Even strangers can grip you.|
Even strangers can make you fall in love with them with just one look, one smile...
Even strangers can make you hear their song in your head.
song in my head
Disclaimer: Naruto isn't mine.
Song and lyrics of "Song In My Head" are copyright to Sherwood.
A/N: I think this is freakishly long. I hope you like it.
When he first sees her, it is during the university's soccer practice. He is taking a water break and wiping the sweat off his brow when he sees her sprint past him around the large track, her bright eyes narrowed in concentration. She is fast, and it's a wonder why he's never heard of her; surely, she is a track star that everyone loves. When she herself takes a water break from across the field, stretching her legs after her long sprint, their eyes meet. She smiles, and he is almost sorry he must look away to pay attention to the coach's words and game plan.
Occasionally, he eyes her from behind his coach. She pops in her iPod headphones, and he realizes that her head is slightly bobbing to the rhythm of the music he can't hear. He wonders what she is listening to, but his thoughts are promptly ended when his coach barks out the next orders to get on the field and begin practicing.
She catches up to him after the soccer team is dismissed and she ends her practice. One of her earphones is still in place, her mind still focused on the lyrics of the unheard song. She smiles again, and he realizes that it is more beautiful and enchanting close up than yards away on the football field.
"Hi," she says, and he should have known her voice would be sweet. "I'm Sakura."
She offers a hand, which he hesitantly shakes. He's unaccustomed to social activity, but he knows that he simply cannot brush off the girl. He's never seen her before, with her pastel-pink hair and bright, green eyes; he concludes that she is a new student at the university, and something in his heart compels him to be nice for once.
"Sasuke," he politely offers.
"I'm sorry if this is a bit strange, but I'm new to the school and – "
His mind zones out, much like it has been accustomed to after being forced to listen to Naruto's incessant chatter for the last few years of his life. Instead, her bright eyes make its way into his mind, seeming to control his brain and cause him hallucinations of her innocence and odd, mesmerizing nature.
"It's okay," he finally says, turning to look at her.
She smiles again, and this prompts him to speak once more.
"You're a track star, aren't you?" he asks.
A blush makes it way to her cheeks, and she nods.
"At my old school, yes," she shyly replies.
Her eyes shine with something new, and she adjusts the sports-bag on her shoulder, both her hands holding the strap. Interesting enough, when they walk together, they were perfectly in step, their strides seeming to perfectly match regardless of their fast pace.
"I'll show you around," he finally says.
She could swear her heart stopped at that moment, but she is glad that she is able to recover and offer the brightest smile she can muster.
The emotion he feels when he sees Naruto – his best friend – share glances with Sakura for the first time is indescribable. He is not jealous. Sasuke is not a jealous person. But he cannot deny the odd, overwhelming feeling to keep her all to himself, to pull her away to spend alone time with her – her, the captivating stranger! Even though he is not jealous, he still feels the same pull of anger and possession, but says nothing, only remaining calm and controlled like he was raised to be.
"Sasuke actually offered to show someone around? That's new," Naruto jokes.
Sakura smiles and looks into Sasuke's eyes. In her gaze is something he knows is reserved for him; a question as to why she was the one chosen to be graced by his presence and nature. Oddly enough, even he isn't quite sure why he is doing what he's never done – or will ever do again – to a complete stranger. Naruto laughs and offers his hand, which she politely shakes.
"I'm Uzumaki Naruto! The bas – I mean, Sasuke's – best friend."
Sasuke scoffs, because it's not everyday that the two are introduced as best friends. Sakura laughs it all off, her smile widening and her eyes shining with happiness.
"Naruto," he finally says, he himself unsure of what is compelling him to speak, "Sakura's probably going to join the track team."
Naruto's cerulean eyes widen, and he immediately takes Sakura's hand in his. Sasuke feels the pang of jealousy once more, but knows that it is what's best.
"Really? I'm on the track team, too, Sakura! If Sasuke brought you to me, that must mean you're good!"
"W – well," Sakura stammers.
"She is," Sasuke says, a ghost of a smile on his lips when Sakura sighs in thanks. He realizes that she is a brave, but very shy, girl.
"Awesome! You're talking to your captain, Sakura!"
