Believe the Truth, Not the Lies.
5 years have passed since the mishap between Team 7, in which they had to go their separate ways. And 5 years later, they all return, reunited with their 18 years old comrades. Some, well, some changed more than others.
The sun peaked over the horizon; the greyish-blue tint in the morning sky still rose above heads. While most were still in bed because of the early hours, others however, were wide awake and ready to begin their day. And then you have Team 7. Now, it's been about 2 and a half weeks into the return of 18 year old Uchiha Sasuke, who was brought back as promised by his life long friend and teammate, Uzumaki Naruto. With things returning back to how they were, 2 of the 3 stood waiting at they're normal spot: the bridge. Both Naruto and Sasuke were left waiting there for their other teammate, Haruno Sakura, and their frequently late sensei, Hatake Kakashi.
"I wonder why Sakura-chan's not here." spoke the Kyuubi vessel as he looked over to his dark haired teammate. "She's normally the first one to show up."
"Hn." was the only reply he received. Ignoring the blonde's ignorant comments about his stoic attitude, and several other topics, Sasuke began to wonder himself where Sakura was. But, not like he cared right? Right?
A few moments later, the familiar sight of pink came into their visions. And surprisingly, she wasn't alone.
"Thank you, Daikotu. It was nice talking to you." they heard Sakura say, a cheery smile adorning her pale face.
The orange haired boy nodded and leaned in, kissing Sakura lightly on the cheek, which caused this pinkette to react with a slight blush and even brighter smile. After they said their goodbyes and parted ways, Sakura walked over to the other two, a slight skip in her step from her giddy mood.
Her was unconscious about her more-than-usual happy mood, but that didn't go unnoticed by a certain Uchiha. Neither did that surprisingly moment that occurred short moments before. He couldn't help but have a few thoughts cross his mind: How could that guy just kiss Sakura? Wait, why the fuck do I even care? I mean, seriously, it's Sakura…
Sasuke kept his stoic façade the entire time, and wasn't fazed as Naruto obnoxiously yelled, jumping up and down in front of Sakura, "Sakura-chan! Who the HELL was that?"
A tint of pink returned to Sakura's cheeks as she smiled slightly. "Oh, him? That was Ashino Daikotu. He was one of my patients a couple weeks back and, well, I ran into him this morning on my way here. And I guess we just started talking and I lost track of time." she answered with a shrug, as if it was common. Well, being the topic medical nin in all of the Leaf Village and successor to Lady Hokage herself, being popular amongst her patients WAS common. Especially with the male population. Normally, Sakura wouldn't pay mind to the affection she received from her male patients, knowing that it was strictly business (on her part) if she tended to them in the hospital. If it went any further than a doctor-patient relationship, then she only looked for conversation.
At that moment, Sasuke felt a slight tugging feeling in his throat, but he shook it off not particularly caring about it. But then again, he was really just denying what was happening. He didn't want to believe that she moved on from him. He didn't want to believe that it was that easy to "replace" him. He didn't want to believe that he lost her in a way. He didn't want to believe that he loved her in anyway… But could he keep denying it? Could a really keep pushing that fact aside, even though it's been burning in the back of his mind for several years now? No, he knew he couldn't.
Minutes felt like eternity to him as a million and one thoughts raced through his mind, whether he liked it or not. He didn't particularly care about his bantering blonde teammate that kept droning on and on about Sakura's "new guy". He just set his focus on the pinkette herself, and in the midst of her conversation, she still didn't notice.
"Oh!" Sakura said, finally dragging the Uchiha out of his thoughts. "I forgot! I ran into Kakashi-sensei on the way here and he told me some lame excuse. But either way, training's canceled for today." The earned a cheer from Naruto, and a typical "hn" from Sasuke.
"Ramen's on me! Let's go!" the Kyuubi vessel cheered, running off a little, expecting the others to follow.
