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Scattered Clouds, Disappearing Mist

Prologue

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Sasuke Uchiha stared over the edge, unmoving, unbelieving. The sun was cruel and hot overhead, bearing down on him, heating his already flushed skin underneath the green vest and black net shirt plastered to his body.

But he didn't feel it.

A calming breeze brushed through his raven hair, teasing the gravity-defiant strands with a gentle wind not too warm but not too cold. It swept his long bangs into his onyx eyes and across his chin, making him blink at the sudden invasion.

But he didn't feel it.

Not the sun chastising his back, nor the wind attacking his scalp, not even the feel of the various rocks and pebbles grinding against his body as he lay against the earth.

There was nothing.

Only the blank chasm of the empty canyon before him, with the blue outline of a river far down below.

He stared forward, unseeing, drifting in and out of conscious.

That damned space; that emptiness.

It was taunting him to go over the edge, to end the pain.

One hand gripped the side of the cliff near his shoulder, disrupting the gravel but not stopping, even as his nails began to bleed under the assailing sharp rocks they were digging into. The other reached down into the chasm, hoping to grab what wasn't there anymore.

Sasuke stared at that hand, that one thing before him that his mind could register, and traced the familiar arches and curves.

He knew his hands well. Each callous showed him the proof that he had forced them to be strong and lithe, quick and nimble; able to pull a kunai out of his pocket in a split second, then block half a moment later. He knew his hands. He had trained them to always be firm and confident, to lead him into the thick of battle, to spring into action before his mind reacted, to do what they had to do and do to do it right the first time. He knew his hands. They had never led him astray. They were always what he had trained them to be, even when he didn't need them to be.

For the first time in his life, Sasuke's hands had failed him.

The Uchiha stared at the outstretched fingers, traced the throbbing tendons and past the split joints, towards the cracked nails. Crimson splotches peppered his fingertips, smeared his palm.

Her blood.

He fought the urge to scream.

He lifted his gaze once more to the dark void before him where she had been, not moments before. He stared at nothing with intent, as though he were trying to memorize it, to emboss every detail into his brain. Details he could see, but wasn't seeing.

Instead, Sasuke found himself staring down into deep emerald eyes, those very same eyes that have been haunting him for almost four years. Those eyes that used to annoy him so with their happiness; that crushed him with their emptiness. Those eyes that, after so many years of causing him pain, finally rose to meet his own, soft with defeat and peace instead of blazing with determination and hidden agony.

Those eyes that, in one moment, showed him something he had wanted to see for so long.

Forgiveness, even though he had failed her.

His gaze slowly shifted back to his wandering hand, slightly amazed that it was now binding tightly into a fist. He was aware of its action, but he watched it in fascination, not comprehending that he was moving it, just that it was moving on its own. Pain sliced across his palm and flinched slightly, small beads of red sliding down from under his attacking nails.

Nothing.

Just her calm face, a small relieved smile gracing her lips because she knew it was finally over.

She was silent, even as he was loosing grip, even as the canyon echoed his pleas for her to hold on, to lift up her other hand and pull herself up.

No sound, even as her fingers stopped gripping his own and slid down his hand in a trail of scarlet.

No sound, even as she fell into the chasm below, as the river swallowed her up.

Nothing.

Slowly, carefully, Sasuke pulled his hand back to himself.

It had taken four years to mend his wounded heart, and now he could feel it shattering and falling into the canyon in a million pieces, leaving him with nothing but an empty hole in his chest.

The sensation was so painfully familiar his voice broke in his throat, making a smothered noise he didn't recognize as his own.

Silence had claimed him once she had slipped from him, and his world ceased meaning.

But now it was coming alive, and he felt a terrible pain, far greater than any pain he had ever been exposed to.

His fist opened and closed in front of his face, the movements jerky as a rage flared up within him.

A shinobi must never show emotion…

Sasuke closed his burning eyes tightly and slammed his fist into the canyon wall, the sheer force of it shattering the rock and sending it down in a shower of broken fragments.

"Sakura… Sakura…"

It is a weakness…

Then he screamed, his throat ripping and bleeding, chocking his voice down and strangling him, but he yelled harder against the pain, even as tears were wrenched from his eyes in the agony.

"SAKURA!"

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Unsan Musho = Scattered clouds, disappearing mist --- Disappear without a trace ;)

(A/N: Woot, my first Naruto story ever! :3 Now this probably makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but it will, me promise! ;3 Until next time! R&R plz!)