Sakura's eyes widen, and immediately, Sasuke understands. Track and Field is her passion, much like soccer is his. Without another word, he begins to walk away, his hands shoved in his pockets. Naruto will be much more useful to her, introducing her to the coaches and preparing her for the upcoming season. He's done more than enough. But, still –
"Wait, Sasuke, where are you going?"
Her voice cuts into his reverie. Unthinkable thoughts flood into his mind – why did he like the sound of his name in her voice? Why did he stop?
He turns and looks at her, and he feels his heart drop at the unsaid emotion in her eyes. They are not shining as brightly as they should, and the hands gripped around the strap of her sports-bag are tightly clenched, her knuckles true white. It is almost as if to ask him why he is leaving her, and he asks himself the same thing. Why is he leaving her? Should he leave her?
"I – " He says, but immediately stops himself. Where is he going?
Naruto eyes him curiously, and unbeknownst to Sakura, he grins.
"I'm afraid Sasuke hasn't showed you around enough yet," Naruto says, inwardly chuckling when Sasuke's death-glare sends chills down his spine. "I'll catch up later, Sakura."
And without another word, Naruto leaves, Sakura's eyes confused and Sasuke ready to kill.
"Are you ready?" Sasuke finally asks, regaining his self-control.
Sakura smiles, walking up to him with childish air and innocence. Sasuke smirks, shaking his head at her antics.
"Always ready," Sakura replies.
They fall into step once more, both in complete synch.
Naruto, on the other hand, snickers as he returns to his dorm room, his cerulean eyes twinkling with excitement. When his girlfriend, Hyuuga Hinata, unexpectedly meets him, he offers no explanation and picks her up, twirling her around as she confusingly laughs.
"You're in a good mood," she says, her soft voice lingering in the air.
"Of course I am, Hinata! Sasuke just found her."
"Her?" Hinata asks, her eyes wide with curiosity and humor.
"Don't worry, Hinata. I was just as surprised when I realized he's finally met his significant other."
"But you've only met her – "
"Once is enough to just know, Hinata," he says, a soft grin on his lips. He places his arm around her shoulders, bringing her closer to him. "He might not know it, yet. But I do. Sakura is just perfect for him, Hinata! Perfect! I mean, we didn't say much, but the way he looked at her, Hinata – it was like if he looked at you that way, I would be every bit justified to castrate him."
Hinata laughs, shaking her head at the interesting analogy. In all honesty, she cannot wait to meet Sakura. Already, she has taken a liking to the mysterious, significant other of Uchiha Sasuke.
Sasuke finds it incredibly annoying how he simply cannot sleep. He feels lethargic, his eyes are begging for rest, but his body and brain simply cannot allow him to drift off into slumber. Instead, he's left tossing and turning around in his bed, unceremoniously throwing his head against his pillow every time he is forced to change positions.
He sighs, eventually giving up, and slowly rises from the bed. After effectively staring at the wall for five minutes, which, like his unsuccessful attempt to sleep, accomplishes nothing, he finally throws the blankets off him and gets up from his bed, taking a seat at his desk and starting up his laptop. Without a second thought, he signs onto the instant chat network, hoping for someone to be awake at the same ungodly hour as he so he can just stop thinking about her.
RAMENKING! : can't sleep?
Sharingan: why else would I be up this late, idiot?
RAMENKING! : I get it!!! you're thinking about Sakura, aren't you?
Sasuke groans. He should have known this would start the moment he introduced Sakura and Naruto. He should have known that Naruto would have noticed.
Sharingan: idiot, why would I do that?
RAMENKING! : denial is a bad, bad thing, Sasuke. I couldn't sleep when I was in the dark about Hinata.
Sharingan: I'm not denying anything.
RAMENKING! : are you going out to the café, then?
Sasuke wonders if fatigue makes Naruto smarter. Even he hasn't thought of heading down to the university's twenty-four hour café to order some nice, warm tea to help him sleep. Thinking about it now, it does sound like a good idea.
RAMENKING! : it's fate if you meet her there :D
Sharingan has signed off.
Sasuke mutters to himself, glad that it would be impossible for anyone to hear him. He curses Naruto and how instead of making him sane, is making him more insane.
He is not thinking of Sakura. No, he is not. He is not.
He goes to his closet and puts on a clean pair of jeans, throwing on a jacket over his plain, white tee, slipping into his socks then shoes, and quickly leaves his dorm room, key and cell phone safely in pocket. Sasuke groans when his cell phone vibrates for a brief moment, his eyes narrowing when he opens Naruto's text message.
