AN: One of my favorite pairings, and I wanted to try writing a little one shot that might seem plausible with the way Sasuke and Sakura are viewed by so many people both in the manga/anime and just with us fans sometimes. Reviews are welcome, as are suggestions for other stories. I'll make s'mores with flames, as well as keep my house warm.
For them, it was never a matter of being with the right person, because there wasn't one. She was too loud, too bossy, too broken from being surpassed by the girl she'd picked up out of the dirt and shown how to stand. He was too loud, too ignorant, too shattered from years of being viewed as dead last, second best, or just not good enough. Everyone wanted the two who were their rivals, their betters, and it didn't matter how strong they were or how much they accomplished, it was never enough to make people see them for what they were.
People see what they want to see, and make heroes of people they want to be their heroes, even if they betray or ignore those in need. Sasuke was always the one everyone wanted, Sakura the beauty they desired. Who cared that he betrayed the village for his own reasons. Who cared that Sakura couldn't see the truth of anything beyond Sasuke. They were perfection embodied, beloved by the people of their village, and head of the Uchiha house.
No one sees platinum when there is pink, or yellow when red flashes before their eyes. She'd wanted to be Sasuke's wife, then a medic like her teacher, and finally just as her own person, but no one cared what she'd wanted when the cherry blossom she'd discovered. He'd wanted to be Hokage, that's was his life's dream, the respect and love of his village, but no one cared about a random orphan when there was another lost little boy with greater potential.
They were lost, alone, and they found each other. She was so happy to have someone who respected her for what she could do and not compare her to Sakura. He was ecstatic to find someone who didn't want Sasuke more. For them, it was enough to have each other after having no one for so long. The feeling of another person holding them as they cried, laughed, raged, or mourned was something they needed deeply.
They'd known each other growing up more or less, but they hadn't gotten to know each other until the day they lost their dreams. The day Sasuke was made Hokage and married Sakura. She'd lost the dream of the dark man's love, and he'd lost the dream of becoming the leader of his village. Their rivals claimed the victory and rubbed it in by being so kind and respectful of them despite having taken everything that mattered away.
He'd found her at the drink table, throwing back sake like it was water and about explode on her rival in a tirade that would have been remembered for generations. His subtle and morose act of pulling her away into the hedges that were lining the party had her ranting at him instead, tears running down her face as she cried for what she'd lost, even as his own tears joined hers. After that day he never spoke of being Hokage again and she was the only one to ever ask him why.
The years were kind to them as they grew closer, even if those who were supposed to be their friends weren't. he'd was an elite ninja, but after two missions that took him away for three years, leaving them both alone and nearly broken, he was brought back and given a
teaching passion at the ninja academy, helping five year old how to access their chakra. The man who had developed some of the most powerful jutsu was kept from doing what he loved. She'd been drummed out of the shinobi world, left to run her parent's flower shop, her dreams of becoming a medical ninja going up in the same smoke as Sakura's cigarettes as her rival told her she didn't meet the new requirements needed for the hospital or the field. It was a lie, but Sakura ran the hospital the same way Sasuke ran the village and there was nothing they could do about it, except leave everything behind.
They'd tired to legally move, there were villages allied with them, Suna would have accepted them in a heartbeat, with his strength and her medical knowledge, but once again their rivals stepped in the way, asking them if they didn't love their village, weren't they happy, sure they didn't get everything they'd wanted, but that was life, so why couldn't they just enjoy the peace and prosperity of the village like everyone else? Their other friends left them behind, slowly at first, but after awhile they got tired of seeing the two of them wish for something more.
It wasn't easy, but it drew them closer, they became lovers, then they married. Finally, he got a letter to the Kazekage of Suna, who agreed to hide them in his village and give them a new home, allowing them to achieve some part of their new dream of being together without having someone working against them. They left in the middle of the night, without a word to anyone and leaving behind everything they owned, down to the last picture of their wedding. They fled for three days and nights, arriving at the hot gates of the sand village, where they were greet by the Kazegake and his family, close friends of his.
As she stared at the tall, red haired man, his pale green eyes looking at them with a small measure of kindness, she collapsed against the man who meant everything too her. "We made it, didn't we, Naruto?" she asked tiredly as they were ushered into their new village. Her husband smiled down at her, his towering form casting a welcome shadow. "Yes Ino, we're finally free," he said softly as he cast a grateful gaze to the Kazekage, "We're finally able to be who we want, with who we want."
Ino looked up at him with tear soaked eyes and gave him a watery smile. "I'm glad, Naruto," she said, knowing he'd know what she hadn't spoken. They accepted their new headbands, with the Suna Castle on it, and for the first time in years, they both felt happy and accepted.
Hope you liked, see you next time.