Apology

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A/N: To you, my love, who knows not about my existence.

Standard Disclaiming Properties applied.

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Haruno Sakura sat with her legs curled up to her chest, chin on her knees. "Are you sure?" she asked ruminatively, her voice soft and slightly unsure.

The boy with the dark hair and eyes nodded just a fraction; it was as if Sakura had imagined it. He didn't look at her as he spoke, "Yeah, I'm sure."

She looked at him and regarded his fine facial features, his perfectly sculpted cheekbones, and those luscious eyes all to waste on a boy who hates unwanted attention.

"Sasuke-kun?" she called meekly, and the glib in her voice made him think she was restraining tears behind.

Uchiha Sasuke turned away from the window as the last snowflake melted on the windowpane. "Yeah?"

She shook her head, pink hair whooshed around her like a blanket of cherry blossoms, at first she said nothing then the tears started to pour down her face.

"Please."

"Please what, Sakura—"

"Don't leave me." Her words silenced him, an odd beat to the stillness between them. He said nothing but regarded the pouring whiteness outside her window glass.

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The sun had died from its sallow yellows to a swell of fiery oranges, setting down the horizon as the sky darkened the world. Sakura very much wanted to follow it, sink into the world's horizon, as so she did not have to see Sasuke leave. She couldn't understand why he wanted to, but all she knew is that it had nothing personal to do with her. Or at least, those were his words, at least those were the only words muttered as an explanation from him.

The warmth of her scarf was ghostly and barely there, like the eagerness in her chest to stop him from leaving her all alone. Although, much to her disdain, it looked as though he wanted to go away, as though he desperately wanted to leave.

Stupid scholarships, Sakura thought, stupid education and wealth of no-good, freaking heartless bastard—

A voice interrupted her, "Sakura?"

It was Sasuke.

Like instant reflex, she wiped the stingingly cold tears with the back of her gloves. "Yeah?"

He raised a skeptical eyebrow, a perfectly arched piece of art. "What are you doing out here? It's getting dark." He said, not the tiniest bit of concern laced in his voice.

Green eyes looked away at the icy road, blanketed with a layer of snow. She had been lying out at the isolated park where they all usually meet up, and had just realized that she'd been there for hours.

"No reason." She gave a weak smile and tried her best to avoid his gaze. It hurt her, how emotionless they were.

Sasuke nodded mutely and shoved his hands in his jacket pockets. He said nothing as well but scrutinized the tree overhead him with a certain kind of interest Sakura couldn't decipher.

"Sakura." He said in earnest.

Sakura turned to look at him in confusion. "What?"

"Nothing—that's a Sakura tree. A cherry blossom." He stated out the obvious and watched as the candy-colored pink petals withered to the snowy grounds. "I remembered we used to come here. You know, you, the dobe and me—"

Sakura interrupted him, "I know this, but why?"

Sasuke looked up and Sakura regarded his neutral quizzical expression.

"Why what?"

She sighed and looked away, she didn't want to look at those intricately beautiful eyes anymore.

"Why are you telling me this?" She murmured.

Sasuke seemed to be considering her question for a while, then after a few beats of silence he replied; "Nothing. I'll see you tomorrow—my flight leaves at 7." He said with finality and took off, footsteps muffled by the heavy coated snow. Sakura didn't look back—

She didn't want to see him leave her, twice.

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The airport was as lively as it was overwhelming. The metallic panels were reflecting silver light from the sun, holding the arched ceiling that tapered to a point. Crowds were buzzing in and out, bags piled up everywhere and the occasional announcements followed by its chime of bells filled the echoic building. Sakura didn't know why or how she'd mustered the courage to go, she couldn't understand how her legs were striding across marbled floors so confidently to the group of striking-looking people who were so familiar to her.

Uchiha Mikoto, Sasuke's darling of a mother, turned to look at Sakura mildly surprised. It was as though she had expected her not to show up, knowing Sakura's endearing love for her son. "You came!" she chirped, crows-feet crinkled at the corner of her eyes as she smiled, almost sympathetically, Sakura noticed.

Sakura nodded, her pink hair moved only a little in it's high ponytail. "How are you? Is Sasuke here yet?" she asked, noticing the stiffness and desperation in her own voice.

Mikoto smiled, too kindly that it made Sakura wanting to cry though she didn't, and nodded. "He just went to get something—oh wait, here he comes." She waved Sasuke over to her. "Maybe I should leave you to talk to him alone, eh Sakura-chan?" she inquired and waved to Sasuke, motioning to the duty-free shop, and left.

His black eyes grazed up and down Sakura's figure, she felt it almost intrusive. "You came." He said, almost surprised.

Sakura nodded, "I did."

The silence lingered for a while, not uncomfortably, until Sasuke motioned her to go somewhere with him, somewhere less crowded and noisy. They left the building into the cold wintry air, sun almost setting to its usual grim darkness. Sasuke looked up skywards and seemed to be deep in thought; Sakura just wondered what was in his mind most of the time.

"Tell me what you're thinking."

To Sakura's surprise, it was Sasuke who started the conversation. She blinked at him once, twice then shook her head. "Nothing." She lied, when all she wanted was to embrace him, and melt the snowflakes away from his flaxen skin.

"Really?" he raised his eyebrow, like he usually did and Sakura noted how much she would miss it.

"Yeah."

"Well—" Sasuke began but was cut off when the translucent tears streamed down his friend's face. "Sakura?" he looked at her, the worry in his voice surprised both Sakura and him.

"I hate you for leaving," Sakura sniffled, her voice hitching, she had obviously restrained herself from crying before she arrived, Sasuke thought. "I hate you for wanting to leave. I hate everything about you. I hate how you're so emotionless, how you care about nothing and I hate how you're leaving our friendship of uncountable years. Most of all—" her voice was laden with hostility and love, at the same time, her eyes burned red and her voice shook with every word.

Sasuke stood, surprised and stupefied. She was crying, and it triggered a sensitive spot in him, the aching desire to wipe those tears away.

"—I hate how I love you." She said with finality, face drenched in translucent wetness, her hair stuck to dampened skin. Sasuke thought she looked madly beautiful.

However, there was nothing he could do.

"I'm sorry, Sakura." He said, voice grave and with expression that was so unlike him. "But I have to go—"

Hands grabbed the nape of his neck, and with a flurry of pink his lips were caught by a pair of soft pink ones. Sakura, despite the tears that slightly salted her lips, kissed him with passion that only existed in myths; so intense and grief-stricken. But to her surprise, those lips kissed her back, and she felt coarse fingers tangled through her hair, bringing her closer to him. She felt him corresponding to her, for once, and maybe for the last time.

This was the moment, the moment she had waited for all her life, and now she had it.

They pulled away; Sasuke looked so obscure that it made her heart leaped a beat.

"Sakura, I—" he began, pausing mid-sentence when the announcement of his flight echoed throughout the building premises. "I'm sorry—I have to go." He said and looked at her with sympathy she found unbearable. "Thank you." He muttered, and disappeared from view.

Sakura stood, numb and mute as the falling ice bit her skin, inch by inch.

He had left her, again.