The startled gasp of pain instantly drew Sasuke and Naruto's attention. The small piece of metal that had been thrust into their pink-haired teammate's stomach both frightened and angered them.

They were on Idate's boat, racing across the bay to the first shrine.

Sakura staggered, and then she regained her footing and shoved Idate off the edge of the boat, then dove after him.

The freezing water hit her like a shock, instantly numbing her.

It was right about now that she remembered she couldn't swim.

Sakura paddled frantically, just barely managing to keep her head above the water as the wind started to pick up. It was starting into a full blown storm now, the waves were crashing on her, and it was all she could to stay afloat.

Sakura was getting really tired now; the constant waves crashing on her and the cold were overcoming the small, pink-haired ninja. She was just starting to black out when something bumped against her side.

Sakura grabbed hold of the piece of driftwood and held on for dear life. By now she had been washed out to sea in the strong current, she couldn't see Idate, Naruto or Sasuke.

She couldn't even see their burning boat.

She sighed and let the darkness consume her, making sure she had a tight hold on her little driftwood float.

Sasuke and Naruto made it to the shore quickly, and began to follow Idate's trail to the first shrine. They made it to the temple and saw that Idate was already gone, along with their pink-haired teammate.

The two Ninja made their way to the celebration at the second shrine, finding out that Idate won.

"Yo Idate! Where's Sakura?" Naruto called when they finally could get close to the victorious young man.

"I dunno, isn't she with you?" a jolt of fear ran through Sasuke's heart. Sakura's wound couldn't be that bad, could it?

He shoved Idate into a wall, holding him there by his collar.

"Where. Is. Sakura?" Idate choked slightly.

"I honestly don't know! The current was strong and she was injured. Plus I remember her telling me she couldn't swim well!" Sasuke frowned.

Since when could Sakura not swim?

"I-if you let me down Sasuke, I can help you look on the beaches, she may have floated there" Sasuke dropped Idate unceremoniously on the ground, then started to walk out of the village, Naruto at his heels.

The three boys, plus a couple of search parties combed the shore until sunset, and all they found was a scrap of the dress she had on.

When it was brought to him, Sasuke froze.

This was all that was left of his pink--haired, smart, spunky, beautiful…wait, beautiful?

Sasuke crumpled the fabric in his hand.

Sakura was beautiful, and he would do everything it took to find her, and he would have to prepare himself if all he found was a body.

He would steel himself, because that's what an Uchiha does, right?

Sasuke was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even notice that Naruto was there behind him until the other boy put a hand on his shoulder.

"You like her, don't you?" Sasuke shrugged the hand off, then started to walk away.

"You can deny it all you want, Sasuke. But if you keep doing it, you're going to lose her" The Uchiha paused for a second, and then continued away.

Sasuke stood on a rocky outcrop watching the sun go down.

Was it true what Naruto said? Would he really lose sakura if he didn't give in to his feelings?

"I'm sorry sir, but we have to stop, it's getting too dark" a worker said, breaking Sasuke out of his thoughts.

The dark-haired boy looked out at the sunset again, and then gave a nod to the worker.

Sakura really was gone, and there was nothing anyone could do.

As Sasuke and Naruto walked along the path on their way back to the little village they were staying in, Sasuke heard shouts behind them.

The boys turned around as Idate sprinted to them.

"They found her" he gasped.

Sasuke was gone in a flash, Naruto attempting to keep up with him.

'Please let her still be alive' Sasuke prayed as he ran to the place Idate had indicated.

The men were clustered around a wall of boulders.

"Sir, one of our scouts saw a girl lying in the bay, we can't get down into the cove, and it's a straight drop"

Sasuke infused chakra into his feet and sprang over the wall of boulders.

His heart almost stopped at the sight he saw.

Sakura was curled in a ball, half in the shallow water, her hands were over her chest, but he could see the blood from her wound in the water and on her dress.

In a way, there was a peaceful look to it, the waves lapped gently around her bare feet, and the wind gently tousled her hair.

In two steps Sasuke had her in his arms and was already springing over the wall.

He quickly took off his shirt, earning a few gasps and mutters from the few women in their search team, and wrapped it around the frail girl's shoulders.

Then he laid her on the ground as gently as possible, avoiding her stomach wound. He laid his head on her chest, and almost died when he didn't hear anything.

Then, there was a tiny whisper of breath, and a faint fluter of a heartbeat.

The boy let out a breath he had no idea that he had been holding, Sakura would be okay. He quickly scooped her into his arms, and then ran to the village.

When he finally reached the doctor's, they made him wait in the little chairs along the office wall. Sakura surprised Sasuke when she gently turned her face towards his chest, shifting slightly more towards him.

Sasuke froze completely, afraid she would wake up and injure herself more, but she didn't stir at all.

For the first time, Sasuke felt a little bit happy, Sakura was doing this unconsciously, and it didn't feel like her normal fan-girlish tricks.

A ghost of what could have been called a smile appeared on Sasuke's lips, but was wiped off by the doctor gesturing him in.

The doctor started to unzip the front of Sakura's dress, but Sasuke stopped him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" the doctor smiled in a kindly way.

"I'm sorry, but I have to take off her shirt to look at her stomach wound, I'm afraid I don't have X-ray vision" Sasuke glared at the old man for a moment, and then stepped back.

"Perhaps you could wait outside?" Sasuke shot the doctor a death glare, then left, sitting against the door outside.

When the doctor shook him a few hours later, he awoke with a start, and then realized he had fallen asleep.

"Your friend will be alright, y-" the doctor didn't even have time to finish his sentence before Sasuke was already inside the room.

The old man smiled, then went back to the other patients.

Sasuke settled in a chair next to Sakura's bed, and gently smoothed some hair away from her face.

She looked so peaceful when she was unconscious, not at all the same person.

A few hours later, he felt someone gently brush his hair off his face.

He grabbed the hand, and then relaxed his grip when he heard Sakura's little hiss of pain.

She smiled gently, and then giggled.

"You're so cute when you sleep Sasuke" Sasuke set her hand down on the bedspread, then getting distracted by her fingers.

When he heard a sniffle, he looked at his teammate, afraid she was in pain.

"What's wrong, are you hurt?" Sakura shook her head. "y-you were smiling" Sasuke backed away.

Had he really let his guard down? He covered his mouth.

"I'm sorry" then he left, leaving his pink-haired teammate more confused then ever.

Naruto jumped up from the spot by the door where he had been sleeping, following the emotionally confused Sasuke.

"What happened? Tell meeeee!"

Sasuke stopped abruptly, causing Naruto to crash face-first into him.

"Stop following me"

Even Naruto understood that he should let Sasuke be alone.

He shrugged, and then left to see Sakura.

The blonde was even more confused when he saw Sakura crying.

It was like two different time zones in one room.

"What is up with you people?" Sakura looked at him.

"Sasuke smiled"

Now Naruto was REALLY confused.

The Ice Cube SMILED????

so what do you think? I Really like this, it was just something I came up with during a free-write in class.

PLEASE R&R!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Read and Review)

I dOn'T oWn NaRuTo!!!!!