A/N: Hi. I'm going to start off by saying thank you again for all of the wonderful support I've received, the kind compliments given, and even moreso the constructive criticism. It really means more than you know. I'd like to just real quick respond to some anonymous reviewers that I have no other way of contacting. For those of you who just want to get on with the extras, skip over the bolded stuff that ISN'T italicized or underlined:
To lazylazylazy: Silly as it sounds, when I first decided to kill off Sasuke, it kind of hurt. I mean, sure he's Kishimoto's and all that, but I kind of made him mine in the little added quirks and all that, and I felt kind of close to Sakura since some of her experiences are based directly off of those of my own so I was actually really really sad about him dying. The only way I could make myself feel better about it was that I knew that Sakura was mentally unstable enough to accept that he had been an angel and merely flown away rather than died from complications of surgery. Also I went back and reread Sakura's birthday chapter so that I could read them be cuddly and together again. Heheh.
To shadow avenger: Oh, this sort of also goes to lazylazylazy. But anyway, that's sweet of both of you to think that this would be worthy of publishing. But I think that since its my baby I'd be too worried sick that whoever I sent it to wouldn't like it. I mean, first I'd have to remove it from fanfiction (and then I'd sort of lose the proof that I ever wrote something anyone read) and then change all of the Naruto names and references to something not taken from an anime/manga, as well as rewrite the first several chapters since they were pre-beta, and nobody really takes the romance/angst writings of a teenager seriously, right? It's kind of nice notion to entertain, though. :)
To LizzieStuck91: I'm sorry about your home life. If you ever need someone to talk to, just PM me or email me, okay? And that goes the same for any of you who read this. Come to mama Lilly and she'll listen to your woes.
Oops. Those replies ended up longer than I intended.
Anyway. On with the show. Though I have to warn you, its nothing exciting. Also, the underline only worked like three times, so its inconsistent. I'll try again later to see if it works.
One: The alternate ending.
The happy ending that didn't fit that I wrote probably almost two years ago.
"I would have flown you away. If I could have."
Sakura removes her hands from his and turns him to face her. She puts her hand behind his neck and stands on her toes and leans in, her lips an inch away from his, but she's looking in his eyes so intently that that thought is very far away.
"I love you," Sakura whispers, and presses her lips to his.
And she was inevitably Sakura, and he was infinitely Sasuke, and maybe his wings were clipped, but she never had them, but they were here, now, and this was the closest to heaven that they'd ever be, but…
Somehow, they were both okay with that.
Two: Everyone's continued interludes (unfinished).
Devised when I thought there would be a two-year time-skip that would need explanation. This had a different ending where Sasuke just turned into an angel and flew away. This takes place as though Ino and Sakura never came to terms, and Hinata and Sakura never fixed up their friendship.
Hinata is fifteen. It's a lonely life, living for the next opportunity to see Naruto. He's got other friends, ones she's sure she's keeping him away from by following him around like a baby chick to its mama.
A new girl joins the school. She's mysterious, vibrant, awkward. Lovely. Her name...Sakura... Hinata is instantly drawn to her. They become confidants, friends. She stays even when Hinata's father disowns her. Stays even when she learns of Hinata's lost child. But leaves. Leaves when its convenient. Leaves Hinata confused. And lost.
And then the monsters in the closet come back to haunt her when the father of her (gonegonegone) child becomes her co-Biology teacher, the man who destroyed her. But she comes to forgive him. Comes to terms with the death of her child. Comes to terms with life before. Because Hinata and Naruto begin dating. And its wonderfulamazingeverything. And she loves him. And he loves her.
Hinata is sixteen. She makes good grades, makes good money, makes her godmother proud.
Kurenai gets pregnant. With the baby of one of the staff members at her school. The father dies.
Hinata spends her nights listening to Kurenai cry.
One night, she has to get away from the sounds of sobbing and crying and agnonizing screams. She goes to Naruto.
They make love for the first time.
Ino is fifteen. She lives for the moment. Lives for pain. Lives for money and power and sex. She has what the boys want and she lets them have it. But she unexpectedly falls in love.
And then her mom dies. And Ino gets pregnant. And she's scared. And then Shikamaru (I love you) leaves her. Justifiably. And then she's angry. Angry at herself for being a whore, angry at Shikamaru for not understanding, angry at Sakura for being so. damn. perfect. So she destroys her. Rips her apart at the seams. But the girl won't fall because she's found love that won't die. And then she finds some sort of twisted comraderie in the girl when she is the only girl in the world who could possibly understand her situation and her feelings and (God, do I despise you...) then love dies and the girl breaks and justice is served.
