Hi everyone! I haven't died, I've just been busy, so I'm sorry for the lack of anything. This idea randomly popped into my head at 3 in the morning, so if it seems weird, that's probably why. There is some implied SasuSaku and OroTsu, but it is not enough to where you would hate it if you hate those couples. Enjoy!
It had all started out like a normal day. Tsunade was sitting behind her desk, filling out paperwork, and Sakura was off reading some medical tome. Tsunade has no reasons to suspect that this day would be any different from the last one. She had papers to fill out yesterday, Shizune was delivering more said papers, and Sakura was pouring over books yesterday.
Tsunade was just starting to get absorbed in her work when there was a tentative knock. She found this rather odd, as very few people were so open with their nervousness. She didn't consider herself that scary. "Come in." She might have said this only slightly more kindly than usual, for the person on the other side of the door's sake.
A pink haired head popped into the space between the door and the wall before she opened the door fully. Sakura stood slightly hunched over and her emerald orbs showing her timidness like a book. "I have finished the last book you asked me to read." There was an edge of sadness to her voice, and Tsunade knew it didn't have anything to do with the fact that she finished her book. If anything, she should feel proud, but that wasn't an emotion Sakura exercised regularly.
"You finished faster than I expected. Good work." Tsunade hadn't looked up from her work, but had not said this unkindly. When you had the mountains of papers she did, every second was precious.
"What would you like me to do now, shishou?" The sadness hadn't left her voice and she was fidgeting uncertainly now while looking at her feet. She held her arms behind her back in a feeble attempt to make them stay still.
Now Tsunade looked up from her work when she heard that the melancholy tone hadn't changed. She dumped the papers in her arms onto her desk with a small thump and looked at Sakura with a small sigh. " Sakura, what's wrong?" She didn't bother hiding the concern in her voice.
Sakura started to mutter that everything was fine, but crumbled under her master's stare. She slouched even lower and dropped the façade. " It was a year ago today," she mumbled. "Nothing I've done has made any difference."
Tsunade didn't have to ask what happened a year ago. She knew Sakura was talking about the night Sasuke left. It was like how she knew exactly why Sakura had wanted to be her student without her ever having to say so. Obviously Sakura was still torn up about it. Naruto also failed in convincing Sasuke to come back, though he wasn't there when he actually left.
The girl looked like she was about ready to cry if someone even gave her a look that could be interpreted to be negative. She was so easily breakable; so fragile, as though even the wind could shatter her. It was a truly heart-wrenching sight. No wonder the Uchiha had kept his back turned from her the entire time.
" Sakura, you have improved so much since you became a genin. It's made all the difference in the world." When this appeared to have no comforting affect on Sakura at all, Tsunade raised her hand and motioned for Sakura to sit on one of the sofas in the room. The training medic looked surprised but did as she was told without question. As she did so, Tsunade rummaged through one of her drawers and pulled out a simple white bottle bearing one kanji that was very familiar to her, and two small cups. She walked over to where Sakura was and sat down next to her and placed the bottle and cups on the table. Sakura watched in silence.
"You still love him huh?" Tsunade sounded bemused; she was not scoffing the young teen.
"More than the entire world." It was the surest Sakura had sounded all day. "I did offer to go with him if he refused to stay."
Tsunade sighed again and poured out the sake into the two cups. She took one for herself and handed one to Sakura. The girl looked at her shishou for a second with a skeptical look, but took the cup anyway and had a sip. "I understand exactly how you feel Sakura." Sakura looked at her slowly, not really believing the Hokage. Tsunade wasn't surprised. She didn't doubt that everyone had said that to her, and she had reason to doubt that anyone understood. "Orochimaru left me."
This wasn't news to Sakura, so the lack of significant response was not unexpected. " Yes, but you didn't love him," she said, sadness leaking out in waves, "I loved Sasuke-kun with my entire being, and I still do."
Tsunade just gave her a small smile and shook her head before raising the sake to her lips. " What makes you say that?" She paused briefly to drink her sake and to refill her cup. "He wasn't like he is now when we were genin." She wore a nostalgic expression now and stared into space.
Sakura set her empty cup down and began to refill it also. "Were you there when he left, shishou?" She asked this gently, not wanting to disrupt this odd moment they were having. The only other time anything like this had happened was when she first began training under Tsunade, and she had asked Sakura what had happened. Tsunade needed the information so she had been a bit more businesslike than now, and had not disclosed anything on her and Orochimaru.
"No I wasn't," she replied with a sigh. " I was always hard on myself because of that. I didn't even have the chance to try to dissuade him." When she saw how hard Sakura had been affected by Sasuke's betrayal, Tsunade wasn't sure if being there was actually any better. Fate had been cruel to the both of them. " I loved him more than anyone could possibly know," she said finally and drank another cup of sake.
