before you read: This is pretty much the fluffiest thing ever. Highly impossible, ridiculously sappy, and disgustingly fruity. Second-person. Not remarkably intelligent. Also: Lacking in sense and development. A more realistic title would be, the triumph of marie's imagination over canon.
the triumph of magic over brute
You save her like this: Left foot first, slow and hesitant, right foot follow, stumbling quick. No time to think, no time to consider. Swing sword, concentrate gaze, let muscle memory work its devastating magic. No time to think so you remember instead.
You remember afternoon walks down cobbled streets and the smell of ramen high in the air. You remember mirrors and smoke and a heady, wild emotion pumping in your veins and making you strong enough to die. You remember the feeling of knowing that you didn't have to watch your back, because two sets of eyes were already looking out for you. You remember the Sasuke you once wanted to be and you remember that it is not who you are now and you remember what it feels like to be ashamed. You remember and you remember and you save Sakura because the lock on your heart is straining, stretching, breaking.
And you will later realize (looking down at flushed pale skin and laughing green eyes; waking up entangled in thin limbs and morning sunshine; holding the world in your cradled arms) that you save yourself in saving her.
This could be a mistake. This could be the stupidest thing you've ever done. This could be redemption and renewal and finally, all rolled up into a single second of perfect, divine possibility. But your brain is getting foggy and slow, sticky and sweet, and when Sakura gets close enough you drop your sword and collapse at her feet. "Sa-ku-ra," you say, one syllable after the other, soft and deliberate, rolling over your bloody lips with a false familiarity.
She is suddenly all you can see – pale face, pink hair, parted lips, childhood grace and friendship familiar. It is wonderful.
And maybe everything's too far gone to matter anymore, and maybe it was really never worth all that much to begin with, and maybe, just maybe, maybe it was and maybe it always will be and maybe, dear God above, maybe these numbered seconds are the kind of forever that everyone spends eternity looking for. She is tinier than she has any right to be and looks deceptively breakable, fragile, innocent even as you look at her through a tint of blood. She looks like she is about to cry but it is your face that is suddenly salt-sticky and damp, your breath that is choking you, your fingers that are trembling from something that has nothing to do with shock and fluid loss and impending death.
"I missed you," you say, slurred and broken, wheezing out from all the gaping holes, desperate in a way you haven't been in ages.
"It's ok," she says, hushed and fearful, fingers suddenly at your temple.
"I love you," you would tell her, if you could force the words over your tongue. Instead, you try to smile once before dying a quiet, bloody death.
But you do not die, because she is Sakura and she has chakra and control and a heart too full of could-have-beens to let you go so easily.
You wake up to a world that dips and sways. You wake up with your arms tied around Sakura's shoulders and her tiny fingers pressing behind your knees. You wake up and she is carrying you home, strong and steady and it takes you a minute to recognize the hot swelling of your chest as pride.
She brings you back to the broken remains of what was once home and waits for you with a patience that is so far beyond anything you could ever deserve it breaks you heart, a little.
And then the day comes, deep heat hazy and sun-stained, when she touches two fingers to the thin, fragile skin that stretches over your collarbone, smiles soft and shy, and rips your chest open, cracks apart your ribs and pulls the sunshine in with a quiet whisper of, "I still love you."
The summer stains her effervescent and you are trapped in the sight of her.
Heart in her hand, you fall apart at the seams; shatter and scatter and there is nothing left to you, no substance or weight, but it is like silhouettes in the rain, like the feel of familiar sheets against you skin, like the loyal howl of wind outside the walls and you are more full and alive and perfect in this moment than you have ever been before.
You forget to reply, because you are too absorbed in the feel of her and her forever-loving heart thudding against through her and into you.
note: Told you so.
Title is from this quote by Vladimir Nabokov: To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.