A/N: Naruto isn't mine! He belongs to the great Masashi Kishimoto.
Some nights she dreams of all the lives they've ever lived.
She sees them in vivid colours, flashes so real she could swear she was reliving them all over again. She sees him, the only face she's never really able to see clearly; like peering into a dirty mirror, or blurry, like a faded photograph. She never sees his face, but it is fine, because she knows that whenever she sees him (but only ever in her dreams) she is happy, and so is he, and they are together – and maybe that is all that really matters in the end. And then, then (like the tolling of the bell that bring her to her senses) she sees blood, kind of like his eyes, but only she's never seen his eyes but she remembers it from so long ago, she thinks, and the blood is everywhere and she can't clean it off and she sees him and he isn't moving and then there is only black.
Some mornings she wakes up wondering why there are tear tracks on her cheeks and why her heart feels hollow (like pining for a lost love, maybe, hmmm?).
She brushes the feeling off because it's one she has had many times before, so it doesn't matter because it always passes (only it never really does) and she has to get ready for work or she'll be late. She boards the subway and sometimes, sometimes she swears she recognizes that blinding yellow flash with a smile brighter than sunlight and eyes bluer than the sky or that figure in the corner with the ashen mop and face half-hidden and probably late, but then the feeling goes away and she's left feeling startled.
Some days she walks into her office and sees her boss, standing there so stoic and calm and untouchable, with his eyes so black like the purest obsidian and she can't help but think that his eyes should be red but then she shakes her head and continues with her work.
Occasionally when she unexpectedly meets him in the pantry or at the photocopier or someplace else she can't help but feel as if she has seen him somewhere before (like maybe in her dreams, no?) and just as she is about to ask him her mind is blank and she is left staring into hard, unfeeling eyes. When his hand accidentally brushes hers when she reaches for her copies she gasps and sucks in a breath and wonders why his touch is so familiar, like his voice and his eyes and then he turns and walks away.
She doesn't know why it hurts so much when he announces his upcoming engagement (and not with her, no, as memories she cannot recall scream) at the office party when she has never gone out with him before, much less talked to him on a personal level. She cries herself to sleep that night.
The next day her heart is uneasy as she walks into the office, the tension in the air is so thick it is choking her and she feels as if something really bad (like blood and grief and loss) is going to happen. Then he walks into the office, his pale skin almost-glowing and abnormally long tongue darting out to lick his lips as he stares at her and asks to see Uchiha-sama for the ten o'clock appointment. Her heart clenches in fear and she never breathes easy for the rest of the day even after Orochimaru-san leaves (because he has never really left, even after all these centuries).
She is shocked when Uchiha-sama storms out of his office and drags her into his car and drives off when it is still office hours and shouldn't he be getting ready for his wedding that is in a few days? She starts to question him but he silences her with a look (that he always used to give but she always ignored then) so she doesn't try again. He stops on a hill overlooking the entire city and they get out and she thinks that maybe she has been here before, then he speaks.
"You don't remember, do you?"
She doesn't know what he is talking about although somewhere her heart begs her to remember, even if it is just a little bit but she has gone so long ignoring that part of her so she quashes it and shakes her head. She wonders if Uchiha-sama is going a little mad, because she cannot (does not want to) remember ever sharing anything, much less conversing, with him before. He seems slightly frustrated by her blank look, then he comes over to her and she is too shocked to do anything when he grabs her shoulders roughly and kisses her.
Their kiss is not a fairytale kiss, and it has no fireworks or sparkles or warm gushy feelings, just remembering and images (so real, how can they be so real?) and tragedy and never-happy endings.
Like a dam that has been unblocked, she can remember Japan when he was a samurai and she was a princess and she was betrothed to save her kingdom and she was murdered by an assassin and he was killed for treason and England when he was King and she was a healer's daughter and their brief affair left her pregnant and hanged for seducing His Majesty and he married a distant relative and – she can recall every life they've ever been through in detail, each one so painful and sad and tragic and some that are worse than others because they were so close, so close to their happy ending that she can almost cry but then she doesn't because she's Sakura and he's Sasuke and they've dealt with it for so many years so why can't she now?
It's better, she thinks, this time round, because this time she's just her and he's just him and not His Royal Highness Sasuke or Geisha Sakura or Mercenary Sasuke or Healer Sakura. She glances up at him and sees him with that half-smile of his, the one that she's seen over so many lifetimes, only this time it's not forced.
He presses a ring into her palm, the same one that he's always given her even when it wasn't practice to do so (because he wanted her to have something to remember him by) and she slips it onto her finger and she prays, not for the first time in her many lifetimes that this time it'll go fine even if there still is Orochimaru and Akatsuki and come what may, this time she's just Sakura and he's just Sasuke and maybe, maybe it'll be enough.
She wonders why this time it's different, why the Heavens are giving them peace and happiness and mercy when all they've done is take everything they had away and he answers that this is the hundred and first cycle. She doesn't get the significance of that until a while later (because after all a hundred cycles before is a lot of remember) and she cries and laughs until she cannot differentiate between the two and he sits there quietly with his arm around her.
She remembers that they were exiled from the Heavens because angels weren't supposed to fall in love and they did and Kami-sama, he was so angry and he punished them and they were to go through a hundred lifetimes of tragedy and pain and hurt to see what love was really like, and before their punishment was executed they made a vow to endure the lifetimes and seek revenge on the Heavens and now, now she isn't so sure if she wants revenge because she's just so tired and sick of it.
Sasuke understands, the quiet way he always has and he gives her a hand up and when he kisses her, it's still not a fairytale kiss because it's so much more, theirs is two tortured souls finally finding peace, two tragic lovers finally granted their shot at a happy ending, but most of all, theirs is two halves of the same whole finally uniting as one and maybe they won't get their perfect storybook life but in the end, all that really matters is that they'll get their happily-ever-after and that's enough for both of them.
She breaks their kiss and extends a hand to him.
"Come on, the Sun's still shining!"
He looks at her smile, so radiant it could outshine the sun and yes, he thinks, maybe it always has been.
END! :D review?