Hello! This is my first completed fan fiction, it's more of a one shot. I hope it's good, and that you guys enjoy! I kinda continued it from where the shipuuden chapter that's been released online is at the moment, so if you're not there you may not want to read. It isn't a huge spoiler, just the situation is built up from a small spoiler. (If that makes sense…) So, enjoy! It's SasuSaku, but I wanna add now that I do not hate Naruto. This is just a way I could see this all play out.
Sakura stood, frozen to where she stood. Her eyes focused on the lifeless form, eight feet in front of her. Her body ached, she felt like crying but couldn't find herself able. She clenched her fists and looked away, catching the eyes of her other team mate.
Sai drew back, her eyes bored into his as if she was asking for help, confusion and sorrow clouded her gaze. He wanted to smile, make the situation easier, tell her things were going to be okay, but all he could do was look at her, helpless to help his, now the only one he seemed to have, friend.
Sakura watched his reaction, reading him clearly, something so new to her, she wanted to scream. Her best friend, her once only salvation, the one who always made things better, who could make her smile when she thought least possible, Naruto…was dead. She knew it as well as everyone, she looked down, away from Sai, and to the figure behind Naruto, the reason for his death, the one he protected. His eyes were lifeless, fixated on his fallen…he couldn't come to think of him as friend anymore. Not after what he had done. How he made his teammates feel, what he put them through. He had been able to block all of this out of his mind, until he watched that sword pierce what should have been him…after all that he had done, Naruto stood in front of him and took his death without question.
"Naruto-kun…?!" Sakura turned her head in response to the soft, broken voice coming through the trees. Hinata walked forward, stopping next to Neji who placed a hand on her shoulder as she broke into tears. Sakura watched her, the reaction she felt but couldn't show…she closed her eyes and looked back towards the situation. She gritted her teeth as she walked towards her original teammates, determination filled her, as she stopped at Naruto's side and kneeled, placing her hands on the womb. Green chakra emitted from her hands, she knew it was useless but she had to try. Her mind wandered to the time when she was younger, happier. Everything was simple, her crush on Sasuke was innocent, Naruto was seen as a nuisance, but still a friend. All of her muscles tensed as she remembered how she treated him, regret hit her so suddenly it scared her. The long awaited tears finally fell, landing on her hands, mixing with the blood that now covered them. She couldn't focus her chakra anymore, she pulled her hands away, looking at their red stains through blurry vision. She began to shake, he was really dead. She closed her eyes, shifting her weight to her hands as she slammed them to the ground, cracking it just slightly. All the ninja that came with her to help, all of them who cared so much about Naruto to do all of this for his ideal brother, watched in tears. They all felt the same gut wrenching pain as Sakura's sobs filled the silence, her screams for the chance to take his place…Ino clasped her hands to her mouth at those pleas, crying harder. Kakashi looked down, letting the tears escape. Sai clenched his fist and began to walk forward, but stopped at the surprising sight. Sakura silenced, and slowly came to her feet. "Yamato!" Yamato was silent as he looked at her concerned. "Let Sasuke go..!" All the crying came to a halt, they all looked up surprised, waiting for Sakura to turn around. She didn't. She kept her gaze at her feet as her last tear fell. Yamato looked at Kakashi, who nodded in assurance. The wooden braces surrounding Sasuke fell, but he didn't move.
Sakura shifted her gaze to Sasuke, and was filled with anger. Anger from regret, anger towards herself, anger towards Sasuke, anger towards Naruto for doing what he did, anger for feeling that. She took a breath, trying to get a hold of herself as she spoke through her teeth, "stand up…" Sasuke couldn't meet her gaze, he looked down, refusing to respond. "Stand up!" Sakura spoke again, with much more demand in her voice. Sasuke, still weak from the battle, still weak from watching Naruto fall, stood slowly, finally meeting Sakura's eyes. His muscles jolted the second he did, her eyes were, for the first time, filled with hatred towards him. This was a side of her he had never seen, a side he secretly never wanted to see, he wanted with all his heart to look away, but he couldn't. He had to face her, no matter how much more pain that would bring him. He knew he deserved that more and more the longer he was gone.
