A mild-ish SasuSaku one.

I have to warn you that there is a significant plotline in here which will never come true. But, then again, this is just a story so yeah.
In this story, I'm trying to make use of staccato sentences, and frequent breaks. Has it worked? Maybe.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Title is inspired by Snow White.
Word Count: 2,245. I think.

...


POISON APPLES

(i)

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He never did like other guys around Sakura. Especially when they were dressed in paramedic uniforms.

---

He watched the doors of the operating theatre as they tried to save her.

As they tried to keep her from reaching the light.

Even though she was the one of the best medics in Konoha, she couldn't even save herself. Sasuke hated irony. And he hated her.
He hated her even more now he realized that she was on the verge of potentially leaving him forever.

Sasuke didn't exactly know how it all happened. It just happened so fast. Too fast.
And there was nothing he could do nothing about it.

He remembered that day when he was leaving Konoha, and how she had confessed her love for him. In a strange way, it kept his hopes up.

But, she had broken her promise. The promise that she would be with him always.

"Where's that promise now, Sakura?" he asked to no-one in particular, clenching his fists.
He felt as though the air was suffocating him. He didn't mind though; but, he didn't know why.

Shadow fell across him and he looked up. Naruto and Kakashi stood there, their eyes bloodshot and their bodies fatigued. It was obvious neither of them had gotten any sleep.

"How is she? Is there any news?" Kakashi asked Sasuke, rubbing his eye and adjusting his mask, whilst settling down in the chair next to him.

Sasuke shook his head. "She's still in surgery. No-one's come out yet."

As if on cue, a surgeon dressed in green scrubs and a face mask walked out of the swing doors leading to the operating theatre.
He approached the two of them and inquired, "Haruno-san's family?"

All of them nodded. There was no point in telling the doctor that Sakura's real family was long gone.

The medic introduced himself. "I'm Hanazawa Satoshi, the head medic in charge of Haruno-san, along with Shizune-san and Tsunade-sama."

"What's the situation with Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked, unnaturally calm, only his fingernails digging into his palms giving away his anxiety.

The surgeon sighed, his thick glasses reflecting the bright lights and obscuring his eyes. "Well, she survived the surgery. Barely. It was touch and go."
Sasuke sifted through his words and latched onto those he wanted to hear.
"She survived? She's going to be alright?"

The surgeon shifted uncomfortably. He had been standing for a long time, bending over the almost-broken body of a young woman, trying to fix and rearrange, stitch and join.
It was exhausting, but he would've rather gone through the whole thing again than discuss a critical case with relatives.

Sasuke found himself staring into the somber eyes of the surgeon.

"I'm afraid there isn't good news." Sasuke didn't react. His mind was still expecting the person before him to elaborate. The surgeon continued.

"It's too early to tell but-"

"What?! Are you kidding me?! It's been almost 3 and a half weeks! How could you not know?!" Naruto demanded, disbelief evident through his words.
Sasuke and Kakashi's thoughts mirrored his outward questions.

"She sustained a lot of injuries; including a ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, dislocated shoulder, a few broken bones, including all the fingers in her right hand.
And that's not the worst of it."

Naruto closed his eyes and tried to imagine the pain Sakura was going through. How could so much damage be done to such a petite woman?
Even though he knew only too well about her remarkable strength, he still couldn't understand it.

Sasuke and Kakashi, on the other hand, knew exactly how she had received each of the injuries mentioned. It was blatantly obvious why she had broken her fingers; who wouldn't have when punching through boulders, rocks, the ground and most of all, faces. Or more specifically, Madara's face.

Both men could remember the fight only too well.
It had almost been too surreal, and Sasuke could barely believe what he was seeing. A small-made, pink-haired girl fighting a tall, brute of a man was certainly not something you'd see every day. But it had happened. And it was the reason why she was in hospital.

They all looked at the crimson blood clashing with the green overalls of the surgeon and both felt physically sick. That was their beloved Sakura's blood, all over this man.
Sasuke could taste the bile at the back of his throat and he felt choked.
Both Naruto and Kakashi were in obviously the same type of predicament.

