Yeah, I know, I take a heck of a longer time to update, but you gotta understand this is my last year of high school, so it's pretty darn hectic every day. Kami, I can't imagine how university is going to be like. o.0
So here it is, the last update of this story. I hope it will be satisfying as an ending. :)
Disclaimer: Me no own Naruto.
The world was warm, pretty and peaceful. Every time Sakura looked around, she would not be able to hold back a smile, because the scenery is perfect and beautiful to watch. She's in a world of warmth and of loveliness, where everything is good and flawless. Where there is no war, no tears, no hurt, and no broken heart. Where her friends are all happy, which makes her happy, and where peace reigns. Where there are no dark clouds in the clear blue sky.
Skin brushed her hand, and Sakura was unable to hold back her smile from growing even bigger, softer. She looked down, her eyes softening at the sight of Uchiha Sasuke dozing off in her lap, his hand lightly resting against her own. She reached out to touch his hair, her smile fading while the happiness in her eyes did not. She softly ran her fingers through his locks, feeling her stomach bubble with warmth when something like a content sign escapes his mouth.
'This world is perfect,' Sakura thought to herself.
And it's perfect because Sasuke-kun is there with her, by her side, and her feelings are not unrequited anymore.
In this world, Sasuke-kun loves her.
Snapping out of her trance, Sakura turned her attention back to the raven haired man in her lap. His obsidian eyes were opened, but she was taken aback when she realized that the emotion in his eyes were not the ones she expected to see. Those eyes, they held fear, panic and pain.
Her eyes widened in shock when she saw part of his shirt suddenly sinking red, like he was bleeding. In an almost immediate reaction, she reached out to heal him, but was suddenly unable to do so when she became aware of how she was shaking, hurting.
Her perfect world suddenly seems to shatter. The blue sky is now painted red, the white clouds are now black, and her beautiful nature is suddenly dead. Next thing she knew, she was choking on something that tasted metallic and disgusting. Realizing it was blood, the medic wanted to cry.
She fell to the ground, spitting out blood while her hand clasped a wound at her chest. Her beautiful, perfect world is gone, replaced by one full of ugliness and death. Replaced by a world where Sasuke-kun doesn't love her.
Her eyes snapped open in shock upon hearing her name being called for what seemed like the thousandth time. She inhaled a sharp breath, follow by a whimper of pain when she clasped a hand over her wound.
"Don't go," she heard somebody rasp, their voice seemingly out of breath. She looked up from her wound, and suddenly, she became aware of what was happening again. Her perfect world had simply been her dream, since she had passed out and would have probably no doubt had gone straight to what follows death, if Sasuke hadn't made her come back to her senses. She almost gasped when a wet hand squeezed hers, making her eyes snap in surprise when she became aware of the fact Sasuke was holding her hand. "You can't die on me, Sakura. You can't," he roughly breathed out, his half lidded eyes glaring sternly into her own.
She then realized how hers were also half lidded.
"I don't think it matters, Sasuke-kun…" the young woman whispered, blinking very slowly, painfully. She didn't miss the way his eyes sharpened into a death glare, an action which made her smile. "Since we're both dying, I don't think it matters…" she went on in a quiet and weak mumble. It was silent in return, something that made Sakura smile bitterly, as she knew it was because he could not argue with that. He knew she was right—they are both dying.
But as the raven haired man had opened his mouth to reply, a cruel laughed interrupted them. "How sweet, the two almost-lovers speaking out their last words to each other. Too bad they won't have longer." The pair shifted their heads to look at the man towering maliciously over them. They saw his eyes shifting from their faces to their linked hands, and a smirk soon appeared on his lips. "Never knew you were a fan of intimate physical contact, Sasuke." Sasuke managed to glare deathly in return, but anyone could see the terror that started to grow in his eyes as Madara sheathed a sword.
Pressure was increased in his hand which was linked which Sakura's, and he almost softened his gaze upon realizing that Sakura was the one to squeeze his hand this time. He shut his eyes tight as Madara swung the blade down, and he was sure Sakura had as well, although his heart seemed to stop as he heard three words which stumbled out of her mouth as her last resolve.
