please don't

She stood at the edge of the high cliff, staring down at the sea foam below. The wind whipped coral tendrils around her face, framing blazing emerald eyes. Sasuke thought she looked fierce, like a mythical warrior goddess of lives long past. Her civilian clothing was stained with blood and the dust of their- her fallen home, and there was a single loose kunai in her hand.

Sasuke noted with a dispassionate gaze that the weapon hung uselessly in her limp grasp, and that her stance was relaxed, open. He scoffed lightly, still the same Sakura.

The small noise broke whatever respite the two had found in silence, and Sakura quickly shifted her feet into a weary battle stance, fingers tightening around the kunai in a white knuckle grip. She wetted her lips nervously, but her eyes never wavered from his own sharingan red.

She made no moves towards him though, and he could see her back stiffening, her shoulders and the skin around her eyes tightening for a moment in-what? Anger? Pain? And then it was gone, her muscles loosening and unknotting right before his eyes which were quickly fading back to black at the sight of her so unraveled and completely laid bare for the taking.

It unnerved him, the sight of Sakura like this, because even if she'd offered herself to him before, on a windy night in the middle of a deserted road, it was different now, because she was different. The woman he found at sixteen was stronger, both mentally and physically, and to see someone who reminded him so much of his own mother looking so defeated…

None of this showed on his face though, because he was Uchiha Sasuke and she was Haruno Sakura, and he knew that if he even slipped up once, she would have him.

Indifference was the only safe option.


Sakura's voice jolted him back to himself, back to a reality where he was a traitor in red and black, and she one of the enemies. Though nothing in her tone betrayed the fact that their relationship had changed in any way, her voice was softer than Sasuke remembered, laced with weariness so bone deep that even he felt it. The white foam of the water below crashed against the cliff, breaking up in high angry waves over her head.

He still says nothing, and he remained unmoving as she took a seemingly involuntary step forward, her eyes hungrily devouring every detail of his face.

Sasuke wondered what she hoped to find.

"Sasuke-kun. What would you do if I fell?"

Her question made him blink, and when he opened his eyes again, she was gone. The lunge he took towards the edge of the cliff, frantically searching for any signs of pink was completely instinctive, and he could feel the brittle smile in her voice when a warm hand restrained him, resting lightly on his arm.

"Why do you do it? Do you even think about saving me? Or is it just some stupid protector reflex of yours?"

The grip on his arm tightened, and Sasuke flash stepped behind the girl, but she was gone, again. When did she get so fast?

When did she start running away from you?

She was by the precipice once more, a snarl twisting her light features. When she laughed, it was bitter.

"Don't help me Sasuke. Because if you don't love me, it's worthless anyways, and it just hurts more if you only go away in the end."

He couldn't quite read the look in her eyes, and this disconcerted him because she'd always been able to read him so well. But her words elicited a response from him, an automatic don't be annoying and of course I care. He caught himself before either could make it past his throat.

"You're just wasting your energy," her eyes softened, "and you're breaking my heart."

Sakura looked down the side of the cliff, then back at him. The message was loud and clear, and, Sasuke thought, incredibly moronic.

But when she stepped over the edge, he caught her anyways.

a/n: Didn't really know if I should've included this with Steps, but eh. I wasn't too satisfied with this, but I didn't know how to rework it correctly. Inspired once again by music, this time Sailed On by Landon Pigg, and most of Sakura's dialogue was from the song (which I DO NOT OWN). If you didn't get it, Sakura was telling Sasuke that he shouldn't help her unless he loved her. And he did. :D And no she wasn't being suicidal, she would've teleported away or something as she was falling or cushioned the blow with chakra. Please review if you enjoyed (or not).