The medic could not meet their eyes, and he found himself looking down at his blood-spattered footwear.
"It's a bit of a Catch-22 situation. We need to keep her heavily sedated or the shock may overcome her body."

In other words, Sakura cannot wake up or she will die. Again, irony.

"Where and when can we see her?" Kakashi asked.

"She's still in there." The medic jerked his head backwards towards the operating theatre doors. "However she'll be back in the ICU in a couple of hours. So, if you want to come back later-"

"We'll wait." Sasuke interrupted. Kakashi and Naruto looked over at him, slightly surprised.
"For however long it takes, we'll wait until we see her."

Kakashi couldn't help but feel a flicker of understanding for Sasuke, and he smiled through his mask slightly.
"Yeah, we will. So whenever she's ready, we'll be here." Naruto agreed, his cerulean eyes softening. However, he still had to bite his bottom lip to keep from screaming with the black, spinning horror of it all.

The medic pursed his lips at their hint of optimism. Then, he said warningly, "She'll be unconscious and won't look good. Don't be too surprised or upset by that."

"We've seen worse." Sasuke said pointingly. Then he looked into the medic's eyes.
"You know that too, don't you, Hanazawa?"
The medic said nothing. But it was obvious that he knew exactly what Sasuke meant. It was true after all.
All three of the people before him have seen much, much worse horrors; more so than he has or ever will. Still, in Sasuke's mind, this was one of the worst.

So, unable to say anymore, the medic raised his hand in a gesture of nervous leave and disappeared into the inner recesses of the hospital.


...

"Sasuke."

Said person didn't turn his head towards Naruto's call.

"…How are you doing?" Naruto asked, then realizing the stupidity of his question.

"How the hell do you think I'm doing, dobe?" Sasuke replied, his eyes narrowing.
They were all still outside the ICU and had beem for nearly 4 and a half hours, waiting for the call and the moment when they could finally see Sakura. A battered, fragile shell of a Sakura, but Sakura nonetheless.

"He's only trying to help, Sasuke." Kakashi interjected, opening the one eye not covered.

"…Aa."

Naruto rolled his eyes. Even when Sasuke was gripped with anxiety, he still had a pole stuck up somewhere unpleasant and the same vocabulary of an anti-social ice cube.

But, Naruto certainly understood that Sasuke was hurting; perhaps even more than both himself and Kakashi. Sakura's… situation affected him. Badly.
He and Kakashi understood his reaction, fluctuating between hidden anger and despair.
Naruto doubted his best friend could look more deathly pale if he was swinging at the end of a rope.

The silence of the room slowly grew until it became bigger than all of them, leaving a thick fog of unuttered words. Finally, unable to take this steely silence, Naruto banged his fist in frustration against the wall he was leaning against. A visible hole was there, with pieces of white plaster falling off the jagged mini-crater left from the force of the punch. Sasuke and Kakashi didn't even flinch. They already knew this was his way of dealing with impatience.

Kakashi dealt with his misery quietly. It had also been a blow to his heart that his former student was on the verge of…. He couldn't even finish the thought.
He looked down at his hands, and he noticed they were trembling. Even without outward expressions, his body language showed it all, and he couldn't control it.

Finally, more than after 15 agonising minutes, nurses came into the room and announced that they were now able to see Sakura Haruno.

All three men stiffened visibly, composed themselves, and entered the ICU.


What they found was Sakura. Their Sakura. Or at least, what was left of her.

The sight of her frail body, lying on the deathly white covers of the bed, was almost too shocking for Sasuke to bear.

It was as if he could barely breathe. He stood by the side of the bed, looking down at her face, barely recognizing her. Naruto collapsed onto his knees by the other side of her bed, whilst Kakashi just stood at the end of the bed, looking out the window, eyes closed.
His lower lip was trembling.

Sakura's condition was indescribable, and all of them, especially Sasuke, was terrified, though he hid it.
Her chest was constricted, her movements slow and uncoordinated. Almost her whole body had been wrapped in bandages.
The skin on her face was stretched taut over the bones, and one of her eyes was also covered with dressings; but remarkably, the rest was relatively untouched, only with a few scratches and bruises, but mouth still covered with an oxygen mask.

The sight of her made Sasuke realise just how much she meant to him and how much he needed her. When he returned, after killing his brother, she became his 'rock' almost.
He realized that everything he needed and wanted was right there in front of his eyes.

And he was happy, for a while. That is, until, Madara came.
Everything went downhill from there.


Sasuke almost smirked when he remembered times when other guys would try and ask Sakura out on a date. She would politely decline but if any one of them persisted too much,
she would show them a piece of her mind. And her fist, if necessary. And of course, there was Sasuke; who was always silently watching her.
Of course he would never outwardly admit his feelings, but he did little things.
Like perhaps hwalking her home or eating ramen with her (and Naruto, of course.)

Soon, it became apparent that both had mutual feelings for each other. But, it had got to a stage where neither needed to fully admit their feelings for each other, and Sasuke appreciated this. There were times when Sakura would smile and almost-sort-of confirm their now-more-than-friends relationship; a kiss on the cheek or a simple gesture of holding hands. Sasuke rarely did any of this, but when he did, he meant it and he knew Sakura knew this too. It was almost reassuring for Sasuke once he knew that she hadn't stopped loving him.

They accepted their bond and moved on. Naruto did too.
After Hinata openly showed her feelings for Naruto, he smiled and accepted them. He had long gotten over his crush and first love; now only thinking of her as someone very special and more of a sister.
He stopped his flirtatious acts as soon as he realized this. He also began to understand Sakura's bond with Sasuke, and he became content with the fact that he wasn't the one for her.

Hinata will never be like Sakura, and he liked this fact. He now had her; and she was all he needed.

As for Kakashi, he long knew what would happen between Sakura and Sasuke; but only after he found out that she tried to stop him leaving. He watched her grow; out of the young, naive and immature nature into a strong, independent woman. A freakishly strong one at that, and with medical skills to boot.
He couldn't help but chuckle once he realised that they had become a couple.
They were as different as earth and fire; but maybe that's why they were made for each other. One needed the other; balance and Yin and Yang and all that.


Whilst witnessing Sakura fight Madara, it dawned upon Sasuke just how strong she had become. No doubt that everyone was shocked at how much she was able to give as well as take. She fought until it was apparent that her body could no longer keep up and she collapsed. After all, Sakura was still weaker than him.

However, by then, the damage had been done to Madara. It took just a few more blows from Naruto, Sasuke, Kakashi and whoever else was there to knock Madara dead. Literally.

Sakura and the rest of the wounded had been immediately taken to medical care.
Since Sakura was also one of the best medics there, it was harder than usual to treat the injured.

It had been weeks since that fateful confrontation and whilst Sasuke and the rest were slowly but surely getting better, there was no word on Sakura, and it had taken countless operations to try and get her to the condition she is in today.
Other friends including Sai, Yamato, Ino, Shikamaru, Chouji, Hinata, Kiba, Shino, Neji, Tenten, Lee and many others came to visit, but none could stay. How could they, anyway?
Post-war, Konoha had to be rebuilt from destruction, and they had to do all they can.
But leverage had been given to those closest to Sakura.

And as Sasuke, Naruto and Kakashi observe Sakura's state of body and mind, a bitter taste is left in their mouths, as they realise Sakura may never fully recover.

---

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TBC.

Um, yes. Hi. This is my first SasuSaku; I had fun writing it whilst procrastinating :D
I know the whole thing about Sakura fighting Madara will probably NEVER become real, but yeah, I just wanted to show how much Sakura has grown up and the fact that Sasuke (and the rest) have realised this. And let me tell you: keeping Sasuke in character was damn hard.
This is a two-shot, so the next chapter (and last one) will be written soon so that this story will be completely finished. Please disregard all spelling/grammar mistakes, I've tried my best!
Um, anything else that I could improve on, please tell me!

I know I really should be finishing AHBL before this, but I'm thinking of editing that fanfic (so, not rewriting the plot AT ALL, but just tidying it up and changing a few situations and mini-plots.)
DSIFL is going to be rewritten completely. I wrote it around 3 years ago and I gag when I read it now. I've developed a new style of writing and organisation/layout which I want to incorporate in all my fics-stories. So, yeah. What do you think?