Ino is sixteen years-old. She drops out of school. Has her baby. It hurts and she shrieks and she cries but when all is done and the baby is cradled in her arms, looking up at her with wide, ice blue eyes that look just like hers, look just like her mother's, she can't help but somehow love the child and know that she'll never let it go.
(I forgive you.)
She returns to school in the spring, a baby on her hip.
Sasuke is sixteen.
He meets a tiny girl who is beatenbroken and he tries to protect her from a cruel world that doesn't treat her right, because she's the first person he's ever known to tell him he's not a demon, he's an angel, just like he always dreamed of, and who is to tell him but a little girl named Sakura.
He goes home to the house of a not-quite-fixed brother, and smoke and coldness that seeps into his clothes and body like music that repels everyone but his little cherub girl. Somewhere along the way he falls for her, fasthard and when she kisses him, his hideous deformities grow into something beautiful that she always wanted, but he can't deny, so he has no choice but to fly away without her, just watching as she stares at him with that broken little smile that he wishes he could have fixed a little bit better.
Sasuke is seventeen.
He lives in a world of happiness and strength and warmth that feels so full and loving. But he feels like there's a hole in the bottom of his full glass, and it's draining very quickly, and the only thing that can stop it is now as unreachable as this state of living once was.
He keeps an eye on her through what they call the Looking Glass, watching as she detaches herself from life, something once so important to her, because he can see that her hope is fadingfadingfading, gonegonegone. Each angel is given certain families to watch over, monitor until the end of time. When it's someone's time to die, he takes their soul and gives it to another who is then born anew. And even though it hurts, he does his job anyways, taking life and giving it back.
Sasuke is eighteen. He gets tired of taking lives, giving them to newborns who often weren't wanted in the first place.
His once-full glass is now half-empty, the warmth pooling out beneath his feet when he goes to the Looking Glass and watches his not-quite angel girl go out and kiss boys that aren't him. Because he can't protect her, angel or not.
Three: Shikamaru's thoughts before breaking up with Ino in chapter 13.
Before I decided that only people who had interlude chapters could have POVs.
He considers himself simple. Almost boringly so. He isn't suffering from any deeply-buried tragedy, nor is he a troubled drug-addict, nor does he have any sort of family problems. The only thing that makes him stand out in the least is the fact that he has an IQ of 200, which just increases his outlook of boredom on life.
So he supposes that Ino is probably the most interesting thing that has happened to him in the longest time. Before meeting her, he hadn't really considered dating. Despite his constant repetition of the word, 'troublesome,' he supposes that the more troublesome something is, the more he is actually drawn to it. Despite his lazy nature, it is perhaps only because he is not faced with any true challenges; he is only bored.
At first Ino was only a slightly distracting form of amusement. But unlike most people, who would have had to pick away at the layers of her mask individually before they could actually see who she was, with his perceptive talents, he could easily just see right through all of those carefully prepared layers after only a few pointless conversations. And thus a relationship was born. And soon he found that she was more like his mother than any other girl he had met (and like most boys, despite what they say, he finds those attributes attractive in women). He certainly doesn't know anything of Ino's and Sakura's inner relationships; he leaves that to be Ino's business, but he sits and listens when she comes to him, distressed and panicked and in need of a good cry as she speaks to him of her parents' deaths and then her adoptive mother's death and how she's so sick of everything.
And while she is so simple to read, the challenge comes in keeping up with her. He wants to please her and be enough for her, and that takes more effort than he thinks he's really put into anything before. Keeping a relationship alive. And maybe it isn't love, but the thinks that maybe it's something close to it.
And thus when Tayuya calls Shikamaru over to sit beside her and help her with her History homework, he is a little surprised when he finds that she has none, and that she just wanted to talk to him. So he sits at a table with four boys, Sakon, Ukon, Kimimarou, and Jirobu, and then Tayuya, all looking annoyed but slightly smug.
"Well dipshit, I just thought I'd give you the heads-up, as it seems your girlfriend is a lying whore," the rose-haired girl laughs, "'Cause she's doing all four of my boys here, while also doing you. Funny, huh?
Shikamaru stares blankly at Tayuya for half a second before processing the information, "Right…"
Jirobu snorts, "Knew he wouldn't believe you. Just give it a rest, Tayuya. What do you care anyways?"
