooked for him. Not when he proposed. Not, even, when she offered him her virginity – a thing meant for marriage, she had believed, but she had believe, also, in him.
A tear squeezed its way out of her eye, burning a path down her cheek. Furiously, she scrubbed at it, only to find more tears dripping. "Oh, God," she whispered. "Why now?"
A hard, callused hand reached for her, gently turning her face to him. "Don't cry," he muttered. "I hate it when you cry."
She recoiled. "That's rich," she snapped, "seeing as how you're the one who makes me cry."
"Tomorrow," she decided, "you can go right back to whatever it is you were doing for the past two years. You could never offer me anything before, not even something as small as a smile, and I sure as hell don't think you'll be able to now."
His eyes were wounded, pleading, and she let go of him, looking over the top of his head. Why did he always have to do this to her?
His voice breaks her out of her reverie, "I have too smiled for you."
She snorts, dragging herself away from him to lean against the couch. "Yeah, Sasuke. I think I would definitely remember if you ever smiled at me, seeing as how I've never seen it happen before, like, ever. Not once. Not one indication that you ever cared. Puh-lease, Sasuke. Try not to pretend like you care."
"I cared," he responds finally, voice strained.
"You left me, Sasuke. That really shows how much you care," she bites out.
"I had to!" he finally says, half-rising. Pain flashes across his eyes, and he slowly slumps down again, clutching at his side.
She uses all her willpower in an effort to restrain herself from rushing to his side, but she finds herself there anyways, removing his hand and lifting up his shirt.
She hisses, a quick intake of breath accompanied by a widening of her eyes. "Oh, Sasuke-kun," she finally breathes out. "What did you do to yourself?"
He lets out a harsh bark of laughter, "Do to myself? I freed myself."
She narrows her eyes at him, voice deathly still, "What are you talking about, Sasuke?"
Another harsh bark of laughter, incriminating and mocking – not her, she thinks, but himself. "You want to know?" He's furious, now, and she wonders why he – why it always has to be about him. Never about her. Never about Haruno (maybe could have been Uchiha) Sakura, always about Uchiha Sasuke.
Why he is allowed to be what he is, and she loves him for it, but he never could love her.
"No," she says angrily, drawing her hands away from him. "No, Sasuke; I don't want to know. There, are you happy? Are you happy, you bastard? I don't care. How does that feel? Now you know how I feel, every second of every day because you left me and you don't care and you never did. So fine. I don't care. Happy now? Happy that you've finally broken me – made me never care again?
"Thanks, Sasuke," she says, voice dripping in sarcasm. "I hope you're happy."
He's in shock, for a moment, she can see that in his wide eyes – and then he closes himself up, locks himself in that little blank shell, and she's furious at him again. She closes her eyes, biting the words out, "Because, Uchiha Sasuke, I'm not yours."
"You're mine, you know," he said, toying with long strands of bubblegum-pink hair. "I know," she giggled back huskily, wrapping her bare legs around his. "But in case I forget, why don't you remind me?"
There it is, the reaction she had hoped for, the memory – painful and beautiful in equal parts, since he left – brought to the surface.
"You are mine," he snarls, eyes flickering red.
She swallows, quickly, and it hurts her to continue, but she does. "That's right, Uchiha. Not yours. Do you want to hear how that came about? I think I was drunk, actually. The first time, at least. After that," she shrugged, "a wise girl kisses but doesn't love, Sasuke-kun."
Lies. All of them. She hasn't kissed a single man since he left, not even when she was drunk. He doesn't know that, though. And it pleases her, though it hurts.
His face is taking up her vision, and she can see that he is still perfect – perfect like she isn't. "You are mine," he snarls, again, and then he's kissing her, passionate and biting and hurting and this isn't how she imagined it, this isn't how it's supposed to be.
She had dreamed about this, she thinks, as she pushes him away and stumbles back, trying to hide the sudden fear in her eyes. She had dreamed that he would come back, and he would explain, and he would love her – love her.
She reaches up to touch her swollen lips, and she's looking at him, but she doesn't see anymore. "Oh, God," she whispers, and it's a prayer and a hope and a wish and a shattered dream. "Oh, God."
She reaches behind herself, gropes for the wall, and runs.
It hurts, and she's afraid. Why? Why did he come back and feed her pretty words and assurances of his love when this was all he had to offer – this was all he had for her? Biting kisses, filled not with love but anger and hatred and lust.
This isn't how it's supposed to be, she thinks, and glances around wildly. The stairs, she thinks, and runs for them – the wide, curving staircase that she had fallen in love with when they bought the house together. She tosses a glance over her shoulder, and she doesn't think he's following her – but then, why would he?
She laughs, bitterly, tossing her head back and gasping for air. Why did he come back at all? Probably because he didn't want to go to a hospital. Probably just because he knew she was a doctor.
She stops as if slammed into a wall. Sai. She had never asked his last name, he had never offered it. He looked exactly like Sasuke. And… and, family. She reached for the wall, her head reeling. What was the meaning of this?
Tears rushed to her eyes and she dashed them away angrily, her gaze settling on the first door to her left. She reached for it, and then, suddenly, snatched her hand back. Not this room. But the others were further down the hall, and she needed somewhere to hide now! Gulping, she yanked the door open, slipping in and shutting it softly behind her.
This room… she hadn't come here in so long, ever since he had left and she had decided that, to her, that room was nothing.
He wouldn't follow her, right? Quickly, she lowers herself to press her ear against the cold wood. Nothing. A sigh of relief and a meaningless stab of hurt, and she gets up, hurriedly, scurries to the bathroom. A yawn – her sleepiness was catching up to her, wasn't it? Tired. She glimpses herself in the bathroom mirror and sways, eyelids slipping shut.
Forcing herself awake, she grabs onto the doorjamb. Strong arms catch her, and she almost hears him whisper, with that particular hitch in his voice that she never could understand, "Sleep, Sakura," and even softer, "It's going to be alright."
She struggles to awareness to feel him place her softly in the bed, then work the covers around her until she is covered. His comforting weight settles on the other end, and she is relieved – disappointed – that he makes no move to lie down. She remembers the nights they spent together, the way he pulled her to himself, almost possessively, as if promising to protect her from whatever haunted her at night.
Those were the best nights of her life.
"It's not alright," she says, as she slips off into slumber.
"Tomorrow," she dimly hears him promise.