"I love you."
Sasuke squeezed her hand, and his lips twitched into a very tiny, but genuine smile.
People say that when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes. Others say it's like passing through a tunnel, and there's a light that comes closer and closer until you're engulfed by it. More say you hear Kami-sama's voice calling out your name. Some also say you're just engulfed by darkness, and then everything is over. Several people have also said that the world is cold, and blurry, and then you just go.
There was none of that for both Sasuke and Sakura.
What they felt was a sudden rush of cold running through them, but not winter cold. It was a different kind of cold—one which was almost comforting. Inviting. But then numbness came, and they couldn't feel anything any longer. Sakura couldn't even feel Sasuke's hand in hers anymore, which was strange, considering how she was still aware of how tight her clothes were to her skin, or how damp they were from her blood.
But nevertheless, this was an unimportant fact. She was dying, Sasuke was dying. Was this the end for them? Had she and Naruto spent the last few years trying to bring him back for nothing? For him to die with her? For Naruto to lose his two closest people? No. She could not believe it would end like this. She could not let it happen.
(What was that?)
The pinkette wished she could have opened her eyes to see what was happening around them, but her eyes refused to work. The world around her became number, colder, and Sakura did not know if she even had the chance to survive, even if the others arrived.
"How can you…!?"
(Madara? Who is he talking to? He sounds so shocked… )
She's so tired, it's hard to stay as she is, barely conscious. It is not darkness, light, Kami or death calling her, no, no, it's something more normal. Sakura hears that certain thing calling her, whispering that everything will be alright, and the cold, the pain, the numbness, the hurt—it will all be over. It is calling her, tempting her, but she replies quietly in her mind that she can't go just yet.
Sakura finds herself unable to really tell what was calling her, what is calling her. But it's not something scary, not something wonderful, it's just something ordinary and inviting. Something in the life of everybody, every day. Sakura also wondered if Sasuke had given in to that wonderful thing, seeing as he probably was eager for death to take him away, so he would run away from all of this agony he'd been keeping inside of his heart every day ever since the massacre.
"Go to her, we'll take care of him…!"
(who… was that? it's not… it's not Sasuke-kun…. where…is…Sasuke-kun…?)
"Sas…uke…-ku..n…" she found herself murmuring, struggling to find the strength to squeeze the hand that she could no longer feel in her own. She smiled lightly as her fingers twitched and curved, and then bent lightly.
"Don't go…" she heard him rasp from above, his breath heavier and harsher than she'd ever heard it be. Her mouth parted to mumble his name, but her breath was knocked out of her lungs as she heard a body fall on the wet, muddy ground. With her remaining strength, Sakura reached out to where she thought she heard him fall, but found herself surprised as his hand gripped hers tightly. She barely had the time to react before she felt a hand at the side of her face, and next thing she knew, something hot, moist and soft was pressed on her mouth.
It was instinctive. After she realized that he was kissing her, her eyes snapped open. It didn't even matter if beforehand, she would not have had the strength to open them, because the shock of the situation was enough to give her a boost. She found herself staring at a mess of raven locks, and a pair of closed eyes. She could hardly believe it, Sasuke was actually kissing her? And not a mere lip lock that didn't mean anything, but a kiss that actually meant something, and that she could feel was sincere. A kiss that came from the bottom of his heart.
His kiss tasted like something between blood, dirt, rain and sweat, and even though it tasted far from what she ever dreamed, Sakura wouldn't of had it any other way. He wasn't rough, wasn't kissing her hard, or too intensely. His mouth was gentle on her own, but it was there, she could feel it. It was soft, lovely, and oddly made her feel like it belonged there. His kiss was nothing like she'd expect from the tough, distant and impatient man he was.
Although no matter how much she wanted to return his sweet gesture, she could not. At first, it was the shock of the realization sliding in. But after that, her lack of response was more due to her lack of strength to move. Every little bits of energy that she had before had somehow easily slipped away in the past few minutes. Maybe it was the shock that took away so much, seeing as it made her stiffen and snap open her eyes. Or maybe her heart just couldn't take any more of these confusing love matters, and it drained her.