BODY: Remember, it's Fate if you meet her there. I can bet you ten bucks you will. :D
He frowns, flipping his phone closed and placing it in his pocket once more. The warm, delicious, comforting tea of the café becomes more promising by the second.
He frowns at the irony of it all. She is sitting in a stall by the window, her face brightened by the faint light of her laptop and the lights inside the café. When he enters and is immediately aided by the unfortunate member working the graveyard shift, he moves to the side, hoping she will not notice him. Considering the lack of crowd and the complete emptiness of the place, he knows it won't be long that she will notice him.
His mind is in utter chaos. Her sweet voice saying his name replies over and over, like some sweet, enchanting melody meant to doom him or send him under, her bright eyes shining with such innocence and sweetness that there is nothing in a world about her that can wrong him. He scratches his head with annoyance, and is only glad when the worker breaks his trance and hands him his warm cup of tea.
When the liquid rushes through his body, he sighs with relief. Peace, Sasuke, peace, he chants to himself. His temporary nirvana, however, vanishes, when Sakura's typing no longer echoes through the empty café; he wonders why she cannot work in the confines of her dorm room instead of the empty lounge of the café.
"Sasuke?" she asks.
Sasuke feels the hairs on the back of his neck rise, and he takes another sip of tea. Had he known better, he would have found his gesture desperate. She really cannot leave him alone, and they've known each other for 24 hours, give or take a few hours or minutes. And the sad thing is that it is completely out of her control; he is just unusually smitten by her. Unusually, and unbearably, smitten by her like an annoying song stuck in his head.
"Hey," he manages to calmly say, regardless of his inner turmoil. "Why aren't you in the dorms working on your laptop?"
She grins, and Sasuke knows the warmth in his chest is not due to his tea.
"I can ask you the same thing, can't I?" She teases.
Sasuke smirks and runs a restless hand through his hair.
"Er, are you going to head back to your dorm? If not, I mean, you can always sit down."
Sasuke immediately feels stupid. He takes a seat across her in the stall, occasionally taking sips from his warm tea while she continues to type away on her laptop.
"You use the instant messaging network, don't you?" Sakura asks, an interesting smile on her lips.
"Who doesn't?" Sasuke replies.
She laughs, her light and sweet laughter hanging in the air.
"What's your screen name? So I can add you?"
"Sha – rin – gan," Sakura spells out, a small smile forming on her lips with satisfaction. "Cool! Do you think Naruto will mind if I ask you for his, too?"
"Ramenking in all caps. And don't forget the exclamation point at the end."
Sakura laughs once more.
"And may I ask what the great Uchiha Sasuke is doing speaking with me, at nearly four in the morning? I hear you hardly ever socialize. I'm honored."
Sasuke cannot fight the tiny smile that forms on his lips.
"I don't know," he finally says.
He takes another sip of his tea, and Sakura immerses herself with typing once more. Even with its vague, ambiguous meaning, the answer is more than satisfactory for the both of them.
xx SAKURA : what are you doing still up? we both left the café two hours ago.
Sharingan: I can ask you the same thing.
xx SAKURA : true. I couldn't sleep. what about you?
Sharingan: same. there's hardly a point to try and sleep right now. it's 5:30.
xx SAKURA : thank goodness it's Saturday. you must have practice.
xx SAKURA: you're going to be dead.
xx SAKURA : I'll see you at the track.
Sasuke can't honestly say he wasn't expecting Naruto to show up for practice. Glad that he remembered Naruto's bet – though it didn't really matter, because they never paid each other back, or he never truly accepted the bet anyway – he immediately drops his belongings on the bench, and sprints towards Naruto. Naruto sees him and smirks, waiting patiently for the Uchiha to reach him, almost sorry that Sakura hasn't arrived to see Sasuke's lost bet.
Without another word, Sasuke pulls out a ten-dollar-bill and shoves it into Naruto's hand, immensely annoyed at Naruto's smug face.
"So how was your date with Destiny?"
Sasuke glares. It's no help that he can't sleep because Sakura's taken over his mind, but now that Naruto understands, he knows he won't hear the end of it.
"Uchiha! Practice is starting!"
The other players on the soccer team impatiently wait for their captain, and Naruto smirks.
"Don't worry. You two will talk again. See, Sakura's right there. I'll take good care of her."
