Does anyone else notice how most of my stories are Sakura-centric?
Sorry for not updating in a while... stuff.
Sometimes, facts are the core of the sanity. Speaking them aloud does nothing in a direct way, but when you speak, you say only a stream of things that have to be intelligible to human ears; when you think, it is pictures and letters and numbers and random rules and facts. To speak is to be tangible; to think is to be incoherent.
There was fear and darkness, and there was chaos.
Sasuke was gone, gone again and she didn't know where, but this time she didn't know what was in store for him. He had killed Itachi, and with him went yet another Uchiha...
More blood from the clan was spilled...
There were rumors. There had always been rumors, whispers she heard here and there when she came across a choice few people cutting off their conversations as they sensed her chakra. Only the choice few... no one else was to know, for the object -the body- of their whispers was gone. Gone, and dead.
She heard the names Uchiha. She heard them, more times than it was necessary to speak of a long-since committed act of bloodshed.
And so she knew. She didn't know what it was that she knew, but she did anyways, and she kept it to herself because what was there to tell?
But whatever it was she knew was not for her to know... and so she began to lock her doors, close her windows, at night. Began spending more time with people like Hinata, or Neji.
Hinata had asked if she would be a good medic... Sakura had told her "No".
"You would be a great medic... but we would lose a great force, if you were to place more time in this field. Hyuugas are not medics, because Hyuugas are shinobi. You would do better pushing forward than hanging back with the injured, Hinata."
And Sakura both did and did not know why it seemed the thing Hinata had needed to hear.
"Do you see anything, Hinata?"
Shamefully, the girl shook her head, clearly feeling as though she could do much more. "They... no one is here. Whoever was is long gone, and I... I cannot tell where to."
"But there is still blood." Sakura murmured, "Enough of it to cause concern as it is... the sheer destruction of this place suggests lost chakra... lost chakra suggests slower healing. Slower healing and blood loss doesn't bode well."
She realized the pointlessness of her words, that everyone knew it and she was merely voicing it, but saying it aloud solidified the facts in her mind, and made them certain and easier to grasp, for most as well as herself.
It was for herself that she had chosen to hold Sasuke's headband for Naruto some time back, and squeezed it now.
"It could be Itachi's--" Naruto began to suggest.
"No." Kiba shook his head. "Some of it smells like Sasuke, and some of it smells only a little bit like him. They both lost blood here."
Kakashi and Yamato remained silent along with Shino; but Shino was Shino, and Kakashi and Yamato were Kakashi and Yamato.
They would speak when saying it aloud voiced new theories, and not when it solidified what was already known. They were like that.
The only time they solidified was when everyone else was stuck to vapors and mists that threatened to lift them away into the air and far from themselves.
"There are no trails?" Naruto inquired after a brief silence, looking from Hinata, to Kiba to Shino, landing on Kakashi for a longer silence.
When no one answered, he looked to Sakura, and she was expected to answer.
She was like that.
The only time she did not solidify was when she was weeping, or failing, or both.
"Akatsuki." She murmured, as was expected of Sakura, "The only trail is Akatsuki. I cannot say that they haven't gotten far... they're mostly S-ranked shinobi, and they got what they came for; there is no reason to delay. But they were here. We found them once. Jaraiya headed out not long ago, and we'll find them again."
Here, Sakura paused. What was expected was over. Naruto was looking down.
She stomped her foot, and the ground cracked, and his eyes snapped up while hers remained faced forwards.
No tears for failure.
Not expected of Sakura.
Now was no time for what was expected, she mused.
"He won't die. He's Sasuke. He's gotten his goal... but he always had another. Restoring his clan." She did not avert her eyes from straight ahead, and they did not begin to tear. "He left the village, left us, and went as far as to train under Orochimaru. He gave up all he had, after losing it once, just to lose it again... just to kill Itachi."
She averted her eyes. They landed on Naruto.
There were no tears.
"He's Sasuke." She said. "He will not die."