Karin ran frantically towards the faint presence of Sasuke's chakra. It's so weak! What if he's injured?! I need to reach him…! She picked up her pace at the thought of Sasuke dying on the ground; and what's up with all the chakras surrounding him? Danzo's disappeared with the other two, but now all these others are showing up…and one of them is getting closer to Sasuke!" She was filled with anger as the would-be enemy halted in front of Sasuke's chakra, but her speed was altered from how tired she was. Hold on Sasuke…
Sakura kept her gaze on Sasuke, wondering what it was she should say in this situation. The way she always imagined her reunion with Sasuke was nothing like this, she always pictured her walking through the village gates with Sasuke, and a grinning Naruto…she clasped her hand over her stomach at that thought, keeping her gaze on Sasuke she had to try not to cry again, she felt the anger still boiling inside of her, but it was beginning to become clouded by sorrow. She knew she had to speak, she had so many things planned for when he returned, she couldn't ever imagine how happy she would be to see Sasuke wearing a Konoha headband once again, how happy she would be to see him smile at her like he used to. She took a breath, letting her hand drop back to her side, and finally spoke, no plan as to what she would say; she just said what she felt like saying, never once thought to consider how she would feel afterwards.
"Sasuke…" both of their stomachs turned at the sound of his name being said with such sadness and anger. "You…don't feel a thing? After everything that just happened, are you not sorry?" her hands clenched back into fists. She wanted so much to break their gaze, but she needed to look into his eyes for what she felt was the last time. Sasuke didn't know what to say; in a different situation, if Naruto was alive and standing next to her, he would have kept up the charade. He would have called her 'pathetic' or 'weak'…or say nothing at all from the coldness of his heart. He felt sick. How could he have been that way? What was he thinking? But…his clan…he lost everything at such a young age, but when he had it all back…it was his own fault he lost it all again? He remembered when they were announced as a team, their first time together trying to get the bells from Kakashi, their team photo, Sakura's confession as he left, placing her on the bench, his fight with Naruto… things he had pushed out of his memory, they all came back so suddenly; he broke out of that thought at the sound of Sakura's voice as she spoke again; "of course you don't feel anything…you…" She choked on the words "you just would have done it yourself if Danzo hadn't beaten you to it!" Sasuke's eyes widened, as he took a step towards her but stopped as his foot brushed against Naruto's arm. He looked down at him for what felt like hours before he looked back into Sakura's eyes. She finally looked away, down at Naruto, then to her fist as she focused the chakra into it. "Sasuke…" She whispered as she looked up, lifting her arm, she punched him with as much force as she could muster. Tears began pouring past her guard as she watched him fly back, slamming into a tree yards away as everyone watched quietly. Sakura began to turn and face her friends, when an unfamiliar voice pierced her ears. "Sasuke!" She froze and looked back to where he landed, to see a red headed girl run to Sasuke's aid. "Are you okay? I was so worried!" Memories of how she felt when Sasuke was hurt flooded into her mind as she watched the strange girl roll up her sleeve revealing scars from when she had been bitten numerous times. "Here Sasuke!" she said as she held her arm up to his mouth. But Sasuke didn't seem to notice she was there, he kept his gaze on Sakura, no particular emotion. The redhead noticed, whipping her head around to see Sakura. She stood, and walked out in front of Sasuke as she shouted to Sakura, "are you the one who did this to him?!" She spoke, with a slight feeling of fear. If she was strong enough to bring him to such a weak state, then she would easily take her down. Sakura didn't respond to her question, instead she asked her own. "Who are you?" Karin smiled, she was worth recognition in this shin obi's eyes! If she was the one who took Sasuke down, that was flattering in Karin's eyes. "My name is Karin! I'm part of team Hawk, lead by Sasuke. You?" Sakura once again ignored her, shifting her gaze to Sasuke as Karin said his name. She looked down, and stepped forward, coming within just a few feet of Karin. "You're on a team with Sasuke?" Karin was taken back, this girl seemed so angry just moments ago…now she has the same presence as Sasuke… "Y-yeah! Although, the other teammates are pretty much useless.." Karin leaned in to continue in a whisper, "Sasuke cares more for me than he'll let on! Just wait, once he gets what he came for, we'll be together!" Karin sensed the tension between Sakura and Sasuke, she wanted to bring out her anger, so she felt egging it on would make her want to fight, then Sasuke would take her down in Karin's protection! Sakura looked back at Karin, and drew her fist back, then slammed it into Karin's jaw. Karin let out a yelp as she flew back, hitting another tree further back than Sasuke.