Whatever it was, it stole everything left in her.
Sadly, she could not catch the look in his eyes when he pulled his mouth away from hers, since her eyes slipped shut while she drew a final breath before sleep finally took hold of her after so many inviting whispers. A sleep which she would never wake up from. A sleep where she slips into nothingness.
Maybe it was her words that boosted him, or just the fact he couldn't bear the thought of not being able to save her. Maybe it was because he knew Naruto would forever hate him if he let their little flower die, or maybe it was because he couldn't let Madara live and be the remaining Uchiha. Maybe it was because he hoped she had a chance to live, since he knew that the others would arrive soon as he had sensed their chakras approaching earlier.
Whatever it was, it gave him the strength to activate the mangekyou one last time, and the action was so unexpected that Madara could not escape from it. The undying black flames of Amaterasu caught on Madara, and Sasuke almost had trouble manipulating them with the little bit of chakra he had left within him. "How can you…!?" the older Uchiha rasped, shouting out in pain as the flames tore the flesh of his arm and his side away.
"Gghh!" Sasuke clenched his teeth, struggling to keep his one eyes open even as blood started to pour from the socket. Tossing the dangerous weapon away without breaking his gaze from Madara's, he tried his best to activate a dangerous genjutsu, but sadly was obligated to stop as pain ripped through his bleeding eye. He cursed under his breath, unwillingly breaking the gaze and losing control of the flames, which soon faded as Sasuke panted harshly and backed away against a tree trunk.
However when he looked up, he was unprepared to see Madara bleeding to heavily, one of his arms completely gone as part of his side and thigh. Somehow, the cruel man had managed to retrieve his weapon, and he had also somehow managed to rush towards Sasuke. Closing his eyes, Sasuke tried to gather enough strength to try the brutal technique again, but as he was about to snap his eyes open and activate it, shout of pain echoed in the air, and the sound of a body crashing against something hard followed closely.
He opened his eyes, his breath still weighty and harsh, only to be utterly stunned as he took in the sight of the red haired man whom he'd known as a bloodthirsty killer when he was younger. Gaara, as he remembered him by, was the last person he would ever think of to come to their rescue. Last he'd known about, Gaara and him were arch enemies.
The said red haired man turned and gave Sasuke a stern but somehow very calm look. "Go to her, we'll take care of him…!" he called, glancing quickly towards the bloody girl on the ground that looked as motionless as ever. He could barely tell that her chest was heaving—a sign that she wasn't breathing very well. "Sas…uke…-ku..n…" he heard her murmur almost inaudibly.
Sasuke nodded gratefully at Gaara and his siblings before turned his attention to Sakura again. In clumsy, unsteady steps, he made his way to her, his jaw clenching tight as he lost his balance upon almost reaching her. He was cursing madly under his breath and was struggling to get to his feet, but his mind suddenly seemed to freeze upon seeing her bloody hand slowly dragging itself the ground, reaching in his direction.
His reaction was almost immediate—he grabbed her hand and clasped it tight, his eyes widening in horror when he slowly noticed the way her chest stopped heaving. Not knowing what took over him, Sasuke leaned over and gently cupped one side of her face, before he leaned in and kissed her.
And when he felt her slipping away, he pulled back almost in panic, the one hand holding hers tightening its grip when he felt her grip go loose completely. He couldn't hold back the shout of anger and fear of loss that tore from his throat when she went completely limp, with her head lolling to the side.
Next thing Sasuke knew, spots of dark danced in his eyes, and a disgusting, metallic substance filled bubbled in his throat. Wanting to hold on to the pinkette but unable to hold back the need to clear his gorge, he leaned to cough beside her, only to cursed loudly under his breath when his limbs gave out. Not wanting to crush Sakura, he used the last ounce of his strength to fall beside her.
"Damnit…!" Sasuke coughed, cringing when blood fell from his lips.
"SASUKE…! Shit—what happened to you guys!? Damnit, I can't—Oh Kami, please, don't let them die…! Sakura—damnit, I can't lose you guys! Hang on…!"
A hand placed itself on his shoulder comfortingly, and that same person turned them on their side as Sasuke began coughing madly again.
"Sasuke! Kami—you're alright…!" he heard his almost brother call, his voice cracking with emotion that revealed how afraid he was of losing them both.
"…Sakura… is she…?" the raven haired man managed to mumble, his eyes cracking open to stare at the blond whose eyes were filled with tears.
"She's not dead, teme, thank Kami, she's alive. She's going to be alright, man, just hang on alright? hang on, we got help from sand. We got enough chakra to save you both, so hang on brother, just—"
But Sasuke slipped out of consciousness then.
"…on't kno…arr...ed…ground…almost dead…ighting…"
His head throbbed, and he thought that it might as well explode, and it would cause him less pain like that. Something like a groan and a grunt escaped his mouth as he shifted his head to the side while his hand itched to rub his forehead.
Using the little strength he surprisingly had, Sasuke forced his eyes open, cringing when his head started throbbing harder upon seeing too much visual information. He groaned and lifted a hand to his forehead, hissing in pain when he accidentally touched the eye he'd used for mangekyou.
"How are you feeling?" a deep voice asked, the tone almost empty.
Sasuke turned his head, blinking a couple times before he frowned, and then proceeded to nod lightly. "Fine. Sore, but fine," he mumbled to his ex arch enemy.
"Understandable," Gaara acknowledged, nodding back in return.
A flash of pink went through his mind, and Sasuke almost panicked. "Sakura—"
"As Naruto said before you passed out, Sakura is going to be fine. She's still being healed at the moment."
Relief washed over Sasuke, and for a moment, he shut his eyes, fighting back the urge to smile.
"Is Uchiha-san is awake, Kazekage-sama?" a feminine voice asked.
'Kazekage-sama?' Sasuke thought in surprise.
"Yes, he is. Could you please take care of him, Miza?"
Sasuke still had his eyes shut, but he knew the female had nodded, because of course she would never dare defy her Kazekage's wishes. "Yes, of course, Kazekage-sama. I will get to work right away."
Hearing somebody kneeling down on the grass beside him, Sasuke fluttered his eyes open again, and nodded silently to Gaara as he stood and nodded back. He then direction his attention to the young medic who smiled lightly, quietly welcoming back from what he didn't know was almost a free pass to death. She explained to him how they had little time to work on him, and that they didn't know if he could still be saved, but it turned out that they'd saved him at a time where everybody thought he was a goner.
Sasuke nodded at the brown haired girl, and very, very quietly, he thanked her, before he settled his head back on the ground and directed his gaze to the starry night sky. His mind wandered around as the medic worked on getting him better, and he found himself thinking about how he was glad everything was over now. There was no way Madara had survived against the rookie nine and the entire reinforcements of Sand, especially not after the hit he took from his Amaterasu.
So, was everything okay now?
Sasuke was apparently ready to be welcomed back to Konoha, after all the help he gave them. Sakura was going to be alright. Naruto and the others were all fine and alive, asides from being beaten up and chakra depleted.
So, if he took in mind that the only woman who ever truly loved him and that he sorta, maybe, possibly loved back was not going to die, and that his best friend still considered him as a brother and was well and alive, as well as possibly going to become the next Hokage soon, and that he now had a village her could call home again…
Well yeah, it'd be safe to assume everything was alright now.
"Looks like the almighty Uchiha hasn't lost his habit of sitting in the tree at night to ogle the sky," a female voice teasingly called to him, her tone hinting that she was no doubt smiling or smirking.
Sasuke looked down from his seat, and the corner of his lip twitched upwards a bit at the sight of the pink haired girl he'd worried so much about in these past few days. She was well and alive, and apparently seemed pretty happy, judging by the way her eyes twinkled like the glittery sky above them, or how she had a big toothy and cheery smile stuck on her lips.
"Hn." He smirked lightly when she rolled her eyes at his reply, giving him a mischievous grin before she climbed the tree with ease, and plopped on his branch with a huff of amusement. Sasuke smirked a bit more before he looked back up at the stars hanging over them, his onyx eyes reflecting the scenery perfectly.
Sakura smiled softly upon watching his thoughtful gaze, but then settled herself on the branch, sitting at a fair distance from him. She pressed her hands at the bark of the branch, and then looked up as well, her gaze softening as she took in the beauty of the sky tonight. "It's so beautiful…" she murmured, her soft smile growing even more.
A shooting star suddenly past, and she gasped, her smile disappearing to be replaced by a frown, before it went back to her big, affectionate smile. Sasuke had stopped watching the stars it had been a few minutes, since he'd been drawn to how genuinely happy and delicate she seemed upon watching the dark blue shimmering sky.
Without really knowing why, he found himself scooting a little closer to her, his eyes still latched on the way her pools twinkled in unadulterated contentment. Feeling stared at, Sakura looked down to her beloved, her left eyebrow rising in question as he did not take his gaze away. They went on staring at each other a bit, both of them with a warm gaze, unable to break away. But then just as Sakura was about to open her mouth and speak out her soft confession of love to him, Sasuke seemed to have read it in her eyes, and they glimmered with something that Sakura thought was joy and relief. She smiled, and he seemed to try to return the gesture, but had somehow just managed to pull off a little upwards twist of his lips.
It was barely noticeable, but it was a smile for sure.
Knowing he would not push her back, she leaned her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes, sighing in pure contentment. "I love you," she uttered softly, shuddering lightly while she breathed in his scent quietly.
A silence took place, but it was not the kind of silence which was awkward and odd, but it was rather one filled with perfect comfort of each other's presence.
And then she felt skin brush her hand, making her jump lightly, for a moment while her eyes had snapped open in shock. But after a moment, she smiled, and she took his hand in hers, refraining herself from giggling as she recalled just how unsure he was of his action, like he didn't know if it would be accepted or not.
Their fingers intertwined themselves, and she thought she heard him sigh contently, as if pleased about this kind of intimate contact with her. She closed her eyes again, and unthinkingly kissed his shoulder, not caring is material was covering it, and then she fluttered her emerald orbs open to look at his reaction.
But what happened next surprised her the most. He turned his head to look at her, and in a quick movement, he leaned over and brushed his lips over her forehead. It was a gentle touch, barely even there, but she knew he'd kissed her forehead.
"Hey, guys, what are you doing up there!? Come on down! We're all around the fire, ready to make some ramen!" Their best friend called to them, his voice booming and happy, just like it always was.
Sakura grinned and looked down, calling out back to him, "alright! We'll be there in a sec!"
The blonde walked away, leaving them both alone again, and the pair gave each other a shared amused glance. "Guess we better go. You know how he gets, he's so impatient," Sakura announced, still grinning. Sasuke smirked and hummed lightly in return, before he stood up and tugged at her hand for her to get up as well. They both jumped down, landing stably on their feet without letting go of each other's hand.
And as they started walking to the bonfire where everybody was, Sakura suddenly stopped to look at him. He stopped too, gave her a questioning glance while frowning a bit. Sakura settled with smiling innocently, before she gave him a sly look. "You know, I want to hear it from you someday. That you love me," she said, taking a small step to close a bit of distance between them.
Sasuke snorted. "Isn't knowing it enough?" he asked gruffly, rolling his eyes. Sakura laughed in return, but then shook her head. "Nuh-uh. I'm going to hear it from you someday, Sasuke-kun." She was smiling beautifully, like she was sure of herself and of her words, but Sasuke didn't blame her, because he knew he'd probably say it someday.
In like, ten years. Minimum.
So he just settled with giving her a look of tenderness she knew the meaning of, and then tugged at the hand he was still holding. She smiled, and leaned to swiftly peck his cheek before she smiled again and started walking with him towards the bonfire once more.
They never once did let go of each other's hand.
And that's when Sasuke's new life began.
Whoo! Yay! I am done! XD I hope Sasuke wasn't exactly out of character here… But oh well, if he is, its just a bit, you know? XD
Alright, well I hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading! And sorry for the long wait again!
Please leave a review telling me what you thought of this story!