Sasuke just grunted a 'no' and he was expecting Sakura to agree. But he was caught blindsided when she said, "Err, sorry Naruto. Daikotu and I have plans. Maybe another time."
And with that, she walked off. Unconsciously, Sasuke secretly followed the Haruno. He couldn't help but think, dare to say hoped, that she would want to hang around with him and keep him company. Like how it used to be. But he couldn't expect her to act how she used to around him. And he didn't.
Sakura walked up to Daikotu, who was just walking around, and told him that she had no missions so they could hang out. Sasuke casually hid himself from the pair well enough so they didn't notice him, but he sure paid attention to them. Seeing to two together gave another tug to Sasuke's chest, this time he didn't deny it. Him of all people should know the consequence of denying something. Denying something could cause you to loose things very important to you. And the most important thing he could ever lose was walking a couple yards away from him.
"So Sak," Daikotu's voice drew the Uchiha's attention back to the pair, who both continued to stalk down the semi-busy streets of Konoha. "Where do you want to go?"
"I was thinking we could go to the…?" It was then that Sakura noticed that Uchiha near them. Confusion struck her, not quite processing why he was there. Okay, let's face it. She still hasn't gotten over her strong feelings toward the raven haired man. But really, could you expect her to? She knew in her best interest to stray away from him, "knowing" that he wouldn't possibly return her affection. Of course, she never loosed even an ounce of her love toward him, frankly she doubt if she even could. But over the years, along with her physical strength, she grew stronger in mind and heart. She knew that holding onto some childhood craze wouldn't benefit her in any way. Once she found out that her teammate was returned to the village, she didn't know where to go from there. But she knew there was no where to go but up, so she took then chance and made some changes. Hence her newly found attention toward a certain Ashino Daikotu. Hence her drawing away from Uchiha Sasuke.
Daikotu gave her a confused looked as to why she stopped talking. Sakura just placed a hand on her hips and glanced over at the Uchiha. "Sasuke?"
He internally shuddered at the lack of the nostalgic suffix that he was so used to being there at the end of his name. Fuck. "Hn."
"What are you doing here?" Sakura asked with a sigh. He casually walked over to the two, hands in his pockets. When she received no answer, she sighed. Placing a hand on Daikotu's shoulder, she introduced the two strangers. Sasuke, this is Ashino Daikotu. Dai-kun," Another shudder from the raved hair boy at the use of "his" suffix at the end of this strangers name, "this is Uchiha Sasuke. My teammate."
To Sasuke, it seemed as if the pinkette purposely emphasized "teammate" not only to Daikotu, but as if directing it toward him. That, that was it for him. The affection that was gradually there, the affection he was waiting for, was fading faster every time he blinked. He was not going to stand for this.
"Nice to meet you." Daikotu said friendly, holding out his hand in politeness.
Daikotu's attempt at politeness went uncared for as Sasuke turned his attention to Sakura and grabbed her, dragging her along with him, leaving this stunned boy behind them. All her protests were ignored as the Uchiha had he eyes fixed on the road, his brows furrowed slightly.
"Seriously Sasuke! What is this all about!" The pinkette finally had enough of this mind game and yanked her arm out Sasuke's grasp. She glanced around her surroundings and noticed he had led her to the abandoned Uchiha estate. What is hell is he thinking? Just dragging me away like that! Why is he even acting like this? she thought as she gazed up at him, him being a good head taller than her.
His obsidian eyes bore into her confusion ridden emerald ones. His hand clenched into a slight fist at his said, he spoke bluntly, "What are you doing with him?"
"What does it matter to you?" Sakura blurted without giving it a second thought. Honestly, she was a little angry with her teammate for just dragging her away from her date. But maybe that wasn't the best tone to use with the Uchiha. He glared down at her slightly, and expected she would be timid and struggle to rephrase her words, but she stood her ground. "Seriously, it doesn't have to do with you. So why should it matter?"
