Author's note : This is a small one-shot I wrote for the SasuSaku FC fanfiction contest over at Naruto Forums. I thought the prompts (short stanzas by Robert Frost) were really amazing.

For those wondering when Scar Tissue will be updated, it should come early next week. I simply haven't had time to rework my drafts this week because I'm swamped with work. Thanks for your patience!


Heaven gives its glimpses only to those

Not in position to look too close.

--from A Passing Glimpse

He had never been one to sleep very well. His dreams were always interrupted by bouts of lucidity, slow waking up, tossing and turning in the hot, dry sheets. Admittedly, this nightly unrest had gotten worse over the years, but it was never quite so bad as when she was around.

Sakura was a peaceful sleeper, and Sasuke watched her in the dim flare of the moonlight. Her pale skin, her hair fanned out on the pillow, strangely colourless against the blue of the night, her slim, vulnerable neck. Sometimes he stared at her for so long it felt to him that it had to wake her up, and that under her closed lids, she was simply pretending to sleep. Yet when he slipped his hand over the tender flesh of her breast, her heart was beating normally – languidly, even.

She was always agitated around him in the daylight, either carefully gauging his every reaction or spurring him into confrontation. It reassured him, this lack of a comfort zone between them. He'd come back to find Sakura changed: she was stronger, more confident, and unafraid to speak her mind. A whole different side of her that had been crouching in her mind had broken through the surface, and at times it unsettled him so much he sought out the one he remembered, the one who looked at him with pleading in her bright green eyes, and had offered him a little girl's jarring devotion instead of revenge.

He wanted to believe she would try to hold him back again if he left.

There was still pleading in her eyes at times – a darker, more urgent appeal that fuelled his own need, and brought them both to frenzy – but the closer they became, the more pains she took into hiding it. He knew Sakura loved him, unconditionally so, but there was a part of herself she drew back from him now, that could never quite be his. Even as her trust in him was slowly rebuilding, he could sense that somewhere in her mind, she would always consider the possibility of him changing his mind once more, and abandoning her.

Sasuke wanted to make it disappear. He wanted her fresh and unsuspecting and fully given to him. Not being to possess her in whole, living with even the slightest chance that she could slip away, made his blood boil and his chest contract to the point of pain. So he taunted her, excited her, wove a thread of uncertainty around their relationship so as to constantly defy her into coming back for more.

Most nights, she left her door open for him. Other times, she locked it, and Sasuke almost liked it better that way - he could see things from a better angle, appraise his luck, make vague plans of future glory and achievement. When he was holding her in his arms, engulfed in the scent of her skin, fingers wound in her tousled, sweat-drenched hair, he lost all measure of control or reality, and those three irretrievable words were constantly threatening to slide off his tongue.

"I want you," he whispered in the darkness to her sleeping form, his lips moving against her neck. "Sakura, I want you…"

She stirred, her body responding before her mind did, and finally opened her eyes to find him towering over her.

He could see a moment's uncertainty written on her features, as if she couldn't decide whether this was a dream or not. Then he could see her remembering her own weakness – the door left open, despite a string of well-intended resolutions.

"What is it?" she murmured. "I was asleep…"

He would kiss her before she could close her eyes again. He would come down on her relentlessly, and she'd try to stop him until she wouldn't be able to stop herself. He would successfully tear her away from her dreams and anything else in her mind that wasn't him. He would grab her and squeeze her and dig his fingernails into her wrists to pin her down. She would groan in his ear that he was hurting her, but by that time the pain would be a part of the pleasure.

Sasuke gently brushed a feathery lock away from her forehead. She was so beautiful, lying underneath him. Every time he looked at her, he wished with bitter longing that it could be the first, because then perhaps he wouldn't feel so trapped.

Then again, he thought as he brought her mouth up to his, one look was all it might take. Sakura was a promise of heaven from afar, and his own personal hell, but Sasuke had never been one to seek out happy endings.