Sakura snapped her head over to Tsunade, but she didn't reveal anything with her facial expression. Then she looked down at her lap and mutter, "I guess you really do understand."
Tsunade gave her a gentle smile. "His hair was the most glorious thing. I was always amazed at how he found time in-between training to make it so feather soft and glossy." She slowly set her cup down before turning to Sakura, "Have you ever felt Sasuke's hair?"
Oddly enough, Sakura turned a bit pink at this. She took a drink of her sake before answering, "Yes, when Sasuke-kun first received the cursed seal, he was completely out of it. I would often stroke his hair, and revel in its silkiness. Before when he was conscious, he was even holding my hand, so I knew he really wasn't in much control of his actions." Her conclusion was a sad one as she remembered the incident. She had avoided using Orochimaru's name, incase that offended the Hokage. Suddenly realizing something odd about what Tsunade had said she asked, "When did you touch his hair?"
Tsunade gave a tinkling laugh at the question. Sakura was a sharp girl and never missed a thing. "Anytime we were on a mission and we were gone long enough to be sleeping, I would always sneak into the boys' tent when they were asleep, and sit there for a good half hour running my fingers through his hair." She looked a bit guilty at the memory. " Being a shinobi, he probably knew exactly what I was doing, but he never stopped me, or asked me about it."
Sakura refilled her glass again and looked at Tsunade with a calculating look. "You know, he might've thought it was Jiraiya-sama, since they were in the same ten," she reasoned. Tsunade looked at her with realization in her eyes.
"I never thought about that," she laughed. "That is very possible!" The two women laughed together at this little joke.
"Did he ever insult you, shishou?"
Laughter now gone, Tsunade looked at her apprentice. Obviously she would wonder, after what Sasuke had put her through. "Verbally no," she started, "But anytime I failed at something, he would just give he this piercing stare that filled me with such disappointment." Tsunade took another sip of sake before asking Sakura a question of her own. "Why, did Sasuke ever say anything to you?"
Much to the alarm of Tsunade, Sakura began trembling with silent sobs and tears started to stream down her face, leaving dirty trails in their wake. "Yes, quite often," she replied with her voice shaking. "He said I was annoying, and his disapproval of me was almost tangible, but then at other times he would be quite nice to me, and even complimented me in public once." She drank some sake and sighed at the relief it brought.
This didn't really sound the Uchiha Tsunade was familiar with. The insults sounded just like him, but she couldn't imagine him saying a sincere compliment to anyone in private, let alone publicly. "Oh, really? What did he say?"
Sakura smiled a bit at the memory. She had been so upset walking into the academy for the Chuunin Exams that day. He must've picked up on it, and that made her truly happy. "We were going to the Chuunin Exams, and there were two older boys blocking the entrance to the room," she began with a small smile on her face. "Sasuke-kun noticed that there was a genjutsu, but didn't really say so to anyone. He turned to me, and actually smiled, then asked me if I had noticed and said I should have first." She took another sip of sake and continued. "I just gave him a confused look, and he turned away from me and looked at the boys again before saying that my analytical skills and genjutsu know-how were the best on our team. Then he let me take the pride in explaining the genjutsu." Her eyes look glazed over and now she was staring into space.
Sake bottle finished, Tsunade gathered the girl up into her arms, and gave her a tight hug. She ran her fingers through the petal pink hair that Sakura prized so much, the same hair she had given up to save Sasuke and Naruto. Now she had let it grow back out, and she also managed to find time in-between training to take care of it. Sakura had been surprised by the sudden warm gesture and wrapped her arms around her shishou in return. Tsunade gently wiped the tears from Sakura's eyes with her dark green jacket that bore the symbol Tsunade was infamous for on the back. "Sakura, train your hardest and never give up on him. He still has a chance of coming back onto the right side." She looked her rather sternly in the eyes, the hazel in them glinting. "Don't make the same mistake I did. Go to the training grounds; I'll be down there in a minute." Tsunade let go of the petite figure in her arms and gave her a little shove towards the door.
Sakura stood and did not waver on her feet, despite having the amount alcohol she did. She walked to the door and opened it and was about to walk out, when she turned around to face Tsunade. "Domo argiato gozaimasu, shishou."
Tsunade glanced at her while picking up the now empty sake bottle. " You're very welcome Sakura. It's nice having someone around that understands me as well."
Ok, so why on earth is there implied OroTsu? Because I like it. I've always thought it made sense, and it goes along with the SasuSaku. I've thought that Sakura and Tsunade must've had some bonding time, and she was bound to tell Tsunade about Sasuke, so that created this. Please review and tell me what you think!