Sasuke's eyes widen slightly at her still strict tone. This wasn't like her. And at that moment, he knew it was a matter of a second that thin line could be crossed. In a blink of an eye, he could potently loose her. Maybe this time, for good. As she began to walk away, not knowing if she should bother waiting another second for a reply she probably wouldn't want to here, Sasuke snapped out of his thoughts. He had to act fast; the clock was ticking. He reached out and grabbed hold of her wrist gently, his gazed still trying to keep locked with hers. He needed her attention.
She looked back at him with a confused look. Slowly, she turned around fully, looking up into his eyes, his hand still wrapped around her wrist. What can he possibly want? she thought.
What could he say? He needed to say something, something that would make her stay. Something that would make her come back to him and back into his life. Think! Think!
That's when he knew…he was going to tell her the truth. Enough hiding it, he's spent 8 years hiding enough. He's tired of lying. This time, he rather her believe the truth, not the lies. "I love you." She barely heard him, his voice was just above a whisper.
But she still heard him. She wasn't going to deny it. Her eyes widen, staring up at him as her retained his stoic expression in his eyes, though this time, they held more. She wanted to believe his words were serene. She wanted to believe that it wasn't a trick. She wanted to believe that she's enough for him this time. She wanted to believe his words were the absolute truth. She wanted to believe in him. But she couldn't. She didn't have to heart to believe it.
With eyes filled to the brim with tears, she mumbled something that was inaudible to her. He looked at her and before he would finish asking her to repeat herself, she yelled, "I SAID I CAN'T TAKE THESE LIES ANYMORE!" She held her hands to her ears as if to prevent her from hearing more.
This time, it wasn't a mere tug at his heart. No. It was a violent yank, sharply ripping at his heart. She genuinely didn't believe him, and he didn't blame her. But he'd be damned if he didn't try. He'd regret it for the rest of his life, if he continued having "a life", if he didn't persuade her at that very moment that he words with the absolute truth. There was no turning back now, not like he was planning to of course. Sasuke then took the cherry blossom into his arms and held her tight. Despite her protests, he held her as if she was going to be ripped out of his arms. "I love you." he repeated, this time his voice more pleading.
She shook her head disbelieving. The paper thin walls she built to protect her from this very reason were crumbling away before her. Regardless, she wasn't going to give in this time. She wasn't going to let herself fall back into this. Despise her OWN protests; she struggled, trying to get out of his grasp. But who am I kidding…
"No you don't!" she countered, sounding more like she was trying to convince herself rather than convince the Uchiha in front of her. "You never did! You…You hate me! You even told me that!" That made Sasuke's grip on the girl tightened, the painful sensation ripping more and more at his heart.
"I love you…more than you know…" he whispered again, his voice cracking ever so slightly as he paused.
"Stop, just—" she begged, her own voice getting caught in her throat. Her protests were becoming useless now as she unconsciously gripped onto his shirt rather than pushing away from him. She wasn't just holding onto him, she was holding onto herself; holding onto anything and everything that kept her bound to him. Though, she wasn't going to admit it to herself.
"I'm sorry I put you threw this pain…" he continued, ignoring her pleas.
"STOP!" she pleaded, trying to pull away from his hold. She couldn't take this. She thought this had to be some sick, twisted joke.
"No, Sakura…I love you." he said one final time and this time, Sakura didn't fight back. She looked into his eyes, and her own widen and she saw that tears brimmed his. He leaned down, placing that long awaited kiss upon her lips. Oh how she's been waiting for this fateful moment. It was a brief, short kiss. And yet, it held everything. 8 long years of awaited love and so-called "forgotten feelings". 8 long years of separation between life-long friends and meant-to-be lovers. 8 long years that neither Sasuke nor Sakura would let go on any longer without something finally happening. And so it did.
I love you too, Sasuke-kun. "I love you too, Sasuke-kun." Always have. "Always will."
**EDITED on 10/21/11. Thank you so much for reading! Review and make my day? Please and thank you! c: