Disclaimer: Don't own it. It would, however, make an amazing present. :3
Written by: seleneswan
The sound of the rain was loud, the drops hitting the roof of the house consecutively creating a loud drumming sound against the roof. All at once, the drops slowed and then picked up again as a crack of thunder sounded angrily. The screaming picked up ten-fold.
She opened her eyes and walked down the hall quickly and slid open the door, walking in to the small crib. The child stared up at her, frightened, her black eyes staring pitifully. She lifted the child in her arms and hushed her, planting butterfly kisses on the baby's face. She hoisted her on her hip, walking out of the room, patting the child on her back softly.
She (the child) seemed to quiet at being in her mother's arms, and the rosette let the child drift off again, her head limp against the mother's chest. The wailing continued, though, but not from the child. The winds howled and lightning flashed in the sky, illuminating the mother's anxious face as she cradled her child gently in her arms.
She walked back to her own bed, setting the child on one side, and tucking her in. But the mother didn't go to sleep, instead walking around the haunting house. She opened the front door, stepping on to the porch, not really caring whether she got wet or not. The splashes of rain sprinkled her face and the lightning flashed again.
The thunder struck, rumbling unhappily and complaining in pain.
But she couldn't hear it. She couldn't hear any of it.
Her eyes were distant, and she heard something else. Someone else.
She heard whispers, she heard the words being spoken to her. She heard his voice.
Her eyes grew misty, and she put her hands to her face. "No…no you're not here. You're dead. You can't be here…you're not here…" she chanted, shaking her head.
He whispered again, sounding almost amused. Do you like to state the obvious?
She continued shaking her head, and snapped out of her trance, looking frantically around.
She could hear his sigh, as if he were right behind her. She turned, seeing only blackness. She whispered again, her viridian eyes pleading. "Where are you?"
I'm right here.
"Where?" she pressed, frantically searching. Desperate.
I told you I'd never leave you. Even the Dobe said that one thing or whatever at my funeral.
"The ones that love you never really leave you…"
She could almost feel his familiar smirk. Aa, that one.
Does it really matter?
He seemed to sigh, exasperated. I'm right here.
Impatiently, she growled. "Where?!"
She took a glance at everything around her, looking carefully. "What do you look like?"
He snorted, amused. What do you think?
"Be serious for once, will you?!"
Didn't you always want me to 'lighten up'?
"Yes, but not now!"
I look the same.
She continued to search, but to no avail. Frustrated, she closed her eyes and opened them, hoping to clear her mind. "I'm going insane," she whispered to herself.
She could hear his amused chuckle and she opened her eyes. And in front of her was him.
"S-Sas-Sasuke?" she stuttered.
A small smirk adorned his face, but his eyes seemed to soften.
She gazed at him for one long moment, and her eyes turned liquid, tears running down her face. She was still outside, and the rain danced on her face, mingling with the salty tears.
"Sasuke, I miss you so much." She whispered, crumpling on the porch. She brought her legs up to her chest, burying her face in her knees.
I'm not going anywhere. He muttered, and she peeked out. He was kneeling in front of her and he reached a hand out, wiping her tears with a calloused thumb.
He was so real, so alive. So there. His face was the same, his touch was just as rough and gentle as always, at the same time. He was harsh, but soft. Cold, but warm. He was all there, all of the blood wiped of him, looking as good as new.
But she knew he was gone. He couldn't possibly be there. She saw the body. She saw the blood soaked through his wounds. She remembered his crumpled form on the ground, remembered his last words.
"I love you. Forgive me."
And then he was gone, taking part of her with him. When he died, so did she. She didn't believe it.
She remembered the denial, remembered as she tried to heal away his dead form and bring him back to life. She remembered Tsunade pulling her back, remembered her own screams and sobs as his body was taken away.
She remembered the funeral service, remembered everyone's consoling words. Remembered nothing of anyone else beside their voices. Her face was fixed on the photos of him as she watched them incinerate his body. She remembered the overcoming sadness that she felt when she accepted that he was gone.
She remembered his ashes, which she requested to let go. She remembered the feel of the powdery ash in her fingers as she let it go in the wind, liberating him.
He was free.
And yet, he was still here. She came back to reality, still seeing his face. He watched her, and she shook her head again. "You can't be here. You're not real."
She stared at him, mutely. "No…no…no…" she murmured, shaking her head back and forth in denial.
Sakura. He stated impatiently. I am in front of you. You can hear me. You can feel me.
And all in one moment, she looked up at him. He wasn't solid, but he was touchable. He was there, and it was more than she could ask for. Because even if it wasn't real, it was still a chance. She threw herself at him, burying her face in the crook of his neck, sobbing. "I miss you so much…" she cried, the tears dripping down her pale face and into his shirt, soaking it.
"I love you, I love you, I love you, and…I forgive you…" she repeated, clutching his shirt. She felt hands push her shoulders back, and she looked up at him. He looked down at her, his hard eyes softening and he tipped her chin up, pressing his lips against hers softly. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, lacing her fingers in his hair, one hand on his head, the other caressing his face. She felt the familiar curve of his jaw, where his hairline began.
The rain continued to pour, and he broke away from her. She buried her face in his neck as they sat, crouched on the floor.
Aa. He whispered, agreeing with her statement. She closed her eyes, breathing in a scent that was so distinctly him. Her eyes drifted shut, feeling his hands rub circles on her lower back as she fell asleep, tears staining her cheeks.
She awoke to a rustling sound, the sound of an animal scampering around. Frowning, she opened her eyes blearily, the sun shining on her face. She squinted, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She felt damp, her nightgown sticking to her. She rolled over, expecting to find, if not another body, a pillow.
But all she could feel was something, not soft like a pillow or fluffy like a comforter, but something not altogether bed-like. Or indoors-like, for that matter.
It was slightly itchy, but had a smooth feel. It smelt damp. She moaned, burying her face in her hands as she pulled herself up into a sitting position.
She looked around.
She was outside, laying in a large area filled with grass. Wildflowers grew abundant, and the scampering sound she had heard earlier was a squirrel.
But while that came to her notice, it wasn't what caught her attention. A single arm was wrapped around something hard. Stone-like, almost.
She looked down and froze, the last night coming back to her.
Her arm was wrapped securely around a stone. More specifically, a headstone of a grave. Well, technically, a memorial stone. Because the body wasn't actually there.
Beloved father, friend, and lover
"Those who die never really leave us;
they always live forever in our hearts."
She stared at that for a long moment, and her heart shattered.
That particular quote at the bottom about living forever in our hearts has been taken from Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Review, please. I love my reviewers and their reviews dearly, and will cherish them forever and ever. :3 - seleneswan