Sasuke holds back his urge to punch the Uzumaki dead in the face, but he knows he won't be able to stand Hinata's death glare and what she'll do to him if she manages to catch him. He sighs, and says nothing, instead running to where his team is circled around, waiting to begin their practice.
"Whoa, Sasuke, I bet you didn't sleep at all. Look at those dark circles," one his teammates says, teasing Sasuke with a wolfish grin.
"Kiba, I would shut the hell up," he hisses, "Because you know what I can make you do."
Kiba laughs, shaking his head at Sasuke's hot temper, but knows better than to retort. Sasuke is one of the most brutal captains the university's soccer team ever had, and he knows better than to piss off the Uchiha more than he already is. Kiba is surprised, however, when something in Sasuke's eyes shines when a girl he's never seen before walks onto the track, waving at him as if she were his friend.
"Run two laps warm-up," Sasuke immediately says.
When his teammates look at him like he is crazy – only because they're too surprised by the new girl associating with Sasuke as if they were best friends – Sasuke's eyes seem to flash a dangerous red.
Hyuuga Neji, the team's vice-captain, sighs, shaking his head at his best friend's angry nature. He begins to jog, and is only glad that the rest of the team follows him. Sasuke stays behind, running a hand through his hair. He knew it was a bad idea for him to even show up to practice; he won't do any good running off no hours of sleep and one cup of warm tea.
"Hey, Sasuke," Sakura says, once she is closer to him.
He notices there are dark circles around her eyes as well, but her irises are still as bright as ever.
"This is going to be a bad, bad idea," she says, her lips formed in a helpless pout. "I'm already regretting this. We're going to die today."
Sasuke smirks, and places a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Both are surprised at the unexpected contact, but make no move to change anything.
"Let's just get through this we can catch up later, yeah?" He says in a very, un-Sasuke-like tone.
Sakura's eyes widen with surprise, but she smiles nonetheless, and nods.
"Yeah. Naruto won't kill me, will he? I see that stopwatch around his neck. Is he a brutal captain?"
Sasuke thinks for a few moments, only eying Naruto with a curious look in his eyes. Naruto, on the other hand, is snickering away at the scene unfolding, and Sasuke resolves that he will most definitely need to find some sort of revenge later on.
"Compared to me, no," Sasuke finally says. "But he's not captain for nothing."
Sakura smiles, holding out a knuckle to pound. Sasuke stares for a few moments, before allowing a tiny smile to form on his lips.
"To staying alive through today's practice!" Sakura says.
"To staying alive," Sasuke agrees, his knuckle lightly crashing against hers.
The two finally part ways, Sakura quickly making her way towards Naruto – who, like the idiot Sasuke believes him to be, is waving enthusiastically – and Sasuke taking off to catch up with the rest of the team, who is nearly finished with their first lap.
"'Ey, Captain! Who was that?" The whole team teases when Sasuke joins the group and catches up to Neji in the front of the pack. "Girlfriend, maybe?"
Sasuke speeds up and quickly turns around, effectively running backwards to glare at his team.
"You know, there's still time to run a mile, especially if we all run it under six minutes," he maliciously says.
This effectively shuts the whole varsity team up, and he returns to running normally, a smug smirk present on his lips.
She is beautiful when she runs. He watches her intently as she runs by, not paying any attention to his team and nothing else in the world. The way her eyes narrow in concentration, the way her movements are precise and perfect – he knows that she's given up many things to have excelled this far in her sport. He knows the pain and weakness she must have felt training to perfect something so impossible to perfect; he knows the sweat she's shed and the food she's given up. But most of all, he knows the passion she feels. He understands the passion that caused them both to perfect whatever was left to perfect in their sport; Sasuke knows it all, understands it all. Perhaps that is why he is so smitten with her, he muses. Perhaps this unconscious connection and similarity is what makes her much more interesting.
His eyes are glued to her, even when she pops in her iPod earphones, her head once more bobbing an unheard tune. He wonders what she's listening to, wonders if that song will be stuck in her head, much like her bright eyes and smile are stuck in his. She catches him staring, as if she has a sixth sense, and smiles, much like she had done yesterday. This time, however, he smirks back, before turning to his team and barking out orders.
"So, are you ready, Sakura?"
Naruto's voice startles Sakura, her eyes still watching Sasuke as he starts his team up for another day of practice. She removes one earphone from her ear and smiles.
