Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, its characters, its storyline, or any related trademarks.

Warnings: psuedo-sex and spoilers if you don't know who Sai is
(I somewhat imagined this to take place post-482, but it really can take place at any time post-time skip. I didn't really know what to call it, but I'm sure you SasuSaku fans will understand why I ended up calling it this)

by: theevilmuffin


The nature of chakra is a funny thing. It is like a fingerprint, identifying each person with unique combinations of patterns, colours, and intensities.

Healing people is a surreal, sometimes life-changing event. When two chakra signatures meet so directly – without ill intent or shaping – it forever alters both people. Most of the time the alteration is minor, insignificant, but sometimes two peoples' chakra meet, and something wondrous happens.

Or so Sakura thinks, because she is not sure how else to describe the unusual feeling she gets when she heals people.

When she heals Kakashi, his chakra playfully resists hers at first. He is like a teasing brother or cousin, maybe. But after a few moments, his chakra relaxes, allows her to do what it has to. Inside, she can feel a deep, strong trust.

When she heals Sai, it is like healing a vacuum in space. His chakra tries to pull hers in, to mimic the warmth she creates. Sai wants to know things, like how humans work and why emotions sometimes seem to contradict logic and reason. His chakra is neglected, reaching out to touch the first sign of emotion it finds. It wants, it wants, it wants to feel again.

When she heals Naruto, she feels as though she's his older sibling, tucking him in for bed. He lulls under her hands, but his chakra remains sharp, distinct, and restless. There is a special pattern for getting his chakra to relax, to sleep, and it is almost like reciting the words of a favourite bed-time story.

The relationship of their chakra reflects the relationship of the people, she assumes. But still, she is often surprised by these revelations the first time she heals someone. Knowing that Kakashi has so much faith in her is winding, and Sai's constant crave for humanity is something she is ashamed for misunderstanding. Healing Naruto is a relief – it's a relief to know that he doesn't love her like that. Maybe he might cling to her, but Sakura has never wanted Naruto to be another factor in her love life.

Because Sakura doesn't want to have to choose, and she knows she will have to – it is the nature of the beast, the other side of love. Sakura has tied herself to a sinking ship, there's no point in Naruto tying himself to her like that.

Healing people, touching their chakra, gives her insight on how she reacts to each person, and how they react to her. She dreams of healing Sasuke one day, of finding out what she means to him. She dreams of touching his chakra and feeling something, anything – the warmth of friendship, the flutter of annoyance – anything.

When she finally does heal Sasuke, it is nothing like she has ever experienced, and yet she knows, right when her chakra finally, achingly, touches his, that healing Sasuke is like making love.

Her hands pulse with chakra and they move over his body – suddenly she needs to know this man, this boy underneath her. She needs to find out who this Sasuke really is.

There are no other words to describe it. His body lays taut and unmoving, but his chakra swells, jumps, rises to meet hers.

She has never been this aware, this so entirely focused on one person, and there he is, lying beneath her, at her whim. The chakras get into a pattern, into a game of touch and chase. She soothes burns and battle-wounds, as if each touch of chakra is a chaste, loving kiss.

Even her perfect chakra control can't keep her chakra from meeting his halfway sometimes. The two chakras slide along each other, creating warmth, friction, passion. It says a lot to Sakura. She has always known that Sasuke was a dominating force in her life, in her actions, but now, suddenly, she realizes that she has been dominating him, too.

It scares him, too, makes him close his eyes and brush her hands away, but she pushes onward with assurances and light touches. Each time their chakras touch, it sucks away a little more energy, replaced by another jolt of energy.

Her hands slowly close over the centre of his chest. He grunts, "I'm not injured there."

But you are, she thinks.

The chakra around his heart is strong, powerful, and almost too much to handle. It craves her touch, and yet attempts to return what was given with its own comfort. There is a sudden height of existence, and Sakura gasps, releases her hands, and the universe splits in two.

(In another universe, there is a pregnant pause, a brief moment to recollect thoughts, and Sakura reaches out to touch Sasuke's arm – to reunite their chakras once more. He smacks her arm away, rolls over, and moves himself out of her presence as quickly as possible.

The rejection hurts, but it is not surprising – Sakura should know better than to believe Sasuke would trust such traitorous things like his heart, like his bloodline, like his chakra.)

In this universe, Sakura rests her hand on his arm unconsciously. The chakra beneath hers, touching hers, is placid and warm. Tense, but satisfied.

Sakura leans her head down to rest it on his chest, head cradled in the curve of his neck and shoulder. Sasuke looks away, swallows uncomfortably. She relaxes, slides her legs out and lets her hip rest on the ground.

There is silence, and then...

Sasuke's arm reaches up and grasps her arm.

When she heals Sasuke, she hears the words that he has always wanted to say, but never did: "Don't go."