Title: Suffering for her Sins

Rating: PG

Pairings or Characters: Lee, Sakura, sort of but not really LeeSaku

Warnings: angst, mentions character death

Word Count: 300

Everyone she has loved is gone. Sometimes in the dead of night she wakes trembling, reliving the moments when they were ripped away from her. She thinks she is still having a nightmare when only Lee is beside her. She moves away from him, pretending she can't hear him sigh and refusing to feel him reaching out to her, attempting to comfort her. As she shakes his hands off and rolls over, her heart stops aching.

Sakura doesn't want to hurt him, but often when she is hurting, grieving, she blames him for things that are not his fault- she even goes so far as to blame him for things that she has done herself. Still, he loves her and bears it with patient suffering.

It comes undone one day as she apologizes, taking his hand only for him to tear away, refusing or unable to forgive. It hurts-she sees it when she visits him that afternoon and he still cannot speak. Rather than apologize, she challenges him.

Lee denies her, as he always has, this request. She is suddenly resenting him for always protecting her. Every weakness or doubt ever felt, every failure, worst of all the deaths of her most precious people, are laid on his head right then. She refuses his love as long as he refuses her this- and it is one of the worst fights she has ever been through. It only ends when she leads him from the battleground, a lost, broken animal. The healing is done in complete silence- first his wounds, then hers, and they part ways. His worst wound remains unhealed.

Weeks later Sakura sees him off on a long mission to Suna, standing silently as Lee escapes, her guilt and pain going with him. Somehow, all she feels is emptiness.