"Yeah, I'm all stretched out."
"Okay, let's start. I hope you're completely focused, Sakura."
Naruto grins knowingly, and she blushes, turning away from the soccer team and completely turning off her iPod.
"Of course I'm completely focused!" She immediately says, her voice shy and tiny. "Let's get started."
He chuckles with reply.
By the time Sasuke is finished for practice, he is ready to pass out. Though he's used to such brutal practicing and the pain in his muscles, the fact that he did not sleep at all last night makes the pain infinitely worse, his eyes threatening to shut any moment. Naruto left right at the practice's end, apologizing to Sakura because he had promised to meet Hinata at the café once practice was over; Sakura, however, stayed behind, patiently sitting on the bench beside Sasuke's belongings, watching him stumble over with enormous difficulty.
When finally, he reaches the bench, he lies down, head resting on his sports bag, and closes his eyes. The energy is simply drained from him, and he knows he cannot walk up to the dormitories without a few moments of rest.
"We made it, Sasuke," Sakura softly says.
He realizes he can listen to her speak forever. He can listen to the highs and lows of her voice, imagine the facial expression on her beautiful face and the brightness of her eyes.
"Yeah," he finally says, his voice quickly trailing away. "We made it."
"Come on," she gently says, and he hears the sound of her sports bag dropping to the turf. He smells her interesting scent of strawberries, and he feels the warmth of her hands on his arm. "Get up. You'll be really sore later if you just pass out."
He does not reply. Instead, he finds that he wants her voice to fill the empty silence, fill him with some sort of calm and serenity. He bitterly muses that he's in it too far; that now she will always be an annoying song stuck in his head that he will forever know the lyrics to. The song that he will always repeat and never delete.
"Come on, Sasuke," she says again. "You can make it."
Sasuke finally opens his eyes, clashing with hers. The brightness of her own, green orbs, and her playful smile seems to take all breath away from him, and with defeat, he sits up, rubbing his face with his hands, much like a five-year-old.
"Let's go," Sakura softly says. "You have more in you."
Sasuke smirks, and slowly gets up, offering a hand to her. She gladly takes it, and he gently hoists her onto her feet. They both grab their things, and painfully make their way back to the dormitories, hands still linked together.
oh, i don't believe it
that i could be so deceiving
bringing you down to feel this
lack of loyalty
xx SAKURA : hey!
xx SAKURA : i knew i would regret practice. that was brutal. are you feeling okay now?
Sharingan: yeah. are you?
xx SAKURA : yeah. thanks (:
xx SAKURA : say, sasuke? have you ever dreamed of going to the Olympics?
Sharingan: yeah. have you?
xx SAKURA : yeah. it's my dream to go there! so i can prove to everyone that track & field is my passion, and i've done work to get there.
Sharingan: we'll go together.
xx SAKURA : (:
They are best friends, inseparable. She's the mysterious girl that Uchiha Sasuke associates with, socializes with, the girl with the interesting pink hair and the bright, green eyes. She's the girl every single girl is jealous of, the girl that every single girl talks about behind her back – about her outrageously sized forehead, about her dyed pink hair, about her fake, green eyes, about her malicious smile. But Haruno Sakura is also the mysterious girl that Uchiha Sasuke finds mesmerizing, with her natural, pink hair, her sincere, green eyes, and her most beautiful, genuine smile. She is the girl.
She is his best friend. Even though he's known her for one month, been smitten with her since day one, he knows she is his Something More. He loves the way she speaks, loves the way she can talk about absolutely nothing and find every amusing. He loves how she loves life; he loves how she smiles at nearly everything and anything. Sasuke knows it's not mere coincidence he meet her at the café every now and then at four in the morning, because both could not sleep. He knows it's not a coincidence when she seems to find him wherever he is, whether he out shopping for supplies or wandering around the campus. Sakura is his significant other. Sakura is her, and even though he knows he will never be able to admit it aloud, she's had him since day one.
And Sasuke knows that he really, really loves this girl.
xx SAKURA : do you know where Sasuke is? he's not picking up his phone.
RAMENKING! : no. why?
xx SAKURA : i was just curious. we were supposed to go hang out, and he said he would call me.
RAMENKING! : but sasuke wouldn't leave you hanging
xx SAKURA : ...i know. that's why i'm sorta worried.
RAMENKING ! : that is weird. i mean, sasuke
RAMENKING ! has entered text.
xx SAKURA : sasuke what?
RAMENKING ! has signed off.
Sakura never expected life to be interesting when she transferred to Konoha University. She never expected to meet Sasuke, to befriend him, and to fall in love with him. She never expected to love the way he looked at her and only her, to love how she is the only one – save his teammates, Naruto, and their various other friends – he speaks to like a normal person, the only one he smiles at and laughs with.
BODY: where are you? sakura's worried. :|
BODY: are you okay? where are you?
BODY: stop being such a bastard. seriously, sakura's worried. why are you leaving her hanging?
BODY: this is serious, sasuke. you're such a bastard.
BODY: you fucking douche! what the hell did you do?!
BODY: i really hate you. i'm sorry.
But most of all, she never expected to see him at the café, Yamanaka Ino inching closer to him, their lips nearly touching, when he told her that they were to hang out – to go on a date. She never expected him to cheat on her, to make her heart stop and tears fall from her eyes, and kiss a girl. And what hurts the most is to know that most of all, Sasuke is her best friend. They laughed together, smiled together, and wasted time together. But when their lips touch, she feels her heart breaking apart, because he's never once touched his lips to her own.
She saw it all, and she felt it all.
And she's sorry to know that feeling it all won't leave her anytime soon.
BODY: what the fuck, Sasuke? i thought you really loved sakura? what the fuck were you doing snogging away ino? like she needs another boy toy to fuck with. you better explain.
BODY: fuck, sakura saw that? fucking ino threw herself on me, and before i could kick her off, she fucking kissed me.
BODY: sakura, i'm sorry. let me explain. please.
BODY: damn right she fucking saw it. she ran right to my dorm, and let me tell you, sasuke, she looked really pitiful. you bastard.
BODY: i hate you.
BODY: sakura, i'm sorry. please, let me explain. please, sakura.
BODY: i hate you.
Naruto had to admit, Sasuke looked equally pitiful, sulking away in his dorm, his windows completely shut and his belongings in disarray.
"Hey, Bastard," Naruto says, taking a step into the messy door and quietly shutting it behind him. "I'm getting really tired of being the messenger between you two."
Sasuke was in no mood to argue, or even fight. His willpower was gone. Sakura was gone.
"All she needs is an explanation, Sasuke," Naruto continues, taking a seat on Sasuke's bed, disgusted at how messy it is, compared to his prim neatness.
Sasuke looks at Naruto, his onyx eyes empty, and the dark circles around his eyes red and puffy. The Uchiha everyone knew is completely gone; now, they are left with a pitiful shell stuffed with a broken soul. Why couldn't he find the strength to speak with Sakura, to tell her it was all a mistake – a misunderstanding? Why couldn't he swallow his pride and step out into the sunshine, to walk through the corridors and knock on her door, holding a bouquet of roses, and saying, "Sakura, I'm sorry. That kiss didn't mean anything, I didn't mean to kiss her. Ino is just a whore who pushed herself onto me. I'm sorry, Sakura. I love you. Please forgive me" ?
But he knows that those questions and scenarios are useless. Every moment he tries to gather his resolve, the sobs he heard when he stood outside of her door that day continue to play in his head – like a song, such a broken and pitiful song – and haunt him. Her bright eyes fade away from his vision, her smile no longer a smile; and in the moments of his most lonely and utter despair, he wonders if he will ever see her eyes and smile again. He wonders if he will ever see Sakura again.
God, what has he done?
"This is really sad, Sasuke," Naruto says, standing up from the bed. "Get yourself together."
He places a reassuring hand on his shoulder, his cerulean eyes shining with reassurance.
"If you love her, then chase after her, Sasuke."
don't blink don't close your eyes
and most of all, don't apologize
it's me who's got the demons
to wrestle now
Who is throwing rocks at her window at four in the morning? Who, in their right mind, would stay up until four in the morning, to throw stupid rocks at her window? There was only one person she's ever stayed up all night with, and that person has better things to do, she's sure. She angrily slams her ice cream on her desk, and stomps to her window. Four in the morning does not bring good moods.
"What the hell are the fucking doing – "
Her rant is stopped when her eyes register exactly who is throwing the rocks. Sasuke is standing beneath her window, staring up at her with his onyx eyes, determination shining. But she knows that his concentration is a front; she can see the outline of his puffy eyes through the dim, street lamp. It makes her heart stop and her breath catch in her throat to know that he's shed tears. Shed tears for her. In his hands are large posters, and she can barely make out the words through the tears forming at her eyes.
I'm sorry, Sakura.
The first poster falls to the ground.
I don't know about you, but I'm sick of crying.
I'm really sorry. I miss you.
I miss your eyes. I miss your smile.
I can't let you go anymore.
I can't put your stupid song –
the stupid song that's been stuck in my head since we first met –
On mute anymore.
I'm sorry this took so long.
I love you.
His eighth poster does not fall. Instead, he looks up to her with hopeful eyes, his lips formed in a weary smile.
"Sakura," he finally says, his words penetrating through the cold, morning air. "I'm sorry. I love you. Please come back."
Sakura does not think twice. She places a steady foot on her windowpane, and when he drops the eighth poster and holds his arms out, her second foot stands onto the windowpane, and with the powerful push of her legs, lands safely in his arms.
And finally, finally, their lips meet.
BODY: rise and shine!
Sasuke groans when his phone briefly vibrates on his nightstand, rubbing at his eyes. He hardly moves to take his phone off the nightstand to angrily text his best friend back, because beside him, Sakura still sleeps, her arms lazily slung across him, her head resting on his chest.
BODY: fuck you, naruto.
BODY: i didn't disturb anything, did i? :D
BODY: get your mind out of the gutter.
"Let me guess – Naruto?" Sakura sleepily asks, her green eyes staring intently into Sasuke's.
He smirks and nods.
Sakura laughs, and he feels the vibrations in his chest.
"Let's go to practice now," she suggests.
She leans forward and captures Sasuke's lips in a chaste kiss, before pulling away and getting out of his bed.
"I'll meet you outside of my room so I can get changed, okay?"
"You might as well move in," he grumbles.
"That'd be a good idea. To be honest, Sasuke, I would love to, but I'm not sure the university's authorities will let me."
Sasuke smirks, stretching his arms out and moving to his dresser, searching for clothes to workout in.
"I'll meet you there."
He doesn't know how it all moved so fast. The first day, he speaks to her, he notices her. The first day, he's already incredibly jealous when Naruto first speaks with her, knowing that Naruto full-well was head-over-heels in love with Hinata. The first day, he couldn't sleep, twisting and turning around in his bed, until giving up, and coincidentally meeting Sakura in the café at four in the morning. The second day, he watches as she sprints around the track, feels the passion in her eyes. The second day, he knows that she's a song in his head, repeating over and over, never meant to delete. One month later, they're best friends. They're misunderstood enemies. They share their first kiss. Two weeks later, she unofficially moves into his dorm. She sleeps beside him on his bed. Her even breathing is like a lullaby, and he is finally able to get a full night's rest.
And all along, he knows he has always really, really loved the song playing nonstop in his head.
you were a song in my head
the warmth of the sheets in my bed
a story forever told, but never old
a warm arrival never left so cold
"Good luck, Sasuke."
He looks at her nervously, one of the few moments in his life when he is ever nervous. Outside of the stadium is the largest crowd of people he has ever played in front of. Outside of the stadium is a soccer field, where he is playing for Konoha in the Olympics.
"Don't look at me like that, silly," she playfully says, successfully ridding him of some nerves. "You've played this game millions of times. You love this game. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, because you worked hard to get here, and you came to play."
The breaths come easier, and he tightly embraces her. She giggles and returns the embrace.
"Don't worry, Sasuke. I'll be watching."
"Thank you, Sakura."
And from Konoha's team...
He leans forward and kisses her, and she smiles.
Uchiha Sasuke –
"Go get 'em."
Throughout the whole game, there are two things he hears. The first are the yells and orders of his teammates. He finds it fortunate that of his star players from university were placed on the national team, with a few exceptions here and there. They are a family on the field, and without their yells of positions and plays, they still know in their heart where everyone will be on the field. But the loudest and most important is the song playing in his head – Sakura's words reassuring him, egging him on. This releases his nerves through all his kicks, keeps his heart calm through it all.
Every goal he makes, he knows Sakura is up in the stands, yelling as loud as she can. Even through the thousands of people yelling his name, it is only her voice he hears. And when the gold medal is placed around his neck, amidst all the yells of satisfaction and congratulations, he can hear her yell, "You finally did it!"