"Leave!" Sakura's words were more tense towards Sasuke. He had forgotten about them, he had a new team, he wasn't ever planning to come back. Karin stumbled back to where Sasuke was, a step behind, "you bitch! How dare you?! Sasuke! Bite me so you can take her down! Then we can go after--" Sasuke looked at her, his stare cold, she knew to shut up. He stood up slowly, turning back to Sakura before disappearing with Karin. Sakura stared at the place he was, then turned to meet the gaze of everyone. Hinata had calmed her sobs to quiet tears, Sai was staring at Sakura, showing his emotions more clearly to her than he had ever done before. Everything that had just happened in such a short time hit her, and she fell to her knees before she could reach Naruto, crying harder than she has ever cried before. "Naruto…" she mumbled into the ground, "you…you can't leave me here alone…" she sobbed harder, "I couldn't save you…please…" she felt someone place a hand on her back, she looked up, seeing Ino who was trying so hard not to cry it hurt Sakura to watch. She hugged Ino, screaming into her shoulder. Ino gritted her teeth, hugging her best friend, she took a hard breath as it became harder not to cry. Sakura finished her wish in her mind, afraid to cause Ino more grief; why couldn't I have been the one to take your place in death, Naruto?! You shouldn't be the one to die…you had so much ahead of you…and so much you had to put behind you… Kakashi walked forward, placing his hand on Ino's shoulder, she looked up, then away, pulling back from Sakura as Kakashi lifted her up into his arms. Sakura calmed her tears as much as she could, "Sakura…" Kakashi closed his eye in a smile, "I've done my share of crying before. I understand." Sakura closed her eyes and nodded before burying her face into his shoulder, letting all her feelings go as she was carried back through the trees towards the village. She felt almost completely empty as they reached the village. She thanked everyone at the gates, taking her place back on the ground, refusing Sai's offer to walk her to her home, she needed to be alone. She watched Kakashi and Yamato take Naruto's body to the Hokage's office to talk to whoever was there in place of Tsunade now that Danzo's intentions had been revealed. Slowly, Sakura walked to her home and up to her room. She saw the picture on her desk of the original team 7...she took it with her to the bed, collapsing into the soft covers, hugging the frame tightly as one last tear escaped her eye.
Four Days Later…
Sakura placed her flower in the pile of many on the grave. She looked down at the picture of Naruto, smiling back at her. As if assuring her he was fine. She looked away, up towards the sky, letting the soft rain hit her face before taking her place back in the crowd of Naruto's grieving friends. She looked around, admiring all the tears being shed for him, listening to the huge crowd of sobs and choked apologies. The last flower was placed down, the last speech was given, and the last person who left, left Sakura; staring down at the grave of her closest friend. She searched for memories to make her feel happier, his smile, his jokes, his declaration of becoming Hokage repeated so many times over, but still, she felt nothing. She felt like she could never cry again, like she was out of tears. The rain became heavier, falling over her. "Naruto…" She whispered. She opened her mouth to continue, but couldn't. She didn't know what to say anymore.
Sai sat on top of the academy, watching Sakura. He didn't know what to do, he had seen Sakura the past four days, even spoken to her, but she didn't seem to really be there. She had become no more than a shell, she did what had to be done, then she would go home and, according to her mother when Sai would check, sleep the days away. He didn't think she was lying, but it was just so hard for him to picture Sakura that way.
"Sai?" Kakashi's voice appeared as soon as he did on the roof.
Sai responded with silence, assuming Kakashi was here for the same reason he was, to watch over Sakura.
"Nice view of the funeral?" Kakashi asked, with his same breezy and cool composure he always had. Sai nodded, then looked back at Sakura. "She'll be okay. Not the same, but okay." Kakashi said, taking a seat next to Sai. "How can you say that?" Sai asked abruptly. "Have you not seen her the past four days?" Kakashi sighed, and looked back at Sakura, motioning for Sai to look with him. Sai stared questioningly, then turned his head to see a figure coming towards Sakura. "no…what is he doing here?" He stood, about to go down there, but Kakashi stopped him, shaking his head. "Let him talk to her." Sai glared down at him, taking his place back with Kakashi watching silently, on guard.
Sakura stood over the grave still, waiting for tears to come, gritting her teeth. She wanted to cry. She needed to cry. But she couldn't. She felt a warm hand take hers, she looked up expecting Sai, or Kakashi maybe. Someone she saw everyday. But who she saw shocked her, as her feelings pulled at her heart. Sasuke looked down at her, with a painful expression. Sakura stared at him, waiting to feel anger, but she didn't . She knew she shouldn't. She felt pain, sadness, sick to her stomach, but she also felt a small feeling of hope building up inside her as she collapsed to the ground with him, hugging him tightly. Her tears finally came, and she cried into his chest. Only this time, her tears didn't bring her closer to sorrow, they instead brought her further away from it, giving her hope of being happy again. Sasuke slowly wrapped his arms around her, glancing at the photo of Naruto, then closing his eyes he whispered into her shoulder, "I'm so sorry…"
Sai watched them silently along side Kakashi, confused on how he should feel. Sasuke had everything Sai wanted, and gave it away just like that. And just like that he's getting it all back. He should feel anger towards Sasuke, jealousy, but instead, he's happy for Sakura. He sighed, and looked up towards the Hokage wall, the people building the face of their 6th Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki.