Here it is! The end of the never-ending hiatus!

Document it, folks. Seriously. Note-worthy event RIGHT HERE.

(disclaimer: if only.)

.

.

.

.

-.-

pretty ugly

-.-

.

.

.

.

Sakura is the type of girl who raises her arms just to see how the sun feels on her fingertips, and fists the light in both hands so that it can't dance away from her.

She likes the feel of melting cotton-candy webs on her tongue and the way soda makes her nose tickle and the smell of perfumed lotions that really belong to mommy and colors that blend in with the sidewalk pavement never ending concrete step on a crack and break your mother's back—

"You're too thin," Daddy tells her, frowning with his brow. She nibbles mutely on a cookie.

"You're too fat," Mommy tells her, and scoops away half the mashed potatoes sitting on her plate.

Sakura is the type of girl that looks at herself in the ever-deceitful mirror, and hates herself for it.

(ugly)

.

.

.

.

Sasuke is a boy. He has an older brother, and a father. He isn't very fond of either.

Then there are the sounds. The dark, ugly sounds.

Pathetic.

Worthless.

Not as good. Never as good.

Half the time, he muffles the sounds with his headphones, all black and sweet sweet salvation. The other half, he pretends things are like they used to be.

(?whats wrong with mommy?)

Brother stares at him with dead eyes, and they flicker to the notebook in Sasuke's frail, so frail, hands and the messy scrawl of words floating across in bleeding blue ink. "Pathetic," he says, and Sasuke shoves away the notebook.

Father looks at him with anger and fury when Sasuke cannot speak loud enough for his liking, too quiet, where's that confidence? Itachi has confidence. Your big brother has everything.

Everything.

Sasuke is the type of boy that writes and writes and writes in his only real friend, the black average lined-book, and tears out page after page after page after page with one simple word from his brother.

And, god, does he hate himself for it.

.

.

.

.

There is irony in everything, Sakura thinks. That is why she becomes a model.

She flaunts and poses and pretends like a good girl for the shutter-eye of the camera, and acts as if it isn't breaking off bits and pieces of her soul little by little. Mommy and Daddy come to see her, watch her at her shoots, the robotic thing she has become in all its glory see what you did she's your spawn your child the seed of your womb you should've nurtured her cared loved—

"You were always pretty," Daddy whispers into her (fake you're so fake) hair when he hugs her. She could almost cry.

"Are you watching your diet?" Mommy asks, eyes hard, and Sakura thinks that maybe, just maybe, she will one day waste away into nothing and slip between the sidewalk cracks.

Sakura, ritually, never break the routine, likes to wear yesterday's mascara, lest she be doomed to repeat.

.

.

.

.

I have always been a living contradiction, Sasuke thinks, and becomes a famous writer.

Brother went away to college and rarely ever came back. Father has it badbadbad. Father's sick. Very, very sick in his old age.

Itachi, you bastard.

Sasuke types away at his laptop day in and day out, pausing only to feed Father his pills and reassure him of who what where when how and why. He can't care, but oh how he does.

"Dad," he says, decked in black shirt dark jeans ruddy playground sneakers. "Time for your pills."

Suspicious eyes peep at him, accusing from the bed, so alert. "Who're you? Where's Mikoto? Where's my wife, boy?"

Sasuke only shakes his head; gut twisting like the tornado of his former heart has swallowed it up. Maybe it's better that his own father can't remember him.

Clean slate for the failure, Sasuke thinks, and wants to laugh at the idiocy of the world.

.

.

.

.

They meet, still girl and still boy. In a hospital. White, so pristine. It hurts to be there, but they can both pretend it doesn't.

Sakura is lying in the bed, shallow breathes wheezing out between too-dry cracked lips, skinny too skinny sosososkinny. The IV sticks out of her toothpick arm with a mocking curve towards its stand, so much like a gleeful watermelon grin, and the door opens.

Sasuke walks in, blank eyes messy hair dirty sneakers otherwise so clean and freshly dead. He sits in the lone chair beside her.

"Who," she coughs, "are you?"

"A writer," he informs her, voice trained to the perfectly bred mutter. "Who are you?"

She laughs then, voice high and oddly vigorous. "Me? Me? I'm a model. An ugly, ugly model that's going to die soon. Read the newspapers. I'm everywhere now."

"What of?" he asks neglecting comments as if they are nothing nothing but deaddead weight to weigh the sentence down.

"Malnutrition," she sings so delicately, so weak. "Doctor says I have to gain weight. Funny." Mommy always told her to lose it. Mommy was Mommy, so the doctor must be dumb.

"Mm," he responds, closing his eyes and slumping in his seat. "Trying to waste away?"

She looks at him, the pale boy, and somehow someway manages to sit up with no strength. "Why're you here?"

"I'm a writer."

"Oh. And what are you writing about?" Sakura reaches to the tray beside her, and lifts up a juicy bruised apple, red skin gleaming in artificial lights and the sweet taste of pesticides.

"How stupid people can be," he swipes away half of her sandwich and takes a small bite, not quite looking at her but she is used to this. "How idiotic."

She smiles, throwing the apple into the wastebasket beside her, wishing she herself could follow after it away into the oblivion. It's okay, she would say to all the trash, Nobody wants me anymore either.

"So, I'm research?"

"Partly."

"How interesting," she murmurs, a subconscious mirror of the boy. Then, suddenly, but she has to know, "Do you think I'm ugly?"

"Do you think I'm worthless?"

Sasuke gets up, and leaves. Sakura lies back down and settles for the inevitable.

.

.

.

.

They meet halfway next time. Sakura has just been discharged form the hospital (better fat than dead Mommy said), and when she spots Sasuke dressed in all black cigarette glowing angry orange in his hand, she skips over to him.

"I haven't smoked in five years," he mutters, glaring at the cigarette as another piece of darkened ash floats lazily to the dirty ground. Sakura plucks it from his cold, so very freezing, hands and takes a long, sweet drag.

"Then why start again?" she asks, leaning far back against the same cracked graffiti wall as him and exhaling the gray up into the sky to do a dangerous dance with the clouds.

Sasuke does not answer, and only watches her swirl of smoke mingle with the smog and car exhaust and urban decay. He turns his silver lighter absently in his hands, eyes glazed over in thought.

"How's your story coming?" Sakura asks quietly, breaking the spell.

"Not well." Honesty hurts.

"Why's that?"

"Dunno." He pauses to look at her, eyes so piercing and startlingly dark against the sunset background falling from the sky. "But the fact that you're out and about already may be an indication."

"So, what you're saying is basically," here she throws the cancer stick to the ground to crush with her wedge heel, "your theory is flawed. Not everyone is as stupid as you thought."

He watches this action, face impassive, eyes downcast at her booted foot as it kills and stomps the cigarette into nothing but dust in the wind and shriveled white. The scent of nasty smoke still lingers around them. Their chokehold.

"Disappointing, isn't it?"

She smiles slyly at him. "Very."

They stop their conversation if only to watch the bustle of traffic along the yellow lines of the street. Double line dotted single segmented. So many different borders between one side and the other.

"So," she eventually asks, "Why are you here?"

He shrugs slightly, voice as dim as ever. "Running away, I suppose. You?"

Her grin falls. "Same."

She leans over, and snatches the blaringly white pack of cigarettes from his front pocket. "These'll kill you." She lights one with a match from behind her ear, always be ready and always be prepared life throws things at you like a slingshot it's funny like that.

"Yeah," he watches her walk off.

And when Sasuke returns to Father's sadsadohsososad funeral, he has to grapple with his mind to keep the smile down.

.

.

.

.

Sakura is walking, always on the sidewalk; city streets are dangerous, humming with crime and throbbing with people that want something. They always want something.

She wraps her trench coat tighter around herself. My cocoon, she thinks dully. Maybe I'll come back out as a butterfly.

A scraggily man with a fuzzy beard and hollow eyes walks up to her, offering today's newspaper, some shitty local series that no one buys.

"No thanks," she says, walking past him without a second glance. No eye contact, that encouraged them, they just wanted money, god knows how they got ahold of those papers.

The man follows her, and thrusts the paper towards her hands, shaking his head harshly.

"Free of charge," he rasps, and Sakura's hands close around it with a numb kind of unrealized horror.

"I don't… thanks."

The man walks off laughing.

Sakura swallows and unfolds the newspaper with careful precision, hands taught to bend and move perfectly, make them pretty for the camera.

Sasuke's face is on the front.

(sasuke uchiha)

(age 23)

(was found dead in his apartment)

(late last night)

(brutally beaten to death)

(by his own publisher)

(after refusing to complete)

(a book)

(that)

(chronicled)

(the)

(flaws)

(of the)

(modern)

(world)

Ironic poetic justice, Sakura thinks bitterly and then, I knew him.

Shaking her head, and ignoring the burning misting itching of her vibrant green eyes, she tosses the paper into the nearest garbage can, Sasuke's pale face looking up at her and the sky, no smile there he was always dead.

She catches sight of herself in a store window, her reflection so disgusting and upsetting and painful to see god it hurts my eyes my eyes are those tears or my soul leaking out I'm sofat look at me look at me LOOK AT ME—

(waste away)

(ugly)

.

.

.

.

-PM-