"Good luck, Sakura."
Now it is her turn to be incredibly nervous. She is underneath the stadium, underneath the booming crowd and right next to the track. Her heart beats rapidly against her chest, and she wonders how Sasuke ever handled it.
"Oh my god, I'm so nervous."
"Listen to your own advice, Sakura," Sasuke gently says. "You just came here to race. Show everyone that you did work to get here. Show them, Sakura."
She embraces him tightly, inhaling his strong scent, the nerves slowly fading away.
All 400 Meter sprinters, please report to the clerk of the course to check in and begin warm-ups. The Women's 400 Finals will commence in half and hour.
"I'll be at the finish line, Sakura," Sasuke says.
They share a quick kiss, and Sakura feels braver and more confident.
"Then I'll win," she says.
Sasuke smiles, and watches as she enters the large stadium, met with a loud chorus of applause.
When her race begins and the gun goes off, Sasuke realizes that the track is where she belongs. She has always been so beautiful and graceful, running on the track, her brows furrowed in concentration. And when she runs, every moment is of prim perfection, every motion of her hands and legs in perfect coordination and fluid motion.
She knows where he is. The other racers in the other lanes do not exist. Her eyes are firmly set ahead of her, and when she enters the homestretch, she knows where he is sitting. She sees him, cheering her on in the crowd, and what she's been training for all these years finally comes in the form of a large burst of energy. And when she hears his voice in her head, she pulls through the finish line first. And when the gold medal finally hangs around her neck, she laughs when he jumps from the stands and sprints towards her.
What's this, folks?
He takes her in his arms, twirling her around, both their medals dangling from their necks.
"I love you, Sasuke," she says.
"So then," Sasuke mischievously says, gently placing her on the floor once more. Her eyes widen when he drops down to one knee, an angelic smile on his lips. She feels tears brim at her eyes. "I'm sure you know you've had me at hello, Sakura. I'm sure you know your voice has become the song in my head, always on repeat and never to delete. This may not be as cute as when I held those eight posters for you, but will this ring be enough? So, will you officially move in with me, and marry me?"
Sorry, girls! It looks like Uchiha Sasuke's taken!
Sakura laughs and pulls him in an embrace.
"I'd be honored to," she whispers.
BODY: HOLY ASLDJK! YOU SNEAKY FOX! YOU NEVER TOLD ME YOU WERE PROPOSING TO HER HERE – ON NATIONAL TELEVISION – AT THE OLYMPICS!
BODY: i didn't know i was either. you know how that ring was burning a hole in my pocket for nearly three weeks.
BODY: you better get a move on, naruto. hinata's waiting (;
BODY: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TOP OFF A PROPOSAL ON NATIONAL TELEVISION?!
BODY: DIE AND BURN IN HELL, YOU BASTARD.
BODY: I really love you.
BODY: of course you do.
BODY: all the more reason to get a move on (;
Sasuke's life has moved so fast. He coincidentally met Sakura that day on the track while still at University, and fell in love with her at the spot. And even though they've been together for so many years, their love still hasn't faded. Their story retells itself over and over, but never grows old. Always, she has been the song playing in his head, repeating over and over, and offering him hope and a life to fully live.
"What are you humming over there?" Sakura asks, watching as he stretches his legs before beginning his workout. She is stretching beside him, preparing herself for a brutal day on the track, yet in all her years training with him, she's never heard him hum before.
"You were a song in my head,
The warmth of the sheets in my bed.
A story forever told, but never old
A warm arrival never left so cold..." Sasuke effectively sings.
Sakura smiles, her heart beating rapidly against her chest, her diamond ring shining brilliantly on her finger against the strong sunlight.
They both stand at the beginning of the lanes at the track. He agreed to sprint with her, if she agreed to play a game of soccer with him. And as they both start off, running towards a new beginning, the lyrics of her song and her sweet voice carry him across the finish line, and one chapter of their life together is finished. He continues running, not because the momentum carries him on, but because she has caught his hand, and they continue on together, running into the newest chapter of their lives, with her song playing endlessly in his head, carrying them both into the bright future.
HOLY COW. That was REALLY, REALLY LONG!
I'm not quite sure how I feel about my ending, but I do really like this fanfic, and I really hope you do, too! (:
Thank you all for your wonderful reviews.
I hope this one didn't disappoint!