Tisha, Advance Happy Birthday! Just in case hindi ko matapos yung talagang gift ko sana, eto na lang. One month early! Love you, girl!


Open your eyes and give me your word.
Open your eyes and give me eternity.


The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.

-Vladimir Nabokov


She stirred. Everything else was a blur but the warmth of the arms and body enveloping her.

"Sakura, open your eyes."

The woman found herself against a well-built chest and entrapped in a pair of firm arms. She inhaled his scent and a smile crept up her face.

"I miss you."

Giggling like a little girl, she wrapped her arms around his torso and snuggled deeper. "Silly. We're always together, Sasuke-kun. We're practically inseparable! Ino-pig had been nagging me about that ever since. How can you possibly miss me?"

Taking in one more deep breath of him, she propped herself up to lean against his shoulder. Her eyes were greeted by a vast blanket of green and the wind carried to her open palm little pink petals. Sakura realized they were in their favorite picnic place and training ground. They were currently under their sakura tree, the very witness as to how they made a family.

"Remember when Chisa had her first shuriken throw?" She felt a grumbling as he talked. Sakura stood up and had her hand scour the trunk of their tree.

"Ah, found it!" She exclaimed with much enthusiasm as she ran a hand over the mark left by the shuriken and the name and date carved beside it. "She never stopped bugging you to teach her how to throw them and have you buy her her own set." She pouted playfully with a hand on her waist, "Such a daddy's girl."

He let out a snicker and smiled, "Of course." Her musical laughter followed through as she stepped back to her place beside him.

He held her closer, tighter, and with a breath he said, "Tell Chisa to look at my bottom drawer closet."

"What?" She jumped out of his arms. "You're giving her that already?"

"Tell her I'm sorry I couldn't wait to give it to her on her birthday."

She eyed him quizzically. "You tell her! If I know any better, you just don't want people seeing your precious little daughter glomp you to death."

Obsidian eyes looked away, "Maybe."

In an instant, Sakura had her forehead on his. "You're not sick, are you?" And she was thrown to fits of laughter as they tackled with bouts of tickling fight.

Sakura gave up moments later and buried her face on his nape. Her body was to him, limbs entangled, and he was holding her like there was no tomorrow. She relaxed and closed her eyes, "I love you."

He had a serene smile on his face. "Sakura… When you wake up, promise me one thing…"

Her breathing became steady. "Anything."

A calloused but gentle hand rested on her womb. He swooped down and took her lips to his own.


"She's back!" There was a flurry of motions and the sound of paddles echoed, beeping machines, voices rang throughout. "Continue the blood transfusion, regulate her chakra, keep her stable!"

"Sakura-chan, open your eyes!" A pool of blue greeted her. "Oi! Don't leave us!"


"You want us to leave him there? You don't expect me to leave my husband in that hell, do you?!"

A determined but somehow apologetic eyes with tiger for a face replied, "I'm sorry Sakura-san, but it's been over a week. This mission is a failure; we will just send rescue teams to follow."

"The hell it is!" And she disappeared into the foliage.

Jaded orbs became blinded with white as pristine tears leaked out.


A hand squeezed her owns. Every single one in the room turned away from her inquiring eyes. More tears rolled down, but she kept herself from sobbing.

"How… how many days had he have been…" She couldn't bring herself to spat the word out.

The blond who owned the hand that squeezed hers was the one to answer. "The coroner said four or five days."

And everything fell down. Everyone mourned with her, for her. Ino weeping on Shikamaru's chest, Tenten clinging to Neji's hand, looking away, Lee keeping his head down, Tsunade holding her by the bedside, and Naruto clutching her hand in his, pathetically trying not to shed his tears. Even the dark, pouring skies were doing her a favor. Her cries, her screams, her misery, everything was being drowned and getting her drowned.

Her teacher and somehow mother shook her and took her shaking, raving figure into her arms and tried to calm her down. "Sakura, you have to be strong. You have to be strong for your children!"

She froze at her master's words. "Children?"

"You didn't know?" Tsunade's surprise matched her protégée's. "The baby survived with you. You're pregnant."

"Sakura… When you wake up, promise me one thing…"

Her breathing became steady. "Anything."

A calloused but gentle hand rested on her womb. He swooped down and took her lips to his own.


Moist returned to overflow her eyes and her sobs became steadier than her previous breakdown.

Everyone fell silent. As if the immeasurable weight of grief she has to carry wasn't enough.

"Chisa," she began with a murmur. "Where's my daughter?"

Naruto reached for her face and wiped her tears with his thumb, "Hinata has her outside, I'll get them." He tried a weak smile.

The couple soon entered with a little girl jumping out of Hinata's arms. "Mama!"

Sakura forced a smile. "How's my baby? Have you been a good girl?" She held her tightly.

"Yes, mama!" The little girl squatted by her side and paused. Little hands reached her and cleared her face of any remnants of her earlier waterworks, "I was a little scared, but I'm okay!" Her daughter's grin mirrored her once own wide grin. "You're gonna be okay too, right Mama?"

She had to smile through her tears. "Of course, baby." Mother and daughter both laid for a while as the people slowly vacated the room, giving the family their needed privacy.

"Chisa, baby…" She whispered in her hair, "I'm afraid we can't see Daddy anymore."

The little one hid her face from her mother and let herself be cocooned by her mother's arms. She buried her face in her chest, "Not ever?"

She couldn't stop the waterworks but she didn't dare sob. "I'm afraid so, Sa-chan." She kissed the top of the tiny, now shaking bop of head she held. "But he's always watching us."

Red pair of puffy eyes greeted her, "Really?" The mother cradled her child's face in her palm. "Really. How could he ignore his little girl? Papa even left us gifts…" She held the wailing child and let her cry as much as she could as her other palm drafted to her womb.

I will.

I love you, too.

The fairest things have fleetest end, their scent survives their close:
But the rose's scent is bitterness, to him that loved the rose.

-Francis Thompson


Review if you would. Constructive criticisms appreciated. Reasonable flames accepted.

Plot bunny strikes again. Amazing. Plot, story, words, I did in one day. Nothing compared to my big pile of plots and unfinished stories in my laptop. I guess really should do these things straight in one sitting. Strike whilst the iron is hot!

Fleeting © aPpLecHeRrY™ April 2009