Disclaimer: I own nothing

A/N: Um...this is a one-shot I wrote from a whim. Read and Review, and thankies mucho!


Thunderstorms
by Miranda Panda-chan


I watched with misery at the slowly retreating form of my only love. My dear Sasuke-kun was leaving. He was going to leave me and Naruto, and everything, behind, all for some stupid snake-sannin's power that probably was a lie to begin with.

I begged for him to stay nonetheless.

And it began to rain as I yelled out my bribes. Even the sky knew it was hopeless, and I could only suppose the heavens were having pity on me.

"Thank you." And everything went black as the thunder pounded in my ears.

That was six years ago.

It was raining again, it was always raining. I swear it never ceased. It was raining when Sasuke left the village, and it's raining now. Now as he walks through those gates, that stupid smile on his face as he gives me one last thumbs up and a yell of encouragement, it rains—hard. It rained for three days after that, so hard that you could hardly make out the shapes of buildings, no one was sent on any missions, all training was postponed till after the storm passed. I stayed home, staring blankly through the window, listening to the loud pitter pattering of rain as it told me the same message over and over again.

I'm alone. Truly alone.

There was no Naruto to make bad jokes, to tease and laugh with, to spar with, to challenge, to make empty promises too, to make memories with, no, not anymore. He was off to train with Jiraiya, the Toad Sage, the stupid pervy old man had taken my friend away from me, my last friend. I was the last member of Team 7, of our cursed three man cell.

And I cried.

I sobbed my little heart out at this knowledge, because in my heart, I knew, really knew the truth of it all. They weren't ever coming back. It didn't matter that Naruto's training was to be done in three years so that it would give us just enough time to retrieve Sasuke from Orochimaru's grasp before he tried to make the last Uchiha's body his new vessel. It didn't matter we'd both promised to bring Sasuke back. Neither of them would ever come back. I knew. He knew. Sasuke knew. They knew. We all knew. It wasn't a secret. I wiped my tears away. I'd be damned if I stayed in this village longer than they did. I'd remain one more year, to finish out my training under Tsundae-shishou, then I'd go off somewhere. I had didn't know yet, where I'd go. But I'd go somewhere.

That was five years ago.

I watched as the rain fell for the first time in Suna. I watched as Temari's eyes filled with tears of joy as the cool water splashed against her scorching darkened skin. I watched as Gaara and Kankuro stood amazed atop the Kazekage's Tower as they looked up at the darkened cloud. It was the first time Suna had seen water in over a century.

Suna had been where I'd gone too when I left Konoha. With the permission of my shishou I had helped build up the medical department of the village. Working alongside the Sand siblings, becoming close friends with them, but never forgetting the friends that I'd left behind. The friends that had left me behind.

I cried then too, watching the joy across the amazed villagers' faces, and knowing the pain that stretched across mine.

That was four years ago.

It was raining again as Gaara and his siblings dropped me back off at Konoha, I was the one leaving them behind this time. I watched Temari's eyes fill with tears as I said good-bye, and I knew the pain etched across all their faces spoke decibels of what they knew. I wasn't going back to Suna. Ever. They'd known the time was coming, they knew the arrangement was never permanent. It was only until I'd taught them what they'd needed to know.

Alas, I couldn't ever stop returning to Konohagakure. Despite owning the knowledge that no one would ever coming back, I still couldn't stop waiting, couldn't stop hoping for those two to return…just as I had returned from Suna.

And I watched at the Sand siblings all were engulfed by those wretched gates that ate all that passed through them. I watched as Gaara turned to stare at me with those deep dark eyes that pierced my soul.

"Good-bye, Sakura-chan." He said hesitantly, quietly. His siblings were already walking ahead, knowing this was coming, knowing this was much more than a private moment. This was a farewell.

"Farewell, Gaara-kun…forever." And the gates closed over them, and the rain fell harder.

That was three years ago.

I was watching the sky as he left, no, this one didn't hurt me as bad as the rest, but it still left its mark on my heart. My ex-sensei, Kakashi Hatake, the man who hadn't taught me much in training and skills, because, really, I wasn't ever worth his time, but had taught me a lot about life. Which, I think, in the long run, I'll use more than any jutsu. He was walking through those gates that ate every important person in my life. I simply watched, there was no trying to stop him, no cries of goodbye, sobs of 'I miss yous', there was nothing but the blankness that was slowly spreading through me, time after time again. I just stared out the window, watching the rain mist over the village, the gloomy grey shadows stretching endlessly, as he took those steps outside the gate. He even had the courtesy of glancing at my window, he knew that I would shatter when he stepped through the boundaries I could never make myself cross to follow after the men that had left me. I sighed, and with dry eyes looked back at that one eye that even though could not actually see me, knew I was there, watching. He always did…and with that one last glance, he left. And then I was truly alone, truly the last member of the original Cell 7.

