Just a small, sad oneshot which im considering using for homework (we have to write a short story and this is inside the word limit but im not sure if it has a clear enough orientation, complication and resolution) - would really love and benefit from opinions! :)

masked happiness will get updated soon... sorry... next chapter's big though if it helps :)

disclaimer - see profile (which will tell you that they are pointless as it is called fan fiction)

thanks to daily (because you stand my writing long enough to read and give me lovely reviews and because your an awesome friend :)

My Love Undying

"You know, you really should slow down a bit. Maybe settle down and start a family?"

Sakura and Sasuke's laughter filled the air; an unmistakable tone in Sasuke's altering the atmosphere. Sakura's tinkled the air around them like so many wind chimes; the sound of whirling dust motes catching the sun. Sasuke's reminded them both that this couldn't last.

"And you know that won't happen," the remnant of his sad smile added a lilt to his words.

Beside one another, so close Sasuke thought he felt her warmth, they faced the breadth of the path and the trees on the other side, sitting as they were on their stone bench filled with memories. It was still a place of heartbreak and leaving and loneliness. But that had been a big part of their relationship, something that had made them who they were. It had changed them permanently and beyond repair. It was part of them. This was their place.

And so they sat.

"I wish you would reconsider," Sakura murmured after a few moments of silence, in which the warm, comforting breeze decided to make itself known, blowing leaves and pretty pink petals lazily through the air. Sasuke blinked as one perfect splash of pink flew across his vision. A petal that came too close. But he decided to let it, just this once.

"Really Sasuke, you shouldn't be alone anymore."

There was an unmistakable note of sadness in her tone now and it wrenched his heart to hear it. Quickly turning to Sakura he found her already looking at him, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears and an utter sadness he knew was not for herself.

"Sakura," he murmured, shuffling as close to her as he could without touching her as he remained caught in her eyes. He didn't know what he wanted from her. It seemed selfish to want anything at all but he did. He wanted for her to be happy, to be safe, and to have everything he wished he could've provided for her and had always known he couldn't. That wasn't who he was, but it was in this moment that he wished to be someone else, anyone else, so he could just… hold her.

She didn't expect anything of him and he knew it only too well. She simply sat and gazed sorrowfully at him, only one tear allowed to escape and trail down her skin, sparkling in its captured sunlight and turning silver. Oh, how he wished he could brush it away and out of existence.

She had done well for herself, he was so proud of her. He knew his leaving had torn her apart, he had seen the results of his selfishness, his thoughtlessness. But she had eventually continued with her life. Many had labels for her in the village; strong, beautiful, independent. To him she had become what she had always been. She had simply become Sakura and no label could do her justice as it was impossible to capture so many intricacies in a single word when a thousand wouldn't even scratch the surface.

All of her missions except for the most recent had been successful, as she showcased time and again her intellect and ingenuity. Everyone loved her. Sasuke smiled. He loved her.

Sakura's lips lifted in response. Oh, how he loved her.

"Sakura," he repeated, stronger this time. This was all he had and he knew it, the very thought of it making his eyes prick. Tears welled unbidden, blurring his sight. But that was ok. He could still see the pink and green of the world through his tears. The petals and leaves as they danced in the wind. The treetops and the sky as the sun set. The pink of her hair and the green of her eyes. It was ok.

"I love you," he said, his declaration coming from deep within him as the walls crashed down around his soul. His voice wavered as it threatened to break, though the resolution in his tone was undeniable. Blinking to clear his eyes he looked again at Sakura to see her smiling, the love she had professed to him so many years ago still shining, undimmed in her eyes.

He didn't know how long he sat there, simply staring and smiling at her, simultaneously the happiest and saddest he could ever remember being. The sheer amount of emotions and their potency was staggering and made his head whirl, as though he hadn't enough oxygen, caught as he was in this one long, endless moment with her in which everything was perfect. He had finally said it. What he had wanted to say since he had left her here on this very bench so many years before. It didn't matter that he was too late now, because he had said it and she had heard him.

He turned himself toward the path again and knew that she had done the same. With his head slightly bowed, silent tears flowed over the pale curves of his face, his black bangs sliding forward and shielding his grief from view until it left him and appeared in the dust below, the only evidence of the infinite pain he thought would swallow him whole.

His shoulders sagged under the weight of his torment as he threw his head back to look directly from the ground to the sky, watching the last streaks of pale pink fading as the sun sunk below the horizon and streaks of bloody crimson took their place. It was always like that, he mused absently to himself.

He let out a soft sigh and closed his eyes. They shot open the instant he felt a gentle touch to his hand which was resting on the bench beside him. His head moved so fast his neck cricked as he looked down, only to find a soft pink petal still caught in the breeze, nudging insistently at his hand. He watched it for a moment before a slight smile twitched his lips and he softly muttered her name again, the wind carrying it away before it reached even his ears.

He extended a finger and gently touched the petal once before standing. With nothing to hold it down the petal was swiftly lifted into the air and carried away on the breeze, twisting and turning in a dance all its own. Sasuke watched and smiled, the tear tracks on his cheeks glistening silver in the twilight.

Turning away he paused as the breeze whispered through the trees once more before he left the empty bench behind.

"I love you too."

as pathetic as it sounds i nearly cried when writing the end... i think i may be a little dramatic :) - please review and let me know what you think (especially in relation to the question about using this for homework) - and thanks! if your reading this it means your helping me with my homework as i needed to get others to read it, arent you all so nice :)

have fun :)