"If you don't believe me, you could take it from them, or probably almost any asshole in the school that are outside of your little group of dick-headed friends. And I don't particularly care what happens to you. I just want to watch that little bitch burn."
Shikamaru gets up and leaves the table and begins to ponder what Tayuya said. And the more he looks at it, the more his intelligent mind begins to pick at the unraveling pieces of his relationship, and eventually he has a handful of thread that when strung between his fingertips individually, he can see every bit clearly.
Knowing she cheated or knowing he didn't catch it –he doesn't know which hurts worse.
Four: Sakura's first day in AP art.
This was the original opening to chapter 14. Trashed because I felt it unecessary to introduce new characters, and it wasn't going anywhere.
When Sakura walks into her first period class, she feels it is just like walking into school for the first time all over again.
All eyes on you, dear.
She stands awkwardly next to the door trying somehow to blend into the stark-white wall, though she knows it's impossible to do so with her vibrant hair color. Her eyes flicker around the room, and immediately land on a boy she remembers having only met once. The boy she shares a locker with.
She immediately straightens her hunched-over and guarded position when his eyes land on her. She bites the inside of her cheek to keep from squirming as he gives her a mirthless smile.
"Oh, Haruno Sakura! I'm glad to see you're doing well again, un."
Sakura turns her head to see Deidara-sensei entering the classroom, a large grin easily overtaking half of his face. He sets his cup of coffee on his desk and removes his scarf from his neck before motioning to an empty stool sitting before an easel. He pulls a blank canvas from a box, hitting a cup of colored pencils over with his elbow in the process.
"Hm. Well," he says, and rubs the back of his neck with his free hand as he hands Sakura the canvas. She takes it and begins to bend down to help him pick up the pencils, but another hand beats her to it.
"Good morning, Deidara-sensei."
Sakura can't help but admire how pretty the boy is in front of her. Were it not for his voice, she might have mistaken him for a girl. He has long fingers, each nail coated with a chipping layer of purple polish, and his hands are splotched with old paint. He picks up each of the colored pencils individually and sets the cup upright, returning them all to their original position.
"Thank you, Haku. There's someone I'd like you to meet. This is Sakura, un."
The boy gives her a smile that she can't tell whether it's real or fake and bows his head a little before walking away.
Five: The original dance scene between Sakura and Sasuke, inspired by a message I recieved from someone whose username was "double mask" only with some periods in there. But fanfiction doesn't support the periods. But anyway, I didn't really feel like it showed the progress of Sakura's and Sasuke's relationship enough, so I rewrote it. And since I'm just sorta putting all sorts of crap in this, I figure I'll wedge this in here, too:
lean my head on his chest and
he puts his hand on the back of my neck.
And I never would have guessed that
something so simple could
and somehow I find that
I don't really know why but
I start crying
its nice to know that you can
cry on someone
again and again and
never have to worry that they'll
be disgusted with you.
I can find that here.
Why is that so...
Because sadness is the only feeling you can properly recognize.
I think maybe it's sad because
it feels like it's
about to be over.
And the thought of this
hurts more than anything.
Because happy endings are too good for you, aren't they?
I've never been more sad
or more happy
in my entire life.
A kind of grief where
your feet start tingling and your brain hurts and everything becomes unfocused but
a kind of glee where
you can't breathe over the
excited jitters of your heart and
your face can't stop smiling a too-large grin so everyone looks at you funny and
you're suddenly conscious that
life is good.
Nothing lasts forever and
Six: In which Sasuke finds out some stuff, Post time-skip.
Trashed with the rest of the time-skip. At this point, things were just getting plain weird and out of hand.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
And then they're skidding across the pavement, Sakura tightly entrapped within the confines of Sasuke's limbs and wings, leaving her completely unscathed. Somehow she's sticky with blood anyways.
Sasuke quickly pulls her to her feet, jerking her by the arm, pulling her behind him, sheilding her with his wings. The feathers are matted with blood. Two holes in one wing, one in his shoulder. He's breathing raspily, twisting his knobby fingers around the oozing wound. His protective stance does not falter though his hair sticks to his face with sweat and his body is trembling.
"Step aside, Sasuke. You can still cooperate and this won't have to go any further. This won't be but a small mark on your permanent record. We won't have to remove your wings. End things here. Give her to us. This won't even have to be a black mark if you do it yourself."
Sakura isn't sure when the tears started falling, but she can feel them streaming down her cheeks, burning fiery hot trails to her chin where they drip off.
"Sasuke," she gasps, "Uchiha Sasuke, don't you dare sacrifice anything more for me."
He turns his head to look at her with eyes of molten-lava, his expression more furious and pained than she's ever seen him before. His jaw is clenched tight, his fingers twitching over the mess his arm is.
She giggles, and the new flood of tears traces the lines of her dimples, "I got to fly, Sasuke," I got you, Sasuke, "That's all I've ever wanted. Let me go, Sasuke."
"She never even wanted you. She only wanted your wings."
Sakura stares into his eyes. She says nothing; maybe it would be easier for him to let her go if he believed she didn't want him. But then, thinking of him living on, never knowing she loved him...
She can't speak. She can barely breathe, her chest feels so tight and full of pure emotion. So she mouths it.
I. LOVE. YOU.
Sasuke whips around and disappears in a flicker. She is grabbed from behind. She opens her mouth to scream until she realizes it's Sasuke. Sasuke is behind her. Blood is dripping from his clenched hand, firmly grasping a...bullet?
"You. Can't. Have. Her," Sasuke growls.
"Sasuke. An infant needs to be born."
Sakura is startled and suddenly very confused, "Wha-"
"Then take me," Sasuke insists, "Don't take her. My life was over before it began."
Sakura holds the arm he has wrapped protectively around her, tightly.
"Sasuke...you don't have a soul to give."
Sakura can hear his breath exit him with a whoosh, and it tickles her neck. She presses herself tightly against him, momentarily remembering a tiny blue-haired girl who could do nothing but share her existance to try to console them. And so that's what she does. And she wills him mentally to understand Sasuke, I'm here.
"Wh-What? Then how could I exist?" he demands, his voice rumbling deep within his chest.
A smile. "You have wings, Sasuke. You don't need a soul."
Seven: An unfinished 'extra' to after the ending I actually went with when I was sad about killing off Sasuke. Set after Sakura marries Tomoya Kuron and they have a baby with wings. I felt like it was horrible and creepy so I ended up just using the beginning for one of my original stories on fictionpress.
He comes out silent and brooding as though the nine months waiting had been spent pondering the mysteries of the world. And throughout the pondering he discovered the meaning of life. And with all of that behind him there was really nothing left that mattered because he already accomplished more than anyone else his age, so maybe he should wait it out a few years before he started to care again.
But his mama loves him. As soon as she pushes that one last time and that umbillical cord is severed, she holds him in her arms and she loves him. His bright baby-pink face that matches her tresses stares up at her, eyes wide and brown and bored like her husband's. And even though she doesn't love those eyes on her husband, somehow this child is beautiful.
It's when the doctor removes the swaddling cloth and shows her the white, limp feathers stuck to the infant's back in wirey clumps, wiggling and extending that she realizes what her baby is.
You're an angel. You're an angel.
She keeps the child held close to her bosom, the child suckling away until Sakura feels withered, but it's okay because this child is beautiful, this child is perfect, this child is ANGEL.
"Yusuke!" the little boy looks up and stares half-heartedly at his mother. He's seven years old, he's young, but thoughtful and quiet.
He's shy, his father would tell the neighbors and the school-teachers and the family friends. And they'd believe him, because what other excuse would there be for a child with parents as perfect as Sakura and Tomoya Kuron?
His mama looks down at his drawings. They're full of a boy with black-dark hair and pale skin and wings. Her hands tremble as she looks at the picture. She just bought him the crayons yesterday, but he hadn't had any desire to use them until this morning after his dream. He was hoping that using them and drawing her a picture would make her happy, but with her tear-filled eyes and sorry expression that she usually gets when papa listens to gospel music a little too loud, he thinks he probably did something wrong instead.
"Mama? Who's Sasuke?"
She drops the picture and it flutters onto the floor. She doesn't like the picture, she doesn't like the picture, she doesn't...
She drops to the floor and pulls him into her lap. The boys at school make fun of him when he clings to his mother around the hip or holds her hand, but he feels better like this. Much better than when Papa pats his shoulder or ruffles his hair. Mama's arms hold him with love while Papa looks at him in a way he doesn't understand.
"Where'd you hear that name?" her voice is a candy-sweet breath in his ear. It sounds sad, and now Yusuke definitely regrets drawing the quiet, thoughtful boy from his dreams with the wings that are much bigger than his.
"I dream about him sometimes. He sits on the end of my bed at night and tells me stories, but Daddy told me I was just dreaming. He's an angel boy, like me. And he told me he loves you."
His mama kisses him on the jaw and hugs him to you, "Did he, now?"
It takes Yusuke a few seconds to realize that the wetness landing on his shoulder is his mother's tears. She presses her lips into the brown locks of his hair, and he feels wetness from her tears there, too.
"Do you wanna sleep in my bed tonight, mama? We can stay up all night and tell each other stories and maybe Sasuke will come and he'll tell us stories, too! Daddy doesn't even have to know since he's on his business trip!"
His mother holds his tiny hand and she rubs a circle on the back of it with her thumb, "Okay."
Sakura spends the day setting up for their little slumber party. She ties up blankets to make a canopy over their heads, but leaving an opening for just in case her other angel boy comes. She gets flashlights with different brightly covered bulbs for them to use so that Yusuke won't be afraid of the dark. And she makes cookies for them to eat, even though Tomoya says no sugar after six o'clock.
They tell stories to each other until long after sundown. Sometime a little after midnight, Yusuke sits up from his half-asleep reclined state on Sakura's lap.
"What is it, Yusuke?" she asks, stroking his hair with the pad of her fingertips.
"He's here. Do you see him, mama? He's sitting at the end of the bed. He's staring at you."
Sakura looks around at the end of the bed, and she realizes that everything is losing focus. The water coating her lower eyelid overflows and spills down her cheeks, "Sasuke?"
"He says he can use my body, if we let him. He says it won't hurt, and that I'll still be in my body, but it'll be like I'm asleep. I won't remember anything that happens from the time that he goes into my body to the time he leaves it."
Sakura squeezes his hand, but doesn't remove her eyes from the place at the end of the bed, "What do you think, Yusuke? What do you want to do?"
"Will it make you happy, Mama?" Yusuke squeezes her hand back.
Sakura releases his tiny too-small hand, "I don't know."
"Don't make Mama sad, okay Sasuke?" Yusuke looks to the invisible figure.
And then he slumps over. And then he suddenly sits back up.
His wide, brown eyes have a darker, redder tint to them, and a knowing smirk that's unfamiliar to her son's face makes him no longer look like her child. His expression and body language show too much intelligence and experience for a child only the age of seven. And then she knows that this is Sasuke. Her Sasuke.
"S-Sasuke?" hot, hot tears drool down her face and neck faster than she can wipe them away.
"Sa-ku-ra," he says her name teasingly like he might have had they ever had the opportunity to actually date like they should have. It sounds weird, having her son's voice with her once-were lover's inflection. Suddenly his expression changes, "Don't cry."
"I'm sorry. I'm trying not to. I wish I could see you."
"You can. I just need access to your memories so I can see what I look like in your mind's eye."
He scoots forward on his knees and leans his forehead against hers, closing his eyes. She lets hers slide shut, too.
And then a large, warm, calloused hand cups her cheek and the faint smell of smoke and light fills her nostrils.
Their eyes open simultaneously, and then she is looking into eyes a deep, deep black. She thinks maybe his eyes weren't always that color, but that's the only way she can remember. This memory of him is old. It's faded. He's not a completely clear image, but she can catch the feeling and the smells he exudes.
And just in case anyone was curious, here's a timeline. When writing the story and planning when things happened, I didn't take into consideration how there are weekends and school days, so I just sort of have them wherever I want. Sorry for the inaccuracies.
Chapters ONE - SIX Late November
Tick Tock Goes the Clock-- December 23rd - December 25th
Hinata's Birthday-- December 27th - January 5th
Fade Out-- January 6th - January 7th
Tangled-- January 13th - January 29th
Pretty Girl-- January 30th
Moving on-- February 5th
Break Me-- February 7th
Fester-- February 25th
Somebody-- February 27th - 29th
Falling-- March 1st - March 8th
Mend Me--March 9th - 11th
Comfort--March 16th - 21st
One Year the Wiser-- March 28th
Fairy Tale 1-- April 10th
Fairy Tale 2-- April 11th
Child-- April 25
Sakura's Interlude-- May 2nd and forward
A/N: So The End forever, I suppose. Sorry if it didn't turn out as you hoped. As of now I don't really have any ideas for future fanfictions and I'm trying to focus more on writing original works, but if anybody would like to collab or anything, I'd be happy to. So anyway, feel free to message me for any reason. Love you guys!