That was two years ago.

The sky was crying again. For no good reason that I could tell. Nothing earth shattering had happened that I knew of. I'd come to expect the rain when I cried, when I felt like I was falling into an endless darkening abyss, as depressing as it sounded. But today, I was fine. I hadn't lost a patient, no men had left me today, I hadn't left anyone today, in fact, I had a date with the Hyuuga Neji, my boyfriend for five months, later on after he got back from his mission today…and with that my mind wandered. What you wanna bet it would get canceled, maybe that was it was preparing me for? I kept my thinking on only trivial things, nothing outrageous despite myself, because I knew. I always knew when it rained, I would crack later on if not already. I decided not to dwell on it too long, until thunder struck, making my attention rise to it again. I carefully laid down my paperwork, my concentration gone for the evening. He should have been back by now…

I got up, not bothering with an umbrella I hadn't brought. I walked out of the hospital doors, letting the rain pour all over me.

That was when I saw an ANBU officer standing bleakly a short distance away. He bowed respectfully as I came closer, his voice was cracked, and he was badly beaten.

"Haruno Sakura?" he asked softly. I nodded dumbly, and I recognized him as a member of Neji's team, "I'm afraid to inform you that Hyuuga Neji-san was killed in action during the previous mission." And with that my world crumbled. I fell to the ground, my knees no longer strong enough to keep me on my feet. He stared at my guiltily, and I tried not to blame him, but in my heart, I knew I did. I knew I blamed his team for not being strong enough to take the enemy on, for making my Neji-kun protect them and meet his untimely end.

I hadn't realized I'd moved until I touched the doorknob of my apartment. With that realization I yanked the door open, slamming it shut. Anger, righteous wrathful fury, consumed me. I screamed in rage, grabbing furniture and everything, ripping, throwing, destroying. It didn't matter, I had nothing left. Nothing. It was all gone. First Sasuke, then Naruto, then I left Suna, where I'd found happiness again, then Gaara and Kakashi, now Neji, would it never cease? Could I never have a lasting happiness that wouldn't leave me?

I sobbed amidst the broken furnishings of my home, and I knew my neighbors would complain, and I knew the landlady would be angry with me, but I deserved to have a release, to vent my frustrations at the world on solid objects. They would to if they were me. The rain stayed strong, winds blowing, and the light rainfall turn into a monster of a storm. Thunder crashed loudly, answering my unasked question.

You'll always be alone.

That was one year ago.

Thunder boomed as lightning flashed brightly to my left, but I paid it no mind as I watched with unbelieving eyes as the gates of Konoha spit forth back my Team, my family. The family that had left me behind.

Kakashi and Naruto supported Sasuke, who looked as if he'd like to drop dead rather than be in the situation he was. I continued to stare, my broken heart not quite understanding what this meant. This wasn't making sense. They were never coming back…but here they stood. Naruto grinning like a Cheshire cat at me, giving me a thumbs-up with exclamations of fulfilled promises, apologies, and concerns. Kakashi just crinkled his one good eye, smiling underneath that mask of his as he gave me a knowing look. He knew I'd lost hope, he was just mocking me now. And Sasuke…he refused to look at me at all, but I was alright with that. He'd been the one to start my tragic chain of events. He had caused it all. Sasuke left, then Naruto went after him, then Kakashi went after Naruto, then Neji went on a mission to try and bring them all back. I couldn't help but allow him this much blame. But despite my anger, despite the hurt, the broken shattered pieces of my heart that cut and severed things that were important, I hugged them all, my arms encircling Kakashi's and Naruto's opposite shoulders, and my head resting on Sasuke's shoulder, and I sobbed my eyes out. As I cried, the sky cried with me, just as hard and long as I did. We were together, broken, torn, patched up, and old, but we could sew us back up, we could fix each other. It was all that was left to do. I looked up at each of them, feeling their warmth heal the jagged edges of the wounds my shattered broken pieces had created.

And for once, I could see an end to the rain as the faint colors of a rainbow shown in the distance as the rain slowed to a halt. Perhaps, it would be okay, now.


A/N: So yea. End. Crappy ending I know. So whatever. Review, please.